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what is up with all this purpose talk from the religious

Hey Guys/Gals new here.

Just curious how do you guys respond to the purpose/reason question? im confused by it, because i do not understand how a god being around; and whom has no needs or wants, grants a believer purpose, or even a reason for their existence. if this god has no needs or wants, then he would have no need to have humans serve him.

now im in the camp that say we have no purpose or reason for being here. i leave purpose/reason to things such as cars,TV's. utensils. those things have a reason and purpose. so to me the only way to be truly free is to not have a reason nor a purpose. so i guess im saying id rather be free then to be a tool or instrument for something else.

do you think its a fair statement to say freedom and purpose can not be part of the same person? are they mutually exclusive?

Luke,

Suppose, you don't have a reason or a purpose to be in this world and you are "free". What are you going to do with your freedom if you truly have no purpose?

I suppose, the answer is "whatever I want". But the moment you say what you want, you state your purpose, don't you?

Suppose, you overcome or ignore this little inconvenience and try to decide what you want. Why would you choose one desire over another? Wouldn't you need *some* reason to do that?

Some things we cannot live without (food, shelter). We cannot afford not wanting them. Other things may harm us or others and wanting them is not in our interest. There goes your "freedom". So, how to tell our "needs" from our "wants" and "don't wants"? Any advice from science?

There is, however, some hidden wisdom in your reasoning as it is often the case with self-refuting ideas. It seems to imply that we are only free when we do not want anything. This seems to be the only way to avoid the contradiction. Any desire limits our freedom. You might want to look into Buddhism... :)

Why must there be a reason or purpose we are here? Isn't having the opportunity to be alive reason or purpose enough in itself? Why spend so much energy with such thinking, kick back, take a breath, and enjoy life- be free.

I guess, enjoying life, is one of the purposes we may have. But we cannot do without a purpose at all. We make up purposes for ourselves. Then, some imagine it is God's will, and some don't imagine anything, but the purpose is still made-up. It's not based on any facts - just beliefs.

This question is, indeed, self-refuting. Even you and Luke spent 30 seconds of your life contemplating it and typing your posts. One cannot avoid this question, even just to conclude that there is no purpose.

But I agree, the very question is self-refuting and is not even worth asking. What was the purpose of the question, anyway? :) This seems to be the core of all discussions about God - nothing. All comes down to empty beliefs, no matter on which side we are.

That approach is called "existentialism", if I'm not mistaken. It has been around, at least, since "Ecclesiastes" was written, but, possibly, even earlier.

Speaking of enjoying life. Why don't all of us do that? No matter how much we have, we could always have more. No matter how we feel, we could always feel better. Conversely, we could always have less or nothing at all; and we could always feel worse or be dead. Happiness is not based on a fact. Happiness and our ability to enjoy life is based on how we compare reality to what we want - attitude, in other words. Some feel that they deserve more than they have, and some feel that they have more than they deserve. I dare say, although without proof, that those who have this latter attitude are happier. Everything they have feels like a gift, starting with life itself for there is no way we could have deserved life before we received it. And when we receive precious gifts, we usually feel gratitude. I don't know about atheists, but believers feel gratitude every time they see anything good in their life. Whom should we thank for our life and the opportunity to enjoy it? We don't have to feel gratitude and are free to trash our gifts, and some people do, but if we are thankful, we need someone to thank. Those who see their life as a gift, often come up with an idea of someone to thank for it.

The idea of giving is the idea of noticing less fortunate people next to us and sharing with them what we consider a blessing for ourselves. That way we make ourselves appreciate what we have and the possibility that we might not have it. I think, this is the logic behind giving, not the reward and punishment of heaven and hell as atheists try to present it.

Science does not have any advice regarding what we should want to be happy, while this seems to be a major theme in most religions. To me, these emotional aspects of religion make sense. Factual aspects, whether world was created in 6 days, whether Jesus was conceived without a biological father or physically taken up into heaven after resurrection are not as important.

And, speaking of intellectual freedom, I don't see a reason to confine my mind in the prison of reality. Why shouldn't we imagine or believe, for example, that a river can be stopped so that we could reach our "promised land"? Sometimes, we need beliefs like that to make our lives better. It does not prevent me from accurately perceiving physical reality.

I don't pretend that I can prove anything in this way, but I have a hope that you might see the sincere emotional reasons for religious beliefs and, perhaps, realize that there is more than one way to view religion. I don't see how this attitude can cause any harm to myself or others. Do you?

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