On The Meaning of Life – Is There a Purpose?
It seems to me that as a species we behave as if the purpose of life is not to lose it. That is we live as if our purpose is not to die. We seem to agree that there is some intrinsic value in life that is precious and that we should seek to preserve it.
We spend enormous time and energy developing commerce and technology whose aim is to improve our physical well being and preserve our lives. If I eat too much there is moral outrage that I should be so cavalier. If I smoke there is moral outrage. We are amazed when a suicide bomber chooses martyrdom (in his eyes) rather than life.
There is an enormous imperative in the human species to reproduce, that is to pass on our genes to the next generation and therefore in that sense not to die. And in that sense to carry on whatever we started.
We seek to preserve our lives by being remembered after our death, for instance by doing good works or writing novels. We currently seem to want to do this by the cult of celebrity, that is being famous for being famous.
So if we behave as if this is our purpose - should we not accept it as our purpose? From a biological and utilitarian perspective it seems entirely logical. I have not been able to prove to my satisfaction that there is a spiritual perspective so there seems little point testing it from this perspective.
But is it intellectually fulfilling – no I don’t think it is. Ah! So maybe I see a chink of light. Could our purpose be to seek intellectual fulfillment? To drink from the cup of life so fully that we are satiated? In Star Trek terms – to have bold new thoughts.
Hypothetically consider if I were a pure spirit (and had no body) but could think. As a pure spirit I would not be able to communicate those thoughts or interact with the physical world. Is this heaven or hell I am describing? Thought for thoughts sake.
Well my initial thought is - I like it. It is certainly a purpose I can adopt. It’s a damn sight better than hoping not to die. Can I prove it as a universal purpose – no. But I’ll work on it