May 2007

In your Feb 3 blog, I didn’t see any mention of the subject concerning meaning or purpose in life.

It is our human nature to need a purpose for living and if there isn’t a real purpose, we’ll invent one and then deceive ourselves into thinking that it is real. But the only reality is that the invented purpose makes us feel good (indeed, was invented to make us feel good) and that good feeling helps to carry us through another day.

So the real purpose in life turns out to be feeling good about ourselves.

The truth and feeling good about ourselves are not always compatible and this naturally leads to rationalizing the truth.

Although you are probably right in general, I think you’re being a little too cynical. One can invent a purpose in life without deceiving one’s self about the reality of it. For example, if my purpose is to try and make the world a better place, then that is a real purpose. The fact that I chose this purpose as part of trying to feel good about myself does not invalidate it as a purpose.

Posted on May 25, 2007 at 9:01 pm by ideclare · Permalink
In: Meaning of life

2 Responses

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  1. Written by charity
    on September 15, 2008 at 11:15 pm
    Reply · Permalink

    True, there may be no meaning, but who says that “meaning” if found has just one definition?

  2. Written by WordlesswithWords
    on March 6, 2009 at 7:59 pm
    Reply · Permalink

    “One can invent a purpose in life without deceiving one’s self about the reality of it. For example, if my purpose is to try and make the world a better place, then that is a real purpose. The fact that I chose this purpose as part of trying to feel good about myself does not invalidate it as a purpose.”

    I realize this blog was posted a few years ago but I’m hoping you’ll humor me and possibly answer a question of mine.

    You first say that a person can invent a purpose in life without deceiving themselves in regard to reality. I am pretty sure I’m interpreting this correctly and if I am…I want to point out that people are entirely capable of deceiving themselves and do such every day.

    For example. Hitler. He was hell-bent on improving the world yet many would agree that his version of improvement was had very little to do with the reality many hold. I would say, yes, there is a reality that everyone can not deny. Gravity. Death. Taxes. But this “reality” does not have anything to do with what we might behold as a reality of deeper, meaningful things such as morals.

    People dealing with anything in their lives (death & grief, unemployment, lack of social skills) are very much capable of having a purpose in life that is derived from a reality that is different from mine or yours. And what are they trying to do? Simply trying to feel good about themselves.
    As you might say, that does not invalidate their purpose. But how can we validate their’s if it is nothing like ours—which means, how can we validate our’s if it is nothing like theirs?

    Also, feeling good about yourself can not be solely a purpose of life, can it? There are many things in life that don’t feel good at at but are considered neccessary. Just because you do something you know to be right doesn’t mean you’ll feel good about it or about yourself for doing it. An ultimate purpose to life might being able to feel good about yourself and the life you led but getting to that point isn’t exactly going to be a walk in the park.

    I hope this makes sense. Hope to hear back.

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