The proposition is that it is the question itself, rather than the multiplicity of possible answers, which unites us; which makes us brothers and sisters.
The answers split us and divide us into camps and encourage us to revile each other. The question is our common heritage; the reminder that we are all in this together without any identifiable hope that anybody else is likely to offer us any answers. The question is what we need each other for.
Unless life is only about aquiring and consuming (which I obviously do not believe) then it must be about relationships with people, ourselves, and our God. I believe we are able to touch the lives of others in ways we do not understand, and like the ripples in a stream, our deeds spread and affect in positive and/or negative ways. Yes, the question is "what" we need one another for, as well as, "how" do we relate most effectively.
I think you may be missing the point Tammy. Many people would be unhappy with a characterisation of their life as having anything to do with a god. And when you precede any statement with "I believe", you are simply setting out a subjective "answer" which, as the proposition suggests, already puts you on a path of divergence from many of your brothers and sisters.
Tammy is simply stating that she is not making a factual statement, but rather a statement about her own personal facts, that is, what's true to her. To place "I believe" before any statement is to politely invite your disagreement and/or discussion on the following claim, which, if I am not mistaken, seems to be the point of your post?
Now if you truly want the answer to "Why are we here," several theologies and philosophies inspired by the truly Great in this world attempt to pose answer to your question. I suggest you search among those higher thinkers than among us mere bloggers if you truly attempt to seek an answer - nearly every plausible inch of ground has already been covered, and you can turn in a full circle and see 360 degrees of opinions.
But let's go with the notion that you are posing this impossible question simply to unite us all in our discovery or at least our never-ending search for the answer. Then, I must ask you the question: why belittle and pose edits to a person merely attempting to answer your impossible question (assuming, of course, that you realize that there is no one answer to this question, or at least that no answer exists which may be proven true), when you have previously stated that this reminder is our "common heritage?"
I like your thinking WV. And you may be right that I am wrong and possibly devious in posing a question for which I suspect there is no answer, but the text which follows should give the unsuspecting a heads up - as I think it did for you. My experience of statements beginning with "I believe" seems to differ from yours. There are always exceptions, but generally speaking I find that it is a way of trying to get your listener to listen politely but not to offer a counter view. You can't really negotiate with a believer because they can always trump you with "well, it's what I believe". Your last para gets closer to what I had in mind (although I'm not sure I was (or am) trying to belittle anyone). People (like, I'm guessing, yourself) who understand what is implied in the question don't need me to point out its never-endingness or its commonality. It's the people who don't see those implications who I'm hoping might have a second thought about any non-negotiable answers to which they may be attached.
Both of you are obviously far more intellectual than I, but by saying "I believe," I am only saying, "In my humble opinion." Yes I am a believer of God, IMHO, life would otherwise have no purpose. I am in no way trying to offend anyone nor press my views or beliefs on anyone, only offering my opinion/ philosophy...I will leave the heavy thinking for the intellectuals
Not me Tammy. I'm as dumb as a door post and have the attention span of a mackerel. All I'm really saying is that I love to engage in discussions where all parties are up for shifting position in the light of new information, and that believers rarely fall into this category. After the first chat, we often find ourselves skirting the "elephant in the room". My own brother is a classic example. Best wishes, DM
The question itself splits and divides as much as any answer as implicit in the question is the question of a supernatural God and that is as divisive as anything in our society.
Not sure I'm following your logic there Wilder. Posing a question doesn't necessarily presuppose an expectation of ever receiving an answer, let alone an answer from a god.
The expectation that we are all here for a shared, external, objective reason arises out of a Judeo-Christian mindset. You are presupposing such a reason exists.
As opposed to: 'is there a purpose to us all, or individually, existing?' To which I would say: no, I don't think so. You have to make your own meaning.
You are also assuming an answer. So far, at least for all the great philosophers recorded, there is none.
For the question I posed there is an answer.
If a person were omniscient, they would know the answer: ergo there is an answer.
What individuals like myself have is a position, re: what i think is the most likely answer in the absence of absolute proof.
This question is what made the Ancient People come up with dozens of Gods and Goddesses to explain the multitudes of what happens. Such as a Goddess of the Moon, Rain God, and the list goes on. Many of us have a variety of different beliefs on the answer to this question. This is what basically unites us together as brothers and sisters. Everyday we learn more about ourselves and about each other.
It's certainly true that the question has compelled people, ancient and contemporary, to come up with answers. I for one love hearing and discussing theoretical answers. Where it gets less endearing is when some people conclude their answers are absolute and non-negotiable.
Humanity is just another part of nature.
Nature is nothing more than one giant killing field.
So, my conclusion is that we are either...
A. Lab rats.
B. Not even that.
At least you're prepared to entertain more than one answer Para, which for me is good news. I have a "top ten" list of answers (cofeq.com) but they change all the time depending on influxes of information.
That does properly explain your reaction to her post. You were simply anticipating her next move or her "trumping" move and counter-attacked before it'd even been played!
Not sure I would characterise my response as a counter-attack, but I see where you're coming from. To me a trump signals the end of the hand, and, in terms of the analogy, the end of the discussion. Where do you go (in terms of conversation) from an announcement of unshakable belief?
Everybody has an "opinion". Everyone can express his or her opinion but no one can answer for everybody. To ask "why are we here" invites strife because it assumes that there is one answer to satisfy many. This question has no answer.
Not sure I agree with you there Cert. Asking the question invites the multiplicity of answers which may be of interest to all as long as they're not posed as "the one and only" answer. I love to hear people's theories about why we might be here, but I enjoy them more freely knowing that that's what they are - theories.
"Why are we here?"
So far as I have learned that we are only here completely by accident.
If the dinosaurs hadn't been wiped out 65 million years ago, the creatures we are descended from (I will check tomorrow what BBC Earth says were the type of animal - something like a water rat) would not have exploded in numbers, and we would not exist today.
Why the dinosaurs were wiped out is still open to speculation, although there is evidence that Earth was hit by a massive meteor around that time.
So, man evolved 'by accident'.
WHY we are here is quite a question. Even when man learns how we got here, they have still to learn why, and for what purpose.
One thing we should keep in mind that our lifetimes are less than the blink of the eye in the planet's long history stretching back 4.7 billion years.
In my 46 years I have come to this conclusion, which will neither shatter the earth nor set it on fire; we are here to learn, mostly from our mistakes and before the next carnation- which may be in another life form (perhaps on Mars or in some other galaxy which we may be unaware of) and has nothing to do with any form of deity, other than mother nature.
Yes, it's Boxing Day and I've been drinking.
It's only us UK folks have a Boxing Day. To everyone else it is just the 26th of December!
Happy 26th of December or everyone else
Well it's the 27th now....
Oh my gosh, I've ate and drank so much that I really am a huge stuffed whale. I am drunk, mulled wine and Bacardi; it will surely see me off. I will now attempt the stairs in my new slippers and bifocals. I will surely feel no pain as I am numb, but can still type which clearly is good.
Happy 26th everyone.
I think, instead of asking "Why are we here?" we must ask "Why are we here not for?" It will give more positive answers like.
We are here not to kill.
We are here not to insult others.
We are here not to give troubles to people around us.
We are here to love each other.
We are here not to fight each other.
Based on such answers, we can live a good life.
The problem is, these very same are the things that make us human. We compete and strive for our betterment, even at the cost of others.
I also like the passive "golden rule" Jacob. "Don't do unto others what you wouldn't have them do to you."
But Ridd, I think the most significant turning point in the evolution of our species was when we learned to co-operate. That's what really set us apart from our fellow planetary inhabitants.
To create meaning and actuate our selves. Life is a means to our own creation and fulfillment.
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