Reply To: What’s the Purpose of Life?

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#28427
paulolc
Participant

    Hi,

    To that question, I would like to share with you one incredible answer I’ve found, by Steven Pinker, a well known and highly regarded experimental psychologist and a popular writer on language, mind and human nature, in one of his books that I strongly recommend “Enlightenment Now. The case for Reason, Science, Humanism and Progress.

    In the beginning of the book, Steven Pinker answers one similar question, posed by one of his students “Why should I live?”. It’s not exactly the question of this topic, but I think it is the same question, considering the Purpose of Life the same as the “Why” of living, the “Why” of Life without any god nor heaven.

    Right there, on the second page, even before we get started on the book, this incredible gem of inspiring wisdom and insight is dropped upon us:

    “Why should I live?”

    “In the very act of asking that question, you are seeking reasons for your convictions, and so you are committed to reason as the means to discover and justify what is important to you. And there are so many reasons to live!

    As a sentient being, you have the potential to flourish.

    You can refine your faculty of reason itself by learning and debating. You can seek explanations of the natural world through science, and insight into the human condition through the arts and humanities. You can make the most of your capacity for pleasure and satisfaction, which allowed your ancestors to thrive and thereby allowed you to exist. You can appreciate the beauty and richness of the natural and cultural world. As the heir to billions of years of life perpetuating itself, you can perpetuate life in turn. You have been endowed with a sense of sympathy-the ability to like, love, respect, help, and show kindness and you can enjoy the gift of mutual benevolence with friends, family, and colleagues. And because reason tells you that none of this is particular to you, you have the responsibility to provide to others what you expect for yourself. You can foster the welfare of other sentient beings by enhancing life, health, knowledge, freedom, abundance, safety, beauty, and peace.
    History shows that when we sympathize with others and apply our ingenuity to improving the human condition, we can make progress in doing so, and you can help to continue that progress.”

     

    • This reply was modified 9 months, 2 weeks ago by paulolc. Reason: Incomplete sentence