TED Conversations

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What is the purpose of life?

The most thought about question by every human being. Was s it that we are on this Earth?

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    May 16 2013: The purpose of life is to live it.
  • May 16 2013: Maximize pleasure, fun for ourselves and others.
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    May 16 2013: To believe in God and live by His Law.
    To do good and avoid evil.
    Live a happy life.
    Fulfill your dreams.

    I guess that pretty much sums it up!
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    May 16 2013: . . .
    "The purpose of life" is to keep our DNA alive,
    knowing it or not.

    Or, there is no human alive "on this earth"!
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    May 21 2013: The purpose, I think, is expanding consciousness. The way to go is to follow your joy.
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      May 21 2013: My purpose, at the moment Frans, is to pop in and say hello to you. I have not seen you for awhile, and seeing your posts, usually causes me to expand the consciousness and brings joy to my heart:>)

      My purpose is to be all that I can be, to learn, grow and evolve as an individual, while contributing to the whole in every single moment:>)
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        May 22 2013: Thank you Colleen for your nice response, the joy however is mutual.
        Your purpose as you see it, is life's purpose as I see it and will always harmonize into beauty that we can enjoy.
        I've seen your garden.

        To participate here much is rather time-consuming for me as my English isn't fluent enough to express my thoughts in a natural way. I feel crippled by it but I love to see how many comments of yours express my thoughts in a most eloquent way.
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    May 17 2013: "A purpose of life is a life of purpose"-Robert Byrne
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    May 16 2013: to do good

    I might add that doing good often takes courage. I encourage my fellow TEDsters to be courageous.
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    May 16 2013: Discomfort, abstinence and making one with the supernatural.
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    May 16 2013: To decide our eternal destiny.

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    May 16 2013: To get perfect ten.

    Helps you to unite with Him.
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    May 16 2013: To unite with the Creator.
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    May 16 2013: To know God and enjoy him forever.
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    . . 100+

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    May 16 2013: To celebrate life and root for each other to flourish and be.

    • May 16 2013: Right on, Juliette. Happy Today.
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        . . 100+

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        May 16 2013: Today is a gift.

        " With life as short
        as a half- taken breath,
        don't plant anything
        but love."

        ~ Rumi
    • May 18 2013: awesome talk
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    May 16 2013: It's up to one's heart / head / hand.
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    May 21 2013: There is no purpose on this Earth.. You have got a make some purpose for your life but you should be made purpose on your own..?
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    May 20 2013: You may be right that this is the most asked question both on Earth and on TED. To me that's odd, because I can't make heads or tails of the question without more specifics. I would want to know, "Whose purpose?" and "Whose life?"

    You're surely not thinking about either my purpose for your life or your purpose for my life, so it seems to me you're asking about your own purpose for your own life. Fair enough, but that's really up to you and your loved ones, you set your own purposes, if you wish.

    Perhaps you're wondering about what "purposes" other TEDsters are trying to relate to for their own lives. In my own case I would say that "purpose" is too broad a word, "aims" or "goals" work better. For me, these change pretty frequently, though the aim of trying to influence the world and my local area toward improvement is an underlying theme. If I manage that even a little, that's satisfying. Looking for a broad purpose in life might just be frustrating, and is probably not useful.
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    May 18 2013: there is no purpose - that's the hard part.

    you gotta make it up yourself.
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    B Ross

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    May 18 2013: The purpose of life is to flourish. The purpose of human life is to flourish, appreciate, and interact meaningfully.
  • May 18 2013: to be better....
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    May 17 2013: We are on earth to choose between life and death. To be tested. Each of our choices impacts the entirety of our life. In the end, we either find life or lose it.
    Its all about choices.
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    May 17 2013: G'day Peter

    I'm with Chris Kelly, to evolve is to not stagnate & destroy ourselves with our own self important & knowing for there is always more to be known within ourselves not just about ourselves, it is true wisdom to know this & that is but another thing we have to all learn to evolve further, the wisdom in how to use our knowing/knowledge without destroying ourselves first which is a trick the Antediluvians didn't learn in time.

  • May 16 2013: Reproduce!
  • May 16 2013: This question is usually phrased just as you have phrased it, implying that there is some single purpose explaining why humanity exists on this planet. Consider some alternatives. There might be a different purpose for each race, or a purpose for each nation or neighborhood, different purposes for men and women. Each human could have an individual purpose. The most obvious possibility is that there is no purpose whatever.

    Personally, I think it is the responsibility of each adult to determine his/her own purpose and role.

    You might put this question into a larger context. What is the purpose of all of life? What is the purpose of frogs? What is the purpose of bacteria? of poison ivy? What is the purpose of the planet Earth? What is the purpose of rocks? What is the purpose of the moon? How do humans fit into the larger picture? Perhaps the purpose of humans is very similar to the purpose of chimpanzees.

    Another possibility is that we are serving a purpose that will only become evident in the future. Perhaps our purpose is to colonize and eventually reshape the galaxies. Perhaps we will develop a form of artificial life that will be so intelligent as to be almost godlike, developing technologies that will manipulate matter and energy at every scale, treating whole galaxies as toys, and inventing new life forms smaller than viruses.

    Humanity might just be one species in the evolution toward a wise species that will manage this planet far better than we are able.
  • May 16 2013: To Know Thyself......It falls away through that pursuit.....including the question: What is the purpose of life?