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Farrukh Yakubov

Student, Purdue University

TEDCRED 50+

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How would you describe the purpose of life in one sentence?

What is the purpose of life? This is kind of a question where there is no exact answer, and it differers from one person to another. What is the purpose of life in your own understanding, from your own point of view? The answer might be a complicated and long, or concise and short. But how would you state it in one single sentence?

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    Feb 25 2011: I find it interesting how you have started and open ended conversation on a question about the purpose of life.

    We may all sit here and deliberate until we find that our lives have passed!

    Less thinking about the purpose and more living. That is the purpose of life ;) (or maybe it isn't :P)
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      Feb 25 2011: You bring up an interesting theory Sei Shibahara, which is reinforced with a quote by Ernest Holmes in "Science of Mind".
      "One of the great difficulties in the new order of thought is that we are likely to indulge in too much theory and too little practice". Perhaps we are seeking the balance with pondering, knowing and "being"?
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        Feb 28 2011: Nice quote Colleen. Thank you.

        I think people should try to seek, and strive for, a balance in most things. If we do not have balance, there will always be something we are neglecting - the 'other thing' to which our attention is not focused on. In this case: missing out on living life by thinking too much about it. I quite like thinking a lot myself, but I try to find a balance.
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    Feb 25 2011: An inspired man in the great era of about 600 B.C. already answered that question. he said:

    "Men are that they might have Joy."

    Certainly there are other purposes for this specific existence (earth life) but I think a fulfillment of joy is at the core of our reason for existing.
    • Feb 25 2011: I'm glad you brought this up.

      Having fun is the only reason anyone 'stays alive' really.
      Even in the most difficult times, people don't quit, and it's because at some point in their lives they experienced some form of 'joy' and THAT is what they either know will come or hope for, so it's subconsciously what keeps them going. If there was no idea of 'joy' to live for, they wouldn't.

      This could be simply my opinion so I won't elaborate, but of the lives I've tried to lift, this has always been the deepest reachable understanding. It seems to be what makes us 'human' more than give credit for.
      Though I'd credit a balance of practicality and empathy to answering the questions 'Who am I and how do I be me/be happy with me?' and 'How do I be happy?' more than anything. :)
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        Feb 28 2011: good point. and I think we both believe that as people grow (grow up, and mature and grow spiritually) they find "joy" in different things.

        as children they find joy in childish things - selfish things - and as adults hopefully they put away those childish things and thereby naturally find joy in lasting things such as joy in a happy spouse and joy in growing children.

        yes people exist to have joy, and as you said that joy is a powerful motivating force but true joy is achieved by looking outside one's self - almost pretending one's self doesn't exist. ironic isn't it?
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          Mar 1 2011: very ironic but also very truth
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    Feb 25 2011: I"m going to go with complicated and long. :)

    The purpose of an individual life is to be in service of and a part of the totality of Life which crawls through Time like a vine driven by a purpose which is beyond human cognition, but ultimately is aligned, more than not, with what we call the good, true and beautiful.

    Or maybe Life is just a simulation game with no purpose other than to be entertaining.

    Good question.
    • Feb 25 2011: Steve, I love your (first, ;-) ) answer and the wonderful imagery it brings to mind.

      Thanks!

      b.
    • Feb 25 2011: I would go with your second one:

      The purpose of life is to experience as much as possible : good, bad, hot, cold, exciting, boring without discrimination, judgement or attachment.
      Really like a long day at the theme park from which we hopefully wake up on the other side richer for it
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    Feb 22 2011: 42
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    Feb 25 2011: I believe the purpose of life is to bring purpose to life.
  • Feb 22 2011: Happiness. Sorry, only had one word.
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    Feb 21 2011: There is no inherent purpose to life that we know of, so it would be up to the individual to find direction and then to choose.
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    Feb 27 2011: The purpose of life is to experience. Is too...well, live it! Is to experience each momment wether is good or bad and learn from it.
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    Feb 27 2011: To enjoy what you have and like who you are.
  • Feb 27 2011: Dream big, try hard, fail... or don't, but try to enjoy the ride.
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    Feb 26 2011: To find out your purpose and to pursue it, to be whole, you, happy and love.
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    Feb 26 2011: To make a difference.
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    Feb 26 2011: The purpose of life as I see it is to grow, to learn, to experience, to share, to dream, to love, to have fun, put whatever energy you can into the greater human machine, and hope for the best.
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    Feb 26 2011: To become the best person possible
  • Feb 26 2011: Oh c'mon, we're supposed to be scientists here, thinkers! I love the 42 responses. But you have to understand that when you ask a question, you always presuppose a good deal in the asking of it. The list goes on and on, but the greatest, most precocious thing you supposed here, was that there is a purpose to life in the first place! This is a remnant of Christianity, this idea that life must necessarily have a purpose, a telos, to make it enjoyable. Perhaps a better question would be: "How should we live?" or better, "what way of life brings the greatest fulfillment/happiness?"
    Then, we'd be getting somewhere.

    Remember, "we're here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you any different." - Kurt Vonnegut
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      Feb 26 2011: First of all, Thank you for your comment.
      When it comes to understanding, I do understand what my question asks and what is it for. Moreover, I did not presuppose that there is some kind of a right or wrong answer. Therefore, every answer is correct, even if it says there is no purpose at all. And I have to remind you that, this is not a religious question.
      If you think you have a better or more meaningful question which will get everyone somewhere, why don't you just ask them from everyone instead of stating them as better than some questions, and telling that some question is not useful and getting nowhere.
      Of course your mind is yours and I'm not trying to criticize what you think. But I have to tell you, as a scientist or a thinker if you want me to be so, that there is no way that you can read my mind and tell what I was supposing and what I was thinking when I asked this question, and why I asked this question.
      I'm glad that you have decided to take part in this conversation.
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    Feb 25 2011: Life. That's one word even!
  • Feb 25 2011: The purpose of life is to evolve to your highest human potential - consciously, emotionally and with maturity - thereby expressing love and wisdom into the world.
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    Feb 25 2011: Question everything.
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    Feb 25 2011: it's 42.
  • Feb 25 2011: That Man may know joy!
  • Feb 25 2011: The purpose of life is to insure the success of future generations (on or off of this planet) for an infinite period of time.
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    Feb 19 2011: Live and let live
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    Jun 26 2011: The purpose of life is to serve life..the life of all living things..those with us on this earth now..thpse who will inherit from us.
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    May 2 2011: to serve with no boundaries, no bargains, no pre conditions..just to serve
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    Apr 19 2011: Life offers some simple and wonderful opportunities, among them being to find inner strength, to enjoy inner peace, to achieve compassion and to share these gifts with others....anytime anyone feels or thinks a need for a purpose, these are several very good ones....but we can also just enjoy them and share them from the heart from the simple pleasure of 'being' without actually any need of purpose per se...the idea of purpose can actually cause suffering and have a tendency to create dogma built around some idea of the purpose of life.
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    Mar 4 2011: I would like to say there is no purpose...........
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    Feb 27 2011: Purpose of life -- to create God. Think about it. :-)
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      Feb 27 2011: singularitarianism?
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        Feb 27 2011: Not necessarily... (Could be a new God)
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        Feb 27 2011: My mistake -- singularitarianism seems to be the belief in the singularity where something "beyond" human is created. However, this does not seem to be the creation of a new God (ie. one above all with powers of omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence).
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          Mar 5 2011: I don't understood the debate behind the existence of a god which is "omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence". If we define god as such, isn't god just another word for "everything"?
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      Mar 1 2011: you and no person can't create God
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        Mar 4 2011: u just take the first part. the second one is "think about it"!!
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    Feb 27 2011: Find your own (or possibly 42)
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    Feb 27 2011: Life is dance. Purpose is the dance people dance. People are confused because we think everything must dance the way we dance... but when you go to dance, what is the purpose of that?