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Old 04-16-2014, 11:48 AM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
40,961 posts, read 18,569,815 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Gringo View Post
. Outside, a mockingbird sings in the oak tree. Neither the bird nor the tree question their lives.
Because they are incapable of doing so, not because of some wise decision on their part. If they had big brains they would be questioning things.

So, your answer is not particularly useful, none of us would willingly trade places with a bird or a tree in the hopes of a less complicated life because we would lose all the advantages of being humans in exchange for getting rid of the disadvantage of awareness of our own mortality. What is the difference between a life of zero awareness and no life at all?
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Old 04-16-2014, 12:01 PM
 
31,385 posts, read 32,096,081 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ResistTheETIntervention View Post
Are you such an individual? Do you feel that resolutions of the global issues are someone elseís responsibilities?
Well I'm at that point in life were the zeal for crusading for the cause has greatly diminished to the point that I almost ready to just throw up my hands, grab a beer and just watch the fools continue on there may way. If the actuarial tables are right, I might have to endure only 10 or 15 years of the current foolishness, so do I spend it fighting the good fight (infractions not withstanding) like Rifleman or I find some enjoyment. Frankly, I think the die is cast and nothing is going to put off what is to come, so I leave it to the next generation.
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Old 04-16-2014, 12:03 PM
 
Location: Aiken, South Carolina, US of A
1,765 posts, read 3,861,975 times
Reputation: 3571
Grandstander,
How do you know what a tree or a bird knows?
Really? How?
Because you say so.
Animals know death. Mabey in a strange sort of way, they know it
and accept it better than humans. Because it is the way of nature.
Humans aren't any better than any animal that walks the earth.
In fact, we are worse.
We are self absorbed, telling ourselves how superior we are than anything
on the earth.
How little minded humans truly are.
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Old 04-16-2014, 01:26 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
40,961 posts, read 18,569,815 times
Reputation: 18673
Quote:
Originally Posted by Butterfly4u View Post
Grandstander,
How do you know what a tree or a bird knows?
Really? How?
Because you say so.
Animals know death. Mabey in a strange sort of way, they know it
and accept it better than humans. Because it is the way of nature.
Humans aren't any better than any animal that walks the earth.
In fact, we are worse.
We are self absorbed, telling ourselves how superior we are than anything
on the earth.
How little minded humans truly are.
This sort of anti scientific airy fairy stuff just does not interest me. If you wished to trade lives with an animal and it was possible, would you? Would you rather be a human being or a cow?
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Old 04-17-2014, 05:24 AM
 
39,075 posts, read 10,842,814 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travric View Post
You know as this 'kid' gets older I really like to see kids at 'work' making 'things' or doing 'things'. That's like 'practice' for what comes later when they go out into the world and do their 'thing' and contribute to society. Problem is for some they go off on a tangent and get disconnected from their 'purpose'. For me, I prefer the word 'vocation', kind of bringing in the concept of roles we do play in our lives. We play not one but many. Sure helps to keep in touch with your 'role' since I'd think that surely gives 'purpose.'
I agree. There are some that can achieve great things. Sometimes helpful, sometimes not. Great men can be a pain at times. But anyone with something to contribute even in a small way...well, if everyone did that instead of what often appears to be bloody -mindedness but is probably just short-sighted self -centredness, then I believe that 75% of the world's problems would vanish overnight.

But they also serve who only stand and wait, as the (Biblical?) saying goes. I never bought into the hippy thing in the 60's, but they had some good ideas which are still valid today. The times were a-changin in those days and Dylan's line 'please get out of the way if you can't lend a hand' are still relevant.

If they can't contribute something great or small, they should at least not obstruct those who can. The opposition to climate change, which smacked so much of the religious opposition to evolution theory has now been (surely) discredited and those who organized rallies against the Claims for Global warming should be feeling chastened (but probably aren't ) and at least they should cease attempts to block the efforts those trying to do something about it
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Old 04-17-2014, 12:44 PM
 
Location: Texas
35,260 posts, read 19,292,205 times
Reputation: 20876
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
Because they are incapable of doing so, not because of some wise decision on their part. If they had big brains they would be questioning things.

So, your answer is not particularly useful, none of us would willingly trade places with a bird or a tree in the hopes of a less complicated life because we would lose all the advantages of being humans in exchange for getting rid of the disadvantage of awareness of our own mortality. What is the difference between a life of zero awareness and no life at all?

True awareness would lead one away from silly, meaningless questions like "what is your purpose?"

Humans are just another current in the stream of life. It's when we try to separate ourselves from the rest of nature that we become discontented. Our big brains are an advantage, but one that is certainly subject to misuse by many. And possibly underutilized by those who fret over their purpose.
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Old 04-17-2014, 01:06 PM
 
Location: Seattle bound
284 posts, read 421,261 times
Reputation: 315
I'm like Candide. I tend to my own garden and let the rest of the world take care of itself. That's my purpose, to live this day until the next with as little fuss as possible.
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Old 04-17-2014, 01:13 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
40,961 posts, read 18,569,815 times
Reputation: 18673
Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Gringo View Post
Humans are just another current in the stream of life. It's when we try to separate ourselves from the rest of nature that we become discontented. Our big brains are an advantage, but one that is certainly subject to misuse by many. And possibly underutilized by those who fret over their purpose.
Relative to what? The above suggests that there exists some proper standard representing the perfect, or perhaps required amount of brain utilization. If not, then one can hardly state that this brain is overutilized and this one is underutilized.

If I asked you for that standard, either you will blow off the question or you will come up with some answer which would be reflective of how much you use your brain rather than one which is accompanied by compelling reasons as to why it should be the standard.

I think that you are stating things for which you actually have no basis to know one way or the other. For example:
Quote:
It's when we try to separate ourselves from the rest of nature that we become discontented

Perhaps some do, perhaps some do not. Perhaps you do and you are projecting your personal situation on everyone. I'm not at all sure what that is supposed to mean, humans are already separated from the rest of nature by whatever unique qualities we possess. We can talk, no other species can. Does that mean we become discontented as a consequence of talking? We can construct motorized machines, no other species can. Are you presently discontented because you are using a computer to communicate on this forum?
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Old 04-17-2014, 01:19 PM
 
Location: Concord, NC
1,210 posts, read 1,940,526 times
Reputation: 804
I have made the purpose of my life to not reproduce and travel as much as I can.
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Old 04-17-2014, 05:37 PM
 
Location: Texas
35,260 posts, read 19,292,205 times
Reputation: 20876
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
Relative to what? The above suggests that there exists some proper standard representing the perfect, or perhaps required amount of brain utilization. If not, then one can hardly state that this brain is overutilized and this one is underutilized.

If I asked you for that standard, either you will blow off the question or you will come up with some answer which would be reflective of how much you use your brain rather than one which is accompanied by compelling reasons as to why it should be the standard.
You seem to be suggesting some arbitrary universal standard.

Quote:
I think that you are stating things for which you actually have no basis to know one way or the other. For example:
You're free to think that.

Quote:
Perhaps some do, perhaps some do not. Perhaps you do and you are projecting your personal situation on everyone. I'm not at all sure what that is supposed to mean, humans are already separated from the rest of nature by whatever unique qualities we possess. We can talk, no other species can. Does that mean we become discontented as a consequence of talking? We can construct motorized machines, no other species can. Are you presently discontented because you are using a computer to communicate on this forum?
Discontent arises from desires to own, to possess. Desires for ever more, and enough is never enough.
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