I got an interesting question in the comment section of one of my previous posts. It asked if there was truly a sole purpose to life, and then elaborated by asking the following: if there’s multiple purposes to one’s life, does it lessen their value?
Before I begin answering what I think the answer to these questions are, I wanted to point out that these are really good questions. It’s important to think about the information you get from here instead of just reading the article’s and moving on. To the person that asked this question, good job on thinking critically 🙂
Now for the nitty gritty stuff. Let’s tackle the first question first — is there truly a sole purpose to life?
Well, the truth is I can’t give a guaranteed true answer to that question, I can only give my thoughts because I’m only human. That being said, I genuinely think that each and every person contributes to the world in a manner that results in the best possible outcome. The keyword here is possible, because although an ideal world might be way better than what we have, an ideal world isn’t always possible due to our current circumstances. If we center our ideas around Earth and humanity, it’s blatantly obvious that we have at least one authentic and important reason to be here. However, many people ask the question of why we’re here at all. Even people who are firm atheists wonder why we ended up here and what our purpose is. Why did elpistostege (the fish that biologists think we evolved from) crawl out of the water and begin the chain of evolution that led to humans?
First it’s important to remind ourselves that reason is a human made ideology, at least to an extent. We assume everything happens for a reason (whether we admit it or not) and in turn we can’t wrap our heads around the idea that something might exist just for the sake of existing.
I’m also assuming that this question wasn’t asked in a manner of pessimism — this person isn’t lamenting and cursing life, asking why we’re here with the unspoken indication that there’s no purpose for it. Turning our attention towards that question with that context might answer other questions though. When someone asks why we do things if they won’t matter in 1,000 years, we often forget that anybody could come up with a span of time where things won’t matter anymore.
This leaves us with a choice: do we choose to not care because eventually nothing will matter? Or do we choose to care because in our time it does?
When the question is phrased like this it becomes much easier to see the more reasonable answer. Sure, you could choose the first option… but if you don’t account for things such as the Butterfly Effect, then of course you’ll fall victim to your brain’s decision to not care.
This answers our first question — it’s very possible that there’s no reason or purpose to life, but in a relative time frame there absolutely is.
However, there were two questions. The second one asks if one can have multiple purposes in life, and if that’s the case then do they take away from each other?
This question I think I can answer as no more than a human being, and my answer is no. Having multiple purposes can’t take away from life, otherwise we would die as soon as one is fulfilled. Multiple purposes run through one person; that’s why one person can be capable of so much. There’s kids as young as 17 years old who exercise every day, study, learn new things, are getting jobs in fields they’re good at, becoming smarter and faster and stronger and better. Why do I bring up an age group that’s so young? Because it’s easy to see potential in younger age groups, and potential is purpose if executed correctly.
One might consider a father who happens to be a plumber. That father has one obvious job, which is to fix pipes in people’s houses so that their household can function properly and easily. Without plumbers (and all tradespersons for that matter), life is thrown back into the stone age. With that in mind, that plumber is also a father who has to go home and help raise children to be kind, strong, and virtuous. He has multiple purposes, and they don’t lessen the value of each other. A plumber isn’t a worse plumber just because he or she has children, and a parent isn’t always a worse parent just because they have a job. Of course there are exceptions to this rule of thumb, but if things are going smoothly then it holds strong.
So, to summarize: it’s possible that life is meaningless throughout all time, but in relative time there’s multiple meanings that can coexist without lessening the value of each other.
This was a fun post to write, I’m happy someone was thinking critically. Also, thank you for helping me get over 100 followers! It means a lot to me and I’m happy to see this community growing. This community is a reason I smiled today. Be sure to leave a like, share this article with a friend so we can grow more, and follow me on social media as well as on here so you can stay up to date with blog posts. Stay tuned for future posts, and try to be the reason someone smiles today 🙂