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    Default Type this essay

    This was written by an American Romantic to a friend in response to a rather pessimistic/Nietzchean essay (5 points if you know either of their names )

    A Brief Word on Purpose

    While objectively true, the assertion of a complete lack of any kind of finality or purpose is, in reality, quite a limiting perspective on the validity of human existence, as well as the capabilities it affords us for the short time that we are allowed to indulge in it. I would propose the existence, within this seemingly hopeless realm of thought, of a way of thinking that would seek to do away with such pessemistic claims.

    Imagine, for a minute, whether you be atheist or religious fundamentalist, that God (read: any higher "power" or consciousness) does not exist. It's not so hard to do, regardless of your perspective; after all, while the odds of our being here by random chance are seemingly quite futile, imagine what the odds are of the existence of a timesless, immaterial being who created and affects infinite change on the material world.

    But I digress from my point. As I said, imagine that God does not exist. Imagine that there is no higher power or consciousness in existence to give an objective "purpose" to life. So what are we to do? Are we to assume that there is no reason to live, and simply cease to do so? I, for one, refuse to accept that I lack any kind of purpose, simply for lack of a spooky omnipotent being in the clouds.

    So, if there is no God, what are we to do? Some turn to logic and philosophy for their "meaning." I did so at one point in my life, and while I thank that period in my life for bringing me to where I am now in terms of self-comprehension, logical thinking, and self-esteem, I have nothing but contempt for it in itself. While I would not wish the uncertainty and doubt that I myself experienced as a result of this time in my life on any enemy, I would say that, to fully comprehend the new meaning that "meaning" itself takes on for the individual once a form of understanding is reached by overcoming this kind of torpor, one must experience it for one's self.

    But again, I digress. While what can be gained by the study of logic and philosophy is invaluable to an individual (perhaps even moreso, in a practical sense, than the understanding that it seeks to reach), the end result will always be unsatisfactory. Truth, complete objective truth, can be neither deduced nor observed, and is therefore logically nonexistant.

    Instead, I propose that we look not outside ourselves, to logic or religion or any other external source that claims superiority, but inside ourselves to find truth and meaning. Believe in yourself. Trust yourself to assign your own meaning to life; after all, who has more power over you than, well, you? Why should something immaterial with less power over you than yourself, like logic or God, define your purpose? Does an office temp ever walk into a CEO's office and tell him what to do?

    Yet if we do not have logic to guide us in this quest for purpose, what should guide us when we look within ourselves? Surely, I would be a fool to suggest that for one moment you ignore logic, only to contradict myself the next. My advice to you is this: learn to feel. Get in touch with every part of yourself that you've never dared to let out, no matter how frightening or vile it may seem. Stop ignoring and repressing all of the little things that make you uncomfortable; I think them, and I know for a fact that you do too. Play them out in your mind; see what happens. Only in this way can you find where your true feelings lie. Mistake me not: I would hope not to confuse these raw, personal emotions with the petty, materialistic ones we so commonly think of when we hear the word "feelings." These are the same kinds of feelings: love, hatred, fear, desire, et al. But they do not exist outside of ourselves; we cannot express them in any way that would do them justice to anyone but ourselves. Find them, and I promise you that you will need neither logic nor God to fulfill what they desire; they have their own conviction, and are already living out their purpose in your day-to-day life. Don't bother trying to control them; why attempt to ride a horse if you ARE the horse? Discovery of purpose is not for any practical end; it is simply for peace of mind.

    In conclusion, I would offer one final statement: be bold. Do not let others tell you how to run your life. Refuse to follow orders. Trust yourself to define a "meaning," or as my colleague refers to it, an "end" for yourself. Every man, woman, and child should know that, in the end, nothing has control over them. The government can make you pay taxes, your landlord can force your monthly bill upon you, but in the end, what you live for is up to you. Set your own goals, define your own purposes; decide what means most to you and work for it, and I can guarantee you, my friend, you will be happy.
    D33p.
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    .....

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    Yeah, INTp - Morpheus subtype.
    Sounds like David Hume, but he wasn't American or a Romantic .

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    .......

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    Nah, he isn't that good...

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    Default Re: Type this essay

    =)

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    Truth, complete objective truth, can be neither deduced nor observed, and is therefore logically nonexistent
    if truth cannot be observed, how should we refer to the existence which surrounds us? does it not inherently contain truth, even if he may be right in that it cannot be deduced or comprehended?

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    Exactly, people don't care about complete objective truth when they are going about their normal everyday lives (non-philosophers anyway). Like, we are either all real or we aren't, but the question doesn't matter on an everyday basis.

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    That which surrounds us, or what we perceive of it, is just that: a perception. And perception does not equal truth. Do full-blown schizophrenics REALLY hear noises and see things? They definitely perceive them, but their perceptions make logical contradictions with the set of rules that governs the world we live in. Now, you may say that the things we, being (at least by comparison ) sane, perceive do not violate these rules. However, we did not write these rules; rather, we observed them, and as we have no truly objective reason to believe that our perception is not just as flawed as someone tripping on acid, we cannot derive any kind of absolute truth from it.
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    • The essence of "two truths" dates all the way back to Hinduism, and they were pretty spot on back then.
    • I like the manifestation that concept took in Buddhism as well.
    • I couldn't even bear to write an essay like that, because I've already moved so far past it.
    • I think it is pretty clear that there is a "Way" about things, if you are aware of it.
    Pre-2013 post are written with incomplete understanding.

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    You obviously didn't write that tour de force above then. Plus, your're hijacking you own thread.

    Basically, everyone has their own paradigm (their set of rules\framework) to which they attach everything they observe\postulate. You can't have no preconceptions of the world simply by saying you have no objective truth. Of course, the paradigm might ultimately be wrong or people disagree, but we are only human, blah blah blah.

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    UDP: This is a bit beyond Two Truths stuff, but that's an interesting connection, because that's actually what I had in mind when I first read this. And what do you mean you're "so far past it?"

    Sub: I never claimed to have written it, but how does what I wrote contradict what's said in the essay?
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    , your post didn't have phrases such as 'I would offer one final statement'. That person seemed to trying to make his essay sound like a poem or something.

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    Oh.
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    Quote Originally Posted by gilligan87
    UDP: This is a bit beyond Two Truths stuff, but that's an interesting connection, because that's actually what I had in mind when I first read this. ]
    Are you so sure? There are 'two types of God/s' as well.

    Oh, and.........

    Truth, complete objective truth, can be neither deduced nor observed, and is therefore logically nonexistant.
    That is all about "two truths" right there. Or at least, that triggers what I think of when I think of the "two truths" concept. So I don't get how you could possibly say that "This is a bit beyond Two Truths stuff".




    And what do you mean you're "so far past it?"
    http://www.personalitypage.com/INTJ_per.html the answer is pretty well pointed at in that page (refering to the general concept, as to why I've already declared myself "so far past it).

    What I mean is that I've seen essays like that for quite a few years now and my stance on them is still the same, even after all the changes in perspective I've gone through. Arguing from a sheer nature of "well does god exist or not" and how that influences 'purpose' is something that I won't do, because on a foundational, structural level, I don't think it is weighty. It seems outdated to me.

    However, a lot of the things that I do agree with (some of the points made and spefics) I feel are very redundant (to my subjective self), and I don't think they need to be mentioned. But I suppose I should consider that such an essay was not written "for me".



    So what you really need to know is this:
    I do agree with most of that essay. I just think some of the notions about "god" are .... trite, at this point. (And yes, that means that I think the majority of the world has a trite stance on what god is)(...perhaps 'limited' would be a better word). But I can 'translate' how god is used there to my own views, and I can accept it.




    and, as for the conclusion....
    In conclusion, I would offer one final statement: be bold. Do not let others tell you how to run your life. Refuse to follow orders. Trust yourself to define a "meaning," or as my colleague refers to it, an "end" for yourself. Every man, woman, and child should know that, in the end, nothing has control over them. The government can make you pay taxes, your landlord can force your monthly bill upon you, but in the end, what you live for is up to you. Set your own goals, define your own purposes; decide what means most to you and work for it, and I can guarantee you, my friend, you will be happy.
    Sure. (It's nothing new for me to hear that... but 'sure' just the same).
    I would also encourage the study of 'what is going on', or developing awareness. Learning 'natural laws' or 'the ways of the world' would also be advised... studying 'the way', so to say.


    PS:

    That person seemed to trying to make his essay sound like a poem or something.
    It's obviously meant to be 'uplifting'
    Pre-2013 post are written with incomplete understanding.

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    Some quotes I know on the subject are ''If God didn't exist it would be necessary to invent him'' and (against the God necessarily exists argument) ''God only necessary exists if he exists in the first place''

    Apart from the last paragraph, I don't find it particular uplifting. If there is no such thing as a supreme being, it means there is no hope or 'get out clause' for our future, we determine it ourselves, and if it does exist, it means that the being doesn't care or is too weak to do what we could otherwise attempt to achieve. And if there is an uncertainity about its existence (as there always has been no consensus), then even the notion of a supreme being is harmful - people putting faith in something that doesn't exist, and hurting those who don't.

    The last paragraph only tells you to make the best of what there is left without a supreme being, i.e. ignore the opinions of others, because why is their reasoning better than your experience and reasoning? It is telling you to be happy, but only to the end of your mortal life - there is ultimately no ever after.
    EII-Ne
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    Quote Originally Posted by Subterranean
    there is ultimately no ever after.
    He never says that.

    UDP:
    I don't think you've quite grasped what this is really about; you fail to even mention what it is about the conclusion that you are so "beyond." Don't dismiss something as "elementary" until you consider every part of what it's saying.

    In addition, your critique of the essay in regards to it's stance on God is completely irrelevant; what he is asserting here has nothing to do with why he/we should or shouldn't believe that God exists. It's independant of that notion. It's not arguing for or against the existence of God; it's arguing for a definition of purpose outside of God. Besides, I know for a fact that this author has more to say about the existence of "God," and his views are not as limited as they may appear in this essay.
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    No, he doesn't say that, but he is obviously rejecting the idea of an almighty being who could make you live beyond your mortal life.
    Though you could argue that we don't know what happens after our mortal life, we could just carrying on living in some form or other.

    His view could be said to be the rejection of all those things you cannot have a strong certainity in, which therefore results in his position to make something worthwhile of your life.
    EII-Ne
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    It sounds like good advice that at my current juncture I should take, there were some things that disagreed with me though.
    All Hail The Flying Spaghetti Monster

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    It's not arguing for or against the existence of God; it's arguing for a definition of purpose outside of God.
    My issue is that the author sees god as something that can be "outside of".

    But I guess a lot of that is sementicas and a very complicated manner of specific definitions.


    ......It seems like the author is beginning to understand that Religion is not something from divine origin, but was in fact a (sometimes faulty, sometimes spectacular) manifestation of the human mind.

    I probably shouldn't have said anything. I generally agree with the author, and he seems on the right track. "Keep going", I would say. Not in a condescnending way, but in a manner of full commradery. I have a tendency to want to make that transition speed up, but making off the cuff remarks won't help at all.



    Oh, and...
    I don't think you've quite grasped what this is really about; you fail to even mention what it is about the conclusion that you are so "beyond." Don't dismiss something as "elementary" until you consider every part of what it's saying.
    unfortunately, the author isn't here. Otherwise seeing his reactions to things would have been valuable. (which basically means that any one collection of words will likely be lacking if the author cannot provide the full context of his ideas) I know that is always my 'problem' when I try to explain something. Especially when is increasingly involved...
    Pre-2013 post are written with incomplete understanding.

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    Religion is adressed here from a philosophical standpoint, not a religious or cultural one. It's working with the most commonly perceived definition of "God" in order to appeal to a greater audience; very few of whom the message is intended for would be interested to read a lengthy and intense treatise about the origins of the notion of God and religion.
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    well, then I geuss I don'thave anything to say about the essay. Common fodder is common fodder. I think it is a good thing for the average joe to hear.... actually, it might be decent propaganda in regard to my own vision of things. A good stepping stone, or preliminary.
    Pre-2013 post are written with incomplete understanding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Subterranean
    Exactly, people don't care about complete objective truth when they are going about their normal everyday lives (non-philosophers anyway). Like, we are either all real or we aren't, but the question doesn't matter on an everyday basis.
    bingo.

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    Religion is adressed here from a philosophical standpoint, not a religious or cultural one. It's working with the most commonly perceived definition of "God" in order to appeal to a greater audience; very few of whom the message is intended for would be interested to read a lengthy and intense treatise about the origins of the notion of God and religion.
    I would, I'm into that sort of thing.
    All Hail The Flying Spaghetti Monster

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    So, any other opinions on type? Or does everyone think INTp o_O
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    Quote Originally Posted by gilligan87
    So, any other opinions on type? Or does everyone think INTp o_O
    I would think so, that or INTj.
    All Hail The Flying Spaghetti Monster

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    as far as type goes, I don't know at all. It could be any NT, or anyone who is philisohpically inclined, if you ask me.

    I don't really see how you can judge the type of the 'author' via ONE peice of writting. You can 'type the "essay" ', I guess, but that seems ..... a little too much. People will start 'typing' fire hydrants if they take that strain of thought too far...




    So no, I've got nothing worthwhile to really say.
    Pre-2013 post are written with incomplete understanding.

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    I agree. You can't really type. For all you know, the person could be extrovert. Just because he says to look within yourself don't mean introvert. Just because he says logic don't mean he's not emotional. *shrugs*
    INFP

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    Ah well. So much for this ploy

    The essay is, in fact, mine. I wanted to see how people responded to the writing style, and what bits and pieces people would choose to analyze, but nobody really even made an effort. You guys dissapoint me!
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    entp without a doubt. the writer is very Ne all over the place going here going there, skimming then moving again. too Ti to be enfp, so i deduce entp.

    ILE

    those who are easily shocked.....should be shocked more often

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    heh. and i wrote the previous post before i saw your last post gilly.

    it sounds like where you are at right now - the idea of getting to know yourself better and facing those powerful emotions - all before considering the question of a higher power or god. good for you - i think i drank mine away until i was 26 or so.

    and that stuff about question authority is great - i'll say this though: i used to do that all the time, i've gotten better results and what i want by joining authority and then subverting it with its own logic.

    ILE

    those who are easily shocked.....should be shocked more often

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    It is where I'm at, in a way. In other ways, I've moved on. But I think it's a good philosophy to use as a standard in terms of thinking about purpose; I keep it on the backburner for whenever I get depressed or doubtful about what I'm working towards. I used it this very morning, in fact Like UDP said, the concept can easily be considered moot or trite to people who like to think deep on these kinds of things, but at the same time, I find that it's something that I come back to continually. I think a great deal of the personal significance that both this conclusion and the process by which I arrived at it holds for me is lost in translation between thought and written word, but regardless, I would give this same advice to anyone.
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    Meh, I take back everything I said. You obviously knew what the 'artist formerly known as American Romantic' was talking about better than me . I think its a brilliant essay, its less devoid of human needs and feelings than some texts I've had to read for a module I did. But as I said, it's got some fancy turns of phrase in it .

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    Thanks!
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    Well-written, Gilly--and well-thought out too.
    Mix in a few metaphors, and in no time, I imagine you'll attract yourself a cult.

    Type: *N*P--up in the air, I guess.

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