This blog is about to take a turn for a bit. Bear bare with me if you can. My displeasure with the modern food system has not left, and some vitriol posts may be coming, if and when I get to writing them.
This purpose of life bit is an exercise in renewal of self, to refocus on what is important as viewed from a old codger prospective. I think it is important to think about things like this from time to time, especially as we undergo major changes in our life. What has happened in my life? Well I have retired, done a few things that I always wanted to, become a strong atheist, from an agnostic/not caring position, and have had a bit of time to read, think and write about stuff. I have encountered free time, which is something new for me. A conscious purpose in life is one of the necessary foundations for building the remainder of my life.
Now biologically we can say that the human has no purpose beyond reproduction and supporting the development of the human species. This is fine to a point, but when we examine the past we see civilizations flourish and die, as long as the remains have been around. Jared Diamond and others have examined this, and we can say that in most cases, the downfall was brought about by overpopulation in the environment the civilization existed in. There are no old great civilizations thriving today. We are likely doomed from overpopulation, pollution, and depletion of resources. It is also common that the civilizations continue in a reduced state long after the collapse below the peak.
Now to get back, to purpose, from this we can see that reproduction and development of the human species is a "genetically driven" purpose, so that suggest that anything we do that drives society forward is purpose, and aids in the advance of society, and is therefore valid purpose. Even being a burden on society drives development of social programs of the government and the do-gooders, just as the robbers drive the insurance, home alarm, home security business. So almost anything is helpful to society in some form. Some only give purpose to others in society, and this also contributes to society. In other word, almost anything contributes to society to a point. Those who are not a burden on society do more service than other who are primarily a burden. Oh well, in the end we all just die anyway.
There is a limit on what the people will support, and we may be at that limit, hence Brexit, Trump. Rather than a tax revolt, we are doing a political revolt, starting in England and now the US. As a Canadian, we saw the NDP in Alberta and Trudeau in Ottawa. When more than one half of the voting population think there is a problem, we will have a dramatic shift, not necessarily correcting the problem. We are at one of those shift points. In Canada we have the natives on the dole that shifted the balance of power with our multi-party system. Oh well, itewajda.
Now in order that I can get myself behind the new purpose, it must motivate me. That means I must value the prospects, and find no obvious blocks without work arounds. It must have meaning and purpose, to which I can become attached and engaged with, and have a positive attitude about. The new purpose must fall withing my skill set, more or less, and within my meager means. It must also be within my beliefs and values. Being atheist prevents god or religion becoming a purpose or providing meaning. Dueling hypothesis was the final straw in removing all doubts as to the no god hypothesis is much more likely. I personally think Eastern (Buddhist, Confucians, Hindi) morality and ethics leave Abrahamic morality and ethics (jewish, christian, muslim) in the dirty ditch, sucking swamp water, but that is just my opinion having read about both.
So what is my purpose? From the criteria, anything that helps society in some way is a logical choice. Now to generate alternatives, add more criteria along the way if necessary. Your comments are welcome.