So what’s the whole point of everything?
“What is the purpose of life?” is a question that probably keeps every human busy that has even a minimum amount of self-reflection.
A lot of people choose religion to answer this question. To each his own - I’m an atheist so that wasn’t an option for me. My idea of the purpose of life is quite simple: It’s life itself. There is no deeper meaning. Life - and that means all forms of life - is the most important thing in this universe.
But it’s not just life alone. A life alone is kind of pointless. There are countless studies that show that people are social beings and you can even die from loneliness. This did surprise me and to this day I can’t understand how it ever could surprise me. Werner Heisenberg theorized that maybe quantum particles are only observable when they interact with each other, so in a certain sense, they only exist when they interact, and I like to think that it’s the same with human beings. So it’s all about you life and the connections you have made, the people you have loved or love and the people who have loved or love you.
That’s it. No after-life necessary, no heaven or hell. No deeper meaning that you will never find out about anyways. One life, better make it count.
So what does this mean for the values that you should have in life?
Out of what I have come to embrace as the point of life I can infer some values:
- Pacificism. A pragmatical one. I’m basically adopting Einstein points of view on the subject:
I did not say that I was an absolute pacifist, but rather that I has always been a convinced pacifist. While I am a convinced pacifist, there are circumstances in which I believe the use of force is appropriate – namely, in the face of an enemy unconditionally bent on destroying me and my people. … I am a dedicated but not an absolute pacifist; this means that I am opposed to the use of force under any circumstances except when confronted by an enemy who pursues the destruction of life as an end in itself. (emphasis in original)
- Skepticism. Challenging your beliefs and convictions is the most important ingredient for constant growth.
Out of the values above we can now create some goals:
I’m not a machine and far from being perfect so I fuck up on those all the time but I’m trying and …. you know, the way is the goal and all that stuff:
- Help others. Can literally be anything. And tiny as well. For instance talking to the homeless guy on the subway for just a minute. A lot of them are very lonely due to the shitty circumstances they live in and even some meaningless smalltalk can make a difference for them. Bonus points: This will also train your empathy which I consider to be one of the most important skills in life
- Have better, more meaningful relations with the people that you consider worth your time. Family & Friends is unsurprisingly the first that comes to mind.
- Find more people with whom you can have a meaningful relation with. That is surprisingly (or not?) hard.
- Find out more about yourself and your purpose. Just because you have found your purpose for now doesn’t mean that you should stop looking for more answers.
- Love science. Not because it has the right answers, but rather the right questions.
- A growth mindset.