T Nation

Your Purpose


#1

This is something that has been on my mind, and I think is especially relevant to the fitness/bodybuilding community. This is just "food for thought". I'm not necessarily behind any of the ideas here, I just wanted to see what you all thought about this..

So I was out having a drink the other night and ran into a female friend of mine. She's attractive and a very smart girl. Somehow we got to talking about kids and she said "I don't want any kids because I don't want my body to go to shit." This got the ol' wheels turning in my head pretty hard... I couldn't help but think "hang on a minute, the only reason biology gave you a hot body in the first place is to attract a mate so that you can have children". It made me think of the guys who have nice cars but never drive them for fear of scratching the paint. Isn't the purpose of having a car to drive it? Then this got me thinking about bigger issues here..

No one really knows what the meaning of life is, but from a purely biological standpoint, we can safely say that our purpose is to survive into reproductive age and then reproduce. That's what all of our faculties are geared towards. Now obviously society has given us other purposes than simply to breed as rapidly as possible as a soon as we can, BUT I would think that if we fail at our very basic purpose, then it would be psychologically damaging on some level.

For males, we are supposed to protect, provide, and procreate. We are supposed to fight off rival males and put our DNA in as fine a female as we can, and then protect and provide for her offspring until we die a sad/violent and thankless death. And yet, sometimes we pursue the "protect" part (becoming hugely muscled) and the "provide" part (making lots of money) to the detriment of that very purpose.

History is littered with men who have chased paper to the point of ignoring their families or even not having a family at all. Rich guys seem to have the fewest children of anyone. What, really, is the purpose of being a great provider if you don't actually provide? And how many bodybuilders jeopardize their health for the appearance of being a good protector? Or who blow all their money on juice? How many women jeopardize their reproductive systems in order to make themselves more sexually attractive? What's the point of being sexually attractive if you never achieve the real point of sex: procreation?

Of course society puts pressure on women not to have children. Society doesn't value the married mother. I honestly find myself tuning out women once I find out they are off of the market. It might be unfair but its just how it goes. On the other side of it, society doesn't value the uncool "dad" either. It worships the vain playboy entrepreneur.

Again I want to reiterate, I am not judging or making assertions here. This is just something that has been rolling around in my mind lately and was curious what you guys thought.

****EDIT: Let me clarify: I'm asking two things:
1) What do you think your purpose in life is?
2) Do you think there are any negative consequences to skipping basic purposes/functions and pursuing "higher" level purposes? ****


#2

For a second there, I thought this thread was going to be about ones life task.


#3

It doesn’t matter if an individual prioritizes protect/provide/procreate as long as society does all 3 it can have the benefit of all 3 without sacrificing the others.


#4

[quote]rrjc5488 wrote:
For a second there, I thought this thread was going to be about ones life task.[/quote]

Same, I wasn’t expecting Op to essentially say, “EVERYONE HAS TO FUCK WITHOUT A CONDOM AND GET A CHICK PREGNANT/BE PREGNANT OTHERWISE YOU ARE NOT FULFILLING YOUR LIFE PURPOSE!!1111!!!111!!111!!!”; however, I was wrong in not expecting that.


#5

[quote]Magnetic88 wrote: What’s the point of being sexually attractive if you never achieve the real point of sex: procreation?
[/quote]

because it’s fun? Seriously, if you have to ask, you’ll never understand


#6

Biology does not assert a purpose actually.

Purpose is something we need to find for ourselves, though there are dogmas out there that will tell you that this, or that is the right way or Gods way, often times they say it is the only way to heaven, or whatever to give people a method to rationalize their beliefs. I’ve seen it here with plenty of educated people.

In the end, there are a lot of people in denial here about that who will put up the shield of, “skeptic.”

But, in the end skeptics define themselves by being guided by evidence, rather than dogma.

Anyhow, cheers T-Nation.


#7

[quote]Magnetic88 wrote:

So I was out having a drink the other night and ran into a female friend of mine. She’s attractive and a very smart girl. Somehow we got to talking about kids and she said “I don’t want any kids because I don’t want my body to go to shit.” This got the ol’ wheels turning in my head pretty hard… I couldn’t help but think “hang on a minute, the only reason biology gave you a hot body in the first place is to attract a mate so that you can have children”. It made me think of the guys who have nice cars but never drive them for fear of scratching the paint. Isn’t the purpose of having a car to drive it? Then this got me thinking about bigger issues here…

[/quote]

Congrats. I think you’ve already won Best Worst Analogy of 2015.

"What’s the point of being sexually attractive if you never achieve the real point of sex: procreation? "

Vanity?

If it really interests you, rephrase your question to something like “why are people who have no interest in procreation putting so much effort into being sexually attractive?” This is a better way to begin your investigation.

If you haven’t had sex yet, go ahead and try. Most people find it pretty awesome whether or not (and most prefer the not) a baby comes.

I think you just had too much to drink that night.


#8

Yes I have had plenty of sex, and yes this thread IS about your life purpose and what people think the meaning of life is.

I just started it in a weird and roundabout way by tossing out some thoughts about what our very basic biological purpose is and if that should be defining us. I also wanted to raise the question of should we be ignoring that base-level purpose or not.

Talk amongst ya selves


#9

[quote]Severiano wrote:
Biology does not assert a purpose actually.

Purpose is something we need to find for ourselves, though there are dogmas out there that will tell you that this, or that is the right way or Gods way, often times they say it is the only way to heaven, or whatever to give people a method to rationalize their beliefs. I’ve seen it here with plenty of educated people.

In the end, there are a lot of people in denial here about that who will put up the shield of, “skeptic.”

But, in the end skeptics define themselves by being guided by evidence, rather than dogma.

Anyhow, cheers T-Nation.

http://scientiasalon.wordpress.com/2014/10/28/the-varieties-of-denialism/[/quote]

Thats fair. Biology doesn’t give purpose, but rather a function. You could be all Dawkins about it and say that biological functions occur because they can occur, not due to any purpose or design, which is a perfectly acceptable way of thinking.


#10

My wife used to tell me that “we owe it to society” to have children…her thoughts being that we’re (hopefully) going to raise healthy, happy, intelligent, law-abiding children who grow into productive adults.

I was just hoping for a cool kid to play with.

As far as vanity goes…you either throw that shit out the window at some point (or age does for you) and just accept that you can’t look a certain way your entire life, no matter how much you spend or how hard you try. So, at some point, might as well just give in.


#11

Perhaps ignoring your raw genetic drives is the basis for higher human purpose. Sublimation of the id and what not.


#12

[quote]Magnetic88 wrote:

  1. What do you think your purpose in life is?[/quote]

I don’t think it matters. Anyone with an ounce of motivation will (at least attempt to) make it a self fulfilling prophecy.

Seeing as it is the minority that skips, assuming I understand you here, no. If the majority starts skipping, then Houston will have a problem.


#13

In the year 2015 ones purpose is optional. We no longer have to work 12 hours a day to survive. Fact some people do not work at all these days.

For myself, my purpose is to rack up as many good times as possible.

Stay as far away from all religious institutions as humanly possible.

Make myself better than I was yesterday, physically, mentally and
spiritually.

Not to listen to those who are negative in their outlook on life.

To forge my own destiny as I see fit.

Learn as much as I can about the thinks that interest me

Already have a daughter and I did it right.

Never conform to the social norms, be free at all costs!


#14

Crush your enemies.
See them driven before you.
Hear the lamentations of their women.

Now that I got that off my chest, my purpose in life?

I’m not strolling around with a Thor’s hammer around my neck, but I picked up this odd outlook on life from some cheesy Viking novels. In a religious discussion between two Norsemen they essentially said humans are here to entertain the gods with their actions, feats of bravery, etc. so, my purpose, to show appreciation for the life I was given by making the most out it that I can. That means pushing myself to be the best strongman I can be. I have no illusions that I’ll be a national or even state record holder, but I’ll always do my best and do my best to realize my potential and maybe surpass it. The same thing applies to work, in fact I am in sort of a funk professionally right now, because I have very little opportunity to “perform,” I’m essentially just a drone. On a different level, but in the same vein, to take the opportunities as they are presented to be a force of positivity in the world, either by direct charitable acts, a kind word, or whatever is appropriate. Also, to resist the opportunities to spread negativity around. It’s simply not worth it.


#15

[quote]Severiano wrote:
Biology does not assert a purpose actually.
[/quote]

Biology doesn’t “assert” anything. Science is merely observation through the lens of sensory perception.

Some would say otherwise. Both need to elaborate.

[quote]

…though there are dogmas out there that will tell you that this, or that is the right way or Gods way, often times they say it is the only way to heaven, or whatever to give people a method to rationalize their beliefs. I’ve seen it here with plenty of educated people.

In the end, there are a lot of people in denial here about that who will put up the shield of, “skeptic.”

But, in the end skeptics define themselves by being guided by evidence, rather than dogma.

Anyhow, cheers T-Nation.

http://scientiasalon.wordpress.com/2014/10/28/the-varieties-of-denialism/[/quote]

You’re in denial. Quit being in denial.


#16

[quote]TheKraken wrote:
Crush your enemies.
See them driven before you.
Hear the lamentations of their women.

Now that I got that off my chest, my purpose in life?

I’m not strolling around with a Thor’s hammer around my neck, but I picked up this odd outlook on life from some cheesy Viking novels. In a religious discussion between two Norsemen they essentially said humans are here to entertain the gods with their actions, feats of bravery, etc. so, my purpose, to show appreciation for the life I was given by making the most out it that I can. That means pushing myself to be the best strongman I can be. I have no illusions that I’ll be a national or even state record holder, but I’ll always do my best and do my best to realize my potential and maybe surpass it. The same thing applies to work, in fact I am in sort of a funk professionally right now, because I have very little opportunity to “perform,” I’m essentially just a drone. On a different level, but in the same vein, to take the opportunities as they are presented to be a force of positivity in the world, either by direct charitable acts, a kind word, or whatever is appropriate. Also, to resist the opportunities to spread negativity around. It’s simply not worth it. [/quote]

This pleases Crom.


#17

[quote] Magnetic88 wrote:

  1. What do you think your purpose in life is?

[/quote]

To prepare for death.


#18

I can’t believe nards hasn’t posted here saying his purpose is to kick some ass and chew bubblegum.


#19

[quote]LankyMofo wrote:
I can’t believe nards hasn’t posted here saying his purpose is to kick some ass and chew bubblegum. [/quote]

…Maybe he’s all out of gum?


#20

To live it