Michael Battalio

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Serious conversations (part 18):

        This series is a continuation of my conversations with an atheist friend of mine. We began with religion and have now moved onto many other things. These are my edited responses from that conversation. The eighteenth entry wonders what is a worthwhile pursuit:

        In trying to figure out what exactly I should be doing with my time, I’ve come to ask myself many questions, the foremost being, what is a worthwhile pursuit of my time?
        It seems to me worthwhile pursuits should fall into a couple of categories (outside of working to fulfill basic needs – food, shelter, etc.).  One, personal development, exploration, and awareness - as in learning about something new, contemplating one’s existence, meeting new people and learning about them and learning what they know.  Two, advancement of the human race - as in helping others, yourself, or your environment.  Three, understanding of the universe – as in discovering new truths about the universe or simply learning how it works (the sciences, and philosophy).  Four, recreation – as in the pleasures and pastimes that keep our spirits up and allow for a level of unrestricted joy. We need recreation and entertainment just for the sake of it to give our minds time to relax outside of sleep.  I think that trivial things are fine as long as that is not all someone does.  Also, I think enabling others to perform worthwhile pursuits is a worthwhile pursuit (e.g. parenting).
        The question is now why I think those are worthwhile? Perhaps a worthwhile pursuit is an action that helps fulfill our purpose in life.  I loosely define my purpose in life to be happy.  I am happy when I am doing something in one of those categories.  This makes sense to me even though that is circular reasoning.

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