Class Warfare Blog

June 11, 2019

On Purposes, Destinies, and Lots in Life

I stated something a few days ago, to which I now return. It was this: “Anyone, theist or atheist, who thinks that ‘purposes’ exist anywhere but in our imaginations is sadly poorly informed.” It must have had a bit of a ring of truth about it as it was mocked by John Branyan.

The whole idea of there being a purpose in life (Branyan’s will take eternity to fulfill, according to him) is part and parcel of a whole load of rubbish regarding what we do and why we do it.

At the top of the list is the Divine Right of Kings. Kings have fashioned themselves as having been chosen by god to be his very instrument. This was obviously part of a power play. The religious elites and secular elites contested for power (Gilgamesh, one of the oldest stories in existence, makes this clear. Gilgamesh had to seize power from the religious elites who controlled his actions.) It had to become clear to someone that these two power centers would be better off allied than enemies. So, in return for state power protections, kings were granted “divine rights.” In earlier societies that were theocracies, these two powers were often vested in one and the same person (a “god-king”) and that person could use whichever weapon that better suited a situation. One could either send in the priests or send in soldiers to resolve a “situation.”

Right next to this is being Called by God. I am sure many Popes and others of high religious office state that god has called them to their office. Obviously anyone challenging them would therefore have to be criticizing god’s decision making abilities. Another power play.

At the bottom of this hierarchy is someone’s “Lot in Life.” Basically, no one wanted to clean out the cesspool, so we drew lots and well, it was your lot in life to have to clean the cesspool. Only poor people have these. Poor people and slaves have a purpose or a calling only in fictional tales designed to give the poor hope, so they won’t riot or rebel.

In the middle of this spectrum is where we find “purposes.”

All of these designations are fictional (not actual cases of drawing lots, like drawing the short straw, but metaphor ones, in which someone is told that being a slave was their “lot in life”) and serve to flatter/appease the receiver or con the audience. These are all parts of social control mechanisms.

By having clerics declare the divine rights of secular kings, the clerics get to perform the crowning ceremony, implying they were the ones giving the office (and in the machinations of history this proved true on more than one occasion). And also, the “state” collected their tithes for them, and enforced ecclesiastical commands (e.g. the Crusades). The royals had their power reinforced from the pulpit. Every one of the elites involved acquired greater power.

Christian life purposes are part of the con, also. Christians are often told that it is their job to “spread the Good News,” that is to spread the religion. So, once you have a mark who has embraced the con, they get to spread the con to others, kind of like a multi-level marketing scheme. In return for this, Christians get pumped up by being given a purpose for their live, one provided by God! And they are saved! Their afterlife will be more clouds than barbecue. Their god has a plan for each and every one of us, don’t you know.

Since people often display photos of themselves in the presence of celebrities (as proof they have actually met them or know them?) so, I wonder whether people have such photos of themselves hanging with Jesus or Old Yahweh in heaven? To believe that a god has noticed them and written their name in a big book and knows who they are and has gone so far as to help them with a career plan, well that is the biggest puff piece of them all. (Hint: how do you get people to work for you without paying them? Flattery seems to work.)

I have done a great many things in my life. As a youth and young man I played baseball and basketball, but apparently it was not my destiny to play those professionally. At a young age (16, I think) I chose my profession that I practiced for 40 or so years. Was that my purpose in life? If so, why did I retire and stop doing it? What I am doing now is quite different from what I did for those 40 or so years, so is what I am doing now my true purpose? I became a husband and father, were those my true purpose in life? The fact that no one can tell definitively tells you that this is all make-believe. It is what we tell one another to reinforce life changes we make or are made for us.

Now, if I can only figure out a way to get Branyan to mock my analysis, I will know it is true. (See, fictional bullstuff. We all do it.)

14 Comments »

  1. Right on, Steve. We each do just what we do. We are all opportunists and give little thought to the paths we didn’t take! Luck, it is just dumb luck. GROG

    Like

    Comment by grogalot — June 11, 2019 @ 9:43 am | Reply

    • Basically, we have to do something in our “pay as you go” culture. So, young people are asked “what are you going to do when you grow up” as part of a program to ensure that we can care for ourselves and not be dependent upon our parents. So, we need a job, basically. More pretentiously, we need a “career” which may just be a posh job. So, these decisions get made (or not) and our decision gets supported or not, and well, the levers come out. Wives want to change husbands, husbands want to change wives, both want to change their children, employees and employers want to change their opposites, etc. Social controls are the weapons in these change wars/battles.

      On Tue, Jun 11, 2019 at 9:43 AM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

      >

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Steve Ruis — June 11, 2019 @ 9:52 am | Reply

  2. As Branyan has rejected Jesus, I’d be curious to hear what his new purpose is…

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by john zande — June 11, 2019 @ 11:00 am | Reply

    • Really? Then … Old Yahweh will be needing a replacement, no … ?

      On Tue, Jun 11, 2019 at 11:00 AM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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      Comment by Steve Ruis — June 11, 2019 @ 11:02 am | Reply

      • He said he’d rejected Jesus and Yhwh. Didn’t say, though, what his new religion is.

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        Comment by john zande — June 11, 2019 @ 11:17 am | Reply

    • His response to me regarding this … I’m a unique creation of God. My purpose will take eternity to be fully realized.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Nan — June 11, 2019 @ 11:06 am | Reply

      • Being unique isn’t all that special, most snowflakes (the actual kind) can pull that off. To take eternity to fulfill, well that seems to be a marker of a “slow learner.”

        As someone wrote recently (and possibly before) if god can make himself know as he did with Saint Paul, why doesn’t he do that for the rest of us? (I sincerely hope he would do that with some warning. I wouldn’t want to be driving on a mountainous road when it happened.)

        On Tue, Jun 11, 2019 at 11:06 AM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

        >

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        Comment by Steve Ruis — June 11, 2019 @ 11:18 am | Reply

      • I guess he’s admitting then that comedy really isn’t his calling…

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        Comment by john zande — June 11, 2019 @ 11:19 am | Reply

  3. Anyone, theist or atheist, who thinks that ‘purposes’ exist anywhere but in our imaginations is sadly poorly informed.

    Like

    Comment by John Branyan — June 11, 2019 @ 11:52 am | Reply

    • Right on cue!

      On Tue, Jun 11, 2019 at 11:53 AM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

      >

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      Comment by Steve Ruis — June 11, 2019 @ 12:07 pm | Reply

      • When quoting your own words back to you constitutes mockery, there are problems with your thesis.

        Get a better worldview, Steve. Atheism smothers intellects.

        Like

        Comment by John Branyan — June 11, 2019 @ 12:23 pm | Reply

        • It is not what you do but how you do it: affect has an effect.

          On Tue, Jun 11, 2019 at 12:24 PM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

          >

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          Comment by Steve Ruis — June 12, 2019 @ 1:40 pm | Reply

          • Right on cue!

            Like

            Comment by John Branyan — June 12, 2019 @ 2:13 pm | Reply

            • I wonder what the proper medical term is for your mental illness, JB?
              If Jesus was around he might try to exorcise the demon/s you have.

              Like

              Comment by Arkenaten — June 19, 2019 @ 7:37 am | Reply


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