Author Topic: What Motivates You?  (Read 269 times)

xSilverPhinx

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What Motivates You?
« on: February 10, 2017, 05:33:41 PM »
As far as I know, most atheists do not believe in an afterlife. Some believers of various religions who do might feel their actions in life will be rewarded or punished after they die, and may act to maximise their chances of attaining a reward and averting hellfire. To me this is a selfish reason for doing anything, childish even in a way. Immature morality, if such a thing even exists.

Not that I'm saying that all theists do this all the time, but there is that underlying expectation or hope.

What motivates you to live your life as you think you should and not merely just survive? Is it to be remembered by some people you encounter in life? To seek pleasure and intrinsic reward or feel good by doing good? To emulate a hero/heroine?

I wonder if we're mostly similar in our motivations.
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Arturo

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Re: What Motivates You?
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2017, 10:16:09 PM »
As far as I know, most atheists do not believe in an afterlife. Some believers of various religions who do might feel their actions in life will be rewarded or punished after they die, and may act to maximise their chances of attaining a reward and averting hellfire. To me this is a selfish reason for doing anything, childish even in a way. Immature morality, if such a thing even exists.

Not that I'm saying that all theists do this all the time, but there is that underlying expectation or hope.

What motivates you to live your life as you think you should and not merely just survive? Is it to be remembered by some people you encounter in life? To seek pleasure and intrinsic reward or feel good by doing good? To emulate a hero/heroine?

I wonder if we're mostly similar in our motivations.

I like these threads that you've been making.

To put it frankly, my motivation is selfish as well. I work to make myself better in any way possible. But that is mostly intrinsic motivation. Make myself better for my own sake. I hold hardly any instrumental motivation to do things outside my own selfishness.

EDIT: Seeing things from other people makes me want to add something- I like to make people happy, the feeling that comes with it is just a real good high. So even when I'm serving others, I'm still serving myself.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2017, 12:29:08 AM by Apathy »
But, uh...well there it is.

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Gloucester

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Re: What Motivates You?
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2017, 01:49:19 AM »
Never known how to define my motivation.

I think, considering my life experience, that some of it comes from wanting others to like me. In my dotage this is not quite so important but it has left ne with a "need" to "put things right". Remembering, of course, that "The road to hell is paved with good intentions"!

But, if I think I can help some one, even a stranger whom I will never see again, I will offer to do so. Hoping they will offer at least a smile to another that dsy. Having no family,, or close friends who want my money (genuinely), I am helping local schools with paying for "off budget" science and arts stuff. Also regulsr donations to three charities every month.

I do this not out of pure altruism but because it pleases snd satisfies me to do so, I like "fixing" things - and I like the feelings that gives me

Motivation can become addictive!
Tomorrow is precious, don't ruin it by fouling up today.

Asmodean

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Re: What Motivates You?
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2017, 03:43:10 AM »
Good question.

I am motivated by things, purely subjective, sometimes abstract and often utterly selfish in nature. Learning stuff I consider cool. Anticipating scientific progress like a normal-garden-variety-kid anticipates Christmas. Experiencing beauty. Experiencing friendship. Getting kick-ass-fucking-good at something. Experience... Fun.

Basically, I think I just want more of those metaphorical drugs that get me high and keep me there, not unlike a meth junkie wants more meth.

I'm not one to regret and have a somewhat reduced capacity for regret once it does come, but if there is one thing I lament, it's that I will not be there to see the first human-made object land on a planet orbiting another sun, that I will not be there to witness the death of our own parent star, that I will never see an up-close footage of the event horizon of a black hole... That I will die not having experienced the vast majority of those things, which I consider interesting, elegant, important, fascinating and so on. More so, that I will die never having asked profound questions which no-one will even think of, possibly for thousands of years - possibly ever. Life is short, and we all play the cards time's dealt us. Knowing that, it is an obligation I have to myself to remain curious, to learn and to aspire and make something out of my short cosmic instant of consciousness. Something that's... Worth it. The way I live my life is the best way I see to get as far as I can with the tools of the moment.

/end rambling
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Bad Penny II

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Re: What Motivates You?
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2017, 04:18:27 AM »
As far as I know, most atheists do not believe in an afterlife. Some believers of various religions who do might feel their actions in life will be rewarded or punished after they die, and may act to maximise their chances of attaining a reward and averting hellfire. To me this is a selfish reason for doing anything, childish even in a way. Immature morality, if such a thing even exists.

I wouldn't censure theists for doing good to gain in the next life.  If there seemed to be even a 1% chance of an afterlife arranged as they imagine it, being Ned Flanderish would be sensible.  It bugs me, the use of the word "selfish" as if it's a manifestation of the heinous diseased mind.

selfishness: Stinginess resulting from a concern for your own welfare and a disregard of others.

There's too many others in the wide world for me to give much regard.
Locally I'm OK with supporting the poor, they might become productive and I don't want them stealing my stuff and insurance and imprisonment is expensive.  I don't get any pleasure kicking the low, some seem to though.
 
Quote
What motivates you to live your life as you think you should and not merely just survive? Is it to be remembered by some people you encounter in life? To seek pleasure and intrinsic reward or feel good by doing good? To emulate a hero/heroine?

You can get pleasure, you're brain will reward itself if you do certain things, and it's got a stick as well as a carrot.
Social - wife and daughters, there good regard is important.
I don't like ostentation, prestige cars, luxury resorts, I wouldn't waste my time working for those.

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“I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.”

I haven't seen those things but God's put all this gorgeous stuff where I live, he's arranged it so a view subtly or starkly changes moment by moment, and the bliss of being in water... I'm surprised it hasn't been declared a sin.

It's pleasure for me and avoidance of it's opposite, beer good hangover bad.



Oh, oh, my, and who really cares

xSilverPhinx

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Re: What Motivates You?
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2017, 04:51:21 AM »
selfishness: Stinginess resulting from a concern for your own welfare and a disregard of others.

Ok, I halved it. Correction: slightly selfish.  ;)

I get your point, but I do find it odd that some people see life as that kind of investment. Is there any other way other than seeing it as stemming from fear and giving in to a bully god's demands? I don't doubt that theists' motivations may align with those of atheists, but this added feature is a little disturbing. 
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Gloucester

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Re: What Motivates You?
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2017, 05:04:33 AM »
selfishness: Stinginess resulting from a concern for your own welfare and a disregard of others.

Ok, I halved it. Correction: slightly selfish.  ;)

I get your point, but I do find it odd that some people see life as that kind of investment. Is there any other way other than seeing it as stemming from fear and giving in to a bully god's demands? I don't doubt that theists' motivations may align with those of atheists, but this added feature is a little disturbing.

I don't think that I have ever considered life after death. Nearest I get to it is hoping that someone remembers me with a small degree of lasting affection. Since I have no obvious beneficiaries I did consider establishing some kind of trust or ongoing prize that would benefit those who need a small boost to achieve their potential - a boost I never got at the right time. My estate will probably just top 5 figures, not a real lot these days, and that could disappesr in care chsrges should I live long enough to need such!
Tomorrow is precious, don't ruin it by fouling up today.

Bad Penny II

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Re: What Motivates You?
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2017, 05:29:29 AM »
selfishness: Stinginess resulting from a concern for your own welfare and a disregard of others.

Ok, I halved it. Correction: slightly selfish.  ;)

I get your point, but I do find it odd that some people see life as that kind of investment. Is there any other way other than seeing it as stemming from fear and giving in to a bully god's demands? I don't doubt that theists' motivations may align with those of atheists, but this added feature is a little disturbing.

I don't really get what you're saying here.
You can paint yourself a beautiful picture of what life is and live it.
What's god or the god inflicted got to do with it?
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xSilverPhinx

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Re: What Motivates You?
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2017, 05:53:15 AM »
selfishness: Stinginess resulting from a concern for your own welfare and a disregard of others.

Ok, I halved it. Correction: slightly selfish.  ;)

I get your point, but I do find it odd that some people see life as that kind of investment. Is there any other way other than seeing it as stemming from fear and giving in to a bully god's demands? I don't doubt that theists' motivations may align with those of atheists, but this added feature is a little disturbing.

I don't really get what you're saying here.
What's god or the god inflicted got to do with it?

:scratch: Are we talking about a motivation that is almost exclusively a theist's motivation or those motivations that can overlap between atheistic and theistic groups?

Quote
You can paint yourself a beautiful picture of what life is and live it.

I agree with that.

I'm just a student of the game that they taught me.


Bad Penny II

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Re: What Motivates You?
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2017, 06:50:27 AM »

:scratch: Are we talking about a motivation that is almost exclusively a theist's motivation

I don't think this motivation has been properly defined, is it to do good? With posterity in mind?
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xSilverPhinx

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Re: What Motivates You?
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2017, 07:18:49 AM »

:scratch: Are we talking about a motivation that is almost exclusively a theist's motivation

I don't think this motivation has been properly defined, is it to do good? With posterity in mind?

Whatever motivates your daily actions, or pushes you to attain your long-term goals, or motivates you to do whatever. I left it open to whatever answer you want to give. 

I'm assuming most people will focus on good things, which is perfectly ok and reasonable, but  sometimes we're motivated by not-so-good as well. For instance, for the longest time I was motivated by wanting revenge, and nothing else in life seemed worth living for. I don't have that outlook anymore, thankfully. It drains you emotionally. That and the fact that my nemesis is really sick now which just takes the fun out of it. 

I've been thinking about this for the past few days, and have come to the conclusion that I'm just motivated to survive.  :shrug: It's a bit of an empty feeling but it's the way it is.   
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Tom62

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Re: What Motivates You?
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2017, 07:43:41 AM »
I'm motivated to serve my 4 alien overlords. My wife also motivates me by (verbally) kicking me in the ass for not doing certain household tasks.

My motivational index is otherwise quite low. Don't give a shit about status, luxury gadgets or anything else that people use to show off. Just give me a good book to read, new things to learn, a fantastic meal to eat and a good bottle of alcohol to drink and I'll be quite content.
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Re: What Motivates You?
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2017, 09:10:30 AM »
What motivates you to live your life as you think you should and not merely just survive? Is it to be remembered by some people you encounter in life? To seek pleasure and intrinsic reward or feel good by doing good? To emulate a hero/heroine?

I wonder if we're mostly similar in our motivations.
I have a few motivations, but it's hard for me to distinguish a line between altruism and self-serving motivations. It's all mixed up inside me I guess.
Probably my main motivation to live life as I think I should, is to set an example for my kids. To be kind and loving and patient with people, but smart and aware at the same time. To work hard and to find solutions rather than complain. To take responsibility for yourself your actions and not expect stuff from people, but to be grateful for what you have and for the gifts that are given to you. And to think with a critical mind when "facts" or beliefs are thrown at them, to question and always learn.
.... um.... sorry, I got a little crazy there, but these little (or not so little) things motivate me.
I also love to be kind to people who maybe don't have much love or kindness in their lives. I love to make someone's day, just for the hell of it. I guess making people happy motivates me. But don't get me wrong. I can get all up in your face if I need to, I just feel like usually, it's not worth it to start shit.
And enjoyment, purely self-serving enjoyment of life is important. I love to feel ALIVE. Whether it's being outside messing around in my yard, or hiking or camping or going to a baseball game or eating a Brownie sundae or drinking wine with a friend or .... you know, other hedonistic pursuits.  I love to be selfish sometimes.  ;D
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. ~ Plato (?)