Nearly ever person alive today has thought this question at least once in their lives. The direct answer is not that important, however the indirect ways which come along, are important, at least for me.

Since July 20, 2003 I exist because my child does. She gives my life purpose and meaning. Something to look forward to, something to hope for, and something to treasure for the rest of my living days.

There are people who exist today, that by choice or circumstance don't have children no matter their age or relationship with others. Their purpose of life may be the one they love the most, or themselves, or perhaps even an inanimate object. This is their lives and I'm no god; I haven't the power to judge or rationalize their lives.

Not to say these lives are worthless, but I don't see the point, unless some worldly change is accomplished. It seems these people exist just because they do. We all do yes, but I can't imagine living out my days with neither offspring or impact upon this planet.

If I had not child nor worldly deed, to whom or what do I live and die for?
All the work,challenges,pain, joy, possessions, and experiences only existed for me, and once I go, they go too. Surely once one's life is extinguished that perspective of the world dies with it. Why work so hard for temporary happiness in a life so short, the universe does not know it happened?

Because you do exist and this life you have is all you get. So living happily for as long as you can, for what ever reasons, seems like a reasonable answer to the meaning of life.

In many ways, I already have an easier life than many. I have an offspring and everything I am and do will be passed along. In essence, I will still be alive even after death. Unless I create something beneficial to the world or destroy something harmful to it, I will never triumph having a child.

Why do you?

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Comment by It's just Matt on April 20, 2009 at 6:26pm
I read other web logs and information that have led me to re-evaluate this entry. I was thinking about what it is and what it means to have something, but without it just as important if not more so.
I think everyone on here would agree that living without knowledge would be far worse than the good feelings of what knowledge brings us. To borrow an old statement for a moment: "Extinction is the rule,survival is the exception." Most of us are comprised of more things we are not;more things we don't believe in, then that which we are and do take comfort in believing in. I use this oversimplified example for one reason-That is a life without my daughter would exceed all imagination of a living hell multiplied exponentially against the living paradise of living with her. But why is she that important to you? The simplest answer can't be explained. Perhaps it is the genetic disposition for me to protect and cherish my offspring.Or maybe I'm trying to ensure my future as I will mostly likely expire before she does. I don't know how any parent can forsake their children nor do I want to know. I'm sure there are more biological and philosophical answers which I haven't mentioned or even thought of. But for now, one thing I believe is that any good parent needs their child more than they need their parent.
Comment by Gecko, of Richie! on April 20, 2009 at 11:48am
Glad your not posing difficult, self examining questions on your blogs! Yeah this simple stuff is so lighthearted!!. When I first came to the ultimate realization that yes, oh shit, i am an atheist the next question for me was this very one. I too was fortunate to have a beautiful daughter.
I had to fight a year long painful battle to gain full custody of her, and i knew that persivering through that ordeal took love and a purpose. Of course it was easily defined. But for the more complicated question of what if I had no children rhett samios hit the nail on the head.
If i caused someone to have a good moment in the course of the day, who knows what that may lead to. The betterment and the aid of my fellow human beings. This will help my species to exist longer.
Comment by It's just Matt on January 27, 2009 at 9:57am
I can't imagine what the main purpose of my life would be without my daughter. That is a good question phoenixflash and I'm glad you asked. The only answer I can give is that my life would have less meaning, with me being who I am, if my child wasn't here. I'm not a teacher, scientist, doctor, leader etc. I want to become a stronger person and give even more meaning to my life, but my child would still be my main purpose.

I'd like to believe everyone lives for everyone's benefit, but I don't think that is true at all.
I've known and still know dozens of people who live only for their own pleasures and existence.
But like I said, I'm not judging anyone. As a parent, I currently don't have or can't find anything more important to me than my child. That is not to say my quest for knowledge won't lead me to actually make a positive impact in my lifetime. Currently my best (and easiest) accomplishment is creating life and passing my knowledge onto that life.

Because I enjoy living, I will try to continue doing so, regardless of what else is a part of my life.
Having a child to me is the clearest form to give life meaning, but as I've said, it's also an easy way to make something of your self.
Comment by Timothy on January 26, 2009 at 6:42pm
i am also a neologist.
Comment by Timothy on January 26, 2009 at 6:40pm
i also do not have children by choice. the best i can come up with is at the end of PhoenixFlash's comment: "I exist because I choose to continue my existence..." I also feel a strong urge to make my corner of the world a better place. Not having children means i can direct energy and resources (that would have been spent with and on kids) toward projects/goals/work with a theme of my choosing. Like: socal justice, activism, advocacy, education, civility, nurturing community, etc. but i consider myself an intelligent optimist. (i just realized i was pollyanning ignore that part - i still wax misanthropic while standing in queues.)
Comment by PhoenixFlash on January 26, 2009 at 6:10pm
I do not have children of my own by choice. I am a teacher, I impact more children in one year than many will in their complete lifetimes. I am more than satisified with that impact. I am more than satisfied with my life if I make good on a daily basis to all those that know me. I change the world with my very existence because I choose to do so - and no one can ever take that away from me. What will you do, if by horrible circumstance, your child's life ends before yours? Where is your meaning then? What will you do, if by horrible circumstance, your child leaves you for an addiction to a drug, object or person? Will your life suddenly turn meaningless? I simply cannot accept that the meaning and goal of life is to procreate in order to fullfill ourselves. Seems somewhat selfish to me. The only legitimate goal I can see for having children is to give another human life an opportunity to construct their own meaning. I do not need to believe I will be alive after death, I simply need to know that I had the courage to confront the world with an attitude of triumph. I exist because I choose to continue my existence, nothing more - and nothing less.


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