Does the possibility that life has no meaning, bother you?

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by wegs, Aug 13, 2019.

  1. wegs She knew how to fly all along... Valued Senior Member

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    I read an interesting article recently discussing Tolstoy's existential crisis, and how he felt an emptiness with the concept of nihilism.

    ''My question … was the simplest of questions, lying in the soul of every man from the foolish child to the wisest elder: it was a question without an answer to which one cannot live, as I had found by experience. It was: “What will come of what I am doing today or shall do tomorrow? What will come of my whole life?” Differently expressed, the question is: “Why should I live, why wish for anything, or do anything?” It can also be expressed thus: “Is there any meaning in my life that the inevitable death awaiting me does not destroy?” - Leo Tolstoy

    For more, click here: https://www.brainpickings.org/2014/06/03/tolstoy-confession/

    I wonder how it is possible at all, to believe that one's life is void of meaning. Even if it's just a meaning that we attach to our individual lives, there would still be a subjective purpose to life, right? Tolstoy turned to science, then philosophy, and even spiritual ideas to find the answers to his questions. He made a positive impact on many lives, what type of purpose/meaning was Tolstoy seeking?

    ''I understood that if I wish to understand life and its meaning, I must not live the life of a parasite, but must live a real life, and — taking the meaning given to live by real humanity and merging myself in that life — verify it.'' - Leo Tolstoy

    Is it all wishful thinking or does life have meaning? Does the possibility that life has no meaning, bother you?
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
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  3. gmilam Valued Senior Member

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    I see no evidence that life has any "objective" meaning - and I have no problems with that.
     
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  5. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Is it not sufficient to be part of the universe and able to wonder why?
     
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  7. gmilam Valued Senior Member

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    I think so. We are part of an amazing process. We have family and friends we love and who love us. Enjoy it while you're here.
     
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  8. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    That's the best kind.

    Life having no preordained meaning set by some stranger, means my future is a blank page - upon which I can write whatever story takes my fancy. It is the ultimate freedom.
     
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  9. wegs She knew how to fly all along... Valued Senior Member

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    Do you think Tolstoy was searching for objective meaning? I ask, because his life had meaning...purpose, even if he couldn't make sense of it. (his work made an impact on others, for example) It seems like he felt that wasn't ''enough.''

    I don't know if Tolstoy was speaking of a pre-ordained meaning, though?
     
  10. gmilam Valued Senior Member

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    I don't know what Tolstoy was searching for. I don't know what anyone is searching for.

    I do have a good friend who is troubled by the idea that one day he will be gone and there won't be anything to mark that he was ever here. He's wrong, of course. He has children who have grown up and had children. So there is an entire line of DNA that he is directly responsible for.

    Me, I never had kids - so my DNA ends with me. But I have still had an influence on my nieces and nephews - who are now having their own kids, that run up and give me a hug when they see me. Life is good - meaning is overrated.
     
  11. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    I just meant anything other than me.

    I am an armchair Hedonist. My goal is to simply experience. Preferably, peace, quiet, nature, greenery, moss, mushrooms and bugs.
     
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  12. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    What else was he speaking of? Looking for meaning in life, outside of what meaning you attach to it is looking for meaning inherent in life. Does that mean God?
     
  13. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    It seems most likely that (outside of procreation) life has no inherent meaning.
    What you do with it might.
     
  14. wegs She knew how to fly all along... Valued Senior Member

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    But, your life is good because it has meaning, it seems. Or at least you can see its meaning. I'm thinking that Tolstoy's life was filled with meaning and purpose, he just didn't recognize it.

    It could mean God, but I'm just finding Tolstoy's lack of awareness as to the meaning within his own life, as odd. So, is it just a matter of being aware and appreciative of all that is our life?
     
  15. andy1033 Truth Seeker Valued Senior Member

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    Your life does have meaning.

    Everyone on earth is born with a brain, and creative energies to do with what ever they want in this world. It does not matter to the universe what you do with this, you are just here to use your energies.

    So yours and every humans life does have meanings.

    Its just that most humans do not have the intelligence to appreciate this, and just use these energies for sex, and having babies, as thats all they think they are here for.

    Even though i hate living in this world, my existence changed something in the world. Your existence in this world changed something in this world.

    So your life matters, just that people everywhere are conned into believing you mean nothing.

    Also there is a right and wrong in the universe, there is a right way to do things. This is why europe came to dominate planet earth as europeans worked out these things. To the universe it does not matter what humans do, just that they use there creative energies, and do what ever. But remember there is right and wrong.

    So to op, just remember your ideas on the universe are not absolute, so you should stop trying to claim you know the answers about life.

    Having meaning in your life, does not make it good or bad. It depends on how you use what you have, that determines whether you can judge it to be good or bad.
     
  16. wegs She knew how to fly all along... Valued Senior Member

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    Huh? I don't claim to know the answers about life. Quite the opposite.
     
  17. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Ironically, Andy does claim.

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  18. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    I think so. Some people don't realize what is right in front of them and place more emphasis on "more".

    Some people can look at their new puppy dog and say "Sure it's cute and loves me but it's just going to die one day". That requires an attitude adjustment.

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  19. wegs She knew how to fly all along... Valued Senior Member

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    Yesss, that's it.

    It goes to show one can have a brilliant mind like Tolstoy, but intelligence doesn't lend itself to finding meaning in life. It seems to come from a different place.
     
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  20. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    It just goes to show that there is more than intelligence involved in humans. You can be intelligent and still be paranoid, not creative, not a nice person, whatever.

    Don't hero worship is the message I'm going for I guess.

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  21. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

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    there are many (who i have met and chatted with)whom wish life has no meaning

    ...
     
  22. wegs She knew how to fly all along... Valued Senior Member

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    Yea, sometimes I've been guilty of searching for a meaning in every mundane thing that is occurring in my life. If something ''bad'' is happening, why is this happening/what does it mean, I think to myself. Or if something good is happening that I didn't plan for... what might this mean, I think to myself.

    And then my mind plays out all the things it could possibly mean. lol It might be nice to give my mind a break, and stop attaching meaning where there isn't any.
     
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  23. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

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    the indoctrinated ideology that all things defined as good or bad have a superior meaning which makes you a victim to fate.

    this is a big issue for the previous intellectual generation
    55 to 75 year age group

    it is also perceived as a leadership ideology sought to find compliance by the little people/ass-kissers(work-place-social-politics-behavior-models)

    it still pervades modern spiritualism as an archaic absolute for conservative self assurance.

    Tiassa may have some very interesting thoughts on this subject.
    (i love Tiassas writing he is very inspiring)
     
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