Life is meaningless

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Saint, Jan 9, 2014.

  1. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Purpose asks what is the use of something. When you do that with a human or with a life, you cheapen it. You assume it/they are just a thing or a tool to achieve a higher end. But a human or a life has value beyond just what purpose it may have. It has value and meaning in itself. We respect life without asking what purpose that life may have. We respect it because it has meaning and worth inherently. That imo is the difference between purpose and meaning.

    Religion presumes meaninglessness in that it must posit a God to impose purpose upon our lives. It assumes life is a mere tool to achieve a higher purpose, namely that of pleasing of a divine will. In this sense humans are for the religious no better than robots or slaves created to serve some function yet having no meaning in themselves. What I propose is that life is inherently a meaning-making process. That consciousness cannot but help find meaning in the world it finds itself a part of. Life occurs for it full of meaning. If I have a pain in my leg, that means something. If there are black clouds overhead, that means something. If my alarm goes off in the morning, that means something. Experience is saturated with meaning. It is doubtful that we could even experience anything unless it already had some relevance and meaning to us personally.

    I don't understand your question. Could you elaborate?

    I see reality as inherently transcendent. The most obvious indication of this is in just how much we don't know about it. Reality is like one mystery layered upon another, suggesting meanings and truths that we cannot presently access nor may ever access. That's not to say there's a God though. It's just to say that the thing we sprang from is logically greater than us. That there is more information out there than what our piddly minds can grasp. And that there may be a destiny that we haven't even imagined yet. Can you allow yourself to be this open to the possibility of meaning?

    Fulfillment. Growth. Understanding. Socrates said, "The unexamined life is not worth living." I think the power to reflect and experience our life meaningfully is itself its own reason for being.

    Noone's too young or dumb to discern the patterns of their own experience. Certain things that occur together fortuitously. Certain serendipitous discoveries on the detour from the highway. Metaphorical innuendos in the story of your day. Just be open to new things. That's usually where the meaningful is bound to happen in one form or another.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2014
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  3. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    I guess that each step, all the individual events of our lives, seem meaningful because they find a place and a role in our larger projects, purposes and goals. Everything we do seems to typically be a means to a different end. We just keep stringing it together to convince outselves that we are really going somewhere.

    But that's just the individual events, the beads on the string. What about the whole thing, our lives as a whole? Is there some even larger project, purpose or goal towards which our lives are headed? Some place, some blessed state, where everything will finally be ok?

    I guess that God is typically imagined as the essence of happiness or bliss, or something. The final destination where, if we ever get there, everything will finally be wonderful. God is the destination where we can finally lay our burden down and where we won't experience dissatisfaction, the thirst and desire that continually drives us. We will have finally arrived at wherever it is that we think we are going.

    Of course there are those, the Buddhists prominent among them, who believe that it isn't necessary to go somewhere else, to some transcendental heavenly place, to find the peace that we seek. Maybe people can do it right here and right now, by finding the way to appreciate each moment for what it is.
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  5. Dazz Registered Senior Member

    But aren't we mere tools of a society that does not even care about our existence?
    IMO, the human existence is to our city/state/nation and world (by that civilization or society), just mere cogs that have a purpose but have no other reason to be there or, to have been put there, rendering our lives pointless since everybody does the same and, anyone can do what we do, regarding job or function as per say.
    So we can understand that meaning equals relevance? That made it quite worse.
    Is there how for a given individual, to not experience or, to not go thru his own existence without being an agent infering substance and, essence to the individual's own experiences and, his own life?
    To note that, as you have hitherto explained, life infers meaning to itself automatically over it's own course so, life's meaning happens regardless of the subjective comprehension of meaning and maybe, his own choice to be skeptical about the meanings that life may inherently have as "for it's own sake" may imply. Althought, we as observers of our own reality and also, as agents who can --and most of the time do-- alter the course of our own reality or even, choose to interpretate our reality a way or another ( i see that as the many philosophies we have, religious beliefs and many other).
    BTW, i think that you have answered that here:
    ""The unexamined life is not worth living." I think the power to reflect and experience our life meaningfully is itself its own reason for being."
    I do not know how but, it quite made sense in my head. But as i have elaborated the question, care to share your thought?

    Do not get me wrong, most of the threads started by Saint in such subforums, as this one, most of the times is ragequit bull noise if you get what i mean.
    Althought i am quite receptive to the idea that our existence is quite meaningless, i tend to stop agreeing with him as far as the subject goes. Be in this thread or any other, i tend only to post when the subject is something that i understand even archaically, or when the post has been addressed to me or, i agree or disagree with the view.
    I just want to share my thoughts and opinions

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  7. AAF Registered Senior Member

    Meaning of life is 'IS'.
    It is not 'WAS'.
    It is not 'WILL BE'.
    It's just 'IS'!

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  8. dumbest man on earth Real Eyes Realize Real Lies Valued Senior Member

    Dazz, I am not sure that I do "get" what you mean. I have no frame reference for the word "ragequit".

    I also : "...just want to share my thoughts and opinions".

    Personally, my thought/opinion on the topic of this Thread is that : life is only "meaningless" to those who allow it to have no meaning to/for "themselves".

    I do not assume nor presume to know why nature has evidently evolved life or allowed for its evolution. Whether nature accepts or requires active or passive participation in life is also not an assumption nor presumption that I care to entertain.

    In my own feeble, decrepit "brain", it has always seemed to have been part of my cognitive awareness, that if life had no meaning, there would probably be no life.

    It seems that you may share a similar position(?)...but my unfamiliarity with the word "ragequit", and it's intended meaning, is impeding my understanding at this point.
  9. Dazz Registered Senior Member


    Ragequit is a quite complicated concept to explain on such a context.
    But i think that the definition of it can make it easy to understand what i mean.
    It is reeeaaally because i found no other term to use to describe the situation of his existential issues as i see them.

    EDIT: If the definition does not help, from the top of my head a simple explanation for "ragequit" would be, when you simply give up doing something out of anger/frustration/helplessness and go on a mad rant and whine about the unfairness/injustice/conspiration that the game (since this word originated in the world of online gaming) or, the system is playing upon you.
  10. R1D2 many leagues under the sea. Valued Senior Member

    Don't commit suicide! Life is something!
  11. R1D2 many leagues under the sea. Valued Senior Member

    You help someone you "touch" a life. You become a nurse or something your life had meaning to others. Your love an help and actions do harm or good to others. Doing "good" for others an yourself that gives meaning
  12. dumbest man on earth Real Eyes Realize Real Lies Valued Senior Member

    Dazz, that clarification makes full sense in the context in which it was used. Thank you.

    The only on-line games that I (am forced to engage in!) play, are "part and parcel" of this Forum. It seems to me that you have been witness to some of that in your short time here. Would be nice if it was different, but...

    Thanks again, for the clarification. I hope you do not mind if I concur to your previous Post.
  13. Dazz Registered Senior Member

    Oh sure! I'm happy to help

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    I respect you a great lot sir. I don't mind a bit.

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  14. Saint Valued Senior Member

    I don't choose to have my life, you too.
    We are forced to live, many of us are just afraid to die,
    Isn't it meaningless ?
  15. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    What do you mean by meaning? Motivation for life? A contextual narrative? A common goal? Or are you unclear what our role is in the natural world? Perhaps we have become too intelligent for our own good?
  16. Trooper Secular Sanity Valued Senior Member

    Wiki article, which one?

    I’m visualizing the joker.

    "The real joke is your stubborn, bone deep conviction that somehow, somewhere, all of this makes sense! That's what cracks me up each time!"

    Nihilism is a condemnation of existence, is it not?

    Sing for your meat, Marquis. Tell me something that I do not know.
  17. Saint Valued Senior Member

    A meaningful life means the good you do will stay forever.
  18. The Marquis Only want the best for Nigel Valued Senior Member

    Who told you that?
    At its core, nihilism is simply the belief that nothing holds any inherent meaning. In-her-ent.

    I posted in a thread years ago, said that nihilism isn't something one embraces voluntarily. Said a lot of other things too, I can't be bothered repeating myself here.
    That's the problem with staying on a forum like this one for any length of time. One often ends up repeating himself, and speaking for myself, I don't find that terribly interesting.

    My computer keys are backlit, and the characters glow orange in the dark.

    I'll leave you to your gurus. Enjoy.
  19. Trooper Secular Sanity Valued Senior Member

    Multiple authors.

    Or as Nietzsche says, "this world is something that should rationally not exist."

    The Myth of Sisyphus

    Green, mine are green.

    It was nice chatting with you, Marquis.

    All is well!
  20. Saint Valued Senior Member

    So, we must be as happy as Sisyphus?
    Just repeating our daily tasks without complaint?
  21. Ripley Valued Senior Member

    I disagree. To condemn one must oppose from a grudgingly undesired "equal" footing, thereby making the attempt to steal ahead.

    Nihilism doesn't need to oppose anything because it's become an expanse all by itself — with a windowpane overlooking the tired and the mundane, where one can simply glare... or ignore. Inotherwords, nihilism is something that sets in afterwards.
  22. Trooper Secular Sanity Valued Senior Member

    Nihilism requires nothing. Then shut up and do it, do nothing, be nothing! Least you breathe my air.

    What is it that you want, nothing, something, or to just complain?

    “Oh, wretched ephemeral race, children of chance and misery, why do you compel me to tell you what it would be most expedient for you not to hear? What is best of all is utterly beyond your reach: not to be born, not to be, to be nothing. But the second best for you is — to die soon.”

    Second best, is it? Is it better to have never known, is it? How do you celebrate ignorance or apathy? To be born, would you ask it? To live and die, would you ask it, or would you prefer one over the other?

    I know not how to live. An eternal recurrence; how would it differ from what I know? Would it be ideal, complete perfection over and over, or a work in progress?

    If you had the power to create, to rule over all, what would heaven be like? Would it have a beginning and an end? Would it be perfect for you and me? And the purpose, what would it be? Can you describe it, draw it, paint it, sculpt it for me, and I, for you? Is it even humanly possible?

    A will to nothing; how should I respond to that? It does not exist. Nothingness does not exist. I know you not, I never will, and I will never love you.

    The absurd, it is you that I want. You need no one and everyone. Your randomness surprises me. Your futility frightens me, and yet, your freedom excites me. You create and inspire. You’re all that I've ever known, ever loved. I love you, warts and all. Here’s to your horrible and beautiful existence. To it, I owe even my freedom.

    I live today but I live for you, my dear Tomorrow.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2014
  23. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    What you are describing in this thread is sometimes called "samvega." Google it.

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