The Meaning of Life

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Leviticus, Mar 10, 2004.

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  1. P. M. Thorne Registered Senior Member

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    SEMON:

    FROM SEMON: We always want to give meaning to things like we do to other animals.
    We ask this question because we are not satisfied with how we are living so we want to have a meaning of why we are living like this and give this a great purpose. When we are soaked with joy we actually won't ask this question. We can give life a meaning the way we do to other things, just some statements. We cannot think outside of life. The infuence to each other is actually one of our natural purpose since we want to prove that we exist. This is a natural desire.

    Once, I told a friend that sometimes I thought I would like to write a letter to everyone in the world. She asked, “What would you say?”

    I replied, “I would say, ‘I KNOW YOU ARE THERE.”

    You make a good point, and validation is what we all seek in one way or another. When things get really bad, sometimes it feels as though we are all alone. Then when one person really seems to notice, we feel a kind of relief. This is why we are admonished to love one another. When we fail to do so, we do the entire planet an injustice.

    pmt.
     
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  3. P. M. Thorne Registered Senior Member

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    FROM SPIDERGOAT: If your meaning of life is something other than life, then your meaning is merely symbolic.

    Sounds reasonable.

    Apidergoat writes: Biologically, the meaning is continuity and change, reproductive success coupled by natural selection. Humanistically, we find meaning in participation in a group endeavor. We like to feel that we are working towards an end point, a goal. In the past, we probably worked towards the prosperity of a small band of people, finding food, making tools. Now we are separated from that, no wonder we feel lost. I don't think primitive people ask this question.

    I think you are right about primitive people not wondering so much about the meaning of life; however, I disagree with your reason. The did not contemplate philosophical meaning as much as men did later on. As for groups, naw. You know, I am rather sure that you did not think that through, because I have read your posts before and you are sharp. Groups accomplish little in comparision to the determined individuals who knew their purpose. Do you know your Spidergoat? This is not a challenge, I am asking because I would like to know. I believe I know mine, but it took some time. So, what say you? PMT
     
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  5. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    What's the question?

    I'm not saying accomplishment alone is meaningful, some individuals can accomplish alot. I'm saying that working for the benifit of a social group is how people have historically found meaning. The social group has been replaced by the family unit, and this places people in a more isolated setting, less able to excercise the full range of their talents, which have been replaced by institutions. So, a meaningful life is one in which we can demonstrate the full range of our abilities. In the absence of this, lesser kinds of symbolic meaning have emerged, religious and ideological meanings, identification with a political movement, for instance.

    as for thinking things through, I am getting lazy, it would take all day to respond completely to some of the questions posed here, and I have to work.
     
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  7. P. M. Thorne Registered Senior Member

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    SPIDERGOAT: Okay, thats. I now a better picture of what you were saying. Sorry, I think I was missing your point. You are right, of course. When I was growing up, it was with aunts and uncles and cousins. Our entertainment was visiting and we were so poor that we were interdependent. Gotcha. I enjoy docs about villages and how they interact. Do not let me eat up your time, and try not to work too hard.

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    pmt
     
  8. alain du hast mich Registered Senior Member

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    rainbow princess - "*throws arms around Alain and kisses him on cheek* yeah! go me! you dumb, dumb shites... i am so much smarter, and alain is close to my smartness so listen to him too!"

    PMT - "It is always a test to receive a compliment."

    im not entirely sure it was compliment, or at least she complimented herself more then me, oh well, i got complimented more then everyone else

    spidergoat "Biologically, the meaning is continuity and change, reproductive success coupled by natural selection."
    yay, thats three of us at least
     
  9. Iron Legion Registered Member

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    hi, I think that the meaning of life is to find the reality and not the fabrication we see. After all it is a very high possbility that this/our civilisation isn't real but a simulation for which is used to virtualy time travel, Yes we endevour on and adapt, but it is like the spark of life to a fetus, no-one knows when it happens and where it comes from and how it springs into consusnious that we very-naively believe to be intelligent life or Human.
     
  10. Hevene Registered Senior Member

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    Life has no meaning, except the meaning we give it.
     
  11. P. M. Thorne Registered Senior Member

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    Oh come on Hevene, you can not mean that literally. Nature has meaning, Nigeria has meaning whether I give either of them any meaning or not. I think that is far too complex to cover with a short sentence..........what say? pmt
     
  12. P. M. Thorne Registered Senior Member

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    One more thought on that: Perhaps we should first define "life" and then define "meaning."
    ...............pmt
     
  13. wesmorris Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N Valued Senior Member

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    Where might that meaning reside?

    If I observe a rock and think "that is a beautiful rock", where does the meaning of what I said reside?

    How does meaning come to be?

    Does it exist without an observer?

    Can it?

    If so, where?

    If you answer where, how exactly do you gather that meaning resides there and how did it get there?

    When did the meaning exist?

    Meh. You see my point. After having spent a LOT of time on this one, the best I can figure is that you can only say that meaning exists in the now, from a point of view. So that really pretty well defines where meaning exists... which means it doesn't exist in the rock, but the rocks reflection on my personal timeline, of which my mind allows me to retain an impression.
     
  14. antifreeze defrosting agent Registered Senior Member

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    i think there is a distinction between the meaning of life and its purpose. i believe we have been discussing purpose thus far. if you would like to know the meaning of the word "life," however, you may look it up in any dictionary. i still think that although life has plenty of meaning, it lacks purpose.

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  15. wesmorris Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N Valued Senior Member

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    doesn't it have the purpose you provide it, or that is projected on you by others?

    something as fleeting as purpose is surely real if it is thought to be so, since there is no other way for it to exist anyway.

    so since you say you think it lacks purpose that tells me that you have not provided it one and you deny the existence (or its relevance) the purpose projected onto you by others.
     
  16. antifreeze defrosting agent Registered Senior Member

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    :bugeye: i am not referring to the purpose of my life or your life but the purpose of life. period. here, either A) god assigns a purpose [as god is the creator of life] or B) we assign a purpose for life. now in the latter case, this purpose must be applicable to all forms of life. the closest anyone has come to this is to say; the purpose of life is survival, but somehow i doubt this. and, as i said earlier, my religious orientation compels me to dismiss the former out-of-hand. thus i am left with...life has no purpose. :m:
     
  17. wesmorris Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N Valued Senior Member

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    The case of A is pointless, as the idea of "purpose" cannot be applied as applying to or coming from an omniscient being since it is by definition beyond comprehension. As such the question goes into permalingo (just making up words, pardon... "permanent limbo"). You cannot comprehend what you can't comprehend, so there's no issue. I believe that implies a pointless question.

    In the case of B...

    I see what you mean, but I don't think purpose can exist without a POV to create it. Survival would have to be a function, since purpose implies.. uhm.. well, purpose, which implies will, which implies intent, which implies "a someone" (like god or us) to create and apply it. I would say that ultimately purpose is a purely abstract matter though, and only of as much impact on anything as reflected in the deeds of the POV that experiences it. I think it boils down to a matter of psychology, since as we know it is can only be a matter of mind.
     
  18. Fukushi -meta consciousness- Registered Senior Member

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    Man,....what a thread,...couldn't you just start with asking:

    "What's the meaning of MY life?"

    Than we could just comment on that!
     
  19. antifreeze defrosting agent Registered Senior Member

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    certainly. let fly with whatever commentary you have. not like anyone cares about sticking to the topic. so, please, do tell me what the meaning of your life is.

    this came off a touch sarcastic, but it really isn't.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2004
  20. alain du hast mich Registered Senior Member

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    "If I observe a rock and think "that is a beautiful rock", where does the meaning of what I said reside?"

    the meaning of a rock is something that is made up of small particles of dust stuck together with superglue (i never was very good at geology), the meaning of a rock has nothing to do with being beautiful, its just a name, so it only exists in the minds of people
     
  21. Hevene Registered Senior Member

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    Alain,
    I kinda get what you mean. Rock is rock, a fact. But what we think about that rock is up to us, ie we define the meaning of that rock to us. We are constantly doing this in our life, and the outcome of life is a reflection of our decisions about it (which I think is exactly the same thing as what I was saying). We are free to decide and choose what we want to be, do and have, and therefore, the meaning of life is different for each of us. However, I do think there is a difference between meaning and purpose. The purpose of life is to declare and create who you want to be, but meaning is simply based on our current perception and changes over time.
     
  22. John Connellan Valued Senior Member

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    The purpose of life is definitely not just survival of the individual. Theres plenty of evidence of evidence against that.
     
  23. spuriousmonkey Banned Banned

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    You mean survival of the gene then?
     
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