"Meaning of Life Question" Reading Between the Lines


Registered Senior Member
I think philisophical questioning and discussion sometimes goes in circles because, overall, people are actually poor communicators or preceivers of subtle or repressed emotions and drives. I came across this particular idea while reading the post about the meaning of life below.

Though I didn't read ALL the posts (there are alot of them) in that thread, I did quickly get the feeling that no one was answering correctly because the question was never asked correctly. It got me to wondering whether many, most, or all instances of questions regarding "the meaning of life" are smoke screes for something else, more threatening, even less certain, and perhaps vaguely childish and arrogant (though pressing).

And that question would be: Are we immortal or more openly, what happens when we die?

I think anyone could live without any firm meaning if they had foreknowledge of their personal immortality. Meaning is a figment, a dynamic abstract. Immortality is ultimately a a need; don't get it, you die, quite literally and ultimately.

This might be suppressed because:

1. People aren't taught to ask it in so many words, so they turn to the well-trodden "meaning of life."
2. The abrupt question of ultimate existential fate is threatening (This possibility sounds cliche, but I notice a dearth of comment or question regarding this directly besides dogmatic expectorations from certain religious groups, often with an agenda or a self-reassuring motive)
3. Nobody can possibly know. Another reason for the lack of discussion.
4. Some people might think it's arrogant to say everything is for naught if we aren't the lords of eternity. That everything is for nothing without immortality is logically valid, however. Or so I suggest.

...This is all still in the brain storm phase.

Even if it is insoluble and more than a little depressing, I consider this question at least a potential plus ne ultra of human inquiry.

I'd like to go ahead and request that no one respond with anything like, "dude, it's obvious that we're all dead meat and I'm OK with it." or "Jesus will give you peace if only you trust Him." Message boards are all infamous for this sort of polarized, pithy rhetoric.
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no.. its in the right forum.. maybe you can be a bit more clear about what exactly are you saying besides analyzin previous 'meaning of life' thread...
Meaning is defined by an end. I could see that being the underlying need for a "meaning to life". However, if we had immortality our lives would become meaningless, is that what we want? Not me!
Notme, I'd say "meaning" is meaningless(heh) without the backdrop of immortality. If past, present, and future, all hope, all possibiliy, are annihilated in less than a second, they might as well never transpire.

I don't see anyhting Faustian in the deal. Eternity trumps "meaning" because the latter is impossible without the former.

Or alternately, there can never be such a thing as meaning in any lasting sense, because it is defined by limitations, which are dynamic, if only minutely (and not so minutely as occurs with death).

I still hold that when the avergate person asks about the "meaning of life" they're really dodging a sensitive question about death and personal annihilation. I met an atheist once who said people could live without heaven if they only had (finite) reasons to live their (finite)earthly lives. Many of them already do. I contend that were the average person conferred special knowledge of his or her own personal immortality, he or she could dispense with any Godly mandate of purpose.

I guess we could go ask the average person. On second thought, it's probably a subconscious idea. Hey, my first argument from circular reasoning.

Philosophy is hard.