Notices
Results 1 to 26 of 26

Thread: Meaning of life

  1. #1 Meaning of life 
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    9
    what isit???


    Reply With Quote  
     

  2.  
     

  3. #2  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    60
    it is my understanding that the answer to that question in the popular mind is 42
    but, they only resort to this because a). it'a funny and b). they don't know
    people are afraid of the unknown. Good examples are the dark and strangers
    this is why people resort to humor when asked the tough questions: What is the meaning of life? who is god? how did it all start?
    People don't want to admit when their wrong which is where explanations like god and Ra and all the other examples of creation myth through out history (I'm not about to name them all, because, frankly, I'm not even all that sure about Ra).
    Now that I've gotten that out of the way I'll answer your question. This may sound cheesy and cliche, but the meaning of life is to live.
    You must understand that when you ask that question, you can't limit it to human life. Life is a very general noun. Now, let me ask you this, what do you see animals doing in all the nature videos and on Animal Planet? There are many answers to that question, but they all are directed at one objective, to stay alive.
    I just realized that there are two meanings to that question, so you tell me which one you meant and then I'll get back to you.


    Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils ... - Louis Hector Berlioz
    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #3  
    Forum Professor serpicojr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    JRZ
    Posts
    1,069
    Be excellent to each other.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #4  
    Forum Masters Degree organic god's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    London
    Posts
    567
    people don't reply 42 because they are afraid of the unknown or whatever other reasons you gave, its a quote from a book and the reason people don't answer is because they haven't bothered to think about it.
    you are reading to much into a subject which for most people they can't be asked to think about because they are too busy living their lives
    everything is mathematical.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #5  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    60
    except for the losers who happen to participate in this forum

    and i'm trying to be philosophical

    geesh
    Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils ... - Louis Hector Berlioz
    Reply With Quote  
     

  7. #6  
    Forum Masters Degree organic god's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    London
    Posts
    567
    you can be overly philosophical. people don't reply with a joke because they are scared, its just because they don't care.
    everything is mathematical.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  8. #7 what is the meaning of life 
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    9
    [quote="organic god"]people don't reply 42 because they are afraid of the unknown or whatever other reasons you gave, its a quote from a book and the reason people don't answer is because they haven't bothered to think about it.
    you are reading to much into a subject which for most people they can't be asked to think about because they are too busy living their lives[I agree with what you have said the other easy answr isrelated to religion/quote]
    Reply With Quote  
     

  9. #8 Re: Meaning of life 
    Baz
    Baz is offline
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    8
    what isit???

    Dylan,

    it is interesting that someone with the name "organic God" has answered because that is the answer. You will see what I mean if you read the illustrated poem at the site below.
    It represents a "secular religion" and puts forward a meaning for man on earth but points out there is no meaning in existence itself. The whole thing, although poetic, is based on scientific possibility.

    I am a Keeper of the Primal Egg (104 stanzas)

    http://basilhughhall.googlepages.com...oftheprimalegg

    Tell me what you think.

    Baz
    Reply With Quote  
     

  10. #9  
    Forum Masters Degree organic god's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    London
    Posts
    567
    organic god basically means i kick ass at organic chemistry, the term "god" in this sense is that i know everything about organic chemistry.
    it is nothing to do with religion
    everything is mathematical.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  11. #10 Re: Meaning of life 
    Forum Ph.D. Hanuka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    The 10th Kingdom xD
    Posts
    750
    Quote Originally Posted by Baz
    what isit???

    Dylan,

    it is interesting that someone with the name "organic God" has answered because that is the answer. You will see what I mean if you read the illustrated poem at the site below.
    It represents a "secular religion" and puts forward a meaning for man on earth but points out there is no meaning in existence itself. The whole thing, although poetic, is based on scientific possibility.

    I am a Keeper of the Primal Egg (104 stanzas)

    http://basilhughhall.googlepages.com...oftheprimalegg

    Tell me what you think.

    Baz
    too deep... :?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  12. #11  
    Time Lord
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    5,328
    If I could place just one thing into a time capsule, your poem, Baz, would be it. Wow. You've expressed it beautifully.

    Don't be shy to pass this around. :-D

    ***

    To the question, " what is it?"

    Some questions, by their framing, are difficult to answer in straight terms when the truth seems too raw & simple for intellectual credibility. Or as Louis Armstrong hinted, "If you have to ask, you'll never know." The Buddhists used to offer deliberately insoluble riddles, as answer. The student would go nuts churning the problem over and over, finally give up... then "get it". So 42 is a good response IMO.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  13. #12  
    Forum Ph.D. Cat1981(England)'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    South Downs.
    Posts
    913
    The meaning of life for the individual is to stay alive long enough to pass on their genes, and then to stay alive long enough to give your offspring the best chance of doing the same.

    The philosophical answer is........ There isn't one. As far as we can tell, we are confined to the innards of the universe, and at some point in the distant, ........distant future all matter will cease to be. At that point all the knowledge we have learnt, all the advancements we have made, and all the wonderful things we have done will be lost and instantly forgotten.

    All you can do is do whatever it is that makes you happy (as long as it doesn't cause any pain to others) and go down the pub. So altogether now... Always look on the bright side of life, da da, da da, da da, da da, da da......
    Eat Dolphin, save the Tuna!!!!
    Reply With Quote  
     

  14. #13  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    60
    pessimistic much?
    Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils ... - Louis Hector Berlioz
    Reply With Quote  
     

  15. #14  
    Forum Professor Obviously's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Norway
    Posts
    1,415
    It's the easiest question in the world, and people still seem to answer the other question rather than the original one: "What's the meaning of life for me?"

    It's understandable though when you think about how fallacious the original question really was. When you ask nothingness a question, the answer will always be nothing.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  16. #15 Re: Meaning of life 
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    I live in Bertrand Russells teapot!
    Posts
    902
    Quote Originally Posted by Baz
    what isit???

    Dylan,

    it is interesting that someone with the name "organic God" has answered because that is the answer. You will see what I mean if you read the illustrated poem at the site below.
    It represents a "secular religion" and puts forward a meaning for man on earth but points out there is no meaning in existence itself. The whole thing, although poetic, is based on scientific possibility.

    I am a Keeper of the Primal Egg (104 stanzas)

    http://basilhughhall.googlepages.com...oftheprimalegg

    Tell me what you think.

    Baz
    I love it

    Have you had it published????
    Reply With Quote  
     

  17. #16  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    6
    Quote Originally Posted by Cat1981(England)
    The meaning of life for the individual is to stay alive long enough to pass on their genes, and then to stay alive long enough to give your offspring the best chance of doing the same.

    The philosophical answer is........ There isn't one. As far as we can tell, we are confined to the innards of the universe, and at some point in the distant, ........distant future all matter will cease to be. At that point all the knowledge we have learnt, all the advancements we have made, and all the wonderful things we have done will be lost and instantly forgotten.

    All you can do is do whatever it is that makes you happy (as long as it doesn't cause any pain to others) and go down the pub. So altogether now... Always look on the bright side of life, da da, da da, da da, da da, da da......
    Your philosophical answer should have been your only one. Because passing on genes and doing what makes you happy aren't reasons or meaning they are tasks. I get your point, however I refuse to believe that love, loss, hate, fear, passion. lament ect. are all in place so my sperm squirts vigorously. Somethings going on, we just don't have the full picture.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  18. #17  
    Time Lord
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    5,328
    "What is the meaning of life" is a badly framed question. Everyone reads it differently. We differ on what we think "the big question" is. We want to insert our "big answer", though the question doesn't really ask for one.

    If one asks "Why am I here?" the answer is obvious - just lift your shirt a bit and gaze down.

    If one asks a Buddhist "What's the meaning of all this?" she will answer "Your distraction."

    To answer "What is the meaning of life?" with real deference to the question as put: "Meaning" is empty without an actor. However "life" must indicate life as opposed to entropy, since it's broader than "humanity" and more specific than "the universe". Aha, we have an actor. So the meaning of life is anti-entropic. It is vain order.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  19. #18 Re: Meaning of life 
    Baz
    Baz is offline
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    8
    Selene
    I love it

    Have you had it published.????

    Thanks Pong and Selene. I have sent it off to a few publishers but no luck. It is written in an old style (after Fitzgerald's Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam) that many don't want today. I thought Andy Croft, a north English poet and publisher, was going to publish but he decided some of the stanzas were not "poetic" enough.

    I decided to stick it on the net so at least it would be read by some people.
    It is good that you and pong appreciated it.

    Cheers

    Basil
    Reply With Quote  
     

  20. #19  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    2,190
    Quote Originally Posted by Patalegrock
    Your philosophical answer should have been your only one. Because passing on genes and doing what makes you happy aren't reasons or meaning they are tasks. I get your point, however I refuse to believe that love, loss, hate, fear, passion. lament ect. are all in place so my sperm squirts vigorously. Somethings going on, we just don't have the full picture.
    You wouldn't be able to love, lose, hate, fear, or have passion had you not evolved the ability to feel those emotions. It is downright silly to "refuse to believe" something that is a scientific fact. That is the full picture, biologically speaking.

    But you are right of course. Life and evolution has no inherent meaning. None whatsoever. It is nothing but an emergent result of chemical properties. It is up to each individual person to find their own meaning for their own life and thoughts and emotions etc. Just because emotions evolved for specific purposes doesn't mean that your experiences with them can't mean anything to you personally.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
    Reply With Quote  
     

  21. #20  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    6
    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Quote Originally Posted by Patalegrock
    Your philosophical answer should have been your only one. Because passing on genes and doing what makes you happy aren't reasons or meaning they are tasks. I get your point, however I refuse to believe that love, loss, hate, fear, passion. lament ect. are all in place so my sperm squirts vigorously. Somethings going on, we just don't have the full picture.
    You wouldn't be able to love, lose, hate, fear, or have passion had you not evolved the ability to feel those emotions. It is downright silly to "refuse to believe" something that is a scientific fact. That is the full picture, biologically speaking.

    But you are right of course. Life and evolution has no inherent meaning. None whatsoever. It is nothing but an emergent result of chemical properties. It is up to each individual person to find their own meaning for their own life and thoughts and emotions etc. Just because emotions evolved for specific purposes doesn't mean that your experiences with them can't mean anything to you personally.
    Evolution isn't scientific fact like you and many would like to believe.
    Many believe that everything can be explained by Evolutionary means but that is just not so. As microbiology andvances and our knowledge of the cell grows Darwinian Evolution seems to have more holes. The fossil record is far, far, far from complete, where did all the transitional remains go? Irreducible complexity is something to consider, although all scientists who lay claim to it are shunned (thought we had a society built on free thought).

    In saying that the reason why I refuse to believe whole heartedly what evolution teaches is because of its societal implications (no moral law, survival of the fitest > anarcy) Whats funny is that in other areas of science the debate is wide open for new suggestions and contrubutions, except for evolution; which is problably right about some things and wrong about others. I have no doubt that Newton was 8 times more brilliant than Darwin and yet his theory was improved upon. Im not saying evoulution is completely wrong I just don't see how it is fact as you do. Therefore feeling, emotions could possibly be a guide into the purpose of our lives instead of just chemical reactions compelling us to love our children so that the live for NO PURPOSE. If life is purposeless then why does biology compell us to live? Why is our instinct survival if there is no reason to survive?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  22. #21  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    2,190
    Oh my. So many ID misconceptions all packed into one post. Tally ho!

    Quote Originally Posted by Patalegrock
    Evolution isn't scientific fact like you and many would like to believe.
    Yes, it is. If nothing else the theory of the evolution is one of the most robust theories science has ever had to offer and has stood up time and time again to all attempts to disprove it, and is practically fact. It is most certainly a fact that life descends with modification, which is the "big idea" of evolution.

    Many believe that everything can be explained by Evolutionary means but that is just not so.
    No, not everything can be explained by the theory of biological evolution. It doesn't say anything about the formation of stars, for instance. Let's not make sweeping generalizations that are obviously false, shall we?

    As microbiology andvances and our knowledge of the cell grows Darwinian Evolution seems to have more holes.
    The theory of evolution exactly as Darwin proposed it is no longer in use. We now use the modern synthesis, which modified Darwin's original theories to incorporate our knowledge of the true nature of heredity that Darwin did not have at the time he wrote The Origin. Of course the original theory had many holes and misunderstandings. But the existing theory of evolution does not.


    The fossil record is far, far, far from complete, where did all the transitional remains go?
    1. The likelihood that any individual animal will become a fossil that humans later discover and identify is very, very, very small. The animal must have fossilizable body parts. It must die in an environment that will preserve its body. It's body must not be widely separated or destroyed entirely by erosion and/or predators/scavengers before it becomes covered by earth. It must not be sheared apart by the movement of the earth. It must then come near enough to the surface to be found by people. Of course the fossil record is incomplete. Fossilization is, shall we say, an unreliable method of statistically sampling life. It's impressive that we've found as much as we have.

    2. The chase for transitional forms is largely arbitrary and will never end. Say you have a fossil of species A, and a fossil of species B that is dated several million years later, and one evolved from the other. You then find a fossil of species C smack dab in the middle. But wait! What about the transitional forms between A and C and C and B? You find D, between C and B, but what about the transitions between D and B and C and D? Etc. There are plenty of transitional forms - but, if you want to be picky about it, there will never be enough until we have a fossil representative from every successive generation. Which, I think it's safe to say, we never will.

    Irreducible complexity is something to consider, although all scientists who lay claim to it are shunned (thought we had a society built on free thought).
    Irreducible complexity has not been shunned. It was examined by the scientific community, tested, and disproved. Perhaps now it's shunned, but only because it's such an old and tired argument long since discredited.

    In saying that the reason why I refuse to believe whole heartedly what evolution teaches is because of its societal implications (no moral law, survival of the fitest > anarcy)
    Evolution teaches nothing about morals and ethics. You are committing the naturalistic fallacy, by assuming that "is = ought." You are assuming that just because the theory of evolution describes a certain natural behavior, that evolution "says" that behavior must be right or moral. And it says absolutely nothing of the kind. Decisions of morality and ethics must be made by people, and perhaps evolution can inform us as to why some things feel right to us and some don't, but in the end we have to make our own decision. Evolution is a description of a natural process, not a doctrine of behavior.

    Whats funny is that in other areas of science the debate is wide open for new suggestions and contrubutions, except for evolution; which is problably right about some things and wrong about others.
    That depends what you're talking about. The big idea of evolution, that life descends with modification, that populations of organisms have gene pools that change over time, is an observable fact. There is no arguing with that. However, the exact mechanisms of evolution, exactly how and why change occurs, are a highly active area of scientific research, and in that realm there are plenty of new suggestions and contributions and debates and arguments.

    I have no doubt that Newton was 8 times more brilliant than Darwin and yet his theory was improved upon.
    Darwin's theory was also improved upon. See my above point about the modern synthesis.

    Im not saying evoulution is completely wrong I just don't see how it is fact as you do. Therefore feeling, emotions could possibly be a guide into the purpose of our lives instead of just chemical reactions compelling us to love our children so that the live for NO PURPOSE. If life is purposeless then why does biology compell us to live? Why is our instinct survival if there is no reason to survive?
    Because, as I said, life is an emergent property of chemical laws, which are emergent properties of atomic laws, upon which the entire universe is built. Life has no more inherent purpose than rocks or stars. We are compelled to live because those that are compelled to live continue to exist, and those that are not so compelled die out and no longer exist. If we didn't desire to survive we wouldn't be here. Thus we have evolved to desire to survive.

    I find life awe inspiring because of it's deep complexity - it is surely one of the most impressive emergent properties of the universe. But just because we are complex, just because we have feelings and thoughts and emotions, doesn't mean we are special or meant for something.

    (Mods - sorry for the serious offshoot. If you'd like to section this off into another thread feel free.)
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
    Reply With Quote  
     

  23. #22  
    Forum Isotope Bunbury's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    2,590
    Very nice rebuttal, Paralith.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  24. #23  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    6
    Because, as I said, life is an emergent property of chemical laws, which are emergent properties of atomic laws, upon which the entire universe is built. Life has no more inherent purpose than rocks or stars. We are compelled to live because those that are compelled to live continue to exist, and those that are not so compelled die out and no longer exist. If we didn't desire to survive we wouldn't be here. Thus we have evolved to desire to survive.
    That isn't an answer, you say that we are compelled to live because we have evolved the desire to survive. Why do you think that if our survival has no meaning? Simply stated why have we evloved to survive if our survival is meaningless?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  25. #24  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    2,190
    Quote Originally Posted by Patalegrock
    Because, as I said, life is an emergent property of chemical laws, which are emergent properties of atomic laws, upon which the entire universe is built. Life has no more inherent purpose than rocks or stars. We are compelled to live because those that are compelled to live continue to exist, and those that are not so compelled die out and no longer exist. If we didn't desire to survive we wouldn't be here. Thus we have evolved to desire to survive.
    That isn't an answer, you say that we are compelled to live because we have evolved the desire to survive. Why do you think that if our survival has no meaning? Simply stated why have we evloved to survive if our survival is meaningless?
    Why do mountains form? Why do stars form? Why does water evaporate when it reaches a certain temperature? Do we require a philosophical meaning for the transition of water from the liquid to the gaseous state in order to under stand why this transition happens?

    Consider a theoretical primordial ooze. Some of the atoms and/or simple molecules hanging out in this ooze bond together to form more complex molecules. Some of these more complex molecules are stable enough to remain as they are; others are not stable enough, so they break apart again. Why do some of these molecules remain together if there is no meaning to their existence? I think the answer is plain enough. The same processes that hold molecules together are ultimately the same processes that determine life. Question the laws of atomic interactions if you really truly need to question why life is here.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
    Reply With Quote  
     

  26. #25  
    Time Lord
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    5,328
    To boldly ooze where no ooze has oozed before.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  27. #26  
    Forum Ph.D. Cat1981(England)'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    South Downs.
    Posts
    913
    Quote Originally Posted by Patalegrock
    Your philosophical answer should have been your only one. Because passing on genes and doing what makes you happy aren't reasons or meaning they are tasks. I get your point, however I refuse to believe that love, loss, hate, fear, passion. lament ect. are all in place so my sperm squirts vigorously. Somethings going on, we just don't have the full picture.
    No. The original question was Meaning of life - what is it? posted under the Behavioural and Social Sciences sub index. Everything that we do is in some way, directly or indirectly, geared toward passing on our genes with the maximum possibility of success. That imo is the answer to the question under this sub index.
    Eat Dolphin, save the Tuna!!!!
    Reply With Quote  
     

Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •