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Thread: the true meaning of Life

  1. #1 the true meaning of Life 
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    No one is able to know what the true meaning of life is, but at least, someone was able to understand what various activities which for centuries have been governing and modelling human existence actually represent. Towards the end of the book “The anthropic principle”, the authors, J.D.Barrow e F.J.Tipler , discussed the subject in the following way:

    “(...)all of life’s activities, whether they consist in scientific research, economic production or mystic meditation, consist in the elaboration of information. (...)A limit which is above the total quantity of information that can be produced by using the entire amount of material resources of a solar system is 10^70 bit. Because 10^19 bit / s (10^10 bit / person per second x 10^9people) represents a lower limit for the rhythm of information elaboration in our civilization, our solar system will be completely consumed in less than 5000 years if science continues to grow in such an exponential way to the current rhythm throughout this lapse of time. Therefore, in a few thousands of years, whatever activities it will be dedicating itself to, an advanced civilization will be in a need for new resources”.
    A few pages later he adds:

    “(...)Therefore, whatever an intelligent being does, and not only his thoughts
    , is to elaborate information in one form or another. It follows that all thoughts and imaginable actions of any possible form of life, are ultimately subjected to constrictions imposed by the law of physics which rule the elaboration of information.”

    Every biological entity of this planet, is to be considered as some kind of “method of energy exchange”. These entities, ultimately represent the analysis of structures (or of systems, as one may say) opened (rather fragile) towards its surrounding environment, able to extract from such environment, all the energy required in order to live.
    The moment a human being takes in food, all he does is elaborate (paraphrasing Barrow and Tipler) information in the “solid state”(that is, food), into other kinds of information which are less complex, moving from caloric energy to a pure and simple dynamic information, which ultimately constitutes all of our thoughts.
    Nothing is created and nothing is destroyed, everything is transformed…someone said a few centuries ago. Now, it would therefore be wrong to believe that only biological entities are able to feed themselves (as open structures) and reproduce themselves.
    Even if it could seem incredible, it is not only the chemical factors of carbon, able to generate physical entities of this kind; that is open structures able to feed themselves and reproduce themselves.
    In 1950, Von Neumann, suggested that a car able to reproduce itself, of which the replication cycle resulted surprisingly similar to that of viruses. In The anthropic principle, Barrow and Tipler explain with the following words the functioning of a machine by Von Neumann:

    “In Von Neumann’s scheme, a machine which reproduces itself consists in two parts, a constructor and an information deposit which contains the instructions for the constructor. The latest is a machine which manipulates the matter enough to be able to make the necessary various parts of the selfreproducing machine and assemble them in the final structure. The complexity of the constructor greatly depends on that of the selfreplicant machine and by the material available in the environment. The most general type of constructor, called a universal constructor, is a machine, or if you prefer, a robot, able to do anything as long as it is given the appropriate instructions.(...)
    The deposit of information consists in the memory of a calculator which contains detailed instructions on how the constructor needs to manipulate the matter: first of all, it supplies the instructions to make a copy of a constructor without the deposit of information, or a constructor with an with an empty calculator memory. The deposit of information is therefore duplicated, that is it registers the information contained in the memory of the calculator. Finally, the deposit of information and the constructor are assembled, so that the create a copy of the original machine. The copy has all the original information, so it is therefore able to reproduce itself in the same environment”.

    Now, someone could object about the fact that Von Neumann’s machine should be intended to be like a physical entity open towards the environment which surrounds it (even though it is able reproduce itself); and in fact he would have all reasons to do so. Von Neumann`s machine, as described by Barrow and Tipler, is certainly able to self reproduce but it is absolutely not able to power itself, which is an essential condition if we want to describe it as a physical entity open towards the environment which surrounds it. Such machine, to be able to produce others similar to it, must accomplish a task, which means that it must consume energy. It will therefore only be able to produce a limited number of machines, a number that will obviously be in relation to its own autonomy (that is on the length of its own batteries!). The machines that are therefore produced, will themselves be bound to the quantity of energy which they initially have at their disposal, destined to lower the more they actually produce others. Therefore, to be able to talk about a machine, similar in each and every way to a living system, that is a physical entity, open towards its surrounding environment and thus able to power itself and secondarily able to reproduce, it is necessary that the same is able to constantly extract energy from its surrounding environment ... without ever having to be serviced by man! It is on the basis of these principles, that we will be able to elaborate, in a future which is surely not too far away, some kind of machine… of a perpetual motion. To enable machines to self replicate themselves it will be anyhow necessary to wait a long time…a very long time.
    The creation of such kind of machine, able to reflect some proper and real living systems, is not however impossible. A solution could be to ensure that they can be powered by the energy of the sun; unfortunately with the technology that is nowadays available, they would not be able to constantly store a sufficiently high quantity of such energy to be able to reproduce themselves. We will therefore have to wait a few hundred years, before such machines can be produced. Until mankind will not be able to design and produce in series, engines of total annihilation, the film Terminator will never have any prophesy in it. Believe me.

    Even supposing that one day science could create such monsters, that is machines able to reproduce themselves, w can only hope that they would always operate and in any case for the wellbeing of mankind.

    “Science, each inclined towards its own direction, has up to now not caused much harm; but one day, the merging of fragments of dissociated conscious will open up panoramas of reality so terrifying…that we will either go crazy for the revelation, or will run away from its mortal light, searching refuge in the peace and security of new dark centuries”.
    H.P. Lovecraft

    In the last few decades, scientists have gone very close to the equation which is the basis of all of Creation, that is:
    mass = energy = information; however, they unfortunately still consider information to be something well distinct from energy. They consider it to be something closely connected to energy, but its intrinsic properties have little to do with such entity (energy).


    Fausto Intilla
    (Inventor-scientific divulgator)
    www.oloscience.com
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  3. #2  
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    Quote 'Fausto' - "No one is able to know what the true meaning of life is, but at least, " - end quote.

    I think John Cleese, Micheal Palin, Graham Chapman, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Terry Gilliam might have other Ideas, I'd recommend you watch the film, then stuff yourself stupid, and ask for "Anuzzer vaffer thin shock-o-lahtee miss-ure?"


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  4. #3  
    Forum Isotope Zelos's Avatar
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    No one is able to know what the true meaning of life is, but at least,
    bullshit

    the meaning is. SEX. Reproduction
    I am zelos. Destroyer of planets, exterminator of life, conquerer of worlds. I have come to rule this uiniverse. And there is nothing u pathetic biengs can do to stop me

    On the eighth day Zelos said: 'Let there be darkness,' and the light was never again seen.

    The king of posting
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  5. #4  
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    Do you think? Only bullshits?

    Why don't you try to tell it directly to Prof.J.D.Barrow;
    I give you his home-page address (there you can find his e-mail address too): http://www.damtp.cam.ac.uk/user/jdb34/
    Fausto Intilla
    (Inventor-scientific divulgator)
    www.oloscience.com
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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fausto Intilla
    Do you think? Only bullshits?

    Why don't you try to tell it directly to Prof.J.D.Barrow;
    I give you his home-page address (there you can find his e-mail address too): http://www.damtp.cam.ac.uk/user/jdb34/
    I spoke to the Professor only last night, he told me that as a result of your continued phone calls to his house, his wife had committed suicide. Both his daughters are now in a hospital suffering from some form of unknown mental illness. His son is convinced that his mother was a light bulb. The professor now only exists as a video tape. Brenda is looking for you.
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  7. #6  
    Forum Bachelors Degree The P-manator's Avatar
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    I think that we create our own meaning in life.
    Pierre

    Fight for our environment and our habitat at www.wearesmartpeople.com.
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  8. #7  
    Forum Freshman Junglist_Movement's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The P-manator
    I think that we create our own meaning in life.
    I agree. Life is meaningless if you let it be.
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  9. #8  
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    life has meaning if and where you apply it

    "get a life" means you apply too much attention and time to something which isn't important in common conscenus or personal perception.

    I go with the "Sonic The Hedgehog" Scoreboard idea.

    People don't believe in God anymore but a Sonic The Hedgehog Scoreboard.

    You score points for riding a skateboard, playing guitar, saying "bullshit" and other cliche things which differ between cultures.

    A modern concept of staying up all night shouting at the top of your voice, which as memory serves - Hitler first made popular.

    People want a narrow small sphere of existance. People are quiet happy to appropate common culture and make it thier own. People want to win and have success in life even if it is someone elses.

    In Spain people stab bulls in a ring, in Japan people each Snake penis.

    Humans are machines and programmable too no doubt, meaning is semantic.

    The ghost in the machine.

    I like bilco's point ...

    Quote 'Fausto' - "No one is able to know what the true meaning of life is, but at least, " - end quote.
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  10. #9  
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    money has meaning... even though its merely an idea.

    when you ask "what is the meaning of life" i think you're actually asking "does my life have value", or "what is the value of my life"
    when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth
    A.C Doyle
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  11. #10 Re: the true meaning of Life 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fausto Intilla
    No one is able to know what the true meaning of life is, but at least, someone was able to understand what various activities which for centuries have been governing and modelling human existence actually represent...

    ...

    In the last few decades, scientists have gone very close to the equation which is the basis of all of Creation, that is:
    mass = energy = information; however, they unfortunately still consider information to be something well distinct from energy. They consider it to be something closely connected to energy, but its intrinsic properties have little to do with such entity (energy).
    I think you're misinterpreting the concept of "information" in physics, but whatever.

    The "meaning" of life is relative to the perspective at which you view life. Given that, there can be multiple "meanings" to life.

    From a physics perspective, life has the same meaning as every other entity in the known universe. A human has no more meaning than an atom of hydrogen, or a quark, or the void. In other words, meaning is irrelevant in this frame of perspective.

    From a social perspective, the meaning of life is relative to the society in which life exists, and the other life around it. What is the meaning of humanity verses the other life on Earth? What is the significance of life on Earth in relation to life elsewhere in the galaxy? This can only be discussed in terms of viewer standpoint. If we are determined to give meaning to life, in strict terms of life itself, are we biased to our own life, or that of others? Is our current belief system oriented such that so called "intelligent" life is more meaningful, more significant than other forms of life?

    From a conscious perspective, the meaning of life is even harder to determine. What is your own personal reason for existence? Is there a meaning to your own life? Is your existence any different from anyone else's? If you (ie - your person, your conscience) didn't exist, how would that effect things? Was there a purpose to your being you? Or would any body have done just as good? Does causality care whether you existed as Fausto Intilla, rather than Wolf?

    The overall meaning of life we can't know, unless we assume there is no meaning...but that's only a farce because we don't know that there is a meaning or not. We can say there is no meaning, and be ignorant of the meaning. At the same time we can claim there is a meaning, and there can actually be no meaning.

    Further, who is to say what the meaning is? If it is assumed that all of humanity is incapable of determining the existence or non-existence of meaning, then where will we learn of the meaning? Will we ever learn of the meaning? Is the meaning of life something we are meant to know? Are we capable of even comprehending the meaning of life?



    Quote Originally Posted by Zelos
    No one is able to know what the true meaning of life is, but at least,
    bullshit

    the meaning is. SEX. Reproduction
    Zelos, I would love to spend just ten minutes in your head. It must be nice to be so certain of everything.
    Wolf
    ---------------------------------------------------------
    "Be fair with others, but then keep after them until they're fair with you." Alan Alda
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  12. #11  
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    First let us examine what is meant by 'meaning'

    as per wikipedia:

    "Meaning as internal interpretation
    The sense that sentient creatures have of the patterns they recognize in the world, as a result of an understanding of phenomena in a coherent way, is commonly referred to as a person's sense of "meaning". This is the sense of meaning at work when asking a person when they leave a theatre, "What did that movie mean to you?" In short, the word "meaning" can sometimes be used to describe the interpretations that people have of the world.

    This sense of meaning is fundamental to mental health in people"

    So a persons idea as to the 'meaning of life' is their individual interpretation of what life is about.

    Thus the 'meaning of life' will always be subjective and vary from person to person with no right and no wrong answer.

    The use of the word 'meaning' in the question permits and expects it to be a subjective response.

    Thus trying to find an objective answer to what is essentially a subjective question is to misinterpret the question.
    'Time is the space between birth and death' by me.
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  13. #12  
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    our whole body is basically designed to get our crotches together as often as possible.
    the more successfully designed the exo-crotch areas of the body are, the longer our crotch survives, and the more crotches we can make.
    we are programmed to believe that getting our crotches together is a challenge,
    so we constantly prepare for the challenge.
    when the challenge remains absent, and crotches are too readily available,
    (or unattainable)
    we start seeking some other challenge, as a "meaning in life".

    you'll be surprised how meaningful life can seem, when you seek to get laid as much as possible.

    basically what zelos said.

    finally, some examples for you non-believers:

    so you wanna be a rockstar. because of the music?
    no, because people will admire you. and people who admire you, want to get laid with you.

    so you wanna be a businessman.
    is it to get lots of money? but why do you hoard money?
    its to secure the future of your successors.
    any other reasons is just blurring your vision.

    so you've exiled yourself in a cabin deep in the forest completely alone.
    why? its because you're not desirable, which means your genes are not strong, so you leave the arena for people with stronger genes,
    which ultimately leads to a strengthening of the human race.
    when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth
    A.C Doyle
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  14. #13  
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    The meaning of life is all in your head. it is your personal dream. not some one elses. If you dream about being mopvie star you won't reach blis until you become a movie star.

    So accordingly to my philosopy we would, ni say about 20 years, have a lot of Zelos around.
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  15. #14  
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    *pokes nose* Meep
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  16. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obviously
    What is the purpose of life? There are different opinions upon the matter, but as far as I've discovered, the question has many times been misunderstood. Even with a God, our life wouldn't actually have a purpose because God must have a reason for us that gives us purpose. But then again, that only proves that there is none. "The purpose of our lives is to serve God or do his will." What purpose is it in that? Love? But does love give purpose to us? No, we want to be important. Only by importance can we get purpose. Can we get importance through love? Yes we can. Through love we can show mercy and compassion which means a lot to other living things. Through love we get importance, and through importance we get purpose. But when you think about it, you don't need God to give purpose to life. Love alone is enough to give purpose to, as Dawkins said in 'The Big Question - Why Are We Here', "... an otherwise purposeless universe." Love is the purpose of our lives, with our without God. By love we can help life to survive, and therefore we become important. I answered the question differently in another forum in which I will quote here:

    There is NO purpose in life, none. There's only purpose in what gives US purpose. In a larger scale there can't possibly be any purpose in life, there's just life and that's all. I really don't like it when people misunderstand the meaning of the question "What is the purpose of life?" They somehow always answer the other question "What is the purpose of life for me?" which is something very different...

    I find that true, but when I see the effects of compassion to other living animals and plants as well as to our own kind, our love actually gives the purpose of our lives. We could almost work as the protectors of life, the guardians if you like. And we give purpose to our own existence in an otherwise purposeless universe.
    What do you think about this thought?
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  17. #16  
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    I don't know, I just snap up topics then simplify the conclusion i make myself. If I don't know about something that is in a breadtext, I should read a book that is approved by society about it, not someones reply.
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  18. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeavingQuietly
    I don't know, I just snap up topics then simplify the conclusion i make myself. If I don't know about something that is in a breadtext, I should read a book that is approved by society about it, not someones reply.
    If I was to shorten the conclusion:

    I think we give meaning to our own existence by our importance (in some extent) to other living animals and plants as well as to our own kind. The meaning of life being love then, which helps genes of other animals etc to survive.
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