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The Meaning of Life posted 21 January 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionThe Meaning of Life by TheDarkness, Peralogue

The meaning of life is simple. It is written in a thousand expamples and magnified everyday. We see it everywhere and feel it tug at our souls. It is simple and easy to see. Our thoughts are complicated, our emotions cloud their meaning and significance. We are here for the same reason, we are connected to every other living organism. We are here to survive, we are here to pass on, we are here to relate. The past, the future, are we here to know such things to worry about such things? We have created civilization, but in turn we have ruined our rule. Our reign on this planet has been short and is miniscule compared to the reign of the reptiles before us. They were destroyed by and Asteroid that landed on the Yucatan peninsula, we will be destroyed of our own doing after a measley 400,000 years. Does our will or our intellect signify any great difference between us and any other great species? Is our soul unique and if so, how? We are suvivors, is there any intrinsic difference in us and the animals we evolved from? view post


The Meaning of Life posted 21 January 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionThe Meaning of Life by Entropic_existence, Moderator

Quote: "TheDarkness":1cbu7pak
The meaning of life is simple. It is written in a thousand expamples and magnified everyday. We see it everywhere and feel it tug at our souls. It is simple and easy to see. Our thoughts are complicated, our emotions cloud their meaning and significance. We are here for the same reason, we are connected to every other living organism. We are here to survive, we are here to pass on, we are here to relate. The past, the future, are we here to know such things to worry about such things? We have created civilization, but in turn we have ruined our rule. Our reign on this planet has been short and is miniscule compared to the reign of the reptiles before us. They were destroyed by and Asteroid that landed on the Yucatan peninsula, we will be destroyed of our own doing after a measley 400,000 years. Does our will or our intellect signify any great difference between us and any other great species? Is our soul unique and if so, how? We are suvivors, is there any intrinsic difference in us and the animals we evolved from?[/quote:1cbu7pak]

The only thing that separates us from most animals is consciousness and self-awareness, and there are only so many other animslas out there that pass mirror tests the majority of the time. There are some interesting discussions about consciousness and whether it is really an advantage, after all it chews up tons of energy and has no real pay-off in terms of survival advantage. Tons of other issues surrounding it that I won't get in to.

Suffice it to say that I don't believe in any intrinsic meaning to life, nor do I believe in the soul or anything like that. For me I make my own meaning. view post


The Meaning of Life posted 21 January 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionThe Meaning of Life by Peter, Auditor

Yeah, any meaning there is to life is unlikely to come from any facts about genetics or survival, because the meaning is likely going to be normative, something about how the word should be, whereas facts about genetics or survival will simply be descriptive. It is called the fact/value distinction. The fact that Tiddles the cat has fleas cannot, on its own inform us that Tiddles ought not to sit on the sofa, you need to have a normative premise (i.e. "Cats with flees ought not to sit on sofas). The meaning of life is going to need reasons, and not just causes. view post


The Meaning of Life posted 24 January 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionThe Meaning of Life by Entropic_existence, Moderator

Quote: "Peter":3lx8yoa7
Yeah, any meaning there is to life is unlikely to come from any facts about genetics or survival, because the meaning is likely going to be normative, something about how the word should be, whereas facts about genetics or survival will simply be descriptive. It is called the fact/value distinction. The fact that Tiddles the cat has fleas cannot, on its own inform us that Tiddles ought not to sit on the sofa, you need to have a normative premise (i.e. "Cats with flees ought not to sit on sofas). The meaning of life is going to need reasons, and not just causes.[/quote:3lx8yoa7]

Well my argument is that there is no intrinsic meaning to life, because life simply is.Unless of course you believe also in some sort of higher power, which I think predisposes people to want to attribute meaning. But we are human, and humans want to attribute meaning to everything. (Look how we apply human attributes to everything from pets to the weather)

I find it amusing that this is my 666th post <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) --> view post


The Meaning of Life posted 24 January 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionThe Meaning of Life by Peter, Auditor

Well my argument is that there is no intrinsic meaning to life, because life simply is.Unless of course you believe also in some sort of higher power, which I think predisposes people to want to attribute meaning. But we are human, and humans want to attribute meaning to everything. (Look how we apply human attributes to everything from pets to the weather)


Well sort of. I think that we can and do set ourselves goals and ends in life and that we can derive some meaning of life from these when these goals and ends are rational, and derived from rationality. This would not suffer from the fact/value distinction because in dealing with rationality it deals with reasons and not mere facts. This, though, would be a very general meaning of life, and there are only two rationally derived duties which might really fulfil these roles, self-development and helping other people develop their own happiness. I won't go into the arguments behind this, unless people really want me to, but I will flag up that they are contentious and are taken from Kantian Ethics.

So, the basic idea is that meaning cannot come from facts of the world, won't come from God (well I don't think it will, because I don't believe), but can come from reason. view post


The Meaning of Life posted 24 January 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionThe Meaning of Life by Harrol, Moderator

Peter feel free to elaborate. I would like to read more of what you have to say on the matter. I do not quite understand the distinction between finding meaning in reason rather than facts of the world. I may misunderstand you but I thought the facts of the world we know come from reason. view post


The Meaning of Life posted 25 January 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionThe Meaning of Life by TheDarkness, Peralogue

Reason begins and ends in the same place. No where. Does reason tell you whether a table is one thing, five things or an infinite amount of things. One thing: it is one table; five things: four legs and one top; Infinite things: it is all the particals and nano particals that make it up, at which point it is indistinguishable from the whole of the universe. Imagine the Universe. Is our meaning derived from it. At once peaceful and unbelievably violent. There is one point around which all other things rotate. there is a center to the universe, just as the sun is at the center of our solar system and a black hole at the center of our galaxy. what force is so great as to control billions upon billions of galaxies. Whatever power that is, it surely is the Ultmate! view post


The Meaning of Life posted 26 January 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionThe Meaning of Life by Sokar, Auditor

There is something wrong with the end of your post..
Let's assume that indeed the sun is the centre of our solar system and that a black hole the centre of our galaxy (and I assume simply because I don't know enough on this subject)..but why assume that there is a force to 'control' these galaxies..? If we accept that control is an invention of us..which I do..then this assumption is simply wrong..there can be no force controlling the galaxies...

But the first reason I wanted to post here is on your first sentence..the origin of reason..the origin of thought...
I have thought on this for too long..starting with the first book of Scott Bakker..&quot;what are the origins of thought?&quot; For if we are to find an answer to meaning of life..then we have to find why our thoughts are questioning the meaning of life in the first place... To which I cannot find any truly satisfying answer..anyone else...? view post


The Meaning of Life posted 26 January 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionThe Meaning of Life by Harrol, Moderator

No Sokar I too look for the answer to that. All I can think of is we do have an awarness that goes beyond reason and physical sense. view post


The Meaning of Life posted 26 January 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionThe Meaning of Life by TheDarkness, Peralogue

Well there are two forces that control everything in the world. Gravity, who's laws govern bodies of mass like our bodies, the planets, and stars. Newton made these laws famous and thought that these laws would be able to explain the movement of the stars, planetary orbit and so on. The other force was made famous by Einstein, quantum physics. He found that things like atoms and quarks do not follow the laws of gravity, and thus began the search for a unified theory. A threory to unify the controlling forces of the universe, one such theory is the String Theory.

As to the origin of thought and the meaing of life, or to the existence of an eternal soul, i would like to hear some more speculation and time to rest before my next post, hard to get clear grasp of thoughts view post


The Meaning of Life posted 26 January 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionThe Meaning of Life by Harrol, Moderator

Well because this is a philosophy thread I feel that adding my thought on this to be appropriate. We have a soul and a spirit that makes us forever ask and question and ponder why we are here. I guess one could say no but rather it is our brains that are more developed than an animal's that makes us question. That though is just as valid as my point but yet I choose to disagree and say it is our soul that questions and our brain that seeks. view post


The Meaning of Life posted 26 January 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionThe Meaning of Life by Buckethead, Peralogue

My two cents...

i don't like the way the thread started (or was continued in some ways) in terms of being told that speculative theories are how things are....
i feel that anything beyond speculation (re: how the dinosaurs were destroyed or the simplistic meaning of life) seems a little ignorant/arrogant coming from the human race (no offense meant to the darkness or his/her post... i understand it was not coming from a negitive or opressive place and i did find the point of view interesting).

another point i disagreed with is the theory that animals are not capable of questioning their existance or higher thought. if i remember my psych correctly it is still theorised that the corpus callosum is what attributes higher thought and that it is much more developed within the human brain than it is in other mammals. So does this count out the possibility that an animal may have a less developed or less concrete ability to question one's own existance or to form thoughts on a higher level rather than an inability? even considering what we do know about the brain i still don't think we know enough to state how or what an animal thinks beyond it's behavioural thought process.

Also who's to say the center of the universe isn't in orbit around some other vast form of matter? we don't have the tools to see or percieve things from certain positions (re:size or distance... just like the physical strings concerned with string theory). besides what kind of power would that which is controlling have if that which is being controlled did not exist? everything has it's &quot;gravity&quot; or &quot;weight&quot; in relation to everything else.

perhaps i am a little over obsessed with what we don't know, but it seems that historically the failings of so many scholars before us were because of their inability to admit that they didn't know something. i think we're a lot better off gaining understanding by filling holes with admitted conjecture instead of unfounded and assumed facts. view post


The Meaning of Life posted 27 January 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionThe Meaning of Life by Randal, Auditor

Whilst I agree with you in principle, I do think current astronomical observation indicates that the galaxies are drifting apart from eachother, not orbiting around something. view post


The Meaning of Life posted 27 January 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionThe Meaning of Life by TheDarkness, Peralogue

Well I guess i should leave all that stuff for the Astronomical forum, and i need to correct my self, the two controlling forces in the world are gravity and electromagnetism. Anyways, the purpose of my first post was to provoke, but it was not based on speculation. I agree, lower animals may be possible of higher thought but we have been given the unique ability to record those thoughts or actions and pass those advances on so that the next generation can start where the last left off. That is what i meant in my first post about knowing the past or the future.

Now tell me this, we are placed here in the world, we observe the world but we have ideas that go completely beyond the realm of the worldly. Are our souls somehow connected to the &quot;Outside&quot; or do we get these ideas by simple brain functions, ie. the unicorn, we use composition to think of a horse, somthing in this world, wings, something in this world and a horn. But what about the concept of eternity? There are no examples here on earth, but we could simply play opposites and conceive a place without time. or are we divinely inspired? view post


The Meaning of Life posted 27 January 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionThe Meaning of Life by Myshkin, Commoner

*** The only thing that separates us from most animals is consciousness and self-awareness***

I would take this one step further and say that what truly seperates us is deductive reasoning. After all many lower animals have been proven to be self aware. Is is are ability to deduce one thing from knowing another that elavates us beyond the beast.

That being said I will now slightly condradict myself by using an example of deductive reasoning to posite my theory on the origin of thought. Recently a gorilla was observed using as stick to measure the water depth of a steam it meant to cross. By seeing how much of the stick was wet the gorilla was able to deduce the depth of the stream. I believe that this is the first recorded example of an animal other than human using deductive reasoning. Which leads me to my point: I believe the origin of conscious thought is purly utilitarian, a means to an end, so to speak.

P.S. If the universe is infinite does not that mean that any and all points are at its center? Hence I am the Center of the Universe!! view post


The Meaning of Life posted 28 January 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionThe Meaning of Life by Buckethead, Peralogue

to clarify... i was trying (horribly unsuccessfully) to use the term &quot;in orbit&quot; simply to explain the gravitational pull that two or more pieces of matter have on each other.... i obviously was not very clear. who says that the expanding universe is not at the same time being affected by something else? who knows what sort of reaction the universe is having to whatever else (or lack of anything else) that is out there. we can only compare things to other things we can percieve.

&quot;the universe is shaped exactly like the earth, if you go straight along enough you'll end up where you were&quot;.
Isaac Brock

also...
Astronomy is a part of philosophy, that is the beauty of philosophy (similar to art). All subject matter is fair game.

&quot;...though he consorts with man, woman, and child, though he lays with beasts and makes a mockery of his seed, never shall he be as licentious as the philosopher, who lays with all things imaginable.&quot;
R. Scott Bakker (TDTCB) view post


The Meaning of Life posted 28 January 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionThe Meaning of Life by Myshkin, Commoner

The universe, I believe, is beyond the comprehension of the human mind. We may pick at it and discover minor truths, crow at each other that we know this and that, and theorize ad infinitum, but the vastness of infinity will be forever beyond our reach for we as a species have never truly known it. As you say we can only compare things to what we can percieve, therefor, in my opinion, our views on the universe are much like our views on God (Allah, Budda, Vishnu, Tara), in that niether can ever be truly comprehended. view post


The Meaning of Life posted 28 January 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionThe Meaning of Life by Randal, Auditor

Bah. Pessimism.

Who'd have thought a thousand years ago we'd ever understand the workings of the climate, of diseases, of the sun?

We've only been working on this science stuff for a comparatively very short time. We only have a very limited quantity of data on the universe.

I say we're going to discover one hell of a lot more. Not everything, perhaps. But if humanity doesn't exterminate itself in the next couple of centuries, we'll get a decent way ahead.

And as for concepts like &quot;infinity&quot; arising in the human mind, I don't see how or why that would require anything &quot;external.&quot; It's simple extrapolation. Things end. I don't want them to end. What would it be like if they didn't end? Bingo, infinity.

Whether the concept has any actual meaning, or whether or mind can truly grasp it if it does, remains a different question, of course. But I can conceive of all kinds of things, even illogical or impossible things. Nothing divine about it, just human reasoning and deduction turned the other way. view post


The Meaning of Life posted 28 January 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionThe Meaning of Life by Sokar, Auditor

I didn't see pessimism in that post..though I am with you on infinity... I remember this quote from Einstein on infinity of the universe and that of ignorance of man; him not being sure of the former...

In any case, to answer your first question: the Greeks did! and so many others until we the Church took power. view post


The Meaning of Life posted 28 January 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionThe Meaning of Life by Myshkin, Commoner

We can see the raveges of disease in their full form, and from there build an understanding. We can observe the full cause and effect of climate, and from there deduce knowledge. We can see the entirety of the sun and know where it ends, and from there learn truths. We can never know infinity in its entirety. These are just my observations, I could be wrong.

Now I will be truly pessimistic: humanity will exterminate itself long before we discover one 1/billionth of the mysteries of the universe. Blagh! that tasted bad goming out of my mouth. But I still hold it to be true. view post


The Meaning of Life posted 26 March 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionThe Meaning of Life by Jamara, Auditor

Quote: &quot;TheDarkness&quot;:w2578uz6
We have created civilization, but in turn we have ruined our rule.[/quote:w2578uz6]

Just a point of clarity in an otherwise awesome thread. &quot;We&quot; does not refer to all of humanity, only those taken in by &quot;Civilization&quot;. Which is the vast majority <!-- s:( --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_sad.gif" alt=":(" title="Sad" /><!-- s:( --> And I believe it is Civilization's existence which will ruin the world. The fact that it tried to &quot;rule&quot; the world.

Fans of Daniel Quinn give a whoop whoop!

P.S. Entropic_existence, kudos on your signature! view post


The Meaning of Life posted 29 March 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionThe Meaning of Life by Trutu Angotma, Peralogue

i beleive civilization will eventually destroy the world not because it tried to rule it but because it tried to better it in way unsutable to anyone other than those making it better. as the saying &quot;better for whom?&quot; the world we create can never be more than a paradise for some and a hell for the majority, mainly because we create it. beauty is is in the eye of the beholder, and the way our structured life evolves proves this. our society today is based on human progression, yet fails miserably. we try to better the world seeing this imoerfection, but in making our situation better in response someone elses problems worsen. view post


The Meaning of Life posted 30 March 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionThe Meaning of Life by Buckethead, Peralogue

how will this destroy the world and not just make it uninhabitable by humans? view post


The Meaning of Life posted 30 March 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionThe Meaning of Life by Jamara, Auditor

Buckethead, I wasn't going to nit-pick that point, but thank you. Many, many people say &quot;will destroy the world&quot; when what they really mean is &quot;destroy humanity&quot;. I think this might even be considered a meme: the idea that man (or at least civilization) is the world. It is so ingrained within civilization that many don't even understand the depth of what they are saying. view post


The Meaning of Life posted 30 March 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionThe Meaning of Life by Trutu Angotma, Peralogue

no i was quite literal. the world suffers because man betters his habitata and does not imrove the standing of the world around him. humanity will not just fail. we or on such a path of advancement and betterment that when humanity falls, so much else will be taken with it. view post


The Meaning of Life posted 30 March 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionThe Meaning of Life by Randal, Auditor

Much else, sure.

But the world? We couldn't destroy it if we tried. Something would survive. The world is a pretty big place, and life is pretty tough. view post


The Meaning of Life posted 30 March 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionThe Meaning of Life by Trutu Angotma, Peralogue

survival would be definate. but recovery? view post


The Meaning of Life posted 30 March 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionThe Meaning of Life by TheDarkness, Peralogue

I think that the rate at which out technology is advancing outstretches our desire and our ability to destroy our chances for survival. Sure we messed up alot getting to where we are now, but hey, the only way to progress is to learn from your mistakes.

Our technology is advancing at such a fast rate its mind boggling, but the problem is this--the next great advancement...wait for it...wait...the...iPhone!!!!!

c'mon we need to focus our extreme talents on more important things, like deep sea and space exploration. The thing holding us back? our own government. Think if companies were aloud to spend money on space exploration, what if google had paid 1.6 billion for science instead of YouTube!!

The gov is controlling our ability to spread out of the planet,

and they simply do not have enough funding. It obvious the only way to really speed up a process is competition...Capitalism. Think if the largest companies in the world were competeing for Ad Space, and when i say space, i mean SPACE. Ya, we got to mars. woooooohooooooo!! we would have been there 30 years ago if NASA had a larger budget that several billion a year!

I mean some of the largest buyouts in history are taking place for amounts upwards of $500 billion, and who is spending all this money???? the richest companies in the world, who therefore own entire networks of Nations, who affect international policy and keep everyone distracted by petty wars!!! The oil and gas comanies! But who can blame them? they are after all just trying to make a buck like the rest of us. Hmm what Irony! but they are the ones who could really make a diference, yes they are just filling a need, and in turn it is all of us who are responsible for the situation we are in.

The Gov will keep control of Space, The Rich will keep control of the Gov, and as long as the Rich are happy(which they always will be) nothing will change, space will remain regulated and competition will remain stinted. sigh view post


The Meaning of Life posted 30 March 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionThe Meaning of Life by Randal, Auditor

Slight problem with that line of reasoning.

For companies to invest in space travel, it has to be profitable. And it has to be profitable NOW, not in 50 years.

There's some tentative attempts with shooting people's ashes into space, plans for a moon hotel... but all in all, there is no sound commercial reason to go to space. view post


The Meaning of Life posted 30 March 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionThe Meaning of Life by TheDarkness, Peralogue

True

By investing in space i dont necessarily mean space travel. Although of course in the future i think that could be a viable money making venture. But for sure the secrets of the universe could offer several money making possibilities. Now what makes the world turn currently is product advertisements. space offers by far the largest billboard possible. and with unlimited resources, there are unlimited posibilites for yes a moon motel and a constant shuttle to and from. quite sci fi i admit but def not out of the range of the possible view post


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