ExperimentalPhysicist

True Meaning of Life

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The true meaning of life is..... to know that there is no meaning , now here me out , you see people always try to make meanings to life like always be happy or keep on liven so you can go to heaven but no the true meaning of life is to just do what you want to do when you want to do it see if you follow the religious meaning of life, the religion can constrict you of doing something that you want to try or do even the 'always be happy' moto some people... just arn't happy and they can express and live they're life like they want to not to always be happy or always sad.

I know this sounds depressing but its the truth and if you think about it you will truly be alive...

I you wish to share any thoughts with me, please do

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The meaning of life is what you choose to give it, yes, you can do whatever you want so if one wants to find ones meaning in religion, then by your own words, one is free to do so. 

There is no universal meaning of life but there are consequences of assuming that means you're free to explore whatever hedonistic direction you desire.

Edited by dimreepr

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I recently watched a debate with Richard Dawkins where he said that asking Why things exist is not a meaningful question if what we mean is their purpose.

If anyone can set me right on this I would greatly appreciate it.

My interest in this question is, in a manner, existential. As I understand it, asking, "What is the meaning or purpose of this?" need not be to seek a conscious intelligence (a god) which imbues things with a reason. As far as I can see, purpose is a human construct, related to intention. I suppose my next question is, "Why do I, as a human, intend things?" It seems that I am speaking about the conscious perception of chosen intention (in terms of agency) — I am not sure if it is relevant to ask if, for example, a dog has the same kind of agency when it chooses to eat.

I then begin to wonder, to what extent do I make choices? If I chose to write the letter x: x (so), to what extent is that action and intention active in me? Just before I wrote the sentence which led to x, the idea sprung into my mind, but from where did it spring, because before I was aware of the intention, I had no such intention.

What I am trying to get at is that, when we say that purpose (in this sense of intending things by our actions) is a human construct, it seems that we are saying that purpose is something that humans give to things. As dimreepr said:

On 2017-11-07 at 2:46 PM, dimreepr said:

The meaning of life is what you choose to give it

but what I was trying to indicate above (in my discussion about writing x) is that it does not seem clear to what extent our intentions are consciously chosen.

To re-iterate with another example: Let's say I thought, I will get up from my chair right now and jump once. Then I think, I will not spontaneously above this thought, because I have agency. What I am still left wondering is, from where does that re-thinking of my agency arise, because the consciousness of the notion in me was not present before its arising from a pre-conscious place.

If I am to any degree on to something, what I then wonder is whether the whole question of meaning and purpose cannot be reformulated. If intention does not arise from a point of consciousness in me, then it arises from some natural functioning of my brain, which in turn arose from a long natural process which pre-dates the human species. We could do one of two things: reorient the question about purpose to simply ask what is going on (both externally to and intentially within the human) or else remove the category of purpose from human action except as something like a convenient metaphor or an illusion.

Any thoughts on this? Am I misguided in some way which isn't readily apparent to me?

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I just came across an article in Scientific American on the meaning of life. Interestingly, it came to exactly the opposite conclusion that a recently banned member claimed:

Quote

So our most basic purpose in life is to combat entropy by doing something “extropic”—expending energy to survive and flourish. Being kind and helping others has been one successful strategy, and punishing Paleolithic Stalins was another, and from these actions, we evolved morality.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/our-actions-dont-matter-in-a-cosmic-sense-but-that-doesnt-mean-they-dont-matter/

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Posted (edited)

You seem to be conflating the meaning of life and free will, they are two different questions. Our apparent free will is informed in many ways that are beyond our control, culture and genetic makeup for instance. whereas it's perfectly possible to give one's life meaning despite free will.

7 minutes ago, Strange said:

I just came across an article in Scientific American on the meaning of life. Interestingly, it came to exactly the opposite conclusion that a recently banned member claimed:

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/our-actions-dont-matter-in-a-cosmic-sense-but-that-doesnt-mean-they-dont-matter/

 

That occurred to me, I guess we'll find out with the subsequent replies.

Edited by dimreepr

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7 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

That occurred to me, I guess we'll find out with the subsequent replies.

I have no idea what you mean... :blink:

It is a good article, though!

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28 minutes ago, Pembroke said:

We could do one of two things: reorient the question about purpose to simply ask what is going on (both externally to and intentially within the human) or else remove the category of purpose from human action except as something like a convenient metaphor or an illusion.

We create meaning because the human brain is an organ that constructs meaning: presumably it benefits us as a species. It's just another thing the universe does when the conditions are right for it: another swirl in a mote of dust , no more or less real than the formation of spiral arms in galaxies. We could attempt to deconstruct it and ask what is going on, but i think it would be a mistake to treat it as an illusion. At some point though you just got to try to enjoy the ride.

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36 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

You seem to be conflating the meaning of life and free will, they are two different questions. Our apparent free will is informed in many ways that are beyond our control, culture and genetic makeup for instance. whereas it's perfectly possible to give one's life meaning despite free will.

Hey, I'm just wondering, was this part to me? Because I don't think I'm conflating the meaning of life with free will, I just think that free will is relevant when considering the meaning of life. You said:

36 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

it's perfectly possible to give one's life meaning despite free will.

But what I was trying to get at is, if we don't possess free will (which I tried to keep open as a question), then to what degree are we truly giving life a meaning. What I mean by the latter is, if we don't have free will, in what sense is the thing giving truly us and not rather some natural process which is something like our precondition?

25 minutes ago, Prometheus said:

We create meaning because the human brain is an organ that constructs meaning: presumably it benefits us as a species. It's just another thing the universe does when the conditions are right for it: another swirl in a mote of dust , no more or less real than the formation of spiral arms in galaxies. We could attempt to deconstruct it and ask what is going on, but i think it would be a mistake to treat it as an illusion. At some point though you just got to try to enjoy the ride.

I'm not sure that I understand your response, sorry. I wasn't implying that we do something like deconstruct meaning when I said we could ask what is going on. What I meant by asking what is going on (which I admit is itself a vague sort of phrasing) is that we study the natural world history as a natural process rather than a consciously intentioned process (meaning that historical actors and even institutions aren't necessarily comprehended by the agents who put them into practice).

Regarding treating the construction of meaning as an illusion, I am wondering if you have any responses specifically to what I said about it? It just seemed to me that if what I was saying is true, then conscious agency is an illusion.

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5 minutes ago, Pembroke said:

then conscious agency is an illusion.

It may be. And free will could be an illusion as well. 

Does it matter? Does it make any difference? To life, to the way you would live it, to the "meaning" of life?

Taken to an extreme you end up with solipsism. Which still doesn't make any difference. 

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Strange said:

It may be. And free will could be an illusion as well. 

Does it matter? Does it make any difference? To life, to the way you would live it, to the "meaning" of life?

Taken to an extreme you end up with solipsism. Which still doesn't make any difference. 

Well, I suppose if one were certain about the thing, it might be a difference how we conceptualize certain questions about what people are doing and about the universe in general. It would have a bearing on the answer of, to what degree are my thoughts and my actions (and other people's) related to the natural world?

I don't really believe in a "meaning of life" in a transcendant sense. What I generally think of meaning in terms of relations and context. I think that free will being an illusion (and the will having a sort of pre-conscious/natural basis) would affect how I look at history for example, and maybe what is possible, or how humans work (questions concerning psychology I guess).

When I think philosophically I am asking things more like "what is?".

Sorry if this doesn't answer what you're looking for. You can rephrase it if you're thinking of something else.

Edited by Pembroke

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2 minutes ago, Pembroke said:

Well, I suppose if one were certain about the thing

Except, almost by definition, you can't know. Solipsism and free will / illusion of conscious agency / predeterminism are unprovable and unfalsifiable, almost by definition. How could you ever know if you had a choice to have tea or coffee or if it was determined in advance.

So if you were certain about it, it would just be a belief not evidenced. 

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3 minutes ago, Strange said:

Except, almost by definition, you can't know. Solipsism and free will / illusion of conscious agency / predeterminism are unprovable and unfalsifiable, almost by definition. How could you ever know if you had a choice to have tea or coffee or if it was determined in advance.

So if you were certain about it, it would just be a belief not evidenced. 

Okay, I would like to know more about why you think that so I can get a better understanding. Do you have any comments about the examples I gave in my original post in this thread? I'm also wondering if you think it that evidence could possibly found through studies in psychology?

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Posted (edited)
37 minutes ago, Pembroke said:

But what I was trying to get at is, if we don't possess free will (which I tried to keep open as a question), then to what degree are we truly giving life a meaning. What I mean by the latter is, if we don't have free will, in what sense is the thing giving truly us and not rather some natural process which is something like our precondition?

Are we born with religious intent?

Edited by dimreepr

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

Are we born with religious intent?

Can you please expand on that question? I'm not sure what you're asking. I'm also not sure how religion came into the discussion.

Edited by Pembroke

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1 minute ago, Pembroke said:

Can you please expand on that question? I'm not sure what you mean. I'm also not sure how religion came into the discussion.

It's an example of meaning without free will.

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20 minutes ago, Pembroke said:

Do you have any comments about the examples I gave in my original post in this thread?

No. :)

20 minutes ago, Pembroke said:

I'm also wondering if you think it that evidence could possibly found through studies in psychology?

Evidence of what? Where consciousness arises from? I would have thought neurology (combined with psychology, perhaps) might be more fruitful, but I really don't know.

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1 hour ago, Pembroke said:

I recently watched a debate with Richard Dawkins where he said that asking Why things exist is not a meaningful question if what we mean is their purpose.

[/snip]

 

Why <insert anything>? is problematic.

 

 

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1 hour ago, dimreepr said:

Are we born with religious intent?

One recognize Itself.

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1 minute ago, Lasse said:

One recognize Itself.

Why?

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Posted (edited)

Because s/he is there, information(reality) has impact on her/him and s/he is reacting to information. If Mum is not there=> crying.

The child can recognize. They act and react when they born. Simple recognition of information since the beginning.

Basic consciousness.

Starting experience.

Edited by Lasse

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5 minutes ago, Lasse said:

Because s/he is there, information impact s/he and s/he reacts to information. If Mum is not there=> crying.

The child can recognize. They act and react when they born. Simple recognition of information since the beginning.

Basic consciousness.

Starting experience.

What does that have to do with religion?

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Probably too unscientific for this forum, but I long pondered the meaning of life and decided, at least for me, "What is the meaning of life?" was the wrong question.  I don't like being alone.  The question for me was "Who is the meaning of life."  Wife, family, friends

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4 hours ago, OldChemE said:

Probably too unscientific for this forum, but I long pondered the meaning of life and decided, at least for me, "What is the meaning of life?" was the wrong question.  I don't like being alone.  The question for me was "Who is the meaning of life."  Wife, family, friends

What I found is that life is a possibility to learn, to experience, to feel, to sense, to develop, to do.

I think it is about the right balance between family, friends, work, and hobby. I have a life as everyone else and I am the first in my life because I recognized if I am not happy the others around me are not happy.

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Posted (edited)
On 4/20/2018 at 1:06 AM, OldChemE said:

Probably too unscientific for this forum, but I long pondered the meaning of life and decided, at least for me, "What is the meaning of life?" was the wrong question. The question for me was "Who is the meaning of life."  Wife, family, friends The question for me was "Who is the meaning of life."  Wife, family, friends

 
 
 

Same question, what for some, who for others.

On 4/20/2018 at 1:06 AM, OldChemE said:

I don't like being alone. 

 

I don't like being poor, yet here I am a pauper with a purpose, despite not because; if you pin your future on a someone/thing you run the risk of losing it/them (your meaning to live). That doesn't mean you shouldn't enjoy what you have, it means enjoy what you can.

Edited by dimreepr

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Posted (edited)

I figure life is an  ability to respond. 

So the 'meaning'  of life to me,  is to respond, or take that response -ability.

Not" Why am I here?  What is my purpose?"

But "I am here. How do I respond?"  

How I/we respond to conditions decides any 'meaning' to them.

 

Edited by naitche

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