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Philosophy can be generalized with accord to three very powerful and expansive questions:

 

1. What is the Meaning of Life?

2. Does God Exist (and How)?


3. What is the Nature of Reality?

 

So with regard to this topic, let's begin with the first.  I want to know what this forum's Users think about these questions.

Once the first question is sufficiently resolved, if it ever could be, then you are welcome to move onto the next over the course of discussion or debate.

What is the Meaning of Life then?

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2 hours ago, Wizard22 said:

1. What is the Meaning of Life?

2. Does God Exist (and How)?


3. What is the Nature of Reality?

  1. To strive for fulfillment in togetherness with all other living beings.
  2. No.
  3. We will never know.

Last time I looked Philosophy 1 was still alive and kicking. 

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10 minutes ago, Eise said:
  1. To strive for fulfillment in togetherness with all other living beings.
  2. No.
  3. We will never know.

Last time I looked Philosophy 1 was still alive and kicking. 

How about meaning found through competition and separation?

Are there not many aspects of others' lives that you wish to separate from and not take part of?

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5 hours ago, Wizard22 said:

. What is the Meaning of Life?

The question is based on an unfounded assumption. The answer, therefore, is another question:

Does life have "a meaning" in the general sense? Even more broadly, in what sense and what context can such a large and complex phenomenon as all of life have any meaning at all, let alone one single identifiable Meaning?

The question could be answered meaningfully if it specified something humans can actually think about in their own terms, such as:

How does an individual human being find purpose for his life? Have you, personally, found one? Through introspection or subscription?

5 hours ago, Wizard22 said:

2. Does God Exist (and How)?

Again, based on several poorly founded assumptions. What's "God"?

Shrink it down to:

Do you subscribe to any supernatural belief system? Is it inhabited by a god or gods? What is their function in your life? What do you think their function is in the universe?

5 hours ago, Wizard22 said:

What is the Nature of Reality?

That question is just plain self-annihilating. It assumes an undefined concept herein named 'Reality', which may be construed as another name for Nature. Physics might, in that instance, be the exploration of the realities of Nature. But the word 'nature' also signifies the complex of traits which together comprise the character which defines an entity. Philosophers may set themselves the task of exploring the characteristics of all that can be known, including Nature, but they can only go about the same way Physicists do: one smaller question at a time.

5 hours ago, Wizard22 said:

I want to know what this forum's Users think about these questions.

Now you know one more.

6 hours ago, Wizard22 said:

Once the first question is sufficiently resolved, if it ever could be, then you are welcome to move onto the next over the course of discussion or debate.

What is the Meaning of Life then?

Were you planning to conduct a seminar?

Edited by Peterkin
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32 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

Were you planning to conduct a seminar?

..you think too much.. and too much "good-path".. idealizing.. etc.

...If he was seminar, the question would be "how much for a wedding? how much for a funeral? and how much for a baptism?"..

..or more hardcare version: "how much for the forgiveness of sins?".. ;)

(not without a reason we had split  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protestantism )

 

Edited by Sensei
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7 hours ago, Peterkin said:

It's a failing Alzheimer's will no doubt correct.

..funeral will fix it even better..

 

ps. Unless I resurrect you.. ;)

 

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I have transgressed many commandments of which I was aware and some of which I was unaware, but I have never before been threatened with resurrection.

At last, my life has Meaning!

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4 hours ago, Wizard22 said:

Does that not beg-the-question?

Also, what answers have you found, if any?

4 hours ago, Wizard22 said:

How about meaning found through competition and separation?

Are there not many aspects of others' lives that you wish to separate from and not take part of?

!

Moderator Note

You were asked to keep your questions separate to facilitate discussion, and you ignored that and included all three, so you're getting replies to all of them in the same thread. You claimed to want to know the member's thoughts on the questions, but so far you're just criticizing general replies. And finally you're requiring a judgement of "sufficiently resolved" before moving on to the next question. Who is the arbiter of that benchmark? 

All of these questions have been debated, one at a time, for centuries with no resolution. Good luck with this crosstalk approach, just keep it civil and meaningful and we'll see where it leads.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Peterkin said:

I have transgressed many commandments of which I was aware and some of which I was unaware, but I have never before been threatened with resurrection.

..will we see you in the next season of "Westworld"? ;)

 

Edited by Sensei
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The meaning of life?  

 

That's the easy one.  Mebbe Mother Nature just got tired of watching boulders turn into sand while an entire species could have  come and gone so She invented consciousness.   

 

😎

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On 7/10/2022 at 8:12 AM, Wizard22 said:

Philosophy can be generalized with accord to three very powerful and expansive questions:

 

1. What is the Meaning of Life?

2. Does God Exist (and How)?


3. What is the Nature of Reality?

 

So with regard to this topic, let's begin with the first.  I want to know what this forum's Users think about these questions.

Once the first question is sufficiently resolved, if it ever could be, then you are welcome to move onto the next over the course of discussion or debate.

What is the Meaning of Life then?

It's actually the same question, philosophically speaking, what is the purpose of me?

The answer to which is, learn from your teachers and then decide for yourself.

Edited by dimreepr
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Very self-centered questions.
We are not the only life on this planet.
The only difference between humans and other life, is that we are more self-aware, and call this effect conciousness ( or a soul, if religious ). This ties in to the second question, as we think we are 'special'; it is simply hubris, we are not special.

Otherwise, the purpose of life is to reproduce and die.

The only objective reality we have, is what science can measure; everything else is subjective.

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On 7/10/2022 at 6:02 AM, Peterkin said:

The question is based on an unfounded assumption. The answer, therefore, is another question:

Does life have "a meaning" in the general sense? Even more broadly, in what sense and what context can such a large and complex phenomenon as all of life have any meaning at all, let alone one single identifiable Meaning?

The question could be answered meaningfully if it specified something humans can actually think about in their own terms, such as:

How does an individual human being find purpose for his life? Have you, personally, found one? Through introspection or subscription?

Again, based on several poorly founded assumptions. What's "God"?

Shrink it down to:

Do you subscribe to any supernatural belief system? Is it inhabited by a god or gods? What is their function in your life? What do you think their function is in the universe?

That question is just plain self-annihilating. It assumes an undefined concept herein named 'Reality', which may be construed as another name for Nature. Physics might, in that instance, be the exploration of the realities of Nature. But the word 'nature' also signifies the complex of traits which together comprise the character which defines an entity. Philosophers may set themselves the task of exploring the characteristics of all that can be known, including Nature, but they can only go about the same way Physicists do: one smaller question at a time.

Now you know one more.

Were you planning to conduct a seminar?

To presume that Life is meaningless, is Nihilism.  I personally do not recognize Nihilism, because all life is meaningful.  The difference there is between Life and Non-life.  It makes more sense to say that Non-life "has not meaning" because it is not Self-animated, does not Reproduce, does not Evolve, does not Apprehend existence, etc.  So, in the context between Life and Non-life, Life appears infinitely more meaningful than physical and material things, which have no Autonomy and no significant Existence until Apprehended by intelligence.  Thus, perhaps it is in intelligence that "Meaning" is seeded and centered.  Furthermore, to apply Nihilism and Meaninglessness to life, is essentially the same as ascribing life as Non-Living, or Undead, or "not truly living".

"The Unexamined Life is not worth living", perhaps it is not even Alive?

As to my Purpose or Meaning in Life, I'm not quite certain what it is exactly, but I do feel that my thoughts/life/actions are meaningful as-is pretty much all other lifeforms.  Most animals and organisms do not know their own purpose, similarly, but do they not feel attached to Life, or that their thoughts/life/actions are meaningful?  I think people can only deceive themselves into believing that their actions are not important/meaningful/purposeful, in order to Justify, again to themselves, some underlying gratification to which that self-deception is aimed.

 

As to God(s), I believe Deism is Ancestor-worship.  It also can be interpreted as "Higher Power", or intelligence vastly beyond one owns.  In these contexts of God, yes I do believe worship of Ancestors is critical, to understand Morality, where we come from, and what we ought to do, concerning the infinite challenges of life and existence.  In the second vein, I also believe in intellectual powers vastly beyond Humanity.  I believe there are Alien civilizations which observe Humanity as miniscule and lowly.

 

To contrast your terms of Reality, I believe that what people judge and deem as "Real" versus "Unreal" is highly subjective and opinionated.  In this regard, "Reality" is very much a vast competition of validation as to what is "Real" to me, but not to you, and vice-versa.  People try to gain Authority and Expertise over "Reality".  Science very much facilitates this function too.  People want to demonstrate mastery over "Reality", not only over Science.

 

Not a Seminar, I merely enjoy Philosophy as a "hobby", you could say.

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1 hour ago, Wizard22 said:

To presume that Life is meaningless, is Nihilism.  I personally do not recognize Nihilism, because all life is meaningful.  The difference there is between Life and Non-life.  It makes more sense to say that Non-life "has not meaning" because it is not Self-animated, does not Reproduce, does not Evolve, does not Apprehend existence, etc.  So, in the context between Life and Non-life, Life appears infinitely more meaningful than physical and material things, which have no Autonomy and no significant Existence until Apprehended by intelligence.  Thus, perhaps it is in intelligence that "Meaning" is seeded and centered.  Furthermore, to apply Nihilism and Meaninglessness to life, is essentially the same as ascribing life as Non-Living, or Undead, or "not truly living".

"The Unexamined Life is not worth living", perhaps it is not even Alive?

As to my Purpose or Meaning in Life, I'm not quite certain what it is exactly, but I do feel that my thoughts/life/actions are meaningful as-is pretty much all other lifeforms.  Most animals and organisms do not know their own purpose, similarly, but do they not feel attached to Life, or that their thoughts/life/actions are meaningful?  I think people can only deceive themselves into believing that their actions are not important/meaningful/purposeful, in order to Justify, again to themselves, some underlying gratification to which that self-deception is aimed.

 

As to God(s), I believe Deism is Ancestor-worship.  It also can be interpreted as "Higher Power", or intelligence vastly beyond one owns.  In these contexts of God, yes I do believe worship of Ancestors is critical, to understand Morality, where we come from, and what we ought to do, concerning the infinite challenges of life and existence.  In the second vein, I also believe in intellectual powers vastly beyond Humanity.  I believe there are Alien civilizations which observe Humanity as miniscule and lowly.

 

To contrast your terms of Reality, I believe that what people judge and deem as "Real" versus "Unreal" is highly subjective and opinionated.  In this regard, "Reality" is very much a vast competition of validation as to what is "Real" to me, but not to you, and vice-versa.  People try to gain Authority and Expertise over "Reality".  Science very much facilitates this function too.  People want to demonstrate mastery over "Reality", not only over Science.

 

Not a Seminar, I merely enjoy Philosophy as a "hobby", you could say.

Then you need to ask better question's and think about what you, "really", want to say.

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3 hours ago, Wizard22 said:

To presume that Life is meaningless, is Nihilism. I personally do not recognize Nihilism, because all life is meaningful.

To presume neither but work from observable phenomena is reason. To hold an unfounded belief is faith. 

You're entitled to your method, as I am to mine.

3 hours ago, Wizard22 said:

The difference there is between Life and Non-life. 

The difference between life and non-life is metabolism, not opinion.

3 hours ago, Wizard22 said:

between Life and Non-life, Life appears infinitely more meaningful than physical and material things

To you. But the next reasonable question might be: "How does life, or even Life, sustain itself? Would it continue to exist in the absence of material things?

3 hours ago, Wizard22 said:

which have no Autonomy and no significant Existence until Apprehended by intelligence.

Evidence?

3 hours ago, Wizard22 said:

To contrast your terms of Reality,

What are they? I didn't set out any "term of reality"; I questioned you approach to the subject and mentioned others that might be taken.

If you begin and conclude with your personal belief, why bother talking about philosophy?

(I'll give you one subjective opinion: Capitalizing common Nouns and insignificant Verbs in order to Imbue the things they signify with some special importance, as if they were indisputable sacred Concepts is not merely ineffective and annoying, it is a Futile Attempt to assume Authority the writer does not,in Fact, have. )

Edited by Peterkin
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6 hours ago, Wizard22 said:

To presume that Life is meaningless, is Nihilism.  I personally do not recognize Nihilism, because all life is meaningful. 

What do you mean, by meaningful? You are just making a bald claim, that doesn't really say anything, unless you explain what kind of meaning you are referring to, and how a mosquito or tape worm has that meaning, and to whom that meaning is relevant. 

A tape worm in a pig in Africa has no meaning for me. It just is. Very like the pig, the plants that the pig eats, and the dirt that they grow in.

What meaning, and who to ?

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15 hours ago, Peterkin said:

To presume neither but work from observable phenomena is reason. To hold an unfounded belief is faith. 

You're entitled to your method, as I am to mine.

The difference between life and non-life is metabolism, not opinion.

To you. But the next reasonable question might be: "How does life, or even Life, sustain itself? Would it continue to exist in the absence of material things?

Evidence?

What are they? I didn't set out any "term of reality"; I questioned you approach to the subject and mentioned others that might be taken.

If you begin and conclude with your personal belief, why bother talking about philosophy?

(I'll give you one subjective opinion: Capitalizing common Nouns and insignificant Verbs in order to Imbue the things they signify with some special importance, as if they were indisputable sacred Concepts is not merely ineffective and annoying, it is a Futile Attempt to assume Authority the writer does not,in Fact, have. )

Life does depend upon physical and material sustenance, yes, but the self-animation, evolution, and consciousness of evolved life all demonstrate something completely, categorically different than mere (lifeless) objects.  For one, Locomotion, animals can move themselves whereas Non-living objects cannot.  Life does depend on non-life, perhaps akin to the predator-prey parasitical relationship throughout Nature.  Higher lifeforms depend upon (consume) Lower lifeforms, just as Life depends upon Non-life.  As to the 'Evidence', where are the rocks moving of their own Autonomy, or the wind, or a river stream?  So what is Autonomy, other than a movement 'against' Nature and Natural forces?  Life has a unique type of Resistance.  You or I can choose which direction to travel and move.  A rock cannot.  A stream cannot choose to flow backward.  Gravity cannot change its own direction.

I agree with criticism against subjectivity and mere opinion.  If Life has Meaning/Purpose/Value, then it cannot revolve around mere opinion.  It must be Scientific as well, Empirical, Objective.  This applies to the existence of God, and leads to the third part of the OP, which is Reality.  Reality too, cannot revolve around mere consensus of a majority, of believes, versus a less popular minority.  Thus, mere beliefs have relatively little value when it comes to persuasion and convincing of these topics and discussions.  So I do not presume that my opinion, that you asked for, automatically goes far.  It does not, nor does anyone's.  Rather opinions must be met and drawn out through philosophical debate, discussion, and exposition.  The validity of points and premises must be proved in time.

So when it comes to Meaning/Value/Purpose in life... (I will continue this post as a response to mistermack)

12 hours ago, mistermack said:

What do you mean, by meaningful? You are just making a bald claim, that doesn't really say anything, unless you explain what kind of meaning you are referring to, and how a mosquito or tape worm has that meaning, and to whom that meaning is relevant. 

A tape worm in a pig in Africa has no meaning for me. It just is. Very like the pig, the plants that the pig eats, and the dirt that they grow in.

What meaning, and who to ?

This is really the crux of the matter of Meaning of Life.  It's not up to a matter of opinion or one individual.  It's not up to you or I.  Rather, the Meaning of Life is relative to all other life, throughout existence, for all time.  Thus, all Life has "something to say" about its meaning, its value, its purpose.  Even if it were true that a Nihilist can deny his own meaningless, lack of value, purposelessness, then his deficiency may not represent another.  It does not need to extend beyond himself.  And, is the Nihilist telling the truth?  Is it not a self-deception?  Very depressive people, for example, feel their lives have "No Meaning", but those who love them, family or friends, beg-to-differ.  They want to convince the depressive person, but, that person cannot or will not listen.

Is meaninglessness and purposelessness connected to Depression, directly connected to Emotion?

Here is another of my own opinions, take it for what it's worth, life has meaning even when people Doubt themselves or convince themselves when it does not.  Just because a person is blind to 'Meaning', value, purpose, etc. doesn't mean it just disappears objectively, and certainly not from the point-of-view of others.  Is Meaning simply a relative judgment and belief among a mass of people?  Does Life have meaning to a baser or lesser animal?  Does Life have meaning to a tape worm in a pig in Africa?  I think it does.  The survival instinct, how life is willing and struggles to survive, demonstrates Meaning to me.

 

Is that not 'Proof' of value, that Life values itself?  And is that not meaningful?

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5 hours ago, Wizard22 said:

As to the 'Evidence', where are the rocks moving of their own Autonomy, or the wind, or a river stream?

 No, questions about the unnatural motion of snails as compared to the natural motion of rivers and clouds are not evidence for the absurd claim:

On 7/14/2022 at 8:00 AM, Wizard22 said:

So, in the context between Life and Non-life, Life appears infinitely more meaningful than physical and material things, which have no Autonomy and no significant Existence until Apprehended by intelligence.

If this were so, intelligence would have had to precede existence, and your 'lower' life forms would not be there for the 'higher' life-forms to consume, nor would the lowest life form have anything non-living to consume, and the ancestors you worship wouldn't have had any ancestors of their own. So you'd have to come back to some kind of smart, immaterial creator, which would be silly. (IMO)

Quote

It must be Scientific as well, Empirical, Objective.....The validity of points and premises must be proved in time.

Sure. And You have quite eloquently failed to convince me that you have any idea what those grandiosely capitalized words mean, let alone what life means.

Edited by Peterkin
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4 hours ago, Wizard22 said:

Life does depend upon physical and material sustenance, yes, but the self-animation, evolution, and consciousness of evolved life all demonstrate something completely, categorically different than mere (lifeless) objects.  For one, Locomotion, animals can move themselves whereas Non-living objects cannot.  Life does depend on non-life, perhaps akin to the predator-prey parasitical relationship throughout Nature.  Higher lifeforms depend upon (consume) Lower lifeforms, just as Life depends upon Non-life.  As to the 'Evidence', where are the rocks moving of their own Autonomy, or the wind, or a river stream?  So what is Autonomy, other than a movement 'against' Nature and Natural forces?  Life has a unique type of Resistance.  You or I can choose which direction to travel and move.  A rock cannot.  A stream cannot choose to flow backward.  Gravity cannot change its own direction.

I agree with criticism against subjectivity and mere opinion.  If Life has Meaning/Purpose/Value, then it cannot revolve around mere opinion.  It must be Scientific as well, Empirical, Objective.  This applies to the existence of God, and leads to the third part of the OP, which is Reality.  Reality too, cannot revolve around mere consensus of a majority, of believes, versus a less popular minority.  Thus, mere beliefs have relatively little value when it comes to persuasion and convincing of these topics and discussions.  So I do not presume that my opinion, that you asked for, automatically goes far.  It does not, nor does anyone's.  Rather opinions must be met and drawn out through philosophical debate, discussion, and exposition.  The validity of points and premises must be proved in time.

So when it comes to Meaning/Value/Purpose in life... (I will continue this post as a response to mistermack)

This is really the crux of the matter of Meaning of Life.  It's not up to a matter of opinion or one individual.  It's not up to you or I.  Rather, the Meaning of Life is relative to all other life, throughout existence, for all time.  Thus, all Life has "something to say" about its meaning, its value, its purpose.  Even if it were true that a Nihilist can deny his own meaningless, lack of value, purposelessness, then his deficiency may not represent another.  It does not need to extend beyond himself.  And, is the Nihilist telling the truth?  Is it not a self-deception?  Very depressive people, for example, feel their lives have "No Meaning", but those who love them, family or friends, beg-to-differ.  They want to convince the depressive person, but, that person cannot or will not listen.

Is meaninglessness and purposelessness connected to Depression, directly connected to Emotion?

Here is another of my own opinions, take it for what it's worth, life has meaning even when people Doubt themselves or convince themselves when it does not.  Just because a person is blind to 'Meaning', value, purpose, etc. doesn't mean it just disappears objectively, and certainly not from the point-of-view of others.  Is Meaning simply a relative judgment and belief among a mass of people?  Does Life have meaning to a baser or lesser animal?  Does Life have meaning to a tape worm in a pig in Africa?  I think it does.  The survival instinct, how life is willing and struggles to survive, demonstrates Meaning to me.

 

Is that not 'Proof' of value, that Life values itself?  And is that not meaningful?

This word salad just demonstrates your confusion, you may as well argue that the universe has intent, and since this isn't in the religious section, we can dismiss God out of hand; unless we trace back any meaning to "me"...

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14 hours ago, Wizard22 said:

Is that not 'Proof' of value, that Life values itself?  And is that not meaningful?

You seem to spray the word meaning around, without any real definition. I believe that the word "meaning" and the concept of it, is basically the relationship between an event, and an observer. I write these words, and you derive a meaning. I observe a car crash, and I think that that means someone might be hurt. 

I hear a loud bang, and I wonder if it means someone fired a gun, or a car backfired. 

The meaning of human lives just means that we are not extinct, and are still sucessfully reproducing and surviving. 

It all means nothing to a being on a planet that is a thousand light years away. It all means nothing to a rock, because it has no way of evaluating any kind of meaning.  

So the "meaning" of your examples is limited to any being that observes them, and has a brain that can ponder them. 

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19 hours ago, Peterkin said:

 No, questions about the unnatural motion of snails as compared to the natural motion of rivers and clouds are not evidence for the absurd claim:

If this were so, intelligence would have had to precede existence, and your 'lower' life forms would not be there for the 'higher' life-forms to consume, nor would the lowest life form have anything non-living to consume, and the ancestors you worship wouldn't have had any ancestors of their own. So you'd have to come back to some kind of smart, immaterial creator, which would be silly. (IMO)

Sure. And You have quite eloquently failed to convince me that you have any idea what those grandiosely capitalized words mean, let alone what life means.

No, because the "Appearance" of meaning is different than inherent meaning.  Life can be meaningful, without being aware of it.

Furthermore, I don't expect anybody on a Philosophy forum to be convinced so quickly, when it comes to the fundamental Philosophical question as to Meaning of Life, let alone Existence of God, or the Nature of Reality, etc.

Wouldn't you say?

18 hours ago, dimreepr said:

This word salad just demonstrates your confusion, you may as well argue that the universe has intent, and since this isn't in the religious section, we can dismiss God out of hand; unless we trace back any meaning to "me"...

Life is a part of the Universe, within it, "representatives" of it, you could say.

Ergo, the Universe is Meaningful insofar as we refer to the Life within it.

8 hours ago, mistermack said:

You seem to spray the word meaning around, without any real definition. I believe that the word "meaning" and the concept of it, is basically the relationship between an event, and an observer. I write these words, and you derive a meaning. I observe a car crash, and I think that that means someone might be hurt. 

I hear a loud bang, and I wonder if it means someone fired a gun, or a car backfired. 

The meaning of human lives just means that we are not extinct, and are still sucessfully reproducing and surviving. 

It all means nothing to a being on a planet that is a thousand light years away. It all means nothing to a rock, because it has no way of evaluating any kind of meaning.  

So the "meaning" of your examples is limited to any being that observes them, and has a brain that can ponder them. 

I contend with your definition.

How about instead of "relationship", we can use "interpretation"?

So Meaning is the intepretation that Observers have of Events?

 

"Observers interpret Events, and derive Meaning (Of Life) from those interpretations." What do you think?

 

 

_____ Separate response, to All or any concerned _____

 

Ignorance of Reality or Existence (or God) does not erase the thing.

Reality and Existence and God and the Universe can all precede our individual Consciousness and Awareness.

The Universe exists before you or I are born or before aware of it.

 

To presume otherwise, is Solipsism and logically flawed.

That would be presuming that "All Existence depends upon *MY* subjective consciousness and mine alone!"

 

So too must this analogy be used toward any hypothetical Meaning of Life.

Edited by Wizard22
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4 hours ago, Wizard22 said:

No, because the "Appearance" of meaning is different than inherent meaning.  Life can be meaningful, without being aware of it.

Furthermore, I don't expect anybody on a Philosophy forum to be convinced so quickly, when it comes to the fundamental Philosophical question as to Meaning of Life, let alone Existence of God, or the Nature of Reality, etc.

Wouldn't you say?

If you make a cake, it only has meaning if you can eat it...

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