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The truth that I can't escape is that there is no deeper meaning


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And I find the whole "religion must die" thing too vague for the problems of society. The flaw isn't in the concept, it's in the human. If it's not about preaching the bible, they will probably be overzealous about something else, like atheism. And try to impose that on people too.

Would you make the same comment towards people who were abolitionists fighting against slavery? After all, they weren't willing to live and let live, or to just agree to disagree. They were very much "trying to impose" their mindset on others.

 

Also, FWIW... I highly doubt anyone here approaches things so simplistically as to think that if religion went away so too would all of our ails. That's really not the point. MANY of our ails would go away, and that's something worth the effort. It's not an all or nothing zero sum game. It's a series of consistent incremental steps toward a better future for our children, grandchildren, and their offspring.

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And yet I presume you are neither actively engaged in suicide attempts, nor waiting to simply waste away. Why? Most likely because you simply cannot help the fact that you are hard-wired to value thin

That comment was indeed flippant and over-the-top, and I would never dream of trying to eradicate religion by authoritarian means - everyone certainly should have the right to believe as they wish whe

Neither. This is what some people might call a false dichotomy. I've clarified my "goal" at least 6 times in the thread from which this was split and also at least once in this one. There is really

Not really... to be human is to suffer. Even in the most utopian society there will always be things like loss of loved ones and physical pain. I can't even go on a peaceful walk without stepping on some kind of bug.

 

 

The reason we find it beautiful and majestic is because it's in our genes to have some kind of reverence for nature. The other life forms are siblings we've evolved with for a very long time. We appreciate nature so we don't destroy it, so we have the urge to explore it, etc.

 

I see no purpose to life, aside from possibly wanting to diminish pain in others, because there is one reality- the here and now. And we suffer unnecessarily. Eliminating all life on Earth wont solve the problem because I'm sure it will sprout up somewhere again.

 

Hopefully natural selection is working on deeper levels and in more complexity and over time the ones who are too sensitive to life will be weeded out.

 

Screw the beauty and complexity, I don't really care. I think the universe sucks. Terrible things happen that don't involve human error. There will always be accidents. Little kids go through wood chippers in front of their fathers. Our loved ones are painfully tortured with illness before our eyes only to die and become a thought in our minds.

 

Appolinaria,

 

Well, three things I would like to mention.

 

Whatever the case, we (humans) seem to be in the same boat, so anything we can do, for fellow humans, is probably a good idea.

And it might be worth it, to notice, that many many people have made effort to do just that. Not just for their families, but for their communities, and nations, clubs and associations. How else could we have so many ways to protect ourselves from exposure, wild animals, disease, hunger, thirst, and natural disasters. And the efforts made by humans, for humans, goes right up the hierachy of needs pyramid through art and music to all sorts of establishments and associations that foster, maintain and protect, human happiness and fulfillment. The "deeper meaning" seems already felt and understood, as soon as you notice you are not alone in the boat.

 

Secondly, though mortal, we have an appreciation of the size and scope and intricate detail of the universe, which we could not have, unless we were "here and now" viewing it. To know everything at once, all of time and space, would be rather lonely and singular in nature...somewhat akin to knowing nothing at all. To be "separate" like we are, ALLOWS us to know the rest. This seems to me to be a "positive" thing the universe has done, on my behalf...and yours.

 

And thirdly, since there is nowhere else to come from, and no where else to go, but the universe, I can consider it mine. And me, it's. With no worries at all, that such a consideration is untrue. Which means that things for TAR2, will be quite similiar after I die, as they were, before I was born. And that as a little peice of the universe, I can know that the universe, has done some doing indeed, up to "here and now", and has not yet done, what it is going to do next.

 

Regards, TAR

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There's always Krishna consciousness.

 

 

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare / Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. . .

 

By chanting the Maha Mantra with devotion one is expanding the blissful ocean of transcendental life; bringing mercy, soothing, and the white lotus of good fortune to all living entities in all the worlds. And lots of other amazing stuff.

 

 

Karuna cheyvaan endu thaamasam Krishna. . .

 

 

 

Why the delay in showing kindness, Lord Krishna?

I worship your feet with my folded palms.

 

Granting the desires of devotees who seek asylum in you.

You rest in Guruvayoor, oh Lord, remover of all sorrows.

 

Your chaste feet, lovingly caressed by the Lotus Maiden,

Whether I serve them with reverence from near

Or think of serving them from afar

To you, Whose greatness fills the universe,

This is a matter of indifference.

 

I have learned from the Sages who have extolled your exploits

That you, Hari, emerald like handsome Lord,

Are the refuge for the teeming humanity

Who live on the surf of the great ocean of suffering called life.

 

I see you in my heart, handsome as Cupid,

Your hair adorned with peacock feathers,

Your glances, a mixture of compassion and smile

Your chest showing Kousthabham and garlands of wild flowers

Your ankles adorned with jingling golden anklets.

 

Creator and protector of the worlds

Lord Padmanabha, who resides in Guruvayoor,

May it please you, without delay, with compassion,

To remove my illnesses like rheumatism

And bless me with health and prosperity.

 

(Translation: P. P. Narayanswamy, source)

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Would you make the same comment towards people who were abolitionists fighting against slavery? After all, they weren't willing to live and let live, or to just agree to disagree. They were very much "trying to impose" their mindset on others.

 

Slavery violates human rights. Many people don't violate any human rights by practicing their belief in "God".

 

What's the goal here? To prohibit the crimes committed by religious extremists or to just impose your ideology on others?

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There's always Krishna consciousness.

 

 

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare / Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. . .

 

By chanting the Maha Mantra with devotion one is expanding the blissful ocean of transcendental life; bringing mercy, soothing, and the white lotus of good fortune to all living entities in all the worlds. And lots of other amazing stuff.

 

 

[

 

The asinine cretin,

 

Well, let's say that is bunk. I am not sure why religious people need to tack on all the silly stuff. It obscures the reality of it.

 

Perhaps its like the game of "whisper down the alley" where the first person whispers something into the ear of the person on their left, and it goes around till the person on the first person's right says the thing outloud, and everybody laughs, because it is neither the thing they heard whispered nor the thing they whispered.

 

Regards, TAR2

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Appolinaria,

 

Well, three things I would like to mention.

 

Whatever the case, we (humans) seem to be in the same boat, so anything we can do, for fellow humans, is probably a good idea.

And it might be worth it, to notice, that many many people have made effort to do just that. Not just for their families, but for their communities, and nations, clubs and associations. How else could we have so many ways to protect ourselves from exposure, wild animals, disease, hunger, thirst, and natural disasters. And the efforts made by humans, for humans, goes right up the hierachy of needs pyramid through art and music to all sorts of establishments and associations that foster, maintain and protect, human happiness and fulfillment. The "deeper meaning" seems already felt and understood, as soon as you notice you are not alone in the boat.

 

Secondly, though mortal, we have an appreciation of the size and scope and intricate detail of the universe, which we could not have, unless we were "here and now" viewing it. To know everything at once, all of time and space, would be rather lonely and singular in nature...somewhat akin to knowing nothing at all. To be "separate" like we are, ALLOWS us to know the rest. This seems to me to be a "positive" thing the universe has done, on my behalf...and yours.

 

And thirdly, since there is nowhere else to come from, and no where else to go, but the universe, I can consider it mine. And me, it's. With no worries at all, that such a consideration is untrue. Which means that things for TAR2, will be quite similiar after I die, as they were, before I was born. And that as a little peice of the universe, I can know that the universe, has done some doing indeed, up to "here and now", and has not yet done, what it is going to do next.

 

Regards, TAR

 

You're right. Maybe if my laptop, plumbing, stove, iphone, etc. were removed I wouldn't be so apathetic. I guess there have been some pretty amazing humans to have lived and I should appreciate sharing this planet with them, if anything.

 

Tar, you always have really well thought out posts that are not only very true, but comforting in a sense. I think they are always well done. I do not mention it enough. Thanks.

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The asinine cretin,

 

Well, let's say that is bunk. I am not sure why religious people need to tack on all the silly stuff. It obscures the reality of it.

What do you mean? What do you consider to be extraneous silly stuff and what is the reality of it?

 

I remember working with a fellow who kept a small idol of Ganesha on his desk. He was constantly whispering and mumbling to this little figurine, presumably thinking that he was being heard and inexplicably aided throughout his day. Aren't things like prayer, supplication, and providence a major aspect of religious phenomena in general? How do you have these things without the extraordinary stories and beliefs that purportedly establish their validity? The Hail Mary makes little sense apart from the belief that a supernaturally exalted woman is somehow omniscient and capable of interceding on one's behalf and with potentially great effect. Are not rainmaking rituals accompanied by myths and extraordinary worldviews that make the behavior worthwhile? If you can believe that an invisible divine personality hears all and sees all, is it really a stretch to add on stories such as that chanting this deity's name will have magical effects? Is it not like ritual behaviors to appease forces of nature? So many prayers and hymns are the cries of the desperate and afflicted. Is it so silly to imagine that there are powerful beings who care to protect and provide? This seems natural. What reality of religion are you referring to?

 

 

Thank you, tar.

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Usually ones where there is ice cream involved. Often, my motorcycle and twisty country road. Other times, sex. Still others, when I test my blood sugar and it says 100. When I finish something intensely hard at work, and know I did it right. When I help someone else and realize that's the best thing that happened to them today. When I make a good argument, or articulate a point more clearly than I ever have in the past. When I wake up and realize I have a home and a job. When I go to bed and realize I have comfortable bed and a full belly.

 

 

So.....dopamine then.

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To Appolinaria

 

I would suggest that you consider reading some Existential philosophy works. I think Nausea by Sartre might be something that you could relate to. It's a fictional book based around a character trying to make sense of life and what it is to be living. This might also serve as a good, albeit intensive, introduction:

 

 

Existentialism is a Humanism

 

 

WARNING:I wouldn't consider either as a light read. They might also confront you with more problems than answers rolleyes.gif, but if you are really looking for answers then that is a risk you will have to take. I think 'ignorance is bliss' is perhaps a luxury that not all are afforded smile.gif.

Edited by Villain
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You're right. Maybe if my laptop, plumbing, stove, iphone, etc. were removed I wouldn't be so apathetic. I guess there have been some pretty amazing humans to have lived and I should appreciate sharing this planet with them, if anything.

 

Tar, you always have really well thought out posts that are not only very true, but comforting in a sense. I think they are always well done. I do not mention it enough. Thanks.

 

Appolinaria,

 

Thank you.

 

Regards, TAR2

 

What do you mean? What do you consider to be extraneous silly stuff and what is the reality of it?

 

I remember working with a fellow who kept a small idol of Ganesha on his desk. He was constantly whispering and mumbling to this little figurine, presumably thinking that he was being heard and inexplicably aided throughout his day. Aren't things like prayer, supplication, and providence a major aspect of religious phenomena in general? How do you have these things without the extraordinary stories and beliefs that purportedly establish their validity? The Hail Mary makes little sense apart from the belief that a supernaturally exalted woman is somehow omniscient and capable of interceding on one's behalf and with potentially great effect. Are not rainmaking rituals accompanied by myths and extraordinary worldviews that make the behavior worthwhile? If you can believe that an invisible divine personality hears all and sees all, is it really a stretch to add on stories such as that chanting this deity's name will have magical effects? Is it not like ritual behaviors to appease forces of nature? So many prayers and hymns are the cries of the desperate and afflicted. Is it so silly to imagine that there are powerful beings who care to protect and provide? This seems natural. What reality of religion are you referring to?

 

 

Thank you, tar.

 

the asinine cretin,

 

I have some guesses, on some different levels, but I just punched my alarm's snooze button for the last time, allowed, this morning and will have to go right to conclusion type stuff, with no supporting logic.

We often associate with the "good" portions and disassociate with the bad.

This does not mean we are not associated with both, nor that either is unreal.

So it is better, in my mind, to associate with all of it, and do what you can to minimize the "evil" parts. Whether it be the silly stuff that others do, or the silly stuff you do yourself.

 

And since there is a LARGE area of concern, that would have to be considered "outside" my pervue, and our pervue together, and the pervue of all of us put together...a little bit of shared reverence and uncertianty, is problably not inappropriate. That is, NOT silly.

 

Regards, TAR2

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Living in the UK I am surprised at the level of antagonism that exists between theists and atheists. Believers in God are not people that pray and then wait for gifts from God. The ones I know are concerned for the people of the world in a material sense. They are active in many charitable acts by donating from their own incomes and organising relief for people in need and those involved in natural disasters. They are tolerant of non-believers and generally just get on with their way of life hoping others might follow their example.

I agree there is no point in trying to steer them away from their beliefs and I see no point in trying to. They do no harm and a lot of good.

By the way I would class myself as an atheist (perhaps with a touch of agnosticism) married to a Christian woman. Although I don't attend church I am welcomed by the membership and join in much of the social side and most of my friends would class themselves as Christian. They don't try to change me and I don't try to change them. I believe in toleration and so do they! Perhaps it's different in the US?

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the asinine cretin,

 

I have some guesses, on some different levels, but I just punched my alarm's snooze button for the last time, allowed, this morning and will have to go right to conclusion type stuff, with no supporting logic.

We often associate with the "good" portions and disassociate with the bad.

This does not mean we are not associated with both, nor that either is unreal.

So it is better, in my mind, to associate with all of it, and do what you can to minimize the "evil" parts. Whether it be the silly stuff that others do, or the silly stuff you do yourself.

 

And since there is a LARGE area of concern, that would have to be considered "outside" my pervue, and our pervue together, and the pervue of all of us put together...a little bit of shared reverence and uncertianty, is problably not inappropriate. That is, NOT silly.

 

Regards, TAR2

 

I still don't understand what you are saying. What are the good portions and what are the bad? What is the silly extraneous stuff, and how have you determined this? And then what is the reality of it that you were referring to before? This is a cryptic discussion and I feel like I'm required to fill in the blanks and guess at what you're really trying to say.

 

Shared reverence and uncertainty toward what exactly? And what has this to do with what you were saying before?

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To Appolinaria

 

I would suggest that you consider reading some Existential philosophy works. I think Nausea by Sartre might be something that you could relate to. It's a fictional book based around a character trying to make sense of life and what it is to be living. This might also serve as a good, albeit intensive, introduction:

 

 

Existentialism is a Humanism

 

 

WARNING:I wouldn't consider either as a light read. They might also confront you with more problems than answers rolleyes.gif, but if you are really looking for answers then that is a risk you will have to take. I think 'ignorance is bliss' is perhaps a luxury that not all are afforded smile.gif.

 

Thank you.

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Referring to me as depressed for asking normal questions that every human on this planet should ask?

The problem wasn't the question, but the answer you appeared to have come up with.

 

contrary to your understanding life has a purpose: the purpose we choose to give it. If you are not satisfied with the apparent absence of meaningful purpose then you have only yourself to blame. What is the highest purpose you feel life could have? Take that and make it your purpose.

 

Problem solved. Now life can begin.

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The problem wasn't the question, but the answer you appeared to have come up with.

 

contrary to your understanding life has a purpose: the purpose we choose to give it. If you are not satisfied with the apparent absence of meaningful purpose then you have only yourself to blame. What is the highest purpose you feel life could have? Take that and make it your purpose.

 

Problem solved. Now life can begin.

 

I've been discussing the highest purpose I think life can have. Your rejection of my answer to the question doesn't mean there is any kind of problem. That is ignorance.

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I think living solely for my own well being is vapid, hollow, and worthless.

 

And I find the whole "religion must die" thing too vague for the problems of society. The flaw isn't in the concept, it's in the human. If it's not about preaching the bible, they will probably be overzealous about something else, like atheism. And try to impose that on people too. Humans are incredibly malleable and easily shaped into belief systems. Why so many believe the death of religion will fix that problem is beyond me. Good luck.

 

Groups of people will form and want to be superior to other groups. Humans argue to argue. We will always find shit to fight about. I also don't think this ridiculous aspect of our nature only falls into the realm of religion.

 

I don't know why you interpreted "well-being" as "your own well-being" because of course that would be vapid and selfish. Even in terms of your own well-being, though, it does not equate with hedonism. That's far too simplistic.

 

Your well-being can be constituted by whatever makes you happy and whatever you value. Thus, if you think that thinking of yourself is vapid, voila you've got your first tenet of personal well-being: caring for others. What else could constitute your well-being? Like I said, it needn't be about pleasure, but about self-fulfilment, so reading can be a part of it, learning a new subject or acquiring a new skill, perhaps writing or creating things.

 

To say that well-being is important is not to impose any strictures on you whatsoever - your well-being can be whatever you want it to be, and can be founded on charity if that's what you want. You just have to shed the popular illusion that it requires supernatural endorsement or a meaning from some external source.

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I don't know why you interpreted "well-being" as "your own well-being" because of course that would be vapid and selfish. Even in terms of your own well-being, though, it does not equate with hedonism. That's far too simplistic.

 

Your well-being can be constituted by whatever makes you happy and whatever you value. Thus, if you think that thinking of yourself is vapid, voila you've got your first tenet of personal well-being: caring for others. What else could constitute your well-being? Like I said, it needn't be about pleasure, but about self-fulfilment, so reading can be a part of it, learning a new subject or acquiring a new skill, perhaps writing or creating things.

 

To say that well-being is important is not to impose any strictures on you whatsoever - your well-being can be whatever you want it to be, and can be founded on charity if that's what you want. You just have to shed the popular illusion that it requires supernatural endorsement or a meaning from some external source.

 

You develop values based on your purpose in life. You don't have a purpose because of values.

 

I can see why valuing the death of prostitutes can be criticized because it's illegal. I don't understand why you can tell me I cannot value meaning from an external source.

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I've been discussing the highest purpose I think life can have.

In your early post you seemed to have set the bar very low. You say, in various posts:

 

there is no point to our existence at all.

 

I see no purpose to life, aside from possibly wanting to diminish pain in others, because there is one reality- the here and now. And we suffer unnecessarily. Eliminating all life on Earth wont solve the problem because I'm sure it will sprout up somewhere again.

 

Screw the beauty and complexity, I don't really care. I think the universe sucks.

 

These and similar thoughts were what prompted the suggestion that you might be depressed. As I said, it wasn't the question that was the problem, it was your apparent response to it - as evidenced by your comments quoted above - that was the problem. Do you think the responses you gave above actually represent the highest purpose you think life can have? If not are you then rejecting these earlier remarks? If you hold them to be true do you understand why some of us might see this as problematic?

 

 

And, for the record, I don't think calling such a negative approach to life a problem is a display of ignorance. I'm sorry that my proposal to set the highest goals you could think of did not resonate with you.

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You develop values based on your purpose in life. You don't have a purpose because of values.

 

I can see why valuing the death of prostitutes can be criticized because it's illegal. I don't understand why you can tell me I cannot value meaning from an external source.

I see it as more basic than that, although I suppose it depends on your definition of value.

I think we value what makes us feel good and so like to repeat the experience. We apply negative value to whatever makes us feel bad and so try to avoid repeating that experience. In other words purpose doesn't need to come into it.

The problem now is how do we define "feel good" and "feel bad"?

 

Later edit: I suppose another way of saying what I think is "If there is a purpose in life it can be condensed to the realisation that we are naturally driven to repeat what feels good and avoid what feels bad. The only trouble with that is what feels good and what feels bad are not the same for each individual. What adds complication is that the balance of these factors change with age for any one individual.

Edited by Joatmon
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In your early post you seemed to have set the bar very low. You say, in various posts:

 

there is no point to our existence at all.

 

I see no purpose to life, aside from possibly wanting to diminish pain in others, because there is one reality- the here and now. And we suffer unnecessarily. Eliminating all life on Earth wont solve the problem because I'm sure it will sprout up somewhere again.

 

Screw the beauty and complexity, I don't really care. I think the universe sucks.

And that is all the truth. I don't see how that makes me depressed.

These and similar thoughts were what prompted the suggestion that you might be depressed. As I said, it wasn't the question that was the problem, it was your apparent response to it - as evidenced by your comments quoted above - that was the problem. Do you think the responses you gave above actually represent the highest purpose you think life can have?

Yes.

 

If not are you then rejecting these earlier remarks? If you hold them to be true do you understand why some of us might see this as problematic?

I don't see why it's problematic. Offer me a better solution aside from personal self-fulfilment and I will walk away a richer human.

 

And, for the record, I don't think calling such a negative approach to life a problem is a display of ignorance. I'm sorry that my proposal to set the highest goals you could think of did not resonate with you.

 

To set the highest goals I can think of? I already stated them, as possibly consciously living life with the sole intention of preventing pain in others, because there is no point of anything else. You see this as negative.

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There are a great many things that "not everyone" thinks about. This says nothing of significance. Not everyone thinks about important questions of epistemology or ontology. Not everyone is interested in particle physics. Therefore, what? In philosophy the big existential questions are quite "normal." Recommending meds to a person who is pursuing a topic that you aren't interested in seems kinda assholian (zapatos?). Declarations about what is "normal" seem similarly devoid of import.

Retracted

Edited by zapatos
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Oh my gosh. I cannot believe I missed you calling me an asshole. And the reason you called me an asshole was based on what you assumed my motivation was. And you didn't even ask for clarification.

 

I can only suggest in return that you perform a physically impossible sexual act upon yourself.

 

Sorry to all for this off topic post.

 

EDIT: (Removed knee-jerk snark and added the following) My intention in that post was not that strong. It was not assumed that you were being an asshole, but rather that if the worst interpretation of your intent was true, then you were being an asshole, hence your name in parentheses with a question mark. I will endeavor to be more considerate and all that. . .

Edited by the asinine cretin
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zapatos & assinine cretin - I love you both. I enjoy your posts. I think you are, each in your own way, fine human beings. Don't place me in a position where I feel obliged to take sides. Take a step back - try seeing the other's point of view for a few minutes. Do you see how it leads to an escalted round of insults? Might it be worth stepping back permanently? Pretty please.

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zapatos & assinine cretin - I love you both. I enjoy your posts. I think you are, each in your own way, fine human beings. Don't place me in a position where I feel obliged to take sides. Take a step back - try seeing the other's point of view for a few minutes. Do you see how it leads to an escalted round of insults? Might it be worth stepping back permanently? Pretty please.

Acknowledged and agreed.

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zapatos & assinine cretin - I love you both. I enjoy your posts. I think you are, each in your own way, fine human beings. Don't place me in a position where I feel obliged to take sides. Take a step back - try seeing the other's point of view for a few minutes. Do you see how it leads to an escalted round of insults? Might it be worth stepping back permanently? Pretty please.

Yes. You are right. My apologies. I know better than to immediately respond when I am pissed and didn't do so in this case. My fault.

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