A simple question....
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18-08-2013, 06:01 PM
RE: A simple question....
I think meaning is build collectively as a result of the interaction among everyone in a given group. This is kind of an intermediate point between the OP's two positions, it's not entirely individual as it is influenced on how others act and react to the thing receiving meaning, but it's not entirely external, as our own actions and reactions influence the whole as any other. So meaning is a socially built, emergent and shared perception of something.
It's not constant or independent of the individual and it changes all the time.

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18-08-2013, 06:15 PM (This post was last modified: 18-08-2013 07:34 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: A simple question....
A simple question....
For the theist I ask:

Knowing the vast differences that exist among every single theist on the planet, why would anyone even ask such a question ? It presumes theists share some sort of common, (or anything) "meaning", (whatever that means) ? Do theist monastics have anything with drinking and carousing theists ? Do they find the same things meaningful ? If humans share anything in common, they exist on continua of varying meanings. Does a pediatric surgeon intellectual theist share anything "meaningful" with a pro-wrestler theist ? I suggest the question is meaningless. It presumes that which is not established. I hope you know that the Hebrews of ancient Israel did not believe in immortality. Did they have a problem with "meaning" ? Apparently not. Getting the sucker at the end of the office visit does not make the visit more "meaningful". In fact the more there is of something, the less value it has. Eternity , and immortality devalue human life.

Do people get nervous and depressed if they have to be buck up, and be responsible for finding what they find meaningful, without being told ? Maybe that's a better question. Every culture and sub-culture on the planet values different things, theists or not. For almost all of the tiny amount of time humans have existed, (in terms of this planet, or the universe), they led lives of desperate survival. They had no time to even think about what "meaning" even was or meant. It's a product of luxury, (surplus resources), and the fact that humans, for a VERY VERY brief time, have had the time and the luxury to even think about such questions.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein
Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
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19-08-2013, 08:28 AM (This post was last modified: 19-08-2013 11:35 AM by houseofcantor.)
RE: A simple question....
(18-08-2013 04:33 PM)DLJ Wrote:  See my sig...
v v v

You're doing that shit again. Dodgy

As to the OP, it is a measure of my faith that I consider conservation of entropy to be the "moral will" of the universe. Love conserves entropy; as an example one does far more for love than "for pay" or for some other worldly concern.

In the manner above, I love my Gwynnies, where the "love" portion is a widely held purpose, yet within the same spectrum are "I" and "my Gwynnies," thus entropy is conserved.

Which is to say, purpose can be congruent, but if we, as individuals, are *not* making our own purpose, we are not conserving entropy. Big Grin

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19-08-2013, 08:36 AM
RE: A simple question....
Survival is an innate response. What other purpose you need? Thumbsup

“Science is simply common sense at its best, that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic.”
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19-08-2013, 11:29 AM (This post was last modified: 19-08-2013 02:56 PM by Raptor Jesus.)
RE: A simple question....
Do this simple thought experiment. Caveat; it involves not believing that the universe was created solely for mankind.

Imagine the world without human beings, and without any of the line of homo genus ever evolving, in the past or the future. The world continues on as it is with the other life forms as they are, none of which ever evolved into something “like” man.

Now go back and re-ask yourself your own question, focusing on the part in which you asked, “…is meaning determined by something outside of ourselves which we all must strive for?...”

In the absence of a human level consciousness what meaning would that question have?

For a universe with a cosmic force of “purpose, that we must all strive for” to exist separate from human level consciousness, then being a separate thing it would also have to be able to exist in a hypothetical world in which there could be no humans. Imagine that world, today, without us in it, but still with this force of “purpose, that we must all strive for”. What would that even mean? What does it mean on Mars? What does it mean in the Marianas Trench? It can only mean something in life intelligent enough to endow it with meaning.

There defiantly is “meaning” and “purpose” to us. But there cannot exist meaning and purpose outside of us. And with each of us, new individual meaning and purpose arises. And that’s the beauty of it. It’s from us; love, beauty, meaning, purpose. Those aren’t all created out there somewhere for us to experience, they are created inside of us, they exist inside of us. And outside of life those thoughts do not exist. "Meaning" is dependent on us, we are not dependent on meaning.

That is what makes life so meaningful to us, is that we can regonize the value of it.

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