Are the things of the universe rich with meaning?
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
24-04-2015, 05:06 PM
Are the things of the universe rich with meaning?
Here is another question I've wanted to ask this forum.

Do you think that existence is full of meaning? That is, are events and objects rich with layer upon layer of meaning and depth? Or is everything rather shallow and only means what it shows on the surface?

What is your opinion on this question, Thinking Atheist Forum members?

It's not a poll, so go to town and tell me your thoughts.

-

Excl On the ignore list: Taqiyya Mockingbird, Minimalist, DemonicLemon, GirlyMan, WhiskeyDebates, and EvolutionKills.
-
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
24-04-2015, 05:17 PM
RE: Are the things of the universe rich with meaning?
What is meaning?

Quantum Physics: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 4 users Like Alex K's post
25-04-2015, 06:42 AM
RE: Are the things of the universe rich with meaning?
(24-04-2015 05:06 PM)LaramieHirsch Wrote:  Here is another question I've wanted to ask this forum.

Do you think that existence is full of meaning? That is, are events and objects rich with layer upon layer of meaning and depth? Or is everything rather shallow and only means what it shows on the surface?

What is your opinion on this question, Thinking Atheist Forum members?

It's not a poll, so go to town and tell me your thoughts.

What do you mean?

The physical universe goes on its way and it is only we who create meaning.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
[Image: flagstiny%206.gif]
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like Chas's post
25-04-2015, 07:19 AM
RE: Are the things of the universe rich with meaning?
(24-04-2015 05:06 PM)LaramieHirsch Wrote:  Do you think that existence is full of meaning? That is, are events and objects rich with layer upon layer of meaning and depth? Or is everything rather shallow and only means what it shows on the surface?

There is no intrinsic meaning in objects or natural events; they can have meaning for individuals but the meaning is being imposed in those cases. Calling that shallow is an example of just that process. The thing is what it is but it being shallow is a value judgement.

The actions of intentional agents can have meaning but the depth and complexity of that meaning is up to the individuals involved. You could do something that you think has a great deal of complex meaning and I could look at that same act and see nothing of any importance or vice-verse. Meaning is subjective.

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
America July 4 1776 - November 8 2016 RIP
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like unfogged's post
25-04-2015, 07:43 AM
RE: Are the things of the universe rich with meaning?
It has been pointed out that the universe is curiously understandable to us. That is, we have been able to make progressively more accurate models over time. Each model was good enough for us to make significant advancements with despite being incomplete or inaccurate. As each model replaced the previous one it was understandable.
Some notable examples of this:
- heliocentrism -> geocentrism -> Keplers laws of planetary motion -> Newton's laws of gravity -> relativity
- macro objects -> molecules -> atoms and chemistry -> subatomic particles -> quantum standard model objects

But we don't have any real reason to think that the universe was made particularly understandable to us. We seem to have had the good fortune to understand things so far, but in a sense that is self-fulfilling. We understand what we understand, and we came to our understanding in successive refining steps. We see these layers and models because that's how we structure our thought about the universe.

Perhaps those structures are also fundamental to the universe somehow but it is hard to tell. Moreover we don't understand the universe yet. We have no "theory of everything". We conceivably may have already reached the limits of our puny minds in understanding the universe. We may never discover how it really works. In the absence of that kind of final knowledge it is difficult to tell based on what we actually know if the universe happens to be particularly understandable or whether we simply understand what we understand and no more.

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Hafnof's post
25-04-2015, 09:26 AM
RE: Are the things of the universe rich with meaning?
Meaning is in the mind of the beholder.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 5 users Like Thumpalumpacus's post
25-04-2015, 10:20 AM
RE: Are the things of the universe rich with meaning?
Our life have only such meaning which we make for ourselves. There is no universal meaning for every person.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
25-04-2015, 11:35 AM
RE: Are the things of the universe rich with meaning?
My personal existence is as meaningful as I make it.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes pablo's post
25-04-2015, 12:50 PM
Are the things of the universe rich with meaning?
Depends on the concept and the person. Also depends on what "meaning." Do meteor showers have a meaning or are they just falling space trash?

Is a sunset there because I'm snuggling with a beautiful redhead or were there countless others before and after I existed?

Does my niece being close to giving birth mean I have another chance to be good uncle Clockwork or is it how things in life go?

Things happen. We can assign meaning to it or we can react.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Clockwork's post
01-05-2015, 08:07 AM
RE: Are the things of the universe rich with meaning?
Simply put, meaning is an artifact created by the brain, the more complex the brain, the more meaning created. What is worth noting is that meaning is not something we necessarily will into any given subject or object, most of what passes for meaning making is completely automatic (sub- or unconsciously made). If any specific feature is obvious about the human brain, it seems as though its primary function IS to make meaning. The brain identifies, sorts, and categorizes all of the incoming data at its disposal through our senses and the odd quirk we call consciousness...this is the nature of meaning making. And critically, we could not stop it if we tried. Do you sense that never ending stream of thoughts and assessments and judgements constantly running inside? Tell it to stop some time. Good luck.
Another question is, is meaning necessary? Of course it is in-so-far-as we want to know the bridge is sturdy and safe to cross. But the issue here I think is really the concern evoked when one hears that life or the universe, in-and-of-itself has no intrinsic meaning. What I find funny is folks leap to say that is depressing without noticing that they just gave the idea meaning in order to make that silly statement. In other words, if everything is meaningless, the statement itself, with no necessary regard to it's factual nature, is also meaningless. Notwithstanding this fact, our brains will create meaning and sense and order whether we want it to or not.

Brave. Not terribly clever. But brave!
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Evendurheaon's post
Post Reply
Forum Jump: