My questioning of the question "What is the meaning of life"
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19-09-2013, 04:54 PM
RE: My questioning of the question "What is the meaning of life"
(19-09-2013 04:08 PM)Luminon Wrote:  
(17-09-2013 11:25 AM)Chas Wrote:  And determining what that purpose is comes from within. You have to choose, it is not external, it is not mandated.
Does that mean you believe in free will? I wouldn't tell you're the type.
And, I think this stuff I say is important. I think what you say underestimates the problem a lot. Scientists give such a great care to everything, but this they really neglect. They can tell you how to live, but not what to live for. I think the "choice" is a lame excuse for a real answer. Science, reason, atheism, skepticism or whatever gives us so many good answers that I can tell when it does not give us a good one. No wonder even reasonable people turn to religion for a purpose. I see it as a glaring downside, an inconsistency of the rational and scientific worldview. Scientific method gives us 21st century computers and weapons, but it does not give us 21st century minds. Our minds are barely Enlightenment or Renaissance era, mostly older than that. Scientific method does not research ways to improve people's thinking, overthrow the governments, take over the media and fill them with meaningful information about how to live a happy and meaningful life. Science lets it slide. Science is truthful, but it's a whore, it works only for those who pay for the research. Computer and weapon producers pay, guys like me don't.

So this is my research. Nothing can come from within, as long as we are driven from within by the cultural bullshit. Religion controls our life. We can lose religion and become a bit more free, but there are many more bullshit beliefs that control us and restrict us - political beliefs, economical, relationship, national, even philosophical. I met a man over the net who did not understand the nature of physical reality and empirical evidence. He was purely a mathematician, rationalist. Man, that's quite a restrictive belief, let me tell you.

Now, it is possible to lose these beliefs. Most people can't, it's terribly difficult. It kills people. It is done by going through a personal hell that overloads the limbic system, I think that's how it works. Many people don't survive it, some like me get some part of their health damaged.
Now I think I do everything I can to even be able to have free will. But what I found was not more choice, it was less choice. I see a bit clearer and I see that there's about one way to the grand purpose and all other ways are not worth it, they are not real choices as far as I can see. The best that you can get from this is keeping your eyes on the prize - and the prize is automatically the grandest thing you can perceive. People who changed the world still regret they didn't have a family, but they wouldn't exchange it. People who deconverted from Christianity still miss the comfort of faith, but wouldn't exchange it. That is, because they aimed for the greatest purpose in their consciousness. And that is not a choice, that is a realization.

What people have is an illusion of freedom. They cling to choices and they would resent having them taken away, even if they knew they are bad choices. They'd think it's dictatorship. I'd say the freedom is knowing the right choice leading to the greatest purpose you can perceive, even if there was just one. Dictatorship of reality is the one dictatorship we can accept gladly. (Reality is a lenient judge, as long as your lawyer is an empiricist.)

Humans are not good at choices, at decision-making. Our brain is not good at consciously weighing more than 3 factors at once, and there may be hundreds of pertinent factors. And you know the research that the brain unconsciously decides many seconds before we realize the decision and think we just made it. So telling someone that something is a choice, that is not a real answer.
The meaning of life is not a choice. It's like love. Love is not the freedom to have many women, it's the freedom to be with the one woman you love. You do not choose whom you fall in love with.

freedom means always the positive sense

that is how who enjoy forcing things is what hates moving
like the image of god is to stay still for things to depend on him

positive is crucial to existence bc objective means basically positive present

at the individual level, it is very difficult to b positive conscious in constant term, that is why most invent themselves as the way to stay positive

the brain makes it worse

bc it is a condition living that dont belong to the individual

so it never serve the body mean

it serves ideas in general that are everywhree but also through opposite ends existing, so a thought is denied constantly instead of being supported to get in touch with its positive fact realisation

the only way to realize own freedom is by recognizing any objective end as free, so dont define anything even others as a whole, just admit their existence being present too from any common sense but keep things and others free ends
this what get back to the person realizing it as positive freedom

so a sense of true positive and positive truth
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19-09-2013, 06:37 PM (This post was last modified: 19-09-2013 06:52 PM by Luminon.)
RE: My questioning of the question "What is the meaning of life"
(19-09-2013 04:11 PM)Chas Wrote:  Freedom and free will are not the same thing.

And free will is not absolute or infinite - it is constrained, as you point out.

But we are not automata.
In what sense we are not automata? What language did you choose when you were born? Let me guess, Chinese. What toy did you want for your 5th birthday? Let me guess, IBM shares. At which age did you decide your sexual orientation? Let me guess, right after your Bar Mitzvah.

The only realistic definition of a free will are the decisions we make internally and consciously. But that does not make them less causal, less mechanistic. A non-mechanistic decision, a lack of mechanism means no decision at all. The Inuit people of history did not dream of red Lamborghini cars. They dreamed of a light yet solid sledge and a healthy pack of dogs. How is that not mechanistic? How is that not driven by environment and culture?

I admit, these are not my ideas. But what is my idea... I was through an experience. Imagine the best thing about yourself, your best feature, skill or whatever. Imagine you realize that is a lie. Imagine you see your real motivations and causes, you see yourself as a mechanism. What you saw yourself before was a mechanism too - a compensatory one to cover what you can't face.

If you get through this, you can learn to distinguish things that are and aren't genuine. For that, you need philosophy, the ability to contact the most general, fundamental properties of reality. Seemingly trivial properties, but only seemingly. These become my "god". The more I perceive, the less arbitrary the reality becomes.

(19-09-2013 04:54 PM)absols Wrote:  freedom means always the positive sense

that is how who enjoy forcing things is what hates moving
like the image of god is to stay still for things to depend on him

positive is crucial to existence bc objective means basically positive present

at the individual level, it is very difficult to b positive conscious in constant term, that is why most invent themselves as the way to stay positive

the brain makes it worse

bc it is a condition living that dont belong to the individual

so it never serve the body mean

it serves ideas in general that are everywhree but also through opposite ends existing, so a thought is denied constantly instead of being supported to get in touch with its positive fact realisation

the only way to realize own freedom is by recognizing any objective end as free, so dont define anything even others as a whole, just admit their existence being present too from any common sense but keep things and others free ends
this what get back to the person realizing it as positive freedom


so a sense of true positive and positive truth
I highlighted the sentences I think I understood with reasonable certainty and in one, max two ways. The rest I didn't understand or understood in too many interpretations.
However, I only understood that thanks to a fairly recent and very deep meditative experiences, as a result of years of meditation prior to them and even more years of practicing English.

So my question is, who are you, man?! What the hell are you? I didn't know they had internet in Tibet. But I can't think of any other place more devoid of English teachers, since the Dalai Lama is gone.

If you claim there are nuances to principles, there are no nuances to getting arrested or shot for disobeying the power.
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19-09-2013, 06:42 PM
RE: My questioning of the question "What is the meaning of life"
(19-09-2013 06:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  
(19-09-2013 04:11 PM)Chas Wrote:  Freedom and free will are not the same thing.

And free will is not absolute or infinite - it is constrained, as you point out.

But we are not automata.
In what sense we are not automata? What language did you choose when you were born? Let me guess, Chinese. What toy did you want for your 5th birthday? Let me guess, IBM shares. At which age did you decide your sexual orientation? Let me guess, right after your Bar Mitzvah.

The only realistic definition of a free will are the decisions we make internally and consciously. But that does not make them less causal, less mechanistic. A non-mechanistic decision, a lack of mechanism means no decision at all. The Inuit people of history did not dream of red Lamborghini cars. They dreamed of a light yet solid sledge and a healthy pack of dogs. How is that not mechanistic? How is that not driven by environment and culture?

I admit, these are not my ideas. But what is my idea... I was through an experience. Imagine the best thing about yourself, your best feature, skill or whatever. Imagine you realize that is a lie. Imagine you see your real motivations and causes, you see yourself as a mechanism. What you saw yourself before was a mechanism too - a compensatory one to cover what you can't face.

If you get through this, you can learn to distinguish things that are and aren't genuine. For that, you need philosophy, the ability to contact the most general, fundamental properties of reality. Seemingly trivial properties, but only seemingly. These become my "god". The more I perceive, the less arbitrary the reality becomes.

Sorry, that was not clear. I don't understand your point(s).

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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19-09-2013, 06:53 PM
RE: My questioning of the question "What is the meaning of life"
(19-09-2013 06:42 PM)Chas Wrote:  Sorry, that was not clear. I don't understand your point(s).
You said we are not automata. What are automata, why are we not them and in what sense?

If you claim there are nuances to principles, there are no nuances to getting arrested or shot for disobeying the power.
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20-09-2013, 10:04 AM
RE: My questioning of the question "What is the meaning of life"
Well I read all your answers some made me laugh Smile like Kim's just enjoy, some I did not understand. This question is something that I keep thinking about. Maybe because I have been a person of strong faith for so many years. Now I have to reassess my life. For some I can see it is easier to do this. There is so much that I had to reprogram into my mind, each strong enough to make my brain crash. This is one of those points. So yes I understand this amazing universe is just random chance and here we are. An intelligent species discussing meaning of life. It is beautiful and cruel at the same time, like the universe playing a sick joke. I know we make meaning in our life, I try to by loving and helping those around me. It matters to them and to those that they will effect in the future. But I will get to the point that sadness me, which is if one day it all ends no more humans will it have mattered? Will anything have mattered? This question creeps in my mind and bothers me, I push it down but it reappears. Does anyone struggle with this? Is there an answer? Or should I just try to cope with the fact that there is only a finite meaning to my life. Sorry if it is not a cheerful post, but this topic is a hard one for me. But I do love life much more as an Atheist and such a burden was taken off my shoulders when I left Islam. So it is not all depressing just certain concepts I am trying to reflect on in a way I never needed to before Smile
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20-09-2013, 10:36 AM
RE: My questioning of the question "What is the meaning of life"
I appreciate all the replies and agree with many that the "answer" is a self fulfilling prophecy.

Id like to go in another direction and ask what do people think are the most enlightening? Questions or answers?

For no matter how much I use these symbols, to describe symptoms of my existence.
You are your own emphasis.
So I say nothing.

-Bemore.
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20-09-2013, 11:19 AM
RE: My questioning of the question "What is the meaning of life"
(20-09-2013 10:04 AM)Confused12345 Wrote:  But I will get to the point that sadness me, which is if one day it all ends no more humans will it have mattered? Will anything have mattered? This question creeps in my mind and bothers me, I push it down but it reappears. Does anyone struggle with this? Is there an answer? Or should I just try to cope with the fact that there is only a finite meaning to my life.

This is difficult for many. This is also why many readily accept and even hunger for the notion of an afterlife. We have to continually ask ourselves if lying to ourselves (accepting a god) will make any difference in the long run of our doomed species.

It won't. An acceptance of a magical god, won't suddenly change the odds that we will live through our sun's expanding phase which will fry our planet. It might be depressing for us to accept the idea that our Milky Way galaxy will one day collide with the galaxy Andromeda, and our solar system will be obliterated as a result. It doesn't bother me because I'll die long before that happens.

What comforts these notions for me is, as one of many species on a planet which will one day no longer exist, we can only do what we can do right now.

We can take care of each other and keep our species evolving and explore the possibilities of going elsewhere. Yes, it could be a pipe dream... but that's how I'd fill my "worthless" time here. Hey, it's more productive and creative than killing each other over someone's lie being better or truer than another guy's lie. Shy

I think in the end, I just feel like I'm a secular person who has a skeptical eye toward any extraordinary claim, carefully examining any extraordinary evidence before jumping to conclusions. ~ Eric ~ My friend ... who figured it out.
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20-09-2013, 11:32 AM
RE: My questioning of the question "What is the meaning of life"
(20-09-2013 10:36 AM)bemore Wrote:  Id like to go in another direction and ask what do people think are the most enlightening? Questions or answers?

Questions are more enlightening. They are more expansive - they multiply exponentially. They continue.

Answers are definite. They offer no alternatives or possibilities. They stop.

I may not go beyond death but, I have no idea where I was before life. Everything evens out. Questions will keep me alive right to the end. Faced with the finality of existence... I'd rather go out questioning.

I think in the end, I just feel like I'm a secular person who has a skeptical eye toward any extraordinary claim, carefully examining any extraordinary evidence before jumping to conclusions. ~ Eric ~ My friend ... who figured it out.
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20-09-2013, 01:35 PM
 
RE: My questioning of the question "What is the meaning of life"
(20-09-2013 10:04 AM)Confused12345 Wrote:  So yes I understand this amazing universe is just random chance and here we are. An intelligent species discussing meaning of life. It is beautiful and cruel at the same time, like the universe playing a sick joke. I know we make meaning in our life, I try to by loving and helping those around me. It matters to them and to those that they will effect in the future. But I will get to the point that sadness me, which is if one day it all ends no more humans will it have mattered? Will anything have mattered? This question creeps in my mind and bothers me, I push it down but it reappears. Does anyone struggle with this? Is there an answer? Or should I just try to cope with the fact that there is only a finite meaning to my life.

I can only speak from my experience. It used to bother me - it doesn't anymore. When I was in my late teens I thought and pondered the "big picture" (I still ponder too much, hence my username Philosoraptor Wink ).

But since I entered my 20s, thoughts about the ultimate meaning don't bother me anymore - sure, I do experience them from time to time, but I'm indifferent about them. I live for the moment, and I see myself as fortunate because my standard of living enables me to enjoy the benefits of the 21st century. So for me there's plenty about this life to enjoy, and no time for concerns about the meaning. I can make my own meaning. It's like playing an open-ended videogame (but without violence Smile ) - I've always preferred those that let you roam around and plan when to do your missions (or not do them at all), over the linear ones which are like an interactive movie. On the other hand, some people prefer linear games, because they can simply do what the game tells them to. So it is with life.

In the end, when we die, we won't be too concerned about it, so why be concerned now?

"Death, therefore, the most awful of evils, is nothing to us, seeing that, when we are, death is not come, and, when death is come, we are not.
It is nothing, then, either to the living or to the dead, for with the living it is not and the dead exist no longer.
"
~ Epicurus
http://www.epicurus.net/en/menoeceus.html
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20-09-2013, 02:46 PM
RE: My questioning of the question "What is the meaning of life"
of course answers are infinite existence
absolute true reality while also a free dimension and another superior dimension

so any answer open the way of thinking truth, how the free dimension wat is not related to the answer, or what is possibly superior to the fact so must b existing more true so what already say the fact objectively. how those different dimensions could b of the same truth then the absolute fact

so u could see how there is no questions ever, only answers and truth means

what point questions as existing facts, are evil means so liars

meaning to take advantage from facts by reversing it, so pretending that they are not real facts that it is not enough clear or absolute, while kicking it all the ways
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