UnThreaded | Threaded | Whole Thread (57) | Ignore Thread Prev Thread | Next Thread
Author: estd Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 3157  
Subject: Is Life Meaningless? Date: 2/23/2001 9:39 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Yes
Print the post Back To Top
Author: Enilkrennad Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 62 of 3157
Subject: Re: Is Life Meaningless? Date: 2/23/2001 9:47 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
Ok, i'll bite. I agree that we shouldn't tick off the atheists with a discussion between two non-atheists on their board (though i'm curious as to what you consider yourself, if not an atheist).

Is meaning boring? Or does "meaning" exist at all? If you're not an atheist, then i assume you are agnostic or theist. If you are theist, doesn't there HAVE to be meaning? If you are agnostic, isn't meaning at least possible?

Print the post Back To Top
Author: apetrel Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 63 of 3157
Subject: Re: Is Life Meaningless? Date: 2/23/2001 9:48 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
No

Print the post Back To Top
Author: estd Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 64 of 3157
Subject: Re: Is Life Meaningless? Date: 2/23/2001 9:49 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
I brought this discussion over from the Atheist board:

estd wrote:
I agree that life is meaningless. That's what
makes it fun.


enilkrennad replied:
Dare i go here? To you, meaningless = fun?! So if something had "meaning" would it be boring, or do you believe that "meaning" doesn't exist at all?

In normal day to day life, I operate as if there was meaning, but from a grand perspective, no, meaning does not exist at all.

I do not think meaning is boring, just superfluous. I do not think meaningless = fun, I think that once you realize that it is all meaningless, you can see the fun in everything.

Life really is absurd. Some of the funniest stuff is when people take it really seriously. I myself get hooked into the idea that stuff matters, that things are important. That's part of being human, but from time to time I step back and look at myself and realize I am just a dancing clown.

It really is meaningless and fun that we get a chance to strut our stuff on this planet for a few decades.

Others may see the same meaningless as hopelessly depressing. Twist that a bit and it becomes fun too.



Print the post Back To Top
Author: apetrel Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 65 of 3157
Subject: Re: Is Life Meaningless? Date: 2/23/2001 9:56 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
Over heard from a friend.
A boy said to his father: “what are we other than what we think we are?
Father responds: Everything that does not think about what you are.



Print the post Back To Top
Author: estd Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 66 of 3157
Subject: Re: Is Life Meaningless? Date: 2/23/2001 9:59 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Ok, i'll bite. I agree that we shouldn't tick off the atheists with a discussion between two non-atheists on their board (though i'm curious as to what you consider yourself, if not an atheist).

Is meaning boring? Or does "meaning" exist at all? If you're not an atheist, then i assume you are agnostic or theist.


Some of this I already answered in my previous post, but I thought I would address the issue of whether I am a theist or an athiest or an agnostic. I would say I am both a theist and an atheist. I think you can define god in such a way that I believe such an entity to exist and you can define god in such a way that I do not believe such an entity exists.

Depending on how you look at the universe, either everything is conscious or nothing is conscious. If everything is conscious then that biggest of everything can be called God. Either way, it doesn't matter to me.

If you are theist, doesn't there HAVE to be meaning?

No

If you are agnostic, isn't meaning at least possible?

Anything is possible. All definitions and all boundaries are arbitrary. I do not mean to suggest that my definitions are any more or less valid than yours.


Print the post Back To Top
Author: estd Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 67 of 3157
Subject: Re: Is Life Meaningless? Date: 2/23/2001 10:01 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
A boy said to his father: “what are we other than what we think we are?
Father responds: Everything that does not think about what you are.


I think the proper question for this answer is
"What are we?"


Print the post Back To Top
Author: xebec Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 68 of 3157
Subject: Re: Is Life Meaningless? Date: 2/23/2001 10:11 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
I vaguely remember hearing about a religion (Zoroastrianism ?) which taught that there is a Creator who ignors his creation (that is you, me, and everything else). There is another supernatural force, called the Demiurge, which is either very stupid or completely mindless, which goes around creation making trouble.

In this view, life is worse than absurd, it is downright ludicrous.

Print the post Back To Top
Author: estd Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 69 of 3157
Subject: Re: Is Life Meaningless? Date: 2/23/2001 10:15 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
I vaguely remember hearing about a religion (Zoroastrianism ?) which taught that there is a Creator who ignors his creation (that is you, me, and everything else).

I don't think you need a creator if the creation is the deity. It's all IT (that is you, me and everything else).

There is another supernatural force, called the Demiurge, which is either very stupid or completely mindless, which goes around creation making trouble.

Sounds kinda like people :)

In this view, life is worse than absurd, it is downright ludicrous.

You make it sound as if absurdity is bad. I think an absurd life is the only one worth living.

Print the post Back To Top
Author: xebec Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 70 of 3157
Subject: Re: Is Life Meaningless? Date: 2/23/2001 10:19 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
Depending on how you look at the universe, either everything is conscious or nothing is conscious.

This is simply false. I have a way of looking at the Universe in which their exists consciousness and unconscious matter.

I, like everyone else, have been unconscious, and I find it easy to tell the difference.

And for what it is worth, I also suggest that you can have thoughts without consciousness. This is what happens when you are dreaming. It is also evident in the "autopilot" phenomenon when you intend to drive somewhere, but your body decides to drive somewhere else.

Print the post Back To Top
Author: xebec Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 71 of 3157
Subject: Re: Is Life Meaningless? Date: 2/23/2001 10:21 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
You make it sound as if absurdity is bad. I think an absurd life is the only one worth living.

Odd then that Camus had to write an entire book to justify his not commiting suicide.

Print the post Back To Top
Author: estd Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 72 of 3157
Subject: Re: Is Life Meaningless? Date: 2/23/2001 10:25 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Depending on how you look at the universe, either everything is conscious or nothing is conscious.

This is simply false. I have a way of looking at the Universe in which their exists consciousness and unconscious matter.


If it works for you, then great. Go with it. Just because we disagree doesn't mean either of us is wrong.

I, like everyone else, have been unconscious, and I find it easy to tell the difference.

Yes, you can choose a definition of the word consciousness to be when your brain waves are following a certain type of pattern and by such a definition both consciousness and unconsciousness are possible.

And for what it is worth, I also suggest that you can have thoughts without consciousness. This is what happens when you are dreaming. It is also evident in the "autopilot" phenomenon when you intend to drive somewhere, but your body decides to drive somewhere else.

I would say you never really have 'conscious' thoughts. They just kind of arise and play across you. You really have very little to do with those thoughts.

I'd say the "autopilot" phenomena extends to your entire life. Just dancing clowns in a chorus line with no choreographer.

Print the post Back To Top
Author: estd Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 73 of 3157
Subject: Re: Is Life Meaningless? Date: 2/23/2001 10:27 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
You make it sound as if absurdity is bad. I think an absurd life is the only one worth living.

Odd then that Camus had to write an entire book to justify his not commiting suicide.


Not so odd. That may be the key question. If life is meaningless, then why continue it.

My answer is, why not?

Print the post Back To Top
Author: apetrel Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 74 of 3157
Subject: Re: Is Life Meaningless? Date: 2/23/2001 10:39 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
I think the proper question for this answer is
"What are we?"


I think the proper answer is probably the same.
"Everything that does not think about what we are."

For me the statement suggests that it may not be necessary or desirable to identify the locus of your exsistence in your thinking processes. You can at least theorize that if some kind of mental connection was established with the totality of your being and not just the talking consciousness part of you, it might provide a greater insight into the connectedness of everything and a non-verbal awareness of the boundarylessness of your exsistence. Further, you could theorize that this awareness and insight would not be regarded by you as being a trival or meaningless experience.


Print the post Back To Top
Author: xebec Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 75 of 3157
Subject: Re: Is Life Meaningless? Date: 2/23/2001 11:10 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
Yes, you can choose a definition of the word consciousness to be when your brain waves are following a certain type of pattern and by such a definition both consciousness and unconsciousness are possible.

Nonsense.

Here it is the ability to choose that imply consciousness, not some brainwave pattern. If you honestly believe that there is an I that can choose then I consider my point made and ratified by you.

And why do you despise people so much? According to you philosophy, here is no consciousness there. You might as well despise a rock. (Or pehaps you do?)

And why don't you despise yourself? I, personally, find lines of dancing clowns, with or without choreographers, pretty despicable.


Print the post Back To Top
Author: estd Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 76 of 3157
Subject: Re: Is Life Meaningless? Date: 2/23/2001 11:17 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
I think the proper question for this answer is
"What are we?"

I think the proper answer is probably the same.
"Everything that does not think about what we are."


That was my point exactly

For me the statement suggests that it may not be necessary or desirable to identify the locus of your exsistence in your thinking processes. You can at least theorize that if some kind of mental connection was established with the totality of your being and not just the talking consciousness part of you, it might provide a greater insight into the connectedness of everything and a non-verbal awareness of the boundarylessness of your exsistence. Further, you could theorize that this awareness and insight would not be regarded by you as being a trival or meaningless experience.

Sure, you can theorize that. You might even be right.

You can also theorize that obtaining this "insight into the connectedness of everything and a non-verbal awareness of the boundarylessness of your exsistence" that you would realize that it is a meaningless experience, and you might get a kick out of that.


Print the post Back To Top
Author: Enilkrennad Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 77 of 3157
Subject: Re: Is Life Meaningless? Date: 2/23/2001 11:18 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
estd,

You might be the most frustrating person i have ever attempted to converse with. You believe everything and yet you believe nothing. Everything has consciousness yet everything doesn't. God can be defined in such a way that He exists, but He can also be defined in such a way that He doesn't. All boundaries are useful but arbitrary.

How can you possibly have any frame of reference for knowing anything? How did you arrive at your beliefs? Everything you "know" (or cannot know, as the case may be), is derived from a thought process that you seem to believe isn't what it appears. Is there any way to test or support your (non)belief system? It is so random and yes, arbitrary as to be absurd (yes, i know you love abusrdity) and pointless (yes, meaningless).

But if you can't really "know" anything, then you don't know what you "know," and thus my belief in a real, definable God is much more useful. It seems you have abandoned any semblance of a useful system of belief. Why have you chosen to believe as you do (or don't)?

Print the post Back To Top
Author: estd Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 78 of 3157
Subject: Re: Is Life Meaningless? Date: 2/23/2001 11:23 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Here it is the ability to choose that imply consciousness, not some brainwave pattern. If you honestly believe that there is an I that can choose then I consider my point made and ratified by you.

Oh, but I don't believe there is an I that can choose. Not in the grand scheme of things.

And why do you despise people so much? According to you philosophy, here is no consciousness there. You might as well despise a rock. (Or pehaps you do?)

I never said nor tried to imply that I despised people or anything else. I think people are a great entertainment. So are rocks for that matter. All wonderful stuff.

And why don't you despise yourself? I, personally, find lines of dancing clowns, with or without choreographers, pretty despicable.

I think dancing clowns are quite entertaining. I am sorry you seem to think so much of everything is despicable. I think it is all GREAT, FABULOUS, STUPENDOUS, FUN and meaningless.

Print the post Back To Top
Author: estd Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 79 of 3157
Subject: Re: Is Life Meaningless? Date: 2/23/2001 11:42 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
You might be the most frustrating person i have ever attempted to converse with. You believe everything and yet you believe nothing. Everything has consciousness yet everything doesn't. God can be defined in such a way that He exists, but He can also be defined in such a way that He doesn't. All boundaries are useful but arbitrary.

You are catching on now. It's cool, isn't it?

How can you possibly have any frame of reference for knowing anything? How did you arrive at your beliefs? Everything you "know" (or cannot know, as the case may be), is derived from a thought process that you seem to believe isn't what it appears. Is there any way to test or support your (non)belief system? It is so random and yes, arbitrary as to be absurd (yes, i know you love abusrdity) and pointless (yes, meaningless).

That is the point. Give up the frame of reference. Give up the need to “know” anything. Sure thought processes go screaming though my head. Woohoo! Let 'em ride! There is nothing to believe in. Everything is exactly as it appears, and nothing is as it appears. Multiple levels. Multiple boundaries. All valid.. All invalid. All arbitrary.

But if you can't really "know" anything, then you don't know what you "know," and thus my belief in a real, definable God is much more useful. It seems you have abandoned any semblance of a useful system of belief. Why have you chosen to believe as you do (or don't)?

Exactly. I don't really “know” anything. I never claimed to. That would be silly. If there is nothing to be believed and nothing has meaning then nothing is useful. “Useful” becomes meaningless too. Why would you want a useful system of belief? There is no why?

Now, I do want to make it clear that while this is my “core system of non-belief”, I do live everyday much as anyone else. I pretend to be a human who needs to eat and goes to the job and loves his wife and kid. But when you stop to think about it, you realize it is just a game I'm playing for now. I happen to really enjoy this game.

I am curious. In your last post you stated you have a belief in “real, definable God”. Can you give me a definition of such a God? Once you apply a definition, don't you limit God thereby making it less than God?



Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post Back To Top
Author: apetrel Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 80 of 3157
Subject: Re: Is Life Meaningless? Date: 2/23/2001 12:01 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
You can also theorize that obtaining this "insight into the connectedness of everything and a non-verbal awareness of the boundarylessness of your exsistence" that you would realize that it is a meaningless experience, and you might get a kick out of that.

Theories are for thinking and talking, action is for doing. If I must put a label on something to verbally express an experience regarding the meaningfullnes of life I go with Woooooooow,Yeeeeeaaaaassss, Bring it on!

Whatever floats your boat,floats your boat.

BTW, unfortnately even when you accidentially puncture
someone's over inflated ego you often get goo on you.



Print the post Back To Top
Author: Enilkrennad Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 81 of 3157
Subject: Re: Is Life Meaningless? Date: 2/23/2001 12:02 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
You are catching on now. It's cool, isn't it?

Cool wasn't exactly what i had in mind.

There is nothing to believe in. Everything is exactly as it appears, and nothing is as it appears.

My point is that nothing you have (likely) ever encountered in your life would lead you to believe such a thing. There is no basis for your (non)belief. You've simply made it up, pulled it out of your @$$ for no good reason. There is nothing in our world that indicates your (non)belief is the appropriate way to (not)believe. Everything in the human experience indicates to the vast majority of the human population that some things ARE knowable. That we CAN understand some things through experience and exerimentation. Your odd faith in total meaninglessness is unsupported by human history. People love, hate, and die for other people. We've (almost) all found meaning, whether in other people or ultimately in a diety. You're denying the value of common human wisdom and knowledge accumulated over millenia. What prompted you to do so?

I pretend to be a human who needs to eat and goes to the job and loves his wife and kid.

Do you really have a wife and kid? If so, how sad that you find no meaning in them. My sincerest sympathy to them, i hope you one day learn to love, believing fully that "love" truly exists and IS what we all believe it to be.

I am curious. In your last post you stated you have a belief in “real, definable God”. Can you give me a definition of such a God? Once you apply a definition, don't you limit God thereby making it less than God?

I must clarify. I meant "real" and "definable" in the sense that He has revealed Himself in a small, limited way to me personally. I can define His reality to me, but i cannot apply a definition that encompasses all of who He is, because you are right, to do so would limit Him and make Him less than God. The God i believe in created the universe, all time and all space, thus He exists independently of our world. He is completely limitless.

Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post Back To Top
Author: estd Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 82 of 3157
Subject: Re: Is Life Meaningless? Date: 2/23/2001 4:01 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Theories are for thinking and talking, action is for doing. If I must put a label on something to verbally express an experience regarding the meaningfullnes of life I go with Woooooooow,Yeeeeeaaaaassss, Bring it on!

Ah yes, almost an identical reaction to my experince regarding the meaninglessness of life.

Whatever floats your boat,floats your boat.

I couldn't have said it better myself!

BTW, unfortnately even when you accidentially puncture someone's over inflated ego you often get goo on you.

So you may as well puncture on purpose. BRING ON THE GOO!


Print the post Back To Top
Author: estd Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 83 of 3157
Subject: Re: Is Life Meaningless? Date: 2/23/2001 4:18 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
My point is that nothing you have (likely) ever encountered in your life would lead you to believe such a thing. There is no basis for your (non)belief. You've simply made it up, pulled it out of your @$$ for no good reason. There is nothing in our world that indicates your (non)belief is the appropriate way to (not)believe. Everything in the human experience indicates to the vast majority of the human population that some things ARE knowable. That we CAN understand some things through experience and exerimentation. Your odd faith in total meaninglessness is unsupported by human history. People love, hate, and die for other people. We've (almost) all found meaning, whether in other people or ultimately in a diety. You're denying the value of common human wisdom and knowledge accumulated over millenia. What prompted you to do so?

Actually my beliefs, theories, philosophy, whatever is based completely on experience. It jives totally with human experience. Everything in the human experience indicates that nothing is KNOWABLE. Experience and experimentation show us that we never trully understand anything. The more we experiment and study the more we find out that we just don't know. When we think we have something figured out, something else comes along that overturns it.

Sure there are lots of little things that make life easier to live if you pretend they are true and knowable. It is easy to pretend that there are absolute meanings to things, even when there is none. We all agree to play by roughly the same rules when we are playing the “I am human” game. It just makes the game a bit easier. But there is nothing that is truly knowable in it.


Do you really have a wife and kid? If so, how sad that you find no meaning in them. My sincerest sympathy to them, i hope you one day learn to love, believing fully that "love" truly exists and IS what we all believe it to be.

Oh yes, I have a wife an kid and speaking as the entity playing the human game, I love them more than life itself. Is there any meaning to that? Not really. If the earth were to spin into the sun tomorrow, would it make a difference to the universe? To God? I don't think so.


I must clarify. I meant "real" and "definable" in the sense that He has revealed Himself in a small, limited way to me personally. I can define His reality to me, but i cannot apply a definition that encompasses all of who He is, because you are right, to do so would limit Him and make Him less than God. The God i believe in created the universe, all time and all space, thus He exists independently of our world. He is completely limitless.

I kind of figured that was your take on it and I am glad to hear it. Some people really believe god to be definable and knowable. I am glad to hear that you don't ascribe to such a belief.


Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post Back To Top
Author: Enilkrennad Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 84 of 3157
Subject: Re: Is Life Meaningless? Date: 2/23/2001 5:24 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
Everything in the human experience indicates that nothing is KNOWABLE. Experience and experimentation show us that we never trully understand anything. The more we experiment and study the more we find out that we just don't know.

Correct me if i'm wrong. What i'm understanding from the above is that you have arrived at your POV by observing human limitations on knowledge. Because people often stand firmly planted on opposite sides of an issue, because one scientific discovery supercedes another and changes our "understanding" of the universe, and because people in general realize how much we all really do NOT know, you have come to the conclusion that we actually know NOTHING at all? Is that a fair statement of your POV?

I still don't see what happened to make you (not)believe as you do. All that means is that we still have a lot to learn. Knowing relatively little in the scope of the whole universe and knowing NOTHING at all are two very different things. Reaching one conclusion should not necessarily lead you to reach the other. What possible reason do you have for not believing that the computer screen you're reading this post on does not actually exist? It's really there and you are reading my thoughts as expressed in cyberspace, thus you know something.

Oh yes, I have a wife an kid and speaking as the entity playing the human game, I love them more than life itself. Is there any meaning to that? Not really.

I cannot comprehend such a view. Based on my understanding of your beliefs, i would have to believe that if they both died tomorrow in a fire, you would have no motivation to mourn their deaths. You say that "as the entity playing the human game, [you] love them more than life itself," but you also say it's meaningless. Thus their deaths would have to be meaningless as well, and how can you justify grief over that which has no meaning. Ultimately, they cannot have any true meaning to you.

Ever heard of DeCartes? "I think, therefore i am."

Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post Back To Top
Author: estd Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 85 of 3157
Subject: Re: Is Life Meaningless? Date: 2/23/2001 6:01 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Correct me if i'm wrong. What i'm understanding from the above is that you have arrived at your POV by observing human limitations on knowledge. Because people often stand firmly planted on opposite sides of an issue, because one scientific discovery supercedes another and changes our "understanding" of the universe, and because people in general realize how much we all really do NOT know, you have come to the conclusion that we actually know NOTHING at all? Is that a fair statement of your POV?

No, those are just examples of our ignorance. There is NOTHING that is knowable in certainty. Can you tell me anything that you know with absolutely no doubt?

I still don't see what happened to make you (not)believe as you do. All that means is that we still have a lot to learn. Knowing relatively little in the scope of the whole universe and knowing NOTHING at all are two very different things. Reaching one conclusion should not necessarily lead you to reach the other. What possible reason do you have for not believing that the computer screen you're reading this post on does not actually exist? It's really there and you are reading my thoughts as expressed in cyberspace, thus you know something.

You are confusing the every day, day to day living with knowing. Sure it is convenient to believe that the computer exists and that I am human and that it matters whether or not some guy around the world reads this cr@p. This doesn't mean I know anything. It doesn't mean anything. It is just a convenience so that I can play this game called 'human'.

Oh yes, I have a wife an kid and speaking as the entity playing the human game, I love them more than life itself. Is there any meaning to that? Not really.

I cannot comprehend such a view. Based on my understanding of your beliefs, i would have to believe that if they both died tomorrow in a fire, you would have no motivation to mourn their deaths. You say that "as the entity playing the human game, [you] love them more than life itself," but you also say it's meaningless. Thus their deaths would have to be meaningless as well, and how can you justify grief over that which has no meaning. Ultimately, they cannot have any true meaning to you.

Ultimately, nothing has any meaning. Sure if I lost my wife or child the human I would be devastated. I would grieve and feel hurt and pain and depression. Does this imply that there is meaning to their lives or that there would be meaning to their deaths? No. It just is. It ALL just is. No meaning. No knowledge. Just a bunch of stuff. And it is cool. It is GREAT. I get to be here and play this human game for awhile. Is there meaning in it? Is there meaning in a baseball game? Is there meaning in tiddly winks? No, but it is FUN. It is a joy to play this game of life. I dig it.


Ever heard of DeCartes? "I think, therefore i am."


http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=14197294


Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post Back To Top
Author: preston6 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 86 of 3157
Subject: Re: Is Life Meaningless? Date: 2/23/2001 6:27 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
Matt, er, estd,

How's the weather in Cali?

BTW, ever read "No Man Is An Island" by Thomas Merton?

There's a good part about a third of the way through about how man constantly tries throughout life to see himself because he doesn't believe he exists. And so he examines the froth that his life churns up, the wake that he is constantly leaving behind, looking for some kind of meaning in it, some way to define himself.

I mention it, because in all this talk of meaninglessness, you remembered that you mentioned Rene and included a link for Danner.

You are well acquainted with your own actions, and believe that they exist, no?

Yes of course you exist.

As for being a doppel, it reminds me of G.K. Chesterton's treatise on wearing a mask. His essay also touches on the "reality" of our existence and our common tendency to either not believe in it, or to adjust it to our version of sanity.

I have a picture of you in my mind. And it is really you, for all I know. You have jet-black hair and wear "jams" and flip-flops while strolling the beach.

Do you know a different you?

Print the post Back To Top
Author: Enilkrennad Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 87 of 3157
Subject: Re: Is Life Meaningless? Date: 2/23/2001 10:11 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
Can you tell me anything that you know with absolutely no doubt?

I exist. My wife exists. I love her. I recognize the color blue. I can distinguish between a circle and a square. 1+1=2. 2+2=4. Etc. Etc. I could go on all day.

Clever take on "I think therefore i am." One problem for you though, you admitted that either you exist because you think, or that at the very least your thoughts exist. Either way, SOMETHING exists, even if you can't be sure what. Thus you know SOMETHING, and if you can know something, you can know other things as well. Your whole system of (non)belief collapses any way you look at it.


Print the post Back To Top
Author: apetrel Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 88 of 3157
Subject: Re: Is Life Meaningless? Date: 2/24/2001 1:49 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
Your whole system of (non)belief collapses any way you look at it.

Collapsing belief systems?

There is no truth in words. (verbal tail eating snake,wisdom is in the chewing)

I think, therefore I ain't. (you are a lot more you when you are not paying attention to that noise you call thinking)

If you really want to hurt your head wade through the following link. The guy is apparenting dyslexic or drunk, but you may get the point.

http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=13064585

Print the post Back To Top
Author: estd Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 89 of 3157
Subject: Re: Is Life Meaningless? Date: 2/24/2001 1:10 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Can you tell me anything that you know with absolutely no doubt?

I exist. My wife exists. I love her.


This is very nice. I love her too. ;-). This whole side track of existence versus non-existence is really quite immaterial. I will grant you that there is some level of existence depending on your definition. I will say that no particular thing exists. In fact I don't really believe in the concept of things. Nouns do not exist. If we do exist it is a verbs. We are a doing, a waving, a wiggling.

I still argue that the you that you perceive as you does not really exist. You are just a piece of the whole mess and the whole mess is a big wiggling verb.

I recognize the color blue. I can distinguish between a circle and a square. 1+1=2. 2+2=4. Etc. Etc. I could go on all day.

(I am now shifting my focus from the view of the whole to address a specific human knowledge of enilkrennad). As for these specific pieces of "knowledge". Yes, these are are very well and true within an arbitrary definition that you have decided to impose upon them. Recognition of color works if you are dealing with an entity with the ability to see in the visible spectrum which is not color blind. Furthermore, it works between entities if both of the entities have similar back grounds and have decided that the collection of letter b-l-u-e happen to be a symbol for a particular range of light vibrations in the visible spectrum. More simply "recognition is not knowledge".

Aritmetic rules 1+1 = 2 , etc. also work within the realm certain boundaries. 1 apple + 1 apple = 2 apples, but 1 sperm + 1 egg = 1 being, or nothing. 1 idea + 1 idea can = an inifite range of ideas or complete idiocacy.

Clever take on "I think therefore i am." One problem for you though, you admitted that either you exist because you think, or that at the very least your thoughts exist. Either way, SOMETHING exists, even if you can't be sure what. Thus you know SOMETHING, and if you can know something, you can know other things as well. Your whole system of (non)belief collapses any way you look at it.

Again there is a difference between absolute knowledge which does not exist and day to day working knowledge. As I play the human game. I know the color blue and that i love my wife and that the sun will come up tomorrow. You get the chance to play this game of humanity for a short time so it's more fun if you really get into it. By the way, you are doing a fine job. The ignorance of ignorance is one of the key rules which even I play by most of the time.

I know I haven't answered your existence objections and I will return to this later, but for now the human I has a crying baby to take care of, Later...


Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post Back To Top
Author: estd Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 90 of 3157
Subject: Re: Is Life Meaningless? Date: 2/24/2001 1:35 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
BTW, ever read "No Man Is An Island" by Thomas Merton?

There's a good part about a third of the way through about how man constantly tries throughout life to see himself because he doesn't believe he exists. And so he examines the froth that his life churns up, the wake that he is constantly leaving behind, looking for some kind of meaning in it, some way to define himself.

I mention it, because in all this talk of meaninglessness, you remembered that you mentioned Rene and included a link for Danner


sure a life churns up a wake. furthermore, it is nothing but wake. we are just a stirring of ripples in whole slimy sea.

sorry, but i reserve the right to change context and meanings of words at random wthiout warning. you have been warned.

i do like the idea that 'no man is an island'. of course we are all connected and what one being does has profound effects upon everyone and everything else. that doesn't mean there is any meaning behind any of it.

You are well acquainted with your own actions, and believe that they exist, no?

no, i do not exist. The i that you are typing to is just another swell in the sea of glup. There is no individual I. It is an illusion.


By the way, I, estd do exist as a separate entity and as a separate human that performs actions and is very familiar with most of those actions. Different context. Different answers. All definitions and boundaries are equally arbitrary and valid and invalid.

I have a picture of you in my mind. And it is really you, for all I know. You have jet-black hair and wear "jams" and flip-flops while strolling the beach.

and that picture in your mind is as valid and real an entity as the one typing on this keyboard.


Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post Back To Top
Author: delighted Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 91 of 3157
Subject: Re: Is Life Meaningless? Date: 2/24/2001 11:25 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1

No--------just impossible to fathom.

Other things that cant be answered -----(1) how big is the universe?--(2) can you conceive infinity?-------(3)If the big bang theory is right how big was the mass that pre-existed?

Print the post Back To Top
Author: xebec Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 92 of 3157
Subject: Re: Is Life Meaningless? Date: 2/25/2001 2:40 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
There is NOTHING that is knowable in certainty.

Are you sure?

Can you tell me anything that you know with absolutely no doubt?

I know that 1+1 = 2. Your sophistical examples are completely irrelevant. You may claim that you have doubts, but frankly I think you are just engaging in a debating ploy. You never ever have and never ever will actually act as if it were not true.

I mean, am I really supposed to be baffled and frustrated by your silly assertion that
1 sperm + 1 egg = 1 human or nothing? I can give you a whole lot more sophisticated paradoxes if you like.


A moral question. If you believe Life is Meaningless is there anything preventing you from committing heinous crimes?






Print the post Back To Top
Author: Enilkrennad Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 93 of 3157
Subject: Re: Is Life Meaningless? Date: 2/25/2001 6:13 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
I will grant you that there is some level of existence depending on your definition.

HA! You've admitted defeat : ) Your words, "there is some level of existence..." So we know THIS MUCH. Why cannot other things be known as well?

I still argue that the you that you perceive as you does not really exist.

You can argue that, but how do you know you're right, as you also argue that nothing can be known? I'll grant you that i may not perceive myself exactly as i AM, but my perception is irrelevant. That i DO EXIST is without question.

Yes, these are are very well and true within an arbitrary definition that you have decided to impose upon them.

Ah ha! Another admission of defeat. Something else TRUE within a certain definition imposed. And that definition is not arbitrary at all; it has been arrived at by the mutual agreement of mankind for it is useful. Nothing "arbitrary" about it, unless you have some completely different understanding of "arbitrary."

Recognition of color works if you are dealing with an entity with the ability to see in the visible spectrum which is not color blind.

You have just described... ME. I can see the "visible spectrum" and i am not color blind. Thus i KNOW i can distinguish the color blue from other colors. That someone else may be color blind does not change the fact that *I* recognize the color blue when i see it.

More simply "recognition is not knowledge".

Perhaps, but i'm not saying i KNOW the color blue in any absolute sense. I'm saying i KNOW i recognize the color blue. Recognition and knowledge of recognition are two different things.

Aritmetic rules 1+1 = 2 , etc. also work within the realm certain boundaries.

Again, the boundaries have been set by mankind's exploration and understanding of the universe. Just because you can imagine some queer situation where 1+1 does not = 2 doesn't mean that *I* don't KNOW that it DOES under 99.999% of circumstances. Again, just because exceptions exist doesn't make the RULE false.

Again there is a difference between absolute knowledge which does not exist and day to day working knowledge.

Though i believe in absolute knowledge that i cannot prove to you, i also believe in absolute knowledge of day to day working knowledge. Yes, some things are true in some situations and some things are false in other situations. But either i or someone else knows when they ARE true and when they ARE false. We KNOW.

This is fun.

Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post Back To Top
Author: ctscuba Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 94 of 3157
Subject: Re: Is Life Meaningless? Date: 2/25/2001 9:56 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
This is fun.

Yes, it is.

Print the post Back To Top
Author: estd Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 95 of 3157
Subject: Re: Is Life Meaningless? Date: 2/26/2001 9:09 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
There is NOTHING that is knowable in certainty.

Are you sure?

Of course not.

Can you tell me anything that you know with absolutely no doubt?

I know that 1+1 = 2. Your sophistical examples are completely irrelevant. You may claim that you have doubts, but frankly I think you are just engaging in a debating ploy. You never ever have and never ever will actually act as if it were not true.


No, you believe 1+1=2 and if you limit the scope enough you can come up with an unlimited number of examples where it is true, but that does not make it absolutely true as I have pointed out to you in my previous "sophistical examples".

I mean, am I really supposed to be baffled and frustrated by your silly assertion that
1 sperm + 1 egg = 1 human or nothing? I can give you a whole lot more sophisticated paradoxes if you like.


No, I don't expect you to be baffled by that. It would be better off to be baffled by why does 1+1 = 2 when it does.


A moral question. If you believe Life is Meaningless is there anything preventing you from committing heinous crimes?

Because I don't want to commit heinous crimes. Why would you want to?


Print the post Back To Top
Author: estd Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 96 of 3157
Subject: Re: Is Life Meaningless? Date: 2/26/2001 9:19 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
I will grant you that there is some level of existence depending on your definition.

HA! You've admitted defeat : ) Your words, "there is some level of existence..." So we know THIS MUCH. Why cannot other things be known as well?


No, we don't know it. I am just trying to get beyond a minor point and on with the discussion. I believe that matter and energy exist. I believe that separate humans exist. I believe that you believe you exist. I also believe that there is no such thing as separate humans. That matter and energy are just arbitrary definitions.

I still argue that the you that you perceive as you does not really exist.

You can argue that, but how do you know you're right, as you also argue that nothing can be known? I'll grant you that i may not perceive myself exactly as i AM, but my perception is irrelevant. That i DO EXIST is without question.


There is no “I”, just the perceptions. Perhaps the perceptions exist. Who cares one way or the other.

Yes, these are are very well and true within an arbitrary definition that you have decided to impose upon them.

Ah ha! Another admission of defeat. Something else TRUE within a certain definition imposed. And that definition is not arbitrary at all; it has been arrived at by the mutual agreement of mankind for it is useful. Nothing "arbitrary" about it, unless you have some completely different understanding of "arbitrary."


Of course things can be true within certain definitions. That is the way the entire human mind works. It makes up definitions and then thinks it knows the truth. If I define the word “apple” to be what you think of as a “banana”, then by my definition, it is trully an apple. But all the definitions are arbitrary and all the truth is arbitrary. You can say you absolutley know something and that is true and I can say I absolutely KNOW the opposite and that is true. It is all arbitrary point of view specific. There is no ulitmate reality. No ultimate truth.

Aritmetic rules 1+1 = 2 , etc. also work within the realm certain boundaries.

Again, the boundaries have been set by mankind's exploration and understanding of the universe. Just because you can imagine some queer situation where 1+1 does not = 2 doesn't mean that *I* don't KNOW that it DOES under 99.999% of circumstances. Again, just because exceptions exist doesn't make the RULE false.


Actually 1 exception does prove the rule false. The rule may still be relatively good for predictive value, but it is not “true”.

Though i believe in absolute knowledge that i cannot prove to you, i also believe in absolute knowledge of day to day working knowledge. Yes, some things are true in some situations and some things are false in other situations. But either i or someone else knows when they ARE true and when they ARE false. We KNOW.

No, you believe that you know. There is a difference.


This is fun.

Now, you are getting it. It's cool isn't it?


Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post Back To Top
Author: xebec Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 98 of 3157
Subject: Re: Is Life Meaningless? Date: 2/26/2001 9:46 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
Because I don't want to commit heinous crimes. Why would you want to?

I don't want to. But then again I am simple enough to believe that it is wrong to cause pain and suffering. But believing in right and wrong presupposes meaning.


The question I wonder about is why don't you want to.

Are not Hitler, Stalin, and Mao just more of those amusing dancing clowns?


Print the post Back To Top
Author: estd Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 99 of 3157
Subject: Re: Is Life Meaningless? Date: 2/26/2001 9:51 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Because I don't want to commit heinous crimes. Why would you want to?

I don't want to. But then again I am simple enough to believe that it is wrong to cause pain and suffering. But believing in right and wrong presupposes meaning.


Right and wrong are human concepts and speaking as the human estd, I think I get along better by more or less following what society considers "right". Is there any meaning to this? Perhaps at a personal level, but certainly not on any grand scale.


The question I wonder about is why don't you want to.

All I can say is again, why would I want to. What joy, what fun, what could I get from commiting crimes? I trully believe that we are all just different aspects of the same stuff. Why would I want to stick pins in myself?

Are not Hitler, Stalin, and Mao just more of those amusing dancing clowns?

Yes, they are, but I must admit, it is a little harder to get the joke in some cases then it is in others.


Print the post Back To Top
Author: Enilkrennad Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 101 of 3157
Subject: Re: Is Life Meaningless? Date: 2/26/2001 10:09 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
What this seems to be boiling down to is that you do not trust your understanding of the universe; i do. It is so blatantly obvious that I exist in some form that i feel no need to try and doubt it. I absolutely know i exist, period. You do not think it is absolute. You think the definition of "I" is arbitrary. I think it is real and definite. You cannot prove that your doubt is valid. It may be based on your observations that humans in general are unable to "know" most things absolutely (and i agree that absolute truth is often elusive), but there is still nothing in human existence to indicate that we are completely incapable of knowing ANYTHING AT ALL absolutely. ONE apple added to ONE other apple ALWAYS equals TWO apples, 100% of the time. You cannot claim that adding TWO apples together could ever possibly give you ONE apple or THREE apples or any other number of apples.

I also believe that ultimate, absolute Truth exists in the person of God Himself. Thus the entire world is permeated by lesser truths that emanate from God. So absolute Truth is essential to my understanding of the universe and life. Life has meaning given to it by God. Your insistence on all definitions being arbitrary is itself arbitrary and meaningless and completely useless. It is not compatible with human experience as understood by everyone else i've ever encountered.

Let's take a closer look at "arbitrary," as this is central to your POV. The definitions that could apply to your use of the word are as follows.

1 : depending on individual discretion (as of a judge) and not fixed by law <the manner of punishment is arbitrary>
3 a : based on or determined by individual preference or convenience rather than by necessity or the intrinsic nature of something <an arbitrary standard> <take any arbitrary positive number> <arbitrary division of historical studies into watertight compartments -- A. J. Toynbee> b : existing or coming about seemingly at random or by chance or as a capricious and unreasonable act of will <when a task is not seen in a meaningful context it is experienced as being arbitrary -- Nehemiah Jordan>

3a sums up your entire view of the universe. 3b is the exact opposite of how mankind arrived at its definition of words like "matter" and "energy." Your careless application of the word "arbitrary" to every concept is hollow. You have still proven nothing.

And if life is truly meaningless, why live under a code of ethics? Why play the game? You keep saying that the meaninglessness of life makes it "fun" to play the game, but wouldn't it make more sense for everyone to end their meaningless lives as quickly as possible? Have you not observed that one of the most fundamental aspects of the human psyche is the need for meaning? People want to be significant. They want to matter. EVERYONE does. Do you claim that you have escaped this most basic of human needs? Without it, humanity would not have progressed to where we are now. Everyone WOULD have killed themselves.



Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post Back To Top
Author: apetrel Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 102 of 3157
Subject: Re: Is Life Meaningless? Date: 2/26/2001 10:35 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 2
I also believe that ultimate, absolute Truth exists in the person of God Himself. Thus the entire world is permeated by lesser truths that emanate from God. So absolute Truth is essential to my understanding of the universe and life. Life has meaning given to it by God. .....Without it, humanity would not have progressed to where we are now. Everyone WOULD have killed themselves.


One more time, trust christians at your peril.

They have no personal moral compass. What seperates many of them from being a total bastard,a criminal mastermind,a despoiler of women, and even enjoying themselves for the fun it, is fear of their god and that pile of junk known as the bible. If they forget about god for awhile,(and of course they always have the repentance/forgiveness gambit to fall back on), you are lucky you are not one of their victims.
On their own, they are without a moral compass and dangerous. In effect they are hollow, just a shell, tightly bound by the hard wiring of belief in the omnipotence of the easter bunny.

The reason many christians distrust and fear atheists is that they persoanlly have so much evil in their hearts they cannot comprehend what it would be like to be a moral person just because it feels right.



Print the post Back To Top
Author: Enilkrennad Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 104 of 3157
Subject: Re: Is Life Meaningless? Date: 2/26/2001 11:00 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
You couldn't possibly have taken my words any further out of context and distorted my point of view ANY worse. I NEVER said that without the meaning in life given by God everyone would have killed themselves. Never intimated, never implied, yet somehow that's what you read. Amazing.

I DID say that without the basic need for significance humanity would not have progressed. The need for significance is entirely separate from belief in deity. Your gross misunderstanding of Christians in general and your reckless misquoting/understanding of my own point of view reveal a serious lack of attempt on your part to listen to and seek to understand people with whom you disagree.

Open your mind and discard your prejudice. Maybe you'll end up pleasantly surprised by your fellow man.

Print the post Back To Top
Author: estd Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 105 of 3157
Subject: Re: Is Life Meaningless? Date: 2/26/2001 11:03 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Let's take a closer look at "arbitrary," as this is central to your POV. The definitions that could apply to your use of the word are as follows.

1 : depending on individual discretion (as of a judge) and not fixed by law <the manner of punishment is arbitrary>
3 a : based on or determined by individual preference or convenience rather than by necessity or the intrinsic nature of something <an arbitrary standard> <take any arbitrary positive number> <arbitrary division of historical studies into watertight compartments -- A. J. Toynbee> b : existing or coming about seemingly at random or by chance or as a capricious and unreasonable act of will <when a task is not seen in a meaningful context it is experienced as being arbitrary -- Nehemiah Jordan>

3a sums up your entire view of the universe. 3b is the exact opposite of how mankind arrived at its definition of words like "matter" and "energy." Your careless application of the word "arbitrary" to every concept is hollow. You have still proven nothing.


Actually I prefer definition 1, but 3a works as well. Actually you can use any definition you like for anything you like. It really all is just in your head. Of course, what you believe to be true is true to you so your view of the true is absolutely true if only to you.

And if life is truly meaningless, why live under a code of ethics? Why play the game? You keep saying that the meaninglessness of life makes it "fun" to play the game, but wouldn't it make more sense for everyone to end their meaningless lives as quickly as possible? Have you not observed that one of the most fundamental aspects of the human psyche is the need for meaning? People want to be significant. They want to matter. EVERYONE does. Do you claim that you have escaped this most basic of human needs? Without it, humanity would not have progressed to where we are now. Everyone WOULD have killed themselves.

apetrel already answered this to some extent, but I must add a bit. WHY WOULD YOU KILL YOURSELF IF LIFE IS MEANINGLESS? I am sorry that your personal human life is so devoid of interest that you feel that you must add meaning to it to make it worth living.

If it really is meaningless, then killing yourself does not add anything to the mix nor remove anything from the mix. Sure,your personal self has no reason to continue, but it has no reason not to continue.

There is no absolute reason to live a moral life. There is no absolute reason not to.

From a purely human perspective, for a purely behavioristic perspective, it is beneficial for a single person and for society as a whole to behave "morally" (warning, my definition of moral has nothing to do with rules passed down by some supreme being. My definition of morality is the basic golden rule, do unto others as you would have them do unto you, or do what you like until you infringe on the rights of others).

Why play the game? Why not kill yourself?

Have you ever played cards or a board game? Why? Did it glorify your god or add to your meaning or significance?

Or perhaps it was just fun.

Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post Back To Top
Author: estd Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 106 of 3157
Subject: Re: Is Life Meaningless? Date: 2/26/2001 11:23 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
I forgot to comment on this:

Your insistence on all definitions being arbitrary is itself arbitrary and meaningless and completely useless.

You are 100% correct. Everyone's view are arbitrary and meaningless and completely useless. Including my own.

It is not compatible with human experience as understood by everyone else i've ever encountered.

You have never encountered any other human experience other than your own.




Print the post Back To Top
Author: Enilkrennad Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 107 of 3157
Subject: Re: Is Life Meaningless? Date: 2/26/2001 11:30 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
I am sorry that your personal human life is so devoid of interest that you feel that you must add meaning to it to make it worth living.

So "interest" is "the highest virtue" for you? Meaning does not exist. Truth is arbitrary. Nothing at all can be "known." But because life is interesting, you are happy. Not that happy means anything. Not that interest has any value. But because the game is interesting, its worth playing. Not that "worth" has any meaning either.

You can survive as long as you don't think about the complete absurdity of it all.

Thanks for playing,

Print the post Back To Top
Author: estd Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 108 of 3157
Subject: Re: Is Life Meaningless? Date: 2/26/2001 11:31 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
You can survive as long as you don't think about the complete absurdity of it all.

The absurdity of it all is the coolest part!



Print the post Back To Top
Author: Enilkrennad Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 109 of 3157
Subject: Re: Is Life Meaningless? Date: 2/26/2001 11:36 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
It is not compatible with human experience as understood by everyone else i've ever encountered.

You have never encountered any other human experience other than your own.


Go back and reread my words. I most certainly HAVE encountered other people.

Print the post Back To Top
Author: estd Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 110 of 3157
Subject: Re: Is Life Meaningless? Date: 2/26/2001 11:38 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
It is not compatible with human experience as understood by everyone else i've ever encountered.

You have never encountered any other human experience other than your own.

Go back and reread my words. I most certainly HAVE encountered other people.


Go back and reread my words. You have never encountered any other human experience other than your own.

Print the post Back To Top
Author: Enilkrennad Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 111 of 3157
Subject: Re: Is Life Meaningless? Date: 2/26/2001 11:53 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
Go back and reread my words. I most certainly HAVE encountered other people.

Go back and reread my words. You have never encountered any other human experience other than your own.


So are you now attempting to claim that humans cannot effectively communicate? Do i now have NO better understanding AT ALL of your "human experience" than i did before we began this thread?

Print the post Back To Top
Author: estd Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 113 of 3157
Subject: Re: Is Life Meaningless? Date: 2/26/2001 12:38 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
So are you now attempting to claim that humans cannot effectively communicate?

Exactly! Now we are communicating.

Do i now have NO better understanding AT ALL of your "human experience" than i did before we began this thread?

I have no idea what your understanding is. How could I?

Print the post Back To Top
Author: apetrel Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 116 of 3157
Subject: Re: Is Life Meaningless? Date: 2/26/2001 12:59 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
You can survive as long as you don't think about the complete absurdity of it all.

Thanks for playing,


Nothing like a good blast of absurdity to get you going in the morning. If you have to swim in something however, I personally prefer chaos.

Print the post Back To Top
Author: apetrel Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 117 of 3157
Subject: Re: Is Life Meaningless? Date: 2/26/2001 1:03 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
So are you now attempting to claim that humans cannot effectively communicate? Do i now have NO better understanding AT ALL of your "human experience" than i did before we began this thread?

I am not sure about better understanding, but certainly you could say there has been no evidence of it.

Print the post Back To Top
Author: euphoriant Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 122 of 3157
Subject: Re: Is Life Meaningless? Date: 2/26/2001 1:30 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
Mind if I chime in? Okay...

I was always told that life means exactly whatever you decide for it to mean. If you make no decision, then someone else may decide for you, (like when soldiers are drafted for war), but at birth and from then on each person has the opportunity to choose what they want to dedicate their life to, or they can just drift along and let things happen to them.

I think people are a great entertainment. So are rocks for that matter, all wonderful stuff. I think dancing clowns are quite entertaining. I think it is all GREAT, FABULOUS, STUPENDOUS, FUN and meaningless.

That is why we have pain. Pain gives meaning to life, whether you decide for it to do so or not.

The meaning is that which you assign to it. Sure, all of our atoms are going to implode into a giant black hole of nothingness when the universe runs out of energy in a billion, trillion years, but in the meantime, for whatever reason, DNA, or God, or science, we are here now. And our consciousness allows us to make decisions.

Kant was a great philosopher who wrote about the meaning of life and the difference between good and evil. I may not agree with everything he wrote, but he did believe in right and wrong. Whether you have a god or not, you can still believe in the difference between right and wrong.

I think we are DNA plus chaos plus entropy plus the intregration of matter into a thermodynamic unit which is temporarily organized to function within certain parameters that results, ultimately, in reproducing similar units.

e


Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post Back To Top
Author: estd Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 124 of 3157
Subject: Re: Is Life Meaningless? Date: 2/26/2001 1:43 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Mind if I chime in? Okay...

Chime away! Welcome to the discussion, Woo Hoo!

I was always told that life means exactly whatever you decide for it to mean.

I think you said it all right there, but do continue if it amuses you.

If you make no decision, then someone else may decide for you, (like when soldiers are drafted for war), but at birth and from then on each person has the opportunity to choose what they want to dedicate their life to, or they can just drift along and let things happen to them.

And Rush said, “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice” (I never did much care for Rush).

I think people are a great entertainment. So are rocks for that matter, all wonderful stuff. I think dancing clowns are quite entertaining. I think it is all GREAT, FABULOUS, STUPENDOUS, FUN and meaningless.

That is why we have pain. Pain gives meaning to life, whether you decide for it to do so or not.


Pain is just another example of the GREAT, FABULOUS, STUPENDOUS, FUN and meaningless, but that is just my opinion. YMMV

The meaning is that which you assign to it.

Once again, you have encapsulated it in a single sentence. Sure, you can assign any meaning to anything. That is IT!


Kant was a great philosopher who wrote about the meaning of life and the difference between good and evil. I may not agree with everything he wrote, but he did believe in right and wrong. Whether you have a god or not, you can still believe in the difference between right and wrong.

Everyone keeps bringing up Kant to me. I think I read a little of Kant decades ago, but perhaps I'll have to read him again. I generally find most philosophers too self absorbed to be enjoyable reading, but what the heck no pain, no gain.

I think we are DNA plus chaos plus entropy plus the intregration of matter into a thermodynamic unit which is temporarily organized to function within certain parameters that results, ultimately, in reproducing similar units.

And I think we are all god and all crap and all good and all evil and all nothing and all everything and all sacred and all meaningless.

Welcome to Life, the Universe and Everythin!




Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post Back To Top
Author: RarusAvis Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 554 of 3157
Subject: Re: Is Life Meaningless? Date: 2/19/2002 10:15 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
Dear estd, DEscartes had a good answer to the reality of our
existence and identity. " I think, therefore I am. "



Print the post Back To Top
Author: AGlupOfWax Big gold star, 5000 posts 10+ Year Anniversary! Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 556 of 3157
Subject: Re: Is Life Meaningless? Date: 2/20/2002 9:11 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Dear estd, DEscartes had a good answer to the reality of our
existence and identity. " I think, therefore I am. "


estd, aka seaofglup, died the death of a thousand doppels on Valentine's Day. As he has been incorporated into the host being AGlupOfWax, I'd just like to say:

"been there, done that"

http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=14197294

Print the post Back To Top
Author: Bonhoeffer Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 557 of 3157
Subject: Re: Is Life Meaningless? Date: 2/20/2002 9:43 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
You are not thinking thoughts, the thoughts are you-ing.

I had forgotten that line. It is truly a quote for the ages.

You should put it in your profile.

Print the post Back To Top
Author: eswan Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 558 of 3157
Subject: Re: Is Life Meaningless? Date: 2/20/2002 11:58 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
I think, therefore I ain't.

Print the post Back To Top
UnThreaded | Threaded | Whole Thread (57) | Ignore Thread Prev Thread | Next Thread
Advertisement