Author Topic: The Meaning of Life  (Read 758 times)

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Offline TryingtoConvert

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The Meaning of Life
« on: November 30, 2010, 07:16:55 PM »
So, what is "the meaning of life"? Does life have "meaning"? Does it have "purpose"?

Personally, as a non-theist, I would say that the only inherent purpose in life is to survive and reproduce. Beyond that however, it is up to human beings to create whatever meaning or purpose they choose.

Some might see the idea of creating meaning as somehow invalid, or inherently superficial, but I think this is because they take for granted that ALL human concepts, like language itself, were developed by generations of people over time.

Some argue that if there is no afterlife, then life is automatically meaningless. I argue instead that mortality simply means that whatever "meaning" you choose is limited to your lifespan. In other words, what sort of reality do you want to create for yourself right now? With whatever life you have, do you want to spend it destroying the world around you or building it up?

Also, some people argue that the idea of "creating" meaning automatically implies that all values are subjective. I think however we are able to establish objective, universal values by looking at behaviors that facility human growth and achievement, and those they do not - honesty, hard work and cooperation facilitate our existence as a species; rape, murder and theft, on the other hand, do not.

Offline Rufus

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Re: The Meaning of Life
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2010, 09:22:49 PM »
So, what is "the meaning of life"? Does life have "meaning"? Does it have "purpose"?

Personally, as a non-theist, I would say that the only inherent purpose in life is to survive and reproduce. Beyond that however, it is up to human beings to create whatever meaning or purpose they choose.

Some might see the idea of creating meaning as somehow invalid, or inherently superficial, but I think this is because they take for granted that ALL human concepts, like language itself, were developed by generations of people over time.

Some argue that if there is no afterlife, then life is automatically meaningless. I argue instead that mortality simply means that whatever "meaning" you choose is limited to your lifespan. In other words, what sort of reality do you want to create for yourself right now? With whatever life you have, do you want to spend it destroying the world around you or building it up?

Also, some people argue that the idea of "creating" meaning automatically implies that all values are subjective. I think however we are able to establish objective, universal values by looking at behaviors that facility human growth and achievement, and those they do not - honesty, hard work and cooperation facilitate our existence as a species; rape, murder and theft, on the other hand, do not.

I could be an existentialist and say that we, having been given free will by God, have the ability to dictate the meaning of our own lives. God happens to have shown us the way that is best, which is conformity to the image of His Son, the Logos.

I could also say that since the Logos is the rational principle of order through Whom all things were made, everything must have an inherent purpose, in which alone its existence can be complete.

I think that both are true.

Offline Jetavan

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Re: The Meaning of Life
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2010, 09:31:11 PM »
The meaning of life is to find ways to not commit suicide.

-- paraphrase of some French philosopher

I would alter that, and say that the meaning of life is to search for the meaning of life.
If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
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"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.

Offline HabteSelassie

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Re: The Meaning of Life
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2010, 10:08:34 PM »
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

So, what is "the meaning of life"? Does life have "meaning"? Does it have "purpose"?

Personally, as a non-theist, I would say that the only inherent purpose in life is to survive and reproduce. Beyond that however, it is up to human beings to create whatever meaning or purpose they choose.



But this entirely the same purpose of all life and of Orthodox worship.  We learn to survive in the context of the Will of God who is the operating force behind all motion, and how to reproduce our efforts in life in a fruitful and productive way, for the benefit rather than detriment of both our nuclear and the human family.

The Toltecs teach that the purpose of life is all about metabolism.  The Universe, as science teaches and the atomic bomb proved, is pure energy, and matter is only condensed energy like ice is frozen water.  Our purpose in Toltec cosmology, is to convert physical energy into spiritual energy, just as apple trees convert light energy into calories, and we eat these calories and metabolize them into food energy for our existence, so to do live in a reality where we convert the physical energy of say the same apple, not only into calories, but through our emotional and spiritual response to the food, convert that physical energy into something that does not necessarily exist on its own in the physical sense, emotions or spiritual feelings.  When we eat and feel good, that good emotion is a positive spiritual energy, not physical, it exists in the heart and mind, but not necessarily in the physical plain.  Further, when we give thanks to our Heavenly Father for life and for the gift of food, we convert that physical energy of the apple not only into calories, but into gratitude to God and to pure and divine worship.

I might get some slack for this, but there is indeed much wisdom to this particular philosophy.

stay blessed,
habte selassie

stay blessed,
habte selassie
"Yet stand aloof from stupid questionings and geneologies and strifes and fightings about law, for they are without benefit and vain." Titus 3:10

Offline Entscheidungsproblem

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Re: The Meaning of Life
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2010, 10:11:04 PM »
The meaning of life is to find ways to not commit suicide.

-- paraphrase of some French philosopher

;D  Awesome!
As a result of a thousand million years of evolution, the universe is becoming conscious of itself, able to understand something of its past history and its possible future.
-- Sir Julian Sorell Huxley FRS

Offline Jetavan

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Re: The Meaning of Life
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2010, 10:26:21 PM »
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

So, what is "the meaning of life"? Does life have "meaning"? Does it have "purpose"?

Personally, as a non-theist, I would say that the only inherent purpose in life is to survive and reproduce. Beyond that however, it is up to human beings to create whatever meaning or purpose they choose.



But this entirely the same purpose of all life and of Orthodox worship.  We learn to survive in the context of the Will of God who is the operating force behind all motion, and how to reproduce our efforts in life in a fruitful and productive way, for the benefit rather than detriment of both our nuclear and the human family.

The Toltecs teach that the purpose of life is all about metabolism.  The Universe, as science teaches and the atomic bomb proved, is pure energy, and matter is only condensed energy like ice is frozen water.  Our purpose in Toltec cosmology, is to convert physical energy into spiritual energy, just as apple trees convert light energy into calories, and we eat these calories and metabolize them into food energy for our existence, so to do live in a reality where we convert the physical energy of say the same apple, not only into calories, but through our emotional and spiritual response to the food, convert that physical energy into something that does not necessarily exist on its own in the physical sense, emotions or spiritual feelings.  When we eat and feel good, that good emotion is a positive spiritual energy, not physical, it exists in the heart and mind, but not necessarily in the physical plain.  Further, when we give thanks to our Heavenly Father for life and for the gift of food, we convert that physical energy of the apple not only into calories, but into gratitude to God and to pure and divine worship.

I might get some slack for this, but there is indeed much wisdom to this particular philosophy.

stay blessed,
habte selassie

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Have you been reading Carlos Castaneda? (Not that there's anything inherently wrong with that. ;D)
If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.

Online Gamliel

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Re: The Meaning of Life
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2010, 12:23:20 AM »
The meaning (better, goal) of life is theosis.

Online Justin Kissel

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Re: The Meaning of Life
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2010, 02:34:23 AM »
The meaning of life is to find ways to not commit suicide.

-- paraphrase of some French philosopher

I would alter that, and say that the meaning of life is to search for the meaning of life.

Albert Camus. He was on to something  :police:
We all have an El Guapo to face. Be brave, and fight like lions!

Form a 'brute squad' then!

Offline Ebenezer

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Re: The Meaning of Life
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2010, 12:55:57 AM »
I thought the Monty Python crew covered this pretty well, the OP should check out the flick by the same name.
"We all make choices. But in the end, our choices make us."-Andrew Ryan.

"Shot? Or killed?"-Rooster Cogburn.