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 The meaning of life

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Wolf
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PostSubject: The meaning of life   Tue Jul 22, 2008 4:15 am

For thousands of years philosophers, religious leaders and politicians having been trying to find a reason for the meaning of life, why we are all here. Do you know the meaning of life? Do you have any ideas as to why we are really here? Are we part of some grand master plan? Or are we just here by random?

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Kerii



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PostSubject: Re: The meaning of life   Tue Jul 22, 2008 10:09 am

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Nick

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PostSubject: Re: The meaning of life   Thu Jul 24, 2008 1:45 am

Kerii wrote:
42

I had a feeling that someone would quote Douglas Adams at some point for this one rabbit

Humans are incredibly arrogant and have great difficulty in believing that they aren't special. We accept that every other species has a simple biological meaning to their life - to eat, grow, have sex, pass on their genes, look after their offspring long enough for them to grow and pass on their genes to the next generation, and die to make room for more of their species. But when it comes to us humans, we feel that there must be something more for us to be here for. There isn't! We are exactly the same as every other creature on the earth.

Many people believe that we are put here by a higher being, some think that we all have a "job" to do, some think that we're here to effect other matters, but all of this is pure vanity. We are here to pass on our genes to the next generation and once that's done then our duty is over and the rest of our lives is just putting off the inevitable (death).
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Kerii



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PostSubject: Re: The meaning of life   Tue Jul 29, 2008 3:56 pm

The Meaning Of Life:

"Just remember that you're standing on a planet that's evolving
And revolving at nine hundred miles an hour,
That's orbiting at nineteen miles a second, so it's reckoned,
A sun that is the source of all our power.
The sun and you and me and all the stars that we can see
Are moving at a million miles a day
In an outer spiral arm, at forty thousand miles an hour,
Of the galaxy we call the 'Milky Way'.
Our galaxy itself contains a hundred billion stars.
It's a hundred thousand light years side to side.
It bulges in the middle, sixteen thousand light years thick,
But out by us, it's just three thousand light years wide.
We're thirty thousand light years from galactic central point.
We go 'round every two hundred million years,
And our galaxy is only one of millions of billions
In this amazing and expanding universe.

The universe itself keeps on expanding and expanding
In all of the directions it can whizz
As fast as it can go, at the speed of light, you know,
Twelve million miles a minute, and that's the fastest speed there is.
So remember, when you're feeling very small and insecure,
How amazingly unlikely is your birth,
And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in space,
'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth."
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Nick

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PostSubject: Re: The meaning of life   Thu Aug 14, 2008 1:44 pm

From Douglas Adams to Monty Python now? Well you are certainly a puss with decent taste at least clown
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Mike



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PostSubject: Re: The meaning of life   Tue Aug 19, 2008 5:34 pm

I don't think we need a higher being like a god to confer meaning to our lives. Surely it's more, um, meaningful if we collectively create our own meaning. With what you say about 'biological meaning', Nick, (i.e. to pass on our genes), I think that this ignores other types of 'meaning'. Humans have qualities like self-awareness, aesthetic appreciation, ethics and imagination which (arguably) other animals don't possess. This means that as well as the 'biological meaning' you describe, we can also look to improve the quality of our existence. So, I'd say that as well as the drive to pass on our genes, we can find meaning in trying to improve society, technology, develop the arts, become more ethical etc.
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Nick

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PostSubject: Re: The meaning of life   Wed Aug 20, 2008 2:10 pm

I had been thinking about this idea a little more and come to the conclusion that my initial, rather stark, idea was a little nihilistic and left very little hope for people after their “breeding” days were over, and it occurred to me that working for the advancement of society and the population as a whole also comes under the heading of “ensuring the safe continuation of your genes”. And so, even after the point where your strict biological usage is done, you may still find “meaning” to continued existence by transferring your efforts to the benefit of society and the rest of the population, so producing a “better world” for your genetic material to grow into.
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Mike



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PostSubject: Re: The meaning of life   Wed Aug 20, 2008 3:20 pm

Richard Dawkins made a similar point to yours, Nick, in the second of his recent programmes on Darwinism.
If someone foolishly took Darwinism too literally, they'd have to say that anyone who doesn't have children is failing their species. However, it's obvious that people who don't want or can't have kids can still help further society in many other ways.
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PostSubject: Re: The meaning of life   Thu Aug 21, 2008 7:24 pm

This is a problem with my version of the meaning of life, and why most people prefer to look for more reason or turn to religion to give meanings. Purely biological reasons does tend to be rather depressing and leave the question of “why bother continuing?” (a question I have personally asked myself very often). However depressing or nihilistic it may be however, it is how I see the truth, and to find further reason for continuing then you have to look at how you can further contribute to the world after your primary reason for being alive is finished (if you choose to do so).
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Mike



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PostSubject: Re: The meaning of life   Thu Aug 21, 2008 7:50 pm

Maybe there's more to finding meaning in our lives beyond passing on our genes and trying to contribute positively to society. Can't we also find meaning through a bit of self-indulgence or hedonism, as long as it doesn't harm others? Isn't part of the meaning of life to make ourselves happy?
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PostSubject: Re: The meaning of life   Thu Aug 21, 2008 8:00 pm

Not at all, that is merely a human indulgence and arogance that the meaning of life is to make ourselves happy - an excuse to explain our selfish behaviour. It has absolutely nothing to do with why we are here, but is more an excuse as to why we behave how we do while we are here.
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Mike



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PostSubject: Re: The meaning of life   Thu Aug 21, 2008 8:17 pm

If part of the meaning of life is to try and help make society comfortable and progressive, then this implies that the people within that society should be happy. Therefore, to be part of a happy society we should try and keep ourselves happy. Maybe this is why we get a pleasurable feeling when we've done something positive?
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