View Poll Results: Can science and/or reason give us a satisfying meaning of life?

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  • Yes

    6 60.00%
  • No

    4 40.00%
  • Joke answer

    0 0%
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Thread: Enlightenment now and meaning of life

  1. Top | #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post

    For me it is the only rational vuew.

    I think it is in Ecclesiastes that the author starts off bemoaning his fate. He has to farm 7 days a week just to get by. Yet birds fly around eating and not having to work at all. An ancient Jew had the blues. What is the point of existence?

    Eventually he finds meaning in being a part of the community.

    The question of meaning is as old as civilization. Culturaly meaning has no possible definition, it is learned by example and observation. Literature.

    In western society no one gives you meaning for life, it is for you to find and explore.

    For me I deride meaning and satisfaction un engineering producing useful things. People who are plahued with the question 'what is the point' end up face down in a bar drunk every night or with a needle in thsarm.

    When Hemmingway lost his inspiration he shot himself with a shotgun. For some people it is gardening others poker and bridge. Rock climbing, hang gliding.....etc.There are no absolute answers. Only choices.
    Ok, I think I understand what you're saying. Even though there's no singular meaning of life, we still need a meaning of life to avoid being unhappy, so therefore it's rational to just pick a meaning of life, even though the choice made isn't chosen by rational means? Is that what you mean? If it is I agree with you. You changed my mind. I now agree with Stephen Pinker on this. But I still don't think he understands Nietzsche
    Sorry, I can't get into an endless discussion on this. We learn by example. Y had 4 or 5 classes in philosophy. I did weel. A prof told me I'd have to absorb about 25 books. There were no answers, only ways of looking at the questions.

    For me the Buddhist enlightenment is simply realizing reality is what you make it. There are no absolutes, and that can be a scary step. At that point rituals in religion and society make sense. Out of chaos they bring order, structure, and mining to a society.

    The national anthem played at sports events. Here in the USA when NFL Momnday Night Football started it became a ritual. People talked about it at work.

    Gardening, bringing something beautiful into existence.

    Pop music has become a source for meaning. People quote lyrics instead of philosophy and religion these days.



    A long list. What and why we choose is a deeper topic. I have no ready answered.

  2. Top | #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    If our existence is part of a unversed that was not created out of any purpose, then meaning is anything you choose it to be.
    I'd add the question 'can someone really choose a meaning'. To me it seems like you either have a meaning, or you don't, it's not a conscious choice. You can't will yourself a purpose with sincere feeling, you're either motivated to get up in the morning, or you're not.

    I'd also take it a step further and claim that family/friends/relationships are central to a meaningful life. People who live in isolation usually can't be happy. This is why our entire species universally pursues romantic relationships, and why traditions involving family are ubiquitous across cultures.
    Some people come to terms with it and get on with living, otters stay mired in infinite churning with no resolution. The trick is to find an off ramp for yourself. In the west the traditional starting point is Greek philosophy. You have to work out your own solution or pick one somebody else put together. For many that is Christianity. Learn to turn off your analytical calculating mind, that would be a Zen approach.

  3. Top | #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Treedbear View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    If our existence is part of a unversed that was not created out of any purpose, then meaning is anything you choose it to be.
    The most you can say about anything is that if it exists it survives. When it no longer survives it ceases to exist. That might seem like a tautology except that survival is contingent on a thing's relationship with other things. For life that means it must be adaptable. The ability to adapt is the fundamental pre-requisite for life. But the nexus between existence and survival is the most elementary characteristic of everything within the universe. I'll venture that it is the basis for the existence of the universe itself. That is, the universe exists by virtue of its own necessity. Existence and survival are metaphysically the fundamental and primary truths. All other truths derive from this. Therefore the way to find life's meaning and purpose is simply to look for how it is that something exists at all. How it has come to survive. This is the basic definition of what it means to be something. It's what meaning means. It therefore follows that as living things we can derive purpose from meaning.
    Nice post. I had not looked at it that way. Adaptation and survival.

  4. Top | #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    If our existence is part of a unversed that was not created out of any purpose, then meaning is anything you choose it to be.
    I'd add the question 'can someone really choose a meaning'. To me it seems like you either have a meaning, or you don't, it's not a conscious choice. You can't will yourself a purpose with sincere feeling, you're either motivated to get up in the morning, or you're not.

    I'd also take it a step further and claim that family/friends/relationships are central to a meaningful life. People who live in isolation usually can't be happy. This is why our entire species universally pursues romantic relationships, and why traditions involving family are ubiquitous across cultures.
    Some people come to terms with it and get on with living, otters stay mired in infinite churning with no resolution. The trick is to find an off ramp for yourself. In the west the traditional starting point is Greek philosophy. You have to work out your own solution or pick one somebody else put together. For many that is Christianity. Learn to turn off your analytical calculating mind, that would be a Zen approach.
    If such a thing exists I'd call this enlightenment. Many churn because they're cognitively unable to do otherwise. Reality sets their framework, and if they aren't living up to it's arbitrary standards the result is unhappiness.

    For those who don't churn they've accepted life as something beyond their own control. All they can do is continue living, meeting demands etc.

  5. Top | #75
    Veteran Member Treedbear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    ...
    I think you get into a situation where man regards his/her consciousness as non-material, giving them a kind of unlimited freedom to pursue 'meaning', where in practice we mostly just spend our lives pursuing sex, friends, fun, food, and warmth until we die.
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    ...
    And I think for humanity at large, there is no awareness of this kind of psychological imperative. Reality is completely taken for granted and these kind of pursuits just seem like 'what a person does'. They aren't interpreted as psychological impulses, but rather 'meaning'.
    "I'm fixng a hole where the rain gets in ..." For some of us the hole still exists and we can't give up wanting to know what's behind it, realizing it will be only a larger room. Most people are uncomfortable in large rooms. "Where I belong I'm right! Where I belong!"

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