What's the meaning of life?

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NukeBan
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Re: What's the meaning of life?

Post by NukeBan » May 3rd, 2020, 8:20 am

I think the single unified reality i.e. 'eternity' .is not only undifferentiated, it's also differentiated.
This seems a reasonable theory, given that science tells us that the differentiated universe we see arose from a single point which they guess was undifferentiated. So if we define reality holistically to include both before the big bang and after the big bang, the entire process, then as your theory suggests reality would have properties of both division and unification.
There may be other aspects of reality we can't even guess at.
This is even more reasonable, imho. For the vast majority of human history the microscopic, atomic and quantum realms were entirely unknown to us, and yet there they were, right in front of our face the entire time.

I place my bet on the notion that we will discover other such hidden realms, and that there are likely to also be some hidden realms that we will never discover.

If you'll forgive this plug, we are after all the species with thousands of hydrogen bombs aimed down our own throats, an ever present self extinction threat that we typically find too boring to discuss. Point being, we aren't exactly the cleverest kid on the block, so to speak.

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Greta
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Re: What's the meaning of life?

Post by Greta » May 3rd, 2020, 4:29 pm

Belindi wrote:
May 3rd, 2020, 3:21 am
Greta wrote:
May 2nd, 2020, 6:35 pm

True. Everything is one. However, oneness does not render difference and separation moot. If reality was strictly as you described then it would have no features at all, being a completely homogeneous entity like the hypothesised ultra hot and dense state of the universe during the first Planck second of inflation.

If reality was strictly as you described, if I stubbed a toe, then your entire family would at the same time suddenly fall to the floor, holding a toe and grumbling and swearing. But no, we are both one and separate, layered in loose fractal relationships. So entire galaxies are all one thing. The Earth is one thing. The biosphere, too, is one thing. Yet also consisting of disparate, rather than homogeneous, smaller entities. Nabokov's "cells within cells within cells".

Some links are strong but others are vanishingly weak, which is why you won't wince when I stub my toe. So the glass of water will start with weak connections to us, based on proximity and the fact that we are already mostly water, but it will rapidly become more connected to us, once consumed. Deciding an actual transition point would either be highly technical, perhaps better expressed in math, but otherwise, as you say, a human invention (like all abstract thought).
I think reality would be not only
a completely homogeneous entity like the hypothesised ultra hot and dense state of the universe during the first Planck second of inflation.
but also the sum of all human concepts of differentiated things.And not only human concepts but also the differentiated things themselves even when the differentiated things have no concept of self. And not only human concepts and experiences but also the experiences of other animals.

I think the single unified reality i.e. 'eternity' .is not only undifferentiated, it's also differentiated. I think there are at least two aspects of reality . One, this relatively differentiated world we inhabit and understand pretty well. And two, eternity which we understand and know only by means of analogies or fleeting half-seen glimpses.There may be other aspects of reality we can't even guess at.
These would only exist as potentials, though. It is odd to think that, within what was once a ball of mass even more dense than a neutron star lay the potential for all that has come.

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Greta
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Re: What's the meaning of life?

Post by Greta » May 3rd, 2020, 5:18 pm

NukeBan wrote:
May 3rd, 2020, 8:09 am
True. Everything is one. However, oneness does not render difference and separation moot.
Greta, how would this strike you? Could we say that reality is neither unified, nor a collection of parts, but both at the same time? As example, space can not be said to either exist, or not exist, but instead seems to inhabit some realm which encompasses both definitions.

To the degree this is true, perhaps it reveals that while the neat and tidy, black/white, yes/no dualistic definitions that thought creates are useful, they are not really an accurate description of reality? If this is so, or to the degree it is, it might explain a good bit of what goes on in philosophy?

As example, the God debate assumes that a God either exists or not, yes or no, one or the other. There is remarkably wide, nearly universal agreement that this is how the question should be posed, even among passionate partisans who vehemently disagree about nearly everything else.

What if our mind's built-in inclination to create neat and tidy conceptual divisions is so out of step with the nature of reality that it often causes us to frame such poor questions that the competing answers game becomes somewhat meaningless?

As example, does space exist or not, yes or no? Does such a question so misrepresent the nature of space as to make either a yes or no answer largely useless?

To what degree is the nature of thought imposing a pattern of division distortion upon our observations of reality? To what degree are the divisions we see a property of reality, and to what degree are they a property of the lens through which we observe reality?

If the price tag for the power of thought is the introduction of some level of distortion, this would seem to be a matter meriting closer inspection. Any distortion that is introduced could form a very compelling illusion, given that both the philosopher and their philosophy is made of thought.
Yes, both unified and a collection of parts. I have much sympathy with your view.

The issue is that we conduct abstract inquiries about the nature of reality using "equipment" (ie. brains) that had only evolved through its ability to help us survive and reproduce, not because it may uncover deeper verities. So we tend to define "the Earth" as being a planet with an atmosphere rather, not that its atmosphere is part of the planet, like the geosphere and hydrosphere. Thus we describe the planet's size as being the extent of its solid components. This is a view that is biased by the level of solidity that humans need to survive and breed. For instance, the smallest insects are known as fairy wasps. They are so small that they float on the air as if it is a liquid and, thus, their wings are shaped like paddles.

Image

The biosphere too, being a relatively "recent" development, is often seen as not being part of the Earth but a growth upon it. Many, in fact, see humans as separate even from the biosphere, let alone the planet - a virus, a parasite, a destructive outsider. In truth, we are as much a part of the planet as mountains, rivers, or the Earth's core. The human mind, and other minds, are in fact the Earth thinking. That parts of the Earth do not believe that they are not part of the Earth at all suggests that the planet's capacity for thought is fragmented like a newborn baby's thoughts, where there is a confused sense of self. (To eventually "mature" as a super AI in the future?).

So, this fragmented domain of human thought becomes a battleground for supremacy, with memes (as in Dawkins's definition, not photo cartoons).
Confidence is a highly successful evolved trait, resulting in many "roosters" in cyberworld and elsewhere, puffing out their little chests, asserting that their view is right and that any who disagree must be dimwits. A schoolyard situation, again suggesting a more mature future ahead.

Based on the above perspective, the meaning of life would be to act as a link in the chain that could potentially lead to life forms that are ever less inclined towards savagery, short-sightedness and instability. But wouldn't that also be the same situation for such future advanced beings? So we also need to embrace the present, with all its shortcomings, too. Acceptance and humour would seem important in context.

NukeBan
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Re: What's the meaning of life?

Post by NukeBan » May 3rd, 2020, 6:31 pm

The issue is that we conduct abstract inquiries about the nature of reality using "equipment" (ie. brains) that had only evolved through its ability to help us survive and reproduce, not because it may uncover deeper verities.
Yes, and now that we've been rather successful at surviving our attention turns to other matters, where the long established habits of brains focused on survival may be less useful.

It's useful to say that there is a tiger in the woods, or not, yes or no. When it comes to vastly larger questions, such as Gods or space for example, the yes/no paradigm that is useful in our daily lives starts to fall down on the job.
So we also need to embrace the present, with all its shortcomings, too. Acceptance and humour would seem important in context.
Wise advice! And actually, also a solution of sorts to the problem of thought generated distortions, because a full embrace of the present requires setting thought aside.

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Re: What's the meaning of life?

Post by Belindi » May 4th, 2020, 3:13 am

Greta wrote:
May 3rd, 2020, 5:18 pm
NukeBan wrote:
May 3rd, 2020, 8:09 am


Greta, how would this strike you? Could we say that reality is neither unified, nor a collection of parts, but both at the same time? As example, space can not be said to either exist, or not exist, but instead seems to inhabit some realm which encompasses both definitions.

To the degree this is true, perhaps it reveals that while the neat and tidy, black/white, yes/no dualistic definitions that thought creates are useful, they are not really an accurate description of reality? If this is so, or to the degree it is, it might explain a good bit of what goes on in philosophy?

As example, the God debate assumes that a God either exists or not, yes or no, one or the other. There is remarkably wide, nearly universal agreement that this is how the question should be posed, even among passionate partisans who vehemently disagree about nearly everything else.

What if our mind's built-in inclination to create neat and tidy conceptual divisions is so out of step with the nature of reality that it often causes us to frame such poor questions that the competing answers game becomes somewhat meaningless?

As example, does space exist or not, yes or no? Does such a question so misrepresent the nature of space as to make either a yes or no answer largely useless?

To what degree is the nature of thought imposing a pattern of division distortion upon our observations of reality? To what degree are the divisions we see a property of reality, and to what degree are they a property of the lens through which we observe reality?

If the price tag for the power of thought is the introduction of some level of distortion, this would seem to be a matter meriting closer inspection. Any distortion that is introduced could form a very compelling illusion, given that both the philosopher and their philosophy is made of thought.
Yes, both unified and a collection of parts. I have much sympathy with your view.

The issue is that we conduct abstract inquiries about the nature of reality using "equipment" (ie. brains) that had only evolved through its ability to help us survive and reproduce, not because it may uncover deeper verities. So we tend to define "the Earth" as being a planet with an atmosphere rather, not that its atmosphere is part of the planet, like the geosphere and hydrosphere. Thus we describe the planet's size as being the extent of its solid components. This is a view that is biased by the level of solidity that humans need to survive and breed. For instance, the smallest insects are known as fairy wasps. They are so small that they float on the air as if it is a liquid and, thus, their wings are shaped like paddles.

Image

The biosphere too, being a relatively "recent" development, is often seen as not being part of the Earth but a growth upon it. Many, in fact, see humans as separate even from the biosphere, let alone the planet - a virus, a parasite, a destructive outsider. In truth, we are as much a part of the planet as mountains, rivers, or the Earth's core. The human mind, and other minds, are in fact the Earth thinking. That parts of the Earth do not believe that they are not part of the Earth at all suggests that the planet's capacity for thought is fragmented like a newborn baby's thoughts, where there is a confused sense of self. (To eventually "mature" as a super AI in the future?).

So, this fragmented domain of human thought becomes a battleground for supremacy, with memes (as in Dawkins's definition, not photo cartoons).
Confidence is a highly successful evolved trait, resulting in many "roosters" in cyberworld and elsewhere, puffing out their little chests, asserting that their view is right and that any who disagree must be dimwits. A schoolyard situation, again suggesting a more mature future ahead.

Based on the above perspective, the meaning of life would be to act as a link in the chain that could potentially lead to life forms that are ever less inclined towards savagery, short-sightedness and instability. But wouldn't that also be the same situation for such future advanced beings? So we also need to embrace the present, with all its shortcomings, too. Acceptance and humour would seem important in context.
Yes.

One part of the present we need to discard is uncritical devotion to political and religious ideologies, Ideologies are worst when when these are created or hi-jacked by authorities. Hierarchies then are more suspect than networks.I like humour that pillaries powerful roosters.

PS Thanks for introducing me to that dear little wasp.

Wossname
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Re: What's the meaning of life?

Post by Wossname » May 4th, 2020, 4:34 am

This thread is too long to catch up on it all. I will just say that I have read that life may have been created by (seemingly?) chance events. An accident of physics and chemistry. (Let us not side track into determinism here).

I accept this is possible. If it is so, it was not created for any purpose.

Living organisms behave. In as much as that behaviour is purposeful it seems largely directed towards survival and reproduction.

Life has evolved and developed consciousness and intelligence.

Conscious and intelligent beings will invent and choose their own meanings.

They may even create philosophy forums to discuss them.

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