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What's the meaning of life?

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Post by ledzepfan329 » August 20th, 2007, 10:10 pm

Hi, this is my first time on this site and it looks like it is not too active but hopefully it will pick up. Just so you know, I'm a sixteen year old from Mississippi (please leave all stereotypes out of your jugdement of my character haha, yes we where shoes...). Anyway, here's what I humbly think:

Meaning, in the sense that most people in this thread are conveying which is much like the word purpose, is an elusive term. Any meaning that you assign to human life leads to another question of meaning. Example: The meaning of life is to love God etc....Well, what's the meaning/purpose of loving God? To make God happy. Then what is the purpose of making God happy?
It can go on like this infinitely. So the conclusion I draw is that humans, like all other animals and lifeforms exist because the DNA in our cells exists. The DNA exists because certain chemicals exist, and this goes on back until...The Big Bang??? (not sure where it all leads back)

Now, the distinction between humans and other lifeforms is a very important one, and that is that humans are capable of reason and therefore capable of questioning (or the other way around?). Because humans possess the "instinct" to live and at the same time the ability to question/reason, it is only natural that humans question the purpose of their own existence simply for the fact that humans understand what purpose is. Because we understand purpose, it would be very depressing to accept that we have no purpose other than the purpose we assign to our lives, which could be religion, altruism, peace, etc. I believe though, that this must be the case. If we say that we are apart of some greater plan, then what is the meaning of the plan itself? We very often reject answers like the one I have proposed, but that is really only because our minds (for whatever reason, perhaps evolution?) give us desire for purpose, or desire to do "good".

So, like many people have been saying, the meaning of life is whatever you want it to be. If you have a desire to study philosophy, then fulfill that desire. If your "higher calling" is to help the poor, then go for it. Even if I'm right in saying that there really is no "greater" purpose for our existence, that's not a reason to abandon hopes, dreams, etc.

Wow, that took a long time; I hope someone will read this and leave some ideas that I overlooked haha. peace

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Post by CanisLupus » August 24th, 2007, 5:40 pm

In response to Ledzepfan.

You are basically addressing the meaning of YOUR life and not the meaning of LIFE.

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Post by Hariott » September 4th, 2007, 11:39 am

I basically agree with what uh... bellybuttonmonkeypoo posted and also to the first post on this thread, but i just felt the need to post what i've always believed about this subject:

well similarly to the first post, i've thought of the "meaning of life" in two views.

PERSONALLY: the meaning of life for any individual is to find contentment and happiness - whatever that might be. everyone is searching, fighting or enduring for something. to me, it is really that simple (as a non-religious person). break it down - and it is the same for everyone; love (from whomever, including your god if religious), wealth, knowledge, enlightenment, popularity whatever - we want to live in that moment where all the crap you went through in life was worth it.

BIOLOGICALLY: in the logical eyes of my beloved cold-hard science, we are here (as many have suggested) to successfully carry on our genes. people often forget that we are no more superior (biologically-wise) than any other living organism - we're born, reproduce, we die. no reproducing - eventually there WILL BE NO LIFE. some people can't see that for some reason... don't understand why.

Remember - natural selection is not intelligent;

variation exists in all sexually reproducing species.

those who do not possess favourable features (due to genes) in a change of environment, gradually die off.

if you're dead, you can't reproduce.

Note: people continuosly expect a complex answer to our existance, and haven't been able to find the answer because they won't accept this simple answer written above.

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Post by Hariott » September 4th, 2007, 12:01 pm

oh i've just realized i've resaid pretty much what canislupus said before. well that's a vote for that answer then =)

'...Now I am wondering how one finds out what would make you happy. I am sure the 'what' would be different for everyone, it is the 'how' that may be the same though. Any ideas?'

That reminded me that quite a few people don't know what makes them truly happy. Ofcourse the "what" is different, a daredevil's dream would be a nightmare to a pre-school teacher.

What is your question when you're asking for the "how"?

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Post by Foreverrain » October 14th, 2007, 7:50 pm

The meaning of life isn't so much created as it is found. Although the answer is subjective, there still can't be a RIGHT answer.

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Post by I.B. Nobody » October 27th, 2007, 1:23 am

I think that the meaning of life is to do something. Leave this world a better place for your haveing lived here. Make your mark . Raise your children to be movers and shakers, leave something on this big blue marble that says 'Hey universe , I was here."

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The meaning of life / The purpose of life

Post by jayardia » November 13th, 2007, 11:15 am

The 'meaning' of life? *wink* Well, here it is-

Life: "The property or quality that distinguishes living organisms from dead organisms and inanimate matter, manifested in functions such as metabolism, growth, reproduction, and response to stimuli or adaptation to the environment originating from within the organism." Courtesy of "answers{dot)com"

The general 'purpose' of life, however, is 'to flourish'. Whether you're a monkey, a human being or a sea sponge-- FLOURISH! The question then becomes, what do we mean by 'flourish'? ...And how do we as human beings 'flourish'?

"Eudaimonia" is a term which will- (should) -pop up in this topic.

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Post by Patrarch » November 13th, 2007, 10:26 pm

My question is what meaning is a meaning of life? Is it really as necessary and important a topic as people make it to be? For me I am perfectly content with there being no purpose or meaning to life whatsoever. If one wishes to create one, though, I suppose there is no harm.

Some people say religion gives them a meaning to life, some people say their actions and accomplishment give them a meaning to life. What ever the meaning proscribed, to me it's the same response. An external scapegoat created in order to satisfy a discontent with living. The question doesn't bother me, and it doesn't really make sense to me.

What is the meaning of life? of living? Being alive has a meaning? I don't see how there could be a sort of semantic meaning attached to the idea of being alive. I think the term is used too loosely in this question. In my view, the question "What is the meaning of life" doesn't even make sense semantically or logically.
The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success.

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Post by Patrarch » November 14th, 2007, 6:07 pm

Upon further reflection I decided the best idea I can attest to give a life meaning, if it is in fact possible, is Nietzsche's idea of eternal recurrence. Meaning is given to a life when it is lived in such a way that one would be content living that life repeatedly forever.
The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success.

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Post by NSUSA » November 15th, 2007, 10:30 pm

Patrarch wrote:Upon further reflection I decided the best idea I can attest to give a life meaning, if it is in fact possible, is Nietzsche's idea of eternal recurrence. Meaning is given to a life when it is lived in such a way that one would be content living that life repeatedly forever.
That's an interesting point of view, Patrarch. Thanks for posting!

I wonder if there is any life that someone would want to live over and over... What do you think?

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Post by Patrarch » November 16th, 2007, 3:14 am

So far, in my life, I could say that is true. I don't believe anyone would really DESIRE to live their life repeatedly forever (I would classify this as insanity, honestly), but the question of whether you could stand it or be content with it is a little different.
The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success.

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Post by fbomber125 » December 1st, 2007, 4:42 am

life is an excuse to stay in this **** up world and to live for tomorrow and die for today

live for love, live for others &live for yourself

live for anger, live for vengeance &live for drugs

live for your loved ones &for the ones you hate

live for happiness &live for sadness

&live for the shadows in the gray areas
for those are the best of places

p.s. live for Ashley & Amber <3<3<3

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Call me simple but...

Post by jesterjigalow » December 1st, 2007, 7:57 am

The meaning of life is a movie by Monty Python and the Flying Circus. Seek ye this movie and all your questions should be answered. GBY! CYA!


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Post by Arvy » December 2nd, 2007, 3:31 am

The question makes one big assumption (among others), and that is: "there IS a meaning to life."

First we must consider if there is even a meaning to life at all, and whether or not we are capable of becoming aware of it.

What does it mean, to "mean" (in the context of the question)? Causal purpose? As in something intentionally happened, and as a reaction, life came to be? Or is it the other way around; life is a cause itself for an ultimate intended purpose? Could it be both? Neither? Who or what defines that ultimate intention?

To assume that we, in our obviously limited understanding of the universe, can come to answer any one of these questions satisfactorily is by all means ignorant, naive at best, and arrogant at worst. We have yet to answer much simpler ones.

As Patrarch mentioned, the question does not make sense semantically or logically, and regardless, it's pretty obvious that we can never come to know the answer to such a broad and relative question through intense thought alone.

I'm not trying to kill the discussion, sorry if it reads that way. My argument does not by any means have anything to do with what meaning we wish to give OUR lives, that is something personal, and something we have the power of choice over. But I must add, to believe that our purpose in life extends in some magical sense before or beyond life itself is ignorant, naive, and arrogant.

With that, I'd like to add a short quote:

"But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth." -Umberto Eco

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Meaning of life...

Post by Ethan_de_Sade » December 2nd, 2007, 10:59 am

I have not read each post regarding the meaning of life, but I have a view. I feel that life is a redemption stage of purgatory. Our decisions and paths lead us to a final decision of fate, which fate may not lead us into a "heaven" or "hell," but even as a lingering spirit... vulnerable to losing it's chi to somebody or something that can channel it.

So I believe that the true meaning of life is a test of spiritual morality... not religious... but spiritual. There will never be a universally accepted philosophical meaning to life as each life is different and follows a different path from others... but we can look at each life as a test with the difficulty based on each spirit's previous indiscretions and perhaps, a myriad of other factors. There is so much more that I have on the subject after some occurrences from a couple of years past, but this is my view.

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