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The meaning of life, the Universe and everything...

Any topics that are primarily about humanism or other non-religious life stances fit in here.
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Alan H
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The meaning of life, the Universe and everything...

#1 Postby Alan H » August 11th, 2015, 12:29 pm

Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Dave B
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Re: The meaning of life, the Universe and everything...

#2 Postby Dave B » August 11th, 2015, 1:09 pm

The "last answer" sounds perfectly ok to me.

Can't understand why some people hang onto the unprovable promise, always jam tomorrow - the tomorrow that never comes. I'll enjoy my self-made jam today thanks!
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

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Re: The meaning of life, the Universe and everything...

#3 Postby Compassionist » August 11th, 2015, 3:34 pm


Thank you ever so much for sharing this link. I loved the responses. Just because reality is indifferent to our existence and there is no benevolent God to take care of us, it doesn't mean that we have no self-defined purpose and meaning. For me, that is enough. I didn't exist for billions of years before I was conceived and I won't exist for billions of years after I am dead. It is entirely possible that humans and all other living things on Earth will go extinct. It is also possible that humans will colonise other planets, even other solar systems, even other galaxies, even other universes in an omniverse full of an infinite number of universes and an infinite potential. We may be able to bring with us most of the organisms currently extant on Earth. We may meet other organisms which have evolved on other planets. We may even meet other intelligent beings and have existential debates and discussions with them! The thing that amazes me the most about being alive, is the fact that each and every choice we make will have infinite consequences through the chains of causality. As long as reality exists, so will the consequences of our choices. I wish I were omniscient, omnipotent and omnibenevolent and had been able to prevent all suffering but I am not and don't know how to become that way either. What do you think about life, the universe and everything?

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animist
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Re: The meaning of life, the Universe and everything...

#4 Postby animist » August 14th, 2015, 10:58 am

I tend to think that only linguistic propositions can have "meaning" in the proper sense of the word, so the very concept of life as meaningful is a nonsensical nonstarter. "This means war" points to the fact that we do use the word "mean" to indicate a prediction, but that is part of the illusion, as is "I mean to finish the job" which is an expression of purpose.

Anyway, what do religious people "mean" (prime sense of the word) when they demand that life must have meaning (extended sense of the word)? I suppose a typical theist would claim that life has "meaning" if one tries to follow the will of God. Even if one could know what the will of God was (from some sacred book) that would assume that the will of God in itself had some value and so had "meaning" for a human being. But it is not self-evident that the will of God is a good or meaningful spur for human action; the notion of "meaning" or purpose in life must reside somewhere else in the psyche of those who think that life must have meaning. So God is a bit of an irrelevance, and the vast emptiness of the Universe suggests that there is no unitary meaning in it; we have to do the work ourselves, if we want to.

On the same lines, one of the scientists mentioned that defining the purpose life in terms of the afterlife was pretty pointless and in a way violated our sense of autonomy and free will, in fact the value of this life. I think that was a pretty shrewd response to any theistic notion of purpose because one might ask "what is the meaning of the afterlife?" Is there an after-after-life - once we've got fed up with, or failed to perform properly in, in the initial afterlife?

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Re: The meaning of life, the Universe and everything...

#5 Postby Compassionist » August 15th, 2015, 12:25 am

animist wrote:I tend to think that only linguistic propositions can have "meaning" in the proper sense of the word, so the very concept of life as meaningful is a nonsensical nonstarter. "This means war" points to the fact that we do use the word "mean" to indicate a prediction, but that is part of the illusion, as is "I mean to finish the job" which is an expression of purpose.

Anyway, what do religious people "mean" (prime sense of the word) when they demand that life must have meaning (extended sense of the word)? I suppose a typical theist would claim that life has "meaning" if one tries to follow the will of God. Even if one could know what the will of God was (from some sacred book) that would assume that the will of God in itself had some value and so had "meaning" for a human being. But it is not self-evident that the will of God is a good or meaningful spur for human action; the notion of "meaning" or purpose in life must reside somewhere else in the psyche of those who think that life must have meaning. So God is a bit of an irrelevance, and the vast emptiness of the Universe suggests that there is no unitary meaning in it; we have to do the work ourselves, if we want to.

On the same lines, one of the scientists mentioned that defining the purpose life in terms of the afterlife was pretty pointless and in a way violated our sense of autonomy and free will, in fact the value of this life. I think that was a pretty shrewd response to any theistic notion of purpose because one might ask "what is the meaning of the afterlife?" Is there an after-after-life - once we've got fed up with, or failed to perform properly in, in the initial afterlife?

You have asked some interesting questions. I don't have the answers.

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Tetenterre
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Re: The meaning of life, the Universe and everything...

#6 Postby Tetenterre » August 15th, 2015, 11:33 am



Since I first heard it, I've thought this song covers a heck of a lot of it, and does so very joyfully:

Steve

Quantum Theory: The branch of science with which people who know absolutely sod all about quantum theory can explain anything.

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Re: The meaning of life, the Universe and everything...

#7 Postby Compassionist » September 17th, 2015, 2:27 pm

Tetenterre wrote:


Since I first heard it, I've thought this song covers a heck of a lot of it, and does so very joyfully:


Great song. Thank you for sharing. I wish he didn't make the grammatical error of double negative: "Because there never was no God."


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