Discussions On The Meaning of Life [Reply #6]

17 08 2007

The Question:
What Is The Meaning Of Life?

JH wrote on July 25, 2007:

Wouldn’t it be ironic if the meaning of life was to ponder about the meaning of life?

In that case, as we’ve asked ourselves the question already, wouldn’t that mean that there is no purpose for us anymore?

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Discussions On The Meaning Of Life [Reply #5]

17 08 2007

The Question:
What Is The Meaning Of Life?

[Editorial Note: this question sparked a small philosophical feud, if you will, on the Facebook group. Below are the entries relating to the said feud:]

TB wrote on June 28, 2007:

“But this beckons the question: how did people come up with these questions in the first place? It would seem illogical to waste ones time thinking about things that have little to no value in terms of survival.”

That’s the definition of being human. We have a over-capacity, too much consciousness. But only nihilists suffer from it. The rest? Well, what is the size of the population again and how much cleavage have I seen on Facebook?

MB wrote on July 9, 2007:

I guess you subscribe to the Nietzschean “Ubermensch” theory, where humanity is something to be overcome. Although I do believe the theory has some merit, it seems to be all too convenient to those who wish to give their ideas some importance. I see ideas more as a currency in a communal market of concepts. An idea is valued the more it is believed in. Or in other words, the more an idea is believed or cherished, the more “truth” it has. Although this does mean that truth is defined by democratic means, which is not always a good thing, it determines how “important” that idea is.

Ideas are in constant competition with each other, in a metaphysical sense. The ideas that are valued the most by the most people are those that we must consider true. However, since ideas are constantly being generated, the concept of truth is always in flux. For instance, the belief in a supernatural god, which has a colossal following, is in a global sense the “truth”. As members in this global think-tank, we must defend and advertise the ideas which we deem to be true.

So in this sense, it does not matter if you think of things relating to philosophy or society. As long as you believe in something and advertise your belief, you are helping to make your idea the global “truth”. This is why religion and political groupings will always exist.

This idea doesn’t only apply to matters that relate to activities such as philosophy. According to Kuhn, even science, logic and reason are suspect to this type of thinking. Science is prone to “paradigm shifts” that revolutionise how we see the physical world. One only needs to think of quantum and relativity theory to see how this works.

Enough said, this is an idea that is up for debate. The more people that think this idea has merit, the more it will have some grain of truth in it. The balance between those who come up with ideas and those that support them is vital. Some people may never come up with a thought or a movement that will garner any major support, but without the masses of people who give an idea credibility there would never be any great concepts for people to think about.

So any thought by any person can be the next big thing.

TB wrote on July 12, 2007:

Your assumptions are totally wrong.
If this was a philosophical group, people would think instead of masturbate their own quasi intellect. You don’t know how to categorise my philosophy because you haven’t been trained to catogorise that particular philosophy.
Use your head, become a philosopher. If I wanted high school cliches I would ask Britney Spears.

MB wrote on July 12, 2007:

I’m sorry if I offended you with my previous post. That wasn’t my intention. What I try to do when I write posts is to not only give my opinion on a subject but also give some insight into why I think the way I do. If it sounds pretentious, I apologize. I am the first to agree that my style can seem somewhat confrontational at times and I am working on a style that would be more accessible.

Every time I write here on these boards I try to explain something that has been bugging me or expand a topic into some other direction. That way a discussion doesn’t get stale or boring. That may make my posts long and most likely rambling, but it helps me air out issues that I’ve been interested in and have been giving a lot of thought on.

Also about how I categorized your philosophical thought, I found it had many parallels with Nietzsche and the “superman” concept. If I got the wrong impression, sorry. It just seemed like that was what you were talking about.

But anyway, I hope this doesn’t deter you from posting.

JP wrote on July 19, 2007:

If I wanted High School cliches, I could just as easily read your first post:

“And it has a classic answer; there is no meaning to life. But conscious people become nihilists because they ask for the meaning behind everything. Since this cannot be fullfilled homo sapiens spends it’s time trying to overcome his surpluss of consciousness. The human being is a paradox in other words. It is trying to not be human.”

Classic example! I’ve yet to see any originality from you on this thread, yet you accuse Martin of “not being trained to categorise your philosophy?”. I beg your pardon, I’ve yet to come across this philosophy that you advertise, as it is directly at crossroads with the previously mentioned originality of yours. I do suggest you either:

A) learn not to attack people on such hefty basis.
B) stick to YOUR high school cliches, seems like you use your head the way Britney does.
C) do something productive like producing Swiss army-knives, I’m in need of one as it is.

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Discussions On The Meaning Of Life [Reply #4]

17 08 2007

The Question:
What Is The Meaning Of Life?

MB wrote on June 27, 2007:

I would agree that people may spend too much time and effort on trying to come up with greater means to the “greater” questions in life.But this beckons the question: how did people come up with these questions in the first place? It would seem illogical to waste ones time thinking about things that have little to no value in terms of survival. However, I believe there may be an answer to this when thinking about this problem in terms of social interaction.

Being social creatures, we are drawn to things that have social significance. After all, it is an evolutionary trait. By engaging in these practices we are strengthening our stand in a community, which would translate to protection or help from other members of that community. By looking at the behavior of other social creatures in nature, we see that they have their own practices that strengthen bonds such as grooming, sharing food and sex. However with humanity’s ability to make such practices obsolete: farming produces a surplus of food, cities have removed the fear of predators and increased our knowledge of hygiene, etc, people were no longer as connected as they once were, although it would be stupid to say people have overcome their need for each other. Rather, people had more spare time to enjoy in activities not related to survival.

This is where I think philosophy comes in. Using one’s spare time does not require one to engage in activities that are social.This is bad in terms of reproduction, as you need to be able to meet people to get a partner to “tango” with. Thus, in this sense, philosophy came in to bring people together. Our complex brains became capable of thinking of abstract thoughts and with this new found ability we could start thinking of things that are not found purely in the physical world.

Perhaps philosophy is what made the human race flourish. By not thinking of philosophy’s substance, but rather it’s function, it would seem that it is a social activity with the purpose of making people come together. Thinking about it in today’s world, where free time is abundant, it may be the sole activity where people look each other straight in the eyes and talk.

“fallaces sunt rerum species”

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Discussions On The Meaning Of Life [Reply #3]

17 08 2007

The Question:
What Is The Meaning Of Life?

TB wrote on June 27, 2007:

And it has a classic answer; there is no meaning to life. But conscious people become nihilists because they ask for the meaning behind everything. Since this cannot be fullfilled homo sapiens spends it’s time trying to overcome his surpluss of consciousness. The human being is a paradox in other words. It is trying to not be human.

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Discussions On The Meaning Of Life [Reply #2]

17 08 2007

The Question:
What Is The Meaning Of Life?

MB wrote on June 25, 2007:

Since I have put this off for so long, I have decided to post a small synopsis of what I think is the meaning of life, if one was to be so optimistic as to believe there actually is one.

Quite simply, I believe the only purpose people exist is to reproduce and to engage in activities that make it possible, i.e eating and fucking. The practice of these activities have allowed civilization and society to continue on, and so in some sort of anthropic way allow us to engage in conversations about these subjects. Or in layman’s terms, since we continue society, we have the ability to talk about it.

Although this type of Darwinist concept of life may seem bleak, making any deeper thought on philosophy trivial, I do believe it has some merit and can be used to explain why we take pleasure in certain things, and more importantly, answer “why we do the things we do”.

For example, looking into what people like to do and what people enjoy can illuminate why I think like this. Although it is obvious that enjoying the finer offerings of gastronomy and participating in the physical acts of love are
enjoyable by most, these hedonistic practices always seem to overshadow other more vital points in this argument. I intend on expanding this concept to include that all our actions, from things as diverse as thinking philosophically and reading poetry are in fact completely connected to Darwinist competition.

Most people would agree that debate and discussion is the lifeline of philosophy. Without this we could not have the vital “dialectic” that allows for the construction of more complex arguments. More simply, without someone to argue with, you couldn’t come up with more interesting ideas to talk about. Think about it in this way: debate at its core is trying to convince another person that your position is the right one, and so implying that the other persons idea is wrong. This is quite simply competition. You attempt to “sell” your position to another person so that he or she would abandon their own. In this way you make your ideas “correct”, since by having the most people agreeing with you, you can have leverage in convincing others. This is what I mean by saying that philosophy is related to Darwinist competition. It would seem that philosophy, or any activity where people disagree, is simply an extension of competition, its goal to get more people to agree with so as to make your position in society more secure and powerful, and in this sense make it easier for you to do what people do best: have sex and eat.

Since this has gone on for quite a bit, I think I will write more on this subject in a later post, since I didn’t get as far as I wanted to. Think about it and post if you want to, after all debate is the key here I guess. I am also sorry about making this thing sound really scary with all of the big words and stuff, I just have a habit of thinking this way. So until next time.

“In vino veritas”

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Discussions On The Meaning Of Life [Reply #1]

17 08 2007

The Question:
What Is The Meaning Of Life?

IR wrote on June 15, 2007:

To live it to the fullest. Now, that may vary from person to person; many people are perfectly happy in their mundane lives, and some are not. Our purpose for being here is to live, and learn, and make merry, and be good people. Make a difference. That is the meaning of life to me.

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