What is the meaning of life?

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Re: What is the meaning of life?

Post by David H on Fri Sep 26, 2014 7:07 pm

Mrs Figg wrote: but I cant understand why life sought to exist billions of years ago, or how the very first lifeform thought to itself, ooh this is cool I am conscious, now lets make woopy and make more of me.

My guess is that it went the other way around. Woopy is a pre-conscious kind of thing. The ones that got it wrong just didn't stick around long. The consciousness though, what is it really? scratch

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Re: What is the meaning of life?

Post by Bluebottle on Fri Sep 26, 2014 11:34 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:Thats only the special unique Forumshire brew, made exclusively for Queen Tinuviel so that Beren thinks she is drinking harmless rasberry juice (note the Forushire spelling doesnt have a p in it either- its a Valinor thing) It also contains 0.00001% Miruvor.

So what does normal bucie taste like? scratch


Wait, wait, wait. I got it. cheers

It's regret.

Right? Very Happy

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Re: What is the meaning of life?

Post by Eldorion on Sat Sep 27, 2014 12:14 am

Amarië wrote:'Cause it's wine with caffeine!  Shocked

Wait ... buckie is Four Loko? Suspect

Pettytyrant101 wrote:Twisted Evil Yup, 15% proof and more caffeine per drop than Red Bull.

I love this description. Just everything about it is perfect. Very Happy
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Re: What is the meaning of life?

Post by Eldorion on Sat Sep 27, 2014 12:20 am

Mrs Figg wrote:meaning of life? I dont think there is one. Life doesnt mean anything, its just there. Only us humans search for a logical reason for being, I think life is a weird concept, I can understand why animals want to be alive, but I cant understand why life sought to exist billions of years ago, or how the very first lifeform thought to itself, ooh this is cool I am conscious, now lets make woopy and make more of me.

I tend to lean more towards this myself, but I think that most humans, or at least most of us fortunate enough to live in circumstances where day-to-day survival is something we can take for granted, tend to be happier when we find a sense of purpose or meaning to things. At least that's been helpful for me at times. So I think there is some merit to the question "what is the meaning of life?", although I wouldn't phrase it that way.
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Re: What is the meaning of life?

Post by Mrs Figg on Sat Sep 27, 2014 2:30 pm

maybe its better if we say 'what is the meaning of human or animal life' that is probably easier to answer. Although we humans have constructed the meaning, its not objective but subjective.

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Re: What is the meaning of life?

Post by Bluebottle on Mon Sep 29, 2014 6:41 pm

Eldorion wrote:I think that most humans, or at least most of us fortunate enough to live in circumstances where day-to-day survival is something we can take for granted, tend to be happier when we find a sense of purpose or meaning to things.  At least that's been helpful for me at times.

There's a very simple truth in that, I think. Nod

Generalizing that sentiment perhaps takes it a bit too far, but one could say it isn't really a question of whether there's meaning to life. The simple truth is that life needs a meaning, a purpose. Life doesn't have a meaning in itself. We put meaning in it.

I think that puts a level of self-determination in the matter that I'm more comfortable with. Shrugging

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Re: What is the meaning of life?

Post by Mrs Figg on Tue Sep 30, 2014 5:39 pm

affraid another of my posts is missing

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Re: What is the meaning of life?

Post by azriel on Tue Sep 30, 2014 8:10 pm

The meaning of life is, to live it. What else can you do ? you cant bottle it in a jam jar, you cant put it in a box. You cant pause it, rewind it or fast forward it. In fact 'Time' ignores you. It could give a monkeys about you. It meanders along as it likes. Its up to you what you do with it, waste it or cram every experience you can into it. Its not 'times' choice but yours. Wink

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Re: What is the meaning of life?

Post by Orwell on Thu Oct 02, 2014 10:20 am

Mrs Figg wrote:affraid another of my posts is missing

Eldo - where are you? scratch

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Re: What is the meaning of life?

Post by Mrs Figg on Thu Oct 02, 2014 2:28 pm

its ok Orwell I think its sorted. there was a bug or something, but its ok now. Very Happy

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Re: What is the meaning of life?

Post by halfwise on Thu Dec 11, 2014 5:28 pm

Why did an October post just bubble to the top here?

Meanwhile, I agree with all the sentiments that the meaning of life is something we put into it, it's not an attribute of life itself.  We're just along for the ride; what we get out of the ride is completely up to us.

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Re: What is the meaning of life?

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Dec 11, 2014 6:02 pm

Buckie then mainly for me Nod drunken drunken

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Re: What is the meaning of life?

Post by Lancebloke on Sun Dec 21, 2014 9:18 am

I was bored at work the other day (since I am going away for 3 months I am not getting in to any big projects right now) and I believe I am called a determinalist (could have that wrong).

Basically means that I believe that our future is already determined... not by a higher power but by everything that has happened before. So I don't believe in any particular meaning of life because I don't believe in free will and that a person can influence any outcomes of their life.

Basically people, animals and everything in existence is just following it's design like a roller coaster on a track.
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Re: What is the meaning of life?

Post by huffjuff on Sun Dec 21, 2014 1:27 pm

Good point lance. I have somewhat of the same understanding of life, but I think we are able influence the outcome of our lives. Some of the people I have met this year at the 'folkehøgskole' i'm attending, I am not quite sure it was just random meetings. Our paths have crossed many times and therefore I agree with your thinking.

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Re: What is the meaning of life?

Post by David H on Sun Dec 21, 2014 3:42 pm

While I on the other hand think of every human as a random number generator, introducing chaos into the world at every turn. Suspect

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Re: What is the meaning of life?

Post by Lancebloke on Sun Dec 21, 2014 5:02 pm

huffjuff wrote:Good point lance. I have somewhat of the same understanding of life, but I think we are able influence the outcome of our lives. Some of the people I have met this year at the 'folkehøgskole' i'm attending, I am not quite sure it was just random meetings. Our paths have crossed many times and therefore I agree with your thinking.

The influence you have on your life is the result of everything that has happened before each and every decision or action and will affect things from then onward. The decisions you take or actions you follow would never be any different... you have been shaped for them to happen that way.
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Re: What is the meaning of life?

Post by halfwise on Sun Dec 21, 2014 6:02 pm

The famous physicist Richard Feynman had a very interesting take on this which I love:  Even if the universe is completely deterministic, we in our limited knowledge cannot fully see the outcomes.  So we essentially have free will.  

And no mind can be vast enough to see all outcomes, because the mind is itself a physical part of the universe, a part that is largely hidden from the mind itself.  This is actually a deep philosophical topic: can the mind observe itself?  By definition we can observe memory, and we can observe the results of processing (thinking) based on stored data, but can we actually observe the mechanisms of thinking?  If not, even the greatest mind imaginable has free will because it cannot effectively observe itself, so cannot fully calculate the consequences of its thoughts.


Last edited by halfwise on Sun Dec 21, 2014 11:12 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: What is the meaning of life?

Post by Mrs Figg on Sun Dec 21, 2014 10:12 pm

I don't believe in determinism? I think every moment is a choice of free will and we can change our future and our present. We come to a crossroad whether real or metaphysical and we have to decide to turn right or left, you could have turned left for the last 10 years but one day you suddenly find yourself turning left and then swerving right at the last minute. You may have shaped the present and a path could have been set, but what about chance, accident and unforeseen events that deviate us from that path. Things we don't have control of like weather or a butterfly beating its wings in the Amazon that causes the hurricane that blows us off the road. What if the butterfly gets eaten first. I don't think anything is predetermined, its all random stuff, chaos in constant flux. I don't believe that everything that has gone before means that the present is set in stone like its inescapable, things change people change, shit happens and hits a fan.
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Re: What is the meaning of life?

Post by Mrs Figg on Sun Dec 21, 2014 10:17 pm

why does the Earth spin?

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Re: What is the meaning of life?

Post by halfwise on Sun Dec 21, 2014 11:09 pm

So that happy hour can come around once a day. drunken

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Re: What is the meaning of life?

Post by Mrs Figg on Mon Dec 22, 2014 12:09 am

:facepalm:

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Re: What is the meaning of life?

Post by Forest Shepherd on Mon Dec 22, 2014 5:30 am

Not to throw a damper on things, but last Monday I had this horrible experience. Nothing bad actually happened in my life: as in, I ate dinner and watched part of a so-so movie that my sister had picked out and, afterwards, went to bed.
As I was getting to sleep, this thought came over me about how death was probably the end of things. With this end in mind, I saw the tedious pointlessness of my life unrolling before me. My career would eventually bump along into something that made money, I would sort of fall into a relationship that would be alright (perhaps have some kids who would be much like me), and one day feel my heart stop beating and my mind would disappear. And that would be it.

The ramifications of the extent to which I saw this future as real has robbed me of my happiness over the last week. I feel worse than I have ever felt before, and almost nothing I do gets rid of the empty feeling I have in my chest. I often feel myself re-evaluating myself and those around me with a horrible cynicism that is diametrically opposed to the entire view of life that I have been developing over the last few years. It's as if my personal philosophy of love for others and trying to understand what might be causing them to act in cruel or unkind ways so that I can help reach them as a fellow person has horribly backfired.
Now, instead of feeling sympathy for those who I see, or imagine seeing, suffering around myself, I now feel nothingness inside as my mind attempts to analyze what kind of previous experiences or learned habits could be affecting what they're doing.
Someone acts kindly towards me? My mind tries and understand what kind of psychological reasons there might be for it and my thankfulness is overshadowed by a sense of pointlessness.
Someone hurts someone else? Same thing, and my feelings have the base of cynicism with an added horror at how cruel and painful people can be.

It was the worst on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, which I spent part of in my car alone crying out (literally, not metaphorically) in terror. I felt utterly alone, and utterly devoid of hope. It was hellish.

After that, I felt on Friday, for one beautiful period of a few hours, like a completely happy version of my former self. It was an amazing contrast to my feelings on Tuesday and Wednesday. Apart from that one period of time, however, it's been a panicky sort of unhappiness half the time and a barely-held-on peacefulness the rest of the time (and peace that you are only barely holding on to is no real peace at all).

I feel terrible again tonight, not as bad as before, but still very low.
I've tried different things, turning to my faith, talking to older people (my mom in particular as I live at home), and looking up resources online. I can't seem to recover the feeling I had on Friday, even though I've really tried, so the extent of my current comfort is not that this fear of mine will resolve itself in the way that I wish it to, but simply that it will eventually resolve itself.
I'm deeply afraid that it will not resolve itself in the way that will allow me to recover the hope that I briefly glimpsed on Friday, but that is the desire of the deepest part of my being.

I have a good understanding of the complexities of faith and spirituality and the power of these things over the human mind, but none of these understandings offer me an insight into how to get rid of this fear and pain that I am feeling. I also know that many of those on the forum are not religious, and probably have some decidedly negative viewpoints on religion in general.
Know, simply, that I am suffering because my faith fled from me in the night. I don't care what is right, or what is wrong, or what is true, or what is fantasy. All I care about is regaining my sanity. If you haven't guessed already, the brief glimpse of hope I saw on Friday was the thought that I was actually mistaken about my view of the afterlife, and that things do go on. I am trying to enjoy little things, almost as if to train myself that there can be peace without first resolving this question for myself, but it is an intense struggle and I don't feel up to it. An easy way out would be heavenly (awkward place there for a pun).

Think well of me, and I'm sorry for the length of my post.
For now I will try and comfort myself, but I feel as though my grip is slipping. Beneath me I can see the cold mountainside far below, and the branch I'm holding on to may be an illusion. I need an eagle to rescue me, or I'm going to die.

P.S.
Curse you Jackson! Your influence is felt everywhere.


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Re: What is the meaning of life?

Post by Eldorion on Mon Dec 22, 2014 5:40 am

I'm sorry that you're going through such a rough time, Forest.  I hope you're able to find something that helps you get your feet under you again.  If that something is religion, than I for one think that's great, though obviously I can't speak for all non-religious people.  I hope you have people IRL who you can speak to: friends, family, spiritual peeps, therapists, whoever.

NB If it gets really bad, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1 (800) 273-8255.  I don't know if that's how bad things are for you, but for personal reasons, even the chance of suicidal ideation strikes close to home for me, so I just wanted to mention that.

We're here for you if you wanna talk, and while we don't know each other that well, I can be reached by e-mail via my profile and I check it pretty regularly.  Best wishes, man, and I'll be thinking of you.
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Re: What is the meaning of life?

Post by Forest Shepherd on Mon Dec 22, 2014 5:58 am

Thanks Eldo, I've been trying to read through the forum as one way to work my way through all this, and I really appreciate the continuity I see in your responsible and helpful response. I don't want to lose the happiness I've found talking to you all on here, so even if I have to go out and find more friends as part of a sort of self-treatment you won't be losing my involvement.
On that note, it's always good to check, but I have not been feeling suicidal. I don't know what's going to happen in the future (I mean before this, last weekend, my biggest concern was getting my DM to not be a prat!) and I might tend that way in future, but I'm not suicidal right now. I have a small core of self that will not allow itself to be extuingished in that way, and I don't see myself losing that any time soon.
(I mean it would be a terribly ironic thing if I were to kill myself out of fear of death.)

Life is complicated.
And far more difficult than I ever thought.
But it's going to be alright, even if it isn't.

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Under ale, under bread, under cheese.

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Re: What is the meaning of life?

Post by Forest Shepherd on Mon Dec 22, 2014 6:13 am

Even since when I wrote my first post above here my mood has recovered somewhat. I felt better as I read through some of the forum. The real challenge in these moments of partial-recovery is to convince myself that these moments of peace are not temporary lapses from overwhelming doom, but glimpses of the reality of the happy future.
It's hard. Like, really hard.
Like, it's about ten-times easier to sit through the Hobbit contentedly than it is to convince oneself of something that one does not actually believe at the moment. The only way to do this is to ask oneself for time, so that the proof of this unbelievable claim can come forth.
If that promise of change, which is really hope, is then let down by the passage of time, it becomes exponentially more difficult to convince oneself a second or third time.
But it's going to be alright, the cynics can go suck it.

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Where did I eat bread and cheese?
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Your castle your fort,
Or so you thought.
The way is in four trees.
The way is in Boar in Brockhall
Under ale, under bread, under cheese.

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