SRS Finding Meaning in Life & a Reason to Live

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by Fearan, Jan 7, 2005.

  1. Fearan

    Fearan Guest

    Hay Guys,

    This question is often discussed and has been done over and over, but hey... let's do it again!

    First off I'd like to say that I'm a very "happy", confident, good-looking guy in a long-term relationship with a wonderful woman whom I hope to spend a lot of time in the future with, I am only making this thread to further enhance my philosophical mind and maybe find a little guidance.

    What is the ultimate reason we should go on every day? Many men go on to achieve fame, a "raison d'etre" at the end of their miserable life. A life where they hopefully will not be forgotten, from Alexander the Great to Hitler, believing they could change something. There are those few who actually do make a large difference in life, like Dr. Martin L. King Jr.

    Most of us know we will not affect the lives of others as Dr. King did, or Ghandi or Mother Theresa. Most of us know the only ones to remember us after we are gone will be our sons and daughters, and hopefully their offspring. A lot of people find solace in the belief that once they have completed their task of reproduction and played their little role on Earth they may be rewarded.

    Some of us are lucky enough to find true love in this sometimes cruel enough world where we escape unhappiness until they are gone, then we join them in our own withering of lives, decaying ever so slowly until we rejoin the Earth as Carbon, Nitrogen, Oxygen, Phosphorous and Hydrogen. There seem to be very few of these people who die happy knowing their lives changed nothing of the world, yet lived it with someone they truly cared about and received caring in return.

    Do we live our lives, day-to-day in the hope of ending up as one of those latter folks? [Cynics need not apply :big grin: ] Obviously, the answer is different for everyone. Some men will live to leave their mark on Earth's surface, all the Stalins and Napoleons, some will live to make the lives of others better, like Mother Theresa.

    What is the best way to live your life? Is it better to end your days holding the hand of someone you loved for many year, possibly hoping to look upon the eyes they had when you first met in another universe? So many people vow to this belief, yet throw it all away with their need for excitement and drama, it would have me believe that the best way to die is to die in a hottub surrounded by two Japanese whores.

    Yet that last thought seems so... pointless. Is it not better to find yourself on your deathbed knowing you truly shared your life with someone who appreciated everything you did for them? At the end of the short day known as Life, is it not easier to appreciate the memories of that first kiss that conjures up thousands of beautiful memories than to try and appreciate the "Ball of Fire" path? Holding the hand of someone you need only look at to remember how beautiful they were so many years ago? Or is it better to live completely in the present?

    Also, is it not more noble to leave your DNA as a legacy of whom you were before, even though your name shall be forgotten, than being a part of every history book? Continuing upon the previous paragraph that hopefully conjured up the image of true love, it would seem that we have been properly programmed to think that this attitude is a natural biological attitude for our species (poligamy, etc is still a form of love in different cultures, so it is also possible to "love" many women to fulfill the biological characteristic of many women to a man.)

    In retrospect (cliffs), we can therefore make the following assumptions about life:
    1. Only a few men with the ambition to be remembered for ever, will do so. Some people have a very high ambition factor. They will shape the course of evolution.
    2. It is easier to follow the following biological path, and will generally be more rewarding before/(after?) death
    3. The path set forth by our DNA is one in which we must pass on our genetic code.
    4. If our bodies determine our happiness, it is possible that we will only truely be happy with offspring.
    5. If so, then the best way to live a loving, rewarding life is to follow the course set forth by our genetic code and reproduce, thereby continuing the expansion of manking, even though we will never get to see the great heights we will likely one day reach.
    6. These great heights can only be reached with the men with different ambitions than the norm (see #1.) These men will generally not end up beside someone they love on their deathbed, unless they played their cards very well.

    So what's the point of this thread? There is none. I only want some input from others to find direction in life. Not career wise. Not ambition wise, but philosophically. If anyone has any good books to recommend, please do so.

    I believe that although there is no true meaning of life, trying to find the closest thing to it can't hurt, right?
     
  2. johan

    johan Active Member

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    The older I get, more and more I realize it's the little things in life that I cherish. Love. Being loved.

    Not architecting grand monuments to the fact of my existence. A beautiful child is testament enough to that.
     
  3. dementedmonkey

    dementedmonkey New Member

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    I used to enjoy life and have a reason to live. Now I hate my life and don't see anything good in it.
    Whatever people say about "wanting to change the world" being a lot of people's reason for living, its bullshit really.
    The only thing, IMHO, that makes a person stay sane and happy is being in love and being loved in return.

    Without it, all hope is lost and no amount of money, fame and material wealth can, or ever will change that.
     
  4. fatlip

    fatlip Transcendence Into The Peripheral

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    Its all subjective, the only meaning in life is that which you attribute to it. dementedmonkey, you say that love is the meaning of life? I don't believe that at all, maybe for you, but I don't think our lives should be based around the feelings of other people, we are individuals after all. They are a large part of it yes, but not the main focus or meaning of it, at least for me anyways.

    Personnally, my meaning and reason have changed alot over the years, but at the moment my main drive is bettering myself, expanding my mind, learning new things, that kind of stuff.
     
  5. liptonme

    liptonme OT Supporter

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    <theory> A measure of the disorder of a system. Systems tend
    to go from a state of order (low entropy) to a state of
    maximum disorder (high entropy).

    The entropy of a system is related to the amount of
    information it contains. A highly ordered system can be
    described using fewer bits of information than a disordered
    one. For example, a string containing one million "0"s can be
    described using run-length encoding as [("0", 1000000)]
    whereas a string of random symbols (e.g. bits, or characters)
    will be much harder, if not impossible, to compress in this
    way.

    not sure how this can relate. so i think it's not necessarily finding love but the many interactions we make.
     
  6. Darketernal

    Darketernal Watch: Aria The Origination =)

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    Care,for all is like a bonsai tree
    The Cycle of the Soul

    The laws of reincarnation, karma and twin souls proved to be loving and meaningful.

    http://home.quicknet.nl/qn/prive/kes/cycle.pdf

    This book shows the way how spiritual life is shaped by earthly life ,all the hows and why's and what direction we will go.
     
  7. Nihilist

    Nihilist Guest

    I don't believe there is a meaning to life. Whats the point of reproducing or changing the world when its all going to be gone in the end anyway?

    As my name states, I am a nihilist, I believe in nothing. I guess the only usefull thing I believe we can do in life is to search for the meaning of life, since we can't do anything usefull untill we have proven what the meaning of life is. So far, noone has proven scientifically what the meaning of life is, and I believe it is the only way to prove anything. If it hasn't been proven scientifically, we shouldn't believe in it.

    All the ideas out there about what the meaning of life is are based upon moral and ideological reasoning, however, my belief is that you can't prove anything by reasoning morally since morals is just a system set up by mankind in order to organize the world around us. The only acceptable way of reasoning in questions like this is purely logical reasoning based upon scientific data, and so far no scientific data has been provided on this subject, therefore we can't believe anything about the matter.
     
  8. SpicyMcVoodoo

    SpicyMcVoodoo New Member

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    The purpose in life is to find pleasure.
     
  9. RyeBread

    RyeBread If you tell the truth you don't have to remember a

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    what a sad way to look at life, and/or the world as we know it.

    for a great many millenia, there were things that people knew, without it being proven scientifically.

    how long did it take to "prove" gravity? yet, aside from some seriously stronge peyote, people knew they were anchored to the earth.

    my point is, that there are obviously things that exceed our sensory capacity to experience. sure, with "scientific" instruments we can see beyond the wavelength, and focal points of our eyes alone, can "hear" frequencies that are otherwise inaudible, etc., etc.

    how do you know that there aren't other senses that we are completely unaware of?

    and no, I don't necessarily "believe" in all sorts of fantasy parallel universes, or dimensions, but I also refuse to be so jaded as to disbelieve everything that hasn't been accepted by the scientific community.

    for one, they not so long ago "knew" that the coelacanth was extinct

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Recolas

    Recolas Bring me back to fallen town Where someone is stil

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    IMO the grand purpose of life, is to discover the purpose of life (yes, a paradox)

    But on a smaller note, it could be many things. I belive my purpose is to help the person i love in any way possible, and i have dedicated my life to that. Has yet to fail me ^_^
     
  11. civicmon

    civicmon got all my game from the streets of california.

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    god that's an ugly ass fish
     
  12. vierstein

    vierstein New Member

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    nihilism is hardly a good way to live, you just have to realise that the meaning of life is life itself, the meaning of life is to be human and acomplish self-fulfilment, thats all there is to it.


    morals are not a system set up by human kind, real morals are biologial instincts creating social order to develop the species, morals are instincts showing us that by being less selfish we can achieve more for ourselves, i shall explain:
    there are two people, one gets sick, two scenarios exist:
    1. people do not have morals. The healthy one cares for himself and the sick one dies. Eventually the remaining person becomes sick and also dies.
    2. people have morals. The healthy person cares for the sick one, nursing him back to health. Eventually the originally healthy person becomes sick, but is nursed back to health by the person who's life he saved previously.

    however moralessness can also be advantageous, eg tow people, not enough food, one hoards it and survives until he can find more, as opposed to when having morals he shares it and both die.

    therefore both morals and moralessness exist in society aswell as a continuum in between, this explains why some people are very selfish and others very selfless.

    this was basically an overly long retort at the nihilist up there, nietzshe himself was a nihilist once but said that once you realize the pointlessness of your position you can move on and become an extistentialist which is one who believes that every cause has a coresponding effect, and therefore the meaning of life is to make choices, ie, life itself

    </rant>
     
  13. Spiritus

    Spiritus Active Member

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    You must live life for yourself and not others. Everyone we consider important now will be forgotten.

    There is no paticular reason the sun should shine, so why do we think we have a reason to exist? Thing is, nothing really has a purpose.

    To think everything should have a purpose is just rational human thought trying to make a tool out of something. We are just monkeys using the special abilities we were given, just as a beaver gnaws down a tree...

    Reasons to live for yourself? Family, children, wealth, sex, the next TV reality show... whatever turns your crank.

    It's all about you baby. Your house and family is a grain of sand compared to Bill Gates... but comparing valuebles is stupid, because I bet both you and Gates would trade all you have for your loved ones.

    Life is a random clusterfuck of matter, physics and energy... there is no reason, it's above reason.
     
  14. Nihilist

    Nihilist Guest

    What you fail to realize is that survival is pointless and therefore it doesn't matter wether or not the man helps the sick man or not. You must realize that from my viewpoint there is no point, survival isn't a goal, but neither is self destruction. Actions are not relevant, nothing is.

    I guess the only real goal that a nihilist can have is to prove himself wrong by rational thinking and drawing conclusion from scientific observations of reality (whatever that is). Although that thought in itself ofcourse makes me a hypocrite, sine truth doesn't necessarily exist, since we can't determine anything, only say that something is probable to be the accurate case (the paradox of nihilism).

    I'm not a nihilist in the traditional meaning, because those who believed (i use this word very loosely here) in it in Russia back in the day lived by moral standards and fought for something they believed in, not seeming to be very apathetic at all. Why fight when theres no point? (although you could ofcourse argue that "why not fight when theres no point?", this argument is pointless, so dont bother bringing it up.)

    Anyway, I guess my point is that there is no point, and your actions do not matter. I sorry if this post was incoherrent, I am very tired at the moment, and this argument is pointless.
     
  15. Insect

    Insect New Member

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    Mathematics is concerned with proofs.
    Science is concerned with theories.

    Scientific theories can never be proved right. The fundamental founding tenet of science is that your explanation is never right, it is just what best describes what you can see before you. Science is just as much a system set up by mankind (although to be fair, it's a system I prefer in a majority of situations).

    If you're really going to be nihilistic about it, isn't it the case that only mathematics truly exists?
     
  16. Nihilist

    Nihilist Guest

    Mathematics are also a system set up by humans to describe the ideas that we have about numbers, often in order to describe reality but also to describe abstract ideas and predict outcomes of certain events in certain systems. The difference is in the fact that mathematics are proven by logical reasoning rather than experimental data. Yet what we think of as "mathematics" is still a human concept devised to describe the world.

    As a nihilist my belief is that nothing necessarily true, but can be proven to be probable to be true. Nihilism denies the existance of absolute truth. I also believe that in order to accept something to be a probable truth, evidence has to be present, nihilism is after all derived from rationalism. However, this also means that I can never be certain that nihilism is the correct picture of the world, but considering the cards on the table, I find it to be the picture that best describes what I see, although there are many cards yet to be unfolded.
     
  17. JordanClarkson

    JordanClarkson OT Supporter

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    Relationships are just experiences. It really is all about you. Find your own peace. Everything you could ever need and the answers to every question are within yourself
     
  18. NFS7

    NFS7 Shit, it burns!

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    Reply to #1: We change the course of our lives and the lives of the people, animals, things around us just by going about our day to day existence. The key here is causality, everything you do in your life will have an impact, however small or large is irrelevent, the point is that one person choosing to wear a blue colored shirt in the morning could no doubt have an impact on some other person/thing somewhere else through the process of causality. Evolution and major societal changes are never brought on by 1 person alone, 1 person can only hope to be the catalyst that starts the process of change, but 1 person can never carry out the entire process of change to an entire society.

    Reply to #2: I'm not sure what you are asking here.

    Reply to #3: Yes, i agree with you there. I believe all species have an inherent need to procreate and further enlarge the population.

    Reply to #4: you pose a very valid and logical argument. however, I believe play only one part of the happiness of a human being, I believe societal factors and growth environment also plays a huge part, if a child somehow grew up without such a sense or never learned the capacity for caring for a child, then maybe he would experience something much different when the thought of creating new life is mentioned.

    Reply to #5: Yes, in order for human civilization to keep going on, we must always procreate. However, one should also keep in mind the burdens of overpopulation, as we are already in such a state, so that the next few decades will be very interesting if the current population levels keep rising the way they have been doing over the past few decades. Also, I sense from your text that you have a underlying interest with fame and "great heights", you should explore that more for yourself and ask yourself what you really want in life. Though that might only come with more life experience.

    Reply to #6: Again, I sense that you might have such an underlying desire to be "infamous" and reach such a "great height", you should explore that more, it seems like something that is bugging you. (this is derived strictly from your text of course)

    I'll also pose you a question: what happens when or if humanity ever learns to master more of our own genome? if that is the case, then we may theoretically be able to change the very essence of who we are, can we alter our genes so that we are less prone to violence, can we alter our genes so that we can use a greater portion of our brains? can we alter ourselves to be resistant to the acoholism and the like? Or does a growing environment have to do with all those traits that may or may not show up later on in our lives? What makes a great leader? is it genes, or his enivornment, or a combination of both?
     
  19. rebel

    rebel Manchester United > All

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    Life is a perfect system. Your born from the earth, you live, you die, your body decays and goes back in the earth. Cycle repeats over and over endlessly. Flawless eternal system of life. There is no real hidden meaning behind anything. Why would there be? You live you die and thats the hard fact of life. Religion, its nice to believe it. In fact, I hope so much that God is real. Heavan exists, and there is life after death. But, I don't know if I believe it. I mean its nice to keep yourself sane from faceing the inevitable. In fact, thats why I believe religion exists. To keep the oridinary mind sane from having to think about the death that is coming in their future, at any time. So whats the point of life? Live how you want. What if you died tommorow, would you be happy with everything you've done in your life? Why do tommorow what you can do today. My biggest fear, well my only fear is death. I'm not neccissarly afraid to die, i'm not. I'm afraid of whats after death. Heaven would sure be nice. But I just dont see how a place like that can exist. Its like a giant fairy tale if you think about it. Thought that scares me the most is just total nothingness. When you die, your gone, you dont see anything, no spirit, just death. You cease to exist. What sucks is this is inevitable, its coming and there is nothing anyone can do about it. Life is a death sentence.
     
  20. vierstein

    vierstein New Member

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    you misunderstood my point, i did not say survival has a point, i said that morals do not exist from human creation but from a species survival instinct.
    morals are a natural instinct for most people, not a system, real morals are subjective, technically morals could be described as actions furthering the survival of a species, inolving protecting the whole, aswell as the individual who makes up the whole, yourself, morals provide instincts to help others to a degree but also to help yourself, thus not only is the species as a whole bettered by larger average survival powers of the members, but also by larger survival powers of those better suited to the environment (ie natural selection may continue, although in this day and age natural slection is largely inhibited)



    the point of life is to be human, i.e. to be yourself
    as long as you are happy you have achieved a good life
    self fulfilment provides happiness
     
  21. JordanClarkson

    JordanClarkson OT Supporter

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    I think we should all do our part to advance our species. This means teaching others by leading, showing, or by example. We all have the power to influence those close to us.
     
  22. Throwdown

    Throwdown whore destroyer

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    To me, the meaning of life or "success" is only equal to happienss. And happiness isnt judged by the amount of money you have or how long you are remembered. The meaning of life is to be happy.
     
  23. JordanClarkson

    JordanClarkson OT Supporter

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    We try to validate ourselves through external sources--our friends, or career, or status in society. If we would just look within ourselves we could see who we truly are and the true beauty of ourselves. If you can do that you'll no longer need any external "proof" of your happiness.
     
  24. In this world I'm little more than a question mark to the world and not necessarily an answer to be heard. What will I do next? Who will I be? Where will I go? Why? I don't know why I'm here, I don't know what I'm supposed to do, or where I'm going. I don't know why I've been where I've been, or why things happened to me the way in which they did.

    Meaning, intent, value, does it matter ultimately? Matter,....does *it* ....matter. Well I suspect it does doesn't it? It's all "matter" after all. *wink*
     
  25. Spiritus

    Spiritus Active Member

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    You make the meaning in life.

    You give yourself the reason to live.

    For my mom, it'd have to be her kids. For me? I have a lot of reasons. A family, a dreamhome, an illicit garden to dream for.

    For others it might be to become a scientist and work productively. For a junkie it might be the next fix.

    There is no one explanation, there is no one simple awnser.

    However, everyone has a reason to live, and a meaning in life. I know what mine is after lots of soul searching. A smart preferably beautiful wife, kids whom I can mold into great people, a beautiful place to grow old, the hobbies I love, etc.

    I know I will be forgotten. Not soon, but eventually. I feel my spirit will go on, and it will be a happy spirit.

    If you haven't found your meaning yet, maybe it's because you haven't looked hard enough or maybe it's just not the right time. Keep on truckin, it's out there.
     

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