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The big question.

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  • The big question.

    The meaning of life used to be, to survive long enough to pass our genes on to the next generation.
    Then for millennia an assortment of priests, messiahs, shamans et al told us it could be found in the worship of their particular gods, spirits, ghosts etc.
    And now? The meaning of life can be whatever we want to make it. Life's good - for now.

    Ps just my take, fwiw. What's yours?

    Ps 2 Off Topic has been a bit quiet of late.

  • #2
    It's 42!

    Java "Sitting by the big window" phile
    Toys! I must have new toys!!!


    • #3
      Good one JP...



      • #4
        Yep. 42. It’s conclusive.


        • #5
          For this question, we must turn to the great philosophers of the ages:

          To be is to do - Socrates

          To do is to be - Sartre

          Do Be Do Be Do - Sinatra


          • #6
            Nope, everyone's had to find an efficiency-dividend so it's now down to 39.82 and will be indexed to CPI.


            • #7
              Originally posted by LeroyC View Post
              Yep. 42. It’s conclusive.
              I suspect 42 is code for 'unknowable'. Douglas Adams himself was a bit evasive about it, when asked.
              I like to think that the great man uncovered the secret but, it was so revelatory, he was reticent to tell us for fear of the harm it could cause.

              Ps considering his penchant for codes I wouldn't be surprised if the answer remains locked in his writings. Unfortunately, the computer needed to decipher it hasn't been invented yet.
              Last edited by OCD; 20 May 2019, 05:53 AM. Reason: Sorry, forgot the smiley.


              • #8
                Originally posted by OCD View Post
                Unfortunately, the computer needed to decipher it hasn't been invented yet.
                WOPR solved it some time ago. The only winning move...

                Java " not to play." phile
                Toys! I must have new toys!!!


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Javaphile View Post
                  WOPR solved it some time ago. The only winning move...

                  Java " not to play." phile
                  WOPR got it wrong.
                  The only winning move is for all sides not to play.

                  Ps good luck with that.


                  • #10
                    I remember an episode of 'The twilight zone' years ago where a bloke with an incredibly blank look on his face, was walking around a town telling people that he knew the secret of life and that he would tell them if they wanted to hear it. In order to tell them, he had to whisper it in their ear and after doing so, they had the same zombie/blank look. One of the people that was told was a radio announcer and he got on the air one day announcing that he knew the secret of life, and for everyone to lean in close to their radio speaker if they wanted to hear it. Pan out to a town full of people pressing their ear to the radio speaker, then shortly after, all having the zombie/blank look. In the credits/postscript of the show their was a line, 'there are some things that people aren't meant to know'.


                    • #11
                      From the earliest times, mankind has always sought to find meaning, and to explain the phenomena around him.
                      Pretty well every race or people I have ever heard of had a "religion" that sought to do this.
                      I have always regarded the "search for meaning" as a fundamental drive in humans.
                      Not surprising then, that people will embrace even the most implausible explanations of what it is all about.
                      I admit to being a bit envious of people who have a strong belief in an 'afterlife' as it must make things a bit easier when your time comes.
                      Unfortunately it doesn't work for me.
                      In loose terms, I think you live on through your offspring and the only rational consolation you can have is that if you do your best to 'prepare' them for life they will hopefully have a life that is, on balance, positive rather than negative.
                      As to religion, I really don't mind what you believe as long as it doesn't involve aggression to others who don't share your belief.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Rocky View Post
                        As to religion, I really don't mind what you believe as long as it doesn't involve aggression to others who don't share your belief.
                        Couldn't agree more Rocky.

                        Interesting read here from Bertrand Russell.

                        “Has Religion made Useful Contributions to Civilisation?” – and Russell’s answer was an almost unqualified no. He conceded that religion might have inspired our ancestors to study the stars and compile calendars, but apart from that, he said, it had served only to throw a cloak of priestly respectability over the principal sources of human misery, namely ignorance, fear, conceit, hatred and mistrust. Religion, in short, was a world conspiracy for the propagation of folly and the prevention of progress. “The knowledge exists by which universal happiness can be secured,” Russell wrote, but the churches were not interested, and preferred to perpetuate pestilence, famine, cruelty and above all war:
                        Religion prevents our children from having a rational education; religion prevents us from removing the fundamental causes of war; religion prevents us from teaching the ethic of scientific co-operation in place of the old fierce doctrines of sin and punishment. It is possible that mankind is on the threshold of a golden age; but, if so, it will first be necessary to slay the dragon that guards the door, and this dragon is religion."


                        • #13
                          Now while I'm a bit of a fan of Bertie*, his is a terribly one sided viewpoint on religion. His great aim in life was to reduce everything to mathematical certainty until Gottlob Frege asked him whether the set of all sets that are not members of themselves was a member of itself, thereby blowing Bertie's program out of the water.

                          *I was slated to do a PhD in the philosophy of mathematics until I worked out the only jobs available were teaching the very few other people interested in the philosophy of mathematics, so Bertie is a big influence. I also have a copy of his "History of Western Philosophy" which is old enough that the flyleaves were printed on the back side of WW2 military maps.

                          ** This later became known as Russell's Paradox and was a seminal influence in Godel's proof that mathematics cannot be both complete and consistent.
                          Last edited by Lyrebird; 22 May 2019, 02:45 PM.


                          • #14
                            Don't expect a rational discourse with the religious. If they were rational they wouldn't be religious in the first place. If you corner them, they will refer you to some old book - end of argument. They are blind to reason. Why? WTFK?

                            Ps try banging your head on a brick wall instead - less frustrating.


                            • #15
                              Well ................. nah. Moving on