Java "Sitting by the big window" phile
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.
Java "Sitting by the big window" phile
Toys! I must have new toys!!!
Yep. 42. Itís conclusive.
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
Nope, everyone's had to find an efficiency-dividend so it's now down to 39.82 and will be indexed to CPI.
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; 20th May 2019 at 05:53 AM. Reason: Sorry, forgot the smiley.
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'.
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.
Interesting read here https://www.dyscopia.com/files/artic...vilization.pdf 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."
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; 22nd May 2019 at 02:45 PM.
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.
Well ................. nah. Moving on
The thing that really frustrates me is that religious schools receive taxpayer dollars - even more than state schools (on a per student basis) in some cases. Personally, I would be reluctant to for the government to pay more than 50% of the loading given to public schools - and certainly NIL for capital works. One NSW religious school received a capital works grant of over 50% of the entire state's allocation a few years back. Why?
If you want to educate your offspring in fairy tales, do it on your own dime...
Survive, reproduce, die. The same as any other animal.
We just have the benefit (burden?) of a greater intelligence to enhance the time in between.
Maybe we are overestimating the significance of "life" in the Universal scheme of things? 13.8billion years to learn from and all we can come up with is self importance? It's about us? If/when Quantum does the thinking for us maybe the answer we get given to the meaning of life will be just as unsurprising as it is surprising - eg life is insignificant? - maybe :-)
Noidle, humans have evolved beyond basic instincts and needs but there are parts of the world where people don't have the luxury of thinking beyond those needs. noonar, don't confuse self awareness with self importance but I do understand where you are coming from.
Ps Rocky, don't be envious. You wouldn't be envious of Damocles, would you?
Ps 2 isn't it enough that we were here at all without expecting to endure forever? We're not that important.
Ps none of this had the intended affect on me. Didn't even put me off meat.
I think the best response I ever heard to this question was this. I can't remember who said it.
"What makes you think the universe owes you an explanation"
Swedish author Torgny Lindgren said something like "eventually we'll all meet in the groundwater and travel together for a while"
Other than that, I wouldn't expect too much, but I do find that kind of comforting...
Last edited by knastoer; 23rd May 2019 at 11:48 PM.
Haha... some great responses here. Loved the pic snowytec XD.
I've been pretty committed to spiritual truth and meaning for many years now... which didn't really come about by choice and I don't think it ever does, it chooses you haha, and yeah the old view of just surviving for as long as possible and procreating to me seems pretty miserable.
I read from many different sources from religions and spiritual traditions (which are not all narrow-minded, but simply have a different orientation or emphasis. Some traditions are for sure pretty detrimental in the 'wrong hands'...), and there is indeed from what I've experienced much more going on than what the surface level senses can detect.
What's often not looked into is the mind and ego structure itself. Often spiritual stuff people read and latch onto, it just becoming another thing to attach yourself to to confirm your own beliefs, but looking at the way the mind operates it projects onto the world all of its conditioning, and then tries to convince others of it to confirm its reality to itself.
But taking that backwards step, or turning around and looking at yourself, is a vital part of it, or else your just running around in circles of opinion and belief! Being ruthlessly honest with oneself shows that perception isn't reality. That's where faith comes in, because you're stepping into uncharted territories and deep existential uncertainties, it takes a real willingness and courage to deeply question the meaning of all this.
Can understand the skepticism with all the conflicts that have occurred with religiosity, the thing is to me they were based on profound spiritual truths originally, but the mind grabbed hold of them and distorted them through perception, and hid behind them as beliefs to cover up insecurities. Using scripture to 'justify' actions shows that they weren't really understood, truth needs no proof as it stands on it's on power and merit. God doesn't need you to fight for him or defend him haha, why would He?
Being willing to question deeply held beliefs and gently lay them to the side and enquire sincerely to me has been key.
Just my $0.14 FWIW XD
It's not really complicated.
What's strange is that we feel the need to be anything at all.
Faith is the ability to believe in something: that you know can't possibly be true.
Faith is the ability to believe in something: just because someone tells you that you should.
Faith is the ability to believe in something: just because other people do.
Beliefs just for definition purposes are to me unstable, need constant defending and are based on perception.
Just how I tend to make sense of that insanity
Religion is in the business of making a very comfortable living by brainwashing people before their brains have developed.
It infuses, (coffee like ?) a bunch of rules that are not possible for humanity to adhere too, then sells you the forgiveness and exoneration from guilt - How Brilliant !
They always knew that eventually they would be found out, thats why they originally tried to outlaw science and regularly condemned our great thinkers to death.
Have you ever thought how they managed to make sex, (the most common, normal, essential survival strategy for all living things) - dirty.
At least the Internet is putting that rule to bed, (literally).
Dogs don't judge, don't have hidden agendas, know the true meaning of unconditional love and loyalty, give their all freely, will accept you as you are and don't ask for anything in return.
Sounds like a good basis for a religion to me. Many humans aspire to emulate these traits but often end up as virtue signalers rather than true practitioners.
As far as dogs giving unconditional love and loyalty and asking nothing in return, pretty much on the money, however our much loved Labrador, will most certainly let you know if you are a few minutes late with a meal, food is the motivator, followed closely by comfort.
DOG SPELLED BACKWARDS: THE GOD MYTH EXAMINED | TheDogPlace.org
And then of course there's Easter, we haven't done Easter yet ?
Ps wasn't it Groucho Marx who said "I wouldn't want to join a club that would have me as a member".
I saw Religion as the greatest Social Engineering tool there ever was until the Internet and Social Media came along. Putting the fear of God into people lives on regardless of which platform (or pulpit) is utilised.
Rome turned it into an art form.
"There are more things likely to frighten us than there are to crush us, we suffer more often in imagination than in reality."
A while back, I was watching a nature doco. There was this wasp that invaded an ants nest and laid its eggs in the brood chamber. When they hatched they preyed on the young ants. Considering how many well armed ants there were, how was this even possible? Well, it transpires that the wasps secreted a pheromone, which distracted the ants, caused them to fight amongst each other, and even induced them to nurture the parasitic invaders.
Ps got me to thinking about those burning handbags - nah, couldn't be. Surely not?
You've probably all heard this joke but it remains one of my favourites and I can't miss an opportunity to give it an outing:
"Did you hear about the Insomniac Agnostic Dyslexic?"
"Lay awake all night wondering if there really is a Dog".
"Lay awake all night wondering if there really is a Dog".[/QUOTE]
There are signs that the "turf war" between God and Dog is hotting up.
Dogs are slowly winning, they are a lot cuter, cheaper, do not speak with forked bark and you can trust your children to them, (even Rottweilers are statistically safer).