The Point of Life?

  • 92 results
  • 1
  • 2
Avatar image for thegerg
#51 Posted by thegerg (18428 posts) -

@schu:

Then you're misinterpreting my post. My post has nothing at all to do with who can assign a meaning to life. Rather, it's about who can't.

Just like countless other observable phenomena in the universe, life either has a meaning or it doesn't. An individual's desire to assign a meaning to it doesn't change that.

Avatar image for thegerg
#52 Edited by thegerg (18428 posts) -

@schu:

Also, I never said "it is narcissistic to say who can assign meaning to life." You don't seem to understand what you've read. I think that person would be wrong, but not necessarily a narcissist.

What's narcissistic is for a person to think they are powerful or important enough to assign a meaning to such a complex phenomenon as life.

Avatar image for zatorys
#53 Posted by zatorys (631 posts) -

The purpose of life is passing information from generation to generation to evolve in every aspect

Avatar image for schu
#54 Posted by schu (9845 posts) -

@thegerg said:

@schu:

Also, I never said "it is narcissistic to say who can assign meaning to life." You don't seem to understand what you've read. I think that person would be wrong, but not necessarily a narcissist.

What's narcissistic is for a person to think they are powerful or important enough to assign a meaning to such a complex phenomenon as life.

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. I think it comes naturally and makes perfect sense.

Avatar image for thegerg
#55 Posted by thegerg (18428 posts) -

@schu:

It makes sense for every person to assign a meaning to life? What if the meaning that I assign to life contradicts the meaning you assign to life? Who is right?

Avatar image for schu
#56 Posted by schu (9845 posts) -
@thegerg said:

@schu:

It makes sense for every person to assign a meaning to life? What if the meaning that I assign to life contradicts the meaning you assign to life? Who is right?

Meaning is relative to the perceiver of it and even then it can change.

I disagree with the idea that there is an absolute authority that dictates what matters.

Each person's meaning is right for them and it isn't up to anything or anyone else to decide that unless they choose to invite someone else's interpretation into their personal meaning.

Avatar image for thegerg
#57 Posted by thegerg (18428 posts) -

@schu:

You're conflating two different things here. You're talking about the meaning of life, but what you seem to mean is the things in ones life that are very important to them.

If I say the meaning of life is "X", and you say the meaning of life is "not X", one of is is wrong. If we are both right, then life is meaningless and this is an utterly pointless discussion.

Avatar image for schu
#58 Edited by schu (9845 posts) -

@thegerg said:

@schu:

You're conflating two different things here. You're talking about the meaning of life, but what you seem to mean is the things in ones life that are very important to them.

If I say the meaning of life is "X", and you say the meaning of life is "not X", one of is is wrong. If we are both right, then life is meaningless and this is an utterly pointless discussion.

It is pointless if you don't find interest in what other people find meaningful. This is exactly what the point of the OP was. They wanted to share what they thought was meaningful and then to ask others what they found to be meaningful.

Avatar image for thegerg
#59 Posted by thegerg (18428 posts) -

@schu:

What others find meaningful can be interesting, and can make for good conversation. However, that's a very different topic than the meaning of life.

If you think that the meaning of life is dependant on your feelings about what is meaningful to you, you're horribly narcissistic.

Avatar image for schu
#60 Posted by schu (9845 posts) -

@thegerg said:

@schu:

What others find meaningful can be interesting, and can make for good conversation. However, that's a very different topic than the meaning of life.

If you think that the meaning of life is dependant on your feelings about what is meaningful to you, you're horribly narcissistic.

I guess by your definition that makes me what you say then. Dunno what else to say really.

Avatar image for thegerg
#61 Edited by thegerg (18428 posts) -

@schu:

Take a second and really think about that.

The meaning of life has, doubtlessly, been something that people have strived to discover for as long as people have had the philosophical capacity to have such curious thoughts.

What makes your opinions about what is meaningful so special or important that that question (what is the meaning of life?) can't be answered without them?

Life is something that happens every second of every day to countless billions of organisms on this planet alone. Life existed long before you did, and will exist long after you're gone. What makes you think your feelings about what is meaningful have any impact on the meaning of life?

Avatar image for thegerg
#62 Edited by thegerg (18428 posts) -

@schu:

This about it like this, what if we replace "life" with any other natural phenomenon?

What is the meaning of gravity?

Would it make sense for someone to begin assigning a meaning to gravity that is dependant on their personal, subjective thought about what is meaningful to them?

Things like life (or gravity) exist independent of your thoughts and feelings. What you (or I, or anyone else) believe to be meaningful has absolutely no impact on the nature of life.

Avatar image for schu
#63 Posted by schu (9845 posts) -

@thegerg said:

@schu:

This about it like this, what if we replace "life" with any other natural phenomenon?

What is the meaning of gravity?

Would it make sense for someone to begin assigning a meaning to gravity that is dependant on their personal, subjective thought about what is meaningful to them?

To me it seems like a strange question to ask what the meaning of gravity is. Gravity is an observation about the effects of things on other things. When you ask "What is the meaning of life?" that isn't the same thing as asking how life works. When someone asks about the meaning of life it means what are people seeking to get out of life, what keeps them getting up out of bed every day, and how they think about the things around them. Asking about meaning implies a conscious beholder of that meaning. I don't think there is an absolute arbiter of meaning, but rather many individual perspectives which happen to often contain a lot of overlap. I can't stand the desire for people to try to define purpose outside of the perspective of the individual and optionally the collective if they choose to share meaning. In my opinion trying to pretend that there is an absolute purpose is in fact an attempt at trying to control people that is no more justified than trying to force an admittedly individual perspective of meaning onto someone else.

So to answer your question, in a way , yes, it would make sense to me that someone would subjectively define the meaning of gravity for themselves because it goes a step beyond discussing the observations of how gravity works and instead focuses on the resulting personal relationship to the phenomena.

Lastly, I would argue that two people could have different personal meanings which are not incompatible, so it isn't necessarily required that one person be right and one person be wrong. I admit that sometimes people's meanings are at odds, though.

I think that meaning in its essence is subjective.

Avatar image for thegerg
#64 Edited by thegerg (18428 posts) -

@schu:

What life means and what an individual wants to get out of life aren't the same thing. Again, you're conflating two different things. One of them (what one wants in life) is a subjective desire. The other (the meaning of life) is a question about the nature of a particular phenomenon.

Also, gravity is not an observation. It is a phenomenon whose effect can be observed, but it is not itself an observation.

Avatar image for double_decker
#65 Posted by double_decker (146040 posts) -

There is no one true meaning of life because we are individuals. Most would say to procreate/reproduce or to not die. Personally I would say the meaning of life is to die. It's one of the only things that everyone does (Waits for the everyone breathes argument). So the meaning of life is to die in order to move on to the next stage. So I just try to be a good personal, make the most of the good things in my life and deal with the bad the best way that I know how to until that eventuality happens.

Avatar image for br0kenrabbit
#66 Posted by br0kenrabbit (15249 posts) -

I have a bit of a hedonistic view of life. You only get one go around, make it a good one.

Avatar image for tocool340
#67 Edited by tocool340 (21228 posts) -

The meaning of life is for you to be your own individual person, to build your own values and morals (I wouldn't recommend it being something that goes against universal laws of the land such as killing and stealing), be comfortable with who you are and not allow anyone to corrupt you, and when the end is coming, hope that you go out with your dignity still intact in this maelstrom of chaos. That is pretty much the cycle of life outside of simply procreating...

Avatar image for schu
#68 Posted by schu (9845 posts) -

there cannot be meaning without personal interpretation..if you disagree then tell me your definition of meaning

Avatar image for thegerg
#69 Edited by thegerg (18428 posts) -

@schu:

"there cannot be meaning without personal interpretation."

Of course there can be (if you believe there is a meaning to life, that is).

You believe there is a meaning to life, correct?

Now, let's pretend that you never existed, you were never born. Is there still meaning to life, even though you were never born?

Your personal interpretation is ridiculously inconsequential when it comes to understanding the nature of phenomena like life. As far as we can tell, the first living organisms didn't have brains. Life existed before living things even had the capacity to personally interprete their existence.

Avatar image for schu
#71 Edited by schu (9845 posts) -

@thegerg said:

@schu:

"there cannot be meaning without personal interpretation."

Of course there can be (if you believe there is a meaning to life, that is).

You believe there is a meaning to life, correct?

Now, let's pretend that you never existed, you were never born. Is there still meaning to life, even though you were never born?

Your personal interpretation is ridiculously inconsequential when it comes to understanding the nature of phenomena like life. As far as we can tell, the first living organisms didn't have brains. Life existed before living things even had the capacity to personally interprete their existence.

I feel like we're not using the same definition of meaning. I think meaning is fundamentally subjective.

Avatar image for commander
#72 Posted by commander (14839 posts) -

The point of life is what you make of it. Some are hedonists, others live for purpose, most are mixed or swayed between the two in the course of their lives.

But that's just the point of life from an individual perspective. What the point of life is as a whole has yet to be answered.

Avatar image for corpze
#73 Edited by Corpze (5 posts) -

In my opinion: There is no meaning to life, no purpose. Life is just that... life. There is no god or higher being or fate or anything controlling your existence. When you die, you die and it's a scary thought but its actually what makes me appreciate life more because it has no point and I'm just lucky to be granted life and will make sure I spend every moment remembering that :)

Avatar image for thegerg
#74 Posted by thegerg (18428 posts) -

@schu:

So you think that life had no meaning until animals evolved to the point of being able to think that life has a meaning?

What made that first animal with that mental capacity so important?

Why did life have no meaning before that animal came along?

Avatar image for WAJ
#75 Posted by WAJ (763 posts) -

"To pass on your genes" is probably the only thing that makes any sense to me with regards to that question.

Avatar image for bigfootpart2
#76 Posted by bigfootpart2 (826 posts) -

Biological: procreation

Existential: to find meaning and purpose

Avatar image for schu
#77 Posted by schu (9845 posts) -

@thegerg said:

@schu:

So you think that life had no meaning until animals evolved to the point of being able to think that life has a meaning?

What made that first animal with that mental capacity so important?

Why did life have no meaning before that animal came along?

Yes. I think meaning is a construct of the sentient.

Avatar image for thegerg
#78 Posted by thegerg (18428 posts) -

@schu:

What about life changed so dramatically (that caused it to change from being something meaningless to being something with meaning) at that point?

Avatar image for schu
#79 Posted by schu (9845 posts) -

@thegerg: Living things assigned meaning which is how meaning was created. Before living things, there was nothing to assign meaning.

Avatar image for thegerg
#80 Posted by thegerg (18428 posts) -

@schu:

But life existed for so many millions of years before the point. What about life (not the animals that assigned meaning to life, we're talking about life itself here) changed at that point?

Avatar image for williamlam
#81 Posted by williamlam (6 posts) -

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” —Mark Twain.

“The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle.” - Steve Jobs

I believe we all are here for a purpose in life to give back something to this society and to the world and if we don’t take responsibility of that, nobody else could take it. Talent you have is priceless.If you haven't found it yet,keep looking for it.

Life is to love and be loved.

Life is to explore and absorb.

Life is to let go and move on.

Life is to find and create.

Life is precious and so are you.

Avatar image for theodidact
#82 Edited by Theodidact (6 posts) -

Life doesn't have a meaning lol no matter how huge something is (like civilizations) it's still insignificant on some higher level

There's not even anything close to a chance humans are gonna live through the whole timeline of the universe we'll be gone someday and nobody's ever gonna even know we were here, I'd call that pretty meaningless in the grand scheme of things

Avatar image for jdc6305
#83 Posted by jdc6305 (4882 posts) -

Maybe there isn't a purpose for life. Maybe life is parasitic spreading around the universe. What is life is parasitic to the earth like fleas on a dog. Maybe mankind isn't as important to the universe some believe.

Avatar image for theodidact
#84 Posted by Theodidact (6 posts) -

@jdc6305 said:

Maybe there isn't a purpose for life. Maybe life is parasitic spreading around the universe. What is life is parasitic to the earth like fleas on a dog. Maybe mankind isn't as important to the universe some believe.

Agreed, the universe is naturally chaotic and humans create order (civilizations, law etc) so in a way we're doing the complete opposite of what's natural for the universe

Avatar image for tenaka2
#85 Posted by tenaka2 (17054 posts) -

you have to decide that for yourself.

Avatar image for demi0227_basic
#86 Posted by demi0227_basic (1940 posts) -

@Ovirew: Some questions don't make sense. Why is spoon? What's the purpose of floods? Same with life. It's what YOU decide that matters.

Avatar image for Ovirew
#87 Posted by Ovirew (8285 posts) -

Wow! Well, I'm glad to see that my thread ended up creating so much discussion and dissection. This is the kind of reasonable debating and thought-sharing that I was hoping would occur. I just hope that at the end of the day, anyone who followed this thread and contributed to it found something worth reading and talking about.

Of course none of us have all of the answers, but then sharing our own thoughts and looking at things in different ways can help us to discover new things about life, and maybe even reconsider or reiterate our own viewpoint. It got people to think and talk and listen. Can't ask for much more than that.

For me 2017 has been a kind of difficult year, both in my personal life and for modern society. So much arguing and debate takes place over issues both big and small nowadays, and it's difficult at times to tell who is right or wrong anymore, and what is real and fabricated. Lots of things keep coming to a head, and I suspect that isn't going to stop anytime soon. I may be hearing about some of these very same issues for the remainder of my life. It's all probably necessary for moving forward, but it's unfortunate how polarizing and uncertain it's all been.

I'm just continuing to live my own life and make sense of it, and hopefully figure out how to live a normal life like everyone else. Then again, maybe I don't want normal.

Avatar image for jun_aka_pekto
#89 Edited by jun_aka_pekto (23723 posts) -

I don't know what my purpose in life is. But, I rather be alive than dead. That's good enough to keep me going.

Avatar image for demi0227_basic
#90 Posted by demi0227_basic (1940 posts) -

I think this question doesn't make sense, when you really think about it. It's like asking "what's the point of this rock?"

Not all questions are good questions, even though those questions may be good for stretching the mind into the metaphysical. While I'd argue there's no "point" or "purpose" of life, I would say that while we are here, there's a moral imperative to reduce suffering and increase joy in both our own and other's lives. I think that's easily quantifiable.

Avatar image for loonelytress
#91 Posted by LoonelyTress (2 posts) -

The purpose of life is to be fruitful because living without a purpose is like a body without a soul.

Avatar image for Dogswithguns
#92 Posted by Dogswithguns (11359 posts) -

Get up drink coffee, go to work, eat lunch, come home shower, eat dinner, and go to bed. get a paycheck.. ... do the same tomorrow.

Edited: Oh, and pay bills.