Debate and Discussion

The Meaning of Life
ParkerFarker at 7:09PM, June 23, 2009
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I don't want this to turn into a religious discussion.

I constantly ask myself what the “meaning of life” is (not in an suicidal way) even though I know there is none. But I think “some people think it is to reproduce” but then what is the point of that? to let your family line continue? What is the point of that? and then when I think of saving the Earth from global warming (carbon footprint and all that) I ask “why does it really matter?” The World is so small and insignificant in the Universe that if it died nothing would change in the massive scale of things. And then, why does the universe matter? So then when I think on that large scale, I come all the way back down to the thought that the “meaning of life” is just to make life as enjoyable as I can. So then my brain hurts. Care to discuss?

“We are in the stickiest situation since Sticky the stick insect got stuck on a sticky bun.” - Blackadder
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:38PM
BffSatan at 7:54PM, June 23, 2009
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42
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Dark Pascual at 8:43PM, June 23, 2009
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COOKIES!!!

last edited on July 14, 2011 12:07PM
Chernobog at 9:32PM, June 23, 2009
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Hamburglar. He said ‘Robble robble’ instead of ‘omm’, but I understood what he really meant.

He's brilliant.

Gonna pass at the ‘contemplating my navel’ type question here, but I got fed the ‘to reproduce’ bit when I was younger. Never agreed.
 
 
“You tell yourself to just
enjoy the process,” he added. “That whether you succeed or fail, win or
lose, it will be fine. You pretend to be Zen. You adopt detachment, and
ironic humor, while secretly praying for a miracle.”
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ParkerFarker at 9:44PM, June 23, 2009
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All good points.

“We are in the stickiest situation since Sticky the stick insect got stuck on a sticky bun.” - Blackadder
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:38PM
bravo1102 at 3:00AM, June 24, 2009
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Be excellent to each other.

Also see Monty Python's Meaning of Life as usual the Pythons pegged it.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:33AM
Hyena H_ll at 4:00AM, June 24, 2009
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Personally I don't think there is one. Existence is utterly absurd- the fact that we're here at all is completely senseless, as far as I'm concerned. And there is no meaning, or universal truth. Why should there be?

I don't mean this in a totally depressing way. I'm just a bit of a nihilist. I don't worry anymore about the “meaning of life”- I just worry about what I want to do, how I want to live- perhaps selfishly, sure- my own life, and the things that will personally fulfill me. To hell with “the grand scheme”.
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ozoneocean at 4:11AM, June 24, 2009
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ParkerFarker
I don't want this to turn into a religious discussion.
Seems like people turned this into something more like General Discussion… -_-

Not everyone did, I hasten to add :)
————–

Let's try to forget the fatuous pop-culture references for a moment eh? ;)

Chernobog mentioned reproduction.
Well of course he didn't find that much of an answer, it's a minor process and makes no more sense than “42”.
But what does reproduction achieve? -The perpetuation of a species.
But there are a lot of other things involved in the perpetuation of any species: at the macro it's the adaption to one's environment, dominance over competing species, control of one's environment. At the micro is survival instinct, reproduction, protection of the young…

So life is about continuing life, for it's own sake. In that it's like any natural process from the oxidisation of iron to the nuclear fusion inside a star, except it's a battle against entropy, a process whose aim is to sustain itself.
 
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Boxtop at 10:11AM, June 24, 2009
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The only meaning of life is to procreate and help the species survive. That's the meaning of life for ALL creatures.

Any other reason is philosophical BS humans made up in a sad attempt to distance themselves from the animal kingdom.

EDIT: ozone beat me to it.
This Webcomic Is DEAD, so don't read it.

(Before you reply to anything I say, please see this)
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Hyena H_ll at 11:35AM, June 24, 2009
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Boxtop
The only meaning of life is to procreate and help the species survive. That's the meaning of life for ALL creatures.

Any other reason is philosophical BS humans made up in a sad attempt to distance themselves from the animal kingdom.
Well, the function of organisms- from humans to pigs to tape worms to bacteria- is to propagate their species. But why should life exist at all? There's no reason.
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Custard Trout at 12:07PM, June 24, 2009
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MOD EDIT: Ozone says to take this seriously. I agree with him.
- Hawk

Hey buddy, you should be a Russian Cosmonaut, and here's why.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:02PM
HippieVan at 1:30PM, June 24, 2009
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I figure it makes sense for the meaning of life to be to live…all of our instincts are to either keep us alive or create new life, right?
But I dunno. I'm really just sick of little books like The Alchemist trying to teach the meaning of life. That's not really something you can know, and I imagine if you did know the meaning of life you couldn't fully explain it in 150 pages.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:49PM
bravo1102 at 4:10PM, June 24, 2009
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Custard Trout

MOD EDIT: Ozone says to take this seriously. I agree with him.
- Hawk



The only thing something should take seriously is the fact that nothing is to be taken seriously.

And my comment about being excellent to each other was serious. It may be a quote from a silly movie but it is a great meaning for life.

And now the really deep meaning of life: You create your own meaning to your life. No one else should define your life or give it meaning but you.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:33AM
Chernobog at 4:33PM, June 24, 2009
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Boxtop
Any other reason is philosophical BS humans made up in a sad attempt to distance themselves from the animal kingdom.

I must be an abomination unto the universe. And yet, I'm still not compelled. So life wants to propagate itself. And yet, here I am. Alive. Filled with cells and body chemicals. And not propagating. Error on line 2!

Robble Robble.
 
 
“You tell yourself to just
enjoy the process,” he added. “That whether you succeed or fail, win or
lose, it will be fine. You pretend to be Zen. You adopt detachment, and
ironic humor, while secretly praying for a miracle.”
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:41AM
Ryan_Scott at 5:30PM, June 24, 2009
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BEER AND PIZZA! That's it!
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:15PM
ozoneocean at 5:48PM, June 24, 2009
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Chernobog
Boxtop
Any other reason is philosophical BS humans made up in a sad attempt to distance themselves from the animal kingdom.

I must be an abomination unto the universe. And yet, I'm still not compelled. So life wants to propagate itself. And yet, here I am. Alive. Filled with cells and body chemicals. And not propagating. Error on line 2!

Robble Robble.
This is because you have it wrong. ]Propagation is only a part of it, as I have said earlier. If living creatures could stay immortal, they would. The purpose of life is not to spread or propagate, it is to continue. Propagation is only an aspect of that.
Get it now? ;)
 
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Ironscarf at 7:25PM, June 24, 2009
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Hyena_Hell
But why should life exist at all? There's no reason.

Stars burn up hydrogen, create the various elements and - well to cut a long story short, one version of chemical soup had a fly in it and that's us. There's no rhyme or reason to it, since rhyme and reason are concepts dreamed up by the fly and not present in the soup itself.

Also, fortunately for us, there is no cosmic waiter.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:02PM
Custard Trout at 8:36PM, June 24, 2009
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Custard Trout

MOD EDIT: Ozone says to take this seriously. I agree with him.
- Hawk



I was trying to illustrate the ridiculousness of such a question by giving a ridiculous answer.

What's the meaning of life? No one knows, no one can know. Pursuing an answer to such a impossible to answer question is an exercise in futility and not very sane. And there might not even be one at all. The schnibble is the same way.

Therefore life is the search for the schnibble. A thing that is impossible to find, because no one knows what it looks like, where it is, what it is, or even if it exists at all.
Hey buddy, you should be a Russian Cosmonaut, and here's why.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:02PM
Hawk at 11:01PM, June 24, 2009
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Sorry, to me it sounded like yet another sarcastic joke answer after Ozone just got done telling us not to. But your explanation is a pretty good one. Thanks for clarifying it.
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bravo1102 at 5:24AM, June 25, 2009
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Custard Trout
What's the meaning of life? No one knows, no one can know. Pursuing an answer to such a impossible to answer question is an exercise in futility and not very sane. And there might not even be one at all. The schnibble is the same way.

Therefore life is the search for the schnibble. A thing that is impossible to find, because no one knows what it looks like, where it is, what it is, or even if it exists at all.

That is the meaning for you and it works.

Now this is not a cop-out. You have to do some soul searching to find what you want your life to mean. You define it. Listen and learn all about what is around you and you can define it however it satisfies you. And never forget that all deserves your respect including others, because they must be free to seek what things mean for themselves. But that doesn't mean you can't get on a soapbox and pontificate trying to convince them of whatever meaning you have discovered for your life.

Even if that means that there is no meaning to life.

;) Let's spread misery and just see nothing to anything because we're a pile of chemicals suspended in water. No thank you. I have enough pain in my life without that. It's not futile because I'm not futile. My life is worth a bit more than the sum of the parts. I'm spthethal :) Gilbert Smalley. But it works a hell of a lot better than the alternative. See everything as meaningless and that leads to depression. Been there, done that. It sucked. A complete emotional breakdown later, time for a new outlook and it works a whole lot better.

Is that the wisdom that comes with age? Fuck no, just survived too much shit over so many tired fucking years and waking up to how it just didn't fucking work. But then I'm so full of shit my eyes are brown. lol! But it works much better for me because *gulp* I'm happy and ask yourself if you are with seeing everything as meaningless. That's why I laugh and you seek refuge in sarcasm whereas I see irony even parody and laugh.

I remember watching Catch-22 and laughing out loud at the ending. Everyone else with their black clothing and portfolios next to their chairs stared because life was so meaningless and sad and miserable and they didn't see how the film was showing how ridiculous that was.

We may not be the ultimate in evolution but we're here and it's so cool how we came to be here. (the Ancestor's tale was awesome)
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Hyena H_ll at 7:35AM, June 25, 2009
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Agreed, bravo. I think that's a good way to look at it.

My take: it's best for folks to have a healthy appreciation of the absurd. The fact that life is meaningless, or nonsensical, doesn't mean it isn't worth living. :)
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ozoneocean at 7:51AM, June 25, 2009
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The “absurdity” idea is just the old thing of “ugh, too complicated, I'm just going to be detached and watch instead”.

Everything is absurd to the uncomprehending spectator.
 
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Hyena H_ll at 8:07AM, June 25, 2009
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ozoneocean
The “absurdity” idea is just the old thing of “ugh, too complicated, I'm just going to be detached and watch instead”.

Everything is absurd to the uncomprehending spectator.
Nah, I don't buy that. It's somethin' to do with the “truth is stranger than fiction” thing. The dichotomy of the order of nature vs. the disorder of man. The irrationality of the human race. Silliness, plain and simple. That's what makes it so beautiful and interesting to be alive. Otherwise we'd all be like Spock. I'd rather be Kirk, myself. ;)

And I don't think it necessarily connotes passivity, to view the world as absurd. Or to interact in an absurd or silly way. People do it all the time- actively pursuing things that are irrational, absurd, stupid, silly- ya get my drift.

And how do you deal with everyday things that just don't conform to any rational behaviour or rules? For example, beaurocracy is utterly absurd. The fact that things like that reality show where people jump through holes exist is absurd. Scientology is absurd- hell, religion in general is absurd. It doesn't invalidate itself for being so.

And understanding that it is nonsensical, and it is ridiculous, is a form of understanding that can translate into a belief system, or to the “meaning of life”.

But that's just me. ;)
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ozoneocean at 9:21AM, June 25, 2009
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But that doesn't really apply to “life” as a phenomena. That applies to the human cultural experience of it, all our social structures, interactions etc. Which is “life” on a purely human scale.
Sure, taken as a whole from a macro point of view that sort of “life” is absurd and cannot have any meta-meaning other than some sort of abstracted interpretation or something tacked on and quite external…

But we're talking about different things.


“life as a phenomena”
is something else: Living creatures as opposed to non-living, ALL living creatures. What differentiates them from other matter? Everything on earth is made of the same stuff, living and non-living. Everything in the universe is made of the same stuff. Entropy is the main force in the universe- things progress from complexity to simplicity, everything does this, without any concious volition. “Life” runs contrary to that trend while still being subject to it, of course. Put very simply, the Universe says “Everything must die”, and it will (figuratively), but life says “No”, and instead of dumbly progressing through to simpler forms it tries to preserve it's function perpetually.

So the meaning of “life” is to live, to always be.
That might sound trite, but it's really quite profound when you think of just how hard living things try to stay that way in the face of the inevitable ultimate. Everything it does is desperately, completely programmed for that one thing- survival.

:) which can be subverted in many cases, but that doesn't change the overall drive of the whole.
 
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Hyena H_ll at 10:24AM, June 25, 2009
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Then I'll concede that it depends on the interpretation of the question- as far as what you and I are talkin' about.

I took it to mean from a particularly human perspective- the ol' existential dilemma. But if we're taking a step back and looking at life itself, as applicable to all things that possess it- then I'd agree with ya there, to a point.

But I still say that “purpose” and “meaning” are different; the purpose of living organisms is to live and to be, as you say. But the meaning of that “being”- why these organisms are alive at all?
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da_kasha at 1:12PM, June 25, 2009
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First thought that comes into my head is to not be bored. Boredom is an evil thing which I’m currently fending off with a stick by going on these forums, making trashy comics, drawing and so on… Boredom makes everything seem so pointless and extended periods make you want to say things like “kill me now! I’m so bored!”

I guess that makes boredom a form of suffering and so the meaning of life is not to suffer… or… I don’t know D:

Anyway, since thinking about the meaning of life can lead to suffering as well (I suppose) that means the meaning of life is not to think of the meaning of life!


I think these might be Buddhist principals…
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kyupol at 3:50PM, June 25, 2009
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We are here on this planet because we have lessons to learn.

Why do we need to learn lessons? Because those are necessary for us in order to proceed to the next level of spiritual development.

We will all keep coming back – either on this planet or in others that is appropriate for us.

Until it is no longer necessary for us to have a physical body.

Because think about it. The physical body is limited.
- It gets sick
- it gets weaker and weaker as we age until it dies
- it can only exist in one place at a time
- it cannot fly
- it gets hungry, thirsty, and can feel pain
- if it is a “man” it cannot carry a baby inside and produce milk
- if it is a “woman”, it has weaker physical strength
- if it is a certain race, it is more vulnerable to certain types of viruses

The point is, you have a physical body because you are spiritually immature and you need to evolve. As long as you are spiritually immature, you will keep coming back to a body even though you've deluded yourself into believing that you will release your soul from the physical prison known as the body, through a form of ritual suicide.

You get to evolve every time you go towards the direction of LOVE in your thoughts, words, and actions.

That's the central idea in every religion. LOVE. Remove all the politics, dogma, and costumes, its all the same thing.

The more love enters your life (not necessarily from an external source), for some reason, your physical and mental health tends to improve.

NOW UPDATING!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:26PM
bravo1102 at 9:09PM, June 25, 2009
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Wait did ozone just say that the meaning of life was to “just Be”?

You're coming around, now if you can just get around to understanding the absurdity of life that comes from knowing that analysis of the minutae of a thing only makes it all the more absurd.

But that understanding is on a level beneath the one mere knowledge and dry analysis can provide. All the philosophy in the world doesn't lead directly to enlightenment. All the games of language do not reveal meaning. They obfuscate it. We obfuscate it because we are afraid to admit that we don't get it. Because we don't have to get it.

Just be.

last edited on July 14, 2011 11:33AM
Product Placement at 10:18AM, June 26, 2009
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The question of the meaning of life is simply something that we Humans simply created with the faint hope that we could find some answers to make our existence more justifiable. There is no good answer. Just do what you want to do with your life. Strive to be better then you are today. Be good to one and other. Achieve spiritual enlightenment. 42. Insert all the other cliches that get thrown around when one asks such questions.

And like it's already be mentioned. Go watch The meaning of life by Monty Python.

Those were my two cents.
If you have any other questions, please deposit a quarter.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:51PM
lothar at 5:03PM, June 28, 2009
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i see 2 seperate questions here
1- does life , all life , any life anywhere in the universe , have a purpose ?
2- does My individual life here on the Earth have a purpose ?

however unlikely the answer to #1 could be “yes” , it is much less likely that the answer to #2 could be “yes”

a good reason for the universe to develope some sort of intelligence , some awareness , would be to combat entropy (like Ozone said) . if our 4 dimensional universe is doomed to collapse in on itself eventually , one way to avoid a tottal loss of information in this universe would be to develope a sentient force that could devise a way to escape this dimension and preserve the information formed in this dimension , to take it to another place that could survive the collapse of this universe , or to create a new universe .
or is this just a variant of the “reproduction for the sake of continuation” answer ?

anyway , just because we can't know if there is a reason we are here , does not mean that there is no reason , i am reminded of a quote ive herad many times from a movie i have yet to see
from Mike Leigh's Naked ; sampled by the Orb
Do you think that the amoeba had a dream that it would evolve into a frog? Course it didn't. And when that first frog shimmied out of the water and employed its vocal cords in order to attract a mate or retard a predator, do you think that frog ever imagined that that incipient croak would evolve into all the languages of the world and all the literature of the world? Of course it fuckin' didn't. And just as that froggy never could have possibly conceived of Shakespeare, so we can never possibly imagine our destiny.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:45PM

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