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Meaning of life.


Tikhung
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Recently I've been asking myself about the big, ultimate question: 'Does life have a meaning?' and gotten into a bottomless hole of answers. It turns out, this is one of the most basic problems of philosophy, a subject that I have never looked into before. Existentialism and Nihilism basically say (which what my tiny little brain could grasp) that life has no meaning. Nihilism has a more depressing idea, saying that life has no meaning whatsoever and every objective meaning that humans have come up are all absurd, while Existentialism says the same thing, but you have to create your own meaning.

 

I'm more of a Nihilist than an Existentialist so I'd say that there is no meaning of life, and there's no morality neither.

 

What do you think? In your own opinion, does life have a truly objective meaning?

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Making more humans seems to be it... everything else is just a distraction.

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make total destroy

Nihilism is p exhausting tbh

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First off stop capitalizing them (they're not proper nouns). Second, if we're going to talk philosophy we should be precise: existentialism is the school of thought concerned with the way by which man makes meaning in life through his own existence, and nihilism is a rejection of the values of a given society that one is born in. Neither are encompassing world views beyond a certain context, though many people choose to identify themselves as an existentialist or nihilist. The truth is that these labels tend to be misleading-- but when you're dealing with decades of discourse on topics fervently disagreed upon by many revered thinkers, that tends to happen, especially initially.

 

Another semantic caveat: what do you consider objective? Is objectivity the nature of being empirical? Measurable, quantifiable, observable, etc? If so, how would this ever apply to moral systems? How would it apply to any abstract concepts of thought beyond scientific basis? I bring this up because I see so many people make this same assumption, but I don't buy it. You're creating a false dichotomy by proposing that there is an inherently empirical justice, which you deem non-existent, and a subjective personal justice, which you deem invalid. For the former, it's not that it doesn't exist: the problem you are facing is that you are creating a senseless thing. For the latter, you would be in a good spot to read more on the subject of ethics and morality through history.

 

More on the subject of senselessness is the sheer idea of asking something like, "does life have meaning?" An aside: does a blueberry have meaning? It has definitions by which we can approximate it, for certain. But a meaning? What does that entail on something as mundane as a blueberry? The reality is that it is an application of human reason that cannot be satisfied by its construction; you will not be content with any answer you receive on the matter, because the framing of the question can only allow for disappointment. You are convincing yourself through a specific rationale that there is an answer that can be quantified and measured in response to whether or not the experiences you go through are meaningful. I'm going to respond by letting you know that this entire premise is flawed in that it assumes a notion of understanding in humans-- a capacity for understanding, that might well be a fiction. Sure, we all talk and talk about finding meaning, and our stories and ads and families and friends all tell us about meaning. But you asked this question for a reason: none of that satisfied you. You found a question and you want an answer. Well, I'm afraid that the question you have found is a historical vestige on the human psyche that you can stretch out and squeeze and prod all you want, but will never contend or manage to put away in a locker in your mind and forget about.

 

Does life have a meaning? Certainly it has qualities by which we judge it. Certainly it has definitions by which we agree to use it. But then so does every word, every concept, every thing in the world. Does anything else have meaning? I guess it depends on how liberal you are with your approach to life. A man could see the day to day for nothing but the immediate actions and substances that inhabit it. A man could imbibe in every bit of matter he sees a magic undefinable to anyone, even himself. A man can do a lot with imagination and logic-- especially combined.

 

The world exists, and we exist in it. We are agents governed by tides of history, society, biology, the material, etc. There is no shortage to what we can question and what we can answer. The mode by which we do either is the same: rationality. In trying to qualify ourselves, we give up something to that. We give up the presence of our existence so that we can question whether our presence and existence have a nature. We desperately seek to know if we can validate ourselves on a cosmic level, but we are doing so through the nascent cries of a distant, feeble creature in a chaotic land. Our truths are base, always subject to change. Paradigms shift, revelations arise: the old is replaced by the new. Yet everyone asks the same primal question: why? Or maybe it's: what? Either way, it is a question born from a creature that does not understand. And perhaps, despite how fervently we want to believe otherwise, and despite how hard we try to make ourselves see otherwise-- perhaps that creature cannot understand. But does that mean there isn't a meaning?

 

Hell. Look in the eyes of a child who is given chocolate by their mother. Look at the syzygy of two lovers. Remember what you felt when looking toward the setting sun for the first time: remember the way a simple palette of colors against the sky looked. What do you feel when thunder booms above you? Can you recall the sound of an orchestra playing? Have you held the hand of someone you cared for, and realized something about that moment that no one could ever relay to you? Do you care to smell fresh flowers? Do you have a hobbies? Life is many things, because life contains every thing. I can't tell you the answer, and anyone who says they can is a mountebank.

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Absurdity

Making more humans seems to be it... everything else is just a distraction.

 

Agreed on both points.
it would also be handy if there were less time spent on being swallowed by those distractions and more time spent creating something better/ more sustainable for the next generation.
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For me, there's no real meaning of life and I don't need one. Just trying to enjoy the ride while it lasts. :p

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sivispacem

Why should there be any "meaning" to life? That would imply a higher power dictating purpose.

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you don't need to hammer out paragraphs for this one.

 

the meaning of life is to live.

everything else is arbitrary.

 

/thread

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I actually thought Tyler's post was insightful, so hammering out paragraphs isn't necessarily futile here. If by "live" you mean "live well/live a fulfilling life", then I get what you mean.

 

 

Philosophy isn't my strong suit. I've always said that the meaning of life is to give life meaning. Logically that makes no sense as "meaning" isn't a well defined concept, but I still like it. From a more grounded perspective, if you achieve your goals in life that's probably enough.

Edited by Failure
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I just mean live.

to live "well" or to live a "fulfilling" life are still subjective terms.

 

as Sivis pointed out, life has no relative meaning as far as we know because it's random up to this point. unless we discover some kind of powerful arbiter force in the universe that provides life with a definite purpose, it's basically meaningless outside of the meaning you ascribe to it within your own contexts.

 

there's technically no right or wrong way to do it.

your only real/discernible objective in life is to keep on living.

Edited by El Diablo
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Mr. Scratch

Its meaning is subjective. For some it's the idea that helping to improve the world we live in and ensuring its future is enough.

 

Others want happiness, but happiness isn't constant.

Edited by Mr.Scratch
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TheFlareEntercounter

A living being seeks above all else to discharge its strength. Life itself is will to power, nothing else matters.

Edited by TheFlareEntercounter
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universetwisters

I remember when I was a kid, I'd stay awake past my bedtime, panicking and wondering what the meaning of life was. Memory lane trip aside, I guess for the most part, though, it depends on the person. Some want to fight for their country, others want to collect as many foreign pop bottles, others want to raise a family, etc. To say one is they definite meaning is a pretty goofy thing to say especially when people would much rather visit Europe than make kids.

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I believe Biggie Smalls put it most eloquently: "f*ck bitches, get money".

In all seriousness, though, meaning is a human construct. We apply that notion to life itself because we wish to satisfy our curiosity and understand it at a deeper level, even if that deeper level is purely imaginary, as it seems to be in this case. Like sivis said, meaning would imply a higher power, which is a debate all of its own. So maybe meaning isn't the best concept to use here; maybe we should think about objectives (as in "goals"), which each of us can define for themselves. Other than that, if you're into philosophy and philosophical movements, you could probably have a look at older philosophers like Epicurus to see how these notions evolved over time; stoicism is also pretty interesting. For more recent and examples, Camus is definitely worth a read (his writing is amazing; very straightforward, too).

 

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KarimNTerr

"Once you do know what the question actually is, you'll know what the answer means." So, "42" is the best answer I can think of at the moment.

 

Seriously though, the so-called meaning of life is whatever you want it to be. There isn't an objective meaning as we all live our life subjectively.

Edited by toxluv

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