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What is life but a means to an end?

Xer
Posts: 7,776
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7/2/2009 6:35:48 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
"What is life?"
---One of the most debated questions in the history of mankind.

I doubt you'll get a satisfying answer.
Xer
Posts: 7,776
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7/2/2009 6:42:11 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 7/2/2009 6:39:19 PM, studentathletechristian8 wrote:
Is there any point of living? All we do is end up dying....

No, there isn't any point. But, I'm gunna stay for the ride, and enjoy it.

Who knows... maybe there will be a pill to let you live forever, like the Sorcerer's Stone in Harry Potter. That would be cool.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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7/2/2009 6:42:30 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
You're welcome to donate your life to someone else if you have no use for it.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Xer
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7/2/2009 6:46:05 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 7/2/2009 6:43:38 PM, studentathletechristian8 wrote:
At 7/2/2009 6:42:30 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
You're welcome to donate your life to someone else if you have no use for it.

How can I do that?

Kill yourself and put yourself as an "organ donor" in your will.

((Please don't kill yourself.))
studentathletechristian8
Posts: 5,810
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7/2/2009 6:48:54 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 7/2/2009 6:46:05 PM, Nags wrote:
At 7/2/2009 6:43:38 PM, studentathletechristian8 wrote:
At 7/2/2009 6:42:30 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
You're welcome to donate your life to someone else if you have no use for it.

How can I do that?

Kill yourself and put yourself as an "organ donor" in your will.

((Please don't kill yourself.))

Thanks for the advice, Nags. I'll do just that. (Just joking) I don't have enough money to make a proffesional will...
Harlan
Posts: 1,880
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7/2/2009 6:52:45 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
All value or meaning is superficial, and so it gets you no where to try to think up some "point" to life. But then again, you're a christian, so I guess you are already making the assumption that life has some sort of intrinsic value.
Ragnar_Rahl
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7/2/2009 6:53:29 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
No need to be that drastic, though that works too. Just go get a job, feed yourself, donate the surplus to the Cato Institute. Thank you for shopping at "Ragnar's solutions for the nihilist."

(Incidentally, since one's life is the meaning of one's actions, asking the meaning of life is asking what the center of the center is, or what's outside the universe. You've lived it, either you find it potentially worthwhile or you don't. Metaphysics will take you where you want to go. It will not replace you as the driver.)
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
studentathletechristian8
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7/2/2009 6:56:32 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 7/2/2009 6:53:29 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
No need to be that drastic, though that works too. Just go get a job, feed yourself, donate the surplus to the Cato Institute. Thank you for shopping at "Ragnar's solutions for the nihilist."

(Incidentally, since one's life is the meaning of one's actions, asking the meaning of life is asking what the center of the center is, or what's outside the universe. You've lived it, either you find it potentially worthwhile or you don't. Metaphysics will take you where you want to go. It will not replace you as the driver.)

If I were to say the meaning of life is to live God's Word, would that be valid?
Kleptin
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7/2/2009 6:58:43 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
I agree with Harlan. He put it in the most succinct way. There is no philosophical problem with this issue when you look through the eyes of a scientist.
: At 5/2/2010 2:43:54 PM, innomen wrote:
It isn't about finding a theory, philosophy or doctrine and thinking it's the answer, but a practical application of one's experiences that is the answer.

: At 10/28/2010 2:40:07 PM, jharry wrote: I have already been given the greatest Gift that anyone could ever hope for [Life], I would consider myself selfish if I expected anything more.
patsox834
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7/2/2009 6:59:54 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 7/2/2009 6:39:19 PM, studentathletechristian8 wrote:
Is there any point of living? All we do is end up dying....

Yes and no.

No, life doesn't have any absolute meaning. But, at the same time, you can give it whatever meaning you want. So, in a sense, there is a point -- you just need to give it one.

Most people seem to seek pleasure...in fact, I'd say the vast majority do. You do have an occasional screwball who thinks their purpose is to die and get 72 girls, though.

...actually, you know, sign me up for that religion. Screwball or no, 72 is a pretty good number.

In all seriousness, I think that since humans have a higher capacity for rational thinking, that makes us over-analyze issues which really shouldn't be too difficult to figure out.

When it comes down to it, we're animals...sure, we have our technology, our philosophies, and all that trash, but we're still mammals. I don't really think our purpose differs from any other mammals -- through intricate processes, we clearly exist; nobody really had any say in the matter.

In essence, what I'm trying to say is that...we're just here. Why does it have to be more complicated than that? Because of our collective incredulity?

I think this issue perfectly exemplifies our superiority complex. We think so much of ourselves that we think life *has* to have some kinda point to it. I think that's how the belief in these supreme beings started, as well, but that's another topic.
patsox834
Posts: 406
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7/2/2009 7:00:45 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 7/2/2009 6:42:11 PM, Nags wrote:
At 7/2/2009 6:39:19 PM, studentathletechristian8 wrote:
Is there any point of living? All we do is end up dying....

No, there isn't any point. But, I'm gunna stay for the ride, and enjoy it.

Who knows... maybe there will be a pill to let you live forever, like the Sorcerer's Stone in Harry Potter. That would be cool.

I'd rather have a pill that let me sleep forever, especially since I'm one of these "lucid dreamers."
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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7/2/2009 7:02:00 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Kind of hard for it to be, since God has never presented himself anywhere near life, never provided any words demonstrably his about how to live, never presented a warrant for why anyone should listen to him. And in any case, unless you are going to make the argument that every single person who lives obeys his word, that obviously isn't what life MEANS, even if you could demonstrate it to be advisable. Just as the meaning of a speaker includes any sound within it's physical capabilities as a possibility, even if Metal is often the best of the available options (:P), the meaning of life includes any action a living being can take, anywhere they can reach. Many of those are highly inadvisable, but that is a separate question from meaning.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
studentathletechristian8
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7/2/2009 7:05:02 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
So we're just here, patsox? Everything has some meaning behind it. We may be classified under the Animalia kingom, but we do indeed have a distinction from other mammals. We have intellect and rational thinking for a reason. Life cannot be appreciated without a meaning, so there must be a meaning to life from people who appreciate it.
patsox834
Posts: 406
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7/2/2009 7:07:44 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 7/2/2009 6:56:32 PM, studentathletechristian8 wrote:
At 7/2/2009 6:53:29 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
No need to be that drastic, though that works too. Just go get a job, feed yourself, donate the surplus to the Cato Institute. Thank you for shopping at "Ragnar's solutions for the nihilist."

(Incidentally, since one's life is the meaning of one's actions, asking the meaning of life is asking what the center of the center is, or what's outside the universe. You've lived it, either you find it potentially worthwhile or you don't. Metaphysics will take you where you want to go. It will not replace you as the driver.)


If I were to say the meaning of life is to live God's Word, would that be valid?

You'd have to define this "God," but my initial reaction is to say "no." I'm not really sure how it could be.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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7/2/2009 7:10:05 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 7/2/2009 7:07:44 PM, patsox834 wrote:
At 7/2/2009 6:56:32 PM, studentathletechristian8 wrote:
At 7/2/2009 6:53:29 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
No need to be that drastic, though that works too. Just go get a job, feed yourself, donate the surplus to the Cato Institute. Thank you for shopping at "Ragnar's solutions for the nihilist."

(Incidentally, since one's life is the meaning of one's actions, asking the meaning of life is asking what the center of the center is, or what's outside the universe. You've lived it, either you find it potentially worthwhile or you don't. Metaphysics will take you where you want to go. It will not replace you as the driver.)


If I were to say the meaning of life is to live God's Word, would that be valid?

You'd have to define this "God,"

He defined it when he typed his username.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
patsox834
Posts: 406
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7/2/2009 7:24:39 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
<"Everything has some meaning behind it.">

I agree. However, my issue is how the "meaning" comes about. Is meaning inherent in life? Well, I don't even see how one could rationally think so. It's as I said, we, individually, give life our own meaning.

<" We may be classified under the Animalia kingom, but we do indeed have a distinction from other mammals. We have intellect and rational thinking for a reason.">

Yeah, there is a reason...but that doesn't mean life has to have some kind of absolute value or meaning to it. We can have a reason for superior rationality and "just be here." I'm not really sure how those ideas are mutually exclusive.

<"Life cannot be appreciated without a meaning, so there must be a meaning to life from people who appreciate it.">

This is exactly the kind of answer I had in mind when I typed this: "Why does it have to be more complicated than that? Because of our collective incredulity?"

You seem to believe life is inherently meaningful because you can't fathom how the opposite can be true. That's not a valid stance, argument, or whatever term you'd wanna apply.
patsox834
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7/2/2009 7:26:45 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 7/2/2009 7:10:05 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 7/2/2009 7:07:44 PM, patsox834 wrote:
At 7/2/2009 6:56:32 PM, studentathletechristian8 wrote:
At 7/2/2009 6:53:29 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
No need to be that drastic, though that works too. Just go get a job, feed yourself, donate the surplus to the Cato Institute. Thank you for shopping at "Ragnar's solutions for the nihilist."

(Incidentally, since one's life is the meaning of one's actions, asking the meaning of life is asking what the center of the center is, or what's outside the universe. You've lived it, either you find it potentially worthwhile or you don't. Metaphysics will take you where you want to go. It will not replace you as the driver.)


If I were to say the meaning of life is to live God's Word, would that be valid?

You'd have to define this "God,"

He defined it when he typed his username.

Not really.

Even among Christians, ideas as to what constitute god's properties differ. Hence why I'm asking him to define his god.

I'm mainly asking because I want to know if he thinks his god is omnipotent. Most Christians seem to think so, but there are those who don't.
studentathletechristian8
Posts: 5,810
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7/2/2009 7:30:43 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 7/2/2009 7:26:45 PM, patsox834 wrote:
At 7/2/2009 7:10:05 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 7/2/2009 7:07:44 PM, patsox834 wrote:
At 7/2/2009 6:56:32 PM, studentathletechristian8 wrote:
At 7/2/2009 6:53:29 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
No need to be that drastic, though that works too. Just go get a job, feed yourself, donate the surplus to the Cato Institute. Thank you for shopping at "Ragnar's solutions for the nihilist."

(Incidentally, since one's life is the meaning of one's actions, asking the meaning of life is asking what the center of the center is, or what's outside the universe. You've lived it, either you find it potentially worthwhile or you don't. Metaphysics will take you where you want to go. It will not replace you as the driver.)


If I were to say the meaning of life is to live God's Word, would that be valid?

You'd have to define this "God,"

He defined it when he typed his username.

Not really.

Even among Christians, ideas as to what constitute god's properties differ. Hence why I'm asking him to define his god.

I'm mainly asking because I want to know if he thinks his god is omnipotent. Most Christians seem to think so, but there are those who don't.

My definition of God: God is a spiritual being consisting of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. (The Trinity) I believe God is omnipotent. From a Christian standpoint, I just can't grasp why there is reason to live. If God is omnipotent and omniscient, then why would He bother putting us here in the first place?
Kleptin
Posts: 5,095
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7/2/2009 7:35:33 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 7/2/2009 7:05:02 PM, studentathletechristian8 wrote:
So we're just here, patsox? Everything has some meaning behind it. We may be classified under the Animalia kingom, but we do indeed have a distinction from other mammals. We have intellect and rational thinking for a reason. Life cannot be appreciated without a meaning, so there must be a meaning to life from people who appreciate it.

1. Everything has some meaning behind it
2. Intellect and rational thinking sets us apart
3. Life cannot be appreciated without a meaning, so there must be a meaning to life from people who appreciate it.

Re1: Based on what? Things only have meaning when humans themselves give them meaning. A cow has no meaning, but humans use them for milk and meat, making them a food source. Rocks have no meaning, humans use them as a symbol for stability or immobility. There is nothing on the planet you perceive to have a meaning with a meaning that isn't artificial in nature.

Re2: Yes. And scales set fish apart from us, giraffes have longer necks, some lizards can regenerate their tails, bacteria grow and mutate at extraordinary rates, etc. Intelligence and rationality is a trait of the human animal just like the ability to glow is a trait of a firefly. There is nothing objectively better about our ability than any other animal ability. You're just looking through a biased human lens. We worship our own abilities, but we fail to realize that we are the only beings who care about these "achievements".

Re3: Indeed, and this is the meaning that we give ourselves. There is no reason to assume that life's meaning has to come from something above with this argument, having a meaning that comes from within fulfills the logical requirement.
: At 5/2/2010 2:43:54 PM, innomen wrote:
It isn't about finding a theory, philosophy or doctrine and thinking it's the answer, but a practical application of one's experiences that is the answer.

: At 10/28/2010 2:40:07 PM, jharry wrote: I have already been given the greatest Gift that anyone could ever hope for [Life], I would consider myself selfish if I expected anything more.
Kleptin
Posts: 5,095
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7/2/2009 7:37:55 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 7/2/2009 7:30:43 PM, studentathletechristian8 wrote:
From a Christian standpoint, I just can't grasp why there is reason to live. If God is omnipotent and omniscient, then why would He bother putting us here in the first place?

"Whenever you think you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong"

-Ayn Rand
: At 5/2/2010 2:43:54 PM, innomen wrote:
It isn't about finding a theory, philosophy or doctrine and thinking it's the answer, but a practical application of one's experiences that is the answer.

: At 10/28/2010 2:40:07 PM, jharry wrote: I have already been given the greatest Gift that anyone could ever hope for [Life], I would consider myself selfish if I expected anything more.
patsox834
Posts: 406
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7/2/2009 7:41:05 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 7/2/2009 7:30:43 PM, studentathletechristian8 wrote:
At 7/2/2009 7:26:45 PM, patsox834 wrote:
At 7/2/2009 7:10:05 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 7/2/2009 7:07:44 PM, patsox834 wrote:
At 7/2/2009 6:56:32 PM, studentathletechristian8 wrote:
At 7/2/2009 6:53:29 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
No need to be that drastic, though that works too. Just go get a job, feed yourself, donate the surplus to the Cato Institute. Thank you for shopping at "Ragnar's solutions for the nihilist."

(Incidentally, since one's life is the meaning of one's actions, asking the meaning of life is asking what the center of the center is, or what's outside the universe. You've lived it, either you find it potentially worthwhile or you don't. Metaphysics will take you where you want to go. It will not replace you as the driver.)


If I were to say the meaning of life is to live God's Word, would that be valid?

You'd have to define this "God,"

He defined it when he typed his username.

Not really.

Even among Christians, ideas as to what constitute god's properties differ. Hence why I'm asking him to define his god.

I'm mainly asking because I want to know if he thinks his god is omnipotent. Most Christians seem to think so, but there are those who don't.

My definition of God: God is a spiritual being consisting of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. (The Trinity) I believe God is omnipotent. From a Christian standpoint, I just can't grasp why there is reason to live. If God is omnipotent and omniscient, then why would He bother putting us here in the first place?

That in mind, I'll answer your question:

"If I were to say the meaning of life is to live God's Word, would that be valid?"

This really isn't the place for the omnipotence argument, but taking that argument into account (I'm just gonna assume you know what it is), then no, that claim would hold no validity.

Also, judging by that last question, there seems to be a little cognitive dissonance going on...but that's good. Question everything.
patsox834
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7/2/2009 7:43:17 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 7/2/2009 7:35:33 PM, Kleptin wrote:
At 7/2/2009 7:05:02 PM, studentathletechristian8 wrote:
So we're just here, patsox? Everything has some meaning behind it. We may be classified under the Animalia kingom, but we do indeed have a distinction from other mammals. We have intellect and rational thinking for a reason. Life cannot be appreciated without a meaning, so there must be a meaning to life from people who appreciate it.

1. Everything has some meaning behind it
2. Intellect and rational thinking sets us apart
3. Life cannot be appreciated without a meaning, so there must be a meaning to life from people who appreciate it.

Re1: Based on what? Things only have meaning when humans themselves give them meaning. A cow has no meaning, but humans use them for milk and meat, making them a food source. Rocks have no meaning, humans use them as a symbol for stability or immobility. There is nothing on the planet you perceive to have a meaning with a meaning that isn't artificial in nature.

Re2: Yes. And scales set fish apart from us, giraffes have longer necks, some lizards can regenerate their tails, bacteria grow and mutate at extraordinary rates, etc. Intelligence and rationality is a trait of the human animal just like the ability to glow is a trait of a firefly. There is nothing objectively better about our ability than any other animal ability. You're just looking through a biased human lens. We worship our own abilities, but we fail to realize that we are the only beings who care about these "achievements".

Re3: Indeed, and this is the meaning that we give ourselves. There is no reason to assume that life's meaning has to come from something above with this argument, having a meaning that comes from within fulfills the logical requirement.

You said it all better than I could've. I read your post, and shook my head, because these are the same ideas I have -- you're just much, much better at articulating yourself.

Nicely done.
GeoLaureate8
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7/3/2009 2:29:17 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 7/2/2009 7:30:43 PM, studentathletechristian8 wrote:
My definition of God: God is a spiritual being consisting of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. (The Trinity) I believe God is omnipotent. From a Christian standpoint, I just can't grasp why there is reason to live. If God is omnipotent and omniscient, then why would He bother putting us here in the first place?

Life is not a means to an end. It is merely a learning experience in which our consciousness incarnates into the physical world temporarily, returns to the spiritual realm, and then the cycle repeats. The goal in life is to learn, or rather, remember who we really are and become aware of our true self. We must also raise our consciousness and realize that we are all one. We will continue the incarnating process until these truths are fully realized and experienced. It is then that we will fully become one with the Universe and realize that we are all God.

Your idea of God is not far off. In the Trinity, God is the Universal intelligence, the son of God represents every physical, human manifestation of God, and the Holy Spirit is none other than YOU. Your true self.

The Book of Thomas addresses this truth and it then starts to make sense why this book was cast out of the Bible (I believe the Bible was used to suppress mankind, so the important books of the Bible were omitted):

"He who blasphemes against the Father will be forgiven, and he who blasphemes against the Son will be forgiven, but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either on earth or in heaven." - Jesus


I hope this answers your question.

.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
Kleptin
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7/3/2009 9:23:29 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 7/3/2009 9:33:16 AM, studentathletechristian8 wrote:
If people live to love, and love to live, would that make love a reason to live?

Careful, this is bordering on an argument derived from semantics.

"live to love" can be interpreted in just 1 way

"love to live" can be interpreted two ways.

A. Greatly enjoy the act of living
B. Can only live through the act of loving

Just nipping a potentially dangerous misunderstanding in the bud.

Although the wording is nice and it sounds pretty, it doesn't make for a truly useful logical argument. Perhaps you could try making your argument more blunt and in logical format.
: At 5/2/2010 2:43:54 PM, innomen wrote:
It isn't about finding a theory, philosophy or doctrine and thinking it's the answer, but a practical application of one's experiences that is the answer.

: At 10/28/2010 2:40:07 PM, jharry wrote: I have already been given the greatest Gift that anyone could ever hope for [Life], I would consider myself selfish if I expected anything more.
TheSkeptic
Posts: 1,362
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7/3/2009 11:31:39 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 7/2/2009 6:58:43 PM, Kleptin wrote:
I agree with Harlan. He put it in the most succinct way. There is no philosophical problem with this issue when you look through the eyes of a scientist.

Which is why philosophy is distinct from science.

At 7/2/2009 7:37:55 PM, Kleptin wrote:
At 7/2/2009 7:30:43 PM, studentathletechristian8 wrote:
From a Christian standpoint, I just can't grasp why there is reason to live. If God is omnipotent and omniscient, then why would He bother putting us here in the first place?

"Whenever you think you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong"

-Ayn Rand

Haha why is that a quote...

Anyway, the answer to your question is that meaning of life is subjective - the meaning of life is what you give it. If your meaning of life is to be happy (which for most of us it is), then do whatever you can to achieve your idea of happiness. If it's to serve God, then do so. If you don't feel like there is any meaning to life, then suicide is a viable option.
studentathletechristian8
Posts: 5,810
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7/4/2009 3:55:41 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 7/3/2009 11:31:39 PM, TheSkeptic wrote:
At 7/2/2009 6:58:43 PM, Kleptin wrote:
I agree with Harlan. He put it in the most succinct way. There is no philosophical problem with this issue when you look through the eyes of a scientist.

Which is why philosophy is distinct from science.

At 7/2/2009 7:37:55 PM, Kleptin wrote:
At 7/2/2009 7:30:43 PM, studentathletechristian8 wrote:
From a Christian standpoint, I just can't grasp why there is reason to live. If God is omnipotent and omniscient, then why would He bother putting us here in the first place?

"Whenever you think you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong"

-Ayn Rand

Haha why is that a quote...

Anyway, the answer to your question is that meaning of life is subjective - the meaning of life is what you give it. If your meaning of life is to be happy (which for most of us it is), then do whatever you can to achieve your idea of happiness. If it's to serve God, then do so. If you don't feel like there is any meaning to life, then suicide is a viable option.

Thanks for the viable option