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What is the Meaning of Meaning?

GeoLaureate8
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3/9/2010 8:35:29 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
People always say, "well if there's no God (or divine plan), there's no meaning of life."
Well hold on! What IS meaning?

Tell me your thoughts.

(I won't reveal my take on this because I want to see what others say first.)
"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
belle
Posts: 4,113
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3/9/2010 8:39:14 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
meaning as in- importance? relevance? purpose?

how can a non-conscious entity such as the universe assign any of those things to individual lives? the terms only make sense in terms of a conscious being with desires.
evidently i only come to ddo to avoid doing homework...
belle
Posts: 4,113
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3/9/2010 8:39:40 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
but you think the universe is conscious right? so maybe you already have your answer hehe
evidently i only come to ddo to avoid doing homework...
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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3/9/2010 8:41:27 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 3/9/2010 8:39:14 PM, belle wrote:
the terms only make sense in terms of a conscious being with **cares

**This is how I'd phrase it, but I agree.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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3/9/2010 8:48:23 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 3/9/2010 8:39:14 PM, belle wrote:
meaning as in- importance? relevance? purpose?

how can a non-conscious entity such as the universe assign any of those things to individual lives? the terms only make sense in terms of a conscious being with desires.

"We've begun at last, to wonder about our origins. Star stuff contemplating the stars."
- Carl Sagan

"The exploration of the cosmos is a voyage of self discovery."
- Carl Sagan

"The cosmos is also within us. We're made of star stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself."
- Carl Sagan


I hold these to be true whether the Universe is conscious or not.

I personally believe that the ultimate purpose of life is simply to have an experience.
"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
belle
Posts: 4,113
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3/9/2010 8:52:32 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 3/9/2010 8:48:23 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 3/9/2010 8:39:14 PM, belle wrote:
meaning as in- importance? relevance? purpose?

how can a non-conscious entity such as the universe assign any of those things to individual lives? the terms only make sense in terms of a conscious being with desires.

"We've begun at last, to wonder about our origins. Star stuff contemplating the stars."
- Carl Sagan

"The exploration of the cosmos is a voyage of self discovery."
- Carl Sagan

"The cosmos is also within us. We're made of star stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself."
- Carl Sagan


I hold these to be true whether the Universe is conscious or not.

I personally believe that the ultimate purpose of life is simply to have an experience.

conceptual realist much?
evidently i only come to ddo to avoid doing homework...
FREEDO
Posts: 21,057
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3/9/2010 8:58:43 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
The very question "what is the meaning of meaning" assumes you already know what it means to be asking it.

I disagree strongly that meaning of life can only exist with a God.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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3/9/2010 9:00:12 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 3/9/2010 8:58:43 PM, FREEDO wrote:
The very question "what is the meaning of meaning" assumes you already know what it means to be asking it.

As I clarified in the first post, I asked "what IS meaning" or can also be said, "define meaning."

I disagree strongly that meaning of life can only exist with a God.

Same here.
"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
Volkov
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3/9/2010 9:00:56 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
"Meaning" is whatever it is exactly that drives individuals to do the actions they do. It's how the individual contemplates and rationalizes and justifies their actions, something that we can only think about in the third person thanks to our consciousness. It isn't divinely inspired. It isn't dependent upon some greater force that directs our actions and lives.
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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3/9/2010 9:04:17 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Why do you believe in a conscious universe?

do you have a theory as to how/why it supposedly came about?
(like evolution due to pressures)

or is your belief more derived from observations which suggest that it is necessary, so that even if you don't know how it could have come about you believe that it exists.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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3/9/2010 9:08:48 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 3/9/2010 9:04:17 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
Why do you believe in a conscious universe?

do you have a theory as to how/why it supposedly came about?
(like evolution due to pressures)

or is your belief more derived from observations which suggest that it is necessary, so that even if you don't know how it could have come about you believe that it exists.

http://www.debate.org...
"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
Reasoning
Posts: 4,456
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3/9/2010 9:13:57 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
There is no such thing as meaning. Other than, I was "meaning" to do this. Which means, I was intending to do this.
"What we really ought to ask the liberal, before we even begin addressing his agenda, is this: In what kind of society would he be a conservative?" - Joseph Sobran
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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3/9/2010 9:16:02 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 3/9/2010 9:13:57 PM, Reasoning wrote:
There is no such thing as meaning. Other than, I was "meaning" to do this. Which means, I was intending to do this.

In this thread, the context of meaning I'm referring to is "what is the meaning of existence."
"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
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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3/9/2010 9:19:20 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 3/9/2010 9:08:48 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 3/9/2010 9:04:17 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
Why do you believe in a conscious universe?

do you have a theory as to how/why it supposedly came about?
(like evolution due to pressures)

or is your belief more derived from observations which suggest that it is necessary, so that even if you don't know how it could have come about you believe that it exists.

http://www.debate.org...

mmm... seems like daoist "one", Nietzsche'esque Dionysian kind of talk, which I get and sympathize with... but I don't get how you can suggest that You Know that this Reality is Conscious.

Why does it need be a conscious entity? what do you mean by this? I guess you mean it's a thinking thing in itself.

why did it become conscious? what kinds of things does it think about?
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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3/9/2010 9:28:26 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 3/9/2010 9:19:20 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
mmm... seems like daoist "one", Nietzsche'esque Dionysian kind of talk, which I get and sympathize with... but I don't get how you can suggest that You Know that this Reality is Conscious.

Why does it need be a conscious entity? what do you mean by this? I guess you mean it's a thinking thing in itself.

why did it become conscious? what kinds of things does it think about?

You are thinking in terms of human consciousness, i.e. think, feel, etc. What I'm referring to is more akin to Eastern concepts such as Brachman (Hinduism), Nirvana (Buddhism), Omniscience (Jainism). Rather than having thoughts and feelings, it's infinite awareness. It simply knows, it doesn't have to think.

Rather than it being an entity, the Universe is mind (as opposed to matter in dualistic terms). This concept in philosophical terms is called "panpsychism."
"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
mattrodstrom
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3/9/2010 9:43:23 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 3/9/2010 9:28:26 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 3/9/2010 9:19:20 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
mmm... seems like daoist "one", Nietzsche'esque Dionysian kind of talk, which I get and sympathize with... but I don't get how you can suggest that You Know that this Reality is Conscious.

Why does it need be a conscious entity? what do you mean by this? I guess you mean it's a thinking thing in itself.

why did it become conscious? what kinds of things does it think about?

You are thinking in terms of human consciousness, i.e. think, feel, etc. What I'm referring to is more akin to Eastern concepts such as Brachman (Hinduism), Nirvana (Buddhism), Omniscience (Jainism). Rather than having thoughts and feelings, it's infinite awareness. It simply knows, it doesn't have to think.

Rather than it being an entity, the Universe is mind (as opposed to matter in dualistic terms). This concept in philosophical terms is called "panpsychism."

infinite awareness
Yeah that sounds a lot like God to me.. I just don't see how I could say anything about how that Ultimate Reality IS or experiences things/ whether it's aware or not.

I know in your other post you said something about holograms needing to be observed to exist...but then what comes first the observing or the existence to observe??

And what is the observer made of? the hologram??

And I take it by "holographic" reality you don't actually mean Holographic but rather a whole that manifests itself in parts which are nonetheless that whole...
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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3/9/2010 9:49:00 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 3/9/2010 9:43:23 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
Yeah that sounds a lot like God to me..

It's not. Even my Philosophy of Religions professor confirmed that the monotheistic concept of God is NOTHING like the Eastern concepts of infinite awareness.

I know in your other post you said something about holograms needing to be observed to exist...but then what comes first the observing or the existence to observe??

The observer is the observed. Basically, the observed is observing itself.

Think of a videogame. It's one giant hologram, but a character in the videogame "observes" or perceives things to be solid, but even he himself is just a hologram.

And I take it by "holographic" reality you don't actually mean Holographic but rather a whole that manifests itself in parts which are nonetheless that whole...

I mean both literally a hologram and the parts being a smaller representation of the whole.
"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
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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3/9/2010 10:05:27 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 3/9/2010 9:49:00 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 3/9/2010 9:43:23 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
Yeah that sounds a lot like God to me..

It's not. Even my Philosophy of Religions professor confirmed that the monotheistic concept of God is NOTHING like the Eastern concepts of infinite awareness.

I think when it comes to christian philosophy of God, Rather than just scriptural presentations, there's similarities.

Especially the Infinite awareness thing. God in christian philosophy experiences things as part of an eternal present. He has foreknowledge not because he see's things before they happen but because, for him, it all happens before him in the eternal present. All is comprehensible and necessary.

Even the "creation" isn't like something that Happened it's something that is...b/c it is, and God observes/understands the necessity.

Somehow they always square this with the personal God of the scriptures, but the thought runs similar to a degree, from what I can tell.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
Immortal
Posts: 350
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3/13/2010 4:58:36 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
What is the meaning of life? It might be better to ask "What is the purpose and significance of life?"

For me, it is to be happy and to use science and technology to aid humanity.
Zetsubou
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3/13/2010 5:04:29 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Conscious universe @ Pantheism?

Meaning is something that defines something to it's full nature. The meaning of something is unique to the object it represents. The meaning of "x" is to "x" alone.
'sup DDO -- july 2013
Zetsubou
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3/13/2010 5:09:51 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Meaning of Life to an Atheist, should be complete Nihilism, but Christianly had to be there and created the Protistant Ethic the common Ethic(Max Weber).

Of Nothing, to Nothing, everything in between means nothing at all. Many atheists play as it goes, blocking their accepted truth.

To a Theist, that depends.
'sup DDO -- july 2013
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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3/13/2010 6:30:59 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Nietzsche's pretty cool.

There's the Apollonian Illusion of Meaning.
And Dionysian, Hollow, Truth.

The illusion Transcends the ultimate dionysian truth :)

Life is meaningful... Reality is not.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
Immortal
Posts: 350
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3/13/2010 6:41:32 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 3/13/2010 5:09:51 PM, Zetsubou wrote:
Meaning of Life to an Atheist, should be complete Nihilism, but Christianly had to be there and created the Protistant Ethic the common Ethic(Max Weber).

No it doesn't. Not all Atheists aren't existential nihilists. This is affirming the consequent. If we assume that all existential nihilists are atheists, then we follow that:
1. If P, then Q.
2. Q.
3. Therefore, P.

1. If he's an existential nihilist, he's an atheist.
2. He's an atheist.
2. Therefore, he's an existential nihilists.

Existence of God has no bearing on the meaning of life for individuals.
Zetsubou
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3/14/2010 8:35:20 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 3/13/2010 6:41:32 PM, Immortal wrote:
At 3/13/2010 5:09:51 PM, Zetsubou wrote:
Meaning of Life to an Atheist, should be complete Nihilism, but Christianly had to be there and created the Protistant Ethic the common Ethic(Max Weber).

No it doesn't. Not all Atheists aren't existential nihilists. This is affirming the consequent. If we assume that all existential nihilists are atheists, then we follow that:
1. If P, then Q.
2. Q.
3. Therefore, P.

1. If he's an existential nihilist, he's an atheist.
2. He's an atheist.
2. Therefore, he's an existential nihilists.

Existence of God has no bearing on the meaning of life for individuals.

At 3/13/2010 5:09:51 PM, Zetsubou wrote:
Meaning of Life to an Atheist, should be complete Nihilism, but Christianly had to be there and created the Protistant Ethic the common Ethic(Max Weber).

Lol you just wanted to use a "if and only" argument. P --> Q. I've seen that a million times and lol that was the wrong time to use it.
'sup DDO -- july 2013
Immortal
Posts: 350
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3/14/2010 11:31:08 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 3/14/2010 8:35:20 AM, Zetsubou wrote:
At 3/13/2010 6:41:32 PM, Immortal wrote:
At 3/13/2010 5:09:51 PM, Zetsubou wrote:
Meaning of Life to an Atheist, should be complete Nihilism, but Christianly had to be there and created the Protistant Ethic the common Ethic(Max Weber).

No it doesn't. Not all Atheists aren't existential nihilists. This is affirming the consequent. If we assume that all existential nihilists are atheists, then we follow that:
1. If P, then Q.
2. Q.
3. Therefore, P.

1. If he's an existential nihilist, he's an atheist.
2. He's an atheist.
2. Therefore, he's an existential nihilists.

Existence of God has no bearing on the meaning of life for individuals.

At 3/13/2010 5:09:51 PM, Zetsubou wrote:
Meaning of Life to an Atheist, should be complete Nihilism, but Christianly had to be there and created the Protistant Ethic the common Ethic(Max Weber).

Lol you just wanted to use a "if and only" argument. P --> Q. I've seen that a million times and lol that was the wrong time to use it.

Meaning of Life to an Atheist should be complete Nihilism = Meaning of Life to an Atheist is complete Nihilism with a few exceptions.