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Why have we been asking ourselves the wrong question?


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Right, well, I know I probably sound hypocritical here, but I've only just had this thought..

 

Why on Earth do we want to know "What is the meaning of life".

We already know, we (humans) INVENTED the word!

 

 

Definitions of 'life' - 14 definitions - WordNet

 

life (n.) a characteristic state or mode of living : "social life"

life (n.) the course of existence of an individual : the actions and events that occur in living

life (n.) the experience of living : the course of human events and activities

 

(ask.com)

 

I just wonder why the question is usually put like this.

 

Of course, on Wikipedia it has various sensible ways of putting it, if you type it in.

 

Shouldn't we be asking, why were we created?

 

Also, why do we question our existence in the first place?

 

In my opinion, which I've only just realised, there isn't a reason we live. We simply do. Life just is.

 

Might as well question the existence of the universe.

Might as well question existence, and get ourselves really confused.  :D

 

I'd like to know your opinions on this magnificent piece of Philosophy.  ;) :D

 

Jelly.

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Well, Hindus believe that reality is an illusuion. They further belive that the current universe is a dream.

 

I think it was Spinoza(sp) who said I think therefore I am.

 

Emmanuel Kant drew a distinction between numina (objective reality) and phenomina (percieved reality).

 

There is also the saying that if God did not create man then Man created God.

 

Basicly, the search for a greater meaning to man's existance is a trait shared by all cultures, religions and philosophies. 

 

We have asked all these questions never getting a totally satisfactory answer but we are compelled to ask?

 

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42.

 

There is no other answer. We've been asking the wrong question cause we don't know what the right one is. The earth was destroyed 5 minutes before we were supposed to find out... remember?

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Maybe in order to understand mankind, we have to look at the word itself: “Mankind.” Basically, it’s made up of two separate words-”mank” and “ind.” What do these words mean? It’s a mystery, and that’s why so is mankind.

 

 

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Maybe in order to understand mankind, we have to look at the word itself: “Mankind.” Basically, it’s made up of two separate words-”mank” and “ind.” What do these words mean? It’s a mystery, and that’s why so is mankind.

 

 

 

Ah, a deep thought indeed...

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These questions are metaphorical, not literal.  They are signposts to the mystery.

 

This mystery transcends human conceptualisation.  The end.

 

edit: 'I think, therefore I am' was Descartes.

 

And he forgot to add the second 'I think'.

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Haha, Haha! at last i can share my greatest discovery, or realization. *shrug*

 

I asked myself those great questions a while back.  What is the purpose of humans?  Why is there something rather than nothing?  Ive mulled it over for quite some time now (years).  I have come to a rational, logical conclusion for both. 

 

I began with the first, but the answer i originally concluded wound up being the answer to the second.  I was searching for the lowest common denominator with respect to humans.  The exact question I asked was "What do humans do?"  Because when you understand what something does you can understand why it was created.  So, What do humans do?  Well, some are doctors, lawyers, artists, 'people who claim to be artists but don't actually create', etc.  these are things that some humans do, but not all humans.  The answer I came up with at this point, while having a cigarette at work was, experience.  I returned home that evening and spoke with my good friend Mary Jane, and realize that experience is the answer to why there is something rather than nothing.  All matter/energy experiences on a constant basis.  whether it is aware of the experience or not is irrelevant.  This is a fundamental truth that I base all of my beliefs on.

 

I do not believe that "God" posesses infinite wisdom, simply because wisdom comes from experience, and if there was nothing to experience then "God" could not possess infinite wisdom.  So "God" creates an engine to generate infinite experience.  Its a matter of perspective.  If I were to slap my wall, my hand feels the wall stop it from moving as much as the wall feels my hand hit it.  Two completely separate experiences, both of which are equally important to "God". 

 

It is a fundamental concept in modern religion that "God alone is the judge", but I disagree.  I do not believe that "God" judges the actions of the matter in existence.  Though this wont be a popular idea, I do not believe that Hitler, or Stalin are being punished for their atrocities.  Nor do I beieve that Gandhi, or Jesus, or Buddha is being praised for their deeds.  All 5 of these men were crucial in the creation of an uncountable number of unique experiences.

 

All of this has led me to the answer to the purpose of humans.  I certainly cannot tell you the true purpose of trees, because I'm not a tree.  I can tell you the purpose of tree with respect to humans, because I'm human, but the true purpose of trees I will never know, but the purpose of humans only came to me about a week ago, and that is To Judge.  We all do it, and we're pretty darn good at it now.  We make judgments as to what experiences are "good" and which are "bad" and act accordingly.  If we were able to capture Hitler alive we should have, and would have punished him.  And rightly so since "God" will not.

 

So in conclusion the purpose for humans is to judge, and the purpose for existence is experience.  Both deduced through logic and reason, though with the assistance of some psychoactive substances.  Proof enough to me that drugs are neither good nor bad.  Its the user that gives the alignment.

 

Though having these answer has not made me any happier, they may be able to aid us in topping the next rise.

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Because when you understand what something does you can understand why it was created. 

 

The major flaw in your "logic" is that it presumes we do what we were designed to do.  A jewish/christian theologian would point out that humans were created to "adore" God but because they have free will they choose to act contrary to their "purpose". 

 

Also non-satiate entities do not "experience" they may react to stimuli but that's hardly the same thing.

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Because when you understand what something does you can understand why it was created. 

 

The major flaw in your "logic" is that it presumes we do what we were designed to do.  A jewish/christian theologian would point out that humans were created to "adore" God but because they have free will they choose to act contrary to their "purpose". 

 

Also non-satiate entities do not "experience" they may react to stimuli but so that's hardly the same thing.

 

so what you're saying is that because inanimate objects cannot communicate with you means they dont experience?  Why?  Because they cannot catalogue the experiences themselves?  and experience is an experience whether experienced by an animate object or an inanimate object.  there is still information available from the perspective of inanimate objects.  maybe that information isnt useful to humans, but we cannot say its not useful to "God". 

 

think about the evolution of earth on geologic time.  the continents form, slide together into a super-continent.  they split apart and travel across the globe and smash into each other again forming another super-continent, and eventually splitting again and now reside as we know them.  are you saying that all of that volcanism isnt experience?  that none of that information matters?  what about when 2+ asteroids collide, and one the size of texas begins its collision course with earth.  is that event not relevant?  are you saying that all the information about velocity and trajectory of the resulting rocks from said collision is irrelevant and uncatalogued?  so youre saying that 99.9999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999...% of all the information in the universe is unimportant because it wasnt created by animate objects, by things we can prove are aware of themselves?  that seems a bit absurd to me.

 

Does a spoon help you eat soup?  it surely helps me eat soup.  thats why it was created, to help us eat liquid food.  "boy, this would be a lot easier if i had a little hand-held bowl *TA-DAH!* the spoon.  it serves the purpose it was created for, why would we be any different?  the fact that not all humans adore god must lead you to the conclusion that adoring god is not our purpose, but find me a human who has never made a judgment a day in their life.  Do you have a favorite movie, or band, or song?  If so, then youve made a judgment. 

 

and dont try and give me the 'free will' argument to justify why we all dont serve our "purpose" of adoring god.  free will allows us to serve our true purpose, to judge.  without free will we would not be able to make judgments.  we would not be able to choose.  in fact, the 'free will' argument can be used to prove the bibles fallibility.  Lucifer was an angel, a being WITHOUT FREE WILL.  Lucifer could no more choose between red and blue gatoraid, let alone to choose to try and take the throne from god.

 

The religious state that we are here to adore god, and if you adore god then you can go to heaven and experience eternal bliss, and if you dont then you are damned for all eternity.  The notion of heaven was created because humans are callow.  we are afraid of the notion that some day we will not exist.  the concept of hell was created after heaven to scare people into believing the dogma and cooperating with those that are in control.  frankly i feel like turning god into a terrorist is blasphemy of the highest calibur, and thats what religion has done.  'Believe in me, Worship me, Adore me, or burn in hell for all eternity' -if thats not terrorism, my friends, I dont know what is.

 

Religion is an institution of social control that should not be trusted.  It certainly hasnt proven itself trustworthy in the thousands of years that we've had it.  Giving smallpox to groups of people because they wont accept your beliefs.  Burning almost all of the knowledge the Mayans had accumulated over the hundreds of years they existed because it was "not christian".  Bombing abortion clinics because "abortion is murder".  Crashing planes into civilian office buildings, or blowing themselves up to kill innocent civilians.  the jews...well they're responsible for christians and muslims. 

 

granted not all religious people, and in fact its a tiny fraction of them, act the ways i describe above, but without the dogma they would not be able to act that way at all.

 

so accepting religions justification for existence is just plain stupid, since their assumptions formed out of fear.  the fear of not knowing.  the fear of no longer existing.

 

...do i need to go on?

 

Remember its all a matter of perspective.  I realize that it may be difficult to wrap your mind around the thought of experience with respect to inanimate objects, and as I noted in the first post I didnt come to these conclusions all by myself.  Lucy and MJ played a huge role in my understanding.

 

on a final note, thanks to everyone who will inevitably poke and prod me for all of this.

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First I will ignore your anti-religous diatribe, it makes about as much sense as an abortion critic using christianity as an excuse to bomb an abortion clinic or a muslim citing his belief in Alah as a justification for 9-11..

 

I also point out that your "theory's" explaination of the limitations of god are only valid (at best) if god is seen as being within time and subject to its laws.  Almost all religions presume that Their God is outside of time/space.

 

 

Lets examine your argument in non-religous terms. Why is a human's purpose for existance to "judge". Certainly they have the capacity but that is not enough. That something can be used for a purpose does not mean it was made for that purpose. In other words that humans can "judge" is a necessary but not a sufficent explaination of your theory.

 

As to my main point I was not saying that a non-sitiate entity could not be involved in important factual patterns as your examples show, they can. I was pointing out that they cannot "experience" those events as by definition to experience soomething you must be a conscious entity. I am not even claiming a moral superiority for satiant entities only pointing out the definitional limitations of the term you used.

 

The following are the definitions of experience in Dictionary.com:

 

–noun 1. a particular instance of personally encountering or undergoing something: My encounter with the bear in the woods was a frightening experience. 

2. the process or fact of personally observing, encountering, or undergoing something: business experience. 

3. the observing, encountering, or undergoing of things generally as they occur in the course of time: to learn from experience; the range of human experience. 

4. knowledge or practical wisdom gained from what one has observed, encountered, or undergone: a man of experience. 

5. Philosophy. the totality of the cognitions given by perception; all that is perceived, understood, and remembered. 

–verb (used with object) 6. to have experience of; meet with; undergo; feel: to experience nausea. 

7. to learn by experience. 

—Idiom8. experience religion, to undergo a spiritual conversion by which one gains or regains faith in God. 

 

The most relevent is the 5th definition which talks of cognition and perception.

 

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Well, I don't know about all these fancy word definitions, but I personally think that the meaning of life is whatever you can make it to be. There are probably lots of things I find meaningful that others wouldn't and vice versa.

 

If we would look on a "grander" scale, for instance what the meaning of suffering, terror and other evil things - then I have no really good answer. For there to be such a meaning, there would most certainly have to be a Creator behind everything (and with a Plan for us all). We could of course say that evil things can be explained by the existence of an Evil entity with some kind of influence. But I don't know about any of those things.

 

For now I will gladly settle with doing things I enjoy and try to live a generally decent life. Maybe try and throw in a good deed once in a while, for the sake of "Karma".

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Quote"

 

For now I will gladly settle with doing things I enjoy and try to live a generally decent life. Maybe try and throw in a good deed once in a while, for the sake of "Karma".

 

Fair enough, but what do you mean by "a generally decent life" and "a good deed".

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Focus people, focus. This conversation has gone completely off topic.

 

This is about why we have been asking ourselves the wrong question, not what the right question is.

 

And Jelly, the answer to your question is George Clooney.

 

Now people, stop spammin' poor Jelly's topic with all your existential theories and theoretical existents.

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Quote:

 

This conversation has gone completely off topic.

 

This is about why we have been asking ourselves the wrong question, not what the right question is

 

 

Two sides of the same coin. How can we discuss why we have been asking the wrong question if we can not discuss what the right question is?

 

Unless, of course the answer is the lint that collects in our navel messes up our Karma!

 

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Unless, of course the answer is the lint that collects in our navel messes up our Karma!

 

That is foolishness of an order extremer than even the extremist foolishness. Everyone knows that the lint distorts not our Karma, but our center of gravity.

 

The dirt that builds up under our fingernails is what screws around with our Karma. That is why they tell you to clean it out.

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Now people, stop spammin' poor Jelly's topic with all your existential theories and theoretical existents.

 

No, it's alright. It is wonderful reading material.  ;)

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Fair enough, but what do you mean by "a generally decent life" and "a good deed".

 

I wrote "try" in both cases. I don't know what the objective meanings of those things are (if such indeed exists at all). It would lead way too far for me to give my subjective views. And I wouldn't want to give them anyway.

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