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    Why do I ask this thoroughly depressing question? While I am personally not at all depressed, I have never been able to remove the thought from my mind that life is ultimately futile. It seems to me that all meaning attached to life is entirely self imposed - it is part of human nature and the workings of the mind to value life and attach value to the actions we undertake. It is part of human nature to ignore the fact that life is futile, to convince oneself that your actions are worthwhile - ignorance is bliss.

    So, I've obtained good exam results, got into Oxford uni, captained the boat club etc... On a cursory inspection most people would say I'd got a good start in life. But on what grounds are such judgements made? Why is it good to perform well in exams, to go to a good university? Suppose instead I had dropped out of school, taken up petty crime, developed an alcohol habit etc... Why would that have been worse? Why would it be considered better for me to become a doctor rather than develop a heroine addiction? Indeed, on what grounds would you discourage me from suicide? (don't worry, I'm not being serious)

    Suppose I made the proposal that we send nukes all over the world and destroy the whole human race, why would that be a bad idea? Presumably it would be, right? Is there any rational argument available, or is it merely human nature that keeps us from recognising the absurdity of life?


    (I don't really know what response to expect, but please don't tell me to lighten up as I already know I need to!)
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    (Original post by mikesgt2)
    So, I've obtained good exam results, got into Oxford uni, captained the boat club etc... On a cursory inspection most people would say I'd got a good start in life. But on what grounds are such judgements made? Why is it good to perform well in exams, to go to a good university? Suppose instead I had dropped out of school, taken up petty crime, developed an alcohol habit etc... Why would that have been worse? Why would it be considered better for me to become a doctor rather than develop a heroine addiction?
    Try living those various lifestyles for yourself.

    The answer will then become clear.
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    (Original post by Paul Bedford)
    Try living those various lifestyles for yourself.

    The answer will then become clear.
    I know that. I'm asking the question from an external perspective though. Yes, my life is far preferable to those lifestyles in terms of feelings, emotions etc... but is there any way you could suggest one was more valuable or worthwhile than the other?
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    (Original post by mikesgt2)
    I know that. I'm asking the question from an external perspective though. Yes, my life is far preferable to those lifestyles in terms of feelings, emotions etc... but is there any way you could suggest one was more valuable or worthwhile than the other?
    As I said, through experiance.

    Living an alternative lifestyle would soon teach you that it was more valuable, or worthwhile to live a productive life.

    Ask an addict who looks 60, but is really 28, who has been sleeping on a cold hard street for the last 8 years, has hepititas A, coughs up blood every morning, walks the empty streets, with a life that has no meaning beyond obtaining enough money so that he can afford the smack to stick in his arm, down a dirty alley, where he will slip into a semi-catatonic state, in his own dribble, vomit and urine, as people walk past, spit on him and kick him, whether his life has any meaning, and ask him if it has any value or pleasure, then look at your own life, and work it out for yourself.

    That addict is a drain on society, and eyesore, an obstacle to the police carrying out genuine duties, as they have to move him on for the 4th time that day, instead of patrolling a near by area, where they might be genuinely needed by someone in distress, as oppossed to a self centered junkie.

    That addict is a drain on the health service, who have to spend money treating him, and supplying him with his heroine substitute, and containing his Hepatitis.

    That addict is a problem to the parent, who is scared to allow their child out to play, through fear of them being mugged, attacked, or merely distressed by the addicts drug warped activities.

    He has no value, only a cost to everyone in society.

    He probably hates his own life, and nobody has time for him, after a while, all of them having given up on him, as he constantly abused their attempts to help him.

    If you can see value in that, then feel free to point it out to me.

    Now compare him to anyone else, even a simple, humble man, someone who is maybe not a great thinker, not a genius, not a stunning wit, or personality, maybe just a humble labourer, on a simple building site.

    He doesn't make any great advances in medical science, he doesn't bring us world peace, or entertain us on a daily basis, but he does help to build the house you live in.

    So he has a value, and he probably has more self worth than our addict.

    Any more questions?
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    I don't really care that/if life is futile, or worthless.

    I enjoy it, I get on with it, and I make the most of it. I've experienced some wonderful things. I have had some horrible times too, but the good outweighs the bad.


    I don't think it's fair to think it better to wipe out the human race when people like me are happy enough with their lot and just get on with it, just because you've gone all philosophical on our arses.


    That was not well written. It's late, but woo, I love life, and all its vacuous futility!
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    Well it would be beneficial for all the earth's other inhabitants, I reckon. However, I'd rather live, thanks.
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    I sometimes think it would be a good thing for humans to cease to exist because then it would stop humans from destroying yet more species and using up precious resources on our planet. Ultimately this planet is more important than us because its the only place we know of that life exists in.

    I think the meaning of human civilization is to aquire knowledge and use this knowledge to make everyone's lives better. I measure by own worth by how much i contribute towards this goal. The greatest heroes to me are the scientists who are making great discoveries as ultimately their work can save us.

    The world would be a much better place if the people in power were scientists and not politicians. People don't know what is best for them, only what they want in the short term.
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    Suppose I made the proposal that we send nukes all over the world and destroy the whole human race, why would that be a bad idea? Presumably it would be, right? Is there any rational argument available, or is it merely human nature that keeps us from recognising the absurdity of life?

    Well you've certainly depressed me, I was feeling quite ok till I read your post.
    I think perhaps Bush & Blair are one step ahead of you on the nuking issue.
    I know you're joking, please tell us the answer!
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    So you're advocating compulsry genocide?

    Nice.
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    So you're advocating compulsry genocide?

    Nice.
    Sounds like an infringement of Universal Human Rights Articles 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 12, 16, 17, 22, 25(a), 28, 29 and 30 to me.
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    Why would it be a bad thing to destroy the whole human race?
    Erm, because I'm part of the human race and would quite like to live? You know, to see how it all turns out.
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    Do you ever think we've evolved to such a point that the human psyche cannot cope with life? If we are to place stock in the theory of evolution, then surely the goal of species is merely to survive and pro-create, whereas humans have evolved into such complex beings, that these primary functions have become secondary actions. We search for further meanig to life above and beyond those functions that evolution has taught us, but that search is ultimately futile, and thus we can only measure of life's meaning in terms of our accomplishment within society. But the value of 'accomplishing' within socieities expectations are surely driven for political reasons - to contribute well to society and produce wealth - goals not driven towards internal happiness but aesthetic and material gain. In summary, we'd all do well to jump off a cliff.
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    (Original post by Laika)
    Do you ever think we've evolved to such a point that the human psyche cannot cope with life? If we are to place stock in the theory of evolution, then surely the goal of species is merely to survive and pro-create, whereas humans have evolved into such complex beings, that these primary functions have become secondary actions. We search for further meanig to life above and beyond those functions that evolution has taught us, but that search is ultimately futile, and thus we can only measure of life's meaning in terms of our accomplishment within society. But the value of 'accomplishing' within socieities expectations are surely driven for political reasons - to contribute well to society and produce wealth - goals not driven towards internal happiness but aesthetic and material gain. In summary, we'd all do well to jump off a cliff.
    I would agree with that. I think it's part of the reason why one in three people suffer from some form of 'depression.' We have so few actual problems in the developed world, to a certain extent, that we overanalyse ourselves and our lives in a way which I don't think was there 100 years ago.

    I saw a film which addressed this question. Human beings are the only animals who find an area, uses it's natural resources whilst claiming to 'civilise' an area, and multiplies. Then when all the resources have been consumed, and there is no more living space, they simply spread. Only viruses behave in the same way.
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    (Original post by *Katie*)
    I would agree with that. I think it's part of the reason why one in three people suffer from some form of 'depression.' We have so few actual problems in the developed world, to a certain extent, that we overanalyse ourselves and our lives in a way which I don't think was there 100 years ago.

    I saw a film which addressed this question. Human beings are the only animals who find an area, uses it's natural resources whilst claiming to 'civilise' an area, and multiplies. Then when all the resources have been consumed, and there is no more living space, they simply spread. Only viruses behave in the same way.
    What was the film? It sounds awesome.
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    I've been racking my brains, but I just can't remember!
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    It was the Matrix.
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    (Original post by ForeverIsMyName)
    It was the Matrix.
    :rolleyes: Haha. True though.
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    No, it really was The Matrix. Agent Smith is explaining to Morpheus about why the human race deserves to be extinct.
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    for world peace, destroy the people who make stupid threads
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    (Original post by ForeverIsMyName)
    No, it really was The Matrix. Agent Smith is explaining to Morpheus about why the human race deserves to be extinct.
    Well...yes. But I assumed the poster was referring to something else for some reason.
 
 
 
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