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    We are born, we grow up, we live, we die. Whatever we did today may or may not help us tomorrow. For example, we cannot taste the food that we eat and enjoy in the same way, after we have eaten it and are excreting it. The 'best years of our lives' at university will nothing more than a memory after university has finished. However, some will argue that these things do have an influence on later event in life - I do not deny this and I don't think anyone else will.

    But when we die what difference will having had an amazing or terrible life make to those bones under the ground?

    Very well, some may say there is a sphere of influence on other living people, possibly a legacy also. How about when those people die? How about when humanity ends? Surely then it won't matter if it ended tomorrow or in 1 million years.

    If we're all going to cease to exist completely then there is no point in life at all. However, the rationality of the human being rejects this as we all have aspirations. Doesn't this suggest a flaw in the materialistic school of thought?
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    It is not at all a materialist thought to want to live. It's a raw animal urge to survive. Humans are animals and its instinct to want to survive so I'm not sure how you compare that to materialism.

    I don't know what background you come from. You could be living a privileged life, an average one, or be in poverty, but I will say that how can you think like that when there are people all over the world fighting, fighting for what they believe in, fighting for their life, fighting for justice?

    Yeah the world does keep on ticking once we go and but life is very short. When you think of being born, living and then dying you think, yeah what is the point? But then you realise (or at least I do) my family is the point, my friends are, my work ethic is, my ambition and strive is. If you have None Of these whatsoever then fine, but if you were point in a life and death situation I can assure you survival instinct will kick in an you will fight for your life.

    I can't believe you don't think of those fighting for their lives in hospitals or those with cancer, but still try find the energy to fought and raise money for charities all over the world or the women and girls in 3rd world countries fighting for their rights and to be treated equally to men or those who have suddenly lost someone close.


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    I don't understand the habitual perspective that any life should, by default, hold some special point or purpose. I suppose it stems from some sort of egoistical bias towards the self or perhaps it is some vicarious thought that is pressed by society.

    I suppose it depends from what perspective you derive your meaning. I don't know. I believe in the reality I am able to perceive, and it is through the nature of things that all meaning is derived. My actions or choices may or may not be classed on some arbitrary scale of significance that is meant to be important to me due to the aforementioned ego bias. It makes no difference. This is who I am, this is who I chose to be. It has meaning, but even if it did not I do not see why that should change anything.
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    (Original post by Americandream)
    It is not at all a materialist thought to want to live. It's a raw animal urge to survive. Humans are animals and its instinct to want to survive so I'm not sure how you compare that to materialism.

    I don't know what background you come from. You could be living a privileged life, an average one, or be in poverty, but I will say that how can you think like that when there are people all over the world fighting, fighting for what they believe in, fighting for their life, fighting for justice?

    Yeah the world does keep on ticking once we go and but life is very short. When you think of being born, living and then dying you think, yeah what is the point? But then you realise (or at least I do) my family is the point, my friends are, my work ethic is, my ambition and strive is. If you have None Of these whatsoever then fine, but if you were point in a life and death situation I can assure you survival instinct will kick in an you will fight for your life.

    I can't believe you don't think of those fighting for their lives in hospitals or those with cancer, but still try find the energy to fought and raise money for charities all over the world or the women and girls in 3rd world countries fighting for their rights and to be treated equally to men or those who have suddenly lost someone close.


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    I am not arguing that there is no point in life, My belief is quite the opposite. However the issue with statements such as

    "Humans are animals and its instinct to want to survive"

    Is that there is a contradiction in saying humans do one thing instinctively but then there are some truly abominable things that humans are doing today, which those individuals no doubt instinctively consider are wrong, yet unfortunately they still do them.

    If humans truly were exactly the same as animals then why are problems caused purely by the humans when we are the most intelligent of all the animals? Our actions surely would all be for the sake of our species not for greed, pride or jealousy. Look at what we did with cane toads and look at all the conflicts today - are we genuinely to believe that all these are In the name of freedom?

    On the contrary humans have the faculty of rationality which animals do not. So, returning to my original point, considering that not all our actions are animalistic and based on instinct, if it can be reasonably deduced that it makes no difference in the end whether the world ends now or in 1 million years, why don't we just end it now?

    Does this not suggest that we may not simply be annihilated after death? I'm trying to work this out for myself as we'll if you're wondering.
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    Legacy doesn't mean anything. Montaigne says:

    It is not for outward show that the soul is to play its part, but for ourselves within, where no eyes can pierce but our own; there she defends us from the fear of death, of pain, of shame itself; there she arms us against the loss of our children, friends, and fortunes; and when opportunity presents itself, she leads us on to the hazards of war, "non emolumento aliquo, sed ipsius honestatis decore." This profit is of much greater advantage, and more worthy to be coveted and hoped for, than honor and glory, which are no other than a favorable judgment given of us.

    Each man should decide upon his own purpose. There is no inherent 'point' to life; it's all about setting yourself goals and doing your best to achieve them.
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    Getting high
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    In your case, to question it - why not enjoy it while it lasts
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    Why must there be a 'point'?
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    (Original post by pjm600)
    Why must there be a 'point'?
    There doesn't have to be one. However, most people if you told them to commit suicide wouldn't, this suggests they hold some sort of value to their lives or a reason why they wish to continue living, a soon as that happens they have attributed to their life a degree of significance or 'point'.

    Like I said in an earlier post, I am doing this to answer some of my questions and hopefully manage to answer some other people's. However, the ideology and acceptance that life has no point, from what I have experienced, is more a result of a lack of will to work one out rather than there not necessarily being one. This seems to be due to an increase in materialism which is either a positive or negative result of our developed society.

    It is the same as when you ask people how they achieved such an unswerving certainty about the non existence of God at the age of 15/16. The answer is most certainly not going to be "...due to prolonged reflection and reading on the philosophical aspect of the argument regarding God..." but rather their lives are so good they don't need one, so why should it matter to them.

    The problem is no one is really interested in answering these questions anymore, but by doing so we are neglecting the one thing that doesn't neglect us, death.
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    To watch as many videos of cats as possible.
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    (Original post by telephone)
    There doesn't have to be one. However, most people if you told them to commit suicide wouldn't, this suggests they hold some sort of value to their lives or a reason why they wish to continue living, a soon as that happens they have attributed to their life a degree of significance or 'point'.

    Like I said in an earlier post, I am doing this to answer some of my questions and hopefully manage to answer some other people's. However, the ideology and acceptance that life has no point, from what I have experienced, is more a result of a lack of will to work one out rather than there not necessarily being one. This seems to be due to an increase in materialism which is either a positive or negative result of our developed society.

    It is the same as when you ask people how they achieved such an unswerving certainty about the non existence of God at the age of 15/16. The answer is most certainly not going to be "...due to prolonged reflection and reading on the philosophical aspect of the argument regarding God..." but rather their lives are so good they don't need one, so why should it matter to them.

    The problem is no one is really interested in answering these questions anymore, but by doing so we are neglecting the one thing that doesn't neglect us, death.
    To me, "what is the point of life?" is a non-question as there is no answer. There is no inherent end goal for a human life, as there is no overseeing framework to give an objective goal to aim towards.

    I don't think that not wanting to commit suicide proves there is a 'point' merely that people enjoy living.

    Sure, it's interesting to discuss opinions on the meaning of life, but how far can we go? The evolutionary 'point of life' is clearly to prolong the existence of our genes, maybe the human race. Other 'points' are interesting to debate, but they must stem from this overarching evolutionary desire.

    I don't see how neglecting the question makes us neglect death. Death is inevitable, we have to accept that (possibly while working towards the extension of life) and move on.
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    Surely the only point of life is to procreate it's own species. I don't get this Humancentric question. Humans are just one species of life.
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    There is no point - not in any ultimate sense. However, for you as an individual, you may see the value of your life as tied to the perspectives of others. Can you make the world a better place for having lived in it?

    My full opinions, if you are interested, are here: http://journalofinterest.com/essays/meaning-of-life/
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    (Original post by telephone)
    We are born, we grow up, we live, we die. Whatever we did today may or may not help us tomorrow. For example, we cannot taste the food that we eat and enjoy in the same way, after we have eaten it and are excreting it. The 'best years of our lives' at university will nothing more than a memory after university has finished. However, some will argue that these things do have an influence on later event in life - I do not deny this and I don't think anyone else will.

    But when we die what difference will having had an amazing or terrible life make to those bones under the ground?

    Very well, some may say there is a sphere of influence on other living people, possibly a legacy also. How about when those people die? How about when humanity ends? Surely then it won't matter if it ended tomorrow or in 1 million years.

    If we're all going to cease to exist completely then there is no point in life at all. However, the rationality of the human being rejects this as we all have aspirations. Doesn't this suggest a flaw in the materialistic school of thought?
    I don't know. That is the answer to your question. The number one important thing is that we want to be happy and avoid suffering, everything we do is towards that goal. So you might as well just try figure out what is the best way to achieve that goal so you can be happy even in the face of death. The solution is out there but obviously its not easy to achieve.

    You can ask yourself what exactly dies, your identity? Where were you the day your grandmother was born?
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    (Original post by Jackabc)
    I don't know. That is the answer to your question. The number one important thing is that we want to be happy and avoid suffering, everything we do is towards that goal. So you might as well just try figure out what is the best way to achieve that goal so you can be happy even in the face of death. The solution is out there but obviously its not easy to achieve.

    You can ask yourself what exactly dies, your identity? Where were you the day your grandmother was born?
    You are right, avoiding suffering is very important, opression especially is amongst the worst of things. However, do you mean suffering for ourselves or for the whole of mankind. Because if it were just for ourselves then surely causing other people suffering to achieve ones happiness is acceptable?

    But if it is a case of happiness and lack of suffering for all the people, then this is only achievable through sacrifice. But why should I sacrifice for others, surely it would be more desirable for me to enjoy my short life as much as possible whatever the consequences for other people; as we will all die in the end and will then not exist to reflect upon how good or bad our lives were?
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    (Original post by Jackabc)
    You can ask yourself what exactly dies, your identity? Where were you the day your grandmother was born?
    These are excellent questions. I will reply with the same.

    You acknowledge that identity is something unique between individuals, has this concept a scientific basis, or is it beyond the constraints of science to define?

    Can you accept that time can go on forever when it is accepted that time had a beginning?
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    (Original post by telephone)
    These are excellent questions. I will reply with the same.

    You acknowledge that identity is something unique between individuals, has this concept a scientific basis, or is it beyond the constraints of science to define?

    Can you accept that time can go on forever when it is accepted that time had a beginning?
    People say that identity is built up by previous experiences and memories.

    From this information we may suggest that our identity might as well be formed by others, and therefore is a result of things other than us, so is it really us?

    But there is scientific evidence to show that we reformulate our memories every time we think of them, so they aren't the same image as they were when we first experience them. We edit and change our memories ourselves, it's our own personal imprint, leading the individual identities.
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    (Original post by 0x2a)
    People say that identity is built up by previous experiences and memories.

    From this information we may suggest that our identity might as well be formed by others, and therefore is a result of things other than us, so is it really us?

    But there is scientific evidence to show that we reformulate our memories every time we think of them, so they aren't the same image as they were when we first experience them. We edit and change our memories ourselves, it's our own personal imprint, leading the individual identities.
    But what about the concept of 'I'? You're memories may change but you have always been 'you' the same 'you' haven't you?
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    (Original post by telephone)
    But what about the concept of 'I'? You're memories may change but you have always been 'you' the same 'you' haven't you?
    Can you remember what your personality was like 5-10 years ago? Also the atoms that make up my body now will probably be completely replaced by a set of new atoms in a few years time.

    As you can see you cannot rely on your physical manifestation for identity, nor your mental state, thoughts or behaviour for a constant definition (past, present, future) of "I", you can only define "I" as it is in the present.

    Like I said, you constantly shed your memories, but they are things based on past experiences, therefore the best chance at defining our own identity is looking towards our memories.
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    (Original post by 0x2a)
    Can you remember what your personality was like 5-10 years ago? Also the atoms that make up my body now will probably be completely replaced by a set of new atoms in a few years time.

    As you can see you cannot rely on your physical manifestation for identity, nor your mental state, thoughts or behaviour for a constant definition (past, present, future) of "I", you can only define "I" as it is in the present.

    Like I said, you constantly shed your memories, but they are things based on past experiences, therefore the best chance at defining our own identity is looking towards our memories.
    Personality relies on other factors such as ideas, memories, perception, what I was talking about was essentially that I am still Mr. (insert name). Even if my thoughts, memories, personality, and all other factors were the same as someone else, they are still them and I am still I.
 
 
 
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