Thursday, April 29, 2010

How Do YOU Derive Meaning In Life?

Ultimately, existence could be seen as pointless regardless of what is believed or not.

If one who would otherwise be bad is good simply to meet the demands of God, it could be construed as meaningless. This is merely bribery or manipulation.

Alternatively, if one is terrible only because he believes God's grace will suffice, it could also be construed as meaningless. This is sheer arrogance!

Or if one is terrible only because he believes nothing, this could be viewed as meaningless too. If there is no God to appease, his only “hope” seems to be bettering himself at the apparent expense of everybody else. There is just something “cold” about this.

On the other hand, one who believes nothing but is nonetheless good could be viewed as meaningless as well. Why be good if it precludes him from maximizing his own desires and ambitions?

And last, one could be good independent of his belief but believe anyway. This could be seen as meaningless because why would he believe if he was already good? Possibly his only reason for believing is that he genuinely believes it to be true as opposed to believing only because he thinks great benefits will ensue and/or he will avoid eternal judgment.

Refer to my discussions on the nature of belief and it will reinforce my argument that belief's only worthwhile contribution is that it can, not necessarily will, make otherwise bad people good or at least relatively better. The reason I say it can as opposed to will make people good or better is because some people systematically become worse through the use of arrogant self-righteousness.

My point here is not to sow hopelessness. It is to demonstrate that because we are all different, there are numerous ways to find meaning in life.

14 comments:

  1. What is the meaning in life (as opposed to of)?
    I am going to deal with this problem analytically.
    First problem, what would suffice as a meaning in life?
    -A reason not to commit suicide because at some level people want a justification living.
    -Verifiable in the real world. Because the goal of this meaning in life is to be rational and knowable, it must be verifiable.
    -The meaning in life theory must be coherent. It must not obfuscation in order to avoid really answering the question.
    -It should have some moral component to it, though that is not necessary.

    My justification for these criteria is that the question has this intention.

    My meaning in life is that a person wants to live.
    -This means I choose not to commit suicide. Wanting is justification enough. Becomings with a tendency to choose to live rather die. This is a trait which humans have which evolution reinforces.
    -A person's desire to live is at least inferable by what they say and feel about living. It is logical that the will to live is part of why people live and why this trait naturally occurs. -It is also important to include that a person is community property. "No man is an island" so to speak. Society has many reinforcing tendencies which promote the will to live.
    -It is very important for a person to interact with his or her environment. A child that does not receive stimuli will die.
    -A human body is a bunch of organized systems evolved for this world and replicating genes. Matter and energy go in and out of it. Physical processes like sound, reflection of light, and contact interact with the system of physical processes in a person's body. Through organization, patterns are discovered or inferred. There is a lot to be said about how exactly physical processes become human beings and what consciousness is. Basically, the the voice in a person's head is just a shortcut. A person does not have to talk to hear what he or she is thinking. A person self-stimulates in order to think of pictures and words. This is a consequence of the degree of plasticity or learning ability the brain has. It is not until three or four until a child even has developed a concept of self. The self is a tool used in predictions and for prioritizing. And still, much more could be said about all the reasons for the way humans are.
    -With sufficient knowledge about why humans are the way they are, why they choose to live is understandable.
    -Morality is only secondary to living. Only after choosing to live and only by being alive does morality make sense. Morality is derived from consequences of living with others. Of course more can be said, but it is not necessary for this theory.

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  2. It is also noticeable that a person wants to live conditionally.
    -People may find life to be undesirable because it lacks something pleasurable or meaningful to them. This can lead to suicide if they pursue this line of reasoning. They may combat the option of suicide with a sense of duty (it is wrong to commit suicide).
    -Euthanasia is an example of assisted suicide for those who are suffering or incapable of a high quality of life.
    - The indicators for a adequate quality for living depends on the person. Because the threshold for suicide is a trait, which may can be passed down by parent to offspring, there is no one standard.
    -People also want different things in life.
    -Some people care more about what happens in life, but it is common to have a high degree of shared dislikes.

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  3. Three other things to mention:
    -Subconscious tendencies that make a person feel like living. It is possible to use hormones to bring about suicidal tendency, just listen to the side effects of anti-depressants.
    -People have the ability to change what they want in order to be more comfortable with life.
    -(I forgot my third one but it is somewhere in my brain. I will come back with it if necessary)

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  4. Hmmm...I think I just changed my mind after reading that very insightful comment right above this one. Now only if I understood it. I will ask my brothers what it means. One knows Japanese and the other Chinese.

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  5. DennyMa.....please tell me what you just said.....I might agree with you.....if only I knew what you just said!

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  6. 什麼樣的學習計畫並不重要,重要的是你是什麼樣的人。......................................................

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  7. 人要先學會做一隻駱駝,然後才能做一隻獅子........................................

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