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OfflineDeviate
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from a scientific materialist perspective, can life have real meaning?
    #4617459 - 09/03/05 10:23 PM (11 years, 3 months ago)

if you believe there is nothing more to life than physical things obeying mechanical laws can you still believe life has meaning? personally i dont see how there can be any extraneous meaning in that. sure you could make up a meaning for yourself but that is just imagination, not really that much different from believing in a God which gives life meaning. other than the pursuit of pleasure what meaning could there possibly be? doesn't the idea of meaning defy the very core beliefs of athiests? i ask this because i was discussing with some atheists who believe life can have meaning. when i was an athiest i was very against the idea that life could have any meaning (other than pleasure) because i just don't see how you can add something extra like meaning into a purely blind inpersonal mechanical process.

i see meaning as something that involves relation to something else, for example these words have meaning. a street sign has meaning because it relates to something else. but how can life have meaning? meaning in relation to what?


Edited by Deviate (09/03/05 10:30 PM)


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InvisibleRavus
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Re: from a scientific materialist perspective, can life have real meaning? [Re: Deviate]
    #4617529 - 09/03/05 10:47 PM (11 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

if you believe there is nothing more to life than physical things obeying mechanical laws can you still believe life has meaning?




You can believe anything you want. The human mind can hold a variety of beliefs without evidence, even if you are enlightened to the true materialistic nature of the universe.

However, once you realize that it is your brain creating the meaning and not God or your soul or karma, meaning does become one of those hollow words.

Quote:

not really that much different from believing in a God which gives life meaning.




The difference is that people who realize the physical nature of the universe also realize God is simply a concept in the brain. Those who actually believe in God despite the lack of evidence completely throw themselves off the diving board, never worrying whether there's actually any water in the pool. For the short term and the individual's happiness this is good, but for humanity as a whole I believe it's detrimental to our evolution.

Quote:

other than the pursuit of pleasure what meaning could there possibly be? doesn't the idea of meaning defy the very core beliefs of athiests?




What about science and existence and the universe itself? Once you abandon the ancient myths of God and the soul and simply see the stars and atoms as they are, the universe loses all traditional meaning, but you gain a new type of insight into the beauty around you.

For example, when I have a good experience on mushrooms, I don't think of God; I put my hand against a piece of wood and think of quantum mechanics. I fully immerse myself in the fundamental forces of the universe and cellular theory and the true curiousities of what I am. I forget which scientist it was that saw DNA on LSD, but you can see that science and existence outside of mythology have their own beauty.

Quote:

i ask this because i was discussing with some atheists who believe life can have meaning. when i was an athiest i was very against the idea that life could have any meaning (other than pleasure) because i just don't see how you can add something extra like meaning into a purely blind inpersonal mechanical process.




I've never found meaning to be especially significant in my life. I'd rather have knowledge and insight into the true nature of the universe than "meaning" that I'd gain from following mythologies my brain would hold true.

Quote:

i see meaning as something that involves relation to something else, for example these words have meaning. a street sign has meaning because it relates to something else. but how can life have meaning? meaning in relation to what?




It is only meaningful in relation to itself. The perception of the brain exists within the brain; colors do not exist externally, but are interpretations of naturally occuring phenonema in the hypothetical external universe (if you deny solipsism). Meaning also only exists within the brain, but you don't need it. I long ago found the search for the "meaning of life" to be a ridiculous waste of time, a delusion people spout who simply follow their own delusions and assumptions. In all actuality, life has no meaning.

In my opinion. :wink: Nihilism is the most freeing, enlightened philosophy I've ever encountered, and so I've completely absorbed it into every outlook I hold. Most people who come across me won't know this, and even in my posts here I don't actually convey most of my Nihilistic perceptions on life; they cannot exist in harmony with the ancient delusions and insane conformities exepcted by other humans.


--------------------
So long as you are praised think only that you are not yet on your own path but on that of another.


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OfflineOldWoodSpecter
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Re: from a scientific materialist perspective, can life have real meaning? [Re: Deviate]
    #4617543 - 09/03/05 10:51 PM (11 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

Deviate said:
if you believe there is nothing more to life than physical things obeying mechanical laws can you still believe life has meaning? personally i dont see how there can be any extraneous meaning in that. sure you could make up a meaning for yourself but that is just imagination, not really that much different from believing in a God which gives life meaning. other than the pursuit of pleasure what meaning could there possibly be? doesn't the idea of meaning defy the very core beliefs of athiests? i ask this because i was discussing with some atheists who believe life can have meaning. when i was an athiest i was very against the idea that life could have any meaning (other than pleasure) because i just don't see how you can add something extra like meaning into a purely blind inpersonal mechanical process.

i see meaning as something that involves relation to something else, for example these words have meaning. a street sign has meaning because it relates to something else. but how can life have meaning? meaning in relation to what?




And what is "meaning"?


--------------------
I descend upon your earth from the skies
I command your very souls you unbelievers
Bring before me what is mine


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InvisibleStarchild
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Re: from a scientific materialist perspective, can life have real meaning? [Re: OldWoodSpecter]
    #4618582 - 09/04/05 04:22 AM (11 years, 3 months ago)

Meaning is purpose. For what reason does life exist. For what reason does anything exist?

Lately I've began to think that there must be something beyond our perception that gives life meaning. We're just little teeny tiny players in a huge elaborate universe-spanning game that we're completely unaware of. And more than that, restricted in our ability to become aware of the true nature of existence by our own perceptual limitations.

IOW, we're not biologically equipped to be able to understand the universe as it truly is, much in the same way that a mayfly (which has a lifespan of only a few days) could have no way of perceiving, say, worldwide regular recurring climate changes (seasons).

It's either that or...life really does have no meaning. Thinking about this subject too much really can make one feel depressed...


--------------------
Be the change that you want to see in the world.

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.

-Mahatma Gandhi


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InvisibleShroomismM
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Re: from a scientific materialist perspective, can life have real meaning? [Re: Deviate]
    #4618623 - 09/04/05 05:00 AM (11 years, 3 months ago)

everyone has their own personal reasons and meanings.. but I believe that all of our basic soul meanings is to learn and evolve through experience.


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OfflineDeviate
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Re: from a scientific materialist perspective, can life have real meaning? [Re: Ravus]
    #4618654 - 09/04/05 05:24 AM (11 years, 3 months ago)

ravus, i agree with everything you said although i see it from a different persepctive which i hope you can appreciate. you speak of the "materialistic nature of the universe" while i see the same thing as the "non materialistic nature of the universe". to me experience in the only thing we can truly know exists and experience is immaterial. in other words while you would say concepts only exist in the brain, i would say they only exist in the mind. i agree that the brain is the seat of the mind but i have no reason to believe the one to be more real than the other. the brain is only seen within the mind.

now, as for the myths and delusions. because experience is the only real thing, or the most real thing the myths and delusions are real for the people who believe them to be real (depending on how we define real). for example lets say you lived among a very deluded confused people and you were still able to avoid delusion and not be taken in by all the beliefs held by your tribe. one of the deluded people might recognize your wisdom and consider you a great master. he might ask for you to teach him to as wise as you but of course anything you said would be likely be misinterpreted in many different ways. over time the tribe might even elavate you to the point of being a God and people would give you a title and worship the great Ravus and pray to you even if this was extremely far from what you intended. all the while you do not see yourself as any great master, you are simply someone who is not torchering themselves with delusional thoughts like the others. but from the persepctive of the others you are great because they are deluded. in other words all these spiritual myths and beliefs are simply the product of what happens when deluded minds come in contact with a non deluded mind. from the deluded point of view the myths are true, you truly are a divine being or enlightened one. however from the view of your enlightened mind you see nothing special at all about yourself. do you see what i'm saying? its all real to you until you realize that its not real. the search for meaning ends when you realize how silly it was to search for meaning, but at the same time the search was not necessarily futile because it ended in you no longer troubling yourself with such questions.


Edited by Deviate (09/04/05 05:29 AM)


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OfflineBlueCoyote
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Re: from a scientific materialist perspective, can life have real meaning? [Re: Ravus]
    #4618709 - 09/04/05 06:41 AM (11 years, 3 months ago)

In all actuality, life has no meaning.
So you stopped making meaning out of your life ?

dev,
The key to meaning is existence itself. As I said before, the first obvious meaning is, that life supports itself existence. Then there are many steps until you reach conscious meaning in coherence with externatility. Then the step is, that life supports the existence of coherent conscious meaning itself.


--------------------
Though lovers be lost love shall not  And death shall have no dominion
........................................................
"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."Martin Luther King, Jr.
'Acceptance is the absolute key - at that moment you gain freedom and you gain power and you gain courage'


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Offlinecrunchytoast
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Re: from a scientific materialist perspective, can life have real meaning? [Re: Deviate]
    #4618942 - 09/04/05 11:34 AM (11 years, 3 months ago)

maening is primarily the subjective values a person finds in the universe. we have to know pleasure and pain before we can know god.

people act like god is the metaphyiscal foundation for personal meaning. it's the other way around. or else, if you're a pantheist, they're indistinguishable.


--------------------
"consensus on the nature of equilibrium is usually established by periodic conflict." -henry kissinger


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OfflinePmog
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Re: from a scientific materialist perspective, can life have real meaning? [Re: Deviate]
    #4618954 - 09/04/05 11:42 AM (11 years, 3 months ago)

"" meaning in relation to what? ""

Live.. (life)


--------------------
Life! = !Life

Life = birthing
Life = dying

!life = death <-> birth = life!
--------------------
:frown: !LIVE! :smile:
--------------------


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InvisibleRavus
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Re: from a scientific materialist perspective, can life have real meaning? [Re: BlueCoyote]
    #4619331 - 09/04/05 02:18 PM (11 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

BlueCoyote said:
In all actuality, life has no meaning.
So you stopped making meaning out of your life ?





The vast majority of people look for meaning in their lives, yet most don't seem to be happy or knowledgeable. This leads me to conclude that meaning is not necessary, and that I have more important issues to think about.

Plus the fact that life is much more interesting without meaning.


--------------------
So long as you are praised think only that you are not yet on your own path but on that of another.


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InvisibleMushmanTheManic
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Re: from a scientific materialist perspective, can life have real meaning? [Re: Ravus]
    #4619418 - 09/04/05 02:47 PM (11 years, 3 months ago)

There is no way to confirm that the 'meaning' you've found is the 'true meaning.'


--------------------
PsyPost - Psychedelic Research


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Offlinepsychomime
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Re: from a scientific materialist perspective, can life have real meaning? [Re: Ravus]
    #4619966 - 09/04/05 07:24 PM (11 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

Most people who come across me won't know this, and even in my posts here I don't actually convey most of my Nihilistic perceptions on life; they cannot exist in harmony with the ancient delusions and insane conformities exepcted by other humans.





you're kidding right? every post you make screams nihilism.


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InvisibleRavus
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Re: from a scientific materialist perspective, can life have real meaning? [Re: psychomime]
    #4620028 - 09/04/05 07:46 PM (11 years, 3 months ago)

:shocked:


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So long as you are praised think only that you are not yet on your own path but on that of another.


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OfflineMarkostheGnostic
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Re: from a scientific materialist perspective, can life have real meaning? [Re: Deviate]
    #4620112 - 09/04/05 08:16 PM (11 years, 3 months ago)

My life is meaningful because meaning is derived from a higher 'dimension.' Check out Victor Frankl's book Man's Search for Ultimate Meaning. In his other books he has used a variety of diagrams that utilize geometric solids and shadows projected from them to make wonderful points about transcendence. In this book he draws a horizontal plane with five dots on it. Each represents and event that is separated in time and space, yet to the individual, intuition suggests that the events are meaningfully connected. Then Frankl draws another plane that vertically intersects the horizontal plane. The vertical plane has a sine wave on it which intersects the horizontal plane at those five points. The vertical plane or dimension has a continuity of meaning represented by the sine wave but that continuity of meaning exists for the most part outside (above) our plane of experience. Sometimes we can make leaps of faith, intuitive apprehensions, and string together those 'pearls' of separate experience to arrive at a sense of meaning inherent in our everyday experience - a meaning not of our own constuction or imagination, but one that exists transcendentally.


--------------------
γνῶθι σαὐτόν - Gnothi Seauton - Know Thyself


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Offlinecrunchytoast
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Re: from a scientific materialist perspective, can life have real meaning? [Re: MarkostheGnostic]
    #4621265 - 09/05/05 01:59 AM (11 years, 3 months ago)

meaning always has a trascendental nature. yet it does not follow that meaning is not subjectively constructed.


--------------------
"consensus on the nature of equilibrium is usually established by periodic conflict." -henry kissinger


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OfflineBlueCoyote
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Re: from a scientific materialist perspective, can life have real meaning? [Re: Ravus]
    #4622474 - 09/05/05 02:47 PM (11 years, 3 months ago)

Plus the fact that life is much more interesting without meaning.
Oops, then I think, we are on totally different sides. I love to decipher the inherent meaning of everything I see about life...and more :wink: [I mean, the meaning, which it has on me, on others, on him, on her, on this and that whenever and before :wink:]
Life is a vast playground of meanings of all sorts. That includes existence, because without existance, no meaning.


--------------------
Though lovers be lost love shall not  And death shall have no dominion
........................................................
"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."Martin Luther King, Jr.
'Acceptance is the absolute key - at that moment you gain freedom and you gain power and you gain courage'


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OfflineMarkostheGnostic
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Re: from a scientific materialist perspective, can life have real meaning? [Re: crunchytoast]
    #4622818 - 09/05/05 04:17 PM (11 years, 3 months ago)

...or subjectively interpreted.


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OfflineBlueCoyote
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Re: from a scientific materialist perspective, can life have real meaning? [Re: MarkostheGnostic]
    #4622951 - 09/05/05 04:53 PM (11 years, 3 months ago)

yes, a subjective experienceable part of reality (called meaning and more), is something, what life only was able to make possible to perceive...wondering where it came from...

( :laugh: )


--------------------
Though lovers be lost love shall not  And death shall have no dominion
........................................................
"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."Martin Luther King, Jr.
'Acceptance is the absolute key - at that moment you gain freedom and you gain power and you gain courage'


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Offlinecrunchytoast
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Re: from a scientific materialist perspective, can life have real meaning? [Re: MarkostheGnostic]
    #4624843 - 09/06/05 10:32 AM (11 years, 3 months ago)

what's the difference?


--------------------
"consensus on the nature of equilibrium is usually established by periodic conflict." -henry kissinger


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