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The Meaning of Life


Jan 6 2007, 06:55 AM (Post #1)
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This may sound cliche, but what is the meaning of life to you and to society in general? Because I expect this to be the ultimate intelligent-debate topic I'm gonna pin this as the exemplary of all other university discussions ssmile.gif
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Jun 19 2007, 09:42 PM (Post #106)
beat me til i feel something
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geeze, who else is gonna come back today?
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Jul 7 2007, 08:00 PM (Post #107)
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I believe that the meaning of Life (in general: any life) is Life itself, its creation, and the prevention of its destruction. But in Human Life, there are more purposes in addition to the aforementioned: Love, Learning, Self-Realization, and prolonging Human Life. To harm or destroy a being that already lives in the name of preserving what may come to life in the future is NEVER JUSTIFIABLE. Hence, if a woman is not permitted to have an abortion and dies as a result of childbirth or miscarriage, it's more horrible than if she has an abortion but continues living. On a different note, it is also important to notice that the desire to obtain pleasure and avoid pain cannot be considered a purpose/meaning of Life. It is only A WAY OF LIVING LIFE, and there are people who are exceptions (i.e. do not live life with the desire to obtain pleasure and avoid pain - ascetics for example). Natural death is part of a cycle, and not something to be mourned or something to be sad over. One Life simply ceases to exist so that another Life may come into being. Only tragic death (accident, murder, etc.) is worth being mourned, because it is more than just a loss of Life - it is the loss of one’s future potential, and a failure to prevent the destruction of Life, which is part of the Original meaning (see my first sentence).
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Jul 7 2007, 10:49 PM (Post #108)
beat me til i feel something
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O_o *claps* im liking this guy already.

so, in short, you're saying that the point of life is to try to live?
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Jul 7 2007, 11:55 PM (Post #109)
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I agree that life in general exists to exist, and that its ceasing to exist abruptly and unnaturally is all that can possibly hinder the fulfillment of its meaning. Please let it be known that my above post was meant purely to describe human life, I'm glad Mr. DJ here made the distinction and noted that various other things. I listed Health as my no. 1, which is consistent with the ultimate purpose of life we have somewhat settled on. I also noted my happiness and education as close seconds. Ii'm not sure my happiness is the "pleasure" that is the foil of the "pain" you mentioned, as mine includes all that would make me happy, including learning and love which DJ Starphaze qualified. Care to elaborate on these bits?
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Jul 8 2007, 12:42 AM (Post #110)
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I think to live life is to search for meaning. If you are living life just to live life, then it seems kind of pointless. Hence, I go with Socrates' quote, "The unexamined life is not worth living" -- if you are living a life that lacks a point, then why are you even alive? Go live it up, question things, make love! If you're just sitting here, then you're just as good as the rock outside.
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Jul 8 2007, 01:41 AM (Post #111)
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i think we've all been over complicating it. i mean, its such a simple question, and yet it draws out many many differing ideas. life is what you make of it.
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Jul 8 2007, 02:22 AM (Post #112)
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Exactly, Shadowflare. Since life is what we all make of it, we all make different things of it, hence our drawn-outedness.
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Jul 8 2007, 02:49 AM (Post #113)
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It's because we all desire to be philosophers and in our own right, we are.
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Jul 8 2007, 03:00 AM (Post #114)
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Oy, everyone's a philosopher...


But seriously, they are.
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Jul 9 2007, 07:44 AM (Post #115)
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Let me explain what I meant... jeez... why are people having such trouble understanding what I say? Is it because I write tough? Let me know! Haha...

Ok, here we go... I believe that the meaning(s) of Life (in general: any life) is/are:

Life itself: Yes, Shadowflare, I'm saying exactly that the main point of life is to live it! What else could it be? You can't live if you're not conceived/born, or if you're dead... can you?

Creation of Life: In order to live, you have to be created. All of our mothers and fathers have, at some point in their lives, had sex and conceived us. If they didn't, we wouldn't be here. So, the way I see it, sex is absolutely essential in life - and not just human life, but all life. And, I also consider that it gives meaning to life, because it's incredibly rewarding in terms of physical pleasure. By the way, I don't believe in any sort of god or anything... only science and evolution.

The prevention of Life's destruction: Life is precious. I don't know if we are reborn after we die or not, but the way I see it - we only get one life. We should preserve it. People should preserve the lives of others. What that means is... don't kill or go to war for selfish reasons. Do it only if it's ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY and UNAVOIDABLE. In dangerous circumstances or environments, use safety measures. Develop advanced medicine. Do stem cell research. Save people that could otherwise die. Take risks, but don't take blind or underevaluated risks. Don't destroy natural wildlife habitats just for the sake of obtaining lumber; there's better building materials, and the animals are also entitled to live and to have a good environment... That's basically the gist of what I'm saying...

The above 3 can apply not only to humans but to every living creature. The next ones are specifically about human life:

Love: Love is the expression of deep care and attachment to someone (or in some cases, something), and the feeling that if that someone (or something) is not there, you will significantly miss them and suffer because of that. As such, the existence of that someone gives meaning and reason for your existence.

Learning: Humans are the only highly intelligent life form on Earth. As such, we have an ability beyond any other creature - to learn and apply what we have learned. Not to want to learn is a waste of human potential. And by the way, I should mention that those people with mental disabilities are not at fault for this - it's not that they don't want to learn, it's just that something prevents them. Learning is what truly defines us as intelligent beings, and as such it gives great meaning to human life.

Self-realization: A person's ultimate goal in life, beyond surviving, finding a mate, having sex, and leaving offspring is that person's self-realization. Not all people want to do this, but many do. Those that succeed are those who are remembered. For those who wish to be remembered, self-realization is one of the most important meanings of human life.

Prolonging human life: This is an extension of "the prevention of Life's destruction" - and basically, humans have fought for centuries to find out how they can extend their longevity. The search for whatever it is that will allow humans to live longer gives meaning to human life.

Pursuit of pleasure / Avoidance of pain: Technically, it is possible to live, love, learn, reach your ultimate goal in life, and prolong your life or the lives of others, while still having pleasure and avoiding pain. But this is not realistic. Anyone who puts any effort towards the accomplishment of any important goal knows that there will be pain involved. So like I said in my previous post, "yes on pleasure" and "no on pain" aren't meanings or purposes of life. They are just a way of living it. And like I also said, some people don't take this way. Some people live their lives with a lot of pain and a lot of suffering, whether or not that is their choice.

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