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Is Atheism a Dodge?
Posted: 12 April 2012 12:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 421 ]
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I prefer not to say “life is meaningless.” I prefer to say “the meaning of life is what we make of it.” At the end of the day, there is much meaning and it’s very important. It’s just that we get to decide what that meaning is, rather than having it dictated to us from on high.

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Posted: 12 April 2012 12:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 422 ]
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I find it dishonest when people answer that the meaning of life is whatever we make it to be. That is clearly not what one means when he asks that question. We all know that those who ask that question refer to some objective, universal meaning of life. Here the only answer should be that life has no meaning. Or does anybody really care that some psychopathic pedophile’s meaning of life is raping kids?

Next time somebody asks you that question, please answer what you’re being asked and don’t go making up stuff because you may feel either scared or ashamed.

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Posted: 12 April 2012 12:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 423 ]
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As a former biology teacher, I’d say, in general, that all living creatures have the same meaning of life as per the Prime Directive:  spread your DNA and increase biodiversity.  That seemed to hold true until humans came along.  Now biodiversity is decreasing and on the wane.

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Posted: 12 April 2012 12:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 424 ]
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Since not everybody is interested in reproducing, it is automatically not the meaning of life.

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Posted: 12 April 2012 01:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 425 ]
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George - 12 April 2012 12:49 PM

Since not everybody is interested in reproducing, it is automatically not the meaning of life.

Are you inplying that every one’s life must have the same meaning?  Science and philosophy are based on generalizations, called inductive reasoning. 

The Prime Directive is real, otherwise evolution never would have happened.

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Posted: 12 April 2012 01:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 426 ]
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Aristopus - 12 April 2012 01:07 PM

Are you inplying that every one’s life must have the same meaning?

The “meaning of life” question refers to a universal meaning that corresponds to all of life (or at least to all human beings). Such meaning doesn’t exists.

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Posted: 12 April 2012 01:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 427 ]
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George - 12 April 2012 01:13 PM
Aristopus - 12 April 2012 01:07 PM

Are you inplying that every one’s life must have the same meaning?

The “meaning of life” question refers to a universal meaning that corresponds to all of life (or at least to all human beings). Such meaning doesn’t exists.

Right, but we make up our own local meaning so we have a reason to wake up in the morning…

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Posted: 12 April 2012 01:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 428 ]
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traveler - 12 April 2012 01:30 PM
George - 12 April 2012 01:13 PM
Aristopus - 12 April 2012 01:07 PM

Are you inplying that every one’s life must have the same meaning?

The “meaning of life” question refers to a universal meaning that corresponds to all of life (or at least to all human beings). Such meaning doesn’t exists.

Right, but we make up our own local meaning so we have a reason to wake up in the morning…

Sure, but people don’t care what your meaning of life is when they ask you that question. It’s like when you ask a person if they believe in God and they answer they believe in love or some such nonsense. I don’t like it when people try to confuse that which should be simple.

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Posted: 12 April 2012 02:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 429 ]
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George - 12 April 2012 01:48 PM
traveler - 12 April 2012 01:30 PM
George - 12 April 2012 01:13 PM
Aristopus - 12 April 2012 01:07 PM

Are you inplying that every one’s life must have the same meaning?

The “meaning of life” question refers to a universal meaning that corresponds to all of life (or at least to all human beings). Such meaning doesn’t exists.

Right, but we make up our own local meaning so we have a reason to wake up in the morning…

Sure, but people don’t care what your meaning of life is when they ask you that question. It’s like when you ask a person if they believe in God and they answer they believe in love or some such nonsense. I don’t like it when people try to confuse that which should be simple.

Agreed.

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Posted: 12 April 2012 03:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 430 ]
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Aristopus - 12 April 2012 12:45 PM

As a former biology teacher, I’d say, in general, that all living creatures have the same meaning of life as per the Prime Directive:  spread your DNA and increase biodiversity.  That seemed to hold true until humans came along.  Now biodiversity is decreasing and on the wane.

I thought the prime directive was to not interfere with the development of alien civilizations smile

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“What people do is they confuse cynicism with skepticism. Cynicism is ‘you can’t change anything, everything sucks, there’s no point to anything.’ Skepticism is, ‘well, I’m not so sure.’” -Bill Nye

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Posted: 13 April 2012 05:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 431 ]
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George - 12 April 2012 12:35 PM

I find it dishonest when people answer that the meaning of life is whatever we make it to be. That is clearly not what one means when he asks that question. We all know that those who ask that question refer to some objective, universal meaning of life. Here the only answer should be that life has no meaning. Or does anybody really care that some psychopathic pedophile’s meaning of life is raping kids?

Next time somebody asks you that question, please answer what you’re being asked and don’t go making up stuff because you may feel either scared or ashamed.

I see your point. But I still disagree with you. Meaning in and of itself is always subjective. It’s not my fault that some people want to make it objective and universal. I refuse to agree with those who say life is meaningless because for me it is far from that.

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Posted: 13 April 2012 05:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 432 ]
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FreeInKy - 13 April 2012 05:41 AM

Meaning in and of itself is always subjective.

No, it’s not. The meaning of a book is to be read, the meaning of a song is to be listened to. If there was God then we would have some such meaning too. But there is no God, nor nothing that intended for all of us to be one way or another. The best way, IMO, to describe the universe and our place within it is: shit happens.

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Posted: 13 April 2012 06:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 433 ]
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What I don’t understand, though, is how in a universe where the unifying theory seems to be “shit happens,” some things, like books and songs, can have a meaning.

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Posted: 13 April 2012 06:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 434 ]
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George - 13 April 2012 06:05 AM

What I don’t understand, though, is why in a universe where the unifying theory seems to be “shit happens,” some things, like books and songs, can have a meaning.

They don’t. At least not in your universal interpretation of meaning. They do have meaning in the sense that Free mentions; a local meaning to the “universe” of the mind.

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Posted: 13 April 2012 06:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 435 ]
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George - 13 April 2012 05:53 AM
FreeInKy - 13 April 2012 05:41 AM

Meaning in and of itself is always subjective.

No, it’s not. The meaning of a book is to be read, the meaning of a song is to be listened to. If there was God then we would have some such meaning too. But there is no God, nor nothing that intended for all of us to be one way or another. The best way, IMO, to describe the universe and our place within it is: shit happens.

A book is a collection of pieces of paper with ink on it bound together. I can read it. Or I can make a book safe out of it. Or I can use a bunch of them to build a fort, as I did with the huge stack of Collier’s Encyclopedias my overzealous dad bought for me when I was still too young too read. Furthermore, even if I do read it, I may ascribe an entirely different meaning to the words than you would.

Your meaning is not necessarily my meaning. The best art conveys barely a hint of meaning from the artist—the rest comes from the observer and usually conveys a wide range to interpretations, some of which are contradictory.

Although not created by an artist or any other intelligent agent, I think of the cosmos as a huge gallery of art. Again, it has no inherent meaning. But when experienced by beings with the capacity to appreciate and ascribe meaning to it, it becomes meaningful.

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