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Humanism and Existentialism
Posted: 16 June 2014 05:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 91 ]
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Occam, You and I were being silly…  Who would have thought us capable of such a thing?

But seriously, GdB, I appreciate your input.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 16 June 2014 06:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 92 ]
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GdB - 16 June 2014 03:17 AM

...When somebody stands for a difficult decision in his life, it doesn’t make sense trying to help him by explaining him how atoms, nerves, and hormones work, even if your explanations are scientifically correct.

What might help him is thinking about the decision in terms of what he believes his life is about, i.e., his personal sense of meaning. 

But what we are talking about is not the decision making, so much, as it is, the validity of the meaning (which might guide the decision making).

So in this task, (determining the validity of one’s ascribed meaning) I think it is useful to bring all of one’s knowledge, that might be relevant, to bear.  It could be relevant, for example, to recognize the parameters within which one is operating, in coming to the determination of one’s meaning for their life.

It is relevant, I think, to consider that we are a product of the laws of the natural universe.

While it seems clear that the natural universe, simply being and operating as it has, not being sentient, as far as we know, does not assign meaning to the lives of humans, I think that it might still be worthwhile to consider how and under what limitations, our capacity to assign meaning to our lives, has come about and currently operates.  (Sorry for the run-on sentence).

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 16 June 2014 06:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 93 ]
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VYAZMA - 16 June 2014 08:10 AM

...Seriously? You are a philosopher Tim…

That is kind of you to say.  But when it comes to Philosophy, I have not stood on the shoulders of giants.  (I fear the potential oxygen deprivation.)  I do well to peek around their ankles, a bit.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 16 June 2014 06:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 94 ]
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Lois - 16 June 2014 04:56 PM

History is written by the survivors. Nobody hears from the people who died. Many died before reproducing, too.

Lois

Then, let’s give a shout-out in memory of all of the non-breeder losers.  No doubt they played a role as well.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 16 June 2014 06:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 95 ]
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Quoting Lois:

History is written by the survivors. Nobody hears from the people who died. Many died before reproducing, too.

  Sorry, Lois, but that’s not at all true.  The idea that history is written by the winners, is a completely different concept.  Certainly, the Greek philosophers, and even jesus christ had a huge impact on history, and we keep hearing from them although they died, even if they had no offspring.

Quoting TimB:

Occam, You and I were being silly

  Hey, that’s part of the pleasure everyone is talking about.  I also find that I can slip in strong concepts subtly while joking.  I figure that being a wise-ass is whats kept me alive so far.  LOL

Occam

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Posted: 16 June 2014 06:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 96 ]
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Occam. - 16 June 2014 06:35 PM

...  I figure that being a wise-ass is whats kept me alive so far.  LOL

Occam

I hope that’s true.  If so, I may have more years left than I figured.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 16 June 2014 08:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 97 ]
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Occam. - 16 June 2014 11:41 AM

....nor does meaning have an independent existence in the universe.

BTW, note the succinctness of the response. smile

Occam

Succinctness noted.

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Posted: 17 June 2014 12:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 98 ]
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Occam. - 16 June 2014 11:41 AM

Sorry GdB, but I feel you are much more blind to the original focus of this thread.  Possibly you didn’t follow the discussion as carefully as you could.  The point I (and I think Vyazma) was making was that while meaning is something we as humans may generate, that it is not an intrinsic part of our chemical make-up as living organisms, nor does meaning have an independent existence in the universe.

And my point is that it is an open door and irrelevant to what existentialism and humanism have to say, which the OP was about. After we have asserted that the physical universe does not provide values we can go on, and ask what consequences this fact has for us, individuals. I think TimB does not deny this, but sees that there is another level of explanation we need for explaining our behaviour. (‘I am going to an interview’).

Short enough?

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The light is on, but there is nobody at home.

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Posted: 17 June 2014 09:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 99 ]
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Occam. - 16 June 2014 06:35 PM

Quoting Lois:

History is written by the survivors. Nobody hears from the people who died. Many died before reproducing, too.

  Sorry, Lois, but that’s not at all true.  The idea that history is written by the winners, is a completely different concept.  Certainly, the Greek philosophers, and even jesus christ had a huge impact on history, and we keep hearing from them although they died, even if they had no offspring.

Quoting TimB:

Occam, You and I were being silly

  Hey, that’s part of the pleasure everyone is talking about.  I also find that I can slip in strong concepts subtly while joking.  I figure that being a wise-ass is whats kept me alive so far.  LOL

Occam

Are you saying that history is NOT written by the survivors? How does that work?  history would be vastly different if we could read what the ones who did not survive would write, in the same way that history’s losers are not heard or considered.

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Posted: 17 June 2014 09:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 100 ]
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TimB - 16 June 2014 06:23 PM
Lois - 16 June 2014 04:56 PM

History is written by the survivors. Nobody hears from the people who died. Many died before reproducing, too.

Lois

Then, let’s give a shout-out in memory of all of the non-breeder losers.  No doubt they played a role as well.

But no one is listening!

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Posted: 17 June 2014 10:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 101 ]
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Lois, we seem to be talking about two different things.  Of course, everything including history is written by the living.  However, the question seemed to be whether history would or would not be written by one if s/he had no offspring.

Quoting Lois:

But no one is listening!

  Oh, how I wish that were true, especially in the case of jesus christ and his apostles.

Occam

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