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Existentialism


Guest Keira

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Then again life does not have to have meaning. Meaning is something dogma requires. Many people life full and enjoyable lives with out meaning. Does the universe have meaning? Does sand have meaning? It is emotions that are not controlled than create an uneasy feeling unless traditionally there is an answer. Meditation can help understand that emptiness.

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Then again life does not have to have meaning. Meaning is something dogma requires. Many people life full and enjoyable lives with out meaning. Does the universe have meaning? Does sand have meaning? It is emotions that are not controlled than create an uneasy feeling unless traditionally there is an answer. Meditation can help understand that emptiness.

Yeah, that's a good point. I suppose some people are content to live "meaningless" lives, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I suspect most of us do feel the need to find some kind of meaning or purpose. I'll add links to a couple of related philosophies...

Absurdism: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Absurdism

Nihilism: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nihilism

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Without meaning is not necessarily "meaningless". Personal goals as well as humanitarian goals do not have to relate to, or employ universal goals or meaning.

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Without meaning is not necessarily "meaningless". Personal goals as well as humanitarian goals do not have to relate to, or employ universal goals or meaning.

I think that's basically what existentialism tries to show... that there is no universal or objective meaning to life. Or if there is, it's unattainable. In that sense life itself is "meaningless". But instead, we can still create personal or humanitarian goals to achieve some element of meaning in our own lives.

For instance, some religions regard finding enlightenment or salvation as the meaning to life. But really, do such concepts even exist? I'd rather set my sights a bit closer to home and find meaning in learning, education, happiness, and other personal goals. :)

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how could life have no meaning? that would make everything... pointless. and thus there would be no right and no wrong, so no anything. meaning is the reason behind everything.

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how could life have no meaning? that would make everything... pointless. and thus there would be no right and no wrong, so no anything. meaning is the reason behind everything.

A life without meaning or point can be freeing. If I stop and ask myself "why am I here?", I can't come up with a solid answer. I don't believe I was born into the world with any pre-determined purpose, so I'm free to create my own goals and follow my own path. I'm responsible for how my life turns out by the choices I make along the way. As for right and wrong, they are both very subjective. Whether something is "right" or "wrong" depends entirely on the situation and one's personal values.

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Yes, right and wrong can be subjective, but if you were an observer that knew everything you would have an absolute knowledge of right and wrong. But if everything was pointless and had no meaning, the observer couldn't say anything was right or wrong because everything has no purpose, point, or reason. Just sounds degrading to me.

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Yes, right and wrong can be subjective, but if you were an observer that knew everything you would have an absolute knowledge of right and wrong.

Yes, but since such an observer doesn't exist, we have to accept that absolute knowledge of right and wrong is unattainable.

But if everything was pointless and had no meaning, the observer couldn't say anything was right or wrong because everything has no purpose, point, or reason. Just sounds degrading to me.

I agree, the observer couldn't say anything was right or wrong... from an objective point of view. But instead of saying something is right or wrong in itself, he could still say that he believes something is right or wrong according to his own values. In some cultures, sacrificing animals is morally sound. To others, it's morally abhorrent. Nobody can objectively say which of these cultures is right.

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to our knowledge the absolute truth is unattainable, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. to answer the sacrificing animals, you would need more information that that alone. you can't judge based on surface value.

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to our knowledge the absolute truth is unattainable, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. to answer the sacrificing animals, you would need more information that that alone. you can't judge based on surface value.
[but if you were an observer that knew everything you would have an absolute knowledge of right and wrong/quote]

The fact is that "absolute' has never been attained and may not exist . It is a belief, which definition is up there with infinity. When we run into abstract ideas which border on our ability to understand some people have to assign an answer even if it is not true. The facts are that there are things we do not know. The best we can do is ask questions and look for facts to answer them.

Right and wrong only exist in the human subjective judgment. questions look at the facts that go on around us and try to find general themes that can predict under the same conditions the same thing will happen. We understand and live in 4 dimensions.Things like radio waves have been here since the beginning of known history however it has only been the last few hundred years we have the ability to detect them. I am guessing that there are many other things here we do not detect at the present time. Looking at past history it is probable that we will detect more things in the future. This is not absolute.

Math predicts over 10 dimensions, that is a belief until the facts are proved.

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  • 6 years later...

One of my dear friends (who is no longer on this physical plane) once told me he believed there was no good or evil, no right or wrong... just... neutral. It's our minds that decide to categorize things as such. In a way, I agree with that, and when it comes to "meaning" or "purpose", I think that's the same concept... also only within our minds. It's not necessarily a bad thing to find purpose, but sometimes it can be freeing to know that the world isn't going to end just because you didn't fulfill your "life's purpose" xD Everything is just how we percieve it. So in a way... perception goes hand in hand with the concept of existence. "I think, therefore I am"...

My two cents anyway :)

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  • 6 months later...
Guest Syd_UK

i think it depends entirely on the individual. i think there is meaning in some senses but not meaning in others. certainly my reason for being here isnt the same as anyone elses. i think i have the freedom to choose some things but not others. thats been my experience in any case :)

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