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Author Topic: The Purpose of Life  (Read 3289 times)
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February 08, 2012, 02:04:44 AM
 #21

I just do what the super-conscious little voices in my head tell me to do.....  Roll Eyes
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February 12, 2012, 08:49:09 PM
 #22

Years ago I had a habit of asking people what they thought was the purpose of life.  I heard many different ideas over several years.  Most just so-so but some very interesting ones.  My favorite was, "life is an exercise in self-discipline".  I think that saying has a lot to be said for it.  If one has never had to be disciplined to achieve something than the achievements do not really matter so much.  The harder we work for something the more we feel rewarded when we accomplish what we set out to do.  The more I though about it the more I liked that response.  All in all, I think that is the best definition of life I have heard.

As long as I wake up breathing it's all a bonus.  Sometimes not much of a bonus but still a bonus.
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February 14, 2012, 03:31:36 AM
 #23

Years ago I had a habit of asking people what they thought was the purpose of life.  I heard many different ideas over several years.  Most just so-so but some very interesting ones.  My favorite was, "life is an exercise in self-discipline".  I think that saying has a lot to be said for it.  If one has never had to be disciplined to achieve something than the achievements do not really matter so much.  The harder we work for something the more we feel rewarded when we accomplish what we set out to do.  The more I though about it the more I liked that response.  All in all, I think that is the best definition of life I have heard.

Cool, but i think the purpose of life just can't be defined by few words.

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February 15, 2012, 02:58:23 PM
 #24

To serve God and Jesus in all his gory!  Grin

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February 15, 2012, 03:02:13 PM
 #25

Years ago I had a habit of asking people what they thought was the purpose of life.  I heard many different ideas over several years.  Most just so-so but some very interesting ones.  My favorite was, "life is an exercise in self-discipline".  I think that saying has a lot to be said for it.  If one has never had to be disciplined to achieve something than the achievements do not really matter so much.  The harder we work for something the more we feel rewarded when we accomplish what we set out to do.  The more I though about it the more I liked that response.  All in all, I think that is the best definition of life I have heard.

Cool, but i think the purpose of life just can't be defined by few words.


Sure you can.

Eat. Shit. Sleep. Mate. Fight. Play. Die.

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February 15, 2012, 10:09:16 PM
 #26

Years ago I had a habit of asking people what they thought was the purpose of life.  I heard many different ideas over several years.  Most just so-so but some very interesting ones.  My favorite was, "life is an exercise in self-discipline".  I think that saying has a lot to be said for it.  If one has never had to be disciplined to achieve something than the achievements do not really matter so much.  The harder we work for something the more we feel rewarded when we accomplish what we set out to do.  The more I though about it the more I liked that response.  All in all, I think that is the best definition of life I have heard.

Cool, but i think the purpose of life just can't be defined by few words.


Sure you can.

Eat. Shit. Sleep. Mate. Fight. Play. Die.

Eat. Shit. Sleep. Mate. Fight. Play. Troll. Die.

Fixed!
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February 15, 2012, 11:01:48 PM
 #27

Years ago I had a habit of asking people what they thought was the purpose of life.  I heard many different ideas over several years.  Most just so-so but some very interesting ones.  My favorite was, "life is an exercise in self-discipline".  I think that saying has a lot to be said for it.  If one has never had to be disciplined to achieve something than the achievements do not really matter so much.  The harder we work for something the more we feel rewarded when we accomplish what we set out to do.  The more I though about it the more I liked that response.  All in all, I think that is the best definition of life I have heard.

Cool, but i think the purpose of life just can't be defined by few words.


Sure you can.

Eat. Shit. Sleep. Mate. Fight. Play. Die.

Eat. Shit. Sleep. Mate. Fight. Play. Troll. Die.

Fixed!


Eat shit. Sleep-mate. Playfight. Troll die (pretend you died to troll).

Fixed fixed!

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February 16, 2012, 07:06:02 AM
 #28

I don't like the EAT-SHIT thing, honestly.

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February 16, 2012, 07:47:49 AM
 #29

Eating and shitting aren't the purpose. That is like saying the purpose of driving is to burn gas and pump water vapor and carcinogens into the air.
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February 16, 2012, 07:55:55 AM
 #30

Eating and shitting aren't the purpose.

They are some of them, if you think the purpose of life is to enjoy yourself. You saying you don't like  a good shit?




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February 16, 2012, 08:12:26 AM
 #31

I like pleasure and hate pain as much as the next person. I just don't think pleasure is the purpose of life, I think it is something programmed into some lifeforms to encourage survival and reproduction. A means to an end.

We are probably answering different questions. For me, the real answer needs to also apply to trees, bacteria, etc. I think this kind of answer will also indicate what behavior will lead to the most pleasure and happiness.
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February 16, 2012, 03:05:14 PM
 #32

I like pleasure and hate pain as much as the next person. I just don't think pleasure is the purpose of life, I think it is something programmed into some lifeforms to encourage survival and reproduction. A means to an end.

We are probably answering different questions. For me, the real answer needs to also apply to trees, bacteria, etc. I think this kind of answer will also indicate what behavior will lead to the most pleasure and happiness.

That's already #4 on the list

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February 17, 2012, 07:52:27 AM
 #33

I don't like the EAT-SHIT thing, honestly.

You just eat at McD for the toy?

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February 17, 2012, 08:25:21 AM
 #34

The purpose of Life (in so far as an anthropomorphic personification of an abstract idea can be said to have a purpose) is simply to make more copies of itself. I didn't think there could be any disagreement on such a basic tenet of biological science.

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Crypt_Current
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February 17, 2012, 08:42:57 AM
 #35

The purpose of life is knowledge (or more specifically, the encoding of data into information by use of symbols):  The One Thing had to (quite schizophrenically) divide Itself because It had already observed All Else (forward through time, culminating in the Ultimate One which is by definition outside all space and time)... The Self was the final thing to observe (and thus create), but there is no reference point for observation when there is only one thing -- so It underwent the Pain of Division and became Many, backwards through time, so that the Joy of Dissolution could be experienced by All (which are really just parts of It), and create It again...

... Lather, rinse, repeat.

Recommended reading:  The Physics of Immortality, and (to a lesser extent) The Physics of Christianity, both by Frank J Tipler (professor of physics and mathematics at Tulane University).

The former title is some of the most WTF, yet believable sci-fi cosmology speculation I have ever read.  The latter title is even more WTF, but slightly less believable, but still extremely interesting.

The books mentioned are actually written in the language of math and physics, not the hokey new-agish crap I spewed at you in the opening paragraph.

I also want to give a "SHOUT OUTZ" to mah homey the Joint for starting this jagged thread... Represent the MidWaste, killah.  Smoke ta dat!  HELLANOIS WUT.  ok i should sleep.

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Crypt_Current
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February 17, 2012, 08:49:59 AM
 #36

The purpose of life is knowledge (or more specifically, the encoding of data into information by use of symbols):  The One Thing had to (quite schizophrenically) divide Itself because It had already observed All Else (forward through time, culminating in the Ultimate One which is by definition outside all space and time)... The Self was the final thing to observe (and thus create), but there is no reference point for observation when there is only one thing -- so It underwent the Pain of Division and became Many, backwards through time, so that the Joy of Dissolution could be experienced by All (which are really just parts of It), and create It again...

... Lather, rinse, repeat.

Recommended reading:  The Physics of Immortality, and (to a lesser extent) The Physics of Christianity, both by Frank J Tipler (professor of physics and mathematics at Tulane University).

The former title is some of the most WTF, yet believable sci-fi cosmology speculation I have ever read.  The latter title is even more WTF, but slightly less believable, but still extremely interesting.

The books mentioned are actually written in the language of math and physics, not the hokey new-agish crap I spewed at you in the opening paragraph.

I also want to give a "SHOUT OUTZ" to mah homey the Joint for starting this jagged thread... Represent the MidWaste, killah.  Smoke ta dat!  HELLANOIS WUT.  ok i should sleep.

Hey also, the Joint -- have you ever watched that "China, IL" show on Adult Swim?  It so fucking reminds me of my days at the local university... (SIUE).  Man, I wish I had written that show back then rather than doing all those drugs.

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Crypt_Current
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February 17, 2012, 08:56:35 AM
 #37

I don't like the EAT-SHIT thing, honestly.

I'd guess most people don't, but can you REALLY say you've lived if you've never seen the Two-Girls-One-Cup???

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February 17, 2012, 09:46:33 AM
 #38

The purpose of Life (in so far as an anthropomorphic personification of an abstract idea can be said to have a purpose) is simply to make more copies of itself. I didn't think there could be any disagreement on such a basic tenet of biological science.

I think its slightly more complicated. The purpose is to facilitate copying more genes similar to your own relative to genes that are more dissimilar. This explains phenomenon like altruism, possibly the existence of homosexuality, care for animals, etc. The caring for animals (like pets) is kind of a hijack, since people can't know exactly how many genes they share with other animals, they use human-like behaviors as a heuristic.

If for all you know it was only you and your ant farm left alive on the earth though, you'd care the shit out of those ants.
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February 17, 2012, 09:51:37 AM
 #39

The purpose of Life (in so far as an anthropomorphic personification of an abstract idea can be said to have a purpose) is simply to make more copies of itself. I didn't think there could be any disagreement on such a basic tenet of biological science.

I think its slightly more complicated. The purpose is to facilitate copying more genes similar to your own relative to genes that are more dissimilar. This explains phenomenon like altruism, possibly the existence of homosexuality, care for animals, etc. The caring for animals (like pets) is kind of a hijack, since people can't know exactly how many genes they share with other animals, they use human-like behaviors as a heuristic.

If for all you know it was only you and your ant farm left alive on the earth though, you'd care the shit out of those ants.

It's immensely more complicated -- life need not be restricted to biological.  IMHO, in the grandest scale of things, the definition of life should include no restrictions save one:  that it reverses entropy.

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February 17, 2012, 10:26:10 AM
 #40

It's immensely more complicated -- life need not be restricted to biological.  IMHO, in the grandest scale of things, the definition of life should include no restrictions save one:  that it reverses entropy.

I think most people here would agree that what's to be replicated is the totality of information one holds. You not only reproduce by physical means, your ideas reproduce themselves (just like your genes do when you reproduce, it's actually their will that pushes you to reproduce more than the totality of "your will"). Not only ideas (in the strictest sense) of course, but your habits, gestures, etc.

Natural selection plays the same role in that arena. If you have an idea that by itself doesn't have self-replicating properties, it will not survive, however "good" it is (therefore you won't call it "good" anyway). Therefore we tend to have ideas that have this property.

I call the totality of these things we talk about, "norms", since the only thing that they have in common is that they are normative.

What I want to speculate about though, is what "self" means in the contest of this discussion. We casually mention pleasure of the self, replication of the self, and so on... However, a person is not atomic. A person is more like a vessel where the fight for dominance is taking place. Not only your ideas are fighting among themselves, there is a more holistic aspect of the quarrel among the totality of your norms. For instance, you can decide not to reproduce, and can spread that norm with passion, even though your body dictates that you should. Of course this war is seamless in every resolution, so everything you do, from holding a cup to forming a sentence, is a result of this process.

This is why superficial hedonism doesn't work. You can take pleasure from anything, and it's up to you as a whole to decide (usually not consciously, sometimes even not mentally) what will please you. Taking this into account, an enlightened hedonism would be in fact the same as any other philosophy of life.

So, briefly, you don't have a definitive purpose at any given moment. You have elements within you that have different purposes. If you want to define yourself as a single atomic entity, that itself defines a purpose. So the purpose would be to find coherence. Know thyself, and all that.
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