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Old 18th May 2017, 12:39   #1 (permalink)
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The meaning of life

There is a reason why we are here which we share with every other living being or organism that lives or has ever lived and is the prime force behind each and every one of us. This is the overriding motivation to increase the numbers of our own species at all costs including the cost of any other living organism.
This characteristic has, through time, proved self-limiting. Any life form that has success in overpowering other life forms runs into the obstacle of its habitat running out. Consider bacteria who can totally destroy another life by increasing in numbers but in doing so removes their own life support system and eliminates themselves - only continuing their species by the survivors locating another habitat (which it then goes on to destroy) or by modifying itself.
One of the best examples is In the case of the obligate anaerobes who populated the globe some 2.4 billion years ago they were so successful that they removed Carbon Monoxide (necessary for them) in the atmosphere replacing it with Oxygen which was poisonous to them. Species that followed (us included) were required to utilize Oxygen in order to survive and I suppose we have to thank the little obligate anaerobes who gave up their lives in order that this might happen!

Are we humans about to emulate the little obligate anaerobes?
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Old 18th May 2017, 12:42   #2 (permalink)
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Why are we here?
Here are some popular options from various sources:
• We are here to get make money and spend it on a bunch of stuff.
• We are here to become as well-liked, respected, famous, powerful, or as high on the ladder of social status as possible.
• We are here to kind of float through and enjoy the trip, and have as much "fun" as possible (a.k.a. "The Universe As Our Personal Disneyland" perspective).
• "The very purpose of existence is to reconcile the glowing opinion we hold of ourselves with the appalling things that other people think about us." - Quentin Crisp
• We are here to find the perfect guy or girl, make them fall madly in love with us, and live happily ever after. ( - or, live happily ever after at least until it's time to go...).
• We are here to have sex. Maybe as much as possible.
• We are here to be a success at . . . something.
• We are here to work like dogs, pay taxes, get old, get sick, and die, without ever knowing why.
• We are here to save the planet ( . . . and why is the planet here?)
• We are here for some purpose or reason, and we don't know what that is, and will never know - except for the fact that somehow we think we know that this "purpose" or "reason" involves it being very important to not ask ourselves why we are here.
• We are here to have children (. . . and . . . why are they here?)
• We are here to pass on our genes ( . . . and why are they, our genes, here?)
• We are here for reasons we don't understand and never will, so we're supposed to just blindly stumble through life trying to do the best we can anyways.
• We are here to set goals and achieve them . . . and then set more and achieve them, and so on, ad infinitum or until we die.
• We're here to evolve. (Evolve into what? )
• Behaviourism: we are here to seek pleasure and avoid pain (and why is pain and pleasure here?)
• Freud: to be torn between our instincts and societal expectations - hopefully reaching some sort of compromise - until we die.
• We are here to love others. (. . . and why are others here?)
• We are here to face and overcome whatever challenges life throws at us.
• We are here to try to live a secure and comfortable life, typically in spite of not knowing why we're tasked with this burden of always trying to find comfort and security, and rarely actually finding it.
• The "Economy of Happiness": We are here to squeeze the maximum amount of fun and happiness possible into our lives before we die (a.k.a. maximum hedonism)
• We are here to distract ourselves from asking why we are here.
• We are here to prepare ourselves for the moment of death.
• We don't know why we're here, we'll never know why we're here - and we absolutely know that for sure.
• We are here to breed.
• We are here because of "the Plan" (and what is "the Plan"?)
• We are here to survive - meaning, keep our bodies alive - for as long as possible, even though we're going to die anyway.
• We are here for no reason or purpose at all. It's all meaningless (nihilism).
• We are here for "a reason" (and either ask "what exactly is that reason?" or just leave it at that)
• We are here to screw around and try to have a few good times before we hit the grave.
• Psychological: We are here to work on ourselves, overcome our neurosis, understand our childhood, become a self-individualized human, release our "inner children," unleash our repressed emotions, and free up our impulses.
• We are here to find a game worth playing, and playing it to the absolute best of our ability.
• We are here because we have a duty and mission to carry out.
• We are here for reasons we do not understand, but we can understand if we decide to figure them out and do the work necessary to do so.
• We are here to overcome the world.
• We are here to overcome ourselves.
• We are here to promote health instead of disease, wealth instead of poverty, wisdom instead of ignorance, love instead of indifference, justice instead of injustice, peace instead of conflict, etc.
• All we need to worry about is not doing what we're not here for; then what we are here for will take are of itself.
• We are here to find certain people who really did know why they were here (such as perhaps Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed, Lao-Tzu, and others) - and follow their lead.
• We are here for something nobody else can tell us, but we can find for ourselves, like a secret code inside ourselves that only we can crack.
• We are here to change the world, or bring about "heaven on earth."
• Erich Fromm: "Man's main task in life is to give birth to himself."
• The Matrix: We are for food, or so that our vitality or life-force can be drained to feed parasites we can't see and know nothing about.
• We are here to perfect ourselves.
• We are here to attain total spiritual enlightenment.
• We are here to survive/find immortality (Isn't this a circular argument? Say we do find a way to scientifically make us capable of surviving forever, or even much longer than we do now . . . so what? As the quote goes . . . "Many folks long for immortality who don't know what to do with themselves on a Sunday afternoon...") - and if the purpose of this life is to find a way to live another one . . . what's the purpose of that one?)
• We are here to try to find the key to immortal life before our time here runs out.
• Shakespeare: "All that lives must die, passing through nature to eternity." - Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 2 (We are here to pass through nature to eternity)
• We are here to find the "Holy Grail", the "Philosopher's Stone", to become enlightened or to find ultimate knowledge.
• We are here to do battle, either to fight evil on the side of good, or to fight good on the side of evil.
• We are here to learn how to love each another. (and what is "love"?); "We are all born for love; it is the principle of existence and its only end." - Benjamin Disraeli
• We are here to find God (and what is "God"?)
• We are here to be heroes, to fight the dragon and save the beautiful princess. (and the "dragon" is our own "ego," the princess is our own "soul").
• We are here to find real happiness.
• Man is here to learn how to love woman properly.
• Woman is here to learn how to love man properly.
• In some huge way, we are asleep; we are here to wake up.
• We are here because God is playing hide-and-seek with himself.
• The world is a prison where we have been given a life sentence; we are here either to 1) try to make ourselves more comfortable or enjoy our stay in the prison, or 2) try to escape.
• We are here to put up cool web sites about finding "IT".
• We are here to spend our lives for some form of noble cause, pursuit, or mission, as in, we are here to be soldiers of God.
• We are here to develop our character.
• We are here to overcome suffering
• Martin Luther King: "If a man hasn't discovered something he's willing to die for, he isn't fit to live."
• Groundhog Day: We are here to basically live the same day, over and over again, until we get it right. (See also Buddhism/Hinduism: We are here to be reincarnated, over and over and over again, until we become "enlightened.")
• Christianity: We are here to find and experience some form of "salvation," or to get to heaven, which is somewhere close to or with God; we are here to "love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might," and "love thy neighbor as thyself;" we are here to work to establish "The Kingdom of Heaven" on Earth.
• Yoga: "The sole object of life is the attainment of Self-realization or Absolute Freedom. Devote every minute of your life for this grand attainment." - Swami Sivananda
• Barry Long: "Is it intelligent to ignore the possibility that the sweetest natural physical sensation two human beings can produce together on earth (sex) signifies a reality?"
• We are here to figure out, or remember, who we really are.
• We are here to find "IT".
• George Bernard Shaw: "This is the true joy in life - being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you consistent."
• Peter Deunov: "We have come to earth to learn to love God who has created and loves us. When we learn how to love Him we shall understand the meaning of our life, and our relationships with others will become clear."
• Tagore: "The infinite seeks the intimate presence of the finite, the finite to disappear in the infinite. I do not know whose scheme this is . . . that the bound should be on a search after freedom - freedom asking to be housed in the bound."
• Albert Einstein: "A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."
(- sounds great . . . but how?)
• Léon Bloy: "Every man is on earth to symbolize something he is ignorant of and to realize a particle or a mountain of the invisible materials that will serve to build the City of God."
• Charles K. Bellinger: "Human beings fall into traps on the right side or on the left side when they live in the finite to the exclusion of the infinite, or when they seek freedom to the exclusion of necessity, or when they live in the temporal while ignoring the eternal. The goal of human life, then, is the difficult task of holding together these paradoxical elements in a creative synthesis. The highest and truest pathway in life can be compared to walking along a narrow mountain ridge. It is always possible to fall off the ridge to the right or to the left, but the successful walker continues forward maintaining a balance."
• We are here in order to behave like every living creature or organism throughout the history of the world and that is to grow the numbers of our own species at all costs
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Old 18th May 2017, 12:48   #3 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funfly View Post
Are we humans about to emulate the little obligate anaerobes?
Not, but slightly less than half of all americans still voted for him.

PDR
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Old 18th May 2017, 12:52   #4 (permalink)
 
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Why are we here?

We are here because of mum and dad.
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Old 18th May 2017, 13:03   #5 (permalink)
 
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(Includes the meaning of the universe and everything too.)
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Old 18th May 2017, 13:13   #6 (permalink)
 
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chevvron, you beat me to it!!

cattletruck's reply is good too!
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Old 18th May 2017, 13:23   #7 (permalink)
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Why are we here?

"Everybody has to be somewhere."

(Spike Milligan)
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Old 18th May 2017, 13:27   #8 (permalink)
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The answer is summed up perfectly in the British soldiers' drinking song...

"We're 'ere because we're 'ere, because we're 'ere because we're 'ere..." (ad infinitum)
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Old 18th May 2017, 13:56   #9 (permalink)
 
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Just where is 'here', exactly? Doesn't every man (and woman) have his/her own personal 'here'?

Is there meaning to the search for meaning?
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Old 18th May 2017, 14:05   #10 (permalink)
 
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i am here. The rest of you are a product of my fertile imagination.
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Old 18th May 2017, 14:17   #11 (permalink)
 
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In the beginning there was nothing: then it exploded. - *Woody Allen (with apolgies if not 100% accurate)*

*Edited ('cos I got it wrong - thanks G CPTN)*

So try this:
“In the beginning, there was nothing. And God said, “Let there be light.” And there was light. There was still nothing, but you could see it a lot better.” - Woody Allen

Last edited by BATCO; 19th May 2017 at 10:47.
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Old 18th May 2017, 14:23   #12 (permalink)
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I'm only here for the beer.

Well, cider actually.
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Old 18th May 2017, 14:26   #13 (permalink)
 
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This ...

Quote:
The world is a prison where we have been given a life sentence; we are here either to 1) try to make ourselves more comfortable or enjoy our stay in the prison, or 2) try to escape.
We are alone on planet Earth in the Universe because we have been shunned by God for fear of infecting other civilisations with our greed, envy, murderousness, shallowness, and selfishness.

Only when we escape from this planet via Death will we be measured to see how we did in this prison. If we cared for other human beings with compassion, shunned constant wealth gathering, rejected selfishness, didn't indulge in envy or greed or hatred - and didn't murder anyone just because we decided we didn't want to share our part of the prison with them, then we will be rewarded with freedoms and pleasures that we never knew of, here.
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Old 18th May 2017, 14:31   #14 (permalink)
 
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Where am I?

Who am I?

What am I?

I'm only here because I can't be everywhere.

I still can't answer the question ... does the light in the fridge really go off when I shut the door ?"
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Old 18th May 2017, 14:37   #15 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
The Book: It is important to note that suddenly, and against all probability, a sperm whale had been called into existence, several miles above the surface of an alien planet. And since this is not a naturally tenable position for a whale, this innocent creature had very little time to come to terms with its identity. This is what it thought, as it fell:

The Whale: Ahhh! Woooh! What's happening? Who am I? Why am I here? What's my purpose in life? What do I mean by who am I? Okay okay, calm down calm down get a grip now. Ooh, this is an interesting sensation. What is it? Its a sort of tingling in my... well I suppose I better start finding names for things. Lets call it a... tail! Yeah! Tail! And hey, what's this roaring sound, whooshing past what I'm suddenly gonna call my head? Wind! Is that a good name? It'll do. Yeah, this is really exciting. I'm dizzy with anticipation! Or is it the wind? There's an awful lot of that now isn't it? And what's this thing coming toward me very fast? So big and flat and round, it needs a big wide sounding name like 'Ow', 'Ownge', 'Round', 'Ground'! That's it! Ground! Ha! I wonder if it'll be friends with me? Hello, Ground!

[Cuts to a distant view as the whale hits the ground and spews up a large mushroom cloud of snow]

The Book: Curiously, the only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias, as it fell, was, "Oh no, not again!" Many people have speculated that if we knew exactly *why* the bowl of petunias had thought that we would know a lot more about the nature of the universe than we do now.
(with credit to the late Douglas Adams)
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Old 18th May 2017, 14:50   #16 (permalink)
 
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onetrack's reply rather surprised me!! I didn't realise that setting up a convict colony out there so long ago was going to have such a lasting effect on the thinking in that country!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by lomapaseo
... does the light in the fridge really go off when I shut the door ?
The modern version of the question about a cat?

G-CPTN, that was an 'Eccles' comment in "The Last Goon Show of All", 5 October 1972. (GSPS - Index Page of The Goon Show Preservation Society)
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Old 18th May 2017, 14:56   #17 (permalink)
 
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I'm here because my dad got an unexpected 48 pass before embarking on a 6 months tour of the Med. A bottle of cheap sherry helped my creation on it's way. Well that's the story!
Best to have no illusions why we're here, the majority of us are here by accident.
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Old 18th May 2017, 15:13   #18 (permalink)

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I named my kids Warsteiner, Heineken and Jagermeister. I forget why.....
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Old 18th May 2017, 15:33   #19 (permalink)
 
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does the light in the fridge really go off when I shut the door?
Yes. It's fukkin freezing in here and I canardly see this keyboard.
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Old 18th May 2017, 18:47   #20 (permalink)
 
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Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?

A: For the experience.


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