Arceupins, on 14 January 2012 - 02:08 AM, said:
Meaning arises from purpose, and purpose from value or worth. This requires a conscious entity to make a subjective appraisal of something.
Thus, reality has no objective meaning. Your life has the purpose, and thus meaning, you choose to give it.
Right, some ways we can think about it to help us get a grasp on what it means to be alive includes considering what the purpose of things are, what the totality of that purpose might be summed up as or not, what has value or not, and then seeing what we might be able to conclude. I spelled out how it seems in the topic, you sort of confirm it, but I think your interpretation may be too literal. I could be wrong though.
Answering this is difficult because it depends on your interpretation of the question, either:
I dont know, I think that it could be difficult, and from what I see of this question over the years, from people, in literature, in philosophy etc. is that many of them get at the notion that it is difficult, but Im not sure that we can say it definitely is. It seems to me that notion sort of discourages people from trying to arrive at an answer to what the meaning of life is. There may not be a way to sum it up, but from what I can see, I think there is.
Interpretation 1: What is the meaning of my life?
Answer: You have to find out for yourself.
I agree, sort of, but the way Im saying it is that, "The meaning of life is to find out as much of the composition of existence as you can, that you can come to want."
"As you can come to want." is getting at the notion of "You have to find out for yourself," except that it aligns it more with an understanding that seems to me to be conducive to an understanding of what it means to be alive. People pursue the question it seems, at least in part because they are interested in understanding the basic guiding outline for what to do with life.
Interpretation 2 - What is the meaning of existence?
Answer: There is none.
I might be approaching this notion wrong, but from what I can see that statement is an unintentional red herring of sorts, and Im not sure that we can say that is true, can we? If we say that existence is meaningless then we imply an existence free of consciousness, free of beings that have ways to sense and understand their surroundings. But isnt human consciousness less a removed part of existence, and more like just another facet of it? As part of the universe, the universe cant be said to have no meaning can it? In other words, if we wanted to make the case that maybe there is no meaning of life, then I dont think we could. I mean, maybe we can, but from what I see, I dont think that it is a case that is there to be made.
I've always enjoyed to imagine the universe without consciousness, if humans just disappeared from the cosmic tapestry, and things just 'were'. Reality is grand.
It seems that would be an unnatural universe for one, possibly a universe that isnt possible. Lets just imagine that there was not any consciousness anywhere in existence. Even if that were the case, which doenst seem possible, the potential for life would always be there, and so the meaning would still be there. Meaning and potential seem pretty interrelated. I would go into that but I think you get the gist of it and for the sake of some brevity I better leave it at that for now.
Reality is grand because the potential for consciousness gives meaning to it in that it can know as much of itself as it can come to want that it can get to before it is potentially destroyed.
Edited by brokenportal, 15 January 2012 - 09:02 PM.