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  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajblaise View Post
    Just look at how we are put together, we spend all day trying to maximize pleasure and minimize pain, so perhaps that is the meaning of our lives.
    On a larger scale, this isn't a bad way to look at it!!!!

  2. #62
    Wonderer Samuel De Mazarin's Avatar
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    Isn't the meaning of life really the meaning of lives, and hence particular to each life? There is no single "life" as it were... thus, we decide on the meaning of our individual lives... the meaning of my life is 'x':

    A super-devoted mother says the meaning of her life is raising her kids...

    A neuroscientist says it's to discover how consciousness develops from neuronal activity (or if not, how it does at all)...

    An Olympic-level sprinter says it's to run faster and faster, to reach the peak of his physical abilities and know himself, his limits, his humanity, better through that...

    A priest says the meaning of his life is to minister to God's people...

    And who are we to argue with these and other folks with distinct ideas about the meanings of their lives?

    For those who don't know, maybe the meaning of their lives is to discover some absolute meaning of life, or barring that, to simply live life... or maybe there is no meaning for them.

    I guess I'm basically saying I think the meaning of one's life is what one decides it is.
    Madman's azure lie: a zen miasma ruled.

    Realize us, Madman!

    I razed a slum, Amen.

    ...............................................

  3. #63
    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    didn't read one post on this thread, so sorry if someone has said the same thing.

    there is no meaning of life. life just is. we, as humans, define this term "meaning" and somehow expect everything to have some.

    so given that nothing means anything, what are we left with? freedom. freedom to pursue our own subjective happiness.

    so be selfish. always. if an action is not going to benefit you in the long term, and costs something (even any amount of effort), then don't do it.

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by dissonance View Post
    so be selfish. always. if an action is not going to benefit you in the long term, and costs something (even any amount of effort), then don't do it.
    The world would be a very dark place if this were the case. Selfless acts are (and have been) among the brightest moments in human existance.

  5. #65
    Member Shadowrose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gokartride View Post
    The world would be a very dark place if this were the case. Selfless acts are (and have been) among the brightest moments in human existance.
    Need to work on your cynicism a bit. There's no such thing as a truly selfless act. ^_^

    Discuss.

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Samuel De Mazarin View Post
    I guess I'm basically saying I think the meaning of one's life is what one decides it is.
    On a practical level I think this is very true, and really, one can run with this and be good to go. I do believe though, along with this, that there is something behind, perhaps even driving, the personal meaning.

    I'm a dad, and a professional, and an artist, and a christian....but the deeper meaning of my purpose for existing drives everything. In my experience, I'd even say propels everything. I'm a much more adventurous, pedal-to-the-metal kinda guy with a sense of overall meaning.

    I'm not sure if it's all about social expectations, either, as one can easily get quite out-of-step with contemporary culture, although that would not be a goal.

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowrose View Post
    Need to work on your cynicism a bit. There's no such thing as a truly selfless act. ^_^

    Discuss.
    I would disagree only in that once one is above 90% selflessness...whatever 10% is left for self is a wash. People have died for others, almost as a matter of instinct. One might scrutinize these actions, but in the end someone lived and someone didn't. It happens.

  8. #68
    Member Shadowrose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gokartride View Post
    I would disagree only in that once one is above 90% selflessness...whatever 10% is left for self is a wash. People have died for others, almost as a matter of instinct. One might scrutinize these actions, but in the end someone lived and someone didn't. It happens.
    You're assuming that doing things for Self vs. for Others is a zero-sum game. I would posit that the more 'selfless' and act, in fact, the more selfish it is. There are rewards aside from resources that one can gain.

    Drug Addiction's a chemical process, other things can produce the same chemicals naturally. ^_^

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowrose View Post
    There are rewards aside from resources that one can gain.
    Perhaps you right, but I still think unbridled, unrestrained selfishness (as mentioned earlier) is a no-win in the long run.

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by gokartride View Post
    Perhaps you right, but I still think unbridled, unrestrained selfishness (as mentioned earlier) is a no-win in the long run.
    Yeah, I agree there. Pure Selfishness for Monetary/Resource Gains is pretty much end-of-the-world bad. Luckily, evolution stuffed all kinds of wonky and fun chemical paths into our heads so we'd be happy just making people smile. I just posit that Altruism's a pointless concept to pursue. ^_^

    I guess my point is that Selfishness is fine, but you have to realize there are more rewards than personal gain.

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