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The meaning of life: TO LEARN??

Discussion in 'BoM Blogs' started by coineineagh, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. coineineagh

    coineineagh I wish for a horde to overrun my enemies Resourceful Adored Veteran

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    :confused:What's the meaning of life, the purpose of our existence? I don't dare claim to know the answer to that question. But, by applying the scientific method, I can dismiss certain hypotheses as being highly unlikely, and perhaps reach a preliminary conclusion that I find... good enough for now.

    First of all, our purpose is not to win the Monopoly game:money:; money is entirely a man-made institution, and can be changed. The monetary system leads to aberrant consequences such as competition instead of cooperation, exploitation, paranoia, overproduction, deliberate market scarcity, waste of resources and unnecessary pollution.

    Secondly, our goal isn't to worship/breed/fight for an invisible deity:pope:. Religion can never be completely disproven, but that doesn't lend its claims any more validity. The notion that our test in life is to shut down our reasoning skills, and believe in a god entirely on faith, is very damaging to society. It actively promotes 'belief' and faith-based thinking, not open to the possibility of being wrong. This closedmindedness leads to denials and distortions, struggling with reality itself to uphold its institution.

    :tobattle:Nationalism is yet another false institution. Governments strive to control the social system within their borders, and encourage a perspective that sees its territory and citizens as an entity divorced from all that lay outside these man-made boundaries. This is not realistic. Blaming immigrants and foreign countries for all the problems in society may be comforting (in a childish way), but it will never offer lasting solutions, since the whole system is never taken into consideration. You've gotta take care of the whole family - favouritism leads to dysfuntionality.

    :hippy:Promoting your own culture definitely isn't the meaning of life either. Culture is merely an amalgam of language, social habits and local superstitions. Seeing culture as a goal in itself, is quite hard to sell. In order to improve communication and cooperation, we need to blend interational cultures, especially in cities.

    :alien:Racial superiority is the most obviously wrong institution of them all - very few people follow this path openly today. But it is a chance to learn: If you can see why racism is wrong, perhaps you can see why cultural superiority, national superiority, organised religion and the monetary system are harmful and destructive too...

    The final institution I mention may be the toughest nut to crack: Family. As an evolutionary biologist, I am very aware of the importance of genetic relatedness towards social behaviour and altruism. Striving to preserve your bloodline is a very basic instinct. People fail to see that EVERYONE on this planet is very closely related to one another, our genetic similarities are staggering. Instead, we focus on our differences, somehow believing that these differences make our direct kin more special, and more worthy of support than others. But these small differences are nothing more than mutations, imperfections, and genetic flaws. To think that countless family feuds, even wars and atrocities have been committed over deleterious genes and junk-DNA, is quite laughable:hahaerr: (in a morbid way).
    It isn't hard to see how family-based thinking is basically an extension of selfishness and individualism. The 'family'-instiution has eventually lead to concepts like culture, nationalism, racism, social class, even religion. It's all a good vs. evil dichotomy really: US good guys, THEM bad guys.
    Please don't get me wrong: Family can be a good thing. Have children, and by all means, love them. Just don't make the mistake of thinking that your kids need to be PROTECTED FROM society, rather than be a PART OF it. Your children should cement your involvement in society, rather than increase your fear of it. If you want to choose family as your meaning of life, try not to neglect the WHOLE family: as I've said before, favouritism leads to dysfuntionality!

    As a subculture within the family institution, is the concept of respect for elders:geezer:. It´s understandable how this came to be in the past, but it often leads to aberrant behaviour: Planes have crashed, because young pilots were reluctant to speak up to their elder captain. Children are killed in certain cultures with powerful family institutionalism, merely for not following the demands of their parents. If someone insults your parents and you fight for their honour, while you know full well they never met them, then you're only making yourself vulnerable to manipulation. Older people are often not aware of, or even open to, new ideas. When you grow old, you become weaker, more vulnerable. This often leads to fearfulness, cynicism, and disgruntlement. Nowadays, the 'baby boomers' are becoming the elders of our direct families. They never saw the horrors of the 1st and 2nd world wars, and are less inclined to remind us of the negative consequences of nationalism, racism, or fascism. They are neutral, sometimes favourable towards discrimination of immigrants, especially of more exotic language, culture, religion and nationality. I'm of the opinion that these people (elders) are NOT the ones we should be putting on a pedestal, REGARDLESS of their wisdom or integrity. I'd suggest a more practical approach: If the elders in question display wisdom and integrity, then grant them the respect they deserve. But if they're talking nonsense, DON'T adopt or defend their viewpoint irrespective of consequences. And perhaps you might dare inform them of what idiots:bang: they are, just be prepared for the inevitable accusation of being 'disrespectful'. I DO respect elders, when they deserve my respect. A lot of what I've discussed is an extension of the work of Jaque Fresco, a 94-year-old industrial designer and social engineer (but YES, I did write this all myself). If respecting elders is your meaning of life, make sure you pick the wisest elders from the world's extended family, or you'll have a disappointing life.

    None of the abovementioned establishments seem to be an adequate 'meaning of life'. Reality seems to be emergent, not established. :idea:New ideas are contantly added to the sum of human intellect. Institutional establishments (Money, Religion, Nationality, Culture, Race, Family) have already adopted a 'workable point of view', and as a result, actively oppose new ideas that challenge their concepts.
    But history has shown that new ideas inevitably lead to improvements, in society, technology, in everything. So, perhaps it's these new ideas that are worthy of admiration, perhaps the meaning of life should revolve around the promotion of new ideas. In a word: LEARNING.

    I hypothesize that the meaning of life is TO LEARN:book:. We should strive to increase our sum total of knowledge, through open, honest discussion. Knowledge brings power, and feeling powerful reduces your fear of the unknown. It is this battle that we make everyday, between FEAR and LOVE, faith and learning, selfishness and cooperation, stagnation and progress, paranoia and confidence.
    The Scientific Method is LOVE. This may sound very weird, but it only illustrates how detached we are from reality. Unbiased openness, critical thinking, and intellectual debate represent an escape from mysticism, embracing reality. And it is this debate that we must truly protect, not any institution that seeks to end debate:nono:.
    The importance of proper debate must not be underestimated either: If your goal is to win the argument, then you're NOT HELPING:help:, even if you are RIGHT. Being open to the possibility that you may be wrong:skeptic:, is more important than being right. Winning a discussion does not make you more right:shame:. The true victor is the person who admits to being wrong, for it is this person who demonstrates true wisdom. In my opinion, admitting to being wrong is the beginning of civilization. Stubbornness may be the end of it, though I can only hope not. The best way to combat all this dysfuntional behaviour, is to tackle intellectual materialism at its heart: THERE'S NO SHAME IN BEING WRONG. People that seek to embarass you for being exposed as wrong, or voluntarily admitting to an error, those people damage their own integrity. Making mistakes only shows you are LEARNING and improving, an admirable state of mind. Once this is recognized in society, all the false institutions will crumble away, eroded at their foundation.

    If any of this stuff makes *any* sense to you, check out this other stuff:
    TheraminTrees, greenman3610, QualiaSoup
    Zeitgeist & Zeitgeist Addendum (movies)
    The Venus Project (featured in Zeitgeist Addendum)
     
  2. Silvery

    Silvery I won't pretend to be your friend coz I'm just not ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran

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    Maybe it isn't about the meaning of this life or even this plain of existance. Maybe it's about the next one
     
  3. coineineagh

    coineineagh I wish for a horde to overrun my enemies Resourceful Adored Veteran

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    So we must bet that the God of the Bible is true, entirely on faith? Which particular brand of christianity, and what makes this any more likely than the other evidence-free organized religions on this planet? I'd prefer to invest in the knowable, rather than the unknowable. If we truly are being tested by an omniscient deity who refuses to show himself, then the cards were already stacked heavily against us. Even if you miraculously guessed the deity AND his wishes right, an omniscient being would still know your actions were the product of a mercenary bet, already putting your faith into question. But it raises the question why: Why would a deity require you to worship him, while refusing to show himself? Is belief and faith-based thinking such an admirable quality to display in His honour? I'd seriously question the morality of any deity that makes such unreasonable demands, and deliberately causes such widespread confusion on the issue, by not making itself clear.
     
  4. 8people

    8people 8 is just another way of looking at infinite ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran

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    It's also 'Plane' of existance, unless there's a grassland area somewhere that holds the answers :D

    Which would be bloody typical.
     
  5. Silvery

    Silvery I won't pretend to be your friend coz I'm just not ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran

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    Plain/plane whatever, I was drunk when I wrote it and I'm drunk now so stop being snippy kiddo!
     
  6. Disciple of The Watch

    Disciple of The Watch Preparing The Coming of The New Order Veteran

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    Life has no meaning. Live, work, die, and be forgotten.
     
  7. Silvery

    Silvery I won't pretend to be your friend coz I'm just not ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran

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    Hello Mr. Sunshine
     
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