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Philosophy Psychology The Meaning of Life

Indian Summer

Cult Leader
Administrator
It's that time of year when every day feels like that movie 'Groundhog Day', i.e. repetition of the previous day.

Is there any point to all this? What is the meaning of life, if anything?

Let's hear it, what are some popular reasons to get out of bed in the morning?
 

Indian Summer

Cult Leader
Administrator
Coffee, breakfast and my wife's smile. :)
All good things.
The only meaning to life is what you, as an individual, give it.
Agreed ... But what are some typical meanings people give to their lives?

From a biological perspective, the meaning of life is to pass on your genes and perpetuate the species.
Is it, though, even in this day and age? If future generations are doomed thanks to the competition mindset, does it still make sense to spend our limited time and energy on passing on our genes? From a biological perspective, does it not make more sense to try and make some kind of contribution to the survival of the species? In other words, in this day and age where the very survival of our species is at stake, from a biological perspective, is collaboration not more important than competition?
 

KLS52

“SnarkMaster”
Not sure what the meaning is/would be. I now I don’t believe that it’s strictly to be self centered and to get out of it what you can.

For me it’s about trying to make a difference, however small...reaching out to our fellow humans, trying to connect on some level.

An example would be the recent event that happened a few days ago. It kind of blows my mind that after all these years together, we can’t try and reach past the differences and try to connect more on what makes us the same. Everyone has something going on but I think that sometimes when we have issues ourselves, it prohibits us from seeing things/people clearly.

We all come from different backgrounds, cultures, upbringing, etc. Some of us are outgoing and flamboyant in our communication and others are more reserved. That doesn’t make them a snob. For years, because I was quiet/shy people thought I was stuck up which couldn’t be farther from the truth. One of my closest friends was brought up very differently from me. She grew up in a very “proper”, non-demonstrative family. I grew up in the crazy, boisterous, emotional Italian family. We couldn’t be more different and yet, even though she drives me crazy sometimes because I want to shake her to get a reaction out of her, we have bonded in other ways.

I’m a tad emotional right now...is it showing? :p Within ten minutes, yesterday, I was notified of Jenna passing and my sister being admitted to the hospital. So meaning of life? Love one another. We’re supposed to love animals. Humans are animals. Do your best every day. Don’t sweat the small stuff. If you have an issue with someone maybe try private messaging to discuss it rather than opting for a public display? I think we sometimes project our own issues onto other people who are different and see things that aren’t there.
 
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KLS52

“SnarkMaster”
Some cool quotes, because, well, the internet knows everything. :p

Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.
Joseph Campbell

Learn to light a candle in the darkest moments of someone’s life. Be the light that helps others see; it is what gives life its deepest significance.
Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

There is not one big cosmic meaning for all; there is only the meaning we each give to our life, an individual meaning, an individual plot, like an individual novel, a book for each person.
Anaïs Nin, The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-1934
 

KLS52

“SnarkMaster”
Beyond work and love, I would add two other ingredients that give meaning to life. First, to fulfill whatever talents we are born with. However blessed we are by fate with different abilities and strengths, we should try to develop them to the fullest, rather than allow them to atrophy and decay. We all know individuals who did not fulfill the promise they showed in childhood. Many of them became haunted by the image of what they might have become. Instead of blaming fate, I think we should accept ourselves as we are and try to fulfill whatever dreams are within our capability.

Second, we should try to leave the world a better place than when we entered it. As individuals, we can make a difference, whether it is to probe the secrets of Nature, to clean up the environment and work for peace and social justice, or to nurture the inquisitive, vibrant spirit of the young by being a mentor and a guide.
Michio Kaku
 

Mischief

Stranger in a strange land
I don't think life has a meaning, any more than the sun has a meaning, or a rock. It just is.

A life can have a purpose (or multiple purposes) though, and that's for each individual life to determine. Sometimes others determine our purpose for us, such as when a human decides the purpose of a chicken's life is to make a meal.

We humans are fortunate in that we have more autonomy to determine our individual purpose(s) than most other living beings. By the same token, we are cursed with the capacity to agonize over the meaning of life and the purpose of life, while those who lack that capacity simply get on with life, simply experience it.
 

beancounter

The Fire That Burns Within
Aside from religion based meanings, I don't think there are any typical meanings. It varies widely between individual.

The biological imperative doesn't change with societal change. All living organisms will always feel the drive to pass on their genes. (There will always be exceptions, of course) But taken as a whole, life finds a way.


All good things.

Agreed ... But what are some typical meanings people give to their lives?


Is it, though, even in this day and age? If future generations are doomed thanks to the competition mindset, does it still make sense to spend our limited time and energy on passing on our genes? From a biological perspective, does it not make more sense to try and make some kind of contribution to the survival of the species? In other words, in this day and age where the very survival of our species is at stake, from a biological perspective, is collaboration not more important than competition?
 
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Mischief

Stranger in a strange land
As far as reasons to keep putting one foot in front of the other, these are things that work for me:

The weight and warmth of Gracie's body pressed against me in bed at night.
The cats purring, and feeling those reverberations in my own body.
The way the ducks get really irritated at me if they 're out of food, or their pools are frozen.
The way the chickens run to greet me.
The way Tascha absolutely won't do something unless she wants to.
How brilliant the scarlet of a cardinal is against the dull grays and browns of winter.
The sparkle of ice crystals in the frozen grass when I take the dogs out at night.
A good book.
Curiosity about how situations around the world will turn out.
The satisfaction I get from learning a new skill, or doing something I've never done before, or making something I find satisfactory.

And when the depression is really kicking my butt and I can't find joy in anything, then:
The knowledge that I have a responsibility to each of my animals.
The knowledge that suicide is tough on the survivors, and tough on the first responders, and my unhappiness is not anyone else's responsibility to clean up after.
 

Val

Extraterrestrial
As far as reasons to keep putting one foot in front of the other, these are things that work for me:

The weight and warmth of Gracie's body pressed against me in bed at night.
The cats purring, and feeling those reverberations in my own body.
The way the ducks get really irritated at me if they 're out of food, or their pools are frozen.
The way the chickens run to greet me.
The way Tascha absolutely won't do something unless she wants to.
How brilliant the scarlet of a cardinal is against the dull grays and browns of winter.
The sparkle of ice crystals in the frozen grass when I take the dogs out at night.
A good book.
Curiosity about how situations around the world will turn out.
The satisfaction I get from learning a new skill, or doing something I've never done before, or making something I find satisfactory.

And when the depression is really kicking my butt and I can't find joy in anything, then:
The knowledge that I have a responsibility to each of my animals.
The knowledge that suicide is tough on the survivors, and tough on the first responders, and my unhappiness is not anyone else's responsibility to clean up after.
:hug: Suicide is not the way out. It never has been. I'm glad too, i still have reasons to wake up every day and reasons which are still keeping me away from taking desperate measures.
 
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