What is the meaning of life?

Discussions relating to God, the afterlife, explanation, prediction, and the meaning of life

What is the meaning of life?

Postby Brandon Norgaard on Wed Sep 09, 2009 10:47 pm

What is the meaning of life? Not just for your own life, but overall. What is the meaning of life in general? Is there a true answer to this question, or must everyone find their own personal meaning? How did you come to this conclusion?
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Re: What is the meaning of life?

Postby Rich P Ga on Fri Dec 04, 2009 7:07 am

Six simple words. I think you would need at least a book to answer that question and a life time of mulling over to get an answer. Hey, wait I think there is a book coming out soon that might help :) I'll give my view on the meaning of life. Of course, I'm answering from a Judeo-Christian influenced upbringing. This answer is not going to be complete but just an outline. I think it has to be answered in two ways.

First let's address the from the early stage of life. Early on I think a person trys to learn how best to survive and thrive in their surroundings. The as we mature there should move to a stage that we get enjoyment from seeing others suceed. Nothing better than seeing a friend landing a good job or finding the love their life. Then I think you get to a point where not only do you want other to suceed but you want them to do better than yourself. Best example of this is the hope that you have in your children to do better than yourself. So basically, be the best you can be, then try to push people to be better than yourself. I guess the best way to sum it up is to learn how to love.

The second thing that should be addressed is the spiritual side of mankind. And basically that is to learn about God. I know, from previous writings that your a Diest. You decribe God of more than a IT than a him or her. Fair enough, you come to alot of the same conclusions that I believe about the afterlife. But for me, my understanding come through reading the bible and praying. What we do now does effect us in the afterlife. So our spiritual side helps us focus on what is happening to us now and how to best deal with it. As I am writing this a thought has occurred to me. I guess the best way to answer the "Meaning of life" question is to: learn how to die.
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Re: What is the meaning of life?

Postby Brandon Norgaard on Fri Dec 04, 2009 8:51 pm

Thanks for providing your thoughts on this question. There are unfortunately many people who have not found meaning or purpose in their own lives. My answer here derives from what I wrote in other topics, including my answer to The Problem of Evil. Aside from, on one level, for the meaning to act altruistically and respect the rights of others and to find enlightenment and fulfillment by being content with what one has and by finding inner peace, it seems to me that the meaning of life being the way that it is, here on Earth, with all of us being born with no knowledge and having to figure things out on our own, it seems like this is the point. It seems like this was the intent of the creator, for us to have to find the truth about life, spirituality, morality, on our own. Of course, we always have guides from others. We are all, to some extent, told what to believe. But ultimately, the choice is ours what to believe and we can only come close to finding the answers to the deepest and most pertinent questions of life if we look within ourselves. This, it appears, is the meaning of life.
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Re: What is the meaning of life?

Postby technicolor on Sun Dec 20, 2009 9:40 pm

I don't know the meaning of my life or of yours, but I do know the meaning of life in general. When does "Life" begin? It begins, when if you don't kill it, it goes right on living. We are all agents unto ourselves in the cosmos of life. Even the one-celled organism is a free agent. It is upon this freedom to think and act that I find meaning in my life. I have chosen to follow truth, wherever it may lead. This concept I choose. This truth, I love. Love, freedom, and truth, given by God, is the meaning of life.
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Re: What is the meaning of life?

Postby longknowledge on Fri Jan 01, 2010 11:42 pm

From a metaphysical point of view, I agree with the views of the Spanish philosopher Jose Ortega y Gasset (1883-1955) that "Life," or specifically "My Life" is the "Radical Reality." By that he means that my life, your life, the life of each one of us is, for each of us, the "radical" reality in the sense that all other realities appear or are "rooted" in it. (The word "radical" comes from the Latin radixmeaning "root.") This is true of all physical phenomena, social phenomena, mental phenomena, and even spiritual phenomena. This also includes the phenomenon "I," me, the sensing, feeling, thinking, dreamng, deciding person that I am. Ortega's famous formula "I am I and my circumstance," should be interpreted as "My Life" consists of "I," the person, and "My Circumstance," the phenomena that occur to or "around" me. For more on "My Life" as the "Radical Reality," go here: http://www.philosophyforum.com/philosophy-forums/philosophers/twentieth-century-philosophers/jos-ortega-y-gasset/6463-my-life-living-radical-reality-jos-ortega-y-gasset.html
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Re: What is the meaning of life?

Postby Rontx on Sat Jan 02, 2010 8:39 pm

Could we phrase it as "Was mankind created?" That's more specific. Not sure if I fit in this forum, but I am convinced that man exists because a/the Creator God is reproducing Himself and we are His offspring. There exists good and evil. Future sons of this God must experience both in there extremes to be fit to inherit and make the transition to "complete" gods.
It seems simple and clear to me, that if this is not the case then there is no explanation for our existence. Science proves that we aren't here from randomness. So my brief submission is the only logical possibillity - TO ME!! ha.
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Re: What is the meaning of life?

Postby Brandon Norgaard on Sat Jan 02, 2010 11:48 pm

longknowledge wrote:From a metaphysical point of view, I agree with the views of the Spanish philosopher Jose Ortega y Gasset (1883-1955) that "Life," or specifically "My Life" is the "Radical Reality." By that he means that my life, your life, the life of each one of us is, for each of us, the "radical" reality in the sense that all other realities appear or are "rooted" in it. (The word "radical" comes from the Latin radixmeaning "root.") This is true of all physical phenomena, social phenomena, mental phenomena, and even spiritual phenomena. This also includes the phenomenon "I," me, the sensing, feeling, thinking, dreamng, deciding person that I am. Ortega's famous formula "I am I and my circumstance," should be interpreted as "My Life" consists of "I," the person, and "My Circumstance," the phenomena that occur to or "around" me. For more on "My Life" as the "Radical Reality," go here: http://www.philosophyforum.com/philosophy-forums/philosophers/twentieth-century-philosophers/jos-ortega-y-gasset/6463-my-life-living-radical-reality-jos-ortega-y-gasset.html

Thanks longknowledge for the post and welcome to the forum. I hadn't heard of Jose Ortega y Gasset until you mentioned him. Interesting stuff. I am wondering what influence he might have had on Husserl, Heidegger, or Sartre?
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Re: What is the meaning of life?

Postby technicolor on Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:36 pm

What is the meaning of the question: When does life begin? In my opinion, life begins when, if you don't kill it, it goes right on living.
When does life end? Live ends, when if you are still alive, you don't need to worry. (that last question was for fun)
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Re: What is the meaning of life?

Postby andy14jm4w on Thu Mar 25, 2010 5:10 pm

Brandon Norgaard wrote:What is the meaning of life? Not just for your own life, but overall. What is the meaning of life in general? Is there a true answer to this question, or must everyone find their own personal meaning? How did you come to this conclusion?

no there isnt, not one we can answer i think anyway. we can speculate and be going in the right direction, which is all well and good but surely you must agree that we dont know that answer. the meaning of my life is i think part of all life. to be a good dad and respect life is a quick meaning and part of my life, maybe the meaning of life is to understand it and what comes with life and what i know of it is amazing. and what we know about atoms is amazing too. amazing is the meaning of life. can anybody tell me what is the meaning of atoms. and also if you know you're on the right tracks should we try and put them on the right track if you know they are a bit lost. i asked what made god could we be of a higher individual intelligence from within our known universe. no i dont think so , what made would apply. could there be another universe where life sent itself, in a sense here for whatever reason .again what made would apply. this has probably not answered anything, but if you could tell me the meaning of basicly atoms it would help me more
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Re: What is the meaning of life?

Postby Brandon Norgaard on Thu Mar 25, 2010 8:34 pm

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, andy. Your commentary makes sense. I have meaning in my own life and I can speculate as to what the meaning of life is in general, but I will admit that I don't know, really. I don't know what is the meaning of atoms, nor do I know the meaning of consciousness. What I try to do is put together everything that I can know with some degree of certainty and try to come up with my best guess as to what it all means.
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