How do you all cope with the futility of life

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When you found out the information of the ultimate fate of the Universe being 'heat-death' and that everything you love, everything you do and say will eventually be erased. That everything we do has meaning here and now but in the grand scale it serves no greater purpose. How does one recognize with these scientific facts. No matter how hard we try we can't change this ultimate fate. Do you just live in the moment with appreciation that you are of the lucky few that will ever get to experience life, especially in human form. Or do these thoughts bother you? I'd say I am in between. I'd like to know what others think about this.

Thanks
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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Its only an axiom that there is nothing beyond the physical world. If you don't like this axiom, you can find another one.;)
 
  • #3
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Its only an axiom that there is nothing beyond the physical world. If you don't like this axiom, you can find another one.
It's not that I don't like it as much as it's the reality of everything. I'd like to think there is more but sadly there is no proof.
 
  • #4
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It's not that I don't like it as much as it's the reality of everything. I'd like to think there is more but sadly there is no proof.
That's how axioms are. There is no proof for them, you just accept them without proof. Its like geometry. You have Euclidean and non-Euclidean geometries and they differ by an axiom. You can't tell one is wrong and the other is right. Its just that they're different logical systems.
Here, I've explained my idea completely.
The point is, people who don't accept there are things beyond the physical universe, simply accepted it as an axiom and build things based on it and its obvious that their reasoning always leads to it. Its circular logic. Its not only them. Any philosophical system is like that. And its not bad, its not foolish, its not naive. Its how it is. You choose the axioms and then build your belief system on it.
The bad thing is, people usually don't know this. They think everything they think comes from pure logic. They don't understand that its impossible and they inevitably had some axioms to start with.
 
  • #5
Ryan_m_b
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The heat death is literally as far away as anything can be. Much closer to home I'll probably be dead in the next sixty years, more if I'm lucky. Perhaps within another sixty years after that there will be no one alive who ever met me. Add another sixty years and it's unlikely anyone will ever have heard of me. That doesn't bother me at all, I don't see how it could possibly lessen the wonderful experiences and relationships I have today.
 
  • #6
russ_watters
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Agreed: since you're going to be looooooooooooooooong dead either way, I can't imagine why heat death would matter on a personal level.
 
  • #7
You need to compartmentalize scientific reality from your subjective experience.
ie: while science has shown we are just mutated apes flying around through space on an isolated rock that will one day burn when the sun grows then freeze as it gets flung out into the black cosmos, science can never explain consciousness because its about objective facts and not subjective experiences.
 
  • #8
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everything we do has meaning here and now
That is beauty enough for me.

A good song is not diminished for having an end, nor is a masterful painting lessened by the canvas.
 
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  • #9
jim hardy
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Do you just live in the moment with appreciation that you are of the lucky few that will ever get to experience life, especially in human form.
Mankind used to believe we were at the physical center of the universe. We still suffer vestiges of that ego-centrism.

 
  • #10
Doug Huffman
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Pascal's Wager led me to Christian faith. Dietrich Bonhoeffer taught me the value of living in a Christian community. I enjoy the parallels of singularity cosmology with Christian theology (singularity:Creator of Heaven and Earth, entropy:Holy Spirit, Matter:Incarnation). Incorporating Karl Popper, N. N. Taleb, Lee Smolin, and now Roberto Mangiebera Unger is better than a dram of single malt.

ETA: Oh my, look at that, a graffito. How clever.
 
  • #11
Pascal's Wager led me to Christian faith. Dietrich Bonhoeffer taught me the value of living in a Christian community. I enjoy the parallels of singularity cosmology with Christian theology (singularity:Creator of Heaven and Earth, entropy:Holy Spirit, Matter:Incarnation). Incorporating Karl Popper, N. N. Taleb, Lee Smolin, and now Roberto Mangiebera Unger is better than a dram of single malt.

ETA: Oh my, look at that, a graffito. How clever.

lol, :Holy spirit.
better hope thats a typo and not blasphemy o0)
 
  • #12
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When you found out the information of the ultimate fate of the Universe being 'heat-death' and that everything you love, everything you do and say will eventually be erased. That everything we do has meaning here and now but in the grand scale it serves no greater purpose. How does one recognize with these scientific facts. No matter how hard we try we can't change this ultimate fate. Do you just live in the moment with appreciation that you are of the lucky few that will ever get to experience life, especially in human form. Or do these thoughts bother you? I'd say I am in between. I'd like to know what others think about this.

Thanks
Sam Harris answers this question quite nicely:

Nietzsche: Beyond Good and Evil (his only book I ever "got").
The content is less important here than the wonderful way he has of making you at ease with futility, while concurrently making you want to fight for something permanent.
Perhaps look into some of his work, it helps me when I get the types of feelings you describe.

I might just add, if you think about it deeply, a steady state universe is actually worse: knowing the party will go on forever, but one day you'll be asked to leave is even more upsetting (IMO).
 
  • #13
Truth is, we probably live in the worst time possible for this kind of existential anxiety.
Think about it: were living in a time period where we already know the secrets to the universe, but not quite to the point where we can extend our lives indefinitely. Its kinda a big "f u" to us really
 
  • #14
jtbell
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lol, :Holy spirit.
better hope thats a typo and not blasphemy o0)
Nah, that's just our new forum software trying to be helpful by inserting a graphical smiley wherever it thinks it sees a text-based one. I think this one is a colon followed immediately by an H. Let's try it: :H Yep! :D

Moral: around here, always put a space after a colon. Maybe also after a semicolon.
 
  • #15
Nah, that's just our new forum software trying to be helpful by inserting a graphical smiley wherever it thinks it sees a text-based one. I think this one is a colon followed immediately by an H. Let's try it: :H Yep! :D

Moral: around here, always put a space after a colon. Maybe also after a semicolon.
yeah i figured that out, lol i think thats what he meant by graffito.
anyway, to the op: theres always fun diversions around. just dont get too serious about all the existential stuff its still possible to enjoy life as a smart person.
 
  • #16
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#10 Pascal's Wager led me to Christian faith.
What if there was a deity who would send Christians to a hell-like place of eternal torture? Is it worth the risk being a Christian? Even if there is a millionth of a percent chance this deity exist, is it worth the risk?
 
  • #17
smartfatstupid
Dimethyltryptamine helped me out a bit. But, it's not for everyone.
 
  • #18
Doug Huffman
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  • #19
Dimethyltryptamine helped me out a bit. But, it's not for everyone.
drugs are a temporary solution. And long term use can actually exacerbate anxiety. You think its bad now, drop some acid and try disproving solipcism :P
 
  • #20
smartfatstupid
Our lives are a temporary problem. Different strokes, my friend. Your ideas are also valid.
 
  • #21
Stephen Tashi
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I recall a cartoon from The New Yorker. There are a group of men standing on the balcony outside an observatory looking up into the sky. One of the men is holding a cigar. He says "Well, they don't make ME feel insignificant."
 
  • #22
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"how do you all cope with the futility of life"

Would you choose not to eat an apple because eventually it will become a core?
 
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  • #23
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I really like this quote by Richard P. Feynman-

"Fall in love with some activity, and do it! Nobody ever figures out what life is all about, and it doesn't matter. Explore the world. Nearly everything is really interesting if you go into it deeply enough. Work as hard and as much as you want to on the things you like to do the best. Don't think about what you want to be, but what you want to do. Keep up some kind of a minimum with other things so that society doesn't stop you from doing anything at all."
 
  • #24
jim hardy
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Do you just live in the moment with appreciation that you are of the lucky few that will ever get to experience life, especially in human form. Or do these thoughts bother you? I'd say I am in between. I'd like to know what others think about this.
In my middle years i watched (again) Mary Poppins. What an eye opener.... two workaholic parents caught up in 20th century frenzy and obsessed with success have to be shown by a lowly nanny and her chimneysweep friend why we are put on earth.

262px-Marypoppins-disneyscreencaps_com-13503.jpg



George Banks: (speaking) A man has dreams of walking with giants

To carve his niche in the edifice of time

Before the mortar of his zeal

Has a chance to congeal

The cup is dashed from his lips

The flame is snuffed aborning

He's brought to rack and ruin in his prime

Bert: (speaking) Life is a rum go guv'nor and that's the truth.

You're a man of 'igh position

Esteemed by your peers

And when your little tykes are cryin'

You 'aven't time to dry their tears

And see them grateful little faces

Smilin' up at you

Because their dad, 'e always knows

Just what to do

You've got to grind, grind, grind at that grindstone

Though child'ood slips like sand through a sieve

And all too soon they've up and grown

And then they've flown

You'll find it's too late for you to give

Had the Creator wanted us permanent he'd have made us from granite i suppose..
We're soft for a reason.....

Let's go fly a kite, and feed the birds.

and That's my "Tuppence in the bank."
 
  • #25
Lisa!
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Well, sometimes it's a relief!
 

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