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How do you all cope with the futility of life

  1. Dec 23, 2014 #1
    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
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 23, 2014 #2

    ShayanJ

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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.;)
     
  4. Dec 23, 2014 #3
    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.
     
  5. Dec 23, 2014 #4

    ShayanJ

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    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.
     
  6. Dec 23, 2014 #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.
     
  7. Dec 23, 2014 #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.
     
  8. Dec 23, 2014 #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.
     
  9. Dec 23, 2014 #8

    Dale

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2014
  10. Dec 23, 2014 #9

    jim hardy

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    Mankind used to believe we were at the physical center of the universe. We still suffer vestiges of that ego-centrism.

     
  11. Dec 23, 2014 #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.
     
  12. Dec 23, 2014 #11

    lol, :Holy spirit.
    better hope thats a typo and not blasphemy o0)
     
  13. Dec 23, 2014 #12
    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).
     
  14. Dec 23, 2014 #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
     
  15. Dec 23, 2014 #14

    jtbell

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    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.
     
  16. Dec 23, 2014 #15
    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.
     
  17. Dec 24, 2014 #16
    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?
     
  18. Dec 24, 2014 #17
    Dimethyltryptamine helped me out a bit. But, it's not for everyone.
     
  19. Dec 24, 2014 #18

    Doug Huffman

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    In the previous Dark Ages religion was the only anodyne to a multitude or terrors that technology has eased. Now post-modern idiots rant about existential catastrophes while trying to drive a reformation.

    Global Catastrophic Risks by Bostrom and Cirkovic http://avturchin.narod.ru/Globalrisks.doc Free e-book
    https://www.amazon.com/Global-Catastrophic-Risks-Nick-Bostrom/dp/0199606501
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  20. Dec 24, 2014 #19
    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
     
  21. Dec 24, 2014 #20
    Our lives are a temporary problem. Different strokes, my friend. Your ideas are also valid.
     
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