Is Life Meant To Be A Struggle?

  • #1
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Is life meant to be a struggle or is that left up to individual interpretation?

Another way to put this would be to ask if one of evolution's mechanisms or catylists of change is "struggle" or "hardship" (ie: disaster, disease, corruption, deviance, incivility, inherent dangers, and all those other conditions that help to keep CNN, hospitals and specific companies in the money).
 

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  • #2
arildno
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"Meant" by whom? :confused:
And why should we adhere to that, whoever meant or means it?
 
  • #3
mathwonk
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there seems to be more than one take on this. Being a cool hand luke fan, i suggested once to my research partner, [far smarter and more successful then me], that we should "get mad at" a certain problem, but he asked if I had tried "making friends with" it.
 
  • #4
saltydog
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Sounds like a deep philosophical question to me: why is there struggle in life?

Can there be life without such? A utopia? Why does life seem to loose some virility when things are made easy? Ever noticed that? I am reminded of Alexandr Solzhenitsyn. Remember? It was the struggle that made us strong. I agree with him. Why would such do so?

I suspect their is a deep biological root in all this, a selective advantage bestowed to those best demonstrating the ability to survive in the mist of struggle: Like the antellope which jump about needlessly when threatened by the pack as if to demonstrate, "look, I have extra energy to waste. I'm very fit therefore. No need to chase me. You won't catch me."

Are we similar to the antellope then? Do our abilities to survive struggle demonstrate ultimate fitness granting those who do so, a chosen place in the gene pool?
 
  • #5
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saltydog said:
Sounds like a deep philosophical question to me: why is there struggle in life?

Can there be life without such? A utopia? Why does life seem to loose some virility when things are made easy? Ever noticed that? I am reminded of Alexandr Solzhenitsyn. Remember? It was the struggle that made us strong. I agree with him. Why would such do so?

I suspect their is a deep biological root in all this, a selective advantage bestowed to those best demonstrating the ability to survive in the mist of struggle: Like the antellope which jump about needlessly when threatened by the pack as if to demonstrate, "look, I have extra energy to waste. I'm very fit therefore. No need to chase me. You won't catch me."
Are we similar to the antellope then? Do our abilities to survive struggle demonstrate ultimate fitness granting those who do so, a chosen place in the gene pool?
This is a great response to the second part of my question. In fact, it partially explains philosophy in general. We could just live life la dee da without ever struggling with such questions such as are found even here on a PHYSICS FORUM!!!.

The energy spent on deciding whether we exist or not is fruitless to most degrees yet, there must be 100 threads with a similar bent. Is this a genetic predisposition being exhibited by the beloved memebers here? A jostling for position through performances of high energy expenditure? Perhaps, as you suggest, the act is an innate excercise programing which stretches the boundaries of an individual's existing genes?

We could also site the effect of the chase in comparison to having things handed to you. When a man or a woman has absolutely no resistance to coupling with a desired mate... there is a lack of enthusiasm and often no courtship or mating occurs because there really is no "chase". But, with some challenge and some resistance, the pursuit takes on a whole different dimension and the goal becomes all that more enticing. (snicker)
:wink:

Resistance is a key word I think. It implies friction which is basic to life and even some inanimate situations. Static electricity is a result of resistance and friction and quite possibly paramount in the formation of biological activity.
 
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  • #6
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mathwonk said:
there seems to be more than one take on this. Being a cool hand luke fan, i suggested once to my research partner, [far smarter and more successful then me], that we should "get mad at" a certain problem, but he asked if I had tried "making friends with" it.
This is a cool analogy.

Is there struggle in making a friend with a problem?

There is definitely a struggle with using adrenilin or nor-adrenilin... as in getting mad at a problem.

I think the struggle with using a positive approach is overcoming learned behaviour... such as the adrenolin filled reaction... either learned from a parent or from other situations experienced and absorbed during life.

But, is it a struggle, just the same?

We may need an authoritative definition of "struggle" here.
 
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  • #7
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arildno said:
"Meant" by whom? :confused:
And why should we adhere to that, whoever meant or means it?
This is a figure of speech. Its like asking "is life structured to perceive life-situations as a struggle?".

In all fairness this thread is a reverse engineered question from the title of a book which has sold millions of copies....... its titled:

"Life Was Never Meant To Be A Struggle" by Stuart Wilde.
 
  • #8
arildno
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saltydog said:
advantage bestowed to those best demonstrating the ability to survive in the mist of struggle:
Well, if you are in the middle of a mist of struggle, you are unable to look ahead.
Not too sure if that's an advantage..
 
  • #9
saltydog
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arildno said:
Well, if you are in the middle of a mist of struggle, you are unable to look ahead.
Not too sure if that's an advantage..
Apparently not a deep philosophical question for somebody.:yuck: Suppose they said, "off with their heads!!!" . Translation: send them to Evo-world.

Anyway:

Hello Arildno.

I caught a recent episode of Springer about an 18 year-old runaway living on the streets of Hollywood, California since he was 13. He was gaunt looking to say the least, rummaging about looking for food and shelter. His life no doubt was one of extreme struggle, addicted to drugs, turning "tricks", and physical abuse. I thought to myself, how is his struggle contributing to humanity? Initially one might think, it's not as he's been "de-selected" as have all his friends on the street.

Or has he? Since 13! That's survival in my opinion! Perhaps his kind is a "safety valve" to humanity, protecting us all from the perills of catastrophies which regularly strike the earth and in so doing, bring down the trappings of modern society and usher in a dark age. Many accustomed to the pleasantries of modern life would fall in that case but his kind might not, might be able to persists because of their particular kind of survival genes. In that regard then, I can begin to rationalize the contribution to humanity his kind could offer.:smile:
 
  • #10
arildno
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Evolution hasn't the slightest relevance to moral issues.
Why should an individual be morally obliged to follow whatever "dictates of evolution" someone else professes to have discovered?
 
  • #11
Astronuc
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quantumcarl said:
Is life meant to be a struggle or is that left up to individual interpretation?
Life is what happens between birth and death - it is what it is. Certainly, one could opt out at any time. But why? Life is a challenge and a learning process, and life is about making choices and dealing with the consequences. And Life is an adventure.
quantumcarl said:
Another way to put this would be to ask if one of evolution's mechanisms or catylists of change is "struggle" or "hardship" (ie: disaster, disease, corruption, deviance, incivility, inherent dangers, and all those other conditions that help to keep CNN, hospitals and specific companies in the money).
Well, one may have to deal with any of there challenges as they arrive. One may simply do one's best to overcome the challenge. Just do the best one can.
 
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  • #12
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arildno said:
Evolution hasn't the slightest relevance to moral issues.
Why should an individual be morally obliged to follow whatever "dictates of evolution" someone else professes to have discovered?
Perhaps you're refering to a different thread. This thread is not about the totalitarian dissemination of morals or concepts in general. This is a thread where "struggle" is being examined. The question is whether it is a necessary component of evolution/life/bio-activity or is it a type of perception that can be or has been modified by neurophysical and life altering behaviour.
 
  • #13
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saltydog said:
Or has he? Since 13! That's survival in my opinion! Perhaps his kind is a "safety valve" to humanity, protecting us all from the perills of catastrophies which regularly strike the earth and in so doing, bring down the trappings of modern society and usher in a dark age. Many accustomed to the pleasantries of modern life would fall in that case but his kind might not, might be able to persists because of their particular kind of survival genes. In that regard then, I can begin to rationalize the contribution to humanity his kind could offer.:smile:
My take on it is that he's NOT a survivor, he ran away and has escaped death by being a victim, by becoming a useless pawn of others, giving into drugs, seems to be a failure to me.
 
  • #14
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definition of struggle

As suggested:

Definitions of struggle on the Web:

* fight: make a strenuous or labored effort; "She struggled for years to survive without welfare"; "He fought for breath"

* to exert strenuous effort against opposition; "he struggled to get free from the rope"

* an energetic attempt to achieve something; "getting through the crowd was a real struggle"; "he fought a battle for recognition"

* conflict: an open clash between two opposing groups (or individuals); "the harder the conflict the more glorious the triumph"--Thomas Paine; "police tried to control the battle between the pro- and anti-abortion mobs"

* clamber: climb awkwardly, as if by scrambling

* strenuous effort; "the struggle to get through the crowd exhausted her"

* contend: be engaged in a fight; carry on a fight; "the tribesmen fought each other"; "Siblings are always fighting"; "Militant groups are contending for control of the country"

wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn
 
  • #15
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saltydog said:
Hello Arildno.

I caught a recent episode of Springer about an 18 year-old runaway living on the streets of Hollywood, California since he was 13. He was gaunt looking to say the least, rummaging about looking for food and shelter. His life no doubt was one of extreme struggle, addicted to drugs, turning "tricks", and physical abuse. I thought to myself, how is his struggle contributing to humanity? Initially one might think, it's not as he's been "de-selected" as have all his friends on the street.

Or has he? Since 13! That's survival in my opinion! Perhaps his kind is a "safety valve" to humanity, protecting us all from the perills of catastrophies which regularly strike the earth and in so doing, bring down the trappings of modern society and usher in a dark age. Many accustomed to the pleasantries of modern life would fall in that case but his kind might not, might be able to persists because of their particular kind of survival genes. In that regard then, I can begin to rationalize the contribution to humanity his kind could offer.:smile:
This is a good point. The people who depend on their own steam to get through the day rather than on a blackberry, jacuzzi, cadilac, air conditioning, restaurant and so on would most definitely be selected as the next evolutionary candidate after a catastrophic interuption of modern, western society.

Nature isn't going to care what colour tie or how hip your glasses are when it comes to selecting the next gene pool of a species in the midst of major upheaval. It blows away the peripherials and works with the core of a species ability to survive her sometimes harsh (in relation to an organism) mechanisms.

But is struggle, (or the perception that struggling will solve a survival issue), a reaction that has been programmed into our method of dealing with trying times? Or is this a relatively recent learned perception of "strenuous situations" and is it effective?
 

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