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Meaning to life? it

  1. Mar 25, 2004 #1
    Meaning to life? **** it

    So many people have spent (read: wasted) so much time thinking about a "meaning" (whatever that means [pun not intended]) or purpose to life.

    Where do people get these silly ideas?

    I assume that by "meaning" to life, people are referring to a purpose, unless someone informs me otherwise. But what is a purpose? It is a function designated by an entity or group of entities for an object. The purpose is not an inherent property of an object, but rather the word "purpose" just implies an intended use.

    General Electric made a toaster with the purpose of semi-burning bread. However, I can use in my time machine (Simpsons reference). Someone's father may have had a child with the intention being that that child would take over the family business, but the child may pick a different path. In other words, the parent assigned a purpose to the child of taking over the family business. The purpose is completely subjective.

    Why should GE's purpose be any more correct than mine (ignoring the ethics of time travel...which are not really my point)? Why should the parent's purpose be any more correct than the child's? How can a purpose be an actual quality of an object, or universal in anyway, if it is just a designation projected by some being onto another object? Whether that being is me, some CEO, a dog, some parent, or god, it doesn't matter. There is no actual truth to the matter of purpose, other than it being true that a certain individual has certain ideas relating to an object.

    Meaning to life? I say **** it. Don't wait around for someone else to assign their own arbitrary purpose. Define your own. Live happily.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 25, 2004 #2


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    i can agree with this, everyone has to define their own meaning of their life...for some there may not be a meaning i suppose, but that would seem awful boring...
  4. Mar 25, 2004 #3


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    It seems to run rampant here in la la land.

    Very wise words.
  5. Mar 26, 2004 #4
    Perhaps searching for a meaning to life is the chosen purpose for these people. Perhaps this IS what makes them happy. Then let's let them be happy and not criticize them with posts like this. :smile:
  6. Mar 26, 2004 #5
    I read an excellent observation about the question. It pointed out that "meaning" always implies a meaning TO someone. When you look at it that way, you realize that the question only makes sense when you ask, "what is the meaning of life TO x".

    As a humanist, I believe the great thing about life is that we can choose the meaning for our own lives, for us, and not have it handed to us by some authority.

    So, the question has been answered. I know what the meaning of my life is to me and can move on to other issues.
  7. Mar 26, 2004 #6
    it is our lack of confidence in self that has us looking for an external meaning. once we look inward, we realize that we each have our own meaning.

    logically, within freewill, we decide what our goals and meaning is and will be.

  8. Mar 26, 2004 #7
    There is no point in searching the meaning of life. But if it fulfills you then by all means search!
  9. Mar 26, 2004 #8
    Some people feel better if they have a special purpose assigned by other people. It's easier to follow than to lead.
  10. Mar 26, 2004 #9
    I think we follow a belief because we are attracted to its instrinsic goodness and that it satisfies our inherent sense of yearning.
  11. Mar 27, 2004 #10
    1. I think one must be attentive that when you ask the question 'meaning of life' you've already presumed that there's a will behind life.

    1.1 Then one shall ask oneself: Was I puzzled because of the question itself. Or was I puzzled because I wasn't aware of point 1.

    1.2 Now one can ask yourself: Am I still puzzled about the question 'meaning of life' ?
  12. Mar 27, 2004 #11
    People with silly ideas, who have spent so much time thinking about a "meaning" or purpose to life, impose there self made reasons. Those who search find there happiness.
  13. Mar 27, 2004 #12
    And of course, you also have the other silly people, who just think that everything is silly. ;)
  14. Mar 27, 2004 #13


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    Simply try to acknowledge that although we don't know if there is meaning to life, we desire it rather a lot. People would much rather discover some great meaning to life than face the possibility that there is none. Simply acknowledge your own desire. That is humanity's biggest problem, not realising how our own desires affect our decisions.
  15. Mar 27, 2004 #14
    Hmm, given an isolated system at any time where all laws and alike has been defined (I don't belive in true randomness), you'd be able to calculate forward in time to find the system at any other future time. Since our brains, "souls", and alike also is accounted for (the be able to affect, it either has to be within the system or be assigned as a law or alike), I'd say that whatever your actions are, they won't change the future from the "purposed" way since it was already "supposed" to occur.
    Thus, your faith was already decided at the creation. *dum dum duuum*
    or something.

    Personally, I don't think there is a real meaning of life. There were simply a lot of different particles having a party, where some groups was able to increase the amount of it's kind of groups. As certain subgroups became more and more efficent, the will increase even more in amount.
  16. Mar 29, 2004 #15
    What is the meaning of life? A question most of us ask at one time or another. I like Einstein's view on this
  17. Mar 29, 2004 #16
    Am I correct to say that most here believe life is simple another artifact of the evolution of the universe? There's rocks (not alive), the grey area (virusses etc.) and life as we know it.

    By that train of thought, it is thus fair to say that in the "great scheme of things", it doesn't make a rat's ass of difference whether anything in the universe is inanimate or alive.

    What then explains the tendency for life to get increasingly complex? Or the desire for complex organisms to survive?

    p.s. it's my first post, if I'm beating a dead horse don't hesitate to refer me to other posts!
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 4, 2015
  18. Mar 31, 2004 #17
    I do not mean to say that life has no value, but that a life has no purpose. Purpose only exists in thought. It is a fabrication.
  19. Mar 31, 2004 #18

    Ivan Seeking

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    If there is a creator then there may well be a philosophical purpose to life. Of course this comes down to a choice in beliefs, but given omnipotence I would think that by definition all things are possible. For example, every photon that contributed to the mutations that led to the evolution of humankind had purpose. It was divinely designed that each and every photon would be emitted at just right time and place.

    ===> The randomness of QM is what ensures that God's will be done? :confused: Funny, I don't remember Feynman ever mentioning this...
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2004
  20. Mar 31, 2004 #19
    If you read my original post, you will see that I stated that even if there is a god, its purpose is not absolute, and is just as arbitrary as any other. Purpose is not a quality of the object to which we assign the purpose (although the assigned purpose can affect the qualities of the object, obviously), but a description of an intended use. It describes the thoughts of the purposer, not the state of the purposee.
  21. Mar 31, 2004 #20

    Ivan Seeking

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    However I might argue that all of existance is just the thoughts of the creator. We are God's dream and that sort of thing...a definition of "is".

    If it is because God wills it to be, isn't that implicit purpose...if it exists only as a function of God's will?
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