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Why should we try so hard?

  1. Jan 28, 2012 #1
    Scientifically, we are just a chemical process on the the surface of a giant rock. The only reason why we do what we do is because "It feels nice". All those long hours at the university and studying. What does it ultimately accomplish? This video explains further

    http://youtu.be/QK0rsh7WeYY

    Do you agree with the message this short video gives you or not and why?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 28, 2012 #2

    Ivan Seeking

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    All of those long hours at a University, which only lasts 4-8 years, results in an additional average lifetime income of ~ $1 million, and much more with many degrees. And compared to digging ditches or selling shoes, the work can be significantly better if you have an education. So 4-8 years vs perhaps a 35-50 year payoff or more? Not a bad deal. Of course if you want to spend your "meaningless life" digging ditches and living in poverty, that's your business.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2012
  4. Jan 28, 2012 #3

    drizzle

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    Yeah, you no need to become more than an ape to do it. This, imo, is stupid. AND it's not worth to begin my day with.
     
  5. Jan 28, 2012 #4

    jambaugh

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    Beg pardon? Science may say we are chemical processes but not that we are just chemical processes.

    Particle physics and thermodynamic may explain chemical reactions but these subjects are not Chemistry. Chemistry may explain biological processes by Chemistry is not Biology.
    Biology may explain the sources of drives and motives but it is not Psychology or Economics or Ethics.
     
  6. Jan 28, 2012 #5

    jambaugh

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    Here's the comment I left on YouTube:
    It amazes me how much effort some people put into telling others that all effort is futile. The very existence of their attempt is itself the proof of either their dishonesty or their inability to apply reason (or both).

    Let me add this... looking externally for purpose is like looking for the Sun under a rock. Purpose is an integral intrinsic part of every living entity. We bathe in it with every breath, and exude it in every word we speak or action we take. At worst someone does not understand their purpose because they do not understand their self. Ask the question "Who am I and what do I want?" and in that answer is your purpose and all the Why's of everything you do, and every person's answer will differ to some degree.

    Purpose itself is meaningless without reference to the holder of that purpose. So when you look outward for it you are looking in the wrong place...looking for the Sun under a stone.
     
  7. Jan 28, 2012 #6
    There is no point to life from a universal perspective. Everyone will die one day and it will be as if this universe never even existed after permanent death. Try to imagine not ever existing again or if this universe never existed.

    Ivan Seeking, it doesn't matter how hard you've worked in life. After death it will be as if you never existed or were a human because you no longer have a perspective. What about all those people who worked their butt off but were born before the 1900s, where are they now?
     
  8. Jan 28, 2012 #7

    apeiron

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    If meaninglessness is measured in terms of entropy (as the clip asserts), then that makes life and mind something already pretty exceptional in terms of its negentropic content. The educated human brain is arguably the single most concentrated form of complexity in the known universe - or at least in the environs we know so far. :smile:

    So for a start, there is an argument for how literally to create meaning. Maximise your personal negentropy!

    And then you have to consider whether the individual human is the correct unit of analysis. As a social species producing cultural knowledge, individuals may come and go, but it is the larger evolutionary flow of ideas that carries the real negentropic content.

    Something else to consider is the freakish fact that there was no you about for so long - the entire history of the universe up to now. That is as startling as the fact that there will pretty quickly be no you for the rest of the universe's history as well. And then that this you appeared just as the human story was hitting its peak, arriving at its most major discoveries before it all fell apart.

    So to the extent that the universe is indeed an ultimately meaningless slide down into a state of maximum entropy, we happen to be the Copernican centre of a startlingly brief flare of all that is the most negentropic.
     
  9. Jan 28, 2012 #8

    chiro

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    You know if you wore a suit, did a few motivation/productivity conferences and had a slew of prefix and postfix acronyms in your name, you might just make a wad of cash!
     
  10. Jan 28, 2012 #9
    Your asking "why does the universe waste all this time trying to do something when its pointless in the end?" Better question is what else would it be doing with all that time?
     
  11. Jan 28, 2012 #10
    The video contradicts itself. If nothing matters then the video itself doesn't matter, feeling nice doesn't matter, enjoying your life doesn't matter, being smart doesn't matter, etc.

    Decay and Renewal
    Empty the self completely;
    Embrace perfect peace.
    The world will rise and move;
    Watch it return to rest.
    All the flourishing things
    Will return to their source.
    This return is peaceful;
    It is the flow of nature,
    An eternal decay and renewal.
    Accepting this brings enlightenment,
    Ignoring this brings misery.
    Lao Tzu
     
  12. Jan 28, 2012 #11

    Evo

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    This thread does not meet the minimum requirements to post in this section. Please be sure to read both sets of rules stickied at the top of the Philosophy forum. Rules must be followed when posting.

    Members please remember to report theads that do not follow the rules, do not respond to them.
     
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