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 Thoughts about human questioning about the meaning of their life on earth?

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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Thoughts about human questioning about the meaning of their life on earth?    Thoughts about human questioning about the meaning of their life on earth?     EmptyMon 20 Jan 2020, 20:06

Thoughts about human questioning about the meaning of their life on earth?

Sparked by Dirk's question in the "myth" thread I wanted to ask for opinions, thoughts about this question overhere. I am awaiting especially replies from erudites as a nordmann and a Temperance among others. I feel not competent enough to discuss such philosophical questions.

Or is this question not philosophical?

Kind regards, Paul.
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts about human questioning about the meaning of their life on earth?    Thoughts about human questioning about the meaning of their life on earth?     EmptyMon 20 Jan 2020, 20:35

What is the question?
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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts about human questioning about the meaning of their life on earth?    Thoughts about human questioning about the meaning of their life on earth?     EmptyTue 21 Jan 2020, 07:57

@nordmann wrote:
What is the question?
 
nordmann, the question is:

What are your thoughts about human questioning about the meaning of their life on earth?


Kind regards, Paul.
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts about human questioning about the meaning of their life on earth?    Thoughts about human questioning about the meaning of their life on earth?     EmptyTue 21 Jan 2020, 09:26

42?
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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts about human questioning about the meaning of their life on earth?    Thoughts about human questioning about the meaning of their life on earth?     EmptyTue 21 Jan 2020, 09:59

Why do you assume life has a meaning? I don't think it does. It's like asking what's the meaning of gravity, or entropy, or magnetism, or plate tectonics, or water, or stars, or rainbows. All these things have significance and cause effects, but they don't have meaning.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts about human questioning about the meaning of their life on earth?    Thoughts about human questioning about the meaning of their life on earth?     EmptyTue 21 Jan 2020, 11:16

@Meles meles wrote:
Why do you assume life has a meaning? I don't think it does. It's like asking what's the meaning of gravity, or entropy, or magnetism, or plate tectonics, or water, or stars, or rainbows. All these things have significance and cause effects, but they don't have meaning.

Nothing like a bit of existential nihilism to cheer you up when your gas boiler's gone on the blink and it's minus something outside.  Smile

Paul R. wrote:
I am awaiting especially replies from erudites as a nordmann and a Temperance among others.

Am I an erudite? Gosh - but I'm not terribly sure that's very flattering: it makes me feel like something you find on Chesil Beach or, even worse, in a shop in Lyme Regis.

PS Even Monty Python couldn't come up with an answer to your question, Paul. Their The Meaning of Life film was awful.
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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts about human questioning about the meaning of their life on earth?    Thoughts about human questioning about the meaning of their life on earth?     EmptyTue 21 Jan 2020, 15:20

Well you know me, Temp, generous to a fault and always ready to share my sense of futility and despair silent . My heating is playing up too and the technician called off today's appointment because of the snow. The snow plough passed by this morning and the road to the village is open, but the steep track down to my house is still icy, so although he might well have got here, he probably wouldn't have got back out. Accordingly my personal Slough of Despond is rather cold, damp and gloomy today. But at least as a nihilist I don't have to particularly wonder if there's any meaning why the heating always seems to fail on the coldest days.


Last edited by Meles meles on Tue 21 Jan 2020, 16:24; edited 1 time in total
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts about human questioning about the meaning of their life on earth?    Thoughts about human questioning about the meaning of their life on earth?     EmptyTue 21 Jan 2020, 15:40

Snow as well as ice? I can't complain then! I immediately thought of Sod's Law and wondered about the origin of this expression; also is Sod's Law the same as Murphy's Law? I googled it and found that some brainy chap from your old stomping ground, Imperial College, has said this:

According to David J. Hand, emeritus professor of mathematics and senior research investigator at Imperial College London, Sod's law is a more extreme version of Murphy's law. While Murphy's law says that anything that can go wrong, will go wrong (eventually), Sod's law requires that it always goes wrong with the worst possible outcome. Hand suggests that belief in Sod's law is a combination of the law of truly large numbers and the psychological effect of the law of selection. The former says we should expect things to go wrong now and then, and the latter says we remember the exceptional events where something went wrong, but the great number of mundane events where nothing exceptional happened are forgotten.


Last edited by Temperance on Tue 21 Jan 2020, 15:43; edited 1 time in total
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts about human questioning about the meaning of their life on earth?    Thoughts about human questioning about the meaning of their life on earth?     EmptyTue 21 Jan 2020, 15:43

PS Nothing like a bit of futility and despair when appropriate.

PPS Hope DD and the moggies are not too cold.
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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts about human questioning about the meaning of their life on earth?    Thoughts about human questioning about the meaning of their life on earth?     EmptyTue 21 Jan 2020, 15:58

It has also been demonstrated, statistically, that buttered bread does indeed usually fall butter-side down, and that socks in a tumble-dryer do tend to hide inside pillow cases.

Actually I haven't been as gloomy as my post suggested and with the technician not coming I took Doggy-Dog for a long walk. Trudging along in the snow and sleet, in a thick warm coat and with my hat pulled down, and with a loyal hound padding alongside, is remarkably good for pondering things like the meaning of life and all that. And it's then particularly nice to get back home, strip off all the wet clothes, get the log fire lit, rub the dog down, and then have some hot soup and crusty bread. Doggle is fine, he's currently steaming in front of the fire, although unfortunately that also means there's a pervading smell of damp dog. But at least he'll be dry by bedtime tonight - that's not particularly important for him but it is for me as at the moment he tends to sleep on top of me, or at least across my feet - and very nice and warm he is too. And the cats? All three are tucked up in the cellar on an old sofa next to the hot water system - which also means that the troublesome rat has finally vacated the premises. 

Maybe the simple, unquestioning companionship of a dog or cat is the entire reason for human existence, although I suspect cats would see the relationship slightly differently.

However returning to Paul's original question ... Nordmann's answer of 42 is most probably the correct one, in that it is, at least by general consensus, humankind's current best guess: if you do a google search for "answer ultimate question meaning of life universe and everything", it will invariably return "42". But then of course, to quote Douglas Adams, "You have to know what the question actually is, in order to know what the answer means":



So again, what's the question?
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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts about human questioning about the meaning of their life on earth?    Thoughts about human questioning about the meaning of their life on earth?     EmptyTue 21 Jan 2020, 19:48

@Meles meles wrote:
Why do you assume life has a meaning? I don't think it does. It's like asking what's the meaning of gravity, or entropy, or magnetism, or plate tectonics, or water, or stars, or rainbows. All these things have significance and cause effects, but they don't have meaning.
 
MM, perhaps it was a bit confusing, but I checked before making the title. In my hurry I forgot to include the link of my searching of the word: "meaning"
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/meaning
And I wanted to mention: 3: significant quality/ especially: implication of a hidden or special signifcance.

And the title: "thoughts" about  "human" "questioning" about "the meaning" of "their" life on "earth"?
Thus I wanted to ask: What are your thoughts about a human or humans questioning oneself or themselves here on earth about the meaning of life?

MM, before reading further, I want to clarify my sentence with some examples:
Perhaps some humans don't question their life and live from birth till death going with the flow and are just happy that they exist...?
Some are from childhood on seaking for answers about their role in society...?
Some are happy to have provided procreation, so that their particular blend is mixed with another particular blend, so that both can see in the society something from their very "own"...?

And perhaps one can think about the several famous searchers, who indeed searched for the meaning of their life?
And as we are a historyboard, perhaps: who in history has the best score (according to your subjective opinion Wink) for search of that meaning?

Kind regards, Paul.
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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts about human questioning about the meaning of their life on earth?    Thoughts about human questioning about the meaning of their life on earth?     EmptyTue 21 Jan 2020, 20:05

@Meles meles wrote:
However returning to Paul's original question ... Nordmann's answer of 42 is most probably the correct one, in that it is, at least by general consensus, humankind's current best guess: if you do a google search for "answer ultimate question meaning of life universe and everything", it will invariably return "42".
 
MM, what a special replies those English erudites have, including the Irish ones...before you translated MM, I thought that nordmann was sarcastic about something I wrote...lucky that you clarified...but you are perhaps yet accustomed after all these years with the French/Belgian mores, who want always "tekst en uitleg" (they translate with chapter and verse)...

Kind regards from Paul.

PS: I am glad you are well in your difficult circumstances.
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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts about human questioning about the meaning of their life on earth?    Thoughts about human questioning about the meaning of their life on earth?     EmptyTue 21 Jan 2020, 20:10

@PaulRyckier wrote:
And perhaps one can think about the several famous searchers, who indeed searched for the meaning of their life?

Paul - the answer to the question was given by nordmann earlier. The real problem, however, is knowing exactly what the question is. The ancient Egyptians had Bubastis working on it for Bastet and the cats. 15th century India had Karni Mata in Desnoke working on it for the rats. 1970s Norway had Slartibartfast working on it for the mice.
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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts about human questioning about the meaning of their life on earth?    Thoughts about human questioning about the meaning of their life on earth?     EmptyTue 21 Jan 2020, 20:12

Quote :
Am I an erudite?...
 
Temperance, glad to meet you again...and that on whatever occasion and in whatever circumstances...

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts about human questioning about the meaning of their life on earth?    Thoughts about human questioning about the meaning of their life on earth?     EmptyTue 21 Jan 2020, 20:27

@Vizzer wrote:
@PaulRyckier wrote:
And perhaps one can think about the several famous searchers, who indeed searched for the meaning of their life?

Paul - the answer to the question was given by nordmann earlier. The real problem, however, is knowing exactly what the question is. The ancient Egyptians had Bubastis working on it for Bastet and the cats. 15th century India had Karni Mata in Desnoke working on it for the rats. 1970s Norway had Slartibartfast working on it for the mice.
 
Vizzer, it goes a bit above my comprehension... cats rats and mice...

I wanted to ask about "humans" seeking for the meaning of "their!" life...am I missing again something, as with the "42"...up to now my whole quality of knowledge is more in the field of applied science and before I got to know nordmann I had always avoided stuff as philosophy and religious discussions...

Kind regards, Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts about human questioning about the meaning of their life on earth?    Thoughts about human questioning about the meaning of their life on earth?     EmptyWed 22 Jan 2020, 19:17

@PaulRyckier wrote:
am I missing again something, as with the "42"

"These creatures you call mice, you see, they are not quite as they appear. They are merely the protrusion into our dimension of vast hyperintelligent pandimensional beings. The whole business with the cheese and the squeaking is just a front." The old man paused, and with a sympathetic frown continued. "They've been experimenting on you, I'm afraid.”

from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (1978).
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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts about human questioning about the meaning of their life on earth?    Thoughts about human questioning about the meaning of their life on earth?     EmptyWed 22 Jan 2020, 21:13

Paul, I think you have been unfairly expected to be able to understand British humorous references, especially to Monty Python, one of whose members died just yesterday (or maybe today - time differences between Britain and NZ confuse me at times). There is a famous line in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe by Douglas Adams, another comedic book, which says 42 is the answer to life, and that is what Nordmann was referencing. 

As for the meaning of life, it is a philosophical question, but like MM, I think it is unanswerable. And were you thinking of human life or all life? Humans tend to question what life is but I doubt if any animal does. You need language to be able to do that, and probably some form of intellectual intelligence. I have questioned at times why I haven't done more with my life and the intelligence I was gifted, but haven't come up with a meaningful answer, except that my nature seems to be very accepting. I did read the other day that a connection to the community is the best way to feel happy and have good mental health.
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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts about human questioning about the meaning of their life on earth?    Thoughts about human questioning about the meaning of their life on earth?     EmptyThu 23 Jan 2020, 19:34

Caro, thank you very much for your explanation of the 42 referring to a book and yes Vizzer seems to know it and MM too. Is that perhaps a bestseller in the Anglo-Saxon world. I have to say that I never heard about that person and that work and I am nearly sure also everyone in my broader acquinteness' circle. Is that a joke among academics?

Caro, you said: "And were you thinking of human life or all life? Humans tend to question what life is but I doubt if any animal does."

Yes: About "humans" thinking about "their human life".
I aswered it the day before yesterday to Vizzer too:
"I wanted to ask about "humans" seeking for the meaning of "their!" life..."
PS: yesterday evening outside...copious dinner...

Caro, you said: "I did read the other day that a connection to the community is the best way to feel happy and have good mental health."

Yes, I fully agree with that. And there came also in the "myth" thread something similar in my reply to nordmann on 17 January I have the impression.
I said then:
"Myths related to the search of why we are here?, what the meaning is of our life here on earth? about our search for happiness?
Temperance and I had, perhaps in this thread, a question: How to be happy in life. And I answered: to be positive, to have permanentely goals in life, to be there always for others, while true happiness comes nearly always from the hapiness to have done something for someone else. And now I see under the thread about the "meaning of life" that I, without knowing it, had shown: secular humanism..."



And while I am reading that paragraph...as an aside...
Need humans a "social" frame to act in as communities and to form groups with symbols to convert other groups to their "thinking"?
As for instance overhere in Belgium the "humanistich verbond" with their symbol:


Thoughts about human questioning about the meaning of their life on earth?     Z


Kind regards, Paul.
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