Famous(?) Atheists answer: How does your life have meaning?

#42
One thing I find fascinating is how both atheists and religious people seem to have such certainty in their convictions, whereas in reality, the universe is uncertain, we as a species are still pretty young, we have not even scratched the surface of what's out there. We need more doubt, and to be comfortable with it.
 

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

Nap, interrupted.
Member
#45
One thing I find fascinating is how both atheists and religious people seem to have such certainty in their convictions, whereas in reality, the universe is uncertain, we as a species are still pretty young, we have not even scratched the surface of what's out there. We need more doubt, and to be comfortable with it.
I'm only certain in my conviction because I don't see any cosmic purpose. If one suddenly appears, I'll certainly change my conviction. I find it difficult to assign tentative purpose.

~~ Paul
 
#46
One thing I find fascinating is how both atheists and religious people seem to have such certainty in their convictions, whereas in reality, the universe is uncertain, we as a species are still pretty young, we have not even scratched the surface of what's out there. We need more doubt, and to be comfortable with it.
I agree with you Junkie. And TBH, I'm sure there is plenty of doubt going on on both sides, just not in public. There is a lot of money and notoriety to be earned in both cases for being the stand-out blow hard. Expressing doubt in those cases would be career suicide and I just don't see that happening.

However, in general while you can always harbor doubt, I think most of us kind of pick a side; do we or do we not believe in more beyond this life/reality. It's a much larger choice than most, especially in this "modern" age, give credit to. It really does inform how you choose to live your life. In fact, I'd venture to say that it is one of the most most important factors with profound effects on the way in which someone chooses to live their life.

I think we all doubt, just some more than others. Some more publicly than others. But we all choose a side, whether we truly realize it or not.
 
#47
Life, in and of itself, is meaningless. It is when you apply meaning to this illusion it then becomes meaningful only as a tool for gaining experience, the only reason one lives in this physical cosmic joke.
 
#48
Life, in and of itself, is meaningless. It is when you apply meaning to this illusion it then becomes meaningful only as a tool for gaining experience, the only reason one lives in this physical cosmic joke.
Could be, but what evidence do you have to be sure of these statements? Is it only from your own personal experience or interpretations of others experiences?
 
#50
Could be, but what evidence do you have to be sure of these statements? Is it only from your own personal experience or interpretations of others experiences?
I have no idea what you might perceive as evidential but I have found that thoughts (actions, application of meaningfulness) arise from from beliefs. Those beliefs drive what we do and who we see ourselves as. Hence, life, and no circumstances in life, inherently have meaning to wit "Life, in and of itself, is meaningless. It is when you apply meaning to this illusion it then becomes meaningful only as a tool for gaining experience..."
 
#52
I have no idea what you might perceive as evidential but I have found that thoughts (actions, application of meaningfulness) arise from from beliefs. Those beliefs drive what we do and who we see ourselves as. Hence, life, and no circumstances in life, inherently have meaning to wit "Life, in and of itself, is meaningless. It is when you apply meaning to this illusion it then becomes meaningful only as a tool for gaining experience..."

If the universe is ultimately subjective, why couldn't there be meaning?
 
#54
If the universe is ultimately subjective
Opinions are subjective, facts are not. The co-creation of your physical [ir]reality is a fact, ymmv, it is always your choice...determined by your belief systems.

why couldn't there be meaning?
Once you apply your belief to the life event, it is. A chair is uneventful from an experience viewpoint until you use it as a chair.

Until then, a life event is a co-creation that is resolved for no other purpose than to apply beliefs, see what the experience is from that application, then learn from that. This is why we live to learn from experiences, nothing else.
 
#55
Opinions are subjective, facts are not. The co-creation of your physical [ir]reality is a fact, ymmv, it is always your choice...determined by your belief systems.



Once you apply your belief to the life event, it is. A chair is uneventful from an experience viewpoint until you use it as a chair.

Until then, a life event is a co-creation that is resolved for no other purpose than to apply beliefs, see what the experience is from that application, then learn from that. This is why we live to learn from experiences, nothing else.
The facts themselves would ultimately be subjective if there is only one consciousness.

Why would meaning have to require beliefs? Why couldn't it transcend belief?
 
#56
The facts themselves would ultimately be subjective if there is only one consciousness.
I accept that as your belief. Thank you for that.

Why would meaning have to require beliefs? Why couldn't it transcend belief?
Beliefs --> emotions --> thought ---> co-creation (including application of meaning). It is the sequence humans follow.
 
#57
I accept that as your belief. Thank you for that.

Beliefs --> emotions --> thought ---> co-creation (including application of meaning). It is the sequence humans follow.
You have referenced Hindu Mystics in other posts; what do you think they would consider the meaning of life?
 

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

Nap, interrupted.
Member
#58
Why would you expect that you would have the meaning written down?

Would you expect the meaning of life to be some Jeopardy statement whose answer is "what is the meaning of life?"
No, but I would expect that if you claim there is cosmic meaning, I should be able to recognize it from among all the other meanings that I've assigned. Otherwise what does the claim mean?

~~ Paul
 
#59
I have no idea what you might perceive as evidential but I have found that thoughts (actions, application of meaningfulness) arise from from beliefs. Those beliefs drive what we do and who we see ourselves as. Hence, life, and no circumstances in life, inherently have meaning to wit "Life, in and of itself, is meaningless. It is when you apply meaning to this illusion it then becomes meaningful only as a tool for gaining experience..."
I'm more interested in what you believe is evidence since you're making the claim not me. For my clarity, I'll try to paraphrase your claim so let me know if I get this wrong:

People believe something first then they apply meanings to everything around them that fit that belief, at which point they feel confident to make blanket statements about things they dont actually have full knowledge of since they only can perceive things from their point of view which is subjective and so limited by what they can only perceive. Irrespective, the belief is so strong that they feel certain about knowing such things beyond the scope of their knowledge and so even claim to know stuff like whether life has a purpose (or doesn't).

Is that right?
 
#60
No, but I would expect that if you claim there is cosmic meaning, I should be able to recognize it from among all the other meanings that I've assigned. Otherwise what does the claim mean?

~~ Paul
Why should the meaning be something that can just be written down? Why does the meaning have to be something that can be grasped by our intellect? I don't see why these should be expected if there is a meaning.
 
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