Human existence

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What is your thought on the reason (or path of evolution) that brought mankind to it's current state? Why that?

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Posted · Report post

Current state of what? Current physical state of a human being? Current state of religion, of politics (of the the United States or some other country?), of environment (of global warming or the denial of global warming...), of science (of the lack of funding for a space program, of the interest in renewable energy, etc), of societal structures, of war, of popular media, of...you get the picture.

Not that it's not a good question. On the contrary, it's a great question, and considering what evolutionary forces and other events (i.e. random disasters, diseases, movements, etc) caused the things mentioned above, and the things not mentioned above, to be the way they are is all very interesting, but for each thing there is a complex history, and I find the immensity of asking the question in general is incredibly daunting. Did you mean for the question to be open-ended, or was there a specific aspect you were asking about the current state of?

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Posted · Report post

the question is meant to be open ended, to provoke discussion. And it was left vague on purpose. Feel free to interpret it however you like.

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Feel free to interpret it however you like.

However you like?

Alrighty then. Are you familiar with Neil Gaiman? A Dream of a Thousand Cats in The Sandman Volume Three, Dream Country.

A mother cats suffering the loss of her kittens due to her owners because the father wasn't a pure-breed goes on a quest for understanding. She finally meets Dream in cat form and he tells her that once humans were tiny creatures no larger than cats are now. Their role was to serve the cats and when the moon was full to serve as prey. Then there came a human that had an inspiration that it was dreams that shape the world. That dreams recreate the world every night. He told any human he met to not dream the world as it is but to dream of a new world where humans were masters. Finally enough humans dreamed of this new world and the next day it changed. She began telling other cats this and encouraged them to start dreaming things back to the way it was.

And this is why I tend to poke my cat when he is asleep by the computer.

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The reason for our evolution is the guiding hand of God.

Without him tinkering with genetics our evolution would have never come about.

I don't understand the purpose of this question.

Nah, I'm just messing with you guys... I don't believe in God.

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Posted · Report post

Not everyone believes in God or your particular version of God whichever version that might be.

Creation stories can be interesting. I'm trying to remember some of the stories told in some of the fantasy books I've read. I'm thinking there was a good one in a book about a puppeteer (shadow puppets?) but I can't remember the title to find the book to reference.

Then again I like stories and stories within stories. I think I've heard or read that the stories we tell each other help define who we are. What does it mean for us when there are so many stories available to us now?

I wonder how things might be different if the story of Adam of Eve was told diffferently.

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Posted · Report post

The reason for our evolution is the guiding hand of God.

Without him tinkering with genetics our evolution would have never come about.

I don't understand the purpose of this question.

there is no purpose to this question. It is merely of idle philosophical thoughts. Why do we want to learn the age of the Earth, or how people lived in Egypt during the reign of the Pharaohs?

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Not everyone believes in God or your particular version of God whichever version that might be.

Creation stories can be interesting. I'm trying to remember some of the stories told in some of the fantasy books I've read. I'm thinking there was a good one in a book about a puppeteer (shadow puppets?) but I can't remember the title to find the book to reference.

Then again I like stories and stories within stories. I think I've heard or read that the stories we tell each other help define who we are. What does it mean for us when there are so many stories available to us now?

I wonder how things might be different if the story of Adam of Eve was told diffferently.

curr3nt, I highly recommend you watch a movie called "The Fountain"

In fact, I recommend that movie for everyone here. It is actually a really good movie.

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Posted · Report post

New thought: What is the purpose of life? to have fun, produce offspring, or what?

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42.

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not a valid answer. my question wasn't "what is the answer to life?" my question was "what is the purpose of life?"

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Posted (edited) · Report post

"what is the purpose of life?"

I am pretty sure it is not to attempt to provoke a heated pseudo-religious argument by asking loaded questions

Edit: in which case the best answer to said question is as stated by marksmanjay, "42"

Edited by phaze
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Posted · Report post

To live and let live. That's my opinion.

Question everything and trust what you see as logical.

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"what is the purpose of life?"

I am pretty sure it is not to attempt to provoke a heated pseudo-religious argument by asking loaded questions

Edit: in which case the best answer to said question is as stated by marksmanjay, "42"

It's a serious question, not anything to provoke a religious argument. By the way, you realize that 42 isn't the answer? Since we know the question, 42 cannot be the answer or else the world would cease to exist. I don't want an argument, just what you personally and honestly think. I hope no one's going to persecute anybody else for their religion or lack thereof.

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Posted · Report post

"What is the purpose of life?" cuts to the core of strongly held and often disagreed human beliefs. Of what purpose does the question serve if not to walk into an old-time saloon and coax a gun-fight at high noon out of the otherwise mild mannered zealot by poking him with a stick?

We have already had one instant where someone in this thread has used the "G" word and been shut-down in the very next post. Whilst being only mild it shows the potential volatility of your line of questioning.

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Posted · Report post

Alright then. Fine. I revoke that question. Go back to the original question then.

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I don't see why it should...personally I abide by what I term a 'neo-nieztchian' philosophy: that the point of life is to be the best you can be, to try to attain your own unique potential. I don't really see how that is insulting or denigrating to anyone, regardless of their religious beliefs. I mean, I think there a lot of common themes across belief systems, even if the details are hotly debated.

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There are two diametrically opposed views that most people fit between in attempting to answer the question for themselves. I will call one the internal view and one the external view, although some people will have some aspects of each.

The internal view is that the answer to the question is that there is no purpose to life beyond what you personally assign to it. It is often coupled with the notion that you are the master of your own destiny and answerable to no-one. To hold this view you also need to accept the uncomfortable concept that you are own your own in this world. To these people the question "What is the purpose of life?" is irrelevant, valueless one that has an obvious answer. This would beg the question why did Flamebirde ask such an irrelevant question?

The external view is that the answer to the question is that the purpose to life is solely to follow some ideal or higher power. It means that you are beholden to that external ideal or higher power. To hold this view you need to accept the uncomfortable concept that you are no longer the master of your own destiny. To these people "What is the purpose of life?" could have a variety of opposed tightly held and intricate belief systems. This would beg the question why did Flamebirde ask such a potentially volatile question for a public forum?

Although the question was "What is the purpose of life?", he might of well asked "What do you believe in?" as that would provide similar answers.

As you may see I am more concerned about why Flamebirde asked the question. Maybe Flamebirde is struggling with an uncomfortable concept. This means that he may not be ready for a trite answer to the question yet. By asking this in a public forum however he is unintentionally baiting those who see the question as being highly relevant to express views that they hold dear to their heart. Due to the public but impersonal nature of this forum I don't think you can guarantee that these views would not be quickly shot down. I think that opinions about this question would be better elicited on an IRL, one to one basis with people that Flamebirde trusts.

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Posted · Report post

Yeah...I totally disagree with you phaze :P. For one thing, just b/c everyone has a different, personal view, doesn't make the question irrelevant. Personally, I think it makes the question more interesting. I am a fan of reading/watching/writing things in the fantasy genre (and I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in this ;P), and I always find exploring at different belief/social systems a fascinating experience, even if I personally disagree with those beliefs.

Secondly, I think many ppl find the 'impersonal', semi-anonymous nature of public forums more conducive to sharing things you might not share with ppl one to one in real life. When you share in real life, it often seems like you're 'risking' more: the person you're talking to might make a judgement about you that will irreversibly change your relationship with them, or, perhaps worse, they might just not be interested in what you have to say. It's really heart-wrenching to hold something dear and important and have someone you care about simply dismiss it :(. In a forum format, you can write up a long, well-though out post with all your ideas, and even if no one takes the time to read it, you'll never know. And, personally, I am one of those ppl who is better at organizing my ideas in writing than in conversation, and the act of writing helps me organize my ideas in itself, which often helps me feel more confident and content in my beliefs.

Lastly, for now at least, I don't think everyone here, especially the younger members *cough*, may be 100% unchangeably set in stone on every detail of their belief systems yet, and I think reading the thoughts of others and sharing their own thoughts might help them develop and refine their beliefs, perhaps even 'look at the world in a new light' so to speak. Personally I had a major breakthrough in my belief system in like junior high, from reading some things on a Neon Genesis Evangelion forum. (Okay you can laugh, but srsly that show has some major philosophical exploration.)

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Yeah...I totally disagree with you phaze :P.

Because of your 'neo-nieztchian' views you have less personal investment to lose.

For those that have a faith system this involves talking about deep personal issues in an impersonal public forum.

It is even more heart-wrenching to 'risk' everything you hold dear on a multitude of unknown people that have not earned your trust.

Each new post like above makes me more and more sure that personal views will not be treated with respect.

If a family photo was presented as a "purpose of my life" I have a suspicion that it would be treated simply like a piece of paper with ink on it.

It would be argued about rather than being accepted for what it is.

This is not a safe place to express views especially valuable ones.

To live and let live. That's my opinion.

Question everything and trust what you see as logical.

If logic was the sum of the human experience we would have been replaced by computers and restricted to resolving the issues of highly illogical beings. I would rather trust what I see as being intuitive

@Y-San This is why I believe a lengthy "logical" debate picking apart various belief systems would be fruitless.

This why I am reluctant to express my entire world view openly and honestly just so others can pick it apart without respect.

If anyone was really interested in my personal views they would have already have asked privately rather than request that they should be paraded in harsh public light.

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Wow, I'm really sorry you feel that way phaze, I'm sure whatever happened in your past experience that has given you this point of view was terrible and if you want to share it with me personally, feel free to PM me. I think I have made it pretty clear that while I will eagerly pick apart mathematically fallacies in puzzle threads ;P, I am pretty open-minded and tolerant of those with different opinions on spiritual matters and the like.

But at the same time, I do not share your view. Perhaps you do not think my 'neo-nieztchian' philosophy implies personal investment, but I assure you, I've invested a great deal in it. I do not think anyone wants to hear my entire life's story in this one post, but I have sacrificed a great deal of opportunistic opportunities in my professional and social life to stick by what I believe in, and it's still not easy, nearly every day I feel like I'm confronted with such choices.

My willingness to share comes not from being any less invested in my views as, say, someone of an organized religion, but it comes from my own confidence in my views. I did the same thing as Descartes did in A Treatise on Human Existence? (I think the title was something like that...) when I was in like 10th grade...I discarded all my preconceived notions of reality and existence and built up my belief system from scratch. Of course, I didn't make the same religious jumps that Descartes did, but I did come to the realization that without any 'assumptions', there was not very much to do, so I chose to base my system on assumptions based on what made me feel 'alive', what made life worth living.

As for sharing deep personal issues, I have shared my deepest personal issue in this forum a few years back, in a thread that was like 'Life Stories' or sth (I don't remember the exact title of that either...lol), and I found only support and appreciation from the BrainDenizens back then. Granted, the crowd has changed somewhat, but I don't think the majority of 'new' crowd is the type that would be hurtful/dismissive.

And to be fair, I did have some 'private' discussions with UR about beliefs, which he turned around and posted as the premise for discussion threads, lol :P. I was annoyed at first, but then I realized that I was confident enough in myself that I didn't really care.

I'm not sure where it was specified in this thread that we were suppose to have lengthy logical debates, but I personally did not take it that way. I took it more as a place to share and to learn about others and build more of a sense of community, not less. *shrugs*

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It is even more heart-wrenching to 'risk' everything you hold dear on a multitude of unknown people that have not earned your trust.

Quite the contrary, how would it be heart wrenching to know that someone out there out of ~7 billion people disagrees with me? After all, I already know that most of the world disagrees with me and my set of beliefs. All I ever wanted to know was your personal view on this topic. I had hoped that no one would discriminate against others, but, well I guess that was a vain hope that will obviously never prove true. Why can't people just respect others' beliefs? I guess that's another touchy topic, then. I thought that this could just serve as a conduit for a intellectually stimulating conversation, but that idea is so obviously impossible I wonder why I ever thought that could be true. Sorry for the rant, had to get something out.

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Posted · Report post

And now for something completely different.

What part of the evolutionary process involved wearing clothes?

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My guess is that it first evolved as an accessory like jewelry to show social class. then, like phones and cars, ordinary people could afford it and bought/wore it to the point that it shows that you are ordinary and if you don't have it then you are less than normal people. I really don't know, just my theory.

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