This prominent scientist says life is meaningless… and he’s serious |314|

Claiming we don't know the meaning of life is no different from claiming we do know the meaning of life? Are you being serious? The meaning of life?
I did not say that. The certainty of the "secure" regarding meaninglessness and of the certainty of the religious is one in the same. I was pointing out that you were arbitrarily trying to separate one from the other.

Also, your rationalization that the "secure" realize that we "don't know anything" is hardly what Sean is perspiring here... He is arguing that "we have looked everywhere" (a charming example of "certainty").

And for that matter, that is not what Stephen was arguing.
 
Anyone claiming to know the meaning of life is incredibly insecure.
I wouldn't know anything about anyone being insecure. But you will admit it is a topic philosophers of all types have wonder about probably all the way back into prehistory.
What I don't get is why what Carroll said upsets so many, yet the many do not know what the meaning of life is in the big cosmic why are we here sense.
 
Anyone claiming to know the meaning of life is incredibly insecure.
To be insecure is to be uncertain of your own value or capability or future. The meaning of life is derived from the story we believe about life. Every life has meaning because every life is a story and every story means something to someone. Each of us knows parts of this story but no one knows the whole thing because at the fringes of this story lies a mystery. The mystery at the fringe perpetually threatens to undermine whatever story we construct about our reality and this has the potential to cause insecurity.

The question is: how do we deal with that mystery: with curiosity, courage, or cowardice? Some of us stare into that void and are afraid. We wall it off and paint a mural on the wall to give the illusion of continued familiarity and then do our best to forget the wall is an illusion we constructed. I think that is the insecure type you refer to. Some of us fear the void, but respond with courageous imposition of stoic discipline keeping busy to avoid thinking about it. We work on building solid things safely far away from where the sidewalk ends. We get so busy we almost forget the void is there until death comes knocking and then we are forced to step into it. And finally, some of us find the glittering blackness fascinating and irresistibly alluring. We get our kicks seeing how close we can play on the edge without falling in.
 
I know Stephen claims not to be a materialist - but to my perception he is
He just replaces the word matter with the word information
You say this like it's a horrible thing to be. I never claimed to be one nor have I ever used the word information. That's what folks would tend to label me. I stay away from philosophical labels
The comments about meat and juicy etc imply the belief that he is a biological or meat robot
as Alex would put it
How do you know we are not? How do you know you are different than a lion or a bacterium. I see forms of life as a continuum, from the very simple to the complex, but I see nothing in any of the forms that hint we (all forms) are more than biological mechanisms. I have a broken bone the doctor sets it, a brain disorder problem and I'm given chemicals to control it. Get the drift?

I hold to the independent nature of consciousness and the radical subjectivity of human knowing
whereas Stephen seems to imply an objective monist ontology and epistemology
I don't hold to anything other than can one prove their favorite philosophy it true.
If you do, you know how discussion with materialists on the matter of consciousness (and thus knowing) generally go
You could be wrong on the nature of it.
 
You say this like it's a horrible thing to be. I never claimed to be one nor have I ever used the word information. That's what folks would tend to label me. I stay away from philosophical labels

How do you know we are not? How do you know you are different than a lion or a bacterium. I see forms of life as a continuum, from the very simple to the complex, but I see nothing in any of the forms that hint we (all forms) are more than biological mechanisms. I have a broken bone the doctor sets it, a brain disorder problem and I'm given chemicals to control it. Get the drift?


I don't hold to anything other than can one prove their favorite philosophy it true.

You could be wrong on the nature of it.
Hi Steve
My comment you responded too was not addressed to you
It was addressed to another commenter called Stephen - not called Steve
 
The almost unanimous testimony of near death experiencers is that life in this world is meaningful
Most of them say the things which are important in the grand scheme of existence are kindness and caring and positive creative participation in the world

So meaning is generated in a sense by how we live and affect the world
How we affect the world while we are alive
and how our life will affect the lives of future generations of visiting souls

The body of near death testimony offers very clear answers to the question of the meaning of life
Personally I take them seriously
That is my choice
 
So meaning is generated in a sense by how we live and affect the world
This is a perfectly normal and emotional astute comment. Nothin' wrong with it. I just see something different for science analysis. I see the meaning (informational objects) as already part of the environment - just like the forces and masses of physical objects are there in a physical exchange. How we live transforms meanings and real-world probabilities into newly constituted meanings. In this way information objects convert from prior states to currently manifest states and set-up new information objects in new states.

Think of the laws of conservation of matter and energy and project them to the informational environment. Time are space can be replaced with state and sequence structure. I am comfortable with understanding the Materialist/Physicalist position as a robot, because methodological materialism is a valid set of math models to describe physical events.

Second, robotics is real and I have a 20 year fascination of how AI is useful in reality. Thinking of human behavior - as if we are robots is a valid description of events - however incomplete. It gives a mechanical level of abstraction to study. Robots work by programming and a robotic program is an integrated network of OOPs. Hence, as in informational realist - I can appreciate the robot's program output and compare and contrast to actual human behavior data. I argue the incompleteness of materialism - like a number of other posters here. I have an agenda to compliment mechanical metadata with informational metadata.

Can a robot detect meaning in its environment? Yes - they can choose pre-programmed clues. Can a "robot feel a room" at a party and get the crowd to laugh and like them? Not so well. Living things detect meaning at a different level of abstraction. (LoA) I argue the understanding of anything is a sense, in terms of interacting with ambient information objects.
 
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