Why is "meaning" good?

#21
Yeah that was definitely my bad. Meaning in this case is in the form of an objective morality, a sort of programming built into the universe that dictactes what you are allowed and not allowed to do without restricting what you are capable of doing.
If you are equating meaning with morality then perhaps I misunderstood the question at the outset. I don't believe that we are constrained by any sort of moral programming or that the universe dictates what I am allowed to do. I believe that we are free to explore our nature in any way we choose. One caveat to that, however, is that I do think there is some sort of karma which ensures we are responsible for our actions: there are negative and positive consequences (but I certainly don't mean that in the sense of punishment or reward).

My earlier answer was about meaning in the sense of purpose: evolutionary progress. Morality may be part of that progress in that we discover that altruism is progress from selfishness, kindness is progress from being mean and hurtful, compassion is better than cruelty. As I said before, this is spiritual evolution.

As for cults and religions, these are human creations and are subject to human failings. Nevertheless, at the very core of any major religion, those values I mentioned above can be found. The fact that humans distort the message and we see such cruelty and atrocities shows that humans have a long way to go.
 
#22
Mediochre,

I think 'meaning' saturates everything - it is quite impossible to live life without it. For example, you take up a knife and you could use it against someone, or against yourself, or you could cut some vegetables. Can it possibly be that case that the result of that choice has no meaning? To take another example, you go to the dentist, and he gives you the choice of having your tooth filled without a painkiller, or with a painkiller, or simply letting it rot. Does that have no meaning?

You can't really take meaning out of your life - even though you can fantasise that at some more abstract level your life has no meaning! If simple things like that have a meaning, then I think the meaning propagates up to larger things.

David
I think I would need to know your definition of "meaning" to properly reply to this. It appears you're saying meaning is more of a feeling or sensation that exists in conjunction with goals rather than an external force. If so then I see that as being objectively meaningless and supporting what I'm saying. Rather you'd be basically saying what I'm saying.
 
#23
My earlier answer was about meaning in the sense of purpose: evolutionary progress. Morality may be part of that progress in that we discover that altruism is progress from selfishness, kindness is progress from being mean and hurtful, compassion is better than cruelty. As I said before, this is spiritual evolution.
See this is the exact problem I am talking about. On what basis is kindness "better" than cruelty? Who gets to decide these things? What if someone dissagrees, such as myself? Are we "bad" people? are we "less progressed?" The moment you startascribing hierarchical value to these things is the moment it falls into the trap I've seen over and over again.

I know from experience that sometimes cruelty is better than kindnss. Likewise sometimes kindness is better than cruelty. These things are methods, tactics, that are used to achieve goals. I can't think less of a person just because they use one tactic over another because doing so would be hypocritical. At most I get annoyed at people's hypocrisy. Such as AntiFa claiming to be the "good guys" fighting fascism by beating people in the streets and smashing property. And then they get surprised when this happens:


I'm sure the people who started the organization had good intentions but as the old saying goes "the road to hell is paved with good intentions."
 
#24
I think I would need to know your definition of "meaning" to properly reply to this. It appears you're saying meaning is more of a feeling or sensation that exists in conjunction with goals rather than an external force. If so then I see that as being objectively meaningless and supporting what I'm saying. Rather you'd be basically saying what I'm saying.
I think small scale meaning combines together to make a larger scale meaning. I mean if one life is meaningful to you - say your wife, or your child - then surely it isn't consistent to say that life as a whole is meaningless.

David
 
#25
Further more, do you have a rational basis for your belief, or is it simply an emotional response. A "childish" fear of growing up and being an independant person. Much like children, in the real world, observably have when you see them cling to parents for emotional support. A fear of abandonment and isolation that they learn to overcome or at least deal with as they grow into adults.That is the question I have been asking and why I have the perceptions that I have. Because hey, maybe I'm wrong.
I think sometimes we can often separate and pigeonhole the rational (or logical) from the emotional (intuitive)... when there is no reason not to use both to observe our subjective world. It is not a childish fear for me anymore. It is simply a gut feeling (intuition) based on my own evidence that life may be more meaningful than I can possibly imagine. Love ... for instance, is not just chemicals firing in my brain. There is much more to it than that. But maybe I'm being too irrational. ;)
 

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

Nap, interrupted.
Member
#26
I started to write a response to this childish post but thought better of it. Go the route of "making your own meaning" and there are only values as they pertain to you, and screw everyone else. Thinking about humankind's oldest questions is juvenile, and ending with "Do what thou wilt."
Why are you assuming that if I make my own meaning it would be entirely selfish?

Why are you apparently assuming that some cosmic meaning would not be selfish?

~~ Paul
 
#27
See this is the exact problem I am talking about. On what basis is kindness "better" than cruelty? Who gets to decide these things? What if someone dissagrees, such as myself? Are we "bad" people? are we "less progressed?" The moment you startascribing hierarchical value to these things is the moment it falls into the trap I've seen over and over again.

I know from experience that sometimes cruelty is better than kindnss. Likewise sometimes kindness is better than cruelty. These things are methods, tactics, that are used to achieve goals. I can't think less of a person just because they use one tactic over another because doing so would be hypocritical. At most I get annoyed at people's hypocrisy. Such as AntiFa claiming to be the "good guys" fighting fascism by beating people in the streets and smashing property. And then they get surprised when this happens:
I liked your video, but even though there is a ton of hypocrisy oozing out of folk like that, I don't think that has bearing n the concept of meaning.

When would you say that cruelty was better than kindness?

David
 
#28
I know from experience that sometimes cruelty is better than kindness. Likewise sometimes kindness is better than cruelty. These things are methods, tactics, that are used to achieve goals. I can't think less of a person just because they use one tactic over another because doing so would be hypocritical. At most I get annoyed at people's hypocrisy. Such as AntiFa claiming to be the "good guys" fighting fascism by beating people in the streets and smashing property. And then they get surprised when this happens:
Who or what told you that cruelty is better than kindness? When is it better? Do you have the absolute knowledge of right and wrong? How do you feel when you are unkind to someone? How would you feel if you got drunk and hopped in your car and accidentally kill a little girl riding her bike? Or does feelings matter because it is "irrational?" At some point ... don't you have to just trust your gut? It may be that simple and maybe this conversation is meaningless.
 
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#29
See this is the exact problem I am talking about. On what basis is kindness "better" than cruelty? Who gets to decide these things? What if someone dissagrees, such as myself? Are we "bad" people? are we "less progressed?" The moment you startascribing hierarchical value to these things is the moment it falls into the trap I've seen over and over again.

I know from experience that sometimes cruelty is better than kindnss. Likewise sometimes kindness is better than cruelty. These things are methods, tactics, that are used to achieve goals. I can't think less of a person just because they use one tactic over another because doing so would be hypocritical. At most I get annoyed at people's hypocrisy. Such as AntiFa claiming to be the "good guys" fighting fascism by beating people in the streets and smashing property. And then they get surprised when this happens:


I'm sure the people who started the organization had good intentions but as the old saying goes "the road to hell is paved with good intentions."
Do you think beating people is better than showing compassion? I can't think of a single example of actual cruelty being better than kindness. An action might seem to be cruel - like denying a child's request to swim in the river with his friends - but the intent is probably to protect the child from potential harm. Your oft-repeated quote about the road to hell applies to unexpected outcomes to good intentions. The intention wasn't to cause harm.

The only person who gets to decide these things is you. Again, we are back to the subjective which you don't want to consider. Feelings, love, etc., etc. If they count for nothing in your life, then nobody here can answer your question. Again I'll use the word karma which is the closest thing to a universal law that I can come up with: negative actions and beliefs have negative consequences. If you decide that there is no way of defining negative and that something motivated by hatred or greed or maliciousness is neutral when compared to something motivated by love, then this discussion is at an end for me. I don't know what to say to you except that I don't see the world that way. If you want a rational, empirical, reductionist explanation for my worldview, I can't give you one but does that mean I'm wrong?
 
#30
Why are you assuming that if I make my own meaning it would be entirely selfish?

Why are you apparently assuming that some cosmic meaning would not be selfish?

~~ Paul
If you start with no meaning, you really have to strain to imagine what that would be like. It would be as if all the events in your life were assigned numerical labels like 04528912177503. Viewing your life solely in terms of those symbols, it would look really meaningless, and you couldn't juggle with them to put meaning back in! You simply couldn't put meaning into your life if you start out without any!

You start out with things that have meaning, and you make more meaning, but you never start with none!

David
 

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

Nap, interrupted.
Member
#31
If you start with no meaning, you really have to strain to imagine what that would be like. It would be as if all the events in your life were assigned numerical labels like 04528912177503. Viewing your life solely in terms of those symbols, it would look really meaningless, and you couldn't juggle with them to put meaning back in! You simply couldn't put meaning into your life if you start out without any!

You start out with things that have meaning, and you make more meaning, but you never start with none!
I have no idea why you think meaning is magical like this. I perceive a cow. In my brain various memories form, with information such as the image of the cow, its smell, its sound, the word "cow," and so forth. The memories are interconnected. So now "cow" means cow, as does the image of the cow.

I agree that if you could somehow store the word "cow" in my brain with absolutely no other cow referents, then it would be basically meaningless until such time as I learned more about cows. Similar to the definition of a word if I don't know what any of the words in the definition mean.

~~ Paul
 
#32
I liked your video, but even though there is a ton of hypocrisy oozing out of folk like that, I don't think that has bearing n the concept of meaning.
AntiFa certainly thought what they were doing was "meaningful" so I dissagree

When would you say that cruelty was better than kindness?
Example 1:
in cases where someone is attacking you for ideological reasons, such as AntiFa. If one of those people who got swarmed and beaten to the ground had instead gouged the eyes and broken one or two of the arms of an AntiFa attacker the rest would've likely thought twice about such an assault. Members of AntiFa had historically and repeatedly shown very high levels of cowardice, singling out people and only attacking in a large swarm when they felt safe to do so. Such a display of power and willingness to use it would've likely made a group scatter, saving not just the defender but those around them. The attackers might think twice about such a tactic again, fearing that the next lone person they single out might be capable of the same defense. Making subsequent attacks less likely and potentially not as damaging. Some individual member may be galvanized by such a display instead, but defening from one or two unarmed attackers is far safer than one or two dozen. Furthermore, AntiFa had publicly set up training halls which they openly stated existed to train people to fight republicans. AntiFa had already killed and maimed people by the time they had announced such training halls.

Appropriate action in that case would've been to storm such a facility and wipe out all attendees the same way one would wipe out a military base of a nation one was at war with. Given that "war" was the stance AntiFa had publicly declared itself to have at the time. Had such measures been taken the "protest" in the video may not have happened at all and innocent people who wanted nothing to do with the situation may not have been harmed.

::EDIT:: Obviously the situation could've also be handled much, much earlier befoer it got to that point in a much less violent way. But in my example I'musing a "last straw" scenario. And those are just my personal opinions on it.

Example 2:

Historically I've been told of an event in Darwin Australia in the 70's or 80's involving a gang known as the "Caz Boys"

They were known for ambushing people and beating them to a pulp. Baiting cars and the like to draw people in. The police weren't really doing enough to help, and eventually the fathers of all the victimized sons and daughters had enough one day. They grabbed bats, pipes, whatever they had, got in their cars, drove to the neighborhood everyone knew the Caz Boys were operating from an beat the ever loving shit out of them. The ambushes stopped occurring. I'm told the Caz Boys still exist but their numbers and antics have never reached the levels they did during that period.

Example 3:

An artist friend of mine who was sick and tired of people stealing original art from others, recolouring it a little, then claiming it to be their own original work. People tried to explain to the thieves that stealing was wrong but unsurprisingly words had no effect. So my friend, who is an actually skilled artist, made a fake account, stole the stolen artwork, recoloured it themselves but with massive skill imrovements, gave them goofy lipstick and eyeliner, then posted it as the fake accounts work. The thieves would come to them all furious that they're not allowed to do that and it's stealing. My friend parroted the thieves own logic back at them, acting as if they were completely unaware that they were doing anything wrong the same way the theives originally did. Some of the theives learned their lesson and understood that what they were doing was indeed stealing and how it made people feel and stopped stealing.

Some bleeding hearts came to my friend and tried to morally bertate her for her actions. Stating things like "two wrongs don't make a right!" and "you sunk to their level!"

My friend replied "I made them stop, what have you accomplished?" To which the bleeding hearts had no reply. The fake account gained a following for awhile with people being inspired by its actions until my friend stopped bothering with teaching lessons.

For my own personal experience with dealing with the spirit world I could give many stories although I'm not entirely comfortable doing so. But the general theme is that if I had not been as brutal as I had been I would be dead right now, period. Sometimes sticking heads on pikes and lining your terittory with them as a reminder of what will happen to someone if they try to attack is the only diplomatic solution left. When all words have failed, when someone deems you the "enemy" and that they have a righteous moral duty to kill you, the only language left that they speak or hear is power.
 
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#33
I can't think of a single example of actual cruelty being better than kindness. An action might seem to be cruel - like denying a child's request to swim in the river with his friends - but the intent is probably to protect the child from potential harm.
And who gets to define the difference between "actual" cruelty and "seeming" cruelty?

Your oft-repeated quote about the road to hell applies to unexpected outcomes to good intentions. The intention wasn't to cause harm.
The outcomes are only unexpected because the people involved aren't considering the logic behind their actions. Deciding that their way is the right way, the good way, the only ways, and not listening to anyone else. Feeling based approaches invariably fail.

Feelings, love, etc., etc. If they count for nothing in your life, then nobody here can answer your question.
They don't count for nothing, but I recognize that I can only truly know my own feelings and own perspective and that my perspective is not a one size fits all answer to everyone else.

If you decide that there is no way of defining negative and that something motivated by hatred or greed or maliciousness is neutral when compared to something motivated by love, then this discussion is at an end for me.
Who gets to decide whether someone's actions are hateful, et al?

The whole point I am trying to make here is as far as I can tell self-interest is the only possible way one can be. I can only decide these things for myself and apply them for myself because I'm the only entity that I can percieve or control. Therefore I have no choice but to accept that everything is subjective lest I fall into the same trap as others I have seen. I need to admit that I don't have all the answers and that everything I believe is merely an opinion. And that any action I take I take simply because I wanted to. There is no means by which I can apply any sort of external, universal anything to any of this.
 
#36
But seriously though... meaning exists and it is the 5th spatial dimension. It is what connects the dots of your timeline.

Meaning arises from integrating over your 4D timeline which is a story. If you exist, you're part of a story and a story generates meaning.

So what I think you're really saying is no one is authoring your story but you.

Personally I think it's a group effort, but yeah the individual can maybe be the lead author.
 
#37
Example 1:
in cases where someone is attacking you for ideological reasons, such as AntiFa. If one of those people who got swarmed and beaten to the ground had instead gouged the eyes and broken one or two of the arms of an AntiFa attacker the rest would've likely thought twice about such an assault. Members of AntiFa had historically and repeatedly shown very high levels of cowardice, singling out people and only attacking in a large swarm when they felt safe to do so. Such a display of power and willingness to use it would've likely made a group scatter, saving not just the defender but those around them. The attackers might think twice about such a tactic again, fearing that the next lone person they single out might be capable of the same defense. Making subsequent attacks less likely and potentially not as damaging. Some individual member may be galvanized by such a display instead, but defening from one or two unarmed attackers is far safer than one or two dozen. Furthermore, AntiFa had publicly set up training halls which they openly stated existed to train people to fight republicans. AntiFa had already killed and maimed people by the time they had announced such training halls.

Appropriate action in that case would've been to storm such a facility and wipe out all attendees the same way one would wipe out a military base of a nation one was at war with. Given that "war" was the stance AntiFa had publicly declared itself to have at the time. Had such measures been taken the "protest" in the video may not have happened at all and innocent people who wanted nothing to do with the situation may not have been harmed.

::EDIT:: Obviously the situation could've also be handled much, much earlier befoer it got to that point in a much less violent way. But in my example I'musing a "last straw" scenario. And those are just my personal opinions on it.

Example 2:

Historically I've been told of an event in Darwin Australia in the 70's or 80's involving a gang known as the "Caz Boys"

They were known for ambushing people and beating them to a pulp. Baiting cars and the like to draw people in. The police weren't really doing enough to help, and eventually the fathers of all the victimized sons and daughters had enough one day. They grabbed bats, pipes, whatever they had, got in their cars, drove to the neighborhood everyone knew the Caz Boys were operating from an beat the ever loving shit out of them. The ambushes stopped occurring. I'm told the Caz Boys still exist but their numbers and antics have never reached the levels they did during that period.

Example 3:

An artist friend of mine who was sick and tired of people stealing original art from others, recolouring it a little, then claiming it to be their own original work. People tried to explain to the thieves that stealing was wrong but unsurprisingly words had no effect. So my friend, who is an actually skilled artist, made a fake account, stole the stolen artwork, recoloured it themselves but with massive skill imrovements, gave them goofy lipstick and eyeliner, then posted it as the fake accounts work. The thieves would come to them all furious that they're not allowed to do that and it's stealing. My friend parroted the thieves own logic back at them, acting as if they were completely unaware that they were doing anything wrong the same way the theives originally did. Some of the theives learned their lesson and understood that what they were doing was indeed stealing and how it made people feel and stopped stealing.

Some bleeding hearts came to my friend and tried to morally bertate her for her actions. Stating things like "two wrongs don't make a right!" and "you sunk to their level!"

My friend replied "I made them stop, what have you accomplished?" To which the bleeding hearts had no reply. The fake account gained a following for awhile with people being inspired by its actions until my friend stopped bothering with teaching lessons.

For my own personal experience with dealing with the spirit world I could give many stories although I'm not entirely comfortable doing so. But the general theme is that if I had not been as brutal as I had been I would be dead right now, period. Sometimes sticking heads on pikes and lining your terittory with them as a reminder of what will happen to someone if they try to attack is the only diplomatic solution left. When all words have failed, when someone deems you the "enemy" and that they have a righteous moral duty to kill you, the only language left that they speak or hear is power.
I definitely see the point you are making, and am sharing a very similar feeling and experience. When I first started this journey of spiritual awakening/expanded awareness or whatever you want to term it. I was very gullible and feel victim to many of my cognitive bias. As I progressed I became more serious, I was losing bits and pieces of my personality to a more stoic personality. Less joke, less humor, less judgement, less critical thinking, I was in a loophole of my own cognitive biases relating to the things I read about spiritual awakening, I become a stoic neurotic Ned Flanders, a spiritual robot, I had lost my humanity and become a one dimensional being who had this misconception of what spirituality was. I dipped in and out of Atheism, which was during one of the most turbulent times of my life. I was a chain smoker, I drank often, had low self esteem and anger issues and hated the world and most the people in it. I was mad I was so deluded by my cognitive bias from both angles (spirituality, atheism) but something inside kept nagging towards the spiritual side, after 8 years of finding myself and quitting smoking for good (I have an occasional beer every other weekend....sue me lol) Along the way I found a way to compromise the components are each side of the spectrum. Less cognitive biases, more critical thinking, less dogma, disciplined by ethical skepticism, discernment and not necessarily choosing a side, I just kept it as balanced and open minded as I could without wandering in to dogma (for either side)(my PSI and Pre-cog experiences has me leaning towards the unknown side more)

I learned how to be human again, how to feel, how to express, how to have a sense of humor and not feel guilty for judging anybody, I'm not perfect and I still carry this deep anger with in me. Apart of me knows why, Apart of me doesn't understand. To this day I generally do not like many people and find the majority to be quiet bland and brainwashed. I still have trust issues and find most people to be petty or untrustworthy and biased, but its different this time because I am not feeling guilty for this. I'm aware enough now not to let me anger drown me (sometimes) I still have faults and things I need to work on and my beliefs are my beliefs. And like the story of you artists friends, I agree 100 percent. Some people need to be taught a lesson, our culture has misconstrued what "darkness" really is IMO. For example if someone attacks or hurts one of my family members, I am going after them to what degree I won't know till its over. Protect what is yours and what you hold dear as long as you are not stepping over anyone or anybody. When people give me an attitude and I'm not in the right mood for it, I'll give one back and I am not ashamed of taking the high road everytime. If everyone took the high road everytime we'd all be in heaven

My Anger is very similar to Raphael in this scene;) Maybe its cause I don't know everything or never will or how the world is, I'll be alright
 
#38
AntiFa certainly thought what they were doing was "meaningful" so I dissagree
Hang on, let's be clear, I'm British, so the political terminology is somewhat different - this is the first time I came across the term AntiFa - I am broadly supportive of President Trump, although I did not approve of his attack on Syria. When I referred to hypocrisy, I was talking about the hypocrisy of the 'Left' (which I don't think deserves to take on the mantle of the Left that I knew as a young man).
Example 1:
in cases where someone is attacking you for ideological reasons, such as AntiFa. If one of those people who got swarmed and beaten to the ground had instead gouged the eyes and broken one or two of the arms of an AntiFa attacker the rest would've likely thought twice about such an assault. Members of AntiFa had historically and repeatedly shown very high levels of cowardice, singling out people and only attacking in a large swarm when they felt safe to do so. Such a display of power and willingness to use it would've likely made a group scatter, saving not just the defender but those around them. The attackers might think twice about such a tactic again, fearing that the next lone person they single out might be capable of the same defense. Making subsequent attacks less likely and potentially not as damaging. Some individual member may be galvanized by such a display instead, but defening from one or two unarmed attackers is far safer than one or two dozen. Furthermore, AntiFa had publicly set up training halls which they openly stated existed to train people to fight republicans. AntiFa had already killed and maimed people by the time they had announced such training halls.
Well I think a more effective opposition to the AntiFa might have been pure non-violence. Particularly in the days of instant video, the image of a violent mob attacking people just holding up placards and talking would have been very powerful. In that situation I suspect the AntiFa guys would have been far less violence - once both side start to fight things escalate. However, I fully understand that non-violence can be very hard to do, and may involve greater courage than I possess.
Appropriate action in that case would've been to storm such a facility and wipe out all attendees the same way one would wipe out a military base of a nation one was at war with. Given that "war" was the stance AntiFa had publicly declared itself to have at the time. Had such measures been taken the "protest" in the video may not have happened at all and innocent people who wanted nothing to do with the situation may not have been harmed.

::EDIT:: Obviously the situation could've also be handled much, much earlier befoer it got to that point in a much less violent way. But in my example I'musing a "last straw" scenario. And those are just my personal opinions on it.

Example 2:

Historically I've been told of an event in Darwin Australia in the 70's or 80's involving a gang known as the "Caz Boys"

They were known for ambushing people and beating them to a pulp. Baiting cars and the like to draw people in. The police weren't really doing enough to help, and eventually the fathers of all the victimized sons and daughters had enough one day. They grabbed bats, pipes, whatever they had, got in their cars, drove to the neighborhood everyone knew the Caz Boys were operating from an beat the ever loving shit out of them. The ambushes stopped occurring. I'm told the Caz Boys still exist but their numbers and antics have never reached the levels they did during that period.

Example 3:

An artist friend of mine who was sick and tired of people stealing original art from others, recolouring it a little, then claiming it to be their own original work. People tried to explain to the thieves that stealing was wrong but unsurprisingly words had no effect. So my friend, who is an actually skilled artist, made a fake account, stole the stolen artwork, recoloured it themselves but with massive skill imrovements, gave them goofy lipstick and eyeliner, then posted it as the fake accounts work. The thieves would come to them all furious that they're not allowed to do that and it's stealing. My friend parroted the thieves own logic back at them, acting as if they were completely unaware that they were doing anything wrong the same way the theives originally did. Some of the theives learned their lesson and understood that what they were doing was indeed stealing and how it made people feel and stopped stealing.

Some bleeding hearts came to my friend and tried to morally bertate her for her actions. Stating things like "two wrongs don't make a right!" and "you sunk to their level!"

My friend replied "I made them stop, what have you accomplished?" To which the bleeding hearts had no reply. The fake account gained a following for awhile with people being inspired by its actions until my friend stopped bothering with teaching lessons.

For my own personal experience with dealing with the spirit world I could give many stories although I'm not entirely comfortable doing so. But the general theme is that if I had not been as brutal as I had been I would be dead right now, period. Sometimes sticking heads on pikes and lining your terittory with them as a reminder of what will happen to someone if they try to attack is the only diplomatic solution left. When all words have failed, when someone deems you the "enemy" and that they have a righteous moral duty to kill you, the only language left that they speak or hear is power.
Really all of that is not quite what I thought we were talking about - which was meaning! See my answer to Paul (below).

David
 
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#39
I have no idea why you think meaning is magical like this. I perceive a cow. In my brain various memories form, with information such as the image of the cow, its smell, its sound, the word "cow," and so forth. The memories are interconnected. So now "cow" means cow, as does the image of the cow.
The abstract numerical labels in my example can also be linked into whatever network you like, however the links themselves must be number-labels as well - not meaningful things 'married' or 'admires' or whatever.
I agree that if you could somehow store the word "cow" in my brain with absolutely no other cow referents, then it would be basically meaningless until such time as I learned more about cows. Similar to the definition of a word if I don't know what any of the words in the definition mean.

~~ Paul
So the question I am asking, is if you start with meaningless entities - large numbers (think of them as computer addresses perhaps), and never inject anything into the mix that is itself meaningful (and which would obviously be cheating), how can you get any meaning into the system - however complicated the network becomes?

David
 
#40
First of all, I just want to say that I sympathize with your post, Mediochre. Many proponents on this forum (or spiritual people in general) are indeed guilty of thinking that the afterlife hypothesis implies that there's meaning in the moral restriction kind of way. In other words, here's how they reason:

"There is an afterlife. Therefore, our actions have consequences that we will have to account for. Therefore, I will do what I believe to be "good" in order to be awarded and/or avoid punishment after I die, instead of doing whatever I want to do at all times."

These people do not understand what unconditional love is all about, and/or the gravity of eternity. If we are eternal beings, why shouldn't we explore every idea we're interested in? As one NDEr put it, "It was in this moment that I became more fully aware of the fact that God (our Creator) wants us to experience everything that we wish to experience. Nothing is denied us, only that which we inherently deny ourselves."

Or put another way, why are people afraid of being themselves? Do they honestly think that when they arrive in the light, it's going to tell them "You were yourself and did what you wanted to do. Not everyone appreciated that at all times. Therefore, bad boy!"

they're going to need to demonstrate how it can have that meaning without putting restrictions on my choices
Indeed. See for instance these two videos, where the concept is elaborated upon:



It does not matter to the afterlife what we do here. Even if we nuke the entire planet to pieces, we will go straight home after we're done just as much as we'd do if we behaved like Jesus H. Christ 2.0. No one gets punished, no one gets rewarded. We chose these lives from a dispassionate sense of intellectual curiosity of what it's like to be character X in society Y in world Z, and not because of some moral duty to do this or that "because daddy afterlife said so". And the only restrictions on our behavior here are those set up in advance by laws of physics. But as you and others have noted, a lot of people are bothered by the idea of creating their own meaning and prefer to internalize someone else's view of meaning, via social orders, cultural values, religions, etc.

Of course, all erroneous beliefs of various moral duties is part of the experience for many of us of being a human, so from the meta-perspective of the afterlife it doesn't matter that many have them. Indeed, many of us choose to come here and be these irrational creatures because we're interested in what it's like living with those wrong beliefs!
 
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