Author Topic: There is but one true philsophical problem  (Read 10691 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

July 18, 2014, 08:02:18 AM
Read 10691 times

ActionOfAll

  • A Veritas Regular

  • Offline
  • **

  • 82
  • Karma:
    0
    • View Profile
" There is but one truly philosophical problem, and that is suicide." - Albert Camus

 No matter what we fill our lives with, the question is: is it even worth it?

I've argued this question before, and my answer was always " well, regardless, you and I are both alive, and so whether it is meaningful or not, we are here. Why kill ourselves?"

I am now wondering, if there is no meaning, then the choice to continue living would be just as big a a decision as choosing to simply die. However, existence with all its mysteries, seems to be impossible without meaning, for the mere act of existing, it seems, gives meaning to itself.

In other words regardless of the "cause" or the "point," existence itself is inherently meaningful for no other reason that it simply is. If you exist then you exist. That seems to be a meaningful truth in and of itself, regardless of what point there is to it.

The question, though, becomes why DO anything? Why not just sit here? It also becomes a question of ethics, for if there is no other meaning to existence except the natural fact of existence itself, then what is right and what is wrong? Why are we imbued with a need to find meaning in the first place? In a natural world where evolution seems to center around the ability to survive, why, in the light of evolution, did humans become capable of existential thoughts?

Furthermore... Do the answers to these questions even matter?...
« Last Edit: July 18, 2014, 08:05:59 AM by ActionOfAll »

July 18, 2014, 08:09:16 AM
Reply #1

Ekstatikos

  • Veritas Furniture

  • Offline
  • ****

  • 411
  • Karma:
    20
  • Personal Text
    "It was ME! I was the turkey all along...!"
    • View Profile


Joking aside, the out take from Camus' absurdism, as I read it, is that although our situation is inherently meaningless and therefore brutally absurd, we share this situation, and should therefore support each other in rebelling against the meaninglessness of existence.

Personally though, I think absurdism claims more than is warranted, since the idea that existence has no inherent meaning is at least as plausible as the idea that existence does in fact have inherent meaning. Whether that meaning can be discovered, or whether it is generally better to create meaning rather than to search for it, is a whole other story.
~ Io Daimon Eriounes Theon ~

"Success is thy proof: argue not; convert not; talk not over much!" ~ Aleister Crowley, Liber AL vel Legis

To Know, To Dare, To Will, To Be Silent, and To Liberate

July 18, 2014, 08:13:57 AM
Reply #2

ActionOfAll

  • A Veritas Regular

  • Offline
  • **

  • 82
  • Karma:
    0
    • View Profile
I do think that the fact of existence is a meaning in and of itself, but this does little in regards to questions such as " what do we do about it?." I find myself doubting even what I have gleaned from my own experience. I'm not too sure why. I would liken this to an existential crisis, where even my own experiences I now find questionable.

July 18, 2014, 08:22:07 AM
Reply #3

Akenu

  • Posts By Osmosis

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 3370
  • Karma:
    -40
  • Personal Text
    यम या रा आना
    • View Profile
    • Akenu's Initiation
@ActionOfAll: No matter the religion, belief, dogma or truth, there is always something to live for, you just have to figure out what. Ending your life prematurely will just make you lose the chance to find out what the meaning is.

July 18, 2014, 08:39:22 AM
Reply #4

ActionOfAll

  • A Veritas Regular

  • Offline
  • **

  • 82
  • Karma:
    0
    • View Profile
Unfortunately ( or fortunately ) the problem is that one cannot be certain. There MAY be a meaning and there may NOT be a meaning.

Edit: But this begs the question what is even meant by meaning? It seems that the universe we experience may or may not be in part the result of an external and meaningless one. However, the universe we experience as a whole, is in fact an experience, which cannot exist without an experiencer. Therefore it seems that if meaning is defined by necessity in order to exist, this universe by default requires the existence of consciousness. Therefore, if it can be proven that consciousness is more fundamental than physical reality, indeed we have found meaning in the "physical" universe, in one sense of the word.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2014, 08:54:27 AM by ActionOfAll »

July 18, 2014, 09:01:02 AM
Reply #5

Ekstatikos

  • Veritas Furniture

  • Offline
  • ****

  • 411
  • Karma:
    20
  • Personal Text
    "It was ME! I was the turkey all along...!"
    • View Profile
Who says you can't be certain?
~ Io Daimon Eriounes Theon ~

"Success is thy proof: argue not; convert not; talk not over much!" ~ Aleister Crowley, Liber AL vel Legis

To Know, To Dare, To Will, To Be Silent, and To Liberate

July 18, 2014, 09:15:47 AM
Reply #6

ActionOfAll

  • A Veritas Regular

  • Offline
  • **

  • 82
  • Karma:
    0
    • View Profile
In Absurdism it is my understanding that one cannot be certain of an inherent meaning in the physical universe without taking a "leap of faith" that is logically invalid. I am not saying I agree with this. I believe the existence of phenomena such as OBE and telepathy already point to the existence of a more fundamental level of existence than the physical one. In other words, it seems Absurdism -  if the term "meaning" is philosophically defined as " that which cannot be physically destroyed" - is obsolete and can be experimentally disproved, for the demonstration that consciousness is more fundamental than physical reality naturally shows the dependent nature of the physical world.

However if we define meaning as something simply "important" then we venture into very confusing realms, for importance is completely subjective. Therefore, indeed the world can and should be inherently meaningless because meaninglessness is the only way in which meaning could exist. If there was something of absolute importance, then free will would, in a way, be sacrificed.

So we could also say that all of reality is subjective, and that once again consciousness is more fundamental to existence than the physical reality, in which case both the subjective nature of importance is respected as well as the existence of physically impossible phenomena.

July 18, 2014, 10:03:52 AM
Reply #7

Ekstatikos

  • Veritas Furniture

  • Offline
  • ****

  • 411
  • Karma:
    20
  • Personal Text
    "It was ME! I was the turkey all along...!"
    • View Profile
Show me a single instance of a philosopher defining "meaning" as "that which cannot be physically destroyed" and I will award you this holy :cow:

What if free will was of absolute importance?

Please don't say that all of reality is subjective, Rayn might hear and have a heart-attack. (jk Rayn)
~ Io Daimon Eriounes Theon ~

"Success is thy proof: argue not; convert not; talk not over much!" ~ Aleister Crowley, Liber AL vel Legis

To Know, To Dare, To Will, To Be Silent, and To Liberate

July 18, 2014, 10:30:38 AM
Reply #8

ActionOfAll

  • A Veritas Regular

  • Offline
  • **

  • 82
  • Karma:
    0
    • View Profile
I'm just saying there is no way that we can know if there is a truly external reality. Our experience of reality is subjective, though there very well could be an external one.... LOL the last thing I want to do is have Rayn coming after me with his philosophical might  :biggrin:

Edit: And note that indeed I didn't say all reality was subjective, simply that the experience of importance was.

And as far as the absolute importance statement, what I was trying to illustrate was that importance could not exist in a world without subjectivity.

Another EDIT!!!: I referred to meaning in that way because it seems that many people search for meaning in an effort to validate their current efforts in the way that they do not wish everything they have done during life to mean nothing once they die due to immediate non-existence, which is why I phrased it in that way ( because the search for meaning seems to be related, at least in some people, to the fear of nothingness after death.)
« Last Edit: July 18, 2014, 10:44:55 AM by ActionOfAll »

July 18, 2014, 11:07:43 AM
Reply #9

Ekstatikos

  • Veritas Furniture

  • Offline
  • ****

  • 411
  • Karma:
    20
  • Personal Text
    "It was ME! I was the turkey all along...!"
    • View Profile
My personal favourite solution to the problem of the external world is that whilst the evidence could equally support the hypothesis a) that the world is entirely different from how we experience it, or b) that the world is exactly as we perceive it, neither view is warranted to such an extent that we can take it to be the case for certain, and at the end of the day, a pragmatist approach seems the most beneficial, i.e. things are real as far as they are useful, or otherwise stated, that we cannot ultimately know reality, but as long as we can improve our experience of it, that doesn't really matter (oversimplifying pragmatism a bit here but you get the idea).

Ah then you're talking about the problem of finitude/mortality, which isn't exactly the same as the quest for meaning.

~ Io Daimon Eriounes Theon ~

"Success is thy proof: argue not; convert not; talk not over much!" ~ Aleister Crowley, Liber AL vel Legis

To Know, To Dare, To Will, To Be Silent, and To Liberate

July 18, 2014, 12:30:02 PM
Reply #10

ActionOfAll

  • A Veritas Regular

  • Offline
  • **

  • 82
  • Karma:
    0
    • View Profile
My personal favourite solution to the problem of the external world is that whilst the evidence could equally support the hypothesis a) that the world is entirely different from how we experience it, or b) that the world is exactly as we perceive it, neither view is warranted to such an extent that we can take it to be the case for certain, and at the end of the day, a pragmatist approach seems the most beneficial, i.e. things are real as far as they are useful, or otherwise stated, that we cannot ultimately know reality, but as long as we can improve our experience of it, that doesn't really matter (oversimplifying pragmatism a bit here but you get the idea).

Ah then you're talking about the problem of finitude/mortality, which isn't exactly the same as the quest for meaning.



Correct, I am referring to that problem because as far as I'm concerned, the issue of mortality is the stepping stone to the quest for meaning in the sense that to understand what is actually going on could very well change our perception of what the meaning of life is.

The pragmatist approach seems like it would resonate with the practice of practical magick.

July 28, 2014, 10:49:25 AM
Reply #11

Ekstatikos

  • Veritas Furniture

  • Offline
  • ****

  • 411
  • Karma:
    20
  • Personal Text
    "It was ME! I was the turkey all along...!"
    • View Profile
Show me a single instance of a philosopher defining "meaning" as "that which cannot be physically destroyed" and I will award you this holy :cow:

How meaningful something is can be objectively quantified as the amount of information something has where a principle of quantum physics is basically that information cannot be lost out of the universe meaning that you can't destroy information since the information is part of its wave function(basically information is conserved) until the wave function collapses. Information is encoded in the wave function which we can describe as spreading out and becoming more and more diffuse as time goes on; however, the information is there in terms of if you were to reverse it; therefore, technically, the information is preserved.To simplify it, greatly, if energy within the universe is conserved meaning it is neither created nor destroyed, then this means that information describing this sum state of the universe is also conserved. If we propose that the solutions for the Black-Hole Information Paradox are true where meaning is the amount of information something has where information cannot, technically, be destroyed, then this means you cannot physically destroy it in that information about the physical state is encoded in the evolution of that physical system where the inversion of this evolution would lead to the complete information of that system(the information is technically not lost even if the object is destroyed).    

Hah, that was actually rather brilliant, and something that didn't occur to me. Meaning can be described as information; information cannot be destroyed; meaning = something that cannot be destroyed. Here's your :cow: sir, you've earned it. Well played.
~ Io Daimon Eriounes Theon ~

"Success is thy proof: argue not; convert not; talk not over much!" ~ Aleister Crowley, Liber AL vel Legis

To Know, To Dare, To Will, To Be Silent, and To Liberate

July 31, 2014, 12:24:35 PM
Reply #12

Shudraka

  • New Member

  • Offline
  • *

  • 6
  • Karma:
    1
    • View Profile
The notion of a meaningless universe, to me, is simply absurd.

The other day I wrote an essay to myself - but I asked; where do I begin and where do I end?
I must begin with the road under my feet, irregardless of how I got there; this road we may call life. The end is happiness itself; since every sentient creature seeks bliss, like plants growing towards the sun. The meaning of life is therefore slumbering beneath these two questions; 'Which road shall I take' and 'What is happiness?'. This is something for each individual to decode with his God given reason and to cross the road with the majestic wings of the free will.

We will notice that certain plants are Nightshades - and likewise, certain people grow towards what others call darkness. For some, hapiness is spiritual communion; to others it successfull spell; and to others, a good burger.This is where subjectivity comes in, silently confirming that this world is but the product of the senses.

Absurdism seems to say: I don't know what my end is - that is; what is bliss? - therefore the road is meaningless.
Or: I do know what my end is - that is death - therefore the road is meaningless.

The fatality in this line of thinking is the lack of faith. For a man is either of the world of senses, or of the world beyond - that is, materialistic or divine. Faith is propelling one towards the divine - and if beliefs be well placed, one may follow the instruction of who he deems wise and see his belief ripen to faith or rottten to doubt; this is a gamble with experience. To some, the wise are the scientists of quantum mechanics; to others, the ancient Rishis of India; and to others; Dr. Phil - again we see the subjectivity of life.

In this way, we form our own meaning of life, based on our individual reason and will to follow it. For the majority of the world, the meaning of life is to drink, eat and fuck, and so they go the way of the flying carpet of money. To me, true happiness lies in realizing God as the true Self - and the way to this is vigorious spiritual discipline, in the form of meditation and theurgy.

I have a very strong belief that this is the objective meaning of all humanity - that basically, life is a school in liberation - but ultimately, it will always come out as a subjective belief, you see? The very notion of an objective meaning is impossible to concive, since the conception will always be subjective.

July 31, 2014, 12:49:22 PM
Reply #13

Shudraka

  • New Member

  • Offline
  • *

  • 6
  • Karma:
    1
    • View Profile
As for meaning and evolution is concerned, karma is a most fundamental principle to factor in.

For if we consider the possibility of continual rebirths, the reason and mechanics hereof, the way out of this spinning wheel of life and death, and the fruits of doing so, life is suddenly full of meaning and evolution shining in clear purpose - that man is standing between animal and Godhood, and must ascend towards the latter.

Consider the scientific principle of cause and effect, but extended towards, not only physical excistence, but also astral and mental. In this way, the chain of karma is not broken in death - death is just another link. The soul is therefore still trapped in the thin coat of the mental body tainted with the residue of former astral and physical excistence, and must reincarnate to reap what it sowed. The drop of water cannot merge in the vast sea because of the surrounding clay pot.

The very excistence of karma therefore ruthlessly eliminates all meaninglessness and it was for this very reason I called meaninglessness absurd. Just wanted to clear that part out.

July 31, 2014, 01:08:04 PM
Reply #14

Akenu

  • Posts By Osmosis

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 3370
  • Karma:
    -40
  • Personal Text
    यम या रा आना
    • View Profile
    • Akenu's Initiation
Philosophy.. If you associate life with road then you cannot say the road is meaningless without happiness, the road is there to travel on it, the end is not important, important is the experience, people seek the finish line so eagerly they often forget to walk the road, to experience the life itself.