Does the world have meaning?

This topic came up in my Christian Ethics class and it was a topic that was discussed in great detail at a presentation of papers at my professor’s class.

I contended that the world is neutral and that human beings interject meaning into the world. But, I missed the claim that humans are also a part of the world and if they are subject to an evolutionary process which brings about their ability to have meaning that the world is also meaningful.

What are all of your perspectives on this question? Does the world have meaning? If so, what is the human’s relation to it?

Rich

does the world have meaning?
i’m not even sure what that question means. if a word has meaning, it usually means that it points to something not itself… a tree or boat, hold on, this isn’t working… ok, a car, no no that won’t do. ok nevermind. but you get what i mean, and what i mean is what i’m referring to.
so what does the world refer to? well its pretty obvious thats not how you are using the meaning of the word meaning. you’re asking, ‘whats it for’, or whats the purpose, or something like that.
well so far as i can tell there is no point. because going on just to keep going on is no point to going on.
so yea, theres no meaning or purpose or point. and when you think about it, nothing makes sense either.

It depends upon your perception of death, you could get all kinds of responses off people but it really depends how you see your significance?

no, you are correct, nothing can have meaning independant of a sentient being. Also, its a fallacy to think that evolution must have meaning because one of its products can ascribe it (fallacy of composition; they are assuming that the properties of the parts must be the same as the whole).

Cheers!

Well our lives don’t have meaning the way we think they do. But we can see from science that our world does not seem to be random, and there are a set of laws that govern it. So are we meant to be here? it seems so, and thats meaning enough.

My personal favorite idea is that the universe is struggling towards self awareness, and we are a step towards that. If you look at evolution, we are constantly evolving towards a new level of intelligence.

The Universe is struggling towards self awareness? Lol. I hope you’re joking. Please tell me where this ‘‘struggle’’ is?

In evolution we see organisms consantly evolving into more complex and intelligent forms. We as humans being the most intelligent, and many of us strive to understand the universe, its laws, and makeup. We’re a part of this universe, a result of the universe. I don’t think its that far a leap, or that insane an idea.

How do u know the Universe has laws? We are not the Universe itself but rather a product of the Universe. Our existence does not in anyway interfer with the exstence of the Universe. You say we strive to understand the Universe, how can we do this when yours and my life span do not cover a ‘‘second’’ in the life span of the Universe.

You may say that the human race will know the answers on day but that in itself is a big leap and probably not likely. Either the Universe is eternal or it’s eternal lol. There can be no other option, i’m always open to idea’s though.

Bare in mind, i just can’t see how a Universe or reality’’ itself can ever have a begnning, since there would have to be a ‘‘before’’ prior to this Universe, but if there was a ‘‘before’’ then what we’r measuring isn’t the beginning. Good Life!

The world, like everything else, never has any inherent value or meaning----it only can contain the potentiality for having meaning & value placed upon itself.

Thus, if the world is to have any meaning or value, it must come from “forces” other than the world itself. These forces are the rational creatures we call humans.

Everyone places individual value or meaning on the world, and no one ever views the world in the exact same manner as anyone else.

If humans are part of the world, then so is everything else that exsists on planet earth. In this case, to argue that the world therefore now has it’s own meaning is somewhat arbirtrary…if you catch my drift.

In addition, the world provides us and all other living things with all that is needed to sustain life. So, in this sense, the world can be said to have meaning to all creatures, and not just rational creatures (i.e. humans). :wink:

:wink:

Rich,

you were right: the world only has meaning to the extent we put meaning into it.

And since the world includes us, that goes for us too: we only have meaning to the extent we put meaning into ourselves.

“A person’s opinion of himself and the environment can best be deduced from the meaning he finds in life and from the meaning he gives to his own life.” Individual Psychology of Alfred Adler.

“We insist life must have a meaning - but it can have no more meaning than we ourselves are able to give it.
Because individuals can do this only imperfectly, religions and philosophers have tried to supply a comforting answer to the question.
The answers all amount to the same thing: Love alone can give life meaning.
In other words: the more capable we are of Love, and of giving Love to ourselves, the more meaning there will be in our lives.”
Herman Hesse (1877-1962) Reflections

all love and respect,
iloveu

What does your ‘‘meaning’’ achieve? What is the point of it? It’s like being stuck in a prison cell knowing you can’t get out so why not try and put some kind of meaning to things.

giving something (an object. like the world, for example) meaning and value is, in my humble opinion, is not a completely vollunteery action.

One’s “meaning” of the world does not have to be elabrate of deep, but everyone still places some level of meaning on it.

If the world had inherent meaning, then everyone’s meaning of the world would be extremely similar.

Just my 2 cents. :wink:

Rami said:

Lol man I just said its an idea I liked, not one that I could prove, or had much of any rationality behind.

How may the world exist without meaning?
How do you define something without understanding its meaning?
Therefore, How is the world understood if we do not inherently understand that it has meaning.
The fact that it exists automatically assigns it a meaning, or a purpose if you will.
The world has purpose if it is to be, even if it’s purpose is to exist.
The world is in it of itself, its own purpose, meaning.

How may the world exist without meaning?
How do you define something without understanding its meaning?
Therefore, How is the world understood if we do not inherently understand that it has meaning.
The fact that it exists automatically assigns it a meaning, or a purpose if you will.
The world has purpose if it is to be, even if it’s purpose is to exist.
The world is in it of itself, its own purpose, meaning.