Why are we here? Someone please help me.

Has anyone got some good information on the topic “Why are we here?” or “The meaning of life.” Does anyone know of any philosophers that have studied these topics and have good theories and where i can find some information on them? Any help is appreciated. :smiley:

In my opinion you live to think. It is what gives you life. This ability to reason is the only thing bringing you any aknowledgement of life. Reasoning is the reason to live, because it is the reason you live.

I would think reasoning is caused by our brains ability to remember, feel emotion, and then act upon these emotions and thoughts, using experience as our guide to developing new ideas and determining probability.

Thinking in itself does not give us life. Air, food, sunshine, shelter, clothing, …good sex :smiley: and water do that.

That’s too circular to mean anything, dude. But to claim that just thinking is the purpose of LIFE? Isn’t that a little vacuous?

Cogitationes through inductio and reductio for the mind.
Nourishment for the corporeal.

Well, true, but maybe we create purpose through thinking. A purpose not required, but only needed for us to live comfortably with a stable mind.

Btw, you missed to meaty portion of my post.

“This ability to reason is the only thing bringing you any aknowledgement of life.”

That was the part of the post I would like to hear comments about, I know the other stuff is kind of far fetched. :wink:

Oh, ok. :stuck_out_tongue: I just noticed you were new, too. Welcome to the house of madness and mirrors! Nahh, seriously - plz’d to meetcha.

The meaty portion. Yes. Yes, you are absolutely correct. If we weren’t self-aware and able to reason and stuff, then life would be rather meaningless, wouldn’t it?

In which case (going back to the original post), we wouldn’t care why we’re here! :wink:

Hell, take the owl for instance, unFaith.

He doesn’t give a hoot.

:evilfun::evilfun:

The purpose of a car is transportation.
The purpose of a umbrella is to keep one dry.
The purpose of a knife is to stab stuff.
The purpose of a stick is?
The purpose of a tree is to?
The purpose of a man is to?

In terms of purpose objects appear to have two catagories, those with a purpose and those without. At first this seems to be corrilated percicely with weather or not something has a createor (car, umbrella knife) or not (assumeing atheism; stick, tree, man).

However, it depends heavily on what you are willing to call a creator.
For example if a man sharpens a stick, its pretty clear that he has created a spear. But what if the stick is already sharp. Is the act of picking it up and weilding it good enough to be considered creation of a spear? I’d like to think it is.

So if you want a purpose, get a significant other- they give you one.
:wink:

(Or you could just pick yourself up and give yourself one. Please say to find truth)

The purpose of a car is transportation.
The purpose of a umbrella is to keep one dry.
The purpose of a knife is to stab stuff.
The purpose of a stick is?
The purpose of a tree is to?
The purpose of a man is to?

In terms of purpose objects appear to have two catagories, those with a purpose and those without. At first this seems to be corrilated percicely with weather or not something has a createor (car, umbrella knife) or not (assumeing atheism; stick, tree, man).

However, it depends heavily on what you are willing to call a creator.
For example if a man sharpens a stick, its pretty clear that he has created a spear. But what if the stick is already sharp. Is the act of picking it up and weilding it good enough to be considered creation of a spear? I’d like to think it is.

So if you want a purpose, get a significant other- they give you one.
:wink:

(Or you could just pick yourself up and give yourself one. Please say to find truth)

What would be the purpose in that?

:wink::lol:8)

‘Who is the master that makes grass green?’ -Zen koan
There are as many purposes as there are people, everyone needs to find their own, nobody can tell you what your purpose is (imho).

The confusion arises with the word “why.”
It can mean “what causes” as in “why does water boil when I put it over fire.” Or it can signify intention, as in, “Why did Carl slap Jim’s cheese fries out of his hand angrily?”

Once we answer “Why is ANYTHING here?” as Heideggar so eloquently put it, then answering why we’re here is as easy as 1-2-Darwin, if we mean “why” as “what caused.” But answering “why is anything here” using the same form of why is damned hard. If and when the TOE (Unified Field Theory) comes in, we may know.

If you mean “why” to signify intention, you’re barking up the wrong sequoia. Any attempt to extrapolate reasons for extrinsic purpose (not our own determination/will) is nothing more than poetry and wishful thinking. (Religion.) That is, I disagree with the arguments that purport to supply a preponderence of evidence for extrinsic purpose – theodicies, apologetics, ontological, teleological, pascal’s wager, cosmological, bible codes, miracles, alien fertilization…all flawed arguments.

Sartre and Camus, and to some degree Jaspers and Nietszche, believed we only have intrinsic purpose, that we are here for no intentional reason outside, or extrinsic. They say we arise solely by physics and chemistry and not by divine will or consiousness’s such as ours, but that we can and should have a tremendous intrinsic purpose, and we have the responsibility to choose what this purpose is. In fact, whether you believe in free will or not, we experience a sensation as we you do. So the question of the logical or materialist falsehood of free will is existentially irrelevant.

I think your question is more useful if you ask “What do I want,” or if you want, “why do I want X?” Then the questions…should I want X, how do I get X, what is X really, how can i help others get X, why would I help others…

Back to the original question – timmyd, try the first few chapters of Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics (with the beginning of his Physics where he deals with causality), and be happy.

I mentioned Heideggar, Jaspers, Kaufman, Nietszche, Camus and Sartre. You can find these, and other big thinkers, by typing Jaspers On Purpose/Meaning into Google, or Camus On Purpose, and well, you get it. Aristotle’s views are a bit outmoded. The philosophers I mentioned had the privilege read Aristotle, but the reverse is not true, at no fault of Aristotle’s. I’ve read all of the above and then some…hence my two cents. Sorry if they got in the way.

Some of them might have read him, but who was happier in the end?

I don’t know, and I don’t care. This was not a happiness contest. If it were, then Aristotle wouldn’t be heading the pack. Some dolt from Iowa eating pork rhinds would.

First, I can tell you have never read Aristotle’s ethics. Ethics is all about happiness. (Understood the right way.)

Second, how can a philosophy become outdated? Right reason can never go out of style.
Even Hegel does not deny the truths that once were.

Third, why would you not care who’s ethics gave them the better life?

mrn

Even you’ll agree that Aristotle being happier than Jaspers speaks little to the matter of whose thoughts on meaning were more epistemologically sound. I contend that Aristotle’s logic is NOT good reason in many ways, beginning with his incomplete view of logic. It’s simply wrong to think that his fundamental beliefs stand unscathed today. But then, I gather you’ve read more classics, and me more moderns. Perhaps we could both benefit from continued study, Mr. Aquinas lover.

Secularly yours, r

If Aristotle’s logic was incomplete, that would not deny the truth of that which is discovered through his true, but incomplete, methods. You might, however, discover more about the truths his discovered.

And it does matter who was happier. The contemplative life is a road to happiness for the Ancient-Scholastics. (And probably for moderns too or they wouldn’t be doing it.) We are creatures of meaning. If you know more of the meaning of life, would you not be happier? That is, unless you think you are happy in epistemologically unsound knowledge…? Would not an active life based on the truth make one happier?

But I agree I could do with more study of the moderns, Mr. Sisyphus.

Neo-scholastically,
mrn

True, but I think his logic is incomplete in a saturated way, not merely in a failure to continue sequentially along a cumulatively sound foundational path. That is, the truth’s his early logic uncovered are hotly debated. Aristotle is often championed by religious fanatics because he’s the best they’ve got – he was reconciled into religious doctrine and lore by geniuses like Aquinas and Maimon.

This question of whether I’d be happier to know the meaning of life presupposes there’s meaning to the phrase meaning of life. Sure I may be happier believing in extrinsic purpose, or Jesus’s plan, but I know better than to believe things based on flimsy evidence. Again, this string did not start off about happiness, it started about meaning. Surely we don’t adopt worldviews on the basis of how happy they make us. And what if we discovered the meaning was actually to amuse the devil? Knowing the meaning does not mean happiness.

I’m sure I know less than you overall. Your points are good, but they’re non-sequitors.

Maybe to occupy time bc eternity is so boring or it gets old after a while?! LOL get it? “eternity get old after a while”