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Meaning

Discussion in 'The Philosopher' started by Jimmy... Dead., Mar 7, 2011.

  1. Jimmy... Dead.

    Jimmy... Dead. contemplative curmudgeon

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    Would you rather live your life knowing you were given meaning with an ultimate exterior judge or would you rather live in a world where you can only create your own meaning as your own internal judge?

    As a hypothetical choice, dealing in only absolutes. Forget what you know about this world, and make a choice between the two
     
  2. Jimmy... Dead.

    Jimmy... Dead. contemplative curmudgeon

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    Fatalism-everything you do in life is already set at birth(no free will)

    Existentialism- nothing is determined(only free will)

    Determinism- Everything that happens only happens due to prior events(semi free will)

    Predestination- Some higher force has set out your destiny(no free will)


    etc...

    C'mon Fellas!
     
  3. Panzerjager

    Panzerjager Cogitu ergo sum

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    hmmm you asked a very philosophical question there. WHen I think about it, the meaning of life lies, according to me, somewhere between existentialism and determinism. As a human, you are free do make ( most) choices yourself. these coices vary from very simple to more important ones. In fact we are constantly making choices, like "should I post in tis thread or not? what should I do next? Etc" Though these choices are always influenced in small or high degree by our environment. culture, family, friends, actual environment, past... Change our choices. some things we cant decide like: why was I born?
    But this infleunce from our ausserwelt is extremely necessary in order to live in a morally good way. infleunces from the surrounding can make us think twice before doing something,gives us a precedent. the influence can be negative too. But taking decisions in life ONLY by yourself, is a dangerous business since you do not have infinite wisdom so the chance of making serious mistakes by your own misjudgements is much larger without contact with an ausserwelt
     
  4. Blowtus

    Blowtus Member

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    How would they be different?
     
  5. Jimmy... Dead.

    Jimmy... Dead. contemplative curmudgeon

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    ^How about I list ten things you have to obey for the rest of this year, and you get back to us on how your life is or isn't different?
     
  6. crimsonfloyd

    crimsonfloyd Active Member

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    That's not necessarily true. You're thinking of Sartre's philosophy. Camus, early Hiedegger, De Beauvior etc. present very different notions of existentialism, in which freedom is not absolute.
     
  7. Jimmy... Dead.

    Jimmy... Dead. contemplative curmudgeon

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    Freedom and free will are not the same thing. Freedom has never been absolute as far as men go, but freedom of the mind(man) is essential and free will is absolute. The individual is solely responsible for giving his or her own life meaning and for living that life passionately and sincerely, in spite of many existential obstacles and distractions including despair, angst, absurdity, alienation, and boredom.
     
  8. Kara-Shehr

    Kara-Shehr Member

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    I would be my own judge because I don't like getting in trouble. As a little kid I always carried the "I can do it myself" attitude. So the idea of setting my own rules would sound very appealling to my younger more naive self.

    Buuuuuut on the other hand if you were to dig deeper I was also really afraid of going out alone and was very mindful of things that could get me into trouble. So I don't know how to answer this question. I was fearful of judgement from controlling forces yet I wanted more freedom at the same time.
     
  9. crimsonfloyd

    crimsonfloyd Active Member

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    First of all, there is the question of whether or not the mind is distinct from the rest of the human being. I don't think it is.

    If you are using "mind" to refer to thoughts, ideas and emotions, then I do not think you are correct in claiming that free will is absolute. For example, if a loved one dies unexpectedly, there is a limited range of emotions I can have- which are both given and limited by my biological and cultural existence. While I may, for example, be able to handle the tragedy with grace rather than a complete and utter emotional collapse, I could not experience the death with joy or positive excitement.

    Thus, the claim that "free will is absolute" is nonsense. If it were so, one would expect peoples reactions to particular experiences in life to be much more diverse. For example, if the will is so free, why do most people "choose" to be depressed or devastated when someone dies unexpectedly? One cannot explain the consistency of experience without reference to our social and biological being, and in doing so, greatly restricting the range of our possible experience.
     
  10. Jimmy... Dead.

    Jimmy... Dead. contemplative curmudgeon

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    In your case, free will and emotions are completely different subjects. You proved that with one poor example.

    Free will is action! the concept of free will is very closely connected to the concept of moral responsibility. Philosophers who distinguish freedom of action and freedom of will do so because our success in carrying out our ends depends in part on factors wholly beyond our control. Furthermore, there are always external constraints on the range of options we can meaningfully try to undertake. As the presence or absence of these conditions and constraints are not (usually) our responsibility, it is plausible that the central loci of our responsibility are our choices, or “willings.”

    The main perceived threats to our freedom of will are various alleged determinisms: physical/causal; psychological; biological; theological.

    This is about conceptual matter.
     
  11. crimsonfloyd

    crimsonfloyd Active Member

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    Huh? They are closely related subjects, since emotions are one of the factors that construct our range of choices. Furthermore, if you ask someone "why did you do X?" they are likely to reference their emotions as a primary (though certainly not the only) reason for their action.

    What was wrong with the example?

    Right. If free will is choice, then I think it's existentially evident that we have choice in many, but not all situations. I don't, however, see it as its own faculty, but rather the reference term for a certain kind of action. My question for you, is what do you mean by referring to free will as "absolute"?
     
  12. Jimmy... Dead.

    Jimmy... Dead. contemplative curmudgeon

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    The example is an individual(s) experience, although you portray it as an objective truth. A collective theory.

    I could easily conceptualize and form an attitude in which one sees everything that happens in one's life, including suffering and loss, as good, and it would be applied as a philosophy, not an emotional decision. Moreover, it is characterized by an acceptance of the events or situations that occur in one's life as a choice not only to feel but to choose to feel.

    and of course I am speaking as an individual which is what I think you are missing in your example.

    and when I speak of absolute free will I'm speaking of the ability for an individual to make a choice outside physical & emotional causality i.e. one that results from something other than a combination of physical and emotional preconditions and laws.

    In other words I believe in the will to power. Absolute power;absolute will. Emotions, boundaries and conditions are just that. Philosophy is my freedom, free will and process of thought that is controlled by the individual mind/subjectivity.

    p.s However, I do believe in Emotional intelligence
     
  13. crimsonfloyd

    crimsonfloyd Active Member

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    My point is that humans are all of one species, one type of being. Obviously there is variety, but there are also general spectrum of responses to certain events.

    You can present that theory where one lives their life as if everything that happens is good (though any theory in which "everything is X" causes X to be a meaningless term- as it points to nothing), but I doubt you can find the person who actually said "well this is a good thing!" smiled, and prepared a celebratory party when a loved one shockingly died.

    You're conflating free will and will to power, which are 100% different. Will to power is Nietzsche's notion of a fundamental human drive thrusting us toward toward control and power over the world and others. In that sense, the will to power is a fundamental drive in humans, just like hunger, lust, need for empathy etc. Obviously, the will to power is not the same as generally making a choice.

    On the other hand, Nietzsche explicitly objected free will.

    Perhaps you can or have thought of a way to reconcile these two doctrines, but it seems to me that the will to power is simply another constraint that would more satisfactorily, and less esoterically, explain why we choose the way we choose then does your notion of absolute free choice.
     
  14. Jimmy... Dead.

    Jimmy... Dead. contemplative curmudgeon

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    I wasn't referencing Nietzsche's "will to power" which is how it looks. I was stating freedom of will via power. I see your points though, and good ones at that.
     
  15. modernsappho

    modernsappho New Metal Member

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    Well, as far as I know, I don't have any meaning...Except the meaning I give to my own life. Personally, my life is worth living. I have hopes and dreams...Mostly of graduating from college and starting my own business. Traveling. Exploring all of the nooks and crannies of life. When I die, I might prove to have lived a futile existence by returning back into the proverbial dust from which I came. But that doesn't take away from my aggressive perseverance.

    So I would rather give my own life meaning:D.
     
  16. Blowtus

    Blowtus Member

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    Any meaning I wished to take from such would generate from the same variety of processes as those that would create 'meaning' absent of such overt 'external' influences, no?
     
  17. Jimmy... Dead.

    Jimmy... Dead. contemplative curmudgeon

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    Can you please clean that up? you seem to be scrambled.
     
  18. Blowtus

    Blowtus Member

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    That I am scrambled is not a logical consequence of your inability to interpret my statement... but I'll play along ;)

    If you (or some variety of 'godlike' being whatever the fuck they are) give me commands, or have some 'purpose' for me, I still have to decide 'YES, THIS IS THE MEANING OF MY LIFE WOO WOO!'. I'm just as free to tell you to piss off and decide my own fanciful 'meaning of life' story (whether I'm stuck pushing rocks uphill for you or not). That I am just a pawn in some master plan, doesn't make that master plan the 'meaning of my life', unless I decide to accept it as such. Of course, regardless of my acceptance, 'the plan' is still 'the meaning of my life' from the planners perspective. Ie I tell you that the meaning of your life is to respond to this post, what I'm really saying is 'the meaning of your life *to me* is to respond to this post' - it's impossible for me (or other godlike beings ;)) to do more (short of altering 'you' to fit our desires, which I guess raises identity issues).
     
  19. Jimmy... Dead.

    Jimmy... Dead. contemplative curmudgeon

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    But that's not what I am asking. What I am asking is what world would you rather live in? would you rather this "god" exist or not? and why?

    Not whether or not you would or wouldn't have absolute choice in either situation, but what your choice would be (if you had such power). Choosing defiance is step 2 ( if previously you choose god in contradiction), I'm asking you about step 1 (existence/reality/consciousness) as a god.

    Play along as you might but try paying closer attention to the question at hand as well.
     
  20. Dak

    Dak mentat

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    If man was god-like, than obviously to live as a god would be a given. But man is flawed, and therefore not capable of being the ultimate judge of anything.
     

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