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The meaning of life

tliet's Avatar Picture tliet – December 24, 2008 11:31AM Reply Quote
We are driven by many things, what's your view on the meaning of life?

tliet – December 24, 2008 11:37AM Reply Quote
OK, here it goes. A thread about religion.

Re; religion held me back a long time.

Let me put it this way; I had questions about things at an age where it was not appropriate to discuss these things until you were a certain age and after you got married. My parents are still fairly religious and I certainly don't hold it against them, but I feel that once I was able to shake off the feeling of guilt that is implanted in ever so subtle ways, I could finally be who I was.

But having said that, I'm glad that my parents taught me to be compassionate. That is one aspect that's forgotten sometimes in our times. Although I cannot see a lot of compassion in the more extreme versions of religion that are plagueing our world.

stan adams – December 24, 2008 11:54AM Reply Quote
hmm, interesting

I went to a high school run a religious order. It was a good experience for me, but clearly not all my classmates.

For a while I taught in a different high school that was run by a very different religious order. Lots of variations, very different for every person.

I wanna get this from the library: http://www.amazon.com/Predictably-Irrational-Hidden-Forces-Decisions/dp/006135323X/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1230137207&sr=1-12

I remember reading this quite a while back: http://www.amazon.com/That-Autobiography-Bob-Geldof/dp/B0012KCS70/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1230137142&sr=8-7 I suspect it is still on one of my bookshelves. I might try and dig that out.

John Willoughby – December 24, 2008 12:06PM Reply Quote
Cyberdyne Systems Customer Support
Assuming that life has a meaning is like assuming that purple has a meaning.

tliet – December 24, 2008 12:11PM Reply Quote
That first book looks interesting indeed, we are fundamentally irrational. I believe humans are primarily driven as biological beings, once you let the idea go that we are somehow completely disconnected from our physical beings (mammals) a lot of things are much better understandable.

edit; John, LOL.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/24/2008 12:12PM by tliet.

John Willoughby – December 24, 2008 12:18PM Reply Quote
Cyberdyne Systems Customer Support
I don't believe in a supernatural. But I believe that everything about being a human, and growing up in a human society, pre-disposes us towards a belief in higher powers. When we're kids, we can ask our parents to provide for us. As adults, we've manufactured deities that we can ask for favors beyond our own powers. Ten thousand years of this has shaped our society on a very fundamental level. Even our atheists seem to be defined almost as much by what they reject as what they believe.

I think that the trappings of spirituality, Joseph Campbell's Hero, various archetypes of divinity can play a powerful and comforting role in human life. By reducing the complexities of string theory and sub-atomic physics to a pantheon of more-or-less human figures that can be addressed by mortals is putting a warm and friendly interface on top of the complexities of the universe.

When your crops are dying, you don't want to be contemplating Chaos Theory, butterflies in China, the physics of evaporation and condensation. You want the Holy Virgin to smile upon you, bless your crops, and bring the rain.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/24/2008 12:20PM by John Willoughby.

ddt – December 24, 2008 01:26PM Reply Quote
that's an interesting observation, JW. i'd add to that the hardwired propensity of humans to find patterns, even when there are none. (ooh, found this article by old bike buddy michael shermer.)


John Willoughby – December 24, 2008 02:07PM Reply Quote
Cyberdyne Systems Customer Support
Yes. We are hardwired to search for patterns, so that we can categorize and deal with situations. We've got so much extra cranial horsepower that we apply it to intangible issues and shoehorn our observations into compartments we are comfortable with.

I've always thoughts that the gods were just the UI for the universe. Well, at least since I started programming. It's so much more satisfying to swear by/to/at a personage than a phenomena.

Dr Phred (Moderator) – December 25, 2008 10:12AM Reply Quote
owned by the mothership.

Bill sums it up for me pretty well.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/25/2008 10:13AM by Dr Phred.

stan adams – December 26, 2008 10:59AM Reply Quote
These guys seem cooler to hang with than Maher:

http://www.humanlight.org/agendas.html Links to this site that wraps up Santa and New Zealand and everything, sorta: http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/testimonials/bradley.html

ARL (Moderator) – December 29, 2008 12:43AM Reply Quote
Damn, I missed religulous at the cinemas.

rino – January 01, 2009 07:34PM Reply Quote
In America, the only respectable form of socialism is socialism for the rich.
In case you want to see it:

Religulous at Google Video. You can d/l a tiny copy for ipod/phone...

Funny. Was just at bookstore. Wanted to buy The God Delusion (not that I need convincing) and at the same time had an interest in picking up Deepak Chopra's book on Buddha.
I put the latter down and came home with only the Richard Dawkins' book.

tomierna (Admin) – January 04, 2009 10:11PM Reply Quote
Hideously Unnatural
Speaking of Deepak Chopra...

ddt – January 04, 2009 11:14PM Reply Quote
oh, i cringed just looking at his name and the link name.

eta: okay, i read it through to the last few lines and now like the author.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/04/2009 11:16PM by ddt.

Alan Lehman – January 05, 2009 12:29AM Reply Quote
Yeah it's never bad to have another reason to hate Deepak Chopra. Sorry, hate to be a hater but some people...

rino – January 05, 2009 05:49AM Reply Quote
In America, the only respectable form of socialism is socialism for the rich.
Agreed! That is funny.

John Willoughby – January 16, 2009 03:28PM Reply Quote
Cyberdyne Systems Customer Support
"How can I believe in God when just last week I got my tongue caught in the roller of an electric typewriter?" -- Woody Allen

John Willoughby – February 13, 2009 05:44PM Reply Quote
Cyberdyne Systems Customer Support
Eden must have been a beautiful place:

Historical comment on the ability to fart at will is observed in St. Augustine's The City of God. Augustine, not otherwise noted for his levity, mentions men who "have such command of their bowels, that they can break wind continuously at will, so as to produce the effect of singing." That mankind in general has lost this ability he attributes to the first sin of Adam and Eve and its consequences with respect to body control.

tomierna (Admin) – February 13, 2009 06:12PM Reply Quote
Hideously Unnatural
This control was not lost:


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/13/2009 07:24PM by tomierna.

ddt – February 13, 2009 06:12PM Reply Quote
check out the last line of this canto of dante's inferno.


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