This is a Godless place.

atheism for the win.

96 notes

burdenedwgloriouspurpose asked: Wondering what your thoughts are on this video, especially the evangelizing knowledge part. I apparently can't include links in messages but it's called "Does Science = Truth?," part of series called 8-bit philosophy.

sagansense:

The video you are referring to (IMO) is just a regurgitation of philosophical juxtapositions which cancel each other out by trying to stimulate a duel using similar rhetoric. 

For instance, it poses the assertion that science leads us to how the world works, but the verdict is still out on whether it reveals “truth.”

Then, channeling German Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche - who was not a scientist whatsoever, but someone who spent more time “thinking” about things, and waxing philosophical about classical studies, criticizing culture, and poetically wielding metaphors, irony, and subjective truths to communicate - the video talks about the “limitations of science” using aphorisms that could literally make a persons brain ache, such as:

Science cannot EXPLAIN the world, but (according to Nietzche) “it can only DESCRIBE it.”

STOP. Let’s clear up some definitions: 

Science

1. the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.

2a systematically organized body of knowledge on a particular subject.

If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. In that simple statement, is the key to science." (Feynman)

Truth

1in accordance with fact or reality.

2a statement or idea that is true or accepted as true.

"[Science’s] only sacred truth, is that there are no sacred truths." (Sagan)

Explain

1. make (an idea, situation, or problem) clear to someone by describing it in more detail or revealing relevant facts or ideas.

In the very definition of the word ‘explain’, the word ‘describe' is used to define it! 

Describe

1. give an account in words of (someone or something), including all the relevant characteristics, qualities, or events.

Can you guess what synonym is used for the word ‘describe’? You got it: explain.

I could stop right here without further diving into the video by suggesting that this is what philosophy does. It plays with and warps linguistics and rhetoric to express thought, idea, or opinion. It’s not explicitly out for what’s true, but for how we perceive or interpret things. 

For example…(here’s another brain buster)…the video provides the scientific definition of fire, then says, “see? it describes HOW it works, but not WHY" it works, as in "why does fire exist in the way that it does?

Going further, it says, “although science allows us to describe the word in greater detail, we’re still completely clueless as to the meaning behind it.

The best retort I can provide for this silliness is simply that all questions are actually HOW questions. Even our best “why” questions are HOW questions. For example, Lawrence Krauss said it the best:

The picture that science presents to us is, in some sense, uncomfortable. We evolved as human beings a few million years ago on the savanna in Africa to escape tigers or lions or predators, so, what makes sense to us is the world on our scale; how to throw a rock, or a spear, or how to find a cave, and we didn’t evolve to understand quantum mechanics.

And therefore, it’s not too surprising that on scales vastly different than the kind of experience we had when we were evolving as a species that nature seems strange and sometimes unfathomable - certainly violates our common sense, our sense of what is common sense and what is intuition - but, as I like to say, the universe doesn’t care about our common sense. We have to force our ideas to conform to the evidence of reality rather than the other way around. And if reality seems strange, that’s okay. In fact, that’s what makes science so wonderful. It expands our minds, because it forces us to accept possibilities which, in advance, we may never have thought was possible.

That’s part of the fun of doing science, is solving puzzles, basically. But each time we do, new questions arise. And I think for many of us, just as in our lives, the searching is often much more profound than the finding. It’s the searching for answers through life that make life worth living. If we had all the answers, we could just sit back and stare at our navels. And I think what makes the search so exciting is that the answers are so surprising.

What we’ve learned, is that we’re much more insignificant than we ever could’ve imagined. You could get rid of us, and all the galaxies, and everything we see in the universe, and it would be largely the same. So we’re insignificant on a scale that Copernicus never would’ve imagined, and in addition, it turns out that the future is miserable. You might think that should depress you, but I would argue that in fact, it should embolden you, and provide you a different kind of consolation. Because if the universe doesn’t care about us, and if we’re an accident in a remote corner of the universe, in some sense it makes us more precious. The meaning (the why) in our lives is provided by us; we provide our own meaning. And we are here by accidents, and we should enjoy our brief moment in the sun. We should make the most of our brief moment in the sun because this is all we have. And even if we’re so rare that we’re the only life forms in the universe - which I doubt - that makes us, in some sense, while we’re more insignificant, we’re more special.

We’re endowed with a consciousness that can ask questions about the beginning of the universe and learn about the universe on its largest scales; and experience everything that it means to be human: music, art, literature, AND science. So for me, it should be spiritually uplifting that we’re not created with a purpose by someone who takes care of us like a mannequin or with strings, determining everything. We determine our future, and that makes our future more precious.”

Although we throw around the word science and use it in various ways in such to provide an answer which is wrongfully used in some cases, for instance, “because SCIENCE”…belittles the arduous processes of coming to such results. If I could define the word more clearly and respectfully, it’s the process of meticulously redefining our questions and curiosity about the world into concentrated fields of study.

The video also relays another quote from Nietzsche, which - I feel - spits in the face of scientific inquiry: 

Science has no consideration for ultimate purposes.

And you see where he’s going with this when he compares the praising and celebration of science is parallel to religion, saying it’s “an objective value for a godless age.

Which treats “science” as if it were a person sharply and defiantly telling everyone what to think or feel. I would argue that scientific inquiry absolutely considers ultimate purposes. Although NASA’s Apollo program didn’t have commercial, everyday spinoffs or catalysts in mind regarding the initial expedition to the moon, more efficient food safety standards were implemented globally while NASA partnered with Pillsbury to develop measures to protect contamination of the astronaut crew’s food supply because we of course couldn’t have the crew becoming ill 238,000 miles from home.

We are the only species on this planet that has not figured out - in our short evolutionary history - how to efficiently collaborate beyond our artificially developed borders and psychological lines we’ve drawn in the proverbial sand which keep us from progress and synergy. The monetary system, for instance, served a purpose at one point, but it’s obvious to many that it - along with scientifically illiterate decision makers - impede progress toward our long term survival. And with climate change, long term habitability for the ecosystem presently enabling our ability to even stay alive and thrive while we find our way.

That Nietzsche quote is ridiculously offensive and ignorant toward the psychologists, psychiatrists, and now, neuroscientists, who have been and are continuously studying the brain in order to understand the “why” questions regarding a person’s behavior and actions as a result of mental illness. When we solve this - and we’ve made gigantic strides within the last 25 years alone - there will be subsequent generations of human beings absent of genetic mutations leading to schizophrenia, and the fatalities amidst their society at the enigmatic diseases of Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, depression, anxiety, PTSD, etc.

Science - the persistence in asking questions - most certainly drives innovation toward ultimate purposes. 

Nietzsche advises to think critically not only about religion, but about knowledge itself, and that worshipping knowledge for knowledge sake can lead to dire consequences; for which, the video visually suggests that’s what led to war. Then, contradicting himself with rhetoric once again, suggests, “man shouldn’t be the servant of knowledge, but knowledge should be the servant of man.

Annnnd, that’s the end of the video. Basically, Nietzsche said a bunch of things that sounded poetic and can be interpreted in different ways to mean something else to various people. However, he reveals through his words that’s he’s just another man bound by the times and society in which he was born, who eludes to some grandiose wisdom, but transparently shows his lack of understanding about the words and rhetoric he chose to convey his ideologies.

My suggestion to all? Don’t shy away from reading philosophy, of course, but don’t boggle your mind and strain your brain trying to make some cosmic sense of it. 

Recommended: Does Truth Matter? Science, Pseudoscience, and Civilization" (1996 CSICOP article by Carl Sagan)

129 notes

sagansense:

In Bill Moyers’ recent show “Climate Change — Faith and Fact” he interviews someone who is trying to bridge the gap between ignorance and knowledge amongst the Evangelical Christian community, while being one herself.

I don’t truly know how to feel about this. Personally, it makes me think of band-aids. Instead of actually fixing the problem by keeping mainstream media, politicians, corporations, industry, and alleged “leaders” of faith accountable, this is an approach - albeit a seemingly positive and forward-thinking one - to essentially solve it with a psychological band-aid.

By suggesting, “oh, well, if the biblical “God” of the Christian scriptures is whom you believe, then wouldn’t he want you to do all you could to protect all life on Earth and take action on our steps to mitigate carbon emissions?” you’re not actually helping those people discern between fact and fiction, reality vs fantasy, but aiding in their psychosis.

To me, it seems more like a way to navigate around the bigger issues: scientific illiteracy; and a more engaging approach regarding how we educate children (and adults), the communication of science in general, teaching proper history, and critical thinking.

Synopsis from Bill Moyers’ website:

The latest in a string of dire reports on climate change came this week from the United Nations’ meteorological advisory body, which said that the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached a new record high in 2013, due to a “surge” in carbon dioxide, prompting fears of an accelerated warming of the planet.

A majority of Americans think global warming is real and that human activity’s a factor, believing in the science behind reports on climate change. But some two-thirds of white evangelical Christians aren’t convinced.

In the face of those who use religion to deny the worldwide crisis of climate change, climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe, an evangelical Christian, believes that her faith is compatible with science. This week she speaks to Bill about ending the gridlock between politics, science and faith in order to find solutions to the widespread threats associated with global warming.

…The New Testament talks about how faith is the evidence of things not seen,” says Hayhoe, who was recently named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People. “By definition, science is the evidence of things that are seen, that can be observed, that are quantifiable. And so that’s why I see faith and science as two sides of the same coin.

Oh, and the above quote is absolute garbage. Sorry, not sorry

SCIENCE:

(1.) the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.

(2.) a systematically organized body of knowledge on a particular subject.

(3.) knowledge covering general truths of the operation of general laws, esp. as obtained and tested through scientific method [and] concerned with the physical world.

No, Mrs. Hayhoe…BY DEFINITION, science is not “the evidence of things that are seen…" because your definition of "seen" needs some work.

201 notes

sagansense:

If there were ever an appropriate time to reblog this, well…in the wake of the trouble to come with what these fanatics are going to do to the government and the world….now would be a good time to listen to this, read the words and wake up.

“An error doesn’t become a mistake until you refuse to correct it… The very word “secrecy” is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it. Even today, there is little value in opposing the threat of a closed society by imitating its arbitrary restrictions. Even today, there is little value in insuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it. And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment…

For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence—on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations… Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed….

….Without debate, without criticism, no Administration and no country can succeed—and no republic can survive. That is why the Athenian law-maker Solon decreed it a crime for any citizen to shrink from controversy. And that is why our press was protected by the First Amendment—the only business in America specifically protected by the Constitution—not primarily to amuse and entertain, not to emphasize the trivial and the sentimental, not to simply “give the public what it wants”—but to inform, to arouse, to reflect, to state our dangers and our opportunities, to indicate our crises and our choices, to lead, mould, educate and sometimes even anger public opinion. This means greater coverage and analysis of international news—for it is no longer far away and foreign but close at hand and local. It means greater attention to improved understanding of the news as well as improved transmission. And it means, finally, that government at all levels, must meet its obligation to provide you with the fullest possible information outside the narrowest limits of national security… And so it is to the printing press—to the recorder of man’s deeds, the keeper of his conscience, the courier of his news—that we look for strength and assistance, confident that with your help man will be what he was born to be: free and independent.”

President John F Kennedy, “President and the Press" address, 1961.

image

Carl Sagan on Skepticism | Think For Yourself, Question Authority

Carl Sagan | Last Interview 1, 2, 3

(via sagansense)

46 notes

smdxn:

A Teenager Is Facing Prison Time for Posting This Photo to Facebook

A 14-year-old could be facing that actual prison time after he simulated oral sex with a statue of Jesus in Everett, Penn., according to KRON 4.

The statue, which is in front of the local Love in the Name of Christ organization, features Jesus kneeling. The teenager climbed up and well, you know. He later posted the photos to Facebook, where police found them.

Why is this happening? Pennsylvania has a state law, passed in 1972, that doesn’t allow “defacing, damaging, polluting or otherwise physically mistreating in a way that the actor knows will outrage the sensibilities of persons likely to observe or discover the action.” The law was previously used in 2010, according to the Altoona Mirror, to punish a college student who urinated on a nativity scene.

Plenty of states have similar laws, notes Mother Jones, but most require that some type of physical desecration or vandalism be involved. Pennsylvania joins Alabama, Tennessee and Oregon as states that just require that something offensive occurred.

The reaction: The arrest has stirred questions of freedom of speech and separation of church and state. Would the teen be facing this large a punishment if he had simulated oral sex with just any old statue, not one with Christian significance?

smdxn:

A Teenager Is Facing Prison Time for Posting This Photo to Facebook

A 14-year-old could be facing that actual prison time after he simulated oral sex with a statue of Jesus in Everett, Penn., according to KRON 4.

The statue, which is in front of the local Love in the Name of Christ organization, features Jesus kneeling. The teenager climbed up and well, you know. He later posted the photos to Facebook, where police found them.

Why is this happening? Pennsylvania has a state law, passed in 1972, that doesn’t allow “defacing, damaging, polluting or otherwise physically mistreating in a way that the actor knows will outrage the sensibilities of persons likely to observe or discover the action.” The law was previously used in 2010, according to the Altoona Mirror, to punish a college student who urinated on a nativity scene.

Plenty of states have similar laws, notes Mother Jones, but most require that some type of physical desecration or vandalism be involved. Pennsylvania joins Alabama, Tennessee and Oregon as states that just require that something offensive occurred.

The reaction: The arrest has stirred questions of freedom of speech and separation of church and state. Would the teen be facing this large a punishment if he had simulated oral sex with just any old statue, not one with Christian significance?

22 notes

confrontingbabble-on:

Religionists incorrectly use the meaningless phrase…”the meaning of (all human) life”…when they should more honestly express their religion’s view that…”our opinion is that the purpose of any person being alive…is that they comply with the tenants and dogma of our sectarian religious group…”
In reality, individuals choose and assign numerous and various imperatives, to make their lives meaningful…
***
"We can and do impute various meanings to life, as we do to everything else; and different people and cultures create different meanings.
Meanings are not given to most of us, though we are socialized into some by our parents or significant others, but still we tend to construct our own eventually. So here are my Top 12. Pick yours, or add it to the list if it is not there, or mix and match. They are not all mutually exclusive.
We can give our lives many meanings, and they may change over time, perhaps as we wise up. Meaninglessness is not an option; or maybe it’s another meaning.
Hedonism: To live and have a good time.
To enjoy; pleasure; “girls just wanna have fun” (Cyndi Lauper)
"Carpe diem" (Horace)
"Gather ye rosebuds while ye may" (Herrick).
"Eat, drink and be merry" (Eccles 8:15) (but check Isaiah 5:11). Now updated to "Sex, drugs ‘n’ rock ‘n’ roll” (Ian Dury, not Mick).
The Cyrenaics of Ancient Greece.
May correlate with narcissism and instrumentalism, but not asceticism.
ME
Materialism: To get as much as possible.

The man with the most toys wins.
To win, be top dog, alpha, numero uno, boss.
"If you’re rich, I’m single."
To be rich and famous
Plato’s bronze people (in the Republic), as also the hedonists above.
ME
Altruism: To give as much as possible
"Love thy neighbour as thyself." The Golden Rule (Mat 19:19).
"Do a good deed every day." "Help other people at all times." (Scouts)
To leave the world a better place.
Idealism, and optimism
THEM
Longevity: To live as long as possible.
"Take care." Prudence. Risk-assessment and risk avoidance.
Quantity of life, not quality.
"Look before you leap." (Yes, but "He who hesitates is lost.")
Moderation in all things.
ME
Sensationalism: To experience as much as possible.
Type T personalities: Thrill-seekers, adventurers, explorers, racers, extreme sports, risk-takers.
"Just do it!" (Nike)
Why climb Everest? “Because it’s there.” (Mallory). He died there.
To achieve a place in the record books: secular immorality; (more likely just for fun, or because one can, or just because it seemed like a good idea at the time, or one likes the feeling, but the place follows anyway).
Quality of life, not quantity: totally opposite to prudent, careful longevism: boring!
ME
Biologism: The genetic imperative.
To pass along my really selfish genes (Dawkins).
"It’s not my fault! I’m programmed!"
To achieve genetic immortality. Men and women famously use different methods.
ALL
Theism: To worship god or gods.
GO(O)D, holiness as the goal, to do good, to be virtuous.
To achieve spiritual immortality in heaven or paradise.
My religion or faith, is the one true meaning, though there are many different even conflicting faiths, but the others are either just wrong, (sorry), or very similar, (tolerance).
Relates to idealism, altruism and religiosity, also to fundamentalism and totalitarianism.
US, and maybe THEM.
Psychologism: Self-actualization
The seven stages (Maslow)
"To be the best you can be." (U.S. Army)
Being by doing.
Perfectionism
ME, again, but in a different meaning set.
Militarism: Survival.
Life is a struggle, a battle, against self, others, viruses, social forces of one sort of another (depression, illness, divorce, job loss) especially others.
"Lock up." "Caveat emptor." "Count your change." "Business is business." "Nice guys finish last." "Never give a sucker an even break." "Mind your back." "It’s a dog eat dog world." "Read the small print." "And wash your hands!"
Bias (“Most men are bad”); Heraclitus (“War is the father of all things”); Paul (“evil is present with me;” “Fight the good fight.”) Machiavelli, Hobbes (the war of all against all… “and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.”) But apart from that: Herbert Spencer (“the survival of the fittest”); Charles Darwin (“the struggle for existence”); Marx and Engels “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles”); Nietzsche (“The free man is a warrior”); Freud (“Homo homini lupus”); Kipling (“If”).
BUT: “I’m a lover not a fighter” (Jackson); “in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart” (Anne Frank). Do you? It would make a huge difference to the meaning(s) attributed to life if you did, or did not.
Loveism: To love (and be loved).
"All you need is love." (The Beatles)
Cash and warm shelters are also useful.
Loving warm relationships are the meaning of life, and the main constituents of happiness and life satisfaction, according to some; but others say that “variety is the spice of life,” and prefer liaisons (Casanova, Lothario, nymphos, K. Millett).
Opposite to hedonism.
US.
Rationalism: To know.
The love of wisdom, philosophy, constitutes the gold people of Plato’s three types of people. This is theoretically the triumph of reason over glory, Plato over Homer; later itself to be displaced for some by theism, and holiness trumping reason; later to be displaced in its turn by secular individualism in its many manifestations.
They are, he thought, superior to the silver (warriors who defend us and value honor) and bronze people (hedonists and materialists).
Our social reality is the opposite. Oh well. Greed and the love of power trump sweet reason (Machiavelli; Hobbes; Wall Street). And goodness.
Homo sapiens (Linnaeus). Really?
Existentialism: It’s your call.
You create your own meanings. None are given. (Sartre)
He also said that life was absurd, but took it seriously.
"There is a light seed grain inside. You fill it with yourself or it dies." (Rumi)
Another variant of individualism.
Maybe life is a (bad?) joke? Or a pain? A treasure? A gift? A struggle? A joy? All of the above occasionally? but it is yours.
YOU
So many isms! So many possible and probable meanings—and contradictions. Hedonism and asceticism, materialism and altruism, longevity and sensationalism, extremism, biologism, spiritualism, theism, fundamentalism, perfectionism, psychologism, narcissism, militarism, loveism, rationalism, existentialism, individualism.
What does your life mean to you? What gives it meaning? (Work? Children? A lover? Sport?) So what meanings do you give to your life?”
From http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/rethinking-men/201110/the-meaning-life

confrontingbabble-on:

Religionists incorrectly use the meaningless phrase…”the meaning of (all human) life”…when they should more honestly express their religion’s view that…”our opinion is that the purpose of any person being alive…is that they comply with the tenants and dogma of our sectarian religious group…”

In reality, individuals choose and assign numerous and various imperatives, to make their lives meaningful…

***

"We can and do impute various meanings to life, as we do to everything else; and different people and cultures create different meanings.

Meanings are not given to most of us, though we are socialized into some by our parents or significant others, but still we tend to construct our own eventually. So here are my Top 12. Pick yours, or add it to the list if it is not there, or mix and match. They are not all mutually exclusive.

We can give our lives many meanings, and they may change over time, perhaps as we wise up. Meaninglessness is not an option; or maybe it’s another meaning.

Hedonism: To live and have a good time.

  • To enjoy; pleasure; “girls just wanna have fun” (Cyndi Lauper)
  • "Carpe diem" (Horace)
  • "Gather ye rosebuds while ye may" (Herrick).
  • "Eat, drink and be merry" (Eccles 8:15) (but check Isaiah 5:11). Now updated to "Sex, drugs ‘n’ rock ‘n’ roll” (Ian Dury, not Mick).
  • The Cyrenaics of Ancient Greece.
  • May correlate with narcissism and instrumentalism, but not asceticism.
  • ME

Materialism: To get as much as possible.

  • The man with the most toys wins.
  • To win, be top dog, alpha, numero uno, boss.
  • "If you’re rich, I’m single."
  • To be rich and famous
  • Plato’s bronze people (in the Republic), as also the hedonists above.
  • ME

Altruism: To give as much as possible

  • "Love thy neighbour as thyself." The Golden Rule (Mat 19:19).
  • "Do a good deed every day." "Help other people at all times." (Scouts)
  • To leave the world a better place.
  • THEM

Longevity: To live as long as possible.

  • "Take care." Prudence. Risk-assessment and risk avoidance.
  • Quantity of life, not quality.
  • "Look before you leap." (Yes, but "He who hesitates is lost.")
  • Moderation in all things.
  • ME

Sensationalism: To experience as much as possible.

  • Type T personalities: Thrill-seekers, adventurers, explorers, racers, extreme sports, risk-takers.
  • "Just do it!" (Nike)
  • Why climb Everest? “Because it’s there.” (Mallory). He died there.
  • To achieve a place in the record books: secular immorality; (more likely just for fun, or because one can, or just because it seemed like a good idea at the time, or one likes the feeling, but the place follows anyway).
  • Quality of life, not quantity: totally opposite to prudent, careful longevism: boring!
  • ME

Biologism: The genetic imperative.

  • To pass along my really selfish genes (Dawkins).
  • "It’s not my fault! I’m programmed!"
  • To achieve genetic immortality. Men and women famously use different methods.
  • ALL

Theism: To worship god or gods.

  • GO(O)D, holiness as the goal, to do good, to be virtuous.
  • To achieve spiritual immortality in heaven or paradise.
  • My religion or faith, is the one true meaning, though there are many different even conflicting faiths, but the others are either just wrong, (sorry), or very similar, (tolerance).
  • Relates to idealism, altruism and religiosity, also to fundamentalism and totalitarianism.
  • US, and maybe THEM.

Psychologism: Self-actualization

  • The seven stages (Maslow)
  • "To be the best you can be." (U.S. Army)
  • Being by doing.
  • ME, again, but in a different meaning set.

Militarism: Survival.

  • Life is a struggle, a battle, against self, others, viruses, social forces of one sort of another (depression, illness, divorce, job loss) especially others.
  • "Lock up." "Caveat emptor." "Count your change." "Business is business." "Nice guys finish last." "Never give a sucker an even break." "Mind your back." "It’s a dog eat dog world." "Read the small print." "And wash your hands!"
  • Bias (“Most men are bad”); Heraclitus (“War is the father of all things”); Paul (“evil is present with me;” “Fight the good fight.”) Machiavelli, Hobbes (the war of all against all… “and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.”) But apart from that: Herbert Spencer (“the survival of the fittest”); Charles Darwin (“the struggle for existence”); Marx and Engels “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles”); Nietzsche (“The free man is a warrior”); Freud (“Homo homini lupus”); Kipling (“If”).
  • BUT: “I’m a lover not a fighter” (Jackson); “in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart” (Anne Frank). Do you? It would make a huge difference to the meaning(s) attributed to life if you did, or did not.

Loveism: To love (and be loved).

  • "All you need is love." (The Beatles)
  • Cash and warm shelters are also useful.
  • Loving warm relationships are the meaning of life, and the main constituents of happiness and life satisfaction, according to some; but others say that “variety is the spice of life,” and prefer liaisons (Casanova, Lothario, nymphos, K. Millett).
  • Opposite to hedonism.
  • US.

Rationalism: To know.

  • The love of wisdom, philosophy, constitutes the gold people of Plato’s three types of people. This is theoretically the triumph of reason over glory, Plato over Homer; later itself to be displaced for some by theism, and holiness trumping reason; later to be displaced in its turn by secular individualism in its many manifestations.
  • They are, he thought, superior to the silver (warriors who defend us and value honor) and bronze people (hedonists and materialists).
  • Our social reality is the opposite. Oh well. Greed and the love of power trump sweet reason (Machiavelli; Hobbes; Wall Street). And goodness.
  • Homo sapiens (Linnaeus). Really?

Existentialism: It’s your call.

  • You create your own meanings. None are given. (Sartre)
  • He also said that life was absurd, but took it seriously.
  • "There is a light seed grain inside. You fill it with yourself or it dies." (Rumi)
  • Another variant of individualism.
  • Maybe life is a (bad?) joke? Or a pain? A treasure? A gift? A struggle? A joy? All of the above occasionally? but it is yours.
  • YOU

So many isms! So many possible and probable meanings—and contradictions. Hedonism and asceticism, materialism and altruism, longevity and sensationalism, extremism, biologism, spiritualism, theism, fundamentalism, perfectionism, psychologism, narcissism, militarism, loveism, rationalism, existentialism, individualism.

What does your life mean to you? What gives it meaning? (Work? Children? A lover? Sport?) So what meanings do you give to your life?”

From http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/rethinking-men/201110/the-meaning-life