meaning

Discussion in 'The Sanctuary' started by reggie jax, Mar 29, 2013.

  1. reggie jax

    reggie jax Well-Known Member

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    i would conversely ask what good is it to live in denial of the temporal nature of our existence.

    i'm not saying i don't share your inclination to explore every nook and cranny to try to continue our own existence, and if that came in the form of creating new universes then that might potentially last forever. i'll also agree that if you can create other universes to live in, then you can use permancy as a metric for failure vs success.

    however, if it turns out that despite our best efforts we can't be immortal (neither as individuals nor as a civilization) then i would argue it is better to know that and to frame our understanding of existence with that realization in mind. so since this is a speculative solution to a universal problem, i have to ask you about the possibility that this solution simply isn't attainable for one reason or another.

    if that is the case, then would you have to relinquish the idea that the universe trends for jusitce, and does justice then lose its value? in other words, is the value that justice has to us entirely dependent on the assumption that we can actually continue to thrive forever?

    using the engulfment and engulfment avoidance model that you keep referencing, i would see this unwillingness to accept the fate of eventual nonexistence as an extreme manifestation of engulfment avoidance. essentially the laws of the universe dictate that our existence is temporary by its very nature, and yet here we are trying to assert our autonomy by bypassing the very system that made it possible.

    i have a question i'm curious about: would you want to live forever?

    if to exist is good, then naturally it's for the good. this sort of brings me back to the question i keep asking you though, is existence the end goal here? is justice merely a way that we sustain existence, or is there something more to it than that? i don't think you've really answered this yet.

    you have said that without justice we can't create technology which would render us impotent against our fate of eventual nonexistence, but even that only suggests that justice has value as a tool of survival, not that it has any intrinsic value on its own. are empathy, altruism and reciprocity higher ideals that transcend existence, or just effective tools for navigating it?
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  2. Radium

    Radium f k

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    yeah i think you nailed it. reality as chaos cant have meaning, but reality as as a thing thats inherently goal driven can.

    yeah. i dont understand whats confusing you.
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  3. Radium

    Radium f k

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    yeah but its funny i always wanted to talk about it but i never really knew how to say this here since it sounds really strange. but i realized that we are currently living in a kind of age of adventures and romances

    it has to do the way we interact w tragedy, specifically the way we challenge it to unlock more ecstasy inducing engulfment avoidance zones and the way it defeats us and constantly pulls us back into engulfment zones

    theres a certain range of conditions that allow for this and its very easy for those conditions to not be met and it to simply not work.

    but anyway yes i would always want to exist. i would never want to be away from everything.
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  4. reggie jax

    reggie jax Well-Known Member

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    let me ask you this, then. would you prefer eternal nothingness or a brief existence, or do you have no preference?


    well i thought you were going to try to make the point that justice is a higher ideal that has meaning beyond its capacity as a survival tool. it seems that instead you're saying existence has it's own meaning, which was the premise i started out with. the only difference between these views is you need yours to last forever.
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  5. reggie jax

    reggie jax Well-Known Member

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    i've thought about it too and i came to the idea that i don't want to live forever because the temporary nature of existence is what imbues it with beauty.

    i couldn't figure out why i felt this way for a little while until i came upon the realization that everything that we experience as so fresh and sweet is from the point of view of youth. we experience this world for the first time and everything is interesting. but how long can that interest last? i do fear death but i equally fear being trapped in existence for eternity.
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  6. Geedorah

    Geedorah King

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    I dont want to live forever because I want to see what is there after you die.
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  7. Radium

    Radium f k

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    i would never choose eternal nothingness


    this is a video of the tyrant vince mcmahon trying to get shawn michaels to retire from wrestling as an allegory for tragedy trying to make man surrender to death

    the dialogue they have starts at 6:02 and its really amazing especially the ultimate warning mcmahon as the agent of tragedy finally gives to shawn for his defiance


    [youtube]SB4z_WSq43c[/youtube]


    i think that as we age more and more of the engulfment avoidance zones that we worked to create and freely access get taken away from us by tragedy creating the feeling that our ability to be human is falling ever away from us piece by piece, inexorably en route to a growing boredom, a state of total enfeeblement, and then death.

    the psychologist erik erikson recognized this as a gradually growing stagnation that everyone must one day face.

    he proposed one way to work around this growing threat of stagnation: generativty

    Generativity - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    i guess like everything in psychology its kind of vague but i think the core idea to it is the growing out from a state of personhood to something much greater and larger than that. thus i thought that it would utimately take a fundamentally generative agent to actually want to do something like create more and more universes. that is that it would do this as a way to eternally achieve its own generative agency

    i think that the tyrant would not do this since he would only want to have more and more ecstasy. thus he would only choose to create some kind of private state of never ending ecstasy and then stay there that way forever. those who surrender to eternal nothingness wouldnt do it too since they wouldnt even want to exist. thus only the generative agent would have the capacity to do this

    i think your point about death giving beauty to existence is true. theres a great irony that from death there would come so much innocence. to that extent i question that its eternity that you actually fear, but the fear losing your innocence and never having a chance to get it back. in that case i dont know if eternal nothingness is what you really want or just a do-over

    if you could always get a free do-over handed out to you: would you take it?
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  8. reggie jax

    reggie jax Well-Known Member

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    so just to be clear, you'd prefer a brief existence over no existence?

    the reason i ask is because i am challenging the claim that our existence as it stands is meaningless unless we can sustain it forever.

    i think that existence is its own meaning and that however brief it might be, nothing can take away that moment of existence once it has occurred,even if an endless blank slate were to follow.

    if you disagree with me, and you think that a universe that eventually devolves back into chaos is meaningless, then i wonder what reason there could be to prefer a brief existence over never existing at all. the two are equally meaningless, and thus equally pointless to pursue.


    from what i'm reading, generativity is a way to try to leave your mark on the world through making it a better place. this is certainly something that i see value in, though it seems to me that it is inherently linked to our own mortality. it is the crisis of death that provokes us to want to create an impact that will outlast us. an immortal agent would presumably not have to cope in this way.

    you can phrase it as losing my innocence, though what i'm actually afraid of losing is the thirst for discovery that makes life worth living. like i have said before i am unsure that this thirst would continue forever. even if it lasted for trillions of years, that's not a drop in the bucket of eternity. i don't feel the generativity argument really is a work around for this dilemma. i'm not saying that we would literally run out of things to do, more that we would eventually not feel the same drive in doing them.

    and no, i mean it when i say that the idea of being immortal in the sense of not being able to die is unsettling to me because i would literally be trapped in existence with no way to escape it. it probably sounds absurd to feel claustrophobic in an existence that seems endless, but eternity is a pretty long time. i just imagine losing the will to exist and being stuck here and forced to go on anyway forever and to me it sounds remarkably close to hell.

    would i take a do-over? sure, but any meaningful do-over that could restore me to the state i was in at the beginning of this life would render me not me anymore, at least in the sense that it couldn't possibly be a conscious continuation of my existence. i'd have to be unaware of my previous experiences and thus unaware of my previous existence. at that point the distinction made when deciding whether 'i' would choose to exist again is sort of arbitrary, and in all likelihood i would choose to do it simply out of the basic impulse for self-preservation.
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  9. Radium

    Radium f k

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    i would always choose to exist. you would need to try to engineer a way to force me not to by creating an ultimatum that only forces me to choose death but thats a false dilemma.

    in any event you can always create your own meaning but i dont understand why doing that would mean the universe does not have meaning too

    re: generativity

    no i think generativity works around stagnation just by shifting focus outwardly to greater and larger things eg family, friends, humanity, the universe

    to that extent you could only ever cease achieving generativity when you finally run out of these things hence the generative urge for these things to always exist

    its your choice but what about the rest of us? would you like to see any of us again?
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  10. reggie jax

    reggie jax Well-Known Member

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    i don't think it is a false dilemma. i'm not saying those are the only two possibilities out there, i was just trying to establish whether you do prefer one of those options over the other. it's not a false dilemma to ask you if you have a preference between 2 options. if you answer that you prefer the latter then that preference is then the basis of my real question, which is an open ended one: why prefer the latter if the two are equally meaningless?

    i don't see how this is me creating meaning any more than you reasoning the meaning of a universe that allows for an eternal existence vs one that does not. i am interpreting existence just like you are. if i am correct then this would be the meaning embedded in the universe, so i don't understand why you think i'm saying it means the universe doesn't have meaning when i'm arguing the exact opposite.

    i'm willing to hear you out on why this is, but it's not self evident to me that this is true. i don't get why shifting the focus outwardly ensures that your drive will never cease. you could just as easily say so long as there are objects to desire, our desire for them will never relent.


    yea. it's not like i like the idea of death. when i think about eternity, though, it goes so far beyond my temporary experiences on earth. presumably i will always want to see certain people again, but when i extend that over an eternal duration that means essentially carrying on existing forever so that i could see those people again and again and again. while i do enjoy my interactions on earth, i'm not sure this is something i would or even could want to sustain forever.

    this could possibly be a coping mechanism for dealing with my own morality. but it really does strain my senses to think about it. i think that when people think about eternity we don't really try hard enough to picture it.
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  11. Radium

    Radium f k

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    your ultimatum is designed to force me to choose death. this is a false dilemma. but thats not relevant because any arbitrary meaning that i create for me does not change any meaning that the universe may already inherently have. your ultimatum does not suddenly make you or me in charge of the universe.

    your own agency can only be experienced so much but generativity forces you to always take on new agency through new agents. objects dont have agency to the extent that we do
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  12. reggie jax

    reggie jax Well-Known Member

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    it isn't a false dilemma and it isn't designed to make you choose death either. the distinction being made is between a brief existence and no existence at all. i believe that distinction is real, and i also expect that most people would naturally choose a brief existence. so the question naturally deals with those two options. it is no more a false dilemma than asking you whether you have a preference between chocolate or vanilla ice cream is a false dilemma simply because i didn't mention strawberry.

    the reason why i brought up this distinction is because you said that existence is meaningless if it doesn't allow for us to exist forever. so it is a challenge that is designed to highlight the implications of that claim, not make you choose death.

    i am arguing that existence itself has an inherent meaning that isn't negated by mortality or even by decay. i don't consider this any more arbitrary than any other type of universal meaning being proposed. in fact i think it represents meaning in its most basic and resolute form.
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  13. Radium

    Radium f k

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    False dilemma - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    i never argued that we couldn't create our own meaning.

    i argued that the universe has a kind of meaning too and i was using different emergent properties that exist in it like justice and technology to try to show that it trends to existence. that doesnt mean we cant create our own meaning or that the meaning that we create changes that
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  14. reggie jax

    reggie jax Well-Known Member

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    so you're saying it's a false dilemma to ever ask if you have a preference between two discrete options? i think that is an abuse of the term. a false dilemma would be for me to present the options as if they are the only possible scenarios (e.g. "either you are with us, or against us"). in this case i am merely asking if there is a distinction to be made between those 2 scenarios. you can say no or you can say yes. your choices are not at all being limited here.

    let's take into account all 3 possible scenarios: a) eternal nonexistence b) temporary existence or c) eternal existence. i already know your preference is c. i'm asking you if you have a 2nd choice or if the other two options are equally undesirable. if b is preferable, which i think nearly everyone would concede, then i think that demonstrates that there is not only an inherent meaning in the idea of existing eternally but also one in existing temporarily. you can disagree with my conclusion but i think all you're doing right now is avoiding the question.
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  15. Radium

    Radium f k

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    you dont get it.

    you can create any meaning you want for you.

    you cant create meaning for the universe.

    it already has meaning or it doesnt.
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  16. reggie jax

    reggie jax Well-Known Member

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    i'm not talking about creating meaning. i'm suggesting that it's already there.
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  17. Radium

    Radium f k

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    then what do you think is the meaning of the universe
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  18. reggie jax

    reggie jax Well-Known Member

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    besides, couldn't i also use the same argument that you used for justice to suggest that the fact that we evolved to 'create meaning' implies that meaning was inherent to begin with?
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  19. reggie jax

    reggie jax Well-Known Member

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    the same thing you do. existence.
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  20. Radium

    Radium f k

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    good grief
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