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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » No, Virginia, there is no Santa Claus... (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Reis O'Brien
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I think some of you guys are going to be visited by three spirits.
Homo vult decipi; decipiatur

http://www.myspace.com/liar_4_hire
Payne
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Quote:
On 2004-12-11 18:56, Reis O'Brien wrote:
I think some of you guys are going to be visited by three spirits.


I'm hoping for holiday visits from Bourbon, Gin and Scotch
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
drhackenbush
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You can't fool me - there's no such thing as a sanity-clause.
Dr_Stephen_Midnight
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"You can't fool me - there's no such thing as a sanity-clause."

Chico Marx - "A Night at the Opera"

'Atsa some joke, eh Boss?

Steve
Dr. Lao: "Do you know what wisdom is?"
Mike: "No."
Dr. Lao: "Wise answer."
Scott Cram
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Quote:
On 2004-12-10 20:37, Dr_Stephen_Midnight wrote:
So...what's the meaning of life, Scott...that is, beyond its futile biological self-replication and its ultimate doom at the 'hands' of an ever-expanding (and ultimately unravelling) universe?

Cynical minds want to know.

Steve


I've always been amused by that question, "What's the meaning of life?"

Here's one for you: "What is the meaning of water?"

Yes, it is a silly question, but WHY is it a silly question? Because the question has no context. The question can have an answer, but it has to have context to provide that answer.

What about a man who is drowing? To him, water means death. What about a woman who is lost in the desert? To her, water means life. What about parents who are having their baby baptized? To them, water is a symbol of purification and re-birth.

Once we set the context, it is much easier to find the relationship. The same is true with your "meaning of life" question. Life is a concious experience, so your question, more accurately stated, should be "What is the relationship between one's conciousness and one's experience?"

One of the greatest things about being human is that we have the ability to choose our answer to that question. Jefferson chose to make his life about individual rights. Edison chose to make his about invention.

When you choose a purpose, you set a standard for your life. The endless possibilities for action are reduced to a manageable few, because the rest don't meet the standard.

"What is the meaning of water" is a question that is rarely asked, because it isn't often that it's complicated to see one's relationship to water. "What is the meaning of life" is question that usually comes to mind when people perceive their life to be random.

It's the lack of a standard, and the frightening confrontation with myriad, equally meaningless possibilities that can make this question seem so terrifying. To someone with a purpose, the question has been asked, analyzed and learned from.
drhackenbush
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Quote:
On 2004-12-11 23:29, Dr_Stephen_Midnight ...
'Atsa some joke, eh Boss?
Steve


Peanuts......to you!
Dr_Stephen_Midnight
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Same comedian - "Duck Soup"

Steve (who is a big-time Marx Bros. fan)
Dr. Lao: "Do you know what wisdom is?"
Mike: "No."
Dr. Lao: "Wise answer."
Dr_Stephen_Midnight
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"To someone with a purpose, the question has been asked, analyzed and learned from."

But from a purely empirical perspective, the conclusion he comes to is still a self-delusion if he is acting upon it with a sense of significant, lasting purpose.

Q: What's your purpose?

A: Uhhh...to put things on top of other things.

Q: Why?

A: Uhhh...because there are still things that are not on top of other things.

Querent: Okayyyy....(walking away slowly)

Steve
Dr. Lao: "Do you know what wisdom is?"
Mike: "No."
Dr. Lao: "Wise answer."
Scott Cram
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Quote:
On 2004-12-12 09:59, Dr_Stephen_Midnight wrote:
"To someone with a purpose, the question has been asked, analyzed and learned from."

But from a purely empirical perspective, the conclusion he comes to is still a self-delusion if he is acting upon it with a sense of significant, lasting purpose.

Q: What's your purpose?

A: Uhhh...to put things on top of other things.

Q: Why?

A: Uhhh...because there are still things that are not on top of other things.

Querent: Okayyyy....(walking away slowly)

Steve


You originally asked, "What is the meaning of life". My reply, in a nutshell, is that your purpose gives the meaning to your life.

Every purpose does give meaning to life, but different purposes will give different meanings. A lofty purpose means great effort and great reward. A normal purpose means organized effort and regular reward. An irrational purpose means pointless effort and illusory reward.

I'm sorry to hear that you believe that the chosing of a purpose can only be self-delusional. Personally, I hold the purpose of the founding fathers of America in much higher esteem than that of the Manson family.
Dr_Stephen_Midnight
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You're missing my message.

I am NOT talking about individual 'attributions of meaning.' I am talking about a universal 'meaning of life' based on empirical reality. My point is, that from that perspective there ISN'T ANY.

Whatever your 'meaning of life' is, it is entirely subjective, based on your personal values.

Empirically, the only 'meaning of life' you will find in a science book is to 'replicate itself.'

Steve
Dr. Lao: "Do you know what wisdom is?"
Mike: "No."
Dr. Lao: "Wise answer."
blindbo
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Believed: 1957 - 1964 (peeked downstairs as parents were setting things up)

Didn't dare let on: 1964 - 1967

Smugly intimated that I knew the secret although not letting siblings know: 1967 - 1969

Expose Santa to siblings with reckless abandon: 1970

Wish there really was a Santa: 1970 - 1984

Found deeper meaning, understanding and hapiness in most all things (including Santa): 1985 to present
Scott Cram
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Quote:
On 2004-12-12 14:22, Dr_Stephen_Midnight wrote:
You're missing my message.

I am NOT talking about individual 'attributions of meaning.' I am talking about a universal 'meaning of life' based on empirical reality. My point is, that from that perspective there ISN'T ANY.

Whatever your 'meaning of life' is, it is entirely subjective, based on your personal values.

Empirically, the only 'meaning of life' you will find in a science book is to 'replicate itself.'

Steve



Life exists. It's doesn't have to have any universal meaning beyond that. My answer is in reply to the context that the question is usually asked.

I'm not sure why you bring only one small branch of philosophy (science - the branch of philosophy that only studies how objects and processes operate) into the question, when the question has much wider implications.
drhackenbush
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Why are we here?
We're waiting.
Waiting?
Waiting.
For what?
We're waiting for Godot.
Ahhhh.
Dr_Stephen_Midnight
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The only reason I bring it up, Scott, is to pipe a little objective daylight to those who claim, proudly, to be 'pure empiricists' in their approach to life, looking down their noses at those who have non-empirical beliefs, but who fail to recognize that their own life motivations, and therefore their own 'meaning of life,' is NOT based on pure empiricism, but on subjective, personal conclusions that are separate from the stark factors of empirical reality.

Is it bad to have a non-empirical philosophy for 'getting on with life?' Of course not. Whatever gives your life meaning is worth embracing for that reason. All of us who have not given up and put a bullet through our brain have engaged in this pivotal process.

I just get so tired of hearing the old chestnut of "I live my life based on reality and rationality, not on irrational beliefs."

Horse hockey!

If you attribute ANY meaning to your life at all, in a universe which clearly has no empirical meaning, then you are living by something beyond pure 'rationality.'

I have NO problem with that. I just ask people to THINK about it, and realize that the ARE basing their efforts and reason for living on something beyond 'empirical reality' and 'pure rationality.'

Steve
Dr. Lao: "Do you know what wisdom is?"
Mike: "No."
Dr. Lao: "Wise answer."
ed rhodes
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Quote:
On 2004-12-03 12:42, Ollie1235 wrote:
What? so santa clause aint real?


Hey, you can't fool me! There is no Sanity Clause!
"There's no time to lose," I heard her say.
"Catch your dreams before they slip away."
"Dying all the time, lose your dreams and you could lose your mind.
Ain't life unkind?"
ed rhodes
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Quote:
On 2004-12-10 20:37, Dr_Stephen_Midnight wrote:
So...what's the meaning of life, Scott...that is, beyond its futile biological self-replication and its ultimate doom at the 'hands' of an ever-expanding (and ultimately unravelling) universe?

Cynical minds want to know.

Steve


42
"There's no time to lose," I heard her say.
"Catch your dreams before they slip away."
"Dying all the time, lose your dreams and you could lose your mind.
Ain't life unkind?"
Regan
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Quote:
On 2004-12-12 14:22, Dr_Stephen_Midnight wrote:


Empirically, the only 'meaning of life' you will find in a science book is to 'replicate itself.'

Steve




Maybe a science book is not the best place to find an explanation of the "true meaning of life".

Regan
Mister Mystery
Dr_Stephen_Midnight
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Regan,
I agree, and if you read my posts thoroughly, you will find that is EXACTLY the point I have been valiantly trying to make.
Pure empiricism does not 'feed the bulldog' when it comes time to ask "Why am I here?" and "How should I live my life?"
Philosophy can offer you that answer (with or without any supernatural element). Religion can offer you that answer. Mysticism can offer you that answer.
Pure science cannot.

Steve
Dr. Lao: "Do you know what wisdom is?"
Mike: "No."
Dr. Lao: "Wise answer."
Payne
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Quote:
On 2004-12-13 18:18, Dr_Stephen_Midnight wrote:
Regan,
I agree, and if you read my posts thoroughly, you will find that is EXACTLY the point I have been valiantly trying to make.
Pure empiricism does not 'feed the bulldog' when it comes time to ask "Why am I here?" and "How should I live my life?"
Philosophy can offer you that answer (with or without any supernatural element). Religion can offer you that answer. Mysticism can offer you that answer.
Pure science cannot.

Steve


Perhaps not for you but it certainly floats my boat. The only time I even feel a twinge of what others might call a spiritual feeling is at our local science center.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
Dr_Stephen_Midnight
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Payne,
Again you're not reading CLOSELY enough. I didn't say you have to be spiritual; I'm saying the empirical facts aren't enough to give anyone a motivational REASON to live as they are too stark and bleak.

Sartre's existentialism is an example of non-spiritual philosophy that gives someone a reason to live, albeit a reason that Sartre himself would probably have admitted does not have a purely rational conclusion attached to it: you give yourself a SUBJECTIVE, personal reason and go on with life.

ANY subjective philosophy disregards the ultimate destiny of the universe and its implications for our own efforts, but you either decide on a subjective reason or you give up on life (or you drift through blind, which requires no thought).

I'm not asking you to believe in Yhwh, Zeus, Krishna or Great Cthulhu, Payne. I am only asking you to think of your motivation(s) for living and striving in the face of the scientific facts, and the theories (and implications) attached to those facts.

That's what philosophy is all about...making people THINK.

Steve
Dr. Lao: "Do you know what wisdom is?"
Mike: "No."
Dr. Lao: "Wise answer."
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