I felt lost about this, so I want to know what anyone else thinks. Also about the edit, it was another question I'd rather throw out but now don't mind you discuss too since I learned the question's stuck there.
This is a discussion on When does life stop to matter? within the INTP Forum - The Thinkers forums, part of the NT's Temperament Forum- The Intellects category; I felt lost about this, so I want to know what anyone else thinks. Also about the edit, it was ...
I felt lost about this, so I want to know what anyone else thinks. Also about the edit, it was another question I'd rather throw out but now don't mind you discuss too since I learned the question's stuck there.
Last edited by mrei; 02-06-2020 at 12:13 AM.
You have an allotted, finite amount of time to experience existence within a meatbot, with all that entails.
How you spend that time is up to you and how you navigate your constraints.
I think this may be different to a certain extent for all of us. We aren't assigned a task at birth, and have to achieve it by the end of our life. You have to take into account that we're all designed different, hence the personality profiles which still don't cover everything. To a certain extent you choose it, but to a certain extent you will likely be geared naturally towards certain things.
I think a whole lot of us have looked for a definitive answer to this at some point, but there's a whole lot that goes into a person's whole life: discovery, relationships, growth, accountability, etc. I don't know that any of us completely work out the answer in our lifetime. That does not mean that our life does not matter, only that it's more of a journey than a task to be completed, imo.
It's hard to say. Depression has killed all sense of purpose, but recently I've been amazed by the lengths people go to to make me feel loved. I actually had to stop and think about this because it means they find my existence meaningful, and wish to let me know that. All I can do is try and return the favor, be pleasant to be around and helpful where possible. Perhaps that's some sense of purpose in a world where we're expected to find purpose in the daily grind. What I mean is yes work needs to be fulfilling - but what about beyond that?
I don't have a clear answer for you as I'm not exactly healthy right now, but to me to survive is being able to get from one Friday to the next without hating it too much and having a bit of fun with others while doing so. Preferably goofing off.
I wrote a long, tangential, philosophical response/assessment and then questioned it and realized this song/musical answers this question better than I can:
life stops to matter only when entropy proves irrefutably to be irreversible.
till then we must endeavour to this end as if the solution would emerge tomorrow.
all of this tomfoolery you see around you matters, just not in a time frame we can fathom.
or perhaps some can.
here's some isaac asimov to give you some hope that there is some point to being anything at all.
1) We are mobile food, but we have already neutralized most of our predators. 2) Men are sexually insatiable by design; they prioritise sex without procreation (→ pornography), but copulation often creates new mobile food. 3) There is always conceited, often tenured mobile food that can’t bear these unflattering facts: https://www.iep.utm.edu/mean-ear
Arthur Schopenhauer: The World as Will and Idea
These considerations explain why the sexual desire has a very different character from every other; it is not only the strongest, but even specifically of a more powerful kind than any other. It is everywhere tacitly assumed as necessary and inevitable, and is not, like other desires, a matter of taste and disposition. For it is the desire which even constitutes the nature of man. In conflict with it no motive is so strong that it would be certain of victory. It is so pre-eminently the chief concern that no other pleasures make up for the deprivation of its satisfaction; and, moreover, for its sake both brute and man undertake every danger and every conflict. A very naïve expression of this disposition is the well-known inscription on the door of the fornix at Pompeii, decorated with the phallus: “Heic habitat felicitas:” this was for those going in naïve, for those coming out ironical, and in itself humorous. On the other hand, the excessive power of the sexual passion is seriously and worthily expressed in the inscription which (according to Theon of Smyrna, De Musica, c. 47), Osiris had placed upon the column he erected to the eternal gods: “To Eros, the spirit, the heaven, the sun, the moon, the earth, the night, the day, and the father of all that is and that shall be;” also in the beautiful apostrophe [exclamatory figure of speech] with which Lucretius begins his work [De Rerum Natura] :
“Æneadum genetrix, hominum divomque voluptas,
Alma Venus cet.”
To all this corresponds the important i]rôle/i] which the relation of the sexes plays in the world of men, where it is really the invisible central point of all action and conduct, and peeps out everywhere in spite of all veils thrown over it. It is the cause of war and the end of peace, the basis of what is serious, and the aim of the jest, the inexhaustible source of wit, the key to all allusions, and the meaning of all mysterious hints, of all unspoken offers and all stolen glances, the daily meditation of the young, and often also of the old, the hourly thought of the unchaste, and even against their will the constantly recurring imagination of the chaste, the ever ready material of a joke, just because the profoundest seriousness lies at its foundation. It is, however, the piquant element and the joke of life that the chief concern of all men is secretly pursued and ostensibly ignored as much as possible. But, in fact, we see it every moment seat itself, as the true and hereditary lord of the world, out of the fullness of its own strength, upon the ancestral throne, and looking down from thence with scornful glances, laugh at the preparations which have been made to bind it, imprison it, or at least to limit it and wherever it is possible to keep it concealed, or even so to master it that it shall only appear as a subordinate, secondary concern of life.
But all this agrees with the fact that the sexual passion is the kernel of the will to live, and consequently the concentration of all desire; therefore in the text I have called the genital organs the focus of the will. Indeed, one may say man is concrete sexual desire; for his origin is an act of copulation and his wish of wishes is an act of copulation, and this tendency alone perpetuates and holds together his whole phenomenal existence.
The will to live manifests itself indeed primarily as an effort to sustain the individual; yet this is only a step to the effort to sustain the species, and the latter endeavour must be more powerful in proportion as the life of the species surpasses that of the individual in duration, extension, and value. Therefore sexual passion is the most perfect manifestation of the will to live, its most distinctly expressed type; and the origin of the individual in it, and its primacy over all other desires of the natural man, are both in complete agreement with this.
One other remark of a physiological nature is in place here, a remark which throws light upon my fundamental doctrine expounded in the second book. As the sexual impulse is the most vehement of desires, the wish of wishes, the concentration of all our volition, and accordingly the satisfaction of it which exactly corresponds to the individual wish of any one, that is, the desire fixed upon a definite individual, is the summit and crown of his happiness, the ultimate goal of his natural endeavours, with the attainment of which everything seems to him to have been attained, and with the frustrating of which everything seems to him to have been lost:—so we find, as its physiological correlative, in the objectified will, thus in the human organism, the sperm or semen as the secretion of secretions, the quintessence of all animal fluids, the last result of all organic functions, and have in it a new proof of the fact that the body is only the objectivity of the will, i.e., is the will itself under the form of the idea.
For all love, however ethereally it may bear itself, is rooted in the sexual impulse alone, nay, it absolutely is only a more definitely determined, specialised, and indeed in the strictest sense individualised sexual impulse. If now, keeping this in view, one considers the important part which the sexual impulse in all its degrees and nuances plays not only on the stage and in novels, but also in the real world, where, next to the love of life, it shows itself the strongest and most powerful of motives, constantly lays claim to half the powers and thoughts of the younger portion of mankind, is the ultimate goal of almost all human effort, exerts an adverse influence on the most important events, interrupts the most serious occupations every hour, sometimes embarrasses for a while even the greatest minds, does not hesitate to intrude with its trash interfering with the negotiations of statesmen and the investigations of men of learning, knows how to slip its love letters and locks of hair even into ministerial portfolios and philosophical manuscripts, and no less devises daily the most entangled and the worst actions, destroys the most valuable relationships, breaks the firmest bonds, demands the sacrifice sometimes of life or health, sometimes of wealth, rank, and happiness, nay, robs those who are otherwise honest of all conscience, makes those who have hitherto been faithful, traitors; accordingly, on the whole, appears as a malevolent demon that strives to pervert, confuse, and overthrow everything;—then one will be forced to cry, Wherefore all this noise? Wherefore the straining and storming, the anxiety and want?
It is merely a question of every Hans finding his Grethe. Why should such a trifle play so important a part, and constantly introduce disturbance and confusion into the well-regulated life of man? But to the earnest investigator the spirit of truth gradually reveals the answer. It is no trifle that is in question here; on the contrary, the importance of the matter is quite proportionate to the seriousness and ardour of the effort. The ultimate end of all love affairs, whether they are played in sock or cothurnus, is really more important than all other ends of human life, and is therefore quite worthy of the profound seriousness with which every one pursues it. That which is decided by it is nothing less than the composition of the next generation. The dramatis personæ who shall appear when we are withdrawn are here determined, both as regards their existence and their nature, by these frivolous love affairs. As the being, the existentia, of these future persons is absolutely conditioned by our sexual impulse generally, so their nature, essentia, is determined by the individual selection in its satisfaction, i.e., by sexual love, and is in every respect irrevocably fixed by this. This is the key of the problem: we shall arrive at a more accurate knowledge of it in its application if we go through the degrees of love, from the passing inclination to the vehement passion, when we shall also recognise that the difference of these grades arises from the degree of the individualisation of the choice.
The collective love affairs of the present generation taken together are accordingly, of the whole human race, the serious meditatio compositionis generationis futuræ, e qua iterum pendent innumeræ generationes. This high importance of the matter, in which it is not a question of individual weal or woe, as in all other matters, but of the existence and special nature of the human race in future times, and therefore the will of the individual appears at a higher power as the will of the species;—this it is on which the pathetic and sublime elements in affairs of love depend, which for thousands of years poets have never wearied of representing in innumerable examples; because no theme can equal in interest this one, which stands to all others which only concern the welfare of individuals as the solid body to the surface, because it concerns the weal and woe of the species. Just on this account, then, is it so difficult to impart interest to a drama without the element of love, and, on the other hand, this theme is never worn out even by daily use.
That which presents itself in the individual consciousness as sexual impulse in general, without being directed towards a definite individual of the other sex, is in itself, and apart from the phenomenon, simply the will to live. But what appears in consciousness as a sexual impulse directed to a definite individual is in itself the will to live as a definitely determined individual. Now in this case the sexual impulse, although in itself a subjective need, knows how to assume very skilfully the mask of an objective admiration, and thus to deceive our consciousness; for nature requires this stratagem to attain its ends. But yet that in every case of falling in love, however objective and sublime this admiration may appear, what alone is looked to is the production of an individual of a definite nature is primarily confirmed by the fact that the essential matter is not the reciprocation of love, but possession, i.e., the physical enjoyment. The certainty of the former can therefore by no means console us for the want of the latter; on the contrary, in such a situation many a man has shot himself. On the other hand, persons who are deeply in love, and can obtain no return of it, are contented with possession, i.e., with the physical enjoyment. This is proved by all forced marriages, and also by the frequent purchase of the favour of a woman, in spite of her dislike, by large presents or other sacrifices, nay, even by cases of rape. That this particular child shall be begotten is, although unknown to the parties concerned, the true end of the whole love story; the manner in which it is attained is a secondary consideration. Now, however loudly persons of lofty and sentimental soul, and especially those who are in love, may cry out here about the gross realism of my view, they are yet in error.
Because the will to live expresses itself most strongly in the sexual impulse, the inner being of nature, the old poets and philosophers— Hesiod and Parmenides— said very significantly that Eros is the first, the creator, the principle from which all things proceed. (Cf. Arist. Metaph., i. 4.) Pherecydes said: Εις ερωτα μεταβεβλησθαι τον Δια, μελλοντα δημιουργειν (Jovem, cum mundum fabricare vellet, in cupidinem sese transformasse). Proclus ad Plat. Tim., l. iii. A complete treatment of this subject we have recently received from G. F. Schœmann, “De Cupidine Cosmogonico,” 1852. The Mâya of the Hindus, whose work and web is the whole world of illusion, is also symbolised by love.
The genital organs are, far more than any other external member of the body, subject merely to the will, and not at all to knowledge. Indeed, the will shows itself here almost as independent of knowledge, as in those parts which, acting merely in consequence of stimuli, are subservient to vegetative life and reproduction, in which the will works blindly as in unconscious nature. For generation is only reproduction passing over to a new individual, as it were reproduction at the second power, as death is only excretion at the second power. According to all this, the genitals are properly the focus of will, and consequently the opposite pole of the brain, the representative of knowledge, i.e., the other side of the world, the world as idea. The former are the life-sustaining principle ensuring endless life to time. In this respect they were worshipped by the Greeks in the phallus, and by the Hindus in the lingam, which are thus the symbol of the assertion of the will. Knowledge, on the other hand, affords the possibility of the suppression of willing, of salvation through freedom, of conquest and annihilation of the world.
We already considered fully at the beginning of this Fourth Book how the will to live in its assertion must regard its relation to death. We saw that death does not trouble it, because it exists as something included in life itself and belonging to it. Its opposite, generation, completely counterbalances it; and, in spite of the death of the individual, ensures and guarantees life to the will to live through all time. To express this the Hindus made the lingam an attribute of Siva, the god of death. We also fully explained there how he who with full consciousness occupies the standpoint of the decided assertion of life awaits death without fear. We shall therefore say nothing more about this here. Without clear consciousness most men occupy this standpoint and continually assert life. The world exists as the mirror of this assertion, with innumerable individuals in infinite time and space, in infinite suffering, between generation and death without end. Yet from no side is a complaint to be further raised about this; for the will conducts the great tragedy and comedy at its own expense, and is also its own spectator.
And to this world, to this scene of tormented and agonised beings, who only continue to exist by devouring each other, in which, therefore, every ravenous beast is the living grave of thousands of others, and its self-maintenance is a chain of painful deaths; and in which the capacity for feeling pain increases with knowledge, and therefore reaches its highest degree in man, a degree which is the higher the more intelligent the man is; to this world it has been sought to apply the system of optimism, and demonstrate to us that it is the best of all possible worlds. The absurdity is glaring.
But an optimist bids me open my eyes and look at the world, how beautiful it is in the sunshine, with its mountains and valleys, streams, plants, animals, &c. &c. Is the world, then, a raree show? These things are certainly beautiful to look at, but to be them is something quite different.
Then comes a teleologist, and praises to me the wise arrangement by virtue of which it is taken care that the planets do not run their heads together, that land and sea do not get mixed into a pulp, but are held so beautifully apart, also that everything is neither rigid with continual frost nor roasted with heat; in the same way, that in consequence of the obliquity of the ecliptic there is no eternal spring, in which nothing could attain to ripeness, &c. &c.
But this and all like it are mere conditiones sine quibus non. If in general there is to be a world at all, if its planets are to exist at least as long as the light of a distant fixed star requires to reach them, and are not, like Lessing's son, to depart again immediately after birth, then certainly it must not be so clumsily constructed that its very framework threatens to fall to pieces.
But if one goes on to the results of this applauded work, considers the players who act upon the stage which is so durably constructed, and now sees how with sensibility pain appears, and increases in proportion as the sensibility develops to intelligence, and then how, keeping pace with this, desire and suffering come out ever more strongly, and increase till at last human life affords no other material than this for tragedies and comedies, then whoever is honest will scarcely be disposed to set up hallelujahs.
3:AM: Will is a key idea: what did he mean by the idea of the world as will?
Julian Young: The key idea is that a world of will is a world of conflict, of ‘war, all against all’. Fifty years before Darwin, Schopenhauer saw that nature is essentially an arena of conflict, conflict between the ‘will to live’ in one individual and the will to live in another: the big fishes eat the little fishes and the little fishes eat the minnows. And they must do so on pain of extinction. Like Darwin, Schopenhauer saw that the way in which the economy of nature preserves itself in the face of such eternal conflict is through overpopulation. The system generates enough antelopes to perpetuate the species, but also a surplus to feed the lions. Here we see one aspect of Schopenhauer’s pessimism. Fear, pain and death are not isolated malfunctions of the kind of order a benevolent deity would create, but are inseparable from the means by which the system of nature preserves itself.
When we turn to social life of human beings, is true that civilization mostly ameliorates the cruder cruelties of nature. Yet even here we face a life of conflict between one will and another. If one individual wins a sexual partner, job, wealth, or social status another loses out. Like non-human nature, human social life is a ruthless game played between ‘winners’ and ‘losers’. Even one’s internal psychology is essentially an arena of conflict. If my will is unsatisfied then I suffer: if my desire for food is unsatisfied I suffer the pain of hunger, if my desire for friends is unsatisfied I suffer the pain of loneliness. But if the will is satisfied, very quickly I become bored—that is I suffer. After a fleeting moment of pleasure, the new Porsche becomes just ‘the car’, the new Omega wrist watch just ‘the thing for telling the time’. Hence life ‘swings like a pendulum’ between the suffering of lacking and the suffering of having.
Unsurprisingly, Darwin was a social Darwinist:
Adam Kuper, Centennial Professor of Anthropology at the LSE, University of London
Gregory Radick Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Leeds
Charlotte Sleigh, Reader in the History of Science at the University of Kent
Sent from my Iridium 9555
The thing you gotta ask yourself when asking this question is: If life HAD a pre-ordained point, would you then have what little, heavily confined free will you have?
If I had to pick one, I'd take the will over the point
It is typical individualist self-help values such as saying "be yourself" but weirdly juxtaposed with "be an obedient servant of god."
Apparently, if you believe yourself destined to become a musician and your whole family says you should be a doctor, then being a musician isn't really what you want to be so much as being what god wanted you to be. So you still must overcome pressures from other people and be yourself. But being yourself is basically just being what god wants you to be so you are basically serving god's interest all along and you really have no choices other than to reject everyone else and become one with what god wants.
I just hate hearing the words servant and obedience. It is said with great pride to be your own individual, as long you aren't really being your own individual because that just means being an obedient servant.
"Stop sperging up the place you autistic retard!"
Authenticity is kind of a painful topic to touch upon, because it crumbles if you scrutinize it too much.