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Author Topic: What is the meaning of life to a scientist?  (Read 8693 times)

Offline Joe L. Ogan

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What is the meaning of life to a scientist?
« on: 13/07/2012 19:22:11 »
What is the meaning of life to a scientist.  I have my own concept of the meaning of life but I would be very interested in seeing what a person who concideres himself a scientist in reading your concept.   Thanks for comments.  Joe L. Ogan


 

Offline Joe L. Ogan

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Re: What is the meaning of life to a scientist?
« Reply #1 on: 13/07/2012 23:06:25 »
To be meaningful, a life must have a purpose.  My purpose is to be good.  Be good morally because any other behavior doesn't make good sense and may get one in trouble sooner or later.    Be good at what you do.  If you are married, be good to your spouse.  Be a good husband.  Be a good father.  Be good to your pets.   They think that you are God, except your cat.  The cat thinks it is God.  Be good to the cat because it may be right.  Be good to your neighbors.  I could go on and on but you get my meaning.  Thanks for comments.  Joe L. Ogan
 

Offline schneebfloob

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Re: What is the meaning of life to a scientist?
« Reply #2 on: 16/07/2012 17:19:49 »
The meaning of life, to my mind, is what you make it to be. In essence, it's meaningless -- what is the meaning of anything? Life is a product of a set of particular conditions within the Universe at this point in time. The 'point' of life, if you like, is simply to pass genes on to the next generation. From this and by evolution by natural selection, we have the range of organisms we have today. Somewhere along the way consciousness has emerged, which has enabled us to perceive the world around us.

We try to give it meaning, when essentially there is none. Many people try to get around this by giving it a meaning, possibly via religion or some other means. That is completely up to the individual, and if that makes them feel better then that's fine.
« Last Edit: 16/07/2012 17:21:30 by schneebfloob »
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: What is the meaning of life to a scientist?
« Reply #3 on: 28/07/2012 02:41:04 »
I don't know what the meaning of life is to a ant or a mouse or a cow. But as a human, I just find it infinitely amazing that atoms and molecules can be organized in such a way, that those atoms and molecules can appreciate their own existence and the existence of everything around them, how ever briefly. Otherwise, the world would be like an incredible movie playing in a theater with no one watching, which would be rather sad in a way.
 

Offline David Cooper

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Re: What is the meaning of life to a scientist?
« Reply #4 on: 28/07/2012 21:55:50 »
What exactly is the question? Meanings are the ideas represented by things, but life is not a representation of anything. Meanings can also be conclusions, but life is not a conclusion. Meaning in the contest of "the meaning of life" tends to mean "purpose", but nothing has a purpose unless it has been made in order to do something, thereby implying a designer. So, if you assume a designer, then you have to ask him what he made living things for. If you don't assume a designer, you are asking the wrong question - the right question would be something like this: given that we exist, what should we do with our lives? The answer is to try to do what makes us happy, but given that we don't want other people's pursuit of happiness to be done at our expense, we need to find ways of being happy that don't involve trampling over other people - if we act as a team and try to help everyone be happy, that is doubtless the best way forward.
 

Offline grizelda

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Re: What is the meaning of life to a scientist?
« Reply #5 on: 19/08/2012 06:32:02 »
I think the meaning of life is to understand consciousness; that is, understand how we understand. This has the added bonus of giving us a tool to investigate mythologies, as we can assume that they are answers of the most important question. Since mythologies are passed down for eons, they must be essential and correct answers to have survived while vast quantities of other stories faded away. Of course, not having modern scientific language available, the mythologies had to be couched in iconic usage of the vernacular available at the time, which meant that they were coded as relationships between the people and objects and transactions of daily life. This would have been readily dereferenced by the people hearing it at the time, but the coding is lost to us. So we think they are about orcas, or titans, or frost, or spells, because we cannot dereference the meaning from the icons, except unconsciously.
 

Offline survivalist13

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Re: What is the meaning of life to a scientist?
« Reply #6 on: 19/08/2012 11:33:12 »
To reproduce :)

Your life means whatever you want it to mean, scientists generally want to make best use of their talents to help society. For me, at this time in life that would be to explore and colonize space, no small aim :)
 

Offline annie123

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Re: What is the meaning of life to a scientist?
« Reply #7 on: 21/08/2012 02:14:25 »
If you believe Richard Dawkins it's just to perpetuate genes, to make life continue.This is quite a limited view but is part of it I think.(As to why genes want to go on - that's the rest of the question.) But there's no way to come to any absolute conclusion about the meaning of life any more than one can come to absolute conclusions about anything else. We can try to give our own lives significance in terms of what difference we make to the world if making a difference makes us feel good, or we can just hang around till it's all over and deal with it in ways which make us and others feel good - others because if they don't feel good this eventually affects our satisfaction/contentment etc.And how/why  we feel good, of course, does depend somewhat on our chemical makeup, our genetic inheritance etc. Feeling seems to be the guiding motivation rather than reason/thought, but the latter are harnessed to generate the emotions as described. As to the wonder/ awe/terror of existence - wouldn't have missed it - but if i had I wouldn't have known so either way  . . .
 

Offline grizelda

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Re: What is the meaning of life to a scientist?
« Reply #8 on: 26/08/2012 09:49:55 »
Many people think the most powerful emotion is fear, but most people can experience long stretches without fear, so it can only be important in certain situations. The emotion we are most likely to encounter, most prevalent, is guilt. So it would seem guilt has a more important function than just dealing with certain situations. It seems we could do without it as there are few survival advantages making it an evolutionary necessity. So it must provide a more fundamental service. We need a reason to care, to get up in the morning, to accomplish the works of man, beyond mere survival. Guilt provides us with that drive. I believe the pattern this follows is set by the trauma of birth, being ripped out of our original universe, the womb. All our accomplishments are substitutes meant to recreate our universe in the image of the womb, so we are re-borne, and expiate our guilt for being born. Our accomplishments are connections to the universe, and substitute for our connections to the womb, sort of existential umbilical cords.
« Last Edit: 26/08/2012 10:18:00 by grizelda »
 

Offline AaronAgassi

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Re: What is the meaning of life to a scientist?
« Reply #9 on: 09/03/2013 12:33:11 »
What is the meaning of life to a scientist.  I have my own concept of the meaning of life but I would be very interested in seeing what a person who concideres himself a scientist in reading your concept.   Thanks for comments.  Joe L. Ogan

The question was: What is the meaning of life to a scientist. For Einstein, it was to better know the mind of God. But Einstein's concept was of an impersonal God embodied in the laws of physics. Atheistically, that may be taken As a metaphor. Indeed, Einstein along with Socrates, was inspiration for Karl Popper and falibilism, wherein certainty is both impossible and unnecessary in the quest for truth, so that by the exchange of criticism, hope and freedom rather than despair and futility, arise from human fallibility. Karl Popper remains the favorite Philosopher for scientiststs.

But for my own answer as to the meaning of life, know more at fool quest dot com
 

Offline majorminor

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Re: What is the meaning of life to a scientist?
« Reply #10 on: 02/04/2013 00:05:27 »
If there was ever a formula or a perfect way to live life for maximum happiness and  a reason given for everything, then it would take all the value from existance as a human.
Feels like there is a limit to our understanding  for a reason  but of course this could be a search for meaning in nothingness. But then if someone can find meaning in nothingness then fair play to them, fill your boots with meaning.


Being a man with no qualification to be a scientist I can only say what is my meaning of life. And that is to treat the universe as my playground. I was  bored then I noticed time, seen things change, made up reasons to why they change then gave importance to some stuff and it became my world. Then I realised I was not bored and became maggot food.- someone hide the beer
 

Offline Jeez

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Re: What is the meaning of life to a scientist?
« Reply #11 on: 20/04/2013 07:55:28 »
To learn, solve puzzles, and add to science.

Btw, if any of you are educators, there's a ridiculous amount of online classes for free these days: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

NO FREE ADDS = MODERATOR
« Last Edit: 21/04/2013 01:51:45 by JimBob »
 

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Re: What is the meaning of life to a scientist?
« Reply #11 on: 20/04/2013 07:55:28 »

 

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