Originally posted by StalkerSolent
See, I do believe that there is a real meaning to life (just so's we're clear) but I like to look at life from other perspectives. The world is full
of people that don't do that, and I find it sad sometimes
So, my question is, if life is without meaning, where did morality spring from?
I'm a little shy of private conversations, I'm more comfortable being a bit of hit and run poster.
But I think this is still relatively on-topic,
as the claim that life has no meaning is often something associated with atheists, but is not neccessarily something they all would think true.
(if it turns out not to be on topic, then sure, I'll take the plunge into private messaging
I have to backtrack a little and qualify my position (damn that always happens when I have to back up my assertions) - there is real meaning to life.
That meaning is the process of life itself. I don't think we as humans are neccessary to that process (of life), but we do exist as part of it;
therefore, while we exist, we have meaning.
But there's no plan we have to fulfill. Life is totally happy for us to continue existing, but if we happen to get wiped out through our own
stupidity or just random circumstance, life will continue the process through other species.
Those that do say life has no meaning are (usually) just reacting against the traditional meanings given (ones of super-natural origin, man's destiny
as center of creation, etc) as not sufficient, and they reject them as grounds for meaning.
Evolution does provide meaning, although the religious (but not just them) don't agree because it takes away our established myths about
Given the huge amount of myths about ourselves out there, we obviously have huge need to create meaning for our existence, specificallly one we can
relate to. Some find the impersonal processes of the universe too hard to relate to, which is why humanising the universe through religion makes
things much easier to process.
I think the idea that morality only comes with knowing that there is a purpose to your life isn't really true if you think carefully about it, it's
just been associated with it for a long time.
We are social beings, we have self-consciousness, and we have things we like and things we don't that we can all pretty much agree on - survival,
shelter, security, eating, comfort, love, children, health, entertainment and community are all good things universally to all, and things which
threaten those are bad.*
We construct our morality around protecting those things, and stories are a great way to teach and pass on our values. Religion is a story that
condenses all this into a readily transmittable package, generation to generation.
It uses story logic, which is big on meaningfulness, and is easy to remember because we can relate to it.
Science, logic, and evoution do provide meaning for those who are fine with it - it is a model that has logic to it, just not the story logic of
In short, morality comes from our urge to provide the best circumstances for our success as a species.
Sorry for the long-windedness, it's a handicap I struggle with. I did delete lots of even more rambly sentences.
Not sure if I answered your quesion, but at least that's where I''m coming from for now, until new information comes to light.
*It's with reference to this that I would agree life has meaning, but I disagree there is any grand-plan underway other than our own well-being while
we happen to exist; and if that well-being can coincide with the well-being of every other life-form, so much the better.