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Thread: 'Meaning' Redux

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  1. #1
    GemQuest Moderator Gary Wassner's Avatar
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    'Meaning' Redux

    Camus wrote: “The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.”

    Can we do that? Is the struggle enough?
    Last edited by Gary Wassner; July 24th, 2008 at 09:38 AM.

  2. #2
    Just Another Philistine Hereford Eye's Avatar
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    If it isn't, what's the alternative you'd like to see in its place?

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    GemQuest Moderator Gary Wassner's Avatar
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    Though I certainly don't, Camus suggested suicide.

    Too dark for me.

    Is the meaning then in the struggle or in the result?

  4. #4
    Just Another Philistine Hereford Eye's Avatar
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    Ah, the traditional non-answer to the question. Didn't ask what Camus thought; asked what you'd like to see in its place. You've evidently been giving this quite a bit of thought since the topic ties into your previous thread. So, where are you today?

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    Fulgurous Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    Well it's the traditional "it's the journey, not the destination," though in the case of life itself, the destination is death, so of course the journey looks better most of the time. Suicide would be abandoning the journey to get right to the destination, which if you're a depressive like Camu, has some romantic appeal.

    Then there's the proposal that how much you wonder about the meaning of life is directly proportional to your income and life situation. The more money you have, the more you worry about meaning in life, and so on.

    For me, the relativist comes out again here. The universe is random. There are patterns in it and we make plans in it and they can be disturbed in an instant. What is meaningful and what constitutes the "heights" varies for each person, so other people musing about meaning is interesting to me. Other people telling me what meaning is for all is not interesting to me.

    I don't know if the struggle is worth it, especially when the struggle is different for each person and usually grossly unfair in its distribution. But it's ours, and it's our kids, and that's enough most of the time to make us try to get off the floor mat and keep on.

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    Just Another Philistine Hereford Eye's Avatar
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    But...
    Can't you make the case that all media is an examination of the meaning of it all? And, if you can make that case, then must you not accept the search for meaning is more than a matter of economics?
    In a movie I watched the other night, The History Boys, a teacher points out that Hardy was the first to name a common drummer in his poetry, the name was Hodge. Prior to Hardy, only the VIPs got their names into poetry, sort of like "the meaning of life is directly proportional to your income and life situation" supposing that you include soldiers as a significant 'life situation." And, if you let me include soldiers, than why can we not include every human being who has trod this globe?

  7. #7
    >:|Angry Beaver|:< Fung Koo's Avatar
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    I never thought Camus' fable/allergory/whatever of Sisyphus had any real applicability to the human experience. Sisyphus is essentially an immortal, doomed to infinite repetition of the same life, each time with the same task, done the same way -- the same journey, ad infinitum.

    So unless you're Buddhist, the example has very little applicability -- and even if you are Buddhist, it still doesn't because reincarnation is not a mere repetition. It is progressive. Growth.

    And besides, I have to ask -- where does the assumption come from that "filling one's heart" is equatable to "meaning"??? These need not be the same, nor even connected.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Wassner View Post
    Though I certainly don't, Camus suggested suicide.
    And that's not really accurate either. He suggests revolt. Which is to suggest continual struggle. Which, in the philosophy of the absurd, remains absurd because it's cyclical, answering the question with itself.
    Last edited by Fung Koo; July 24th, 2008 at 11:06 AM.

  8. #8
    Kiss my axe! kahnovitch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Wassner View Post
    Is the meaning then in the struggle or in the result?
    Considering the result is death regardless, then it's the struggle surely?

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    GemQuest Moderator Gary Wassner's Avatar
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    Well, there are steps on the way to the end, right?

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    Kiss my axe! kahnovitch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Wassner View Post
    Well, there are steps on the way to the end, right?
    No doubt.
    The question is all about figuring out where you want to go, and then how to get there.
    There are many roads from birth to death, many forks and junctions that bring us to cross paths with others.
    If we're lucky we meet like-minded individuals and share experiences and possibly even philosophies and ideas with them.
    Having a dream is good. Sharing a dream is better.
    What life "means" varies from person to person so there is no universal answer.
    The only truth about life (for me anyway) is that it ends, so make the best of it while you can.

  11. #11
    Registered User arourb's Avatar
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    Meaning Redux

    Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.Matthew 24:34 NASB

    Meaning that people that lived in his age wouldnt die? Meaning that people who are his friends? Hard to get...

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