Some people live for the afterlife. I'd say that's not a safe bet; at *best* you could assume a 50/50 chance that there is any afterlife at all.
So you've got a brief time on this earth and you'll be snuffed out eventually and that'll be it. Seems to be a lot of lementing on this point around here. I'm guessing not a lot of these people are living the 10 commandments; hoping to have a special place in heaven where, one can only assume, they get to do all that stuff they aren't allowed to do on Earth.
Biologically, our only reason to live is to live itself and reproduce. It's good enough for the animals and vegitables. So if you have kids and your heart is still beating -- congradulations, your life already has some level of meaning.
Ok, so we aren't animals or vegitables (although that last point is debatable around here) -- we're blessed with intelligence. Cruel cruel intelligence; so we can't just be happy to live and fuck. Being happy and content with life is, apparently, a lot more complicated.
Money doesn't buy happiness (but it sure makes life easier). Now studies have shown that money DOES make you happy, just as long as you have more of it than average. Giving everyone more money is no help to happiness. Now, you can go this route and try and get more money than everyone else -- more power to you. I think we're all hedging our bets on this one.
Everybody will be famous for 15 minutes. Well, ok, not everybody. Some will get a lot more than 15 minutes and some not at all. People want to be remembered. Some people want to be remembered for the good they did in the world and others don't care. If you aren't remembered then when you're gone then you're truely gone. Therefore, the more people who remember you and the longer you're remembered the better. I'm not sure why you'd care if you're dead but people care. But 15 minutes is not enough in this game. I suspect we want this but know it'll probably never happen.
So, at best, we're hoping to live in the moment, knowing we aren't rich or famous, yet still be content. Is happiness really just a cigarette, a chocolate cookie, or a 5 second orgasm? I think there's a lot of value in thinking that way. Some people are more capable of this than others.
So what will it take to be at the end your life and think that you're done and you did good?
September 20th, 2006 3:49pm
"Life? Don't talk to me about life."
September 20th, 2006 3:56pm
<<at *best* you could assume a 50/50 chance that there is any afterlife at all.>>
where do you get this number?
September 20th, 2006 3:57pm
I just hope "they" hurry up and figure out how to digitise people, so I don't have to find out.
September 20th, 2006 3:59pm
The afterlife either exists or it doesn't exist. It's a bullshit number, but serves for the discussion.
September 20th, 2006 4:00pm
It makes sense to assume 50/50 because it the most neutral division. Any other odds would indicate that there is some sort of evidence.
carpe fscking diem.
...and there is no afterlife.
September 20th, 2006 4:05pm
> So what will it take to be at the end your life and think that you're done and you did good?
Matthew 25:21 & 23, "[...] Well done, [thou] good and faithful servant [...]"
September 20th, 2006 4:08pm
Don't most people have a weighting towards the yes side? Personally (although I'm not religious) I do, as I think the idea of spending the rest of the afterlife getting red-hot pokers rammed up my arse isn't very appealing.
September 20th, 2006 4:10pm
You might think, if there WAS an afterlife, that there'd be some evidence of it after all this time.
But, as we all know by now, lack of evidence really does not imply lack of truth -- it doesn't say anything about it one way or the other. So why not 50/50?
Even if there IS an afterlife, in all of space and time you will spend whatever time you do spend on this planet, in the state of observable 'life', a short time. If it's 100 years, it's short in terms of the life-time of the universe. If your afterlife lasts 1000 years, or forever, the life you spend on this planet is still short.
So, it must be important either way. If it's all we've got, it's all we've got. If it's a tiny piece before the afterlife -- why have that tiny piece? Yet we do. So there must be something we do here that affects that afterlife. This is our chance to decide.
If it's irrelevant what we do here, then why do all the afterlife stories insist that what we do here DOES make a difference?
September 20th, 2006 4:40pm
okay, assume 50/50. but one one side, we live for our current lifespan, and on the other, eternity. doesn't eternity deserve a bit more weight than 50-100 years?
September 20th, 2006 4:40pm
Even if there is no afterlife for the individual, there are those who are alive after you die, and what you did in your life affects them. You should live your life according to how that matters to you.
<<You should live your life according to how that matters to you.>>
September 20th, 2006 4:45pm
Sorry, when I said weighting I meant a hope towards the being an afterlife, rather than an altering of the 50/50.
Apologies, unless no-one needed the apology, in which case I'll shut the fuck up.
September 20th, 2006 4:45pm
How else would you propose acting?
"doesn't eternity deserve a bit more weight than 50-100 years?"
Certainly not. Because if there is no eternity then all you've got is those 50-100 years. If you spend all your time living for the eternity that never comes than you'll haved wasted what little time given to you.
September 20th, 2006 4:46pm
Living for 50 - 100 years and living for eternity can be quite similar...
September 20th, 2006 5:02pm
OK, let's say you DO live for eternity. Why would you down-play this 50 to 100 years? If you have one state of being for 50 to 100 years, and then another state of being for eternity -- well, why HAVE two states of being? If this 50 to 100 years were unimportant, why have them?
I conclude we have them because they ARE important. Religious texts tend to tell us they are important. They teach what we do here DOES have an effect on how we live the rest of eternity.
After all, we're only comparing TIME here. You seem to think that because 'eternity' consists of lots of TIME seen from THIS side, that it's important on THAT side. That may not be true.
September 20th, 2006 5:23pm
My conclusion is, if you're living "for eternity" or you're living "just for today", that you still should treat each day of this existence as it if were important.
September 20th, 2006 5:24pm
> at *best* you could assume a 50/50 chance that there is any afterlife at all.
And only a 50/50 chance you'll get into the place you want.
So 75% of the time, you're screwed.
September 20th, 2006 6:10pm
Heh... nice one, x.
September 20th, 2006 6:12pm
If interest is 3-5%, the net present value of anything beyond 30-50 years out is neglible. Just like telling a 12-year old who's about to light up, that he will at 72 from lung cancer is not going to work.
Living forever means the end of banking as we know it. Which I guess is what a few religions with an afterlife argued for anyway.
September 20th, 2006 7:43pm
It could also mean *massive* poverty for those who live day to day and *massive* wealth for someone who drops a penny into a savings account and forgets about it.
The 50-50-90 rule:
Anytime you have a 50-50 chance of getting something right, there's a 90% probability you'll get it wrong.
September 20th, 2006 9:46pm
First of all, there is no such thing as heaven and hell. It's the equivalent of santaclaus, the boogeyman and the toothfairy. They serve their purpose for those who need external confirmation of their own existence and moral behaviour.
Second, there is no afterlife. Even if there is we have no means but speculation to know anything about its nature. It's like discussing what was before the bigbang or inside/behind a black hole.
Yet we seek the meaning of life, a meaning deeper than eat, sleep and fuck. We need the confirmation that there is something more, that this life is not as short, meaningless and insignificant as objective observation wants us to believe. We want to be remembered, live on, come back, achieve loftier goals than just reproduce and die. Even when we come to terms with the limitations of our existence we at least want to look back at the end of our mortal life and conclude that we did good, that we raised our children well, that we produced stuff that outlasts our lives, that we contributed something more to society than just exist and be part of it.
I'm not buying it. What AHA said: "Biologically, our only reason to live is to live itself and reproduce". That is it, with the addition that we die. We die, we die without reason or responsibility, there is no one to blame but life itself. We die and thus no longer live and reproduce. The cirumstances of our demises may vary, old age, disease, famine, murder, accident, stupidity, you name it, but none of that matters.
If we come to terms with that all world problems will be solved.