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What is the meaning of life?

  • Apr 23, 2013 · 6:30 PM
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This is an area of metaphysics that should draw a lot of interest, especially since each of us need to grapple with our own purpose for being in this world. I'd like two volunteers to present papers that can be read in 5-8 minutes. You could also send me a PowerPoint ahead of time. The session will likely be video recorded for those who cannot come.

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  • Sue

    @Bill, I heard an interview yesterday where it was stated that they think Earth will be out of the "habitable" zone in only 1 billion years. Better plan your escape!

    May 10, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    After hearing all the arguments on the meaning of life from the group, I feel that I’ve changed a little and learned a few things.

    I wonder what the group members would now tell themselves about the meaning of life, if they could go back and have a talk with themselves when they were young.

    I know I would have a long list.

    1 · May 8, 2013

  • Mark B.

    Here's the link to the video of the meetup on the meaning of life: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKTdXjndNbM

    May 7, 2013

    • Sue

      I told you "worthless

      May 7, 2013

    • Sue

      Hit the wrong button - I told you "worthless" was there!

      1 · May 7, 2013

  • Susan S.

    Thanks to everyone for making my first Philosophy Meetup experience a great one. I really enjoyed the group and everyone's comments. By the end of the evening, my head was swarming with the different ideas and perspectives discussed! It is refreshing.

    April 26, 2013

  • Sue

    Great Discussion! For those who found my presentation "depressing," it was intended as a rebuttal to what I expected Mark to present! To put it into context, re-read it after seeing the WLC clip. My point was, yes, this will all probably happen, but it doesn't mean that our lives can't have meaning!

    April 25, 2013

    • Sue

      And Mark, I wasn't trying to start an argument, I just wanted to clarify what I had said.

      April 25, 2013

    • Mark B.

      no problem

      April 25, 2013

  • Shriram K.

    Very interesting. Enjoyed the group and discussion. Nice to meet all of you. Hope to c u all again.

    April 23, 2013

    • John W.

      Shriram, thanks for presenting your ideas! You gave me something to think about.

      April 24, 2013

    • Shriram K.

      John, I am very glad to read your comment. I would like to have an engaging conversation with a skeptic like you. It would be interesting for me.

      April 24, 2013

  • Jay

    Late afternoon thought:

    Maybe "What is the meaning of life?"... is a trick question.

    Consider instead: What is (my) purpose?

    Just a thought. Have fun tonight.

    April 23, 2013

    • Mark B.

      Good point. That is part of the question. Thanks!

      April 23, 2013

  • Shriram K.

    Hi Mark, I'd like to volunteer to present a paper, I have added a presentation for today's meeting in the files section. Thanks. Shriram

    April 23, 2013

  • Steve S.

    I thought I would be back in time to make this meeting but it's going to be close, so opening the slot for someone else. Looking forward to next one

    April 23, 2013

  • Sue

    I might be a few minutes late because we're going sailing tomorrow, but I'll be there!

    April 22, 2013

    • Mark B.

      ok. No problem

      April 22, 2013

    • Jay

      Today's forecast should test your lighest of sails. Have much fun.

      April 23, 2013

  • Jay

    Think this is one of the questions for which I might have the answer now:

    Great Sol has returned his majesty and Zephyr restored for us his quieting breezes. Thus:

    http://tinyurl.com/bwgd8p6

    Talk with you all next autumn.

    April 23, 2013

  • William A. Moore J.

    I would like to present, starting with the basic behavior of human beings, which I believe is necessary to really understand TMol.

    April 22, 2013

    • Mark B.

      Ok. Bring a copy of your paper for everyone. It should be less than 1000 words.

      April 22, 2013

  • Mark B.

    Heads up: In the upcoming meeting, I plan for each of us to express in 15 words or fewer an answer to the meet up question? What is the meaning of life? Or, what is the purpose of us being on this planet? Why are we here? (not how we got here.) Feel free to post an answer now if you would like to. 15 words or fewer.

    April 21, 2013

  • Sue

    Mark, do you have anyone presenting yet? If you need any more, I will volunteer.

    April 20, 2013

    • Mark B.

      I can use another presentation. Thanks, Sue!

      April 21, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    If there is a part two and I do get to go I'd like to present. We won't be going to the same group John, but I'll be taking the position that the meaning of life is subjective.

    April 19, 2013

  • John W.

    What are the different positions people might be taking on this topic?

    April 11, 2013

    • Mark B.

      Each worldview will have different answers, so I suppose we will have several perspectives represented, including the atheist and the Christian, and a range of opinions even within those theological positions. It would be nice if everyone came with their own answer to that question.

      April 12, 2013

    • Mark B.

      Unfortunately, in one or even a series of meetings, we cannot examine every point of every philosophical position to see whether it holds up to philosophical scrutiny. So I think it's important to admit your basic worldview when approaching a topic. Philosophical issues are interrelated. We can't start from scratch every time. Both atheism and Christianity have strong philosophical traditions. That doesn't mean we can't challenge them, but it does mean that we need to admit that our philosophical assumptions affect our views of the issues, and we should consider other ways of looking at them. In other groups, it is common to assume a materialistic naturalism, and not allow other world views to make their case. That's not what this group does.

      April 19, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I might be able to make the second meeting, depending on the timing.

    April 16, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    My plans have changed and I will be in St. Louis that week.

    April 15, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Any chance of a part 2?

    April 13, 2013

    • Mark B.

      Yes, I will try to organize one after we meet the first time. Thanks for the suggestion!

      April 13, 2013

  • Cheryl

    Tom will be coming with me.

    April 9, 2013

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