My attempt to find the meaning of existence

by PeterL1 min read13th Mar 20215 comments


World Optimization

Hello, this is my first public blog post here, so I apologize for possible inappropriateness of language/style/etc. 

The first of recent ideas related to the meaning of existence that comes to my mind is to achieve eternity of my life. This sounds intuitive, but it has some flaws which reside not in the first-idea notion that this might be unrealistic. So let me first explain the flaw in this idea on one side, while this will help me to modify and adjust this idea to the more sensible and more likely flawless for the meaning of existence.

The above mentioned flaw resides in this: If you should live eternally without any interruptions of your life during your eternal existence but without any awake conscious moment, would it have any meaning to you?

Or more clear dilemma is to choose between the following two scenarios:

(I) From a certain moment in future, to live eternally without any interruption, but to always sleep.

(II) From a certain moment in future, to live alternatingly with the whiles of death, but with infinite number of awake moments, or more accurately, that chronologically later than each while without awake consciousness, there would be at least one moment with it, etc.

I would choose the second scenario.

Thus, I think that the moments of awake consciousness are at least necessary features of meaningful existence, but the continuity of life is not.

But to put it more exactly, I will use the (hard-core) math (logic) to partially define the meaning of existence:

Statement 1: The necessary condition for meaningfulness of existence is that for each moment in the future (t_f), there would be at least one moment of meaningfulness sometime later than the moment t_f. 

Statement 2: The necessary conditions for the moment to possess the meaningfulness are: awake consciousness; self-awareness; confidence that I am the part of the reality; confidence of own existence and the knowledge of the logic-empirical reason for this; confidence that something like reality exists and the knowledge of the logical reason for this; confidence that each subjectively apparent phenomenon has the real cause; knowledge of inconfidence of each of my unconfident knowledge; and many more…

I apologize for such seemingly ultra-hypothetical scenarios, but when you are contemplating the meaning of life, this is the natural and logical part of it.

I am curious about your reasonable criticism, or whether you agree with the logical framework of my definition, or which necessary conditions you agree with, which you would add, or which of them you would throw out.


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Welcome to the posting life on LW :)

I'm not super worried about the meaning of life, but there's been a lot of discussion relevant to the question itself of the meaning of life. My most related post would be Philosophy as Low-energy Approximation, or if you want to go old-school there's a whole bunch of related posts: A Human's Guide to Words, Diseased Thinking, or Conceptual analysis and moral theory.

I cannot guess at whether your stated criteria cause, correlate to, or predict "meaningfulness" without knowing what "meaningfulness" actually means to you.

In particular, must an experience seem meaningful while having it in order to qualify, or is appearing meaningful in retrospect more of what you mean? Should it seem meaningful to oneself, or to a hypothetical outside observer?

It seems that what you've done so far is shift the complexity from "meaning of life" to "meaning of meaning", which seems like a harder problem to me but might be easier for you.

Does option 1 include dreams? Lucid dreams? Anyway, option 2 is almost certainly better.

To simplify my consideration, let's assume it doesn't.

Mr./Mrs. nim, thanks for asking.

By meangfulness of existence, I mean the case related to whole existing reality in whole (eternal) time that would be good to prefer when choosing actions to perform. Or said differently, it would be good to maximize the probability of the meanigfulness by choosing proper actions.

So potentially, the whole existence can be either meaningful or not (indpendently of time variable), and we should make it be the former.

But the meaningfulness of moment is the different term, which I have chosen to be auxiliary in the statements.

I wanted to apply curiosity and this idea was the output of my mind, and it can be burdened by my subjectivity. And I would like to apply the second virtue (relinquishment) but before doing it, I would like to have an alternative to remain. So I am open to reasonable alternatives from people here.

I also admit, that the items in the second statement can be arbitrary, but better arbitrary than none.