[ExI] The meaning of life revisited

William Flynn Wallace foozler83 at gmail.com
Sat Jun 14 21:01:49 UTC 2014

, Anders Sandberg wrote:

>  > A few months ago I asked the list for opinions about the meaning of
> life for
> > an upcoming book chapter. The book, Transhumanism and Religion: Moving
> into
> > an Unknown Future, eds. Tracy Trothen and Calvin Mercer, Praeger 2014.
> > http://abc-clio.com/product.aspx?id=2147553420 , is still a few months
> away.
> > However, I thought the list might like to see a preprint of the chapter:
> >
> ​​
> http://www.aleph.se/papers/Meaning%20of%20life.pdf
> >
>  Possibly it is only in fairly recent times that there
> ​ ​
> are precious few minutes left for meaning search.
> BillK
​The meaning of your life is what you do with it.  "She was a great cook."
"He loved fantasy baseball."  "Good teacher, not great, cared more than
most."  "Killed his entire family including pets."  "Loved to poke fun at
politicians."  "Made a lot of money and was a fool about women."  These are
all meanings.​

So no matter what you may think is the meaning of your life, that is, what
you 'meant' to do, life, which is often full of random events that push you
around like big ocean waves, is what you do with it.  And often
misinterpreted by others! There is a different opinion to what your life is
about for every person who knows you.

As to the meaning life (as in Anders pdf) as defined for the entire race, I
offer only this:  we should aim at being better people, intellectually,
physically, emotionally, and morally.  "Better" will have to be defined
democratically, but as a start:  far less violent again one's own species,
far less motivated by sex, free of obsessions with certain foods, etc.
Morally, we could build in more empathy so the Golden Rule could actually
be practiced fully by people.

A key value to give life its meaning:  transhumanism's goal of improving
humanity.  To spend one's life working towards that goal gives both
humanity and individuals a meaning they can believe in permanently.


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