Re: The Meaning of Life

Eric Watt Forste (
Fri, 07 Feb 1997 17:26:27 -0800 writes:
>I think every gene or meme has an automatic goal of "replication", and every
>individual has an automatic goal of "survival". Failing those goals means
>failing all goals, as the actor isn't around to accomplish them. Obviously
>people can and do adopt goals contrary to those fundamental goals. Indeed,
>your genes, memes, and you aren't all in cahoots on particular issues, and
>under such circumstances one of the actors has to get stuffed. But if you
>choose a goal which leads to your death, you (the individual) have obviously
>made a mistake, although some of your genes or memes might actually score big
>by your death.

I really like this analysis! It also fits in well with Max's doctoral
thesis on personal identity.

>Like you, I'd be disturbed if there were some God which wanted to stuff goals
>down my throat. I have never understood why Existentialism, which holds that
>there is no inherent meaning to the universe, and that we have to create our
>own meanings, is considered "depressing". To me, the alternative is

It's great. Now I'm trying to find a copy of his FAITH OF A HERETIC.)
I can't reconcile the notion of life having a preprovided meaning
with the notion of freedom. We are free to the extent that we get
to choose what to do... if the universe had specific plans for us,
and could tell us about those specific plans in unambiguous terms
(for instance, a philosophical proof), then it would be silly to
claim that we choose what to do.

I don't think Eliezer's Powers are going to waste much time trying to
determine the Meaning of Life, because I think they will probably prefer

Eric Watt Forste ++ ++