Re: The Quest for the Purpose of Life

From: Lee Daniel Crocker (
Date: Tue Jan 29 2002 - 18:08:42 MST

> Again IMHO the idea of 'purpose' is wholly human and nonsensical, as is the
> idea of 'why', we could remove the idea (and word) 'why from the language
> and it would not be missed much, it would be replaced by things like 'what
> causes'.

The word isn't useless, then, it's just ambiguous. A lot of words are
like that--it's an inevitable feature of language. Part of the process
of learning and growing is discovering such ambiguities and clarifying
them. Other languages have more than one word for the various meanings
of "why": Lojban has four, for example. But it's quite possible that
we will later discover that one of those has two possible meanings, and
we'll have to clarify further (I suspect, for example, that the
"agentive motivation" meaning will turn out to be a complex thing. :-)

Lee Daniel Crocker <> <>
"All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past,
are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified
for any purpose, without permission, attribution, or notification."--LDC

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