Re: The Quest for the Purpose of Life

From: Chen Yixiong, Eric (
Date: Sun Feb 03 2002 - 01:20:43 MST

>From all I had read, I think the post below best expresses my ideas with a qualifier:

I wish to state that I don't think anyone can live forever, and not even Type IV or above civilizations. One day, our universe will
end and with it us. Even if we travel to other universes, constantly hopping from one to another as each terminates, accidents can
happen that will stop our existence.

This does not even come close to asking why we would like to survive just for the sake of surviving. Should we live just for the
sake of living (as some transhumanists seem to imply)? Should we exist just because a bunch of genes pulls some levels in our brains
and commands: "Reproduce!"

Should we follow the convention of existing just because others had continually existed before us? Why do death and extinction sound
so bad if our genes, not our brains, does the answering of this question?" Should we think of us as mechanical clogs in the machine
of life just following our preprogrammed genes to continue existing?

Hitler would find it useful to say in court that he would only want to cleanse the human race of some lower life forms that ought
never to exist. If you have to play prosecutor, how would you rebut each of his assertions? If you play the judge, how do you arrive
at the decision of what to do with Hitler? If you have to play Hitler's defense attorney, what can you say in defense of him (other
than that he adopts a vegetarian lifestyle). Lastly, if you play Hitler, how do you verify the validity of your set of values in the

How do we arrive at all these assertions if we have no idea why we exist?

A number of us had probably not consider the possibility that Digital Physics and God can co-exist (with God as programmers outside
the simulation), though He/She/It/They would probably not have such egoistic desires that some others had believe (like requiring
absolute belief in Its existence or your entry into a computer simulation that will inflict pain on you for apparently forever).

I wonder if reading about Zen will help or not. It seems to me like saying: "Life has no purpose, but only suffering. However, you
should not crease to exist because you can help other beings realize this and reduce the amount of suffering."

Of course, the Zen master would probably knock my head and say "MU" if I ask him/her about the meaning of life (or existence).

Hope this helps.

BTW, you can call me Eric Chen when referring to me. I know my middle name causes problems with non-Chinese speakers.

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