Re: Hedonism

Ira Brodsky (
Tue, 8 Oct 1996 10:30:15 -0600

E. Shaun Russell wrote:

> I have two slightly contrasting views on what 'the meaning of life'
>is. On one hand, the meaning of life could be different for each person.
>Who's to say that 'the meaning of life' is the same for everyone? My other
>theory is the one I agree with completely: the meaning of life is life. See
>how simple that is? So simple that I think most people don't even consider
>it. The fact that I am living is so much more powerful than not living. I
>love life. I would hate to die.

Your first view interprets the word "meaning" as entirely subjective, which
is certainly not what I intended. What I'm trying to get at is whether
there is more to "the meaning of life" thah just a collection of various
people's opinions. Can we come up with some objective purpose(s)?

Your second view strikes me as meaningless. In essence, you are saying
existence is all the justification you need in defining your goals.

Is there a third view? Does anyone here think there is a "purpose" to life
that does not require the existence of a creator/god/punisher?

It seems to me that extropianism *does* assume a purpose. That purpose is
intellectual and technological progress. Perhaps you can claim that is all
still very subjective, but I think it isn't -- we just haven't yet
discovered (or at least articulated) the objective part. Perhaps we need
to learn more about ourselves and the universe before we can do that.

What goes up must come down. I say "Forward and Outward!"

Ira Brodsky
Datacomm Research Company
Wilmette, Illinois