2014-08-02

The meaning of human life - for me, now

If there is a meaning of life, then this meaning should only be achievable as long as life exists. You could still believe in a meaning "after life", however I personally find it unlikely. If the meaning would be only after life, the very existence of this life would be a bit ... meaningless ;)

I personally don't believe in a "life after death", at least not as a continuing existence of the person. I would be more willing to accept a kind of fuzzy "life after death" by informational replication and resulted impact on society (like in "live by your good deeds")
You may disagree with this view; however this does not change much the situation. We are stuck with a life, what could we do with it in a meaningful way? What is a bigger goal that transcends our individual existences?

Well, I am not a prophet, we can find new meanings in the next hundreds years. However, I think we can find a direction that will be close to optimal for any future meanings we may find. Also, I think I could articulate a meaning of life that is in sync with most of our current moral and religious beliefs. In the same time, it could be a beacon that could clarify a bit the priorities of our society in today's days.

Like in a game of chess, except for very special cases, there are no great moves. However, there are many bad and very bad moves. It's hard to find the optimum path, however you can use guidelines and strategies that are increasing the chance of success.

The answer is not 42! It is 50!
For me, it seems reasonable to have as humanity medium term goal to preserve human kind. Two thousandths years ago the means of doing this were more simple: procreate and collaborate in finding food and fighting enemies. For a good collaboration we had to follow some rules: do not steal, do not kill (our people). An even better synergy was obtained by collaboration strategies like "help your neighbor" and "forgive the ones that offended you".

In today's times, we can see a bit further. We know that the Earth will not be our host forever. Way before the sun will deplete, most likely, there will be another major cataclysm that will make life impossible on Earth for human, a big asteroid for example. Even before that, we could self-destroy by on atomic or biologic accident.

Time is ticking; we need to find a way to move to another planet as we still can. Cheap fossil energy will not be here forever. Probably the need to shift the energy paradigm will come first. The challenge will be huge, at this stage we cannot feed all people on Earth without consuming huge amounts of energy. Even if we find a way to live by low scale agriculture, this will not help us fly when the asteroid will come. We will likely need a tremendous quantity of energy for extending life on another planet. We need to wisely use the fossil energy that we have now for creating a new energy paradigm. And we need to do this without collapsing the society structure, I don't know if we have time for a new "Dark age".

By the way, how would you estimate the time for using all known oil reserves at the current rate of consumption? The answer is 50! Just 50 years! Actually 3 years ago the estimation was around 40, now it's 53, it changes with time. Even if it's 100 years, fact is that the oil crisis will be in our lifetime, because the oil price will increase way before depletion. Time is ticking, tick, tock...

Conclusion:
In any event, seems like a good goal for humanity to save himself from extinction by extending life to another planet. This goal does not sound so great to be called "The meaning of life", but it is a prerequisite for any better "meaning of life" we can find in time.

I will come back with details about how this humanity goal is in sync with most of our common moral codes and religious beliefs and what may be deprecated.




P.S. This is the hard one! Normally it should be like the aim of the journey, not the start. I started with this because I will probably touch a lot of subject that seem unrelated, one with each other. They will be probably related with what is above.

About me
I work as a software engineer and, in my personal life, I like to think about psychology, economy and philosophy issues. I will put here my reflections and findings. Often, they will be only speculations and, sometimes, they may be proven to be mistaken ;) I hope I will learn something from you too.

I am not a native English speaker. If the meaning of the phrase is really affected, please give me a note, otherwise just please excuse my language mistakes ;)


Disclaimer: any use of my ideas to justify doing harm is misguided!

1 comment:

  1. Yes, this is basically what I also think that the strategy for human kind should be to move to another planet.

    What I find disturbing by looking around in the world of today is that the so call world leaders or nations with the highest power are using conflicts to resolve their resources problems.
    In reality is that they are spending huge amount of resources (resource = oil, money, food , and so on) to accumulate more resources for their country or "part of the world".

    While is true that they are spending a lot of resources on conflicts they also spend resources to space programs ... the only problem here is the ratio ... :-)

    I believe that the major conflicts in the world have their basis in individualism and cultural values in differences ... going further with this ... it is quite difficult to make the majority of people in the world to believe in this idea and while believing in it to choose their leaders to lead the world to such an objective.

    Maybe the 50 years or 53 years of confirmed resources it is comfort and/or brings a lack of interest for the future ... maybe when there will be 5 more years until depletion or a different crises things will change ...

    What can be done ?

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