On Jan 31, 10:33 am, Brent Meeker <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> OK.  But in that case your question is just half of the question, "Why do 
> people have values?"  If you have values then that mean some things will be 
> good and some will be bad - a weed is just a flower in a place you don't want 
> it.  You must already know the obvious answer to this given by Darwin.  And 
> it doesn't even take a person; even amoebas have values.  I suspect you have 
> a set answer in mind and you're looking for the question to elicit it.
>
> Brent Meeker
>
Also Stathis wrote:
> Sure, logic and science are silent on the question of the value of weeds or 
> anything else. You need a person to come along and say "let x=good", and then 
> you can reason logically given this. Evolutionary theory etc. may predict 
> what x a person may deem to be good or beautiful, but this is not binding on 
> an individual in the way laws governing the chemistry of respiration, for 
> example, are binding. Unlike some scientific types, I am quite comfortable 
> with ethics being in this sense outside the scope of science. Unlike some 
> religious types, I am quite comfortable without looking for an ultimate 
> source of ethics in the form of a deity. Even if this conclusion made me very 
> unhappy, that might be reason to try self-deception, but it has no bearing on 
> the truth.
>
> Stathis Papaioannou
>

Brent and Stathis exemplify two possible answers to meaning.  Brent
reduces meaning to something based on mere existence or survival. Thus
amoebas can have such meaning.
Stathis says that meaning is an unanswered (unanswerable?) mystery.
We just somehow self-generate meaning.

My introduction of the "Meaning Of Life" thread asked if the
Everything perspective could provide any answers to this question.
Looking at the contributions since then, it looks like the answer is
apparently not.  This is what I expected.  Thus, meaning is either
limited to trivial (non-normative) values or is without basis (the
Noble Lie).  If you really read the modern philosophers seriously this
is their conclusion.  Of course there is a third possible answer to
this question:  Meaning is based on a source outside of ourselves, by
"making connections with others based on such ideals as honour and
obligation" (a quote I read from Dr. Laura Schlesinger off of a
Starbucks coffee cup this morning!) Of course people can poo-poo such
ideals as simply "sentiments", debunking them on a surface level
(which is the only level there is without them), just as C.S. Lewis
pointed out in his lectures on "The Abolition of Man".  And indeed,
without such ideals, man will be discretized into a trivial skeleton
of his true self.

Tom


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