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jens

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Existence. Life on earth.
« on: May 20, 2021, 12:32:52 AM »
While facing the collapse of not only human civilization, but also human life itself (or at least a stark reduction in human population) and also the loss of a lot of other life and species on this planet. And lots and lots of suffering that comes with all that. Surely that would make one ask a question - what's the point of all that suffering? And to be personally part of it. See it, witness, experience.

What's your take on it? Your essence of life in this existence? In this life you happened to be born onto this planet into the species called homo sapiens. Your brain has the ability to be self-aware to think, observe and investigate the world. In this existence you happened to be born into a unique era - a fossil-powered technological era with material comforts, but also an unprecedented access to information. Yet this era is short-lived on a geological scale, even on a scale of human civilization of 10,000 years.

Your conclusions from all of that? Which kind of purpose or goal do you see in your life? What about life and existence in general? For most of human history life has been rough. In climate collapse life will be rough. For many people life is rough right now too. Nature is brutal. Animal eats another animal to survive. Laws of nature don't treat anyone kindly. To survive you need resources and it's an endless struggle and competition for these resources between creatures. And this creates a lot of suffering. You are also a small part of the big puzzle.

Rodius

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Re: Existence. Life on earth.
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2021, 01:47:18 AM »
To begin with, I think the interpretation of life being rough in a natural setting is incorrect.

There has been, typically, plenty of food, clean water, thriving cultures, happiness, a work day that is less than eight hours long and with more than two to four weeks of holiday per year.
Native cultures around the world, in prehistory, have extremely complex cultures, art, science, regions and more, all of which require time and dedication to achieve.

To think life is rough compared to our version of living is a misnomer. I don't thing it is rough, but more likely that we are weak now. I have come to refer to our version of human as being a domesticated version of our real species.
A lapdog to the wolf.

While I believe global civilization will collapse in the coming decades in a rather rapid (a 3 to 7 year event) and unpleasant manner, and nobody wants to experience those types of events, it isn't a never-ending event.

For me, being able to increase the chances of survival matters. We are here to reproduce and thrive and build community.
At the moment, we lack community. We don't really care about the person next door, and even less for those who currently suffer without need. A true community, typically, doesn't let that happen.

Existence, or a meaning for existing, is a mugs game.
We are lucky, for the most part, to do what we want with our lives. We can select our path. And that is a wonderful thing to have and we should try to do that, but don't for a minute think that having time to do as we wish means we need to fill that time with some "life purpose."
If you can, do what you enjoy, but beneath that, we are animals who have a priority to reproduce and ensure the survival of our offspring. (Today, we even have the luxury to not reproduce in order to increase the survival of others, which is a bizarre thing but equally as valid as a means to ensure the survival of the species)

This means that we shouldn't just throw our arms up in despair or believe that the collapse is unending without any chance of a better life after it.

When the collapse happens, the goal is to get through the 3 to 7 years of bullshit as best as possible. During that time it will genuinely be very difficult.
Yet, during that time, communities will be built that, almost certainly, will reflect the healthy communities of our wild selves. And we will still have access to materials left behind, knowledge from books, and it could end up being a situation like WW2 where it was terrible (but it will be worse than WW2) but it does end and settle and the rebuild will begin in whatever form that comes in.

This is our true purpose.
Boring, but it is what it is.
And when the rebuild happens, we may discover that, in hindsight, we arent half of content with life as we currently believe. That working a job is a bullshit thing to do to make others wealthy is wrong. That our extreme comforts can be replicated to a decent degree, and that comfort is the most important thing after all..... we are social animals that require community or villages, and when we have that, it is the only thing that matters.

KiwiGriff

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Re: Existence. Life on earth.
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2021, 07:32:55 AM »
Oh gee.
We like maintain we are self aware but our monkey brains control far more than we like to think.
Life on earth is assured it would be almost impossible for us to fuck that up. Rats and roaches will be around far longer than us monkeys.

Human civilization? not so much.

“Every society is three meals away from chaos”
― Vladimir Lenin
I like to think I could survive a collapse of civilization. I am already close to self sufficient off grid grow a lot of my own food and have the knowledge to live a reasonable life at 100% without the resources of civilization.

“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”
Robert A. Heinlein.

I have done most of the above .

My biggest fear is the earths no1 predator .
Other humans.

Darwin will take a while to shake out the  non competitive.
If we reach chaos it might be awhile before the value of those with such skills are recognized.


Animals can be driven crazy by placing too many in too small a pen. Homo sapiens is the only animal that voluntarily does this to himself.
Notebooks of Lazarus Long.
Robert Heinlein.

jens

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Re: Existence. Life on earth.
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2021, 09:21:47 AM »
To begin with, I think the interpretation of life being rough in a natural setting is incorrect.

Life is rough in terms of struggling for survival. This is of course largely forgotten in a welfare society. But in the past a bad harvest could mean famine. Also infant mortality rates were high - weaker organisms died out. And in any case if you get illness or injury, you are suffering. So there are obstacles, challenges and struggles to existence.

Nature of course doesn't say it's "rough", it is neutral and just is what it is. But as a human you can experience this suffering. Or, well, at least I kind of sense it this way. Maybe for others it is different. I'm sure in the old days I would already be long dead. Only thanks to modern comfortable civilization it has been possible for me to live as long as I have lived.

Oh gee.
We like maintain we are self aware but our monkey brains control far more than we like to think.

This is correct. Humans are deep down animals. 'Self-awareness' part develops with memory. I mean you don't remember anything from your first 3 years of life. As if it didn't exist. So in terms of awareness you were living like other animals, on instincts. But after that with the development of memory this is where the difference comes in. However one can say that the self-awareness of humans is often egoistic, hence you could say humans are "animals in denial".

be cause

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Re: Existence. Life on earth.
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2021, 01:43:38 PM »
I have drunk enough Ayahuasca to know I have never 'happened' to be born , but chose my incarnations including this one .
2007 + 5 = 2012 + 4 = 2016 + 3 = 2019 + 2 = 2021 + 1 .. you gotta laugh .. :)

kassy

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Re: Existence. Life on earth.
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2021, 03:32:32 PM »
Life is rough in terms of struggling for survival. This is of course largely forgotten in a welfare society. But in the past a bad harvest could mean famine

Yes but then you are already in an agricultural society.

There is not a point in suffering per se. To live means to suffer eventually. The question is what you can learn from them. Lessons vary of course.

Maybe we should look at it from another angle.

What do we all want when living our live?
Well we want a safe place to live with enough food. So if we want that everybody should have that.
Then come the other needs which should follow the same principal.

We should reduce suffering as much as possible for everyone. Raise the lowest bar as high as possible.

Instead we ended up in a capitalist world were we take a lot for granted while ignoring the unsustainability of it all especially if you look at the big picture (GW, soil degradation, aquifer depletion, ocean acidification).

If we want to be born into a world which supports us without too much suffering then should we also not leave such a world to those born after us?

Are we failing at that? Contributing to the suffering?
Þetta minnismerki er til vitnis um að við vitum hvað er að gerast og hvað þarf að gera. Aðeins þú veist hvort við gerðum eitthvað.

karl dubhe2

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Re: Existence. Life on earth.
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2021, 09:12:02 PM »
I'll be quick, as that's the best way to do things like this.

Existence is better than the alternative.   On an individual level you'll experience both, as a species it's a shame we couldn't have lasted as long as the dinosaurs did.

oren

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Re: Existence. Life on earth.
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2021, 09:42:50 PM »
Well said!

Rodius

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Re: Existence. Life on earth.
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2021, 02:09:54 AM »
I'll be quick, as that's the best way to do things like this.

Existence is better than the alternative.   On an individual level you'll experience both, as a species it's a shame we couldn't have lasted as long as the dinosaurs did.

Technically,  our ancestors existed when the dinosaurs were around :)

And there is no evidence that we cease to exist post death.... nobody knows what happens, so maybe it is a nice thought to have that there is one option for ceasing to exist and many to continue existing. Odds are good we keep existing in some form.

jens

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Re: Existence. Life on earth.
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2021, 09:50:14 AM »
I think it is debatable whether existence is better than non-existence. I think it depends on circumstances. The life of some people on this planet is a literal hell on Earth.

Anyway, if I was currently a soul looking to enter existence in a human body, then quite frankly I would choose NOT to be born into this climate collapse era. But this is of course the decision I currently make rationally with my human brain.

nanning

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Re: Existence. Life on earth.
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2021, 08:14:24 AM »
Quote from: Rodius
And there is no evidence that we cease to exist post death.... nobody knows what happens

Biologists know what happens.
The materials you were made of are redistributed. The circle of life.
Your above quote means that you are diving into 'supernatural' fantasies.

Death is per definition to cease to exist. Look at that fish rotting away and get its life materials redistributed for new life-cycles.
"post-death" has no meaning in reality.

Human brains got so enlarged as to hold much more capacity for abstraction and fantasy.
Reality is on the other side of abstraction and fantasy. Human technology comes from abstraction and fantasy. It breaks laws of living nature by damaging other lifeforms and not use those for food.

Many lifeforms have more reality intelligence than humans have.
It can even be encoded in dna via a very long evolutionary line.
To find reality you have to move away from abstractions and fantasy. And hence, destructive technology. Technology is ok if you use some dead material that you find. That's not how human technology works alas, therefore it is destructive and insane. A bird will not break of a twig from a living tree to build its nest.

Of course there is culture in many lifeforms which can mean a special form of fantasy such as spirituality as long as it holds information/'reality intelligence' in deep connection with the reality of your survival. Supernatural is a no no, it's a fantasy; insane.

Anyway, I think many of your posts in general are of high quality Rodius.

Sorry for the bad readability of this post.
P.S. I'm sorry Be Cause
« Last Edit: May 29, 2021, 12:21:28 PM by nanning »
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
"It is preoccupation with what other people from your groups think of you, that prevents you from living freely and nobly" - Nanning
Why do you keep accumulating stuff?

Rodius

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Re: Existence. Life on earth.
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2021, 09:42:31 AM »
Quote from: Rodius
And there is no evidence that we cease to exist post death.... nobody knows what happens

Biologists know what happens.
The materials you were made of are redistributed. The circle of life.
Your above quote means that you are diving into 'supernatural' fantasies.

Death is per definition to cease to exist. Look at that fish rotting away and get its life materials redistributed for new life-cycles.
"post-death" has no meaning in reality.

Human brains got so enlarged as to hold much more capacity for abstraction and fantasy.
Reality is on the other side of abstraction and fantasy. Human technology comes from abstraction and fantasy. It breaks laws of living nature by damaging other lifeforms and not use those for food.

Many lifeforms have more reality intelligence than humans have.
It can even be encoded in dna via a very long evolutionary line.
To find reality you have to move away from abstractions and fantasy. And hence, destructive technology. Technology is ok if you use some dead material that you find. That's not how human technology works alas, therefore it is destructive and insane. A bird will not break of a twig from a living tree to build its nest.

Of course there is culture in many lifeforms which can mean a special form of fantasy such as spirituality as long as it holds information/'reality intelligence' in deep connection with the reality of your survival. Supernatural is a no no, it's a fantasy; insane.

Anyway, I think your posts in general are of high quality Rodius.

Sorry for the bad readability of this post.
P.S. I'm sorry Be Cause

Any time anyone says that they are certain about anything, I am always thinking that there is no way to be certain about anything.

We simply have no idea what happens to anything that lives once it is dead.
To say we cease to exist post death is a big call.... much the same as religions are certain they people move onto whatever they deem is a post death life.

Given how little we know about anything, I simply don't understand how anyone can be so sure of what happens after we die.

For me, I personally believe that we continue to exist. And that goes for all life forms. But what the next existence is is an unknown to me..... as is the case for all people.
As I mentioned, given that non-existence is one option of many... ranging from a godly heaven, to being in an AI, to reincarnation and the many and varied possibilities that can be dreamed up and have potential to be real, it is a huge call to be so certain of our existence simply ending given how little we know.

As far as I understand the universe, we are made up of nothing but waves moving through something we cant figure out.

In effect, we already don't exist, which is a problem for those who think we cease to exist post-death, I suppose.

jens

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Re: Existence. Life on earth.
« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2021, 05:53:38 PM »
Well, if homo sapiens gets wiped out of Earth due to climate collapse, then at least you could say you are unlikely to reincarnate as a human on this planet again, provided reincarnation happens. Although if you happened to respawn in a different dimension or universe, then all bets are off. But I wouldn't speculate about that.

Anyway, perhaps instead of pondering about post-death one could ask - where do you come from? Eternity extends both into the past and into the future. I think you both come from and go to the same "place". On the scale of eternity your current life is just a small blip here at a random moment of time. Whether that "eternity" is "nothingness" or something else - well, all that is a construct of human brain. Even the definition of "nothing" is a construct of human brain. So again I wouldn't speculate too much with my limited human brain, which is suited for my current existence on this planet and not for else.

Freegrass

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Re: Existence. Life on earth.
« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2021, 08:32:46 PM »
When I was in SE-Asia I saw that the poorest people had nothing else but each other...

People shared what they couldn't miss...

In the west we have succeeded in making poor people lonely and unhappy...

Mostly angry and intolerant...

Hatred and individualism vs Love and community...

Why is everyone so blind?
When factual science is in conflict with our beliefs or traditions, we cuddle up in our own delusional fantasy where everything starts making sense again...

WildFit

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Re: Existence. Life on earth.
« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2021, 09:18:26 PM »
Well, if homo sapiens gets wiped out of Earth due to climate collapse, then at least you could say you are unlikely to reincarnate as a human on this planet again, provided reincarnation happens. Although if you happened to respawn in a different dimension or universe, then all bets are off. But I wouldn't speculate about that.

Anyway, perhaps instead of pondering about post-death one could ask - where do you come from? Eternity extends both into the past and into the future. I think you both come from and go to the same "place". On the scale of eternity your current life is just a small blip here at a random moment of time. Whether that "eternity" is "nothingness" or something else - well, all that is a construct of human brain. Even the definition of "nothing" is a construct of human brain. So again I wouldn't speculate too much with my limited human brain, which is suited for my current existence on this planet and not for else.

How warm hast earth to get that there won't be any place on it where humans can dwell?

Think about it and stop talking about extinction due to global warming, it's so alarmist and exagerated that credibility of those who see and admit things that are happening as a whole suffers and therefore I'm against it. If we want to change what's necessary we should not announce things that only produce either denial or fear because they're either obviously wrong or fit into certain thinking patterns.

Extinction is well possible, without space travel even certain in a few hundred million years, but NOT or at least not SOLELY due to global warming.

Gerntocratis#1

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Re: Existence. Life on earth.
« Reply #15 on: May 30, 2021, 09:28:14 PM »
Well, if homo sapiens gets wiped out of Earth due to climate collapse, then at least you could say you are unlikely to reincarnate as a human on this planet again, provided reincarnation happens. Although if you happened to respawn in a different dimension or universe, then all bets are off. But I wouldn't speculate about that.

Anyway, perhaps instead of pondering about post-death one could ask - where do you come from? Eternity extends both into the past and into the future. I think you both come from and go to the same "place". On the scale of eternity your current life is just a small blip here at a random moment of time. Whether that "eternity" is "nothingness" or something else - well, all that is a construct of human brain. Even the definition of "nothing" is a construct of human brain. So again I wouldn't speculate too much with my limited human brain, which is suited for my current existence on this planet and not for else.

How warm hast earth to get that there won't be any place on it where humans can dwell?

Think about it and stop talking about extinction due to global warming, it's so alarmist and exagerated that credibility of those who see and admit things that are happening as a whole suffers and therefore I'm against it. If we want to change what's necessary we should not announce things that only produce either denial or fear because they're either obviously wrong or fit into certain thinking patterns.

Extinction is well possible, without space travel even certain in a few hundred million years, but NOT or at least not SOLELY due to global warming.

It's more likely that the microplastics and forever chemicals piling up in every corner of the world will render us extinct, than global warming. I forgot which study it was, but I remember reading that by 2045 human males could be almost infertile, due to falling sperm counts.

Bruce Steele

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Re: Existence. Life on earth.
« Reply #16 on: May 30, 2021, 10:09:01 PM »
https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2021/05/fears-over-falling-human-sperm-count-may-be-overblown/

I’ll let the paper speak for itself . Although the alternative would have been a better outcome.

Rodius

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Re: Existence. Life on earth.
« Reply #17 on: May 31, 2021, 02:35:28 AM »
When I was in SE-Asia I saw that the poorest people had nothing else but each other...

People shared what they couldn't miss...

In the west we have succeeded in making poor people lonely and unhappy...

Mostly angry and intolerant...

Hatred and individualism vs Love and community...

Why is everyone so blind?

People who visit poor countries without living in them commonly hold this belief.

Poor people have different priorities.

As in, is there enough food and if not, how do you get it.

In this regard, while living in a poor country with my wife's family for almost two years, I found that the sharing of resources isn't as clear-cut as we want to believe. People go hungry even when some people right next to them have a full plate. Politics (as in some people in a village just piss everyone off or break rules of the community, something I was a victim of several times because I kept getting pissed off about family violence, typical men bashing women and women bashing kids... and I mean seriously bashing them. Social isolation during the process of eliminating that was one of the most difficult things I have had to endure in my life) plays a part. If a village dislikes a person, they are outcast.
On the flip side, they tend to be more forgiving as Westerners. (which was good for me)

Shelter is a perpetual struggle to maintain.

Men (typically) have no little means of income and that reduces their personal value (I cant provide for my family) so there is a high instance of heavy drinking (the logic of depression and low personal value ends up with men not having enough money for food but enough to spend on alcohol). Women tend to suffer the consequences of that situation.

Medication is a serious problem. Children tend to suffer the most with easy to fix things like diarrhea running rampant, infections from cuts (in a tropical climate) get much worse than they should, and illnesses are typically untreated.

It is an unpleasant life.

On the flip side, the sense of community is very high. Nobody has any secrets (try arguing with your wife when everyone can listen to it and discover that everyone talks to both of you about what you should do to fix the problem) but secrets are horrible anyway when the people around you want as many in the community to be content. Not happy.... content.

They do miss the stuff we have. They want a better house, a car, a TV, a regular power supply, all the things we take for granted, like running water, a shower that isn't communal, and much, much more.

Poor people are not some ideal of happiness because they lack consumerism as we are inflicted with it.

What I do agree with you about is how Western Society victim blames the poor, how they are almost, and ironically, more depressed, lonely, and isolated than those in a poverty situation. But for the most part, if I had a choice, I would still pick a Western form of poverty over true poverty every day of the week. Poverty is terrible, it is unpleasant, and Westerners need to stop looking at people living in poverty as some idealistic way of living because the poor people who meet Westerners always put on a smile, a brave face and try to make it look much better than it actually is.

And it is hardly surprising that very poor people tend to be highly religious. Which is a double edged sword because religion tends to get corrupted by those who hold high positions and those same people have nice houses, a car, TV and all the trappings of a consumist world. And I wont even get started on the things that are done by white people who are religious who fly in to do their good deeds and fly out leaving a bigger mess than they came to fix..... being poor sucks.

Also, living in a rich, consumer driven country also sucks.

What I believe is we need to be rid of consumerism, ensure people meet the basics of good, healthy living, and stop excess wealth.
And we need more community, a place to sit and talk to others about the meaning of life, to not stress the next meal, and deal with the local problems together.

So, please, stop thinking that poverty somehow means people are happier, it is a mask they put on for us.

jens

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Re: Existence. Life on earth.
« Reply #18 on: May 31, 2021, 08:35:09 AM »
Good post, Rodius. If you are ill or hungry, then you are suffering. And this is what poverty often means.

The problem with West is that people are unable to comprehend their privileges and how they got basically lucky with fate (being born into the right area and era). People are egoistic believing they personally made all the difference, while all it was, was just a draw of good fortune... So in the end people should be thankful for the privileges they have got, live a modest basic life without excesses, and be compassionate to others, who haven't been as fortunate, in whatever sense. Privileges can be different based on categories. In some category you personally might be hard-done too, but it's up to the person to work out what is the state of affairs.

nanning

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Re: Existence. Life on earth.
« Reply #19 on: May 31, 2021, 09:05:53 AM »
I think that's a very good post jens!

Some further thoughts:

Poverty, being poor, means non-affluence in my definition.
Deprivation is not the same as being poor, although many poor people in the world are deprived.


We have aquired cultured deprivation by consumerism/materialism: Having many material wishes because of social hierarchy and your status therein. What other people think of your status, means what others think of your material status.

We have aquired cultured isolation and non-sharing (lower morality): Individualism and many people living alone. Me myself and I.
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
"It is preoccupation with what other people from your groups think of you, that prevents you from living freely and nobly" - Nanning
Why do you keep accumulating stuff?

NevB

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Re: Existence. Life on earth.
« Reply #20 on: May 31, 2021, 01:18:31 PM »
When I was in SE-Asia I saw that the poorest people had nothing else but each other...

People shared what they couldn't miss...

In the west we have succeeded in making poor people lonely and unhappy...

Mostly angry and intolerant...

Hatred and individualism vs Love and community...

Why is everyone so blind?
FWIW That's also what I saw in SE-Asia that was different to the west.