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Meaning of Life?

John Lee
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I don't quite remember since when, I began to think about the concept of death. What it is like? OK, so there are roughly two kinds of death, conscious and unconscious. You don't have to deal with latter, but for the former, what should I think just before I die? I know the phrase "die as a happy man". But what exactly is "happy"?
By now, I don't believe life after death, since I don't remember anything from last life. Everyone has a limited duration of life, even I feel I can live forever right now. So what is the meaning of life?
Peter Lyons
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Joined: Sep 12, 2000
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The fact that you don't remember anything from a past life does not exclude the possibility of life after death.
John Lee
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Maybe. There is also clone now. But even you can clone an exactly same "you", you guys still have different souls. It is like two standalone PCs, you need to network your soul back and forth.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Originally posted by Don Liu:
Maybe. There is also clone now. But even you can clone an exactly same "you", you guys still have different souls. It is like two standalone PCs, you need to network your soul back and forth.
A clone is no different than an identical twin. Anyone who thinks they can achieve immortality through cloning doesn't have a clue what they are talking about.


Associate Instructor - Hofstra University
Amazon Top 750 reviewer - Blog - Unresolved References - Book Review Blog
Eager Beaver
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Joined: Feb 26, 2001
Posts: 187
Don,
How much of your early childhood can you recollect? Going by your assumption that belief in past-life should be corroborated by mental images of that period....you never lived as an infant....which is absurd.
-EB
[ February 19, 2002: Message edited by: Eager Beaver ]
Stevie Kaligis
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Joined: Feb 04, 2001
Posts: 400
I remember someone said "if you do only bad thing on your present life, you'll be a cockroach on your next life" :roll:
Angela Poynton
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Joined: Mar 02, 2000
Posts: 3143
Originally posted by Don Liu:
So what is the meaning of life?

What makes you think there is a meaning to life?
The real question should be "Is there a meaning to life?"
I don't assume everything has meaning. But if life had meaning it would be 42


Pounding at a thick stone wall won't move it, sometimes, you need to step back to see the way around.
Peter Lyons
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Joined: Sep 12, 2000
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Originally posted by Eager Beaver:
How much of your early childhood can you recollect? Going by your assumption that belief in past-life should be corroborated by mental images of that period....you never lived as an infant....which is absurd.

Of course, just because you can no more remember a past life than you can remember your infancy, does not constitute proof or even evidence that you did have a past life.
(nor am I suggesting that Eager Beaver meant it that way. )
Jason Menard
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Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by Angela Poynton:

What makes you think there is a meaning to life?
The real question should be "Is there a meaning to life?"
I don't assume everything has meaning. But if life had meaning it would be 42

You are correct, the answer to the question "What is the meaning of life?" is 42. Of course to understand the answer you must first understand the question.
frank davis
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Joined: Feb 12, 2001
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Some people do have seemingly veriable memories of past lives...
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Posts: 13974
Originally posted by herb slocomb:
Some people do have seemingly veriable memories of past lives...

Verifiable? And how do you do that? I must have been have Napoleon in a past life because I can tell you what year he died.
Anonymous
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Joined: Nov 22, 2008
Posts: 18944
Meaning of life? Life has no meaning. So many philosophers have thought about it, and this questions dies with their physical bodies. The absurdity of life has been explored by many novelists and artists too. Where is the meaning of life then? It is given, when you live in a society that needs responsibilities and order.
You live, you die, just like a bug, a bird, a tree. Based on existentialism, you even do not exist unless you you know how to choose. The day when you can look at yourself from above is the day you lived. And the day when you saw death is so near you is the day you feel the existence, for
example, you closest relatives die. But even so, its meaning is short and meaningless if you put it in a universal background.....
frank davis
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"Verifiable" as in 6 old children in rural India being able to go to villages they have never been to before and then being able to identify houses and people they have never seen before.
frank davis
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Joined: Feb 12, 2001
Posts: 1479
Perhaps Life is less absurd and meaningless if not examined from the context of single lifetime, but rather looked at from the context of a progression of lifetimes where the soul learns lessons and makes progress of some sort..
Manjunath Subramanian
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Joined: Jul 18, 2001
Posts: 236
Meaning of life according to me is..
Living In Freedom with Enlightenment
Manjunath
[ February 19, 2002: Message edited by: Manjunath Subramanian ]
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Posts: 13974
Originally posted by herb slocomb:
"Verifiable" as in 6 old children in rural India being able to go to villages they have never been to before and then being able to identify houses and people they have never seen before.

And the way they know that they have never been to those villages before is...? Where they raised in a locked warehouse and watched 24 hours a day? Is it possible that someone described the village to them at some time during their life? And isn't it odd that 6 children from rural India can do this but the 8 million people in NY seem to lack that ability?
On a side note: does anyone ever wonder why the Weekly World News always publishes srticles about vampire aliens that attack villages in India? The reason of course is that it is virtually impossible to verify the story!
frank davis
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The cases of reincarnation I was thinking of came from a more reputable source than the Weekly World News. Ian Stevenson, the respected Carlson Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Division of Personality Studies at the Health Sciences Center, University of Virginia, wrote a book that has stood the test of time for over 40 years. It was called Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation. 40 years is more than enough time to expose fraud. Since this book is quite famous
among supporters of reincarnation, the debunkers are well aware of it also.
But besides those well researched and documented cases, we have more recent examples of those doctors who use hypnosis and past life therapy. There was a famous one with a best seller a few years ago,but I can't remember his name now.
The crucial point is that we have people who have knowledge of things that they shouldn't know about through conventional explainations. Reincarnation is a theory to attempt to explain it.
To address your question on the New York kids not remembering their past lives :
Does our society really encourage this ?
Would such a recollection be supported by the typical NY parent, ignored, or criticized? Would the typical New Yorker attempt to verify his child's claims? There is peer pressure and a peer consensus on reality at even a young age. The peer group could also be discouraging this phenomnenon. Perhaps children do have such recollections, but they are less common in our culture. No comparable study has been done on New York children as far as I know.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Originally posted by herb slocomb:
The cases of reincarnation I was thinking of came from a more reputable source than the Weekly World News. Ian Stevenson, the respected Carlson Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Division of Personality Studies at the Health Sciences Center, University of Virginia, wrote a book that has stood the test of time for over 40 years. It was called Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation. 40 years is more than enough time to expose fraud. Since this book is quite famous
among supporters of reincarnation, the debunkers are well aware of it also.
Yes, and they have thoroughly debunked his research over and over again. Unfortunately, people believe the nonsense and ignore the truth. Take a look at this book for a good expose of your "reputable source".
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1573920053/electricporkchop/103-5713019-5867840
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Originally posted by herb slocomb:
But besides those well researched and documented cases, we have more recent examples of those doctors who use hypnosis and past life therapy. There was a famous one with a best seller a few years ago,but I can't remember his name now.
As is well known, hypnotists can place suggestions into peoples minds so they can "recall" things that are not tru. The hypnotists, especially if they are strong supporters of reincarnation, can do this without even realizing it. It is only when viewing videotapes of the sessions that it becomes obvious where the information on the supposed past lives is really coming from.
Jason Menard
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Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
As is well known, hypnotists can place suggestions into peoples minds so they can "recall" things that are not tru.

There was a wave of people with so called "repressed memories" during the 80's. The idea was that the psychologist would convince people that whatever problem they were having in their life was as a result of some childhood trauma that they repressed, but that could be brought to the surface through hypnosis with the encouragement of the therapist. Suddenly people were being accused of abusing their children, in at least one instance the staff of a daycare center was accused of perpetrating some bizarre ritual-abuse ring, and in another case, a man was charged with murder, as a result of these "repressed memories" coming to light. Justice was eventually done in most of these cases, although sometimes only after the innocent victim had spent time in prison.
Scientifically, medically, and in just about every other possible, these repressed memory practices have been debunked for the junk science that they are. Past-life memories go into the exact same category as repressed memories.
frank davis
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Thomas Paul,
I followed the link you gave and came across this
in the book review
"Only Dr. Ian Stevenson, who has investigated the subject since the early 1970s, gets credit for professionalism and integrity, if not flawless methodology."
That hardly sounds like debunking of Stevenson to me...

I'm not about to spend money on such a badly reviewed book as that. Perhaps you could give us the gist of his argument against Stevenson?
[ February 19, 2002: Message edited by: herb slocomb ]
[ February 19, 2002: Message edited by: herb slocomb ]
Donald Wedding
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Joined: Aug 28, 2001
Posts: 72
"What is LIFE" is probably the easiest question of all. Here is the answer.

Q: WHAT IS LIFE?
A: LIFE IS THE CEREAL THAT MIKEY LIKES
frank davis
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I'm well aware of how hypnotists can implant memories, but what if the person comes up with info that neither the hypnostist nor the hypnotized could know about?
Jason Menard
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Posts: 6450
Although I doubt anyone here remembers them, according to the 80's group Opus, "Life is Life".
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Originally posted by herb slocomb:
"Only Dr. Ian Stevenson, who has investigated the subject since the early 1970s, gets credit for professionalism and integrity, if not flawless methodology."
That hardly sounds like debunking of Stevenson to me...
Because you misread it... it says that he gets credit for professionalism and integrity but NOT his methodology. The fact that the book got bad reviews on amazon is because he attacks their closely held beliefs, I doubt that mosst of the reviewers even read it. Here's a review of the book from the Skeptical Inquirer:
http://www.csicop.org/si/9901/reincarnation.html
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Originally posted by herb slocomb:
I'm well aware of how hypnotists can implant memories, but what if the person comes up with info that neither the hypnostist nor the hypnotized could know about?
Again, how is it possible to KNOW that neither the hypnotist nor the person they are hypnotizing could have known something? Were they both raised in sound proofed rooms so that everything they ever heard could be closely guarded?
Anonymous
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Joined: Nov 22, 2008
Posts: 18944
I think the reason why the Human Race try desperately to justify the existence of an after-life (thru Religion, Philosophy.. etc.) is the
FEAR of mortality. That life BEGINS and ENDS, no more no less. That we have only ONE LIFE to live.
Everybody (even Atheist, Scientist) wants to believe that there is an afterlife. And who doesn't?
frank davis
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Posts: 1479
Thomas Paul,
I'm following your links but they lead no where. For the first link, I cut and pasted exactly what was on the first page of your linked page and it included the word "methodology"; its not anything I misread. I found nothing anywhere to discredit Ian Stevenson. I went to the second link you gave and I don't even see Stevenson's name mentioned.
Please, just give us the gist of the argument against Stevenson if you can.
[ February 19, 2002: Message edited by: herb slocomb ]
frank davis
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If a person knows details of past events that are only later proved true by archeaological evidence not available at the time the claims were made, that could support reincarnation.
Absolute proof may be hard to come by, but there are other degrees of proof that reasonable, open minded people can accept. If there is no reason to suspect every claim of past memory as being fraudulent, then why must reasonable people reject all claims where fraud cannot absolutely be proven not to exist?
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Originally posted by herb slocomb:
Absolute proof may be hard to come by, but there are other degrees of proof that reasonable, open minded people can accept. If there is no reason to suspect every claim of past memory as being fraudulent, then why must reasonable people reject all claims where fraud cannot absolutely be proven not to exist?
The fact that we can't prove fraud is not proof. In fact, there is every reason to suspect every claim of past memory as being fraudelent. We must reject extraordinary claims until extraordinary proof is found.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Posts: 13974
Originally posted by herb slocomb:
Thomas Paul,
I'm following your links but they lead no where. For the first link, I cut and pasted exactly what was on the first page of your linked page and it included the word "methodology"; its not anything I misread. I found nothing anywhere to discredit Ian Stevenson. I went to the second link you gave and I don't even see Stevenson's name mentioned.
Please, just give us the gist of the argument against Stevenson if you can.
[ February 19, 2002: Message edited by: herb slocomb ]

I have no idea why you think my links lead nowhere. If a scientist's methodology is found to be faulty, you have basically said that all his research is useless. I have no idea why you couldn't find a mention of Stevenson on the other link. Do you know how to use the "find" option available on most moder browsers?
The evidence, such as it is, is exhaustively examined by Edwards. Much of it comes from seemingly credible witnesses who claim to have seen the projected "astral bodies" of others at the time of the latter's death, or from children who seem remarkably precocious, or who "remember" people, places or events that they seem unlikely to have known about if they had not actually experienced them in a previous life. Edwards shows that the empirical evidence, like the supporting arguments put forth by past-life explorers such as Elizabeth K´┐Żbler-Ross, Stanislav Grof, Raymond Moody, and Ian Stevenson are far less compelling than the tabloid headlines would have you believe. As with most anecdotal evidence of this sort, examination reveals that tales retold by the faithful have a way of becoming tidier and more convincing as they pass from mouth to mouth.
frank davis
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Thomas Paul,
I actually admire this quote,
"We must reject extraordinary claims until extraordinary proof is found."
I've heard something similar to this before and its really quite a sound principle.
It's been so long since I've read Stevenson's book I don't remember all the details. But I had the general recollection that there was no evidence or motive for fraud in any of the cases he examined, and he did specifically look for fraud in each case study. To be fair to Stevenson, he makes a point to never actually claim his research proved reincarnation, only that it was suggestive of it.
It is unfair to lump Stevenson together with 3 other authors which can imply all of their research is of the same caliber which I doubt it is. Anectdotol evidence is the only kind of evidence you can expect given the nature of the subject, so we can't throw that out if we're going to be open minded on the subject. Also, I thought Stevenson interviewed the people for his case study rather than getting the story after it had passed from "mouth to mouth".
Again, going back to a point made in several of my past posts, what specifically do you object to in Stevenson's methodology and research?
[ February 19, 2002: Message edited by: herb slocomb ]
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Here's an example. Stevenson interviewed a boy in a village who claimed to be the reincarnation of an automobile mechanic in a neighboring village who had been killed in an automobile accident. The boy seemed to know details that he couldn't possibly have known. However, it turned out that the boys story had changed over time. Originally, he only "recalled" the automobile accident and it was only when friends and relatives hinted to the boy about the mechanic in the neighboring town that the boy filled in the details. This is pretty much how palm readers work. There was no "fraud" because no one deliberatly went out to fool anyone. It was simply a matter of wishful thinking and people's desire to believe in reincarnation. Of course, it would be impossible for every one of the anecdotal cases to be tested with this level of detail. A thousand researchers could spend their lives trying to debunk all the possible cases and still have a huge backlog. Stevenson's main error is that he simply reports his findings without doing enough verification thus forcing others to do his dirty work.
Ashik Uzzaman
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Life is full of successes and failures, ups and downs with no margin between them....
But as life is there, we feel what's happiness and what's sorrow....at least we are feeling man....far better than simply thinking the space is full of Ithar/Ethar...


Ashik Uzzaman
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Absolute proof may be hard to come by, but there are other degrees of proof that reasonable, open minded people can accept.
These are the most amazing words that I've ever heard. I am going to quote them often.
Thomas Paul, I actually admire this quote...
What the heck is it - to admire quote? I actually admire Thomas Paul!


Uncontrolled vocabularies
"I try my best to make *all* my posts nice, even when I feel upset" -- Philippe Maquet
John Lee
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Posts: 2545
Originally posted by Don Liu:
even I feel I can live forever right now.

Perhaps I really can live forever. My rational is:
1) In running, I did not slow down a bit over last 10 years;
2) In swimming,......well, I can not swim 10 years ago;
......
The great Physicist Maxwell once said "The true logic of this world is in the calculation of probabilities". That means no matter how impossible the task is, there is always a chance, even a tiny little chance.
The possibility of "live forever" may be 1 out of trillions trillion. But just think about it: from now on, if you can do everything right, every small thing, if you can make all the right decisions down the stretch, then maybe you will live forever!
Sameer Jamal
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Posts: 1870
read this book
John Lee
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Originally posted by Sameer Jamal:
read this book

Thanks! But I am afraid I won't have time before I pass IBM XML exam.
frank davis
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Posts: 1479
The TV news program 60 Minutes exposed the fraud of the book you mentioned about 10 years ago. The publisher never disputed the book was a fraud but continued to publish it because it sold so well.
Do some searches on the web and you will find evidence. I did a quick search on google and found this site :http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/493105.html
"It purported to be the autobiography of a Tibetan lama who, at the age of eight, underwent the operation of the third eye, in which a hole was drilled in his forehead to allow him to see auras. Such a procedure was not known in Tibet. A private detective eventually tracked down the author of the book, Cyril Hoskin, the unemployed son of an English plumber. The Third Eye was a bestseller in Europe and America. "
frank davis
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Regarding Stevenson and his anecdotal evidence :
Its been about 20 years since I've read Stevenson's book, but was it really that obvious from reading his book that the relatives were giving hints to the young boy about what to remember? Or was this follow up research done by a second researcher?
Something you can't see from a book and is difficult to spot even in real life, are non verbal clues the parents could have been giving to the children to help them identify relatives and places. The parents may even have done it subconsciously.
On the other hand, identifying people by name in other villages that neither the parent nor the child has been to would be another matter. There would have to be intentional fraud in that case. Would there be a motive? Perhaps this type of thing is valued in some places India??
Subconcious influence, non verbal communication,
and maybe even telepathy may make reincarnation impossible to prove directly...
Let me open up another can of worms : Perhaps
there is enough indirect evidence to support the claim, e.g near death experiences, etc. Keep in mind however that accumlating a lot of weak or bad evidence still won't make a strong case...
[ February 20, 2002: Message edited by: herb slocomb ]
 
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