Re: The Meaning of Life(tm) (was Re: virus: Religion)

Eric Boyd (
Sun, 25 May 1997 22:18:27 -0500

David McFadzean wrote:
> >1) What is the meaning/purpose of all life in the universe?
> >and
> >2) What is the meaning of life on a individual scale? (ie Why am "I"
> >here?)
> The CoV definition of "meaning" is effect, as in cause and effect.
> There are two types of meaning: real effects (actual meaning) and
> intended effects (purposes). For instance, when I say "Sorry, I didn't
> mean that", I'm trying to convey "I didn't intend my actions/words
> to have that effect".
> Now applying that to all life in the universe, the real effect is
> the high end of the complexity spectrum we observe in the organization
> of matter and energy, including human consciousness and civilization.
> The intended effect of life seems to be more life, more complexity;
> as far as I can tell, if life has a purpose it is to animate (literally
> "breathe life into" the universe). Catch phrase: universal animation.

This looks mighty circular to me... but then, I guess it's true enough.

> Applying the same definitions to an individual life yields a different
> but related set of answers. The meaning of your life is the effect of
> your life: how is the world different because of you? The intended meaning
> (purpose) of your life is up to you: how do you want to affect the
> world and the future? I think it was Ghandi that said "You must be the
> change you want to see in the world."

Looks good to me... although I think I would add a big section about
development of "the self" I think that Robert Persig was right when he
"To change the world, first change your own heart and hands, and then
work outward from there" (paraphrase)

(as an aside, somebody else probably said this first... any idea who?)

> Personally I wish to create a better future by infecting as many people
> as possible with my favorite memes:
> - memetics
> - rationality (especially pancritical rationalism)
> - critical thinking
> - game theory
> - systemantics (meaning = effect)
> - evolutionary psychology
> - transhumanism

Jugding by this list, I'd say we have very similar interests. The only
ones I've never dabbled in are evolutionary psychology and
transhumanism. But unless I'm mistaken about what it means,
transhumanism sounds like what my "Meta-Christ" would preach.

> I'm working towards these ends mostly through the Church of Virus, but
> also by supporting related projects (,,
>, the Zero mailing list, etc.). I realize that the
> CoV has a limited audience so I'm quite willing to support other vectors
> (maybe even the Church of Jesus Christ Humanist :) through web site and
> mailing list hosting. Send me some mail.

Oh goody... some more sites to check out. I've visited the Church of
Zero, and it was rather interesting. Somehow or other, though, I've
lost it's http address. 100+ bookmarks and the only thing I want isn't
in 'em!

>David McFadzean
>Memetic Engineer
>Church of Virus

Memetic Engineer. heh. Is that anything like the so called "sanitary"
engineers? But seriously, what is it you do that you feel justified in
calling yourself an engineer?


It is well to remember that the entire universe, with one trifling
exception, is composed of others. -- John Andrew Holmes