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

Robin Faichney (
Tue, 27 May 1997 09:54:00 +0100

David McF wrote:
>At 12:09 PM 26/05/97 +0100, Robin Faichney wrote:
>>If anyone is interested in a thorough, in fact mathematical,
>>account of the relationships between information, causation
>>and communication, I have a book at home at which I have
>>yet to glance, but which I'm told tells all about them. It was
>>written by a philosopher (not one I've seen mentioned here)
>>in the mid-seventies.
>Yes, please.

Cybernetics and the philosophy of mind. - Kenneth M. Sayre. -
London; Routledge and Kegan Paul [etc.], 1976.

Though that was a UK publication, the author is/was a US
professor of philosophy, at Notre Dame.

>>>Now applying that to all life in the universe, the real effect is
>>>the high end of the complexity spectrum we observe in the
>>>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
>>>"breathe life into" the universe). Catch phrase: universal animation.
>>Umm, couldn't this be reduced to: the meaning of life is life?
>Not really, because you simplified away the temporal aspect which
>renders the statement untrue. I guess it could be reduced to
>the meaning of all future life is all previous life.

I tend not to believe in purpose at any level other than that
of the individual, but I guess it could be a useful metaphor,
to capture what is *in effect* more than blind chance.