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We live/die so fast, (in cosmic time) does anything really matter?

+3 votes
What the hell does it really matter what we believe or do in this lifetime. We are basically dust pretty soon, so Anarchy or any other lifestyle or belief seems to be a mute point in the big picture.

edited to add a tag
asked Aug 26, 2013 by anonymous
edited Oct 13 by ingrate
Your existential angst is no match for my kung fu.
the way i see it :

everything matters....and nothing matters.
perhaps a more pertinent question: 'does anything really matter' to you?
if my life did not matter to me, then i would seriously question whether and why to go on living.

i do still find joy in my life, and that is all the "meaning" i need.

what kind of "meaning" are you talking about? and who does it apply to? are you concerned about your "legacy", or what others will think of your life? i know a great many people have very strong feelings about that, but i personally have none. when i am gone, i am gone. maybe some will miss me, and think of me fondly. or harshly. it doesn't matter, i will be irrelevant.  (yeah, i know, i already am).

edit: i guess i injected the word "meaning" (after reading rice boy's answer), i don't see it in the original question.

4 Answers

+7 votes
I don't think there's an inherent meaning in anything, so any answer to this question is bound to be subjective. Or at least bound to point out this subjectivity.

Speaking of subjectivity, time is relative. The length of a human life is literally the longest thing you will ever experience. In the context of this expanse of time being the sum of your entire existence, maybe things might seem more urgent or meaningful - or maybe not.

I guess the only factual answer to this question is "it depends on who you're asking", or, on how much that person values their existence.

If you were to ask me, I'd say that the destruction of the planet (as a distant concept) matters less to me than my immediate fulfillment, happiness, self-actualization, and so on.

(Also: "moot" point!)
answered Aug 27, 2013 by Rice Boy (10,100 points)
+4 votes
The dominant culture is taking the only known planet able to support life and wildness and turning it into a desert-graveyard. I know my loved ones will certainly die of old age at some point, does this mean I do nothing when the colonizer culture tries to violently destroy them? Fuck no, I fight back tooth and nail. Do you have no self-worth or care for anyone or anything that you would struggle for? Do you not care even about your own dignity or self-determination?
answered Aug 27, 2013 by AutumnLeavesCascade (9,030 points)
+3 votes
its really a question of perspective and what you value in the world.  Is the 'big picture' really that important to you?-  all of those things that are totally out of your control? People experience time on a 'human' scale - mornings, afternoons, nights, instants, days, seasons, years, etc. but not really on the scale of universes unfolding.  So the question i think is 'do you value your own life?' and really only you can answer that question.  The anxiety of the big picture really only makes sense to me if your life is not worth living -  the existential idea is really just your actual lived experience projected forwards (mostly) and backwards in time.  so if its meaningless in 'real time', its usually looks meaningless in 'universal time'.

Theres probably also something to say about how this type of existential crisis and measuring on such inhuman scales is produced in no less so by the massifying ethos of our time - to think of everything in terms of intangible elements (populations, nation-states, identities, etc.), but i cant say much more on that right now
answered Aug 27, 2013 by jingles (2,220 points)
jingles i bet my balls from all the planet you cant find 1 person who understood the jiberish u said.speak english?

" to think of everything in terms of intangible elements (populations, nation-states, identities, etc.)"

i like that...

" i bet my balls from all the planet"

i like that too.... or i might if i knew what the fuck it meant!

–2 votes
Maybe you can't achieve what you want because you die before, but you can give us a revolutionary legacy.

Maybe we won't live/die so fast (in cosmic time) in the future. Have you seen the progress in sciences? Medicine, biology, biotechnology, etc. could break that presupposition.

These sciences can only be really neutral in anarchy, so they serve us without classes, I think it's worth it. With this becomes more knowledge, pleasure, simulations, etc.
answered Dec 4, 2015 by Whask (330 points)

i don't even see the need to continue this conversation at the moment, the things that Whask are talking about are clearly motivated by ideological tenents of anarcho-syndicalism, " I don't think the problem in the industrial revolution was the machines themselves, but how the production mode is structured, thus lowering the welfare of workers.".....even though the use of the machines were inherently harmful to the bodies of the workers and DANGEROUS. The conversation will ultimately go no where, i don't see any room in the techo-science world Whask is trying to promote for any other type of living thing besides humans.

and how absurd, that we've gone past the "stage" of despotic misery!

or to get back to the original question (which i somehow revived, and then forgot why!)...

why does any of it - how we look at things, and why we look at them in a certain way - matter?

perhaps the OP meant to allude to this type of discussion above about science/technology (or any other way of interpreting or understanding or creating meaning about what we encounter and experience in our lives)...
Why believe, that is a more direct route to the answer you seek.

To say that life is short, is itself a belief.

When we watch the nature of time in relation to ourselves we see so many factors involved therein. From the oppressive overlap of memory to the state of the body itself. Time is completely dependent upon our own experience, or experiencing.

To say that we are dust, is itself a mere belief too. What is actual life... that beyond the immediate appearance, beyond memory, beyond hopes and fears, beyond social programs, beyond the need for meaning, etc.

We can only answer when we know. So how do we reach knowing? Without such our life shall be an endless drag of confusion and contradiction.

It seems obvious that every problem is a lack of understanding, a lack of awareness. So can we settle into awareness?

Asking questions which are fundamental can only be answered within our our being, via direct perception. To ask others and accept an answer, or compile and combine from various sources fails completely. It is like a dog chasing its own tail.

edclear - this answer is so very saying not really anything. What I take from this is the equivalent of "dust in the wind... all we are is dust in the wind." which has been said, and has been said and been parodied. I realize this question is, in itself, ridiculous, but could you give a more concrete answer if you are going to answer?

Hello Ingrate, perhaps nothing is concrete in life. Hence, why have a problem? All aspects of human interaction are at the mercy of our own consciousness, and consciousness is at the mercy of awareness.