Meaning of life meets better world

Now, I realise that this titel is very pretentious. That is not my intention, but it does give the most accurate discription of this thread. All of this is just my view and opinion on two of the biggest questions one can ask.
The titel came to me pretty fast but the actual thread has seen many versions, none of which I was satisfied with. So if you’re willing to sit this one through; many thanks and please feel free to share your views and ideas. Also apologies in advance, it’s not easy to put this in writing let alone another language than your own. The idea actually started as a discussion about ‘what do you want to leave behind in this world/if there was one thing you could say/do what would it be?’ question with a good friend of mine.

Who isn’t interested in the meaning of life and who doesn’t want a better world? I have to admit this is a requirement for my premise. But I hope I’m not reaching for straws already, this wil come later. I also like to stress that this is not so much about revolution as it is about realization. I tend to look at things on a large scale and timeframe. I’m fully aware I’m going to lose quite a portion of you along the way, but that’s ok. If there is anything to take from this, let it be that there is nothing inherent evil or wrong about my views. I consider all of you my equal in every sense of the word and all that I’m after is in my name.

So, meaning of life why don’t you? And I’ll raise you a better world. Obviously, this is where the struggle begins. What is the meaning of life and why shouldn’t there be as many answers as there are people on this planet? True, but I want to get to some common ground here and I’m going to need to cut corners at some point. So I might aswell do it on the easy part because this thread isn’t getting any shorter.
The meaning of life is to pass that life on to the next generation. Short and simple. Because if you don’t there will be no one to ask the question. Just look at every other lifeform on this planet and what they spend their time on. Take the epic journey of the salmon. Get upstream, lay the eggs, fertilize them and just die of exhaustion. And not much in between. And this has been going on for hundreds of thousands of years. Only one generation of salmon thinking ‘screw this I’m staying at the beach’ and no more salmon.
And what to think of every single person that lived on this planet before you were born? The only reason why we are here now enjoying this life is because of them. The same thing goes for the future, we are the only reason that there will or will not be people on this planet -fill in blank- years from now.
The scale and timeframe are mindblowing. Looking at the earth passing by from the ISS is one of my favourite youtube videos. Looking at that enourmous dirt ball with its shiny oceans and realizing that all life resides right there, and I’m one of them. A tiny helo of an atmosphere and beyond, nothing but complete frozen vacuum. Pretty humbling experience, I can only imagine how it would be in person.

As I’m getting older(mid 30’s) I get more aware of the temporary nature of life. Nothing to dwell on for very long, just a part of the definition of life. But it does put alot of things in perspective. Similair to having the misfortune of losing someone close to you. Life is so ridiciously short, it’s almost unfair. I used to look at this from the ‘given only to be taken away’ angle, but it gradually turned to ‘given only to be passed on’. This for me covers the meaning of life best. No too specific and rather obvious, I hope.

Now for the hard part, the better world. Again I’m going to approach this from the common ground perspective. To me common ground is the very basis of a true better world. We humans operate best in groups and the largest group is ofcourse all of us. I know there are alot of us and we all differ in personality and culture, but in todays world I sense an absolute need for more understanding and compassion. These might sound cliche to you but not to me. Honestly, how can I argue the well being of future generations while at the same time large portions of the population are living in sub-human conditions, lacking the very basics. How can I call them my equal? We absolutely have the means to change this, it’s happening right in front of our eyes yet the suffering continues. Here’s a comparison. The way we look on slavery today will be similar to how people will look at ‘third world’(for lack of a better discription, but I’m talking about real people) poverty in 200-300 years. They won’t care for who’s running the show over there, nor for our petty excuse that it is none of our business. Ofcourse, in 200-300 years solving todays problems will be a piece of cake. Just like we have more means today then we did during slavery.

Still here? I got pretty specific there with the slavery and the third world, but these are just examples like the salmon. I really think we should put more effort into making sure that everyone has a safe and healthy environment to growup in. Some of you might think ‘Surely there is progress, these things take time.’ That might be true, but I do believe we have past a boundry where our means are far greater than the effort it takes. I can only conclude that it is not deemed important enough. I don’t want to play the blame game I just want to focus on what’s worth pursuing, as a long term objective. As we develop and innovate we say goodbye to old pillars, and as a society I feel some of the foundations are eroded. I’m not a religious person but over the years I have developed an appreciation for some of its aspects. It provided people with a big picture and a moral compass. And I feel we could make good use of those mechanisms based on our own resolution and bearing, provided we all agree with them. Sounds impossible? Maybe to you not to me.

It’s easy to look at all this and think ‘Nothing but tree huggin’ communist propaganda.’ And if that’s the label you’d like to put on this, or any other for that matter, then that’s your free choice. I’m hopefull that gradually we will define a new concept that does not have a stigma like communism or capitalism. Because it is something completly new and different. Something we all can agree upon and something worth pursuing. I feel extremely lucky for having this life, this experience. I acknowledge and respect the past and feel responsibillty towards the future. I don’t want to be part of a generation that willfully looks the other way or is mostly preoccupied with less than cosmic things.
The hardcore struggle for survival is comming to an end and I’m sick and tired of all the unnecessary suffering We need to re-evaluate things here and come up with a better gameplan. We all have a pretty good idea of what’s wrong and what’s right, it’s no rocket science. It’s just a matter of putting it to practice. Granted, I have no idea what that practice might be. Bit I’m convinced it will only work if it’s a true open and honest joint effort. There is no hidden agenda, violence, hate, suppression and greed. No dirty business in a dark corner of a confusing maze that no one knows about. No power struggle because there is no power to be gained, we operate as a single body. It’s a bold vision but one I feel good about.

Reached them straws yet? I guess so. But I’m loading her up, this baby took 5 hrs.
Have a good one.

If you could boil this essay into a two or three sentence topic for debate, it might speed things along here.


The meaning of life is up to the individual. You make of life what you will. I wouldn’t dream of telling you what to do with your life, and you’d better not try to tell me what to do with mine.

A better world? I think that nearly everyone wants that. We want a better world for ourselves (ordinary self-interest.) We want a better world for our families and friends (extended self-interest.) We want a better world for our children and grandchildren (the self-interest of heritage.) And we’d like a better world for everyone (because that’s just good morality.)

There will always be a conflict of resources. How dare I go to a movie tonight, when there are people dying horribly in the war in Syria? But the entertainment sector of our economy helps drive that economy, increasing the Gross Domestic Product, so we pay more taxes, which the State Department can use to try to negotiate peace, and which we can give out as foreign aid to help feed refugees.

We all want a good life, and we all want a better world.

The details? Well…we just muddle along the best we can.

He said the meaning of life is having children. And we should make a better world by helping those less fortunate.

Also something about salmon slavery in the third world. Yeah, IDK.

OP might have a promissing future writing resolutions for the UN. But he’ll have to work on making them longer.

Yeah well, can’t say that I didn’t see it comming. But that’s ok, we’re all very busy living the dream here.

The ancient men were preoccupied with their good fame. Hypnotized by the evanescence of their selfdom, contemporary ones are stuck in the present - the noble symptom of a new feral race.

That is point of contention #1 out about 232,000 for me. I think there are already too many people in the world by far and I have little interest in the vast majority of them. My better world would involve a massive population reduction over just a few generations but I am not arrogant enough to actually pursue that goal in any meaningful way. There are many wildly different groups that would support that idea at least on paper but for very different reasons. They have different goals of their own and each has a completely different idea of what this ‘better world’ would look like. It would be racial purity for some, a pristine natural environment for others and some would all people to be roughly equal economically.

All of those goals come into fundamental conflict at some point. You can’t ever achieve an objective ‘better world’ for everyone because people don’t agree what it is in the first place. The best you can do is give people the freedom to segregate into groups and circumstances that suit them best. I have thought about this at length and my life philosophy can be summed up as “Let it ride”. Everyone dies at the end of the story no matter what. Have as much fun while you can and try not to piss so many people off that it screws up your personal quality of life.

Why would it be impossible to expect more consensus as our lives get more entangled through the economy, environment and the likes?