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I'm babbling by hugh
Started on: 07-04-2000 09:53 AM
Replies: 17
Last post by: Spektyr on 05-03-2001 05:01 AM
hugh
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Report this Post07-04-2000 09:53 AM Click Here to See the Profile for hughClick Here to Email hughSend a Private Message to hughDirect Link to This Post
For some reason,lately I have been trying to come up with some definition of life.Maybe It's because I'm older now and closer to the end of mine than when I was younger and invincible.Don't get me wrong,I am not being anything but realistic after all I am 60.I have more racing and car shows to do before I call it quits at about 90.Now with that said,when my kids were small,I corrected them if they deliberatly stepped on an ant.I realized how hard it was to make life and how easy it was to end one after the birth of my kids(I have 5)My question is this,Is there a quantity of life?Does an ant have less life than a human,an elephant.When anything dies,does the world lose a spark of life that is greater or lesser depending on the size or importance it has in our world?Just writing this has helped me come a little closer to an answer.Thanks for listening. HUGH
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Sage
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Report this Post07-04-2000 10:06 AM Click Here to See the Profile for SageClick Here to Email SageSend a Private Message to SageDirect Link to This Post
Life's a bridge
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stimpy
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Report this Post07-04-2000 10:13 AM Click Here to See the Profile for stimpyClick Here to Email stimpySend a Private Message to stimpyDirect Link to This Post
Wow, Hugh, It's been a while since a deep topic such as this has been brought up. I am sure that you will get a variety of opinions and a handful of smartass comments thrown in. Hopefully we're all cool with that.

I can't pretend to know the answer to that question. I do believe that we are given a gift to be in this life and to enjoy being sentient. To quibble over the size of a gift is to be ungrateful to the value of the gift. A lot of life, love and joy can be packed into a small lifespan. Conversely, there are some very bitter older people who never took any joy out of life.

I don't know how many days I will have. Today may be my last. But I will relish what I have and love the life that I live. Quality always outlasts quantity.

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hugh
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Report this Post04-28-2001 07:00 PM Click Here to See the Profile for hughClick Here to Email hughSend a Private Message to hughDirect Link to This Post
I know this is old,but lately I've been thinking about this again and I can't come up with something that satisfies me.Maybe with all the new members since this was first posted someone can come up with something that will get me a little closer to an answer I can understand.Sometimes I feel it is there waiting for me to see it,and other times ,like today,I can't get a grasp on it.
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Philphine
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Report this Post04-28-2001 07:50 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PhilphineClick Here to Email PhilphineSend a Private Message to PhilphineDirect Link to This Post
i started and eraced about 3-4 thoughts but to tell the truth, i don't know. i'm pretty sure i'm not there.
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Mach10
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Report this Post04-28-2001 07:51 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Mach10Click Here to Email Mach10Send a Private Message to Mach10Direct Link to This Post
It's not about finding an answer that everyone likes, it about finding an answer that works for you.

Life for me, is when I feel alive:
-when I'm driving (anything)
-With loved one(s)
-Working with my hands(quiet in the peanut gallery)
-Working with my mind.
-standing outside, feeling the weather (except sloppy snow. I hate that. Gimme rain, or crispy, or fluffy snow, but if it goes "splat" when it hits stuff, forget it)

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MrPBody
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Report this Post04-29-2001 10:32 AM Click Here to See the Profile for MrPBodyClick Here to visit MrPBody's HomePageClick Here to Email MrPBodySend a Private Message to MrPBodyDirect Link to This Post
I'm pulling this out of my pocket, so not giving it the thought it deserves. Sorry.

I don't think life has or is an exact measurable quantity like mass or electrical charge. Some primitive things, e.g. viruses, may represent relict steps on the road to life. Animals all have life but vary in complexity, intelligence, and self-awareness. If you believe in souls, then I have to think that all animals have souls, albeit small and rudimentary ones. Plants clearly have life but no nervous system. Does that mean that trees have no souls? Since we can't exactly define or describe a soul, it's hard to say.

That said, we also need to recognize that we are creatures of the physical world, and it's impossible for us to survive without ending the lives of some lesser creatures -- bacteria, food donors (!?), trees to build our houses, etc. However we should not kill wantonly, wastefully, and without understanding.

Apologies for rambling.

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hugh
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Report this Post04-29-2001 02:46 PM Click Here to See the Profile for hughClick Here to Email hughSend a Private Message to hughDirect Link to This Post
I think I have an answer in the form of an analogy that comes as close as I believe I am capable of coming.
If you have a small candle in a shoebox and a small candle in a vast space like our universe is there any difference in it's light?I don't think so!From that I believe the quantity of life is the same in every living thing and not diminished by a decrease in size.
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Mach10
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Report this Post04-29-2001 08:59 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Mach10Click Here to Email Mach10Send a Private Message to Mach10Direct Link to This Post
That's about right. Life has intrinsic value. The same reason you shouldn't deliberately step on ants is the same reason why it's ok to eat meat. It's about respect for the individual's life. I respect the cow for giving me it's life's supply of protein. Some may argue that I took the life without asking. I say that everything must die, and by me killing the cow, I am fulfilling it's life, and continuing it's existence by sustaining mine. The native americans had it right. I won't profess to know which nation I'm talking about here, but the general concensus was to thank the animal after you had killed it, and not to waste it. If you are vegetarian, or vegan, that's fine by me. Being a sentient creature means that you can make your own choices. If you cannot justify to yourself the killing of a cow for food, then don't eat meat. On the same note, don't try to belittle me by taking a holier-than-thou attitude. If life is that precious to you, don't smack that mosquito when it hits a really tender soft spot.

To Hugh: Again, whatever works for you. You are an independant being, making your own choices. Be comfortable with living on your own terms. If religion will help you, go to church. If God doesn't fit into your world view, then don't worry yourself with it. Ignore the pompous assholes that maintain that theirs is the only way that works(As a baptized catholic, I'll probably go to hell for saying this...).
Good luck!

[This message has been edited by Mach10 (edited 04-29-2001).]

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Spektyr
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Report this Post04-29-2001 11:01 PM Click Here to See the Profile for SpektyrSend a Private Message to SpektyrDirect Link to This Post
Hehe, well we won't even go into my religious beliefs... just a couple hundred years ago my people were being burned at the stake.

But I do agree with a lot of what has been said here. All things have a spirit, but only man has a spirit owned by the individual being. A deer's spirit is the spirit of all deer, a tree's belongs to all trees. You can kill the individual without causing harm to the whole if you do so for the right reason. Killing something to watch it die is wrong, and can lead to a severe wrong against the spirit of that animal (such as endangering the species). But killing something for food is your right, just as any other animal has the right to kill for food. The real difference is that man (the race, not the gender) has both a 'spirit of man' and an individual spirit. Thus if the individual's life is taken, a harm to the individual spirit is done that cannot be healed, and the only thing of equal value you have to replace what you've taken is your own spirit.

So while it may be more wrong to deliberately kill an ant than to do so accidentally, even the deliberate act does not cause harm to the spirit of ant or to the world. Because the loss of that ant allows something else to fill the void, whether it be a new ant, or some other lifeform that previously would not have survived as easily. It's only when a wrong reason is repeated over and over that a danger exists to nature. Killing elephants by the thousands just to make piano keys, that can threaten the spirit of elephants.

As for myself I am an avid carnivore, I prefer most red meats to just about any vegetation. But I do just what Mach10 describes, I thank the animal spirits that provide my sustinence and rejoice that I can take strength from their life. In return I do what I can to ensure that their spirits remain strong.

But then again, I could be completely wrong. Each must find their own path.

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Mach10
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Report this Post04-29-2001 11:21 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Mach10Click Here to Email Mach10Send a Private Message to Mach10Direct Link to This Post
Spektyr: Ya, it was my people doin' the burnin'. Sorry about that... We mistranslated the word for "Cockroach" to mean "Witch"

I live my life as best as I can, and don't do stuff I know is wrong.
If I'm wrong, then you can bet my first words to the Big Guy are going to be "Gee, I hope you have a sense of humor, 'cos otherwise I am really F----D..."

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Spektyr
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Report this Post04-30-2001 05:08 AM Click Here to See the Profile for SpektyrSend a Private Message to SpektyrDirect Link to This Post
Hehe, no hard feelings there Mach10. After all I haven't been burned by a Catholic, and I doubt you've set anyone on fire. The past is gone, the present and future are simply for trying not to repeat the past's mistakes.

Besides, on more than one occasion the Catholic Church faced the same oppression that basically every other religion in the world has faced. In fact, that oppression accounts for several of the changes in the doctrine still taught today. Life and nature follow a circle. The oppressor becomes oppressed. The weak become strong. Etc, etc.

Incidentally, I'm not a witch, warlock or any other descriptive term to that effect, but I would have been branded one back then. And like many of those 'witches' my professing faith in God would not have saved me. The most correct term to describe me is 'Druid', and surprisingly enough to most 'Christian' faiths, many of us follow the same doctrine, the Bible. We simply have different churches and ceremonies.

Like the difference between an Roman Catholic church and a Southern Baptist church.

In several instances 'the church' (which later became the Catholic Church) was faced with a larger group of people who believed differently and sought to destroy them. For that reason I understand why they were scared of 'witches' later on. They had the power then and acted out of fear. It doesn't make the actions right, simply understandable.

But like I said, that's the past. I personally don't care if someone is a Catholic or if they believe the Cosmic Turtle carries the universe on his shell. It's what we do now that counts. I have my beliefs as to what must be done to get to Heaven. Others have other beliefs. Whether or not anyone is right remains to be seen.

To tie it in with the topic of the thread a bit, I think that because we all know the core of 'Right and Wrong', the mechanics of how we go about it are a little less important than what we do. Everyone knows that it's wrong to kill something just to kill it. Whether or not you formally thank a deer for the sacrifice of it's life to help you continue yours isn't as important as whether it died for the right reasons. A death without reason is empty. A death with reason is the best anyone or anything can hope for.

My greatest wish is that I die for a reason, not simply because I ran out of life to live.

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Mach10
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Report this Post05-01-2001 10:06 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Mach10Click Here to Email Mach10Send a Private Message to Mach10Direct Link to This Post
 
quote
After all I haven't been burned by a Catholic, and I doubt you've set anyone on fire.

Uh, well...

Actually, it was my brother that set someone on fire, in a church during religious ceremonies...

He was about 10, my little brother 9, and they were doing this cute procession thing, carrying candles. My parents snapped a photo, and my 10-year old brother's head snapped towards them, unfortunately preventing him from seeing that the line had stopped. He "rear-ended" my other brother, carrying said candle.

I still laugh myself to tears at the memory of my little brother's hair going up like a pile of dry grass. My little brother screams something not-so-pious as my brother hurls him to the floor and starts beating the flames out with his hands...

Druid, huh? Cool. Ever been to Stonehenge? That place is eerie.

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Spektyr
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Report this Post05-02-2001 05:02 AM Click Here to See the Profile for SpektyrSend a Private Message to SpektyrDirect Link to This Post
Man, I would love to go to Stonehenge... I just can't really afford it. My GT is demanding all of my extra money at the moment.

If only I could get a picture of my GT at Stonehenge, now THAT would be cool. Of course I doubt the other Druids would be okay with me driving a car that close to it. Guess I'll have to settle for Photoshop editing...

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Pontiaddict
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Report this Post05-02-2001 01:49 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PontiaddictSend a Private Message to PontiaddictDirect Link to This Post
"You believe in the things you believe, because you believe the person who taught you them."

I wish I wasn't taught some of the things I believe in just so I could figure out if they were really true.

Then again, they lock up people like that, so I guess it doesn't matter.

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Taijiguy
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Report this Post05-02-2001 02:28 PM Click Here to See the Profile for TaijiguyClick Here to Email TaijiguySend a Private Message to TaijiguyDirect Link to This Post
Well, being a hardcore advocate of original thought, I'll submit this idea, which is of course based on some ideas I have accepted as likely possibilities of reality:
While all life has a certain value, equal or not, I believe we place far too much value on life. As if this were the end of the road. That's not to say I'm anxious to die, but I think that there's so much more than just this life, and that when we truly accept the greatness of what lays beyond (not heaven or hell, nether exist for me) then we would let go of our firm grasp on this life. Also, we have to keep in mind, we don't normally grieve for the person who has passed, because most people agree there's "something" better afterwards, so that means we actually grieve for ourselves. For the loss we feel for not having this person (or pet etc.) in our lives anymore. So I guess when it comes to death why grieve? Celebrate. If a person, a bug, or an animal dies, they would (by most general consensus) be moving on to "something better". Think of it as a matter of pure physics. If you weigh a person before they die, and then weigh them again, immediately after their death, the weight is going to be the same. Yet something is gone. That thing that's gone is "life" as we know it. It has no physical property, yet we know it exists. So how can we be so limited in our thought as to think it may be confined by the limits of our own perceptions and the things we think we know. As for death, or killing a bug, an animal, or a person, to me there is no right and no wrong. If it's OK to put a person to death for a crime, but not to step on a bug, that's all perception and conditioning. If it's never OK to kill anything, again, perception and conditioning.
I guess the bottom line is, in my world, life has exactly the amount of "value" that you place on it.
~Taiji

[This message has been edited by Taijiguy (edited 05-02-2001).]

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My7Fieros
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Report this Post05-03-2001 12:00 AM Click Here to See the Profile for My7FierosSend a Private Message to My7FierosDirect Link to This Post
Ummm...........yeah...I gotta do some laundry.
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Spektyr
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Report this Post05-03-2001 05:01 AM Click Here to See the Profile for SpektyrSend a Private Message to SpektyrDirect Link to This Post
I agree with some of what Pontiacaddict said. I feel that you cannot really call them your beliefs until you've stepped back, given up all your beliefs and then examined them one by one, either accepting or rejecting them. Then you can claim them as your own.

As for death...

Death is a part of life.... it's the last part. hehe

Actually fear is the greatest enemy of life. It prevents you from doing things. Fear of heights, fear of the dark, fear of death. If you can 'unlearn' the fear of death we are taught, you actually feel more alive. Death will find you. Death is the one part of your future that you can be certain will occur. Even if it were a bad thing (which I don't believe it is) there would be no reason to fear it. It will happen and fearing it only poisons the life that comes before it.

What we should really be afraid of is missing out on our own life.

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