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Does overpopulation affect our purpose in life?

onesteptwostep

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Many of us on this forum prescribe or at least parrot Sartre on the purpose of life, that we make one of our own and just go with it. Now this existentialism is admirable in the sense that it's basically you verse the world and you finding a place in it, but beyond it, what would that mean in the face of overpopulation?

What I mean is this: if there is overpopulation from the countries brought on by India and China, what does purpose have to do anything with any of them? We in the learned "Western World" have it easy when it comes to purpose because we have a certain quality of life standard. But how about an Indian tolling away on his farm or the Chinese working at the factory? Are they not victims of the globalist capital system the superpower of the world has unwittingly created? Do they have a purpose in life? Can they think of one of create one of their own? For this I would superimpose Kant's maxim: make it universal law; can Sartre's call be right for everyone?

The overpopulation and the subsequent political and cultural life that arises from it, is it a death knell to atheistic existentialism?
 

The Grey Man

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I think we adopt our own values merely by acting and that, conversely, our actions are our values made manifest in the external world. Values and actions are totally different from each other, yet the same. They are two aspects of the same thing, related to each other as are 'who' and 'what', subject and objects, the soul and nature, noumenon and phenomena.

The farmer and the factory worker possess the values that are manifest in the everyday toil that external economic forces impel them to undertake in order to support their families. Sartre calls their adoption of values imposed by external forces "bad faith"; another, more flattering term for it is discipline. Regardless of what you call it, I've never seen conformity per se as a bad thing. Following rules, honouring tradition, and obeying orders is not virtuous, but neither is repudiating them.
 

onesteptwostep

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This is off topic for sure, but it's that same unflattering discipline that's allowing China to go up against a trade war with what people call the superpower of the earth so.. I think it's pretty ironic that in reality values mean nothing in terms of actual power.

Anyway back on topic: I think the question would be more understandable if it's reiterated like this: is a making of your own purpose even possible when there are economic factors at play? Are there not limits to what your purpose could and should be since the economy somewhat softly dictates what sort of work you have to yield to?
 

Hadoblado

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People are meaning making machines. Whatever the circumstances, we will make meaning in our lives - but unfortunately this implies that by controlling the environment you can control other people's meaning. By depriving people of the opportunity to choose their environment, systematic oppression/exploitation also deprives people of the ability to reach the potential of the meaning they could experience.

I don't take this as a weakness or refutation of the position. I take it as a reason why we should not like systematic exploitation and oppression.
 

QuickTwist

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People are meaning making machines. Whatever the circumstances, we will make meaning in our lives - but unfortunately this implies that by controlling the environment you can control other people's meaning. By depriving people of the opportunity to choose their environment, systematic oppression/exploitation also deprives people of the ability to reach the potential of the meaning they could experience.

I don't take this as a weakness or refutation of the position. I take it as a reason why we should not like systematic exploitation and oppression.
That is theoretical, and not what we see in reality. In reality, things are run by the law of attraction. What that means is that our conscious minds dictate what happens to us and so there is never "overlap" between two peoples wills.
 

onesteptwostep

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I don't take this as a weakness or refutation of the position. I take it as a reason why we should not like systematic exploitation and oppression.
But realistically speaking overcoming this capitalist-globalist scheme of things is impossible though isn't it? Thus, wouldn't you say, that Sartre's existentialism is more of a luxury rather than an universal maxim to be followed?
 

Hadoblado

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@QuickTwist

I'm sorry dude, you're not making much sense to me.

It's cool if you believe in the law of attraction or w/e, but I don't see how it's evident in reality. If I check the wiki page one of the first things I read is:

The Law of Attraction has no scientific basis and has been dubbed a pseudoscience.
So when you say what I'm talking about is theoretical and not based in reality, but that this other thing is based in reality despite no evidence, it comes across a little like "you're wrong because I believe different".

@onesteptwostep
It's not binary. You can improve the world without saving it. It's good that people find the meaning they are most able to, but that isn't a promise people will, and nor does that imply that people denied opportunity can never find meaning.

I agree philosophy and ideology tends to lend itself towards a luxury for the fortunate. That includes Kant's universal maxims. I'm curious whether the philosophies you believe in are equally susceptible to pragmatic concerns?
 

redbaron

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yes

now we have to pretend other things matter in between sex
 

Cognisant

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When a theist asks "what is the meaning of life?" what they're really asking is "for what purpose was I created?", assuming that they were the creation of a creator and thus created to serve the creator's purposes.

When an atheist asks "what is the meaning of life?" what they're really asking is "what justification is there to continue living?".

Some kill themselves, some turn back to religion, most just persist with living despite or perhaps in-spite of the suffering that is inherent to life. They may decide to create justifications for themselves but these justifications must contend with the fact that death will ultimately erase everything one sought to achieve.

Imo immortality (by whatever means) is necessary to live a truly justified/meaningful life because it frees the individual from having to choose any one justification. If I were immortal I could choose to make the justification/meaning of my life pottery, I could spend the next ten thousand years making pots. Maybe I'll become a master of pottery and progress the field, maybe I'll just make the same pot over and over, in any case it's a valid choice because I can always go do something else, I can always change my mind, I'm not losing time in any meaningful sense because in this scenario I have infinite time to spend.

But how about an Indian tolling away on his farm or the Chinese working at the factory? Are they not victims of the globalist capital system the superpower of the world has unwittingly created? Do they have a purpose in life? Can they think of one of create one of their own?
Indeed without choice the meaning of their lives is stolen from them.

They can choose to do something crazy like breaking the law to more readily gain the freedom they've been denied, just as I could choose to waste my finite life making pots, but a bad choice is really no choice at all. In a videogame I can choose to do something stupid like jumping off a cliff just to see what will happen, I have the freedom to make that choice because I don't have to live (or die) with the consequences, irl I technically have that choice but it's not a choice I can afford to make, not if I want to continue living.
 

Serac

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In Heidegger's terms, there are facticities of life – things we cannot change. E.g. one facticity of my life is that I was born in the 20th century – I cannot change that and thus I cannot become a 19th-century inventor. If you are born with one leg, then one-leggedness is a facticity of your life – you cannot become the next Usain Bolt. Being born into an overpopulated capitalist society is also a facticity, but it doesn't mean that if you're a factory worker in China, you cannot choose a purpose. Someone who believes they have no choice but to continue living as a factory worker lives in "bad faith" as Sartre put it – they are rejecting their own freedom to choose. Their purpose could be a lot of things: to escape that life, to escape China, working their way up to a high position in the company, become a rebel who tries to overthrow the capitalist system, move into the woods and start a tribe, etc etc
 

onesteptwostep

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Idk that seems unfair, but a life of truth really does demand that kind of extreme action, so meh.
 

onesteptwostep

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Like trying to overcome 'bad faith'. It's not like the Chinese person has the luxury to try and escape his or her lifestyle. It's exactly working in that miserable factory that gives him or her the chance to do so anyway.
 

Hadoblado

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@Serac
I sort of agree but sort of don't.

Thoughts have a tendency to be limited by exposure, and the worse your position is, the less your exposure.

McGyver might be able to think his way out of any situation with a piece of gum and a paper clip, but most people can't. The freedom that McGyver experiences is much greater than what is afforded everyone else.

While choice is technically available, the choices are worse than those of other people, and the people in that position are given less tools to make that choice effectively.

If (hypothetically) 99/100 people felt stuck in factory worker life, and over the course of their lifetime failed to leave it despite dissatisfaction, would you still consider this bad faith because it's technically possible for them to leave, or would you think this is effectively a facticity?
 

sushi

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overpopulation means more conformism and less indivdualism, more pressure to go along with what the masses and "everyone" is doing. Large densely populated societies have fewer freedoms. more like hive mindset.

But i think as most people grow older, they just stick a finger to society and do whatever they wish.

the only solution is to go out to space to avoid the hell that is earth.
 

Pizzabeak

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Overpopulation can cause an increase in homosexual organisms existing, which could put a cull on childbirths. It's more so for an accelerating need for certain air to be breathed, in other words, a purpose has to be completed in action to behold mother nature's full potential. There's a mixture of free will and determinism, i.e. global warming/climate change action now.
 

Gyppo

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It's so easy for one to accept that they have little freedom and continue to live and fuck amongst everyone else, because that's really what our essence is, social animals and shit. The culture of a place comes about through at least acceptance by the masses and then their offspring of course will accept it too, same genetics same culture. Even if the majority are miserable, due to their having found their way into such a predicament, the prevailing culture will be of acceptance and those who outwardly disagree will be deviants. And being a deviant is an unhappy business because it's more difficult to survive and fuck.
 

CatGoddess

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You could say the same in pretty much any situation. Like "oh, I'm poor, so I can't find my fulfillment." "I work a tedious office job with no prospects for moving up economically, so I can't find my fulfillment." Pretty much nobody has full power to define their own meaning and achieve it. But I think the existentialist viewpoint is that, regardless of external circumstances, you should still try to create as much meaning as you can and work at that?

Although, I'm no existentialist. I have no "goal" in life and I like it that way.
 

MayaRefugee

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Overpopulation suggests a decrease in available resources as they pertain to the physical realm i.e. jobs, land, crops, etc. Secondary to this would be increased competition/increased number of competitors - if your purpose in life is heavily dependent on facets of the physical realm, eg - owning this type of house in this type of area with this type of car with this type of partner, increased competition combined with diluted resources is going to make achieving your purpose harder (or at least an altered enterprise to the one you would have faced with less competition and more resources).

If your purpose is less dependant on physicalities/tangibles i.e. enlightenment, wisdom, etc. you could achieve that on a cushion in a jail cell or in some other situation where overcrowding/increased competition for supplies is non-existent.
 

onesteptwostep

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But I think the existentialist viewpoint is that, regardless of external circumstances, you should still try to create as much meaning as you can and work at that?
But is that fair to those I mentioned in the OP when viewed in juxtaposition with our own lives? I'm talking about justice here and whether that kind of existentialism can be moral when extrapolated with a universal lens.
 

Serac

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You could say the same in pretty much any situation. Like "oh, I'm poor, so I can't find my fulfillment." "I work a tedious office job with no prospects for moving up economically, so I can't find my fulfillment." Pretty much nobody has full power to define their own meaning and achieve it. But I think the existentialist viewpoint is that, regardless of external circumstances, you should still try to create as much meaning as you can and work at that?

Although, I'm no existentialist. I have no "goal" in life and I like it that way.
yes it's pretty simple, really. There are facticities and then there are things you can change. Meaning is created within the scope of what you can change.
 
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