What's the point of life?
by, 14th September 2011 at 05:27 PM (291 Views)
I've been wondering this for years and years. Largely since I was 11 years old. I eventually came to the conclusion that there is no point, that we might as well make the most of the time we have here on this great big rock we call home. From the very first time I heard somebody say "42", I was puzzled. What does that mean? Why 42?
Zenax referred me to a Wwikipedia article on the subject. I get it now. This is the meaning of "42":
There is no meaning. It's meaningless. It first appeared in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I may not get all the facts right, but I believe it was first used when some humans asked their supercomputer "What is the point of Life, the Universe, and Everything?" The computer computes this for millions of years, desperately trying to come up with an answer. Eventually, millions of years later, it blurts out this: "42". That's it.
When readers first saw that, they were puzzled. They came up with the question, "Why 42?" They, like the supercomputer in the book, desperately searched for an answer. All sorts of wacky theories evolved. They came up with answers to the question, "Why 42?"
Well, here's the answer: There is no answer. The writer of the book simply looked up from his typewriter, stared out his window at his garden, thought "42 is good", and typed it down. That's it. But the fascinating thing about 42 is how people reacted to it.
They didn't know that there was no reason, so they came up with the question "What is the reason?" They came up with their own reasons. But notice that I said they came up with the question. There was no question, there was no point, and there is no answer. The way people reacted was the very thing 42 was trying to address: people come up with their own answers to things they do not know. And in the case of 42, they even come up with a question that does not exist, because they didn't know to begin with that there was no point.
So, what I got out of it was that there is no point. But that's what I thought to begin with! I just went in a complete circle!
I just went in a circle because there was no question to begin with. I, like everybody else, wondered "Why 42?" I didn't go so far as to come up with my own answer, but I was wondering the same thing everybody else was. The question "Why 42?" does not exist, because there was no "why" behind 42. There is no questioning what the reason he chose 42 was, because 42 had no reason to begin with. There is no answer, because there is no question, because there is no point to question.
Now, relate that to the Universe. There is no point.
But there must be a point! And so there must be an answer! I've thought about this for years, and I've come up with the conclusion that there is no true point. It just happened.
But you see, there is no answer to the question "What is the point?", because there is no question "What is the point?", because there is no point to find out.
So, what is the point? There is no point. You're just as well off saying "42". There is no answer, there is no question, and there is no point.
That's what 42 means.
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