I have two answers to this question. Both kinda long. Are you sitting comfortably?
1. Decades ago I read a novel about a computer scientist trying to use computers to determine the purpose of human life. This book was written back when computers filled whole rooms and required a team of scientists in white...
Best answer: I have two answers to this question. Both kinda long. Are you sitting comfortably?
1. Decades ago I read a novel about a computer scientist trying to use computers to determine the purpose of human life. This book was written back when computers filled whole rooms and required a team of scientists in white coats to run them. (So they were very mysterious to most people.) This guy's idea was to program the entire human experience into the computer to calculate why we are here.
it's a long story having to do with him stealing computer time from his company, getting fired, breaking into the computer lab to finish his project, and getting shot or dying just as the computer is printing out the results.
The results are vague but they suggest that humans serve as an irritant in the universe, sort of like the grain of sand that gets into an oyster's shell and makes a pearl. This is seen as evidence of 'intelligent design'. Apparently our destiny is to spread to other planets, other solar systems, and mess them up as we've messed up the earth.
It was a really good book! I haven't seen it since though.
2. Years ago, before the Internet, we used to play this computer game over phone modems because it was too big to go on an Apple II or a TRS-80 or a Commodore PET, the computers we had then. It was called 'Adventure'. It worked just with text, no graphics in those days. You could move left, right, forward, backwards. You would run into walls, or see things and pick them up. We played this stupid game for hours and hours!
There were no instructions. At the beginning of the game there was a line that read 'The object of this game is to find the object of the game.' IOW, in starting out you had no idea what you were doing, what you were trying to achieve. Presumably you'd find clues along the way. I must have known 50 people who played this dumb game over and over but not one of them had reached the end.
To me, that's a perfect metaphor for life. We stumble around in the dark, find things, and go off looking for other things. We don't know what we're looking for, and we suspect we might not even recognize it if we found it! There are lots of clues to learn and remember. And the purpose of life is to find the purpose of your own life! It's totally up to you!
Just as in the game you may have goals in mind, or develop a strategy that could help. Or you can just wander around randomly and see what you stumble over. But the meaning of your life is UP TO YOU! That's what's meant by 'Free Will'. Free Will means you get to make choices, but it also means you have an obligation to make choices!
6 days ago