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Can all life purposes be classified as a mixture of some of the following four areas?

  • Hedonism
  • Making an impact in your physical reality
  • Fulfilling the plan/desire of some supernatural entity (or entities)
  • Nihilism (no life purpose at all, just stay alive for the sake of it)
  • 2
    you would need to define your terms, i think – user28660 Oct 15 '17 at 1:22
  • What you mean by "define your terms"? – user63152 Oct 15 '17 at 1:45
  • idk, i guess you mean by hedonism "the pursuit of pleasure" but it's not clear how it differs, if it does, from your other classifications. didn't a greek say that everyone pursues their own happiness, whatever they claim? i'm just not getting it yet – user28660 Oct 15 '17 at 3:19
  • i guess you mean by hedonism "the pursuit of pleasure" but it's not clear how it differs, if it does, from your other classifications. – user63152 Oct 15 '17 at 3:22
  • how did you do that? – user28660 Oct 15 '17 at 3:23
1

No.

One counter-example disproves your theory that this is a complete list, and I don't believe that Utilitarianism falls into any of your categories.

The meaning of my life can only be measured against whether or not I make other people happy.

This is not about impacting my physical reality; It's about their mental reality. Nor is it hedonism; which is, in my definition, about my happiness. I do believe this is meaningful, and don't believe it has anything to do with supernatural entities (ruling out #3 and #4)

  • You're rejecting God's authority as an objective standard, but then you turn around and assert that there exists some other standard that makes other people's happiness the measure of all meaningfulness. That has a certain Platonic ring to it. Does such a standard really exist objectively, or is it just your opinion? If it's all just your opinion, why shouldn't we simply ignore it? – user3017 Oct 17 '17 at 13:19
  • @PédeLeão I'm genuinely confused; What has god got to do with the question of whether or not 'All life purposes fall into one of those 4 categories'? All I'm saying is that 'Utilitarianism' is not defined by fulfilling some supernatural entity's purpose, therefore does not fit into category 3 – JeffUK Oct 17 '17 at 16:49
  • This assumes a standard of measure: "The meaning of my life can only be measured against whether or not I make other people happy." But except for God, no objective standard is possible, so your answer doesn't seem to make any sense. – user3017 Oct 17 '17 at 16:54
  • "except for God, no objective standard is possible " Citation needed! – JeffUK Oct 17 '17 at 17:02
  • I'm not trying to convince you of anything. It's your answer, and I'm asking you: Does such a standard really exist objectively, or is it just your opinion? If it's all just your opinion, why shouldn't we simply ignore it? – user3017 Oct 17 '17 at 17:03
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Classifications are more likely to be conventional than descriptive. So they are also more or less useful.

A desirable feature of classification is exhaustivity but is easily obtained by including a class "Other". Thus a most rudimentary form is a series of descriptions ('bullets'), with the last one labelled 'other'.

Logic also achieves exhaustion if a feature, that is a predicate, applicable to the whole domain is chosen: anything is either an "A" or a "not-A". If two such independent features are known, on may obtain a complete fourfold classification (e.g. 11, 10, 01, 00).

The four suggested purposes are actually two pairs that are not well separated as they are based on something like ego vs. not-ego and plan vs. no-plan, both being roughly along the axis inside vs outside.

  • "A desirable feature of classification is exhaustivity but is easily obtained by including a class "Other". Adding "Other" weakens the explanatory power of the model. I think it is better to amend the model when a purpose that could be classified in the "Other" class is found. BTW the classes are more clusters than tight classes(i.e. A particular purpose could be a mixture of any number of classes.) – user63152 Nov 18 '17 at 7:15
  • "The four suggested purposes are actually two pairs that are not well separated as they are based on something like ego vs. not-ego and plan vs. no-plan, both being roughly along the axis inside vs outside." So my understanding of your model is a 3D space with 3 axis: - Self benefit vs non Self benefit, - Deterministic? vs Nondeterministic? - natural? vs supernatural? Is my understanding of your model correct? – user63152 Nov 18 '17 at 7:15
  • Your comment inspire my to express the model as a 3D space where each of the 3 categories is an axis and Nihilism is the Origin(or center of the 3D space.) – user63152 Nov 18 '17 at 7:36

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