Before we could tackle meaning, we’ve got to understand what meaning is actually. Meaning is the intention, aim, or design. When we say we would like to know what life means, we are really saying we would like to know what it is for. What purpose will it serve? Well, the primary function of life is actually intelligence. By intelligence we mean purposeful actions. We make choices and do things. Parameciums make judgements and do things. Rocks will certainly not make decisions, although they may chip a tooth. If we knew why we’ve got intelligence, we would be a whole lot closer to comprehending why we carry out anything, including existing. To understand intelligence, we must understand the brain.
Science has provided us with many answers, but the one thing that science continues to be completely silent about would be the nature of awareness. Of course, there is increasingly more information every day concerning the connection between consciousness and brain. Scientists, both mad as well as sane, are undertaking detailed research on how our minds and behavior are affected when areas of our brain will be stimulated, removed, and even added in. These things impact our memories, feelings, and our thought processes. However, such research nevertheless doesn’t answer the actual question of exactly what consciousness is.
If you constructed a robot which had no actual understanding but did possess a vast store of stock responses plus some clever rules regarding building sentences, it might fool lots of people into thinking it had intelligence. Because you designed it, however, you would realize that there were absolutely no “mental images” boating inside the circuits of this machine. It simply had taken input, processed it based on specific rules, and generated output. The question will be, why do we have these mental pictures and feelings? Why aren’t all of us biological “machines” that will simply processes signs and automatically generate responses without any awareness of what’s going on? Why do we have consciousness, and where did it come from?
Consciousness is something very different from other features of matter like mass, charge, structure, etc. While our consciousness appears to depend on the matter in our heads, we cannot identify anything unusual regarding our brains that may indicate why consciousness is placed on it. If we acknowledge that consciousness is within the brain in its entirety, is it in one neuron? A single atom? A single electron? Assuming that nothing exists aside from interacting particles, somehow within every particle there’s something that supplies the basis for consciousness.
Complex conscious activity may need highly complex structures like our brains to happen, but the foundation of consciousness has to be present in matter itself. Our minds are merely one manifestation of the universal phenomena. People are examples of one method to organize the consciousness in matter. Are there alternative methods? How can we know which types of organizations of matter yield high-level consciousness like ours, and which don’t? Are there constructions which support amounts of consciousness higher compared to ours? Are doorknobs conscious?
Well, this page is meant to answer queries, not ask’em, so here would be the answer:
Not only is consciousness a general property of matter, it is the main property of matter. In fact, it’s the other way around, matter is a property of consciousness!
Yes, consciousness is the key. Matter sprang from consciousness. We can’t help it if this is beginning to sound like Genesis, it’s just how it is. In the beginning was the word, and the word was pinging round the inside some kind of Mind, and it produced the physical world. How’s that for pat?
So, to summarize, the meaning of life is connected to the workings of the brain from which the actual universe sprang. What does that mind want, anyway?