Randall Patrick wrote: Craven de Kere wrote:
IMO, that's more like word play than an actual paradox.
No it isn't.
Yes it is.
It's a form of equivocation
. In the statement "because we die, life means nothing; and because we die, life means everything," the equivocation comes in with the word "means." In the first phrase, it connotes a type of futility: what does life avail us if we all die? In the second phrase, however, it connotes a type of value: if life is all we have, then death takes everything of value from us. Only if we confuse the two meanings and deem them equivalent do we end up with a paradox. As it is, however, the statement is no more paradoxical than saying "life is all we have, so live to the fullest; Life is all we eat for breakfast, so pour on the milk."
With all due respect this is precisely the pedantic recipe one gets from folks who insist that philosophy is first and foremost about Analyzing Reality into existence conceptually, scholastically, academically with language----concocting a terminology so as to define Rationally and Logically the only possible thing Paradox Can Mean. It is as though the word paradox is transfigured into a Thing. As though it were a rock one could pull out of one's pockets and exclaim, "look everyone, I have Paradox here".
If that is important to you, fine. It is, however, not nearly as important to me. For me when folks speak of a paradox they are speaking of ways of looking at the world around them such that one can encompass a meaning that seems reasonable while at the same time seeming to be contradictory. Thus we are all looking for meaning in life [from God, faith, philosophy, logic, science, metaphysics...whatever]. Yet if we all die and disintegrete into nothing at all [save sub-atomic particles] why in the world would we bother searching for meaning at all when, In The End, it is all so utterly futile anyway? Why not just jerry-rig some existential contraption that facilates human social, political and economic transactions so as to make them the least dysfunctional instead?
Which is, by the way, my own nihilistic sense of what is "meaningful" respecting human relationships.