Purpose of the universe and our existence..

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Mandana, Oct 5, 2009.

  1. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    you made the statement that yours was the rational outlook

    I asked whether one can be rational divorced from value.

    You said possibly, if one is careful.

    I asked whether one can be careful without value (since, if it proves impossible to be careful without value, being rational would be underpinned by value to the degree that one exercises care).

    Do you follow?

    hence in all times, places and circumstances, rationality is applied after we apply value

    I'm just pointing out that you are trying to cut rank with your assertion of the rational assumption.

    Its not rationality that is speaking, but your values.
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  3. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    One can of course speculate, but that's all it is. Nothing appears to be following some universal purpose.
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  5. glaucon tending tangentially Registered Senior Member


    Ah, I see.

    The I say yes; in fact, one can be more careful when value is minimized.

    I agree.

    However, the two are not applied in the same manner. As I said, one is used to determine, the other to practice.

    Not at all (unless you're going to play the game and say that I'm valuing rationality above all else...).

    As spidergoat has pointed out, we have greater reason to assert that we are alone in being purposive agents, than we do to deny this.
    That is a rational assumption.
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  7. lightgigantic Banned Banned


    until one comes to the next stage, application.

    Given that purpose follows personality and your values don't accommodate a universal personality, what else would you expect us to hear you say?

    Needless to say, even in empirical terms, the jury is perpetually out on this one since it doesn't appear to have the hardware to access anything other than the metonymic (which would make all opinions on the matter speculation, since application is always elusive)
  8. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    I can understand how one value can supersede or replace another but I can't understand how value can be minimized (unless you are also calling upon value to determine one being "greater" and another "lesser")

    Hence your statement about having the low down on "rational assumptions" is simply a statement about how you apply yourself to your values.

    It says nothing about how your values exist in relation to the values of others.

    IOW given your values (ie an atheistic universe), of course it is rational to assume that there is no universal purpose

    Then once again, feel free to explain how you can launch into a rational explanation of universal non/management divorced from values.

    Let me help you out here.

    The real discussion here is not one of rationality but values, since rationality comes after one has laid one's values on the table.

    Again you can try and cut rank by saying "Oh but unless you mean to say that I am valuing rationality ..." but this is meaningless since its impossible to be rational unless it is brought to bear against a value.

    Its like you are trying to discuss algebra without using numbers or polynomials.


    My point is that you don't have a hope in hell to escape the incumbent requirement for bringing value to the table first.

    Only when factoring in your values about the universe and the relationship between its components first
  9. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    It's got nothing to do with my values, just the evidence. Until you have something more than speculation, there is no apparent purpose to the universe. Indeed, early cosmology that features humans as central to existence have given way to cosmologies that make our existence merely a peripheral phenomenon.
  10. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    Exactly how do you propose to ascribe meaning to evidence divorced from value?

    Or do you think that the simple act of gathering evidence never warrants any controversy about what it indicates?
    two points

    1 - I do have something more : application

    2 - the statement "there is no apparent purpose to the universe".
    Apparent to who/what? (bonus points if you can answer with out touching on issues of value)

    If you mean "apparent to empiricism", what else would you expect? The very nature of empirical investigation precludes it from determining universal purpose (since its a reflection of our purposes .... of course I assume that you don't think our purposes are sufficient to convey universal purpose)

    And there's your values.

    (even to use the word "human" as sufficient to encompass "god" is an example of values at work)
  11. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    I suppose if you do not value the methods and historical success of empiricism, you would not accept what it reveals. It does not preclude universal purpose, but it does not support it. There is no reliable evidence of any representative of the universe that could relate a universal purpose to us.
  12. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    Actually if you look at my argument, it is even if you do value the methods and historical success of empiricism, it has no means to breach issues of universal non/management.

    On the other hand, if a person does not value the methods and historical success of theistic disciplines ....

    feel free to offer anything other than an absence of evidence (which is not an accepted empirical methodology)
  13. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    There is no record of success in the theistic disciplines in determining how things work.

    Absence of evidence can be evidence of absence when the evidence should be there. Absence of elephant poop is evidence of the absence of elephants in your local park.
  14. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    Feel free to document your rigorous findings ....

    feel free to explain why or even how empirical means should be able to evidence god?

    (IOW at what point do you think sufficient research with the mind and senses should be able to indicate something beyond the mind and senses ... once again, bonus points if you can do so without touching on values)
  15. glaucon tending tangentially Registered Senior Member


    Simply by not allowing it to be a factor.
    If I'm designing a gun, I would do well to not take into consideration the fact that I love my wife in doing so.

    No; it's a statement about how one can organize rational statements (or suppositions).

    Of course not, that would be entirely irrelevant.

    No, given rationality, it is rational to support such a position.

    I already have. You seem to be confusing the actual nature of values, and how they take part in our behaviour.

    Incorrect. The discussion has absolutely nothing to do with values. Whether or not any thing may act purposively is a question of an empirical nature, not of an aesthetic one.

    Incorrect again. Just because a concept precedes another, it doesn't follow that the latter is contingent upon the former...

    To be clear: while we may grant value antecedent to rationality, this does not mean that rationality in some way is contingent upon value. The two need not interplay.

    Not at all. The metaphor doesn't hold at all. Value and reason are not remotely similar concepts (linguistically or ontologically).

    The your point is irrelevant. Ignore the value element, and focus on the subject at hand. (which is neither value nor rationality here...)


    LG, if you feel that values lie foundationally within the framework of all human experience that's fine. However, if you're going to take such a reductionist position, it should be apparent to you that ultimately, any discussion therefore will inevitably become cumbersome due to a complete elimination of scope. It should be understood that, to be effective, a discussion must necessarily refrain from chasing down all purported premisses that should arise. If you don't feel that you can do this, then I'm afraid you'll find yourself engaging in nothing but monologue. Again, that's fine. But I cannot allow you to pursue this kind of behaviour to the extent that it thereby disengages others.

    This discussion is concerned with the purpose of our existence, not deities, not aliens, not FSM's, not aesthetics.
  16. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    The problem is that you made the assertion that your take on the purpose of existence is the rational approach.

    Furthermore you also assert that you arrived at this position bereft of value.

    This is the monologue.

  17. glaucon tending tangentially Registered Senior Member

    No, what I said was that your take on the purpose of existence was not rational.

    No again. I asserted that a rational analysis of the subject should do as much as possible to minimize the inclusion of value.

    Speak for yourself.
    Funny how it's always you and you alone who supports your take on things....

    ...food for thought methinks...
  18. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    We usually just call it history. Science has a track record of revealing things that are right. Religion never does and somehow it gets a pass.

    Because the only God worth considering and the one most affecting our lives is one that influences observable events. If the events can be observed, they are the subject of science. The commonly defined attributes of God(s) have observable implications.

    I have not heard of any popular religion that puts the effects of God beyond the senses, in fact miracles are an attempt to put evidence before the senses.
  19. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    Actually if you examine scientific history you see that it's track record is practically 100% built on honing error (at the very least, there's certainly an abundance of redundant theories out there)... but even then, as it pertains to the thread, its not clear what body of scientific work you are calling upon to determine the issue of purpose (You're more likely to encounter teleology in philosophy). Religion on the other hand is built on that foundation.

    The problem is that there is a nonnegotiable divide between the observation of events and god for empiricism since it is epistemologically lodged in the senses.

    IOW your requirement for empiricism to branch out as far as determining god doesn't make philosophical sense, since the very nature of his definition stands outside the methodology.

    Its kind of like demanding that the only valid requirement for having direct perception of the president is to open a door and say hello (a process which is unlikely to see you get past the first of their 100 secretaries).
    IOW its the nature of a person operating withing the jurisdiction of a greater personality that they meet only according to their terms. Empiricism has no scope for factoring in this.

    I have not heard of a credible rendition of religion that places god within the purview of the senses (even though there is tons on the subject of how our world, which is partially observable through the senses, is contingent on his existence)
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2009
  20. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    no you didn't

    here's the post

    Originally Posted by lightgigantic
    Only if one assumes that there is nothing else other than "we"

    G - Which is the rational assumption...
    Yet you completely fail to explain how value can be minimized.

    Instead you offer an example of replacing one value with another.

    Originally Posted by lightgigantic
    I can understand how one value can supersede or replace another but I can't understand how value can be minimized (unless you are also calling upon value to determine one being "greater" and another "lesser")

    G - Simply by not allowing it to be a factor.
    If I'm designing a gun, I would do well to not take into consideration the fact that I love my wife in doing so.

    Its not at all clear how focusing on the value of "good" gun design instead of loving one's spouse is an example of value being minimized.

    If philosophical ideas were determined by vote I guess philosophers would have paid more attention to gaining the support of their ideological compatriots than valid arguments.

  21. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    Honing in on truth by focusing on error is a time tested method. The success rate has been astounding, and is at least partially responsible for your ability to communicate with me on this forum. When I talk about science being able to comment on purpose, I refer to revelations such as evolution, which has no purpose, since it is the result of a myriad of random mutations and natural selection by many factors, each having purposes of their own, but no universal one. I refer to cosmology, which reveals space to be vast beyond comprehension, a universe that is not conducive to human exploration. I talk about scientific reasons for rejection of the supernatual claims that are responsible for the God hypothesis in the first place. I refer to the detail revealed about the nature of the atom, which leaves no room for any thought, much less purpose. I refer to medical advances which reject the hypothesis of spirit, in favor of cells and chemistry.

    Religion assumes purpose and then goes about trying to justify that belief, a method proven to be faulty when trying to find out how things really work. We do know that humans like to have purpose, and that our stories reflect that need, so any assumption of a universal purpose should be highly suspect.

    Empiricism is not merely the senses, but anything observable, even if indirect, such as the means some use to determine there is a God. If your conclusion is based on nothing more than your mind or some kind of logic, then it really isn't all that valuable. It is as most, informed speculation and should properly lose out to empirical methods.

    As long as religious assumptions contain some interaction with the physical world, then they are within the scope of empiricism to examine.

    I have heard thousands of stories meant to support a religious viewpoint that have, as their initial means of pursuasion, a physical observation. Examples include the empty tomb of Jesus, his ability to change water into wine, the burning bush of Moses, the supposed complexity or perfection of nature, prophets and prophecy, oracles, miracles, numerology, moral perfection or refinement, prayers that work, human sacrifice that achieves some goal, etc...
  22. Dejavuinblue Registered Member

    The question itself may be its own answer. We are the universe waking up... to consciousness. Our purpose may be for us to ask what that purpose it. The ultimate probe, using the five senses to observe, experience and record observations, each with its own unique solution to the problem at hand...we are the beginning of quantum computing.
  23. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    needless to say, this theory about evolution and teleogy is certainly a work in progress to say the least.

    IOW its one thing to talk about scientific achievement that is evidenced by a very "doable" practice (such as internet connection). Its another to talk of a lofty interpretation of a reading of evidence that is completely bereft of any doable practices.
    similarly you could talk of the microcosm too.
    IOW its the nature of this epistemology to be surrounded by mystery on both the macro and microcosm since the very language it uses (the language of the senses) is tacit.

    then you've just taken a radical departure from science and let your values take rein since there exists only rejection of theism by scientists predisposed to atheism.

    empirically speaking, the nature of an atom is as much a mystery as the nature of the universe.
    The only scientific avenues that have access to making life arise from atomic structures are in science fiction.
    once again, there is no scientific body of work for your wild claims.

    You are simply sporting your atheistic fervor while borrowing from the credibility of science.

    The differences between issues of medicine and spirit are more vast than the differences between car maintenance and car manufacture.

    Death still has a 100% success rate.

    On the contrary, any discipline of knowledge assumes a purpose and goes about trying to justify it.

    Some even call it a hypothesis.
    You're not factoring in the requirement for the controlled environment and repeatability in empiricism.

    IOW in all cases, empiricism requires that the subject not have a will of its own capable of circumventing investigation.
    the conclusion, much like that of empiricism, is based on practice.

    The difference with theism is of course that the practice involves being compliant to the nature of the object under investigation (in empiricism you have the exact opposite, making the object subservient to the seer).

    A similar methodology lies in gaining direct audience with an important person


    But given that the object of such action is beyond its scope, such readings are frequently inaccurate.

    Then you have filled your ears with useless nonsense since all that is not the means for verifying the nature of god

Share This Page