Purpose of the universe and our existence..

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

  1. glaucon tending tangentially Registered Senior Member


    I've already answered that question.

    Yes, an opinion I disagree with.
    The Scientific Method is not a value; it's a methodology.

    Explain the differing designs in say, screws. They each ultimately serve the same function, but in a different manner. Design has nothing to do with value, it has to do with achieving an objective.

    Alas, they did. Without consensus, there can be no standards.
    The fact that there are standards, is testament to this.

    Ever heard of language?

    Until consensus was reached.
    Competing ideas are filtered by verification and utility, until one is deemed to be superior.
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  3. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    so why feel shy about reiterating it with a T or F so the discussion can progress?

    Or as others will poignantly point out, a methodology with values of reason, detachment and objectivity driving it. To say the least, if you bring the same values in your affairs with your wife, you would be in strife.


    I guess you must be a stranger to the hardware store .....

    You don't think some screw manufacturers value profit over, say, product reliability?

    (once again, perhaps its another opinion you disagree with ..... yet tradesmen will no doubt be getting their supplies from sources remarkably distinct from you).

    Seriously, I challenge you to find a single article of professional industrial design on the net that explicitly states how there was no requirement for an assessment of value ... or even any design brief that is bereft of any issues of value.

    So what happens during the interim periods of consensus?

    ever wondered how new words gradually find their way into dictionaries?

    fancy that, eh?

    There's more forces at work behind philosophy than just democracy ....
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2009
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  5. glaucon tending tangentially Registered Senior Member

    Or, as others would point out, a methodology that serves us best bereft of value.

    Ah, I understand you now.
    You're equivocating. You're saying that profit, or reliability can be addressed as values.
    You're a value - essentialist. [Either that or you're agreeing with me that there is no such thing as value beyond that which we grant a thing...]
    That being the case, you are always going to assign a value to any and everything.

    I suppose I should have seen this earlier. Given this then, I think we're at an impasse LG.

    As I've already said, competition.

    Not at all; it's no mystery. As words gain common public usage, they are added. Again, by popular 'vote'.


    Actually the process I described is exactly and only that (i.e. 'democratic').

    Suffice it to say that given you and I can't even agree on the definition of the terms involved in the discussion, there's no doubt we will come to any consensus.

    Still, this doesn't mean that others can't continue with this thread, and so, as to hopefully get back on track....

    Given your complete lack of positive response to the OP, as best as I can discern form your posts so far, your answer would be this:

    a), the purpose of anything can be anything and b), this purpose could be more than what we humans determine it to be.
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  7. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    Then why not use the same methodology in dealing with your wife?

    And you're not?

    Actually the question was whether the values we assign things exist within a greater context of purpose - IOW whether "we" is the final last word in purpose in the universe.

    You equated that it was rational not to think so.
    I suggested that this was your values speaking, since the argument that there is a designer works out of premises that are mot necessarily disharmonious with values of rationality, detachment, etc but certainly disharmonious with an atheist viewpoint.
    (although its a common misnomer of website atheists to equate logic with atheism .... )
    Given the reserves of energy a person usually invests in their values, its the the impasse of most discussions that involve a conflict of values

    and do competitions take place in an environment with an established consensus?

    hence there is another element at work "as words gain public usage".
    Before a person lodges a vote, there is usually some sort of discussion of the values of it (except in instances of donkey voting).

    The purpose of anything can be determined by the qualities it possesses. For instance, utilizing as microphone as a kitchen knife poses unique challenges. This does not say anything about the purpose of a kitchen knife however.
    Similarly, taking the tact that it is irrational to assign purpose to the universe based on human experience says nothing about the purpose of an entity who's jurisdiction of prowess involves the creation,maintenance and annihilation of the universe.

    even in terms of mundane thinking, human purpose is frequently turned on its head. Such is the nature of being forced to operate in a system that places obstacles in implementing one's will.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2009
  8. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    more correctly, empiricism is underpinned by a metonymic viewpoint so its in no position to offer a claim about whether there is an agent to things of the macro or micro cosm.

    IOW science has no scope for garnering a complete view of either the macro or microcosm (since it deals exclusively in tacit terms) so its no position to offer an opinion about requirements of agency there.
    the best form of your argument is an absence of evidence ... which still remains considerably weak when you factor in what evidence empiricism is capable of dealing with.

    All you are effectively saying is that empiricism has not turned up anything with god. As mentioned earlier, this is hardly surprising since one wouldn't expect an investigation with the senses to be capable of revealing something beyond it. You hint that this necessarily excludes god or the notion of a purpose driven universe. This is bogus since empiricism is in no position to view the universe (or indeed anything in it) in a complete fashion ... what to speak if one introduces different means of knowing aside from empiricism.
    If an atom is created by a purpose driven entity, it has issues of purpose that surround it. Much like the car of the president may not display an innate sense of purpose, but due to its connection with the president, it certainly serves one.
    This is a classic case of where you depart from empiricism, since it requires a "fact" within its own epistemology (as opposed to a plausible explanation) in order to be valid. IOW the fact that you are not worried by an absence of facts that surround abiogenesis, yet play the same card against theism (even though it lays claim to a completely different epistemology to empiricism) indicates your clear bias.

    In short if there are several plausible scenarios about how life developed, yet none of them enter the realm of being "doable", you're talking about something other than empiricism.

    Once again, 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.
    Life still remains 100% evasive from reductionist paradigms.
    and that's the point

    You completely overlook the host of issues of application that surround theistic claims and instead just see it as an issue of faith compounded by issues of application that surround empiricism.

    If you disengage issues of application from any methodology, of course all you will see is a claim of faith.

    Not at all.

    I am just painfully reminding you that human perception is not the ultimate ... much like the president doesn't become any less of an entity because he reserves the right no to come over to your place for idle chit chat.
    probably not, but then scientific means are the standard means for determining such issues .....
    Actually you illustrate how difficult it is to avoid issues of purpose when issues of quality become known.

    This says nothing about laying claim to a means of knowing qualities ... especially those that lie outside what you are prepared or capable of applying.

    For instance a forensic scientist can present a sequence of events on a crime scene that can defy the understandings of another.

    If you are a person and you wish to directly perceive a person who has a greater status than you ( say incredibly rich or famous) how would you go about it?
  9. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    What do you mean by metonymic?

    Are you saying observation can teach us nothing about the thing being observed? Because science has already proven itself as the best means for finding things out. Science does not exactly say there is no agent, there might be one. However, there is no evidence for one. There should be evidence for one if there was one. Therefore, there is most likely no universal intelligent agent that controls events.

    You cannot say that there is evidence of purpose, only that our methods are not omnipotent. Absense of evidence where evidence should exist is not weak.

    That is not possible, since the early universe was in a state of extreme chaos. No predetermined pattern could survive. Therefore no information could be encoded into it as an agent of purpose.

    Plausible means doable. Since there is no evidence of anything that is not naturalistic, all plausible naturalistic explanations, even if unproven, must be disproven in order for any supernatural one to be reasonably considered.

    There is no evidence for anything called "spirit".

    That is false. DNA is one reductionism paradigm that explains many things about life.

    I never said it was, only that it is a better method than any alternative, which rely on things other than observation. Spiritual methods have no basis in fact. Spiritual theories cannot be distinguished from guessing or imagination.

    I'll take indirect perception too. Science does not depend on direct perception. One could say that no perception is really direct.
  10. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    by metonymic I mean that there is only scope for a periphery of observations (which means the terms dealt with are exclusively tacit as opposed to explicit).

    For instance suppose one is observing a cup of flour - empiricism offers no means to explain what it is essentially (since it offers no bottom line explanation for the microcosm). The exact same problem is encountered with macrocosm.

    Its the nature of a metonymic view point that one can only see parts .... which is perfectly fine for dealing with the relative nature between such parts ... but completely lousy for accepting as a departure point for laying the final line on the contexts such parts appear in.

    IOW since the seer as an empiricist appears within a context, they have no means to analyze it (how do you propose that one sees what they are seeing with?)

    It certainly is weak when the tool for acquiring evidence doesn't , by definition, have the means to approach the topic. For instance saying that tape measures don't evidence anything about temperature says more about a poor choice of tools for the task than anything intrinsic about temperature.

    once again, there is no final last call within empiricism about what constitutes a universal state that is too chaotic to contain some sort of encoding ... there's not even a final last call about what the complete system of encodings for the universe are .... nor is there a final last call for the age of the universe or the state of it (or even if is practicable to age the universe since it could possibly move between states of creation and annihilation systematically)

    IOW the only thing that is not possible is for you to hold some current empiric understanding of the universe as a valid truth since its hard to find any claim in the field that has been consistent for 20 years or more. The further the object stands outside from empiric investigation, the weaker its grasp on it.

    This of course doesn't make empiricism any less valid in its preferred ball park of the senses and its objects.

    that's precisely it.

    There is no doable tasks with what you are holding.

    For instance if it was suddenly proven that water doesn't have a boiling point of around 100 degrees., it would become difficult to explain all that we have achieved in the name of metal smelting.

    What doable practices would be placed in jeopardy if it was suddenly discovered that the universe wasn't in such a chaotic state as to make all encoding systems possible?
    This is just as much nonsense as saying tape measures don't evidence temperature.

    How exactly would you propose that a naturalistic process ever have the means to stumble across anything that was beyond it?

    perhaps for as long as you refuse to accept life as one of its symptoms

    big difference between life and the chemicals it utilizes

    Given that observation occurs through the vehicle of consciousness, or a state of being, a grander method would be one which deals with that state
    they cannot be distinguished as long as one remains ignorant of the pending issues of application ... much like any other claim of knowledge you care to mention.

    Its not clear what you are saying makes the grade for indirect perception .... I take it the notion of relying on the perception of others is not what you had in mind.
  11. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    I disagree. A universe with some purpose would appear different than one without a purpose. Until some purpose becomes evident, it is not reasonable to believe that there is one.

    So far, your argument seems to be that since there is a gap in knowledge or our means of acquiring it, anything is possible. Isn't this just an extension of the God of the Gaps argument? Gaps, by the way, which are ever shrinking. There is no last call on a complete scientific understanding of the universe, but I'm not suggesting that there is. Because we don't know everything, we know nothing? I'm only saying that at present, there is no supporting evidence for a purposeful universe. Call me crazy for wanting evidence, but I find it more compelling than no evidence.

    It would show up as a violation of natural laws we know to be true. A phenomenon with no other plausible naturalistic explanation.
  12. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    What difference would you expect to encounter?

    my argument is that the evidence required is available. Available through means other then the one you are sold out to, since, even theoretically speaking, it doesn't have the means to approach it.

    A humorous equivalent of the god of the gaps argument is the post dated rain cheque one favoured by reductionists
    ("One day we will know that")
    ... and actually this is the argument you are offering

    As mentioned numerous times before, empiricism works perfectly well in its own ball park, but it quickly gets out of its depth when you take it to a macro or microcosmic setting.

    IOW you can't indicate that just because I have a functioning computer that the universe is just waiting to be delivered on a golden platter via empiricism.
    Much like at present, there is no supporting evidence for tape measures being able to give accurate readings of temperature.

    IOW the very question of determining purpose from an entity of greater than ourselves is simply not deliverable via empiricism.
    I call you crazy for expecting evidence to take form within a methodology grossly inadequate for the task.

    If the creator utilizes natural laws as a tool of its own creation, and if you are a million miles away running in the opposite direction of actually taking on the means to understand it, what exactly would show up to you?
  13. swarm Registered Senior Member

    If you want to make that your purpose that's fine, but that doesn't have anything to do with any one else.
  14. swarm Registered Senior Member

    You claim to know god, but all you do is make empty claims.
  15. thinking Banned Banned


    so the Universe somehow shadows our purpose ???

    how does the Universe do this ???
  16. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    I'm not sure.

    You would have to ask Dejavuinblue for details

    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.
  17. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    err ... feel free to explain why indicating that there are normative descriptions that surround a claim is empty.
  18. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    Did you enjoy telling Martillo that?
  19. thinking Banned Banned

    so lightgigantic

    for you it is about god ?
  20. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    and I take it for you, it isn't?

    Guess we must have different purposes then ....

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  21. thinking Banned Banned




    my purpose is about the survival of Humanity without a god , because there is always the possibility the " gods " will fail us , in the end

    or is this game between good and evil in which we , Humans , are caught in the middle , we are the pawns
  22. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    Its not clear what your criteria for failure is.

    The only high drama of our existence, from god's perspective, is that we are temporarily habituated to nonsense. Material existence deals with that issue effectively.
  23. thinking Banned Banned

    that this god puts himself first above Humanity

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