The purpose Life has

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Vkothii, Feb 23, 2008.

  1. Myles Registered Senior Member

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    By now you should have some idea why people like me suggest you read up on the subject. You have been given an explanation but you have not understood, just as I suggested.You are asking to be spoon fed, If your present question is answered, you will come back with another and so on ad infinitum. All because you cannot be bothered to do a bit of work on the subject yourself.

    If you had read up on evolution and got stuck at some point and explained your problem, I would gladly have helped you.
     
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  3. frisco Registered Member

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    Re: is the advantage in expression or possession.

    Really there's no difference. Remember that function comes from structure, so by possessing the DNA structures and ribosomes and so on, the intermolecular forces present in the cell are going to cause expression.
     
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  5. Vkothii Banned Banned

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    Function doesn't come from structure unless some agent has "built" the structure. Really there's a big difference.
    Intermolecular forces (tension between polar materials and liquids, and conformality - something enzymes "exploit", are part of the "agency" of intercellular processes, but genes are expressed because enzymes and cycles (which "use" energy as ATP), are present.
    Enzymes and feedback aren't intermolecular forces. Intermolecular forces are not the agency that expresses genes...? Ultimately, the forces that "make things get together" are intermolecular interactions, however, life controls things, they don't happen randomly, enzymes "work" because of their structure - but they don't work in a vacuum; enzymes are expressed genes too. A gene isn't "used" because it gets suppressed (controlled). Viral genes are "uncontrolled", and get replicated in an uncontrolled way if they are introduced.
    Feedback mechanisms are the key to all the activity, and feedback is what gives life "control" over those activities. What do co-enzymes do? Why are there complexes of protein with "non-protein"?

    There's a whole lot of control mechanisms; Life controls the release of energy, it controls the replication and expression of genes. Or, perhaps you might say it "has" all these cycles (feedback mechanisms) that "do it".

    So, you haven't shown why there's no difference between having and using a gene (from the genetic toolkit).
    If a tool isn't used, then there's no way to get any advantage from it.

    Maybe Myles can shed some light on why having a car in the garage, is the same as driving a car on the road? He's good at questions like that.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2008
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  7. Myles Registered Senior Member

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    Maybe you can shed some light on why reading the bible in church is not the same as reading the bible in bed. You are good at posing stupid questions.
     
  8. Arthe Xavier Registered Member

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    I want to start this reply by quoting Socrates:

    "To fear death, my friends, is only to think ourselves wise, without being wise: for it is to think that we know what we do not know. For anything that men can tell, death may be the greatest good that can happen to them: but they fear it as if they know quite well that it was the greatest of evils. And what is this but that shameful ignorance of thinking that we know what we do not know?"

    I think this very quota applies to the question about the meaning of life. It would be very arrogant of us to imply that we have the answer ( ie. "our purpose is only to reproduce" ), when we clearly have no idea. Yes, the biological environment adapts and evolves, but is the concrete, perceivable matter all there is to it? Has science - which is the baby of our limited intelligence - really answered the question? Is Richard Dawkins a god?

    In some way, I sense that we people tend to be both arrogant and ignorant. It is rather arrogant to assume that we, as a very young species with limited understanding of the universe as a whole, have found the underlying reason to life. Yes, it is easy for us to base that assumption to the perceivable world - we see that living things yearn to stay alive no matter how harsh the environment is - but, seriously, it is rather ignorant to exclude the possibility of, should I say, a 'spiritual existence'. As far as my belief goes, I do believe that if there is no grand purpose to our existence, we can - at least - set individual goals, aside from merely reproducing and surviving, which give us purpose. My purpose is just to enjoy life as it comes, for as long as it comes, and nobody can take that away from me.

    Then again, what is the purpose of this universe? Why was it born? Why did the Big Bang occur? These mysteries - as that is what they are - intrigue me, and further imply that we just can not know it all.
     
  9. Vkothii Banned Banned

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    I think some people are just pig-headed about things.
    Why do we believe anything? Is there such a thing as meaning? What is it?
    How about purpose? No such thing? No animal behaves, and especially not with purpose (i.e. intent)?

    Or are those who get pig-headed or can't provide anything relevant, just deluded, but unwilling to admit it? There's no purpose, no purpose in meaning, no meaning in purpose, so belief isn't really more than an illusion.
    If there's no meaning, no purpose, and no believing anything, does it matter if people think they're right, when they're wrong? Is there any difference?
    No problem. It's exactly the same. Reading the bible in the dunny (or a Playboy) is identical in meaning, because meaning is an illusion. So is reading. Especially for people who believe things.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2008
  10. Myles Registered Senior Member

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    Socrates appears to have been a man of integrity, something which I greatly admire. He did however say, according to PLato, thethe did not fear death because he was close to the end of his life and he had the comfort of believing in an afterlife.

    Nobody claims to know everything other than those who believe the bible,But you must surely admit that we have made a lot of progress and are continuing to do so.

    I agrre that life has no purpose but as individuals we can choose to give our lives a purpose.

    As to the purpose of the universe, there may be none. Humans have a need to understand things, but it may be necessary to accept that not every question has an answer. Why is red red and not yellow ?
     
  11. Vkothii Banned Banned

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    Choice is distinct from purpose, living things can choose?
    Then there's no purpose in making a choice, because there is no purpose to life.

    So how can you "give" your life purpose, by choosing to (a purposeless activity)? Or are you saying choice is not purposeless?
     
  12. Aivar A.R. Registered Senior Member

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    Individual's purpose is quite up to the individual. If they have the power to choose what they do, how they behave, they can choose their own purpose.

    Life's purpose is, apparently, preserving life. Or producing subjects which can cause change.

    In my opinion, anyway.
     
  13. Myles Registered Senior Member

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    Wow.What logic. Write that out as a syllogism and you might, just might, see that your reasonong leaves something to be desired.
     
  14. sowhatifit'sdark Valued Senior Member

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    Wouldn't it be more like decide to act 'as if' life had a purpose? To 'give' it purpose sounds like it would actually have something - a real external quality substance or noun.

    I would also assume that determinism would mean that we can and sometimes do slide along the track where we live as if life had a purpose. This choice is actually made - pachinko like - by out genetics and the impact of the environment.
     
  15. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Surely "purpose" is subjective?

    "Life" can either be seen as subjective (i.e. one's own life) and can thus have purpose.
    But "life" is also an objective mechanism - and such mechanisms have no purpose per se.

    A screwdriver has no purpose other than what the tool-user determines for it.
    With "life", we are our own tool-users. Therefore we can determine our own purpose.

    But the tool of life has none - at least not in my opinion.
     
  16. sowhatifit'sdark Valued Senior Member

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    So it is something that is perceived but not really there. It seems like there is a purpose. One can describe a person's as having a delusion that his or her life has this or that purpose.

    Isn't it really rather like 'soul'.

    One can think of oneself as having a soul, but one does not really have one.

    Wouldn't this be the rationalist/scientific position?
     
  17. Myles Registered Senior Member

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    Look at it this way. Life is a process that has no purpose. An individual is a product of his genes and environment. In the greater scheme of things he cannot be said to have a purpose but he can choose goals which he may or may not attain depending on his personality, intelligence, abilities and so on.
    The goals he chooses are his subjective purpose.
     
  18. sowhatifit'sdark Valued Senior Member

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    I can't say I find fault with the above, but at the same time it seems odd.

    Why bring 'choice' into the picture? Wouldn't what seems like choice ALSO be a product of 'genes and the enrivonment'? Doesn't it simply happen, like hair color or perhaps some genetic trait that can be brought into play by environmental factors.

    These purposes happen. The goals are products of environment and genes. They are not chosen. They occur like lichens growing on a rock.

    I mean if we are going to demystify, why not go the whole way?
     
  19. Myles Registered Senior Member

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    I think we are geting into semantics. All living creatures are in some sense goal seeking. My goals may indeed be determined but I will still refer to them as mine as opposed to someon else's. So. I will say " today I have decided to go fishing" as opposed to " it has been determined that I shall go fishing"

    As I have said in the past. I regard free will as an illusion. I am only prepared to discuss it with someone who has done a bit of homework for reasons I have given.

    I am not trying to avoid the issue; I simply wish to avoid futile( for both parties ) discussions. Last time,, you may remember our debate got bogged down in "What ifs", QM and all sorts of other areas. The responses I got from your fellow interlocutor were mostly of that kind.

    If you wish to pursue the matter, can I again suggest you read How Free Are You by Ted Honderich, Grote Professor of mind and logic, University of London. The text runs to 129 pages but, like all such texts, you will need to engage with it. I would be quite happy to discuss any faults you find. I have studied more advanced texts but Honderich will give you an accesible introduction to the subject. We will then have some common ground. I would prefer to debate it with you on a one-to-one basis for reasons which will now be obvious to you.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2008
  20. Arthe Xavier Registered Member

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    I also think that 'purpose' is subjective - there is no grand 'purpose' behind life in general, but there can be individual 'purposes' which have been built by the said people. Say, I might think that my purpose in life is to entertain people - therefore I am in the acting industry. Even if, in the big picture, my only purpose is to reproduce, I like to think - and live my life with the thought - that I have an individual purpose which can affect my immediate surroundings.

    I don't know why it is regarded as 'stupid' or 'useless' to have faith these days. Faith that there is more to life than what we can perceive, faith that there is no actual death of the conciousness, but only a transformation in existence... I mean, in the end, we are all just vibrations interacting with each other. Life goes on even if I, as this earth-inhibiting person, don't.

    Science has given us very interesting views into the surrounding nature. It has given us insight on our behaviour, and on the behaviour of life in general. But has it managed to define life as a phenomenon? I don't think so. I don't think that science can ever answer the deepest mysteries of our reality. That is where we leave room for our own interpretions and imagination. ( Why did life occur in the first place? This could be an empty universe, but it isn't ).

    If there was no 'what if' -motif - if it was defined, with 100% certainty, that there is nothing but randomness to life - then morality would crumble. Who cares if I take advantage of dozens of people to achieve fame and fortune if I can brush it all off with: "Well, life has no meaning and it is all random, so deal with it"..?

    Even if you are not a believer, faith actually has a purpose in our conciousness. At worst, we need it to keep ourselves sane. At best, it gives us a glimpse into the dimension science has yet to breach. So why the hostility?
     
  21. sowhatifit'sdark Valued Senior Member

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    Last edited: Feb 25, 2008
  22. Myles Registered Senior Member

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    Last edited: Feb 25, 2008
  23. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    A good point - the choice, and thus the purpose, would be determined by the same process (if one is pro-deterministic).

    One can take the position that if everything is predetermined then the process is utterly void of purpose - at any level (subjective or objective). But one can also take the view that the subjective element is merely our perception of a deterministic process - much like free-will: we perceive we have "choice" but don't... etc.
    So our deterministic, un-purposeful life creates within us the illusion that we either have or require "purpose".

    This might make "purpose" merely a necessary by-product of the complexity of our brain... i.e. could a brain / personality function without some self-referential element that leads to the emergent property of subjective "purpose" - possibly as something to keep the brain active, or possibly because the brain, as part of its self-referential activity, always asks itself "why am I?" - and in the absence of any objective purpose it must create one for itself. I really couldn't say.

    Just some thoughts.
     

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