The purpose Life has

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

  1. Myles Registered Senior Member

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    You are making a simple question complicated. A screwdriver was designed by man for the purpose of driving screws and unscrewing them . That is why it is called a screwdriver.

    The fact that you may choose to use it for other purposes does not change its definition or its purpose. If you take the lid off a tin with it, that would be regarded as ABUSE by someone like a cabinet maker.Abuse, in this context, would mean using it for a purpoise other than that for which it was designed.

    Where's the problem ? I think it is of your own making.
     
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  3. Vkothii Banned Banned

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    So, using a tool for a purpose other than the one it was "designed" for by the "designer", is ABUSE.
    Who designed the rock I just picked up? Am I "allowed" to use it to break another rock? How about some skull? Could I take it home and look at it from time to time and wonder what might have been; what could I have achieved with this amazing device??

    So Evolution, or the adaptive half, is an ABUSE of genes.
    What would the designer of those genes have to say, do you suppose?

    Yep, in your case, that sounds accurate. You're abusing the question I posted, for example.

    Abuse means "different use", incidentally. See if you can ABstract that.

    Here's another one for those who think they've answered the question of "purpose":

    Why do we choose to use tools a different way?
    Why would I use a screwdriver to jimmy something open? Or scratch marks on some surface? Why can I use some tool "the way I see fit to"?
    Why can I do this? Why does any organism have the choice to use things, or not use them? Why do we see choice, or believe it exists?
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2008
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  5. Aivar A.R. Registered Senior Member

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    So evolution is based on abuse? I'm currently using alcohol... I wonder if it's abuse. What's it meant for? But it IS late in the evening, so it may not be abuse.

    Still, I don't like "abuse means "different use"." Abused people are used for different purposes than they should be? ...yes. But I'm uncomfortable with taking it so... coldly.
     
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  7. Vkothii Banned Banned

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    The prefix "AB" means "from, by, in respect of".

    "Different" is a bit of a stretch, I guess (but you can do that with Latin).

    "In respect of use", maybe; but "different, or "other", or "next to", are closer.
     
  8. Myles Registered Senior Member

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    You know very well that a rock was not designed. Therfore, no specific purpose can be assigned to it.

    No one designed genes, so your point is irrelevant.

    The question of adaption is one of response to a particular environment. People who live in hill vcountry tend to have a different gait from those who have always live on the plains. I hope you are not claiming that your screwdriver adapted to a different because that is a properto of living organosms.

    You are muddying the water by introducing choice at this stage; that is a different topic and can be discussed as such.
     
  9. Vkothii Banned Banned

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    What is "different" about the topic of "choice", from the topic of "purpose"?

    Response, to a particular environment, implies the existence of an agent (an autonomous, purposeful goal-directed agency:- see, you use the word to define the word).

    And the design of a rock, as you point out, is irrelevant to any use I might find for a rock. Except the way it's built will constrain the set of uses.

    The design of a screwdriver, is also irrelevant to any use I might find for it. A screwdriver's built a certain way, like a rock is built a certain way, like all things are; or they have a certain "construction", which constrains how we humans can choose to use them.

    Screwdrivers don't adapt themselves (you need something called an agent - see above).
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2008
  10. Myles Registered Senior Member

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    Respone to am environment does not imply the existence of an agent. A man living in hilly country will walk in a particular way not because he has thought it through but because it feels more comfortable that way. He can only be an agent in a very weak sense because he is an organism adapting to its environment.In all probability he is not even aware that he has a different gait from the of the guy in the plain unless they meet.

    The way the rock is built is irrelevant because it was not designed

    A rock is a particular way because that is the way it is period. A screwdriver is the way it is because it was designed by an agent who had a particular use for it in mind. It does not lose its identity just because you choose to use it for a purpose other than that for which it was designed.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2008
  11. Vkothii Banned Banned

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    Right. I'll go along with that. Rocks look like rocks, and they feel like rocks too, ...well, for the most part.
    So what? What difference does or should it make to me, what someone else "had in mind" about a tool I want to use for some purpose?
    Of course not.

    What exactly does its "identity" have to do with what I do with it, though? What is its "identity" btw? It's shape? The trademark? What it got made out of?
     
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2008
  12. Vkothii Banned Banned

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    Does it imply a response though?
    A response is a reaction (to an action). Like the way a car's paint job responds when the sharp end of a screwdriver is dragged across it.
    Or the way a window responds when a rock hits it.

    Either "someone" performed either of these actions, or "some thing" did. That implies an agent.
     
  13. Myles Registered Senior Member

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    By identity I meant its identity as a screwdriver. If I ask for one in a shop, the assistant is unlikely to offer me a hammer.
     
  14. Myles Registered Senior Member

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    I don't see that an agent is necessary. An organism is adapting to its environment. In a similar way, if you compare the hands of a labourer who digs holes in the road and similar rough work with those of and office worker, you will notice a difference. This does not need an agent that I can think of. The labourer's hands will have callouses resulting from a respone to their environment. There is no agent who planned it that way.
     
  15. Vkothii Banned Banned

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    If you can't see this as agency, I have nothing further to offer.
    There wouldn't be much point or purpose in my attempting any role, on behalf of any logic that might speak to willful blindness.

    Again, getting your hands on a tool isn't something lifeforms like us do with our genes, we don't have to go and ask, we've already got them.

    Subsequently, if you found an odd-looking bit of metal somewhere (because your genes gave you a big brain, and you're good at spatial reasoning and shape-recognition), would you think it might be useful for some purpose that you could adapt it to?
     
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2008
  16. Enmos Valued Senior Member

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    So what is the purpose of the universe ?
     
  17. Vkothii Banned Banned

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    Who's asking?
    Who do you think might know the answer?

    My version goes: The purpose of the universe is, to exist.
     
  18. Spud Emperor solanaceous common tater Registered Senior Member

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    Biscotti, you're absolutely right; all the way, a tool is a tool whichever way you dress him up.
    Strangely, I believe Myles will see your point of view on this too.
     
  19. Vkothii Banned Banned

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    I knew I could turn this one into pommes frittes.

    Biscuit, anyone?
     
  20. Spud Emperor solanaceous common tater Registered Senior Member

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    Pomfret is fish ya wanker ( nothing to do with spuds).

    p.s Correct again, well done, looking good.
     
  21. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Do you consider purpose to imply choice - either from the thing itself, or in the case of a tool the one using the thing?

    e.g. the "purpose" of a screwdriver is dependent upon the choice that the user of the screwdriver has for its use.

    If so - is "existence" a choice for the Universe?
    If not - how can "to exist" be its purpose?

    And doesn't this lead to an argument of reduction to the absurd?
    I.e. the purpose of existence is to exist.
    The purpose of a duck is to be a duck.
    The purpose of X is to be X.

    What does this actually tell us? Surely either that one can not determine the purpose of the whole, or that purpose does not exist to the whole?
     
  22. Myles Registered Senior Member

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    I agree you have nothing better to offer. Maybe you will be able to do so when you finish the course. Meantime. ask your teacher what agent is responsible for putting callouses on the hands of a man who digs the road !
     
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2008
  23. Vkothii Banned Banned

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    Yeah, but I'd say choice implies purpose. Or "use" is implied by choice.
    Or choice is what allows a "freedom" to use a tool; turn it to whatever use , or not use a tool. Or not use anything.
    "The use (adaptation, purpose) of a screwdriver is dependent on the user's choice for it."
    Check.
    A living thing can presumably choose to stop existing. Then again, a lifeform I guess, does choose to exist, constantly. By choosing to conserve energy, or expend it (use things or not).

    Things with no life don't get any choice about their existence or non-existence.
     

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