What is life?

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Xmo1, Aug 22, 2015.

  1. Xmo1 Registered Senior Member

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    From the mechanical view of the universe, the answer to a bunch of human philosophical questions is: You've got 100 years of life, and then your body becomes part of the universe - which will never again generate a human being. Enjoy it.
     
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  3. river Valued Senior Member

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    Disagree

    the body becomes part of Earth.
     
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  5. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    That's the answer to one philosophical question. It's okay, as far as it goes. Now begins the hard part: How to get that century, rather than check out too early? Should we live as long as possible, or only as long as it's enjoyable? Who is entitled to life? How do we make it bearable? Equitable? Sustainable? Decent? Etc.
     
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  7. danshawen Valued Senior Member

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    Don't forget that during the aeons between the Big Bang and your birth, your body was also a part of the universe, and the chances were stacked very much against that particular event ever happening to begin with. When death occurs a negligibly short time later, equilibrium is restored. No matter who you are or were, for all intents and purposes your existence is overwhelmingly inanimate as well as negligible in the grand scheme of things. So, the best advice is: don't screw it up.
     
  8. timojin Valued Senior Member

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    LIFE . Is matter life ? Can you get all the necessary element ( no molecules ) proportionally together in a test tube shake them at 98.7 F and produce a living organism so it will replicate itself . If not then life must be a separate entity,that organizer of matter. If so, life is a free entity that have the freedom to come and go. That would say to me the periodic table elements are part of the universe. The organiser have power over the elements must not be part of the same universe.
     
  9. Oystein Registered Senior Member

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    This life is nothing short of a deepening current of ethereal knowledge. The goal of electrical impulses is to plant the seeds of guidance rather than selfishness. You and I are messengers of the universe.
     
  10. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    In perdurantism, life is one of the more interesting sets of curling 4D "worms" [worldlines] embedded in a generic spacetime ontology. Some complex varieties of which actually experience the existence of their temporal parts in a directional sequence (i.e., moment by moment toward the "future"). A feat taken to usually be dependent upon possessing a brain which in turn yields consciousness.

    What follows the end-point of a brained, biotic hyper-worm's functioning stretch of duration is a matter of speculation.

    One view is that the absence which cognition dwindles into during the dying phase is the same absence which such awareness emerged from at its dawn during fetal development. Thus, a cyclic repeat of the same life over and over again, with the worm's memory limitations in any of its particular temporal parts sparing it the hellish curse of knowing or remembering that.

    Another view is that since most of the temporal parts are "always" figuratively occupied with cognition of themselves (with the psychological illusion of a "flow" merely arising from the relational interdependence of the temporal parts), then any of those can randomly seem to be where consciousness resumes. Though, again, because of the memory limitations, such a "seem to be transition from death to that past moment" doesn't actually register knowledge-wise (barring some brief, strange feeling that never gets clarified).
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2015
  11. Oystein Registered Senior Member

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    No, I think you are wrong. The nexus is aglow with meridians. Transcendence is a constant. By maturing, we grow. Truth requires exploration. This life is nothing short of an unveiling rekindling of enlightened grace. Nothing is impossible.
     
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  12. birch Valued Senior Member

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    Objectively, life is a temporal sentence. You had no power in choosing it. What happens in between is completely irrevelant to the universe.

    The view that life is worth holding onto is only enforced by awareness of pain. These pains or little deaths throughout your life are what motivate you to stay alive or decrease pain to seek pleasure within reachable parameters. Even the quest for knowledge is rooted in fear of pain, no matter how innocuous or impersonal it seems. Its motivation is knowledge to gain further control of our lives, thereby avoidance or reduction of pain. All else is illusion. Even fear of loss of consciousness is a fear of pain. This is where the duality comes in. The negotiation between this duality can tip to extreme side of the scales in either direction. If its extreme pleasure, life wins and is favored. If its extreme pain, life loses and death holds the card for release/non-awareness. We can usually handle in between these opposite extremes of relative life experience but some fall in either side of the spectrum.

    This is why life/death are equally valid and both have its pros and con's. One cannot experience pleasure without awareness but one cannot experience pain as well without it. So the dichotomy is life=pleasure at the cost of pain/struggle. Death=no pain/struggle at the cost of pleasure.

    A persons particular life experience is both subjective and a risk assessment. It depends on the hand you were dealt and how you play it. But harsh (no pollyanna) reality is, some are dealt no possible winning hands. Life is truly a gamble and has both winner/loser as well as heaven/hell. It depends on which side you land. Some peoples lives are so dreary or horrible, death or no life would have been a better option had they had a choice apriori.

    Consider it from the opposite angle, is life really more valuable than death or non-existence? Considering you are essentially forced in all aspects in the struggle for survival ( price), is it objectively so? Should those who have passed or not exist (hypothetically) envy? Not really. We will all pass away and this universe with it and it will not matter.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2015
  13. Waiter_2001 Registered Senior Member

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    Who says 100 years? Perhaps more, perhaps less...
     
  14. anxiousmarmot Registered Member

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    Hello. The thought about cyclic repeat of same life is interesting. I have been trying to find information about perdurantism and it's view what happens after the worm's life but haven't find any material that ends up with the conclusions you put forward. If you have material that describes this view more thoroughly then could you share it here? Sorry for bad english
     
  15. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    [Note that here investigation of "final things" refers specifically to personal demise or death issues, not "end of the world" affairs and the like.]

    The assorted eschatological consequences falling out of eternalism (i.e., dealing with a static view of time) and perdurantism (concerned with the nature of identity and temporal parts in the former context) are unlikely to have specific papers devoted to them. They consist instead of scattered (sometimes brief) philosophical inferences made by GR physicists and philosophers of time proper in the course of discussing the broader subject matter, distributed across a bevy of publications and literature. (IOW, the items either make an informal impression in the memory of the reader minus systematically jotting down the numerous locations / sources -- or the reader is left with having to formally integrate the dispersed items on his/her own when / if exploration of those eschatological consequences ever interest the reader to such a degree as to work on such a project.)

    Closer examination of the cyclical consequence might result in it that interpretation being deemed just a pragmatic figure of speech. If consciousness was literally "flowing" up through the worldline of a person's brain as Weyl put it (below), then there might be the possibility that as consciousness (upon death) dissipated to the kind of identical blankness that was the case prior to emergence of fetal / prenatal awareness at the beginning of life, that a return to that emptiness or oblivion (upon death) could be construed as amounting to a reloading or rebooting.

    However, the brain state of each temporal part of a 4D "worm" slash worldline of a person would simply be confined to delivering fragmentary cognition of that specific moment / slice and no other, with the relations to the antecedent brain-state and the one after granting it a discrete "location" in the sequence (as if it was part of a flow taking place). In this sense, all the differing versions of one's brain over the whole static, extended structure would be aware "simultaneously" (barring durations of non-consciousness, dreamless sleep, etc) with the supposed experiential flow and "special realness" of THIS INSTANT being a specious illusion. But it must be remembered that there is no brain-state corresponding to one's entire, unsegmented life-history; claims of "apprehending the whole instantaneously" from birth to death would be an anomaly.

    - - - - - -

    Hermann Weyl: "The objective world simply IS, it does not HAPPEN. Only to the gaze of my consciousness, crawling upward along the life line [worldline] of my body, does a certain section of this world come to life as a fleeting image in space which continuously changes in time." --Philosophy of Mathematics and Natural Science

    Robert Geroch: "There is no dynamics within space-time itself: nothing ever moves therein; nothing happens; nothing changes. [...] In particular, one does not think of particles as 'moving through' space-time, or as 'following along' their world-lines. Rather, particles are just 'in' space-time, once and for all, and the world-line represents, all at once the complete life history of the particle." --General Relativity from A to B

    Paul Davies: "Peter Lynds's reasonable and widely accepted assertion that the flow of time is an illusion (25 October, p 33) does not imply that time itself is an illusion. It is perfectly meaningful to state that two events may be separated by a certain duration, while denying that time mysteriously flows from one event to the other. Crick compares our perception of time to that of space. Quite right. Space does not flow either, but it's still 'there'." --New Scientist, 6 December 2003, Sec. Letters
     
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  16. river Valued Senior Member

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    What is life; that which evolves to think. Non-electronicly
     
  17. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    And there was me thinking (non-electronically, it seems) that neurons fired electronically.

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    Surely life requires electrons... is electronic?
     
  18. river Valued Senior Member

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    So neurons in the Brain behave the same as a circuit board?
     
  19. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    In a manner of speaking, yes. While our brains are clearly vastly more complex they both transmit electrons along a pathway to some end. The circuit board would be equivalent to a number of (i.e. one or more) neural pathways.
    The neuron is the equivalent of a logic gate rather than a whole circuit board, albeit likely a fuzzy logic gate (as far as I understand) rather than the binary of a circuit board.
     
  20. river Valued Senior Member

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    So if the circuit board is cut in half what happens or even a small chunk is removed ; what happens to the the function of whole of which the board is connected to?
     
  21. Daecon Kiwi fruit Valued Senior Member

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    It starts advocating woo on a science forum.
     
  22. river Valued Senior Member

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    What does?
     
  23. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    If you compare the circuit board to a single neural pathway... If you remove one of the neurons in that pathway you will destroy the functionality of that pathway just as you would destroy the functionality of the circuit board by removing part of that.

    When you get more complex networks, with feedbacks, redundancies etc, then even a damaged network, if sufficiently complex, can work around damaged sections/circuit boards without impairment, much as our brain can with the neurons and neural pathways where some may get damaged, die etc.

    But if you try and compare a single simple circuit board to the vast complexity of the neural network within our brains, of which a neuron is merely one node, then the comparison can clearly be shown to be flawed. Which is why the comparison I made is between a circuit board and a single neural pathway, with neurons being the equivalent of logic-gates, etc.
     

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