Forum Index            

SelectSmart.com®
Before you decide
Over 20,000 selectors

Share

This isn't complicated. 2020 is a referendum on Trump.
Is your name welcomed below? Then you can post here. Otherwise, click "Log In" to post!
Welcome! » Log In » Create A New Profile

Thoughts on God/Purpose

Posted by TheThorn 
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
January 21, 2015 11:24AM
Hi Navy,
Sorry, I just read through this thread again and noticed I had completely missed this post from you. Will respond now:

Quote

"Happy to take whatever re-phrasing you wish."

1a. Not sure what that means. What does "happy to take" mean? 1b. It wasn't a re-phrasing, it was a correction. The strong atheists' view of the universe does not include "purpose" at all.

It was a rephrasing. I did not intend to imply any purpose on the atheist side and was trying my best within the constraints of the English language to express that. Like I said – use which ever words you like. Atheism = belief in meaninglessness, Theism = belief in purpose, Agnosticism = belief in nothing unknown, but may have opinions about what they find likely.

Quote

Still not sure of your position, so let me tell you mine, and you say what you disagree with:

The universe started, as best we can tell, back at the Big Bang. There is currently no direct evidence supporting any claims that there was a purpose behind this beginning, that there was any sort of aware/intelligent force involved.

Through completely natural, physics-based processes, matter arranged itself into forms which we call life. This life, including humans, and our large, complex brains, is simply an arrangement of molecules which acts differently, in a more complex manner, than other arrangements of molecules like clouds and dirt. There is no evidence of souls or other forces involved.

What we call "awareness" is simply our experience of our brains doing what they do. Our "awareness" is the firing of our neurons, and nothing more. Again, no souls or other mystical forces involved. No evidence of anything that cannot be detected by scientific instrumentation. (Which, of course, would be a contradiction anyway.)

What we call "meaning" is an arrangement of thought and emotion, more complex than "I like pop-tarts," perhaps, but not any more substantial in terms of the big picture. When we say that, for instance, our relationship with our spouse gives our lives meaning, we are saying that it brings up within us thoughts and emotions. One such thought might be, "I feel compelled to take actions that are in the best interest of my spouse," or "Without my spouse, I would feel less motivated to have an active, engaged lifestyle." While these thoughts have a significant practical application to our daily lives, they do not point to the existence of any object or force outside the chemical functioning of our brains.

I don’t completely disagree with any of this. You are talking “hows” here, whereas I am concerned with “whys”.

What I do find likely is that all the physical laws which govern everything you wrote about exist for the purpose of life. What that purpose is, we clearly do not know.
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
January 26, 2015 04:27PM
I take it that TheThorn doesn't believe in the scientific theory of the universe, for example: that the universe began to expand from a singularity somewhere between 12-13 billion years ago; that the theory of evolution best accounts for the existence of species; that if things continue as is, the earth will be swallowed by its sun in about 5 billion years; etc.
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
January 26, 2015 05:34PM
It seems illogical to conclude that from what Thorn has written.
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
January 26, 2015 05:45PM
Quote
Dick
I take it that TheThorn doesn't believe in the scientific theory of the universe, for example: that the universe began to expand from a singularity somewhere between 12-13 billion years ago; that the theory of evolution best accounts for the existence of species; that if things continue as is, the earth will be swallowed by its sun in about 5 billion years; etc.

Um... Why would you think that?
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
January 26, 2015 07:22PM
That's not exactly a denial of my claim. So I'll ask you directly -- do you believe the scientific theory of the universe, including the 3 examples of it that I listed previously, is largely accurate as far as we today have reason to believe?
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
January 26, 2015 07:43PM
Quote
Dick
That's not exactly a denial of my claim. So I'll ask you directly -- do you believe the scientific theory of the universe, including the 3 examples of it that I listed previously, is largely accurate as far as we today have reason to believe?

It's a pointing out that you clearly haven't read my posts, and you could get your answers by simply doing so.

For the sake of it - yes I believe in the scientific process as the best route to understanding.

As a bit of a tangent - you shouldn't really believe in any scientific theory, you should believe in the scientific process. A theory is only good until the next one disproves it.
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
January 26, 2015 08:44PM
If you do not consider well-tested, highly confirmed scientific theory to be worthy of one's simple, tentative belief then what on earth, if anything, do you consider to be worthy???

I think you may be confusing 'belief' with 'absolute truth' and those are FAR from similar cognitive states.
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
January 26, 2015 08:55PM
Anyway, so if you accept the scientific view of the world, why would you believe that life or self-consciousness is the purpose of the universe given that the universe is still evolving and apparently has many more billions of years left to evolve before its heat death? Isn't it possible that some phenomenon more complex than self-consciousness will evolve? Why should anyone suspect evolution stops at self-conscious life? To think that way smacks of provincialist thinking and favoritism.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/26/2015 08:56PM by Dick.
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
January 26, 2015 09:12PM
Quote
Dick
If you do not consider well-tested, highly confirmed scientific theory to be worthy of one's simple, tentative belief then what on earth, if anything, do you consider to be worthy???

All accepted science has my tentative belief until something shows it to be wrong. That's all I mean when I say I believe in the scientific method, not in scientific theories in particular.

Quote

I think you may be confusing 'belief' with 'absolute truth' and those are FAR from similar cognitive states.

I'm not confusing anything, you are entering all these terms into the discussion not me.

Quote

Anyway, so if you accept the scientific view of the world, why would you believe that life or self-consciousness is the purpose of the universe given that the universe is still evolving and apparently has many more billions of years left to evolve before its heat death? Isn't it possible that some phenomenon more complex than self-consciousness will evolve? Why should anyone suspect evolution stops at self-conscious life?

Anything is possible and I don't claim that I know what the purpose is. I explained in great detail above why I believe that life makes purpose seem likely to me.

Quote

To think that way smacks of provincialist thinking and favoritism.

Again, it is you who said that, not me. You seem to be having a conversation with yourself here.

EDIT:

Dick, there are several posts I have already written in this thread, why not read them all and respond to something I've actually said?

It'll be a lot more productive of a conversation than you taking wild stabs in the dark at what I might believe and arguing against your own made up ideas. That is basically just talking to yourself.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/26/2015 10:07PM by TheThorn.
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
January 26, 2015 10:20PM
It doesn't make sense to say that you believe in "accepted science" but not in any of the scientific theories that compose "accepted science." One either believes that consensually accepted scientific theories, such as the TOE and the Big Bang, represent the most accurate model we have today for how the universe works or one doesn't.

Although you seem reticent to say it, it seems pretty clear that you do indeed believe that theories of science are provisionally true.

In the OP you wrote "The laws of the universe do not allow the development of these [conscious] creatures by "happy accident", they are there specifically (or in part) there to do to just that."

Now you deny that you believe that at least one of the purposes of the universe was to create conscious creatures.

You cannot coherently believe both things at once. Either you believe self-consciousness (or simple consciousness, if you prefer) was purposely or intentionally created or you don't believe that.

So which do you believe?
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
January 26, 2015 10:30PM
Quote
Dick
It doesn't make sense to say that you believe in "accepted science" but not in any of the scientific theories that compose "accepted science." One either believes that consensually accepted scientific theories, such as the TOE and the Big Bang, represent the most accurate model we have today for how the universe works or one doesn't.

Although you seem reticent to say it, it seems pretty clear that you do indeed believe that theories of science are provisionally true.

Quote
Thorn
All accepted science has my tentative belief until something shows it to be wrong. That's all I mean when I say I believe in the scientific method, not in scientific theories in particular.

You asked me if I believed these things tentatively. I said yes, I believe them tentatively. Now you're saying I'm reticent to admit I believe them "provisionally"... which is a synonym of "tentatively".

Yes Dick. I believe them tentatively too.

And before you ask, I also believe them conditionally.

Quote

In the OP you wrote "The laws of the universe do not allow the development of these [conscious] creatures by "happy accident", they are there specifically (or in part) there to do to just that."

Now you deny that you believe that at least one of the purposes of the universe was to create conscious creatures.

I believe it is likely that they all exist in part for that purpose. I've made that pretty clear in this thread. Whether life as we know it is the "end game" or a stepping stone in a process, that's fun to think about but I don't have a firm view.

Quote

You cannot coherently believe both things at once. Either you believe self-consciousness (or simple consciousness, if you prefer) was purposely or intentionally created or you don't believe that.

So which do you believe?

How can anyone have read one let alone all of my posts in this thread and not understand my position. I believe that life is an indication that there is a purpose to the universe. I don't claim to have any idea of what the big picture is.
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
January 26, 2015 11:42PM
I suspect that everyone else here knows whether he or she believes that self-consciousness was purposely or intentionally created and can express their belief by simply stating "Yes, I do believe self-consciousness was created intentionally" or "No, I don't believe self-consciousness was intentionally created," before going on to elaborate on their answer if they choose.

I wonder why it is that you cannot?
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
January 26, 2015 11:58PM
Lots of people believe things with no evidence just because they cannot bear the thought of some alternative possibility being true. Does the notion that your individual consciousness may one day disappear without a trace, that in 500 years time there will be no thought of you ever again in the mind of any living thing, that it will be as if you never existed, disturb you?
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
January 27, 2015 12:08AM
Quote
Dick
I suspect that everyone else here knows whether he or she believes that self-consciousness was purposely or intentionally created and can express their belief by simply stating "Yes, I do believe self-consciousness was created intentionally" or "No, I don't believe self-consciousness was intentionally created," before going on to elaborate on their answer if they choose.

I wonder why it is that you cannot?

Because I don't know.

Quote

Lots of people believe things with no evidence just because they cannot bear the thought of some alternative possibility being true. Does the notion that your individual consciousness may one day disappear without a trace, that in 500 years time there will be no thought of you ever again in the mind of any living thing, that it will be as if you never existed, disturb you?

No, not at all. I have no reason to think that its any other way.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/27/2015 12:09AM by TheThorn.
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
January 27, 2015 06:23AM
TheThorn wrote: Because I don't know.

My question does not ask about what you know about intelligent life being purposely created (or not). It asks only about what you believe about that subject. Big difference.

I'm assuming here that, like the rest of us, you do know what you believe about things even if, for some reason, you do not want to share your belief with anyone else. So do you believe that intelligent life was intentionally created through the process of evolution or do you not feel comfortable talking about your belief?

Continuing in this vein, why would any being in their right mind use such a messy, time consuming process like evolution to create anything, much less intelligent life? If a being could create the slow, complicated, unwieldy process called evolution then surely to god that being could have created intelligent life directly without all the delay, without all the waste, and without all the dead ends that are part and parcel of the evolutionary process. The fact that intelligent life finally, after 3 billion long years, emerged from a process is a damn good argument that intelligent life was not the intention or purpose or goal of that process in the first place but rather that it was merely one (of many) unintended byproducts of it.

I would guess that if birds could think, then many of them would believe that flight was the purpose of evolution.
Sorry, you can't reply to this topic. It has been closed.


Cookies Consent Policy & Privacy Statement. All Rights Reserved. SelectSmart® is a registered trademark. | Contact SelectSmart.com | Advertise on SelectSmart.com | This site is for sale!