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Life is fundamentally meaningless. heres why





EanofAthenasPrime
Scientifically life has no meaning. This means that there is no real purpose or goal that life must achieve. (On a side note, we can "make up" goals like achieving perfect happiness, but that is just a goal that is exclusive to species like us.) Anyway, I just wanted to disprove the common thought in evolutionary scientology of "Nature's goal is to reproduce." As a matter of fact there is no more of a "Nature's goal to reproduce" than there is a "Rock's goal to turn into sand." Scientists have come to this misconception the wrong way. Really what happens is the life that cannot reproduce just doesn't exist throughout time so the only life that gets recognized is the life that can. There is no "Goal of Existence" this is just Simple Logic.
I know you probably all *know* this already, I have known this for years, but I thinking this new way will make life even Clearer.
breebree
EanofAthenasPrime wrote:
As a matter of fact there is no more of a "Nature's goal to reproduce" than there is a "Rock's goal to turn into sand." .


I very much agree. If there was no life its not like anyone would know any different right. After all there has been more suffering than happiness in history would it be such a bad thing if there was no life? Im no psychologist but to my understanding all humans have a 'thantos' which is a death drive that encourages us to engage in life threatening behaviour so maybe humans subconsciously know that they should not exist. This is also apparent in nature, im no physicist however i believe there is a state of matter called a Bose-Einstein Condensate which occur in temperatures close to absolute zero (the lowest temperature achievable at which matter neither emits or absorbs energy, and it could be said to be 'dead'). In this state the matter creeps up the sides of a container in an effort to apparently rid itself of its last reserves of energy, effectively killing itself. Despite all this I love being alive and as I am meaningless it just makes me feel priveledged to be alive.
spinout
Hm, the argument for 'Here's why' was not there at all. Ok, so you think so... Is it so hard to miss why life has a meaning??? The meaning of life is not to reproduce, I agree. But life is not meaningless - can anyone figure out the reason?
breebree
spinout wrote:
The meaning of life is not to reproduce, I agree. But life is not meaningless - can anyone figure out the reason?


Maybe the meaning of life is for the human race to accquire enough knowledge to answer that question
EanofAthenasPrime
The only meaning life has is whatever we personally say it has. I am saying that the commonly thought "goal" of natural selection is to reproduce is completely incorrect. Natural selection is completely random and reproduction is an ability that survived only because of its very function, the only other ability that shares the same function is invincibility, and if it had existed scientists would have surely said that the meaning of life is to obtain invincibility...

breebree-That "condensate" can be explained by the fact that heat always travels to cold, analogous to high pressure filling the low pressure. And that desire to be alive is because your ancestors had that desire, and like you said, the ones that didn't wouldn't have lived to pass it on...
breebree
EanofAthenasPrime wrote:
Natural selection is completely random and reproduction is an ability that survived only because of its very function

On the contrary, natural selection is anything but random. It is based on the theory that those with traits best adapted to survive in their habitat survive, reproduce and thus the next generation has evolved. If natural selection were random life would not exist as we know it today. As for reproduction being an ability which only survived because of its function, which I must say is a very good way of putting it I must add, greatly downplays its part in history. Every living thing reproduces, from whales to viruses. Were it not for reproduction, there would be no life beyond the first generation, or even the first being.

EanofAthenasPrime wrote:
That "condensate" can be explained by the fact that heat always travels to cold, analogous to high pressure filling the low pressure.


The reason a Bose-Einstein condensate climbs the walls of a container is that it has no friction at all, meaning that gravity no longer takes effect means that increased adhesion between the container and the condensate is possible. Also, 'the fact that heat always travels to cold' (convection) would have no effect in a Bose-Einstein condensate as they are at the coldest temperature ever achieved, only slightly above 0kelvin
EanofAthenasPrime
Even though I do not know much about that "condensate" frictionlessness is completely seperate from gravity...

Natural selection is fundamentally random, it is the process in which (due to random mutation) happened to be best like survive in an arbitrary environment do survive...
breebree
EanofAthenasPrime wrote:
Even though I do not know much about that "condensate" frictionlessness is completely seperate from gravity...

Quite the opposite, it is because it has no friction that it is able to climb the walls of the container and is adhered to it, under ordinary circumstances this is not the case as gravity pulls down on the material but the condensate is essentially 'stuck' to the container.

EanofAthenasPrime wrote:
Natural selection is fundamentally random, it is the process in which (due to random mutation) happened to be best like survive in an arbitrary environment do survive...

Yeah in this context I suppose natural selection is random if you mean the way in which the animals themselves adapt ahead of their own species however I would'nt say it was fundamentally random as the animals best suited to their environment carry on their genes.
Gagnar The Unruly
Mutations occur randomly, but selection is not a stochastic process. There are predictable, directional outcomes of selective effects. A salt crystal is formed by stochastic (ie, random) interactions with the surrounding salt-containing medium, but the actual feature of the crystal itself is not that of a random structure. Likewise with evolution.
guissmo
EanofAthenasPrime wrote:
Scientifically life has no meaning. This means that there is no real purpose or goal that life must achieve. (On a side note, we can "make up" goals like achieving perfect happiness, but that is just a goal that is exclusive to species like us.) Anyway, I just wanted to disprove the common thought in evolutionary scientology of "Nature's goal is to reproduce." As a matter of fact there is no more of a "Nature's goal to reproduce" than there is a "Rock's goal to turn into sand." Scientists have come to this misconception the wrong way. Really what happens is the life that cannot reproduce just doesn't exist throughout time so the only life that gets recognized is the life that can. There is no "Goal of Existence" this is just Simple Logic.
I know you probably all *know* this already, I have known this for years, but I thinking this new way will make life even Clearer.


You think too much. Enjoy life.

We are made to make up our own goals to make ourselves happy. Or else we'll be suffering and not having fun.
EanofAthenasPrime
Yes well....I think this topic doesn't have a solid meaning either...lol
Coclus
True but what else do we have?
spinout
So have you ever played a game like 'black n white'? Not that I fancy that game but I think it has a key to the meaning of life!

Then afterward came a game called 'the movies' from the same corp... Also that one has the key to the meaning. This is not a comercial, I don't like these games BUT indeed I think those games hold the key to the meaning of life.
JinTenshi
EanofAthenasPrime wrote:
Scientifically life has no meaning. This means that there is no real purpose or goal that life must achieve. (On a side note, we can "make up" goals like achieving perfect happiness, but that is just a goal that is exclusive to species like us.) Anyway, I just wanted to disprove the common thought in evolutionary scientology of "Nature's goal is to reproduce." As a matter of fact there is no more of a "Nature's goal to reproduce" than there is a "Rock's goal to turn into sand." Scientists have come to this misconception the wrong way. Really what happens is the life that cannot reproduce just doesn't exist throughout time so the only life that gets recognized is the life that can. There is no "Goal of Existence" this is just Simple Logic.
I know you probably all *know* this already, I have known this for years, but I thinking this new way will make life even Clearer.


Scientifically, life does have a meaning. Life is something living thing has, and is only entitled to living things. The meaning of life is to live. The real purpose or goal that life must achieve, is to survive. Ever since our most ancient ancestors, that has been our one true goal of life. To survive, simple enough as said, but hard to achieve.

Nature's goal is to reproduce is not entirely wrong, for in order to survive ( our goal in life ) is to produce more of us, so we won't be extinct. There is no "Rock's goal to turn into sand" simply because a rock is not a living thing and it simply does not have life, so it does not need to survive, nor does it have a need to reproduce.

Just my 2 cents worth. One life, live it. Why think about the meaning when it was as simple as just living? If you don't wish to live, then just die, no one will blame you, it's your life, not ours. Very Happy
EanofAthenasPrime
JinTenshi wrote:
EanofAthenasPrime wrote:
Scientifically life has no meaning. This means that there is no real purpose or goal that life must achieve. (On a side note, we can "make up" goals like achieving perfect happiness, but that is just a goal that is exclusive to species like us.) Anyway, I just wanted to disprove the common thought in evolutionary scientology of "Nature's goal is to reproduce." As a matter of fact there is no more of a "Nature's goal to reproduce" than there is a "Rock's goal to turn into sand." Scientists have come to this misconception the wrong way. Really what happens is the life that cannot reproduce just doesn't exist throughout time so the only life that gets recognized is the life that can. There is no "Goal of Existence" this is just Simple Logic.
I know you probably all *know* this already, I have known this for years, but I thinking this new way will make life even Clearer.


Scientifically, life does have a meaning. Life is something living thing has, and is only entitled to living things. The meaning of life is to live. The real purpose or goal that life must achieve, is to survive. Ever since our most ancient ancestors, that has been our one true goal of life. To survive, simple enough as said, but hard to achieve.

Nature's goal is to reproduce is not entirely wrong, for in order to survive ( our goal in life ) is to produce more of us, so we won't be extinct. There is no "Rock's goal to turn into sand" simply because a rock is not a living thing and it simply does not have life, so it does not need to survive, nor does it have a need to reproduce.

Just my 2 cents worth. One life, live it. Why think about the meaning when it was as simple as just living? If you don't wish to live, then just die, no one will blame you, it's your life, not ours. Very Happy


That is exactly the attitude that I am trying to disprove! Don't you see? The "desire to live" is carried down through geneology, the species that didn't have the desire didn't live long enough to carry out there DNA...The "desire to live" is just a random occurence that exists only because of its fundamental purpose...a different trait with the same fundamental purpose would be "invincibility"...and btw I never said anything about being suicidal...
JinTenshi
Erm, I accidentally doubled posted and I don't know why I can't delete this post. Can someone delete it for me? Thanks and sorry for spam, it was an accident.
JinTenshi
EanofAthenasPrime wrote:
JinTenshi wrote:
EanofAthenasPrime wrote:
Scientifically life has no meaning. This means that there is no real purpose or goal that life must achieve. (On a side note, we can "make up" goals like achieving perfect happiness, but that is just a goal that is exclusive to species like us.) Anyway, I just wanted to disprove the common thought in evolutionary scientology of "Nature's goal is to reproduce." As a matter of fact there is no more of a "Nature's goal to reproduce" than there is a "Rock's goal to turn into sand." Scientists have come to this misconception the wrong way. Really what happens is the life that cannot reproduce just doesn't exist throughout time so the only life that gets recognized is the life that can. There is no "Goal of Existence" this is just Simple Logic.
I know you probably all *know* this already, I have known this for years, but I thinking this new way will make life even Clearer.


Scientifically, life does have a meaning. Life is something living thing has, and is only entitled to living things. The meaning of life is to live. The real purpose or goal that life must achieve, is to survive. Ever since our most ancient ancestors, that has been our one true goal of life. To survive, simple enough as said, but hard to achieve.

Nature's goal is to reproduce is not entirely wrong, for in order to survive ( our goal in life ) is to produce more of us, so we won't be extinct. There is no "Rock's goal to turn into sand" simply because a rock is not a living thing and it simply does not have life, so it does not need to survive, nor does it have a need to reproduce.

Just my 2 cents worth. One life, live it. Why think about the meaning when it was as simple as just living? If you don't wish to live, then just die, no one will blame you, it's your life, not ours. Very Happy


That is exactly the attitude that I am trying to disprove! Don't you see? The "desire to live" is carried down through geneology, the species that didn't have the desire didn't live long enough to carry out there DNA...The "desire to live" is just a random occurence that exists only because of its fundamental purpose...a different trait with the same fundamental purpose would be "invincibility"...and btw I never said anything about being suicidal...


My bad about reading too much into your words, I apologise.

And sorry, can you re-evaluate your last post by using layman terms. I'm having a hard time understanding what exactly are you trying to disprove and I don't want to jump to conclusions.
nopaniers
EAP, you should substitute the word "atheism" for "science" in your post. The two are very different! Science says nothing at all about the meaning of life.
bigdan
guissmo wrote:

You think too much. Enjoy life.


I agree with guissmo...

I just live life as it is at the moment. Wink
EanofAthenasPrime
nopaniers wrote:
EAP, you should substitute the word "atheism" for "science" in your post. The two are very different! Science says nothing at all about the meaning of life.


Neither does atheism...

Jenteshi-I do not believe that even with a mastery of the English language I can perfectly convey what I am trying to explain...
JinTenshi
EanofAthenasPrime wrote:
True intelligence lies not in the ability to confuse people with complexity of words, rather, it lies in the ability to teach how to simplify something that has great complexity


Try that.

You spelt my name wrong too, but nevermind.

nopaniers wrote:
EAP, you should substitute the word "atheism" for "science" in your post. The two are very different! Science says nothing at all about the meaning of life.


The meaning of life is defined by each individual. ( Though the one true meaning would be to survive ) You don't need to have a religion or a cult or whatever, to grasp the meaning of life. Though some find their meaning of lives through their religions.
nopaniers
breebree and EAP, I believe you are talking about superfluids. They do "creep" up and over walls. As breebree said they have no viscocity at all (viscous is something like friction in liquids - honey is thick and viscous) and they actually have infinite thermal conductivity. They can exist at non-zero temperature although not a lot above absolute zero. Normal examples are 3He and 4He. BECs are often formed from confined gasses like Rb - and they do exhibit superfluid behaviour. Cooling them is one hell of a task apparently. We had one at my undergrad uni, and they also got one up and running where I did my PhD - two of the first in the world! Cool stuff, hey?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superfluid

It is going way too far to say that that's evidence of a death drive though! These are all things from your own assumptions.
EanofAthenasPrime
nopaniers wrote:
breebree and EAP, I believe you are talking about superfluids. They do "creep" up and over walls. As breebree said they have no viscocity at all (viscous is something like friction in liquids - honey is thick and viscous) and they actually have infinite thermal conductivity. They can exist at non-zero temperature although not a lot above absolute zero. Normal examples are 3He and 4He. BECs are often formed from confined gasses like Rb - and they do exhibit superfluid behaviour. Cooling them is one hell of a task apparently. We had one at my undergrad uni, and they also got one up and running where I did my PhD - two of the first in the world! Cool stuff, hey?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superfluid

It is going way too far to say that that's evidence of a death drive though! These are all things from your own assumptions.


yep I definitely have to agree...saying "superfluids have a death drive" is like saying "light likes getting a rush from traveling at high velocities..."

JenTeshi-I'd like to explain it better but I am not SuperHuman yet...I am still confined to the meager boundaries of the English dialect...
rshanthakumar
1. The tendency to reproduce has come about because 'living things' die. In case of non-living things they do not die and they do not have a reproduction cycle either. What you call as a living and a non-living is itself debatable. Science is YET to define what is living and what is non-living. If man should achieve immortality, then he / she will stop reproducing.

2. Everything has a life time. The virus in seconds to the sun and the stars in milleniums. Life is limited in every one of the case.

3. The meaning of this life will never be understood unless we know why the universe and all these stars and planets exist. That is a big question. We cannot perceive the size of the universe and the entire working of it. When all that happens I think we will know the meaning of our life. Until then we will continue to ask this question.
EanofAthenasPrime
But our life just came to exist through random chance. If we didn't exist, we wouldn't know that. Thus, I believe that our lives are (relative to the universe) meaningless...only to ourselves is the meaning to make ourselves happier.
Aredon
Left as is, yes, life could most likely be deemed meaningless or without purpose. However, it is not life itself that has purpose. I think you will find that life "as you know it" will have no purpose if you don't give it one. Life only has a reason if you make one for it. For instance: "I'm going to make the world a better place tomorrow." Right there you gave your life meaning and purpose. Life is what you make of it, period. Its up to you to make it mean something.

If your meaning there is no purpose for the universe. I supose that depends on your perspective. If you believe in creation, then its very possible you weren't ment to understand the universe, its purpose, or even the purpose of your own existance. If you don't believe in creation, then it should still be noted, that we still do not know everything. Maybe its true purpose for existing is right under our noses.
EanofAthenasPrime
You are right...but as I explained multiple times there is no fundamental meaning (that is if you are an Atheist.)

So again there finding out how to harness a black hole, understanding Higgin's bosoms...those "meanings of the Universe" are all human created. Don't get me wrong though humans did not create Black Holes. To a different race, more advanced than humans, a black hole could have as much meaning to them as an apple.
bantoo_4u
I totally agree!!!!!

so just enjoy the life fully and die happily!!!!!!
Soulfire
We are born, we live, and we die ... that doesn't mean we shouldn't have fun and enjoy ourselves!
roxys_art
breebree wrote:
Every living thing reproduces, from whales to viruses. Were it not for reproduction, there would be no life beyond the first generation, or even the first being.


I would like to add that while other species reproduce, I think most everyone will agree with me when I say, humans definitely have the most efficient way to reproduce. And by efficient, I really mean the most fun. Very Happy
moworks2
EanofAthenasPrime wrote:
Scientifically life has no meaning. This means that there is no real purpose or goal that life must achieve. (On a side note, we can "make up" goals like achieving perfect happiness, but that is just a goal that is exclusive to species like us.) Anyway, I just wanted to disprove the common thought in evolutionary scientology of "Nature's goal is to reproduce." As a matter of fact there is no more of a "Nature's goal to reproduce" than there is a "Rock's goal to turn into sand." Scientists have come to this misconception the wrong way. Really what happens is the life that cannot reproduce just doesn't exist throughout time so the only life that gets recognized is the life that can. There is no "Goal of Existence" this is just Simple Logic.
I know you probably all *know* this already, I have known this for years, but I thinking this new way will make life even Clearer.


I read a long time ago that we don't have the intelligence, yet, to know if there is or isn't any meaning because we use so little of our brain's capacity...I think it was Victor Frankl who said that...

that is has meaning or not...how do you Know?...is it a feeling you have?

I wonder sometimes why anyone asks if there is meaning to life...it's an age old question, no?...we don't even know ourselves and yet we go on asking all kinds of things...things which seem to matter so little, so, if you knew what the meaning of life was would it change our nasty behavior?...we can't live in peace together, we make ourselves and those around us miserable...you know, dog eat dog world of humans...the petty human brain...jeez...

what could be the meaning of our confusion?...

I think it's a wrong question...can you ask, why is the sky up there?...hmm, I guess you can...

M
Kaisonic
The point made in the first post of this thread is certainly true, but it's just plain depressing. The whole point of this world is to counter that idea. If everyone felt that way, then nothing would get accomplished. No one would learn anything, no one would want to be entertained, or do anything. That's the foundation of our world - the fact that we know we won't live forever and that we want to live life to the fullest by learning about the world we live in, please other people and ourselves, succeed in everything we want to do, etc.
rshanthakumar
Kaisonic wrote:
The point made in the first post of this thread is certainly true, but it's just plain depressing. The whole point of this world is to counter that idea. If everyone felt that way, then nothing would get accomplished. No one would learn anything, no one would want to be entertained, or do anything. That's the foundation of our world - the fact that we know we won't live forever and that we want to live life to the fullest by learning about the world we live in, please other people and ourselves, succeed in everything we want to do, etc.


No it does not work that way! Life has a meaning. Only thing is that we do not understand the meaning fully.

It took centuries for human beings to understand that sun is not going round the earth but it is the other way. That was because you were sitting on the earth and watching the events. When you are in it, you cannot understand what is happening around you, easily!

Man is a part of the huge cosmic magic. It is very difficult to understand what is happening because we are sitting right inside that magic and trying to perceive what is happening needs lots of understanding. It is like the crankshaft in a car trying to understand why it is going round and round. We as a part of the universe should have some role to play and we are playing that role whether we like it or not. But the person who made all this knows it! and he does not make anything in this universe without a purpose.

Every part in our body has a meaning and purpose. Everything in this world is that way. So will it be all over the universe. And man will also have a purpose and meaning! We will realise it when we really grow up to it.
eggg
I really don't think anyone knows enough about life (or its parent: existence) to say it has a meaning or doesn't have a meaning. The source of life is mystery. If the source of life is the interplay of energy, matter, and time, then their source is a mystery. Just live!
EanofAthenasPrime
My interpretation of "meaning" means a sort of "cosmic order" set down by the Universe. I believe in evolution, which is a fundamentally random process, ie. if we didn't randomly happen to be conscious beings then we wouldn't know we weren't here.
There is an enigma, however, pertaining to consciousness. How is it that when our corporeal brain's are happy, our incorporeal minds (note I do not believe in soul, I believe that consciousness radiates from our brains, we are simply "spectators of our brain), how is it that our incorporeal minds feel happy when our brains are happy?
missdixy
When I finally realized my life was meaningless, that's when I really began to value it more.
rshanthakumar
missdixy wrote:
When I finally realized my life was meaningless, that's when I really began to value it more.


No missdixy, you are not correct. Life is not meaningless.

Life has a meaning and a reason. Nothing in this world or in this universe exist for no purpose. A good manufacturer of a watch does not create a component in it for no reason. He does not have space in it for such things. Every component in it has a job to do; has a role to play.

So do we!
rshanthakumar
EanofAthenasPrime wrote:
My interpretation of "meaning" means a sort of "cosmic order" set down by the Universe. I believe in evolution, which is a fundamentally random process, ie. if we didn't randomly happen to be conscious beings then we wouldn't know we weren't here.
There is an enigma, however, pertaining to consciousness. How is it that when our corporeal brain's are happy, our incorporeal minds (note I do not believe in soul, I believe that consciousness radiates from our brains, we are simply "spectators of our brain), how is it that our incorporeal minds feel happy when our brains are happy?


There are lots of theories on mind and body. Of course, what you are saying is the materialistic view or materialism as it is called. Mind and body both are material. Of course, there are others who say mind is a non matter and body is physical. and the science relating to non matter is of course, metaphysics. Whether you like it or not, mind will further its own thoughts and its own understanding. But most often, the physical is influenced by the mind and the vice versa is also true.

Leaving out mind and body, you might note that life itself has more wider meaning. It is not for the sake of man that we exist, most possibly. Just because we do not make out the reason or the meaning of something we cannot say that there is none. We now know the relationship between the numerous things on the earth and how they all coexist.

There is something much more wider than the earth. We do not know what it is all about. And only when we understand all that can we also understand the reason behind our life and the earth and the sun and all those millions of stars and planets.
divinitywolf
Life does have no meaning i agree.
We can make up justifications for why we live but they are independent on each person.
There is no general meaning to fit everyone.
Some may say happiness, but what about those who don't want to be happy.
There are some who don't want to be happy and just want to die.
Death is their meaning.
But while there is life there is life.
There doesn't have to be meaning to it for people to enjoy it.
But our happiness costs the world its life, costs the environment.
Some may say we don't deserve life...
moworks2
missdixy wrote:
When I finally realized my life was meaningless, that's when I really began to value it more.


i agree with missdixy...you have to be able to let it all go to really love...the petty crap of the political and religious brain has kept us suffering for a long time...i feel we need to be willing to be alone, to drop tradition and all we've been taught and told to finally come to see for ourselves...

kind regards

M
rshanthakumar
moworks2 wrote:
missdixy wrote:
When I finally realized my life was meaningless, that's when I really began to value it more.


i agree with missdixy...you have to be able to let it all go to really love...the petty crap of the political and religious brain has kept us suffering for a long time...i feel we need to be willing to be alone, to drop tradition and all we've been taught and told to finally come to see for ourselves...

kind regards

M


I am not supporting religious fanaticism or dogmas. What need to be looked at here is that we, the humans are not alone in this world. This is not the only life form that you and I can be proud of. What we need to understand is that life in this universe has a meaning that is distinctly different from what we all know about.

it took us almost a million years of existence on this planet to understand that it is not the sun that is going round the earth but the other way! it could take another two or three million years for us to understand part of the universe. Let us wait and learn!
kenikins
I always wondered why all the monotheistic religions, especially christianity and catholicism, order everybody to grovel and ask god for forgiveness and thank god for everything all the time. I never considered that might be because we weren't meant to exist in the first place and god just gave us this special gift.. Cuz he was bored or something Confused lol
Sw4k1ll4r
I'm sorry to disagree but I think you're wrong. I dont have time to argue now, but I will come back when I have time.
busman
I'm new to this place and I've begun to think about life philosophy more and more as of late... Kinda slipping into a exestential depression of sorts (not exactly sad, more of a numb state of mind) dealing with this problem. Now when you said life is meaningless i would say that albeit random you are mostly correct but see, my one problem with this post is i believe your thinking to small... Let me explain; It's all irrelevant. Everything is irrellevant in the end, we are less concequental to the universe than a grain of sand on the Earths beachs into itself. Think about it... What we do may affect an outcome of an event right? Meaning you might say? No. Because even if you are Ghengis Khan or Alexander the Great or Ramses II, your thousands of years of effect will one day be null 'n void and in the actual scheme of things even on a scale as small as just the planet earth, will be as important as an ant dying is to you... Irrelevant. But see you can still find joy within this philosophy because if everything you do, have done, and will do (if you belive in an objective reality) will in the end not matter so much as a flicker of light accross the stars, then you might as well do the things that bring that chemical high known as happiness or inner peace. It's irrelevant anyways to the true scope of things so why not?
Bikerman
Quote:
I believe in evolution, which is a fundamentally random process, ie. if we didn't randomly happen to be conscious beings then we wouldn't know we weren't here.

No, it bloody well isn't. Evolution has one small random component, it is NOT 'fundamentally' random - that is a mistake that many theists deliberately make when criticising evolution. Fundamentally it is a deterministic system, not a random one. It IS 'unguided' - but that is a different question.

rshanthakumar wrote:
What we need to understand is that life in this universe has a meaning that is distinctly different from what we all know about.

And your evidence for that assertion is ?
Quote:
Nothing in this world or in this universe exist for no purpose. A good manufacturer of a watch does not create a component in it for no reason. He does not have space in it for such things. Every component in it has a job to do; has a role to play.

Wow, this is a mixture of the Paley Intelligent Design argument (watchmaker) and mysticism.
You like to make assertions but not, apparently, to support them. What is your evidence that everything has a purpose? You seem to be saying that there is some 'thing' in 'charge' - a designer (certainly the passage above seems to argue for such a thing). I am confused - I don't know whether you are a new-age 'believer', an intelligent design supporter, a conventional theist, an atheist, or just very very confused......
tingkagol
^ The post you are quoting is 5 years old. Just thought you might want to know. Smile

busman wrote:
Everything is irrellevant in the end, we are less concequental to the universe than a grain of sand on the Earths beachs into itself. Think about it... What we do may affect an outcome of an event right? Meaning you might say? No. Because even if you are Ghengis Khan or Alexander the Great or Ramses II, your thousands of years of effect will one day be null 'n void and in the actual scheme of things even on a scale as small as just the planet earth, will be as important as an ant dying is to you...

Why do people put too much emphasis on size? It's overrated. It's an illusion with no other purpose but to entertain our otherwise unremarkable minds. Unremarkable they may be, but you can argue that your measly self-consciousness is far more valuable than the entire universe, for any kind of 'meaning' or 'purpose' could only be borne out of consciousness.

I suggest that the meaning of life is subjective. It could never be objective. Ever.
lightningleo
I don't agree that Life is meaningless. Without life you've no meaning. Life gives you the meaning. Life is itself a meaning of you. Life is a shadow which goes with you wherever you go. How can life be meaningless. When something bad happens to you, you say that Life is meaningless but what about good times. Good times always accompany bad times.
You may have heard from some people that what is the meaning to live in this world. I'm saying to those persons that meaning doesn't comes from itself, we have to create our own meaning. Life have given us the opportunity to create our own meaning. Bad people are not born bad but they create their own identity. Same is the case of good people.
So go ahead and create your own meaning !!!! Laughing Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
Gitesh
By saying this you rendered my life meaningless., why did i stumbled on this post. Sad
Bikerman
tingkagol wrote:
^ The post you are quoting is 5 years old. Just thought you might want to know. Smile
I knew - but since the topic was made 'live' again I just wanted to get that off my chest.
busman
tingkagol wrote:
^ The post you are quoting is 5 years old. Just thought you might want to know. Smile

busman wrote:
Everything is irrellevant in the end, we are less concequental to the universe than a grain of sand on the Earths beachs into itself. Think about it... What we do may affect an outcome of an event right? Meaning you might say? No. Because even if you are Ghengis Khan or Alexander the Great or Ramses II, your thousands of years of effect will one day be null 'n void and in the actual scheme of things even on a scale as small as just the planet earth, will be as important as an ant dying is to you...

Why do people put too much emphasis on size? It's overrated. It's an illusion with no other purpose but to entertain our otherwise unremarkable minds. Unremarkable they may be, but you can argue that your measly self-consciousness is far more valuable than the entire universe, for any kind of 'meaning' or 'purpose' could only be borne out of consciousness.

I suggest that the meaning of life is subjective. It could never be objective. Ever.


Size is very important in a sense. Because to small and you are unable to have a single individual conciousness, like an ant. There may be a concious Hive mind but one is too small alone to be fully aware, BECAUSE of the size of its brain. So in the end size really does matter. And secondly you can not posit that the meaning of life maybe subjective and then totally contradict yourself the next sentence by saying it never could be objective. Saying suggest (which is maybe), then saying never which is an absolute, is in of itself a contradiction. And btw you didn't even quote the whole quote Confused .
Anyway size is important, hence why there is quantom physics and regular physics. Not everything is a human construct sir.
Indi
busman wrote:
Size is very important in a sense. Because to small and you are unable to have a single individual conciousness, like an ant. There may be a concious Hive mind but one is too small alone to be fully aware, BECAUSE of the size of its brain.

That's not an issue of size. It's an issue of complexity. There's no reason an ant-sized being couldn't be a billion times smarter than any human could. (And, i'd bet good money that someday we will develop artificial machine intelligences far beyond human intelligences that can exist on microchips far, far smaller than an ant.)
busman
Indi wrote:
busman wrote:
Size is very important in a sense. Because to small and you are unable to have a single individual conciousness, like an ant. There may be a concious Hive mind but one is too small alone to be fully aware, BECAUSE of the size of its brain.

That's not an issue of size. It's an issue of complexity. There's no reason an ant-sized being couldn't be a billion times smarter than any human could. (And, i'd bet good money that someday we will develop artificial machine intelligences far beyond human intelligences that can exist on microchips far, far smaller than an ant.)

That and idk to be honest with you if organic matter works EXACTLY the same way when it comes to processing, I mean at least for individual sentience at least. It seems size does have a little to do with it. It's not the end all be all, but there is a strong corrolation between brain vs body size and intelligence. Idk for sure to be completely honest like I said before though, I AM NOT a biologist haha.
Ankhanu
It's largely size in relation to body size; a certain amount of nervous tissue is required for basic bodily function/coordination. After that, you start getting more complexity and the emergence of higher level function. You don't need a lot, just more than the minimum, ya know?
Bikerman
I started to write a reply and it turned into an essay, so I'm going to complete it and post it later.
busman
Bikerman wrote:
I started to write a reply and it turned into an essay, so I'm going to complete it and post it later.


Please do Very Happy
Bikerman
Strong correlation is misleading. It is a very 'interpreted' relationship. If you go just by mass ratio then we don't look anything too special.......

Species.....Simple brain-to body ratio (E:S)
cat...............................1:100
dog..............................1:125
elephant......................1:560
frog.............................1:172
hippopotamus.............1:2789
horse...........................1:600
human.........................1:40
lion..............................1:550
mouse...........................1:40
shark...........................1:2496
small birds....................1:12

Basically size IS important. The logic goes that you need at least a certain objective size to have intelligence - so smaller animals, even with high ratio brain:body masses, we don't count as potentially smart.

The same sort of argument works at the top end. If a brain is being used for dynamic real-time multi-variable calculus routinely, and that is just one thing it has to multi-task, then something as big as human is not so great - slow signal paths and high latency, mixed with very distributed and therefore transputer infrastructures across the entire volume. (We do plenty of the calculus - catching, running, any physical actions involving more than simple start-stop velocities (ie just about all of it) - that is complex shit right there. We can't 'learn' it because that would mean a massive hard-wiring section of the brain, which would piss all over other more important processing. We therefore have to rely on drill and practice - muscle-memory is a term I normally can't be doing with, but most people get the sort of idea from that example.)

I think that this type of learning is qualitatively different and mechanistically different. It doesn't use direct algorithmic solutions, we don't have the computational power for that - it uses a sort of neural-net approach by 'tuning' an otherwise homogeneous zone of neurons, so that they give the right answers consistently. Nobody could tell you exactly how, stepwise, this works, since the ability is not one which the conscious mind processes using particular methods. In the simplest possible terms, you 'teach' the circuits by doing different things when a good answer comes out to 'strengthen' that particular route through the switches.


...........................................................

1. A neuron................................................................................................................................................................2. Linking via Synapses

In order to explain this better, I'll give a brief background on neural networks which is sort of in my field (in the same way that an aortic graft is in a GPs field Smile )

Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) use simulations of the neurons in the brain, linked together into a switching network.

.............................................................

3. A single artificial neuron y (called a ‘unit’ or ‘node’) showing three weighted inputs and three outputs. .....................................4. A simple ANN with 11 units
The weights of the inputs can be changed in ‘learn/teach’ mode


The simple way to think of it is a set of inputs carrying signals into a central switching matrix which then routes the signals to one or more outputs. Within the switching matrix, the output(s) of one node will often be the inputs for other nodes(s).

At first the ANN is completely untrained. Training is usually done by someone monitoring the outputs of the ANN and ‘rewarding’ correct outputs (by leaving the weightings alone) and ‘punishing’ bad outputs by changing the weightings.

After a time the ANN gets better and better at the task (whatever it is).
HOWEVER, and this is one point I want to emphasize, the switching network that evolves is not ‘designed’ to solve a particular problem, and even when trained, you cannot get a representation or analogue of the problem from the ANN, because that doesn’t exist anywhere. All the ANN contains are those same switches with the probabilities of particular links increased or decreased in a fairly mechanistic and standard manner during training. In fact the trainer will probably be someone who knows nothing about ANNs (and may know nothing about IT generally) – they just typically press a button when the ANN gets it wrong.

Anyone familiar with the ‘Chinese room’ thought experiment proposed by Searle will recognize this scenario. There is no real way in which we would apply the term ‘thinking’ or ‘intelligent’ to the ANN – it is just a box of switches – but the uncomfortable retort would likely be “So what? What is your brain but a big box of switches? Do you think there are pixies in there are well?”*

Now, what is my point? Well, I’m not making a particular point, just chucking some information into the mix for consideration. We can, of course, see that BELOW a certain number of nodes the ANN is only going to be capable of extremely simple decision-making. Does it follow that ABOVE a certain number of nodes, the ANN will become conscious?

*How good are the best ANNs? Better than the best human is the simple and startling answer. Yes, the machine CAN ‘exceed’ the programming and no, the machine does NOT have to be ‘told what to do’. The latest and greatest – WATSON – beat previous champions at the US institution known as ‘Jeopardy’. For those not familiar with the show, contestants are given an answer and have to supply the question which it answers. This is, by any measure, a highly complex processing task requiring a deep ‘knowledge’ of language and a ‘high level’ ability to abstract.

Links
ANN tutorial
Background on AI
Paper on WATSON (needs academic subscription)
Nemoque
Meaning does not exist within nature, and it is not an appropriate subject if you are a strict empiricist. An organism does not have to find a meaning to exist in order to exist. Human beings are the only creatures that are concerned about matters such as morality, ethics, and meaning. Neither morality nor meaning exist within nature. The fact that we are discussing whether or not life has meaning raises the question, if humans are simply a matter of natural selection, why are we concerned about the meaning of life? Why do we worry about "animal rights," when no other creature on the face of the earth cares about "animal rights." Why would human beings care about the suffering of others that are thousands of miles away? Others that they have never seen, nor most likely will ever see. I would say that such caring is contrary to "survival of the fitest." There is no compassion in nature. Nature is brutal. As the French Existentialists have noted, humans are looking for meaning in a world without meaning. This creates universal anxiety and despair. According to Sartre, life is absurd. If I were not a theist, I could only conclude that life is meaningless, purposeless, and futile. Billions of years from now, this solar system, including the Earth, will become star dust. "No one" will ever know that the Earth existed, much less human life.
Bikerman
No, I think you are wrong here. Basically I think you are confusing meaning with being conscious of meaning.
It is arguable (though tricky) that humans are uniquely conscious of meaning(s) but other creatures certainly HAVE meaning in their lives, whether conscious of it or not. Why does a Bee dance to show where food is to other Bees? The very fact that it does shows that its life has pattern and order - meaning by any other name. The same is true for ANY living thing methinks.....The Bee is almost certainly not conscious of this, but I would argue that it is human arrogance to assume that without being conscious of meaning it doesn't exist.....
busman
Bikerman wrote:
No, I think you are wrong here. Basically I think you are confusing meaning with being conscious of meaning.
It is arguable (though tricky) that humans are uniquely conscious of meaning(s) but other creatures certainly HAVE meaning in their lives, whether conscious of it or not. Why does a Bee dance to show where food is to other Bees? The very fact that it does shows that its life has pattern and order - meaning by any other name. The same is true for ANY living thing methinks.....The Bee is almost certainly not conscious of this, but I would argue that it is human arrogance to assume that without being conscious of meaning it doesn't exist.....


I honestly think bees and ants/hornets etc. have a certain level if conciousness in a hive sense completely foriegn to humans. At least it seems that way ya know? How else would they understand how to tempature control their hives (alll hive insects), farm fungus (ants), find the quickest way between two points (bee's/wasp's/hornets) instantly, make war on other "tribes" (ants) etc., etc.. The amazing things these insects do imply some sort of intelligence even if not truely comprehendable to the human race. I mean seriously look it up! Hive insects do some seriously intelligent things for creatures the sice of rice grains and less. Box jellyfish decide what direction they're going to swim without a brain... That's insane; these creatures conciously decide a direction based off of food sources, current etc., all without a single mass grouping of nerve tissue in their entire structures. Dolphins, dogs, and cats have all been shown to understand language etc..

Basically my point is what is conciousness and intelligence? Idk tbh, if we have a good enough working definition and truely understand our own intelligence, let alone wright off other animals. Look up Pocho the crocodile and the story behind it and telll me animals don't have true and life-long bonds that require a slightly higher intelligence than we give them credit for.
Bikerman
Most of what you describe can be explained as conditioned or programmed response - no need for particularly high levels of intelligence. Intelligence is complex to define - a reasonable stab would be something like:
the ability to understand the environment, ones position and interactions with that environment, and to abstract potential futures mentally, following valid reasoning...

Not perfect, but a start....
busman
Bikerman wrote:
Most of what you describe can be explained as conditioned or programmed response - no need for particularly high levels of intelligence. Intelligence is complex to define - a reasonable stab would be something like:
the ability to understand the environment, ones position and interactions with that environment, and to abstract potential futures mentally, following valid reasoning...

Not perfect, but a start....


Yes but if an ant hive could do that where the single ant couldn't, which it could do each and every one of the things you had just stated, wouldn't that be a hive mind of sorts? Considering ants overcome new obstacles all the time as a hive and have to understand their enviroment, their interactions with said enviroment (architecture is very dependent on this -air conditioned tunnels etc) and following patterns and algorithms that make sense constantly and have to plan ahead as a group etc...? Just a very interesting thought I would think. Really read up as much as you can find sometime. The hive insects are very oddly intelligent in abudent sorts of ways, but just not as an individual. Sorry bout being a bug lol (no pun intended) just a very interesting concept to me I would say Very Happy
Bikerman
This is commonly known as Swarm Intelligence or the 'Hive Mind'

The best source I can suggest is the Chan/Tiwari book on the matter.....HERE
busman
Bikerman wrote:
This is commonly known as Swarm Intelligence or the 'Hive Mind'

The best source I can suggest is the Chan/Tiwari book on the matter.....HERE


The second link isn't working Sad .
Bikerman
Give it about 3 mins or so and it will...server is just coming back up.
busman
Very Happy
D'Artagnan
why does life have to have "meaning" i'm perfectly fine with just being alive
Ankhanu
D'Artagnan wrote:
why does life have to have "meaning" i'm perfectly fine with just being alive

Ditto.
Fundamentally, yes, life is meaningless... But that's not to say one's life has no meaning. Is it really bad to have meaning on a secondary, rather than primary level? Meaning is a construct, and it functions just fine as such.
Bikerman
Ahh, but someone has to TELL you what to do, otherwise you will all either do bad things or do meaningless things.
How can there possibly be any meaning if someone doesn't tell us? That's crazy talk...
And how can everyone have their own meaning? That means there is no ABSOLUTE meaning, which is exactly the same as saying there is no meaning at all, because William Lane Craig says so.

And in any case....you all going to HELL.
ROFLMAO - the sad thing is that Poe's law applies.
busman
Life is beautiful and ugly at the same time, much like a good metal album lol Very Happy . And maybe that's as far as it's supposed to go meaning wise
itsmedavid
Your statement "life is meaningless" is a provocative but essentially meaningless statement. Just as saying its opposite "death is meaningful" doesn't really say much.

Much of the problem of this topic can be traced to lack of definition of terms and how to show the validity of your claim that that process of evolution in some way causes life to to be meaningless

To really discuss your topic meaningfully we need to know
what do you mean by "life" and "meaningingless"
and how evolution can some how bestow on "life" the property or state of "meaningless"

I find your proof for why life is meaningless not very convincing. Because the process of evolution happens because of random mutation doesn't necessarily mean that life is random and therefore meaningless.

The moment of conception of a child is also begun essentially as a random process but I would say the birth of a child in a couple's life is quite meaningful.

Maybe if we define terms, set methods for how to determine validation of propositions we may approach your statement more meaningfully.

Life = All things that live
Meaningless = having the propery of not having a purpose or goal

Suggest method of validation be by working example

Thus your statement life is meaningless and here's why becomes:

All things that live have the property of not having a purpose or goal in life because they evolved from random mututations.

Ok please show how this statement is true using a working example.

I believe with not much effort I can show the new improved statement to be false by many counter examples and therefore I believe instead all things that live have a purpose or goal in life even though they evolved from random mutations.
spinout
I think not the brian/body ratio is so intreresting than the reproductive organ to the total body ratio is!

Laughing Cool since we mostly think with the reproductive parts than the brain...

If you extract the time from the universe, i.e. then you don't have to come to the conclusion that the universe will end and "wham bam" the meaning of life can't be for reproduction of some sort.
Pippo90
EanofAthenasPrime wrote:
Scientifically life has no meaning. This means that there is no real purpose or goal that life must achieve. (On a side note, we can "make up" goals like achieving perfect happiness, but that is just a goal that is exclusive to species like us.) Anyway, I just wanted to disprove the common thought in evolutionary scientology of "Nature's goal is to reproduce." As a matter of fact there is no more of a "Nature's goal to reproduce" than there is a "Rock's goal to turn into sand." Scientists have come to this misconception the wrong way. Really what happens is the life that cannot reproduce just doesn't exist throughout time so the only life that gets recognized is the life that can. There is no "Goal of Existence" this is just Simple Logic.
I know you probably all *know* this already, I have known this for years, but I thinking this new way will make life even Clearer.


I completely agree with what you wrote. At the same time, I cannot also deny that it's quite a depressing view.
nickfyoung
You have hit the nail on the head there Bluedoll. How can there be any meaning to scientifically induced life. It is just survival of the fittest. Perhaps if we get real smart and contribute to scientific knowledge we may help the process of evolution and be a worthwhile part of it all. That is some sort of meaning. This is probably why nutters like us tend to want to stay where there is some meaning in life instead of crossing over to scientific nothingness. Where we are life has great meaning and life is worthwhile, life is great and not a day goes by without that meaning being reinforced.
watersoul
nickfyoung wrote:
Where we are life has great meaning and life is worthwhile, life is great and not a day goes by without that meaning being reinforced.
Same for me. I don't need any 'higher power' to give meaning to my life, the shared experiences of 'people' are enough...no need for imagined magic or unexplained stuff Wink
Bikerman
nickfyoung wrote:
You have hit the nail on the head there Bluedoll. How can there be any meaning to scientifically induced life. It is just survival of the fittest. Perhaps if we get real smart and contribute to scientific knowledge we may help the process of evolution and be a worthwhile part of it all. That is some sort of meaning. This is probably why nutters like us tend to want to stay where there is some meaning in life instead of crossing over to scientific nothingness. Where we are life has great meaning and life is worthwhile, life is great and not a day goes by without that meaning being reinforced.

Utter pap.
  • For a start the phrase 'scientifically induced life' has no meaning that I can discern. Life simply IS. We can explain it's diversity, using science, but science didn't 'induce' it or otherwise cause it, and what this reveals is a profound, and continuing, misunderstanding of what science is.
  • You CAN'T help evolution and again we see the problems when someone with no real knowledge tries to make intelligent comment on science. Evolution happens. It is not directed, doesn't have a goal or an endpoint or a purpose, and is not the 'point' or 'reason' for life - simply the mechanism by which different species come to be.
  • The notion that anyone accepting evolution is somehow tied into a nihilistic world-view is both silly and offensively ignorant. Very few people I know would wish to propose evolution as a model for how we should arrange our lives and societies. Most people, religious or not, accept evolution as the only sensible explanation of speciation. The ones who don't, have no alternative to offer, other than an idiotic story which has been refuted many times and requires the believer to reject most of the science of the last 200 years whilst hypocritically making use of that same science in just about every facet of their life. The atheists I know have the same sort of lives as the theists I know. They care about the same sort of things, are motivated by the same sort of things and appalled by the same sort of things.
  • The notion that Christianity offers some absolute meaning to life is actually hilarious wrong. It gives thousands of different meanings, depending on which sect of Christianity you happen to belong to. For your (NICK) Calvinist sect, ironically, life has no real meaning of any sort. Your salvation or damnation was already decided before your birth, and what you do in this lifetime is irrelevant to that. You might as well have died at birth for all the 'meaning' that this offers.
  • This yearning for a nice easy 'meaning' to life is hugely simplistic and, one might say, infantile. The believer requires some sky-daddy figure to validate their existence and tell them they have been good. In reality life is much more complex. Each person must find their path through life and many of us neither require nor seek any 'ultimate' meaning. That does not mean that there is no meaning, it just means that we have to find our own meaning. To borrow from the late Doug Adams, isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?
    I'm sorry that this seems to terrify some theists - to the point where they cannot even acknowledge that such a thing is possible - but part of growing up is realising that there is no Santa, our parents are not all-powerful beings who can sort out any issue or problem and that WE are ultimately and finally responsible for our own actions, and for finding our own way to live a 'good' life. Some theists seek to pass this responsibility onto some sky-fairy, but in fact this is illusory, since:
  • The bible provides very little moral guidance suitable for the moral world - indeed those people who insist that it DOES are the bigots who shout about Leviticus when discussing homosexuality but then conveniently ignore it when considering the numerous other things it forbids - which they ignore routinely. Nearly all of the ethical/moral improvements of the last centuries - from the abolition of slavery to the increasing equality given to minorities of all sorts - owe nothing to scripture and frequently occurred DESPITE it.
nickfyoung
Bikerman
Quote:
It gives thousands of different meanings, depending on which sect of Christianity you happen to belong to. For your (NICK) Calvinist sect,


Your use of the word 'sect' has been worrying me for sometime and doesn't ring quite true. Wiki will tell you that sect has negative connotations and is a subgroup or offshoot of a religion. There are a view sects of Christianity no doubt and many denominations. It is a bit difficult to call Calvinism a sect. Calvinism is Christianity and just a name given to indicate the particular interpretation. You could call Catholicism a sect because it is an offshoot of Christianity.
Bikerman
The word sect is chosen particularly because it IS accurate.
A sect is a group of people with different beliefs than the mainstream - sometimes heretical from the POV of that mainstream. Calvinism and the rest of Protestantism is EXACTLY and correctly described, therefore, as a sect of Christianity since they were offshoots (and heretical ones) from the mother group - Catholicism. You can't really call Catholicism a sect since it was the first and therefore didn't schism from any other....though I suppose you could call it a sect of Judaism if you really want to push the concept to it's limits.......
The notion that Calvinism IS Christianity is just that silly bigotry again and cannot be taken seriously because it is a) illogical and self-refuting* b) based on no sound empirical evidence, simply on a personal conviction.


Oxford English Dictionary (the BEST dictionary for these matters).
Quote:
Sect
a group of people with somewhat different religious beliefs (typically regarded as heretical) from those of a larger group to which they belong.
often derogatory a group that has separated from an established Church; a nonconformist Church:
two of the older sects—the Congregationalists and the Baptists—were able to increase their membership dramatically.


* If Calvinism WERE 'Christianity', it follows that 'NOT(Calvinism) = NOT(Christianity). Since Calvinism arose in the early part of the 16th century, it would therefore follow that Christianity did not exist until CE 1510-20.
Furthermore, Calvinism varies substantially from any previous form of 'pseudo-Christian' belief set. Calvinism (and the other Protestant sects) introduced new dogmas and discarded dogma that certainly can be traced to the 2nd century and probably before - such beliefs as the authority of the Papacy, transubstantiation, conditional salvation (by good works & repentance), - basically they changed a great chunk of the core dogma around. So if the early Christians were not real Christians and the real Christians didn't arrive until the Protestant reformation, it means that the characters and ideals that Calvin, Luther Zwigli, Knox et al used to formulate their new sects were actually not Christians and the writers of the bible were therefore also not Christian. If this is so, it would call into question the bible itself - why would God chose to work through heretics or pseudo-Christians, surely his word would have been given only to true followers of Christ so that they could record it in a state of grace with the guidance of the Holy Spirit? Otherwise it was just ordinary blokes who were mistakenly convinced that they were Christians.
It is also, I hardly need add, arrogant nonsense to suggest that an offshoot of ANY movement - religious or otherwise - can ever retrospectively invalidate the bona-fides of its predecessors. Catholicism WAS Christianity for well over a thousand years. The notion that a bunch of reformists can then say, 1200 years later, that Catholicism was never Christianity and only their new interpretations could be given the title is ludicrous and reveals much about the rather nasty, selfish and sectarian nature of Christianity in general. I imagine that, to a Christian, there is not much one could do that would be MORE insulting than to deny their claim to their own faith and insist on it being transferred to a usurper. It would be rather like the Beetles tribute band, the Ruttles, insisting that the Beatles were never really the Beatles and that, in truth, the Ruttles are the only real Beatles that have ever existed.....But it is actually much worse, because there is not one single Ruttles, there are approximately 33 thousand of them (that is roughly the number of protestant sects). Many are pretty closely aligned in terms of doctrine, but many are poles apart on substantive and key matters of core dogma. So which of these is the 'real' Beatles? The claim of Calvinists is no more or less valid that the claim of Baptists or Methodists or Anglicans. They can ALL point to their particular cherry-picked passages of scripture in support and they can ALL provide exactly the same amount of empirical/rational evidence to support their positions (ie sod-all).....
nickfyoung
Can't agree with you wholly of course. You are correct in that the first church or religion was the Church of Rome started by the early apostles. Catholic just means basically universal or the Universal Church of Rome. There was a split early on with east and west so we now have the Greek Orthodox Church.

No one is saying that this first Church of Rome was not Christian as it was started by New Testament believers although some of it's interpretations have been questioned as you listed above.
Quote:
such beliefs as the authority of the Papacy, transubstantiation, conditional salvation (by good works & repentance),
Those core doctrines are still under question and can be debated from Scripture.

However. when we move on 1000 or so years we find that the church had changed somewhat and was no longer the institution it started out to be. That was the reason for the reformation, to correct the changes and bring the church back to the original teaching of Scripture. Of course, the church declined to go back to it's original teachings so we had an alternative church start which went back to those original teachings, hence, the reformed church, sola scripture.

Calvinism is not a sect of anything. The 5 points of Calvinism were introduce at the Council of Dort to counter the 5 points of Arminianism. Calvin was dead and gone by then. It is just a term used now to denote the reformed faith as different from the Arminian faith.
Bikerman
I know what the commonly held myths are, trust me on this - I am pretty knowledgeable on this, for a non-specialist. Yes, I know that Protestantism was a reaction to increasing corruption in the catholic church...and that much is true - it WAS corrupt and IS corrupt and ever shall be corrupt as far as I can tell.

Specifically Luther was pissed-off mainly by the huge growth in the sale of indulgences - relics and other crap which were sold for serious dosh to the wealthy on the understanding that this would buy them some remission from purgatory. Purgatory was invented for other reasons - mostly to soften the notion of kids burning in hell - but it proved a brilliant money-spinner towards the end of the dark ages. Since it was temporary, anyone could buy 'time off' - for themselves or for dead relatives - buy presenting the church with industrial quantities of wonga. In return they would get a sliver of wood - said to be a fragment of the 'true cross', or a vial of blood, said to be the real blood of some saint or other, or a stone which was certainly used by some other worthy to do something....you get the idea. Basically the clergy were running a HUGE protection racket for centuries. Luther and other pious souls found this troubling and eventually Luther snapped and got his hammer out.
Now, that much is pretty accurate and verifiable, but the rest - returning to the 'original teachings' is pure bollox. Luther didn't return to some better period with his new doctrine. The Church was NEVER protestant in the sense that it once held dogma and practices that we could recognise in Luther's new proposals - or any of the other protestant leaders-in-waiting. Luther may have believed he was going back to some previous position, but I don't really think so. Remember that this is religious Europe, not scientific Europe - Luther, like everyone else, knew sod-all about anything. He was an ignorant tit. Not only was he a logical basket-case, he knew nothing about history. He, like everyone else of that era, was profoundly screwed up by the requirements of theology - which insisted and required that one should become schizoid.

Luther, like everyone else of that era, thought the Greeks were the last word in worldly knowledge. The Church has previously brewed-up a distorted version of Plato's philosophy - from the early dark-ages to the 12th Century. This is called Neoplatonism and was disastrous.
By the middle of the last millennium, from the 12th century onwards, they turned to an equally stupid and equally distorted version of the other famous Greek - Aristotle.

In the Neo-Platonic phase they had adopted the notion that the physical world is degraded, corrupt and not-worth measuring or studying. If a scholar wished to know something about the world - say the circumference - it would not even occur to them to try to measure it. They would simply find the correct ancient Greek manuscript and take the figure quoted therein. This is how 'scholarship' proceeded for centuries - and explains why there was no actual progress in anything much for a huge period.

Eventually they shifted - mainly under the influence of Aquinas - to Aristotle and did a similar hatchet job on his philosophy to arrive at an equally perverted and perverse world-view, we now call Neo-Aristotelianism.

Basically Aristotle talked about the actual and the potential - all material entities had an actual 'nature' and a potential 'nature'. This quickly became material and non-material, body and soul, matter and form. He then adds the agent and the final cause to get his 4 'causes' - Material, Formal, Efficient, and Final. A common way to picture his philosophy is to talk of a statue:
  • The material cause, that out of which the statue is made, is the marble or bronze.
  • The formal cause, that according to which the statue is made, is the idea existing in the first place as exemplar in the mind of the sculptor, and in the second place as intrinsic, determining cause, embodied in the matter.
  • The efficient cause, or Agent, is the sculptor.
  • The final cause is that for the sake of which (as, for instance, the price paid the sculptor, the desire to please a patron, etc.) the statue is made.

There was some sense in this, but, of course, the Church don't DO sense and twisted it to support their wacked-out beliefs. So, they extended and bent his ideas to arrive at a conclusion that there is actually a hierarchy of being from the 'prime/first cause (God)' which is 'pure actuality' - which becomes 'pure spirit' at one pole and pure potentiality (matter) at the other pole. The material is a poor reflection of the actual - like a distorted image. In addition, they added the notion that this hierarchy, since it is designed by God, is fixed and unchanging. So the final picture we get is a chain of being, with everything in it's place, going from the divine (actual) to the corrupt (material) - with the former being 'up there' in the heavens - eternal, unchanging and perfect - and the latter being down here on earth (and ultimately below earth in Hell), the corrupt and transient. Each person occupies a place in this chain, which then stretches up to Angels, Archangels and ultimately God, and down to devils, demons and ultimately the Devil. This was exactly what they wanted since it confirmed the right of rulers to rule, and stamped on the notions of any plebs that they might like to improve their lives. Couple this to the parts of NeoPlatonism that were retained - particularly the notion of 'levels' of truth. One could, if one was a scholar, propose that the Earth was NOT the centre of the universe - as Canon Copernicus and Galileo did. This was not a problem. In fact most educated people KNEW it. This was an era of long sea voyages which required stellar navigation which, in turn, required the knowledge that the heavens are NOT fixed and unchanging. The Church had no problem with this - it was coining the money from such voyages - because it had developed the NeoPlatonic Double-Think technique. In short, you could say pretty much what you liked, particularly if it was useful or practical, AS LONG AS you ALSO said that though it appeared to be correct, it is, of course, understood that the Bible is MORE correct and that any apparent contradiction between their 'theories' and scripture simply resulted from their theory being incorrect. Though it may be correct in a crass physical way, and confirmed by the same crass physicality measurements, scripture was true in a higher and more fundamental sense.
One can still detect the influence of centuries of this crap today. Many theists still cling to some version of this utter utter drivel - either flogging the dualism approach to death (and beyond), or desperately searching for new paradigms along the same lines - quantum woo currently being the favourite. This single belief system did more damage than almost anything else I can think of - with the possible exception of the other idiotic meme which has become endemic - the notion that faith is a GOOD thing and, in some cases, even BETTER than evidence-based decision-making.
For centuries sane, intelligent and otherwise rational people were required to think and write as if suffering from mental illness - and particularly severe mental illness at that - schizophrenia is arguably the most serious and intractable mental illness there is.

So, in short, Luther et al knew almost nothing about the history of the early Church - much less than we do now - and the notion that he and others were returning to some earlier better period is, in common with every other instance of this sort of claim, totally invented and complete nonsense. Luther wouldn't have recognised 1st Century Jewish proto-Christianity and would undoubtedly have considered it heretical, barbaric and pagan

............................................................................
Here is an illustration of this Neo-Aristotelianism applied across the religious panorama.....................................Here is the most famous art-work which seeks to portray the Great Chain of Being - Rhetorica Christiana by Didacus Valades (1579)

When Protestants make this claim about being 'true' Christians (they HAVE to, of course, to try to save the illusion that they have created - that of being a more 'real' and certainly more 'worthy' version of the corrupt Catholicism) then I'm never quite sure whether they actually and truly believe it or not - and this is true of most things to do with Christianity.
For example, Christians don't REALLY believe that the bible is the word of God. They can't possibly believe it, not because it is unbelievable (though it is) but because of the way THEY can be seen to behave, empirically.

The bible is, according to the Christian, the ONLY examples of God's word which is divinely inspired and therefore more important and more 'real' than any other book in history. It is, therefore, the most precious thing in the whole world, and its contents are the nearest thing to Divine wisdom that it is possible for us to read. Now, if that was REALLY what they believed, they would, surely, spend every waking moment studying it and learning from it. They would know huge chunks of it by heart, and many would know the whole thing verbatim. Of course they would - anything else would be insane - how could they NOT devote such time to the only books containing the words of their God? This is, in fact, the only sensible way to go if you really believe it IS the word of God.

Check out the Muslims - there are lots of Muslims who can recite the WHOLE of the Quran from memory. They are honoured in Islam and known as 'Hafiz' - and there are MILLIONS of them. Many 6 or 7 yr old children can recite huge passages - tens, even hundreds of pages, from memory. There is nothing strange or even remarkable about this - it is exactly what you would expect someone to do with the most important book there ever was or ever will be. Now, the Quran is only about 1/4 the size of the bible to be sure, but one can reach the level of Hafiz in around 3 years of study, so learning the bible would be the work of perhaps two decades at most - surely a minute effort when balanced against the prospect of being intimately knowledgeable about their God?

But, consider the Christian. NOT ONE CHRISTIAN that I know can even recite a few pages of the bible. Most of them know almost sod-all about it. A vanishingly small number can give a timeline of events, let alone accurately summarise the chronology. No Christian I know can even score more than a poor pass on a 20 question MULTIPLE CHOICE quiz I constructed on the bible......None of the fundies on this forum can. Nick - you probably can't quote a single paragraph from the bible can you? and you are not unusual and I am not singling you out - the same goes for the other band of 'devout' Christians.

The only rational explanation is that they don't really believe the contents (that is impossible since they don't actually KNOW the contents) but they believe in believing. That is, they don't actually believe the dogma and historicity, of Christianity but they DO believe that believing it is a good thing, so they SAY they believe, whilst being either unwilling or unable to actually do much about it in terms of actually LEARNING what they say they believe.....

This is, at the moment, just an hypothesis I have formulated to explain the apparent contradictions of Christian 'belief' (including, for example, such other notable oddities as the fact that Italy - the most Catholic (and therefore anti birth-control) country in Europe also has one of the lowest birth rates. Clearly many Italian Catholics don't really think that using birth control is a moral sin)....
I think it is a promising line of research and I'm considering doing some serious work on it and working it up into a properly scientific hypothesis with a view to testing it and, hopefully, publishing the results.
Bikerman
For those who don't want to read a lot, here is a video which sums up my response to the main point of the OP
nickfyoung
Bikerman
Quote:
Nick - you probably can't quote a single paragraph from the bible can you? and you are not unusual and I am not singling you out


You are right there. A few key verses perhaps. Used to memorize lots when I was a mason and it is hard work. The Christian tends to memorize more verses in relation to topics so he can find them quickly rather than great screeds of verse. Much easier to use a concordance to locate any verse you are looking for.

I don't think Luther was thinking he was returning to an earlier time, more back to Scripture and an interpretation as he saw it rather than what it had become in the church. The main catch cry of the reformation seemed to be on salvation and was by grace alone rather than the indulgences etc. He seems to have built his theology around that premise and it was expounded by others like Calvin etc.
Bikerman
Yes he did, but Calvin took it much further. Neither realise how mo monstrous their new theology would prove because neither of them, to be frank, were the brightest knives in the draw,

Calvinism became accepted before it was properly worked through. People then saw that it means predestination, no chance to change their fate and basically a life which meant very little - they were already destined for one place or the other. Thoroughly evil nonsense of course and NOT supported by much of scripture - as you will know if you have memorised THOSE verses, all 2 of them. I can paraphrase 20 or 40 which say otherwise.....
Bikerman
You don't even know what Luther said and believed do you Nick? Luther believed in the same as the rest of the Catholic Church with only one difference - he did NOT believe the Pope could grant remission from sin. He still believed that people could earn their own salvation by good works and repentance. You appear not to know anything about you chosen sect - this is pretty much as expected and supports my hypothesis. Obviously you could not believe what Luther wanted because you don't know what that is.You should, at least, read his 95 thesis - he took much trouble to nail them up for you read. You will find nothing like Calvinism IN ANY OF THEM - Calvin was another type of man completely and he basically invented the evil Calvinist doctrine by adapting Aquinas and by stuffing all his own self-hatred and low self esteem into a new 'theology' which is the most despicable nonsense in print outside a few Marquis de Safe books and a couple of oddments - the Penguin Book of Australian Cricket.....
LxGoodies
This citing by head of holy book fragments is (or.. WAS) not exclusively muslim. I think times have changed... In the past, I've known several reformed christians in the Netherlands, who were able to (re)cite long texts from the new testament in "Statenvertaling", in archaic Dutch. Including the page numbers and chapter reference. This was often used as a weapon - that is to silence liberal opponents in discussions.

I guess this is a generation thing.. something typically modern western, maybe the result of technology. My neighbour (now long gone, reformed christian, 70+) always protested against the use of calculators and reference books at exams in school. He said schools do not bother anymore, to teach kids to recite things like poems and bible texts.. Or even learn songs..
nickfyoung
Bikerman
Quote:
You don't even know what Luther bsaid and believed do you Nick? Luther believed in the same as the rest of the Catholic Church with only one difgference - he did NOT bvelieve the Pope could grant remission from sinc. He s6ill believed thar people could earn theur own salgation by good works and repentance


Quote:
Luther taught that salvation and subsequently eternity in heaven is not earned by good deeds but is received only as a free gift of God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ as redeemer from sin and subsequently eternity in Hell. His theology challenged the authority of the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church by teaching that the Bible is the only source of divinely revealed knowledge from God[2] and opposed sacerdotalism by considering all baptized Christians to be a holy priesthood.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Luther

Luther believed and taught the bible as it is and translated a version into German for the common man. That was the undoing of the church when the common man realized he had been conned by the church because he could now read the Bible for himself.
Bikerman
READ the theses- you will find nothing in it that resembles election - conditional or not. It was later that he began to formulate his notion of 'justification'.
http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Ninety-Five_Theses
nickfyoung
Read the theses.It is basically written against the practice of indulgences.

There seems to be some confusion here. We are talking now about salvation being a free gift from God by grace alone and not earned by any good works. This has nothing to do with election of any sort. Election and salvation are completely separate. Whether you are into election or not you still need salvation and that is by grace alone. Admittedly, some Arminians teach that a mans freewill decision is needed before one can get saved and he believes that the elect are those that do get saved rather than those pre-chosen.
Bikerman
Election and salvation are not separate - election is how salvation is attained and who gets it.
If you would actually READ THE BLOODY THESIS you would see that Luther says:Every truly repentant Christian has a right to full remission of penalty and guilt, even without letters of pardon.
Luther believed that penitence was necessary for salvation. This is not what Calvinists and other 'election' believers hold to - they hold that it is already decided who is saved and who not, and, for Calvinists, there is NOTHING that can change that - nothing the person does has any influence. Arminians believe that there IS some possibility of changing based on what the person does, though most believe that you can only loose salvation by bad acts, not gain it by good.
Luther was entirely focussed on the Pope and the sale of indulgences, by which the Pope remitted the time to be served in purgatory. He held this to be both impossible and heretical and that is the subject of his 95 thesis and the kick-start for Protestant reformation. It was, essentially, a piece of theological house-cleaning rather than a grand new vision.
Which all simply diverts from the point at hand - that being that Christians in general, and you as an example, are extremely ignorant of the bible, even though it is (they say they believe) the true words of God available to us and the most important words, therefore, ever written. That is illogical and actually not believable. The idea that someone could genuinely believe that a book contained the most important words imaginable, and then not bother to actually read the book - doesn't scan at all.
nickfyoung
Bikerman
Quote:
Every truly repentant Christian has a right to full remission of penalty and guilt, even without letters of pardon.


Yes, the Christian repents of his sin at the point of salvation and is granted full remission of penalty and guilt through the death of Christ who takes the penalty and guilt upon himself.

Quote:
Election and salvation are not separate - election is how salvation is attained and who gets it.


Not really following you here. You may be correct from a Calvinist point of view but salvation can be obtained without election if you are not a Calvinist.

The Arminian believes that the gospel message is preached to all men and those who make the freewill choice to accept it are saved. There is no election in the equation but they believe that once they are saved they are considered part of the elect because God foreknew who would make the choice.

The Calvinist believes that they were chosen in the beginning to be taken from the mass of humanity condemned to hell. God does this by the work of the Holy Spirit softening their heart till they come to a point where they are able to accept Christ. At this point god gives them the gift of faith to believe and be saved.
nickfyoung
Bikerman
Quote:
Every truly repentant Christian has a right to full remission of penalty and guilt, even without letters of pardon.


Yes, the Christian repents of his sin at the point of salvation and is granted full remission of penalty and guilt through the death of Christ who takes the penalty and guilt upon himself.

Quote:
Election and salvation are not separate - election is how salvation is attained and who gets it.


Not really following you here. You may be correct from a Calvinist point of view but salvation can be obtained without election if you are not a Calvinist.

The Arminian believes that the gospel message is preached to all men and those who make the freewill choice to accept it are saved. There is no election in the equation but they believe that once they are saved they are considered part of the elect because God foreknew who would make the choice.

The Calvinist believes that they were chosen in the beginning to be taken from the mass of humanity condemned to hell. God does this by the work of the Holy Spirit softening their heart till they come to a point where they are able to accept Christ. At this point god gives them the gift of faith to believe and be saved.
Bikerman
Wrong Nick.
Arminius talked specifically about election and coined the phrase 'conditional election' to separate from the Calvinists. Aside from that you have it almost right, apart from this 'freewill accept' part. They believe it is natural to accept and without freewill then everyone WOULD accept. The only thing freewill can do is REJECT - ie you WILL accept unless you make the freewill choice to reject. It can be summarised in the Ashby format as follows:
  • Prior to being drawn and enabled, one is unable to believe… able only to resist.
  • Having been drawn and enabled, but prior to regeneration, one is able to believe… able also to resist.
  • After one believes, God then regenerates; one is able to continue believing… able also to resist.
  • Upon resisting to the point of unbelief, one is unable again to believe… able only to resist.
Election is, de facto, that group which do NOT reject. In his own words, election is :[quote='Arminius']the decree of God by which, of Himself, from eternity, He decreed to justify in Christ, believers, and to accept them unto eternal life. God regards no one in Christ unless they are engrafted in him by faith.

There are, of course, variations - Wesleyan, Open theism and Corporate election being the 3 main ones - but that is more detail than needed.

Calvinism is logical nonsense and results in the inevitable realisation that God is a monster - as I have explained in detail. All the guff about the Holy Spirit softening the heart is irrelevant window dressing. Salvation or damnation happens completely regardless of the person and their actions. One may as well live the most evil life possible because there is no way to change whether you are saved or not in any case. Likewise the nonsense about the 'gift of faith' is offensive drivel. It is predetermined and since when has anyone considered something which happens to them without their consent, beyond their control, to be a gift? Strange notion of gift......

This is, as I said earlier, not really important, since the important point remains how Christians can possibly answer the question I asked - how can you say that the bible is the word of God and yet not spend time studying and learning it? It does not seem either reasonable or actually credible, given what we know about human behaviour. In fact it seems to me that it simply cannot be the case. One is forced to conclude that the 'belief' is not genuine.
nickfyoung
Quote:
It can be summarised in the Ashby format as follows:


Can you give me a link to this Ashby character as I can't find him in Google and I don't like what he said.

Quote:
This is, as I said earlier, not really important, since the important point remains how Christians can possibly answer the question I asked - how can you say that the bible is the word of God and yet not spend time studying and learning it? It does not seem either reasonable or actually credible, given what we know about human behaviour. In fact it seems to me that it simply cannot be the case. One is forced to conclude that the 'belief' is not genuine.


It is by studying it that one comes to the conclusions that one does, completely different from yours.
Bikerman
nickfyoung wrote:
Can you give me a link to this Ashby character as I can't find him in Google and I don't like what he said.
You mean Stephen Ashby? Yes, he is a US theology spouter...
http://www.hc.edu/page.aspx?id=188951
Quote:
It is by studying it that one comes to the conclusions that one does, completely different from yours.
But that is just a blatant lie Nick. You KNOW that you have not studied the bible much. You KNOW that you are ignorant about huge chunks of it. You KNOW that I can easily demonstrate this with a couple of questions...so why would you pretend that you have studied the bible more than me?
nickfyoung
Bikerman
Quote:
Arminius talked specifically about election and coined the phrase 'conditional election' to separate from the Calvinists


Conditional election is just Gods foreknowledge, him knowing who will accept salvation and differs from Calvinism in that they teach God chose without using such foreknowledge.

Quote:
Stephen Ashby


He is an Arminian but I have never heard his views put that way before. It is not a common view.

Quote:
Calvinism is logical nonsense


You have a strange view of Calvinism. When man fell in the garden all mankind every since are born into that sin and so all men are destined to hell. No man is interested in salvation or anything to do with God as they are too seeped in their sin. Regardless of predestination or election, they are destined to hell. The only way man can escape hell is to be saved. Those that God chose are enabled to accept that salvation, not forced or made to but enabled to. Once man is enabled to accept salvation he grabs it with both hands because he wants to. That is the very fine point between the two camps, this wanting to. How much of that is freewill.

All this is plain Biblical teaching and much different to how you see it. Sure, I am not that interested in the history of Israel etc and just read the prophets when necessary. There is enough pure theology in Romans and Ephesians to keep me going.

As I have said before, you have difficulty grasping the concept of salvation which is understandable if you haven't been there.
Ankhanu
MODERATOR - Guys, we appear to have left the original topic behind again...
Bikerman
Ankhanu
yes and no. Let me explain where I'm going with this and I'll let you moderate this one Smile
The proposition is that life is meaningless. The theist response can be summarised as something like this:
'Yes, without God life is meaningless. Since atheists are evolutionists (yes, WHY do they always make that dammed fallacious conflation, but that is for another debate), then it is simply survival of the fittest with no real point or 'objective morality' to guide and goal set.'
(I think that is a fair summary but probably a bit more articulately phrased than we generally get*).
My response (once I have managed to gulp-down the outrage at the asinine stupidity, gross ignorance, complete lack of honest introspection, and downright arrogance necessary to propose that nonsense) is to challenge the basic assumption that the Christian is taking as a given - that is, that they actually do believe what they say they do. I propose that they are lying - to themselves and to the rest of us. If lying is too strong a word for some, then I'll accept 'deluded' or even 'mistaken' (under protest). My basic theses can be simply summarised in a paragraph:
'To test the Christian's claim that their God gives their life meaning which is unavailable to the non-Christian, one has to examine the claim that they DO believe in this Christian God. Since the only evidence we have for the notion is the bible, and since the bible is also, according to their belief, the only record we have of this God's wishes and designs, it is obvious that the believer would hold this bible to be precious - beyond value - and would take every opportunity to read, analyse and understand what it contains. However, the empirical data is that they do no such thing. A vanishingly small number can be judged to be even moderately conversant with the contents, a huge majority are almost entirely ignorant of said contents.
The only reasonable conclusion is, therefore, that they are lying/deluded/mistaken in their core assertion that they actually DO believe in the Christian God.'


Nick has tried first to avoid this, then to obfuscate the issue with minutiae. Whilst he cannot deny that he IS ignorant of the bible, he seeks to cherry-pick certain small parts of it and denigrate other large parts by implying they refer and apply to Jews only. This is, of course, smoke and mirrors. The God of the Old Testament is the same as the God of the New Testament according to their belief. Whilst this is clearly a problem, it cannot be dismissed as Nick would seek to do.
Nor is his attempt to focus on a tiny part of the New Testament useful to his cause. It is actually just more damning evidence for my thesis. If he did indeed think that the epistles and letters of Paul contained the main and most important wisdom of the bible, he would know them like the back of his hand. After all, if we focus on just the Pauline parts of the bible, it amounts to about 30% of the New Testament and a mere 12% of the whole bible. A Muslim child would memorise that in a year. So how much of it does Nick know and how much of it can he quote? I don't think that I even need to pursue this, since I take it as pretty certain that the reader will know the answer already Smile

Anyhoo, I'll abide by your determination of the relevance of this line of argument Smile
regards
C.

* And to the charge that this is an ad-hominem attack on theists (oops - that would be ad hominems, since the Latin hominem takes the plural s methinks) I respond thusly:
It is an observation based on the quality of the postings in this forum by theist posters. I make no wider generalisation, but I would offer the additional observation that the general quality of Christian apologetic is, from a philosophical POV, woeful, relying almost entirely on special pleading, appeal to personal incredulity, appeal to ignorance, and various other fallacies. If that is judged to be ad-hominem then so be it. It doesn't change the fact that it happens to be correct Smile
Ankhanu
Yeah, I understand the intent and content; I just have concerns because when this comes up, it tends to become the dominant discussion and the initial topic rarely manages to raise its head again. There’s a bit of a pattern around here Wink

If the discussion on the validity of the Bible as a means to assess objective meaning/purpose to life can be wrapped up concisely, that would be awesome, and relevant… but my prediction centres aren’t seeing that the likely outcome.
nickfyoung
Ankhanu
Yeah, we do get carried away a bit, but who wouldn't try to defend oneself against such crazy claims made by someone who is a little ignorant of the core principles he is arguing. He is so far off track on so many areas it is hard to keep up with him.

One does not need a copy of a bible or to even read one to have a relationship with his God. Once that relationship is established, reading of the bible will enhance and enrich the relationship but so will meditation and prayer. Once you have an established relationship with your God, life has greater purpose and meaning.
kaysch
EanofAthenasPrime wrote:
Scientifically life has no meaning. This means that there is no real purpose or goal that life must achieve.

My life has a very deep meaning. The idea is to turn food into excrements. Laughing
sailor69
Whether life has meaning or not, it does not need it, nor does it need a purpose. We do not need to define ourselves in terms of whether we or some other entity(ies) regard us as worthy, whether our lives have meaning, or whether we have a function in the universe. If any of these were true, many people would essentially give up, and would be less than the best they could be in terms of the kind of person they want to be. Some would even commit suicide, or would turn to mind-altering drugs or other addictions to "escape reality".

For myself, I choose to go on with life regardless. I do not care if the world is just a play in some deity's head. If that is the case, I'll put on a good show. Otherwise, even better. I choose not to escape reality philosophically, but to look it in the face. And I like it just the way it is.
Haiku2016
I'd like to suggest that life has a purpose: to love one another. I base this argument on the observation that if we neglect a fellow human being long enough, they'll do something rather desperate. We may not find "true" love, but we will still at least need the love of friends. We seek love in so many ways and in so many aspects of our lives (with family, friends, even at work and from strangers). Even the way we dress is often to communicate our desirability (to be loved).

I think the need for respect, to be acknowledged, and to communicate are all aspects of this need to love.

For the human race as a whole, I will also argue that we have this purpose as well. This is linked to our unique ability to assert our will. And we have done so to the detriment of others but we can also do so in aid of others (including animals and the environment). The current nuclear crisis is a case in point.

This is not to suggest that animals have a purpose (or not). I'm just saying that from what I know about people, we do have a purpose.
sailor69
Haiku2016 wrote:
I'd like to suggest that life has a purpose: to love one another. I base this argument on the observation that if we neglect a fellow human being long enough, they'll do something rather desperate. We may not find "true" love, but we will still at least need the love of friends.


I read many years ago about a study in which a number of infants were never held or talked to, seemingly about a few dozen. That was cruel enough as it was. The point is, THEY ALL DIED.
loveandormoney
EanofAthenasPrime wrote:
Scientifically life has no meaning. This means that there is no real purpose or goal that life must achieve. (On a side note, we can "make up" goals like achieving perfect happiness, but that is just a goal that is exclusive to species like us.) Anyway, I just wanted to disprove the common thought in evolutionary scientology of "Nature's goal is to reproduce." As a matter of fact there is no more of a "Nature's goal to reproduce" than there is a "Rock's goal to turn into sand." Scientists have come to this misconception the wrong way. Really what happens is the life that cannot reproduce just doesn't exist throughout time so the only life that gets recognized is the life that can. There is no "Goal of Existence" this is just Simple Logic.
I know you probably all *know* this already, I have known this for years, but I thinking this new way will make life even Clearer.
#
Thats the reason to enjoy life. We sit together
its Sunday
12 people cook and laugh and eat.

Or whats Your aim?
SvetlanaK
Haiku2016 wrote:
I'd like to suggest that life has a purpose: to love one another....
You are a happy person, as you can feel like that constantly. I have very rear slight glimpse of that feeling. And more often I see a human being like dangerous, cruel carnivores. Who are using natural resources and everything around, and even to achieving their greedy goals. Who kill each other more often than animals do. Hatred and wars are everywhere. The meaning of existence is really not certain. Sometimes I even feel sorry for my children that I gave them a life to live on Earth. However sometimes I think about love and it saves me.
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