Purpose of life & intelligent design
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29-04-2015, 10:46 AM
Purpose of life & intelligent design
In a philosophy seminar yesterday I learned that one of my tutors believed in an innate shared purpose of life and another believing in intelligent design.

I'll give a bit of background that lead to our discussion. The aim was to discuss Aristotle and Platos ideas for the purpose of life, and the differences they had.

We used this extract from The Theaetus of Plato (176a-c) where Plato uses his character of Socrates to portray his views: "It is not possible... that evil should evil be destroyed - for there must have always been something opposed to the good; nor is it possible that it should have its seat in heaven. But it [evil] must inevitably haunt human life, and prowl about this earth. That is why a man should make all hate to escape from earth to heaven; and escape means becoming as like God as possible; and a man becomes like god when he becomes just and pure, with understanding. ... In God there is no sort of wrong whatsoever; he is supremely just, and the thing most like him is the man who has becoming as just as it lies in human nature to be."

The summary I got from Plato is that the purpose of man is to fulfill our moral potential by replicating the benevolence and goodness of god. Linking this to his theory of the cave, the method in which I think Plato thinks we must do this is by dismissing the silhouettes of reality as being simply silhouettes. Cast off the shackles of illusion and face the truth. Only then we can start aspiring this absolute goodness, or god.

This is what was given to us of Aristotles view, I think.

"Concerning the most authoritative kind of soul found in us [i.e reason], we must have the following thought. God has given it to each of us a daimon [a guardian spirit] - this thing which we say dwells in the topmost part of ur body and raises us up from the earth towards what is akin to us in the heaven, because we rightly call ourselves a heavenly plant, no an earthly one. For the divinity [reason] keeps our body upright by suspending out head and root from the place out of which our soul was first born. Hence, if someone has devoted all his interest and energy to his appetites or to competition, all his beliefs must necessarily be mortal ones, and altogether, so far as it is possible to become par excellence mortal, he will not fall the least bit short of this, because it is the mortal part of himself that he has developed. But if someone has committed himself entirety to learning and to true wisdom, and it is these among the things at his disposal that he has most practised, he must necessarily have immortal and divine wisdom, provided that he gets a grasp on truth. And so far as it is possible for human nature to have a share in immortality, he will not in any degree lack this. And because he always takes care of that which is divine, and has the daimon that lives with him [i.e. reason] well ordered, he will be supremely happy."

My summary of Aristotle is that he thinks human beings are born separate from animals on that grounds that we have reason. This instantly gives us potential, though we can only reach our actual form when we use reason in order to grasp wisdom. I wanted to point out that Aristotle apparently seems ignorant of the existence of Gibbons.

Altogether they both seem to think that the purpose of life is happiness. All too true, however what brings happiness is largely subjective.

The issue I had with the discussion is that they both presuppose perfection (god) being an objective thing, and both presuppose the NEED for a purpose. I stated that all organic matter has unconscious purpose, to endure and survive, but humans as conscious creatures do not need nor have objective purpose. He disagreed, even though writing this I've forgotten what he said, it was pretty convincing though, really hate myself for not remembering Sad

We got on to the subjective of god because that was the basis of the argument, I asked them if they think Aristotle and Plato actually believed in god, or, to not make the same mistake as Socrates, replaced an abstract idea of perfection with the concept of a god for the sake of their own skin. They disagreed, and one tutor went on to explain that god can't be an abstract idea anyway because mathematics is a proof of some sort of intelligence in the universe. It was the end and we didn't get to continue (even though I'm really bad at on-the-spot debates) but right now I'm thinking that maths is just an abstract human invention we use in order to measure, examine and then explain the physical world, isn't it?

Either way, do you think there is a purpose to life? I've always thought that there is no purpose except the one you make yourself. Does presupposing a purpose give credit to the idea of a god? Could god exist as an abstract, and that abstract being the foundation of the universe, an ultimate body of everything, and every object and living creature's actual is all in this abstract idea, which is why everything that possibly can exist and will exist does exist? (or does it?)

My head hurts.

P.S Didn't know if this belonged in philosophy or theism/atheism, sorry.

Saints live in flames; wise men, next to them.
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29-04-2015, 10:48 AM
RE: Purpose of life & intelligent design
42 covers it...

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

The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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29-04-2015, 11:44 AM
RE: Purpose of life & intelligent design
Perfection=god, can they define what god or perfection is? If they can't, then how can they define a purpose based on a concept they can't even define?

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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29-04-2015, 12:15 PM
RE: Purpose of life & intelligent design
(29-04-2015 10:46 AM)SunnyD1 Wrote:  Either way, do you think there is a purpose to life? I've always thought that there is no purpose except the one you make yourself. Does presupposing a purpose give credit to the idea of a god?

I think so. "Purpose" in this sense, would presuppose some end goal, and presupposes intentional forces, foresight involved in human creation, or in other words some sort of creative force, akin to a creator, a God of some sort.
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29-04-2015, 01:18 PM
RE: Purpose of life & intelligent design
(29-04-2015 11:44 AM)TheInquisition Wrote:  Perfection=god, can they define what god or perfection is? If they can't, then how can they define a purpose based on a concept they can't even define?

Perfection to them = the ancient concept of the "good" = pursuing, knowing and become virtuous, virtue is that which is the excellence of an instance. Virtue of a knife would be its sharpness, of a table its "tableness" of humans I think it is in morals. It was circular because their morals derided from tradition which involves a tradition of religion.

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29-04-2015, 02:16 PM
RE: Purpose of life & intelligent design
(29-04-2015 01:18 PM)SunnyD1 Wrote:  
(29-04-2015 11:44 AM)TheInquisition Wrote:  Perfection=god, can they define what god or perfection is? If they can't, then how can they define a purpose based on a concept they can't even define?

Perfection to them = the ancient concept of the "good" = pursuing, knowing and become virtuous, virtue is that which is the excellence of an instance. Virtue of a knife would be its sharpness, of a table its "tableness" of humans I think it is in morals. It was circular because their morals derided from tradition which involves a tradition of religion.

Sounds like their concept of god is the essence of deepity.Big Grin

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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29-04-2015, 02:29 PM
RE: Purpose of life & intelligent design
As far as this planet, our purpose is the same as every other creature that lives here. Reproduce and try to live as long as you can.
In the scope of the Universe, I don't think it would effect much if we never existed, or suddenly disappeared.
So far, I have no reason to beliveve any of it was created intelligently.
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29-04-2015, 02:40 PM
RE: Purpose of life & intelligent design
(29-04-2015 02:29 PM)pablo Wrote:  As far as this planet, our purpose is the same as every other creature that lives here. Reproduce and try to live as long as you can.
In the scope of the Universe, I don't think it would effect much if we never existed, or suddenly disappeared.
So far, I have no reason to beliveve any of it was created intelligently.

You know how you can positively prove that there is no "intelligent design"?????

Because --

If somebody was going to tool up and build an entire universe -- and include life into the matrix of reality --- that on those planets that have life --- you'd include an animal that urinated a decent single malt whiskey?????

I sure the fuck would have....

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

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29-04-2015, 02:41 PM
RE: Purpose of life & intelligent design
(29-04-2015 02:40 PM)onlinebiker Wrote:  
(29-04-2015 02:29 PM)pablo Wrote:  As far as this planet, our purpose is the same as every other creature that lives here. Reproduce and try to live as long as you can.
In the scope of the Universe, I don't think it would effect much if we never existed, or suddenly disappeared.
So far, I have no reason to beliveve any of it was created intelligently.

You know how you can positively prove that there is no "intelligent design"?????

Because --

If somebody was going to tool up and build an entire universe -- and include life into the matrix of reality --- that on those planets that have life --- you'd include an animal that urinated a decent single malt whiskey?????

I sure the fuck would have....

It's an organism called yeast Wink

Saints live in flames; wise men, next to them.
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29-04-2015, 02:46 PM
RE: Purpose of life & intelligent design
(29-04-2015 02:40 PM)onlinebiker Wrote:  
(29-04-2015 02:29 PM)pablo Wrote:  As far as this planet, our purpose is the same as every other creature that lives here. Reproduce and try to live as long as you can.
In the scope of the Universe, I don't think it would effect much if we never existed, or suddenly disappeared.
So far, I have no reason to beliveve any of it was created intelligently.

You know how you can positively prove that there is no "intelligent design"?????

Because --

If somebody was going to tool up and build an entire universe -- and include life into the matrix of reality --- that on those planets that have life --- you'd include an animal that urinated a decent single malt whiskey?????

I sure the fuck would have....

I'm trying to imagine what that animal would look like. Consider
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