This is the purpose of human life.
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02-08-2013, 10:01 AM
RE: This is the purpose of human life.
(02-08-2013 06:19 AM)Luminon Wrote:  I also disagree quite literally. "indistinguishable from" is not the same as "the same as".

It is so far as empricism is concerned.

(02-08-2013 06:19 AM)Luminon Wrote:  In philosophic, rational world there is a complete identity of ideas, in empirical world it would be just a problem of measuring instruments too weak to detect the difference.

Develop this. There is no reason to suppose anything beyond that which is required to account for observation.

(02-08-2013 06:19 AM)Luminon Wrote:  Anyway, empirical science has about four very complex definitions of "nothing". I think Aron Ra mentioned that in his recent discussion with Kirk Cameron or someone like that. You could check if any of these nothings is a non-interaction. Might be, but I doubt so.

It is perhaps a semantic difference. Dark matter interacts gravitationally but not electromagnetically. If it did neither then it would be impossible in principle to detect, much less have cause to theorize.

Nothing is not a term that is used in physics, as physics is by definition concerned with interaction. A quantum mechancial vacuum is not nothing. It produces interactions which are observable and detectable. A complete lack of interaction would be nothing, but that is impossible. Or rather - it is impossible to know of.

(02-08-2013 06:19 AM)Luminon Wrote:  Well then, you have to know that "emergent chaotic system" is just a mental label given to something we don't really understand. We can not create emergent systems at will without understanding them first.

Hardly. Emergent has a very specific physical meaning. Chaotic has a very specific physical meaning. I - indeed, anyone - can create emergent systems at will. I - indeed, anyone - can create chaotic systems at will.

The laws of thermodynamics are not contained within the equations for single particles.

With respect to the human brain in particular, of course I do not fully understand it. But there is no reason to assume it is uniquely inexplicable.

(02-08-2013 06:19 AM)Luminon Wrote:  My view is similar, yet very different in one aspect. The mind is subject to the same physical interaction as everything else, but it is also an open system. It does not have any "emergent properties" whatever they are, it might be open to other sources of stimuli than we know of. That is a very real possibility and happens in science all the time. If you can't isolate it, you can't analyze it, you can't link the effects to causes.
As I said, I don't believe the mind is just a verbal hobby, my experience points at a greater source of inspiration beyond the mind, that can be accessed through meditation. You actually have to do the work to get to that source.

Okay. Yes, the mind is an open system. But it most assuredly does possess emergent properties. It is an electrochemical system for which a reductive application of electromagnetic principles is an inadequate description. That is the very definition of emergent...

It might be open to sources of interaction we are unaware of; there is absolutely no reason to suppose so.

(02-08-2013 06:19 AM)Luminon Wrote:  No, do not presuppose anything! Use it as a METHOD, as a hypothesis to test! That's is legitimate and that is the point of noetic proof.
Theists presuppose, they make a GOAL of their beliefs. Believing for believing is satisfying for them. Or living to live, does that remind you of anything? Wink
But scientists use their "beliefs" as hypotheses to test.

That does not pertain to the (non)existence of some common collective purpose.

I can fairly confidently speak for theists in that the purpose of living is not in life but in afterlife.

(02-08-2013 06:19 AM)Luminon Wrote:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/System

Thanks. I can read Wikipedia for myself.

(02-08-2013 06:19 AM)Luminon Wrote:  Systems have some properties, such as circulation and homeostasis... Understanding systems is the key to understanding the world. However, most people do not understand the systems, they understand only the world of arbitrary interpersonal relationships, because this ability is by far the most useful to them. So they remain blind and helpless to all kinds of political or economic systems and isms, desperate for simple solutions, manipulable by social stimuli, starved for a change towards the better, yet scared of it, knowing that they know not how to judge the tree by its fruits.
The memes and isms are self-preserving mechanisms. They make people feel threatened by a true change. An illusion of change brings an illusion of safety and illusion of understanding. Illusion does not require you to learn anything new. Real change and real safety needs real understanding, which can only be achieved through true learning, actual study.
(therefore people who outright reject The Venus Project without reading the books and listening to the lectures are bullshitters of isms and meme-zombies)

Okay. Define and contrast 'real/true' and 'illusory'.

(02-08-2013 06:19 AM)Luminon Wrote:  As for synergy and integration, that can be quantified empirically. For example our world has a great disparity between the wealthy and the poor and that is demonstrably a very low degree of integration.

That's not quantifying. That's just a statement you've made.

(02-08-2013 06:19 AM)Luminon Wrote:  The world also spends a lot of resources, but not for the benefit of most of humanity, much of the resources is spent to do harm with weapons, so this is against all notions of synergy.

Self-defense.

(02-08-2013 06:19 AM)Luminon Wrote:  The meaning of synergy lies in the game theory, where cooperation of all yields the greatest overall net benefit. Should any one competitor win exclusively, the overall net benefit will be much lower. So we should always aim for the greatest overall net benefit for all humanity. Keep our eyes on the prize and the prize is humanity.

Thank you - that is germane. That answers part of my question and has bearing on actual purpose. One may say that the ideal interaction is to mutual overall net benefit. That is so. One still must define 'overall' and 'benefit', of course...

(02-08-2013 06:19 AM)Luminon Wrote:  Yeah. This is nature and nature is driven more by competition than cooperation. We are seemingly free to do whatever we want, but we get eaten and killed all the time. Our capabilities are limited at every step. What sort of meaning is that? This is why we need this philosophy, we need to discover a real meaning of human life in a completely new relationship to nature, a relationship for the new conditions of not being killed by tigers or lions or black plague all the time.

What you want and what our species needs are not the same thing. Again this is presupposition - we need to do this, we need a new, real meaning... The implication is 'or else'. What is that 'or else'?

(02-08-2013 06:19 AM)Luminon Wrote:  I have yet much to say on that topic, more than the simple, meaningless statements like "meaning is what you make of it" and "you make your own meaning". I'd say that is bullshit. A tautology. If you told that to your boss at work, you'd get fired for incompetence. So that's my problem with the rational, scientifically-minded people. They are incompetent in finding the meaning of life, so they deny it, instead of admitting their incompetence.

Sweeping dismissive generalizations are not productive.

(02-08-2013 06:19 AM)Luminon Wrote:  They focus on the means, the instruments of science, not the ends, the goals, the humanity. Nothing bad about it, only they should know that they go at it the wrong way. They need to understand the duality of means and ends, of instruments and purpose. Purpose is not the same as the instrument and identifying one with the other leads to a disaster.

The thrill of discovery and the ecstasy of new understanding are plenty sufficient purpose for many. Who are you to say they're wrong?

(02-08-2013 06:19 AM)Luminon Wrote:  I believe we are not truly thinking human beings, until we gain a control of ourselves, until we start ruling over the content of our minds, until we critically go over what our parentage and culture taught us and judge that against an objective standard and do not allow the surroundings to manipulate us. Until we do that, until we learn the antivirus and firewall of critical thinking and retrospectively analyze everything that we took for granted, we'll be just pre-programmed followers of completely arbitrary ideas.

There are no objective standards. But for that you have described what most people here do regularly.

(02-08-2013 06:19 AM)Luminon Wrote:  You have to install your own worldview, because only then you can change it if it doesn't work. Of course our culture is based on not having this kind of autonomy, it is based on sharing the control mechanisms. This is why our culture is corrupt and this is why I admire Jacque Fresco for pointing that out and designing a solution. In the current culture, the autonomy of mind leads to isolation, loneliness, depression and sometimes a suicide. Unless we have the internet Wink

Okay.

(02-08-2013 06:19 AM)Luminon Wrote:  Yes, configuration, that's the word. Now, what is configuration? To what degree is it temporary and arbitrary? Is our world a temporary configuration of matter/energy, is it an illusion? Can we lift this illusion and look beyond? That is an empirical question.

Not quite. An empirical question would be, "what might exist that we are not detecting? How might we detect it?" Everything is temporary. Non-trivial configuration requires free energy, which is exhaustible. The universe has a lifespan. The storage medium depends on the context.

(02-08-2013 06:19 AM)Luminon Wrote:  For years I try to answer that question through meditative exercises - by slowing down the thinking and imagination, purging the sensory deprivation hallucinations, increasing the awareness, exposing the pure existence and letting whatever empirical reality might lie beyond to manifest itself in my quiet mind, to play its own music on the calmed strings of neurons. This is what I do to expand the scope of consideration, of awareness. This is a fringe area of experience where just a verbal hobby, a mind talking to itself will not do. Expand the scope of consideration beyond your mind.

Mind as in conscious mind? Okay. Sure. Mind as in brain? Lord no.

I recommend, as strongly as it remains polite to do so, that you spend some time on scientific study; of modern science, of modern theories, and of scientists' philosophies. Have you read Hawking? Sagan? Tyson? Krauss? Start with P. W. Anderson's essay More is Different. Be aware that philosophical questions can only be properly framed in light of scientific knowledge - and philosophers, childishly dismissive of science, are chary of doing so.

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02-08-2013, 10:48 AM
RE: This is the purpose of human life.
(02-08-2013 10:01 AM)cjlr Wrote:  I recommend, as strongly as it remains polite to do so, that you spend some time on scientific study; of modern science, of modern theories, and of scientists' philosophies. Have you read Hawking? Sagan? Tyson? Krauss? Start with P. W. Anderson's essay More is Different. Be aware that philosophical questions can only be properly framed in light of scientific knowledge - and philosophers, childishly dismissive of science, are chary of doing so.

Daniel C. Dennett for the win.

Consciousness Explained
Darwin's Dangerous Idea
Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon
The Mind's I, with Douglas Hofstadter

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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02-08-2013, 10:59 AM
RE: This is the purpose of human life.
(02-08-2013 10:48 AM)Chas Wrote:  Daniel C. Dennett for the win.

Consciousness Explained
Darwin's Dangerous Idea
Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon
The Mind's I, with Douglas Hofstadter

Dennett's amazing.

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02-08-2013, 06:20 PM (This post was last modified: 02-08-2013 06:34 PM by Luminon.)
RE: This is the purpose of human life.
(02-08-2013 09:13 AM)Chas Wrote:  What makes you think I have no interest in the social sciences?

I am merely stating that there is no objective purpose in life, that we each have to find it for ourselves.
The fact of evolution essentially denies that life has an inherent purpose.

I was not addressing the means.
From what I've observed of you, seems to me you prefer the clarity and determinism of natural sciences.
But I may be biased by the stereotypical internet skeptic image. You lot comes from very similar environment and that accounts for very similar worldviews. 

Evolution? Yeah, it denies a purpose. It's good we jumped out of that bandwagon finally. But still, the we need a purpose. We had a fling with this "preparation for afterlife" purpose, but it didn't quite work out. Then we tried this "working and consuming" purpose, but that was an even greater bummer. We need something else and we need it fast. One thing is clear, it has to be global. Just sort of each doing our own thing won't do. There's that annoying division of labor thing.

(02-08-2013 10:01 AM)cjlr Wrote:  Develop this. There is no reason to suppose anything beyond that which is required to account for observation.

It is perhaps a semantic difference. Dark matter interacts gravitationally but not electromagnetically. If it did neither then it would be impossible in principle to detect, much less have cause to theorize.
 
We should judge that by the history of science, how one observation opened whole new fields of science. But I may be biased here. I saw a plenty of strange phenomena and it would take lots of scientific groundwork and preliminary investigation to verify them scientifically. The way I see the world is the very opposite of reductionism, it's agnostic maximalism. The world didn't start in 16th century with Galileo Galilei. There is always more that we don't know than what we know, positivism be damned.

(02-08-2013 10:01 AM)cjlr Wrote:  Hardly. Emergent has a very specific physical meaning. Chaotic has a very specific physical meaning. I - indeed, anyone - can create emergent systems at will. I - indeed, anyone - can create chaotic systems at will.

The laws of thermodynamics are not contained within the equations for single particles.

With respect to the human brain in particular, of course I do not fully understand it. But there is no reason to assume it is uniquely inexplicable.
Yes, but not unique human creative inventions. We know all this natural world, but also psychology and everyday personality stuff is more or less a copy from surroundings or emergent property, but this geniality and creativity is something worthy of looking into and trying some methods to make it explicable. Any two idiots of opposite gender can make another idiot, but that doesn't tell us how to create a genius.

(02-08-2013 10:01 AM)cjlr Wrote:  It might be open to sources of interaction we are unaware of; there is absolutely no reason to suppose so.
Well, maybe you don't have them, maybe 90 % of people don't have the reasons, but I do. 

(02-08-2013 10:01 AM)cjlr Wrote:  That does not pertain to the (non)existence of some common collective purpose.
But it does pertain to a possibility to create it. We are free to create real, meaningful things that did not exist before. Such as computers.

(02-08-2013 10:01 AM)cjlr Wrote:  I can fairly confidently speak for theists in that the purpose of living is not in life but in afterlife.
That was a little jab at you Wink Theists have belief for the sake of belief, you have living for life. Yes, you may feel strongly that it is a sufficient reason. But so do they Tongue

(02-08-2013 10:01 AM)cjlr Wrote:  Thanks. I can read Wikipedia for myself.
Just sayin' that I'm not going to invent any new unique definition of a system here, I want this to be a realistic and useful philosophy.

(02-08-2013 10:01 AM)cjlr Wrote:  Okay. Define and contrast 'real/true' and 'illusory'.
Will a semantic triangle be enough for you? Real is something that has both a mental concept, a word and a thing. 
For example when we say god or perfection, we all know the word, but everyone imagines some different mental concept or image and the thing itself is nowhere to be seen in reality. The semantic triangle is broken.
But when we say a chair, or a 3, we all imagine the same thing, we know the word and we can point at an instance of this thing around us. 

(02-08-2013 10:01 AM)cjlr Wrote:  
(02-08-2013 06:19 AM)Luminon Wrote:  As for synergy and integration, that can be quantified empirically. For example our world has a great disparity between the wealthy and the poor and that is demonstrably a very low degree of integration.
That's not quantifying. That's just a statement you've made.
OK, let's look at integration of our global system through Lorenz curve, which depicts the equality of distribution of wealth. The global system is dynamic (stuff gets moved around all the time), so a straight diagonal Lorenz curve would actually mean a good degree of integration. Of course today it's crooked as hell, because the system is fucked up, which has been its fundamental property.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPKKQnijnsM
A system is supposed to have some circulation and homeostasis, which in your body means that your extremities don't freeze off while your insides are cooking. In American and global economy this doesn't work. Looks like money flow only one way, upwards. That's not a good integration, in my book.

(02-08-2013 10:01 AM)cjlr Wrote:  Self-defense.
LOL. Americans seem to have a pretty broad notion of self-defense Evil_monster
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(02-08-2013 10:01 AM)cjlr Wrote:  Thank you - that is germane. That answers part of my question and has bearing on actual purpose. One may say that the ideal interaction is to mutual overall net benefit. That is so. One still must define 'overall' and 'benefit', of course...
Overall means for every human being on Earth plus the biodiversity of the ecosystem, two equal priorities. As for benefit, Fresco pointed me at a better way to measure it. We shall reject the marginal utility and personal preferences typical for capitalism and try the "capabilities approach", developed by Manfred Max-Neef and Amartya Sen. Not all wants and values are equal. We have to make an objective value judgement and this is it.
http://youtu.be/NtEK1-zjdME?t=13m27s

(02-08-2013 10:01 AM)cjlr Wrote:  What you want and what our species needs are not the same thing. Again this is presupposition - we need to do this, we need a new, real meaning... The implication is 'or else'. What is that 'or else'?
Or else we all die in a global nuclear war for resources and the surface of Earth will be scorched to stone by explosions thousands of times stronger than the bomb in Hiroshima. Such bombs already exist today, though most are just hundreds of times stronger. But the insanity of it. What can anyone possibly accomplish with such weapons? Certainly not self-defense!

(02-08-2013 10:01 AM)cjlr Wrote:  Sweeping dismissive generalizations are not productive.
No, but they are artistic and catch the audience by the heart Heart

(02-08-2013 10:01 AM)cjlr Wrote:  The thrill of discovery and the ecstasy of new understanding are plenty sufficient purpose for many. Who are you to say they're wrong?
Without understanding and judging the ends for which the discoveries will be used, the scientists are worse than prostitutes. I can't pay a prostitute to develop nukes or to spy on the whole world. There may be no mad scientists, but there are a plenty of mad governments.

(02-08-2013 10:01 AM)cjlr Wrote:  There are no objective standards. But for that you have described what most people here do regularly.
Thanks FSM for that! Only if they would revise all areas of their life, not just religion and atheism. They're not nearly so dilligent in economy, politics and philosophy. They still think they're allowed to have their own beliefs Laughat Tongue

(02-08-2013 10:01 AM)cjlr Wrote:  Mind as in conscious mind? Okay. Sure. Mind as in brain? Lord no.

I recommend, as strongly as it remains polite to do so, that you spend some time on scientific study; of modern science, of modern theories, and of scientists' philosophies. Have you read Hawking? Sagan? Tyson? Krauss? Start with P. W. Anderson's essay More is Different. Be aware that philosophical questions can only be properly framed in light of scientific knowledge - and philosophers, childishly dismissive of science, are chary of doing so.
Do philosophical questions about values and purpose have anything to do with science? I doubt so, if science had anything to do with that, we'd have scientists in government and not politicians and businessmen. Perhaps we should. But science is merely an istrument, it can not tell us what to use this instrument for. It is merely an instrumental rationality and it pretty much leaves us stupid in the area of value rationality. People such as Hawking may fantasize about the danger of aliens coming to plunder Earth, not realizing that he just caught up with the millenia old cliche of human behavior. And that it is much easier to mine asteroids than to drag plunder from a gravity well. Scientists may be intelligent in the area of natural sciences, but they still may be fools. Fools who develop means to destroy this planet because they are paid for that. Fools who design means of travel on other planets, instead of solving our problems on this one. Fools who complain of a lack of money, yet do not use science to design an economic system not limited by money. Fools who say "this is impossible!" instead of "I don't have information about that."

So tell me, show me the goods first. What I can learn from the scientists you listed? Check my statements against Wikipedia, I suppose. I already try to do that. Anything that scientist positively say, I accept. But I refuse to stop where they have nothing to say. What I know of them, they propagate this vanilla worldview of the natural science journals of the recent decades. They work as scientists, but what they pass on is a verbal hobby, useless in my situation. I leave the consciousness to Dennet, my task is exploring the super-consciousness.

OK, I've read the Anderson's essay. I don't know what's the point of it, except rejecting reductionism.
I don't dismiss the science, I simply accept it and move on to areas that the science has not yet dealt with. Of course the brain is a biologic machine and I'd gladly believe that Dennet can understand its workings. Which allows me to move on, to something about which Dennett seems to know absolutely nothing. I am working towards enlightenment. You know, the kind of stuff that tends to happen under a fig tree or on the road to Damascus and that makes you almost a genius. I happen to perform a form of Laya/Kriya Yoga. I encounter phenomena that scientists ignore or overlook every day. What can I do, but acknowledge that which scientists didn't overlook and move on?

"Despite the fact that this transformation has been painstakingly described in virtually every contemplative tradition – from Buddhism, Taoism and Hinduism through to the mystical branches of the Western Abrahamic religions – and is the central drama in the lives of thousands of lucid and intelligent human beings, here in the West there is zero mention of the phenomenon in any of our bastions of intellectual respectability. You’ll never read about spiritual enlightenment in a Malcolm Gladwell book, or the pages of The New York Review of Books. This is true even in most Western Buddhist books, where enlightenment may be mentioned as a general principle or orientation, but almost never as a tangible transformation that happens to real 21st-century human beings."
http://www.psychologytomorrowmagazine.co...ff-warren/

What can I say, if western people are ignorant of even such a standard phenomenon as dis-identification? Perhaps only, the world didn't begin with the 16th century Europe.
http://www.psychologytomorrowmagazine.co...er-person/
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02-08-2013, 07:36 PM
RE: This is the purpose of human life.
(02-08-2013 06:20 PM)Luminon Wrote:  
(02-08-2013 09:13 AM)Chas Wrote:  What makes you think I have no interest in the social sciences?

I am merely stating that there is no objective purpose in life, that we each have to find it for ourselves.
The fact of evolution essentially denies that life has an inherent purpose.

I was not addressing the means.
From what I've observed of you, seems to me you prefer the clarity and determinism of natural sciences.
But I may be biased by the stereotypical internet skeptic image. You lot comes from very similar environment and that accounts for very similar worldviews. 

Evolution? Yeah, it denies a purpose. It's good we jumped out of that bandwagon finally. But still, the we need a purpose. We had a fling with this "preparation for afterlife" purpose, but it didn't quite work out. Then we tried this "working and consuming" purpose, but that was an even greater bummer. We need something else and we need it fast. One thing is clear, it has to be global. Just sort of each doing our own thing won't do. There's that annoying division of labor thing.

"You lot"? Stereotyping, are we? Consider

It is not clear that we globally need a purpose. Remember, all politics is local.

A global purpose brings rather scary images of humanity marching lock-step to someone else's drummer.

No thanks.

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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02-08-2013, 07:52 PM (This post was last modified: 02-08-2013 07:58 PM by Luminon.)
RE: This is the purpose of human life.
(02-08-2013 07:36 PM)Chas Wrote:  "You lot"? Stereotyping, are we? Consider

It is not clear that we globally need a purpose. Remember, all politics is local.
Which is why politics can't solve global problems. Or any problems. Politicians are ignorant people, even the honest ones. They don't know, how to solve problems, they're clueless people chosen from among clueless masses. So much for participative democracy.

(02-08-2013 07:36 PM)Chas Wrote:  A global purpose brings rather scary images of humanity marching lock-step to someone else's drummer.
No thanks.
Yeah. You mean like this? No thanks. At least marching is good for health.
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02-08-2013, 07:58 PM
RE: This is the purpose of human life.
(02-08-2013 07:52 PM)Luminon Wrote:  
(02-08-2013 07:36 PM)Chas Wrote:  "You lot"? Stereotyping, are we? Consider

It is not clear that we globally need a purpose. Remember, all politics is local.
Which is why politics can't solve global problems.

(02-08-2013 07:36 PM)Chas Wrote:  A global purpose brings rather scary images of humanity marching lock-step to someone else's drummer.
No thanks.
Yeah. You mean like this? No thanks. At least marching is good for health.
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That was a totally weird response.Consider

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02-08-2013, 08:02 PM
RE: This is the purpose of human life.
(02-08-2013 07:52 PM)Luminon Wrote:  
(02-08-2013 07:36 PM)Chas Wrote:  "You lot"? Stereotyping, are we? Consider

It is not clear that we globally need a purpose. Remember, all politics is local.
Which is why politics can't solve global problems. Or any problems. Politicians are ignorant people, even the honest ones. They don't know, how to solve problems, they're clueless people chosen from among clueless masses. So much for participative democracy.

(02-08-2013 07:36 PM)Chas Wrote:  A global purpose brings rather scary images of humanity marching lock-step to someone else's drummer.
No thanks.
Yeah. You mean like this? No thanks. At least marching is good for health.
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Politicians don't solve problems. They review bills, and then vote for or against them. Then they review it again to see if it can be passed into law.

They can write their own bills, or review bills written by other people.

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02-08-2013, 08:10 PM
RE: This is the purpose of human life.
(02-08-2013 06:20 PM)Luminon Wrote:  But still, the we need a purpose. ..... We need something else and we need it fast. One thing is clear, it has to be global."

Un-fricking-believable.
YOU need a purpose, and YOU need to impose YOUR projected purpose on the rest of humanity.
Too bad, your holiness. The position in Rome was filled recently. You may have to wait a bit.
You really are an annoying little presumptuous twit.

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02-08-2013, 08:40 PM
RE: This is the purpose of human life.
I've been drinking, I'll give you a better answer later.

(02-08-2013 06:20 PM)Luminon Wrote:  But I may be biased by the stereotypical internet skeptic image. You lot comes from very similar environment and that accounts for very similar worldviews. 
...
Evolution? ... It's good we jumped out of that bandwagon finally. But still, the we need a purpose.
...
That was a little jab at you Wink Theists have belief for the sake of belief, you have living for life. Yes, you may feel strongly that it is a sufficient reason. But so do they Tongue
...
Without understanding and judging the ends for which the discoveries will be used, the scientists are worse than prostitutes.
...
They still think they're allowed to have their own beliefs Laughat Tongue
...
What can I say, if western people are ignorant of even such a standard phenomenon as dis-identification? Perhaps only, the world didn't begin with the 16th century Europe.

This does not seem a productive attitude.

(02-08-2013 06:20 PM)Luminon Wrote:  ... an objective value judgement

And you.. don't see the problem in asserting this?

(02-08-2013 06:20 PM)Luminon Wrote:  What can anyone possibly accomplish with such weapons? Certainly not self-defense!

Mutually assured destruction is what prevented unilateral destruction.

(02-08-2013 06:20 PM)Luminon Wrote:  Do philosophical questions about values and purpose have anything to do with science?

They absolutely and fundamentally do. Good luck without knowledge.

(02-08-2013 06:20 PM)Luminon Wrote:  I doubt so,

Well, there's your problem.

(02-08-2013 06:20 PM)Luminon Wrote:  People such as Hawking may fantasize about the danger of aliens coming to plunder Earth, not realizing that he just caught up with the millennia old cliche of human behavior. And that it is much easier to mine asteroids than to drag plunder from a gravity well. Scientists may be intelligent in the area of natural sciences, but they still may be fools. Fools who develop means to destroy this planet because they are paid for that. Fools who design means of travel on other planets, instead of solving our problems on this one. Fools who complain of a lack of money, yet do not use science to design an economic system not limited by money. Fools who say "this is impossible!" instead of "I don't have information about that."

People such as Hawking (and the others I mentioned, and many more besides) have spent a lot of time theorizing why the universe is as it is, why we perceive what we perceive, and why we are as we are. To dismiss that body of thought is asinine.

(02-08-2013 06:20 PM)Luminon Wrote:  So tell me, show me the goods first. What I can learn from the scientists you listed?

A lot.

I'm done for now. Apologies. More thorough response to follow.

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