Re: What is the meaning of life?

#141

Sarcosuchus Wrote: The meaning of the organic life itself is easy to understand. You should just look at organisms and see the same thing for every single one of them: energy transformation decreasing the entropy
For sapient and sentient life, I think the mental equivalent of building order would be condensing experiences into wisdom.  Dunno what this wisdom is for, and what happens to it when an individual dies.  Maybe it's used by souls to evolve between reincarnations, if you believe in souls and reincarnation.  Maybe it's harvested from the simulation, if you believe the universe is a simulation.

Re: What is the meaning of life?

#142
Dr. Buller, sorry about the late reply.  For some reason, my initial post didn't submit.  Christians believe that we should help people with our individual giftings, and most importantly, spread the gospel news that Christ, in other words, God, took the consequence of our sins so that imperfect man may go to heaven.

Haust (and any atheists out there), if everything has a beginning, it can't be timeless.  If our universe was made by something, which it logically would be, what made that, and what made that, and so on?  There had to be a point of origin, and without a timeless creator, I see our timeless universe could have been made, and neither have any evolutionists that I have seen or spoken to.  Additionally, I do not understand why atheists assume life can be made from its materials by mere accident and void of a creator.  Despite all their trying, Scientists cannot make life from its substances outside of procreation, so the evidence points away from the possibility of that, not toward it.  How, then, could living creatures come from non-living substances?  Also, may I ask, what makes atheism scientific, yet the existence of a creator not so?


Please know I am not trying to pick a fight. That's the last thing I'd want to do.  Just interested to hear your thoughts and understand a different viewpoint.

Sincerely, Wile

Re: What is the meaning of life?

#143

Wilewriter17 Wrote: Haust (and any atheists out there), if everything has a beginning, it can't be timeless.  If our universe was made by something, which it logically would be, what made that, and what made that, and so on?  There had to be a point of origin, and without a timeless creator, I see our timeless universe could have been made, and neither have any evolutionists that I have seen or spoken to.  Additionally, I do not understand why atheists assume life can be made from its materials by mere accident and void of a creator.  Despite all their trying, Scientists cannot make life from its substances outside of procreation, so the evidence points away from the possibility of that, not toward it.  How, then, could living creatures come from non-living substances?  Also, may I ask, what makes atheism scientific, yet the existence of a creator not so?


I don't believe that time has a beginning, nor that the unvierse has a beginning. THIS universe might have a beginning, but that's not the same thing as the beginning of everything. 

If I was to state my views on these things, it'd be that this is just a natural continuation, not by design, but by the same way an egg is the natural continuation of a chicken. It's just what happened because other stuff happened before and then this and that happened because of it. There's a lot of proof for the fact that the Big Bang did happen, but for all I know it was just a single bubble going 'pop' on a single wave of a single current of a single sea in the infinite oceans of the endless universe. And from what I'm understanding of quantum theory, current science is also supporting this multiverse view now. Sadly I'm not well enough versed in it to argue for or against that at the moment. 

Anyway, I'm not against the idea of a creator. But I definitely dont agree with the idea that the creator is like how it's described in the Bible. If there's a creator, they would not give a damn about half the things that happened in the Bible, and they would certainly not contradict themselves (like the contradiction between having free will and being turned to salt rocks because they used their free will). I don't believe for a second that God, if they're real, is a white human male with a beard on a cloud, that he cares about the gays, that he wants you to pay tithe to the church, or even cares about what we believe in. If there's a creator, we are to them, as a single brain cell is to us. As long as it functions and doesn't cause brain cancer, whatever. A creator would never micro-manage humans, or even elevate humans above other living things. 

So to answer your question: The idea of a creator is not anti-scientific (we can't disprove it) but the idea of the Christian God specifically being the truth at the expense of all the other deities people happen to believe in, as well as the expense of all other lifestyles not condined by a single book written by a war-mongering empire who murdered said books Messiah is very unscientific. God would, honestly, just not care. They might care about our well-being, they might even care about our worship, but why would they care if we assemble in a specific building at a specific weekday, to call them by a specific name? Why would they tell us to burn in hell if we don't obey the rules written by a warmongering empire that fell to its own hubris thousands of years ago? Why would they tell us to kill people who calls it by another name? Specifically?

Re: What is the meaning of life?

#144
Hello again, Haust.  Those are great questions, and I'll do my best to answer them.  But first, I would like to talk about what you said about atheism.  

You used the analogy of the creation of an egg being the continuation of a chicken.  However, that chicken was made by something, and that one was made by something, and so on.  Most atheists (at least to my knowledge) assume that chickens came from their initial ancestors.  On top of this, from observation, everything around us has a point of origin.  Could you say it's all part of a never-ending process?  Sure, but my reservations are, first, where is the proof of this?  And, second, observable science points away from that, not toward it.

To answer why God cares about us, he's perfect.  We may be tiny specs with fleeting lives, but he made us for some reason and a perfect God loves and cares about all his creation, no matter how small or insignificant they made be.

Concerning what you said about free will, that is not a contradiction.  The Bible says we have free will, but it also says there are consequences for our sin.  When Lot's wife looked back at Sodom and Gamora (I assume that's the event you are speaking of), she was blatantly ignoring what God explicitly told them, and she did so because of her desire for the way of life there.  The people of Sodom and Gamora were prideful, rapists, adulturers, and I'm sure much more.  Acting on the longing for that way of life was wrong, and though she had the free will to look back, like Newton's Third Law says, everything has an equal and opposite reaction.

As for God being a bearded white man in a cloud, I don't believe that either.  Whatever he looks like, Moses' encounter with him shows that we can't know or comprehend the sight of God (Exodus 33).

As for whether he would care about gays, tithing, and what we believe in, again he's perfect.  A perfect God cares about everyone and wants people to help his workers when able.  Concerning belief, a perfect God cannot justly let imperfect man go without the punishment for their actions, regardless of what good they did.  That would be like a court of law letting a rapist or a murder go because the person also gave to charity or served people in some way.  Just as that rapist or murderer wouldn't meet society's standards, we don't measure up to a perfect God, not even close.  That's why he paid the fine for our actions.  And all he asks in return for this is that we humble ourselves and acknowledge he is the God who rescued us from ourselves.

As for the rest of the stuff in that paragraph:  Wrongdoing is a disease, and like a disease, it spreads and harms.  That's why he keeps us in check.  But micromanaging?  Only legalists believe in micromanagement; I don't. Also, God made us smarter, but he doesn't elevate us.  We elevate ourselves.

As for who wrote the Bible, it was not the war-mongering empire, but the people that empire hunted down and slaughtered, the people that had nothing earthly to gain by believing in God.

Why should we obey what God told us?  Because he is God, and obeying said rules is how to avoid hindering ourselves and others, and it is how to measure up to his standard of perfection.  Of course, we cannot measure up, though, which is why he paid the price for our shortcomings.

As for God telling us to kill people who don't believe as we do, the Bible definitely does not say that.  And the reason we should believe in Jesus specifically is not because of what one calls him, but rather who he is.  Two people can know someone called, let say, Jeff.  However, if the Jeff each person knows looks and acts entirely different, then it is not the same person.  It's like that with God.  If you worship a God who says you can measure up to him or her by being good enough (as every other god-believing religion does), then you aren't worshipping the same person.

I could talk about the Bible's reputability compared to the books of other religious beliefs, but that's a whole other topic, so I will only talk about that if you want me to.  Additionally, if you have any other questions or thoughts, I would be glad to hear them.  Great questions and thoughts, and I hope what I said clears things up.

Lastly, I know I said this earlier, but if there is a God and he is perfect, as I am saying, then he cares about you.  And if he cares about people, then a short-coming Christian should too.  That is why I am discussing this with you.  If anything I have said thus far is offensive, I apologize, and please know my intention is not to argue a conflicting side but to be helpful in the manner my convictions have taught me.  I hate thinking on sides.  Our middle ground is (I believe) helping others, and I am speaking to you as a different view wanting likewise to be helpful.

Thanks for listening to my ramblings.

Sincerely, Wile

Re: What is the meaning of life?

#146
Just to throw in my towel at this point on a few points I hold some interest in. On the topic of the self-creation of the universe through any mechanism whatsoever, I believe the most satisfying explanation for existence existing is some fundamental condition necessitates it’s existence, resulting in inevitability. A good way of making existence inevitable is to make all possible things inevitable, in which case the improbability of existence from whatever prior state it originated from is unavoidable as improbable things become realised in equal measure to all probable things. Thus all things however improbable are equally probable to literally all other probable things within all of possibility. Inexistent and existence were then in effect created in the same stroke and our universe would be as having an unstained splotch on an infinite canvas painted with innumerable swathes of colours and shapes. The universe would then not exist because it is grand, but because when confronted with the full majesty of the highest infinity it is unimaginably small.

Concerning free will and determinism. I have heard people argue that a deterministic universe (which is the logical conclusion of either symmetrical temporal causality or an intelligent creator) that free will cannot exist as all actions are the result of outside causes. I do not approve of this logic as it negates any definition of free will by design. I do not approve of “disproving” a concept from existing through defining it out of existence. First I feel one must present a hypothetical existence however exaggerated in which the concept of free will can exist as an acceptably defined phenomenon; and only then can you use that specific definition to prove that specific interpretation is not consistent with reality. I encounter the same annoyance when people argue that magic does not exist because, even if it actually did, the fact that it existed would render it as no longer being truly “magic” because for some reason the definition of magic is that it is by necessity a phenomenon which does not exist and thus even if something was completely identical to our idea of what magic would be in every conceivable way it wouldn’t truly be magic. I could thus give many definitions of free will that by definition are things that exist and many that within our physical understanding do not exist, but I do not define a idea as fundamentally non-existent in it’s very concept.

Concerning Christianity. It is actually quite an interesting religion historically (which I distinguish from the concept of faith itself). Both being historically highly oppressed and at times becoming highly oppressive. Christianity I feel was made as its core as a faith for the defiant and the exiled, with several parables concerned with having faith while serving under those who would oppress that faith. The flaw of wise teaching is always that its wording is less relevant that how its disciples interpret such wording which is why I always feel one must interpret their own understanding from such teaching wherever they may be found and not blindly follow the interpretations of others or try to force your own interpretations on those around you. None can truly teach another, and so we must never forget that it is we ourselves who must seek to learn.

And finally on the virtues of faith. Irrespective of whatever the truth may be or what my personal beliefs are I do believe that faith and spirituality has held many great benefits to their practitioners. (Though religion hasn’t always done such a great job). For example some recent psychological and self help movements have noticed the mental benefits of being thankful. Literally just being thankful at all on any level on any regular basis. What more evidence would you need that prayer, which is in it’s very nature an act of humility and gratitude on many occasions, holds great potential? What other image than faith in higher powers is more potent at reminding us that not all things are within our personal control, and that we must do our best and trust in our hopes come what may?

Concerning such unanswerable philosophical conundrums I often like the idea of an answer that holds true irrespective of what lies within the unknown. A simple example would be this puzzle:
Paul is looking at Mary.
Mary is looking at Peter.
Paul is married.
Peter is unmarried.
Is a married person looking at an unmarried person?

The unknown is simple. We don’t know if Mary is unmarried or not. But the question is such that the unknown becomes irrelevant to the solution; such that irrespective of whether Mary is married or unmarried (which is a logical binary that offers no other states of being) the answer remains the same. This is how I believe life should be lived, such that things which are unknown to us is irrelevant to how we should conduct ourselves, and we must maintain the good in ourselves no matter if the image before us is an angel promising heaven or the devil tricking us into damnation. We can only do our best.

Re: What is the meaning of life?

#151
Biologically the meaning of life is endless reproduction and perfection until an outside force/influence stops said reproduction and drive towards natural 'perfection'.

On a more personal level? I suppose the meaning of life would be to fulfill the 'meaning' you yourself give to life. To work towards a goal, no matter how abstract, unique or normal it might be. To some the meaning of life might just be to live it out, to others it might be starting a family and getting a white picket fence. More interesting to think about might be when life is meaningless. Does not being able to complete that goal mean that you failed and life was meaningless? Or is it more the journey that matters? More 'filling' it than 'fulfilling' it? This must be what philosophers feel like.