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Does the universe have a purpose?
Posted: 16 October 2006 02:26 AM   [ Ignore ]
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1.  The universe has a purpose and that purpose is to be aware of it’s existence.
2.  Humanity is the vehicle that allows the universe to be aware.
3.  Anytime a fundamental ideology incorporates the uses of a divine omnipresent force to justify purpose it fails to grasp the primary cause for existence.
4.  The purpose for humanity is to be a knowing living entity that can comprehend the universe.
5.  Think how much would be lost if humanity cease to exist.
We are mere part of the whole of the universe. We could not be if not for the universe.
The universe cannot be known to exist if not for humanity.

[ Edited: 19 July 2007 12:28 PM by Entity ]
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Posted: 16 October 2006 02:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I don’t think so.  I don’t think the universe has a purpose, because it’s not a living, thinking creature.  Human beings seem to need a purpose (or at least feel as if they have a purpose), but we are really good at making up our own purpose.

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Posted: 16 October 2006 03:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Re: Does the universe have a purpose?

I’m with Advocatus, here.

[quote author=“Entity”]4. The purpose for humanity is to be a knowing living entity that can comprehend the universe.

This is an interesting speculation, rather neo-Platonic, but my confusion is how we could ever know such a thing. I mean, I am happy to grant that you believe your purpose is to comprehend the universe. I rather like that as well. But “humanity’s purpose”?

[quote author=“Entity”]5. Think how much would be lost if humanity cease to exist.
We are mere part of the whole of the universe. We could not be if not for the universe. The universe cannot exist if not for humanity.

I follow you right up to the last sentence. Certainly the universe existed before we did. If a stray comet had hit the planet just right, humanity never would have come to be. So clearly the universe doesn’t depend on us for its existence.

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Posted: 16 October 2006 04:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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The Purpose of the Universe

Does the Universe have a purpose?
I think that no one can say that   it does with any degree of certainty.

Bob Reasoner

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Posted: 16 October 2006 05:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Posted: 16 October 2006 05:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Q: Does the universe have a purpose?

A: No.

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http://www.rationalrevolution.net

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Posted: 16 October 2006 06:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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[quote author=“George Benedik”]We are (the universe) some kind of a divine embryo. Perhaps, one day, a ‘perfection’ through natural selection (darwinian, not Darwin’s) will be born.

Well, natural selection doesn’t aim at perfection, as you know. It doesn’t aim at anything more than reproductive success.

Not sure what you mean by a “divine embryo” ... Why “divine”? Why an “embryo”?

[quote author=“George Benedik”]Is this not an idea worthy of the Templeton prize? :wink: The world is hungry for spirituality and science at the same time. Within this new movement ’ some kind of neo-Platonism, as Doug said ’ we could focus on the importance of morality, scientific discoveries, monotheism (one god will be born), pantheism (we are all god), etc. The important part would be that this ‘new religion’ would have to be based on reason and not faith: We co-operate, God will exist. If we don’t, the Universe will miscarry.

Had anybody ever discussed this ‘idea’? I remember reading something by Hegel that ‘reality is an evolution of mind’ or something like that ’ can’t remember the exact words.

Hmmm ... not sure I’m following you here, George. Certainly, morality and scientific discoveries are very important and deserve our focus, but what’s the god stuff all for?

A lot of Hegel is pretty close to Idealism (in the philosophical sense), the “world soul” and all that. Unfortunately, that’s what sinks it too. There’s no evidence for any of it.

[ Edited: 24 May 2007 11:12 AM by Thomas Donnelly ]
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Posted: 16 October 2006 07:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Posted: 16 October 2006 07:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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[quote author=“George Benedik”]Yes, I understand it doesn’t aim at it. Nevertheless, if natural selection functions as some kind of a filter, and there are (in our universe) given number of the laws of physics, shouldn’t there be an end to all the possible combinations resolving in an ultimate ‘perfect’ one? Let’s call it God. And because we (not us, the homo sapiens, but the universe itself) are still ‘not there’, because we are still in ‘development’, we would be God’s embryo. Maybe, since we (yes, us, the homo sapiens) are now ‘forming’ the conscious part of the universe (the memes), we are actually creating God’s mind…

:? :?

Eeeeh, still not following you here, George.

Why would there need to be an “end” to the combinations? Surely its conceivable that there are an infinite number of ways to create living things. And even if there aren’t, why would any of them be “perfect”? I’d have supposed they’d all be imperfect in different ways ...

The rest of what you say ... weeell, I think it’s a bit over my head.

[quote author=“George Benedik”]I just find this amusing!  raspberry Metaphysics can be so much fun…

Yes, speculation can be fun.

Gotta get nailed down sooner or later though ...  :wink:

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Posted: 16 October 2006 07:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Posted: 16 October 2006 08:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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[quote author=“George Benedik”]If in the beginning (Big Bang) there where, let’s say, only two laws of physics: A and B, then the possible combinations (not only life itself, but everything in the universe) based on these laws would be AB, BB, BA, AA. Now, through natural selection AB:BA, AB:BB, etc. only one would have to survive. It is also possible, however, that new(!) laws of physics keep appearing all the time, in which case the combinations would be infinitive: AABABBABABBAABABBBA…....

:?:  :?:  :?:

You don’t combine laws like that. For every physical thing in the universe, they are always subject to all physical laws relevant to their type. E.g., if a particle has no mass, it isn’t subject to the law of gravitation.

So if all things that evolve are subject physical laws A, B and C, they always will be subject to these laws.

Also, even a small set of physical laws can lead to hugely complex, chaotic and unpredictable phenomena. This is something they study in chaos theory . And of course, since we actually live in a universe which is probabilistic on the smallest scales, this sort of chaos will never be fully predictable, and can lead to a potential infinity of outcomes ... again, even with a small set of physical laws.

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Posted: 16 October 2006 08:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Posted: 16 October 2006 08:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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If the purpose of humanity is to comprehend the universe, then it follows that we are required for the universe to be comprehended.  Prior to humanity, there was no comprehension.  So, how did the universe know to create humanity if it couldn’t comprehend prior to that creation.

Methinks your arguments stand upon a foundation of sand.

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Posted: 16 October 2006 08:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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[quote author=“George Benedik”]I wasn’t trying to combine laws, but everything else depending on them.

I remember when Sagan in The Demon-Haunted World said something like (can’t remember the exact words) that people prefer pseudoscience as opposed to science because pseudoscience is ‘easier’ to understand. I think I need to remind myself of that once again and accept that I am probably talking pseudoscience-metaphysics-gibberish.  :?

I dunno, George, maybe there’s something there. I just can’t quite understand it.

:?

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Posted: 16 October 2006 09:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Posted: 16 October 2006 10:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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[quote author=“George Benedik”]“Professor Dawkins, will God/Perfection ever exist? Will Natural Selection ever come to an end, having nothing else to select from?”

I think that will confuse him a great deal. As for natural selection, I don’t see it ever coming to an end. There’s no reason it need to, except in the sense that planets will become uninhabitable, stars will go nova, and the heat-death of the universe will kill anything that remains by that time.

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