The classical definition of causality states that a cause and its effect(s) can be different types of entity. In equational terms a cause is considered necessary:->> if x is a necessary cause of y, then the presence of y necessarily implies the presence of x. The presence of x however does not imply that y will occur. A cause is considered sufficient:->> if x is a sufficient cause of y, then the presence of x necessarily implies the presence of y.
If as empiricists have proposed, our universe started via the Big Bang, implying that it was caused,( thus an effect of a cause), then the question arises: What caused it? Certainly the universe could not have caused itself to exist. Theorists suggest that there was some kind of an entity, with energy so dense, that it could have occupied a space so small, but when that space expanded, for whatever reason, the energy it contained was released... energy that subsequently initiated the formation of mass (matter) since as per Einstein's formulation E=Mc2.
On its own could or would energy be an entity that produced every material forms in the universe including life? Sentient life in fact. IMO the appearance of sentient life on earth (and maybe somewhere else) implies intent and purpose, and energy on it own certainly does not have those 2 properties. Life comes from life; Sentience comes from sentience.
Going back to the equation above it would read: If a sentient entity, call him GOD (x) is a necessary cause of sentience, call him Homo Sapiens (y) , then the presence of humans necessarily implies the presence of God. If God(x) is a sufficient cause of humans(y) , then the presence of God(x) necessarily implies the presence of humans(y)
You're making a lot of assumptions.
Life comes from life? Prove it.
Sentience comes from sentience? Prove it.
Those are not assumptions... those are facts. Now if you believe otherwise, then you have to prove it. ie life and sentience being cause by non-life and non-sentience. If you believe nature dunnit, can you tell me how nature designed the DNA... the basic property of life. If you believe nature dunnit, can you tell me how nature designed the brain-- the most integrative connections there is on earth that undergirds intelligence and sentience.
"Now if you believe otherwise, then you have to prove it. ie life and sentience being cause by non-life and non-sentience."
You know better; you made the statement and are responsible for either supporting it or letting it lie as opinion and nothing more.
As far as the other requests to explain how nature dunnit, study up on evolution and abiogenesis. Always bearing in mind that whether an understanding of what happened is available or not does not mean it did not happen.
Oh I have studied evolution and abiogenesis alright. And these two theories certainly could not and would not explain the emergence of life.... and intelligent life. If you think they do, then you must be in another sphere of the empirical perseveration.
Nonsense. Many rational, intelligent and sincere people, both religious and not, find the evidence sufficient. You can't just insult that fact away.
Whats facts are you referring to? My facts revolve around the logical and sensible idea that the universe could not have created itself. If you think it did, what proofs do you have. The only reason why you might think that the universe was not created is if you believe that it is eternal. Empiricists certainly don't think that the universe is eternal.
The universe had its start, as per empirical theory, with the Big Bang. So whatever or whoever started it designed for the universe to proceed in a manner that we are now discovering and unraveling , via what we label Laws of Nature. It is in the nature of the universe to proceed the way it did, because it was designed to proceed the way it did and continues to do. There is nothing willy-nilly about the process, because it is in the nature of the universe to proceed along the lines of the "laws" we now call laws of nature.
Design implies intelligence and sentience. If you don't agree to that statement then I suppose nothing will ever unhinge you from the "nature dunnit" scenario, which implies no design , thus no intelligence.
Odd. Most, if not all, scientists familiar with the concept accept both as quite possible. About the only ones that don't are those that prefer the Religious explanation but they can provide no other explanation but the god theory...without ever producing a god. At least those that understand evolution can produce thousands of examples of it.
Evolutionary theory does not and certainly can not tell us with absolute certainly why, how and what started life on earth except to say that the materials to produce life was available in abundance for it to occur. Evolutionary theory mainly involves itself with the process of what "life" went through after it was formed. Abiogenesis is just a theory that implies that life was willi-nilly produced without any design intent to it. Which as you already know nature could not do on its own because nature was, is and will never be intelligent and sentient. The only reason why you might think that nature is intelligent is becasue it follows, "laws" that we now call Laws of Nature.
"Evolutionary theory does not and certainly can not tell us with absolute certainly why, how and what started life on earth except to say that the materials to produce life was available in abundance for it to occur. "
If you have studied evolution at all you completely understand that this sentence is an exercise in nonsense, for evolution has exactly zero to say about the origins of life. Not even what the environment was like prior to life. Suggest you continue those studies.
"Abiogenesis is just a theory that implies that life was willi-nilly produced without any design intent to it. Which as you already know nature could not do on its own because nature was, is and will never be intelligent and sentient."
Fascinating conclusion, and very true...IF the assumption that life required a sentience to produce it is true. As there is no evidence to support that assumption, the statement is as lacking in reason as the first couple of sentences. We know of nothing whatsoever that indicates at all that random chemical reactions could not produce both DNA and cells: life as we know it. It is also completely impossible to definitively state that a different form of life did not arise and then mutate to become what we consider life today.
As far as nature being intelligent, I'll just point out that homo sapiens are a part of nature and let you decide just how intelligent nature is.
Nature "designs" through natural laws and mathematics. These underpin everything. That's why the growth of cities follow the same mathematical laws as the growth of galaxies. It's all numbers. Number, forces and fields, nothing else.
Only an intelligent/sentient entity is capable of creating design because designing implies intent and purpose, 2 predispositions that can only be ascribed to intelliegence and sentience.
Since nature is non-intelliegnt and non-sentient, it is incapable of being predisposed to having intent and purpose. Nature can only produce (not create) patterns(not designs).
Your post is full of assumptions you have no reason to make, save to produce the answer desired.
First, the assumption that there was a cause somewhere in the strange and unknown "universe" of a singularity. The only thing you have to found that assumption on is that most (but not all) events in our much different universe (with it's much different physical laws) requires one; obviously insufficient to form the conclusion.
Then you assume that the universe could not be it's own cause - again based on nothing at all as you have never witnessed the formation of ANY universe, let alone the large number required to formulate the conclusion.
Next comes the assumption (stated as such) that sentience requires intelligence to provide intent and purpose. And once again it is founded on nothing but the desire for a god - nothing else points to that conclusion as there is exactly zero observation of the rise of sentient life.
The we come to "Life comes from life; Sentience comes from sentience.", but the first half is known to be false and the second is nothing but another unsupported opinion.
The equations then: "If a sentient entity, call him GOD (x) is a necessary cause of sentience, call him Homo Sapiens (y) , then the presence of humans necessarily implies the presence of God." Fine, but we don't know if the "IF" section is true or not. As a result even though we know humans exist there is no reason for there to be a god.
"If God(x) is a sufficient cause of humans(y) , then the presence of God(x) necessarily implies the presence of humans(y)" Notice that the "IF" section is unknown. There is at this time nothing whatsoever to support such a statement that a god is sufficient cause of humanity.
Here we go again. The local hp maths geniuses are out again. God help us.
Why couldn't the universe have caused itself into existence?
Once again we see brand new theories emerging from the wilderness. This time it's evolutionary theory "made up on the go." A bit like Macdonalds takeaway science.
"Evolution has zero to tell us about the origins of life"(? ) wow.
You really do need to study it a bit more. Or a lot more, if you think evolution concerns itself with the origins of life.
Please stop it. Now you're tweaking to get out of your own bind. "Think before you leap". Evolution has a lot to say about the beginnings of life, not "nothing to say". More tweaking to get out of your own tangles is expected!
So? Which species did the first life evolve from?
"Evolutionary theory mainly involves itself with the process of what "life" went through after it was formed.
Abiogenesis is just a theory that implies that life was willi-nilly produced without any design intent to it."
It is difficult to understand how any one person could possibly make these two statements and then claim that evolution is the study or concept of how life was formed in the first place. Perhaps you need to study the very first thesis on evolution: "Origin of Species" and the man the proposed it. Nowhere will you find anything about the origin of life - indeed he was adamant that he DID not have anything to say about creation of life. Nothing has changed since that time, although abiogenesis was formed in an attempt to understand just how life came about in the first place.
It IS interesting, though, to watch as those believing in intelligent design go to such efforts to discredit a well understood concept (evolution) - to the point of changing it in order to "prove" it wrong.
As I said evolutionary theory is mainly involved with how different living entities (with varying specie specific genetic markers) proceeded to interact and react to variegated environmental impositions that they encountered during their respective life spans. Evolution is of course a scientific fact, but it has nothing to say about how life started, and that is why the myth of abiogenesis have to be invented by Darwinists who could not quite accept the idea that life was created by a sentient being.
An article, written by John Morgan in the magazine Scientific American which he titled "Pssst!!!! Don't tell the creationists, but scientists don't have a clue how life began" , rather quickly debunked the idea that abiogenesis has serious/impeccable scientific underpinning. In the article, he detailed why abiogenesis can never be empirically proven despite all the attempts to chemically mix various protein precursors ie amino acids to produce self-replicating proteins. First there was DNA, but DNA can make neither proteins nor copies of itself without the help of catalytic enzymes. Then there was RNA, which might be able to replicate itself without help from enzymes, but RNA and its components are difficult to synthesize under the best of circumstances, in a laboratory, let alone under plausible prebiotic conditions. The RNA scenario is so dissatisfying that some frustrated scientists are resorting to much far out, -literally- speculation ie panspermia, --- the notion that microbes arrived on our planet via asteroids, comets or meteorites. Of course this idea merely push the problem of life's origin into outer space. Which begs the question: If life didn't begin here, how did it begin out there?
You don't know how it started, so Goddidit.
We can all wait till kingdom for science to provide us with impeccable and verifiable evidence that nature dunnit. In terms of why and how life started on earth, even Einstein said that science can not unravel everything that needs to be unraveled about the universe and life's existence in it.
So is "God-dunnit" a reasonable position to put our one-cents worth of belief on? Absolutely. Even Einstein said so. So even if his idea of God did not jibe with the biblical narrative, he still believed that the universe was created by a supernatural, sentient entity. Thus nature "not
Darwinists yet, that "invented" abiogenesis! You are no doubt aware that Darwin took considerable effort to explain that he did NOT express any opinions about the creation of life? That he said NOTHING about abiogenesis (although the term was unknown then)? Yet they are "Darwinists" in your mind.
Of course abiogenesis will not be empirically proven: that would require a time machine to go back and watch it happen. But the possibility can and (IMO) will be proven one day when life is created from shelf chemicals. Which is far, far more evidence than any claims of an invisible god that did it.
My error... Darwinists had nothing to do with abiogenesis, but atheistic empiricists started the ball rolling on that hypothesis, which up to this day have not found its niche in the scientific community.
Only those folks who are emotionally attached to the persistent but inconsequential attempts to prove that inchoate chemistry led to consummate biology can say with straight face that abiogenesis will one day find that niche. An so it goes.
Or perhaps it is people actually looking for an answer as to how it happened, rather than making up a god that answers all questions and performs all actions.
Personally, I think the those searching for answers have the right idea: that making one up and never going any further to verify it is true will never teach us anything at all.
I believe in God but I agree with you 100%
I am not saying that humans should stop asking question and looking for answers about the universe and their existence in it. It is man's destiny to unravel the universe and its mysteries, but are we going to unravel it all in one big scientific bonanza? I doubt it. Even Einstein said so------ to paraphrase him: there is so much to learn and know about the universe, but our human minds are feeble compared to the one that created us and the universe.
And we aren't going to unravel anything by deciding that goddunnit as the only possible answer. We aren't going to do it by deciding that our imaginary god is smarter than us, so we cannot know anything. That road can only lead to a repeat of the middle ages, where anything violating the precepts the priests hand down is forbidden.
No, the road to knowledge and learning does not include the gods; it comes from us, from our work and effort and not from the gods that we cannot find, converse with, or even agree on what they tell us.
The above post is total nonsense and is belied by the fact that there is a long list of believers who have mightily and effectively contributed to our empirical understanding of the universe and our existence in it. Number 1 in that list is Sir Isaac Newton.... considered the best and ultimate scientific mind to have lived. I must tell you that there is nothing oxymoronic about simultaneously being a believer and an empiricist.
The idea that God is solely the product of an over-imaginative human mind is so far from the truth. The only reason that you are labeling Him an imaginary God is because as per your purely sensory materialistic view-- you haven't seen, heard, touched, smelled and tasted HIM. Again wasn't it Einstein who said that, when it comes to giving us a fuller account and understanding of our existence, imagination is more important than knowledge?
Ah yes. The believers from the science community. You know - the ones that set aside their beliefs to actually investigate their questions rather than just say that "goddunnit".
Great people they were, too. Newton and Einstein were only two of thousands...that have also set aside their beliefs in search of truth. But please don't quote Einstein out of context or put meaning to words that was never intended. Imagination by itself has never, ever taught us anything although it has been the starting point for most of what we know. You might want to remember, too, that Einstein also said that "religion without science is blind".
Imagination, being the starting point of what we know, is certainly an astute and I must insist a factual observation. Coming from you, the statement was doubly entertaining to read.
I did not mis-paraphrase Einstein, and did not put meaning in his words that he did not intend to impart. Otherwise I would have to check the antenna I use for understanding and interpreting the words of others.. wait a minute...... I did check my antenna and it is in good working order, thank you.
Einstein also said that science without religion is lame.
You lost me - imagination is an astute what? Observation? While imagination has often (but not always) been the starting point of learning something new, it has never been the ending of that journey. Which is what I said, after all.
"did not put meaning in his words that he did not intend to impart"
Sure you did. In the context of this thread the insinuation is that Einstein said that imagination creates reality, or perhaps that an imagined answer is always true without need for checking it - something that is not true at all.
He was right, too (science without religion is lame) for those that want the good feeling of a father figure guiding them. Lots and lots of people want that, but not all. Though I will add that religion can give a sense of wonder, or awe, as well and those are often pleasant feelings.
Imagination when applied to Einstein is not the same as your run of the mill imagination..... his term for it is "thought experiments" The empiricist that he was... his imaginings involve the possibility of this or that scenario being the embodiment of some practical framework for which empirical evidence could be culled, applied, and finally turned into a theoretical principle.
So you view Einsteins imagination as being something thought up that could be used to gather evidence that can then be applied and turned into a new principle or knowledge. This is in line with what I said about being useful.
And this relates to the imagination of religion how? I haven't noted ANY religious imagination (as opposed to the imagination of believers like Einstein or Newton) ever turning into anything that can be applied to the real world at all. Though they do have a long record of using that imagination to create holidays and such to better the population, but then that isn't the kind of "applied" we're talking about, is it? So why is Einstein's thoughts included as if they give credence to imagined gods?
Believing that God exist does not necessarily mean you are religious...or for that matter, being religious does not always mean you believe in God. The problem with your point of view is that you are always conflating belief in God with religion.
Newton was a firm believer in the God of the Bible... in fact he stated that he read the Bible everyday. Einstein did not believe in the biblical God, but still believed that the universe and us were purposely and intentionally created by a sentient supernatural being... a being that once He started the creation process, left that creation alone, never to interfere in its progression and evolution because inherent in that creation were the mechanisms (we now call Laws of Nature) that would sufficiently managed the progression and evolution of what He created. BTW Einstein did not believe in the afterlife, because he said living this earthly life was more than enough for him.
Stephen Hawking, says he is an atheist, but I have the sneaking suspicion that at some point in the future, he might be singing a different tune, as some previous atheists have done.
Newton was a believer. Einstein was a believer, although about as far from the Christian god as you can get. You think Hawkins might become a believer one day, because some other people have.
And your point is? That because Newton was (or at least professed to be, in line with all the rest of the population then) we should all be? That because an atheist might change his mind one day we should all belief to something completely unsupported by factual observations? That we should all make up our own notion of a god and what it is, as Einstein did? Not sure I'm following your train of thought here.
The point is, that scientist in the highest level of the empirical-material world have believed that a God exist without necessarily coming in close proximity ( in a purely sensory way) to that God and that former atheists have changed their minds without being forcibly nudged by God to believe in Him.
As the world turns, so is everything in it. The fact that it turns at all should not be too surprising for the simple reason that it was planned and intended to do so.
So some scientists can and do leave their training in science behind and enter the field of belief without evidence. And many do not. I repeat: what is your point? That such things are common (both ways - some priests give up their beliefs, too) and therefore everyone should do it too? I would disagree with that statement: it is a common, well known logical fallacy.
That the world turns is a matter of physics, not planning or intent. See? I can make unsupported statements too - I even make those (like this one) that can be easily checked by any cosmologist, or anyone even slightly aware of how gravity and orbits work. It's called "conservation of angular momentum" if you're interested.
Just because you put a really enchanting label to earth spinning on it own axis does not mean that you have discovered a great scientific fact.
That's correct. It isn't a great scientific discovery, and it has been known for a long, long time. So why pretend it has to be from a god?
The mechanics of why and how the earth spin on its axis did not just happen. If you think it just naturally happened because it was "discovered" that angular position and gravity pull allows the earth to spin via precise mathematical calculation/formulation .... is to say the least putting the cart before the horse.
Sounds like you're trying to put the cart before the horse.
Yes, the motion can be described very precisely, mathematically. But the description need not have been what it is: the rotation could have been something very different, and in fact was. The earth is slowing down, has been since it came together and will continue to do so until it rotates at the speed of one day per year. There is exactly zero indication to think that it was pre-ordained by an intelligence, and in fact if one did so it seems quite odd that it would put in a changing rotation.
By insinuating that it had to be precisely what it is, IS putting the cart before the horse. Just because we can now do that (measure precisely) has nothing to do with the length of a day.
The earth does not exist in a vacuum... its rotational axis and its orbital path is affected by other objects in the solar system in the same way that you do not exist in a vacuum and your movements are affected by people, objects around and near you.
So the question is do these movements "just naturally occur" or were they mandated by something outside of the natural process as we know it. Therein lies the concept of the cart being pulled by a horse. The horse ie "laws of nature" pulls the cart ie natural objects according to specifications of the one that created both the "horse" and the "cart". The creator in effect is the one that mandated the "horse" to pull the "cart".
"So the question is do these movements "just naturally occur" or were they mandated by something outside of the natural process as we know it. "
And the only answer we have is that they "just naturally occur". In the case of earth's rotation the causes are quite well understood and do not demand a god to supply intent or purpose - although there are many other events we do not understand, there is no reason to make up a god, it's intent or it's purpose as an explanation. Ignorance is not a reason to invent answers that we don't know are true and then declare that it is "obvious" that they are.
Just because you discovered how a process works and its effect does not mean that the process all by its lonesome self decided the way it should proceed to produce the effect. . You understanding and interpreting that you understand how the process works does not eliminate the cause(s) of that/those process(es) and its/their effect(s). So you see, you are so focused on the process and your understanding of it, that you forgot that the process could not have initiated itself... that something or someone caused it. CAUSE--->>>PROCESS--->>>EFFECT.
Everything in the natural world are the effects of a PRIMAL cause. Now these effects could become causes themselves if they produce secondary or tertiary effects, through processes that were mandated by the PRIMAL cause, because it is the PRIMAL cause that defines and decides what those secondary or tertiary causes could go through what process or processes that then results in further effects. In other words its all about interlocking/interconnected relationships.... and you can not willy-nilly yank one part from the rest of the system and say it's all there is to it
But because you don't know what the cause is/was (big bang and law formations) doesn't mean you get to make up an answer you cannot verify, and then declare it has to be true because...because you don't know what happened.
This is an extremely common fallacy, in my experience, with believers. "We don't know, so goddunnit", but it just doesn't work for me or for anyone actually looking for answers. It never will.
Not even when you decide that you know and understand the laws (if any) that were operational at the time of the BB. You don't know if there was a cause or not, you don't know what the cause was (if any), but still want to use that ignorance to declare "goddunnit" yet again. Still doesn't work!
I didn't mention God at all in my last post... so why are you now opening the discussion about Him , which I suppose, from your perspective, is like opening a can of worms?
Do you not put the cause of the BB as a god? If not, I apologize - I must have been thinking of someone else.
But still...you insist on a cause for that event. We recognize the causes (there are many) that resulted in the earth's formation and rotation, but what was the cause for the BB?
Was there one? You seem to insist there was, but for the life of me I can't understand why. Can you provide reasons that you believe there was a cause in that strange, different and completely unknown "world" of the singularity that started it all?
As per the principle of Causality, an effect must have a cause. Empiricists are inclined to believe and are persuaded by empirical data that supports the idea of the BB. Thus they in effect are saying the Universe and everything in it had a beginning. Anything that had a beginning must necessarily be caused. Could that cause have been part and parcel of its effect? The answer is NO, that is the universe could not have caused itself to exist.
So by logical inference we know there was a cause. By any measure, any entity that caused the universe to exist must have been so powerful and so intentional; otherwise, why create something so spectacularly huge and significantly consequential as the (or our ) universe. And why create something that eventually led to life in all its variegated permutation, including intelligence and sentience. If you say Nature Dunnit, then we should all build churches and cathedrals and temples in its honor so we could have a place to worship Nature. The fact is we haven't. If nature is intelligent and sentient enough, then we should all be singing alleluia because as you said, as sentient and intelligent beings we are part of it. The fact is humans via their free will and ego have exctricated themselves from nature barely enough for us to become supra-natural, but not nearly enough to make us super-natural.
"As per the principle of Causality, an effect must have a cause."
And because our universe (usually) requires a cause means all other universes do, including that tiny singularity.
What do you think was the cause behind the universe God inhabits? Or behind the creation of God, for that matter? Why?
"By any measure, any entity that caused the universe to exist must have been so powerful and so intentional"
Powerful implies intent? Whose intent was it to create God, and what was that intent? And whose intent cause the creation of the entity that created God? (Although I have a problem with the assumption that big and powerful means intent - there is no known intelligence OR intent behind a supernova).
"And why create something that eventually led to life in all its variegated permutation, including intelligence and sentience."
I wouldn't know. Does that ignorance mean we should make something up? If we do, what makes it more likely than us being farm animals - with a brain so we populate and reproduce faster and more thoroughly?
"If you say Nature Dunnit, then we should all build churches and cathedrals and temples in its honor so we could have a place to worship Nature."
Why? What could possibly our purpose in worshipping anything? To gain the tremendous evil of eternal life?
"The fact is humans via their free will and ego have exctricated themselves from nature barely enough for us to become supra-natural, but not nearly enough to make us super-natural."
There's that egotism again. Demanding that we are something special when in fact we are weak, blind, slow, deaf and can't smell. Why, we can't even detect magnetic lines or see inside our fellow humans! The only thing we can do is think, and when we do that we destroy everything around us.
Again why did you inject "God" into the conversation when I did not even make any reference to Him?
I can only infer from this that you are obsessed with God. And for the life of me I could not quite fathom the reason for that obsession when you are constantly denying His existence. One denial should be more than enough as far as I am concerned, for me to be convinced that you do not believe He exist.... or are you hedging again?
My apologies. There was no sentient creator of the universe: there is either no cause for the beginning of the universe or it was a purely natural one, without any intelligence involved. We agree, then.
We agree to disagree. Of course there was sentience and therefore intent and purpose involved in the creation of the universe and everything in it.
Believers, call Him God; non-believers call Him whatever they think is useful for their own non-belief methodology.. ie Energy, Singularity, Gravity etc. etc. etc. Now if your non-belief leads you to beiieve that the universe was uncaused, thus eternal; or that if it was caused, it certainly was not by a sentient God.... then I suppose, you can all sit back and relax and watch the sun rise in the east and the sun set in the west, and do whatever it is that you do in between.
Meanwhile the rest of humanity is humbled by the fact that they are NOT mere specks in the vastness of the universe, but then elated at the same time because they have been endowed with the most integrative biogenic organ there is in that universe that then allowed them to consciously interpret their existence with graceful alacrity and fateful destiny.
So God did accomplish it all - what are you fussing about, then?
All good reasons to believe, the elation and happiness that comes with it. At least for those that insist they are the culmination of their god's universe - the rest of us put actual knowledge ahead of that and feel good that we don't make up answers and declare them to be true. Elated at the ability to think and reason, happy with the ability to recognize that we don't know everything and keep searching.
So if perchance humans find all the answers to the questions they have been asking since the dawn of their existence, would they realize that knowing is not the be all and end all of that existence?
So what if humans have all the knowledge, but in the end realize that acquiring all that knowledge is for naught because they never connected it to something beyond themselves.... that knowledge all by its lonesome self is nothing more than what it presents itself to be,,, hollow and inconsequential because it was never attributed to someone bigger than themselves.
In other words, is there a pot of gold at the end of that rainbow---- full of the glorious colors of knowing everything there is to know, but empty nonetheless, because the goal was never attuned to someone besides themselves
The propensity for others to put their own feelings and desires onto others never ceases to amaze me - if there is anything I've come to understand in my lifetime it is that people are different. It is that not everyone wants the same thing or needs the same things for their happiness. You find it necessary that there is a god out there that is greater than you, and without that firm belief you cannot be happy, but that need is not translated to all.
"So if perchance humans find all the answers to the questions they have been asking since the dawn of their existence, would they realize that knowing is not the be all and end all of that existence?"
Perhaps they would...if that were the answer. And if it is not the answer they would realize that. So what? If their desire is to know, regardless of answer, what matters what the answer is?
"So what if humans have all the knowledge, but in the end realize that acquiring all that knowledge is for naught because they never connected it to something beyond themselves.... that knowledge all by its lonesome self is nothing more than what it presents itself to be,,, hollow and inconsequential because it was never attributed to someone bigger than themselves."
Here you are putting your desires onto others. That there is nothing "beyond themselves" is just fine for them - they do not have your need for that "something beyond". There life or knowledge is not "hollow and inconsequential" because they did not find that someone bigger - that need is not theirs. Only yours.
"In other words, is there a pot of gold at the end of that rainbow---- full of the glorious colors of knowing everything there is to know, but empty nonetheless, because the goal was never attuned to someone besides themselves"
If there is no pot of gold...there is not pot of gold. That doesn't make life empty to any but those that demand that pot for their self fulfillment. For those that do not require that particular fulfillment, the lack of something bigger means nothing. Their fulfillment is within them and not finding someone or something as far beyond them as we are beyond bacteria.
Can you understand that, and accept that others do not share your need? Or are you so tied to your own ego that everyone has to be the same? It is an easy thing - to assume that others are similar - but it is not true at all. Some require enormous wealth, some want recognition or respect, some want power over others...and some want that invisible god assuring them that they are special. You have chosen the latter, but there are as many other possibilities as there are other people. You simply cannot assign your personal desires to everyone else.
Existence is not a matter of finding what knowledge gives you the most satisfaction (ie pot of gold), and it certainly is not a matter of being so emotionally encumbered by your ego that you then forget that the meaning of life is not perpetually tethered on the physical needs that you have to satisfy, but aspirationally secured on the existential creeds that you have to sanctify.
The idea that life's only purpose and need is to embrace the material knowledge that you have found meaning to your own life is so self-limiting that then constrictively impacts the way you see the world around you and your place in it. Granted that those material needs can be overwhelming, for some more so than for others but it does not augur well for your existence to be so incipiently discouraged that you do not see the other side of a non-transluscent or non-transparent coin. The coin that, once the other side is perceived, the incongruities of that material life suddenly becomes immaterial and inconsequential.
That's what I said, isn't it? You have a driving need for something beyond your existence; something you can sanctify and make holy to you. And you simply assume that everyone else has that same need, even when you are told that it isn't true and that they don't care if there is a supernatural at all, or a god to go with it.
Yes, the view constricts the way we see the world...or reports it accurately, for we shall not know which until dead, if ever. But your viewpoint, that there IS something else may (probably IMO) prove to be false and the result is that you have lived a dream your entire life. Nothing wrong with that if you are happy doing so, but you put the same needs onto everyone else you have made a giant mistake for they neither need nor want that dream world. We are much happier without making things up to believe in, quite satisfied with what we know to exist around us. You may think you have seen the backside of the coin, but we know better and choose not to pretend that you, we or anyone else has. And it does not make life immaterial or inconsequential - on the contrary, pretending that there is more than is there makes what IS there inconsequential. That imagined back side of the coin is always so much better, somehow, than what really is. The grass is always greener on the "back side of the coin", but can never be reached.
As you so emphatically stated, the needs of some (ie believers) may not necessarily be the requirements of others (ie non-believers) but needs nonetheless that subsumes human intent and purpose. Absent those non-material needs, would humans un-equivocally act and interact in a manner that allows for their elevation to an existence that is not merely physical but more importantly, spiritual?
The existence of the spiritual realm, non-believers obviously reject outright, but that rejection was not thoroughly well thought of --- in fact it was done reflexively for no other reason than " we can not find any sensory evidence of any other world except the material one." Hard as non-believers cling to that purely materialistic interpretation of existence, the evidence for such a spiritual perseveration, (some more empirical than others), seem to elude them to the point of rupture. Which begs the question Why? Well for one thing their rejectionist attitude have become so overpowering that no matter what their subjugated consciousness are telling them, their unmitigated desire (for no other conclusions other than the ones theirs 5 sensory input are transmitting to them) overrule everything else.
Which is a pity, if you really think about it. Mechanistically nature can only act according to the laws that govern it. Nature has neither the temerity nor the perspicacity to decide, then initiate the process with which it manifest itself materially or empirically. Sentient beings (humans being one of them) have the viable and considerable options to do what they need to do to purposely and intently exist in that natural/material world. The fact is our sentience is of the highest level in the natural world, that then allows us the ability to conceptualize and perceive another world, the existential kind. But do we then just wiliy-nilly discard those capabilities and act mechanistically, just like nature act mechanistically? Absolutely NOT.
"Absent those non-material needs, would humans un-equivocally act and interact in a manner that allows for their elevation to an existence that is not merely physical but more importantly, spiritual?"
Who knows? Maybe we all go there willy-nilly. Maybe there is nowhere to go to. Obviously you think there is an answer, and that answer should be important to a non-believer, but have utterly failed to consider the question from your OWN viewpoint, let alone that of the non-believer.
"Hard as non-believers cling to that purely materialistic interpretation of existence, the evidence for such a spiritual perseveration, (some more empirical than others), seem to elude them to the point of rupture. "
And, of course, you DON'T cling to your own believe "to the point of rupture". Gross exaggeration doesn't help your cause at all, and neither does refusing to empathize and try to understand another viewpoint. Which is what I keep saying; the internal belief is of the supernatural and that belief is then put onto everyone else because YOU believe. Just like their "unmitigated desire (for no other conclusions other than the ones theirs 5 sensory input are transmitting to them) overrule everything else." - there is no desire either way. You need to think hard about that - that others don't have the desire either FOR the supernatural OR against it. What is, is, and that's the end of it.
"Mechanistically nature can only act according to the laws that govern it."
And that's all you can do too, in spitie of your belief. As far as being pitiable as a result, I would disagree. What is, is.
"Sentient beings (humans being one of them) have the viable and considerable options to do what they need to do to purposely and intently exist in that natural/material world."
As far as we know, that's true. And that's ALL we can do - exist in the natural world - as there is no supernatural place to exist in. And if there is a supernatural place, there is zero reason to think we can exist there.
"The fact is our sentience is of the highest level in the natural world, that then allows us the ability to conceptualize and perceive another world, the existential kind."
We can absolutely conceptualize any kind of world we would like to see - I'm a science fiction fan and have hundreds of those conceptualizations on the shelf. But to perceive another world? That we cannot do, not even you with your tremendous belief in one has ever perceived a supernatural world. Here - Wonderland is a conceptualized world - are you unhappy that you cannot go down the rabbit hole and converse with the chesire cat and the Queen of Hearts? No? Why then would you think I'm unhappy or to be pitied that I cannot visit the supernatural you claim to have perceived?
Which means that at the end of the road the only reason to believe is because we like the notion. Not because we perceive it, not because we know it's there, but because we like the idea and it gives us pleasure to imagine it really IS there, waiting for us. If you wanted the Chesire Cat badly enough, no doubt you would firmly believe in Wonderland but your belief would never convince anyone else that it is there.
If you think I'm trying to convince you, and others, to accept my belief system you are sadly mistaken. As far as I am concerned you can continue on your path to whatever/wherever it is that shakes your booty, strikes your fancy, spins your wheels.
Meanwhile I'll take the road more traveled, because it is the path that has been well trodden by folks whose eternal predisposition is to look beyond what is immediately inferred, to gather above the horizon, and rest at the end of the rainbow, not expecting to find a pot of material knowledge but a lot of spiritual foliage.
No, I don't really think you're trying to convince anyone of anything...although the repetition of personal beliefs presented as factual does make me wonder. I think it more likely, though, that you are seeking justification for those beliefs more than another believer - that is secondary to "verification" of your own belief.
A short synopsis of a TV special I watched, if you have a minute, on belief in vampires. Seems that a few years ago a girl in Romania reported that her uncle, recently deceased, had become a vampire and was taking blood from her heart each night. The villagers opened the grave, found the corpse with a bloody mouth, holes in the shroud around the mouth and a distended stomach, all of which verified that it was indeed a vampire which had been feeding recently. They burned the heart, mixed the ashes into a thin soup and fed it to the girl - case solved and no more blood taken from her heart. They even interviews the "ringleader" - the one with knowledge about vampires - for the special.
This was in line with medieval beliefs although it took place this century. The researchers, using the body of a pig (as being similar to human flesh) wrapped it in a shroud, put it in a box and left it for a few weeks. Upon opening it they found the shroud had holes around the mouth, the mouth was bloody and the belly distended. It struck me that the Romanians could have learned so much about their belief in vampires with a few simple tests - like the pig, like watching the grave at night, like digging up the corpse and watching it through the night. They did none of that, though, assuming that their conclusion was correct without ever testing it.
The moral is clear, that making conclusions without testing just doesn't work well...if it is truth one is searching for. So you go right ahead taking the path well trodden (a logical fallacy, you know), just as the Romanians did. Go ahead and believe the superstitions and look at for that "foliage" at the end of the rainbow. If it keeps you happy, well, that's far more important than actually understanding that the spiritual world is a myth as much as vampires are. There is no harm at all in your belief, given that it is not presented to others as truth and given that others (including children, even your own) are never expected to believe it.
But please, accept that others share neither the belief nor the desire for it. They don't care if there is a supernatural world or not. They find their own happiness right here on earth and have no need for anything more than that. They really don't, whether you do or not, and there is nothing wrong or pitiable about the lack of superstitious beliefs. Their life really IS full without it.
I am seeking neither approval nor justification for my belief system. I am quite content with the inherent/innate knowledge that the spiritual world is neither a myth nor a delusion.
Your contentment and happiness with yours, saddens me no end because I just realized that nature, you being so tightly embedded/tethered to it, could have so much hold on your consciousness.... a consciousness that for all intent and purpose is and will never be part of nature. For sure, the human brain is the most complexly integrated organ-system there is in the physical world, but to insist that consciousness is solely the result of the mechanistic functioning of the brain is IMO devoid of realistic impressions and or expectations. The translation and transformation from the purely bio-chemical to the supremely transcendental is the most creative and evocative process in the universe. I don't think nature all by its lonesome self is responsible for that process.
LOL So you are sad for me, and I am sad for you. That your ego demands you live in an imaginary world wherein you can be so much greater than you actually are IS rather sad.
Nonetheless, I do recognize and agree that if that's what keeps you happy then it is a good thing that you live there. That you are able to either shut down or subvert the reasoning process to the point that imagination becomes reality in your mind is a good thing, for if that weren't true you would live a life of unhappiness and longing for what cannot be.
So you are into science fiction. I'm sure you watched the movie series "The Matrix". I think the movie is more science than fiction specifically the scenes where or when the main protagonist Neo had mental experiences in a realm separate from the one that hosted his body. The headline that could be derived from that movie should read: "Consciousness proves that immaterial entities exist."
Now granted we still don't have a working 'Theory of Consciousness', but subjective awareness aka Qualia is totally unlike anything we normally deal or experience in an otherwise material universe. Consciousness and our propensity to understand it has intersected with the concept of Dualism ie two kinds of reality exists, the mental and material. The material ( brain) on its own is incapable of producing the mental (qualia) which is succinctly defined as our capacity to have internal thoughts, subjective awareness, and feelings.
The subjects of OBE/NDE could be in the forefront of empirical inquiry and when that happens I expect that the fog/shroud encompassing these two topics would finally be lifted, and the knowledge incurred would be more than reassuring to the concept of spirituality and its real existence.
We've come along way since Darwin. Of course there are now evolutionary ideas about how early life evolved.
Newton remained a firm believer in God all his life and saw his theories as proof of God.
You need to urgently read up on the latest science news. The multi universe theories are starting to prove anything can exist including God. Maybe spend a few minutes each day catching up on it?
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