An article on National Geographic, in discussing "The Multiverse" stated it simply this way: "One can best get a sense of the fine-tuning problem by thinking about the gravitational force. If this force were much stronger than it actually is, the big bang would have collapsed soon after it began, simply because the stronger gravity would have ended the expansion before it really got it started. Similarly, if the gravitational force were weaker, it would not have been enough to gather matter together into stars or planets. So the gravitational force has to be fine-tuned i.e. restricted to certain values, in order for life to develop. The same kind of argument can be made for other fundamental constants, such as the charge on the electron and the force holding the nuclei of atoms together."
"This fine-tuning of the forces and constants of nature has always been a problem for scientists. Why should we be in a universe where all of these numbers are exactly as they are. Some theologians have even advanced the fine-tuning as proof of God's existence."
I read somewhere that Stephen Hawking, the renowned theoretical physicists and author, when asked if he believes in the existence of God, replied: yes I do, but one which is an impersonal god i.e. Gravity. Was he suggesting that an impersonal entity like gravity could regulate or fine-tune itself so as to allow the expansion of space after the big bang, that lead to the formation of matter, that ultimately resulted in earthly life (and maybe some other planetary life out there) billion of years later?
Which then begs the question: Could an impersonal entity be perspicacious enough and have the temerity to design intelligent life? As far as I am concerned, impersonal and intelligent, are as they should be ....oxymoron in the above discussion.
I saw the show, too, and it brought a question to my mind, specifically about the gravitational constant G.
When the big bang went "BANG" was there any option as to what G would be? Could it have been anything else, or was that specific number "programmed" into the BB just as the acceleration of a falling object on earth is?
If yes, what was the range of possibilities? If more than one possibility, were there only two options? 3? infinite? Can you support your answer, whatever it was?
Bottom line - it is entirely possible that there was only one "option", meaning that there was no need for any intelligence to force the figure that resulted in our universe. We cannot tell as we don't know what the singularity was or what happened "before" (poor choice of words but all I have) the BB. Just one more thing we have to assume, it appears, if we wish there to be a necessity for a design.
"Bottom line - it is entirely possible that there was only one "option", meaning that there was no need for any intelligence to force the figure that resulted in our universe. We cannot tell as we don't know what the singularity was or what happened "before" (poor choice of words but all I have) the BB. Just one more thing we have to assume, it appears, if we wish there to be a necessity for a design."
I'm kind of leaning towards the camp that "THIS" is really just about the only way a material universe could have been made, created or "just happening". Everything works together too well. Each thing depends on the other, in a circular fashion. When you break things down, All we seem to be left with is "energy", or maybe energy and fields. Or even just fields. But I don't understand physics enough to even know if that could be true or not.
It could go either way, for me anyway.
A created universe, or just one that came into being (for whatever reason, accident, whatever).
I used to think it HAD to be designed, but I'm not so sure anymore. Still believe in God of course, but don't know how that fits in.
A very perceptive astrophysicist once said: "The Universe is not fine tuned for life; life is fine tuned for the universe."
I fully agree with this statement. I have always thought that the Universe was created and fine tuned by a Supernatural Being (call him God), but for what purpose? If his creation existed, without any sentient life to perceive, and experience and interpret and be a witness to that creation, what good would his creation be? Certainly, if no sentient being knows that it exist, the universe would indeed just be a "cold, dead" space....an existence so meaningless and purposeless. What kind of a Supernatural Being would He be, creating something that just is lying out there, occupying space and nothing else?
Another astrophysicist, also said, rather nonchalantly, that Life is just a tiny blip....which I agree to some extent if he is referring to non-sentient life. But the fact is the Universe has sentient Life in it, and that makes a heck of a lot of difference.
While I'm not saying I know, I think of it this way (and for no other reason than it feels right to me)
The universe is created for God himself to experience life (a separate life, one apart from himself), through atoms, amoebas, plants, animals, humans, and possibly beyond, as I believe we are still evolving. I think intelligence is evolved specifically so God can understand himself, and the Universe he created.
I find your last statement problematic. God, if He is the all knowing and all powerful entity we think He is, already understands Himself and the universe He created. He did not need, I don't think, to create intelligent life for Him to understand Himself and the universe. What is assuredly true on the other hand is, He created intelligent beings, for those beings to understand Him and the universe He created.
Who says God is all knowing and all powerful? I personally know next to nothing about God.
Thank you Rad Man. I try to be. Wasn't always the case though. I often cherry picked my facts to fit my theories. I've been spending a lot of time trying to work out my faults. I try to look at things from all angles now.
Currently though, I'm working on my hubris problem;)
Introspection could lead you farther than honesty....although honesty should be good starting point in any kind of journey, be it self-discovery, or trying to unravel your place in the cosmos.
Confusion. It sounds very much like you are saying the universe was not fine tuned for life, but that God made it for life. Can you clarify?
@wilderness: No confusion on my part.
God did not have to fine tune the universe, if he intended for it not to be populated by sentient beings, and thus not to be perceived and interpreted that his creation do exist. Philosophically one could argue that He created and fine-tuned the universe because His intention was for sentient beings to evolve and therefore discover him through His creation.
Quantum mechanics makes it fundamentally clear that there is no such thing as "just one option" probability in nature/cosmos whether that be in the subatomic realm or in the astronomical realm. Even Scroodingers cat has to be either dead or alive (2 options), or if a quantum event is not observed subjectively, then the cat would be both dead and alive (third option). Options, means choices and who decides on those choices, but an intelligent entity... not an impersonal entity like gravity.
Invoking Schrodinger's cat and quantum mechanics is even more ridiculous than invoking fine tuning. You really have no idea what you're talking about and are grasping at arguments that have long been debunked. Try something new for a change or go back to bashing atheism.
I was really not that surprised to read the above post... coming as it does from you. The discombobulation continues.
If "discombobulation" is your only response in defense, you really should go back to just bashing atheism.
Quantum mechanics played no part (that we know of) "prior" to the big bang, and thus could not have dictated how many possibilities there were.
And even in the first few nanoseconds after the BB, when the laws were being formed, there is absolutely no indication that quantum mechanics had a part in setting those laws and constants In fact, it would seem more likely that the new laws had a part in creating quantum mechanics, not the other way around.. We simply do not know how or why either one came about, in spite of your insistence there was an intelligence involved.
In cosmic terms, nanoseconds are just not the way to look at the Big Bang. As you know the Big Bang was not an explosion (in the usual way we associate explosion with), but a rapid expansion of space. As I understand it, before the universe was approx. 3 minutes old, matter existed in the form of free protons, neutrons, and electrons...sub-atomic particles all. If a proton and a neutron came together to form a single nucleus; at three minutes, the temperature had fallen off to the point that collisions were less energetic, and free protons and neutrons could start to survive as nuclei. This process is called quantum fluctuation. So you see, at 3 minutes after the space expansion was initiated, quantum mechanics was already operative.
Sorry - missed this post. Perhaps you'll find it again.
But nanoseconds are exactly how to look at the BB. Far too much going on far too quickly for any other view to be reasonable. Just think of all that had happened by that 3 minute time period - all the energy of the universe, included that in all the matter, produced. All the laws and physical constants produced. Both matter and antimatter produced, with most of it destroying each other. The expansion of the universe to a trillion trillion times what it was. Temperatures from the trillions down to the billions or even millions. And quantum mechanics relationships began to happen.
All that before your three minutes. Yes, nano seconds are exactly how we should be looking at the BB, trying to figure out just what was going on then instead of waiting until circumstances were nearly what they are now.
Astrophysicists and theoretical physicists have come to a general agreement that during the first 3 minutes after the initiation of the BB, the temperature was still very hot... too hot for any quantum fluctuation to occur. Cooling did not start until after the 3 minute period when enough expansion of space have occurred to have neutralized the gravitational force, but not too expanded enough, for sub-atomic particles to not interact and coalesce (via quantum fluctuation) to produce matter that now fills the visible part of the universe. A very small, however visible, part since most of the universe is composed of the non-visible dark energy and dark matter.
The response to this argument is interesting, because it results in anti-theists asserting that improbable things happen all the time.
It's interesting because anti-theists also assert that the existence of god is improbable (technically the existence of god cannot be disproved, hence improbable). So we have well known anti-theists saying things like: "This argument as I shall show in the next chapter, demonstrates that God, though not technically disprovable, is very very improbable indeed" (Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, p.109).
If anti theists argue that god is very improbable, but also argue that improbable things happen all the time, then they have turned improbability into a poor argument against the existence of god. In other words, asserting that improbable things happen all the time, defeats the object of asserting the existence of god is improbable. Both assertions may well be true, but if so, they do nothing to further the cause of anti-theism.
How so? If a weighted coin has a .49 probability of coming up heads, it is improbable but will happen "all the time".
But if a god has a 10^-3984582395485482345 probability of existing, it is not likely to happen in the (projected) life of the universe.
Although (for the sake of accuracy) I think it's reasonable to make a distinction between a small probability, as in your first example, and a miniscule one, as in your second; the assertion "improbable things happen all the time" does not make that distinction. Even if it did, it would not help.
If your reasoning is correct, then that assertion "improbable things happen all the time" only applies to small probabilities, not miniscule ones. Theists assert that the probability of natural constants being what they are is miniscule, not small. If so (big "if" because that assertion has not been demonstrated) then responding to the argument about fine tuning with that assertion is 1) inaccurate, and 2) a bit of semantic misdirection; it doesn't address what is actually being claimed, but it looks as though it does.
When applied to what theists are claiming, the assertion "improbable things happen all the time" is an ineffective counter argument. The same reasoning used to assert god does not exist based on minuscule probability, can be used by theists to assert that fine tuning didn't happen by chance, based on minuscule probability. It's a bit of a no-win situation. It would be better, in my opinion, to challenge the validity of using probability in the argument at all, as such probabilities have not been established.
Do you have any evidence to support the very exact figure for the probability of gods existence you use, or was it just an example to illustrate your point?
It is absolutely exact, down to the 50th decimal place, of course!
No, it was but a point being made, and I fully concur with the idea that probability should not be used until it can be found. I have seen people try to do that in reference to life being created from the primordial soup, but it very quickly fails. No real idea of what the "soup" was, what the environment was and even if it was all known those trying to prove such a silly thing quickly bog down in the math and simply declare it is minuscule. Without having any idea of whether it is or not, but the "proof" must be made, after all!
So yes, leave probability out of the debate. It is useful, somewhat, in determining our own belief, but that's about it.
Life probably arises out of "primordial soup" a lot easier than people imagine. Nature self-organizes all the time. Water and plasma are two things I know of that do pretty easily. I bet life is easier to cook up than expected.
I don't doubt that a bit, assuming the soup is anything like what we think it was. The building blocks have been created in lab simulations several times; from there it is simply a matter of multiple tries until something works and a self duplicating molecule is constructed.
This sounds interesting, but it is too technical for me to really decipher.
http://rsob.royalsocietypublishing.org/ … 30156.full
I also didn't check it for validity, etc. BUT, on the surface, it might have some keys for the forming of life in a rather easy way.
I didn't see that in my skim, but did see where the probability "calculations" were based on guesswork instead of hard fact, and most of even that left out of the equation.
I don't really understand probability, but it would seem to me, how would they even know which factors to consider? Considering we don't really know how life forms in the first place. I have a "feeling" that it's much easier for life to form that I originally thought. It seems that if things can self-organize (meaning, there must be some kind of principles of physics like thermodynamics etc, whatever that actually enable things to self-organize) Then life might arise more easily due to something involving that. Am I making any sense at all? I'm not sure how to explain what I'm thinking.
You are making perfect sense. As it stands our planet has a rather weak chance of life, relative to those with smaller suns and bigger planets, which there are billions of in our own galaxy.
Yes, you are making perfect sense. Probability can only be found when all the factors are know, such as the chemical composition of the "soup", intensity of sunlight, frequency and intensity of other forms of energy such as lightning or volcanic heat and a host of other things. We simply don't have the things to work with.
It is mostly energy in one form or another that gives rise to things "self-organizing". For instance, Oxygen and Hydrogen will self organize into water in the presence of sufficient heat energy. Purely a chemical reaction, just as is proposed for the formation of larger and more complex molecules. Other things in the environment will play a part, perhaps as a catalyst, but the primary cause is going to be energy. Either exothermic or endothermic, but energy of some form.
You remember those cymatics videos I mentioned in another thread? Vibration(energy) alone causes all kinds of structure and patterned movement. In water, sand, sugar, anything that can easily move around. I can imagine the early Earth with it's oceans and land masses forming, with mud flats with thin surfaces of water, filled with all different kinds of minerals. With different vibrations going on all around, from Shuman resonances, sound waves from the ocean, even vibrations from the Earth moving, earthquakes etc. With the different vibrations, I can see little pockets of water with the mineral mix throughout, vibrating into different, moving patters. Some of those patterns will cause the minerals to stick together, probably with chemical reactions going on at the same time. I can easily see basic cells forming this way, and basic biological processes too.
No "spark of life" needed. Not even a random bolt of lightning hitting just the right mix of chemicals needed either. Just a mix of water, minerals, vibration, and chemical reactions. Probably something like this is going on right this moment on the beach a block away from my house. We wouldn't even know it unless we looked. No God needed in this scenario.
(I still believe in God, but in this scenario, I don't see why a God would be needed, except perhaps to create the laws of physics themselves.)
You forgot a big one, although not vibratory. The moon was much, much closer then and tides were absolutely enormous. The earth's oceans and even lakes were just giant mixing bowls for whatever was in there.
Didn't think of that. The huge tides might even wash away any little proto life forms before they get a chance to "stick". So, maybe not at the edges of the oceans, tidal flats. Do you happen to know how close to the Earth the moon was during the time when life is first thought to have started? Maybe it doesn't matter though, there would probably still be pockets here and there that had a good mix of minerals and chemical compounds and water that were relatively "stable".
Your statement: "No God in this scenario..." was a bit recalcitrant to the the next statement: "... except perhaps to create the laws of physics themselves".
I am sure you are aware of the fact that all earthly processes are subservient to "those laws of physics". In effect whoever formulated those laws of physics, must still be intimately involved in whatever earthly scenario(s) one might come up with, including Wilderness' chemical reactions "in lab simulations".
"...until something works..." are the operative words. So you are now proposing that life could be initiated from building blocks i.e. amino acids mixed with carbon, and some phosphates and sulfates, maybe..."until something works" that can then... "until something works",,, self-replicate itself. "Until something works"... just does not give me the definitive "probability" that it in fact will work.
Nor will you find a "definitive probability". We simply do not have enough information about conditions when life began on earth to be able to make a reasoned guess, let alone a mathematically correct probability.
So you might look at how many times per second it might happen per cc of primordial soup per hour and take a guess at the probability of that "might" actually happening. Then multiply that by the number of cc's of soup in the seas times a billion years worth of hours.
So far the only thing I've ever seen is a theist wandering around saying it is impossible when we know it is not. Chemicals can come together, can form chemical reactions. They can form such things as DNA and RNA molecules. And that means it is NOT impossible.
So take your own guess, just make a reasonable effort at truth and reality instead of simply saying it can't happen because the bible says goddunnit. If you're honest, using best guesses at the constitution of the primordial soup, the influx of energy from all pertinent sources and the math is correct people will listen. At least I would - I've looked at several attempts already.
@wilderness: Chemicals on their own, can not come together, but must be brought in close proximity, by whomever or whatever, to react with each other form new chemicals, i.e Deoxyribonucleic acid and close partner Ribonucleic acid. But the question is, would that lead to sentient life? How probable is that based on your mathematical calculation/equation?
But it did lead to sentient life. You are living, sentient proof of that.
I was specifically refering to Wilderness's assertion that sentient life can come out from man-made labs, i.e his statement ..." building blocks have been created in lab simulations.." It is entirely possible or in the range of scientific probability that "life: did emanate from those primordial pools, that ultimately lead to the creation, via evolutionary process of sentient beings, the ultimate expresion of which is homo spapiens. But sentient life ultimately developing or being created from those man-made labs?...I doubt that very very much.
You are obviously not a chemist. Chemicals most definitely DO come together, either by outside forces (wind, wave, sunlight, animals, etc.) as well as by the gravity that permeates all space or even brownian motion.
Forget the "sentient"; it is only a specific part of DNA and of no more real importance than any other section such as that giving great eyesight, strength, sense of smell or ability to detect the electrical impulses in living organisms. That it happens to be YOUR strength is meaningless in finding the likelihood of it's happening.
Did you not read the post on calculating the probabilities? Check it again - you will find that I don't think anyone can calculate the probability of such a thing happening.
Read my post again...I said chemicals all by their lonesone selves can not come together... they have to be brought together by whomever (God) or Whatever (God via the laws of Physics i.e the outside forces you enumerated--wind, sunlight, wavew...animals, gravity etc). I know my Chemistry well enough thank you... and I don't have to be a full pledged chemist to make assertions that I know is valid.
Ah! So you have determined that it is God behind any movement of any particle in the universe. It is He that keeps the earth in orbit, that makes the wind blow and the tides rise and fall. It is He that determines the next direction and velocity of an atom in brownian movement. Your god even determines when subatomic particles pop into and out of existence; it isn't random at all (you should inform the physicists of this as they all think it is random).
A convenient method of deciding that neither abiogenesis nor evolution can occur without a god in the picture, but of course anyone not buying into the myth won't buy into the latest expansion of the old tale, either.
Sorry, but chemicals do come together as a result of the physical laws. There is no evidence for your God let alone having brought those chemicals together.
You might want t re-read my post again.
You seemed surprised that I am proposing the idea that everything that happened, is happening, and will happen ultimately emanated from the moment of the expansion of space during the BB. That expansion having been mandated by a Higher Being, His cosmological laws via quantum mechanics superseded our earthly laws of physics.
Evolution is a scientific fact, but to say, as you are saying, that it was ALL random is far from the truth. Some randomness can be expected in any process that are subservient to the laws of physics, but those randomness have in no way fundamentallyinadevertently impacted/changed the outcome....sentient beings.
As if the universe cares if we are sentient or not. We are sentient, so God done it.
Of course the universe neither gives a damn nor actually knows that sentient entities lives in it. On the other hand God and the sentient beings He created do give a damn and actually know that the universe is not cold, empty or lifeless..... meaninglessly meandering about its own space/time continuum
Again you assumed God cares. Show me something that sets humans apart from other animals besides our intelligence. Remember there are parasites that feed only on humans. Did God create them as well?
Your conclusion lacks evidence for the existence of God.
Obviously, the universe is not lifeless, we are here.
Not necessarily, I have also speculated that everything after the BB emanated from that action. The problem is that everything that will happen is then set for eternity a few microseconds after the BB, and there is no free will. I choose to believe, without evidence, that there IS free will; it keeps me happy and I cannot see that it negatively affects me or anyone around me.
" but to say, as you are saying, that it was ALL random is far from the truth" Pretty bold statement here - do you have evidence to back it?
"but those randomness have in no way fundamentally/inadvertently impacted/changed the outcome....sentient beings" Again, a very bold statement, but without any supporting evidence that I can see. And evidence is absolutely necessary as we KNOW that it could have happened completely by chance. Chance defined as near random atomic movements resulting in chemical reactions, unencumbered with unwarranted assumptions of there being a god pushing the atoms around.
But what is the hangup with sentience? So far is is about as far removed from the successes of the real survivors of history (dinosaurs) as it is possible to get; a few tens of thousands of years as opposed to millions and millions. Why are you seeming to insist that sentience is more important than any other physical attribute?
Now why am I not surprised that the thought of the absence of "free will" ever crossed your mind. Just because the BB initiated the expansion of space, did not mean that everything that followed have been set "for eternity a few microseconds after the BB and therefore there is NO free will."
Entertaining the idea, of the non-existence of free will, could lead to all sorts of secondary bad ideas i.e. the non-existence of sentience, the non-existence of good and evil, the non-existence of the foundational underpinning of personal responsibility in human relationships and affairs, the non-existence of the moral and ethical values that keeps society functionally intact.
Randomness, as you may well be aware of is closely linked to the statistical measurement of probabilities.....something that even scientists are not in total agreement as to how it applies to the empiric model. It does not mean that scientists have not tried mightily to construct the probability model on statistical analysis, and the results have been confusing to say the least. So my best perception and conceptualization ( that are not based on probability as defined by statistical analysis) of the issue leads me to believe/assert that not everything in nature was randomly created...the ultimate example of which is human sentience--- the basis of free will.
"...chance defined as near random".. is a statement full of hedging perseveration. I don't think there is anything in my experience that could be classified as near-random. It's either random or not. "Near random" just does not have the empirical certainty that you of all people should be finely attuned to.
Dinosaurs is your example of the "successes of the real survivors of history"? Are you kidding me? Just because their specie survived for millions of years does not, in cosmic terms, make them the real survivors of history.
Now on the other hand, Homo Sapiens' tenure on earth may not be that long, but I am fairly optimistic that humans will find ways to outlast earth... maybe in some other parts of the cosmos that they would eventually find as "habitable".
Your conclusions are not evidence for your God's existence.
Your beliefs are not based on evidence, they are based on your religion, so they are irrelevant anything science produces.
Lack of free will leads to perhaps bad things (at least I think they're bad) but not to most of the things you list. Not to the lack of sentience and not to the lack of morality. It DOES logically lead to lack of personal responsibility, which is why I personally refuse to accept the concept. (Of course, most people don't have much sense of personal responsibility any more anyway, choosing to blame their misconduct on the devil, chance, other people - anything but themselves. Sad, but true).
Semi randomness, as I referred to it: actions with a cause, but not a cause that is determinable. Why did the rock fall off the ledge at that particular moment? Why did the dropped feather land exactly THERE? Why did the volcano blow at THAT time, or the earthquake let loose exactly THEN? All have causes, but sometimes the cause is not truly findable and sometimes it is too complex to determine. So, semi random - we can't find a cause but know there is one (and not a god poking the feather to make it fall where the god wants it to).
If the longest surviving type of animal isn't the greatest survivor to date, what else are you using as a requirement for that title? Your optimism that homo sapiens will take over the title in half a billion years so should have it now?
Sorry, but your proposition is not convincing at all, especially considering it has no evidence.
Sorry, evolution is not a random process, your point is moot.
"But what is the hang up with sentience?" is a stunning question from someone who has lived his life predicated on possessing that sentience.
To answer your non-rhetorical question: No sentience (of the kind humans have)-----> No free will---> No good or evil---> no ethical or moral values---> no personal responsibility/accountability===> sub-human existence, living by brawns and pure instincts and nothing else.... reminds me of your much beloved dinosaurs.
How are we better than other animals? Very few other animals kill their own kind, but many think nothing of killing other types of animals for food. Much like humans except for some reason we kill each other from time to time and are forced to make laws to prevent it.
Actually, the idea of trying to convince us of your argument and line of thought is to NOT replace well-thought out explanations with cute little arrows.
So sorry to know that you don't consider yourself "any better than other animals". Must be such a source of total discomfiture on your part... but maybe not.
Must be your arrogance telling you that. I'm not bothered by reality.
Better? Eagles have "better" eyesight. Cheetahs have "better" speed and agility. Apes have "better" strength. Lots of animals are better than humans in many ways.
What is your point?
The odds of reality, as we know it, just happening does seem far fetched. Everything seems to fit together too perfectly. We have no examples of anything of grandeur rising without a collective effort. And, i know of no example of a grand project rising to mega proportions where the force behind the initial idea is aware, or appears to be concerned with the welfare, of the workforce which brought the dream to fruition. So, when you put these two together, an impersonal image emerges.
The problem is reality is as we know it. Our level of knowledge has to increase before either a fluke of good luck, impersonal creativity or intelligent design makes perfect sense.
Interesting thought this: "A universe with sentient life implies the existence of God. A universe without sentient life, implies the non-existence of God."
The truth of the first statement is self-evident; the validity of the second statement rests on the assumption that whoever created and fine tuned the universe (call Him God) did not give much of a hoot about whether his creation could and should and would be perceived, interpreted, experienced, witnessed, and curiously examined/uncovered by a sentient being, who then conceptualizes that this creation would not have existed on its own, but was created by Him(God)
What different does sentient life make? Our sun will come and go wether we get to acknowledge it or not. The universe like everything else had a beginning and will have an ending. We are irrelevant to any of it.
LOL The first statement is indeed self-evident - as long as you want there to be a god that made you, consider yourself sentient, have an ego as big as the universe and don't care one whit whether it is actually true or not.
Otherwise there is no "self-evident" about the statement; rather it is blatantly false.
This is where we converge. I am sentient as you are. I have an ego, as you do.
There is where we diverge: Although my being sentient has allowed me to have an ego...it is not as you said "as big as the universe". On the contrary, my ego is rather miniscule compared to yours that leads you or allows you to believe that as a human being there is no one higher than you in the pecking order (so to speak) in the universe. When similarly thinking humans, much like yourself, starts believing (because they feel empowered for what ever reason) that they can do whatever they want to since they are not answerable to anyone, not even to their fellow human beings... then atheism coupled with nihilism, reductionism, objectivism becomes the rule of the landscape.. then what else could follow from those scenario, but human depravation, and degradation.
Forgive me but it seems rather egotistical to claim the entire universe was made just for us. It seems rather egotistical to claim we are second in the universal pecking order. I on the other hand think we are simply another animal on a small planet of the outer edge of one of billions of galaxies.
The entire universe was not made for us, but rather, we were made for the universe.
Bad for you that you think humans are just "simply another animal on a small planet" Your nihilism, reductionism just stuns me to the edge of catatonia..
What a load of BS!
I am quite sure that there is an ET species out there as far above humanity as we are above an amobea. Thousands of them, in fact, if not millions (although that is a guess, not knowledge). You on the other hand believe in another whole universe without a shred of evidence that such a thing even might be possible, populated by a single omnipotent creature that made our universe just for you and your kind. Who has the ego here?
Perhaps not degradation, but an honest appraisal of just where humanity stands in this vast thing called a universe?
As I have mentioned in so many posts on HubPages..... atheism coupled with nihilism/reductionism is a deadly mixture... one that would lead NOT to an honest appraisal of homo sapiens' place in the grand and intelligent design but to its ultimate demise... a self destruction so inexplicable that only a deranged mind (as is possible with the atheistic/nihilistic/reductionist impulse) could countenance it.
If you could even come close to explaining why mankind is NOT just another life form in a universe with trillions of planets, you might make sense.
As it is, deciding that mankind is more than a grain of sand on a deserted beach is egocentric in the extreme, and can come only from that deranged mind you mention.
@wilderness: I am certainly not proposing that humans are the ONLY sentient beings, when as you said there are "trillions of planets" out there in the universe/multiverse. But to analogize sentient beings to just meaningless and purposeless "grains of sand on a deserted beach" is an extreme form of reductionism and objectivism--- one that can only lead to nihilism, and when that is tethered to atheism becomes a toxic mix.
The toxicity of that mixture, we have seen in the just concluded century from Hitler's Holocaust, to Stalin's Gulag, to Mao's Great Leap ( truly a misnomer), to Castro's revolution, to Pol Pots killing fields. Human life degraded, devalued, and senselessly destroyed.
Going back to the subject of ET. A very astute middle schooler once asked...".if there are millions of ET's out there why have we not heard from any one of them". Assuming that there are more than quite a few of them have advanced civilization.... much more advanced than what humans have on earth, and are therefore capable of communicating in whatever manner or form... why haven't they? We humans have sent quite a bit of signals out there just over the past 25 years or so, but no takers. Why?
Some astronomers/astrophysicists have suggested a possible explanation. These advanced civilizations may have self-destructed because they could not deal with the enormous burden of progressing their civilization to the ultimate path of glory... whatever that means. So they devalued and degraded and essentially self-destructed. A path that humans might follow, if they continue this atheistic/nihilistic/reductionistic/objectivistic predisposition.
You just don't like atheists do you? You seem to think we are immoral and could potentially be responsible for the destruction of humanity. One need only look to examples of our most extreme societies to see if your theory is correct. I believe the Scandinavian countries are the least religious with the happiest peoples and the least corruption and then we have Vatican City. The Vatican bank has been laundering vast amounts of money for other corrupt nations and mafias and refusing to stop or expose it's doings.
Newsflash: ATHEISTS demand the removal of the cross that seemed to have miraculously appeared from the ashes of the World Trade Center after 9/11 , and that now has a prominent place at the 9/11 museum. One atheist, when explaining why, said that looking at the cross made him and his cohorts experience, tachypnea, tachycardia, and other signs and symptoms of extreme anxiety. Oh well, the narcissism continues.
Making fun of people's medical problems is downright low.
However, I would agree that the lawsuit the atheist group is proposing is over the top and certainly shouldn't proceed.
See, we can actually agree on something.
In the medical profession, we call those symptoms (which you perfunctorily describe as "people's medical problems") psychosomatic, and therefore not medical problems at all in the strictest sense of the words.
We agree. Halleluiah. It is so nice to know that your sense of propriety/decency has not taken leave of you totally.
Do you know what narcissism is? Is that what you say to parents when they bring there kids in because they are breathing rapidly or their hearts are beating rapidly? Don't worry Mom and Dad you son is simply a narcissist?
I know you're joking. Right? If that happened to my kid, just from viewing a sculpture, I'd tell him to buck up, or don't look at it. I wouldn't expect others to be denied because of what appears to be nothing more than delicate sensibilities. Should anyone think their wants were more important than others? That's what this boils down to. Some people want to see it. Some don't. Since they don't they think their desire comes first.
Emile, I'm confused with that comment. We have a grown man saying he wants his mommy to soothe his hurt and you say nothing to him. However parents bring a child into the ER with and erratic/ rapid heart rate and rapid breathing and you think the doctors should tell the parents and the child to buck up? And you say nothing to the supposed doctor who calls them narcissists?
I believe the discussion began with atheists wanting to remove a crucifix from an area within the World Trade Center memorial. That's what precipitated the comment. I don't know anything about the other conversation you are referencing. So, my comment had nothing to do with that.
You must have forgotten to read before you posted anything.
Maybe i missed something? Atheists, adult atheists by my understanding, are saying they suffer problems brought on by psychological problems when viewing a cross, therefore feel their psychological problems warrant the removal of that cross from public display.
Apparently, they were labeled narcissistic by one Hubber. I wouldn't go that far, but I find their behavior selfish.
Rad man attempted to compare adults whining because they choose to look at something they find offensive to children who suffer from documented medical conditions. Which, sorry to say, is ludicrous.
If you think one can be compared to the other, I await an explanation.
What I did, was ask someone who claims to be a paediatrician (child doctor) if her patients (children) who are suffering from a rapid heart rate and breathing can be diagnosed as narcissistic.
In no way did I defended those not wanting crosses around. But am confused why she would say they are narcissistic rather than overly dramatic. That's why I asked her if she know what narcissism means.
That being said how would Christians feel if symbols of Islam were included? Do you think they would have symptoms of rapid breathing and heart rate? How about including the word Allah in Arabic or the star and crescent? With all the controversy about putting a mosque close to the site, I don't think it would go over well.
How about the flying spaghetti monster or the darwin symbol?
To address the question on all of the symbols...I say if you find one offensive, don't look at it. Simple to do. Right?
I've always been the type if i find something offensive I attempt to determine why. So i can get over it.
And you were comparing symptoms claimed by adults to symptoms experienced by children. I do think it is fair, to some extent, when viewing adults who consider their personal sensibilities of more value than those of others to label them selfish. Using the term narcissist is a little over the top, in my opinion, but not outside of the realm of imaginable.
So we can't assume children are like adults when looking at their symptoms? In other words it's okay for a doctor to diagnose narcissism if a patient complains of rapid heart and breathing?
A man show up in a doctors office and says his heart is pounding and he is breathing heavily. The doctor confirms these things and asks when did it start. The man tells the doctor that he was at the 9/11 museum and he noticed the word Allah was written in Arabic in a display and his symptoms started. The doctor should tell him he is a narcissist? Perhaps the doctor should tell him to stop being so selfish? The man says his son died in one of those towers.
I'm just showing you a different perspective of the same thing. Of course those guys should look the other way. But Muslims died in those towers as well as atheists.
You should know that my dictionary defines narcissistic as having an excessive or erotic interest in oneself and one's physical appearance.
You really are going to push this? They didn't show up at a doctor's office. They showed up at a courthouse. That's the difference.
As I stated previously. Calling them narcissistic is harsh. However, out of courtesy to you I looked up the definition to ensure I wasn't being unfair when I stated that classifying them narcissistic wasn't outside of the realm of possible. You are using a limited definition. Probably in order to shore up your argument. A simple goggle search of the psychiatric condition shows that your definition is not all encompassing. So, I stand behind my previous statement.
And, you know they didn't go to a doctor, how?
Let's think this through ED. I'm not implying they didn't suffer psychological problems, which manifested in physical problems, when viewing that cross. But, really? Really??
If someone had shoved a cross into their livingroom, on their front yard or on their desk at work...that would warrant complaint. That would warrant a lawsuit. But, do a few have the right to demand the removal? I'd never heard of the thing until it was brought up here. I googled it. It sounds silly to me to think a cross miraculously appeared. It's just metal from the wreckage. But, that appeared to mean something to a lot of New Yorkers.
You don't find it even a little selfish to bring a lawsuit demanding its removal?
That's what I was hoping you would do.
You said they never went to a doctor and made some offending remarks regarding their medical issues, that certainly isn't thinking it through at all.
Had you noticed, I already said the lawsuit was over the top and didn't agree with it. But, perhaps they have a case in regards to separation of state and church, in which the cross is on government property, which is paid with tax dollars.
The article I posted shows this is just another religious issue with Christians who are upset at the "godless". That alone should be enough to warrant removing the cross.
You can certainly accuse me of making offending remarks concerning their medical issues. I assume that is because I think people who suffer trauma from viewing something they have chosen to view and continue to have the right to choose not to view, yet do anyway; so they can continue to suffer is not something i consider anyone's problem but their own. Attempting to make it my, and other people's, problem showcases more psychological problems, imo.
It's akin to if I complained that your posts gave me headaches and suggested you stop posting. I'd be a bit of an ass for thinking I had the right to request it. The better solution would be stop reading your posts.
And, rightly so, because that is exactly what you're doing.
Have you seen a doctor about that problem?
The best solution would be for you to stop writing morally repugnant posts.
My posts are not morally repugnant. To people who are honest enough to be honest about their morals.
Well, you certainly convinced me with that statement.
If you find it morally repugnant to expect adults to be responsible for their own actions and reactions I'm not certain what to think. Not holding them accountable seems like a very ridiculous option. But, if that makes sense to you I'm not surprised you find my opinions morally repugnant.
When you dismiss and criticize peoples medical issues without knowing a thing about them, that is morally repugnant. I do hope you learn that simple lesson.
Sorry ATM. Reacting by looking at something doesn't qualify as a medical condition you have no control over. Try again.
Ah, so you don't wish to learn that lesson. Okay.
Learn what lesson? That people's personal hang ups are somehow a problem of the collective? By that logic, my acrophobia is everyone else's problem. Please, start the demolition of the mountains on the East Coast. I had to go over two, to get to an auction and my heart raced. I was sweating in fear. I was near tears. I should probably sue my husband. He kept right on driving.
If you expect to teach. Please bring something of value to the table. As it stands, your arguments are shallow and ridiculous.
Wow, it's truly amazing that one not only wishes to embrace their morally repugnance, but they try to justify it, too. Of course, their justifications are usually silly and childish and yours certainly meet that criteria.
But please, continue posting your morally repugnant opinions on peoples medical issues.
Tell us how your really feel.
I find your attempt at defending selfish rationale used in a morally bankrupt attempt to deprive one group of a symbol they find comfort in simply because the morally bankrupt don't react to the symbol in the same manner, no less morally repugnant than you find my views. Your problem appears to be that atheists are upset. If it were Christians whining about an atheist symbol I'd expect them to grow up too. Different strokes...you know?
Since we are both repulsed by the morals of the other the mature thing to do is either attempt to understand one another (which you are admittedly not interested in), or simply walk away, agreeing to disagree.
I accept that we disagree.
Ah, so now they are morally bankrupt, whining and need to grow up, that, along with your criticisms of their medical issues is well beyond morally repugnant. How very sad, Emile. I am truly disgusted and if you'll excuse me, I'm off to vomit.
It's not very a favorable position to state someone's medical conditions are ludicrous or selfish, that only serves to show a lack of compassion. Try focusing on the actual issue, instead.
You can see here from this article that it is indeed a religious issue, that Christians are once again upset their religious icons cannot be displayed on government property.
"The group of people that deny God, religion, or the religious significance of the Cross have suddenly fallen ill simply from looking at the monument? That sounds pretty ironic, doesn't it?
For some reason, many Americans have been conditioned to believe that they have a right to go through life without ever being offended.
The fact that the American Atheists and other non-Christian religious organizations are actively fighting to have the cross removed is an abomination.
Instead of offering the people the freedom of religion, the American Atheists argue that]the constitution should provide people with freedom from religion."
http://www.conservative-daily.com/2014/ … -memorial/
It is entirely possible that the kids of narcissists could become narcissists themselves... in fact the probability is higher than in the general population.
Now if you tell me that your kids are tachypneic and tachycardeic because they ingested some kind of stimulants i.e Dextroamphetamine or Methyphenidate, then of course I would be more than happy to see them and treat them symptomatically. But if you tell me that they are experiencing these symptoms because their narcissistic parents developed these symptoms from looking at a cross, that I suggest a psychiatric evaluation.
Baloney. There is nothing special about life nor about sentience. In the grand scheme of the universe it cannot be made too small.
Sorry - none of those considered human life in terms of the universe; only in terms of what could be accomplished by them in a small geographical area. Not the same thing at all.
They can't. They don't care. They have a "hands off" policy. We are their experiment, not to be meddled with and "ET" injected into the mix. They are coming, but limited to speed of light and are from 100,000 light years away. All possible, but all irrelevant; asking why ET is not here does not indicate there is no ET. The question isn't even a small bit of evidence ET is non-existent.
First, I can't imagine any scientist making such a silly suggestion without something to back it up. Not seriously, anyway, although it is certainly within the realm of speculation and casual discussion. Yes, we may self destruct, but if so it won't be because we consider ourselves to be too small and worthless. The massive ego of the religious, believing that god made everything just for them, will make that impossible.
"...life and (sic) sentience ...can not be made too small" Is that because you think they are infinitesimally small already? Which begs the question: How much will you make them smaller?
So from your reductionist worldview, what has humans accomplished here on his little geographical area called earth. Nothing you say? Something, maybe? I'd say a lot, and in such a short time too (cosmologically speaking) ever since his specie made its appearance on that little planet.
I already told you that ET existing is a distinct possibility. I propose that he is as relevant as you and I, no matter how much you say to the contrary. Now you may find that casting ET in that group of " useless and purposeless grain of sand lying on the beach" will not bring you grief. I sure will bring you grief, if on the other hand, you cast me in that group as well.
Well thank God your lucky stars that the massive ego the religious folks bring to the table by believing God and their special place in God's creation will make humanity's self-destruction impossible. Wasn't expecting a thumb's up from you on that one.
In terms of the universe, what has man done? Put a little CO2 into the air on a pebble circling a very minor sun in a very minor galaxy out of billions. Raised a few atoms into the air on the same pebble. Set the air to vibrating in patterns he finds pleasurable. Slapped a few pigments onto canvas.
Nowhere did he make even one little sun to join the trillions already there. Nowhere has he made even an ounce of matter. Never even left the vicinity of his own planet, puny and inconsequential as it is. He has not designed and built a new galaxy, not even a simple solar system. He has done nothing the universe might find useful or exotic. Just played a bit in his own nursery, not even leaving the room.
And yes, to the universe as a whole you (and I and the rest of the billions of Homo Sapiens) are pretty useless. To other people you might be a god yourself, but to the ET living in M31 you don't even exist, let alone have any importance at all.
No, no - the religious may well cause man's self destruction - Christians fighting Muslims comes to mind - they will just prevent it from your "reductionistic" despondency and despair. The concept that "My god is better than yours and therefore I'm better than you" may well kill us all yet, we just won't wither away thinking we're too pathetic to survive.
You must be so disappointed that you are a member of a good-for-nothing, inconsequential, useless, purposeless specie that could at anytime self-destruct because of its self-absorption, hubristic self-aggrandizement, and belief in an invisible big-daddy in the sky. Somehow that disappointment is misplaced.
Now the matter of Christians and Muslims not liking and fighting each other does not and will not lead to anyone's despondency and despair.... neither will it lead to us all being killed. On the other hand, the establishment of a Jewish state right in the heart of Palestine, and the Muslims antagonism to that state, may lead to just those scenario.
Yes, it is terribly disappointing, but I manage to bear up under the burden.
Jews and Muslims; were it not for the Christians (mostly from the US) supporting Israel against all reason, that situation would have resolved itself long ago. Which is what I said; Christians fighting Muslims may end the race forever one day, whether by proxy (Jews) or by their own hands.
Christians had nothing to do with the Jewish State being created via the United Nations in 1948. To say so would be a fundamental misreading of history. Just because the United States was in the forefront of that undertaking was not undergirded by the USA being swamped by religious/Christian fervor, but by common decency and geopolitical realities.
With an attitude and worldview like that, it's no wonder you harbor so much hatred towards people. If that's the result of religious belief, you can have it. A horrible existence.
Haha. Your first two paragraphs made me think of how God might have come back at Job for his whining.
The massive dishonesty in that response is so ridiculously childish, it is laughable. You equate psychotic dictators to a lack of belief in your invisible super friends. Such dishonesty is only prevalent in believers who hate non-believers so much, they will stoop to any level of shame.
Wow, you post stuff here without thinking anything through at all. Advanced ET's beyond humans does not equate to those ET's being able to visit other worlds light years away.
Not only do not think things through, you come to the most ridiculous conclusions possible.
Your hatred of non-believers is stunning. Christian love, indeed. And, you complain about "atheistic/nihilistic/reductionistic/objectivistic" as the destruction of us all when you only exhibit the very same hatred you project onto others.
On the surface, this appears to be little more than a childish, emotional response, similar to having one's oatmeal too lumpy. Has this person ever actually explained what they are talking about, or offered any value to their worldview?
If such a worldview were accepted, the only book required would be the bible. Of course, Muslims and Jews and a variety of other religions would most likely not agree, although they would agree any books of learning required would be one page long with the words, "God done it, He works in mysterious ways that we are forbidden to question or understand". No other information would be needed. This would then facilitate closing down research and medical facilities, schools, universities and anything that had to do with gaining knowledge, helping mankind or understanding the world around us.
We would all just sit around and worship our grand intelligent designer for creating us the way the are, praying this designer could fix all the problems with our bodies. Yes, we could easily close down all the hospitals, toss out all the medicines and fire all the doctors, they are no longer needed. Prayer would suffice because obviously, God would answer all our prayers.
Of course, we would have to get rid of everything science has provided us thus far as that is an abomination to God and go back to living in stone or grass huts with no running water or electricity. Any form of transportation would be horse and buggy.
This begs the question, how will such a worldview add value to humanity, what purpose can it possibly serve, how will anything change due to accepting such a worldview? Self destructive? How so? Where are your solutions, A.Villarasa, to this "atheistic/nihilistic/reductionist" worldview you so vehemently despise?
Simple solution: Stop devaluing human life...stop degrading human sentience... stop devolving human existence to the level of , in Psycheskinner's case... rats.
But atheistic agenda prevents them from doing that. In the process of denying the existence of God, atheists would go to the extent of degrading, devaluing and devolving Homo Sapiens. The nihilism of it all.
How can you devalue a creature that HAS no value except to its own species, and then very little as witnessed by the killing that goes on? Commit genocide and remove all those that value it at all?
"... a creature that HAS no value except to its own species" is a statement borne out of total rejection of the specie's role/destiny in the cosmos. If you are categorizing humans based solely on their physical attributes, and therefore not any different from the rest of the members of the animal kingdom, then I suppose their cerebral capacity (intelligence) and introspective/intuitive/ capacity (sentience) has no more purpose or usefulness than that of the rat, or the eagle, or the polar bear that Psycheskinner, Encephalo, and Rad Man respectively were so enthusiastic about.
If we are just one of the earthly creatures that have not shown any predisposition towards self discovery despite their supposed sentience, ... then I suppose, like the dinosaurs, we could populate earth for millions of years and just wait for the day when an asteroid would hit earth that would then result in our total annihilation. If that happens, wouldn't the ET's that you are so enthusiastic about say: "aw shucks, what a total waste of talent and energy, and existence".
And, that role/destiny is what exactly?
You still have yet to make a point. So far it's all just word salad.
You're beginning to understand. We have no preordained "destiny" or "role" in the universe, no goal outside of what we set ourselves. We are no better than other animals and are not the top species in history in the only thing that counts; survival.
Pretending different surely feeds the ego and makes us feel good about ourselves, but is only fantasy.
If what you are opining has any pertinence... it is because similarly predisposed humans like yourself have no greater expectations of the specie that they belong to except for it to, just like any other specie, wait for their termination by mother nature. Meanwhile you and your cohorts are quite content with whatever personal goals you may have set for yourselves, aside from, of course, performing your most basic biologic needs.
Meanwhile, other humans, because they (as you have persistently implied) pretend that there is something more to life than mere survival, feed their ego just to make them feel good about themselves. A fantasy in your book.
Your outlook of the human specie is so minimalist, as to make it so inconsequential in the grander design of existence... which I suppose could be construed to mean that our cerebral capacity for intuition, introspection, imagination and interpretation has no meaning and purpose beyond what the exigencies of those biologic needs impose on it.
You can go in pretending that the universe needs us if it feeds you ego.
And the outlook of some as to the human species is so grandiose, so beyond any reality we can see, it can only come from the imagination and egoism, not a realistic look at what and where we are. Almost as if the imagination is more important or reveals more true knowledge than cerebration. To those poor souls I can only offer a salute to their willingness to accept a make believe reality in order to stroke their ego and achieve happiness; may it remain with them and KEEP them happy until death.
But that is not for me, thank you - I feel much better accepting the reality I can see or detect instead of making one up. Perhaps a tiny ego (although no one has ever accused me of that!), I don't know.
Again, just word salad, you are not making a point.
You are doing much worse, you're worldview does not even acknowledge us as anything of value, just automatons serving and worshiping an invisible God. You call that a meaningful existence? Rats have it good compared to that.
Sorry, but you have it the wrong way, we consider humans are valuable because they can create their own purpose and meaning, rising well above your worldview of empty headed subservience.
It's hard to believe this tired, old argument keeps resurfacing over and over. It's almost as if the people who dredge it up never learn anything. Maybe, they're just to lazy the read the articles posted here over and over that debunk that argument.
Are they too lazy to watch a video?
Thanks for that.
So the universe is not designed for sky diving?
Your video just doesn't cut it as a believable piece of information that me or any other curious intelligent life form could sink their collective teeth into. It would have been a lot more credible if the person presenting the particular point of view was an Einstein or a Hawking. The card game was too amateurish...too discombobulating.
Appeal to Authority fallacy. A ten year old could say the same thing and it would be equally valid as if Einstein or Hawking said it.
Btw, intelligent life forms do in fact accept it. Sorry, that you don't.
Not just authority but believable authority. Yours just ain't believable. And I'm not even talking about THE ultimate authority, which in my language (not yours) is GOD.
Now just because you believe that you are a member of that class you labeled "intelligent life forms" does not necessarily mean that you are a member in good standing of that class.
Well, at least you have gone back to bashing atheists, again.
You are so thin-skinned.... I am now almost ready to think that all atheists (or at least all the atheists on HubPages) are similarly predisposed as you.
You are probably closer to right than you think. Many atheists on hub pages are, more than likely, him. And, a few theists. He appears to create sock puppets at random.
Sure, us non-believers are all the same, we don't believe in your gods, it is the commonality between us all that we agree with, hence it gives the appearance of one person. On the other hand, you believers can't agree on very much at all because you each have your own personal, religious, fantasy world that doesn't agree with anyone else and you all fight amongst yourselves trying to convince each other whose super invisible friend can beat up the other guys super invisible friend.
Your arguments (if you can call them that), are getting pretty desperate my friend. Try another tact and I may yet engage you in a more meaningful debate.
Pretty good comeback. Completely inaccurate, all the way around, but considering how inaccurate your usual assumptions are; it was pretty good.
It was totally accurate, you only disagree because you disagree with most everything reasonable and rational.
. From your viewpoint. Which, incidentally, does not represent all that is reasonable or rational.
Actually, considering the amount you purposely turn a cold shoulder to, i think it could easily be argued that you lack the ability of either reason or ration concerning philosophical matters open for debate.
It's alright though. I doubt I'm the only one who completely understands why your inability to accept that there will always be things we cannot know makes you uncomfortable. You aren't alone ED. Heck, there's billions of believers doing exactly what you do. You're quite normal.
So you won't listen to a good argument unless it comes from someone famous?
Being famous has not nothing to do with believability or credibility. You yourself are famous, and look at your credibility... zilts, zero.
Doesn't one get tired of pointing to things they don't understand and stating God done it?
Does it really solve all your problems by inventing a magical sky daddy that can create all these things that you don't understand without explaining where the sky daddy came from? Then imagining that this sky daddy created the entire universe and possible multiverse just for us?
It never ceases to amaze me that some decide to come to far reaching conclusions and then shove those conclusions onto the backs of others. I'm not sure that anything said in the OP would warrant that response. However, I'm sure you've confabulated something within your mind to think so.
Yea, I agree. Someone claiming that the universe must have been fine tuned for our existence is far reaching to say the least. Like the link explained, it's like claiming the entire universe was designed for sky divers.
I have no doubt that almost all animals have free will and many have ethics. Not surprisingly, a great ,any animals are considered sentient. That is why we use them as companions and have laws protecting them from abuse.
Sentience comes in varying degrees of sublimity ... humans having the highest. Now if you want to devalue and degrade yours to the level of the animals that you mentioned have sentience, then by all means do so.
Now we are back to Christianity's humility. We humans needs laws preventing us from killing each other.
If there is no human sentience, the concept of good and evil goes down the drain, and with it, the concept of personal responsibility and accountability based on ethical and moral values that humans have invoked, precisely because of that sentience, thus not allowing them to kill each other williy-nilly.
We are so great that we had to make laws protecting us from killing each other and the fact that we thought about making these laws makes us better than other animals and therefore God done it.
Humans are what they are, no matter what words you attach to them.
And I don't think anyone his said humans are not sentient. But sentient means being able to suffer--it is silent on the ability to be kind and ethical.
Free will allows us the ability to discern good from evil, right from wrong. The ability to differentiate those polar opposites is one of the things that flows from sentience. So in effect it is NOT silent on the "ability to b kind and ethical".
Sure it is. Having the capacity to do something is not the same a doing something. I have legs, that does not make me a good dancer.
And as I have stated, many animals have free will and ethics, friendships, love, grief, and a concept of fairness and betrayal. These are not just human things.
If you want to suggest humans have "special" sentience. What is special about it? It is not special enough to make us innately kind to children and respectful of elders and peaceful in our community--a quality found in rat wild rat colonies.
Interesting ...the concept that human sentience, and thus free will is not any more purposeful and meaningful than that of rats in wild rat colonies. What about the rats that I see scampering about the town dump?.
They have free will to the extent they make choice based on things like degree of optimism, they live in a harmonious family, they can feel emotions like pain and joy, they laugh when tickled, they help other rats that have disabilities. Ergo they are sentient.
So if humans are "more" sentient is has to related to things other than the capacity what most would consider a moral lifestyle.
Your definition of sentience i.e." being able to suffer...can feel emotions like pain and joy" is superficial and shallow to the point of reducing and devolving humans to the level of ... well rats. From my point of view a nihilistic and reductionist view of human existence and human sentience.
Yes, being able to "suffer and feel emotions like pain and joy" is part of sentience, but from the perspective of human existence, your definition falls far short of what it is to be truly human.
Empiricists and theorists alike agree that sentience as applied to human beings must include ALL the characteristics that makes us humans (and not rats) i.e. intelligence (at the human level), desire, free will consciousness, ethics, personalities, insight, intuition. All these characteristics, lumped together are what separates us from the other entities you aver have sentience as well.
That is stating the obvious. Of course, everything that makes us "Human" will most certainly separate us from other entities. It is the glaring similarities that connect us with other entities that cannot be ignored and are just as if not more important.
Do you think we feel more than say an elephant?
That makes no sense at all, how can the will of a person explain the difference between good and evil? Any person can possess the will to do something and carry it out, but that will does not explain why they carry it out.
When I look into the eyes of a working horse, I often feel there is more sublimity in that animal than in me. Humans need no help when it comes to acting in degraded ways, and dragging animals down with us.
Interesting... and in fact in some cases, human's because of their raging ego, could degrade/devalue their humanity well below their natural place in nature, leading to the concept of the "asphalt jungle."
Natural place in nature? You understand we are not at the top of the food chain right?
So who or what do you think is in the top of the food chain?
Bacteria, perhaps - they will consume our body, dead or alive.
Or maybe mosquitoes - they will certainly consume our blood while alive!
Do I really need to list things that feast on humans?
Okay lets start with all bears and all of the large cats. How about sharks and alligators and crocks? How about snakes and Komodo dragons? Why do you think fear is a natural human emotion. Polar bears for example have no fear of anything. It doesn't need fear to survive while we do. We could move onto parasites but I think you get my point. We typically build houses to keep animals out.
I still think brains beat brawns anytime, anywhere, anyhow. The reason I think that homo sapiens are not as physically adept like the animals you mentioned was because we developed a superior brain, that could out-think them to the point of developing extra-corporeal means of fighting/defending themselves, i.e. axes, bows and arrows, spears, and now machine guns that can mow down a herd of lions and or solitary polar bear in one simple click of that trigger.
We're more adept, as you put it, than you may realize. Few animals, for instance, can keep up with a man over long distances. Few land animals swim as well and very few can mountain climb as well.
But if you think you can beat out a pack of crocs anywhere or any time, you should dive into Australian colonies of them. You'd make a million off the film rights. Unless, of course, "anytime" means after you have had years to earn/build the machine guns to protect yourself...
Why should I learn ( years as you said) to earn/build a machine gun, when I could easily get one on somehere, somehow, sometime. So before I wade in and play with the crocs... I'll be ready to use it... one false move and they are footwear, before they know it.
Sure we need weapons to defend our selves from those animals that want to eat us. Did you know that a croc will not attack a hippo right next to them, but if one of us goes for a swim it will kill and eat us.
Hippos can divide a croc in two in one swift bite of its huge mouth and teeth. So crocs are won't to mess with hippos because they could be very nasty. The principle of live ant let live is operative even in the jungle.
Indeed, and hippos kill people every year--as do tigers. Our brains alone are not sufficient to prevent that. In fact some people's brains make them thing it is a good idea to have a pet tiger or jump into a tiger enclosure.
A bit hit-and-miss when it comes to self-preservation, those brains.
Right, Hippos are at the top of the food chain. We are not.
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