Monday, January 30, 2017

639: A first attempt......

To get some hold on the meaning of life we can ask ourselves, where did it come from and where does it lead to.
Like a road, which originated  from the wish to be able to travel from A to B, which lead to the traffic from A to B.
Origin and purpose coincide here, which makes it quite understandable, but applied to the origin and purpose of life, it is quite different.
What I wish to add too, is, that those of you who have attended a number of projects of The Philosophy Class will notice, that aspects of these projects will reappear in this project. 
This is of course due to the fact that we assumed that the question we are dealing with now, is in fact a container of many questions.
If you assume, for instance, that the meaning of life is defined by our actions, then it will be related to historical, economical, social, ethical and psychological actions.
And in the previous projects we already have discussed a lot of these issues here.
So let’s return to our question of today: does our origin sheds light on the question why we are here?
All together you could discern two sets of theories, which boil down to what we might call creationism and naturalism.
Creationist theories claim that the origin of man is found in some supernatural power, which has a purpose in mind with its creation.
Naturalist theories state that human life emerged as the result of some blind and random physical process.
A philosopher like Spinoza takes a kind of position in the middle here, when he refers to God and Nature as being one and the same.
Let’s have a look at the naturalist theory. When you look at our diagram behind me, you see that evidence is an important ingredient of any proper discussion.
In that sense there is an overwhelming amount of evidence, which supports naturalist theories of the origin of mankind.
From the Big Bang theory up to “On the Origin of Species” by Darwin. You may believe in the Big Bang theory, 
but nowhere in this theory is an explanation of what caused this Big Bang, except historically 
that the theory was invented by Georges Lemaitre (1894 – 1966) , a Belgian Roman-Catholic priest, astronomer and professor of physics at the Catholic University of Leuven.
I even found a book with the title “The Universe Before the Big Bang: Cosmology and String Theory”  (2008) by Maurizio Gasperini.
This inexplicable first moment lead eventually to the emergence of life, another inexplicable event.
Let me quote Richard David Precht (1964 - ) here, the popular German philosopher:
Some philosophers in the early-nineteenth-century Romantic era insisted on regarding man as nature's crowning achievement ,
as the creature created to understand the world and to make nature aware of itself. 
In reality, of course, there is no reason to believe that man and his actions are the goal of evolution, and indeed even the concept of a 'goal' itself is dubious. 
Goals represent a very human approach to thinking (do salamanders have goals?) and are associated with typically human notions of time, as are the terms 'progress' and 'meaning.' 
But nature is physical, chemical, and biological, and  'meaning' is on an entirely different plane from, say, the the term 'protein.'
Apparently, digging into this cause of why we are here, leaves us rather empty handed for the time being……
Thank you … ^_^

Main Sources:
MacMillan The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1995
Julian Baggini, What's It All About? Philosophy and the Meaning of Life (2004)  
Richard David Precht, Wer bin ich, und wenn ja, wie viele? (2007)

The Discussion

[13:15] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): not helpful so far
[13:15] CB Axel: I think a salamander's goals would be to stay warm, eat, and procreate.
[13:16] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and get across the road
[13:16] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:16] CB Axel: Two out of three of those are my goals, too, come to think of it.
[13:16] herman Bergson: alive :-)
[13:16] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): without me driving over it
[13:16] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): lol
[13:16] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes
[13:16] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but i usually stop and let them pass but hard to spot
[13:16] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): but what is the meaning of the salamanders life?
[13:17] herman Bergson: But these characteristics of an organism, are they called goals?
[13:17] CB Axel: Same as ours, Beertje.
[13:17] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): no salamanders here though where i live
[13:17] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): well staying alive is a goal
[13:17] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): why Gemma?
[13:17] CB Axel: No salamanders? Then it must be easy to avoid them on the road.
[13:18] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i think all creatures want to avoid death
[13:18] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes, but there can be some birds innstead sometimes
[13:18] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): the end
[13:18] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thats true
[13:18] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): unless something changes their minds
[13:18] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): is death the end?
[13:18] herman Bergson: depends on the definition of goal, I'd say
[13:18] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): that is another question!
[13:18] CB Axel: Staying alive might be a goal, but is there meaning in it?
[13:19] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): that is going in a circle
[13:19] herman Bergson: If you say that a goal is chosen...that it is a premeditated choice, then salamanders have no goals
[13:19] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ah
[13:19] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ok did we say they were chosen?
[13:20] herman Bergson: They function by the rules organisms function
[13:20] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): my goal is basically, live, feel good, be with others, do all things i like, these things included
[13:20] herman Bergson: biological principles
[13:20] CB Axel: A salamander my have a choice at any given moment to either eat or have sex. So, they have to pick their goal.
[13:20] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:20] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:20] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i see goal is dubious in definition
[13:20] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): oh dear
[13:20] herman Bergson: you sound like a salamander Bejiita ^_^
[13:20] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hahah
[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): loooool
[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): do I?
[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:21] herman Bergson: I'd say...goals you choose
[13:21] herman Bergson: like you can choose to end your life...
[13:21] CB Axel: But is a salamander happy? That's what separates Bejiita from the salamander. °͜°
[13:22] herman Bergson: a salamander cannot do that
[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I hope they can feel happiness too
[13:22] Ciska Riverstone: can a crow?
[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): in some way
[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): dogs and cats can so why not them?
[13:22] CB Axel: How do we know if a salamander can or cannot choose to ends its life?
[13:22] Ciska Riverstone:
[13:22] herman Bergson: BAsed on the principle of avoiding pain and seeking pleasure any organism can feel "happy"
[13:22] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): is the meaning of life be happy?
[13:23] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ohoh
[13:23] CB Axel: Maybe a salamander hit by Bejiita's car has chosen to throw itself under the tires?
[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): one of the meanings sure is for me
[13:23] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i say some think so
[13:23] herman Bergson: No Beertje..that is too vague...
[13:23] herman Bergson: I meant "happy" in the sense of a state of biological welbeiing
[13:24] herman Bergson: any organism strives to such a state
[13:24] CB Axel: Watching those crows convinces me that they know how to be happy.
[13:24] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): pff my english..excuses for that
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): crows do
[13:25] Ciska Riverstone: me to cb
[13:25] herman Bergson: I think they certainly know to increase their physical wellbeing, CB
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and play
[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i think we are going to have a lot of definition discussions in the topic
[13:25] herman Bergson: but that doesn’t gives meaning to their existence
[13:25] CB Axel: But isn't physical wellbeing more a goal and not life's meaning?
[13:26] CB Axel: Yes.
[13:26] Starr (lynstarr): i don't think we can find a meaning of life without thinking that we must be part of something greater than us... even the salamanders must be
[13:26] herman Bergson: I'd say that physical wellbeing is just a ffeature of how the system works
[13:26] Starr (lynstarr): idk if i am saying that right
[13:27] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): you are starr
[13:27] CB Axel: I know what you mean, Starr.
[13:27] herman Bergson: We'll certainly will get to that issue Starr
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:27] CB Axel: But what is that greater thing?
[13:28] herman Bergson: We'll get to that,, CB
[13:28] CB Axel: I have no evidence of a higher being than people wishing for one to give their lives meaning.
[13:29] Ciska Riverstone: is meaning connected to evaluation?
[13:29] herman Bergson: My first observation is that what caused us into existence seems to have been a rather random process
[13:29] CB Axel: Yes. Random.
[13:29] herman Bergson: That is...when you take the naturalist point of view as starting point
[13:29] Ciska Riverstone: (random from our point of view)
[13:29] herman Bergson: Yes Ciska....
[13:30] CB Axel: So, according to that book, what did happen before the Big Bang?
[13:30] herman Bergson: as soon as you tend to think in terms of creationism the apparent randomness disappears
[13:30] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): very true
[13:30] herman Bergson: I am sorry CB.....I just ran into that book title on an page
[13:31] herman Bergson: I found it a funny title....
[13:31] CB Axel: I may have to look at it, too.
[13:31] herman Bergson: I still have trouble with the Big Bang theory.....
[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): its tricky indeed
[13:32] herman Bergson: It is deduced from the movements of objects in space it seems....
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): many scientists are not convinced of the big bang
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): still looking at other theories
[13:32] herman Bergson: They are said to be moving away from som point.....
[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): was there really a such explosion and how did it happen, cant be an explosion out of nothing just like that
[13:32] herman Bergson: the expanding universe....
[13:33] herman Bergson: yes Bejiita...
[13:33] herman Bergson: SO this Belgian priest reversed the reasoning....
[13:33] herman Bergson: moving away form something must imply coming from some point....
[13:34] herman Bergson: and there was the big bang , I guess
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): there are those who think there are millions of universes
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): one after the other
[13:34] herman Bergson: Must have been a BANG because all objects in space are moving....
[13:34] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): like bubbels in a pont:)
[13:35] CB Axel: Many, many years ago I read a book called "The First Three Minutes," by Steven Weinberg. It told the story of the origins of the universe, but Weinberg couldn't say what happened right when the Big Bang happened.
[13:35] herman Bergson: So...our very starting point is already such a mystery....
[13:35] CB Axel: Gemman, but how did all those universes start? That's the question.
[13:36] CB Axel: *Gemma
[13:36] Starr (lynstarr): i'm thinking... naturist... evolution... that's the way things go... like it's a process.. idk if that means things began by random accident
[13:36] herman Bergson: Nor could he tell what was happinging BEFORE the big bang, I guess
[13:36] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i know
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the ALICE experiment at LHC try recreate so calle qurk gluon plasma that would had formed right in that moment and i have seen lot of data showing it really being created in that machine
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): a state of matter befor all particles formed
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but does that proove the big bang?
[13:37] herman Bergson: Up to now it looks like randomness to me, Starr
[13:37] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): before the big bang there had to matter
[13:37] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): to be
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): it just says that if you smash heavy stuff together you get a very interesting state of matter for me
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but indeed in universe there are much greater forces then we can create even with these machines so
[13:37] CB Axel: Not necessarily, Beertje. There could have been nothing but energy.
[13:38] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): energy is matter too?
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): with all these data the big bang theory just give me more questions
[13:38] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): energy
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes
[13:38] herman Bergson: No idea what energy is...:-)
[13:38] CB Axel: I suppose you could say that, Beertje. Matter is energy and energy is matter.
[13:38] Starr (lynstarr): yeh isn't energy just another form of matter?
[13:39] CB Axel: Or so said Einstein.
[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): one example is if you collide electrons or whatever at high energy they can form muons wich is a more massive type ov electron
[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): energy transform into matter
[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): also te accelerated particles get heavier as they approach light speed
[13:39] herman Bergson: Well we aren't astrophysicists...true....but this very start doesn't give a clue about the meaning of life so far, I'd say
[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): so far  nope
[13:40] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): maybe there is no meaning
[13:40] herman Bergson: That was my only point for today ^_^
[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe
[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): we got it then!
[13:40] Ciska Riverstone: its a bit like god ;) - so far wie know that fire hurts and comes from the heavens - until we know more ;)
[13:40] herman Bergson: We're not yet done with the project Beertje ^_^
[13:40] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): :)
[13:41] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): we hardly started
[13:41] Starr (lynstarr): i say we make up a definition of what the meaning of life means... then we can make whatever answer we want
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): then we find out that its not fire but electricity and that it CAN start fire bit is not fire itself
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i guess its thunderstorms you relate to
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and then we learn to harness this power
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and the fire as well
[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and today we use fire to make electricity
[13:42] Ciska Riverstone: @ starr - 42
[13:42] herman Bergson: As I said in a previous lecture....Asking for the meaning of life is not a question of the type that can be answered with a single answer
[13:42] herman Bergson: But far it is 42
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): true indeed
[13:43] Ciska Riverstone: yes bejiita - its just getting into it deeply and as we go along before we know the details we call it god - or science or whatsoever
[13:43] herman Bergson: unless we find a better answer
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes
[13:43] Ciska Riverstone: its a working title production
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes
[13:43] CB Axel: °͜°
[13:43] Ciska Riverstone: like - we must work with something
[13:43] Ciska Riverstone: and so far we know a b c
[13:43] Ciska Riverstone: and if we know aa
[13:43] Ciska Riverstone: then we might reconsider to do b a bit different
[13:43] Ciska Riverstone: and so on
[13:43] herman Bergson: So forgive me if I send you home a bit empty handed time more luck perhaps :-)))
[13:44] Starr (lynstarr): i don't feel empty handed... a lot to think about
[13:44] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): empty handed??? we have a lot to think about again
[13:44] CB Axel: This has just made me curious about what we'll discuss next. °͜°
[13:44] herman Bergson: Thank you all again for your participation :-))
[13:44] CB Axel: Thank you, Herman.
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:44] Ciska Riverstone: thank you ehrman - thanx everyone
[13:44] herman Bergson: Class dismissed ^_^
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): another nice lecture
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:44] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cu net time
[13:44] Ciska Riverstone: welterusten beertje
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): next
[13:44] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes
[13:45] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): hope so
[13:45] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): welterusten Ciska:)
[13:45] Ciska Riverstone: and a great day for everyone
[13:45] CB Axel: See you all Tuesday.
[13:45] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): have a goodnight all:)
[13:45] Ciska Riverstone: or night
[13:45] Ciska Riverstone: of course
[13:45] Starr (lynstarr): bye... and thanks everyone

[13:45] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): bye for now 

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