What is the purpose in life?

Serenity595

Active Member
Life has no single purpose, people may think so but they are deluded in their thoughts. We all have our own purpose in life, some may find it and others may not but that's besides the point.

Is there is no one purpose, there is no single truth. And if there is no single truth, then this entire universe is nothing but chaos and all our lives are completely meaningless.

Do you believe there are absolute truths in this universe?

Two: he can decide whether he wants a banana or something else. Using your logic, humans do not have free will either, we do things out of necessity, to get money to buy food water, and support families. If I throw you on a deserted island, you will act the same way as the monkey to survive, this does not mean I have deprived you of free will. Humans are not that special.

Three: It's not wise in our social environment. Yes you can make them whatever you want them to be, as long as you survive and are satisfied.

Four: If you refuse to read the things that will give you the information I am going to spend my time giving you, then I will not even bother. They are theories because maybe they have exceptions, but they have been extensively verified with experimentation and most of the time work. Random processes with no coherent structure? First off there is nothing random in nature, it may seem random as there might be a large amount of variables. The structure is coherent, DNA for example is copied in the same manner in most cells, cells have similar structures, etc etc.

One piece of evidence for macro evolution: Homologous and Analogous Structures.
Homologous structures show us that all of the shown species once had a common ancestor, because obviously their bone structure is very similar, and for common ancestors of lets say cats and humans have same similarities. These structures have different functions though.
View attachment 80064
Analogous structures show that even when animals do not have the same common ancestor similar pressures in nature will lead to population gaining structures with the same function.
View attachment 80065

Two: I might act the same way as a monkey would on a deserted island, but only in the survival aspect. What about some abstract emotions (things more complicated than just happiness, anger, or sadness)? What about conscience? What about choosing to either survive or to kill myself? These wouldn't plague a monkey because a monkey only cares about surviving. A human has much more to think about.

Three: I asked you this earlier (I got no response), so I'll ask you again:

If happiness is what we make it, and happiness is our ultimate goal in life, should we not be allowed to pursue that happiness, whatever it may be, no matter the consequences to others?

Four: I refuse to read things that will give me false information. I don't mind at all if you show me something that has correct information and doesn't show theories as facts.

As for your evidence for evolution, I will do more research. I will ask one question though, just out of curiosity: does similarity prove evolution? Could not similarity also prove that all was made by the same Designer? I do not know of all the similarities between creatures, but I do know that there are many differences. I also know that there are many supposed exceptions as well. Remember, even if there is a single true exception to evolution, the whole theory falls apart, as with any other theory. The premises must first be correct in order for the conclusion to be true.

If you want an "exception", here is an example: the bombardier beetle. http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/cm/v12/n1/amazing-bombardier-beetle

Yes, the reference is from a Creationist-based website, but I want you to look at the facts for yourself instead of coming to a quick conclusion.

In the end though, evolution doesn't bother me as much. Evolution is what happened after the beginning. Although I don't believe in it, it doesn't undermine the possibility that there was a God who set evolution in motion at the dawn of time (again, I don't believe this either, but you get my point). What is more important here is the beginning of the universe and our purpose here on earth. Everything else comes second.
 

Audi

Well-Known Member
Let's put it this way:

It is important to note that suddenly, and against all probability, a Sperm Whale had been called into existence, several miles above the surface of an alien planet and since this is not a naturally tenable position for a whale, this innocent creature had very little time to come to terms with its identity. This is what it thought, as it fell:
Ahhh! Woooh! What's happening? Who am I? Why am I here? What's my purpose in life? What do I mean by who am I? Okay okay, calm down calm down get a grip now. Ooh, this is an interesting sensation. What is it? It's a sort of tingling in my... Well, I suppose I better start finding names for things. Let's call it a... tail! Yeah! Tail! And hey, what's this roaring sound, whooshing past what I'm suddenly gonna call my head? Wind! Is that a good name? It'll do. Yeah, this is really exciting. I'm dizzy with anticipation! Or is it the wind? There's an awful lot of that now isn't it? And what's this thing coming toward me very fast? So big and flat and round, it needs a big wide sounding name like 'Ow', 'Ownge', 'Round', 'Ground'! That's it! Ground! Ha! I wonder if it'll be friends with me? Hello Ground!
[dies]

...Curiously the only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias, as it fell, was, 'Oh no, not again.' Many people have speculated that if we knew exactly *why* the bowl of petunias had thought that we would know a lot more about the nature of the universe than we do now.
 

GreenEarth

Well-Known Member
Is there is no one purpose, there is no single truth. And if there is no single truth, then this entire universe is nothing but chaos and all our lives are completely meaningless.

Do you believe there are absolute truths in this universe?



Two: I might act the same way as a monkey would on a deserted island, but only in the survival aspect. What about some abstract emotions (things more complicated than just happiness, anger, or sadness)? What about conscience? What about choosing to either survive or to kill myself? These wouldn't plague a monkey because a monkey only cares about surviving. A human has much more to think about.

Three: I asked you this earlier (I got no response), so I'll ask you again:

If happiness is what we make it, and happiness is our ultimate goal in life, should we not be allowed to pursue that happiness, whatever it may be, no matter the consequences to others?

Four: I refuse to read things that will give me false information. I don't mind at all if you show me something that has correct information and doesn't show theories as facts.

As for your evidence for evolution, I will do more research. I will ask one question though, just out of curiosity: does similarity prove evolution? Could not similarity also prove that all was made by the same Designer? I do not know of all the similarities between creatures, but I do know that there are many differences. I also know that there are many supposed exceptions as well. Remember, even if there is a single true exception to evolution, the whole theory falls apart, as with any other theory. The premises must first be correct in order for the conclusion to be true.

If you want an "exception", here is an example: the bombardier beetle. http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/cm/v12/n1/amazing-bombardier-beetle

Yes, the reference is from a Creationist-based website, but I want you to look at the facts for yourself instead of coming to a quick conclusion.

In the end though, evolution doesn't bother me as much. Evolution is what happened after the beginning. Although I don't believe in it, it doesn't undermine the possibility that there was a God who set evolution in motion at the dawn of time (again, I don't believe this either, but you get my point). What is more important here is the beginning of the universe and our purpose here on earth. Everything else comes second.

Exceptions don't make a theory fall apart, they just keep it from becoming law. To summarize the article, it describes in detail the mechanism of the beetles defense, then says that it is really amazing and couldn't possibly have evolved, ignoring the fact that maybe these chemicals might have had different roles other than blowing shit up. It sites common sense as a source and nothing else. The author makes an assertion and doesn't support it.

The actual possible explanations for the evolutionary pathway is online and available.
 

Serenity595

Active Member
Let's put it this way:

It is important to note that suddenly, and against all probability, a Sperm Whale had been called into existence, several miles above the surface of an alien planet and since this is not a naturally tenable position for a whale, this innocent creature had very little time to come to terms with its identity. This is what it thought, as it fell:
Ahhh! Woooh! What's happening? Who am I? Why am I here? What's my purpose in life? What do I mean by who am I? Okay okay, calm down calm down get a grip now. Ooh, this is an interesting sensation. What is it? It's a sort of tingling in my... Well, I suppose I better start finding names for things. Let's call it a... tail! Yeah! Tail! And hey, what's this roaring sound, whooshing past what I'm suddenly gonna call my head? Wind! Is that a good name? It'll do. Yeah, this is really exciting. I'm dizzy with anticipation! Or is it the wind? There's an awful lot of that now isn't it? And what's this thing coming toward me very fast? So big and flat and round, it needs a big wide sounding name like 'Ow', 'Ownge', 'Round', 'Ground'! That's it! Ground! Ha! I wonder if it'll be friends with me? Hello Ground!
[dies]

...Curiously the only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias, as it fell, was, 'Oh no, not again.' Many people have speculated that if we knew exactly *why* the bowl of petunias had thought that we would know a lot more about the nature of the universe than we do now.
What? This doesn't make sense. Please explain (I've seen this "example" before but I completely forget the purpose of it and what it even represents).

Exceptions don't make a theory fall apart, they just keep it from becoming law. To summarize the article, it describes in detail the mechanism of the beetles defense, then says that it is really amazing and couldn't possibly have evolved, ignoring the fact that maybe these chemicals might have had different roles other than blowing shit up. It sites common sense as a source and nothing else. The author makes an assertion and doesn't support it.

The actual possible explanations for the evolutionary pathway is online and available.

First, you're right. Exceptions don't make a theory "fall apart", but they DO however show major flaws in said theory. What if I had a theory that aliens lived on the moon? Well, astronauts have gone to the moon and have proven - from what we know currently - that aliens do no exist on the moon. Why? Because there are too many exceptions to this theory - exceptions where aliens could not and do not live on the moon. My point is: how many exceptions can a theory have where it is still a viable theory? I also want to point out that the theory of evolution is still a theory. It has not been proven fact. Tell me then: can you think of an exception to the idea of Intelligent Design where it would not work in our modern universe and what we know of it today?

Second, explain to me how this creature could have evolved these chemicals without blowing itself up (any wrong mixture and our lil' buggy friend would go boom).

Third, that was a single article. I can cite more if you want. Common sense is just one of the many ways that proves that the Bombardier Beetle is an exception to the theory of evolution. Do you want a major exception? OK, how about the missing links between creatures? Specifically, the missing links between ape and man?

Fourth, "possible" explanations for the evolutionary pathway? Is the evolution theory itself not concrete in its own reasoning or...? Also, please show me specific evidences. Please don't expect me to believe in evolution because of broad statements.

Fifth, you only addressed point four (kind of), but you haven't addressed point two and three; especially three.

I'll repeat it one last time:

If happiness is what we make it, and happiness is our ultimate goal in life, should we not be allowed to pursue that happiness, whatever it may be, no matter the consequences to others?

Yes or no?
 

Audi

Well-Known Member
What? This doesn't make sense. Please explain (I've seen this "example" before but I completely forget the purpose of it and what it even represents).
It's a quote from the book The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe, which, as you probably know, explores the concept of life and its meaning with a sense of utter dejectedness and humour.
Probably best known for the concept of the meaning of life... Being the number 42.
42, you may ask?
Why not?

Call me a nihilist, but life means nothing. What would we be without life? Well, we would be dead. But we wouldn't have any regrets, because if we had not had experienced life to start with, then we would have no point of comparison. This is assuming that we would be able to actually 'think' anyway.
Life is a concept. 'Would a rose by any other name smell just as sweet?' If there was no 'life', then there would be something else.

'Life' is a word we use to explain away our existance. There we go; 'existance'. What is that? Does it matter?
If we did not exist, would we need to worry about existance? Would there be a 'we'? Or an 'I'?

We are a bundle of carbon filled with a combination of other trace elements which ambulates through a world filled with other combinations of carbon and other trace elements. For some miracle, that collection of carbon / hydrogen / oxygen / iron / calcium / other stuff is capable of thinking for itself. When you think about it, it's absolutely absurd.

Our world is infinitely complicated and filled with so many odds for survival.

The meaning of life can really be whatever you want it to be.

I can go on if you like.
 

Serenity595

Active Member
Life is a concept. 'Would a rose by any other name smell just as sweet?' If there was no 'life', then there would be something else.

Explain what this "something else" could be? If there was no "life", then there would be no "existence" to begin with. You must consider what the concept "life" is. "Life" has a beginning. God did not have a beginning, therefore, He is the only one who could have created life. The Big Bang, for example, only explains the beginning of the evolutionary process - the "expansion" of the universe. However, It does not explain how this initial "expansion" came to be in the first place. As I've said before, nothing cannot create something, so the universe could not have created itself. Only something that exists out of our physical realm of existence could start something in our physical realm of existence. And that only "thing" would be something of higher intelligence. Hence, God.

'Life' is a word we use to explain away our existance. There we go; 'existance'. What is that? Does it matter?
If we did not exist, would we need to worry about existance? Would there be a 'we'? Or an 'I'?
Of course not, because we wouldn't have the capacity to worry in the first place, or do anything else for that matter. Yet the fact is: we DO exist. Existence is "the fact or state of living or having objective reality". Are you in the state of living or having an objective reality? Or are you not living or having a subjective reality? Because...
The meaning of life can really be whatever you want it to be.
...is completely subjective. And the meaning of life cannot be subjective because absolutes exist in our universe, which means there is an absolute purpose for us.

We are a bundle of carbon filled with a combination of other trace elements which ambulates through a world filled with other combinations of carbon and other trace elements. For some miracle, that collection of carbon / hydrogen / oxygen / iron / calcium / other stuff is capable of thinking for itself. When you think about it, it's absolutely absurd.
You're right; it is absolutely absurd to believe that, through random and evolutionary processes of chance, we are capable of thinking for ourselves. I noticed you mention it was a "miracle" that we can think, like what you are thinking right now as you read this sentence. A "miracle" is "a surprising and welcome event that is not explicable [or understood] by natural or scientific laws and is considered to be divine". A true miracle can only come from God.

Our world is infinitely complicated and filled with so many odds for survival.
Again, "complicated"? The theory of evolution and the belief of atheism is the least complex, most simple ideology there is because it denies that anything exists outside of what we can see with our limited physical senses. Tell me: if you are hindering thought by not considering the possibility that there is a God, wouldn't that also be "hindering" the evolutionary process because you aren't keeping an open-mind to the essence of our own being?

I know that the concept of "God" may seem really foreign to you because it's natural for man not to want a God that they are accountable to. Tell me: would you rather want to live in a universe (hypothetically speaking, of course) where God did NOT exist, or would you rather want to live in a universe where He DID exist?
 

ConroD

Minecraft Classic Admin
I'm loving the depth and effort being put into this thread, this is the sort of contribution and participation i miss.

Full on par for par debates and discussions. Awesome.
 

lacar1601

Well-Known Member
I'm back.

One: OK, I did more research and I believe I understand the correct definition of entropy. Now, let me refer back to the expansion of the universe: what caused the universe to be so dense and why did it suddenly expand from the singularity? What caused this phenomena? Again, back to the pendulum example. A pendulum must first be put in motion to continue its motion. The universe must be set in motion from an outside force to propel it in motion as well. I am aware the Big Bang theory does not explain this, but it is a huge flaw in its reasoning. This singularity that expanded had to come from somewhere. Something cannot be made from nothing. Sorry if I tend to repeat myself.

It's an interesting concept, though. "Something cannot be made from nothing." Depends on what we define as "something" and "nothing." Indeed, at present we believe in things like conservation of mass and enery, and the general relativity theory, E=mc^2, that equates mass with energy. If mass and energy did not exist at the beginning, then yes, it is natural to think that "nothing" existed in the beginning, thus the flaw in the big bang theory. But what if "something" did exist before the big bang, discounting supernatural or non-physical intervention. At the moment, we cannot prove nor disprove anything that happened before the singularity (unless you have religious beliefs), so this discussion in on hold until then.

Two: I guess you're right. If the Big Bang was true (and a higher intelligence did not exist), there would be no meaning to life, because it would be what we flawed creatures make it. Life would only amount to glorifying and pleasing self because self is all that would exist.

I am utterly confused by this. My response to what I understood was that the big bang theory was created to explain how the universe started, not to explain the meaning of life.

Young children are "pure", you say? What defines them being pure?

"Pure" is a word I used in the introductory sentence of the paragraph. I defined it in the subsequent sentences. It's like how Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence. He stated that "All men were created equal," and then he defined "created equal" by stating "that they are endowed by their creator certain unalienable rights: life/liberty/pursuit of happiness." If you open a dictionary, you would find a different meaning for "created equal." Please don't look into detail on this sentence, it's just a literary introduction. The key ideas follow it.

What defines right and wrong?

Morals, which in turn are defined by the beliefs and values of the individual society.

Yes, society does eventually teach them how they want them to act, but that still neglects the fact that they knew how to steal and whatnot beforehand.

Stealing derives from a baser instinct for all creatures to acquire the things they need. Are you hungry and see an apple in the tree? Go get it! Are you poor and see money in the bank? Go get it! The difference here is whether or not someone esle claimed the items first.

Doing "sin" was in their nature; parents tell their children how to do good but you never see a parent teach a child how to be bad because the child already knows how.

This is your religious belief, and I cannot dispute this.

Does society alone dictate what's right and what's wrong? Why aren't there societies who don't have these same core values? Wouldn't it be logical that at least some humans would of developed their morals and conscience differently?

Yes, society alone dictates what's right and wrong. Please refer to the above response on who makes the morals. There really are societies that don't have the same core values. I encourage you to take a cultural anthropology course at some point in your college career to see some examples. Yes, it is logical that each human has developed their morals and conscience differently because of their upbringing.

Please explain. I'm getting a little confused (I always tend to when there is a lot to think about). How is "the ability to understand the feelings of another" the identity of conscience? You have the example of killing, but that's directly harming someone else. What about the moral "wrongs" that don't directly harm anyone? Where is empathy involved there if the "wrong" act doesn't involve anyone else?

You know that feeling you get when you think about killing someone? Some people call it your conscience, but it's really empathy that you feel.
As for the second part, I'm not sure what you mean by a moral wrong that does not harm anyone. I figured that, by definition, all moral wrongs involve someone else. Could you give an example of this so that I can give you a proper response?

Why isn't it morals that make us human, if we are the only creatures in the world that abide by them? A creature doesn't feel it's doing right or wrong. Why man? Why are we the only creatures who even have the capability of abstract though in the first place (as in thinking about the non-physical realm)?

Hmm, I guess morals are what make us human, too. Again, morals are established from empathy, which is derived from abstract thought. As for how we obtained our higher thinking abilities, I have no idea. Maybe at some point in evolution, a primate started thinking more than usual, and it helped him to survive. Maybe we were endowed this ability by a higher power. There's no proof nor disproof of either case.
Do keep in mind that abstract thought is more than just thinking about the supernatural. More fundamentally, it gives us the ability to think critically, creatively, and analytically.

Would it not be better to know the truth? Aren't you curious to know the answer to life, the universe, and everything (sadly, I don't think it's 42 :p)?

I'm not interested in knowing the answer to life. Rather, i'm more interested in knowing the origins of why people want to know the meaning of life, and whether or not they are really on a wild goose chase. Hence, the direction I took all my arguments in this discussion.

Just out of my own curiosity, if God did exist, and we did have a higher purpose, and morals were not constructed by man but were "written on their hearts" by God ("They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them." - Romans 2:15), tell me: would you want Him to exist? Would you rather want a universe where God was not the creator and the one who sustains it all? Would you wish to remain in the dark where there could be another light shining?

Bingo. It would be incredibly convenient if the Christian God did exist. All my arguments would be null, the answer to life solved, our lives disposed to God's service, and so on. But that's boring.

To be frank, I don't care whether or not God does exist. It still does not change the fact that we are here today, whether God did create and is sustaining the universe or not.
 

GreenEarth

Well-Known Member
What? This doesn't make sense. Please explain (I've seen this "example" before but I completely forget the purpose of it and what it even represents).

First, you're right. Exceptions don't make a theory "fall apart", but they DO however show major flaws in said theory. What if I had a theory that aliens lived on the moon? Well, astronauts have gone to the moon and have proven - from what we know currently - that aliens do no exist on the moon. Why? Because there are too many exceptions to this theory - exceptions where aliens could not and do not live on the moon. My point is: how many exceptions can a theory have where it is still a viable theory? I also want to point out that the theory of evolution is still a theory. It has not been proven fact. Tell me then: can you think of an exception to the idea of Intelligent Design where it would not work in our modern universe and what we know of it today?

No they do not however show major flaws in said theory. You cannot pull scientific theories out of thin air, to even get to a scientific hypothesis you need evidence for the assertion you are making. The assertion "aliens live on the moon" has no evidence and would be ignored in the scientific community and wouldn't even reach hypothesis status. You need to read up on what constitutes a scientific theory, it is serious business, completely disproving a theory would be incredibly hard. You are using the dictionary definition of theory and that is not going to work when dealing with science.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_theory

I can also tell you didn't read my response post #59 to rsmv's post when I said creation or origin had nothing to do with evolution. Evolution describes how populations change over time. If you want theories on the origin of life that is a less supported field that I have not spent much time reading on.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abiogenisis

Second, explain to me how this creature could have evolved these chemicals without blowing itself up (any wrong mixture and our lil' buggy friend would go boom).

You can find it on the internet, I'm not going to waste time breaking down every possible step.

Third, that was a single article. I can cite more if you want. Common sense is just one of the many ways that proves that the Bombardier Beetle is an exception to the theory of evolution. Do you want a major exception? OK, how about the missing links between creatures? Specifically, the missing links between ape and man?

Common sense is not evidence, if it was everyone would conveniently use it. Common sense also depends on the person. I think it is common sense that Voltage = Current x Resistance, but many people do not know this. As for missing links this is also on the internet. Refer to the Phylogenetic tree in post #59. These diagrams don't come out of thin air, they come from fossils and dna. Specifically comparing similar structures in fossils and similarities between DNA.
Fossils like these !
article-2062514-090CA3FF000005DC-276_634x496.jpg
250px-Australopithecusafarensis_reconstruction.jpg
sangiran17.jpg
220px-Homo_habilis-KNM_ER_1813.jpg


And who says all the fossils have been found? Or the preserved organic matter we can get DNA from?

Fourth, "possible" explanations for the evolutionary pathway? Is the evolution theory itself not concrete in its own reasoning or...? Also, please show me specific evidences. Please don't expect me to believe in evolution because of broad statements.

It is very concrete, or else it would not have become a scientific theory. Refer to the internet for specific evidence. Evidence like sexual selection, for example when male deer with the largest antlers fight each for other mates. The male with the largest antlers will win, get the mate, and pass his genes for large antlers. Over generations this will increase the size of male antlers. But ah ha ha. Evolution is not a quest for perfection and there is a thing called trade offs. These large antlers add weight to the male deer and make it harder for them to escape from mountain lions in the forest. Another simple example is coat color. Mice with coat color similar to that of the surrounding rocks will have a better chance of escaping the eagles hunting them. Lets say the rocks are black. The eagles will pick easy prey like brown mice or even lighter colored mice. The darker colored mice will have a better chance of escape and producing offspring, passing on their dark colored coat alleles (genes).

If happiness is what we make it, and happiness is our ultimate goal in life, should we not be allowed to pursue that happiness, whatever it may be, no matter the consequences to others?

Who said happiness is our ultimate goal in life? Everyone has different ultimate goals. Your question is irrelevant. And who is allowing us or not allowing us? If we are more powerful than that entity allowing us or not allowing us, then they are rendered irrelevant. As for caring for others, that is also dependent on the individual.

absolutes exist in our universe

No one has been to the rest of the universe, if absolutes do exist, which is an unsupported assertion, then we don't know how those absolutes work and have no right to relate them in any way to life.
 

GreenEarth

Well-Known Member
Again, "complicated"? The theory of evolution and the belief of atheism is the least complex, most simple ideology there is because it denies that anything exists outside of what we can see with our limited physical senses. Tell me: if you are hindering thought by not considering the possibility that there is a God, wouldn't that also be "hindering" the evolutionary process because you aren't keeping an open-mind to the essence of our own being?

I know that the concept of "God" may seem really foreign to you because it's natural for man not to want a God that they are accountable to. Tell me: would you rather want to live in a universe (hypothetically speaking, of course) where God did NOT exist, or would you rather want to live in a universe where He DID exist?

You mean, science denies that anything exists outside of what we can see with our limited physical senses. Yes, you need evidence to make assertions. This is how the scientific world works, speculations are just speculations. Your statement about hindering the evolutionary process is completely incorrect. Not keeping an open-mind will not keep me from reproducing and passing my genes. As for God and accountability, refer to this Epicurus quote:

“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?”
 

lacar1601

Well-Known Member
Who said happiness is our ultimate goal in life? Everyone has different ultimate goals. Your question is irrelevant. And who is allowing us or not allowing us? If we are more powerful than that entity allowing us or not allowing us, then they are rendered irrelevant. As for caring for others, that is also dependent on the individual.

This is a what-if question, GreenEarth. Just pretend it is true. How would you respond?

I, for one, say that we should be allowed to pursue happiness if it provides no negative consequence to others (negative being in the interpretation of the other individual in question), or if there's a net positive consequence. If it proves that this is not possible, then we would need to redefine our concept of happiness. I think, in some cases, it is possible to attain happiness without overbearing others. I'm not sure which, nor can I prove this statement.

...the meaning of life cannot be subjective because absolutes exist in our universe, which means there is an absolute purpose for us.

This is a very Christian way of thinking, that some things in the universe are black and white with no gray area in between. Black and white, having similar duality with good-bad and right-wrong, are dependent on the interpretation of humans. I would have to agree with GreenEarth that we have not explored the universe enough to make certain of this.
 

Briggs

Well-Known Member
As for God and accountability, refer to this Epicurus quote:

“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?”

The simple answer is, God is like a loving father, he gives us free will. We have the free will to do whatever we want, think whatever we want. He will not control it. He will not control it, not because he is malevolent, but because he does not want to have mindless drones walking around the earth. The reason he does nothing right now, is because (in theory) there will be an atonement for our sins at the end of the world. Then, everyone will answer for what they have done. Now this is my simple answer to the entire quote. Not part by part. If you want me to go into further detail, I will.


For the sake of the thread, I am going to post it to have a different point of view than others here. You can find a full report on it here: http://carm.org/god-and-evil-a-philosophical-contradiction
Here is the conclusion of the report.

"Sin is willful rebellion against God. Originating within the ranks of the angelic hosts, evil sought its way into God’s image-bearers—mankind. After having chosen to disobey God’s command, Adam and Eve (and the entire human race) experienced suffering for the first time. Sin spread, and so suffering spread—all due to man’s choice.

But was Adam’s choice to sin a direct result of God “making” him sin? This is certainly not the case. If it were, then God would be the author of sin, thus making himself a sinner. But he is not. James reminds us that God cannot even be tempted to sin (James 1:13).

But again, was Adam’s choice to sin a result of some spontaneous, uninhibited will beyond God’s control? This could not have been the case for reasons spelled out previously.

But how do we reconcile all of this? Our goal as Christians should be to learn to affirm what the Bible affirms and deny what the Bible denies, for it is our highest authority. The Bible affirms God’s sovereignty over man’s actions (Genesis 50:20), and yet at the same time the Bible denies that God is the author, or doer, of sin (2 Corinthians 5:21; James 1:13).

So somehow God is able to ordain that evil exist, all the while abstaining from any spot of sinfulness. How all this works is a mystery. But let there be no mistake that it works. And that is what we have attempted to show.

Let there be hope, then. God is in control of all things, no matter the circumstance. This truth should give rise to joy and utter happiness in the heart of the Christian. All things will truly work out for our good and his glory, since “our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases” (Psalm 115:3)."
 

Casey

Minecraft Classic Admin
So basically, god made us in his image and gave us free will. If god struck all evil from the world and rid suffering from everyone's lives, then he would also be stripping us of our free will and ridding us from the consequences of our actions. How can we have free will without the choice to do bad. How can we show god we are worthy if we don't have the ability to do evil? if we have nothing to fight against, how can we grow strong? God can not intervene everytime we need help, as that wouldn't make sense. I won't go on unless you want me to, as I feel I have made my point. God allows suffering in this world, but that doesn't make him bad. How can we even consider that when the evil is a result of OUR choices. If you want to hear more just let me know, but I feel I am repeating myself now.

P.S. I am not in the least bit religious. At all. Even a little.
 

rsmv2you

Well-Known Member
This thread just makes my mind turn to mush.

The unknown can only be known by the unknowable, and the unknowable does not exist.
 

Audi

Well-Known Member
Explain what this "something else" could be? If there was no "life", then there would be no "existence" to begin with. You must consider what the concept "life" is. "Life" has a beginning. God did not have a beginning, therefore, He is the only one who could have created life. The Big Bang, for example, only explains the beginning of the evolutionary process - the "expansion" of the universe. However, It does not explain how this initial "expansion" came to be in the first place. As I've said before, nothing cannot create something, so the universe could not have created itself. Only something that exists out of our physical realm of existence could start something in our physical realm of existence. And that only "thing" would be something of higher intelligence. Hence, God.

It could be argued that nothing is indeed something. A lack of something could be interpreted as an abundance of nothing. Zero, although it has no magnitude, still has a value. In fact, the concept of 'zero', or a 'lack of something', is crucial to many mathematical concepts. (It's probably applicable to many other fields, but I'd like to speculate as little as possible.) But I digress.

I thoroughly believe in the concept of the Big Bang. But does that make me atheist? Not really.
How about I put this to you:
What if the Big Bang is real, and God is as well? Many believe that the Big Bang is the antithesis; the 'disapprover' of God's existence. What if the Big Bang was caused by God? What if the Big Bang is the rationalization of God's presence? No-one really knows how the Big Bang was created. Likewise, no-one truly knows how God came about, or how he made the universe. Perhaps the Big Bang and God are one and the same. It's an explanation as good as any. And why not? God works in our lives in amazing ways. Perhaps the Big Bang is purely evidence of God's work?
Science and religion need not be at loggerheads. Science is God's way of presenting us with new perspectives on our world and inspiring us to explore our cosmos, and thus, learn about God better.

Of course not, because we wouldn't have the capacity to worry in the first place, or do anything else for that matter. Yet the fact is: we DO exist. Existence is "the fact or state of living or having objective reality". Are you in the state of living or having an objective reality? Or are you not living or having a subjective reality? Because...[life]...is completely subjective. And the meaning of life cannot be subjective because absolutes exist in our universe, which means there is an absolute purpose for us.

I'm living. And that's fucking excellent, to be perfectly honest. And in my mind, my world can be whatever I want it to be. It's ultimately up to me to discover what my purpose is. If there is indeed an absolute purpose for the human race - moreover, life on Earth - then it is up to us to find it. But perhaps the purpose is to have no purpose? Let's use God as an example again. God has given us the power to choose what we believe in. If we choose to believe in him, that's fine and dandy as long as everyone's happy and no-one gets hurt. Heck, if I chose to be a Pastafarian, it would be perfectly O.K, as long as I was happy, everyone else was happy, and I didn't hurt anyone, or force my opinions on others.
Absolutes exist in our universe. In a few million years time (not sure on the exact date, but that's fine, retrospectively) our Sun will explode. (Once again, I'm not exactly sure on the astronomical effect the Sun will actually do. Maybe it will become a supernova? But really, the specifications don't matter at the moment, as they are irrelevant.)
Our world will be burn to a crisp and cease to support life.
Our lives are a mystery. It could be argued that all actions in the world are a result of God. And if we truly believe in God, then we must follow that.

You're right; it is absolutely absurd to believe that, through random and evolutionary processes of chance, we are capable of thinking for ourselves. I noticed you mention it was a "miracle" that we can think, like what you are thinking right now as you read this sentence. A "miracle" is "a surprising and welcome event that is not explicable [or understood] by natural or scientific laws and is considered to be divine". A true miracle can only come from God.
I would rather that you don't misconstrue my comment about atomics into something dispelling evolution. While it's true that miracles can come only through God, it's less absolute then that. If science is a creation of God, designed to actually further prove his existence rather than dispel it, then why can't science be a miracle? What I talked about is explained through science. But if science is the work of God, then they are truly one and the same. If God is science, then sure. God makes all miracles. And these miracles can be explained through science.

Not to mention, things may not be explainable through science, but as God works more and more into the lives of men, we will find a way to explain these concepts logically. Nothing wrong with that. If it's something that will both let us better know our universe, and hence, our God, then that can only be good.

Science and religion need not be opposites. Science is the direct creation of God.
 

Audi

Well-Known Member
Again, "complicated"? The theory of evolution and the belief of atheism is the least complex, most simple ideology there is because it denies that anything exists outside of what we can see with our limited physical senses.

The Theory of Evolution and Atheism are two very different things.

I can believe in the Theory of Evolution and not be an Atheist. Hence, an Atheist may not believe in the Theory of Evolution.

Once again, I think you are under the misconception that concepts of science such as the Theory of Evolution disprove God. They don't. Simple as that. In fact, I think they support God's existence.
Think about the Theory of Evolution in a less literal sense. Many allegories can be drawn from the Theory of Evolution, other concepts of science, and, let's say, Genesis.

Now, I'm only dealing with these concepts in a very simplified sense; that being said, I've got my Bible out here in front of me, and I'm reading it so I can get the facts straight.

Genesis 1:1
In the beginning, when God created the universe, the earth was formless and desolate. The raging ocean that covered everything was engulfed in total darkness, and the Spirit of God was moving over the water. Then God commanded, "Let there be light" -

Think about this ocean as the nothingness before creation - total darkness, much like in space, perhaps? Think not of the Earth as in the planet we know today, but rather as matter, or a lack of matter in this case - formless and desolate.
Perhaps God commanding 'let there be light' is the Big Bang? God starting off the creation of the universe?

Genesis 1:9
Then God commanded, "Let the water below the sky come together in one place, so that the land will appear" -

The Big Bang didn't instantaneously create everything. Hydrogen and oxygen, as well as many other gases and elements rather just floated around in an endless, seething mass. Perhaps God created gravity, and allowed these gases to combine together to make water? And this sky. There was no depth before gravity. As God creates gravity, he defines a sky, and makes water whole. The introduction of gravity allows different elements to come together. Carbon and iron and many others come together and form masses that become planets. Water is attracted to their gravitational pull, and the land can be formed, and the water surrounds it. Like Earth, no?

Genesis 1:20
Then God commanded, "Let the water be filled with many kinds of living beings"...

This supports Evolution. The earliest forms of life were said to be microscopic, waterborne beings, which evolved into more complex beings such as trilobites.

Genesis 1:21-22
So God created the great sea monsters, all kinds of creatures that lived in the water, and all kinds of birds. And God was pleased with what he saw. He blessed them all and told the creatures that live in the water to reproduce and fill the sea, and he told the birds to increase in number.

This also supports the existence of marine dinosaurs such as plesiosaurs, and avian dinosaurs such as pterodons. And evidently, God liked 'em too. Also, his commanding to them to reproduce further supports evolution. As dinosaurs reproduced, evolved and adapted, they became closer to creatures that exist nowadays. This brings me to my next point:

Genesis 1:24
The God commanded, "Let the earth produce all kinds of animal life: domestic and wild, large and small" -

And as these dinosaurs from the seas reproduced and evolved, they became more refined forms of life. Perhaps creatures such as apes?
We shouldn't think of these 'days of creation' as actual hours. God is timeless, so perhaps these days are millions of years? Which connects to my final point:

Genesis 1:26-27
And now we will make human beings; they will be like us and resemble us. They will have power over all the fish, the birds, and all animals, domestic and wild, large and small. So God created human beings, making them to be like him. He created them male and female...

Once again, this supports evolution. Over another million years or so, these more illustrious animals evolved into humans. And then God bestowed upon us power over all the animals - giving us independent thought, and many other unique abilities. He also made us male and female; further supporting evolution and its cycle of reproduction. We are beings in God's image, formed over millions of years. However, millions of years in God's eyes can be mere days, as he is all-powerful. Wouldn't you agree?

I'm purposely being vague here. But the fact of the matter is that science and God are closer than we think. This is all just a concept - take it with a pinch of salt. I used the word 'perhaps' a lot, because it's ultimately up to the individual to choose what they believe.

Tell me: if you are hindering thought by not considering the possibility that there is a God, wouldn't that also be "hindering" the evolutionary process because you aren't keeping an open-mind to the essence of our own being?

May I just say that I’m a Catholic. Sure, not a practising one, but a Catholic, and a Christian nonetheless. I try and keep an open mind as much as possible. I can’t explain away everything in my world, and many others cannot either. I know people of many different denominations, and of many different beliefs. There are some universal truths that are applicable to both faith of all descriptions and to people who don’t believe in any one faith. It can be universally said that the virtues of kindness, generosity and humility are all good. Ask a Buddhist, a Muslim and a Lutheran if they think that honesty is a virtue, and they will all say ‘yes’. Ask an Atheist, a Jew and an Agnostic if they believe that grace is something that we should all aspire to, and they will all say ‘yes’.
Sure, their answers may be different, but they all ultimately mean the same thing.
Back to the point.
Not believing in God, or another inexplicable presence in our lives could be considered a hindrance. It could also be argued that believing in a being which doesn’t directly manifest itself in our day-to-day lives could be a hindrance. Both points are easily debateable, and are sore topics for both sides. It’s not to me to pass judgement.

I know that the concept of "God" may seem really foreign to you because it's natural for man not to want a God that they are accountable to.

Not to me, no. Personally, I believe in some force which I can’t explain which governs my life. Sure science can explain many things, but all of these things must have stemmed from somewhere. And God seems to be the perfect explanation for that. There doesn’t need to be any other rationalization. And in terms of accountability – I can see how others have issues with understanding God. It’s not an easily graspable concept, in many ways. People like to have power over their own lives, which is fine. I think that way too. Difference being, I believe my right to govern my own live is a gift from God. That’s what sets apart Christians from Atheists, in my opinion.

Tell me: would you rather want to live in a universe (hypothetically speaking, of course) where God did NOT exist, or would you rather want to live in a universe where He DID exist?

If I lived in a universe where there was no God, or ethereal force that controlled my life, then I probably wouldn’t care. I wouldn’t be concerned with it. But if I had the choice, I’d probably say that I’d prefer to live in a universe where God does exist. God inspires many with hope and confidence, and supplies a reason to why many things are the way they are. His people do great work in this world. Never mind that in the past, God’s followers have done bad things, such as the Crusades, or the Spanish Inquisition. It is human nature to sin. However, through the gift of discernment bestowed upon us by God, we are able to identify sin in our lives. God has also given us the ability to atone for our sins. If we didn’t have that, then our lives would be much more complicated, to say the least.

That’s just my opinions. Feel free to keep going; I’m perfectly happy to continue.
 

mcfar45

Well-Known Member
Just so you all know, there is a great Australian social commentator called Hugh Mackay. You should read his books, they offer some great thoughts on this kind of thing.
 

Serenity595

Active Member
Time to revive this thread! :p I'll start by replying to Lacar1601, and then move on from there. It's been awhile since I've discussed about topics such as these, so I'll try and be (somewhat :p) quick and to the point, so we can wrap up this discussion and move on to something more... simple.

I'm not interested in knowing the answer to life. Rather, i'm more interested in knowing the origins of why people want to know the meaning of life, and whether or not they are really on a wild goose chase. Hence, the direction I took all my arguments in this discussion.
Humans are naturally curious, and there is nothing wrong with your desire to pursue knowledge (such as "the origins of why people want to know the meaning of lie, and whether or not they are really on a wild goose chase"). However, knowledge is meaningless without absolute truth. I know it seems I'm throwing those terms out there like snowballs, but it's a premise that is difficult to dispute.

First, knowledge requires a beginning - a source code, if you will, that defined it as such. In our world, we are the ones who experience and learn about knowledge, but we cannot be the prime creators of it. There has to be a being who created the concept of knowledge - the structure of our DNA, the physical laws of the universe, and so forth.

Even if the Big Bang were true, for example, where did the information come from that had formed the singularity - nonetheless set it in motion? The science that made the universe dense, extremely hot, and then go into spontaneous expansion required information - a source code - that without said information, would not allow anything to happen at all.

In order for this information to exist, something would have to create that information. That something could not have been an entity or phenomena in our natural world, because all things natural require information for them to function, process, and ultimately, exist. This premise would indicate that this information would have to derive from something that is absolute - unchanging and universally valid - in order to exist and operate. Hence, God. Since this being would be absolute, the information it had created would also be absolute, because an absolute cannot go against itself - it is solitary and cannot be relative to other things, because it is everything. Even without the belief that a God exists, it is even more difficult to dispute that absolutes do or do not exist in our universe (like with the case of information, for example).

If you said there were absolutes in our universe - absolute truths - then that would be an absolute statement. On the other hand, if you said absolute truths did not exist in our universe, that would also be an absolute statement, thereby proving that absolutes actually do, in fact, exist.

If we're going under the logical premise that absolute truths do exist - the truths from which all information is derived from - we are also logically concluding someone or something had to have made those absolute truths. As I said before that something cannot come from nothing physically, the same applies with information on a higher scale.

That something cannot be anything but supernatural, because the natural world is information in action - not the source of said information.

Bingo. It would be incredibly convenient if the Christian God did exist. All my arguments would be null, the answer to life solved, our lives disposed to God's service, and so on. But that's boring.

To be frank, I don't care whether or not God does exist. It still does not change the fact that we are here today, whether God did create and is sustaining the universe or not.

Curiosity is something all humans desire, but we all also desire a purpose - someone or something to guide us through life. Rejecting an ultimate truth (and hence, an ultimate purpose) would also be "convenient", because it would allow us to do whatever we please - the whims of our heart - because there are no absolutes in reality that can say we are doing right or wrong, or can even say absolute morals exist, for that matter. We would and would always be the boss of our lives - condemned to live simply for the pursuit of happiness - a luxury that fades away. All human beings are wanderers in this world - lost and alone. We think we know everything, but we don't, and we can't. What we can know is that there is something greater than ourselves - someone - who cares deeply for us even though we, as morally imperfect creatures, don't deserve even in the slightest.

All humans have a conscience, and all humans desire to have a clear conscience throughout their entire lives - to feel good about themselves. But in order for us to see any good that resides in ourselves, we must first realize the good and mercy that resides in the one who spoke us into existence. God is our source code. He is completely omniscient and omnipotent and yet - through his glory, He came down from heaven and died for all our sins - everything wrong that we have ever committed in our entire lives. He made a way for us to go to Paradise with Him when we die. All we have to do is realize that we have done wrong, repent of it, accept His forgiveness and put our trust in Him.

It is the most difficult decision and the most important decision a man can ever make because it involves his eternal destiny.

Many people believe God doesn't exist and that Heaven... and Hell... are both made up by the desires of the human mind.

Yet... if Heaven and Hell do not exist... and all we are is but "dust in the wind", then you can go on living your life anyway you please and I would have lived my life in trust of a confused and diluted philosophy.

On the other hand, if I'm right, and there really is a Heaven and a Hell - and we are all accountable to God for our actions - where would you stand?

Do you want to risk the possibility of an eternal punishment, or are you willing to risk everything in this world - the praise of others, the sinful desires, and mankind's self-pride - in order to live eternally happy in the next?
 

katphish

Well-Known Member
Time to revive this thread! :p I'll start by replying to Lacar1601, and then move on from there. It's been awhile since I've discussed about topics such as these, so I'll try and be (somewhat :p) quick and to the point, so we can wrap up this discussion and move on to something more... simple.


Humans are naturally curious, and there is nothing wrong with your desire to pursue knowledge (such as "the origins of why people want to know the meaning of lie, and whether or not they are really on a wild goose chase"). However, knowledge is meaningless without absolute truth. I know it seems I'm throwing those terms out there like snowballs, but it's a premise that is difficult to dispute.

First, knowledge requires a beginning - a source code, if you will, that defined it as such. In our world, we are the ones who experience and learn about knowledge, but we cannot be the prime creators of it. There has to be a being who created the concept of knowledge - the structure of our DNA, the physical laws of the universe, and so forth.

Even if the Big Bang were true, for example, where did the information come from that had formed the singularity - nonetheless set it in motion? The science that made the universe dense, extremely hot, and then go into spontaneous expansion required information - a source code - that without said information, would not allow anything to happen at all.

In order for this information to exist, something would have to create that information. That something could not have been an entity or phenomena in our natural world, because all things natural require information for them to function, process, and ultimately, exist. This premise would indicate that this information would have to derive from something that is absolute - unchanging and universally valid - in order to exist and operate. Hence, God. Since this being would be absolute, the information it had created would also be absolute, because an absolute cannot go against itself - it is solitary and cannot be relative to other things, because it is everything. Even without the belief that a God exists, it is even more difficult to dispute that absolutes do or do not exist in our universe (like with the case of information, for example).

If you said there were absolutes in our universe - absolute truths - then that would be an absolute statement. On the other hand, if you said absolute truths did not exist in our universe, that would also be an absolute statement, thereby proving that absolutes actually do, in fact, exist.

If we're going under the logical premise that absolute truths do exist - the truths from which all information is derived from - we are also logically concluding someone or something had to have made those absolute truths. As I said before that something cannot come from nothing physically, the same applies with information on a higher scale.

That something cannot be anything but supernatural, because the natural world is information in action - not the source of said information.



Curiosity is something all humans desire, but we all also desire a purpose - someone or something to guide us through life. Rejecting an ultimate truth (and hence, an ultimate purpose) would also be "convenient", because it would allow us to do whatever we please - the whims of our heart - because there are no absolutes in reality that can say we are doing right or wrong, or can even say absolute morals exist, for that matter. We would and would always be the boss of our lives - condemned to live simply for the pursuit of happiness - a luxury that fades away. All human beings are wanderers in this world - lost and alone. We think we know everything, but we don't, and we can't. What we can know is that there is something greater than ourselves - someone - who cares deeply for us even though we, as morally imperfect creatures, don't deserve even in the slightest.

All humans have a conscience, and all humans desire to have a clear conscience throughout their entire lives - to feel good about themselves. But in order for us to any good that resides in ourselves, we must first realize the good and mercy that resides in the one who spoke us into existence. God is our source code. He is completely omniscient and omnipotent and yet - through his glory, He came down from heaven and died for all our sins - everything wrong that we have ever committed in our entire lives. He made a way for us to go to Paradise with Him when we die. All we have to do is accept His forgiveness and put our trust in Him

It is the most difficult decision and the most important decision a man can ever make because it involves his eternal destiny.

Many people believe God doesn't exist and that Heaven... and Hell... are both made up by the desires of the human mind.

Yet... if Heaven and Hell do not exist... and all we are is but "dust in the wind", then you can go on living your life anyway you please and I would have lived my life in trust of a confused and diluted philosophy.

On the other hand, if I'm right, and there really is a Heaven and a Hell - and we are all accountable to God for our actions - where would you stand?

Do you want to risk the possibility of an eternal punishment, or are you willing to risk everything in this world - the praise of others, the sinful desires, and mankind's self-pride - in order to live eternally happy in the next?
Whoa... long time no see :D And I can't believe you revived a thread literally from last year...
 
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