what is reasonable

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what is reasonable

When discussing the big "why are we here"? question. Is it reasonable to begin with the premise/question:  We are either here as the result of completely natural processes, OR we are the result of intentional creation? Then from there, lay out evidence to support one position or another. So once again, just as a starting point for the discussion, would you say it is a reasonable place to start? If not, what is the best starting question? 


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Well, if the matter at hand

Well, if the matter at hand is accidental or intentional, that seems to be a binary thing. If there is a third option, I am not seeing it. Of course if someone has a good idea for a third option, they would have to lay any evidence out anyway, so yah, go for it.

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We shouldn't assume that

We shouldn't assume that because we can only think of two options, those are the only two options.  It could be that our existence is neither an accident nor the result of some intelligent will.  It seems likely to me, given the particulars of life's rise on this planet, that life is a natural outcome of the laws of physics.  Given the right starting conditions, we should expect life like ours to come into existence without appeal to random chance or the existence of one or more Gods.

For instance, life arose on this planet within a very short time of its formation, and may even have began multiple times during the bombardment phase of Earth's history.  Given a set of starting conditions hospitable to the kind of chemistry that drives us, we should not be surprised when that chemistry happens.

Additionally, even though scientific determinism has gone out of fashion since the advent of quantum physics, it remains an example of a third option.

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non-starter

We are here because our parents decided to screw on a day/night mom was fertile.  There ain't no other reason.  I guess you would say I'm on the "natural processes" side.

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

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oops

Not referring to cj's post, but maybe the third possibility is "mistake."  As in the tragedy of unintended consequences. 

I am reminded of a SF novel from years ago.  I think the title was The Sins of the Fathers.  The premise was that an advanced civilization fleeing the galaxy and encountered humans on the way and offered us a lift.  The reason for the flight was that they were mining material from intentionally set novas and screwed up by accidentally setting off a chain reaction and turning our galaxy into a Seyferth galaxy.  Major big time oops.  Offering us a lift just seemed to be a good idea - after they had set the house on fire as it were.


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Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:

Well, if the matter at hand is accidental or intentional, that seems to be a binary thing. If there is a third option, I am not seeing it. Of course if someone has a good idea for a third option, they would have to lay any evidence out anyway, so yah, go for it.

 

 

Well, I don't have a third option. I'm just trying to confirm if in general it is agreeable to start at (not finish) with the proposal, we are here by natural or super-natural processes. To be clear, this certainly seems reasonable to me. But is it biased or not a good place to start?? is my simple quest to confirm. 


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Skyzersdad wrote:Not

Skyzersdad wrote:

Not referring to cj's post, but maybe the third possibility is "mistake."  As in the tragedy of unintended consequences. 

I am reminded of a SF novel from years ago.  I think the title was The Sins of the Fathers.  The premise was that an advanced civilization fleeing the galaxy and encountered humans on the way and offered us a lift.  The reason for the flight was that they were mining material from intentionally set novas and screwed up by accidentally setting off a chain reaction and turning our galaxy into a Seyferth galaxy.  Major big time oops.  Offering us a lift just seemed to be a good idea - after they had set the house on fire as it were.

Hmm, interesting.  I think the dilemma of "mistake" implies a "awareness" or intention, that even though can't be proven or not, describes a creator. So I am thinking it creates a bias in that possibility. 


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Quote:Is it reasonable to

Quote:
Is it reasonable to begin with the premise/question:  We are either here as the result of completely natural processes, OR we are the result of intentional creation?

What about unintended creation? Who knows: maybe all of this is just one big ass side effect.

Edit: gah, Skyzer beat me to it. Lesson learned: never leave the screen before pressing "post".

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Skyzersdad wrote:Not

Skyzersdad wrote:

Not referring to cj's post, but maybe the third possibility is "mistake."  As in the tragedy of unintended consequences. 

 

Sigh, no one wants to respond to my post, but it is the only reasonable, rational, logical post here.

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

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cj wrote:Skyzersdad

cj wrote:

Skyzersdad wrote:

Not referring to cj's post, but maybe the third possibility is "mistake."  As in the tragedy of unintended consequences. 

 

Sigh, no one wants to respond to my post, but it is the only reasonable, rational, logical post here.

I did! look up a couple Smiling


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relrick wrote:cj

relrick wrote:

cj wrote:

Skyzersdad wrote:

Not referring to cj's post, but maybe the third possibility is "mistake."  As in the tragedy of unintended consequences. 

 

Sigh, no one wants to respond to my post, but it is the only reasonable, rational, logical post here.

I did! look up a couple Smiling

 

You wrote to Skyzer and AiGS. 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

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cj wrote:relrick wrote:cj

cj wrote:

relrick wrote:

cj wrote:

Skyzersdad wrote:

Not referring to cj's post, but maybe the third possibility is "mistake."  As in the tragedy of unintended consequences. 

 

Sigh, no one wants to respond to my post, but it is the only reasonable, rational, logical post here.

I did! look up a couple Smiling

 

You wrote to Skyzer and AiGS. 

Oops! You are correct! On both accounts.. not quite the same question, but yes, can't deny good ol farkin.


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Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:

Well, if the matter at hand is accidental or intentional, that seems to be a binary thing. If there is a third option, I am not seeing it. Of course if someone has a good idea for a third option, they would have to lay any evidence out anyway, so yah, go for it.

 

 

Binary? Binary - Definitions from the web.

  • binary star: a system of two stars that revolve around each other under their mutual gravitation
  • of or pertaining to a number system have 2 as its base; "a binary digit"
  • a pre-compiled, pre-linked program that is ready to run under a given operating system; a binary for one operating system will not run on a different operating system; "the same source code can be compiled to produce different binaries for different operating systems"
  • consisting of two (units or components or elements or terms); "a binary star is a system in which two stars revolve around each other"; "a binary compound"; "the binary number system has two as its base"

I assume you mean something like the bolded definition? I would think this lends itself to "intention" doesn't it? Like it was set up to run almost as a program of sorts. ? But it helps at getting at my question insofar as I don't see a third option. So I think it is reasonable to start the question of: Were we created intentionally/super naturally OR are we the result of completely natural arbitrary processes.  Would everyone agree that is a reasonable place to start? Cause like you, I don't see a third option, or simply the third option falls into the category of completely natural arbitrary processes.


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cj wrote:We are here because

cj wrote:

We are here because our parents decided to screw on a day/night mom was fertile.  There ain't no other reason.  I guess you would say I'm on the "natural processes" side.

 

Then mom is part of the world because of granddad and grandmom.  And they are here because of...

 

As I am reading the OP, what he seems to be after is not that so much as why there is anything/anyone.

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relrick wrote:   Answers in

relrick wrote:

 

Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:
Well, if the matter at hand is accidental or intentional, that seems to be a binary thing. If there is a third option, I am not seeing it. Of course if someone has a good idea for a third option, they would have to lay any evidence out anyway, so yah, go for it.

 

Well, I don't have a third option. I'm just trying to confirm if in general it is agreeable to start at (not finish) with the proposal, we are here by natural or super-natural processes. To be clear, this certainly seems reasonable to me. But is it biased or not a good place to start?? is my simple quest to confirm.

 

OK, let me say that the sense where I use the term binary is mathematical. A light can be either on or off. The carpet can be wet or dry. For the record, I also do not accept the supernatural process. That would require something which is explicitly not part of nature and yet exists to the extent that it can causally interact with nature. Thus, I don't really buy that there is a proper starting place other than the purely natural one.

 

If someone has an idea for a third option, they would have to put it out there. Then it could be processed to see if it is viable. Just for grins, let's say that the universe was caused by god sneezing. Then what we consider to be the vastness of spacetime is a droplet of moisture so tiny as to be beneath the notice of god.

 

Were that the case, then god would have a real existence in some meaningful sense, even if fully divorced from any interaction with our universe. Then too, god would exist in a place with certain rules, as would the environmental irritant that engendered the sneeze in the first place. This would just take us back to being a natural process although one on some other level of existence. Thus even if there were a god, natural processes could still be all that is needed.

 

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Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:

cj wrote:

We are here because our parents decided to screw on a day/night mom was fertile.  There ain't no other reason.  I guess you would say I'm on the "natural processes" side.

 

Then mom is part of the world because of granddad and grandmom.  And they are here because of...

 

As I am reading the OP, what he seems to be after is not that so much as why there is anything/anyone.

 

Yeah, well, I can never get excited about what is the reason for existence - we exist.  That is reason enough.

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

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Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:

OK, let me say that the sense where I use the term binary is mathematical. A light can be either on or off. The carpet can be wet or dry. For the record, I also do not accept the supernatural process. That would require something which is explicitly not part of nature and yet exists to the extent that it can causally interact with nature. Thus, I don't really buy that there is a proper starting place other than the purely natural one.

 

 

To be clear, you are saying that things,... can either be X , or be not X? I think I agree. Can't see why not.

Things either are, or are not X. What keeps me on the side of creator, is the thought that, assuming the BB theory is correct-and who knows, maybe something new comes up,.... but till then, the whole idea that from a singularity the universe sprang forth in ways that go against known laws i.e. speed of light, that ultimately leads to conscious minds that can study it. I think is reasonably described as,... miraculous.  (now I understand the singularity is more of a coordinate than a physical/material entity. (for lack of a better phrase/word) And at this point I think we both come to the same question-what happened before it?? Assuming we are stuck in our universe, I don't see how we can look outside it. I am very curious about the LHC results, but I also hear they are already looking to build an even larger collider to get the results they are seeking. I think,.. just a gut,... barking up the wrong tree. String theory is for some, their own version of god of the gaps. A non-physical entity (a mind-wholly outside of our space time) makes more sense to me than a random natural process. More than that, it makes more sense to me that we are all minds (in reality) experiencing a false physical reality. Well, i don't know.... but that seems more plausible than all of the factors coming together in a random physical event to create all this. 

 

 


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OK, I think that I am

OK, I think that I am beginning to see where you are going.

 

For the record, I am not saying that there can be no third option. If someone has an idea that can bring us in useful directions should it be pursued, then they need to get it out there.

 

Following that, I tend to slightly agree with you that it is really neat that we exist. Think of it this way:

 

There was a big bang. Ten billion years later, enough stuff had happened through natural processes that life got started. Since that time, natural processes have been continuing and now, here we are!

 

The thing is that there is nothing in that sequence that says what went bang, how or why it went bang. The fact is that BB cosmology tells us about how the universe is changing over time. Not where it came from.

 

Now on the other hand, you started this thread with the suggestion that it should be possible to lay out evidence in favor of some specific proposition. I am still not clear what your specific idea is but do you care to lay out some evidence that can be considered to see where it leads?

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Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:

Now on the other hand, you started this thread with the suggestion that it should be possible to lay out evidence in favor of some specific proposition. I am still not clear what your specific idea is but do you care to lay out some evidence that can be considered to see where it leads?

 

You know,... you are correct. I don't know that I can lay out the evidence one way or another. I think it reasonable that both sides of this are gonna have the same issue. But if we start balanced at 50/50 (intentional vs. random) like a line on top of a triangle, I guess I'm just saying that because we are here, because of the incredibly balanced nature of the laws of physics so that matter, time, and life can even have a chance to live, much less consciousness and the ability to communicate, I just can't help but move just slightly to the side of intention/creator. More like it infers creator, not demonstrates it.  It also seems it would follow that if this were correct, the creator could not and cannot be seen, but perhaps we have just a sliver of said creators spark in our spirit/reality. 


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Well, you are getting into

Well, you are getting into the philosophy of science there.

 

Now the thing is that as long as I only go where the available evidence permits, I can remain in a safe zone, so to speak. Of course, if scientists did not step a bit over that line on a fairly regular basis, then little would be learned about how the universe works.

 

However, to do that without some care can easily put you in the realm of pseudo science. If you stick around, sooner or later, you will meet our resident pseudo scientist Luminon. Watch out with him. Any post of his that begins with him saying “my information is” pretty much means that he is so far off the deep end that anything that follows will be rather pointless.

 

Even so, there are a number of people in physics and cosmology who are actively working on ideas that are over the line of where evidence can reasonably take one. The thing being that they have already got their chops in doing science as grad students, so they have a better chance of not getting too lost in the process.

 

Areas like “loop quantum gravity” and “M theory” are examples. Right now, we don't even know how to test them. However, it is within the realm of possibility that instruments such as the LHC will find evidence of possible new areas to explore and the people working in those fields will have their proverbial day in court. Only time will tell.

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If you are asking the

If you are asking the question "Why are we here?" doesn't that beg for an answer of creation? If we are here by accident then there is no why. I think a lot of people, even outside of the traditionally religious, tend to think in these terms. Like it is all to big and important to be without some reason. People, believe it or not, like to reason.

What does the Bible say about why we are here? I would imagine that most people wouldn't be able to answer that question correctly.  


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David Henson wrote:If you

David Henson wrote:

If you are asking the question "Why are we here?" doesn't that beg for an answer of creation? If we are here by accident then there is no why. I think a lot of people, even outside of the traditionally religious, tend to think in these terms. Like it is all to big and important to be without some reason. People, believe it or not, like to reason.

What does the Bible say about why we are here? I would imagine that most people wouldn't be able to answer that question correctly.  

 


We are here because our parents screwed.  Period.  No other "reason".

If you must have a purpose for your life, fine, make one up.  I personally wish to leave my corner of the world just a little bit better off than when I got here.  How I do it is more problematical some days than others, but what is important is putting one foot in front of the other.  That's enough for me.  If this isn't enough for you, see (a) above, make up one that you like.

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

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cj wrote:David Henson

cj wrote:

David Henson wrote:

If you are asking the question "Why are we here?" doesn't that beg for an answer of creation? If we are here by accident then there is no why. I think a lot of people, even outside of the traditionally religious, tend to think in these terms. Like it is all to big and important to be without some reason. People, believe it or not, like to reason.

What does the Bible say about why we are here? I would imagine that most people wouldn't be able to answer that question correctly.  

 


We are here because our parents screwed.  Period.  No other "reason".

If you must have a purpose for your life, fine, make one up.  I personally wish to leave my corner of the world just a little bit better off than when I got here.  How I do it is more problematical some days than others, but what is important is putting one foot in front of the other.  That's enough for me.  If this isn't enough for you, see (a) above, make up one that you like.

No matter what your position, as soon as you ask "how" did it happen, you will ask "why" did it happen. "What" happened?  To simply push that aside doesn't make it go away. The  "How" and "why" are part of the same question. I agree with you that I'd like to leave the world a better place than when I got here. 


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relrick wrote:cj wrote:We

relrick wrote:

cj wrote:

We are here because our parents screwed.  Period.  No other "reason".

If you must have a purpose for your life, fine, make one up.  I personally wish to leave my corner of the world just a little bit better off than when I got here.  How I do it is more problematical some days than others, but what is important is putting one foot in front of the other.  That's enough for me.  If this isn't enough for you, see (a) above, make up one that you like.

No matter what your position, as soon as you ask "how" did it happen, you will ask "why" did it happen. "What" happened?  To simply push that aside doesn't make it go away. The  "How" and "why" are part of the same question. I agree with you that I'd like to leave the world a better place than when I got here. 

 

"Why" in this case is hormones and opportunity.  I just can't see any need for some cosmic rational for humans or the earth or universe to exist.  We are, we are here, deal with it.  See the Tao te Ching.

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

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"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


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David Henson wrote:What does

David Henson wrote:
What does the Bible say about why we are here? I would imagine that most people wouldn't be able to answer that question correctly.

 

I think that you misunderstand what most people are aware of.

 

The bible clearly states that there is land and sea. It is also quite clear that there is blue stuff up in the sky. Since the sky is blue and the sea is blue, then the sky must be another sea. Then it says that there is air in between the two seas.

 

That much is basically what “here” means as far as the bible.

 

Now, since the astronauts have been to the other side of the blue stuff up there, it should be fairly obvious whether it really is a sea or not. All of the available evidence speaks to the ignorant bronze age goat herders being wrong on that one.

 

Since they did not get that one right, why should I even care what they have to say about the meaning of life?

 

David Henson wrote:
If you are asking the question "Why are we here?" doesn't that beg for an answer of creation? If we are here by accident then there is no why. I think a lot of people, even outside of the traditionally religious, tend to think in these terms. Like it is all to big and important to be without some reason. People, believe it or not, like to reason.

 

Well, the question does deserve an answer. A correct one would be better than another wrong guess by ignorant bronze age goat herders.

 

Until more evidence comes in, I am going to go with the idea that a bit less than 14,000,000,000 years ago, there was a fluctuation in the inflaton field. At that time, about 20 pounds of stuff came into existence.

 

Then the first stuff started to expand rapidly and as it did, the energy of the inflaton field converted into still more mass. Eventually, the local inflaton field was used up and all the mass of today's universe had come into existence. Then the era of inflation ended. The rest, as they say, is history.

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Quote: Until more evidence

Quote:
 

Until more evidence comes in, I am going to go with the idea that a bit less than 14,000,000,000 years ago, there was a fluctuation in the inflaton field. At that time, about 20 pounds of stuff came into existence.

 

Then the first stuff started to expand rapidly and as it did, the energy of the inflaton field converted into still more mass. Eventually, the local inflaton field was used up and all the mass of today's universe had come into existence. Then the era of inflation ended. The rest, as they say, is history.

 

 

'It appeareth in nothing more, that atheism is rather in the lip than in the heart of man, than by this: that atheists will ever be talking of that their opinion, as if they fainted it within themselves and would be glad to be strengthened by the consent of others.' Francis Bacon.


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freeminer

freeminer wrote:

Quote:
 

Until more evidence comes in, I am going to go with the idea that a bit less than 14,000,000,000 years ago, there was a fluctuation in the inflaton field. At that time, about 20 pounds of stuff came into existence.

 

Then the first stuff started to expand rapidly and as it did, the energy of the inflaton field converted into still more mass. Eventually, the local inflaton field was used up and all the mass of today's universe had come into existence. Then the era of inflation ended. The rest, as they say, is history.

 

 

 

So this event (inflation) appears to me that it could be "super natural" because it breaks physical laws. (outside of natural law) Till more evidence comes in, is it not reasonable to consider both options? What evidence confirms it isn't super natural?.... I would guess, it boils down to individual inference. 


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David Henson wrote:If you

David Henson wrote:

If you are asking the question "Why are we here?" doesn't that beg for an answer of creation? If we are here by accident then there is no why. I think a lot of people, even outside of the traditionally religious, tend to think in these terms. Like it is all to big and important to be without some reason. People, believe it or not, like to reason.

What does the Bible say about why we are here? I would imagine that most people wouldn't be able to answer that question correctly.  

 

And that is a good point.  Strictly speaking, as a materialist there is no why, only how.  Why is an abstraction to be used when how is no longer useful to describe a chaotic system.

Being pedantic on that isn't always helpful, but people should be careful with their language.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.