Why the hunger?

redneF
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Why the hunger?

Why do you suppose that certain people hunger and completely obssess to look for the origins and causations of life and the universe?

The reason for my question is because I simply don't have (nor have I ever had) more than a flirting curiousity on what those might be.

 

And this comes to the inevitable distinction between 'wants' and 'needs', which of course, is the basis of Maslow's "Heirarchy Of Needs".

Simply put, I don't have a 'need' to know, nor that much of a 'want' to know, for that matter.

I'm content to just 'be'.

 

I don't like obssessions. I don't like the anxiety, the urgency, and instabilities, that accompany them.

Why do others feel differently about obssessing about the origins and causations of life and the universe? I'm most curious.

 

What are your views, theories, perspectives, on any, and all that I've said? About yourself, others, or both?

 

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

"To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy" : David Brooks

" Only on the subject of God can smart people still imagine that they reap the fruits of human intelligence even as they plow them under." : Sam Harris


harleysportster
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Me personally

Well me personally, I would like for science to one day find all of the answers to the origins of life and the causations of the universe.

But I am pretty content with reading about what we currently know and keeping a watchful eye out for any new information that surfaces.

As far as a driving "need" I would say that I do not have one.

I am pretty satisified that many questions will not be answered in my lifetime and that is ok with me. I barely have a grasp of some of the things in science today,like physics and such and am pretty content to try and learn what little that I can about the world around me now. 

I like learning new things, but do I have to have an ultimate "ANSWER" ? Nope. To me, having one concrete answer to all of it would almost be like all of these theists that are always going on and on about how "without an ULTIMATE purpose life is useless". I disagree.

 

 

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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I don't know, why do people

I don't know, why do people feel driven to learn anything not immediately useful?  It seems like a natural enough line of inquiry, especially when it is one of the most difficult/esoteric things you can pursue.

I'm not trying to give you shit, seriously, but if you studied psych in college didn't needs and desires come up as a regular topic?

Or do you think the specific question about, "Why are we here" is a special case and that is more what you're interested in?  If so, I'd say we have a natural desire to seek purpose.  That seems like something that would be useful from an evolutionary perspective, and the origins of the universe are the modern equivalent of fallowing that instinct for an comfortable and somewhat education person.  It is unknown, difficult, mysterious to the public and even among those in the field it is a pretty difficult thing...not many cosmologists around.

 

Personally I see it as a fun curiosity, but I'm not interested enough to do the work to actually do original research or anything.  Not even close.  But I'm a long ways past looking for an ultimate purpose in life...I've already got purpose and the universe is, in a non nuts and bolts sense, not a mystery to me.

However, if I'd not come to that conclusion I can understand the desire to be a bit obsessed with it, lest I feel adrift in life.

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


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mellestad wrote:I don't

mellestad wrote:

I don't know, why do people feel driven to learn anything not immediately useful?  

The answers can be as simple as:
 

1- Because learning is fun.

2- Understanding the intricacy of how things work, aids in forming a method of reverse engineering other things, modeling new theories, and making predictions more likely to be accurate.

3- Because it's a non destructive way to pass time.

That kind of thing...

mellestad wrote:
It seems like a natural enough line of inquiry, especially when it is one of the most difficult/esoteric things you can pursue.

No disagreement from me, on that point.

mellestad wrote:
I'm not trying to give you shit, seriously, but if you studied psych in college didn't needs and desires come up as a regular topic?

Of course. Maslow's theory was much discussed. But, there was no indication of any firm consensus on why some people are obsessed with it, and cling to their beliefs with such tenacity.

That line of questioning could draw a lot of fire and criticism on the teacher.

mellestad wrote:
Or do you think the specific question about, "Why are we here" is a special case and that is more what you're interested in?  

Even as a child, the question of 'Why are we here?' was always dissonant to me. Even before I understood that a question like that is a false dichotomy, because it implies that there are only two options. Either we are 'here for a reason', or we are 'here for no reason'.

Being that I was raised in a completely secular environment, I never even heard the word 'god' till the first grade.

Both my parents came from secular homes.

I'm a living example that gives veracity to the theory that all children are born atheists. After I learned of some person people referred to as 'god', I asked 'Who is that?'.

I don't even remember who it was that I asked first. But, I do remember asking my mother who 'god' was. She explained that it was someone that some people believed 'made everything'.

Right from that first answer, that made no sense to me. My instinct was that it made no sense that one dude could have 'made' everything.......because a few blocks away, my dad used to take me to watch the MEN (dozens and dozens) work with BIG powerful machines on building a new shopping mall that took months and months and months to build.

And when she tried to explain what 'some people' believed, she had trouble, because she knew it made no sense, and she knew that I wanted to know the truth.

She simply told me she 'didn't understand what they were talking about' herself, and that she didn't believe what they were talking about, and that I would eventually learn more about it by reading (and this was the critical thing she DID say to me) about what SOME people believe, and others DON'T.

She was very careful to assert that there was a disagreement between 'people', on the topic. She was very clever in that sense, and later told me that she 'knew' that in Canada (my parents are European immigrants) I was going to get a mostly secular education.

mellestad wrote:
  If so, I'd say we have a natural desire to seek purpose.  

I'm not inclined to agree with that, at all.

The most predominant thing I see in ALL animals, as completely instinctual and 'reflex', is the natural desire to avoid pain, or death.

 

mellestad wrote:
 Personally I see it as a fun curiosity, but I'm not interested enough to do the work to actually do original research or anything.  Not even close.  

Same.

I was too absorbed in playing hockey, riding my dirt bike, or trying to convince girls to play 'Doctor'

 

mellestad wrote:
 But I'm a long ways past looking for an ultimate purpose in life...I've already got purpose and the universe is, in a non nuts and bolts sense, not a mystery to me.

However, if I'd not come to that conclusion I can understand the desire to be a bit obsessed with it, lest I feel adrift in life.

My philosophy on life is simple, and I've toyed with the idea of writing a book, and becoming the world record holder for the world's shortest book on one of the most persistent questions that seems to have plagued man, for centuries.

It would have one page.

At the top, it would read:

"Life is an opportunity"

And at the bottom of the page:

"The End"

 

My publisher is still trying to convince me to 'add some stuff'....

 

 

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

"To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy" : David Brooks

" Only on the subject of God can smart people still imagine that they reap the fruits of human intelligence even as they plow them under." : Sam Harris


harleysportster
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mellestad wrote:I don't

mellestad wrote:

I don't know, why do people feel driven to learn anything not immediately useful?  It seems like a natural enough line of inquiry, especially when it is one of the most difficult/esoteric things you can pursue.

I'm not trying to give you shit, seriously, but if you studied psych in college didn't needs and desires come up as a regular topic?

Or do you think the specific question about, "Why are we here" is a special case and that is more what you're interested in?  If so, I'd say we have a natural desire to seek purpose.  That seems like something that would be useful from an evolutionary perspective, and the origins of the universe are the modern equivalent of fallowing that instinct for an comfortable and somewhat education person.  It is unknown, difficult, mysterious to the public and even among those in the field it is a pretty difficult thing...not many cosmologists around.

 

Personally I see it as a fun curiosity, but I'm not interested enough to do the work to actually do original research or anything.  Not even close.  But I'm a long ways past looking for an ultimate purpose in life...I've already got purpose and the universe is, in a non nuts and bolts sense, not a mystery to me.

However, if I'd not come to that conclusion I can understand the desire to be a bit obsessed with it, lest I feel adrift in life.

Like you said, it is more of an interest of mine than anything else, a fun curiousity.

The "why are we here" question is one that I pretty much stopped asking around the time I put the god belief on a shelf. Once I stopped seeing myself as the center of the universe and being guided by some "ULTIMATE AIM" I felt that "Why are we here" was a rather selfish thought on my part. Hehehe, the answer to that question seemed to be, we are here because we simply are. I didn't have to feel like I was something special any longer. Life became what I chose to make of it at that point.

I like reading about evolution, astronomy and those types of things. But those are not the sole aim of my life. I just read about those things cause I find them interesting.

 

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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redneF wrote:mellestad

redneF wrote:

mellestad wrote:
  If so, I'd say we have a natural desire to seek purpose.  

I'm not inclined to agree with that, at all.

The most predominant thing I see in ALL animals, as completely instinctual and 'reflex', is the natural desire to avoid pain, or death.

 

Maybe the difference is in definition.  How are you defining purpose?  Someone without any desire for purpose would seem to be something of a novelty as I understand the term.

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


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redneF wrote:Why do you

redneF wrote:

Why do you suppose that certain people hunger and completely obssess to look for the origins and causations of life and the universe?

 

Because human survival for millions of years depended on an understanding of how our environment worked. Ancestors that had a curiosity about how a fruit tree develops, how game animals migrate, what is on the other side of the river, etc... had survival advantages over early humans that that did not. Humans often exploit knowledge of how things work for our survival. So this curiosity must be a major part of our makeup. The origin of the universe is just a natural extension of this curiosity.

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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Truth.

First of all, hi.

Aw yes. Ignorence is bliss. However, ignorence is also not a life. Some might say that it would be better if all humans had every dicision made for them by some one else. That would in fact remove all problems. However, that is the equivelent of being dead, or a robot. It is a question that has puzzled some theologists. Why would God make us with free will if he knew it would only hurt us? Because that is not a life. Also, what is filled with more doubt and indecision? A life in which you know what is true or a life in which you do not accept any truth? If you go through life not caring what the truth is, you live a sad live indeed.


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Requim wrote:First of all,

Requim wrote:

First of all, hi.

Aw yes. Ignorence is bliss. However, ignorence is also not a life.

 Define what you mean by ignorance. I know people that might not be considered very educated in some areas but are brilliant in others. For instance, one of my biker bros has not even come close to reading all of the books that I have. I can run rings around him on that. But when it comes to mechanics the guy is a total genius, second to none.

Requim wrote:

Some might say that it would be better if all humans had every dicision made for them by some one else. That would in fact remove all problems. However, that is the equivelent of being dead, or a robot.

Who would possibly want a world where all of our decisions were made for us ? That would not make it a Utopia, that would make whomever was in charge to be in total authority.

Requim wrote:

It is a question that has puzzled some theologists. Why would God make us with free will if he knew it would only hurt us?

God does not exist. If god made an imperfect world and then gave people free will, knowing what they were going to do, that would make god very cruel and sadistic. It would also point to the fact that god is not very intelligent if he created such flawed creations. Of course, it is pure superstition that something created us and gave us free will to begin with.

Requim wrote:

Because that is not a life. Also, what is filled with more doubt and indecision? A life in which you know what is true or a life in which you do not accept any truth? If you go through life not caring what the truth is, you live a sad live indeed.

We have a method, called the scientific method, for understanding to the best of our known abilities what is true or not. It does not give us the absolutes. It gives us verifiable systems from which we can base truths off of. Does light look the same to everyone ? Does the world look the same through my eyes and someone else's eyes ? Does the world look the same through a dog's eyes ? Or a bug's eyes ? We perceive the world through our own senses and our brains.

The desire to know truth is the struggle to see things like they really are and not how we place our own positive and negative spin upon those things.

 

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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Requim wrote: However,

Requim wrote:

 However, ignorence is also not a life.

False.

Then ignorance would be death.

A gross non sequitur.

All humans are ignorant.

We are born ignorant.

Some begin to emerge from their ignorance and evolve to a high degree of knowledge, and some regress, and intentionally reject knowledge in order to affirm their emotional convictions, delusions, and dysfunctions, AKA 'beliefs'.

Requim wrote:
Why would God make us with free will if he knew it would only hurt us? Because that is not a life.

Atrocious syntax.

Nonsensical drivel put forth as a statement of profound meaning, while being completely non sequitur.

Requim wrote:
Also, what is filled with more doubt and indecision? A life in which you know what is true or a life in which you do not accept any truth?

False premise (false notion) AND a false dichotomy (where only 2 options are falsely asserted as being the ONLY 2 possible)

Requim wrote:
If you go through life not caring what the truth is, you live a sad live indeed.

Who are you directly debating with this comment?

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

"To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy" : David Brooks

" Only on the subject of God can smart people still imagine that they reap the fruits of human intelligence even as they plow them under." : Sam Harris


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I have a hunger

redneF wrote:

Why do you suppose that certain people hunger and completely obssess to look for the origins and causations of life and the universe?

The reason for my question is because I simply don't have (nor have I ever had) more than a flirting curiousity on what those might be.

 

And this comes to the inevitable distinction between 'wants' and 'needs', which of course, is the basis of Maslow's "Heirarchy Of Needs".

Simply put, I don't have a 'need' to know, nor that much of a 'want' to know, for that matter.

I'm content to just 'be'.

 

I don't like obssessions. I don't like the anxiety, the urgency, and instabilities, that accompany them.

Why do others feel differently about obssessing about the origins and causations of life and the universe? I'm most curious.

 

What are your views, theories, perspectives, on any, and all that I've said? About yourself, others, or both?

 

I don't think it follows that hunger is associated with instabilities, urgencies, anxieties. I would like to know more but I appreciate even if we knew all there was to know I could not understand it or even hold it all in my mind and make a cohesive structure of it. Human comprehension's linear progress is such a limiting factor. 

I would like to understand abiogenesis. I would like a map of the genomic fossil record - something I'm sure we will get in time - just to supply additional confirmation of my current beliefs. I'd like us to know more because it takes so much more to convince god people they may not be correct.

There's part of me that wants to know my bloodline. Placozoan begat jellyfish, begat, begat, begat, etc, begat me. There is a totally subjective power to added comprehension of our ancestry. We may not have a soul but we should celebrate what an amazing beast we sometimes can be. 

The origins of the universe, yeah I'd love to know for true. But in this space time such origins will always be conjecture. Of course, I want to know but I don't think anyone really needs to know in order to live. 

Additionally, as a former fundy preacher's kid, I'm always arguing my way out of the lake of fire. The more we know, the further we can push theism into the nebulous realms of epistemology, and the happier I will be. 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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I guess I've always

I guess I've always wondered, even as a child.  I'm not sure if I've ever felt so intense as to call it an obsession.  I've never questioned the drive or 'hunger' as you describe it.  If I had to justify it I would consider it a natural extension of our drive for knowledge.  I'm not sure I can start a line of reasoning and stop short, eventually you have to question the ultimate origin.

As for Maslow's heirarchy, though I haven't studied it outside a course I took in management, I always found it too linear or simplistic.  I believe the human drives are much more complicated, and also society has more of an impact then he may postulate, perhaps it is because I grew up in a communist country.  Also I don't equate those said questions (origin of universe, life) with self-actualization.  

I think those questions are the reason why religion exists, and also the reason modern science has advanced to the current level.

"Don't seek these laws to understand. Only the mad can comprehend..." -- George Cosbuc


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I think humans for some

I think humans for some reason have a strong need to fill in the gaps of information. Even if we are completely incapable of postulating a fairly rational explanation we have a strong urge to find one. This is one of the key reasons for the apperance of religious thought. 

Maybe we have an urge to make sense of things. This urge didn't disapear with secularism and scientific method. It was substantially refined and improved, but because of human nature urge into explaining everything we may be holding back progress in more ‘exotic’ avenues of knowledge by this scientific arrogance.

Humans BELIEVE! and I'm not talking only of religion. Scientists believe their theories with the same passion of a religious person even though they may be wrong... Humility is a rare and valuable posture.

Imagine that you face an astonishing mystery; most of us would try to solve it using all information available, confront this information with our previous beliefs and would stand by a theory (self postulated or not) that we defend as if it was the truth! Very few would say that there was no explanation or that there are various possible explanations. There was only one Socrates, maybe the most humble man that ever existed.

This is very difficult, even I when aware of this problem very often tend to defend ideas which I think are true (at least more probable than not) but really can't be sure about.

Furthermore, I have this strong intuitive feeling that we humans only know a small percentage of everything there is to know, still when we look at things at their face value that is not what transpires...

When I investigate ANY scientific subject that's not the idea I get. Science tends to be ever more sure and omniscient of itself, and the idea it sends is that we humans need only to overcome engineering problems to really be the "masters of the Universe".

As such, I find this assurance of things not only, obviously, in religion but I find it in science too. The difference from religion is that they say that there are no unquestionable truths, and this is true... BUT when we look at science holistically, how it is financed, the way it explain phenomenon’s and it's lobbies I come to realize that there is a high degree of hypocrisy in science. Sometimes it carries an aura of bigotry and most often pre conceived ideas. 

This is natural because science is not a separate entity, science is made by humans and humans more than often have these faults...

It's human nature to question and seek knowledge of everything. We hate gaps. Mysteries are frightening!

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"I once prayed to god for a bike, but quickly found out he didnt work that way...so I stole a bike and prayed for his forgiveness"

"All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force... We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter." (Max Planck)

"the existence of mind in some organism on some planet in the universe is surely a fact of fundamental significance. Through conscious beings the universe has generated self-awareness. This can be no trivial detail, no minor byproduct of mindless, purposeless forces. We are truly meant to be here." Paul Davies


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Teralek wrote: It's human

Teralek wrote:

 

It's human nature to question and seek knowledge of everything. We hate gaps. Mysteries are frightening!

 

 

I disagree.  Mysteries are fun and investigating them is more fun.  Gaps only mean no one has figured it out yet.  Not frightening at all.

 

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

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

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