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Dean Pomerleau

The Ultimate Purpose of Life

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On 1/13/2020 at 8:04 AM, Ron Put said:

Those are facts. The gospels are not facts.

Ron, I wonder why you refute so drastically the gospels. They tend to be hagiographic, but any hagiography is known to have its basic truth, even though the details may have been reshaped.

Besides, that's not even the point. The hypothesis of the existence of a supernatural, impersonal intelligence that created the cosmos does not need any historical or scientific evidence. That's a hypothesis that cannot be proven nor disproven by physical science, which is by definition impotent in the metaphysical field. 

The relevant context is another one, it's based on logic, ontology, philosophy, inference, observations and extrapolations from the physical reality.

 

 

 

 

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25 minutes ago, Clinton said:

Conan’s purpose of life:

to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and to hear the lamentation of their women“

That was a memorable film! Although Schwarzenegger's role I liked best was by far 'the terminator'. 

Edited by mccoy

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To link all the reasonings to the ultimate purpose of life, the hypothesized existence of a supernatural being (SB) may not even grant a clear purpose in life. That requires further reasoning. Our purpose may be to play the simulation as desidered by the SB, which would require to know the intent of a SB. Our purpose may even just be random. Everything can be hypothesized and discussed, but simply dismissing the hypothesis as fairy tales may be interpreted as a sign of intellectual arrogance.

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21 hours ago, corybroo said:

Suppose some SB did create us, wouldn't it be fair to ask what is the purpose of the SB?  And the SB's creator, etc.

First and foremost, if we assign to the SB the attributes of the more familiar GOD, then it is by definition 'non-created'. Otherwise, we may be stuck in the concept of an infinite regression of creators.

The purpose of the SB may be diverse: simple entertainment, scientific experiment, whatever. Even reasons unfathomable to us. Other relevant questions would be: what are we supposed to do (rules of the game or of the simulation), is there a way to contact the SB, has  our logic been injected by the SB with a degree of  similarity to it, what happens when a layer of the simulation (our physical body) ends its cycle, and so on and so forth

 

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Always fun to think about these things, there is no use getting worked up about various ideas out there.  Quite a few smart people currently think our universe is a simulation. They say the probability of this being "base reality" is mathematically near zero.  This of course means we were created, and not only that, but created by something which gave our universe rules. This is compatible with the idea and scientific consensus, that our universe basically instantly sprang into existence out of essentially nothing like something flipped a switch one day or said "let there be light" 😉  I think its kind of interesting that the Bible also talks about the earth being completely destroyed by fire, considering this was written nearly 2000 years ago, long before we knew that our sun will eventually go supernova and our planet will in fact be destroyed by fire.  But beyond that event, our universe definitely seems to have an expiration, eventually all sun's will burn out, there will be nothing but darkness everywhere, planet hoping / traveling to other star systems, isn't going to help, the great wheels of entropy pretty much ensure there will be no life in our universe one day - so what happens after that?  Is there something that then leads to a "reboot"?  Again I find it kind of fascinating that the Bible even chimes in on this topic - apparently the same entity that created our current "simulation" in the first place, is going to do it again after this one dies out.  Apparently in the new "simulation" this creator dude is going to take on a more interactive role, the new Earth simulation will have some interesting differences compared to the current one as well, like there will not be an ocean anymore, or a sun, so that's going to be kind of strange (there will however be a new, different, kind of light source) - and there will be all sorts of other benefits, like no more death or pain, so that's pretty cool! Everyone will also be vegetarian, which is kind of interesting, might as well switch over now so you can get used to it, haha.  😉

 

 

 
 
But lets be real, you are probably going to end up like this guy:
 
Edited by Gordo

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A different philosophy was voiced by a comedian.  He said did not fear death because he thought it was like being stupid – you don’t know it.  It may bother people around you but you’re in a state where it doesn’t bother you.

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I've just been watching this interesting scientific panel on the idea of a cosmic simulation. The host is Neil deGrasse Tyson. The famed theoretical physicists James Gates says that concealed within his model of Adinkra mathematics (dealing with supersymmetry and string theory) he and collaborators discovered an error code, in binary language. The guys go on elaborating on the possibility of Matrix-like (the film) simulation. in rigorously scientific concepts.

Interestingly enough, the Hindu model of cosmogony hints at a cosmic game (Lila, the simulation) produced by Brahma, the creating principle, the supernatural being. The SB is the original reality, whereas everything else is illusion, or Maya (the code beyond the simulation). and this simulation would be contained within two more simulations (the astral and the causal universes). Of course I amply simplified the philosophy

Many concepts discussed in the video are interesting, like the possible reverse-engineering of the simulation, the simulations within simulations and so on....

 

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, Gordo said:

... This of course means we were created, and not only that, but created by something which gave our universe rules....

Actually, it doesn't mean anything of the sort :) Just like there is no need for Zeus to explain lightning and no need for Yahweh to explain the result of 2+2.

As Stephen Hawking quipped, there is simply no need for "god." "Matrix-like," as in the rather lame trilogy, is a pop misunderstanding.

For a really simplified, no gods needed, explanation of the mathematical concepts (which are falsifiable, unlike the beliefs in transcendental deities), watch this relatively short lecture:

Leonard Susskind on The World As Hologram
 

 

Edited by Ron Put

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Ron,

Susskind clearly argues that events and characteristics of the early universe (and possibly even the multiverse) can be described using math. Perhaps as Susskind suggests, the universe is a 3-dimensional projection of a far distant 2D surface, which BTW sounds an awful lot like a form of simulation.

But I think you are mischaracterizing Susskind's perspective on the origin of it all. In particular, Susskind isn't nearly as dismissive of the possibility that the universe is the product of an intelligent creator as you seem to be implying.

"I don't reject the possibility that there was an intelligence that one way or another was involved with the creation of the universe. I don't reject it. Not at all. I simply ask, if it's true, how do you describe it? What are the rules? How did it get there? It just provokes more curiosity. And until I can answer, or at least attempt to give a hypothesis about that, I lose interest. I simply lose interest. I lose interest in questions that are so far beyond me that I'm quite certain I can't answer and this appears to me to be one of them."

Leonard Susskind starting at 4:26:

--Dean

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2 hours ago, Dean Pomerleau said:

... "I don't reject the possibility that there was an intelligence that one way or another was involved with the creation of the universe. I don't reject it. Not at all. I simply ask, if it's true, how do you describe it? What are the rules? How did it get there? It just provokes more curiosity. And until I can answer, or at least attempt to give a hypothesis about that, I lose interest. I simply lose interest. I lose interest in questions that are so far beyond me that I'm quite certain I can't answer and this appears to me to be one of them."

But of course. Just as I cannot absolutely "reject the possibility" that the universe was made by Father Christmas as a version of SimCity for some transcendental CES (the equation with a "simulation" is quite wrong, in this context).

But untestable stuff like that is the stuff of fiction, not science. And scientists generally do not subscribe to it, although many do not wish to offend the believers (which ultimately impacts funding, unfortunately). Stephen Hawking said pretty much the same thing, but added that while he cannot reject the notion of a "creator" outright, everything works just fine without one, thus there is no need for "god."

But hey, again, gods hide in the gaps of knowledge, so for the foreseeable future, there will be many, many believers.

Edited by Ron Put

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Ron,

13 hours ago, Ron Put said:

Just  as I cannot absolutely "reject the possibility " that the universe was made by Father Christmas as a version of SimCity for some transcendental CES...

But hey, again, gods hide in the gaps of knowledge, so for the foreseeable future, there will be many, many believers.

What fascinates me about the simulation hypothesis is the fact that, unlike other notions of a creator god, scientific advances could very well make the idea that we may be living in a simulation more plausible, not less.

Imagine if one day, 100 or 200 years hence, we've figured out consciousness and how to create it in a computer. Couple this with almost inevitable (if we don't kill ourselves first) advances in computer games, graphics and physical simulation. Then you get the real possibility that we could create artificial conscious entities having very realistic experiences inside virtual worlds in our computers. 

Wouldn't that make it much more plausible that we are living in such a simulation ourselves? Here I'll give a(nother) plug for one of my favorite short stories of all time, David Brin's Stones of Significance (pdf).

--Dean

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Ron,

ruling out a priori the idea of the existence of a superior Being, an Active Agent, A Creator/Simulator seems to me more like a cultural or political issue rather than a scientific attitude. It is an old heritage from the scientific world of the 19th. That idea may be discouraging, like in the case of Susskind, and we may choose to ignore it. Our choice will not impact the truth, of course, if such a truth exists. Again, I just do not understand the rejection. I do not reject the principle of supersymmetry, even though the mathematics is totally abstruse and the symmetric population of particles has never been observed so far, even after decades of theoretical postulates. Nor I reject the possibility that strings do exist, even though I understand nothing of the theoretical mumbo-jumbo and, by what I know, all the string theorists may be simply crazy, having pursued for decades what may just have been the fruit of their sick mathematical fantasy. I do not really believe that, but if I were a total skeptic, I might have a right to think so.

Of course, the idea of an Active Agent does not imply a theistic, or personal attribution of such an abstract Intelligent Being. We're not speaking about theology nor religions, here, which are cultural expressions of the idea of a supreme creator and unfortunately have often suffered degradation and corruption over the times. 

Edited by mccoy

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Excerpt from the wiki voice 'conflict thesis'

Quote

Scientist and public perceptions[edit]

This thesis is still held to be true in whole or in part by some scientists including the theoretical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking, who said "There is a fundamental difference between religion, which is based on authority, [and] science, which is based on observation and reason. Science will win because it works."[44] Others, such as Steven Weinberg, grant that it is possible for science and religion to be compatible since some prominent scientists are also religious, but he sees some significant tensions that potentially weaken religious beliefs overall.[45]

A study done on scientists from 21 American universities showed that most did not perceive conflict between science and religion. In the study, the strength of religiosity in the home in which a scientist was raised, current religious attendance, peers' attitudes toward religion, all had an impact on whether or not scientists saw religion and science as in conflict. Scientists who had grown up with a religion and retained that identity or had identified as spiritual or had religious attendance tended to perceive less or no conflict. However, those not attending religious services were more likely to adopt a conflict paradigm. Additionally, scientists were more likely to reject conflict thesis if their peers held positive views of religion.[46]

Science historian Ronald Numbers suggests the conflict theory lingers in a popular belief, inclusive of scientists and clerics alike, and that while history reflects an intrinsic and inevitable intellectual conflict between (Judeo-Christian) religion and science, it is perpetuated by the surrounding controversies involving creation–evolution, stem cells, and birth control.[47] Many religious groups have made statements regarding the compatibility of religion and science,[48] urging, for example, "school board members to preserve the integrity of the science curriculum by affirming the teaching of the theory of evolution as a core component of human knowledge. We ask that science remain science and that religion remain religion, two very different, but complementary, forms of truth."[49] The Magis Center for Reason and Faith was founded specifically to apply science in support of belief in a deity and the Christian religion.[50] Some scholars such as Brian Stanley and Denis Alexander propose that mass media are partly responsible for popularizing conflict theory,[51] most notably the myth that prior to Columbus, people believed the Earth was flat.[52] David C. Lindberg and Numbers point out that "there was scarcely a Christian scholar of the Middle Ages who did not acknowledge Earth's sphericity and even know its approximate circumference".[52][53] Numbers gives the following as mistakes arising from conflict theory that have gained widespread currency: "the Church prohibited autopsies and dissections during the Middle Ages", "the rise of Christianity killed off ancient science", and "the medieval Christian church suppressed the growth of the natural sciences".[47] Some Christian writers, notably Reijer Hooykaas and Stanley Jaki, have argued that Christianity was important, if not essential, for the rise of modern science. Lindberg and Numbers, however, see this apologetical writing which lacks in careful historical study and overstates the case for such a connection.[54]

Research on perceptions of science among the American public concludes that most religious groups see no general epistemological conflict with science, and that they have no differences with nonreligious groups in propensity to seek out scientific knowledge, although there are often epistemic or moral conflicts when scientists make counterclaims to religious tenets.[55][56] The Pew Center made similar findings and also noted that the majority of Americans (80–90 per cent) strongly support scientific research, agree that science makes society and individual's lives better, and 8 in 10 Americans would be happy if their children were to become scientists.[57] Even strict creationists tend to express very favorable views towards science.[58] A study of US college students concluded that the majority of undergraduates in both the natural and social sciences do not see conflict between science and religion. Another finding in the study was that it is more likely for students to move from a conflict perspective to an independence or collaboration perspective than vice versa.[59]

 

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