What is the reason for Human existence?

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Eaglerising
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Re: What is the reason for Human existence?

Post by Eaglerising » March 1st, 2017, 4:28 pm

Pelegrin_1, it is possible to have a discourse.

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UniversalAlien
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Re: What is the reason for Human existence?

Post by UniversalAlien » June 2nd, 2017, 6:46 am

If you accept Evolution as a fact - Then the reason for Human existence is to evolve.

To evolve implies that Evolution has a meaning, direction and purpose.

As to what the meaning, direction and purpose is becomes part of the process of Evolution itself.

Or as the famous scientist Carl Sagan once said:

"“We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.”
― Carl Sagan, Cosmos


This would hold true whether one be a theist or atheist - An evolving existent state can never create enough or know enough.

Nor could this ever evolving universe ever have limits - Therefor the reason for Human existence is to transcend itself.

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Re: What is the reason for Human existence?

Post by Pelegrin_1 » June 2nd, 2017, 8:58 am

UniversalAlien wrote:If you accept Evolution as a fact - Then the reason for Human existence is to evolve.

To evolve implies that Evolution has a meaning, direction and purpose.

As to what the meaning, direction and purpose is becomes part of the process of Evolution itself.

Or as the famous scientist Carl Sagan once said:

"“We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.”
― Carl Sagan, Cosmos


This would hold true whether one be a theist or atheist - An evolving existent state can never create enough or know enough.

Nor could this ever evolving universe ever have limits - Therefor the reason for Human existence is to transcend itself.
We know from the evolution of other species and things that some evolution even leads to a dead-end. So yes, I agree that the meaning of life is to evolve, but there is evolution looking backward and evolution looking forward, and obviously to get where we are has meant evolving, but simply to say that the meaning of human existence is to evolve doesn't necessarily imply what you have outlined above. Moving forward, who knows where human evolution will take us as a species; it may take us eventually to a dead-end. On the other hand, if you're talking about the evolution of the cosmos, well then it would be correct to say that there isn't necessarily a dead-end because things only become extinct but transform into something else. But then we're no longer talking about "human existence".

And here still we're talking about the meaning of human existence as a species, but what does that necessarily mean for the meaning of life of each human individual, for each individual human life? Most people, when they question themselves about the meaning of life, they're thinking about the meaning of their own personal existence.

I still say that the meaning of human existence is what humanity or each individual makes of it to be or does with it. Evolving and seeking positive paths sounds good, but we also know that not all of humanity has done such.

Eaglerising
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Re: What is the reason for Human existence?

Post by Eaglerising » June 2nd, 2017, 9:10 am

Bravo UniversalAlien – Your response to the reason for human existence was excellent. It was short, logical, and to the point.

Upon reading, "...the reason for Human existence is to transcend itself," I wondered if you were the cosmos' speech writer. :wink:

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Re: What is the reason for Human existence?

Post by Fooloso4 » June 2nd, 2017, 10:47 am

UniversalAlien:
If you accept Evolution as a fact - Then the reason for Human existence is to evolve.
The fact that humans evolved from less complex lifeforms is not the reason why humans evolved from lesser lifeforms.
To evolve implies that Evolution has a meaning, direction and purpose.
That is an inference not an implication and a questionable inference at that.
As to what the meaning, direction and purpose is becomes part of the process of Evolution itself.
The fact that there are animals that can think about meaning, direction, and purpose does not mean that meaning, direction, and purpose are part of the process of evolution. The process of evolution and what develops out of that process are two different things.
Nor could this ever evolving universe ever have limits - Therefor the reason for Human existence is to transcend itself.
Of course the universe has limits. Nothing acts contrary to the laws of nature. We simply do not know if the universe is ever evolving or whether it will eventually come to an end. We do not know and cannot imagine what may already be or may come to be in the universe but that does not mean that there are no limits, only that we do not know those limits. There is no logical or necessary connection between an evolving universe and the limits of one particular organism existing on one planet in one solar system in one of perhaps a billion galaxies.

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Re: What is the reason for Human existence?

Post by Eaglerising » June 2nd, 2017, 11:12 am

Fooloso4’s post is an example of human’s inability to accept “what is” for what it is due to their conditioned perception. It is easier for them to believe or disbelieve rather than question and examine their perception. They do so because they are unable or unwilling to accept responsibility for their lives. In turn, they defend their perception rather than question and examine it, which creates conflict rather than understanding. And, nothing new is learned.

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Re: What is the reason for Human existence?

Post by Pelegrin_1 » June 2nd, 2017, 12:34 pm

All I'm reading in many of the comments here is an attempt to envelope human existence with some sort of inherent "meaning, direction, and purpose". The fact that evolution has taken place and that the human species is involved in it does not necessarily infer that evolving is the purpose of human existence. It's simply what has come to occur, no "purpose" intended, implied, or inherent. Whatever purpose or meaning there may or will be we must add ourselves, either individually or collectively. Many arguments given here demonstrate a continued human mindset that, even if one believes in evolution or more generally is an atheist, many still believe that there is some purpose to human existence that extends beyond simply that we have come into existence through an evolutionary process that has no end purpose, and that may end up who knows where.

Besides, if the human species does continue to evolve, won't that ultimately mean that eventually we will no longer be the species we are today? Then the only purpose will have been that we were a stepping stone in the evolutionary process to future species. But that still doesn't mean that it was our inherent purpose to be that stepping stone. And yet again, we may still be a stepping stone to nothing; we may ultimately be a dead-end.

The whole idea that there is some inherent reason or purpose for human existence also sort of essentially removes the idea of responsibility for our own lives and our human existence. If there is some inherent purpose or meaning, then all we basically have to do is to exist and allow our existence to take us where we're 'meant' to go.

-- Updated Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:49 am to add the following --

The human species, and the state that it has evolved to be, now has the capacity to create purpose and meaning for each human life and human existence in general, but going hand in hand with that is the responsibility for decisions and directions we take as individuals and as the human collective.

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Re: What is the reason for Human existence?

Post by Fooloso4 » June 2nd, 2017, 1:49 pm

Eaglerising:
Fooloso4’s post is an example of human’s inability to accept “what is” for what it is due to their conditioned perception.
The claim that “the reason for Human existence is to evolve” is a claim about what is, and like other claims it is subject to critical examination. The same is true of claims about meaning, direction and purpose. The onus is on you and others who make such claims to provide evidence of their truth, that what is claimed is what is.

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Re: What is the reason for Human existence?

Post by UniversalAlien » June 2nd, 2017, 9:40 pm

Fooloso4 wrote:Eaglerising:
Fooloso4’s post is an example of human’s inability to accept “what is” for what it is due to their conditioned perception.
The claim that “the reason for Human existence is to evolve” is a claim about what is, and like other claims it is subject to critical examination. The same is true of claims about meaning, direction and purpose. The onus is on you and others who make such claims to provide evidence of their truth, that what is claimed is what is.
You could say that - And right from the beginning when I started this thread some said you cannot 'prove' a purpose for Human existence - And that Human existence may have no purpose - And you 'may' be right and I can not prove you wrong.

But much of philosophy is in many ways speculative - probably why, after good science fiction, philosophy is my favorite form of thinking.

But I make no claim on trying to prove concepts that may never be provable - Science proves things - Philosophy speculates on what might be and is often based on POV {point of view}

And we might be evolving and going somewhere - At least I hope so!

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Re: What is the reason for Human existence?

Post by Papus79 » June 2nd, 2017, 10:13 pm

This sort of raises an interesting question for me. I haven't really believed it for a while but people seem to be invoking it.

Is a god, a very self-aware collective unconscious or unified field, needed for things to have 'purpose'?

I tend to feel like people get a bit lost in their quest for absolutes. If you realize there are none you're better off climbing back down and looking at what's around you. I notice there have been some threads recently questioning whether we're enslaved to nihilism, it seems like (for as much as I don't believe in free will) such enslavement is purely for the loss of perspective that there are other options. If we really wanted to get crazy every man and woman who weren't the top 1% alphas would chemically castrate themselves as inferior seed, that clearly doesn't happen because for as much as survival of the fittest does play itself out to some extent it's not the whole game nor does it help everyone whose not that 1% get on with their lives in a productive manner.

I think its safe to say at this point - if there's a God - it really doesn't care whether we believe in it or not, most likely we are 'It' playing a sort of multiple personality alter-ego game, and it's a very different reality than eternal paradise or fire and torment based on a verbal profession of faith. So be you gnostic, agnostic, atheist, antitheist, nihilist, etc. you're doing what you were going to no matter how you slice it. If you can choose to be happy (I use the word 'choose' loosely) all the better, if not - keep doing what you do til you can't do it anymore. It's what you were born for, it's what you'll spend your eighty-four years on as you perform your on labors of Hercules, you came in through Cancer and out through Capricorn you'll go!

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Re: What is the reason for Human existence?

Post by UniversalAlien » June 2nd, 2017, 11:35 pm

Papus79 wrote:
.........I think its safe to say at this point - if there's a God - it really doesn't care whether we believe in it or not, most likely we are 'It' playing a sort of multiple personality alter-ego game, and it's a very different reality than.......
God? Meaning? - OK, I will define God as 'the main philosopher' - An existent state that exists and does not exist.

As the reason for Human existence is tenuous - It too exists and does not exist.

I said earlier that philosophy speculates and science proves - But I do not believe philosophy should deny science - And in a
world where quantum physics is omnipresent we need to explore the possibility that thesis and anti-thesis are often operating simultaneously - At any one moment in time Theism and Atheism are correct.

To see what I'm talking about you must 'transcend' your old way of thinking and evolve to a higher thought plain.

In the 'Many Worlds" concepts of physicist Hugh Everett:
..... In layman's terms, the hypothesis states there is a very large—perhaps infinite—number of universes, and everything that could possibly have happened in our past, but did not, has occurred in the past of some other universe or universes. The theory is also referred to as MWI, the relative state formulation,.......
Maybe God wants you to be able to wrap your mind around his creation - And then again maybe God does not exist.

More than likely both cases are true.

Of course I speculate - And to live philosophy must speculate.

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Re: What is the reason for Human existence?

Post by Papus79 » June 3rd, 2017, 12:15 am

Well right. The God of the philosophers isn't a God of salvation and perdition so it doesn't even factor into debate - no one who disbelieves really has their eternal soul hanging in the balance.

My point was that it seems like a lot of people who are trying to drive home the point that nihilism is prima facie truth without extraordinary evidence seem to be buying into the standard that without a divine mind to tell us that there's meaning that there is no meaning. I was arguing that even if such a divine mind exists it's clearly not interested in resolving our disputes over meaning in the way that a Moses, Jesus, or Muhammad would want to blaze a trail toward salvation for all those who believe in the book and its words (vs. all of those who will perish for believing otherwise). In other words, I think most nihilist atheists are even more influenced by Mani and Zoroaster than they like to admit.

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Re: What is the reason for Human existence?

Post by Fooloso4 » June 3rd, 2017, 12:22 pm

UA:
But much of philosophy is in many ways speculative -
Philosophy is also critical and it is this that distinguishes philosophy from poetry (poesis). It is not just the making of images, it is the critique of those images. This tension is captured by Raphael’s image “The School of Athens”. Plato points to the heavens and Aristotle gestures down to the earth.

When you say that” the reason for human existence is …” and “to evolve implies …” it may be that you are proposing a way to look at things and thus distinguishing the picture from statements about “what is”, but without such caveats the statements themselves can be taken as claims about “what is”, as Eaglerising did.

The question then is not simply whether this is something that can be proven, but whether this picture is one we should accept as a way of seeing things. It is, in my opinion, a hubristic picture of man’s self-importance.

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Re: What is the reason for Human existence?

Post by UniversalAlien » June 3rd, 2017, 6:48 pm

Fooloso4 wrote:
....... The question then is not simply whether this is something that can be proven, but whether this picture is one we should accept as a way of seeing things. It is, in my opinion, a hubristic picture of man’s self-importance.
True - But if not Man who or what else's importance should we be concerned with?

Even though I wasn't thinking of any particular form of philosophy when I originally posed the question - This comes to mind:

Existentialism

"Existentialism – A Definition
Existentialism in the broader sense is a 20th century philosophy that is centered upon the analysis of existence and of the way humans find themselves existing in the world. The notion is that humans exist first and then each individual spends a lifetime changing their essence or nature.

In simpler terms, existentialism is a philosophy concerned with finding self and the meaning of life through free will, choice, and personal responsibility. The belief is that people are searching to find out who and what they are throughout life as they make choices based on their experiences, beliefs, and outlook. And personal choices become unique without the necessity of an objective form of truth. An existentialist believes that a person should be forced to choose and be responsible without the help of laws, ethnic rules, or traditions."


Quote source:
http://www.allaboutphilosophy.org/existentialism.htm

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Re: What is the reason for Human existence?

Post by Fooloso4 » June 3rd, 2017, 9:20 pm

UA:
True - But if not Man who or what else's importance should we be concerned with?
Our concern with man does not mean we must place him at the center of something other than our own concern.

I agree with the notion of self-transcendence. I just do not see it as something more than a human endeavor. It is no more the meaning, direction, and purpose of evolution than the activities of any other organism are.

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