The March Philosophy Book of the Month is Final Notice by Van Fleisher. Discuss Final Notice now.

The April Philosophy Book of the Month is The Unbound Soul by Richard L. Haight. Discuss The Unbound Soul Now

The May Philosophy Book of the Month is Misreading Judas by Robert Wahler.

What is the reason for Human existence?

Use this philosophy forum to discuss and debate general philosophy topics that don't fit into one of the other categories.

This forum is NOT for factual, informational or scientific questions about philosophy (e.g. "What year was Socrates born?"); such homework-help-style questions can be asked and answered on PhiloPedia: The Philosophy Wiki. If your question is not already answered on the appropriate PhiloPedia page, then see How to Request Content on PhiloPedia to see how to ask your informational question using the wiki.
Tamminen
Posts: 1107
Joined: April 19th, 2016, 2:53 pm

Re: What is the reason for Human existence?

Post by Tamminen » June 4th, 2017, 8:09 am

Pelegrin_1 wrote:“We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.”
― Carl Sagan, Cosmos
If the universe consists of matter, and if matter is all there is, and if everything is reducible to the interaction of elementary particles, as many scientists say nowadays, then consciousness must be a reflexive relation of matter to itself, seen as a property of matter. In this sense consciousness would be cosmos perceiving itself. But from the materialistic point of view this matter's property of seeing itself would not be necessary. We only happen to be here, seeing the world around us, and the world could just as well be there without us. This seems very implausible to me.

I think we must turn the picture upside down. What it self-evident is the being of the transcendental subject, the Cartesian 'I am', or the 'metaphysical I' of Wittgenstein's Tractatus, which is the precondition of all being, something we cannot get rid of. But the being of the subject presupposes the being of the material world, which in turn can be interpreted as my relation to the others. The world is material because the others must be material in order to be in relation to me. But the others, just because they are others, i.e. other subjects, are manifestations of the transcendental subject, the very same 'I am'. So in the end the world, or universe, just because it is material, is the relation of the transcendental subject to itself, or my relation to myself. And this makes reality causa sui, potentially transparent to itself, and the being of the universe needs no explanation, because it is the relation of the self-evident subjectivity to itself, not the transcendent, irrational element that Sartre saw as “superfluous”.

To complete the picture, an additional element is needed, not so popular nowadays but necessary in this context, namely a modified concept of transmigration. So the transcendental subject has a spatial and temporal relation to itself. The spatial relation, through the material universe, guarantees its being in general and maybe in the end its transparency to itself, and the temporal relation, through transmigration, guarantees its eternal being.

Now, this is speculation, of course, and a metaphysical hypothesis, but I think philosophers must have some courage in addition to critical mind.

User avatar
UniversalAlien
Posts: 1166
Joined: March 20th, 2012, 9:37 pm
Contact:

Re: What is the reason for Human existence?

Post by UniversalAlien » June 5th, 2017, 12:25 am

Tamminen wrote:
.........Now, this is speculation, of course, and a metaphysical hypothesis, but I think philosophers must have some courage in addition to critical mind.
Yes, agreed - And we should always accept {or at least try to understand} what science reveals - Until proven otherwise.

Having quickly read your observations I immediately was reminded of this:

"Reality Doesn’t Exist Until We Measure It, Quantum Experiment Confirms"

"Australian scientists have recreated a famous experiment and confirmed quantum physics's bizarre predictions about the nature of reality, by proving that reality doesn't actually exist until we measure it - at least, not on the very small scale.

That all sounds a little mind-meltingly complex, but the experiment poses a pretty simple question: if you have an object that can either act like a particle or a wave, at what point does that object 'decide'?

Our general logic would assume that the object is either wave-like or particle-like by its very nature, and our measurements will have nothing to do with the answer. But quantum theory predicts that the result all depends on how the object is measured at the end of its journey. And that's exactly what a team from the Australian National University has now found.

"It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it," lead researcher and physicist Andrew Truscott said in a press release.

Known as John Wheeler's delayed-choice thought experiment, the experiment was first proposed back in 1978 using light beams bounced by mirrors,..........


See whole article here:
http://www.sciencealert.com/reality-doe ... t-confirms

User avatar
Greta
Site Admin
Posts: 7815
Joined: December 16th, 2013, 9:05 pm

Re: What is the reason for Human existence?

Post by Greta » June 5th, 2017, 1:39 am

Maybe everything is a wave of sorts? It could be that particles don't exist as a physical reality, but are just evolutionary efficacious perceptions of animals that require clarity to survive. So what we interpret as a particle may just be the "heart" or central hub of a wave - the area of greatest concentration at the time.

Things are probably clearer and easier for both human and nonhuman animals to deal with we see everything as changing single frames rather than with motion blur tails, which perhaps would be a more accurate, if less useful, perception of what reality is.

User avatar
UniversalAlien
Posts: 1166
Joined: March 20th, 2012, 9:37 pm
Contact:

Re: What is the reason for Human existence?

Post by UniversalAlien » June 5th, 2017, 2:09 am

Greta wrote:Maybe everything is a wave of sorts? It could be that particles don't exist as a physical reality, but are just evolutionary efficacious perceptions of animals that require clarity to survive. So what we interpret as a particle may just be the "heart" or central hub of a wave - the area of greatest concentration at the time.

Things are probably clearer and easier for both human and nonhuman animals to deal with we see everything as changing single frames rather than with motion blur tails, which perhaps would be a more accurate, if less useful, perception of what reality is.
Yes possible - As Einstein stated:
“Concerning matter, we have been all wrong. What we have called matter is energy, whose vibration has been so lowered as to be perceptible to the senses. There is no matter.”
But remember these concepts and perceptions reflect the thinking of a Human organism - Other beings may exist that see and perceive so-called reality differently.

As far as I'm concerned, and until proven otherwise, there is no absolute reality - In time the reality where I respond to you
changes incessantly - the 'real world' remains to be defined - All we have uniting us is language and symbols - And they can change.

"As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter."
-Max Planck
"In all my research I have never come across matter. To me the term matter implies a bundle of energy which is given form by an intelligent spirit."
-Max Planck
We have no right to assume that any physical laws exist, or if they have existed up until now, that they will continue to exist in a similar manner in the future."
-Max Planck"
"Both religion and natural science require a belief in God for their activities, to the former He is the starting point, and to the latter the goal of every thought process. To the former He is the foundation, to the latter, the crown of the edifice of every generalized world view."
-Max Planck

"Max Karl Ernst Ludwig Planck, FRS was a German theoretical physicist whose discovery of energy quanta won him the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1918."

Eaglerising
Posts: 231
Joined: April 2nd, 2016, 8:12 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Jiddu Krishnamurti
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Contact:

Re: What is the reason for Human existence?

Post by Eaglerising » June 5th, 2017, 3:10 am

UniversalAlien – Your Max Planck quotes MADE MY DAY! They confirmed my findings of my investigation of energy and matter.
"In all my research I have never come across matter. To me the term matter implies a bundle of energy which is given form by an intelligent spirit. -Max Planck
Forensic & spiritual philosopher is the best term I can come up with that describes what I do. I have experienced several mind-boggling experiences, some might call “spiritual,” Others and myself have witnessed matter changing form, disappear and reappear. The first time this happened to me I thought I was going crazy and question my sanity. Eventually I determined what Max Planck did as a scientist. I kept quiet about it because I am not a scientist. I drive people nuts enough by challenging their perception.

A good example of this is what David Blaine does. He is neither an illusionist or a magician, he is manipulating energy as opposed to being an illusionist or a magician.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYxu_MQSTTY

User avatar
Greta
Site Admin
Posts: 7815
Joined: December 16th, 2013, 9:05 pm

Re: What is the reason for Human existence?

Post by Greta » June 5th, 2017, 3:15 am

UniversalAlien wrote:
"As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. [Greta's emphasis] This mind is the matrix of all matter."
-Max Planck
Why must we assume a conscious intelligent mind being behind the vibrations of things? Is that what minds do? Do intelligent minds inherently vibrate things? I have seen this statement quoted a number of times over the years and I've never understood why Planck made such a seemingly large and unsatisfying leap of logic.

Eaglerising
Posts: 231
Joined: April 2nd, 2016, 8:12 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Jiddu Krishnamurti
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Contact:

Re: What is the reason for Human existence?

Post by Eaglerising » June 5th, 2017, 3:23 am

Grwta –
Why must we assume a conscious intelligent mind being behind the vibrations of things? Is that what minds do? Do intelligent minds inherently vibrate things? I have seen this statement quoted a number of times over the years and I've never understood why Planck made such a seemingly large and unsatisfying leap of logic.
Most people use humans or human conditions as an analogy to explain what cannot be put into words. Language has more limitations than most realize. For example there is no word to describe the Consciousness Absolute or something that is neither physical nor non-physical.

-- Updated June 5th, 2017, 2:32 am to add the following --

Greta – That which is the source of all, which encompasses everything known and unknown to us I call the Consciiousness Absolute.

User avatar
UniversalAlien
Posts: 1166
Joined: March 20th, 2012, 9:37 pm
Contact:

Re: What is the reason for Human existence?

Post by UniversalAlien » June 5th, 2017, 5:58 am

It becomes obvious by reading many of Planck's quotes that he held strong religious beliefs - But I read he was a Deist not a Theist.
Planck made many contributions to physics, but is best known for quantum theory, which has revolutionized our understanding of the atomic and sub-atomic worlds. In his 1937 lecture "Religion and Naturwissenschaft," Planck expressed the view that God is everywhere present, and held that "the holiness of the unintelligible Godhead is conveyed by the holiness of symbols." Atheists, he thought, attach too much importance to what are merely symbols. Planck was a churchwarden from 1920 until his death, and believed in an almighty, all-knowing, beneficent God (though not necessarily a personal one). Both science and religion wage a "tireless battle against skepticism and dogmatism, against unbelief and superstition" with the goal "toward God!"
[Source:] J. L. Heillron, Dilemmas of an Upright Man (1986)
Religious or not, I find his quotes transcending - Here we have a man of science not afraid of atheists or theists - He tells it
the way he perceives things - He takes solid science and gives us some really interesting philosophical perspectives. Einstein sometimes also made philosophical observations - But for philosophical quotes you can't beat Planck - Of course these quotes are not science, nor are they made to prove anything - Its just like Planck telling us how he sees it - What reality
really is as he sees it.


“I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.”
― Max Planck


I see Planck as a mystical scientist - He fills a need for creative thinking in the philosophy of science


For more Max Planck quotes check this link:
Max Planck > Quotes
https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes ... Max_Planck

Fooloso4
Moderator
Posts: 3601
Joined: February 28th, 2014, 4:50 pm

Re: What is the reason for Human existence?

Post by Fooloso4 » June 5th, 2017, 1:22 pm

Tamminen:
We only happen to be here, seeing the world around us, and the world could just as well be there without us. This seems very implausible to me.
Since the universe has been here long before us it seems to me implausible to claim that the world could not be here without us.
What it self-evident is the being of the transcendental subject, the Cartesian 'I am', or the 'metaphysical I' of Wittgenstein's Tractatus, which is the precondition of all being, something we cannot get rid of.
Wittgenstein made no such claim. The I is the precondition of the world as it appears to us, not as it is in itself. But the idea of something as it is in itself is problematic since we could not see or say how it is if we were not. This is a statement about us not about the world.
Now, this is speculation, of course, and a metaphysical hypothesis, but I think philosophers must have some courage in addition to critical mind.
I agree, but what one takes to be courage become foolhardiness when one ignores the cracks in the ice and walks on it anyone.

UA:
He takes solid science and gives us some really interesting philosophical perspectives.
It is or was at best the state of the art of a science that has yet to figure out what is really going on at the quantum level or how what is going on at the quantum level relates to what is going on at the macroscopic level. Headlines such as "Reality Doesn’t Exist Until We Measure It, Quantum Experiment Confirms" are completely misleading.

Waves, particles, matter, energy, etc. are all human constructs. This is not to deny that there is something to which these concepts point, but those concepts change over time. When Einstein says that matter does not exist, this means nothing more than that the concept of matter is inadequate and needs to be revised. Consider the history of the term ‘atom’.

Tamminen
Posts: 1107
Joined: April 19th, 2016, 2:53 pm

Re: What is the reason for Human existence?

Post by Tamminen » June 5th, 2017, 4:21 pm

Fooloso4 wrote:Since the universe has been here long before us it seems to me implausible to claim that the world could not be here without us.
I mean the universe as a spatio-temporal totality, and it seems implausible to me that there would be no subjects during the history of the universe.
Wittgenstein made no such claim. The I is the precondition of the world as it appears to us, not as it is in itself. But the idea of something as it is in itself is problematic since we could not see or say how it is if we were not. This is a statement about us not about the world.
Wittgenstein should have thought a bit further to see the 'metaphysical I' to be the precondition of the being of the world in itself. I just read Tractatus again and I am not sure if your interpretation is correct. He never says he means 'my point of view to the world', but that the world is my world, which could be interpreted the way I understand the transcendental subject as an ontological concept, which is the precondition of all knowing and being.

Fooloso4
Moderator
Posts: 3601
Joined: February 28th, 2014, 4:50 pm

Re: What is the reason for Human existence?

Post by Fooloso4 » June 5th, 2017, 6:32 pm

Tamminen:
I mean the universe as a spatio-temporal totality, and it seems implausible to me that there would be no subjects during the history of the universe.
Since we are here at this moment in the history of the universe then of course that history includes subjects, but this in no way means that there has always been subjects throughout the history of the universe.
Wittgenstein should have thought a bit further to see the 'metaphysical I' to be the precondition of the being of the world in itself. I just read Tractatus again and I am not sure if your interpretation is correct. He never says he means 'my point of view to the world', but that the world is my world, which could be interpreted the way I understand the transcendental subject as an ontological concept, which is the precondition of all knowing and being.
If Wittgenstein had not thought as far as you say he should have then it does not follow that an interpretation that does go further is not an interpretation that can be supported by the text. But this takes us too far off topic so I will leave it there.

User avatar
Greta
Site Admin
Posts: 7815
Joined: December 16th, 2013, 9:05 pm

Re: What is the reason for Human existence?

Post by Greta » June 5th, 2017, 7:13 pm

UniversalAlien wrote:Religious or not, I find his quotes transcending - Here we have a man of science not afraid of atheists or theists - He tells it
the way he perceives things - He takes solid science and gives us some really interesting philosophical perspectives.
I enjoy Planck's quotes but the leap of logic in that statement is either very weak (emotion trumping intellect) or there is context around the quote that I don't know that would fill the gaps.
Planck wrote:All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind.
Think about it, what force (or forces) might bring particles to vibration and hold them together? Maybe a combination of the big bang's energy and gravity? Or a conscious and intelligent mind? See? It makes no sense in context. You might as well say the vibration and cohesion are caused by self-organising natural forces.
UniversalAlien wrote:“I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.” ― Max Planck
Here MP simply plumped for an option. Maybe it's matter first, maybe it's consciousness? Maybe it's something else? None of us little humans know that answer for sure, and neither did Max P.
UniversalAlien wrote:I see Planck as a mystical scientist - He fills a need for creative thinking in the philosophy of science
Eaglerising wrote:That which is the source of all, which encompasses everything known and unknown to us I call the Consciiousness Absolute.
Note that Buddhist physicist John Hagelin speaks about The Unified Field, which is more or less concordant with Planck's esoteric ideas and with Eagle's concept above.

As always, I say "maybe, maybe not". We simply don't know these things but I understand the urge to settle the question and plump for The Answer. Still, it seems to me that we effectively live in a shaggy dog joke reality where no conclusion or definitive answers are possible (or seemingly even necessary on a personal level). So, for all the difference it makes, people often figure that they might as well treat their hopes as the truth and, buoyed by that optimism, just get on with life.

Others, however, enjoy being flummoxed by, and continuing to examine with open mind, the bottomless Pandora's Box of this reality we find ourselves in. Maybe it depends on whether one has anything better to do? :lol:

Tamminen
Posts: 1107
Joined: April 19th, 2016, 2:53 pm

Re: What is the reason for Human existence?

Post by Tamminen » June 6th, 2017, 3:31 am

Fooloso4 wrote: Since we are here at this moment in the history of the universe then of course that history includes subjects, but this in no way means that there has always been subjects throughout the history of the universe.
I do not claim that, and I think no one can seriously claim that. I only claim that there cannot be a world with no subjects during all its history.

Then some more metaphysics on topic:

'I' denotes (1) an individual, (2) the subject of the present experience ("here and now").
'You' denotes an individual.

If 'I' denotes the subject of the present experience, following sentences should be true:

If you did not exist, the world would still exist.
If I did not exist, there would be nothing.
Therefore, because the world exists, I exist necessarily and eternally.

And you are all manifestations of the 'I'.

I guess Wittgenstein would not like these kinds of language games, but there are things that cannot be expressed in ordinary language. Also poetic and seemingly paradoxical phrases can illuminate reality. I like Heidegger's style more than Wittgenstein's although there are many similarities between their thoughts, for example their critique of the "present-at-hand" ontology.

Still one observation:

When we say that the being of the world does not need our being, we contradict ourselves, because there is already the 'our being' presupposed. We must only clarify the meaning of the 'we'.

User avatar
UniversalAlien
Posts: 1166
Joined: March 20th, 2012, 9:37 pm
Contact:

Re: What is the reason for Human existence?

Post by UniversalAlien » June 6th, 2017, 5:19 am

OK, once again this quote by Planck:

"“I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.”

Now, let me take the word consciousness and change it to 'mind' - It then reads like this:

"I regard mind as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from mind. We cannot get behind mind. Everything we talk about, everything we regard as existing, postulates mind."

Now please show me one thing, one object, one concept that exists without a perceptual mind.

Remember you must be able to describe it without using your mind to do it - And prove that it exists.
- If you can not then I claim victory - All that exists is based upon mind - Nothing exists without mind
-And nothing does not exist :!:

Eaglerising
Posts: 231
Joined: April 2nd, 2016, 8:12 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Jiddu Krishnamurti
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Contact:

Re: What is the reason for Human existence?

Post by Eaglerising » June 6th, 2017, 5:36 am

Any discourse, debate, or conversation about "consciousness" is meaningless because it cannot be understood by the human mind. In fact, there is a good possibility consciousness doesn't understand itself. It's better to view and treat it as an incomprehensible mystery as opposed to foolishly thinking it can be comprehended. The latter causes thought to create one illusion after another.

Post Reply