Purpose

220 posts / 0 new
Last post
LucyAustralopithecus's picture
Purpose

I have seen many claims regarding human purpose on here, they have ranged from going on to create a form of AI, all the way to the theistic views such as we are here to serve a god.

No one can really know for certainty and to claim otherwise is simply false.

However I would assert that it is very likely we serve no purpose in the grand scheme of things.
We are an irrelevent speck in an unfathomably large universe, which is under no obligation to make any sense to us.
To think we are even remotely significant would be quite a huge leap in my personal opinion, and grossly underestimating just how large the cosmos is and how we relate to that scale.

The very brutal fact that our sun going supernova will render us obsolete, Let alone the potential heat death of the universe(or any of the other multitudes of potential devestating occurences that may/likely will happen) would lead us to believe we have no reason to be here, and are just lucky to have evolved.

I would say at a push one could claim that within this planet alone, our purpose appears to simply be to multiply.

Thoughts?

Subscription Note: 

Choosing to subscribe to this topic will automatically register you for email notifications for comments and updates on this thread.

Email notifications will be sent out daily by default unless specified otherwise on your account which you can edit by going to your userpage here and clicking on the subscriptions tab.

chimp3's picture
Purpose is subjective. Do you

Purpose is subjective. Do you see purpose in others?

Added: The ultimate heat death of the universe contributes no meaning to my life.

MCD's picture
I agree with Chimp. I think

I agree with Chimp. I think purpose is subjective... but I am a big fan of this purpose: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

Algebe's picture
@MCD: Life, Liberty and the

@MCD: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

It should be life, liberty, and the pursuit of purpose.

People are happiest when they're working toward a purpose. The great thing is that it doesn't have to be decided by god, the universe, or the force, or whatever. You can choose your purpose, according to what you think is important in life. And purpose isn't rationed. You can have as many as you want.

Alembé's picture
“Life, in short just wants to

“Life, in short just wants to be.” ― Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything.

That quote describes my purpose. I’ve just celebrated 65 trips around the sun and I “want to be” for a couple of dozen more.

chimp3's picture
Good one , Alembe! One circle

Good one , Alembe! One circle around the sun at a time!

ProgrammingGodJordan's picture
MCD said:

Chimp said:

Purpose is subjective. Do you see purpose in others?

Added: The ultimate heat death of the universe contributes no meaning to my life.

MCD said:

I agree with Chimp. I think purpose is subjective... but I am a big fan of this purpose: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

1. What you fail to see, is that purpose may mean principle, and there are many principles in science, and science seeks to be objective.

2. Reference-A: Purpose/principle synonym.

3. Reference-B, Wikipedia Laws Of Science: The laws of science, scientific laws, or scientific principles...."

4. This means what I underlined in my hypothesis, is reasonably yet another principle that may describe the objective/goal of intelligence, given evidence.

5. The ultimate heat death (one of several hypotheses), underlines yet another thing in science that may reasonably describe a scientific principle. (That the universe may end, does not suddenly erase that there exists scientific principles!)

6. Note also, that I underlined is a hypothesis, and hypotheses, like science, are not absolute!

7. Reference-C: Wikipedia/Scientific hypothesis.

Attachments

Attach Image/Video?: 

Yes
Sapporo's picture
Equating purpose with

Equating purpose with principles is tautological at best.

ProgrammingGodJordan's picture
Equating purpose with

Equating purpose with principles is tautological at best.

I don't detect the relevance of your remark above.

ProgrammingGodJordan's picture
OP said:

LucyAustralopithecus said:

I have seen many claims regarding human purpose on here, they have ranged from going on to create a form of AI, all the way to the theistic views such as we are here to serve a god.

No one can really know for certainty and to claim otherwise is simply false.

However I would assert that it is very likely we serve no purpose in the grand scheme of things.
We are an irrelevent speck in an unfathomably large universe, which is under no obligation to make any sense to us.
To think we are even remotely significant would be quite a huge leap in my personal opinion, and grossly underestimating just how large the cosmos is and how we relate to that scale.

The very brutal fact that our sun going supernova will render us obsolete, Let alone the potential heat death of the universe(or any of the other multitudes of potential devestating occurences that may/likely will happen) would lead us to believe we have no reason to be here, and are just lucky to have evolved.

1. You fail to detect that my hypothesis, like other things in science, is not absolute! (See Wikipedia/hypothesis)

2. Remember that purpose may mean principle, and remember also that science is full of principles.

3. My hypothesis reasonably underlines yet another principle that may describe the objective/goal of intelligence, given evidence.

4. That the universe may end, does not suddenly erase that science consists of many principles!

5. There are scenarios in science where extinction is observed to have a role in evolution. Likewise, my hypothesis underlines that humans need not reasonably continue to exist, especially given the likely emergence of Artificial General Intelligence/Artificial Super Intelligence. (So, as far as evidence goes, I detect humans may not necessarily exist to multiply much later, especially given the likelihood of the emergence of Artificial General Intelligence/Artificial Super Intelligence etc)

6. Reference: The role of mass extinction in evolution.

LucyAustralopithecus's picture
1. I did not fail to detect

1. I did not fail to detect it, I simply reject it. I should have made it clear in my OP which I won't edit as I prefer to talk and happy to make mistakes, it is how we learn in science.
However, it is indeed subjective and in the grand scheme of things, within the cosmos, we serve no purpose what so ever!
As a species, our purpose is simply to multiply, perhaps multiply to the point we are essentially uploaded consciousness, perhaps?!

2. Science is full of principles, but it is also reliant on a scientific method, and when we look at the data and hypothesis, it is clear we have no real purpose other then that which we bestow upon ourselves.

3. It reasonably underlines a 'subjective' analysis of a possible goal of intelligent life, It doesn't account for our limitations within this system. We can create an AI that may wipe us out and run the planet alone, yet its existence can only last along as our suns life cycle allows. So again, AI may seem amazing, but on the grand scale, it is nothing, and the universe will not care.

4. The universe may or may not end, who knows! However, Our system WILL certainly end! And it will erase our subjective view of scientific principles.

5. Again, yes we are not required for a high level of AI, but when the sun goes supernova, your AI is rendered moot.

Sushisnake 's picture
@ProgrammingGod

@ProgrammingGod

I followed your links and have a couple of questions:

1. Your hypothesis didn't contain any information on how you tested it or intend to test it. Unfortunately I couldn't findvany incidences of your paper being cited, so I couldn't use other academics work to learn more about the hypothesis. Do have any further follow up papers?
2. Your link " purpose may mean principle" linked to a list of synonyms for the word "purpose". Can you explain what you mean by "purpose may mean principle", please?

ProgrammingGodJordan's picture
@ProgrammingGod

@ProgrammingGod

I followed your links and have a couple of questions:

1. Your hypothesis didn't contain any information on how you tested it or intend to test it. Unfortunately I couldn't findvany incidences of your paper being cited, so I couldn't use other academics work to learn more about the hypothesis. Do have any further follow up papers?
2. Your link " purpose may mean principle" linked to a list of synonyms for the word "purpose". Can you explain what you mean by "purpose may mean principle", please?

1. See Wikipedia/Hypothesis.

2. Principle is a synonym for purpose. (See dictionaries).

Ishvaara's picture
Purpose, as typically

Purpose, as typically considered by the lay person, is entirely subjective. Objectively, there is no purpose at all. No plan. No grand moral scale to bring all into understanding. There is only want, need, and everything that occurs betwixt them. Therefore, why not create your own? Why not decide for yourself what your purpose will be? That way, you'll never lack one.

ProgrammingGodJordan's picture
Purpose, as typically

Purpose, as typically considered by the lay person, is entirely subjective. Objectively, there is no purpose at all.

1. Millions and millions of laypersons (theists) think that earth was formed 6000+ years ago. This doesn't suddenly mean that earth is 6000+ years old. Likewise, your second statement doesn't follow from your first.

Furthermore, purpose is not especially defined to concern subjectivity.

2. Also, recall that purpose may mean principle, and remember that science is full of principles.

3. As such, my hypothesis reasonably underlines yet another principle that may describe the objective/goal of intelligence, given evidence.

LucyAustralopithecus's picture
I apologies by the way guys,

I apologies by the way guys, I should have made my opinion clear in the OP but I like to discuss so I will not edit.

I feel purpose is purely subjective and reliant on humans to perceive/conjure this, and my point regarding Sun death, universal heat death and so on, is simply meant to highlight this.

The universe doesn't care and is under no obligation to do so, or to make sense of us.

In closing, I feel purpose is merely a human subjective viewpoint in which we have no purpose within the grand scheme of the universe. However, as a species, I feel our human subjective purpose is simply to multiply.

ProgrammingGodJordan's picture
I apologies by the way guys,

LucyAustralopithecus said:

I apologies by the way guys, I should have made my opinion clear in the OP but I like to discuss so I will not edit.

I feel purpose is purely subjective and reliant on humans to perceive/conjure this, and my point regarding Sun death, universal heat death and so on, is simply meant to highlight this.

The universe doesn't care and is under no obligation to do so, or to make sense of us.

In closing, I feel purpose is merely a human subjective viewpoint in which we have no purpose within the grand scheme of the universe. However, as a species, I feel our human subjective purpose is simply to multiply.

A.) As you've correctly identified, the universe, or rather scientific descriptions of the cosmos, don't care about feelings, including your feelings regarding the supposed subjectivity of the reasonable objective/purpose of humans to engineer artificial general intelligence.

B.) You ought to consider that scientific principles now, won't suddenly stop being scientific principles, given hypotheses regarding the universe's death. (In fact, hypotheses about the universe's end exist, and yet, we still have scientific principles.)

C.) This means that despite our particular star's predicted death, principles from evolution still exist in science, and likewise so does my hypothesis.

chimp3's picture
LucyA: So, you think the

LucyA: So, you think the purpose of a woman is to be pregnant?

ProgrammingGodJordan's picture
LucyA: So, you think the

chimp3 said:

LucyA: So, you think the purpose of a woman is to be pregnant?

1.) I think LucyA is saying that our purpose is to maintain our species, i.e. try to ensure that it persists. (This doesn't mean every woman ought to be pregnant, but it does mean as far as history demonstrates, that at least some women must be pregnant at some point in time. Could this change with artificial wombs?)

2.) LucyA fails to see (or fails to accept) that we may not always exist to multiply, and AGI/ASI may be observed as a subsequent step in the evolutionary cycle, as per entropy maximization, and this is likely why LucyA is constantly insisting that we ought to multiply.

chimp3's picture
PGJ: I am sure Lucy can

PGJ: I am sure Lucy can answer for herself.

LucyAustralopithecus's picture
During the dawn of humanity,

During the dawn of humanity, sure! that would be a fair assertion, as otherwise we would not have evolved into a civilisation.

At present, Not so much as the number of people is vast enough for humanity to continue, But let us take the issue of fertility rates in Japan. It is mooted that in future years, if the trends continue, Native Japanese people will dwindle away due to this issue.

So in small pockets it can be seen that it is essential, But in larger numbers, not so definitive.

I would happily assert that it is the purpose of humans to reproduce from a purely evolutionary point of view,
But again, it is all subjective as purpose in itself is completely subjective.

I hope I make sense here Chimp, if not please continue to ask.

Neal the real deal's picture
You realize that is one of

You realize that is one of the first things God says for the human race to do in his name.
He says Be fruitful and multiply.
That is precisely why there are 7 billion people destroying the planet right now.
I think it's a mistake to say because there is no god there is no purpose or we can't find our own goodness and purpose without a god.
You sound just as negative as Christians because you sound like you don't care about anything especially humanity.
I believe the only real purpose in life is to enjoy life, be a good person to everyone you meet, to learn, grow and never stop trying to improve yourself everyday.
No one should need a religion or science to tell them that those are reasons for living by themselves.

ProgrammingGodJordan's picture
1. I did not fail to detect

LucyAustralopithecus said:

1. I did not fail to detect it, I simply reject it. I should have made it clear in my OP which I won't edit as I prefer to talk and happy to make mistakes, it is how we learn in science.
However, it is indeed subjective and in the grand scheme of things, within the cosmos, we serve no purpose what so ever!
As a species, our purpose is simply to multiply, perhaps multiply to the point we are essentially uploaded consciousness, perhaps?!

2. Science is full of principles, but it is also reliant on a scientific method, and when we look at the data and hypothesis, it is clear we have no real purpose other then that which we bestow upon ourselves.

3. It reasonably underlines a 'subjective' analysis of a possible goal of intelligent life, It doesn't account for our limitations within this system. We can create an AI that may wipe us out and run the planet alone, yet its existence can only last along as our suns life cycle allows. So again, AI may seem amazing, but on the grand scale, it is nothing, and the universe will not care.

4. The universe may or may not end, who knows! However, Our system WILL certainly end! And it will erase our subjective view of scientific principles.

5. Again, yes we are not required for a high level of AI, but when the sun goes supernova, your AI is rendered moot.

A.) You ought to consider that scientific principles now, won't suddenly stop being scientific principles, given hypotheses regarding the universe's death. (In fact, hypotheses about the universe's end exist, and yet, we still have scientific principles).

B.) You ought to consider that my hypothesis seeks to be objective, as per scientific objectivity. (i.e. my hypothesis concerns empirically derived measurements, wrt entropy maximization)

C.) Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Objectivity_(science)

D.) This means that despite our particular star's predicted death, principles from evolution still exist in science, and likewise so does my hypothesis.

LucyAustralopithecus's picture
A - I have no issue with

A - I have no issue with scientific principles, I deal with them on a daily basis.
However what you are proposing requires humanity in order to come in to being and must have this planet in order to continue thereafter. Without either, AI will be rendered into obscurity.
Hence, We can only say subjectively that a humans purpose is to spawn AI. What would be more accurate would be to say that human purpose is to innovate as far as possible, but that's a stretch,

B - Yes it may conform to empiricism, However it still requires the set of parameters we currently enjoy on this planet in order to be tested. If the situation was to change, such as what I proposed (The death of our Sun), AI and the scientific method cease to be.

I think another issue is one I have brought up in other debates, people are often guilty of only considering what we observe/feel/test/experience on earth as what is the 'norm. This is a grave mistake! It is no different to people once thinking that Newtonian physics explained all.

C - Link not necessary

D - False, This claim cannot be verified. We only know of evolution within the small confines of this planet and the parameters for something similar on another system may be vastly different.
When the Sun goes supernova, everything we know and think is no longer applicable, unless their is another race that is exactly like us somewhere within the cosmos and that is either aware of us or has the capabilities to interact with us.

John 6IX Breezy's picture
Form fits function; and

Form fits function; and function is a synonym for purpose.

If we have eyes, then our purpose is to see. If we have ears then our purpose is to hear. If we have a digestive system then our purpose is to eat. If we have a reproductive system then our purpose is to multiply. If we have a brain then our purpose is to think.

Our purpose is the use of those functions we have been given. Perhaps the most important function we have, and the one upon which all others rest upon, is life; therefore our purpose is to live.

LucyAustralopithecus's picture
it is still entirely

it is still entirely subjective and only applicable in this particular environment and surroundings.

John 6IX Breezy's picture
I don't know if its truly

I don't know if its truly subjective; since its a very pragmatic approach.

LucyAustralopithecus's picture
Well I prefer facts over what

Well I prefer facts over what makes me feel all warm and happy inside.

John 6IX Breezy's picture
Then you should prefer my

Then you should prefer my approach; since that is what its based on.

LucyAustralopithecus's picture
unfortunately it is not

unfortunately it is not

John 6IX Breezy's picture
Have you take a biology

Have you taken a biology course before? Typically the idea of form fits function is discussed there:

Watch first two minutes

Pages

Donating = Loving

Heart Icon

Bringing you atheist articles and building active godless communities takes hundreds of hours and resources each month. If you find any joy or stimulation at Atheist Republic, please consider becoming a Supporting Member with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of tea and a good dinner.

Or make a one-time donation in any amount.