Why do we exist?

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verty

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If there is a spiritual essence to our existence, then there is more to live for than mere 'temporal and physical enjoyment and emotions'. If we are spiritual and live on after death, there is that eternal after-life to consider, and that is more than physical pleasure. If I choose to believe in a god, I certainly won't walk blind into death, having only lived for the here and now, not knowing what will happen next, and not even caring. Right now, I'm not arguing for or against the existence of god or a true religion: my only key statement is that without these, there are no morals or eternal meaning to life. Whether you believe religion is analogous to belief in Santa Claus is irrelevant to the discussion.
I haven't said anything about any sort of essence. People who presuppose a spiritual essence necessarily presuppose some sort of reality in which it abides, with duties attendant to that other realm. It has too much baggage.

I am talking about a meaning without any baggage. If you accept a meaning without baggage, you don't need to consider an afterlife or God or spiritual essence or whatever. You need accept no more.

To accept more is to be deluded because if we were to accept that there is another realm, the problem moves to that new realm. Having crossed over to the afterlife, what will stop us then from wondering about meaning? Nothing will have changed. Neo, having learned about the matrix, would have just the same philosophical questions; they would merely have moved to the new realm.

We would need an infinite hierarchy of meanings, and the only tenable answer to that is that we make them equal, equal to a 'supermeaning' with no baggage.
 
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Personally, I am not a huge fan of religion. However, I do believe in GOD. It is important to understand the very fundamental divide between the two terms. GOD is defined as a supreme being- the creator of eveything. Religion is humanity's feeble and limited attempt to understand that being.

Historically, we know that people are easily decieved and we do not have all the answers. We know that humanity is no where close to understanding all there is to no. Therefore, I find it arrogant that people view religion as the answer.

Like I said before, while I view religion (I point this remark more towards organized religion) unfavorably, I still believe in GOD. How? Well I use science.

Science has constantly opened our eyes to the universe. Especially when religion was supressing knowledge and ruled from keeping the people ignorant.
Example, Capernicas (sp) claimed the universe didnt revolve around the Earth, but instead the Earth revolved around the sun. The church sentenced him to a lifetime of house arrest for his claims.
Science came along and opened are eyes to the truth..

Anyway, science tells us that the universe may have started with a BIG BANG. Well, I'm sure everyone asks themselves "what was there before that?" That is where I insert a "GOD." (even though, I know this is a bit of an empty assumption, I always keep in mind that perhaps something does not necessarily have to come from something.)

To put it to its most basic level, religion is the attempt to explain where we came from. When I look at religion, I see that explaination taken extremely further than we are entitled to take it. All the claims are dubious to some extent.

The point is, science does not prove there is no GOD. Anyone who using science to make the claim that GOD does not exist is just as bad as those who claim without a doubt that GOD DOES EXIST.

In the end, the only reasonable and logically assumption is to believe that there is a possibility that GOD exists and it is possible there is no GOD Anything else would be a practice in empty assumptions.


Almost exactly what I was thinking. Who knows, who cares? Except I dont believe in god, Im more agnostic in my views. Nobody knows.
 
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You, me, him, her, us; we all exist for one sole purpose: to chip in to the advancement of our race so eventually we may take god's (whoever that is)throne. and we'll do it, watch.
 
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Yes! That is EXACTLY what they are!

I have never heard such a strange interpretation of what "morals" are. I don't mean to offend you, just that your view doesn't make sense to me. You seem to believe that "morals" are universal, unwavering truths spoken by a god.

Yes, Romans believed that owning slaves was morally correct. Morals change with public opinion. Morals are not unchangeable, they are not (generally) universal, they are unique to societies, therefore, what is "moral" in one society can be "immoral" in another society. What is considered "moral" today, can be "immoral" tomorrow.

So you completely disagree with the commonly accepted definition of morality? I'm at work, so excuse me for referring to a published definition.

The Definition of Morality

The term “morality” can be used either

* descriptively to refer to a code of conduct put forward by a society or,
some other group, such as a religion, or

*accepted by an individual for her own behavior or
normatively to refer to a code of conduct that, given specified conditions, would be put forward by all rational persons.
I would say that this is a perfectly acceptable defenition of morals. However, I would also say that if this defenition is indeed true, then morals are worthless. If they are nothing more than a collection of what people assume is right or wrong, then I needn't pay any more attention to them then I would to someone who thinks that taking pictures of someone is immoral because is captures their soul.

This is a dangerous path to walk down, because logically it ends in a place where contemporary ideas of good and evil are irrelevant, replaced by the simple, Machievellian urge for power and money. Sure, atheism might have its idea of morals, but it isn't based on anything besides popular opinion, and is therefore inherently flawed on every level. Do you think this is the case, or do you assume that because a large enough group of people believe something is wrong, it really makes it wrong?
 

Evo

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I would say that this is a perfectly acceptable defenition of morals. However, I would also say that if this defenition is indeed true, then morals are worthless. If they are nothing more than a collection of what people assume is right or wrong, then I needn't pay any more attention to them then I would to someone who thinks that taking pictures of someone is immoral because is captures their soul.

This is a dangerous path to walk down, because logically it ends in a place where contemporary ideas of good and evil are irrelevant, replaced by the simple, Machievellian urge for power and money. Sure, atheism might have its idea of morals, but it isn't based on anything besides popular opinion, and is therefore inherently flawed on every level.

Do you think this is the case, or do you assume that because a large enough group of people believe something is wrong, it really makes it wrong?
This is how it is right now and it doesn't make morals worthless. You're really not making sense. :bugeye:
 

arildno

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One of the subtler fallacies of religion that unfortunately has infected a much larger part of the population than the religious segment, is the idea that if morality weren't inscribed on some sort of stone tablets of eternity, then morality itself falls apart.

There are no rational reasons to ascribe to such a view.
 
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This is how it is right now and it doesn't make morals worthless. You're really not making sense. :bugeye:
Vallidity isn't given to a statement just because lots of people agree with it. Sure, nearly everyone condemns murder as immoral, but if all morals are is their opinion, that doesn't make murder wrong, it just means people think it's wrong.

I don't know of a way to make my position clearer. As a scientist, I know that you would never accept something due to popular opinion. You want proof: logical, hard evidence that a theory is right or wrong. So why are you so willing to accept public opinions of morals? I can't understand this; it seems so contrary to a rational mind that I'm at a complete loss of what to say.

arildno said:
One of the subtler fallacies of religion that unfortunately has infected a much larger part of the population than the religious segment, is the idea that if morality weren't inscribed on some sort of stone tablets of eternity, then morality itself falls apart.

There are no rational reasons to ascribe to such a view.
All right, if you make that statement you have to be prepared to back it up. Why should morals be adhered to if they are nothing more than popular opinion? What gives them any worth? This is a question I have never seen satisfactorily answered.
 

arildno

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All right, if you make that statement you have to be prepared to back it up. Why should morals be adhered to if they are nothing more than popular opinion? What gives them any worth? This is a question I have never seen satisfactorily answered.
Because you have it the wrong way around. You are the one who should back up your claim why morality falls apart if it isn't written on some imaginary stone tablet.
 
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Because you have it the wrong way around. You are the one who should back up your claim why morality falls apart if it isn't written on some imaginary stone tablet.
Come on, let's not turn this into the childish game of "I asked first", "no I did!". I'll rise to you challenge, but I should first of all note that you can't make a claim and then put the burden of proof on your opponent. Both of us bear that burden of proof, and both need to accept it. Your opinion needs proof also, and dodging the question won't work.

If moral relativism is correct, we are stuck with a unique conundrum. On one hand, we have moral laws that make things right or wrong on a spiritual level, while on the other hand we have the fact that these laws can change at whim. Now, since not everyone is is concentrated in one place, we can safely assume that two different groups of people will have different morals. For each, their opinion makes the morals right and wrong, independent of each other. However, if these two come in contact, and they are identical in size, who is to say who is really right and wrong? All you have are two opinions of equal worth.
Now suppose I enter the groups, still trying to figure out whose morals are right. I, being the only person capable of casting a proverbial tie-breaking vote can sway public opinion however I like. For me then, both sets of morals are worthless, because I can pick and choose as I see fit.
This flaw is possible because opinions do not give ideas any true value. Just because a person believes in somethign does not make that something real. As I said before when responding to Evo,

Sure, nearly everyone condemns murder as immoral, but if all morals are is their opinion, that doesn't make murder wrong, it just means people think it's wrong.
God doesn't exist because of religion. He either is real or he isn't, regardless of what people think. The same is true of morals, and everything else.
Quite simply, it's logically duplicious to say something can be both right and wrong at the same time, and this is the place that moral relativism inevitably leads us. There is no final deciding factor of morals, and so we left in a turbulent society where numerous conflicting ideas of morallity clash with each other. If none of them have any real value besides the public opinion, what makes any of them worth anything?

That is my explanation for why moral relativism isn't a rational idea. Morals a religious idea, not a scientific or philosophical one, and that is a fact. Matter and motion have no morals, because morals are, as I said, religious concepts.

Now please, state your proof for your opinion. Please don't dodge my previous question, but give your rational reasons for why moral relativity can be a viable rational idea.
 
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One of the subtler fallacies of religion that unfortunately has infected a much larger part of the population than the religious segment, is the idea that if morality weren't inscribed on some sort of stone tablets of eternity, then morality itself falls apart.

There are no rational reasons to ascribe to such a view.
I agree. We could see morals like the parts of an engine. The engine is society and the morals are things like the fuel filter, oil filter, proper hoses and working spark plugs. When society changes to encompass different ethnicities, ideas and cultures the morals change with it.

If we look at the society as an engine that has been changed there will be parts that do not function anymore in the engine (society). For example, the carborator is rarely needed anymore in todays engines. Similarily, it is rare in today's western society to see people adhereing to the moral principal of covering as much as possible of one's body when swimming in public.

The morals that Victorian society promoted and adhered to were for the most part derived from the bible. The parables and morals from the bible were developed over long periods were societies endured hardships that required strict discipline with regard to community and survival. As survival became simpler the morals relaxed and modern morals began to take shape. These would be Ethicical morals and morals to do with Civil obedience and national and international laws. We could say that morals are the survival manual for a society. They are almost always concerned with maintaining the survival of the individual within a civil and well ordered community or society.
 
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arildno

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Don't worry, Dawguard, I won't dodge your question. I'll answer later.
 

verty

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They are almost always concerned with maintaining the survival of the individual within a civil and well ordered community or society.
Where does slavely fit into that picture?
 
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Where does slavely fit into that picture?
Slavery was the early form of an automated society. It was the advent of new, ethical morals that ditched slavery for a proletariat and consumer based industrial society.

Slavery was wide-spread for thousands of years and was probably considered an upstanding part of a moral society. But these societies sooner or later became dismantled either by constant war and reprisals between factions or by a change in the moral thinking of their community and leaders.

But I digress from the topic and question of this thread which is "why do we exist".

The best answer can only be "because we exist".

This is because there is going to be a different answer from everyone asked that question. Its not a "we" kind of question or answer unless you happen to be royalty.
 
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Evo

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Morals a religious idea, not a scientific or philosophical one, and that is a fact. Matter and motion have no morals, because morals are, as I said, religious concepts.
No, you are WRONG, it is not a fact. You are claiming your opinion as a fact, in spite of the fact that you've already been proven wrong. See post 21.

Since I posted the definition of morals that clearly shows that religion has nothing to do with morals, other than a certain religion may add their own personal additional rules. Now you need to provide valid documentation backing up your claims. So far you have not supported your claims.
 
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We exist because we belong to this Universe.
 
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No, you are WRONG, it is not a fact. You are claiming your opinion as a fact, in spite of the fact that you've already been proven wrong. See post 21.

Since I posted the definition of morals that clearly shows that religion has nothing to do with morals, other than a certain religion may add their own personal additional rules. Now you need to provide valid documentation backing up your claims. So far you have not supported your claims.
The very concept of right and wrong that are at the heart of morals are indeed inherently religious. For instance, murder is morally wrong, and according to your defenition it is because most people think it is wrong. However, that is not all there is to it, because people think murder is wrong for a reason. The question still remains, why, why do people think it is wrong? Ultimatly, that can only be answered by religion, because scientifically murder is simply an act, and there is no metaphysical nature of right and wrong, because in science there are no metaphysics: just matter and motion. Sure, your particular defenition makes religion look un-needed to have morals, but that is because that particular defenition fails to adress the entire topic of morals, and is therefore shallow in its answer. Please, think critically about this and do not throw out dictionary quotes as absolute, infalible proof for such a lengthy problem.
 

Evo

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Well, this thread has deteriorated into repeated nonsense, time to close it up.
 

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