On Feb 5, 4:37 pm, Stathis Papaioannou
> Tom Caylor writes:
> > On Jan 31, 10:33 am, Brent Meeker <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:> > OK. But in 
> > that case your question is just half of the question, "Why do people have 
> > values?" If you have values then that mean some things will be good and 
> > some will be bad - a weed is just a flower in a place you don't want it. 
> > You must already know the obvious answer to this given by Darwin. And it 
> > doesn't even take a person; even amoebas have values. I suspect you have a 
> > set answer in mind and you're looking for the question to elicit it.> >> > 
> > Brent Meeker> >> Also Stathis wrote:> > Sure, logic and science are silent 
> > on the question of the value of weeds or anything else. You need a person 
> > to come along and say "let x=good", and then you can reason logically given 
> > this. Evolutionary theory etc. may predict what x a person may deem to be 
> > good or beautiful, but this is not binding on an individual in the way laws 
> > governing the chemistry of respiration, for example, are binding. Unlike 
> > some scientific types, I am quite comfortable with ethics being in this 
> > sense outside the scope of science. Unlike some religious types, I am quite 
> > comfortable without looking for an ultimate source of ethics in the form of 
> > a deity. Even if this conclusion made me very unhappy, that might be reason 
> > to try self-deception, but it has no bearing on the truth.> >> > Stathis 
> > Papaioannou> >> > Brent and Stathis exemplify two possible answers to 
> > meaning. Brent> reduces meaning to something based on mere existence or 
> > survival. Thus> amoebas can have such meaning.> Stathis says that meaning 
> > is an unanswered (unanswerable?) mystery.> We just somehow self-generate 
> > meaning.> > My introduction of the "Meaning Of Life" thread asked if the> 
> > Everything perspective could provide any answers to this question.> Looking 
> > at the contributions since then, it looks like the answer is> apparently 
> > not. This is what I expected. Thus, meaning is either> limited to trivial 
> > (non-normative) values or is without basis (the> Noble Lie). If you really 
> > read the modern philosophers seriously this> is their conclusion. Of course 
> > there is a third possible answer to> this question: Meaning is based on a 
> > source outside of ourselves, by> "making connections with others based on 
> > such ideals as honour and> obligation" (a quote I read from Dr. Laura 
> > Schlesinger off of a> Starbucks coffee cup this morning!) Of course people 
> > can poo-poo such> ideals as simply "sentiments", debunking them on a 
> > surface level> (which is the only level there is without them), just as 
> > C.S. Lewis> pointed out in his lectures on "The Abolition of Man". And 
> > indeed,> without such ideals, man will be discretized into a trivial 
> > skeleton> of his true self.> > Tom
> You seem to keep arguing that it wouldn't be very nice if there were no 
> ultimate meaning. Is there any actual evidence that this alleged meaning 
> exists? For example, suppose a society believes that the Sky God provides 
> ultimate meaning and live their lives happily, whereas it could be shown that 
> they would all be miserable and kill each other if they believed it were not 
> true. On this basis there may be reason to think that belief in the Sky God 
> is useful, but is there any reason to think that belief in the Sky God is 
> true?
> Stathis Papaioannou
> _________________________________________________________________

I'm saying that there is no meaning at all if there is no ultimate
meaning.  Again, I haven't just pulled this out of thin air.  If you
really read the modern thinkers and writers, that is what they were
saying.  Hegel, Kierkegaard, Wittgenstein, Russell, Camus, Sartre,
Dostoyevsky, Orwell, Godel, Monod, Lewis, Schaeffer...  I hope that
people who are trying to be on the cutting edge of "theories of
everything" will go back and pick up from where these thinkers left
off.  Not just stand on the shoulders of the physics giants, but also
the philosophy (and spiritual!) giants.  I know that the modern
philosophy road is depressing and unlivable.  They bring us to the
edge of the cliff.  It was depressing for people like the young genius
Nick Drake who was found dead on his bed in his 20's after a drug
overdose, with Camus' Myth of Sysiphus beside him.  But we have to
face the reality of where the modern age has brought us in order to
find the answer before we all exterminate ourselves.  ...taking the
"leap of faith" that it is bad to exterminate ourselves.  In light of
modern thought, your argument about the sky god society begs the
question of meaning by assuming that they *shouldn't* "be miserable
and kill each other".  This is not a dilemma to pass over lightly.  I
believe it is at the heart of the matter for where mankind is at
today, on the brink of something great or terrible.  Or is it REALLY
all just meaningless?  (What would "REALLY" mean in that case? ;)
Isn't that what this Everything stuff is (ultimately ;) all about?  We
want to solve the modern schizo dilemma of nature vs. grace and bring
about wholeness.  I'm tired of hearing questions about scientifically
*proving* which god is the right one, as if the question is supposed
to show that it isn't worth it to pursue the answers to the *ultimate*
questions.  While we're busy trying to scientifically *prove* which
way to go, or show that you can't scientifically prove which way to go
(which has been done already cf above thinkers), we're gonna walk off
the edge of the cliff.  And, pardon my presumptuous risking the danger
of a false belief, but "that wouldn't be very nice."


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