On 2/20/07, Tom Caylor <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> > On 2/18/07, Tom Caylor <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> > > On Feb 16, 8:18 am, "Stathis Papaioannou" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> > > >
> > > > If you built a model society and set its citizens instincts, goals,
> > > > laws-from-heaven (but really from you) and so on, would that suffice
> > > > provide "meaning"?
> > > >
> > >
> > > It would not provide ultimate meaning for two reasons...
> > My answer would have been that the beings would have no way of knowing
> > difference between the provided meaning and "ultimate" meaning, and
> > live their lives just as we live our lives, some of them atheists and
> > theists. In other words, the idea of ultimate meaning can have no
> > or subjective consequences: you can honestly, deeply believe in it and
> > belief can change the way you live your life, but it would do so even if
> > had no basis in reality. A child might behave well in order to receive
> > presents from Santa Claus, but this has no bearing whatsoever on the
> > question of whether Santa Claus exists.
> > 1) Logical reason, but still important and inescapable: If the source
> > > of meaning was from within the "system", i.e. the observable/
> > > controllable universe, then we can always ask the why question when we
> > > find the source. This is not acceptable as part of a scientifically
> > > observable causal universe, as it contradicts it. A closed system
> > > which is supposedly totally explainable will always have at least one
> > > fixed point that is unexplainable. This is the old positivism
> > > problem. This is actually part of the problem with a straw-man
> > > caricature god, in our image, i.e. any thing that we (as part of the
> > > universe) can think up.
> > You can always draw a circle around the system + externals and call it a
> > new, larger system: the universe, the multiverse, the plenitude, God +
> > Plenitude, or whatever. Long before it was a problem for positivism it
> was a
> > problem for theism: Who made God? Who gives God meaning? Who tells God
> > whether his ethical principles are right or wrong?
> These are positivist questions. This is your basic error in this
> whole post (and previous ones). These questions are assuming that
> positivism is the right way of viewing everything, even ultimate
> meaning (at least when meaning is said to be based on God, but not
> when meaning is said to be based on ourselves).
Can you explain that a bit further? I can understand that personal meaning
is not necessarily connected to empirical facts. The ancient Greeks believed
in the gods of Olympus, built temples to them, wrote songs about them, and
so on. They provided meaning to the Greeks, and had an overall positive
effect on Greek society even though as a matter of fact there weren't any
gods living on Mount Olympus. Just as long as we are clear about that.
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