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Existence and Purpose

Chaosism
Posts: 2,667
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7/13/2015 11:43:13 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
I have two questions directed towards those of a more theistic stance:

Can purpose exist without external influences?

Can a thing or being exist without purpose?

As a hypothetical example, if a person exists alone on a island his entire life and never lays eyes on or affects another being, can this person's existence possess any purpose or meaning? Perhaps a theological parallel would be if Adam was created and existed alone on the Earth.
JMcKinley
Posts: 314
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7/13/2015 12:18:58 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Maybe we should clarify what is meant by purpose?

Is it the kind of purpose that a tool has? A use for which something is specifically designed and manufactured.

Or is it the more abstract kind of purpose? The kind that sentient beings determine for themselves based on their experience and values.
Chaosism
Posts: 2,667
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7/13/2015 12:28:10 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/13/2015 12:18:58 PM, JMcKinley wrote:
Maybe we should clarify what is meant by purpose?

Is it the kind of purpose that a tool has? A use for which something is specifically designed and manufactured.

Or is it the more abstract kind of purpose? The kind that sentient beings determine for themselves based on their experience and values.

Is there really a difference, fundamentally? I think the concept is just viewed with more complexity when applied to thinking beings.
Geogeer
Posts: 4,274
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7/13/2015 12:37:36 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/13/2015 11:43:13 AM, Chaosism wrote:
I have two questions directed towards those of a more theistic stance:

Can purpose exist without external influences?

By definition in the monotheistic system, God is an intrinsic influence. By what you define as "external", in general no.

Can a thing or being exist without purpose?

No. As we are all created, we are created with purpose.

As a hypothetical example, if a person exists alone on a island his entire life and never lays eyes on or affects another being, can this person's existence possess any purpose or meaning? Perhaps a theological parallel would be if Adam was created and existed alone on the Earth.

Each of us is created with the purpose of knowing and loving God. That we all live different lives with different circumstances does not deny that fundamental purpose. However, it would be impossible for someone to live on an island without knowing someone else - at least his/her parents until they reached an age where they could sustain themselves - or are we talking the possibility of Tarzan?
JMcKinley
Posts: 314
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7/13/2015 1:13:46 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/13/2015 12:28:10 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 7/13/2015 12:18:58 PM, JMcKinley wrote:
Maybe we should clarify what is meant by purpose?

Is it the kind of purpose that a tool has? A use for which something is specifically designed and manufactured.

Or is it the more abstract kind of purpose? The kind that sentient beings determine for themselves based on their experience and values.

Is there really a difference, fundamentally? I think the concept is just viewed with more complexity when applied to thinking beings.

I would say there is definitely a difference. The first is a predetermined purpose that the subject in question was created for. The subject has no control over what this purpose is. This kind of purpose presupposes a creator who designed the subject with a specific intent. For instance, if I make a stone arrowhead, that arrowhead has a purpose that was determined by me, its creator, before I created it. The arrowhead has no say in this, and despite its objections (if its capable of making them), its purpose will remain the same unless I change it.

The second is a purpose that is discovered or created by the subject in question. This kind of purpose is derived from the subject's own mind, based on its needs, desires, abilities and values. In this case the purpose is derived from the subject. In the previous case, the purpose was derived from the subject's creator.

I would say that the two are fundamentally different. One presupposes design of the subject and a creator's intent in that design. The other does not and is determined by the subject itself.
Nicoszon_the_Great
Posts: 167
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7/13/2015 1:15:27 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/13/2015 12:28:10 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 7/13/2015 12:18:58 PM, JMcKinley wrote:
Maybe we should clarify what is meant by purpose?

Is it the kind of purpose that a tool has? A use for which something is specifically designed and manufactured.

Or is it the more abstract kind of purpose? The kind that sentient beings determine for themselves based on their experience and values.

Is there really a difference, fundamentally? I think the concept is just viewed with more complexity when applied to thinking beings.

pur"pose
G2;pərpəs/Submit
noun
1.
the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.
"the purpose of the meeting is to appoint a trustee"
synonyms:motive, motivation, grounds, cause, occasion, reason, point, basis, justification More
verbformal
1.
have as one's intention or objective.
"God has allowed suffering, even purposed it"
synonyms:intend, mean, aim, plan, design, have the intention;
Fatihah
Posts: 7,742
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7/13/2015 1:34:57 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/13/2015 11:43:13 AM, Chaosism wrote:
I have two questions directed towards those of a more theistic stance:

Can purpose exist without external influences?

Can a thing or being exist without purpose?

As a hypothetical example, if a person exists alone on a island his entire life and never lays eyes on or affects another being, can this person's existence possess any purpose or meaning? Perhaps a theological parallel would be if Adam was created and existed alone on the Earth.

Response: Your hypothetical question is not realistic, so I do not know how you expect any follow up question to be answered. In other words, my answer to your question is "yes", there is a purpose because the person was created. Yet if your next question is "what is the purpose"?, I at least cannot answer because it never occured.
Chaosism
Posts: 2,667
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7/13/2015 1:49:02 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/13/2015 1:13:46 PM, JMcKinley wrote:
At 7/13/2015 12:28:10 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 7/13/2015 12:18:58 PM, JMcKinley wrote:
Maybe we should clarify what is meant by purpose?

Is it the kind of purpose that a tool has? A use for which something is specifically designed and manufactured.

Or is it the more abstract kind of purpose? The kind that sentient beings determine for themselves based on their experience and values.

Is there really a difference, fundamentally? I think the concept is just viewed with more complexity when applied to thinking beings.

I would say there is definitely a difference. The first is a predetermined purpose that the subject in question was created for. The subject has no control over what this purpose is. This kind of purpose presupposes a creator who designed the subject with a specific intent. For instance, if I make a stone arrowhead, that arrowhead has a purpose that was determined by me, its creator, before I created it. The arrowhead has no say in this, and despite its objections (if its capable of making them), its purpose will remain the same unless I change it.

The second is a purpose that is discovered or created by the subject in question. This kind of purpose is derived from the subject's own mind, based on its needs, desires, abilities and values. In this case the purpose is derived from the subject. In the previous case, the purpose was derived from the subject's creator.

I would say that the two are fundamentally different. One presupposes design of the subject and a creator's intent in that design. The other does not and is determined by the subject itself.

From an existential nihilistic perspective, I can see the difference in that a person can define and redefine one's purpose because it's subjective. If created with intent, however, then it implies that a person has a predetermined purpose which is intended by the creator, in the same sense as that of a hammer. If the creator is sufficiently competent or knowledgeable (a.k.a. omniscient), then this intended purpose will be carried out as planned, in which case, I really can't see the difference, because the person's thoughts and actions would be known and intended as a part of fulfilling that purpose. It's just more complex than the hammer due to the person's sentience. Imagine if a hammer was sentient. Its design still is intended to accomplish a specific task, but the hammer may perceive another purpose, such as dropping onto exposed toes. In this sense, it follows the same meaning of "purpose" that a person does.
Chaosism
Posts: 2,667
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7/13/2015 2:10:52 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/13/2015 12:37:36 PM, Geogeer wrote:
At 7/13/2015 11:43:13 AM, Chaosism wrote:
I have two questions directed towards those of a more theistic stance:

Can purpose exist without external influences?

By definition in the monotheistic system, God is an intrinsic influence. By what you define as "external", in general no.

Can a thing or being exist without purpose?

No. As we are all created, we are created with purpose.

I can't help but follow this thought through to God; how could an uncreated god that exists eternally in nothingness then have a purpose, as there exist no "external" influences?

As a hypothetical example, if a person exists alone on a island his entire life and never lays eyes on or affects another being, can this person's existence possess any purpose or meaning? Perhaps a theological parallel would be if Adam was created and existed alone on the Earth.

Each of us is created with the purpose of knowing and loving God. That we all live different lives with different circumstances does not deny that fundamental purpose. However, it would be impossible for someone to live on an island without knowing someone else - at least his/her parents until they reached an age where they could sustain themselves - or are we talking the possibility of Tarzan?

I know that island situation is not really possible, that's why I said it was a hypothetical; so I could make my point without lengthy explanations. That can be ignored, if the latter scenario with Adam makes my point.
Chaosism
Posts: 2,667
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7/13/2015 2:14:31 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/13/2015 1:34:57 PM, Fatihah wrote:
At 7/13/2015 11:43:13 AM, Chaosism wrote:
I have two questions directed towards those of a more theistic stance:

Can purpose exist without external influences?

Can a thing or being exist without purpose?

As a hypothetical example, if a person exists alone on a island his entire life and never lays eyes on or affects another being, can this person's existence possess any purpose or meaning? Perhaps a theological parallel would be if Adam was created and existed alone on the Earth.

Response: Your hypothetical question is not realistic, so I do not know how you expect any follow up question to be answered. In other words, my answer to your question is "yes", there is a purpose because the person was created. Yet if your next question is "what is the purpose"?, I at least cannot answer because it never occured.

The hypothetical is not realistic, but I was just trying to illustrate the basis of my questions with it. I wasn't going to follow it with that question.
JMcKinley
Posts: 314
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7/13/2015 2:47:51 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/13/2015 1:49:02 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 7/13/2015 1:13:46 PM, JMcKinley wrote:
At 7/13/2015 12:28:10 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 7/13/2015 12:18:58 PM, JMcKinley wrote:
Maybe we should clarify what is meant by purpose?

Is it the kind of purpose that a tool has? A use for which something is specifically designed and manufactured.

Or is it the more abstract kind of purpose? The kind that sentient beings determine for themselves based on their experience and values.

Is there really a difference, fundamentally? I think the concept is just viewed with more complexity when applied to thinking beings.

I would say there is definitely a difference. The first is a predetermined purpose that the subject in question was created for. The subject has no control over what this purpose is. This kind of purpose presupposes a creator who designed the subject with a specific intent. For instance, if I make a stone arrowhead, that arrowhead has a purpose that was determined by me, its creator, before I created it. The arrowhead has no say in this, and despite its objections (if its capable of making them), its purpose will remain the same unless I change it.

The second is a purpose that is discovered or created by the subject in question. This kind of purpose is derived from the subject's own mind, based on its needs, desires, abilities and values. In this case the purpose is derived from the subject. In the previous case, the purpose was derived from the subject's creator.

I would say that the two are fundamentally different. One presupposes design of the subject and a creator's intent in that design. The other does not and is determined by the subject itself.

From an existential nihilistic perspective, I can see the difference in that a person can define and redefine one's purpose because it's subjective. If created with intent, however, then it implies that a person has a predetermined purpose which is intended by the creator, in the same sense as that of a hammer. If the creator is sufficiently competent or knowledgeable (a.k.a. omniscient), then this intended purpose will be carried out as planned, in which case, I really can't see the difference, because the person's thoughts and actions would be known and intended as a part of fulfilling that purpose. It's just more complex than the hammer due to the person's sentience. Imagine if a hammer was sentient. Its design still is intended to accomplish a specific task, but the hammer may perceive another purpose, such as dropping onto exposed toes. In this sense, it follows the same meaning of "purpose" that a person does.

Both types exist in your example, and they are both distinct. There is the creator's purpose, and then the purpose perceived by the subject.

In the case of an omnipotent creator I would agree that there is a convergence of the two, since an omnipotent creator would have foreseen the subject's entire existence and in so doing would have designed the subject specifically for that existence. So the individual purpose or purposes of the subject would be wrapped up in the purpose intended by the omnipotent creator rendering them one and the same. Is that what you are getting at?

But given that the two are distinct in all instances but the one where there is a creator that it is omnipotent, I think its still important to distinguish between them. So often these threads go on for pages and pages and sometimes its because the people involved aren't really talking about the same thing, even though they are using the same words.
Geogeer
Posts: 4,274
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7/13/2015 2:57:18 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/13/2015 2:10:52 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 7/13/2015 12:37:36 PM, Geogeer wrote:
At 7/13/2015 11:43:13 AM, Chaosism wrote:
I have two questions directed towards those of a more theistic stance:

Can purpose exist without external influences?

By definition in the monotheistic system, God is an intrinsic influence. By what you define as "external", in general no.

Can a thing or being exist without purpose?

No. As we are all created, we are created with purpose.

I can't help but follow this thought through to God; how could an uncreated god that exists eternally in nothingness then have a purpose, as there exist no "external" influences?

God does not exist in nothing. God is pure existence itself. We have purpose because we are created beings. God being uncreated does not have purpose in the way we do. He does however have a nature or character. We are told He is truth and Love.

As a hypothetical example, if a person exists alone on a island his entire life and never lays eyes on or affects another being, can this person's existence possess any purpose or meaning? Perhaps a theological parallel would be if Adam was created and existed alone on the Earth.

Each of us is created with the purpose of knowing and loving God. That we all live different lives with different circumstances does not deny that fundamental purpose. However, it would be impossible for someone to live on an island without knowing someone else - at least his/her parents until they reached an age where they could sustain themselves - or are we talking the possibility of Tarzan?

I know that island situation is not really possible, that's why I said it was a hypothetical; so I could make my point without lengthy explanations. That can be ignored, if the latter scenario with Adam makes my point.
Draconius
Posts: 90
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7/13/2015 2:58:20 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/13/2015 11:43:13 AM, Chaosism wrote:
I have two questions directed towards those of a more theistic stance:

Can purpose exist without external influences?

Can a thing or being exist without purpose?

As a hypothetical example, if a person exists alone on a island his entire life and never lays eyes on or affects another being, can this person's existence possess any purpose or meaning? Perhaps a theological parallel would be if Adam was created and existed alone on the Earth.

I believe I can see what you're aiming at discovering, but I would have to ask for a little qualification, here:

First, WHOSE purpose? a "god's" purpose? One's OWN purpose? Or simply an INTENDED purpose? Given that you directed this at theists (I am agnostic), I am usurping here, a little (I hope you don't mind too terribly). However, a theist's "purpose" would most likely be their "god's" purpose. To your first question, I would think that it would be pretty obvious: Purpose presupposes personage. Existence (cognizant) is a prerequisite to purpose, as inanimate objects are inanimate...
I have no problem with the existence of a "god." It is the behavior of his fan clubs that frightens me to no end...
Chaosism
Posts: 2,667
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7/13/2015 3:14:08 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/13/2015 2:47:51 PM, JMcKinley wrote:
At 7/13/2015 1:49:02 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 7/13/2015 1:13:46 PM, JMcKinley wrote:
At 7/13/2015 12:28:10 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 7/13/2015 12:18:58 PM, JMcKinley wrote:
Maybe we should clarify what is meant by purpose?

Is it the kind of purpose that a tool has? A use for which something is specifically designed and manufactured.

Or is it the more abstract kind of purpose? The kind that sentient beings determine for themselves based on their experience and values.

Is there really a difference, fundamentally? I think the concept is just viewed with more complexity when applied to thinking beings.

I would say there is definitely a difference. The first is a predetermined purpose that the subject in question was created for. The subject has no control over what this purpose is. This kind of purpose presupposes a creator who designed the subject with a specific intent. For instance, if I make a stone arrowhead, that arrowhead has a purpose that was determined by me, its creator, before I created it. The arrowhead has no say in this, and despite its objections (if its capable of making them), its purpose will remain the same unless I change it.

The second is a purpose that is discovered or created by the subject in question. This kind of purpose is derived from the subject's own mind, based on its needs, desires, abilities and values. In this case the purpose is derived from the subject. In the previous case, the purpose was derived from the subject's creator.

I would say that the two are fundamentally different. One presupposes design of the subject and a creator's intent in that design. The other does not and is determined by the subject itself.

From an existential nihilistic perspective, I can see the difference in that a person can define and redefine one's purpose because it's subjective. If created with intent, however, then it implies that a person has a predetermined purpose which is intended by the creator, in the same sense as that of a hammer. If the creator is sufficiently competent or knowledgeable (a.k.a. omniscient), then this intended purpose will be carried out as planned, in which case, I really can't see the difference, because the person's thoughts and actions would be known and intended as a part of fulfilling that purpose. It's just more complex than the hammer due to the person's sentience. Imagine if a hammer was sentient. Its design still is intended to accomplish a specific task, but the hammer may perceive another purpose, such as dropping onto exposed toes. In this sense, it follows the same meaning of "purpose" that a person does.

Both types exist in your example, and they are both distinct. There is the creator's purpose, and then the purpose perceived by the subject.

In the case of an omnipotent creator I would agree that there is a convergence of the two, since an omnipotent creator would have foreseen the subject's entire existence and in so doing would have designed the subject specifically for that existence. So the individual purpose or purposes of the subject would be wrapped up in the purpose intended by the omnipotent creator rendering them one and the same. Is that what you are getting at?

Basically, yes. The more I think about it, the less of a difference I see, even without an omniscient/omnipotent God. Purpose relates to desire/drive and accomplishment. For instance, my personally perceived purpose is to better the lives of those around me, so much like a "tool" ;P, I can say that I am created for this purpose, much like the hammer was created to drive nails.

But given that the two are distinct in all instances but the one where there is a creator that it is omnipotent, I think its still important to distinguish between them. So often these threads go on for pages and pages and sometimes its because the people involved aren't really talking about the same thing, even though they are using the same words.

From what I've seen, I know what you mean about definitions. I'd say assume the "deeper", personal meaning. I suppose using the former degrades us a bit, as then we're compared to inanimate objects.
Chaosism
Posts: 2,667
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7/13/2015 3:26:41 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/13/2015 2:57:18 PM, Geogeer wrote:
At 7/13/2015 2:10:52 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 7/13/2015 12:37:36 PM, Geogeer wrote:
At 7/13/2015 11:43:13 AM, Chaosism wrote:
I have two questions directed towards those of a more theistic stance:

Can purpose exist without external influences?

By definition in the monotheistic system, God is an intrinsic influence. By what you define as "external", in general no.

Can a thing or being exist without purpose?

No. As we are all created, we are created with purpose.

I can't help but follow this thought through to God; how could an uncreated god that exists eternally in nothingness then have a purpose, as there exist no "external" influences?

God does not exist in nothing. God is pure existence itself. We have purpose because we are created beings. God being uncreated does not have purpose in the way we do. He does however have a nature or character. We are told He is truth and Love.

Is existence different from the universe, time, and space?

I have trouble seeing as how a person could have meaningful purpose if the creator has no purpose. An analogy would be if a watchmaker's works will never be seen by anyone but him. He could create the watches for the purpose of telling time, but their fate will be to simply exist in the watchmaker's shop for the duration of their existence. However well or poorly they accomplish their time-keeping purpose is up to the watchmaker, and they will be kept or discarded, respectively. But what does it actually matter if there is no purpose beyond that?

As a hypothetical example, if a person exists alone on a island his entire life and never lays eyes on or affects another being, can this person's existence possess any purpose or meaning? Perhaps a theological parallel would be if Adam was created and existed alone on the Earth.

Each of us is created with the purpose of knowing and loving God. That we all live different lives with different circumstances does not deny that fundamental purpose. However, it would be impossible for someone to live on an island without knowing someone else - at least his/her parents until they reached an age where they could sustain themselves - or are we talking the possibility of Tarzan?

I know that island situation is not really possible, that's why I said it was a hypothetical; so I could make my point without lengthy explanations. That can be ignored, if the latter scenario with Adam makes my point.
Chaosism
Posts: 2,667
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7/13/2015 3:31:50 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/13/2015 2:58:20 PM, Draconius wrote:
At 7/13/2015 11:43:13 AM, Chaosism wrote:
I have two questions directed towards those of a more theistic stance:

Can purpose exist without external influences?

Can a thing or being exist without purpose?

As a hypothetical example, if a person exists alone on a island his entire life and never lays eyes on or affects another being, can this person's existence possess any purpose or meaning? Perhaps a theological parallel would be if Adam was created and existed alone on the Earth.

I believe I can see what you're aiming at discovering, but I would have to ask for a little qualification, here:

First, WHOSE purpose? a "god's" purpose? One's OWN purpose? Or simply an INTENDED purpose? Given that you directed this at theists (I am agnostic), I am usurping here, a little (I hope you don't mind too terribly). However, a theist's "purpose" would most likely be their "god's" purpose. To your first question, I would think that it would be pretty obvious: Purpose presupposes personage. Existence (cognizant) is a prerequisite to purpose, as inanimate objects are inanimate...

Any contributions are appreciated. I ascended it to the questions of God's purpose, as well, as I feel that the purpose of the created would have to reflect that of the creator. For instance, the one who created the hammer would have to have a purpose for creating the hammer.
Geogeer
Posts: 4,274
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7/13/2015 4:05:03 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/13/2015 3:26:41 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 7/13/2015 2:57:18 PM, Geogeer wrote:
At 7/13/2015 2:10:52 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 7/13/2015 12:37:36 PM, Geogeer wrote:
At 7/13/2015 11:43:13 AM, Chaosism wrote:
I have two questions directed towards those of a more theistic stance:

Can purpose exist without external influences?

By definition in the monotheistic system, God is an intrinsic influence. By what you define as "external", in general no.

Can a thing or being exist without purpose?

No. As we are all created, we are created with purpose.

I can't help but follow this thought through to God; how could an uncreated god that exists eternally in nothingness then have a purpose, as there exist no "external" influences?

God does not exist in nothing. God is pure existence itself. We have purpose because we are created beings. God being uncreated does not have purpose in the way we do. He does however have a nature or character. We are told He is truth and Love.

Is existence different from the universe, time, and space?

Yes. However, we have only experienced this existence thus far.

I have trouble seeing as how a person could have meaningful purpose if the creator has no purpose. An analogy would be if a watchmaker's works will never be seen by anyone but him. He could create the watches for the purpose of telling time, but their fate will be to simply exist in the watchmaker's shop for the duration of their existence. However well or poorly they accomplish their time-keeping purpose is up to the watchmaker, and they will be kept or discarded, respectively. But what does it actually matter if there is no purpose beyond that?

The creator is perfection and is internally satisfied. You are invited to share in this perfect internally satisfied relationship - desiring nothing else. Here on earth we can never be satisfied because our purpose can never be completed. We always desire more because our purpose has not been completed.
Draconius
Posts: 90
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7/14/2015 10:55:14 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/13/2015 3:31:50 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 7/13/2015 2:58:20 PM, Draconius wrote:
At 7/13/2015 11:43:13 AM, Chaosism wrote:
I have two questions directed towards those of a more theistic stance:

Can purpose exist without external influences?

Can a thing or being exist without purpose?

As a hypothetical example, if a person exists alone on a island his entire life and never lays eyes on or affects another being, can this person's existence possess any purpose or meaning? Perhaps a theological parallel would be if Adam was created and existed alone on the Earth.

I believe I can see what you're aiming at discovering, but I would have to ask for a little qualification, here:

First, WHOSE purpose? a "god's" purpose? One's OWN purpose? Or simply an INTENDED purpose? Given that you directed this at theists (I am agnostic), I am usurping here, a little (I hope you don't mind too terribly). However, a theist's "purpose" would most likely be their "god's" purpose. To your first question, I would think that it would be pretty obvious: Purpose presupposes personage. Existence (cognizant) is a prerequisite to purpose, as inanimate objects are inanimate...

Any contributions are appreciated. I ascended it to the questions of God's purpose, as well, as I feel that the purpose of the created would have to reflect that of the creator. For instance, the one who created the hammer would have to have a purpose for creating the hammer.

I would tend to agree with you analysis. Unfortunately, there's not going to be much of a debate, given that you and I are both non-believers (if I read you, correctly). Purpose, however, is very different between one for an inanimate object and a cognizant being. That opens up worlds of possibilities that could be discussed for ages, if only there were some way to KNOW that there exists an all-powerful entity, and KNOW what that entity's intended purpose was, for each and every one of the seven+ billion humans on this planet...
I have no problem with the existence of a "god." It is the behavior of his fan clubs that frightens me to no end...
UniversalTheologian
Posts: 1,078
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7/14/2015 11:02:55 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/13/2015 11:43:13 AM, Chaosism wrote:
I have two questions directed towards those of a more theistic stance:

Can purpose exist without external influences?

Can a thing or being exist without purpose?

As a hypothetical example, if a person exists alone on a island his entire life and never lays eyes on or affects another being, can this person's existence possess any purpose or meaning? Perhaps a theological parallel would be if Adam was created and existed alone on the Earth.

Purpose is something that human beings worry about.

I will say this though, God can be witnessed even to someone who has never had contact with anyone else in their life.

When you find God, you realize that everything else is vanity.
"There are trivial truths and the great truths. The opposite of a trivial truth is plainly false. The opposite of a great truth is also true." ~ Niels Bohr

"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." ~ Arthur Schopenhauer
Chaosism
Posts: 2,667
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7/14/2015 11:10:05 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/13/2015 4:05:03 PM, Geogeer wrote:
At 7/13/2015 3:26:41 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 7/13/2015 2:57:18 PM, Geogeer wrote:
At 7/13/2015 2:10:52 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 7/13/2015 12:37:36 PM, Geogeer wrote:
At 7/13/2015 11:43:13 AM, Chaosism wrote:
I have two questions directed towards those of a more theistic stance:

Can purpose exist without external influences?

By definition in the monotheistic system, God is an intrinsic influence. By what you define as "external", in general no.

Can a thing or being exist without purpose?

No. As we are all created, we are created with purpose.

I can't help but follow this thought through to God; how could an uncreated god that exists eternally in nothingness then have a purpose, as there exist no "external" influences?

God does not exist in nothing. God is pure existence itself. We have purpose because we are created beings. God being uncreated does not have purpose in the way we do. He does however have a nature or character. We are told He is truth and Love.

Is existence different from the universe, time, and space?

Yes. However, we have only experienced this existence thus far.

I have trouble seeing as how a person could have meaningful purpose if the creator has no purpose. An analogy would be if a watchmaker's works will never be seen by anyone but him. He could create the watches for the purpose of telling time, but their fate will be to simply exist in the watchmaker's shop for the duration of their existence. However well or poorly they accomplish their time-keeping purpose is up to the watchmaker, and they will be kept or discarded, respectively. But what does it actually matter if there is no purpose beyond that?

The creator is perfection and is internally satisfied. You are invited to share in this perfect internally satisfied relationship - desiring nothing else. Here on earth we can never be satisfied because our purpose can never be completed. We always desire more because our purpose has not been completed.

If the creator has no desire, then why is there action? If the creator is satisfied, why create anything more?

If the creator is perfect, then why enact change in the first place? A change indicates a transition to another state of being, which would be mean that one or the other state is imperfect. For instance, would existence be better if one more good soul is created? If so, then existence is not perfect now, because it could be better.
Chaosism
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7/14/2015 11:16:39 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/14/2015 10:55:14 AM, Draconius wrote:
At 7/13/2015 3:31:50 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 7/13/2015 2:58:20 PM, Draconius wrote:
At 7/13/2015 11:43:13 AM, Chaosism wrote:
I have two questions directed towards those of a more theistic stance:

Can purpose exist without external influences?

Can a thing or being exist without purpose?

As a hypothetical example, if a person exists alone on a island his entire life and never lays eyes on or affects another being, can this person's existence possess any purpose or meaning? Perhaps a theological parallel would be if Adam was created and existed alone on the Earth.

I believe I can see what you're aiming at discovering, but I would have to ask for a little qualification, here:

First, WHOSE purpose? a "god's" purpose? One's OWN purpose? Or simply an INTENDED purpose? Given that you directed this at theists (I am agnostic), I am usurping here, a little (I hope you don't mind too terribly). However, a theist's "purpose" would most likely be their "god's" purpose. To your first question, I would think that it would be pretty obvious: Purpose presupposes personage. Existence (cognizant) is a prerequisite to purpose, as inanimate objects are inanimate...

Any contributions are appreciated. I ascended it to the questions of God's purpose, as well, as I feel that the purpose of the created would have to reflect that of the creator. For instance, the one who created the hammer would have to have a purpose for creating the hammer.

I would tend to agree with you analysis. Unfortunately, there's not going to be much of a debate, given that you and I are both non-believers (if I read you, correctly). Purpose, however, is very different between one for an inanimate object and a cognizant being. That opens up worlds of possibilities that could be discussed for ages, if only there were some way to KNOW that there exists an all-powerful entity, and KNOW what that entity's intended purpose was, for each and every one of the seven+ billion humans on this planet...

We are pretty much on the same page; human psychology is the current explanation for the existence of religion that I am residing on.

Even if I was a theist, I would still find purposelessness. If we are created for the sole reason of being a part of a supreme being's plan to fulfill its own desires and nothing more, than what's the point? Finding any significance to oneself in such a plan is somewhat delusional, I feel.
Chaosism
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7/14/2015 11:25:26 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/14/2015 11:02:55 AM, UniversalTheologian wrote:
At 7/13/2015 11:43:13 AM, Chaosism wrote:
I have two questions directed towards those of a more theistic stance:

Can purpose exist without external influences?

Can a thing or being exist without purpose?

As a hypothetical example, if a person exists alone on a island his entire life and never lays eyes on or affects another being, can this person's existence possess any purpose or meaning? Perhaps a theological parallel would be if Adam was created and existed alone on the Earth.

Purpose is something that human beings worry about.

Desire must be universal, then, right? Action requires desire. Happiness requires it. Satisfaction requires it, too.

I will say this though, God can be witnessed even to someone who has never had contact with anyone else in their life.

Consciously/knowingly?

When you find God, you realize that everything else is vanity.

May I ask you if you believe that belief in God (or Ultimate Truth, as you say) is required to be in His presence after death?
Draconius
Posts: 90
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7/14/2015 11:52:36 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/14/2015 11:16:39 AM, Chaosism wrote:
At 7/14/2015 10:55:14 AM, Draconius wrote:
At 7/13/2015 3:31:50 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 7/13/2015 2:58:20 PM, Draconius wrote:
At 7/13/2015 11:43:13 AM, Chaosism wrote:
I have two questions directed towards those of a more theistic stance:

Can purpose exist without external influences?

Can a thing or being exist without purpose?

As a hypothetical example, if a person exists alone on a island his entire life and never lays eyes on or affects another being, can this person's existence possess any purpose or meaning? Perhaps a theological parallel would be if Adam was created and existed alone on the Earth.

I believe I can see what you're aiming at discovering, but I would have to ask for a little qualification, here:

First, WHOSE purpose? a "god's" purpose? One's OWN purpose? Or simply an INTENDED purpose? Given that you directed this at theists (I am agnostic), I am usurping here, a little (I hope you don't mind too terribly). However, a theist's "purpose" would most likely be their "god's" purpose. To your first question, I would think that it would be pretty obvious: Purpose presupposes personage. Existence (cognizant) is a prerequisite to purpose, as inanimate objects are inanimate...

Any contributions are appreciated. I ascended it to the questions of God's purpose, as well, as I feel that the purpose of the created would have to reflect that of the creator. For instance, the one who created the hammer would have to have a purpose for creating the hammer.

I would tend to agree with you analysis. Unfortunately, there's not going to be much of a debate, given that you and I are both non-believers (if I read you, correctly). Purpose, however, is very different between one for an inanimate object and a cognizant being. That opens up worlds of possibilities that could be discussed for ages, if only there were some way to KNOW that there exists an all-powerful entity, and KNOW what that entity's intended purpose was, for each and every one of the seven+ billion humans on this planet...

We are pretty much on the same page; human psychology is the current explanation for the existence of religion that I am residing on.

Even if I was a theist, I would still find purposelessness. If we are created for the sole reason of being a part of a supreme being's plan to fulfill its own desires and nothing more, than what's the point? Finding any significance to oneself in such a plan is somewhat delusional, I feel.

Agreed. Furthermore, we haven't even touched on the fact that if this is the "creator's" plan, it seems to be a rather abysmal plan. The human suffering I see is a pretty cruel thing to plan for "one's creation" that the "creator" supposedly loves enough to sacrifice his own offspring...
I have no problem with the existence of a "god." It is the behavior of his fan clubs that frightens me to no end...
UniversalTheologian
Posts: 1,078
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7/14/2015 12:00:14 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/14/2015 11:25:26 AM, Chaosism wrote:
Desire must be universal, then, right? Action requires desire. Happiness requires it. Satisfaction requires it, too.

I'm sure you could make a good case for this.

I will say this though, God can be witnessed even to someone who has never had contact with anyone else in their life.

Consciously/knowingly?

It would probably happen a lot faster without distraction. I'd imagine it to be more intuitive than cognitive.

It's a mystery though, God reveals to whom God wills. It's by grace, not necessarily by effort.

When you find God, you realize that everything else is vanity.

May I ask you if you believe that belief in God (or Ultimate Truth, as you say) is required to be in His presence after death?

Time is a relativistic construct that doesn't really apply when you get to the incomparable. Truly, everyone is already in the presence of God. It's just a matter of realizing it. Eternal life is realized when the nature of self is understood.

You know what the difference between heaven and hell is? The ability to withstand the baptism of FIRE!

Sorry, bad joke.
"There are trivial truths and the great truths. The opposite of a trivial truth is plainly false. The opposite of a great truth is also true." ~ Niels Bohr

"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." ~ Arthur Schopenhauer
Chaosism
Posts: 2,667
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7/14/2015 12:27:16 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/14/2015 11:52:36 AM, Draconius wrote:
At 7/14/2015 11:16:39 AM, Chaosism wrote:
At 7/14/2015 10:55:14 AM, Draconius wrote:
At 7/13/2015 3:31:50 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 7/13/2015 2:58:20 PM, Draconius wrote:
At 7/13/2015 11:43:13 AM, Chaosism wrote:
I have two questions directed towards those of a more theistic stance:

Can purpose exist without external influences?

Can a thing or being exist without purpose?

As a hypothetical example, if a person exists alone on a island his entire life and never lays eyes on or affects another being, can this person's existence possess any purpose or meaning? Perhaps a theological parallel would be if Adam was created and existed alone on the Earth.

I believe I can see what you're aiming at discovering, but I would have to ask for a little qualification, here:

First, WHOSE purpose? a "god's" purpose? One's OWN purpose? Or simply an INTENDED purpose? Given that you directed this at theists (I am agnostic), I am usurping here, a little (I hope you don't mind too terribly). However, a theist's "purpose" would most likely be their "god's" purpose. To your first question, I would think that it would be pretty obvious: Purpose presupposes personage. Existence (cognizant) is a prerequisite to purpose, as inanimate objects are inanimate...

Any contributions are appreciated. I ascended it to the questions of God's purpose, as well, as I feel that the purpose of the created would have to reflect that of the creator. For instance, the one who created the hammer would have to have a purpose for creating the hammer.

I would tend to agree with you analysis. Unfortunately, there's not going to be much of a debate, given that you and I are both non-believers (if I read you, correctly). Purpose, however, is very different between one for an inanimate object and a cognizant being. That opens up worlds of possibilities that could be discussed for ages, if only there were some way to KNOW that there exists an all-powerful entity, and KNOW what that entity's intended purpose was, for each and every one of the seven+ billion humans on this planet...

We are pretty much on the same page; human psychology is the current explanation for the existence of religion that I am residing on.

Even if I was a theist, I would still find purposelessness. If we are created for the sole reason of being a part of a supreme being's plan to fulfill its own desires and nothing more, than what's the point? Finding any significance to oneself in such a plan is somewhat delusional, I feel.

Agreed. Furthermore, we haven't even touched on the fact that if this is the "creator's" plan, it seems to be a rather abysmal plan. The human suffering I see is a pretty cruel thing to plan for "one's creation" that the "creator" supposedly loves enough to sacrifice his own offspring...

That resembles the Problem from Evil. I do not believe that the PoE is sound; the suffering that is experienced/witnessed permits us to appreciate non-suffering, and without it, we would be ignorant of it.

As an example, I'll refer to Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva, or "Stone Man Syndrome". (https://en.wikipedia.org...)

Say two people exist in a room and one has FOP, so that person exists in the objective state of having that disease. The other person does not have FOP, so he exists in the objective state of not having FOP. Since this condition obviously leads to suffering, both people can appreciate not having FOP.

Now, say another person, who doesn't have FOP, is completely unaware of it. This person exists in the objective state of not having FOP, but since he is unaware of the alternative, he cannot appreciate his state of existence. Alternatively, if a person has FOP and doesn't know anyone that doesn't, or doesn't know it's possible to be without it, then he will not view his state of existence as suffering due to the lack of comparison.

The reason that I used such an outlandish disease for this example was to demonstrate that (given you weren't aware of it) you could not appreciate not having it until you were aware of it's existence.

*If* a soul exists, then I don't see how a God would strongly favor one's temporal state. Also, given the above, in order for one to appreciate a perfect place like Heaven, a person would have to have something imperfect to compare it to in order to appreciate it. This is just a brief rundown of my thoughts, though.
Geogeer
Posts: 4,274
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7/14/2015 12:45:25 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/14/2015 11:10:05 AM, Chaosism wrote:
At 7/13/2015 4:05:03 PM, Geogeer wrote:
At 7/13/2015 3:26:41 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 7/13/2015 2:57:18 PM, Geogeer wrote:
At 7/13/2015 2:10:52 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 7/13/2015 12:37:36 PM, Geogeer wrote:
At 7/13/2015 11:43:13 AM, Chaosism wrote:
I have two questions directed towards those of a more theistic stance:

Can purpose exist without external influences?

By definition in the monotheistic system, God is an intrinsic influence. By what you define as "external", in general no.

Can a thing or being exist without purpose?

No. As we are all created, we are created with purpose.

I can't help but follow this thought through to God; how could an uncreated god that exists eternally in nothingness then have a purpose, as there exist no "external" influences?

God does not exist in nothing. God is pure existence itself. We have purpose because we are created beings. God being uncreated does not have purpose in the way we do. He does however have a nature or character. We are told He is truth and Love.

Is existence different from the universe, time, and space?

Yes. However, we have only experienced this existence thus far.

I have trouble seeing as how a person could have meaningful purpose if the creator has no purpose. An analogy would be if a watchmaker's works will never be seen by anyone but him. He could create the watches for the purpose of telling time, but their fate will be to simply exist in the watchmaker's shop for the duration of their existence. However well or poorly they accomplish their time-keeping purpose is up to the watchmaker, and they will be kept or discarded, respectively. But what does it actually matter if there is no purpose beyond that?

The creator is perfection and is internally satisfied. You are invited to share in this perfect internally satisfied relationship - desiring nothing else. Here on earth we can never be satisfied because our purpose can never be completed. We always desire more because our purpose has not been completed.

If the creator has no desire, then why is there action? If the creator is satisfied, why create anything more?

If the creator is perfect, then why enact change in the first place? A change indicates a transition to another state of being, which would be mean that one or the other state is imperfect. For instance, would existence be better if one more good soul is created? If so, then existence is not perfect now, because it could be better.

Because He chose to. It in no way makes God any more or less complete.

That is the question no philosopher knows. This is the true mystery.
Chaosism
Posts: 2,667
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7/14/2015 1:59:05 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/14/2015 12:45:25 PM, Geogeer wrote:
At 7/14/2015 11:10:05 AM, Chaosism wrote:
At 7/13/2015 4:05:03 PM, Geogeer wrote:
At 7/13/2015 3:26:41 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 7/13/2015 2:57:18 PM, Geogeer wrote:
At 7/13/2015 2:10:52 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 7/13/2015 12:37:36 PM, Geogeer wrote:
At 7/13/2015 11:43:13 AM, Chaosism wrote:
I have two questions directed towards those of a more theistic stance:

Can purpose exist without external influences?

By definition in the monotheistic system, God is an intrinsic influence. By what you define as "external", in general no.

Can a thing or being exist without purpose?

No. As we are all created, we are created with purpose.

I can't help but follow this thought through to God; how could an uncreated god that exists eternally in nothingness then have a purpose, as there exist no "external" influences?

God does not exist in nothing. God is pure existence itself. We have purpose because we are created beings. God being uncreated does not have purpose in the way we do. He does however have a nature or character. We are told He is truth and Love.

Is existence different from the universe, time, and space?

Yes. However, we have only experienced this existence thus far.

I have trouble seeing as how a person could have meaningful purpose if the creator has no purpose. An analogy would be if a watchmaker's works will never be seen by anyone but him. He could create the watches for the purpose of telling time, but their fate will be to simply exist in the watchmaker's shop for the duration of their existence. However well or poorly they accomplish their time-keeping purpose is up to the watchmaker, and they will be kept or discarded, respectively. But what does it actually matter if there is no purpose beyond that?

The creator is perfection and is internally satisfied. You are invited to share in this perfect internally satisfied relationship - desiring nothing else. Here on earth we can never be satisfied because our purpose can never be completed. We always desire more because our purpose has not been completed.

If the creator has no desire, then why is there action? If the creator is satisfied, why create anything more?

If the creator is perfect, then why enact change in the first place? A change indicates a transition to another state of being, which would be mean that one or the other state is imperfect. For instance, would existence be better if one more good soul is created? If so, then existence is not perfect now, because it could be better.

Because He chose to. It in no way makes God any more or less complete.

The other issue I have is that "perfect" is subjective when applying to subjective qualities and as such, is meaningless in an objective sense. For the sake of simplicity, let's say that God is the perfect color. Since this pertains to an individual's judgment, God is only subjectively the perfect color to that individual, because he is not perfect to another who has a different favorite color. This same notion can be applied to favorable or unfavorable traits, as well. If not, then God must be perfect in all traits, but that leads to contradiction; perfectly evil vs. perfectly good.

In essence, what I am trying to argue is that referring to God as "perfect" is really just ambiguity and it means nothing at all.

That is the question no philosopher knows. This is the true mystery.

I shall maintain my conclusions for now, then. Thanks for catering to my inane questions!
Chaosism
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7/14/2015 2:12:15 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/14/2015 12:00:14 PM, UniversalTheologian wrote:
At 7/14/2015 11:25:26 AM, Chaosism wrote:
Desire must be universal, then, right? Action requires desire. Happiness requires it. Satisfaction requires it, too.

I'm sure you could make a good case for this.

I will say this though, God can be witnessed even to someone who has never had contact with anyone else in their life.

Consciously/knowingly?

It would probably happen a lot faster without distraction. I'd imagine it to be more intuitive than cognitive.

It's a mystery though, God reveals to whom God wills. It's by grace, not necessarily by effort.

This second statement goes along with my reasoning that if God exists, then I am an atheist by His will.

When you find God, you realize that everything else is vanity.

May I ask you if you believe that belief in God (or Ultimate Truth, as you say) is required to be in His presence after death?

Time is a relativistic construct that doesn't really apply when you get to the incomparable. Truly, everyone is already in the presence of God. It's just a matter of realizing it. Eternal life is realized when the nature of self is understood.

You know what the difference between heaven and hell is? The ability to withstand the baptism of FIRE!

Sorry, bad joke.

Everyone is always in the presence of God, except those in Hell (or those separate from God), which defies omnipresence I think. What I meant by that was to ascend to Heaven following one's mortal demise. Do you believe there is a separation in the afterlife; Heaven and Hell?
Geogeer
Posts: 4,274
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7/14/2015 2:13:42 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/14/2015 1:59:05 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 7/14/2015 12:45:25 PM, Geogeer wrote:
At 7/14/2015 11:10:05 AM, Chaosism wrote:
At 7/13/2015 4:05:03 PM, Geogeer wrote:
At 7/13/2015 3:26:41 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 7/13/2015 2:57:18 PM, Geogeer wrote:
At 7/13/2015 2:10:52 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 7/13/2015 12:37:36 PM, Geogeer wrote:
At 7/13/2015 11:43:13 AM, Chaosism wrote:
I have two questions directed towards those of a more theistic stance:

Can purpose exist without external influences?

By definition in the monotheistic system, God is an intrinsic influence. By what you define as "external", in general no.

Can a thing or being exist without purpose?

No. As we are all created, we are created with purpose.

I can't help but follow this thought through to God; how could an uncreated god that exists eternally in nothingness then have a purpose, as there exist no "external" influences?

God does not exist in nothing. God is pure existence itself. We have purpose because we are created beings. God being uncreated does not have purpose in the way we do. He does however have a nature or character. We are told He is truth and Love.

Is existence different from the universe, time, and space?

Yes. However, we have only experienced this existence thus far.

I have trouble seeing as how a person could have meaningful purpose if the creator has no purpose. An analogy would be if a watchmaker's works will never be seen by anyone but him. He could create the watches for the purpose of telling time, but their fate will be to simply exist in the watchmaker's shop for the duration of their existence. However well or poorly they accomplish their time-keeping purpose is up to the watchmaker, and they will be kept or discarded, respectively. But what does it actually matter if there is no purpose beyond that?

The creator is perfection and is internally satisfied. You are invited to share in this perfect internally satisfied relationship - desiring nothing else. Here on earth we can never be satisfied because our purpose can never be completed. We always desire more because our purpose has not been completed.

If the creator has no desire, then why is there action? If the creator is satisfied, why create anything more?

If the creator is perfect, then why enact change in the first place? A change indicates a transition to another state of being, which would be mean that one or the other state is imperfect. For instance, would existence be better if one more good soul is created? If so, then existence is not perfect now, because it could be better.

Because He chose to. It in no way makes God any more or less complete.

The other issue I have is that "perfect" is subjective when applying to subjective qualities and as such, is meaningless in an objective sense. For the sake of simplicity, let's say that God is the perfect color. Since this pertains to an individual's judgment, God is only subjectively the perfect color to that individual, because he is not perfect to another who has a different favorite color. This same notion can be applied to favorable or unfavorable traits, as well. If not, then God must be perfect in all traits, but that leads to contradiction; perfectly evil vs. perfectly good.

That assumes that evil is a thing. But good and evil are more akin to light and darkness. Darkness is merely the absence of light. Likewise evil is an action contrary to God's will. As God's will is perfect and unchanging what God desires is likewise perfect and unchanging. Thus Good and Evil are objectively true, and God cannot by definition commit evil.

In essence, what I am trying to argue is that referring to God as "perfect" is really just ambiguity and it means nothing at all.

I think you are understanding it wrong.

That is the question no philosopher knows. This is the true mystery.

I shall maintain my conclusions for now, then. Thanks for catering to my inane questions!

Always glad!
Chaosism
Posts: 2,667
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7/14/2015 2:34:06 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/14/2015 2:13:42 PM, Geogeer wrote:
At 7/14/2015 1:59:05 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 7/14/2015 12:45:25 PM, Geogeer wrote:
At 7/14/2015 11:10:05 AM, Chaosism wrote:
At 7/13/2015 4:05:03 PM, Geogeer wrote:
At 7/13/2015 3:26:41 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 7/13/2015 2:57:18 PM, Geogeer wrote:
At 7/13/2015 2:10:52 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 7/13/2015 12:37:36 PM, Geogeer wrote:
At 7/13/2015 11:43:13 AM, Chaosism wrote:
I have two questions directed towards those of a more theistic stance:

Can purpose exist without external influences?

By definition in the monotheistic system, God is an intrinsic influence. By what you define as "external", in general no.

Can a thing or being exist without purpose?

No. As we are all created, we are created with purpose.

I can't help but follow this thought through to God; how could an uncreated god that exists eternally in nothingness then have a purpose, as there exist no "external" influences?

God does not exist in nothing. God is pure existence itself. We have purpose because we are created beings. God being uncreated does not have purpose in the way we do. He does however have a nature or character. We are told He is truth and Love.

Is existence different from the universe, time, and space?

Yes. However, we have only experienced this existence thus far.

I have trouble seeing as how a person could have meaningful purpose if the creator has no purpose. An analogy would be if a watchmaker's works will never be seen by anyone but him. He could create the watches for the purpose of telling time, but their fate will be to simply exist in the watchmaker's shop for the duration of their existence. However well or poorly they accomplish their time-keeping purpose is up to the watchmaker, and they will be kept or discarded, respectively. But what does it actually matter if there is no purpose beyond that?

The creator is perfection and is internally satisfied. You are invited to share in this perfect internally satisfied relationship - desiring nothing else. Here on earth we can never be satisfied because our purpose can never be completed. We always desire more because our purpose has not been completed.

If the creator has no desire, then why is there action? If the creator is satisfied, why create anything more?

If the creator is perfect, then why enact change in the first place? A change indicates a transition to another state of being, which would be mean that one or the other state is imperfect. For instance, would existence be better if one more good soul is created? If so, then existence is not perfect now, because it could be better.

Because He chose to. It in no way makes God any more or less complete.

The other issue I have is that "perfect" is subjective when applying to subjective qualities and as such, is meaningless in an objective sense. For the sake of simplicity, let's say that God is the perfect color. Since this pertains to an individual's judgment, God is only subjectively the perfect color to that individual, because he is not perfect to another who has a different favorite color. This same notion can be applied to favorable or unfavorable traits, as well. If not, then God must be perfect in all traits, but that leads to contradiction; perfectly evil vs. perfectly good.

That assumes that evil is a thing. But good and evil are more akin to light and darkness. Darkness is merely the absence of light. Likewise evil is an action contrary to God's will. As God's will is perfect and unchanging what God desires is likewise perfect and unchanging. Thus Good and Evil are objectively true, and God cannot by definition commit evil.

I'll try another example: one person can view a perfect God as perfectly merciful (forgiving), while another views Him as perfectly just (giving due punishment). Since these two people's idea of perfect is opinionative, it is subjective. I do not believe that God can satisfy both traits, thus He is not perfect to at least one of them.

1) It is not perfectly merciful to forgive someone only after punishment.
2.) It is not perfectly just to punish someone who is already forgiven.

This creates a contradiction. If we are talking about perfection in this sense, then there can be no perfectly universal meaning, since how can we tell whose idea of perfect is being referenced.

Secondly, does God not commit evil, albeit indirectly, by creating that which does commit evil? If I created a robot that ended up going on a rampage, am I free of guilt?

In essence, what I am trying to argue is that referring to God as "perfect" is really just ambiguity and it means nothing at all.

I think you are understanding it wrong.

Possibly, hence my exposing it to criticism.

That is the question no philosopher knows. This is the true mystery.

I shall maintain my conclusions for now, then. Thanks for catering to my inane questions!

Always glad!