Is Reality Inherently Intentional or Externally Accidental?

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hue-man
 
Reply Thu 2 Apr, 2009 09:45 am
@Pythagorean,
Pythagorean wrote:
The tree is not "there" in the acorn either, but it is the intention of the acorn to become a tree. You see what I mean?




The question I have is: how do we account for the differences between the teleological interpretation and the interpretation of its opponents?

--


It is not the intent of the acorn to become a tree. The acorn does not say to itself "OK, I'm ready to become a tree now". It is the natural, unwilled function of the acorn to become a tree, and that function can be thwarted by other natural factors.

The teleological interpretation of ontology stems from people seeing the nature of reality and existence as being a mere matter of perspective instead of a truth that is independent of the mind. It seems to be related to the psychological mistake of fundamental attribution error, which is the human psychological tendency to see design or intent behind circumstances and situations. As intelligent social animals, we survive by detecting patterns and intentions in an environment dominated by our social situations. We seem to apply this same thinking to natural, objective situations and circumstances as well. That's why we have a history of anthropomorphizing nature.
 
xris
 
Reply Thu 2 Apr, 2009 11:03 am
@hue-man,
hue-man wrote:
The formula for life hasn't always existed. What about the time when the universe was a singularity? Also, I'm not so sure that all of the elements were created in the first micro-billionths of a second of the universe, but I'll look into that. Even if the formula for life did exist from the beginning of the expansion of the universe, it doesn't mean anything more than that.

As for your question as to why our planet and sun not being there matters, it matters because those are the more specific things that we need to exist in this universe. You can have all of the hydrogen, helium, oxygen, and H20 that you could imagine, but it doesn't matter if the Earth and the Sun don't exist. When we speak of ourselves specifically, we needed this particular galaxy, and this particular solar system to exist in order for us to exist. The fact that this particular solar system was caused by a past event is completely circumstantial and situational. In a different set of circumstances and situations, the event that caused our solar system could have never happened, and then all of those elements that were created at the beginning of the expansion would mean nothing to us because we wouldn't exist.
So when exactly did the formula for life not exist.If you making the brave statement that it did not exist before the BB then you are making a enormous step towards the term creation......If you get run down by a car ,do you think there was anything you could have done to stop it without knowing in advance? When a sequence of events come to a conclusion the first event is the crucial event and at that BB you, me where inevitable just as much as the any of the stars that shine..
 
Pythagorean
 
Reply Thu 2 Apr, 2009 11:16 am
@hue-man,
hue-man wrote:
It is not the intent of the acorn to become a tree. The acorn does not say to itself "OK, I'm ready to become a tree now". It is the natural, unwilled function of the acorn to become a tree, and that function can be thwarted by other natural factors.

The teleological interpretation of ontology stems from people seeing the nature of reality and existence as being a mere matter of perspective instead of a truth that is independent of the mind. It seems to be related to the psychological mistake of fundamental attribution error, which is the human psychological tendency to see design or intent behind circumstances and situations. As intelligent social animals, we survive by detecting patterns and intentions in an environment dominated by our social situations. We seem to apply this same thinking to natural, objective situations and circumstances as well. That's why we have a history of anthropomorphizing nature.



When I refer to teleology I am referring to Aristotle's concept of a final cause in nature. Aristotle's posits four causes to account for everything in existence (that is sensual or 'concrete' existences). The final cause is the teleological cause and it is not really a cause but rather the purpose of a thing. And it can be proved that everything has such a purpose, a point regarding the nature of its being, and a function that defines that 'concrete' thing in terms of its purpose.

Nothing to do with anthropomorphism and the like.

--
 
Phosphorous
 
Reply Thu 2 Apr, 2009 11:37 am
@Pythagorean,
Well, what exactly are we defining reality as? I don't know about others, but reality strikes me as that portion of experience which we have no control over. Setting aside the idea that reality is external for a moment, it seems to me that we experience things on two different levels.

From the time we were born we experienced things that were beyond our control, and then we discovered that by willing it to be so, certain experiences could be brought into consciousness just by willing it. For example, the opening and closing of the hand. Or the opening and closing of the eyes. If you wanted to experience just darkness, you could close your eyes(willing your eyes to close) and it would happen.

Seems to me then that the idea of an external reality depends on our idea of an intentional reality and vice versa. But both of these concepts arise from a biological distinction in the brain, and aren't inherently real. For proof, just consider the viewpoint of a video camera that is programmed to follow an object around the room. From the camera's viewpoint, it's impossible to determine whether the phenomena it is recording is intentionally manifested(following the object around) or accidentally external(programming).

In robotics and bioinformatics, it's been established that both external reality and intentional reality is identical in terms of motor code. It's the division in the robot and our's "brain" that enables us to tell the difference.

It seems to me that if you take one away, you lose all ability to grasp the other as well. The obvious answer then is a little bit of both: There is an external reality, and there is an intentional mind that attempts to work with that reality. But the essential description of both thing is precisely the same in terms of motor code.
 
hue-man
 
Reply Thu 2 Apr, 2009 04:41 pm
@xris,
xris wrote:
So when exactly did the formula for life not exist.If you making the brave statement that it did not exist before the BB then you are making a enormous step towards the term creation......If you get run down by a car ,do you think there was anything you could have done to stop it without knowing in advance? When a sequence of events come to a conclusion the first event is the crucial event and at that BB you, me where inevitable just as much as the any of the stars that shine..


xris, the formula for life did not exist in the universal singularity. Things are created or caused by circumstances and situations. There is nothing wrong with the term creation as it applies to nature as long as you're not anthropomorphizing the word.

Also, the birth of you and me was even less inevitable than the causing of our solar system. Our births were dependent on our mother and fathers not only meeting, but hooking up at the exact moment that they did. Considering all of the circumstances, the odds of that happening are very low.

You are mistaking determinism with fatalism, a mistake that is often made by people who misinterpret the meaning of determinism. The future was not inevitable because the future doesn't exist until it becomes the present, and the present is caused by events of the past, all of which could have happened differently in another possible set of circumstances. The future is not fatalistic, it's deterministic. It's easy to confuse the two, but while they do hold some common ground, they are not the same. Ontological determinism, in contrast to epistemic determinism, may really be of no consequence at all.

---------- Post added at 06:48 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:41 PM ----------

Pythagorean wrote:
When I refer to teleology I am referring to Aristotle's concept of a final cause in nature. Aristotle's posits four causes to account for everything in existence (that is sensual or 'concrete' existences). The final cause is the teleological cause and it is not really a cause but rather the purpose of a thing. And it can be proved that everything has such a purpose, a point regarding the nature of its being, and a function that defines that 'concrete' thing in terms of its purpose.

Nothing to do with anthropomorphism and the like.

--


If we go by Aristotle's teleology then our "natural purpose" is to eat, ****, sleep, breed and die. I call that our natural function, not our natural purpose, because I believe that the combination of the words natural and purpose implies intent and creates misconceptions. The only purposes are the axiological purposes that are posited by persons, and those purposes are mind-dependent.
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Thu 2 Apr, 2009 10:40 pm
@Pythagorean,
Quote:
Any attempt (including Platonism) to assign purpose, design or intent to the universe will ultimately fail.

Oh will it. Sorry to hear that, I guess I'll just have to go drown myself.:brickwall:
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Fri 3 Apr, 2009 03:22 am
@Pythagorean,
Quote:
reality strikes me as that portion of experience which we have no control over


There is a deep, deep cultural constructivism at work in this statement.

Try this idea out for size - takes a bit of imagination but might be worth a shot. Say you are a being from a planet that takes 5,000 earth years to complete an orbit of its sun. Your mass is about the size of a fairly large mountain, in earth terms. And you see things in a completely different part of the spectrum to humans. So what us humans perceive as real objects might be so transitory and minute to these beings that they would not even be conscious of them - which is not to say that they don't exist, however, for them, they are not real.

Say on the other extreme, you are a minute being that lives and dies in moments of our time. Of course, subjectively, it might seem a lifetime to a being of this kind. However relative to human perception it is momentary.

I am not saying such beings exists, but there is no logical reason they cannot. And for beings of these kinds, 'reality' is a completely different, even imperceptible and unimaginable, kind of phenomena to what we understand as 'reality'.

So the question - do us humans, the very large being, and the very tiny being, all have a 'different view of the same reality', or is it not the case that what all beings construe as reality is very much constituted by the particular kinds of sensory apparatus they have, their sense of time which is based again on the environment in which they have evolved, and so on.

In other words, they are separate realities. There is no 'given' or 'absolutely existent external reality' separate from our perception. Now this does not mean that you or I 'control' reality in a mechanical or manipulative sense, however, it does mean that the reality in which we live is in very important respects, constituted by us.

The idea that 'it really exists out there' is philosophical naturalism. However, many of the ancient schools of philosophy would aver that this perception is illusory. Being a modern person, one is inclined to take it for granted. Hence, a deep cultural construction.
 
xris
 
Reply Fri 3 Apr, 2009 03:58 am
@hue-man,
hue-man wrote:
xris, the formula for life did not exist in the universal singularity. Things are created or caused by circumstances and situations. There is nothing wrong with the term creation as it applies to nature as long as you're not anthropomorphizing the word.

Also, the birth of you and me was even less inevitable than the causing of our solar system. Our births were dependent on our mother and fathers not only meeting, but hooking up at the exact moment that they did. Considering all of the circumstances, the odds of that happening are very low.

You are mistaking determinism with fatalism, a mistake that is often made by people who misinterpret the meaning of determinism. The future was not inevitable because the future doesn't exist until it becomes the present, and the present is caused by events of the past, all of which could have happened differently in another possible set of circumstances. The future is not fatalistic, it's deterministic. It's easy to confuse the two, but while they do hold some common ground, they are not the same. Ontological determinism, in contrast to epistemic determinism, may really be of no consequence at all.

---------- Post added at 06:48 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:41 PM ----------



If we go by Aristotle's teleology then our "natural purpose" is to eat, ****, sleep, breed and die. I call that our natural function, not our natural purpose, because I believe that the combination of the words natural and purpose implies intent and creates misconceptions. The only purposes are the axiological purposes that are posited by person's, and those purposes are mind-dependent.
Hue when did any formula become a reality? When did the laws of science become valid when they where discovered or before we existed? Fatalism is the horror of the realisation of ones death is inevitable , determinism is when a cause will have an event.My birth means my death but my birth also means i will have grandchildren.I would really be interested to find out how you consider an event like the forming of a galaxy is any more feasible than the fly that crawls up your window.We cant change the past only observe the route it took to get to certain place in time,the bb determined all our futures it was as certain as the sun will stop shinning, smaller events are just as determined as the most amazing.
 
hue-man
 
Reply Fri 3 Apr, 2009 08:36 am
@xris,
xris wrote:
Hue when did any formula become a reality? When did the laws of science become valid when they where discovered or before we existed? Fatalism is the horror of the realisation of ones death is inevitable , determinism is when a cause will have an event.My birth means my death but my birth also means i will have grandchildren.I would really be interested to find out how you consider an event like the forming of a galaxy is any more feasible than the fly that crawls up your window.We cant change the past only observe the route it took to get to certain place in time,the bb determined all our futures it was as certain as the sun will stop shinning, smaller events are just as determined as the most amazing.


I assume that when you say the "laws of science" you mean the lawlike functions of physics, correct? If you mean the philosophy of science, then that's mind-dependent. If you're speaking of the laws of physics, then that's mind-independent.

I haven't come to a conclusion on whether or not a find ontological determinism to be meaningless or not, but when I do I'll be sure to post it. Of course we can't change the past, but we can change the outcome of the possible future that does not yet exist. The future is only a set of events that has not happened yet. The events of the past were only the happenings of a possible set of circumstances. The more I speak of ontological determinism and not merely causality, the more inconsequential and meaningless it seems. By meaningless I mean that all it says is what plain causality says, and that is that every event since the big bang is caused, but it means nothing more than that.
 
xris
 
Reply Fri 3 Apr, 2009 09:09 am
@hue-man,
hue-man wrote:
I assume that when you say the "laws of science" you mean the lawlike functions of physics, correct? If you mean the philosophy of science, then that's mind-dependent. If you're speaking of the laws of physics, then that's mind-independent.

I haven't come to a conclusion on whether or not a find ontological determinism to be meaningless or not, but when I do I'll be sure to post it. Of course we can't change the past, but we can change the outcome of the possible future that does not yet exist. The future is only a set of events that has not happened yet. The events of the past were only the happenings of a possible set of circumstances. The more I speak of ontological determinism and not merely causality, the more inconsequential and meaningless it seems. By meaningless I mean that all it says is what plain causality says, and that is that every event since the big bang is caused, but it means nothing more than that.
I think you are avoiding my question on the natural laws of the universe, if you mix two solvents there is a formula that will tell you what results.They are written for everything, they exist..when in your opinion did they come into existence?....You can change the future but whatever you do the future is secured by your actions, your actions where secured by previous actions, yours or something or someones.As the BB was the first event that caused all other events the outcome was described by that event.The only way you can change how the future was secured by other means is to say another force outside of this universe had an effect, just as the formula for life was written when the BB occurred.Fatalism is saying something for certain will happen determinism is saying its happened because.
 
hue-man
 
Reply Fri 3 Apr, 2009 09:50 am
@xris,
xris wrote:
I think you are avoiding my question on the natural laws of the universe, if you mix two solvents there is a formula that will tell you what results.They are written for everything, they exist..when in your opinion did they come into existence?....You can change the future but whatever you do the future is secured by your actions, your actions where secured by previous actions, yours or something or someones.As the BB was the first event that caused all other events the outcome was described by that event.The only way you can change how the future was secured by other means is to say another force outside of this universe had an effect, just as the formula for life was written when the BB occurred.Fatalism is saying something for certain will happen determinism is saying its happened because.


I understand the difference between fatalism and determinism, as I have stated it already. What I'm saying is that determinism means nothing more than that a current event is caused by a past event.

I thought that I answered your question on the "laws of science". By laws of science I'm sure that you meant laws of physics because there is no law of science, there is only the philosophy of science. Once again, the laws of physics do not fatalize the future. I see determinism as a statement of inference, where you seem to see it as a statement of inevitability. The future, from the perspective of a particular event, is the set of all possible or likely events that the particular event potentially influences.
 
xris
 
Reply Fri 3 Apr, 2009 12:04 pm
@hue-man,
hue-man wrote:
I understand the difference between fatalism and determinism, as I have stated it already. What I'm saying is that determinism means nothing more than that a current event is caused by a past event.

I thought that I answered your question on the "laws of science". By laws of science I'm sure that you meant laws of physics because there is no law of science, there is only the philosophy of science. Once again, the laws of physics do not fatalize the future. I see determinism as a statement of inference, where you seem to see it as a statement of inevitability. The future, from the perspective of a particular event, is the set of all possible or likely events that the particular event potentially influences.
Why are you finding it so very difficult to answer my question, its not complicated..science physics,,whatever, please, pretty please when did the formula for life become a possibility..
 
hue-man
 
Reply Fri 3 Apr, 2009 04:06 pm
@xris,
xris wrote:
Why are you finding it so very difficult to answer my question, its not complicated..science physics,,whatever, please, pretty please when did the formula for life become a possibility..


Oh that question. I did overlook that, sorry. I don't know. I don't think it matters when the elements needed for life came about. What matters is the existence of the circumstances that were necessary for those elements to produce life.
 
xris
 
Reply Sat 4 Apr, 2009 03:16 am
@hue-man,
hue-man wrote:
Oh that question. I did overlook that, sorry. I don't know. I don't think it matters when the elements needed for life came about. What matters is the existence of the circumstances that were necessary for those elements to produce life.
Sorry but it is a very important question.If the universe... EVERYTHING... started with the BB then the formula for life had to be created or come into existence at that very moment.It was built into the fabric of that moment, all it then requires for the circumstances to be valid for the formula to work.Now to me, i dont know about you, that looks very much like it was engineered.It all comes down to perspective, when i look at this amazing fact then others that also look like an engineering project, i cant help but think it is possible we have an intelligence unknown behind these facts.
 
hue-man
 
Reply Sat 4 Apr, 2009 09:17 am
@xris,
xris wrote:
Sorry but it is a very important question.If the universe... EVERYTHING... started with the BB then the formula for life had to be created or come into existence at that very moment.It was built into the fabric of that moment, all it then requires for the circumstances to be valid for the formula to work.Now to me, i dont know about you, that looks very much like it was engineered.It all comes down to perspective, when i look at this amazing fact then others that also look like an engineering project, i cant help but think it is possible we have an intelligence unknown behind these facts.


Well I'm glad that we are starting to reach a conclusion. I don't think that all of the elements were created in the first few billionths of a second (or whatever), but even if it did that doesn't mean anything more than that. Even if there is a formula for something laying in a lab somewhere, what is most important is the circumstances that are necessary to make that formula create something. Iron, hydrogen, helium, oxygen and all of the other elements floating through space means nothing to life without the circumstances that are needed for those elements to produce life.

Objective reality is not a matter of subjective perspective, as you seem to believe. I mean it may be a matter of perspective in your head, but in reality it's not. Your seeing purpose, intent and engineering behind the natural circumstances and situations of the universe is called intelligent design, which I don't take seriously at all. Your tendency to do this comes from a psychological habit known as fundamental attribution error. Your desire to see purpose and intent behind a universe that is not a person, that is not malevolent or benevolent, and doesn't having anything in mind (because it doesn't have a mind), is also appeasing to your natural psychology. It would probably be appeasing to my natural psychology as well, but I don't like to assign subjectivity to objective reality. I understand that you do and that's fine. If that is all we have to say then I think we can end this debate now.

Thanks for the conversation.

P.S. If you're interested in the science that deals with the origin of life and all of its components, look into abiogenesis.

Abiogenesis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
 

 
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