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 Eternal philosophical questions

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Date d'inscription : 13/05/2008

MessageSujet: Eternal philosophical questions   Sam 24 Déc 2011 - 0:56

The beauty of philosophy is that the answers to its question cannot be verified. That's way everyone must discuss about it, so the most chosen answer must be the "mutually accepted" one. Let's start with the 10 fundamental ones:

http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/Powell13.html

ONE
What is the nature of the universe? Where does it come from? Of what is it made? How did it come to exist? What is its purpose? By what process does it change? Is it evolving or devolving? Does it function by itself or would it degenerate to chaos without some kind of intelligent control?

TWO
Is there a Supreme Being? If so, what is His nature? Did He create the universe? Does He continue to control it personally and if so, at what level? What is his relationship with man? Does he intervene in the affairs of man? Is this Being good? If this Being is good and all-powerful, how can evil exist?

THREE
What is the place of man in the universe? Is man the highest fruit of the universe or is he just an insignificant speck in infinite space—or something in between? Does the spirit of man descend into matter from higher spiritual realms, or has it evolved from matter? Is the universe conscious or unconscious of man? If it is aware, is it warm and friendly to him, or cold and indifferent, or even hostile?

FOUR
What is reality? What is mind; what is thought? Is thought real? Which is superior: mind or matter? Has mind created matter or has matter evolved mind? Where do ideas come from? Does thought have any importance--does it make any difference in our lives--or is it just fantasy? What is Truth? Is there a universal Truth, true for all men forever, or is Truth relative or individual?

FIVE
What determines the fate of each individual? Is man a creator and mover of his life, or does he live at the effect of forces over which he has little control? Does free will exist or are our lives determined by outside factors—and if so, what are those factors? How does life work: is there a Supreme Force that intervenes in our lives? Or is everything pre-determined from the beginning of time? Or is life just random, full of coincidence and accident? Or is there some other control mechanism we do not perceive?

SIX
What is good and what is bad or evil? What is moral? What is ethical? Who decides good and bad, right and wrong; and by what standard? Is there an absolute standard of good and bad beyond one’s the personal opinions? Should good and bad be determined by custom, by rational law, or by the situation? What if the decisions of others (society, authorities, laws, etc) determining good and bad are contrary to one’s personal beliefs or freedoms? ¯should you obey others or follow your own conscience? Moreover, if as an answer to FIVE, we do not have free will but are ruled by outside factors, what difference does good and bad make? ¯we have no choice. If so, we have no responsibility for doing bad.

SEVEN
Why are things the way they are? How should things be ideally? What is the good life —for the individual and for the many (society)? What would a Utopian society, a heaven on earth, be like? Is it even possible to create a Utopia? If so, how? Would not a Utopia assure personal freedom? What, then, should you do with those who don’t cooperate and violate the Utopian system? If you control or punish them, is there no longer a Utopia?

EIGHT
What is the ideal relation between the individual and the state? Should the individual serve the state or the state serve the individual? What is the best form of government and what is the worst? When is a man justified in disobeying the dictates of the state? To what extent should the majority rule and thereby act against the freedom of the minorities? When is a man justified in rebelling against the established order and creating a new state? What are the relative merits of the different economic systems (capitalism, communism, etc.).

NINE
He who controls education controls the future. What is education? How should the young be educated—what is important and what not? Who should control education: the parents, the student, the society or the state? Should a student be taught to think for himself or to adopt the beliefs of the society? Should man be educated to be free and live for his own interests; or to subjugate his desires to serve others or the state? ¯see Question EIGHT.

TEN
What happens at death? Is death the end of everything or is there a soul in man that continues to exist beyond death? If so, is that soul immortal or does it too eventually cease to exist? If the soul does continue to exist after death, what is the nature of that existence? If there is an existence after death, is “good” rewarded and “bad” punished? If so, how do you reconcile this with the concept of predestination? And if there is a God of INFINITE LOVE and FORGIVENESS, how to you reconcile punishment?

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JellyFish

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Date d'inscription : 18/09/2007
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MessageSujet: Re: Eternal philosophical questions   Sam 24 Déc 2011 - 1:06

This is really deep philosophy, dude!

I would says that String theorem is true and the nature of the universe is that everything is made of strings. That explains pretty well.

There is no God, at least non that I believe of. I mean why would there be one?

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Shadow

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MessageSujet: Re: Eternal philosophical questions   Sam 24 Déc 2011 - 1:19

The group of questions for two is already discussed in http://secondlife.1fr1.net/

The group of questions for five may include what we have discussed here: http://vien-ici.1fr1.net/t134-l-utilite-de-la-vie-discution (although it was in French).

Otherwise, I think we should focus on one question at a time. Let's start with this one: Is the universe evolving or devolving?

My opinion: the universe has no motion and it stays constant. Although we have scientific proofs for the evolution of life. But these are data collected for an finite interval of time. We do not know what happened before big bang for example, and there could be a "pre-big-bang". Neither we know what happens tomorrow, and the day after. Theorists might think in the way of butterfly effect: one small movement can generated great impact. But there is no arguments saying that the universe is not looping. That could happen if universal apocalypse (or is it better to call it "cycle"?).
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MessageSujet: Re: Eternal philosophical questions   Sam 24 Déc 2011 - 11:34

Evolving = optimist
Devolving = pessimist
Constant = too lazy to take position

But I would say that it depends on the definition of evolution and devolution

Evolution is any change across successive generations in the heritable characteristics of biological populations. Evolutionary processes give rise to diversity at every level of biological organisation, including species, individual organisms and molecules such as DNA and proteins.

Devolution is the statutory granting of powers from the central government of a sovereign state to government at a subnational level, such as a regional, local, or state level. Devolution can be mainly financial, e.g. giving areas a budget which was formerly administered by central government. However, the power to make legislation relevant to the area may also be granted.

-Wikipedia

Yeah, so basing on those definitions, we can only talk about evolution/devolution on Earth.

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MessageSujet: Re: Eternal philosophical questions   Sam 24 Déc 2011 - 11:46

You have to look at the biological definition.

"In common parlance, "devolution", "de-evolution", or backward evolution is the notion that a species can change into a more "primitive" form. Biologically, the term is a misnomer for that concept because evolution has neither a teleological direction nor a motive, so it is difficult to speak meaningfully of its "reverse" at all. In simple terms, anything resembling "devolution" in that sense amounts to evolution of organisms into simpler forms. That confusion is based on two conceptual errors: the idea that evolution is supposed to make species more "advanced", as opposed to "primitive"; and the idea that some modern species that have lost functions or complexity accordingly must be degenerate forms of their ancestors. These ideas are meaningless in terms of modern evolutionary theory, which deals with genetic adaptation of populations, as a result of natural selection of forms best suited to their environment. Selection depends in essence, not on systematic teleological increase of complexity, but on increased effectiveness of exploitation of resources for increased reproductive success. That process commonly might lead to more elaborate features or complexity, but if the maintenance of complex features incurs costs greater than any advantages those features confer, selection tends to lead to their loss. Thus for cave dwelling animals the loss of eyes arises because it is an advantage; to refer to it as degeneracy is meaningless in Darwinistic terms, however repugnant such a loss might seem to humans who value their eyes."

-wikipedia

Thus evolution: genetic adaptation to environment, giving more efficiency to exploit resources and to reproduce successively.
Devolution: genetic adaptation that causes an organism to evolve into more "primitive" forms.
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Sweet
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Date d'inscription : 14/09/2007
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MessageSujet: Re: Eternal philosophical questions   Sam 24 Déc 2011 - 11:58

What does that mean "primitive" forms? So we can evolve back to dinosaurs? Is evolution reversible? Not according to Dollo. But who knows if that guy got everything wrong.

Anyway, there seems to be infinite way to argue for both side for human race.

Evolving: natural selection is still present, mutation ...
Devolving: global warming, pollution ...

http://www.helium.com/debates/97230-is-the-human-race-evolving-or-devolving

But coming back to the progress of the universe,

Evolving: universe expansion, smaller particles combining to make bigger ones, ...
Devolving: universe possible contraction, black holes (?) ...
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MessageSujet: Re: Eternal philosophical questions   Sam 24 Déc 2011 - 12:01

I agree with Shadow. The universe is constant! As who_knows said "neither. it remains still."
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MessageSujet: Re: Eternal philosophical questions   Sam 24 Déc 2011 - 12:05


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MessageSujet: Re: Eternal philosophical questions   Sam 24 Déc 2011 - 12:08


According to this picture, we are all evolving to become like L. In that case, it is evolution! for we are more adapted to find criminals and to protect the good people from getting killed and to maximize good people's procreation...
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MessageSujet: Re: Eternal philosophical questions   Sam 24 Déc 2011 - 12:13

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