Sunday, May 17, 2015

What do I beleive?, the ultimate question

"It (evolution) produces machines which can run, and walk, and fly, and dig, and swing through the trees, and think, and produce the whole of human technology, human art, human music."

Do I believe this ?  Yes.

Do I believe there is a god, First you need to define what you mean by god. An imaginary being, No.

A word that stands for the unknown? Well there is a lot we do not understand. I am not all knowing.
The stoics did not have a consistent definition, nor did they agree if there was one. To some, god was nature, including the forces of nature. To others, the ability to reason, or reasoning was a chip of divinity, pruned off the vine at the time we were dropped into this hostile environment. So without a definition, what are yous talking about?

The stoics believed that truth and understanding along with reason were the foundation of the soul, mind, intelligence, and virtue, hence these must be paramount. Now consider how true we think life after death is, or that prayer can do anything, or all those other non-realistic statements that religion demands that we believe and do not question compared to Stoic or Buddhist beliefs. Which way does the rational mind need to go?

Ultimately, we need to have a purpose in life to contribute our part to success of a flourishing society. We can gain purpose any number of ways, being part of a bigger endeavor, communications, society which holds reason to be the ultimate good, understanding, teaching truths not fiction, serving others, creating, producing, aiding others to do any of these pursuits. That leaves the field of purpose wide open.

What is truth? Well, if we do not believe it without reservation, than it is suspect. If there is a group of studied individuals that do not accept the broad strokes, maybe we should have a review. If we cannot demonstrate evidence of it being true, perhaps we should withhold judgement and not teach it to children as being truth, but only as opinion. If it is opinion, it can be abandoned if the evidence point it as wrong or unlikely.

That is what it is all about, expanding our knowledge until we expire. Epicurus allowed us to not become involved in the areas of life that we are not suited for. For him it was soldiering, politics, religions, and family. He spent his time gardening, philosophy, science as he understood it, and writing. Epictetus taught and lived philosophy after learning how live as a slave. Marcus figured out how to be a emperor. Seneca figure out how to give reasonable advice to others and to live without money going to his head. Buddha figured out how to live, what the cause of emotional distress was, and how to overcome the negatives of distress, while Seneca took it into the positive, much like Positive Psychology does today.

Oh well, it does not matter anyway. We will all do as we wish anyway. There is wrong, better, and right ways of doing most anything. We should endeavor to move from vice to virtue.

Woody ...
"We live in a random universe and you’re living a meaningless life, and everything you create in your life or do is going to vanish, and the Earth will vanish and the sun will burn out and the universe will be gone"

This is a long term from far view. Get back to earth where you belong Woody. 

True, but in the human term or time scale, we can assign meaning and get on with flourishing life for this generation.

Gus's barn, 1922

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