1. Joined
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    22 Jun '14 21:00
    Difficult not to bring a Biblical perspective into it, but let's leave God out of this one. I don't really think God would mind that too much. After all we're not going to solve the riddle here are we?

    I submit that what exists exists for the purpose of supporting life. And that's all. The material universe serves no other function than to support life. That's why it exists.

    Can anyone think of any other reason why the universe should exist? I'm open to suggestion.
  2. Cape Town
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    22 Jun '14 21:091 edit
    Originally posted by josephw
    Can anyone think of any other reason why the universe should exist? I'm open to suggestion.
    I have no idea why the universe exists. What I do know is that there has to be at least one brute fact. A fact that just is, and has no 'why' behind it. Even theism has to suppose that Gods existence is a brute fact.
    I would say that existence is a brute fact. If the universe is a subset of existence, and it had a creator, or is part of a larger reality whether physical or not, whatever the set of all things is, its existence is a brute fact.
  3. Joined
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    22 Jun '14 21:131 edit
    Originally posted by josephw
    Difficult not to bring a Biblical perspective into it, but let's leave God out of this one. I don't really think God would mind that too much. After all we're not going to solve the riddle here are we?

    I submit that what exists exists for the purpose of supporting life. And that's all. The material universe serves no other function than to support life. T ...[text shortened]... .

    Can anyone think of any other reason why the universe should exist? I'm open to suggestion.
    Have you read The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut? In it, the entire rise of civilization on earth is orchestrated to deliver a spare part to a space cruiser from Tralfamadore piloted by a robot named Salo, that is stranded on Titan. For example the Great Wall of China is constructed in order to deliver a message to Salo.

    Question: if life in the universe comes to an end due to the big crunch or the big freeze (depending on whether the expansion continues), will assigning purpose to the universe, the purpose being to support life, be justifiable?
  4. Territories Unknown
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    22 Jun '14 21:14
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I have no idea why the universe exists. What I do know is that there has to be at least one brute fact. A fact that just is, and has no 'why' behind it. Even theism has to suppose that Gods existence is a brute fact.
    I would say that existence is a brute fact. If the universe is a subset of existence, and it had a creator, or is part of a larger reality whether physical or not, whatever the set of all things is, its existence is a brute fact.
    I somewhat agree, in that there is an is.
    However, I am not convinced that what we call existence, this physical manifestation, is that is.

    As I alluded to in an earlier post, this existence is more of a symbolic representation of the real truth, the concrete concept.
  5. Joined
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    22 Jun '14 21:282 edits
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I have no idea why the universe exists. What I do know is that there has to be at least one brute fact. A fact that just is, and has no 'why' behind it. Even theism has to suppose that Gods existence is a brute fact.
    I would say that existence is a brute fact. If the universe is a subset of existence, and it had a creator, or is part of a larger reality whether physical or not, whatever the set of all things is, its existence is a brute fact.
    Another potential brute fact is yielded from considering this: If the purpose of the universe is supporting life, what is the purpose of life? Does it itself support a further purpose? If so, we are faced with a potential infinite series. If not, we are faced with life being a brute fact.

    On the infinite series:

    quote:

    In his classic work, Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, Douglas Hofstadter depicts a scene in which Achilles, while conversing with a certain Genie, questions it as to just who (or what) GOD is (pages 103 to 126). The Genie, having made numerous references to this GOD entity already, is all too pleased to answer. He informs Achilles that "GOD" is an acronym which stands for "GOD Over Djinn" (where "Djinn" designates a rather large collection of genies).

    Achilles is perplexed and a bit disturbed by this answer. How can an acronym stand for something that includes the original acronym? Isn't that circular? Self-reference? Nonsense?

    But the Genie is unperturbed. It calmly explains (though it thought it was well-known) that "GOD" is a recursive acronym; it stands for "GOD Over Djinn", as already noted, and this in turn stands for "GOD Over Djinn, Over Djinn". This second expansion, of course, can be expanded a third time into "GOD Over Djinn, Over Djinn, Over Djinn", and so on. So, unlike regular acronyms (which have just one measly expansion), the recursive acronym "GOD" has an unending sequence of expansions!

    unquote

    So GOD rolls up the alpha and omega that centers on Life, and specifically, on us Humans.🙂
  6. Joined
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    22 Jun '14 21:45
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I have no idea why the universe exists. What I do know is that there has to be at least one brute fact. A fact that just is, and has no 'why' behind it. Even theism has to suppose that Gods existence is a brute fact.
    I would say that existence is a brute fact. If the universe is a subset of existence, and it had a creator, or is part of a larger reality whether physical or not, whatever the set of all things is, its existence is a brute fact.
    But what is its purpose? Brute fact isn't a purpose, just an objective observation of its existence.

    Anyone can see the fact that the universe exists. Question is why, and for what reason or purpose?

    Life needs a physical place to thrive and grow. That's the purpose for the existence of the material universe. Seems easy enough to see that.
  7. Standard memberkaroly aczel
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    22 Jun '14 21:471 edit
    I think we should differentiate between 'this world' and 'all'(the entire universe), considering we don't even know diddly about what "all" is.

    Then there is are all the anthropological reasons we think things exist.
    Can we look at this purely objectively? At least Vonnegut tried
  8. Joined
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    22 Jun '14 21:54
    Originally posted by JS357
    Have you read The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut? In it, the entire rise of civilization on earth is orchestrated to deliver a spare part to a space cruiser from Tralfamadore piloted by a robot named Salo, that is stranded on Titan. For example the Great Wall of China is constructed in order to deliver a message to Salo.

    Question: if life in the universe ...[text shortened]... ues), will assigning purpose to the universe, the purpose being to support life, be justifiable?
    To answer your question, it's not for me to say whether or not the continued existence of the material universe for the purpose of sustaining life is justified by its continuance.

    But then let's say it does end by whatever means. Is life justified by the fact that life has a place to exist?
  9. Cape Town
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    22 Jun '14 21:581 edit
    Originally posted by josephw
    But what is its purpose? Brute fact isn't a purpose, just an objective observation of its existence.
    A brute fact, cannot have a purpose. A brute fact, is a fact that just is without rhyme or reason.

    Anyone can see the fact that the universe exists. Question is why, and for what reason or purpose?
    I do not know the reason or purpose of the observable universe. But if it has one, then it is part of a larger reality, which does not have one.

    Life needs a physical place to thrive and grow. That's the purpose for the existence of the material universe. Seems easy enough to see that.
    It may seem easy to you, but try and back it up with logic or reasoning rather than the claim that it is 'easy to see'. Why is it not easy to see that Pluto needs a place to orbit, and that is the purpose of the universe?
  10. Standard memberDeepThought
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    22 Jun '14 22:021 edit
    Originally posted by josephw
    Difficult not to bring a Biblical perspective into it, but let's leave God out of this one. I don't really think God would mind that too much. After all we're not going to solve the riddle here are we?

    I submit that what exists exists for the purpose of supporting life. And that's all. The material universe serves no other function than to support life. T ...[text shortened]... .

    Can anyone think of any other reason why the universe should exist? I'm open to suggestion.
    For the purpose of the universe's existence to be the production of life, the existence of the universe would have to be a necessary and sufficient condition for life to exist.

    So let's start with necessity, at first glance it seems to be necessary for the universe to exist for life to exist, but is it? Does it have to be this universe or would any one do? Can life of a sort exist without a universe to inhabit? I don't think these are straightforward questions to answer, especially the last one. I think we can probably relax the requirement that it has to be this universe because one can conceive of a different universe where life exists. With the question of "does life require a universe?" then we need to be able to answer the question "what is life?" Which is difficult. Known biological life is defined by a set of properties, but one can make a case for life being something that can maintain it's internal structures against chaos. Outside of a universe there is no entropy problem so life has no struggle to exist so it cannot be life - at least of any recognisable form. I think one can reasonably claim that the existence of a universe is a necessary condition for life to exist.

    Is it sufficient? This is much harder. One can conceive of a lifeless universe, but that does not mean that such a thing is possible. One possible answer that comes to mind involves quantum theory. In interpretations of quantum theory where viable observers collapse wavefunctions, which may not be what happens, one could imagine a universe coming into being and then evolving as a quantum superposition of all possible universes, consistent with the initial conditions, until a viable observer emerges in one of the possible universes. This observer would then collapse the wavefunction of the universe to the ensemble of universe that contain it. If this interpretation of quantum theory is true then we have sufficiency provided that only living things are viable observers, and that any possible starting universe has initial conditions which can evolve states compatible with the emergence of a viable observer.

    I therefore think it is possible that the universe is both a necessary and sufficient condition for life and in that sense the universe exists to produce life. But I think one would have real problems showing that the initial conditions automatically have to allow the possibility.
  11. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
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    22 Jun '14 22:11
    Originally posted by josephw
    Difficult not to bring a Biblical perspective into it, but let's leave God out of this one. I don't really think God would mind that too much. After all we're not going to solve the riddle here are we?

    I submit that what exists exists for the purpose of supporting life. And that's all. The material universe serves no other function than to support life. T ...[text shortened]... .

    Can anyone think of any other reason why the universe should exist? I'm open to suggestion.
    To resolve the prehistoric angelic conflict in heaven when Lucifer and one third of the angelic creation revolted against God.
  12. Standard memberRJHinds
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    22 Jun '14 23:22
    Originally posted by JS357
    Another potential brute fact is yielded from considering this: If the purpose of the universe is supporting life, what is the purpose of life? Does it itself support a further purpose? If so, we are faced with a potential infinite series. If not, we are faced with life being a brute fact.

    On the infinite series:

    quote:

    In his classic work, Gödel, Esc ...[text shortened]... e

    So GOD rolls up the alpha and omega that centers on Life, and specifically, on us Humans.🙂
    You didn't follow the rule. Is it impossible?
  13. Joined
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    23 Jun '14 05:24
    Originally posted by josephw
    To answer your question, it's not for me to say whether or not the continued existence of the material universe for the purpose of sustaining life is justified by its continuance.

    But then let's say it does end by whatever means. Is life justified by the fact that life has a place to exist?
    I asked whether assigning purpose to the universe would be justified (in the event that life came to an end). I did not ask whether the continued existence of the universe is justified.
  14. Joined
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    23 Jun '14 05:30
    Originally posted by RJHinds
    You didn't follow the rule. Is it impossible?
    If you read the book I cited, or even just the section, you know that the reference to GOD does not refer to what you call God. It is an intellectual reference to infinite recursiveness. The point is that if there is no purpose to that which comes about by purposeful means, what is the justification for assigning purpose to the entire enterprise from the start?
  15. Standard memberRJHinds
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    23 Jun '14 05:45
    Originally posted by JS357
    If you read the book I cited, or even just the section, you know that the reference to GOD does not refer to what you call God. It is an intellectual reference to infinite recursiveness. The point is that if there is no purpose to that which comes about by purposeful means, what is the justification for assigning purpose to the entire enterprise from the start?
    I get it. You made your own god that is different from my God.
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