philosophy of science: meaning and functions (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Sunday, September 16, 2018, 15:22 (66 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: I join you both in regarding life as a wonderful gift and as a purpose in itself, and I am fully aware of and grateful for all the beautiful experiences I have been privileged to enjoy, just as I am fully aware of the painful experiences I have had and of the painful experiences I have been fortunate enough not to have had. This has nothing whatsoever to do with the existence of God, whether there is a purpose for “everything”, and if there is - which depends on there being a God - what his purpose might be.

DAVID: We have long left the issue of a proof of God just by looking at purpose. For me, the proof lies in the complexity of living beings, which have no reason to be here unless designed. As far as I am concerned there would be no life without a designer God. How much complexity has to be determined by science before it i s accepted as overwhelming evidence God must exist?

TONY: Most of them never will, unless he invites them for tea. As for purpose, DHW made it all about God's purpose for creating everything. The original context for the point was in looking at localized purpose of individual species within a biome. What do their actions DO? What impact do they have on the environment? How do their actions alter/maintain the balance of their biome/earth?

DAVID: And I keep presenting studies on how important the balance of nature happens to be.

dhw: The balance of nature is important for the survival of whichever species survive. When it changes, some of them do not survive. This is self-evident. As for the complexity of life, it has never been an issue between us, and for me is a major reason for not embracing atheism. You have both either forgotten or deliberately ignored the starting point of this discussion on the subject of purpose, which was the following exchange on Sunday 2 September at 14.11:

Dhw: (to David): I don’t think you have ever quite understood the reason why I am an agnostic. The explanations of life’s history offered by both theists and atheists are so full of Cambrian-style gaps that I cannot place my faith in any of them. I look for alternative hypotheses, such as cellular intelligence and a form of panpsychism, though even these are too tenuous for me to believe in. etc. etc.

TONY: Just a thought, but what seems to be missing in this thought process is 'purpose'. Evolution requires no purpose, and offers no meaning. I think something deep in humanity rejects this purposeless idea of existence. Yet we do not extend the idea of purpose beyond our own existence to say, what is the purpose of everything, not just our purpose. We can recognize the need for a designer to account for the complexity, but forget that designers do not design without purpose.

dhw: That is why I shifted the discussion to this thread. You wanted to talk about purpose, and now that we are talking about purpose, you want to talk about design!

But that is the exact point you always miss. Design is always done with purpose of producing a meaningful result in individuality or in process. Design indicates a goal and must have a purposeful designer.


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