• Bartricks
    2.5k
    So you ARE interpreting the question to presuppose an arbitrary assumption that someone has put us here, thereby limiting the scope of the question as stated.Possibility

    No, the question 'does' presuppose such a person. And it is not an 'arbitrary' assumption. It's what the question presupposes.

    But who says that purpose must be conferred by a person? There doesn’t appear to be any evidence supporting this. It’s simply how you’ve chosen to define ‘purpose’.Possibility

    Brian. Brian says so. I mean, what do you mean 'who says'? It is self-evident to reason. What, you think that there can be purposes without persons? For there to be a purpose, there has to be some 'end' that 'someone' is pursuing.

    Anyway, like I say, the point is that 'if' God exists, then our purpose is as I described, or at least I can think of no plausible alternative.

    Does God exist? Yes. I proved that a while ago. Here, in case you missed it:

    A law of Reason is an imperative or instruction to do or believe something.

    But imperatives require an imperator, instructions an instructor. And only a mind can instruct or issue a command. Thus this premise is true:

    1. If there are laws of Reason, then there is a mind whose laws they are

    It is also not open to reasonable doubt that there are laws of Reason. For if you think there are not, then either you think there is a reason to think there are not - in which case you think there are, for a 'reason to believe' something is an instruction of Reason - or you think there is no reason to think there are laws of Reason yet disbelieve in them anyway, in which case you are irrational. Thus, this premise is true beyond a reasonable doubt too:

    2. There are laws of Reason

    From which it follows:

    3. Therefore, there is a mind whose laws are the laws of Reason

    The mind whose instructions and commands constitute the laws of Reason would not be bound by those laws, as they have the power over their content. A mind that is not bound by the laws of Reason is a mind that can do anything at all. Thus, this premise is true:

    4. The mind whose laws are the laws of Reason is omnipotent

    The mind whose instructions and commands constitute the laws of Reason will also have power over all knowledge, for whether a belief qualifies as known or not is constitutively determined by whether there is a reason to believe it - and that's precisely what this mind determines. Thus:

    5. The mind whose laws are the laws of Reason is omniscient

    Finally, moral laws are simply a subset of the laws of Reason (the moral law is, as Kant rightly noted, an imperative of Reason). And so the mind whose instructions and commands constitute the laws of Reason will be a mind who determines what's right and wrong, good and bad. As the mind is omnipotent, the mind can reasonably be expected to approve of how he is, for if he were dissatisfied with any aspect of himself, he has the power to change it. And if this mind fully approves of himself, then this mind is fully morally good, for that is just what being morally good consists of being. Thus, this premise is also true beyond all reasonable doubt:

    6. The mind whose laws are the laws of Reason is omnibenevolent.

    It is a conceptual truth that a mind who exists and is omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent 'is' God. Thus:

    7. If there exists a mind who is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent, then God exists

    From which it follows:

    8. Therefore, God exists.

    There we go: a proof of God.

    Thus, we're in prison.
  • litewave
    468
    No, I don't see why one would expect it to be clear that we are being punished, or clear why. Ignorance of why exactly we are here is plausibly part of the punishment. To be punished one does not have to know 'why' one is being punished. And we - that is, we humans - sometimes punish people in a relevantly similar way. They used to give prisoners pointless tasks to do, for instance, and used to make sure the pointlessness was apparent (shot drill, the treadmill, etc.). Of course, it was not entirely pointless - the point of giving them pointless tasks was that by making them expend energy on something obviously pointless they would be harmed more than if they thought their activities were serving some purpose. Ignorance of why we are here could very plausibly function in the same way. Indeed, it is hard to think of another function for it that wouldn't imply a less than perfect purpose giver.Bartricks

    We usually want prisoners to understand what they have done wrong so that they may learn from their errors. They know why they have been condemned to prison. So it seems more plausible that if we did something wrong before being born on earth then our earthly amnesia has other reasons than punishment; those reasons may serve the purpose of isolation (because we may be less dangerous for the outside world if we don't know about it) or they may serve the purpose of rehabilitation (so we may focus on earthly activities without being distracted or maybe even traumatized by what happened before). Amnesia might also be a natural consequence of moving to earth from another world; that would explain why we don't know where we came from even if we came here for a different purpose than imprisonment (for example to get a job done or enjoy something) or if we just accidentally got lost or stuck here. As if you fell asleep and entered a dream but forgot about the outside world.
  • ArguingWAristotleTiff
    4k
    I didn't ask it. I offered an answer.Bartricks
    I apologise and stand corrected. I missed your period on your OP.
  • Bartricks
    2.5k
    We usually want prisoners to understand what they have done wrong so that they may learn from their errors.litewave

    That would only be if rehabilitation was the primary purpose. We can infer, then, that it is not. The goal of retribution - of harming a person due to the fact they deserve to come to that harm - seems to be as, if not more important.

    When prisoners were made to do shot drill, it was not to reform them. It was to harm them. It was to fill their day with an arduous but obviously pointless task.

    If God exists - and I have demonstrated above that he does - then we can conclude that our lives do have a purpose (for it seems entirely unreasonable to suppose that God would subject us to lives here for no purpose at all). Furthermore, the purpose must be a morally good one.

    Why would an omnipotent, omniscience, morally perfect being subject us to lives in a place that is full of dangers, including dangerous people? Other people are immoral, aren't they? Have you met any saints? I haven't. Are you a saint? I'm not.

    Well, a good person would want to protect genuinely good people from such folk, yes? From the likes of us. You don't have to be morally perfect to see the justice in doing that. And doing that - putting people who have freely done wrong into another place, away from those to whom they did harm and among those who have behaved in a similar fashion - doesn't imply that the person who does such things is not good.

    And we know from our own rational intuitions that it is also good when those who have done wrong come to harm. So the harms that we risk coming to by being put here are also not harms that are necessarily bad. And as we know God exists and that our lives here expose us to such harms, we can conclude that the harms are deserved ones.

    What about rehabilitation? Well, this seems the least important purpose that our lives have. When we ourselves incarcerate criminals, it is the other two purposes mentioned above that have priority - first and foremost we are protecting others (this is why we can sometimes justify incarcerating people who are not morally responsible for their behavior - they pose a risk to others). Second, we are giving wrongdoers what they deserve. The opportunity to reform is, well, frankly, not that important. A good person does not owe it to you to do anything to reform your evil behaviour. They might - out of kindness - try and do something. But they don't owe it to you. You misbehaved. That's on you. The good people you misbehaved towards don't owe it to you to reform you.

    So, the third purpose our lives here serve - rehabilitation - is the least important and its total absence, if absent it were, would not reflect badly on God. But it is present - our evidence for that is the fact that we have faculties of reason that give us some awareness of how we ought to behave. We are aware, most of us, that there are ways we 'ought' to be behaving, character traits we 'ought' to be cultivating and so on. That - that awareness - is the evidence that our lives here serve a reforming purpose. But if that were the primary purpose of our being here, then it would be starkly obvious how we ought to behave - which it isn't - and furthermore there would be no need to expose us to the risks of harm that we are in fact exposed to.
  • litewave
    468
    When prisoners were made to do shot drill, it was not to reform them. It was to harm them. It was to fill their day with an arduous but obviously pointless task.Bartricks

    But they knew why they were suffering, didn't they? They knew why they were sent to prison? The hardships in prison could motivate them to repent and avoid doing bad things again. It doesn't make much sense to punish someone by making them forget what they have done wrong, unless the suffering from such an amnesia also has some rehabilitative or edifying purpose.
  • Bartricks
    2.5k
    Yes, they knew - but so what? You're missing the point. We're here to be punished (and this is more important than reform, for reasons already explained). It is torture not knowing. When someone goes missing, their loved ones are tortured by not knowing what has happened to them. We are being tortured by not knowing why we are here.

    There is a god. So there is a purpose in our being here. We don't know why we're here. That isn't likely to be accidental. What purpose could not knowing serve? Well, to harm us - to torture us. And as a good god wouldn't do that unless we deserved it, we can conclude that we deserve the suffering that befalls us here.

    What you're doing is offering alternatives that are not plausible given God's existence. For any purpose other than the ones I have outlined, would be ones that God - being omnipotent, omniscient, and morally perfect - could have achieved much more efficiently and without subjecting us to any suffering and without making us ignorant.
  • litewave
    468
    And as a good god wouldn't do that unless we deserved it, we can conclude that we deserve the suffering that befalls us here.Bartricks

    See, the suffering of amnesia does seem to have an edifying effect on you. Suffering sucks, it makes you want to know what went wrong and rectify it.

    As for your proof of God, I think laws of reason or logic follow from the law of identity or non-contradiction, which means that every thing is what it is and is not what it is not. I don't see why a mind would be needed for that, let alone a conscious mind.
  • Bartricks
    2.5k
    See, the suffering of amnesia does seem to have an edifying effect on you.litewave

    Again, you're missing the point: it's not supposed to have an edifying affect. You keep assuming that my view is that rehabilitation is the main reason we're here. That's not my view. That's partly why we're here, but it's the least important purpose our careers here serve: we're mainly here to protect others from us, and to get our comeuppance.

    As for your proof of God, I think laws of reason or logic follow from the law of identity or non-contradiction, which means that every thing is what it is and is not what it is not. I don't see why a mind would be needed for that, let alone a conscious mind.litewave

    Because the law of non-contradiction is an imperative of reason. So, I've shown that imperatives of Reason entail God. You've said "ah, but imperatives of reason do not entail God, because they're derived from an imperative of reason". That doesn't make sense as an objection to my argument. To put it another way, which premise in my proof do you deny?
  • Bartricks
    2.5k
    Let me add something to my original OP.

    If you think there is no God, then as well as being mistaken, the answer you must give to the "what's the purpose of my being here?" question will have to be "whatever my parents were trying to achieve by creating me".

    I mean, how is it possible for your life to have any other purpose apart from that one? And of course if - as is likely - your parents were not actively trying to create you, but your existence was simply a foreseen byproduct of the sex they were having - then your life has no purpose at all.

    Perhaps you think that 'you' can bestow a purpose on your life. But that's really confused. You did not create yourself or place yourself in this realm. So whatever purposes you may have, they're not going to become the purpose of your life here.

    If I use a shoe to hammer-in a nail, that does not mean that the shoe's purpose is to hammer-in nails. It's purpose is determined by its designers and builders, not its users.
  • I don't get it
    9
    So, the question presupposes a grander purpose than whatever your parents were trying to achieve

    No, I don't think it does. When you are in a prison, and you ask your cellmate, "why are we here?" that begs the answer: because somebody else put us here. The reason, however, that the question begs that answer, is because you and the person you are speaking to understand the full context of the prison, and more importantly, understand how that environment relates to reality outside of said environment.

    If you suddenly found yourself in a room from which there was no escape, you might be able to infer how you got there from seeing others forcibly put in similar rooms. However, if the explanation for why they were forcing people into confined spaces was because they were forced to do so by others who were themselves forced to do so, that would not neccesarily beg the answer "I am here for a grander pupose."

    There are three purposes served by your being in the prison.

    Well, the analogy clearly fails here, because if I allowed myself to get arrested and put in to prison for my own benefit, say, because i intended to help facilitate my accomplice's jailbreak, or because i was homeless, hungry, and needed healthcare, then the question "why am I here?" could be relevantly addressed by saying "I am here because of my own motives."

    If we assume that the person who has put you here for some end is a good person - and I think they demonstrably are, but for now let's just assume it -

    Okay, I will assume it- but i expect you to demonstrate it at some point or that leaves a pretty large gaping hole in your argument.

    then we can safely assume that the end for which we have been put here is a good one.

    Only assuming the person that put you here is able, which you haven't demonstrated.

    Why on earth would a good person put innocent people in it?

    I can think of some reasons. 1. To contain and control the wrongdoers (think prison guards) 2. To rehabilitate the wrongdoers. 3. Because "innocence" implies a lack of wrongdoing, which typically implies that there is wrong doing to be done. You mentioned that "You did wrong of your own free will" which implies that at some point the wrondoers were innocent.

    So, those who ask "what is the purpose of us being here?" already assume a divine purpose.

    No, not neccesarily. To be alive is to do. At the most basic level, your body "does" keep you alive by pumping blood, processing nutrients, bringing oxygen to your blood cells, etc. That's without you conciously "doing" anything. When you "do" things, you assume a purpose. To eat is to keep yourself alive, even if you don't conciously intend to. When you eat because you're hungry, you are, at least on a subconcious level, eating to quench a desire. A desire has a purpose, namely to propell you towards an end.

    All these things are quite easily recognizable, but when you ask, what's life's purpose, you can't really give a reasonable answer other than "to create more life." However, when we begin to abstract, and ask " what's the purpose of that?" We go down a seemingly never ending road, because one can always ask "whats the purpose of purpose?"

    So, at some point, one wishes to have a purpose that ties all the other ones together. But just because one wishes, does not gurantee that one will get. If there is a purpose that ties all purposes together, than either it will be unobtainable, or obtainable. If unobtainable, than one might ask "what's the purpose of my pursuing this unobtainable purpose?" But if obtainable, one might ask "what is the purpose of obtaining this purpose, since i will then have no more purpose?"

    In conclusion, existence does not beg a divine purpose, neither does the question "why am i here?" Just because the question cannot be reasonably answered does not imply a transcendent, divine answer. That simply exchanges one mystery for another.
  • I don't get it
    9

    If I use a shoe to hammer-in a nail, that does not mean that the shoe's purpose is to hammer-in nails. It's purpose is determined by its designers and builders, not its users.

    No, I don't see how that's true at all. Almost by definiton, your shoe's purpose is to hammer in nails. If your end is to hammer a nail, that implies that your actions serve a purpose: "I am hitting this nail to hammer it into something." Then it's use in that context is hammering in nails, no? So, in that moment, that is the objects 'purpose' relative to you. Why do the designers of the shoe have the sole ability to 'determine' the shoe's purpose? If someone shapes inanimate material into a certain form, and it turns out to be usable in a myriad of ways, even thought the shaper only inended one, how does that change its usefulness? And if it's 'purpose' is somehow detached from its 'usefulness' then I don't see what is meant by 'purpose' in this instance.

    What if the devleopers of the shoes developed them to be good for eating? How would that be their 'purpose' just because that's what the designers intended? They would still be inedible, and thus unusable.
  • litewave
    468
    Again, you're missing the point: it's not supposed to have an edifying affect.Bartricks

    Yeah, I guess I don't see the point in punishing someone by making them forget what they have done wrong unless this also has an edifying effect.

    Because the law of non-contradiction is an imperative of reason. So, I've shown that imperatives of Reason entail God. You've said "ah, but imperatives of reason do not entail God, because they're derived from an imperative of reason". That doesn't make sense as an objection to my argument. To put it another way, which premise in my proof do you deny?Bartricks

    I deny that it requires a mind for a tree to be a tree. It seems that a tree can be itself without needing a mind for that. Actually, it seems necessary that every thing be identical to itself, because what else could it be identical to? Minds can only contemplate the consequences of the necessary law of identity but they are not needed to ensure that which is necessary anyway.
  • Bartricks
    2.5k
    You haven't identified a premise that you deny. You're just expressing your conviction that I am wrong. But which premise in the deductively valid argument I provided do you deny?

    Again, you earlier appealed to the law of non-contradiction. But that law is an instance of the very laws whose existence entail God's existence.

    When someone provides you with an apparently deductively valid argument for a given conclusion, then you need either to locate a fallacy in the reasoning or you need to challenge a premise. Otherwise you're just demonstrating dogmatism.
  • Bartricks
    2.5k
    No, I don't see how that's true at all. Almost by definiton, your shoe's purpose is to hammer in nails. If your end is to hammer a nail, that implies that your actions serve a purpose: "I am hitting this nail to hammer it into something."I don't get it

    If you use a shoe to hammer-in a nail, then 'your' purpose in using the shoe - so, the purpose of your action, not the shoe - is to 'hammer-in a nail'. But the purpose of the shoe, rather than your action involving it, is not to hammer-in nails, but to encase a foot.

    What if the devleopers of the shoes developed them to be good for eating?I don't get it

    Well, if that is their purpose - to be eaten - then that is their purpose. Something can be very badly designed, can't it? And when is that? When it is not suitable for the purpose for which it was made.

    So, it is not in dispute that there are purposes. We have them. Minds, that is, mint purposes. And it is when we create something for a purpose, or put something somewhere for a purpose, that the thing in question can then be said to have a purpose, namely the purpose for which it is made or put there.

    Others can use those things for different purposes. But then the purpose for which they are using it attaches to the action or project that they are engaged in, not the thing that they are using for that purpose.

    As such, there are two options where our lives here are concerned. Either there was some purpose for which our being here was designed to serve - which would require that some mind created us for a purpose - or we were created for no purpose whatsoever. And of course, it is possible to be created by a mind, yet for no purpose whatsoever (being created by a mind is necessary, but not sufficient for one's life to have a purpose).

    If God exists, then we are here for some purpose. For God is all powerful and perfectly good, so it is unreasonable in light of those facts to suppose that our lives here serve no purpose of his. And given the nature of our existence here - an existence fraught with danger and surrounded by immoral folk and the immoral natures that we ourselves seem to possess - it is reasonable to infer that the purpose our being here serves, is as I described: to protect others from us, to punish us, and - least importantly - to reform us. I don't think any other purpose can reasonably be imputed to God (which is not to say that there could not be one, just that - given the information available to us - it would not be reasonable for us to infer it).

    If God does not exist - and I have provided a proof of his existence above, so this point is going to be moot - then the purpose our lives serve would be determined by those who contrived to create our lives. Which, normally speaking, is going to be our parents.

    Of course, this means that under those circumstances most of us have lives of no purpose whatsoever, or lives whose purpose is, to say the least, utterly mundane.
  • Bartricks
    2.5k
    Yeah, I guess I don't see the point in punishing someone by making them forget what they have done wrong unless this also has an edifying effect.litewave

    Well, that's your problem and not evidence that retribution is not a purpose that God has. You're not God.

    This has been the problem throughout - I have described the second purpose, central to justice being done. And that purpose is retribution. To harm us for what we have done. Not to improve us, not to help us, not to teach us anything, but because we deserve it - deserve to be harmed. Harmed, not benefited. And you are simply ignoring this and persisting in thinking that the only rationale for harming someone is to help them. This is patently false.

    It is undeniable that we have retributive intuitions. Why is it worse, for instance, for something bad to happen to an innocent person as opposed to a guilty one? Why do we have a presumption of innocence rather than a presumption of guilt? Well, it reflects the fact that - to most of us - it is much worse to mistakenly punish an innocent person than it is to not punish a guilty one.

    Well, that only makes sense on the assumption of retributivism.

    And it is undeniable that we ourselves lock criminals in prison for the three reasons I outlined. They're not hospitals, are they? That is, they're not treatment centres. Not primarily. They serve a retributive purpose.

    So, retributivism is a thing. And as God is the source of all moral norms and values, we can conclude that God himself has retributive attitudes, for that is what our rational intuitions express.

    All one has to do is join the dots. We are immoral, yes? None of us is a saint. And we're surrounded by other immoral people. And we're in a dangerous world. And God exists. What gives? Well, we're in a prison, that's what gives.
  • matt
    150
    How about adaptive features that animals have that evolved through natural selection? Surely those features weren't designed with foresight to achieve some purpose.
  • Bartricks
    2.5k
    Yes. Quite. If there is no God behind things, then the processes of natural selection are blind, purposeless. And thus if we are simply a product of those purposeless processes, then we have no purpose in being here.

    Of course, God is behind things. One cannot arrive at the conclusion that we are living in a world in which processes of natural selection are operating without making appeal to some imperatives of Reason. For one cannot make any argument for anything without doing so, as arguments themselves are essentially appeals to Reason.

    And imperatives of Reason cannot exist unless God does. Thus God exists. But only those who have already undertaken to listen to Reason will arrive at that conclusion and believe it.

    And if God exists, then this world and our lives in it have a purpose. It is a penal colony. Thus, we are in prison serving life sentences. Literally.
  • matt
    150
    My point is specifically to challenge your idea that purpose must designed. In our current scientific understanding, adaptive features evolved by natural selection (random mutation), nature retaining its effective tools. This is an example of something serving a purpose without design/intent. So even if God does exist, this does not invalidate purpose emerging via natural selection (without design).
  • Bartricks
    2.5k
    the question "why am I here?" could be relevantly addressed by saying "I am here because of my own motives."I don't get it

    No it couldn't, for that would require that you created yourself for that purpose, yet self-creation is not possible. It is hubris to think that you can give your life a purpose.

    If we assume that the person who has put you here for some end is a good person - and I think they demonstrably are, but for now let's just assume it -

    Okay, I will assume it- but i expect you to demonstrate it at some point or that leaves a pretty large gaping hole in your argument.
    I don't get it

    I did demonstrate it. Imperatives of Reason exist. Imperatives of Reason are the imperatives a mind - Reason - is issuing. That mind, by dint of being the source of the imperatives of Reason, will be omnipotent and omniscient. And given that he possesses those properties, it is beyond a reasonable doubt that he will be morally perfect too. Thus, the mind whose imperatives are the imperatives of Reason is God.
  • Bartricks
    2.5k
    My point is specifically to challenge your idea that purpose must designed.matt

    That's confused. Designs express purposes. That is, the very concept of a design presupposes a purpose.

    If this world is designed, then there is a purpose behind it. If there is no purpose behind it, then it is not designed.

    So even if God does exist, this does not invalidate purpose emerging via natural selection (without design).matt

    You're confused. Those who proffer purely evolutionary explanations of the natural world are not showing how the world is, in fact, designed. No, they are attempting to show how the natural world can come to have the 'appearance' of design without actually being. That's why such accounts are commonly seen as challenging the argument from design.

    Those who make them are quite right. If - if - such processes are the whole explanation, then of course there is no design, no purpose behind it all. There is just the mere appearance of it, and our tendency - adaptive no doubt - to impute it.
  • I don't get it
    9


    Minds, that is, mint purposes. And it is when we create something for a purpose, or put something somewhere for a purpose, that the thing in question can then be said to have a purpose, namely the purpose for which it is made or put there.

    See, this is where i don't follow you. When we create something for a purpose, how does that something now have a purpose? If it's literally just inanimate matter, how can we impart purpose to it? It's not a mind, so it can't "mint purposes."

    Look, i don't see how if i made a shoe, and you found a plant shaped exactly like a shoe, that served as a better shoe than the one I made, that my made shoe would have more purpose than your found shoe. They're both being used in the same way. How does one's intentions change that? Does the shoe I made magically contain some sort of essence, some sort of 'shoeness' because I made it?

    Others can use those things for different purposes. But then the purpose for which they are using it attaches to the action or project that they are engaged in, not the thing that they are using for that purpose.

    How does that make sense? The purpose 'attaches?' Have you been misspelling 'porpoise' this whole time?
    I don't see how a purpose can attach to anything. And what is your evidence for this? It seems completely arbitrary to me.

    If God exists, then we are here for some purpose. For God is all powerful and perfectly good, so it is unreasonable in light of those facts to suppose that our lives here serve no purpose of his

    I don't see how that follows at all. We could just be a byproduct of something actually important, like the woodchips from some divine birdhouse that is being made. You yourself refered to the "immoral natures that we ourselves seem to possess." If we do, how can you take God's 'perfect goodness' and infer anything from it at all? It seems like any value judgement you might make would be wild speculation. Just because he is all powerful does not mean that we are important enough to be punished. We might be way to insignificant to warrant amy effort on God's part.
  • Bartricks
    2.5k
    See, this is where i don't follow you. When we create something for a purpose, how does that something now have a purpose?I don't get it

    Well, when we say 'this has a purpose' that is elliptical for "this was created for a purpose".
    What is confusing you is the ambiguity of the word 'has'. The claim that "this object has a purpose" is ambiguous between "this object has ends it is trying to pursue" and "this object has been created for an end". It is the latter idea that we are expressing when we say "the purpose of a shoe is to encase a foot". And this is also what we are wondering about in respect of our lives here when we wonder "what purpose does my life have?" For we are not wondering about our own ends. After all, if 'that' is what one is wondering about, then the question "what is the purpose of my life" would be better answered by a psychologist than a philosopher.
  • Bartricks
    2.5k
    Well, I must say that your name is well chosen. You seem to be going out of your way not to get things.

    When someone asks or wonders "what is the purpose of my life?" they are not wondering what intention their life has. Lives - as opposed to the livers of them - do not have intentions. They are wondering to what end their life was created to pursue. This is obvious to any competent speaker of English.

    Purposes can explain things. Why is the bin outside my house? Well, I put it there becuase I want my rubbish collected. There, an explanation of something's location - the bin outside my house - in terms of my purposes.

    Now, we can say, quite correctly, that the purpose of the bin being outside my house is to be collected by rubbish collectors. That doesn't mean that the bin itself has desires and wishes for its contents to be collected by rubbish collectors. Someone who is six may think this, simply due to not having undersood that sentences can have more than one meaning. Perhaps you are six.

    When we talk about a purpose 'attaching' to something, we once more are not being literal - purposes don't waft about getting stuck to stuff. We mean - if we wanted to be technical - that the thing in question features as an object of an intention.

    Going back to shoes. A shoe and an identical naturally occurring thing, differ in that one was designed for a purpose and the other was not. The fact that they look identical and that you are using them for the same purpose, does not mean that they both 'have' a purpose.

    Imagine that the shoemaker writes on the shoe - because the likes of you need as much help as you can get - 'put foot in here' around the opening. Now imagine that the shoe plant also has strange markings around its opening that look, to competent English speakers, like the words 'put foot in here'. Is that a helpful instruction? It isn't, is it? It is in the context of the shoe-maker's shoe - because in that object's case those words express the purpose of a mind, namely the mind of the shoemaker. But in the plant-shoe case, they do not - they're just patterns that happen, by luck, to appear to competent English speakers to be an instruction.

    Anyway, not sure why I am bothering as I am sure you're going to play the 'idiot's veto' again and claim "me no understandy".

    There's what something was designed for - that's the object's purpose, if purpose it has.
    Then there's what you end up using it for. That's the purpose 'to which you are putting it', rather than its purpose.

    If you read Othello and find it hilarious, that doesn't mean it's a comedy.
  • Bartricks
    2.5k
    If God exists, then we are here for some purpose. For God is all powerful and perfectly good, so it is unreasonable in light of those facts to suppose that our lives here serve no purpose of his

    I don't see how that follows at all. We could just be a byproduct of something actually important, like the woodchips from some divine birdhouse that is being made. You yourself refered to the "immoral natures that we ourselves seem to possess." If we do, how can you take God's 'perfect goodness' and infer anything from it at all? It seems like any value judgement you might make would be wild speculation. Just because he is all powerful does not mean that we are important enough to be punished. We might be way to insignificant to warrant amy effort on God's part.
    I don't get it

    Well, you don't see because you're not trying hard enough. God is all powerful and morally perfect. If we're woodchips from his birdhouse, then we can reasonably infer that he would make sure those sentient woodchips have a blissful existence. (Why? Because. He's. Good. And. Not. A. Git.)

    Are you having a blissful existence? Even if you are, it won't last long. Only a matter of time before you walk into a door or are done an injustice or get a toothache or find something hard to understand.

    So, we're not woodchips from a divine birdhouse, then.

    We're in a dangerous world surrounded by dangerous people. God did that to us, or allowed it to happen. One of the two, for he's omnipotent. And God is good, so he wouldn't have done or allowed that for a laugh, for then he'd be a git. So, it has a purpose and the purpose must be good.

    When does a good person put people in a dangerous place surrounded by dangerous people? Why, when those people pose a danger to innocent others, deserve to be trapped in a dangerous environment surrounded by dangerous people, and when there's a slim possibility that they might reform their ways, that's when.

    So, if God exists we're in a prison doing bird, not chips from a divine birdhouse. And he does exist. So we are doing bird.
  • Bartricks
    2.5k
    ‘Not here’ is not an answer. There are definitely people outside of jail, but where are the ‘innocent others’ who are ‘being protected’ from us living beings?Wayfarer

    It is an answer. What do you want? An address that isn't here? No. 73, Not Here Street, Notheresville, in The Other Place.
  • litewave
    468
    You haven't identified a premise that you deny.Bartricks

    I deny this premise:

    4. The mind whose laws are the laws of Reason is omnipotent

    I don't think that instructions or commands of a mind constitute the laws of reason, as you put it. The laws of reason are constituted by the necessary law of identity (the principle that every thing is identical to itself), not by a mind. A mind can follow or contemplate these laws but not create them. And a mind itself is bound by the law of identity (and hence by the whole reality that is based on this law) because it must be identical to itself; what would be a mind that is not a mind? Even if you constrained the concept of omnipotence with the laws of reason, it is not clear whether there is an omnipotent conscious mind. You might say that the universe is omnipotent but is it conscious or is it a mind? If it's not a conscious mind, what does omnipotence even mean? Same for omniscience or omnibenevolence.
  • Bartricks
    2.5k
    I deny this premise:

    4. The mind whose laws are the laws of Reason is omnipotent

    I don't think that instructions or commands of a mind constitute the laws of reason, as you put it.
    litewave

    That doesn't make sense - by premise 4 it has already been established that the imperatives of Reason are the imperatives of a mind. What premise 4 says is that the mind in question is omnipotent. So if you're disputing it, you need to dispute that the mind is omnipotent, rather than dispute that the mind's imperatives are imperatives of Reason.

    So, if you want to deny that the imperatives of Reason are the imperatives of a mind, you need to dispute an earlier premise than 4. Which one?

    Note, the law of identity is an imperative of Reason- so once more you are appealing to the very kind of thing that the argument demonstrates requires God.
  • litewave
    468
    This has been the problem throughout - I have described the second purpose, central to justice being done. And that purpose is retribution. To harm us for what we have doneBartricks

    But which country has a justice system where the prisoner is denied knowledge of what he has been condemned for, even for the sake of causing him additional suffering by this ignorance? It seems that retributivist intuitions usually involve a desire to let the enemy know why you cause him suffering.
  • litewave
    468
    That doesn't make sense - by premise 4 it has already been established that the imperatives of Reason are the imperatives of a mind.Bartricks

    What do you mean by "imperatives"? If a mind is reasonable, it follows the laws of reason. It doesn't create them.
  • Wayfarer
    11.3k
    ‘Not here’ is not an answer. There are definitely people outside of jail, but where are the ‘innocent others’ who are ‘being protected’ from us living beings?
    — Wayfarer

    It is an answer. What do you want? An address that isn't here? No. 73, Not Here Street, Notheresville, in The Other Place.
    Bartricks

    No such place, so, still not an answer.

    1. If there are laws of Reason, then there is a mind whose laws they areBartricks

    For all we know, on the cosmic scale, the universe has the attributes of a mind.
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