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Is reason and intelligence inherent in nature and reality?

 
 
Reply Tue 2 Mar, 2010 09:39 pm
It seems to me the subject of god (in some form) crops up in almost every philosophical thread other than those devoted to analytic philosophy or logical positivism.

Often the subsequent discussions cannot find common ground because one side sees reason and intelligence as inherent in the universe (perhaps the simplest form of theism)
And
The other side sees the universe as blind, indifferent and without any particular purpose, in which life, mind and reason are rare and ultimately insignificant accidents.

Until one determines which side of this question the other party inclines toward a great deal of fruitless exchange can occur. So I ask you is reason and intelligence (hence a form of mind) inherent in nature and reality.

I say yes

The ability of man to probe deeply into the fundamental structure of nature with our minds and reason

The ability of the laws of nature to be represented as simple, elegant, mathematically beautiful symmetrical equations (math is abstracted logic and thus reason).

The anthropic values of fundamental universal constants which allow for the development of life and subsequently human mind, reason and intelligence

Are all arguments that make the notion of god (defined as the rational, ordering and creative principle of nature) a rational speculation and a reasonable metaphysical assumption?
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Pythagorean
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Mar, 2010 10:32 pm
@prothero,
Those are great questions!

I would ask: how can there be order in the universe? How can there exist laws of nature or an order of nature? The answer to these questions seem to me to be most important.

When we recognize that there is order or that there are natural laws, what exactly are we saying?

We may ask: What could be the possible causes for this order? What are the implications of this order?


Is this natural order related to mind?

How is it possible that we can even come to know and be aware that there is such order? How is intelligence possible?

Is human intelligence related to nature's order?
ughaibu
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Mar, 2010 10:49 pm
@Pythagorean,
Pythagorean;135147 wrote:
I would ask: how can there be order in the universe? How can there exist laws of nature or an order of nature? The answer to these questions seem to me to be most important.
I dont think either is a legitimate question. How-questions are answered by true assertions including algorithmic transformations of states, in other words, your questions can only be answered if order is generated by order, so the regress is vicious.
0 Replies
 
Reconstructo
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Mar, 2010 10:56 pm
@prothero,
It's definitely in man, and it might also be in Nature. But how can we prove that it's in Nature? Or do we need to?
prothero
 
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Reply Tue 2 Mar, 2010 11:08 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;135155 wrote:
It's definitely in man, and it might also be in Nature. But how can we prove that it's in Nature? Or do we need to?
I do not think we can prove it, nor can the opposite by proven.
That is what makes it a matter for metaphysics for rational specualtion for "philosophy?"
Of course it does matter because it makes such a profound difference in worldviews.
Reconstructo
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Mar, 2010 11:10 pm
@prothero,
prothero;135158 wrote:
I do not think we can prove it, nor can the opposite by proven.
That is what makes it a matter for metaphysics for rational specualtion for "philosophy?"
Of course it does matter because it makes such a profound difference in worldviews.


I totally agree! And you are probably familiar w/ William James, who chose to err on the side of hope?(Was it James?)
Pythagorean
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Mar, 2010 11:22 pm
@Reconstructo,
Maybe we should propose a more blunt hypothesis: that we can never ever prove that reason and intelligence is inherent in nature.

If we assume that it is beyond proof, then we may ask: what are the consequences of this inability to prove it?

One consequence would be that we are left permanently and utterly alone in the universe.

-
Reconstructo
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Mar, 2010 11:32 pm
@Pythagorean,
Pythagorean;135167 wrote:
Maybe we should propose a more blunt hypothesis: that we can never ever prove that reason and intelligence is inherent in nature.

If we assume that it is beyond proof, then we may ask: what are the consequences of this inability to prove it?

One consequence would be that we are left permanently and utterly alone in the universe.

-


I see your point. But this does not mean we are alone, does it? Why not aliens? And what about human community?
north
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Mar, 2010 11:38 pm
@Pythagorean,
yes

because of order and disorder of matter
0 Replies
 
Pythagorean
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Mar, 2010 11:41 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;135173 wrote:
I see your point. But this does not mean we are alone, does it? Why not aliens? And what about human community?


Human community is without direction.
Reconstructo
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Mar, 2010 11:47 pm
@Pythagorean,
Pythagorean;135181 wrote:
Human community is without direction.


That is unfortunately mostly true. But what about an island(metaphor) of the good folks, who do their best to tolerate social corruption? I agree with Spengler that the West is in moral if not technological decline.
0 Replies
 
north
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Mar, 2010 11:52 pm
@Pythagorean,
Pythagorean;135181 wrote:
Human community is without direction.


true , unfortunately

but not all of us , me , myself and I is focused on Humanity

no religion(s) just us , as it should be
prothero
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2010 12:28 am
@Pythagorean,
Pythagorean;135167 wrote:
One consequence would be that we are left permanently and utterly alone in the universe.-

But why would the default assumption be that it was false?
Especially considering the consequence.

It was said the smart man bets on God (more than once).

If the choice is to see science and nature reenchanted, alive, perceptive purposeful and striving
verses
Seeing nature as primarily mechanical machine, dead, inert, insensate and without ultimate purpose or goal.

Given that neither can be proven or disproven, why would you choose the dead universe over the living? Is it even rational to choose the less inspiring and optimistic view? Given mans existential paradox and the need to seek meaning and purpose, which choice makes sense?

---------- Post added 03-02-2010 at 10:31 PM ----------

Reconstructo;135183 wrote:
That is unfortunately mostly true. But what about an island(metaphor) of the good folks, who do their best to tolerate social corruption? I agree with Spengler that the West is in moral if not technological decline.
Societies collapse when they lose their ideals, their sense of purpose. The west is currently having an identity crisis, in fact one could say humanity is having an identity crisis.
Reconstructo
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2010 12:34 am
@north,
north;135188 wrote:
true , unfortunately

but not all of us , me , myself and I is focused on Humanity

no religion(s) just us , as it should be



Yeah, that's pretty much where I'm at. The essence of Man is "god," for this essence is pure progress.
Quote:

What a piece of work is a man! how noble in reason!
how infinite in faculty! in form and moving how
express and admirable! in action how like an angel!
in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the
world! the paragon of animals!


---------- Post added 03-03-2010 at 01:37 AM ----------

prothero;135218 wrote:

Societies collapse when they lose their ideals, their sense of purpose. The west is currently having an identity crisis, in fact one could say humanity is having an identity crisis.


Have you read Spengler? This is quite close. I agree. The Ideal is today the Dollar Sign & the Super Model on a King Size Bed
ughaibu
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2010 12:40 am
@prothero,
prothero;135218 wrote:
Given mans existential paradox and the need to seek meaning and purpose, which choice makes sense?
I think that you're presenting a false dilemma. If the world has distinct entities, those which are alive and those which aren't, reason, intelligence, meaning, purpose, etc, can be a feature of one subset but not of the other.
north
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2010 12:42 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;135224 wrote:
Yeah, that's pretty much where I'm at. The essence of Man is "god," for this essence is pure progress.


---------- Post added 03-03-2010 at 01:37 AM ----------



Have you read Spengler? This is quite close. I agree. The Ideal is today the Dollar Sign & the Super Model on a King Size Bed


no I haven't read any Spengler

as a matter of fact I have little of anyone

my thoughts are my own
0 Replies
 
prothero
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2010 12:44 am
@ughaibu,
ughaibu;135231 wrote:
I think that you're presenting a false dilemma. If the world has distinct entities, those which are alive and those which aren't, reason, intelligence, meaning, purpose, etc, can be a feature of one subset but not of the other.
Well the one subset would be humans and maybe some higher animals and the other set would be the rest of the universe.

In general existential angst consists of man in relationship to nature and the universe and that point of view would seem to isolate man from the universe not place him in meaningful relationship to it. Why do you think religon is so prevelant even in the age of science and reason?
Geoveda
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2010 12:46 am
@Pythagorean,
I, my Self, am also fascinated that God... or an inherent and underlying intelligence appears to crop up in almost every philosophical discussion, and not always just in the reactionary sense.

That we so easily separate our thinking 'selves' from that inherent being is also interesting.

So to the question, I venture that intelligence is inherent in reality, but not necessarily in nature. What is real is that which perceives nature... that which is unchanging through space and time. In an infinitely minuscule 'moment' all nature is so fleeting and transitory as to (relatively) not exist. But that which perceives it does. And that, I experience as inherent intelligence, the Self.
0 Replies
 
Reconstructo
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2010 12:57 am
@prothero,
prothero;135235 wrote:
Why do you think religon is so prevelant even in the age of science and reason?

Excellent point, Prothero, man on a very basic level desires meaning. IMO. and this is force that drives history. Even the Nazis were moved by what they thought was right. Error moves toward truth, I think.

---------- Post added 03-03-2010 at 01:57 AM ----------

Geoveda;135237 wrote:
In an infinitely minuscule 'moment' all nature is so fleeting and transitory as to (relatively) not exist. But that which perceives it does. And that, I experience as inherent intelligence, the Self.

This is quite close to my view. And the self is not just the body but all of its experience, rationally interpreted as well as sensation and feeling....
prothero
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2010 12:59 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;135247 wrote:
. Error moves toward truth, I think.
.
I hope.......thats what faith is hope and some trust in truth.
 

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