Be it atheists or theists, many may feel human life may be purposeless or untenable; i.e. a never ending search or a "why" question that's perhaps not worth asking.
I think there's a viable alternative to especially the "purposeless" based outlook, with the introduction of a recent concept called "teleonomy", which is an atheistic/scientific way to describe nature in purpose driven language. (In fact, as seen on Wikipedia/teleonomy, Richard Dawkins; recently introduced the treatments “archeo” and “neo” purpose. See his video/speech "the purpose of purpose".)
Anyway, for example, using the laws of thermodynamics, we can try to objectively discover non-trivial goals that humans may undertake, as far as nature goes. (i.e. grand purposes for the human species, that reasonably transcend the desires of individual humans, while seeking to be objective, much like how Science tends to follow the evidence, aiming to describe what the cosmos actually is, rather than what people may want the cosmos to be.)
Note: One may reasonably grasp an understanding of the summaries below, without clicking on the associated wikipedia etc sources. One may however get an even more wholesome understanding, by toggling the links conveniently provided throughout the summaries.
Hypothesis A - An atheist PhD psychologist named Michael Price, hypothesizes that future humans are probably supposed to replicate universes : "Michael's variant of Cosmological Natural Selection I":
Hypothesis B - An atheist computer scientist named Jordan Bennett, hypothesizes that a grand human purpose is probably to create Artificial General Intelligence : "Why the purpose of the human species is probably to create artificial general intelligence?"
Crucially, Science can reasonably describe how organic life began (namely, via evolutionary principle etc) and also, reasonably where human life perhaps seeks to go (again, via evolutionary principle etc, as described in the hypotheses above.)
"Blue you have failed to be consistent which leads me to believe the issue of free will is not something you had delved into. I agree with Harris. But you have backtracked. Your original words were as follows:
Humans are clumps of atoms, whose configurations give rise to free will. The laws of physics reasonably permits also, inorganic clumps, not only organic human clumps, to yield free will.
See it? There is no obfuscation or ambiguity. You simply accept free will. I on other hand take it as a matter of course that free will is impossible. You seem to have expertise in AI and i had not read or heard anybody tackle the issue of whether AI might attain free will where it is clear to me free will is impossible in the organic.
If you can not express yourself with perspicacity and consistency then i would rather drop it. The issue of free will is indeed interesting but it has been beaten to death.
In terms of your asking the relation to the OP i note that this is an informal setting. It is not academia. Furthermore, digression is the oxygen of intelligence."
Please recall the the laws of physics [which I had initially mentioned in relation to free will] are not separate from reasonable limitations amongst organisms, which I later spelt out clearly, long before your apparent accusation of my supposed claim of complete free will.
However, it is up to you whether you wish to:
What is the scientific purpose of the human species? What is the scientific purpose of a disease germ? Who was the first disease germ and did it have a mate?
So much for scientific purpose. Somewhere the truth is in there. Things happen.
Where/what was human purpose “before it was stuck in the realm of religion”?
Science seems an attempt to escape the realm (the swindles) of religion, so what preceded religion?
Before religion, some people provided for themselves better than others and some people communicated better than others.
The Communicators needed to persuade the Providers to share. Thus religion.
The above Hypotheses A and B?
They are respectively Michael Price’s and Jordan Bennett’s attempts at purpose.
"Where/what was a human purpose 'before it was stuck in the realm of religion'?"
There was no human purpose to life; evolution does not require a purpose.
"what preceded religion?"
Community, kinship, the need for protection from predators.
"Michael Price’s and Jordan Bennett’s attempts at purpose."
OK, I am now going over to read your recommendations and then will return and answer your questions agains.
Slow down, Joan.
Watch Blue Gray’s Brain Episode 1 video above. The words “stuck in the realm of religion” are between 2:45 and 3:10 in the 5-minute video.
You wrote “There was no human purpose to life;....”
Try “There was no purpose to human life;....”
Human purposes included getting food and water, along with community and the need for protection from predators.
And, if a need for protection from predators preceded religion, predators also preceded religion.
Good advice, Tom, "Slow down." Yes, I have gone back to the original Blue Grey Brain's discussion point and trying to make sense of a field in which I have little talent. I should be able to grasp the ideas, or reject them, if I claim to be a behavioral scientist. I guess I have to rethink that claim.
So far, I am having trouble with Wilson's Evolution Biology Lecture because he uses as an illustration the effect a beaver has on an environment. I forget the word he used but it implied that because the beaver selects trees of one variety leaving the forest full of coniferous trees, poisoning the groundwater.
My perception is that the beaver changes the components of the environment, but does not ruin it. A beaver usually finds a wet area with seeping water to build a dam. The beaver is selective in which kind of trees he kills and eats or uses for a dam, leaving behind a different forest. The groundwater does change as plant life changes. the Mycocizal enzimes of one kind of tree is different than the enzimes of another tree. The new forest is an evolved forest, not a ruined one.
I seem to not be able to get beyond that statement as I listen to Wilson's lecture. I guess I will have to stop there and figure it out before I go on.
As a behavioral scientist, Joan, you are able to grasp or reject the ideas in Blue’s discussion, or you are able to suspend judgment.
So you can imagine the universe coming from nothing, multiverses, strings, dark matter, black holes, et cetera, but without empirical evidence you suspend judgment, don’t you?
Yes, I suspend judgment because I have no understanding of what is real and what is imagination. I also know that the flat-earth people did not believe the round-earth people because they could not see the bigger picture. Remember seeing Earth from space the first time? I was transfixed! What a beautiful sight! And! I saw no political boundaries! What! The Earth isn't divided into large and small nation states? I'll be darned. Nations are constructs, human constructs! Also, there are no boundaries of black, white, yellow, or red-skinned human beings! Race exists because of human constructs and human migration!
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