Re: Ch. 1 - Introduction: Shadows and Shapings
btw thanks for telling me about the "Innateness Conference" in Sheffield, I registered and managed to get to some of the lectures, but unfortunately my wife was in hospital so I missed a lot of it. Still, I got a lot of interesting insights.
I agree that a sense of awe is a wonderful thing, as long as it is derived from a sensible understanding of reality.
The reason that science, for many people, is so unfulfilling is that all science is ever going to tell us is that there is
no deeper meaning.
It looks very much like the universe runs to a set of laws; we just think of ourselves as being the end product because we just happen to be the first organisms (that we know about), who are sufficiently complex to have managed to to understand the concept of "the big questions" and to look for answers to them. Of course, there will be those who then start to see meaning in the fact that the laws exist at all, but, if you think about it, the word "meaning" is itself meaningless unless there is a something/someone who is the subject of that meaning. What I am fumbling to get across here is that if there is meaning or purpose in the universe then someone or something must have been there first in order to understand the concept of "meaning". And if you postulate the idea of a being who can experience meaning then what is/was the purpose or meaning of that being
? The circularity and illogicality, to me, is obvious. I think that there could never have been purpose or reason in the universe until there appeared an animal capable of postulating the concept, and by that time the universe must have been well established without any design, meaning or purpose.
A dispassionate reading of the situation just leads me to think that we are just a kind of arbitrary outcome of the laws of nature.
However, we can still stare into the night sky and experience a sense of awe and wonder and, for me, the enjoyment of that is enough.
But as I implied in my earlier post this leaves a hell of a vaccuum for those who feel
the need for meaning. Edited by: PeterDF at: 9/24/04 8:51 am