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Thread: Is life special?

  1. #1
    Member Dakkar's Avatar
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    Is life special?

    Do you feel there is something divine, vital or otherwise magical/mystical about life?

    If you see living things primarily as chemical machines and components/aspects of an ecosystem, what level of structural and behavioral complexity warrants what level of appreciation and respect (or rights)?

    In addition to managing the stability and/or sustainability of an ecosystem, what would be involved in transitioning an organic environment from unconscious evolution to conscious design? Do you have any qualms with that notion?

    (These are biased questions; rephrase if necessary).
    "Do not try to satisfy your vanity by teaching a great many things. Awake their curiosity. It is enough to open their minds, do not overload them. Put there just a spark. If there is some good inflammable stuff, it will catch fire." -- Anatole France

  2. #2
    just dont think about it mhc's Avatar
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    Do you feel there is something divine, vital or otherwise magical/mystical about life?
    Without it i would not be here, so however you view me is my answer.

    If you see living things primarily as chemical machines and components/aspects of an ecosystem
    I dont

    In addition to managing the stability and/or sustainability of an ecosystem, what would be involved in transitioning an organic environment from unconscious evolution to conscious design?
    a(What humans mostly do is unconscious design). b(Intelligence is involved in turning an organic environment to conscious design.)
    If you find intelligence redundant in b(), then the difference between a() and b() is the answer.

    Do you have any qualms with that notion?
    I believe in intelligent design
    Just look at the blue sky

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    What is mystical about life is how it began.
    Born from nothing?
    How?
    Where did nothing came from?
    What is nothing?

    I think we will never know.

    Human design can lead to survival of humanity and further exploration of the universe.
    Also it can lead to total destruction of the planet(i.e Hitler, atomic bomb etc)
    Artificial Intelligence may be able to come up with unpredictable designs.

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    Mens bona regnum possidet ferrus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dakkar View Post
    Do you feel there is something divine, vital or otherwise magical/mystical about life?
    No.
    Die Logik ist keine Lehre, sondern ein Spiegelbild der Welt. Die Logik ist transcendental. - Wittgenstein

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    yes I do whole greater than sum of parts.

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    Persona Oblongata OrionzRevenge's Avatar
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    I don't see life as something Magical or Mystical, and certainly not Divine, but is a Marvel of Wonderment nonetheless.

    If carbohydrates and free O2 are found in close proximity while exposed to great heat, then they will chemically react generating a great deal more heat than they absorbed. If you have more Carbs and O2 in close proximity (Fuel) then the reaction will continue. Self-Sustaining. Add to this the spin of the Earth and the laws that govern fluids...



    A Marvel of Wonderment.

    4 Billion years ago, a chemical 'Fire' ignited in the depths of a murky pool. It was a complex molecule that would react in a way that resulted in the chemical being replicated out of the fuel. A minority of the time, the replication wasn't perfectly faithful. However, as long as the modified form could still self-replicate... self-sustain, it would persist and might in time find an environment where only its form could self-replicate.

    Richard Dawkins sees the Gene as ultimate thing that must move forward in time. The Individual and the Ecological Community being just its tools. But I would say that Genes are the tools of the Original Replicator.

    Like the wildfire, it is absolutely mindless and only goes where fuel is found, but unlike flame, Life has found paths to exploit more fuel, and invented billions of ways to break-down and reuse fuel to sustain the burn.

    A Marvel of Wonderment.
    Creativity is the residue of time wasted. ~ Albert Einstein

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    Member Dakkar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mhc View Post
    a(What humans mostly do is unconscious design). b(Intelligence is involved in turning an organic environment to conscious design.)
    If you find intelligence redundant in b(), then the difference between a() and b() is the answer.
    I didn't make it past "a()". The term "unconscious design" seems like an oxymoron. Will you elaborate on what you mean (i.e., have you redefined any words/concepts)?

    Quote Originally Posted by mhc View Post
    I believe in intelligent design
    Thoughtfulness and cleverness in design is certainly appreciated [by me] but what do you mean by "believe in"?
    "Do not try to satisfy your vanity by teaching a great many things. Awake their curiosity. It is enough to open their minds, do not overload them. Put there just a spark. If there is some good inflammable stuff, it will catch fire." -- Anatole France

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    Sysop Ptah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dakkar View Post
    Do you feel there is something divine, vital or otherwise magical/mystical about life?
    Not in any metaphysical qua supernatural sense, no.

    If you see living things primarily as chemical machines and components/aspects of an ecosystem, what level of structural and behavioral complexity warrants what level of appreciation and respect (or rights)?
    To me, "rights" (ala ethics, etc) stem from and apply only to human life (as against animal, plant, or otherwise non-sentient), as reduces to what is necessary to our particular form of life qua nature. See also: consciousness and free-will as vs. force or the threat thereof.

    Anyhow, human life is special, as such. This isn't anything supernatural; it is self-evidently natural.

    In addition to managing the stability and/or sustainability of an ecosystem, what would be involved in transitioning an organic environment from unconscious evolution to conscious design? Do you have any qualms with that notion?
    In short: technology, as in the application of scientific discoveries to the manipulation of nature as suits human ends.

    I have no qualm with technology in and of itself (as applied to our "evolution" along a "conscious design" or otherwise). I have concerns about its abuse. But then, just as guns don't kill people ... neither is any particular technology inherently problematic or evil, such as to have a qualm about, etc. Here we get into ethics/rights, again.
    Last edited by Ptah; 06-03-2014 at 08:54 PM.

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    Member Nekyia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ferrus View Post
    Maaan...you should role the dice more !
    roll. hmm.
    funny.
    Fuck Magic

  10. #10
    Meae Musae Servus Hephaestus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dakkar View Post
    Do you feel there is something divine, vital or otherwise magical/mystical about life?
    No. I think it special in that I have it, but if I didn't have it, I wouldn't think about it at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dakkar View Post
    If you see living things primarily as chemical machines and components/aspects of an ecosystem, what level of structural and behavioral complexity warrants what level of appreciation and respect (or rights)?
    To the former, yes, and I think that makes them really cool.

    To the latter: the level of structural or behavioral complexity wherein they (or representative members of their species) are able to sue for and have their rights codified. It's a loose requirement, subject to change, but it seems like a reasonable bar.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dakkar View Post
    In addition to managing the stability and/or sustainability of an ecosystem, what would be involved in transitioning an organic environment from unconscious evolution to conscious design? Do you have any qualms with that notion?
    I have no idea what you mean. But, I do know gardeners, and I've studied synthetic biology. I've also seen the AKC breed chart and interacted with members of many different breeds. Consequently, I would say all it takes is a dominating hand.

    Qualms? Not really. I've qualms about potential outputs, specific implementations, and externalities largely related to the behaviors of the dominating hands (*cough Monsanto and intellectual property law as it pertains to uncontrollable living organisms, etc.), but no qualms about the idea that breeding programs can produce reasonably predictable outcomes.
    I'm suspicious of people who say they'll die for a flag but won't wear a mask for their neighbor.

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