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"Why" Is An Ultimately Self-serving Concept.

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Posted by Luis Hamburgh on January 19, 2002 17:05:27 UTC



I agree with a great deal of your thoughts on this, but I see an inconsistency at the basis of your views. Maybe it's just that you worded your post awkwardly, that you do not espouse evolutionary theory, or that I am wrong. Probably it is due to your different approach to the dangerous & loaded question 'why?':

>>>"A principle is an axiom that we think is either self-evident or has sufficient reason to believe based on our experience with nature."

In my opinion this is an accurate definition, but a redundant one (the considerations you make in these discussions aren't exactly what one might call 'superficial,' and so the fact that you contrasted "self-evident" with "based on experience" tells a lot about your stance).

Consistent with evolutionary theory, intuition is based in experience. Hence, at the heart of your & Alex's disagreement might be how you define intuition.

>>>"Common origin of seemingly different phenomena... is the reason we call them... unified." (Alex)

Right. Notice Alex imposes no "why" on his assertion.

'Why' is simply the way we connect the dots, and cause-effect relationships are nothing more than connections (something Doctor Dick spent twenty years "proving"). BUT, when you ask 'why' and get an answer, you might tend to perceive that answer as an affirmation of God. This is faulty logic.

When we impose a string of "why"'s on what we observe (much like a 4-year-old child might), we ultimately require that (1) the universe itself purposely put us here, or that (2) maybe we're not capable of connecting those final two dots. To assume that (1) is the case, IMO, is delusional.

As you know, I'm a big anthropic principle guy, and so I tend to agree with ALex on this one. Mark your calendars.


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