AuthorTopic: We Don't Matter - The Philosophy Forum!  (Read 191 times)

Offline knarf

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We Don't Matter - The Philosophy Forum!
« on: March 24, 2020, 12:54:59 AM »
SimonSays
2
Around 60 million years ago, dinosaurs roamed the earth. They lived on this planet for about 200 million years before dying out. The fossils and bones to be found in museums today are tangible evidence of their existence. Prior to this, invertebrate life evolved in the oceans in the preceding billion or so years, and the billion or so years before that, life was evolving from single cell to multicellular organisms, evolving photosynthesis from sludge to slime. In the first billions years of this planets’ existence, it was too hot and volatile to support life as we know it.

Prior to this planet forming, the sun coalesced gases and dust by gravitational force to become so massive as to cause fusion reactions at its core. It’s gravity also caused the surrounding gas and dust to form into planets. Even before this, other stars had to have formed, expended their usable fuel, and exploded in a supernova to produce the heavy metals found on this planet today. All of this has taken billions and billions of years before humans came into being. There can be no doubt that the universe existed before humans existed.

People die all the time every day and the universe continues to exist. Throughout human history, there have been plagues, wars and famines that have killed millions of people and the universe still existed. In fact, if every human died, just as the dinosaurs did, the universe would continue to exist.

Therefore we can say that universe exists whether humans exist or not. Another way to say this is :

It doesn’t matter if we exist or not, the universe will still exist.

It doesn’t matter if we exist or not.

We don’t matter.
8 months ago
T Clark
4.2k

    Therefore we can say that universe exists whether humans exist or not. Another way to say this is :

    It doesn’t matter if we exist or not, the universe will still exist.

    It doesn’t matter if we exist or not.

    We don’t matter. — SimonSays


Well thought through and well expressed. And correct, as far as it goes. Mattering is like meaning, it's a human concept that applies to human situations. We matter to me. Even the universe only matters to us and other beings for whom things matter. The universe doesn't matter to the universe.

Of course, if there is a God who transcends the universe, then everything matters.
8 months ago
Devans99
2.5k
Thats a little depressing. I personally see intelligent life inherently good (on average), and given time, as society improves, this should tend from good towards perfectly good (in the limit).

If there is a God:

- Under the theist conception of God, he knows and cares for each of us personally. So we matter.
- Under the deist conception of God, he would have a positive, caring view to all forms of intelligent life, despite knowing nothing about the human race in particular. So we matter in a general sense.
8 months ago
Filipe
25
There is only one problem with your hypothesis and that is because you are using the human perspective to describe the non-human.

Its the same as saying that the universe is bad because it sent a meteorite to hit the earth and kill the dinosaurs, the Universe is not bad or good, lonely or sad because those are human descriptions of the human condition.

But now.
The same can be said of the opposite of your proposition if we are the ones that decide what matter and what doesn't, we can say that we are the only thing that matter in the entire universe and you can even argue that things only exist because we are there to observe and that brings us to the old question....
If a tree falls on a forest where there is nothing to contemplate its fall does it make a sound?
8 months ago
SimonSays
2

    Mattering is like meaning — T Clark

yes they are similar. It also extends to the concept of there being a reason for our existence. The existence of the universe irrespective of human existence demonstrates our irrelevance.

    We matter to me — T Clark

is fair to say and correct. Beyond ourselves however, looking from the outside in, in the broader scheme of all the universe, we do not have claim to any significance. Therefore the concept of our importance internally is negated by the broader concept of our insignificance.

The case accommodating an existence of God is not accounted for here. Too often, God gets inserted to provide an answer we want to hear at the expense of facing reality.

    There is only one problem with your hypothesis and that is because you are using the human perspective to describe the non-human. — Filipe

the human perspective has actually been used to describe humans. It is saying that humans and all that they value, is in fact, insignificant or irrelevant with respect to the broader universe of which we are a part. The prior and continued existence of the universe irrespective of our existence is evidence to this. As mentioned earlier, our value we ascribe is negated by the overall case of our irrelevance.

And yes trees make sounds when they fall irrespective of human existence. The laws of physics do not depend upon humans.

Thanks for your replies
8 months ago
TogetherTurtle
353

    It doesn’t matter if we exist or not, the universe will still exist. — SimonSays


The answers people give when asked, "why do we continue to exist" have always intrigued me. I struggled with it myself a lot when I was younger. It is in a way, the first and last existential crisis everyone deals with.

I look at it like this: There may be no "objective" in life, but I do like feeling good. I like to wake up in the morning and feel like what I'm doing is benefiting the human race as a whole. I can't feel that way if I'm dead. I can't feel any way if I'm dead.

If the universe doesn't care about us, I think we shouldn't care about it. Understand it, manipulate it, control it, for sure, but care about it? Why?

I think a fundamental part of our psychology is the need for someone/something to care about us. The need for this in our lives has been exploited by various leaders for thousands of years. In a sense, the facade we construct that is a universe that cares about us is a main component of civilization. A nation doesn't truly die until people stop believing the sweet lies they've been told by it.

I think we could completely bypass this problem by giving ourselves meaning through our strength. We are intelligent enough to build and invent things that make us feel good. Our meaning is to use the laws this universe obeys to meet our every desire. After that our meaning is to meet our every desire. There are no lies involved in doing this because we can only meet this goal by telling and living the truth.
8 months ago
Terrapin Station
13.8k

    Beyond ourselves however, looking from the outside in, in the broader scheme of all the universe, we do not have claim to any significance. — SimonSays


"Mattering"--or rather valuing things/aka feeling that something matters--is something that people do. So of course nothing is going to matter to anything other than a person. (I'm using "person" in the broad "personhood" sense, by the way. It doesn't necessarily just refer to humans. It could refer to other primates, intelligent/sentient aliens if there are any, etc.)
8 months ago
Izat So
93

    n the broader scheme of all the universe, we do not have claim to any significance. Therefore the concept of our importance internally is negated by the broader concept of our insignificance.

    The case accommodating an existence of God is not accounted for here. Too often, God gets inserted to provide an answer we want to hear at the expense of facing reality. — SimonSays


Yes, God gets inserted into the universe to make us matter, but given the brief tenure of human life in relation to other life on earth and more broadly the age of the universe it's obvious that this insertion is a product of the history of human belief systems. What is God such that he would care about us? What would a God be to us that made a universe where we show up as a mere dot toward the end of the timeline? A heavenly father sacrificing his son? Seems rather incredible.

On the other hand,

    I think a fundamental part of our psychology is the need for someone/something to care about us. The need for this in our lives has been exploited by various leaders for thousands of years. — TogetherTurtle


We need to hope for a better future, but I'm not sure that "meeting our every desire" is going to accomplish this. Today's "leaders" are exploiting our need for social acceptability in terms of our consumer status or distracting us with plastic hearts, pumpkins and inflatable Santas or promising us convenience with plastic bottles and megatons of disposables. So far we're wrecking the planet producing, distributing and discarding piles of stupidly packaged tacky merchandise, most of which we don't need.

We need another story - one that lets us feel at home on this planet, this "small blue dot" and encourages us to be environmentally responsible.
8 months ago
BrianW
964
↪SimonSays


What do you mean by "it doesn't matter"?

All existence, all energy, all life is defined by activity, among other fundamental qualities. Activity determines utility. Utility is the very definition of significance. Therefore, it all matters.

What you've expressed is that some configurations are more limited than others. However, everything does according to its capacity and nothing more. Humans matter - not because they will exist a billion years from now, but because right now they are aspects of utility in a certain relation in this existence. That, in itself is significant. Hence, it matters.

We live in a world where those life-forms of hundreds of millions of years ago matter. Can you imagine the industrial revolution without the discovery of oil? And what is oil without the organic life of hundreds of millions of years ago?

Was the food you ate ten years ago insignificant? Where would you be without that food?
8 months ago
StreetlightX
4.8k

    People die all the time every day and the universe continues to exist. Throughout human history, there have been plagues, wars and famines that have killed millions of people and the universe still existed. In fact, if every human died, just as the dinosaurs did, the universe would continue to exist.

    Therefore we can say that universe exists whether humans exist or not. Another way to say this is :

    It doesn’t matter if we exist or not, the universe will still exist.

    It doesn’t matter if we exist or not. — SimonSays


Doesn't matter.

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That is about 1/3 of the rest of the discussion. Follow the link at the bottom to read more.


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https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/6236/we-dont-matter/p1
« Last Edit: March 24, 2020, 01:09:20 AM by knarf »
NECROCAPITALISM at http://openmind693.wordpress.com ‘Rolling thunder. Shock. A noble one in fear and dread sets things in order and is watchful.’ I-Ching (Hex.51)

 

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