Date sent: Tue, 13 Apr 2004 19:01:09 -0700 (PDT)

The parts Roger has written are in italics. The parts Toby has written are in normal text.

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>> As an exister inside of the universe, I can't definitively answer the "why" question, even if it is a small, earth-only universe. This is covered in part by Goedel's theories dealing with the limits of formal logic.

> I don't know Goedel, but the formal logic of Acquinas and Aristotle don't give first cause no purpose, that is illogical, what does Goedel say?


Quote from a web site on Godel (1906-78):

"Gödel is best known for his proof of 'Gödel's Incompleteness Theorems'.

In 1931 he published....

He proved fundamental results about axiomatic systems, showing in any axiomatic mathematical system there are propositions that cannot be proved or disproved within the axioms of the system. In particular the consistency of the axioms cannot be proved.

duh, didn't he read aquinas and aristostle? he (and you) think he thought this up?

This ended a hundred years of attempts to establish axioms which would put the whole of mathematics on an axiomatic basis. One major attempt had been by Bertrand Russell with Principia Mathematica (1910-13)....

Gödel's results were a landmark in 20th-century mathematics, showing that mathematics is not a finished object, as had been believed.

by who, some guys wanted to shut the patent office in 1900

It also implies that a computer can never be programmed to answer all mathematical questions."

nothing in the box can know what is outside the box, it is an important message, but not new perhaps new to math, but not to philosophy,

do you think that math is philosphy?

This comes from


I first ran into this concept when talking with a Mormon physist about the same matters we are talking about.

In the frame of questions of God and Universe, Godel's Theory says that the inside observer can never completely know what he or she is observing, only an outside observer can know the system completely.

>>>> Don't confuse the evolution process with the living processes. Life processes can learn, and do become more efficent, lots more efficent.

>>> Then life has a purpose, was our current state just randomly arrived at?

>> The purpose of life is to produce more life. That is not random. Those organisms that are best at propigating are those which survive. Life will use all the tools it can get a hold of to promote that purpose, including intelligence and conciousness.

> says who? the reproductive urge? that's materialistic urge, not a purposeful one, it is just hardwired. Life as in, many tribes of old and now, use all their intel to eliminate whole other tribes -- that doesn't promote life.

OK, we need a clearer definition of purpose. For me purpose is directed activity. It can be hardwired, or not. Robots can be purposeful, if they have some conditional statements (if I sense this, then do that) in their programming.

This is the definition to use when we talking about things in my frame of reference. Remember, in my frame purpose does not require First Cause because there is no First Cause.

>> (From my point of view, this life purpose models the Catholic church's evolution through various heresies. The purpose of the Catholic church organization we know today was to survive heresy. The Church we experience is the "wing" of each heresy that survived.)

> No, the catholic church's objective is not to survive heresy it is to pass along the gospel. Heresies are merely side-shows, things that need clarification.

It's not the stated objective of the Catholic Church, and it's not the concious motive of most of its members, I agree wholeheartedly.

But look at the organization itself, not it's objectives, not what it stands for, but the organization. One way to "model" (as in view) the Church organization is that heresies are mutations to the corpus of belief. When they come, the organization splits, and one side survives and the other side does not. The side that survives is the church we know today. The side that withers did not pass the survivability test.

I read the book you sent me on early heresies. One image I got out of it was that the corpus of belief that is the Church today was severely challenged several times through the history of the Church. There were times when the heretical believers outnumbered the true believers, but time and time again, the Catholic organization outsurvived the heretics' organizations.

My point is: the one constant of the Church organization throughout the heresies (of old and of today) is survivability. This state of "being the survivor" could be the product of directed choice from outside the system (First Cause and divine intervention), or the product of choices generated entirely within the system (organizational evolution). If the choices are made solely from within the system, then the key choosing issue is "life of the organization". In this sense, even organizational life is purposeful and directed (by my definition of purposeful), and survivability is the prime measure of success.

And, the fun part (from my point of view) is the process is ongoing and subject to prediction. When controversy erupts (birth control, gays, Mass in common tongue) which proposition will survive? My prediction is the one that controls the most survivable chunk of the organization.

>> First Cause is not in my world view.

> I really need clarification here, describe a world without first cause. How did we get here? I can accept that you don't know and don't care, but not that you think that creation needed no creator. this is facinating idea, tell me more

I read a quote about some French logician saying something like, "If the universe needs a creator, then the creator needs a universe to exist in, too." In other words, if you need a creator, you need an endless succession of creators and universes for creators to exist in. I agree with this concept.

This means, to me, that the question is irrelevant, and saying there is a creator who cares about humans is anthropomorphizing.

Your viewpoint that science is just an endless cycle of discoveries leading to more questions misses a vital point: the mountain of discoveries is getting visibly taller. Just within my lifetime (and yours) we have discovered so much! And what we have discovered has made such a difference!

Black holes may not make a difference on Earth, but the logic that described Black Holes is the same logic that created lasers and transistors, and they sure do!

Modern concepts of health spring directly from the concept of DNA which springs directly from the concept of Evolution.

One way to see how that mountain has grown is the Science News I've pointed out to you. Have you had a chance to look at that yet?

The parts Roger has written are in italics. The parts Toby has written are in normal text.

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