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PostSubject: The fundamental purpose of existence. Tue Sep 24, 2013 9:09 pm

Is it not the most profound question of all? The cosmic question mark that the mystics and philosophers so desperately desire. People, usually, resort to two extremes on this topic. On one side of the camp, you have the fundamentalist theists who claim that the meaning of life is to know God. And on the other side, you have the atheistic/materialists who claim that there is no universal purpose to life - that everything is meaningless - that the universe is just some freak accident, etc.

But both of these camps are wrong. I will give my honest viewpoint on the matter without trying to sound overly simplistic on such a profound topic.

Let me just clarify that I am neither a theist nor a  conventional atheist ( materialistic ).

I am an atheist, but I don't subscribe to materialism or pure physicalism. I will go into depth on my position in this regard in another posting.

To stay more on point, I will make the claim that there is, indeed, a universal or fundamental purpose or telos of existence. This telos does NOT emanate from some other worldly, magical realm of angels and unicorns. This telos is one with this world - this universe. You ask: " So what is the purpose? Tell me already!". I know, I know. Enough with the foreplay...

My answer is in no shape or form original to me, but to spell it out simply, the purpose of existence is the will to power.

If you are familiar with Friedrich Nietzsche, then you should know what the nature of this will to power is, but if not, I will try to sum it up for you. The will to power is seen in everything. Starting from the inorganic, it is seen via gravity; systems of energy/matter use force ( gravity ) to attract other forces ( weaker ones ) to their own systems so that it may become a part of them. In time, these systems become more massive, transcending their former state. In the organic ( life ), the will to power becomes special, more complex. In plants, the will to power is seen in how it extracts energy from the soil and sunlight so that it may grow - so that it may develop and become more grand. In animals, the will to power is seen in dominance hierarchies and ruthless combat in order to dominate the territory. In humans, the will to power is seen in social hierarchies. Most people strive to obtain this power through work in exchange for money. This money, if accumulated and invested in wisely, will assists in their ascent of the social ladder. It's safe to say that most people want to be rich, yes? This is because richness will give them power - power for attracting mates, power to survive ( food- water ), power to manipulate others, power to give their offspring a greater survival edge, etc. Even in the act of consumption ( eating and drinking ) the will to power is seen. When you consume sustenance, you are extracting energy from other sources ( like the tree ). This energy is subsumed in your organic system ( body ) and it gives power to your system ( vitality ). Everything is seeking to grow, expand, develop, and dominate.

I'm not sure how people have managed to overlook this. It's right in our faces on a daily basis, yet people are so blind to it. Maybe it is due to the theist vs atheist dichotomies muddling up people's minds.

Check out this video for more information on the will to power.




What are your thoughts, guys? I am open for debate and critique.


Last edited by Primal Rage on Sun Sep 29, 2013 10:57 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: The fundamental purpose of existence. Wed Sep 25, 2013 1:42 am

Wtp is a working theory that can help explain much of human behavior, I don't know if I would give it any more significance than that. One's personal existential project is another way that can explain much of human behavior. I don't believe one who has obtained wisdom would concern himself any longer with 'the fundamental purpose of existence'. This is kts, so kts and then go from there. But, if you're still stuck in the early stages of overcoming the societally imposed nihilism, then do what you have to do.

My question is about shortcuts. I did everything the hard way, if I had proper guidance ten years ago, I wonder if I could have taken a shortcut to knowing myself and then progressed from there. But, I don't know if I could have ever truly overcome society's nihilism if I hadn't thought through and discussed every godforsaken aspect of its idiocy in minute goddamn detail first. If I had taken a shortcut I may have found myself regressing at times.
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PostSubject: Re: The fundamental purpose of existence. Wed Sep 25, 2013 7:30 am

The will to power in human behavior is just one aspect of this all encompassing WTP. As I prior mentioned, it is seen in the actions of non-human animals, plants, and the cosmos. A refutation is welcome if you have one or desire to refute.
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PostSubject: Re: The fundamental purpose of existence. Wed Sep 25, 2013 7:33 pm

Ahem..

Satyr wrote:
This willful movement towards the absent absolute, or any indication of it, is what has been described as a Will to Life - Will to Power - Will to Knowledge - Will to God etc.
It is a resistance to entropy and a rejection of the Flow/Flux.
It constitutes, if taken to an extreme, the masculine polarity of nihilism.
The Hellenic balance, which asceticism brings about, is a middle ground.
The overman is a description of this hypothetical man of balances: resisting but not seeking absolution - masculine but not denying the feminine - mortal but aware that mortality is necessary - adaptive but unwilling to sacrifice his core principles: a mix of masculine and feminine attitudes where the masculine dominates not by denying and repressing (extreme asceticism as Christian and many Buddhist and Hindu schools teach) but by dominating and controlling
http://knowthyself.forumotion.net/t814-encapsulation-of-satyr-s-views (31 c)
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PostSubject: Re: The fundamental purpose of existence. Wed Sep 25, 2013 9:40 pm

Are you insinuating that I am a nihilist? Is it because it appears that I am making an absolute claim? I am a perspectivist; from what I perceive, all activity, essentially, is aiming for advancement ( will to power ). And I'm assuming that my perceptions correlate with others in a consistent enough manner.

where exactly do you take issue with my stance?
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PostSubject: Re: The fundamental purpose of existence. Thu Sep 26, 2013 1:47 am

Quote :
where exactly do you take issue with my stance?
In the abstract your stance isn't one which bothers me, it is very well put and not long ago I have written essays on the same subject with no more sophistication. But, I'm here because I'm impressed with Satyr's essays, and his encapsulation. They explain it these issues better and I only thought I would mention to you that you should read them. Once you read them and wish to challenge them or speak of inconstancies with them among Satyr's more casual posts, I think there would be much we can discuss.

Quote :
Are you insinuating that I am a nihilist?
You appear to have nihilistic tendencies, but I may have some still as well.

Quote :
Is it because it appears that I am making an absolute claim?
No, of course not, we must use words to communicate and words can always be accused of being absolutes, but your doing fine.

Quote :
I am a perspectivist; from what I perceive, all activity, essentially, is aiming for advancement ( will to power ).
Well observed.

Where I have an issue with your stance is how it applies to you, personally. I can confidently say, based on the little of yours I read in other threads, that you lack balance and a proper understanding of the need for balance. It's not an insult, worse things can be said about people here.
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PostSubject: Re: The fundamental purpose of existence. Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:36 am

Primal Rage wrote:
If you are familiar with Friedrich Nietzsche, then you should know what the nature of this will to power is, but if not, I will try to sum it up for you. The will to power is seen in everything. Starting from the inorganic, it is seen via gravity; systems of energy/matter use force ( gravity ) to attract other forces ( weaker ones ) to their own systems so that it may become a part of them. In time, these systems become more massive, transcending their former state. In the organic ( life ), the will to power becomes special, more complex. In plants, the will to power is seen in how it extracts energy from the soil and sunlight so that it may grow - so that it may develop and become more grand. In animals, the will to power is seen in dominance hierarchies and ruthless combat in order to dominate the territory. In humans, the will to power is seen in social hierarchies. Most people strive to obtain this power through work in exchange for money. This money, if accumulated and invested in wisely, will assists in their ascent of the social latter. It's safe to say that most people want to be rich, yes? This is because richness will give them power - power for attracting mates, power to survive ( food- water ), power to manipulate others, power to give their offspring a greater survival edge, etc. Even in the act of consumption ( eating and drinking ) the will to power is seen. When you consume sustenance, you are extracting energy from other sources ( like the tree ). This energy is subsumed in your organic system ( body ) and it gives power to your system ( vitality ). Everything is seeking to grow, expand, develop, and dominate.
Is this will to power the same as that which philosophers generally refer to as the conscious will? I'm guessing no considering you state that plants and planets have it (I can see problems down the road for that one).

How would you apply your theory to the dinosaurs? It would seem they had incredible power, but that was not enough to save them.
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PostSubject: Re: The fundamental purpose of existence. Thu Sep 26, 2013 8:06 am

The issue hinges on how one defines and understands the projected absolute - in this case "Power."

For me Will To Power is made up of three sections.

Will = a need/lack. I will that which I do not possess. With my willing, my need, I admit an imperfection, a desire.
Will being the mental agency directing an organism's aggregate energies.

To = a movement towards. All existence is (inter)active, so we are "thrust into activity" as Heidegger would say, or thrown into it, but the term here follows Will, so the movement is connected to what is in need, what is lacking.
The "To" indicates that the Will directs the aggregate energies towards a some-thing.

Power = this term can be anything (God/Being, Omniscience/Knowledge, Nil/Death, Love/Sensation, Some-Thing/No-Thing, Power/Omnipotence, Object/Objective ...).
This is the human abstraction being projected, the idea(l).
It is a human construct and ambiguous because the absolute is what is lacking, and so this projection is always imperfect and unattainable if it is understood as the absolute, the ideal, the perfect.
It is a method of orienting the 'Will Towards...'

Since "to" indicates the temporal character of the will, as it is always a movement towards, then the projection identifies the one willing - it gives it character, personality, it determines its essence.
The balance comes in as an understanding that the goal, the projection may be unattainable and merely a human projection offering the organism meaning and purpose, but that this suffices.


The organism is like a surfer.
The board is his aggregate energies. He is the Will. Reality, the Flux, is the ocean and its waves, its turbulence. The shore is the projection which will never be reached.

The surfer balances, enjoying the ride, for as long as he can.

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PostSubject: Re: The fundamental purpose of existence. Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:55 pm

To Recidivist, I loosely subscribe to pan-experientialism; I find it to be the most plausible, but I'm not dogmatic about it. If someone can, logically, prove another theory convincingly to me, then I will abandon pan-experientalism. So, in regards to plants being aware, yes, I think they are, but not in the same way human beings are conscious. I believe that plants have some sort of primitive awareness; a sort of experience that we can't completely fathom. As, prior mentioned, I will go into more detail about my position and make arguments for it in another posting.

And to address your other question about Dinosaurs and the will to power, I think Dinosaurs are great examples to use of the will to power. I, mentally, picture the raptor and T-Rex, usually, when I hear the phrase" will to power" in regards to organic life. In my eyes, the predatory dinosaurs ( e.g., T-rex, raptor, etc ) were very noble creatures that exemplified the will to power and the amorality of existence; the ruthless, cold, harsh, barbaric, bloody battle for existence. The Dinosaurs were incarnations of cosmic force and brutality; of " Might is Right".


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PostSubject: Re: The fundamental purpose of existence. Thu Sep 26, 2013 6:10 pm

And Satyr, I concur with what you wrote. It appears to me that all " things " are striving for the absent absolute. Reality is boundless, so there is no limit or end to the striving for power. The will to power is never satiated - it's always hungry for more power- always seeking to advance even more - striving for absolute power  (which is absent). All activity would end if God existed ( absoluteness ). Reality would be static, unchanging, utterly complete - eternal perfection and satisfaction.


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PostSubject: Re: The fundamental purpose of existence. Thu Sep 26, 2013 6:18 pm

Canterbury wrote:  "Where I have an issue with your stance is how it applies to you, personally. I can confidently say, based on the little of yours I read in other threads, that you lack balance and a proper understanding of the need for balance. It's not an insult, worse things can be said about people here."


I think you are right; I can be very extreme often. Maybe balance is what I need...
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PostSubject: Re: The fundamental purpose of existence. Fri Sep 27, 2013 5:46 pm

I forgot to mentioned you likely lack an understanding of how one can use balance best for one's own benefit. Don't ask me to explain it you, I barely understand it well enough myself to begin applying it in practice. The important thing is that you don't think of balancing out your most fundamental strengths and weaknesses; if you are naturally extreme, trust me you can't mitigate that.

If this was a more common philosophy forum I would just ignore you, but since you're here I'd like to help, and provide shortcuts if possible. But damnit, you're still concerning yourself with the possibility of primitive awareness among plants, you have a long ways to go.
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PostSubject: Re: The fundamental purpose of existence. Sat Sep 28, 2013 6:44 pm

Canterbury wrote: "If this was a more common philosophy forum I would just ignore you, but since you're here I'd like to help, and provide shortcuts if possible. But damnit, you're still concerning yourself with the possibility of primitive awareness among plants, you have a long ways to go."

I said I loosely subscribe to pan-experientialism. If someone can present a convincing argument for another position, I will abandon it. I don't, really, concern myself with it that much. And you, probably, have some strange/misguided notion of what I mean by primitive awareness. With all due respect, maybe you should just ignore my posts and not respond if you can't offer any refutations or anything of substance.
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PostSubject: Re: The fundamental purpose of existence. Sat Sep 28, 2013 7:31 pm

I know you're only loosely subscribing to it, that's what I implied when I said:

Canterbury wrote:
you're still concerning yourself with the possibility
Panpsychism is nihilism. I know that panpsychism can be effectively argued, months ago I've wrote many essays doing just that. But, it can be equally effectively argued against. You should ask why you would choose to accept one argument rather than the other, or loosely subscribe to something rather than remain skeptical. If you want to reduce the universe to a thinking organism, it only means that you don't think highly enough of yourself to differentiate yourself from the universe, or you're afraid. You want me to lower myself into a base discussion with you on sophomoric ideas or leave you in peace, but you already know that you have no entitlement to that peace.

Primal Rage wrote:
Nature laughs with sardonic wrath upon such cowardly and emasculating concepts.... Weaklings and cowards perish without mercy.
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PostSubject: Re: The fundamental purpose of existence. Sat Sep 28, 2013 7:46 pm

I subscribe to pan-experientialism not panpsychism. They are very similar, but not identical. And how is pan-experiantialism nihilistic? This should be rich.

You know, I didn't blindly accept pan-experientialism like some religious fool. I listened to many arguments for it and contemplated it for a while. I was skeptical of it before I learned about it and chose to subscribe to it, but not as some dogmatic evangel.

Canterbury wrote: "if you want to reduce the universe to a thinking organism....."

I never stated or insinuated that this was my position. This just goes to prove that you, indeed, don't understand my position.

Canterbury wrote : " you don't think highly enough of yourself to differentiate yourself from the universe"

I am an aspect of the universe; I'm not made of some anti-universe substance or of something other than what every other thing in the universe is of. I am an aspect of the universe aware of " itself" so to speak.

And very cute of you to use a quote of mine insinuating that pan-experientailism is emasculating and cowardly.
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PostSubject: Re: The fundamental purpose of existence. Sun Sep 29, 2013 12:56 am

I believe you when you say that you have given this a lot of thought and I know where even more thought along those lines will lead.

It sounds reasonable that a plant would be semi-conscious, because it is a complex organism just like we are. It is only a fraction as complex, so I guess we could say a fraction as conscious, right? But, why stop there? The universe is far more complex than any one person, therefore the universe must be extremely conscious based on your reasoning. Do you find the thought of being a piece of a larger consciousness comforting?

You want a convincing argument for another position, but why would there be an alternative position, as if your position was a valid one among many? Your position is nihilistic and self-destructive, that is it's only relevant underlining feature. Any position that isn't nihilistic and self-destructive would be a good alternative. If you want help developing descent views then take my earlier advice as to reading Satyr. I'm not unwilling to help, but I can't be bothered to rewrite an entire philosophical perspective, when there is already one readily available. The best I can do is what I did in my reply to your OP and review what you write and tell you where you're on the right track and where you're going wrong.

Here's a link to a website/topic with the type of content you wish to discuss, maybe you should see what you can do there, then come back when you're ready.

http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=177426&p=2270906&hilit=panexperientialism#p2270906
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PostSubject: Re: The fundamental purpose of existence. Sun Sep 29, 2013 9:48 am

Canterbury wrote : " universe is far more complex than any one person, therefore the universe must be extremely conscious based on your reasoning. Do you find the thought of being a piece of a larger consciousness comforting?"

This type of thinking is erroneous; the universe is not a single organism - it is a multiplicity! And I don't believe in an afterlife. I believe that my energies will continue, but my human consciousness as it is, will perish most likely. I don't believe in this pan-experientialism + double aspect theory because it comforts me of the inevitability of death or because of the possibility of higher levels of awareness else where. To be frank, any position could be said to be " comforting ", e.g., the view of death as complete oblivion could be comforting to someone who hates life and consciousness. Buddhists, in this case, fit the bill as nihilists as they are weary of life and seek to escape it through ultimate nirvana AKA oblivion ( even though they won't openly say so because it sounds harsh ). If I wanted to believe in something because it's comforting and sounds cool, I would believe in Odin and Thor ( Thor is a badass ) and that one day, I will be in Valhalla with them, but I don't believe this even though it sounds comforting and awesome.

You don't have to re-write anything. Just post links to your earlier writings or other people's refutations of the position. I will check the link.
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PostSubject: Re: The fundamental purpose of existence. Sun Sep 29, 2013 6:22 pm

As to the link I gave you, that was from a conversation before my time at ilp, I found it by doing a keyword search for "pan-experientialism". I haven't read it, I only gave it to you as a quick example of the type of conversations that may be more suitable to your level. If you wish to challenge yourself then you definitely should read my essays. They are often in the form of the OP in the threads/topics I created there.

Below is the list of all 44 OPs. I will tell you since you would only be looking back at them that they are rife with irony. Only those who were regulars of ilp at the time and of a discerning intellect would have been able to know the degree of irony I was displaying in each individual thread/topic.

http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/search.php?sf=firstpost&sr=topics&sd=a&author=Stuartp523

The below two were serious. I'm a wiser person than when I wrote them, but they are still very worthwhile to read for one who wishes to see how the ideas your tentatively messing around with can go. They may also show you how your dichotomy of organisms and multiplicities can be obscured.

http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=181836&sid=7a060087cb242d0157c19c88836a336a

http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=182074&sid=7a060087cb242d0157c19c88836a336a
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PostSubject: Re: The fundamental purpose of existence. Sun Sep 29, 2013 7:03 pm

I checked your links, Cantenbury. I must say, I was expecting something more from you. But don't confuse that with me implying that you are mediocre or stupid. I'm sure you are a ,relatively, smart boy, but I guess I went into those threads with too many high standards and expectations. If I may be frank, your ideas are somewhat disjointed and misguided.

Here is a link to tumblr:

https://www.tumblr.com/

I think that you would fit in better with these types of people on that site as you are both on the same level.
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PostSubject: Re: The fundamental purpose of existence. Mon Sep 30, 2013 12:52 am

I never said that some of my ideas from back then weren't disjointed and misguided. The essays in the last two links are especially misguided, like your ideas, except without holding back in fear.

You missed the point entirely. I didn't provide you direct links to my best work, just the work that you may stare at as if looking at yourself someday; should you decide to proceed with the philosophical path you're on rather than changing directions or quitting altogether to languish in mediocrity.
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