Aside from humanity, I don't have much personally invested in the universe.

Discussion in 'Philosophy and Religion' started by Share the Warmth, May 17, 2007.

  1. All that enthralls me about the universe, about nature, stems from an innate ability to appreciate the aesthetic. The beauty of nature, the inconquerable logic of mathematics. The ring of truthfulness that blesses scientific endeavor.

    In the last few years however, I have become cynical about this appreciation, I've begun to question it. I have looked upon the wild animals, that I once considered purer and more beautiful than humans, and regard them now with mere fascination and sometimes even pity. I look at the sunset and wonder why I should appreciate it merely for the fact that my mind wants to appreciate it.

    The universe is a depressingly perfect concept, containing eternal cycles of destruction and rebirth. Inescapable cycles and patterns. Some of us are drawn to that perfection, that aesthetic that they can never achieve in their own lives.

    Me? I don't give a damn. My fascination with the universe dies with humanity. Call me close minded but I just don't give a damn about black holes, white dwarfs and far away empty galaxies unless they contain similar intelligence life forms capable of sharing and experiencing love.

    I sincerely think a lot of people are kidding themselves when they say "who cares about humanity, they won't impact the universe as a whole much anyway". To them I say this: who cares about the universe, except what it can do to perpetuate and nurture humanity and the precious concept of love that we have created and carried with us. What good is a universe tous if we aren't there to interact with it?

    All of your interests are stuck with humanity. Accept this fact. You can pick apart love all you want, you can trace it's evolutionary roots in an attempt to gain understanding and control over it, but the fact is when it dies a light goes off on the universe forever.

    Because, a while ago, someone was onto something when he conceived the idea of the earth being the center of the universe. That was common logic that was (thankfully) turned obsolete by a more productive and truthful look at the state of our solar system. However there is a notion there that can't be shaken, a grain of truth.

    As long as we're trapped here, Earth is the center of our universe (and for most of us, the extent of our universe). Even the coldest, more irrefutable wisdom of hard science is only a human perception of the world around us and without a planet full of humans that can relate to that perspective, it is meaningless.

    Some use their human intelligence to perceive a mysterious universe around them and then jump to their knees in worship of the things they see in the stars, without considering that maybe it is that imagination, and compassion and the other strengths and frailties of humanity, which deserve our respect and perhaps even faith and worship. In fact, perhaps that is what they are really worshipping to begin with, without being aware of it.

    I think that those who worship their own understanding of the universe around while disregarding the importance of humanity (which permits that understanding) are not much closer to the truth than hardcore Christians. Both are throwing their faith into something that is merely a product of the real treasure: the human perspective. Imagination, free will, and love.
     
  2. hippie_chick666

    hippie_chick666 Senior Member

    Interesting post. It defiently gives me something to think about.

    Peace and love
     
  3. snake sedrick

    snake sedrick Banned

    I'd say that both the universe, and we, the human spieces are far from 'perfect'. Certainly, there is room for improvement as regards humans on many levels.
    The term 'perfection' as applied to the universe as a whole is perhaps a bit misleading. For one thing, there is nothing 'other' with which the universe can be compared. Also, our actual knowledge of the universe as a speices is absolutely microscopic, we have no real way to come to such a conclusion other than a sense that it all works.

    Not caring about black holes etc is uderstandable - but really the more we know about the universe the better. Quasars, spiral galaxies etc don't exactly set my pulse racing, but it's all very interesting, and we are fortunate to live in an age when we are at last beginning to learn about the universe we inhabit.

    Humanity is part of the universe. The universe has nurtured us up to now - but we are not children any more, as we were in previous ages of ignorance and superstition. We are more like deliquent teenagers. We are certainly impacting on the earth, and there is a possibility that it will lead to disaster. We have to care about the universe, or at least the planet earth.

    In a sense I think we( and probably other races on other worlds) are the means by which the universe becomes aware of itself.


    Eventually, we need to get off this planet or face extinction.

    Good post there BTW with some interesting thoughts:)
     
  4. You raise some good points ! A lot of problems that stem from the semantics of my post that I'm noticing now as you read.

    Perfection itself is impossibility, I think you're right. Perfect from a human standpoint I meant. But maybe we are no more or less perfect than the rest of the universe, we only seem less perfect in our current state. I say imperfect because most of us don't realize the power we fully possess, whereas a ferret is a ferret to the best of it's ability or it is killed off. A human can be a pretty horrible human and continue to do alright for himself. Most of us, myself included, are nowhere near achieving what is to be our natural potential, I believe.

    I think I took a condescending tone towards the study of outer space and black holes but really I am fascinated by it and am in full support of the pursuit of knowledge in any form. I just hate the "humanity is just a useless moss growing in some far corner of the universe in a Kurt Vonnegut novel" mentality that I heard recently.

    It's almost if the more vast and inaccessible a study, the more important it is for some people. They just cannot stand humanity I guess, and need to distance themselves from it and study subjects free of the all too familiar complications of human morality. But I think there is just as much mystery and truth in a single cell of a lettuce plant as in our entire solar system.

    But maybe that's just me not wanting to leave my comfort zone (living things) and explore the far reaches of space. There is equal truth in all points in space, if one examines close enough. Maybe?

    But all of this reinforces my primary point with this post, I'm so happy to be human and to ponder these questions! How can I ever stay pessimistic as long as this is possible?

    I guess this post was more of a reaction to a friend who placed humanity's perspective and accomplishments down there with moss. Anything we can think or conceive of is a product of our humanity. Humanity gave him the ability to draw that comparison! The only thing we can really worship is the human perspective, because through it and only through it can we view this universe. All the theory we know is intrinsically human (since these thoeries are the ongoing work of many, many human beings), even the theories concerning nonhuman entities.
     
  5. snake sedrick

    snake sedrick Banned

    I don't know if you've ever encountered the ideas of Buckminster Fuller, the man who among other things coined the term 'spaceship earth' and invented the geodisic dome.

    Anyway, this is a link you might find interesting, as Fuller says things which are quite interesting in the context of your post, esp. concerning the significance of humanity.

    http://bfi.org/node/131

    My view is that we do have some quite large significance in the scheme of things.
    I assume that for billions of years, there was no consciousness in this solar system, and that only after further billions of years of slow evolution did we humans appear. In terms of the age of the solar system, that was only yesterday. It is only 250 years we've even known the actual extent of the surface of the earth. So I think we have a long way to go, but I also believe we have enormous potential, both individually and collectively.
     
  6. Thank you for that link! I had not heard of him but I've bookmarked that site and will explore it.

    That article is similar to my own thoughts on the manner, but he sums it up with such a visual (though grammatically imperfect at times, which only makes it more personable somehow) presentation.

    We are insignificant in size and lifespan but our minds can deal with subjects that are enormous beyond comprehension. We can visualize increments of distance and time well beyond the scope of what we can each personally experience. And it doesn't even take a genius to comprehend a universe of such dimensions, this is something most of us have the potential to do.

    I really do put my faith in the power of the human intellect. It's been there for some time.

    This quote alone, taken from the site, resonates so strongly with me. This is what I'm talking about when I talk about global self actualization on this forum!

    Thanks again for this link.
     
  7. snake sedrick

    snake sedrick Banned

    Yes - I think actually that is a transcript of a talk given by Fuller, probably without notes, which may explain the grammar. It is certainly an interesting perspective.
     

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