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scotter

What Is The Function Of Human Beings?

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Members here knows that I am theist, however, this question is raised as a question of knowledge enrichment, NOT a debate about existence of God.

 

One friend of long ago said, “In Nature everything has a use, a function, or else this object would have been filtered out [is extinct a close word?] by natural process and would not continue to exist.” He is not particularly religious.

 

That makes sense e.g. trees absorb CO2 and release Oxygen, bees spread the pollens and plants propagate by distance spreads with a better chance of survival and genetic diversity, butterflies look pretty and spread pollens too, squirrels bury the nuts for food reserve and forget where they bury them, and trees grow from that seed thanks to the squirrels.

 

For theists in general, God created the world and human is supposed to be the administrator of Nature, and obviously human is not doing a very good job. What I am saying is at least there is a theoretical horizon to base on, and an explanation about human free will that fail to conserve the environment but instead abusing it; Original Sin that corrupts man’s mind and behavior; man has to toil from Nature but being over-toiling….

 

Christian theists in general:

 

Proposition 1

God created man, animals and organisms.

 

Proposition 2

Every living element has a role in Nature designed by God.

 

Proposition 3

Rats and roaches they may not have any inherent “functions”, but the theological explanation is –

After Adam and Eve sinned, God said, “From now on you guys have to work hard for food.” So rats and roaches are instruments that add to man’s hardship in making a living.

 

I surmise a humanist can counter with:

 

Counter Prop. 1

There is no God, organisms exist because of natural evolution, organisms were “created” by evolution.

 

Counter Prop. 2a

Not every thing has to have a role in Nature; not everything has a role in Nature e.g. rats and roaches.

 

Counter Prop. 2b

Alternatively, atheists can counter that human beings do have a role in nature without religious context, just as an atheist can live a humane and moral life without religion.

 

Counter Prop. 3a

Agreeing that rats and roaches have no functions [derived from Counter Prop. 2a], but the explanation would be they are strong species in evolution and been able to survive millions of years in the evolution process.

 

Counter Prop. 3b

Alternatively: No – rats and roaches have positive functions too.

 

Coming to my questions for atheist friends:

 

Q1. For Counter Prop. 2a, 2b: Do human beings have a function in Nature, in the atheist perspective?

Q2. If so, what are man’s roles?

Q3. After you list out the roles, do you think that humans have been doing a good job from the job descriptions?

 

Q4. For Counter Prop. 3b: What are the natural functions of rats and roaches in Nature?

 

-----

Scotter’s thoughts:

 

Humans live on and live by destruction. Shaving off Amazon rain forest and monarch butterflies die, driving cars that contributes to global warming (ice is melting in the Arctic), drilling oil in Alaska…..Humans trash, pollute, destroy wherever they go [there is a similar organism living in similar pattern – it is called virus].

 

The exception would be the indigenous people of the Continents. North American Native peoples emphasize living with Nature, respecting the trees, they hunt animals only for survival, not for pleasure.

 

Or, do we come to a conclusion that Humans have no functions, as opposite to my friend’s opinion? Human is basically a strong species that evolve to become where we are today. See Counter Prop. 3a.

 

So, does that mean Humans are on par with roaches, rats and virus? The only difference between we humans and viruses would be we know how to log on the internet to Ex-Christian.net then.

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.....Counter Prop. 2a

Not every thing has to have a role in Nature; not everything has a role in Nature e.g. rats and roaches.......

Why make that false statement? Is it only to set up an argument with a false pretense?
So, does that mean Humans are on par with roaches, rats and virus? The only difference between we humans and viruses would be we know how to log on the internet to Ex-Christian.net then.
Ah, it was. And why do you feel this need to assign everything a "role"?

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:)Hi Scotter!

 

Great topic!

 

It seems evolution is about organisms finding their niche, by capitalizing on resources around them. If there are not resources that give organisms the abilities to compete with their competition for food and space, then they cease to exist. If the squirrel did not bury the nut that grew the tree, that may have been the difference of that tree not making it... or the squirrel! It's awesome how our ecosystem has evolved!

 

The lower on the food chain any organism is found to be, the less functions they seem to have... hence rats and roaches. Maybe their primary function is to be food? However, rats are more intelligent than many think and have even been proven to show the ability to have emotions such as depression! I guess rats have acquired a function in the lab, however, I would never support cruelty to any animal.

 

Anyway, a diversity of genes are always beneficial. Who knows what resources we lose in extinction, considering our age of genetic engineering. These animals that you think may have no function may become very functional for humans. There is a study suggesting these animals we call nuisances, may now bring new answers to the world problem of energy. This article here says this:

 

A group of scientists from Feati University recently devised a biological fuel cell that uses the enzyme Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD) to directly convert biochemical energy into electricity. Their research raises the possibility that household pests like mosquitoes, rats, cockroaches and flies could be used as biofuel sources. Cockroaches generated the highest amperage, according to the article.

 

If this is true, the tropics of Florida will be rich! :)

 

What function do humans have? Well, hopefully with our intellect we will see the value of our ecosystem more and more, and find what we do to the rest of life will also effect us. Ths better we are to it, the better it is for ourself. Observing earth from an airplane, our metropolitan areas look like a virus on our planet! Orlando, where I live, is becoming very conscientous of urban sprawl and Florida is taking great efforts to buy and preserve our natural habitats. I think man has both the propensity to do the most harm and the most good for our planet. Hopefully we will be subbornly refusing to be greedy... and create a better world for the future.

 

I too am a theist, and think there is an advantageous aspect to holding that supreme being sacred. The ecosystem, IMO, just supports my idea in that their is one supreme being... and EVERYTHING is an expression of it. We are ALL interrelated and interdependent in one way or another. If we took the concept of being organisms on a planet one step further, it might soon be much more evident that we are all organs of the organism. :wicked:

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Neat thread :)

We are ALL interrelated and interdependent in one way or another. If we took the concept of being organisms on a planet one step further, it might soon be much more evident that we are all organs of the organism. :wicked:

Ever think that humans may be a form of cancer for this planet... we're like kind of changing the ecosystem because we are slowing down the human aging clock with modern medical advances. :HaHa:

night_earth_375.jpg

In a couple of years... and for a few hundred thousand dollars we'll get the chance to get spit into outer space :HaHa:

240_home2_img1_spacetourism2.gif

 

My wildest sequential guesses as to a function for human beings:

- survival at all cost (100 years: cure humans from all forms of viral and other infections)

- increase sentient perceptions of our universe through scientific research (1000 years: decode most of the testable dimensions)

- prepare an escape from a solar system with a sun about to go red giant (500,000 years)

- prepare an escape from a universe exponentially heading towards a big crunch or a big rip (14 billion years)

 

Sounds like Noah's ark doesn't it :lmao:

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From how I see it, our "function" is to simply live.

 

I prefer to think that any "role" humans (or any other beings) serve is adaptable to our needs and surroundings. We have brains and are capable of advanced thought - we'll figure out our role when we need to.

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It's not really that everything has a function, but everything has found a way to survive. Trees don't create oxygen so that other organisms can use it, they do it as a byproduct of their way of surviving. Then other organisms took advantage of the oxygen and survived better. Cockroaches survive by eating nearly anything, and they are also food for some other organisms, rats do something similar. Fungi evolved to decompose dead things, which they use for food. A useful byproduct of this is that their is less biological trash lying about. Bees pollinate flowers by accident while gathering food, flowers exploit bees to reproduce.

 

Your friends understanding of evolution isn't very good. Everything has a method of surviving, not neccessarily a function. It might contribute to other species by accident, or on purpose if it gets something out of it (flowers creating nectar to draw bees, fruits being made to distribute seeds through animals) but many species survive by destroying parts of their environment (elephants, infectious bacteria, among other things).

 

If humans need a role in nature, it would be overlord, tamer and destroyer (currently). We used to simply be social hunters, but technology and the human brain allowed us to move onto our new role.

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Coming to my questions for atheist friends:

 

Q1. For Counter Prop. 2a, 2b: Do human beings have a function in Nature, in the atheist perspective?

Q2. If so, what are man’s roles?

Q3. After you list out the roles, do you think that humans have been doing a good job from the job descriptions?

 

Q4. For Counter Prop. 3b: What are the natural functions of rats and roaches in Nature?

 

Scotter,

 

You are making assumptions about purpose in the world by looking at what became as though it was what was intended, or designed to become. What is the purpose of man? Whatever we make it to be. Does a rat have a function in nature? Of course it does. What became is dependent on what is. If you take away all rats, and other scavengers, then you will increase the disease that will come from rotting things not be consumed and cleaned up.

 

So what will happen? Other life forms that a resistant to those sorts of diseases that the rats took care of will increase, and those who are susceptible will decrease. Was this the purpose of it? No. It's what happened based on adapting to the circumstances.

 

Purpose in nature is all about adaptive purpose, not intended purposed. We use our hands to grip things like a steering wheel, but were our hands designed for that purpose from the beginning?

 

If you change the environment, then man's role will become different than it is in the eco-system. What people seem to like to do is look at what is as the intended purpose, and consequently see is a something truly mind-boggling in its probability of happening, therefore there must be some god who made this happen.

 

I liken it to throwing 100,000 nuts and bolts into the air, and then based on the physical properties of those items and the energy applied to them they will fall into various patterns on the ground. Now someone could ask, "What would be the odds of that happening exactly that way?" That is what we do when we look at nature and the roles we "assumed", then concluding it "works too perfectly to be coincidence". Not at all.

The only thing consistent with living organisms is a common drive to survive within an enviroment that occured as we have it through completely natural means. We adapt to that enviroment and the result is a system of survival that changes its interdependencies everytime the enviroment changes.

 

Purpose in nature is adapative purpose. "Design" in the natural world is from the bottom up adaptive pupose or role, not an design the top down intended purpose or role. If it were from the top down, it wouldn't look like this. It's only seems a "pefect system" from our human perceptions because we've found out how to adapt to it and survive in it. Ironic how short of a period of time we've existed, and how limited of a species humans are to assume the world is about them! :grin:

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Neat thread :)

We are ALL interrelated and interdependent in one way or another. If we took the concept of being organisms on a planet one step further, it might soon be much more evident that we are all organs of the organism. :wicked:

Ever think that humans may be a form of cancer for this planet... we're like kind of changing the ecosystem because we are slowing down the human aging clock with modern medical advances. :HaHa:

---- :eek: ----- :eek: ----- :eek:

 

Reboot... I know! I've thought of this... that is why I posted that the metropolitan areas look like a virus on the planet! :ohmy: It really isn't funny. And if you take into consideration, as you suggested, that we may have the resources to 'infect' other planets, solar systems, etc. it can get scary. We just move from one place to another devouring everything else. What a monster movie... and we're the monster!!!

 

However, for our own convenience and sense of survival, of course, I think we will change this outcome. :phew:

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However, for our own convenience and sense of survival, of course, I think we will change this outcome. :phew:

We may or we may not... is We the U.S.A. only or U.S.A. + China + India + Europe + Africa... Getting humanity to change habits is far from a given :twitch:

Its all about survival. We'll do what we need to do when the time comes... at whatever costs, business as usual. How do you like the new 700 mile Mexico- U.S. fence idea :scratch:

nuclear-bomb-test.jpg

Atomic cannon test 1953 :HaHa:

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I'm sorry, but the whole argument is a non-sequitor. Nothing in nature is "higher" or "lower" than anything else. Nothing has a "role" or a "purpose" unless it's to survive and propigate. The point of life is life.

 

That's it.

 

While I agree, we're better off not "shitting where we eat", we have no "role" as "administrators of nature" (whatever that means). Nature doesn't need a caretaker.

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I'm sorry, but the whole argument is a non-sequitor. Nothing in nature is "higher" or "lower" than anything else. Nothing has a "role" or a "purpose" unless it's to survive and propigate. The point of life is life.

 

That's it.

 

While I agree, we're better off not "shitting where we eat", we have no "role" as "administrators of nature" (whatever that means). Nature doesn't need a caretaker.

Yeah, what he said. Tried to say that in so many words, but my intoxicated state wouldn't allow it. Really, Scotter, your questioning the issue is kinda pointless...

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We may or we may not... is We the U.S.A. only or U.S.A. + China + India + Europe + Africa... Getting humanity to change habits is far from a given :twitch:

Its all about survival. We'll do what we need to do when the time comes... at whatever costs, business as usual. How do you like the new 700 mile Mexico- U.S. fence idea :scratch:

 

:Look: Shhhhhh... Reboot... you shouldn't say those things! You might give some crazy person an idea to use nuclear war to get rid of humans... to save the earth. :eek:

 

It kind of reminds me of the mentality of that Andrea Yates lady, who killed her kids before the age of accountability, so satan wouldn't get them, and assured their place in heaven. :( There's a lot of crazy people out there!

 

As far as the Mexican border... well, I love my latin friends... however, many people in Florida are losing their jobs because they are not spanish speaking. Did you know there are federal agencies that design ways for illegal aliens to get federal funding... even if they never worked here? Anyway, that's a different topic. :)

 

I'm sorry, but the whole argument is a non-sequitor. Nothing in nature is "higher" or "lower" than anything else. Nothing has a "role" or a "purpose" unless it's to survive and propigate. The point of life is life.

 

That's it.

 

While I agree, we're better off not "shitting where we eat", we have no "role" as "administrators of nature" (whatever that means). Nature doesn't need a caretaker.

 

:)Skankboy... who's going to protect it from us? And with the new value placed on genetic engineering, do we just let valuable species go extinct? :shrug:

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I'm sorry, but the whole argument is a non-sequitor. Nothing in nature is "higher" or "lower" than anything else. Nothing has a "role" or a "purpose" unless it's to survive and propigate. The point of life is life.

 

That's it.

 

While I agree, we're better off not "shitting where we eat", we have no "role" as "administrators of nature" (whatever that means). Nature doesn't need a caretaker.

 

Preach it, brotha :)

 

There's no need to take more upon your shoulders than the task of life itself. Finding meaning is simply living, growing, and bettering oneself lies at the crux of it all. Taking on added "roles" to "have a cause" to struggle for (or really to just boost one's ego) just leads to unhappiness.

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Hi guys,

 

Scotter goes out in the morning and gets home late, so sorry for the impression of non-response on my side.

 

Wow…actually the responses are overwhelming and heavily philosophical. I don’t think I am able to quote members’ individual responses and reply. But I promise you I will study them for my benefit.

 

As for members who have queries although not asked, “Scotter, what is your problem man?” There is no problem.  Scotter sometimes have questions and find Ex-C.net is the best place to post and talk about those questions where there are so many intelligent people.

 

Should I post one more question for thought…..(responses optional) If there is not an interactive function with other elements on Earth, further down, “Do human beings have a role in the Milky Way Galaxy? Do humans have a role in the Universe where there are billions of galaxies and the Milky Way is a tiny dot, and the earth is a piece of dust?”

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Skankboy... who's going to protect it from us? And with the new value placed on genetic engineering, do we just let valuable species go extinct?

 

I think that falls under the "don't shit where you eat" maxim. Saying humans aren't the caretakers of nature, doesn't give us license to destroy either. And the best reason for conservation efforts is the honest one: because humans need stuff to survive. We need moderate temps, clean water and nutrious food. Fuck up the envirnoment enough and all or one of these goes away.

 

In addition, there's no way to know which species are more "valuable" to our survival than any other. There could be a spider in the amazon with the cure for cancer that just went extinct because we clear-cut it's habitat.

 

My main hope for the field of genetics is the possibility of prevserving and later reviving as many species as possible for future use. There's a huge issue in South America right now because all of the banana trees are essentially clones of each other (it was done to get rid of seeds). The problem is there's a disease that is wiping out that line. Growers are scrambling to find other, less altered, versions of the banana to hopefully save the industry...

 

Don't shit where you eat.

 

 

Should I post one more question for thought…..(responses optional) If there is not an interactive function with other elements on Earth, further down, “Do human beings have a role in the Milky Way Galaxy? Do humans have a role in the Universe where there are billions of galaxies and the Milky Way is a tiny dot, and the earth is a piece of dust?”

 

Nope. Dust in the wind baby, dust in the wind.

 

IMOHO,

:thanks:

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Should I post one more question for thought…..(responses optional) If there is not an interactive function with other elements on Earth, further down, “Do human beings have a role in the Milky Way Galaxy? Do humans have a role in the Universe where there are billions of galaxies and the Milky Way is a tiny dot, and the earth is a piece of dust?”

Humans are (probably) alone among animals in that they can define their own purpose. If we have the drive, we can take any role in the universe we want as long as we can create the technology. Otherwise, we're simply here to survive, whether it benefits others or not.

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If there is not an interactive function with other elements on Earth, further down, “Do human beings have a role in the Milky Way Galaxy? Do humans have a role in the Universe where there are billions of galaxies and the Milky Way is a tiny dot, and the earth is a piece of dust?”

 

Business as usual :HaHa:

Explore/survive

Conquer/Exploit/Exterminate/Cooperate

finally.... escape

 

Julius Cesar: veni vidi vici

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I think I can sum up Antlerman's elequent (as usual) long post: Not purpose. Cause and effect.

 

Is that fair AM?

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I think I can sum up Antlerman's elequent (as usual) long post: Not purpose. Cause and effect.

 

Is that fair AM?

Pretty much. What is the result of cause and effect within a natural system. The only “purpose” of life everywhere it exists in the universe is two-fold: Consume energy and survive. Everything eats. The purpose of life is eating and reproducing for the sake of life.

 

But wait… that’s too boring for intellectually excited brains like that of humans! We must find a greater meaning for all of this! So off we go projecting all our emotional fears and desires onto the great void of the impersonal machine. The dark secret? (It has no meaning). In recognizing that, we are freed to make our own purpose.

 

Should I post one more question for thought…..(responses optional) If there is not an interactive function with other elements on Earth, further down, “Do human beings have a role in the Milky Way Galaxy? Do humans have a role in the Universe where there are billions of galaxies and the Milky Way is a tiny dot, and the earth is a piece of dust?”

Do humans have a role in the vast universe amongst all the other likely life forms on myriads of planets elsewhere? I would say it is highly unlikely anything that happens within the cage of our atmosphere has an impact anywhere else in the universe. The only relationship we have to that system is that we participate in the natural impetuous of life forming, consuming, and surviving until the end of the universe comes. After this, then all that we are will be gone:

All the world's a stage,

And all the men and women merely players:

They have their exits and their entrances;

 

<snip>

 

Last scene of all,

That ends this strange eventful history,

Is second childishness and mere oblivion,

Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything"

 

William Shakespeare

Which brings it back to the simple equation for finding meaning to existence: “There is nothing good for a man under the sun except to eat and to drink and to be merry,” Ca. 8:15

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Which brings it back to the simple equation for finding meaning to existence: “There is nothing good for a man under the sun except to eat and to drink and to be merry,” Ca. 8:15

 

I'll drink to that! :woohoo:

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