The present, if left alone, never guarantees the future. It is up to us to do our best to guarantee a desirable future from the present.
In this simple statement we can find purposiveness.
The present, if left alone, never guarantees the future. It is up to us to do our best to guarantee a desirable future from the present.
In this simple statement we can find purposiveness.
Heidegger defined Being as that which is unconcealed or, more accurately, he proposed that what entities are depends on the conditions that allow them to manifest themselves, and it was this dependency that Heidegger called Unconcealment (Unverborgenheit).
Implied in this link between Being and Unconcealment is a dependency on the unconcealed buried in the nature of all Being.
Unconcealment is an important concept for us for three reasons:
Firstly, we believe that the Universe, as an entity, has evolved in a deliberate way that enables Unconcealment to come about.
Secondly, the human, homo sapiens, as an unconcealing entity, finds itself in a central and essential position in the Universe. We are invested with the power to unconceal the Universe; the same Universe that created the conditions allowing for our existence as unconcealers in order to bring forth Being … Being comes from the sapiens’ unconcealing of it.
Thirdly, the vital role that humanity plays in the Unconcealment and subsequently the very Being of the Universe, creates a positive, moral purposiveness for humanity embedded in Being and the perpetuation of Being through our power to unconceal.
Before Unconcealment, or before the existence of sapiens’ consciousness, there was no awareness of the Universe and no possible context for the Universe to exist in. With the evolution of consciousness that context was created. From a purposive point of view, therefore, we think in order to unconceal. However, paradoxically, the human mind is also proficient at making its own concealments.
We were created to unconceal and yet, ask anyone what truth is, and they will almost undoubtedly struggle to give any semblance of a satisfactory answer. Embedded in our power to unconceal is also a powerful capacity for sceptical reasoning. If there is a struggle in human society between light and darkness, it is contained in our proficiency to conceal and unconceal at the same time. In fact, our very own ability to unconceal is concealed from us. Although the will to unconceal is manifest in all truly creative, artistic and scientific endeavours there is very little in the design of human societies and cultures pushing Unconcealment forward as an essential element of human activity.
In reality, the importance of our unconcealing faculties, which are our true nature, are concealed from us, and this paradoxical fact may be the basic human flaw that allows for the seemingly unavoidable propagation of all crimes against humanity such as war and famine and the deliberate fermentation of ignorance created by anti-Unconcealment, and subsequently anti-human, economic principles.
It is not hard to understand why Unconcealment as a basic, purposive drive for human beings is concealed. After all, all human purposiveness is in the main part concealed by all human societies. Of course, this seems wrong: the same societies that enmesh our lives are alienating us by obfuscating authentic human purpose from us. Surely, the first thing that a civilisation would want to impart to its communities would be a common, authentic purposiveness, yet, in actual fact, the complete opposite is true. How can this be so?
The answer is simple: the power (Wealth) that organises and runs society is an economically-interested one that reaps more profit by concentrating all our attention on the present rather than any long-term future. Capitalism builds only where profits can be made from that construction, whereas purposiveness demands a different kind of progress.
The concealment of long-term purposiveness is therefore a conscious, anti-human act, dictated by the immediate purpose of making profit. There is no profit to be made out of the long-term.
Continued at Part Two: https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/pauladkin.wordpress.com/3382
We live entrenched in a nihilistic paradigm bolstered, on the one hand, by the alternative-reality escapisms of the world religions, which diminish the importance of life-on-earth in order to strengthen their fantasy utopias of the after-life, and, on the other hand, by scientific paradigms that paint the picture of a fragile and essentially moribund universe. This ultimate message of vanitas vanitatum directs us away from real purposiveness and has been exploited by religions and capitalisms alike in order to fabricate a paradigm of prayer and/or consumerism full of alienated subjects struggling to reap more reward from a reality dominated by the actual and/or another life after death.
Given this pessimistic scenario in which a pincer of nihilism squeezes us from the material and the spiritual side at the same time; with the dogma of the scriptures and the truths of science collaborating to create the same philosophical conclusion, Vanity of vanities; all is vanity: to think any differently seems like madness.
Nevertheless, on the scientific side of the nihilistic paradigm, glimmers of purposiveness are beginning to sparkle, like twinkling luminaries within the absolute blackness of the Universe’s deepest reaches.
Physicist Paul Davies argues the following:
“For three centuries science has been dominated by the Newtonian and thermodynamic paradigms, which present the universe either as a sterile machine, or in a state of degeneration and decay. Now there is the new paradigm of the creative universe, which recognises the progressive, innovative character of physical processes. This new paradigm emphasises the collective, cooperative and organisational aspects of nature; its perspective is synthetic and holistic rather than analytic and reductionist.”
Paul Davies’ idea is essentially anti-nihilistic. He gives us an idea of absolute human purposiveness within a mortal Universe. Beginning with the description of the heat-death state which physics predicts to be the Universe’s ultimate destiny:
“Eventually, even the galaxies near our Milky way (or what’s left of it) will be receding faster than light, and so will be invisible. If nothing acts to change their trend, the ultimate state of the universe will be dark, near-empty space for all eternity. It is a depressing thought.”
… Davies then throws in a positive spark:
“There is a glimmer of hope, however. The same physical process that triggered the inflationary burst at the birth of the universe could, in principle, be re-created. With trillions of years to worry about it, our descendants in the far future might figure out a way to produce a new big bang in the laboratory, in effect creating a baby universe … For a while mother and baby will be joined by an umbilical cord of space, offering a bridge between the old universe and the new. Our descendants might be able to scramble into the new universe, and embark on a new cycle of cosmic evolution and development.”
Yes, it sounds like science-fiction fantasy, but at least it does offer an alternative to the reigning nihilistic paradigms. What Davies suggests, is that perhaps all our earthly achievements have not been in vain. Perhaps it even gives us a general purpose in life within which we can start to build our individual purposes and structure our societies in a new, more positive way accordingly.
Once a positive final-purpose becomes possible and we start to see beyond the nihilist-paradigm, then possibility itself becomes a positive and creative driving force, pulling us out of the stifling gravity of the actual into a purposeful future.
New questions create new answers, and new answers create new scenarios, which create new paradigms and new societies. Once the creativity of thinking on the possible rather than the actual is put into play, then everything is changed.
If an idea that humanity has the possibility of creating a new, fresh universe to replace the dying inflationary one we inhabit at the moment, or perhaps even a vision of a distant future where humans have devised a technology that could remedy the degeneration in the universe and save it; then such positive aspirations to ensure such an evolution could become as ingrained in us as the pessimistic visions and nihilisms are embedded in our outlook of humanity today. If this did happen, then new societies and cultures would have to be born to adapt to such a radical positivism.
Instead of praying to God, we can start to have faith in a new idea of humanity: that human beings could themselves become gods. Paul Davies’ simple possibility implies this. A simple possibility given support, albeit theoretical and hypothetical, by science.
Once purposiveness (whatever kind of purposiveness) is fully grasped, can there be a more motivating and creative force? So motivating indeed, that the great motor that we currently have in our lives – money – could very quickly be superseded. And, with the root of all evil gone, societies will be invested with tremendously positive, new possibilities. A massive snowball of creativity will be set in motion. A new eon of humanity will be born with an optimism capable of taking it beyond the physical life-span of the Universe itself.
The purposiveness suggested by a simple idea such as Davies’, so that the destiny of mankind as gods creating our own universe, is reinforced by becoming. Absolute purposiveness can only exist in the task that is always in progress. The meaning is embedded in the process rather than the completion of the task. Completion is always an end to reason. Only the eternal becoming can be truly motivating.
 Paul Davies, THE COSMIC BLUEPRINT (from the Preface to the first edition)
For human purpose to be positive in a non-transcendental sense, it has to be aimed at progress, which needs to imply eternal continuation in the material sense. Without eternity, all progress and achievements, and purposes are essentially nihilistic and vain.
For philosophy to describe materialistic purpose from the perspective of humanity, it needs a materialistic teleology, which needs to be rooted in science.
In teleological terms, however, science is profoundly pessimistic. The Universe is not eternal. Material reality has a use by date. Everything will one day collapse. Everything – all is vanity!
Nevertheless, philosophy should not give up and dive into nihilistic pessimism as well – and for the humanist, transcendental philosophy should be regarded as equally pessimistic as material nihilism. To be a positivist, the humanist needs to see beyond the pessimistic picture framed by science and look for optimistic paths, opening positivistic doors toward an eternal progress in the science itself. After all, this is the basic function of all technologies. The law of gravity tells us that we cannot fly, but it also was a necessary element in developing flying machines. The second law of thermodynamics tells us that the Universe is doomed to evolve into a massive frozen, inanimate state, but it could also be the key to showing us how that cosmic-truth can be altered. If we were destined to fly, and leave the Earth, then our ultimate destiny, and purposiveness, must be to remedy the fundamental flaw of the Universe, which is the death of everything.
PROPOSITION A: The fact that the evolution of the Universe is moving in an ultimately pessimistic direction gives us a positivist goal to undo that negative outcome.
Once we look for positive gaps in the pessimistic quilt of the scientific view of eternity, a purposeful materialism becomes a dynamic, motivating force. Contemporary cosmology tells us that the Universe is structured toward the creation of life, and this itself leads to a wealth of positivistic, purposive conclusions. Even the pessimistic idea that the life-generating mechanism in the cosmos is not a very efficient one, can be interpreted in a purposive way by humanity for, as far as we know, we ourselves, as sapiens entities, are the highest evolution of life in the Universe, and that imbues our very existence with tremendous responsibility and purposiveness.
We are here, and by being here we give purpose to the Universe. We make it meaningful. With our technology we have shown that we can overcome the hardships of our environment here on Earth. Nevertheless, we have lost our way: our technological development has evolved in unsustainable proportions; our taming of the environment has developed into an abuse of that environment that threatens its destruction and our own annihilation.
The perpetuation of life in the Universe is a profoundly precarious subject that begins with the precarious problem of prolonging sapiens life on Earth.
What this tells us is that the highest good (what we should all be striving for) is our survival, and that that can only be grasped in an ultimate sense by developing our knowledge of nature. If the fine-tuned Universe exists, it has a moral implication. Even those who imbue a religious significance to Cosmological Fine Tuning could do themselves a big favour by asking themselves what this news tells us about the nature of God’s work … The morality is buried in the purposiveness embedded in the ambition.
What we see when we look at the Universe is a physics of becoming, and what we interpret in the miracle of life and its evolution into sapiens life-forms is a will for Being, which must run through this whole process of becoming. And Being, we reason, must also desire permanence. Through our sapiens minds, the Universe comes into Existence in a formal way, and our logical conclusion is that it would be normal for it to want to stay in existence.
This is our positivism: we are agents through which the Universe exists in a meaningful way. And we are the agents gifted with potential power of determining the success of the Universe’s attempts at Being through becoming and perpetuation.
What we are claiming here may sound esoteric to some, but they are philosophical statements based on scientific facts: a material philosophy nurtured by science.
Kant proposed moral teleology, the idea of a moral final-cause, as a form of tackling, in a rational way via nature’s apparent final causes, the concept of the Creator or God.
In our previous posts we have also been toying with this idea of the moral teleology, but instead of using it as a way to prove the existence of God, we do so to supersede the need to think of God, and allow ourselves to concentrate on human purposiveness. Our moral teleology is based on progress through becoming and concerns humanity – all of humanity without separations. The vision of the final-cause, even with the consciousness that it can only ever be a process of becoming, without end, and never be perfectly fulfilled, is a fundamentally moral concept that, as in all morality, implies duties. And while becoming negates permanence, and through that nullification a further negation of dogmas, it also maintains a need for the preservation of ideas via the imperative of learning.
In our concept of moral teleology, there are no divine commands, but yes, there is a moral gravity that tugs us forward in a purposive way. We have a duty, a sense of obligation, to creating a happy ending for humanity and the Universe.
But even in Kant’s case, despite building his moral-teleology bridge toward the Creator, he was also able to argue in favour of a rather atheistic kind of agnosticism: “Beyond all doubt the great purposiveness present in the world compels us to think that there is a supreme cause of this purposiveness and one whose causality has an intelligence behind it. But this in no way entitles us to ascribe such intelligence to that cause.”
In a sense, Kant is arguing Plato’s cave-thesis in reverse. The temptation is to see God in our shadows, but, in reality, the illumination that casts that shadow is too bright for us to deduce anything at all from it.
And so, he says, we can handle the idea of God in a rational way through moral teleology, although, really, we are not entitled to come to any conclusions because they would be fantasies.
God exists because we want it to exist, but it would be more purposeful and positive to investigate the purposiveness of ourselves and the real human potential latent in our progress (with an aim of properly and positively unleashing that potential).
As a bridge between reality and fantasy in theology, Kant proposed the idea of psychoteleology. This term is useful for tackling the idea of final-cause from our own perspective of becoming. A psychoteleological approach to the examination of theories of Cosmological Fine Tuning opens up a fertile field for rationalising a forward-looking, authentically progressive philosophy of purposiveness for humanity.
 Immanuel Kant, Critique of Judgement, Part One.
 Ibid, p. 313
 Ibid, p. 314
Ours is a nihilistic world: What our civilisation lacks and needs is a common, human purpose. But purposiveness only makes sense when combined with the process of becoming. The purpose is not found in what is, but rather meaningfulness is rooted in the act of becoming; or, in other words, in making real that which will come to be. Becoming is a natural purposiveness, embedded in the evolutionary nature of things. Counter-purposiveness is, therefore, located in the static and the contrary idea that the good lies in the actual state of what is.
Nevertheless, if we consider evolution from the standpoint of the evolution of ideas, it is immediately clear how important to becoming is the idea of learning. Progress has to be a building on that which came before. Memory is essential and preservation is a necessary agent for facilitating memory on a vast cultural scale. The static is a counter-purposive state, but preservation is not. Quite the contrary, preservation is replete with purpose, and in fact it gives fuel to purposeful being.
Opposed to the positive element of preservation then, we have the negative counter-purpose of eradication.
By observing evolutionary processes, we see how becoming is embedded in the biological nature of organisms. Likewise, if we look at the cosmological evolution of the Universe through the mathematical prism of Cosmological Fine Tuning, then we also see a process of purposive becoming take place. In both cases, there is a continual insistence on trial and error and the learning that occurs through it. If the Rare Earth scenario is correct, then, in cosmological terms, the complexity of creating life through trial and error is immense, and the probabilities of success, even in the great enormity of this Universe, are miniscule. Despite this, a steady process of becoming has been able to produce an organism capable of understanding the amazing complexity involved in the process of its own evolution, and this has to be regarded as an incredible achievement born from the natural, reflexive process of becoming itself.
Whether there was, from the beginning, a natural purposiveness in this or not; whether evolution is an accidental process or not – authentic, universal purposiveness can be derived from observation of the process and, whether this is an anthropocentric perception or not, the moral implications still hold true. Once becoming is recognised as the moral nature of things, then a moral path forward is opened for us. The past is only significant in terms of what needs to be learned in order to go forward. There is no purpose in the past except what it tells us about where we have come from and, hence, what becoming is.
The requirements of the moral laws of purposiveness derive their inspiration, not from the past or the creator, but from the future. If the essence is becoming, then humanity and all human cultures must ask themselves what we can become. Or even: What must we become? Morality needs to be orientated towards the future: Always.
Nothing is written: The moral law is part of becoming and must always be adjusted to future looking purposiveness.
Moral laws can never, therefore, be inviolable. Quite the contrary: We should expect them to evolve. Evolution is essential in becoming, and the role of preservation is needed for the learning to be able to push progress forward.
Of course becoming and progress also make demands on us, but true purposiveness is a liberating kind of duty, with a heavy enough anchor to keep the dynamic process from exploding into anarchy.
Sapiens life-forms, gifted with the ability to be conscious of and understand the physical mechanics of the world around them, are, most likely, a very rare part of the enormous cosmos we inhabit. Despite the vastness of the Universe, the stability required to produce ecosystems capable of harbouring organisms is extremely scarce.
This Rare Earth Hypothesis was put forward by the geologist and palaeontologist, Peter ward and the astronomer and astrobiologist, Donald Brownlee in their book Rare Earth. Their thesis is an argument against the Drake Equation that was championed by Carl Sagan and was a favourite of Fox Mulder in the X-Files.
The Drake Equation is more or less based on probabilities suggested by the simple vastness of space and fails to take into consideration neither the enormous inhospitableness of that space, nor the tendency for organised systems to fail or fall into mutually destructive relationships with each other. The Drake equation was most definitely an exaggeration, while the Rare Earth Hypothesis points to the Anthropic principles put forward by Barrow and Tipler and other champions of Cosmological Fine Tuning. It suggests the probability that the complex variety of life-forms on Earth may be unique in the Universe. In other words, we may very well be alone here.
Unique or not: we are special and rare, and immensely important for the qualitative existence of the Universe. Once we embrace this condition of uniqueness, ideas of fulfilment and purposiveness are radically augmented and changed as well. If we are the best there is, we should act accordingly and try to make sure we always act correctly, according to our noble status.
Our specialness implies purposiveness, and points toward meaningful life-philosophies. Likewise, it indicates that our negative feelings of alienation and absurdity are fostered by a lack of connection with the authentic purposiveness implied by our uniqueness in the cosmos. The truth is here, but we cannot see it because what we are, is buried in what we are. Our partnership with the Universe, established through Being, that puts us in a privileged position of importance within the cosmos, has not only deep philosophical significance, it also cries out for a drastic re-thinking of our attitudes to politics, economics, society and the very reasons we have for doing anything.
The Anthropic Principle demands a return to humanist principles and a revolutionary upheaval of the system that nurtures and governs our global civilisation today.
The effect cannot be the cause of its cause (Kant) – but the result can be an inspiration for beginning the process of its own creation. This causal nexus is true of anything that is created from an idea, or all things which are the products of visionaries. The cause of the thing comes from the fact that it has been imagined (nexus of ideal causes). In many cases, if there had not been an imagining of the result the initiative to create it would never have taken place. And so, in our technological reality, cause and result are closely intertwined, because most inventions are imagined and made to satisfy a perceived need: forks came about from an idea of the need to save our fingers from getting sticky when we ate.
But how does this help any metaphysical understanding? Can we apply this idea to the question of the first cause? Can intuition be enough to create something out of nothing? How can this relationship exist without a mind to start the creative process? For it to be possible the nothing has to be capable of intuiting something, which would imply that the nothing would possess awareness; and this suggests that the nothing is not nothing at all but awareness, which is something; even though, in the beginning it would be an awareness of nothing, which is a very poor form of consciousness indeed. Of course, next to nothing, any something is everything, so in the long run this intuition of something has limitless scope.
The dilemma might point us in the direction of the idea of God (before anything there was an eternal thingy that made everything out of itself); or perhaps we could assert that the primordial God is awareness (omnipresent in everything that is aware). Likewise, it brings up the concept of determinism (Awareness blending into purposeful Will), and also suggests a way of envisaging a purposeful universe without the necessity for God (unless a religion can be made in which God actually does become Awareness). Through intuition of a nexus finalis, in which entities-with-awareness (sapiens life-forms) are able to fully know the Universe in one great act of love (Being through knowing and being known, as well as appreciating and preserving what is known), a determined future opens up for us. An idea which can have enormous practical benefits for humanity, because it positions us in a purposeful place within the evolution of everything (the Universe).
But perhaps you think this is a pointless argument: that we are trying to prove the unproveable. In fact, we are not trying to “prove” anything: what we are aiming at is a pragmatical solution to the insalubrious effects of nihilisms; to wrestle with the ingrained pessimism that is debilitating humanity. Why do people prefer the non-purposeful over the purposeful?
Part of the blame for this must be heaped on the religions, for they dogmatise the purposeful universe and distort it in order to drive purpose in the direction of the interests of power. If purpose is a tool for power, then many will reject it. The irony of this is that even the resultant nihilism has itself become a tool for that power, especially now that power nurtures itself via an economic system of anarchic capitalism. For this system, purpose is too directional itself and offers too much clarity for the system which requires relativity in order to mask its real purposes. Purpose is therefore a threat to the system that can only be tolerated by allowing it to be projected through the distorting glass of religion.
In this way, we can see that there is nothing more radical in this world than real purposiveness; by which we mean the examination of a non-theological, cosmological, nexus finalis direction to the Universe.
Progress does not come about through cause and effect alone, but only through effect-driven causes inspired by purposive ideas. The Universe is the effect-driven result of the condition of nothing that allows for the possibility of everything. But our Universe is also a refined everything, stabilised through the filter of intuitive purposiveness. A purposiveness which is denied by the global money-driven civilisation we have now created, propelling us into a chaos of pessimisms and cynicisms regarding our own humanity. To find harmony in our lives, we need to harmonise our way of living with the same intuitive purposiveness possessed by the universe; we need to open our eyes and see where we are all going; where our ancestors will be at the end of time; and imagine what they will emerge as when the final evolution eventually takes place.
If we accept the deterministic conclusion implied by Cosmological Fine Tuningthat our physical universe is geared towards the creation of life and that this creation of life is the purposive aim of a purposive Universe, then the next question to be asked is – Why is this so?
The Idealist reasoning of existence, that the subject only exists when there is an object to perceive it, suggests that existence itself is the aim of this cosmological plan.
If the Universe is purposive, then there is a reason behind evolution. A deterministic development of the Universe, driven to develop sapiens life forms, would indicate that the cosmos desires more than mere existence itself, it needs to be perceived and known in a state that we call Authentic Being.
What is the purpose of being known? How could knowledge, via these sapiens entities, be a necessary element in the cosmos?
Perhaps these particular questions are irrelevant within the cosmological plan, nevertheless, they are essential for any desire to establish deep human purposiveness and combat nihilism. A school of study and debate on these questions and the purposiveness enshrouded in Authentic Being could create more human progress in ten years than capitalist ideology has managed in five hundred years.
Human purposiveness can only truly be appreciated once we examine the role of life in the Universe. Why is the Universe here? Why are we here? Once we have accepted these queries as valid concerns for all of humanity, we will start to see the authentic purposiveness in our art and technology, and the retarding effects of our economy.
 An explanation of the basic principles of Cosmological Fine Tuning can be found on our entry The Importance of Metaphysics @ https://pauladkin.wordpress.com/2013/04/21/the-importance-of-metaphysics/
How far back does natural selection go? Is it just a biological phenomenon or can we attribute natural selection to the creation of the biological itself? Could we even go so far as the first beginning? Was the Big Bang an act of natural selection?
If so, what choice did the sub-atomic-particle intuition behind the Big Bang have when it made that natural selection? Simply choosing between To be, or not to be would have been satisfactory enough to start something. This could have developed into an intuitive but unexpressed sub-atomic longing for Being or Becoming? – implying a choice between the forever static or the always changing – and may have evolved into the particle-affirmation of Becoming into Being Known – the Being which is loved: appreciated, understood and preserved. In other words, an intuition which longs for an evolution into a state of being that is capable of understanding and appreciating that its own existence is the reason for that existence and hence the reason behind everything that it does, which would be a full and purposeful kind of existentialism (intuited at a sub-atomic level of course – despite the profound philosophical consequences of these suggestions, we are envisaging primitive decisions being made here in the same way that primitive DNA makes primitive decisions).
BUT HOW CAN THIS IDEA HELP US?
The inanimate singularity of the Universe, does not know what it does until what it does has succeeded in creating a Sapiens entity within it which is capable of interpreting what is going on. Only with the creation of Sapiens can intuitive forces become real by being known (because Sapiens entities are the only ones capable of knowing).
If this idea of a Sapiens partnership with the Universe were accepted as a truth, and became a purposeful interpretation of reality, then doors would be open for the history of humanity to radically change from an anti-human process to an authentically human historical process, because it would be the first time that human history and human purpose would be projected in a truly omni-human way.
Ingrained in this simple, metaphysical idea, is that knowing is the essential purpose of all life.
Once a human (Sapiens) partnership with the Universe is accepted, it opens the possibility of a new kind of civilisation through the creation of an authentically-human, purposeful driven empire, fuelled by the universal purpose of Becoming into Being Known – i.e. into being loved; i.e. appreciated, understood and preserved.