The Meaning of Life-Baier (cont'd)

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14 Dec 2011
Lecture 9
Continuation from Monday
-at this point his conclusion is that the universe is not a thing, but rather a totality of
things. Refer to the fallacy of composition. Therefore there is no reason to assume that
the universe has an origin. Individual things have origins, but the entire universe does not
have an origin.
-to say the universe has an origin is filled with contradictions. His view is that the
universe is probably eternal. It does not have a cause, it always was and it always will be.
-if one replies that the universe was created by God out of nothing then raises the
question of the origin of God. A common reply is that God is the only exception not
having an origin. There is a problem with saying something that does not need a cause
because there is an exception to the rule. The difference between saying God exists and
the universe exists is that we know the universe exists.
-section 2 is about the purpose of mans existence, moving away from the topic of the
universe. He argues against someone who looks at science saying that it robs us of
meaning. If you look at the history of science, it explains more and more the purpose of
life. Purpose has two senses according to him, the first being purposie behaviour (the
reasons we do things) and the second is purposie (purpose inside something) given to
something. In terms of the first, science does not take away purpose inside us, if anything
it gives us more. In that sense of meaning of life of purposie behaviour, science increases
that. In terms of the second kind of purpose, whether something has a purpose is not
necessarily good or bad. If a purpose is given to something or someone, it does not follow
that it is good for that thing or that being. He looks at this as an insult, if someone were to
ask what is your purpose (the second type) it is rude. The question would not respect the
person as human but rather as an animal. The scientific world view does deprive us of
purpose in the second sense. The view is that man is a being with no purpose is given to
our lives, we have purpose in our lives but we have no purpose given in our lives. It does
not entail that mankind was given purpose. Science rejects number 2 but gives purpose to
number 1.
-he then turn to the Christian view. Yes in their view they argue that man was given
purpose unlike what science argues. He points out that not all theists confuse the two
steps to purpose. If you look at the parental religion, the argument isn’t good. We are
supposed to feel submission and humility. The problem he has with this analogy is that
humans do not stay children, the grow up to be adults. In the parental analogy, humans
stay children. Another problematic exist is that you know that you exist but with this
analogy we do not know if God exists. He does like the Christian solution to the meaning
of life, it focuses on the second purpose rather than the first. Science unlike Christians
focus on the first rather on the second.
-Christians tell us the grand and noble end of man, the plan of salvation. Sometimes it is
said that the final plan is a mystery because we may not comprehend it, is just because
you do not know. If you are going to say that God has a plan and you ask what it is, then
there isn’t a real answer. The second problem to this solution is that by todays standards
is immoral. He says this is because this involves a God who has a temper problem (the
wrath of God) who often uses eternal punishment, the idea of inherited sin. Some then
liberalize the theory, he argues that even if you buy this it is not the original history of the
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