Contemplating Existence—The Why is in Asking

How to benefit from recognizing fundamental problems of human nature—The first flaws

The human mind is easily misdirected and manipulated. The simple question has now been hammered into a science—the number one tool of the salesman, psychoanalysts, politicos, and religiosos. Merely asking a question puts the asker in control of the conversation—and the human brain can’t help but go there.

Questions trigger a reflex in humans known as “instinctive elaboration,” that is when someone asks you a question, the question takes over the brain’s thought process and you feel compelled to answer—and make it a good one.

The meaning of life is undiscovered to this day, but it all started long ago by three unanswered questions

  • Why we are here?
  • Where did we come from?
  • Where are we going?
  • After millenniums of daydreaming answers on existence, now we are forced to answer “what if”—what if I’m wrong about what you’ve imagined to be so?
  • Here is my question; Are you certain your feelings, that combination of hormones, insecurities, bias, influences, hope, and consciousness—evidence of a god? Or is it simply evidence of an ever changing and susceptible mess of neurons, chemicals reactions, and underdeveloped controls?

    When our brain thinks about the answer to a question, it can’t contemplate anything else” (1)

    We can generally think of only one thing at a time, while our limited ability’s and myopic mental focus practically force us to contemplate simply because of the suggestion—or the question. “Do you believe in god” has been a question that has lingered at the forefront throughout my lifetime and a thousand generations before. Why no, I don’t believe in an imagination what has puzzled even the best minds in history. A question that deserves no answer, but is an irresistible consideration nonetheless, because it was asked.

    With all that is known about our psychological discrepancies and deficiencies, do you think it would be wise to proceed with caution before believing anything without evidence. Any of it? Why should I believe anything at all without it?

    What makes one so sure that the potpourri of impressions and feelings about every aspect of life is a god, considering all of his presence and “feelings” and your own intuitions can be duplicated in any laboratory study, even with outright lies? How do you know it’s god, not the neurons and hormones deceiving yourself—with yourself, practically by the force of the question? Isn’t it far more reasonable that the idea of a god is just as unreasonable? The ultimate force in the universe is not a god—it is the almighty question. And that is far more interesting than settling for a thought. There are no answers. That, is evidence I can live with.

    Author: jim-

    One minute info blogs breaking the faith trap.

    64 thoughts on “Contemplating Existence—The Why is in Asking”

      1. I don’t believe anything MUST happen, let alone EVERYTHING. That is the thing with imagination, we can imagine anything we want to, but imagining does not make ANYTHING happen, let alone EVERYTHING. If all it took was imagining, after John Lennon’s greatest song, the world he IMAGINEd would have happened by now, but I see no evidence of it. Nothing must happen, short of the end of the world under Emperor Trump!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. But it will happen when all you sinners are wiped off the face of the earth and the new totalitarian regime takes it place in the control room.

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    1. Must I contemplate like that? I mean, existence? Seriously? I never met any god, good or bad. I have met people and animals. The encounters have not always gone well. I’ve heard that some people are dying to meet their god, their maker, their savior. I want to ask, ‘how’d that go for you?’ I seem to get silence or bull shit, and much prefer the silence.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Chaos reigns supreme! But in a completely chaotic universe, your second to last paragraph in the comment that starts this thread, “In an infinite universe, if…” would mean that superbeings can exist. Therefore, either a god can exist, or we do not live in an infinite universe. Both those possibilities would create the need for a lot of extenuating circumstances. I don’t like either of them, but if I have to choose, I’ll go the way of the finite universe. There is no possibility of gods.
      But I’ll go a totally different direction. I will choose whether to answer a question or not, thereby refusing to let myself be caught by the possibilities inherent in the question itself.
      Asking a question assumes an answer, but you and me are both asses if we think we have to answer every question ever asked.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. You know, one could argue that the trait that defines us as human beings is our curiosity, our need to know why things are the way they are. We can’t just accept things at face value, we need to know why and how things are the way they are. That curiosity has driven us to climb mountains, descend to the deepest depths of the oceans, send probes to almost every planet in the solar system, even put people on the Moon.

      But our greatest failing is that sometimes we cannot accept the answers we discover when we explore those questions. I know why I am here, why you are here, why this world is here. It is the end result of a ridiculously complex set of pure coincidences that follows no logic or law except the laws of probability. Billions of years ago a star exploded (or more than one) and the resulting supernova seeded a cloud of hydrogen with substances like carbon, iron, gold and all the other elements heavier than lithium. Then another coincidence caused that seeded cloud to begin to coalesce into a star and planets. Then billions of years later still another utterly ridiculous coincidence took place that caused some of those elements to organize in such a way that they were “alive”. Those first living organisms, over more billions of years, eventually evolved by another long series of ridiculous coincidences into you and me.

      In an infinite universe, if there is even the slightest chance that something will happen, like the development of life from non-living materials, it not only will, it must. It’s simply the laws of probability at work.

      And frankly I find the truth to be far more awesome than some silly story about a supernatural being making a bunch of mud puppets (us) because he was bored.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. First let me say … I agree with your take on things. 🙂

        BUT!!! You do realize, I hope, that from a CHRISTIAN point of view, those “coincidences” are really … wait for it … GOD IN ACTION!!!

        Liked by 2 people

        1. You’re right, of course Nan. That’s the problem when you’re dealing with people who believe in things that lie outside of reality. Literally anything, from the extraordinary to the mundane, can be attributed to a deity or other supernatural being. The thing is, though, If the laws of physics could be twisted, manipulated, even broken by something as simple as saying a prayer or casting a spell, then the universe simply wouldn’t work.

          Liked by 2 people

      2. Nicely put. It had to happen. When we’re looking at the ridiculous amount of opportunity over eons of (pick any number) we get a multiplicity of these eras of life.

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      1. I could only speculate to be sure. Hehe. I would guess somewhere in our human/Neanderthal development it only took one person to ask it. Looking back on some of the missionary tales to the indigenous tribes, many of these people didn’t search for meaning, but simply existed, only to be forced into self discovery, often at the tip of a sword. Religion makes us wonder why, then regret having to ask it.

        Liked by 5 people

      1. A wee bit of awareness can help us learn to deflect such nonsense and live life now instead of contemplating maybes—yes? Hehe. I just had to ask it. I just turned a straight comment into your contemplation with this -? Haha

        Liked by 2 people

          1. He could chuck all of it. Like a dam building beaver, the extended phenotype just can’t say no. Why is that? Shiver me whistle-pigs! If only marmots chucked wood, would this make sense, would it?

            Liked by 2 people

      1. If a woodchuck would chuck could chuck wood, a woodchuck would chuck wood. But a woodchuck can’t chuck wood, so a woodchuck shan’t chuck wood. Else wood would be being chucked everywhere, and I can see no wood being chucked anywhere. Ergo, a woodchuck cannot chuck wood.

        Liked by 2 people

    4. The ultimate force in the universe is not a god—it is the almighty question.

      While I understand some people’s objection to the anthropomorphistic nature of it, I like the general idea of “We are the universe trying to understand itself.”

      Liked by 5 people

      1. It would be tough to prove you’re not right about that. I like that idea. Do you think it could be the intelligent force behind the indigenous pools of dna, willing it to be so apparently because it needed us to worship it?
        Heh, well, we are part of it so we could very well be it.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. That’s the problem for some, because it seems to imply guidance. But, that’s not really the case. If we consider that life’s tendency is to increase its energy gradient (from which complexity is given the chance to rise), then what we’re really dealing with is the impulse to excuse oneself from increasing entropy, which all closed systems do, and the moment you have a closed system you have the chance for a feedback loop.

          Liked by 3 people

          1. I’ve never thought of it as a feedback loop. Hmm. What specific organizations have been stuck in the same mire, peddling the same tired wheel and has taken us nowhere but more of it? Uh huh. And maybe, ch ch ch, and maybe, ch ch it’s stuck in a pattern of self abuse.

            Liked by 3 people

            1. That’d make for a great sci fi story: archeologists comb a seemingly ruined civilisation on an alien world, only to find the inhabitants deep underground, clumped in contemplative cells. Lost.

              Liked by 3 people

        2. Hello Jim. I think of the universe and the life in it like the human body. In all its parts it evolved naturally with out any supernatural help. Just as we as a whole try to understand ourselves with out have deliberately designed the many parts of our insides such as stomach, kidneys, liver, and senses so the universe maybe trying to figure it self out with all of the different wonderful parts of it with out having to design it self for that propose. Just as we are only vaguely aware of our insides mostly due to feelings both of pain and pleasure could it be the same with the universe as a whole? Hugs

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      2. Hey, John Z, I prefer the statement, “We are life, trying to understand life.” Philosophically speaking, the universe only exists through the awareness of life. If there is no life, there can be no universe. Only life can understand that, or anything.

        Liked by 3 people

          1. I see life as a consequence of… Well, what came before the universe? Life. Physical life is a consequence of the universe, but the force/energy that is life came before everything we know of. But it took advantage of the physical life it found here. Before the universe, it just was. Came the universe, and it realized it was “something!” And that it had no idea what that something was. So I see the cosmos, so I see the universe, so I see life…

            Liked by 2 people

              1. We are monkeys, are we not? But seriously, these ideas and philosophies all stem from a couple of incredible experiences on LSD fifty years ago, experiences that eventually led me to what I say I believe now. I’m actually fudging the picture, because what I lived through changed me in every way possible, and I know what I experienced. But I don’t press it, or tell others what I say I know. Other people who have NDEs come back with stories based on what they believe. After I had my experiences, Buddhism was the closest human philosophy I could find, but that was only close. It wasn’t the whole of what I saw.
                Take it for what it is worth to you, for nothing if that is what it is worth to you. I “believe” it, and no one will ever convince me differently. That is me, and that is my life.

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              2. I wasn’t criticising it. I actually think panpsychism, in one guise or another, is probably true, and Buddhists are panpsychists… although you won’t see that particular word in any of their literature.

                Liked by 1 person

              3. Sorry for misunderstanding. The website you gave me wouldn’t open on my tablet, and I keyed on the Monkey Magic, obviously wrongly. I’ve never come across panpsychism in my reading, but I’ll now have to look it up later. As I said, Buddhism was the closest to what I experienced, but my understanding goes far far beyond Buddhism.

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              4. In a very basic sense it makes perfect sense. How can life be organized in the fashion it is, if the elements themselves contain none of it? Reason would say it can’t, and I agree. It’s all alive.

                Liked by 1 person

              5. Hi John Z,
                That version of panpsychism is definitely interesting, but goes a little beyond what I am willing to admit to “at this time.” As far as physical reality is concerned, I have no problem with single-cell organisms being alive, and conscious. In fact, I go there readily and preferably. But this model of panpsychism could address some of the inadequacies I am tentative about.
                I believe in life, but I cannot recognize all forms of life. The sun seems alive ar times, as does the earth. This would mean all suns are alive, as would be all planets. By extension, every grain of sand would also be alive. That bothers me both ways, alive, or not-alive. Extend that to quarks and anti-matter, and I don’t have the background to go either way, or some new way between life and not-life. Even thinking about this is mind-expanding, as well as mind-expending, if you get my sidereal drift…

                Liked by 2 people

              6. I think rg, one of the interesting sides to this is we actually don’t know all these things aren’t alive. That should gender some respect. The possibility that they are living things should cause us to pause, and tread lightly.

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              7. It should, but shoulds are for religions, and other authoritarian pretenders.

                Meanwhile, the original purpose of your post I never really answered yet. Something was niggling at my brain, and I finally came face-to-face with my concern. There have been recent surveys in Canada, or one survey with results being released piecemeal, that are asking questions that are promoting racism. One question was something like, “Do you think Muslims should be sent back to their homelands?” That was just over a month ago. Then, a couple weeks later, came a question like, “Do you think it is okay to discriminate against other races, and act or speak meanly to them?” Then, today, came, “Do you agree with politicians or government workers wearing religious symbols while working for Canada, or Canadians?” They did not mention such symbols specifically, but it was clearly hijabs, burquas, and turbans they were targeting.
                While the survey results were embarrasing to non-racists, the questions themselves were unconscionable. By asking this type of question there comes the insinuation that these feelings or beliefs are acceptable in a civil society. It is indoctrination by survey questions, while pretending to be concerned about the state of racism in Canada. Conservatism is being spread under the guise of fighting human indignity.

                Liked by 2 people

              8. Well, there’s no question single-celled organisms are alive. The feedback loop that gives us homeostasis (the tendency to equilibrium through physiological processes) distinguishes organic life from non-life. The cell *wants* to persist, and fights to do so. In things like Integrated Information Theory (which is one of the sciencey ends of panpsychism) people aren’t really talking about “life” per say, rather consciousness, or as Koch (IIT) calls it, integrated information:

                “Even simple matter has a modicum of Φ [integrated information]. Protons and neutrons consist of a triad of quarks that are never observed in isolation. They constitute an infinitesimal integrated system … The entire cosmos is suffused with sentience. We are surrounded and immersed in consciousness; it is in the air we breathe, the soil we tread on, the bacteria that colonize our intestines, and the brain that enables us to think.”

                Cosmologist Max Tegmark is also on this train, but looking at it slightly differently, proposing that like a solid, a liquid, or a gas, consciousness is not just integrated information, but rather a state of matter; a fourth state that has until now eluded scientific investigation but is material, measurable and mathematically verifiable.

                “I conjecture that consciousness can be understood as yet another state of matter. Just as there are many types of liquids, there are many types of consciousness”

                Roger Penrose, arguably one of the greatest physicists of all time, is also on the train and points to QM, saying:

                “The laws of physics produce complex systems, and these complex systems lead to consciousness, which then produces mathematics, which can then encode in a succinct and inspiring way the very underlying laws of physics that gave rise to it.”

                Adrian Bejan (Duke Uni) is trying to bring everything together in his Constructal law of design and evolution in nature, and if you get the chance to look at it, it’s a wild idea.

                Personally, I think everyone’s looking at the same thing, but from different vantages, and therefore arriving at differing descriptions. Something seems to be there, but what it is no one’s really nailed yet.

                Liked by 1 person

              9. Being a non-scientist, just someone who dips an occasional toe into a ocean of scientific data, I only know what I have experienced, and what I gleaned from those experiences: All life has consciousness, though those who believe they have superior consciousnesses are incapable of recognizing the true ability of consciousness itself, the ability to imagine that which cannot be readily seen or understood. Without that ability life would never have risen above the level of single cells. I approach life from the spiritual viewpoint, that all life is connected to all other life. It is a system that is not closed, but always open to new sources and conbinations of form and energy. I am now going beyond myself, delving into areas I do not really understand. Am I even still making sense?????

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