Howdybud

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The silliness of "Why"
« on: February 07, 2014, 09:45:05 am »
Having watched the debate, and considering that Dawkins dismisses "why" as a fundamentally silly (meaningless) question, one would have to ask how such a mode of inquiry ("Why") would ever have evolved within a system wherein it had absolutely no relevance? This is especially true by degree as we realize how "why" inquiry occupies the minds of most people as a critical mode of inquiry and one that exists within us as a deep desire for satisfaction? From the perspective of evolutionary theory, "why" would most of us even want to know "why", or even have the ability to consider the why question, in a universe that only exists in a materialistic fashion wherein such questioning serves no purpose? If one answers that there are proximate, circumstantial reasons why "why" has evloved , ("Why" did that person die when they fell from the tree to the ground",  has survival value), then you've let the cat in by the back door. Now why is very releveant, and the natural extension of that is to extend it from the small "whys", to the larger "whys" within the human mind. In fact, it is inevitable that we would ask those macro "whys". So you may disagree with whether there is a satisfactory answer avaiable for the macro "whys" (and certainly there isn't one possible from science alone, or at all). But even from an atheist viewpoint, you can't call the "why" question silly. It is inevitable.

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FNB - Former non-believer

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Re: The silliness of "Why"
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2014, 11:26:45 pm »
Interesting point! But perhaps an atheist would object that what you called "macro-whys" are entirely different that what you called "micro-whys." Perhaps they could argue that macro-whys are silly while micro-whys are not.

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stupid_sinner

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Re: The silliness of "Why"
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2014, 11:48:27 pm »
Interesting point! But perhaps an atheist would object that what you called "macro-whys" are entirely different that what you called "micro-whys." Perhaps they could argue that macro-whys are silly while micro-whys are not.
Now, if the macro-why is silly, how much more is the micro-why! Because if the macro-why is meaningless, then it's also meaningless to search for an answer for the micro-why.
'It is the test of a good religion whether you can joke about it.'

- G.K. Chesterton -

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jayceeii

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Re: The silliness of "Why"
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2019, 09:05:09 am »
Having watched the debate, and considering that Dawkins dismisses "why" as a fundamentally silly (meaningless) question, one would have to ask how such a mode of inquiry ("Why") would ever have evolved within a system wherein it had absolutely no relevance? This is especially true by degree as we realize how "why" inquiry occupies the minds of most people as a critical mode of inquiry and one that exists within us as a deep desire for satisfaction? From the perspective of evolutionary theory, "why" would most of us even want to know "why", or even have the ability to consider the why question, in a universe that only exists in a materialistic fashion wherein such questioning serves no purpose? If one answers that there are proximate, circumstantial reasons why "why" has evloved , ("Why" did that person die when they fell from the tree to the ground",  has survival value), then you've let the cat in by the back door. Now why is very releveant, and the natural extension of that is to extend it from the small "whys", to the larger "whys" within the human mind. In fact, it is inevitable that we would ask those macro "whys". So you may disagree with whether there is a satisfactory answer avaiable for the macro "whys" (and certainly there isn't one possible from science alone, or at all). But even from an atheist viewpoint, you can't call the "why" question silly. It is inevitable.
This is a discussion that definitely needs more examples, not only to explain but to understand. Saying “macro” and “micro” is only suggestive, not really informative. Your example of a micro-why, that men would generally be able to avoid dangerous circumstances without needing to experience the harmful consequences, actually extends throughout the animal kingdom, even the lowest creatures recognizing and avoiding dangers. Looking more carefully at the “whys” each species is able to ask, gradations are found. For instance monkeys are able to ask “why” at higher levels than dogs or cats.

Importantly, the human mind is liable to being trapped in “false whys,” for lack of a sufficient overview and proper existential paradigm. As an example, the Christians ask why God would condemn some to hell forever for a choice made in a single lifetime, without knowing what hell or heaven really is or having a meaningful choice to be made. The human mind gets enwrapped in itself, with conjectures based on a false worldview they are unable to address or change. These “fruitless whys” are a problem, not a route to salvation or knowledge. The people think they already know, and do not seek an answer.

It becomes a conundrum, because if you can ask the right questions it means you are already saved, and if you cannot ask the right questions it means you cannot be saved. The logic of salvation is available, but not accessible. Men don’t know what they need. You’d be free to ask me why, but if you are trapped in a false worldview you won’t ask.