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What is More Important?

The_Chameleon

Grandmaster
There are those who believe that the secular explanation of the origins of the Universe and life on Earth, and those who believe in religious or supernatural explanations. There are even those who believe in both. It seems to me that explanations are no longer chosen for their validity, but for their personal appeal. Is the truth of how and why things are the way they are important, or is it more important that many explanations exist and that folks can have the liberty of choosing the one that is "right for them"?


- Cham
 

Stego

Registered Member
If your job is to develop medicine, technology, education, and so on, then it matters more to understand the fundamental workings of the universe and not whichever bedtime story helps you sleep at night.
 
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The_Chameleon

Grandmaster
If your job is to develop medicine, technology, education, and so on, then it matters more to understand the fundamental workings of the universe and not whichever bedtime story helps you sleep at night.
Well we're beyond the days of leeches and bloodletting, so I was referring to the "deeper" nature of things. How it all got started and why. Is it important to know or at least try to discover, or is it sufficient to go with whatever flow "feels" right? Do people really care about finding answers, or are speculations and conjecture good enough? Is the real search for understanding nolonger a societal priority? Is it more important to be perceived as right or knowledgeable than to actually BE right or knowledgeable? With the Internet and social media, everybody is a celebrity, everybody is an expert, everybody knows everything and what they don't know they can Google or ask Siri. Anyone with a suit and a Ph.D can propose the preposterous and it'll be eaten up like candy by the hungry masses, but are they hungry for the truth or just something to occupy their hyperactive minds? Whether it be born of spiritual or secular endeavor, has the quest for understanding become more of a quest for the hearts and minds of the public? If so, is the public aware of and okay with that?



- Cham
 

Stego

Registered Member
There are a lot of different questions there. I think it would help to refine and focus the question. To whom and for what is X important?
 

The_Chameleon

Grandmaster
They are all basically asking your opinions on the same thing. When it comes to both personal and societal priorities, in your opinion...

Well we're beyond the days of leeches and bloodletting, so I was referring to the "deeper" nature of things. How it all got started and why. Is it important to know or at least try to discover, or is it sufficient to go with whatever flow "feels" right?

- Cham
 

Stego

Registered Member
Answering how the universe started can be different from the question of determining whether or not there is a purpose to the universe (or existence).

Generally, I'm interested by the question of purpose but I sense that it is more important to keep digging at the "how" question, as it informs everything about our daily lives. Particle physics are inextricably linked to answering the "how" question but they are also important in determining new medicine so no, I'm not talking about bloodletting or whether or not the earth is flat--I'm talking about particle physics trained technicians building accelerators and detectors to determine whether or not new medicine will save lives or improve life before a human trial is performed.

The "how did it all begin" is exactly the same question as "how does everything operate" so I think that just picking a feel-good explanation is not more important. Hence the reference to bedtime stories.
 

The_Chameleon

Grandmaster
Is it enough that we know how to make advanced medicines, game consoles, and cars? That all has to do with making money. That's the motivation behind all that. Particle accelerators don't exist for discovering better medicines, one need only look to nature (as in flora and fauna) for that anyway. Slamming particles together is indeed a way of probing the deeper inner workings of the Universe, but why are those answers ultimately being sought? Well, here's my theory... The fear exists that a key discovery will be made by a single party that would allow for development of superior military capability, so all major nations are working collectively to make sure they are not left behind when such a discovery is made. Secondly, discoveries of this nature might lead to development of niftier portable devices, game consoles, and other marketable distractions. There is no quest for understanding, only for knowledge that can be exploited for profit or power.


I've talked to many people over the years about their beliefs. More often then not I find that most regular folks have a malleable belief system that is a veritable potpourri of bits and pieces of everything. Usually it's a weird hybrid of Christian and Pagan religions forced into an evolutionary framework. I'm betting Potpourri is the largest religion in the world. It seems to me that people who actually care about those deeper questions more than the ability to interface using Facebook, or play video games, are the exception and not the rule. Maybe I'm wrong. What do you think? Is the search for true understanding (not just profitable knowledge) an obsolete priority in todays world?


- Cham
 

Stego

Registered Member
Tell ya what, find me a flower that cures cancer.

And yes, lots of people exploit what they learn for money and power. Knowledge inherently can be profitable if leveraged.

Perhaps people aren't doing what you might consider to be a deeper search for meaning in a way that is visible to you, and perhaps they're not doing it because they're busy just keeping their heads above water.

Careful with that brush, its bristles are quite wide.
 
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