imagination is just as important as intelligence - even more important
What is the purpose of life?
I got a bit side tracked with the whole Sam Harris thing. I hope to get back on to the topic of the purpose of life soon. I noticed nicolaou early in the thread thought he had the correct answer but didn't elaborate.
Thank you LisaRose for your comments on page 2. I agree with what you say, but I might make the small distinction that the sorts of things your mention are what tend to give life "meaning" in the moment (which is not to be belittled) but they may not yet fully constitute the meaning of life, or purpose as such. I don't know I am still thinking that through. I was searching for a copy of Crichton Smith reading his poem but I couldn't find it. I did find a really good interview though. His poetry may be "deep but narrow" in Edwin Morgan's words, but nevertheless a tremendous and "unpredicted voice of our kind". Both great Scots.
Oh quickly on a (barely) related idea...
I saw a news story that a group of young men nearly died climbing Uluru (which I still want to call Ayres Rock even though it never has been in my lifetime) in Australia. The story had a number of interesting ethical dimensions. An emergency responder complained that the men had put themselves at unnecessary risk and considerable resources had been spent saving them. Moreover news reports also dwelt upon the fact that indigenous people now own the land and have asked people not to climb the rock. I feel two divergent and simultaneous gut reactions to this statement. One is that these indigenous people have been treated badly historically and this is just the latest of their rights being trampled on. Another is that nature, the world, and unique places should belong to all humanity, not one person or group. What right have they to say who goes there? Especially since their objection is based on superstition which I don't share. But should their beliefs be belittled as mere superstition just because I don't share it?
These are the kinds of complex ethical issues that hang on all sorts of historical, cultural, religious, social, economic (there's a complex economic dimension too to the stories I didn't even get into) and other factors that are impossibly difficult to reduce into a scientific utilitarianism.
What's Sam Harris's scientific answer to this issue I wonder? Should people be allowed to climb Uluru? Would be interesting to know the "correct" answer.
Harris' point is that there is often more than one good answer to ethical questions - peaks of equivalent or similar altitude in the Moral Landscape.
Keep off the rock and respect the wishes of the owners, is one answer that really does little harm to anybody and a lot of good for the dignity of native Australians. It might be as good an answer as any.
Leaving fallen climbers to die on the rock in order to respect the supposed sacredness of the rock would probably not be a equivalent peak.
If you didn't get that much then you didn't actually read the book.
The purpose of life?
Why does there have to be a purpose?
Does a worm go about wondering what the purpose of its life is?
Would knowing it had a purpose make the worm change its lifestyle?
Life is for living, then you die.
The purpose in life?
Like any other self-replicating DNA, your purpose is to breed and procreate. However, you have an intellect that allows you to do all sorts of things; even override your purpose.
Maybe you would appreciate the quote more, if you heard it spoken with Arnold Schwarzenegger's voice
"To krahsh your enemies, sie dem driffen bevor you, und hier da lamentatsion off der vimmen ... ess-hohl"
now I would call this the developed imagination at work.
The AMH with only Nefesh had imagination too. But is a kind of primitive one. It didn't had introspection and conscious intention and a rational sense of self. If you read about Bicameralism you'll find more explanations about what I mean.
In our minds we still have the split mind, you can perceive a clear dialogue between two intentions inside your mind. Psychology calls it introversion and extroversion. You perceive your introversion as a voice, but you don't assume this voice is external from you but is the voice of your consciousness.
The pre-adamic humans didn't had this internal voice of introverted self. But they perceived this voice coming from externally. And they had in their vision field a hallucinating figure who the voice came from. They just did what this external figures dictated to them. They were assumed to be gods.
In this notions of God enable individuals to adopt a pov from above, from below via satan and his demons, from in between via spirits of dead ancestors ...
Yes! This is exactly one of the advantages Psyche brought to humans. This new capacity of communication is possible due to a kind of functionality of Psyche (soul) called Pneuma (spirit).
The spirit of man is a kind of "antenna" of the soul wich enables humans to receive influences in a new way from external beings (like other humans, good and bad pure spirits and God). The Pneuma is a center of external intentions influencing the free will of Psyche.
and this would indeed confer evolutionary advantages.
Indeed. That's why there's only one kind of human.
That's why there's only one kind of human - no. There have been several kinds of human (or species of Homo).
In addition to Homo sapiens (that's us), there have been H. ergaster, H. floresiensis, H. erectus, H. heidelbergensis, H. neandertalensis and H. habilis.
They all made tools, started and controlled fires, walked upright, had technologies and cultures, and - most importantly - survived for hundreds of thousands (in some case millions) of years.
Please read further on this topic. I recommend Evolution - The Human Story by Dr Alice Roberts. That's a good starting point.