Space and The wonders/mysteries of The Universe

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Re: Space and The wonders/mysteries of The Universe

Post by Bluebottle on Tue May 12, 2015 2:51 pm

Yeah, I guess that plays into the isue of contention betwen nihilism and existentialism. An existentialist would say meaning is a consequence of engagement and commitment, human interaction if you will. And that it only exist as a consequense, as in in hindsight, after the fact. While a nihilist would call that a construct of contemplative theory, I guess.

I thought this quote by Donald A. Crosby was quite good.

"There is no justification for life, but also no reason not to live."

I guess a nihilist would claim hope, faith, meaning blinds you to the reality of existence. While not denying existence as such.

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Re: Space and The wonders/mysteries of The Universe

Post by azriel on Tue May 12, 2015 3:28 pm

I cannot absorb how wonderful, how non ending ( so it seems ?) how long the universe has existed or how long it will exist. Its far to much for not just my brain but my whole body, feelings, imagination to comprehend. Sometimes I think to much & to deeply about the Universe & I start feeling afraid, iLL, even a headache ! The enormity of it brings to mind a phrase.....Dont want to live but too scared to die..... How can this amazing "thing" possibly exist ? who put it there ? Do we really know or can guess how old it is ? Question after question. So,.... I dont. I focus on the here & now & I thank my lucky stars I can enjoy it Smile I am a moment in time, My coming & going will make no dent in it all but, whilst Im here Im gonna love it !

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Re: Space and The wonders/mysteries of The Universe

Post by Bluebottle on Tue May 12, 2015 6:24 pm

Yes, I think it's best to get on with things. Live life for what it is. Even if one does get down and wonder at the meaning of it all at times, there's no use loosing oneself in search for that meaning. In that sense I think Pettys quote is good advice.

I don't think I'm a nihilist by nature, really. Maybe by mood. Razz

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Re: Space and The wonders/mysteries of The Universe

Post by Bluebottle on Tue May 12, 2015 6:32 pm

This was pretty interesting.

In his study of meaninglessness, Donald Crosby writes that the source of modern nihilism paradoxically stems from a commitment to honest intellectual openness. "Once set in motion, the process of questioning could come to but one end, the erosion of conviction and certitude and collapse into despair" (The Specter of the Absurd, 1988). When sincere inquiry is extended to moral convictions and social consensus, it can prove deadly, Crosby continues, promoting forces that ultimately destroy civilizations. Michael Novak's recently revised The Experience of Nothingness (1968, 1998) tells a similar story. Both studies are responses to the existentialists' gloomy findings from earlier in the century. And both optimistically discuss ways out of the abyss by focusing of the positive implications nothingness reveals, such as liberty, freedom, and creative possibilities. Novak, for example, describes how since WWII we have been working to "climb out of nihilism" on the way to building a new civilization.

In contrast to the efforts to overcome nihilism noted above is the uniquely postmodern response associated with the current antifoundationalists. The philosophical, ethical, and intellectual crisis of nihilism that has tormented modern philosophers for over a century has given way to mild annoyance or, more interestingly, an upbeat acceptance of meaninglessness.

French philosopher Jean-Francois Lyotard characterizes postmodernism as an "incredulity toward metanarratives," those all-embracing foundations that we have relied on to make sense of the world. This extreme skepticism has undermined intellectual and moral hierarchies and made "truth" claims, transcendental or transcultural, problematic. Postmodern antifoundationalists, paradoxically grounded in relativism, dismiss knowledge as relational and "truth" as transitory, genuine only until something more palatable replaces it (reminiscent of William James' notion of "cash value"). The critic Jacques Derrida, for example, asserts that one can never be sure that what one knows corresponds with what is. Since human beings participate in only an infinitesimal part of the whole, they are unable to grasp anything with certainty, and absolutes are merely "fictional forms."

American antifoundationalist Richard Rorty makes a similar point: "Nothing grounds our practices, nothing legitimizes them, nothing shows them to be in touch with the way things are" ("From Logic to Language to Play," 1986). This epistemological cul-de-sac, Rorty concludes, leads inevitably to nihilism. "Faced with the nonhuman, the nonlinguistic, we no longer have the ability to overcome contingency and pain by appropriation and transformation, but only the ability to recognize contingency and pain" (Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity, 1989). In contrast to Nietzsche's fears and the angst of the existentialists, nihilism becomes for the antifoundationalists just another aspect of our contemporary milieu, one best endured with sang-froid.

In The Banalization of Nihilism (1992) Karen Carr discusses the antifoundationalist response to nihilism. Although it still inflames a paralyzing relativism and subverts critical tools, "cheerful nihilism" carries the day, she notes, distinguished by an easy-going acceptance of meaninglessness. Such a development, Carr concludes, is alarming. If we accept that all perspectives are equally non-binding, then intellectual or moral arrogance will determine which perspective has precedence. Worse still, the banalization of nihilism creates an environment where ideas can be imposed forcibly with little resistance, raw power alone determining intellectual and moral hierarchies. It's a conclusion that dovetails nicely with Nietzsche's, who pointed out that all interpretations of the world are simply manifestations of will-to-power.
http://www.iep.utm.edu/nihilism/#H3

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Re: Space and The wonders/mysteries of The Universe

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue May 12, 2015 7:04 pm

The problem with nihilism is that it doesn't really account for awe, wonder and beauty. The universe can have no purpose but it so long as it has intelligent observers it cannot fail to have meaning.

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Re: Space and The wonders/mysteries of The Universe

Post by TranshumanAngel on Wed May 13, 2015 9:48 am

Pettytyrant101 wrote:I didnt know you were an archeologist Trans- do you have a specialist area, or a period you study in particular?

Well more or less...ancient Roman urbanism. My current project is based in Egypt.
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Re: Space and The wonders/mysteries of The Universe

Post by TranshumanAngel on Wed May 13, 2015 9:54 am

I don't think the size of the universe should have any real bearing on how we conceptualize human nature. The size of something is not the only guarantee of its significance or worth. Twisted Evil

I think the salient point about modern science is not the size of things (although that is stupendous) but the fact that science has divested the universe of intentionality. In some sense I think all of modern literature and philosophy is a big ploy to come to terms with the fact, not so much that we don't matter, but that we don't matter to anything except ourselves. For some people/cultures/religions (indeed religion is built on the premise that the universe IS in some sense intentional or that it at the very least has a topos) the idea that the universe is devoid of intentionality is simply too much to bear. That is the central take home message of modern cosmology. Everything is clockwork. Really big fucking clockwork.
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Re: Space and The wonders/mysteries of The Universe

Post by halfwise on Wed May 13, 2015 11:49 am

Yep, that's why Einstein had such a strong reaction to what's called the Copenhagen interpretation of Quantum Mechanics: where the conscious observer is important. Fortunately that concept has become more objective, as he wasn't the only one who couldn't stand it. It's been a long hard subtle effort to take humans out of the process of collapsing a photon from a wave into a point. Not quite codified yet...and most physicists ignored the philosophical ramifications of the 'observer' anyway. Didn't want it mucking up their view of the universe.

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Re: Space and The wonders/mysteries of The Universe

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed May 13, 2015 11:57 am

I don't have a problem with the idea that perception is not a passive act. In fact it seems to intuitively make more sense to me that observation of any kind is cause and effect.

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Re: Space and The wonders/mysteries of The Universe

Post by bungobaggins on Tue Jul 07, 2015 3:51 pm

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Re: Space and The wonders/mysteries of The Universe

Post by azriel on Tue Jul 07, 2015 4:18 pm

Its so interesting when new things are discovered about "out there". Im in awe of how far we have come with technology.

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Re: Space and The wonders/mysteries of The Universe

Post by Eldorion on Tue Jul 07, 2015 4:20 pm

I'm really looking forward to more information and pictures from New Horizons. I was really disappointed when I was younger and saw our "highest resolution" photos of Pluto. This is pretty damn cool. Very Happy
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Re: Space and The wonders/mysteries of The Universe

Post by malickfan on Tue Jul 07, 2015 7:38 pm

Space simultaneously scares the crap out of me and blows my brains.

I never quite got used to calling Pluto a 'dwarf' planet, there are nine planets in the solar sytem dammit!

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Re: Space and The wonders/mysteries of The Universe

Post by azriel on Tue Jul 07, 2015 7:47 pm

9 that we know off ! the 'out there stuff' is so big & frighteningly endless that anything could be there ? I agree with Malick, its both scarey & amazing at the same time pale cyclops

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Re: Space and The wonders/mysteries of The Universe

Post by Mrs Figg on Tue Jul 07, 2015 9:22 pm

TranshumanAngel wrote:
Pettytyrant101 wrote:I didnt know you were an archeologist Trans- do you have a specialist area, or a period you study in particular?

Well more or less...ancient Roman urbanism. My current project is based in Egypt.

fab stuff. I like Mary Beard, she does ancient Roman urbanism on tv for Dummies like me. One of my ambitions is to visit Leptis Magna, obviously that may take some time as regards the current situation.. No

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Re: Space and The wonders/mysteries of The Universe

Post by Forest Shepherd on Wed Jul 08, 2015 2:39 am

Mrs Figg wrote:that last one blew my mind.
Really makes you appreciate the Doctor's sense of scale. Razz

Personally I'm not scared or worried or upset or anything about these ridiculously infinite things here in the universe. It's really just incredible and awesome that we have the ability to begin to try and understand any of it.

As for Pluto, cool! I'm excited to be following this sort of thing actively. Very fun. Smile

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Re: Space and The wonders/mysteries of The Universe

Post by chris63 on Tue Jul 14, 2015 3:18 am



Less than twelve hours to Pluto: If you have clear skies you can look toward Pluto - and New Horizons - near the constellation Sagittarius. ‪#‎PlutoFlyby‬
Watch this video for details on where to look

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Re: Space and The wonders/mysteries of The Universe

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:20 am

Thing I find exciting about Ne Horizons is what happens after Pluto, they reckon there is a whole band of thousands of similar sized dwarf planets just beyond it and thats where the probe is flying off into, completely new uncharted territory. Its quite literally going to boldly go where no one has gone before!

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Re: Space and The wonders/mysteries of The Universe

Post by azriel on Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:30 am

I get all heavy breathing ( watch it ! Very Happy ) & panic attacky if I think too much about the infinity & size of space......so I dont, I think about whats around me within touching space. If something new & fantastic happens in the Great beyond, in the "out thereyness" Im naturally interested but I dont like to think too deeply Smile

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Re: Space and The wonders/mysteries of The Universe

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:36 am

Anyone see this- someone recorded it form the live feed fomr the International Space Station- appears to show some UFO's leaving earth's atmosphere, NASA mysteriously, and so far still without explanation cut the live feed as it was happening-


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Re: Space and The wonders/mysteries of The Universe

Post by azriel on Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:47 am

affraid pale

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Re: Space and The wonders/mysteries of The Universe

Post by azriel on Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:48 am

Its Batman & Robin with Superman in hot pursuit Very Happy

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Re: Space and The wonders/mysteries of The Universe

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Jul 14, 2015 5:28 pm

Be among the first humans in history to see what Pluto looks like in detail thanks to the New Horizons probe!



NASA promise more to come as it passes much closer by!

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Re: Space and The wonders/mysteries of The Universe

Post by David H on Tue Jul 14, 2015 6:55 pm

looks cold

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Re: Space and The wonders/mysteries of The Universe

Post by azriel on Tue Jul 14, 2015 9:18 pm

looks amazing Very Happy

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