Does everything happen for a reason? | INFJ Forum

Does everything happen for a reason?

Discussion in 'Philosophy and Religion' started by TinyBubbles, Jul 25, 2010.

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  1. TinyBubbles

    TinyBubbles anarchist

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    Well, does it?



    Those things that seem pointless, maybe we just don't understand the reasons for them.

    And even if there isn't an INTENDED purpose, certainly everything has its consequences; it changes us, or the environment, or both, for better or for worse.

    I'm not sure any event could really be so meaningless that it has absolutely no effect on anything, either now or in the future.

    Yet to ascribe purpose to everything, literally EVERYTHING, seems kind of absurd. that pebble that rolled down a cliff in the himalayas for instance doesn't SEEM like it did that for any reason.

    If a tree falls in the forest, and no one hears it, it still crushes the soil beneath it, it still blocks the rain from reaching the seeds and flowers underneath.

    Something, anything, everything, affects everything, if only in a minute way. A pebble thrown into a pond has ripple effects, but the energy isn't contained to just the water particles, it carries on to other things, whatever's nearby; it's transferred and exchanged into something else.

    The whole world is a hive of energy, continuous, fluid, dynamic, ever changing. And we are at the heart of it.

    So what does it all mean? Why is this happening? Is it because it's supposed to happen, or is it just a complete random and pointless series of events?

    Also, does time exist outside of perception?
     
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    #1 TinyBubbles, Jul 25, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2010
  2. invisible

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    i love to be able to appreciate the more positive outcomes of events.
     
  3. OP
    TinyBubbles

    TinyBubbles anarchist

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    of course, me too (one of them being your avatar, haha :D i wasn't expecting that, it's cool, nice change from the old one). still, just because there ARE positive outcomes doesn't mean they were intended to be, you know?
     
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  4. invisible

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    i don't think we can tell. especially since sometimes people see something as positive but the rest of us can tell that the thing they are seeing as positive.

    but if there is something that most of us can agree is positive in a reasonable way, that's pretty cool right? whether it was intended to be positive or not?

    [ok, i think my slow self is beginning to grasp the issue here...]
     
  5. SPQR

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    It's an age old philosophical and theological question that we still don't have a satisfying answer to. I think it's because you go crazy trying to think of a reason behind everything. Much easier to entrust that things do happen with a purpose (because the alternate idea that it's all random makes one feel very lonely), and that they happen according to God's or a god's reasons. I suppose if one were bold enough to reject religion as the answer, it would ultimately be up to the individual to create a purpose in life.

    I'm sorry my answer couldn't be more satisfying. I just don't know, and there is no way for anyone to be certain, I think.
     
    #5 SPQR, Jul 25, 2010
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    TinyBubbles

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    it was a great answer, thankyou :) i think you're right; on some basic level people do seem to feel more psychologically comfortable believing in reasons, even if those reasons are unknown, than believing in total randomness. maybe we just want to feel important? i mean, if it really is all random, there's no real purpose why we, in particular, are alive.. it could have been anyone. there would also be no significance in anything any of us do...

    and creating your own purpose doesn't seem to have the same effect that discovering a genuine purpose has..... although one could debate that maybe there is no genuine purpose at all and we all just create our own realities, with our own sense of priorities and reasons for being... i dunno. it's really hard to know what's the truth and what's being shrouded in myth and fantasy.
     
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  7. Phoenix Down

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    Uh... lets break out the SCIENCE!
    [​IMG]
     
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  8. Zero Angel

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    Wow, 'does time exist outside of perception'. Now thats a biggie! If one were so inclined one can argue that from the metaphysical or even scientific (theoretical physics) view of it and yet still not come up with a definitive answer.

    Anyways there are so many ways to interpret the question of 'do things happen for a reason' in a grand sense (not a direct causal sense), and there is no definitive scientific answer on whether they do or not. For things to happen for a reason would assume that our own perception of the universe was created just for us, and is more of a spiritual question than a scientific one.

    Look at the double-slit experiment for example. It can be interpreted in two common ways.

    • The first is that the act of observing electrons generates an interference pattern. Meaning that space is altered simply through the act of observation.
    • The second is that dual (particle/wave) properties of photons (light) have an effect on electromagnetic radiation, thus causing the interference pattern to appear when it is observed
    There was a short period in my life when I did believe that things happened for a reason (for example, misfortune giving way to learning), as if the universe was putting us through some sort of trial or advancing our personal evolutional growth in some way.

    Nowadays i'm not so certain though the thought still intrigues me. Effect demands cause, and such cause can often be explained scientifically. But even then I'm still fascinated by the thought that maybe humanity is created FOR a reason, that the laws that govern the universe were created FOR a reason, and that our individual consciousness was created to experience things FOR a reason. After all, if we could not experience the consciousness to observe the universe, what would be the point of the universe existing? And if so, what is the cause of me having a consciousness and being able to experience these things from my own limited perspective as opposed to being god and watching my own machine (the physical universe) at work?
     
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  9. Questingpoet

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    Another great thread April! I suppose I think almost everything has a meaning that I am constantly trying to decipher. The little things that do not (like the pebble falling down the mountain) are still interconnected to the whole of existence and as such influence it in some small way. That's the principle behind The Butterfly Effect: a butterfly's flapping of wings here, causes a tsunami halfway across the world at a later time.

    For me, it's part of my pursuit of wisdom--to decipher meaning in things. If you are strictly considering people, pretty much everything has meaning and is there to figure out if you have the ability. As far as events (or fate if you prefer), you can drive yourself insane trying to find meaning, but that usually doesn't stop me.
     
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  10. NeverAmI

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    The only real fate that I see are laws that govern how and why things act the way they do, why we see entropy, why it works the way it does.

    I truly believe if we had the technology to truly keep track of every neuron and also every thought in a human, their actions would make sense, you may see incorrect inferences, but the action still makes sense based on that naivety. Of course, the biggest question is always how those thoughts come into our head in the first place. We have the will to choose which thought we would like to focus on, but we have no conscious control over which thoughts really enter randomly into our mind. I can only consult a list of past memories if I really want to call up something I wasn't thinking about before and it is quite linear.

    If you want an answer to fate, you need to ask me who created those natural laws. As far as we know right now, time doesn't exist outside of motion and space, it is a byproduct. However, the idea of linear time DOES exist for each person through birth and death. Life is the one thing that is really perplexing in all of this, something that comes into being and then decays back to the rest of matter. Although life is linear as well, life requires life, although that may not be the case anymore? I haven't kept up on our scientists' efforts to reproduce gensis out of biochemistry. Our own personal time in perception has something to do with our body's life cycle and how the mind works (heartbeats, limited speed of bio-electrical impulses, focus of attention).
     
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  11. Questingpoet

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    The NF answer...

    The ST (or perhaps NT) answer...



    I think both make good points. This is like being back in philosophy class. :m200:
     
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  12. NeverAmI

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    I am surprised there are still people that consider me ST. :)
     
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  13. athenian200

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    I very much doubt everything happens for a reason.

    I think that everything people do is for a reason, whether it's conscious or unconscious. Maybe even the things animals do. But things that aren't caused by people? I'm certain they're either just random, or the result of reality conforming to certain rules and forces.

    It seems reasonable to me to assume that only beings that have conscious minds, or sentience, can have reasons for doing things. Otherwise, things are just regulated outcomes that result from the interplay of natural laws with the present state of reality. Much like a computer simulation or video game runs based on rules, but the player has some degree of influence in how they respond at a given moment. Only reality has multiple players, and there's more than one way to progress.
     
    #13 athenian200, Jul 25, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2010
  14. Questingpoet

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    Please don't take that as a put down. Also, I don't necessarily consider you an ST (actually I don't at all), but that was a "T" type answer was my only point. I can answer in T fashion too. We all can actually.
     
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  15. Jack

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    Do you mean absurdity in terms of existentialism? And are you sure? What if a pebble had an intrinsic purpose that its simple existence alone was fulfilling? Why are we always thinking of purpose in terms of some action? Infinitely more things don't exist than that do. Why should anything exist at all?
     
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    #15 Jack, Jul 25, 2010
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  16. Norton

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    Everything happens for a reason if, by "reason," you mean etiology or causation. That is, there is a mechanism behind all events that is theoretically understandable to humanity.

    However, if, by "reason," you also mean metaphysical and/or theological, then the answer is not so clean and clear. For example, theological "reason" may include divine intent such as in "God's will." This is outside the bounds of Physics, and requires an intellectual pursuit far more vulnerable to corruption by the human mind than is the Scientific Method.
     
  17. durentu

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    It's not that everything happens for a reason, it's that we can give reasons for anything that happens.
     
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  18. Flavus Aquila

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    What you mean is that everything that happens is reason-able.

    Yes - everything happens for a reason - that is, every observable thing and occurence we encounter has a causality, in such a way that if we had known about them earlier, we could have predicted the present situation/outcome.

    In other words, there is no such thing as absolutely unpredictable chaos.
     
  19. IndigoSensor

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    I definitely believe that everything happens for a reason, in a spiritual sense. The short term scheme of things this is ever changing and things might happen at random so seemingly. However, it will all make sense in the long term sense which is where everything is heading.

    Everything happens for a reason, but the end result is ever changing as an effect of all these things. It's hard for me to explain.
     
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  20. Poetic Justice

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    Who's reason?

    Everything happening for a reason implies an all knowing master mind pulling the strings to make things happen.

    People make things happen for a reason. some animals do. MAYBE there is a deity in a VERY loose sense of the term pulling the strings.

    Apart from that I think this is a ridiculous concept. Especially the people who don't believe in a religion but still think things happen for a reason.

    I mean, seriously. What nonsense.

    What reason? Who's reason?

    To believe things happen for a reason as a stand alone belief without any further information, beliefs or proof required is ridiculous in the extreme.

    Maybe they do happen for a reason but to BELIEVE they do without any further caveats i.e. believing in a god making it happen is just nonsense.
     
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