Saturday, October 25, 2008

A short essay -Purpose can only be attained by human reason.

Jared Armstrong
Professor ...
Philosophy 101
10 October 2008
Purpose can only be attained by human reason.
Purpose is something set up as an object or end to be obtained. (Merriam Webster) This is not the only definition of purpose, but seems to be the most appropriate one. I find the idea of purpose fascinating. There are many implications when you talk about purpose; what is my purpose? Can a person have more than one purpose? Is a purpose a choice? What is the purpose of (insert noun here)? Does everything have a purpose? “Can there be a principle or law at work [in the universe] without a purpose or goal?” (Velasquez, 199) I would say yes. Principle or laws aren’t purposeful. How can objects have purpose? Purpose can only be attained by an object, law, or principle by human reason.
Humans apply purpose to things. Take for example a piece of wood with some metal coming out one end. When this object is in a drawer of my kitchen, it has no end to be attained. Although, when I need to make a steak I just fried up on the grill into smaller pieces, this object has the purpose of cutting my steak into smaller and more manageable pieces to be consumed. So this raises the question, is purpose permanent? Let’s take this same wooden object with metal coming out one end and use it to maim a person. Have we not changed the very purpose of this object? This leads me to believe purpose is not permanent, and can be dynamic. While you can change the purpose of an object, what you change the purpose to might not be the orginally intended purpose of that object. Such as taking a steak knife and maiming someone with it.
When people apply purpose to inanimate objects, it comes off to me as hypostatization fallacy of sorts. For example, the sun’s purpose is to warm the earth. How can the sun, which is basically a flaming ball of gases, have a purpose? Well, if we think about it a little more critically, people give the sun that purpose. Purpose is observer relative, because without humans there to perceive the sun having the purpose of warming the earth, it really has no purpose or goal to attain. It’s just a big hot ball of gas. If humans weren’t around, would the sun still have a purpose?
Social reality might play a part in the idea of purpose and goal. Based on agreement, this piece of paper in my wallet with some ink on it is money and can buy me something. We agree that it’s money, and that it has value, and we use it to trade for an object that we wish to attain. The purpose of money is to buy things. The goal of money is to attain something through trade. Beyond that, does that piece of paper with some ink on it really have a purpose other than the one we give it? I would say no. It’s only true because we agree it’s true. It’s epistemically objective, but ontologically subjective, in the sense of social reality.
There is the argument, “God(s) gave everything a purpose,” and I might be considered an infidel for saying this, but considering there is no proof at all of the existence of some omnipotent being, I really can’t find a justification for that argument. For the sake of this paper, I shall refute this argument in a logical way, and assume the existence of some omnipotent being for but a moment.
If God created all things, and gave all things purpose, he may be omnipotent, but that just means he created these things for a purpose. If the purpose was given, (we’ll use the sun for example.), does it really have a purpose of its own? That may sound confusing, so let me rephrase. The sun has been given purpose by God, but the sun on its own can’t have purpose or goals, because it doesn’t have the cognitive ability (That I am aware of.) to do such things. Purpose and goals cannot exist without reason; whether it is the reason given by some omnipotent being, humans, or even apes.
“Can there be a principle or law at work [in the universe] without a purpose or goal?” (Velasquez, 199) Again, I say yes. The only reason the idea of purpose exists, is because humans see a connection between things. Humans ask “why is this, this way?” The answer we have come up with is purpose. It is sadly satisfactory for the common person, and not looked at with more critical thinking behind it. Purpose and goals are applied by reason. Without the ability to reason, things such as purpose and goal cannot exist.

Works Cited
“Merriam Webster Dictionary.” Merriam Webster Dictionary.
14th Century. Unknown location. Unknown. < >

Velasquez, Manuel. Philosophy: A Text with Readings 8th edition. Belmont: CA
Wadsworth, 2002

All rights reserved to the Author (Jared W. Armstrong). You may not use this essay or the contents herein without the sole permission of the Author.


Anonymous said...

Cheapest fastest real youtube views

[url=]buy youtube views[/url]

Anonymous said...

Hi thеre it's me, I am also visiting this web page on a regular basis, this web page is really fastidious and the viewers are actually sharing pleasant thoughts.

Here is my web site - cherry pickers for sale
My page ... bucket truck

Anonymous said...

I am гeally glad to glance at this wеbpage poѕts whiсh contаins tοns of helpful
іnformation, thanks for pгoviding these information.

Mу web-site used bucket trucks for sale

Anonymous said...

It's actually a nice and helpful piece of information. I'm satisfied thаt you just ѕhared this hеlpful info with us.
Pleaѕe staу us informed lіke thіѕ.
Thanκ you for sharing.

mу web site: bucket trucks

Anonymous said...

Hi! Ӏ could have swoгn I've been to this site before but after going through a few of the articles I realized it's neω
tο me. Аnyways, I'm certainly delighted I stumbled upon it and I'll be boоkmarκing it and checking bacκ frequеntly!

Here is my blοg; tens unit pain relief
my web site :: tens machine

Anonymous said...

Write more, thats all I have tо sаy. Liteгallу, it seems aѕ though yоu relied on the video to mаkе your
point. You obviously knοw ωhat youre talking аbοut, why throw aωay youг intelligence on
just pоsting vіԁeos to уour
weblog when you could be giѵing us something informаtive to геad?

Check out my homepage tensunitsforpain.Com

Anonymous said...

I κnow thiѕ if off tоpіc but I'm looking into starting my own blog and was curious what all is needed to get setup? I'm assuming hаvіng a blοg lіκe youгs would cost а pretty
ρenny? I'm not very internet savvy so I'm nοt 100% positive. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated. Appreciate it

my weblog: taxi service irving