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Old 15-05-2009, 01:32 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by mephibosheth View Post
Purpose still requires a frame of reference to make sense of it.

If you regard the screwdriver in-itself, there is no purpose to be found in it. It is nothing more than metal and plastic shaped in a certain way. The intent of the creator of the tool is not imparted to the essence of the tool once it exists. It isn't part of it's ontological make-up, as it were.

To give it purpose, to make it a tool and not just a finely shaped bit of metal, requires an agency that is external to the screwdriver, who manipulates it in some way to achieve a goal that the agency projects for itself.

Just as with signification, there is no absolute purpose for any object. As your own example shows, the screwdriver can be employed to many diverse purposes, each defined by the agent that weilds the screwdriver purposefully.

Again, consider art. Art is another product of human ingenuity, like the screwdriver. And often the work of art might be intended to have a purpose or is created for a specific purpose. But as soon as it is loosed on the world, it frees itself of the purpose and presents itself as a bare facticity for conative agents to use or not use according to their own purposes.

To have an intrinsic purpose would mean that the object has a purpose in and of itself. But this doesn't make any sense, especially if we are talking about tools created by human beings. The cause of the creation of the tool may have been the satisfaction of some purpose in the mind of its creator, but that purpose is fulfilled upon the creation and use of the tool by the creator. It is not stamped on the tool itself, which now exists independently of the creator--and his original intentions.
Thats your way of looking at it, and your particular definition of intrinsic purpose. My definition of an intrinsic purpose, is the original intended purpose for the object in question. That intrinsic purpose is not changed by someone else using the object in a different way, but an extrinsic purpose is attached to it, in which might presist, or might not. Regardless though, all things created with intent have an original purpose.

Originally Posted by mephibosheth View Post
Another way of putting it is that objects only have purposes attached to them insofar as they are being actively used by some conative agent in a particular way.
Again, thats one way to look at it. But I look at somethings inherent purpose being presistant.

Originally Posted by mephibosheth View Post
So to suggest that reality itself has a purpose, it is necessary to show that all of reality is actively being manipulated to accomplish some specific end, and that there is only one agency that is actively creating and maintaining reality in relation to that end.
No, to suggest only requires an idea and some creative thinking. To prove such a thing might require what youve said. Though Im not claiming my ideas are absolute truths, I only posit them as possibilities, which you can accept, or reject. Though saying that something suggested is absolutely impossible, that requires you to prove such, otherwise its just an opinion thats falsely stated as fact.

Originally Posted by mephibosheth View Post
'Totality' to mean 'whole' here. An infinite series is a complete unit, a perfect whole, for the reasons I listed above. It is an absolute that one cannot escape from nor oppose to anything else. because the series is unending, the forward motion of 'counting' each portion thereof is equivalent to a state of absolute rest, in which only one thing exists.

Infinite time and the infinite present are the same thing. Thus, the Absolute is a whole. No finite thing within reality is a true whole because no finite thing in reality has an independent existence from reality. Each thing is connected to every other thing through a chain of causes, and no thing arises spontaneously. All the more so if we take the multiple worlds view, where every possible thing already exists, and thus, not only is every existing thing in this world connected, but also every possible world is also similarly connected, as there wouldn't be Possible World B' without Possible World B.

So each finite thing is a mere part--a part of the true whole, which is the totality of Reality (the sum of all possible parts). The number of its parts cannot be counted, so we call it infinite. But since it is infinite in this sense, it admits of no penetration of any other existence, because it contains all possibles. Thus it is perfectly isolated and independent, a true Unit.
My point is that there is no "whole", "totality", "all", "complete unit", etc, in an infinitely large object. All attempts at defining something infinitely large, always compress the true concept into something more palatable for the finite mind. We, with finite minds, cannot really understand such a thing, and to the normal person, such a concept is uncomfortable, as it just doesnt compute beyond a certain point, if at all. Its truly a breakthrough when someone does begin to understand the vague concept that reality has no "whole", because it is greater than any "whole", both in a physical and numerical sense, and in a spiritual sense.

Im not sure I can adaquately explain this concept to a materialist, though. By nature, a materialist automatically rejects anything that has no certain link to it; anything that seems like a nebulous idea that cannot readily be proven by empirical means. Nothing I say will be perfect; full proof. No argument ever is, especially when word mincing comes into play, as I can see it most likely will over what the word "whole" means, and why it should mean what it does.

Any concept that is infinite, can only be done justice by an equally interminable "definition" (I put that in quotes, because to define is to limit, something in which the unlimited cannot be). "All", "whole", whatever word that expresses an "everything", is obsolete terminology when dealing with infinitely large concepts. Only finite things and the infinitely small has a totality, such as the total ammount of fractional numbers inbetween 1 and 2. Though the infinitely large, I maintain, has no totality, because it is beyond such inherently finite concepts.
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