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Naturalism is the understanding that there is a single, natural world as shown by science, and that we are completely included in it. - Thomas W Clark
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LOL - you mean like having an ant farm? :)The thing is that space is so inhospitable and we are perfectly evolved to live on earth - I really lack confidence that we can last very long elsewhere - all depends on the technology. I also think that most aliens are smaller than bacteria - it takes a certain type of place to produce large complex life like we have here.And things do end in the end - in a very long time - 1 with 99 zeros - which is an unimaginable amount of time - the entire universe will die a heat death - which means that all the energy will be used up and everything will simply stop moving - and therefore time will cease to exist - because time is relative to movement.
I really like this. I like how I can get up and look around, knowing that in this amazingly beautiful universe, and how we are so small--not only are we made of stardust, but we are just a little speck. For all we know we could be some alien creatures project!
It is so easy to get caught up in the jargon of philosophy or science and for me, the energy and elements and forces of nature exist, everything changes and nothing ends, at least that is what I learned in some long ago class (remember, I am 76 and things get a little hazy). But the concept of being made up of "star stuff" Sagan's term, or "star dust", Tyson's term, we all have common components, we evolved through eons of time, we co-exist with many different living forms, life gives some of us the senses that make it possible to see, hear, taste, smell, feel, and emote and all these things make it possible to participate in life. That is why I think I am created. Participation, not defined by some unseeable, unknowable god, but defined by my internal drives. Just as the robin is born, wakes up and sings, looks for food, eats, reproduces, and dies to return to the earth and ultimately to star dust. Now, how could life be any sweeter than that!!!
I think I do know what you mean. There is huge psychological benefit in feeling at home in the universe. And the causal web unfolding in spacetime certainly does unify everything including us in a nontrivial way.
Mike - I think there is some benefit from that feeling you get when thinking about the interconnectedness of all things in a causal web of time and space.... do you know what I mean?
Hi Tabitha. The statement that 'we are all one' sounds like what Daniel Dennett would call a "deepity": a statement which is true in the most trivial sense, but false in a profound sense. Yes, we (you, me, slime molds, washing machines, etc) are all made of the heavy elements created by exploding stars. But no we are not technically unified except in the most trivial sense.
Tabitha - I don't think it is that simple - the way that Stephen Hawkins explains it (I think) is that virtual quantum particles are sucked into existence through gravity which was like a wave - I'm not sure if we know yet if this process is ongoing or not - because it might be that we are exchanging particles all the time - with the virtual quantum world on the atomic scale. We don't know enough to say that all the particles came from the big bang.
So I was watching Carl Sagan's "Cosmos", and he says, "We are made pf starstuff," saying that every atom, every molecule that exists now began at a singular point in time, the very beginning of our universe. So that makes me wonder...does the 'spiritual truth' "we are all one" hold merit, then?
a sense of belonging is very important to us.... I like that there are people all over the world who also identify with naturalism and I think that it attracts kind hearted people, compassionate, caring and rationally minded - a winning combination.
I hear you. Knowledge of nature is not experience of nature. Regarding the experiential and existential aspect of naturalism— Ajita Kamal, the late founder of this Atheist Nexus Naturalism group, had this to say:“It is a pleasant thought to know that we are not as divided it seems. It’s this common story we share that brings us together to ‘rejoice’ at the idea of existence. This feeling is not new. I had always wondered at the natural universe and have never ceased to be humbled by it. But now, I am starting to actually feel something that I thought I had lost forever. I am starting to feel like I belong.” —Ajita Kamal 1978-2011
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