Friday, January 27, 2012



Days: Mon - Sun

Hours: 24 / 7

Instructor: Zenka

Prerequisite: Life experience and common sense enough to truly understand the topic in a thoughtful and objective manner as well as sufficient rational, critical and judgmental abilities to participate in class discussions. Or permission of the instructor.

Textbook: Human Nature © 1997 Galaxy Press ISBN 0-9654901-0-6 Author: Ken Zenka

Lecture #2

This is the 2nd year lecture for the class. It will focus on the topic of PURPOSE.

In this class we will study human nature on the level of the individual. It will be the basis of understanding human nature in the larger social context. The study of human nature on the social level will be another course for which this class will be a prerequisite. This is the 2nd lecture on Scientific Rationalism. It will address the question of what meaning or purpose exists within human life.

There are several common beliefs about the meaning of our lives, but no rational or logical understanding supported by scientific evidence. There is the belief that the purpose of life will somehow expose itself to us on our death bed, in the last minutes of our lives; but what is the good of that?

There is another belief that after the turn of the millennium a new era would emerge and this knowledge, and more, would be revealed to us. But would that be the Era of Armageddon or the Age of Aquarius? Will fire and brimstone rain down from the skies or will we just love everybody to death? Either way we are finished.

But before we go we do have enough time to ask ourselves the big question – What meaning or purpose is there in our lives? It is thee philosophical question we dare not seriously ask ourselves anymore. Instead we ask - What is truth? What is morality? Is abortion/homosexuality/euthanasia right or wrong? What is the true path for mankind to follow? But does human existence even have any purpose or meaning to it? How would we find and recognize what life purports to us that which is signified or conveyed to and verified rationally and perhaps scientifically by our understanding as important?

Any answer we arrive at would have to stand the test of time. It would have to be true for all and forever. There are plenty of other questions; smaller questions. And there is plenty of confusion too. Yea, how come we never found the one true path for mankind to follow? There are also plenty of answers. They are contemporary answers; the religious interpretations, social doctrines and political laws that change to fit arbitrary wants and gossamer whims. Times change. Places, names, laws and beliefs change, but human nature does not.

The ancient Egyptians referred to their god of nature as
Isis. In the temples and palaces the statues of Isis were displayed with a thick cloth covering its head. This represented to the Egyptians their belief that they could never know Isis; they could never understand the true nature of nature itself. To “see” the face of Isis was to “know” Isis
. So the cloth symbolized their ignorance of nature. For us, we are just beginning to see the true nature of ourselves.

We have searched for the deeper meaning of our lives everywhere but inside of ourselves. For ages we have past over the obvious because its deeper meaning had been inaccessible to us, but the eminent understanding of ourselves now demands a closer examination. We have past over the obvious because the truth is that we are inherently fearful of this kind of knowledge. To actually, fully understand what is naturally important in life means we would have to live up to that knowledge and those responsibilities which lead to achieving that purpose. In order to attain those goals determined by our nature which results in meaning or purpose means we would have to live our lives deliberately; to exist, behave, act, react, conduct, respond, manage our lives, comport, perform, express ourselves intentionally and thoughtfully to that purposeful aim. The life of purpose means to live life on purpose.
If we have goals to achieve, we have responsibilities to fulfill and this means that we do not have free-will. We have free-choice to decide whether we as individuals will pursue and attain those goals, but we do not have free-will if we are not free of the consequences of not fulfilling our human responsibilities to ourselves and others. This also means that the individual will then be judged by others as to how well or how poorly he is living-up to those responsibilities.

As frightening as this maybe, it is not anywhere near as frightening as that judgment we render of ourselves and the lives we lead. To have free-will means to be free of responsibility and that verdict and sentence which we would deliver of ourselves in accordance with that knowledge. This is why self-knowledge is so important in attaining the moral life. What we know of ourselves and our human nature helps us to achieve that moral life and the life-long peace and contentment which it brings. (Self-) ignorance is bliss, is a deception the ignorant maintain to hide from this personal failure. That mankind does not possess free-will has been scientifically established by two highly regarded Princeton mathematicians, John Conway and Simon Kochen, who report to have proven that if humans have even the tiniest amount of free will, then atoms themselves must also behave unpredictably.1 Their research and conclusions are supported by a mathematical proof. “If the atoms never swerve so as to originate some new movement that will snap the bonds of fate, the everlasting sequence of cause and effect—what is the source of the free will possessed by living things throughout the earth?”2
[If I was giving out homework assignments it would be to answer this question.]
It is gratifying to finally find the science community extend the conclusions of its research to help answer the metaphysical questions with which philosophy has long dealt. As with Rationalism, science too has a teleological view of nature; where proper cause and effect as well as purpose is understood to be imbued within the state of nature. These final causes and designed goals within existence are themselves the source and goal of science’s search for its own answers and understanding. Deductively the conclusion here is that free-will does not exist, but rampant determinism does not exist either. Every individual does have free-choice as to movement, thought, course of action, beliefs, and more. The path for us in life is laid out and we decide if, when and where as well as how we will follow in that path. Whether the individual will seek and attain that ultimate goal of life is a matter of personal choice.

But we are willed, motivated and driven, instinctually, to achieve certain goals and fulfill certain responsibilities in our lives and we are not free of the emotional and physical pain, hatred, torment, guilt, regret or remorse if do not achieve those goals and fulfill those responsibilities. For mankind free-will does not exist. No matter what else we create in our lives, it never will.

If we truly had free-will life would not be worth living. There would be no direction, no connection with the rest of life. There would be no happiness in pleasure and pain would have no sting. There would be no purpose or consequence to anything we did in life. Life would be empty. There would be no reason for personal relationships. There would be no social contract. With no goals to meet or responsibilities to fulfill, the individual’s behavior would be something that only fills-up the wasted minutes of his worthless existence. Without a purpose to emotions and instincts all feelings would be meaningless. Nothing would be right or wrong. (Jezz, this kind of sounds like life in
these days.)

However; As I outlined in the opening lecture the design and function of the human corporeal creates behavioral motivations, instincts, which are our most important goals and responsibilities that we have in life. The body’s capacity to feel emotion is our base awareness and indication of the measure of accomplishment of the goals of our human nature. To only fulfill the base requirements of human instinctual obligation creates a base life, a base individual, someone of “low” character. To fulfill the needs of safety, comfort, well-being, social acceptability, the sex drive and parental instinct at no more than their base level would be regarded as a selfish life. To live just for oneself with no regards to the needs of others though does maintain those instinctual requirements for the individual in the narrowest scope of being and on the lowest level of human and self-understanding. Such a self-centered existence would only enjoy happiness in the narrowest scope of its definition and fulfillment of human responsibility at the lowest level of attainment.

But where the requirement of human obligation is abridged, the recognition of life’s value is also short changed. Where no higher responsibilities to the human state are realized no moral satisfaction and contentment with life will be rewarded. When the individual’s actions, words and deeds create a high degree of safety, comfort, etc. for his wife and children, and a create a safe, healthy neighborhood, schools, environment, with high behavioral standards for all people, a self-binding social contract, which ensures that those children can develop emotional self-understanding and the basic comprehension of good and bad, and right and wrong; the displayed respect of everyone means that everyone possesses self-respect. Where the environment we grow up in, live in, treats all in that society respectfully and honestly, this is the basis of a moral society. Where those honest differences cause hatred, mistrust, anger, animosity, they cause instability. These are human nature’s ways indicating to us that our lifestyle must change and those differences are to be removed. Life is too short and too important to live with hatred, mistrust, anger and animosity.

What meaning and purpose, contentment, happiness and the peace there is in life is not to be found with these emotions or feelings. Where people can not live together for whatever reason, then they should (be able to) live apart. We have just reached another millennium milestone in western civilization and it is a time to reflect upon how far we have progressed as a people and mark our place in the progress of mankind. Technological knowledge has advanced our societies and now it is time to use that same knowledge to advance ourselves. We still grapple with the same problems as our ancestors. We still have the same dilemmas and failed solutions.

Over one hundred years ago Nietzsche predicted that at the end of the twentieth century there would come a great Revaluation period for mankind. We will re-value our old views, concepts, ideas, definitions and beliefs. He said that “God is dead” and with that death the end of religious principles and ethics. We can not just sweep away such standards however, without first replacing them or at least those religious reasons for them. Human nature presents to us the only real set of common and humanly universal behavioral standards that mankind will ever truly possess or need.

But what about the big question? What purpose is there in our lives? The design of human nature and the function of human nature is the intention of human nature. Understand how human life is designed, follow in that intention and the highest levels of personal peace, happiness and contentment with life can be achieved. Understand the design and function of the human body, understand the goals, the inherent “essential instructions” the meaning and purpose constructed within the human corporeal, and attaining life’s objective becomes that much easier.

There is also the common belief that once we solve all the daily dilemmas in our lives we will then understand the purpose of our lives. But this too is wrong. Once we understand what meaning and purpose there is to human life only then can we easily solve most of life’s problems because the solutions we find will make sense. Only then will we be able to live life to the fullest intent.
As with the goals, objectives as well as the rational understanding of the responsibilities we have to the state of human existence, our human nature creates the totality of our lives. It forms the first thru final threads of the fabric of our lives. But is it human responsibility and not some other aspect of our lives that creates meaning? Maybe there is emotional satisfaction that overcomes instinctual responsibility? Money and power tend to the greedy and unscrupulous. And it is that money and power destroy the greedy and unscrupulous as well. Fame and glamour tend to the emotionally needy and spiritually vacuous. But emotions change by the minute and human nature abhors a vacuum. Where the individual is governed by his emotions and feelings rather than reasoned thought and critical thinking skills, unintended, unconscious outcomes sabotage real happiness and contentment with life.

The highest concept of life fulfilled is the highest purpose of life and is evidenced by the greatest reward that we can receive – the deepest, most lasting satisfaction, contentment and happiness from a life well lived. When we intentionally, rationally live our whole lives so that we may receive, compounded, what we have fulfilled in others, then the moral understanding of life has been realized. Nothing completes our lives as those actions, behaviors, attitudes, lifestyles and most of all the relationships that help us to properly, morally, satisfy those human responsibilities, requirements and tasks that our nature has set us to. Whereas our own happiness and contentment with life is created through other people, the greatest happiness depends on the greatest level, the most complete fulfillment of the greatest responsibility that the individual has to life; that is the continuation of life on its highest and most advanced levels. As all the elements of human nature are bound to and dependent upon one another, the complete satisfaction of one instinct depends upon the moral satisfaction of all other instincts. When those instinctual goals produce children and dictate a consistently better environment for them, they create for us the single means by which almost all of our other responsibilities to human nature can be fulfilled in the same direction, with the same intention and toward the same goal. When the design of human nature is understood, where the function of human nature has been morally fulfilled, then the objective of our lives has been achieved. When all of life has been conducted with purposeful contemplation it bears the advanced state of being human. This is the final stage where the larger responsibilities of life have been successfully resolved. Here the emotions are no longer used to direct or guide behavior, but instead used to confirm and reaffirm those conscious rational and moral determinations that were made in the past and become what life means to us in the present. All past decisions and actions in our lives will eventually become the determination of our whole lives. After attaining the higher goals and after our human responsibilities have been morally fulfilled, it is then that our lives will determine for us whether life has been purposeful.

But it must be understood early in life that all that we do in our personal lives predetermines that purposeful resolution with existence. It is to live the long view of life every day in which we find our true selves through our future generation’s ease of the attainment of our nature’s goals. When our children find the peace and contentment with life that we taught them to find, it will mean that we have achieved the purpose of life evidenced by our own sense of personal peace, contentment and happiness with life by proving that we understood the correct and moral ways to life, well enough to teach it to them.

The question now becomes – Is the purpose of life happiness? The answer is, no. Long-term peace, happiness and contentment are our natural indications that we have properly fulfilled our human responsibilities. Instead of asking ourselves what is the purpose of life, we instead ask – How do we properly fulfill our obligations to human nature? First we have to understand them. That which follows the direction of human nature and fulfills the intention of human nature is the purpose of human nature.

Of course if this philosophy is the true understanding of the nature of mankind revealed, then it could mean that we willmeet Armageddon.



2.    Titus Lucret Carus, Roman philosopher and poet, 99–55 BC.

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