42

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commonsense
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42

Post by commonsense » Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:09 pm

In the Hitchhiker’s Guide, the supercomputer, Deep Thought, tells us that the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything is 42. Deep Thought pointed out that the answer seems meaningless because the beings who instructed it never truly knew what the question was.

However, I believe I have the question. I know that the question must be about belief & reason, faith & rationalism. Not any particular belief, say, the belief in the existence of God, but belief itself. Not any particular thought, e.g., that all unmarried men are bachelors, but thought itself.

In order to believe something, do we need to think that belief is necessary for getting at the truth of things? But that begs the question if belief is sufficient, then why is thought necessary?

And how can we trust our thoughts, unless we believe them to be trustworthy? Why do we accept it that rationalism is the way to search for meaning? Again, the dilemma: is it necessary to believe that thought is necessary in pursuit of truth?

So, the ultimate question could be which is the better way to probe for truth: through faith or via reason? But this fails as the ultimate question because it depends on a false dichotomy.

The question could be why do we have both at hand? No, this is too easily answered to be the ultimate question.

My question is the question that comes before all others, the single question of utmost importance to all humankind: are faith and reason together necessary & sufficient in the quest for the truth of life, the universe and everything?

FlashDangerpants
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Re: 42

Post by FlashDangerpants » Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:21 pm

commonsense wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:09 pm
My question is the question that comes before all others
Isn't it inconvenient that this first and foremost question is being provided as an answer?

commonsense
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Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2017 6:38 pm

Re: 42

Post by commonsense » Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:37 pm

FlashDangerpants wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:21 pm
commonsense wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:09 pm
My question is the question that comes before all others
Isn't it inconvenient that this first and foremost question is being provided as an answer?
Not really. You probably surmised that I made my argument for my question before I presented the question, and, in so doing, I gave away my own answer to my question.

You may have a question of greater gravitas. Giving the answer is for extra credit. :)

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Greta
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Re: 42

Post by Greta » Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:24 pm

commonsense wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:09 pm
My question is the question that comes before all others, the single question of utmost importance to all humankind: are faith and reason together necessary & sufficient in the quest for the truth of life, the universe and everything?
[millions of years pass] ...

...

...

...

....

........


............ A: maybe.

commonsense
Posts: 703
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2017 6:38 pm

Re: 42

Post by commonsense » Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:38 pm

Greta wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:24 pm
commonsense wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:09 pm
My question is the question that comes before all others, the single question of utmost importance to all humankind: are faith and reason together necessary & sufficient in the quest for the truth of life, the universe and everything?
[millions of years pass] ...

...

...

...

....

........


............ A: maybe.
:D

TimeSeeker
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Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:42 am

Re: 42

Post by TimeSeeker » Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:43 am

That is a great question! Much better than the previous “ultimate question”.

The answer is still 42. Give or take any rounding errors.

Atla
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Re: 42

Post by Atla » Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:01 pm

commonsense wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:09 pm
are faith and reason together necessary & sufficient in the quest for the truth of life, the universe and everything?
Without some faith in reason itself, we could never say anything about anything. But that's where the role of faith ends, when it comes to a serious inquiry about life, the universe and everything. So actually both are necessary.

Are they sufficient? I don't think this can be answered. What if reality is actually "unreasonable", whatever that means? We may never know.
Even if reality is "reasonable", it can be modeled via reason, we may never see beyond the observable universe. All we can do is come up with all kinds of reasonable ideas and interpretations, and then argue which one is most likely.

commonsense
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Re: 42

Post by commonsense » Thu Nov 08, 2018 5:10 pm

Atla wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:01 pm
commonsense wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:09 pm
are faith and reason together necessary & sufficient in the quest for the truth of life, the universe and everything?
Without some faith in reason itself, we could never say anything about anything. But that's where the role of faith ends, when it comes to a serious inquiry about life, the universe and everything. So actually both are necessary.

Are they sufficient? I don't think this can be answered. What if reality is actually "unreasonable", whatever that means? We may never know.
Even if reality is "reasonable", it can be modeled via reason, we may never see beyond the observable universe. All we can do is come up with all kinds of reasonable ideas and interpretations, and then argue which one is most likely.
Exactly so!

Atla
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Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:27 am

Re: 42

Post by Atla » Thu Nov 08, 2018 5:17 pm

commonsense wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 5:10 pm
Atla wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:01 pm
commonsense wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:09 pm
are faith and reason together necessary & sufficient in the quest for the truth of life, the universe and everything?
Without some faith in reason itself, we could never say anything about anything. But that's where the role of faith ends, when it comes to a serious inquiry about life, the universe and everything. So actually both are necessary.

Are they sufficient? I don't think this can be answered. What if reality is actually "unreasonable", whatever that means? We may never know.
Even if reality is "reasonable", it can be modeled via reason, we may never see beyond the observable universe. All we can do is come up with all kinds of reasonable ideas and interpretations, and then argue which one is most likely.
Exactly so!
Now we need a new ultimate question. :)

commonsense
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Re: 42

Post by commonsense » Thu Nov 08, 2018 6:40 pm

Atla wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 5:17 pm
commonsense wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 5:10 pm
Atla wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:01 pm

Without some faith in reason itself, we could never say anything about anything. But that's where the role of faith ends, when it comes to a serious inquiry about life, the universe and everything. So actually both are necessary.

Are they sufficient? I don't think this can be answered. What if reality is actually "unreasonable", whatever that means? We may never know.
Even if reality is "reasonable", it can be modeled via reason, we may never see beyond the observable universe. All we can do is come up with all kinds of reasonable ideas and interpretations, and then argue which one is most likely.
Exactly so!
Now we need a new ultimate question. :)
Before we go there. I just want to add that to believe doesn’t require the thought that belief is a way to get at the truth of something. One only needs to believe that belief is a way to do so.

This takes nothing away from the claim that to begin inquiry, resson relies on the belief that reason is valid.

commonsense
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Re: 42

Post by commonsense » Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:05 pm

So, now that the ultimate question has been asked and answered, what is the next most ultimate question facing humankind?

Are we alone? No, that’s not the next question.

Is utopia possible? Closer, but still not the second most important question to ask.

I think the new ultimate question will have something to do with survival, but I’m not certain of the particular question if that is the case.

Perhaps the question is what do we need to survive? Or what does the universe need to survive?

The former is important, of practical value and answerable.

But the latter is a better question because, obviously, humankind, no matter what it needs, will not survive if the universe does not.

We’re the Beatles right: all you need is love?

TimeSeeker
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Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:42 am

Re: 42

Post by TimeSeeker » Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:20 pm

commonsense wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:05 pm
All you need is love?
You keep asking and I keep telling you. 42!

commonsense
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Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2017 6:38 pm

Re: 42

Post by commonsense » Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:26 am

:lol:
TimeSeeker wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:20 pm
commonsense wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:05 pm
All you need is love?
You keep asking and I keep telling you. 42!
:lol:

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