Re: Getting up in the morning (was: Re: The Quest for the Purpose of Life)

From: Simon McClenahan (
Date: Tue Jan 29 2002 - 07:41:03 MST

From: "Damien Broderick" <>
> At 09:49 AM 1/28/02 -0800, Lee wrote:
> >> LIFE creates and identifies purposes.
> >purpose requires an entity
> >capable of /desire/ and /free will/; such an entity must be able to
> >form goals that support its desires, and can therefore choose its
> >own purposes.

> A kidney gets built into a developing phenotype because that arrangement
> organized cells does a particular job acceptably well within a
> entity. It obviously has a *function*, then; and it would be perverse to
> claim that it doesn't have a *purpose*.

Please explain exactly what is so perverse about a kidney not having
"purpose". A kidney has a "function" most definitely, but you fail to
impress upon me that it has a "purpose". This whole argument is still bound
by the definition of "purpose", and hopefully we're speaking the same
language here. My definition implies self-intent from a sentient being.

> That purpose was not *intended* by the evolutionary accidents and sievings
> that built the kidney's constructional and operating code; there was no
> outside mind *desiring* it. But each kidney serves a crucial purpose.

And that purpose is to function for the outside mind's desiring, surely? A
kidney(s) laying in the bottom of a barrell serves no obvious purpose to me,
nor to most other sentient beings.


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