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103 votes

Being alive today: the most improbable coincidence?

Your reasoning would be sound if you picked any random human who ever lived and checked whether they would be alive today. This chance would indeed be rather low. (Because today's world population is ...
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43 votes

Being alive today: the most improbable coincidence?

Shuffle a standard deck of 52 playing cards and look at the arrangement you end up with. Assuming your sorting was completely random the probability of you getting that exact arrangement is about 1 in ...
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  • 531
22 votes
Accepted

The "point" to an Atheists existence

This isn't really a philosophy question, but there is no atheism stackexchange and so it seems philosophy is the next best bet (we do address the philosophy of religion/religiosity and the lack ...
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21 votes

Did Charles Darwin say anything on why life was formed in the first place?

One has to keep apart different layers: a) abiogenesis (the emergence of life) vs. evolution (the development of existing life over generations) and b) the incompatibility of biblical accounts of the ...
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  • 10.8k
20 votes

Comedy we play everyday and pretend everything is fine?

The first person who comes to mind is Albert Camus who won the 1957 Nobel prize for literature, and authored many writings which contributed to the ideas in the philosophy known as absurdism. "......
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  • 301
13 votes

The "point" to an Atheists existence

I've been an atheist for as long as I can remember (I never quite believed anyone could rise from the dead, walk on water and stuff without documented, repeatable proof) and I've never struggled with ...
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  • 231
10 votes

The "point" to an Atheists existence

There are already several answers that hint at what I'm about to say, but here's my opinion on the matter. I've been an Atheist my whole life (I was actually shocked to learn that other people took ...
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9 votes

Being alive today: the most improbable coincidence?

The first time I recall encountering this argument was in Alan Moore’s Watchmen, where the probability of what you describe is likened to “events with odds so astronomical they’re effectively ...
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8 votes

The "point" to an Atheists existence

I feel your pain. I grew up Catholic, but I lost my faith in my early 20s when I began asking questions and discovered answers that completely contradicted what I had known to be the truth. I'm ...
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  • 181
8 votes

Being alive today: the most improbable coincidence?

The probability of an event X happening, GIVEN THAT IT HAS HAPPENED, is always 100%. I hear thinking like you give used in many flawed arguments. For example, I once got into a conversation with ...
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  • 259
7 votes
Accepted

What is the purpose of life? Why should we live or even be created?

First, your emotions around this question are something that I would advise you to seek help with - whether it is with a trusted friend or relative, or someone trained to help people deal with such a ...
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7 votes
Accepted

What are the counterarguments against abortions in rape cases to the Thomson paper?

Wikipedia, which is the source of the quote, in another article also lists the typical objections, with references, which arguably point out moral distinctions. The responsibility objection: ...
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  • 40.7k
7 votes

Did Charles Darwin say anything on why life was formed in the first place?

Different subject matters Note: Philip Klöcking answers the title question, this answers the question in the body. The original work of Darwin was named "On the origin of species by means of ...
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  • 4,816
7 votes
Accepted

Is there any Ancient Greek philosopher that we know came from an underprivileged background?

As noted above Epictetus was born a slave, and he was an "ancient" Greek, though after the classical period. Diogenes was born to an affluent family but lived on the streets as a homeless ...
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6 votes
Accepted

Is fire a living thing?

Interesting idea, possibly the wrong place to ask that question, but still something I will do my best to answer. Fire is not typically considered a form of life because it is a property of both the ...
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6 votes

Being alive today: the most improbable coincidence?

A couple of brief pointers on how to think about this: First, in your question you are assuming that the passage of time is an objective feature of reality. That is, in order to give a full ...
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  • 2,607
6 votes

Being alive today: the most improbable coincidence?

Right now I am looking at a pair of scissors laying on my desk. What are the chances of that?!?? Think about it: that pair of scissors had to be created; the desk had to be created. The house that ...
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  • 2,669
6 votes

Being alive today: the most improbable coincidence?

Dead or unborn people don't ask themselves : "Why am I not alive today?". By contraposition, you've got your answer: You can ask yourself the above question, it means you're alive.
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  • 1,086
5 votes
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Using embryos in stem cell medicine

Embryos are a stage in development of human organisms. To phrase the issue concisely: If something is X at the end of a time interval, then either it must become X during that interval, or else it ...
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5 votes

Does human existence have absolute worth?

I wouldn't call it a bold hypothesis; its been generally affirmed through out history despite suffering that being human means, and of humanity in general. Of course, the absolute worth of humanity ...
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5 votes

Is fire a living thing?

Probably this is the right place to ask. Following such definition, some rocks would be alive (they can grow slowly by incorporating minerals on its structure, then when they break, the process can ...
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  • 4,377
5 votes

If all of us are going to die one day why should we care about the feelings and emotions of others?

Even animals care for their young ones (their feelings and emotions also). This is an already-installed quality in most living things. Haven't you seen mother birds hatching their eggs? Will they ...
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  • 2,978
5 votes
Accepted

Does there exist truly objective thoughts?

You are correct, in that as we define the terms, a knowledge of a perfect objectivity is not possible. And to be pedantic, even what you refer to as the "electromagnetic wave" is not proven ...
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  • 3,584
4 votes

Thought experiment: Argument whose life is more valuable organic or mechanical?

I think the situation your are presenting doesn't make sense. Let's take the military as an example. Being in some combat military units would involve taking substantial risks that you might die. The ...
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  • 6,995
4 votes

The "point" to an Atheists existence

As an atheist myself, this is a question that I, personally, have struggled with. I've never been suicidal, or even had serious suicidal thoughts, but pondering my own existence and the reasons ...
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  • 750
4 votes

The "point" to an Atheists existence

There is a lot of Ben and Jerrys left to be eaten, places to see, and so on. As with everything else in life, just because the fun will eventually end, does not imply that you need to end it early. ...
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4 votes

Is my interpretation of Objectivism in relation to environmental preservation correct?

Presumably, yes. But this is why Objectivism is not taken very seriously. It opposes such harm, yet also and more ardently, it would seem, opposes the sort of government apparatus that could restrict ...
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