• Isaac
    3.9k
    I am not compelled to rake leaves everywhere I see themJanus

    I explained the difference between a necessary and a sufficient cause, did I not? Are you claiming that there are no such things as necessary but not sufficient causes, that all causes must be sufficient ones - that's a very tall order. I'd even go as far as to defy you to give me a single cause that is truly sufficient?

    What causes me to rake particular leaves is the thought that they look untidy, or that they will rot down and contaminate a hard surface with organic material. or that they will stain the driveway or verandah if I leave them there.Janus

    So every single time you have one of those thoughts you're compelled to rake leaves, even if there aren't any leaves to rake?

    It seems to me that people generally use the term 'cause' in expressions of the form "X caused Y" when Y must happen when X obtains.Janus

    Not always, but let's see...

    'He pointed a gun to my head, and ordered me to rake the leaves': in that case I would probably say that having a gun pointed at my head and being commanded to rake the leaves caused me to rake the leaves (or alternatively, I might deny this claiming that I still had a choiceJanus

    ...and immediately what follows is an example where the word is used in a situation where Y needn't follow. Do you actually have an example of this manner you claim most people use the expression. In what example of "X causes Y" in normal conversation is it the case that Y necessarily follows because X?

    'falling from the roof, and landing badly on my left leg caused it to break',Janus

    Only it didn't, because lots of people fall from roofs and land badly without breaking their leg (unless you're defining 'landing badly' as 'landing in such as way as to break a leg', in which case your argument is just tautological, not causal). So some other factors must also have been necessary.

    'being hit by a car caused her death'Janus

    Same as above. Being hit by a car does not always cause death. You claimed above that leaves could only be a cause if you are "compelled to rake leaves everywhere I see them", so for "being hit by a car caused her death" to be judged by the same standard it must be that every time anyone is hit by a car, they die. Which is not true.

    If you allow 'being hit by a car' to be a cause of 'death' even though it does not cause death every time, then why are you not allowing 'leaves' to be a cause of 'raking leaves' on the grounds that they do not cause raking leaves every time?

    You accuse me of appealing merely to how things seem to me, but in the practice of philosophy that applies to all. What authority do you imagine you are appealing to when you say 'leaves cause me to rake them' beyond how it seems to you?Janus

    No authority. Just what I anticipated would be common assumptions - laws of physics, logical thought processes...the usual assumptions we make when discussing things rationally. Basically your position is inconsistent with the laws of physics (it has thought (an immaterial thing) cause action (a material thing) which defies the laws of conservation of momentum, and it appears inconsistent (one minute a necessary but not sufficient cause is labelled 'cause' - the car hitting someone, but a different factor with the same properties - necessary but not sufficient, is denied that label) That goes against normal methods of rational thought. I merely assumed that you shared assumptions like the law of conservation of momentum and logical consistency. If not, then there's not much point discussing matters as these are really the only tools of persuasion I have available to me.
  • SophistiCat
    1.6k
    There are different ways to understand and talk about causation in ordinary language, specialist language and philosophy. Janus leans more on ordinary language, while Isaac insists on certain specialist and philosophical uses.
  • Isaac
    3.9k
    There are different ways to understand and talk about causation in ordinary language, specialist language and philosophy. Janus leans more on ordinary language, while Isaac insists on certain specialist and philosophical uses.SophistiCat

    I think that's true, but what I'm leading up to is the assumptions that the ordinary language use carries. I didn't want to prejudice any alternative explanation Janus might have given, but essentially what I'm seeing is a rejection of direct physical causes when they pass through a human mind.

    Me pushing a cup off a table causes it to break. We're quite happy with that use of cause despite the numerous other factors which are necessary in that causal chain.

    Seeing the cup broken causes me to swear is more problematic. No greater number of missing factors in the causal chain. In fact nothing logically different at all between the two scenarios. Except that in the latter, a human mind is in the causal chain, and we just don't like determinism when it comes to humans.

    I was just trying to draw that out.
  • SophistiCat
    1.6k
    Seeing the cup broken causes me to swear is more problematic. No greater number of missing factors in the causal chain. In fact nothing logically different at all between the two scenarios. Except that in the latter, a human mind is in the causal chain, and we just don't like determinism when it comes to humans.Isaac

    Uses of causation are varied and messy. People have proposed theories of causation, but at most they succeed in some special domains, or capture some aspects of use. And yes, some uses - and corresponding theories - are more mentalist than others. The disparity that you point out makes more sense if you think of causation as manipulation than if you think of it as contribution. In this example causation also gets mixed up with responsibility, which confounds the issue even more.
  • Isaac
    3.9k
    The disparity that you point out makes more sense if you think of causation as manipulation than if you think of it as contribution.SophistiCat

    I think that's true, but, as you say, domain-specific. It causes problems in contexts which cross domains (were there's both a physical causal chain and a 'free-willed' manipulator). We often end up using 'cause' in the same proposition with a different meaning attached to each use. Generally not a problem in day-to-day language, we're quite adept at disentangling such complexities on the hoof, but when we try to draw knowledge out of such use we'll stumble.

    With free-speech the decision is about the extent to which speech 'causes' the harms associated with it. Here, with a question of policy, I think we need to be very careful not to mistake our colloquial use of 'cause' in the sense of 'application of will', with the very material sense in which social policy either works or does not.

    In this example causation also gets mixed up with responsibility, which confounds the issue even more.SophistiCat

    Absolutely. Maybe I'm being uncharitable, but I sense, in the arguments of free-speech absolutists like nos, that they're not merely 'confounded' but deliberately use the confusion as a smokescreen for promoting the use of language to suppress minorities. That's really the only reason I got involved here, to point out that assuming a hard disconnect between the speech of one and the response of another is a political, not a logical decision.
  • NOS4A2
    4.2k


    Absolutely. Maybe I'm being uncharitable, but I sense, in the arguments of free-speech absolutists like nos, that they're not merely 'confounded' but deliberately use the confusion as a smokescreen for promoting the use of language to suppress minorities. That's really the only reason I got involved here, to point out that assuming a hard disconnect between the speech of one and the response of another is a political, not a logical decision.

    Your sense is way off in my own case. Throughout history censorship has been used against minorities of all types: religious, racial, political, the individual. Censorship suppresses minorities; free speech liberates them. Frederick Douglass, who was once a slave, reasoned as much.

    No greater excuse has been used to justify censorship than this action-at-a-distance, the magical thinking that words cause adverse effects on groups of people or society as a whole, as if it was poison, pollution, or a natural disaster. Examples of this are myriad. Whether expression is “corrupting the youth” in the case of Socrates, “adversely affect public health, safety, and morals” in the censorship of Bertrand Russel, or it leads to “disorder and mischief which were thence proceeding and increasing to the detriment of the Holy Faith” in the case of Galileo. In each case some fearful authority attempts to raise expression to a species of dangerous sorcery somehow capable of manipulating matter.

    So I tend to oppose that type of thinking and don’t want to see our children taught to believe it, not only because I believe it is metaphysical nonsense, but because it disarms them against hatred, cruelty and bullying.
  • Janus
    9.9k
    I explained the difference between a necessary and a sufficient cause, did I not?Isaac

    The language of necessary and sufficient causes has been yours, not mine. I would rather refer to necessary and sufficient conditions, which for me is a whole different context than what people generally think about in relation to causation. It seems to me that when people think of causes they think of agency, direct action, in other words in terms of efficient cause.

    So every single time you have one of those thoughts you're compelled to rake leaves, even if there aren't any leaves to rake?Isaac

    Now you're just being silly! It's when seeing a particular lot of leaves brings such thoughts to mind, that I may feel compelled to rake them. I still may fail to rake them, so if there is an efficient cause of my raking them it must be my decision to rake them. I say "if" because the notion of efficient cause is not without its problems, which becomes apparent when it is analyzed.

    ...and immediately what follows is an example where the word is used in a situation where Y needn't follow.Isaac

    Sure, Y needn't follow, but it seems to be taken for granted that almost everyone, if told to rake leaves, or do anything not too unpleasant (that is, not things like 'kill your baby daughter') or be shot, would rake leaves or whatever if they took the threat seriously. Even if someone killed their child under such circumstances it is the person with the gun who would usually be held responsible.

    Only it didn't, because lots of people fall from roofs and land badly without breaking their leg (unless you're defining 'landing badly' as 'landing in such as way as to break a leg', in which case your argument is just tautological, not causal). So some other factors must also have been necessary.Isaac

    You are being pedantic now. The impact of hitting the ground at a certain speed and angle would actually be the efficient cause of course. But if you fell off a twenty story building you would almost certainly be injured, and probably killed. Anyway, you are trying to analyze these kinds of situations to identify the ambiguity which exists in the idea of efficient cause, and I'm not disagreeing with that at all, not denying that there are such ambiguities. I've just been concerned with how people usually talk about causation.

    . Basically your position is inconsistent with the laws of physics (it has thought (an immaterial thing) cause action (a material thing) which defies the laws of conservation of momentum, and it appears inconsistent (one minute a necessary but not sufficient cause is labelled 'cause' - the car hitting someone, but a different factor with the same properties - necessary but not sufficient, is denied that label)Isaac

    People generally aren't concerned with the "laws of physics" when they attribute causation. Again this shows your misunderstanding of what I've been arguing. As to the "thought (an immaterial thing) cause action (a material thing) which defies the laws of conservation of momentum" that is only inconsistent or incoherent if you try to marry considerations of physics with the ways people think about agency; and this is an impossible union; they are two very different ways of looking at things. Why do you assume they must be unified or one or the other eliminated? To me that seems like a baseless presumption.

    I think you nailed it!
  • creativesoul
    9.7k
    No greater excuse has been used to justify censorship than this action-at-a-distance, the magical thinking that words cause adverse effects on groups of people or society as a whole, as if it was poison, pollution, or a natural disaster. Examples of this are myriad. Whether expression is “corrupting the youth” in the case of Socrates, “adversely affect public health, safety, and morals” in the censorship of Bertrand Russel, or it leads to “disorder and mischief which were thence proceeding and increasing to the detriment of the Holy Faith” in the case of Galileo. In each case some fearful authority attempts to raise expression to a species of dangerous sorcery somehow capable of manipulating matter.NOS4A2

    Nice examples of unwarranted censorship. Do you find all censorship unwarranted?

    Is it okay - on your view - to yell "Fire!" in a crowded theatre, for example? Is it ok to spread falsehood after falsehood as a means to effect/affect deliberately taken action, say to... oh, I don't know... how about... stop the certification process of an American presidential election by virtue of taking over the building in which the elected officials certify the aforementioned results on the day of certification? Is that protected under free speech? Seems like that speech was an instrumental element, without which, the insurrection attempt would not have even been attempted.

    Trump did everything in his power to convince his followers that the election was stolen from him, and that if no one in the government would stop that from happening, that the people would have to stop it from happening.

    Do you find that Trump's words over the previous year regarding the election are protected under free speech?
  • Isaac
    3.9k
    Your sense is way off in my own case. Throughout history censorship has been used against minorities of all types: religious, racial, political, the individual.NOS4A2

    You're not fooling anyone. You know that, right? This is a good example of when words don't have an effect. When I disbelieve the person speaking them.

    the magical thinking that words cause adverse effects on groups of people or society as a wholeNOS4A2

    We've been through this argument and you bailed, not me. Don't start it up again like nothing was said last time. If you have a non-magical means by which physical neurons are caused to fire without prior signals then lay it out. Otherwise shut up. I've no objection to you believing in magic/religion/yet-to-be-discovered science. But it's pitiful to try and paint that belief as knowledge and the current science as the fantasy. Again, if you have a non-magical means by which physical neurons are caused to fire without prior signals then just lay it out. Otherwise it's your notion of uncaused reactions which is nonsense here.

    So I tend to oppose that type of thinking and don’t want to see our children taught to believe it, not only because I believe it is metaphysical nonsense, but because it disarms them against hatred, cruelty and bullying.NOS4A2

    What rubbish. If there are two necessary causes of an event, how does legislating against one prevent us from teaching defense against the other? So, by your logic here we should not have laws against violent attack because in doing so we somehow make self-defense lessons impossible? Bullshit.
  • Isaac
    3.9k
    I would rather refer to necessary and sufficient conditions, which for me is a whole different context than what people generally think about in relation to causation. It seems to me that when people think of causes they think of agency, direct action, in other words in terms of efficient cause.Janus

    So the sentence "last week's heavy rains caused the landslide" makes no sense to you? Or "The cold summer caused a drop in ice-cream sales"? These are all you uses of 'caused' you think are odd and not generally used?

    It's when seeing a particular lot of leaves brings such thoughts to mind, that I may feel compelled to rake them. I still may fail to rake them, so if there is an efficient cause of my raking them it must be my decision to rake them.Janus

    Why must it? You decision to rake them could still be frustrated by physiological failures in your arms, or you finding you forgot where you put your rake. The efficient cause, as I said earlier, is the release of acetylcholine into the synaptic cleft attached to your muscle cells. You're picking an arbitrary point in the chain and giving it a special label. I'm asking why.

    The impact of hitting the ground at a certain speed and angle would actually be the efficient cause of course. But if you fell off a twenty story building you would almost certainly be injured, and probably killed.Janus

    What's 'almost certainly' got to do with it? Is 'cause' to you some kind of probability threshold - is that what you're trying to say? That once we're past something like 90% chance of the thing being consequent we call the last point in the chain that got us there the 'cause'. Otherwise I can't see what 'almost' certain is doing here?

    People generally aren't concerned with the "laws of physics" when they attribute causation. Again this shows your misunderstanding of what I've been arguing.Janus

    What you were 'arguing' was not the matter of what people are generally concerned about. Had you opened with 'people aren't generally concerned about certain categories of necessary causation' I wouldn't have any disagreement with you. But you didn't. You started by telling me I'd make a 'common mistake' in my language use, not by telling me that people aren't generally concerned with the matter I raised. That was pretty much my reason for raising it.

    As to the "thought (an immaterial thing) cause action (a material thing) which defies the laws of conservation of momentum" that is only inconsistent or incoherent if you try to marry considerations of physics with the ways people think about agency; and this is an impossible union; they are two very different ways of looking at things. Why do you assume they must be unified or one or the other eliminated? To me that seems like a baseless presumption.Janus

    Because - as per free speech arguments - opponents of free speech legislation oppose it on the grounds that speech does not cause the response, as NOS is doing right now. That is an empirical statement (because it's saying that removing the one factor will not have the physical effect claimed). I didn't start the mixing of agency-talk with physical-talk.

    We can talk about agency - who has responsibility for their actions, and we can talk about consequences - broad patterns of neurological reactions to external stimuli. I've no objection to that. What I object to is the idea that we cannot, should not, make legislation on the basis of sound scientific knowledge about broad patterns of neurological reactions to external stimuli but on the basis of some cultural assumptions about agency, just because they're infused into our language.
  • Janus
    9.9k
    So the sentence "last week's heavy rains caused the landslide" makes no sense to you? Or "The cold summer caused a drop in ice-cream sales"? These are all you uses of 'caused' you think are odd and not generally used?Isaac

    In the first case it's in accordance with ordinary usage. In the second case we are talking about a statistical phenomenon, not an individual decision (like whether to rake leaves or not) so I don't see the relevance of the examples.

    What you were 'arguing' was not the matter of what people are generally concerned about.Isaac

    Not true, I was talking about what I think is the general logic behind ordinary usage of the term "cause". I was telling you how it seems to me, which is pretty much all we can tell each other.

    What I object to is the idea that we cannot, should not, make legislation on the basis of sound scientific knowledge about broad patterns of neurological reactions to external stimuli on the basis of some cultural assumptions about agency, no matter how infused into our language those assumptions are.Isaac

    People are just generally considered to be responsible for their actions in ways that are not compatible with the idea that their actions are wholly driven by neurological processes beyond their control. The two paradigms are incompatible. What basis do we have for priveleging one over the other (which in practice means eliminating one or the other)? They are simply suited to different contexts in my view.
  • Isaac
    3.9k
    In the first case it's in accordance with ordinary usage. In the second case we are talking about a statistical phenomenon, not an individual decision (like whether to rake leaves or not) so I don't see the relevance of the examples.Janus

    I'm not asking what is and isn't in accordance with ordinary use. I'm talking about the assumptions entailed by ordinary use.

    The point I'm making is...

    We ordinarily use 'cause' to mean any reasonably high significance physical necessary factor "the heavy rains caused the landslide".

    We ordinarily use cause to apply to some preceding factor even when it is only statistically likely "the cold summer caused a drop in ice-cream sales"

    Yet when human agency is involved, we refuse to accept either significant physical factors of statistically likely factors in as 'causes'. We have different rules when one chain in the link is a human brain. that's what I'm trying to explore.

    Not true, I was talking about what I think is the general logic behind ordinary usage of the term "cause".Janus

    I haven't heard anything about the logic yet. I've only heard protestations about how it not what people mean. What logic are you imputing here? What is the 'logic' of calling the human decision the' cause' of leaf raking when it is neither sufficient, nor efficient, nor proximate?

    People are just generally considered to be responsible for their actions in ways that are not compatible with the idea that their actions are wholly driven by neurological processes beyond their control. The two paradigms are incompatible. What basis do we have for priveleging one over the otherJanus

    Scientific fact. We can all believe what we want privately, but government policy should really be based on that which is common between it's citizens (I think) rather than favouring some over others. Science is the closest we have to such a common model.
  • Janus
    9.9k
    What is the 'logic' of calling the human decision the' cause' of leaf raking when it is neither sufficient, nor efficient, nor proximate?Isaac

    But it is. If I decide to take leaves, and no person or condition stops me then I will rake leaves. Leaves simply being there are a necessary condition for my being able to rake them, but if I don't make the decision to rake them they will not be raked.
  • Isaac
    3.9k
    If I decide to take leaves, and no person or condition stops meJanus

    Then it is neither sufficient, nor efficient, nor proximate is it?
  • Janus
    9.9k
    Then it is neither sufficient, nor efficient, nor proximate is it?Isaac

    The proximate and efficient cause would be the tines of the rake dragging the leaves. I wouldn't talk in terms of "sufficient" cause but rather sufficient conditions, which are multifarious, even arguably up to everything else that exists.
  • Janus
    9.9k
    Scientific fact. We can all believe what we want privately, but government policy should really be based on that which is common between it's citizens (I think) rather than favouring some over others. Science is the closest we have to such a common model.Isaac

    I think you mean "scientific theory". Science is not the best way to understand human behavior in my view. If you want to understand why people do things you need to ask them, and it helps if people are educated enough to ask themselves why they do what they do. Explanations in terms of neurology are useless if you want to understand the reasons people behave as they do, in my view.
  • NOS4A2
    4.2k


    Nice examples of unwarranted censorship. Do you find all censorship unwarranted?

    I do. When I think about the sum total of linguistic expression, it pains me to think of all the history, knowledge, and art that has been stolen, suppressed, and destroyed because someone could not bear to look at it. I don’t envy the censors; they will forever be tied to what they stole from posterity.

    I do think, however, that if someone owns their own means of discourse they can censor at their whim and fancy, ironically, on free speech grounds.

    s it okay - on your view - to yell "Fire!" in a crowded theatre, for example? Is it ok to spread falsehood after falsehood as a means to effect/affect deliberately taken action, say to... oh, I don't know... how about... stop the certification process of an American presidential election by virtue of taking over the building in which the elected officials certify the aforementioned results on the day of certification? Is that protected under free speech? Seems like that speech was an instrumental element, without which, the insurrection attempt would not have even been attempted.

    Yes, it is all protected under the principle of free speech, in my view. I am not so fearful of falsity nor doubtful of truth as to require someone such as yourself to pick and choose what I am allowed to read and say. What I am fearful and doubtful of are your abilities and moral superiority to make these decisions. In fact, I cannot think of any man or group of people in history with the ability and moral superiority to decide what others cannot say and read. Can you?

    Do you find that Trump's words over the previous year regarding the election are protected under free speech?

    I do.



    You're not fooling anyone. You know that, right? This is a good example of when words don't have an effect. When I disbelieve the person speaking them.

    I don't care if you believe me or not. I think what you believe is stupid, so you asserting what is opposite of the case is no surprise. You evoked my name to spread a malicious falsehood in what I suppose was an attempt to "suppress" me with your magical words. It didn't work because it cannot. So here I am, in good faith, correcting you and stating what I actually believe.

    We've been through this argument and you bailed, not me. Don't start it up again like nothing was said last time. If you have a non-magical means by which physical neurons are caused to fire without prior signals then lay it out. Otherwise shut up. I've no objection to you believing in magic/religion/yet-to-be-discovered science. But it's pitiful to try and paint that belief as knowledge and the current science as the fantasy. Again, if you have a non-magical means by which physical neurons are caused to fire without prior signals then just lay it out. Otherwise it's your notion of uncaused reactions which is nonsense here.

    I mistakenly tried using your deterministic language in an effort to explain it in a way that might be helpful. I regret doing so, and I apologize.

    I have never believed nor stated that sound and light doesn’t have an effect on the body, so there is no need to pretend I did. I am merely opposing the idea that words, whether spoken or written, have a different, more powerful effect on the body than gibberish or arbitrary marks on paper. I am opposing the idea that some words, certain combinations of letters or articulated guttural sounds, are more dangerous than others. I oppose the idea that certain combinations of letters or articulated guttural sounds should be banned, thrown to the fires, while others are venerated. I am saying the words as they exist in the world are wholly innocent of everything we usually blame them for.

    I am willing to defend this belief if you care to argue the point.
  • DingoJones
    2.1k


    Would you say that words can influence actions? Or would you consider that to be the same thing as words causing things?
  • creativesoul
    9.7k
    Nice examples of unwarranted censorship. Do you find all censorship unwarranted?

    I do. When I think about the sum total of linguistic expression, it pains me to think of all the history, knowledge, and art that has been stolen, suppressed, and destroyed because someone could not bear to look at it. I don’t envy the censors; they will forever be tied to what they stole from posterity.

    I do think, however, that if someone owns their own means of discourse they can censor at their whim and fancy, ironically, on free speech grounds.
    NOS4A2

    I wouldn't characterize your having written that as "ironic". I'd say it was, is, and will forever remain self-contradictory, untenable, inconsistent, irrational, illogical, unacceptable rhetorical bullshit.

    If all censorship is unwarranted, then none is warranted. <-------that points out the self-contradiction and/or untenability of what you've offered here.

    It's really pretty simple and easy to understand...

    If all censorship is unwarranted then even in situations when an individual owns the means of discourse - say television, radio, or other social media outlet - that ownership does not provide warrant for them to censor.




    A theatre owner yells "fire" in their own theatre and is somehow not responsible for what happens as a result, because... they own the theatre.

    Yeah, I'm not finding much moral/ethical value in your beliefs about free speech.
  • creativesoul
    9.7k
    The 2020 president of The United States of America based his own policy making decisions and all of his public speech regarding a worldwide pandemic upon the sound advice of many - perhaps most - of the world's best epidemiologists. <---------That's an accurate report of brute facts. He most certainly believed what they(Fauci, for example) said about the danger Americans were about to face... well he believed it at first anyway. That much is clear by his own account. It's a matter of public record.

    It's the subsequent actions taken as a result of learning about the dangers that are criminal. Defrauding the American public is certainly a criminal act. When that fraud played an instrumental role in a few hundred thousand(and still counting) unnecessary deaths, then the perpetrator must be held responsible for the harm caused as a result of their behaviour. There are hundreds of thousands of dead Americans that would still be alive had their lives and livelihoods been put first.

    In or around February of the year 2020, upon beginning to understand the horror of what was about to happen to US citizens - even if we took every possible precaution to mitigate the harm - this foolish man, this so-called leader, this crass inconsiderate fuck of a president of The United States of America deliberately and knowingly misrepresented the danger that he had just learned lie immediately ahead in Americans' future.

    He lied about covid19 in every conceivable way that one can lie. Stating known falsehood. Omitting relevant information. Saying stuff that he himself did not believe. He also immediately attacked all others who said anything to the contrary of what he said publicly. Anyone who Trump did not believe had his back was undermined in the public arena. Again, all this is a matter of public record.

    Instead of doing everything in his power to reduce the amount of harm suffered by American citizens as a result of covid19, he became more and more concerned with how the pandemic was effecting/affecting American voters. He was, in fact, beginning to believe that the pandemic was going to work against him by playing an influential negative role in an upcoming election. He strongly believed that taking the necessary actions to minimize the unnecessary harm that Americans would suffer would have negative effects upon the stock market. Given that the stock market(the 'American economy') was one of Trump's favorite things to point out and use for his own self-aggrandizement(an ace in the hole, so to speak), and given that Trump now needed to remain in the office of the presidency to avoid his own prosecution, that fat fuck would stop at nothing to remain in power long enough to disseminate all the evidence of his own wrongdoings both prior to and after winning the 2016 election.

    Trump did not expect to win the first election(that much is clear and is also a matter of public record), and publicly pronounced genuine regret for having done so in an interview not long after(again, a matter of public record). Nonetheless he most certainly needed to win the second, because he knew damned good and well that the aforementioned regret was very well grounded. He had good reason to worry. While that attention whore loves being loved and focused upon, he's also quite particular about the kind of attention he gets. He did not like the attention of the law. He did everything in his own power to stop any and all investigations into him and/or his election campaign. Again, this is all a matter of public record.

    Make no mistake about it though, the pandemic could rightfully be called a blessing in disguise, because had things been different, it could've been much worse. Hell, had that dumb fucker even considered the praise that would have been given to him had he just put American lives and livelihoods first instead of being paralyzed by the fear of losing the upcoming election, the uncontested incumbent re-election success rate of the office of the presidency of The United States of America would probably not have been tarnished. No, to quite the contrary, he was poised to win. In fact, he nearly did anyway, despite knowingly and deliberately defrauding the American public in very specific ways that had the very clear result of exponentially increasing the risk of unnecessary financial, physical, emotional, and/or biological harms to all Americans. Despite saying some of the stupidest possible shit one could say about potential treatments for the pandemic, he almost fucking won anyway.

    How?

    Because people believed him and nothing - evidently - could be done to stop him from dominating the discourse by defrauding the American public.

    So...

    I've a little different take on the notion of unfettered free speech.
  • Isaac
    3.9k
    I wouldn't talk in terms of "sufficient" cause but rather sufficient conditions, which are multifarious, even arguably up to everything else that exists.Janus

    Yes, I'm gathering that. What's not clear is what the difference is between a cause and a conditions, which you thought so 'obvious' at the start. So far, the differences you've offered don't stack up to normal use.

    If you want to understand why people do things you need to ask themJanus

    I think all human-based sciences rely on asking people. We just correlate that with other facts. Are you suggesting that we should ignore supplementary data? If a defendant says they had no intention of murdering the victim we should just take them at their word, despite the earlier gun purchase?
  • Isaac
    3.9k
    I don't care if you believe me or not.NOS4A2

    Then why post? If it's irrelevant what people take away from your doing so?

    I have never believed nor stated that sound and light doesn’t have an effect on the body, so there is no need to pretend I did. I am merely opposing the idea that words, whether spoken or written, have a different, more powerful effect on the body than gibberish or arbitrary marks on paper.NOS4A2

    Then how does sound and light affect the body, if different sounds and lights don't have a different effect?

    I am willing to defend this belief if you care to argue the point.NOS4A2

    I just have. You ignored it, in favour of your magic. For clarity, I'll repeat.

    1. Neurons firing are the proximate cause of all action and speech.

    2. Sound patterns (which might be spoken words) and light patterns (which might be written words) cause different neurons to fire depending on very fine details of the exact sound pattern and the exact light pattern.

    3. Nothing we know of causes neurons to fire apart from sensory or interocepted signals, or other neurons. Our current best physics determines that it is impossible for a chain of neurons to fire without having been physically stimulated to do so.

    So. Words (as either sound patterns or light patterns) trigger specific neurons to fire, which form part of a chain of reactions, the end of which is some speech or action in response. Of course other factors also contribute to that chain, but to deny that the specific sounds are one of those factors is to deny everything we know about neurology and physical causation.

    If you want to deny that, be my guest. People deny the earth is round, stupidity exists. Just don't expect to be taken seriously if you do.
  • DingoJones
    2.1k


    Sound and words are not the same thing. You used “sounds” in your argument and then changed it to “words” in your conclusion. Verbal sleight of hand which I’ll assume was an error and not intentional. Just fyi, enjoying following the discussion.
  • Number2018
    474
    Despite saying some of the stupidest possible shit one could say about potential treatments for the pandemic, he almost fucking won anyway.

    How?

    Because people believed him and nothing - evidently - could be done to stop him from dominating the discourse by defrauding the American public.
    creativesoul

    But why? Why did so many people vote for Trump despite all his lies?

    I've a little different take on the notion of unfettered free speech.creativesoul
    One of the widespread approaches to the freedom of speech has a few premises. First, there is a set of apparent, obvious basic facts. Second, one can possess a reliable access to what constitutes
    a safe and credible reference. Third, it is possible to exercise the responsible and correct interpretation of 1) and 2) to deduct a set of ultimate judgments. Finally, the resulting indisputable truth and the sense of rightness allow to clearly separate information from misinformation and to assert the benefits of the restrictions of the free speech.
  • Janus
    9.9k
    Yes, I'm gathering that. What's not clear is what the difference is between a cause and a conditions, which you thought so 'obvious' at the start. So far, the differences you've offered don't stack up to normal use.Isaac

    In normal parlance causes for actual events are generally thought in efficient, mechanical terms. There is a clear distinction between this conception and the idea of the general conditions necessary for any event to occur. I've tried to explain it to you; if you still cannot see it, or will not admit that you do, then there's little further to say.

    I think all human-based sciences rely on asking people. We just correlate that with other facts. Are you suggesting that we should ignore supplementary data? If a defendant says they had no intention of murdering the victim we should just take them at their word, despite the earlier gun purchase?Isaac

    Surprise, surprise, you're distorting what I've said again; I said we should listen to people if we want to understand them, not believe everything they say.
  • creativesoul
    9.7k
    Despite saying some of the stupidest possible shit one could say about potential treatments for the pandemic, he almost fucking won anyway.

    How?

    Because people believed him and nothing - evidently - could be done to stop him from dominating the discourse by defrauding the American public.
    — creativesoul

    But why? Why did so many people vote for Trump despite all his lies?
    Number2018

    The question doesn't lead to anything remotely useful.

    When we ask "why" someone votes for Trump despite all his lies, we will not likely receive an accurate causal explanation of their actions.
  • creativesoul
    9.7k
    I am opposing the idea that some words, certain combinations of letters or articulated guttural sounds, are more dangerous than others.NOS4A2

    Well you'd better take that up with world around you, because it contradicts your belief about it.
  • creativesoul
    9.7k
    I am not so fearful of falsity nor doubtful of truth...NOS4A2

    Good... because, when discussing a representative form of government such as the one The United States of America is supposed to be, a well informed electorate is necessary for free and fair elections.




    In fact, I cannot think of any man or group of people in history with the ability and moral superiority to decide what others cannot say and read. Can you?NOS4A2

    Not very good at history, I see...

    :brow:

    Um....

    Errrrr....

    Sigh.

    All of 'em.
  • creativesoul
    9.7k
    When freedom of speech is being used to excuse deliberately defrauding the American public, it is an admission of guilt.
  • creativesoul
    9.7k
    Not all individuals' speech is equivalent in it's power. The restrictions placed upon one's freedoms(speech notwithstanding) ought be determined in light of the known, observable, sometimes quantifiable effects/affects that that freedom has upon others when fully exercised.
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