• S
    6k
    Jung thought extensively on nuclear war. Perhaps you are not looking deep enough into philosophers.Blue Lux

    And Russell campaigned against nuclear weapons. And there are plenty of academics who publish books on the threat of nuclear weapons, as evidenced by internet search results. All he really means is that he has spent a few months looking into a number of websites which contain writings by contemporary academic philosophers, and he found little to nothing relating to nuclear weapons.
  • S
    6k
    Defining those who don't see things your way, or who have other priorities, as irrational or literally insane, ironically, does not strike me as motivated by reason, but rather by ideology. That is, instead of being the result of a reasoned and impartial analysis, it suits your agenda to make such claims, as it would raise the status of the topic of nuclear weapons, and it tries to force a certain way of thinking about them to the exclusion of alternatives, which you cast as invalid, and even as lunacy.
  • Jake
    287
    All he really means is that he has spent a few months looking into a number of websites which contain writings by contemporary academic philosophers, and he found little to nothing relating to nuclear weapons.S

    Right. And why is that? Why aren't I finding extensive discussion of that subject on EVERY philosophy site?

    Everything built over the last 500 years, and everything that could be built over the next 500 years, could collapse without warning at any moment. Not a theory, not hysterical speculation, but a very widely agreed upon proven real world fact. And this is judged to be just one of thousand topics that might be addressed. I'm sorry, that's simply logically indefensible, if one defines philosophy as the application of reason to human affairs.

    But of course, there is no law of nature which requires us to define philosophy in that manner.

    That is, instead of being the result of a reasoned and impartial analysis, it suits your agenda to make such claims, as it would raise the status of the topic of nuclear weapons, and it tries to force a certain way of thinking about them to the exclusion of alternatives, which you cast as invalid, and even as lunacy.S

    Apologies, truly meaning no personal offense for my quarrel is not with you as an individual, and I do thank you for responding to my challenge. I'm responding to the quoted section above because it pretty accurately represents the quality of thinking even the highest ranking professionals display in their work.

    Observe how you characterize my challenge as not being a reasoned analysis, while you offer no reasoned analysis of your own. No where do you make a case for why it is rational for an imminent mortal threat to modern civilization to be considered just one a thousand issues. You simply wave your hand and dismiss the challenge in the laziest manner using the classic "above it all" defense which academics so love to hide behind.

    But you are right in that:

    1) It suits my agenda to make such claims.

    2) I seek to raise the status of the nuclear weapons topic.

    3) I do try to force a way of thinking (called reason) to the exclusion of alternatives (such as self delusional self flattery).

    4) And yes, I do characterize the lack of attention to the topic of nuclear weapons as invalid lunacy.

    You have as yet not identified the irrationality which does plague my position on this issue. And that is the delusional faith based assumption that philosophers are capable of reason. I find myself guilty of a wishful thinking perspective unsupported by any credible evidence.

    What philosophers are capable of is fancy talk. Sometimes quite articulate fancy talk. Some philosophers are skilled at the philosophy business. Many philosophers have a talent for projecting an image of intellectual authority which is persuasive to their audience. These are real skills which require considerable work to develop, so I am not calling philosophers stupid. I am instead claiming that, by and large generally speaking on average, they are not capable of reason.
  • Jake
    287
    So, to steer back towards the topic of the thread...

    Are philosophers of above average intelligence? I would agree this may often be true, if we define intelligence as a particular set of skills related to analyzing abstractions and perhaps writing. So if we were to define intelligence and philosophy in this limited manner, I could vote yes.

    This isn't the yardstick I measure by, but I would agree it is the yardstick many people are using, and I would agree that I don't personally own the yardstick.
  • S
    6k
    Right. And why is that? Why aren't I finding extensive discussion of that subject on EVERY philosophy site?Jake

    Because there's a vast multitude of topics in philosophy to write about, and that's just one topic, and it's one which is associated more with politics, relating to national defence and foreign affairs.

    Everything built over the last 500 years, and everything that could be built over the next 500 years, could collapse without warning at any moment.Jake

    No, not quite, but yes, there would of course be unprecedented widescale death and destruction. No one is denying that, but that's a humongous "if". That "if" being a global nuclear war.

    And this is judged to be just one of thousand topics that might be addressed. I'm sorry, that's simply logically indefensible, if one defines philosophy as the application of reason to human affairs.Jake

    No, it's not indefensible. That it needn't be treated as priority number one has already been reasonably defended on this very forum. You just can't bear to acknowledge it, as it upsets your narrative.

    Observe how you characterize my challenge as not being a reasoned analysis, while you offer no reasoned analysis of your own. No where do you make a case for why it is rational for an imminent mortal threat to modern civilization to be considered just one a thousand issues. You simply wave your hand and dismiss the challenge in the laziest manner using the classic "above it all" defense which academics so love to hide behind.Jake

    It's not imminent. If a nuclear missile capable of breaking through whatever defensive systems are in place were headed in our direction as we speak, then that would be an imminent mortal threat. That is not the case.

    3) I do try to force a way of thinking (called reason) to the exclusion of alternatives (such as self delusional self flattery).Jake

    You try to force your way of thinking - which is reasoned, yet contains flaws - to the exclusion of alternatives - which are similarly reasoned, yet you dismiss with name calling.

    4) And yes, I do characterize the lack of attention to the topic of nuclear weapons as invalid lunacy.Jake

    Mischaracterise.

    You have as yet not identified the irrationality which does plague my position on this issue. And that is the delusional faith based assumption that philosophers are capable of reason.Jake

    Of course they are, as are doctors, lawyers, scientists, mathematicians, shop workers, the unemployed, school children, and so on and so forth. That is not a claim to be taken seriously and can be outright rejected.

    I am instead claiming that, by and large generally speaking on average, they are not capable of reason.Jake

    Absurd. You're either straightforwardly mistaken or you're merely playing with words. It's a lose-lose scenario.
  • Pattern-chaser
    375
    General interest in philosophy is low, but it has always been so — Pattern-chaser


    Is that because it is hard?
    Andrew4Handel

    Hmm. I don't know. But I will also observe that general interest in politics is low, but it has always been so. Maybe all 'hard' subjects are unpopular, or maybe it's that some subjects are unpopular anyway, independent of how 'hard' they might be. I tend in the direction of the latter, but who knows? :wink:
  • Pattern-chaser
    375
    I'm proposing that addressing the primary threat to human civilization only here and there now and again is not rational.Jake

    To ignore serious threats is worrying indeed. But nuclear war is moving down the threat list, and has been for some years. Higher up are chemical weapons, biological weapons, human-created climate change, and human-created destruction-by-extinction of our supporting ecosystem. There may be others too.

    Oh, and where do you get the idea that humans are civilised?
  • Pattern-chaser
    375
    Everything built over the last 500 years, and everything that could be built over the next 500 years, could collapse without warning at any moment.Jake

    Yes, it could, but we must just hope that the global financial system can be kept working, or that a better alternative to it can be found before disaster strikes. Today we (i.e. those of us who live in Western 'democracies') live in luxury; within a month we could be back in the stone age.

    Your concerns are real, and serious. But nuclear war is just of of many possible hazards that we humans have invented. It probably isn't wise or rational of us to concentrate on only one. :up:
  • Andrew4Handel
    604
    I am by no means suggesting philosophers or intelligent people per se are superior.

    Rather I am asking whether it is a difficult subject making it inaccessible to some people. I have met intelligent people (couldn't say exactly how intelligent) that struggled with philosophical concepts. Including including syllogisms and understanding the "Cogito ergo sum"

    I feel like syllogisms are basic to philosophy and basic reasoning so you can work out what does and doesn't follow from a set of claims.
  • Pattern-chaser
    375
    I have met intelligent people (couldn't say exactly how intelligent) that struggled with philosophical concepts.Andrew4Handel

    And I have met weak people who struggle to lift 100 pounds above their heads. I am one of them. Am I deficient? No, but like everyone else, I have a collection of abilities, some better than average, and some worse. My strength is less than average, as is my fitness in general. Some people can do philosophy; others are capable of protecting their families if attacked.... :joke:

    Philosophy is not easy ... and it's not to the taste of many people.
  • Bitter Crank
    6.3k
    Rather I am asking whether it is a difficult subject making it inaccessible to some people.Andrew4Handel

    Many academic fields -- chemistry, geology, mathematics, English or French literature, history, sociology, classics, supply chain management, etc. are difficult subjects inaccessible to the casual, not-well-educated reader. We would not expect a typical, reasonably intelligent person to be able to walk into a college classroom and make sense of the subject matter without some difficulty.

    Why would we expect that the large blocks of material from the classical period or 16th-19th centuries, written in difficult prose would be readily accessible to anyone? It isn't. It's not impenetrable, but it requires motivation and extended effort. No one wonders that a deep appreciation of Geoffrey Chaucer's Middle English poetry also requires motivation and extended effort.

    "The People" are interested in philosophical questions like "Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?" (or maybe if they are morally sensitive, "Why Do GOOD Things Happen to BAD People?") because they witness good and bad things happening. I think millions of people are interested in Kant's questions, “What can I know? What should I do? What may I hope?” without wanting to read Kant's prose.

    Telling the person who wants to know “What can I know? What should I do? What may I hope?” to "just read Kant" is a dismissive, terminating response.
  • Jake
    287
    Your concerns are real, and serious. But nuclear war is just of of many possible hazards that we humans have invented. It probably isn't wise or rational of us to concentrate on only one.Pattern-chaser

    Oh darn, and you were doing so good there. :smile:

    None of the other possible hazards come close to the scale and pressing nature of nuclear weapons. It would be wise and rational for us to concentrate on the most immediate threat.

    If you were holding a gun to my head, a gun which could go off at any moment, perhaps even by mistake, please name any other issue which should receive more of my attention. Would you judge me rational if I ignored the gun and instead focused on writing a book about Plato?

    See? It's the simplest thing.
  • Jake
    287
    Oh, and where do you get the idea that humans are civilised?Pattern-chaser

    Well, you got me there. I guess I meant, in comparison to living in caves, which is where we'll be shortly after nuclear war.
  • Jake
    287
    Because there's a vast multitude of topics in philosophy to write about, and that's just one topic, and it's one which is associated more with politics, relating to national defence and foreign affairs.S

    Ok, I give up, you win...
  • Bitter Crank
    6.3k
    Yes, given the complex but fragile technology we have built, civilization could collapse -- almost literally 'over night'. Most civilizations have required centuries to subside. "Post-apocalypse fiction" is a favorite, IF and only IF it isn't about people reverting to debauchery and cannibalism as soon as the lights go out. James Howard Kunstler's World Made By Hand series of novels is the better kind, where a disaster pulls the plug on technology, but people here and there are able to adapt earlier technology (sails for cargo boats, horse power, etc.) and put together some sort of civilized, if much poorer, society. Earth Abides is another one.

    I find these novels of great interest, because we are already being pushed to move in that direction even without a dramatic catastrophe. Global warming--if nothing else--suggests we ought to develop or maintain some more disaster resistant technologies, like steam, animal traction, backyard gardening, canning, and the like.
  • Bitter Crank
    6.3k
    in caves, which is where we'll be shortly after nuclear war.Jake

    And what makes you think that you're going to land a spot in one of those caves? Welcome to the rest of us who will be busy digging holes in the ground to crawl into and pull in after us.
  • S
    6k
    Ok, I give up, you win...Jake

    :cheer:
  • Jake
    287
    Yes, given the complex but fragile technology we have built, civilization could collapse -- almost literally 'over night'.Bitter Crank

    Yes, that's it. How much food do any of us have on hand in our house? Civilization begins to collapse at the moment we conclude we won't be able to replenish those supplies in a legal manner.

    And what makes you think that you're going to land a spot in one of those caves?Bitter Crank

    Um, what makes you think I think that???
  • Bitter Crank
    6.3k
    Um, what makes you think I think that???Jake

    It was a joke.
  • S
    6k
    I am by no means suggesting philosophers or intelligent people per se are superior.

    Rather I am asking whether it is a difficult subject making it inaccessible to some people. I have met intelligent people (couldn't say exactly how intelligent) that struggled with philosophical concepts. Including including syllogisms and understanding the "Cogito ergo sum"

    I feel like syllogisms are basic to philosophy and basic reasoning so you can work out what does and doesn't follow from a set of claims.
    Andrew4Handel

    You call these people intelligent, yet they struggled with syllogisms. :meh:
  • S
    6k
    Seriously though, you should stop misleading people about the "immediacy" and "pressing nature" of the threat. It's not like a gun being held to my head. I don't approve of you stooping to the level of deception in your attempts to persuade people of your cause.
  • Banno
    3.3k
    "We"?

    As in, just by posting here you demonstrate yourself to be in at least the third quartile?

    I don;t think the evidence supports such a contention.
  • Jake
    287


    Please explain how you know that something like the following quote below won't happen again later today.

    Like most people, you may be coming to your position based on the current geo-political situation. You may not be taking in to account that the current geo-political situation may be totally irrelevant. In fact, I know you're not taking that in to account, or you wouldn't be posting as you are.

    Speaking of which, let's remind ourselves who has control over 90%+ of the world's nukes. Putin, the world's leading gangster, and Trump, a wacko in the White House whose own employees are scrambling around trying to figure out how to get rid of him before he does something insane.

    Like almost everybody, you aren't using reason and thinking for yourself, but are instead referencing authority in the form of the group consensus. You look around you and see that all the big shots of various flavors are complacent, and so you understandably feel it's ok for you to be complacent too.

    Agreeing with me would require you to grasp that we are like passengers on a bus traveling down a steep mountain road, with no bus driver in attendance. This is understandably something few of us want to see. I don't want to see it myself.

    ================

    From the New Yorker article....

    On June 3, 1980, at about two-thirty in the morning, computers at the National Military Command Center, beneath the Pentagon, at the headquarters of the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD), deep within Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado, and at Site R, the Pentagon’s alternate command post center hidden inside Raven Rock Mountain, Pennsylvania, issued an urgent warning: the Soviet Union had just launched a nuclear attack on the United States. The Soviets had recently invaded Afghanistan, and the animosity between the two superpowers was greater than at any other time since the Cuban Missile Crisis.

    U.S. Air Force ballistic-missile crews removed their launch keys from the safes, bomber crews ran to their planes, fighter planes took off to search the skies, and the Federal Aviation Administration prepared to order every airborne commercial airliner to land.

    President Jimmy Carter’s national-security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, was asleep in Washington, D.C., when the phone rang. His military aide, General William Odom, was calling to inform him that two hundred and twenty missiles launched from Soviet submarines were heading toward the United States. Brzezinski told Odom to get confirmation of the attack. A retaliatory strike would have to be ordered quickly; Washington might be destroyed within minutes. Odom called back and offered a correction: twenty-two hundred Soviet missiles had been launched.

    Brzezinski decided not to wake up his wife, preferring that she die in her sleep. As he prepared to call Carter and recommend an American counterattack, the phone rang for a third time. Odom apologized—it was a false alarm. An investigation later found that a defective computer chip in a communications device at NORAD headquarters had generated the erroneous warning. The chip cost forty-six cents. — The New Yorker
    — The New Yorker
  • Jake
    287
    And then there was the time somebody mistakenly put a training tape in the NORAD computer, and for a few precious minutes the highest levels of government thought they were witnessing an incoming first strike.

    And then there was the time the Air Force accidently dropped a live nuke on South Carolina, and all the failsafe devices malfunctioned except the very last one.

    And then there was the time that Americans notified the Russians they would be launching a research satellite from northern Europe. Except that, ooops, the person they notified forgot to pass the info up the chain of command. So when the research missile went up the Russians thought they were witnessing the opening salvo of a first strike. The generals brought the nuclear football to Yeltsin and told him he had to launch. Luckily for humanity, the usually drunk Yeltsin was somewhat sober that day and he declined to launch right then, and told the generals to go back and confirm.

    On and on it goes.
  • Jake
    287
    To educate yourself, watch the excellent documentary Countdown To Zero.

    Available on YouTube for $3. (May still be on Netflix, not sure.)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FNoY5jnm04
  • Jake
    287
    It was a joke.Bitter Crank

    WTF!!! You're calling me a joke??? :smile:
  • Jake
    287
    Point of the nuclear tirade being...

    We can't correlate philosophy with global intelligence. Philosophers are instead, like pretty much everybody else, intelligent at a particular set of activities, which don't necessarily have much to do with reason.
  • S
    6k
    Please explain how you know that something like the following quote below won't happen again later today.Jake

    No, I don't have to. I haven't claimed or implied that I know that any particular event will or won't happen later today, and I don't need to. That's an unreasonable thing to demand in response to my objection. If I claim that being struck by lightning is an imminent threat, and that the pressing nature of it is such that it's akin to someone holding a gun to your head, and you object that my claim is misleading, then would you have the burden of having to explain how you know that I won't be struck by lightning later today? No, of course not. That's an argument from ignorance, an informal fallacy. It's possible that I'll be struck by lightning, and you haven't denied that possibility. Lots of things are possible. That both misses the point and tries to shift the burden of proof.

    Moreover, people have of course been struck by lightning before, and it has happened way more times then we've been on the verge of a nuclear war, so, in that sense, it's way more of an immediate threat. But you'd still be right to object that my claims are misleading. Being struck by lightning is not an imminent threat. I have gone my whole life without being struck by lightning. So have most others. That's not lucky, that's average and to be expected. It would be unreasonable to resort to extreme measures against being struck by lightning, as though it were an imminent threat, as though it could happen any minute now if I don't do something drastic right now to prevent it from happening, and as though I'm being held hostage by an armed criminal.

    You're scaremongering, Jake, and there are intelligent people here who can see it for what it is.

    Agreeing with me would require you to grasp that we are like passengers on a bus traveling down a steep mountain road, with no bus driver in attendance.Jake

    That's another great example of a false analogy you conjured up from your imagination in the hope of scaring people into action.

    If that analogy were true, then it would be virtually inevitable that a nuclear war will break out within minutes, just as it would be virtually inevitable that the bus will crash within minutes.

    Let's see what happens, shall we? I'll be generous and give you twenty minutes, and then we shall see whether you're right or wrong.

    This is understandably something few of us want to see.Jake

    Precisely! And that's what you're trying to exploit, you little devil. This is a place for philosophy, not dirty politics.
  • S
    6k
    Well, it has been roughly two hours since I submitted my last comment in this discussion, and nuclear war hasn't broken out yet. Odd. :chin:
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