• Best canvass for experience
    Thank you. Great example.T Clark

  • Best canvass for experience
    I think humans evolved to be acting, problem solving creatures. I guess all living organisms have.T Clark
    Consider though, a tree.
  • Why are drugs so popular?
    An interesting question is why humans evolved in a way that enabled alterations of consciousness through chemical substances. That is, what did our earliest ancestors gain by getting drunk that resulted in their increased survival?

    The correlation between alcohol and sexual behavior is obvious. We limit its use to adults and create specific areas for its consumption, where we gyrate to rhythmic beats around scantily dressed members of the opposite sex.

    Sex, drugs, and rock and roll as they say.

    If a substance lowers one's inhibitions and that results in reproduction, those best affected by it will do better to spread their genes.

    We are the descendants of drunk fuckers. Literally.
  • Fate v. Determinism
    If free will were reducible to such events then not only would things make sense without it; but everything could be fully explained without it.Leontiskos

    Nothing could be explained if determinism were the case other than to say that you've arrived at an explanation that you were determined to arrive at. There would be no reason to beleive that your conclusions were rational or reasonable, but only that they were the result of pre-existing causes.
  • Fate v. Determinism
    But what are the implications of determinism for the courtroom?Joshs

    As @Leontiskos has correctly pointed out the implications are significant, and it's beyond what you've suggested. If the engineer cannot but choose one particular plan to build a building due to his lack of freedom, the judge and jury have no choice, meaning their decisions are not the result of their decisions, but are the result of the various pool balls bouncing around in their heads. They might tell you they convicted because of facts A, B and C, and they may beleive that, but the reason they convicted and the reason they believe facts A, B and C mattered are just because of other causes in their head. That is, free will is necessary for meaningful decision making, and if it doesn't exist, then all decisions are either pre-determined or random.
  • Fate v. Determinism
    Er, the implication was that you were defending someone who pulled the trigger. That's why I wrote, "When you are defending someone accused of murder..." It's like you're not even reading my posts.Leontiskos

    I am reading your emails. My prior comment was sarcasm, as if I'd make arguments in court related to philosophical debates and not the reason I was there.
    Yes, but my point is that everyone agrees that if someone has no freedom over their action then they cannot be punished for that action, and you are leaning strongly in the direction which says that no one has any freedom over their actions.Leontiskos

    It depends upon the purpose of punishment. If the purpose of the punishment is corrective or rehabilitative, punishment could be argued as appropriate. If we're all cogs in a machine, doing that which will cause the cog to achieve the societal goal could be justified.
    I am glad the dogmatism is becoming more brazen and visible. So it seems that you are committed to the very strange idea that engineers do not have it within their power to build bridges differently than they did in fact build them.Leontiskos

    Nor do computers have any way to process data other than the way they do in fact process them. The sun rises and sets in a predictable pattern in a way that results in trees growing and insects flourishing. The fact that an intricate system can work and can result in complex ways doesn't implicate freedom. The honeybee can't make honey a different way.
    I asked above what you meant by "deep analysis" quite a few times but you always neglected to give any answer. I don't think you know what you mean, and therefore I don't think yours is a substantial critique.Leontiskos

    Deep analysis is what we're doing. We're asking ourselves what freedom is and determinism is. When a guy walking down the street is asked if he has the freedom to go home, he doesn't sort through the implications of a deterministic world. He just superfically says that he does have such freedom. Maybe he'd change his mind after he thought about.

    It decrees that there are other choices, even though you are adamant that "there are no other choices"? If there are no other choices then your theism is wrong, and to subscribe to it is to contradict yourself.Leontiskos

    Maybe my theistic beliefs are wrong if I subjected them to strict logic. I'm not defending my faith. It might be stupid, but it is what it is.
    Is it more irrational for me to say that the engineer could have built the bridge differently, or is it more irrational for you to say that the engineer was determined to build the bridge according to blueprint 87?Leontiskos

    I suppose either determinism or indeterminism could be true, but neither allow a basis for placing responsibility on the agent.
    Law in itself presupposes that humans are responsible actors. It is odd for a lawyer to engage in a practice that presupposes personal responsibility if they do not believe in personal responsibility.Leontiskos

    The ad hom that I'm odd is irrelevant even if likely true.

    I do believe in personal responsibility. I told you that. I also believe that our souls depart our bodies upon our death and that we all meet in heaven, which means we have a non-corporeal aspect of ourselves. Physical objects don't do what I just said and "non-physical" is pretty much undefined and meaningless the way I've presented things, but that's what I believe.

    What I'm rejecting is that there are logical and scientific anchors for much of what we take for granted, including such things as free will, moral truths, or purpose generally. That doesn't mean I don't believe in such things. And I'm not trying to prove my faith either or suggesting that faith is necessary for reasons beyond pragmatic. That is, if you want to accept free will isn't a meaningful concept and buy into the implications of determinism, you may do that if your ultimate goal is to allow logic and empirical data to take you where ever it does.
  • Fate v. Determinism
    Is that what you do in court? When you are defending someone accused of murder do you say to the judge, "His choice to pull the trigger was either caused or uncaused. If it was uncaused then it's not his fault. If it was caused then it was the result of spontaneity or pool balls in his brain, and therefore also not his fault. Therefore in no case could the pulling of the trigger be his fault"? You are a lawyer, right?Leontiskos

    Sure, that's what I argue because my concern in court centers around exposing the philosophical implications of determinism upon free will as opposed to protecting my client's interests. It's always good to talk about what you feel like talking about as opposed to focusing on the task at hand.

    If your point is that academic philosophy has little impact in real life, I think that's obvious.

    Anyway, to the extent this slippery slope actually does occur in court, a typical gap between the left and the right on personal responsibility does center around how much freedom, if any, someone has over their actions. Arguments related to upbringing, general environment, intelligence, prior exposures with violence, etc are often better received by those on the left that believe that behavior is better informed by external circumstances than the right, who hold firmly to responsibility coming entirely from within.

    These differences in ideology are just that, usually based upon political leanings and the like, but not upon any real analysis of what the implications of determinism are.
    Reason is an indeterminate cause which is neither determined, random, nor spontaneous. It is free, irreducible to these other options.Leontiskos

    And I'm saying you have no meaningful definition of freedom. It's something that happens that you are responsible for but it had no cause and its not spontaneous.
    If you think it was just the result of "pool balls slamming together in his brain," how do you propose he could have chosen anything else? Do you even believe in choice?Leontiskos

    You couldn't have chosen anything other than you did if determinism is true. You could have done otherwise if determinism isn't true, but you wouldn't be responsible for a random or spontaneous event. And there are no other choices, despite you saying there are. That is, if determinism is true or if determinism is false, you are not responsible for what you do.

    I do believe in choice. It's pragmatism. I don't think the world is decipherable without maintaining a superficial acceptance of freedom. It's superficial because upon analysis it fails. I also subscribe to a certain theism that just decrees it. But I don't think any of the explanations provided show how it could possibly exist.
    and if you claim he had no cause, then when he does something, he did it for no reason.
    — Hanover

    ...and how does that follow!? :yikes:

    As I stated, your fallacy is special pleading. You have for no reason for saying that "reasons" are not causes other than so that you can treat them differently, but a reason is a cause. If I pull the trigger beCAUSE I hate the man, the reason is the cause. So, substitute the word "cause" in for "reason" in my above sentence and you'll understand how it's logically entailed.

    That is, " if you claim he had no cause, then when he does something, he did it for no cause."
    He pulled it because he reasoned that by killing the witness his crime would go unpunished, and he is on trial because reason is not deterministic (i.e. he could have reasoned differently and chosen a different course of action, both in committing the initial crime as well as in committing the murder coverup). Are you in the right profession?Leontiskos

    The law reflects the beliefs of those who passed it, which means those who passed the laws likely believed in free will. That doesn't make free will the case. I can imagine there are countries that pass laws based upon all sorts of myths and religious beliefs I don't agree with, but I don't know what that adds to truth.
    To deny that free agents have any causal effect on the world is just to deny free will. It is farcical to claim that freedom exists and exercises no influence on the world whatsoever.Leontiskos

    I'm saying that free will is not provable and that it's incoherent under analysis. It shares much in common with God and things beyond description. The farce is in thinking that you've solved the ancient puzzle of free will on TPF in 2024. These problems are fundamental to philosophy and they have no good answers.

    If you're looking for answers, don't look to philosophy. Philosophy is where the unanswerable questions are stored.
  • Fate v. Determinism
    No, this conclusion is based on the false dichotomy that if an event isn't deterministic then it must be random/spontaneous. That is the false dilemma I addressed in my first post to you.Leontiskos

    Random and spontaneous are not the same thing. We can say that quantum movement is random to the extent we can't predict it, but we don't go so far as to say it is uncaused. With spontaneity, you're talking about something just blipping into reality from nothingness.

    So now it's a false trilemma I suppose.

    What cannot be a false dilemma is the statement "Something is either caused or it is not caused." That statement encompasses every logical possibility.

    So, when I choose to pull the trigger, that choice was either (a) caused or (b) not caused. If it was not caused, then I cannot be responsible for it because it occurred from nothing. If I'm walking about and then I pull a trigger with no preceeding cause initiating it, what did I do other than suddenly finding myself pulling a trigger.

    So the formal cause of a deliberate choice is rationality and rational motives. Why does an engineer build a bridge one way and not another? Because he (freely) reasons that this is the best way to build a bridge in such-and-such a circumstance.Leontiskos

    This is just special pleading. You're trying to deny reasons are causes and then trying to claim that an event can occur without a cause because it was a reason, not a cause that brought it about.

    A reason is a type of cause. If I pull the trigger because I have a reason to do it, then the reason is the cause. If the reason sprung from other reasons, then those other reasons are just preceeding causes.

    So, same analysis: Either a reason springs from nowhere (it has no cause) or it arose as the result of other causes (it was determined (i..e it had a cause). In either event, imposing responsiblity upon the actor is non-sensical because the event is just something that happened to the actor beyond his control.

    But there are a thousand different ways to build a bridge, and he might have built it differently. He is doubtless aware of all sorts of different ways that he could have built it.Leontiskos

    The person could have chosen 100 ways to build a bridge, but he chose Choice 87 and the reason he chose Choice 87 was because the various pool balls slamming together in his brain led him to Choice 87. How do you propose he chose Choice 87?

    Assuming State of the Universe A, which includes every fact of the universe, will on some occasions in State A the actor choose Choice 87 and sometimes he choose Choice 88? If so, what varied that resulted in Choice 88? Was it an indeterminate force that offers a degree of randomness to the universe from time to time? If so, is that your Free Will Generator? If it is, how does that impose responsibility on the actor?

    If we say that everything is determined then the free will debate is already over.Leontiskos

    Exactly. Everything is caused by something. That's what determinism is. If something is not caused by something, it's caused by nothing. If it's caused by nothing, we're not responsible for it. That's what I'm saying. The only way out is to accept a pragmatism or just say there is free will and it's all magic. I'm good with either actually.

    I disagree. As a lawyer I find it odd that you would say that agents cannot be self-moving.Leontiskos

    This just shows that my occupation isn't causative of my beliefs in this instance, but you're right to look for the cause of my belief, because every belief, like every other type of event, has a cause.
    Agents are not events.Leontiskos

    All causes are events and all events are causes. An event is just the word we use to describe the cause that immediately followed a prior cause. If you claim an agent is not an event, you are claiming he had no cause, and if you claim he had no cause, then when he does something, he did it for no reason.

    Why did the Agent pull the trigger? Your answer would have to be He pulled it beCAUSE of nothing. I'm not following why I should hold the Agent responsible for something from nothing.
  • Fate v. Determinism
    Needless to say, an agent is not an event.Leontiskos

    What causes him to create an event? You seem to be talking about spontaneous events now. Why am I responsible for things that just happen without causes?

    And if your answer is that the agent caused it, you can't just end there. You have to explain what caused the agent to cause it.

    The proximate question here is whether everything must be either random or determined. Other questions come later, such as how morality works, or whether an infinite regress of event-causes makes any sense.Leontiskos

    If everything is determined, then the question of what determines each prior event is the central question in the free will debate.
    What does it mean to say that there is no solution? What is "the problem" to which there is no solution?Leontiskos

    The problem is how we define free will in a way that allows for us to be considered responsible for our actions. If our actions are caused by prior events and those events are pre-determined, probabilistically determined, randomly determined, or are spontaneously determined, none of those actions were within our control. Self-determined is a meaningless concept.

    This is like asking what caused the Big Bang to suddenly bang and then asking what came before it to make it bang. Except in the free will discussion, you seem to be positing a sudden Big Bang every time a decision is made and then attributing that bang to the banger and still being unable to answer the question of what came before the Bang.

    This just strikes me as a God question which is obviously unanswerable, as in where did God come from, and what was there before he was there, and how did he make something out of nothing?

    But, like I said, I accept there is free will, but I take it as a given, without which nothing makes sense, not even the ability to reason and decide what to believe. I'm just willing to admit that the concept of free will in logically incoherent upon deep analysis.
  • Fate v. Determinism
    The agent's act had to be caused by something else, either deterministic or random. It couldn't have been caused by the agent himself."Leontiskos

    If every event has a cause, then the agent cannot be the originating cause because the concept of an originating cause makes no sense because that would be a event without a cause and we already said every event has a cause.

    But, if we are going to go with uncaused causes, then we're talking about neither determinism or indeterminism, but spontaneity, which means things just zap in and out of existence. If you ask me why I killed my neighbor, if my answer is that I did it because the spontaneity switch flipped, I don't see that I should be held responsible for that.

    And that brings up another issue. If I am a godlike creature with this ability to create as we might imagine God could, why should I be held responsible for my actions, considering I was just sort of given my godlike state by something else I didn't have control over?
  • Fate v. Determinism
    An agent's free act is not uncaused; it is caused precisely by the agent.Leontiskos

    And what caused the agent to perform the act?

    You have two choices here: (1) nothing or (2) something.

    Assuming you won't choose #1, then that something had to be caused by (1) nothing or (2) something.

    Until you choose #1, you don't have a self-caused event. Once you do choose #1, you have to explain why you're holding someone responsible for something that just spontaneously occurred from nothingness.
  • Fate v. Determinism
    You're mistaken, sir. That's predeterminism, not determinism (i.e. every effect necessarily has at least one cause). For instance, stochastic / nonlinear dynamic systems are deterministic (re: initial conditions) with a probabilistic spread of outcomes (e.g. hurricanes, tornadoes, stock markets, traffic flows).180 Proof
    We can debate whether probability theory relates to ontology or epistimology, with the former suggesting that the universe in State A will sometimes lead to State B and Sometimes State C, and the latter suggesting that State A will always lead to State B, but we just can't meaningfully predict it (and know it) based upon the near infinite variables in the universe (as State A would be all causes currently existing in the universe).

    But, regardless of which way that debate ends, I don't see how this distinction helps anything. Both are deterministic, meaning the preceding state controls the subsequent state, which still doesn't put responsibility on the agent.

    That is, why do we hold the person responsible for hitting in the pool ball and not the stick? The answer to that question is unaffected by whether quantum indeterminism affects the ball's outcome to enough of an extent that sometimes with the same strike, the ball goes in the pocket and sometimes not. That we can't know which way the ball will move precisely, but we can only provide a statistically likely guess doesn't leave room for meaningful free will.

    The problem is that unless X causes Y, then X cannot be responsible for Y. But if W is responsible for X, then it is responsible for Y as well, and that is the problem. Why blame X for what W made it do?

    And then there's the next problem with indeterminism, which is that if X was uncaused and spontaneously occurred, why should I blame X for what just sprung from no where?

    There is no solution.
  • Fate v. Determinism
    Secondly, within constraints, our mindbodies are uncoerced iff they have two or more actionable options in any given (historical-social-existential) situation; therefore, each deterministic (i.e. physical laws-bound) mindbody is responsible for the (foreseeable(?)) consequences her uncoerced actions (volo) or inactions (veto).180 Proof

    The point of determinism is that there are no options, but that there is only one course of action possible. If I strike a pool ball, it doesn't have the option of going into the pocket or bouncing off the rail. It's going to go wherever it goes based upon the input from the pool stick.

    What we have under a determinstic system is the belief there are options. We believe that our choice stood alone in some way as the internal force that made something occur, but that "choice" was nothing other than another pre-determned event.

    Placing responsibility on the mindbody seems an arbitrary assignment of blame or credit. Why do you hold the pool player responsible for the great shot and not the pool stick? They are all just causes.

    Firstly, 'indeterminism' (i.e. randomness) negates minds (mine-ness), bodies, actions, consequences ... responsibility (moral, legal, political, or otherwise) which are enabled and constrained by physical laws; in other words, "libertarian free will" within the physical world (i.e. nature) is conceptually incoherent – here even Kant agrees with ... as well as Spinoza & Epicurus180 Proof

    Any cause that did not arise solely from the actor cannot be held as the basis for responsibility. That holds true whether that cause arose as the result of other causes or whether it arose randomly. The only true free will would be an uncaused cause, which either implicates a godlike ability or it just results in further incoherence. The point being that there is no solution to the free will problem other than to just accept it as a necessary condition for comprehension of the world.
  • Thrasymachus' echo throughout history.
    Listen—I say that justice is nothing other than the advantage of the stronger.Shawn

    I don't follow how this definition of "justice" comforts with our use of the term.

    Do you suggest an innocent person who is kidnapped and tortured is treated justly as long as his kidnapper is never subjugated by someone stronger?

    If the most heinous acts are just as long as the authority committing them is stronger than you, then wouldn't you be unjust to protest against that which is just?

    This just isn't what we mean by justice. To make this point even more clear, you'd agree we don't evaluate the strength of the rapist when asking ourselves if a rape were just.
  • Fate v. Determinism
    (i.e. conditionally voluntary actions)180 Proof

    Conditionally voluntary is a self contradictory phrase to the extent "conditionally" means deterministically. If you mean something other than that, explain what it is. Why am morally responsible for X if I couldn't have done otherwise?

    How is determinism of any sort, hard or soft (i.e. compatiblism), compatible with moral responsibility.
  • Fate v. Determinism
    If by "free" you mean unconditional, then I agree.180 Proof
    It's difficult to reconcile libertarian free will with physicalist based science or omniscience based religion. It's also difficult to reconcile non-libertarian free will with philosophical inquiry generally should we assume doxastic voluntarism (i.e. without free will we can't form meaningful beliefs), which I generally do.

    I also think libertarian free will suffers from some amount of incoherence in that an uncaused event, even if possible, should have no relevance morally or rationally.

    That is to say that without libertarian free will, the world is incoherent, but it is conceptually incoherent in itself.

    I accept libertarian free will as a necessary component for any understanding, analogous to Kantian space and time intuitions, which is simply to say it's necessary for any understanding of the world, even if it makes no sense under deep analysis.
  • Fate v. Determinism
    Determinism offers causative explanations and fate offers teleological explanations. Both deny free agency.

    Why am I typing to you?

    Determinism.would explain the neurological processes leading up to my typing to you and would theoretically describe all prior causes leading to the inevitable result of my typing. There would be no first cause, as determinism postulates every cause has a prior cause.

    Fate would explain my purpose in typing to you, with immediate purposes being achieved , but no possible final goal, as it postulates every event has a purpose. If every event has a purpose, no end could occur.

    Determinism looks to the past for causes. Fate looks to the future for purpose.

    Both suffer from the same problem of providing no explanation of their origin. That is, if I neither know what set in motion the billions of years of causes leading to this conversation occuring nor do I know what purpose this conversation will serve in billions of years, I'm similary limited into focusing only upon the small amount of time surrounding the event for explanation.

    That being the case, I'd argue teleological reasoning is just as logical as causative.
  • Is Passivity the Norm?
    Is there a lot more passivity and ignorance than I once thought? Or is it just a self serving bias of specialness mixed with big-fish-in-small-pond syndrome?Mikie

    Since you pinged me on the chess comment, I read the OP and so I'll respond.

    I don't think it's hard to determine how good you are objectively at something as long as you have data from the general world to compare it to. For example, you can run a 5k race and look at your time and compare it to others and you can do the same in golf. In your chess example, you can play enough to obtain a rating and you can compare that to others.

    I do think that being a big fish in a small pond does elevate some to be big fishes in big ponds as well. You see that often in politics where someone becomes a representative from their small hometown and they're able to dominate the national scene in Congress because they're invincible back home. You can gain an advantage by growing big in your little pond where the competition is less. Those small town guys would likely have never amounted to anything close had they been born in Manhattan. As they say about New York, if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.

    As to whether people have ambition, I'd say it's a special trait, not unlike being faster, smarter, or stronger. If you have the drive to want it more, that will seperate you from the crowd. The difference between ambition and those other traits is that ambition is within your control, but it's hard to fake. You have to have passion or you just won't do it.

    You have 6,400 posts here, which in itself sounds like no big deal, but if you had 6,400 cold calls as an insurance agent, you'd be killing it. But you don't want to sell insurance because it's work, whereas here your postings are what you want to do. You don't lack ambition per se because some things you do with a vengence. It's just you have to do what you have a passion for, and if you can find that and that thing gets you riches, fame, or whatever it is you seek, then you're the lucky few.
  • Polyamory vs monogamy
    Men who do not live within the usual sex-limiting social structures can be more promiscuous. For that matter, men and women who do not live within the usual social structures of marriage, mortgages, careers, churches, and so on are perhaps freer to be political outsiders as well.BC

    A few follow up questions though.

    Not to get overly personal (but why stop now?), but in your committed relationships were you as monogamous as your typical hetero male/female couple? If the answer is no, then there is something about the insertion (purely coincidental pun) of the female into the equation that governed the promiscuity.

    Then we look to woman on woman sex, which in the various 5 minute documentaries I've watched on the topic, they do show that such ladies are insatiable, but I wonder if they're accurate depictions. My question then is whether actual lesbian behavior is as promiscuous as man on man affection? If it's not, then it appears again that it's the woman in the equation that is the spoil sport, not just an issue of domestication of the partners (or combatants, as the case may be).

    Then I turn to the recent arival of legalized same sex marriage. If we do find that in manly marriage there is greater monogamy than in a typical shacking up arrangement, that might just have to do with the two living up to their committment when they said they'd forsake all others. That is, they declared the party over because they were apparently so enamored with hetero unions, they wanted a piece of that action. Hah! I say. Not so super fantastic now is it?
  • Donald Trump (All General Trump Conversations Here)
    Everything he says about others, is the projection of what he really thinks and feels about himself. As soon as I can afford to, I will pity him for his tortured existence.unenlightened

    Trump was heavily criticized for saying Clinton should go to jail. The argument back then was that first world nations didn't try to imprison their ousted opponents.

    Truth is though it's a balancing act between not allowing anyone to be above the law versus being a banana republic that throws their political opponents in jail.

    I think we've not achieved that balance, but have gone overboard with this campaign funding hush money whatever it is to vanquish an enemy. The question as to whether we did go overboard will be answered by the people in November. That's how democracy works, with the people getting the final say.

    And it's not missed on me that Trump seeks refuge in an election, the very place he's claimed is hopelessly fixed against him. I'm actually looking forward to his victory so I can hear him declare how the people have vindicated him in a fair and honest election. It's not that I like the guy. I'm just a fan of irony of biblical proportions.
  • Donald Trump (All General Trump Conversations Here)
    This only reflects your lack on conscience on such mattersShawn

    I personally may of may not lack a conscience and may have to one day wrestle beezlebub as he tries to drag me into the pits of hell, but nevertheless, there is no such thing as bad publicity. He's gone 4 years as a regular citizen who hasn't been left out of a single news cycle. Call him a genius or call him Satan, but either way, you'll be calling him Mr. President come November.
  • Donald Trump (All General Trump Conversations Here)
    What I honestly think is that he'll win the presidency and national interests will allow him to serve his term without interruption by these criminal matters.

    I don't see these charges resulting in jail time anyway. He's a non-violent first offender at 76 years old. You're getting carried away with all the things he's done that he hasn't been convicted of. The guy doesn't deserve jail for this. Judges tend to be tempered so I don't expect you'll get to see the vengeance you want. And there will be appeals and appeals.

    This hush money conviction is no big deal, and I doubt you'd care much if Trump were an otherwise decent guy. The judge is required to look at this conviction in isolation. He can't pile on just because Trump is otherwise a piece of shit.

    This fight ends at the ballot box. Be afraid of that and stop watching the sideshow. There's no such thing as bad publicity.
  • Imagining a world without the concept of ownership
    There is a notion that simply wouldn't occur to anyone who isn't immersed in ownership culture. Nor would the idea of taking food from a community member's mouth - unless he's choking or you have reason to believe it's unsafe.Vera Mont

    What is immoral about taking food from your mouth if I'm hungry unless you have some right to ownership of that food just because it's in your mouth? This just sounds like you're arriving at rules for when ownership is obviously valid and then arguing that no one would ever violate that rule because it's just so obvious.

    I say the same thing applies to my house and all the belongings in it. You don't have any more right to take the food out of my mouth as you do to enter my home and sort through my belongings. And of course there are exceptions to these rules, as we live in a complex society, but those rules revolve around property rights and how they are to be administered. They don't suggest a dissolution of property rights.

    But all this smacks of a naive Marxism, a sort no one really takes seriously, where we declare that ownership of property is the cause of all evil and that if we'd just dispense with it, people would live in a utopian harmony.

    The society we live in holds that one's right to one's own body is so sacred that if another invades it, he will lose his liberty and be removed from society. It also holds that if you invade my dwelling, you may be met rightfully with deadly force. These are not archaic rules held by a primitive people. These are rules that simply respect your right to freely possess and live within the material world with your material possessions.

    Children are naturally possessive of their favourite personal things - a few toys and articles of clothing, but they're just as eager to share if they think of a suitable activity. Even quite young babies will offer you their slightly chewed cookie or some colourful thing they find on the floor.Vera Mont
    You can encourage sharing and generous behaviour by showing appreciation for their gifts from the very beginning, by returning things they're attached to, and by offering them something of yours, in trade, to borrow or to keep. I don't mean gifts meant for them, I mean your own stuff that you see them wishing for.Vera Mont

    You can teach anything to a child. You can teach her to share, to love, to hate, and to injure. They are quite the sponges. I don't know of many children though who resist being given everything they desire, as if a child in the candy store complains things are given to him. By the same token, it's the rare child that would never want to share and never want to create a sense of kinship between herself and others.

    You did use the term "familial" in your post, and here I used "kinship," both recognizing that sharing has something to do with those closest to you, particularly within your own family unit. You see sharing at its greatest within families, particularly mothers caring for their young. The idea that expanding the family dynamic to those outside the family into the community at large seems neither possible or even preferable.

    Competition among societal members has its benefits, but that's not a suggestion that Darwinism should fully dominate society. It's just to say there is a place for worrying about yourself on the one hand and worrying about the commons on the other. It's not an all or nothing proposition.
  • Imagining a world without the concept of ownership
    The background of the question is a kind of genealogy of ownership. Is it innate? Is it a resident of certain types of culture? If it's cultural, what kind of culture reinforces the idea. In what kind of culture does ownership become a ghost?frank

    In my experience with children, you have to teach them to share and the definately know what "Mine!" means.

    The type of culture where ownership becomes a ghost is not one that exists or ever has. Even a fully Marxist society wouldn't actually suggest that I can pull food out of your mouth or take your shirt off your back. And what do you make of ownership of your own body? Do I have the right to do as I will of others without seeking their agreement, and if we should permit that allowance, why not allow it as to other physical items?
  • Is pregnancy is a disease?
    It's about getting around the legal/religious obstacles to coverage for women who don't want to be pregnant, and to make sure that private insurance cannot be denied those who do.Vera Mont

    All ACA (affordable care act) plans require prenatal coverage even when coverage is sought while pregnant.

    You're fighting a battle that was won in 2014.
  • Is pregnancy is a disease?
    The problem with calling pregnancy a disease is that the word has a negative connotation. Unless we're willing to accept a societal standard that pregnancy is something to be avoided, we can't use a word that indicates it is.
  • The essence of religion
    Maybe some religious folk "seek truth" as you say, ENOAH, but they are outliers and do not constitute, as several millennia of history shows, the essence, or raison d'etre, of religion as such.180 Proof

    The position that religion and science stand in opposition is part of the scientific community's mythology. Like all mythology, it has its place in establishing certain necessary foundational truths that might not be actually objectively true.

    Obeying "the Lord" (and his anointed/appointed pimps) in order to avoid punishment (fear), not "seeking truth", seems to me religion's historically manifest "essence".180 Proof

    Are you an essentialist in other philosophical matters or do you reserve this line of thought for the religious discussions? Arguing for a contextualist/usage definition for a term seems obvious, so I don't follow why you abandon the nuance here, but instead throw down a brittle definition that potrays religion in the simplest of ways.

    In any event, if you do wish to play the "essence" game and ask what the essence of religion is, you have to look at religion generally and not limit yourself to the Abrahamic ones. However, if you do limit yourself to the Abrahamic ones, you'll doubtfully find the common thread you want because it's not as if Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are essentially the same. I don't think you'd find the religious practice of the Orthodox Jew essentially the same as the fundamentalist Christian. They don't even worship the same god after the final analysis.

    You also have to work through your problems with the Hebrew Bible not actually demanding absolute obedience to God, but instead you have to take into consideration the important instances of humans arguing with God and even instances where God changes his mind based upon those arguments. That does occur in the Hebrew Bible.

    For your argument to work, you've got to model all religion upon the earliest of stories where God directly interacted with humans, and, even then, you've got to ignore a good number of those interactions to establish an argument contrary to the facts. Not all stories reveal blind adherence to God. And then of course there is the fact that the Abrahamic religions do not hold the Bible as the sole source of authority, so just reading the text and thinking that a verbatim interpretation reveals the theological stance of the religion is not an accurate way of gaining an understanding of the religion.
  • Civil war in USA (19th century) - how it was possible?
    The war started when Lincoln sent supply ships to Fort Sumter, which had been a federal fort, now seized by SC. SC fired on the supply ships and Lincoln declared rebellion.frank

    In fact, the Civil War began at Lincoln's inauguration, letting the South know that their regional protections were falling fast so secession was the only option.Hanover

    Alright, we'll get the specific dates straight:

    11/6/60 - Lincoln wins the election
    1/5/61 - The South fires upon the North when it attempts to resupply Ft. Sumter, so the North abandons that effort.
    3/1/61 - Jefferson Davis reinforces the defenses around Ft. Sumter.
    3/4/61 - Lincoln is inaugurated.
    4/4/61 - Lincoln sends reinforcements to Ft. Sumter
    4/12/61 - The South fires upon the northern reinforcements and the Civil War officially begins.

    My point remains that the reason for these hostilities leading up to the Civil War was that the Lincoln election spelled an eventual end to slavery and the only way to stop it was to fully remove the South from northern control, which was to remove those votes from influencing southern policies.

    That is, in order for the tyranny to continue over the slaves, the vote had to be suppressed and manipulated so that the only votes that would count would be the ones supporting the current system. And that was my main point, which is that American slavery is not an example of how democracy fails, but it is an example of why democracy should not be suppressed.
  • Civil war in USA (19th century) - how it was possible?
    The Civil War to some extent disproved the tyranny of the majority concept because it was a suppression of majority rule that sustained slavery and that led to war.

    The South went to great lengths to isolate itself from dissenting votes by declaring that state rights and local rule made Northern votes inapplicable. They also disallowed slave voting. Voter suppression is anti-democratic by definition, and that is what allowed slavery to persevere.

    Voter suppression remains a tactic today of course.

    Had there been free and open elections in 1860. one person one vote, slavery was doomed. In fact, the Civil War began at Lincoln's inauguration, letting the South know that their regional protections were falling fast so secession was the only option.
  • Polyamory vs monogamy
    read it in a Sadean way. Appetites are in principle limitless, and only confined by what people agree to indulge in.fdrake

    That too I guess.
  • Polyamory vs monogamy
    Oh my.fdrake

    Not sure what you've read into this comment.

    Without permission from the woman, sex doesn't happen. That's how our ought to be.

    The point made was that men seek permission and are limited to the extent that permission is, whereas women have less difficulty receiving permission from men.
  • Polyamory vs monogamy
    suspect that, especially duuring peak childbearing life-stages, human males are "naturally polygamous" and human females are "naturally monogamous", yet (modern, more gender-fluid) culture somewhat modifies, or moderates, our "hardwired tendencies".180 Proof

    Male sexuality is limited only by permission.
  • The essence of religion
    My thinking is this: Religion rises out of the radical ethical indeterminacy of our existence. This simply means that we are thrown into a world of ethical issues that, in the most basic analysis, are not resolvable. Yet they insist on resolution with the same apodicticity as logical coercivity. Meaning, just as one cannot but agree with something like modus ponens or the principle of identity in terms of the pure logicality of their intuitive insistence, so one cannot resist the moral insistence of moral redemption. This latter is the essence of religion, and I further claim that in proving such a thing, I am giving the world and our existence in it exactly the metaphysical satisfaction is seeks.Constance

    I see this differently only because I don't see religion as myopically as it's being portrayed here through a very modern religion/state/science separation. That separation isn't inherent, but it's idiosyncratic to modern Western democracy.

    You will necessarily consider the government the steward of the rules, science the steward of knowledge, and religion the steward of ethics and meaning if that's the system you've decreed, but that isn't where society began. It's where it happens to be now, but only in some parts of the world.

    That is, some turned to religion not only for reasons to do with death, truth, or meaning, but because they wanted to know what to do if their neighbor's ox gored theirs, what sorts of foods were safe to eat, and when they should have celebrations and when they should be solemn. They also wanted to know why the sun rose and fell and why the animals did as they did, and so they came up with all sorts of explanations.

    But this conversation isn't about all this. It's about why you folks think people still cling to religion when science and government has prevailed and from there the psychoanalysis follows. It must be, you assume, because the world is scary, uncertain, and otherwise amoral.

    Religion is an all encompassing worldview, just as is scientism. It can reach as far into the realms of science as much as science can reach into the realms of religion. The question is where to draw the line, but I do think the quest for meaning is as inherent a human drive as is the quest for knowledge. While science can tell us why the world does as it does, it can't tell how to live in it. That's why I'd suggest religion perseveres in an otherwise scientific world. It simply provides answers science does not.
  • The role of the book in learning ...and in general
    That shows me that Finns read books on average 12 or so minutes a day, but it doesn't tell me what it used to be, so how can I look at this and know it's been declining over time?

    Also, it specifically says "books," which means that as books decline in supply, so does reading them, but not in reading overall. I read far more than 12 minutes a day. I think the logs at TPF would reveal that.

    I'm not disputing that today we're stupider than yesterday because that does seem generally true, but I'm just questioning whether it reveals itself in the amount of reading we do.

    One thought I have had is that the information age has increased the educational and intelligence gap between people. Now that all this information is generally available to anyone who wants it, instead of everyone taking advantage of it equally, some have a far greater thirst for it and they find themselves way ahead of their peers. There's a race for success going on in the world whether people realize it and they're getting left behind and not even knowing it.
  • The role of the book in learning ...and in general
    Have they banned electronic books too? Is it a matter of just changing from paper to computer, or are you saying no one reads anymore?

    I also don't see how this data establishes causation between book reading and educational levels. You just are showing two data sets that might have nothing to do with each other. Have they shown that current paper book readers do better than current electronic book readers?

    I think I probably read and write more with the arrival of the internet because there's just more information out there to digest.
  • Infinite Staircase Paradox
    You seem to be imagining a model of discrete space overlaying some model of continuous space and then pointing out that in continuous space there is always more space between two discrete points.Michael

    I'm only asking how far 1,1 is from 1,2 in a discrete space system. As far as I can tell, it's 0 units, right?
  • Infinite Staircase Paradox
    The question makes no sense. You're asking for some second "level" of time to define the time between T1 and T2. There's no such thing. The only time is T1, T2, T3, etc.Michael

    The problem is adjacency. If object A is adjacent to object B on a finite grid, what is the distance from A to B? If it's 0 units, then A and B occupy the same space and A = B.