• The Reason for which I was forced to exist temporarily in this world
    I'll elaborate, the answer to the question ought to be contingent on the answer to these two questions;

    How did we come to be here?
    For what purpose?

    In the absence of this information, it is difficult to answer your question.
  • What is the purpose of philosophy?
    We either have a good idea about what is going on or not.
    Quite, and how will you know?
    It is just like a novel that includes you but compares your point of view with a baseline of the real that does not care what you think.
    Yes and when it comes to the esoteric, science, academic knowledge etc is also in the dark.
    It is important not to be a fool in this regard.
    Quite, not an easy thing to avoid.
  • What is the purpose of philosophy?
    I like what you say about testing the logic through introspection, I do that too. What I was thinking of was a kind of contemplation in which you are distinguishing knowing through the body, consciousness and being, from the thinking mind, ego and personality. Once you are good at this and see the distinction clearly, you can start to inform one from the other and develop a more subtle understanding of yourself, the world and your place in it. Perhaps, this is wisdom.
  • Brexit
  • Brexit
    Both Christmas's are going to fall over the precipice. It's a slow motion car crash. I'll get out my Tom Waites albums, (Clue, The Piano has been drinking)
  • Brexit
    A Downing st spokesman has said this evening, that the talks are over.
  • Brexit
    Assuming he ever was seriously seeking a deal.
    Quite, I do think he wanted a deal, but only on unreasonable terms. He always wanted to have his cake and eat it. So it's just as likely that he has been signalling to the EU that he doesn't want a deal in his actions. Namely breaking the commitments in the withdrawal agreement and spaffing any trust there was up the wall. By now the EU will regard him as an entirely unreliable, if not duplicitous negotiating partner.
  • Brexit
    Johnson has said now that we are heading for an "Australia deal", code for no deal. It might be a handfisted attempt at brinkmanship, but sounds more like he is drifting away from seriously seeking a deal.
  • What is the purpose of philosophy?
    There are a number of approaches, a good start is to develop an affinity with animals, through a pet for example. Animals are free of a thinking mind, so use knowledge of and provided by the body. St Francis of Assisi is a good example of this. Or meditation and studying eastern philosophy and religion can work quite well. Bypassing the mind is implicit in these philosophies. The practice of yoga in combination with meditation can help one to develop the energy flows and chackras in the body in a way in which you are conscious of it. There are other techniques, but air am short of time today.
  • What is the purpose of philosophy?
    That is interesting, please elaborate.
    Well, a person (a being) is not just a mind, they are also a body and a consciousness within that body. So each being knows their body, their life and the world their body inhabits through their body and its consciousness. The thinking mind is something different from this knowledge and there is a tendency in the modern world to believe that we are thinking minds with a nature defined by the intellectual knowledge and conditioning that our thinking mind receives from society. In this the innate knowing of our being is marginalised, even not seen, that we are blind to it.
  • Donald Trump (All General Trump Conversations Here)
    The problem I see is with consent
    — Punshhh

    whether it’s a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy.
    — Goering
    And that ended well for him.
  • What is the purpose of philosophy?
    I think these views have a lot to contribute to philosophy, but I have mentioned the esoteric traditions on a couple of other threads. I am not going to be put off by a couple of negative responses I got because I think an open mind is what is needed.
    I agree and I have tried that too, but not with much success. Western philosophy is derived from the classical tradition, it seems with logic and analytical thought and ideas from a different source don't easily mesh with it.

    For example, I occasionally say that one can know things indipendent of one's own mind. It just doesn't compute around here.
  • Donald Trump (All General Trump Conversations Here)
    Cool! Do you do cartoons?
    Yes, although these days only when a politician makes me mad.
  • What is the purpose of philosophy?
    The only alternative to philosophy is myth, when it comes to the mind.
  • What is the purpose of philosophy?
    Of course, even then we have biases based on our life experiences and personal inclinations. But, hopefully, the more aware we can be of our biases, the more thorough we can become in the process of searching for underlying truths.

    I would add the caveat that these truths are restricted to what we are able to consider from our limited perspective as animals with a recently emerged intelligence. The truths about existence and any purposes being carried out through our being here are beyond our grasp. This is why some folk turn to religion, spirituality or mysticism to address these issues. Philosophy is to an extent mute on these paths. I am not saying that these truths are necessarily beyond our understanding, but that they are veiled from us and were they to be shown to us, we might understand perfectly well. Madame Blavatsky and Djwal khul, the source of Alice Bailey's writings give an esoteric route to an understanding, although such ideas cannot be analysed philosophically as to any truths therein. So it's up the the reader to decide whether it is worth studying.
  • Are we on the verge of a cultural collapse?
    Interestingly there is a technology which has been lost, or at least the skills to practice it. The ability to work stone as the stone masons did when the pyramids were built. A skill which was also practiced by the Inca's. There have been many attempts to replicate such work in recent times, all failed. Even now with our most advanced laser technology we can only just come close to the accuracy.
    Inca stonework Cuzco

    The Sphinx Egypt

    Note the layout of the stone, proof that both civilisations were practicing the same technology.
  • Coronavirus
    Yes, although there is a demographic pattern. The population's that were hit first time round had people often travelling abroad and bringing it back, also the cities which these people travelled to. Now we have populations who don't travel abroad much (Indian subcontinent excepted), but live in high density and socialise in homes. Also the student population between 18-30 years has been a strong driver through the pub and bar industry and halls of residence.
  • The Useless Triad!
    You could find the middle way.
  • Coronavirus
    Its feeling more serious this time. Many nurses and doctors are still exhausted from the first wave. They were already over worked before Covid, often working up to 5 twelve hour shifts per week, while on low pay.

    There is real worry about the economy, a lot of businesses which scraped through last time are going to go to the wall and government support is less and patchy. The government really doesn't want to go to a national lockdown, because it will probably bankrupt the country, but they may have to within a few weeks.

    Many areas in the north have been locked down more today, as there is a lot of bad feeling and distrust about the way the privelidged south is forgetting about the north. The voters in the north who leant their vote to Johnson are very angry now.

    Fortunately I am in a low risk area with low population density, with plenty of work. But it's difficult to avoid some worry.
  • Coronavirus
    A hot topic, I suppose. Also social media is starting to ban more.

    The pandemic is coming back with a vengeance in the UK, a number of towns and cities in the north of the country have over 600, or 700 confirmed cases per 100,000 of their population. It is now spreading south across the country like a wave. Track and trace is barely working and the hospitals in the north are at full Covid capacity. I've heard that similar spikes are happening across Europe now, with Spain and France quite bad.
  • Donald Trump (All General Trump Conversations Here)
    People. with the same income as earlier, can now afford buying a more expensive house.
    Yes, although it has gone a stage further, the housing market is like a ladder as you sell your small house, you buy a larger one because you have the profit from the last house, and then a bigger one after that. Until perhaps the gain is more than you would earn in a lifetimes salary. Also, if you inherit a valuable house which your benefactor bought when prices were really low, you get a foot up onto the ladder. This alongside an ideological decision by successive Tory Governments to stop building social housing 40 years ago and rely on the private house builders to provide the neede housing has exacerbated the problem further. As you say the population has grown by a few million, largely from the new EU accession states since 2004. This issue has been one of the drivers for the Brexit vote.

    The elites didn't let the bubble burst during the financial crisis and they are desperately trying to let it correct even now. That is the actual policy. We have to remember, that the interest rates are at an all time low in written history now

    Yes, we now have a perfect storm on the horizon.
  • Donald Trump (All General Trump Conversations Here)
    I see a system set up to create asset inflation, which then creates huge wealth inequality. This should be obvious from the fact that when we have a global depression, the S&P 500 is at an all time high now.
    Yes, add this to mass consumerism creating wage slaves, then we're there.

    The asset inflation is a big deal in the UK at the moment, as I pointed out in the Brexit thread. It is done through property in the UK. The housing stock has not kept up with demand for over 40 years, resulting in house price inflation. This results in the middle classes and the rich reaping the rewards. Many areas have seen over 1000% increase in value over the period.

    Unfortunately we are now in the predicament that this is a bubble just as we are descending into a depression caused by Covid and Brexit. It will shake things up a bit though. The wealthy are worried, the poor aren't that bothered because they haven't got much to lose. Those who don't own property (who missed out on the benefits of the inflation) are not that worried. The people in the middle (a large group), who are not wealthy, but do own a house, are in big trouble. And of course, the rich will be laughing all the way to the bank.
  • Donald Trump (All General Trump Conversations Here)
    The latter would in fact uphold the former in a far more effective way.
    Perhaps a pernicious creeping fascism would work. The problem I see is with consent, it will have to be done in a way that the people think they are freely giving their consent. I can see it happening as an internal thing going on within the minds of individual citizens.
  • Donald Trump (All General Trump Conversations Here)
    So its divide and secretly rule perhaps. I just didn't see how the recent (previous) administrations where driving it (consciously at least). Rather I saw it as a system set up to drain wealth from the population into the coffers of the elite. This would require prosperity for it to be maintained. To veer off into fascism would jeopardise this flow.
  • Donald Trump (All General Trump Conversations Here)
    So apparently QAnon has been largely spread by the senior VP of technology at Citigroup.

    At least he got fired for it.
    Looks like he was fooling around and when it took off, got into some data mining.

    QAnon is big here in the UK now, the've even been protesting in Trafalgar Square. Once someone falls down that rabbit hole, the're almost unreachable.
  • Donald Trump (All General Trump Conversations Here)
    Normality? Biden and his ilk put the US on this path to begin with.
    Ok, not normality, perhaps, a return from insanity to more of the usual. Anyway, will they slink back under their stone? Or is the genie out of the bottle?
  • Donald Trump (All General Trump Conversations Here)
    But if Biden wins and turns it around, restores normality, what will the proud boys do? Just slink back under their stone?
  • Are we in the sixth mass extinction?
    Agreed. For someone to reach the point of being in power in a large country they will have a strength of character which will enable them to dismiss worries which would be significant for the average person. They are also generally ruthless in the face of moral and political expediency.

    A good example is Boris Johnson, a sociopath born with a sliver spoon in his mouth, educated at Eton and Oxford, steeped in an outdated Victorian mentality, with a sense of superior privelidge, walking a path of privelidge right into No10, resulting in an incompetent government.
  • Are we in the sixth mass extinction?
    So youre saying that the scientific community is secretly confident that we're in a mass extinction? What makes you believe this?
    I wouldn't use the words "secretly confident", rather, secretly worried. I say this because the scientists who became embroiled in the media circus around claims by climate change skeptics, that the scientists were massaging the statistics on the rate of predicted global warming. Are from my local University, The University of East Anglia, UK.

    This episode is important here because it exposes the phenomenon of climate change skeptics, some of whom are funded by fossil fuel exploiters, rubbishing the dissemination of genuine climate science into the public sphere.
  • Are we in the sixth mass extinction?
    From the theosophical perspective, we are presently in the fifth kaliyuga, which would mean the demise and dissolution of the fifth planetary sphere. So no, not the sixth mass extinction from that point of view.
    The demise you refer to is of a whole different order of magnitude to what Frank is talking about. The planet will be entirely extinguished.

    Unfortunately, from a purely philosophical perspective it is hyper-speculative with a narrow focus on metaphysics. It hardly touches on epistemology and ethics, which is why it remains conspicuously absent in philosophical circles.
    This is unfortunate, I had thought of scaling this edifice, philosophically, but eventually realised that the gulf is to wide to span. Particularly as philosophy seems to be going in the direction of post modernism. Theosophy is an exercise in translating Hindu spiritualism into something which can be grasped by the West. As such it is orthonogal to the edifice of Western philosophy.
  • Are we in the sixth mass extinction?
    Right, but just focus for a second on this: the scientific community does not support the conclusion that we're 'presiding over a mass extinction event'
    I doubt this, there is a phenomenon amongst climate scientists, in which they shy away from saying anything conclusive, or alarmist, because they risk being dragged into a media circus. So they don't often give their interpretation of the data and leave such conclusions to others.

    They walk away before you can even present the truth to them, as if they dont want their belief threatened.
    I would question this "truth" and Also I don't see the phenomenon you refer to of protesters over exaggerating the issue. Perhaps this is how it is in the US, but the rest of the Western countries have already passed beyond this point and the crisis is accepted for what it is.
  • Are we in the sixth mass extinction?
    Since extinction is a global-scale event, on a global timescale, if there is a mass extinction in the next few hundred years, then it seems reasonable to conclude we are in fact in a mass extinction already.
    Agreed. It's splitting hairs to think otherwise.
  • Are we on the verge of a cultural collapse?
    Whether and how the elaborately engineered technology of the present could be restarted if it once stopped, I do not know. The operating knowledge wouldn't disappear overnight, but restarting the massive energy system (oil, for instance) would be very difficult. Literacy could certainly be maintained, and we have lots fo books. Books last a long time as long as they don't get wet.
    As I say, it depends on the depth of the fall. We could fall through war and feudalism to an early medieval level in which all our advanced technology is lost. Although, I doubt it would be this extreme. I wish I could be more optimistic about warfare, but I can't unfortunately, because there are just to many people in a small space. This hasn't happened before, on this scale and once the instability in the climate begins to bite, with drought, high temperatures, mega storms and the resultant sea level rise, these densely packed people will start to move, migrate, but where will they migrate to? Where will they get their food?
  • Are we in the sixth mass extinction?

    The conclusions in those articles are, essentially, that we are not currently seeing a mass extinction event, but that there may be one over the next few hundred years. That sounds reasonable. Both the Barnosky and Erwin articles add the caveat that if humanity pulls its finger out and stops eroding ecosystems and reduces emissions, that it might not happen. Again this is reasonable, but this is where the problem lies. Is humanity going to stop?

    So what people are getting exercised about when they harp on about climate change and the destruction of ecosystems is the inertia in this human behaviour. Is humanity able to reduce carbon emissions, are they going to stop exploiting areas of land where healthy ecosystems are found? The population is still rising, all efforts to reduce emissions keep falling short, or paying lip service to the calls to do something. In areas where there are healthy ecosystems, poverty pushes people through desperation to exploit the land and cut down the ecosystem where they live.

    So in reality the desperation is about this inertia, in the knowledge that if humanity does not change its trajectory, things are not going to end well.

    One cause for hope is that humanity might fail in some way and through decline, reduce the destruction and emissions. 2020 is a good example, the emissions did fall, the pollution did reduce, because of the global pandemic.
  • Donald Trump (All General Trump Conversations Here)
    It's a gift from God, the virus. The snake oil salesman is back. He's found the cure, he's going to give it to everyone for free. If God hadn't given him the virus, no one would have known about his miracle.
    Make America Great again!
  • Are we on the verge of a cultural collapse?
    Cultural collapse will come when the older generation (whichever generation that is) can not successfully transmit a coherent culture to its children because that culture has been rendered obsolete and irrelevant for the newly existing conditions.
    This is the critical point, when the technological pillars of our world cease to function and are cast aside. For example the internet, or electrical computers. If for example we descend into a hundred years of warring groups, internet servers will rapidly become compromised, education could easily become compromised, we might rapidly lose the capability to operate such systems. So how can such knowledge be preserved in such a way that it is not lost entirely, not long I suspect. Over the a hundred years of war infra-structure like electrical generation, oil refining, vehicle production could all be lost.

    Once we reach the point where this knowledge is lost, there is a period of a few generations perhaps in which the knowledge is still retrievable. This is critical, because if this opportunity is not taken then the loss becomes profound and we could descend into another dark age and have to discover all the knowledge and technology we have lost again from scratch. Such a dark age could easily last a thousand years and when we progress out of it, we might not develop a society underpinned by a compassionate religion which our current one has. So it could be quite an ugly place.
  • Donald Trump (All General Trump Conversations Here)
    from divine revelation, I suppose. If you're going to be an idiot, I'll leave you to it.
    Its called political opinion, not idiocy.
  • Get Creative!
    Some things I have made recently.