• Israel killing civilians in Gaza and the West Bank

    Sorry but this is just nonsense. I personally know people who've spouted antisemitic things who are anti-Zionists. And changing the definition of antisemitism to refer to Palestinians is just sophistry. Whitegoods are not necessarily white, because compound nouns in English don't necessarily refer to their components. Antisemitism is a word created to denote hatred of Jews. You can't make words mean what you would prefer them to mean.

    The fact that there a good reasons to support a cause does not mean that everybody supporting the cause has those good reasons.
  • Is the music industry now based more on pageantry than raw talent?
    As a musician, whenever I am lulled into feelings that I was "born in the wrong era" or some such belief that things really used to be better and they really are worse now, I just remember some words of wisdom from my avatar, Orson Welles, in the form of a mantra:

    Nothing has ever been too good for the public.
    Nothing has ever been good enough for the public.
  • Why Metaphysics Is Legitimate
    The demonstration is that scientists generally take the the view that the world is intelligible and can be understood through physicalism. That's how they come to identifying physical laws in a physical universe, and take the view that humans can understand the universe, right? — Tom Storm

    I'm not sure you can demonstrate the validity of a metaphysical presumption by looking at what scientists do. That just seems like sneaking an appeal to authority through the backdoor. At most you can say "this metaphysical framework seems to be helpful". But is that a metaphysical statement? An epistemological one?

    Also, do you really need to have any metaphysical commitments in order to conduct scientific research? Can't you just smash some atoms together and see what happens?

    To really grasp the nature of metaphysics and its role in our lives is to realize that , when it comes down to it, science also is nothing but a bunch of folk sharing just-so stories after smoking a crack pipeJoshs

    When they're explaining their theories, sure. But they're also comparing their just-so stories with each other and providing experiments which support the stories in a way which is very appealing to the critical mind. Do metaphysicians have anything comparable?
  • Why Metaphysics Is Legitimate
    The reference to Plato was merely an example of how I tend to disregard metaphysics even when dealing with philosopher who have quite a bit to say about it.

    Science rests on a metaphysics - the notion that the world is intelligible and can be understood through physicalism - or something like that. — Tom Storm

    My problem is, essentially: how on earth could we even come close to demonstrating that this is the case? Why should I take this metaphysical speculation seriously?
  • Why Metaphysics Is Legitimate
    I don't think all philosophy constitutes a 'system', so even if your sentence is correct it still leaves me a lot of things to think about. Besides which, even though I don't like or care about Plato's metaphysics he still left a lot of non-metaphysical questions. Let's agree that I have a problem with a lot of philosophy.
  • Why Metaphysics Is Legitimate
    A confession: metaphysics has always seemed to me like a bunch of men sharing just-so stories after smoking a crack pipe.

    I'll admit the problem is probably with me rather than metaphysicians, but for the life of me it's the only major branch of philosophy I just can't seem to find interesting.
  • eudaimonia - extending its application
    The concept you are looking for is less likely to be a Greek word and more likely to be something derived from the many indigenous groups across the world who practice custodianship of the land. It's a key aspect of the traditional culture of many groups here in Australia...
  • Bannings
    Exactly. If @Baden and Co had worked a bit harder, maybe @Streetlight wouldn't have bitten the dust. — Changeling

    I assume this is irony, but I'm not sure where I suggested that the mods are not hard-working. I'm simply pointing out a technological mechanism which exists on Facebook which doesn't exist here. If the mods don't want it, fine by me. Just thought I'd mention it.
  • Bannings
    I was being slightly tongue in cheek with my suggestion, but on a more serious note I know that in Facebook groups, moderators have an option to turn off autoposting for certain members' contributions - this means that all that member's posts have to be confirmed by a mod before being published. I know it sounds like a hassle, but if possible maybe it's a useful 'purgatory' option to have along with our existing heaven and hell?
  • Bannings
    I very rarely post on this website, and prefer to remain a reader most of the time. However, for what it's worth I found that for every post Street made that was interesting and worth reading, there were about 5 which had little to no substance other than to berate and belittle his opponents. This sort of thing isn't important for "preserving decorum" (an aspect Street himself would scoff at, and fair enough), it's important because it actually puts other people off contributing. Including me. I will miss his substantive posts, can't we just bring him back and force all his posts through to mod approval while deleting all the hyperbolic aggressive sanctimonious bullshit?
  • How May Nietzsche's Idea of 'Superman' Be Understood ?

    What your link doesn't mention is that most of these 'contributions' are in fact barely concealed ripoffs of Albert King. Which is ironic given his (later?) racism. As a guitar teacher I am growingly aware that younger generations can sometimes be into Cream (which IMO was a great band), but none are really into solo Clapton. It's boring dad rock to them.
  • Music and Mind
    I don't deny that people have different (subjective?) experiences of music, I just think that music can also be described more or less objectively, and that there is therefore an objective basis for what we focus our attention on.
  • Music and Mind
    How you listen to music is often a matter of attention rather than subjectivity. Good music teachers can direct your attention to things which enable you to hear music in a different way. But this is not quite the same as subjectivity, anymore than an engineer showing you the principles of bridge construction means those principles are subjective just because you didn't previously pay attention to those principles.
  • Music and Mind
    Some impressions from someone who still regrettably sees themselves as a musician:

    1) The so-called subjectivity of music is overblown. Yes, everybody *likes* different music, but that doesn't mean they hear different things. Even across musical cultures, certain musical effects seem to rear themselves up again and again. Especially among musicians (who are not an elite but have merely spent more time paying attention to the relevant details), attitudes towards certain kinds of music or certain kinds of musical ideas tend to be quite prevalent. You can play a group of music students some pretty weird stuff far beyond their comfort zone, but if they're patient they will usually come to appreciate certain things going on in the music, and they will often agree in their assessments. There is, in fact, a universal aspect to music, as much as this troubles the strident post-modernist. And why shouldn't there be a universal aspect? It's just frequencies and rhythms anyone with a functioning set of ears can hear. Scales and chords are just pitches with mathematical relationships. Rhythms too in fact.

    2) The tendency for people to forge their tastes around music they listened to in their childhood and teens is particularly true of popular music, but I'm not sure this actually used to be a thing before the mass commercialisation of music. Of course nostalgia can be part of appreciation, but there is nothing stopping someone from discovering new musical styles later in life. The main problem as I see it is that they have to fight not just nostalgia but also the entire weight of the music industry, which is designed to feed them more of what they already know, and to tie music to a brand or image. It's very difficult to discuss 'the metaphysics of music' in an environment like ours which saturates music with extra-musical artefacts, particularly in the visual department. Music moves us, but it also moves us to build a world around it, to explain, to eff the ineffable. And so we end up doing a lot of dancing about architecture, to paraphrase Miles Davis.
  • Never been crazy in love?
    Let's be honest: love is for poets, not philosophers. One more reason I'm not a philosopher...
  • Rittenhouse verdict
    1. It seems fairly obvious (to this non-American, at least) that verdicts like this one are an inevitable byproduct of a society which has normalised both the carrying of guns and the ideology that the right to guns for self-defence is inalienable. I mean the constitution literally talks about the need for militias. So why surprise when a 17 year old wants to playact being in a militia and ends up shooting people?

    2. Less obvious and perhaps more technical is that the prosecution didn't have to go after a murder charge here and could conceivably have pinned Rittenhouse on a lesser offence. Once witness testimony began to poke big holes in the prosecution's case, there was too much doubt to convict. Prosecutors overcharged and underproved.

    Of course people are upset. No justice has been done. But who expects justice in the USA?
  • Why Black-on-Black Crime isn't a Racist Deflection.
    Incendiary Art

    The city’s streets are densely shelved with rows
    of salt and packaged hair. Intent on air,
    the funk of crave and function comes to blows

    with any smell that isn’t oil—the blare
    of storefront chicken settles on the skin
    and mango spritzing drips from razored hair.

    The corner chefs cube pork, decide again
    on cayenne, fry in grease that’s glopped with dust.
    The sizzle of the feast adds to the din

    of children, strutting slant, their wanderlust
    and cussing, plus the loud and tactless hiss
    of dogged hustlers bellowing past gusts

    of peppered breeze, that fatty, fragrant bliss
    in skillets. All our rampant hunger tricks
    us into thinking we can dare dismiss

    the thing men do to boulevards, the wicks
    their bodies be. A city, strapped for art,
    delights in torching them—at first for kicks,

    to waltz to whirling sparks, but soon those hearts
    thud thinner, whittled by the chomp of heat.
    Outlined in chalk, men blacken, curl apart.

    Their blindly rising fume is bittersweet,
    although reversals in the air could fool
    us into thinking they weren’t meant as meat.

    Our sons don’t burn their cities as a rule,
    born, as they are, up to their necks in fuel.

    -Patricia Smith
  • Crypto-Currency, Robotics & Marx: First Impressions
    Capital long ago adapted by "pricing-in" (in it's post-1948 financializing models) the "antithesis" of Labor that's institutionally reproduced by Capital's strategic exploitation of Labor. — 180 Proof

    Any recommended historical reading about Bretton Woods etc. which argues something along these lines?
  • Deep Songs

    Gilberto Gil

    Se oriente, rapaz
    Pela constelação do Cruzeiro do Sul
    Se oriente, rapaz
    Pela constatação de que a aranha
    Vive do que tece
    Vê se não se esquece
    Pela simples razão de que tudo merece

    Considere, rapaz
    A possibilidade de ir pro Japão
    Num cargueiro do Lloyd lavando o porão
    Pela curiosidade de ver
    Onde o sol se esconde
    Vê se compreende
    Pela simples razão de que tudo depende
    De determinação

    Determine, rapaz
    Onde vai ser seu curso de pós-graduação
    Se oriente, rapaz
    Pela rotação da Terra em torno do Sol
    Sorridente, rapaz
    Pela continuidade do sonho de Adão


    Orient yourself, young man
    To the constellation of the Southern Cross
    Orient yourself, young man
    In the knowledge that the spider
    Lives on what he weaves
    Make sure you don't forget
    For the simple reason that everything deserves

    Consider, young man
    The possibility of going to Japan
    In a Lloyd cargo ship cleaning the hold
    Out of curiosity of seeing
    Where the sun hides
    See if you understand
    For the simple reason that everything depends
    On determination

    Determine, young man
    Where your postgrad course will be
    Orient yourself, young man
    To the earth's rotation around the sun
    Smiling, young man
    In the continuation of Adam's dream
  • Anti-vaccination: Is it right?
    Ah ok I hadn't seen that useful Wiki page. Nevertheless the same page reveals that Switzerland and Australia have fully approved Pfizer. They're developed countries aren't they?
  • What are you listening to right now?
    Still the greatest unadorned album ever recorded. The only of my favourites which I knew upon first listen, at age 15, that I would be listening to it for the rest of my life.
  • What evidence of an afterlife would satisfy most skeptics?
    I'm not sure why the hangup on semantics and grammar given that you've already pointed out that there is an actual non-semantic possibility here. Nor is anyone forcing you to take anything seriously. But you seem to have a view of what consciousness is - "it is a product of a process of self-relation that enables situating oneself in an environment so as to act within it" - so why not encourage experiments to find out if this is the case, and if it isn't the case, investigate whether it might be something else, something that could potentially survive the body? That doesn't seem to me to be on the level of Bob Marley's cow theories, nor of mistakes of grammar (which, by the way, are mutually exclusive problems). You seem to be positing a hypothesis - it's a hypothesis I think is very plausible - but then saying that anything which falls outside this hypothesis is ipso facto nonsensical and therefore no interesting scientific discoveries can be made without this hypothesis. In other words, you seem very wedded to a certain paradigm, but you haven't yet made clear (to me at least) why yours is the only possible paradigm. I'm sure if you were feeling creative or generous enough you yourself could come up with 5 more schema to explain consciousness in ways which were neither stupid nor ridiculous nor 'accidents of grammar'...

    Having said that, I'll take some time off to read the article more closely, and think some more about induced OBEs.
  • What evidence of an afterlife would satisfy most skeptics?
    Sure, but the latter part of my post was pondering why we should need philosophy to conduct scientific experiments in the first place? Children playing with dragons is much more in the spirit of discovery than thinking through principles, which historically seem to be quite subject to revision or even falsification.
  • What evidence of an afterlife would satisfy most skeptics?
    Is consciosuness the kind of thing that can be reified like this? Because as far as we know, consciousness is consciousness-of: it is a product of a process of self-relation that enables situating oneself in an environment so as to act within it.StreetlightX

    One of the interesting things about consciousness, though, is that its situating of 'itself' can be anything other than straightforward. The body transfer illusion shows that consciousness can be 'expanded' to include objects outside the body. Out-of-body experiences show that consciousness, or at least some version of it, can be felt to exist outside the body. Now as far as we know, switching off the body (dying) disables all of the above possibilities. But seeing as we can't talk to the dead, we cannot confirm this. We cannot observe consciousness, we can only observe actions associated with consciousness (For instance, you cannot really 'observe' the body transfer illusion, you have to communicate to confirm it). it is (again, logically) conceivable that upon death the consciousness continues to float without the body as in a OBE, latches onto some phantom limb, etc... with the original body remaining mute and thus unable to clarify the 'experience' of the consciousness. A strict assessment of what we know and don't know should probably consider this at least a possibility. It's not a good scientific theory in that it does not explain physical phenomena in the simplest means possible - in fact it doesn't explain anything. But it's a possibility which future scientists might be able to confirm or deny should they wish to explore experiments with consciousness further. (and no, I don't just mean taking shrooms, although why not, scientists gotta get loose once in a while too...) Schemas and concepts are fine, but they're no substitute for trying stuff out.
  • What evidence of an afterlife would satisfy most skeptics?

    As well as the concept of 'disembodied life', @Saphsin also raises the prospect of what we might call newly-embodied life. A believer in afterlife doesn't have to believe in disembodied consciousness, they might conceivably believe that upon death, all your consciousness gets 'uploaded' to the matrix and placed in a new body for you in your 'afterlife'. Of course for your consciousness to be able to do this it needs to be able to be separated from your body, but one can imagine some logically possible system where consciousness needs a body to function, but can still be transferred without a body, in the same way that software needs an operating system to be executable, but the code can still be copied. Is this a completely scientifically illiterate stretch? Probably, but my very boring point is merely that such a state of affairs is logically possible.
  • What evidence of an afterlife would satisfy most skeptics?
    Seems a bit nitpicky. Replace 'life' with 'consciousness' - 'Is there individual consciousness after death?' seems like a pretty coherent question. Unless you believe the concept of individual consciousness is incoherent or fuzzy, but surely then it'd be up to you to make that case.
  • Is it possible to measure oppression?
    Such as a value scale for statements like "have been looked down upon", "have been treated as inferior", etc. and then validate with "my life is close to ideal" to examine discriminant validity.Benkei
    Murderers are historically looked down upon and treated as inferior, and surely their lives are far from ideal. So an oppressed category of people?

    oppression is socioeconomic inequality forced by stronger communities on weaker communities that does not benefit the weaker communities.180 Proof

    The obvious questions this raises: and how do you measure which is the strong and which the weak? Is there always a strong and a weak? Is political reality a zero-sum game? Even if a strong and a weak, what happens when the roles swap over time - does oppression then change hands as well? What is the ultimate source of this strong attacking the weak?

    But sure, there are aspects in which one can be subject to oppression more than others. Like if a person were black, Jewish and gay simultaneously, then such a person would likely be subject to more oppression than if that person were "only" gay, at certain periods and countries in human history.Manuel

    So oppression affects individuals as well as groups. This would seem to make measuring it more complicated, because the particular individual could be less oppressed than the group they represent - in which case what does the group represent? A moving average?

    Complete oppression would mean no political or economic resources, which could be observed in slavery.Judaka

    Ok, but consider: you can be a well-fed slave or a slave who is being starved and tortured. Are these two slaves facing the same level of oppression? Or put another way: is oppression based on the lack of potential good, or the existence of actual bad?
  • Israel killing civilians in Gaza and the West Bank
    For Palestine and Israel to negotiate a settlement based on the 1967 borders, the territorial rights that are currently written in international law. International law isn't the end be all, but it provides a legal mechanism for enforcement that the international community can agree upon. And it has to be done sincerely unlike the Oslo accords, the Palestinians need control of their own territory, they need their own country. That's the minimum requirement that needs to be done for Palestinians to survive strangulation, and the most that can be done in the short term in my opinion. — Saphsin

    You say that this would be a difficult proposal, I'm just wondering what you make of the failures not just of Oslo but also Camp David and Taba? It seems that these negotiations were deeply unpopular with both Palestinians and Israelis.
  • Israel killing civilians in Gaza and the West Bank
    he/they must completely dismantle the entire state-apparatus of oppression now... [and] should begin by giving up its own policies of state-terrorism and military-economic support for client/proxy-terrorism — 180Proof

    I understand what you're saying but it would probably help for clarity to explain exactly what you think this means in practical policy terms... I assume you mean dismantling all settlements over the Green Line, ending occupation and bombing campaigns, that sort of thing?

    Apologies for the late reply, have been away. (and in all honesty somewhat trepid about getting myself involved in a 28 page Israel thread...)
  • Israel killing civilians in Gaza and the West Bank
    Who in this thread has actually visited Israel and Palestine?Tzeentch

    I visited Jerusalem, including East Jerusalem, in early 2019. Why relevant?
  • Israel killing civilians in Gaza and the West Bank
    A question for everyone here:

    a) What sort of political realities or solutions would you like to see in Israel/Palestine?

    b) How likely is your imagined solution?
  • On the transcendental ego
    Why are you quoting German words as if they are wicked? — Gregory

    German words are wicked. Have you ever tried to decline German adjectives before?
  • Midgley vs Dawkins, Nietzsche, Hobbes, Mackie, Rand, Singer...

    I still don't follow. If genes behave 'as if' they had self-interest (that is, only metaphorically speaking), why would this have any bearing on our behaviour or our need to teach altruism?

    It's as if Dawkins had said:

    "All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players. Let us therefore try to teach theatre-relevant occupational health and safety, in case a fire breaks out."
  • Midgley vs Dawkins, Nietzsche, Hobbes, Mackie, Rand, Singer...
    To all of those who insist that Dawkins is being metaphorical all along, how are we to make sense of this line?

    Let us try to teach generosity and altruism, because we are born selfish.

    If this is a metaphor I don't understand it.
  • TPF Grand jury on Donald Trump et al.
    I watched the video, and aside from being boring it also did not address the question of risk, nor the relative risk of this outbreak compared to other viruses. Law is a question of interpretation as well as fact. So I'll ask you again, directly: how much risk is sufficient to warrant a claim of negligent homicide or second degree murder? Is it a 10% fatality rate? A 1% fatality rate? 0.0001%? That is the crux of the matter.
  • Martin Luther (1483 – 1546)
    I've often wondered why sci-fi assassination conceits always involve Hitler. Much more would be gained if you went back in time to kill Luther. This would spare you at least the worst elements of the Thirty Years War, Hegel, Marxism, WWI and WWII including Hitler, plus evangelical religion including the pernicious influence of US pentecostalism, all in one fell swoop. You could even keep a Protestant reformation, just lead by someone who wasn't an utter nutcase (although you'd probably have to assassinate Calvin too).
  • TPF Grand jury on Donald Trump et al.

    Do me a favour. You made a claim, I countered your claim with a specific question about risk and what is deemed to be sufficient risk to establish a crime. You've so far evaded this question twice with snotty 'do the research' responses. This is a philosophy forum. If you want to debate your position, then debate it.
  • TPF Grand jury on Donald Trump et al.
    The relevant element though is 'awareness of risk': how much risk? No human action is without risk, so essentially we are assessing which degree of risk warrants a criminal charge. This is why I raised the point about influenza.