• Suicide by Mod
    Interesting point. So I taught high school for a few years and would run across students with behavior issues. What shocked me at first is after they were warned, they would misbehave MORE. After a while, I realized it was a dominance thing. They just didn't like being told what to do, or how to behave.

    That's why the ban hammer is needed. Its why you have punishments for students that eventually result in expulsion. Because there are some people who will fight until you utterly defeat them. To normal people, its a weird hill to stand on. But for them? It seems to be the only way they know how to function.
  • History of Fifteen Centuries
    Rafaella, this isn't really a philosophy topic, but an opinion on history. Can you go back and try to make this something we could discuss? Otherwise this read like a rant, or preaching. Something we try to avoid here.
  • Understanding the New Left
    Rafealla, is this really philosophy, or an opinion on politics? Philosophy is about freedom of thought. To take assumptions, and question and critically examine them. I find this is politics, which is often times preaching. Perhaps you can salvage something out of this by taking a part and asking a question out of it. Maybe examining some pros and cons.

    The open persecution that big media and internet companies move towards Christian and conservative publications is the integral and definitive proof that the left has already lost all legitimacy as a spokesman for the poor and oppressed and has become the instrument of psychosocial control with which the elite enslaves the herd mentality.Rafaella Leon

    This is an accusation without examination, and could likely be a topic on its own. You can see others here are not really taking your topic seriously, because it isn't an invitation to discuss, but a rant. And its ok to make that mistake. See if you can salvage it into a topic worth discussing?
  • A poll on the forum's political biases
    Do you really think that's how this went down? You asked for evidence and I got upset that you asked for it?Judaka


    Whatever, have it your way, I'm not continuing this.Judaka

    Its a shame we got off on the wrong foot. I'm sure we'll have a better conversation another day.
  • A poll on the forum's political biases

    Ok, I thought you had mentioned you weren't interested in debating this, and tried to end this on a friendly note. You are seeing attacks where there are none. This is exactly my point as to why you don't bring political affiliation to these boards. People get WAY too defensive, and see issues where there is none.

    Yes, I may be biased. Yes, my experience might be skewed. Yes, our definitions of left/right may differ. All of this goes without saying. If you had decided exactly what it was you wanted, which now seems to be, proof of my claim that the forum is dominated by the left, then I might have been able to provide it.Judaka

    That was my entire point. I felt you were claiming these forums are leftist without qualifications.

    I can think of several ways to go about it but they're all a lot of work. We can just agree to disagree as previously arranged but your comment here is unfair and so I had to respond, I'm not accepting the "sorry I asked you to back up your claims" or whatever.Judaka

    Ok. Lets just agree then. There is nothing wrong with stating an opinion but nothing wrong with me asking to back your opinion. If you are not interested in doing so, I do not see that as unfair. I would hope you would not take offense at my initial request to back up that opinion. We debate and challenge other people's opinions all the time, its not personal.
  • A poll on the forum's political biases
    I don't really think you have grounds for any of these suspicions but the fact that you've gone for all of them in a matter of 3 posts signals to me that you are pretty intent on discrediting me for whatever reason. Don't you think you've already reached your conclusion and you're just saying whatever you can right now?Judaka

    No, I'm honestly just pointing out observations of potential flaws in your claim. I am quite prepared to learn something and change my mind. But, I don't think you've leant any credence to your claim, then what you have already decided.

    I am not particularly interested in debating whether the forum is dominated by the left or not.Judaka

    And that is fine. Just don't take offense when I ask you to back that up on a philosophy board. =P I had no malicious intent to discredit you, just a disagreement of outlook, and to see if you could give evidence of your outlook.

    Happy to just agree to disagree, by the way.Judaka

    Same, no hard feelings or personal attack intended.
  • Metaethics and moral realism
    I assumed you were taking the opposite position so I was questioning that. What is your position then?khaled

    Too long of a topic that should have its own thread so as to not derail the OPs! It is several pages long, and my attempts to post long posts here have often resulted in people who do not take it seriously. Feel free to check my post if you are interested in discussing an objective look at knowledge. Just do me a favor and read the entire thing before opening a discussion. People can't seem to read past part 2, even when I tell them the solution to their questions is in part 3 and 4.
  • Metaethics and moral realism
    Ok. How do we come to access these fixed moral premises? Are there moral irrefutable commandments written on a rock somewhere or?khaled

    You misunderstand. I am not claiming evidence to these statements. They were an example for you to understand what a premise is, and that a premise needs evidence. I am asking you to explain why you have irrevocably proven that morality cannot have an objective basis. Take your premise, and present your logical argument which demonstrates why this must be true.

    How do we come to access these fixed moral premises? Are there moral irrefutable commandments written on a rock somewhere or?khaled

    These are simply questions. Not evidence, or logical thought. If you are to prove that fixed moral premises are impossible, you should have the answer to this question. As an example, think of someone stating in the 1600's, "It is impossible for humanity to figure out how to fly." There was no logical certainty or proof that humanity would never be able to fly. Only a question of, "Well if its not impossible, how do we do it?" A question that has not been answered yet is not a proven certainty that it has no answer.
  • Metaethics and moral realism
    That moral premises are not fixed. There is no universal moral premises. That moral realism is bullshit. Same thing.khaled

    These are all statements. But none of these statements are supported by logical evidence. As an example, I can state just the opposite.

    That moral premises are fixed. There are universal moral premises. That moral realism is sound. Same thing.

    As you can see above, these are just statements. Instantly, you should be asking, "But you must give an argument or proof in support of these statements!" The request I have made is for you to prove your statements as logically sound and irrefutable. Can you do it? If you can, then I concede. If you cannot, then you understand where I'm coming from in this discussion.
  • Metaethics and moral realism
    Any application of logic requires premises. I’m saying we cannot fix these premises. You’re saying we can. What I am saying is supported by observation that people find different things wrong. What do you say to support your position?khaled

    If you wish to have a serious discussion on this, that's fine. This, I greatly respect. If so, please state your premise clearly, then state the support of your premise. I do not want to summarize for you and put words or intentions you do not mean into your post. My statement is that there is no proof that it is impossible to create moral objectivism. If you disagree with this, supply your proof, and we will discuss.
  • Metaethics and moral realism
    And when and how will this happen? What would you take as “irrevocative proof”?khaled

    When it is logically shown that it must be the case that it is impossible. Proof by contradiction for example. There is no logical proof that such things are impossible. Just a bunch of arrogant thinkers who failed to conquer a challenge and come up with the excuse that "there's just no answer" to appease their wounded egos.
  • Metaethics and moral realism
    Usually it’s not “too hard” it’s “outright impossible”. Because we can’t fix a starting point.khaled

    No, you are incapable of fixing a starting point. That's on a person's inability to do something. To claim, "I can't do it, and several other people can't do it, so its impossible" smacks of an over-evaluation of one's and other people's abilities. There is nothing wrong in saying, "I and others can't figure it out". But until it has been irrevocably proven that such things are impossible, claiming it is impossible is the equivalent of giving up while claiming, "And its because I'm really smart, but I can't do it."
  • A poll on the forum's political biases
    Somewhat recently, I spent a lot of time debating white privilege and honestly, it was just left vs further left and I really think if this forum had a right-wing presence, they would show themselves in topics like that. Racism, economic inequality, pc-culture and so on, so, experience basically.Judaka

    You can be to the right and believe in racism, economic inequality, pc-culture, and white privilige. None of those pre-clude left or right thinking. Are you sure your "left versus further left" isn't just "right versus left"? You seem to be focusing on the extremists on the right, which are still a minority and do not capture what a healthy "right" perspective is. The vague responses here again seem to play into a self-perspective and not an objective perspective in assuming the majority on these forums are leftists.
  • A poll on the forum's political biases
    They act like soldiers on a battlefield.Judaka

    Certainly there are ideologues and ideologies here. But you seem to imply that this forum is dominated by leftist thinking. I'm not asking you to prove that certain posters are ideologues, there are ideologues in every forum. What I'm asking is why you believe the vast majority of posters here have a liberal viewpoint?
  • Metaethics and moral realism
    I have always viewed these types of arguments as, "Too hard for me to solve, so I guess they can't be objective or real." I've seen the same "I give up" arguments against knowledge as well. My honest emotional feelings? I despise these weak and tired arguments. If you find it to be too hard to solve, admit it and give up. I respect that. If you have the utter arrogance to think that because its to hard for you, that it JUST must be the case that its unsolvable, I lose massive respect for the person.
  • A poll on the forum's political biases
    I don't have an issue with the left-dominated forum but there are clear double standards in the moderation here.Judaka

    If you post a view which goes against leftist thinking, be prepared for not just debate but unmoderated ridicule and trolling.Judaka

    I disagree with this. If you post an idea here, it will often invite ridicule and trolling, irrelevant of perceived political leanings. I have a feeling you are seeing ideologies that aren't there. Can you give some specific examples of what you would consider "liberal" versus your particular "conservative" view points? I think this is the more important discussion to have.
  • I Think The Universe is Absurd. What Do You Think?
    Sure. In relation to things other than yourself, and those that might have any interest in you, you likely seem absurd.

    But what about to yourself? Do the things you do seem absurd? When you wake up and have a good day, is it nothing? When you have a bad day, is it nothing?

    At the end of the day, you are the one living your life. You find meaning or absurdity in what you do. Because the lesson you realized is it doesn't really matter to anyone else does it? Even if it somehow does, there's you living that life at the end of the day and having to experience it all.
  • A poll on the forum's political biases
    If the conversation is perceived as being between people, then removing screen names is obviously going to generate confusion, agreed. But if the conversation is perceived as being between ideas, then it doesn't matter who typed what, and screen names become unnecessary.Hippyhead

    I thought about this when you first mentioned it, but having an identity within a thread is needed beyond ego. Sometimes there are a few conversations between people within a thread, and knowing that a particular person understands the conversation is important. Further, this prevents duplicity, in which a malicious person can pretend to be the owner of a previous thought, when they are not. Imagine a person lying that was they previously posted was now wrong. Although I do like the idea of random names being assigned for you in every different thread you visit.

    But then, this is a philosophy forum and the job of a philosopher is to be inconvenient and unpopular. :-)Hippyhead

    Ha ha! I don't think that's really our job, though I get the joke. Sometimes good logic and thought makes us convenient and popular.

    I've been living in forum land for 20 years now, and it's amazing to me what an absolutely fixed rigid idea we have about forums. All forums on the Internet, every last one, absolutely have to be pretty much exactly the same in format, or everyone starts totally freaking out, yelling about crimes against humanity and so on.Hippyhead

    Yes, people adapt slowly to change. It also greatly simplifies implementation when you simply copy what has gone before. Very few people want to spend tons of work implementing something new, and find that they have to fight tooth and nail to get people to even try it.
  • Suggestions
    These are not bad suggestion Hippyhead, but it is a different model from what the forum is intended to be. Perhaps you should start your own philosophy forum with the ideas you have outlined? I mean this seriously and not as an insult. Fundamental differences in beliefs and the purpose of forums are why new one's are created all the time.
  • The Moral Argument
    P1: Everything that isn’t infinite must have a causeTheHedoMinimalist

    This is an assumption, not a proof. In fact, I've argued elsewhere that this is actually impossible. Any time you start with an unproven statement, it is open to these kinds of attacks. I don't think the cosmological argument is any better.
  • The self
    By "ethics" do you mean a choice in how you will live? If so, how do you handle the self in situations when choice is removed? Our genetic disposition for example.
  • A poll on the forum's political biases
    One way of removing the primary source of bias on philosophy forums, male ego, would be to remove all the screen names so that nobody can tell who said what.Hippyhead

    Ha ha! You know woman can have bias about people too Hippy? The problem of course with removing names would be the difficulty in tracking the conversation. There is an interesting idea though that whenever you entered into a thread, you were assigned a random name for that post. It would allow each thread to be a "fresh start". I try to do this in every thread I'm in. Who you are in one thread, does not necessitate who you are in another.

    Also, when publishing philosophy, there are certain journals that are "blind" to the name. This is to allow the very thing you propose. As this is a forum, we are not at such a professional level however, and I'm not sure it would sit well with people.

    So why remove political bias then? Because it is honestly a danger to free thought. Politics can get people to dig into issues, and feel threatened if they are challenged. Instead of thinking about them, they get emotional and put their own predictions straw men in the argument. I've seen it with religion too. I rarely tell people whether I'm religious or an atheist, because it seems to evoke the same biases thought process. People will ignore the argument, and put their own spin or opinion on something that isn't there.
  • A poll on the forum's political biases
    Someone else accused the forum of having a bias.Pfhorrest

    The answer to them should be that philosophy is about trying to remove bias. That sounds like he was trying to troll, or an excuse as to why everyone seemed to disagree with him. I think a better approach, is to see if he was genuine and ask him why he felt that way. What specifically was liberal, conservative, or whatever he thought the forum was. Examining why he thought an idea was political would do better then falling into a trap of thinking that we have to view each other as "political entities".

    We can listen to people's opinions without labeling them.
    You know that political philosophy is a thing, right? We cannot "listen to other's points and arguments, and logically think through them " about politics and at the same time be prohibited from using its terminology. Makes no sense.Kenosha Kid

    Yes, but this can be discussed without attempting to label the forum goers as being a particular political nature. When people come to this forum it should be about philosophy. Not, I'm a political X, and that shapes how I view philosophy. The first is freedom of thought, the second is constrained.

    There are many people who want to politicize things to use as a weapon, whether true or not. An attempt to defend or show the political nature of people here, only plays into that hand. The way to ensure this does not happen, is to remember what we are. Thinkers who are not bound by ideology, but seek to answer questions of a logical nature as free from bias as we can.
  • A poll on the forum's political biases

    I think this sends the wrong message. We are here to think. We are here to listen to other's points and arguments, and logically think through them. It is not about being conservative, liberal, or political in any way. Such things often get in the way of free thought, and become arguments of ego and ideology.

    I do not think things like this should be encouraged.
  • Imaginary proof of the soul
    Both worlds are materially identical by definition. However, they differ in who one *is* in this world. If I am person A or Z, I have the body and the memories of person A or Z, respectively.SolarWind

    If they are materially identical, then the being would be materially identical as well. The only difference is location.

    Look at it this way. I have two salt shakers that are materially identical in different worlds. Does that mean the salt shaker has a soul? No, it just means there is a clone in a different space.
  • The man who desires bad, but does good

    Look at it in terms of probabilities. A good man is trying to do good. While sometimes they may do evil, it is unintentional and therefore less likely. Further, if they realize they've done evil, a good man will correct it.

    Take the opposite view with an evil man. An evil person will attempt to do evil. While sometimes they may do good, it is unintentional and therefore less likely. Further, if they realize they've done good, an evil man will correct it.
  • Can aesthetics be objective?
    My apologies if this has already been covered, but have you heard of the Golden Ratio? It is a ratio of the distances between geometric objects that artists have used for thousands of years to make pleasing architecture and objects.

    What's interesting is its an irrational number, which means it technically can be approached, but not truly obtained.
  • Is purchasing factory farmed animal products ethical?

    It is not ethical for the workers to add more suffering to the animals than necessary. But that should be managed by the business. Incidents of particular employees acting unethically does not paint all people in the organization as wrong or unethical. Typically bringing these things to light puts pressure on business owners to fix their image.
    — Philosophim

    The aforesaid beatings and torture would not happen if people didn't pay for the animals products.

    Surely one should stop purchasing it, thus eliminating any suffering that was resulting from you doing so.
    Down The Rabbit Hole

    Sorry for the delay on the reply. Saying the purchase of animal products is the cause of animal abuse, is not a logical conclusion. People choose to purchase animal products, and workers can choose to do so humanely, or inhumanely.

    Its like saying money causes wars, so lets give up money. Its not money. Its how we choose to obtain it and use it that determines whether it is good or evil. Life is about the breakdown and consumption of other life. This is something we cannot avoid. People need/want meat and other animal products. We can advocate that this is done ethically. But because some choose to do so unethically, we should not purchase any products, even from those who do so humanely? That is not a proper conclusion.
  • The perfect question
    Not to detract from the excellent recommendations you make here - they both make sense and are not beyond reach of mere mortals like us - but that's precisely why they seem so not true; after all, given their simplicity (???), many people should be virtuoso practitioners of the methods you described and yet there's no one whom we may justifiably attribute wisdom to. Is it because these traits of a wise person you listed are not as easy to cultivate as we suppose they are? Or is it something else... :chin:?TheMadFool

    What a nice compliment! I must return a compliment that often enjoy your posts as they are questions very few people ask. I think you bring a life to these boards that it would not have if you were not here.

    As for why it is rare to encounter someone with wisdom...I believe that is because there is a difference in being told the road one should take, versus the action of actually walking it.

    A curious mind: You've been on these boards enough to know the closed minded individuals. They have found what they wanted, are tired of questioning, or are full of their own ego. How many times in the past have we done this ourselves?

    An honest heart: An honest heart will often show your beliefs to be wrong. An honest heart critically examines your own self and does not avoid the flaws it finds. How many of us truly like to admit we are wrong even to ourselves?

    An ear to other opinions: How many of us listen to only that which we want to hear? When another opinion repulses you, do we still have an ear open to understand it before judging or dismissing it?

    A rational viewpoint: Some are blessed with this as a potential, but this also takes years of dedication to cultivate. I believe our default is to rationalize, not be rational. It is difficult to break yourself of this and approach discussions with rationality.

    To become a master of these four traits, you must be tested. And if you are tested, you will fail many times. There might be people who laugh at you when you fall. That want you to stay down. That hate you for walking it. You may get help from others, but in the end, you must make the decision to follow such a path yourself.
  • The perfect question
    Another angle to the issue of wisdom, given that we define it as both good and true, how do we attain it?TheMadFool

    By keeping a curious mind, an honest heart, an ear to other opinions, and a rational viewpoint.
  • The perfect question
    "What is the answer to all possible questions?" There ya go. You answer that, there is no need for any other question.
  • Quantum Immortality without MWI?
    If we make the assumption that all possible versions of you are going to play out in the infinite multiverse, there are still a few things to consider.

    1. The body actually has a limited lifespan. Thus there will be an end eventually to your existence in the "last" universe when there is no other option than your death.

    2. "You" are not the other "You"s. There is only one of "You" that will get the lucky path of experiencing the entirety of your life. That you will not know the experiences of those that die. Thus we can also conclude that those that die, will not know the experiences of those that live.
  • A Probabilistic Answer To The Fundamental Question Of Metaphysics
    You might be interested in my post:

    You won't need the later part, just the first 6 points or so. It explores the idea of a first cause, and what that would logically entail. If it is necessarily the case that the origin of our universe was a first cause (this does not require a God) then there is an interesting idea in comparing all possible first causes with the idea of there never having been a first cause, or nothing.

    From that viewpoint, it would seem infinite to one that here would exist something, if you are looking at all possibilities as logically being just as likely to occur as another. I do not wish to derail your thread, so if you're curious, peek in there. If not, no harm, no foul.
  • Is purchasing factory farmed animal products ethical?
    It is not ethical for the workers to add more suffering to the animals than necessary. But that should be managed by the business. Incidents of particular employees acting unethically does not paint all people in the organization as wrong or unethical. Typically bringing these things to light puts pressure on business owners to fix their image.

    As for funding these businesses, that may depend on people's pocket books. Buying non-factory farmed is VERY expensive. I buy eggs that are supposedly chicken friendly with some free range time, adequate space, and good feed. I pay nearly double what I would for basic eggs. Fortunately, I can afford it. Earlier in my life or if I had not gained a better career? I would not have been able to.

    And regardless of my misgivings of undue suffering, I need to eat at the end of the day. Boycotting your food because you don't like how it was treated can be a hard thing if the alternative providers are twice as expensive.
    From that point of view, it is the most unavoidable activity. I am the witness to myself that nobody else is. So, how does that work as a limit to anything else?Valentinus

    Descartes idea was to then build from that starting point. If he could find a starting point that was irrefutable, then he could use that to build his philosophy.

    Descartes actually considers this. Its sometimes called "The Evil Demon" argument. Basically he questions whether everything he observers is falsified and put in front of him by an evil demon.

    For your radio analogy, Descartes did consider that something else was streaming things to him. But he had to be able to process it. The "I" is the radio doing the processing.

    Now if you're stating that the processing is also streamed, that the I is simply created elsewhere and streamed in to some processor, Descartes would still state the part that is thinking that it is a self, is the self. The "radio" receiving the processing would not be the self. Does that make sense?
  • A fun puzzle for the forums: The probability of God
    In fact, any event can be explained by an infinite variety of mundane causes, and an infinite variety of supernatural ones. And if your criteria is not mundane vs. supernatural but literally anything (i.e blue Ys vs any other colored Ys), you still get infinity on either side. Using this method, the probability is always 50%. Therefore, this method has zero predictive power, and discloses zero information about the world.

    The real flaw is, this is not how probabilities are calculated. You don't just enumerate the possibilities and count them, you need to assign weights to them. Merely enumerating possibilities tells you exactly nothing.

    Fantastic. You understand the flaw exactly. Well done! Because we are looking at the case of possibilities, and logically cannot assign any weight to one or another, the only thing we can do is enumerate possibilities, and come to the conclusion of infinity on either side.
  • The Nothing-Empty Set Paradox!

    I think you are not including all that is needed for this to make sense.

    13. A' = {x, y, N} should be written as A' = {v', w', N} because the negation of A, is the negation of v and w, with the inclusion of N. Point 14 would need the same adjustment. The negation of A does not mean the inclusion of B in logic. To do this, you would need to include steps that include the universal set as well in your equation, which you do not.

    The compliment to A' would then be retranslated as A = {v, w, N'}. Same with B.

    So with the adjustements of 13 and 14, that leaves 15 still correct, that the negation of both A and B includes N.

    But, if you are unifying A and B, then you would get {v, w, x, y, N' }

    If you negate both A and B, this translates to
    {v, w, x, y, N'}' = {v', w', x', y', N} without any paradox to my mind.
  • A fun puzzle for the forums: The probability of God

    I believe we are talking past each other at this point Tim Wood. You seem to be addressing things that are irrelevant to the puzzle at hand. The first part of the puzzle is me stating, "Either everything has a prior cause, or there are things that do not have a prior cause," and assessing the logical conclusion of what would result if a thing did not have a prior cause.

    My point was that if you do not believe there is causality, then you should be at least examining my logical claims of what it would be like for something to not have causality. The point I was making is that doing away with causality, does not negate the points I make when I state that is something that is uncaused. Do you agree or disagree with the logic that I have put forward about an uncaused thing?

    I do not ask to convince you. I can tell you are not interested in such things. You also seem highly reluctant because I believe you think this is some theist trap to get you to agree there is a God. It is not. I want to see if I can poke a hole in my own argument. The joy of philosophy for me is not poking holes into other's arguments, but my own at this point.

    So please if you will. You may carry on with whatever you believe. I do not care. But please try to address the points I am making and poke holes in them. The main point I am very interested in seeing a challenge to, is my claimed logical consequences of a thing that has no cause for its being besides the fact of its own existence. If you are not addressing that, you really aren't addressing the point of the argument.
  • A fun puzzle for the forums: The probability of God
    Quantum mechanics shows that events at the sub-atomic level are random and "un-caused". These "un-caused" events behave in a statistically predictable pattern, but each event has no prior "cause".EricH

    Interesting. I would think the more correct claim is, "We cannot currently find an underlying cause, therefore, there may not be any." Which is perfectly fine.

    At best, the notion that everything has a "prior cause" is a hypothesis that needs to be proven.EricH

    But not for my purposes here. The point that I put forth is that everything has a prior cause, or there are things that do not have a prior cause. I then examine the logic of what it would be like for something to not have a prior cause.