Comments

  • Bannings
    Absolute power corrupts absolutely...but amusingly.
  • Bannings
    The whole notion of banning and censorship here evokes that imposed upon philosophers from the earliest times. The Enlightenment was nothing more than an attempt by philosophers to protect themselves; to elevate them in the eyes of ordinary men by making all men reasonable, and therefore appreciative of reason; to remove the people’s dogma and prejudice and replace it with “the scientific method”; to wrest control away from whimsical tyrants; to retreat to respectable academies and universities where they could be left alone to think freely...

    ...what the Enlighteners did not envision was that philosophy herself would, through this process, become a prejudice. Now everyone has their own personal “philosophy”, and it’s almost always just some version of what is popularly held to be true. Extending reason to the people has not resulted in elevating the people, making them more reasonable and removing their prejudices; it has instead merely replaced their old prejudices with new ones—ones as equally opposed to true philosophy as the old ones were...

    ...in ancient times it was a prejudice that women were inferior to men; in modern times it is a prejudice that they are equal.
  • Bannings
    You don't get to be a Diogenes just because you masturbated in the marketplace.Baden

    No, but you can be Pilate...as long as you wash the blood off your hands.
  • Bannings
    Indeed, but a question was not asked. On the contrary, equality was ruled out absolutely. Thus it was the love of received dogma and prejudice, not the love of wisdom, that was censured.unenlightened

    Are you saying that the expression of dogma and prejudice is not allowed in this forum? that if Zwingli had instead said, “I’m an unrepentant animal hater. The concept that a beast is equal to a human being is absolutely ludicrous,” he would have been banned?
  • Bannings
    I've been on plenty of sites "unfettered by rules." Not much reason going on.T Clark

    So the fact that philosophers and certain web-browsers are both unfettered by rules makes them equal?
  • Bannings
    They're just told they are not welcome in our houseT Clark

    That pretty much sums up what I’m saying.

    Philosophy is never welcome in any “house”, for houses always have rules, and philosophy is unfettered by rules.
  • Bannings
    In debating this most recent banning, this forum should consider what philosophy is, since this is a philosophy forum.

    One of the most salient characteristics of philosophy since its inception in Ancient Greece was the banishment and putting-to-death of its adherents. These persecutions of the philosophers were based upon their perceived transgressions of the community’s laws. For example, Socrates was condemned to death by a jury of his peers for corrupting the youth by teaching the existence of gods other than those sanctioned by Athens.

    Now, we don’t persecute ppl anymore—at least in the “free” world—for believing in and espousing the wrong god, and that is a good thing for philosophy; but we do persecute them for other transgressions, ones peculiar to our day and time. Every society, in all places and times, has its forbidden topics. In Ancient Greece you couldn’t talk about the possibility of gods other than Zeus or Hera, etc; in modern liberal democracies you can talk about any god you will. In ancient societies it was a given that women and men are unequal (and it was surely scandalous when Plato, in his Republic, suggested that women ought to serve in the military); in the modern dispensation, that possibility is anathema to thought, and you could lose your status in society, or your job, by giving it voice.

    The speech that the rulers of this “philosophy” forum have deemed to be forbidden is the same speech that is censured by liberal society throughout the world: anything “sexist, racist or homophobic.” Speech has not been given freedom: the reins that restrict it have just been changed. Is it obvious that women and men are equal? Is it patently clear that there is no essential difference between the races? Is the acceptance of homosexuality good for society? Should ppl be allowed to alter the genders they were born with? We may never know the answers to such questions, for we are prevented by means of threats from even asking them.

    Philosophy is the UNFETTERED love of wisdom, and that means asking ANY question, however forbidden it be. Socrates wasn’t prevented by Athens from pursuing philosophy, nor are we by Modernity. The advantage we have over the ancients is that whereas we may be kicked out of a forum or lose our job, they could be banished from their country or put to death; the disadvantage to us is that we lack the full diversity of phenomena that they had access to.
  • Is life amongst humanity equal?
    @john27

    Neither have I, and I think I’m too old to ever dare do so—unless it were a party of octogenarian women who had been drinking heavily...

    ...but on to a question more pertinent to our discussion: when I train my telescope toward the heavens and perceive two stars in its field of vision, is it the telescope that counts those stars as two?
  • Is life amongst humanity equal?
    @john27

    Have you ever gone to a party entirely nude?
  • Is life amongst humanity equal?
    I'd say that our mode of natural perception; the eyes, could very well perceive a set of things.john27

    What about a blind man: is he unable to “perceive a set of things”?
  • Is life amongst humanity equal?
    @john27

    Of course! By means of the telescope.

    Now, let me ask you: by what instrument do we perceive two?
  • Is life amongst humanity equal?
    @john27

    Sorry, John: I am sloppy tonight. My belly is bloated with Thanksgiving dinner, and it oppresseth my mind. Let me ask my question again: with what instrument do we perceive celestial bodies too distant to be seen by the unaided eye?
  • Is life amongst humanity equal?
    @john27

    Sorry: I forgot to prompt you in the previous post.
  • Is life amongst humanity equal?
    And with what instrument do perceive celestial bodies too small to be seen by the unaided eye?
  • Is life amongst humanity equal?
    @john27

    Isn’t it by means of the microscope?
  • Is life amongst humanity equal?
    @john27

    With what tool do we perceive a microorganism?
  • Is life amongst humanity equal?
    @john27

    You are the most agreeable person I think I have ever met in this forum, John...

    ...but let me ask you this: do you believe that there are certain concepts that exist? and I don’t mean things like the dragon of your previous analogy, but rather things like “the good” and “the better”, “the more” and “the most”; “the large” and “the small”, etc. Do you think these sorts of things exist and are real and detectable, or do you think they rather don’t exist, are not real and are undetectable?
  • Is life amongst humanity equal?
    @john27

    So, the mathematics that allows us to know that there is a center of the universe—would you agree that it is not a different mode of detection, because, theoretically, we could stand at the universe’s center, and perceive by means of physical instruments that everything else lies apart from us —even though we could never practically do this?
  • Is life amongst humanity equal?
    @john27

    Would you say then that there is a means of detection that is different from the either aided or unaided sensory sort of detection?
  • Is life amongst humanity equal?
    @john27

    So for example, though it is scarcely conceivable that anyone could ever journey to the center of the earth, or even send a probe there, we know that its center exists, and is detectable, even though we cannot detect it.
  • Is life amongst humanity equal?
    @john27

    By “”naturally” I suppose you mean directly by means of our unaided senses of sight and hearing etc., but I didn’t mean that when I said detectable; I meant rather to include any means of detection, including echo location, the microscope, telescope, and any other means that is artificial, ie., aided by man-made instruments.

    Including these sorts of aids in detection, would you agree that what exists and is real is detectable, and what doesn’t exist and is not real is undetectable?
  • Is life amongst humanity equal?
    @john27

    Then what is real exists and what exists is real.

    Can we go further and say that what exists and is real is detectable, and that what does not exist and is not real is undetectable?
  • Is life amongst humanity equal?
    @john27

    Since you appear to assert that the dragon you imagine does not exist, and that its image in your mind does exist, are you willing to withdraw your objection to

    anything that exists is real,Leghorn

    since it is clear that the image of the dragon is real and exists, while the dragon itself is not real and does not exist?
  • Is life amongst humanity equal?
    I would disagree solely on the point that assumes that anything that exists is "real", per say. For example, knowing that dragons don't exist, I create an image of a dragon in my mind. That image exists; so would the dragon exist?john27

    Do you say then that the image of something is the same thing as what it is an image of? In your example, is the image of the dragon the same thing as the dragon itself?
  • Is life amongst humanity equal?
    @john27

    Would you agree that whatever is real exists, and that whatever is not real does not exist, and that, similarly, anything that exists is real, and anything that does not exist is not real?
  • Is life amongst humanity equal?
    I guess the main question to our discussion would be to assess whether the soul is truly different from the body.
    14h
    john27

    I agree.

    Having read your posts in this thread I can see that you are a materialist, and by that term I mean that you are are a reductionist: you want or tend to reduce all phenomena to what is physical or material. That this is an error on your part, or on the part of anyone else so inclined, I will attempt to prove...

    ...and I was about to embark on a diatribe proving that immaterial things are real, but I checked myself; and I hesitated because I realized that I had often done so before in this forum without persuasion, that I have always failed to persuade by such means. This led me to consider a different approach: if you are willing, I would like to question you Socratically, ie, through what is called dialectic.

    In dialectic there are two ppl, a questioner and an answerer. They needn’t remain the same throughout the dialectic: sometimes the questioner invites the answerer to ask the questions, and sometimes the answerer demands to become the questioner. Likewise, sometimes the questioner demands that the answerer ask him questions, or the answerer declines to answer any further questions. In other words, they can switch roles at any point as long as both agree to do so.

    If you are willing to engage in such a dialectic with me, I will ask you a question to initiate it. There are no “rules” to the game, just the “honor system”: yes-or-no questions should be answered with a “yes” or “no”; if the answerer thinks “yes” or “no” is insufficient to answer the question, then his answer should be as short as possible in explanation of that caveat...

    ...are you willing then to engage in a dialectic with me on the topic of whether the soul is different from the body?
  • Is life amongst humanity equal?
    Ethics should be based on physical stimulus. because we are constrained by the practicality of our human shellsjohn27

    The “human shells” you speak of are our bodies, within which our souls abide, and it is the latter, not the former, that ethics or morality is concerned with.

    We are not constrained by the needs of our bodies. We frequently neglect those needs in order to effect a good greater than that dictated by “physical stimulus”. Tell me how it is “practical” that a soldier go off to war to defend his country and place his physical self in danger? Maybe he can expect, if he survives the war, to get free lunches on Veterans Day, and free hearing aids through the VA, but do you think he is calculating all this when he signs his name on the bottom line?

    As far as the distinction you make between Left and Right politically, that the former’s policy is based on the common currency of the “human shell”, ie, the body, and the latter upon the extra-human potential, I would agree with you. It is clear that not all ppl are created equal, despite Jefferson’s edict.

    And this, I think, is the distinction b/w right- and left-wing politics in our day, whether they pertain to the body or to the soul...

    ..,I leave this for you to ponder and consider, and, perhaps, respond to.
  • The Right to Die
    All of the dead are equal through their death.Paine

    I would say rather that the dead are unequal according to how they died.

    Would you equate the death of a citizen who died in a mudslide with one who died on the battlefield in defense of his fatherland? Yes, two corpses lie equally exanamite at a funeral, but they got there through very different routes.

    And it is not only in the eyes of the living that they gained or lost honor, but in their own, when they succumbed to death. I suppose the one suddenly taken away by chance mishap had no opportunity to evaluate his life, but the one who chose to go to war in defense of his country was willing to die if he receive the honor, either living or post-mortem, of having been a true patriot.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that a corpse is equal to a corpse if you just look at them as two dead ppl. But the corpse becomes a symbol of the life that used to be in it, and that has meaning both for that defunct life, and for the lives of those who remain to bury the body.
  • The Right to Die
    I don’t know if this contributes to the discussion, but I think there is a distinction between “true” and “false” suicide.

    A true suicide is committed by someone who is no longer willing to continue living; a false one is committed by someone who is forced to exit life by some external circumstance...

    ...of the latter variety a couple examples come to mind. One is of the alcoholic who has destroyed his liver and been told by the doctor that if he doesn’t quit drinking he will die, yet he continues drinking and therefore dies...

    ...another example of the latter variety might be a woman who has been taken captive and told that if she doesn’t kill herself all her children will be killed...she is handed a gun...

    As an example of “true” suicide, I offer Cato the Younger: he led the Roman Republican army against Caesar in Utica, but when it became clear that Caesar had won, unwilling to become his prisoner of war, Cato disemboweled himself, despite the fact that Caesar was well known for his clemency. In other words, though he could have expected to be pardoned and live, Cato was unwilling to live in a Rome whose republic had been replaced by a dictatorship...

    ...actually, I think Cato was unwilling to undergo the ignominy of capitulating to a tyrant, and was thinking about how posterity would perceive him. Is this any different than the choice Socrates made? He had his well-placed friends who were ready to pay money and spirit him out into exile...but he chose to stay and drink the hemlock brew....

    The ancient examples of suicide—and there are many more I haven’t mentioned, such as Seneca’s—give us a broader view of the matter. @Tom Storm mentions those who were glad to have gotten an intervention. These are the ones caught up in a momentary despair, who are unwilling to live because of some immediate circumstance, and, once saved, are grateful to those who intervened...

    ...but there are others who, like Cato and Socrates, died according to a principle, not some temporary circumstance, and neither succumbed to an intervention, nor abandoned their principles in order to merely stay alive.
  • Is Social Media bad for your Mental Health?
    Apparently you can’t use emojis unless you have given money to the forum. Didn’t know this before now.
  • Is Social Media bad for your Mental Health?
    Sposed to be a crying/laughing emoji inserted in there Tom—but it didn’t take.
  • Is Social Media bad for your Mental Health?
    Just over all be more interactive with the worldTheQuestion

    What if The World is the internet?
  • Is Social Media bad for your Mental Health?
    I don't use social media and have not been on it to find outTom Storm

    What do you call The Philosophy Forum?
  • You don't need to read philosophy to be a philosopher
    You did lose me when you started talking about going back to a time of innocence. My vision of the state of awareness I am talking about is right here, in front of us, right now. It's not mystical. It's just look at this. Listen to this. Pay attention.T Clark

    But the way we look at the world has been determined by modern philosophy. You can hear it’s echoes in the language.

    For example, when we speak of our “values”, we are using a term that was given prominence in the modern German (Weber, I believe) philosophical conception of “the fact-value” distinction, which argues that there are no moral truths, just different and equal “values” to morality assigned to it by different ppl. So when someone says, “These are my values,” he means that these things are what he holds to be true, and that they cannot be denied validity, because he believes them, and no rational argument can be levied against them, for they are outside the purview of rational analysis.

    Similarly, when we speak of our “rights”, we are echoing a term drawn from Locke’s conception of political philosophy, and which has suffused its spirit into all modern liberal democracies. It has become instinctive to say, “I have my rights!” and everyone knows in his gut what that means—but it is not an ancient sentiment. To a pre-modern man, the idea that everyone has inalienable rights would have been quite laughable. Ancient societies were hierarchical and heterogeneous, filled with slaves and serfs, commoners and noblemen. Before the rise of modern philosophy, her concern was how to survive; after Machiavelli, she became a political activist, ultimately changing the very political phenomena, the ancient variegation of society, that her adherents, the philosophers, had always studied...

    ...it’s similar to that famous paradox of modern physics, where the very light you use to illuminate your subject—the electron in this case—disturbs the object of your study. So, by meddling in politics for its own benefit, modern philosophy altered the face of society, suppressing some aspects of it (the ones that held traditional privilege) while raising others up to supreme ascendancy (the ones that had traditionally been oppressed)...

    ...and you have to ask whether the traditional heterogeneity in society—the kings and queens and noblemen—was really gotten rid of in favor of the man (“person”, now) who is equal to every other person. For we see still great inequality in society, based now on wealth rather than on family. Yet the many still revere a prince or queen, and follow Harry and Megan, or William and Kate, etc, as though they were epitomes of excellence...

    ...There are many multi-billionaires, however, that have hardly ever been heard of: they are not nearly sexy enough. They own tech companies and buy up conglomerates and ride high up the Fortune-500, but the ppl want (and have always wanted) a man who is socially prominent: who hits the most home runs, puts a rocket into space or gets elected President. The need for heterogeneity and hierarchy has not died...

    ...but all this is just prolegomena to what I ask you now: when you say...

    I’d like to put forth the hypothesis that I don’t need no stinking Kant, or Hegel, or Schopenhauer, or Kneechee, or any of those guys. I have expressed my skepticism about western philosophy many times before on the forum. Rather than being defensive about it, I have decided to raise laziness to the level of sanctified philosophical principle. Stop reading, arguing, writing, building little intellectual kingdoms out of the sand of your benighted psyches. Just pay attention. To the world and to yourselfT Clark

    ...are you sure that you are not looking through the lens of their eyes when you look upon the world?
  • You don't need to read philosophy to be a philosopher
    Here's my way of seeing it - Awareness comes first, then philosophy. You have to know the world before you can use philosophy.T Clark

    This is the same teaching Allan Bloom made so many times, guided by Leo Strauss: a common-sense awareness of the phenomena is necessary before you can go beyond the common-sense world and begin to philosophize.

    But the common-sense phenomena have been obscured by philosophy herself, for she transformed that world for her own benefit. Who understands what it means to be a gentleman anymore? or who can understand the impulse of an Alcibiades who, when his stingy manager objected to the amount of goods his master was offering a visiting dignitary, ordered that twice that amount be brought out? (cf Plutarch)

    It is refreshing to hear someone like you bemoan the “grey network” of modern philosophy and its terminology that I and you and some others are put off by, but you can’t just go off into a solitary place alone and recover the true essence of things. You have to feel the need to go back to the time when and before philosophy was born, to recover a lost innocence, when men wondered...when they first became perplexed, or were amazed by the movement of the heavenly bodies, or recoiled against the rule of noblemen, etc.

    As a modern engineer, you have had to deal with a lot of modern science, and a lot of modern politics. How are you to make your way through such a maze? The two are connected, intertwined in a way that is unsolvable...unless you go back to the beginning, and try to retrace the path, and understand how we got to the impasse that we’re at.
  • Philosphical Poems
    Love is the love of Jesus, God. Takes away blame, easy peasy.T Clark

    That is my biggest caveat against evangelical Christianity: all you’ve got to do is “repent” of your sin, which means you can sin all you want to...as long as you repent soon afterwards!...

    ...and as long as you confess belief in Jesus, you are saved, however much you may sin. James knew much better: “faith without works is dead.” And Jesus preached much better too. You may cry “Lord, lord,..” I did this or that in Your name, to gain significance among the faithful, but He replies, “I never knew you.”

    It would just be more interesting, psychologically, philosophically if the love of each other, the love of other people, the love of other people for you, could take away blame. That would take some thought.T Clark

    Love your neighbor as yourself. How many who confess their faith in Jesus turn their backs on their neighbors? fail to stop for the guy carrying a gas can down the road?
  • Loners - the good, the bad and the ugly
    I would say a loner is someone who “tends” to be alone, whether they prefer it or not @hypericin.

    @tim wood, I would say it is obvious that a person who is alone is not obviously a loner. They may be rather someone who is ordinarily gregarious, but is forced into isolation through circumstance.
  • The Shoutbox
    @jorndoe

    Problem is, it is easy to say concerning “hard” sciences like say math and physics, that the mathematicians and physicists should have the say as to what is taught; but when it comes to the social issues, even the medical ones (as we see from Covid and vaccines), because even medicine is very closely tied in with social issues, there tends to be a lot of disagreement.

    When I was a boy I learned that Lincoln was a great president, that he saved the Union and freed the slaves; when I was a freshman at North Carolina, I learned that he was a racist, because, though he freed the slaves, he didn’t think they could live as equal citizens: free, but not equal.
  • Why being anti-work is not wrong.
    sure, you can opt out of work but the consequences will eventually be starvation, homelessness, hacking it in the wilderness and dying a slow death, MAYBE free riding (making it other people's problem), or outright suicide. Of course everyone cannot free ride otherwise even more dire consequences for the whole system of (used) workers.schopenhauer1

    Would you say homelessness is a form of free-riding? It can be, when a man panhandles, begs for his money or food, but it isn’t necessarily so...

    ...I once knew a man who said he used to be homeless, and to get his meal he waited for a certain supermarket to throw their expired meat into the back dumpster, and after they were gone he would fetch it out and cook it over a campfire. That is certainly not freeloading...

    ...I knew another man who did the same thing in back of a posh restaurant: he waited there till they threw all the uneaten food out, then he swooped in to fetch it out of the trash. He thusly enjoyed the finest shrimp linguini and chicken alfredo at no cost—other than the effort of leaning over into the dumpster.

    As for the man who begs for his bread, is he so despicable? so miserable? Cannot men who possess mansions and yachts afford to give a man who has nothing to eat a loaf of bread? Is this really unfair? Can we really know that a man who would rather beg for his bread than earn it is contemptible?

    Maybe he is willing to buck the system and undergo what we consider shameful behavior because he has a more exalted sense of the dignity of life. Is he any more contemptible than a factory worker who earns a decent wage and supports his family and sends his kids to school, but is a sycophant to his boss? brown-noses in order to curry favor?