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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Please understand these few things

Most religious I have to deal with misunderstand why I become silent when they tell me about God, supernatural activities, and esoteric meaningfulness. Some religious people with some experience with the non-believing simply misunderstand their own terms, or the atheistic point of view. In order for me to to explain this, I am going to define some terms for future reference.

1. Faith: I recently read an article by Philosopher David S. Brown called Reasoning Down the Rabbit-Hole. In it he presents one of his pet peeves with New Atheists. He claims that atheists define Faith arbitrarily as "a beilief without evidence". Now I have generally eard that definition from atheists (not to mention my handy-dandy Webster's dictionary), but Dr. Brown seems to believe that the defintion of Faith should be that of Medieval philosophers. I am no expert on Medieval philosophy/theology, but I am aware of the arguments that were crafted to prove a deity which had to be Christian.

However, without even delving into the Medieval period, I have found a problem with Dr. Brown's argument. He first claims that one should not make artbitrary definitons to words. He secondly claims that New Atheists redefine Faith in order to defeat theologians. Finally, He asserts that Medieval philosophers did not use Faith in that fashion. There is a twist of hand that he uses in his argument so obvious, it sickens my philosophical heart. He is the one using redefintion of terms to win an argument instead of searching for the truth of the situation. He arbitrarily chose the Medieval meaning of Faith, and that is exactly what he warned in his essay not to do. This is what the enemy of philosophers, the Sophists, did.

Now to be more sympathetic, I will evaluate all his claims instead of just looking at that error he made.First, he claims New Atheists, especially Richard Dawkins, are redefining the word Faith to mean "a belief without evidence". Now, I understand why the faithful may feel they have evidence in all the feelings and God-sightings, but I am skeptical of these claims and take them as delusional thinking. I could give many examples of how believers I have work with have conditioned themselves to act and think as if they had seen God, but that is not necessary to prove my first point. As a rising philosopher, I have reviewed the common evidence used by common believers (as opposed to sophicated theologians) for their deity, and I have concluded that these believers do not have evidence that is conclusive to their beliefs. Now I may be wrong, but I even have plenty of belivers who share the sentiment that their is "lack of evidence" component to Faith.

Also, I have Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary which states that Faith is loyalty to a person or duty, a trust or belief in one's God, or a firm belief in which there is no proof. Now, Faith is a word that believers wave around a lot, using it with very complex nuances. They always want more of it and continually humble themselves as if one could never have enough of it. They use the three defintion interchangably.

In order for a claim aboiut the universe to be justified, there must be evidence that logically supports the claim. In order for a belief in a claim to be justfied, the claim must be considered in a logical and systematic way. These two claims I just made are understood to be true and absolutely essential to good science and philosophy. From the point of view that religious claims are unjustified because of the lack of evidence, the last two defintions logically infer religious Faith in those claims to be unjustified. To prove that there is no evidence for all religious claims would be impossible, but I will generalize for the sake of time and space.

Because the dictionary supports the definition Richard Dawkins uses as lexicon definition and the fact that religions calim things which they have no proof, the definition Richard Dawkins uses is not arbitrary but accurate. Because Dr. Brown asserts that Medieval philosophers used a different defintion has no bearing on the modern lexiconial usage of the word, it would be arbitrary and, by his own reasoning, wrong to use a defintion from a specific time period.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Ravings of a mad man

Sasha

hello eric, how goes thee

i hope you have found things to entertain your brain during the summer

11:43pmMe

LIke a winter breeze easily through to the marrow

I have

i have posted new videos

one is about football just for u

11:44pmSasha

hahaaha

erg.. i wish to separate myself from football

what is it about tho

11:44pmMe

its a song

complete spoof

11:45pmSasha

off of what other song

11:45pmMe

nvm

not a spoof on a song but on bfootball fans

just look at some of the top 4 videos on my wall or something and comment or something

11:47pmSasha

or something

you got it

you know i moved

i live in chicago

11:47pmMe

how many chicas in chicago?

11:48pmSasha

and our conversations (or rather, your conversations) have really interested me in philosophy, especially the classical philosophers

how many? 54 percent

11:48pmMe

haha

really, nice to hear.

im sorry if they are my conversation

11:48pmSasha

don't be

i don't think i could my words would have helped what you were saying

11:49pmMe

so who u interested in

"i could my words"

11:49pmSasha

bad grammar

aristotle

i am astonished at his scientific approach

it astounds me when i imagine the time and age

to think of matter

11:50pmMe

if u like aristotle, then u should talk to my brother in emory

he goes too far with aristotle in my opinion

the greeks were awesome i must say

but there are things aristotle made mistakes with

11:51pmSasha

how does he go too far?

and what mistakes?

11:52pmMe

My major problem is that aristotle is that he does allow for randomness or chaos

He believes everything has order and that the reason why things do the things they do is because of a telos

telos is roughly a goal

and through this argument he postulates a primeover

Primemover, a Deity for cause and effect

11:53pmSasha

i remember you telling me about telos

so.. is it that you disagree in there being a natural goal within everything?

11:54pmMe

Basically, Aristotle could not understand how something could not be intented to happen or have a prime intention

11:54pmSasha

would he believe there is a telos in a boulder

i see

11:54pmMe

Well i dont disagree that it is possible, but im saying his philosophy begs the question

He believed the planets moved around the earth out of love for the primemover

The rock falls because it wants to fall

that is its nature and nature is desire for aristotle

11:56pmSasha

awesome

11:56pmMe

Now he doesnt mean desire as in processes in the brain per se, but in a conceptual way of viewing how everything could be explained

By saying that things happen because of X Y Z does not prove that X Y or Z is real or relavent

or that a causal relationship exist

11:58pmSasha

hmm, i don't quite understand the xyz part

11:58pmMe

Basically Aristotle intended to make the world make sense in his own terms

11:58pmSasha

if things happen, isn't it real?

now that makes sense

11:58pmMe

XYZ are just place holders for anything

11:58pmSasha

and your brother follows aristotle in making the world just too neat?

with his beliefs?

11:59pmMe

Yeah, he hasaristotle weakness for design

my brother is a deist for aa designer

Today
12:00amMe

things have to be made, they cant be unintentional without foresight

Telos can be understood as having foresight

12:00amSasha

idk if intention is too much of a human concept

12:00amMe

THeintention has many different meanings in philosophy

12:00amSasha

hmm

12:02amMe

Intentionality is for the philosophy of language a way to explain why I mean what I do with my words

Basically intention in that sense connects the sentence to the real world

Intention for Foucault meant it in a darwinian sense

Intention that were not subjective

12:05amSasha

then i think aristotle had a quite clear grasp of telos considering his time and scenario

or intention

it astounds me how creativity and logic can exist together

12:05amMe

clear grasp of something you yourself defined, is it possible?

12:06amSasha

you're right, my judgements right now are without the readings of aristotle

so its all my intention

12:06amMe

DO we know what make

12:06amSasha

oh well

what make?

quarks

12:07amMe

hehe, i think it would be interesting to question our own ideas to the point of asking do we understand ourselves

do we do we understand the language our brain speaks

12:08amSasha

that i can answer.. no

i do not understand myself

i actually felt lost this year because of the numerous elements of my life that affect me uncontrollably

12:08amMe

i tbelieve a lot of people do not understand their thoughts, they speak the language but they dont understand it

12:08amSasha

and i know they are there, yet i have yet to analyze and discover for myself

agreed

i do feel like you could lose your life trying to understand yourself tho

12:09amMe

i know there are things I am sensing because they are clear and distinct

12:09amSasha

but that does not mean it isn't worth searching

12:09amMe

THings i am thinking

12:09amSasha

haha

chemicals! spewing from your brain

12:09amMe

DO u sense thoughts like you feel tables?

12:10amSasha

i do

12:10amMe

Are u seperate from your thoughts or part of them

12:10amSasha

if anything, the thoughts are more real than tables, because i hav ethe idea of what a table feels like

hmm

i think i am a byproduct

12:10amMe

and if part of them, why claim them as your own

12:10amSasha

erg no

because i hav ea part in them

i think they are inseperable

12:11amMe

inseperable, have u ever tried

12:11amSasha

i have not

12:11amMe

to break away

12:11amSasha

to live without thoughts is to not live

12:11amMe

or so u say

a plant lives

12:11amSasha

yes, but it doesn't have thoughts

or does it...

computational thoughts

12:12amMe

cells comunicate to each other

what are thoughts but a system of processes that inform each other

anything organized in a stregic power relationship

strategic*

12:13amSasha

i agree

12:13amMe

self preservation

to telos of natural organization

12:14amSasha

i think your thoughts are in control until you realize the presence and conditoin of those thoughts, at which point then there is free will in terms of that though

which goes back to what we were saying about the thoughts you might not realize are there

but worth searching

12:14amMe

If u have know free will, then who is not free?

no*

12:15amSasha

everyone is free

12:15amMe

but if u were notr free, then would u exist?

12:15amSasha

because everyone has SOME realization of themself, no?

i don't think so

if my thoughts were not free, i would have no will over them, and i would be only my thoughs

but i suppose my thoughts would be free from myself!

12:15amMe

They could simply recognize a body of flesh and bones but it is actually their mother's body

to think yet never have a thought of oneself the christian dream

12:16amSasha

hahaha

i am god

12:16amMe

the buddhist dream in a more accurate portrayal

12:16amSasha

he is me

12:16amMe

Creating a sims game and

12:17amSasha

eric.. there is a god

stop thinking

just do, as he says

12:17amMe

How can i not, if he is the one thinking in my place

12:17amSasha

haha

12:17amMe

I met some pentacostals of the predestination branch

12:18amSasha

oh ya

12:18amMe

Who thinks but the one who is in control

12:18amSasha

true, thank god for humanist religion!

12:18amMe

but the christian adopted humanism too but dont realize it

ignorance replaces true progress

12:19amSasha

i think religion was a very practical evolutionary tool that allowed for more moral and logical approaches, but its time has past

12:19amMe

no one knows why we care about others anymore

12:19amSasha

they don't

because we care about ourselves, right?

12:19amMe

If u didnt would u brush your teeth

12:19amSasha

if you watch a man being killed, don't you feel as if you're are being attacked?

12:20amMe

Well, if i felt that, i might run away

12:20amSasha

if i didn't what

HMM good point

12:20amMe

because the person who feels attack runs

12:21amMe

so we arent tricked into thinking we are another person, we keep our individuality (of some sorts)

12:21amSasha

is it selfish or a communal response?

no not tricked

12:22amMe

we think things, we make decisions, we have purposes to our actions (sometimes)

we have emotions and sensations

to save a person from danger is part of choosing what to do

we dont need a natural tendency to say do this or that

you want to say we are born good people or something

12:23amSasha

no no, i believe we are born noble savages

purely a byproduct of environment

12:23amMe

purely environment or some genetics

12:23amSasha

purely in the sense of an initial genetic makeup, and the rest

the rest environment, where your genetic makeup can be changed to your environment

12:24amMe

somethinThe brain has a blueprint on how to make and use its brain (that is primary knowledge)

The secondary is first experience

the color red must be experienced to be known

therefore it is secondary

12:25amSasha

do you think the blueprint can change though based on secondary experience?

nvm

12:26amMe

the blueprint explains how to modify the structure (or use the process avaible to make a learn thing

the language is a bit out of there, for no one talks about the brains blueprint in genetics like this except in the field of study

12:28amMe

I will concede that the environment develops our moral responses

12:28amSasha

is your major in college decided eric?

indeed

hmm

there is no moral fabric in our genetics?

what about the natural response of animals to protect their own species

12:28amMe

But I dont believe learn ways our at all moral or justified just because of our environment

12:29amSasha

if a rat warns another rat of a cat, is it moral?

12:29amMe

Matters

Does it matter?

If the rat lives or dies

Or if the cat is eaten by the the rat

because of the twists of fate and the dog eat dog world

12:30amSasha

ok, but i'm talking about if a rat consciencesly, or sub, decides to warn other rats, is it moral?

12:30amMe

are we to pacify existence to rid all suffering all struggle

why is that moral, because we dislike it, because we desire outcomes

12:31amSasha

moral being the protection of others like yourself?

12:32amMe

is not morality rigged, because it has the right to both say what is good and bad and say itself is good

So all morality is tribal

U are black, i dont look after u

Now i understand u, u are like me, join my tribe, be like white man

See my factories, work there

See my plantations work there

these are what those who have no past fortunes do in my tribe

12:33amSasha

eric, though i have enjoyed this talk, i feel we are becoming separated in ideas

12:34amMe

the system is beloved, we dare not change it

12:34amSasha

i hope to come across you someday

oh we dare

our discontent dares

12:34amMe

A system rigged to have unemployed people

To have unnecessary jobs and industries

to always put a bar in which one gets help

or not

whatever, i am mostly trying to disagree with whatever u say

see ya my friend

12:37amSasha

hahaha point taken dipshit

12:37amMe

just trying to spread the difficult material i have been reading in philosophy and social criticism

12:38amSasha

its greeted warmly, as a thought to be considered, and you a friend who's intentions are as moral and human as i can point to

good luck dude

and remember, i took part in your dance at prom

just like you expected people to lo