Thursday, December 03, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Adapted from Paul Tillich
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Adapted from Life at the Bottom: The Worldview that Makes the Underclass
by Theodore Dalrymple
Monday, August 10, 2009
As an example, we don't wake up in the morning wondering whether reason is going to be down, like we might wonder about our computer. We're going to approximate what it indicates and we are completely non-controversial about the authority of what it reveals to us. Furthermore, we merely need to contemplate these ultimates of mind such as reason, formal logic, and the rule-set of an ordered context of reality, in order to discover an endless stream of new knowledge when applied to our experience of the world. Consequently, there is some sense in which these ultimate fulcrums of thought actually communicate to us if we only think about them, just as the God of the Bible wants to guide believers into all knowledge. Lastly, the necessity of our valuing of these things implies both purpose and value, which are equally ultimate in this comprehensive set of guiding operational principles.
Sunday, August 09, 2009
Sunday, August 02, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
She chatted all the way
But left me none the wiser
For all she had to say.
I walked a mile with sorrow
And never a word said she
But Oh! The things I learned from her
When sorrow walked with me.
Robert Browning Hamilton
"Along the Road"
Thursday, June 25, 2009
And you yourself are the god of what to believe about the evaluation. You function in the image of God.
So reason itself becomes the God that provides the method for determining whether or not God exists. And you make the final god-like decision about God.
Atheism imitates belief in God but without attributing psychic unity or personhood.
Both believer and atheist assume God-like rules for minds, and play the role of God in order to determine whether or not God exists.
Friday, June 19, 2009
These assumptions are treated as a single personal object because we apply them to persons (ourselves, for example), and because we must assume them as a comprehensive integral unit of ultimate ruling factors that arbitrate what is true and what is real.
We also assume an ideal of personhood in using that set of ultimate interrelated assumptions through which we think. And an ideal of personhood is an ideal person.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
--Skateboarder's Craiglist Ad
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
"Obama's hit -- and big miss"
Salon, June 6, 2009
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Unlike the ontological argument, this argument does not depend on a set definition or idea of God, but only on already-implemented assumptions that either presuppose or are themselves tantamount to an ultimate personal being.
I'm interested in what you think of this argument.
Friday, May 29, 2009
I necessarily reference God-like mind objects in accessing my own awareness. The total irreducible integrated object set is an intuitively cross-assumed system, in many ways indistinguishable from a single mind.
The total set of assumptions we use to be aware of reality is treated as the God of mind. Reason communicates through the statements that make up its definition, assumptions, and implications.
We reference our ultimate ruling factors as a single interrelated and self-supporting system, and therefore God is a single being, in addition to the fact that it would be impossible to distinguish between two or more such ultimate beings because of the absence of positable differences.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
If i were an atheist i wouldn't be throwing around implicit obligations about what to believe or what is true. Whining about religion as if on a crusade against evil.
A certain atheist concedes that religion contains goodness and badness, but not in equal measure
But the whole good/bad crusade is just the same god thing all over again. They claim that religion is a dangerous system of belief because of its ability to compel people to do things they otherwise wouldn't consider, caving to religion's moral do-goodism.
Yeah right, the belief god says no no no. I've always had assumptions that play a god role but which have no *logically* prior assumptions. I think a lot as an atheist even though the universal begs the question. How to construe the total is just as questionable as belief in god. God-belief determining factors are even more questionable than first-order belief in god or disbelief, and carry even more of a burden.
What standards decide the god issue? That's where the real god role is played out.
One objection is that there are so many religions with so many ideas of god that none of them could possibly be right. As if people differ on some math problem, therefore it can't be solved. A plurality of answers in math hardly means there's no answer possible. This would release all suspects in criminal cases where there was more than one suspect being considered. Multiple views do not imply there is no reliable principle of general reason.
Atheists as well as theists are more committed to avoiding the questioning of background assumptions than to their commitment to theism or atheism. There's nothing about multiple views that implies the impossibility of some one view being correct, just like in math or science, both of which are based on a mono-truth notion in some sense and to some extent.
I don't have any argument that excludes the possibility of cycles of kharmic rebirth *or* experiencing an everlasting hell of some kind upon my death.
Atheists and religionists walk hand in hand whistling past the same graveyard of background assumptions and values. It's a lot easier than talking about criteria.
One atheistic way of looking at truth is that if the belief merely survives, then it's true. That is, it's survival is an example of the truth of evolution, by combining consciously arbitrary aggressive willing with social darwinism. So if one killed all who differ, then by that fact one's beliefs would be proved true. To *need* reasons would on this view be a sign of weakness of will, etc. That's an undiscussed factor in the study of why some coercive societies have been so appealing. It relieves them of any intellectual burden, replaced by choosing to conquer without the need to justify any belief. To conquer would be seen as self-enhancing, evolutionary, and self-authenticating---create your own values. *Be* evolution by conquering others and thus refute their beliefs. Rank and file will not be so lofty but that would still the driving idea of the collectivist elites. If survival is the highest value, then truth is a function of that and nothing else. The highest value according to what? Whatever is chosen as the highest value. It doesn't have to be *according* to anything. That's the whole point, that to *need* a reason is to be weak.
Belief in that case does not need to be measured against anything. Sheer act of will makes things true. To whine about criteria would be a sign of weakness, you simply choose your own values and beliefs, nothing logically prior needed. To *need* criteria or reasons was a sign that you would not survive, were weak etc. You choose the belief without having little needs that you must obey like some thought commandment. No thought commandments, you merely choose, and aggressively eliminate those with differing beliefs. When sheer acts of will and survivability are the highest values, any reasoning except for personal and scientific advancement would be considered signs of weakness and impending extinction in the overall evolutionary process.
It's not even ascertained, you merely choose it, and acting to further one's survival dictates all other values, without the pedestrian need for any kind of justifying rationale. I'm not saying all atheism is that way or implies that, but there is in fact no argument that is even relevant to the nazi brand of atheism. To *need* reasons at the philosophical level was just a sign of weakness and even mental defect.
But it is true that each person is the arbiter of the meaning and the status of notions of truth. Everyone is the god of their own belief-choices, including beliefs about meaning, truth, etc.
As soon as you try to argue a point about god, you've just admitted some kind of neutral notion of truth or reason plays a god-role about the issue of god itself.
Criteria about truth plays god to all beliefs.
Monday, May 11, 2009
A detective reflects on someone's death because there's a conflict between the fact that someone died and something already in the mind. Detectives order their experience by assuming that events have causes. This event challenges inclusion in that order. The detective makes it fit by first learning the details of the problem by reflecting and observing.
Observation is guided by what experience has taught about which details are relevant. Consequently, the detective pays more attention to bruises apparently made by some blunt instrument. The details are not obtained by focusing on a single point. The basis of a new thought must be broad. If the question was merely who might have used the blunt instrument, their would be an indefinitely large number of answers. The question is who must have done this in view of unemptied pockets, signs of a struggle, the butler's loyalty, and perhaps a hundred other things---all relevant details. A successful conclusion from a single factor alone would be an accident. The conclusion comes from all of them taken together.
The problem is to fit a detached fact into a complete surrounding system that is already assumed to be ultimate and decisive.
Thursday, May 07, 2009
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
Monday, May 04, 2009
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Friday, February 20, 2009
Adapted from Immanuel Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, 1781
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
"A rocky first few weeks"
Salon, Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
Monday, February 02, 2009
But the notion of general welfare is hardly a standard of truth. And truth forces its own expression even if it's ugly and unethical.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
"I do lament the gradual disappearance of small, quirky local [radio] shows due to the trend toward national syndication. And I often get bored and impatient with the same arch-conservative message being drummed out 24/7. But let's get real: Liberals have been pathetic flops on national radio -- for reasons that have yet to be identified. Air America, for example, despite retchingly sycophantic major media coverage, never got traction and has dwindled to a humiliating handful of markets. The Democrats are the party of Hollywood, for heaven's sake -- so what's their problem in mastering radio?
Instead of bleating for paternalistic government intervention, liberals should get their own act together. Radio is a populist medium where liberals come across as snide, superior scolds. One can instantly recognize a liberal caller to a conservative show by his or her catty, obnoxious tone. The leading talk radio hosts are personalities and entertainers with huge rhetorical energy and a bluff, engaging manner. Even the seething ranters can be extremely funny. Last summer, for example, I laughed uproariously in my car when WABC's Mark Levin said furiously about Katie Couric, "What do these people do? Open fortune cookies and read them on air?"
The best hosts combine a welcoming master of ceremonies manner with a vaudevillian brashness. Liberal imitators haven't made a dent on talk radio because they think it's all about politics, when it isn't. Top hosts are life questers and individualists who explore a wide range of thought and emotion and who skillfully work the mike like jazz vocalists. Talk radio is a major genre of popular culture that deserves the protection accorded to other branches of the performing and fine arts. Liberals, who go all hushed and pious at Hays Code censorship in classic Hollywood, should lay off the lynch-mob mentality. Keep the feds out of radio!"Camille Paglia
Salon magazine, January 14, 2009
All by dismissing other possibilities.