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« Reply #45 on: January 27, 2012, 09:12:03 PM »

I'm really not the right person to ask... orthonorm would definitely give a better answer to that.
He hasn't posted for a long time, usually he brings in the clarity I need. Maybe he's sick of reading my one dimensional childish posts.

LOL at the sig.
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« Reply #46 on: January 28, 2012, 10:07:59 PM »

I'm really not the right person to ask... orthonorm would definitely give a better answer to that.
He hasn't posted for a long time, usually he brings in the clarity I need. Maybe he's sick of reading my one dimensional childish posts.

LOL at the sig.

I guess he's busy with that "real life" thing. Ha, as though such a thing actually exists!  Grin  But with regard to books, I still can't say what are most helpful or best, but at least here are my five favorite philosophical books...

Roy Sorensen - A Brief History of the Paradox: Philosophy and the Labyrinths of the Mind
Leo Groarke - Greek Skepticism: Anti-Realist Trends in Ancient Thought
Cicero (ed. by Brittain) - On Academic Scepticism
Walter Kaufmann - Critique of Religion and Philosophy
John Hick - Philosophy of Religion
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« Reply #47 on: January 28, 2012, 11:29:09 PM »

I really hate debating with materialists.

You should debate religious naturalists then  police
What the hell is that?

A naturalist who isn't afraid of having something called religion or spirituality in their lives. Sometimes it's non-theistic pantheists, sometimes agnostics who are very nature-centric, sometimes it's more like Einstein's famous "cosmic religious feeling," and sometimes it's just outright atheism but with the usage of words like religion to describe part of their lives. The key unifying factors are: 1) they're all naturalists to a large extent, and 2) they are all ok with using the word religion or spirituality to describe some aspect of their lives (whether their morality, meditative practices, their view of a God, or whatever).

Would Wiccans be considered borderline religious naturalists?

And I wonder about Hinduism and Buddhism as well...I always thought it's easy for more educated Hindus to allegorize their religious beliefs into something more naturalistic and grand, and can maintain perhaps an essential atheism with it.
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« Reply #48 on: January 28, 2012, 11:36:23 PM »

Would Wiccans be considered borderline religious naturalists?

And I wonder about Hinduism and Buddhism as well...I always thought it's easy for more educated Hindus to allegorize their religious beliefs into something more naturalistic and grand, and can maintain perhaps an essential atheism with it.

I'm not familiar enough with Wicca to know... are they atheist or agnostic or some form of pantheist? I seem to recall something about a goddess or something, but I don't remember much about her (or maybe I am misremembering entirely). Generally I've seen the term used by, and applied to, westerners that come out of a judeo-christian/monotheistic background, and drive so far into the territory of liberal religion that a personal God falls out of sight. The early religious naturalists, or what would be considered precursors, were Jews (Mordecai Kaplan) and Christians (some of the Chicago school of theology), and if I remember correctly Stone also considered George Santayana and John Dewey to be precursors as well.
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« Reply #49 on: January 30, 2012, 12:21:38 AM »

I believe the correct term is "lawlwicca".
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« Reply #50 on: January 30, 2012, 07:48:46 PM »

I was watching some prison show the other day and there was the church of Satan in one of these prisons, had only 2 members. There was something about not killing non-human animals. It was hilarious when the reporter made the member contradict himself when it came to their doctrine.

It's really mindblowing to see alot of prisoners become Christians, and I don't mean the type that use it to somehow get a Get out of Jail card, but sincere pious Christians. It was awesome.
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« Reply #51 on: January 31, 2012, 12:29:48 PM »

I am currently reading Descarte's Meditations for my modern philosophy course. Does anyone know the best way to show that Descartes' proof for the existence of God in Meditation 3 is not demonstrative. So far, I have argued that even if one does have a concept of God as infinitely perfect, the concept itself is not infinitely perfect, and thus it does not require an infinite cause.
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« Reply #52 on: February 01, 2012, 02:19:51 AM »

I am currently reading Descarte's Meditations for my modern philosophy course. Does anyone know the best way to show that Descartes' proof for the existence of God in Meditation 3 is not demonstrative. So far, I have argued that even if one does have a concept of God as infinitely perfect, the concept itself is not infinitely perfect, and thus it does not require an infinite cause.
Just to recap for those playing at home, the "argument" is as follows:

I've got this idea of god, and this is an idea of perfection.
This idea must have come from somewhere.
I'm an imperfect being.
The idea of perfection couldn't have come from me.
Therefore, the idea of perfection must have come from a perfect being.

The tack you take is a legitimate one (a concept does not need to possess the same properties as the object of which it is a concept - my concept of a dog is not in any way canine...it's conceptual). Another one is to say that the concept of "perfection" is actually a negative one: "perfect" != every single object in the world. Since it's a negative concept, its object need not even have any imaginable instantiation, much less share any attributes with it. Only positive concepts, one could argue, can have possible content. Naturally, you'll have to flesh out that last bit, but it sounds to me like this should be no problem for you.
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« Reply #53 on: February 01, 2012, 09:36:21 PM »

I am currently reading Descarte's Meditations for my modern philosophy course. Does anyone know the best way to show that Descartes' proof for the existence of God in Meditation 3 is not demonstrative. So far, I have argued that even if one does have a concept of God as infinitely perfect, the concept itself is not infinitely perfect, and thus it does not require an infinite cause.
Just to recap for those playing at home, the "argument" is as follows:

I've got this idea of god, and this is an idea of perfection.
This idea must have come from somewhere.
I'm an imperfect being.
The idea of perfection couldn't have come from me.
Therefore, the idea of perfection must have come from a perfect being.

The tack you take is a legitimate one (a concept does not need to possess the same properties as the object of which it is a concept - my concept of a dog is not in any way canine...it's conceptual). Another one is to say that the concept of "perfection" is actually a negative one: "perfect" != every single object in the world. Since it's a negative concept, its object need not even have any imaginable instantiation, much less share any attributes with it. Only positive concepts, one could argue, can have possible content. Naturally, you'll have to flesh out that last bit, but it sounds to me like this should be no problem for you.
Sounds good to me. When descartes talks about an idea having "objective reality" insofar as it represnets something that has "formal reality", he seems to think that an idea must have as much "objective reality" as "formal reality" and I don't think that that is necessarily true. Thanks for the help.
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« Reply #54 on: February 02, 2012, 08:53:55 PM »

I am currently reading Descarte's Meditations for my modern philosophy course. Does anyone know the best way to show that Descartes' proof for the existence of God in Meditation 3 is not demonstrative. So far, I have argued that even if one does have a concept of God as infinitely perfect, the concept itself is not infinitely perfect, and thus it does not require an infinite cause.

No proof for God is "demonstrative", it doesn't take much to demonstrate such stuff. If you are reading Descartes in this manner, you are missing the point.

Don't worry most of everyone else is as well.

His meditations should be mandatory reading for all junior high school kids. That is some beautiful stuff.

Proving and arguing are the ending of thinking. Reading is so much more awesomer.
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« Reply #55 on: February 02, 2012, 09:32:10 PM »

His meditations should be mandatory reading for all junior high school kids. That is some beautiful stuff.

That's just sick. Sick.
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« Reply #56 on: March 03, 2012, 05:27:38 PM »

Philosophy can be about anything you're discussing in a group.
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« Reply #57 on: June 21, 2012, 11:45:04 AM »

His meditations should be mandatory reading for all junior high school kids. That is some beautiful stuff.

That's just sick. Sick.
I'm gonig to have to agree there.
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« Reply #58 on: June 21, 2012, 12:55:54 PM »

His meditations should be mandatory reading for all junior high school kids. That is some beautiful stuff.

That's just sick. Sick.
I'm gonig to have to agree there.

In my dumb, poor, rural school, we read it.

Really, I am not sure what the big deal is. It is about a good intro to philosophy as you are going to get within a primary text. It is not difficult. It is exemplary. It is a watershed piece of history within the tradition. And the text which still holds the greatest sway in our times. The interesting thing for students to learn is what they take as obvious in terms of method and conclusion from this text was at one time revolutionary.

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« Reply #59 on: June 21, 2012, 12:58:55 PM »

Really, I am not sure what the big deal is.

I don't like dogmatism masquerading as truth seeking  police
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« Reply #60 on: June 21, 2012, 01:13:42 PM »

Really, I am not sure what the big deal is.

I don't like dogmatism masquerading as truth seeking  police

?

"Show me how you read and I will tell you who you are."

The search for truth will always be done within a dogmatic and ideological framework. The first step to getting serious about thinking is knowing and attempting the impossible task of making clear such dogmatics and ideology within the text and one's own reading of it, if I can suggest that faulty ideological dichotomy.

The task of thinking will never be the end of dogma or ideology but rather opening the space and room to find the possibility for a more appropriate dogma and ideology and articulating the dogma and ideology at work.

Lest we fall in post-dogmatic and or post-ideology times. When people believe that we have achieved such a time (people do) or that it is possible (people do), the is exactly when dogma and ideology have found their perfection.

To be able to critique dogma and ideology one must first love them intimately and well. For like any in love affair, the greatest threat to beloved is from the lover. Ideology and dogma never want to be loved, rather merely propagated through mindless intercourse.

So just like people, the worst possible thing you can do dogma and ideology, is to love it. There is no greater gift (think of the modern German here of both Gift and gibt) you can offer.

And in this modest task, really there is no better place for most people in our time to begin than with Descartes' wonderful text.

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« Reply #61 on: June 21, 2012, 01:34:47 PM »

Can't say that I agree. But that is besides the point in this case, because what gets me about Descartes is that he says he started from a point of skepticism and worked his way back up, but then goes on to state things dogmatically, even though what he says is based on a ton of assumptions that he pretends aren't there.
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« Reply #62 on: June 21, 2012, 01:47:47 PM »

Can't say that I agree. But that is besides the point in this case, because what gets me about Descartes is that he says he started from a point of skepticism and worked his way back up, but then goes on to state things dogmatically, even though what he says is based on a ton of assumptions that he pretends aren't there.

You are agreeing.

He demonstrates exactly what skepticism is.

The fourth category of knowledge will always be what remains the most interesting, so much so Rumsfeld forgot about it:

What we do not know that we know.

Back to Heidegger and Freud and Marx. In all three men you find exactly this taking on this "problem", with Heidegger and Freud most clearly and succinctly dealing with this problematic. To bad Heidegger wrote Freud off too early and didn't spend enough time to see that what he was working with "psychologically" (later Freud is pure ontology) was him stumbling upon the traces from Nietzsche and expanding upon them in an interesting and meaningful manner.

But I ain't reading Heidegger, nor Marx, nor later Freud with junior high students.

Descartes and Euclid's Elements. All you need of "philosophy" in junior high, maybe some early Socratic dialogues, if you want help teach them something that might appear in some general knowledge stuff later. And due to weird turns of events to I was exposured to both at that age to which I am grateful till this day. 

 
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« Reply #63 on: June 25, 2012, 09:47:10 PM »

I have a question about Descartes' famous proof for existence--that is, 'I think therefore I am'. How exactly do we define existence? Do abstract principles and things exist? For example, do thoughts exist? What if we only 'exist' as the thoughts or dreams of something else? Technically, would we still exist and would our existence even mean anything?
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« Reply #64 on: July 10, 2012, 09:40:15 PM »

Can't say that I agree. But that is besides the point in this case, because what gets me about Descartes is that he says he started from a point of skepticism and worked his way back up, but then goes on to state things dogmatically, even though what he says is based on a ton of assumptions that he pretends aren't there.

You are agreeing.

He demonstrates exactly what skepticism is.

The fourth category of knowledge will always be what remains the most interesting, so much so Rumsfeld forgot about it:

What we do not know that we know.

Back to Heidegger and Freud and Marx. In all three men you find exactly this taking on this "problem", with Heidegger and Freud most clearly and succinctly dealing with this problematic. To bad Heidegger wrote Freud off too early and didn't spend enough time to see that what he was working with "psychologically" (later Freud is pure ontology) was him stumbling upon the traces from Nietzsche and expanding upon them in an interesting and meaningful manner.

But I ain't reading Heidegger, nor Marx, nor later Freud with junior high students.

Descartes and Euclid's Elements. All you need of "philosophy" in junior high, maybe some early Socratic dialogues, if you want help teach them something that might appear in some general knowledge stuff later. And due to weird turns of events to I was exposured to both at that age to which I am grateful till this day.  


I still think I disagree at least with his fudging things, but anyway...  Cool
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« Reply #65 on: July 19, 2012, 02:21:05 PM »

Thread resurrection!

I got this crazy friend of mine who has the most insane conception of God. For him the "good in the world" is "God" and yet when asked about who created the universe I get "Well see that is just called the Creator, not God".

Whatevs.

Anyway this nutcase brought up a thought experiment with me saying that if we put a newborn baby in a 4 walled room and when it grows into adulthood it has no knowledge about anything, so would it create its own morality and God?

I swear I've read something similar to the above but can't track it down. Yes I know it's all nonsense but his whole point is that we each create a god for ourselves to somehow comfort us. If anyone knows what thought experiment this is similar to that would be very helpful.
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« Reply #66 on: July 19, 2012, 03:03:20 PM »

I have a question about Descartes' famous proof for existence--that is, 'I think therefore I am'. How exactly do we define existence? Do abstract principles and things exist? For example, do thoughts exist? What if we only 'exist' as the thoughts or dreams of something else? Technically, would we still exist and would our existence even mean anything?
What Decartes is arguing is that as long as he is thinking (and doubting is thinking), his own existence is inescapable. A being that is thinking, must necessarily exist. There are problems with his thought, but this is the basic argument he is putting forward.
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« Reply #67 on: July 19, 2012, 03:46:08 PM »

I have a question about Descartes' famous proof for existence--that is, 'I think therefore I am'. How exactly do we define existence? Do abstract principles and things exist? For example, do thoughts exist? What if we only 'exist' as the thoughts or dreams of something else? Technically, would we still exist and would our existence even mean anything?
What Decartes is arguing is that as long as he is thinking (and doubting is thinking), his own existence is inescapable. A being that is thinking, must necessarily exist. There are problems with his thought, but this is the basic argument he is putting forward.

I am not so sure about this summary in its precision, this seems to be a loose reading in light of criticism of Descartes' position, but I don't care to get into it at this time.

To JamesR however, you are a self-avowed St. Augustine fanboi.

St. Augustine among others (Plato, Aristotle, everyone) already made similar arguments to what Descartes ends up developing in a more thorough and systematic manner.

Read St. Augustine till you find the argument. Consider it a fun reason to re-read him.

EDIT: For what it is worth, when you look at Augustinian hermeneutics you see him probably at his most radical.

 
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« Reply #68 on: July 19, 2012, 04:05:02 PM »

I have a question about Descartes' famous proof for existence--that is, 'I think therefore I am'. How exactly do we define existence? Do abstract principles and things exist? For example, do thoughts exist? What if we only 'exist' as the thoughts or dreams of something else? Technically, would we still exist and would our existence even mean anything?
What Decartes is arguing is that as long as he is thinking (and doubting is thinking), his own existence is inescapable. A being that is thinking, must necessarily exist. There are problems with his thought, but this is the basic argument he is putting forward.

This seems like faulty reasoning since he already presupposes existence with the 'I' and assumes that an 'I' even has to exist for the phemonena of thinking to occur and/or further relies on a priori reasoning by assuming that thought implies existence.
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