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Philosophers Stone

What is your philosophy on life? What is your philosophy on anything? You are the only one that can hold your ideas back in here. Just remember. Greatness only comes from the mind that isn't afraid of the outcome.

Location: #philosophy
Members: 59
Latest Activity: Oct 4, 2013

Discussion Forum

Neuroscience vs philosophy: Taking aim at free will

Started by Adriana. Last reply by Chris Oct 4, 2013. 87 Replies

Nature News has a very good article on free will, it's a couple of months old, I've been meaning to post on it for a while, but at first I felt we had sort of beaten the free will's dead horse quite a bit, and people may not be interested.…Continue

Tags: free will, philosophy, neuroscience

Stephen Fry on Philosopy

Started by Michel Jul 23, 2013. 0 Replies

"If you assume there's no afterlife, Stephen Fry says, you'll likely have a fuller, more interesting life."I love how he puts that whole field of philosophy in perspective. Continue

Tags: video, Philosopy, Stephen Fry

Tamar Gendler: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Politics and Economics

Started by A Former Member. Last reply by Neal May 20, 2013. 2 Replies

Tamar Gendler, Department of Philosophy Chair at Yale University, Cognitive ScientistWho gets what and who says so? These two questions underlie and inform every social arrangement from the resolution of schoolyard squabbles to the meta-structure of…Continue

Tags: wealth, income, social contract, culture, philosophy

Problem of omnipotence

Started by Onyango Makagutu. Last reply by Michel May 9, 2013. 4 Replies

Maybe this question has been asked here before, but I would still love to hear your opinions on the matter.For the sake of argument let us posit that a god exists and that this god is omnipotent, I posit that the biggest question that would trouble…Continue

Tags: the, universe, of, Origin, Suicide

On morality

Started by Onyango Makagutu. Last reply by Michel May 9, 2013. 2 Replies

Friends, this is the beginning of a sketch on morality that I have been developing and I would so much welcome comments and questions in developing it further. I am trying to describe my moral position from a philosophical point of view.My thesis is…Continue

Tags: nihilism, god, Illusions, Morality

Free will: A religious Idea

Started by Onyango Makagutu. Last reply by Onyango Makagutu Apr 29, 2013. 2 Replies

I agree with Friedrick Nietzsche when he writes this All primitive psychology, the psychology of will, arises from the fact that its interpreters, the priests at the head of ancient communities, wanted to create for themselves the right to punish-…Continue

Tags: Determinism, Atheism, Religion, Guilt, Punishment

Have Militant Atheists Created a New Religion?

Started by Neal. Last reply by Neal Apr 10, 2013. 13 Replies

For the fans of Waal, a small excerpt from his last book that for the most part I disagree with. His thought that there may be some tie between one's religion growing up and one's militant atheism does not ring true; at least for those militant…Continue

Tags: new, religion, a, created, militant

Should Marriage Be Abolished?

Started by Adriana. Last reply by doone Apr 1, 2013. 29 Replies

Provocative post at the site Philosophy Talk. There will be a podcast discussion on it to, if you're interested. The fact that gay people are not allowed to marry in most places in the…Continue

Tags: law, philosophy, rights, marriage

Problem of Evil

Started by Onyango Makagutu. Last reply by Adriana Mar 21, 2013. 39 Replies

Epicurus asked this question Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?Then he is not omnipotent.Is he able, but not willing?Then he is malevolent.Is he both able, and willing?Then whence cometh evil?Is he neither able nor willing?Then why call…Continue

Tags: Atheists, God, Rowe, William, Platinga

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Comment by Onyango Makagutu on September 11, 2013 at 12:35am
Comment by doone on September 3, 2013 at 7:38am
Comment by Onyango Makagutu on July 11, 2013 at 1:35am

Abuse of philosophy by the Religious

I contend that religious apologists from Aquinas down to Craig in shoring philosophy to defend their claims about the truth of religion end up by abusing philosophy. And that their many philosophical spins only go so far to prove that the human mind can come up with logical premises from which a given conclusion must follow but that the arguments can't be said to have proved that a deity exists, other than in the mind.

Theists misusing philosophy

Comment by doone on July 5, 2013 at 8:38am

PHILOSOPHY OF COSMOLOGY

Via Sean Carroll, a lecture on "Laws. The nature of Statistical-Mechanical probabilities" (more over at the YouTube channel of lectures from the UCSC Institute for the Philosophy of Cosmology):

Posted by Robin Varghese at 04:46 AM | Permalink | Save to del.icio.us | Digg This | Comments (0)

Comment by doone on June 22, 2013 at 7:02am

THE NEW FRENCH PHILOSOPHY

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Richard Marshall reviews Ian James's The New French Philosophy:

Ian James sets out to show that in the new French philosophy the idea of ‘new’ is its subject, where new is understood in terms of ‘rupture’ and ‘discontinuity’ and ‘novelty.’ The French philosophers wonder how the new is possible. Gilles Deleuze started this in the 1960’s in his philosophy of ‘difference.’ Lyotard, Derrida and Foucault continued. Lyotard’s ‘event’ seeks to explain how discourses are contested and thinking is transformed. Jeff Malpas thinks this ‘the founding moment of any postmodernism.’ Lyotard’s ‘The Different’ is defined as an instability in language and discourse. It is supposed to create ‘new addressees, new addressors, new significations and new referents’ and ‘new phrase families and new genres of discourse.’ Derrida’s late ‘Spectres of Marx’ is about going beyond existing research programmes, ‘… beyond any possible programming, new knowledge, new techniques, new political givens.’ Foucault talks about epistemic breaks as an ‘event’ in ‘The Order of Things.’ He asks, ‘ how is it that thought has a place in the space of the world, that it has its origin there, and that it never ceases to begin anew?’ He suggests a process that ‘… probably begins with an erosion from the outside, from a space which is, for thought, on the other side but in which it has never ceased to think from the very beginning.’

James discusses seven new French philosophers; Jean-Luc Marion, Jean-Luc Nancy, Bernard Stiegler, Catherine Malabou, Jacques Ranciere, Alain Badiou and Francois Laruelle. This is intended to be neither exhaustive nor up to date but rather an indicative group in support of an argument about a paradigm shift. These seven all agree with Foucault that the new comes from ‘an erosion from the outside.’ Five of them established themselves in the 1970’s. Two are younger and not yet established as much.

In the 1970’s the philosophers moved away from a linguistic paradigm which had dominated Derrida, Lyotard and Foucault. Signifiers, signifieds, the symbolic, discourse, text, writing, arche-writing were recast in terms of materiality, the concrete, ‘… worldliness, shared embodied existence and sensible-intelligible experience.’ The paradigm of structuralism and post structuralism as being a literary genre was subjected to its own ‘event’. 

Posted by Robin Varghese at 01:15 AM | Permalink

Comment by Hiram C on May 23, 2013 at 1:42am

There are two US Epicurean groups: one in Chicago and one in New Jersey.  If you're ever in the vecinity, please join us!

Also, my article for thenewhumanism.org is live.  It's titled That Old Time Secularism and is a pretty complete introduction to the philosophy.  Cheers~!

Comment by Claudia Mercedes Mazzucco on May 3, 2013 at 1:20pm

French philosopher Andre Comte-Sponville says:

"This is the spirit of Buddha: no Self, neither atman nor Brahman. It is a spirituality that open onto the world, onto other people, onto everything. Such is the spirit of Spinoza – no freedom within me other than the truth, which is all. Such is the spirit, period.”

Comte Sponville is one of the greatest atheist thinkers who have inspired me. He also says:

"Atheism is a way of humility. It's to think oneself to be an animal, as we are actually and to allow oneself to become human."

Our experience as evolved apes is the paradoxical experience that we are most intimately our own and at the same time superior to ourselves. All we need is a pure heart and an open mind.

Comment by Neo on March 14, 2013 at 3:20pm

Neal, I believe that one day all of humanity will be controlled by big corporations if we let them. Even when we are not in work our every move will be watched by someone. Hell, Big Brother already has cameras up all over the place. Credit cards tell them where we are when we buy things with them. The internet has no more privacy anymore either.

Comment by Onyango Makagutu on February 21, 2013 at 12:24pm

Existence of man, doesn't prove that of god by Jean Meslier

Whence comes man? What is his origin? Is he the result of the fortuitous meeting of atoms? Was the first man formed of the dust of the earth? I do not know! Man appears to me to be a production of nature like all others she embraces. I should be just as much embarrassed to tell you whence came the first stones, the first trees, the first elephants, the first ants, the first acorns, as to explain the origin of the human species. Recognize, we are told, the hand of God, of an infinitely intelligent and powerful workman, in a work so wonderful as the human machine. I would admit without question that the human machine appears to me surprising; but since man exists in nature, I do not believe it right to say that his formation is beyond the forces of nature. I will add, that I could conceive far less of the formation of the human machine, when to explain it to me they tell me that a pure spirit, who has neither eyes, nor feet, nor hands, nor head, nor lungs, nor mouth, nor breath, has made man by taking a little dust and blowing upon it. The savage inhabitants of Paraguay pretend to be descended from the moon, and appear to us as simpletons; the theologians of Europe pretend to be descended from a pure spirit. Is this pretension more sensible?

Man is intelligent, hence it is concluded that he must be the work of an intelligent being, and not of a nature devoid of intelligence. Although nothing is more rare than to see man use this intelligence, of which he appears so proud, I will admit that he is intelligent, that his necessities develop in him this faculty, that the society of other men contributes especially to cultivate it. But in the human machine and in the intelligence with which it is endowed, I see nothing that shows in a precise manner the infinite intelligence of the workman who has the honor of making it. I see that this admirable machine is subject to derangement; that at that time this wonderful intelligence is disordered, and sometimes totally disappears; from this I conclude that human intelligence depends upon a certain disposition of the material organs of the body, and that, because man is an intelligent being, it is not well to conclude that God must be an intelligent being, any more than because man is material, we are compelled to conclude that God is material. The intelligence of man no more proves the intelligence of God than the malice of men proves the malice of this God, of whom they pretend that man is the work. In whatever way theology is taken, God will always be a cause contradicted by its effects, or of whom it is impossible to judge by His works. We shall always see evil, imperfections, and follies resulting from a cause claimed to be full of goodness, of perfections, and of wisdom.

Comment by doone on February 20, 2013 at 2:50am

Bill Murray and Plato

Punxsutawney Plato

FEB 19 2013 @ 8:39PM

Mark Linsenmayer gives Groundhog Day a Platonic spin:

[Bill Murray's character] ends up in a zen-like peace in the midst of his constant activity. He’s figured out what battles he can’t win (saving a dying hobo’s life, actually seducing the one he loves), what difference he can make (even though presumably the damage to a boy falling out a tree would from his cursed vantage be eternally temporary), how to really make everyone around him feel great, and most of all, he’s trained himself to behave morally. Even though he figures out early on how to successfully rob a bank and so be flush with cash for the rest of the day (and likewise, I’m sure there would be more violent and equally effective means to achieve this), this doesn’t become part of his long-term routine, because he’s already got enough.

On a different picture of human nature, he could have become a serial rapist, newly subjugating the town every day, but this, whether or not he explored such dark avenues in his many months of captivity, is not what ends up being satisfying. Given enough time to reflect on it, he (as any of us would, according to Plato’s picture) seeks the good, and given enough acquired knowledge of himself, of social graces, of material circumstances, he’s able to achieve the good unerringly.

So this tale a counter to the “ring of Gyges” example brought up by Glaucon in The Republic. In that case, Glaucon says that man is fundamentally unjust, because if he had a ring of invisibility and could do injustice without consequence, he surely would. Groundhog Day is a demonstration that on the contrary, though someone with such power would try injustice, given the time to really sort himself out, he would turn to justice after all.

 

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