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These are answers that Dark_Crow has provided in

Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 03/07/08 - Why do persons and things exist?

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Dark_Crow answered on 03/07/08:

Existence follows the natural order of things.

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Question/Answer
sirocco asked on 03/03/08 - Philosophers

What do you want to achieve in life as a philosopher? Have you been successful so far?

Dark_Crow answered on 03/06/08:

No single definition of philosophy is uncontroversial. Above all it is about questions, questions about “Being,” “knowledge” and “Ethics”…how one should live. For me, how one should live is the most important question of all…for someone else it may be another question. However, I don’t believe anyone can study philosophy, with-out ultimately coming to the question…’how one should live.’

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 02/27/08 - "P
Is physical reality is an illusion? Why (not)

?

Dark_Crow answered on 02/27/08:

no

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 02/22/08 - Are there limits to what Chance can achieve?

... The existence of human beings is sometimes attributed to a series of fortuitous events. Yet scientific discoveries continue to reveal the immense complexity of the ecosystem and the genetic code.

Professor Colin Blakemore, a leading expert in neuroscience, has recently stated that we may never fully understand how the human brain functions, so enormous is its complexity. It contains 100 billion neurons, each of which has 1,000 to 10,000 synapses, transmitting signals at up to 200 mph. Nevertheless
such astonishing organization is still regarded by some people as having originated accidentally.

Is it reasonable to believe there are no limits to what Chance can achieve? If there are limits what are they? If the limits cannot be specified then the hypothesis is untestable, irrefutable and therefore vacuous! It becomes an argument based on ignorance and ceases to be a rational explanation.

Dark_Crow answered on 02/22/08:

I do not believe in the existence of an Invisible Pink Unicorn simply because there is no evidence that she exists (or for that matter fairies, pixies, goblins, leprechauns, elves, trolls, gnomes, flying reindeer, talking donkeys, angels, demons, etc

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 02/19/08 - What are you?

.......................................... One answer is that we are highly complex molecular systems that have been produced by fortuitous events. The overwhelming difficulty with this hypothesis is that complexity alone does not explain the differences between persons and things. How can an atomic structure functioning according to physical and chemical laws become aware of itself, have abstract ideas, experience emotions, control itself and even destroy itself?

Dark_Crow answered on 02/19/08:

Easy Tony if it had a nucleic acid that contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 02/15/08 - To what extent can random events be predicted?

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Dark_Crow answered on 02/15/08:

Tony given the past subject matter I will assume you mean in regards to Biology.

Let’s take freckles for instance. The density of freckles that appear on a person's skin is controlled by genes and exposure to light; whereas the exact location of individual freckles seems to be random. The characteristics of an organism arise to some extent deterministically (e.g., under the influence of genes and the environment) and to some extent randomly.

That is why the theory that random mutations and natural selection postulated as the sole explanation of life is most likely true, as opposed to reasoned creation.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 02/10/08 - Is there genuine academic freedom in the US?

"SCIENCE NOW KNOWS THAT MANY OF THE PILLARS OF DARWINIAN THEORY ARE EITHER FALSE OR MISLEADING. YET BIOLOGY TEXTS CONTINUE TO PRESENT THEM AS FACTUAL EVIDENCE OF EVOLUTION. WHAT DOES THIS IMPLY ABOUT THEIR SCIENTIFIC STANDARDS? -- JONATHAN WELLS."

"In 2001, biochemist Franklin Harold admitted in an Oxford University Press monograph that "there are presently no detailed Darwinian accounts of the evolution of any biochemical or cellular system, only a variety of wishful speculations.”[9] Other scientists have gone much further.

Over 700 doctoral scientists have signed a public statement asserting their agreement that they "are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life."[10] But what are these scientists to do when the top scientific organization in the U.S. proclaims that evolution is as unquestionable as the existence of atoms or the heliocentric model of the solar system? Clearly the NAS’s statements threaten the academic freedom of scientists to dissent from Neo-Darwinian evolution."

http://www.discovery.org/a/4405

Dark_Crow answered on 02/10/08:

As we must do with the word “Freedom” we must also do with the term “Evolution; that is, compare it to something relative. When we compare the theory evolution what do we have to compare it to? Creationism? When you compare them which theory is most probable?

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 02/03/08 - How reasonable are we?

..............................."Reason is, and ought only to be, the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them." (David Hume)

Dark_Crow answered on 02/04/08:

One passion replaces another- and at times one is stronger and another time weaker.

It is easier to exclude harmful passions than to rule them, and to deny them admittance than to control them after they have been admitted.
Author: Seneca

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Question/Answer
frick asked on 01/26/08 - Greatest.....................................................

Who is the greatest philosopher?

Why?

Dark_Crow answered on 01/26/08:

Aristotle because he introduced Logic, Nicomachean Ethics and other subjects which the latter philosophers all addressed

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 01/18/08 - To what extent do we let chance rule our life?

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Dark_Crow answered on 01/19/08:

Given that you are using “rules” in the sense of “control” I have to believe our basic human needs essentially control our lives and every decision includes chance; life is filled with risk.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 01/15/08 - What do you think of the Boltzmann brain?

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Dark_Crow answered on 01/15/08:

As likely as the proverbial camel squeezing through the needle’s eye.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 01/10/08 - How fundamental is the will to power?

............... "Physiologists should think before putting down the instinct of self-preservation as the cardinal instinct of an organic being. A living thing seeks above all to discharge its strength — life itself is will to power; self-preservation is only one of the indirect and most frequent results" (Nietzsche)

Dark_Crow answered on 01/11/08:

Like Hegel I believe the essence of man is Reason and we are free in recognizing it as the substance of our own being. The proof of that is we cannot will anything into being and self-preservation is rational

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 01/06/08 - What explains the insatiable lust for power?

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Dark_Crow answered on 01/06/08:

Richard Dawkins would likely attribute it to ‘The Selfish Gene.’

Of course freedom of thought is the means to both lust and power. Given that we need to exercise power in our life because doing such simple things as standing or sitting requires the use of power. So it is ‘Lust’ that we must deal with and that of course has to do with desire. Here again desire in itself is necessary for bodily function; so just what are we talking about when we say ‘Lust for power’ except desire for excesses.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 12/22/07 - How do you think the mind and body interact?

....(Probably the most difficult question in psychology).

Dark_Crow answered on 12/23/07:

Sensation…. Thought

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 12/19/07 - What does a rational being consist of?

!

Dark_Crow answered on 12/19/07:

Real…for whatever is rational is real.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 12/13/07 - What are your views on......... history?

........ (e.g. Can we draw any philosophical conclusions from past events - as Hegel and Marx attempted to do?)

Dark_Crow answered on 12/13/07:

In addition to Patty’s comment I would just add that the question reminds me of Wittgenstein's comment that "If a lion could talk, we could not understand him." And so it goes with history…to a point, because the meaning of words come roughly from the culture and society in which they are used.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 12/10/07 - What are your views on.............. mysticism

?

Dark_Crow answered on 12/10/07:

“Mysticism is usually understood in a religious context, but as William James and Ken Wilber point out, transcendent experiences may happen to anyone, regardless of religious training or inclinations.

Such experiences can occur unbidden and without preparation at any time, and might not be understood as religious experiences at all. A momentary unity may be experienced by the artist or athlete as a perceived interconnection with existence or a loss of self accompanied by feelings of euphoria, by the scientist as a spontaneous ecstatic inspiration, by an ordinary individual as a shift in physical reality after experiencing a temporary unconflicted state of mind, by a prophet as an open channel of knowledge or even dismissed as psychological disturbances in modern times. But, the authentic mystic's ultimate goal is a sustained stable state of full consciousness, wholeness/holiness through self-knowledge.”


I relate to Mysticism as it exists in the Wikipedia quote above.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 12/06/07 - What is the most important question

?

Dark_Crow answered on 12/06/07:

Questions are not important in and of themselves, only on how well or poorly they are constructed. Questions are merely the means to an end.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 12/02/07 - What are your views on...............science

?

Dark_Crow answered on 12/04/07:

I don’t know what to compare science with aside from philosophy, and I personally am satisfied much more by philosophy.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 11/25/07 - What are your views on......... aesthetics

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Dark_Crow answered on 11/26/07:

There is the languid aesthetic: An attitude…“One can let Evil have the leisure to abuse the world, and give him the exclusive monopoly on action. One can take refuge in the by ways of good conscience: “At least, I did not act with malice towards anybody” Nor with benevolence either! But the ball of fire which burned Dresden and killed tens of thousands of Germans, or that of Hamburg, or the two mushroom clouds, did not make Allies of the criminals, nor of their criminal war. The Allies did not lose their heart. They were not transformed into Nazis.”
Charles Péguy

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 11/19/07 - What are your views on............. ethics

?

Dark_Crow answered on 11/22/07:

To answer this question, I think, I will use constitutional liberalism as an example.

Constitutional liberalism is a political philosophy built on a particular ethical philosophy; a co-operative exercise where our common goal is to reach reasoned agreement on our response to our collective problems.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 11/14/07 - What are your views on........ politics

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Dark_Crow answered on 11/15/07:

Pragmatic as opposed to Idealistic; when people think in ideal terms [moral terms] politics can become perverted in their mind. For instance; America needs to stay the course with Musharraf in Afghanistan, not because it is the ‘Good’ thing to do, but rather the ‘Right’ thing to do. Now an Idealist will counter with “The right thing is the good thing” because they are thinking in moral terms and not pragmatically.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 11/11/07 - What are your views on logic?

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Dark_Crow answered on 11/11/07:

I think too few people use it. Teleology gives a logic to life; while Causality asks, "Who started it," Telos asks, where am I going and why?

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 11/06/07 - What are your views on metaphysics?

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Dark_Crow answered on 11/07/07:

In the broadest of terms it is a search to explain the unexplained aspects of reality.

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Question/Answer
Oldstillwild asked on 11/04/07 - Brain,mind...whatever....!

The human brain is an unprecedented phenomenon.
The mind is a journey thru its dimensions.
We do not need to address this complexity:
While being in a building,one wouldnt realise its measurements.
The human mind wouldnt know the dimensions of the brain and thru that, the possibilities of the mind.
If it were the Empire State Building,most people would be bivouacking on the first floor,unaware of its height......

or in other words:

Triviality rules.

any comments?
[of course not,moron!!]

Dark_Crow answered on 11/06/07:

Moments like this makes me recall “Wittgenstein’s Beetle”.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 10/30/07 - What are your views on idealism?

.........(The theory that mind is the fundamental reality).........

Dark_Crow answered on 10/31/07:

It’s a concept that only works in theory…in the practice of social reality it falls apart.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 10/27/07 - What are your views on dualism?

...............(The theory that mind and matter exist
independently)............

Dark_Crow answered on 10/29/07:

Concepts do not precede being, do not create the reality, or provide a blueprint of reality. We make them to suit us. Period. And yes, truth does have to conform to some reality, or people will die as a result; but that too is their choice.
This would indicate the two are not completely separate from one another.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 10/12/07 - How did altruism originate

?

Dark_Crow answered on 10/12/07:

One possibility is certainly sacrifice for the community.

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Question/Answer
MarySusan asked on 10/10/07 - Who Should Have the Right to Control....????

1. Scientific Thought

2. The End of your Life

3. The Definition of Evil.....


Your thoughts greatly appreciated.

Dark_Crow answered on 10/11/07:

global capitalism

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 09/25/07 - When should extreme suffering be permitted?

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Dark_Crow answered on 09/26/07:

When it can’t be avoided.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 09/20/07 - How can science influence moral decisions?

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Dark_Crow answered on 09/20/07:

From Cognitive scientists we have learned there are no moral universals; so yes science can influence moral decisions.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 09/15/07 - To what extent is selfishness self-destructive?

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Dark_Crow answered on 09/15/07:

Concerned with your own interests, needs, and wishes while ignoring those of others is impossible in a general or absolute sense of the term “selfish”. So we are left only with particular instances and so being selfish may be, or not be self-destructive.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 09/11/07 - What could be done to end child poverty?

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Dark_Crow answered on 09/13/07:

To the success of our hopeless task…

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Question/Answer
Mary_Susan asked on 09/11/07 - Are Governmental Bureaucracies Always "Bad"?

Tonyrey mentioned a couple of questions ago that Switzerland was a true democracy and cast bureaucracies as being intrinsically "bad", a part of government that separates the people from ruling power.

But, isn't it correct that bureaucracies aren't all "bad"??

Dark_Crow answered on 09/13/07:

Bureaucracies are inherently corrupt because they consist of individuals who are inherently corrupt; perhaps you might find an individual who is the exception, but never will you find a state or organization operated by a hierarchy of paid officials that is not corrupt.

“Bad”…Given that that term is wholly subjective it follows there cannot be a state or organization operated by a hierarchy of paid officials that are not “Bad.”

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 09/07/07 - Where does genuine democracy exist?

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Dark_Crow answered on 09/07/07:


The nearest I can recall are the Swiss.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 09/05/07 - Do you agree with Jefferson about honesty?

"The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest."

Dark_Crow answered on 09/05/07:

Difference of opinion leads to enquiry, and enquiry to truth

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 09/01/07 - What are the merits and demerits of democracy?

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Dark_Crow answered on 09/02/07:

As far as I can recall the Roman Republic was the first division of executive, legislative, and judicial branches; one devastating feature is that it need not be a Democratic system.

A Democracy is a system of government based on the principle of majority decision-making. One devastating feature of Democracy is repression of the minorities.

In America, we have a Democratic system where representatives are democratically elected to the legislative branch of government which consist of two groups; the "Patrician" and “Plebeian” houses.

A Democratic Republic buffers repression of minorities and therefore is the better choice.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 08/30/07 - Why are some legal systems superior to others? considered to be unjust?

Few people believe all legal systems are equally worthy of our allegiance. How do we determine which are superior?

Dark_Crow answered on 08/31/07:

1)civil law.
a) The civil law system is based on Roman law.


2)common law
a)In common law the law is created and/or refined by judges

3)religious law
a)In the religious sense, law can be thought of as the ordering principle of reality; knowledge as revealed by God defining and governing all human affairs.





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Question/Answer
Mary_Susan asked on 08/28/07 - Science and the Problem of Evil

I don't think that religion(monotheism) helps humanity address, clarify or answer the problem of evil in the world. In fact, I think religion HINDERS that understanding.

In what ways does science help us address, clarify and answer problems of evil?

In what way does religion fail?


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
[I'm reading a book about anti-social personality disorder(psychopathology, sociopathology)hence the interest.

Thanks, Mary Sue

Dark_Crow answered on 08/28/07:

Essentially religion holds that evil is a moral category whose definition is permanently set and not contextual.
On the other had, many like myself do believe evil to be a contextual and relative moral category.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 08/27/07 - Do the majority determine what is right or just?

If not what does?

Dark_Crow answered on 08/27/07:

Both right or just are abstract beliefs, opinions or concepts about the way things are; and whatever can be said about them can only be a fallacy of misplaced concreteness.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 08/23/07 - How does truth fit into your view of reality?

... Does the fact that it is intangible mean it exists only in the mind?

Dark_Crow answered on 08/23/07:

Reality is an illusion and truth is how we attempt to justify that illusion.

When we attempt to refine our beliefs we find few others who agree. In science, agreement is generally more often; but ultimately, there is always a polar opposite in opinion; particularly in the Social Sciences.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 08/17/07 - ?

........................................ The belief that justice is manmade increases the likelihood that people will act unjustly and tolerate injustice. How can a human convention be a solid bulwark against selfishness, greed and the lust for power?

Dark_Crow answered on 08/17/07:

Ohhh my-o-my Mr. Tony- My Auntie always said you just let other people do whatever it is that they do, but if you stay away from foul talking vulgar people it will be as a shield against selfishness, greed and the lust for power.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 08/10/07 - What do you regard as the scope of science?

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Dark_Crow answered on 08/10/07:

Personal values’ are beyond the reach of science; they are beyond the reach of government; they are beyond the reach of others…only each individual can know or shape their personal values.

Some things are true, but useless.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 08/07/07 - Scientifically inexplicable events- your views?

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Dark_Crow answered on 08/09/07:

Tony, I see no reason to consider scientifically inexplicable events permanently beyond the bounds of scientific explanation: there are no good grounds for thinking that any event is a miracle.

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Question/Answer
ttalady asked on 08/02/07 - Prementions

Do you believe, is it possible to have?

I have said before I just know sometimes. I just do. To share such is scarry, to those that hear and for me to say.

Tuesday I had a dream, that of a white van, big van like construction. I was driving and heading to what looked like a boat docking area however lost brakes, we went into the water so.... fast and the water came in so.. fast. I could not open the door, let alone I just gave in to the water. So real and with my brothers by my side and said, it is too late. Then the bridge.

Twin cities, any link? The dream the night before, the possibility the night after? White van three people all related.

Then again, I call my Pops to relate as he has such dreams and tells me my two brothers and nephew just stepped out of a white van from site seeing Maui. What the &&&&

I know what my mind tells me, I know what I see beyond others. What do I do with it? HELP!

Many times if i say it it does not happen, if i don't i keep it to my self it happens. I am not a nut however feel like one.

love always,
tta

Dark_Crow answered on 08/03/07:

One great pleasure in life is in doing what people say you cannot do; a mans’ talent is his call.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 08/02/07 - To what extent has philosophy changed your life?

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Dark_Crow answered on 08/02/07:

To the extent I am entirely a different person.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 07/30/07 - Has philosophy advanced human knowledge?

....... If so how?

Dark_Crow answered on 07/30/07:

Philosophy is usually compared with science when that question is asked; wrongfully in my opinion.

There is no doubt that mainstream Analytical Philosophy, with its logical and linguistic analyses… (It is a mistake and to compare the two) and science, with its applications and ever more powerful technology is far ahead in producing knowledge.

What we need to compare though is science with metaphysical and moral philosophy.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 07/25/07 - What do you think of Bertrand Russell's...

"The secret to happiness is to face the fact that the world is horrible" ?

Dark_Crow answered on 07/26/07:

I have no idea what the secret to happiness is, in fact, I’m not sure there is one. Here is another of his quotes…Anything you're good at contributes to happiness.

I am sure there are many people who describe me as happy, yet when I am alone and occupied with though I live in constant apprehension of what ‘may’ happen.

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Question/Answer
Jim.McGinness asked on 07/24/07 - Taking discussions off Answerway - a response to spam.

I would not normally suggest on one site that members move to another site, but the situation on Answerway seems sufficiently desperate to justify doing so in this case. Without defenses against spam and abuse, Answerway boards are losing their appeal. Most of the appeal is the ongoing conversation and community with the non-abusing members. One idea that has been mentioned is attempting to migrate the community to a new forum.

For a low traffic site, or blog, hosting costs are pretty nominal, possibly even free. All it would take is one member to spearhead the move and some general agreement from others to follow. The Answerway boards would remain as they are -- possibly with less activity -- nobody is forced to move. In addition to setting up something new, it may be that some already existing forum would be a more suitable place to go (I've heard people mention AskMeHelpDesk). Just remember that with the move, we'll likely have one or more members with "moderator" powers, so we may wish to choose our overlords with some care.

Dark_Crow answered on 07/24/07:

Although I do not intend on leaving this board entirely I have participated on the Politics forum for about a month now and find it refreshing. There are a number of experts who have gone from here to there. As Tony points out, the Philosophy Forum is lacking, but that is because it lacks serious participation. I believe, like the Politics Forum there, it is a viable alternative to answerway.

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Question/Answer
MarySusan asked on 07/18/07 - Communication and Fantasy

From a philosophical viewpoint, what do you think is the reason for the television programs which show communication with the dead and show dead people interacting with reality?

Why all these shows at a time in history when science has never been so powerful and valid?

Dark_Crow answered on 07/20/07:

That would be Ontology [the branch of philosophy concerned with the nature of existence] of what is not there.

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Question/Answer
Choux... asked on 07/15/07 - NOTE: ATHEISM BOARD NOW OPEN FOR RATIONAL...

...witty and interesting discussions about religion and spirituality and any associated topics.

The upcoming week: There will be a discussion on the topic of Christopher Hitchens' new book, "God is Not GREAT".

Anyone can bring up a topic or ask a question at any time, of course, and we can have several interesting subjects going at one time.

Come join us and ENJOY!!

Dark_Crow answered on 07/16/07:

You should start a new forum…Girl with a one track mind. :):):)

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Question/Answer
Jim.McGinness asked on 07/15/07 - Does your cat have a conscience? Your dog?

Do you ever get the impression that your pet is "acting guilty" after it has done something you don't allow? Does it watch for you not to be looking before it tries something you've supposedly trained it not to do?

Dark_Crow answered on 07/15/07:

I cannot count the times that one of my cats sat, seemingly unconcerned with what I was doing, and in that flash of a moment when I diverted my eyes, they snatched something from my plate onto the floor, and then decided whether it was something they wanted.
Typically emotions involve propositional attitudes, that is, emotions are specified in terms of propositions: one can't be angry with someone unless one believes that person guilty of some offense; one can't be envious unless one believes that someone else has something good in her possession. In order to have an emotion, one must always have some sort of attitude directed at a proposition, whether it is you or your mammal pets.



“Emotional life took a great leap forward with mammals (and birds, along a separate evolutionary line), probably because mammals raise their young in such an intimate way, and they usually live in groups. So not only do mammals show fear, anger, sadness, curiosity, contentment, disgust, and joy, but also the social emotions of pride, shame, guilt, grief, compassion, fear of abandonment, dread of banishment, joy at reunion, and so forth.”
http://www.ssec.wisc.edu/~billh/gbrain0.html

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 07/13/07 - Is the mind just a set of electrical currents?

Materialists believe the brain is the source of all mental activity. But how can a physical organ grasp abstract ideas like truth and justice and know it exists? How can a set of electrical currents form an entity which is responsible for its behaviour?

Dark_Crow answered on 07/14/07:

Your memory resides in the cerebrum - both short-term memory (That your wife fixed you bacon and eggs for breakfast) and long-term memory (the name of you first love).

The cerebrum also helps you reason, like when you figure out the shape or color of an ox.

The cerebrum has two halves, with one on either side of the head. The right half helps you think about abstract things like music, colors, and shapes. The left half is said to be more analytical, helping you with math, logic, and speech.

There are cells called the amygdala’s on each side of your brain. The amygdala’s are what causes emotion like good and bad. Sometimes you might feel a little sad, and other times you might feel scared, that is, emotions are what drives human action except functions your body needs to stay alive, like breathing air, digesting food, and circulating blood, maintaining body temperature and hormones that made you grow.

Is this what a materialist believes; it’s certainly what I believe.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 07/08/07 - Do you agree with the "selfish gene" theory?

Why (not)?

Dark_Crow answered on 07/09/07:

The selfish gene theory is such a casuist play on words; to speak of a gene as a conscious being is against all scientific evidence.

The more accurate way to use the term is coupled with… of Natural selection; that is, the selfish gene theory of Natural Selection. So that the subject is Natural selection i.e. the process by which favorable traits that are heritable become more common in successive generations of a population of reproducing organisms, and unfavorable traits that are heritable become less common.

As I have, I believe, expanded upon before; the process by which humanity moves forward, or backwards, has much more to do with culture than with Race, so that it follows that heritable behavioral traits play a small part in the life of humans.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 07/01/07 - What are your most cherished beliefs and values?

.

Dark_Crow answered on 07/01/07:

I’ve always cherished my independence and individualism … counting on no one but myself.

However, I’m questioning that now; that is, it may have been a false value.

Perhaps I will become a Catholic; I think they are the most misrepresented religion and the most misunderstood.

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Question/Answer
Oldstillwild asked on 06/17/07 - Actual factual shacktual?

ET , grown up ,became a tour-conductor.
Approaching Earth he warned his audience before landing:
"What you see is what you get:A perfect example of what I learned this people thought would only apply to all other forms of life:
Survival of the fittest!"

Dark_Crow answered on 06/19/07:

The contrary of ‘Fittest’ is ‘Unfit.’

Be careful not to conflate mere survivability (a natural property) with goodness itself (a non-natural property).

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Question/Answer
MarySusan asked on 06/05/07 - The Road to Destruction in America?

"Today, as China looms large as a growing scientific and technological superpower, is a very poor time for the United States to take two steps back. The new creationism “museum” in Kentucky is a giant leap backward. I am not going to go through the facts, the volumes of confirming evidence favoring the theory of evolution by natural selection. There’s little sense resuscitating a galloping, conscious horse. But it is worth addressing what the opening of this attraction means for the United States at this particular moment, and the ***MISCONCEPTIONS OF WHICH RELIGIOUS FUNDAMENTALISTS AND POSTMODERNISTS ALIKE ARE GUILTY** in condoning the slander of empiricism and the scientific method.

Not every method of inquiry is equal. Since the dawn of the scientific revolution, we have learned one thing consistently: observation and evidence provide reliable knowledge. Revelation does not. Religious texts gave us a skewed view of a universe that was created for our benefit and took us and our planet as its center. As observation of the heavens revealed things not predicted by sacred texts, the Church tried first desperately to suppress those observations, then struggled to reinterpret the texts to allow for dogma and scientific truth to somehow coexist without contradiction.

Finally, well into the Enlightenment, “enlightened” religion admitted that religious texts could not be literally true and must largely be conceived as metaphors. All but the most recalcitrant believers became convinced that science works for worldly things and that religion should pertain only to the realm of the spiritual. For a time, as the nation whose enlightenment legacies included a constitutional separation of church and state, the United States rose as a great technological and scientific power. Before World War II, our technological ascension was fueled by pragmatic and entrepreneurial hard work. Inventors led the way, encouraged by a more-or-less affordable patent system and a market-driven desire to improve everyday living through the development of useful tools.

The spirit of American invention was rooted, of course, in empiricism. The process of trial and error led Thomas Edison to try a legendary number of filament materials before settling on that used for the last century in incandescent bulbs. Technological progress and the pace of invention was fueled by market forces, but American scientific supremacy was the result of necessity created by the advent of World War II. By harnessing the talents of fleeing European scientists as well as domestic scientists and technologists, and building a scientific and financial infrastructure that would germinate the National Science Foundation, America would rise in the 1950s and 60s to be a true scientific superpower.
At the heart of U.S. scientific supremacy was a Cold-War driven competitiveness and investment in scientific education and research. We prevailed. We reached the moon in the symbolic culmination of our scientific journey from Scopes trial to spacefarers. Our success was built upon the proven role of evidence in overcoming obstacles and achieving dreams.

We observe radioactive decay and know that it happens at certain rates. The rocks of this world are billions of years old. We also observe the light from suns billions of light-years away and, knowing that light travels at a fixed rate, calculate that the universe is at least 14 billion years old. The evidence is overwhelming. Ultimately, one silly museum that ignores it doesn’t threaten our scientific future. But it is clearly symptomatic of the sorry state of science in the United States and an indication that we are losing ground in ways that ought to concern us. Although the money raised is private, and thankfully not governmental, it displays a strange thrust of our priorities.

More than half of those completing Ph.D.s in science in the United States now come from abroad. In a few short years, the Chinese will have a strong space program. Our own aged fleet of shuttles has been virtually grounded. American schoolchildren’s knowledge of science and math decline steadily for each year of education. According to the 2003 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), U.S. students “remain primarily in the middle of rankings among those nations that are most advanced or nations that have taken part in TIMSS consistently since the study’s first assessment.” The rankings are of forty-six developed nations.

Next year, the CERN physics laboratory in Switzerland will complete its Large Hadron Supercollider in an effort to find the final link in the standard model of particle physics. The United States essentially opted out of the race to understand matter when Congress defunded the Superconducting Supercollider in the early 1990s. It’s beginning to look like the next few decades of scientific achievement will occur abroad, and Americans will become spectators, with only our fading military superiority as the last bastion of our national pride. And so it bears asking, what does it indicate about us as a nation when $25 million is raised and spent on a “museum” with as much scientific value as Space Mountain? I fear it shows how the mighty have fallen." David Koepsell, Exec Dir. Council of Secular Humanism in On-Line Newsletter
*capital letters mine*
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Was the goal of the now defunct Christo-Republican political movement which culminated in the Bush Presidendy to hobble American schools, create a nation of predominately ignorant automatons, destroy civil liberties, create an imperial Presidency which in effect, would turn America into a dictatorship. All in order to bully and control the rest of the world? Or, something like that???

Dark_Crow answered on 06/05/07:

Oh my God, pure empiricism …? That the author is ignorant about the full extent of the Enlightenment is clear to me. Thank God for the Enlightenment Thinkers. They insist on combining logic with something they call "reason," which includes common sense. This is one reason everyone should study the Enlightenment; it produced such men as Washington, Jefferson, and Paine

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Question/Answer
Jon1667 asked on 06/03/07 - Distorted Thinking?

A plot was uncovered to destroy JFK airport and much of the surrounding part of New York City by exploding the lines conveying jet fuel to the airport by Islamic militants based in the Caribbean.

According to the leader of the plot, he concocted the plot because "The Jews always get a pass, while Moslems suffer" and, if the plot succeeded, it would put the United States into mourning since they loved and admired John Kennedy so much, and it would be as if he had been "killed twice".

On the first point: So far as I know, "the Jews" have never plotted, let alone succeeded, in mass murder murder of innocents of the kind perpetuated on 9/11 or contemplated in this latest grotesque idea. An utter lack of proportion is shown. On the second point: it is just nonsense to think that JFK airport would be thought of as a kind of shrine. These people must be confusing it with one of their mosques. Furthermore. it is again, grotesque to believe that Americans would care as much for the loss of an airport, as they would for the loss of life, had the plot succeeded.

What sort of people are these?

Dark_Crow answered on 06/03/07:

“What sort of people are these?”

They must have someone else to blame for their problems, otherwise they would have to accept responsibility for their own failure. They do not realize that they are, to a great degree, a product of the beliefs, customs, practices, and social behavior of a failed culture.

Of course we in America have those too who blame others for their failure; the prisons in America are filled with those who have not assimilated into the beliefs, customs, practices, and social behavior that have made America great. We have had great leaders, while they rely on the static teaching of their Ulema’s.

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Question/Answer
Itsdb asked on 05/18/07 - Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for apes?

This opinion column appeared in my paper...

By JONATHAN BALCOMBE
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

    It's a civil rights case with a twist. In late April, an Austrian judge denied personhood status (Registration required) and legal guardianship for 26-year-old Matthias Pan, who was kidnapped as an infant in Sierra Leone after his mother was shot. Brought to Austria illegally, Pan was sold to a research laboratory where he lived alone in a cage and was experimented on for many years before finally being released to a sanctuary.

    In her concluding statement, the judge explained that she never doubted that Pan should be considered a person, but she did not want to set a precedent that might weaken the case of humans with legal guardians. Pan's legal team will appeal the decision.

    Matthias Pan is, of course, not human. He is a chimpanzee.

    Although many of us might share the judge's view that chimps should qualify for personhood, current legal systems in the United States, Austria and most other countries do not. As a biologist and animal behavior expert, I believe it is time for the U.S. legal system to address this serious ethical issue.

    Like all nonhuman animals, chimps qualify as nothing more than property. It is perfectly legal to chain a chimp to a stake or put her in a 5-cubic-foot cage and inject her with hepatitis or HIV.

    That it's legal doesn't make it ethical. The sort of thinking that established this injustice is that we're smarter than them. But is "bright-makes-right" any basis for a sound moral system?

    You may be surprised to learn that we are not as highly evolved as chimpanzees. A recent analysis of 14,000 genes found that 233 chimp genes, compared with only 154 human ones, have been changed by natural selection since we shared a common ancestor.

    Despite popular assumptions, we are not always smarter.
    In a test of spatial memory, the numbers one to nine flash in a randomly scattered array across a computer screen for just one second before being replaced by white squares. A human observer is unlikely to recall the locations of more than two numbers in sequence. A chimpanzee will almost always successfully point to the former locations of all nine digits in the correct sequence. The dynamics of chimp society require keen awareness of where other group members are, which probably accounts for their exceptional skill on such tests.

    Chimpanzees were thought to have poor face recognition until someone had the bright idea of testing them on chimp faces instead of humans. They recognize chimp faces at least as well as we recognize human faces.

    Discoveries like this expose the prejudices that regard chimps as mere shadows of humans. But does it even matter how smart they are? After all, we don't deny basic rights and privileges to people of lower intellect.

    Surely what matters is what an individual feels. It is apparent that chimps experience life essentially as we do. They are highly aware, and chimp expert Frans de Waal asserts that they are as socially sophisticated as humans.


    They imitate, nurture, deceive, sympathize and plan. They have a broad emotional range spanning from jubilation to grief. Their cultures include different forms of tool manufacture and use, self-medication and bartering.

    So should they be granted rights? Governments are beginning to say "yes." In 1999, New Zealand banned the use of great apes in harmful experiments. And this year, the Balearic Parliament of Spain approved a resolution to grant legal rights to great apes.

    Meanwhile, Matthias Pan awaits his fate, as do 1,300 chimpanzees languishing in U.S. laboratories and an unknown number in squalid carnivals and roadside zoos. The day that they are free will be a great one for all apes -- and a step forward for humanity.


OK, (holding back the laughter) I love animals, but come on, do supposedly educated people actually believe this nonsense?

What does that 2 percent gene difference amount to?

Does a chimp's memory skills in matching numbers mean "we are not always smarter?"

What relevance does "recognizing an upside-down face" have in this debate?

Do chimps "experience life essentially as we do," or are there significant differences?

Are chimps "as socially sophisticated as humans?"

What exactly is significant about " 233 chimp genes, compared with only 154 human ones, have been changed by natural selection since we shared a common ancestor?"

If chimps are "more highly evolved" why aren't they now humans? What's the matter, some of them didn't want to come along? I will agree that some humans are obviously not as highly evolved as or smarter than chimps. Balcombe seems to be a perfect example of that.

Comments?

Dark_Crow answered on 05/18/07:

"Natural selection is a real factor in connection with mimicry, but its function is to conserve and render preponderant an already existent likeness, not to build up that likeness through the accumulation of small variations, as is so generally assumed."
Reginald C. Punnett, Mimicry in Butterflies, page 152. (my emphasis)

So much for natural selection.

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Question/Answer
ttalady asked on 05/11/07 - Dalia Lama and Grandma all in one

Why my Grandmother has been the BIGGEST influence in my life. She lives inside of me, it is odd yet true. Her blood her meaning in life I live by. Mind you a very stern woman. Her hugs were far and few but every one was meaning ful. My Mother is not a very strong woman, she can be a wimpy more times than not. My father's genes run in me beyond even that of my bros. They are so... much more my mother.

She saw something in me as a child, I always noted that. Never a favorite, she was harder on me. She knew I would take care of others as she did. It was almost like passing on your legacy of life. I always felt and feel with her TAKE CARE OF YOUR OWN THAT IS ALL YOU HAVE! In no way was she not a giving person however when it comes to family, that is what you really have, that is yours and what ever you may do in your life, if you are true to family, they are there.

Her funeral I read what I wrote. As much as speaking in public is like pulling a tooth I wrote and my Father told me you must read.

In small words my, Grandma was a rock. She use to have us little ones bring up a rock to hold the sand bank that held the summer camp that we enjoyed for many years. She showed us responsibilty by us having to have a part in it. There were tons of times we rolled our eyes as we went to the beach, park, a friends camp and she would say ,"Make sure you bring a rock back to hold the bank". For real, those rocks we brought back for her held that sand bank for many years.

Her death was well before others claim. I came to visit her, unhappy that she was not at home then again, I am just a grandchild, I know nothing. Anyway, I came to visit her and she would not talk to me, the nurses told me she will not eat, and then I notice she has total sadness in the face. I told her "Grandma, if you do not eat you will die". Tears came from her eyes, the only time EVER I saw such and I new this was my last meeting with her. Really her. She said nothing still, just tears, I sat with her and with out words let her go. I would still visit to read to her however her soul was already working on a better place. I wanted to just help her there and not stop her from her tears. She deserves to finally cry!!

The woman was minimal on emotion however you could never EVER doubt her heart. She is a strong soul that still lives, in me! She gave me the gift of being strong, intelligent, and understanding all in one. As a woman mind you. Not all women are a bunch of hibbity filibty gibitis. Some actually understand mind over matter!

She lives inside of me, my whole life is a totally different picture. I felt her when she passed on. That is the end of that.


Peace, love, and God be with you all.

TTA

Dark_Crow answered on 05/12/07:

I think we might all be surprised by just how much influence our genes have on both body and behavior.

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Question/Answer
MarySusan asked on 05/07/07 - Four Objections to Religious Faith

"There are four irreducible objections to religious faith: that it wholly misrepresents the origins of man and the cosmos, that because of this original error it manages to combine the maximum of servility with the maximum of solipsism, that it is both the result and the cause of dangerous sexual repression, and that it is ultimately grounded on wish-thinking." Slate an article by Christopher Hitchens.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Do GodBelievers have any argument against these four points? Argument about origin of "Goodness" not acceptable as I posted a refutation earliew this year.

Comments?

Dark_Crow answered on 05/07/07:

From what I have seen you have read many “Black Legends” and few, good Theologians. Through the stream of History Christianity has served mankind well, and, not so well sometimes. There have been among men those with little compassion and great vanity, both inside the Church and outside; for instance, the Inquisición and Marxism. Being a Christian or being a non-Believer in itself is not the mark of “Goodness.”

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 05/04/07 - Are all metaphysical views equally credible?

If not why not?

How would you judge which view is the most credible: materialism, idealism or dualism?

Dark_Crow answered on 05/04/07:

The causal connections of perceptions: Historically God is the source of our perceiving a tree because he has put that image in out spirit-mind, and we can know and rely on this through faith. Following this theory, George Berkeley rejects the theory of physical reality and instead theorizes that God directly feeds us perceptions of external things i.e. Idealism.

Hume argued that it was experience that drove all of our mental operations– including our most rational ideas–denying the spiritual i.e. Materialism.

Metaphysical dualism of the mental and the non-mental is no more than a fork, as far as I can tell, in Berkely’s theory.

The issue simply comes down to whether there is some force that is not a material substance. There may be a force, perhaps similar to what is termed Gravity, that is not material substance, but to start assigning attributes to [it?] like the power to reason seems quite foolish.


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Question/Answer
ttalady asked on 05/02/07 - I am jealous

My bros met the Dalai Lama. Maui, two weeks ago. Why jealous you must ask. Pure knowledge of peace. The man hates no one and honestly give no hoot for no one! He is kind yet honest. I am so........ glad finally my bros had a chance to see honesty!

Honesty, live life to the fullest, take care of what is in your heart, and those that meet you half way, understand they are half of heart. TTA

Dark_Crow answered on 05/03/07:

Some people have all the luck; I just had to replace my "Reiki Master"- it seems he confuses the concept of an object, with the object itself. :)

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 05/01/07 - How can we tackle "metaphysical probability"?

Not all metaphysical theories seem equally probable. It seems improbable, for example, that solipsism is true and very few people are solipsists. Materialists believe idealism is far less probable than materialism and idealists believe materialism is far less probable than idealism. But are their conclusions based on reason or emotion?

Dark_Crow answered on 05/01/07:

It seems to me that the materialist accepts a "metaphysical probability" based on the assumption that it exists in the world independently of our beliefs.

The Idealist on the other hand believe nothing exists independently of our beliefs and consequently can not rule out bias in one degree or another.

Given that, I can conclude that for the Idealist, the probability can never be over 50% one way or another.

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Question/Answer
MarySusan asked on 04/28/07 - Mouse Brain Simulated on Computer

From BBC on line:


Mouse brain simulated on computer
BlueGene L under construction, IBM
It takes a supercomputer to mimic a mouse brain

US researchers have simulated half a virtual mouse brain on a supercomputer.

The scientists ran a "cortical simulator" that was as big and as complex as half of a mouse brain on the BlueGene L supercomputer.

In other smaller simulations the researchers say they have seen characteristics of thought patterns observed in real mouse brains.

Now the team is tuning the simulation to make it run faster and to make it more like a real mouse brain.



Brain tissue presents a huge problem for simulation because of its complexity and the sheer number of potential interactions between the elements involved.

The three researchers, James Frye, Rajagopal Ananthanarayanan, and Dharmendra S Modha, laid out how they went about it in a very short research note entitled "Towards Real-Time, Mouse-Scale Cortical Simulations".

Half a real mouse brain is thought to have about eight million neurons each one of which can have up to 8,000 synapses, or connections, with other nerve fibres..."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`

WOW

If you want, write your own question and answer it.

Thanks to any participants. :)

Dark_Crow answered on 04/28/07:

"Compose" is to create or put together. "Comprise" is to contain, to include all or embrace. "Constitute" is to make up, to be the elements of.

For example:
The whole comprises the parts. The parts constitute the whole. The whole is composed of parts.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 04/23/07 - Chance or Design... or both Chance and Design?

"Although the idea that each individual event in evolutionary history is purposefully intended or in conformity to some predetermined plan may have to be set aside, that does not at all eliminate the possibility that the evolutionary process as a whole might well be serving some comprehensive purpose. As an illustration, suppose there were a completely honest gambling casino in which pure randomness characterized every roll of the dice, every spin of the wheel, every turn of the card, etc. Nonetheless, the casino accomplishes its purpose of bringing a handsome profit to the bank at the end of each day. In fact, the owners of the casino depend on authentic randomness in their computation of payout rates in order to accomplish their goal of making a profit. Randomness at one level does not exclude purpose at another. Randomness can be purposefully employed."

http://66.102.9.104/search?q=cache:IXskVRC7vbcJ:www.aaas.org/spp/dser/03_Areas/evolution/perspectives/vantillecoli_2002.pdf+inadequacy+chance+hypothesis+development&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=12&gl=uk

http://66.102.9.104/search?q=cache:IXskVRC7vbcJ:www.aaas.org/spp/dser/03_Areas/evolution/perspectives/vantillecoli_2002.pdf+inadequacy+chance+hypothesis+development&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=12&gl=uk

Dark_Crow answered on 04/23/07:

“…unguided natural processes are inherently incapable of generating specified complexity…”

Of course this is true; on the other hand, it is also true that specified complexity is inherently incapable of generating unguided natural processes.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 04/19/07 - Is optimization by blind evolution credible?

"Stable systems are not very sensitive to disturbing influences. Chaotic systems however, are extremely sensitive to differences in the situation of origin. For example, in the computer models which Kauffman used to simulate the interaction between genes of the genome, or between the various species within an eco-system, it turned out that the system could either be stable or chaotic, depending on the value of certain parameters (such as the number of interrelations between genes or species). However, at certain parameter values, the system hovered between both extremes: the edge of chaos. This is the area where the ability to evolve, the evolvability, turns out to be the greatest. This is easy to imagine: an evolving system can benefit from stability (it needs to be strong) as well as from flexibility (it must be able to adjust). The border between stability and chaos provides precisely this compromise. Miraculously, the evolving systems of Kauffman's simulations turned out to assume precisely the parameter values which brought the system to this border between stability and chaos. The blind process of evolution appeared capable of finding the spot where the possibilities for further evolution are greatest! An amazing outcome indeed."

http://www.mediamatic.net/article-5611-en.html

Dark_Crow answered on 04/19/07:

The assumption is that evolution is blind; the question is whether evolution is blind. What would it entail for evolution to be blind? I think we have a category mistake.

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Question/Answer
denberg asked on 04/17/07 - Can someone explain this phrase in simple english...

"...the feedback mechanism between human society and technology was a positive loop, and that growth was not exponential but hyperbolic."

Thanks.

Dark_Crow answered on 04/17/07:

Nature will do what nature does; and the conclusion of that theory is that the Human Species will, eventually be replaced by a more adaptable species.

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Question/Answer
ttalady asked on 04/15/07 - Why question?

It is free will... What we are who we are is free will. Belief in a God, no belief, it is all free will.

Sad to say my Mother has come to question her own beliefs. Her own, free will. It is that of another that brings such question in her mind, free will.

It is the power of your own mind, soul, and heart that holds that will in what ever you belive and do not believe in, free will.

When you loose that, free will, you are a puppet to the world.

Why so much pain, free will, why do people die, free will, why do I question free will!

Focus on what you can do and what you want to do. Never give up!

TTA

Dark_Crow answered on 04/16/07:

And the proof of free-will lies in the fringes of every society; past or present.

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Question/Answer
Oldstillwild asked on 04/14/07 - Quantality?

Quantity is ruling over quality,which is fun of course...
Is this exception or typical for how things are going in this world?

Dark_Crow answered on 04/14/07:

simply frumpy :)

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Question/Answer
Jim.McGinness asked on 04/10/07 - What about the Problem of Evil?

Tony asked a question about the problem of evil in a somewhat twisted way

What is the factual basis of the Problem of Evil?
Are facts really at issue here? As I see it, the problem of evil is presented as an argument to confront believers with a seeming contradiction. On one side is the conception of God as omnipotent and all-benevolent. On the other side is presence in the created world of evil. This may include natural disasters and afflictions or people who act in ways that are considered "evil" or even some sort of reified, personifed evil, like the devil.

Some atheists see this as a slam-dunk argument, but religious philosophers have resisted with marvelous ingenuity (is Plantinga still considered the gold standard on this topic?). They recognize the apparent conflict but deflect the conclusion in a variety of ways.

What facts are really in play here? Does it count as a fact that people hold certain beliefs? Do the sophisticated arguments of the theologians satisfy the everyday believer? Are atheists similarly satisfied?

Dark_Crow answered on 04/10/07:

Jim it would be helpful if you gave an example of Plantinga deflecting that conclusion.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 04/09/07 - What are the pros and cons of pragmatism?

.

Dark_Crow answered on 04/09/07:

For the life of me I can’t think of a Con, only the Pro; so long as a person remembers… Man can alter his life by altering his thinking.

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 04/04/07 - Just wondering:





I am beginning to think that a multicultural society is not possible. How about you?

HANK

Dark_Crow answered on 04/04/07:

Mono-cultural, multicultural, what does that mean? Well I’m all for multicultural if it means a culture is “like a mongrel” in the respect that it is unlike a patch quilt, where there are distinct lines separating each from the other.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 04/03/07 - If the universe is biocentric what follows?

(If anything...)

Dark_Crow answered on 04/03/07:

Given that, if, time and space are purely a form of animal sense perception, which seems to be the case; the universe is not mechanical, but that life creates the universe. Now Patty is always commenting about how, “we create our own reality,” however that leaves us with the concept that we can jump off a tall building and not get hurt. I wish she would explain a bit more.

Here is an interesting article.

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/315/5814/966

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 03/30/07 - What are your views on the "biocentric universe"?

"The whole evolutionary process, both cosmic and organic, is one, and the biologist may now rightly regard the universe in its very essence as biocentric". (Henderson)

Dark_Crow answered on 03/30/07:

I suppose he means the universe as we know it too; however, I believe the issue is environmental ethics, not how much we know about the universe -- for there certainly are some things we do know that is right and wrong in ecology. “The Anthropocentric approach is technology oriented, the Biocentric is Life oriented while the Theocentric has God/Divine spiritual orientation (Azariah 1998).”
http://eubios.info/EJ103/EJ103F.htm

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Question/Answer
MarySusan asked on 03/28/07 - Re:The Biological Origins of Goodness

"Evolutionary biology's interest in goodness can be traced back at least as far as Charles Darwin. It is hard to image that anyone could think of goodness as a problem, but Darwin did. He saw the little worker bees that sacrificed themselves to protect their hives─the ultimate example of animal altruism─as especially troubling to his theory of evolution by natural selection. Darwin said the bee's behavior drove him "half mad." If his ideas on natural selection were correct (and, of course, they were and are), then this sort of altruism should be extraordinarily rare in nature. How could sacrificing one's life ever be favored by natural selection? If increased reproductive success is what drives the evolution of behavior, then altruists should disappear─and fast. But, in the case of the bees, they didn't disappear, and Darwin was so puzzled by this that he spoke of altruism as "one special difficulty, which at first appeared to me to be insuperable, and actually fatal to my whole theory."

And then a solution to this nasty conundrum hit Darwin like a ton of bricks. Worker bees weren't being altruistic for just any old bunch of bees, they were protecting individuals in their hive. And their hive contains a special class of individuals─blood relatives. Blood relatives are by definition genetically similar to one another, and so even though worker bees may have been giving up their lives, they were potentially saving the lives of hundreds of blood relatives by doing so. Darwin didn't know about genes per se, but he did know that something like what we'd call genes were passed from parents to offspring and shared by blood relatives, and that this was enough to solve the problem of altruism. In modern language, we'd say that the workers bees were indirectly saving copies of their own genes─copies that just happen to reside within their blood kin.

Darwin wasn't the only 19th century scientist who was enamored with the question of the evolution of goodness. His dear friend, Thomas Henry Huxley--arguably the most famous scientist in all of Europe--was as well. Huxley, in fact, got himself into quite a heated argument over whether blood kinship could or could not explain altruism. His opponent was Peter Kropotkin, a former chief page to the Czar of Russia, naturalist, and the most famous anarchist of the 19th century. Huxley argued that all goodness could be traced to blood kinship, while Kropotkin proposed that goodness and blood kinship were completely divorced from one another─one had absolutely nothing to do with the other. Of course, neither was right, but it would take almost a hundred years before a shy, reserved, and brilliant British biologist named William D. Hamilton would settle all the arguments about blood kinship and altruism with a nifty little mathematical equation.

Hamilton, an evolutionary biologist by training, came at the question of altruism and blood kinship the way that an economist would; indeed his Ph.D. in biology was done in part at The London School of Economics. He began by defining three terms─the genetic relatedness between individuals (labeled r), the cost of an act of goodness (c), and the benefit that a recipient obtained when someone was nice to him or her. Then, using some eloquent--in fact, beautiful-- mathematics, in 1963, Hamilton found that altruism and blood kinship are not linked by an all-or-nothing relationship. Instead, what is now known as "Hamilton's Rule" states that altruism evolves whenever r times b is greater than c. In other words, if the cost of altruism is made up by enough genetic relatives receiving benefits, then altruism spreads; otherwise it does not. Phrased in the cold language of natural selection, relatives are worth helping in direct proportion to their genetic relatedness.

Literally thousands of experiments in both nonhumans and humans show the power of Hamilton's Rule. This little equation is evolutionary biology's version of e = mc2. Over and over, we see that an analysis of the costs and benefits of altruism, along with genetic relatedness, allows us to predict the presence or absence of altruism. This is a truly remarkable finding.

Hamilton's Rule, of course, does not explain all altruism, nor did Bill Hamilton think it did. Another large chunk of goodness falls under the category of reciprocity--you scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours. Individuals are sometimes willing to be altruistic to someone now in the expectation that they will, in turn, be helped when they need it. Evolutionary biologists have been almost as interested in this type of altruism as in kinship-based altruism. And, amazingly enough, it was Bill Hamilton, along with political scientist Robert Axelrod, who formalized the models behind the evolution of reciprocity. Following up on some work done by Robert Trivers in the early 1970s, in 1981 Axelrod and Hamilton used a mathematical technique called game theory to predict when "reciprocal altruism" should evolve. Again, scores of empirical studies followed up the model. Reciprocity can be complex, but an evolutionary perspective has cleared the haze here the same way it did when it came to blood kinship and altruism.

If goodness is a problem, then the answer─or at the very least, part of the answer─can be found in evolutionary biology." by Dr. Lee Alan Dugatkin

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So we see that goodness is easily a product of Evolution.

Dark_Crow answered on 03/28/07:

Let’s not forget that the concept that all kinds stem from one kind is the precept from which Darwin is working. We cannot but guess by using if-and-only-if definitions; the truth be known is that we don’t know why any species does what it does unless it can communicate on our level, or at least, near our level. In practice, regarding an observed species as having choices is necessary when ever a human knows more about the relation of the system to the environment than about what goes on within the system.

Given the concept that all kinds stem from one kind we are all from the same “Bloodline”.

Gnaw, not only do we make choices, we create new choices

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 03/23/07 - What does the pursuit of philosophy imply?

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Dark_Crow answered on 03/23/07:

The implication is that there are ontologically necessary truths. I suppose the first of these is that philosophy is ontologically necessary for reason, but then, that may or may not be true.And from that it follows that there are individuals.

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Question/Answer
MarySusan asked on 03/18/07 - Can the Absence of Proof

Can the absence of proof be proof?

Proof of what?

Dark_Crow answered on 03/18/07:

Karl Popper discussed this problem under the name of "Falsifiability,"
Einstein’s theory of gravitation clearly satisfied the criterion of falsifiability, even though he could not produce a sample of gravity, the results of it is proved.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 03/18/07 - What are your criteria of personal success?

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Dark_Crow answered on 03/18/07:

Simple facts, plain arguments, and common sense.

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Question/Answer
MarySusan asked on 03/15/07 - Zbiegniew Brezezinski

Mr. Brezezinski has a new book being published; I saw him interviewed yesterday. I cannot find the name of the book anywhere searching the net. I believe the word control was in the title....not sure.

Can anyone help?

Many thanks.

Dark_Crow answered on 03/15/07:

Do you mean Zbigniew Brzezinski

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 03/15/07 - How would you explain the deepest emotions?

A friend of mine went into a coma and was apparently unaware of her surroundings yet she groaned when some one started playing a piano. Why does music evoke such powerful feelings?

Dark_Crow answered on 03/15/07:

Synchronization, Tony… the relationship between things that are happening or working at the same time, especially the correspondence of sound and image in a mind.

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Question/Answer
Choux... asked on 03/12/07 - Religion as Adaptive

"To an evolutionary psychologist, the universal extravagance of religious rituals, with their costs in time, resources, pain and privation, should suggest as vividly as a mandrell's bottom that religion may be adaptive". Marek Kohn


Can you explain this quote more fully to me so I can understand it better??

Perhaps a good paraphrase would help.

Thanks

Dark_Crow answered on 03/12/07:

If I recall accurately bone structure and some other characteristics are genetically transmuted but not memory…there isn’t any writing on genes.

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Question/Answer
Choux... asked on 03/10/07 - Previously Unpublished Article by Churchill

(AFP) - "The Second World War prime minister Winston Churchill argued that Jews were "partly responsible for the antagonism from which they suffer" in an article publicised for the first time Sunday.

Churchill made the claim in an article entitled "How The Jews Can Combat Persecution" written in 1937, three years before he started leading the country.

He outlined a new wave of anti-Semitism sweeping across Europe and the United States, which was followed by the deaths of millions of Jews in the Holocaust under the German Nazi regime.

"It would be easy to ascribe it to the wickedness of the persecutors, but that does not fit all the facts," the article read.

"It exists even in lands, like Great Britain and the United States, where Jew and Gentile are equal in the eyes of the law and where large numbers of Jews have found not only asylum, but opportunity.

"These facts must be faced in any analysis of anti-Semitism. They should be pondered especially by the Jews themselves.

"For it may be that, unwittingly, they are inviting persecution -- that they have been partly responsible for the antagonism from which they suffer."

The article adds: "The central fact which dominates the relations of Jew and non-Jew is that the Jew is 'different'.

"He looks different. He thinks differently. He has a different tradition and background. He refuses to be absorbed."

Elsewhere, Churchill praised Jews as "sober, industrious, law-abiding" and urged Britons to stand up for the race against persecution.

"There is no virtue in a tame acquiescence in evil. To protest against cruelty and wrong, and to strive to end them, is the mark of a man," he wrote.

The article was discovered by Cambridge University historian Richard Toye in the university's archive of Churchill's papers.

At the time, Churchill's secretary advised him it would be "inadvisable" to publish it and it never saw the light of day.

Churchill was voted the greatest Briton ever in a nationwide poll held by the BBC in 2002." Yahoo News

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Was Churchill just another anti Semite based on his comments here?

Dark_Crow answered on 03/11/07:

Well of course people are to some degree responsible for bringing trouble upon themselves; for instance when they behave in a manner inconsistent with the culture they exist within. Take for instance the Hippies of the 60’s, or a whore from Hollywood walking a street in Lincoln Nebraska; or an orthodox Jew walking along Hollywood Blvd.
I expect this is the context of his remarks, and not that he was anti anything.

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Question/Answer
Choux... asked on 03/07/07 - Virtue vs. Vice

Self-evident truths that we think support social morality are not self-evident....the belief that there is a difference between virtue and vice is an illusion.

What are some examples of how the difference between virtue and vice being an illusion?

Dark_Crow answered on 03/07/07:

If I see someone drowning, and say, “That man is drowning” that, is a self evident truth (Proposition). Now if 10 people did not agree, that might be an illusion… mistaken sensory perception.

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 03/07/07 - Speculation:



Henry David Thoreau relates, "Talk of mysteries! Think of our life in nature -- daily to be shown matter, to come in contact with it - rocks, trees, wind on our cheeks! the solid earth! the actual world! the common sense! Contact! Contact! Who are we?" He also tells us, "Some circumstantial evidence is very strong, as when you find a trout in the milk."

Is there a sensible side to speculation?

HANK

Dark_Crow answered on 03/07/07:

Speculation is sometimes the first step to some knowledge. That sounds sensible to me.

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 03/07/07 - Perfection:



Is there a TRUE interpretation of PERFECTION? (Subjective involvement should make you aware of your own existence)

HANK

Dark_Crow answered on 03/07/07:

Is there a proposition that can be stated, that describes perfection; yes, perfection is a state of mind, a feeling; and therefore cannot be said to be true; given that only propositions can be said to be true of false.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 03/03/07 - How would you define "Nature"?

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Dark_Crow answered on 03/07/07:

Easy question: all that exists. The big question is, “just who, or what made what”.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 03/06/07 - What is the basis for reverence for life?

(Assuming that it has one!)

Dark_Crow answered on 03/07/07:

That you may accomplish a goal; so that both are a requirement of reverence of life.

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 03/05/07 - Status:



Are the barbarian or alien aggressors who take advantage of the psychological climate of a universal state palpable and imposing?

HANK

Dark_Crow answered on 03/07/07:

Hank, what I believe is, is that barbarian or alien aggressors does cause a universal state of mind, although not as the words are defined, but rather the meaning behind the words.

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 03/05/07 - Status:



Are the barbarian or alien aggressors who take advantage of the psychological climate of a universal state palpable and imposing?

HANK

Dark_Crow answered on 03/07/07:

Hank, what I believe is, is that barbarian or alien aggressors does cause a universal state of mind, although not as the words are defined, but rather the meaning behind the words.

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 03/04/07 - A New Beginning:



Hello, guys and gals. Leslie, my fiance, kicked my .... for leaving you. She hugged and kissed me for leaving the C .... Board. Anyway, I'm back! Let's go, go, go!

HANK

Dark_Crow answered on 03/04/07:

New beginnings, that has a nice ring to it. The C .... Board is farcical, either the words have no meaning, or they are flat contradictions. Welcome back to the real world, Hank

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Question/Answer
jcslrd777 asked on 02/25/07 - information literacy

the atlas of world religions is a type of which of the following reference sources?
a. general world atlas
b. historical atlas
c. subject-specific atlas
d. general almanac

Dark_Crow answered on 02/26/07:

#C appears obvious.

Question/Answer
Oldstillwild asked on 02/24/07 - TrailTrack

The side-effects of truth are unforseen and always in favour of you.

or not?

Dark_Crow answered on 02/24/07:

confusion that what

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 02/22/07 - Is consciousness caused by brain processes?

..... If so, all our thoughts, feelings and decisions must be caused by physical events - and self-control and responsibility are illusions. Do you agree? If not why not?

Dark_Crow answered on 02/22/07:

Some people of course point to the danger of trusting in reason as an ultimate guide; for instance, Friedrich Nietzsche, Sigmund Freud, Karl Marx, Paul Feyerabend, Foucault, Derrida and company. For my part, I’ll go with trusting in reason as an ultimate guide. So it is that I believe consciousness is caused by brain processes and not some other source.

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Question/Answer
ttalady asked on 02/21/07 - Is it possible to truly love material things?

I sold my Jeep today and it is almost like selling a pet. Not quite but pretty close. I wonder if having attachment with material things is healthy?

It was amazing how fast she went, then again I asked much less than I could have gotten $500 vs $2000. A "Do unto others deed", it was and very worth it.

I am to defend the healthy part of it that my girl (Jeep) took me to work, got me home (most of the time), started when I really needed her, and gave me lip when she was being un-cared for. She cost me 4 years of payments and 3 years of freedom after that. I worked to have her, to care for her, and in turn she got me to where I needed to go. There were times I wanted to kick her in the butt-kiss but in all her issues were my own fault.

The unhealthy part is that I call her a her, a she, a relation to a person/human. Like a vehicle even has a sex? OMG!

To think and look around the house there are certain things that could break my heart if gone/broken. No the TV is not one! The computer, not being able to reach to you all, yes it is heart breaking but fixable.

There has to be something said for those things that we love, depend on, and take care of that are not that of a person or even close. Have you ever loved a fuse?

Maybe it has to do with control. A material thing is there for the fact of a person and is only there in care/or not of a person. Maybe it is just simpler to love something material than it is that of animal/human. Maybe to see the results of caring so easily vs that of time to see that caring did matter.

I am proud of my Jeep! A 1993 with 150,000 miles and she still ticks like a time clock. She needs TLC no doubt but I only hope the 70 year old bus driver man will love her as I do. Then again I have no doubt! He was so... excited when he saw her. Leather seats, automatic car starter, electric every stuff (some of course not working 100%). He got a winner and one that he can work on. Keep him busy and she loves it when you work on her. Here I go again....

Best part is he is a neighbor therefore I can see her from time to time. We'll honk back and forth, if he gets the horn fixed. If not a friendly wave will do as long as they stay in their own lane!

OMG I have to call my Mom. My bros are leaving for Hawaii Sunday and I know there is a calling in this post.

Dark_Crow answered on 02/21/07:

No, I don’t believe I can love anything but life, in fact, I have even been called a “slut” for that very reason; but what can I do, most any woman can get my loving, it’s just a matter of timing. So, I don’t lie and pretend to love exclusively.

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 02/16/07 - JUST WONDERING:



Is ATHEISM a religion or a philosophy?

HANK

Dark_Crow answered on 02/19/07:

Atheism is not a Philosophy, nor a religion, but Atheists need Philosophy.
Philosophy has something to say when it comes to science, art, religion, politics, medicine, and a “ton” of other topics. The more you know about philosophy, and (a basic grounding in philosophy) critical thinking, the more likely one will be able to reason clearly, consistently, and with more reliable conclusions. This is also why a basic grounding in philosophy can be so important for irreligious atheists.

What Pericles points out is accurate, by the way

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 02/16/07 - PHILOSOPHY:



What is YOUR definition of PHILOSOPHY?

HANK

Dark_Crow answered on 02/19/07:

What makes it difficult to categorize is that philosophy or philosophizing makes up so much of what we do in life - there is no escaping it for anyone who wants to think clearly, or think about important subjects. What is important is whether you do or do not make a fallacious argument, for instance, an argument that fails to provide a good reason to believe the conclusion, even if that conclusion is correct. So much of what we believe is often based on beliefs for which we do not even make an argument -- that is not philosophy but rather wild speculation.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 02/18/07 - Mind, matter or x?

In explaining reality there seem to be only three reasonable possibilities: mind, matter or a third unknown factor (neutral monism) which produces mind and matter. Any other theory is both uneconomical and unsupported by evidence. Which explanation do you think is the most likely?

Dark_Crow answered on 02/19/07:

You have no doubt read or herd the term, “Physician heal thyself,” or something to that effect; but the interesting thing is that the body does “heal itself”.

“It has long been known that the new cells are often formed by immature cells known as stem cells, but the mechanism regulating the number of new cells produced has remained something of a mystery. However, in a new study to be published by Cell stem-cell researcher Jonas Frisén has succeeded in showing how the body's own stem cells do just this…”
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/06/060616091425.htm

“We also know that blood, brain and skin stem cells express the genes that we now know to be important in the intestine," he says. "This suggests that the cell production mechanism can be the same for these stem cells too.” So says Professor Frisén.

I really fail to see where there is any question about the mind being matter.

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Question/Answer
ttalady asked on 02/13/07 - Sad souls....

travel in packs.....

Dark_Crow answered on 02/14/07:

Yes, when we "Lay down with dogs, we are sure to get fleas".

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 02/14/07 - Are the guidelines being followed on this board?

4. Civility and courtesy
An answer to a question should be courteous, civil, and respectful. If the Expert is tempted to post something nasty, better to post nothing at all.

Dark_Crow answered on 02/14/07:

not even in church, is civility perfect. I think people try, but sometimes when they are hurt, whether on purpose or not, #*6%4#

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 02/07/07 - Hmmm!



Has any Philosopher ever said that people would be better off without religion since religion has caused more conflicts since day one than any other entity known to mankind?

HANK

Dark_Crow answered on 02/07/07:

I think Russell said something to the effect that the world would be better off without it; but gave no reason. For my part, it has most definitely been a help in many many ways. Is it still needed – given that it is the belief of the great majority, yes. What would be disastrous would be State sponsored religion.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 02/04/07 - How far do your beliefs affect what you do?

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Dark_Crow answered on 02/04/07:

I did what I did; for I could have done none other.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 02/02/07 - What is the answer to the fundamental question?


{ @ <> @ }

Dark_Crow answered on 02/02/07:

Nothing from nothing is nothing

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 02/01/07 - "Where there are no sentences there is no truth"...

"To say that truth is not out there is simply to say that where there are no sentences there is no truth, that sentences are elements of human languages, and that human languages are human creations."

What do you think?

Dark_Crow answered on 02/01/07:

"Where there are no sentences there is no truth"

Exactly, because truth is expressed experience, not discovered in some epistemological claims about truth or metaphysical claims about substantive entities, like God or Reason, used as a Noun.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 01/29/07 - ExxonMobil's unscrupulous policy of deception

"For more than three decades, the tobacco industry carried on a campaign of disinformation intended to mislead Americans about the health risks of smoking—a strategy that has been dubbed “manufacturing uncertainty” in the minds of consumers. And ever since global warming emerged as an environmental threat, there has been a well-funded public campaign to cast doubt on the scientific consensus about the danger of global warming and its source in fossil-fuel combustion. A report this week by the Union of Concerned Scientists finds a parallel between the efforts to whitewash tobacco and “greenwash” oil—and points the finger of responsibility at the world’s largest corporation, ExxonMobil.

Under its former chairman and CEO, Lee Raymond, who retired in 2005 as one of the best-paid corporate executives in history, ExxonMobil was well known for its hostility to government regulations on emissions of carbon dioxide. But, according to the report, the op-eds and position papers were only the visible tip of Exxon’s effort to fund a small group of researchers and an overlapping network of think tanks that could be relied on to spread the message that global warming was nothing to worry about—or at least, nothing the government could or should do anything about. Their frequently repeated call for “sound science” on global warming echoes the tobacco industry’s endless demand for more research on whether cigarettes really, truly, unquestionably cause cancer.

Of course, cigarette companies weren’t concerned just about future sales, but the billions of dollars in compensation they eventually had to … umm … cough up. ExxonMobil’s motivation, presumably, is to protect a fantastically lucrative market: its 2005 profits of $36 billion made it the most profitable corporation in history. But that very wealth puts them in a position both to shape and eventually dominate the postcarbon energy world, if they choose to do so. Ironically, as the report points out, the company and its shareholders will suffer if it gets left behind in the transition to less polluting forms of energy.

For its part, ExxonMobil—after promulgating, and then withdrawing 20 minutes later, a statement that called the report an “attempt to smear our name and confuse the discussion”—wants you to know that it now accepts some responsibility for global warming. Specifically, and in boldface, it admitted that “It is clear today that greenhouse gas emissions are one of the factors that contribute to climate change, and that the use of fossil fuels is a major source of these emissions.” That would seem, on the face of it, to contradict the assertions of some of its favored researchers in the ever-shrinking coterie of global-warming skeptics."

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16475341/site/newsweek/

Who is prepared to defend ExxonMobil now?

Dark_Crow answered on 01/29/07:

Oh Tony, where to start. First, some scientist along with government were convinced in the 50’s that pot smoking caused mental illness- drove a person crazy, before that, in the 20’s and 30’s, the same combination were sterilizing the mentally ill, and degenerates, so that they could not spawn other degenerates. Then of course there were the lobotomies… and I could go on and on.
Secondly, I admit I “contribute to climate change” every time I light my heater, so what, what does it mean that Exxon Mobil admits they “contribute to climate change”
And lastly, why should the suppliers and retailers who distribute products manufactured by the oil companies be exempt from blame, any less that the oil companies, and what of the government who regulates!!

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Question/Answer
Choux... asked on 01/28/07 - God: The Failed Hypothesis

I know there are some Atheists who frequent this Board, so I would like to point out a new book published on the 25th. It is "God: The failed Hypothesis" by Victor J Stenger.

Here are a few comments by Richard Dawkins:

"Darwin chased God out of his old haunts in biology, and he scurried for safety down the rabbit hole of physics. The laws and constants of the universe, we were told, are too good to be true: a set-up, carefully tuned to allow the eventual evolution of life. It needed a good physicist to show us the fallacy, and Victor Stenger lucidly does so. The faithful won't change their minds, of course (that is what faith means) but Victor Stenger drives a pack of energetic ferrets down the last major bolt hole and God is running out of refuges in which to hide. I learned an enormous amount from this splendid book."

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Quite a rave review from such an educated Professor.
Enjoy.

Dark_Crow answered on 01/29/07:

Thank you for the recommendation Choux but I must decline, for God cannot be found, or lost, in books of human opinions and of human fancies concerning God. God can only be found in the works God himself’ has made. [Every] science contains a system of principles fixed and unalterable, Man cannot make principles, he can only discover them.
For example: Every person who looks at a tide table sees an account when a change of tide will take place, and he sees also that it never fails to take place according to the account there given. This shows that man is acquainted with the laws by which the heavenly bodies move. But it would be something worse than ignorance, were anyone to say that those laws are a human invention

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 01/27/07 - What do we know for sure about consciousness?

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Dark_Crow answered on 01/27/07:

I know I am conscious because I make mistakes, because I am sometime vain, because I know that morality taught us for centuries that we must give to each one his dues… false pride, a desire of pretension without really being, a mania for self-aggrandizement, the frenzied will to give light, all these and other passions and virtues of civilized man. In fact, have not people been going to school for centuries, only to be told that Socrates as much as invented logic, and Dante created Italian literature by a stroke of his pen? Yes, there are some of the things I know about consciousness.

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 01/22/07 - PHILOSOPHY;



"The word ‘philosophy’ must mean something which stands above or below, but not beside the natural sciences." - Ludwig Wittgenstein

Your interpretation please!

HANK

Dark_Crow answered on 01/22/07:

Wittgenstein went from the realm of logic to that of ordinary language in his quest to avoid the dogmatism of logic; from an emphasis on definition and analysis to ‘family resemblance’ and ‘language-games’; and from systematic philosophical writing to a succinct statement expressing an opinion or a general truth. Much like John Dewey I might add. Wittgenstein thought that philosophy is about letting the fly out of the fly bottle, that is, not of solving problems but rather of making sure we understand what we think, and why we think it. Therefore, he thinks philosophy stands above science, if stands above means 'comes first'.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 01/19/07 - Conscience is the root of all true courage.....

What is your view?

Dark_Crow answered on 01/19/07:

It [Conscience]all revolves around ones preference ... and or taste; that is, an act of aesthetic features. Take for instance the same painting, how can one person think it’s beautiful and the other hate it? Well, because one person has poor taste. Courage too is a matter of taste, and so it is that conscience cannot be the “Root of Courage”.

The important thing is to develop “Good Taste”.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 01/13/07 - Why should our conscience be the final arbiter?

Are we morally infallible? When faced with difficult choices we may be uncertain about what is right and wrong. This suggests we may make the wrong decision - although not through our own fault. It also suggests everyone else is in the same boat, i.e. capable of making a mistake with regard to moral issues. So does it follow that for each one of us our conscience is the final authority?

If not why not?

Dark_Crow answered on 01/16/07:

Tony, the only thing that follows from that is what is self-evident … Humans are fallible.

What I find interesting is that you are engaging in Abstract Thought, that is, thought that concerns the investigation and analysis of very general principles and concepts which rises to a level above particular instances. For instance, is the same act equally as immoral when committed by two different individuals, in two different particular instances?

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 01/12/07 - The amusing spectacle of irrational prejudice.

One star ratings are frequently handed out on this board without a word of explanation or justification. One can only infer that those responsible are incapable of dealing with the points that have been made. It would be interesting and entertaining to compile statistics of those who reveal to what extent their prejudice is based on emotion and wishful thinking rather than reason and logic. Don't you think they would be better to refrain from rating altogether rather than display their ignorance?

Dark_Crow answered on 01/12/07:

I agree Tony, and, would just like to point out that our (You and I) reasoning is an example of just how Ethics and Morality might have came about without the aid of Religion.

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Question/Answer
tomder55 asked on 01/11/07 - Virtuos Atheists

Carol Iannone is editor-at-large for 'Academic Questions'at The Journal of the National Association of Scholars ....an organization of professors, graduate students, college administrators and trustees, and independent scholars committed to rational discourse as the foundation of academic life in a free and democratic society .

She recently advanced this for discussion :

In the recent and ongoing flare-up of antagonism between believers and non-believers—especially common on campuses—some of the self-professed atheists claim that human beings do not need God and religion to be good, and they cite the sterling behavior of many pronounced atheists as proof. British Prof. Richard Dawkins, for example, amuses audiences by noting that the members of scientific academies are mostly atheists and yet exhibit exemplary moral behavior with nary a murderer or rapist among them. But this is a very low standard of proof. To be absolutely scientific about it, we would need about two millennia of purely atheistic culture in order to learn for certain whether human beings on their own would generate what we today consider moral behavior. Without that, we are perfectly justified in concluding, not scientifically of course, but in a common sensicalway, that the saintly behavior of today's atheists comes from their having absorbed the morality that mankind has developed through centuries of religious belief and that is part of the cultural oxygen we all breathe. As C.S. Lewis says, if you are challenging the Tao, or the idea of a transcendent moral law, it's because you have been cultivated within it. Someone outside of it could not even have the wherewithal to challenge it.

Interesting question . If we take it as a given that most atheists exhibit moral behavior ,then is it due to absorbing the cultural mores of a religious society ?

Dark_Crow answered on 01/11/07:

I’m afraid the inference of “Determinism” rings to loudly for me to accept that theory; especially in view of the fact that Humans have free will. That is, man can influence his life through his own conduct and the social pattern and interrelationships of human beings are very variable and susceptible to change.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 01/09/07 - When you harm others do you harm yourself?

If so, how?

Dark_Crow answered on 01/09/07:

Harming others, even enemies who harmed you unprovoked, assures incessant sorrow. The supreme principle is this: never knowingly harm any one at any time in any way.

I think it was Albert Camus who said this.

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Question/Answer
Oldstillwild asked on 01/07/07 - Back2theFuture....?

Well,
some questions,
--How fast is time....?
--Is time related to itself....?
--Are we ever going back...?
--If its ever going to happen,what kind of impact do have alterations...Will everything ahead of that time be rearranged immediately...?
--If its ever going to be in evrybody's reach,wouldnt we all come to a timestandstill....wouldnt we all go back and stay at that moment in time we were all in our finest moment,moment,moment,moment,moment,moment...?!

Dark_Crow answered on 01/08/07:

As old Albert once said, “The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once.”

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 01/02/07 - What reasons are there for optimism in 2007?

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Dark_Crow answered on 01/02/07:

Pour ce qui est des connaissances non-écrites qui se trouvent dispersées parmi les hommes de différents professions, je suis persuadé qu’ils passent de beaucoup tant à l'égard de la multitude que de l'importance, tout ce qui se trouve marqué dans les livres, et que la meilleure partie de notre trésor n'est pas encore enregistrée.


Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz thought so...how about you?

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 12/24/06 - A Christmas thunderbolt for Richard Dawkins!

Ive read your book, The God Delusion, which calls for the elimination of religion and belief in Me. I do not wish to berate you; after all, as a poet once wrote, hatred of God may bring the soul to God. For what many atheists loathe is not God at all but the false representations of Me.

But consider the wise warning of GK Chesterton. When people cease to believe in God, they come to believe not in nothing, but in anything. Its that anything that concerns Me. You recommend in almost every line of the book that your readers should replace Me in their hearts and minds with you...

You define God as a superhuman, supernatural intelligence which deliberately designed and created the universe and everything in it, including us. This is typical of militant atheists who constantly define me purely in terms of the criteria of science alone, rather than in terms of a quest for spiritual contact that becomes a reciprocal loving relationship between creature and creator.

Hence you reduce Me by declaring that any creative intelligence, of sufficient complexity to design anything (for that is what you think I do all day!) comes into existence only as the end product of an extended process of gradual evolution.

Richard, when theologians attempt to describe My reality (My Mind, say) they are all too well aware of the trap known as anthropomorphism: of treating Me as a human creature. Yet it seems pointless to remind you that thousands of studies have been published on this theme down the centuries. So your consistent image of Me resembles nothing so much as a megalomaniac designer-scientist. Should I say it? Your God resembles a Great Big Professor Dawkins in the sky!

THE sun has gone down and the monks are chanting vespers. Im reminded, Richard, that you were once a choirboy. Fancy.

The tradition of choral evensong, preserved in the churches and cathedrals of your islands, points back to the rhythm of the monasteries founded by St Benedict in the 6th century. While considering all the hateful things that believers have done down the ages supposedly in My name, you might spare a thought for the monks who lived, and still live, by Benedicts rule.

During the troubled period in Europe known as the Dark Ages, which resemble in many ways the barbarism and fragmentations of the world today, it was the monasteries that preserved civility, education, scholarship, moral intellectual life, care of the poor and the sick, the arts of husbandry, and community building. So. Why dont you occasionally slip into your college chapel for evensong to ponder that thought. It might make you less antagonistic towards religion. And it might help to relax you a little.

For now I bid you farewell. But be assured: you have not heard the last of Me.

Till then I remain yours affectionately, and faithfully

God


http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2092-2517335,00.html

Your reaction?

Dark_Crow answered on 12/24/06:

A Letter to God:

Even though I was certain that you did exist, I should demand you be as moral as I was and would not stoop so low as to demand love or worship by anyone. If my daughter were to mutilate me, slander me, etc. I would still love her, for my instinct and emotion demands of me to protect and care for her regardless of her actions, much like all rational beings (animal kingdom included).

A Polyatheist

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 12/21/06 - What are your views on the rights of robots?

Research compiled by the Outsights-Ipsos Mori partnership and the US-based Institute for the Future suggests that at some point in the next 20 to 50 years robots could be granted rights. If this happened, the report says, the robots would have certain responsibilities such as voting, the obligation to pay taxes, and perhaps serving compulsory military service. Conversely, society would also have a duty of care to their new digital citizens...

Dark_Crow answered on 12/21/06:

Might there be a person who is not a human being? I think so. We could imagine perhaps extra-terrestial creatures who would not have human DNA who would be a social creature with rights and responsibilities and who makes choices. Or even a robot like that. However, I prefer a distinction between natural and conventional kinds, so that we do not conflate computers with Alice in wonderland, but that is only me.

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Question/Answer
alijan asked on 12/18/06 - Separationism or Integrationism

I am asked to write a five paragraph essay on the following question. I am totally clueless on the topic. Can you give me some basic information / idea in order to finish this essay? This is the question that I must write my essay on:
"Which of the 2 philosophies of black empowerment (separationism or integrationism) do you find most apprpriate for today? How would you decide the proper understanding of tolerance regarding both ethical and religious diversity in America today?"
I really depend on your ideas. Thank you!

Dark_Crow answered on 12/19/06:

For my part, I shall side with God on the matter, The Bible condemns segregation. Paul publicly rebuked Peter for being ashamed to be seen with the uncircumcised Gentile Christians. And he wrote: There is neither Jew nor Greek, . . . for you are all one in union with Christ Jesus.Gal. 3:28

However, whether the Bible teaches it or not the issue of segregation will remain. Actually, it is one of the most power-charged issues of our times. Many people who think they oppose segregation actually practice it when the issue comes to their neighborhood instead of its being in anothers.

Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 12/18/06 - If God exists how likely is divine revelation?

...

Dark_Crow answered on 12/18/06:

If there is a Creator who gave us the power to reason, to wonder, to use our imagination and to ask questions such as these. Surely he would not torment us by leaving us without the answers, would he? Does it not make sense to conclude that God would satisfy our thirst for knowledge about these things? After all, he created us with other natural desiresfor food and drink, for beauty of sight and sound, and so forth. And has he not provided that we can, with due effort, satisfy these hungers and thirsts? It is logical that he would provide us with the answersby means of a divine revelation. The Bible claims to be such, and as we examine it we find that it does indeed meet the requirements of a divine revelation. Moreover, the Bible writers show a candor that stamps their accounts as authentic. Thus no one can properly ascribe any ulterior motive to them. Consider what the Bible tells of the mistakes and shortcomings of even great men of faith. It tells about Noahs getting drunk; about the patriarch Judahs having relations with one whom he thought to be a temple prostitute; about Moses losing his temper; about Davids mistakes, such as his adulterous affair with Bath-sheba, resulting also in the death of her husband; and about the rivalry of the apostles of Jesus. Certainly in thus frankly describing, not only the virtues of these faithful men, but also their failings, Bible writing bears the stamp of honesty and truth. How true to life is human nature as portrayed in the Bible! There has been very little change in six thousand years. For example, near the start of the Divine Record we come face to face with the human failing of jealousy. The firstborn son of Adam and Eve kills his brother because of jealous rage. Later in history a like jealousy motivates the half brothers of Joseph to get rid of him. King Saul is jealous of Davids successes and popularity to the point of trying to kill him. In its treatment of the realities of life, in these and a multitude of other instances, the Bible record rings true.

The strongest reason, however, for someone accepting the Bibles claim to being the Divine Revelationwhich claim it makes repeatedlyis the fulfillment of so many of its prophecies. Literally scores of the details about the birth, public activities and death of Jesus Christ were foretold by the Hebrew prophets. Among these are the place of his birth, facts regarding when he would appear as the Messiah and his public career for three and a half years, how he was received, as well as details of his death and resurrection. And let it be noted that even as faith in God means having faith in his Word, the Bible, so faith in the Bible means having faith in Jesus Christ as the Savior of humankind and the King of Gods kingdom.

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Question/Answer
Bradd asked on 12/17/06 - More on Myths - 2

In the Genesis story, why does the writer first have Eve succumb to temptation, and then become the temptress to Adam? Eve, in effect, plays the role of the serpent when she offers the forbidden fruit to Adam.

Is there a subtle message here about the roles of men and women in that society?

Dark_Crow answered on 12/17/06:

What does the Bible have to say about succumbing to temptation? Surly if God exists, so exists Satan, a spirit creature. There is where "Temptation" began. Satan struck at the law of God concerning the tree of the knowledge of good and bad. Satan now transformed himself into the Devil, which means Slanderer, by calling God a liar who was unable to enforce the penalty for violating his law against eating the forbidden fruit. Would Eve die for defying divine rulership and exercising human self-rule? No! Said Satan the Devil through the serpent. You positively will not die. For God knows that in the very day of your eating from it your eyes are bound to be opened and you are bound to be like God, knowing good and bad. Letting now the newly formed selfish desire for a forbidden thing draw her and entice her, she mothered human sin by calling into question divine rulership and breaking the divine law. Satan the Devil knew that the transgressor Eve would next try to persuade her husbandly head, Adam, to eat the forbidden fruit with her.Gen. 3:1-6.

While the foregoing clearly shows that Satan, Adam and Eve, and not God, are responsible for the evil in the world, yet the question remains, why did God permit these three to live? Why did he not at once destroy them and start all over again? Because, in that Satan caused our first parents to deflect, the question was raised as to who was to blame. Had God created them so that they could not withstand temptation and yet provided for a death penalty for their failure to do so? Had he at once put to death the three of them this point would have remained forever moot. Besides, Satan boasted that he could turn all human creatures away from God, thereby challenging both Gods supremacy and his ability as Creator.
God knew he had made no mistake in creating Adam and Eve, and that his law to them was just and that humans could remain faithful under test. To demonstrate these points he permitted Adam and Eve to continue to live and to have offspring and he permitted Satan to continue and to try to turn others away from God. The Scriptures show that from Abel, up into to our day that there have been those who have maintained integrity in spite of all that the Devil could bring against them in the way of temptation. By their integrity-keeping course, they have been making the heart of God glad by furnishing him an answer to give to the Devil.Prov. 27:11.

How do we know that this is true and not merely a fanciful theory? Because of the record found at Job, chapters 1 and 2. There we learn that Satan boasted that he could force Job, the most outstanding servant of God on earth, to curse God. God accepted the challenge and gave Satan a free rein with Job even to the extent of depriving him of his possessions, family, friends and health. However, Job kept his integrity; he did not curse God, nor did he confess to sins of which he was not guilty.

Undoubtedly in this historical account of Job (yes, Job actually lived; see Ezekiel 14:14; James 5:11) we have an example of Gods permitting evil for the purpose of demonstrating his superiority over Satan and that he can have men on earth who will be faithful under test. Moreover, that this was the reason why Adam and Eve were permitted to live on and bear children is apparent from the fact that Jehovah first called Jobs integrity-keeping course to the attention of Satan, indicating that the question of mans keeping integrity had been raised previously.

God has permitted Satan to remain for the past 6,000 years only as God told Pharaoh, to show you my power and to have my name proclaimed in all the earth. When that purpose has been fully served, then God will make an end of Satan and all those having his spirit, who are the ones responsible for the evil in the world, at Armageddon, even as he destroyed Pharaoh and his armies at the Red Sea.Ex. 9:16; 14:27, 28.

Is there a subtle message here about the roles of men and women in that society?

I argued that message in a recent exchange with Tony.

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Question/Answer
Bradd asked on 12/15/06 - More On Myths

In the Jewish (Hebrew) scriptures, as we all know, Eve gives Adam a bite of the apple, and humanity falls.

How is this interpreted? By feminists, or anybody else?

Dark_Crow answered on 12/16/06:

It was not the apple that Adam ate, but it was his act of disobeying God. The Bible says God made Eve as a helper or complement to Adam. The Biblical record calls them the man and his wife. (Gen. 2:20, 25) Their relationship was neither fornication (relations between persons not married) nor adultery (relations between persons married to someone else). Instead, their marriage relationship was holy, for God had instructed them to have children. He said: Be fruitful and become many and fill the earth and subdue it.Gen. 1:28.
What, then, was their sin? Precisely what the Bible says it wasthe simple act of eating a literal fruit (the Bible does not say it was an apple) that God had told them not to eat. This was a simple thing, but it was extremely serious. It was a flouting of divine authority. Eve chose to decide for herself what was good and badwhat she should or should not dorather than accepting Gods decision on the matter. Adams sin was in following her in this course of disobedience

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 12/14/06 - SECRETS OF THE DEAD!


"History's first mention of a race of warrior women is found in Homer's ILIAD, an account of the Trojan War, probably written in the 8th or 7th century B.C.. Homer's Amazons, a race of fierce women who mated with vanquished male foes and kept only the female children they bore, were believed to occupy the area around the Black Sea. Amazon women also crop up in Greek myths. One of the labors of Hercules, for example, required him to acquire the girdle of the Amazon queen, Hippolyte. The Amazons of Greek mythology most likely had no connection to the women of the steppes, says archaeologist Jeannine Davis-Kimball. "I think the idea of the 'Amazon' was created by the Greeks for their own purposes," she says.

Source: Secrets of the Dead (PBS)

* I saw this program on PBS last evening and Mrs. Davis-Kimball proved that there was a tribe of Amazon Women. (The last URL I posted works)

HANK

Dark_Crow answered on 12/14/06:

In The Story of Civilization, Will Durant speaks about the derivation of certain specific elements of Egyptian culture from Sumeria and Babylonia. Thus, Babylonias religion left a deep mark on Egypt, and religion became a dominant factor in Egyptian life. The New Encyclopdia Britannica says: Cultural and social life were so deeply permeated with religious ideas that an understanding of Egyptian culture is impossible without an understanding of Egyptian religion, and vice versa.

Egypts religion was polytheistic, characterized by over 500 gods, and possibly twice that many. Throughout Egypt generally the company of gods of a town or city were three in number, says Egyptologist E. A. Wallis Budge. In time, a principal triad developed, a holy family composed of Osiris, the father; Isis, the mother; and Horus, the child.
Polytheism resulted in several gods claiming to be the sole god. But priests and theologians evidently saw no problem in believing in one god and at the same time viewing him as existing in a multitude of forms. Author B. Mertz comments that this is only another example of that pleasant inconsistency which is so characteristic of Egyptian religion.

Unlike other ancient religions and cultures, Judaism is rooted in history, not in mythology. Generally speaking, the Jewish people are descendants of an ancient, Hebrew-speaking branch of the Semitic race. (Genesis 10:1, 21-32; 1 Chronicles 1:17-28, 34; 2:1, 2) Nearly 4,000 years ago, their forefather Abram emigrated from the thriving metropolis of Ur of the Chaldeans in Sumeria to the land of Canaan, of which God had stated: I will assign this land to your offspring. (Genesis 11:3112:7) He is spoken of as Abram the Hebrew at Genesis 14:13, although his name was later changed to Abraham. (Genesis 17:4-6) From him the Jews draw a line of descent that begins with his son Isaac and his grandson Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel. (Genesis 32:27-29) Israel had 12 sons, who became the founders of 12 tribes. One of those was Judah, from which name the word Jew was eventually derived.2 Kings 16:6.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 12/13/06 - A point of grammar!

Hope you don't mind a correction, DC. It's = It is.

Dark_Crow answered on 12/13/06:

Not at all, of course I know that, what happened, I don't know.:)

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 12/10/06 - What facts can be confirmed by introspection?

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Dark_Crow answered on 12/10/06:

Students know that organisms reproduce offspring of their own kind and that the offspring resemble their parents and one another. It seems to me that a person can generally tell by introspection one "kind" from another. However, can a person know. From the earliest human record until now, the evidence is that dogs are still dogs, cats continue to be cats, and elephants have been and will always be elephants. Sterility continues to be the delimiting factor as to what constitutes a kind. This phenomenon makes possible, through the test of sterility, the determining of the boundaries of all the kinds in existence today. Through this natural test of fertilization it is possible to uncover the primary relationships within animal life and plant life. For example, sterility presents an impassable gulf between man and the animals. Breeding experiments have demonstrated that appearance is no criterion. Man and the chimpanzee may look somewhat similar, have comparable types of muscles and bones; yet the complete inability of man to hybridize with the ape family proves that they are two separate creations? and not of the same kind. The Biblical kinds seem to constitute divisions of life-forms wherein each division allows for cross-fertility within its limits. If so, then the boundary between kinds is to be drawn at the point where fertilization ceases to occur.
In recent years, the term species has been applied in such a manner as to cause confusion when it is compared with the word kind. The basic meaning of species is a sort; kind; variety. In biologic terminology, however, it applies to any group of interfertile animals or plants mutually possessing one or more distinctive characteristics. Thus, there could be many such species or varieties within a single division of the Genesis kinds.

Geological research provides clear evidence that the fossils held to be among the earliest specimens of a certain creature are very similar to their descendants alive today. Cockroaches found among the supposed earliest fossil insects are virtually identical to modern ones. Fossil bridges between kinds are totally lacking. Horses, oak trees, eagles, elephants, walnuts, ferns, and so forth, all continue within the same kinds without evolving into other kinds.

And so it is that appearances are often deceiving, and, therefore not a reliable source to determine the truth as to whether Man and the chimpanzee are the same "kind" even though they may look somewhat similar

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Question/Answer
Choux... asked on 12/08/06 - Different Forms for the Mystery of God

From Salon dot com books Nov. 27, 2006 | "The debate between science and religion typically gets stuck on the thorny question of God's existence. How do you reconcile an all-powerful God with the mechanistic slog of evolution? Can a rationalist do anything but sneer at the Bible's miracles? But what if another religion -- a nontheistic one -- offered a way out of this impasse? That's the promise that some people hold out for in Buddhism. The Dalai Lama himself is deeply invested in reconciling science and spirituality. He meets regularly with Western scientists, looking for links between Buddhism and the latest research in physics and neuroscience. In his book "The Universe in a Single Atom," he wrote, "If scientific analysis were conclusively to demonstrate certain claims in Buddhism to be false, then we must accept the findings of science and abandon those claims."

B. Alan Wallace may be the American Buddhist most committed to finding connections between Buddhism and science. An ex-Buddhist monk who went on to get a doctorate in religious studies at Stanford, he once studied under the Dalai Lama, and has acted as one of the Tibetan leader's translators. Wallace, now president of the Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies, has written and edited many books, often challenging the conventions of modern science. "The sacred object of its reverence, awe and devotion is not God or spiritual enlightenment but the material universe," he writes. He accuses prominent scientists like E.O. Wilson and Richard Dawkins of practicing "a modern kind of nature religion."

In his new book, "Contemplative Science: Where Buddhism and Neuroscience Converge," Wallace takes on the loaded subject of consciousness. He argues that the long tradition of Buddhist meditation, with its rigorous investigation of the mind, has in effect pioneered a science of consciousness, and that it has much to teach Western scientists......and so on..." [Edited because of length]

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There is no reason to believe that the Middle-Eastern GodAlmighty/Allah bears any resemblence to the God of the Universe, is there?

When people talk of "God", most folks automatically assume it is the God(s)in the Bible. It is self-evident that this is an immature "God idea" based on crime and punishment, if you will.

Is the term "God of the Universe" sufficient to distinguish between the GodAlmighty/Allah concept when visualizing and cogitatin' when reading about people's ideas of "God" in sophisticated books? Is there another term?

Dark_Crow answered on 12/09/06:

I find it interesting that the Buddhist worldview, in its beginning, was an atheistic worldview. The ancient Jains were agnostics, that is, their texts asserted a predominantly atheistic view. In that sense, these were not religions as we think of today since the modern understanding of religion presumes faith or belief in a super-natural entity.

However, over the course of time mystic idealism prevailed over the skeptics along with their pantheon of gods and goddesses enticing and lulling most into an intellectual stupor.

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Question/Answer
ttalady asked on 12/05/06 - What is Christmas?
What is Christmas?

What is it? A day of just giving expensive presents you can not afford? It use to be so.... much more. I can just give my hubby his gift now, he cares nothing of the fact. My father, my brothers, my neice and nephew. The baby Jesus has nothing to do with their gifts. Nothing at all...

My Mother holds Jesus as I do, a belief even if you don't as we do. The bond is unreal!

I remember, the time, when it mattered. Now it is just a false in a soul that believes.

Why wait for Christmas day for those that do not believe. Why not wreck it and say here, have it now?

I feel that! What is the sense of Christmas with out Jesus? The baby in a manjor, the giving of your time for other, the time of just giving everything. Jews celebrate better than the Christian!

I can not go on! It is just what it is, except it I guess!

Dark_Crow answered on 12/06/06:

The truth is, Christmas is a pagan celebration that was adopted by Christendom. December 25 is, not the birth date of Jesus Christ, but a date linked with ancient licentious pagan feasting that early Christians avoided. the New Catholic Encyclopedia observes under Christmas:
The birth of Christ was assigned the date of the winter solstice (December 25 in the Julian calendar, January 6 in the Egyptian), because on this day, as the sun began its return to northern skies, the pagan devotees of Mithra celebrated the dies natalis Solis Invicti (birthday of the invincible sun).
Yes, Christmas has its roots in ancient pagan festivals. The New York Times explains: Pope Liberius [in the fourth century] decided to absorb pagan observances by declaring Dec. 25 the official birthday of Jesus. The change of name made little change in form.
And what was that form? The ancient Saturnalia was a time when gross immorality was practiced under the guise of festivities. Says the book Curiosities of Popular Customs by W. S. Walsh:
In spite of the condemnation of the wise and the sane, Christmas in the early days frequently reproduced all the worst orgies, the debaucheries and the indecencies, of the Bacchanalia and the Saturnalia. The clergy themselves were whirled into the vortex. . . .
If even among the clergy heathen traditions so strenuously survived, what better could be expected from the laity? The wild revels, indeed, of the Christmas period in olden times almost stagger belief. Obscenity, drunkenness, blasphemy,nothing came amiss. License was carried to the fullest extent of licentiousness.Pages 228, 229.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 12/05/06 - What are the effects of false beliefs?

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Dark_Crow answered on 12/05/06:

"Scientific criticism has no nobler task than to shatter false beliefs." Ludwig von Mises

The Bible reveals a direct connection between what we believe and what kind of persons we become. The self-righteous Pharisees of Jesus day were an example of misguided beliefs affecting conduct. (Matthew 23:1-33; Luke 18:9-14) On the other hand, Colossians 3:10 admonishes: Clothe yourselves with the new personality, which through accurate knowledge is being made new according to the image of the One who created it. Notice that the power to lead a godly life is linked to having an accurate knowledge of God.
The Greek term translated accurate knowledge, which appears 20 times in the Christian Greek Scriptures, refers to exact, accurate, or full knowledge. Greek scholar Nathanael Culverwel describes it as becoming better acquainted with a thing I knew before; a more exact viewing of an object that I saw before afar off. Thus in the way a jeweler examines a precious gem in order to appraise its qualities and value, a Christian must examine Gods Word in order to come to an exact, accurate, and full knowledge of the God he serves. This includes coming to know Gods personality, his purposes, his standards, and all the teachings that make up the pattern of healthful wordsa far cry from merely believing that theres Someone up there.2 Timothy 1:13.

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 12/02/06 - FROM A DISTANCE:



Carol's 'up there' and I'm 'down here.' We've both found a little extra room in our hearts for all of you Experts, come Christmas and the Holiday Season. This is a PHILOSOPHY post! Loving and helping "thy neighbor" is what life is about.

"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you." - Matthew 7:7.

Stay well, safe and happy! MERRY CHRISTMAS to all of you.

HANK & CAROL

Dark_Crow answered on 12/02/06:

The whole of Gods law (if the Bible is Gods word) is, To treat your neighbor as you want to be treated.

Love thy neighbor as thyself (Leviticus 19, 18)

Rabbi Akiva says: it is a great rule in the Torah
(the word law in Hebrew also means whole - C.R.)

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Question/Answer
ttalady asked on 11/29/06 - I love you thank you.

Is that not what we should say more often?

You wonder how people can be so... very simple yet difficult at the same time. Why is it we dig our own holes and have the hardest time finding the way out? Why do we enjoy the pain more over the joy?

My problem is HUGE! Maybe not to you but to me my Grandmother has her hands on me holding me to do my best to work my mojo.

My parents are in pain, the purest of pain. They have two sons (my bros) still living with them at 28 and 29. They are just feeling like failed parents when I have to reassure them it is just as much my bros failing as theirs. This is just an ongoing deal but not the rath.

My parents have raised my sisters son since he was 1-2 then 5-now. A child with major emotional issues and of course on the meds. I never agree with the meds, I believe in tougher love than that, just my opinion though. He is 14 now in a 7 year old state of mind (emotionally),

My sister had another baby 7 years ago, we took her on a Disney trip and she never went home to her mother. She went home to Grandma and Grampa with 2 adult sons and the grandson, her "brother". My niece and nephew are not of the same father, let alone we have no idea whom either father is. My sister is of another father too, just for fact here.

So my sister is here, in the same state as I, some where, her two children live with my parents their grandparents, along with my two bros. Hunky dory right?

I call the family once a week at least and the two youngest of the household (in age LOL) are screaming and crying and fighting. This house is not healthy, peaceful, just plain insane. If it is not the two manipulating kids pulling the screaming it is one of my brothers or my father or my mother screaming. My niece said my mother and brother "belong in hell".

It was never like this, this was never there, the issues like they are now.

My sister was missing for 2 weeks. She had all plans to move out there, with nothing, but her bio father changed his mind due to conversation between her and her father. Terrible conversation that was just my sister. She lives on social security benifits from her dead husband and does not believe in work.

The last time I saw her 11/06 she looked like death. A complete look of just kill me, I am so... sick. High as a kite on pot and drugged out, I took her to brunch like that, yes I did. People joke, and some just want, that, her death. Not me, that solves nothing and in reality makes things worse.

Something has hit me so... hard that it really kills me to even think it. I have to find her and save her. I will not give her money, I just want to give her me and hope for the best. I want to do what no body has ever done for her, less maybe her deceased husband, and just give me to her.

She scares me, she makes me face that of what I might be a little or even have been at times. It is like having a devil on your shoulder and needing to face it.

I have dreams, incredible dreams. Dreams of berries making me drunk. With a man not of my husband, he starts out that way and then the face changes. This man tells me the story of his father, a black man, and there are pictures on the wall of each. Gentle like he wants to just keep me and I give in but I wake up and that is it.

It is what it is but the answer is never there. Do I face it? My strenght is at the best it will ever be better in belief, it is beyond what you would expect of a person. I just need some guidance, help in working this out. I'll be 32 Saturday, that is a lucky number.

If you listen and respond, then that is all I need. Support and "I love you thank you". I need the power of a million angels for this to work but I am willing to believe.

Please give me a hand angels...

TTA

Dark_Crow answered on 12/01/06:

Paul in his chapter on love, 1 Corinthians 13, in verses 4 to 8, mentions nine things that love is not and seven things that it is. The first thing Paul says that love is not is that it is not jealous. That requires a little explaining because there are positive and negative aspects of jealousy. However, by and large, jealousy has a bad connotation, for which reason it is listed with the works of the flesh at Galatians 5:20. Yes, such jealousy is selfish and spawns hate, and hate is the opposite of love. Paul next tells us that love does not brag. Bragging betrays a lack of love, for it causes one to place oneself in a position above that of others. Then we are told that love does not get puffed up. One who is puffed up, or haughty, unlovingly exalts himself above others. Paul further says that love does not behave indecently. The dictionary defines indecent as grossly unseemly or offensive to manners or morals. One who behaves indecently (unlovingly) disregards others feelings. Next we are told that love does not look for its own interests, that is, when there is a question of our personal interests and those of others. Love also does not quickly take offense. So Paul tells us that love does not become provoked. It is not thin-skinned. It exercises self-control. Especially should married folk take to heart this admonition by guarding against raising their voices impatiently or shouting at each other. There are circumstances when it is easy to get provoked, for which reason Paul felt the need to counsel Timothy: A slave of the Lord does not need to fight, but needs to be gentle toward all, qualified to teach, keeping himself restrained under evilyes, does not get provokedinstructing with mildness those not favorably disposed.2 Timothy 2:24, 25.

Love does not rejoice over unrighteousness but rejoices with the truth Love and truth go hand in hand

And by those definitionsI love you too.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 12/01/06 - Should the state intervene in family life?

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Dark_Crow answered on 12/01/06:

Governments and authorities have a responsibility toward all their peoples. One of their main responsibilities is to maintain good order and public welfare in the community.

We are all subject to the political government set up over us. Regardless of how free we may claim to be, we cannot get away from this matter of subjection. The acceptance of subjection has been made difficult by the many political revolutions that have been staged in recent centuries.

It is not absolute or independent of other things. It has to be balanced with other things that dare not be overlooked. In his brief letter to Titus Paul indicates how far the subjection may go and whether it must be absolute or relative.
How does Paul do this? By telling Titus that there are also other things to we must be in subjection. Political governments and authorities of this world are not the only ones to whom a measure of subjection is due. There are other subjections for to consider. As an example, the responsibility of the older women who may recall the young women to their senses to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sound in mind, chaste, workers at home, good, subjecting themselves to their own husbands.
Subjection of a wife to a husband rests on a Bible principle, which Paul himself states. To the congregation in Corinth he writes: I want you to know that the head of every man is the Christ; in turn the head of a woman is the man; in turn the head of the Christ is God. . . . man was not created for the sake of the woman, but woman for the sake of the man. That is why the woman ought to have a sign of authority upon her head because of the angels. (1 Cor. 11:3, 9, 10) Yet, according to the apostle Paul, the subjection of a Christian wife to any husband could not be total, without consideration of a still higher subjection. Otherwise, how could Paul say that the younger women who obey the teaching and example of the aged women should be subject to their own marriage heads so that the word of God may not be spoken of abusively by outsiders.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 11/29/06 - Education, Darwinism, and Indoctrination...

Is it right to indoctrinate children with Darwin's theory that natural selection explains the existence of human beings and give them the impression that life is ultimately an accident?

Dark_Crow answered on 11/29/06:

I think both Darwinism and Religion should be taught in school, as well as the anomalies between various Religious teaching, as well as Darwin's theories. Neither were taught to me at home, and teaching in school would presumably be less bias than at home, for the majority of people.

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Question/Answer
Oldstillwild asked on 11/28/06 - 4real....

The only thing that counts,is what you really did.
Thats the only reality.
"If.....,then Id have done jadajadajada.....",
is not a valid statement,ever.(<:)~
Pure illusion.
No realistic value whatsoever.

Would youve posted this issue or any other issue earlier than me,if youd have had the opportunity?

No,
because you didnt.

Dark_Crow answered on 11/28/06:

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? ~ Jeremiah 17.9

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Question/Answer
ttalady asked on 11/24/06 - Loosing Grace

... I have always been known for my kindness, however with deep problems you loose grace.

Those problems, not of yours that you just know you were ment to fix. To solve, and bring peace to those you love the most. You work and work, it is your destiny in life and you know it. No stopping it. Then you loose grace...

God love me for what I am and accepts me for what I am not. My challenge is so... very hard but I believe I can do it.

I will bring family back into this life. My sister will join us and once again we will be strong. Then I will go.... It is my relief, my destiny.

I was born to love and give love. I dream of real life, I am a fallen angel.

Support me on my journey!

TTA

Dark_Crow answered on 11/25/06:

Another Dark Star crashes.
never end. Hold away despair!.... Sullen wings of fortune. sail on mirage and drown in sand...

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 11/23/06 - To what extent are we ruled by the unconscious?

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Dark_Crow answered on 11/24/06:

Can we agree on what is the unconscious is first, and then perhaps we can better see to what extent we are ruled by it.

To be spiritual, or to lack spirituality has to do in fact with righteousness and righteousness to do with being right. To quote one person"The territory of right is in general the spiritual, and its more definite place and origin is the will, which is free. Thus, freedom constitutes the substance and essential character of the will, and the system of right is the kingdom of actualized freedom. It is the world of spirit, which is produced out of itself, and is a second nature".

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 11/20/06 - What are the causes of sex inequality?

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Dark_Crow answered on 11/22/06:

Tony, for each of us inequity begins at conception. The thing to do is "suck it in" and not rush "Mother Nature" and evolution. That is of course the causes of sex inequality too.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 11/18/06 - Is there a war between the sexes in society?

"One cannot understand the psychology of women, and for that matter the psychology of men, and one cannot understand the element of sadism, of hostility and destructiveness in men and women if one does not consider that there has been a war between the sexes going on in the last six thousand years. This war is a guerrilla war. Women have been defeated by patriarchalism six thousand years ago and society has been built upon the domination of men. Women were possessions and had to be grateful for every new concession that men made to them. But there is no domination of one part of mankind over another, of a social class, of a nation or of a sex over another, unless there is underneath rebellion, fury, hate and wish for revenge in those who are oppressed and exploited and fear and insecurity in those who do the exploiting and repressing." (Erich Fromm)

http://www.uta.edu/huma/illuminations/kell8.htm(Fromm 1975, p. 59).

Dark_Crow answered on 11/18/06:

Poppycock: A woman is a human first, and a woman second. To suggest equality between men and woman is to confuse human traits. There is no womens view of the subject, women disagree just as men disagree about different matters. Aggressive feminists, and anti-feminists alike make the same mistake of categorizing individuals based on classone implying that women are superior, the other that theyre inferior.

To quote a very wise lady: The stereotype, Womans place is in the home, was for a long time applied so indiscriminately that the inevitable reaction, while liberating many women from totally unsuitable employment in homes, has robbed many whose natural place is there of the dignity and joy they should have in doing the job that is right for them.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 11/18/06 - What is the best test of a person's character?

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Dark_Crow answered on 11/18/06:

We live in an era in which moral standards that were long respected have been discarded by large segments of the population.
Being a person of, or, maintaining a simple integrity of character involves much more than holding to a certain framework of doctrinal beliefs and emphasizing those traits to others. The essential quality, or ingredient of character, is the overwhelming desire for "Truth" in all matters.

What Is Truth? The asker of the question was the governor or procurator of the Roman provinces of Judea, Samaria and Idumea in the Middle East during the years of 20 to 36 of our Common Era. What is truth? That is as far as the governor went in his interest in the truth. Three years later he was summoned to Rome to answer for misconduct in office. According to the historian Eusebius, he was banished to Vienna (Vienne) in the Roman province of Gaul and later he committed suicide. He died without getting the answer to his question. Apparently the Roman governor Pontius Pilate let the question, What is truth? die with him, unanswered. Really, though, did the question die with him? Has the question remained unanswered down to this day? We are obliged to reply No! Pilates question has been answered, and the answer can be given to the honest seekers and lovers of the truth.

Truth means conformity to fact. There are all kinds of things about which we have to establish the actual facts in order to know the truth about them. When we know a thing just as it actually is, our knowledge of the thing is formally true or is true in form. To be true, our knowledge of a thing must conform to what that thing is in reality.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 11/16/06 - Should you ever decide to act unreasonably?

If so when? If not why not?

Dark_Crow answered on 11/16/06:

Hopes realized and aspirations attained give us a sense of satisfaction. Admittedly, though, many of our dreams and expectations do not turn out the way we wish. Recurring disappointments in life can make us feel exasperated with ourselves and even with others. A wise man aptly observed: Expectation postponed is making the heart sick.Proverbs 13:12.

Unreasonably high expectations easily turn into perfectionism, and this can be most frustrating and lead to disappointment. Left unchecked, such feelings can even lead us to believe that we are not appreciated by others. So, what positive measures can we take to cope with disappointments and to cultivate reasonable expectations? The consequences of perfectionist thinking are well summed up in the adage: To expect life to be tailored to our specifications is to invite frustration. To avoid this, an adjustment in thinking is required. Humility and modestyhaving a realistic view of our limitationswill most certainly nurture in us balanced and reasonable expectations. Appropriately, Romans 12:3 cautions us not to think more of [ourselves] than it is necessary to think.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 11/16/06 - Should you ever act against your conscience?

If so when? If not why not?

Dark_Crow answered on 11/16/06:

Were you to look to intellectuals and philosophers for an explanation of the source of your conscience, you might be told that it is merely a social product of evolution. The opinion of evolutionist Charles Darwin was that any animal whatever, endowed with well-marked social instincts, . . . would inevitably acquire a moral sense or conscience, as soon as its intellectual powers had become well, or nearly as well developed, as in man. And Sigmund Freud felt that we could reject the suggestion of an originalas one might say, naturalcapacity for discriminating between good and evil.
But do such views represent the true explanation? The most ancient and consistently reliable record of mans history and dealings answers, No! In the first place, the Bible correctly states what has been borne out by honest scientific observation, that all living things reproduce after their kind. Thus man is not merely a product of evolution, nor is his conscience. (Gen. 1:21-26) The Bible, furthermore, accurately identifies the source of that voice within you, your conscience. It shows whydespite efforts of men such as Hitler, who boasted, I am liberating man from the degrading chimera known as consciencehumans earth wide continue to have a conscience. And it can help us to use and benefit from conscience.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 11/14/06 - What are the criteria of insanity?

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Dark_Crow answered on 11/16/06:

Mental derangement, either insanity or a condition of extreme rage or great folly. Various Hebrew and Greek words are employed in the Scriptures to denote such disorders of the mind, whether lasting or temporary. Some of these words seem to be associated with or derived from the weird and sometimes violent or sorrowful cries of persons afflicted with madness.
Madness befell boastful Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar. In fulfillment of a prophetic dream explained by Daniel, this monarch was stricken with madness at a time of boasting. For seven years he was insane, and vegetation he began to eat just like bulls. (Da 4:33) His reason gone, Nebuchadnezzar may have imagined that he was a beast, perhaps a bull. Regarding his mental derangement, a French medical dictionary states: LYCANTHROPY . . . from [lykos], lupus, wolf; [anthropos], homo, man. This name was given to the sickness of people who believe themselves to be changed into an animal, and who imitate the voice or cries, the shapes or manners of that animal. These individuals usually imagine themselves transformed into a wolf, a dog or a cat; sometimes also into a bull, as in the case of Nebuchadnezzar.

While not all persons afflicted with madness or insanity are possessed by the demons, logically persons possessed by the demons may be expected to manifest an unbalanced mental state. In the country of the Gerasenes, Jesus encountered a madman who was demon possessed. His haunt was among the tombs, and though he had often been bound with fetters and chains, the chains were snapped apart by him and the fetters were actually smashed; and nobody had the strength to subdue him. Further, continually, night and day, he was crying out in the tombs and in the mountains and slashing himself with stones. After Jesus cast out the demons, the man had a sound mind. (Mr 5:1-17; Lu 8:26-39) However, Christians are kept safe from demon invasion that produces madness if they put on and keep on the complete suit of armor from God.Eph 6:10-17.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 11/12/06 - What is the self? How does it control itself?

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Dark_Crow answered on 11/13/06:

The Fruitage of the spirit is . . . self-control.Gal. 5:22, 23.

Jesus summed up the whole matter regarding our actions toward fellow humans when he gave what is generally termed the Golden Rule, saying: All things, therefore, that you want men to do to you, you also must likewise do to them; this, in fact, is what the Law and the Prophets mean. (Matthew 7:12) Truly, it takes self-control not to let our selfish inclinations or outside pressures or temptations cause us to treat others differently from the way we would want them to treat us.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 11/09/06 - How would you explain "collective wisdom"?

In winter a certain number of the birds in a particular area hibernate, a certain number migrate to a warmer climate and a certain number feed on food available through the winter. Birds rarely freeze to death. Somehow they know how many should stay, how many should go, and how many should sleep. What is the explanation?

Dark_Crow answered on 11/09/06:

An opinion that almost everyone seems to share or express in a particular sphere of activity that has been gained through experience.

Although, technically, it is an abstract and indefinite concept and should be employed only in the use of wit, especially irony, sarcasm, and ridicule, to attack the vices and follies of humankind.

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Question/Answer
Choux... asked on 11/02/06 - Giant Human Brain Proves There is No God

"...consider the size of the human brain. If God exists, then it necessarily follows that a **fully functional mind can exist without a body**--and if that is true, God would have no reason to give us brains. We would not need them. For being minds like him, being "made in his image," our souls could do all the work, and control our thoughts and bodies directly. At most a very minimal brain would be needed to provide interaction between the senses, nerves, and soul. A brain no larger than that of a monkey would be sufficient, since a monkey can see, hear, smell, and do pretty much everything we can, and its tiny brain is apparently adequate to the task. And had God done that--had he given us real souls that actually perform all the tasks of consciousness (seeing, feeling, thinking)--that would indeed count as evidence for his existence, and against mere atheism.

In contrast, **if a mind can only be produced by a comparably complex machine**, then obviously there can be no God, and the human brain would have to be very large--large enough to contain and produce a complex machine like a mind. Lo and behold, the human brain is indeed large--so large that it kills many mothers during labor (without modern medicine, the rate of mortality varies around 10% per child). This huge brain also consumes a large amount of oxygen and other resources, and it is very delicate and easily damaged. Moreover, damage to the brain profoundly harms a human's ability to perceive and think. So **our large brain is a considerable handicap, the cause of needless misery and death** and pointless inefficiency--which is not anything a loving engineer would give us, nor anything a good or talented engineer with godlike resources would ever settle on.

***But this enormous, problematic brain is necessarily the only way conscious beings can exist if there is no God nor any other supernatural powers in the universe.*** If we didn't need a brain, and thus did not have one, we would be many times more efficient. All that oxygen, energy, and other materials could be saved or diverted to other functions. We would also be far less vulnerable to fatal or debilitating injury, we would be immune to brain damage and defects that impair judgment or distort perception (like schizophrenia or retardation), and we wouldn't have killed one in every ten of our mothers before the rise of modern medicine. In short, the fact that we have such large, vulnerable brains is the only way we could exist if there is **no God**, but is quite improbable if there is a God who loves us and wants us to do well and have a fair chance in life. Once again, atheism predicts the universe we find ourselves in. The Christian theory does not." <<< Carrier in an essay

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So, we see proof that **the mind** cannot exist without the giant human brain we all have.

Dark_Crow answered on 11/03/06:

Human memory is still a mystery. It has something to do with the way neurons connect. Strange as it may seem, most neurons in the human body pass messages via a chemical synapse. This slower, more complex method can be illustrated by a train that reaches a river without a bridge and has to be ferried across. When an electrical impulse reaches a chemical synapse, it has to stop because a gap separates the two neurons. Here the signal is ferried across by the transfer of chemicals. Why this complex electro-chemical method of passing nerve impulses?
Scientists see many advantages in the chemical synapse. It ensures that messages pass one way. Also, it is described as plastic because its function or structure can easily change. Here signals can be modified. Through use, some chemical synapses get stronger while others disappear because of disuse,


It is not certain just what physiological changes take place in the brain when we learn. But experimental evidence suggests that as we learn, especially in early life, better connections are formed, and more of the chemicals bridging the gaps between neurons are released. Continued use strengthens the connections, and thus learning is reinforced. Pathways that are often activated together are strengthened in some way, reports Scientific American.

Interesting on this point is the Bibles comment that deeper matters are more easily understood by mature people who through use have their perceptive powers trained. (Hebrews 5:14) Research has revealed that unused mental powers fade away. Thus the brain, like a muscle, is strengthened by use and weakened by disuse.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 10/31/06 - Can a person transcend natural causes? If so how?

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Dark_Crow answered on 10/31/06:

Is fear natural, I think so? Can an individual transcend an object of fear; it appears to be commonly accomplished. Naturalism is also a form of individualism; therefore, the concepts of Naturalism itself can transcend natural causes.

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Question/Answer
Choux... asked on 10/30/06 - TOE

The purpose of science is to understand reality. The ultimate goal of physics is to understand everything by a single all-embracing principle called the Theory of Everything (TOE).

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I read this somewhere.

Is this a correct assessment in your opinion?

Dark_Crow answered on 10/30/06:

The proposition is not true, but I do agree with what is said, in a very colloquial sense, as I do with this quote from Jerry Wheatley.


"Memory sustains both the knowing of what can be understood and the understanding of what is known.".

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 10/27/06 - What would constitute evidence for a miracle?

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Dark_Crow answered on 10/28/06:

Miracles are a "Tag" attributed by someone to something they don't understand.

For instance: Love works in miracles every day: such as weakening the strong, and strengthening the weak; making fools of the wise, and wise men of fools; favoring the passions, destroying reason, and in a word, turning everything topsy-turvy.
Marguerite De Valois
Now, is that evidence?

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 10/23/06 - What is intelligence and how did it originate?

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Dark_Crow answered on 10/23/06:

The means of it is that there is interconnectivity between different cortical areas of the brainThe short of it is that people have learned stuff they remember. As R. Rorty, I believe, said: A creature put two sticks together and grunted, and then another repeated the sound.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 10/20/06 - What is morality? Is it limited to human beings?

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Dark_Crow answered on 10/20/06:

Morality and human rights are so closely tied together that they are inseparable- human rights are basic moral guarantees that people in all countries and cultures allegedly have simply because they are people; therefore, unless there be animal rights, there cannot be animal morality.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 10/13/06 - What are the merits and demerits of pantheism?

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Dark_Crow answered on 10/13/06:

One merit of Pantheism is that it brings with it a propensity to love existence; and therefore happiness is gained. Find one God, and then you will find many.

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Question/Answer
Jon1667 asked on 10/12/06 - Genocide, again.

Reprise to last month, and whether philosophers should be interested in (mere) words. Think that's right?

PARIS (AFP) - France has sought to calm an uproar in Turkey and in the European Union after the French parliament approved a bill that would make it a crime to deny that the 1915-17 massacres of Armenians by the Ottoman Turks constituted genocide.

The French foreign ministry insisted that Paris was still "very keen" on dialogue with Turkey and wanted its "strong ties" with that country to continue.

But a furious Ankara -- which strongly contests the use of the term genocide -- was in no mood to listen, saying that France had dealt "a heavy blow" to longstanding bilateral relations.

Turkish parliamentary speaker Bulent Arinc called the vote "shameful" and said it reflected a "hostile attitude".

The European Commission also criticised the French bill, saying it would hinder efforts to heal the wounds caused by the Armenian carnage nine decades ago.

Dark_Crow answered on 10/12/06:

"Definitions of genocide
Much debate about genocide revolves around the proper definition of the word "genocide".

Here is what Lemkin said about the definition of genocide in its original adoption for international law at the Geneva Conventions:
:Generally speaking, genocide does not necessarily mean the immediate destruction of a nation, except when accomplished by mass killings of all members of a nation. It is intended rather to signify a coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves. The objectives of such a plan would be the disintegration of the political and social institutions, of culture, language, national feelings, religion, and the economic existence of national groups, and the destruction of the personal security, liberty, health, dignity, and even the lives of the individuals belonging to such groups. Raphael Lemkin, *Axis Rule in Occupied Europe (Wash., D.C.: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1944), p. 79.

Lemkin's original genocide definition was narrow, as it addressed only crimes against "national groups" rather than "groups" in general. Interestingly, it was broad at the same time as it included not only physical genocide, but also acts aimed at destroying the culture and livelihood of the group.".
So that in some sense, genocide can be a good thing, as it was and is towards German Nazism.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 10/11/06 - What is the significance of natural selection?

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Dark_Crow answered on 10/11/06:

Natural selection is a theory that requires belief in "Hard Determinism," that is, all adaptation is made through unintended effect- the lack of "free will".

I thinkl that is significant, do you?

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 10/07/06 - Can there be science without evidence?

...........Even if there were no actual evidence in favor of the Darwinian theory, we should still be justified in preferring it over all rival theories.

(Richard Dawkins - The Blind Watchmaker)

Dark_Crow answered on 10/07/06:

Only a mad man would say this: " Instead of examining the evidence for and against rival theories, I shall adopt a more armchair approach.".

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 10/01/06 - In what circumstances would you choose to die?

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Dark_Crow answered on 10/01/06:

Tony, so help me, I cannot think of a Good one. :)

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Question/Answer
MarySusan asked on 09/29/06 - "Last Tango in Paris"

A couple of nights ago, I was channel surfing in the early morning hours and I came across the movie, "Last Tango in Paris" about fifteen minutes in. A couple of months ago, I came across it under similar circumstances but an hour-and-a-half or so into it. I hope to see the entire movie from the beginning soon.

So, what a complicated movie, full of the biggies, death, sex, murder, lust, conventional vs unconvential...etc....It was fabulous for the most part.

One of the Brando character's "soliloquies" was all about "naming". I listened as carefully as I could(or read the subtitles, I don't remember which)because of all the talk earlier this year about the Philosophy of Naming.

The Brando character insisted that he and his lover not share each others names. ....He also didn't want much of anything else named. "Names"(words?) separate people. The young girl is lost without names....she needs names to describe her unconventional relationship with the Brando character in all respects.

Does anyone remember this movie?

Can you explain further the role Naming plays in this complex fabulous movie?

Dark_Crow answered on 09/30/06:

Obscurity is the sign of "real" radical thought.

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Question/Answer
ttalady asked on 09/28/06 - Racism

I was watching the "Tyra Bank Show", first time watching this, I usually stick to Dr. Phil, Judge Judy, and not much else. Her topic was racism, who has it, who gives it, and she had 5 groups of people in audiance and as guests.

The five groups consitted of Asians, Africans, Caucasians, Muslims, and Latinos. All American women. All saying that one or more times in there young lives they had experianced racism against them. I am sure you can imagine the usual complaints, ones we have heard for years now. Calling names, looks, judgements, and in some cases physical expericances.

I found it very interesting that all but one "culture" really understood what their issue was. When I say understood I mean that with communicating with others they were brought into the light of the real issue. We are all different yet the same. The one that I still wonder about is the Muslim woman. She was cold, very cold and so unwilling to even smile at some of the lighter moments of the conversation. Watching her face, her body language, she was obviously very uncomfortable. At the end of the show they all held hands, to show we are one, we are just humanity. Her face still blank and I felt from her actions she got absolutely nothing from this.

I wonder if there was a Jewish lady by her side, with her hand out to be held, would she hold it?

Her racism is not like the others, it is not of her skin color or even where she comes from. It is her religion. Sure you notice her religion from the burka but with out the burka you would never know. Her burka resembles modesty. Many see it as hiding behind a mask.

As many have said before that education could be the cure all for racism. How do we educate this? It seems so impossible to me however I can say with the end of slavery much has been on the up and up. I still believe you can not get past the past unless you look into the future.

How do we educate?

Dark_Crow answered on 09/29/06:

Of course she, the Muslim, may well be racist to a degree; however, given that I know that the participants in television shows like this are selected from interviews before the show. And given that likelihood, it would be equally possible that it is in fact the producer who is racist. Then, who knows?

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Question/Answer
hmghaly asked on 09/27/06 - For your comments........

http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en/channels/avnery/1159094813

Dark_Crow answered on 09/27/06:

I would suggest that the author of this article (Propaganda) should learn to speak English; for it is jarringly obvious, that Bush does not fit the definition of "Emperor". He is neither Sovereign, Royal leader, Ruler, nor Monarch. I think what we have here is an unusually honest Pope, and an ignorant writer.

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Question/Answer
MarySusan asked on 09/27/06 - Science v Religion

"The true essence of 'science' as a particular activity is systematic observation under the rules of reason. ......only observations under those rules yield 'knowledge.' It is almost redundant, then, to discuss the philosophy and method of science, since they are basically the philosophy and method of reason."
David Eller "Natural Atheism" pg 188.

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Science is the only road to knowledge.
Comments?

Dark_Crow answered on 09/27/06:

Scientific knowledge is usually called "empirical knowledge" or "a posteriori" knowledge. That is to say, knowledge which is dependent on what philosophers like Hume called "the evidence of our senses"
All propositions of science are, if they are known, are known empirically.
Your question may be whether empirical justification, no matter how strong, is sufficient for knowledge. And if your standard of knowledge is absolute certainty, which means the impossiblity and not the mere inactuality of error, then your answer will be no. But a consequence of insisting on that standard of knowledge is that neither science nor commonsense can give us knowledge.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 09/27/06 - How would you evaluate cumulative arguments?

Interpretations of reality such as materialism, idealism and dualism seem unfalsifiable but they are not all equally convincing. Solipsism - the view that only oneself exists - is generally regarded as false for a variety of reasons, none of which is conclusive by itself. This suggests that several arguments taken together are sufficient to establish the most rational conclusion. What is your opinion?

Dark_Crow answered on 09/27/06:

If philosophers began to believe they could answer one question at a time, Tony they would not be so confused; and consequently, ignorant.

Of course ignorance is the main problem in answering philosophical questions.

As so often in philosophy, it is not the answer to a question we ought to be looking for, but, rather, we ought to examine the question itself. Since, if we don't, we may find ourselves in the very situation that Kant describes when he wrote:

"To know what questions may be reasonably asked is already a great and necessary proof of sagacity and insight. For if a question is absurd in itself and calls for an answer where none is required, it not only brings shame on the propounder of the question, but may betray an incautious listener into absurd answers, thus presenting, as the ancients said, the ludicrous spectacle of one man milking a he-goat and the other holding a sieve underneath."

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 09/24/06 - Where is cultural superiority to be found?

"In his book Late Victorian Holocausts, published in 2001, Mike Davis tells the story of the famines which killed between 12 and 29 million Indians(1). These people were, he demonstrates, murdered by British state policy. When an El Nino drought destituted the farmers of the Deccan plateau in 1876 there was a net surplus of rice and wheat in India. But the viceroy, Lord Lytton, insisted that nothing should prevent its export to England. In 1877 and 1878, at height of the famine, grain merchants exported a record 6.4 million hundredweight of wheat. As the peasants began to starve, government officials were ordered to discourage relief works in every possible way(2). The Anti-Charitable Contributions Act of 1877 prohibited at the pain of imprisonment private relief donations that potentially interfered with the market fixing of grain prices. The only relief permitted in most districts was hard labour, from which anyone in an advanced state of starvation was turned away. Within the labour camps, the workers were given less food than the inmates of Buchenwald. In 1877, monthly mortality in the camps equated to an annual death rate of 94%.

As millions died, the imperial government launched a militarized campaign to collect the tax arrears accumulated during the drought. The money, which ruined those who might otherwise have survived the famine, was used by Lytton to fund his war in Afghanistan. Even in places which had produced a crop surplus, the governments export policies, like Stalins in the Ukraine, manufactured hunger. In the North-western provinces, Oud and the Punjab, which had brought in record harvests in the preceding three years, at least 1.25m died."

http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2005/12/27/how-britain-denies-its-holocausts/

"The Lewis and Clark expedition marked the beginning of a vast genocide of the native peoples of the West, one of the worst atrocities in human history. An entire continent of people were slaughtered and wiped out, or very nearly so. Land was grabbed, and the exploitation of both people and land became systematically formalized. That is the American story. While the United States today has museums dedicated to the Nazi holocaust, it still unapologetically celebrates its own holocaust..."

an American, Colorado, USA

Dark_Crow answered on 09/25/06:

Where is cultural superiority to be found?

In so many words..America and Israel, Tony.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 09/22/06 - What is the source of voluntary behaviour?

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Dark_Crow answered on 09/23/06:

Two quotes for you, Tony.
"Every act and event is the inevitable result of prior acts and events and is independent of human will."
-- Karl Marx
"Philosophers, for the most part, are constitutionally timid, and dislike the unexpected. Few of them would be genuinely happy as pirates or burglars. Accordingly they invent systems which make the future calculable, at least in its main outlines." -- Bertrand Russell

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Question/Answer
MarySusan asked on 09/18/06 - Liberals are Soft on Terrorism, Sam Harris

"I wonder whether self-professed liberal Sam Harris's new attack -- "liberals are soft on terrorism" -- will make it into the RNC's I-told-you-so talking points.
Harris, you see, was, and remains, an atheist.

Not just any atheist. His book The End of Faith was widely read, and widely praised for its courage. It it, he takes up a cudgel against religion that has been wielded from Euripides to Voltaire, from Freud to Karl Popper.

Now, on the eve of a new book, Harris says in a Los Angeles Times op-ed piece that liberals are incapable of recognizing the danger that Islam poses to "the future of civilization."

To support this, Harris offers three arguments aginst liberalism on a silver platter to the right. One of them is goofy; one exhumes a Republican straw man; and one is disturbing and very much worth wrestling with.

The wacky argument is that "liberal denial" of the danger of Islam "has found expression in a growing subculture of conspiracy theorists who believe that the atrocities of 9/11 were orchestrated by our own goverment." That's right: the "maschochistic unreason" of those who think the Twin Towers were rigged with explosives is proof of the impact of liberalism.

Forget what Pat Robertson said about gay kissing and feminism causing 9/11; forget the historic American alliance between paranoia and the political right; ignore the legion of tinfoil hat-wearing trolls teeming online. No, says Harris, the nutballs' delusion, the reason this "phantasmagoria" exists, is "the debilitating dogma that that lurks at the heart of liberalism."

What is that dogma? Here comes the hoary whipping boy. Liberals believe that "the powerless people of the Earth can be counted on to embrace reason and tolerance, if only given suffficient economic opportunities." This, of course, is the foreign version of the liberals-coddle-criminals argument.

Set aside the fact that for decades, Democrats have gone out of their way to immunize themselves against this charge by supporting astronomically expensive weapons systems (perhaps too far out of their way, given the pork, waste and muscle-bound obsolescence of many of those systems), not to mention by building the biggest prison system on the planet. Set aside the bipartisan consensus since World War II that led to the World Bank and dozens of other economic development initatives around the globe.

The real comedy is that these days, the economic opportunity argument for international stability is at the heart of the Bush freedom agenda. It's Republicans, not Democrats, who are justifying foreign adventures by claiming that providing hope and opportunity to people around the world will make them our friends; that "debilitating dogma" is the lynchpin of the neocons' freedom = capitalism = security argument.

But there is one argument Harris makes that isn't easily dismissed. It begins with the idea that "what devout Muslims actually believe about the West, about paradise and about the ultimate ascendance of their faith" should terrify us, all of us, but that liberals are in denial of it. Don't dismiss Muslim extremism as a fringe, says Harris. The Islamic doctrines of martyrdom and jihad are of the essence of their religion, they're believed by tens of millions of people, they're sociopathic doctrines, and talk about religious diversity and tolerance is a criminally negligent response to the enemy we face.

Ironically, it's not just liberals who take pains to distinguish "good Islam" from bad. Even while putting the country on code red about the islamofascist caliphate that's coming, Bush has been careful to say that Islam is a great world tradition deserving of respect. And while Harris pays lip service to that point -- "this is not to say that we are at war with all Muslims" -- he also takes great pains to explain that the essence of devout Islam is "a cult of death."

In other words, says Harris, liberals are fooling themselves if they think that Islamic extremism, and its murderous antipathy to the west, is somehow an aberratiion; it is part and parcel of orthodox belief in that faith.

To be fair, Harris spends a paragraph on the dangers of "the religious lunatics of the West,... whose infatuation with biblical prophecy is nearly as troubling as the ideology of our enemies." But at least the Christian right, he says, recognizes the danger of Islamic dogmatism; liberals live in an irrelevant fantasy world of pluralism and mutual respect.

Is there something inherently self-destructive about maintaining that different points of view, even warring religious points of view, can co-exist? Is it insane to focus on the highest common denominator of world faiths, rather than on the totalitarian premises of their doctrines? If religious pluralism was a good enough bulwark against tyranny in our Founders time, does the availability of weapons of mass destruction make own age fundamentally different?

It's funny: the right's most venerable argument against liberalism, from Whitaker Chambers to today, has been that it is secular, Godless, morally relativistic, incapable of recognizing evil when it sees it. Only a Christian nation (oops: Judeo-Christian -- the right has its PC, too) has the moral authority and the confidence of its righteousness to vanquish our enemies.

But now here comes an atheist, saying that Godlessness is the best way to stave off the night. I have no doubt that Karl Rove and Ken Mehlman would be delighted to quote Sam Harris; maybe they will. I suppose they would have welcomed a testimonial from Madalyn Murray O'Hair, too, as long as she supported the Iraq war. But even if the GOP can finesse the secular thing, they're going to get into a whole heap o' trouble if they wield the Islamofascist brush as broadly as Harris does. Just ask Pope Benedict." by Marty Kaplan, blogging

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My comment. I have been listening to Air America Radio and have listened to conspiracy theories galore, if I hadn't heard them myself, I would have had trouble believing that the far left believed this non-sense.

Anyone have any comments about what Marty wrote about Sam Harris' beliefs about liberalism?

Dark_Crow answered on 09/20/06:

At any rate, it is not science but dubious philosophy (or outdated science) which leads to being soft on terrorism. "What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence." -- Christopher Hitchens

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 09/15/06 - Why distinguish between "right" and "wrong"?

... If all our mental activity has physical causes does it make sense to discuss what we should or should not do? If all our thoughts and decisions were derived from electrical currents in the brain surely our behaviour would be predetermined and the power of self-control would be an illusion. How could we choose what to think if our minds were no more than biological machines?

Dark_Crow answered on 09/15/06:

Not all of our thoughts and decisions are derived from electrical currents in the brain, Tony.
Humans have substance and not simply a physical reality that can be touched and felt, that is, an unchanging essence.

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 09/14/06 - LIFE:



Is all of life philosophical? (You might wish to include science and mathematics, per se, in your answer)

HANK

Dark_Crow answered on 09/14/06:

Yes, because he who has, a why to live for, can bear almost any how.

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 09/14/06 - SOCRATES:



Socrates is often called the father of Western philosophy!

Why?

HANK

Dark_Crow answered on 09/14/06:

Because, it is believed he had the first complete philosophy.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 09/09/06 - To what extent is Islam a threat to peace?

"Islamism is a reactionary ideology which kills equality, freedom and secularism wherever it is present. Its success can only lead to a world of domination: man's domination of woman, the Islamists' domination of all the others. To counter this, we must assure universal rights to oppressed or discriminated people.

We reject cultural relativism , which consists in accepting that men and women of Muslim culture should be deprived of the right to equality, freedom and secular values in the name of respect for cultures and traditions. We refuse to renounce our critical spirit out of fear of being accused of "Islamophobia", an unfortunate concept which confuses criticism of Islam as a religion with stigmatisation of its believers."

http://tundratabloid.blogspot.com/2006/03/anti-islamism-manifesto

Dark_Crow answered on 09/09/06:

Modern Muslims claim that the Quran teaches freedom of religion and advocates only defensive warfare, but can such expressions as kill those that join other gods to God wherever you find them, but if they convert . . . let them go their way, and kill them . . . until the temptation stops be construed as either defensive warfare or permitting freedom of religion? The very Arabic word jihad disproves such a contention, for it means, A religious war against infidels or Mohammedan heretics. (Webster) Many, many Muslims were slain by other Muslims because of religious differences. Certainly that does not spell out freedom of religion.
In the light of the record made by history, nothing could be more fantastic than to claim that Islam believes only in defensive warfare. The facts show that after Muhammad gained power in Medina he organized marauding bands to attack the caravans of rival cities and that the first three were wholly unsuccessful. After he became a power in Medina, to which city he had fled as a religious refugee from Mecca, he authorized the execution of his critics; most notorious example being his execution of the Jewish tribe of Koraiza, some 700 men being beheaded in the market place from morning until night. True, these Jews had disaffected, but the religious motive is seen in that they were offered full pardon if they would give up their Judaism for Islam. Not one of them accepted this offer, although their failing to do so meant not only death for themselves but the selling of their wives and little ones into slavery.
Endeavoring to justify Islams jihads Muslim writers point to the wars waged by the Israelites at Gods command. However, in no sense of the word can Israels wars be termed jihads. That they were engaged in at Gods command is to be seen by the fact that time and again the victory was due to Gods miraculous intervention. (Josh. 10:11; Judg. 5:20; 1 Sam. 17:47; 2 Chron. 20:15) Besides, their wars were not fought for the purpose of expanding the kingdom of Israel to a world power. Centuries before, God had promised this land to the descendants of Abraham, and, as the Sovereign ruler of the universe as well as the earth, he had the right to give the land to whomsoever he would. (Gen. 12:7) So we read that David extended the limits of Israel to its God-ordained limits and neither David nor Solomon launched any wars to exceed those limits.
While what has been said in the foregoing may offend some, let it be noted that we cannot expect to arrive at the truth when we let our feelings rather than our reason govern our beliefs. Gods Word says, Come now, and let us reason together. (Isa. 1:18) That means to make comparisons, calmly and objectively weighing the facts and the arguments presented, and then being willing to pay the cost, for the truth will cost something. That is why we are counseled: Buy the truth, and sell it not.Prov. 23:23.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 09/08/06 - What is anti-Semitism? What are its causes?

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Dark_Crow answered on 09/08/06:

Of course, there is no one anti-Semitism or one cause; I think the best way to determine whether an action is anti-Semitic is to follow it to an end. For instance, Chomsky's systematic role in promoting hatred of Israel certainly fits the category of being anti-Semitic. Then there are those who liken Israel to the Nazi state, or South Africa in time past, or in its most benign form simply promotes the idea that Israel has no right to exist.

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Question/Answer
Jon1667 asked on 09/05/06 - British Terrorism and its roots

The following is from the Wall Street Journal. It would be most interesting to get a comment from Tony:

In Britain, the Jihadi Is Us
September 5, 2006; Page A25

LONDON -- Two bearded young men in a lounge at Heathrow Airport overhear an American journalist on the phone, describing his forthcoming trip to earthquake-ravaged Pakistan. He hangs up and a conversation with the journalist begins. The pair is headed the same way, to do their part in the ongoing reconstruction effort, though not for any government or recognized humanitarian agency. They are religious students, Muslims, and although they speak in the broad accents of northern England, they dress in the large white skullcaps, long white shirts and short white trousers in vogue with their set.

It's a mostly one-sided discussion. The more assertive of the two derides the government of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, dictator and Bush puppet. And speaking of puppets, he adds, how about the U.K.'s Tony Blair? At this he launches into a tirade against Anglo-American foreign policy. Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" is his main point of reference, the authoritative document about American designs.

This anecdote of nine months ago comes to mind on a current visit to Britain, where headlines are dominated by the news that a secluded former convent in East Sussex may have recently served as a terrorist training camp, disguised as a secondary school for Muslim boys. Fourteen suspects are in custody, on top of the 25 arrested in connection with last month's plot to blow up airliners over the Atlantic. Peter Clarke, head of Scotland Yard's Anti-Terrorism Branch, tells the BBC, "the number of people who we have to be interested in are into the thousands."

It is somewhat fitting that Terror Prep (if that in fact is what it was) should have been headquartered on what used to be Christian: Maybe there is a parable here about the eclipse in Europe of a waning faith by a stronger one. Traditional Britons especially see it that way, and while a large majority dislike the Bush administration and opposes Middle East adventurism, they also tend to regard their country's estimated 1.6 million Muslims as alien corn, people whose stern values are dangerously at variance with Britain's tolerant ones. Thus a recent poll finds that 63% of Britons believe that immigration laws ought to be "much tougher."

Yet there is also something too easy about this emerging consensus, which, roughly, wants Britain out of the Middle East and the Middle East out of Britain. What it neglects is the extent to which the attitudes of British Muslims perfectly reflect the attitudes of Britons generally.

Consider the findings of a July YouGov poll on the British view of America and Americans. Sixty-five percent of respondents consider Americans "vulgar" 72% think American society is unequal; 52% take a negative view of American culture; and 58% believe the U.S. is "an essentially imperial power, one that wants to dominate the world by one means or another." Only 12% of Britons have confidence in U.S. leadership.

The figures would surely have been even more lopsided had the poll been conducted exclusively among British Muslims. But the significant fact here is that on the not-trivial question of attitudes toward the U.S., the Muslim minority population is well in tune with the British majority. Ditto for British views about Israel. On Saturday, the Times reported that anti-Semitic attacks in Britain were near a modern-day high, which the paper attributed to Israel's war with Hezbollah.

It's a fair bet that an overwhelming majority of Britons deplore these attacks, the perpetrators of which are often Muslim. But leave aside the act and examine the attitude. By a 3-1 margin, Britons blamed Israel for using "disproportionate" force in Lebanon, and more Britons are in sympathy with Palestinians than with Israelis. The view is even more skewed among the British intelligentsia: The British teachers' union recently voted a boycott of Israel, following a similar boycott (since rescinded) by British university professors of two Israeli universities.

Such views aren't just waterborne; they spring from the data set from which almost all Britons judge Israeli actions. Trevor Asserson, a solicitor, has compiled lengthy reports of BBC coverage of Israel: He finds that of 19 documentaries on Israel or the Palestinians aired by the BBC from 2000 to 2004 (as compared to only five about the earlier, nearer and far deadlier conflict in the Balkans), almost all were savagely critical of Israel. "The Accused" indicts Ariel Sharon as a war criminal; "Dead in the Water" alleges that Israel bombed an American ship in 1967 to disguise Israeli atrocities in the Sinai and to provoke an American nuclear strike on Cairo; and so on.

Compound this with the similar slant and tenor of nightly BBC coverage of Israel, the U.S., Iraq, Lebanon and Guantanamo Bay and it isn't hard to understand the sense of rage, easily descending to radicalism and violence, which typifies the political sensibilities of so many British Muslims.

True, other factors are at play. The unemployment rate of British Muslims is three times that of the overall population, according to a 2004 survey, and the country's Muslims tend not to participate in civic life. These details get lumped together in the catch-all of "social exclusion," and it's something that rightly concerns British policy makers.

Yet what really ought to terrify Britain's leaders aren't the conclusions that divide mainstream and Muslim Britain, but the premises that unite them. From the credence given to people like Michael Moore and Noam Chomsky, to the simplistic derision of the U.S. and the frenzied hatred of Israel, the two camps attend the same church and sing from the same hymnal. Until that changes, on one side or the other, Britain will have no respite from the encroaching terror. Or, to paraphrase Pogo: We have met the jihadi, and he is us.

Dark_Crow answered on 09/05/06:

The writer of this article assumes that the British were ever concerned with Israel, except to aid the Arab. Is it all about oil, anti-SemitismI don't have the answer, but it is a historical fact that Britain has never been for the State of Israel and, supplied arms on credit for the Arab while, at the same time blocked arms Israel was prepared to buy for cash.

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 09/04/06 - COULD IT BE?

* I just posted this on the Christianity Board! I'd like your input as well.

You've heard me mention SPIRALS in past answers re: the Universe. For those that don't remember my definition, they are in all REALITY large groups of very distant stars. I feel that there is an INNER UNIVERSE and an OUTER UNIVERSE, per what I've mentioned about SPIRALS. We know nothing about the OUTER UNIVERSE except for very shady speculation. Therefore, I ask you, "Could this EXTRA-GALACTIC NEBULAE found in the OUTER UNIVERSE be the home of our Triune God?" "Could the SPIRALS or STARS in this OUTER UNIVERSE be ANGELS?

Perhaps the word FAITH can be substituted by the word REALITY when asked to prove that there is a Triune God.

Comments!

HANK

Dark_Crow answered on 09/04/06:

Gods word confirms the existence of angels. It tells us that there are millions of these spirit creatures. Gods servant Daniel had a vision of heavenly things about which he wrote: There were a thousand thousands that kept ministering to [God], and ten thousand times ten thousand that kept standing right before him.Daniel 7:10.

The Bible also explains that angels did not begin their lives as humans on earth. When God founded the earth, all the angelic sons of God shouted in applause.Job 38:4-7.

Angels are certainly messengers. You may be familiar with the Bible account about the time when the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary. He told her that although she was a virgin, she would bear a son who was to be named Jesus. (Luke 1:26-33) An angel also appeared to some shepherds who were in the field. He announced: There was born to you today a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:8-11) Similarly, angels delivered messages to Hagar, Abraham, Lot, Jacob, Moses, Gideon, Jesus, and others of Bible record.Genesis 16:7-12; 18:1-5, 10; 19:1-3; 32:24-30; Exodus 3:1, 2; Judges 6:11-22; Luke 22:39-43; Hebrews 13:2.

It is noteworthy that all these messages delivered by angels were in harmony with the outworking of Gods purposes and not necessarily those of the humans involved. Angels appeared as representatives of God, according to his will and timetable. Humans did not summon them.

The Bible gives us the names of only two of Gods faithful angels, Michael and Gabriel. (Daniel 12:1; Luke 1:26) Possibly, the reason for providing these names was to show that each angel is a unique spirit person with a name, not merely some impersonal energy or force.

As if this indignity were not enough, the churches have misrepresented the true God as an incomprehensible triune God of three persons in one. They refer to him as the Triune God or the Blessed Trinity. As you search your Bible, you will not find one mention of the word trinity or any statement that Almighty God is three coequal and coeternal persons, as the churches claim. What you will find there flatly contradicts them, making their trinity doctrine a lie.
In support of their doctrine, the churches claim that various statements in the Bible imply that God is three persons in one. When he says, at Genesis 1:26, for example, Let us make man in our image, they claim that the use of the word us implies three persons in one God, although the verse does not indicate how many persons were meant by the word. They insist on distorting this scripture to fit their pet doctrine. That the one to whom the Creator was actually speaking was his first creation, his only-begotten Son, is testified to by the Bible at Colossians 1:15, 16: He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation; because by means of him all other things were created in the heavens and upon the earth. That mighty spirit Son was God's master workman. Logically it was to this spirit creature, and not merely to himself, that the Almighty God was speaking.
Another scripture the churches distort to imply seeming support for the trinity is John 10:30, where Jesus says: I and the Father are one. They contend that Jesus was testifying that he is God, but is that really what he was saying? By comparing John 10:30 with John 17:20, 21, it becomes evident that Jesus was not doing that at all. In the latter scriptures he speaks of those that have faith in him as being one with himself and the Father. Obviously, Jesus was speaking of unity of purpose and not oneness in godship.

I hope this helps, Hank.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 09/02/06 - When, if ever, is assassination morally justified?

Would you have supported the plot to kill Hitler?

Dark_Crow answered on 09/03/06:

Yes, so long as it serves moral and spiritual purposes: That is, so long as we do not make war on each other for the sole purpose of acquiring territory and loot, but rather for noble objects.

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Question/Answer
ttalady asked on 08/31/06 - Gut feelings

Keifer Sutherland's character in the movie "Sentinel" has a great line. In converstation with another detective regarding a murdered man one detective says he has a gut feeling about what happened. Keifer then says something to the point of, "You want to know what I hate about gut feelings.... once you get them you will look only for the evidence which supports that."

How true, for most! That line alone makes me want to look outside the box of what I may have for gut feelings.

Would you say a gut feeling and intuition would be different or very similar?

He also mentioned that such is basic human nature, if so would that make it impossible to make wise decisions based on a gut feeling?

TTA

Dark_Crow answered on 09/01/06:

TT, most everything I do is by, "Gut feeling". It works very well; problems arise when I ignore evidence to the contrary.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 08/30/06 - What are your views on secular humanism?

..... To what extent is man "the measure of all things"?

Dark_Crow answered on 08/30/06:

"[Secular Humanist] Those unaffiliated with organized religion and concerned with human values."
~ Leo Pfeffer

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 08/29/06 - When should homicide by neglect be punished?

... If I see a person collapse in the street would it be wrong not to do anything to help? If so should that moral obligation be legally enforced? If not, why not?

Dark_Crow answered on 08/30/06:

"When should homicide by neglect be punished?"

When a court of law says so.:)

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Question/Answer
Bradd asked on 08/27/06 - MAXIMUM WAGE?

What is the economic rationale for rewarding a failed CEO with a Golden Parachute worth ten or twenty million dollars?

Why has the real income for the great majority of workers been stagnant for 30 years while those in the top strata have seen geometric increases?

Why do the CEO clubbies say it's not about money - money is only the scorecard? Ok, then let's give them a scorecard instead of money. Even better, why not do as the military do? They reward their star performers with neat uniforms and shiny medals. They even get salutes from their underlings. Surely the admirals and generals are as talented as the CEOs.

The maximum wage could be pegged at a reasonable proportion of the average worker's wage in any particular corporation - say, 50 to 1. If that happened, watch how quickly the minimum wage would rise. The big boys would be shouting, "The minimum wage is too low - how can a breadwinner possibly raise a family on that?"

"MINIMUM WAGERS OF THE WORLD - UNITE!", would be the new mantra of the elite.

But, some will say, we all know that the poor deserve their poverty - because they are lazy and shiftless and no account. Jonathan Swift once suggested that the poor, being good breeders, could lift themselves up by their bootstraps by selling their babies for meat. Some fat cats of the day thought that idea had merit.



Dark_Crow answered on 08/28/06:

Why is it, I wonder, that "logic flies out the same window in which Idealism enters"? How about a minimum earning law for corporations; I know several that have failed in my town recently. Of course, we could take away my grandmothers stock and give it to some socialist pig who wants something for nothing in life.

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 08/27/06 - RATIONALE:



Epictetus, a Roman Stoic, relates, " In order to live in a manner befitting our rational nature, we must make the best of what is in our power, and take the rest as it occurs."

Any comments about the penniless, the indigent, the destitute? Is my post a senseless evaluation of want and dearth that don't require reasoning?

HANK

Dark_Crow answered on 08/27/06:

We all come into the worldpenniless, indigent, and destitute. We change what we can and should be content with the result of our choices if they were good, choices.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 08/25/06 - Are mental events reducible to physical events?

"At the present time the status of physicalism is similar to that which the hypothesis that matter is energy would have had if uttered by a pre-Socratic philosopher. We do not have the beginnings of a conception of how it might be true. In order to understand the hypothesis that a mental event is a physical event, we require more than an understanding of the word 'is'. The idea of how a mental and a physical term might refer to the same thing is lacking, and the usual analogies with theoretical identification in other fields fail to supply it."

http://members.aol.com/NeoNoetics/Nagel_Bat.html

How would you explain the alleged dependence of mental events on physical events?

Dark_Crow answered on 08/27/06:

No I would not agree because the feedback goes both ways, that is, memory responds by way of choices back to organs and unlike other species, humans have a tremendous amount of memory capacity.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 08/25/06 - Are mental events reducible to physical events?

"At the present time the status of physicalism is similar to that which the hypothesis that matter is energy would have had if uttered by a pre-Socratic philosopher. We do not have the beginnings of a conception of how it might be true. In order to understand the hypothesis that a mental event is a physical event, we require more than an understanding of the word 'is'. The idea of how a mental and a physical term might refer to the same thing is lacking, and the usual analogies with theoretical identification in other fields fail to supply it."

http://members.aol.com/NeoNoetics/Nagel_Bat.html

How would you explain the alleged dependence of mental events on physical events?

Dark_Crow answered on 08/25/06:

MIND

A faculty of the brain with which we gather information, reason, and draw conclusions. Mind is rendered from several related Greek words expressing such attributes of the mind as thinking faculties, intellectual capacity, mental perception, intelligence, reason, thought, intention, remembrance, mental state or view, opinion, and mental inclination, attitude, or powers. Though, at times, in various translations the word mind is used, in the same instances other translations employ the above descriptive and specific terms. In the Hebrew text, the words for remember and consider may be translated in certain places by such expressions as keep in mind and have in mind. In the Hebrew Scriptures, mind appears in some versions as a rendering of the Hebrew words that are, literally and properly, heart, soul, and spirit.

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Question/Answer
ttalady asked on 08/22/06 - Is there any philosophical...

meaning to our inhibitions? Reason why we have such? Lord knows I have lost mine from time to time, wine always claims that one! I am always dying to get it out though.

Just wondering if we have some good meaning or reason behind what we hold onto? What is the purpose? It is my understanding that the best of the best never hold back. "Say it like it is"!

Your thoughts/quotes/ect please!

tta

Dark_Crow answered on 08/22/06:

I like this quote.The battle of the sexes is as old as the hills. In patriarchal societies, women are conditioned to accept men as the superior sex. But, awareness, education, and life's struggles have forced women to shed their inhibitions. Great women leaders, artists, scientists, and other professional women have inspired other women to overcome social obstacles. Read some inspirational quotes by women and for women.
~ Simran Khurana
But...then I like girls.

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Question/Answer
MicroGlyphics asked on 08/20/06 - What are Conservative conserving?

It seems to me by definition, Conservatives are seeking to conserve some past not fully grasping that (1) nothing is permanent and (2) time moves only in one direction...forward.

If I were to take Conservatisism to the absurd, I would say we should not progress past the Palelithic period. All progress was at one time Progressive (as the word "progress" might relate). Conservatives want to go back to some past, whether it be the fantasy of 1950s Americana or Victorian England, or the days of the Magna Carta.

I understand Conservatives want to hold onto the the past under the auspices of it might be considered tried and true, but in the end, time waits for no one.

So, I restate my question: What are American Conservatives conserving?

Dark_Crow answered on 08/21/06:

There appears to me to be more than a single conservative, just as more than a single liberal. To answer I shall keep to the previous question and relate it to religion. Foundational Christianity is anti-political. Jesus of Nazareth consistently condemned worldly authority; the Christian life is a non-worldly, individualistic, and non-political life. It seems clear to me that religious organizations that are political violate that principle of Foundational Christianity and therefore proposes a New Christianity, as does the Christian Right. True Conservatives want return to True Christianity.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 08/19/06 - What is our best hope for a final explanation?

"Perhaps our best hope for a final explanation is to discover a set of final laws of nature and show that this is the only logically consistent rich theory, rich enough for example to allow for the existence of ourselves."

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/14263

Dark_Crow answered on 08/19/06:

Our best hope for a final explanation is to stop hoping.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 08/17/06 - What would be your reaction to the following?

"I cannot refute your argument but I know you are mistaken." In what circumstances do you think this defence would be justified?

Dark_Crow answered on 08/18/06:

Never, that said...As Jim alludes to: the answer to the questions would depend on whether a person is a Foundationalist, Coherentist, or just a plain skeptic.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 08/16/06 - Silence implies consent, confusion or contempt?

Often there are no replies to a clarification. It is unreasonable to expect discussions to last indefinitely but if an important point is ignored what conclusion would you draw?

Dark_Crow answered on 08/16/06:

Again, Tony, I can only guess; however, like some people I don't need certainty in order to move ahead. If, "an important point is ignored" I never draw the conclusion of consent, but rather the achievement of something planned or attempted.

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Question/Answer
MicroGlyphics asked on 08/15/06 - This the current US administration a group of Fascists?

I have read much on Right-wing blogs, Conservatives distancing themselves from the idea of Fascismthe Fasicm is not to the right of Conservatism as it is practised in the US. So I decided to visit the definition. In the words of Shakespeare, "The lady protests too much, methinks."

(a) A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, (b) stringent socioeconomic controls, (c) suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and (d) typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.

This is a definition of Fascism. Let's compare it to the current Bush Cabal.

(a) Yep. The current regime aspires dictatorial rule as it summarily ignores Constitutional protections.

(b) Not so much.

(c) Yep. Propagandists and fear monger.

(d) Yep. Nationalists and Racists, the lot.

3 out of 4: 75%. Of course the "not so much" response to (b) doesn't speak to the ill conceived tax and spend policies, or the oppressive petroleum prices owing to poor foreign policy implementation. But I can forgive that. After all, how can you implement "good" foreign policyor anything, generally without so much as a plan.

Dark_Crow answered on 08/15/06:

America is not Fascist enough, unfortunately there are still fools who believe in non-discriminatory equality.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 08/14/06 - To what extent is the public brainwashed?

.

Dark_Crow answered on 08/14/06:

I can only guess as to what percentage of people are subjected to political or religious beliefs by the use of various coercive methods of indoctrination, including destruction of the victims prior beliefs. That said: 40 to 80 % in the Industrial "World" and 80 t0 100% in the Mid-East and Africa

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 08/13/06 - CONVICTION:



I have learned that peace at the individual, family, community and world levels are inter-related, and a natural progression. I have learned about the power of one person, with a conviction, to make a difference in our communities and world.

Do these words apply to President Bush?

HANK

Dark_Crow answered on 08/13/06:

No, Hank, I do not.

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Question/Answer
Jon1667 asked on 08/12/06 - Let them enforce it.

When President Andrew Jackson heard of a Supreme Court decision he opposed he said, they have decided, "now let them enforce it".

Now that the Benighted Nations has decided to save the terrorists, again, let them enforce it.

Why should the Israeli Army stop until it has reached its objective of disarming the Hezbolla? Defy the Benighted Nations!

Dark_Crow answered on 08/12/06:

They were given the time, and failed. Looks like bye-bye Mr. Olmert and hello Benjamin Netanyahu

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Question/Answer
Jon1667 asked on 08/12/06 - Asinine Comment:

I have noticed that lately, and particularly with the uncovering of the latest terrorist plot of blow up as many as 10 airplanes over the Atlantic, that I have not read the asinine, "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter". Perhaps even Liberals have reached a sudden awakening.

Dark_Crow answered on 08/12/06:

The liberal concept that these Islamic Terrorist are militants or extremists rather than enemies determined on destroying the West appears to be in decline. However, the "Western way of war," based on Western values such as capitalism, individualism, democracy, scientific inquiry, rationalism, and open debate is unequalled in its devastation and decisiveness. War based on Moral principles will never succeed in the long haul against Western values.

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 08/11/06 - TIME TO QUIT?




It's very hard to look into the soul of a person but perhaps it's much easier to appraise the thinking of a barbarian. I just heard over the news that Israel has AGREED to the cease fire terms laid down by the United Nations. It's 5:40 p.m. 8/11/06 where I live. I'll predict that the Hezbollah will not agree to the cease fire and contiunue to kill, kill kill. Tomorrow just might be a very hard day for our Israeli friends.

HANK

Dark_Crow answered on 08/11/06:

That was my first thought, and my second was that it is noticable that with-in 6 hours after Israel announced they were expanding the war, there was an agreement completed.

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Question/Answer
Jon1667 asked on 08/11/06 - The Benighted Nations

"The U.N. Human Rights Council on Friday condemned Israel for "massive bombardment of Lebanese civilian populations" and other "systematic" human rights violations, and decided to send a commission to investigate."

As usual, the Benighted Nations. Zambia and Uganda, among other enlightened folk.
The question is how anyone can take the BN seriously?

Dark_Crow answered on 08/11/06:

Is there a country, any country, that respects the United Nations? The U.N. Human Rights Commission is a joke. You will never achieve what you never begin...

Question/Answer
jackreade asked on 08/10/06 - Men Beyond Evil

"The uniqueness of the Holocaust was not the Nazi's determination to kill the Jews of Germany and even of neighboring Poland. Other genocides, such as those by the Cambodians and the Turks, sought to rid particular areas of so called undesirables by killing them. The utter uniqueness of the Holocaust was the Nazi plan to "ingather" all the Jews of the world to the death camp and end the Jewish "race" forever.
It almost succeeded. The Nazis ingathered tens of thousands of Jews (including babies, women, the elderly) from far flung corners of the world--from the Island of Rhodes from Salonika and from other obscure locations--in order to gas them at Auschwitz and at other death camps.

The official leader of the Palestinian Muslims, Haj Amin al-Husseini, the grand mufti of Jerusalem, collaborated in the Nazi genocide, declaring that he sought to "solve the problems of the Jewish element in Palestine and other Arab countries" by employing "the same method" being used "in the Axis countries". Husseini, who spent the war years in Berlin and was later declared a Nazi war criminal at Nuremberg, wrote the following in his memoirs:

Our fundamental condition for cooperating with Germany was a free hand to eradicate every last Jew from Palestine and the Arab world. I asked Hitler for an explicit undertaking to allow us to solve the Jewish problem in a manner befitting our national and racial aspirations and according to the scientific methods innovated by Germany in the handling of its Jews. The answer I got was: "The Jews are yours."

Husseini planned a death camp for Jews modeled on Auschwitz, to be located in Nablus. He broadcast on Nazi Radio, calling for genocide against all the world's Jews: "kill the Jews wherever you find them--this pleases God, history, and religion." Professor Edward Said has acknowledged that this Nazi collaborator and genocidal anti-Semite "represented the Palestinian Arab consensus" and was "the voice of the Palestinian people." Yasser Arafat referred to Husseini as "our hero."

Never before or since in world history has a tyrannical regime sought to murder all of the members of a particular racial, religious, ethnic or cultural group, regardless of where they live--not until now. Hezbollah's aim is not to "end the occupation of Palestine," or even to "liberate all of Palestine." Its goal is to kill the world's Jews. Listen to the words of its leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah: "If Jews all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide." (NY Times, May 23, 2004, p. 15, section 2, column 1.) Nasrallah is one of the most admired men in the Muslim and Arab world today. Hitler made similar threats in Mein Kampf but they were largely ignored. Nasrallah has a reputation for keeping his promises.

His genocidal goals--to kill all Jews--were proven by two recent statements. He has warned the Arabs and Muslims to leave Haifa so that his rockets can kill only Jews. And he apologized for causing the deaths of three Israeli-Arabs in Nazareth, when a Katuysha struck that religiously mixed Israeli city. Hezbollah also worked hand-in-hand with Argentine neo-Nazis to blow up a Jewish community center, murdering dozens of Jews.

Nasrallah is a modern day Hitler, who currently lacks the capacity to carry out his genocide. But he is an ally of Iran, which will soon have the capacity to kill Israeli's five million Jews. Listen to what the former President of Iran has said about how Iran would use its nuclear weapons:

Hashemi Rafsanjani, the former president of Iran, has threatened Israel with nuclear destruction, boasting that an attack would kill as many as five million Jews. Rafsanjani estimated that even if Israel retaliated by dropping its own nuclear bombs, Iran would probably lose only fifteen million people, which he said would be a small "sacrifice" from among the billion Muslims in the world.

Now listen to the current President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who denies the Nazi Holocaust, but calls for a modern Holocaust that would "wipe Israel off the map."

Despite these anti-Semitic and genocidal threats, some of the hard left admire Nasrallah and his bigoted organization, as well as Iran and its anti-Semitic president. Others do not seem to take his threats seriously.
For example, the notorious Jewish anti-Semite Norman Finkelstein has said, "looking back my chief regret is that I wasn't even more forceful in publicly defending Hezbollah against terrorist intimidation and attack."

Finkelstein's hatred of Jews runs so deep that he has actually implied that his own mother, who survived the Nazi Holocaust, may have collaborated with the Nazis. If so collaboration with evil seems to run in the family, because Finkelstein has clearly become a collaborator with Hezbollah anti-Semitism and Nazism. Finkelstein's website is filled with Hezbollah promotion, including breathless reprints of Nasrallah speeches. Noam Chomsky, who works closely with Finkelstein, has said of Finkelstein that he is "a person who can speak with more authority and insight on these topics [Israel and anti-Semitism] than anyone I can think of."

The Iran-Hezbollah axis is the greatest threat to world peace, to Jewish survival, to western values, and to civilization. Those like Finkelstein, who support Hezbollah, and even those who refuse to fight against this evil, are on the wrong side of history. They are collaborators with Islamo-fascists--today's version of Nazism." alan dershowitz

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Men Beyond Evil..Nasrallah, a modern Hitler; Rafsanjani, Ahmedinejad, Finkelsein, and Chomsky.

Comments?

Dark_Crow answered on 08/10/06:

Logic flew out the window, along with the House Un-American Activities Committee Chalk one up for the other side. The Terrorist are of course a major problem, but then too, we must win the war at home against the Subversion of the Liberal Democrat.

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Question/Answer
ttalady asked on 08/10/06 - Bill O'Reilly.....

.... constantly asks his callers, "How would you wage the war on terrorism". The funny things is as he asks he never gives his own answer. He has answers for certain circumstances but when it comes to a true strategy I have yet to hear his.

Is there an answer? Is there a strategy to take out radical Islamist? In Iraq there is a chance of a civil war. Let's see, radical Islamist killing radical Islamist? Hmmmm... Not to say they are all radical but have to believe if you share the same religion, with a sur name that only separates you, but you enjoy killing each other anyway, that's pretty radical! It really makes me wonder just what is this religion about? Killing anyone that does not believe as you?

So how would you wage the war? Any ideas on how to end this really petty fighting? Bill has yet to o-pine!

And tell me, what is the deal with racial profiling? Come on, I profile my neighbors! What's the big deal, I have nothing to hide?

Best to you all!

TTA

Dark_Crow answered on 08/10/06:

Well, we could start with a couple of well-aimed nuclear weapons

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 08/10/06 - ADMIRATION:



Foiled Plot Brings New Security, Delays
LONDON (AP) - British authorities said Thursday they thwarted a terrorist plot to simultaneously blow up several aircraft heading to the U.S. using explosives smuggled in carry-on luggage.

My favorite people has always been the English. They never let me down. Allow me to express my appreciation.

HANK

Dark_Crow answered on 08/10/06:

Thank God, Hank, the stupid terrorist didn't try from Canada instead of the UK

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 08/10/06 - CASSIUS CLAY:



Voted the Sportsman of the Century in 1999 by Sports Illustrated. We know him as Muhammad Ali, the boxer. Please read:

"Following his ascension to champion, he also became famous for other reasons: he revealed that he was a member of the Nation of Islam (often called the Black Muslims at the time) and changed his name to Cassius X, discarding his surname as a symbol of his ancestors' enslavement, as had been done by other Nation members such as Malcolm X. He was soon given the name Muhammad Ali by the leader of the Nation, Elijah Muhammad, who revealed the name to Ali as "his true name," although only a few journalists (most notably Howard Cosell) accepted it at that time. The adoption of this name symbolized his new identity as a Black Muslim, and he retained the name even after he later became a Sunni Muslim."

Source: Wikipedia

Does the thought of having a Muslim as our Sportsman of the Century (20th) poke you in your little old heart? Don't some Muslims "sting like a bee?"

HANK

Dark_Crow answered on 08/10/06:

Does not bother me in the least bit.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 08/09/06 - Is infinity relevant to human life? If so, how?

It is often argued that the immensity of time and space detracts from the value and significance of life on earth. What is your opinion?

Dark_Crow answered on 08/09/06:

Who said that, " time and space detracts from the value and significance of life on earth", and, just where do they suppose life is other than earth? Incidentally, if time and space does anything it makes one appreciate why the Left's most dangerous religious belief is their adoration of violent criminals.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 08/08/06 - Why is it normally wrong to kill a person?

Would killing a person in normal circumstances cease to be wrong if the majority decided it is not wrong? If not why not?

Dark_Crow answered on 08/08/06:

I am told it is ok to kill babies and Oppressors: Straight white men with jobs and families.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 08/06/06 - Why bother to discuss moral issues?

If goodness and justice exist only in the mind why bother to discuss whether a war is justified?

Dark_Crow answered on 08/06/06:

Moral statements are objectively true or false X is good or X is right, are either true or false (and therefore have cognitive value). Their truth or falsity is independent of the (objects of) beliefs or desires. The cognitive value of moral statements is an objective matter.

Therefore, it is through analysis that a war may be justified.

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Question/Answer
jackreade asked on 08/04/06 - Limits

What are the limits of reason? Are their any?

Dark_Crow answered on 08/05/06:

The limits of reason seem to be language.

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Question/Answer
jackreade asked on 08/04/06 - Ethics and Language?

"It is well known that all languages are created by man. It is also known that languages change and mutate. So if no *spoken* languages are static, then what is the moral basis for punishing the use of folk language to such an extent as some people do. By folk language I mean things like various creoles, pidgin languages, ebonics, spanglish, or any other non-written dialect of a language. Are these languages not legitimate and therefore shoulld be treated that way? All grammatical rules have to be created, so what is the rationale behind correcting someone's grammar when they are not TRYING to speak what you consider to be the correct form of language?" ANON

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Comments very welcome.

Dark_Crow answered on 08/05/06:

I don't know how widely known among a general population it is that man' creates language. I think most people believe that they learn a language. The Folk languages you speak about are simply used on too small a scale and are rightfully not considered legitimate in that few people understand them. That language is not static is not relevant because of the time involved for the change; if there is a change relevant to the change in the rest of the language.

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Question/Answer
jackreade asked on 08/04/06 - Wittgenstein

"The correct method in philosophy would really be the following: to say nothing except what can be said, i.e. propositions of natural science i.e. something that has nothing to do with philosophy and then, whenever someone else wanted to say something metaphysical, to demonstrate to him that he had failed to give a meaning to certain signs in his propositions. Although it would not be satisfying to the other person he would not have the feeling that we were teaching him philosophy this method would be the only strictly correct one."


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Do you agree with this definition of Philosophy?

Dark_Crow answered on 08/04/06:

No. Philosophy and method are not compatable.

He simply confuses scientific method with Philosophy; as I have repeatedly pointed out on this forum, "Philosophy is about the unknown; otherwise it would be called Science'. It is fine if Wittgenstein wants to work in a Laboratory, I prefer the Field.

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Question/Answer
jackreade asked on 08/04/06 - Nihilism and Absurdism

"(Nietzsche thought) nihilism is essentially giving up on life as a pointless affair. Absurdism, (Camus) essentially says that by accepting that life is meaningless, one can escape the despair that results from the realization of that.

The difference between them is most clearly seen in the point of Nietzsche's objection to nihilism: nihilism is a rejection of the will to life and, thus, life. Absurdism, on the other hand, maintains the will to life in the face of the meaningless way of things.

It is clear that this is the difference when, at the end of the main essay in the Myth of Sysiphus, Camus writes that the point of following his philosophy is to live. In short, nihilism rejects life in its lack of absolute value and absurdism accepts life in that absence." Anon

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Do you think that this student has stated his point correctly? Would you amend his/her comments or clarify them?....

Dark_Crow answered on 08/04/06:

While Nihilism and Absurdism amount to the same thing- the idea that the universe is without meaning or rational order, Nihilism too was a political movement in late 19th-century Russia that sought to bring about a socially just new society by destroying the existing one through acts of terrorism and assassination. I think Camus was wrong, "that by accepting that life is meaningless, one can escape the despair that results from the realization of that. The way that can escape the despair that results from that realization by simply acknowledging the fact that that is simply not true.

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Question/Answer
MicroGlyphics asked on 08/03/06 - Can one religion be superior to another religion?

Given that religion is derived from the same matter as myth and faery tales, can one religion be superior? What would make it superior? Would the number of gods make a religion more superior? Would the cool religious outfits make it superior? What about the cool hats and regalia? Does the architecture of the places of worship come into play?

I was just wondering...

Dark_Crow answered on 08/03/06:

Yes, myth and faery tales, but is it the God of the Catholics or the God of the Protestants in whom you don't believe?

"Whatever religious people may say about their love of God or the mandates of their religion, when their behavior toward others is violent and destructive, when it causes suffering among their neighbors, you can be sure the religion has been corrupted and reform is desperately needed."
Charles Kimball Baptist minister, Middle East expert, and author of a phenomenally important book: When Religion Becomes Evil.

I am told that Aztec priests often performed human sacrifices; that Aztecs of high rank, especially warriors, volunteered themselves to the gods. Of course that religion is not practiced today except perhaps in Islam.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 08/03/06 - The problem of co-existence...

Human beings differ in almost every respect and cannot always be expected to live in harmony in the same territory. The history of the Middle East in particular tells us that conflict exacerbates rather than solves the problem of co-existence. The basis of a rational solution is the partition of disputed territories and the supervision of weapons by an international peacekeeping force. Surely this is preferable to futile violence and bloodshed?

Dark_Crow answered on 08/03/06:

The problem is a cancer in Islam and the cure is surgery.

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Question/Answer
MicroGlyphics asked on 08/02/06 - Is any segregation moral?

Piggybacking on Dark Crow's questions around racism and segregation, is any segregation promoting inequality under the law moral, whether by race, gender, or class.

Please don't chase down a rabbit hole by attempting to argue that people are in fact different. This is not the arguement. The arguement is around the legal status of inequality.

Should Blacks be treated different than Whites? Arabs different than Jews? Males different than Females? Christians different than Atheists? A Senator different from a Janitor?

Dark_Crow answered on 08/02/06:

I certainly treat them different, in that I defer to what I perceive to be their customs. And also I use a different vocabulary; I don't however present myself other than who I am.

So far as inequality: we are borne into inequality.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 08/02/06 - What is racism? Is it ever justified?

.

Dark_Crow answered on 08/02/06:

Racism is the belief that people of different races have different qualities and abilities, and that some races are inherently superior or inferior. Welldo they?

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Question/Answer
Oldstillwild asked on 08/01/06 - Byeding....

Lately I read a dissertation about biding one's time......would anybody know,what that is.....and
would that invoke violence and if so,
why?
Is it possible,that once one would stop biding,violence still would be left?
Would anybody know,what he is doing?
Isnt it typical,that time doesnt exist at all?

Dark_Crow answered on 08/01/06:

Just waiting to get even.

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Question/Answer
jackreade asked on 07/31/06 - Conflict with Islamic Countries

I read an interesting assessment earlier today about war in the MiddleEast, for example.

Any conflict with an Islamic country is war between the armed terrorists/soldiers and civilians.

Homicide Bombers--->Civilians

Israeli Soldiers--->Civilians

American Soldiers--->Civilians("Insurgents")

Insurgents------>Iraqi Civilians

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`


Civilians are THE major war players in Islamic tactics.

Why is it that only the Jews get a lot of flack when they, who are really trying to avoid civilians, have mistakes?



Any comments?

Dark_Crow answered on 08/01/06:

I am told that nearly 3.5 million Palestinians are living as refugees.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 07/31/06 - Why discuss the Middle East conflict?

Dark_Crow answered on 07/31/06:

Absolutely no useful one I can think ofunless done with an open mind- or- possible satisfaction for the activist.

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Question/Answer
Oldstillwild asked on 07/31/06 - right?

Killers cant be right,ever.
Any religion or philosophy ,from which people can derive the right to kill,cant be a right religion or a right philosophy,right?

Dark_Crow answered on 07/31/06:

Alcohol based hand rinses are effective in killing germs, for that matter, even soap can be a killer. Therefore, killers can be a good thing.

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Question/Answer
Jon1667 asked on 07/31/06 - Editorial for The Boston Herald

This war must not end
By Jules Crittenden/ Online Exclusive
Boston Herald City Editor

Monday, July 31, 2006 - Updated: 10:53 AM EST

The war in Lebanon must not end short of its logical conclusion. Its logical conclusion is not the successful use of human shields by Hezbollah to hamstring the Israeli Defense Forces. Its logical conclusion is the destruction of Hezbollah as a military and political force that will always remain a threat to peace and stability of the region.



Hezbollah has gotten a pass from the international community at Qana, as it did when it targeted UN peacekeepers for death by placing Hezbollah fighting positions within meters of the doomed UN observation post, as it has in numerous other tragedies in recent weeks. Israel has received widespread condemnation for firing on a town that Hezbollah cynically used as a base to launch missiles. Further questions of what actually happened in Qana are raised by the Israeli report that the building in which as many as 60 men, women and children were killed did not collapse for up to eight hours after the IDF attack, possibly in a secondary explosion. The IDFs goodwill gesture of a 48-hour suspension of air attacks was answered by a volley of Hezbollah rockets into Israel.



The apparent civilian death toll in the Lebanon campaign in excess of 500 -- "apparent" because it is impossible to determine how many of them are in fact Hezbollah combatants, and beyond that, how many were purposefully placed in harms way by Hezbollah -- has weakened the international communitys willingness to let Israel defend itself unhindered and led to more calls for a ceasefire.



As some observers have noted, Hezbollahs ability so far to hang on and continue to inflict Israeli casualties is seen as a victory in Arab eyes. Merely failing to be routed by the Israeli onslaught is triumph.



This shows that Israel, and by extension the free world, is facing an enemy on a spiritual par with the Japanese in the Pacfic in World War II, though not nearly as capable as that enemy was, even when that enemy had similarly overplayed its hand.But equally tenacious and delusional, seeing futile acts of suicide and homicide as tactical and strategic coups.



Lebanon is not war-era Japan.Its people will not throw their babies off cliffs as the Israelis approach, and peasants armed with sharpened sticks will not launch Banzai charges against them.Israel need not fear the kinds of losses that the United States faced in the invasion of Japan.To prevail in Lebanon, Israel will not have to use nuclear weapons to obliterate Beirut, Damascus or Teheran the way the United States had to obliterate Nagasaki and Hiroshima in order to neutralize Japans will to resist. Israel will, however, have to push on with ground and air strikes, at great cost and in the face of internatinlal condemnation, until Hezbollah is done. Israel has no more choice in the matter than the United States had in the Pacific.The threat cannot be allowed to remain, when its mere survival emboldens it and ensures it will be able to rebuild.



The twisted perception of Hezbollah asDavid to the Israeli Goliath -- a perversion of the reality in which Israel is vastly outnumbered, outgunned and surrounded, but more adept and capable that its foe-- positions Hezbollah as a winner in any conclusion short of its utter destruction.It offers a major symbolic victory to Iran and Syria, and will allow them to maintain a militarized proxy front in their war on Israel.It will embolden their actions in Iraq against the efforts of the United States and the Iraqi people to build a stable and sane democracy there.It will embolden Iran to continue to pursue its nuclear weapons program in defiance of international pressure.It will create a threat of war in the Middle East on a scale that would make the current troubles look like a picnic.



The pressures of European leaders and the United Nations for a quick fix -- an accommodation of evil of the sort they historically have prefered to acting with determination against a nascent threat -- must not be allowed to stop Israel, with our support, from completing this dirty job.

To end the present suffering of its people , Lebanon cannot be allowed to remain a defacto Shiite-extremist state, dominated by Syria and Iran. An international peacekeeping force cannot be brought in until the root of war is dug out, and Hezbollah is destroyed or effectively removed from Lebanon. That means that for now, as terrible as the toll has been, the use of human shields by Hezbollah cannot be a deterent to utterly exterminating Hezbollah as a political and miltary threat and just as significantly, as a symbol of resistance.



This war, like all just wars against aggression, must not end short of its logical conclusion. Its logical conclusion is the extermination of Hezbollah.


Dark_Crow answered on 07/31/06:

Israel has no choice - it's about survival. The real force behind all of this is Iran.

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Question/Answer
MicroGlyphics asked on 07/31/06 - White House Fears U.S. Officials Could Be Tried Under War Crimes Act

"Concern is growing within the White House that top members of the administration could be tried under the 1996 War Crimes Act. The law criminalizes violations of the Geneva Conventions and threatens the death penalty if U.S.-held detainees die in custody from abusive treatment. The Washington Post is reporting that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has spoken privately with Republican lawmakers about the need to protect administration officials and soldiers from being tried for war crimes."

Comments?

Ref: http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/07/31/1435210

Dark_Crow answered on 07/31/06:

First, it must be established that someone did in fact die from abusive treatment inflected by following government policy.

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Question/Answer
MicroGlyphics asked on 07/31/06 - Why justify war?

It seems to me that as much energy is expended justifying war as waging it. It also seems to me that for some people simply calling the opposition "bad" is sufficient enough justification. If as much effort was exerted to justify and wage peace, the world would be a better place.

People attempt to justify war because they know they are wrong. This is a defensive mechanism. In psychology, this is attempting to assuage cognitive dissonance. Tell yourself enough times that something is just, and you might start to believe it. As the axiom goes, "Nothing is such that thinking doesn't make it so."

Dark_Crow answered on 07/31/06:

There is a pragmatic justification, which is often neglected- a justification for war is a matter of cost-benefit analysis: defining beneficial objectives and tallying the costs. Based on whether achieving the objectives is worth the costs.

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Question/Answer
Jon1667 asked on 07/30/06 -

Fighting with one hand tied behind your back

Unhappily, Israel seems to have taken an unfortunate leaf from the American book and decided to fight a war with one hand tied behind its back, against an enemy that is fighting with both arms, and using its feet too. Why they have decided on this unfortunate strategy is anyone's guess. They never had before. Something, no doubt, to so with compunction about the effects of doing so on civilians, and fear of world criticism. Of course, as America showed in Viet Nam, and now, in Iraq, this kind of thing never works and end up by causing far more suffering and death, than attacking at full strength and getting the matter over does. And, in addition, going to war half-heartedly, ends up causing more criticism and blame, than if it had been quickly done.

The Israeli military had learned to be as feckless as the American military. Perhaps, neither deserves to win. And as Hezbollah as just pointed out, reasonably enough, there is no reason for them to make any concessions for peace since no military victory has been scored over them. Sounds right to me.

Dark_Crow answered on 07/31/06:

I wonder why the 100 "Bunker Buster" bombs that Israel received a week ago have not been used. As I understand it, what Israel needs to do is get rid of weapons stored in underground bunkers.

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Question/Answer
jackreade asked on 07/29/06 - Degrees of Truth

How many logics?

If we think about logic at all, we probably think of it as one and indivisible - truth is truth and an argument is either valid or it isn't. But perhaps we need a logic that is more subtle than that, one that allows for degrees or truth. Adapted from another philosophy site.


Do you agree that there are degrees of truth?

Dark_Crow answered on 07/30/06:

http://www.amirrorclear.net/academic/ideas/degrees/

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 07/29/06 - Does moral subjectivism correspond to reality?

There are frequently discussions about moral issues, e.g. whether the Allies were justified in bombing German cities during WW2. This suggests morality is not a question of opinion but of fact. For example, either the Allies were justified or they were not, regardless of an individual's point of view. Otherwise why bother to have a discussion?

Dark_Crow answered on 07/29/06:

War, for the pacifist, is always wrong- pacifism lacks realism.

A Just War Theory also lacks realism; there is no Just War that entails moral consideration. If more people realized this, I believe there would be fewer wars.

War is a reality and sometimes in the real world, resorting to war can be justified, but not morally.

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Question/Answer
MicroGlyphics asked on 07/28/06 - Israeli-Arab Conflict

Why is it that if you want Israel to stop bothering people, you are considered to be anti-Semetic, yet if you want the Arabs to stop bothering people, you are considered to have "the right idea"?

The Israeli government would like nothing more then total genocide; yet when al-queda wants the flip side of this statement, the West's panties get in a bunch. Israel, al-queda, Hamas, and Hezbolla are all sponsors of terrorism, as is the United States (sic).

Dark_Crow answered on 07/28/06:

It's probably the body odor or something like that.

Yes, it is a tragedy, for everyone knows that, The Jews are a nation of liars.... The Jews are a treacherous, lying, and evil people. The bestial transformation occurred when Allah turned Jews into apes, despised.
Do you love Jews and their religion, you liver-hearted ass, and not Muhammad? They are a divided people devoid of sense..

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Question/Answer
Bradd asked on 07/27/06 - Israel's Shelling of the UN Post

After hours of communication from the UN post to Israel informing them that their fire was hitting the UN area, Israel finally managed to destroy it, killing 4 UN personnel.

Does anyone believe that Israel didn't know exactly what they were doing?

Their PR denials were shockingly reminiscent of the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty - a US "spy" ship in international waters that was attacked by the Israelis in the late 60's and for which Israel has continued to deny responsibility almost 40 years later.

There is no question that Israel attacked that ship and killed dozens of American sailors.

Dark_Crow answered on 07/28/06:

That is fine by me; Israel should not only hit the UN observers' posts, but also level every structure and hovel in Lebanon and the Palestinian territories.
Playing with semantics' and word definitions (Like most of the answers to my last question) is fine for philosophy, but in the real world, Hezbollah has sworn an oath to pursue the destruction of Israel and the US, as has the Palestinians, the Syrians and Iran. What part of that don't some people understand?

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Question/Answer
MicroGlyphics asked on 07/27/06 - Media Bias and the Problem with Talk Show Hosts

I listen to both Right Wing and Left Wing radio talk shows during drive time. Both sides accuse the Mass Media, of which they are each components, of media bias. It happens that the Right insists the media is biased Left, and the Left insists the media is biased Right. Obviously, then, the media may well not be biased but rather is shoddy and diluted.

I read articles from both sides, too. Sure some so-called reporters might be biased. Just as sure some reporters are even competent, but on balance, reporting is like Swiss cheese, full of holes replete with omissions, intentionally and otherwise. Editors are complicit in this, too.

Talk show hosts on both sides, generally presumed to be preaching to their respective choirs, making all sorts of false and misleading statement as well as statements out of context with poorly research support (or lack thereof).

The way I attempt to get a fuller picture is to read and listen to both perspectives. Of course this is not an optimal approach because the world is not 2-dimensional. I know most people are guilty of Group Think and tend to flock like sheep to an ideological base. I also know that most people tend to single-source there news or severely restrict their input in an attempt to diminish cognitive dissonance, I suppose.

Do you feel the media is slanted or biased? If so, which way? How do you get your news?

Dark_Crow answered on 07/27/06:

I get my news from Google, which carries stories from newsrooms across the globe, and contrasting ones at that.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 07/27/06 - The Insanity of War.

............................................Decisive military outcomes have become much less common in interstate wars since World War II. Why?

"The argument that fares best in these tests is that improved methods of maintaining peace, specifically the development of peacekeeping, help combatants bring an end to the war rather than fight to the finish."

http://64.233.183.104/search?q=cache:jZlfdleiz1AJ:
www.columbia.edu/~vpf4/apsa04.pap.pdf
+analysis+of+war+outcomes&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=6

Since indecisive wars usually lead to further fighting surely it is wiser to negotiate a settlement at the outset rather than cause so much unnecessary suffering and bloodshed?

Dark_Crow answered on 07/27/06:

Tony, as to your comment "The Insanity of War" I think Mill's comment appropriate.

John Stuart Mill:
War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature, and has no chance of being free unless made or kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.

It is a mistake to think that war can be decisive for more than a season. I think the Bible answers quite accurately to that. ------------For everything there is an Season (appointed time), even a time for War

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Question/Answer
MicroGlyphics asked on 07/26/06 - Talking Points: World War III

So the Right Wing agenda is couching the current fiasco in the Middle East as World War II. I have heard over a half dozen references, including Matt Lauer this morning on the Today show and affirmed by his guest Bill Bennett. This is not to mention Newt Gingrich and the Sunday shows. (It is funny how often I hear the term Islamofascists and how it is rendered as a term somehow scarier than the fascism we face here under the Bush-Cheney cabal.)

Are we in the midst of World War III? Does this undeclared so-called war even qualify as a war? What scope must one have to qualify as a World War, political rhetoric, and aggrandisement aside?

Dark_Crow answered on 07/26/06:

Yes, in a sense it is world war 3, although not in the same sense as the previous two world wars were. It is in the sense that the United Socialist States of Europe and the Republic of America are at war with each other over OPEC-producers. If America loses, so goes the world economy.

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Question/Answer
MicroGlyphics asked on 07/26/06 - Would tensions in the Middle East be as high as it is now if the US hadn't invaded Iraq?

Now that the US has beaten the hornets' nest of the Middle East, the hornets are restless and stinging. The US is upset that it cannot seem to put the hornets back in the nest, and so continues to attack the nest directly and through proxy. While I agree that some hornets have been stirring for years and decades, would they be as agitated if the US hadn't bothered them?

The US has given as rationale WMD and 9/11 as provocations for having attacked the sovereign nation of Iraq, an impoverished and despotic yet secular state. None of this was proven true, so the rationale was shifted to Democracy, but the US does not respect a democracy when it isn't fashioned in a manner acceptable by the US, say, Iran, Lebanon, and Venezuela.

Soviet-style Communism was an abject failure in part by two large reasons: attempts to micro-manage the macro-economy (let's call this meddling), and offensive interference by Western powers (let's call this meddling). So, meddling appears to be at the root of failure. Why, then, have we not learnt our lessons and stopped meddling in the affairs of otherespecially sovereignnations?

Of course it should not be a secret that I am opposed to the invasion and occupation of Iraq, but that does not diminish the quality of the question: Would tensions in the Middle East be as high as it is now if the US hadn't invaded Iraq?

Dark_Crow answered on 07/26/06:

Of course not; Hussein would still be paying off the UN and France and Hussein would still be in bed together while the other members the EU awaited their turn with the whore.

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Question/Answer
MicroGlyphics asked on 07/25/06 - Fundamental Flaw in Liberalism

Among the tenets of Liberalism is the concept to live and let live. Conservatism does not have the same constraint. Taking these statements as true, is Liberalism doomed to failure?

Liberalism abiding be this live and let live mentality espouse tolerance as a model. This is to say that a Liberal can tolerate (in principle) a Conservative (so long as it doesn't encroach unreasonably on him). Conversely, a Conservative eschews tolerance in favour of laws derived from On High. Therefore, the Liberal does not have to tolerate the Liberal (or the heathen or the whatever).

Of course once the Liberal feels encroached upon, his level of tolerance has been breached and he reacts, but given the dichotomy of vantages, can there ever be a truly (not superficially) amicable coexistence for these two groups?

Dark_Crow answered on 07/25/06:

There is a major flaw in your analysis, it does not account for "Political Correctness". A Part of a totalitarian ideology, which is Liberalism- as opposed to Conservative ideology.

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Question/Answer
MicroGlyphics asked on 07/25/06 - Why is Christian Fundamentalism Better than Islamic Fundamentalism?

Is Fundementalism in and of itself a "bad" and failed concept?

Dark_Crow answered on 07/25/06:

Religious fundamentalism is the same for Christians as Muslims alike. The word of God stands literally in the Holy Scriptures. However, Christian fundamentalism allows that it is to be applied to the individual but not government, whereas, The Muslim fundamentalism requires a Theocracy.

That is why Christian Fundementialism is superior.

Not bad, and not failed. It serves a purpose.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 07/25/06 - What can we learn from history about war?

...

Dark_Crow answered on 07/25/06:

Honor, battle, betrayal, life, and death, are all part of the history of humankind. Our past, present and future depends on war. War is the very origin of order and remains with us today. Without war, there can be no order among humans.
MicroGlyphics is right about it being a conservative matter, for it is the conservative who have always sought order rather than disorder.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 07/24/06 - Who is benefiting from the Middle East conflict?

...

Dark_Crow answered on 07/24/06:

The world at large, so long as Terrorist are being killed.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 07/24/06 - How can nuclear conflict be prevented?

............

Dark_Crow answered on 07/24/06:

Tony, critics of Israel continue to call for "Restraint" and accuse Israel of failing. What they fail to acknowledge is the fact that Israel has in the past, repeatedly, used restraint and played the game of tit-for-tat while making large concessions to the Palestinian people. When I said, "Myth of ''Measured Response'' is just what Jew haters want" I mean they want people to forget that and act as though the Lebanon incident and the Palestinian incident of late should be treated as isolated incidents and judged on the merits of these incidents alone. The time for restraint of that sort is over; therefore, Israel is simply using the tactics of Police the world over. That is, applying a force greater that the force of the criminal.

I am not concerned about an all out nuclear war.

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Question/Answer
ttalady asked on 07/19/06 - A hunch....

.... I am thinking that Bush might be in on this war. Call it what you will but strategy wise it is a win win for America. Israel on the offensive, makes me wonder, did Bush say "Just go for it". That is well before the bombs began.

I hear Bush, I really listen to what he does and how he handles some sticky situations. He is a risk taker. For the sake of the US, I believe yes, we'll see I guess. He defiantely makes mistakes. He stands strong and his beliefs are more than most can say.

In my opinion Americans have dealt with the worst, we can handle pretty much anything. Not even talking 911, we have a history. He is trying to look into the future, we can handle the pain right now.

So do you think such a hunch is silly, plain wrong, or a possibility? My Father is still pondering, he is fearful of WW3, it is here. Time to deal with it!

TTA

Dark_Crow answered on 07/20/06:

It's not because things are difficult that we dare not venture. It's because we dare not venture that they are difficult.

Seneca
I think your thinking is right

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Question/Answer
jackreade asked on 07/19/06 - A Challenge from Dershowitz

My argument is that by hiding behind their own civilians, the Islamic radicals issue a challenge to democracies: either violate your own morality by coming after us and inevitably killing some innocent civilians, or maintain your morality and leave us with a free hand to target your innocent civilians. This challenge presents democracies such as Israel with a lose-lose option and the terrorists with a win-win option. I challenge the readers of this post to recommend to Israel better ways of responding to this challenge. What would you do? What would America do? What should a democracy do?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

How would you answer Prof. Dershowitz' challenge?

Dark_Crow answered on 07/19/06:

Think of them as mineral-based life forms and not human. Ok, that won't work.

Jack, what do you think would happen to General motors if everyone stopped buying their vehicles? Cut the oil supply from Iran and let them eat sand.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 07/18/06 - What was the origin of the genetic code?......

"One half of the modern system of coded chemistrythe genetic code and the sequences it conveysis, from a chemical perspective, arbitrary. The other half of the system of coded chemistrythe activity of the proteinsis, from a chemical perspective, necessary. In life, the two halves are coordinated. The problem follows: how did thatthe whole systemget here?...

The question, of course, is which of the two steps came first. Without life acquiring some degree of foresight, neither step can be plausibly fixed in place by means of any schedule of selective advantages. How could an ancestral form of RNA have acquired the ability to code for various amino acids before coding was useful?

Could the two steps have taken place simultaneously? If so, there would appear to be very little difference between a Darwinian explanation and the frank admission that a miracle was at work. If no miracles are at work, we are returned to the place from which we started, with the chicken-and-egg pattern that is visible when life is traced backward now appearing when it is traced forward."

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/Archive/DigitalArchive.aspx?panes=1&aid=12102024_1

Dark_Crow answered on 07/18/06:

What is the code, I keep hearing about a code but, so far, that is all I have heard.

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Question/Answer
jackreade asked on 07/17/06 - Morally Equivalent

From Yahoo dot com News:

"UNITED NATIONS (AFP) - US Ambassador John Bolton said there was no moral equivalence between the civilian casualties from the Israeli raids in Lebanon and those killed in
Israel from "malicious terrorist acts".


"I think it would be a mistake to ascribe moral equivalence to civilians who die as the direct result of malicious terrorist acts," he added, while defending as "self-defense" Israel's military action, which has had "the tragic and unfortunate consequence of civilian deaths".

"It's simply not the same thing to say that it's the same act to deliberately target innocent civilians, to desire their deaths, to fire rockets and use explosive devices or kidnapping versus the sad and highly unfortunate consequences of self-defense," Bolton noted.

The overall civilian death toll from the Israeli onslaught in Lebanon since last Wednesday reached 195, in addition to 12 soldiers, officials said. Twenty-four Israelis have also been killed since fighting began last Wednesday, including 12 civilians in a barrage of Hezbollah rocket fire across the border."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Do you have any comments about Bolton's remarks?
Ethically, what are the points to consider?






Dark_Crow answered on 07/18/06:

There is no moral equivalence. I hope the road leads to Iran; these other groups are but whores to her.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 07/15/06 - At what stage does science become inadequate?

"Darwin's theory, without which nothing in biology is supposed to make sense, in fact offers no insight into how the flagellum arose. If the biological community had even an inkling of how such systems arose by naturalistic mechanisms, Miller would not -- a full six years after the publication of Darwin's Black Box by Michael Behe -- be lamely gesturing at the type three secretory system as a possible evolutionary precursor to the flagellum.

Also, even if all the protein parts were somehow available to make a flagellar motor during the evolution of life, the parts would need to be assembled in the correct temporal sequence similar to the way an automobile is assembled in factory. Yet, to choreograph the assembly of the parts of the flagellar motor, present-day bacteria need an elaborate system of genetic instructions as well as many other protein machines to time the expression of those assembly instructions. Arguably, this system is itself irreducibly complex. In any case, the co-option argument tacitly presupposes the need for the very thing it seeks to explain a functionally interdependent system of proteins.

The more we KNOW about the bacterial flagellum, the less and less it is anything the Darwininian mechanism could produce. Moreover, there are strongly affirmative grounds for inferring design from the presence of irreducibly complex machines and circuits. Every time we know the causal history of an irreducibly complex system (like the NASCAR racing engine or an electronic circuit), it always turns out to have been the product of an intelligent cause."

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2005/02/derbyshire_vi_behe_s_bacterial_flagellum_1.html

Dark_Crow answered on 07/15/06:

Tony, I think Clark's first 3 laws covers this quite well.

1)When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is
possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something
is impossible, he is very probably wrong.

2)But the only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to
venture a little way past them into the impossible.


3)Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

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Question/Answer
cheriskae asked on 07/10/06 - Sociology

William Golding wrote "Lord of the Flies " after taking part in the bloody D-Day landing in France during World War II . Do you agree with his belief that violence is part of human nature?

Dark_Crow answered on 07/10/06:

Humans are the most violent species on the planet. Survival depends on the ability to fight and run, and it is supposed that unlike deer, elk, and antelope, australopithecines were able to evolve into distance runners because they did not evolve new weapons, they invented them.
http://www.alumni.utah.edu/continuum/summer05/runners.htm

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 07/10/06 - To what extent do we make ourselves what we are?

"Liberty, in other words, is not indeterminism, but self-determination; for "our choosing affects ourselves no less than the chosen or rejected objects, and ... it is up to each of us to decide for himself what he is to make of himself".

http://www.bu.edu/wcp/Papers/Acti/ActiSmit.htm

Dark_Crow answered on 07/10/06:

One study found that 40% of variation in measures of home environment are accounted for by genetic variation. This suggests that the way human beings craft their environment is due in part to genetic influences; another 40% to 80%.

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Question/Answer
ttalady asked on 07/07/06 - Complicating human issues

Why is it the human emotion blocks some basic facts in life?

Example "prejudice". I still have yet to meet a person that is not, as they may claim they are not, everyone is prejudice in one way or another. Whether it be color, religion, sexual orientation, or get to the nitty griddy of life style (rich/poor), children/no children, married/not married, ect ect.

Call me naive, maybe I am, I view being prejudice as the mear natural concept Survival of the Fittest. Human emotions tend to try and erase this fact of life.

For instance, I always use the canine as an example, a pack of dogs in the wild will have a leader, followers, and the ones that wish to take over the pack. There is an order of how things go and how they have no emotion when there is a sick dog, they take it out. You can not infect the pack. This comes to everything this pack lives for, food, land, lively-hood. This is how they survive.

"Man" messes this working concept and natural order with emotion. I call it the "deserving concept". That everyone should live like I, no way. You live as you serve yourself, your family, your pack. I do not need to feed your family, you don't need to feed mine, you get it. This is life, this is a pure fact and no matter how the human emotion trys to change that, that will always be a fact. We live survial of the fittest, we are prejudice in what takes away our survival. We all have different prejudices however what they are is what makes us think that our survival is threatened.

Being prejudice is knowing the "Fight or Flight" emotion. It is not a good day bad day emotion.

I am prejudice with illegal immigrants, welfare recipiants, government officials, credit card businesses, and anyone that believes they deserve a hand out in life that has not handed out in life.

American Indians still want pay back, African Americans want pay back, Katria Victims want pay back, and none the less those 9/11 people are not happy with the million they got. We are all victims in life some way or another, get over it!

Survival of the Fittest. Keep your pack close to you, know that being prejudice is only surviving (using my definition), and take some emotion out of facts in life.

All right, give it to me! I'm a wacko huh?

tta

Dark_Crow answered on 07/07/06:

What is the secret to survival? Yes, Darwin thought carefully about that question over a long period, as related to the survival and extinction of biological species. Darwin said that the living thing that best fits its environment had the best chance of survival; hence, the term survival of the fittest. Therefore, I think you are quite right in what you say, you "view being prejudice as the mear natural concept Survival of the Fittest". Merriam-Webster defines the word prejudice as an adverse opinion or leaning formed without just grounds or before sufficient knowledge. By that description, it appears that many of us live with prejudices and we rarely make effort to keep them concealed. However, I do not believe that it is by prejudice, but rather the knowledge of prejudice, that humans have become the fittest and, that some are more fit than others are.

ttalady rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

Question/Answer
ttalady asked on 07/07/06 - Peace in your life?

Do you have true peace in your life? I suppose not everyone would define peace the same, some look for it around them, some look for it with in them, and others are just looking.

I find peace in myself with the love I share with my husband, family, pets, and just the fact the lord gave me one more minute on this Earth to live. Such a hard concept to get to really. A journey of facing your own evils and letting go of the ones around you. To hold on to what is true in your life right here and now and planning a way to handle every day like it is the best day of your life.

I have been away from this site for a while now and have grown in many ways. My marriage is wonderful, my family is the still same old family it has always been, and our land is becoming such a beautiful place. I have learned not to rush in life. One day at a time, take the detour even if you can get to your destination with a road block well past it. Listen, listening is so... very important.

We are planning on trying to get pregnant next year. Planning, I know, everyone says, "Just do it, you can not plan it". Why not? I am 31, he is 34, we are finacially stable, we love eachother and are best friends. Don't you need a foundation before you build a house? I have that foundation now, perfect, no such thing, stable yes. I have shocked my girlfriends with saying, "I am just enjoying my husband right now, he's all mine, I'm all his". It brings them to a wondering look like, "I need that", but with babies, oh they change EVERYTHING. We are both equally excited and ready.

Have you found peace in your life? If so what is your peace, what brings you to having true comfort, understanding, a non-restlessness being?

Best to you all!

tta

Dark_Crow answered on 07/07/06:

From what you say, you are using peace in the sense of a state of mental calm and serenity, with no anxiety. I experienced that almost daily while living with an alcoholic wife, and so it is that peace of mind can be experienced under the worst of conditions.

ttalady rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 07/06/06 - Evil and psychopathy

.........................................."A psychopath is defined as having no concern for the feelings of others and a complete disregard for any sense of social obligation. They seem egocentric and lacking insight and any sense of responsibility or consequence. Their emotions are thought to be superficial and shallow, if they exist at all. They are considered callous, manipulative and incapable of forming lasting relationships, let alone of any kind of love. It is thought that any emotions which the true psychopath exhibits are the fruits of watching and mimicking other people's emotions. They show poor impulse control and a low tolerance for frustration and aggression. They have no empathy, remorse, anxiety or guilt in relation to their behavior. In short, they truly are devoid of conscience." (wikipedia)

Do you believe all evil behaviour is caused by psychiatric disorders, e.g. psychopathy?

Dark_Crow answered on 07/06/06:

Respect for the truth comes close
to being the basis for all morality.
-- Frank Herbert

It is fine to teach that social experience may override the influence of biology on behavior. Twin studies of various kinds consistently find that between 40 and 80 percent of the variance in intelligence is due to genetic factors.

tonyrey rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 07/04/06 - THIS IS NO TRICK QUESTION:


The other evening I had a friend over for supper. She helped me prepare the food. While doing so, she asked, "Honey, why are you using a dish towel with a hole in it?" I quickly responded by saying, "A towel with a hole in it can do the same chore as a towel without a hole."

Question: Is my answer common sense or philosophy?

HANK

Dark_Crow answered on 07/04/06:

Some leftist would keep the towel with a hole in it to appease the envious: road of guilty self-sacrifice.

But then, only you know.

HANK1 rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 07/02/06 - GENGHIS KHAN:



In the space of 20 years, Genghis Khan's armies conquered much of the known world, killed millions, and sent shudders of fear from Japan to Germany.

What was Khan's system of beliefs, attitudes, and values?

HANK

Dark_Crow answered on 07/02/06:

"visionary leadership, superior organizational skills, the swiftest and most resilient cavalry ever known, an army of superb archers (the "devil's horsemen" in Western sources), the existence of politically weakened states across Asia, and, of course, havoc and devastation".

"Genghis Khan's grandson Hleg (died 1265) subdued Iran in 1256 and conquered Baghdad, the capital of the cAbbasid caliphate, in 1258. Hleg's dynastythe Ilkhanids, or Lesser Khansruled this area, called Greater Iran, until about 1353. After their rapid gain of power in the Muslim world, the Mongol Ilkhanids nominally reported to the Great Khan of the Yuan dynasty in China, and in the process imported Chinese models to better define their tastes. However, the new rulers were greatly impressed by the long-established traditions of Iran, with its prosperous urban centers and thriving economy, and they quickly assimilated the local culture. The Mongol influence on Iranian and Islamic culture gave birth to an extraordinary period in Islamic art that combined well-established traditions with the new visual language transmitted from eastern Asia".

"www.metmuseum.org."
Stefano Carboni
Curator
Islamic Art

Qamar Adamjee
Research Assistant
Islamic Art

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 07/01/06 - SKEPTICISM:



Why was David Hume skeptical about Locke and Berkeley's analyses re: religion and morality? Hume was a patron of Rousseau in his English exile, but later the two quarreled bitterly. As you know, Rousseau was a Pantheist.

HANK

Dark_Crow answered on 07/01/06:

Off the top of my head, Hank, Hume conflated religion and Christianity. That is, Christianity exhausted the possibility of Religion. For instance, that Deism was not thought of as religious. Hume's atheism was philosophical rather than religious.

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 06/30/06 - DEMOCRACY & EQUALITY:



Did John Locke base much of his philosophy on FREEDOM and CHRISTIANITY?

HANK

Dark_Crow answered on 06/30/06:

He did argue against the Rationalist but for explicit reasoning as did Christianity.

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Question/Answer
ttalady asked on 06/30/06 - The sheep, sheepdog, and the wolf

By LTC (RET) Dave Grossman, author of "On Killing."
Honor never grows old, and honor rejoices the heart of age. It does so because honor is, finally, about defending those noble and worthy things that deserve defending, even if it comes at a high cost. In our time, that may mean social disapproval, public scorn, hardship, persecution, or as always,even death itself. The question remains: What is worth defending? What is worth dying for? What is worth living for? - William J. Bennett - in a lecture to the United States Naval Academy November 24, 1997

One Vietnam veteran, an old retired colonel, once said this to me:

"Most of the people in our society are sheep. They are kind, gentle, productive creatures who can only hurt one another by accident." This is true. Remember, the murder rate is six per 100,000 per year, and the aggravated assault rate is four per 1,000 per year. What this means is that the vast majority of Americans are not inclined to hurt one another. Some estimates say that two million Americans are victims of violent crimes every year, a tragic, staggering number, perhaps an all-time record rate of violent crime. But there are almost 300 million Americans, which means that the odds of being a victim of violent crime is considerably less than one in a hundred on any given year. Furthermore, since many violent crimes are committed by repeat offenders, the actual number of violent citizens is considerably less than two million.

Thus there is a paradox, and we must grasp both ends of the situation: We may well be in the most violent times in history, but violence is still remarkably rare. This is because most citizens are kind, decent people who are not capable of hurting each other, except by accident or under extreme provocation. They are sheep.

I mean nothing negative by calling them sheep. To me it is like the pretty, blue robin's egg. Inside it is soft and gooey but someday it will grow into something wonderful. But the egg cannot survive without its hard blue shell. Police officers, soldiers, and other warriors are like that shell, and someday the civilization they protect will grow into something wonderful.? For now, though, they need warriors to protect them from the predators.

"Then there are the wolves," the old war veteran said, "and the wolves feed on the sheep without mercy." Do you believe there are wolves out there who will feed on the flock without mercy? You better believe it. There are evil men in this world and they are capable of evil deeds. The moment you forget that or pretend it is not so, you become a sheep. There is no safety in denial.

"Then there are sheepdogs," he went on, "and I'm a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf."

If you have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy productive citizen, a sheep. If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath, a wolf. But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens? What do you have then? A sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the hero's path. Someone who can walk into the heart of darkness, into the universal human phobia, and walk out unscathed

Let me expand on this old soldier's excellent model of the sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs. We know that the sheep live in denial, that is what makes them sheep. They do not want to believe that there is evil in the world. They can accept the fact that fires can happen, which is why they want fire extinguishers, fire sprinklers, fire alarms and fire exits throughout their kids' schools.

But many of them are outraged at the idea of putting an armed police officer in their kid's school. Our children are thousands of times more likely to be killed or seriously injured by school violence than fire, but the sheep's only response to the possibility of violence is denial. The idea of someone coming to kill or harm their child is just too hard, and so they chose the path of denial.

The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, can not and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheep dog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed. The world cannot work any other way, at least not in a representative democracy or a republic such as ours.

Still, the sheepdog disturbs the sheep. He is a constant reminder that there are wolves in the land. They would prefer that he didn't tell them where to go, or give them traffic tickets, or stand at the ready in our airports in camouflage fatigues holding an M-16. The sheep would much rather have the sheepdog cash in his fangs, spray paint himself white, and go, "Baa."

Until the wolf shows up. Then the entire flock tries desperately to hide behind one lonely sheepdog.

The students, the victims, at Columbine High School were big, tough high school students, and under ordinary circumstances they would not have had the time of day for a police officer. They were not bad kids; they just had nothing to say to a cop. When the school was under attack, however, and SWAT teams were clearing the rooms and hallways, the officers had to physically peel those clinging, sobbing kids off of them. This is how the little lambs feel about their sheepdog when the wolf is at the door.

Look at what happened after September 11, 2001 when the wolf pounded hard on the door. Remember how America, more than ever before, felt differently about their law enforcement officers and military personnel? Remember how many times you heard the word hero?

Understand that there is nothing morally superior about being a sheepdog; it is just what you choose to be. Also understand that a sheepdog is a funny critter: He is always sniffing around out on the perimeter, checking the breeze, barking at things that go bump in the night, and yearning for a righteous battle. That is, the young sheepdogs yearn for a righteous battle. The old sheepdogs are a little older and wiser, but they move to the sound of the guns when needed right along with the young ones.

Here is how the sheep and the sheepdog think differently. The sheep pretend the wolf will never come, but the sheepdog lives for that day. After the attacks on September 11, 2001, most of the sheep, that is, most citizens in America said, "Thank God I wasn't on one of those planes." The sheepdogs, the warriors, said, "Dear God, I wish I could have been on one of those planes. Maybe I could have made a difference." When you are truly transformed into a warrior and have truly invested yourself into warriorhood, you want to be there. You want to be able to make a difference.

There is nothing morally superior about the sheepdog, the warrior, but he does have one real advantage. Only one. And that is that he is able to survive and thrive in an environment that destroys 98 percent of the population. There was research conducted a few years ago with individuals convicted of violent crimes. These cons were in prison for serious, predatory crimes of violence: assaults, murders and killing law enforcement officers. The vast majority said that they specifically targeted victims by body language: slumped walk, passive behavior and lack of awareness. They chose their victims like big cats do in Africa, when they select one out of the herd that is least able to protect itself.

Some people may be destined to be sheep and others might be genetically primed to be wolves or sheepdogs. But I believe that most people can choose which one they want to be, and I'm proud to say that more and more Americans are choosing to become sheepdogs.

Seven months after the attack on September 11, 2001, Todd Beamer was honored in his hometown of Cranbury, New Jersey. Todd, as you recall, was the man on Flight 93 over Pennsylvania who called on his cell phone to alert an operator from United Airlines about the hijacking. When he learned of the other three passenger planes that had been used as weapons, Todd dropped his phone and uttered the words, "Let's roll," which authorities believe was a signal to the other passengers to confront the terrorist hijackers. In one hour, a transformation occurred among the passengers - athletes, business people and parents. -- from sheep to sheepdogs and together they fought the wolves, ultimately saving an unknown number of lives on the ground.

There is no safety for honest men except by believing all possible evil of evil men. - Edmund Burke

Here is the point I like to emphasize, especially to the thousands of police officers and soldiers I speak to each year. In nature the sheep, real sheep, are born as sheep. Sheepdogs are born that way, and so are wolves. They didn't have a choice. But you are not a critter. As a human being, you can be whatever you want to be. It is a conscious, moral decision.

If you want to be a sheep, then you can be a sheep and that is okay, but you must understand the price you pay. When the wolf comes, you and your loved ones are going to die if there is not a sheepdog there to protect you. If you want to be a wolf, you can be one, but the sheepdogs are going to hunt you down and you will never have rest, safety, trust or love. But if you want to be a sheepdog and walk the warrior's path, then you must make a conscious and moral decision every day to dedicate, equip and prepare yourself to thrive in that toxic, corrosive moment when the wolf comes knocking at the door.

For example, many officers carry their weapons in church.? They are well concealed in ankle holsters, shoulder holsters or inside-the-belt holsters tucked into the small of their backs.? Anytime you go to some form of religious service, there is a very good chance that a police officer in your congregation is carrying. You will never know if there is such an individual in your place of worship, until the wolf appears to massacre you and your loved ones.

I was training a group of police officers in Texas, and during the break, one officer asked his friend if he carried his weapon in church. The other cop replied, "I will never be caught without my gun in church." I asked why he felt so strongly about this, and he told me about a cop he knew who was at a church massacre in Ft. Worth, Texas in 1999. In that incident, a mentally deranged individual came into the church and opened fire, gunning down fourteen people. He said that officer believed he could have saved every life that day if he had been carrying his gun. His own son was shot, and all he could do was throw himself on the boy's body and wait to die. That cop looked me in the eye and said, "Do you have any idea how hard it would be to live with yourself after that?"

Some individuals would be horrified if they knew this police officer was carrying a weapon in church. They might call him paranoid and would probably scorn him. Yet these same individuals would be enraged and would call for "heads to roll" if they found out that the airbags in their cars were defective, or that the fire extinguisher and fire sprinklers in their kids' school did not work. They can accept the fact that fires and traffic accidents can happen and that there must be safeguards against them.

Their only response to the wolf, though, is denial, and all too often their response to the sheepdog is scorn and disdain. But the sheepdog quietly asks himself, "Do you have and idea how hard it would be to live with yourself if your loved ones attacked and killed, and you had to stand there helplessly because you were unprepared for that day?"

It is denial that turns people into sheep. Sheep are psychologically destroyed by combat because their only defense is denial, which is counterproductive and destructive, resulting in fear, helplessness and horror when the wolf shows up.

Denial kills you twice. It kills you once, at your moment of truth when you are not physically prepared: you didn't bring your gun, you didn't train. Your only defense was wishful thinking. Hope is not a strategy. Denial kills you a second time because even if you do physically survive, you are psychologically shattered by your fear helplessness and horror at your moment of truth.

Gavin de Becker puts it like this in Fear Less, his superb post-9/11 book, which should be required reading for anyone trying to come to terms with our current world situation: "...denial can be seductive, but it has an insidious side effect. For all the peace of mind deniers think they get by saying it isn't so, the fall they take when faced with new violence is all the more unsettling."

Denial is a save-now-pay-later scheme, a contract written entirely in small print, for in the long run, the denying person knows the truth on some level.

And so the warrior must strive to confront denial in all aspects of his life, and prepare himself for the day when evil comes. If you are warrior who is legally authorized to carry a weapon and you step outside without that weapon, then you become a sheep, pretending that the bad man will not come today. No one can be "on" 24/7, for a lifetime. Everyone needs down time. But if you are authorized to carry a weapon, and you walk outside without it, just take a deep breath, and say this to yourself...

"Baa."

This business of being a sheep or a sheep dog is not a yes-no dichotomy. It is not an all-or-nothing, either-or choice. It is a matter of degrees, a continuum. On one end is an abject, head-in-the-sand-sheep and on the other end is the ultimate warrior. Few people exist completely on one end or the other. Most of us live somewhere in between. Since 9-11 almost everyone in America took a step up that continuum, away from denial. The sheep took a few steps toward accepting and appreciating their warriors, and the warriors started taking their job more seriously. The degree to which you move up that continuum, away from sheephood and denial, is the degree to which you and your loved ones will survive, physically and psychologically at your moment of truth."

I love this writing and truly found understanding of who I am. A sheepdog!

I believe that many are born of a certain structure when it comes to how they face life.
Which are you?
Any comments?

Dark_Crow answered on 06/30/06:

Bennett is great, and at his best here.

ttalady rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

Question/Answer
jackreade asked on 06/29/06 - Is God Belief Required for Objective Moral Values?

"Moral arguments for theism include attempts to establish the existence of God from some (alleged) fact about morality. Many people hold that objective moral values are required to make sense of certain facets of human life, for instance, and that God is the only possible source of such values. The metaethical moral argument contends that the existence of objective moral values either entails the existence of God or at least is best explained by theism (e.g., William Lane Craig, Robert Adams). One version of the argument runs as follows:

1. If there are objective moral values then God exists.
2. There are objective moral values.
3. Therefore, God exists.

Even if we grant the existence of objective moral values, the argument fails because the first premise is groundless. The rationale for thinking that objective moral values require God is the assumption that only God could ground the objectivity of ethics. But, in fact, there appears to be no way that the existence of God could ground moral truths--anymore than it could ground mathematical or scientific truths. The standard objection to the divine command theory of ethics, discussed elsewhere on this site, shows that the objectivity of ethics cannot be grounded in God.

A related epistemological moral argument contends that our knowledge of the existence of objective moral values entails that God exists. Other moral arguments include the prudential moral argument, which claims that we should believe in both God and an afterlife so that fear of judgment after death will deter us from committing immoral acts. (Belief in an afterlife is held to be necessary because consistent judgment clearly does not occur before death, and belief in a just God is necessary to ensure that the good are rewarded and the evil punished in the afterlife.)"

-- Keith Augustine
From website infidels dot org as is my previous post.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dark_Crow answered on 06/29/06:

The concept of Gods came into being as a need to explain the mysteries of nature and creation. Keith Augustine assumes wrongly that morality is the purpose of a belief in gods. Moral emotions are subjective in the sense that they are not sensations; however, emotions can cause objective sensations.

jackreade rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

Question/Answer
jackreade asked on 06/26/06 - Knowledge vs. Brain Tumor

I while ago, I was in a discussion with the Big Guy about some aspect of knowledge and here is the final exchange before I took a few days off the board, so I wouldn't make an ad hominem attack. :)

Cut and Paste:

Clarification/Follow-up by Jon1667 on 06/05/06 1:06 pm:
JackReade

Ken: knowledge about such things as pleasure, friendship, value....knowledge of things full of emotion.

I wonder how you determine that it is knowledge, and not a brain tumor.

End
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sooo, how do I know that I have knowledge about friendship, for example, and that it is knowledge and not a brain tumor?


jackreade

Dark_Crow answered on 06/27/06:

The answer depends, Jack. Is friendship produced by man, or is it discovered, like for instance, the specific gravity of mercury, or the process of electrolysis?

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Question/Answer
ttalady asked on 06/24/06 - One last chance....

I believe it's been a year and a half, closer to two. I have missed you all and have grown so.... very much. I left when a certain person on this site opened up my eyes. I always thought she/he liked me/understood however I hurt this person enough to block me. I heard you and hope you will except my apology!

From there, I have learned much. About this world, myself, and people in general. I really wanted to start fresh, new poster, but it would not let me. I am stuck with my maiden name, LOL!

So let me start with this:

Why can American boys not play futbol?

Just kiddin'

There is just one question really, how are ya'll?

Dark_Crow answered on 06/25/06:

Nice to see your avatar again, TT. How am I, I will tell you:
I feel like Friedrich Nietzsche must have. Wandering through the streets with a lantern looking for an open mind, and finding none.

Welcome back

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 06/24/06 - Are Answerway's guidelines being observed here?

"Civility and courtesy

An answer to a question should be courteous, civil, and respectful. If the Expert is tempted to post something nasty, better to post nothing at all.

No Sniping at Other Experts

It is important to remember that the point of this site is to provide information in response to questions posed by users. Users will not be comfortable if the answers they receive contain potshots taken by one expert against another. If there are legitimate grounds for disagreement, or if it truly appears that another expert has given a faulty answer, courtesy should be used in noting such disagreement. This same principle applies in any rating or rating comment applied by one expert to another."

Dark_Crow answered on 06/24/06:

Indeed, to act gentlemanly is a mark of character. Just as to act ladylike is a mark of character. As I have said before, this forum ranks high in that regard. Not perfect, mind you, but much more tolerable than many forums.

tonyrey rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 06/22/06 - What is the solution to this predicament?

.........."We know that we are animals, parts of the natural order, bound by laws which tie us to the material forces which govern everything. We believe that the gods are our invention, and that death is exactly what it seems. Our world has been disenchanted and our illusions destroyed. At the same time we cannot live as though that were the whole truth of our condition. Even modern people are compelled to praise and blame, love and hate, reward and punish. Even modern people. . . are aware of self, as the centre of their being; and even modern people try to connect to other selves around them. We therefore see others as if they were free beings, animated by a self or soul, and with more than a worldly destiny. If we abandon that perception, then human relations dwindle into a machine-like parody. . . the world is voided of love, [moral] duty and [aesthetic] desire, and only the body remains."

Roger Scruton, An Intelligent Person's Guide To Modern Culture, p68.

What is your opinion?

Dark_Crow answered on 06/22/06:

Austere- suggesting strict self-denial, and mysterious- difficult to understand or explain.

" more than a worldly destiny". What is the implication of that?

"...that we are animals, parts of the natural order, bound by laws which tie us to the material forces which govern everything".

I don't know how he gets from the quote above, to the quote below, for it does not follow.

"Our world has been disenchanted and our illusions destroyed. At the same time we cannot live as though that were the whole truth of our condition".

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Question/Answer
Erewhon asked on 06/21/06 - Dali on Memories ... ... ...


"The difference between false memories and true ones is the same as for jewels: it is always the false ones that look the most real, the most brilliant."
-Salvador Dali, pixit (1904-1989)


Is Dali right about this or not, and why?



Dark_Crow answered on 06/21/06:

I think that that serves as an example of the tendency of modern prose, albeit, poetry: The current trend in prose is away from concreteness.

Erewhon rated this answer Poor or Incomplete Answer

Question/Answer
Erewhon asked on 06/20/06 - PHILOSOPHY - how do you define philosophy?




What is your definition of what 'philosophy' is and what it isn't?


Dark_Crow answered on 06/20/06:

Philosophy is about the unknown; otherwise it would be called science.

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Question/Answer
Crazy_Ape asked on 06/19/06 - Why is North Korea doing this now, going to test a long-range missile?

On February 10, 2005, North Korea declared that it had acquired nuclear weapons.

North Korea spends about 25% of its GNP on the military.

What should U.S. policy be toward North Korea?

Dark_Crow answered on 06/19/06:

Cut all trade?

Question/Answer
keenu asked on 06/18/06 - Why you don't know what you're talking about

Saw this today and thought some of you may enjoy it.

Why you don't know what you're talking about
Posted on Sunday, 18 June, 2006 | 11:08 | Comments: 13
Ken Korczak:
So, you think you know what youre talking about? Ive got news for you -- you dont know what youre talking about. The problem is that youre using words, phrases and sentences which have only their own meaning; that is, the words you use to describe a reality which is not the real reality. All reality is suspended in language. But human language is not reality. Language is an artifical invention. At best, language is only an approximation of reality. Human beings using language have essentially mistaken the road map for the road.So if youre not talking about reality when you speak, what are you talking about? The fact is, there can only be one answer: Nothing. Youre talking about nothing. You are enjoying your own self-invented game impregnated with its own artifical meanings -- meanings which inevitably circle and fold back on themselves, attached to nothing but themselves, and describing only themselves.The great physcist Neils Bohr realized this and found it deeply troubling. What led him to question the very nature of langauge itself were his attempts to describe the underlying nature of quantum reality. Bohr realized that quantum theory does not allow for the existence of independent elements of reality. Einstein objected deeply to this notion, saying: I refuse to believe that the moon does not exist when we dont observe it.

But Einstein argument could not stand upon the discovery and verification of Bells Theorem. Bell's Theorem states: No physical theory of local hidden variables can ever reproduce all of the predictions of quantum mechanics.But, of course, many will argue that language breaks down and becomes meaningless on the quantum level, but in the ordinary world -- the macro world regulated by classical Newtonian physics, language serves us just fine and helps us to not only model our reality, but actually represent reality. But what happens is, just as physics divides the world into objects in interaction so too the mind partitions experience into concepts that are bounded in thought. Our language grabs things and represents them as nouns or objects in our brains. But the model that forms in our brain is not that which is out there -- if there is anything out there at all. More on that in a minute.Think of a baby lying in a crib. The baby has yet to form language in its brain. A bird flies through the the window of the babys room. The baby goes wild with delight at the incredible miracle it is witnessing! It has no verbal definition for what is what this thing is! Its wonderful beyond imagining! But sooner or later, the babys mother will tell him: Thats a bird! A bird! At that point, the word bird become the dominant association with the former flying miracle, and it becomes something dull and known. But the word bird cannot possible describe the entire reality of what a bird really is, if at all.

From the that point on, the child becomes ensnared in a lesser, more artifical reality. When he or she thinks of a bird or says bird the child has a greater association with the definition and the word than with the reality. We believe that naming something makes it what it is. It does not. In fact, the definition is so far removed from reality as to become meaningless.But it gets even worse when we come to more abstract concepts -- internal words and thoughts that have no solid match in the exterior world. Think about the word the or spirituality or about. Theyre utter abstractions and have meaning only we invent for them. When we speak, we use all of our baseless, abstract words to tie together words that supposedly make acccurate representation of physical reality, which they dont. The result is -- meaningless babble -- about nothing. This is what the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein was getting at when he concluded: "My propositions are elucidatory in this way: he who understands me finally recognizes them as senseless".In his book, The Day the Universe Changed, James Burke writing about scientific knowlege, says: Knowledge acquired through the use of any structure is selective. There are no standards or beliefs guiding the search for knowledge which are not dependent on structure. Scientific knowledge, in sum, is not necessarily the clearest representation of what reality is ... Discovery in invention. Knowledge is man-made. And we are always working with a structure that is suspended in artifical language.So you might say: Okay, oaky, so our words amd meanings are not reflecting reality. Well, at least we have some meaning -- the meaning we invent for ourselves. But there is a huge problem with that to. This is an assumption based on Rene Descartes famous statement: I think; therefore, I am. The problem is that Descartes was wrong.

He made a whopping, unsupportable and false assumption. He assumed there was an I. But an I cannot be proven to exist. An I cannot be proven to not exist. And finally, an I cannot be proven to exist and not exist at the same time. So relying on Descartes is hopeless.In a previous column here at Unexplained Mysteries, I argued that all existence is an illusion, and that, in fact, nothing exists, and there simply is no reality. Part of the reason we have the persistent and extremely tricky illusion that something does exist is our suspension in the unreality of language. If we could somehow de-tangle ourselves from the trap of modeling everything we know through the use of language, we would find ourselves experiencing a much richer and greater reality. It would be like some kind of psychedelic, magical realm of infinite meaning. It would be marvelous! But yet, there is someplace further to go. And if we could go beyond that vast, magical realm of language-free reality -- we would ultimately experience what is beyond that -- the nonexperience of Nothing -- which is the ultimate experience.

Ken welcomes you to visit his Web page: www.starcopywriter.com

Dark_Crow answered on 06/19/06:

Hi Patty, nice to see your avatar again.

One thing I agree with Korczak about is that, "relying on Descartes is hopeless," and another partially: When it comes to the matter of what is typically known as, "The Mind/Body Problem" people just don't know what they are talking about. Descartes exchanged Spirit for mind, that is, simply one concept with another, both lacking tangibility.

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Question/Answer
margie asked on 06/16/06 - What is an idea?

Where does it come from?

Dark_Crow answered on 06/16/06:

Since Descartes replaced spirit with mind, Margie, [that] I supposed is where an idea comes from. Is an object of an idea necessary, that to would seem to be the case.

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 06/16/06 - PRETTY GOOD, HUH?



"Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired and success achieved." - Helen Keller

Comments?

HANK

Dark_Crow answered on 06/16/06:

Character is a tough one, Hank. Character is often thought of as strength, as I believe it is. Its chief ingredient however entails compassion, which is often thought of as a weakness in the Western World. I do not agree with that however, I believe Islam best explains compassion.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 06/10/06 - To what extent is (a)theism intelligible?

..............We do not fully understand the mind but we believe it exists because we have direct knowledge of our thoughts and decisions. We do not have direct knowledge of other minds but we deduce they exist from the evidence of rational and purposeful activity similar to our own. Although we do not fully understand the concept of a Supreme Mind we can deduce it exists from the evidence of rational and purposeful activity on a scale that far exceeds human activity.

We can understand the proposition that there is no Supreme Mind but we cannot understand how minds or purposeful activity originated in the absence of a Supreme Mind.

Dark_Crow answered on 06/10/06:

We can understand the proposition that there is a Supreme Mind, too. For surely, anyone who can understand how the millions who make-up mankind, evolved from a lake of minerals as a blob, can understand how one simple Supreme Mind could have evolved. Perhaps one day there will be thousands of these Super minds.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 06/09/06 - Do human beings have an innate moral sense?......

"Wilson's basic argument is, then, that human beings are born with an innate moral sense, rooted in our biological matrix as social animals, the result of millennia of evolution. This sensibility can vary in intensity and expression as a result of genetic factors, cultural patterns, and family up-bringing, but it is universal, appearing across societies, across history. Whatever the society, Wilson maintains, sympathy, fairness, self-control, and duty can be found at the heart of social life, even as they come into conflict with less benign natural impulses or with each other. Cultural relativists have focused too much on the disparate rules found from one society to another; the moral sense is best understood as a series of dispositions that will appear differently in differing circumstances."

http://www.stlawrenceinstitute.org/vol14and.html

Dark_Crow answered on 06/09/06:

Tony, if the concept of cruelty was not inherent in the human species, why would it even occur to anyone? Whether it is inherited from Adam or through evolution is another matter. Consider the cruelty in the animal world; predators mercilessly kill where mothers sometimes devour their offspring. To suggest that somehow our species just up and decided that there was such a thing as cruelty is gross speculation.

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Question/Answer
NCohen asked on 06/08/06 - A Question on Morality

Good evening, experts,

I have been reading various opinions about the assassination of al Zarqawi today, and I would like your comments about Alan Dershowitz'position. Specifically, addressing the moral topics of hypocricy and the morality of targeted assassination.

"As the civilized world justly celebrates the long overdue killing of Abu M al-Zarqawi, it must recall that his death was brought about by what has come to be known as "targeted assassination" or "targeted killings." This is the same technique that has been repeatedly condemned by the international community when Israel has employed it against terrorists who have murdered innocent Jews.
When Israel targeted the two previous heads of Hamas, the British foreign secretary said: "targeted killings of this kind are unlawful and unjustified." The same views expressed at the United Nations and by several European heads of state. It was also expressed by various Human Rights organizations.

Now Great Britain is applauding the targeted killing of a terrorist who endangered its soldiers and citizens. What is the difference, except that Israel can do no right in the eyes of many in the international community. Surely there is no real difference between Zarqawi on the one hand and terrorist leaders from Hamas and Islamic Jihad on the other hand. If it is argued that Sheik Yassin was merely a spiritual leader of Hamas (a total lie since he explicitly authorized numerous terrorist acts), then it must be noted that one of the people targeted by the United States was Sheik Abd-al-Rahman, who was also described as a "spiritual advisor."

When the United States and British forces have engaged in targeted killings of terrorists, there have often been collateral deaths of non terrorists, as there apparently were in this instance as well. The military announced preliminary findings that a woman and a child were among the dead. Collateral deaths are inevitable when terrorists hide among civilians and use them as shields. Both Israel and the United States make great efforts to reduce the number of collateral deaths and injuries but they do not always succeed.

I applaud the targeted killing of Al Zarqawi. His death will save many innocent lives. But I also applaud the targeted killings of anti-Israel terrorists whose deaths save numerous lives. All decent people must insist on a single standard of judging tactics such as targeted killing. It is nothing short of bigotry to approve this tactic when used by the United States and Great Britain but to condemn it when it is used by Israel." A Dershowitz


Thank you.

Dark_Crow answered on 06/09/06:

The issue here, it seems to me is one of whether or not integrity allows one side to violate "just war principles" because the opponent has violated "just war principles". It is clear that both Hamas and al-Qaida have violated "just war principles". The question we have to ask ourselves, "Does that in any way entitle the U.S. or Israel to violate "just war principles, and have they?

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 06/08/06 - How do you interpret the term "conscience"?

.

Dark_Crow answered on 06/08/06:

Conscience: That part of a stream of consciousness, which tells us what, is wrong. This occurs when, objects of consciousness, are shifted to being, states of consciousness.

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Question/Answer
Oldstillwild asked on 06/05/06 - basics

A true philosphical mind would be willing and able to answer any question.......

What dya think?

Dark_Crow answered on 06/05/06:

Some philosophers will talk about anything, while others prefer to talk about nothing; and then there are those who no matter what they talk about, it dosen't matter.

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Question/Answer
jackreade asked on 06/04/06 - Philosophy Challenge

The following is a cut and paste from another Internet Site:

"One thing philosophy sorely lacks is holidays. That in mind, I have a suggestion: a day on which everyone argues for positions they disagree with (and against positions they agree with). In other words, you play devil's advocate. The arguments should be done honestly to make the viewpoint look as good as possible... anyone using a strawman argument would be held in violation of the spirit of the holiday." Paul, Anon.

For example, I would love to see Mr Crow argue against postmodern philosophy.

Ken argue for Nihilism.


And so on. Everyone pick a philosophy they disagree with and make a case for it. This is an easier and more flexible format than a debate.

How about starting on 6-6-06(666), the Board making a statement for rationality?


jack

Dark_Crow answered on 06/04/06:

Developing an argument for a belief one does not hold can bring to mind a view from another perspective that otherwise may not present itself. Seeing flaws in my own logic while trying to demonstrate certain instances of another's error; however, I do not believe I would care to do that on this forum, as I prefer the give and take of multiple points of view.

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Question/Answer
jackreade asked on 06/04/06 - German Philosophers

I ran across this quote on the internet. "Only the descent into the hell of self-knowledge can pave the way to godliness." -Kant

I felt a little confused because I thought the German philosophers(not counting Nietzsche) were only about rationality and logic; I was surpursed to see such a "personal" philosophical observation.

Just a general question. Are there comments or chapters in the German Philosopher's works that deal with this more personal type of philosophy?

Dark_Crow answered on 06/04/06:

Kant also says: "Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe, the oftener and more steadily we reflect on them: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me."

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Question/Answer
Bradd asked on 06/02/06 - Asian Philosophy

Someone asked about "oriental" philosophy.

So here's a question: Confucian philosophy, Daoist philosophy, and Greek philosophy all emerged at roughly the same time - give or take.

Were they connected? What was going on in the 5th or 6th century BC that may have been responsible for one affecting the other? If anything at all. The Silk Road?

Buddhism, Gainism, and Hinduism also take shape in this time period. Were these religious philosophies also part of whatever was happening?

Within Judaism, the "social philosophy" of the prophets is written down, and is quite different from what has gone before in that tribe's sacred writings.

Are all of these movements interconnected somehow? If so, how? If not, why not?

Dark_Crow answered on 06/02/06:

You might find the following links of interest; not long ago I did a considerable about of research lasting several months.

http://www.africawithin.com/hpi/hp2.htm
http://users.bigpond.net.au/bstone/egypt.htm
http://www.crystalinks.com/nubia.html

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Question/Answer
jackreade asked on 06/01/06 - Former Republic and Democracy

I tend to agree with Noam Chomsky that America is no longer a democracy.

Those running for election take much money from large donors so they must vote the donor's agenda or not get money for reelection. Their will is more important than the people's will.

Lobbyists write a lot of legislation and give away lots of money in order to further their agendas.

Most Republicans and Democrats are bought and paid for . Everyone knows that.

Therefore, the rich and powerful individuals and Corporations are able to use politicians to further their programs. A few manor corporations control the media, the newspapers and television media are primaily promote right wing agendas, there are only a few media outlets that promote a true left wing agenda. Lightweight Katie Couric is the new CBS 6 o'clock anchor. Fluff. Bill O'Reilly tells outright lies with a straight face. Most talking heads can't hold their jobs if they don't bash democrats.

Congress has been effectively rendered powerless. Bush can dismiss what they pass if he "doesn't agree with it". The executive branch can order the search of a Congressman's office in the middle of the night and seize his computer...no private Democratic election strategies there, I bet. Bush/Cheney can invade Iran if they want to.

WE have an Imperial Presidency with Dick Cheney at the head and George Bush as the genial but stupid spokesmodel.

So, do you agree with me?

If not, why not?

Regards, jack

Dark_Crow answered on 06/01/06:

I find it embarrassing that a formal education can produce thinking that confuses a Democratic system of government, with a Capitalistic system of Economics.

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Question/Answer
Jim.McGinness asked on 06/01/06 - Verbal sparring or Rules of Engagement

Many of the postings on this board fall into a category I would call "verbal sparring". It's a bit like practicing the moves of an argument without actually committing to having the argument. Tricks, feints, low blows, intimidation, sarcasm, and sly criticisms often outnumber the earnest statements of positions and the honest exploration of differences.

What are your rules of engagement for participation in this board? I've laid out in response to Hank's most recent question a number of my pet peeves. I've been called on making ad hominem remarks, erecting straw men, and generally having the wrong attitude for this board.

Is there anything we can agree to amongst ourselves that will make participation here more fulfilling? A while back, JackReade left in disgust, but came back after finding no greener pastures elsewhere. [Welcome Jack!] Ken dropped out of sight for a while but now seems to be participating regularly again [Hi, Ken, I still enjoy "most" of your postings.]

If a new person came along and read through past threads, how likely is it that they would want to stay and participate in questions? Do we want more participants? What philosophical points of view are we sorely missing?

Dark_Crow answered on 06/01/06:

I believe the board is quite good and find little about which to complain. I would like to see a couple of people representing Continental and Eastern Philosophy, as adeptly, as those representing rationalism.

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 06/01/06 - JIM:


I have to use this Question Board to say what I have to say to you. The 'to everyone' (clarification utility) doesn't work for those who ask questions after you use it once.

1. "Another question is whether Hank is quoting some source he has not cited (it wouldn't be the first time) or if this is something he came up with on his own. A Google search on "virtue inflection locale" turns up no obvious hits, but that's inconclusive."

1. My question came from my book manuscript entitled "Never A Toadstool." I DO NOT LIKE INSINUATIONS.

2. I admit that I have been negligent in not using quotes on a very few of my questions and answers in the past. However, so have others but ... no harm, no foul. Everyone is allowed a few mistakes in over four years. Besides, it wasn't intentional.

3. What burns me is you just had to embarass me by using a clarification to expose my negligence. A note to me directly from my profile would have been the Christian thing to do ... don't you think? I have used this procedure a few times and I was thanked by the recipients after I did.

Christians forgive. You're forgiven! Hope you understand.

HANK

Dark_Crow answered on 06/01/06:

Hank, by my definition it can be Atheist thing to do too 

For instance, even an unbeliever can believe an objective morality exists if they believe in the axiom: There exist good and badOpposites. There too are those who live by the axiom: There is no good or its opposite. Moreover, it follows that for them there can be no objective morality.

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 05/29/06 - GOD WANTS US TO BE FREE:



The torrid aspects of our United States Constitution would be situated elsewhere if sovereignty resided in only the people. We should be able to work freely and become devoted to the same national causes without being exposed to political propaganda. I like the expression VIRTUE OF INFLECTION while considering my true definition of a Republic. To inflect means "to turn from a straight or usual course." In this instance, it means a group of people who are willing to change their destinies by changing their present attitudes and values to realize common interests in one locale. This locale, of course, could be your neighborhood. To inflect this virtue would then allow us to delete 'subject to the same laws' and keep what's left because we'll be cognizant of SELF-DISCIPLINE. We must start somewhere if our country is to survive morally.

Any commments?

HANK

Dark_Crow answered on 05/30/06:

Hank, my thoughts.

Depends on the axioms by which one lives. For instance, even an unbeliever can believe an objective morality exists if they believe in the axiom: There exist good and badOpposites. There too are those who live by the axiom: There is no good or its opposite. Moreover, it follows that for them there can be no objective morality.

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Question/Answer
jackreade asked on 05/26/06 - Determinism

This is a cut and paste from an article on the Internet titled: "Determinism":

"Determinism is the general philosophical thesis which states that for everything that ever happens there are conditions such that, given them, nothing else could happen. This thesis, which has taken several forms, such as logical, ethical, physical, and so on, is perhaps as old as philosophy itself. The question of determinism has been given much contemplation in modern philosophy, largely because of the development of physical science in the 17th and 18th centuries. Because of this development, the idea began to take hold that man, like heavenly bodies and everything else, behaves according to certain unchanging laws of nature. That mans actions or wills are determined raises serious questions regarding human freedom and moral responsibility. Some early American philosophers such as Jonathon Edwards and Ralph Waldo Emerson, as well as English empiricist John Locke, espoused various types of determinism; theistic, natural, and psychological. Opponents to determinism include Charles Peirce and William James."

Would you say it is important to know philosophers' views on Determinism over the ages?

Are there discussions today about determinism; is this an actively discussed area of philosophy?
If so, in what areas of determinism?
In today's language, how would a question involving deerminism be phrased?

Dark_Crow answered on 05/27/06:

Determinism entails a rejection of rationality.

Do humans have a genetic detailed instruction on how to grasp in the mind with clarity or certainty what we feel as obligation or duty-- I lean heavily towards a no answer? For instance, if given an erector set an ape might well do many things with it but hardly anything that could be called rational, by human standards. So that although the ape may well display a sense of obligation or duty, there lacks the detailed instruction and consequently rationality, a prerequisite for knowledge.
As to what you say here, "On the other hand, to treat morality as mere opinion, as some assume the opposition of objective to be, really doesn't adequately capture what morality is all about". Whatever it is that can be said about objective morality must be said in the light of detailed instruction.- there must be a means to a end.

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Question/Answer
Jon1667 asked on 05/25/06 - Morality which affects only you?

Is it possible for an action which affects only the agent to be a moral (or immoral) action?

Dark_Crow answered on 05/26/06:

Given that, there is some instinct involved, yes.

Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 05/24/06 - Truth and Materialism...........................

Truth is correspondence between belief and fact. According to materialism everything is derived from matter and is ultimately explained in terms of atomic particles. A belief is ultimately therefore the result of an arrangement of atomic particles and a fact is ultimately the result of another arrangement of atomic particles. So truth must be correspondence between two different arrangements of atomic particles. What is your reaction to this view?

Dark_Crow answered on 05/25/06:

We have two models from which to choose: The pure rationalist model (Kantian philosophy) and natural determinism (materialism). I say choice because neither has been falsified.

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Question/Answer
Bradd asked on 05/22/06 - Terrorism - Revisited

"Terrorism is the deliberate targeting of innocent people to pursue some goal. How could such an action be even excused, much less justified"?

An excellent question.

The UK and the US deliberatly targeted innocent people to pursue the goal of winning the war against Germany and Japan. The Allied air forces stopped strategic bombing of military targets to concentrate on civilian populations. Hamburg and Dresden were levelled, and napalm was introduced against Japanese cities because of their wood construction.

The victims were the elderly, children and infants, and their mothers. This was NOT "collateral" damage - it was intended. 600,000 died in Germany, perhaps one million in Japan. In Japan, it was safer to be in the armed forces.

The Brits, to their credit, have acknowledged what they did. The US has never done so.

It all seems to turn on your point of view. One man's terrorist, as has been repeated so often, is another man's freedom fighter.

Dark_Crow answered on 05/23/06:

One problem is that when the term is applied so broadly as to gloss over particulars. For instance, there should be little doubt that terrorism has been employed by the US military; however, it does not follow that the US is a terrorist nation. In contrast, I think in the instance of Palestine, it accurate to describe it as a terrorist nation.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 05/21/06 - What are you?...................................

"You, your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules." (Francis Crick)

What is your view?

Dark_Crow answered on 05/22/06:

Sartre was an existentialist and believed our freedom enables us to create ourselves. Therefore, we are not what we are but what we choose to become:

"Man is nothing else but what he purposes, he exists only in so far as he realizes himself, he is therefore nothing else but the sum of his actions, nothing else but what his life is."

The problem then becomes, what ought man to choose. Sartre rejects the concept of essence and he does not explain the source of our power of choice; however I do; it is the ability to form concepts.

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Question/Answer
jackreade asked on 05/20/06 - Justifying

Can terrorism of any kind ever be justified?

Dark_Crow answered on 05/20/06:

Terrorism as a form of violence can be justified in the name of self-preservation. It's done everyday.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 05/15/06 - Can we know what is real? If so how?

........................ We all think we know what is real but there is good reason to think we are mistaken! In fact we don't even know what "we" are and what "thinking" is. "We" believe that there is "mental activity" but we only make that inference from what we call "thoughts". In fact, every word we use presupposes thinking yet we finish up in the bizarre situation where thinking is explained in terms of physical events which are inferred from our sensations...

Dark_Crow answered on 05/15/06:

I am frequently wrong, therefore, I am an ontological realist, and it is because I am not always wrong that I am an epistemological realist. If there is no mind independent reality, how exactly is it that we so often find ourselves wrong? Yet, I can agree with Sartre and reject the concept of essence.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 05/13/06 - Proof and verification..................

It is generally accepted that human beings have a right to life yet this principle cannot be proved or verified scientifically. How would you justify it?

Dark_Crow answered on 05/13/06:

Self-interest, Tony. If survival of the fittest is natural, it follows self-interest is natural and therefore, the right to life.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 05/09/06 - The Demise of Darwinism?......................

"The past five decades of research in genetics and molecular biology have brought us revolutionary discoveries. Upsetting the oversimplified views of cellular organization and function held at mid-century, the molecular revolution has revealed an unanticipated realm of complexity and interaction more consistent with computer technology than with the mechanical viewpoint which dominated the field when the neo-Darwinian Modern Synthesis was formulated...

How all of this modularity, complexity, and integration arose and changed during the history of life on earth is a central evolutionary question. Localized random mutation, selection operating "one gene at a time" (John Maynard Smith's formulation), and gradual modification of individual functions are unable to provide satisfactory explanations for the molecular data, no matter how much time for change is assumed. There are simply too many potential degrees of freedom for random variability and too many interconnections to account for...

First, then, all cells from bacteria to man possess a truly astonishing array of repair systems which serve to remove accidental and stochastic sources of mutation... It has been a surprise to learn how thoroughly cells protect themselves against precisely the kinds of accidental genetic change that, according to conventional theory, are the sources of evolutionary variability. By virtue of their proofreading and repair systems, living cells are not passive victims of the random forces of chemistry and physics....

The point of this discussion is that our current knowledge of genetic change is fundamentally at variance with neo-Darwinist postulates. We have progressed from the Constant Genome, subject only to random, localized changes at a more or less constant mutation rate, to the Fluid Genome, subject to episodic, massive and non-random reorganizations capable of producing new functional architectures. Inevitably, such a profound advance in awareness of genetic capabilities will dramatically alter our understanding of the evolutionary process. Nonetheless, neo-Darwinist writers like Dawkins continue to ignore or trivialize the new knowledge and insist on gradualism as the only path for evolutionary change."

http://www.bostonreview.net/br22.1/shapiro.html

What is your view?

Dark_Crow answered on 05/09/06:

Whether there are signs that biology and the theory of evolution are on the cusp of a scientific revolution I do not know; however, that mans' thinking is solely mechanistic, and the ability to form concept are not at odds with each other. We are biological beings and as such have the ability to form concepts from words- (What I hear so many people term, create. For instance, "We create our own reality", and other such misunderstandings') the "thing itself" is a concept coined by Kant, and an understanding of the relationship between "thing", and its concept is central-

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 05/07/06 - Atomism and Darwinism..............................

"In the first chapter of his recent book on The Construction of Social Reality, Searle states that it is necessary "to make some substantive presuppositions about how the world is in fact in order that we can even pose the questions we are trying to answer (about how other aspects of reality are socially constructed)." According to Searle, "two features of our conception of reality are not up for grabs. They are not, so to speak, optional for us as citizens of the late twentieth and early twenty-first century." The two compulsory theories are that the world consists entirely of the entities that physicists call particles, and that living systems (including humans and their minds) evolved by natural selection.

I think that Searle undermines his whole project by virtually ordering his readers not to notice that scientific materialism and Darwinism are themselves socially constructed doctrines rather than objective facts. Scientists assume materialism because they define their enterprise as a search for the best materialist theories, and this culturally-driven methodological choice is not even evidence, let alone proof, that the world really does consist only of particles. As an explanation for design in biology, Darwinism is perfectly secure when it is regarded as a deduction from materialism, but remarkably insecure when it is subjected to empirical testing. Given that what we most respect about science is its fidelity to the principle that empirical testing is what really matters, why should philosophers allow scientists to tell them that they must accept assumptions that don't pass the empirical test?

Searle is a particularly poignant example, because he is famous for defending the independence of the mind against the onslaught of the materialist "strong AI" program, and also for defending traditional academic standards against the corrosive relativism of the fact/value distinction. He is so skillful in argument that he almost holds his own even after leaping gratuitously into a pool of universal acid, but why accept the disadvantage? Searle could seize the high ground if he began by proposing that any true metaphysical theory must account for two essential truths which materialism cannot accommodate: first, that mind is more than matter; and second, that such things as truth, beauty, and goodness really do exist even if most people do not know how to recognize them. Scientific materialists would answer that they proved long ago, or are going to prove at some time in the future, that materialism is true. They are bluffing."

http://www.arn.org/docs/johnson/dennett.htm

What are your views?

Dark_Crow answered on 05/07/06:

I address this small part TonyI agree that there are two features (And maybe more) of our conception of reality that, are not up for grabs. However, two different conceptions- One the concept of mind, and the other that one-day science will discover its whereabouts. I believe that, Mind the concept, is a fundamental concept on which so many other concepts require that we will never be rid of it, and survive.

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Question/Answer
quixotic_Choux asked on 05/06/06 - Offshoot of Philosophy

"Today is Sigmund Freud's hundred and fiftieth birthday, and the basic motives he revealed -- sex and aggression -- still fundamentally power our lives and provide us with the clearest way of understanding who we are and why we are.

That he is reviled and pilloried was anticipated and expected by the good doctor as proof of the enduring power and truth of his theories.

Freud tells a story that nobody wants to hear. Human beings have no clothes.

We don't like to think of ourselves that way (although we don't mind looking at animal behavior and evolution though these primitive lenses). So high is our disgust for these elementary Darwinian principals -- that have led to human survival and triumph over all other living things, -- that we spent our much of our lives denying the dark side of our lives.

We lock these thoughts up in a special part of our brain - Freud called it the unconscious -- which we can't see or understand - as an adaptive behavior that lets us thrive. But sometimes these thoughts keep popping out, causing conflict, and affecting our activities in mysterious and disturbing ways, that sometimes makes us unhappy and engage in self-destructive actions.

Ironically, this unconscious (and the inevitable conflict between the rational self and our drives) --- which is **so widely rejected by religions, individuals and societies alike** --- is what makes us human and different from other animals. Humans are the only animal that wears clothes. Why is that? What are we covering up?

**This basic Freudian roadmap is accepted - in one way or another - by all educated people who grapple with the issues of self-knowledge and human motives**. Who among us has not been baffled and threatened by our own strange behavior, over which we often have no control? Who among us wants to admit that there is something unknown driving us, that our conscious thoughts are just the tip of a mental iceberg?

The Nazi invaders in World War II banned and attacked Freud, as did the Communists afterwards. In a February 27th New Yorker story editor David Remnick quotes a Hamas leader saying that Israel must be destroyed because "the media-it's controlled by the Jews...Freud, a Jew, was the one who destroyed morals."

In 2004 when asked about his decision to topple Saddam, and the widely attributed Oedipal desire to overthrow his real father, President George W. Bush said he wouldn't "go on the couch". Freud bashing -- or acknowledgement of his ideas -- is an almost daily part of everyone's life nowadays.

But Freud, while not always flawless, viewed rejection whether by Nazis or anyone else, as to be expected. "What progress we are making. In the Middle Ages they would have burned me. Now they are content with burning my books."

So thank you, Dr. Freud for the exquisite legacy of ideas that you have left us". Blake Fleetwood **mine

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Any comments?

Dark_Crow answered on 05/06/06:

Existing, by any other name is still plagiarism my little troglodyte, who sits enamored in decrepitude

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 05/05/06 - Atomism and holism.......

What is the philosophical significance of Aristotle's dictum that "The whole is more than the sum of its parts".

Dark_Crow answered on 05/05/06:

A metaphor, meaning or referencing Spirit?

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Question/Answer
jackreade asked on 04/30/06 - Free Will

"I take it that what is meant by 'choice' is free 'choice' for it is obvious that we all have choices in that there are many instances where something is selected from a number of given options; as long as one is selected, it can obviously be said that you finally chose what you selected. However, FREE choice refers to a choice that is made ultimately by you, and not determined by some other factor.

I'm more inclined to believe that we have no free choice at all. I don't say this because there are many influencial factors such as culture, religion, guilt, upbringing, etc...; rather, I say it for the following reasons:

Whenever I perform any kind of action, I either perform an action that is automatically triggered by reflex, impulse, conditioning, or, I perform an action that would typically be said to involve free choice.

With regards to the first kind of action, reflexsive etc..., I suppose that everyone will agree that these clearly do not seem to involve any free choice.

With regards to the second kind of action, I believe that there is always a thought of some sort (or a reasoning process) that is just prior to the action and can be said to be the final decision to make that action. If we agree, then let us focus on this decisive thought; for if we agree that this is what determines the action, then all we need to figure out is whether or not we choose this decisive thought. If we do, then we have free choice in these kinds of actions; if not, then we don't.

Now, for one to make a choice, it is necessary that one is aware of his or her options to choose from. However, when we have a thought or idea, we only become aware of it once we have already had it and NOT before it was brought into mind. This shows that we cannot be the choosers of our thoughts or ideas. Again, this is because for us to be the choosers of them, we should be aware of them prior to making the choice of having them. However, we are never aware of an idea or thought prior to having the thought. Thus, thoughts and ideas happen without us choosing them.

Now, there are instances where we are in fact presented with options to 'choose' from. But even in these instances, the decisive act of choosing that selects one of these options is itself a thought or some other perception such as a feeling, will, or inclination. But these are similar to thoughts, for we could not choose to have them since we aren't aware of them until they have already occured.

Thus, it seems to me that we never ever have free choice; Although we do end up choosing many things, it is never a free choice but always determined by our thoughts, which are never chosen, or by our reflexes."anon

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I ran across this essay by an anonmous person on another website.

I was interested in it because I do not think that most people operate with free will at all.

What do you think about so-called free will?

Dark_Crow answered on 05/01/06:

Interesting I should like to say, "It appears self-evident by the accumulation of knowledge recorded in the vast Libraries scattered across the world, that choice, and not accident brought this about". However, if the Universe and all that is in it came about by accident knowledge too must be an accident.

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Question/Answer
jackreade asked on 04/30/06 - What is the Difference?

What is the difference between:

1. A professor of Political Science who writes a book based on his ideas about his speciality.

2. The professor of the Philosophy of Political Science who writes a book about the philosophy of political science.

???


Thanks, jack

Dark_Crow answered on 05/01/06:

#1 is doing philosophy while #2 is writing History.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 04/28/06 - Interaction between philosophy and science.....

To what extent do philosophical propositions influence scientific theories, and vice-versa?

Dark_Crow answered on 04/29/06:

Friedrich Nietzsche believes, "The future influences the present just as much as the past." And, by that that we could liken, 'Philosophy' to the future, and 'Science' to the past. By that, I am inclined to say philosophy is, out front, so to say.

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Question/Answer
jackreade asked on 04/21/06 - Definition of Good and Evil

*Good* is what upholds the well-being of common humanity.

*Evil* is whatever injures humanity or distrubes one's inner peace.


"......spiritual Path #3 grows out of a universal human need that God fulfills. In this case, the need is for a kind of meaning that extends beyond the ego and its endless craving for pleasure, power, and status.

Path #3--Seeking Community, Togetherness, Inner Peace

On this path the individual begins to see that there is more to life than winning. The competitiveness and work ethic of Path #2 led to worldly success, a visible sign that a person was favored by God. But inner life can't be satisfied by external goals, and even the greatest winner feels isolated at the top. A yearning develops for an end to struggle. One wants to relax in the embrace of community. Therefore, a need for belonging begins to emerge, and with that comes such altruistic impulses as philanthropy and giving to charity. It's no surprise that great entrepreneurs often become philanthropists late in life.

The other face of Path #3 is the tightly bound religious community, like the Pilgrim forefathers, whose members exchange individual drive for a larger group identity. This delivers a powerful sense of being chosen or among the elect. God becomes a collective spirit. For the first time He seems warm and forgiving. The former emphasis on sin and obedience now relaxes--the believer is welcomed into a family.

Path #3 strikes many people as feminine--for the first time a Mother God becomes as viable as a Father. The love of a caring, selfless mother is one of the paradigms on this path. Also, the dawn of the feminine softens the aggressive competition of Path #2, whose winner-loser dichotomy has no bearing on bonding and togetherness.

On Path #3 people may devote their lives to service, or they may turn to monasticism--this allows a total immersion in a religious community. The search for inner peace may be as intense as the search for success on Path #2. ***Good*** is defined as whatever upholds the well-being of common humanity. ***Evil*** is whatever injures humanity or disturbs one's inner peace.

The most significant milestone, however, is that God has turned inward. Many modern people find this a revelation. They were often able to fulfill lower needs--for security and achievement--without putting spiritual values on them. But inner peace dawns as an unexpected psychological phase, and one easily feels it as holy, special, a state of grace.

Every path has its built-in contradictions, and so does Path #3. When a believer sees these contradictions, ****the way opens for a new version of God***. The contradictions of Path #3 include the following:

--Inner peace seems blessed but lacks vibrancy and motivation.
--Religious communities offer togetherness but at the price of rigid conformity and exclusion of non-believers.
--Service is supposed to please God, yet one becomes prey to the greed and selfishness of others who get more reward out of being served than the server does.
--Common humanity often negates the individual, who in merging with the group loses the opportunity to grow and shine on his or her own.

Despite these problems, Path #3 can lead to a beautiful life, and personalities who thrive on service seem saintly in their goodness and selflessness.

Finding the "next path" is often a slow process, given how rewarding this path is.">>> Deepak Chopra

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

What do you think of Mr Chopra's modern definition of good and evil?

What do you think about his other opinions?

Dark_Crow answered on 04/21/06:

*Good* is what upholds the well-being of common humanity.

*Evil* is whatever injures humanity or distrubes one's inner peace.
_____________________________________________________________________________
This seems to be what Ken explained, and I think quite well, in a very recent thread, [except about Cognitive dissonance] and much more accurate: "I think that Utilitarianism should guide public morality. And, as I said, governments govern most morally when they adhere to utilitarian principles.".

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Question/Answer
Coup_de_Grace asked on 04/19/06 - Argument against Atheism

Here is a quote by C. S. Lewis in his book "Mere Christianity"(page 39). My wife used it to try to get me back in the fold of "believers".

"Consequently atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should have never found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be a word without meaning."

This argument seems strange, but I don't know how to refute it. Isn't the analogy like this...if there were no dogs in the universe, there would be no dog food?
And, isn't the first sentence a straw-man.

Help would be appreciated.

Ben

Benjamin and Susan Grace

Dark_Crow answered on 04/19/06:

Can make believe, be a straw man, not without a subject, and that applies in this case.

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Question/Answer
Jon1667 asked on 04/17/06 - Do the ends justify the means?

Bradd has asked, "Do the ends justify the means?" and replied, 'Almost every moralist will say "Never".' But, to start with, it is false that almost every moralist will say "never". A Utilitarian moralist would say that it would depend on whether the value of the end was worth the means. For the Untilitarian moralist would depend on the utilitarian principle that an action is right if it produces the greatest good for the greatest number of people. Thus, for example, building a road which would allow great numbers of people to reach a particular destination (say an airport) would be worth displacing people whose homes stood in the way of building the road as long as more good was done by the road, than inconvenience to the people whose homes had to be destroyed. But, second, as I have already pointed out, it is impossible to answer the question of whether the end justifies the means unless one knows what are the means, and one knows what is the end. It would be as silly to lay down the principle that the end never justifies the means, as it would be silly to lay down the principle that the end always justifies the means. Clearly, for instance, amputating a leg to save a life is justified, so in that case, the end does justify the means. But would murdering 1,000 people in a restaurant be justified in order to take vengeance? Obviously not.

Moral thinking requires-thinking. Not sloganeering.

Dark_Crow answered on 04/17/06:

I think Bradd stated the truth, when the whole of Humanity is considered- Few would say for instance, "I don't care what I have to do to get "it"- I'm going to get it.
Perhaps you should look at the matter in the light of Evolutionary Morality, instead of Utilitarian.

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Question/Answer
jackreade asked on 04/15/06 - Monotheism and Masochism

On Line dictionary of masochism:

1. The deriving of sexual gratification, or the tendency to derive sexual gratification, from being physically or emotionally abused.
2. The deriving of pleasure, or the tendency to derive pleasure, from being humiliated or mistreated, either by another or by oneself.
3. A willingness or tendency to subject oneself to unpleasant or trying experiences.


I think that there is a connection between monotheism and masochism after some reading I have done recently, and remembrance of assorted things I have seen or read about previously.

Experts, do you know of any books on the subject?

Dark_Crow answered on 04/16/06:

I don't know; however I was psychologically abused for about 25 years, and never, got off once!

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 04/14/06 - What is truth?

................................... Instead of saying "It is true we are alive" we can simply say "We are alive". Do you think this shows that the concept of truth is unnecessary? If not, why not?

Dark_Crow answered on 04/14/06:

The concept of truth is an assumption we have at all times, except when we call it into question. With-out the assumption, co-operation would be out of the question.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 04/12/06 - How did purposeful activity originate?.......

Scientific explanation is retrospective, i.e. backward-looking : it seeks to explain the present and future in terms of the past. Purposive explanation is prospective, i.e. forward-looking: it explains the past and present in terms of the future.

At the outset it cannot be assumed either explanation is sufficient by itself. There is no a priori reason to suppose either the past or the future is more significant than the other.

For science the future cannot influence the present. Causality is a one-way process which leads in no particular direction. Biogical evolution, for example, is thought to be the result of a series of accidents caused by favourable genetic mutations which need not have led to the emergence of man.

Yet even non-human living organisms are necessarily goal-seeking. Their activity is "teleonomic" in stark contrast to inorganic processes which lack the "plasticity" of life. It was this fact that caused Henri Bergson to postulate an "elan vital".

"Why?" remains as significant as "How?" and cannot be ignored in any balanced view of reality. In practical terms the question of purpose is usually more important. What are your views?

Dark_Crow answered on 04/12/06:

Richard Dawkins in 'The Selfish Gene' tells us that in Darwinian evolution we are simply, 'gene machines,' and that Evolutionary needs, explains it all. Staying alive and finding a mate explains it all. That of course does not answer the question of, why. However, I wonder if that phase of evolution has not changed and at some point in time there is now a why.

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Question/Answer
Oldstillwild asked on 04/10/06 - Nowayout

Some people would make love an act of good will.
Love is genuine.
Will is surrogate.
What do you think?

Dark_Crow answered on 04/10/06:

The primitive laws of nature may be reduced to six, namely: (1) comparative sagacity, or reason; (2) self-love; (3) the attraction of the sexes to each other; (4) the tenderness of parents towards their children; (5) the religious sentiment; (6) sociability.

Man is affected by happiness and unhappiness. Hence natural man has inborn interests to be happy, and not unhappy.

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Question/Answer
Bradd asked on 04/08/06 - Love and Will

What is love?

To me, it's an act of the will.

The lover wills the good for the beloved. Reciprocity is not only not required, but can even sometimes be an obstacle to true love. Love is always about the Thou.

"Greater love hath no man than he lay down his life for his friend."

The Eskimos, we know, have 20 or 40 or 100 words for "snow". Yet, in English, the word "love" has been so overused it can carry 20 or 40 or 100 shades of meaning - from the sublime to the silly.

When I say I love my wife/girlfriend, I love my child, I love my dog, love a good pizza, the San Francisco Giants, my country, the way the sun hits the shoreline at dusk - surely these words of "love" can't mean the same thing.

Yet the same word is used for all these very different pieces of life.

I would be interested in reading what others here see as the essential meaning of the word "love".

Dark_Crow answered on 04/08/06:

Bradd, love is similar to the post by Ken; that is, he can no more help giving the answer he did, than a person can choose a loveMate.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 04/08/06 - Liberty, equality, fraternity?.............

"Of the three revolutionary ideas now written up on every wall, the first, the principle of political liberty, essence of the republican system, has destroyed not only the citizen's respect for the laws of the state which he regards as the commonplace expression of a passing whim (no whim is permanent), but also and above all his respect for those other laws, profound and solemn; leges naturae, offspring of nature's union with reason, laws in which the caprices of man or the citizen count for less than nothing. Oblivious, negligent and disdainful of these natural and spiritual laws, the French state threw discretion to the winds and exposed itself to the gravest dangers and corruptions.

The second of the revolutionary ideas, the principle of equality, essence of the democratic system, handed over power to the most numerous, that is to say the most inferior elements of the nation, to the least vigorous producers, to the most voracious consumers, who do the least work and the most damage.

The Frenchman is continually discouraged, if he is enterprising, by a meddling administration legally representative of the greatest number, but finds himself, if he is meek and humdrum, in receipt of the favors with which the same administration gratefully blesses his idleness, and so he has resigned himself to being an office parasite to such an extent that the flame of French national life burnt low and almost died because individuals are not helped to become people or rather because people are dragged down to the level of a herd of individual sheep.

Finally the third revolutionary idea, the principle of fraternity, the essence of cosmopolitan brotherhood, imposed on the one hand a limitless indulgence towards all men, provided they lived far enough away from us, were unknown to us, spoke a different language, or, better still, had a skin of different color. On the other hand this splendid principle allowed us to regard anyone, be he even fellow citizen or brother, as a monster and a villain if he failed to share with us even our mildest attack of philanthropic fever. The principle of universal fraternity which was supposed to establish peace among nations, has taken that frenzy of anger and aggression built by nature into the secret mechanism of that political animal, that political carnivore rather, called man, and turned each nation upon itself, upon its own compatriots. Frenchmen have been instructed in the arts of civil war.

And that is not all. The same ideas, distributed worldwide as French merchandise to all our customers, brought great harm to them and returned with interest upon our own heads."

What is your opinion?

Dark_Crow answered on 04/08/06:

High ideals thet tickle the Spirit of men, fleeting as the fear of loss sets in. Contentment of the spirit--concerns itself with many things besides so-called material advantage.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 04/06/06 - Mind and Brain...............................

How did the mind and brain originate? Three possibilities:

1. The mind is derived from the brain.
2. The brain is derived from the mind.
3. They originated separately.

How are the mind and brain related? Again three possibilities:

4. The brain controls the mind.
5. The mind controls the brain.
6. They control each other.

1 and 4 are compatible, as are 2 and 5.
1 and 5 seem incompatible, like 1 and 6, 2 and 4, 2 and 6.
3 and 6 seem compatible but 3 seems the least likely.

What is your opinion?

Dark_Crow answered on 04/06/06:

It appears that many times the term "mind" is used to be synonymous with thought; but philosophers these days usually use the word as an idiom for the mental properties themselves (Refer to property dualism). It appears that there is not any evidence for the mind in an objective, empirical sense. I believe the term is strictly an analytic claim.

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Question/Answer
Oldstillwild asked on 04/03/06 - Perception

Its a blessing to realise and to know,that it makes no difference if you get 5 ,10 ,21 , 43,58 , or whatever age eventually........

Well.....,
if you do , of course.....

?

Dark_Crow answered on 04/03/06:

It may be a blessing to realize and to know But is it sapient.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 04/02/06 - The Argument from Ignorance...............

Is any explanation better than none? Provided an explanation is consistent with the existing body of knowledge I believe that in the absence of a rival it should be accepted provisionally, no matter how improbable and unpalatable it may seem. The value of this strategy is that it provides a basis for investigation whereas the alternative offers nothing!

Dark_Crow answered on 04/03/06:

Lets get to that, Tony.

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Question/Answer
HerrAirhorn asked on 04/01/06 - Robots Full Members of Society?

New York Times International
SEOUL, South Korea

"South Korea, the world's most wired country, is rushing to turn what sounds like science fiction into everyday life. The government, which succeeded in getting broadband Internet into 72 percent of all households in the last half decade, has marshaled an army of scientists and business leaders to make robots full members of society.
Jupiter, is a robot built by a South Korean company for domestic use.

By 2007, networked robots that, say, relay messages to parents, teach children English and sing and dance for them when they are bored, are scheduled to enter mass production. Outside the home, they are expected to guide customers at post offices or patrol public areas, searching for intruders and transmitting images to monitoring centers.

If all goes according to plan, robots will be in every South Korean household between 2015 and 2020. That is the prediction, at least, of the Ministry of Information and Communication, which has grouped more than 30 companies, as well as 1,000 scientists from universities and research institutes, under its wing. Some want to move even faster.

"My personal goal is to put a robot in every home by 2010," said Oh Sang Rok, manager of the ministry's intelligent service robot project."


I was shocked by this article. How can robots be 'full members of society'? Robots are machines, for heaven's sake.

What are your philosophical thoughts about this?

Dark_Crow answered on 04/02/06:

If they solve the problem of vision, let me know, I'll get excited.

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Question/Answer
DeckChair asked on 03/31/06 - Science or Pseudoscience?

The logical positivists proposed the verifiability criterion of meaning. According to this, a statement is meaningful only if there is the possibility that at least someday it can be verified through empirical evidence.

Along came Karl Popper, protesting that it's actually falsifiability that matters rather than verifiability. Popper said that it's impossible for science to verify anything. If science says "the table exists" based on observation, that can't be verified since it has to assume it's not a delusion or some sort of great new holodeck program. On the other hand, says Popper, if the scientist goes in there and finds no table and carefully examines the area to be certain the table isn't in the room, then science can indeed falsify the table. Thus Popper creates what amounts to a falsifiability criterion... he thinks the role of science is to systematically rule out possibilities and then leave us to take whatever's left as the possible truth.

Then, of course, there was the Quine-Duhem thesis and Putnam's arguments to say that falsifiability is no more possible than verifiability. The scientist who thinks he's falsified the table may actually be hallucinating the nonexistence of the table while the actual table is right there in the middle of the room. Via Quine, no experiment can confirm or disconfirm a hypothesis because it always relies on a system of auxiliary assumptions. If I release a ball and it falls to the ground, that cannot be said by itself to confirm that gravity pulls things down. I have to make various assumptions such as the floor and ball not being giant electromagnets and there not being an especially strong gust of wind coming through the window and there not being another force twice as strong as gravity which coincidentally pulls things down when gravity pulls things up... that sort of stuff.

It's clear that we have two methods to choose from even if neither works. We can try to verify things, or we can try to falsify things. Is one more reliable than the other? Specifically, which of them should be used in the demarcation problem -- the problem of deciding what's science and what's pseudoscience?

Dark_Crow answered on 04/01/06:

Well done, DeckChair. Perhaps there is an alternative to this matter, that is, an error, or false dilemma. What comes to my mind are Whales and Cows. Today I visited the barbershop, 'the', because it is the only one I visit. It is a, "one-man shop", one that has been at its present location for many years. The Barber, a philosopher of sort has a steady cliental of repeat, older men, seldom takes less that an hour to cut my hair-what little of it remains. Today a discussion broke out about Cows and Whales.
When I left, the consensus was that, things "happen" to both Cows and Whales, that is, they are both eaten by people in some countries and they both live in an environment not habitable by the other. Whales and Cows though can be compared in that there is a difference in that the one can be slaughtered at will, and Law protects the other.
Now from this one may conclude that there is a real likeness between Whales and Cows, when in fact there is none. That is an example of Pseudoscience; for it is clear, the distinction between scientific reality and social reality has been merged.

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Question/Answer
omarjavaid asked on 03/31/06 - Time

Dear Sir

I would like you to ask you that what is the definition of and duration of present? The harder I try to figure out the answer the more clear it becomes that the present is just the most resent imprint of our senses on our consciousness. In a moment this imprint is transferred into our memories and it fads away. This gradual fading away of imprints from our senses gives us a feeling that time is passing. I think that the feel of time is a function of the fading process of our imprint on our memory. That is why in different situations we feel differently about the passage of time.

I think there is no duration of present. Future is directly converted into past. Some part of our consciousness is in future and some of it is in past.

Please comment on my thought

Thanks and regards

Omar Javaid

Dark_Crow answered on 03/31/06:

Some things stick in my mind, and as I read your post one remembrance, or object of my attention occurred many years ago; that is, in a word the, past. Perhaps it is that I recall only because it was such a shocking event. I had been working for only a short time in a aircraft manufacturing plant in San Diego when I met this old Black man. During the course of a conversation, I became aware that he had worked there when there were segregated bathrooms and drinking fountains. At first, I thought he was trifling with me because as far as I knew, segregation had ended many years before. So you see, there is an example of a thing called time.

Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 03/30/06 - Metaphysics and Ethics......................

Aristotle believed fulfilment and happiness are the result of living virtuously, ethics being related to metaphysics. To extent, if any, do you agree?

Dark_Crow answered on 03/31/06:

I find it interesting how instinctive philosophy which, no matter how divided, or categorized, now and then, stands so well in the stead of experience. No matter the training, education or direct experience, the instinct is relatively fixed within the individual throughout its life.

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Question/Answer
HerrAirhorn asked on 03/28/06 - Three Years Ago

Three years ago on this Board there was a lot of discussion about what the US policy should be in the midddle east, precisely, should America invade Iraq, and all ancillary questions and ideas. I have cut and pasted part of an article from dailynews dot com for you to read and comment on.


"Eric Haney, a retired command sergeant major of the U.S. Army, was a founding member of Delta Force, the military's elite covert counter-terrorist unit. He culled his experiences for "Inside Delta Force" (Delta; $14), a memoir rich with harrowing stories, though in an interview, Haney declines with a shrug to estimate the number of times he was almost killed. (Perhaps the most high-profile incident that almost claimed his life was the 1980 failed rescue of the hostages in Iran.) Today, he's doing nothing nearly as dangerous: He serves as an executive producer and technical adviser for "The Unit," CBS' new hit drama based on his book, developed by playwright David Mamet. Even up against "American Idol," "The Unit" shows muscle, drawing 18 million viewers in its first two airings.

Since he has devoted his life to protecting his country in some of the world's most dangerous hot spots, you might assume Haney is sympathetic to the Bush administration's current plight in Iraq (the laudatory cover blurb on his book comes from none other than Fox's News' Bill O'Reilly). But he's also someone with close ties to the Pentagon, so he's privy to information denied the rest of us.

We recently spoke to Haney, an amiable, soft-spoken Southern gentleman, on the set of "The Unit."

Q: What's your assessment of the war in Iraq?

A: Utter debacle. But it had to be from the very first. The reasons were wrong. The reasons of this administration for taking this nation to war were not what they stated. (Army Gen.) Tommy Franks was brow-beaten and ... pursued warfare that he knew strategically was wrong in the long term. That's why he retired immediately afterward. His own staff could tell him what was going to happen afterward.

We have *fomented civil war* in Iraq. We have probably fomented internecine war in the Muslim world between the Shias and the Sunnis, and I think *Bush may well have started the third world war*, all for their own personal policies.

Q: What is the cost to our country?

A: For the first thing, our credibility is utterly zero. So we destroyed whatever credibility we had. ... And I say "we," because the American public went along with this. They voted for a second Bush administration out of *fear, so fear is what they're going to have from now on*.

Our military is completely consumed, so were there a real threat - thankfully, there is no real threat to the U.S. in the world, but were there one, we couldn't confront it. Right now, that may not be a bad thing, because that keeps Bush from trying something with Iran or with Venezuela.

The harm that has been done is *irreparable*..."


HerrAirhorn comments: This seems to me to be a realistic assessment of the outcome of neo-Con philosoply Bush implemented as the War in Iraq....WORLD WAR THREE.

Do you agree or have any comments?

Dark_Crow answered on 03/29/06:

The truth is that virtually no one wants Saddam back.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 03/29/06 - Science and Ethics

................................ Science and ethics are generally considered totally unrelated but is this the case? To pursue science surely implies that science is worth pursuing and probably that scientific discoveries are important and will benefit mankind. So science must be based on a value judgement, don't you think?

Dark_Crow answered on 03/29/06:

For the sake of clarity, it seems the use of the term science as though it were a thing or entity is misleading; as exemplified by Ken's reply.

I am pleased however, to see that more and people are coming to the realization that the pursuit of knowledge is based on a value judgment, now if it could be understood that meaning and not logic is the path, as crooked as it may be. Life evolves around meaning and value, not truth and knowledge.

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Question/Answer
jackreade asked on 03/28/06 - Some things independent of God

Spinoza said, I believe, that God exists, but only philosophically.

Leibniz accepted, and even endorsed, the fact that some things are independent of God. These are necessary truths, such as: all squares are not circles.

Are these views consistent with atheism?


Jack

Yeah, I'm back; nowhere else to go. :)

Dark_Crow answered on 03/28/06:

Welcome back.
Absolutely- In their epistemology at least.

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Question/Answer
Coup_de_Grace asked on 03/25/06 - Ethics in the Twenty-First Century

Is It Ethical to Use Enhancement Technologies to Make Us Better than Well?

"Background to the debate: A variety of biomedical technologies are being developed that can be used for purposes other than treating disease. Such enhancement technologies can be used to improve our appearance and regulate our emotions, with the goal of feeling better than well. While these technologies can help people adapt to their rapidly changing lifestyles, their use raises important ethical issues".

What is your position on this issue?
Thank you.

Dark_Crow answered on 03/26/06:

I believe it is just another commodity for the wealthy; it matters in most of the peoples mind as just a spark for conversation. Personally, I think it a private and not a public issue.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 03/25/06 - Are we really in an Egocentric predicament?

........ This problem is related to the last question. Just as we cannot feel another person's pain or pleasure so too, it is argued, we are limited to our own perceptions, trapped inside our minds and cannot have direct knowledge of anything but our thoughts, feelings and sensations. What is your reaction?

Dark_Crow answered on 03/25/06:

Tony, I believe there is an objective world that exists apart from me, and what I know of that reality comes to me in no other way than by way of individual perception. That is, by way of feeling. Thoughts don't have legs, but they attach to feelings.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 03/24/06 - What is the nature of explanation?

............ Are there different types of explanation which are equally valid or does one of them have precedence? Are we bound to be ultimately confronted by that which cannot be explained? If so, how would we know we have reached that point?

Dark_Crow answered on 03/24/06:

To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.
St. Thomas Aquinas quotes

Mystical explanations are considered deep. The truth is that they are not even superficial.
Friedrich Nietzsche

The most common explanations I come across:
I always said so. This is worthless nonsense; this is an interesting, but perverse, point of view; this is true, but quite unimportant.

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Question/Answer
Oldstillwild asked on 03/23/06 - The sea-gull.....

Why would the sea-gull stand on only his right leg?

Dark_Crow answered on 03/23/06:

Only seagulls that are Kantian Materialist stand on one leg, but what the hell is a, " Kantian Materialist"?

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 03/22/06 - How do we know we are thinking?...............

Is it by inference or direct awareness?

Dark_Crow answered on 03/22/06:

Ratiocination or reasoning produces inferences or reasonings, which are expressed by argumentations, as, " I think, therefore I must exist," "Enoch, being a man, must have died; and since the Bible says he did not die, not everything in the Bible can be true."" ('Grand Logic', CP 4.38-39, 1893)
Feeling of course predicates reasoning- that is, feeling belongs to the category Pierce calls "Firstness." For instance; certain worms feel, that is they react to the environment, however they do not reason. It seems clear to me that reasoning entails more than, "feeling".
A given belief may be regarded as the effect of another given belief. Such a process is usually called an inference; but it ought not to be called a rational inference, or reasoning.

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Question/Answer
jackreade asked on 03/17/06 - Science and the Origin of the Universe

IN view of the conversation recently about science and metaphysics, I thought this article might be of interest to Board members.

"Scientists investigating the origin of the universe have found new evidence deep inside the earliest light that supports the idea of a rapid cosmic inflation before the "Big Bang" expansion.

Data collected from a new satellite map of the 13.7 billion-year-old universe backed the concept of inflation, which poses that the universe expanded many trillion times its size in less than a trillionth of a second.

The results of a team of US and Canadian researchers were announced Thursday by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

The latest data from NASA's Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe is based on three years of continuous observations of the cosmic microwave background (CMB), the afterglow light produced when the universe was less than a million years old.

WMAP polarization data allowed scientists to discriminate between competing models of inflation for the first time, NASA said in a statement.

"This is a milestone in cosmology. We can now distinguish between different versions of what happened within the first trillionth of a second of the universe," said WMAP research team leader Charles Bennett, a professor at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

"The longer WMAP observes, the more it reveals about how our universe grew from microscopic quantum fluctuations to the vast expanses of stars and galaxies we see today."

Previous WMAP observations focused on the temperature variations of this light, which provided an accurate age of the universe and insights into its geometry and composition.

The new WMAP observations give not only a more detailed temperature map, but also the first full-sky map of the polarization of the CMB".


Conversation welcome.

Dark_Crow answered on 03/17/06:

So much for the claim that science, is limited to fact.

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Question/Answer
NCohen asked on 03/16/06 - Philosophy of Science

Sometime ago I was involved in a discussion concerning whether scientists should limit themselves (or not)in setting any limits on their investigations....because the decision on how to use (positively or negatively) the applications of their investigations are partly the responsibility of the politicians and corporations?

- Are scientists responsible negative consequences of their discoveries ?
- If so, should scientists limit their investigations?
- Are politicians and corporations responsible enough to apply new discoveries in a constructive way? Should this be a concern of scientists?


Many thanks.

Dark_Crow answered on 03/17/06:

Truth is always to be preferred to falsehood, or so says the militant rationalist, that use of palliatives must be avoided. This is of course a theistic premise.

""I believe in truth," says the rationalist, but he must turn to the theist to justify that belief. "I believe in reason," he continues, and naturalism replies that reason and unreason are alike the products of natural law. "I believe in science," continues the rationalist, in despair, and the theist smiles, for he knows that theism alone can vindicate the idealism of science and alone can provide a reasoned basis for that mysticism which is the true inspiration of scientific research."
~ Arnold Lunn

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 03/15/06 - How plausible is materialism?

.............................Where are thoughts, beliefs, desires, intentions and sensory experiences located in the brain? In which part of the brain does a rational decision occur? Where is the seat of consciousness? In the absence of precise answers is it correct to describe materialism as an unverified hypothesis?

Dark_Crow answered on 03/15/06:

Supernaturalism is a problem, however, W.A. Dembski in, "Naturalism's Argument from Invincible Ignorance," he writes: If evolutionary biologists can discover or construct detailed, testable, indirect Darwinian pathways that account for the emergence of irreducibly and minimally complex biological systems like the bacterial flagellum, then more power to them -- intelligent design will quickly pass into oblivion.

But until that happens, the eliminative induction that attributes specified
complexity to the bacterial flagellum constitutes a legitimate scientific
inference.

The only way to deny its legitimacy is by appealing to some form
of apriorism. The apriorism of choice these days is, of course, naturalism (Materialism).
And that apriorism engenders an argument not just of ignorance but of
invincible ignorance. Indeed, any specified complexity (and therefore
design) that might actually be present in biological systems becomes
invisible as soon as one consents to this apriorism. If biological systems
actually are designed, it cannot be seen.

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Question/Answer
HerrAirhorn asked on 03/13/06 - Essentialism

Essentialism a belief in natural, immutable sex differences is anathema to postmodernists, for whom sexuality itself, along with gender, is a social construct (Wendy Kaminer).


Do you believe that sex differences are immutable?

Or, that sexuality itself along with gender is a social construct??

Dark_Crow answered on 03/13/06:

I consider myself postmodern and firmly believe- If the father is a frog, the son will be a frog. Therefore...

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Question/Answer
Bradd asked on 03/13/06 - First Questions

How did it all begin? Not why (a subsequent question), but how?

Science has given us the Big Bang but seems stopped at that moment - ten to the minus 43rd power of the first second. the Planck time.

If one asks, "What about before that time"?, Science replies, "There is/was no 'before' - time did not exist. Or, the Universe arose from "quantum vacuum fluctuations". (Stephen Hawking).

In either case, Science being limited by what it observes, it ends the question essentially claiming that the question of origins is irrelevant since we can never observe it.

On the other hand, an unknowable "God" may be equally true, although Science will be quick to criticize this "God" notion as false or unscientific, while, in essence, maintaining the identical position.

This is not a question about religion or how religion can be misused for bad purposes, but is not a "God" as ultimately rational as "it's irrelevant" or "quantum vacuum fluctuations"?

Dark_Crow answered on 03/13/06:

How did it all begin? Bradd, as you have alluded to here, it is not known how it all began.
That it [the universe and all that is considered part of it] was created for humankind as a Paradise by a loving and caring entity sounds irrational, but no less irrational than the myth of Evolution.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 03/11/06 - When and why should emotion prevail over reason?

..... "Should" is not necessarily moral.

Dark_Crow answered on 03/12/06:

Never- because that would be irrational. However, that said, purely emotional responses are seldom, I think, ever a decision but rather a unconscious response, therefore not a decision.

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Question/Answer
Oldstillwild asked on 03/10/06 - Longitudes.......

Why is my boot-lace always growing longer?

Dark_Crow answered on 03/10/06:

Did you mean: Why is my bootlace always growing longer?

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Question/Answer
Oldstillwild asked on 03/09/06 - Anyone....

Everyone may know,what the next quote is coming from,posted here on the philosophy board:

"I am sending you forth as sheep amidst wolves; therefore prove yourselves cautious as serpents and yet innocent as doves. Be on your guard against men; for they will deliver you up to local courts, and they will scourge you in their synagogues. Why, you will be haled before governors and kings for my sake, for a witness to them and the nations. . . . Further, brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child, and children will rise up against parents and will have them put to death. And you will be objects of hatred by all people on account of my name; but he that has endured to the end is the one that will be saved. When they persecute you in one city, flee to another".

If religion is philosophy ,or whatever,

this is religion thoroughly.....

No better example could be posted to demonstrate,what religion breathes eventually.....

no better example can be given,to demonstrate the fanatical evil , which will be put in religion eventually......

No better example could be given to demonstrate how WRONG religion is as a basis for living in peace....

No better example could be given to demonstrate the abusive character of the religious....

No better example could be given to demonstrate,that there will be no peace ever on the face of this earth,as long as there is religion,poised and used for imposing purposes......for it proves,that love and peace in freedom are not the basis of religion at all........,

In the present days we would look at the east,but in fact,most people have a blind I for the true nasty ways religion would need(and ruthlessly accepted)to keep its power and influence over the innocent.....

Dark_Crow answered on 03/09/06:

The history of religion is as old as the history of man himself. That is what archaeologists and anthropologists tell us. Even among the most primitive, that is to say, undeveloped, civilizations, there is found evidence of worship of some form. In fact The New Encyclopdia Britannica says that as far as scholars have discovered, there has never existed any people, anywhere, at any time, who were not in some sense religious.
Besides its antiquity, religion also exists in great variety. The headhunters in the jungles of Borneo, the Eskimos in the frozen Arctic, the nomads in the Sahara Desert, the urban dwellers in the great metropolises of the worldevery people and every nation on earth has its god or gods and its way of worship. The diversity in religion is truly staggering.

Logically, questions come to mind. From where did all these religions come? Since there are marked differences as well as similarities among them, did they start independently, or could they have developed from one source? In fact we might ask: Why did religion begin at all? And how? The answers to these questions are of vital importance to all who are interested in finding the truth about religion and religious beliefs.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 03/09/06 - What is your concept of God?

..........................................regardless of belief or disbelief.......

Dark_Crow answered on 03/09/06:

The late Albert Einstein said, according to Life magazine of May 2, 1955: I do not believe in the God of theology who rewards good and punishes evil. . . . I cannot accept any concept of God based on the fear of life or the fear of death, or blind faith. From all reports Einstein was of gentle disposition, and it is understandable that he could not believe in the God of theology, a God that eternally tortures souls in a fiery hell, or burns them for centuries in a flaming purgatory until priests on earth are paid enough to pray enough to get these souls released.
This same issue of Life reported that Einstein said: The presence of a superior reasoning power . . . revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God. Because the God of theology taught by orthodox religions was unacceptable, Einstein groped for another God. He did believe in a supreme spirit or intelligence in back of all the created wonders and was impressed with the order in the universe, as Time magazine of May 2, 1955, shows. It quoted him: I cannot believe that God plays dice with the cosmos. The magazine continued: Albert Einstein, who often said he could not accept the doctrine of immortality of the soul, traveled the rim of mystery and at times, he admitted, it made him feel close to God. I assert, he once said, that the cosmic religious experience is the strongest and the noblest driving force . . . My religion consists of a humble admiration for the illimitable superior spirit who reveals Himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble minds. The Bible agrees with Einstein when he could not accept the doctrine of immortality of the soul, for it states, The soul that sinneth, it shall die, and reports that even the sinless Jesus poured out his soul unto death.Ezek. 18:4; Isa. 53:12.
Einstein said he could not accept any concept of God based on blind faith. A Biblical faith in Jehovah God is not blind in the sense of having absolutely no basis for it. Faith is the evident demonstration of realities though not beheld. (Heb. 11:1, NW) Without seeing electricity or gravitation Einstein believed in their existence because he had seen evidence demonstrating their reality. Without seeing the illimitable superior spirit Einstein believed in his existence because of the majesty and power and orderliness he had seen in the universe. The Bible points to these created wonders as evidence of the invisible Creator: His invisible qualities are clearly seen from the worlds creation onward, because they are understood by the things made, even his eternal power and Godship. (Rom. 1:20)

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Question/Answer
CeeBee2 asked on 03/09/06 - Moral phenomenology.

What is the phenomenological difference between the virtuous and the non-virtuous?

Dark_Crow answered on 03/09/06:

In one sense you might say ethical reason is destined; that is, ethical conduct tends toward fixing certain habits, meaning peaceable habits and not quarrelsome habits. This does not depend on accidental circumstances.

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Question/Answer
keenu asked on 03/07/06 - The grand illusion





Columnist: Ken Korczak

You don't exist, so don't worry about it
Posted on Tuesday, 7 March, 2006 | 15:07 | Comments: 45
Ken Korczak: What are you worried about right now? Well, its an almost guarantee that you are worried about nothing, for the very reason that you dont exist! You have no worries because you have no mind or body or life to worry with its all an illusion. No worries, but more significantly, no worrier. If you think this sounds like utter nonsense, some of the most brilliant scientists, philosophers and theological thinkers of our century would disagree with you.Science and math suggest that we humans dont exist, (even though there is really no math or science more illusions!)The advent of quantum mechanics and modern physics increasingly imply that our existence as human beings is a kind of persistent illusion. We are under the false assumption that were people, we only imagine we have bodies and brains, and minds functioning inside those brains.

Illusions, all of it. Listen to what one of the greatest physicists of the century, Authur Eddington said of quantum theories:In the world of physicsthe shadow of my elbow rests on the shadow table as the shadow ink flows over the shadow paperthe frank realization that physical science is concerned with a world of shadow is one of the most significant of recent advances.

By shadow Eddington meant illusion. More than any other science, it is particle physics that is confronting the fundamentals of reality, and more and more, the evidence point to the fact there is no reality!For the past 300-some years, the world has been under the impression that everything is made up of atoms, the building blocks of the universe. It was the great Isaac Newton who solidified our impression that atoms were like billiard balls. Pile enough of them on top of each other, set them in motion and you get rocks, trees, animals and people.But in 1900 Albert Einsteins hero, the brilliant Max Planck, revealed some incredibly disturbing discoveries he made while trying to solve problems concerning the radiation of energy.To make a long story short, Planck was forced to conclude that matter at its most fundamental level is not continuous, not solid. There are no tiny billiard balls. When you break down an atom, you get an electron, a proton and maybe a neutron. But it turns out these are not the smallest units either. You can break things down further to bosons, quarks, W particles, tachyons and a lot of other shadowy things that just sort of wink in and out of existence.

Where do things go when they wink out? Nowhere! They cease to exist! Then they come back again.So what? you might ask. Well, as you know, the human body is made up from the fundamental elements of nature. We are mostly water, but we also have iron in our blood, calcium in our bones, and such. But each of those substances are made up of individual atoms, which in turn are made up of ghostly bits of nothing that just sort of come and go, in and out of reality.Scientists call this blinking process quantum fluctuation.So when the elements of your body fluctuate, so does your body, and so do you! So does you brain and the chemicals in your brain! In fact, you may be in a state of nothingness more often than you are in a state of somethingness (even though there really is no somethingness!)As the currently popular medical guru Depack Chopra points out, all of us our dead (nonexistent) for much of the time, yet we are all constantly afraid of dying, not realizing we are dead much of the time! (Oh by the way, theres no such thing as time either.

Einstein proved it was an illusion, but we wont get into that right now).Even at its most solid state, the atom turns out to be not very solid at all. Atoms are 99.999999 empty space. If the nucleus of an atom were the size of a ping-pong ball, and if you were to place it in the center of a large football stadium, the electrons that orbit around the nucleus would be at the outer walls of the stadium.What is between the nucleus and the electron? Nothing! And what are the nucleus and electron made from? Smaller and smaller bits of energy which are not solid, but actually whirling fragments of light.Even a block of solid lead is nothing and light, acting as something. So is your car. So are the chemicals in your brain. So are you.Once during a long, boring drive from Grand Forks to southern Missouri with one of my graduate school professors, we became embroiled in a lengthy debate about the deep issues of the universe. I argued that all was illusion, and he argued for solid reality.

When I mentioned the unreal nature of fundamental particles, he said:That makes no difference! All this means is that these flucuating bits of energy are what we are made out of but we are still us, still the same, still real solid people. Are your saying is that we are more fundamental than atoms.He also said: If I whacked you with a baseball bat, I bet your pain wouldnt feel like an illusion!At the time, I was stumped to answer because that was before I understood the nature or more accurately the mechanics of illusion. I didnt realize that even our argument was an illusion!The fact is, my professor and I could have argued for years on end and neither of us would have convinced the other because BOTH of our aurguments were false! Why? Because neither of our arguments exist!The fact is, language is one of the primary ways in which we become deceived into believing in solid reality. Once a creature reaches the stage where it can manipulate symbolic language, you can bet that creature is deeply buried under many layers of illusion.I also should have quoted the Uncertainty Principle and the Incompleteness Theorm to my professor.

You see, the idea that language is all illusion is not a simple belief, but a fact which has been proved mathematically. Back in the 1920s, a German math genius by the name of Kurt Godel produced a rigorous mathematical demonstration which showed that all logic was ultimately self contradictory.Godels proof is known as Godels Theorm, but also as the Incompleteness Theorm. It states this:It is impossible to to establish the logical consistency of any complex deductive system except by assuming principles of reasoning whose own internal consistency is an open question as that of the system itself.

Whew! Thats just a fancy way of saying that, no matter what your viewpoint its wrong! You will never be able to convince someone of what you believe because all rhetoric is, by nature, fundamentally inconsistent.Thats why arguing politics and religion is so frustrating no one is ever right, literally! All arguments are rigged from the start!.But theres even more bad news for reality. Its called the Heisenbreg Uncertainty principle, suggested and later proved by one of the fathers of quantum mechanics, the great Werner Heisenberg. His principle states:The position and the velocity of an object cannot both be measured exactly, at the same time, not even in theory. The very concepts of exact position and exact velocity together, in fact, have no meaning in nature.What this means is that physical objects cannot be pinned down to absolutely exist in any one place at any given time. Like Godels Theorm, this principle comes with a rigorous mathemetical proof.So not only are all verbal arugments fundamentally inconsistent, and therefore false, but physical matter ultimately cannot be measured.

As one physicist put it:Our conception of substance is only vivid so long as we do not face it. It begins to fade when we analyze it the solid substance of things is another illusion we have chased the solid substance from the continuous liquid to the atom, from the atom to the electron, and there we have lost it.Its amazing how complimentary Godels Theorm and the Uncertainty Principle are they both devastate the idea of a solid physcial world filled with ultimate truths. There are no objects, no people and no truth. Weve only been tricked into thinking so, as weird as this sounds.Who have we been tricked by? Ourselves! And we dont exist! Odd!You might ask: How does knowing that you dont exist help you with your daily troubles? Well, in fact, it helps a lot. Indeed, this knowledge can lead you to an extreme state of happiness, even bliss. How?By getting to work at realizing that you are buried under many layers of very tricky, persistent illusions, which because of their mathematical inconsistency, are driving you nuts! It seems like you can never find ultimate truth, true peace and the purest of love becaue you are trying to get these things under the false assumption that they exist in some real way.

They dont. And neither does pain, suffering and worry.The greater degree to which you become aware that you and your world is all sticky illusion, the greater your feeling of being happy, loving and truthful will become. Why this is so becomes plain when we give a more conventional example of how illusions cause pain.We all know someone who has mistaken money for what money represents, or mistaken money for happiness. Money itself is just paper, a symbol which rerpresents material goods. Some people fall under the illusion that money is an end it itself, so they mindlessly persue more and more of the green stuff until they have a heart attack and die.All would agree its good to be free of the illusion of money and materialism.Well, as it turns out, the more illusions we get rid of, the better off we are.

Getting rid of illusions like money, drugs and sex addictions is easy compared to getting rid of major illusions like death, time, language, and physical existence, but its far from impossible.I should warn you also, that the more you try to achieve happiness, the worse off youre likely to get because happiness is an illusory concept which does not exist. Youll get very frustrated, although frustration does not exist either. Sorry.So its better to work on getting rid of illusions themselves and let the rest take care of itself.The brilliant psychologist-philospher-author Ken Wilber describes seven layers of illusion in his groundbreaking book, The Spectrum of Consciousness. In this book, Wilber takes you step by step through the kind of illusions human are trapped within, from Nothing to the deepest layer of illusion, which he calls dualisms.The more you understand the nature of illusions, the various kinds of illusions, (especially language, time, the separation of objects in space) the more likely you are to find your way out.

This is what Zen and other forms of meditation are about to get you to stop thinking so that the ultimate silence of the greater reality of Nothing can be realized.But as any Zen master would warn you, the minute you start thinking that Zen meditation is going to help you, or that the Zen philosophy is going to help you, or any philosophy or any religion in that assumption you get lost again!Whats truly weird about illusion is that you have to use illusions to get rid of them, and its hard describe how this gets done. Remember Godels Theorm: all arugments based in language are fundamentally inconsistent, and therefore, just more traps.Even what you are reading here right now is a trap, though this article strives to point out the fact that you are trapped by illusions! But I think its at least better to know youre in jail, than being in jail and thinking this prison we call life is our true home.

Some might say: Okay, but its better to exist as an illusion that suffers than to be nothing at all!So let me throw you this bone: The big Nothing scientists and philosophers speak of is not so much the complete lack of anything, as it is a singularity of pure Virtual Potential. It does not exist, but has the potential to exist if it wants to. Its Nothing, but a kind of dynamic Nothing. Whatever. Words and labels are tricky.But the reason you have the illusion of being, along with its joy and suffering you want it. At the same time, you can have the bliss of realizing Infinite Potential without the suffering of the illusion of objective existence. In fact, this is your condition right now. You just dont know it. Its weird. A lot of people who read this article are going to say: Jeez! What a load of utter nonsense! And guess what? Theyre right!

Please take a moment to visit Ken's Webs site at: www.starcopywriter.com



Dark_Crow answered on 03/07/06:

Sounds like the Terminology of "God" or a "Medicine Man.". "---the bliss of realizing Infinite Potential without the suffering"

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Question/Answer
Oldstillwild asked on 03/07/06 - Perfect world follow up....

"If every soul on this planet would abide to his conscience,we would live in a "perfect" world."

Well,
how about contemporary conducts and the motivations thereoff........

I feel, my statement is valid.

Dark_Crow answered on 03/07/06:

Regarding individuals who seem to have no conscience, Dr. Geoffrey Stephenson wrote: It was, and still is by some, regarded as a genuine form of insanity or psychosis.

Hence, can we simply do by nature the things of the law?

No, more is needed. Just understanding the source of conscience and how it is that we have that faculty does not assure us that we are fully benefiting from it. Recall that the ancient Egyptians had certain moral standards that manifested the effects of conscience. But was that sufficient in itself? Did that alone protect them from every improper thing? Consequently, we need to know more than just that we have a conscience. We ought to know how it operates, how it can be trained and how to apply it in daily life.

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Question/Answer
Oldstillwild asked on 03/07/06 - Evil for the wizzkids..

People withe a conscience cant be evil.
Well...,Im glad!

Dark_Crow answered on 03/07/06:

Many persons who are aware of this need express the view that in the final analysis each person ought to rely on his conscience. They say: Let your conscience be your guide. By conscience they have in mind that each person seems to have a voice within him, an inner sense that tells him what is right or wrong. But is that true in all cases? Do you know what is the source of conscience and just how widespread it is? Also, just how reliable is this inner sense? Even if others can depend on their conscience, can you?

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 03/06/06 - What is your concept of a perfect world?

........ Please indicate how it could be implemented.

Dark_Crow answered on 03/07/06:

My idea of a perfect world.--- The wolf will actually reside for a while with the male lamb, and with the kid the leopard itself will lie down, and the calf and the maned young lion and the well-fed animal all together; and a mere little boy will be leader over them.

And the cow and the bear themselves will feed; together their young ones will lie down. And even the lion will eat straw just like the bull. And the sucking child will certainly play upon the hole of the cobra; and upon the light aperture of a poisonous snake will a weaned child actually put his own hand.

They will not do any harm or cause any ruin in all the earth

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 03/05/06 - Evil (continued).........................

Opinions about evil range from its non-existence to its significance that God does not exist. Some deny that pain and suffering are evil while others regard pain and suffering are the worst evils of all. Yet others believe only moral evil exists and natural evil is an illusion. So what is the truth?

If we go by practice rather than theory it is evident that pain and suffering are generally avoided and regarded as undesirable - not only because they are unpleasant but also because they prevent a person from living and enjoying a full life. Often pain serves a useful purpose but the pain of an incurable disease is useless and pointless when it destroys rather than develops the personality of the victim. It is the negation of life and development that is objectionable, whether or not it is caused by human beings. We may argue about terminology but the facts are indisputable: failure, misery and death are realities that devalue and spoil life.

When we assess the value of life, and human life in particular, we have to determine whether the cost is too great - particularly in view of the unnecessary waste and harm caused by homo sapiens. That is why this question is important...

Dark_Crow answered on 03/05/06:

Rather than being a warning system for disease or injury, chronic pain has been likened to a false alarm that just wont turn off. Pain expert Dr. Richard A. Sternbach wrote: Unlike acute pain, chronic pain is not a symptom; chronic pain is not a warning signal. Emergency Medicine emphasized: Theres no purpose at all to chronic pain.
Thus, many doctors in recent years have come to view such pain as a genuine affliction in itself. In acute pain the pain is a symptom of disease or injury, explains Dr. John J. Bonica in The Management of Pain, todays standard text on pain. In chronic pain the pain itself is the disease.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 03/03/06 - How would you define evil?

......................... In theory there could be as many types of evil as there are creatures, e.g. "canine evil", "feline evil" and "leonine evil"! Or even a type of evil for every individual: Jack's evil and Jill's evil since "one man's meat is another man's poison"... This is an absurd extreme but it does indicate that definitions often oversimplify the issue.

The traditional division into "moral evil" and "natural evil" is misleading because a so-called evil person may not be evil at all. A rapist or serial killer may not be responsible for his crimes, yet the crimes are undoubtedly evil in causing needless suffering and death. So there seems good reason to include "personal evil" in the list. What do you think?

Dark_Crow answered on 03/03/06:

In perceiving the color red, one may well recognize it as the same in various moments of its appearance. However; a concept must do more than this; it must draw a distinction between its general nature and its particular appearances.

The same holds true for the concept Evil.

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Question/Answer
Coup_de_Grace asked on 03/01/06 - A Riddle

I posted this on the Christianity Board, but was disappointed in the answers, save one. Would members of this board please comment on the three quotes stating reasons why they agree or disagree of a combination of both?

ONE. Epicuris posed the following riddle:

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 him God?

In other words:

If god is all good, whence comes evil? For evil cannot come from good any more than thistles can come from apples.

I'd prefer no comments about free will as I am familiar with this piece of Christian theology unless you have a sophisticated argument, of course, and can relate them to the Riddle above.
======================================================================= ======


TWO. Nietzsche said, "The Christian resolution to find the world ugly and bad has made the world ugly and bad."


What do you think of this particular Nietzsche quote? What are the ramifications of seeing the world ugly and bad?



THREE. "Nothing is so firmly believed as what we least know." Montaigne

Did Montaigne hit the nail on the head? Why?


Thank you.

Ben

Benjamin and Susan Grace

Dark_Crow answered on 03/01/06:

First of all let us note that with God all things are possible, for he is a God of wisdom and might. Further, we are assured that God is love and that righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne. (Matt. 19:26; Job 12:13; 1 John 4:8; Ps. 97:2, AS) While to the atheist the permission of evil is a negation of Gods power and wisdom, as if he were unable to stop it, and of his justice and love, as if he were indifferent to evil, yet to those who really believe that God has these four attributes in a perfect and infinite degree the permission of evil merely raises the questions as to why God permits it and when he will put an end to it.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 02/24/06 - Pleasure and happiness.

................................It seems evident that pleasure alone is not sufficient to make a person happy. What else is required?

Dark_Crow answered on 02/25/06:

In his book Man, God and Magic, Dr. Ivar Lissner points out that a fundamental difference between man and beast is that man is not content merely to sleep, eat and warm himself. We humans have a strange and inherent urge that can be called spirituality.

Dr. Robert Coles of Harvard University observed about youths:
They need discipline not only to tame their excesses of emotion but discipline also connected to stated and clarified moral values. They need something to believe in that is larger than their own appetites and urges. . . . They need a larger view of the world, a moral context, as it werea faith that addresses itself to the meaning of this life we all live.
It is fair to say, then, that true happiness is linked with recognizing our spiritual need.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 02/19/06 - The Problem of Knowledge (continued)..........

What are your views on the following critique:

"At the beginning of his Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, David Hume, having argued that all ideas come from antecedent impressions, describes a test of his theory:

Those who would assert that this position is not universally true nor without exception, have only one, and that an easy method of refuting it; by producing that idea, which, in their opinion, is not derived from this source. It will then be incumbent on us, if we would maintain our doctrine, to produce the impression, or lively perception, which corresponds to it. [Shelby-Bigge edition, Oxford, 1902, 1972, pp. 19-20]

Here the challenge and the burden of proof is clear enough: If we produce an idea that we contend is not derived from an original impression, or lively perception, then it is Hume's business to produce that impression or admit that his theory, his empiricism, is not correct.

The difficulty with this test for Hume is that he himself discovers many ideas which evidently have not been derived from an original impression. Thus, later in the same Enquiry, we find Hume saying:

There are no ideas, which occur in metaphysics, more obscure and uncertain, than those of power, force, energy or necessary connection.... [pp.61-62]

Now, in terms of Hume's own challenge, one might say that he has discovered several ideas that refute his empiricism. However, he has already protected himself against such refutation: Having proposed his test, Hume almost immediately took it back and shifted the burden of proof:

When we entertain, therefore, any suspicion that a philosophical term is employed without any meaning or idea (as is but too frequent), we need to enquire, from what impression is that supposed idea derived? And if it be impossible to assign any, this will serve to confirm our suspicion. [p. 22]....

Hume's empiricism, while ruling out various metaphysical entities (free will, the soul, God, etc.), to the applause of his many admirers, also ruled out many of the future developments of science, which few admirers this side of deconstruction are likely to applaud:

Our senses inform us of the colour, weight, and consistence of bread; but neither sense nor reason can ever inform us of those qualities which fit it for the nourishment and support of a human body. [p. 33]

These ultimate springs and principles [of events in nature] are totally shut up from human curiosity and enquiry. Elasticity, gravity, cohesion of parts, communication of motion by impulse; these are probably the ultimate causes and principles which we shall ever discover in nature. [p. 30]

The course of science in the 19th and 20th centuries would have astonished Hume, as it certainly discredits the foundation of his predictions for the future of human knowledge. That proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates, minerals, etc. explain the basis of human nutrition, and that electromagnetism and atomic, nuclear, and particle physics explain much of the fundamental behavior of matter, are not just things that escaped Hume's imagination -- they escaped everyone's imagination until the discovery of them was effected -- but they are things that occupy a cognitive space whose very existence Hume explicitly denied: They do not correspond to "impressions" any more than God or the soul do. By Hume's criterion they are "without any meaning or idea."

Thus, when Hume shifts the burden of proof to protect his empiricism, he shuts off any possible understanding, not just of metaphysics and religion, but of much of mathematics and science. That is a price some, like Wittgenstein and Rorty, are still willing to pay: That mathematics and science really tell us nothing about the world but are elaborate tricks we have devised that unaccountably produce results that we want in practical matters. Such a dismal aspiration can be found to have motivated few, if any, historic scientists."

http://www.friesian.com/hume.htm

Dark_Crow answered on 02/19/06:

By propagating the view that black Africans were naturally inferior. I am apt to suspect all negroes, and in general all other species of men to be naturally inferior to the white, wrote 18th-century Scottish philosopher David Hume. In fact, Hume claimed that one could find no ingenious manufactures amongst [Negroes], no arts, no sciences.

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 02/15/06 - MY ANNUAL LETTER TO ALL OF YOU:

After making a fool of myself for over four years at Answerway, I have found that your desires are my desires that offer me just one reservation - OPINION! But, who am I to judge your convictions, beliefs and sentiments? Conversely, these mind-sets may offer me reasoning while considering knowledge, fact, misgivings and skepticism. You're the ones who are important to me. I want you cheerful, contented, pleased and glad you're living. Let the miserable, the gloomy, the sorrowful harass the harbingers of the ill-natured, the disagreeable, the unpleasant. They are no longer a force of one, thanks to our foundation based on excessive friendships, faith, reasoning and plausible personalities. All of us are unique! Time, place and actions defy the agility of what is commonplace, ordinary and typical. Our playground is Society and our necessity pleads for the temperament of benevolence!

God embraces truth, life and love. Freedom of religion speaks to be heard and dealt with by all who breathe what's necessary to live and progress! Our spiritual foundation offers us a system of religious beliefs which are not accepted by some but ... who cares? Only remission can be granted by the Almighty. As a free citizen, you can either accept or deny these teachings of moral goodness. Your free-will allows you to adjust what's lacking in your decision to 'crawl or run.' Life is not an illusion or a dream because of just one reason -- PAIN. This damn albatross torments both the mind and body. If you enjoy self-abuse, you're not normal! If you enjoy hurting others, you're a sadist. Why don't you relinguish your right to being ignorant and enjoy awareness, it opposite?

"I've got a little cat,

And I'm very fond of that,

But I'd rather have a bowwow, wow."

-- Joseph Tabrar

Go with God, my friends. There's still plenty of life to be lived!

HANK

Dark_Crow answered on 02/15/06:

Hank, I have been told, that I am like my cats: cold, furtive, callous, snobbish, selfish, playful but with a streak of cruelty.

Best wishes my friend, and may we all continue our friendship for a few more years.

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Question/Answer
NCohen asked on 02/14/06 - "Philosophy" of Suffering

How do various religions deal with suffering?


Buddhism, as Nietzsche points out, is truthful and honest as to how the world works. It is a religion of reality while Christianity is a religion of endurance. How can the Christian be satisfied in the world the place he desires to leave for his "true" home?(I'm hoping my memory hasn't failed me here) The Buddhist does not deny suffering; he hopes to overcome it.

What are your opinions about various major religions philosophy and teachings about inevitable human suffering. Was religion born out of suffering? If so, what kinds of suffering?

Dark_Crow answered on 02/15/06:

Did you hear the one about the rabbi, the priest and the imam who walked into a pub together?

From my viewpoint, that is, from the viewpoint of an outsider, I do not believe suffering has much to do with Religious belief. However, if that were the case, and I should have to choose my decision would revolve around Humor, for a religious sense of humor is the best coping mechanism of all time. Enjoy already.

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Question/Answer
NCohen asked on 02/14/06 - Introduction

I am new to Answerway. I have been looking around the various boards and found this active board. My name is Nigel Cohen, and I'd like to join all of you in stimulating conversation.

Nigel

Dark_Crow answered on 02/14/06:

Welcome, with a name like Cohen you cant be all bad.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 02/13/06 - What have philosophers achieved?

.

Dark_Crow answered on 02/13/06:

Skepticism, defiantly skepticism.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 02/13/06 - Why is there something rather than nothing?

.

Dark_Crow answered on 02/13/06:

Ger. Angst, or thinks Heidegger.
The only genuine question is why we are at all.

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Question/Answer
Jon1967 asked on 02/13/06 - Time on the Sun?

Come to think of it, when it is 3:30 Central Standard Time, what time IS it on the Sun?

Dark_Crow answered on 02/13/06:

Half-time, full-time or response time? Earth-time, or space-time/ noon-time or Dinner-time? I would say response time,now- so that the time on the Sun depends on how long it takes to get there.

Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 02/12/06 - Is philosophy dead?

.

Dark_Crow answered on 02/12/06:

The Philosophy of Materialism is alive and well. Those who refuse to attach importance to such spiritual values as contentment and cheerfulness lower themselves to the level of beasts. To what depths the deadly philosophy of materialism degrades one.


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Question/Answer
Oldstillwild asked on 02/11/06 - Olympics

The philosophy should be most for all rather than most of all....

Dark_Crow answered on 02/11/06:

The Lion called the Sheep to ask her if his breath smelled. She said yes, and he bit her head off for telling the truth. He called over the Wolf and asked the same question. The Wolf said no, and the Lion tore him to pieces for being a flatterer. At last he called the Fox and asked the question one more time. The Fox replied that he had a bad cold and could not smell.

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Question/Answer
Bradd asked on 02/09/06 - The Goal of Philosophy

Leibniz said, "The goal of philosophy is theology", i.e, to live a life of virtue and piety.

What is the goal today?

Dark_Crow answered on 02/09/06:

As Jacques Derrida pointed out, if what passes as Philosophy produces- neglect of the classical authors, the canonical texts, and so on, we should fight it.

So it is too with Will Durant- "So let us listen to these men, ready to forgive them their passing errors, eager to learn the lessons which they are so eager to teach. "Do you then be reasonable" said old Socrates to Crito, "and do not mind whether the teachers of philosophy are good or bad, but think only of Philosophy herself. Try to examine her well and truly, and if she be evil, seek to turn away all men from her -- but if she be what I believe she is, then follow her and serve her and be of good cheer."

"Seek ye first the good things of the mind," Bacon advises us, and what is good or bad ought be the goal of philosophy.

"Philosophy accepts the hard and hazardous task of dealing with problems not yet open to the methods of science --problems like good and evil, beauty and ugliness, order and freedom, life and death.", or so says Durant.

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Question/Answer
Oldstillwild asked on 02/08/06 - Well.........,

Are there occurrences , occasions , opportunities , at which its all but appropriate to give serious or any attention to?

And if so , could anyone possibly mention such a phenomenon in recent history?

Dark_Crow answered on 02/08/06:

The upcoming cartoons from Iran?

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Question/Answer
Jon1967 asked on 02/08/06 - In Retaliation: Moslem Style

The Iranians now tell us that they will publish cartoons about the Holocaust (and send them to Danish newspapers to publish. Apparently the Danes have assented)

Assignment in critical thinking: what about the comparison between Mohammad with a bomb for a turban, and the Holocaust in which millions were murdered---particularly, since the Iranians claim that the Holocaust never happened?

Dark_Crow answered on 02/08/06:

I see no comparison, unless it be some, dangling metaphorical religious connection. I do however; believe the importance is not in the number killed during the Holocaust, nor the terror now being directed at the non-Muslim world. The "deportee", as the SS refereed to the Jews being uprooted from their life, was deprived of all that had been called, "Human". To be acknowledged, that is, to be addressed as an individual by their "Keepers" ran the risk of some immediate punishment, otherwise, a Jew was faceless.

What Blanchot calls in Otherwise than Being, the mobility of the immobile- Or, what Lars Iyer (Lecturer in Philosophy Centre for Research in Knowledge, Science and Society) points out so well----"For the SS, the prisoners placed in their charge have no particularity, no existence; they are without face or, it would seem, speech. As Antelme recounts, it was ill-advisable for the deportees to allow their faces to be distinguished. A face was not only useless but also, in spite of itself, rather dangerous; to wear spectacles, for example, is to risk an individuation that might mark one out for punishment. This is why the deportees attempted to negate their faces themselves, to bear, each of them, a collective, anonymous face that would allow none of them to be singled out. In their identical outfits, with the same shaved heads and exhibiting the same starvation by degrees, they would disappear into the magma. This was not an extermination camp prisoners were not systematically murdered in their thousands, but they were systematically deprived of food; anonymously, collectively, they were starved and worked to death."

Humans reduced to the lowest of life forms-that is the greatest tragedy I see.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 02/07/06 - The problem of knowledge (continued).............

As my quotation has given the impression that only philosophers are under attack I am adding the beginning of the article :

"The topic of the unity of science has something of a quaint air about it nowadays. Especially when the matter is raised by a philosopher, it is likely to conjure up all kinds of images from the past:

* ancient images of the Parmenidean One;
* mediaeval images of Thomistic metaphysics reigning as queen of the sciences;
* early 19th century images of the separate sciences as stages in the unfolding of the Hegelian Absolute Spirit;
* turn-of-the-century images of Machian science as the most economical organisation of sensations, with metaphysics as the greatest danger to the unity of science;
* early 20th century images of the stark anti-metaphysical zeal of the Vienna Circle for the unity of science movement resolutely reconstructing the sum of scientific knowledge on the model of a logical system of observation statements.

Very diverse images, to be sure: both idealist and materialist; both metaphysical and anti-metaphysical; both phenomenalist and physicalist; but they all have in common an unmistakable quality of quaintness. We recognise the sincerity and human striving underlying them, of course, but a musty air clings to them all.

It was all such a long time ago and we are so much more sophisticated now. We have come such a long way. We have come to know just how problematic is our knowledge. We no longer entertain such bright hopes for our science. We stand amidst the debris of discarded unities, the ruins of demolished systems. We do not talk nowadays about the unity of science.

But perhaps we should. Certainly, we should do something. We cannot go on pretending that all is well, chattering pleasantly about small and simple things, oblivious of the large and complex matters that are virtually crying out for our attention.

Of course, work is being done and progress is being made, certainly by scientists. Experiments proceed and the empirical data accumulates, but who knows how it all adds up, what it all means, what the overall shape of it is ?

But we really must know. We must know what are the implications of it all for forming a picture of what sort of a world it is in which we live and flutter about and what sort of creatures we are living and fluttering about in it.

But who is to know such things? And how? The scientists will say it is not their job. The separate sciences are in the grip of an escalating specialisation that makes it almost impossible for scientists to understand what is being said by other scientists within the subdivisions of their own discipline, let alone by scientists in other disciplines.

Gone are the days of the scientist who knew all of science or even of the physicist who knew all of physics.

But if scientists cannot make any sense of it, then who can? Certainly the philosophers don't seem very promising candidates. They have retreated for the most part into the subdivisions of their own discipline, sometimes becoming more technical, sometimes becoming more fuzzy, but always becoming more insular. Most of them know almost nothing about science anyway, unlike philosophers of the past, who in other eras were undifferentiated from scientists."

What say you?

Dark_Crow answered on 02/07/06:

"Good prose is like a windowpane," George Orwell wrote and Perversions of language is what the Philosopher is faced with.

Derrida: "Those who wish to simplify at all costs and who raise a great hue and cry about obscurity because they do not recognize the unclarity of their good old 'Aufklrung' are in my eyes dangerous dogmatists and tedious obscurantists", 'Limited, Inc', 119).


What you are lamenting is the system-dream of philosophy- a promise on which it cannot deliver.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 02/05/06 - What are your views on the problem of knowledge?

.... In connection with our recent discussions I've come across an interesting article in which the following lines occur:

"Today's philosophers indeed seem singularly unfit for the job. When it comes to foundational tasks, and even more to constructive tasks, there is massive failure of nerve on the part of the philosophers. It has become so complicated to know what it is to know that philosophers despair of knowing and urge us all to renounce the notion of philosophy as a foundational discipline, much less a constructive one, and to just carry on the conversation that constitutes our culture.

It is tempting to acquiesce, so enormous are the problems and complications. But we must not, for the world cannot afford this epistemological paralysis, this ontological despair."

http://www.comms.dcu.ie/sheehanh/unitysc.htm

Dark_Crow answered on 02/05/06:

I think the author has constructed a strawman. So far as I know the only problem is skilled facilitation- to draw out the information- and that is a matter for critical thinking not philosophy.


Tacit knowledge problems (i.e. trying to document personal knowledge that is unwritten)

Explicit knowledge problems (i.e. finding ways to document and then reuse knowledge)

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Question/Answer
hmghaly asked on 02/02/06 - Hamas again...

Dear all,

Apparently this issue has been raised before, but didn't any of those calling for "Political Reform" in the Middle East recognize the possibility that such groups will reach power due to this??

Hussein

Dark_Crow answered on 02/02/06:

As I understand it, Hussein. Bush was so sure Hamas would make a poor showing it did not occur to him they would be so popular, another point showing how little he understands the Arab world. I think there is some similarity between what is happening now and when the British White Paper (the independent Palestine governed jointly by Arabs and Jews.) was issued and the Irgun concentrated all its efforts against British troops.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 01/31/06 - What, if anything, can we learn from history?

Philosophers like Hegel and Marx have drawn philosophical conclusions from historical events. How far have such attempts been successful?

Dark_Crow answered on 01/31/06:

The task of history, says Karl Marx, "is thus to establish the truth about this world once the otherworld has proved illusory. The immediate task of philosophy, which is in the service of history, is to unmask human self-alienation in its secular forms now that it has been unmasked in its sacred forms.] [ " the critique of religion is the prerequisite of all criticism ".
This seems fairly accurate to me.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 01/29/06 - Consciousness and language

.................................What are your views on the theory that the evolution of consciousness was an outgrowth of the development of language?

Dark_Crow answered on 01/29/06:

I am still following Peirce on this matter. Have you studied Peirce? And so it is, from this, that language is the fabric of Human consciousness.

"... I was long ago (1867) led, after only three or four years' study, to throw all ideas into the three classes of Firstness, of Secondness, and of Thirdness. This sort of notion is as distasteful to me as to anybody; and for years, I endeavored to pooh-pooh and refute it; but it long ago conquered me completely. Disagreeable as it is to attribute such meaning to numbers, and to a triad above all, it is as true as it is disagreeable. The ideas of Firstness, Secondness, and Thirdness are simple enough. Giving to being the broadest possible sense, to include ideas as well as things, and ideas that we fancy we have just as much as ideas we do have, I should define Firstness, Secondness, and Thirdness thus:
Firstness is the mode of being of that which is such as it is, positively and without reference to anything else.
Secondness is the mode of being of that which is such as it is, with respect to a second but regardless of any third.
Thirdness is the mode of being of that which is such as it is, in bringing a second and third into relation to each other." (A Letter to Lady Welby, CP 8.328, 1904)

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Question/Answer
Jon1967 asked on 01/28/06 - What now?

After the Hamas electoral victory, what now?

No more road-map. No more road.

Too bad for those (few) Palestinians who actually did want peace. Too bad for the Israelis who did want peace. It is now a cold awakening, and the illusions (of those who had them) are now shattered. At least now Israel knows (or should know) what it is dealing with.

Dark_Crow answered on 01/28/06:

Grim is the outlook- another but smaller Iran? Hamas is already talking of an Army; I wonder where the funds for that would come from.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 01/27/06 - What are your views on monism?

.......................There is a tendency to reduce all phenomena to one principle (e.g. consciousness) or one kind of "ultimate substance" and to view reality as one organic whole. It is certainly economical to do this, yet mind and matter, to give two examples, both appear real enough and difficult to explain in terms of the other. That is why Bertrand Russell postulated "neutral monism" as a solution, mind and matter both being derived from one unknown source. Do you regard his theory as reasonable?

Dark_Crow answered on 01/27/06:

There is no evidence for any one thing reproducing itself.

So no, I don't regard it as reasonable.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 01/21/06 - What are your views on consciousness?

........ My own view is that it is a state of mind and cannot exist independently of mind. In its most developed form it implies the power of abstraction in order to recognise oneself as an individual. Like rationality, consciousness does not seem to me adequately explained as a by-product of physical processes.

Dark_Crow answered on 01/21/06:

No explanation for "free will" is I think more apt, Tony.

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Question/Answer
Bradd asked on 01/20/06 - Morality and Religion

Is morality (or the social contract) feasible without religion?

Atheists, relatively few in number, say yes, but are they simply projecting an altruistic view which they, composed mostly of high-minded individuals, naively assume everybody else will accept?

From Socrates to Spinoza, religion, believed or not, is seen as the glue that holds societies together.

As religion declines in the affluent societies, and immorality increases, what will take its place? Social Darwinism?

By religion, I don't mean any particular creed, but rather the common mythos that all social groups tend to pass on to their children. Its strength is that it is not reduced by "science" - it transcends mere logic and resonates in the human psyche.

Could there be something of ultimate truth in such an a-rational aspect of the human condition?



Dark_Crow answered on 01/21/06:

Morals are a matter for Aesthetics

Where dwells, accounting for taste,
Pleasure, may be summoned, while
Taste, arises of its own volition.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 01/18/06 - Is beauty entirely in the eye of the beholder?

It would seem not, given facts like the golden ratio:

http://technology.guardian.co.uk/online/science/story/0,12450,875198,00.html

Dark_Crow answered on 01/19/06:

Beauty is transient/ temporary

All flesh is green grass,

When green grass has dried up/ the blossom has withered;
What then?

But what if there are hypocrisy and selfish vanity lurking behind the physical charm? Then the beauty is only skin deep, and it hides an inner ugliness. When the prettiness fades, what will be left? How much better if the good looks are matched by an unfading inner beauty of goodness.

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 01/16/06 - Mathematics Geeks Rule the World

""Math geeks now rule the world -- at least according to BusinessWeek. With access to inordinate amounts of data on the Internet, mathematicians are transforming many businesses -- from advertising to media, even food and beverage. The downside is a further erosion of privacy, but for businesses the upside is enormous. One study shows Ford could have sold more than $625 million of trucks had it upped its online ad budget from 2.5 percent to six percent. Guess what? Ford promptly decided to put 30 percent of its $1 billion budget in media targeted to individuals. Investors scratching their head over why their stock hasn't budged despite a jump in buybacks now have their answer: much of that money goes to compensate employees with options.""


Interesting.

How does one decide about who 'runs the world'? I have my own opinion about that, what is your idea(s)???

Comments please.

Dark_Crow answered on 01/17/06:

Dubya, Dubya, our great leader

Doesnt need to play by rules

Quite unlike his pere preceder

Feels the world is full of fools

They dont see our countrys purity

Granted us by God, above

So, George says, they must endure it, he

Only kills them out of love.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 01/14/06 - What is mathematics?........................

It has been argued that both logic and mathematics are manmade systems, the truths of which do not exist outside the human mind. Yet the affinity between mathematical equations and the physical world, for example, seems to require explanation. Is it a coincidence that the Poisson distribution describes so beautifully a wide range of scientific phenomena? Radioactive decay is the only truly random process known in nature and yet it can be mathematically predicted with remarkable accuracy.

I believe both logic and mathematics are rooted in reality and other minds in the universe would discover the same truths and principles known to us. Numbers do not exist in a Platonic realm but nor are they are fictions devised by man!

Dark_Crow answered on 01/15/06:

Egyptians making use of geometry constructed the first, "Miracle"- Apparently unknown to Hume- Pyramids in prehistoric times. It was the Greeks (Euclid); however, who first began to try to prove facts about it.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 01/13/06 - What is truth?...................................

Attempts have been made to explain truth as nothing more than linguistic convention. According to this theory, if language did not exist neither would truth! Yet truth is widely regarded as correspondence between belief and reality, e.g. our belief is true if we believe the world is round and the world is in fact round. Correspondence is a relation and not a human construct. So the truth is not invented but discovered.

Bertrand Russell tried to evade the reality of "universals", i.e. abstract ideas like truth and beauty. He gave up the attempt when he realised that it is impossible to deny that similarity exists whether we recognise it or not. Even if no human beings existed the facts would remain the same... (except the fact that there are human beings!)

Dark_Crow answered on 01/13/06:

Truth is a quest that can't be limited only to the linguistic concept, but, as a linguistic concept I define it as a property of our beliefs and opinions.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 01/10/06 - Science versus Philosophy and Religion?

........."If we take in our hand any volume; of divinity, or school metaphysics, for instance; let us ask, Does it contain any abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number? No. Does it contain any experimental reasoning concerning quantity or number? No. Does it contain any experimental reasoning concerning matter of fact and existence? No. Commit it then to the flames. For it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion."

This attack by David Hume seems to consider science as the most reliable, if not the only, form of genuine knowledge. Yet Hume's view that the mind is no more than a "bundle of impressions" is metaphysical and unscientific. It implies that reality consists of "impressions", whatever they may be.

Many people today regard science as more informative than philosophy and religion, although most scientists would agree that all their conclusions are provisional and may be modified in the light of further discoveries. The only certainty related to science is the fact that science exists!

I believe all knowledge is based on consciousness. This is a matter of fact but it is not based on abstract or experimental reasoning concerning quantity or number. It is a consensus of individual experiences which is based on introspection, logic and abstract reasoning.

Dark_Crow answered on 01/10/06:

It is not supposed to happen. Not in the hallowed halls of science.
Not where dispassionate, objective pursuers of truth labor tirelessly in their laboratories. Not where dedicated researchers, committed to finding truth regardless of where the search may lead, seek to unravel the secrets of nature. It is not supposed to happen in a united body of men and women fighting shoulder to shoulder to turn back the ravages of disease for the blessing of mankind.

Who would suspect that dedicated scientists such as these would manipulate their data to back their contentions? Or select what supports their theory and discard what doesnt? Or record experiments they have never performed and falsify data to buttress conclusions they could not prove? Or report studies they had never made and claim authorship of articles they had never worked on or even seen? Who would ever suspect such shenanigans in the halls of science?

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Question/Answer
CeeBee2 asked on 01/09/06 - Philosophy of American education

Currently, American education seems to be 'teaching for the tests' that are the basis for President Bush's No Child Left Behind program - and to guarantee each child's self esteem. This harkens back to the educational philosophy of John Dewey who didn't believe in students excelling in knowledge, but believed the purpose of education was to socialize and teach students to do what they were told.

Back in 1975, Marva Collins, a unhappy teacher in the Chicago Public School system, decided to start her own school. Her curriculum was/is based on classical literature, ideas, lofty thoughts, and abstract concepts in order to teach children the values that hold societies together. Fourth graders in her school, for example, read Plato's Republic. Students are taught to appreciate the nuances of language, how to analyze and challenge what they read, and to express their opinions.

Not long after, in 1982, philosopher Mortimer Adler got together with a diverse bunch of educators and intellectuals to form the Paideia Group. Its members fomulated a list of "Paideia Principles" that were intended to improve U.S. education.

Their three complementary instructional techniques were:

didactic instruction of factual information;
intellectual coaching of skills; and
seminar discussion of ideas, concepts, and values.

Adler emphasized that the classics should be taught to children in the Socratic method, so that even young children learn how to discuss what they have read.

Recently I heard a long-time eighth grade teacher in an American public school mention that she is required to document that she uses one of seven 'engaging strategies' every day in her classes. Similarly, I read in George Will's January 16, 2006 Newsweekcolumn that today's primary and secondary teachers believe that education is about 'self-actualization' or 'finding one's joy' or 'social adjustment' or 'multicultural sensitivity' or 'minority empowerment' "but is never about anything as banal as mere knowledge" (p. 98).

Did American education fall off the boat? And what can it do to climb back on?

Dark_Crow answered on 01/10/06:

In times past, most people felt that the way to success and happiness was by getting a college education. But now many are having second thoughts about this.
What is responsible for the changing attitude? A combination of factors that were not so obvious a decade or two ago. These factors have now built up to the point where higher education is in a state of crisis in many countries.
One of the most comprehensive studies on the problems facing education was made recently by the Carnegie Corporation in the United States. A participant, Charles Silberman, editor and former college teacher, said of the study: When we began, I thought the severest critics of the schools were overstating things. But now I think they were understating them.
One area of criticism has to do with the study courses of many colleges. Some educators feel that often the courses do not prepare youths for the fields they will be entering, or for life in general.
For instance, fundamental to the entire education structure is the training of the teachers. But of this vital area Mr. Silberman stated: I have yet to meet a teacher in the middle-class suburban school who considered his preparation even remotely adequate. On the contrary, the great majority agree with the judgment of Seymour Sarason of Yale, that the contents and procedures of teacher education frequently have no demonstrable relevance to the actual teaching task.
This same criticism is also leveled at other fields of education, not just teacher training. Too often courses are studied that have little or no relationship to what the student will be doing after he graduates. That is why many educators feel that, for a liberal arts degree in particular, more emphasis should be placed on how to learn rather than on learning facts that will never be used. But that takes considerable skill on the part of teachers. And as the Carnegie report shows, teachers themselves admit to being unprepared.
Also, what makes the matter more complex is that the average teacher is more and more unable to give students the personal attention they need. Why? in the huge colleges of today, the student is lost in a maze of fellow students. The days when teachers had small classes and carried on question-and-answer sessions with about a dozen students at a time have been superseded by crowded conditions. Classes are large, campuses are congested like the streets of big cities, dormitories are cramped and some are far from quiet for study purposes.U.S. News & World Report.
Thus, colleges increasingly resemble huge factories turning out graduates unprepared, or uncertain, as to their lifes work

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 01/08/06 - What are your views on equality?

................... Individual lives are so different it is surprising the principle of equality was ever established in legal systems throughout the world. I don't believe the principle is simply a human convention because it is linked with the value of life. It wouldn't matter how people were treated if life were valueless.

One example of equality is equality before the law, e.g. that everyone has the same right to be presumed innocent. This presumption is based not on emotion but on reason. Why should some be presumed guilty simply because of their ethnic origin or social status? There is no rational basis for such a presumption.

But is being reasonable necessarily valuable? Yes, because the pursuit of the truth requires integrity. Although logic (or science) and morality are not generally associated, the decision to be logical or scientific presupposes acceptance of the need to be objective, to adhere to certain rules and to accept conclusions which may be undesirable. So belief in inequality based on racist prejudice has to be abandoned in the face of the facts about human beings.

Far from morality being a matter of emotion it is a case of reason overcoming emotion!

Dark_Crow answered on 01/09/06:

All men are created equal. What a beautiful thought! How tragic that the reality is quite the opposite!
A prince and a pauper may be born in the same city on the same day, but the silver spoon of wealth and privilege will likely favor the one just as poverty will affect the other. This is just one aspect that shows why it cannot be said that all people today are born equal.

Education can be a great equalizer when its facilities are readily available, but it does not always work out that way. In many countries, hard-earned money still must be paid for even the most rudimentary aspects of learning.
For example, in one country of the southern hemisphere, only 20 percent of the people are literate. It is not uncommon there to find a family in which the two oldest children are reasonably well educated but the rest receive no education at all, simply because the family budget will not allow for it. Other developing countries face similar problems.


Certainly, you will agree that the pursuit of equality has a long way to go!

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Question/Answer
Lukas asked on 01/07/06 - sufi

Who is it a sufi master? I'm asking this cause i heard that they learnt how to control their minds/bodies? Is that true? Do you know anything about this?
thanks

Dark_Crow answered on 01/07/06:

That would be God or me. I control both my mind and body, to some extent. Now if you mean, all, control of mental and physical that would be God.

Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 01/05/06 - What is the foundation of morality?

...........................I believe human life is valuable because it is a source of opportunities for development and enjoyment. That is why it is unreasonable to harm or kill a human being except in self-defence. Morality is not therefore subjective, relative and based on human convention but objective, universal and based on facts about human nature.

Dark_Crow answered on 01/06/06:

[The] foundation is of course survival- from that beginning many [a] theory were borne into various cultures. I happen to be particularly prone to America's current basis for morality.

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Question/Answer
Lukas asked on 01/04/06 - time/space

Hello

There is an expression "no time and space" that i came across a few times while reading different books. For example "there was no time and space for him" or " he was the enemy of time and space" How to understand this TIME and SPACE. Is it connected with some specific current in philosophy? What it may mean that there is no time and no space? Does it make sense?
thank you!

Dark_Crow answered on 01/04/06:

As has been pointed out, the question might mean most anything; that is, it is insidiously indeterminate. One interesting interpretation is perhaps that time and space is the personification of the mind of god, as the author of every work on every branch of knowledge, both human and divine.

Question/Answer
Choux asked on 12/31/05 - Leopold Kronecker, German Mathematician

"God created the integers, all the rest is the work of man."

Would someone explain this quote to me?
Thanks in advance.

Dark_Crow answered on 01/01/06:

That was his way of saying, " All human knowledge is derived from human experience."

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 12/29/05 - What is the evidence that God exists?

........ Amongst the reasons for my own belief are:

The upward trend of evolution in the development of rationality, consciousness, sensitivity, autonomy and spirituality.

The astonishing history of the Chosen People who believe in the Unknown God and the Messiah, and have suffered persecution throughout history culminating in the unparallelled horror of the Holocaust.

The life, death and teaching of Jesus of Nazareth whose moral code of love and unforgiveness remains unsurpassed.

The fact that life is a constant struggle between good and evil - which exist not simply in the minds of human beings but in the conflict between creation and destruction, integrity and corruption, nobility and degradation.

The fact that countless miracles have occurred in answer to prayer.

The exquisite beauty in art and nature.

Dark_Crow answered on 12/29/05:

There does seem to be a proof of Divine Providence- the activity of God as accomplished through law- in contrast to the miraculous, by which a God operating independent of law.

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 12/27/05 - Fallacy

What is the fallacy of many questions.

Thanks.

Dark_Crow answered on 12/28/05:

Logic using fallacy as a means of argument is as useless as tits on a man, although, one might feel some sense of enjoyment, or satisfaction, there are no proofs accomplished.
A person has little more control over the inference drawn from any event that they face- than they do over a bowl-movement or hunger.

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 12/24/05 - What is the meaning of hope....

in the lives of human beings.

Is hope always positive?
Are there negative aspects of hope?

Definition of hope::: noun 1. A wish or desire accompanied by confident expectation of its fulfillment.
2. Something that is hoped for or desired: Success is our hope.
3. One that is a source of or reason for hope: the team's only hope for victory.
4. often Hope Christianity. The theological virtue defined as the desire and search for a future good, difficult but not impossible to attain with God's help.
5. Archaic. Trust; confidence.

Thoughtful comments appreciated.

Dark_Crow answered on 12/25/05:

Dum vita est spes est - While life is, hope is. While there is life there is hope

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 12/24/05 - What is wrong with atheism?!

.

Dark_Crow answered on 12/24/05:

It's been said before: "Absence of proof is not proof of absence." William Cowpers (1731-1800)

It is because there is no evidence, because it seems so impossible, that people make the leap of faith and believe.

The belief of Atheist is no different than the claim of Religion; with both there is the absence of proof.

So here we are essentially faced with the question: what is the value of believing in God if you can't influence him? Different people will offer different answers to this question. I think the most honest general answer here is hope. Hope of one sort or another.

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 12/21/05 - What is Wrong with GodAlmighty Belief....

What is wrong with GodAlmighty belief?

Dark_Crow answered on 12/22/05:

In a word, intolerance.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 12/19/05 - Are all metaphysical theories equally probable?

... When investigating the nature of reality it seems desirable at the outset to avoid making any assumptions, e.g. that everything has its origin in matter (or mind). Is it reasonable to assume initially that all metaphysical theories are equally probable - provided they are intelligible, coherent and consistent?

Dark_Crow answered on 12/19/05:

Those are "Big" words- Metaphysical and Theory, so I will start with three equally 'Big" assumptions: We have been on earth from the beginning- We were placed here by a Creator- we were brought here by Alien from another Planet.

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 12/15/05 - Clarification: Jew-Christian

Ok, now look, Christianity is an offshoot of Judaism, and the culture that developed in Europe is a result of years of the Christian(and Jewish) religion's influence.

Worldview....guilt, perfectionism, sin, legal mentality.....etc....etc...

In Asan culture...NOT sin and guilt mentality and whatever else...how about passivity?

OK, what I wanted to know is what are ten or so qualities of Western Civ that can be traced back to the Jew-Christian religious worldview??

I am not making any value judgement of any kind.
This is just a question....
Thanks.

That's what I am asking...

Mary Sue


PS I was unable to make a clarification under the question due to something or other.

Dark_Crow answered on 12/16/05:

Christianity is not an offshoot of Judaism Choux; Judaism exists today as a Pagan practice.

A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.

By providing the protecting gourd and then taking it away, God made known to Jonah that He will show mercy and loving-kindness according to His own good pleasure.Jonah 1:2; 3:2-4, 10; 2:10; 4:6, 10, 11.

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 12/14/05 - Judeo-Christian

I don't know if anyone here knows, but what are, in general, say, ten characteristics of Judeo-Christian culture/society whatever as it developed throughout Europe. As opposed to Asian cultures. World view, qualities that led to science, etc. Thanks.

Dark_Crow answered on 12/15/05:

Giambattista Vico, in the year 1725 wrote the Principles of a New Science Concerning the Common Nature of Nations. In it he propounded a cyclical theory of history, according to which human societies progress through a series of stages from barbarism to civilization and back to barbarism; which if true would indicate little difference in cultures but for the time in which they occur.

One thing they have in common is the belief that what can be asserted without evidence, can also be dismissed without evidence.

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 12/14/05 - GOOD LUCK, IRAQ!



Thanks to God, our United States Constitution will continue to allow us freedom and justice. Transversely, a new bonafide Societal Constitution will allow you to live MORALLY and ETHICALLY in your NEIGHBORHOODS without any necessity to amend any FOUNDATION based on happiness for all. Perhaps political entrapment will be non-existent. Your new CHARTER OF DECENCY will see to it. Let this goodness help you abide by all laws that need to be obeyed. The BY-LAWS of your new REPUBLIC will be secondary in importance only when intervention deals with fundamental DEMOCRATIC law. A new SOCIETAL CONSTITUTION will afford you God-given rights to monitor your own progression in your NEIGHBORHOODS, TOWNS and CITIES. This new manner of community indulgence will help you gratify willingness so you can SURVIVE morally and ethically.

"Men by their constitutions are naturally divided into two p[artries: (1) Those who fear and distrust the people, and wish to draw all powers from them into the hands of the higher classes. (2) Those who identify themselves with the people, have confidence in them, cherish and consider them as the most honest and safe, although not the mose wise depository of the public interests. In every country these two parties exist; and in every one where they are free to think, speak and qwrite, they will declare themselves ." - Thomas Jefferson (in a letter to Henry Lee dated August 10, 1824)

Let us and all people enlighten those obedient and brave souls who go to the polls tomorrow. Let the tyranny and oppressions of body and mind vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day. Let these forces of duty not only effect obligations and faithfulness to protect the affections and personalities of the burdensome, but effectuate the accomplishments as well. Allow this power of vigor to intensify action that must exist within your minds as a life-giving force. Without it, you're meek and weak. ENJOY YOUR FREEDOM! I'm sure ALLAH, your Supreme Being, wants you to ... forever!

HANK


Dark_Crow answered on 12/14/05:

I wish them the best, and hope, they have less trouble establishing freedom than our forefathers.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 12/10/05 - What is consciousness?.....................

Is it a state of mind? How fundamental is it?

Dark_Crow answered on 12/11/05:

No

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 12/09/05 - What are your views on consciousness?

.

Dark_Crow answered on 12/10/05:

I do not know where consciousness ends, but mind, body, brain, and environment seem to be parts of it.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 12/07/05 - When and how do minds originate?

.

Dark_Crow answered on 12/08/05:

The brain is an instrument of the mind The brain is composed of several parts, each having special functions, performing connectedly and interdependently. The part that we are most concerned with at present is the higher section, which takes in primarily the cerebrum, with its external layer of gray matter, the cerebral cortex. However, the other parts of the brain cannot be ignored in considering any function of the mind.

It is important to remember that the mind does not function by itself. The entire body contributes to its operation. All the organs of the body being interrelated, are interdependent, in harmony with the Bible explanation that man is a unit, a soul. (Gen. 2:7; 1 Cor. 12:14-20) Each organ has its effect on the personality. The brain gets its information through the senses. These senses are essential to the brains function. They also supply feedback, without which the brain would be of little practical use. When you pick up a fruit, perhaps a peach, your eye relays to your mind the position, direction and speed of your hand, constantly making corrections. Your sense of touch tells the mind when the fingers touch the peach, the strength of your grip on it, enough to hold it but not so much that you crush it. At the same time the saliva and other digestive juices may begin to flow in anticipation of eating it

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 12/05/05 - Language

Do men and women experience language differently?

I had the media on today, and an expert was talking about language and being male or female. He said that women had more brain receptors that dealt with language. For example, if a man and a woman have the same kind of stroke, a man will lose far more language than a woman. The reason, a woman has language areas in both hemispheres of her brain.

I wonder.
Any comments would be appreciated.

Dark_Crow answered on 12/06/05:

Nothing new there; this has been a known fact for some time Choux; everyone knows a woman needs more words to say the same thing.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 12/03/05 - Is a "theory of everything" a chimera?

...

Dark_Crow answered on 12/03/05:

The Theory of Everything, or, a theory of everything?
One must first have knowledge in order to understand what they see.
We must avoid here two complementary errors: on the one hand that the world has a unique, intrinsic, pre-existing structure awaiting our grasp and on the other hand that the world is in utter chaos. The first error is that of the student who marveled at how the astronomers could find out the true names of distant constellations. The second error is that of the Lewis Carrolls Walrus who grouped shoes with ships and sealing wax, and cabbages with kings...
~Reuben Abel, Man is the Measure

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 11/30/05 - Dying

Dying

"I heard a fly buzz when I died;
The stillness round my form
Was like the stillness in the air
Between the heaves of storm.

The eyes beside had wrung them dry,
And breaths were gathering sure
For that last onset, when the king
Be witnessed in his power.

I willed my keepsakes, signed away
What portion of me I
Could make assignable,-and then
There interposed a fly,

With blue, uncertain, stumbling buzz,
Between the light and me;
And then the windows failed, and then
I could not see to see."===Emily Dickinson


An odd thing happened last night at about 2:30AM. I was preparing to lie down, Nick the Cat was in bed with me all in a furry circle, the lights were off and as my head almost hit the pillow a teensy flying insect went into my ear. Tiny zzzz'ts zz'ts echoing softly in my ear.

I ran out of Q-Tips about two months ago, so I just lay my head down and tried to think what to do. My head was turned so that my ear was open to the air.

I could feel that the little guy was stuck; I felt the soft movement of wings zzzz't zzz't brushing the inside of my ear ever so slightly. I thought that this may be the final incident to send me out the front door screaming. zzzz't zzz't

I thought of Emily Dickinson's masterpiece....[printed above] zzz't just passing time........stuck my finger in my ear a few times....too short....zzzzt....


Today is another day. I would say to all the philosophers who read my true story from tosay, 11-30-05, when you run out of Q-tips, go straight to the store and replace them.

Mary Sue

Dark_Crow answered on 12/02/05:

'Van muerte tan escondida,
Que no te sienta venir,
Porque el plazer del morir
No me torne a dar la vida.'

That's Spanish from Miguel de Cervantes. 'Come quickly O death! but be sure and don't let me see you coming, lest the pleasure I shall feel at your appearance should unfortunately bring me back again to life.'

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 11/30/05 - Obscurity and Profundity

............................................ Apparently simple questions, like "What is goodness?" are among the most difficult to answer. Is obscurity and even a degree of unintelligibility to be expected in profound explanations?

Dark_Crow answered on 11/30/05:

Reasoning can not be used to define goodness for all people.
Far too many intellectuals are missing out on the understanding of life and the enjoyment through binding themselves to Reason, as the only source of knowledge, at the neglect of cosmic intuition. I need a context to understand goodness.

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Question/Answer
Oldstillwild asked on 11/28/05 - Basics

The mother of all philosophies is the philosophy of life.Life is subjective,unique and irreplaceable.This implies,that the truth about life is to be found within oneself.....and that everything else is inferior to this.
You cant make anyone else's truth your own......
Tom orrow will be the Great Book-burning for people who really want to know themselves!
Im looking for a BBQ where I can burn the book....
Anyone?

Dark_Crow answered on 11/29/05:

Many books contain Fact. As mine will. Not to confuse fact with knowledge, put out thr fire and go home read a good book by the fireplace.

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Question/Answer
Jim.McGinness asked on 11/25/05 - Should drawing, music, and dance be considered language?

Dan (roseneds) in a comment on my answer to an earlier question said:

Just one note -- drawing, music and dance are languages also, just not necessarily verbal ones.
I wonder about this. In the context of Tony's earlier question, does it ring true?

I had claimed
It is certainly possible for thought to be expressed without language: music, drawing, dance are alternative modalities.
I am aware of efforts to encode language into dance (e.g. Rudolf Steiner's eurythmy). Both ballet and mime can act out a story for the audience without using words. I acknowledge that these are means of communication, but I find it curious to claim they amount to language. American Sign Language and similar signing languages for the deaf may count as languages in their own right (as opposed to encodings of oral languages).

Is this merely a question of two different meanings for the word language? Did Dan misunderstand me or have I misunderstood Dan?

Dark_Crow answered on 11/25/05:

There is a rule about arguments which tells us that if a term in the conclusion refers to the whole of its class, then the evidence pointing to that conclusion must also have told us about the whole class.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 11/20/05 - To what extent does language obscure thought?

For example, to define is to impose limits where they may not exist. Definitions tend to lead to an atomist view of reality and ignore the continuity of processes. Yet it is impossible to dispense with definitions...

Dark_Crow answered on 11/20/05:

I find it interesting that you suppose language obscures thought. Thought, in my mind, created language to better express the senses. Feeling originates as described by Peirece as First ness in his theory of Being. That is, not awareness of the environment but rather the sense of other than self. If you have not read his metaphysics I highly recommend it. It helped me to understand better all the Philosophers previously who spoke about Being.

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 11/16/05 - Dark Crow

Where is Dark Crow? I miss him.

Dark_Crow answered on 11/17/05:

I miss you too snookums, and everyone else here. Nothing happened to me, just busy.

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Question/Answer
Bradd asked on 10/31/05 - Logic Can Be Fun - Or Can It?

Read the following sentence.

"This statement is a lie".

Is the sentence a lie or not a lie?

If it's a lie, then the sentence is not a lie. If it's not a lie, then the sentence is a lie.

True or false, in place of lie, works too.

Dark_Crow answered on 11/01/05:

The problem is is that that is not logic by any method I am familiar with, For instance, both Peirce and Euclids procedure in proving theorems is to first present the theorem in general terms and then translate it into singular terms; next comes construction, which is followed by demonstration. Finally the ergo-sentence repeats the original general proposition.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 10/26/05 - Why are humans more altruistic than chimps?

...

Dark_Crow answered on 10/27/05:

That the innate altruism of European descent could be manipulated to the point of creating an entirely different nation in this country is evidence to that.

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Question/Answer
keenu asked on 10/22/05 - Second question

(You don't have to answer on both boards)
Are you a procrastinator?
Again, a simple yes or no is necessary.
Thanks in advance!

Dark_Crow answered on 10/24/05:

most always

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Question/Answer
keenu asked on 10/19/05 - Time perception

Do you perceive time as going by quickly or slowly?
Thank you in advance for your answers!
All I need is a simple yes or no.
(This is quesion 1 of 2)

Dark_Crow answered on 10/19/05:

yes to both; quickly and slow but with a lover, I want a slow woman, one that don't come and go in a rush.

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 10/19/05 - Crimes against Humanity

Saddam Hussein has objected to being put on trial for Crimes against Humanity citing that the court has no jurisdiction over him.

Since we have been speaking of justice, I wonder how any body has authority over the actions of a head of state. Is there a genuine authority?

I am aware of the Nuremberg Trials after WWII, and thr trial of Milosevic of former Yugoslavia.

Under what authority?

Dark_Crow answered on 10/19/05:

Might may not make right, but it does make the judgment and has the power to dispense its own justice.

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 10/16/05 - PANTHEISM:


Rousseau, Einstein and Carl Sagan were Pantheists. Since Pantheism is non-theistic, is it atheistic?

HANK

Dark_Crow answered on 10/19/05:

There are no atheist except on paper. Now is writing it on paper the same as belief? People often confuse a moment of though with belief, that is, something they would stake their life on.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 10/18/05 - What are the criteria of moral progress?

...

Dark_Crow answered on 10/19/05:

Aristotle seemed to believe that Moral excellence comes about as a result of habit. We become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts. As does CS Peirce and I.

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Question/Answer
arcura asked on 10/16/05 - What's the difference between "Justice" and "Social Justice"?

What is the difference in the definition of justice as found in the thoughts of Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, and Aquinas as compared to the social justice in the thoghts of Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau?

Dark_Crow answered on 10/19/05:

These two examples reflect my view.
Aristotle:
Moral excellence comes about as a result of habit. We become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts.

Anatole France:
The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.

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Question/Answer
Oldstillwild asked on 10/10/05 - Truth

The reactions to the previous question demonstrate the reason of infertility on this board.
In the process of creativity sense of humor is a necessary ingredient.
Blindness for one's own bounderies with no relativity kills any fertile ground for sound developments.

Dark_Crow answered on 10/10/05:

There is no place in a civilized society for ad homonyms and one who commits the vile act deserve no respect.

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 10/08/05 - On which facts is religion based?

Thanks in advance for your responses.

Dark_Crow answered on 10/08/05:

It is a fact religion has purpose, and that purpose is always related to action.

And a quote by Peirce.

"The elements of every concept enter into logical thought at the gate of perception and make their exit at the gate of purposive action; and whatever cannot show its passports at both those two gates is to be arrested as unauthorized by reason"

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 10/07/05 - On which beliefs is science based?

...

Dark_Crow answered on 10/08/05:

Probabilities are what science usually acts on.
I think what science does is answer the tough questions. Some people believe that is what philosophy is supposed to do but that is wrong. Philosophy can only answer analytical questions. Philosophy is to help figure out what the right questions to ask are, and to better understand what the questions we are asking actually mean

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Question/Answer
Bradd asked on 10/06/05 - Back to Quantum Mechanics

At the end of the 19th century, physicists were claiming that nothing is left in science except for the engineers to exploit what had been discovered.

Within 25 years, Max Planck and Einstein turned physics on its head like it had never been turned before Newton.

Now we have quantum physics. And string theory. And many universes. And more (see the latest book).

Does reality truly depend on a "conscious" observer? The Niels Bohr/Copenhagen school is rejected by most physicists. An instrument performs equally well in any double-split experiment. Same goes for Schroedinger's cat.

If time is truly non-linear, how are we to know? You must admit, it works very well in toasters and bombs and computers.

Can we be victims of "modernism" - the notion that all that needs to be known is known? Haven't we gone through this in the past - beginning with the classical Greeks? Yet, no one today would think science stopped then.

Is quantum physics the end, or just a new stepping off place? Is its mystery a reflection of an absolute finality - or simply another reflection of our limitations?



Dark_Crow answered on 10/07/05:

So far as folk-philosophy I see no use for Quantum anything. The only philosophy Quantum anything has any value to is Speculative philosophy of science.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 10/01/05 - What is (are) the best test(s) of truth?

.....

Dark_Crow answered on 10/02/05:

The following is a quote by Peirce, "Every lawyer knows how difficult it is for witnesses to distinguish between what they have seen and what they have inferred.", and repersents the only tool for truth.

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Question/Answer
Bradd asked on 10/01/05 - "Quantum Theory"--------------------------

Is it necessary to know "quantum theory" in order to understand reality?

What is "quantum theory"? What is its relationship to philosophy? If any.

Dark_Crow answered on 10/02/05:

Yes, Quantum physics has a great deal of meaning for philosophers of science as well as philosophy of life, for it undermine intuitive notions of intelligibility, locality, and causality.

The Monist by Peirce is a Gem and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the mind/body quandary.

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 09/27/05 - Twilight of the Idols/

The Anti-Christ by Friedrich Nietzsche. I am going to read in these two works, not the entire two volume book, and I questions.

The Intro said that he finished writing these two books in 1888, and in January 1889, went insane at age 44. What kind of "insane"? This never happens, does it? One day writing books and then, boom, insane? Doesn't a person have some sort of noticable decline?


I don't know if people here have read Nietzsche, but if you have, did his writing show any indication of mental imbalance from the beginning, or whenever?

If you were to sum up some of your thoughts on Nietzsche's philosophy, what would you say??

If you were to find fault with some of his philosophical ideas, what would you say?

Thanks for your time.

Dark_Crow answered on 09/28/05:

So much to say, so little time; but you will no doubt like the following quote.
Christianity as antiquity.
-- When we hear the ancient bells growling on a Sunday morning we ask ourselves: Is it really possible! This, for a jew, crucified two thousand years ago, who said he was God's son? The proof of such a claim is lacking. Certainly the Christian religion is an antiquity projected into our times from remote prehistory; and the fact that the claim is believed - whereas one is otherwise so strict in examining pretensions - is perhaps the most ancient piece of this heritage. A god who begets children with a mortal woman; a sage who bids men work no more, have no more courts, but look for the signs of the impending end of the world; a justice that accepts the innocent as a vicarious sacrifice; someone who orders his disciples to drink his blood; prayers for miraculous interventions; sins perpetrated against a god, atoned for by a god; fear of a beyond to which death is the portal; the form of the cross as a symbol in a time that no longer knows the function and ignominy of the cross -- how ghoulishly all this touches us, as if from the tomb of a primeval past! Can one believe that such things are still believed?

Regards, Snookums

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Question/Answer
Oldstillwild asked on 09/25/05 - Science or.....truth

In what world would you want to live.
You HAVE2 choose.

Dark_Crow answered on 09/27/05:

I don't know whether the question itself is a legitimate one. I suppose that it is up to you to make clear what you are asking.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 09/23/05 - Is any form of knowledge self-validating?

....... Can science, for example, claim to be the most fundamental form of knowledge? If not, what can?

Dark_Crow answered on 09/24/05:

What the history of Philosophy shows us is a succession of noble minds, a gallery of heroes of thought, who, by the power of Reason, have penetrated into the being of things, of nature and of spirit, into the Being of God, and have won for us by their labours the highest treasure, the treasure of reasoned knowledge.

The first of these will be to investigate the character of the history of Philosophy, its significance, its nature, and its aim, from which will follow inferences as to its treatment. In particular, we shall get an insight into the relation of the history of Philosophy to the science of Philosophy, and this will be the most interesting point of all. That is to say, this history represents, not merely the external, accidental, events contained within it, but it shows how the content, or that which appears to belong to mere history, really belongs to the science of Philosophy. The history of Philosophy is itself scientific, and thus essentially becomes the science of Philosophy.

~Hegels Lectures on the History of Philosophy

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 09/09/05 - What is your concept of an ideal society?

.........And to what extent do you think it could be implemented?

Dark_Crow answered on 09/10/05:

Some interesting quotes by Nicolas Gomez Davila.
"An "ideal society" would be the graveyard of human greatness."
"Violence is not necessary to destroy a civilization. Each civilization dies from indifference to the unique values which created it."
By that it seems to follow that the ideal society is the one youre in.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 09/06/05 - Which facts are not scientific?

...

Dark_Crow answered on 09/06/05:

Miracles

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 08/30/05 - Is intuition ever reliable?

...

Dark_Crow answered on 09/01/05:

Only in perception after the fact.

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Question/Answer
QueenChoux asked on 09/01/05 - Christianity versus Philosophy

The False Divide Between Religion and Science by Alan Dershowitz. The following is from a blog featuring guest bloggers.

""In the current debate over "intelligent design" versus "evolution," my dear late friend and colleague Stephen Jay Gould is often cited for the proposition that science and religion occupy separate but equal "magisteria." Science deals with questions of fact while religion holds sway over "questions of ultimate meaning and moral value."

The reality is that traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs are based on assertions of fact: namely, that Moses literally received the Torah at Sinai; that the body of Jesus literally disappeared from the crypt; and that Mohammed literally ascended to Heaven on his horse. When Gould and I taught a course
together at Harvard, I asked the students whether their acceptance of religion was premised on the truth of these factual assertions. If a video from a far distant galaxy could prove that these events had not, in fact, occurred, would they reject their religions? Most traditional Christians, Jews and Muslims said yes. (Unitarians, Reform Jews and some others said no.) Although we do not have the tools to prove or disprove the empirical assertions underlying traditional religious beliefs, they are issues of fact that are subject, at least in theory, to the laws of science. Gould was confusing religion with philosophy. Philosophy deals with questions of moral value. ****Traditional Judeo-Christian religions claim their authority over moral values on the basis of supernatural scientific and empirical claims. Without these claims, religious authorities are mere philosophers.*** Hence the conflict, which is not as easily resolvable as Gould would have had it.

***astericks mine.

What are your comments to Prof Dershowitz's essay?

Dark_Crow answered on 09/01/05:

I would say he is wrong in saying..."Science deals with questions of fact while religion holds sway over "questions of ultimate meaning and moral value."

It has been argued that science tells us what is the case and moral principles what ought to be the case and one can't get from 'is' to 'ought'. Wilfrid Sellars pointed out, and rightfully so I think that, []not only can we be mistaken about what we ought to do; even when we are quite confident that we know what we ought to do, we may well fail to do so. Duty may fall before inclination. []as the Eighteenth century British divine, Bishop Butler, put it, we sit down in a cool hour and ask why we should do our duty.

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Question/Answer
Nocturne asked on 08/20/05 - Reasoning

What is reasoning?

Dark_Crow answered on 08/23/05:

Reasoning is thinking; not to be confused with what precedes it. Prior to thinking we (like trees) are doing a lot of things without thinking

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Question/Answer
Jon1967 asked on 08/20/05 - On Truth

Here is a piece from the New Yorker Magazine that deserves wider distribution:

http://www.newyorker.com/critics/atlarge/articles/050822crat_atlarge

Dark_Crow answered on 08/20/05:

The poet David Emmons has written, The world chisels in words that chisel the world.
The author appear to be in the grip of an inarticulate intuitionwhat Wittgenstein calls a picture.

Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 08/13/05 - How far is power based on mental activity?

...

Dark_Crow answered on 08/14/05:

The power of self-reflection is based on mental activity; that is, activity between the self and the not-self. I would say 100% on mental activity.

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Question/Answer
Nocturne asked on 08/11/05 - Is Culture Socially Constructed

Is all that we perceive to be cultural (whether popular, literary, Literary etc) socially constructed?

Dark_Crow answered on 08/11/05:

Well, I would argue that there is a fundamental error in the theory of Socially constructed reality. The problem begins with the epistemological and ontological status of the theory; that is, a clear distinction between reality and knowledge is lacking.
Lack of a clear distinction between reality and knowledge is alone enough reason to doubt the accurate use of the term, Socially constructed reality.

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Question/Answer
Nocturne asked on 08/11/05 - Defense tactics in Criminal Trials

What tactics do good defense lawyers use in criminal trials when defending their clients? For example, how do they discredit the prosecution evidence when a defendant is charged with murder?

Dark_Crow answered on 08/11/05:

Attack the credibility of the witness or evidence.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 07/31/05 - How would you justify morality to a sceptic?

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Dark_Crow answered on 07/31/05:

Pragmatically, is there any other way?

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 07/02/05 - Where does a personal decision originate?

...

Dark_Crow answered on 07/03/05:

Analytically the question you ask is answered in the proposition itself. Kant called such sentences analytic and held that such knowledge was a priori which is to say, independent of sense evidence. The ultimate selection of a plan of action remains with the individual; the courts have consistently decided that all citizens have the right to make all personal decisions for themselves.

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 06/28/05 - Love and Selfhood

"Is the self that is conscious of being alive in the present meaningfully continuous with any version of the self in the past? That question has vexed many writers since the dawn of modernity, and Proust's reflections in the opening section of In Search of Lost Time surely rate as among the most nuanced novelistic treatment of the problem. Now Umberto Eco, in The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana, his fifth novel, attempts to explore this issue through a fascinating narrative premisethe story of a man with abundantly lucid consciousness who is radically cut off from his own past. But there is an odd discrepancy between the fictional form of the book and the way it conceives the problems of memory and identity.

The novel invites us to see it as an absolutely up-to-the-minute artifact of contemporary literature. High and low culture are yoked together (though the latter becomes the lead horse). Visually and textually, the book is an extravagant palimpsest. Joining science with the culture of citation, it begins with a learned disquisition by a neurologist on different kinds of memory and their correlation with different spheres of the brain. The underlying assumptions about memory and selfhood, however, are unexpectedly traditional. The notion that identity is necessarily grounded in the pastan idea that invites some rigorous speculationis taken as axiomatic. Love, somewhat surprisingly, turns out to be the very bedrock of selfhood (an idea that Proust, the supreme analyst of at least certain kinds of love, might not have subscribed to). And the issue of whether cultural texts actually define the selfthe postmodern possibility the novel plays with elaboratelyis, predictably enough, never resolved."

So you think that love is the bedrock of selfhood as Eco postulates?

Sadly, we have no definition of Eco's meaning of "Love" here, but for those who answer, give your definition and go from there. You should be very close.

Dark_Crow answered on 07/03/05:

Love is a second-hand emotion and should be treated as any other emotion; logically. There is a relationship between logic and whatever you want to do in order to find out the truth about things, so there is a relationship between logic and ethics/feelings----Love.
Reasoning about ethical matters is common to everyday life, I might, for instance, reason about whether abortion is ever justified. I might even try to give the following argument:

All murder is wrong.
Abortion is murder.
Therefore, abortion is wrong.

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Question/Answer
CeeBee2 asked on 06/21/05 - Do you agree with the great philosopher...............

Yoda, who once said, "There is no 'try' - there is only 'do' or 'do not'? Why or why not?

Dark_Crow answered on 06/22/05:

The evil lord Darth Vader, obsessed with finding young Skywalker, has dispatched thousands of remote probes into the far reaches of space and the Jedi Master who once trained Kenobi, Yoda, one of the wisest and most powerful Jedi ever, trains Luke on Dagobah.. To his students, the elfin Yoda can appear as either very strict or like a grandfather, testing them to mental and physical extremes one moment and showing warmth the next. Yoda speaks in"Galactic Basic "Object Subject Verb" format. Parody is a form of satire that imitates another work of art in order to ridicule it.

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Question/Answer
Oldstillwild asked on 06/15/05 - Weak and die games.

Shouldnt we introduce the Week and Dye Games?
Weak ,disabled,mentally retarded people and the elderly will be invited and strongly advised to attend these games voluntarily.
One site would be e.g. Cornwall in England to have the contenders enjoy a nice trip.
First the players are friendly asked to jump into the ocean as distincly as possible.
Than there will be a competition,the winner of which is granted the right to choose a fellow contender to jump.If that candidate wont,he himself would be obliged to jump gracefully.
Its a kind of jumpy games....
During the contest the audience will be slowly moving towards the ocean side,making the playground smaller.
At the end no playground is left and all contenders will be thrown overboard if not willingly jumping.
I think,it would be nice and long games for the empty-headed amongst us.
What do you think?

Dark_Crow answered on 06/16/05:

It must be remembered that acceleration of the death process is not an act of murder but in truth a pure act of healing

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 06/14/05 - How can we assess the significance of an event? process?

...

Dark_Crow answered on 06/15/05:

For example; from the meaning (significance) of the Doctors report below we can now be assured that Terris parents were entirely wrong in their assumptions and the court was right.

An autopsy on Terri Schiavo has backed claims that she was in a persistent vegetative state at the time of her death and had irreversible brain damage.
"This damage was irreversible, and no amount of therapy or treatment would have regenerated the massive loss of neurons," he said.
He also said she was blind, because the "vision centers of her brain were dead."
The autopsy found no evidence she had an eating disorder or that strangulation or other trauma led to her collapse.
She also did not appear to have suffered a heart attack, Thogmartin said, and there was no evidence that she was given harmful drugs or other substances prior to her death.

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Question/Answer
keenu asked on 06/12/05 - Our concept of the perfect self

I have come to ask another quesion. If anger is caused by fear of feeling inadequate, or not good enough, by WHAT standards are we measuring ourselves against? Where does the concept of our perfect self come from? Is it innate? Is it acquired through societal conditioning? Are parents responsible?

Dark_Crow answered on 06/13/05:

I am my perfect self There are just some bad habits I need to get rid of. (smile)

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Question/Answer
keenu asked on 06/12/05 - Anger

Where does anger come from?
Exactly what makes us get angry?
Does it vary from person to person,
or is it always based on a perceived injustice of some sorts?
What do you think?

Dark_Crow answered on 06/13/05:

The metaphysical answer to your question is quite different since science speaks to mechanisms, spirituality speaks to meaning. Whatever happens to you happens because it takes you to your next level, and you don't necessarily need to know why. If a person believes that we create our own reality, how do you explain being victimized and betrayed? Anger along with Fear, Blame, Criticism, and you can add Self-Pity are meanings we create and only we can dissolve our own experiences.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 06/08/05 - Why do moral issues arouse so much emotion?

...

Dark_Crow answered on 06/09/05:

I think it is the person; not the issue. For instance Self-actualizing persons are not ego-centered but focus on problems outside themselves. It is possible for them to remain calm and undisturbed by what upsets others.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 06/04/05 - Which vices (if any) are harmless?

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Dark_Crow answered on 06/05/05:

One man's vice is another man's virtue

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 06/03/05 - What are the drawbacks of being dishonest?

...

Dark_Crow answered on 06/04/05:

Vir prudens non contra ventum mingit

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Question/Answer
stiamo_bene_insieme asked on 06/01/05 - Wittgenstein

What did Wittgenstein mean when he said "I can well understand why children love sand.

BF

Dark_Crow answered on 06/02/05:

Intellectual gymnastics cannot supplant direct experience, there are ways to directly experience all

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 05/29/05 - What is wrong with atomism?

... (The theory that everything is derived from atomic particles)

Dark_Crow answered on 05/30/05:

quantum interconnectedness

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Question/Answer
Oldstillwild asked on 05/27/05 - Peeper philosophical meaning.

What is the deeper philosophical meaning behind the word "CockPit"?

Dark_Crow answered on 05/28/05:

The original sense of this term was a pit for fighting cocks.

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 05/27/05 - Does Morality Hold Society Together??

Obituary 5-27-05 Chicago Tribune. Donte Thomas, 19

"Donte Thomas loved basketball, his family, and his role as the protective elder brother. He was only 2 minutes older than his twin brother, Durae.....

.....Mr Thomas, 19, of Chicago died of multiple gunshot wounds Sunday....."

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I don't think that it is morality that holds society together, I think society is held together by something(s) else.

Consider how acceptable anger and violence is with so may Americans; how lying is acceptable(spin, propaganda, for personal gain etc); stealing is everywhere; murder a rite of passage; child abuse and elder abuse de rigor; married people cheating on their spouses via internet relationships and downright subterfuge at motels; etc...

Morality? Where???

As I said, I think that other things hold society together.

What do you think holds society together?

Dark_Crow answered on 05/27/05:

As old as life itself...needs and wants

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Question/Answer
Oldstillwild asked on 05/25/05 - When the sun is in the mind windy philosophy cry for help...

Why do they make gardenparasols having round(!) poles???

Dark_Crow answered on 05/26/05:

Philosophy is sometimes a lot of windy notions

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 05/25/05 - Should a person always be treated as an end?

.....(rather than a means to an end?)

Dark_Crow answered on 05/25/05:

I always hate always questions. I think we should treat people with respect and compassion who deserve it, the others as though they had character.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 05/24/05 - How did morality originate?

...

Dark_Crow answered on 05/24/05:

Straight from the lips of Richard Rorty in a forum


because at some point in prehistory, our ancestors got into the habit of pursuing projects of social cooperation by making marks and noises at each other so as to organize themselves. That turned out to be a fruitful survival mechanism. Eventually our ancestors developed social normssuch as if you grunted "p" you had to grunt "q," or else explain why you didn't grunt "q"which we call following the laws of logic and making valid inferences,

I could have re-written it but too lazy

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 05/23/05 - Why are moral rules (un)necessary?

.........

Dark_Crow answered on 05/24/05:

Of course morals must be taught. That is an important part of the nurturing process of children, but only in the home. Then children can test their morals in society and pick and choose.

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 05/22/05 - The Law Of Equivalency:



The intent of the law of retribution was to ensure that the punishment corresponded to the crime in order to control the punishment inflicted on the guilty one, e.g. Jesus and the law of equivalency. In Matthew 5:38-42, Jesus was not abrogating this important legal principle, but was rather inviting Christians in their daily lives to go beyond the letter of the law.

Brown (1975) attempted to define vigilantism, saying it represented "morally sanctimonious" behavior aimed at rectifying or remedying a "structural flaw" in society, with the flaw usually being some place where the law was ineffective or not enforced.

What do you think?

HANK

Dark_Crow answered on 05/23/05:

I think The intent of the law of retribution should have ncluded Justice; for instance, the event of 9/11 called for retribution and nothing more. That would have been retribution with justice.

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Question/Answer
keenu asked on 05/21/05 - Are we improving or not?

What do you think?
Since the dawn of man, do you think that we are evolving into more intelligent beings or transgressing into idiots?
Personally I see many reasons to go with the idiots theory.

Dark_Crow answered on 05/22/05:

Well the answer follows from the fact every question leads to knowledge.

There have been more and more questions ask as populations growth explodes progressively from year to year.

Therefore the answer to your question is quite obvious from the first and second premise.

Of course the first premise may be questioned and if wrong then the answer that follows would be wrong.

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 05/21/05 - Thinking

Doesn't any attempt to examine/ think about/ whatever *anything* with the conscious mind require that first one must understand the underlying scientific principles involved. That any conclusions or opinions a person may have *cannot be contrary* to the science that underlies that conclusion?

Specifically prompting this question, below, "To what extent can the mind control the body?" This question cannot be answered in any seriousness unless a person understands the science of the human body.

If the science is not the base of the opinion, what are we engaging in? Doesn't this mean that the opinions of a person who is not educated are worthless?

Dark_Crow answered on 05/21/05:

The answer is we must follow the evidence, not science, or any other witchdoctor.

Are you ever going to wake up?

To quote a philosopher named Rorty---
at some point in prehistory, our ancestors got into the habit of pursuing projects of social cooperation by making marks and noises at each other so as to organize themselves. That turned out to be a fruitful survival mechanism. Eventually our ancestors developed social normssuch as if you grunted "p" you had to grunt "q," or else explain why you didn't grunt "q"which we call following the laws of logic and making valid inferences, he added.


Knowledge is a social skill.

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 05/21/05 - Rights

Do individuals have the right to believe anything they want to believe if they act on their beliefs and thereby cause problems for society?

For example, if a person "believes" that American judges are terrorists, talks about it on television and with others....does a person have a "right" to believe what is intrue and act on it?

Dark_Crow answered on 05/21/05:

I really cant imagining myself rationally acting against my beliefs

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 05/14/05 - To what extent can the mind control the body?

...

Dark_Crow answered on 05/17/05:

Ask any Theater Director; what you believe is what you are. I am is the beginning of the many different identities we all possess, a Husband, a Father, a Plummer... the belief in your identities sits the pattern for your reality I am a Catholic, I am a Diabetic; life is an endless series of identities and it would be impossible for us to take on identities the Director wishes if we were operating without beliefs.

The mind is simply, or complexly a concept; it has a great deal to do with how the body functions.

John Milton:
The mind is its own place, and in itself, can make heaven of Hell, and a hell of Heaven.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 05/04/05 - What is the "greatest good"?

...

Dark_Crow answered on 05/04/05:

Big increases in foreign aid and the lowering of Western trade barriers so that developing world nations can expand their economies by selling to well-off nations which can afford to buy.

Summum bonum (greatest or supreme good) is a neoplatonic concept attributed to the Christian God by Saint Augustine in de natura boni (399), in direct opposition to his earlier Manichaean convictions. Augustine denies the positive existence of absolute evil, describing a world with God as the supreme good at the center, and defining different grades of evil as different stages of remoteness from that center.
~ en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greatest_good

But of course that begs th question

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 04/30/05 - What is the worst evil?

...

Dark_Crow answered on 05/02/05:

Only from a moral perspective is there good and evil; in the end, it is impossible to differentiate. Morality is necessary but morality is not everything.
In morality only the actions of body and speech are involved (excepting religion) and we must not lean either right or left, and we must not worry about leaning right or left. Balance is what is important, and that is what I try and do.
It is difficult to say what is good and what is bad because the true God includes all things, good and evil so it is that using the eternal eye even bad things become good, and good ones bad.

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Question/Answer
ttalady asked on 04/24/05 - Rules of religion

I guess a reason I claim no specific religion however I truly wonder how so... many do, so... many that with an excuse or reason go directly against said religion.

In my direct life, Catholic. Not to shun the believe at all, I respect this religion, not 100% but enough to appreciate it's meaning. My Father's side ancestors ago were strickly this religion. My Grandmother's cousin 100% Catholic however I don't understand the booz part. They are major drinkers. Her sister in-law, past away, was a nun.

Anyway, I have a very dear and close friend whom is "Catholic" by her religion. She lives with a man, whom she had a child by, not married, however takes it to heart to eat her fish during that time no meat on Friday's. She does not attend church on Sunday's except for the holidays, not often at Christmas, Easter is a big one though. She believes in abortion.

She says she is Catholic proud and clear, she even seems to have a bragging right to no meat on Fridays when need be, maybe a complaining right.

I believe it is some 80 million that claim to be Catholic, as any religion has a number. I wonder how many out of the 80 million truly live the Catholic life? Or Muslim, or Baptist, or Methodists, ect ect.

Out of the many that claim to be of a religion are more of a sinner of that religion than that of I that claim no religion. I believe, I question, I don't believe in any one set of rules however believe in a mix of most religions. Sunday worshippers having affairs, divorcing, having abortions, approving abortion, living together without marriage, children out of wedlock, ect ect. But they won't eat meat on Fridays.....

I guess what my real question or need of understanding is that anyone that claims to be something, living life with so many descrepancies of such, does that not make them false in life and who they really are? In religion there are rules, laws if it must be said, the truth of the religion and for one not to follow them to the upmost of understanding such that makes that person a false person does it not?

tta



Dark_Crow answered on 04/25/05:

God does not judge a person on how well they conform to perfect laws; but, rather on how contrite they are in their human fallibility once having failed to follow that perfect law.

With blessings and prayer for you; Bill

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Question/Answer
MicroGlyphics asked on 04/18/05 - Why is Democracy desirable?

Admittedly, this is a baited question, but with all of this talk about the spreading of Democracy as desirable, I couldnt resist. What is the best form of government and why?

Of course Plato argued that a Republic was preferable to Democracy, but I cant agree with this either. Aristocracies and Theocracies dont seem to work any better than Monarchies and Oligarchies. Anarchy doesnt seem to be a viable solution.

Why do I feel Democracy is not the way to go? Let me simplify it, as theorists often are wont to do. To start, let us presume we have a population of 3. I choose an odd number so we dont have to content with a tie. Let us presume we will democratically decide on a purchase decision, say, of an automobile. So we vote.
What color should the car be? We each have an opinion. A wants a red car. B wants a green car. C wants a black car. OK. Not a good start. At least 2 of these people will have to settle for a sub-optimal solution, perhaps all 3 if they decide on beige so as not to favour anyone in particular. Now what?

Automobiles can be purchased with manual or automatic transmission. A and C prefer automatic, but B prefers manual, so he is outvoted. B is left with a sub-optimal solution. Perhaps he can at least be consoled by having the car be green.

Well, now let them decide on the type of car. A prefers a roomy car, while B and C favour economy. So, we are now at a point where we are considering an economical, if less roomy, car with automatic transmission. Now, A sees this as a sub-optimal solution.

Well, perhaps the last decision point will be for the interior. Of what material should the seats be made? A and B prefer leather, but C prefers cloth, as he prefers not to use animal products. However, C has to settle for a sub-optimal solution.

So, in the end we have a system where everyone ends up with a sub-optimal result. Hardly a great system to be sure. Does it matter that at least these people had a say in he decision-making process. I dont think so.
What if a beneficent Autocrat had decided that these people would be purchasing a roomy red car with automatic transmission, and leather seats? Sure, I know I am stacking the deck here, but I am authoring this, so I will take literary license. In this case, A would actually have his optimum preferencelocal optima, and B and C would not be any worse off.

When de Tocqueville said a Democracy requires an educated populace, he is referring to education in the form of political education. There is too much information, misinformation, and disinformation about to allow for a truly educated decision in this Media-Industrial age.

Moreover, it was Franklin who said that a democracy wont vote its rights away. We see this all around us, the epitome of this being evidenced by the passing (and general acceptance) of the Patriot Act in the US.
So, again I ask, "Why is Democracy desirable"?

Dark_Crow answered on 04/19/05:

Because with the idea of a Democratic Republic along came the idea of Liberty and Human Rights; a strictly Western philosophy.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 04/10/05 - What is your verdict on our Western society?

...

Dark_Crow answered on 04/11/05:

Three essential points are the idea of Liberty, Democracy and Human Rights; I think that the verdict is that Western culture is better than Eastern.

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 03/31/05 - TERRI IS DEAD!



Amen!

HANK

Dark_Crow answered on 03/31/05:

Yes Hank, Amen.
As I pointed out; for someone in a permanent vegetative state as she was deemed [meaning dead brain cells] and no more alive than a plant or vegetable. So if one believe in ethereal, immaterial souls that interact with & effect physical bodies & the world it would seem to follow that she is in a much better place now.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 03/29/05 - What is the basis of the right to life?

...

Dark_Crow answered on 03/30/05:

There seems to be one that is Biblical in origin and the other institutional. If one rejects the Biblical then the right to life depends on the particular cultural institution one belongs to.
Some for instance argue that human rights are morally or ethically based; that is, they are particular expressions of basic moral or ethical codes; and some contend that this must necessarily be so if they are to be considered human rights at all.

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Question/Answer
tomder55 asked on 03/29/05 - What is a person ?

Human Non-Person
Terri Schiavo, bioethics, and our future.

By Wesley J. Smith

My debate about Terri Schiavos case with Florida bioethicist Bill Allen on Court TV Online eventually got down to the nitty-gritty:


Wesley Smith: Bill, do you think Terri is a person?

Bill Allen: No, I do not. I think having awareness is an essential criterion for personhood. Even minimal awareness would support some criterion of personhood, but I don't think complete absence of awareness does.


If you want to know how it became acceptable to remove tube-supplied food and water from people with profound cognitive disabilities, this exchange brings you to the nub of the Schiavo case the first principle, if you will. Bluntly stated, most bioethicists do not believe that membership in the human species accords any of us intrinsic moral worth. Rather, what matters is whether a being or an organism, or even a machine, is a person, a status achieved by having sufficient cognitive capacities. Those who dont measure up are denigrated as non-persons.

Allens perspective is in fact relatively conservative within the mainstream bioethics movement. He is apparently willing to accept that minimal awareness would support some criterion of personhood although he doesnt say that awareness is determinative. Most of his colleagues are not so reticent. To them, it isnt sentience per se that matters but rather demonstrable rationality. Thus Peter Singer of Princeton argues that unless an organism is self-aware over time, the entity in question is a non-person. The British academic John Harris, the Sir David Alliance professor of bioethics at the University of Manchester, England, has defined a person as a creature capable of valuing its own existence. Other bioethicists argue that the basic threshold of personhood should include the capacity to experience desire. James Hughes, who is more explicitly radical than many bioethicists (or perhaps, just more candid), has gone so far as to assert that people like Terri are sentient property.

So who are the so-called human non-persons? All embryos and fetuses, to be sure. But many bioethicists also categorize newborn infants as human non-persons (although some bioethicists refer to healthy newborns as potential persons). So too are those with profound cognitive impairments such as Terri Schiavo and President Ronald Reagan during the latter stages of his Alzheimers disease.

Personhood theory would reduce some of us into killable and harvestable people. Harris wrote explicitly that killing human non-persons would be fine because Non-persons or potential persons cannot be wronged by being killed because death does not deprive them of something they can value. If they cannot wish to live, they cannot have that wish frustrated by being killed.

And killing isnt the half of it. Some of the same bioethicists who have been telling us how right and moral it is to dehydrate Terri Schiavo have also urged that people like Terri that is, human non-persons be harvested or otherwise used as mere instrumentalities. Bioethicist big-wig Tom Beauchamp of Georgetown University has suggested that because many humans lack properties of personhood or are less than full persons, theymight be aggressively used as human research subjects or sources of organs.

Such thinking is not fringe in bioethics, a field in which the idea of killing for organs is fast becoming mainstream. In 1997, several doctors writing for the International Forum for Transplant Ethics opined in The Lancet that people (like Terri) diagnosed as being in a persistent vegetative state should be redefined as dead for purposes of organ procurement:

If the legal definition of death were to be changed to include comprehensive irreversible loss of higher brain function, it would be possible to take the life of a patient (or more accurately to stop the heart, since the patient would be defined as dead) by a lethal injection, and then to remove the organs needed for transplantation subject to the usual criteria for consent.
Knowing that this kind of thinking predominates in contemporary bioethics, I decided to bring up the matter in my Court TV debate with Bill Allen.

Wesley Smith: If Terri is not a person, should her organs be procured with consent?
Bill Allen: Yes, I think there should be consent to harvest her organs, just as we allow people to say what they want done with their assets.


Put that in your hat and ponder it for a moment: If organ harvesting from the cognitively devastated were legal today thank goodness, it isnt Michael Schiavo would be the one, no doubt sanctioned by Judge Greer, who could consent to doctors stopping Terris heart and harvesting her organs.

Think thats a horrid thought? Well, ponder this: More than ten years ago, transplant-medicine ethicists Robert M. Arnold and Stuart J. Youngner painted a disturbing picture of the kind of society that the bioethics movement is leading us toward: literally a culture in which organ procurement is a routine part of end-of-life care and planned deaths. The ethicists predicted that in the not-too-distant future:

Machine dependent patients could give consent for organ removal before they are dead. For example, a ventilator-dependent ALS patient could request that life support be removed at 5:00 P.M, but that at 9:00 A.M. the same day he be taken to the operating room, put under general anesthesia, and his kidneys, liver and pancreas removedThe patients heart would not be removed and would continue to beat throughout surgery, perfusing the other organs with warm, oxygen-and-nutrient-rich blood until they were removed. The heart would stop, and the patient would be pronounced dead only after the ventilator was removed at 5:00 P.M., according to plan, and long before the patient could die from renal, hepatic, or pancreatic failure.
Know this: There is a direct line from the Terri Schiavo dehydration to the potential for this stunning human strip-mining scenarios becoming a reality. Indeed, as Arnold and Youngner put it so well, If a look into such a future hurts our eyes (or turns our stomachs), is our discomfort any different from what we would have experienced 30 years ago by looking into the future that is today?

Wesley J. Smith is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute, an attorney for the International Task Force on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide, and a special consultant to the Center for Bioethics and Culture. He is the author most recently of >Consumers Guide to a Brave New World..



Dark_Crow answered on 03/29/05:

I am so sick of this whole affair where no one wins. That said; I really dont see why if the parents want to take her home and, at their expense, maintain their vegetable garden that cannot be allowed.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 03/24/05 - What are your views on miracles?

....

Dark_Crow answered on 03/24/05:

Miracles happen when someones guardian Angle acts in a way that changes an event.

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 03/18/05 - Branches Of Study:


I know of five branches of study in philosophy:

Metaphysics (Ontology) - The study of what is.

Epistemology - The study of how you know.

Logic - The study of true and false.

Ethics - The study of right and wrong.

Aesthetics - The study of why Anime (Japanese animation) is cool.

Can you add to this list?

HANK

Dark_Crow answered on 03/19/05:

Initially, philosophy has involved these branches of study:
Metaphysics: REALISM--- the true nature of reality (the idea) is essentially spiritual.
NOMINALISM ---that the nature of reality is physical.
PRAGMATISTS--- whatever solves a problem is correct.
EPISTEMOLOGY
AXIOLOGY--- ETHICS

Today with the huge amount of knowledge in any given area there are a number of different specializations; for instance Philosophy of Education, Philosophy of History, Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Religion, Philosophy of Science

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Question/Answer
keenu asked on 03/15/05 - Sacred geometry

The following statement is from the Crystalinks metaphysical site.

The universe is created by a thought consciousness which manifests in physical reality through a geometric blueprint that we call Sacred Geometry which repeats in cycle giving the illusion of linear time.

My question is this:
If consciousness manifests in physical reality through sacred geometry wouldn't you think it was normal and not unusual, even necessary, that everything would be shown to have sacred geometrical properties,
such as the pyramids, crop circles, music...
in short, life, the universe and everything?

Dark_Crow answered on 03/19/05:

If consciousness manifests in physical reality through sacred geometry wouldn't you think it was normal and not unusual, even necessary, that everything would be shown to have sacred geometrical properties,
such as the pyramids, crop circles, music...
in short, life, the universe and everything?



Yes, is the answer

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Question/Answer
keenu asked on 03/15/05 - Sacred geometry

The following statement is from the Crystalinks metaphysical site.

The universe is created by a thought consciousness which manifests in physical reality through a geometric blueprint that we call Sacred Geometry which repeats in cycle giving the illusion of linear time.

My question is this:
If consciousness manifests in physical reality through sacred geometry wouldn't you think it was normal and not unusual, even necessary, that everything would be shown to have sacred geometrical properties,
such as the pyramids, crop circles, music...
in short, life, the universe and everything?

Dark_Crow answered on 03/18/05:

MEPHISTOPHELES: I speak to you the humble truth. If humanity, this insignificant world of fools takes itself to be the whole well, I am a part of that part that in the beginning was the Whole. A part of the Darkness, Darkness that gave birth to Light. The proud Light that now competes with Mother Night, concerning her more ancient rank and place.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 03/07/05 - To what extent do you regard life as tragic?

...

Dark_Crow answered on 03/08/05:

Logical Positivist brings tragedy to everyone; with their absolutism. One common form of hamartia in Greek tragedies was hubris, pride or overweening self-confidence.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 03/01/05 - What is wrong with utilitarianism?

............. (The view that we should aim at the greatest happiness of the greatest number of people"

Dark_Crow answered on 03/02/05:

The problem is that everyone does not find happiness in the same things; which the proposition suggests.

Alternatively we could ask what would be of value if there were no happiness at all?

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 02/19/05 - Do you believe in "collective guilt"?

......... Please elaborate..........

Dark_Crow answered on 02/20/05:

If you share a common language and are already involved in conversations in that common language, you already have a social contract and any individual moral guilt stems from the collective mores of those you share the common language with. Now if you mean can one experience guilt outside of any shared by that community I would say it would be near impossible.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 02/15/05 - Do all moral defects have ill effects?!

...

Dark_Crow answered on 02/17/05:

There are no institutional facts without brute facts (John R. Searle); but it is bad ontology to confuse the one with the other, so it is that ill effects is the brute fact, and moral defects institutional facts.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 02/11/05 - What is the role of wonder in modern philosophy?

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Dark_Crow answered on 02/12/05:

Im a bit unsure of the question but let me say this and then possibly you can then put me on the right track.
The "Modern" is understood to have emerged during the 18th century in which philosophers were challenging superstitions (which often included religion) of premodern beliefs. They replaced faith in superstition with faith in rational objectivity. Moderns prefer objective and factual language which rest on finality and absoluteness, while Postmodern, is free in that the philosophy is held tentatively and creatively, a manner that allows for growth not stagnation.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 02/06/05 - To what extent can goodness overcome evil?

...............

Dark_Crow answered on 02/06/05:

Good and bad, just as the term evil came about as a way to measure value. There is no lasting value in bad, or evil; therefore they are self defeating. There are consequences to behavior and consequences are the basis on which we measure value.

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 02/03/05 - The Merchant of Venice

A new movie of Shakespeare's "Merchant of Venice" is being released soon. There is virtually no uproar about how anti-Semitic this play is. Yet, when Mel Gibson's movie came out last year, there was a great uproar about how anti-Semitic the film was.

Am I to conclude that it is OK that Shakespeare wrote an ani-Semitic play? Did you know that Jews had been driven out of England 300 years prior to Shakespeare's time? Why the anti-Semitic attitudes in a "Jewless" country??

Dark_Crow answered on 02/04/05:

Certainly the play reflects European anti-Semitism of the time, but, only from that fact alone could it be concluded to be anti-Semitic or that its author anti-Semitic. And the fact of the case is it was not, nor was the author. The play points to the exploration of power and prejudice and makes a critique of such bigotry.

As Shylock [the Jew] says, confronted by the double standards of his opponents:

He hath disgraced me, and hindered me half a million; laughed at my losses, mocked at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my bargains, cooled my friends, heated mine enemies, and whats his reason?I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions; fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer as a Christian is? If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that.

(Act III, scene 1)

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 02/03/05 - The evil of Auschwitz.............

What does Auschwitz indicate about the nature of evil?

Dark_Crow answered on 02/03/05:

But what of Israel today? At the UN 60th anniversary commemoration of the liberation of Auschwitz the General Assembly was less than half full and the only representative of an Arab country to speak took advantage of the occasion to attack Israel's alleged mistreatment of the "Palestinians," rather than to express solidarity with the sufferings of the Jewish People at the Holocaust commemoration.

The nature of evil is alive and well today.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 01/30/05 - Why does life increase in complexity?

.......

Dark_Crow answered on 01/30/05:

Man is a perpetually wanting animal with the basic human need for self-actualization. What a man can be, he must be and the desire to know, and to understand is inherent. By acquiring knowledge and systematizing the universe, and all that is with-in it certainly accounts for the ever-increasing complexity of life.

As the cigarette commercial says---Youve came a long way baby..

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Question/Answer
picassocat asked on 01/28/05 - Conception of life...

When do you think that life begins? Is it at conception, development of a brain, or when you are self-aware? And when does life end? When the heart stops beating, when you lose the capacity to interact with others?

Dark_Crow answered on 01/29/05:

Well you certainly choose an issue that leads to what is probably the most inflammatory and divisive in our culture--- the abortion debate. What are we actually arguing about in the abortion debate? Quite a few very different things actually; but to stick to the one issue you ask about:
One big problem is the disagreement about what certain concepts mean, for instance, does the concept person include a being who can survive independently of another (e.g. mother) or all others?
Does it include a being with a human brain that can feel pain?
Does it include anything that may someday develop to become a member of our society?
A lot depends on a persons viewpoint; some people accept certain facts on faith, and others deny them because they simply dont believe in their existence.
So that we can ask certain questions; is there a God and does he give an embryo a soul at a certain point? So that if you answer yes, the answer is based on faith-dependent facts. So the answer to your question assumes certain assumptions and arguments can be made in favor or against such assumptions, but they can prove nothing. I believe all a person can do is follow their heart about the matter; there is no answer for everyone.



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Question/Answer
picassocat asked on 01/28/05 - Knowledge

Where does our knowledge come from?

Dark_Crow answered on 01/29/05:

The most common theory is that there are two kinds of knowledge; knowledge of facts i.e., the sky is blue and the grass is green; that is, knowledge that is directly acquired from the real world.
Another kind is a more complex knowledge, for instance like knowledge of physics, or other puzzles life presents and, which calls for human reasoning, or thinking; a organized and systematic form of thinking.

Logic is an example of a study of human reasoning, or thinking. It seems obvious that reasoning or thinking are both mental processes and not things like the sky or grass and so direct knowledge cannot be obtained from thinking . And so it is that logic is not done directly on reasoning or thinking, but on the arguments which can be considered as the a manifestation of human reasoning or thinking

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 01/24/05 - Personal and impersonal explanations...

...... Are there good reasons for regarding explanations in terms of things as more fundamental than explanations in terms of persons?

Dark_Crow answered on 01/24/05:

I take by expatiation you are referring to using causal arguments in order to explain---that is, interpret an event of some sort. I think it is most likely that early on in the History of our species most events were explained by impersonal causes; that is, causes beyond the control of human will or agency.
Today however we have knowledge that our ancestors simply lacked and causal arguments include internal and external causes; that is, Personal/Internal causes i.e. psychological causes and Impersonal/Internal causes i.e. ideological causes that originate in the belief systems of a particular culture. So it is that we now have what Thomas Kuhn called paradigms.

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Question/Answer
picassocat asked on 01/20/05 - Legislating Morality

Is it possible to legislate morality?

Dark_Crow answered on 01/20/05:

"Absolutely! What's the second question?"
________________________________________
A surgeon, an architect an a lawyer are having a heated barroom discussion concerning which of their professions is actually the oldest profession.
The surgeon says: "Surgery IS the oldest profession. God took a rib from Adam to create Eve and you can't go back further than that."
The architect says: "Hold on! In fact, God was the first architect when he created the world out of chaos in 7 days, and you can't go back any further than THAT!"
The lawyer puffs his cigar and says: "Gentlemen, Gentlemen...who do you think created the CHAOS??!!"
From DUHAIME'S LAW FUN

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Question/Answer
picassocat asked on 01/15/05 - Meaning

Do we find meaning in life or make it up?

Dark_Crow answered on 01/16/05:

Im inclined to believe we all do both; give meaning to and get meaning from. According to the correspondence theory a linguistic symbol gets its meaning from a external object that it corresponds to and this works well with names. This however does not work well with sensation terms.
Bertrand Russell it is said made the following comment--- "We can hardly suppose [there once was] a parliament of hitherto speechless elders meeting together and agreeing to call a cow a cow and a wolf a wolf."
We often find writers distinguishing between denotation and connotations. However I. A. Richards has spoken of four different facets of meaning: sense (denotation), feeling (the audience's response towards sense), tone the author's attitude toward the audience), and intention (the effect of the other three, ).
Clarifying his distinction of meaning from significance E.D. Hirsch said what an image or text means to one audience may be less a matter of what is actually meant in the object than what is meant by the audience. "Meaning in" is thus what the object means according to the intentions of its creator, whereas "meaning to" is simply what it signifies to someone else.

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Question/Answer
picassocat asked on 01/10/05 - Metaphysics

What is the value of studying metaphysics?

Dark_Crow answered on 01/10/05:

So much that can be said; so little time to say it. I think the greatest value is its effects upon the lives of those who study it. Kant I understand saw its value in creating a gap or border; that is, a way to distinguish intuition and reason because he saw intuition as a mental activity, and objective as well.

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Question/Answer
Jon1667 asked on 01/05/05 - Are scientists and other deep thinkers any smarter than philosophers?

Look at the following, and go to the EDGE website, and you tell me. Two things emerge: scientists make terrible philosopher; and like philosophers, they are quite unclear about what "proof" means.

God (or Not), Physics and, of Course, Love: Scientists Take a Leap

Published: January 4, 2005


hat do you believe is true even though you cannot prove it?"

This was the question posed to scientists, futurists and other creative thinkers by John Brockman, a literary agent and publisher of Edge, a Web site devoted to science. The site asks a new question at the end of each year. Here are excerpts from the responses, to be posted Tuesday at www.edge.org.

Dark_Crow answered on 01/06/05:


Are scientists and other deep thinkers any smarter than philosophers?

To answer either way would be claiming that a claim is true based only on evidence that an authority figure accepts the claim; which in itself is a fallacy.

[W]hat do you believe is true even though you cannot prove it?

I believe Islam as a religion is inherently evil.

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Question/Answer
denberg asked on 01/03/05 - What is Gurdjieff's self-remembering system?


Can anyone explain to me: What is Gurdjieff's self-remembering system?

Many thanks.

Dark_Crow answered on 01/03/05:

Ape to angel, I dont think so.

Descartes; dualistic solution: simply divide the res cogitans, the realm of the mind, from the res extensa, the spatial world of bodies and objects and insist that never the twain shall meet was the churches answer; however, Cartesian philosophy insured that bone-cold mechanism would come to dominate the Western worldview i.e. Gurdjieff's self-remembering system

Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 01/03/05 - What is the significance of life on earth?

If you knew that all life on earth would be destroyed in 2005 how would your beliefs and values be affected?

Dark_Crow answered on 01/03/05:

In light of that part of my being, the skepticial part; I would change noooon---How can I be sure I knew that all life on earth would be destroyed in 2005; in view of the history of our species ability to adapt and to survive?

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Question/Answer
Choux asked on 12/31/04 - Dark Age Ahead

Today, I read a book review on the above referenced book by J. Jacobs. She states that urban American society is teetering on collapse.

We are witnessing the *erosion* of five essential pillars of our culture: family and community; higher education; scientific practice; government in touch with the needs of citizens; professional accountability. The author explains why cultural decay's at the root of racism, environmentsl crisis, clogged cities, income disparity, and other social ills. [This book is right up my alley!]

Anyway, what do you think of the author's thesis? Have you done any reading on this subject? What are your thoughts about an American Dark Age??

Dark_Crow answered on 01/02/05:

I find at least two problems with her premises


One---------------------
SUPPRESSED EVIDENCE (overlooked evidence): drawing a conclusion after purposely leaving out known evidence or intentionally failing to look for likely evidence that might contradict a claim.

And the second--------------
dicto simpliciter; concluding that a legitimate generalization necessarily applies to a particular case.

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 12/31/04 - 2005:



"In the New Year, may your right hand always be stretched out in friendship, never in want." - Irish toast, compliments of Beliefnet!

HAPPY NEW YEAR ... ONE AND ALL!

HANK

Dark_Crow answered on 12/31/04:

An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.
~Bill Vaughan

Thanks Hank, and hoping you have a HAPPY NEW YEAR

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 12/27/04 - How do natural disasters fit into your philosophy?

...

Dark_Crow answered on 12/30/04:

Each day of human life contains joy and anger, pain and pleasure, darkness and light, growth and decay. Each moment is etched with God's grand design - do not try to deny or oppose the cosmic order of things.
from O-Sensei

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 12/18/04 - Is evil necessary for progress?

............If so why?

Dark_Crow answered on 12/18/04:

What the Tao Te Ching offers is that when something positive occurs; it contains within it the seeds of the negative and vice versa.


Hegelian dialectic as opposed to Kants is based on the idea that every concept contains within itself the seed of its opposition.

If evil is not viewed as a necessity would there be free will for choosing goodness rather than evil?

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 12/07/04 - What is the basis of consciousness?

...

Dark_Crow answered on 12/07/04:

Its a miracle, an absolute miracle of which we may never know.

Thank God it is in the heart that love manifests and gives us a sense of responsibility, and not the mind.

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Question/Answer
Bradd asked on 11/30/04 - Rousseau and Voltaire

Each, in his way, dominated 18th century European intellectual discussion. With Voltaire, the classical view (rationalism) peaks. Rousseau is the harbinger of the Romantic Age (feeling).

Mozart the rationalist - Beethoven the romantic. Aristotle and Plato. Science and religion.

Are these two ways of looking at life contradictory - or complementary?

Dark_Crow answered on 12/01/04:

Its all relative; that is: The rational is consistent with or based on reason; logical. This is relative to context; as, for instance, in a culture whose thinking is classical, idealizing, or scientific.

Classic is used to describe anything which is the epitome of its type and today that is trend towards restraint of emotion.

For my part Ill stick with emotion; a life with out emotion is a poor ideal, but in any case another example of the idealized.

I vote for complimentary.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 10/28/04 - What are your views on "destiny"?

...

Dark_Crow answered on 11/27/04:

Don't forget .... life is 10% how you make it .... and 90% how you take it.

and, 42.7 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 11/26/04 - TO MY FRIENDS ...


I hope all of you are well and happy. I'd almost bet the ranch that you gained at least three pounds yesterday. Thanksgiving a great Holiday ... alone or otherwise.

Just thought I'd check in. You've been missed!

HANK

Dark_Crow answered on 11/26/04:

as you have my friend happy holidays

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 11/11/04 - What are your views on the following theory?

"In the beginning organization, purpose or consciousness did not exist; only atomic particles existed. Nothing had any value. There is no reason why life has emerged or development has taken place. Atomic particles could have remained as they were without producing a universe in which there is knowledge, control, value and fulfilment."

Dark_Crow answered on 11/23/04:

Indications are of course that it is a false theory, in as much as sciences ability to categorize kinds of things show.

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Question/Answer
purplewings asked on 11/21/04 - Why...?

Thanks Tonyrey for your thoughtful postings, without which, this board may have closed long ago.

It's been ages since we've had an outsider post a question here so why don't we loosen up and get to know each other better?

Why do people interested in Philosophy take everything so seriously anyway? Even people on the Christianity board stop and have a few laughs now and then.

Maybe we could start by telling where we're from and where we hope to go.......? I'll start I guess.

I'm from the United States, Michigan - where snow knows no boundaries from December through March. I hope eventually to reach a point of total relaxation -no worry or fear..just complete acceptance of life on life's terms.

PW

Dark_Crow answered on 11/23/04:

Why do people interested in Philosophy take everything so seriously anyway?

Hi Loral; In my opinion one problem is:

Lack of the Principle of Humanity and also that most Philosophers here are of the Analytic school and do not reconize Poet Philosophers.

It says that when interpreting another speaker we must assume not simply that he is intelligent and so on, but that his beliefs and desires are connected to each other and to reality in a way that makes him as similar to ourselves as possible.

Bill

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 10/25/04 - To what extent is the future predetermined?

...

Dark_Crow answered on 10/26/04:

I believe in large measure the future is predetermined; that is, events have been put in motion and, what will be, will be, unless altered. To what extent we individually can alter the present, varies with time and circumstance; so that there is no, across the board %, that flies at all times.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 10/19/04 - What is your concept of an ideal world?

...

Dark_Crow answered on 10/19/04:

"To act with intentions for good consequences, but to accept the responsibilities for all the consequences in so far as they can be known is part of what being ethical means."
From Robert L. Scott. In his essay, "On Viewing Rhetoric as Epistemic," which first appeared in the Central States Speech Journal in February, 1967 is seminal work on rhetoric-as-epistemic.

I like this example

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 10/13/04 - Can we ever be mistaken about what we are thinking?

If so, when and how?

Dark_Crow answered on 10/13/04:

Ever seen someone drunk?

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 10/06/04 - When does science cease to be science?

..........How can one decide whether a statement is scientific?

Dark_Crow answered on 10/07/04:

First; an article on the matter must hint at everything and assert nothing, in a word, innuendo. A second requirement is the article must have an air of erudition, or at least show evidence of extensive general reading. There is more of course but it gets complicated beyond that.


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Question/Answer
picassocat asked on 10/02/04 - Sacrifice of one in the interest of many

Can the sacrifice of one person be justified, if the action is deemed to benefit the rest of humanity?

Dark_Crow answered on 10/03/04:

Not only the sacrifice of one person can be justified; for instance like Christ---but even the sacrifice of many people can be justified.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 10/01/04 - How would you console a bereaved friend?

.......with regard to beliefs and values...

Dark_Crow answered on 10/03/04:

I give no advice, I listen and encourage. That is the only way I console

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 09/28/04 - Do we have any moral obligations to strangers?

If so what are they?

Dark_Crow answered on 09/29/04:

If an individual is concerned about their duties, responsibilities and obligations, they cannot but be concerned about the rights, needs and freedoms of strangers.

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Question/Answer
picassocat asked on 09/21/04 - Is God Guilty of Murder?

The Book of Genesis relates how God, seeing that 'the wickedness of man was great in the earth', decided to send a flood to destroy the whole of mankind. Only Noah 'found grace in the eyes of the Lord' and so God warned him of the coming flood and instructed him to build an ark and so on.

Based on Genesis, to what extend is God responsible for the murder of many people?

Dark_Crow answered on 09/22/04:

In an indictment for murder, it must be charged that the accused "did kill and murder" the deceased and, malice, either express or implied is what distiuguishes murder from every description of homicide.

Was there malice involved? It does not appear so

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 09/19/04 - A CONFUSING QUESTION:


What's the difference between KNOWLEDGE and WISDOM ... if any?

HANK

Dark_Crow answered on 09/19/04:

"Master, may I ask you a question?"


"Yes", the sage replied.

"What is the secret of wisdom?", the disciple asked.

The sage smiled. "One secret of wisdom is to think plural, not singular."

The disciple smiled. "OK, then. What are the secrets of wisdom?"

The sage smiled. "One secret of wisdom is to think partial, not final."

The disciple smiled. "OK, then. What are some secrets of wisdom?"

The sage smiled.

The disciple smiled. "Thank you", he said.

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Question/Answer
Jon1967 asked on 08/10/04 - UN Monitoring of US Elections!?
United Nations monitoring of United States Election

Apparently a passel of Democrats has demanded that the United Nations send a delegation to monitor the November elections in the United States, and Colin Powell has concurred! So we are going to get monitoring by the UN of the United States.

Lewis Carroll could not have conceived anything more absurd than this. How would those people recognize a free election if it bit them on the leg?

Dark_Crow answered on 08/10/04:

Everything follows from the statement that the pursuit of truth is a -- I would say the -- central purpose of the university. For the serious embrace of that purpose precludes deciding what the truth is in advance, or ruling out certain accounts of the truth before they have been given a hearing, or making evaluations of those accounts turn on the known or suspected political affiliations of those who present them.
Stanley Fish
--'Intellectual Diversity': the Trojan Horse of a Dark Design

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Question/Answer
Jon1967 asked on 08/10/04 - Sha'ria (Islamic Law) and Human Rights

Worth reading and thinking about.

http://www.butterfliesandwheels.com/articleprint.php?num=71

Dark_Crow answered on 08/10/04:

What is boasted of at the present time as the revival of religion, is always, in narrow and uncultivated minds, at least as much the revival of bigotry...
John Stuart Mill
--On Liberty

Question/Answer
Chouxxx asked on 08/08/04 - The World to Come?

The Finnish armed forces said they were dismissing more and more young conscripts because they'd grown up addicted to the Internet. "They are physically to weak to do the service, and mentally UNPREPARED to deal with people directly".

Are more and more people everywhere going to be unprepared to deal directly with people in other ways. How would this impact, say, well, pick and area of society and give me your opinion, if you have time. Thanks, C

Dark_Crow answered on 08/09/04:

Im not sure it is a problem with the internet It is just as likely there is something in the water there They have always had an aversion to clear thinking;

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Question/Answer
Jon1967 asked on 08/09/04 - Invalid Argument from authority in politics

On one of the formums I read about a laundry list of Nobel Prize Winners have endorsed Kerry over Bush. But why an expert in chemistry (for instance) have any special insight into whether Bush or Kerry would be a better president than you or I or the next person we meet on the street, is more than I can understand. Reminds me of those automobile commercials in which a particular brand of car is endorsed by some pretty movie starlet.

Dark_Crow answered on 08/09/04:

Validity is determined by whether or not the conclusion of an follows necessarily from its premises. You seem to believe an appeal to authority is necessarily invalid, which is just not the case. An argument may be valid even if one of its premises is untrue.

So, how could we know whether what these authorities belief is true; well, based on their arguments of course.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 08/05/04 - Opposing a Nuclear Treaty........

.............What are your views on the fact that the same US government that went to war in Iraq because Saddam did not fully comply with UN weapons inspections has rejected similar control over its own WMD arsenal?

Dark_Crow answered on 08/06/04:

Loral gave a very good analysis of why America should maintain supremacy in that area, however, I question the idea the US government that went to war in Iraq because Saddam did not fully comply with UN weapons inspections.
I think that is far from the historical context of it all.

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Question/Answer
Gguru asked on 08/04/04 - Why not?

Plants and the other animals are the smarter ones.They just eat ,breed and contemplay.....(not an error....)

Why not?

Dark_Crow answered on 08/04/04:

ethics which give priority to self-interest.

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Question/Answer
Chouxxx asked on 08/04/04 - Most Emotions Learned Behavior

Do you think that all emotions except fear and anger are learned behavior? That is, taught to babies and children by their parents. Why or why not?

Dark_Crow answered on 08/04/04:

One definition of emotion is: A psychological and/or physical reactions to stimuli subjectively experienced as feelings. Converting feelings into a linguistic equivalent is another matter; it follows, if that is the case, all meaning has a beginning in emotion.


There cretainly is some strong evidence and conviencing arguments for a unlearned behavior---genic.

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Question/Answer
hmghaly asked on 08/01/04 - A conclusion

One religious person was criticizing/attacking philosophy because despite its long history, it failed to reach any "conclusions".

You see, the same questions have been asked and are being asked over and over again. Clearly there are many views about philosophy and its role, but can we think of a "solid" conclusion that "philosophy" (the works of Philosophers in all times) have reached outside the realm of science. That is: in metaphysics, ethics and epstimology?

Hussein

Dark_Crow answered on 08/03/04:

Philosophy is useful not because it points to, the, or a , right view but rather because it points to many different views. Oh my, but literature does too.

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Question/Answer
hmghaly asked on 07/19/04 - Hussein is back :)

Dear Everyone,

Well, we have this proverb in Egypt that says: "he who drinks from the Nile has to come back again(to Egypt)", and for me I think this board is something like this, I always need to come back.

In this board, I have participated in the most challenging of debates, and I have learnet alot about how to think, and have come to talk to people with outstanding minds, and if not for my laziness, I could have learned much more from such people.

I hope all the fascinating experts I have known are still active here and that there are more who joined this board.

Well, about my news, I'm doing fine, I've finished my university study in Engineering and now waiting for the military service. These days I'm doing interesting stuff, as I'm learning French and German, and working as a freelance journalist and writer at a new Egyptian daily newspaper, and doing some private business with the family: Interesting life with little responsibility!

Well of course I've been thinking about philosophy all this time, and there was a unique, particular question that intrigued me, which I doubt that anybody has ever thought about it before; this question is: "What's the meaning of this life? :)" It's a joke of course, but having read some stuff about Tao and some chinese philosophy has given me some different conception of it.

Well, I'm not asking any particular question in this post, I'm just saying greetings and all, and I'll try to be more active in here with questions and thoughts.

All the best to the best people I knew online :)

Hussein

Dark_Crow answered on 07/30/04:

Congratulations are in order and deserved Glad to hear from you and best wishes

DC

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Question/Answer
Jon1667 asked on 07/23/04 - Can no longer log into Philosophy Forums

Somehow, I am no longer able to log into Phil. Forums. I know both my password and username, but the log in will no longer accept it. Could you please send a message to Paul and ask him to get me back on.

Ken
Gassendi 1

Dark_Crow answered on 07/27/04:

done

Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 06/22/04 - GNOSTICISM!


Even though most Gnostic scriptures take the forms of myths, what are your views re: GNOSTICISM?

HANK

Dark_Crow answered on 06/22/04:

Hi Hank---William James gave a study in human nature as he
explored people of various temperaments in The Varieties of Religious Experience.

I would describe Gnosticism as Mystical Pragmatics.

Regards DC

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 06/17/04 - What is your concept of a perfect world?

...

Dark_Crow answered on 06/18/04:

The one I leave behind

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Question/Answer
Jon1667 asked on 06/16/04 - Religious Rationality

Here is a most interesting and well-thought-out piece on the nature of rationality and discussion in religion. It is well-worth reading and thinking about.
I would be interested in comments:

http://www.ling.rochester.edu/~feldman/papers/reasonable%20religious%20disagreements.pdf

Dark_Crow answered on 06/16/04:

I tired of reading it after I realized the hypocrisy of the author, but then of course there are many thing that could be pointed out

Question/Answer
XCHOUX asked on 05/29/04 - Arab Terrorists vs. German Nazis

Today, in Saudi Arabia, terrorists struck. Captured people were sorted by religion, Muslims were let go, Christians were held hostage.

In Nazi Germany, people were sorted by religion, Jews(disabled, gypsies, etc) were shipped off to their death.

I don't understand how anyone can represent the position that we shouldn't confront these barbarians and thugs and murders.

I am so disgusted at certain people(the French) I won't mention them. What are these disparate groups and countries thinking? Nothing good comes from their positions. Help please..

Dark_Crow answered on 05/30/04:

It is clear that evil forces are at work in the world today. There are demons in the world who posses these terrorist. They materialized in human bodies to satisfy their cravings(Genesis 6:1-4)

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 05/25/04 - How probable is life after death?

...

Dark_Crow answered on 05/30/04:

According to the Holy Scriptures, if we obey God, we can entertain the hope of everlasting life on earth,(Luke 23:43)

God created this earth so that humans could enjoy living on it forever.(Psalm 115:16; Isaiah 45:18) The earth will never be destroyed; it will last forever.Psalm 104:5; Ecclesiastes 1:4

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 05/26/04 - Is life a chance phenomenon?

...

Dark_Crow answered on 05/30/04:

No matter what our circumstances, the Bible contains the direction and counsel that we need. (Isaiah 48:17, 18)
God created life--God created this earth so that humans could enjoy living on it forever.(Psalm 115:16; Isaiah 45:18)

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Question/Answer
XCHOUX asked on 04/25/04 - George W Bush has got to go...

Bush has got to go as President of the United States. In the press converence with Tony Blair last week, he called on God Almighty, and then, looked like more of an idiot than he usually does.

Granted he is only the SpokesModel for the Administration of Vice-President Cheney, and we knew that from the beginning, but his blatant attempts to tie his administration to GodAlmighty Christianity(is he Christ or the anti-Christ in his own mind?)is OFFENSIVE! It's illegal!

Do you think Bush has to go?

Dark_Crow answered on 04/25/04:

OK, take a couple of slow, deep breaths and close your eyes. Better?

Now, What is this new plan to democratize the rest of the world, lasting many many years?

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 04/24/04 - How can the Middle East conflict be resolved?

...

Dark_Crow answered on 04/25/04:

They could learn to speak English; if the Kings English is good enough for Jesus its good enough for them.

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Question/Answer
XCHOUX asked on 04/23/04 - Is America Arrogant?

Many times on the boards, I have seen individuals state that America is arrogant for this action or that non-action. I would be curious to know since America is the richest most powerful nation in the history of the world since only 1989, what actions or policies are these complaints of arrogance based on? Isn't America out there in unchartered territory and making the way by trial and error?

Comments welcome...

Dark_Crow answered on 04/23/04:

Generally, American culture/media has a tendency to displace local cultures, and then too, there is a tendency to put all Americans into the same basket, so to speak, against the media backdrop.

Fact is, unless you are rasied in America, you cannot know Americans.

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 04/22/04 - WHO MADE GOD?


"God never needed to be made because He was always there. God exists in a different way from human beings. We exist in a derived, finite, and fragile way, but the Creator exists as eternal, selfsustaining, and necessary, in the sense that there is no possibility of Him ceasing to exist. In philosophy, many errors result from supposing that the conditions and limits of our own finite existence apply to God."

Citation: Dr. Henry "Fritz" Schaefer - U. of Georgia

Comments?

Dark_Crow answered on 04/23/04:

God, like Truth and Knowledge are concepts. Reality, is both concept and object, therefore God is not part of Reality, but the Creator of Reality.

We must not confuse the finger, with what it is pointing towards.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 04/22/04 - The greatest threat to the world.............

... must be terrorists who acquire WMDs. How can this threat be averted?

Dark_Crow answered on 04/22/04:

Is Arafat next?

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Question/Answer
XCHOUX asked on 04/19/04 - The Mind

Do you understand the following statement, and do you agree, disagree, whatever. (FYI, I agree thoroughly)Can you expound?

The goal in life is to tie your mind to your body not to an idea.

Kind of a radical thought to address to a board of folks who deal with ideas, etc.

Cordially, Chou

Dark_Crow answered on 04/20/04:

I like that Chou, been dabbling in Peyotes again?

Try this one---

'Splintered piece of reality, whether inside your mind or out, are still splintered pieces of reality'.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 04/17/04 - What is the best model for interpreting reality?

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Dark_Crow answered on 04/18/04:

Davidson's theory allows the interpreter to learn from experience, to refine one's theory in accordance with experience

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 04/07/04 - What is your guiding star?

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Dark_Crow answered on 04/08/04:

Nationalism & Patriotism

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Question/Answer
Jon1667 asked on 04/05/04 - What are the disadvantages of religious belief?

What are the disadvantages of religious belief?

Dark_Crow answered on 04/05/04:

It is a truism that almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so, and will follow it by suppressing opposition, subverting all education to seize early the minds of the young, and by killing, locking up, or driving underground all heretics.
-Robert A. Heinlein

This seems like a disadvantage for me, how about you?

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Question/Answer
chekhovToo asked on 03/28/04 - Wisdom

What is wisdom?

Dark_Crow answered on 03/29/04:

I think how one uses their knowledge is what determines its wisdom. Simply to have a lot of knowledge in no way implies wisdom.

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Question/Answer
chekhovToo asked on 03/28/04 - Israel was entitled to kill Yassin

Israel was entitled to kill Yassin

March 29, 2004

International condemnation of Israel sends a dangerous message to terrorists, writes Alan Dershowitz.

Last week's targeted killing of the wheelchair-bound head of Hamas, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, by the Israel Defence Forces was a moral and lawful instance of pre-emptive self-defence.

Yassin was a combatant under any reasonable definition of that term, and combatants - including leaders - are appropriate military targets during a war of the kind Hamas has declared against Israel.

From his wheelchair, this blind bigot gave advance approval for acts of terrorism directed against Israeli civilians and Jews. Most recently, when Israel killed three Hamas militants who were on their way to launching an attack against Israelis, the Hamas website carried the following acknowledgement: "The three martyrs were on a holy mission when the Zionist US-made helicopters fired two missiles toward their vehicle."

Yet Hamas condemned the Israeli action that prevented an act of terrorism against innocent civilians. What else is a democracy supposed to do: wait until the terrorists strike?

Yassin, in justifying the terrorist mission of the three men and demanding revenge on Israel for its pre-emptive self-defence, promised that "the Palestinian people will continue their resistance despite this aggression". As the head of Hamas, Yassin pressed the on and off button - most often the on button - for terrorism.

He repeatedly threatened to kidnap Israelis, and he blessed one act of terrorism against civilians as a "distinguished operation" and another as "a good and successful operation".

He sent unambiguous messages to his followers to persist in terrorism by saying "there is no truce", and that "civilians" must be "victims".

Yassin had rejected all efforts at bringing about peace including the "road map" and had vowed to continue terrorism, even if the occupation were to end and the settlements dismantled.

He also incited violence against Americans and Britons in Iraq by appealing to the Iraqi people to "continue their jihad and to use all possible means to achieve victory against the British and American enemies".

In the light of these statements, and of Yassin's central role in inciting what he calls "martyr operations", how is it possible to distinguish him from Ayman al-Zawahiri, second in command to Osama bin Laden in al-Qaeda?

Both of these terrorist leaders, as well as Osama bin Laden himself, should be regarded as combatants and thus appropriate targets for pre-emption.

Despite their claims of being "religious" or "spiritual leaders", they are the godfathers of terrorist groups who support and incite murder.

Yassin's successor, Dr Abdel Aziz Rantissi, immediately on taking over as commander of Hamas issued a directive to the "military" wing of the organisation, ordering them "to strike all places all the time and using all means". If such orders do not make Rantissi a combatant, I don't know what would.

It would be better, of course, if these terrorist leaders could be captured alive and subjected to judicial proceedings, as Yassin was before he was traded for two Israeli agents several years before he became mastermind of the Hamas suicide bombings.

But once he returned to the Gaza Strip, Yassin could not be arrested since he lived in a densely populated civilian area where he was protected by thousands of militants.

The only options available to Israel were to leave him be, or to target him. Leaving him be would entail considerable risks to Israeli civilians who are the targets of Yassin-inspired terrorist attacks. No country would accept that option.

When the Pakistani army, with American intelligence and logistical support, was seeking to kill or capture Zawahiri, most of the civilised world was barracking for the good guys and against Zawahiri. A collective groan could almost be heard around the world when it appeared as if Zawahiri had slipped through the net and had escaped.

Yet the international community has condemned Israel for not allowing its own Zawahiri, namely Yassin, to slip away and inspire more terrorist attacks.

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has ignorantly characterised the killing of Yassin as "unlawful", the Vatican has applied a double standard by describing the killing of this terrorist combatant as "not justified in any state (run by) the rule of law", and Kofi Annan predictably, but erroneously, declared the killing to be "contrary to international law". Even the US, which initially refused to condemn the attack because its own policy favours targeted killings of al-Qaeda leaders, succumbed to European pressure and criticised Israel.

While reasonable government officials can differ as to the wisdom or utility of this particular targeted killing, it is simply wrong to call it unlawful or immoral. Nor is it proper to designate it an "extra-judicial killing", as some have done. All killings committed in combat are extra-judicial killing, but if the target is a combatant such as Yassin, the killing is perfectly lawful, especially if the alternative of arrest is not possible.

This international condemnation of Israel for defending its civilian population against a self-proclaimed terrorist leader sends a dangerous message to terrorists around the world: namely, that a democracy that targets a mass murderer who has sworn to continue his killing rampage is to be condemned as morally indistinguishable from a tyrannical terrorist group that targets innocent civilians.

Indeed, some member states of the UN who have refused to condemn Yassin-inspired Hamas terrorism were only too eager to call for Security Council action against Israel.

This can only encourage more terrorism by rewarding the terrorists for the "cycle of violence" they seek to create.

Comments???

Dark_Crow answered on 03/29/04:

Israel was entitled to kill Yassin

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 03/24/04 - How would you defend morality against a sceptic?

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Dark_Crow answered on 03/24/04:

Perhaps you will tell me why you dont believe me. Your answer may save me some time; if it turns out you are suffering from a inferiority complex, or other psychological disorder :rolleyes:

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 03/23/04 - How is morality related to survival?

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Dark_Crow answered on 03/23/04:

Separated if you are fighting for your life, morals can be an impediment to right reason sometimes.

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Question/Answer
Jon1667 asked on 03/23/04 - De mortuis nihil nisi bonum

A saying I learned in my college dog Latin was,
De mortuis nihil nisi bonum. Which means, "Speak nothing but good of the dead." So I will. Shiek Yassim is dead. Good!!

Dark_Crow answered on 03/23/04:

Thats a keeper. Ill tuck that away in my treasury of quotes.

Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 03/19/04 - Who (if anyone) decides what is just?

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Dark_Crow answered on 03/20/04:

Me, I do it all the time---It would be great if more people thought about it.

Opinion---Some people confuse Ethical relativism with "do your own thing", that simply is not the case.

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Question/Answer
XCHOUX asked on 03/18/04 - Is Albert Einstein Correct?

I was captured by this quote. Can my fellow Board frequenters help me understand it?

"If you are out to describe the truth, leave elegance to the tailor."

Regards,,,

Dark_Crow answered on 03/19/04:

Choice with out context is at best a guess.
Argument is a method most often used to try and convince someone to believe something they dont believe.
What is true for one person may not be true for another.
Every decision is a moral decision, and until a person understands that, there can be no truth.
Regards
DC

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Question/Answer
Jon1667 asked on 03/17/04 - The Frustrations of Argumentation

I thought the following was worth posting. Its scope is wider than just superstition, but deals with the frustrations of arguing with people who don't know how how to deal with argument. Do you recognize anyone?

http://www.findarticles.com/cf_dls/m2843/1_28/111897964/print.jhtml

Dark_Crow answered on 03/18/04:

Part of the problem is that words, more often than not, can be used to convey completely different meaning, and there is a frustration in itself learning how to pick out the appropriate meaning. For instance, take the word argument; the meaning to me can be either technical or common. The skeptic may indeed become frustrated, but this is true as well for the non-skeptic. Learning for a child seems to be a great delight, for an adult a great frustration. I would just like to add that this kind of frustration can be a delight as well, so, I agree with the author, frustration is not an obstacle one should succumb to.
I recommend to anyone who would like to delight in frustration to learn the fine art of argumentation

Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 03/17/04 - How can we decide what is evil?

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Dark_Crow answered on 03/17/04:

Indeed, the age-old question, the sense in which what is in question is a form of learning, and the way that what one learns is a form of being - one, which Plato called virtue and characterized as knowledge---At once moral knowledge and self-knowledge. That moral or spiritual knowledge or wisdom is to be found in a persons mode of being
When I place an order at the restaurant I frequent and the waiter asks, how would you like your steak cooked today and I reply, oh, [b]same[/b] as usual Martain is one way. Or perhaps my girl friend asks me to meet her under the same tree we played in while young---oh well, you must get the idea.


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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 03/15/04 - Why is evil evil?

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Dark_Crow answered on 03/15/04:

It is simply deemed so

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Question/Answer
XCHOUX asked on 03/13/04 - Individual Freedom vs Societal Needs

I want to do a little thinking and reading about individual freedom and the needs of the individual's society to maintain, well, stability or whatever.

Could someone(s) give me a place to start thinking about this, or a web site to visit with info or a book.

Chou

Dark_Crow answered on 03/14/04:

I tend to go with Nietcheze on the matter of Individualism, it applies to (responsibility for our own actions) Free will not people doing their own thing. You might read him as well as the other two.

Locke (The political state is justifiedby consent of the people, who presume that the state will protect their natural rights to life, liberty, and property ,which is the moral law)

and Rousseau (The social contract is the tacit agreement to abide by the general will which is what I and all others living in a community will for ourselves even when we disagree with particular legislation.)

The function of a civil society to give security to its members but of course in the world we have not one civil society but many.

Therefore, our government in the US must be committed to its civil society and natural rights to life, liberty, and property ,which is the moral law; not to the civil society of other governments.
So, until we have on earth one civil society, under one government, all terrorism outside of ones civil society is justified

(Ducking for cover)

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Question/Answer
XCHOUX asked on 03/09/04 - Ultra Deep Field

Astronomers received light from Hubble that had streaked through space for 13 Billion years and viewed very close to the beginning of the Universe(13.7 Billion Years). The galasxies vere very chaotic and screwy acting. But, be calm, thee were gas fumes that formed the appearance of an old guy with a bear just behind these galaxies. Just kidding about the old guy part. Soon, the very origin of the Universe.

Dark_Crow answered on 03/10/04:

There are some language experts who say it is likely that the first language appeared between two people somewhere in central Africa. I wonder, was it between a he and she?

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Question/Answer
Jon1667 asked on 03/08/04 - The Passion is a hoot.

The Passion is a hoot.

http://film.guardian.co.uk/features/featurepages/0,4120,1159068,00.html

Dark_Crow answered on 03/08/04:

Saggee shapeer! Laa tsaabey naa d-esakkey l-mapaqtaa trayaanaaytaa.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 03/07/04 - Too much?

A new book by an American social scientist, Barry Schwartz, called The Paradox of Choice, suggests that reducing choices can limit anxiety. Your reaction?

Dark_Crow answered on 03/08/04:

In some cases like people who suffer from mental unbalance I believe limited choice does reduce stress, however with people like myself who are mentally balancedJ---it only allows for more opportunity.

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Question/Answer
XCHOUX asked on 03/07/04 - Capitalism

Capitalism, in order not to become brutal, must be balanced by strong religious/spiritual belief. Today, politicians and corporations are not concerned by traditional ethical values.

We need a strong shame factor if we are to deal with politicians and the corporate tactics.

Martha needs to do hard time for a start.

Comments.....

Dark_Crow answered on 03/07/04:

Martha needs to move in with me, I might teach her some common sense:)

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 03/03/04 - What is love?

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Dark_Crow answered on 03/03/04:

Schweitzer suggests, "The ethic of Reverence for Life is the ethic of love widened into universality.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 03/01/04 - How can we deal with evil?

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Dark_Crow answered on 03/02/04:

Evil describes aspects of human beings that diverge from the loving, righteous, natures within; which in contrast lead to social strength, and continuing survival through love for one another.

Evil is not limited to one culture or one time, it is absolute.
How can we deal with evil? Fight it with the nature of Love that is with-in all the human race, it flows like life itself; with-in the blood in each of us.

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Question/Answer
XCHOUX asked on 02/28/04 - Irony

Irony is the dominant sensibility of current times. I had to run for a pen and ppaper, so I didn't this brief, important idea down the way I wanted to.

I wonder, is irony part of the dreaded Post Modernism? I know it is my dominant view of the world and happenings.

Comments welcome.....

Dark_Crow answered on 02/28/04:

No, what is ironic is the truth Post Modernism brings with it.

So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence.
--Bertrand Russell

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Question/Answer
XCHOUX asked on 02/28/04 - Literature is on the side of Good...

.....the fatuous are punished by ridicule..... Interview with Paul Fussell.

Comments?

Dark_Crow answered on 02/28/04:

felicitous

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Question/Answer
XCHOUX asked on 02/28/04 - C-Span2 Book Review

Today I saw a book review with Paul Fussell regarding his new book "The Boy Crusade:.." , and it was fabulous! He talked about many interesting "philosophical" ideas that really turned me on. I'm going to make some posts in the future(I tried to make notes, but hey, I'm not 20 anymore),and would love everyone's input on the ideas.

Mr. Fussell is an expert on military history and has an intellect. Fascinating was his factual information about WWII, and his ideas about, well, lots of things!

Anyway?

"Human life generates nothing but anger"

What are your thoughts on this statement.....

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Dark_Crow answered on 02/28/04:

yes, most people do tend to piss me off!!

Sorry, once that was true, but, no more, well--I quess it depends, Hmmm

I need more time to think about that--decisions, decisions, decisions

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 02/27/04 - To what extent are we liberated by philosophy?

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Dark_Crow answered on 02/28/04:

"There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."
- William Shakespeare

"Poets say science takes away from the beauty of the stars- mere globs of gas atoms. I, too, can see the stars on a desert night, and feel them. But do I see less or more? The vastness of the heavens stretches my imagination- stuck on this carousel my little eye can catch one-million- year-old light. A vast pattern, of which I am a part.... What is the pattern, or the meaning, or the _why_? It does not hurt the mystery to know a little about it. For far more marvelous is the truth than any artists of the past imagined it. Why do the poets of the present not speak of it? What men are poets who can speak of Jupiter if he were a man, but if he is an immense spinning sphere of methane and ammonia must be silent?"
- Richard Feynman

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Question/Answer
Gguru asked on 02/23/04 - LIFE?

As follow up on Ethical Reason's short series of questions about identity/ability to identify:

Will we be (are we?) able to recognize each and every form of LIFE or intelligence and value it to its true merits?

Dark_Crow answered on 02/23/04:

It seems to that in order to do that we would need evolution to stand still, I dont thinkkkk soooo

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Question/Answer
ethical_reason asked on 02/19/04 - OK, I finally have a philsophical question

It's been a while. Yeck!

What do you think you could strip away from man and still have it be called man? So take all the aspects of man: Mind, body, society, love, dirty fingernails.... Whatever you think is unnecessary take it away until you have only what is necessary for it to still be man.



Dark_Crow answered on 02/20/04:

nothing

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 02/16/04 - FORMULISM:


"Formulism is a rejection of artificial divisions, such as those based on religion, ethnicity, nationality and political affiliation. Formulists recognize just one world (without borders) and just one race (the human race). People are viewed as equal and divided only by their actions toward others (as defined by a simple equation). Formulists may hold religious beliefs, but those who do also realise that beliefs are not the same as facts; indeed, that religion in general has had nothing but a detrimental effect upon humanity. It's for these reasons that Formulists neither profess nor practise their beliefs - an example that we hope all will one day choose to follow."

Source: Formulism Web Site

Your comments ... if any!

HANK

Dark_Crow answered on 02/16/04:

They start with a premise that is untrue and end it with a conclusion that most likely untrue. There has been a lot of good that has came from religion, and then of course it would violate natural rights, although there is some argument as to whether there are natural rights.

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 02/15/04 - When, if ever, is suicide justifiable?

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Dark_Crow answered on 02/15/04:

I believe it is justified by the desire of each adult that is legally sane.

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Question/Answer
XCHOUX asked on 02/08/04 - BBC Reels Under Criticism

"The Week Magazine" Feb 13, 2004 Page 15

"Tony Blair has been exonerated, said George Jones in the 'Daily Telegraph'. The BBC accused Blair of purposefully lying about Iraq's weapon's capabilities, attributing the claim to an unnamed source. When that source was outed in the media as scientist David Kelly, he killed himself. The tragedy prompted an unprecedented barrage of accusations and counter-accusations between the government and the BBC, and an independent commission was appopinted to report on Kelly's death. Nobody espected the report, released last week by the commission head Lord Hutton, to be so "damning" of the BBC. Hutton accused the BBC of having a "defective" editorial system that sllowed its reporters to make "unfounded", politically biased calims, and he cleared the government of any wrongdoing. ...The BBC face "the worst crisis in its history".

Having watched BBC America in the past and been disgusted with its bias, this proof is good news to me.

Comments?

Dark_Crow answered on 02/11/04:

Spurious Rag, is what I call it, its almost over the top as far as Hannity is in the other direction

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Question/Answer
tonyrey asked on 02/09/04 - When and to what extent should we be dogmatic?

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Dark_Crow answered on 02/11/04:

I gotta confess, Im more Catmatic than Dogmatic, but then I guess that depends on how you define dogmatic, some define it as an accepted fact, that in fact is not a fact.
In that case it is not what I would recommend.