Tag Archives: philosophy

I love Kant, the later Wittgenstein, Derrida, post structualism, postmodernism and the philosophy of language.

The Book of Warren (The Unauthorised Revised Version)

In the beginning was a “big bang”. No one is sure how it happened but it happened about 14 billion years ago (in Earth time, that is). All the material in the universe came from this event. The material in the form of dust slowly gathered to form galaxies, suns, planets and satellites through attraction. The planet we call Earth was formed about 4 billion years ago, a little after the formation of the Sun, the star which gives us the energy for our survival, around which we revolve. Life on Earth began around 1 billion years ago in the form of simple cells. Our species – Homo – is perhaps one to two million years old. Civilisation in the form of societies and writing came about perhaps 20,000 years ago. Recognisable society is perhaps 7,000 years old. We know these things because we are smart.

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Modernism

Modernist movements believed their own movement could replace all others, that there was no question of their perfection, and no question of their progress.

Postmodernism, on the other hand, believed they owed their existence to Modernism, that perfection was impossible, and they were no better than or worse than the Modernism that came before them.

While Modernism believed it was internally consistent and readily self-definable, Postmodernism saw itself as play and a system of difference.

The human animal

There is always an anthropocentric view with being human. Yet if we take Darwin’s conclusion seriously then we are just another animal on this planet.

This being so we are not “unnatural” but truly just part of the entire animal kingdom and should be treated as such.

The way we consume resources is as natural as that of other animals. We are genetically programmed to take as much as we do. If natural selection is to work on us as it does on other animals then some kind of balance will come about.

Apparently some lobsters and eels form a symbiosis for survival. From the point of view of natural selection it would make sense that lobsters or eels who do not form this symbiosis may have a power chance of survival thus such animals being “weeded out” naturally. Perhaps just in the same way humans are weeded out by the system.

The insistence of existence

I am a Buddhist. But I do not believe in the existence of gods. I do, however, believe in the existence of their concepts. They are the stories in our minds to help us understand and make sense of the world we live in, to relate to things and each other as people and animals.

All concepts help us to communicate and think. We are good at making concepts (though we are not the only creatures to be able to do so).

Given our time, our knowledge and our understanding I think it is time we had moved on, after being held back for so long by the insistence of existence.

Rejection One, Two, Three

1.
Can I reject a god if there was not a god to reject in the first place?

What I am rejecting then is not a god but the notion or the concept of a god. Theists want to know how you can reject a god or God by positing its (or His) existence first by naming it then asking you to how you can reject it when it exists. What the theists mistake for a god is its name.

There is no proof of existence of a god other than by its name and the actions based on the belief of its existence, not on actual proof of its existence.

I do not believe in God, a god or gods but I do see the concept of God, a god and gods all around me in the form of human behaviour and nothing more.

2.
An atheist, then, should not be a rejection of the existence of a deity, anymore than I should not reject the existence of, say, Donald Trump. By rejecting existence of Donald Trump I would be considered a lunatic. This kind of thinking is what theists uses against an atheist’s rejection (the “how can you not believe in the existence of God?! That’s absurd!” argument).

The very term atheist relies on (or presumes) a positive term of (or a presence of a god) to reject in the first place. The terminology dupes us into a double take on whether there is a god to reject or not. Agnostics, in return, tried to play the same game, being drawn into a competition of verbal trickery. This will no longer do.

3.
Undoubtedly, I believe in the existence of the concepts of deity and deities. This is what we like to do as humans. It is natural for us to broadly paraphrase Mary Midgley to want to be given a reason to live. We are scared to live in a meaningless world as Jean-Paul Sartre might have said.

heart and soul

the necessary engine
of a body
the illusionary essence
of a being

Verifiability and Falsifiability

There are some things which are neither verifiable nor falsifiable, like God. If God is unchanging, permanent and all-pervasive then nothing we can do will ever give us a place where it is absent and therefore observable. So it is quite pointless to even talk of its unverifiable/unfalsifiable existence.

But there are things which are verifiable but have yet to be falsified, like gravity or the speed of light. What we have is a physical world that can be tested shown to work in a certain order to be able to call it a law. But there is no reason why it cannot be falsified, only that it has not been falsified.

From experience then we can say the world works in a certain way, the way it works holds true in most, if not all places. The chance that it might not hold true in some place we have yet to discover is not as important as the fact that it holds true in every place we have seen it. That, in itself, is our only judgement of the world.

We may make deductions (conclusions from general truth to a specific one) and inductions (conclusions from specific truth to a general one) but really they are all abductions, conclusions from probable observed outcomes of general and/or specific truths.