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Stephanos
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75 posted 12-17-2008 11:43 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Grinch:
quote:
"I can't know." Isn’t the clarion call of Theologians, at least as far as I hear it - To me it sounds too often like “I don’t want to know.”


Hi Grinch,

How appropriate it is to have dialogue with you so close to Christmas!

Remember that atheists and theists (particularly of the Christian kind) disagree on what constitutes true knowledge.  Both would say that the other doesn't want to know, what the other constitutes as the real thing.  Wish fulfillment can go both ways.  Atheists will always say that theists believe in God because they secretly fear absolute death and the dismantling of their humanity.  Theists will say that atheists fear judgment day and the implications of an authoritative being of sublime holiness and purity, and so try to "wish" that knowledge away too.

But in speaking of true science which is always descriptive, and not the atheistic philosophy which has parasitically attached itself to scientific theories of late, why should theologians "not want to know"?  

I don't believe the science behind Neo-Darwinism is convincing.  But we've already had the discussion before, that evolutionary science doesn't do away with the need for God ... unless of course you want to deify nature and become a pantheist of some sort.

quote:
It’s a necessary evil if you wish to believe in the existance of an all powerful and all knowing god. Unfortunately if such a god exists free will doesn’t,


It's a necssary condition (evil wouldn't make sense here) if you wish to believe in a purely naturalistic scheme.  If God is all powerful, that means he's bound to slavishly control all things?  An omnipotent God couldn't give a degree of real freedom, and still get his will accomplished?

quote:
it isn’t the process of determinism that disallows free will, it is the act of successfully determining a future effect that holds that particular honour.


What exactly do you mean by "determining a future effect"?  How would such undermine freewill, while naturalistic determinism itself (one set of physical circumstances necessarily leading to another, including the cortex of the brain) would not?  


V-Fib:
quote:
I’m responding to you, out of respect for your site ownership, and what I perceive and hope is your more serious educational background in these subjects, compared to what I would call the average amateur poet posting in this thread. That may sound condescending, but I’m just being honest.

I'm just seriously not interested in giving people here an intro to Philosophy class,  or intro to cognitive neuroscience class....3 paragraphs of typing at a time.


If Dennett is your only example of serious philosophy then you are being pretentious in the extreme.  

When you made your comment about Descarte solving the problem of epistemology in a naturlistic scheme, I responded by bringing to your attention an entire tradition of Philosophy that sprung up later which tends to deny your glib dismissal, and mentioned many philosophers who have been remembered far beyond their death (I'm honestly not sure that Daniel Dennett is in this category, as far as philosophy goes), and you've said nothing about philosophy.

You're right it is condescending, and matters very little how honest you are to your own feelings, if you don't care to share with us your philosophical knowledge, but keep reminding us how you need to educate all of us in these fields.  

I myself suspect I know more of philosophy than you, because of the way you wave it away with statements about how you don't have time to share with those who are ignorant.  But it would be arrogant for me to claim it as certainly so, until you talk and share something more than "Get Daniel Dennet's book for Christmas, and call me when you're educated".  

At least you could share some of Dennet's philsophical ideas, as I did of Lewis (which you didn't respond to either, except to whisk the Oxford Don away as a 'simpleton').  Quote him and comment if you wish, and allow for rebuttal.  Put his ideas in your own mouth and show me that you know where he's coming from.    

quote:
You all want to knock big, bad VB, with his fancy sounding words, and smug scientific knowlege, off his high horse...yeah...I get it...well, you're gonna have to do better than what I've seen here.


Not content to bear the reproach of insulting just one person?

quote:
I wonder how we would hold intelligent, autonomous agents responsible for things in ‘indeterministic’ “bizarro theist universe”? …A mythical place where magical, invisible spirits and demons, on a moment notice,  invade bodies, and control minds, and make people fall down writhe around on the floor and speak in tongues?


Rather than answer the question posed by Ron about the problems with complete determinism, you have chosen to misrepresent Christian Theism.  I'll explain.

Miracles, though incredible, are only incredible against a backdrop of regularity.  God has made a lawful universe.  Even Einstein felt strongly that his theories of relativism did not undermine order and purpose which is evident all around us.  Miracles only suggest that there are exceptions, or higher laws if you will.  The very fact that scientists say our origins come from a banging singularity where the laws of nature break down, ought to suggest the sheer possibility of wiggle room here.  So then, the question becomes about particular miracles in either an experiential or a historical way.  The question of whether the resurrection of Jesus Christ really happened, for example, is one to be considered not on sheer philosophy, but on historical veracity.  For example, does the martyrdom and severe persecution of many (which isn't disputed) who would have known that the resurrection was a sham, make good historical or psychological sense?

Much more can be said along these lines.  But what I wanted to emphasize is that miracles are miracles by virtue of irregularity and rarity.  And so to recite a list of them to prove a theistic universe would be a "Bizzaro" universe without law or stability is more than a little misguided.  

  
quote:
(I’m sure that’s perfectly moral by the way…slaughtering your enemy…every last women and infant…as long as god told you to…right Stephan?)


Actually that is right.  "If" is a key word.  I maintain that God has the prerogative to judge sin and impute death as he sees fit.

Still, its also important to remember that the Old Testament represents an incomplete revelation, predominated by the Severity of Law and punishment (though mercy was not totally absent, it was not the focal point).  The New Testament does change things.  Divine evolution if you prefer.     Not evolution of God, mind you, whose character does not change, but of his dispensational approach with a humanity that does.    

quote:
You see the problem is Ron, I’m well educated on Christianity, Philosophy and Science…


No, the problem is, you haven't demonstrated it.

quote:
I’m guessing most of the faithful Christians on this site haven’t even read the whole bible.


Why would you guess that?  And why are you 'guessing' anyway?  Not a very scientific approach is it?  

I, for one, have read the entire Bible.  What's that got to do with it?

quote:
As opposed to the morally bankrupt salvation theology of Christianity where you aren’t held responsible for ANYTHING you’ve done or do, if you click your heals together 3 times and say ‘forgive me Jesus’....can I have my pleasant eternal life now?


This lets me know that it is you who have not read the bible.  Honestly, if you think salvation is nothing more than a get-someone-off-the-hook clause, where things like repentance and restitution are not required, you've invented your own caricature.  Study how divine forgiveness doesn't annul earthly consequences, especially in the life of David, and get back to me.  Then we'll look at what the New Testament says about the nature of the forgiveness of sins, and whether it is simply a get-out-of-jail-free card, and nothing more.

quote:
Took you a long time growing up to program it all as well, I have no delusions that I’m gonna deprogram it in the least in these exchanges, nor do I care to…just chatting.


Nor can your philosophy explain why one program would even be "better" than another, except by appeals to survival-value which is pending and would be very much a faith-like statement for you.

Could be wrong, but I suppose that's why you add that you don't care.  Besides the detached-poet-bard stance is so very cool.

quote:
You do accept the theory of evolution as the best explanation for the history and diversity of life on this planet…don’t you Ron? Guess I forgot to check with Stephan as well…


I think the question really is how much of "evolution" someone accepts.  I don't think it speaks into origins at all, though some mean something like "atheistic naturalism" when they say evolution.  If we know the Earth to be very old, then the amount of time for repicating life is small indeed.  C.S. Lewis and Dinesh D'Souza are two Christian apologists who had no problem believing in Darwinism.  And while I don't accept the theory of Common Descent (because I simply think the evidence isn't there), I don't have a problem with those who do.  I don't think evolution would remove the need for God.  As G.K. Chesterton once said, a slow miracle is still a miracle.    

quote:
I've dodge no questions, nor have I expressed any ideas about any 'philosophy of ethics'


How bout I quote you?

"Will I ever find the answer,
To life’s existential quiz?
Or perhaps I fear to speak it;

‘There is no ought, there only is’


quote:
What about The Sneferitzle Flaghintude?

Hey....Isn't that the tiny gland in the brain where the 'will' and the  'spirit' interface with the neurons and chemicals and the rest of the boring and mundane brain stuff?


Nah, I think its the name of the hoped-for biological mechanism for the reproduction and survival of non-replicating entities that eventually became alive in the primordial soup.

Or is it the name for the infinitude of other universes invoked by those who won't admit that our own universe is specified and fine tuned for our existence?  

Sorry if your continuous stream of contumelies has made me a little frisky in return.  Hope you know its all good-natured.  




(and guys, please spell my real name right.  Brad, it's been what 10 years or so?

StephEn

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (12-18-2008 12:03 AM).]

Ron
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76 posted 12-18-2008 12:13 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
(and guys, please spell my real name right.  Brad, it's been what 10 years or so?

StephEn

LOL. Makes me sort of hesitant to ask why you registered as StephAnos?
Stephanos
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77 posted 12-18-2008 12:21 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Ron, Stephanos is simply Greek for "Stephen".  Why did I choose that?  Why does anyone choose goofy screen-names?  The point of friendly agitation is that I've signed my English name at the end of hundreds of posts.  And I still get:


Stephan ...



Of course there are worse things I can get called, (like ignorant fool and bigot) so I won't mention it again.    

Maybe I'll just start calling Brad, Bard, and claim a typo like you. lol.

Stephen
rwood
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78 posted 12-18-2008 12:35 AM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

quote:
I would MUCH rather pick a new fable and whip up a new poem in 15 minutes then debate what 'is' means, with moonbeams....or explain to rwood he's not like a big quantum particle...sigh...


Well, darn, and I don’t have a big set of atomic balls either, in theory. I’m a she, not a he or an it without any explanation, thank you. And I can’t move faster than the speed of light, so size does matter. And there is the question of whether I exist to you at all, since you haven’t physically observed me in all my wild glory.

Patterning was my interest in quantum mechanics: A true phenomenon always interests me.

'It is impossible, absolutely impossible to explain it in any classical way'.(Richard Feynman)

Perhaps I’ve read you wrongly, but I feel what bothered you about my statement isn’t what little bit that I and everyone else understands about quantum physics, but how I mentioned that it strengthened my belief in God. If Einstein was searching for info on “The Old One,” in his work, why would it bother you that someone like me would?

There is more than what meets the anthropological eye and there is much more to life than anyone with a brilliant brain understands. Three cheers to discovery.

and sure, the occasional party is always good for the spirit, takes the edge off of things, unless one partakes of too many spirits and ends up kneeling before a porcelain object.

good night all

reg
moonbeam
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79 posted 12-18-2008 03:49 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Stephen !

See I do it right (and always have).  Do I get a choc drop?
quote:
Division by zero and the Uncertainty Principle (two names for the same thing) are reflections of God and free will.


Not bad Ron.  Not bad at all. Maybe I'll just un-capitalise, or substitute something rather less parochial for "God" though.  
rwood
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80 posted 12-18-2008 08:33 AM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

Grinch,

quote:
Determinism?

It’s a necessary evil if you wish to believe in the existance of an all powerful and all knowing god. Unfortunately if such a god exists free will doesn’t, but it isn’t the process of determinism that disallows free will, it is the act of successfully determining a future effect that holds that particular honour. Without god free will and determinism are quite compatible all the non-believers have to do is learn that they can’t know.


More please, if you will. It’s early and I’m still trying to kick start my mind, but I’m awake enough to know that statement interests me…..non-believers? In determinism? or God? or….? Anyway, I hope you will go there again and I look forward to reading when I can.
rwood
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81 posted 12-18-2008 09:03 AM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

Good morning, Sharon.

quote:
Welcome back lady.  You are going to enjoy our latest member's input to this forum.  I know I sure am.  Thank goodness you showed up to represent the so-called, "weaker sex."


Thanks and yes I’m happy VB has joined in, which he probably missed my welcome due to the excitement so, again, Salut to VB.

Thanks also for your vote of confidence but I’m severely under qualified to rep anything above an exhausted human.  Not enough hours in the day and me legs feel like pickets at a protest.  Gotta go run the race.  Maybe later I’ll be more up to flexing my sexiest muscle.

See ya’s

love,
reg
Vestibular Bard
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82 posted 12-18-2008 10:33 AM       View Profile for Vestibular Bard   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Vestibular Bard

Just a quick comment for the philosophy impaired....

Daniel Dennett is a prominent American philosopher whose research centers on philosophy of mind, philosophy of science and philosophy of biology, particularly as those fields relate to evolutionary biology and cognitive science. He is currently the co-director of the Center for Cognitive Studies and the Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy at Tufts University.
He is also one of those nasty outspoken atheists.

C.S. Lewis was a very accomplished fantasy writer. Who wrote spellbinding tales of talking animals and humans battling in good vs. evil fantasylands...with plenty of biblical overtones.

Later in life, his wife dies tragically, leaving him quite sad. He threw himself into religion, and applied his well honed literary skills to becoming a self styled Christian apologist, and theologian. He wrote many fantasy Christian stories, where his talking lions were replaced with talking devils and demons.

C.S. Lewis is not a 'philosopher' in any way, shape or form compared to Dennett. He is not educated in any formal science or philsophy or mind. It would be just as ridiculous to compare a male nurse with the nuerosurgeon at a hospital...or to quote a male nurse's opinion on a delicate brain surgery, as it is to quote C.S. Lewis in a discussion of human behavior and the brain.

This 5 minutes of concise philosophy education is brought to you by the Vestibular Bard, who clearly has forgotten more wretched and errant philosophy, than certain posters here will ever know...
moonbeam
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83 posted 12-18-2008 10:34 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam



quote:
a refusal to see anything outside one's personal tunnel.

That about sums up your presentation VB.  That together with a talent for presenting sufficient superficial knowledge in many other arenas, to allow you to then try to ridicule those ideas in staccato jibes and quasi-intellectual sounding bytes.

You've clearly had problems VB, and believe me, I am sincerely sympathetic to anyone who has suffered the mental illness that you apparently have.  But your exposure to the medical profession and possibly the things you have learned about the mechanics of the brain and the wonders of medical science seem to have either created or hardened a unfortunate trait in you that prevents you being civil to anyone who doesn't hold your precise view.  Rudeness and bombastic verbiage in a constant stream does make it quite difficult to take anything you say seriously.  

You keep mentioning Hawking, sometimes in a less than complimentary way, and Ron has briefly touched on some of  what I regard as the more important questions that can be asked about our universe.  I have read all Hawking's books and some lectures, and I can assure you that the issues he addresses do impact upon what you regard as the "realities" of life, the minutiae of neurology and the advances of medical science.

Right now however you clearly aren't in a suitable frame of mind to debate publicly.  Possibly you might be more comfortable not playing to an audience in e-mail?  Or possibly you just want to ignore this "amateur poet" who just wants to debate the meaning of "is" (actually could be productive) and go back to producing your entertaining off-the-cuff 15 minute odes.    

(Note to Ron or Brad: Humm, I wrote the above after I read VB's response to Regina.  I see that response has vanished, whether by his hand or someone elses. If you feel anything I've said above is inappropriate, please feel free to remove.)
rwood
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84 posted 12-18-2008 10:42 AM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

LoL. No. That's not me. And I'm not on any pew and don't plan to be. The only new anything I'm completely sure of are my New Balance shoes which are about to assist me in running out the door.

You're certainly not boorish. I'm equally grateful for wit and humor and I might even have some kind of disorder that involves having a warped fetish for sarcasm. Dunno.

Thank you for both of your poems. I'm not sure I deserve any credit for inspiring the first one since I think I'm a bit "Miss Understood," but the second one? Absolutely. Merengue?

I have dancing shoes too!!

Actually, I agree with a fair portion of what you say and I'll get to that when I can.

Thanks for responding and for your friendship

reg
Vestibular Bard
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85 posted 12-18-2008 10:44 AM       View Profile for Vestibular Bard   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Vestibular Bard

quote:

Thanks and yes I’m happy VB has joined in


Don't get too happy...the powerful overlord is deleting my posts one by one...because they make him and his comments look silly...and no one wants to look silly in front of their kingdom and their subjects...very few people can deal with being laughed at...laughter is the most potent weapon we humans possess...which is why 'freedom of speech' is just as 'counter intuitive' as Quantum mechanics...and why it never lasts long in any place where the powerful can silence the powerless...without a charge of breaking any rule....off to the dungeon...burn the witty and smart apostate at the stake...that's what Calvin did to Servetus...google it...so you'll know the story...

The rule here is obviously don't raise the ire of the site owner...don't challenge his sacred cows or views...don't point out his outrageous mistatements or erroneous claims...just be good little serfs...so he doesn't delete your posts with no explanation.
moonbeam
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86 posted 12-18-2008 10:51 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam



quote:

The rule here is obviously don't raise the ire of the site owner...don't challenge his sacred cows or views...don't point out his outrageous mistatements or erroneous claims...just be good little serfs...so he doesn't delete your posts with no explanation.

~sigh~ VB Trust me, this is one you can't win, and you'll look back in a few months time and see how silly you were.   Like I say, trust me, I've been there done that.

You'd be a sad loss to this site.  Play nice
Vestibular Bard
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87 posted 12-18-2008 10:55 AM       View Profile for Vestibular Bard   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Vestibular Bard

quote:
quote:
a refusal to see anything outside one's personal tunnel.

That about sums up your presentation VB.  That together with a talent for presenting sufficient superficial knowledge in many other arenas, to allow you to then try to ridicule those ideas in staccato jibes and quasi-intellectual sounding bytes.


My superior knowledge really bothers you...so you feel helpless in responding to ANY of it with any intellectual argument that employs reason and evidence, so instead all you can do is belittle my 'elitism'...thank-you Sara Palin.

I wonder how you would fair in a basketball game against an NBA player...even one of your own gender?
Would you shake her fist at her 'superficial' skills?

Is calling me a mental defect your idea of being 'civil'...I don't remember calling anyone anything approaching that here..I do remember running over some sacred cows tho...

At least Reg saw my reply..and it made her laugh...there are some kewl ppl here, with a sense of humor..who don't take themselves...or me...too seriously...thank-you Jesus.
Ron
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88 posted 12-18-2008 10:56 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
..without a charge of breaking any rule


Which part of summarily deleted didn't you understand?

You're just lucky we don't have a rule against run-on sentences.

quote:
..because they make him and his comments look silly

Actually, had you read back through the forums as I suggested (it's clear you didn't), you would have realized that I've always been the one person on this site that people like you get to ridicule with impunity. Comes with the job. You'd also have realized that challenging sacred cows or views is not only allowed but encouraged. Treating people badly, however, is not. Even if you apparently can't help yourself.
Ron
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89 posted 12-18-2008 11:01 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
I wonder how you would fair in a basketball game against an NBA player...even one of your own gender?

LOL. Sorry, VB, but you are decidedly not an NBA player. Not even close.
Vestibular Bard
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90 posted 12-18-2008 11:04 AM       View Profile for Vestibular Bard   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Vestibular Bard

Sure Ron...

Whatever...your actions speak much louder than your words.

Your disdain for science and your inability to even recognize life sciences as a science...is a 'Rorschach Test on Steroids'

The delete button is so much easier than the think, laugh and reply button...I understand why you reach for it...


Ron...I'll take you one on one in anything intellectual...you're just too scared to let me play...

Reach for the delete button...it's so easy...
Vestibular Bard
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91 posted 12-18-2008 11:14 AM       View Profile for Vestibular Bard   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Vestibular Bard

Garsh Ron...sorry I didn't take time to read thru 10 years of hackneyed philosohical/theological discussions on this site...I'll get right on that after lunch...I guess you had a run in with moonbeam at some point..on whether Jesus was right or left handed...and you let her live...how gracious.
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92 posted 12-18-2008 11:18 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Ron...I'll take you one on one in anything intellectual...you're just too scared to let me play...

On the contrary, you've been invited to play with us many times, not just by me but by others here as well. Your idea of intellectual discourse, however, has been to mock other people while continuously telling us how smart and funny you think you are. Writers should learn to show, not tell, and I'm afraid you've done little to demonstrate either quality.

Instead of attacking the poster, which will just get you deleted from here on out, why don't you try to something new. Instead of ridiculing our ideas with meaningless jibes, why don't you actually try supporting your own with, oh I don't know, actual research. I have yet to hear you say ONE SINGLE THING in this forum that suggests you actually understand anything about science. All you've done is drop a few buzz words and a few big names (at least one of which isn't as big as you think). Is that typical of the kinds of papers you wrote in school?

It's time to put up or shut up.


Vestibular Bard
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93 posted 12-18-2008 11:44 AM       View Profile for Vestibular Bard   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Vestibular Bard

On the contrary Ron, I wrote a very thorough dismantling of Stephen’s fallacious argument and conclusions in my post number 1, and revisted it again in post 29. And nothing I’ve eloquently and persuasively argued there…has been refuted or touched by Stephen or you.
I wrote a very thorough reply to your mildly intellectual musing as to whether I thought humans were ‘billiard balls’. I’ve endured and  entertained the most hilarious, derivative, shallow clichés in these exchanges you can imagine…and bit my tongue in laughter countless times.
So all you can do is find fault with my sarcastic wit and parody.  All you can do is mock my superior knowledge, while never demonstrating any of your own.

"Biology is just like astrology."

"If I want to learn how human emotions actually influence behavior…I’ll read Shakespeare instead of Ledoux."
"Are humans like billiard balls, VB"?

That about sums up your intellectual contribution to this thread.

Here’s the difference between me and you Ron…I’ve read Shakespeare and LeDoux. C.S. Lewis and Dennett. I can write a sonnet, or have an intelligent conversation about the latest research taking place in cognitive neuroscience.
You can’t, thus I'm a threat to your ego.

So you need to delete me…I’m a threat to your imagined intellectual superiority.

The delete key is much easier than reading ‘Synaptic Self.
…you or Stephen or moonbeam wouldn’t make it thru the first chapter.

Other people here have called me all kinds of names,  some quite direct and vile, and some garden variety passive aggressive stykle…they have claimed I have no knowledge like THEY do, and hypocritically belittled me as mentally ill, while extending their smarmy, faux sympathy in the same sentence as they insult me.

But there posts aren’t being deleted…I wonder why?

I am honest. I know I am sarcastic, I know I can come off as condescending…

...but you don’t realize it in YOURSELF Ron…you can’t be honest with yourself…

...check the mirror…read your first post to me in this thread again.

You’re not some shining example of good manners and fair play Ron…you’re a bully who owns a poetry site, and you have a delete button.

I’m a sarcastic poet that stands up to bullies.

The people here who are fair and open minded, and who have complimented me, know the score...even if you don't.
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94 posted 12-18-2008 12:03 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam



quote:
Is calling me a mental defect your idea of being 'civil'.

If sincerely commiserating with you for having suffered a debilitating illness is calling you a "mental defect" then I'm sorry and I withdraw what was kindly meant.  I have been trying to understand where you are "coming from" VB, I did some research on vestibular disorders and came across a site where I believe you are active, and where you are trying to help other sufferers.  (Of course I apologise for jumping to conclusions if there are two Vestibular Bards with your syntax and diction).  
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since 05-19-99
Posts 9708
Michigan, US


95 posted 12-18-2008 12:25 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
On the contrary Ron, I wrote a very thorough dismantling of Stephen’s fallacious argument and conclusions in my post number 1, and revisted it again in post 29.

I won't try to speak for Stephen, but frankly, I don't think you understood his poem let alone dismantled it. But let's assume you did understand it. Do you really think telling us your reply "was factual and precise," without offering any support, is going to convince anyone? If there's anything at all in that post that shows an understanding of science, please by all means, quote it to me. All I saw was a lot of derogative adjectives being used.

quote:
I wrote a very thorough reply to your mildly intellectual musing as to whether I thought humans were ‘billiard balls’.

LOL. This is what you call "a very thorough reply?"

No Ron, we’re not ‘billiard balls’, we are highly evolved biological organisms with the largest most sophisticated cortex on the planet. Was that a trick question?

I suppose it didn't occur to you that one doesn't preclude the other? Yes, we're evolved biological organisms (the jury is still out on your superfluous adverb), but you certainly didn't address the issue of choice. You did understand that was the question, right?

Again, if there's anything at all in that post that demonstrates your superior understanding of science, please feel free to directly quote it to me.

quote:
"Biology is just like astrology."

Putting words into someone's mouth isn't very sanitary. I hope you washed them first?

I, of course, never said that. What I actually said was, "Biology is cool, I suppose," specifically differentiating it from the much softer sciences I then compared to astrology. And you know what? I'm perfectly willing to listen to arguments supporting your cognitive sciences and might even admit they have (some) uses. You haven't offered any such arguments, though, have you?

quote:
But there posts aren’t being deleted…I wonder why?

You finally make a good point, a valid point, I think, albeit one I've already asked myself.

I came very close to removing Moon's last post, the one with the mental illness crack, but ultimately decided not to. In part, that's for the same reason I didn't delete the first few of yours that went way over the line. People get some benefit of doubt points that generally can last them a while. Like a three-strike felon, however, they can eventually reach a point where even the most minor infraction (your deleted posted weren't nearly as bad as earlier ones) can bring down the hammer more quickly than would otherwise be the case. You've used up all your leeway, simple as that.

There was another part, though, probably the larger part, and it goes right back to my first post in this thread (the one you didn't like so much). When you continuously poke a dog with a stick, you shouldn't be too surprised (or morally outraged) when the dog takes a nip at your outstretched fingers. My job, of course, is to make sure the dogs don't take off an arm or leg, and I take that job fairly seriously. Please, though, don't expect me to get too mad at the dogs? Like the scorpion in another apocryphal story, they're just doing what dogs do.


Vestibular Bard
Member
since 12-11-2008
Posts 153
New York


96 posted 12-18-2008 05:06 PM       View Profile for Vestibular Bard   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Vestibular Bard

quote:

I won't try to speak for Stephen, but frankly, I don't think you understood his poem let alone dismantled it.


Again, you fail to address a single point in any of my replies with any rational argumentation.

I went through Stephen’s poem stanza by stanza, and pointed out exactly where his fallacious errors were, and why they were fallacious, and why they led him to a fallacious conclusion. You haven’t replied to ANY thing I said or any point I made in those posts.

I also complimented Stephan on the style and the overall tone of humility and reconciliation in his poem…and told him if I was in his shoes, I would be quite proud of that poem had I written it.
Stephen, though I don’t agree with his theology or philosophy, is still quite humble in his poetry and his approach, compared to some of the more typical displays of hate-filled, allegedly ‘Christian’ poetry I’ve read  here.

It’s interesting, but it seems certain grumpy old men,  can’t seem to write a poem about their loving god, without putting other people down, and calling them immoral, stupid, repugnant and vile….

quote:

But let's assume you did understand it. Do you really think telling us your reply "was factual and precise," without offering any support, is going to convince anyone?


Again, you fail to address a single point in any of my replies with any rational argumentation.

Don’t know what kind of ‘support’ you’re looking for Ron, I assure you, I won’t be loaning you my jockstrap, my posts offered plenty of persuasive, accurate argumentation, in the form of WORDS that provided DETAILED arguments.

quote:

If there's anything at all in that post that shows an understanding of science, please by all means, quote it to me. All I saw was a lot of derogative adjectives being used.


You can go back and read my posts again Ron.

Again, you fail to address a single point in any of my replies with any rational argumentation.

You’ve already admitted you’re not the least bit interested science, why would I waste another second on you?

Here’s a direct quote:

“To be honest, I have very little interest in the soft sciences”

Ron never tells us what a ‘soft science’ is, but I’m guessing he means anything that is outside the Mechanical Engineering I’m guessing he studied 30+ years ago...which REALLY isn't science btw...Ron

Ron tells us that biology is ‘cool, I suppose’, even though it’s clear he hasn’t studied it in the least….but it’s ‘cool, I suppose’…

Ron then proceeds to write this incredibly hilarious statement:

“there's no such thing as "specific emotions triggering specific behavioral responses."

A child in grade school intuitively understands what behavioral responses ‘fear’ are going to trigger in someone on the playground…

a lion stalking prey on an African plain even knows this…but Ron….”I don’t like dem soft sciences’…can’t quite believe it…

So..Ron has spoken...close down the Universities, or at least move cognitive neuroscience and neurology to the ‘Humanities’ building with the French poetry classes…so it will be safe from the mechanical engineering and statistics classes Ron likes.

Here’s what you said Ron, here is the complete context of your quote.

“I would, of course, still like to learn about emotions, behavioral responses, and human consciousness. If you know of an E=MC^2 formula that applies to human beings, by all means, point me in the right direction. Failing that, however, I think I'll skip over the astrology stuff, if you don't mind? My advice would be to forget LeDoux and Damasio; if you want to understand emotions, responses, and consciousness you'd be much better off reading Shakespeare, Dostoevsky, Dickinson, and Hemingway (to name just a few). It's not science, but then it doesn't pretend to be, either.”

Again, its so hard for me to tell if you are a Poe doing a parody or this is for real…

Lets summarize the logic:

1. Ron really wants to learn about emotions, behavioral responses, and human consciousness.

2. But only if someone can sum it all up in a simple formula or slogan....that's what real science does!

3. Failing that…it really is ‘astrology stuff’...where amusingly enough...they summarize things with little zodiac signs they can remember easily.

4. So, if I want to understand how the human brain works, I won’t avail myself to any of the recent books written by the experts you’ve thoughtfully mentioned, VB,  I’ll read poetry and literature from the 17th and 18th century.

So you seem to be self contradicting Ron…here again, you pretend you want to understand ‘something’ about ‘science’…but only if it passes Ron’s ‘secret hard science litmus test’ and can be digested in a simple 4 symbol formula.
Sorry...done doing that dance.

Now then…one more thing to set the record straight.

I wrote a lengthy, complimentary and humorous response directly to Rwood that had NOTHING to do with you. She read it, laughed, and complimented me on it. She obviously took no OFFENSE at it…but YOU deleted it.

Why is that Ron?

This will be my last response to you Ron…if I do keep posting here, it will actually be with Stephen, who I owe another apology to, because I clearly misjudged his level of knowledge, interest and humility compared to yours.
Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


97 posted 12-18-2008 06:47 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Steve ,

Uh, I knew that. Still, and I've gotten in trouble for this before, I sometimes think using the nickname is easier than using the real name. It helps others see who you are talking to. I don't know, but I don't think I'm the only one who gets momentarily confused, when the switch to the real name is made.

But I admit I'm not consistent on this point.


quote:
But any references to the evolution debate were either totally subconscious on my part or projected on your part.  But as you've said in the past (that I at least partially agree with), once the ink leaves my pen, I have no jurisdiction on the effect it has.  

To be honest, the references to worms, poor eyes, and desolate houses were existential in nature rather than biological or geological.


Okay, but look at Mysteria's reaction to worms and/or VB's response to babes.

Placed in a slightly different context than the one you intended, the same metaphors (not to mention houses and eyes) are used in the evolution/creation debate. You know this. I know this. Most of us know this here. What intrigues me with the poem is how you used them for your own purposes. That you intended them as existential metaphors is fine but that doesn't exclude the geological time/evolutionary development line of thinking as well. The purpose of the poem is still clear.

In other words, you got lucky.

Or perhaps you've gleaned something from those debates that might be worth exploring in more detail.  

Since Dennet was brought into the discussion, I wonder how his "multiple homunculi" thesis fits in here.

Reading the beginning of this thread again, I'm a little confused by the 'argument from ignorance' line. If anything, aren't you arguing the opposite? I don't think VB was calling you ignorant (unless he misunderstands what he's talking about), but I don't see how the classic line,

"We don't know; therefore, it must be God,"

fits here.

If you want criticism from me, you've heard it before. I think you confuse origin with identity -- again.
Ron
Administrator
Member Rara Avis
since 05-19-99
Posts 9708
Michigan, US


98 posted 12-18-2008 07:05 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Ron never tells us what a ‘soft science’ is ...

Sure I did. To repeat myself, "To me, science is defined by repeatability and predictability."

quote:
A child in grade school intuitively understands what behavioral responses ‘fear’ are going to trigger in someone on the playground…

And a child in grade school is only slightly less likely to be right than your sociologist and psychologists. Again, "repeatability and predictability" are the keys that differentiate the hard and soft sciences. Run a given current through a given substance and the results are going to be the same every single time. You can't say the same about an emotion triggering a response. If you're honest about it, you can't even give me a reliable probability. The sociologist, psychologist, and child on the play ground are all just making guesses based on previous experience. The best I can say about the scientists is that they have more experience than the child. But an educated guess is still a guess.

Biology is a little higher up the rung than sociology and psychology, but only a little. Doctors aren't always real good at diagnosing an illness and, when they do get that part right, aren't always so good at treating it. They have to experiment, too, because every person is different from the last. But then, I think you already know more about that than I hopefully ever will.

I nonetheless accord Biology more respect than its softer counterpoints, because I believe (or hope, perhaps) that its weakness are a reflection of current knowledge and not an inherent limitation. We "can" know how to diagnose and treat an illness, even if we don't today. In contrast, sociology and psychology, as examples, will never be able to accurately predict individual human behavior.

quote:
2. But only if someone can sum it all up in a simple formula or slogan....that's what real science does!

It doesn't have to be simple. It just has to work every single time. It has to be more than an educated guess.

quote:
I wrote a lengthy, complimentary and humorous response directly to Rwood that had NOTHING to do with you. She read it, laughed, and complimented me on it. She obviously took no OFFENSE at it…but YOU deleted it.

Why is that Ron?

Because, frankly, it wasn't worth my time to edit out the paragraph or two where you insulted others in closing? I do that sometimes, but not often. I much prefer to put the responsibility (and subsequent consequences) where they belong.

quote:
This will be my last response to you Ron…if I do keep posting here, it will actually be with Stephen, who I owe another apology to, because I clearly misjudged his level of knowledge, interest and humility compared to yours.

You've misjudged a lot. I'm glad you recognized at least one.

I will be the first to admit that you've brought out the worst in some of us here, whether inadvertently or on purpose, and that's regrettable. Stephen deserves a lot of credit for absorbing your earlier abuse and responding like a gentleman and a Christian. I honestly wish I had been strong enough to do the same. Reminds me a bit of a line from that old Planet of the Apes movie, where Taylor says he would like to kiss Dr. Zira goodbye. "All right," she replies, "but you're so damn ugly." Replace ugly with irritating and I think I understand how Zira felt.
Stephanos
Deputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Elite
since 07-31-2000
Posts 3496
Statesboro, GA, USA


99 posted 12-18-2008 07:12 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Vestibular B:
quote:
Just a quick comment for the philosophy impaired....

Daniel Dennett is a prominent American philosopher whose research centers on philosophy of mind, philosophy of science and philosophy of biology, particularly as those fields relate to evolutionary biology and cognitive science. He is currently the co-director of the Center for Cognitive Studies and the Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy at Tufts University.
He is also one of those nasty outspoken atheists.


So far so good.  Except of course for the "philosophically impaired" jibe.  They're going to start calling you Vestibular Barb.      

quote:
C.S. Lewis was a very accomplished fantasy writer. Who wrote spellbinding tales of talking animals and humans battling in good vs. evil fantasylands...with plenty of biblical overtones.

Later in life, his wife dies tragically, leaving him quite sad. He threw himself into religion, and applied his well honed literary skills to becoming a self styled Christian apologist, and theologian. He wrote many fantasy Christian stories, where his talking lions were replaced with talking devils and demons.


Actually you've got the chronology all wrong.  Lewis was born in 1898.  He was raised to be religious, but was an atheist by the time he was a teenager.  In 1929 he became a struggling and searching theist.  In 1931 he was converted to Christianity.  He almost immediately wrote 'The Pilgrims Regress' a deeply philosophical and apologetic work.  'The Problem of Pain' was published in 1940, dealing with the philosophical question about suffering and evil in light of theism and atheism.  His book 'Miracles' came in 1947.  Interspersed between these strictly theological works, were imaginitave works in which Lewis used his love of story and myth to communicate Christian Truth, as he had already done in more direct and didactic forms.  In less than 10 years after his conversion he was an established public figure in Christian apologetics giving talks about Christianity on BBC radio (these addresses were eventually compiled into what became 'Mere Christianity').  The Chronicles of Narnia came out between 1950 and 1956. He didn't marry Joy Gresham until 1956.  She died of Cancer in 1960.  After which, the only work I know of was "A grief observed".  Lewis died in 1963.

I gave you this, incomplete and perhaps uninteresting time line, to let you know that he was a Christian and a widely read Christian apologist long before Joy Gresham came into his life.  You made it sound like he was a quaint little children's book writer, until he lost his wife ... which led him, perhaps in desperation, to dive into religion and theology for an escape.  Actually, the Narnia Chronicles were his only works for Children, which also were written later in his career.    

quote:
C.S. Lewis is not a 'philosopher' in any way, shape or form compared to Dennett.


Umm, I never claimed Lewis was a formal Philosopher.  Actually my references to Dennett (and my complaint about your references to him) had to do with the fact that you were failing to address the philosophers of the past pertinent to the problem of epistemology in a naturalistic scheme, which we were discussing.  I don't mind you quoting Dennett (which you didn't, you just kept telling me to read him), but I did mind that you dismissed Hume, Nietzsche, Kirkegaard, Sartre, Camus, Russell, who all in one way or another commented on the problem I was bringing to your attention.  Quoting only Dennett suggests a very narrow scope of Philosophy on your part.  Of course, you may have a wide exposure to the flow of philosophical thought through history, but until you show it ... It's not that we couldn't continue to talk about it, even if you didn't.  But telling other people they are ignorant gets you nowhere even if you ARE more knowledgable ... how much less if you apparantly aren't?  I'm not trying to be disrespectful, I'm just telling you how it seems on the receiving end.  

But back to Lewis ... I wasn't at all comparing him to Dennett anyway.


quote:
He is not educated in any formal science or philsophy or mind. It would be just as ridiculous to compare a male nurse with the nuerosurgeon at a hospital...or to quote a male nurse's opinion on a delicate brain surgery, as it is to quote C.S. Lewis in a discussion of human behavior and the brain.


I guess it would be different with a female nurse?

First of all, I never compared my education with that of neurosurgeon.  When I mentioned that I was a nurse I was only demonstrating the falsity of your charge that I was scientifically ignorant and dumber than a 10th grade science student.

Um, bard, perhaps it would be inappropriate for me to quote Lewis if were discussing mere behaviorism and brain-science.  We weren't.  We were discussing ethics (a major branch of philosophy, and no small limb on the Theological tree either) and religion.  Since Lewis was an erudite lay-theologian and philosopher, it was totally appropriate.  And not once did you really refute anything I quoted of Lewis anyway.

quote:
This 5 minutes of concise philosophy education is brought to you by the Vestibular Bard, who clearly has forgotten more wretched and errant philosophy, than certain posters here will ever know...


Whether it is all 'wretched' is a matter of your subjective taste.  Whether it is errant is debatable.  But this I grant you: it does seem clear that you have forgotten.


For what it's worth,

I appreciate your compliments.  You have great potential as a poet and as a person.  You're witty and intelligent.  

But I think what Ron and others are saying, is generally true.  You have mixed invective in with your views and opinions, and that won't fly well long term here or anywhere I suspect.  Actually I was wrong ... it won't fly here even short term, If I know Ron.

Think of it this way.  You're probably politically liberal right?  How do you like Ann Coulter's approach?  Even if she had some valid points, I'll bet you feel that you could never really access them because her presentation is so offensive and insulting that it would be lost in the delight/frustration of hitting back.  You, are coming across with the same kind of feel, even if your ideology is worlds apart.  I hope that doesn't offend you, it's just how it seems to me.  If you want to be heard and intelligently considered you should drop that stuff.

It would be a pity to see you go.  Hope you can stick 'round.  And I don't say that facetiously.  

Stephen

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (12-18-2008 09:09 PM).]

 
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