Laws and customs having the effect of law in our days can be traced directly to some powerful organized church or churches? That even in the US where they have an amendment separating church and state, the churches managed to have placed on the statutes the individual church’s code of moral taboos.
In his novel, For us, the living, Robert Heinlein writes and I quote
All forms of organized religion are alike in certain social respects. Each claims to be the sole custodian of the essential truth. Each claims to speak with final authority on all ethical questions. And every church has requested, demanded, or ordered the state to enforce its particular system of taboos. No church ever withdraws its claims to control absolutely by divine right the moral life of the citizens.
Robert A. Heinlein, For us, the Living
Such laws include but are not limited to tax exemption for church property, practically all laws pertaining to marriage and the relations between the sexes (laws against polygamy, adultery, birth control and others), censorship laws, laws prohibiting alocohol use, cigarettes.
In his book Genealogy of morals, Nietzsche makes the same argument and calls for a re-evaluation of morals. The difficulty I see is that after a while, these laws begin to have the form of common sense and thus their religious beginnings become obscured.
Generally, the more one reads, the more you learn you know so little. I don’t know if you all feel this way, but it happens to me all the time. I am more interested in why things are the way they are. And now, the question(s)
What does it mean one can relate? What does it mean one can have a relationship with someone?
Does it mean we have a similar outlook on the world so we can agree with each other? Does it mean our way of perceiving reality is compatible? Does it mean we see similarities in the other matching our characteristics? To be able to relate requires a broad array of subtle nuances in human behaviour traits, and of most of them, we are not even aware.
My ancestors didn’t leave behind a codified form of moral philosophy that we can quote like those works of individual philosophers like Plato, Aristotle and others I am too lazy to mention. But reading this article, it does seem to me that my ancestors were right. Sometimes I ask how could a few white men colonize my relatives? I think the grand parents owe us an explanation and an apology.
If you seriously believe that fundamental forces leave no space for free will, then it’s impossible for us to genuinely make choices as moral beings. We wouldn’t be accountable in any meaningful way for our reactions to global climate change, child trafficking or viral pandemics. The underlying physics would in reality be governing our behaviour, and responsibility wouldn’t enter into the picture.
and i don’t see why this is so. Free will skepticism doesn’t rule out the effect of training/ education in our behaviour.
Elsewhere, the author has argued free will skeptics ignore time dependent constraints that he has discussed in the piece for example how one reacts to a car crash. One person with sympathy and another picks their pockets. I don’t see how this argument is fatal to the determinist position unless I am missing something.
I also think bringing up the problems of quantum physics- you either know the position or the velocity of a particle does not rescue freewill.
But for epistemological nihilism, there is no standard, no foundation, no ground upon which one can make knowledge claims, nothing to justify our belief that any particular claim is true. All appeals to objectivity seen from the perspective of epistemological nihilism are illusory. We create the impression of knowledge to hide the fact that there are no facts. For example, as Thomas Kuhn argued in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962), we can certainly develop very complicated and very successful models for describing reality, which we can use to discover a wealth of new ‘facts’, but we can never prove that these correspond to reality itself – they could simply derive from our particular model of reality.
I finished reading this book. I think it had been suggested by Mary a while back.
I must confess I am now very confused about time than I was at the beginning. If you have read a little philosophy, you will know what they say about time and space and our cognition. Then you read Davies and there are questions of whether there are universes where time is reversed. Whether faster than light travel is possible. Wormholes. Black holes. White holes. And many holes in between.
The book is accessible to even anyone with an elementary understanding of physics and mathematics. He is such an engaging author, the book is almost conversational.
Something Davies mentioned in passing that I thought interesting is our lack for a “time organ” like say we have a sight, smell or even sensory (I mean touch) organs.
Do you think if we get to answer the question of what is the nature of time our understanding of the self will change? Or it will remain unaffected by this knowledge and discovery into the nature of time. Does time exist always? Did it have a beginning and will it have an end?
These are unedited versions of my thoughts straight from the mind, a relieve from the ‘pressure cooker’, snippets and flotsam of a mundane existence, collected over time, at the early morning hours at sunrise. I have no intensions to start a self-help group or a forum for complains!
An online journal celebrating the joys of living bare with pride! This site usually publishes every Monday and Friday. I may be irreverent but I am no way irrelevant! My preferred personal pronouns are he, him, his.