Science and philosophy

Philosophers should be scientists and scientists philosophers. The current rigid separation of science from philosophy is dangerous, for it encourages acquiescence in partial knowledge, leaving the ultimate and all embracing concern with truth only to faith and ideological and racist obscurantism. The separation denies scientists human wisdom and philosophers the sober knowledge of nature. Science without philosophy is wrongly authoritative, while philosophy without science is seriously limited.

Odera Oruka

Monday highlights

I was crawling on the internet and came across some very interesting articles for Monday.

Is gender a social construct?

What is the future of religion?

Who knew

For one thing, many atheists are ignorant of the religion they criticize. They think about religion a lot, especially Christianity, but most of what they think they know about it is wrong. I realize that there are plenty of thoughtful atheists who harbor no ill will against believers and respect their beliefs. The trouble was I kept running into the other kind.

and when did argumentum populum become a valid argument? And just in case you don’t know it yet, there will be no atheists in 2050. The world will have become peaceful and prosperous.

And finally something on the enlightenment

Philosophy and religion

Is it possible, in the final analysis, for one human being to achieve perfect understanding of another?
We can invest enormous time and energy in serious efforts to know another person, but in the end, how close can we come to that person’s essence? We convince ourselves that we know the other person well, but do we really know anything important about anyone?”
― Haruki Murakami, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

Two years ago, I wrote this post where I argued that those goddites who resort to philosophy to justify their delusions beliefs are not doing philosophy. I am not changing my mind on the above thesis. I still believe that I was right then. You may want to ask what I think of philosophy of religion? It’s a waste of intellect. It is no different from studying theology. You waste both your time and money to learn nothing except what the priest says god says.

The end of philosophy is to arrive at truth, that is, to arrive at what is true/ real. The aim of religion is to have faith, more faith. It is not concerned with what is true, rather with what is believed.

The goddite is not interested in what is true. Religion is based on revelation. If the evidence, or lack of, cannot be found in revelation, it can’t be found anywhere else. The goddite like Platinga, WLC and all those sophisticates who have a modeled a career around apologetics, are not doing philosophy justice. Instead of spending time attempting to answer the big questions of life, they keep us occupied with telling them their arguments in defense of ghosts do not further the cause of ghosts an inch. They remain just where they began, as creations of the mind.

You can skip the whole of this post and watch Carl Sagan. I hope this message hasn’t come too late for most of you.

You are an aperture through which the universe is looking at and exploring itself.”
― Alan W. Watts

Some questions to ponder

 1.      Is it worse to fail at something or never attempt it in the first place?

Depends on what it is.

2.       If you could choose just one thing to change about the world, what would it be?

I will think about it, there are many things I would like to see changed.

3.       To what extent do you shape your own destiny, and how much is down to fate?

Very little extent if any

4.       Does nature shape our personalities more than nurture?

We had an interesting discussion here about it.

5.       Should people care more about doing the right thing, or doing things right?

Who decides the right way to do a thing? Depends on what is to be done too I guess.

6.       What one piece of advice would you offer to a newborn infant?

How do I know the infant is interested in my advice?

7.       Where is the line between insanity and creativity?

I have met some insane fellows who think the rest of us are insane. I think the answer depends on who is drawing the line

8.       What is true happiness?

Is there false happiness?

9.       What things hold you back from doing the things that you really want to?

Let me think about it.

10.   What makes you, you?

I don’t know.

11.   What is the truth?

No one knows the answer.

12.   What is reality?

That which is

13.   Do you make your own decisions, or let others make them for you?

This reads like a trick question

14.   What makes a good friend?

An honest friend who will lie to you on occasion to not hurt your feelings 😉

15.   Why do people fear losing things that they do not even have yet?

I have no fear of losing things I don’t have. It would be irrational.

16.   Who defines good and evil?

Mostly the priest or Imam.

17.   What is the difference between living and being alive?

It would be a contradiction of terms to be alive and not living.

18.   Is a “wrong” act okay if nobody ever knows about it?

Who knows.

19.   Who decides what morality is?

Again, I think it is the priest, the imam or the strongest in the group.

20.   How do you know that your experience of consciousness is the same as other people’s experience of consciousness?

I have no way of knowing.

21.   What is true strength?

Is there false strength?

22.   What is true love? (My experience of what I believed was “true” love)

I find all this questions of what is true difficult to answer. We are yet to agree on what is truth. Whatever love is, I don’t know if there is a false one

23.   Is a family still relevant in the modern world?

Why would it not be?

24.   What role does honor play in today’s society?

The same it has played in all human societies where talk of honour has been a feature.

25.   If money cannot buy happiness, can you ever be truly happy with no money?

You need money, if anyone tells you you don’t need it, they are probably lying to you.

26.       How do you know your perceptions are real?

I can only know they are false after repeated observations or corroboration by others.

27.       How much control do you have over your life?

In as much as I wouldn’t want to admit it, many things happen to me that I have nothing I can do about them.

28.       What is freedom?

To live as one wishes to do

29.       Isn’t one person’s terrorist another person’s freedom fighter?

Who decides who the terrorist is? The colonial government labelled the freedom fighters terrorists while they raped lands, killed men and women, for what?

30.       What happens after we die?

Life goes on without us.

31.       What defines you?

Depends on who is watching

32.       What do people strive for after enlightenment?

I can’t talk about others, for me, it is knowledge for its own sake.


About money

Friends, that is, theists in general and Christians specifically, don’t listen to your church ministers, priests, imams or whoever it is claims to speak to you on behalf of god and speaks on your behalf to god when they tell you, as Paul writes to Timothy in Timothy 6:10

For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

for they are lying to you, since they say this while passing the collection basket around! You remain paupers while they get rich spending money you have worked your asses hard to get.

Listen, however, to the philosophers when they tell you

Money alone is absolutely good, because it is not only a concrete satisfaction of one need in particular, it is an abstract satisfaction of all.[Arthur Schopenhauer]

And please, please for those of who intent on getting married, if you can don’t marry a man or woman born in poverty. For the philosophers have this advice to give

a woman[man] of fortune being used to handling of money, spends it judiciously; but a woman[man] who gets the command of money for the first time upon her/his marriage, has such a gusto in spending it, that she/he throws it away with great profusion.

And as a word of caution to all that

you be careful to preserve what you have earned or inherited.

And finally to those aspiring parents, if you can, leave your children an inheritance for

to start life with just as much as will make one independent, that is, allow one to live comfortably without having to work is an advantage which cannot be overestimated; for it means exemption and immunity from that chronic disease of penury[..] it is emancipation from that forced labor which is the natural lot of every mortal

and once you start life with such advantage, don’t be a dickhead, but pay your debt to mankind by

achieving what no other could achieve, by producing some work which contributes to the general good, and rebounds to the honor of humanity at large. 

For to fail to do so, with such advantage is to be but

a mere idler and thief of time, a contemptible fellow. He will not even be happy, because, in his case, exemption from need delivers him up to the other extreme of human suffering, boredom, which is such martyrdom to him, that he would have been better off if poverty had given him something to do.

That brothers and sisters is my advice to you this beautiful Monday morning!