Ridicule is a strong and soft word. Sometimes ridicule is irritating and intolerable, other times it is light-hearted and humorous. Ridicule takes many forms, but deep inside usually contains a form of advice. Sometimes it's senseless and sometimes it's not. It's commentary about what others perceive to be your flaws. Ridicule (in the general sense) points out what others think is wrong with you and your extensions (friends, family, possessions, thoughts, identity), as well as general weaknesses. Sometimes ridicule comes with implied suggestions of how you should be. That is how it takes the form of advice. That doesn't mean we should take that advice, but we should be able to hear it.Read More
Someone recently asked me if I would ever consider being monogamous again.
I said I don't think so. My reasoning was I don't believe we are genetically monogamous; I believe we are culturally monogamous.
In my view, tradition is repetition masquerading around as truth.
I want to live true to myself.Read More
I wanted to take a moment to share some excerpts from David Deutsch's The Beginning of Infinity (a New York Times bestseller). This is one of my favorite books. I think it has some flaws, but in it David Deutsch eloquently presents a lot of essential ideas better than anywhere else I've encountered.
In it, he defines bad philosophy as "philosophy that is not merely false, but actively prevents the growth of other knowledge."
"Error is the normal state of our knowledge, and is no disgrace. There is nothing bad about false philosophy. Problems are inevitable, but they can be solved by imaginative, critical thought that seeks good explanations. That is good philosophy, and good science, both of which have always existed in some measure. For instance, children have always learned language by making, criticizing, and testing conjectures about the connection between words and reality."
"Bad philosophy has always existed too. For instance, children have always been told, "Because I say so." Although that is not always intended as a philosophical position, it is worth analyzing it as one, for in four simple words it contains remarkably many themes of false and bad philosophy. First, it is a perfect example of a bad explanation: it could be used to 'explain' anything. Second, one way it achieves that status is by addressing only the form of the question and not the substance: it is about who said something, not what they said. That is the opposite of truth-seeking. Third, it reinterprets a request for true explanation (why should something-or-other be as it is?) as a request for justification (what entitles you to assert that it is so?)... Fourth, it confuses the nonexistent authority for ideas with human authority (power) – a much-travelled path in bad political philosophy. And fifth, it claims by this means to stand outside the jurisdiction of normal criticism."
"One currently influential philosophical movement goes under various names such as postmodernism, deconstructionism and structuralism depending on historical details that are unimportant here. It claims that because all ideas, including scientific theories, are conjectural and impossible to justify, they are essentially arbitrary: they are no more than stories, known in this context as 'narratives'. Mixing extreme cultural relativism with other forms of anti-realism, it regards objective truth and falsity, as well as reality and knowledge of reality, as mere conventional forms of words that stand for an idea's being endorsed by a designated group of people such as an elite or consensus, or by a fashion or other arbitrary authority."
"Elegance is a heuristic guide to truth." There is a "need to create objective knowledge to allow different people to communicate."
The famous philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer says the best way to accustom yourself to life is to view it as a prison. “That’s depressing,” I thought. However, the prison does ensure certain securities.
There is less uncertainty and danger in a prison compared to, let’s say a jungle. The prison is constructed by man to impose order. The jungle, abiding by the laws of nature, is pure chaos. Chaos is the law of nature; order is the dream of man.Read More
Welcome to our blog!
For the time being, we will be starting this blog as two people, but may invite guest writers to contribute in the future.
We will be writing about what we read, what we like, what we think, and what we do.
Who are we?Read More