Sunday, February 28, 2021

Atheist philosopher Jonathan M. S. Pearce maintains that materialism is an article of faith (compared to idealism)

 Idealism was the position that C. S. Lewis adopted (not Christian theism) when he was persuaded by the argument from reason. 

Here. 

As for the role of idealism in Lewis's history, see here. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

RIGHT-WING CANCEL CULTURE


Obama: “Like if I tweet or hashtag about how you didn’t do something right or used the wrong verb, then I can sit back and feel pretty good about myself. ‘Cause, ‘Man, you see how woke I was? I called you out’.” “That’s not activism. That’s not bringing about change.”
RWCC: Sorry, Barack, you’re cancelled. You are part of the Left, and the Left supports cancel culture.
Biden: Black Lives Matter protestors have a concern about systemic racism that is well taken. But property crimes or acts of violence in support of BLM is still criminal, and should be punished by law.
RWCC: Sorry, Joe, you’re cancelled. You are part of the Left, and the Left excuses violence and looting on behalf of the causes it supports. It is only crimes on behalf of Donald Trump that are inexcusable.
Biden: I oppose Medicare for All. I defended my opposition to it in the primary campaign against its leading advocate, Bernie Sanders.
RWCC: Sorry, Joe, you’re cancelled. You are part of the Left, and the Left supports Medicare for All.
Biden: I oppose defunding the police. We need to fund the police more in order to better equip them to handle sensitive and difficult racial situations.
RWCC: Sorry, Joe, you’re cancelled. You are part of the Left, and the Left wants to defund the police.
Biden: Even though I support a woman’s right to choose abortion as a matter of law, as a Catholic I nevertheless believe abortion to be morally wrong.
RWCC: Sorry Joe, you’re cancelled. You are part of the left, and the left loves abortion, and wants women to shout their abortions.
Etc. Etc. Etc.
I keep hearing Biden (and Obama, and other Democrats) attacked for what they don't believe, and have said they don't believe, because we know they're on THE LEFT and hence if you vote for one of them, you must somehow support everything THE LEFT supports, even if you don't support it and the don't support it. Why?

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Pro-choice vs. Pro-abortion: does it matter

Apparently there is a split in the pro-choice camp. Some reject the idea that they are pro-abortion, others embrace it.  Apparently to be truly pro-abortion, it implies that you see the fetus as outside the range of moral consideration, so that abortions are morally equivalent to other kinds of medical procedures.  Someone who is merely pro-choice, I take it, opposes efforts on the part of the state to outlaw abortion, but believe that nonetheless, the fetus's life is valuable and that abortions can certainly take place of immoral reasons. I heard of a case in which a woman got an abortion because she didn't want to appear fat in her wedding pictures. To refrain from disapproving of that, you would really have to be pro-abortion and hold an strict interests view of the value of the fetus's life (the fetus is not valuable because it is not well-enough developed to have an interest in its own survival). 

One could make the case that the President and Vice-President are split on this matter, although Harris has never, to my knowledge, indicated whether she considers some abortion to be immoral, or not. Biden I know thinks they are pretty much all morally unacceptable, in spite of his pro-choice politics. Harris just throws out pro-choice rhetoric when the issue comes up. 

For those who are pro-life, should this matter? Pro-choice or pro-abortion, the legal outcome is the same. But there is another abortion debate, the debate occurring in the minds of pregnant women who have to decide whether to get an abortion. And the difference comes there.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Space, Time, and Logic

 Causal and sorting processes seem to me to be qualitatively different processes from reasoning. Reasoning involves the knowledge of logical truths and the capacity to be affected by logical truths. Naturalistic processes have causes that are restricted to entities within space and time. But logical truths are not located in space and time. If you believe something because you perceive an entailment, this implies that a) there are entailments, and b) we can perceive them. But since these entailments do not exist in space and time, something other than nature has to exist to enable us to perceive them.

Unless, of course, we recollect perceiving those entailments ina past life, as suggested by Plato. I suppose that's possible, too. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Taner Edis on chance-and-necessity physicalism-a bottom-up understanding of the world

 This is from atheist Taner Edis: 

Physical explanations combine rules and randomness, both of which are mindless…Hence quantum mechanics has an important role in formulating chance-and-necessity physicalism, according to which everything is physical, a combination of rule-bound and random processes, regardless of whether the most fundamental physical theory has yet been formulated…Religions usually take a top-down view, starting with an irreducible mind to shape the material world from above. Physicalism, whatever form it takes, supports a bottom-up understanding of the world, where life and mind are the results of complex interactions of fundamentally mindless components.


If this is true, how could it be possible, at the same time, to say that you believe this because the evidence is good. If everything that happens in the world is, in the final analysis, the result of mindless causes, then your belikef that this is so is also the result of mindless causes, and is therefore unjustified. 

Sunday, January 10, 2021

An exercise in political science

 Here's an exercise for people. Provide definitions of liberalism and conservatism, or definitions of socialism and capitalism, in such a way that no one will be able to tell after you are done what position on these matters you yourself hold. And while you're at it, do the same thing for pro-life and pro-choice.