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.