Sun 21 Apr, 2013 04:31 pm
Yes, a silly title to grab attention. But the Ant, as far as I am concerned, provides analogies useful throughout my arguments. Why Apoplectics? I am equally pissed at the parochial blinkered arrogance of both science and religion. Things are not all they seem in this inherently subjective world. The Bikini? All will be revealed.
Why am I bothering? Whether or not a god exists to pick up the pieces, we are going to need charity. Charity needs resources which the thinking guys are good at generating and so we need to bring them over. Charity needs the reasonable whereas the Believer cannot be reasoned with; Faith often attracts the fearful and the fearful tend to bully others: indeed Faith is often the murderer of Charity. Probably we need some kind of philosophy to focus on Charity so it is better that it is reason-based rather than Faith-based. Charity must be the product and we should not agonize so much about the designer label. If we are to survive, we must evolve from Yahoos into Googles.
My qualifications? None other than I was a resident political cartoonist on a Fleet St. newspaper way back. Satirical humor and philosophy sort of go together. Topical cartooning makes great demands on lateral thinking. The cartoonist has to be that lone voice, like the child in the fable, that says the emperor is naked. Any emperor. Of course, a cartoonist is going to write in a cartoony way and can never resist a gag. The po-faced academic will regard this apparent levity as superficiality: after all Schopenhauer didn’t get where he was by being a bundle of laughs. But pictures paint a thousand words – if they did not, no newspaper would employ a topical cartoonist - and I will try to draw mental pictures. And humour is a good teacher. But it doesn’t mean I do not care: if one didn’t laugh one would cry.
I don’t know how many people will read my stuff - I could be wasting my time. So I will post a bit at a time starting at the Beginning with the Prime Mover. I don’t mind heated debate – I usually am able to hit back as hard as I am hit. But I hope that, while writing it, no huge foot is going to come down from the Heavens and a great voice sayeth unto me “Stop this! Very silly!”
Part 1: The Prime Mover.
This is what those in the philosophical trade call the First Thing That Existed. We live in a causal world and think in a causal way so one must assume the concepts of First and Only.
The Prime Mover either always existed or created itself for no other reason other than it felt like it. Its true nature is beyond human comprehension, scientific investigation and proof.
However chaotic and purposeless the Universe science say it is, it generated intelligence (or what we fondly call intelligence) within it with us. If it can do so now, it could have done so earlier. So at the start of the thesis, I think it is a honorable draw between the Wise Hen and the Dumb Egg.
What is the mechanism of the Prime Mover?
If it always existed then one reasonably assumes it was not subject to time. Assuming Einstein, that seems to make sense. But then it gets silly. In order to detonate into the Big Bang it would required an enormous store of energy. But where does energy come from? According to school physics, it comes from any mechanism doing Work. But to work requires interaction and reaction with secondary entities such as internal components or other nearby entities. But the Prime Mover, by definition, was a singularity, unique and alone.
It could not Move otherwise energy would flow and space would be created and time would start running. And it would begin to die. Nor, without any components, it would have anything to trigger the Big Bang. It would be like a grenade with no fuse or explosive. So, to sum up, an immortal Mover cannot create and a creating Mover cannot be immortal.
This argument assumes Einstein’s theories. But if there was no energy, space, mass or light, where does the E=mc2 come from?
Part 2 – What is Truth?
So thinking about it is going to give you’re the mother of all headaches. No wonder some fall back on Faith – at least it stops them overdosing on aspirin. And the scientists are going to pooh-pooh the idea of a Wise Hen as that smacks too much of Magic; Divinity and all that stuff. But who says that magic is really magic other than the religious? Everything we experience is an interpretation of an effect rather than Intrinsic Cause. What is truth? Take a look at your hand. Is it a hand or just a cloud of particles buzzing around with as much knowledge of each other as drunken dancers at a disco? It is a hand not because it is intrinsically a hand but because it functions as a hand for our benefit. Not quite the same thing. It works just as well up Ms. Piggy’s butt. Our existence may be more subjective and existentialist than we care to admit. It all may just be a cheap trick by something brighter than we but if it fools us, who is going to know? This marvelous Lego set we call the Universe can probably provide all the props a half-decent conjuror needs. A god need not be an infinite God with a capital G, as long as it is sufficiently willing and able to come up with the goods that Religion demands and that the table service is manifest. I will deal with the Manifestation problem in a later article.
Part 3 – The Ranchers and the Farmers
Religion should have a little more faith in the physical and not desperately seek refuge in Magic. Scientists should come to terms with the fact that they are animals just like the ant and, like the ant, their powers of perception and reason are limited to that which Evolution deemed appropriate to their species. The only way the scientist can be sure of occupying the high ground of perception and reason in existence is to possess a soul and he doesn’t have one, does he? The ant has no concept of Mr. Fred Smith of 23 Acacia Avenue but Mr. Smith assuredly exists. I think religion underestimates the Universe and science overestimates it. Let’s have a little less arrogance and more horse-sense. The more people have preconceptions, the more they keep their eyes on the Hat and can be fooled by sleight of hand. And, as science is finding more and more, Nature is a master illusionist. So we must approach the subject afresh like little children if we are to spot the Rabbit. Take off the blinkers and stop squabbling, Religion and Science, and let’s think together. Charity needs you. We need Charity.
I would suggest you make your posts shorter. And dumb it down for us near illiterates.
An admirable piece IMO, but unlikely to make an impact on a quick fix forum such as this. I like your ...
The ant has no concept of Mr. Fred Smith of 23 Acacia Avenue but Mr. Smith assuredly exists.
...and I suggest you might think a little about the word "concept" which might have have had a full stop straight after it. In particular, you might like to think about that concept we call "existence".
I do, however, find that there is a certain amusing feleicity in the use of the term agnostic apoplectics (although apoplectic is an adjective, not a noun).
Thanks for replying. As I said, I try not to miss a gag. "Apoplectics" is a jibe at the genre "Christian Apologetics". Ghastly term.
By "existence", I guess I mean "Life, the Universe and Everything" Douglas Adams style. I don't know what else to call it. In philosophical imponderables like these, even words we take for granted start to lose meaning and have to be redefined.
Um, how can one really philosophize in short sound bytes? As for dumbing down, I was already worried that my cartoony style was doing exactly that and no one here would take it seriously. Oh well, maybe you will never get to know about the bikini.
I think your remark was to me.
When you say "Mr. Smith assuredly exists" I put it to you that "existence" is a relative term, not an absolute one. It follows that the term "agnostic" is devalued because for believers "God exists" and for atheists" God does not exist". Ultimately, existential relativism is about concepts
not "things" which have no ontological status in their own right. Arguments about "evidence" don't help because the concept of "evidence" is relative to the concept of "an observer" who accepts or rejects it as such.
The above essentially supports your quest for "the soul" or "vantage point" from which the shortcomings of science and religion can be assessed. Whether the concept of "charity" is the outcome as an operational objective is perhaps another matter.
Aw. Don't you want to know about the Bikini?
You could not recommend your ideas to me less than by a reference to Douglas Adams, one of the most overrated authors of modern times. His popularity is, to me, evidence of a lowering of literary standards to a level far below "lowest common denominator."
When the concept of a car crash is running towards you direction you better believe its representative existence has a true status correspondence with facts and stand out of the way...
...and that's why the concept of a car crash doesn't say much about molecules splinting apart but rather focus on the function of what a car crash constitutes on a given level of resolution as a real event...it is not less real because of that focus. (the operation is there)
Re: Horselord (Post 5309305)
I think your remark was to me.
When you say "Mr. Smith assuredly exists" I put it to you that "existence" is a relative term, not an absolute one. It follows that the term "agnostic" is devalued because for believers "God exists" and for atheists" God does not exist".
This apparently is true...because Fresco says it...and Fresco never says anything that is not true...and Fresco knows all that there is to know.
Ultimately, existential relativism is about concepts not "things" which have no ontological status in their own right.
Arguments about "evidence" don't help because the concept of "evidence" is relative to the concept of "an observer" who accepts or rejects it as such.
Yup, in the Bible Book of Fresco...humans are very important to existence, because without them, nothing would exist. Humans are central to existence...and so are ants and bikinis.
Just imagine, by accident you have stumbled on the Ultimate Truth of Everything. There is nothing Fresco does not know.
There is nothing Fresco does not know
Thank you for that compliment !
are without doubt to philosophy what Ghengis Khan was to flower arranging !
We wait, as usual, with baited breath for you to enlighten us with your own views on the OP .
Re: Frank Apisa (Post 5309541)
There is nothing Fresco does not know
Thank you for that compliment !
And you are without doubt to philosophy what Ghengis Khan was to flower arranging !
We wait, as usual, with baited breath for you to enlighten us with your own views on the OP
No need for me to offer enlightenment, Fresco. I suspect I understand HorseLord better than you understand him/her. (I'll assume male for the moment.)
HorseLord will tell us all he wants to tell us in his own good time.
I think he wants a question posed, so I will leave all the enlightening to you...possesser of all the knowledge fine minds have struggled with (unsuccessfully) since recorded history.
The question of great moment: What about the bikini, HL????
I referred to Douglas Adams as all the things that we pontificate about may be just a matter of comic-tragic scale. In particular, I had in mind his description of a mighty intergalactic war fleet attacking Earth. And being eaten by a small dog.
Back to Mr. Smith and the Ant again. Relative to the ant, Mr. S. is god. S may save ant ant from drowning in his pool from time. He may wax wroth and smitheth the ant verily with a can of Walmart bug killer for sinning in his sugar bowl. If the ant was brighter and therefore capable of being a religious nut, he may have written a bible and Mr. S. would be flattered by its contents. The ant has no idea what really happened because it is an animal whose perceptual and reasoning abilities are limited to that which Evolution deemed appropriate to his species. Mr. Smith and you are, too, animals and subject to the same rule. Why do you think you are demi-gods (with souls ?) that makes you any different? You may be an ant in turn and, therefore, will never know if you have a Mr. Smith in turn.
Oh, let me get the Bikini out of the way, Frank. Mr. Smith's and the ant's priorities and perspectives are totally alien to each other. When Mr. Smith sees an ant drowning in his pool, he may save it. Not because he has special feelings towards the ant but because he had nothing better to do at the time. If Miss Jones next door has come out in her garden in her bikini at that very moment, the ant stands no chance. So one definition of God may be that entity with nothing better to do.
So all this God-manifestation thing may just be a conflict of perspective. We may have our Mr. Smith and he may take an interest in us, but it does not follow that that interest is of a kind we understand. All a matter of scale.
Another example is the Chinese attempt to save the panda. The panda hasn't the foggiest idea of their efforts on its behalf. But Chinamen exist.
So let's keep on philosophizing, fellow man-apes. Mr. Adams may be well ahead of you all :-) Keep taking the bananas.
There seems no way here of adding to the main body of my topic so I will have to use you. God - I hate Wordpress sites.
I have waffled on a lot and been told to keep it short: as if the mysteries of Life, the Universe and Everything can be discussed in a few lines. So unless I get some idea that someone is actually reading my stuff and is curious for more, I’ll shut up and go and watch TV or bore the wife. I have explained the Bikini bit in a response to one of you so you can all relax now and take a cold shower. I’ve done a bit of stand-up comedy and know my audiences. I will probably feel better after I’ve gone onto the #Philosophy channel on IRC, deliberately misspelled Nietzsche and watched them all froth at the mouth.
If anyone is interested, I will continue with Sections called The Duh Factor; The Pitons of Faith; Monkeys, Typewriters and Russ Limbaugh; Jehovah meets Dr. Who; The Schopenhauer Comedy Show; Stephen Hawking and the Farting Universe and other deeply intellectual stuff. Can’t wait, can you? But, as I have warned you, I joke with deadly intent.
Well, I have done my best. This site is for philosophy which by definition is waffling in the dark out of one's butt. If my name was Schopenhauer, would anyone take more interest? Mr. S. can get it wrong too. Read his analysis of women then watch the "Women - know your place" sketches in the TV comedy series "Harry Enfield and Friends" on YouTube. They've quoted him almost word for word and the audience fell about laughing. They jeered at Pasteur for his theories on puerperal fever and rabies which are laughingly obvious to them now. So wisdom is a passing fashion accessory too.
My mother-in-law asked me what kept the moon up. Laughable question these days. But if I had been Newton way back, that silly question might have saved me a trip to the orchard.
But if the responses are only there to mock rather than debate, forget it. If every man was afraid to speak for fear of looking a fool, we would all remain fools.
No, this site is not for philosophy, not exclusively. You might look under the rubric "Groups" which you will see at the top of the screen. There might be a philosophy group. I don't know.