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(io9)   Eight great philosophical questions that we'll never solve. Number nine: Why did this headline go green?   (io9.com ) divider line 211
    More: Interesting, modern physics, metaphysics, Sean Carroll, real image, regression, Newtonian, headline, spiral galaxy  
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5559 clicks; posted to Geek » on 25 Sep 2012 at 2:57 AM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-09-25 01:52:20 AM  
If a man is colorblind, does any link go green?
 
2012-09-25 02:00:16 AM  
The statement that we'll never be able to determine whether God exists is begging the question, since it is false unless one makes the a priori assumption that God does not exist.

The counter argument is simple. If God DOES exist, then there is always some possibility that we WILL know for sure. (If, for example, He simply reveals Himself). If there is even the remotest possibility that God exists, then there is also the remotest possibility that we will know for sure.

It is only if God does not exist that one can fairly say that we will never know for sure. Although there will never be any evidence of His existence, the absence of evidence is not absolute evidence of absence.
 
2012-09-25 02:23:22 AM  
Does God exist? Better Question: Does the God that you have defined as God exist? That seems to start the most trouble. And once you define it as something for which there is a test, is there the fear that it might not exist? That starts the second most amount of trouble.
 
2012-09-25 02:29:13 AM  

Elvis_Bogart: If a man is colorblind, does any link go green?


In the realm of greenless Farkers the one-greened Farker is king.
 
2012-09-25 02:37:37 AM  
FTFA:

1. Why is there something rather than nothing?

Because nothing would be boring.

2. Is our universe real?

No. It's a figment of our collective imagination.

3. Do we have free will?

Think about it: Are you being forced to read this post?

4. Does God exist?

Yes. And He doesn't need a starship.

5. Is there life after death?

Yes, but not for the dead people.

6. Can you really experience anything objectively?

How would you even know if you were?

7. What is the best moral system?

Don't do things to hurt or bring harm to other people... unless you want your ass kicked.

8. What are numbers?

Here. Look it up.
 
2012-09-25 02:51:16 AM  
I'm of the opinion that we don't have free will. The preceding chain of causality combined with the unique functioning parameters of your brain plus your health state result in the same inevitable decisions every time. I.E., if you had a magic rewind machine on the universe that in no way altered the conditions, you'd watch people struggling with decisions (or supposedly making choices at random) make the exact same choices every time you hit play.

Yeah we feel like we're struggling with a decision in cases where competing priorities are finely balanced, but there is in the end no doubt what decision you'll make based on the particular conditions of that moment in time combined with the particular conditions inside your skull and the unique OS running therein.
 
2012-09-25 03:05:53 AM  
"...why is the ground coming at me so fast?"
 
2012-09-25 03:10:27 AM  
Would you like fries with that?
 
2012-09-25 03:39:45 AM  
Since the Universe is moving inevitably ever toward a state of higher entropy then was as the level of entropy at the beginning of the universe? What is perfectly ordered?

Why did the Universe generate life if life itself is counter to the progression of entropy? (Life rebuilds order from chaos.)
 
2012-09-25 03:56:08 AM  
Eight questions? Philosophy is all unanswered questions. They can be insightful, important and useful questions, but there's no way to answer them within philosophy itself. Philosophy has yet to provide a bridge between a valid argument and a sound one. We can devise logical arguments whose conclusions follow inexorably from their premises, but we can't tell if the premises are true.
 
2012-09-25 03:59:51 AM  

nmemkha: Since the Universe is moving inevitably ever toward a state of higher entropy then was as the level of entropy at the beginning of the universe? What is perfectly ordered?

Why did the Universe generate life if life itself is counter to the progression of entropy? (Life rebuilds order from chaos.)


Nothing counters the progression of total entropy. We can increase the order in some system but only at the expense of greater entropy overall.
 
2012-09-25 04:02:20 AM  

nmemkha: Since the Universe is moving inevitably ever toward a state of higher entropy then was as the level of entropy at the beginning of the universe? What is perfectly ordered?

Why did the Universe generate life if life itself is counter to the progression of entropy? (Life rebuilds order from chaos.)


Clearly it's up to us to create a singularity to fix this mess
 
2012-09-25 04:10:40 AM  
#9: Because it's a Gawker link and this is Fark.
 
2012-09-25 04:29:54 AM  
I cannot ever know if there *truly* is or is not an undetectable naked midget on top of my head, pantomiming my every move and throwing technicolor feces at passersby.

Therefore I will base my life around its existence... rather than ignore it as just another one of an infinite number of falsehoods I could be presented with on a daily basis.
 
2012-09-25 04:32:04 AM  
Philosophy. Lol.
 
2012-09-25 04:34:41 AM  
Despite (or perhaps because of) being all degreed up in Philosophy, it astounds me that people actually consider most of these to be questions worth discussing. Most of them are non-sense, and are just word games.

Why is there something rather than nothing? Who the fark cares? You may not like the anthropic principle, but if there were nothing, you wouldn't be discussing it. That really is the answer. It could very well be that there has been nothing in a great many cases in the past, or the future, and no one was sitting around determine why there wasn't something, but nothing was there. Want a more interesting question that actually has a point? Perhaps, why are things as they are, and not slightly different?

Is our universe real? Define what you mean by universe. Define what you mean by real. Under most peoples' definitions of the word "real," yes, the universe is absolutely real. If you want to get into discussions of holographic universes, etc., fine. It doesn't matter. The universe, for what 99.999999999999999999999% of people mean by real, is real. If you want to play word games, go play Hangman.

Yes, you have free will, because you don't even understand what you mean by the words "free" or "will" to begin with. If you want to move the goalposts to mean that your decisions are completely non-deterministic -- then no, you don't have free will. If you accept the fact that not everything that has any deterministic qualities is "unfree" you realize quite quickly how silly of a discussion you're having. You can be tall without being absolutely tall.

Does God exist? What do you mean by God? What you mean by exists? Until you bother answering those things, you are discussing the most vague of all dead-horse-beaten discussions in the history of the humanity. Secondary to those points, does it matter if God exists? Under your definition you want to debate, does it have any effect on the universe or your life? If your answer is no, stop wasting your time discussing it; or, if you prefer to discuss pointless things, just have debates about noumena all day long.

Is there life after death? Again, let's all sit down and agree on what the hell we're talking about before we go there. The general answer, for the most acceptable definition of life, is no. When you are dead, you will not be alive again. If you are asking if there is a place where your soul (let's please also define soul) goes after you die, then, yes, you have found a question we are very unlikely to ever solve. Congratulations.

Can you really experience anything objectively? This isn't even a philosophical question. It's grounded almost entirely in neuroscience. The answer is no, you cannot. The entire question is really a conflation of a few questions. Remove the "you" part, and you can get into some possible objectivity. As soon as you begin discussing "you" and "experience" anything, you are purely in the realm of the subjective by its very definition. If you want to redefine objectivity somewhat probabilistically, then, yes, we can approximate some form of objective experience, but, again, it's a silly word game.

What is the best moral system? Why do you suppose there can be a best? What is the best color?

What are numbers? Ok, seriously, if you're asking that question, please move out of your parents' basement. Numbers are one of the few things we really shouldn't be debating as "OMG WHAT ARE THEY." Throwing back to Plato, who was wrong about virtually everything (though he was incredibly farking clever), in retrospect, as grounds for pretending we don't know what numbers are shows you're probably writing for an online blog with a bad commenting system.
 
2012-09-25 04:36:39 AM  

FitzShivering: Most of them are non-sense, and are just word games


www.messagefrommasters.com

agrees
 
2012-09-25 04:39:24 AM  

robohobo: Philosophy. Lol.


There is some good philosophy -- there's even some incredible philosophy. It's just not what most people think of when they think of philosophy classes. 90% of it is bollocks. That's why I ended up not making it my career any more than I did. I couldn't stand listening to people re-define words then having year long discussions because they had all agreed that the word "red" meant "potato" and therefore all colors must be in some way related to tubers. Or tell me that water towers oppress women because they are shaped like (severely deformed??) phallic symbols. Yes, I actually had to have that conversation, and the person, who was rather well known in the field, was entirely serious.
 
2012-09-25 04:41:06 AM  

WhyteRaven74: FitzShivering: Most of them are non-sense, and are just word games

[www.messagefrommasters.com image 314x467]

agrees


Unfortunately he traitored his Tractacus near the end. I wish that weren't such a hard slog for most people. It's truly brilliant. It's just almost entirely inaccessible without a few years of study and/or a great teacher.
 
2012-09-25 04:41:31 AM  
The answer is 42.
 
2012-09-25 04:42:04 AM  

tomasso: The statement that we'll never be able to determine whether God exists is begging the question, since it is false unless one makes the a priori assumption that God does not exist.

The counter argument is simple. If God DOES exist, then there is always some possibility that we WILL know for sure. (If, for example, He simply reveals Himself). If there is even the remotest possibility that God exists, then there is also the remotest possibility that we will know for sure.

It is only if God does not exist that one can fairly say that we will never know for sure. Although there will never be any evidence of His existence, the absence of evidence is not absolute evidence of absence.


Do you spend this much time worrying about the possibility of an invisible dragon living inside your garage?

There exist an infinite number of propositions for which you can say "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence". I suspect you don't worry about all of those. In fact I suspect that you don't worry about any of them, except for ones mentioning THE LORD.

/'conditioning since birth, across nearly every crevice of society' is a hell of a drug
//the world is much more interesting once you go cold turkey on the god thing
 
2012-09-25 04:42:51 AM  

gameshowhost: tomasso: The statement that we'll never be able to determine whether God exists is begging the question, since it is false unless one makes the a priori assumption that God does not exist.

The counter argument is simple. If God DOES exist, then there is always some possibility that we WILL know for sure. (If, for example, He simply reveals Himself). If there is even the remotest possibility that God exists, then there is also the remotest possibility that we will know for sure.

It is only if God does not exist that one can fairly say that we will never know for sure. Although there will never be any evidence of His existence, the absence of evidence is not absolute evidence of absence.

Do you spend this much time worrying about the possibility of an invisible dragon living inside your garage?


Well, now that you got me worrying about it, you bastard....
 
2012-09-25 04:44:22 AM  

gameshowhost: tomasso: The statement that we'll never be able to determine whether God exists is begging the question, since it is false unless one makes the a priori assumption that God does not exist.

The counter argument is simple. If God DOES exist, then there is always some possibility that we WILL know for sure. (If, for example, He simply reveals Himself). If there is even the remotest possibility that God exists, then there is also the remotest possibility that we will know for sure.

It is only if God does not exist that one can fairly say that we will never know for sure. Although there will never be any evidence of His existence, the absence of evidence is not absolute evidence of absence.

Do you spend this much time worrying about the possibility of an invisible dragon living inside your garage?



OK, in all seriousness, you make a great point. I was thinking about this a bit, and it seems to be an interesting wager. I think I'm never going to go into my garage again. Think about it this way. If I'm wrong, and there's no dragon in my garage, then really the only thing I've lost is a few square feet to walk around in. But if I'm right, and there is a dragon in my garage, I'll be dead the moment I step foot in there. I would really recommend we all abandon our garages from here on out.
 
2012-09-25 04:44:31 AM  

WhyteRaven74: FitzShivering: Most of them are non-sense, and are just word games

[www.messagefrommasters.com image 314x467]

agrees


Ah, yes.

*thank science for tineye reverse-image search*

.... like i'm supposed to know every philosopher by his/her picture ... o_o
 
2012-09-25 04:46:48 AM  

gameshowhost: WhyteRaven74: FitzShivering: Most of them are non-sense, and are just word games

[www.messagefrommasters.com image 314x467]

agrees

Ah, yes.

*thank science for tineye reverse-image search*

.... like i'm supposed to know every philosopher by his/her picture ... o_o


Wittgenstein's mug is one of those "one seen, cannot be unseen" things. You'll remember him forever.
 
2012-09-25 04:50:06 AM  

FitzShivering: Despite (or perhaps because of) being all degreed up in Philosophy, it astounds me that people actually consider most of these to be questions worth discussing. Most of them are non-sense, and are just word games.

Why is there something rather than nothing? Who the fark cares? You may not like the anthropic principle, but if there were nothing, you wouldn't be discussing it. That really is the answer. It could very well be that there has been nothing in a great many cases in the past, or the future, and no one was sitting around determine why there wasn't something, but nothing was there. Want a more interesting question that actually has a point? Perhaps, why are things as they are, and not slightly different?

Is our universe real? Define what you mean by universe. Define what you mean by real. Under most peoples' definitions of the word "real," yes, the universe is absolutely real. If you want to get into discussions of holographic universes, etc., fine. It doesn't matter. The universe, for what 99.999999999999999999999% of people mean by real, is real. If you want to play word games, go play Hangman.

Yes, you have free will, because you don't even understand what you mean by the words "free" or "will" to begin with. If you want to move the goalposts to mean that your decisions are completely non-deterministic -- then no, you don't have free will. If you accept the fact that not everything that has any deterministic qualities is "unfree" you realize quite quickly how silly of a discussion you're having. You can be tall without being absolutely tall.

Does God exist? What do you mean by God? What you mean by exists? Until you bother answering those things, you are discussing the most vague of all dead-horse-beaten discussions in the history of the humanity. Secondary to those points, does it matter if God exists? Under your definition you want to debate, does it have any effect on the universe or your life? If your answer is no, stop wasti ...


Well, that about wraps up this thread. Thanks, FitzShivering.

/a few jackasses will still want to engage in masturbatory pontification about semiotics, though
 
2012-09-25 04:57:06 AM  

FitzShivering: robohobo: Philosophy. Lol.

There is some good philosophy -- there's even some incredible philosophy. It's just not what most people think of when they think of philosophy classes. 90% of it is bollocks. That's why I ended up not making it my career any more than I did. I couldn't stand listening to people re-define words then having year long discussions because they had all agreed that the word "red" meant "potato" and therefore all colors must be in some way related to tubers. Or tell me that water towers oppress women because they are shaped like (severely deformed??) phallic symbols. Yes, I actually had to have that conversation, and the person, who was rather well known in the field, was entirely serious.


You covered all the bullshiat questions the article posed, and quite well. Your answers sum up why I find the whole endeavor perposterous. It all sounds like 1970's stoner nonsense.

Care to share the 10% that isn't out-and-out poppcock? Or link it, anyhow?
 
2012-09-25 05:01:42 AM  

FitzShivering: . It's truly brilliant. I


It is. I read it every year.
 
2012-09-25 05:14:45 AM  

Baryogenesis: nmemkha: Since the Universe is moving inevitably ever toward a state of higher entropy then was as the level of entropy at the beginning of the universe? What is perfectly ordered?

Why did the Universe generate life if life itself is counter to the progression of entropy? (Life rebuilds order from chaos.)

Nothing counters the progression of total entropy. We can increase the order in some system but only at the expense of greater entropy overall.


Very true, but life is a coded engine of anti-entropy. It scoops up the scattered and for a time gathers them into more highly ordered unit using complex coded instructions to dictate the structure. To me, its seem "a lot of work" for a universe to reimpose order in such a fashion.
 
2012-09-25 05:20:44 AM  
I doubt it's a coincidence that this list was written a few weeks into the school year, presumably a day after some sophomore (either in high school or college; it really doesn't matter) got inspired by her Intro to Philosophy class.
 
2012-09-25 05:27:15 AM  

nmemkha: To me, its seem "a lot of work" for a universe to reimpose order in such a fashion.


Meh, stars do the same thing on a longer timescale. You can't make hydrocarbons with just hydrogen.
 
2012-09-25 05:53:23 AM  

Z-clipped: nmemkha: To me, its seem "a lot of work" for a universe to reimpose order in such a fashion.

Meh, stars do the same thing on a longer timescale. You can't make hydrocarbons with just hydrogen.


Yes they do, but its a simple process as one would expect. Life on the other hand is an infinitely complex Rube-Goldberg-esque mechanism of self-replication.

Tell me you see at least a small difference.
 
2012-09-25 06:09:31 AM  
"4. Does God exist? Simply put, we cannot know if God exists or not. Both the atheists and believers are wrong in their proclamations, and the agnostics are right."

Here I was thinking we weren't going to solve any of these questions, but we have a winner! The agnostics are "right". Never mind that we might as well ask if the Easter Bunny exists, or Santa Claus, or Bugs Bunny. And if you told me any of those things may exist so we shouldn't default to saying they don't, I'd say you were being utterly ridiculous.
 
2012-09-25 06:28:19 AM  
1. Why is there something rather than nothing?
Because existence is a lower entropy state than nothingness.

2. Is our universe real?
Yes.

3. Do we have free will?
Can we make deliberate and conscious decisions? Then, yes.

4. Does God exist?
Do more powerful entities exist? Maybe. Does the God of Bible exist? No.

5. Is there life after death?
No. Stop being stupid.

6. Can you really experience anything objectively?
No. We can only try and be as objective as we can.

7. What is the best moral system?
There isn't one. All we can do is try to minimize the negative and harmful fallout from our choices. (If there was no freewill then this question would be utterly pointless.)

8. What are numbers?
Numbers are an intellectual construct that allows us to describe the reality we inhabit.

How about some hard questions?
 
2012-09-25 06:31:13 AM  

Baryogenesis: Eight questions? Philosophy is all unanswered questions. They can be insightful, important and useful questions, but there's no way to answer them within philosophy itself. Philosophy has yet to provide a bridge between a valid argument and a sound one. We can devise logical arguments whose conclusions follow inexorably from their premises, but we can't tell if the premises are true.


I see you've run into William Lane Craig.
 
2012-09-25 06:40:21 AM  

Ed Grubermann: Baryogenesis: Eight questions? Philosophy is all unanswered questions. They can be insightful, important and useful questions, but there's no way to answer them within philosophy itself. Philosophy has yet to provide a bridge between a valid argument and a sound one. We can devise logical arguments whose conclusions follow inexorably from their premises, but we can't tell if the premises are true.

I see you've run into William Lane Craig.


That name is second or third only to Plantinga, amongst people whose brains I'd like to electroshock and see if they'd begin working again. Some of his arguments walk over the edge of puerile reasoning to my feeling he's out and out lying-for-Jesus. I have a hard time taking what I've read of his seriously, because it's clear he's a very smart person, can reason things through logically, but is willing to abandon all of his abilities to justify his preconceived beliefs, in such a way that's impossible he doesn't realize he's doing it.

Also, he has a freshman undergrad's understanding of physics and seems to want everyone to believe he tutors Hawking for fun.

I hadn't thought of that name in years, thank you not at all of reminding me of that folderol! :D
 
2012-09-25 06:52:17 AM  

robohobo:
Care to share the 10% that isn't out-and-out poppcock? Or link it, anyhow?


It truly depends what your area of interest is. If you've already gotten the feeling that a good deal of philosophy is bollocks, you should check out some good neuro-philosophy. Patricia Churchland is a relatively brilliant example. Even Francis Crick, before he died, did some good work in The Astonishing Hypothesis.

If you're interested in the Arts or Christianity and you're ready to do some contextual reading and really fight with a text, anything from Nietzsche before Ecce Homo is really excellent. Nietzsche is dastardly, though, so he's not good to read if you're young, nor if you don't have a lot of education in philosophy. He expects you to know when he's pulling your leg, when he's saying absolutely insane things as if they were true, and when he's saying true things as if they are false. He's the easiest of the popular ones to misinterpret, IMO.

If you're into political philosophy, Ranciere is a somewhat hard, but very interesting read. His books are relatively hard to come by, but he's excellent.

Pure Art and Media? Adorno, while a very hipster bit of reading, is pretty good. He does get into some BS word-smithing, but his works, especially vis-a-vis music, are excellent.

Want to read philosophy about the problems in philosophy? Pick up some Wittgenstein. Most of it is a hard read, but if you can get to the deepest parts of what he is saying, it's incredibly farking important.

On a purely human level, while he's not considered a "major" or "serious" philosopher by many, I absolutely love Camus. The Rebel and the Myth of Sisyphus are absolutely worth reading once or twice. Camus was one of the first to really make existentialism meaningful, IMO. Santayana, while coming from a completely different direction, is also worth reading in that same vein (not existentialist, obviously).

Interested in ethics? There's a whole shiat load out there on that. And ethics is where some of the oldest philosophers still remain relevant today. There are dozens upon dozens of people who are doing great ethical work.

Want to get all old school and braniacish reading something that is the very depth of genius but completely removed from virtually anything existing today? Pick up some Averroes. Or, specifically, find al-Ghazali's Incoherence of the Philosophers and Averroes' Incoherence of the Incoherence. :D

I'd highly recommend avoiding any philosophy that has "Freudian" anywhere near it, unless you want your head to explode from "What the crap is this crap?"
 
2012-09-25 06:52:57 AM  

Ed Grubermann: 1. Why is there something rather than nothing?
Because existence is a lower entropy state than nothingness.

2. Is our universe real?
Yes.

3. Do we have free will?
Can we make deliberate and conscious decisions? Then, yes.

4. Does God exist?
Do more powerful entities exist? Maybe. Does the God of Bible exist? No.

5. Is there life after death?
No. Stop being stupid.

6. Can you really experience anything objectively?
No. We can only try and be as objective as we can.

7. What is the best moral system?
There isn't one. All we can do is try to minimize the negative and harmful fallout from our choices. (If there was no freewill then this question would be utterly pointless.)

8. What are numbers?
Numbers are an intellectual construct that allows us to describe the reality we inhabit.

How about some hard questions?


What does purple smell like?
 
2012-09-25 06:58:20 AM  

one small post for man: "4. Does God exist? Simply put, we cannot know if God exists or not. Both the atheists and believers are wrong in their proclamations, and the agnostics are right."

Here I was thinking we weren't going to solve any of these questions, but we have a winner! The agnostics are "right". Never mind that we might as well ask if the Easter Bunny exists, or Santa Claus, or Bugs Bunny. And if you told me any of those things may exist so we shouldn't default to saying they don't, I'd say you were being utterly ridiculous.


The Easter Bunny never claimed to be God. I would say the concept of God and Santa Claus are a bit different. (Even if most Christians version of praying is like writing letter to Santa. (I've been a good boy. I want a high paying job. I want a big house.)

God is a concept that appeared independently around the globe, arising from very different cultures. Sure you can chalk it up to superstition, but your problem is that humans are superstitious creatures. Its our nature.

Ignorance does not wholly explain the human need for God.
 
2012-09-25 07:03:17 AM  

nmemkha:
Why did the Universe generate life if life itself is counter to the progression of entropy? (Life rebuilds order from chaos.)


Mystical mumbo jumbo. Lack of understanding of entropy. Lack of understanding of chaos. Life is just molecules arranged in different ways, doing different things. It has no more meaning in the sense of the universe, or the physical concepts of entropy or chaos, than a speck of dust on mars. The universe is not directed, nor does it direct.

If you want to discuss thermodynamic entropy, against, life doesn't matter. If you want to discuss logical entropy, you're discussing a pretty well non-defined word-wanking concept, which is essentially a projection of an human desire for relevance.

Life has absolutely no consequence for the universe, nor does it affect in the tiniest of ways any grand scale entropy.

In short, the discussion is pointless, and based on a misunderstanding of the words used.
 
2012-09-25 07:03:54 AM  

StoPPeRmobile:

What does purple smell like?


Bacon.
 
2012-09-25 07:05:44 AM  

nmemkha: one small post for man: "4. Does God exist? Simply put, we cannot know if God exists or not. Both the atheists and believers are wrong in their proclamations, and the agnostics are right."

Here I was thinking we weren't going to solve any of these questions, but we have a winner! The agnostics are "right". Never mind that we might as well ask if the Easter Bunny exists, or Santa Claus, or Bugs Bunny. And if you told me any of those things may exist so we shouldn't default to saying they don't, I'd say you were being utterly ridiculous.

The Easter Bunny never claimed to be God. I would say the concept of God and Santa Claus are a bit different. (Even if most Christians version of praying is like writing letter to Santa. (I've been a good boy. I want a high paying job. I want a big house.)

God is a concept that appeared independently around the globe, arising from very different cultures. Sure you can chalk it up to superstition, but your problem is that humans are superstitious creatures. Its our nature.

Ignorance does not wholly explain the human need for God.


I don't think ignorance even partially explains the human need for a higher power. Granted, there is a very strong correlation between ignorance and profession of religious belief, but the human tendency towards believing in a higher power has more to do with evolutionary adaptation and wish-fulfillment, IMO.
 
2012-09-25 07:08:49 AM  

FitzShivering: robohobo:
Care to share the 10% that isn't out-and-out poppcock? Or link it, anyhow?

It truly depends what your area of interest is. If you've already gotten the feeling that a good deal of philosophy is bollocks, you should check out some good neuro-philosophy. Patricia Churchland is a relatively brilliant example. Even Francis Crick, before he died, did some good work in The Astonishing Hypothesis.

If you're interested in the Arts or Christianity and you're ready to do some contextual reading and really fight with a text, anything from Nietzsche before Ecce Homo is really excellent. Nietzsche is dastardly, though, so he's not good to read if you're young, nor if you don't have a lot of education in philosophy. He expects you to know when he's pulling your leg, when he's saying absolutely insane things as if they were true, and when he's saying true things as if they are false. He's the easiest of the popular ones to misinterpret, IMO.

If you're into political philosophy, Ranciere is a somewhat hard, but very interesting read. His books are relatively hard to come by, but he's excellent.

Pure Art and Media? Adorno, while a very hipster bit of reading, is pretty good. He does get into some BS word-smithing, but his works, especially vis-a-vis music, are excellent.

Want to read philosophy about the problems in philosophy? Pick up some Wittgenstein. Most of it is a hard read, but if you can get to the deepest parts of what he is saying, it's incredibly farking important.

On a purely human level, while he's not considered a "major" or "serious" philosopher by many, I absolutely love Camus. The Rebel and the Myth of Sisyphus are absolutely worth reading once or twice. Camus was one of the first to really make existentialism meaningful, IMO. Santayana, while coming from a completely different direction, is also worth reading in that same vein (not existentialist, obviously).

Interested in ethics? There's a whole shiat load out there on that. And e ...


Thanks for that. I needed new reading material for the winter.
 
2012-09-25 07:09:04 AM  

FitzShivering: nmemkha:
Why did the Universe generate life if life itself is counter to the progression of entropy? (Life rebuilds order from chaos.)

Mystical mumbo jumbo. Lack of understanding of entropy. Lack of understanding of chaos. Life is just molecules arranged in different ways, doing different things. It has no more meaning in the sense of the universe, or the physical concepts of entropy or chaos, than a speck of dust on mars. The universe is not directed, nor does it direct.

If you want to discuss thermodynamic entropy, against, life doesn't matter. If you want to discuss logical entropy, you're discussing a pretty well non-defined word-wanking concept, which is essentially a projection of an human desire for relevance.

Life has absolutely no consequence for the universe, nor does it affect in the tiniest of ways any grand scale entropy.

In short, the discussion is pointless, and based on a misunderstanding of the words used.


That's the crux of it: either life is an irrelevant hiccup or God exits.
 
2012-09-25 07:14:03 AM  
Also, good luck convincing your fellow humans that the total sum of their lives (all of humanity in fact) is a completely pointless blip in a doomed universe.
 
2012-09-25 07:18:08 AM  

nmemkha: Also, good luck convincing your fellow humans that the total sum of their lives (all of humanity in fact) is a completely pointless blip in a doomed universe.


I think most people actually do believe that, based on how everyone behaves. If more people believed otherwise, who knows. Personally, I'd like to believe it was more, but deep down, no, no purpose, no point.
 
2012-09-25 07:20:59 AM  

nmemkha: FitzShivering: nmemkha:
Why did the Universe generate life if life itself is counter to the progression of entropy? (Life rebuilds order from chaos.)

Mystical mumbo jumbo. Lack of understanding of entropy. Lack of understanding of chaos. Life is just molecules arranged in different ways, doing different things. It has no more meaning in the sense of the universe, or the physical concepts of entropy or chaos, than a speck of dust on mars. The universe is not directed, nor does it direct.

If you want to discuss thermodynamic entropy, against, life doesn't matter. If you want to discuss logical entropy, you're discussing a pretty well non-defined word-wanking concept, which is essentially a projection of an human desire for relevance.

Life has absolutely no consequence for the universe, nor does it affect in the tiniest of ways any grand scale entropy.

In short, the discussion is pointless, and based on a misunderstanding of the words used.

That's the crux of it: either life is an irrelevant hiccup or God exits.


www.bankruptcylitigationblog.com
 
2012-09-25 07:21:45 AM  

nmemkha: Also, good luck convincing your fellow humans that the total sum of their lives (all of humanity in fact) is a completely pointless blip in a doomed universe.


www.cynicalsmirk.com
 
2012-09-25 07:24:49 AM  

robohobo: nmemkha: Also, good luck convincing your fellow humans that the total sum of their lives (all of humanity in fact) is a completely pointless blip in a doomed universe.

I think most people actually do believe that, based on how everyone behaves. If more people believed otherwise, who knows. Personally, I'd like to believe it was more, but deep down, no, no purpose, no point.


Not for believers. Fantasy or not at least they can take comfort in their faith. Imagine if two people are wronged and cannot take vengeance. One believes his God will repay and the other feels only in this life can he get justice.

Its moot, but I argue that the theist at has a mental model that makes it easier of him not to become stuck in a bitterly futile quest for justice. Whereas the atheist has no "crutch" and must live without hope of justice. God gives us hope to an otherwise hopeless existence. How is that a bad thing?
 
2012-09-25 07:26:01 AM  

Mjeck: nmemkha: Also, good luck convincing your fellow humans that the total sum of their lives (all of humanity in fact) is a completely pointless blip in a doomed universe.

[www.cynicalsmirk.com image 320x240]


I'm slow. Please explain your mockery to me.
 
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