A list of my philosophy essays

List of Adventures In Philosophy Episodes

Episode/TopicDate postedPodcast linkDocument Link
1 Introduction Basic logical methods, logical fallacies12/10/20AIP Podcast 1 Bit Chute
Rumble link
AIP01-intro.doc
2 Study guide to Spinoza’s Emendations12/12/20AIP Podcast 2 on RumbleAIP02-emendation.doc
3 Analyzing The Big Bang As A Philosophical Exercise
not yet


Here is the list of all my other philosophy episodes which are posted on my blog:

TitleLink
Musings in Metaphysics
creativity413282887.wordpress.com/2021/03/16/musings-in-metaphysics/
Problems with the Big Bang Theory of Cosmology
creativity413282887.wordpress.com/2019/08/02/problems-with-the-big-bang-theory-of-cosmology/
A Big Problem With the Big Bangcreativity413282887.wordpress.com/2021/02/26/a-big-problem-with-the-big-bang/
On the infinity of the cosmos
creativity413282887.wordpress.com/2019/07/24/on-the-infinity-of-the-cosmos/





Word game ideas

by Glenn Turner 10/30/12

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Re-writing this 3/20/21, yes 8 years

Cross Verse

Build-A-Verse

Word Stew game

——————————————————–

Cross Verse

I also call it WORD STEW

A word game by Glenn Turner

———————————————————

How To Play

This game uses synonyms and rhymes to make verses. It can be played alone or in a group.

1. Choose a starting word, such as a noun.

2. Use a thesaurus to get synonyms for the starting word.

Write synonyms across the page, in a row.

3. For each synonym, find words that rhyme

Write rhymes down the page, in columns.

All of these words are called “the pot.”

4. Set your timer for whatever you like. Write a stanza in verse using the words in the pot.

Here are the composition guidelines:

–> Write as many practice sentences as needed, there is no limit on practice sentences.

–> The stanza can be a story or nonsense.

–> Write four sentences to make one verse.

5. When the timer runs out, give a score to the verses.

Options: Players vote on whether or not to set a time limit for a game.

Vote on the time limit for each round, say 5 minutes.

Players may set limit on number of words in the pot, say 50 maximum.

Playing Tips to increase your score:

Use reference books, such as a dictionary, rhyming dictionary and thesaurus.

Use as many words from the grid as you can.

Make the lines as long as possible.

Create as many rhymes as possible. Rhymes may occur anywhere in the sentence. These are forced rhymes, probably not usable in a real poem.

Write lots of practice sentences as quickly as possible.

Try to set up a perfect meter in 2 lines. (2 points)

Try to make a sensible story. The more interesting it is, the higher the score.

Try sorting words by noun and verb, object and action, to get started making sentences.

Try each verb with each noun

Scoring:

High score wins.

Get points based on rhyme and rhythm, and meaning.

A player is scored by their partner or opponent.

Get as high a score as possible, then show it to a friend for criticism.

– make 1 rhyme = 1 point

– use of a word from pot = 1 point

– 2nd use of the same word = -1 point

– Connecting words such as “and, the, to” score = 0

– 2 lines with a perfect meter = 2 points

– 2 lines with near-perfect meter = 1 point

illegal to just repeat lines

– the sense or meaning of the poem. Useful meaning or entertainment value.

all players vote to set the score 1- 3 points.

Example game

example word pot:

Start word: “Home

Synonyms across

Rhymes go down

HomeHouseBuildingNestOrigin
combblousegildingbestporridge in
domemousewill dingbreastencouragein’
roamdousequiltingdressedforage in
foamgrouse
teststorage in



guest



rest



blessed

etc….

(Here are the practice sentences:)

A mouse is a little more than a pest

that roams through your house without rest

It combs thought your home

and makes a nest

and with young is frequently blessed

But my house is not a building I want to allow a rodent to forage in.

So I’ll make it uncomfortable for him to use as a point of origin.

A mouse is not welcome in my home.

I’ll give it wider fields to roam,

I’ll shoo it outside

One day in my house while getting dressed

He makes himself at home

He thinks he is my guest

A mouse ran across my breast

I encourage him to roam outside

I will not allow him to roam in my home

and not make a nest in my house

etc….

(Here are the final sentences in a verse:)

line

1. One day in my house while getting dressed

2. A mouse ran across my breast

3. But my house is not a building I want to allow a rodent to forage in.

4. I will not allow him to roam in my home

Here is the scoring

Line 1: 1 point for house, 1 dressed

Line 2: 1 mouse, 1 breast, 1 rhymes with dressed

Line 3: 0 house, already used, 1 building, 1 forage in

Line 4: 1 roam, 1 home

sense: 2 Voted good

meter: 0 none

Total: 11 points

example of meter:

I once found a mouse in my house.

Forbidden to roam in my home.

score 2, near perfect meter

I forbid it to roam in my home: score 2, perfect meter.

———————–

BUILD-A-VERSE

———————–

A very short, easy word game.

How To Play:

1. Tell a story in prose in 4 sentences. It must make sense.

2. Make a rhyme in sentences one and two.

3. Then rhyme sentences three and four.

The rhyme may be anywhere in the sentence, but in the same position.

For example,

“The house that I live in is red,

so everyone in it has fled,”

Not, “fled are all the people….”

4. Players vote on most interesting story, which wins the game.

Example game:

Step 1. Tell a story, the prose version:

1. I captained a ship to the moon.

2. We built a city there.

3. We advanced scientific knowledge.

4. We had many adventures.

Step 2. Make the rhymes:

1. I captained a ship to the moon.

2. Our city of mud was built soon.

3. We widened the sphere of all science.

4. And strode across its surface like giants.

——————

Notes on writing light verse:

What is so great about making word stew?

1. You’ll always come up with some ideas that are new

2. The exercise will keep you young, too.

3. It’s playful, full of play

Something you’ve always wanted to do

Inspiration. Draw upon your deeper self and share it. You have talent, bring it out.

Start with a basic ideas such as “you can write verse.”

Then make it into a 4-line story to keep it tight

To find a good rhyme, get a word with the correct meaning.

Conclusion:

You should write light verse, there are good reasons to do so.

Word stew is just one way.

You too can do word stew.

Have you got the idea? Go for it! Try it today. Use a similar technique to express something deeper, prepare to create a poetical feast, these are skills you will use to write advanced poetry.

Invite all your friends to play a word game.

A terse verse could be good,

but a longer line may be more fun when it’s done.

When you have something you want to say,

Try arranging your thoughts in a different way.

You can come up with a flavor that’s completely new

When you play word stew.

I’ll choose a simple noun to begin

All kinds of words are used as ingredients

nouns, verbs, rhymes, synonyms, adjectives,

throw in some adjectives for seasoning

chop, combine, stir, heat, serve, enjoy

Musings in Metaphysics

Photo by Eva Elijas on Pexels.com

Web sites with information on:

Ontology: https://www.britannica.com/topic/ontology-metaphysics

Nothingness: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/nothingness/

Metaphysics: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/metaphysics/

3/16/21

I have three parts in this little essay. I enjoy hashing out these thoughts, and hope you find it interesting.

1. The something from nothing myth.

2. “Old” metaphysics asks, “Why does matter or anything exist in the first place?”

3. The nature of nothingness.

—————————————————————————————–

1. The basic idea is that Something can come from nothing.

This is a widespread, popular conception occurs in many theories. I conclude it is not scientific, and therefore misleads people. It is not scientific, it is religious. The idea that something can arise from nothingness may be conceived of as a basic dualistic, religious idea.

Several related ideas, derived from it.

Examples:

— Spontaneous generation.

— the Big Bang in cosmology.

— the theory of Evolution.

The something from nothing idea is a myth, a way for people to answer questions about the universe.

How can there be an effect without a cause? That is magic or supernaturalism.

Here are a few comments on each of the myths listed above.

Spontaneous generation

It was thought for thousands of years that life, for example mold, could arise from non-living substances due to a vital heat. This is not precisely the something from nothing thesis, but close. Eventually, Pasteur proved that the air is full of microbes that cause living things to grow.

The Big Bang

This is the idea that all matter in the universe exploded at the beginning of time. It is supposed to have appeared from nowhere. It is said that all matter was condensed into a point. But a point is an abstract mathematical idea, not a physical entity.

The idea of the Big Bang is impossible to prove, we can only philosophize about it. See my other essay on this topic. The emptiness of space actually contains matter, it is not nothing.

The nothingness problem is discussed at length in this article: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/nothingness/

If nothing existed before the Big Bang, what caused it? It is debatable that God, or Nature, or the universe, came from nothing. That would be a dualistic God. But, if God or Nature is eternal in time (pantheism), then it had no beginning from whence it could have come. In this case, the something from nothing theory would not apply.

Evolution

In the case of the theory of evolution, we have the same conditions as with the Big Bang theory. In discussions about evolution, the original cause of all things is rarely mentioned. Evolution supposes that matter came from nowhere, that the Big Bang occurred, and everything we see evolved from it. This is the something from nothing fallacy.

——————————————————

2. “Old” Metaphysics–definition and discussion

I want to use the term ontology, but it is problematic. There seems to be many definitions. Metaphysics isn’t much better. I am referring to the philosophical idea of existence–first causes of things. Also called natural theology.

“Why does matter or anything exist in the first place?” Did it come out of nothing?

I think there are religious answers, but I can’t find a scientific answer. Therefore I find myself in the philosophy department.

I also ask, “Does existence imply some kind of meaningfulness? Isn’t the idea of meaning a human construct?” Because meaningfulness requires a mind to evaluate it, right? Is there a mind in outer space that evaluates the cosmos as meaningful? If not, then is the cosmos meaningless? Just asking.

The idea of mind in the cosmos is fascinating subject, but enough for now.

I think, many books have been written on these questions. Of course there are religious answers.

But I’m asking for scientific answers, in this case, aside from religious doctrines.

To come to a conclusion here, in case you don’t know, I hold to the pantheistic ideas, that capital “N” Nature can be called God because it is eternal, substance, and it did not arise from nothingness. I refer you to Spinoza’s Ethics. This is the logical approach.

I know, I have been all over the map in this writing, and I hope this tickles your brain.

——————————————————

3. The nature of nothingness.

https://philosophy.stackexchange.com/questions/8173/can-something-come-out-of-nothing-or-not-why

Let us say that nothingness is merely an abstract concept, meaning a lack of anything. I think it is congruent with zero.

But matter is physical, it is substance, it is something.

We cannot observe nothingness, since we are physical and our ability to perceive depends upon the existence of a physical substance to be perceived. Nothingness would be non-physical, since it contains no thing.

We can conceive of nothingness in our minds, but it is not physical.

It is axiomatic that nothingness and something cannot co-exist, they would be mutually exclusive.

I know that something exists, for the same reason that cogito ergo sum, I know that I exist.

Therefore, nothingness does not exist physically.

Therefore, the universe did not arise from nothingness.

Therefore, either the universe arose from something, or it did not arise.

It is obvious that the universe exists, therefore it arose from something.

What that something is, is another line of philosophy.

What do you think?

Space Smuggler

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

http://www.winebird.com/html/exercise__7.html

This is a writing exercise I did this morning for fun. Above is the link to the prompt.

My character is space smuggler. These are my prompt words: DEPRESSION, EX-SPOUSE, BOA

Instructions: Add your character with your three choices and mix well. Tell us a tale! (You don’t need to use all of your selections.)

Word limit: 1200

I only ever wanted money, power and sex, like any other space smuggler you might meet.

What’s life for besides maximum enjoyment? That’s my philosophy anyway–I guess you can call me a hedonist.

I worked hard at the Space Academy, training to be a star ship officer. During that time, my nights were filled with riotous living. Wine, women and song was my motto. But as they say, you can’t keep a good man down. I graduated from the Academy, but I was slightly hung over at the ceremony.

I got a good start to my career, as a lieutenant on a merchant vessel, supplying the moon colony monthly. I loved everything about the job–I got to work with very smart people, the technology of the moon colony is incredible to learn about, and when I have free time, the entertainment is truly cosmic. I especially enjoyed the floating floor shows, with dancing girls flying through the air.

My wife, Jill, came with me to the moon colony once. She thought that, aside from the novelty of being in space, it was all very boring, not much for her to do. She stayed home after that.

I’m popular at the moon colony, people are constantly asking me to bring them items from earth. The most valuable commodity is water. A couple of years ago, on one trip to the moon colony, I smuggled in two gallons of water, and delivered it to a man secretly. He paid me $5,000 for my trouble. I decided to celebrate.

I met a woman in the bar that night, and we hit it off. Her name was Marianne, and she had a delicate beauty, because she was born on the moon. She loved my adventurousness and broad humor. We partied and danced all night. We got along a little too well, and you know how one thing follows another.

Somehow Jill found out about my infidelity.

I had been leaving her alone at home for weeks at a time. She wanted a husband to spend time with.

Loneliness, and now my infidelity, gave her a bad case of DEPRESSION.

At last, she demanded a divorce.

Besides, she thought she could get a lot of money from a divorce settlement.

But I fought back, and she ended up getting very little. In fact, after the money ran out, she struggled to survive.

Back on the moon, my lover, Marianne, had grown frail. She gradually wasted away. One day I came into the moon port and received the bad news that she had died of anemia, complicated with some ailment peculiar to the moon. I was devastated.

After some time, I got a leave of absence and stayed Earth-side for a month. I went to a floor show, to see the dancing girls. I got my drink, and took a seat as the music started. The lights came up as the audience anticipated a stripper would come on stage any moment. A beautiful brunette came strutting out, it was my EX-SPOUSE, Jill, wearing nothing but a feather BOA.

word count 514, need to work on that. should be 1200. Next time i’ll plan scenes? Not sure if that will work.

the end

Adventures In Philosophy, Episode 2

Be sure to see my podcast of this essay. Here is the link: https://www.bitchute.com/video/0e8sGQkUV1cJ/

Emendation of the Intellect study guide

AIP02.doc

by Glenn Turner

12/11/20

Introduction

This is my study guide for the classic essay, Emendation of the Intellect, by Spinoza, published after his death in 1677. I am using the Shirley translation, with paragraph numbers. This edition has a good introduction, in which Shirley explains the main ideas of the treatise. The Emendation is not a completed work.

The Elwes translation calls it The Improvement of the Understanding.

I am not attempting here a complete explanation of all the points that Spinoza makes in the treatise. My idea was to type up the main ideas and attempt to organize them. This is a working document to be used for studying the text. I quote Bertrand Russell, “A stupid man’s report of what a clever man says can never be accurate, because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something he can understand.” I’m the stupid man compared to Spinoza.

The text is very convoluted, he has a lot of methods and procedures all intertwined.

It isn’t possible to create a tidy outline.

So I have grouped the main ideas, and labeled them as follows:

I Modes of Perception Par. 19

II Main learning method Par. 49a

III Procedural method Par. 49b

IV Methods of discerning false ideas Par. 50 – 86

Method of discerning ideas that are fictitious, false or doubtful.

How to remove false ideas to arrive at truth.

a) fictitious ideas, the main part Pars. 52 – 65

b) deals with false ideas Pars. 66 – 77

c) discusses doubtful ideas Pars. 77 – 86

V Listed modes of perception. Hearsay, direct perception, inference, intuition

VI True ideas are based on intuitive perception of essences or causes.

—————————————————————————————————————-

Here begins the commentary.

Spinoza writes that a goal is to get knowledge of the most perfect Being, in paragraph 49. But this treatise doesn’t actually delve into proofs of God. Maybe he meant to do that in another section, then never got around to it. Or he may expect the reader to supply their own proofs. Of course he discusses God/Nature at length in his other writings.

Paragraph 1 Spinoza’s aim is to identify the true, permanent good in life so that he can dwell in bliss forever. (Sounds like Aristotle.)

— He set out to search for this new guiding principle.

— Men regard three things as the highest goods: 1) riches 2) honor 3) sensual pleasure.

— Spinoza dismisses these avenues as ways towards his goal. I pass over the many sub-arguments here, but it is interesting to read.

Par. 12 Next he will define the true good versus the supreme good. Good and evil are relative terms. (This assertion is much disputed, as are a lot of his ideas.)

— True good means the things that will bring a man a perfect character.

— Supreme good means the continual enjoyment of this new state, to wit, union of mind with the whole of Nature, or God.

Par. 14 His expanded goal is to:

1) acquire this more perfect nature

2) to persuade others to adopt this plan

He lists five prerequisite conditions of society for this to occur, which I pass over. Again, you should read it.

Big point: He needs to devise a method of improving the understanding in order to get accurate facts.

Par. 17 He lays down three rules for living like a recluse. I pass over them here.

Par. 19 Modes of Perception

He now lists four modes of perceiving. He gives flimsy examples of each kind.

1) Hearsay–what people tell him, for example, the date of his birth.

2) Casual experience or regular perception, e.g. oil feeds a fire, water extinguishes it.

3) Inference. We know from experience that things appear smaller at a distance. Then we infer that the sun is larger than it appears. (There are many methods of inference.)

4) Intuition. A thing perceived through its essence or cause. For example, I know what it is like to know something; I know the soul and body are united; I know that 2 + 3 = 5

Par. 25 Spinoza wants to choose the best mode of perception for his purposes. Therefore he outlines a four step process to test which type of perception to use.

Quick list of modes of perception:

1 Hearsay

2 Regular perception, sensations

3 Inference–figuring it out

4 Intuition–that gut feeling

Step 1) Get a clear knowledge of the characteristic of myself I wish to perfect. (My mode of perception?)

I need to know as much of the nature of things as is necessary.

Step 2) Using the result of test 1, to infer correctly:

a) differences between things

b) agreement of things

c) Opposition of things

Step 3) Conceive the extent to which things can be acted upon.

Step 4) To compare this result with the nature and power of man.

My paraphrase of Par. 25 using questions:

You can analyze modes of perception with these questions:

1) Which characteristic of myself do I wish to perfect? Mode of perception?

I need to know as much of the nature of things as is necessary.

Using the selected mode:

2) Can I distinguish differences between things and how they conflict?

3) Can I tell the extent to which things can, and cannot, be acted upon?

4) Can I compare these derived perceptions with human nature and abilities?

My further discussion of modes of perception:

1st mode, Hearsay: for example, “the earth is flat.” In Par 26 he dismisses it, because you perceive no evidence of the idea, therefore it is not certain.

2nd mode, Perception: for example, oil feeds a fire. In Par 27 he explains that perceptions are uncertain, indefinite. Random perceptions cannot be clearly understood unless the essences are first known.

3rd mode, Inference: for example, we know that a distant object is larger than it appears. We get this perception from cause and effect, or when two events accompany each other–fire is hot. But inference is not the means to improve the mind in the way he desires. He doesn’t explain why. I suspect it is simply less useful than the fourth mode. (A lot could be written on this topic.)

4th mode, Intuition: Something is known from its essence. In Par 29 he declares intuition acceptable. For example, I know my soul is united to my body, without danger of error.

Par. 26 – 30 He explains why only the fourth mode, intuition, will suffice.

— Next task is to explain how to use intuition to acquire the knowledge he seeks.

Sub-topic This is not a regressive process, meaning we don’t need a method to seek a method, etc. ad infinitum.

Par. 31 Begin with simple tools, then make better ones. Demonstration of building up ideas. He explains how ideas of things can be used as objects for new ideas.

Par. 35 Big point: To be certain of something. The way we become aware of something is the definition of certainty.

Therefore, to be certain of a truth is to have an adequate idea, as defined.

Certainty means objective essence, means truth. The true method is the path of getting the objective essence. The method is a discourse about reasoning.

Par. 38 Big point: The method is reflexive knowledge, the idea of an idea.

Good method directs the mind according to true ideas.

We now have this basic tool to build with: a true idea. It will improve with use. Notice how it differs from other types of perception.

Par. 40 (Main method resumes at Par 91)

(see test 4, Par 25) The more the mind knows, the better it understands its power and nature.

— Part of main method: Understanding its power increases its ability to give guidance.

— final part of this method: A better understanding of order or nature, helps restrain the mind from useless pursuits.

Summary of Par. 41

Main learning method (my label)

1) Decide which type of perception to use.

2) Understand the powers or abilities of the mind, in order to grow them.

3) Understand the order of nature– characteristics, to use for guidance.

His is a big point, he uses often, also in the Ethics:

Ideas are related to each other in the same way that their objects are.

(an example might be an apple on a tree.)

Sub-points Pars. 42 – 48

He addresses doubts about the method of getting a true idea.

Men don’t doubt their own ideas. Some men do not understand logical reasoning at all.

Par. 49

Main Learning Method

1) Established the goal of our thinking.

2) Chose the best mode of perception to attain perfection–intuition.

3) Determined the mental pathway to begin and follow rules based on a true idea.

Sub-points:

Procedural method

a) distinguish a true idea

b) lay down rules for perceiving new things

c) establish a procedure to avoid unnecessary work

4) Realize we need an idea of a most perfect being since this is the goal.

Par. 50 Chief objective is to get knowledge of the most perfect Being.

Similar to distinguishing between a dream perception and an awake perception.

Method of discerning false ideas

1) fictitious ideas, as defined. A “made up” idea, unfounded in facts

2) false ideas

3) doubtful perception

Par. 52 Here treating the Method of discerning false ideas 1) fictitious 2) false 3) doubtful

1) How to discern fictional ideas. They are made-up ideas. He gives examples.

Fictions are considered as existing, in error.

Par. 53 A thing is impossible if its nature implies a contradiction. It’s possible if its nature does not imply a contradiction

Par. 54 He knows God’s nature and God is not a fiction. (He does not explain how he arrived at that conclusion. It seems unfinished.)

Par. 55 Discusses various types of fictions.

Par. 60 An enforced fiction causes other fictions to develop around it, until absurdity develops.

Par. 64 If a thing composed of many constituent parts is divided in thought into all its simplest parts, and attention is given to each part separately, then all confusion will disappear.

Par. 65 Summing up fiction. Is the idea:

— clearly conceived?

— an eternal idea?

— a completely simple thing?

If so, then it is not a fiction.

2) Discerning false ideas

Par. 66 Falsity is easier to determine than fiction. A false idea is a fiction to which we give assent. We don’t see proof that it is false. The solution is the same as discerning fiction. Confused ideas have an external, unproven aspect.

Par. 71 A true thought is intrinsic to the thought itself.

Par. 72 For example, imagine a semi-circle rotated on its axis to form a sphere. The sphere is a true thought.

Par. 74 A falsity is when things in the imagination are also in the intellect. As the stoics developed theories of the properties of the soul, without evidence. Therefore, reject hearsay and casual experience.

3) Things that cause doubt and how to remove doubt

Par. 77 — Doubt does not arise from the thing itself.

— Doubt arises through another idea, not so clear and distinct.

–Doubt means suspension in judgment about the truth of something.

Par. 79 We have a clear and distinct idea of God. But doubts are cast–there may be a deceiver, which we can’t disprove. But we supply our proofs of God–the Creator. Therefore the doubt is removed. In the same way we know the characteristics of a triangle.

Clear and distinct idea means true intuitive understanding.

Apply the Method of discerning false ideas to God’s existence.

sub-point Par. 81 Memory

End first part of method started at Par 50

Par. 84 Review of fictitious idea analysis

Par. 86 We no longer fear we may confuse true ideas with the fictitious or false.

Par. 87 People fall into error

Par. 88 Errors in imagination. The difference between intellect and imagination.

Intellect meaning reasoning activity Par 74

Par. 90 diagram Ideas we imagine –> we accidentally think we understand them –>

then they go into the intellect–> reasoning, conclusions. It should be the reverse procedure, first understand.

Par. 91 Big point. Begin second part of the method which started in Par 40

Par. 92 Takes up the next point? Aim is to conceive something through its essence or cause.

Par. 93 Therefore, don’t draw conclusions from abstractions, as defined.

Par. 94 Launches a new explanation of a good definition of created things.

A complete definition identifies the essence, not merely a property.

a) proximate cause

b) properties can be deduced from essence

Par. 97 Big point. The requirements for a good definition of an uncreated thing (God). Paraphrased. (I didn’t grasp the last 3 points.)

1. It excludes every cause, doesn’t need one. God is self-caused.

2. No need to ask if it exists.

3. Not explained by abstractions.

4. All its properties can be deduced from its definition.

Par. 98 Next phase. We need particular essences in order to draw conclusions. Need knowledge of particular things. (This next section is very murky, I couldn’t grasp it, so skipped over it.)

Par. 99 It is always necessary to deduce our ideas from physical things, not abstractions.

Par. 104 We have learned how to determine truth from fiction.

Pars. 107 – 108 A list of eight properties of the intellect, paraphrased:

1) It involves certainty. The mind knows that things are in reality as they are contained in the intellect in the form of thought.

2) Some thoughts are formed independently, others depend on other ideas.

3) Independent ideas express infinity, as a line. But determinate ideas are formed from other ideas.

4) The intellect forms positive ideas before negative ones.

5) It perceives things not in time, but some form of eternity.

6) Our clear and distinct ideas we form under our own power. But confused ideas are formed without our consent, (they come from outside us.)

7) There are many ways in which the mind can form new ideas from other ideas.

8) Ideas are the more perfect as they express a greater degree of perfection of an object

Par. 110 We cannot learn about the intellect from false or fictitious ideas. The text ends abruptly.

A Big Problem With the Big Bang

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 
 
 
 
 Regarding the age-old question of the origins of the universe, one starting point is to ask, "Did the universe start out of nothing with  a Big Bang?"
 I conclude that the Big Bang theory is not true. I will not touch on theology here, and I won't analyze scientific data. I will limit this discussion to philosophical speculation.
 I know--I couldn't have chosen a bigger subject! I will narrow it down to one aspect.
 To begin with, it is proposed that, at the beginning of time, all matter was condensed into a ball. It then exploded in an event called the Singularity, to become the universe. By matter they mean the stars, planets, galaxies. They call it a point, I call it a ball.
 I have something to say about that.  
 Since I can't go back in time to see the event, I must use my imagination, intuition and knowledge to test the theory. I think of this process as "doing philosophy."
 
 Consider this: 
If all matter was condensed into a ball, this giant ball must have had a boundary. Visualize it.  
 This implies that the quantity of matter in the universe is limited, since the theory refers to the sum total of all matter.
 This raises many questions. I will only treat one.  
 We are visualizing a ball of very dense matter.  
 What could have been outside its boundary?  
 There are two logical points I want to address:
 

 
 1) There was either something or nothing outside the big ball of matter.  
 

 
 2) Either the laws of physics existed then, or they did not. I am referring to such laws as gravity, motion, mass of objects, forces of energy.
 I will consider each possibility.
 

 
 2A) If the laws of physics applied
, then 
something
 existed outside the ball of matter,
because 
nothingness
 is impossible, it is merely a concept. This 
something
 was presumed to be some kind of empty space. Yet empty space is considered to be matter! There are thin gases and energy particles in space. So we have a contradiction. 
This contradiction falsifies the hypothesis, that all matter was collected into a ball.
 It is true, that there is debate about this concept of nothingness, but I won't go into it here. Most thinkers agree that "nothingness" is impossible, it is not an object, it cannot take up space.
 Resuming the visualization, therefore, if all matter was condensed into a ball, then 
something
 would have necessarily existed outside of it, in order to fill the remaining universe. This 
something
 may be called empty space, but it is more matter.
 Continuing the theory, then, after the supposed Big Bang occurred, the universe must have become spherical, and surrounded by the supposed nothingness. This nothingness must be infinite. This seems to be the consensus.
 

 
 Therefore, either way you look at it, the universe must be infinite.  
 

 
 2B) If the laws of physics as we know them did not apply
 at the time of the Big Bang, then anything is possible and our reasoning will be fruitless.  
 But, we are limited by nature to using the known laws of physics. There are certainly laws of nature not known to humanity. However, we cannot call upon them to solve problems. To imagine laws of nature is merely magical thinking, neither science nor philosophy.
 The proponents of the Big Bang simply assert that the ball must have been as dense, hot and heavy as needed to fulfill the requirements of the theory.  
 They simply do away with the laws of physics. Gravity pulled all the matter together, but then for some unknown reason it exploded, and gravity no longer applied.
 It seems logical that t
he original big ball of matter would have had such strong gravity holding it all together, that it could never have exploded.  
 

 
 Another problem with the big ball scenario is that, common sense tells me that you cannot compress all the matter in the universe into a ball to begin with. How would you compress the mountains down into a ball? How would all the stars be compressed? Something must cause such an event. The laws of physics and common sense forbid it.
 

 
 Another question I have about that is, what would cause the explosion? The forces causing the matter to expand must have been greater than those holding it together. These forces cannot be explained.
 The theorists answer these problems by saying that the laws of physics did not apply. This is impossible to prove. It is not the scientific method, it is speculation, or magic.
 

 
 Conclusion:
 It isn't possible to go back and do scientific studies of the origins of the universe. Therefore we can only speculate. 
The astronomers present data to support their hypothesis of the Big Bang, but it is not empirical evidence. Therefore the Big Bang theory should not be characterized as scientific.
 We don't know how much matter exists in the universe. If it is a finite amount, then something exists outside the known universe. Since “nothingness” is merely a concept and not a physical object, some kind of matter must fill the universe. Therefore the universe must be infinite in extent.  
 

 
 There are many theories of the universe. One is, that there exists an infinite amount of matter spread throughout an infinite universe.  
 If the universe is infinite in extent, then it has no center. This is different from the Big Bang theory, which would locate the center of a limited universe. 
 One aspect of the infinite universe idea is that the universe must then also be eternal in time, because there was no beginning explosion.
 

 
 In my opinion, the universe has always existed, it did not explode in a Big Bang.  
 Also, the universe must be eternal in time, having no beginning or end in time as we know it.  
 The Big Bang theory is merely a hypothesis, not a testable theory.  
 I keep thinking about cause and effect. If there was a Big Bang, something must have caused it. At this point we generally use the God of the gaps idea, just attribute the creation of the universe to God.
 I have been reading Spinoza's 
Ethics
--
that should give you a clue to my leanings.  
 I think you will agree that our minds are limited in capability. We cannot grasp in our imaginations such vast ideas as infinity or eternity. I call them 
token words
. Nevertheless they stand for true conclusions. In other words, just because I can't grasp something doesn't make it impossible.  
 

 
 Either the Big Bang occurred, or it did not.  
 What do you think? 

Words@Play #1

My thesaurus is better than your thesaurus!

July, 2013

About that thesaurus sitting on your shelf! Mine’s better! Here’s why:

I was doing a first draft for a short poem and I needed just the right word. I wanted a synonym for “baby.”

After long gestation, it comes into the world with great labor and pain.

What shall I call it?

Fruit of love? Baby?

I know it’s a trite topic, never mind, it’s just an example. I looked into the regular thesaurus–the kind you find everywhere in dictionary form. Under “baby” were 4 noun synonyms: babe, infant, little one, and a reference to “child” sub-heading. Whoopee.

A few months ago I was shopping in the Friends of the Library in Ventura. There I found a large volume, “The Original Roget’s International Thesaurus” 6th edition. A great big dictionary hardback,1250 pages! 330,000 words and phrases to choose from. Wow what a fantastic book! In new condition, only $3! I fell in love with it. I had no idea there was such a book! What else am I missing? For me, word books are like strong drink. So much of life can be conveyed if you have just the right word, you know? Look at this! I looked up “baby” just now for example. The noun subtopic had 13 entries, but each of them has their own section! So I selected “infant” and looked it up in the front of the book, section 302.9. There are 37 words and phrases for “baby!” Oh my gosh, I’m rich! For example I have terms like “bouncing baby, mewling infant, papoose, suckling, toddler, fosterling, neonate, crumbcrusher”. Now I have a much larger “word pool” than I had with the first thesaurus.

I want to re-write my original idea using “weanling.”

It comes! The creature comes at last

into the daylight, reeling.

Pushed out with labor, pains, and cries,

here lies a human weanling.

Say! How about that, don’t you like “weanling” better? I think it’s colorful!

My thesaurus is bigger and better than your thesaurus! So there!

–Glenn

Words@Play by Glenn Turner

Outrageous word fun with the Scrabble Dictionary.

Wow this book is too much. It has lots of unusual words. Ever heard of “gurge?” Me neither–sounds cool though. I thought I would go through the book and pick an unusual word for each letter of the alphabet. Then I can use them in a poem.

The Story of Jean-Claude

Glenn Turner 1/3/21

“You can invent reality.” — Jon Rappoport

 
 
     One day Jean-Claude  found out he was living in a strange world of his own. Not in a bubble--he didn't feel isolated from other people. He lived in a monastic way, alone in a quiet place in the woods. He allowed people to talk to him and he was a good, quiet listener. He listened and watched the world go noisily making war. Eventually, the bombings ceased and the quiet of the woods resumed.  
      At night, he gazed at the full moon, bright in the dark sky.  
 He didn't know if he had a woman to love him. He came to believe he lived in his own world, the entire planet belonged to him, it being an expression of the god-thing-nature.
      Jean-Claude  felt happy about being a real person, not to be considered less than adequate. Jean-Claude   worried he might be too self-centered. He always treasured truth and virtue and the scientific method.
      Jean-Claude  walked along the country road on a spring day, studying the trees, and hills and everything he saw and sensed.  
      On this day, it came to him that he had powers to create whatever he liked. So he created a futuristic machine he could use to explore any aspect of existence that might appeal to him. It was a room-sized machine. This great machine needed a name, so he called it the omni device. He entered it and used the human interface to program a visit to Mars.   
      Jean-Claude  finds himself on Mars, in the colony. A hundred people live and work in this habitat. He likes to drop in and visit occasionally. Everyone is glad to see Jean-Claude . They wish they could go to the woods where he lives. One might think that Mars would be boring--it's cold and desolate--but the people on Mars are never bored. There is so much work to do, and basic scientific research to be done. Just maintaining the life support systems is a lot of work.  
      So he stayed a couple of nights, played the violin and visited all the chambers in the colony. One girl seemed to love him, but he didn't want romance. She was very delicate because she was born on Mars.
      Jean-Claude  returned to his omni machine and went home. Back in the woods in his comfortable cabin. Where did the omni machine actually come from? It help explain his solitariness. The omni machine is the reason he owns the entire planet. He can have friends, but never truly share his solitary ownership life of the world and universe.
      Jean-Claude  caused his body to become intangible, not like a ghost, but like a cloud. He could then fly above a city and watch people walking and marching in a parade down the street chanting war cries. It seemed that so many people desire to make war and kill people. Jean-Claude  in the clouds flying over the city, wept for them.  
      Not sure what to do, he returned home to study big books of arcane wisdom. The wise man always searching for more truth and understanding of the universe to touch the god-thing-nature of which he is composed.
      Back in his comfortable cottage, he admired all the furniture. There is his large table to lay out his books, there are comfortable chairs, and a sofa.
      "Hello, Jean-Claude ," a girls' voice said. Surprised, he found the Martian girl sitting on the sofa with a book in her lap.
 "Well he, how did you get here?" Jean-Claude  asked
 "I figured out how to use your machine. Hope you don't mind?" she replied earnestly.
 "Actually I do mind, it's dangerous and you're violating my privacy. The machine is tuned to my body. How did you get it to work?"
      "I snipped off a lock of your hair and the machine only needed that to get your DNA to activate it," she answered.
 "But you still needed my password to operate it."
      "I'm a pretty good hacker," she explained. "I've studied computers all my life, it's my specialty at home on Mars."
      Jean-Claude  sat down with a heavy sigh. "Alright then here you are. What shall I do with you?"
      Nothing happened, his mind went blank. Therefore the world went blank. So Jean-Claude  got up and went for a long walk in the woods. Listening to small animals rustling in the undergrowth, it started to get dark, so he returned home.  
      She was not there. He looked in the omni machine. She had left a note saying,"Sorry I bothered you. See you next time. Love, Alicia."
      "The little imp," he thought. "Hope she's OK now. I should be friendly towards her."
      He conversed all night with big friendly books, traversing the galaxy.
      Jean-Claude  had complete knowledge of himself. He was no longer disturbed by yearnings of the flesh. But he was consumed with yearning s of the spirit--a desire to know the cosmos and feel it respond warmly to his existence.  
      "Please god-thing-nature, let me feel the divine energy again." He yearned for the indescribable bliss which he had once experienced. He realized a great deal, the way a dog can look pleadingly in a man's eyes but never form words. This is how Jean-Claude  felt, he could sense the god-thing-nature but never truly communicate with it.  
      He went back into his machine. This time he sat in the dimly lit room a few minutes and gazed at the screen on the wall. There were dots floating like stars.
      "Zoom in to the atomic level," he said. He contemplated the fabric of matter and saw that it was filled with purposeful motion.
      "Alright, omni machine, take me down to stand beside an atom."
 There is a humming sound, the room vibrates, light swirl and flash, and then Jean-Claude  finds himself standing beside a big sphere the size of a house. He goes inside. The air seems to be vibrating. Particles flying around but go through him like light waves. He can't feel anything. The fabric of space existence is not made of particles, but a fine vibrating stuff like sound waves that refract and form ridges. The vibrating fabric is the god-thing-nature which then forms objects. All too incomprehensible to Jean-Claude , who feels like a dog wishing it could speak.
      The atoms reduced down to the size of his fist. Many molecules floated around.
      While he was observing it all, the girl suddenly materialized beside him.
      "Hello Alicia! You've surprised me again." She is very delicate with long blonde hair, a pale blue gown, ivory white skin.
      Gently she says, "We don't need to be lovers, Jean-Claude , but let's be companions."
      They watched the floating molecules awhile.
      It suddenly occurred to him why she kept appearing, so he asked, "Do you play the Glass Bead Game?"  
      She gave a winsome smile, "But of course, all roads lead there."
      "Then we have a strong mutual understanding," he replied. "Let's go to the game room, have tea and begin a game."  
      She nodded assent and they exited the omni machine. They walked, saw blue sky and green trees. They entered the game room. It is a library with a large table in the middle, and chairs. A special board on the table for arranging the beads. There were bowls of large, colored beads, which had  hieroglyphic symbols delicately engraved on them.
      They saw that there was a half-finished game on the board.  
      "Let's start a new one," he announced. They sat on opposite sides of the table.  
      Thousands of books lined the walls. Jean-Claude  only had to ask for a subject and the appropriate book would appear at his elbow.
      The board itself seemed to have various modes. It looked like a large "Go" board with grooves, or a sheet of music paper with staves, or three dimensional with strings like an abacus. The half-finished game looked like a musical composition with vari-colored notes, or a design like a mosaic. He swept the beads into a tray.
      The didn't need to talk much now, their mutual understanding was like telepathy. She often watched him with a pleasant smile.
      "I will begin the game by placing this large green bead in the center of the board. This game will have a powerful meaning, a most persuasive explanation of all things."
      They meditated silently awhile. She chose a bead and placed it on the board some distance from the first. A green bead, engraved with the symbol for botany. Her bead was dark blue, with the symbol for astronomy. Next they invented the required musical phrase, to join the two beads. Baroque music of violins is playing in the background. The sound is bittersweet at times, and haunting.
      All the moves and musical lines of every game are stored, by the omni machine, so the game could be studied and enjoyed later.  
      "This is how reality is created," Jean-Claude  murmured. The vibrating fabric of space, the big atoms floating and forming molecules--this same fabric in the mind, vibrating like music with meaning and purpose. The mysterious electric fabric vibrating quietly to evoke a desire to create meaning, to express itself in atoms and molecules and neurons, vibrating with memories and visions of vivid colors.
      Jean-Claude placed a gray bead with a hieroglyphic beside his green bead. Gray--mechanics. After awhile, Alicia played. They the joined the beads with music. So the game progressed for hours. Books were consulted, there was much meditation.
      Around midnight the pair adjourned the game and retired to separate apartments.
      Yes, it will all come to a magnificent, cosmic conclusion, Jean-Claude  thought.  
 At dawn they were back at the game table. They had breakfast and a short walk before resuming the game. But remembrance of the omni machine interrupted them.
      "I need to go back home to Mars awhile, the weight here is becoming painful," Alicia explained.
      "Of course, I should have realized that, you're frail as a fairy," Jean-Claude  replied. "I will go with you and bring the game."  
      Her face lit up. "That would be wonderful. The game is played for recreation in the colony."
      "I don't even need to pack, everything I need is there," Jean-Claude  said.  
      So they went out and entered the omni machine and soon reappeared in the reddish lit hallways of  Mars colony.
      Her friends were glad to see her back, and welcomed Jean-Claude --they called him "The Wise Man."
      They went straight to the game room. Here in the colony were a half dozen good, serious players, so there were several boards and games in progress. Jean-Claude  knew everyone, but didn't disturb the players, who were deep in thought.
      Jean-Claude and Alicia set up their board. They sat comfortably. The meditation began. Deep in thought, cosmic vibrations were felt resonating in the neurons, forming patterns to be expressed in words and ideas. Thus the game progressed.
      Jean-Claude placed a bead. Ruddy red--Mars. They made music together.
      All along, Jean-Claude  was at the center of his own world, creating reality for his own cosmic pleasure. 
     Sitting quietly on Mars, he is able to move inwardly more easily. He could hear the wind rushing over the arched ceilings of the red-lit game hall, where he sits.
      What is Jean-Claude's over-riding purpose in life? And Alicia's? 

Adventures In Philosophy, Episode 1

Introduction and Episode 1

Adventures In Philosophy

1 Introduction
In this episode, I talk about why philosophy is so interesting, some basic argumentation methods, and common logical fallacies. I made a podcast of this essay. Here is the link to podcast: AIP Podcast 1 Document: AIP01-intro.doc



ADVENTURES IN PHILOSOPHY

AIP01 Intro.doc

Glenn Turner 12/10/20

Narrative

Session 1 — Introduction

Welcome to Adventures in philosophy. I’m Glenn Turner. I am doing these podcasts for several reasons. Mainly, I just love doing philosophy and want to share it. Actually it’s deeper than that.

Studying philosophy is like traveling in a spaceship. The purpose of philosophy is to explore new areas, to form new ideas, to advance science and knowledge in general. I like to nurture the sense of wonder.

For another metaphor consider that a beach is made of grains of sand. Each person on earth is a grain of sand, and needs to contribute their small part to make a beautiful beach. My podcasts are my grains of sand.

I also hope to stimulate others to come up with their own philosophy. I believe that every thinker has a unique contribution to make.

My podcasts are also a way for me to study the topics more and clarify my own ideas. In case you don’t know this is a bookish sport–we philosophers love to read.

I am interested in how the brain works, how the mind works. What is this intangible thing we call “mind” which has so much power? What is consciousness? What is the human spirit? What is the truth about God? (I will not be dealing with theology.) How will humanity advance in the next 100 years?

Philosophy precedes scientific invention and advancement. I see new frontiers in philosophy opening up. The field of artificial intelligence is one example. Newer and more powerful computers are going to be invented. Bio-technology will make advances.

Consider how much technology (and thus, philosophy) has progressed since the days of Aristotle, about 2300 years ago. Now, imagine what society will be like 2300 years from now. I find it impossible to imagine. But your task as a philosopher is to contribute what you can to that advancement, the way worker bees contribute to building a hive.

Some of my sessions will be in the exciting field of consciousness, the mind, the spirit and anomalous mental phenomena. I have found on the internet a wealth of information about the coming revolution in science, psychology and philosophy regarding the nature of consciousness. Our world is about to change in a dramatic way. Many thinkers believe that the consciousness is external to the brain. I have a lot of resources to share on this topic.

Doing philosophy is a great adventure. Contemplating the cosmos is a great pleasure.

I hope my listeners will contact me via email. My email is gt1234@protonmail.com.

Here is a list of the subjects I will be talking about:

logical fallacies

original thinking

anti-evolution

cosmology

anti-big bang

science

powers of mind

science fiction

consciousness

psychology

metaphysics

pantheism or monism

mysticism

Eastern philosophy

other essays

Spinoza, Emendation commentary

Spinoza, Ethics explained

I discovered Spinoza about a year ago and it was tremendously enlightening. Therefore I want to go through his works listed above, and explain the thoughts in modern language. It is complex and difficult so it will take a long time to go through. I already have an essay on the Emendations.

Now I will start the first topic: Basic logical methods

============================================= end introduction

On studying philosophy

Thinking clearly to find the truth of a matter.

Basic logical methods ======================

Deduction.

“A deductive argument is an argument in which the premises are claimed to support the conclusion in such a way that it is impossible for the premises to be true and the conclusion false. A deductive argument uses syllogisms.” (A Concise Introduction to Logic, Patrick Hurley, Wadsworth Publishing)

Syllogism

Basic unit of logic. If the premises are true, then the conclusion is necessarily true. I found a great definition of syllogism in the Random House dictionary: “an argument whose conclusion is supported by two premises, of which one (major premise) contains the term (major term) that is the predicate of the conclusion, and the other (minor premise) contains the term (minor term) that is the subject of the conclusion; common to both premises is a term (middle term) that is excluded from the conclusion. A typical form is ‘All A is B; all B is C; therefore all A is C.’ ” Arguing from the general to the particular.

Induction.

“An inductive argument is an argument in which the premises are claimed to support the conclusion is such a way that it is improbable that the premises be true and the conclusion false.” (ibid) If the premises are true, the conclusion is probably true, not necessarily. The method uses a preponderence of evidence. For example, every crow I have ever seen is black. Therefore, the next crow I see will probably be black also. Arguing from the particular to the general.

What is a valid argument?

If the premises are true, then the conclusion is true.

What is an invalid argument?

The premises are true, but the conclusion is false.

What is a sound argument?

A valid deductive argument with all true premises.

Inference

“In logic, the procedure of deriving conclusions from premises. If the conclusion follows from a single premise, the process is said to be one of immediate inference. If the conclusion follows from two or more premises jointly, the process is said to be one of mediate inference.” (Dictionary of Philosophy and Religion, Reese, p. 338.)

There are many rules of mediate inference, like in geometry.

Mathematics

All arguments in pure mathematics are deductive. Spinoza used the geometrical method in writing the Ethics.

Inductive Logic is a broad category, it basically means presenting evidence for a conclusion.

Logical fallacies ======================

A fallacy is a defective argument, not due to false premises. Here are some examples.

Some web sites about logical fallacies:

fallacyinlogic.com

http://www.logicalfallacies.org

You should think up some examples on your own.

Ad Hominem fallacy. Instead of addressing the argument, attack the messenger.

Example:

Proponent: Vote for Mr. Smith, he is well-qualified for the position.

Opponent: The proponent is a criminal, therefore his recommendation is not valid.

The Straw Man Fallacy

Mis-representing a proponent’s argument in order to easily demolish it. Similar to ad hominem, but attacks an incorrect argument instead.

Example:

Proponent: Vote for Mr. Jones because he will lower taxes.

Opponent: You must want to have cutbacks in city services that are dependent on taxes, therefore I won’t vote for Mr. Jones.

The Bandwagon Fallacy

Peer pressure. Example: Everyone is voting for Mr. Jones, you should too.

The Appeal to Authority Fallacy

An authority may not be qualified in a different field.

Example:

Reverend Smith is voting for Mr. Jones, and he is an authority, so you should vote for Mr. Jones too.

False Dichotomy

The idea that there is only one choice in a matter, when there may be more.

Example:

If you don’t believe in evolution you must believe in creationism.

The Hasty Generalization Fallacy

When you see one example of a condition, you assume all the rest are the same

Example:

A man from Georgia has a strong accent. Therefore all Southerners have strong accents.

Circular Reasoning

An argument that simply assumes what it is attempting to prove. An unsupported assertion, restated in different terms.

Example:

You must follow the laws of the country because it is illegal to break the law.

Equivocation

When a word is used in two different senses in an argument, causing confusion. Like a pun.

Example:

Noisy children are a real headache. Two aspirin will make a headache go away. Therefore, two aspirin will make noisy children go away. (“Headache” is used two different ways.)

(source: https://www.txstate.edu/philosophy/resources/fallacy-definitions/Equivocation.html)

In my next session I will go over my study guide on Spinoza’s Emendations of the Intellect