Stand Up For Free Speech

Basic manual, #10, 4th pass, ( or 3rd ) Inspire the audience.

Stand Up For Free Speech

I found out when I was a teenager that I was different from the other boys. I was shunned because of my tendencies. While all the other boys were out enjoying sports, I was indulging in my activities. For that I was ostracized, not even allowed to discuss my subject in polite conversation.

Now, I’m coming out of the political closet. I hope we can still be friends. I have no desire to make enemies. That’s right, I’m a conservative. There, I said it. I am attracted to moral philosophy.

I loved President Ronald Reagan. He said, “Government is not the solution to the problem, Government is the problem.” Also, “It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first.”

I liked William F. Buckeley, of the National Review magazine. He said, (with accent) “I’d rather entrust the government of the United States to the first 400 people listed in the Boston telephone directory than to the faculty of Harvard University.” A real zinger, eh?

(Please forgive me for reading this speech but I want to be accurate. )

Society doesn’t want guys like me to spout off in the public square.

I found out early that it was not acceptable to express certain political opinions.
When I was in high school creative writing class, I mentioned religion and was reviled by the teacher and students.
Another time I mentioned some moral idea, criticized a politician and family members shouted me down.
I don’t like angry arguments, so I learned how to not express my opinions, to be shy of people. I don’t feel I’ve been able to exercise much free speech.

I wish there were no such thing as war or strife in the world. Humans are astonishing, wonderful creatures and should be treated kindly.
I believe in “love your neighbor.”
The issue I’m addressing is free speech, the freedom to voice your opinion in public.

Question: Where are the anti-discrimination laws protecting conservatives?
Answer: It’s called the first amendment to the constitution.
(Read from constitution)
which says in part, “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech.” It specifically means political dissent.
This is the wise law that protects Americans from tyranny.

We already have a speech code in this country, called “political correctness.”
Certain parties in society want to silence dissent.
But, if people are silenced, then an oppressive government can do anything it desires to its subjects.

Many opponents of free speech honestly think they’re going to make a better society when they silence dissent. History shows that such policies will make society worse.
The way it is in nice places like North Korea and Cuba.

There are better ways to accomplish goals of improving society.

The list of banned subjects will increase.

— Which topic will be banned next, perhaps euthanasia?
For example, will new laws be written to allow Doctors to execute their patients? Perhaps their health care plan can’t pay to keep them alive.
If so, will ordinary citizens have the right to voice their dissent?

— Or take another issue–perhaps free speech on the internet will be censored too.
Would you object if the internet were censored?
Will you be able to express your dissent?

— Or another issue–Did you know that the public school system has a speech code in place?
Students are restricted from talking about religion.
And young people are indoctrinated into a militant philosophy.

Do you feel safe expressing your dissent?
Do you really have free speech?

Ending part
I know that so far this speech lesson could be entitled “Speak To Depress”.
So where does the inspiration come in?
“Inspire” means “to animate, influence, exalt.”
Good ideas can do that for you. But I can’t do it for you.
(inspiring quotes here)

Inspiring quotes:

America is another name for opportunity. Our whole history appears like a last effort of divine providence on behalf of the human race. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

My God! How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy! ~Thomas Jefferson

I believe in America because we have great dreams – and because we have the opportunity to make those dreams come true. ~Wendell L. Wilkie

We Americans are in a battle to protect our right of dissent.
Free speech must be defended, because dissent is a necessary part of a free society,
it helps make America great.

example of
Stand up for free speech.

The time for action is now.
Only the present moment exists. We cannot change the past.
We can only act in the present moment to create a better future.
But, be encouraged, there are millions of Americans working to protect the first amendment.
Use your faith and idealism to work toward a better world in which free speech is acceptable.
Picture a large map of America. Everyone who believes in free speech holds a glowing candle. See on the map millions of lights filling the country. There are some areas of darkness, but they can become enlightened too. You are a candle to light the darkness.

Here are some things you can do:

  1. Educate yourself, study the issues, you can learn about current events from web sites such as, search on “free speech.” Another web site is
  2. Teach young people to love freedom of speech.
  3. Teach young people to examine the motives of their leaders, and avoid militarism.
  4. You can voice your opinions and stand up for free speech in a peaceful way.

Whether or not you are conservative, the constitution protects our rights to express political dissent.

Let’s do a little exercise, will you rise from your chair a moment?
Will you stand up for free speech? Will you? (pointing at members)
Will you stand up for free speech?

Long live the Constitution.

Thank you.

Mr. Toastmaster

Pool playing, running the table


Study of how Corey Duel ran the table in this video:
timestamp is 1:34:16 All the Accu-Stats videos are fun to watch. This is a 2016 pool game against Shane Van Boening. Playing 8 ball, in a race to 10. I think it is a 9 foot table. I am studying positioning, how to run a table. Pool is a strategy game. It is important to plan out the sequence of shots. The plan may change after any shot. The commentators can be very annoying with their constant chatter and wrong guesses about the next shot. They think they're smarter than the players. At 1:34:30 he suggests that Duel will lose if he misses again. The other commentator predicted the wrong key ball. He said the 1, it was the red one, 3? Shut them up by muting the sound with the m key. You can watch at slow speed, click the settings button. score is Deuel 7, Van Boening 9 Corey is sweating it, so this run was important. Shane had a dry break, didn't sink a ball. It's Corey's big chance to win a game. Corey chose to shoot the solids. In my picture, I circled them. In the picture I numbered the shots, not the ball numbers. I marked where the cue ball stopped for each shot. Just look at each number and follow the line to see what he hit. The 8 ball is in the center of the table. shot 1 fairly straight. Reverse English. The cue ball crossed the table. shot 2 a stop shot shot 3, rebounded the cue ball off foot rail shot 4, slight cut, did not disturb any balls shot 5, must have used left English, cue ball crossed the table. shot 6, hit firm, stunned it into the side, with perfect leave shot 7, gentle cut into side, rolling shot 8, a long shot on the 8 ball, hardest shot of the run Analysis: In running a table, sometimes the cue ball goes in a zig zag pattern. For instance, shot 6 goes right, 7 goes left, 8 goes right. He used a stun shot several times. English only twice that I can tell. Never touched an opponent's stripe ball. That takes skill.

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
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:

Musings in Metaphysics
Problems with the Big Bang Theory of Cosmology
A Big Problem With the Big
On the infinity of the cosmos

Word game ideas

by Glenn Turner 10/30/12

Photo by Pixabay on

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

Cross 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


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

combblousegildingbestporridge in
domemousewill dingbreastencouragein’
roamdousequiltingdressedforage in
teststorage in





(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


(Here are the final sentences in a verse:)


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.




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.


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

Web sites with information on:





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.


— 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:

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.


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.

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

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:

Emendation of the Intellect study guide


by Glenn Turner



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.


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

 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 
 existed outside the ball of matter,
 is impossible, it is merely a concept. This 
 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 
 would have necessarily existed outside of it, in order to fill the remaining universe. This 
 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.

 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 
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!


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.