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Everything posted by Praxus

  1. What you call understanding is actually omniscience and that demand on any finite being - that is to say any being whatsoever - no matter how intelligent is ridiculous. All we can aspire to is contextual knowledge, which is still knowledge and a great achievement; this is to say that based upon a certain set of observed facts this conclusion x is true in the context of those facts. Thus if we discover new facts that disprove relativity it would be right to call it invalid because we have a larger context, even though it was previously correct to call it valid.
  2. There is no contradiction and in fact this postulate has been validated and is absolutely true. Also space IS a "relative" concept in that space (that emptiness between planets, stars, etc...) is a relationship between those several objects. This, however, is not to say that any of these ideas are based on a "primacy of consciousness" or "subjectivism". In order for it to be a contradiction it would have to both be and not be in the same respect. Being in a different inertial reference frame is obviously a differing "respect". According to Taylor in his book Classical Mechanics, time dilation was first validated by B. Rossi and D. B. Hall in 1941. There was another experiment done in 1971 which came to the same conclusion using four synchronized atomic clocks. They were flown around the world in a plane and came back with a discrepancy (relative to a stationary clock at the U.S. Naval Observatory) of 273 +/- 7 ns which was in definite agreement with the predicted 275 +/- 21 ns. Not to leave you with the idea that there have only been these few experiments, I would note that GPS relies upon the theory of relativity to give you accurate location data. So the theory is absolutely right in that it correctly describes this ACTUAL phenomena of time dilation.
  3. This same problem arises with the claim that the universe is infinitely large. Largeness is of course a physical relationship between several existents. Since the universe has no boundaries, there can be no relationship between such a 'boundary' and any other existent in the universe. The same applies when looking at time, as it is nothing but relationship. In his argument he is making the invalid implicit assumption that there was this creation event, but it happened infinitely far back into the past. Quite the contrary is true, there was no creation event and so time is not a valid concept in this context. There can be no relationship between a thing which exists and a 'thing' which does not.
  4. The Quran demands uncessing warfare against any and all unbelievers that do not submit. The old testament asks for it only some of the time.
  5. From 509 BC until the time of the Social War in the first century BC there were no civil wars. This is a period of 400 years! What I am praising is not so much the Roman system in particular, but the idea of republicanism in general, which was founded by Rome. The idea of balancing three types of government against one another resulted in a system which endured for four and a half centuries and through the founding fathers who read Cicero and Polybius greatly inspired our own constitution.
  6. Rome brought us the republican form of government and Greece brought us systematic philosophy, science, and man glorifying art. Do you honestly think calculating pi to the eighth decimal point, discovering the Pythagorean theorem prior to Pythagoras, or building natural gas pipelines from bamboo are at all important compared to these? Find me the philosophical truth of an Aristotle, the oratory and politics of a Cicero, the tragedies of a Sophocles, or the love of liberty of a Cato or Brutus in this supposedly 'greater' civilization and I will take this praise of Chinese civilization seriously.
  7. Descartes' claim was that the only indisputable self-evident claim is Cogito Ergo Est. That is to say the only thing which can be validated axiomatically is the existence of one's own consciousness; essentially that thought comes prior to existence in the logical hierarchy. "In the next place, I attentively examined what I was, and as I observed that I could suppose that I had no body, and that there was no world nor any place in which I might be; but that I could not therefore suppose that I was not; and that, on the contrary, from the very circumstance that I thought to doubt of the truth of other things, it most clearly and certainly followed that I was; while on the other hand, if I had only ceased to think, although all the other objects which I had ever imagined had been in reality existent, I would have had no reason to believe that I existed; I thence concluded that I was a substance whose whole essence or nature consists only in thinking..." -Discourse on Method (Part IV) So, his point is that we can not know if there is an evil genius or not, because we have no reason to trust the existence of anything but our own consciousness (and God).
  8. Greatness must be judged relative to the object which it concerns. A great carpenter is one who is excells at carpentry. Thus a person who can't stick two pieces of wood together can't be a great carpenter. It is only in the realm of virtue that everyone has a potential for greatness. Everything else requires certain physical and intellectual abilities which may not be sufficient or exist in any particular man.
  9. Praxus


    She is an atheist, not a "secular muslim", whatever that means. She asked the last question in this Christopher Hitchens vs. Al Sharpton debate. She even points out the problem with infinite regression. That is to say if the Universe needs a creator, why doesn't god.
  10. God would not be bound by Aristotle's first principle, he could do an infinite variety of contradicting actions, have volition and be determined, exist and not exist; there are no bounds, natural or otherwise, beyond which he could not go. The idea of an omnipotent and omniscient God necessarily implies contradiction.
  11. Aristotle viewed the prime mover as sufficient in himself, not composed of parts; as man finds happiness, according the Nicomachean ethics, by the contemplation of existence, the prime mover gains happiness in the contemplation of itself, as the most perfect mind should only be concerned with the greatest things, which are his own thoughts. "For both thinking and the act of thought will belong even to the one who thinks of the worst things in the world, so that if this ought to be avoided, the act of thinking can not be the best of things. Therefore it must be of itself that the divine thought thinks, and its thinking is a thinking on thinking." Metaphysics 1074b (Book XII, Chapter 9, Lines 30-34) "Since, then, thought and the object of thought are not different in the case of things that have not matter, the divine thought and its object will be the same, i.e. the thinking will be one with the object of its thought." Metaphysics 1075a (Book XII, Chapter 9, Lines 1-4) So if I understand him correctly, this divinity would not be an animal, but rather pure consciousness. It would most certainly be rational, however, as it would have to be in order to contemplate itself. Such a man was Aristotle that even his nonsense is brilliant
  12. You can not know that you know not, and by denying the axiom of human volition, that faculty which is the most precious gift of our nature, you are claiming to do just that. You can not have pride in the unchosen or happiness with a life which holds you in bondage.
  13. Ouch, at least you didn't take the long route. I agree. Sense perception is not sufficient to prove something as you have not yet validated it. You do that via axioms, thus concluding sense perception is valid because it is valid, which is logically fallacious. Any "proof" of axioms would necessarily be begging the question; you would be assuming to be true that which you are trying to prove.
  14. A proof is a logical demonstration based on knowledge which is antecedent to that which you are proving. There is no knowledge prior (hierarchically) to axioms, so they can not be proved, they can only be shown.
  15. Would you say that you have proven existence exists simply by looking at reality? All you can do is say "look, that is reality", or "focus and that is volition", but you can't "prove" it without implicitly assuming it's true, ergo the assumption of its truth is prior to any attempted proof. An example... P1: Volition exists because you can introspect and use induction to discover it. P2: How can you be sure that is actual knowledge of reality? P1: Because of the axioms (one of which being Volition) P2: Therefore volition exists because volition exists. As we can see, its a bit like saying god exists because god says so, the important difference of course is that volition is indeed an axiom.
  16. Volition is the will set at liberty, we are either free to chose as we please (among certain alternitives) or we are not. Determinism in this context implies non-volition, because a "choice", if it could be so called, could not have been otherwise. Volition is a self-evident primary, which can't be proved (or disproved), as proof implicitly assumes its truth.
  17. If we assume for the sake of argument that we do not possess volition, noting also that few men agree on most things, least of all the nature and extent of the will, it follows that knowledge is impossible, as two men holding opposing ideas could not have chosen otherwise. One ought to deal with people who deny free will the same way one deals with people who deny the law of non-contradiction or existence itself. Arguing about a number of hypothetical identical people is completely besides the point.
  18. Glass and minimalism in general is perhaps the most vile "classical music" (if it can so be called) ever devised, it is repetitive to a degree that it makes me feel like I'm having a stroke. It's only redeeming quality is that it is not made of random scraping sounds which have no connection to anything, but rather repetitive scraping sounds which have not connection to anything. It is post-modern art at its most extreme and therefore its worst.
  19. What crap, if we actually fought an all out war in Vietnam he and North Vietnam would have been crushed.
  20. Could you provide some evidence, or at the very least some examples of how the Chinese rank equally with the Greeks and Romans. It is my understanding that Chinese armies were mostly peasant armies, which lacked the training and discipline one would associate with a major military power. It was, after all, Alexander the Great who demolished army after army of peasant armies, to say nothing of the Persian Wars. So what made these Chinese armies special that they could face down a disciplined, heavily armed, highly trained, and highly motivated force such as the Greek and Roman armies?
  21. Xenophon recorded some things about Socrates in his work entitled "The Symposium"... http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/etext98/sympm10.txt
  22. I would like to see Stephen Pressfield's Gates of Fire be turned into a movie. It would be amazing to see the tiny Greek force hold on for over 3 days of fierce fighting against an enemy over 20 times larger then their own. Not to mention the personal heroism of such characters as Polynikes and Leonidas.
  23. Look at what and when Genghis Kahn conquered, the overwhelming majority of the people he conquered were nomads or uncivilized sedentary peoples, there was no Western Civilization to speak of, the Muslims pushed the quasi-western Byzantines out of the Middle East. Alexander on the other hand conquered the most powerful Empire in the history of the world, up to that time, with fewer then 50,000 infantry and horse. Then we have Scipio Africanus, who is the only general I know of who never lost a battle, and essentially established the beginnings of the Roman Empire (Read this as "Empire of the Romans" not as the Imperial system established by Augustus).
  24. Israel has already rejected it. Check out this think: http://today.reuters.co.uk/news/newsArticl..._UK-MIDEAST.xml Note this positive statement: "Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has reiterated that there will be no deals, that either Shalit will be released or we will act to bring about his release," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev, responding to the fresh demands."
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