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Who is your favourite philosopher? Watch

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    (Original post by Tuerin)
    Mill. Gets to the point of his noble arguments without the pretentious rhetorical crap that Kant, Nietzsche and others are famous for.

    Haven't read much of him yet but Voltaire seems good also, and Chomsky too.
    I get what you mean about Kant, Nietzsche and so forth, but you have to remember that they're German writers and the translations make their work even more difficult. But then again, I'm told they're equally difficult in their original languages. They also come from a fundamentally different educational background to English philosophers.

    Mill is more plain-speaking, but even then he's very ambiguous - there's no single uncontested interpretation of Mill. People tend to understand his (Rule-) Utilitarianism and his Harm Principle (how they are reconciled is a complex business), but there is a lot more happening in On Liberty than what is usually quoted.

    For example, Mill believed that it was fine to criminally punish people for getting drunk if they had previously been convicted of a crime whilst being under the influence. Being drunk, per se, doesn't harm anybody until you commit an act, yet Mill still wants the state to intervene here.

    He also believed in punishing people who did not offer help to somebody who was dying near them - imposing positive duties on others, coercively forcing people to do things.

    The harm principle is qualified by a whole host of complex (often seemingly contradictory or irresolvable) restrictions, which puts to rest any attempt to paint Mill as a Libertarian.

    Yet Mill's waffle is different from Kant's waffle, because Kant's seems less conversational and more abstract and (perceivably) pretentious. But the substance of Kant's work (and his ideas) is, in my opinion, much more interesting and influential once his daft and needlessly complex metaphysical commitments have been flushed out.
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    (Original post by Tuerin)
    Once again we come to a complex idea - perfection. By human standards the world is imperfect; perhaps in the context of God's grand plan, should one believe in such a thing, it is perfect.
    If god's perception of perfection involves doing so many things that kill and torture innocent people then there are only two options:

    1) his grand plan is not centered around humans, as is believed by Abrahamic religions.
    2) god's grand plan IS centered around humans, but he doesn't value human life.
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    (Original post by Dragonfly07)
    If god's perception of perfection involves doing so many things that kill and torture innocent people then there are only two options:

    1) his grand plan is not centered around humans, as is believed by Abrahamic religions.
    2) god's grand plan IS centered around humans, but he doesn't value human life.
    Or there are other factors we do not know about, or such a plan is not from God.

    Furthermore, how do you define life? Nonexistence in a temporary abode, or eternal existence? Surely God who did not value human life would not promise eternal life?
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    (Original post by Dragonfly07)
    If god's perception of perfection involves doing so many things that kill and torture innocent people then there are only two options:

    1) his grand plan is not centered around humans, as is believed by Abrahamic religions.
    2) god's grand plan IS centered around humans, but he doesn't value human life.
    Either that or what is uncomfortable in the short-term is profitable in the long-term for humanity. Consider, for instance, that he is curtailing human population to avoid disastrous shortages in resources which would ultimately kill more people more painfully. It's possible his grand plan is both centred around humans and values human life, even if that means indulging the lesser evil by hurting humanity in the short-term.
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    Winston Churchill the guys was so far ahead of his time when he was alive and every quote he says has a deep meaning to it and you can relate to it in some way. The 2 quotes I can relate to the most is: You have enemies good that means you have stood up for something sometime in your life. And the other is, Continuous effort , not strength or intelligence is the key to unlocking our potential.
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    (Original post by Tuerin)
    Either that or what is uncomfortable in the short-term is profitable in the long-term for humanity. Consider, for instance, that he is curtailing human population to avoid disastrous shortages in resources which would ultimately kill more people more painfully. It's possible his grand plan is both centred around humans and values human life, even if that means indulging the lesser evil by hurting humanity in the short-term.
    In a perfect world no compromises would have to be made in order to achieve that greater good... an omnipotent being should be able to achieve perfection without first undergoing imperfect steps.
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    (Original post by Dragonfly07)
    In a perfect world no compromises would have to be made in order to achieve that greater good... an omnipotent being should be able to achieve perfection without first undergoing imperfect steps.
    You continue to employ the concept of perfection despite the fact you cannot know what that would mean to an omnipotent being. It's almost like criticising someone's argument without knowing fully what it is.
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    (Original post by Tuerin)
    You continue to employ the concept of perfection despite the fact you cannot know what that would mean to an omnipotent being. It's almost like criticising someone's argument without knowing fully what it is.
    What is perfect is that which does not need to be improved. I contend that there is much to be improved in this world.
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    Plato, Kant, Hume, Burke and Oakeshott.
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    (Original post by miser)
    What is perfect is that which does not need to be improved. I contend that there is much to be improved in this world.
    Perhaps your definition of 'perfect' is imperfect. Perhaps an omnipotent being would have a more perfect definition of 'perfection' than you, and is fulfilling that definition.

    My original point was that we cannot know what is perfect in God's eyes; so we cannot criticise God's fulfillment of this perfection, since we don't know what that is.

    Note: I neither believe nor disbelieve in God
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    (Original post by Melancholy)
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    Interesting stuff; thanks for this!
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    (Original post by Tuerin)
    Perhaps your definition of 'perfect' is imperfect. Perhaps an omnipotent being would have a more perfect definition of 'perfection' than you, and is fulfilling that definition.

    My original point was that we cannot know what is perfect in God's eyes; so we cannot criticise God's fulfillment of this perfection, since we don't know what that is.
    I think this is correct.
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    (Original post by Tuerin)
    Perhaps your definition of 'perfect' is imperfect. Perhaps an omnipotent being would have a more perfect definition of 'perfection' than you, and is fulfilling that definition.

    My original point was that we cannot know what is perfect in God's eyes; so we cannot criticise God's fulfillment of this perfection, since we don't know what that is.

    Note: I neither believe nor disbelieve in God
    (Original post by Melancholy)
    I think this is correct.
    Then let us suppose that God does have a different definition of perfection. In this scenario, it would follow that we are not talking about what we know as perfection anymore, we are talking about whatever it is that God has in mind that we do not. God's definition may be anything, but whatever it is, it would not be what we mean when we are talking about perfection. However, this is precisely what we are doing: we are talking about our understanding of perfection, unless we are not in which case we must use a different word; it makes no sense for us to continue to use the word 'perfection' if this is not what we mean. This kind of argument is a mirage. Either we are talking about what we understand to be perfection, or we are not - we cannot have it both ways.

    So, if we are talking about what we understand to be perfection, then we may continue to discuss the various implications involved. If we are not talking about what we understand to be perfection, then we do not know what it is that we are talking about, and have been incapacitated by a word-game.

    In case we are uncertain of the definition, Google may rescue us: "Having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics; as good as it is possible to be." If God wishes to concern himself with another definition, that does not grant him immunity to the implications reached by our discussion that have come about from using our definition. It is not the label of the concept that is important, it is the concept itself.
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    I don't have a favourite philosopher yet.
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    My favourite philosher is Osho but the quote that resonates with me the most on an emotional level is:

    "I'm just a red ni**er who love the sea
    I had a sound colonial education
    I have Dutch, ni**er and English in me
    and either I'm nobody, or I'm a nation." - Derek Walcott

    To me, the last line is philosophy and poetry intertwined.
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    (Original post by Tuerin)
    Either that or what is uncomfortable in the short-term is profitable in the long-term for humanity. Consider, for instance, that he is curtailing human population to avoid disastrous shortages in resources which would ultimately kill more people more painfully. It's possible his grand plan is both centred around humans and values human life, even if that means indulging the lesser evil by hurting humanity in the short-term.
    The idea that in the long term the Holocaust was profitable for humanity is ridiculous, and if you think that you're a moral pygmy.

    My favourite philosophers are John Rawls, G.A. Cohen and David Hume.

    Re-reading Rawls caused me to radically revise my political views to a more humane position (previously a pretty extreme deontic libertarian).
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    (Original post by RawJoh1)
    The idea that in the long term the Holocaust was profitable for humanity is ridiculous, and if you think that you're a moral pygmy.
    That's not an argument against what I've said, it's an opening statement. 'Fraid you're going to have to follow it up with some substance to be taken seriously.
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    (Original post by miser)
    Then let us suppose that God does have a different definition of perfection. In this scenario, it would follow that we are not talking about what we know as perfection anymore, we are talking about whatever it is that God has in mind that we do not. God's definition may be anything, but whatever it is, it would not be what we mean when we are talking about perfection. However, this is precisely what we are doing: we are talking about our understanding of perfection, unless we are not in which case we must use a different word; it makes no sense for us to continue to use the word 'perfection' if this is not what we mean.
    Why not? Perfection is a label humans have created to attach to a concept which God could hypothetically appreciate as much as us. I don't understand why it necessarily refers only to a human's definition (of which there will be many between us, to confuse matters further).

    This kind of argument is a mirage. Either we are talking about what we understand to be perfection, or we are not - we cannot have it both ways.
    I didn't say we could; I was making the distinction that what you believe to be perfect may be very different from what God may consider to be perfect. A distinction you have just so long-windedly expounded yourself in about 5 times the space.

    So, if we are talking about what we understand to be perfection, then we may continue to discuss the various implications involved. If we are not talking about what we understand to be perfection, then we do not know what it is that we are talking about, and have been incapacitated by a word-game.

    In case we are uncertain of the definition, Google may rescue us: "Having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics; as good as it is possible to be." If God wishes to concern himself with another definition, that does not grant him immunity to the implications reached by our discussion that have come about from using our definition
    The whole point of my argument has been that since it is God doing the work, (hypothetically), it is his definition that matters. Contextualising his action (or inaction) within our own definition is perverse and illogical. You cannot judge someone's actions within entirely different definitions than their own; it is corrupt. We cannot know what a God would think perfection to mean and so, as I implied before, this entire discussion is futile. It isn't semantics, it's logic; and we're missing a crucial piece of the puzzle to be able to continue productively any further.
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    zeno for confusing every1 lol, propa pothead he was!
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    Bertrand Russell. I haven't read widely enough in philosophy, but I have an irrational love for him. I worry that I'll believe whatever he says, though fortunately that'll make me believe the right things pretty often.
 
 
 
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