Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Considering Beliefs

^^ Good evening everyone,

Today, I believe that I shall speak of beliefs for a second time, yet more specifically about Scientific beliefs and those established Scientists who shun other beliefs in such a way that there is very little difference to their shunning and those of the infamous religious leaders of old.

I have one particular Darwinist in mind when speaking here as he is often a controversial figure and is a good example of what I wish to speak. Often they state that Scientific theories have evidence, which is what religious beliefs do not have.

You can refer to one of my very first posts to see that I believe that any belief should respected. This is not to say that I must follow it blindly, yet respect the belief of the other individual as I am only perceiving and they are only perceiving also.

Therefore, considering the evidence of Science. I find this very interesting when individuals preach their sciences. I believe this is often because one "proved" theory in science uses information from another, and that from another. There may also be physical evidence, such as fossils etc. Again perception comes into play here and, ultimately, I believe that a large amount of what an individual believes is based on informed evidence by other individuals.

^^ I believe Biology is a happy example as it is based on a number of fundamental Sciences. Those are Chemistry, then Physics then Mathematics. I believe it would be difficult for one individual to consider all of the evidence (and view each experiment and conduct them themselves)from each field so that they built their own Scientific knowledge individually. Therefore, I believe many Scientists rely on the work of previous Scientist's observations and experiments.

My little intention here is not to cause doubts in Science if that is what you believe in, yet to preach open minds towards those who do not believe in particular areas of Science, and my main argument still lies in an earlier post - that is, an individual only views matters from their own perspective. And therefore, so does another and they have as equally strong reasons for believing in what they believe.

Many Scientists state that they do posess open minds, yet contradict this by stating that an individual who see "evidence" and chooses not to believe in the Scientist's conclusion is insane.


^^ Thank you very much for reading everyone. I apologise if I have been horrible in this post.


Thursday, 24 September 2009

Considering the Equality of Life

^^ Yaye, good evening everyone,

I am very sorry for my absence during this previous number of days.

This day, I do hope it is alright that I speak of my beliefs concerning those who are non-human. I believe this state of belief for me is now very natural and therefore I may find difficulty in explaining. However, to perhaps understand how I feel, we just need to consider the areas explored in the previous posts.

Perhaps it is best to first consider some arguments that humans often provide to why a non-human animal is not "equal" to a human. I believe this term, "equal", often means that the human thinks that they are more entitled to privileges than a non-human.

1) One argument may be "The human race is a superior species". By considering the selves and consciousnesses involved, we have already argued that superiority is there merely by chance, and therefore that actual self is not really superior.

I must state that I believe that evolution is correct in many wats (though it is possible that the beliefs of others are possible). Yet, there appears to be some implications drawn from evolution that I feel do not really follow. I believe that evolution really just explains one part of how an individual came to be that individual.

I feel that many evolutionists seem to draw a hierarchy of species. And, if an individual is believed to belong to a particular species, they have a greater right to life and happiness (by happiness, I define a form of contentedess, that involves no suffering for the individual). Why? Well, the argument just seems to be that they are part of that species and a member of one species must help only members of that species. Helping is good, but why the prejudice? Every life form is an individual, not a species. The little pixies in my head become very upset when the the word "we" is used in a global sense (for instance, as part of a news article), but this excludes non-humans. For instance, "Wasps like to eat our food". Why are the wasps not included in this "we", but I am? The food that you eat is not mine. Also, we could argue that possession is relative anyway, so it is the food of nobody.

I feel that because humans believe that they understand evolution, that they must "follow it" blindly. I once asked an individual why they favoured their grandaughter over their adopted kitty. They replied by saying that the grandaughter was "one of their own". (I am very sorry for this, my beliefs are very eccentric I believe, however please refer to my introduction at the top of the page). Yet, why do genes mean that you must favour that individual? I do believe there is difficulty, as we could ask "why favour any individual"? This is my personal belief, yet I believe all should be favoured equally. Though, this produces a very, very, very, very large number of complications as the balance of life does not particularly allow for this. Thus, one potential answer for this is provided in my previous post. That is, is a death necessary?

2) This is perhaps the more complex matter to consider. "You cannot prove that non-human animals feel as much as humans". I believe this is certainly correct and I find this a difficult problem to consider. ^^ I have so many ideas in response to this that it is difficult for me to order them.

First, the primary sense that a human possesses for detecting feelings is through communication. By viewing individuals that belong to many species of mammals in particular (though I believe best to think of individuals as individuals), it is very possible to see feeling and suffering. We cannot prove this. Yet, I can see the way a mother greets her child, or the way they act if the life of the child is lost (for example). This may not be proof. However, if a human tells me that they are suffering, this is not proof either. Both of these are interpretations. A form of communication. As individuals, I believe we must decide for ourselves, if we can.

There is also another response to this. That is, the level of feeling. In many ways, I do not have a response for this. Simply that an individual must consider carefully before potentially causing suffering of any kind before they do so. Is this necessary for the absolute well-being (life) of another individual? Do you consider that individual more important? Each case, each individual must be considered carefully. One individual many not have certain feeling that another does, bt they may have different ones.
I am very sorry for I do not appear to possess many answers here. ^^ I would be very grateful for any comments, as I find great difficulty in knowing which of my ideas to type, and how to order them

Thank you very much for reading.


Monday, 21 September 2009

Considering Superiority/Inferiority

Good afternoon everyone,

I am very sorry for my earlier post. I have been thinking very much since I posted earlier and have been rather upset about the example that I used at the end, as I feel this did not portray what I wished. What I wished to portray is the following.

Suppose we have two individuals. One, named Grak was born with sharp claws. The other, named Hak was born with stubby fingers. Let us assume Grak and Hak have a can of baked beans and there is an infinite supply of beans in the can. Therefore, Grak is superior at opening tins of baked beans. However, let us consider their actual selves. Grak did not choose to be superior in this way. It is only by chance that Grak is superior in this situation, and so I believe it would be unfair to say that Grak deserves to eat all of the baked beans and Hak must starve and die.

Let us see matters through the perspective of Grak. It is not necessary that Hak must die in order for Grak to survive and be happy. Thus surely it is best that Grak shares his baked beans and allows Hak to live.

Perhaps we may now expand this to all life. By "this", I means the decision that can be made by a consciousness whether to end the life of another consciousness if they have the power to do so. As I have explained, I believe that the individual with the power is there often by chance.

Let us assume that Ted is the individual with the power, and John is the one Ted is deciding to kill.
Also, let us assume they are almost identical, except for the position. So they have the same needs to survive and the same feelings and the same capacity to suffer. Thus, I believe there is no need at all for either Ted to kill John unless it is absolutely necessary for Ted to survive. However, I believe it exactly the same for John as well. I believe perhaps the problem is that there is no rule here and either poor John or poor Ted must end their lives in order for the other to survive. Really, it is their choice to decide.

I believe this is an awful situation to consider, but one that I believe must be considered because in many cases an individual dies when it is not necessary for any other individual to survive. In the situation above, both individuals are equally matched in terms of power in the situation. However, I witness executions most days in which the power is unequally divided and the death is unnecessary. Namely, between a human and a fly for instance.


^^ I do hope you had fun reading. In case you missed, I typed an entry earlier today also titled "Considering the Self Part 3".

I wish you well.


Considering the Self Part 3: A "Non-Constant Consciousness"?

Yaye, greetings everyone,

I believe this little post is the final section of considering the self and shall not be very long.

Within the previous post, we discussed a constant consciousness. In this post, we are very much just considering the remaining possibility. That is, when the individual first gains the ability to think, all of this is not just due to physical matters (as I understand them, of course). That is, there is something independent of genes, position, environment, other individuals etc. that determines the self. One such example that we could consider is that if a God exists, and when the individual gains consciousness, God decides this consciousness (or another way to consider this is that he places a soul within the individual). That way, God could decide the soul (or self or consciousness etc.) and this could be different each time (with the other variables remaining the same - the ones we have discussed) as God is all powerful.

I believe this possibility is the final one after my "constant consciousness theory" and thus ends the Considering the Self section.

^^ I must say that I am undecided if I should continue in this post or create another. Perhaps to end this post, I shall speak a little about my previous post. There is a nice consequence that I like by assuming the "Constant Consciousness" theory. First I must say, that "constant" can be a little misleading as I believe the consciousness is changing all of the time. Let us consider God again. By constant I mean that God would place the same soul in each individual just as they gain consciousness, then this soul is shaped by external matters only.

So, the nice consequence. In the previous post, I may have explained a little too much by saying that no individual has complete free will, and this is not the consequence that I consider fruitful (I am sorry if this spelling is incorrect). The nice, happy consequence is that I believe no individual is superior to another. Only luckier. For instance, I believe humans often consider themselves a cog in the human species, and that the human species is "superior", and therefore they must be "superior".

However, find yourself (I assume you are human) alone in the middle of the Sahara desert with no food and water and your "superior reasoning ability" is not going to do you much good. On the other hand, an inhabitant may live in the same desert - perhaps a happy reptile and would be quite content living there I believe.

The above is a very small example of what I would like to portray and perhaps I shall explain more in the next magical post. This shall involve considering individuals as individuals and not as their species or race (or any other such matter), but considering what the minds must experience throughout their lives.


^^ I must say, I am very sorry if I horrible within in this post, however I did enjoy typing this. Thank you very much for reading. *Blesses with pixie dust*


Friday, 18 September 2009

Considering the Self Part Two: A "Constant Consciousness"

Welcome everyone!

This evening, I do hope it is quite alright if I happily share a path of thought that I have been blessed with rather recently.

In the previous post, I believe I discussed the consciousness or self, and the relationship this has with the body and the physical world.

To best explain, I believe that another happy analogy is very useful. Let us consider two separate individuals, John 1 and John 2. John 1 and John 2 have undergone the exact same experiences as one another (by experiences we shall also include thoughts). They were born in the same way by the same parents, their bodies are identical genetically and are currently in the exact same position as one another. That is, we shall say that they are in the same situation.

Now, John 1 and John 2 need to make a decision at this point in time. Will they choose the same decision? Or rather, is it possible that they can choose to make different decisions?

I do believe that this scenario may be considered at each moment of the Johns' lives in which it is possible thay they can make decisions and think - starting from when they first become conscious to when they stop being concious (stop being able to think).

In my opinion, there are two possibilities. Either, the consciousness is decided purely by external and physical factors and the thoughts of the individual prior to the point in time. That is, the situation as we have defined above. In this case, John 1 and John 2 must make the same decision, since the machine that generates decisions is defined by external factors only and these external factors are the same at any one point in time. So, if the consciousnesses - the decision generators - make decisions at any one time based on external factors, and these external factors are the same, then so too must be the decisions generated at one point in time by John 1 and John 2.

I believe that this case, the "constant consciousness" case, means that the consciousness does not possess power over the actions that it takes. The little friend perhaps does so at any one point in time. However, ultimately it did not decide this. This is because when the mind (shortened from consciousness) first started thinking, these thoughts were controlled by the external (the external includes the brain).Thus all thoughts after that may be considered part of a chain reaction.

^^ I must say that I am find great difficulty in knowing if I have explained this happily enough. Thus, I would be very grateful indeed if you would wish to post questions about this.

In short, this case means that the self does not decide what it is at a point in time, and is only itself by pure circumstance.
I personally believe in this particular case as opposed to the other and I believe this helps with later arguments.

^^ If it is quite alright, I shall explain the second possibility in the next happy post and I do believe this possibility may be explained a little faster than the possibility described here. ^^ I very much enjoyed explaining this however.

^^ I do apologise greatly if this was silly of me and not very clear.

Thank you very much for reading. I hope this was fun for you.


Thursday, 17 September 2009

Considering the Self

Yaye, good evening again everyone.

In this happy little post, I believe I shall now depart a little from what I learned from my little reading group directly and happily type some thoughts of mine concerning perception and considering others. As I stated in my previous post, using ideas from the first two meditations of Descartes can often be very scary, due to the fact that this may often negate all arguments that follow. However, we have concluded that what we perceive to be physical does exist physically (that is objects), and also we have concluded that other consciousnesses exist as life forms as we believe them to. (This can become a little more complex later, but for the moment we did not worry about this little friendly matter).

I believe that we can use ideas from Descartes yet still retain our conclusions and "expand our minds" a little.

Before I continue, I believe I must state that this is where I have trouble converting my thoughts into words and I apologise greatly for any silliness and questions are very welcome (these very much help me to explain). Also, they are very raw thoughts as I have not studied Philosophy formally.

So, let us assume I am sitting in a room with another human (to keep matters simple for the moment) named John. John is a Cartesian Mind like me(or soul or consciousness or self), complete with human body.

Now, it is my belief that the consciousness is somewhat seperate from the body and the consciousness is not physical. However they are, naturally, connected. The body is the generator for the consciousness. The body also feeds information to the consciousness via the five senses. This may be either concerning physical objects external the body or from " within" the body (for instance pain, hunger moods via hormones etc.). It may also be noted that the body has great influence on what the consciousness "decides to do" and the main form of the consciousness (I hope to discuss this in great detail later as well).

On the other hand, the consciousness is the operator of the body. This may be perhaps considered a little bit like an astronaut wearing a special space suit on a "strange" planet.

So I am with John in a room. We are both looking at one of the walls in the room.

But John and I have a disagreement. He is absolutely certain that on the walls of the room are painted green. I, on the other hand, see that the walls are painted blue. I believe this so clearly and cannot understand why John would think otherwise. (Assume that we have agreed on the definitions of blue and green at a different time).

Therefore, what should I conclude?

I believe this is where the pixies from the previous post help us. I believe that Descartes very much indicates the potential limitations of the five senses. In many ways, John and I are the same. He believes in his beliefs as much as I believe in mine. So it would be perhaps unfair to conclude that I am 100% correct about the colour, in spite of how strong my belief is, since John is in the exact same situation except that blue is replaced with green.

Really, it is difficult to know what to do. Logically, since you believe this so strongly, it may be best to try to preach to John about this and try to explain why you believe this is the case. However, also, it is best for me to listen to him and try also to see why he believes this as well. This process may be completed until an agreement is met.

Either we agree on one colour, or we agree that we can not agree and go our seperate ways and respect the other's beliefs.


^^ Phewy, that was very fun I believe. I am very sorry if this is silly of me to write this. I think that this little example may be used for very much any belief. When considering other matters like Science, where there is evidence, you are also interpreting the evidence in a particular way that may differ to the interpretations of others. Also, for matters for instance with fossils, there are lots of other factors to consider and methods that have their own limitations.

I believe my conclusion is that however strongly I believe in something, another individual most possibly believe just as strongly in something else.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Considering Existence

Yaye, greetings again everyone.

Today I wondered if I may please speak about existence as an initial foundation for a number of the ideas that I have explored.

This started when I attended a Philosophy Reading Group approximately four years ago, in which we were studying the meditations of Descartes. Within the first meditation, Descartes argues that it is very possible that nothing exists, or that individuals are being deceived into believing that what they experience is real. One popular example of this is the story within the movie, "The Matrix".

I believe that in the next meditation, Descartes stated a very famous observation. This is that at the very least, the thinker does exist in some form. That is, "Cogito ergo sum", or "I think, therefore I am". I do believe, however, that this does leave the possibility that all which is perceived by the thinker via the five senses in the physical world does not exist.

^^ The happy man who created the reading group informed us that this is a scary argument to be used within a discussion, as it negates all points that follow. I do very much agree with this in a number of ways. On the other hand, I believe that by considering this possibilty, useful conclusions may be made.

Let us create an individual named Ted (who is human) and assume Ted believes that what he perceives does exist physically (and also that other consciousnesses does exist). For instance, we could say the he is a human living in London. Now, let us next assume that all that he perceives is not real outside of his imagination. He is actually just a brain (a human brain) in a vat and is being fed this information by an evil demon who enjoys deception. That is, Ted is living in a virtual world where he is the only consciousness.

Now, Ted is also aware of the possibility that what he perceives may not exist outside of his imagination. So, should he conclude that this is the case? Please remember that Ted is just like you, the reader in that he believes that what he has experienced thus far, in the physical world is real, and so had no idea that he is a brain in a vat. What advantages would concluding, with no evidence, that all that he believes exists only in his imagination?

If he did conclude this, there would be no escape for him. He would just spend the rest of his life very unhappy I believe.

Also, if he concluded this, and the other possibility was true (that he was actually perceiving the physical world through his five senses and other consciousness were also perceiving this world with him), then concluding that he did not exist would perhaps be even more disadvantageous. This is because he would not believe that other consciousnesses exist with him and could cause suffering to them due to his disbeliefs.

For instance, let us assume that Ted ends a life. If this is not a real life, and Ted is in a vat, then this gives no advantage to Ted. However, if it is a real life, and Ted is "in" the physical world, then great damage has been done as well.

Therefore, now let us consider ourselves. I believe the best conclusion to make is that what we perceive does exist physically (unless proven otherwise somehow). And also, that other consciousnesses (I am sorry if this is not a word) exist in the usual way (by controlling organic bodies etc.).

Oh dear, I am very sorry as this is a very long section that I have written. I am also sorry if this is all very silly. In the next section, I shall use the above considerations of perception to create potential conclusions to how we may treat other life forms.

Thank you very much for reading.


Tuesday, 15 September 2009

My First Step

Greetings everyone!

This is my first step into the magical land of blogs and I do hope I am not intruding. I believe I shall first introduce myself. My name is Thomas and I believe the pixies often mistake me for one of their kind. Upon considering my physical appearance, I seem to be mostly human. Yet, in the imaginary world, I very much enjoy floating about and exploring the nooks and crannies of the unknown. Although I do believe I am not very skilled at this and possess much to learn.

I happily live at home with my parents and my two kitties, Nell and Plato. I love them so dearly and both Nell and Plato sitting with me as of moment within the kitchen.

I am very sorry for typing so very much and I shall explain more later. To seal this last post, I shall perhaps just state my intentions for what I shall place in posts here. I enjoy thinking and reminiscing very much and thus would very much enjoy giving them a home in this land of blogs. These thoughts may consist of philosophical thoughts and perhaps just some ponderings. I would be very grateful also for any comments and you are very welcome to add to matters here.

I wish you very well.