Up@dawn 2.0

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Daily Quiz

April 30

1. What's John Searle's "Chinese Room" thought experiment supposed to show? What was Alan Turing's "Test"? OR, What did he consider most interesting about the brain? OR, What does Searle think "understanding" requires? OR, Does he think an uploaded mind would be conscious?

2. Do most of us feel the same, according to Peter Singer, about a stranger dying elsewhere in the world and about a child drowning in front of us? Should we? OR, What was Singer's most influential book? OR, Why does Warburton compare Singer to Socrates?

3. What are some of Barack Obama's "rules for philosophical discourse"? OR, What are the "most substantial books" written by any President? OR, What's Romano's response to those overseas who mock America as a nation concerned only with power and money?

1.LH 234-7   2.LH 240, 242, 244   3.AP 598, 604-5

Exam #3, for those not exempt: Monday May 5, 3:30 pm, KOM 452. Watch this space for a Study Guide, coming soon.

We'll finish report presentations before Monday's exam. Final report essays and blog posts are due NOW.

Olivers favz

FQ)In American Philosophy what was one book that was substantial and written by a president?
DQ)What about the brain interest you?

Teenage Mutant Ninja Philosophers

So this will sadly be our last group post for the semester. We've been hearing all of these awesome discussion-promoting presentations for the past few classes, and for those who still have to take the last exam on the day of the final, you're almost there. For those lucky few, such as myself, who placed out of the third exam by getting at least a 90 on the first two exams, we are done after today. After all of the reading, studying, and knowledge bestowed upon us by Dr. Oliver, we can hopefully all walk away with a deeper understanding of certain concepts, and perhaps a broadened view on topics we had previously held a single specific belief in.

For anyone that is still posting their questions and links for the daily readings, just post them here. This post is relatively late, but we never decided who was going to post for the last class, so I just took it upon myself to take care of it.

It's been fun everyone. Teenage Mutant Ninja Philosophers for Life #TMNPFL

Philosophy in Cartoons

I'm going to be analyzing the wonderful world of cartoons and showing that they aren't just for kids.

Cartoons have developed throughout the decades to become more than just slapstick comedy and wacky humor; in the last 20 years there have been plenty of cartoons that explore the more intellectual side of their viewers by wrapping up different philosophical views in what seem to be nonsensical animations.

I'll be looking at different cartoons from Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network and showing just how deep their philosophical roots go, and comparing these seemingly innocent plots to the profound ideas of philosophers we've discussed in class.

Disclaimer: Disney will be excluded from this report. :C

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Group 2, Section 12 FINAL POST


That could have been our team name, but we are lazy and never picked one.

So the semester is over. What a long, strange trip it's been.

Quizzes: ran 'em. Exams? Come on, now.

Philosophy of Super Villians... Kill't it.

Our daily discussions were straight up enlightening. From the classroom talks to our peripatetic walks, our pursuit of wisdom was furthered through collaborative thought.

As the semester comes to the close, I'd like to think that we've learned a lot and had a good time doing so.

But for real, it's been good getting to know you guys, and I wish you all the best of luck in the future!

FQ:  Where was Barack Obama born?
DQ: What is the meaning of life?
Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8Ur3yMkRZ0

Why Not? Final Post

Well guys, it's crazy to think that this will be our last post. Tomorrow is the last regular day of class and all I can say is I'm so thankful to have had such a great group! On Monday, there were two individual presentations. Jason's was about cybercynicism and the other concerned Friedrich Nietzsche. Both were very informative and I look forward to the presentations for tomorrow. Again so happy to have met everyone and hope you guys have a great summer! (Also good luck on finals! :)

Monday, April 28, 2014

Daily Quiz

April 28
[EXAM NOTE: The 3d exam for sec. #13 is scheduled for Monday, May 5, 3:30 pm. If any of you from #12 would like to join us on the 5th you're welcome to do so. I'll post a study guide soon. The extra credit DQ will be: "Who is your (new?) favorite philosopher? What did you learn about him/her this semester that you found most appealing?"
Remember, unless you're exempt or partially exempt (and presenting your final report), you must submit a written final report (in either hard copy or blog post(s) by Wednesday April 30.]

1. What British philosopher created a runaway train (or "trolley") thought experiment, in part to elicit our intuitions on the ethical relevance of utilitarianism? OR, What American philosopher proposed the "Fat Man" scenario?

2. What is the Law of Double Effect? OR, What kind of harm is unacceptable, according to this "law"?

3. Which philosopher came up with the "Violinist" thought experiment? OR, For what is the violinist intended to be an analogy?

4. What book by John Rawls, published in 1971, was "quickly declared one of the most influential books of the 20th century"? OR, What did Rawls say we must do, to make our existence "bearable"? OR, What was Rawls' thought experiment called, and what was its central premise?

5. To what 19th century English political philosopher does Jonathan Wolff compare Rawls, saying there has been no one else of comparable stature?

6. What former Presidential aide interviews philosophers and intellectuals on public television? OR, Who said "mythology is everywhere" and advised following "your own track, kid, and not what your guru tells you"?

1.LH 223   2.224   3.226   4.229-230   5.PB248   6.AP 301-2, 307, 310

  1. DQ) Do you think it is acceptable to sacrifice one life to save more?
    (DQ) What do you think about the saying "life isn't fair?"
    (FQ) What book did John Rawls write through 20 years of hard thinking? A Theory of Justice
    (FQ) Did John Rawls believe that excellence should be rewarded? No
  2. FQ: What was the type of philosophy that John Rawls focused on? Political
    DQ: What are your views on the Difference Principle?
    Link: John Rawls on Justice article: http://people.wku.edu/jan.garrett/ethics/johnrawl.htm
  1. FQ: What do the "disciples" of John Rawls call themselves?
    FQ: What are the "Two" Principles of Justice?

    DQ: Do you believe that wealth should be distributed through society in a specific way?

    LINK: http://www.ohio.edu/people/piccard/entropy/rawls.html
    This is an outline The Theory of Justice by John Rawls.
  2. FQ: What field did Bill Moyers work in?
    DQ: "It's only when a man tames his own demons that he becomes the king of himself if not of the world." Does a man ever become king of his own world?
FQ: Who did Foot use in one of the parable about pushing him over a bridge to stop the train before it hit the workers because he heavy enough to stop it? Judith Jarvis Thomson (LH p223-24)

FQ: What is the name of John Rawls book that he wrote in an dry academic style and was meant for Professors? "A Theory of Justice" (LH 229)

FQ: John Rawls 'Two Principles of Justice' are ___________ and _________ with one being split into two parts making three which is _____________. 'Liberty Principle', 'Fair Opportunity Principle', 'Difference Principles' (PB p239)

DQ: Do you know if you would be about to sacrifice one life for many?
Here is a video with no sound. A woman falls on the tracks. Everyone is trying to flag the oncoming train to stop, but then one brave man jumps down and save her at the last minute. 

FQ: What idea states that predictable bad side effects of an action with a good intention can be acceptable, but deliberate harm is not? (Law of Double Effect, LH pg. 224)

DQ: What would you do in "the fork in the tracks" thought experiment? The Large Man thought experiment? The Lever thought experiment?

Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3i2-Dj1e2wM

Foot and Thomas. Who Should Die?

         Many people in the military have to deal with these kind of decisions in our line of work. No answer is the right answer and making a decision in a few seconds may not be the right one. To answer Foot's question why saving five and killing one was acceptable, I would argue that its a human instinct. The five people have five families and the loss multiplied in numbers would be greater. I think the question about cutting open a healthy patient to save the sick cannot be compared. It's comparing apples to oranges. In a runaway train incident it life and death split moment decision that needs to be made. I have many friends that had to make these decisions and they are not taken lightly in my profession. Decisions like these are the hardest any human being can make and is one that must be done with the best intention.

           "Philosophers are still arguing about the train example and how it should be solved" This sentence makes me laugh. I know how those philosophers can stop arguing. Put yourselves in a position to make those decision, you will no longer have to wonder but live with the decisions that you made.

FQ: What example of a real life situation did the author give?

Zeebrugge 1987,

Sunday, April 27, 2014

final presentation

i'll be doing my presentation tomorrow on cybercynicism. Its a subsection of the "Gutenberg Lives" section of America the Philosophical. The whole chapter focuses a lot on how the internet has changed our culture, from religion and politics, to literature. Has the internet made America even more prolific as a philosophical country? and if so, is it a good thing??

My report on cybercynicism focuses on a subset of "critics", who have responded to the enthusiasm behind technology's effect on our culture. When asked if the net has been beneficial to us in a philosophical sense, many answer with a No, Maybe, or remains to be seen.

Some of what i'll talk about centers around social media and the impact it's had on us, both culturally and philosophically.

The net has absolutely impacted us. when it comes to philosophy, though, I'm not sure if it's been a positive impact, a negative impact, or just a straight up impact. I tend to agree with a lot of whats said in the cybercynicism section. i'll talk about why tomorrow!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Why not?

I did not see an author's post for our group, so I will take the helm for us. On Wednesday, Jacob gave his presentation on The Existence of God. He did not make it far before the whole class was involved. It became a rather heated conversation focusing on (or near to) Jacob's subject matter. I rather enjoyed it, as I think most of us did aside from Jacob. While I do not agree with Jacob on some of points or arguments, I thought it was admirable to stand up in front of everyone and speak about faith, especially given the nature of this course. I could summarize what Jacob's presentation was about, but that would be a little redundant since he posted his paper portion of the presentation on the blog.

This has nothing to do with anything we have discussed in class, but Oliver said we could post a joke. I love this one.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Lighten up

There were some unexpectedly-heavy moments in #12 yesterday, maybe we'd all benefit from a bit of comic relief. Post something funny, if you feel like it.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


Evening group! sorry for the late post, I hope everyone has had a great wednesday!! Today we saw some interesting presentation to say the least and had a very good discussion over whether people are bad or good. Needless to say it was a good class! have a great weekend and do not forget to do the readings and post!!

       -Colton out

This picture relates to something we talk about in class often! pretty deep if you think about it! (not directed towards Zach)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Philosophers

So, we never decided who was going to do the post, but I figured I'd take care of it so we can get our posts up and taken care of. We saw a few presentations today, including one of our group members, Jordan, who did awesome on her presentation about Nietzsche and Religion. The discussion within class during the presentation made it even more interesting as both Dr. Oliver and some students discussed their opinions of things like morality and religious beliefs. I always find it interesting to see what others believe and their reasoning behind it, because people base their personal beliefs on various reasons.

Everyone who still needs to present should have their project done soon, because if it comes down to the very last day and you can't present because there isn't enough time, that's going to hurt your grade. So get it done, and then you'll have less to worry about for these last few days in the semester.

We're almost done with the semester though. Just a few more readings and posts, and you'll be done. So let's finish strong!

Olivers Favs

FQ)What is the fair opportunity?
DQ)Do you believe that science is based upon evidence that can be falsified? Explain?

Daily Quiz

April 23

1. What was the main message of Wittgenstein's Tractatus? OR the central theme of his later work? OR What did he see as his role, as a philosopher?

2. Why did he talk about "language games"? OR What does it mean to "show the fly the way out of the fly bottle"? OR Why can't we have our own private language?

3. Was Eichmann the first Nazi Hannah Arendt encountered? OR What phrase did Arendt use to describe what she saw in Eichmann and other Nazis?

4. When, according to Popper, does science progress? OR How do scientists test their theories? OR What is the Problem of Induction?

5. What's the difference between science and pseudo-science? OR What was Popper's objection to psychoanalysis and Marxism? OR What's a paradigm shift?

6. How did Wittgenstein think people had misconceived the relationship between language, thought, and people? OR What did he consider deeply flawed about Descartes' approach to thinking?

7. Who said "American dynamism" involved self-reliance, endurance, friendliness, democratic informality, aggressiveness, technology, and a sense of bigness and power? OR Who thought Socrates was a snob? OR Who admired George Orwell and wrote God is not Great?

1.203   2.204-6   3.210, 212   4.214-16   5.218-20   6.PB 207-8   7.AP 285, 288,295

FQ: Where did Hanna Arendt emigrate to as a German Jew? U. S. (LH p210)

FQ: What did Hitchens describe his social life? "Perfectly Congruent" (AP p293)

FQ: Why did Smith say Wittgenstein thought philosophy was in trouble when language went on holiday? When language is being used in a philosophically prescribed way instead of a normal way. (PB p207)

DQ from presentation: Do you agree with Marcus Garvey about African-Americans or Blacks should go back to Africa?


FQ: Who said in The Human Condition that modernity is characterized by "the loss of the world" or the restriction/elimination of traditional standards and values?
Answer: Hannah Arendt

DQ: Arendt seemed to view modernity in quite a stark manner, saying basically that people are out for themselves and don't learn from history, etc. Agree? Disagree? Care?

Link: They made a movie about Arendt! Here's the trailer:

FQ: What book written by Max Lerner praised American dynamism? (America as a Civilization.
DQ: Do you agree with Darwin's point of view on evolution that it is just change through natural selection? Do you think that this contradicts any religious views?
Link: NYT article on Max Lerner.. http://www.nytimes.com/1992/06/06/arts/max-lerner-writer-89-is-dead-humanist-on-political-barricades.html

FQ) Who began as a student of engineering, came to England before WWI to study with Bertrand Russell.
DQ) Why is it that we talk about math as something that we can spill our coffee on or something we can trip on?
Link: http://research.sas.ac.uk/search/staff/26/professor-barry-c.-smith/

FQ: Who wrote America as a Civilization?
DQ: Lerner said "The turning point in the process of growing up is when you discover the core of strength within you that survives all hurt." What do you think the turning point of growing up is?


  1. FQ: What did Hannah Arendt mean by "the banality of evil"? -LH page 212

    DQ: Is "just following orders" as Eichmann did during Hitler's final solution in any way better than actually committing direct crimes against humanity?


  2. FQ: Wittgnestein is often described as a _______'s philosopher. (Philosopher)
    FQ: What form of engineering was Wittgenstein interested in? (Aeronautical Engineering)

    DQ: If logic structures the limits of what we can think, then what are these limits? Is it possible to discover these limits?

    LINK: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/03/was-wittgenstein-right/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0
    This is a relatively recent news article (2013) from the NY Times about Wittgenstein.

Post #5 (Conclusion) Final post on the philosophy of the existence of God!!

This will be my last and final post in my 5 part series on the philosophy of the existence of God. I have enjoyed writing these and I hope that all who read them, found them just as enjoyable. This post will be my conclusion and reflection over all of the material and theology that I had gone over during these past couple of days. First off, I would like to once again use John Frame’s definition for systematic theology, which is, ““any study that answers the question, “What does the whole Bible teach us today?” about any given topic.” This definition was and is crucial, both for my research and for the on going study of Scripture, and was part of the foundation for what came to follow. The second part of the foundation of my research was the Inerrancy of Scripture, which is the, “means that Scripture in the original manuscripts does not affirm anything that is contrary to fact.”(p.91) I incorporated this section into my posts, both to back up Scriptural reliability and also because it is an interesting form of systematic theology. After having both of the foundational theologies laid, I moved on to the first point made by Wayne Grudem in his book, systematic Theology, which was, “Humanity’s inner sense of God.” This point explained that the fact that all humans have this thought that there must be a God, probably because God had put this familiar thought into our minds and hearts. Romans 1:18-20 gives us evidence of that. The second point that was covered was, “Believing the evidence in Scripture and in nature.” This philosophy states that, “The evidence that God exists is of course found throughout the Bible. In fact, the Bible everywhere assumes that God exists. The first verse of Genesis does not present evidence for the existence of God but begins immediately to tell us what he has done: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” If we are convinced that the Bible is true, then we know from the bible not only that God exists but also very much about his nature and his acts.”(p.142) And finally, the last section that I had covered in my posts was the, “Traditional “proofs” for the existence of God.”
This section was one of my favorite points that are made in this particular philosophy, as you can see from my 900-word post on it. Grudem categorizes these “proofs” into four sections, which are: The cosmological, teleological, ontological, and moral arguments. Overall, the philosophy of the existence of God is explained by: our sense that there is a God, what we can and have read in scripture and what can be observed in nature, and through a series of traditional arguments known as “proofs”. I hope that those of you who took the time to read my blog series have at least considered this philosophy and I hope that it inspires some to do their own search for wisdom.
 Proverbs 4:6-7 Do not forsake her, and she will keep you; love her, and she will guard you.   The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight.
Colossians 2:2-3 that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God's mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Post #4 Traditional "proofs" for the existence of God

I’m back again with another addition to my 5 part series on the philosophy of the existence of god and this will be my second to last post. Sad, I know because you guys have enjoyed it so much so far (I can tell by all of the comments, which equal 0). So last time I posted, I had discussed one of Wayne Grudem’s sub points in chapter 9 from his book, Systematic Theology, which was believing the evidence in Scripture and nature. That post, I believe was an interesting one and if you want more information, you should definitely check Systematic Theology. Anyways, my post today will be on the, “Traditional “proofs” for the existence of God”, which can be found on page 143, section C in Grudem’s book. Let’s begin. “The traditional “proofs” for the existence of God that have been constructed by Christian (and some non-Christian) philosophers at various points in history are in fact attempts to analyze the evidence, especially the evidence from nature, in extremely careful and logically precise ways, in order to persuade people that it is not rational to reject the idea of God’s existence. If it is true that sin causes people to think irrationally, then these proofs are attempts to cause people to think rationally or correctly about the evidence for God’s existence, in spite of irrational tendencies caused by sin.”(p.143) That is how Grudem decides to open up this section on the traditional proofs of God’s existence. Now there are 4 “arguments” that are the main proofs that he later goes on to discuss, but I want to focus my attention on what we have learned so far. Us humans have this sort of inner sense that there has to be a all-wise creator which in turn points to the possibility that there is one, also, there is clear evidence in scripture that points to God’s existence (for those of whom have faith are reassured of His existence) and evidence found in nature (for anyone who can see, touch, feel and think on.) Now we are being faced with these “proofs” that both Christian and non-Christian philosophers attempt to use to persuade others, “that it is not rational to reject the idea of God’s existence.”(p.143) Now lets look at these points at hand. “Most traditional proofs for the existence of God can be classified in four major types of argument: 1. The cosmological argument considers the fact that every known thing in the universe has a cause. Therefore, it reasons, the universe itself must also have a cause, and the cause of such a great universe can only be God. 2. The teleological argument is really a subcategory of the cosmological argument. It focuses on the evidence of harmony, order, and design in the universe, and argues that its design gives evidence of an intelligent purpose (the Greek word telos means “end” or “goal” or “purpose”). Since the universe appears to be designed with a purpose, there must be an intelligent and purposeful God who created it to function this way.”(p.143) So let’s digest that for a second. It seems that both cosmological and teleological arguments are focusing on the fact that everything found in nature has a distinct purpose and that nothing is useless, which points to the fact that a purposeful God designed the universe and everything in it for a reason and not that a collision of atoms caused an explosion which just so happened to create the universe and everything in it, which just so happened to make those things work in such a particular way that nothing is useless. Now on to the last two arguments, “3. The ontological argument begins with the idea of God, who is defined as a being “greater than which nothing can be imagined.” It then argues that the characteristic of existence must belong to such a being, since it is greater to exist than not to.”(p. 143) I find this point to be a somewhat weaker argument, but that is just my opinion. “4. The moral argument begins from man’s sense of right and wrong, and of the need for justice to be done, and argues that there must be a God who is the source of right and wrong and who will someday mete out justice to all people.”
(p.143) Now the moral argument is one that happens to be a favorite among Christian philosophers and atheist philosophers love to refute it. Grudem ties up this sub-point with, “Because all of these arguments are based on facts about the creation that are indeed true facts, we may say that all of these proofs (when carefully constructed) are, in an objective sense, valid proofs. They are valid in that they correctly evaluate the evidence and correctly reason to a true conclusion - in fact, the universe does have God as its cause, and it does show evidence of purposeful design, and God does exist as a being greater than which nothing can be imagined, and God has given us a sense of right and wrong and a sense that his judgment is coming someday.”(p.144) So I think today’s post might have been my favorite and I truly hope that those of you who took the time to read it (especially Dr.Oliver) enjoyed it as well and also are in some shape or form persuaded by it. Until next time.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Final presentation - The philosophy of the existence of God

I will be presenting my final presentation on Wednesday and my topic is on the philosophy of the existence of God. My main points are derived from Wayne Grudem’s, Systematic Theology: Humanity’s inner sense of God, Believing the evidence in Scripture and nature, and the traditional “proofs” for the existence of God. My main source is Grudem’s Systematic Theology if you would like to look into that. Also you should take a look at http://www.proofthatgodexists.org/favourite-quotes.php, there are some interesting quotes that are relevant.  And to get a better idea of my topic, take a look at one of my three posts that I have made so far. I hope to see you in class!

Post #1 (got lost) The inerrancy of Scripture

For my final report, I have decided to elaborate on the philosophy of the existence of God. Part of the reason that I have decided to go down this path is because I feel as if it is not only an important topic but also the source of philosophy itself. In my endeavor, I have decided to not only use scripture to back my claims but also research done by Wayne Grudem, a prominent evangelical theologian, seminary professor and author, and also with the help from his book Systematic Theology. The points that I will discuss are: Humanity’s inner sense of God, Believing the evidence in scripture and nature, Traditional “proofs” for the existence of God and the inerrancy of scripture, which are all points and sub points discussed in Grudem’s Systematic Theology.
            1. The Inerrancy of scripture.
Using Grudem’s definition, “the inerrancy of Scripture means that Scripture in the original manuscripts does not affirm anything that is contrary to fact.”(p.91) The reason that I start off with this topic is to both affirm those who may not believe and reaffirm those who do that the references that I make to scripture are in fact reliable sources to help explain the existence of God. To start off, Grudem explains, “The bible can be inerrant and still speak in ordinary language of everyday speech.”(p.91) This claim is absolutely true in historical and scientific statements of events or facts. Referring to the book of Numbers where it states that 8,000 men had died in battle, “without thereby implying that he has counted everyone and that there are not 7,999 or 8,001 dead soldiers. If roughly 8,000 died, it would of course be false to say that 16,000 died, but it would not be false in most contexts for a reporter to say that 8,000 men died when in fact 7,823 or 8,242 had died: the limits on truthfulness would depend on the degree of precision implied the speaker and expected by his original hearers.”(p.91) This statement refutes claims about the precision of the accounts in scripture being inaccurate when, “Inerrancy has to do with truthfulness, not with the degree of precision with which events are reported.” (p.92)

            Another argument that is brought to attention on the grounds of the inerrancy of scripture is that, “The Bible is only authoritative for “Faith and Practice”.” Grudem explains that, “ This position would allow for the possibility of false statements in Scripture, for example, in other areas such as in minor historical details or scientific facts - these areas, it is said, do not concern the purpose of the Bible, which is to instruct us in what we should believe and how we are to live…. The response to this objection can be stated as follows: the Bible repeatedly affirms that all of scripture is profitable for us (2 Tim. 3:16) and all of it is “God breathed.” Thus it is completely pure (Ps. 12:6), perfect (Ps. 119:96), and true (Prov. 30:5). The Bible itself does not make any restriction on the kinds of subjects to which it speaks truthfully.”(p.93) In conclusion, “..this first objection to inerrancy makes a wrong use of a summary and thereby incorrectly attempts to impose artificial limits on the kinds of things about which God can speak to us.” (p.95) This particular topic can be explained further but I am bound by time, so there is the inerrancy of scripture and its def. as well as sub points. My next post will elaborate on the meat of my topic, The Existence of God.