Up@dawn 2.0

Friday, October 7, 2016

Quiz Oct 12/13

Hume & Rousseau, PW 9.

1. What two kinds of perceptions did Hume distinguish?

2. What is the importance for metaphysics, theology, and knowledge of Hume's discussion of the Self?

3. What does Hume say it means for something to cause something else?

4. What was the subject of Rousseau's prize-winning essay?

5. How does Rousseau describe the human condition in the opening of his Social Contract?

6. What does Rousseau say should happen to those who disobey the "general will"? 

7. What is distinctive about walking at age 16 or 20?

8. What was Rousseau trying to identify in himself, in his long walks?

PW 22 (from last time)
9. Walking is reconciling yourself to what?

  • Is it reasonable to expect the sun to rise tomorrow, or "to prefer the destruction of half the world to the pricking of my finger?" Is it objectionable?
  • "The skeptic continues to reason and believe, even though he asserts that he cannot defend his reason by reason." 671 Does he then have a rational basis for his assertion?
  • Comment: "Generally speaking, the errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous." 672
  • "The growth of unreason... is a natural sequel to Hume's destruction of empiricism." 673 Did Hume destroy empiricism, or just show that it leads to skepticism? Does skepticism lead to unreason?
  • Has civilization improved humanity? What do you think of Voltaire's reply to Rousseau? 688
  • What do you think of Russell's comments on Rousseau's belief in God (692) and his "sentimental illogicality" (694)?
  • What do you think of Rousseau's "noble savage"? 693
  • What do you think of Russell's critique of the claim that the general will is always right? 699
  • By enforcing laws that compel us to pay taxes and support social services (unless we're rich enough to take advantage of tax loopholes, apparently), doesn't the modern state effectively accept Rousseau's version of the social contract?
An old post-

Also of interest: "How Hume helped me solve my midlife crisis, Simon Blackburn on David Hume, David Hume's essays on happiness; see also Essays Moral, Political, LiteraryThe ScepticDavid Hume-a new perspective; LISTEN: Gopnik on Hume & Buddhism (PB); WATCH: Hume on miracles
Podcast... Dawn post-Supremely happy

1. (T/F) Hume thought the human eye so flawless in its patterned intricacy that, like Paley's watch, it constitutes powerful evidence of intelligent design.

2. (T/F) Hume's view was that it's occasionally more plausible to believe that a miracle (the unexplained suspension of a law of nature) has happened, than not.

3. Rousseau said we're born free but everywhere are in ____, but can liberate ourselves by submitting to what is best for the whole community, aka the _______.

4. The ______ is what we say we want, when we think selfishly.

5. Which of Hume's books was published posthumously?

6. What was Hume's Epicurean deathbed statement to Boswell?

BONUS: Whose ex-boyfriend said the eye was proof of intelligent design?

BONUS: Melissa Lane says it was a paradox of civilization for Rousseau that we're in a society of plenty, but are less _____ than when we wandered naked in the glades of some barbaric past.

BONUS+: Who has a "walk" in Edinburgh? Who had a dog?

BONUS++: Bertrand Russell says Hume cannot refute the lunatic who thinks he's a what?


1. What's your reaction to the claim that nature is full of design without a designer (as reflected in the eye), complexity without a goal, adaptation and survival without any ulterior purpose? Is this marvelous or weird or grand (as in "grandeur") or what?

2. Have you encountered or directly experienced an event you would consider a "miracle" in Hume's sense of the term? Was it a "miracle on ice" when the U.S. beat the U.S.S.R. in 1980? Is it a miracle that K.C. almost won the World Series? Is it a miracle that you and I are alive? Do we need a better word for these events?

3. Do you think we should attempt to balance personal freedom with the public interest? Are taxes and other civic obligations (including voting) examples of an attempt to do that? Can anyone ever be compelled to be free? Can an individual be truly free while others remain "chained"? Would life in a "state of nature" be a form of freedom worth having? Is anti-government libertarianism a step forward or back, progress or regress? If Rand Paul had been President in the 1960s, would there have been an effective Civil Rights movement in America?

4. Can freedom be forced? Would we be more free or less, if the law didn't compel us to pay our taxes and behave lawfully? How would you feel, as a law-abiding citizen, if your neighbor could get away with lawlessness? 

5. Comment: [We have insufficient experience of universes, to generalize an opinion as to their probable origins.]

6. Comment, in light of Boswell's last interview with Hume (see "Supremely happy"), on the cliche that "There are no atheists in foxholes."

No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such a kind, that its falsehood would be more miraculous, than the fact, which it endeavours to establish…. Whoever is moved by Faith to assent to [miracles] is conscious of a continued miracle in his own person, which subverts all the principles of his understanding, and gives him a determination to believe what is most contrary to custom and experience. David Hume
Are you an Inductivist? Do you regularly anticipate, worry about, plan for the events of the day? Would it be reasonable or prudent to do otherwise? What is the practical point of entertaining Humean skeptical arguments about what we can know, based on our experience? Do such considerations make you kinder and gentler, less judgmental, more humble and carefree? Or do they annoy you?

Do you trust the marketplace to provide justice, fairness, security, and a shot at (the pursuit of) happiness for all? Are there some things money cannot buy, but that the public interest requires us to try and provide for one another? Is there an internal mechanism ("hand") in capitalism to insure the public interest's being met? Is capitalism inherently geared to short-term private profit, not long-term public good? Can a market-oriented economy deal adequately with climate change? (On this issue, see Naomi Klein's new book This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate.)

Asking again: Are you happy? Would you be happier if you had better access to health care, if college costs were lower, if career competition were less intense, if you didn't have to commute to school and work, if your neighbors were your closest friends, if your community was more supportive and caring, ...? What if any or all of that could be achieved through higher taxes and a more activist government?
An old post-
Thursday, April 2, 2015

Hume & Rousseau

In CoPhi today: David Hume and Jean-Jacques Rousseau (LH), Millican on Hume, Phillipson on Hume's pal Adam Smith, and Melissa Lane on Rousseau.

Also note: not assigned but highly recommended, Alison Gopnik's recent PB discussion of theHume-Buddhist connection.

David Hume (follow his little finger) has a public "walk" in Edinburgh.

In 1724 the town council bought Calton Hill, making it one of the first public parks in the country. The famous philosopher David Hume lobbied the council to build a walk ‘for the health and amusement of the inhabitants’, and you can still stroll along ‘Hume Walk’ to this day.He agreed with Diderot that good and honest people don't need threats to make them so, they just need to be well nurtured and postively reinforced in the customs and habits of a good and honest society. Divine justice, he thought, is an oxymoron. “Epicurus’ old questions are still unanswered… (continues)”

Everyday morality is based on the simple fact that doing good brings you peace of mind and praise from others and doing evil brings rejection and sorrow. We don’t need religion for morality… religion itself got its morality from everyday morality in the first place… JMH

Hume was an interestingly-birfurcated empiricist/skeptic, doubting metaphysics and causal demonstrations but still sure that “we can know the world of daily life.” That’s because the life-world is full of people collaboratively correcting one another’s errors. Hume and friends “believed morality was available to anyone through reason,” though not moral “knowledge” in the absolute and indubitable Cartesian sense. Custom is fallible but (fortunately) fixable. [Hume at 300… in 3 minutes... Belief in miracles subverts understanding]

On the question of Design, intelligent or otherwise, Hume would definitely join in the February celebration of Darwin Day. Scientific thinking is a natural human instinct, for him, for "clever animals" like ourselves, providing "the only basis we have for learning from experience." (Millican) [Hume vs. design (PB)... Hume on religion (SEP)]

Open your eyes,” Richard Dawkins likes to say. They really are an incredible evolutionary design. Not “perfect” or previsioned, but naturally astounding.

An early episode of the new Cosmos takes a good look at the eye as well.

Julia Sweeney's ex-boyfriend notwithstanding, an evolving eye is quite a useful adaptation at every stage.

Hume, open-eyed but possibly blind to the worst implications of his skeptical brand of empiricism, is on Team Aristotle. Russell, though, says we must look hard for an escape from the "dead-end" conclusion that real knowledge must always elude us, that (for instance) we cannot refute "the lunatic who believes that he is a poached egg." Russell says this is a "desperate" result. I say it would be more desperate to feel compelled to refute Mr. Egg in the first place. Remember the old Groucho line? "My brother thinks he's a chicken - we don't talk him out of it because we need the eggs."
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, of Team Plato along with other celebrants (like the other Marx) of "a communitarian ideal based on men's dreams," was an emotional thinker with a romantically-inflated opinion of human nature and the “noble savages” who would have embodied it in a hypothetical state of nature.

What’s most interesting to me about Rousseau is that his Emile so arrested the attention ofImmanuel Kant that he allowed it to disrupt his daily walking routine “for a few days.” Nothing short of seriously-incapacitating illness would do that to me. Apparently Kant was typically the same way, except for just that once.
Kant could get very upset if well-meaning acquaintances disturbed his routines. Accepting on one occasion an invitation to an outing into the country, Kant got very nervous when he realised that he would be home later than his usual bedtime, and when he was finally delivered to his doorstep just a few minutes after ten, he was shaken with worry and disgruntlement, making it at once one of his principles never to go on such a tour again.

So what’s in Emile that could so dis-comport a creature of such deeply ingrained habit? A generally-favorable evaluation of human nature, and a prescription for education reflective of that evaluation. Kant thought highly enough of Rousseau’s point of view to hold us all to a high standard of reasoned conduct. We should always treat others as ends in themselves, never as mere means to our own ends. We have a duty to regard one another with mutual respect.
The character of Emile begins learning important moral lessons from his infancy, through childhood, and into early adulthood. His education relies on the tutor’s constant supervision. The tutor must even manipulate the environment in order to teach sometimes difficult moral lessons about humility, chastity, and honesty. IEP

Yes, fine. But what precisely in Emile kept Kant off the streets, until he was finished with it?

Could have something to do with other characters in the story. “Rousseau discusses in great detail how the young pupil is to be brought up to regard women and sexuality.” Now maybe we’re getting somewhere.

Or not. Rousseau’s observations regarding women sound pretty sexist and ill-informed, nothing Kant (as a relatively un-Enlightenend male) wouldn’t already have shared.

Maybe it’s what Emile says about freedom that so arrested Kant? “The will is known to me in its action, not in its nature.”

Or religion? “It is categorically opposed to orthodox Christian views, specifically the claim that Christianity is the one true religion.” Maybe.
The Vicar claims that the correct view of the universe is to see oneself not at the center of things, but rather on the circumference, with all people realizing that we have a common center. This same notion is expressed in Rousseau’s political theory, particularly in the concept of the general will.
That’s very promising. Kant’s Copernican Revolution etc.

I wonder if the mystery of Kant’s lost walks could be related, too, to another of fellow-pedestrian Rousseau’s books, Reveries of the Solitary Walker?
The work is divided into ten “walks” in which Rousseau reflects on his life, what he sees as his contribution to the public good, and how he and his work have been misunderstood. It is interesting that Rousseau returns to nature, which he had always praised throughout his career… The Reveries, like many of Rousseau’s other works, is part story and part philosophical treatise. The reader sees in it, not only philosophy, but also the reflections of the philosopher himself.
That may not be a clue but it’s a definite inspiration for my own Philosophy Walks project, still seeking its legs.

Melissa Lane, like me, is very interested in Rousseau's walking.

BTW: we know Rousseau had a dog. Did Kant? If so, wasn’t he neglecting his duty to walk her?

Is nature full of design without a designer (as possibly reflected in the eye), complexity without a goal, adaptation and survival without any ulterior purpose? Is this marvelous or weird or grand (as in the "grandeur" of nature, in Darwin's view) or what? Most designers sign their work unambiguously, even ostentatiously.

We talked miracles earlier in the semester, so this may be redundant. But so many of us were so sure that we'd encountered or directly experienced suspensions of natural law that it seems worth a second pass. Was it a "miracle on ice" when the U.S. beat the U.S.S.R. in 1980? Is it a miracle that K.C. almost won the World Series? Isn't it a miracle that you and I are alive? Or that your friend or loved one, who'd received the very bad prognosis, is? Well, not exactly. All of those are plenty improbable, given certain assumptions. But none of them is an obvious law-breaker. We need a better word for these events, a word that conveys astonished and grateful surprise but does not court woo. Or I do, anyway.

J-J Rousseau seems to have been a self-indulgent paranoiac scoundrel, but he wasn't wrong to say we need to balance personal freedom with the public interest. Minimally, we need to tax ourselves enough to provide good public education, reliable infrastructure, and a secure peace. And we need to vote. (I'll ask in class how many are registered and how many will actually cast a ballot tomorrow, then I'll ask what would J-J say.)

Maybe he was just phrase-making, but "compelled to be free" has a chillier aspect from our end of the twentieth century. Whenever we act to pad our own nest wile neglecting the well-being of others, we reinforce the "chains" of oppression. Yet life is a chain. We should remember that a chain is no stronger than its weakest link.

Whenever I hear libertarians rail against government activism, I wonder: if a Rand Paul had been President in the 1960s, would there have been an effective Civil Rights movement in America?

Last Fall I tried to buoy the spirits of my friend from Kansas City, after his upstart Royals fell to the Giants. I pointed out that teams more often rally when down 3-2 than not. His pessimistic reply: I'm a skeptic about induction. It was a joke, and maybe Hume was joking too. Aren't we all Inductivists, regularly anticipating, worring about, planning for the events of our days? Would it be reasonable or prudent to do otherwise?

Of course we could do with less worry, but that's because experience has taught the truism that most of our worries are unfounded. So what, really, is the practical point of entertaining Humean skeptical arguments? It's not to urge us over the Pyrrhonic cliff, but to redouble our curiosity and our humility: to make us kinder, gentler, less neurotic friends and fellow citizens. As Hume said, "Be a philosopher; but amidst your philosophy, be still a man."

Melissa Lane's interview on Rousseau raises important questions for our time, when the marketplace so clearly has faile to provide justice, fairness, security, and a shot at (the pursuit of) happiness for all. Michael Sandel rightly says there are some things money cannot buy, but that the public interest and common decency nonetheless require us to try and provide for one another.

Adam Smith's "invisible hand" seems more invisible than ever, short-term private profiteering more prevalent. Can a market-oriented economy deal adequately, for instance, with climate change? Naomi Klein's new book This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate says no.

More Rousseau-inspired challenges: Are we happy? Would we be happier if we had better access to health care, if college costs were lower, if career competition were less intense, if you didn't have to commute to school and work, if your neighbors were your closest friends, if your community was more supportive and caring, ...? What if any or all of that could be achieved through higher taxes and a more activist government?

But let's be real, Jean-Jacques: most of that was never on offer in any realistic state of nature.


  1. (H3) sunrise? I believe neither is objectionable. However, I think it is far more reasonable to expect the sun to rise then the planet to crack in half because the sun has been rising and the planet reaming a single unit for who knows how long and there is no indication of any diversion in the short term.

    1. (H3) So basically what you are relying on is the fact that since the sun has always risen, it will continue to rise. Hume might have something to say about that argument :) I agree with you though, kind of like an object in motion stays in motion. Also, it is hard to perceive an outside force that would cause that to change.

  2. (h3) Errors? About a thousand years ago he would have been right, now an error in either in potential lethal on a grand scale.

  3. (H3) Civilization and Voltaire? I think Civilization has made humanity better and I will go back to Aristotle to support that. he argues that the city (I.E. civilization)is one of the most natural constitutions because it is what all human forms of government and organization culminate in, and those outside it (Civilization on some level) are either gods or beasts, but no men. And Voltaire's response, I think it was very funny.

  4. General will (H3): Well, I'll put it this way, the mass murder and/or exploitation of millions of people during the Second World War and before was, the "general will."

  5. (H3, Forced Freedom? I would say know because part of the Social contract of being a citizen of a state of a state of paying taxes and there is nothing preventing you from leaving a state if you wish to move to one that you consider more favorable but if one wishes to take advantages of the services the state provides she/he should be willing to help fund them.

  6. Martin Davies9:20 AM CDT

    (H3) "Generally speaking, the errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous."
    Seeing how modern religion, in multiple instances, has killed and hindered many philosophy, it's not unreasonable to assert that philosophy is not dangerous. Religion and the afterlife has a much bigger effect on people than ideas about the present.

    1. Even Russell remarked that Rousseau's ideologies gave rise to the violent French revolution and Nazism. I think philosophy can be quite dangerous, or at least twisted to support evil actions.

  7. Rousseau's "noble savage" is entirely inaccurate (as Russell points out). Rousseau either did not know, or simply ignored the fact that so many of these characteristics he applauded had risen along with civilization, which he denounced. Making up a history that supports our preconceived ideas doesn't change the facts.

  8. Martin Davies9:25 AM CDT

    (H3) Is it reasonable to expect the sun to rise tomorrow, or "to prefer the destruction of half the world to the pricking of my finger?" Is it objectionable?
    It's reasonable sentiment to believe that everything's actions comically affect one another as our energy is all connected to one another, but objectionally, no. The sun will still rise whether you prick your finger or not. We do not have that much force on the universe.

    1. Hmmmmmm. Well, for the most part, i completely agree with you. The only difference is that there must be one possible set of circumstances that a pricked finger could alone lead to the destruction of half the world.

    2. Christian Brooks (H3)12:13 PM CDT

      The idea of the sun not rising would either mean Earth stops spinning, the sun is gone, or we are suddenly too distant from the sun to notice. A pricked finger, like an infinite amount of monkeys on typewriters, will inevitably lead to the given scenario in which the sun does not rise, like Sean said. Is it likely? Not at all. Is it even possible with our current technological level? Probably not. But in some infinitesimally small scenario, it does happen.

  9. General will is always right? I'm going to echo Bryce and call BS. The majority can be wrong, with devastating consequences.

    1. Agreed 100%. A lot of the time, it is good to follow the crowd, but there are many times where following the crowd is the worst possible option.

    2. Christian Brooks (H3)12:08 PM CDT

      Following the crowd often leads to easily avoided problems. It is fairly common that no one calls the police in a high stakes scenario because it is believed that someone beat them to it. Lives have been lost because of the assumption that the crowd mentality is correct, and there are cases in which the simple pressure of being different in front of a group ended up being a life-saving decision. [ http://nyti.ms/1UnxzGQ ]

    3. (H3) The question becomes, do you want to be the sheep, following the flock, or the shepard, leading the pack? When you follow the pack you may be lead astray because you don't question your situation; you are dictated by another's actions/ideas. The majority isn't always right, but it is usually the most heard, unfortunately.

  10. Martin Davies9:30 AM CDT

    (H3) "The skeptic continues to reason and believe, even though he asserts that he cannot defend his reason by reason." 671 Does he then have a rational basis for his assertion?

    Skepticism is a cyclical school of thought that ends up in pessimism and unanswered questions. Until he is sure of what he knows than he has gotten nowhere and his questions are thus still unanswered.

  11. Anonymous11:43 AM CDT

    The general will is more often then not the result of tradition and keeping to the status quo. Slavery was part of this general will for thousands of years. That doesn't make it right.

  12. Christian Brooks (H3)11:59 AM CDT

    “’The skeptic continues to reason and believe, even though he asserts that he cannot defend his reason by reason.’ Does he then have a rational basis for his assertion?”

    The definition of ‘rational’ is that which is “based on or in accordance with reason or logic.” Because the skeptic cannot defend himself with reason or logic, I believe the skeptic does not believe, at least by definition, to have a rational basis for argument.

  13. Christian Brooks (H3)12:00 PM CDT

    “Comment: ‘Generally speaking, the errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous.’”

    What makes an error in religion dangerous is the impact it has on those who are influenced by the mistake. If it was said that event A happened and affected history in this way, the churchgoers would incorporate this into their beliefs and daily lives. This has the capacity to drastically differ from the reality in which event B was asserted instead, and the aftermath could affect history.

  14. Anonymous12:10 PM CDT

    Comment: ‘Generally speaking, the errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous

    Most dangerous errors in religion occur from misinterpretation. Hatred for certain groups of people, lifetime beliefs over something that may be taken out of context.Errors in philosophy, especially that of causation can be dangerous as well. i.e. Hitler saying that all the Jewish immigration into Germany was the reason for their bad economy.

  15. Anonymous12:14 PM CDT

    I believe not just the law, but society itself has the ability to force freedom to an extent. Even if one just wishes to betray the general norm, that can sometimes lead to ostracization of that person if they behave in a way that is not accepted.

  16. Anonymous12:17 PM CDT

    I feel if you are going to reason and interpret something you have to have something to base it on. An interpretation without a foundation of reason will only crumble, as it has nothing to stand on.

  17. (H3) It's reasonable to expect the sun to rise tomorrow considering it always has beforehand.

    1. But should we base our beliefs on things that have always happened? Can't things change? Is it safe to say that someone is not violent because they have never been violent before?

  18. (H3) I believe civilization has improved humanity some but there is still so much change needed.

  19. (H3) I would disagree that general will is always correct.

  20. (H3) The modern state isn't as strict as I think Rousseau was picturing things.

  21. (H3) I believe that nature has a designer - God, so for me I don't believe that nature just came to be.

  22. (H3) I don't believe freedom can be forced because if it's forced then it's not freedom.

    1. (H3) Like freedom of speech, I have the freedom to say what I want or say nothing at all. I have the freedom to choose freedom or subjugation, the key word is choice.

  23. (H3) I wouldn't feel comfortable with my neighbor being lawless with everything.

    1. (H3) Does not having defined laws inherently mean chaos? I don't commit murder simply because it is against the law; I don't commit murder because I believe it is selfish and wrong, on a human level.

    2. But you believe that it is wrong because that is how you were raised and how society has deemed it, so if it was not against the law then your mindset could possibly change.

  24. I don't think the general will is always right. There have been ideologies that have hurt many people, although they were widely accepted.

  25. I think religion and philosophy can both be dangerous because they are both way of thinking that may influence a person's behavior.

  26. (H3) In regards to the comment, generally errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous, I think this is because of the importance placed on both. Religion usually draws a bigger crowd, possibly more fanatical and action-driven. Philosophy is about perceptions and questions, more passive. Religion is credited with some pretty detrimental actions, the Crusades. Philosophy usually only brings harm to the philosopher, either credibility or life. If you are wrong in philosophy, you simply made a absurd observation. In religion, it is the difference between eternal damnation and salvation, higher stakes.

  27. (H3) I don't believe just because someone is civilized inherently makes them supremely better than those who are not "civilized". Native American were considered "uncivilized" savages, but they had a better since of morals and family when compared to the "civilized" explorers from Europe, slaughtering many in their search for power (God, Gold, and Glory). We have been taught that structure is good, and laws keep us safe. Perhaps, laws are just the line in the sand to delineate good from bad.

    1. But did the Native American's not have laws and beliefs as well? They just had a better moral system than the Europeans. So then laws wouldn't be the problem, the kind of people making the laws would be the problem.

  28. There is no certainty that the sun will rise again tomorrow. We may have evidence and repetition to "prove" that it does, but just like a machine everything can work perfectly a million and one times, but on the 1,000,001 time something can change and something can mess up. So why do we seek to find that repetition? Because we desire to have certainty in our lives, rather than living in a constant state of fear.

  29. (H3) Also, preferring the destruction of half of the world to the pricking of my finger is objectionable because it is selfish

    1. I think that it is actually a pretty silly comparison because it's so easy, pricking your finger compared to destroying half of the world. I think a better question would be "would you rather see the destruction of half of the world or be tortured for half of your life?" I think that's a harder question to answer.

  30. (H3) Even without being able to fully defend his reason by reason, that doesn't mean the skeptic is wrong. Yes, we as humans desire an explanation for our beliefs, but if i just feel like something is right or i know something is right but i don't know why, how could someone say that i am wrong to feel those things or believe those things? It's like trying to explain Christianity and God to people, which happened recently to me by the by. Anyways, when i tried to explain why evil still existed and why God was still a loving and just God despite the fact that evil is still present, i ended up simply saying that i couldn't explain why it made sense. Of course, to that person it wasn't going to make sense, but that doesn't mean i am wrong. That person doesn't have the same mindset that i do concerning Christianity and God, and so to them, these things that i believe and try to reason for don't make sense, because that person can't place themselves in my shoes.

  31. (H3) of course, the errors in religion are more dangerous than the errors in philosophy. People dedicate themselves to religions, not to the concept of philosophy. Religion is a lifestyle as well as a belief system. Philosophy can be but it is held within religion to some extent. For instance, the concept of God is talked about by philosophers as well as religious groups, correct? But in actuality the philosophy of most religious groups is established at its conception rather than theorized over for its entirety.

    1. I would have to disagree, in a way one could say that philosophy could be deemed as religion. Philosophy is the way you live, think, breathe, it's your core beliefs, so if one's philosophy is corrupt then that is just as dangerous as someone's religion being corrupt.

    2. I think the consequences of one's self-centered philosophy can be as dire as one's misguided religious beliefs, but I would not equate the two principles. I would say that historically, philosophy served more as a precursor to the sciences and for learning for yourself how the world works, whereas religion is more based around the idea that the driving forces of the universe are the work of some divine power which is incomprehensible to our minds.

  32. (h3) Civilization has both improved humanity and hurt humanity. It has improved humanity by motivating humans to create new things, learn more about the earth and our solar system, and helped improve our education. It, however, has in turn harmed our desire to believe that there is more that we can give to this world, because so many things have already been accomplished. But how else would you guys say civilization has improved humanity?

  33. (H3) in a way, freedom can be forced because things like Democracy can force you to accept that you have freedom within a country, but in order to be truly free you must choose to be so. For instance, if i'm home for the weekend and my mom says that i am free to do whatever i want, does that mean she is forcing the idea of freedom upon me? That she is telling me that whether i choose to be or not, i am free?

  34. I think that it is reasonable to expect the sun to rise tomorrow because it gives some form of hope that tomorrow will be better than today.

  35. I think it depends on what civilization we are talking about, because if you are talking about the Native American’s and the European civilization I would probably say no. If we were talking about Mayans to the Aztecs to modern day Mexico, I would say that it is a lot better now than it was before.

    1. The human sacrifices may not have been great, but native central-south American architecture is a sight to behold. Even the conquistadors were in marvel Tenochtitlan; didn't stop them from building Mexico City on top of it, unfortunately. Anyway, some aspects of older civilizations can be better than their modern counterparts, even if the society itself wasn't as advanced.

  36. (H1) Is it reasonable to expect the sun to rise tomorrow, or "to prefer the destruction of half the world to the pricking of my finger?" Is it objectionable?

    This is more of a question of selfishness v. altruism. I believe that every human is inherently selfish - some more than others - and it is not unreasonable for one to value their own well-being over that of a collective they may not be a part of.

  37. (H1) Comment: "Generally speaking, the errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous."

    This hold very true as philosophy is merely the presentation of ideas and ways to live - something you can pick and choose from which is always changing, especially on the individual level. Religion on the other hand is seen as to be followed by many and to be followed strictly. An error in religion would lead many down the path of destruction, rather that is the destruction of the self or of others.

  38. DQ: Has civilization improved humanity?
    In some respects, yes. Because of our advanced intelligence, we humans have a natural tendency to form highly structured societies and advance our technology anyway. However, you have to remember that we are still living creatures as well. There has to be a balance between the civilized and instinctive sides of humanity. If you lean too far towards your instincts, then you regress into an animalistic state which makes no use of its intelligence to better itself or the world around it. However, if you submit entirely to the comforts of society, you become sheltered and weak. The balance is necessary to make sure that humans can reach their maximum intellectual potential while retaining an acceptable level of physical and emotional strength, lest their society become filled with weaklings who crack under the slightest of pressure.