Up@dawn 2.0

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Quiz Oct 5/6

Locke & Berkeley, HP 604-610, 623-633, 647-659 (Bk 3, Part I, ch XIII, XVI); PW 22

1. Locke founded what two 'isms?

2. What was Locke's metaphor for the mind?

3. What kind of people does Locke imagine inhabiting a state of nature?

4. By what is Locke driven to "absurd lengths"? 

5. What did Berkeley deny the existence of, and where was a town named after him?

6. How does Russell define "matter" and "mind"? 

DQ

  • Do you think Berkeley was right about Locke's Primary/Secondary Quality distinction? 606
  • Do you agree that "revelation must be judged by reason"? Why or why not? 607 
  • Is Locke right to be "contemptuous of metaphysics"? 609
  • Would you have been happy to live in a state of nature? 624
  • Do we have to believe ourselves "God's property" in order to acknowledge that we ought not to harm one another? 625
  • Should you have the right, at age 21, to decide not "to be bound by the contract which inaugurated the United States"? 631
  • Is there more to being than being perceived? How do you know a tree exists when nobody's around to percieve it?

Image result for george berkeley cartoon
Old posts-
1. According to John Locke, all our knowledge comes from _____; hence, the mind of a newborn is a ______. (fill in one for full credit, take a bonus credit if you got them both)




2. Locke said _____ continuity establishes personal identity (bodily, psychological); Thomas Reid said identity relies on ______ memories, not total recall.


3. Bishop George Berkeley was a metaphysical idealist because he believed all that exist are____; he was an immaterialist because he denied that ______ exists; he was an _______ because he said all knowledge comes from direct personal experience.

4. Esse est percipi means what?


5. Who kicked a stone to try and refute Berkeley's idealism?

6. What was Berkeley's response to the criticism that his view allows no distinction between reality and illusion?

BONUS+: What's the function of brains, according to Campbell?

DQ:
1. If the inner world of a newborn is a "blooming buzzing confusion," as William James said, does that show Locke to be right about the contentlessness of the natal mind? Does the mind really start from scratch, an empty vessel? Or might people like the linguist Noam Chomsky and psychologist Steven Pinker be right, to say that the human mind comes equipped with specific, evolved structures for learning language and other things?

2. What's your earliest stored memory? How do you know you're the same person you were before your first recorded memory? Would this be an especially frightening question if you had Alzheimer's? If you ever experience significant or total memory loss, will that be the end of you?

3. Do you notice a difference in the quality of your various experiences. such that some feel immediate and direct (a sunset, an interpersonal encounter, an "epiphany" etc.) while others are more remote, filtered, or "mediated" (a televised sunset, an online chat, a familiar thought)? Is that feeling of immediacy real? What do you think you are encountering, when you have an immediate experience: sensations, perceptions, concepts, ideas... or the world that causes them?

4. How would you fill out the phrase Esse est ____, To be is to be _____?


5. Do you support separation of chuch and state? Do you value and practice "toleration"? Or is even that too mild an acceptance of others' freedom? Would you want to live in a society whose rules were imposed by Imams, Ayatollahs, or the pastor of the Westboro Baptist Church?

6. What do you think of Morpheus' speech in The Matrix, when he says if you think of things you can touch, feel, hear, see etc. as "real," then reality is just electrical signals in the brain? Agree? Does that make you a skeptic? Can you draw the distinction between primary and secondary qualities, as Locke did, without becoming either a skeptic or a metaphysical idealist like Berkelely? If you did agree with Berkeley, how would that change your daily life and experience? Is this ultimately a distinction (Primary & Secondary Qualities) without a difference, hence irrelevant from a pragmatic POV?




Toleration and the Separation of Church & State

John Locke (b. 1632, d. 1704) was a British philosopher, Oxford academic and medical researcher. Locke's monumental An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1689) is one of the first great defenses of empiricism and concerns itself with determining the limits of human understanding in respect to a wide spectrum of topics. It thus tells us in some detail what one can legitimately claim to know and what one cannot. Locke's association with Anthony Ashley Cooper (later the First Earl of Shaftesbury) led him to become successively a government official charged with collecting information about trade and colonies, economic writer, opposition political activist, and finally a revolutionary whose cause ultimately triumphed in the Glorious Revolution of 1688. Among Locke's political works he is most famous for The Second Treatise of Government in which he argues that sovereignty resides in the people and explains the nature of legitimate government in terms of natural rights and the social contract. He is also famous for calling for the separation of Church and State in his Letter Concerning Toleration. Much of Locke's work is characterized by opposition to authoritarianism. This is apparent both on the level of the individual person and on the level of institutions such as government and church. For the individual, Locke wants each of us to use reason to search after truth rather than simply accept the opinion of authorities or be subject to superstition. He wants us to proportion assent to propositions to the evidence for them. On the level of institutions it becomes important to distinguish the legitimate from the illegitimate functions of institutions and to make the corresponding distinction for the uses of force by these institutions. Locke believes that using reason to try to grasp the truth, and determine the legitimate functions of institutions will optimize human flourishing for the individual and society both in respect to its material and spiritual welfare. This in turn, amounts to following natural law and the fulfillment of the divine purpose for humanity... SEP

From John Locke's "Letter Concerning Toleration" (1689)-
...Nobody, therefore, in fine, neither single persons nor churches, nay, nor even commonwealths, have any just title to invade the civil rights and worldly goods of each other upon pretence of religion. Those that are of another opinion would do well to consider with themselves how pernicious a seed of discord and war, how powerful a provocation to endless hatreds, rapines, and slaughters they thereby furnish unto mankind. No peace and security, no, not so much as common friendship, can ever be established or preserved amongst men so long as this opinion prevails, that dominion is founded in grace and that religion is to be propagated by force of arms.
In the third place, let us see what the duty of toleration requires from those who are distinguished from the rest of mankind (from the laity, as they please to call us) by some ecclesiastical character and office; whether they be bishops, priests, presbyters, ministers, or however else dignified or distinguished. It is not my business to inquire here into the original of the power or dignity of the clergy. This only I say, that, whencesoever their authority be sprung, since it is ecclesiastical, it ought to be confined within the bounds of the Church, nor can it in any manner be extended to civil affairs, because the Church itself is a thing absolutely separate and distinct from the commonwealth. The boundaries on both sides are fixed and immovable. He jumbles heaven and earth together, the things most remote and opposite, who mixes these two societies, which are in their original, end, business, and in everything perfectly distinct and infinitely different from each other. No man, therefore, with whatsoever ecclesiastical office he be dignified, can deprive another man that is not of his church and faith either of liberty or of any part of his worldly goods upon the account of that difference between them in religion. For whatsoever is not lawful to the whole Church cannot by any ecclesiastical right become lawful to any of its members.
==

Johnson refutes Berkeley


Or does he?
After we came out of the church, we stood talking for some time together of Bishop Berkeley's ingenious sophistry to prove the nonexistence of matter, and that every thing in the universe is merely ideal. I observed, that though we are satisfied his doctrine is not true, it is impossible to refute it. I never shall forget the alacrity with which Johnson answered, striking his foot with mighty force against a large stone, till he rebounded from it -- "I refute it thus." Boswell's Life 
Calvin and Hobbes 

Also: Locke vs. Reid re: personal identity. "Reid's second criticism is his most famous and is often referred to as the case of the Brave Officer":

Suppose a brave officer to have been flogged when a boy at school, for robbing an orchard, to have taken a standard from the enemy in his first campaign, and to have been made a general in advanced life: Suppose also, which must be admitted to be possible, that when he took the standard, he was conscious of his having been flogged at school, and that when made a general he was conscious of his taking the standard, but had absolutely lost the consciousness of his flogging.
These things being supposed, it follows, from Mr LOCKE's doctrine, that he who was flogged at school is the same person who took the standard, and that he who took the standard is the same person who was made a general. When it follows, if there be any truth in logic, that the general is the same person with him who was flogged at school. But the general's consciousness does not reach so far back as his flogging, therefore, according to Mr LOCKE's doctrine, he is not the person who was flogged. Therefore the general is, and at the same time is not the same person as him who was flogged at school (Essays, 276).
==
An old post-

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Locke, Reid, & Berkeley

Today in CoPhi it's John Locke (not the "Lost" one) and Thomas Reid on personalidentity (andJohn Dunn on Locke's concept of toleration), George Berkeley, and John Campbell on Berkeley's Puzzle.


John Locke has become a more difficult figure to research, ever since the Lost television series pushed his namesake to the forefront of popular consciousness and search results. The fictional John Locke can walk, not back in civilization but on his freaky island. (But I can't listen to this song.)

The real John Locke, "apostle of the Revolution of 1688" (Russell) apparently had trouble walking too.

He was naturally very active, and employed himself as much as his health would permit. Sometimes he diverted himself with working in the garden, which he well understood. He loved walking, but not being able to walk much, through the disorder of his lungs, he used to ride out after dinner...
[I have to keep reminding myself that these "riding" philosophers were on horseback, not bikes. Philosophy Rides, the sequel, will not be a historical survey.]
His bad health was a disturbance to none but himself... his usual drink was nothing but water...Good for him, I guess. He's not the philosopher I'd most like to spend time in a pub with, though I admire his most pragmatic statement that "the actions of men [are] the best interpreters of their thought."

His near-dying words were that we should regard this world and life as nothing but a vanity and "a state of preparation for a better." Repugnant words, to a happy humanist and to all those "atheists in foxholes - there is indeed a list." And yet, other words of his ("all mankind being equal and independent, none ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty") inspired some of our greatest social and political experiments.

And some of our strangest television. Don't tell me what I can't do.


The Locke who inspired the eighteenth century was the philosopher who wired Aristotle's most important insight, that all knowledge comes through experience, into the modern western mind. (Cave & Light)

Locke said the key to personal identity is memory. Oh-oh! But Thomas Reid, Mr. Scottish Common Sense, helpfully said you can get there from here: if you remember yourself in (say) 1998, and that Self remembers itself in 1980, and that one remembers version 1975, and so on… well, you’re the same person you were back in the day. Whew! That’s a relief. The Ship of Theseus may be seaworthy, after all.


But Walter ("That's the way it is") Cronkite used to ask “Can the world be saved?” Honestly, it’s too soon to tell. But I think William James had it right when he wrote: “The world may be saved, on condition that its parts shall do their best. But shipwreck in detail, or even on the whole, is among the open possibilities.”

Cesar Kuriyama told TED he intends to record, splice, and archive a second of every day of his life. He wants never to forget. What would Locke say? Or Nietzsche?
“Consider the herds that are feeding yonder: they know not the meaning of yesterday or today; they graze and ruminate, move or rest, from morning to night, from day to day, taken up with their little loves and hates and the mercy of the moment, feeling neither melancholy nor satiety. Man cannot see them without regret, for even in the pride of his humanity he looks enviously on the beast’s happiness. He wishes simply to live without satiety or pain, like the beast; yet it is all in vain, for he will not change places with it. He may ask the beast—“Why do you look at me and not speak to me of your happiness?” The beast wants to answer—“Because I always forget what I wished to say”; but he forgets this answer, too, and is silent; and the man is left to wonder.”

Gayatri Devi says if you want a better memory you must make yourself forget more.

Locke is more familiar to Americans as the underwriter of our pursuit of life, liberty, and property. (Thomas Jefferson, we know, edited Locke on that last point.) He defended separation of church and state (as did Thomas Jefferson), and toleration. [AU] A very enlightened guy, for his time and place, but still not clear-sighted about freedom from worship for those who choose it. [Matthew Stewart, Nature's God reviewed... Locke's radical idea (Cave&Light)]

And, we can blame him in large part for Bishop George Berkeley‘s (careful with that pronunciation) startling esse est percipi thesis, since Berkeley drove through the hole Locke's representational realism had opened. Also today, John Campbell on Berkeley's Puzzle.

Bishop Berkeley was one odd empiricist, insisting that we “know” only our ideas and not their referents. Here’s that famous scene with Dr. Dictionary:
After we came out of the church, we stood talking for some time together of Bishop Berkeley’s ingenious sophistry to prove the nonexistence of matter, and that every thing in the universe is merely ideal. I observed, that though we are satisfied his doctrine is not true, it is impossible to refute it. I never shall forget the alacrity with which Johnson answered, striking his foot with mighty force against a large stone, till he rebounded from it — “I refute it thus.” Boswell’s Life of Johnson[Johnson's Boswell]

The conventional judgment of philosophers, in relating this funny little story, is that Johnson missed Berkeley's point. Mine is that Berkeley missed the point of Johnson's demonstration: nobody really lives exclusively in his own (figurative or literal, res cogitans or res extensa) head. Not even distracted bishops or philosophers.

Berkeley gave his name (though not its pronunciation) to the California town and college campus where there’s lately been a revival of interest in him.
There’s a story that when George Berkeley, the future philosopher, was a student he decided to see what it was like to approach death. He hung himself, arranging to have a friend cut him down and revive him after he lost consciousness…Berkeley is now hung again, as large as life, but only in portrait form on the campus that is his namesake.

Well, the idea of him is now hung again anyway. If a portrait hangs in a gallery but nobody looks at it, does it make an impression? Its subject surely did, we always talk about him between Locke and Hume. Why is that? He was an empiricist only nominally, not temperamentally and (despite the extremity of his view) definitely not radically: Radical Empiricists[wiki]who think like William James perceive the relations in experience that connect us and our sometimes-whacky ideas to the real "external" world.

Campbell (who, btw, speaks in the most charming Scots brogue) nonetheless describes Berkeley's puzzle and its solution as radical, tearing at the roots of everyday common sense. "If all I've got to go on is this wall of sensation, how can I even frame the idea of something beyond that?" His solution is no solution: "You can't, it's just an illusion... All we have are our ideas." That's a really bad idea, Bishop B.

Campbell himself makes more sense. There are "different levels in the description of reality," and everything we experience, from colors and smells and tastes (the so-called secondary qualities of experience) to quantum phenomena to observer-independent quantitative/"objective" features of the world, is "out there," i.e., real... but appropriately described in different terms. James again clarifies: "Common sense is BETTER for one sphere of life, science for another, philosophic criticism for a third; but whether either be TRUER absolutely, Heaven only knows."

That last bit is purely rhetorical, James didn't think heaven has a dog in this hunt. It's up to us to decide when to speak the language of common sense and when to defer to some corrective scientific or critical or other specialized vocabulary. Levels. And brains, "it's very important that we have brains. But their function is to reveal the world to us, not to generate a lot of random junk."

Russell again: "There is therefore a justification for common sense in philosophy, but only as showing that our theoretical principles cannot be quite correct so long as their consequences are condemned by an appeal to common sense which we feel to be irresistible."

This In Our Time is all about Berkeley.

Calvin, btw, seems to have taken the Bishop seriously.

67 comments:

  1. (H3) Do you agree that "revelation must be judged by reason"? Why or why not?
    Yes, because what we may consider revelations, without investigation, have no grounds to be revelations until proven so. The King of Siam (607) did not believe that ice existed because it had never proven to exist to him.

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  2. (H3) Do we have to believe ourselves "God's property" in order to acknowledge that we ought not to harm one another?
    This again tries to assert the idea that spirituality=morality. No, a person can not believe in a god but still want to avoid immoral acts regardless of the idea of sin or not. Our sense of empathy and life experiences shapes our desire to harm or to not harm.

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    1. Christian Brooks (H3)11:30 AM CDT

      What about those who worship gods that advocate actions your god has deemed immoral? Empathizing with a desire to harm or not to harm is evoked mainly by the culture in which one is.

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    2. That's precisely my point. Spirituality =/= morality. That still doesn't mean though that your surroundings will provide our standards of good morality. Morality is relative.

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  3. (H3) Is there more to being than being perceived? How do you know a tree exists when nobody's around to perceive it?
    The idea that (Earthly) material does not exist if we do not perceive it is a selfish notion. There are places I have never been to in the world that exist despite that I cannot perceive them and yet they shall continue existing with or without me.

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    1. In his defense he does say everything exists because God always perceives everything. I get the feeling he probably percieved things like the way a video game works. A level in a modern FPS game isn't always just there. The game only generates the parts of the level you are looking at the moment. So even though you can see a map of the level in your menu lets say, the actual level it's self is only being generated when you are looking at it.

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    2. Does a tree make a sound when it falls if there is no one in the forest to hear it? We know it exists because its there when you push on it and it pushes back this wont change if you stop pushing on it or if you walk away. Just because we are not constantly perceiving something or have never perceived does not mean that it does not exist.

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  4. (H3) Common sense? CS is biased and conditional on so many things that I cannot see how it can, under general circumstances, be superior to logic.

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  5. (H3) Revelation? Do we need to judge these yes, because if you don't you will not know the difference between revelation and insanity.

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    1. Insanity however, is people living in a reality that they perceive very differently than the mass population. They see/hear/experience things that most people do not. So depending on the revalation and how it is perceived in society. A good revalation may be considered insanity, if it is too out of context with cultural tradition, even though it may be a perfectly reasonable idea to another group.

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  6. (H3) State of nature? No, it sounds like it is very boring and highly limited on my options for recourse if I am wronged short of grabbing the biggest rock I can find and chucking it at the offender.

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  7. (H3) Gods property? No, you don't have to acknowledge that to acknowledge that killing that guy with the crazy cousins who will come after you is not a good idea.

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  8. (H3) 21? Well if we do that makes us illegal aliens and people without a state so unless everyone wants to head down to the recruitment office with me we probably shouldn't.

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  9. (H3) Trees? Well lets put it this way. If something only exists when I am looking at it, then how could that tree fall on my head and kill me unless I am standing there, with my eyes open, staring right at it the whole time it falls.

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    Replies
    1. Perception does not only include seeing it. You could have your eyes closed and be facing the tree but still hear its leaves russle in the wind and reach out and feel the bark, without ever seeing anything.

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  10. (H3) I don't think Locke should have a scornful attitude towards metaphysics but simply form his own opinion.

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  11. (H3) I don't see myself being completely content in a state of nature.

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  12. (H3) We don't at all have to view ourselves as "God's property" in order to not harm one another, we should simply be decent human beings.

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  13. (H3) At the age of 21 you are an adult and I think you should have the freedom to make whatever life decisions you think are best but also have to face the consequences that follow these actions.

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  14. (H3) Trees continue to exist whether or not we perceive them, and I will continue to exist whether everyone perceives me or not.

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  15. (H3) I personally feel that being is more important than being perceived.

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  16. (H3) There is more to being than being perceived. I can't see microorganisms or bacteria but I know they're there and they play a vital role in how and if I live. I don't know what an electron looks like yet I know it makes up all matter. I know a tree exists even when no one is around because life/nature is not dictated by us, as humans, seeing it. It is independent of human perception.

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    1. Well heres a question. If everything is just percieved by us and nothing is truly being, does that not mean that our own existence is just purely being percieved and that we are not actually being?

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    2. (H3) It is defined in the very label of what we are, we are human beings. Therefore, we are not being perceived, as people we are being.

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  17. (H3) I do not believe that we have to acknowledge ourselves as God's property in order to not harm one another. We should choose not to harm one another because we see each other as equals, because of mutual respect and human decency. The whole idea of treat others the way you wish to be treated. If you want to add a religious undertone to this idea, love thy neighbor as thy self.

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  18. (H3) I believe at, the age of 21, you should have the right to decide whether you want to be bound by the contract which inaugurated the United States. While you have the right to accept or deny the contract, you must be ready to accept the consequences of either choice, whether that means leaving the country or following the country's laws.

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  19. (H3) Locke had a right to think whatever he likes about metaphysics, however, I think he had unclear, mixed feelings about it that he refused to explore. Just because you don't agree with an idea does not mean you should disregard any and all aspects relating to that idea. You should be able to all sides of the issue.

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  20. (H3) I agree that revelation must be judged by reason because without reason you are left unsubstantiated claims. Without evidence, a revelation is just a strong opinion.

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  21. I think that at 21 people should have the right to accept or not accept the social contract. America, after all, is all about the rights of the people.

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  22. Being is more important than being perceived. There are more things unknown than known. They haven't been discovered, but they still exist.

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  23. Christian Brooks (H3)11:26 AM CDT

    "Would you have been happy to live in a state of nature?"
    Part of me wants to experience it, but I would not want to live in a state of nature long-term. I used to watch a lot of shows about what would happen to civilization if an apocalyptic scenario were to occur, and I would want to see if I could survive in such an environment. I would like to see myself post-society rather than pre-society, I think.

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  24. I feel that I would be happier in Locke's idea of the state of nature than Hobbes idea. Locke sees humans in a much better light, and I am very optimistic to hope that left without regulation, we would behave more according to Locke.

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  25. No, I would not be happy to live in a state of nature, because I think it would be far more like what Hobbes described than the happy little place Locke had in mind.

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    1. Well, it depends on how you view mankind. As inherently evil or inherently good. It seems like you view it as inherently evil. Is this true?

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    2. Unfortunately, yes. It's odd, I am an optimist about most things, but when it comes to humans, I honestly think there is far more badness in us than good.

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    3. (H3) I believe we are born evil and have to work harder to be good but the more you are good then the easier it becomes.

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    4. I don't think you can say that humans are distinctly either evil or good. To be good in a state of nature you have to reject self-interest. It depends how strongly you hold yourself to abiding to your morals. Unfortunately, we all experience doubt and fear, which I think causes us to turn to self-interest.

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  26. Should revelation be judged by reason? Absolutely, because the same God who is supposedly giving you revelation has already given you reason, with which you are to discern truth.

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    1. H1
      I agree. Reason also needs to be used to discern which revelations are true; believing anyone who claims divine revelation will lead to following many silly leaders.

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  27. I don't believe that at 21 we have the right to decide that we do not want to live under the "contract that inaugurated the United States". At least if you wish to continue living within its borders. Even if you make a personal decision to not abide by that contract, if your disobedience results I too much deviance that becomes a noticeable problem, society will find ways to make you abide, whether by force of law or completely ostracizing you.

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    1. I agree. The government represents the will of the people, and is designed to protect and serve those who enter into the contract with it. Barring a total revolution by the people as a whole, if an individual decides they don't like the laws of the land but continues to reap its benefits, then they must be willing to accept the consequences if caught.

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  28. "Do we have to believe ourselves 'God's property' in order to acknowledge that we ought not to harm one another?"

    Well, no, but it sure does help. Anyone from any belief system (including atheism) may find a reason for the fair treatment of others, but I think considering yourself and all others God's property is one of the easiest and obvious methods.

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    1. (H3) Religion or not you should still just not desire to harm others. If the goal was to harm others then our world would be chaos.

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  29. DQ: Locke's holds the view that God gave all of the land to mankind as a whole. He determines that once an individual has added their own labor to that land and betters it, it should become his property to yield the benefit of his work. Is this a good way to distinguish individual property from that which God gave to mankind? And is it still relevant to our labor force today?

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    1. I find it interesting that Locke seemed to think the idea of property was universally acknowledged, even though Native Americans had no concept of it. To answer your question, I think this principle is still alive today. For instance, if I work in a shoe factory, I am getting paid for my labor in dollars. Theoretically, I think I would have the right to keep the shoes, but I obviously wouldn't actually want them all. Therefore, with my consent, the distributor gets the shoes I make and gives me money in return. This, by extension, makes the fruits of my labor my property, which I then exchange.

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    2. (H3) I believe land was originally for us all to share, only due to money did purchasing land individually become an issue.

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    3. With modern government and society, it's not even possible to share all land. I know Native Americans respected nature and did not believe one man possessed it, but that's because that is what they each believed. Like you say, with money, we aim for productivity. Thus, have properties

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  30. No, we do not have to believe we are Gods property in order to acknowledge that we ought not harm each other. That has nothing to do with God. It has everything to do with hurting another person, with extinguishing a life. Doing those things come with emotion and those emotions tend to be negative. As humans, we strive for positive emotions and turn away from the negative naturally, so we ought not hurt others.

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  31. In an ideal world, I think at the age of 21 it would be right to allow one to decline to live under their government's contract, and be given transport to the government of their choosing. Isn't part of freedom, the freedom to remove one's self from any given authority?

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    1. Not even the age of 21. It should be closer to 18. If we are recognized as adults by the government when we turn 18, we should have that right to choose for ourselves because we are free beings.

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    2. (H3) I agree that our freedoms should include being able to remove ourselves from being subjective to an authority if desired.

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  32. On the terms of perception, we can't see the gases of the atmosphere, but we know we are breathing the oxygen out of it or we would all be dead. Someone who is blind can't see the world around him, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. With respect to that, there could be an entire concept of the world around us that we may not be able to perceive, because humans to not have an organ to detect it. That doesn't mean its not, there it just means we can't understand it all yet.

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  33. With technology around today, it is easy to know if a tree exists if noone is there. We can just catch it on camera or video when noone is around or even looking at it in that point in time. The tree will still be on the picture or video even though noone was looking at it. Therefore, it exists even when noone is around.

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    1. Ah but what if the camera simply takes the place of a perceiver, and an unfilmed tree ceases to exist?

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    2. In fact, the whole argument is unfalsifiable. I, like you, do not agree with it, but it is completely impossible to scientifically disprove. Science requires perception.

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    3. (H3) But does that mean the tree wouldn't have existed before technology?

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    4. Technology today even helps us to discover what we do not perceive even though it exists.

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  34. Revelation should be judged by reason in my mind simply because if it has no reason, then it should not be.

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    1. That could depend on ones ideas about reason though. What seems reasonable to one culture, may be absurd to another.

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  35. (H3) I would agree with Berkely on Locke's distinction.

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  36. (H3) Revelation should be judged by reason because it needs to have reasoning.

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  37. I'm posting my weekly essay here:
    The Wednesday chapter of The Philosophy of Walking, "Gravity", really put into words why you can suddenly, just for a moment, forget we aren't one with nature. How when we have a relaxing walk, we almost forget we are walking and let our mind go blank. Sometimes when I am walking with friends on a sunny day and we suddenly stop I find myself just wanting to keep walking. My mind is still at ease but my legs continue moving. On page 186, Gros says,
    "When you walk, on the other hand, stopping is like a natural completion: you stop to welcome anew perspective, to breathe in the landscape. And when you start off again, there isn't a break. It's more like a continuity between walking and rest, not a matter of transgressing gravity, but completing it."
    On such a nice day you feel almost weightless, like you could just keep walking forever. It's easy to forget our finite-ness until our body catches up with us and suddenly we are red faced and out of breath, heart racing. Walking is an invitation to die standing up, and can sometimes feel like a fight to the death with gravity.. The outcome of fighting with gravity can either be a joyous activity or a ruined trip between classes on campus.

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  38. Do we have to believe ourselves "God's property" in order to acknowledge that we ought not to harm one another?
    H1
    Religion does not dictate if a person has morals or the common sense to realize that harming others is wrong. A person is a living being, no matter if you believe them to be "God's property" or not. Non religious individuals can still acknowledge that we shouldn't harm others.

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  39. I personally would not be happy living in a "state of nature" because I know our enhanced intelligence makes us capable of so much more. Clearly I'm not the only one, either; the majority of human beings must have the tendency to organize their separate populations into civilized societies over time, else we would not live in an era of globalization now. Even if some cataclysmic event shatters our nations and sends us back to a pre-civilized society, we will always have the constant urge to reorganize ourselves into a communal force in order to cooperate and make life easier for everyone.

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  40. H2) Would you have been happy to live in a state of nature? 624

    I don't think I would be happy living in a state of nature all the time. Could handle it in moderation though.

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  41. (H2)

    Locke's State of Nature denotes the hypothetical conditions of what the lives of people might have been like before societies came into existence. Do I agree we should live in that state? Maybe. I would at least like to try it in a simulation chamber (like the Xmen's combat simulator room). We are, in reality, born of anarchy and into anarchy, so this State of Nature does seem like it's our gift from The Creator/Accident.

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  42. What is a real thing? Are things confined to the world of matter or does it include the realm of ideas. Just because I can not to touch an idea does it disqualify it from "matter"? We are not able to define the sun as matter but merely the idea of matter because we are not able to touch it? Matter we are able to touch and impose a will on it, but can we do this to the sun?

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