Up@dawn 2.0

Friday, March 23, 2018

Quiz March 29

Spinoza, Locke, & Reid, LH 13-14; DE 3-4 ; FL 35-36

1. Spinoza's view, that God and nature (or the universe) are the same thing, is called _______.

2. If god is _____, there cannot be anything that is not god; if _____, god is indifferent to human beings.

3. Spinoza was a determinist, holding that _____ is an illusion. 

4. According to John Locke, all our knowledge comes from _____; hence, the mind of a newborn is a ______. 

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





Image result for spinoza quotes

DE 3-4
6. Who called Spinoza "the noblest and most lovable of the  great philosophers"?

7. If we "understood clearly the whole order of Nature," according to Spinoza, what would we conclude?

8. "...atheism now carries no stigma in economically developed countries except _____."

9. What did Thomas Jefferson exaggerate about John Locke?

10. How did Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding play a role in advancing the Enlightenment?

11. From where did Locke say the authority of a ruler derives?

12. What is one of the odd consequences of Locke's theory of personal identity?

FL 35-36
13. Who does Andersen say ought to be important fighters defending reason, but have instead become enablers of Fantasyland?

14. What political scientist defends the veracity of people who say they were abducted by space aliens?

15. What Texas charter school's textbooks teach Genesis as a scientific theory?

16. When did Thomas Jefferson say it was okay for people to believe whatever they want?


DQ:

  • COMMENT: "The greater our knowledge of natural phenomena, the more perfect is our knowledge of the essence of God." 91
  • COMMENT: "The word of God is faulty, mutilated, tampered with, and inconsistent" because it has been relayed to us via mere human beings." 92
  • Do you agree with Spinoza that it's a mistake "to suppose that God wants people to behave in one way rather than another, that He makes promises, or that He distributes gifts"? 93
  • Do you agree with Spinoza that "it would argue great imperfection in God if anything happened against His will"? 94
  • Do you agree with Spinoza on the purpose of the miraculous stories in the Bible? 97, 99
  • Is any aspect of nature deserving of worship? 104
  • What do you think of Spinoza's definition of "salvation"? 107
  • Was Einstein "probably just being diplomatic" when he said he believed in Spinoza's God? 111



  • Can we freely choose to renounce free will? Or freely choose to affirm it? Or seek new desires? (Schopenhauer: "We can do what we want, but not want what we want.")
  • Can a rationalist pantheist endorse delusional sources of happiness? Or cheer meaningfully for the home team? (See my dawn post...)
  • Was Einstein being disingenous or misleading, when he affirmed "Spinoza's God"?
  • Comment: "There isn't an inch of earth where God is not."

==


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 (and John 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.

51 comments:

  1. 8 4-4 AQQ
    1.Where do most religions teach that God exists?
    2.When was Spinoza born?
    3.When did he die?
    4.What was Spinoza unusual in thinking about God?
    5.What two words did Spinoza think meant the same thing?
    6.What is pantheism?
    7.What radical idea got Spinoza in trouble?
    8.Where was Spinoza born?
    9.Who was he the son of?
    10.Amsterdam was popular by people who were fleeing what?
    11.What religion was Spinoza brought up in?
    12.Who was Spinoza cursed by?
    13.When was he cursed by them?
    14.What age was he when he was cursed?
    15.Why was he cursed?
    16.Where did he settle after he left Amsterdam?
    17.What was he known as there?
    18.Many philosophers were impressed by what?
    19.What is the title of one of Spinozas books?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. #10 AQA 11/1

      1.) somewhere outside the world, perhaps in heaven
      2.) 1632
      3.) 1677
      4.) the world
      5.) God and nature
      6.) belief that God is everything
      7.) God is nature and nature is God
      8.) Amsterdam
      9.) Portuguese Jews
      10.) persecution
      11.) Jewish
      12.) rabbis in his synagogue
      13.) 1656
      14.) 24 years old
      15.) his views about God were unorthodox
      16.) The Hague
      17.) Benedict de Spinoza
      18.) geometry
      19.) "Ethics"

      Delete
    2. #10 AQA
      1. Somewhere outside the world, maybe in heaven
      2. 1632
      3. 1677
      4. The world
      5. God and nature
      6. Belief that God is everything
      7. God is nature and nature is God
      8. Amsterdam

      Delete
  2. 8 4-6 AQQ
    1.When was Kant born?
    2.When did Kant die?
    3.What did Kant believe we were all walking around?
    4.The filter is what?
    5.What does the filter determine?
    6.Where does everything we perceive take place?
    7.What dont we have direct access to?
    8.Kants own mine was very ordered and what?
    9.Did Kant ever marry?
    10.Kant imposed a strict what to each day?
    11.When did he have his servant wake him up?
    12.What was the first thing he would do when he woke up?
    13.What would he do after he drank tea?
    14.Kant wrote numerous books and what?
    15.Where would Kant lecture?
    16.What time would he go for a walk?
    17.How many times would he walk up and down his street?
    18.Where did Kant live?
    19.What is this town called now?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Discussion responses:
    1. Yes I agree, especially because I am not that religious. Thinking of picking a religion and changing my life to live the way I should depending on which one it is seems like a big ordeal.
    2. Honestly I have no idea, there are so many things that could/could not exist and I don't think it's just a 50/50.
    3. No. I think especially because we can't truly live in the moment and live our lives reflecting on what just happened.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:20 AM CDT

      3. As humans, people reflect on their memories. However, memories deteriorate overtime. And our stories get jumbled because people can't retrieve everything from memory. I think we all live in the moment, but we don't see how important that moment was until you're away from it.

      Delete
  4. Clayton Thomas (10)10:04 AM CDT

    4/4 - DQ's:
    1.Yes, I would agree that most nonreligious people would consider it a huge sacrifice to devote their lives to religion. Devoting your life to religion requires one to give up all that is sin in the eyes of God, which for a nonreligious person could be much of their life since they did not previously have a life devotion to God.

    2. The choice between God and no-god is a bit trickier than a 50-50 coin toss to decide. You would have to take into consideration the people who are still trying to seek God but aren't fully devoted yet, and we also have to consider those who believe in multiple gods. I do not think that it ever becomes prudent that one bets on God because if belief in God helps you be a better person then so be it, but if not then avoid that approach. However one wishes to go about life is solely up to them, and I don't think it is ever prudent that people go one way or another.

    3. You are free to do as you please, even if that means renouncing your own free will. However, by renouncing your free will you would have to have someone willing to use their free will to control every aspect of your life because you chose to renounce your free will to do things.

    6. Assuming one had the belief that there existed an all powerful God who created earth then this statement would have to be true because if there is no God to create such an earth then no such earth could exist. So without the existence of said god, there would be no possibility to even have an inch of earth there because god couldn't have been there to create it.

    ReplyDelete
  5. 10- D.Q.

    3.) we can choose to affirm free will solely based on the confirmation of the ability to act as we desire.

    5.) No, because God is of infinite and of everything due to his creation being the makeup of everything.

    6.) There isn't an inch of earth where God is not due to God being infinite and above all. Also, due to every inch of earth being a creation of God leads to result of God being of our surroundings.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:23 AM CDT

      3. Absolutely, my exact thinking.
      6. I also agree with this because God is essentially everywhere.

      Delete
    2. 3. agreed to a certain extent.
      5. definitely agree =!
      6. agreed. because as the bible reassures us, God is there and always there.

      Delete
  6. DQ's Section 10
    1. I agree because devoting your life to a religion is a big commitment. Changing your current lifestyle choices can be difficult, and adjusting certain beliefs is another challenge.
    2. I would not describe the choice as a coin toss. I would not even try to calculate the odds because it’s not about can you prove he exists. It is more of do you believe regardless of numbers and odds.
    3. Yes, we have the choice to renounce free will.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:14 AM CDT

      1. I absolutely agree with you. It is a huge lifestyle change and like anything else, it is something people fail to realize.

      Delete
  7. Section 10 Discussion Questions
    1. I agree that nonreligious people would find it to be a huge sacrifice. It would probably feel like a waste of time to them because they don't believe in what they're devoting their lives to.

    2. I think it's probably a little more than 50/50 there are so many variables and different things that you can choose to believe. It's different for everyone.

    3. I guess you could renounce your free will if you wanted to, you would just have to let someone else dictate your decisions.

    5. No not really, he created everything so he is a part of everything.

    6. I agree with this, he is everywhere and all-knowing. He created everything.

    7. I think your mind is definitely shaped by your experiences and the way you are raised, but I also think that your genetics are part of it as well.

    8. I can't pinpoint my earliest memory exactly. I think I am the same person, I just continue to have new experiences that shape who I am. Although I continue to change, that does't mean that I am a completely different person.

    9. I think some memories mean more to you and are more vivid to you because they effected you more. They had a more lasting effect on you so you're able to recall them more clearly.

    10. I think to be is to also perceive the world in your own way as well. Not only are you perceived, but you have to perceive the world yourself.

    11. I do value separation of church and state. I think religious tolerance is very important, everyone is entitled to believe the things they want to believe and practice the religion that they want to practice.

    12. No, I don't agree. I think there are tangible things in the Earth that you can touch, see, hear, and hold.

    ReplyDelete
  8. #6
    Essay Links:

    https://thisibelieve.org/essay/25524/
    When Angels Miss

    https://thisibelieve.org/essay/17089/
    Goodness Doesn’t Just Happen

    https://thisibelieve.org/essay/16319/
    No Dream Is Impossible

    https://thisibelieve.org/essay/102207/
    We Are All Gardeners

    ReplyDelete
  9. #10 QUiz q's LH 13-14 DE 3-4
    1. What was spinozas upbringing?
    2. Why did he get excomunicated?
    3. What did he think about god?
    4. Is god finite to spinoza?
    5. Is god loving for spinoza?
    6. What did spinoza publish post humesly?
    7. WHat did locke say about our memories?
    8. What did Bertrand russel think of spinoza?
    9. What did Thomas reid say about john lockes theory?
    10. WHat did spinoza say about nature?

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anonymous11:18 AM CDT

    1. I wouldn't say the word of God is faulty, but I will say that sometimes it is misinterpreted and it is the cause of a lot of pathetic issues we have in the world today.
    2. Free will is free will in my opinion. If you have the mindset of "I can do whatever I want," then by all means, free will, do what you want.
    3. I think God is essentially everywhere, but the Earth is made of these "real" things that we "see" and "touch" everyday. However, for all we know, that could all very well be God.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:37 PM CDT

      Anna Morgan
      #9

      1. I agree.
      The Bible is misinterpreted way too often.
      2. I think free will is kind of an impossible concept to fathom, because every situation is different. Every moment is different and while we may feel in control sometimes there are plenty of times we feel out of control.

      Delete
  11. #10 November 1, 2017

    DQ1: Obviously not, because I believe that God gave instructions to Moses and then became man in Jesus Christ and gave us more direct instructions and examples.

    DQ2: Of course not, because Spinoza's argument assumes God is a tyrant who will not permit freedom, which is contrary to God's promise to us. Since God loves us, He has given us free will.

    DQ3: No. The purpose of the Bible is to instruct us in those things necessary and useful for our salvation, and the miraculous interventions of Jesus Christ were performed for our benefit.

    DQ4: Nothing but God deserves worship, but His creation is worthy of admiration.

    DQ5: I think there's a reason Spinoza was a philosopher and not a theologian.

    DQ6: Probabilities are a mathematical argument that has no place here.

    DQ7: Free will can be surrendered, absolutely, but it is not a one time event. Every act contrary to free will reasserts the possibility of free will.

    DQ8: Of course; neither rationalism nor pantheism preclude pragmatism.

    DQ9: I'm not in Einstein's mind to know, but I suspect he was being less than honest.

    ReplyDelete
  12. #6

    1. This is true in the sense that Spinoza considered God and nature to be one, and obviously knowing more about nature gives you more information about nature. However, for most other religious standpoints, this connection isn't made.

    2. True; if there ever was an original work of scripture from some god, it would be utterly unrecognizable by now, as religion is mainly used to keep people in positions of authority, wealth, and control (like the pope).

    3. Yes; if God created humanity with free will, it stands to reason that he's ok with that. Likewise, he could've created us to be likewise entirely good, but since we're not, this implies that he's also fine with evil. Spinoza was correct: if there is a god, he's a pretty chill dude.

    4. Yes; if God is all powerful, nothing could ever go against his will. Otherwise, he must either not exist or not care.

    5. I suppose. Most religious people who don't apply literal interpretation make this claim as well. Though to me it seems like fans defending the horrible writing of someone on fanfiction.net.

    6. Nope; that would be like worshipping the concept of addition.

    7. I think it's a good adaptation to the Christian concept of salvation, but since Spinoza was virtually an atheist, I don't really see why he bothered to create the parallel.

    8. Probably not; people that understand the mechanics of the universe in depth are usually the ones who are less susceptible to religious indoctrination, and more likely to desire to reconcile their childhood beliefs with the reality of the world.

    9. We can't renounce free will, because we would've had to have willed it so (many grammar, such wow). We affirm free will innately, by having it to begin with.

    10. Yes, in the sense that he could simply think it's the best way to go for many others who aren't similarly rationalistic.

    11. I think he really meant it. There wouldn't have been much reason for him to lie about it.

    12. If God is infinite, this is true, but that first condition is the kicker.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:33 PM CDT

      Anna Morgan
      #9
      12. I agree. Questions regarding God are hard to answer if you don't believe in God, but I agree that it would make sense if like you said, God is infinite.

      Delete
  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anonymous12:32 PM CDT

    Anna Morgan
    #9
    Comment: "There isn't an inch of earth where God is not."

    If God is real, then I would agree with this statement. I like to think that "God" would be a benevolent supernatural being. If there is God I do not believe that there is "Satan." So therefore I would believe that God would be in total control and be everywhere. I feel like this comment may be making the point that there is something good in every situation, and if people have enough faith and hope they can find light in the darkest of places.

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  15. #10- alternate quiz questions:

    1. What did Spinoza sat the worst way to exist was?
    2. ______ happenings cause your anger.
    3. Name two people who admired Spinoza after death.
    4. For Spinoza in his philosophy, what were the most important qualities traditionally attributed to God?
    5. Spinoza may have been considered to carry on who's work?
    6. Whom did Locke write letters to?
    7. Damaris and Locke gardened and discussed _______.

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  16. DQs #10
    COMMENT: “The greater our knowledge of natural phenomena, the more perfect is our knowledge of the essence of God.”
    I would agree with this statement because if a God created the world, then understanding how it works would essentially be understanding how God works.

    COMMENT: “the Word of God is faulty, mutilated, tampered with, and inconsistent” because it has been relayed to us via mere human beings.
    I would agree with this statement because even in general messages are changed when passed from one person to another, so if it was a message from a God To a person I fell as though it would probably be easy to change or tamper with.

    Do you agree with Spinoza that “It would argue great imperfection in God if anything happened against his will?”
    I agree with this statement because if he was perfectly powerful nothing would be able to occur against his will, so if something were to occur against his will then it would prove an imperfection in him.

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  17. #10
    Do you agree with Spinoza that its a mistake "to suppose that God wants people to behave in one way rather than another, that He makes promises, or that He distributes gifts"?
    -No, I dont think that it is a mistake
    Is any aspect of nature deserving of worship?
    -The only thing in this world that is deserving of worship is the Lord.
    Can we freely choose to remove free will? or freely choose to affirm it? or seek new desires?
    -Free will is exactly how it sounds its your choice to either take it or leave it.

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  18. #10
    DQ
    1. I guess it could hold true for people who believe in God because for them nature is a creation of god. Just like every artist has his/her style, if god created the world then there must be traces of him and his nature in it that his followers can look at and feel to understand him better.
    2. I would say that i agree that if there was or is an original work of God it is probably tampered with because people choose to believe and follow in things that feel comfortable and agreeable to them. They probably also changed to inspire/affect certain situations or people throughout history.
    3.I dont know if God would really sit and decide what he wants people to do or not do. I dont think he would care about interfering in the world and probably just let it flow.
    4. Again, i dont think he would care. if he is powerful enough and willing he could prevent all bad things from happening but clearly that is not the case. I am sure that murder and sins are against god's will but i dont always see people paying for what they do.
    5. i think stories in the bible are just meant to affect the behavior of people and the definition of whats good and bad in the world.
    6. I dont think nature deserves to be worshiped but i do think it deserves respect.
    8. i think he meant it.
    9. we can choose to renounce free will but to an extent. if people start saying and doing whatever came to their mind and there was no control i cant imagine what will happen to the world.
    10. For people who consider god to be everywhere have all the more reason to enjoy every source of happiness they can find.
    11. i dont think he was being either. i think he was being frank and standing by his belief, ie. being the unique person that he was.
    12. i take this statement a little less literally. My religion or what i believe in, is being a good person, respect others and try to understand why they are how they are. i believe in being kind to others. my god is a better and a perfect version of me which i seek to become. so in short i see my 'god' everywhere.

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  19. #10 DQA
    1. “The greater our knowledge of natural phenomena, the more perfect is our knowledge of the essence of God.”91
    2. “The word of God is faulty, mutilated, tampered with, and inconsistent” because it has been relayed to us via mere human beings.”92
    3. No, I feel like those ideals are sprouted to make people commit no evil. Although, it has probably led to more evil than expected in the past.
    4. No, because it all comes down to the individual, how great their faith is, and how well they follow gods commandments.
    5. It depends on whether or not you cherish and appreciate your life. If so, then yes. It’s thanks to nature that we have air to breath, water to drink, and food to eat. Without nature we wouldn’t be able to survive.
    6. What purpose would he have to be diplomatic about his faith? I feel as if he truly did believe in Spinoza’s God.

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  20. #9
    1)Do you agree with Spinoza that "it would argue great imperfection in God if anything happened against His will"?
    Of course I would, God is supposed to be the almighty being that has all the power. In a way I can understand that some things he'd wish to be different, however, he does allow free will. So saying something went against his will kind of confuses me because in the Bible it says he gives everyone free will to do anything they wish. Which is usually the argument to when people ask, "if god is real why do bad things happen?".

    2)Is any aspect of nature deserving of worship?
    Well personally I believe God created nature thus meaning if anyone deserves worship it's him. I don't think nature itself deserves particularly worship but respect and thankfulness.

    3)What do you think of Spinoza's definition of "salvation"?
    I don't agree with it, partially because we are from different kinds of faiths. I believe accepting God into your heart fully and being baptized is true salvation. I don't think anyone has a duty to expand their knowledge of nature, world laws, or God. It becomes tiresome devoting your whole life to solely learning constantly. I suppose in a way we learn every moment, but he was wildly obsessed.

    4) The Pedagogical, sociological, cosmological, and mystical functions were Campbell's basic parts of the brain. '

    5) 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?

    My earliest memory is living in motel to motel when I was like 4 because I only wanted to eat cheesecake jello things. We don't know how we were beforehand, but others around us can recall memories of us and tell us how we might have been. I think people with that disease lives each day as if it were new, and recalling old memories isn't difficult. It becomes scary when you can't remember you had a child or your husband is dead. I think if you lose every memory and are able to make fresh new ones you can remember then I do think in some way it's the end of your old self. You have to relearn everything from simple tasks, morals, and common knowledge. It would be difficult to be the same person because you were who you were because of old memories.

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

    Well I am aware it's Esse Est Percipi. To be is to be judged. I feel like everyone judges each other and the original word perceived is how people should go about it. When you meet someone your'e only perceiving how they are because you don't know them fully enough to adequately judge.

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  21. DQS: 11/2/2017
    1. I don't think natural phenomena can be explained as an essence of god. It can bring hope to believe in a god.
    2. I think this is true. Its like playing the phone game. You start a message at one in of a line of people and everyone whispers that message down the line by the time the message gets to the end of the line its always different then the original message.
    3. Yes, in a way. It brings mixed messages to people. People interpret things differently and saying one person can do and give things is false hope.
    4. Yes
    6. I think yes, But how does one define worship. I think we should be appreciative of nature and be kind to it and spend time with it. Praise it maybe not.
    7. I thinks is a good definition.
    8. I don't think so.
    9. Renounce our free will.... Umm I don't think so.
    10.Yes.
    11. I think he meant it
    12. God is said to be all, see all, and know all. I think that would be a yes.

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  22. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/mind-identity/

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  23. #6 Discussion Questions:
    1. I almost think it's the opposite. I feel like the greater our knowledge of natural phenomena, the greater our knowledge of science, not God.
    2. I think this is probably true to a degree. We only have the Bible because of humans keeping record of things that supposedly happened, as is the only reason we really have any writings from that long ago. However, what is written in the Bible is probably very close to what people think actually happened though.
    3. Not really. Even if I/others may not agree, I don't think it's wrong for people to have something they believe in as far as gifts and promises go.
    4. Of course. Part of His whole thing is that everything happens because it's His will and part of His plan or whatever, so I think if things happened against His will it would definitely make him seem imperfect.
    6. Sure. To each their own. If you want to worship a part of nature, go for it. In addition, people define worship in different ways, and I think everyone would pick a different part of nature to worship.
    9. I don't think so?
    12. Eh. Don't know about that. I think if God is real, or at least you believe he is, then sure. I like to think that there is something watching over us everywhere all the time, even if it's just the universe.

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  24. Hayley Gray11:15 AM CDT

    #6 DQ and AQQ
    DQ:
    2. No, because God allows us to do as we please and provide forgiveness to those who make unholy decisions. God knows we will sin but that shows nothing about his character, but rather how imperfect we are.
    4. No, nature can be beautiful and deserving of admiration, but not worship.
    AQQ:
    1. Who was the Spanish-born doctor who was excommunicated in the same week as Spinoza?
    2. Spinoza's ________ and _____________________ were legendary.
    3. What did Spinoza do at the age of sixteen that disappointed his community?
    4. What city was evidence of the benefits of tolerance and diversity?
    5. What was the only book Spinoza published under his own name?
    6. Spinoza's account of the revelation between mind and matter is aptly known as what?
    7. How old was Locke when he published his main works?
    8. Locke was a pillar of orthodoxy when compared to who?

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  25. DQ #6
    COMMENT: "The greater our knowledge of natural phenomena, the more perfect is our knowledge of the essence of God." 91

    COMMENT: "The word of God is faulty, mutilated, tampered with, and inconsistent" because it has been relayed to us via mere human beings." 92

    Do you agree with Spinoza that it's a mistake "to suppose that God wants people to behave in one way rather than another, that He makes promises, or that He distributes gifts"?
    God wants people to act ina godly manner. He makes promises, and he gives gifts (blessings)

    Is there any aspect of nature deserving of worship ?
    No only god deserves worship


    Comment: "There isn't an inch of earth where God is not."

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  26. Is there any aspect of nature deserving of worship?

    Yes of course. It would be silly to say that there isn’t when God made the Earth I’m sure he would want you to not only worship him but the Earth he put you on.

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  27. #6
    Essay Links:

    https://thisibelieve.org/essay/26243/
    I Help Make Government Work

    https://thisibelieve.org/essay/25007/
    Custodians of the Constitution

    https://thisibelieve.org/essay/89281/
    Ant Economics

    ReplyDelete
  28. #8
    -How do you know you're awake and not dreaming? Is it meaningful to say "life is but a dream"? (And again: "Inception" - ?!)

    Honestly, that’s a good question. A lot of times when we’re dreaming, we don’t know we’re dreaming, so what if we’re dreaming right now? And I think by "life is but a dream,” it’s not to be taken literally but to say that we choose to do with our life whatever we want.

    -Are you essentially identical with or distinct from your body (which includes your brain)? If distinct, who/what/where are you? How do you know? Can you prove it? OR, Do you believe in immaterial spirits? Can you explain how it is possible for your (or anyone's) material senses to perceive them?

    I would say I’m distinct from my body. When I think of me, I think of my spirit. Everything else is not mine, but were given to me by God.

    -At what age do you hope to retire? What will you do with yourself then? Will you plan to spend more time thinking?

    I think I want to retire at 60. I’ll probably spend that time getting lit because what’s better than an old lady having fun?

    -Have you had a near-death experience, or known someone who did? What did it teach you/them? How often does the thought occur to you that you're always one misstep (or fall, or driving mistake) away from death?

    My cousin almost died in a motorcycle accident and it was quite scary. It taught him to for sure not take a single moment for granted, because in a split second, it can all be taken away. I think about that all the time.

    -What have you learned, so far, about "how to live"? Have you formulated any life-lessons based on personal experience, inscribed any slogans, written down any "rules"?

    I think that I have learned that taking chances can be beneficial and to not worry about the opinions of others.

    -Is there anything you know or believe that you could not possibly be mistaken about, or cannot reasonably doubt? If so, what? How do you know it? If not, is that a problem for you?

    I can honestly say I don’t doubt the existence of God. I have seen way too many miracles and experienced so many blessings to go against my literal gut feeling that God does exist.

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  29. I COMMENT: "The greater our knowledge of natural phenomena, the more perfect is our knowledge of the essence of God." 91

    Personally I find this comment to be remarkably truthful. The more we delve into scientific study the more we gain in knowledge of creation, and of the creator. Science without religion is lame, Religion without science is blind.

    II COMMENT: "The word of God is faulty, mutilated, tampered with, and inconsistent" because it has been relayed to us via mere human beings." 92

    Now this one is different, The church is run by human beings, but the Bible that exists today has been interpreted different ways but is the same text, not regarding paraphrased versions.

    III Do you agree with Spinoza that it's a mistake "to suppose that God wants people to behave in one way rather than another, that He makes promises, or that He distributes gifts"? 93
    To an extent, God DOES want people to behave in one way rather than another, He does make a promise of eternal life to those that give up theirs for him. But on the ‘prosperity gospel’s’ distribution of blessings and gifts thing, I’m right with him. He wants to bless us yes, but appropriately if you are a disciple, you have to be willing to give up EVERYTHING for your beliefs.


    IV Do you agree with Spinoza that "it would argue great imperfection in God if anything happened against His will"? 94

    Ultimately his will will be done so, yes.

    V Do you agree with Spinoza on the purpose of the miraculous stories in the Bible? 97, 99

    Not exactly, I find them to be literal, always spiritually involved.

    VI Is any aspect of nature deserving of worship? 104

    No, only admiration. Not worship that’s heresy

    VII What do you think of Spinoza's definition of "salvation"? 107

    There is only one definition of salvation and it is the one laid out in John 3:16

    VIII Was Einstein "probably just being diplomatic" when he said he believed in Spinoza's God? 111

    No I quoted Einstein above, he was a religious man.

    IX Can we freely choose to renounce free will? Or freely choose to affirm it? Or seek new desires? (Schopenhauer: "We can do what we want, but not want what we want.")

    Either or, shouldn’t that validate free will itself?

    X Can a rationalist pantheist endorse delusional sources of happiness? Or cheer meaningfully for the home team? (See my dawn post...)


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  30. Find it difficult but indeed they can, ultimately they’re human confusing themselves by their own cloudy philosophy blinding them by their own ego and ignorance.

    XI Was Einstein being disingenous or misleading, when he affirmed "Spinoza's God"?

    No, just like the above comment, he was a religious dude.

    XII Comment: "There isn't an inch of earth where God is not.”

    This is true, he is omniscient.

    XIII What's your earliest stored memory?

    Lord IDK, I have a lot. I can’t even remember yesterday.

    XIV How do you know you're the same person you were before your first recorded memory?
    Because I’m me and I’ve been me for a while.


    XV Would this be an especially frightening question if you had Alzheimer's?

    Uh, yeah, cause you’re confused and you’re brain is deteriorating.

    XVI If you ever experience significant or total memory loss, will that be the end of you?

    yes, I would probably succumb to passing.

    XVII How do you know you're awake and not dreaming? Is it meaningful to say "life is but a dream”?

    Intriguing, but because I feel. In dreams you feel awake but it is distinguishably different. You can be trained to realize it. And in a way I guess it is cause one day you’ll go to sleep and wake up in eternity.

    XVIIIAt what age do you hope to retire? What will you do with yourself then? Will you plan to spend more time thinking? 

    Soon, i’m tired. And I will probably put a lot more time in personal projects, furthering gospel, etc.

    XIX What have you learned, so far, about "how to live"? Have you formulated any life-lessons based on personal experience, inscribed any slogans, written down any “rules"?

    Peacefully, as a listener. Only what is written in the Good Book.

    XX Do you agree that, contrary to Pascal, most nonreligious people would consider it a huge sacrifice to devote their lives to religion? Why?

    I think they would consider it a huge sacrifice. They have their own agendas contrary to God’s will. They’re lukewarm.

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  31. Are you essentially identical with or distinct from your body (which includes your brain)? If distinct, who/what/where are you? How do you know? Can you prove it? OR, Do you believe in immaterial spirits? Can you explain how it is possible for your (or anyone's) material senses to perceive them?
    - I believe I am merely neurons firing and flesh and blood. My "soul" is simply part of that.

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  32. 1) Although I do love and respect nature, I don't believe any of it is worth worshipping.
    2) I don't think he was just being diplomatic. I don't see why he would agree with something if he doesn't believe in it.
    3) I don't think he was being disingenous or misleading.
    4) For those that believe in a God, I think that "There isn't an inch of earth where God is not" is a good phrase to live by. It's simple and reassuring.

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    Replies
    1. 1) I second that! Nature definitely has its imperfections, and will continue to do so. Whereas God does not.
      2) I don't know about this one though, there's quite a bit of stuff preaching peacefulness that I agree with, but do not believe in fundamentally.
      3)Not purposefully
      4)Absolutely, and I'm in the same vein with you on this question. Something that I struggle and find difficult is the concept that Satan came from God, yet is lack of God, there fore where Satan is so prevalent can God be there also? The easy answer is yes, but granted it's something to think about and struggle with:)

      Delete
  33. #8
    •Do you agree with Spinoza that it's a mistake "to suppose that God wants people to behave in one way rather than another, that He makes promises, or that He distributes gifts"? 93

    God gave us free will to act and do as we please, but He loves us regardless and that’s why He gives us so many chances to repent and return to him.

    •Do you agree with Spinoza that "it would argue great imperfection in God if anything happened against His will"? 94

    Nothing goes against God’s will in my opinion. We are given free will to do what we want, however God still has His own will of a plan for us and we make our own choices on how to get there.

    •Is any aspect of nature deserving of worship?

    I don’t think that nature deserves worship, but that God, who made every aspect of nature, deserves worship.

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  34. When was the last time you went to the store, found an article of clothing, a collectible item, packaging, or virtually any other item and looked at the ‘made in’ label? Chances are it was a long time ago. We don’t normally think about where things are made anymore. There is also a big chance that whatever item it was, was manufactured in China. So why do we, as Americans, who are so proud of what we can make/do use another country as our primary source of product? It is simple, they're cheap:
    “The average hourly compensation for a Chinese manufacturing employee is a dollar and seventy four cents.” (Statistic Brain)
    Comparatively the Minimum wage in the United States is capped at $7.25 an hour. Of course as a capitalist nation we would utilize another nations cheap labor to produce most of our goods. After all the United States’ economy is based off of profitability it is only cohesive that our government runs along the same vein.
    This reliability presents a difficult situation. China has the United States by the balls, figuratively. Examining the fact that China does most of the World’s production in general they have a massive grip on much of the world’s manufacturing needs. China could economically strangle us right? Not quite, they could make a dent though. President Donald Trump made it a campaign promise that he would do is best to create more jobs and to stop relying on other nations, much like post-revolutionary war America. Pres. Trump is soon to follow through on those promises.
    According to The New York Times, “Today, he plans to announce tariffs on at least 50 billion of annual Chines imports and to impose other penalties in response to the theft of technology and trade secrets. Previously announced tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, which will also affect china go into effect on Friday.”
    So ultimately what are we looking at? A depreciating economy? A detrimental economic suicide? Or a strengthening reliability tactic? Will the people of the United States respond accordingly and fill the economic hole left by the decision? Or will we crumble under the promise of specialization. There has been a need for self reliant American production for a long time. We get a myriad things from other places, and likewise. Will this decision to place tariffs on Chines imports be beneficial? Time will tell, we are in an economic upturn and ultimately things are looking up.

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  35. #3
    Questions for all
    1. Should state and religion be separate? why?
    2. Is the Ten Commandments as a historical document, religiously oppressive? Why or why not?
    3. "Religion without science is blind, science without religion is lame" - Albert Einstein. Should apologists use science to back up religious statements, biblical undertakings?
    4. Does science back up the Bible?
    5. the Bible begs for questioning, wants scrutiny. Does the traditional view of a six day creation fit with a) the Bible? b) science?
    6. Do you believe it is heinous to turn a national tragedy into an almost instantaneous political movement, undermining the recent losses and disrespecting the families who mourn over the deceased?
    7. Regardless of whether or not you are an advocate for gun rights or not, the student walkouts seemingly come out of a place of immaturity. Would you have participated in the walkouts? Why?
    8. Public education forces those students who are ridiculously unmotivated and buffoonish to labor through standardized education courses. Is it a positive? Should things go back to specialization early on?
    9. Is the Universe itself God? Or is God above the universe? Why do you believe that?
    10. Guns have been a part of the fabric of America since the beginning. The country was built off of resistance from oppression through use of violence. Am I condoning it, no. But no one went into a School and shot up people. In reality it didn't hit the public eye until Columbine, so, what changed?

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  36. 11. If we don't take in multiple sources for our news, we cripple ourselves. Where do you go for current events?
    12. Could creation have started with a Big Bang?

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  37. #8
    Comment: "There isn't an inch of earth where God is not."

    - if there is, how come his presence extends only that far on our cosmic address? Why is there not an inch of mars where god is not?

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  38. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  39. #8
    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?

    - I would agree with Chomsky and Pinker that the Naval brain comes equipped with some sort of structure otherwise we wouldn’t have the capability of being so intelligent.

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  40. Jennifer Dowd10:05 PM CDT

    #11. I go to Fox News for current events dealing with the political side of things. They are interesting and funny to watch therefore i choose them over an other network. Ii also refer to Facebook and breaking news that pops up on my computer desktop. I believe it is important to keep where your news comes from as broad as you can get it. Some things aren't usually truthful at times so it is good to get 2 or more references.

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