Saturday, December 29, 2007

Be brave, bumblebee

As I am posting these, you are free to read through them all. I plan on using them as the basis for my next couple/few/many provocative discussions (you know, the ones about morality and sex and all the other stuff you're not supposed to talk about in "proper" conversation or when you want to avoid argumentation?).


•Is there a “castle of knowledge” that people ought to be taught in school or in work?

•Did laws of nature exist before we “discovered” them? Did we invent the laws of nature?

•The foundations of mathematics are unstable (base three, etc.).

•Have you ever actually seen gravity?

•Grammar is a human convention. It is a room in the “castle of knowledge.”

•Would you kill Hitler if you had the chance? Would it be murder in its most terrible sense?

•If you learned something, you could make the case that you learned everything or nothing, depending on your perspective.

•Does God have a perspective? Are all his judgments individual?

•Human “knowledge” is all narrative.

•Evolution cannot be proven true or false.

•Can we even grasp what eternity is? Or are we “children of our own time?”

•Do atoms exist? Are they constructs?

•Genesis is a narrative.

•European enlightenment = a time when superstitions were thrown out the window.

•You can be an atheist and still wish God existed.

•Insist on education, not training.

•Children will lie over and over again if they’re not told it’s wrong (an argument for a lack of common morality).

•"Use this word whenever you can: delusion, discombobulated, chagrined, ho ontos…”

Just as Christianity is a tale, so is Darwin’s theory.

•Each person sees the world through the lens of their personal experiences and interpretations.

•Just because we entertain ideas, doesn’t make them true.

•If you think you see what’s there, you’re deluding yourself.

•Religion may be all just a mass delusion.

•Modernists believe there is a Truth.

•Post-modernists believe a person’s lens alters reality.

•Something can be useful without being true (science, medicine).

•Beauty is personal. You can think the world is beautiful without believing in a beautiful creator.

•There is a difference between visualizing and observing.

•Realists believe theoretical entities like atoms exist.

•Feces in themselves don’t stink—it’s what your olfactory senses make of them.

•We can never replace appearance with reality.

•Structure and a “good” education do not always go hand in hand.

•Einstein was a PR genius (iconic personality, appearance).

•There is a difference between saying “I like it,” and “it’s good.”

•To ask for a clear theory is a nineteenth-century question.

•In Western thought, belief precedes praying (doing); in American Indian thought, doing precedes belief.

•The reason science and religion argue is because they are both looking for one Truth.

•Male and female are just constructs—there are just people-on a continuum.

•People are just variations on a theme.

•There are no real absolute personality distinctions between men and women.

•The Enlightenment: the replacement of authority with method.

•Things may exist, but it’s not obvious whether they really do or not.

•Does it matter?

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