ThomasS, some people believe only their god exists. Some people try out many gods, seeing which fits. I claim, and a few others claim, god does not exist. We get called on our certainty ... but why go only part way. Human beings create god to explain existence to an uninformed population. We grow through different phases, thinking god was a woman, god was a man, god was an animal, or plant, or mountain; you name it there is a god for it.
Looking around me, listening to lots of people, paying attention to why they think the way they do, I am convinced god does not exist. God is a construct. period.
Tom Sarbeck, you wrote, "C'mon, folk, we don't have to be sociopaths to state the problem truthfully.
"In place of "If a "god" did this for any reason, he/she/it is a sick sonofabitch...", let's say what we know to be true: "A hungry vulture and an abandoned human infant are not equal adversaries."
"The words used by people who remedy problems differ markedly from the words used by people who demand remedies"
Speaking for myself only, there is so much rage in the face of so much silence, I use whatever tools available to me. Now that I am a sick little old lady, words release my anger, even as I know these words do not do the job. OK, I confess, you and Loren are correct, words used to remedy problems are the words to use. Where are we to take our rage? Is there a safe place? Don't dare say to "stuff it" because it will not be stuffed. Just like a bottle of champaign with a vigorous shake, we have bubbles.
Let me think a minute. a corked bottle of champaign all shaken up, with my head as the cork; when do the bubbles stop coming out of the uncorked bottle?
When did silence solve problems? When does rage turn into an engine of power? When my language changes? OK, I'll give it a try.
Rage provides me the necessary energy. Thought tells me where to direct my energy.
Hardball politics, in which people who spoke up were fired and one man who spoke up was murdered, educated me.
Traumatic? Yes. Valuable? Yesyesyesyesyes!
Oh yes, I see what you mean! Sounds like there is a story behind your message. Care to share it?
For info on the murder, search wikipedia on "don bolles" and click on the reporter, not the drummer.
As one of the DA's said, it wasn't a mafia thing. The mafia leaves little or no evidence.
Jonathan, I don't tell myself "I cannot ...."
I might say "I don't want to ... at this time", or "I do not now have the energy / the evidence / etc for ...." etc.
I do not tell myself I cannot.
I say "I cannot..." because in fact I believe it is epistemically impossible to calculate the utility of any action a priori -- I mean even if you have a quantum computer that somehow knows every relevant factor to instantaneously compute utility in some deterministic manner, the question remains in "what vision of the future would be considered ideal?" And the answer to that question might be subjective at best, or at least it would be subject to the limitations of our intelligence, which cannot compare to some theoretical all-knowing "God".
There are certain things that we "cannot" do, especially things that involve defeating logic. For example, one cannot conceive of a triangle with more than 180 degrees; one cannot, quantum computer aside, know the future value of his actions before he commits them. It's just impossible as far as I'm concerned.
I can conceive of a triangle on a sphere's surface and it has more than 180 degrees.
Imagine it on the earth's surface with a part of the equator and two longitudinal lines to a pole. It would have more than 180 degrees and less 540 degrees.
A triangle exists on a 2-dimensional plane by definition so I'm not sure how you mean, but I don't wish to get into an argument about geometry.
No argument, Jonathan; that was Euclid's definition.
In the middle 1800's the mathematicians Riemann and Lobachevsky found Euclidean (plane) geometry on an ancient, imaginary, unbounded, 2-dimensional plane. Expanding Euclid's definition, they planted geometry on more interesting surfaces and created non-Euclidean geometry.
One result: spherical geometry and navigation on the earth's surface.
Another (maybe): navigation in space, where mass bends space non-spherically.
Jonathan, I'm sorry, I don't understand what you said.
"calculation of utility is a posteriori." What does it mean.
"most modern day philosophers reject Utilitarianism as a valid moral philosophy," Jees, I hate to reveal my stupidity, but I don't understand.
"Everything happens for a reason" a priori". Sorry ...
"no one knows the distant consequences for any action." You must think I am a blithering idiot, but I do think I could understand if you said this differently. I don't mean any disrespect to you; it is entirely my fault for being so uneducated.