Thursday, December 21, 2006

Reading Philosophy, as well as Podcasts and Audiobooks

My studies in Cognitive Science, Philosophy and Critical Thinking are more hobby than anything subject to academic testing. I often enjoy reading or listening to something and afterwards realize that I didn't retain that much, or that I cannot apply what I learned. I know I could improve that by taking notes and writing up articles on what I just processed, but that is a lot like work. I tell myself that just being able to follow the main line is a good thing for my developing brain. Building good pathways for future thoughts to ride. Sometimes it is just the pleasure of thinking great thoughts.

I think the Ghost of Christmas Present (in the musical Scrooge) summed it up best with the lyric: "And I like thinking the thoughts I'm thinking".

:-Dan

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Google Rules

Have a look at the Google Notebook Feature. All I have to do is select text and right-click and what I'm interested in is there and very easy to edit and update.

Have a look at: What Dan is Reading

Saturday, November 18, 2006

I have a lot of reading to do!

This looks like a great blog for me to look to while I'm catching up on my philosophical readings:

Stop That Crow! has become: Minds, Meaning and Morals

This is the goal after all:

"An attempt to totally ground and understand design, purpose and values in a completely naturalistic worldview."

:-Dan

Friday, November 10, 2006

A Cognitive Science Dialogue

I just heard a podcast with Dr. Wallace and I have heard/read many thing by Dr. Searle. I'm very excited about this debate, but I cannot stay up all night! More later....

A Cognitive Science Dialogue

This debate between Wallace and Searle will focus on a question at the foundation of Cognitive Science -- how can human consciousness be understood? The roots of contemporary scientific approaches to this question lie firmly in western philosophical traditions. The philosophical approach of attempting to understand human experience via pure reason is now accompanied by a wealth of empirical approaches in cognitive science aimed at understanding the various forces that shape human thought and perception. Observations of the brain in action are sometimes used to explore the underpinnings of subjective experience as well.

A central concern with understanding the human mind is also evident in Buddhism. Meditation has become quite popular in the west and is often used as a method of stress reduction. However, contemplative methods for training the mind were developed in Tibetan Buddhist traditions over many centuries as a strategy for understanding the nature of human experience. Insights derived in this way also involve an empirical approach, but one that is based on introspective experiences rather than objective measurements. Extensive training in meditation can lead to keen abilities to control and monitor one's attention, and ultimately, to expert observations of the human mind in action. This expertise can provide a novel perspective on human consciousness with important

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

What is your Special Purpose?

Reasoning Repaired: Richard Dawkins' Philosophical Ineptitude 3: Atheism As Self-Stultification

This guy does a lot of very good reasoning, but there is WAY too much arrogance and assumption. He ends a response to a comment with:
You also appear to be ignorant about just what atheists argue. I suggest you do a bit more homework. You'll soon find out that (like Dawkins) atheist believe there is no purpose PERIOD, or they reduce it to complex patterns of electrochemical signals crossing brain synapses... but that's saying the same thing, isn't it?
Atheists argue that you have to give your life purpose. This is a much more dynamic and positive argument than assuming some inaccessable authority gives your life meaning. Or worse, someone else's "revealed" truth that only they have access to is your "purpose". Sounds like a great way to bend people to do your bidding. Just tell them you know what their purpose is. Much easier than doing the work of figuring out your own purpose.

:-Dan

Got a reply. Man this guy is condecending
Holopupenko said...

Dan:
Sorry for not posting your comment earlier: I was in Tbilisi, Georgia this week checking on, among other things, how the Russians (a.k.a., thugs) were beating up the Georgians.
Anyway, you note, "If someone else is giving your life purpose there is [a] special word for that: Slavery." So, in other words, I am a "slave" to my wife and my children since they bring purpose to my life? Isn't love all about losing yourself to the other person because they are more important to you than you yourself? I think you need to rethink what you say a bit before providing superficial sound-bite responses to the post. Now, "multiply" by, well, inifinity, the love my wife has for me and the purpose in serving her I feel, and you might a get small insight into understanding that serving God is pure joy itself. Serving one's own purposes, i.e., being self-centered is probably a very good definition of hell... and is the reason why Lucifer actually fell when he quipped: "it is better to reign in hell than to serve in heaven." At the end of the day, it's your choice... which means it's your responsibility.

Friday, November 10, 2006 8:12:17 PM


I'm not sure if my postings are getting thru (I think Beta vs. Regular Blogging is still a little weird). Here is one version of what I said. I might have sent a shorter one, because I stopped reading his repy after the "bring" purpose bit. Reading on got me a bit more upset:
RE: Choosing your Purpose

I too have a Wife and Children, and I love them and I make it my purpose in life to look after them and discover what will make them happy.

There is a HUGE difference between a free choice and someone forcing a purpose onto your life. It is my choice as it is yours. You are choosing to make your purpose one of service to others. Your family cannot "bring" that purpose to your life.

Lots of people have families, and not all make their family their purpose. They have to accept that purpose. It is up to the individual alone to choose.

:-Dan

Maybe everyone who is good on their own without some invisible friend telling them what to do will be in this hell place too. Sounds like a really nice gathering.

Mysteries are Questions not Answers

"Mysteries are Questions not Answers" now available for bumper stickers!

I think everyone needs to be reminded that treating the mysterious things in life as questions produces more good in the world. Accepting mystery as an answer should be annoying, not comforting.

http://www.cafepress.com/maqna