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Posts posted by Memammal

  1. The main safety argument counting in favour of cars is of course that if you are strapped into the vehicle you are being restrained in a position that has been designed for maximum protection; so you are basically secured in a safety harness. The main safety argument against bikes is the very little structural protection it offers and the ease by which a driver will be flung loose at high speed with only a helmet to protect against the collision/fall.

  2. If the crucifixion was real, then Jesus would have been 80+ years old at that time. The historicity of the birth to the destruction of the temple is an impossible amount of time for Jesus to be about 30 at the time of the crucifixion.

    The Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans around 70 CE many years after the alleged crucifixion and after everything that reportedly transpired since then...according to the book of Acts. Why are you relating the crucifixion to the destruction of the Temple?

  3. I buy into what Willie71 & iNow (particularly his last sentence) posted and maybe we can simplify it even further...our genes interacting with our environments are the main drivers. It takes a special effort of serious and open-minded contemplation to rid oneself from the restrictive and/or secured mind set imposed by the before-mentioned (especially during your upbringing/formative years).

  4. We are, in general, the genetic result of a race between millions of sperm.

    We are already pretty nearly a random choice.

    Within comparatively narrow parameters though...comparatively narrow in the sense that each new born consists of a "random" mix of his/her ancestral genes...within the broad human genome. DrmDoc's original suggestion re a close (as possible) relative of one of the partners acting as a surrogate was possibly the best practice approach towards realising the OP's ambitions. You need a very understanding and open-minded surrogate though and it opens up the possibility of potential conflicts or interferences as the child grows up. I agree that adopting would therefore be a sensible alternative.

  5. Are you referring to Josephus writings re Jesus? He referred to Jesus, his crucifixion and the origin of Christianity, albeit with later interpolations being added, no?


    PS. I just noted that you referred to Tacitus as the other Roman source very early in the thread. So as per another post from page 1 of this thread, there seem to be 3 external references to Jesus, i.e. other than the gospels (both in and outside the Bible).


    Ten oz:

    Instead there is only one reference to Jesus in Roman texts and that reference, which isn't contemporary, is actually a description of who Christians were and not about Jesus directly.

  6. Ovid created the character we know as Jesus Christ as a metaphoric response to Augustus becoming emperor, TADA!



    ...he just states that it is more likely than not that the mythical tales of Jesus in the gospels were based on a man who probably really lived- a charismatic 1st-century Jewish rabbi who preached apocalyptic prophecies etc...

    More or less how I see it (as I stated before)...an Essene preacher preaching & living according to Essene beliefs, very much like John The Baptist.


    I would actually like to know whether or not the crucifixion actually happened. That is probably one of the most brutal climaxes in the entirety of the Bible, I'd like to know if a man really went through this kind of thing willingly and was really nailed up on a cross.

    Afaik there is no secondary (or objective) historical proof of this. It would seem that the various Jewish sects around that time (Pharisees, Sadducees, Zealots & Essenes) despised each other. There are numerous references in the gospels to Jesus' fall-outs with either of the other sects, also mentioning of him making an extensive detour in order to not travel through an area occupied by one of these sects. Both the Zealots (actively) & Essenes (passively) were seen as anti-Roman, while Pharisees & Sadducees might have been more moderate. According to the gospels he was first subjected to the Sanhedrin (a Jewish judicial body that would have consisted of pro-Roman factions at that time, i.e. possibly Pharisees & Sadducees) and then taken to Annas, the previous high priest, and Caiaphas, the high priest of the time. In order to get an understanding of all the socio-religious-political factors that could have influenced the alleged death penalty, I suggest reading up on Caiaphas here. While reading it, keep in mind that Jesus might have reacted as any staunch Essene rabbi would have. These parts are worth quoting:

    Caiaphas considers, with "the Chief Priests and Pharisees", what to do about Jesus, whose influence was spreading. They worry that if they "let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and destroy both our holy place and our nation." Caiaphas makes a political calculation, suggesting that it would be better for "one man" (Jesus) to die than for "the whole nation" to be destroyed.

    Caiaphas' legal position, therefore, was to establish that Jesus was guilty not only of blasphemy, but also of proclaiming himself the Messiah, which was understood as the return of the Davidic kingship. This would have been an act of sedition and prompted Roman execution.

  7. I am not sure exactly what are you implying Bill Angel..? That this kind of problem would only be relevant to children whose parents are atheists, or that it has become a problem because children are no longer active in religious-based (or atheists) youth groups, or what?

  8. We are experiencing a bit of a problem with our kids who spend way too much time in front of screens and interacting with electronic devices in stead of each other, friends, books, our dogs and other healthier options. It has now reached a point where our monthly data cap would often run out. We had various discussions with them re this topic, restricted their data use, tried to encourage other alternatives, but it remains an uphill battle. If it is not Minecraft on the PlayStation or laptop, it is YouTube video's on the cell phones, or the latest craze, Pokémon.


    While reading up on this modern-day problem, we came across this article It's 'digital heroin: How screens turn kids into psychotic junkies. I quote:

    Many parents intuitively understand that ubiquitous glowing screens are having a negative effect on kids. We see the aggressive temper tantrums when the devices are taken away and the wandering attention spans when children are not perpetually stimulated by their hyper-arousing devices. Worse, we see children who become bored, apathetic, uninteresting and uninterested when not plugged in.

    But it’s even worse than we think.

    We now know that those iPads, smartphones and Xboxes are a form of digital drug. Recent brain imaging research is showing that they affect the brain’s frontal cortex — which controls executive functioning, including impulse control — in exactly the same way that cocaine does. Technology is so hyper-arousing that it raises dopamine levels — the feel-good neurotransmitter most involved in the addiction dynamic — as much as sex...

    ...That’s right — your kid’s brain on Minecraft looks like a brain on drugs. No wonder we have a hard time peeling kids from their screens and find our little ones agitated when their screen time is interrupted. In addition, hundreds of clinical studies show that screens increase depression, anxiety and aggression and can even lead to psychotic-like features where the video gamer loses touch with reality.


    I recognise a few symptoms, especially the getting bored or agitated without their screens, so it is cause for concern. The article also provides some helpful, albeit basic tips as to how to commence with rehab. I would like to invite any comments re this phenomena. Is it really THAT bad, is it not also part of adapting to our modern environment and very important, how to restore (or rekindle interest in) a more balanced lifestyle?

  9. Rome being real or Christianity being real doesn't specifically make individual persons real.

    You misunderstood. That ^ was exactly what I implied, i.e. why is the mythical founder(s) really relevant...and your example of Huck Finn is very appropriate in the context of my opinion of the historical Jesus.


    Nurmerous gospels?...

    ...Using such source matrial alone to prove the existence of a individual person, even one that was merely an inspiration, simply can't be done.

    Again, read what I posted..."it is worth noting that there are numerous gospels referring to Jesus beyond the four canonical works". I was not

    trying to prove anything.


    Re: Romulus and Remus: are you suggesting they were real people, born of virgin, impregnated by the god Mars?

    Not at all, quite the opposite. I was trying to draw parallels between the myth(s) surrounding them...I was clearly not very successful in doing that...

  10. List of "heroes" that fit this pattern. Note all are fictional, but we debate whether Jesus was real.

    Yes, I have read about this before and it is indeed very interesting. I assume you meant "Not all are fictional"...as the above implies that they are all fictional..?


    Just as a side note - The question is akin to asking whether Romulus (whose name appears on that list of heroes) & Remus, who allegedly founded Rome after being abandoned by their she-wolf caretaker, had indeed existed? Rome (like Christianity) is indeed a reality... Secondly, it is worth noting that there are numerous gospels referring to Jesus beyond the four canonical works: List of Gospels. I have stated my opinion elsewhere already, which is that I consider Jesus of the Biblical narrative to refer to an Essene preacher of similar status than John The Baptist.

  11. I find this argument for an underlying non-local, stochastic, time symmetric quantum foundation very persuasive: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/8959/


    I realise that that probably doesn't mean too much to you, but the OP was specifically referring to our subjective intuitive reaction to various levels of determinism. A fully deterministic universe and random. non-causal one disturb me in about equal measure (as do anthropocentric and religious models). I feel the need for a golden mean. Ruth Kastner seems to be offering one. If she's got the maths wrong, I'm sure one of you good souls will enlighten me :)

    I will look into it. I agree (and it is understandable) that a fully deterministic universe does not sit well with most people. It just feels wrong, almost surreal. Keep in mind though that our ancestors had to undergo a series of serious reality checks when they realised that 1) our planet was not flat 2) that the Earth is in fact orbiting the sun and not the other way around, 3) that we are therefore not at the centre of our solar system, nor our galaxy, nor the universe, 4) life on Earth, including our own species, evolved from a common ancestor, 5) there was a Big Bang event billions of years ago...and other similar hair-raising moments.


    A small point but what do you mean by random?

    I borrowed that definition from Wikipedia and allow me to do so again:

    A random process is a sequence of random variables whose outcomes do not follow a deterministic pattern...

    ...randomness is a measure of uncertainty of an outcome​ (therefore no randomness will refer to a certain outcome).


  12. The eternalist model certainly has a certain mathematical neatness to it. However, your excision of my reference to evolutionary arms races is telling, as I've since discovered that that was raised by Popper in his discussion with Einstein as an example of the model's apparent absurdity. Maybe I've read something about this in the dim and distant past. It seems to remain an open and valid objection,

    I did not intend to ignore your reference and I thought that I dealt with it. The implications of the standard block universe are, simply put - the universe and all events, past, present and future have occurred and are immutable, i.e. the future has already happened. Popper, in his discussion with Einstein, referred to evolution (natural selection) which he regard as being irreconcilable with a (deterministic) block universe. Only, as I have already explained, that is not necessarily the case. Natural selection is genetic adaptation to changing environments, but it could very well be a deterministic "change" as both factors (so-called "causes") might have been "predetermined", i.e. the "effect" is a foregone conclusion and the randomness thereof, or chance, illusionary.


    Note that my reference to "deterministic" agrees with this definition: In mathematics and physics, a deterministic system is a system in which no randomness is involved in the development of future states of the system. A deterministic model will thus always produce the same output from a given starting condition or initial state. This, in essence, describes the standard block universe.


    Your example entailed exploiting the future, which is a non-event in the standard block universe as the future has already taken place. Any perceived paradox is therefore flawed and illusionary. For example, you may think you are exploiting or changing the future but anything that you do, or attempt to do, has in fact already happened.


    You raised some very interesting points in your post that deserve further discussion. Some of them appear to be somewhat similar to same Popper's arguments for indeterminism in a block universe (or open-end, or growing block universe). I acknowledge that there are many philosophical alternatives. Even determinism has quite a few varieties of the theme, some with far reaching implications, and may therefore justify an entire discussion on its own.


    PS. Just so that we are all on the same page - my interpretation of the (standard) block universe implies determinism as per the definition given above (in my second paragraph, i.e. the outcome is inevitable) as well as eternalism.

  13. A couple of loose ends:


    To me the block universe is based on a wrong concept of how time behaves.

    In the block universe, all events are "existing" in the past, the present, the future.

    IOW all spacetime coordinates are occupied by events "once for all".

    IMHO it is not correct.


    For example, in your example with the "external agent", what could prevent the "External Agent" to make a change in the past? He could if he wanted, there is no "physical law" that could prevent him to do that.

    What I believe (I cannot prove it, so far) is that the spacetime coordinates are not occupied by events "once for all".

    I believe that things translate from coordinate to coordinate and create events. IOW that if the "External Agent" wanted to change something that happened to the Earth on the 25th of August 2016, he simply couldn't, because the Earth is not there anymore.

    There are no 2 Earths, one in the present and one in the past. There is only one single Earth changing coordinates in spacetime.

    The block universe proposes many now's...or a moving now...opposed to a universal now. It refers to an embedded, immutable sequence of events at different coordinates (refer to studiot's comments re no causal relationships in a block universe). As such the model "precludes" a scenario where an external agent changes anything in the past...or (hypothetically speaking) even if it changes something it won't have any repercussions. This kind of thing simply cannot occur in a block universe because the universe has already taken its course (which is why I argued that a block universe and an external tinkerer are mutually exclusive). And if you (or the external agent) manage to relocate yourself to a different coordinate as in the example above, you will simply observe a different now...complete with the Earth in place...which does not imply two Earths, only two "now's".


    sethoflagos wrote:


    If absolute determinism were possible, I'm not sure we can avoid the agent.

    It would give us the potential power to predict the future; and the power to predict all possible alternative futures that could be realised by tinkering with the initial boundary conditions (our present); and hence, the power to change the future, perhaps to our benefit through some minimum calculated action in the present.

    It becomes the time reversal of the https://en.wikipedia...dfather_paradox.

    In, short, we become the agent.

    But here's the counter paradox.

    If we could exploit absolute determinism to change the future in this way, then there can be no absolute determinism, Different parties would engage in a frantic evolutionary technological arms race to gain some measure of control over their destiny. In short, each successive absolute deterministic path is annihilated by destructive interference in proportion to the evolutionary development of predictive power.

    Even if we can predict the future, we cannot change it. Refer to my comments above. We cannot change course. Also...by implication there is no grandfather paradox within the block universe.

    I think we are both now agreed that the block universe has its merits, but also its shortcomings.

    Yes, although I am not sure if I agree that these are shortcomings per se. The application of the model basically closes the window on all sorts of strange possibilities...like the grandfather paradox.

    Another one to consider is granularity.

    Relativity is a theory of continuum mechanics and continuous functions thereon.

    Quantum mechanics is the mechanics of a granular universe.

    It is not certain whether space and/or time are granular at some level.

    I need to consider the implications hereof.


    Lastly, here is the full extract from my previous post that I kept on referring to throughout this thread that would hopefully provide some sort of oversight of the block universe:

    I appreciate the fact that the block universe concept, at face value, seems to contradict our existing paradigm of time. With the block universe the present is an objective property, to be compared with a moving spotlight. By the passage of time more of the world comes into being; therefore, the block universe is said to be growing. The growth of the block is supposed to happen in the present, a very thin slice of spacetime, more of spacetime is continually coming into being [Source]. Perhaps core to the understanding of the block universe is eternalism, a philosophy of time whereby all points in time are equally real (opposed to the conventional idea that only the present is real). Eternalism is the view that each spacetime moment exists in and of itself and find inspiration from the way time is modeled as a dimension in the theory of relativity, giving time a similar ontology to that of space. It is sometimes referred to as the "block time" or "block universe" theory due to its description of space-time as an unchanging four-dimensional "block", as opposed to the view of the world as a three-dimensional space modulated by the passage of time [Source]. As such it requires a change in our perception of "time passing" to that of a metaphor for the continuous human experience of some expected future events becoming directly experienced qualia, while experienced qualia becoming just objects of memory [Source]. Here is another way of looking at it: Modern physics suggests that we can look at the entire history of the universe as a single four-dimensional thing. That includes our own personal path through it, which defines our world line. This seemingly conflicts with our intuitive idea that we exist at a moment, and move through time. Of course there is no real conflict — just two different ways of looking at the same thing. There is a four-dimensional universe that includes all of our world line, from birth to death, once and for all; and each moment along that world line defines an instantaneous person with the perception that they are growing older, advancing through time [Source]. In short, many now’s opposed to a moving now. As such we observe different glimpses of the universe as our spotlight catches a different now, or spacetime slice, which gives the illusion of a changing universe. This MIT article on a recent book, “Objective Becoming” by Brad Skow, provides a short, yet eloquent oversight of what I have just tried to convey.


    In “This Idea Must Die; Scientific Theories That Are Blocking Progress” there are a number of references to how our conventional paradigm may hinder our scientific understanding. In “Essentialist View Of The Mind” Lisa Barrett writes: In physics, before Einstein, scientists thought of space and time as separate physical quantities. Einstein refuted that distinction, unifying space and time and showing that they’re relative to the perceiver. Even so, essentialist thinking is still seen every time an undergraduate asks, “If the universe is expanding, what is it expanding into?” In “The Big Bang Was The First Moment Of Time” Lee Smolin states: What concerns me is the other meaning of Big Bang, which is the further hypothesis that the ultimate origin of our universe was a first moment in time, at which our universe was launched from a state of infinite density and temperature. According to this idea, nothing that exists is older than 13.8 billion years. It makes no sense to ask what was before that, because before that there wasn’t even time. The main problem with this second meaning of Big Bang is that it’s not very successful as a scientific hypothesis, because it leaves big questions about the universe unanswered… There is, however, a chance for science to answer these questions, and that’s if the Big Bang was not the first moment of time… For there to have been a time before the Big Bang, the Hawking-Penrose theorem must fail. But there is a simple reason to think it must: General relativity is incomplete as a description of nature, because it leaves out quantum phenomena… There is robust evidence from quantum cosmology models that the infinite singularities forcing time to stop in general relativity are eliminated…which allows time to continue to exist before the Big Bang, deep into the past. In “The Universe Began In A State Of Extraordinarily Low Entropy” Alan Guth argues: There’s an important problem, therefore, which is over a century old: to understand how the arrow of time could possibly arise from time-symmetric laws of evolution. The arrow-of-time mystery has driven physicists to seek possible causes within the law of physics we observe, but in vain. The laws make no distinction between the past and the future… The standard picture holds that the initial conditions for the universe must have produced a special low-entropy state because one is needed to explain the arrow of time. We argue, to the contrary, that the arrow of time can be explained without assuming a special initial state, so there is no longer any motivation for the hypothesis that the universe began in a state of extraordinarily low entropy. The most attractive feature of this idea is that there’s no longer a need to introduce any assumptions that violate the time symmetry of the known laws of physics. The basic idea is simple: We don’t really know if the maximum possible entropy for the universe is finite of infinite, so let’s assume it’s infinite. Then, no matter what entropy the universe started with, the entropy would have been low compared to its maximum. That’s all that’s needed to explain why the entropy has been rising ever since! He uses a metaphor of gas in a box (finite) compared to gas with no box where all particles will eventually start moving outwards and the gas will continue indefinitely to expand into the infinite space, with the entropy rising without limit. He continues: An arrow of time has been generated, without introducing any time-asymmetric assumptions. An interesting feature of this picture is that the universe need not have a beginning or an end.


    Since the brain presumably perceives time through information processing of external stimuli, not by extrasensory perception, and obeys the laws of causality, it is hard to see how the flow of time, whether it exists or not, could make any subjective difference: all conscious beings are built to perceive time as a chain of events, whether or not it occurs as such… Eternalism addresses these various difficulties by considering all points in time to be equally valid frames of reference—or equally "real", if one prefers. It does not do away with the concept of past and future, but instead considers them directions rather than states of being; whether some point in time is in the future or past is entirely dependent on which frame of reference you are using as a basis for observing it. Since an observer at any given point in time can only remember events that are in the past relative to him, and not events that are in the future relative to him, the subjective illusion of the passage of time is maintained. The asymmetry of remembering past events but not future ones, as well as other irreversible events that progress in only one temporal direction (such as the increase in entropy) gives rise to the arrow of time. In the view suggested by eternalism, there is no passage of time; the ticking of a clock measures durations between events much as the marks on a measuring tape measures distances between places. Eternalism has implications for the concept of free will, in that it proposes that future events are as immutably fixed and impossible to change as past events. Eternalism makes two assumptions, which are separable. One is that time is a full-fledged real dimension. The other is immutability. The latter is not a necessary consequence of the first. A universe in which changes are possible may be indistinguishable from the fully deterministic many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics, in which there are multiple "growing block universes". [Source]


    In Buddhism, a special term Dharmadhatu is translated as 'total field of events and meanings' or 'field of all events and meanings.' Here the 'Block Universe' seems to be encompassing not only every possible event in the physical universe but also having a psychological component. [Source]


    Eternalism takes its inspiration from physics, especially the Rietdijk-Putnam argument, in which the relativity of simultaneity is used to show that each point in the universe can have a different set of events that are in its present moment. According to presentism this is impossible because there is only one present moment that is instantaneous and encompasses the entire universe. [Source]


    Hrvoje Nikolić argued that a block time model solves the black hole information paradox. [Nikolic H. (2009). "Resolving the black-hole information paradox by treating time on an equal footing with space". Phys. Lett. B 678 (2): 218]


    In a scientific paper entitled “Is there An Alternative To The Block Universe View?” Vesselin Petkov shows that the block universe view, regarding the universe as a timelessly existing four-dimensional world, is the only one that is consistent with special relativity. The paper concludes: In this sense special relativity alone appears to provide a definite proof of the block universe view. One may argue that the arguments discussed here are insufficient for rejecting the presentist view since those arguments demonstrated that presentism contradicts only special relativity, not the other established theories (quantum mechanics, for instance). Such a position could hardly be defended because if a view contradicts the experimental evidence it is definitely wrong. There is just one way to prove that the presentist view does not contradict the relativistic effects – to demonstrate that the experiments which confirm the kinematic consequences of special relativity can be explained if it is assumed that the world is three-dimensional.


    I assume that most of the objections raised against the block universe model have been dealt with in the above. If not, I will try to revert to any outstanding issues that come to the fore.

  14. I was quickly back to insert one word in my last edit (*conventional* in the second last paragraph). @ studiot, I was battling with your refusal to accept "determinism" as part of the block universe, but I am starting to realise that I might have misinterpreted your application thereof. In you last post above and in relation to cause and effect, yes, there is no determinism and no change. In the context of the block universe being done and dusted (so to speak) and from an eternalist point of view, it is difficult to not view it is deterministic though...conventionally speaking...but I get your point.

  15. koti:

    Skipping my unscientific affront to this theory, I can't seem to find any serious scientific credibility behind it. If you put me against a wall I'd be more keen to lean over the Moving Spotlight theory which derives from the block universe but as opposed to it, states that only the present moment is definitely present. The key words here are "against a wall" though

    For now let me just deal with this as (unfortunately) I have other matters to attend to. Please go back to my earlier post, find and follow that link to my other (lengthy) post in the other thread re this subject and read it. You will notice that the so-called moving spotlight theory is actually pretty much the same as the block universe, i.e. we observe this huge and ever-existing block universe as if we walk around in the dark with a spotlight observing bits of detail as the light illuminates it ("slice by slice"). The same post also makes mention of the many credible scientific support for the block universe. Let me add to that the contemporary notion put forward by some behavioural scientists, neurologists and philosophers that free will may very well be an illusion and that our mind is merely automated brain responses governed by unique interactions between our genes and our environments (both potentially deterministic).


    You asked earlier about how it was possible for this block universe to come into being, how long it would have taken, or something along those lines. That kind of question illustrates your paradigm of thinking. Because of the fact that time is part and parcel of this four dimensional block, it has no *conventional* "beginning", no "end" and no "duration". The Big Bang, for example, is just one of many "events" situated at another coordinate.


    PS. I will try to deal with any outstanding issues at a more opportune time.

  16. I don't think that the Agent, considering him being God, cares about your opinion that the block universe precludes him from tinkering with whatever he wants. In other words - the Agent is not bound by any laws. If he wishes he could remove an event from the block universe and fix the consequences throughout the whole continuum from T-0 to T-~ in zero time. Its nutts, I know.

    Let me rephrase...the two are mutually exclusive...you cannot have a tinkering agent and a block universe.


    In all honesty, we would probably not be here discussing this subject if it was not for the fact that the idea of a block universe has some serious scientific credibility. I am not saying we should just sit back and accept it...that is not how science works...plus it is far more interesting to deliberate on it in this fashion.

  17. To me the block universe is based on a wrong concept of how time behaves.

    In the block universe, all events are "existing" in the past, the present, the future.

    IOW all spacetime coordinates are occupied by events "once for all".

    IMHO it is not correct..

    It feels wrong in terms of our perception of how time behaves, i.e. our reality. That does not disprove the block universe.


    For example, in your example with the "external agent", what could prevent the "External Agent" to make a change in the past? He could if he wanted, there is no "physical law" that could prevent him to do that.

    No, the block universe precludes (the word that was used earlier) an external agent to tinker with anything...past, present or future...it is fixed.

  18. I found a very interesting 23 minute video of Lee Smolin talking about what we are trying to crack here.

    I watched it and in my mind he does not really add anything new to the discussion. His so-called Naturalism 1 = Determinism/Block Universe/Eternalism while his Naturalism 2 = Indeterminism...perhaps Growing Block Universe...perhaps bordering on Presentism (I will have to read/see more to determine where exactly he slots in). The debates between these various schools of thought have been raging for a long "time", in fact Lee Smolin's arguments almost mirror that of Karl Popper in his discussion with Einstein. It is an understandable argument, one from a human experience of reality, a deeply rooted intuition, almost anthropistic. Smolin referred to evolution and how science should deal with climate change among other things to support his point of view, but as I already demonstrated with evolution it does not necessarily disprove the block universe. There are various sources that one could turn to, each with its own arguments pro- or against either of these. That lengthy older post of mine in another thread to which I provided a link earlier contains quite a few insightful arguments. Here is Standford Encyclopedia of Philosphy's take on it.


    Interesting discussion.

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