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Posts posted by MSC

  1. On 9/13/2020 at 10:36 PM, Phi for All said:

    Anything can be stressful and cause anxiety. People aren't all alike. 

    Science removes ignorance, which is a leading cause of stress and anxiety in intelligent humans. Science explains what we observe, and I suppose some people prefer the universe they've made up in their heads.

    Philosophy causes stress and anxiety too. Existential depression as well. 

    Philosophy seeks to remove ignorance but I can safely say that some philosophers also prefer the universe they've made up in their heads. Metaphysics is full of ignorant and depressing mumbo jumbo, usually born from misunderstandings of language. It's not that metaphysics doesn't have it's place in context, it's just that it has a habit of making mountains out of molehills.

    I don't know about you, but I often find it difficult to speak to an old man who's standing on a molehill, pretending it's a mountain and that he can't hear me, even after I figuratively hit him with the spade I used to dig up and get rid of the mole hill. 

    As for OP

    On 9/13/2020 at 10:21 PM, Farid said:


    Most of you probably know by now, that science can be stressful and can cause anxiety. Some of the things it can cause anxiety and stress about are sex, food, exercise, contact with surroundings, and being close to people, not socializing with people and etc. 

    Life causes stress and anxiety. Science can reduce said anxiety by putting food on the table and a roof over our head. As can any worthwhile endeavour and hell even some of the non-worthwhile ones can do that. The ignorant want stuff after all. 

  2. They just released data from a large Study that describes the effects on pregnant women. They are less likely to present with fever as the first symptom, but take longer to fend off infection and as such take longer to stop being infectious. 

    So yeah, if you're pregnant, cough and sore throat is the symptom to look out for. You won't necessarily present with a fever. If you're a Dr, test on presentation of Covid-19 symptoms in pregnant women, even if they have no fever, as it is the least likely first symptom.


    COVID-19 has a prolonged and nonspecific disease course during pregnancy and in the 6 weeks after pregnancy.

    - Study Conclusion



  3. 6 hours ago, jimmydasaint said:

    I remember our Primary School teacher telling us that we needed basic English and Maths so that we could get jobs in factories.  My response was to do anything to prove her wrong.  Most of my colleagues accepted her view without comment.  I feel terrible when teachers say this stuff to people.  As a teacher (now out of retirement) in my whole teaching career of 22 years, I have never told a child they could not do something. I have always stressed that they could do anything that they set their mind towards. I apologise on behalf of teachers

    This hits very close to home and while you are certainly not a teacher I'd say was part of the problem, the apology is appreciated even though you're clearly one of the consistently good ones and not the one who needs to apologise.

    That being said I completely see where you are coming from vis a vis aspirations. I am glad you posted this on the ethics forum however, as I don't think it is anywhere near so cut and dry as what you say here;

    6 hours ago, jimmydasaint said:

    Sorry about your friend's son, that appears to be a mindset. However, a person has only failed when they admit it to themselves, in my opinion. I have taught in an area which can be described as an equivalent of the projects, and the mindset of a significant minority of students was exactly the same as the one that I viewed as a child. I take your point about generalisations and I did mention that doctors and other professionals came out of the same tough environments.  It would appear that the successful minority of people have a different mindset and that mindset is maintained despite external circumstances.  So, in my opinion, the rest of the people who are stuck in the ghetto have a mentality that is a story that they relate to themselves to keep them stuck in their circumstances.


    6 hours ago, jimmydasaint said:

    Despite those points, I can state that I am working with a teacher who was educated at primary level under a tree. Under a bloody tree! Yet she showed an aspirational mindset and is now the best Science teacher in my school, by some margin.  The keyword in my opinion is aspiration.  It was aspiration that took me out of Glasgow, took you out of Edinburgh and took that teacher out of a small village in Pakistan. Aspirational mindset disregards environment, in my opinion, regardless of what racists and class supremacists do in any part of the world.  A person fails and stays in a stagnant situation when they relate the story of their failure to themselves.  It normally starts when they blame others for all their problems...

    You've made excellent points and I feel that most of what you are saying is true and pertinent. That being said, it's not the whole context but together we can come to a greater understanding of the structural context at hand.

    There are indeed mindsets which will contribute to stagnating or negative growth. 

    Now you said, "Most of my colleagues accepted this without comment." Did you accept this without comment, reject without comment or did you openly object at the time? Obviously you rejected this in action but I want to know if you openly argued with teachers about this at the time?

    I know at the time that I should have lodged many formal complaints, both during Primary, Secondary and higher education. In one extremely violent and traumatic instance I could have straight up sued the school in question, I still can since there is no statute of limitations in Scotland on child abuse. 

    We've entered into the ethics topic of Responsibility now. Of which there are two kinds worth mentioning. Causal responsibility and moral responsibility. 

    Where blame is concerned, there is plenty of causal responsibility to go around. I was hurt by teachers and student. I didn't do a good enough job self-advocating to the schools or my parents. My parents didn't do enough advocacy for me at school, neither my parents or teachers got me help for ASD (Aspergers in the UK still) which I was diagnosed with at 23 due to my own actions of following it up with a psychiatrist. I chose to leave school at 16 before my exams due to my own perceived inability to be able to take bullying at school anymore. There is lots of nuance and lots of instances where I could draw on here, but it would make this comment far too long.

    Dealing out moral responsibility, where children are concerned should be done with a light hand. A three year old using a derogatory racial slur is probably not morally responsible for the impending harm of said slur, same with swearing in general. The words the three year old were exposed to was causally down to someone else and the child can't reasonably be expected to know the history, meaning or intent behind the slur. The adults in the childs life are morally responsible for it. 

    All children are aspirational

    Not all aspirations survive childhood

    Our aspirations become our responsibility once we are old enough to truly know better.

    The problem. If not all aspirations survive childhood, how morally responsible can we hold each individual adult if they must be judged based on their knowledge and experience? 

    This means, to me at least, that the onus of moral responsibility is on higher education and other forms of adult training programs, need to be reminding people that they once had Aspirations and that the people who told them they shouldn't have had those particular aspirations, were mostly wrong. 

    How can I be sure of this? Well I just described what you are currently doing as a teacher. You remind me of Samuel Beckett. 

    In terms of what is and isn't an adults fault; Damage to their aspirations during childhood was not their fault. Not listening to you or others who are trying to repair those aspirations, is their fault. 

    Also I'd really really like to thank you so much for starting this discussion. It's helped me realise some things and you've helped me come up with a solution to the Is/Ought gap problem in moral philosophy! 

    Will start a thread on that soon. 


    Edit: Self-Correction, this is in the general philosophy thread not the ethics thread. Should maybe probably be in there.

  4. 17 hours ago, John Cuthber said:

    Another, very dangerous trend I have observed is that laymen treat scientific theories and postulates as hard and undeniable facts.In gray areas of uncertainty, they will always, without an exception, take the postulates which run antiparallel with religious teaching

    Laymen are like any student. They are arguably more passionate than most undergrads, in being so self directed. 

    I have a question for you. How many of the individuals you speak to online, have personally self identified themselves to you, as either a layman or an expert in a given field? How are you judging and determining who is who?

    Really? Without an exception? 

    12 hours ago, Asheekay said:

    The ugly part is, if I present this possibility (remember, I am not saying it is so, I am saying it may be so) without the reference to the scripture, I get unbiased, neutral analysis of this possibility. However, if I announce that I got this idea from a scripture verse, most laymen instantly denounce it as an erratic assumption simply because whatever is in a scripture can "obviously" not be scientifically valid.

    Thankfully I get this attitude mostly from uninformed laymen. Proper scientists and researchers mostly analyse my postulates without bias, without caring the least where I got the idea from. Some Dawkins fans get triggered though, regardless of how well informed and educated they may be.

    That doesn't sound like Laymen at all. It sounds like atheists, with zero appreciation for the literary arts and the power of writing. I've met plenty of researchers from Atheistic, Theistic to Agnostic, who had the same lack of appreciation. 

    Let's say you are right, as a little thought experiment. So some Laymen behave in the way you initially described. So do some scientists and other formally educated scholars. 

    What truly frustrates you is that so many students either do not reach or leave the stage of student development, Educational Psychologists would describe as Contextual and committed Relativism. 

    The growth of understanding

    You might enjoy reading this. Perrys original work is also a good read, but this summarises it nicely enough. 

    12 hours ago, Asheekay said:

    Thankfully I get this attitude mostly from uninformed laymen. Proper scientists and researchers mostly analyse my postulates without bias, without caring the least where I got the idea from. Some Dawkins fans get triggered though, regardless of how well informed and educated they may be.

    How do you know they aren't viewing it personally, as something they acknowledge they don't know, but something potentially worth their time debating as if it is true? I've been in a debate team, sometimes you get given something to argue for, you might not agree with it but it's helpful and educational to take part in. Forces you to step into another's shoes by making it competitive and it is just one of many tools at a teachers disposal to help educate their students. 

    Hell, if we wanted we could agree right now to switch who debates for your claims and who debates for mine. I could take a turn at coming up with arguments as to why all Lay people are uninformed buffoons. 

    I personally think there is nothing wrong with identifying meaningful and pragmatic insights from scripture or literature. Bible, Qur'an, Torah etc. Hell, the reason I politically identify as a contextual centrist is because of the Story of Prophet Joseph. I took deep political meaning from that and I've read every version.

  5. I'm gonna air some beef here. I took issue with Obama over at least one thing. 

    Obama and Scottish Independence

    Obama commanded a fair amount of respect in Scotland. I can't help but feel a little sore as to this interference, as it was a really close vote. It would be interesting to hear what he may have to say about the idea now, seeing as he was saying this during a time when The UK had not yet voted to leave the EU and he was critical of the idea of the UK leaving in the first place. I wonder if he'd speak differently about it now. 

    I personally thought that staying tied to the British Parliament would be an odd thing for any American to advise, without sounding comically and historically hypocritical. 

    That being said, I cannot even begin to quantify my preference for Obama over the Orange One.

  6. 14 minutes ago, iNow said:

    Seems to me to be little more than a distraction from the fact that Trumps approval sank hard after the last debate, according to his own CDC he shouldn’t be anywhere near others, let alone Joe Biden, and that his tactic of serially interrupting a person who has stuttered for decades instead of speaking to issues of policy or debating on the merits wouldn’t exactly work on a zoom call where the mod could just mute him when he refused to STFU. 

    But sure... let’s pretend the debate commission is now somehow biased for canceling a debate that Trump already personally backed out of on Fox Biz News while experiencing ‘roid rage brain and covid fatigue.

    Bob Dole used to be a statesman, now he’s  mostly just yelling at kids to get off his lawn 

    Agreed! Dude has to be senile to have conveniently forgot what non-partisanship is all about. If I was on that committee, even if I supported Trump, I'd sure as shit not tell a Senator (even one I was "Friends" with) that, if I wanted to keep my damn job. All Bob Dole has done is confirm that the commission is actually doing a moderately decent job of keeping their private political leanings out of their professional lives. No different than what a decent civil servant is supposed to do.

  7. On 9/26/2020 at 7:11 PM, iNow said:

    In fairness, I suspect most of us have been feeling a bit off balance lately. ✌️

    Too true.

    14 minutes ago, iNow said:

    The votes are there and at the moment it appears she’s very much headed toward a successful confirmation. 

    I'm holding out my hopes for those senatorial retirees. It's not like they have to worry about pissing off voters if they swing the vote away from the Republican Majority. 

    If not, Biden will probably have to add more justices or pass term limits, if he wins and doesn't lose in what will probably be a non-peaceful transfer of power. 

  8. 9 hours ago, swansont said:

    It can be both, but science works by making models. There is no way to test if these models represent the truth. Only that they properly predict/explain behavior.

    In physics, we have models that use abstractions which are only calculational conveniences. No contention that they are real. Phonons, for example. If phonons don’t actually exist, they can’t represent the “truth”

    That's really interesting! You could almost say the same about language to be honest. The word "Electron" by itself could not tell you anything about what an electron is, or what it is like, if you don't already know, anymore than the word "Dog" can tell you what a dog is or is like, if you've never seen one.

    Words and letters themselves are also abstractions we use for expressive contextual convenience. We can go a stop further with "General relativity" being a linguistic abstraction of a mathematical model abstraction, meant to describe what might be the truth. 

    Did I phrase all of that right? Sorry if this got a bit off topic, I should probably copy this to my what words mean thread. 

  9. 2 minutes ago, swansont said:

    Science is not the search for truth. Science is our attempt to discern how nature behaves, because behavior is what we are able to test.

    This confuses me a little. Is this not the same as saying that science is attempting to discern the truth of the natural behaviour of existence? Is science an inquiry into how nature behaves, why nature behaves the way it does, or both?

  10. 2 hours ago, MigL said:

    In a way we are limited by our own existence.
    Consider J DeLancie's words as 'Q', at the end of the last episode of Star Treck:TNG ...

    Q : You just don't get it, do you, Jean-Luc? The trial never ends. We wanted to see if you had the ability to expand your mind and your horizons. And for one brief moment, you did.
    Capt. Picard : When I realized the paradox.
    Q : Exactly. For that one fraction of a second, you were open to options you had never considered. *That* is the exploration that awaits you. Not mapping stars and studying nebulae, but charting the unknown possibilities of existence.

    Maybe in 400 years ...

    One of my favourite episodes! I truly loved how philosophically deep TNG was. DS9 was full of it too and was vastly underappreciated in my opinion. That being said, I still prefer Picard to Sisko but both are preferable to Kirk.

    2 hours ago, Saiyan300Warrior said:

    This can get deeper into philosophy if we explain the notion of "Truth" but for me it is simple, man simply decides what is true or not, what exists is a self and to the self is what perception falls to... The only true knowledge one can attain in life is the knowledge of their self don't you think? Philosophical question and ending.

    Humanity would like to think that I'm sure. Humanity can just be wrong though and it's not really fair if we view it in a way where we are our own judges of how much "Truth" there is to know. It's just man playing a game with himself.

    I don't believe truth is relative to man at all. I believe, Truth is relative to context. We can find truth within a lesser context of reachable knowledge but there will always be things we are incapable of knowing due to the visible context of existence that is available to us. In some ways, even a dog has access to contextual information about the universe that we cannot due to physiological differences in our sensory capacities. I cannot smell what a dog can smell. If a dog could talk, I'd not be able to understand a word he says as I am completely lacking in the qualitative context of actually being and existing as a dog. 

    If we look at it purely through the lens of what we can know collectively, that still highlights problems in an individuals ability to be able to apply every ounce of our collective knowledge. It is only together that we can overcome our individual weaknesses and truly delve deep into the mechanics of structural context. Collaboration and unity are needed now, more than ever, just to be able to survive long enough to figure out more about how existence works.


  11. 4 hours ago, jimmydasaint said:

    Redlining and greenlining. Please explain. 

    I grew up in what could be termed a ghetto or "hood" environment in Glasgow. I don't know what your background was, but we were all poor. The poverty was just a temporary shortage of funding as I understood when we grew up. Doctors, PhD's and scholars came out of that environment, yet a large portion of the people believe in the hype of the ghetto and what it is meant to represent - trying a little bit, failing and then giving up. That archetype is what dominates ghetto environments .  The way out is to sell drugs and get rich quick, or die trying.  The criminals offer young children a different role model of easy acquisition of wealth to surround oneself with wealth.

    This is an erroneous and dangerous mindset and philosophy passed on from father to son in my opinion. 


    Please do elaborate on redlining and greenlining....

    Oh! Awrite mate! Similar situation as yourself, but grew up in Edinburgh, probably too multicultural where I was from to be considered a true ghetto though, that being said, you could argue that some ghettos are based on socio-economic class alone. 

    Up until last month, I was living in a racially segregated ghetto on Chicagos South-west side.


    The term "redlining" ... comes from the development by the New Deal, by the federal government of maps of every metropolitan area in the country. And those maps were color-coded by first the Home Owners Loan Corp. and then the Federal Housing Administration and then adopted by the Veterans Administration, and these color codes were designed to indicate where it was safe to insure mortgages. And anywhere where African-Americans lived, anywhere where African-Americans lived nearby were colored red to indicate to appraisers that these neighborhoods were too risky to insure mortgages.

    How the US government segregated America.

    So, I think ghettos do exist. 

    However I want to develop an argument from your point of view that they only exist in the mind (which in some ways is actually accurate since racist and classist fears are all in the heads of bigots) but why that is still a bad thing.

    I was once trying to get on a STEM course and my interviewer point blank told me "Some people just aren't capable of getting a PhD, so I don't think this course would be good for you if that is what you want to do." (Cow). I had told the interviewer it was my dream to get a PhD in physics at the time, other than my socio-economic background being from a really poor family in Edinburgh there was nothing this person could have known about me that would make her say something like that. Unless, in her mind I was from a ghetto. 

    So, it's all very well to say "The ghetto exists in our minds" but we need to ask, does it only exist in the minds of people from ghettos? Or does it also exist in the minds of people trying to keep us there? If it is both, then the idea of ghettos definitely contributes to making ghettos a reality people from them have to overcome. An extra hurdle for us in comparison to rich people. To the point where it even makes it difficult for people like me and you to get onto entry level stem courses.

    Note: will be back to edit and complete in 20 minutes, phone is dying.

    Resumed: Now back to redlining. Do you know where American public schools get their funding? Property taxes. So Schools in redlined districts would have far less funding than schools in green districts. We are talking about decades of over-investment in white neighbourhoods vs underinvestment in minority ones. Take a drive across Chicago and the evidence for it is plain to see. It's like crossing between different worlds when you go from North to South. Why? Redlining. Decades of it. Even ending the practice hasn't fixed much because the effects of it were so potent that those neighbourhoods still have very little money whereas the green districts never experienced these things and their property values just kept rising and rising while red districts were forcefully stagnated.

    The crazy thing is, whites in green districts were under the belief that if black people moved in, it would lower their property value. When in reality it actually raised it because minorities had to be willing to pay more for a house than white people were in order to actually own property. It was just sheer racism. The damage these policies caused has in no way been fixed because even now insurers and lenders still feel it is too risky to invest in these ghettos. There is still less opportunity for minorities because of the decades of funding and investment inequalities.

  12. 9 minutes ago, StringJunky said:

    To have a meaningful discussion in the other subjects, one would have to agree term with others , or define them if one is writing. No assumptioons should be made that terms are commonly understood.

    How would you react if I asked you to provide a definition for each of those words you just used? Each and every one mind. What would you think of me if I did?

    You're not wrong by the way, we are expected to define complex words we use however it's not a case of me just being allowed to take a word and define it as something else completely. It has to somehow make logical sense in relation to root meaning, Etymology, historic vs current usage etc

    8 minutes ago, CharonY said:

    Fundamentally, meaning is derived from context. Word usage can be different depending on group of folks and the meaning depends highly on what is being talked about. Philosophers have taken great pains in order to define or elaborate what they mean, in many cases coming up with new word creations in order better communicate them. But since they explore so many different concepts, there are also very different fields with different lingo. There is not universal science lingo, either. 

    In any area of specialization (be it philosophy, workshop, hobbyist group, kitchen, military etc.) often a sub-lingo is developed to convey meaning efficiently, but it can be impenetrable for folks who have not learned it. 

    Couldn't have put it any better than this if I tried. :) will need to upvote this tomorrow when I've got more.

  13. 2 minutes ago, iNow said:

    Not enough members probably care. Philosophy forum itself is pretty quiet overall. Further breakdowns may be logical in terms of classification, but likely aren’t necessary 

    Maybe, I know I care and judging by a correction someone made of a comment of mine yesterday, at least one other person cares about classification between ethics and meta-ethics. In the end you've gotta ask I guess. 

    You yourself brought up the topic of fallacies today by speaking about strawmen. So you care about logic at least a little bit, even if we disagree over who was strawmanning. Out of the six I suggested, Logic is the one I'd be most glad to see as an addition.

    I actually prefer this forum to others simply because it has made a point to have a science and a philosophy section. Elsewhere it's usually either/or, rarely both. I guess it just seems a bit strange to see clear and logical classification on one side of things and not the other.

  14. 2 hours ago, StringJunky said:

    That falls within the scope of the 'Determinism vs Non- Determinism' argument, I'm thinking.

    You're right, it does. A thread for another day it seems. I'm not going to start it though. The free will debate gives me a headache and I'm a compatibilist, so I don't really want to get into the nitty gritty of variant definitions of free will. 

    What my original comment about choice was referring to, was our emotional sentiments toward a claim. A person can say "I don't believe you" even if you provide cold hard evidence to back it up. If so, then their statement of disbelief may be a falsehood, either to the person providing the evidence or to themselves. 

    In relation to the meaning of words, phrases and terms, how would you describe differences in meaning between Science, Art and Philosophy? I agree that scientific terms are meaningfully fixed by the scientific consensus of the given field. The same cannot be said of Philosophy (with the exception of philosophy of science) or art. 

  15. Why is there no forum for Meta-ethics, Metaphysics, Epistemology, logic, aesthetics or Phenomenology in the philosophy section? Just to name a few, I could go on but to me those are the six that should absolutely have their own forum. Any Philosophy of (insert sub-field here) can probably stay in general philosophy but those six I mentioned should probably be looked into.

    Thanks for reading!

  16. 4 hours ago, Charles 3781 said:

    See MSC,  you impugned a moderator's pride.  Lord knows how he will exact retribution on you!

    I disputed the truth/validity of a moderators pride? Uhm... Okay.

    The mods here don't strike me as the sort to care if I disagree with them or not and I doubt they have plans for retribution. All I know is, I'm glad you're not a moderator. 

  17. On 10/6/2020 at 2:35 PM, jimmydasaint said:

    Akala the rapper clearly states that the ghetto or the "hood" is in the minds of the people who live in these areas and that it is more a state of mind in rich Western countries than a reality. I agree with him. 

    What do you guys think?


    I disagree with him. Have you ever heard of redlining and greenlining? 

  18. 4 minutes ago, StringJunky said:

    Yes, a language is a library of small ideas that can be joined to make larger, more complex ideas, which will be internally consisent to those native to it. Everything is ultimately just information. This can go off on all sorts of tangents.


    WRT science, which is probably what's irritating you, words that are keywords in science have a meaning that has been defined by consensus within a given discipline, and one is not allowed to change those meanings because it creates confusion. If one wishes to present a new idea/phenonmena, it has to be done using words that are not already taken.

    WRT? Not familiar with that term.

    That is science, this is philosophy. Have you seen the size of a philosophy dictionary vs an ordinary dictionary? Seriously and sincerely asking.

    Take the word Relativism or relativity. Now in physics, I agree entirely with your point in regards to those two words. 

    In ethics and even psychology, Relativism is used in ways that don't relate to its meaning in physics. 

    Even the term Context Relativism can have a different meaning, the educational psychologist has their meaning, the Moral Epistomologist has theirs.

    As for Agnostic, is there a scientific consensus on the usage of that term?

    59 minutes ago, joigus said:

    Well... I didn't say exactly I believe it. I believe nothing. I just said "what if...?" ;)

    interesting, in your words is an underlying claim. "We choose what we believe in" is that true? Do we really have choice in belief? :)

    If I say, "I don't believe you" am I choosing that or not?

  19. 10 minutes ago, iNow said:

    To be clear, I’m ignoring you because of responses like the below. If you want to be respected you need to also respect others and quit being so presumptuous :

    Let’s just say there’s a lot of opportunity for improvement here and perhaps I’d have engaged you in the manner you’d prefer had you spent just a bit less time wagging your finger at me. 

    Those were actually sincere suggestions. If you were a little less worried about your own ego and being right, then maybe you'd see them as such. 

    Sounds to me like you just don't know how to respond to my posts so you are making problems where there are none. If we were in a classroom debate, you wouldn't have the luxury of ignoring what I said if you wanted to get a good grade. 

    It's only presumptuous if I'm wrong. You've not given me amy indication that is the case. At the risk of sounding like a math teacher, show me your working please.

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