Search found 86 matches

by Lawrence Crocker
Fri Sep 04, 2015 9:37 pm
Forum: Philosophy of Religion
Topic: How do atheists find meaning in a purposeless universe?
Replies: 179
Views: 33279

Re: How do atheists find meaning in a purposeless universe?

?Why should the entire universe be custom-made for one subspecies of terrestrial ape? "Why should it" in the sense of is it plausible, I don't think so. The moral "should" is not at issue because this is not something human agency can change. In the "would it be greater value sense" I would think s...
by Lawrence Crocker
Fri Sep 04, 2015 3:28 pm
Forum: Philosophy of Religion
Topic: How do atheists find meaning in a purposeless universe?
Replies: 179
Views: 33279

Re: How do atheists find meaning in a purposeless universe?

It also seems to me peculiar that so many atheists think that such a purposeful universe would not enlarge meaning at all. I hope (hope being the theme of my book) for a larger meaning, without thinking that Russell was wrong in his view that both individual human lives and the career of the human ...
by Lawrence Crocker
Fri Sep 04, 2015 11:22 am
Forum: Epistemology - Theory of Knowledge
Topic: Absolutely Nothing is Absolutely Certain
Replies: 56
Views: 11278

Re: Absolutely Nothing is Absolutely Certain

Of course many things are certain in the way that we ordinarily use the word “certain.” It is certain that you are reading this now, that you do not have five heads, that 2 + 2 = 4. I argue, however, that in a more demanding sense, the sense that should be applied when we are evaluating the effect ...
by Lawrence Crocker
Thu Sep 03, 2015 11:59 am
Forum: Philosophy of Religion
Topic: How do atheists find meaning in a purposeless universe?
Replies: 179
Views: 33279

Re: How do atheists find meaning in a purposeless universe?

The world would be yet more meaningful were it a purposeful creation, Meaningful to whom? The puppet-master or the puppets? Continuing your quote of my post might have suggested the answer: it could be meaningful for both the creator and the creatures, especially if the creatures were, in fact, cre...
by Lawrence Crocker
Thu Sep 03, 2015 11:18 am
Forum: Epistemology - Theory of Knowledge
Topic: Absolutely Nothing is Absolutely Certain
Replies: 56
Views: 11278

Re: Absolutely Nothing is Absolutely Certain

Do you, yourself, have no certainties, Lawrence? Is your conciousness not a certainty, as I've stated, ala Descartes, from whence to build a philosophy? And what do you think the implications are of that? I am certain of many things in the ordinary way we use "certain," including 2 + 2 = 4 and the ...
by Lawrence Crocker
Wed Sep 02, 2015 8:47 pm
Forum: Epistemology - Theory of Knowledge
Topic: Absolutely Nothing is Absolutely Certain
Replies: 56
Views: 11278

Re: Absolutely Nothing is Absolutely Certain

Using such phrases as "absolutely nothing" may as a matter of our usual sensitivities to rhetorical excess suggest dogmatism, and the dogmatists are typically certain of everything. There is, however, no implication here. Consider, "I tentatively believe that absolutely all double primes have succes...
by Lawrence Crocker
Wed Sep 02, 2015 2:22 pm
Forum: Philosophy of Religion
Topic: How do atheists find meaning in a purposeless universe?
Replies: 179
Views: 33279

Re: How do atheists find meaning in a purposeless universe?

From a book that I have not succeeded in bringing to the light of day: Love, happiness, pleasures, creativity, and the perception of beauty are all real whether they are purely human or tie into something bigger. Human beings are a quite wonderful feature of the universe, even if there is nothing mo...
by Lawrence Crocker
Wed Sep 02, 2015 12:21 pm
Forum: Logic and Philosophy of Mathematics
Topic: For Bayes: No Exceptions to Cromwell's Rule
Replies: 5
Views: 1237

For Bayes: No Exceptions to Cromwell's Rule

For Bayesian subjective probabilities, Cromwell's Rule has it that a prior probability x, is in the range 0 < x < 1. However Lindley, who gets credit for enunciating the rule and providing its name, of colorful history, made an exception for logical and mathematical propositions. These he permitted ...
by Lawrence Crocker
Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:55 am
Forum: Epistemology - Theory of Knowledge
Topic: Absolutely Nothing is Absolutely Certain
Replies: 56
Views: 11278

Re: Absolutely Nothing is Absolutely Certain

I'm absolutely certain I've suffered, and felt pain on stubbing my toe. I'm absolutely certain I will be at least mildly peeved if you suggest otherwise. Btw, the title can't be true, as it entails a certainty. "Nothing is certain" does not entail that anything is certain. The fact that it is asser...
by Lawrence Crocker
Tue Sep 01, 2015 3:05 pm
Forum: Epistemology - Theory of Knowledge
Topic: Absolutely Nothing is Absolutely Certain
Replies: 56
Views: 11278

Absolutely Nothing is Absolutely Certain

Of course many things are certain in the way that we ordinarily use the word “certain.” It is certain that you are reading this now, that you do not have five heads, that 2 + 2 = 4. I argue, however, that in a more demanding sense, the sense that should be applied when we are evaluating the effect o...
by Lawrence Crocker
Fri Aug 21, 2015 6:05 pm
Forum: Philosophy of Religion
Topic: Pope Francis, Bayes, & the Probability of God's Exisence
Replies: 0
Views: 563

Pope Francis, Bayes, & the Probability of God's Exisence

Does the election of Pope Francis require the liberal atheist to revise upward her (very low) estimate of the probability of God's existing? Does it require the conservative Catholic to revise his downward? Yes. Assuming that she thinks that if there were a Holy Spirit to intervene that would have i...
by Lawrence Crocker
Tue Aug 18, 2015 10:23 pm
Forum: Philosophy of Science
Topic: No ultimate laws of nature?
Replies: 80
Views: 7369

Re: No ultimate laws of nature?

Lawrence,I can't interpret where you stand. Are you supporting ultimate laws? Against them? It is possible that there are fundamental laws of physics, i.e. that reality works on a basis that could in principle be described in a way that would seem to us to be explanatory very much as we have tradit...
by Lawrence Crocker
Tue Aug 18, 2015 1:17 pm
Forum: Philosophy of Science
Topic: No ultimate laws of nature?
Replies: 80
Views: 7369

Re: No ultimate laws of nature?

Laws are merely observed patterns of observed behavior. . As an an account of the nature of propositions in a scientific theory, this Hume-ish formula has a little too much the flavor of simple inductivism for my taste. We have a good deal more than a handful of observed cases (out of the astronomi...
by Lawrence Crocker
Mon Aug 17, 2015 7:35 pm
Forum: Philosophy of Science
Topic: No ultimate laws of nature?
Replies: 80
Views: 7369

No ultimate laws of nature?

Could there be no ultimate laws of nature? It is easy to imagine that there might be no ultimate, general laws of nature. All laws might be local, say to specific galaxies or specific times. Astronomy does not suggest this so far, but there is no conceptual problem. Could there be no ultimate laws o...
by Lawrence Crocker
Sun Jun 07, 2015 1:49 pm
Forum: Epistemology - Theory of Knowledge
Topic: Questions for the friends of qualia.
Replies: 154
Views: 19742

Re: Questions for the friends of qualia.

Dennett sometimes sounds as if he has a “disappearance” theory of consciousness, and this does, no doubt, come from the PR advantage, and the pleasure, of saying things that shock. Insofar as he denies qualia, however, I don’t think he is denying that he has an experience like you do in seeing a yel...