Sunday Sermon 24th June 2012

For all things philosophical.

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The Jesus Head
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Sunday Sermon 24th June 2012

Post by The Jesus Head »

In thought experiment 2 we witnessed what I described as an unruly entanglement of conflict .
Here we see little evidence of philosophical thought and nothing of agreement and harmony.

The inheritance of Enlightenment thinking and ,by that, I mean thinking which
derives from religious notions , suggests that there is a perfect answer to a provisional diversity of human values and ,when this is found ,we will truly understand the way we must live our lives. This ,however, is nothing but a faith.

Isaiah Berlin, the 20th century philosopher, found this idea
wholly unacceptable . In John Gray’s remarkable book “Gray’s Anatomy ”
he describes the thoughts of his close friend Isaiah Berlin .

Berlin writes : “ we find the same common assumption that the answer to all great questions must necessarily agree with one another, for they must correspond with reality, and reality is a harmonious whole. If this were not so there is chaos in the heart of things which is unthinkable .”

No doubt many on this forum believe in Enlightenment values that they have the ultimate truth and yet there is little evidence of agreement on this forum.
Thus, their lives are spent attempting to persuade the intransigent that their world
view is correct.

But, in a sense, even if we were to believe in the singularity of truth it would not
promote harmony. Human deliberation is not part of the subject it analyses.
It is a faculty brought to bear on an exterior mechanism.
To say that something is true or untrue does not change the nature of the subject.
This means that the subject is a perception and can be many things .
This accounts for the conflict of ideas and shows us that Enlightenment thinking is merely a dogma.

It is not possible to find a singular answer to the question is the colour black
good or bad, if forced to choose one or the other . In our world , many values have a constitution such as is posed by this kind of question . Value has , therefore, an inherent propensity to be subjective and therefore to cause disagreement .

So where does this leave one in terms of the practice of philosophy?
On this forum your perpetual arguments are ,in a sense fruitless , in achieving
agreement. Not because the arguments are necessarily flawed ,but because
the arguments are not in alignment , with the ultimate goal of a singular truth.

One correspondent here declared “pearls before swine” .
Socrates met his fate because he valued more the pursuit of a singular truth than
he recognized the nature of humanity .
The failure of many a philosopher resides in the fact that there is an aspiration to discover a truth which is a truth for everyone.
Lynn
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Re: Sunday Sermon 24th June 2012

Post by Lynn »

TJH, I have a few questions for you relating to your 'Thought Experiments', for you to answer thanks.

Are your 'Thought Experiments' on this forum to continue? Is there a specific end date?

Have they been confined to the 'Sermon' topics? Will that continue? Will you highlight where they are or have been included in another topic?

For what aim(s) are you carrying these out?

Which methods are you applying to prepare, carry out and report on the experiments?

What are your expected outcomes?

Are your outcomes be published within/outside the forum? Where?

Will any participants be advised and feedback encouraged?

Do these form part of an academic exercise e.g. thesis? For which facility, course/topic and academic level?

Are these for a commercial or other organisation?

Are these for your own peer group?

Are these for your own intentions?

What are your intentions?
Thundril
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Location: Cardiff

Re: Sunday Sermon 24th June 2012

Post by Thundril »

The Jesus Head wrote: So where does this leave one in terms of the practice of philosophy?
On this forum your perpetual arguments are ,in a sense fruitless , in achieving
agreement. Not because the arguments are necessarily flawed ,but because
the arguments are not in alignment , with the ultimate goal of a singular truth.
I can't speak for anyone else, but my motive in questioning other people's ideas is to get an understanding of how other people think, and what other people believe. This is a great help when attempting to communicate with people.
The aim of getting everyone else to think like me seems pointless, both because it is impossible, and because, even if it were possible, the result would be horrible. (I try to imagine living in a world where everybody thought like me. Bloody nightmare!)

The failure of many a philosopher resides in the fact that there is an aspiration to discover a truth which is a truth for everyone.
OK, so I'm not a philosopher, since I have no such lofty aspiration. Have you?
For example, do you believe that the statement 'there is an aspiration to discover a truth that is a truth for everyone' is itself a truth for everyone?
If not, in what sense do you call this a 'fact'?
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The Jesus Head
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Re: Sunday Sermon 24th June 2012

Post by The Jesus Head »

Lynn wrote:TJH, I have a few questions for you relating to your 'Thought Experiments', for you to answer thanks.
Are your 'Thought Experiments' on this forum to continue? Is there a specific end date?
There will be more of the previous kind.
Have they been confined to the 'Sermon' topics? Will that continue? Will you highlight where they are or have been included in another topic?
The analysis of the thought experiments have been confined in the Sunday Sermon.
For what aim(s) are you carrying these out?
For philosophical deliberation.
Which methods are you applying to prepare, carry out and report on the experiments?
Participating as a rogue to monitor reciprocal rogue behaviour.
Replicating the same behaviour on the second Thought Experiment
to compare responses. Reporting on this forum .
What are your expected outcomes?
The expectation is that both sets of data will be consistent.
Are your outcomes be published within/outside the forum? Where?
No.
Will any participants be advised and feedback encouraged?
No.
Do these form part of an academic exercise e.g. thesis? For which facility, course/topic and academic level?
No
Are these for a commercial or other organisation?
No
Are these for your own peer group?
They are for forum members.
Are these for your own intentions?
They are for whoever reads the material.
What are your intentions?
To make a philosophical point about philosophical enquiry and
its limitations.
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The Jesus Head
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Re: Sunday Sermon 24th June 2012

Post by The Jesus Head »

Thundril
OK, so I'm not a philosopher, since I have no such lofty aspiration. Have you?
I'm comfortable saying I am a philosopher.
For example, do you believe that the statement 'there is an aspiration to discover a truth that is a truth for everyone' is itself a truth for everyone?
Of course it cannot be a truth for everyone [ as laid out in my essay] but it is a fact that those who participate in philosophical argument do so, generally, to discover or prove a truth.

My essay makes the case that we cannot necessarily always hammer down to a truth
by way of argument .
The permutations of arguments cause such confusion that there becomes a misalignment
between the arguments and the "truth".
I myself will withdraw from an argument when I feel that the non-alignment is so acute
that I would be wasting my time continuing with the argument.
Thundril
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Re: Sunday Sermon 24th June 2012

Post by Thundril »

The Jesus Head wrote:
Thundril
OK, so I'm not a philosopher, since I have no such lofty aspiration. Have you?
I'm comfortable saying I am a philosopher.
For example, do you believe that the statement 'there is an aspiration to discover a truth that is a truth for everyone' is itself a truth for everyone?
Of course it cannot be a truth for everyone [ as laid out in my essay] but it is a fact that those who participate in philosophical argument do so, generally, to discover or prove a truth.

My essay makes the case that we cannot necessarily always hammer down to a truth
by way of argument .
The permutations of arguments cause such confusion that there becomes a misalignment
between the arguments and the "truth".
I myself will withdraw from an argument when I feel that the non-alignment is so acute
that I would be wasting my time continuing with the argument.
This much seems clear to me, TJH. Now what about the follow-on question I presented after "For example, do you believe that the statement 'there is an aspiration to discover a truth that is a truth for everyone' is itself a truth for everyone?"
Namely,
"If not, in what sense do you call this a 'fact'?"
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The Jesus Head
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Re: Sunday Sermon 24th June 2012

Post by The Jesus Head »

Thundril wrote:
The Jesus Head wrote:
Thundril
OK, so I'm not a philosopher, since I have no such lofty aspiration. Have you?
I'm comfortable saying I am a philosopher.
For example, do you believe that the statement 'there is an aspiration to discover a truth that is a truth for everyone' is itself a truth for everyone?
Of course it cannot be a truth for everyone [ as laid out in my essay] but it is a fact that those who participate in philosophical argument do so, generally, to discover or prove a truth.

My essay makes the case that we cannot necessarily always hammer down to a truth
by way of argument .
The permutations of arguments cause such confusion that there becomes a misalignment
between the arguments and the "truth".
I myself will withdraw from an argument when I feel that the non-alignment is so acute
that I would be wasting my time continuing with the argument.
This much seems clear to me, TJH. Now what about the follow-on question I presented after "For example, do you believe that the statement 'there is an aspiration to discover a truth that is a truth for everyone' is itself a truth for everyone?"
Namely,
"If not, in what sense do you call this a 'fact'?"
Sorry but Im not answering that one again.
Thundril
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Location: Cardiff

Re: Sunday Sermon 24th June 2012

Post by Thundril »

The Jesus Head wrote: Sorry but Im not answering that one again.
Ok. No probs. Can you point me to where you answered it before, please?
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The Jesus Head
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Re: Sunday Sermon 24th June 2012

Post by The Jesus Head »

Thundril wrote:
The Jesus Head wrote: Sorry but Im not answering that one again.
Ok. No probs. Can you point me to where you answered it before, please?
It might in fact be more fun to have forum competition to see if anyone can spot your question and my answer on your first post. :roll:
Thundril
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Re: Sunday Sermon 24th June 2012

Post by Thundril »

Well yes. I noticed you called it a fact. But you called it a fact on the basis that you called it a fact? We entitled to our own facts now?
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The Jesus Head
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Re: Sunday Sermon 24th June 2012

Post by The Jesus Head »

Thundril wrote:Well yes. I noticed you called it a fact. But you called it a fact on the basis that you called it a fact? We entitled to our own facts now?
I called it a fact on the basis of reason not on the basis that it was a fact since, as my essay plainly suggests, truth appears singular to each observer .You should not take the semantic term fact too literally , since it is a figure of speech .

You could argue otherwise ,that people engage in Philosophy for contrary reasons, but you would have to have a good argument and so far you dont have any argument.

You might argue that cats like to eat cheese and not mice but we know that that is generally wrong. We could not say that it is always wrong since there may well be mice who do not like cheese and some strange cats that like cheese.
Here, the alignment of my argument, is fixed on the general truth.
In more complex arguments, alignment is often lost and communication breaks down and insults
break out and people call each other names , or they assassinate someone.
This was the nature of my Thought Experiment.
Thundril
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Location: Cardiff

Re: Sunday Sermon 24th June 2012

Post by Thundril »

The Jesus Head wrote:
Thundril wrote:Well yes. I noticed you called it a fact. But you called it a fact on the basis that you called it a fact? We entitled to our own facts now?
I called it a fact on the basis of reason not on the basis that it was a fact since, as my essay plainly suggests, truth appears singular to each observer .You should not take the semantic term fact too literally , since it is a figure of speech .

You could argue otherwise ,that people engage in Philosophy for contrary reasons, but you would have to have a good argument and so far you dont have any argument.

You might argue that cats like to eat cheese and not mice but we know that that is generally wrong. We could not say that it is always wrong since there may well be mice who do not like cheese and some strange cats that like cheese.
Here, the alignment of my argument, is fixed on the general truth.
In more complex arguments, alignment is often lost and communication breaks down and insults
break out and people call each other names , or they assassinate someone.
This was the nature of my Thought Experiment.
Well TJH, there's nothing in here that I disagree with at all! :D
Is that good news or bad :?:
reasonvemotion
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Re: Sunday Sermon 24th June 2012

Post by reasonvemotion »

Thundril
OK, so I'm not a philosopher, since I have no such lofty aspiration. Have you?
The Jesus Head

I'm comfortable saying I am a philosopher.

Reasonvemotion

Just to make it perfectly clear, you have a degree in Philosophy? Bachelor of Philosophy (B.Phil.; occasionally B.Ph. or Ph.B.) is the title of an academic degree.

Considering the degree usually involves, notably, a large amount of research, either through a thesis or supervised research projects, you would not fraudulently say you had achieved this, without the actuality of it would you? As it stands, "I don't feel comfortable" with the answer "I am comfortable saying I am a philosopher".
Last edited by reasonvemotion on Mon Jun 25, 2012 1:33 am, edited 2 times in total.
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The Jesus Head
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Re: Sunday Sermon 24th June 2012

Post by The Jesus Head »

Thundril wrote:
Well TJH, there's nothing in here that I disagree with at all! :D
Is that good news or bad :?:
One of the principles of Liberal thought is "tolerance" in society where
agreement cannot be realised.
This is all that you have left to be able to live in harmony in a world
in which truth is elusive.
Thundril
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Re: Sunday Sermon 24th June 2012

Post by Thundril »

The Jesus Head wrote:
Thundril wrote:
Well TJH, there's nothing in here that I disagree with at all! :D
Is that good news or bad :?:
One of the principles of Liberal thought is "tolerance" in society where
agreement cannot be realised.
This is all that you have left to be able to live in harmony in a world
in which truth is elusive.
That may well be so. But not being much of a liberal myself, my response to other people's actions may vary from an indifferent shrug to passionate support or opposition. Depends how important the issue seems to me at the time, and what the most effective course of action seems to be at the time, and also, quite honestly, whether I can be arsed.
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