News update

Short news update (The other stuff is way more interesting!)

  • My digital camera refuses to switch on. The switch moves, the batteries are charged, nobody is home. Damn. Could be a while before more photo’s are posted!
  • Joe and Mellissa, an Uncle and Aunt of mine in Sydney are due to have another kid in April. More Fuller’s running around! I like the way they signed the email:

Joe, Melissa, Isabelle, Brianna and x “

  • I had my Wisdom Teeth out on monday, They where giving me heck and it should be covered under the wonderful UTS comprehensive Insurance, which is good! Pulled one straight out and had to cut the other one up etc. Got a good look, they where about an Inch big.
  • As per usual, got an essay due tommorow, and a logic assignment. Had an Accounting exam on Tuesday. Got lots of study done on Monday (Not. Between spitting and swallowing blood I didn’t do much). Had a Philosophy exam on Friday.
  • Magda is pretty sick at the moment – some form of flu.
  • Have bookings for Banff and Calgary over Christmas. Still no Accomodation in vancouver or Fiji. Haha. Oh well!
  • Ange and Alex are in South America!!

Thats all folks! I think!?

Freedom

Hello All, been a while since I last psted, and things in the uni-work situation haven’t changed much! I have an essay due tommorow, which should be interesting as I’m arguing about freedom in a Nietzschian / Gide / Margaret Atwood perspectives and whether Post Modernism or Modernism presents the best form of ‘freedom’.

To do this of course, I need to know what freedom is – we all think we know waht freedom is, but it is really quite a complex term to not only define but even reconcile to the real world. People have fought and died for freedom, but essentially it exists still as an independent concept – that is everybody has their own idea of what their personal freedom is, and philosophy certainly doesn’t seem to help reconcile that freedom.

Anyway – I regard freedom as the ability to choose between totaly equaly propositions or beliefs. By totaly equal, I mean probability and incentive wise.

In regards to this, if somebody was to coerce you into a decision, either by positive or negative means (reward or punishment), that decision would not be made freely, because the choice the external party wants you to make has a higher probability of appealing to you, as it results in a reward or removal of punishment.

As most everybody knows, advertising, marketing, society and environmental factors impact onteh decisions we make. Under my definition of freedom, I do not believe decisions influenced by these factors are free – the probability of your choices has been altered by some external factor.

These views of mine ar ein direct contrast to Mike’s, who believes (as best I understand) freedom is the ability to make a choice, regardless of the factors influencing your choice. Providing you have a choice, even if that choice is heavily influenced by an external party – it still represents the freedom.

Freedom to choose or freedom of choice?
Sir Isaiah Berlin ( famous for…) Also came up with two seperate hypothesis of freedom. Positive and Neggative Freedom. Positive Freedom is akin to ‘freedom to’ and Neggative Freedom is akin to ‘Freedom from.’
‘Freedom to’ includes concepts about rights to develop your potential, freedom to be whoever or whatever you please. Everybody should be equal and we should all have the same list of options as such, and the government should esnure that via our right to education and medication etc.
‘Freedom from’ is the concept that we should be free from external restraint or impediment, we should be free from fear, freedom of speech, free from excessive government control, taxes etc.
What form of freedom do you believe in?

Nature of the Mind-Body relationship


All I can say about this folks, is that I’m again mixing study and pleasure. However, be careful how you view these ideas – you may realize too late that your previous ideals are contradictory. I can’t offer a full range of the alternatives here right now – but I’ll be writting an essay on this on Friday, and hope to have most of teh alternatives covered by then!


Ok – you got Two major theories to choose from in teh begining – then you can notpick over finer details. Choice is; Dualism or Monism.
Dualism:

  • The nature of conscious intelligence is non-physical. The mental and pysical are two distinct things/spheres of events. (Brain and Mind)
  • Mental illness may not be just a physical problem and Psychology may be useful in treating preventing these types of problems.
  • Two broad categories (Containing sub categories) Property Dualism and Substance Dualism.

Monism:

  • Mental and physical things are not two things to be related or explained – there is only one thing,/sphere of events (Brain)
  • If you think that the mind is purely physical, mental illness must be a physical problem with the brain and Psychology can be considered useless, as messing with the mind cannot have any effect on the body(brain).
  • Two Broad Categories (Including sub categories) Idealism and Materialism.

An argument for Dualism (Which is kinda controversial to how I like to think of thigns, because I’m not convinced these things exist, but if they did – it would be the ebst way to explain them.)

Argument from Parapsychological Phenomena

  1. Telepathy, precognition, telekinesis, clairvoyance are facts which cannot be explained by normal scientific theories
  2. All of these theories are easily explained by dualism.
  3. Therefore, dualism is true

For those advocates of Ockhams Razor – is this simple enough for you? However – I don’t like it because it is of a similar structure to the; we can’t explain it, therefore God created it type of arguments.

Today, we are going to have a lesson on Property Dualism!

  1. Mind and body are NOT 2 different things
  2. The brain is a thing of substance.
  3. The brain has non-physical properties. (represent Mind)

Property Dualism Argument (Searle Minds, Brains, Ch 1.)

  1. Mental phenomena are caused by brain processes.
  2. Mental phenomena are just features of the brain.
  3. Just as the solidity of a table is caused by an arrangement of atomic particles, and is a feature of the table (not of the particles), so too is the mind both caused by, and a feature of, the brain.
  4. Hence mental states have two levels of description: a higher level in mental terms, and a lower level in physiological terms.

Why do I like Property Dualism? because I don’t like substance Dualism (Mind and Brain are 2 seperate things). Why don’t I like Substance Dualism? Because of two reasons:

  1. The Problem of Interaction; the Mind and Body clearly interact. If mind and body are radically distinct things, how do they interact? Obvious solution: Mind and body interact like a pilot and a ship – this is the Property Dualism view.
  2. It lends itself too much towards religion. Due to this one of the major arguments for substane Dualism and the problem of interaction is that God is the connection between mind and body and he controls our bodies via our minds in a type of parrallel universe. If this was the case God is responsible for all our physical actions, and we have no free will etc. I just don’t like that idea, besides, its foundation is that God exists and that has hardly been established without controversy.

However, Property Dualism is far from being my ideal idea of my mind. It still raises issues of freewill, and does not as easily explain teh quirks of the mind and consciousness. It addresses the issues materialism (Only the brain exists) and neuroscience raise better then Substance dualism, but still not satisfactorily.

More on this later. I’m going to bed. Goodnight. When you dream tonight, wonder where your dreams are coming from. Wonder where they’ll take you. Wonder if you’ve been there before. Wonder if your wondering is just in your dreams, orif your dreams are actually you wondering inyour sleep? Do you wonder if I’mjust saying this tomake this blog seem mysticaly and intelligent?

St Anselms Argument for Existence of God

This is revision people! This is one of tme msot famous A priori arguments for the existence of God – please comment.

St Anselm’s Ontological Argument: (A priori,)

  1. God is something which nothing greater can be conceived (Read possible)
  2. Even the fool understands that if God exists, he would be something which nothing greater can be conceived.
  3. It is one thing for something to exist in our understanding, and another thing for us to understand that it exists in reality. (Eg. A painters idea of his painting exists in his understanding, but it is not until it is painted that he understands that it exists in reality.)
  4. Something that exists in reality is greater then that which exists in our mind/understanding.
  5. ‘That which nothing greater can be conceived’ cannot exist only in the fools understanding, because if it can be conceived of only in our understanding, it cannot be conceived to exist in reality, which is greater.
  6. Therefore ‘that which nothing greater can be conceived’, God, undoubtedly exists in relation to our understanding and in reality.

Major Criticisms:

Gaunilo: Substitute ‘the greatest island’ for ‘God’ and you can deduce a false conclusion.

Anselms response: The argument only works for ‘God’ as god is the only thing we can really understand in our hearts (Conceive) as being ‘that which nothing greater can be conceived’

Kants:

  1. Anselm treats existence as a property and tehn proceeds to conclude that God has this property.
  2. To say God exists does not atttribute a property of existence to God
  3. To say that God exists is only to say that the concept of God has an instantation in the actual world; that there exists at least one thing which matches our concept of God.

Damians comment: This is an interesting argument, but I think Kant is correct, and Gaunilo points out how absurd it is – in that it only works for the definition of God, and is hence logically invalid, but still seems to logically valid. However, a key factor in all of tehse types of arguments is that God is defined as ‘that which nothing greater can be conceived’ and in reality, this could be anything. God could be the universe (If it is infinite) God could be so great we cannot actually conceive of him – the argument doesn’t actually say what god is, rather what God is not, and it certainly provides no support to St Anselms Christian God.

Ice Hockey!


PB150119
Originally uploaded by Nomad Odyssey.

Alvin managed to pickup some free tickets to a Regina V’s Vancouver Ice Hockey game, so despite my looming deadlines, I decided to head off in teh -25 weather to see the game!

Regina Lost by 1 goal and if they had of played the whole game like they played the last ten minutes, they would have won. Not that I minded, but they seemed to spend too much time going for the man rather then the puck.

Hah – I can’t skate and I’m still a critic!

Edmonton Pics & More….

Here is a small selection of pics from the trip to Edmonton – the little blonde kid is Carter – Darcy’s Son and Brittanys cousin. He’s a cheeky bugger but funny enough – he got a hold of my camera and he went around most of the night taking photo’s of Brittanys bum!

Carter posing for the Camera – Wish i had a shot of him wearing my black hat!
Magda and her meatballs at IKEA.

Sunset on the way to Edmonton.

Whithams or Whitams? Where are you?

Gosh! I have a dead link on my site!? Its Whithams Coffee, and I can’t find its home anywhere?

Heath? Where has Whitams gone? Or is it Whithams? it doens’t amtter it still doesn’t exist. Did Lance Insult Google one day – because you guys just don’t show up anymore! Anyway, it was itneresting because this was what I found when i searched for Whithams Coffee:

Striaght from the Vogue Discussion board:

emmysydney (19yr old model wannabe)

bathers is nice, but expensive.
for northern beaches – there are a couple of lovely ones in dee why.
but, i had the best cooked breakfast i’ve ever eaten the other day, it’s in waverton but worth the train ride – whithams coffee.
three or four eggs scrambled (and divine) a pile of bacon (seriously, lots) two very thick pieces of yummy white toast with loads of butter and two tomatoes! top with one of the best coffees in sydney (no joke!) and there you go – all for $10.50 including latte.
not bad hey
gee, they should employ me for marketing or something…

Heath must have been working that day :P.