The image of politicians and rich businessmen who rub their hands as they consciously conspire to knowingly harm innocents, steal from the poor and commit great injustice to society in order to get more money and power for themselves is a common one. One often thinks that they know themselves how harmful and detrimental their actions are, and know how to do things in a way that is better for society, but simply do not care. They care only about their bank account.
It often seems more likely they care so much about their bank account and themselves that they cannot fathom that what benefits them can be bad for society. A government policy that helps them cannot be unfair – it is only just that they get what they deserve. So they think. Continue reading →
What I admire about WordPress is that the biggest part of the users is American. While Germans are concerned about having a stable society, Frenchmen about beauty and pleasures of life, Russians about absolute truth, Americans are in obsession to prove that they are “good persons”. Continue reading →
Jonathan Haidt is creating new waves in the blogosphere. In his public provocative talk he suggested that social psychology is politically biased against conservatives. Despite of the fact that the claim has created some emotional consequences among both liberal and conservative camps, it does not seem to be far from reality. The main objections concern the reasons and mechanisms. SelfAwarePatterns refers to a great article by Maria Konnikova, giving even more examples of science being politically-, institutionally- and even gender-biased. Good to have some more examples for the implausibility of objectivity and tribal nature of convictions that we’ve highlighted in some of our own articles. Social psychology is not more biased than any other science.
In this article we will discuss the observations done in some experiments with split-brain patients. Specifically we will consider two kinds of neurological experiments and their impact on our understanding of consciousness. The first experiment you can see here:
People who have had their corpus callosum cut are said to have a split-brain. The corpus callosum is the part of the brain which allows the two hemispheres of the brain, the left and the right, to communicate; to send signals to each other. Thus, when the corpus callosum is cut, the two hemispheres cannot communicate – meaning that the left does not “know” what the right does and vice versa. Continue reading →
Undoubtedly religion have been used by groups and individuals with power to make the common people behave as they want them to and accept what they want them to. It can only be used this way if the people already believes – what does the proletariat care what a God they do not believe in commands of them! This view of religion can explain many aspects of religious beliefs as they occur in society – why, say, Catholicism has contained so many dogmas and ideas that are far away from the bible and the word of Christ. But as an explanation for why religions exist in the first place it does a poor job. Continue reading →
It is often claimed that people are religious because they fear death and/or the idea of eternal bliss and salvation sounds so tempting. If one is religious only because it puts oneself in a much better position (one imagines), why believe in a religion that puts so many restrictions on one’s own and others’ life? Why believe in a religion that condemns others? In particular, why believe in a religion that makes one not only feel guilt for one’s thoughts and actions, but also fear that either oneself or those one is close will be condemned by God? If religions are made for personal justification and comfort, then they are quite poorly constructed. If humans believe largely for personal reasons, then why does most religions say so much about everyone else?
Today’s philosophy deserves to be criticized, and good that it is. The problem is that when criticizing philosophy one usually defends science or religion. The same holds for the other parts of science-religion-philosophy triangle. Nice to see that someone finally seems to criticize all three of them.
Although it would be interesting to listen to the arguments why the platonic ethical intuitions are less consistent than the Bertrand Russell’s atheism.
There is a very nice article/interview in the Observer with Rebecca Newberger Goldstein about her latest book Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won’t Go Away, in which philosophy is defended very well. I particularly like the characterization of philosophy as `increasing coherence.’ I would very much like to see what people have to say about this, so I will try to keep up with the comments.