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April 2, 2018 / compassioninpolitics

Critique of Determinism and Sam Harris

 

 

Yep, if humans are robots or brains in a bag—everything we care about from rights and freedom to human dignity to justice and responsibility are absolutely and totally undermined.

Its ironic that the group that claims to stand for “freedom” is so anti-thetical to it in terms of determinism and relativism (and ultimately undermining any possibility of value or meaningful goals).

They write books to brains in a bag or robots. That makes total sense.

The argument is that if you accept his premise not just things you care about, but everything you care about it undermined. Everything that you could hope to have meaning and purpose is undermined. You don’t have a moral justification for freedom or rights and you don’t have a moral justification for human dignity (or anything you value).

Also, when forced to choose between two things that you’re not sure about—this serves as a pretty good tie breaking argument.

Not to mention putting on display the utter incoherence of the argument itself. If atheism claims to protect freedom and dignity this points out that taking some of its core premises seriously means that it is roasted on its on pitard.

If we are robots, everything about the academy, Maslow’s hierarchy, our legal system, and our ways of treating people collapses.

Any risk that we have freedom or free will or agency or autonomy—means his argument is wrong. He has to win 100% determinism.

Do you think we’re robots? Do you treat yourself as a robot? Which philosophy do you life by?

February 1, 2018 / compassioninpolitics

When are babies viable out of the womb? When should abortion be legal and illegal?

I’m glad I’ve never had to make this decision. Those who have to make this decision are certainly making what is an incredibly hard decision.
I think we can agree if we can prevent this decision or even from happening—without any impact on the mother—that we’d be better off as a society (specifically fewer negative repurcussions from unwanted pregnancies and abortions, specifically).
Many pro-life supporters accept the limit of rape.
Many pro-life supporters would say these are less than ideal.
One of the usual lines of someone attempting to justify the procedure:

* Its a choice, but that ignores the opportunity of the cost and the inability of the person or organism to speak or defend themselves. This is why the 14th Amendment, which is the equal protection clause has been used to defend the rights of the unborn.

* The second line of thinking often uses it “the women has no other choice.” However, there are alternatives. If they are in a toxic relationship, they can move or get help from the YWCA. They can also work with an adoption agency. They don’t have to raise the kid. So there are in fact other options.

* Or its “just like other health care procedures.” Which isn’t correct. There are unique aspects of the procedure that are distinct to the nature of abortion and how it impacts anothers existence and life without that other having the chance to do anything about it at all.

They would also probably say that life is life.

There is a certain truth to that statement, I tend to use heart beat of the baby or the survivability out of the womb as two middle ground criteria which we don’t usually seem to apply. States seem to have arbitrary justifications for the length of time which have almost nothing to do with the survivability or medical status of the baby.

Its also unfortunate that much of what goes on gets masked in euphemistic rhetoric, such that the brutality of the procedure gets overlooked.

Specifically week 6 a heartbeat is detectable via ultrasound. Many states allow abortions in the 12 week I believe.
And research from the National Institutes of Health points out that a baby can be viable at 20 weeks:

*A **new study* (http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1410689)* published in the New England Journal of Medicine on May 7 examined how hospitals differ in whether and how they treat extremely premature babies, starting at 22 weeks. Proponents of the bill say this study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, shows that the babies who would be saved through the 20-week abortion ban could now be considered viable. Some media reports also echoed the same conclusions.*
22 weeks presents an even further justification for limits, even as the limit is often at 24 week:
*Researchers found that 22 percent of the babies born at 22 weeks received active treatment, and hospitals varied in their whether and how they gave treatment to babies born between 22 and 27 weeks. There were 78 babies born at 22 weeks who received aggressive treatment. Among them, 18 of them survived (23 percent) to toddler age. Seven (9 percent) of them did not have severe or moderate impairment by the time they were toddlers.*
*That babies can survive at 22 weeks is not a new finding; it has been known for 15 years, Rysavy said.*
Its worth noting that the same criteria we use in climate change discussions, that of the precautionary principle seems to apply here, except to an even greater extent. It would seem that if ANY baby is viable, that that should be the criteria to be on the safe side. So that if 10 to 20% survive, that we should act in the interest of preserving those possible lives.

Source: First Trimester – American Pregnancy Association (http://americanpregnancy.org/while-pregnant/first-trimester/)
State regulations on abortion:
1. Abortion laws by state (https://www.washingtonpost.com/apps/g/page/politics/abortion-laws-by-state/297/)
2. An Overview of Abortion Laws (https://www.guttmacher.org/state-policy/explore/overview-abortion-laws)

January 31, 2018 / compassioninpolitics

  1. Question
  2. Story
  3. Culture/Art
  4. History (Data)
  5. Metaphor/Analogy
  6. Defining/Clarifying (the issue, reality).  How do we define Jesus?  How do we define church?  How do we define Christianity?
  7. Purpose
  8. Big picture
  9. Context
  10. Assumption-worldview (including limits)
  11. Wisdom (aka quote)
  12. How the universe works (experience of human life, experience of the human species)
  13. What counts as knowledge (really an assumption/worldview)
  14. Art of distinction/nuance (paying attention to details–paying attention to similarities and differences)
  15. Identify logical fallacy (Strawperson, Misconception, or Myth)
  16. Focus the mind of the listener
  17. Empathy
  18. Confession.  I’m not perfect.  We’re not perfect.
  19. Forgiveness (I need forgiveness, we need forgiveness)
  20. Sensory Experience Visual, Auditory
  21. Position against Pain/Reality of Culture (background of culture)
  22. Implicate/Crystalize/Amplification/Communicate significance
  23. SUCCESS (Example, concreteness).  Concreteness versus abstraction (relativism)

I need an acronymn for a pattern.

I’m not sure.  Thats above my pay grade.  My best guess is.   Thats an interesting question, but periferal.  Sin, Inevitability Judgement, and Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.

What are the most common misconceptions about Christianity?

Sample Arguments and Objections:

 

January 15, 2018 / compassioninpolitics

The Limits of the Natural Sciences

January 2, 2018 / compassioninpolitics

Most Important Christian Apologetics Questions Outline

List of important Christian Apologetics questions:

1. How is Jesus unique?
2. How does Jesus prove Christianity to be true?
3. What are the lessons of Jesus’ parables?
4. What are the lessons of Jesus’ sayings?
5. Was Jesus historical? What is the evidence/proof that Jesus was historical?
6. Was Jesus divine?
7. How are miracles possible?
8. Is the Bible we have reliable? Has the Biblical text been corrupted?
9. Which interpretation is correct?

Assumptions in the discussion:

1. Is relativism a legitimate answer?
2. What kinds of proof are legitimate?
3. How should we approach decision-making and critical thinking?

How can we communicate this effectively?

1. Reason
2. Emotion
3. Historical Example
4. Human Experience
5. Scenario/Example
6. Personal story (contains principle, values, wisdom, lesson)
7. Wisdom/Quote
8. Questions (self-reflective)

How did Jesus communicate?

Worldview:

1. What are the limits of relativism?
2. What are the limits of naturalism?
3. What are the limits of materialism?
4. What are the limits of scientism?
5. What are the limits of skepticism?

January 2, 2018 / compassioninpolitics

Why Entrepreneurs Fail

Why Entrepreneurs Fail: O.M.C.

Lack of organization

Lack of Mindset/Fear

Lack of collaboration.  Poor collaboration & coordination.

January 1, 2018 / compassioninpolitics

How can I avoid making logical fallacies

Be able to directly connect your premise to data, evidence, or proof. (aka why is that true? or why is that the case? what is the evidence for that claim?) Claim and warrants and data go together.

Limit conclusions to data available. This is argument 101. All good critical thinkers and scientists provide the limits of their conclusions based on available data.

Going beyond the available evidence or data only makes your argument a weak argument. For instance, if I get data from 10 people in San Diego. Its hardly the basis for expanding to all Californians or all people in the US. Over-generalization.

Pay attention to the distinctions that make a difference. Humans are prone to conflation. Pay attention to important analytical categories.

Care about the truth. Be more concerned about the truth than “winning” a discussion or argument. Its about truth, not power. If you’re just about winning arguments in conversation you’ve turned from a critical thinker into Trump.

Clearly identify inferences that go beyond the data. Be explicit or self-reflective about any generalizations.

What it the best and truest and most credible take on this issue. What ultimately gives up the best perspective on the truth.