Tuesday, December 4, 2007

quit usin that reason, dog

so one of descartes things is about the soul and thinking and how animals dont actually think and dont reason so they have no soul. i am against that belief. i think animals do think and do use reason. they may not be able to construct grammatically correct sentences but there is thinking going on. i have two dogs and i have witnessed many instances in which reasoning and thinking takes place with them. i also know that almost every other pet owner i have ever known, share similar feelings about their pets intelligence. one instance in which i believe my dog demonstrated the use of reason was when he stole my uncles food from his plate during a meal. so we were sitting at our table eating a meal with my dog inside with us. he starts begging at the table but gets nothing. later he goes to the door to my backyard and starts scratching on the door and whimpering. my uncle got up to let him outside but as he opened the door my dog ran back to the table to my uncles seat and started to eat the food off his plate. Bruce (my dog) put a bunch of facts together and used them to get what he wanted. first of all he knows that he wont get food from the table as long as there are people there. second he knows that when he scratches on the door he will be let outside. in order to be let outside someone has to get up and open the door. and when someone gets up to open that door they will not be at the table guarding their food. i think this very simple yet effective plan demonstrates reasoning.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

thinking for yourself

so much for that whole describing my day thing, so last class we started talking about thinking for yourself and whether or not that was really possible. some people didnt think it could truly be done because we are affected so much by everything and everyone around us. however i disagree, i think it is very possible to think for yourself. just because you are influenced by others doesnt mean you cant think for yourself. thinking for yourself is not the same as making a decision. the decision is an action and the thinking is what leads to that action. it is the analyzing and comprehension of facts, opinions, and events around you. when it comes down to making a decision, in a lot of cases there are only a few options. for example at college there are lots of parties. you can either go to a party or not go to a party and do something else. no matter what there will always be people that go and people that dont. you cant say that because you go to the party with lots of other people, you arent thinking for yourself. the decision may be the same decision as lots of other people, but that doesnt negate the fact that you think about whether you want to go, weighing the benefits and consequences, in your own head. the process of thinking is so much more complicated than simply going or not going, its ridiculous to assume that because the outcomes are the same that the process that got you there is also the same. there are so many people in the world and there have been for so long that it would be extremely difficult in your everyday life to do something that no one has ever done or thought about. you dont have to be unique to think for yourself

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

starting again

so its been awhile since my last blog post and i realized that i needed to get back on the horse. i had been having a hard time coming up with new topics just using the class discussions as a source. ive decided to start blogging about life in general and my everyday happenings. today started off fantastically, with 8 oclock econ. it only lasted about 30-40 minutes because we are making our end of the semester presentations, which i still need to finish by the way. then i found my self on facebook "keeping in touch with friends" but really just looking for a little validation in the form of notifications. after i finished, i made my way to wismer for some food where i was pleasantly surprised to find old Boz. i had a nice little chat with him discussion hollywood producers and whether or not they were indeed communists. one thing i can say about ursinus is that i have met and made friends with very interesting and different people than i am used to knowing. breakfast was followed by french, which is especially difficult on tuesdays and thursdays because i have to wake up so early for econ. well i slept and ate and went to sculpture for the rest of my daylight hours. sculpture was also shortened for me because i hadnt had a chance to purchase my materials for the final project. i spent my time planning my project rather than actually fabricating it. i feel like i will be running out of time with this project due to the number of other assignments i have due at the end of the semester. i got a ride to lowes to buy my materials and got a chance to talk with the Rev about our hometowns and dealing with some of the scum that inhabit them. it was a stimulating discussion about how some people just dont know how to keep it real. so i got some of my materials and now im here writing this blog post. and while writing this i am remembering all the shit i have to do and it is managing to drag my until recently high spirits down. oh well, i do work so i will get to some of that shortly before the rest of the nights festivities. and oh yes there will be festivities. i promise my life is not as boring as all this, but i am forced by good conscience to omit certain details about my daily adventures.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

separation of church and science

so for some reason people believed there had to be a separation between religion and science. during the time of galileo the people could not accept his scientific observations because they believed the ideas clashed with their faith in god. i can see how a lot of scientific theories like evolution would directly go against the bible, but for a lot of the things galileo was teaching, there seems to be a certain amount of room for interpretation. the idea that the sun is the center of the earth could be explained by saying that god created the universe the way it is and didnt put the earth in the center, we just got it wrong until copernicus came along. i dont think there is anything in the bible about god making the earth the center of the galaxy. i suppose the real reason people rejected these ideas was not because of the ideas themselves but because of what the ideas represented. they would show that the church was wrong. this would hurt the church because they operated with the assumption that they were all knowing and always right. with this doubt in the minds of the people they may have begun doubting other aspects of the church and this would lead to its downfall.

Monday, November 5, 2007

that comet thing

so i may be a little behind with these blogs but i wanted to write this one about what we touched on last week. we briefly brought up the group of people that followed the halebob comet in one of those sidebars that our class is so good at doing. i believe that a group of people committed suicide when this comet passed by our atmosphere in the belief that there was an alien space ship following in the wake of the comet which would take them all to a better place. there were several comments made about the stupidity of such a belief. now im not advocating this group suicide thing and i dont believe that there were aliens behind the comment but there should be some sort of understanding of faith for them. yes there ideas seem crazy and ridiculous but so do many other beliefs when viewed by someone that does not follow them. christianity was viewed as a cult when it first began, and i could say that the idea of someone being resurrected three days after their death is just as crazy as aliens. just because there are more people following a set of ideas, doesnt mean they are always right or better. this ties in with what we were discussing with the cannibals. judging others because they act different from our social norms. in japan it was common for samurai to kill themselves after dishonoring themselves or their family. there are places in africa where genital mutilation is still practiced. i dont necessarily agree with any of these practices but they are what different people believe and follow. it just seemed wrong in the way we simply dismissed these comet people as freaks in a cult.

Friday, November 2, 2007

faith and science

nathan ask in an earlier class, what the difference is between science and religion. each person had a slightly different idea about what the answer was but one common idea was that science is measurable and religion is not. it is based on faith for some idea. i agree that there are many aspects of science that are measured and that is what gives them their validity. however there are also many things that are not measurable and require a certain degree of faith. gravity is only a word that has been given to that force that causes some forms of attraction. some could just as easily believe that gravity is actually god in a different form. just because science has labeled this force gravity, does not give it any more validity than someone saying god is responsible. people seem to be more willing to accept science because it can be proven or measured. but there are still so many things in our universe that science is trying to explain. how do you explain gravity? you can measure how fast something falls or how fast the planets rotate and complete their revolutions but what makes gravity, gravity. why is their an attraction between masses? i dont understand it but i except that gravity exists.

Monday, October 29, 2007

of montaigne

in our class we kinda decided that montaigne was trying to say two different things. the first was that most people judge other civilizations based on popular say and the second was that people should judge based on logic and reason. i dont think these two things can be separated. no matter how reason based you are there will undoubtedly be some aspect of your culture or life experience that factors into that reason. your upbringing and those around you will always have some sort of influence on you. you could either be in agreement with that popular say or you can disagree with it. even if you disagree with what the majority says, they are still having some sort of influence on you. in montaigne's case he has lived in france and he thinks it is full of problems. he is convinced that france is wrong. there may be many things wrong with how the country is run or its principles but there can still be an argument made for several positive aspects of france. it seems as though montaigne appreciates the brazilians for their culture, but it also seems like he appreciates them because they are not france. there is more distaste for france in this piece than admiration for brazil. he can say that based on reason and logic brazil is less barbaric than france but that reason is based off of what he does not like about this own culture.