Archive for May, 2007

Rush: A Philosophical Band

by Jason Stotts

I have only just heard about the band Rush, but I’m already a big fan. They integrate philosophical thought into their lyrics and make them accessible to everyone while not losing their meaning. Here is a sample of one of their songs, I plan to write more about them soon when I’ve heard more of their music.

There is unrest in the forest,
There is trouble with the trees,
For the maples want more sunlight
And the oaks ignore their pleas.

The trouble with the maples,
(And they’re quite convinced they’re right)
They say the oaks are just too lofty
And they grab up all the light.
But the oaks can’t help their feelings
If they like the way they’re made.
And they wonder why the maples
Can’t be happy in their shade?

There is trouble in the Forest
And the creatures all have fled
As the Maples scream ‘Oppression!’
And the Oaks, just shake their heads

So the maples formed a union
And demanded equal rights.
‘These oaks are just too greedy;
We will make them give us light.’
Now there’s no more oak oppression,
For they passed a noble law,
And the trees are all kept equal
By hatchet,
And saw.

Rush – The Trees

By What Right?

by Jason Stotts

My life is my own.
It is not yours.
No aspect of my life is yours.
I am not your slave.

By what right do you think you can take anything from me? I work to feed myself, to meet my needs, and fulfill my desires. I spend my time, the currency of my life, to earn money to spend as I deem fit. It is my money; I earned it with my life.

You say that there are “higher goals that society must care about”. You want nothing more than to have a society of slaves! How does it help some people to turn everyone into slaves? What good does continuing to breathe do me if I cannot live as a human? By what right should I be made a slave to compensate for someone’s poor life choices? By what right should the strong be destroyed for the sake of the weak?

Your fantasy world is so far removed from reality that all you can do is scream “but I want it!” If you want to help people, give your money to them. Stay away from mine; you have no right to it. But they might die? Should the rest of us be prohibited from living? Since when was life guaranteed?

I am not a slave and I have had enough of people thinking they have a right to my time, my money, and my life. By what right do you think you have any claim on me?!

The Irrationality of Atheism

by Jason Stotts

Atheism is a term that is often misused by both religious people and those who call themselves atheists. The term atheism comes from the Greek atheos, or lack of belief in the gods. Thus one who self-proclaims to be an atheist is proclaiming that they do not believe in gods. Yet, there is a something wrong with this. First, things should never be defined negatively. While a ball is certainly a non-square, it’s also a non-cup, and a non-car. Things have one set identity, which follows from the law of identity and the nature of existence, but one can also predicate of them an infinite class of things that they are not. This is, in fact, a corollary of the law of identity: things are not, what they are not. Thus for any object “X”, we can say that X is X, but also that X is not the set of all things which are not X (X=~{~X}).

The problem should be becoming clear now. People who do not believe in gods should not call themselves atheists. Nothing can exist as a lack of something else. It reminds me of an old proverb that “those who stand for nothing will fall for anything”. If one wants to know why “atheism” as a movement has never taken off, this is why – who wants to fight for a nothing? If religious belief is ever to be gotten rid of, it must be replaced by a positive philosophy. This positive philosophy must be one that people can rally behind and that can show them the grandeur and purpose of human life. If today’s Atheistic movement were to succeed, we would likely see something worse rise in the rift left by religion: nihilism. People obviously find some value in religion or else they would not practice it. It is this value that must be understand and replaced by true value if religion is to go away and a true rational society is to emerge. This is the only way religion can be done away with. Without replacing the value of religion, destroying the current religion will cause nothing but different gods.

So, if you do not believe in mystic fantasies, stop calling yourself an “atheist” and start thinking about what you stand for!

Masculinity and Femininity

by Jason Stotts

Masculinity and femininity are concepts that relate to the fundamental metaphysical difference between men and women; concepts that have their origin in basic human physiology. Yet masculinity and femininity are much more than a simple difference of genitals; while being male or female is sine qua non to be masculine or feminine respectively, it is not sufficient. There is something else needed for masculinity and femininity, something which only arises in certain circumstances […]


So begins my new essay on Masculinity and Femininity which is the cornerstone of my new theory of sexuality. If you’d like to read these essays, help me by contributing your thoughts on the subject:

If you’re male, when do you feel Masculine and what is it that causes you to feel this way?

If you’re female, when do you feel Feminine and what is it that causes you to feel this way?

E-mail me with your responses and you’ll be privy to the creation of a new philosophical theory as I develop each of its aspects in turn. If you don’t contribute, you won’t be seeing this essay or any of my work on sexual ethics.

Why Don’t Christians Kill Themselves?

by Jason Stotts

This is an interesting question that I’ve wondered about for quite some time. If the afterlife is such a glorious place where you’ll get to meet your “maker”, then why wouldn’t you want to hasten your trip to “revel in His glory”? Why would an omnibenevolent god want to keep you from seeing him “too soon”?

There is as much of an answer to these questions as there is to: why do blue unicorns do back-flips while dancing on amber clouds? When you start creating the world as you want it to be instead of discovering it for what it is, the only answer is to compound the rationalizations and stifle all reasonable objections to maintain your fantasy.

Of Skepticism and Nature

by Jason Stotts

As I lie here bathing in patches of sun and shade, beneath an ancient Oak proudly bearing its new summer greens, I can clearly feel the soft grass beneath me. When I reach out my hand I can feel the heat of a large granite rock that is almost as big as I am. The rock is dark grey, marked in places by soft lichen. I can clearly feel the unmoving hardness of the stone and try as I might, it will not budge for me. As I lean back against the mighty Oak, I feel calm and at ease. There is no doubt in my mind that the Oak tree will continue existing for the whole of my brief reprieve.

Indeed, the thought that some people actually have this fear saddens me. I cannot conceive of the constant terror and uncertainty that must come from skepticism. Because I know the world operates strictly by causality and is consequently beautifully ordered, I can always know what to expect, or at least a small range of things that might happen. A true skeptic, if such a position were possible, would be in a constant state of apprehension because he could never have any idea at all about what could happen. Truly, an honest skeptic, pardon the irony, could not even know that the sun will rise tomorrow and must, therefore, go to sleep hoping that light will once again (somehow) come to the world.

What skeptics really need is to get back in touch with reality; I recommend an Oak.