Archive for March, 2008

The Metaphysical Impossibility of god

by Jason Stotts

If you grant the principle that ex nihilo, nihil fit (from nothing, nothing comes) then you are necessarily atheist.  No matter what other attributes you predicate of a god, the most important is that of the “creator”.  Yet, if nothing can come from nothing, then this god could not have created everything: it has always existed.

If you don’t grant ex nihilo, nihil fit, then you have some interesting epistemological work to do (I believe it’s called rationalization).

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Exclusivity and Love

by Jason Stotts

It is today a common assumption that true romantic love requires exclusivity. Many different people, including Ayn Rand and Aristotle, argue that by having multiple lovers one would run into one of three major problems:

1. One would dilute one’s love such that no love that one had could be considered true love (lack of time, attention, and affection)

2. One would judge one love to be better than the other and consequently have no reason to maintain the inferior relationship.

3. One’s lovers would become jealous of each other and destroy the stability of the relationship.

These three problems are obviously very serious and running afoul of them would certainly spell the end of at least one relationship or may even preclude the possibility of love. Yet, what if one could successfully navigate these problems? Would the resultant opportunity for having multiple partners be worth the risk?

Ultimately, I seek to answer the question of whether the exclusivity of monogamy is the ideal for a relationship because of some aspect of the nature or love or whether it maintains its position of respect solely through an appeal to tradition. But I need your help! I need references (if they exist) for people who advocate (with clear reasons) having multiple partners or open relationships. I also welcome other objections, besides the above three, for major problems with having multiple lovers at the same time. Given that I can actually find the information I need, I plan to write an essay on the subject soon.

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New “Global Warming” Conference

by Jason Stotts

There was recently a new kind of conference held concerning “global warming”, one that’s actually concerned with finding out the facts of what’s going on.  Here’s some brief excerpts from their mainpage:

Are the scientists and economists who ask these questions just a fringe group, outside the scientific mainstream? Not at all. A 2003 survey of 530 climate scientists in 27 countries, conducted by Dennis Bray and Hans von Storch at the GKSS Institute of Coastal Research in Germany, found

82 percent said global warming is happening, but only
56 percent said it’s mostly the result of human causes, and only
35 percent said models can accurately predict future climate conditions.

Who’s on the fringe of scientific consensus? The alarmists, or the skeptics?

These scientists and economists deserve to be heard. They have stood up to political correctness and defended the scientific method at a time when doing so threatens their research grants, tenure, and ability to get published. Some of them have even faced death threats for daring to speak out against what can only be called the mass delusion of our time.

http://www.heartland.org/NewYork08/newyork08.cfm

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Vote or Die

by Jason Stotts

As a man of reason, I am vitally interested in seeing certain changes come about in the world. However, given that I am only one person, there is only so much that I can do right now. Yet, fortunately, that little bit is enough to make a difference.

One highly underrated thing that makes a huge difference is just disagreeing with people. If someone where you work is having a conversation about the value of “universal healthcare”, for example, it is enough merely to disagree that such is a good thing. While a refutation of the theory would obviously be better, just showing that there is not a consensus about the merit of such a program can cause others to re-examine their own beliefs. Merely saying “I disagree” can be enough to dissuade a sheep from taking sides with vicious doctrine.

Another important avenue open to you is to vote. Now, while we may not be able to change the course of US history by picking the next president because we are so few, we can certainly affect things on a local level. Even if we do no more than to go to the polls and vote no to local levies, we can help prevent new taxes from stealing our earnings before they ever reach our pockets. Sure, we may not be able to pick the next senator, but our vote does make a difference and at least we may be able to keep a little more of our earnings.

The current state of society is abysmal, but we have to remember that even little acts can start to make a difference and we have to start somewhere.

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