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Peter Says Stuff | Come for the Banter; Stay for the Bullshit

Monday, April 28, 2014

In a World Without Meaning, Why Live? - Camus' "The Myth of Sisyphus"

In my attempt to rebuild my philosophy from the ground up, I examined the most fundamental of questions: suicide. Per Camus, suicide is the most important philosophical question and thus I decided to read Albert Camus’ The Myth of Sisyphus and that is the book that will be analyzed/explained first.

Absurd Life

So I know this isn’t truly starting at “the big” question of whether humans actually exist, but for the sake of argument, we must assume that humans do in fact exist in the physical sense. I’m sorry Descartes (and to some extent Hume), but musing over those questions, while great for keeping one up at night, will get me nowhere in my search for a new value system. Thus I will start with a few basic assumptions, nothing more:
  1. Humans exist in a physical form
  2. Death is a real thing and, although the definition is debatable, there is a distinction between life and death (sorry Lanza)
  3. Humans have some sort of free will
  4. There is no god (This one is debatable but, I have written answers to The Kalām Cosmological Argument, twice, The Fine Tuning Argument, twice, and The Transcendental Argument, among others)

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Climate Denial and the Death of Rationality

Unfortunately, despite all our scientific advances and supposed advances in rationality, there is still one lingering and debated issue...whether climate change is anthropogenic or not. If you’re a person who enjoys the Kochs or believes everything the CATO Institute tells you, this is directed towards you. In 2013 a study was completed by and authored by nine different scientists ranging from climate scientists at the University of Queensland to geological scientists at Memorial University of Newfoundland. The article, titled, “Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature”, apart from being one of the best articles on climate science I have ever seen, without a doubt proves the human influence on the environment. Specifically, the authors, Cook et al., took over 10,000 peer-reviewed scientific articles published in journals examining climate science over the past 20 years and found that “papers rejecting the consensus on AGW[1]…[make up]…a vanishingly small proportion of the published research” (Cook et al.). Specifically, the study found that literally less than 1%[2] of all the papers published and studied rejected the anthropogenic thesis. When one churns the math (.007 * 11,944 papers = 83.6, rounded to 84), 84 out of the over 10,000 papers rejected the thesis that climate change is anthropogenic and, as per the study, that already amazingly small percentage is shrinking (Cook et al.).

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Heartbleed Info

Because I have failed my duties as a blogger who not only aims to philosophical and religious discussions, but also posts about internet security and data privacy by not writing anything formal about the massive "Heartbleed" exploit in the openSSL protocol, I will provide the following videos if anyone is still interested.

So while it is too late for me to write a dedicated post (given the sheer number that exist), there are a few videos that are important for the layperson to see if they want to understand what "Heartbleed" actually is.

The first is a video from Elastica Inc. explaining the "Heartbeat" program in openSSL:

The next is a video by Lynda indicating what companies are doing to fix the exploit as well as what you should once a company has fixed the exploit (you can check to see if a company has fixed the exploit using this handy tool by LastPass):

Additionally, if sites offer it, you should enable two-step verification and you can read how to do that here.

And finally, a wise thing to do is to utilize a password manager (I explain them indepth here) and change them if needed. For instructions on how to use a password manager efficiently, please see my explanation here.

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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Thank You for Not Breeding: Anthropocentrism, Homo ecophagus, and Human Extinction

So this is a paper I've been working on for a few weeks and, of course, I wanted to share it with you. The paper itself is rather lengthy and formatted just the way I want it so I won't post the full thing here, rather, I will post the coverphoto linking to the PDF that you can download. Before that however, I do want to explain the paper and write an abstract.

The paper is meant to be a building block, or more precisely the building block for my ethical philosophy and how I view humans in relation to nature. The paper is lengthy because I feel I must defend my worldview with everything I have and thus I will not half ass it.

Abstract: Human growth has been increasing at an unprecedented and exponential rate and the harm the we are doing to the biosphere is becoming irreparable. What's more, the entirety of the industrialized world is rooted in one mindset, that of anthropocentrism - that is, the belief that humans are the center of everything - and this mindset is allowing for the moral justification for the death of the natural. I question the premise that humans are special and worth more than other creatures or nature and I propose a solution, while potentially a pipedream, that would help restore balance to the biosphere.

So, if you all have any comments or criticisms, please leave them below and I will respond. Here is the coverphoto linking to the paper, I hope you enjoy it!

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Liberal "diversity"

Preface: So I wouldn't classify myself as one who agrees with the far right but I sure as hell don't agree with the far left, specifically 21st century liberal hypocrisy. I'm writing this not to advocate a world view, as others would, but to expose hypocrisy that liberals too often cover up.

So normally I would leave posts like this up to Jared Taylor or the folks over at American Renaissance, but this is an issue that has been on my mind lately and I want to talk about it. That issue is the issue of liberal hypocrisy when it comes to diversity and multiculturalism. Specifically,  liberals that preach multiculturalism and diversity are often the ones least likely to know anything about other cultures and are more likely to promote diversity everywhere but where they live.

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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Equal in Ability vs. Equal in Being

So there's a sad trend that I've noticed that occurs both in neo-reactionary circles as well as on Jared Taylor's American Renaissance and that is to conflate equal in ability to equal in being. Specifically, the argument that is often touted is that "well some people are stronger than others and some races are smarter than others etc. so you can't say humans are equal!".  (an example is this article)

But to say this is to commit a fallacy. It assumes that the argument egalitarians make is that true human equality means that humans are all the same, when in actuality the argument is not that all humans are exactly the same, rather, that there is some common standard amongst humans and this standard (which I'll talk about later) is constant. And if this standard is constant, it is a baseline for what it means to be human and thus, on the most rudimentary level, creates possessing this standard or characteristic (humans) would be ontologically equal - that is, equal in being.

This would be, for the most part, a species classification. For example: some breeds of dogs are smarter than others, some are more aggressive than others, and some are just down right cute. [fig 1.] But at the end of the day, they are all still dogs and thus, if one assigns moral judgements based on species, they would be ontologically equal while not being physically equal.

                            [fig 1. - My little baby in a cowboy hat for New Years!]

Now humans are an interesting bunch (one that I don't care for all too much) in that there is debate over whether there is a unifying standard, that is, something that every human has and is something that makes us human. Theists would argue a soul, Kantian's would argue rationality (haha), and others would argue nothing. I honestly have no idea. I have no idea if such a standard exists. So I will leave with a comment and a few residual questions. I don't know if there is some unifying feature in humanity and to be honest, I don't care a huge amount. But I do care when people falsely conflate equal in ability to equal in being. They are not one in the same - someone can be one but not the other (much like a square is a rectangle but not vice versa per se).

So readers: is there a unifying human standard? I would love to hear what you think.

But in your analyses please consider the following questions:
  • is the standard inherent to what it means to be human - that is, do all humans meet it?
  • if some don't meet it, are they not human?
  • and if so, how should one evaluate them?

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