Monks and Robots

These are monks, who are depicted as the incarnation of peace and love; yet they have recently been massacring Rohingya minority in Myanmar… All dogmas, be it religious or nationalistic, are dangerous for humanity. Dogmas turn individuals into robots. Today’s good robot could easily be transformed into monsters by a push of button.

You would probably Lynch Socrates, Crucify Jesus and Evict Muhammad

Yesterday in one of my Philosophy classes, we discussed Plato’s The Apology, the trial and defense of Socrates… One of my favorite books!. To demonstrate the feelings of Athenians against Socrates, I asked the class a provocative question. I asked them about their position against flag burning.

The Prime Argument

Edip Yuksel and Carl Sagan argue on the “mathematical structure” of the Quran and its philosophical implication regarding the existence of God. Carl Sagan, as an agnostic astronomer, expresses his doubts about such an inference. The two-round short argument provides a different perspective on the “Miraculous Code 19” of the Quran. It is a prime argument on a mysterious prime number.

Why Study Philosophy, Love of Wisdom?

With time you will learn to understand the arguments better. That is the beginning of the trouble. If you are raised as a believer of something you may experience some fear and helplessness in the darkness of the second stage. The density of fear is proportional to the salience of your family values and the degree of your relation with your close family members, and society.

Why philosophy does not prove anything?

I won’t liken philosophers to a gang of blind wannabe zoologists trying to describe an elephant by touching her body from different positions. Philosophers develop and create new perspectives for old problems. As a by-product of their zeal they create many new problems. Nevertheless, each argument, by opening another peephole from a different direction contributes to enlarge our vision. Occasionally, one of those peepholes changes the whole picture.

Are Rules Futile or Helpful?

A person is not born as a virtuous person. I think that Ariston agrees with this statement. Learning the principle of moral philosophy, discovering the appropriate rules and internalizing them is a long process which require biological growth, analytical brain and time. Hence, how can Ariston expect from a four year old Yahya (my son) to learn by his mere reasoning not to bite his sister? Rules and sanctions are necessary to protect the virtuous people and their daughters from the harms of irrational actions of immature creatures, like Yahya.

There is No Time For A Frozen Brain: Trimming Mysteries by a Wittgensteinian Slab

There is No Time For A Frozen Brain: Trimming Mysteries by a Wittgensteinian Slab Edip Yuksel “Why do they put the word ‘dictionary’ in the dictionary? Ya gotta know what it is if you’re using the dumb thing, dontcha? Besides, it’s written right on the cover what it is and if you don’t know …

Continue reading ‘There is No Time For A Frozen Brain: Trimming Mysteries by a Wittgensteinian Slab’ »

Descartes vs. Berkeley: On the Two Corners of the Triangle

Mind, body and God! This is a Bermuda Triangle which philosophers have been struggling with for centuries. They have demonstrated positions ranging on all possible combinations and permutations: All three exist… Only mind exists… Mind and body exist, while God is created by our mind… Body is the essence and mind is a function of the body… Only universal spirit, that is God, exists… Mind is the first… No, body is the first… Neither, God is the first… So on so forth… Here we will demonstrate, compare and contrast the opinions of Descartes and Berkeley on the interaction and relation between the two corners of the triangle: Mind and God.

Popper’s Theory of Epistemology

A scientific hypothesis must provide a logical possibility to be refuted by a probable true observation statement. Therefore, according to Popper, falsifiability is a required characteristic for a scientific theory. Science evolves by shedding its falsified theories. Popper’s falsification model is similar to the notion of “natural selection”. The best theory survives.

The Spiritual Roots of Space Colonies

Our eyes are dazzled with the light of modern scientific blaze. Any argument spiced with a bunch of latest scientific jargon gets a good chance of being treated with high respect. Did science become a goddess with scientists as her gullible worshipers? Or, are we still underestimating the power of science and technology?

Copernican Revolution

Discontent and frustration with the Ptolemaic system, loosing faith in ancient philosophers, practical need for a better calendar, a new scientific attitude preferring qualitative neatness and simplicity, rebellion against the oppression of church, yes, all of these psychological and social factors created a militant intelligentsia and a scientific elite that was ready to put the sun in the center. Putting the sun in the center was similar to raise the flag of revolution. It was the first concrete monument that could express all of the feelings and information accumulated throughout the centuries.

Bourdieustic Thoughts: On Authorized Language and Uniform Rituals

As a member of University, now I am participating in a ritual which empowers the academic hierarchy and justifies the existence of the institution. In order to get some share from its symbolic power stock market, I am obligated to write a paper that should demonstrate the habitus of social scientists: impose on myself to evaluate the evaluation of a respected member of other respected members of the club. I am expected not to use slang. I am expected to cite a long list of accepted intellectual works. I am expected to create a theory of my own, and occasionally manufacture new jargons as trade mark of my production. I know that I am not expected to divert from formal guidelines. I know that it is only tolerated to a certain extend when your name has gained certain authority in the hierarchy. Well, I tried my best to fit the mold. But, I continuously struggled in a dilemma created by my rebellious and mischievous thoughts. Here is my intellectual “cookie” prepared in a sleepless night that was occasionally interrupted by my newborn son’s ritualistic cry.

Happiness And Virtue as a Mean

Thus, the ancient conception of happiness is “a socially justified state of contentment” while the modern conception of happiness is “personally justified state of contentment.” According to Webster, a burglar celebrating his success in a bar with his friends is happy; but according to Aristotle that burglar cannot be happy, since happiness is relevant for rational beings, and a rational being cannot be happy with burglary. A celebrating burglar is a grazing animal.

Trojan Horses in your Brain

Now the internet added more burden beyond critical thinking; we must also do the critical research or authentication of what we read and see. It is disheartening that the great majority of people are neither critical researchers nor critical thinkers. With so much false information floating around and so many brains infected with logical fallacies are surfing the net, we will end up with more charlatans and crooks as politicians and business leaders.

Dead Philosophers Defend my Son, Yahya!

Philosophers Defend my Son, Yahya, for a Grade Change and the Grade Changes! Yahya Yuksel, mentored by his dad, Abu Yahya 23 December 2008 Dear Professor and T.A., Excluding my personal learning experience during my adventure on this planet, my familiarity with philosophy and philosophers is limited with two low level philosophy classes that …

Continue reading ‘Dead Philosophers Defend my Son, Yahya!’ »