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Posts posted by VonNoble

  1. Contentment might be as elusive as wealth.


    Is there something specific you can do (or stop doing ) to make your life more balanced or contented?


    Whatever it is...can you name it?   ...does the obstacle preventing you or blocking you....does the pause button ....have a name?


    (funds....wealth....too much ambition...to little....low self esteem....over confidence)


    i am am wondering if there is are one or two roadblocks many of us have in common?   Just a curiosity question 



  2. 6 hours ago, mererdog said:

     There is a nail that needs to be hammered. A hammer is a thing you can use to make hammering easier. But hammering is something you can do with whatever is handy. So if a man has competence in hammering, pretty much everything is a hammer. If everything is a hammer, what does it really mean to say you need a hammer?

    ....providing whatever is handy...is stronger than the nail?


  3. 12 hours ago, Dan56 said:

    My grandma always use to tell me; "If you've got food, shelter, and your health, stop bitching, because everything else in life is just frosting on the cake"..  So I suppose that a guy living in a cardboard box under an overpass would consider every one of us as living the "good life".. A persons perspective on what's constitutes a good life, is dependent on his vantage point.

    I think I like your grandma.   Does she bake pie? :russian:


    Had to ask... some grannies are pretty wise.    They always get my full attention when the bribe me with home-made pie.


    Your spin on granny’s outlook put a good spin on it.




  4. 21 hours ago, Key said:

    Had to break it to you, my friend, but nobody ever mastered philosophy. Folks have gotten degrees in it, yes, but it isn't limited by that and therefore isn't ever truly mastered.

    There are thoughts that have been considered before, but there haven't been considered the thoughts that have yet to come.

    Drat! :D


    I’ll settle  for speeding to the exit ramp on this class.    They do not have to give me the $200 bucks when I pass “go” :thumbu:


    I am toying getting another degree.   

    I believe I have enough credits to roll me back in as a junior or senior .... I might have to check on that.


    we can safely assume I will NOT. Major in philosophy:seesaw:


    • Like 1
  5. On 2/22/2018 at 10:40 AM, mererdog said:

    Consider the difference between "having shelter" and "having the ability to shelter."

    Interesting notation.   Access to shelter.... mobility to exit in advance of disaster.... we rambled all over the place.   AT LEAST we had all team members engaged this time.....THAT ALONE was progress. ;)


  6. 41 minutes ago, Brother Kaman said:

    It is a set up from the beginning. Environment is universal. The universe itself is environment. Unfair parameters.


    I presume this very enthused professor is fully aware on a room full of newbies ....that none of us would remotely catch structure issues. :mellow:


    A third of our group is worried about this class as they are scholarship recipients and unlike their other classes related to their major(where they are far more comfortable and interested) .... this classes had them anxious.    Another third is reasonably assured of passing with a “c” or higher and not too concerned (serious whatever attitude).... and rest are  VERY lost.    


    None of us ever considered the work problems were “engineered” for a stacked deck.   


    We pretty much are just racing the clock with any answer right now:D

    .... deep think is not happening for any of us ^_^ 


    thanks for the thought .... maybe by June we will have mastered which way is up...



  7. 3 hours ago, mererdog said:

    A man who thinks he needs money is like a man who thinks he needs a hammer. What he really needs is the realization that there is more than one tool that can do the job.

    A man who thinks he doesnt need beauty is like a man who thinks he doesn't need dental care. Let him go long enough without it and he'll change his mind.

    If you think about it, you can substitute mobility for shelter and achieve the same results, because shelter is only needed if you aren't somewhere hospitable....

    I rather enjoyed your support of the beauty and money issues.


    Since we had to keep the components universal....we could not come up with any place risk free of environmental issues.... so shelter got put in and taken off the list a couple of times.... your wider view is helpful.   Next class all of the groups will have to merge our lists into one perfect list.     I am sort of wondering what the entire class together voted for.... what did the larger group of 20-something’s decide...



  8. 4 hours ago, Dan56 said:


    “After a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing after all as wanting. It is not logical, but is often true.” - Star Trek, Spock

    Thanks for the candor.   I really liked the Spock quote.    ;)


    The group did add morality as a a critical component.    (And quoted Yoda from Star Wars).....it was something about “the forces” and avoiding the temptation of the dark side.   That was as close as we got for spirituality as a component.


    i was surprised food, shelter, and beauty did not make the list.   I argued for beauty but it was not in the majority.   I argued hard against money....and we dropped it but not till the last ten minutes.



  9. 6 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:


    I suppose it had to happen.  It is a philosophy class.  "What is the good life?"  This too shall pass.     :sigh2:

    :lol: I gotta say I am not enjoying this class as much as I had hoped.    The group got pretty bogged down on “freedom”.... half the group was adamant that is one of the components.  But they struggled to give a concrete reason.     The majority vote narrowed it to free will instead.    


    The one one I did not expect was “ a sense of humor”....



  10. If anyone wants to join in.... my philosophy class team completed the following today.    It took 80 minutes.... we were the second to last group to finish. 


    List at at least eight (no more than ten) components that comprise a “good life”


    Every component you list must be justified by at least two reasons why it is necessary for a good life.


    The components you select are not unique to any country or culture.


    Anyone care to jump in and name one or two....and why (the sample provided listed education as a component.... my group did not accept that as valid)



  11. 8 minutes ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:



    Usually, questions about Free Will are based on imponderable metaphysics.  "Do I have free will?  Or do I only have the illusion, of free will? 


    Not everything is definable.  Some things resist definition.  For instance, "life".  We can define the characteristics of life.  Living things have reproduction, movement, digestion, elimination, etc.  We can't actually define "life." We can still make a distinction between things that are alive, things that are dead, and things like rocks, that are neither living nor dead.  I think this is what we are up against, when we talk about free will, we are up against similar problems.


    Your question number one, is the kind of thing that a philosopher would ask.  Questions like -- "If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound?".  It's the kind of thing that we can argue about forever and never answer.  Since I don't even understand the distinctions you are making; I really don't want to answer.


    Question number  two.  Born with free will?  What free will are we born with?  What free will does a baby have?  It can't even decide if it's going to wet itself.  This is not free will.  Really, we must watch out for those invisible assumptions.  We make lots of silly assumptions about free will.  Assumptions like "God given" free will.  No.  I don't think it's valid to speak of being born with free will.


    Question number three.  Not choosing is a choice.  At least, as a general principle.  I'm sure that there are exceptions that I can't think of.  

    I am okay with all of that thanks.   It just seemed for awhile in this thread that there were absolutes eluding me. 

    I am okay with not having an answer for every question. 

    Thanks for taking the time to respond. 



  12. 46 minutes ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:


    We are making this overly complicated.  We have free will.  There are stronger forces that counter free will.  Free will can be overcome.  

    Okay...simply put... two questions 

    1.  Is free will a state of mind or a physical option or other


    2). If we are born with free will in a nutshell when is our situation “not” free will


    I lied)....sorry ... there is a third question....:blink:...if it boils down to choices-what happens when you can’t find one?


  13. 17 minutes ago, Brother Kaman said:

    From your own example, it is difficult to exercise free will to be in your home when you are tied to a bed in a concentration camp. My free will is always subject to someone else's free will. But we have the free will to make the decisions that we are able to decide. If one was to have a gun to his head and was told to give up their money or die, one still has the free will to exercise any option available to them. Fight, give the money up or take a bullet to the head or any other choice that may present itself.  Choices. We all have choices. The choices are made freely.

    Ah!   The example helped me to understand the point.  Thank you. 


  14. 24 minutes ago, cuchulain said:

    Free will is defined as the ability to act at ones own discretion.  If a person is unable to act at their own discretion, they obviously do not have free will.  Since a person might prefer to live than die, and could be given a choice between doing something they don't want to or dying(both options they would not choose at their own discretion), then NO...a person does NOT always have free will.  If a person freely chooses to die, and is forced to live, that is a choice against their discretion as well.

    This is my question too.   I do not yet have an anwser.   If I am forced to live did I I’d do I have free will choice?


  15. It seems some of the Jewish women were herded into concentration camps (so free will to survive kicked in enough they  chose not get shot getting on the trains to the camps) (they did not know what they faced or in some cases even that they were going to camps.)  Once they arrived at the camps. ....some of them (a few)  were impregnated solely for the purpose of experimentation.  They were never going to be allowed to carry their "Jew-blood babies) to term. 


    These women were raped.....and  once deemed to be pregnant ....some tied into beds - if necessary force fed....and poked and prodded all the way to full term.)  Once these forced to term women went into labor - a fully developed child tried to emerge as nature intended.   A fully developed human might be endowed with free-will.... a biologically an emerging infant is fully human by most definitions - (so there is a  question of free will and would exist at this stage of development)...back to the facts - so here this kid is - finding its way to the air-breathing world. 


    One of the many horrors these woman were restrained (physically) - so that the baby could NOT emerge.  It would not and could not be permitted to exit.....ending in the death of both mother and child.  For hours (noted by the doctors watching the experiment) - for hours on occasion -  the mothers struggled against the restraints to force an opening wide enough of the child to emerge.  For hours sometimes the infants struggle to be free of the mother's body.    All observers kept notes.....and watched the two struggling. 


    Now there are far fewer instinctive responses  stronger than birthing of a child. Both bodies were physically denied a choice.  Both died fighting for life.    A life not conceived freely.  A life forced into existence.  A life nurtured for months to full development. 


    Sometimes people try to die. Try to starve to death.  Try to entice death to them. Try to force a shot to the head. And sometimes they are just forced to live. There is little free will in being FORCED to live.   


    We do not allow anyone the right to die - in some cases now.  In some cases in suburbia - we force people to live who freely choose to die. 

    Does free will cease when you are FORCED to live?


    In the horror of the concentration camp....did either the mother or the child actually HAVE a choice to select that horrid death? Did they have free will to live?  If you chose torture over death and they do a bit too much water boarding - although you are choosing to live and struggle to breath - did you have free will in choosing death?   Some do...they gulp in the water to end the madness.   But some fight to breath and cannot....and they die trying so hard to exercise their free will to LIVE....the one where they chose a life of torture ....which is clearly choosing life - but alas!  They are killed by an over zealot torture person.  Did they then have free will after all?


  16. Apparently I am not the only dunderhead in this class.   They are pushing back the date on our next test.    Lots of people are confused by...1) the formulas 2) the explanation (the lesson)  3)the prof wants to watch the Olympics and not do the test till the are over 4) OTHER


    I have no idea why but it gives me a couple more days to sort this out :blink:    Score one for technology.... the decision was made over the weekend... and so we were not surprised by the change of scheduling.   It was nice to have advanced warning allow everyone better use if their time.



  17. On a related note...

    I heard on the radio today a group of detainees is suing the United States for being used to do forced labor with no compensation.


    If the premise defines slavery as the determining factor upon which we are defined as morally flawed.... that is a twist for us in the here and now.    Some would view forced labor without compensation as a form of slavery perhaps....





  18. On 2/9/2018 at 10:39 PM, Dan56 said:


    In ancient cultures, people without any means of supporting themselves, sold themselves as slaves (indentured servitude). The alternative would have left a person destitute, starving, or even dead.. In such cases, it could be said that any culture forbidding slavery, was morally flawed. 


    Today, we have welfare, government housing, food stamps, medicaid, etc.. But consider a society where none of those things exited? Being a slave to someone who provided food and shelter would likely be preferable to dying on the streets. Slavery provides the necessities of life when a culture fails to provide the fundamental essentials to live.

    Interesting analysis.... thx


  19. 21 hours ago, VonNoble said:


    ANY culture that permits slavery is morally flawed.    Support your conclusion.





    Perhaps our class was flummoxed by the premise.   I was.


    I am reasonably sure no one in the room supported slavery.


    The questioned was asking (at least to me) ....do I judge the entire culture as morally flawed solely on the issue of them permitting slavery?    That I the only thing we know.    We do not know who they enslave or why?   We do not know the history or the possibility of eventual freedom options for said slaves.  


    For all we know they were a gift enslaved and given by their own people.  We do not know (for sure) if the treatment is humane.  If life is even remotely better than what they left.     We do not know what good this culture slaveholders offers.... we know nothing  beyond this one fact.   In this culture there exists a group not free.  Why?


    We were being asked to judge a culture.   (Not a country) in only one known fact.   I am not sure one fact is enough to render judgement (for me)......that being said it might well be enough for another to come to a conclusion.   I can see that worked too.


    Noting an entire group is morally flawed without knowing the reason why they chose this (to me offensive morally behavior )was difficult.   I prefer to understand before assigning condemnation.  This seemed to be true for for many in the class.   Even when the action clearly violates our view of normal.


    i was sort of encouraged that many were trying to understand what would make anyone think such a thing is right....