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Posts posted by VonNoble

  1. One student argued we are all slaves (not endearing himself by calling the professor the slave master. )    Another argued with him (down a fresh set of one way tracks) that we are all slaves to electronics or money.


    Another suggested slavery could be justified if you needed to save your own children.... if it were your only viable means to feed your own kids


    Yet another pointed to the nation of Austrialia as a point of origin ....noting not only prisoners worked to going the nation, but also indentured servants....who were forced to labor.   In his version of things they likely faired better than dying in a jail cell in London.


    Another likened the plains Indians going on rading parties to bring home unrelated women to insure the did not mate with bloodlines too close to their own....as a form of enslavement common to all tribes.  With no buying  or selling involved.  But enslavement nonetheless.  And perhaps culturally necessary.


    Or any race who chooses to bring home foreign children to raise as their own to perpetuate the tribes numbers....kidnaps as a form of survival.   


    And one last speaker noted after a nuclear blast .... was fertile people (non-sterile after radiation) would be coveted and be needed to reproduce ...which would insure they would be bought and sold.


    Whew.     My head hurt for awhile after that class :giveup:


    i came home and napped.    It was both necessary and sufficient:blink:




  2. 1 hour ago, mererdog said:

    It sometimes works better if you focus on what isn't, rather than what is-


    Water is not sufficient for human life, because we die if we don't eat food.

    Meat is not necessary for human life, because we can survive on other food.


    Another tack-

    Practice is necessary to win gold in the Olympics. No one wins gold who did not practice.

    Practice is not sufficient to win gold at the Olympics. The guy who wins silver also practiced, but the guy who won gold had other factors in his favor, in addition to the practice.



    Bear in mind that beyond the very basic and the very imaginary, it can be almost impossible to tell what is necessary or sufficient. You are almost always going to miss a factor hiding in the giant ball of interactions we call the universe. Life is risk.

    Actually these examples ARE helpful...I am going on line to take a practice test in a short while.... maybe it will build my confidence.



  3. 2 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:


    It might help to think in concrete rather than abstract terms.  I'm thinking of the police doctrine of excessive force.  Consider two examples.


    One.  The police show up to discover a drunk trying to break into a liquor store.  He has cracked the plate glass window.  He's more pathetic than dangerous.  There is no need to hurt him, or even threaten him with harm.  He is quickly subdued and placed in the back of the police car for processing.


    Two.  The police show up at an armed bank robbery in process.  One of the robbers exits the bank and shoots at the first police officer to arrive at the scene.  He refuses to drop his weapon.  The police will shoot back.  They use their side arms.  They do not use a rocket launcher.  


    Another example.  A deer hunter normally goes hunting with a sport rifle.  Not an AK-47.


    There is necessary.  There is sufficient.  There is excessive.  





    Thank you....I KNOW I have to know this... but when they assign it as a mathematical formula with p and q bouncing around the sentences it muddles it a bit.    One sentence used a double negative ....with all the p and q stuff and it took me awhile (too long) to sort it out (THAT quiz was timed)


    I do appreciate thd assist.


  4. 23 hours ago, Key said:

    If anything for your fellow students to learn, it is the concept of open thought to consider very different points of view to arrive at a conclusion or possible avenues to one. Even while a philosophers view may be argued, oftentimes their view does hold a ring of truth to them which makes them interesting to ponder.

    I find this valuable to understand in debate and teamwork. So, kudos to you on your discovery of this.

    Thx...I am struggling to CLEARLY understand the tool of necessary and sufficient....


    Every time I think I have it.... the next example provided fuzzes things up....my fellow students in my group seem equally confused so I guess this part is just “a process” till we all sort it out mentally.


  5. 37 minutes ago, mererdog said:

    Stop trying to trick us into doing your homework for you!


    Oh that was an excellent laugh :clap2:

    .... thank you!!!


    AFTER we turned in the quiz the prof opened the topic for discussion.


    She was horrified when no one in the room would agree with the statement as written.    

    The next (40) min was a free-for-all with a BUNCH of arguments how one could in extreme circumstances justify slavery.


    The ONLY WHEN it is critical for survival group moved to one side of the room.   The ...it is never okay for economic gain moved to the other side of the room.    


    And the misfits, oddballs and undecided group (referred to as the monkeys in the middle) .... gathered in the center of the room.


    The monkeys in the middle were the largest group.



  6. On 2/5/2018 at 3:26 PM, mererdog said:

    An economics professor convinced me that we focus on what we can measure because it gives us a sense of control, even though the things we can't measure are what ultimately determine our outcomes. This is a minority opinion among economists, but his arguments rang true for me. And its not too surprising that it is a minority opinion, given that most economists make a living by convincing companies to buy formulas and lists of stats...

    Thanks for sharing that.  The economics professor’s observations ring true for me as well.     AS DO YOURS.    ;)


  7. On 2/5/2018 at 2:27 PM, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

    I find philosophy more interesting as an idea than as a practice.  As an idea, philosophy is great.  In practice, it makes me want to run for the door.  There is nothing quite like a room full of intelligent, intellectual old men, arguing about -- "What is the good life?".  I can't stand it.  I'm also less than thrilled by heavy discussions about "First Cause" or the "Nature of Reality" or "The existence of God."  In general, the big questions.  Like -- "Why is there something instead of nothing?"  I can't do it any more.  


    When I was younger, I was into this stuff.  Now, it just drives me crazy.  I must admit, it's a shorted drive than it used to be.  :D 

    You CERTAINLY CAPTURED the essence of the class so far :thumbu:


    So far it is a “wishful thinking” presentation that discusses reality.    Applying the thoughts bantered about beyond discussing them will be interesting to observe.


    Doing every part of this class “as a team” is proving to be...in some ways a more valuable lesson.   UNLIKE LAST SEMESTER ...all team assignments are done in CLASS.     A LARGE portion of our grade hinges on the team’s effort.   We sort of sink or swim together. 


    You can can pass on individual points alone .... but the path to an “A” clearly will require the team to cooperate.  


    Which is forcing very different points of view to work to a common goal.  That dynamic is fascinating.   Uncomfortable for all of us.... but fascinating.



  8. On 2/4/2018 at 9:01 AM, mererdog said:

    So, have you learned anything useful, Von?


    Yes.  i always learn things from the FORUM contributors.  But more to your point - I have I have even learned one or two items in Philosophy class.   :lol:


    I doubt (at this moment) I will take more than one Philosophy class.   As interesting as it is (and it is) - I am afraid I can quickly understand why philosophers are not the highest paid people on the corporate ladder.   That is not intended as an insult or to be demeaning but rather it exposes a weakness in my thinking.    As a company executive - I  set pay scales based on production.  Those 'making" something, improving something in some measurable way earned more dollars than those who contributed to intangible improvements.    The Board of directors understood and valued numbers and tangible proof.   That was the directive I received and implemented. 


    That may not be the BEST system.   But it was the framework of the company I worked for...and most others that ever employed me.

    As long as productivity (a tangible) is rated higher than an intangible I am guessing it will remain that way. 


    To the point of Philosophy per se - what I have gathered so far is that there is a nifty set of tools for comparing the relationship between things.  There are several ways to frame thoughts to understand them more clearly.  Definitions can be manipulated to clarify (or confuse) a point of view if you are deft and practiced with these tools.   It is all a bit confusing but I suspect will be less so as we move more deeply into actually putting the tools into practice.   


    Some of my fellow students are intelligent but not too disciplined.  Some are outrageous and entertaining (deliberately and not so much on purpose) - and my professor is enthused about the topic.   She is frustrated by the class often.  But she comes in ready to try again to coach us into understanding ...so all in all - I am happy I am IN the class.    I am learning to widen some parts of my thinking and close up big gaps in logic that I am all too comfortable with, etc. 


    Thanks for asking.  I am a work in progress ESPECIALLY in these early days of this class. 



  9. On 1/28/2018 at 1:07 PM, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:



    Thank you.  One more thought.  If somehow, all God belief were to vanish -- people would still be people.  The world would still be a mess.  It would be a different mess -- but still a mess.  The triumph of Atheism -- by itself -- would not save Humanity from itself.






    What a thought. 


    Human beings plural ....is humans being.


    If only.....


    thx for thought jog



  10. 6 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

    In fairness, this does not let Buddhism off the hook.  A major claim of Buddhism is that Buddhism is a path to enlightenment.  Anybody can achieve enlightenment through Buddhist practice.  That is, anyone can become a Buddha.  After three thousand years of Buddhist practice -- where are all the Buddhas?  


    Collectively -- there are parts of the world where Buddhism is the dominant philosophy.  Are these "enlightend societies"?  Not really.  They're not worse.  They're not better.  Only different.  


    Buddha insisted that his ideas could be put to the test.  From what I can see, the results have been mixed.  


    Your point is a good one.   Visiting a predominately Buddhist area - I was sort of disappointed that things were not as ideal as I had expected.   In discussing it with my guide - he quickly pointed out  - while true enough, I might want to consider a wider lens.   Compared to other areas in the region they were lightyears ahead in areas of equality, tolerance and non-violent solutions.    While he was wiling to make a concession to your point - his lens saw it as being incredibly better than it would have been if the area were not mostly Buddhist......


    Still.  Your point is a good one.  


    I agree  - Buddhists are not better, then again most I have met don't claim to be better as a group.   Nor do they try and convert

    others that they MUST choose Buddhism.   They tend more to view are they better than yesterday....are they better this hour than last etc........(smaller bites in assessing their progress)......was I honest and fair today more than I was yesterday.    They don't try and make the leap to perfect (or enlightened) in one lifetime.   They accept a slower progression.   And I suspect enlightened folks tend to keep a VERY low profile - maybe....^_^


    There are likely about the same number of stellar folks under all labels maybe.   (which then begs why humans keep investing billions and billions in churches, temples, mosques and the like) - - - if the net results is a needle that doesn't significantly advance. 


    All good thoughts you raised.   Thank you. 



  11. I just came from visiting a nice park by the river.   Beautiful day.


    There were lots of kids (great sound to hear them giggle) ...and LOTS of dogs.

    One caught my eye.....I didn't really know what I was looking at.   Her name is Molly.


    Molly decided to come over and visit and she was a very nice dog.

    When her owners caught up with her - I asked about the breed (unfamiliar to me) and 

    was told Molly was a Portuguese Water dog.    I confirmed the same breed the Obama

    family had in the White House.   


    So the husband continued.....it was a smart dog, who believed everyone needed to meet her

    (and we laughed) and he said she can sometimes be stubborn - - - - LIKE A WIFE.


    You can tell he gets a laugh with this most of the time and she waited just long enough to add:

    I represent that remark! 


    Netting them another chuckle from listeners (my mom used to say: I resemble that remark) 


    It might be fun to share a few of these little witty chuckle makers for all of us to at least attempt

    to add some mirth to the world. 


    Who else can share a witty, clever or thought provoking (KIND!) come back the rest of us

    can tuck away into our interactions. 


    When anyone notes how we all are - getting old - I always add....any day I am vertical is a good day.





  12. 3 hours ago, Brother Kaman said:

    And how much reality do we truly see? We are limited by our ignorance.


    I saw a future chapter in our readings entitled:   How do we know....what we believe we know?

    I am hoping that is after mid-term.     :lol:


    My gray ole noggin' is getting really full of new terms and "logic" formulas.    I took today off from

    reading just to let the avalanche of new information settle.   Too much fresh powder to ski the

    mountain today.    :D


  13. 7 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:



    I hope this puts things into perspective.  The prisoners of Plato's cave were imprisoned, not by their chains -- but by their inability to perceive true reality.  Their perceptions were limited to "shadow".    The world of surface reality.  


    I think this also relates to Agnosticism, without the mysticism.  Agnostics also ask irritating questions.  Things like -- "What is true?" and -- "How do we know, what is true?"  Sound familiar?     :D

    I appreciate the summation of the Allegory of the Cave.    We are taking on that issue for a second class period next week.


    Yes, the questions  you noted are becoming quite familiar in the "Food for Thought" notations scattered throughout our readings.

    You obviously know a thing or two about this topic.   It seems beneficial to at least understand the basics.


  14. 7 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:


    I'm not satisfied that there was a historic Jesus.  There is no verification of his existence outside of Scripture.  Some of what is in Scripture is not plausible. 


    Even the mundane accounts of the Gospels scream improbability. 


    When there is no external verification -- and the internal account is clearly false -- there is no reason to believe any of it.


    Now, we need to make an important distinction.

    We also don't know with any certainty that there was a historic Buddha.  We don't need a historic Buddha.  What matters is the ideas of Buddha. 


    Like wise, we have no proof that there was a historic Plato.  What matters is the ideas of Plato -- regardless of who said them.


      Unless of course, we wish to assert that Jesus was a human philosopher.  Then, there are other issues.  

     I agree - the actual existence of Buddha, or Plato are not critical to pinpoint.   The ideas carry forward.  In class they presented a related quote attributed to Socrates:.... philosophers give birth to "eternal children" (birthing ideas that live for generations.)  


    There are times where I do see Jesus (if he existed) as a potential philosopher.   


    My prediction for future assignments for this class will include a presentation of a proper statement from each of us

    regarding our personal beliefs re: the existence of God/god.   I better get started on formulating one.   it is going to take me 

    awhile. :blink:


    It has been a long while since I needed to focus on that issue.    

    Morality and a causal correlation to god/God do not seem to be relevant to me.   So I guess I better start working on 

    how one phrases that properly (and of course - defends whatever stand one takes as part of a class exercise.) 


    That will be another day. 






  15. 4 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:



    I don't find either of them to be helpful -- or inspirational.  


    As you explore the writings of Pythagoras and the other Greek Geomitrists -- you will discover that they were out and out mystics.  They had no practical use for Geometry.  They were exploring the nature of reality.  It helps keep Plato in perspective.  They were interested in the reality beyond -- behind --  underneath -- the apparent.  

    This is very helpful.   A couple of class references make more sense now.    TgNk you.       von

  16. 3 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:


    No.  I have found some of the ideas in Buddhism helpful.  The idea of the Middle Path of Moderation.  The idea of releasing and letting go.  The idea that all things pass.  A few lesser ideas.  I don't think that makes me -- in any way -- a Buddhist.  I also don't think that Buddha intended to start a new "religion".  Or even a new philosophy.  Buddha was a practical man.  He began with a few basic questions.  Questions like -- "Why do we suffer?"  "How can we release our suffering?"  Alas, the usual pattern followed.  People became professional clergy.  Then simple ideas -- and simple practices -- became complicated.  No.  I am not a Buddhist.  I'm not sure that Buddha was a Buddhist.  


    If anything, Buddha was an Agnostic.  In the Dhampada -- the earliest collection of Buddhist writings -- a young man wants to ask Buddha some questions.


    "Tell me about God."

    "The existence of God might not be the case."

    "There's no God?"

    "The non-existence of God might not be the case."

    "The gods?"

    "The existence of the gods might not be the case."

    "The gods don't exist?"

    "The non-existence of the gods might not be the case."


    The conversation was a lengthy one.  In similar manner it dispensed with the soul, reincarnation, Heaven, Hell, and many other matters.  Buddha didn't care about any of these things.  He considered them all to be mere distractions on the Path -- and a waste of time to argue about.  


    Buddha is also quoted as saying -- "Fire is hot.  Ice is cold.  All the gods in all the heavens will not change this."



    I completely agree...I believe Buddha expressly did not intend to form a religion!


    THAT, today had me wondering.... did Jesus?    The Christians will jump in with justifications for church...however- I remember there was more of a claim he was a revolutionary (which was his undoing so to speak).... thoughts on the intent of Jesus to start. Religion?


    thx von

  17. Our first week in Philosophy class we studied Plato's Allegory of the Cave. 

    It is a very quick read online for anyone who wants to preview it.   It can be pondered and dissected

    a good long while (and was in class.)   I am not sure it was worth the effort. 


    Prior to reading this story (prisoners chained in a cave have a limited point of view....and on it goes) 

    ...prior to reading it - it was hailed with great fanfare as a genius bit of literature.   The words life-changing

    were used as part of the introduction.  I did NOT AT ALL find it to be life changing.   Nor did I find it to be 

    inspiring or even a good read. 


    I wonder if Plato would not have benefitted from adopting the style of Jesus.   Jesus was a good parable maker.   

    Plato seems less effective by comparison.     


    Any preference in  your view of Jesus over Plato?  


     I reserve the right to amend my views as this class progresses.....I am VERY new to this VERY large subject.  

    These are first blush musings only.....



  18. On 1/22/2018 at 5:53 PM, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:


    Buddhism is also a practice, much like meditation.  It's what we want it to be.  I have found some of the Buddhist ideas helpful.  I am not a Buddhist.  



    Would you consider yourself a philosophic (no dogma, no ritual) Buddhist?  (if such at thing exists?)



  19. On 1/22/2018 at 4:47 PM, mark 45 said:

    why can't buddhism be classified as philosophy?it isn't a religion,per say.and yes i know that certain schools of buddhism can be considered so,but that is a conversation for another time.

    I am not at all sure it is not a philosophy.  That is one of the things I am hoping to figure out. 

    I have described it as a philosophy for years.   However, as I am discovering they (philosophers) have some guidelines

    as to what is and what is technically a philosophy/Philosophy.   We'll see where the "formal" lines are on that one.


    Until I know for sure it would be incorrect - I would still describe Buddhism as a philosophy.



  20. On 1/22/2018 at 2:51 PM, Key said:

    They still touch on the subject, albeit lightly, in my stepsons middle school history class while they were studying the renaissance period.

    Community college also covers a bit in a course on critical thinking.

    So, while the topic is exposed, it doesn't really seem to be enough for students to gain interest in really delving into it a little more thoroughly.

    After seeing your post (thanks) - I started checking around.  You are correct.   In addition to what you mentioned it appears a watered down version of "logic in conflict resolution" is part of a peer conflict resolution training in some middle schools.   Interesting that some sorts of philosophical tools are finding their way into use before high school even. 


  21. 6 hours ago, Dianna said:


    If you can stick it out past the names and dates and memorizing for tests, the deeper you go, the more interesting it can become. Not in general, but when you find a subject or subjects of interest, such as religion, social issues, education etc. where you can learn different, sometimes nearly opposite historical schools of thought and how they evolved and affect what we have today.

    I found your entire explanation exceedingly helpful.   Thank you very, very much.   Especially re:it getting better past names and dates (which has been a chore this far).    Your summation gives me a more hopeful and positive approach to learning potentially a comfortable additional tool for understanding....




  22. On 1/20/2018 at 6:41 AM, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:



    I took a few basic philosophy classes.  They come in handy for a quote now and then.  Nothing I would call useful.  None of it ever helped me with problem solving -- unless Buddhism can be classified as philosophy.  I did enjoy Bertrand Russell.  

    Funny that name.... Bertrand Russell came up in my theater class (but I cannot remember why).... i’ll have to check my notes.   Knowing nothing formally on this topic - I often referred to the wisdom of Buddhism as a philosophy.... I guess I’ll know better in four months if that is Philosophy, philosophy.... or neither one of those options.   Thanks for the input.