Tag Archives | Philosophy

064. Daniele Bolelli | Taoism and Gravity-Defying Glorious D-Cups

Via Midwest Real

“Where can I find a man who has forgotten words so I can have a word with him?” -Zhuangzi

ITUNES  STITCHER DOWNLOAD

TScreen Shot 2015-02-15 at 7.29.32 PMaoism is, in a way, the anti-religion. Its very existence is a philosophical counter-punch to the jaw of the saintly pomp revered by most religions. Zhuangzi (widely regarded as one of the greatest Taoist minds) once told a curious man that if he wanted to understand the Tao, he should go take a close look at the nearest pile feces.

This is why Taoism is awesome.

As for the point of Zhuangzi’s poop story– if the questions you’re asking aren’t about making your way through every day life with full reverence and appreciation for each bite of food, puff of air and pile of dog shit you encounter, you’re missing the point.

Of course, there’s more to Taoism than cartoonish stories about excrement. One look at the patriarchal text of Taoism, the Tao Te Ching will make that clear.Read the rest

Continue Reading

Church of England vanquishes Satan: References to Devil removed from services to make them ‘accessible’

Johan J.Ingles-Le Nobel (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Johan J.Ingles-Le Nobel (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

They’re using half measures, as usual. And now they also think that casual dress and priests looking like slobs will garner more respect. They’re still insisting on preaching dualism and dividing society. It’s either they discard Satan from their preaching or they embrace the Biblical scripture and the vital presence of the Satanic in their religion. All they’re doing is alienating people and not satisfying people who would welcome changes. Christian Politics, as usual.

John Bingham via the National Post:

The Book of Revelation speaks of the Devil being vanquished and cast into a pit of fire and brimstone at the end of the world.

Yesterday, however, the Church of England consigned Satan to a decidedly less dramatic fate – being quietly designated as an optional extra.

Instead of requiring an apocalyptic battle between the forces of good and evil, the move was approved with a polite show of hands at the General Synod, the Church’s decision-making body, which has been meeting in Westminster.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Does Metaphysics Matter? Part 1: “Not really, no”

The Drunken Gentleman Carlo Carra, 1916

The Drunken Gentleman – Carlo Carra, 1916

Years ago in Busan, South Korea, I was in bed when my girlfriend, in what I believe to be an attempt to share interests with each other, asked me what exactly someone studies when they study metaphysics.  I considered giving her the definition my professor had offered my class years and years ago on the first day of my first metaphysics course — “Metaphysics is the study of being qua being” — but I refrained from doing so because most people quickly lose interest after hearing that sentence spoken aloud.  Instead I opted for a metaphysical topic often used early on in any philosophy department’s curriculum, that of Universals and Particulars.  “It’s like, um, we know that there are green things,” I explained, “but, like, is green actually a thing?” (I’m usually more eloquent, but we were both fairly stoned at this point.)  She responded by bluntly telling me that was the most useless thing she had ever heard of before rolling over and going to sleep.Read the rest

Continue Reading

Liam Wilson of The Dillinger Escape Plan on Midwest Real | Rabbit Holes Never End

Via Midwest Real

Liam Wilson of The Dillinger Escape Plan talks fatherhood, consciousness and nomadic, otherworldly, head-sucking Ayahuasca shamans. 

ITUNES  STITCHER DOWNLOAD

somespaceshitbrightliamLiam Wilson is a successful musician, psychonaut, yogi, meditator,traveler and writer (by no means does he live an unexamined, life). Yet, nothing has prepared him one bit for the trajectory-altering, love-filled uppercut to the nethers of your ego that is fatherhood.

As if that weren’t nuclear enough, Liam just participated in a two-day Ayahuasca ceremony run by a mysterious, otherworldly, head-sucking, nomadic shaman. An experience that has left him reconsidering even the most basic anchors we ground our very realities with.

Liam is a contributing writer at Talkhouse. If you’re a fan of heavy music and somehow haven’t listened to his band The Dillinger Escape Plan, what in the name of Satan’s gnarled beard is wrong with you? 

Get in touch!  Follow Midwest Real on Twitter and  Facebook.Read the rest

Continue Reading

Do Doctors Really Know Best? [Debate]

CroppedImage608342-doc-in-dock-2

Despite the recent bad press, most of us still think doctor knows best. Yet with medical intervention now the third biggest killer after heart disease and cancer, is it time to call a halt to our trust? Should we end the monopoly on prescription? Would this give us ownership over our own health, or risk lives and return us to Victorian quackery?

The Panel

Former health minister Gisela Stuart, radical psychiatrist David Healy and former Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners Clare Gerada put the medial profession on trial.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

The Cusp of a Transhumanist Renaissance, or the Eve of Dystopia?

Transhumanist, Zoltan Istvan joins Midwest Real.

When it comes right down to it, we have absolutely no idea what the future will hold. Yet, between 2014’s major advances in AI, VR, AR, quantum computing and longevity science, it sure as hell seems like we’re on the cusp of something huge.

ITUNES  STITCHER DOWNLOAD

IMG_6532Will these unprecedented breakthroughs usher in a utopian neo-renaissance? Will technological and medical innovation enable us to live practically forever so that we’re free to pursue our passions all day long? Or, will we find ourselves an Orwellian dystopia plagued by a broken environment, thought control and murderous AI oligarch overlords who’ll invade our minds in an effort to milk us for money and energy as we jump willingly into ultra-plush matrix pods of their design?

Who knows?

Our guest this week, Zoltan Istvan is the author of The Transhumanist Wager. He writes for practically every major technology website (Gizmodo, Huffington Post, Motherboard Wired etc.) He’s the founder of the Transhumanist Party, which aims to draw attention and dollars to cutting-edge science and technology.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Forcing the Will to Believe

vivek jena (CC BY 2.0)

vivek jena (CC BY 2.0)

Richard Pimentel writes at Philosophy News:

“Should a civilised, tolerant society get into so personal a matter as the religious conviction of its citizens? After all, what is so perverse about conversion? If you exercise your fundamental right to preach and propagate your religion and someone, convinced by your arguments, comes over to your side how can anyone object? We are told that such changes cause unrest in society. But in public life we do not allow the unrest argument to prevent individuals from changing their loyalties or ideologies.”

These questions were posed by Michael Pinto, vice-chairman of the National Commission for Minorities, in an editorial that he wrote in the Times of India back in October. The purpose of his article was to address the persecution of Christians in the states of Orissa and Karnataka in India, but especially the most recent episodes of violence in Orissa which has been going on since August 2008.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Bitcoin, the Digital Deluge and the Seeds of an Open Source Society

IMG_6496It’s all been swept up by the digital deluge: the way we create, consume, socialize, learn, all of it. Yet no matter how much of the analog world seeps into the digital realm, the almighty dollar continues to resist the pixel-y tide. The act of currency creation remains an esoteric, behind-the-scenes process controlled by a few privileged, monocle-clad, suit-wearers with fancy titles and special permissions.

ITUNES  STITCHER DOWNLOAD

Actually, we do have digital money and it’s called bitcoin. It does work, it’s safe and it’s easy to use. On top of that, for the first time ever, no government, corporation or human being can claim dominion over, control, destroy or create a currency. Bitcoin is decentralized, open source, peer-to-peer, lives completely online and created through a programmatic process.

Practicality wise, you can already buy basically anything using bitcoin and a growing number of merchants, services and corporations are accepting it every day.Read the rest

Continue Reading

A Guide to Skinner’s Genealogy of Liberty

delacroix_liberty

This was originally published on Philosophical Disquisitions.

What does it mean to be free? Liberty is the most important concept in modern political theory. That’s an overstatement, of course. There are other important concepts — equality? well-being? — and somebody could no doubt make the case for them. Still, liberty is very important, particularly to those who have temerity to call themselves “liberal”. It would help if they had some more detailed conception of liberty.

The traditional philosophical approach to this is to provide a conceptual analysis of what it means to be at liberty. The philosopher, from their privileged position in a comfortable armchair, thinks deeply about the nature of freedom. They propose a definition — a set of necessary and sufficient conditions for the application of the predicate “liberty” — and then they defend this analysis from a range of counterexamples and counterarguments, some proposed by themselves, some proposed by their philosophical friends and enemies.… Read the rest

Continue Reading