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Why something rather than nothing?

Saturday, April 2nd, 2011

Closer to Truth - Inwagen & O'HaraClick image for video since CtT murder kittens by disallowing embed

If you are an open atheist, presumably, at some point, some clever theist has asked you the question ‘why is there something rather than nothing?’ Depending on how uncharitable you feel, you might want to expeditiously dismiss it as an argument from ignorance. Surely no atheist’s inability to answer mind-boggling, deeply metaphysical, and possibly nonsensical questions constitutes supernatural proof. An atheist is a non-believer in gods, not a self-proclaimed encyclopaedia of recondite knowledge. Thank you very much.

However, that would be (more…)

What does it mean to ‘change the past’ and is it possible?

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

 

“I want to change the past,” Tina insisted. “What good’s a time-machine if it can’t even change the past?” The flickering lights on the head of Tina’s robot servant, Chipton, turned red in response. “Your request is irrational. The past is the set of events preceding the present. One cannot change a set while retaining its identity; it would be a different set. Your request is tantamount to a desire for an event to have happened and not happened at the same time.” Tina frowned and shook her head. “Oh, you and your cold, mechanical words! That’s most certainly not what I mean by ‘changing the past.’ I just want to live in a world where something else happened in 1921 – with a different set from ours if you will – what’s so irrational about that?”

φ

 

I shall disambiguate between three meanings of (more…)

Exotic Qualia, Functionalism & Martian Zombies

Sunday, December 5th, 2010

Can functionalism ever escape Exotic Qualia objections?

I shall formulate a meta-argument encompassing all Exotic Qualia problems and argue that while Lewis and Horgan might successfully escape certain guises of the problem neither eradicates it completely. I then suggest the only promising defence of functionalism therefore is a Chalmers-approach.

ɸ

I take functionalism as the position that mental states are states that play a specific causal role in regards to their causes and effects, to other mental states, and to the behaviour of the individual.

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