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General Discussion / Pit Bulls And Secular Humanists
« Last post by Tim St. Vincent on June 10, 2018, 03:33:13 PM »
Many or most dogs are trustworthy, yet none are God-fearing. In fact, on 11/21/17, I read a FB post by Rare America that pointed out that pit bulls are good pets for families with young children. These young families obviously trust their pit bulls.--Just think how easy it would be for one of these tough (but mostly cute, friendly and peaceful) dogs to take out the baby sitter, kill the baby, and then run away. *

For the same or similar reasons, most (principled) atheists/agnostics/secular humanists are trustworthy. It's reasonable to mistrust a person if the only thing one knows about his or her moral/religious views is that s/he is an atheist. (Of course, I wouldn't trust someone if the only thing I knew about his/her views is that s/he believes in God.) However, the world is full of examples where people, including atheists/agnostics, exhibit compassion/empathy in a way that is verifiable by others. Here are some examples: 
1. On the Monday after the Sandy Hook Massacre, Heather Ford, a disk-jockey on WZLX in Boston, stated that she cried all weekend because of this crime-against-humanity. 
2.Homicide detectives often take the homicides they investigate personally. For instance, Roadie Sanchez delayed his retirement in order to solve a couple of murder cases. (See The Killing Fields documentary series. ID Channel.) In one of them, a woman was murdered and dumped in a swamp.  This really bothered Sanchez and his fellow detectives. 
3. On an episode of The View, Joy Behar stated that she woke up in a rage in the early morning after the Fall 2017 TX Church Massacre. 
4. Shortly after the Boston Marathon attack, David Ortiz made an angry speech in Fenway Park, saying something like "this is our f*cking city." 
5. I had to fight off tears-of-happiness at the end of movies such as Apollo 13 and The Shawshank Redemption. Also, I've witnessed people crying in movie theaters during tear-jerk movies. 
6. I've read plenty of accounts of Allied soldiers becoming enraged/extremely troubled upon encountering scenes of Nazi mass-murder. 
I could go on and on. It's almost certain that none of these people had a personal stake in the plight of the (real or fictitious) victims of these tragedies/distressful scenarios! Also, they could have very easily gotten away without making these strong expressions of empathy. As far as I know, nothing in the Bible requires that people exhibit intense feelings of compassion.   

A strong concern for the welfare of others (including total strangers) is apparently ingrained in human nature. "I feel your X" (to paraphrase Pres. Bill Clinton) is a way to understand why this is so: It is in everyone's interest to know where other people including enemies are coming from and feeling their feelings of all sorts is an excellent way to acquire this knowledge. Therefore "feeling other people's pain" (as well as happiness) is natural.

Of course, it is at least theoretically possible for a psychopath to fake these expressions of empathy/compassion, but it is also possible for such a bad actor to fake devout religious faith. Also, if a person merely has sincere faith in a God who administers harsh divine justice, s/he will likely give up or alter such faith if it severely clashes with his or her self-interest. On the other hand, we should all believe in God anyway if there is solid proof of his existence.

The lesson from all of this is that we shouldn’t trust a person merely because s/he expresses support for some principles of ethics/justice.—We need to verify that this person has a strong motive to behave well. However, such a motive doesn’t need to consist of a fear of Divine punishment for wrongdoing.

-Tim St Vincent

* There is a reality show on The Animal Planet cable channel entitled Pit bulls And Parolees that stands up for both groups of living beings.
General Discussion / Principia Mathematica Appendix C
« Last post by Dennis Darland on June 05, 2018, 04:35:33 PM »
Relations between [relatively] primitive relations in my philosophy and thoughts of Russell in Principia Mathematics Appendix C.

"We cannot enumerate all fractions or all irrational numbers, or all of any other infinite collection. Thus our knowledge in regard to all such collections can only be derived from definition by intension."

IMP, p 13.
General Discussion / Re: A History of Western Philosophy
« Last post by Dennis Darland on April 28, 2018, 02:46:58 AM »
I fixed the reading problem - it was a typo.
General Discussion / Re: A History of Western Philosophy
« Last post by Dennis Darland on April 28, 2018, 02:02:58 AM »
I've added Ada and Eiffel. I also have Isabelle installed & working, but I have not learned how to use it. Bertrand Meyer invented Eiffel. Does anyone know whether he was named after our Bertrand? I have a problem reading real numbers in Eiffel. Also, do not have my editor set up for indentation, etc. for Eiffel.
General Discussion / Re: A History of Western Philosophy
« Last post by Dennis Darland on April 14, 2018, 07:49:27 AM »
I have it working in oz!


Also: Added video for APL

Also: Added Perl & Python

17 languages in total.
I have a few improvements to make .
Then I will move on to more physics problems!
General Discussion / Re: A History of Western Philosophy
« Last post by Dennis Darland on April 13, 2018, 09:30:51 PM »
I checked. I do have oz working with openSUSE linux. It is broken in Ubuntu Linux - where I have been doing my work. Actually, oz is the name of the language & Mozart the name of the system. As Mozart uses emacs (my favorite editor) for its interface, using oz will be more work than the other languages - as I have been able to use shell scripts for those. More to learn!!!  I have also been considering using APL, perl, and python. APL also will be more work due to its interface.

BTW: No work seems to have been done on Mozart since 2008.
A manual om the language is at:

The book I have is:
Concepts, Techniques and Models of Computer Programming by Peter van Roy and Seif Haridi

General Discussion / Re: A History of Western Philosophy
« Last post by Dennis Darland on April 13, 2018, 08:25:40 PM »
I was not as much concerned with Parmenides himself, as the issues about language he raised for BR, and BR's discussion of those issues.
I have van Roy and Haridi's book on Mozart - not enough time to study it yet.
van Roy was one of the authors of WildLIFE - the language I have put great effort in bringing back to life.
I had oz (a Mozart implementation) working at one time, but it seems broken now.
Although oz is supposed to be open source, the installation seemed to destroy the source code after the installation completed.
My plan is to mainly use Maple & Maxima - they are more suitable for physics than the other languages.
But I am enjoying practicing the other languages & may try to fix oz.
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