The case against religions: Why the Law of Noncontradiction matters

By Eric Bright

Don’t have faith in logic

I am sure the reason you accept the validity of the Law of Noncontradiction (I would call it the law from now on) is not because you have faith in it. It does not even make sense to say that one has faith in the law.

Also, the law is not like physical laws or language laws, or social laws. Certainly we all understand it. But, I have to emphasize on this reality a bit further for my sake.

Laws of physics are called law and they are known to be established facts about the universe. However, they are contingent. There is nothing in the fabric of the universe that necessitates this set of laws over any other conceivable laws. Not a thing. They just happened to be how they are. They very well could have been different and no violation on anything would have happened had they been different. So, the laws of physics are contingent. One way to know it is to imagine universes with different laws and see ig such imaginations ask for assumptions that might be inconceivable to be true. People have done so, and they have discovered that all of “the laws of physics” can be different without talking about anything inconceivable. read more...

Please cite this article as: Bright, Eric. (2013) The case against religions: Why the Law of Noncontradiction matters. BlogSophy. http://sophy.ca/blog/2013/08/the-case-against-religions-why-the-law-of-noncontradiction-matters/

Law of Noncontradiction: a black hole that traps bullshit

By Eric Bright

Religions are false alright,
but why can’t believers see it?

Black Hole

My point was rather that you seem settled on the fact that God doesn’t exist. Fine. We can debate that for years and probably not get anywhere (but who knows?). What I find surprising though is that, given that there are so many intelligent and thinking people who do believe in God, why you would trust your conclusion that they are all insane (famous or otherwise) uncritically. You might be right (I am not the guardian of truth) but we aren’t insane because we hold wrong beliefs. I read your posts with interest and I don’t find them convincing at all. This is not because I am insane! read more...

Please cite this article as: Bright, Eric. (2013) Law of Noncontradiction: a black hole that traps bullshit. BlogSophy. http://sophy.ca/blog/2013/04/law-of-noncontradiction-a-black-hole-that-traps-bullshit/

Intellectually Dishonest – how to drive a poster crazy by your comments in forums

By Eric Bright

It’s curious to see how religious geniuses (Christians and the like) are almost the only ones who “find” flaws in articles such as this one; only them. You never have the “right interpretations” for what they think must be the case. You don’t see as many commenters under those posts who are (1) non-believers and (2) do not wish to cover their own asses by trying to take down anything that questions their sanities and (3) find something substantial about the argument to attack, instead of red herring and attacking a straw man of their own making. For that matter, you don’t find a commenter who only meets the first criteria in the list for posts such as that one. Isn’t it interesting? One should ask what their motives might be. Why only them and not anyone else? read more...

Please cite this article as: Bright, Eric. (2013) Intellectually Dishonest – how to drive a poster crazy by your comments in forums. BlogSophy. http://sophy.ca/blog/2013/04/intellectually-dishonest-how-to-drive-a-poster-crazy-by-your-comments-in-forums/

Religious Mind – A Horror Story

By Eric Bright

“They call them extremists. We have our own names. We call them senators, congressman, governors, mayors, state legislators” [Ralph Reed, Christian Coalition Executive Director]

It’s a disturbing observation that some people discuss matters not to learn or to investigate them but merely to convert you. I am talking about mystical minds, supers, and those who believe in things beyond the natural world or outside of the Universe, whatever that might mean.

There is a nice saying, attributed to Socrates by no one less than Plato, “I am wiser than this man, for neither of us appears to know anything great and good; but he fancies he knows something, although he knows nothing; whereas I, as I do not know anything, so I do not fancy I do. In this trifling particular, then, I appear to be wiser than he, because I do not fancy I know what I do not know.” And this is what the horror story I am going to tell you is formed around. read more...

Please cite this article as: Bright, Eric. (2013) Religious Mind – A Horror Story. BlogSophy. http://sophy.ca/blog/2013/04/religious-mind-a-horror-story/

How not to write in philosophy – Against obscurantism

Saint Jerome Writing
Saint Jerome Writing by Caravaggio (1573-1610)

By Eric Bright

[Updated on 2014-12-01]
[Updated on 2014-02-20]

Note:
If the reason why you write in philosophy is to confuse your potential readers, or to mislead them, or to obscure your point, or make it harder for the reader to understand you, or to make it impossible for the reader to get your point, then you don’t need to read this article. You can skip it and move on with your own style. You would do just fine.

Now, I am talking to the rest of us, those writers who write for readers to be understood. Believe me, not everyone writes in order to be understood. As it happens in philosophy, actually the opposite is true: many pseudo-philosophers have actually wrote books in order to confuse their hapless readers and fellow philosophers. read more...

Please cite this article as: Bright, Eric. (2013) How not to write in philosophy – Against obscurantism. BlogSophy. http://sophy.ca/blog/2013/03/how-not-to-write-in-philosophy/

Science and religion are similarly invalid; or are they?

By Eric Bright

[Note to the reader: (1) This is not an ad hominem attack on the people mentioned in the post (the names are not real names). I don’t know them in person and I also don’t care who they are so far as this post is concerned. You should be able to change the names to anything else and the arguments should still hold valid. (2) If you prefer, you can download an ODT or a PDF version of this article from here: http://goo.gl/AEHOc]

Science versus Religion

When someone starts asking questions about his fundamental convictions, he does not necessarily go all the way down the rabbit hole to derive the implications of what he believes as true. Most of us stop early in our search. Most of us never even reach the threshold for understanding the territory in which we plan to dwell. An example would make it more clear. read more...

Please cite this article as: Bright, Eric. (2013) Science and religion are similarly invalid; or are they?. BlogSophy. http://sophy.ca/blog/2013/03/science-and-religion-are-similarly-invalid-or-are-they/

Wittgenstein, Language, and Logic

Ludwig Wittgenstein

By Eric Bright

A few days ago, David Harvey asked the following question in my Google+ Philosophy Community:

Can anyone help me with Wittgenstein’s thoughts on language? I find his ideas mad, but I can’t help but wonder whether my teacher is twisting what his ideas are slightly (I never feel I can rely on them for correct information…) We’re doing Religious Language in class and my teacher has said that Wittgenstein said that like the rules of a game of chess cannot be used for a game of basketball, the rules of language cannot be used for another. Then, and this part I’m a bit sceptical of, my teacher said that, for example, he would argue that an atheist cannot critique the theist’s view as they are talking with different base ideas (or in different “languages”). read more...

Please cite this article as: Bright, Eric. (2013) Wittgenstein, Language, and Logic. BlogSophy. http://sophy.ca/blog/2013/01/wittgenstein-language-and-logic/

StupidFile! – Cannot Delete File On Desktop

Written by Eric Bright

Updated on November 11, 2014

Objective: removing an apparently irremovable file or folder.

Affected OS: Windows 98, 2000, XP, Vista, and Windows 7 (Win 8 is not confirmed yet)

Symptoms:

You have a FOLDER on your desktop with a FILE in it, which you cannot delete.

You’re given this message:

"Cannot read from the source file or disk."

Possible “solutions” that might not work:

  • You downloaded Process Explorer and examined every single process running in memory to find a sign of a program that may be using _something_ in that folder. You closed all programs, every resident applications, and all running processes that can be closed. You also closed even some of Windows process and stopped as many services as possible; no sign of any file handle to anything related to that folder… result: negative.
  • You have uninstalled many programs that you suspect they may cause the problem;… negative.
  • You tried to do “Open with…” then created a file with the same name, saved over the existing one… with no luck.
  • You have no Spyware, no virus and nothing suspicious at all.
  • You did chkdsk c: /f, RegSeeker, NortonDiskDoctor, Regedit (see also this), and lots of command line instructions that you read in forums;… negative (in regedit, you cannot even see any entry with the same name as that stupid file in your Windows registry.) (more about chkdsk.)
  • In the end, before installing a fresh damn Windows, why don’t you try this one:

Last resort:

At a cmd prompt type the following:

RD /S /Q [drive:] path

Example:

[on Windows XP]

C:\Documents and Settings[your log-in name]\Desktop\>RD /S /Q foldername
read more...

Please cite this article as: Bright, Eric. (2012) StupidFile! – Cannot Delete File On Desktop. BlogSophy. http://sophy.ca/blog/2012/06/stupidfile-cannot-delete-file-on-desktop/

Ubuntu and the Unity Paradigm

By Eric Bright

The first few days with Ubuntu 11.10 and its Unity

My system crashed completely. Everything in my Win7 installation is useless now. After saving my documents and whatnot from my dead Win7 installation using Ubuntu, now I’m thinking of giving up on Windows. I’m sick of it now. I’m sure Linux is going to give me a lot of headache and nightmares too, but in a long run, I think it’s the right decision to move away from Windows. I’m going to need a lot of help with stuffs in Ubuntu in near future and I’m counting on you. Wish me luck. read more...

Please cite this article as: Bright, Eric. (2011) Ubuntu and the Unity Paradigm. BlogSophy. http://sophy.ca/blog/2011/10/ubuntu-and-the-unity-paradigm/

Know Thy Target Audience

On Why Marketing Researches Can Benefit the Society

I am a philosopher and by nature care a lot about morality and ethics when I give philosophical counseling to my clients. My clients are businesses who care how they run their organizations. They care about ethical operation of their businesses. Since I am specialized in international business as well, I always want to make sure that my clients would see the importance of the big picture. And what is the big picture? I always have the hardest time when it comes to make my clients understand “the big picture.” The reason is that to understand what it means to operate a big organization in an ethical way in an international environment, one needs to know what it means to be ethical and what it means to be operating internationally. By international, for instance, my clients usually presume that the business has to have overseas branches and by being ethical they commonly mean ‘causing no harm.’ Nevertheless, having a business, by virtue of residing on the planet earth, requires a greater deal of understanding of global effects. The holistic and global features of our interactions with the world is the big picture that seems to be very hard to grasp for most clients of mine. read more...

Please cite this article as: Eric Bright (2009) Know Thy Target Audience. BlogSophy. http://sophy.ca/blog/2009/07/know-thy-target-audience/

How to digitally sign an e-mail

Written by Eric Bright

How to sign an e-mail message

Last update on August 29, 2013

2nd updated on August 25, 2011

First published on Feb 3, 2009

[UPDATE: This solution would not work with Gmail any longer, because the Firefox add-on that I was using at the time is not supported any more. Read the instructions for the updated method of signing your email here]

Requirements:

  • Operating systems: Win XP, Vista, or 7
  • Softwares: GnuPG, Firefox, FireGPG (it’s a Firefox add-on), GPGshell
  • A gmail account
  • Enough time

Go to Tools > Add-ons > Get add-ons

Search this: FireGPG [UPDATE: this extension is discontinued. It will not work with Gmail any more because the Gmail support is removed from the extension. Here is the blog-post explaining the discontinuation.] read more...

Please cite this article as: Bright, Eric. (2009) How to digitally sign an e-mail. BlogSophy. http://sophy.ca/blog/2009/02/how-to-digitally-sign-an-e-mail/