What is the point of engaging in a philosophical dialogue?

By Eric Bright

Part One

My answer to the question that, ‘What is the point of engaging in a philosophical conversation?’ has always been “None!” At least to me. Most questions that make any difference to me are asked outside of philosophy, mostly in different sciences who, themselves, are born out of philosophy.

Given that, I have always been curious as for why people ask questions in a philosophy community. What do you want to know?

If it matters, it is most probably being investigated in sciences. If it is not, it most probably does not matter. read more...

Please cite this article as: Bright, Eric. (2015) What is the point of engaging in a philosophical dialogue?. BlogSophy. http://sophy.ca/blog/2015/04/what-is-the-point-of-engaging-in-a-philosophical-dialogue/

Defining “GOD”

Front cover of Eric Bright’s book called Defining “GOD”The book I have worked on for the past three years is finally finished and ready for order. You can find it here.

It was a journey! From start to finish, everything is done by myself and my partner (she created the gorgeous cover and the logo for Bright Press. She also proofread the book for me).

A similar work has always been on my mind for many years. With ignosticism turning to my main focus for the past three years, I found myself in need of a reference framework for the concepts discussed in ignosticism. However, there were none. Nothing philosophical enough at least. read more...

Please cite this article as: Bright, Eric. (2015) Defining “GOD”. BlogSophy. http://sophy.ca/blog/2015/02/defining-god/

“I am going to follow my heart for a change.”

By Eric Bright

Recently, a friend of mine wrote me this:

[…] My entire life and work has been based on logic, analysis and systems.  Everything was centered around processes in my head.  Got me and the World nowhere. For the last part of my journey I am going to follow my heart for a change and see what happens. […] Scientific belief is a nice crutch to hang on to but […].

Based on what he said, let us do a little thought experiment

Here is Mr. Johns (an imaginary character of course). He recently realized something interesting and said: read more...

Please cite this article as: Bright, Eric. (2015) “I am going to follow my heart for a change.”. BlogSophy. http://sophy.ca/blog/2015/01/i-am-going-to-follow-my-heart-for-a-change/

Vancouver of Thousand Ugly Sculptures – Part One

By Eric Bright

Part One

Vancouver is the city that hosts countless ugly sculptures and I am going to prove it to you in here.

I live in Vancouver since 2004. I love the city, the people, and the culture. The city is certainly not amongst the richest of cities in Canada. It is actually a poor city by many standards. The economy is terrible (has been terrible since I can remember), the businesses cannot survive their first two to three years of operation and close done left and right. The minimum wage is half as much as is needed to barely survive, and the city does not look healthy by the look of its tens of pan-handlers, beggars, wandering, mentally ill, homeless people, the Hastings’ front view, or any other measure you might want to take into account. read more...

Please cite this article as: Bright, Eric. (2014) Vancouver of Thousand Ugly Sculptures – Part One. BlogSophy. http://sophy.ca/blog/2014/05/vancouver-of-thousand-ugly-sculptures/

Religion corrupts morality

Note: This is written by an atheist for other atheists. You can rarely (if at all) convince a believer by an approach like this. Please don’t use this tone when conversing with your believer friends. It will not work.

Any believer I have ever seen so far, without a single exception, have had a moral standard that has been at best equal to the lowest moral standards I keep seeing in non-believers, and at worse a degree of magnitude lower.

That does not prove anything of course. That is a personal observation and can be biased. Although the number of believers and non-believers I have seen is large, still someone can object to the sample being non-representative of the actual population. That can very well be the case. read more...

Please cite this article as: Eric Bright (2014) Religion corrupts morality. BlogSophy. http://sophy.ca/blog/2014/03/religion-corrupts-morality/

Should we include the study of religions in the discipline of philosophy?

Someone said yes and this was her reason:

mythology
astrology and humanity’s spiritual relationship to the stars
the soul and God’s judgement on the soul
reincarnation
supernatural beings such as angels and demons
Plato wrote about all of those things.

Plato is particularly one of the worst examples one could have come up with to justify a position against my stance. If by that example she means that we have to study poetry, astrology, music, mathematics, mythology, reincarnation, demonology, the judgement day and the like because Plato has done so, then that’s not reasonable. read more...

Please cite this article as: Bright, Eric. (2013) Should we include the study of religions in the discipline of philosophy?. BlogSophy. http://sophy.ca/blog/2013/11/should-we-include-the-study-of-religions-in-the-discipline-of-philosophy/

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/

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/