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

By Eric Bright

A red heart emoji.

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. https://sophy.ca/blog/2015/01/i-am-going-to-follow-my-heart-for-a-change/

Je Suis Charlie!

By Eric Bright

If westerners’ knowledge of the Christian faith is of any indication, then we don’t know anything about Islam. Most educated people in the west don’t know anything about Christianity in spite of the fact that many of them are Christians, go to churches, and pray. If Christians who practice it do not have any clear idea about what it is that they are practicing, if most of them are completely illiterate in regards to their faith, what is in the Bible, and what Christianity teaches, then how do you expect them to know anything about Islam? read more...

Please cite this article as: Bright, Eric. (2015) Je Suis Charlie!. BlogSophy. https://sophy.ca/blog/2015/01/je-suis-charlie/

How to convert Zarnegar files to RTF, Word, or HTML formats

تبدیلِ فایل‏هایِ زَرنِگار به وُرد

By Eric Bright
Update July 23, 2021: mentioned the Zarnegar to Word conversion possibility, corrected typos
Update Mar 05, 2021: added a new tool
Update on Feb 05, 2020: contents & link update
Update on May 19, 2018: link update)
Update on Dec 28, 2017

Solution

1- Download Zar2RTF Converter from here:

Zar2RTF and Zar2HTML

2- Use the software to convert your Zarnegar files to RTF or HTML. Once you created one of those files, saving them as a Word document under .docx or .odt will be trivial and can easily be done with LibreOffice. read more...

Please cite this article as: Bright, Eric. (2014) How to convert Zarnegar files to RTF, Word, or HTML formats. BlogSophy. https://sophy.ca/blog/2014/08/how-to-convert-zarnegar-files-to-rtf-or-html-formats/

Pay a higher fee or suffer

Fast Lane means pay a higher fee or suffer:

Without net neutrality ISPs will have enormous incentives to keep regular customers hostage until they pay up higher fees to access the Internet; that is to say: pay a higher fee or suffer.

If a pay-to-play Internet becomes reality, most of us will be left behind while the money-cow moves to the more expensive plans and packages offered by ISPs. ISPs will start to favour them and neglect the rest of us who might not be able to afford the new fees. So, inadvertently it shifts the ISPs away from net neutrality into a discriminating Internet. read more...

Please cite this article as: Bright, Eric. (2014) Pay a higher fee or suffer. BlogSophy. https://sophy.ca/blog/2014/05/pay-a-higher-fee-or-suffer/

How to digitally sign an e-mail – Updated

UPDATE 2018-05-17: web links are updates.

I made a post in 2009 explaining how to digitally sign an e-mail with FireGPG. Unfortunately, FireGPG is discontinued and no longer supports Gmail. So, we need to do it differently now.

Objective: To sign your out-going emails through an online email provider such as Gmail or Yahoo mail.

Operation Systems: Any.

Browsers: Firefox or Chrome.

Add-on or extension for the browser: Mailvelop (get it from https://www.mailvelope.com/)

It works with: Gmail, Yahoo mail, Hotmail, and most other online, email providers. read more...

Please cite this article as: Bright, Eric. (2014) How to digitally sign an e-mail – Updated. BlogSophy. https://sophy.ca/blog/2014/03/how-to-digitally-sign-an-e-mail-updated/

Religion corrupts morality

by Eric Bright

UPDATE: 2020-03-11 typos, grammar, etc.

Pope holding on a golden staff while saluting an audience. The captions reads: Pray for the starving children while I hold this gold cross.
Pope holding a golden staff while saluting an audience. The caption reads:
“Pray for the starving children while I hold this gold cross.”
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, has had a moral standard that was 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. https://sophy.ca/blog/2014/03/religion-corrupts-morality/

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

Epicurus’ Paradox
Epicurus’ Paradox

Someone said yes and this was her reason:

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

An anonymous forum user. Edited for grammar and style.

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 judgment 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. https://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

Spock - a fictional character in the Star Trek.
Spock – a fictional character in the Star Trek.

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 that 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 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 of 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 if 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. https://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

Black Hole

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

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. https://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. https://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

Update 2021-07-01: (1) Removed two dead links and the associated sentence. (2) Corrected a few typos.

“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. read more...

Please cite this article as: Bright, Eric. (2013) Religious Mind – A Horror Story. BlogSophy. https://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 2020-09-24]
[Updated on 2019-04-19]
[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. https://sophy.ca/blog/2013/03/how-not-to-write-in-philosophy/