Philosophy

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Science Does Not Think

Science Has Yet to Become Scientific

Gravure uit de Flammarion (1888) door een onbekende artiest

“The ‘apparent’ world is the only one: the ‘real world’ has only been lyingly added…”—Friedrich Nietzsche1

Philosophy questions itself, wrote German philosopher Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) at a young age, “In contrast to researchers in other fields of science, it appears to be a particular quality of the philosopher that he always...

Informedness Beats Intellect All of the Time

In Western, East Asian and many other societies, we tell our children they need an education, because that’s the way to get ahead life, however arbitrary “getting head” (of what?) may be. This cultural instruction has led to an over-appreciation of academic intellect, i.e. the kind of intellect arrived at through rote learning. We’ve mistakenly equated knowledge with intelligence, cleverness with competence and intellect with informedness.

Imagine two...

The Promise of Eternal Life

A Hands-On Review of Christianity

The dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral, London | CC BY-NC-ND

As a life-long “atheist” (I prefer to say: someone who doesn’t fall for organized religion) in search of spiritual renewal, I decided to take a hands-on look at the world’s great religions and belief systems. In this article: Christianity.

Stumbling into Westminster Cathedral, London, a man dressed in white robes I...

The False Promise of Future Gains

The Cynical Truth about What Really Drives Human Behavior

Monte Carlo by Julien REBOULET | CC BY-NC

When I was an intern at a major car manufacturer in southeastern Germany, I asked another intern colleague why he had decided to apply. The colleague held hopes the internship would land him a full-time job, because it came with a new company car once every two years. He had reasoned that, if he would not get a company car, he would end up spending most of his future savings to afford them anyway. He worked relentlessly to prove himself and even extended his unpaid internship by...

Freedom as a Physical Property of the Universe

Things that grow never become more equal, only less equal. Since the inception of the universe, stars did not come to resemble each other more over time, but less. From its birth, an organism’s organs don’t converge in form and function, but diverge. As people age, their individual resumes end up differing more from one another, not less. Since the beginning of history, human culture and identity did not become more of the...

On the Question of Being Born Good or Evil

On the question of whether people are born good or evil, the answer is, “competent”. Man—the species—is born competently equipped for his survival. To be “born good” therefore refers not to man, but to his environment, namely to be born in an abundant environment in which there is room for growth. To be “born bad” means to be born in a restrictive environment in which the survival of one comes at anothers’ expense.

For example, in a hypothetical environment with a carrying capacity of precisely X...

The Will to Meaning

Who, after All, Moves Whom First, Man or His Reality?

“What is the meaning of life?” That question is wrong, because life doesn’t have meaning. Life is meaning. Moreover, a meaning in life isn’t something you claim for yourself, but that which you grant others. Life grants the universe its meaning. We create meaning by making room for meaning. Meaning fights a counter force it must push away—a counter-meaning. Life is that pushing force.

The fact that life is meaningful suggests a free will...

On the Matter of Earliest Memories

By Vincent van Gogh

Great Italian inventor Leonardo da Vinci once recollected a childhood memory from the first year of his life. From the Codex Atlanticus,

“It seems that it had been destined before that I should occupy myself so thoroughly with the kite [a bird], for it comes to my mind as a very early memory, when I was still in the cradle, a kite came down to me, he opened my mouth with his tail and struck me a few times with his tail

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On the Realness of Movement

Some people suffer from a rare condition called akinetopsia, which means motion blindness. These people cannot perceive moving objects the way others do. To them, moving objects appear as static objects, disappearing and reappearing in different places along their paths. For example, normal people perceive a train passing them by in one fluid motion. People with akinetopsia perceive the train as snapshots of a train ‘jumping’ from one spot to the next at certain intervals, but without movement...

Why Do Animals Have Four Legs?

All terrestrial vertebrate animals have four limbs (plus head and tail), except for snakes, who used to have them, but lost them again through evolution. But why do they have four limbs?

Evolutionary biologists will answer the question without answering it. They will explain that terrestrial vertebrates descended from a fish-like ancestor that had four limbs. C’est tout. But this answer does not satisfy. The answer insinuates evolution works at random, with no regard for form...