Thursday, June 14, 2012

Liberty is Natural, Tyranny is Artificial: A New Way to think of Nature, Artificiality, and Liberty

Nature and natural things are seen as more desirable in the general consensus, as compared to artificial things.

Humans are considered not to be natural: in the sense that what ever a human does is artificial as opposed to natural.

Liberty is understood to be the freedom to think or act without being constrained by necessity or force.

Where most westerners see nature as anything not to do with humans and their affairs, the traditional oriental cultures see nature as simply that which left to itself.

So we can apply this idea of nature as things being left to their own devices to the idea of liberty: the human right to be left to make their own choices.

So in this sense, the non-natural is not the non-human. Rather, the non-natural is that thing which is disrupted from its own state of free liberty.

Therefore, the artificial is the natural disrupted of its liberty by some outside force sometimes called tyranny.

With all that said, we can see how much of what we considered to be artificial is really natural. The real artificiality comes from coercive manipulations of things where the manipulator exploits the manipulated- the victim receiving little or no benefit.

In short, liberty unhindered by tyranny is the natural state of things. True artificiality is when one hinders the liberty or nature of another thing.

I believe we should drop the notion of the artificial being what ever the human does. One can include what the human does as natural and apart of nature. We should then exclude from the definition of nature that which is called tyranny.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Philosophy and Science: Contradictory or Complementary?

In other writings I've gone over how philosophy is at the core of everyone's belief system; that the nature of a belief system is to have some fundamental assumption's or axioms that one cannot prove true, but must take for granted.

This leads me to talk about the divide some people see between science and philosophy. Some believe philosophy is obsolete, while others believe it is a tool for science to make sure its conclusions are logically consistent. There are even people (like myself) who believe philosophy is something more then science and has a life of its own so to speak. The former camp which believes philosophy is a tool are called analytical philosophers, while the latter who believe philosophy is beyond science are called continental philosophers.

With that said, I want to quote a continental philosopher named Matthew David Segall:
"As I said already, philosophy (at least as the ancients [and continental] understood it) is a way of life. Science is a profession, a specialized discipline. As such it deserves high praise for all its accomplishments. But it doesn't tell us anything about the good life, about have[ing] love [and] wisdom despite death."

The good life is the belief system we all have. We come to have it by an intuitive choice which we cannot necessarily justify. Therefore, science occupies a much narrow sphere of affairs than philosophy. This is why all sciences end in -ology (meaning the study of) while philosophy ends in sophy (meaning wisdom) and starts with philo (meaning the love of). This shows that science is a much different activity then philosophy. Where science is the systematic description, prediction, explanation, and control of empirical phenomenon, philosophy is the love for discussing and analyzing different belief systems and assertions about the right way (wisdom) to experience life and the world.

Thus science and philosophy are two different kinds of activities, made obvious by the difference in their endings between ology and sophy. Now can we reconcile these two and see them as complementary instead of contradictory?  

Segall's blog where I got the quote from:

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Quick Note on Bath Salts

There's a lot of talk about the new obscure drug in bath salts. I want to just clear some misconceptions about this new designer stimulant. First of all, this is not a LSD like drug (not a psychedelic or a hallucinogen). It is a stimulant (a drug that gives energy like cocaine or methamphetamine) drug called MDPV. Second, taking this drug does not in of itself lead to wanting to hurt oneself or others. The violent individuals reported in the media are experiencing stimulant psychosis (the result of binging on stimulants). And just like normal psychosis, only a small percentage turn out to be violent. Third, unlike cocaine or methamphetamine this drug is very cheap and can be bought in bulk legally. Because of this, new users can order their first batch and binge for days because of the amount they posses. Also, there is a great ignorance of the drug itself even by users, so many of them are not aware what is in store for them in when taking this drug. It does not have a stigmatized history like cocaine or methamphetamine.

With that said, there is nothing special about this drug. Its just another stimulant like cocaine or methamphetamine. Its not causing people to hurt or eat each other or themselves anymore then other similar stimulants. (MDPV) (Stimulant Psychosis)