Thinking critically vs critical thinking

thinker

Rodin’s “The Thinker” at the Gates of Hell

Premise: Filipinos are experts at “thinking critically”, but they don’t do “critical thinking” all that well.

I’m not making this up, so don’t go angry on me. It’s what Filipinos tell me and what the evidence before us shows. I’m going to elaborate on this to promote discussion. Call it critical thinking . . .

Here are the differences between the two concepts as set forth in the Humpty Dumpty New World Dictionary:

  • Thinking critically: the process of criticizing others, a phenomenon that increases in intensity during election season or after a gross failure of government deed. Common synonyms: “bitching and moaning”; “armchair quarterbacking”.
  • Critical thinking: the process of clearly and rationally dissecting an issue.

Now, as we paint away, we will come up with a picture of the Philippines and Filipinos that is unfair to a lot of people. Because there are a LOT of Filipinos who can do critical thinking. I have no idea where they are hiding out, but I think it might be in America, Canada, Australia or even – who knows – Germany. For sure, critical thinkers don’t seem to get into management of government offices in the Philippines. Well . . . there are critical thinkers in NEDA and DBM and Finance, but  . . . far and wide . . . nope.

Also, hey, if we simply look around, we can see that Filipinos don’t like information very much. They are (“you are”) an impressionistic people, an emotional people, and facts are boring. Laws are facts. So is a thorough analysis of an issue. Politics is fun because it is personal and impressionistic. Opinions are easy and one is engaged as an authority by spouting them. Love gained and lost is fun. Murder is fun, and so let’s take a selfie down by the bus where 8 Hong Kong people got murdered. Facebook is fun. Knowing what history says is boring. Knowing what the Aquino Administration is REALLY doing is boring. Thinking about China is boring. Figuring out traffic is boring. Getting worked up about a condo tower is fun.

Many tend to say that the poor are guilty of not thinking well. I’d argue it is not just the poor, it is the entire population. Only a wee, small sliver of the population has any intellectual curiosity at all as far as I can tell.

“Oh, gimme a break, Joe. You don’t know that.”

Okay. Yes, I admit, I’m only guessing, and going by what other opinion-mongers say. But here’s what I do know . . . readership levels of recent blogs here at The Society of Honor:

  • The social significance of Al Dub: 144,536
  • It’s all about Escudero: the future of the Philippines: 87,196
  • A dislike of Grace Poe rolls across social media: 81,057
  • Return the ill-gotten wealth first, Bongbong: 49,064
  • Shift the China burden to the US; take care of the Philippines . . . and look east: 5,927
  • The Philippines: rising leadership in Asia: 3,840
  • “Nationalize the telcos!”: 2,108
  • President Quezon’s 1939 “Code of Citizenship and Ethics”, and the Philippines today: 1,884
  • “Philippine Competition Act”: Will it help consumers or just make more fat cats?: 1,442

Even educated people are not interested in analysis, in strategy formulation, in forward thinking, in understanding laws or real-world issues in the Philippines.

Even educated people prefer the impressionistic. The emotionally charged. To be ENGAGED on Facebook or Twitter.

Knowledge is boring.

Unfortunately, that’s a bit of a problem when it comes to elections. Democracy was built on the idea of an educated public. Not an impressionistic public.

So Philippine democracy suffers from an overabundance of thinking critically, that is, impressionistically, and a short-fall of critical thinking, that is, rational, knowledge-based, evaluation.

More evidence? Movie stars and boxers and crooks and Daddy’s assistant are really, actually in the Legislature here. Not to mention the wife and son of a murderous dictator. Here being in jail gives you PLUS POINTS for re-election. No one hereabouts really cares all that much about ethics, which is the way individual behavior is lifted up to promote the best interest of a group. For example, the Senate seems intent upon coddling bad behavior (Enrile) rather than showing the kids of the Philippines that integrity counts.

You get what you’ve got. The facts are not to be denied. They are holding office, way too many of these facts. Aberrant facts.

Frankly, I don’t know how you instill curiosity across a whole nation. I don’t know how you inspire a thirst for analytics and those attributes of behavior that promote “critical thinking”. I don’t know how to make logic and order routine, or how to put common sense into the place of winging it.

My young son and I have a simple game we play in the mornings as I am washing the breakfast dishes and he is getting himself ready for school. It goes something like this, as we take turns asking the questions:

Jr. “Which is stronger, a turtle or a fish?”

Sr. “Ummmm, a turtle.”

Jr. “Why?”

Sr. “The turtle has a hard shell for defense and claws to attack with. A fish is just meat.”

The game is quite good because it is a challenge to structure questions that are out of the box, and hard to answer. Then the answer must be provided, along with the all important “why”.

Sr. “Which is stronger, a flower or a butterfly?”

Jr. “Uhhhhh . . . a flower.”

Sr. “Why?”

Jr. “The butterfly dies but the flower keeps growing.”

Sr. “Yeah but a butterfly becomes a caterpillar and it can eat the flower.”

Jr. “Yeah, but caterpillars are yucky.”

We laugh a lot during this game.

What is interesting is that there are no winners or losers in the discussion. Neither player ever says “that’s stupid!” We know that our job is to figure things out, not win esteem battles.

Critical thinking is the ability to think clearly and rationally about what to do or what to believe. It includes the ability to engage in reflective and independent thinking and lose all emotional baggage. Someone with critical thinking skills is able to understand the rational connections between ideas [adapted from Google’s definition].

How in the world do you ask the Filipino nation to “lose all emotional baggage?”

Tough. Very tough.

I think there are four disciplines that can produce a competent critical thinker. I further think good critical thinking is essential for good group harmony.

  • Develop an insatiable curiosity about the way things work. Enjoy facts and the search for meanings.
  • Separate the self . . . the emotional self . . . from the issue.
  • Judge and take risks. Related to that, accept accountability for outcomes that go wrong.
  • Grant others reasonable latitude to make judgments, take risks . . . and make mistakes.

You can see how far the Philippines is from being a nation of critical thinkers by the blames, excuses, envy, and political game-playing that go on. And by how people come into a discussion prepared to suppress an opposing view . . . by insult if necessary . . . rather than listen to different ideas.

And this is the LEADERS, not the poor people.

Way too many people are spending most of the day dividing the Philippines into winners and losers.

And so unity is hard to come by.

And solving problems. That’s hard, too.

When everyone is emoting their emotional baggage, that is something other than critical thinking.

As I observe the commentary over Senator Marcos’ run for the Vice Presidency, I note that, to a lot of the elders of today, the youth of the Philippines are coming up short. The Marcos youth don’t care about history, and only believe the version that is in their heads. They are adamant and insulting and even threatening. Like their role model, I suppose . . .

Well, I’m not sure the elders have much right to lay claim to common sense, either. But for sure, the youth of the Philippines would do wonders for their nation if they would recognize that this is a nation of rich diversity, of origin and language and ideas. And figure out how to unify it, rather than divide it.

I wrote a while back:

“How great it would be if Filipinos developed a love affair with their nation. Even the criticisms would come with solutions attached, and bitterness removed.”

Perhaps that can be youth’s best gift to the Philippines.

And the elders can pitch in to show that they actually know what they are talking about.

 

Comments
430 Responses to “Thinking critically vs critical thinking”
  1. josephivo says:

    Boring and irrelevant are close. Knowledge, the facts are boring because irrelevant. Who you now in the Barangay hall and above is relevant, relationships, networks are exiting.

    Conversation in the evening while washing dishes:
    Mother: Did you have a recitation today?
    Daughter: yes again.
    Sr.: Did the teacher notice you?
    Jr.: No, we had to answer in group.
    Sr.: Was Rhona (the daughter of the association president) on the bus?
    Jr.: Yes, but she was sleeping the whole trip

    Stop thinking as an individual, you don’t have to know, you only have to know someone who knows, or better who decides.

    • Karl garcia says:

      very true, before i had this son of the assistant principal as a classmate during my early elementary days and parents keep talking about him until his mother retired,after a few years…then nobody cared what happened to him.

    • Joe America says:

      Boring is the level of increase in infrastructure investments by the Aquino administration. It is not irrelevant to a good choice at the voting booth. It may be irrelevant to the person who figures he knows enough even though he knows nothing. It will become relevant if someone ever gets a career path type of job.

      I understand the conversation, and the values. Personality. Position. Esteem. Emotion.

    • Conversation between a Singaporean Chinese and a mainland Chinese:

      Singaporean: when did you have your last election.

      Mainland Chinese: just befole bleakfast.

  2. Karl garcia says:

    As i told Edgar pamimilosopo abounds and not philosophy.

    • Philosophy in Ilocano is defined as: iti apay iti apay

      Definition comes from an Ilocano peasant leader from Pangasinan.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      There is no word in English for “pamimilosopo” derived from the word philosophy.
      Philosophy and Philosopher used in English is acceptable to Filipinos.
      Philosophy is study of wisdom and knowledge
      Philosopher is practitioner of Philosophy
      IN THE PHILIPPINES, a tagalog word of practitioner of Philosophy is Pilosopo
      Action word of Pilosopo is “pamimilosopo”
      “PIlosopo” and “Pamimilosopo” is BAD like WORTHLESS not WORTH YOUR WHILE

      Here are dos and don’ts:
      Si Hesu Kristo isang taong PILOSOPO palaging lang PAMIMILOSOPO. People gets killed for uttering that …
      ….. but if spoken in exact translation to English word for word
      “Jesus Christ is a Philosopher, always Philosophizing” IS OK! REPET! IT IS OK! JUST DO NOT SAY IT IN TALAGOG !!!!

      In the Philippines it is OK to say the F word because it is classy, got pedigree. Do not ever use the “K” word. EVER. NEVER!

      • Karl garcia says:

        Read Dante’s Inferno after Canto 9

      • Karl garcia says:

        translate pakibigay ang lata kay Tan

      • Pilosopo in Filipino is equivalent to “sophist” in English. Meaning someone who uses words in skillful way to fool people. Or someone who diverts with irrelevant nonsense.

        There is no equivalent in Filipino for what “philosopher” really means in English. It is like “seguro” in Spanish means sure, and in Filipino it means “maybe”, you have to say “segurado” to be really sure. Meaning, and shades of meaning, are a tricky matter.

  3. “Now, as we paint away, we will come up with a picture of the Philippines and Filipinos that is unfair to a lot of people. Because there are a LOT of Filipinos who can do critical thinking. I have no idea where they are hiding out, but I think it might be in America, Canada, Australia or even – who knows – Germany. ” Maybe my brother, he has a Doctorate in history. My father has a Doctorate in Ethnology from Paris (about the Pacific ancestor cult, the anitu which goes up to Easter Island) and is a retired professor. He thinks critically, and often applies critical thinking. To some extent.

    “The social significance of Al Dub: 144,536
    It’s all about Escudero: the future of the Philippines: 87,196
    A dislike of Grace Poe rolls across social media: 81,057
    Return the ill-gotten wealth first, Bongbong: 49,064
    Shift the China burden to the US; take care of the Philippines . . . and look east: 5,927
    The Philippines: rising leadership in Asia: 3,840
    “Nationalize the telcos!”: 2,108
    President Quezon’s 1939 “Code of Citizenship and Ethics”, and the Philippines today: 1,884
    “Philippine Competition Act”: Will it help consumers or just make more fat cats?: 1,442

    https://joeam.com/2015/10/23/reconstitute-the-philippines/ – 14 shares.

    Now Reconstituting the Philippines – Edgar got it – it is about a Proto-Constitution. It is about my wanting to inspire Filipinos to THINK about what being a democracy and a nation means to them. It was inspired by the Quezon 1939 article and quotes Quezon. Because not thinking about the words of the 1987 Constitution – its spirit comes from Father Bernas, S.J. of Ateneo, my mother knows him from her days teaching there – and therefore is an Espiritu Santo – is the fundamental thing causing the constitution not being applied today. Not even the preamble of a “just and humane” society. MRP, our “trash-talking” bum, gets it – children diving for morsels of Jolibee CANNOT be a just and humane society. He has understood the Constitution more than so many highfalutin people in universities, in the conferences rooms of Makati, even in the unholy Senate!

    Now Renato Constantino blamed the Miseducation of the Filipino – I suggest that Society Members READ that seminal article – on English. He got it wrong because of nationalistic bias. Tatay – Prof. Zeus Salazar – said we must have “Pantayong Pananaw” – sense of WE. But he thought one step too short as well, thinking only those who can speak HIS intellectual Tagalog can have the sense of community and purpose needed to really LIVE the nation that is only there in theory at the moment – in practice the AlDub nation is the beginning of the “General Will” needed for a democratic nation, no that is not Will practicing love and passion, Heneral Luna and AlDub love, the General Will is a concept that Rousseau postulated as the foundation of a true nation. Now I am the fox running fast on these concepts. May the hedgehogs surprise me with realization.

    • Now don’t get me wrong – I am NOTHING compared to my father and brother. I am to my father as Erap was to his rich father in terms of intellectuallity. I am an educated drifter, an Erap for the poor in understanding, a bulakbol who did not fully realize his potential.

      But if I can help you here why not? Most intellectuals in the Philippines are either confined to their monasteries of though, or have given up because hardly anyone gets them. DOST people are brilliant, but hardly heard – they do good stuff. Road trains, the AGT monoral which is a jeepney on stilts well suited to local conditions and short hauls, DOST project NOAH – unlike me, Dr. Lagmay finished his studies, even if we did some bulakbol together.

      Still loves San Mig and sisig, I can see from his FB page. The new Filipino. No hypocrisy. 🙂

      • That is another aspect of critical thinking I must learn. My analyses are right, but I am not good when it comes to implementation. Mahar and giancarlo are examples of the DOERS. Mar Roxas is also one – we Filipinos put too much emphasis on talk and too litte on action.

        So in a way I am still thinking too critically. Intellectual version of MRP so to speak, at times – repeating stuff a bit too often. Not giving solutions. Must give more examples and praise.

        • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

          Repeating is a virtue, Irineo. You have to rub it in or they forget. Critiquing is solution inside out. Critiquing “Filipinos are thieves” actually is a solution imbedded in a critique, it actually means, “FILIPINOS SHOULD STOP THIEFING” and that is a solution! 🙂 My issues with Filipinos is BLOGGERS HAVE TO SPELL OUT THE SOLUTION THAT IS ALREADY OBVIOUS!

          • It looks like Binay is not listening to you, MRP:

            “I filed an affidavit, presenting the defenses to show there was no graft and corruption after all, kaya lang nalunod sa media na I do not appear [at the hearings],”

            http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/542151/news/nation/poverty-not-corruption-is-phl-s-current-moral-issue-vp-binay

            MRP, most Filipinos are Catholics and each of the Ten Commandments starts with “Thou shall not…” Are they effective in modifying behavior? No. What is missing? A lot of people cannot connect theories with practice. It is the bloggers’ job to provide the connection. It is intellectual snobbery to put forth an idea without defining the perimeters of your argument and relating it to real world practice. It’s like saying: “here’s a flux capacitor” to a group of laypeople and leaving the room. Then coming back and berating them because they just sat there and did nothing with the flux capacitor.

            • 88 mph and 1.21 gigawatts, right? Also stainless steel necessary for flux dispersal.

            • manuel buencamino says:

              #Juana Pilipinas

              What Binay always fails to mention is his affidavit is useless and meaningless because he did not personally appear before the Senate to affirm the contents of his affidavit. A personal affirmation of the contents of his affidavit would mean opening himself up to cross-examination.

            • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

              Catholics cannot connect with biblical stories …
              UP graduates cannot connect what they have learned in school …
              Filipinos DNA has got to be rewritten and needs extensive redesign…

              Easy. Rewrite their DNAs. Wire each Filipinos connected to a DNA Redesign Capacitor. Ramp up the capacitance. Voila! You have brand new Filipinos!!!

              • sonny says:

                “Catholics cannot connect with biblical stories …”

                A tad exaggerated, but accurate. Add the word “some” and it becomes true.

              • @sonny

                I hope you read the discussion about the prevailing practices in mortgage lending in PH in the comment section of Micha’s article. Please, kindly pass it along to someone who can study the situation if no one is doing that yet. (dangling preposition, I know 🙂 ). Thank you.

              • Joe America says:

                Dangling prepositions are acceptable as style points, along with split infinitives, and every other kind of grammatical liberalization. We are of the Mark Twain school of thought, where ideas are best wrapped in real language. Not that stilted ivy league stuff.

              • sonny says:

                Ay apo, JP, where were all of you when I needed you. My esposa and I bought our condo during what seems to be centuries ago when we were both babes in the woods as far mortgage financing and servicing was concerned. If Karl, Micha, Mary Grace and you were around, we would have made a killing by buying/leveraging/financing the purchase of many condo units and selling same w/ handsome profits per unit. Problem was, you were all still literally babies then! As the late Max Soliven would’ve said, “… sanamabit!@#!! …” 😦

              • sonny says:

                Ay narigat ‘ti biag. (woe is me) As they say in real estate, location, location, location. I will add to that, in real money-making, its timing, timing, timing!!

              • Joe America says:

                I was surprised with my half-atheist view of things, that I knew more bible lessons than my long and deeply practicing wife. What good is a Bible if you don’t learn anything from it?

              • @sonny

                Actually chempo started the ball rolling and we just jumped (high, I tell you) into the discussion because it sounds so outrageous and unfair. Joe and karl gave us data to chew on and Edgar joined us in our exasperation.

              • Juana Pilipinas says:

                @Joe

                Started getting conscious when Orlando trolled me for misspelling scot-free and I heard Miriam Santiago in her speech to the UP students ridiculing Senate members about their spoken English. This too shall pass. 🙂

              • Joe America says:

                Orlando did not contribute anything positive to the discussion, as far as I can tell. It is too easy to take pot-shots, when one does not put one’s own ides on the table.

                Language and clear expression are actually important, but not if the grammar police end up censoring people from the discussion by applying their intimidating moral judgment.

              • Juana Pilipinas says:

                I do not think he will come back anytime soon. I stood my ground and show him the error of his ways. 🙂

          • Joe America says:

            MRP is back from sabbatical. ahahaha

            • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

              Your blog is addictive, Joe ! I thought I am that strong-willed. I am weak after all. 🙂

              • Joe America says:

                Hahaha, well your batteries certainly got recharged fast. I shall refrain from calling you names, however I did think of my old cat, bless his nine expired lives . . .

      • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

        How do Filipinos define intellectuals, the practitioner of intelligence? Filipinos hate the word “intelligent” and “intellectuals” among many words including “strict” as “estrikta”. “Ambition” as “Ambisyon”

        It is OK to use “intelihente” in a sentence in tagalog than “Intelligent” or “intellectual”.

        It is not OK to use the word “estrikta” but OK when “strict” is used. Same with “Ambisyosa/so” Ambisyoso and Ambisyosa is negative ambition. English word “Ambition” means ambition that is right. Huh?

        Filipinos are also weird. “maldita” o “maldito” is a badge of honor when used in first person but never ever use to describe a person as such.

        • A lot of stuff that came from Spanish totally has a different meaning in Filipino.

          Take the word “abilidad”. Binay has abilidad, while Mar Roxas has ability.

          Crooked words promote crooked thinking. Damaged cultural DNA…

    • Mami Kawada Lover says:

      >Renato Constantino
      Funny you’d mention the guy. I’ve read his stuff and while he has many good points, his unhealthy hatred of the US, silence on the Soviets (FBI rumor has it that he was a Soviet sympathizer, which apparently has some basis given that he was reportedly friends with the Huks), and poorly-disguised Marxism make him no different from the pro-Spanish or pro-American historians. He’s basically guilty of what he was fighting against.

      • Well, I read some his books at home.. but I think his core theory that the Filipinos use language especially English without grasping the concepts behind them is often true. My father tried to fix that by using Tagalog, but I told him HIS Tagalog first of all excludes non-Tagalog (he is in the Bonafacio nationalist tradition and was one of the first to show how bad Aguinaldo really was back in the 1990s, but seriously thinks Bonifacio meant the whole Philippines with Katagalugan) and using intellectual Tagalog for the Pantayong Pananaw intellectual movement was just as top-down, disregarding the People’s Will, so it is not necessarily educating the Filipino any better than using English – too far from reality.

        Language is a TOOL for modelling reality, for grasping and conceiving it. That I take from the stuff of Constantino and my father. It doesn’t matter what language as long as people are able to grasp what it really means, then they can apply analogy and picture things to solve problems like they would be able to solve them on tangible and visible things – fixing their nipa huts or their jeepneys. And the other thing is – let people make mistakes as long as they learn from them. The authoritarian nature of Filipino teachers inhibits learning. People cower and memorize instead of asking questions to understand things better. People cower and follow nonsense rules instead of telling the boss this isn’t practical.

  4. andrewlim8 says:

    My wife and I have a version of this discussion when we’re stuck in traffic. It seems that as tropical dwellers, Southeast Asians in general do not have the impetus to seek out answers more urgently than say, those whose climates change drastically in a year.

    Where’s the pressure, the weather stays relatively constant all year. Produce always remains available , and no need to plan what to wear, plant or store or preserve. But this is relevant only to prehistoric man. Modern global life demands the kind of critical thinking you describe. More so when you factor in the impact of human activity e.g. encroaching, environmental degradation, etc- on our lives.

    Schools figure a lot in inculcating the critical thinking mindset. While we excel in adaptation and re-application of science and technology, we simply do not possess the culture to do the grunt work of basic research, which is expensive, tedious, and boring.

    • ” the weather stays relatively constant all year.” tama ka doon.

      In Europe you have to plan for the winter. Even before you go out the door what you wear. I remember going out thinking it was hot because the sun was up and I froze when I was new.

      In Switzerland two important rituals mark the seasons – Almauftrieb and Almabtrieb – cows are led up the mountains and cows are taken down again. Sense of time is shaped by the seasons here. Sense of planning is shaped by having to store food and wood for winter….

      Technology was developed first by people from cold countries because it made their lives easier or even bearable – the winters before even in the 1980s were much worse up here, after the war in Berlin when all factories were down there was a terrible winter, many died.

      Actually the life of tropical people was perfect – Lapu-Lapu for sure drank lambanog after killing Magellan and ate lechon with his people. But those more organized BECAUSE they had to be – and with better weapons because they killed each other all the time, fighting over land in the small peninsula of the Eurasian continent called Europe – suddenly came. It was more fun in the Philippines, but since the world is now shaped by the “takers” – here I recommend the movie “Instinct” with Cuba Gooding and Anthony Hopkins – we must adapt.

      • Joe America says:

        I think there is a core of excellent critical thinkers in National Government. President Aquino, NEDA staff, Abad and DBM, Purisima and Finance. Other cabinet secretaries, including Roxas. It is the culture at the top. But descend out to the agencies and LGUs, it is not so strong. I don’t think Philippine journalists have any idea about critical thinking, even though to do a superior job, they should apply a little.

        • And Mar Roxas has common sense. I would not include Miriam Coronel-Ferrer among the true critical thinkers because her stuff is too spaced out to work in reality – if even I can take it apart like I took apart BBL. Head in the clouds but not with he feet on the ground.

          Duterte is a pragmatist Wild Man who found solutions for problems instinctively and without too much regard for theory or conventions, but Davao proves that it works. However, for the Philippines you need more applied theory, and that is what Mar does.

          • manuel buencamino says:

            Really, you took apart the BBL? All those years of work by scholars who’ve spent decades studying the issue and by people who were actually involved in the conflict produced a spaced out product that crashed when you injected it with a dose of your reality?

    • Joe America says:

      That last thought is incorporated in my thinking that, if schools go to computers and cloud interface on lessons, readings and exams, then critical thinking gets put into the educational culture, because you can require search projects and analytical projects and demand excel skills as routine. The thinking culture does indeed need to be recast, and that’s the most dramatic change I can think of to “easily” get it done. You get nowhere going through the family. Or the church. Or the current school system built on regurgitation.

  5. Karl garcia says:

    escudero has more reads than BBM,my concern is does this mean people hate BBM less. or the other way around,they hate BBM,they hate reading about him.

  6. NHerrera says:

    Your father-son relationship and the “why” Q and A game is a microcosm of the answer to the Filipinos impressionistic unreflecting thinking. Role models, practice and education. But first a complete erasure from the mind of the concept of Erap as President, of Pacquiao as a Congressman and soon a Senator, a Plunderer as a President — with a whole family complicit. But short of lining up these people and … (you supply the mechanism) … the question is how to go about it.

    I KNOW: make sure Mar-Leni along with a good number of rational thinking Senators, Congressmen, Governors/ Mayors of major Provinces/Cities get elected in 2016; and suddenly one can take a FIRST SMALL CRACK at converting impressionistic unreflecting thinking Filipinos to reflecting rational Filipinos with the BUDGET as an instrument. (Recall that the next President is appointing some 11 SC Justices and I understand thousands of officials aside from major ones.) The synergistic effect of such a situation to the economy and education; and gradual, firm effort at encouraging or teaching critical thinking of course is obvious.

    Sorry to say that this is not based on extensive study/research, analysis, evaluation and all that is usually needed for a A1 quality critical thinking, but I hope it passes for at least a Grade level critical thinking — seeing that this note was typed rather quickly.

    • You have to pick up people from where they are – talk in pictures like Jesus did if needed. My bayong example is one case – because many Filipinos are intimidated by highfalutin sounding words. They don’t dare to ask because they are afraid of looking stupid, and teachers often only half understand what they are talking about, so they act authoritarian to prevent questions they cannot answer. So you have to go to the reality that words model.

      The Leni Robredo approach to education – talk to the people in their terms, not ours. They are not as stupid as one thinks. I wrote my Sun Tzu Tagalog translation in street Tagalog similar to that of an ex-PNP man I know – I am sure he would understand the thinking.

      A lot of legal disputes in the Philippines give me the impression people don’t get the spirit of the law – puro technicality. Law is most probably taught very formalistically like so much. Manuel Buencamino impressed me by knowing the reason for things in the Constitution.

      Many others quote the 1987 Constitution like i7sharp likes to quote the Bible – by rote.

      This is because CONCEPTS have not been fully assimilated by the postcolonial Filipino mind. Some have but not all. They are not stupid, ask them to do something in their world they will be able to make a solution. But abstraction – coming from Latin abstrahere which means to carry upward in the etymological sense – carrying stuff upward from the real world into an imagined world of concepts and dealing with it as if it was real – is lacking because they do not really get the concepts. Which is why you have to make them get it.

    • Joe America says:

      Actually, as I remarked to Irineo, I believe President Aquino has put in place the core of a rational, results-oriented government. Roxas is an analytical thinker and I think would push this out further, like with measurement of LGU performance that has moved to the forefront under the Competitive Council. I don’t think the other candidates are critical thinkers. They are big-expression public relations pros, all hat, no cowboy. Or cowgirl. That’s why they don’t want to respond to questions or have a real debate. There is no cowboy (substance) to support their well-crafted publicity statements.

      • NHerrera says:

        Right: the right seeds were planted by Pnoy, but I fear the unravelling of the effort with the appointment of officials especially the critical Judiciary by a different Elected Official configuration. Momentum will be greatly lost especially as it may leave unchanged the unreflecting thinking we are discussing there.

        • Joe America says:

          Oh, yes. The 2016 election is a very defining democratic moment. Forward and upward, or backward and in circles.

          • Crews says:

            When it comes to voting preference, thinking critically can work if one looks with a “critical eye” at contender’s records. My conclusion was: Go! Go! RORO. No! No! BINHO, SANCOS, or PODERO!

  7. chempo says:

    The score on blog readership — it’s not a surprise at all Aldub was that high. This is not symptomatic of Philippines. I’ll bet it’s same elsewhere. It’s the MTV crowd. Bet you if you put a blog out on Miriam Riveria or Vice Ganda you will get another 100,000 reads.

    • The difference is, in more developed countries people do not mistake politics for showbiz.

      Because they know it is about their LIFE and MONEY. In the Philippines, even Grace Poe mistakes what her father did in the movies for real achievements she would like to continue.

      • manuel buencamino says:

        They do not mistake showbiz for politics and vice-versa? And so Americans elected Ronald Reagan president, Fred Thompson to the US Senate, Arnold Scwharzenegger and Jesse Ventura governors of California and Minnesota. Let’s not make those onli in da pilipins types of generalizations.

        • manangbok says:

          “Punish people for making the same mistakes all the time. Encourage people to learn from mistakes.”

          So I was working for a department in an LGU (local government unit) and we had to implement a protocol to improve the comunity’s, let’s say “health outcomes”.

          The protocol was handed down by a respected international organization; also the protocol is supported by very good evidence … meaning that it works. However, implementing it would entail changing long-entrenched practices; some of those practices (not all and it depends on who is doing the practicing) have been gateway to corruption by lower level government employees.

          We tried implementing the protocol. In some instances, we succeeded; but there were instances when we had difficulty doing it, hence the failures.

          The head of the department had to make a good impression on the LGU politicians (because they are the ones who will be giving her her appointment papers); and to make a good impression, she had to show that 90-100% of the implementation of this protocol was a success. The reality is: due to lack of logistics, manpower (availability of and skill of the currently available), and cultural shortcomings, the protocol was only around 50-60% successful.

          So of course the department head ranted on her subordinates. She was being pressured by the LGU politicians to produce visible results NOW, because hey, it is election year next year. So the department head, who knows that her position as far as the political powers are concerned is precarious at best, pressured and gave her subordinates a really bad time, in an effort (on her part) to produce the results that will get her that appointment paper from the LGU politicians.

          Of course her subordinates (and that includes me) were pissed. And disillusioned.

          And I think that is one of the reasons why I am leaving this country (ha ha).

          and yes, this is just a fairytale 😛

    • Joe America says:

      Could be. That is consistent with the emotionalizing of the American political process and voter consciousness. Social media may be having some negative impacts along with the positives of massive and quick communication. The Rush Limbaugh style is way too prominent, big sweeping conclusions founded on nothing but hot air. But I think management of government enterprises and businesses in the Philippines for sure lacks analytics and synthesis and we ought to figure out how to change that.

      • Apply Article 8 of the Freedom Constitution in practice asap. Don’t punish people for mistakes they make the first time if they admit them and correct them. Punish people for making the same mistakes all the time. Encourage people to learn from mistakes.

        Because punishing mistakes too harshly – authoritarian upbringing – makes people afraid of asking. They just memorize stuff – or follow rules blindly to the point of nonsense – to avoid punishment. In the end they don’t know what they are talking about or implementing.

        • In fact authoritarianism makes people LIE and COVER UP to avoid punishment instead of admitting mistakes and correcting them quickly. The Philippines is very unforgiving of mistakes – unless you act with total impunity and people cower. Say sorry – get mauled.

  8. Mami Kawada Lover says:

    I note something similar between Marcos apologists and AlDub fans: they both seem to lack critical thinking. Say anything about them that isn’t positive and they resort to ad hominems or logical fallacies. Even the leftists have somewhat better critical thinking skills because much of what they say (income inequality and the like) have factual basis.

  9. NHerrera says:

    TRIVIA on thinking with serious consequences

    US AND CHINA ON A VIRTUAL GAME OF CHICKEN IN THE WEST PHILIPPINE SEA

    Two macho-teenager drivers at two ends of a straight, narrow road are driving fast towards each other, prodded on by their respective partisan-camps. The one who swerves first is considered chicken and shamed. If no one swerves, death is certain for both. If both swerve, both live but equally embarrassed.

    VARIATION OF THE GAME. If one of the drivers signals in no uncertain terms that he is driving straight through — by say throwing his steering wheel out of the window, making sure that the other sees that action — the GAME CHANGES. The other driver is left with the option of not swerving and certain death (although the other dies too); or swerving and losing the game. If the Second driver is sane and after his best interest, he swerves.

    IN THE WPS SITUATION, the US in NO UNCERTAIN TERMS — encouraged by being on the side of International Law and being still the most powerful militarily — ANNOUNCED that it will bring its naval ship within 12 nautical miles of the artificial islands created by China to assert that they are not sovereign Chinese territory. (Further, I believe that the US will not act without being prepared for consequences.) China cannot but stand down (AS IT DID) if it is sane and acting in its best interest — an application of the concept described above.

    • Let the USA do that. Noynoy is sane and calculating – my analysis of his strategy is that he is simply playing for time. AND his pacting with Vietnam shows that he is not the US puppet that many think he is – just like Cory proved that she is independent of the US who wanted to make her a puppet to replace Marcos who probably saw opportunities elsewhere – China? He will probably not join the US, let them confront China alone, that is a fight between two superpowers, the Philippines should stay out of it. I don’t think President Aquino cares too much about the Spratleys, a claim that was asserted by Marcos and holds no real value for the Philippines, just headaches. But the climate in the Philippines is such that he had to do something in order to not lose face. But this is just my take on it.

    • Joe America says:

      I thought kids who played chicken (which they did when I was a teen) were nuts. That must have been a dramatic moment, as every sail-through will be. I’m sure the crew of the missile carrier must have been ready for about anything. It is a shame that China will not concede the point. That it is NOT their sea, to own and exploit over the interests of the civilized world. By implication, I mean to suggest Chinese leaders are uncivilized . . .

      • It will be a face-off like the Americans and Russians with their tanks at Checkpoint Charlie.

        Remember that I posted a picture of that months ago when we talked about this issue?

      • NHerrera says:

        I am glad the US acted as it did. What would have been the consequence if China was not challenged? This will be read and analyzed by not only the Philippines but our ASEAN neighbors. It is a strategic thinking with elements of calculated risk. Playing the chicken game with an ANNOUNCEMENT in no uncertain terms was right to my thinking.

      • Franz says:

        No time in China’s history has China treated the S. China Sea as its “sea.” Even when China possessed the world’s mightiest maritime fleet, Arab, South Asian, and South East Asian traders continued to roam freely the area.

        • Cheng Ho? Revanchist Chinese groups may regret that the fleet was scrapped by the Ming Emperor, and China declined from that point onward. Ports were closed, the Southern Chinese who traded with Manila were “pirates”. Official trade with the West went only through Macau. The Japanese also had their exclusive partnership with the Portuguese, the black ships that landed in Nagasaki. And the Japanese sought to compete with the West after their illusion of superiority had been shaken by American gunboats that forced them to open the country – so they who had been previously isolationist became Imperialists – in imitation of the West that had “slighted them”…

          Who is to tell us that China will not go the same way? Evidence points in that direction.

          • Franz says:

            Is this your base in not trusting China in the South China Sea ? Though history (Chinese) didn’t count for the Philippines in their claim.

          • Franz says:

            Evidence shows that the proximity of the US in the neighborhood will lead to war (or some disaster) I would give this an 80 % that it could be. The history based on Cheng Ho, 10 % that it could bring war.

            • “No time in China’s history has China treated the S. China Sea as its “sea.” Even when China possessed the world’s mightiest maritime fleet, Arab, South Asian, and South East Asian traders continued to roam freely the area.”

              This actually is pretty accurate. When Zheng He returned all the big expeditionary ships and records (of farther expeditions) were burned, China took on less of an exploratory role and just had small ships with small outposts thru-out South East Asia, trading with the big “empires” Pasai, Srivijava and Majapahit, to small back waters, like Manila and Tawi-Tawi.

              When they were the only ones in the area they could’ve totally dominated, but chose not to.

              So the Hindu influence came first, then the Islamic influence– eventually pitting Sumatra and Java, with the last Hindus fleeing to Bali (now the favorite island of US Marines because of all the free spirited Australian co-eds– this by the way, is how you stop the US military from further expanding the sex industry over there, just invite a bunch of Australian co-eds, not sex-workers just fun loving).

              Then the Portuguese came using the Arab sea routes, then the Spaniards from way across the Pacific. After that initial Iberian push, then the Dutch and the English took over. In the 1600s, the English discovered tea (Jack Kerouac — ‘The first sip [of tea] is joy, the second is gladness, the third is serenity, the fourth is madness, the fifth is ecstasy.’ ), and it was down hill for China from there.

              So the fact that China’s breaking it’s historical attitude in the region, is something different– whether it will be good or bad remains to be seen– immoral, moral, & amoral (China’s treatment of other nations, unlike the West’s immoral & moral, China is amoral).

        • Joe America says:

          China today objected to American warships sailing within 12 nautical miles of her artificially constructed islands. Previous to China’s occupation of these islands, any nation had free-sailing rights through those same waters. China now talks repeatedly about her sovereignty over these islands and waters. She has tried to establish over-flight rules above the contested Japanese islands . . . ignored by other nations. The concern is the present and future, not the past. These are open, international waters, with multiple contested islands and rocks. China says her sovereignty over the disputed islands and rocks is indisputable, so we can tell that China is even making up the dictionary that other nations are supposed to use.

          May I ask your nationality and interest in this? We’ve had multiple visitors, clearly professionals, advocating the Chinese line here. They were banned for trolling the blog.

          • Franz says:

            I’m not advocating China lines.

            Just referring to the claim of the Philippines and the UNCLOS.

            A brief review of Philippines’s claims is helpful.

            In a speech given in 2014, Justice Carpio outlined Philippines’s case as follows:
            The Philippines’s arbitration case against China is solely a maritime dispute and
            does not involve any territorial dispute. The Philippines is asking the tribunal if
            China’s 9-dashed lines can negate the Philippines’s EEZ as guaranteed under
            UNCLOS. The Philippines is also asking the tribunal if certain rocks above water at
            high tide, like Scarborough Shoal, generate a 200 NM EEZ or only a 12 NM
            territorial sea. The Philippines is further asking the tribunal if China can
            appropriate low-tide elevations (LTEs), like Mischief Reef and Subi Reef, within
            the Philippines’s EEZ. These disputes involve the interpretation or application of
            the provisions of UNCLOS. The Philippines is not asking the tribunal to delim
            it by nautical measurements overlapping EEZs between China and the Philippines.
            The Philippines is also not asking the tribunal what country has sovereignty ov
            er an island, or rock above water at high tide, in the West Philippine Sea.

            “These are open, international waters”, China has said that it will not obstruct freedom of navigation, it did it today. ( China’s legal commitment to freedom of the seas in the S. China Sea also cannot be made any clearer through its ratification of the UNCLOS in 1982 and its signing of the “Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea” in 2002.

            “China says her sovereignty over the disputed islands and rocks is indisputable”

            Philippines and China have always understood that the UNCLOS did not infringe or modify their sovereignty claims in the S. China Sea.
            In its ratification statements, for example, the Philippines declared that the UNCLOS did not prejudice its “sovereign rights” to claim a vast, “picture frame” body of water surrounding its territory as its “internal waters,” a right defined in “Treaty of Paris” and derived from historic title dating back to its colonial era.

            China for its part “reaffirm[ed] its sovereignty over all its archipelagos and islands” and associated“territorial seas and the contiguous zones” and in 2006 exercised its right not to accept any binding arbitration process as allowed under Article 298.

            • Joe America says:

              Okay, four points.

              1. The spam filter flagged your comment, which it also did for the Chinese professionals who visited here, which is a warning signal to me that you are also a professional or have a history of trolling.

              2. Furthermore, you neglected to provide your nationality and state what your interest in the matter is, as I requested.

              3. As for the argument at the UNCLOS hearing, it is a two stage process. The first is for the Philippines to gain certification that the EEZ is what it is, Philippine territory for economic purposes. That requires going through certain technical matters about what is an island. Once the EEZ is confirmed, the Philippines can pursue cases against China if she refuses to vacate Philippine territory.

              4. You continue to advocate in favor of China’s position.

              • Joe America says:

                I would add that you changed your screen name to “Bard” and re-submitted the comment. It was again picked up by the spam filter and blocked. I have sent it permanently off to spam, as it is clear that you are not above manipulation to get your message through.

              • Jane says:

                Joe, you just don’t understand it “The first is for the Philippines to gain certification that the EEZ is what it is, Philippine territory”, UNCLOS is not about “territory”

                Since the purpose of the UNCLOS has always been about the commercial and economic sharing of maritime resources, and not about imposing a framework for solving politically sensitive or sovereignty disputes, the drafters finally found it appropriate to leave the matter alone.

                If the Philippines and you need certifications about the EEZ, how can you pretend that China is wrong ???? Funny but stupid.

                “That requires going through certain technical matters about what is an island”

                UNCLOS is very clear: http://www.un.org/Depts/los/convention_agreements/texts/unclos/part8.htm

                Regime of islands

                1. An island is a naturally formed area of land, surrounded by water, which is above water at high tide.

                2. Except as provided for in paragraph 3, the territorial sea, the contiguous zone, the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf of an island are determined in accordance with the provisions of this Convention applicable to other land territory.

                3. Rocks which cannot sustain human habitation or economic life of their own shall have no exclusive economic zone or continental shelf.

                Article 121 is only around 80 words long, but however one reads it, one will not read anywhere of it stipulating whether “islands” “which cannot sustain human habitation or economic life of their own” can or cannot give rise to an EEZ/ECS. Article 121 does stipulate that “rocks which cannot sustain human habitation or economic life of their own” cannot give rise to an EEZ/ECS, but it not provide any guidance on what “rocks” – as opposed to “islands” – might be !

                Be prepared to lose in the Hague.

              • “Be prepared to lose in the Hague.”

                The Hague is simply lawfare. Warfare and diplomacy rules. What do think China will do now that the US is flaunting the American flag in the region? That’ s the question– precisely why the American flag is being used to taunt. We all wanna know what China will do.

              • Joyce says:

                LCpl_X (@LCpl_X),

                “We all wanna know what China will do”

                I will have to disappoint you, China will do nothing, just respect his commitment.

                “These are open, international waters”, China has said that it will not obstruct freedom of navigation ( China’s legal commitment to freedom of the seas in the S. China Sea also cannot be made any clearer through its ratification of the UNCLOS in 1982 and its signing of the “Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea” in 2002.

                With so much of China’s own trade passing through the sea it’s nonsensical to suggest that it would block them. Commentators invariably overstate the value of U.S. trade passing through the South China Sea. They fail to recognize that the vast majority of U.S. trade with East Asia does not go through the area.

                In bringing a case against China in which “historic title” takes front and center stage, the Philippines is asking a UNCLOS tribunal to raise sua sponte issues that were not only never negotiated but that were explicitly dropped in the drafting of the UNCLOS, to articulate a judicial regime that had escaped the grasp of thousands of legal experts working across
                two and a half decades through some 15 convention sessions, to engage in a wild goose chase going back thousands of years over China’s historical title applying today’s International norms, and – based solely on the “wisdom” of five men’s sense of politics, history, and equity – to pronounce a resolution that is final, just, and legitimate !

                By presenting different opinions, bloggers can communicate to resolve misunderstandings and problems, as well as promote new ideas. This is called progress of civilization. By allowing one-sided view only, it is call propaganda; it is a regress of civilization.

              • Joyce says:

                Have you ever been thinking:

                What about Vietnam and the rest of the countries directly affected by China’s actions in the SCS? How will these countries react to a decision that favors the Philippines’ position?

                Just sit and applaud ?

                And lastly, how will China respond? Getting out of the UNCLOS and follow US pad ?

              • Joe America says:

                Well, let’s see, you are the fourth person in this blog dealing with the off-topic subject of China and the Philippines and ITLOS, and none of you has explained what nationality you are or what your basis for this “passion” is. You are pushing an agenda, and that is not the purpose of this blog. You are now assuming an inquisitorial role, and becoming provocative. Please push your agenda elsewhere, or bring it along when we have a blog about China and the Philippines. Further dialogue on this line will go to spam.

              • “I will have to disappoint you, China will do nothing, just respect his commitment.”

                LOL!

                No disappointments, it takes a bully to know a bully. Like I’ve been saying if there’s a war it’ll be 20 yrs or so down the line. I’m hoping all the smart Chinese and all the smart Americans will sit down and talk, and stop this school yard crap.

            • Bard says:

              This all seems to be political issue (starting after WWII) and not and law issue, why is the Philippines going to the Hague ?

              • Joe America says:

                You are using two screen names and two different source computers now, but are the same person playing games. I suggest you move to a different playground. (For readers, Bard is Franz.)

              • LOL! 2 different computers, means he’s in an internet cafe? Or an office. What ever came of that blog idea to locate these guys, Joe?

              • He probably has anonymizer tools that can fake IP addresses from nearly anywhere. THEY showed us that in one big China discussion – addresses from all over the world that they even posted, I verified them with infosniper and they were “really” from there.

                I don’t know how to locate people like that, that is a job for real cybersecurity people. Which brings us back to your point that Philippine cybersecurity must be addressed.

    • Brad says:

      China showed his word, freedom of navigation, it respected it.
      “prepared for consequences” ?, are they prepared if tomorrow China devalue again the RMB ? Your thinking seems to be very narrow.

      A brief review of Philippines’s claims is helpful.

      In a speech given in 2014, Justice Carpio outlined Philippines’s case as follows:
      The Philippines’s arbitration case against China is solely a maritime dispute and
      does not involve any territorial dispute. The Philippines is asking the tribunal if
      China’s 9-dashed lines can negate the Philippines’s EEZ as guaranteed under
      UNCLOS. The Philippines is also asking the tribunal if certain rocks above water at
      high tide, like Scarborough Shoal, generate a 200 NM EEZ or only a 12 NM
      territorial sea. The Philippines is further asking the tribunal if China can
      appropriate low-tide elevations (LTEs), like Mischief Reef and Subi Reef, within
      the Philippines’s EEZ. These disputes involve the interpretation or application of
      the provisions of UNCLOS. The Philippines is not asking the tribunal to delim
      it by nautical measurements overlapping EEZs between China and the Philippines.
      The Philippines is also not asking the tribunal what country has sovereignty ov
      er an island, or rock above water at high tide, in the West Philippine Sea.

      So what are you talking about territory ??? Are you really aware of the Philippines claims ?

  10. Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

    You connect with the intended receiver of the message by using his or her language, symbols and kilig points. I remember in UP in the 70s, mass comm students could not pass Math 101, Statistics. It was an epidemic of numbers aversion. What to do? The then Institute of Mass Communications asked a mathematician named Jimmy Ong who also happened to be an excellent writer to preside over a class of Math 101 dropouts—including me—that would explain the intricate concepts in terms we could all understand. It wasn’t intended to dumb us down because at the end of the course we could understand all definitions and principles of Statistics enough for me to get a grade of 1.5, for instance. The difference was we could stop him at any time we could not understand, he used metaphors (icebergs to illustrate a line graph) that would appeal to our uhm childlike comprehension. Perhaps Filipinos are also dropouts in analytical thinking but if presented in a way that could be easily understood, we could be like the rest of humanity. AlDub kilig is a very good metaphor, fun to follow, up close and personal. It’s probably a question of communication, rather than a question of I.Q., comprehension or analytical chops. If I am off track, please say so, so we can all forget I said this. Btw, AlDub followup article coming out tomorrow. I hope it further explains the approach I am trying to advocate. Cheers! Btw, does General Will refer to me? Hahaha! — Will

    • Filipinos are visual and tactile. The third dimensions, analytical thinking is closely related to listening – Filipinos often do not listen and when they listen they often pass it through ears.

      Which is why my “Reconstitute the Philippines” article is analytical, while my “Ang Saligan Ng Batas” equivalent article, not translated, is like a story. Europeans especially in the Northern parts are more analytical – like Andrew Lim who is not a true Filipino anyway joke just like NHerrera who is also Chinoy and therefore analytical by nature, sanay kasi silang magbilang ng pera nila hehe – said that it could be the climate. In Europe you have to think ahead because of the seasons changing. Know when to move your cows up the mountains in spring and down again in autumn. It is an established ritual among the Swiss. Filipinos are still shaped by their tropical paradise where planning was not needed. And wonder why the MRT has problems if they don’t maintain it, wait for accidents to happen. All related.

      Since I have both sides – but also had to learn the analytical and planning aspect the hard way, since the Philippines shaped me in my young years, I am able to explain things in a certain way that my folks at home get. Like Will you have adopted my house metaphor.

      How did I get the idea that public space and private space should be treated equally well? I spat on the suburban train station in Munich. A lady security guard saw me and told me do you do that at home, spit on the floor? Ay, parang bahay pala nila lahat kahit nasa labas.

      Which got me to my metaphor in Ang Saligan ng Batas. Ang bansa parang bahay nating lahat. Dapat malinis ang mga pinggan. Dapat walang basura kung saan-saan atbp. – for people who are not yet fully literate in thinking, you need pictures. My management coach found out that I was not fully literate in thinking around 12 years ago, but that I had the potential to improve. Literate thinking is something Western cultures fully have, and they pass it on to their kids by upbringing like Joe does. Enough people in the Philippines with literate thinking will pass it on to their children. Like Ninoy to Noynoy. Like Gerry to Mar.

      • manuel buencamino says:

        “In Europe you have to think ahead because of the seasons changing. Know when to move your cows up the mountains in spring and down again in autumn. It is an established ritual among the Swiss. Filipinos are still shaped by their tropical paradise where planning was not needed.”

        Do climate and weather influence national character? There are studies that say they do and studies that say they don’t. I believe it is premature to say that Filipinos are what they are because they live in a tropical paradise where planning is not needed because there is no conclusive study to that effect.

        Furthermore it is inaccurate to describe the Philippines as a tropical paradise. The Philippines is tropical but not exactly a paradise because it sits in the typhoon belt and the Pacific rim of fire hence it experiences severe typhoons, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions regularly. If climate and weather influence or shape national character I think traumatic natural events would be a much bigger factor than a warm sun and tropical breezes.

        A tropical paradise would be a Borneo or some other land mass that sits below the wind or the typhoon belt, it could also be peninsular Malaysia and Singapore which has monsoon rains but no typhoons, volcanic eruptions, or earthquakes although they shake a bit when there are earthquakes in neighboring countries.

        • Well, I do think that climate shaped attitudes to life in past times when we were more exposed to the elements – but that is of course an opinion based on empirical observation.

          And typhoons could even add to the attitude of not planning… you just rebuilt but that was in the times people had much less than today… tropical paradise referred to the year-round abundance as compared to Europe were people had to plan for the winter…

    • josephivo says:

      Math and critical thinking. I’m always amazed that even multiplying by 10 is too difficult to calculate by heart for most Filipinos. What do they teach in first grade when you learn to count to 100? Only reading skills and recitation?

      Everything has to be very concrete, with the smallest abstraction people get lost. Not a conversation between man and woman but between Alden and Maine.

      • There is a comedy I once wrote about – NHerrera will remember it he commented on my posting – about some people who get kidnapped.

        They tell their stupid kidnappers they will have to divide the ransom and teach them how to divide.

        While the kidnappers are quarreling about “dibay-dibay” they escape unnoticed.

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, General Will, that’s you.

    • Karl garcia says:

      So it all depend on the visual aid and presentation.
      If metaphors are good then read mrp.
      Iam bs math or bagsak sa math or bobo sa math

      I got kicked out of dlsu because i failed algebra,calculus,chem,physics,etc

      But i wont call myself stupid and if i go back in time i know i could do better.

      If certain segments of a society dont show aptitude in math and science they may show aptitude in the arts.

      I think therefore i am,and so are you.

      But stupid is as stupid does.
      Ask the right question,you will be left with an answer.

      • You are not stupid, and you definitely think. I wrote that you ask only “why?” but that is already an indication that you are thinking. There are four levels of aggregation:

        – data (what, when, where are the questions – you usually know your data already)

        – information (how is actually the question you ask most of the time, to get a picture)

        – knowledge (why is also a question you ask very often, you are looking for knowledge)

        – wisdom (why in general, iti apay iti apay is correct after all, looking at the definitions)

        Your way of thinking is more intuitive. You KNEW “Micha” was RHiro. Not a bad thing.

        I am also asking why and answering myself often. That is the difference between us two. Edgar often knows why already and is asking himself the general why – as a philosopher. Pilosopo in Filipino actually means sophist – a person who will argue any kind of nonsense.

      • Micha is RHiro? Hmmm…

        I guess it is because I really do not dwell on people much but on ideas expressed so I did not get that.

        I am under the impression Micha is the Filipina contributor from Japan.

        I apologize to RHiro for changing his gender through my comment to Orlando.

    • “Perhaps Filipinos are also dropouts in analytical thinking but if presented in a way that could be easily understood, we could be like the rest of humanity. AlDub kilig is a very good metaphor, fun to follow, up close and personal. It’s probably a question of communication, rather than a question of I.Q., comprehension or analytical chops.”

      Again, this is where Marines and Filipnos converge. In Marine parlance, this is when we break it down Barney –style. http://terminallance.com/2015/03/20/terminal-lance-371-barney-style/

  11. edgar lores says:

    *******
    1. The solution is quite simple: everyone should be a programmer. 🙂

    2. But seriously, there are four aspects to this problem of the lack of critical thinking. The first is tradition, the second methodology, the third logic, and the last attitude.

    3. We have an anti-intellectual tradition. Can you name one Filipino philosopher from the top of your head?

    4. As to methodology, most of the bright commenters here work or have worked in Information Technology (IT).

    5. Computer work instils systems thinking as a rational mode of approaching and solving problems… and as a disciplined way of life.

    6. Systems thinking is one method of critical thinking. It incorporates several techniques but basically it consists of the following steps:

    6.1. Define the problem.
    6.2. Analyze the problem.
    6.3. Design alternative solutions and work out (or choose) the best.
    6.4. Test the solution.
    6.5. Implement the solution.
    6.6. Monitor the solution.

    7. Each step is critical. But if there are missteps in the first two, then everything goes down the drain.

    7.1. Defining the problem is stating the problem as accurately as possible. This requires asking the right questions. How a question is framed shows how the problem is seen – the perspective – using a commonly shared vocabulary. This last is important as miscommunication can throw a spanner into the works.

    7.2. Analyzing the problem is breaking it down into its constituent elements, how they fit and work, and where and why they do not fit and work.

    8. In all steps, the use of logical reasoning is required.

    9. But developing a tradition, providing a methodology and using correct logic is three-fourths of the problem. The last fourth is attitude.

    9.1. It is important to realize, first of all, that thought has many forms. There are impulsive thoughts, propositions, arguments, fantasies, decisions, and many more. And then there are opinions.

    9.2. An opinion may be a matter of fact or of belief. An opinion is fact if it conforms to reality, and if is belief if it cannot be proved to conform to reality. Of course, this begs the question of what reality is but let us concede that reality consist of the empirical and/or of the consensual.)

    9.3. Moreover, it is also important to realize that the opinion of a person is NOT the person. The thought is NOT the thinker. So when opinions are exchanged and differences arise, the critic-giver and the critic-receiver must both be careful not to take things personally. (However, if a person so identifies with his opinion that there is no separation between false thought, false reasoning and entity, then ad hominems are not only allowed… they are in order.)

    9.4. A person may be who he thinks he is. Or a person may be who others think he is. But others may differ on who that person is.

    9.4.1. Grace thinks she will make a good president. In the same manner, Nancy thought she would make a good senator. Many think both are correct. But many others think they are both narcissistic, possessed with delusions of grandeur. For the latter group, there may be a difference among Grace and Nancy and Manny quantitatively… but no difference qualitatively.

    9.4.2. Come to think of it, most of the presidential and vice-presidential candidates have delusions of grandeur. Some believe they are archangels, intergalactic ambassadors and superheroes. Heck, someone wants to legalize the four seasons… which should address the invariable climate problem that Andrew mentioned.

    10. The task of critical thinking for the 2016 elections is… critical.
    *****

    • josephivo says:

      3 is easy, Edgar.

    • josephivo says:

      6.1 more specific. As a problem is the difference between should and actual, both have to be clear.

      • Soll und Ist = present situation and desired outcome.

        To prevent bitching and complaints, this methodology is often used:

        1) define the problem.

        2) define the desired outcome.

        3) define the measurable goals to reach it.

        4) define the tasks necessary to achieve those goals.

        Have used this method in organizational consulting – change management.

        Usually there you have a goal from the top and much resistance from the bottom.

    • Can you name one Filipino philosopher from the top of your head? – Mabini!

      • Jacinto as well.. a revolutionary philosopher. A German lady I showed a picture of Jacinto said he reminds her of James Dean.

      • edgar lores says:

        *******
        I will grant Mabini was a thinker and revolutionary leader, but not a philosopher. Rizal left behind a greater body of works but I would not classify him as a philosopher either.
        *****

        • Why not? The Ilocano definition of philosophy is “iti apay iti apay” according to an Ilocano peasant leader from Pangasinan. Didn’t they ask the why of the why? Or do you have another definition of philosophy by which they are not philosophers? Enlighten me.

          Didn’t Rizal see the weaknesses of the Filipino – what if the slaves of today become the tyrants of tomorrow? – and Mabini’s Nr. 10 Point in the Decalogue was love thy countryman more than your fellowman, having known the weaknesses of his people?

          • I see both as persons who thought about things. Maybe the did not verbalize them well enough – that could be the philosophical thing they lacked, being Filipinos whose thoughts are often inchoate. Wilhelm Tell translated by Rizal had meaning – that of a national oath.

          • edgar lores says:

            *******
            A philosopher should have a comprehensive understanding and theory of one aspect or several aspects of the domains that are classified under philosophy — metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, politics and esthetics. Mabini had some thoughts about politics but they were derivative (his republicanism) and not original. I believe one of his works, La Revolucion Filipina, is history. The other, Ordenanzas de la Revolucion, may be a guide to the organization of a (fomenting?) revolution. I am not sure it is a philosophical treatise. It is not widely discussed.
            *****

            • OK – a philosopher is more than a thinker. A makulit person like Karl is not yet a thinker.

              He is just at the “apay” stage mostly. I am mostly at the “iti apay iti apay” stage.

              In consulting the principle is ask why three times to get to the core of the problem.

              Philosophy is therefore “iti apay iti apay iti apay” – go to the base foundations of things.

              Like ethics: what does one define as ethical? In Confucianism the State is Paramount, while in Western Democracy the Individual is. In Scientology Ethics is defined as getting rid of resistance to one’s goals in ones immediate surroundings. Are we getting closer?

              Esthetics: what is “pangit” and “maganda”? Binay is pangit and Marian Rivera maganda. But this would be the superficial form of esthetics. Moral estetics would be: what Junjun did at the subdivision gates was morally “pangit”. Submitting to rule is morally “maganda”.

              epistemology I don’t know what that means? Could you care to explain it a bit simpler?

              Metaphysics I admit I know the word but can’t really grasp its meaning. So I am a thinker and not a philosopher, definitely. Maybe we could start a school of Filipino Philosophy. Just like Ver Enriquez of UP defined Sikolohiyang Pilipino, let us define Pilosopiyang Pilipino. Philosophy means love of wisdom in Greek. Sophia means wisdom. The Hagia Sophia former church in Istanbul is therefore the Church of Holy Wisdom. Hagia = Holy.

              • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epistemology – looks a bit to me like how knowledge is found. Data is not information is not knowledge is not wisdom is one of my favorite buzzwords. You try to look for what is relevant to the flow of things out of a lot of information…

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metaphysics – two questions fundamentally – what is there? and what is it like? Like Edgar’s stuff about the possible Supreme Being. The question of whether there is free will or not. Identity. Also choices – I do know a bit about Sartre from my father – and the derivative of Sartre which was the movie the Matrix. We all choose how to deal with the situation we are in. And if we make no choice, God makes the choice for us according to Paolo Coelho – the popular philosopher. Sartre said it a bit differently.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                As simple as I can make it, epistemology is concerned with how we know what we know.

                Among other things, it answers such questions as:

                o What is knowledge?
                o How do we acquire knowledge?
                o What are the limits of knowledge?
                o What is truth?

                Metaphysics is concerned with the basic nature of the universe.

                Among other things, it answers such ‘eternal’ questions as:

                o How did the universe originate?
                o What is the universe made up of?
                o What is out there? What is it really like?
                o Can we really know what is out there? (Note this is also an epistemological question.)
                o Why are we here?
                o Where are we going?

                Using your classification, data, information and knowledge would fall under epistemology, and wisdom under metaphysics.
                *****

              • sonny says:

                A basic sequence to the study of Scholastic Philosophy: Logic & Epistemology, Metaphysics, Ethics, Theodicy.

      • caliphman says:

        You guys have never heard of Father Ferriols, SJ? He used to teach philosophy at Loyola Heights Ateneo for many decades entirely in Filipino. I do not know what any of you think you mean by the expression a Filipino philosopher but to me it includes one who publishes a treatise on existential thought in Pilipino. Pity the unwary Atenean foreign student who registered in his class thinking it was a philosophy course taught by a filipino professor.

        • sonny says:

          At the Ateneo, I didn’t have the good fortune to study under Fr Roque Ferriols. I had Prof Ramon Reyes instead. It’s good I had a solid year under Prof Recaredo Enriquez at San Beda, solid Scholastic Philosophy professor. Those were heady days, indeed. 🙂

    • “6. Systems thinking is one method of critical thinking. It incorporates several techniques but basically it consists of the following steps:” but I often do it from the gut and apply methodology later – it is a hybrid Filipino-German methodology. Gian is more “German”… 🙂

      • sonny says:

        One acquires clarity of thought when doing systems work. I agree with edgar on being exposed to solid programming basics.

    • josephivo says:

      9.2 Reality and perception of reality

    • “9.2. An opinion may be a matter of fact or of belief. An opinion is fact if it conforms to reality, and if is belief if it cannot be proved to conform to reality. Of course, this begs the question of what reality is but let us concede that reality consist of the empirical and/or of the consensual.)

      9.3. Moreover, it is also important to realize that the opinion of a person is NOT the person. The thought is NOT the thinker. So when opinions are exchanged and differences arise, the critic-giver and the critic-receiver must both be careful not to take things personally. (However, if a person so identifies with his opinion that there is no separation between false thought, false reasoning and entity, then ad hominems are not only allowed… they are in order.)”

      My father said the distinction between paninindigan (conviction or belief) and palagay (opinion) is paramount. Freedom and democracy are convictions, as is the belief in dictatorial or authoritarian forms of state. How to implement each is an opinion.

      • edgar lores says:

        *******
        Opinion is a form of belief. Conviction is the force of that belief.
        *****

        • In the end, you decide to believe certain things – certain axioms.

          If somebody believes the State counts more than the Individual, no arguing with him. The Chinese state philosophy has grounded on that conviction for 3000 years – their attitude.

    • josephivo says:

      9.4 The Johari grid, what you know and what others know gives 4 combinations: I and you know, I know and you don’t, you know and I don’t, we both don’t know.

    • “9.4.1. Grace thinks she will make a good president. In the same manner, Nancy thought she would make a good senator. Many think both are correct. But many others think they are both narcissistic, possessed with delusions of grandeur. For the latter group, there may be a difference among Grace and Nancy and Manny quantitatively… but no difference qualitatively. ” so let us think about why they might think that they are qualified:

      1) my hunch is that they think they are because they get the people, can reach them.

      2) all however overestimate their competence in handling national government matters.

      3) Duterte knows he can handle a city, but probably not a country. Hope he remembers.

      4) Mar knows he is competent, but he has problems reaching the people sometimes.

      5) Leni is good at reaching the people, but knows that she is not (YET) competent enough.

      So you have the Ro-Ro team. I a have also teamed up with people in the past in projects.

      One team-up was with a business analyst who knew programming, but knew he did not have the competence to do it well. I knew business but knew I lacked competence to do it really well, but took care of the programming. This is another aspect Filipinos often do not understand – teamwork, co-operation. No single person does everything needed well enough. So Noynoy creating a good cabinet is an example of teamwork. Ro-Ro as well.

    • “9. But developing a tradition, providing a methodology and using correct logic is three-fourths of the problem. The last fourth is attitude.” Methodology:

      most Frenchmen have the so-called Cartesian mindset.

      in terms of state their thinking is influenced by Montesquieu and Descartes.

      German state thinking is a mixture of Kant, John Locke and Max Weber

      American state thinking is mainly John Locke with some Rousseau (General Will).

      Filipino state thinking could have been Mabini+Quezon+Magsaysay but is non-existent. Noynoy is applying pragmatic Ninoy state thinking, he also thought of certain directions. The 1987 Constitution is Jesuit in intent but messed up. 1935 Constitution was Quezonian.

    • “9.4.2. Come to think of it, most of the presidential and vice-presidential candidates have delusions of grandeur. Some believe they are archangels, intergalactic ambassadors and superheroes. Heck, someone wants to legalize the four seasons… which should address the invariable climate problem that Andrew mentioned.”

      There was a really good HBO film, “Game Change”, where Woody Harrelson’s character Steve Schmidt tells another guy while closing shop, after McCain loses, how these guys who crave high office tend to be pretty crazy. This isn’t the scene, but shows part of the craziness, here’s Woody Harrelson:

      • manuel buencamino says:

        For starters you need a huge ego and an overload of self confidence to believe that you can be a leader

        • LCPL_X brought the concept of Level 5 Leadership into the discussion – based on humility and pursuit of excellence. Many leaders are only at Level 4 which is what you described.

          • edgar lores says:

            *******
            We should differentiate between political leadership from corporate/military leadership.

            Both types require self-confidence and a powerful will. However in the former, a bit of narcissism is helpful and indeed may be required. In the latter, in Level 5 leadership, not so.
            *****

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      9.4.1 Filipinos are brilliant people.
      PROOF: Ask any Filipino if they are stupid. Each will say not me. All of the 100,000,000 Filipinos will say that. Therefore, Filipinos are not stupid. They are brilliant intellectualists.

      Filipinos are not lazy
      PROOF: Ask any Filipino standing next to you if they are lazy. Each will say not me I am industrious. All of the 100,000 Filipios will say that. Therefore, Filipinos are not lazy. They are industrialists.

      Filipinos wait for others to change before they change.
      PROOF: Ask a Filipino to stop at a STOP SIGN. “Not me, lookit them, they blow thru STOP SIGNS”. Ask that guy who blew thru the stop sign, you will get same answer. Ask each and every single Filipinos you’ll get the same answer. Therefore, Filipinos do not stop at a STOP SIGN.

      Filipinos are brilliant, industrious but does not want to change because they are waiting for others to change that are also waiting to change ……

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      9.4.1. Why plenty of Filipinos running for Presidents …. because each Filipinos believe they can run the Philippines like no other else ….

      • Joe America says:

        That’s a most fascinating quality. I think many have it, not just Filipinos. It’s a kind of arrogance of ignorance, delusion of grandeur, people living daydreams or the realities they concoct. Like Senator Santiago, trying to inject glory into a life almost over.

        I’m reminded of the philosophy class that suggested “I” (each I) is really God, and all the people and events surrounding us are a part of our sole, lonely imagination or dreams. So I am God, why not be President of the Philippines, too, for the fun of it.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      7.1 DEFINING THE PROBLEM. Filipinos hate defining problems. I show them the problem with Filipinos and they go:

      Who stole/took the cookies from the cookie jar?
      Binay stole took the cookie from the cookie jar.
      Binay: Who, me?
      Filipinos: Yes, you! Yeah, you!
      Binay: Couldn’t be! Not me! Wasn’t me!
      FILIPINOS : Then who?
      Binay: Couldn’t be me. You elected me! You stole the cookie jar.
      FILIPINOS: Who we? We elected you!
      Binay: YES, YOU ELECTED ME. TO STEAL THE COOKIE JAR FOR YOU THIEVING FILIPINOS.

  12. Karl garcia says:

    i already told edgar he is the philiosopher, Joe mentioned 2 names,It did not stick,I forgot. Irineo thinks i do not exist or he does not belive in Descartes.

    • Karl garcia says:

      Joe America says:
      June 9, 2015 at 8:17 pm
      Regarding number 5, I’ve waited for a response, but seeing none, I would note that they is but one, Alfredo Pimentel Co. Refer to: https://joeam.com/2014/08/28/are-there-any-filipino-philosophers/ Dr. Co is a thinker and teacher. That he exists but is powerless to change our values makes me believe the new thinker has to be of practical orientation with pseudo-philosophical inclinations. Like, a leader.

      • The core of Germanness was defined by philosopher Immanuel Kant by the Categorical Imperative. Everything I do must embody a general principle is the rough translation.

        It became the core value of Prussia where Kant came from. Luther embodied it in his behaviour but only expressed it instinctively: Here I stand, I can no other – at the Diet of Worms which I laughed about as a child. Now what are the Filipino core values – the good ones that Mabini, Jacinto and Balagtas embodied? Because a Filipino philosophy would have to come from the culture. Ano ang taglay na paninindigan ng kulturang Pilipino? Diyan kaya tayo magsimula – itanong natin kung bakit ganito, tapos hukayin pa natin.

        • Pakikisama, mababaw iyan. Pakikipagkapwa-tao, mas malalim. Madaling maging tao, mahirap magpakatao – unless na matauhan ang isang tao. At naisaloob na ang mga aral ng buhay. Ang loob maraming iba’t-ibang variation: kagandahang-loob, utang na loob, kusang loob atbp. – naging mababaw ang Pilipino dahil nakalimutan ng mga tao ang kanilang kultura. Asal, ugali – hindi ba iyan pananaw na malalim? Ngayon mukhang puro wala ng ugali ang mga tao, bakit kaya? Ugaling aso na lang ba? Iyon ang palaisipan.

    • you eat, therefore you think… I believe in deskarte sariling atin iyan. 🙂

      • Karl garcia says:

        if you eat therefore you drink or else you choke

      • Karl garcia says:

        Irineo do you know Alfredo Co?

        • https://tl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pantayong_pananaw would be a nationalist philosophy…

          Pook at paninindigan are its core buzzwords – perspective and principles.

          • Karl garcia says:

            read Joseph’s article, if you have not yet

            https://joeam.com/2015/06/07/the-philippines-new-thinkers-wanted/

            • I have read it already. And my response is “Ang Saligan ng Batas”, the article.

              Paano tayo susunod sa batas kung ang saligan, pundasyon ng batas, hindi naisaloob? How can we follow laws of the constitution is not truly internalized, much less understood? What if the community is not defined – josephivo asked correctly what system do we want?

              Law by Rousseau is the expression of the General Will, which must be a consensus of all.

              Europeans follow laws because they are rooted in a general consensus of their culture – Filipinos DO NOT follow laws because they have not internalized colonial impositions. Either they learn what is imposed by being taught, or they find their own consensus.

              But to have a consensus they must be more conscious – like Joe wrote in the are there Filipino philosophers article, Filipinos seem to have no consciousness of either the individual or the community. Na-co-conscious ako is a negative thing in the Philippines. Mostly things are done intuitively, unconsciously by Filipinos. Kailangan muna nating ma-conscious para mag-isip ng mabuti. Nasaan tayo? Sino tayo? Anong gusto natin? Lacking this we cannot solve any problems – once this process starts things will flow.

              • I think the best way is to converge top-down (Mar Roxas approach) and bottom-up (Leni Robredo approach) in order to find that consensus. Or the Bruce Lee approach:

                Take what you can use, discard what you cannot use, add what is your own…

                Just a paraphrase I remember only the German version of what he said. But finally you need all the philosophical tools and foundations – Sartre, Camus, Descartes, Kant, Coelho – and state philosophers like Montesquieu, Locke, Weber, Rousseau, Voltaire as a basis. Plus the stuff Edgar stated above – ethics and esthetics, epistemology and more so that you work through the knowledge properly to gain wisdom. Data is not information is not knowledge is not wisdom. Each is one step of aggregation further. Wisdom is the result.

              • The only writer on GRP I truly respect is Grimwald – he has his own page “Wake Up Philippines” or similar. Waking up means you get up after a while and ask three questions:

                1. Who are we?

                2. Where are we right now?

                3. Where do we want to go in the future?

                Now these are the questions I ask of the nation. Because then the rest will flow from there.

    • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy#Ancient_Graeco-Roman – let us see the definition of one of the oldest forms of Philosophy: It was said in Roman Ancient history that Pythagoras was the first man to call himself a philosopher, or lover of wisdom,[39] and Pythagorean ideas exercised a marked influence on Plato, and through him, all of Western philosophy. Plato and Aristotle, the first Classical Greek philosophers, did refer critically to other simple “wise men”, which were called in Greek “sophists,” and which were common before Pythagoras’ time. Edgar is a lover of wisdom, and therefore a philosopher.

      Now let us look at what a sophist is defined as: In the second half of the 5th century BC, particularly at Athens, “sophist” came to denote a class of mostly itinerant intellectuals who taught courses in various subjects, speculated about the nature of language and culture and employed rhetoric to achieve their purposes, generally to persuade or convince others: “Sophists did, however, have one important thing in common: whatever else they did or did not claim to know, they characteristically had a great understanding of what words would entertain or impress or persuade an audience. – the last part of the definition could apply to many Philippine Senators…

      Now let us see what Greek philosophy was all about: The main subjects of ancient philosophy are: understanding the fundamental causes and principles of the universe; explaining it in an economical way; the epistemological problem of reconciling the diversity and change of the natural universe, with the possibility of obtaining fixed and certain knowledge about it; questions about things that cannot be perceived by the senses, such as numbers, elements, universals, and gods. Socrates is said to have been the initiator of more focused study upon the human things including the analysis of patterns of reasoning and argument and the nature of the good life and the importance of understanding and knowledge in order to pursue it; the explication of the concept of justice, and its relation to various political systems. OK, trying to understand the basics I would say.

      • Exactly,

        I would just add Praxis, the task of bringing theories into practice,

        • Fully agree – like a Constitution that does not truly CONSTITUTE how the country runs in reality is very much useless. Father Bernas of Ateneo was one of the main drafters of the 1987 Constitution and gave it much of its spirit. I would say he is a Jesuit philosopher.

          But since its spirit has not become Philippine reality, the 1987 Constitution IMHO has failed. But at least Bernas is a philosopher – many Filipino politicians are just sophists even those who know how to think. But only practical philosophers have lasting effects. Confucius was a practical philosopher – he actually administered a Chinese city in a way similar to Lee Kuan Yew 2500 years later, brought harmony and order as a result…

        • I started reading this site from i7sharp‘s insistence. This guy’s take on “the School of Athens” is praxis.

          This mural is no mere symbolism, nor an imagined room in Paradise. It is a moment of deja vu! It is a portrait of Raphael’s relations to the most intimate acquaintances of his daily mental life, all captured so to share the companionship of a moment in Temporal Eternity.

          When the relationship of the individual person to mankind in general, and other persons in particular, is measured in the space and time of the generation and transmission of those qualities of ideas associated with valid axiomatic-revolutioanry discoveries, what a short distance a mere few centuries become! The order of necessary predecessor and necessary successor is preserved: the intelligence of the timeless Absolute is not zero-motion; the lack of spatial division is the consequence of being simultaneously everywhere, such that there is nothing in between any two experiences which would require us to experience time, except as, for us the onlookers, a sense of a timeless ordering of development. For us, the onlookers, just so, the duration of space and extent of time shrink almost to the vanishing-point.

          … Truth lies accessible to us on condition we are able, as Raphael’s mural tells us, to comprehend the reality of Temporal Eternity as a form of human existence measured in terms of efficient relationships among axiomatic-creative qualities of ideas. … While that though occupies one’s mind, move through the rooms of the old papal apartment more thoughtfully, catching every aspect of Raphael’s work there. Does it not occur to you, that the [last 3,000 years of history], is a moment of Temporal Eternity which could be such a mural as one of those Raphael left as messages for us?

          —Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.
          from “The Truth About Temporal Eternity”
          http://www.schillerinstitute.org/fid_91-96/964_lar_time-reversal/964_lar_time-reversal-3.html

        • This , by the way, is how I view the Society of Honor with Joe and Edgar in the center, Ireneo with his hand on face writing incessantly, me –half-naked, sprawled on the steps, chempo all the way to Ireneo’s right (yellow robe), Juana to Ireneo’s right, one person over, in white. josephivo holding the globe, to my left. Next to josephivo, the guy pointing downwards to the last copy of Playboy with nudes, is karl. gian is the kid on his knee looking at the last Playboy issue. Mary Grace is to Joe’s right, in white & blue.

  13. “readership levels of recent blogs here at The Society of Honor:
    The social significance of Al Dub: 144,536 …
    “Philippine Competition Act”: Will it help consumers or just make more fat cats?: 1,442”

    Joe,

    I’m curious what the “Salvation of Austerity” got, and is their a way to subtract the last days where me and i7 got into it from the count?

    “When everyone is emoting their emotional baggage, that is something other than critical thinking.”

    http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2015/10/stanford-business-school-sex-scandal We’d like to think we’re all Spocks when the need comes, but in the end, I don’t think you can truly separate the two. Nor should we. There should be passion and emotions when we agree or disagree, or when looking for solutions.

    This was what I appreciated most in the 3rd world, honesty, vs. the mechanical way we in the 1st world “think critically”.

    I get the sense that old Hillary thinks critically, but Bernie Sanders emotes (w/ hands flaring). So too does Trump and although more mellow, Ben Carson emotes too. Jeb Bush is just plain goofy, but he’s emoting his goofiness, him and GW are truly brothers.

    I don’t like Hillary because she’s too Spock–like. I want her to be as passionate, and angry and as mellow as the guys leading the polls right now.

    I want to see emotions, and I’m sure there’s nothing wrong with this sentiment. This is where info or data driven and no-information, low-, voters converge. Wisdom of the herd.

    • The bad form of intuitive thinking that Joe is referring to is http://psychologydictionary.org/prelogical-thinking/ with regard to psychoanalytic theory, outdated thought procedures which are typical of formative childhood, whenever thought is under the management of the pleasure principle instead of the reality principle.

      Mature third-world people or Wild Men (Joe called me that often) use https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intuition a lot: Intuition, a phenomenon of the mind, describes the ability to acquire knowledge without inference or the use of reason.[2] The word “intuition” comes from Latin verb intueri translated as consider or from late middle English word intuit, “to contemplate”.[3] Intuition is often interpreted with varied meaning from intuition being glimpses of greater knowledge[4] to only a function of mind; however, processes by which and why they happen typically remain mostly unknown to the thinker, as opposed to the view of rational thinking.

      Now the Enlightenment in Europe discredited intuition. That is wrong. Because Sun Tzu says: In respect of military method, we have, firstly, Measurement; secondly, Estimation of quantity; thirdly, Calculation; fourthly, Balancing of chances; fifthly, Victory. – you can’t calculate everything, where calculation ends “balancing of chances” meaning intuition plays a strong role. Especially in battle situations where you don’t have the time to measure all measure, estimate, calculate all things, there is a point where you have to turn of the targetting computer and “Use the Force, Trust your Feelings Luke”. My master’s thesis was the product of intuition, one insight on the whiteboard while discussing with my professor, with a year of scientific proof to. One of my project management coaches told me intuition is good, but look for proof whether your intuition is wrong or right. My Future Philippines Story was the product of intuition, but evidence proved a part of my intuition right. Good detectives go by the nose and then look for proof, discarding their assumptions if they are proven wrong. You can’t go totally just by logical deduction always.

      • “Good detectives go by the nose and then look for proof, discarding their assumptions if they are proven wrong. You can’t go totally just by logical deduction always.”

        Exactly, man. Intuition is what I’m trying to drive at. Another “intangibles” I would tack on to sex-workers, and the value of their experience.

        • Yep. Friend of mine – one of the lasting ones from wilder days, used to be a waitress in a strip club. Formerly from East Germany, fled to Prague in 1989 and was part of those who holed up in the (West) German Embassy there. Got married to someone in Munich, lost in the divorce money-wise since she was naive about capitalist stuff then. Hung out with bikers and decided to go into the sex business. Two years working as a prostitute.

          We got to be friends because her experiences with East Germany and my experiences with the Marcos dictatorship were eeriely similar – you often feel affiinity with people who have gone through similar shit. She lives a normal life now and has gotten married again.

          I could show her pictures of any man I knew and she gave me an exact readout, stunning. Even of people I had known for decades. She told me why she developed this intuition – she said you don’t have too much time to analyze when a man comes in the door, you have to develop it – if you don’t, you either don’t do the business you could do, have to do stuff you don’t want to do, or if you are very unlucky the guy is a maniac. If you know that he is one you can either tell him to go straight away or you know how to handle him. Intuition BTW is the way Israeli border guards sniff out terrorists. They criticized the USA for relying too much on data. Well Israelis have experience that shaped that intuition…

    • Joe America says:

      Austerity got 2,465 reads. It is not possible to deduct any days.

    • Joe America says:

      I find it interesting that you want Hillary Clinton to be emotional, like a (hysterical) woman, rather than controlled and cerebral like a strong man. She is trained as an attorney, got beat up as First Lady pursuing health care improvements during Bill Clinton’s first term, had to deal with the tremendous private pains of her husband’s indiscretions in the public eye and hold the family together, has been through the grueling national campaigns three times, had to deal with the horrendous pressures of the Secretary of State, including deaths on her watch and the Republican witch hunt that persists even today trying to knock her down, and she just keeps her head up, her thinking clear, and her emotions in check. I view that as a peculiar strength. You really want a president who weeps like Boehner?

      I think when she is president, you will see her loosen up a little, the warm mother that she is and has been to Chelsea. But until then, she has to be strong because as soon as she starts getting emotional (like a woman), you can bet the Republicans will chew her up as weak.

      • Miriam Santiago is emotional in the wrong way – hysterical. Leni Robredo is emotional in the right way – she is empathic. Rational intelligence tempered by emotional intelligence. LCPL_X probably means that Hillary Clinton seems lacking in empathy. Could be a shield.

      • Joe America says:

        I would add that the Republican cast seems like adolescent schoolboys next to “Rock” Clinton. They strut and stick out their chests and point fingers and kick dust and never grant respect. Hillary just holds her high ground. Her shut-down of the Witch Hunt Committee was classic. She makes all the good old boys seem like little boys.

        • No I don’t mean hysterical, I just want her to emote. I don’t think she lacks empathy, but my point is it’s hard to tell, because she’s playing the role too straight. The only winner to that Benghazi committee is Michael Bay (his movie, 13 Hours, is set to open next year, I think).

          I don’t think Hillary won that hearing, although she held her ground.

          She was suppose to win people like me over. When she gave a play by play of her telephone calls to the Tunisian president, then that congressman, looked like he was gonna run with that, but dropped the ball– that was a biggest disappointment for those who really wanna know what happened, not Foxtards, but people like me.

          For example, I really wanna know why they didn’t simply dispatch a few planes from Italy to do a flyby. They sent a Predator, but a flyby would’ve probably done some good than nothing at all. But that’s DoD’s role. Republicans failed to push why all the extra personal attention from Hillary w/ Tunisia and Egypt, but zero personal attention in Benghazi.

          So for me, she didn’t sway me to her side, and all I wanted to hear was some due diligence on her part, where she took the lead, like her calls to Tunisian & Egyptian leaders, not the “I had juniors taking care of that” crap. But Benghazi’s a small issue, my concern is simply from a lesson-learned angle.

          The bigger issue with Hillary is her playing this role, lends to dishonesty.

          • Joe America says:

            Okay, yes, I can see that. That she is a conniver . . . which I believe she is. I have not figured out yet if that is any different from any other candidate.

            I think the popular reading of the committee was that Hillary held steady while the Republicans attacked in a partisan way, and Hillary came out the winner. Your take is likely more demanding because you don’t trust Hillary in the first place.

            • Joe, she’s my candidate. Though I want Bernie Sanders to get more air time to get Hillary to go more left, not do what Obama did.

              But Benghazi isn’t a political issue for me, something terribly wrong happened. And although, it was a rescue mission more than anything. DoS’s role has been swept under the rug. Michael Bay’s film is about the high speed, low drag, mercenaries. DoS had the same guys, why weren’t they in Benghazi, at Stevens’ request? Why is Hillary’s role, painted just simply as a high manager when talking about Benghazi, when she’s going around describing her personal direct leadership style everywhere else in the region?

              There is something amiss and it hasn’t been fully understood, Hillary’s role. And it’s not helping that the Republicans aren’t investigating her role properly, opting instead with all the show boating.

              The request for additional security have been relegated to bureaucratic stalls. Yet, Hillary’s talking about direct interactions with not only her ambassadors, but host nations leadership. So why was the ball dropped in Libya, and why the lack of response– the ordeal happened for 13 hours (though more like, from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.– response was in the form of a Predator and finally air transport out of Benghazi– w/ some guys from Tripoli hitching their own ride (small plane). The lack of response w/in that 13 hours, is ripe for conspiracies– I’m more concerned with days and months before.

              • Joe America says:

                Make sense. I’ve not really followed the particulars of the Benghazi incident so leave that to her and you. 🙂 Given what I see, she is the best candidate. If Republicans are going to field a contestant to be considered, someone will have to grow up real fast.

          • Karl garcia says:

            So only time will tell if belief is a baloney sandwhich. Who can stop bbm from believing that he has a degree in oxford,or because his father never intended for all the things that happened.he believes that only history can judge …..some beliefs can be dismissed as hogwash and stupid pronto

      • manuel buencamino says:

        Hillary is one tough lady. She does not talk tough like that bully Donald but you can tell that she is made of steel.

  14. NHerrera says:

    How would you like a one-paragraph summary of a panel of experts’ study on critical thinking (CT) reported by Peter A. Facione in a paper entitled “Critical Thinking: What It Is and Why It Counts.”

    http://www.silooo.com/file/critical-thinking-what-it-is-and-why-it-counts.aspx

    Here it is crammed-full of adjectives:

    EXPERT CONSENSUS STATEMENT REGARDING CRITICAL THINKING AND THE IDEAL CRITICAL THINKER

    “We understand critical thinking to be purposeful, self-regulatory judgment which results in interpretation, analysis, evaluation, and inference, as well as explanation of the evidential, conceptual, methodological, criteriological, or contextual considerations upon which that judgment is based. CT is essential as a tool of inquiry. As such, CT is a liberating force in education and a powerful resource in one’s personal and civic life. While not synonymous with good thinking, CT is a pervasive and self-rectifying human phenomenon. The ideal critical thinker is habitually inquisitive, well informed, trustful of reason, open-minded, flexible, fair-minded in evaluation, honest in facing personal biases, prudent in making judgments, willing to reconsider, clear about issues, orderly in complex matters, diligent in seeking relevant information, reasonable in the selection of criteria, focused in inquiry, and persistent in seeking results which are as precise as the subject and the circumstances of inquiry permit. Thus, educating strong critical thinkers means working toward this ideal. It combines developing CT skills with nurturing those dispositions which consistently yield useful insights and which are the basis of a rational and democratic society.”
    ——————————————————–

    Isn’t that something?

    • NHerrera says:

      “All” the buzz words are there. It is written almost as a parody, but I don’t think so. It is just that when one tries to be complete or thorough, one seems to sound like making a parody. Anyway, I wrote the above before turning in; read it again today and find that it is not a joke — which my last line seem to imply.

      Just sample this:

      “The ideal critical thinker is habitually inquisitive, well informed, trustful of reason, open-minded, flexible, fair-minded in evaluation, honest in facing personal biases, prudent in making judgments, willing to reconsider, clear about issues, orderly in complex matters, diligent in seeking relevant information, reasonable in the selection of criteria, focused in inquiry, and persistent in seeking results which are as precise as the subject and the circumstances of inquiry permit. .”

      Isn’t that a WOW? A Saint for a Critical Thinker, no less.

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      NHerrera, thanks for this. It’s quite long (30 pages) but it’s very good.

      I skimmed through it, and will give a closer read later. I am struck by this passage:

      Maybe the most remarkable cognitive skill of all, however, is this next one. This one
      is remarkable because it allows strong critical thinkers to improve their own thinking. In a sense this is critical thinking applied to itself. Because of that some people want to call this “meta-cognition,” meaning it raises thinking to another level. But “another level” really does not fully capture it, because at that next level up what self-regulation does is look back at all the dimensions of critical thinking and double check itself…

      It describes in part what I call “going meta” — that is going up another level of analysis — but extends it to self-reflexion… which is the equivalent of recursion in computer programming. I think programmers develop this skill well because they have to “play computer” in their minds professionally when checking the logic of their code.
      *****

  15. Karl garcia says:

    9.2
    Opinion a statement of fact ,falsehood or conjecture. It can have basis it can be baseless.

    Perception is how you feel,it is an impression,it can also be an opinion.

    If sometimes opinions can be facts,them sometimes perception can be reality.

    The thing said about belief is farthest from reality is debatable, because that is saying to believe is to be delusional.

    When you believe, you believe it is true,if it you think it is false then you don’t believe it.

    • “The thing said about belief is farthest from reality is debatable, because that is saying to believe is to be delusional.”

      It depends what that belief is. If you believe the world is flat, then it is a weak belief, based on ignorance. Same with people who believe that Astronauts never landed on the moon, one only has to peek thru a high powered telescope and see all the junk we left up there. Then it gets more supernatural, ie. ghosts and UFOs/aliens, or abstract. Then the go to is usually suspension of belief, until more stuff comes. That or go with belief, but be open to that belief being delusion– the ability to throw-out ideas when they prove themselves either useless, wrong or distracting.

    • Joe America says:

      Yogi would not have said it any better.

  16. Karl garcia says:

    Systems thinking is looking at things as if everything is interrelated.a problem in a branch or a subsystem or a constituent is a problem of the system.

    what was described earlier was closer to the scientific method.

  17. Karl garcia says:

    The comment box is choosy maybe because of spam porn happening all over. If it is not from lance it is marked as porn…..
    Jk

    • Hahahahahahaaaa… Let’s try it. Since physical fitness is now the rage over there, I think Mary mentioned doing Zumba, I’m sure with Zumba more Crossfit or Obstacle course training type establishments will follow, my question is, is this a legit worry? or is this manufactured bs, like reverse discrimination? Focus on the abs, karl.

  18. I think what would enliven the campaign – make real issues count – is if Duterte does come into the race in December as the stand-in for the present PDP-Laban candidate – a loophole that he might well exploit. He just gave a Rappler interview about what he would do as the President…

    Duterte would ask for a debate with Mar Roxas, I am sure. Now that would be exciting – the street pragmatist on one hand (Duterte) and the managerial pragmatist (Roxas) on the other side.

    Duterte would be strong on pragmatism and the street view of things. Mar Roxas would be stronger on the managerial competence side of things. It would give everybody a broader view of the issues that have to be handled in the Philippines. Poe, Binay, Santiago would be sidetracked.

  19. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    I am a critical thinker thinking critically that produces NEW THINK.

  20. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    Where was I? I was at home! I took days off on Monday. I know Joe tack a blog on Tuesdays. I checked Joe’s blog Monday afternoon which is Tuesday morning in the Philippines. Nothing. Nada! Zilch! Comes Tuesday I quickly checked Joeam, just after my big bosses turned their backs, There were already 154 comments !!!! These dudes, were waiting overnight. When Joe hit SUBMIT button, they pounced like hungry coyotes !!! I am 154 comments late !!!

    Irineo is ahead by 20 I guess! These people have repositories of deluge of ideas waiting to be unleashed. GetRealPhilippines? Naaaah, they are limping along. I posted “Hi! How is everything?” Ilda and Benign0 responded like old friends, “Hey, wuz up? You are welcome. Sorry, I banned you it was a huge mistake, help us with your NEW THINK!” Never responded back to them. Sure, in that blogsite, anyone can hear a pin drop. It’s quiet. Their typeface is still circa-1920 Remingtons. I pity Ilda and Benigno. They posts blogs never Bloggy recommended.

    Like what they said, “You cannot bend an old tree because they break”. They never bend to the NEW THINK. They are still in the old think. Eventually they will wither away, slink and disappear. I see some termites there.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      Benign0 and Ilda accused me of anti-anything-never-pro-on-something. Now, they changed tunes, they are now anti-anything. Anti-yellow. Anti-matters. They tried the NEW THINK they failed. I checked if they are Bloggy Award Recomendees. Nada. Ilda is still skinny. Benign0 has aged. Their website has awfully aged. They should change their font for chrissake.

      Anyways, when I was Googling “Korina Sanchez + Philippines” it dragged me to their website. Hmmmm …. wonder what they have to say about Korina. What I have to say about Korina is what they blogged about her except the maid-thing. It was well put. Classy not trashy. Just the same Ilda and Benign0 said that Korina is the deadweight in Mar’s campaign. The Duo do not like Benigno-the-President nor Mar because Mar is appointed by Benigno, therefore, they hate anything that leads up to Benigno. Weird.

      Well, because they ae what they are. They are critical thinkers not thinking critically.

  21. DAgimas says:

    as Erap said:: a hungry stomach knows no law..i think that one applies to critical thinking too. the politicians know that the way to congress or city hall is still thru the bellies of the poor and no the thru the heads of the middle class

    unless we can solve poverty or reduce proverty to a level where they don’t matter in elections..critical thinking will take a back seat

    even in America, they were able to elect 40+ representatives to US Congress and even though they make just 10% of the total..they hold hostage the whole nation with their no tax no compromise stand

    • Joe America says:

      Sometimes people who are critical thinkers make mistakes. Politicians too often don’t do critical thinking, because they put self interest or political interest into the equation and that is the same as injecting emotion or dirt into the analysis.

      • DAgimas says:

        they even elected W Bush twice hehehe and its good they learned their lesson and seems there is no 3rd Bush presidency

        problem is seems another “dynasty” is coming

        • Joe America says:

          Clintons? I don’t foresee Chelsea running for the White House. There really are no dynasties in the wings. American problem is poisoned politics and extremism holding progress hostage. Otherwise, vibrant and healthy.

          • josephivo says:

            And what about the American bias for (NRA) lobbyists and big money?

            • Thanks to Trump, big money is actually under the microscope now. The NRA can be by-passed by state and local gov’ts, where the people have more direct links to their reps (ie., there are still dry counties (no alcohol) in the Mid-West and South– ironically they don’t ban guns).

              I don’t support the NRA, they’ve coopted what was once an organization made up of cops, hunters, sportsmen and former military, into some sort of Foxtard cult. I’m a big supporter of gun rights, same principle as the Swiss. But unlike, the Swiss, there are more crazies and criminals over here, and people ignorant of basic gun handling.

              So there has to be some sort of licensing process in place and like a driver’s test, a person’s ability to handle guns safely has to demonstrated. Even hard-core NRA guys are getting behind this sentiment.

              Big money & the NRA are being dealt with– democratically, with vibrant discussions and healthy debate.

              As for Chelsea, looks like Michelle Obama’s following Hillary’s path. If Michelle Obama gets the Presidency, 8-12 yrs down the line. Who’s to say Chelsea won’t follow what would then be a well worn path. As for the Bushes, they are done– again, Thanks to Trump.

            • caliphman says:

              To promote as an elite school a university ranked in the low 400s among the world’s best universities is not only brazenly false advertising. It is even more depressing to know that the second and third best Phiippine universities are even worse, in the 500’s or higher.

              • DAgimas says:

                it all boils down to the nations resources..like height, IQ..armed forces..they are all dependent on how rich our country and how much get corrupted

              • caliphman says:

                Even then, when Singapore’s NU places in the top 10 and Hongkong and other Asian countries are not far behind, thats hardly any excuse.

              • Karl garcia says:

                Our NU is now run by the richest family,maybe it will over take the top universities soon.But UAAP basketball supremacy is closer to realiity. they are good cheerleaders by the way.

              • sonny says:

                @Karl

                Nephew, if you are referring to NU at Isabel/F Jhocson, I have fond memories of that school growing up some time in that part of Sampaloc. My cousins & many relatives graduated from the NU Pharmacy and Engineering programs of NU. Plus my all-time favorite basketball pro, Narciso Bernardo, played for that quiet but deadly Sampaloc school.

              • Karl garcia says:

                yup unc

              • caliphman says:

                I am afraid its National University in Singapore I was referring to. They actually were ranked 25th best globally with several Hongkong, South Korean and Taiwanese universities eithin the top 100. UP Diliman was in the 400’s followed by La Salle, Atenro in the 500”s and UST in thr 600s.

              • Karl garcia says:

                yeah, you were very clear that it was Singapore’s Nu..i know you are correct in saying we are way below and we should be ashamed of ourselves.
                Caliphman, your knowledge in economics is needed in that money matters article,I know you already offered your knowledge on it in a previous thread.

            • Joe America says:

              NRA is a cultural issue, big money lobbyists are a problem invited in by a recent (stupid) Supreme Court decision. The former I don’t think threatens democracy in the US, but is an output from it. The big money is what is fueling the poisoned politics and extremism of which I speak. It does threaten the foundations.

              • josephivo says:

                NRA as an example of successful lobbyist, pharma, finance, oil, cars,…. there voices are disproportional because they know the channels, have access, have the resources to pre-draft a law. Look at the evolution over the years of the number of full time lobbyist in Washington and the unions, NGO’s are just a tinny fraction of the big players mentioned above. (More then 30 per member of the congress officially registered on the hill.)

              • Joe America says:

                They are powerful. And when the victims form a lobbyist group, then gun laws might change. The membership of that particular tragic group is growing rapidly.

            • DAgimas says:

              thats how america works..money and votes..NRA can generate money and votes..evangelists have money and votes..Israel have the money..the rich have the money..the latinos have the votes..so they get represented..the Filipinos neither have the money and the votes.. so they never get the attention of the White House and Capitol Hill

  22. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    Filipinos are not critical thinkers. Take UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES for example advertised as ELITE SCHOOL. The school of brilliant intelligent Filipinos. Run by equally brilliant intelligent professors.

    It took them DECADES and DECADES to know that REVIEW CLASSES is like any other ordinary classes where there is a professor and there are students. The difference between review classes and ordinary classes is REVIEW CLASSES IS A REPEAT OF THE LESSONS THE CHILDREN HAS ALREADY STUDIED.

    In the early days of University of the Philippines, they DISCOURAGED REVIEW CLASSES. IT WAS SAID IN THEIR BANNER THAT U.P. DOES NOT AUTHORIZED OR ENCOURAGE UPCAT REVIEWS !!! No reason extended. They just do not like it.

    Whereas in the U.S. secondary schools encourage their students to take advance math in Harvard or UCLA to get high scores in SAT !!!!

    NOW I HAVE PROVEN THAT UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES is dumbing Filipinos along with Binay and Marcos.

  23. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    The PAINTER. The FORGER of Shroud of Turin that was made in 13th century was more of a critical thinker !!!!!!

    THE WORLD knew that Jesus Christ was nailed to the cross on his PALM !!! After 5 days of scientific study of shroud of turin it was found in the painting that Jesus Christ was nailed on his wrist!

    So, schroud of turin scientists made a comparison between prevailing idea of nail on the palm and the faker of shroud of turin that JC was nailed on his wrist !

    VOILA ! The faker of shroud of Turin won an award of critical thinking !!! Scientists found that Jesus Christ cannot have been nailed to the cross on his palm because if they did Jesus would have torn his palm off the nails by his weight and walked away to Mary Magdalane. BUT if he was nailed by his wrist, he’d be there until that guy from Arhythmia took him down from the cross after Pontius said, OK.

    But religion is religion. To this day I still see Jesus Christ hanging on the cross nailed to the palm of his hands. THEY JUST DO NOT ADAPT AND CHANGE.

    That is why Filipinos cannot adapt and change. QED. quod erat demonstrandum.

    Religion is the bane of advancement for Filipinos.

    Religion deprived filipinos of critical thinking.

    • sonny says:

      LC, I read the book by Bertrand Russell and stopped doing so because the content of Christianity he builds and argues against is not the Christianity I know and believe in. I realized then the futility of reconciling or comprehending the points of reference of either camp.

      To me the argument that Russell puts forth was an argument of form, i.e. universals versus the particulars that are subsumed by the universal “everything must have a cause” … etc. Hence “God must have a cause” necessarily follows. QED can be stated in one sentence.

      • sonny says:

        (This should be under LC’s thread)

        • sonny,

          I also think that critical thinkers, scientists and philosophers aren’t the best people to answer all this—– artists, magicians, mystics are better at this since their minds are already predisposed to expanding, all others (unless they are expanding) tend to limit and corral ideas, IMHO.

    • sonny says:

      The matter of nails through the wrist versus nails through the palm. Either one could have happened. The case for nails through the palms was possible by tying the upper hands with rope around the arms of the wooden cross. This would still accomplish the suffocation and sure death of the victim. The crucifiers knew their business, i.e. the manner that would accomplish both torture and death.

      • sonny,

        I saw a documentary on this, I think during Holy Week this year, and as I understand the jury’s still out on whether it was a hoax. They’ve not figured out how a light or heat source created the image on the shroud— it wasn’t paint, it wasn’t blood, they’ve tested it as a photograph (captured light), so how the image got on there is still in question.

        As for Russell, I’ve not read him at all. I know he wrote “A History of Western Philosophy”, but I never got around to reading it— stopped at WT Jones’ series of the same title and Durant’s book.

        “I realized then the futility of reconciling or comprehending the points of reference of either camp.” I agree with you, man—- hence, my diagram below (comparing where both me and Marius de Jess stand, he’s confined himself to “something”, while I want to talk about “nothing”).

        It’s futile, as Percy Bysshe Shelley also wrote. That’s why the conversation has to proceed. But we’ll wait, maybe Marius will come up with something mind-blowing. 😉

  24. NHerrera says:

    THINKING AND ARTICULATING — A LA PRESIDENT AQUINO

    Excerpts:
    ——————————————————
    Asked about his greatest strength as President, he said “as an economist who pays very much attention to maximizing Philippine resources, time is a very important resource.”

    “I don’t waste my time lying to anybody or listening to lies. I’d rather listen to the truth and have that truth shared. And I think that’s the greatest strength. Some of my advisers tell me, it’s also the weakness. (But) one does not lie to one’s boss… We avoid the situation of garbage in and garbage out. We arrive at a consensus that is solid and that leads to the greater ability to address any concern that we have,” he said.

    That, he said, was both his strength and weakness. “My inability also to shake the truth or take out certain portions off it. That is something not native to my character.”

    Are there things he will miss and not miss in his presidency?

    Mr. Aquino said, “it’s opposite sides of the same coin.”

    “The office enables you to effect changes really rapidly. Your opinion, in a sense, matters. The reverse of that coin is that you are responsible for anything and everything, whether you know or you don’t know about it, whether it was ever brought to your attention or not brought to your attention by everybody who is part of this government.

    “You know, when I wake up and I read the newspapers and when I’m made to feel by certain people that every sin ever committed by man is my fault, that I won’t miss.”
    ——————————————————

    The link:

    http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/734888/aquino-seriously-thinking-of-marriage#ixzz3ppa7hpZO

    • Joe America says:

      Thank you, NHerrera, and the worst of them will even criticize him for this candor.

      • NHerrera says:

        Welcome.

        I rather like this phrase, “time is a very important resource.” And explains in the next para why he does not waste time. This probably partly explains the complaints of “hard-headedness” and “manhid.” He has his eyes focused on the goal and guards and dispenses well his most important resource — Presidential Time.

  25. MRP has brought me onto something. Look at what certain Filipino words mean:

    – abilidad means being good at gaming the system – not ability
    – pilosopo means sophist or bullshitter – not a philosopher
    – ambisyoso means presumptuous – not ambitious

    these are of course the street meanings – that communicate wrong values, just by being there.

  26. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    Here are things I love this country than anywhere else:
    1. Filipinos adoration of mestizo-looks. I am mestizo they adore me. Thank gootness!
    2. I may not write very goot spelling and all but my English is exemplerary superb Filipinos would rock and drool over me!
    3. The natural beauty! I hang out in a place in the Bisayan Islands that is not yet discovered by tourists. It is facing where the sun rises with unimpeded view of my country across the waters. Immediately to the north of my house is a creek. On rainy days it overflows. Well, I expected that. I like the sound of the waves crashing and creeks gurgling. Where else can you get that!
    4. The pork, chickn, goats and vegetables! No hormones. Free range. Organic. Never mind their beef It’s rubbery, leathery and tough. It requires a good simmer overnight. Most of all I hate its smell. Regardless, I do raise one.
    5. There are too many slaves to be have. You do not corrall them, they come to you !!! I treat them well like my chickens, pig, goats and cow. Yes, I raise these animals except Filipinos. I do not raise Filipinos becaue they eat the hands that feeds them. WATCH OUT! Fortunately, my neighbors are kind to me because I am kind to them. Well, I have a neighbor across the cornfields. I let them hang-out on bamboo benches under the Talisay tree. This tree is just awesome. I love this tree. It gives good cover on hot sunny days. A natural beach umbrella. Hey, it does look like beach mbrella!
    6. Aha! ha! ha! The naturally fermented coconuyt drink! Got plenty of those under my bamboo house. Of course, I still got those straight bourbon kentucky whisky! I do Gin. Ginebra San Miguel Gin. Does anyone know here that 80% of the worlds production of Gin is consumed in the Philippines? 80% I’m even surprised myself! Again, ice! Ice for my gin!

    The things I wish I can have:
    1. Ice! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Ice! I cannot run my generator all day for ice! But I’m getting there. I’m getting use to not having ice on my drink. Damn bureaucrats have not electrified our side yet. It’s a blessing from the devil, because if we had electricity, tourists would come in and trash my place.
    2. My property has a bamboo tree. You already get an idea by now that I live by the ocean next to a creek. And this bamboo sits just right where the creek meets the ocean waters. When the wind hits it creaks and graons to no end.
    3. Funny these Filipino childrens, just because my property has bamboo tree and I am white they accuse me of being a ghost !!! YEAH! TRHEY THINK I AM A GHOST! Jeeez!
    4. I have to ride tok-tok not far to a Sari-Sari store to get ice! Charge my laptop, my phone, etcetera. in exchange, I trade sacks of ears of corn. Not bad. We still do trade and exchange for something.
    5. some neighbors from other barrio tresspas to shoot birds! Grrrr!!!! I hate that. Do it somewhere else not in my property. Not by the creek. I love birds. I love their tweet in the morning. I’d rather not shoo them away, else, they shoot me instead.
    6. Sundays they come to the other side of the creek to picnic. Other times on my property. Lookit, Filipinos do not ask permission. They just go sit up camp and picnic. Get drunk. Use my artesian well. They are nice people. Not intimidating. They give me a portion of their chicken. As long as it is grilled I accept. Not the stinky pork adobo chicken. Just hate the smell.
    7. I want to walk the dirt road without being molested, “Hey, Joe! Chocolate, Joe?” I wanted to be anonymous. Did not want to be famous. But I have to accept my fate, I am handsome. Mestizo. The most wanted by women in our side of barrio. Whenever I take a stroll, “morning Joe” Sometimes, “afternoon, Mariano!”

    What I cannot understand:
    WHY DO FILIPINOS SWEEP AND BURN FALLEN LEAVES IN THE MORNING AND BEFORE DUSK? Every house burn their leaves, gather around it and gossip !!! I DO NOT GET IT AT ALL. WHY? Is this a way of driving away evil spirits before they go to sleep? I do not know. Could it be their perfume? Smell of burning leaves? One of these days I will ask. I tried it on my property found it silly !!! I am not contributing more C02 into the air. No!

    It is nice in this part of the undiscovered world. I am thinking of putting up a sign at the trail head “The Last Resort”. Maybe, “The Exiled”. Hmmm that sounds goot. what about “Hemingways Tavern”? Naah, too snooty. Yeah, Hemingway did his best works off Carribean Islands by the sea.

    Gotta go, the local children are coming. My laptop is fully charged. So are my iPhones. Gotta scurry away before I hear “ghosts! ghosts! agta! agta!”

  27. manuel buencamino says:

    I see a link between thinking critically and an adolescent’s need for instant gratification.

    An adult who has outgrown his desire for instant gratification will engage in critical thinking not thinking critically.

    Think of those so enamored with Duterte. They think justice is slow and weak so they love him because he metes out instant justice to “bad” people. They do not think about the implications instant justice has on due process and justice, they just love the orgasm that follows everytime a “bad” person is blown away. They want a king. One who will use his iron fist to jerk them off whenever they ask him for it.

    They want a king who will do exactly what they like when they want it while reserving the right to behead him if he doesn’t give them instant satisfaction. Because the mentality underlying thinking critically is “I voted in the king so I am the real king and I get my free lunch served hot or you lose your head.”

    • Joe America says:

      Fair assessment. I stated somewhere that the followers tend to behave much like their “idol”, and if their idol is outspoken and thuggish, that’s the way followers interact. If their idol is duplicitous, then followers tend that way, too. If their idol is a pretentious showboat . . . If their idol is forthright, modest and reasonable . . .

      By the way, I would note that you called for Leni Robredo something like a year ago, and we skeptics couldn’t see it. Congratulations on your foresight and reading of the public will . . .

      • edgar lores says:

        *******
        I read more than imitation in Manuel’s thesis. It’s more ownership and the need to be gratified. I can see this in the AlDub phenomenon… and in the Mamasapano reaction.
        *****

        • Joe America says:

          Ah, very good. Yes, true. Thanks.

        • I have realized something waking up this morning – Duterte’s popularity and Poe’s as well as the Mamasapano reaction are based on wrong expectations toward the President. Many still expect the President to be some kind of super barangay captain who will solve all problems – like a barangay captain locally takes care of petty squabbles. Duterte fills the need for a “Punisher” while Poe fulfills the need for a “Dreamland” among many folks.

          AlDub is something totally different. Fairy tales are a nice thing if they give people hope. Gives them energy and respite to continue slogging it on. The danger is in those people who cannot distinguish fantasy and reality. Grace Poe is an example – she wants to continue the legacy of her father. On screen Fernando Poe is a fighter against injustice. Reality is that he was a nice gangster, but still a gangster. A lot of people who watch Filipino movies don’t remember the names of the characters, just the actors who played.

        • manuel buencamino says:

          It’s the adolescent need for instant gratification. Quick solutions, all black and white, no time for nuance or grays. Just whip it and whip it good.

      • manuel buencamino says:

        Thanks. But unfortunately she still has to make herself known to a wider public. We are working hard and I hope there is enough time.

        By the way, it was neither foresight nor a reading of the public will, it was a recognition of her character and capability. I first met her at a small meeting where she updated FOI advocates on the progress of the bill in the House. I was impressed by her intelligence, sincerity, practicality – a necessary trait when one is representing idealistic civil society groups- and how quickly she had learned to navigate congressional waters without sacrificing her principles. She exhibited all those qualities over a lunch that lasted a little over two hours. I was skeptical when I went to that lunch meeting but I was sold on her from that day forward. Sometimes a brief meeting is all it takes to see another’s qualities and capabilities.

  28. Just want to share a link to an article I enjoyed a while back:

    http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/517026/scitech/science/smart-shaming-and-our-pinoy-culture-of-anti-intellectualism

    Check out the three links mentioned in the introduction. One of them is by Grimwald. I re-read the article to jog my memory when Karl mentioned him in one of his comments.

    • sonny says:

      JP, Ms Sta. Romana’s article reminded me of historian Wm Scott’s observation that pre-hispanic barangays considered extraordinary fortune by single persons or families in the barangay as bad omens for the barangay as a whole because the intrigue and envy resulting were disruptive of barangay social life. hmmm …

  29. Hi Joe, great post. Let me just add that this phenomena isn’t exclusive to Filipinos. I know many, many of my fellow Americans that can’t be bothered with the truth, i.e. the many improvements ushered in by Barack H. Obama. They conveniently forget the travesties committed by W and just how well the US has rebounded under President Obama.

    • Joe America says:

      Hi, David, yes, I agree. The patterns are exactly the same, and I think social media have something to do with that, the ease of establishing false or small stories as prominent, the name calling and photo-shopped political messages, the failure to educate oneself in favor of lazy surfing. No question, critical thinking in the US has been popularized and dumbed down.

      • Much of the stuff going around in Philippine social media – the false and photoshopped stuff – would fall under libel and cybercrime laws over here in Germany.

        Good thing there is democracy over here, but of the defensive kind made to keep the Nazis from returning. A man who posted very nasty stuff against refugees on Facebook just got a two-year sentence – OK courts are very fast here as this example proves.

        • Joe America says:

          That must be tough to keep up with. I think brazen or influential posts could be worth the trouble, but here, lying and making up stories are normal. There is not even an ethical foundation here, much less a legal one.

  30. untimate observer says:

    It is because we FIlipinos are passionate, emotional, earnestly valuing family and relationships, communicative, fun-loving, forgiving, biased to the underdog, looking for inspiration, and loving…many times to a fault. But you already know that.

    Probably why critical thinking is usually a delayed reaction…an after thought. I did a bit of critical thinking to come up with that.

    And you know that weakness, and its probably why you’ve stayed so long, invested so much, enjoying it all, mesmerized and engaged…a delicious repast till the clock strikes eleven.

  31. Marius de Jess says:

    “Joe America

    Biliran Island, Philippines”

    You are living and writing from that location, Biliran Island?

    Does it have all the conveniences of electricity, indoor water plumbing and flush toilet, and also of course telephony wired and wireless communication, including of course internet access.

    I also dream of living and working in such a location, far away from the insanity of traffic in Metro Manila.

    You make a good distinction between critical thinking and thinking critically.

    In regard to critical thinking, I like to invite you to this exercise, can man use critical thinking to the existence of God; so that as atheists deny God exists, then they are not using critical thinking but all ways and means to deceive themselves with fallacious abuse of their reasoning power.

    May I know your answer to the question, or just reaction, can you critically think to the certainty of God existing?

    • chempo says:

      May I say my 2 pesos worth.

      I cannot derive an idea based on thinking critcally as to the existence of God.
      But I do believe in the existence of God, in the sense of an omnipresent being. My belief is anchored on my observation of the duality of life.

      Everything in life has a duality basis. There cannot be one if there is no other. Eg there is no white if there is no black, no hate if there is no love, no justice if there is no injustice,no fullness if there is no hunger, etc. There is also duality in lots of other aspects of life — in energy — there is positive vs negative, in digital word you have the ‘0’ and ‘1’, switch ‘on/ ‘off’. Human life itself is in dual forms — men/women. It’s the yin and yang of life. So why do I believe there is God? Because I believe in ghosts. If there are ghosts, there must be God.

      There are great esoteric, mystical philosophical ideas on this duality stuff. Each of us in our physical existence are individuals, but our consciousness are united as one with the universal spirit which is the creator. I’m not saying I understand all these high power stuff, but it sets the mind cranking. Did not Jesus said “My kingdom is within YOU”. Here’s one of my favorite poems on this human desire for oneness.

      “A Strange Prayer:

      Dear Lord,
      I, the self searching illusion, has seen and experienced the outer world:
      relationships,
      success and failure,
      true friends,
      strangers and backbiters.

      I lived the different emotions
      during different seasons;
      I witnessed ups & downs,
      enjoyed love & hate,
      was good & bad,
      faced beauty & ugliness.

      There were times when I was brave,
      there were times when I was a coward.
      There were times when I was proactive,
      there were times when I was indecisive.

      After, flying high in the skies,
      and yet being a loser…

      After, being nothing & no one,
      and yet feeling content..

      I have understood
      the difference
      between lust and love,
      happiness and sadness,
      selfishness and selflessness.

      One often leads to another;
      another secretly carries the one!
      Yet I am lost
      between being and becoming.

      An inner voice admits that
      my heart is an unexplored realm,
      my mind is a prisoner to my wishful thinking,
      and the soul is unknown to me.

      Setting that unknown free…
      now, this is my heartiest wish.

      As Saurabh Sharma,
      the human being,
      I always pray to thee, ” O lord, set me free.
      I don’t want love,
      I don’t want to be loved;

      I want myself to be love itself now.

      That beautiful, silent and divine existence…!
      I want to get merged into that.

      Please give me wisdom and courage; Merge me into your supreme kingdom
      by setting my soul free.”
      ― Saurabh Sharma

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, most of the island has those conveniences, although to get water pressure, you must pump the water up to an elevated tank. Electricity is metered. Water is metered, even in our remote location. Gas is by small propane tank. The main city has land line telephones, but remote areas do not. We access the internet via “dongle” modem, and it is spotty or does not work during peak usage hours. Sewerage is septic tank.

      One can do critical thinking about God for oneself, and different people will end up with different answers based on assumptions and deductions. Most critical thinking ends up with calculated risk.

      Welcome to the blog. Glad you found it.

  32. Marius de Jess says:

    Your writing on how you know the existence of God as an omnipotent being is not to my critical observation founded on critical thinking.

    But let us both work together to come to a concurred concept of what is critical thinking, for we don’t want to exchange thoughts on the basis of different if not contradictory concepts of the being in question, in the present context represented by the word God.

    And also first and foremost, what is critical thinking.

    First word to define then is God.

    I concur with you that God is an omnipotent being,

    I like to elaborate that God is the creator and operator of the universe and of everything with a beginning, that qualifies God for the description omnipotent.

    If you want to add more descriptions of God, then it should be in specifying aspects of creation and operation of the universe and of everything with a beginning: for if God is not the creator and operator of the universe and of everything with a beginning, then whatever description of God not in consequence of or dependent upon His being creator and operator of the universe and of everything, is not deserving of any attention from us humans.

    Now, we come to work together to concur on what is critical thinking.

    Thinking is using our reason to ascertain the truth, the fact, and the logical foundation of a thought from us.

    Critical, what is the adjective critical about? Critical in our context of thinking means that our reasoning is coherently and consistently grounded on truths, facts, and logic.

    At this point allow me to introduce the distinction between a concept and an object.

    God is both a concept in our mind and an object existing independently of our mind.

    My point is that we can establish the existence of God as a being corresponding to the concept of creator and operator of the universe and of everything with a beginning, with certainty, by employing critical thinking.

    Here is what I mean when I say that God can be proven to exist, namely: that I will show how truths, facts, and logic point to the existence of God, that God has the status of being, has objective reality independent of our mind — meaning that God is not any concept only dwelling in our mind, but He truly, actually, really has existence, like in term of existence, you and I exist even though should no other conscious beings have any idea of our existence in their minds.

    How do I prove God exists?

    From the principle of causality with things that have a beginning, namely: anything with a beginning has need of a cause to come to existence.

    Science tells us that the universe has a beginning some 13.7 billion years ago, therefore the universe has a cause.

    I call by name that cause of the universe with the customary name, God; that is why I say that God is the creator and operator of the universe and of everything with a beginning.

    Tell me what you make of my proof for the existence of God from critical thinking.

    • “How do I prove God exists?”

      But which God do you entertain,

      the Christian one, the Muslim one, the Jewish one, Scientology, the Mormon God, Spinoza’s God (which is also Einstein’s)? Because all of those are very different conceptions of “God”—- then you got the Norse gods, the Greek gods, the Egyptian gods, Sumerian gods, even Filipino animist “gods”, etc.

      Let’s say I agree with you that there is a God, now I’m asking which one to choose from (which one do you espouse) and how do you rationalize each, ie. why you chose that, but not the other? Describe that process for me, Marius.

  33. chempo says:

    “From the principle of causality with things that have a beginning, namely: anything with a beginning has need of a cause to come to existence.”

    This sentence grounds your argument.

    Sorry Marius, I’m not too much into philisophies and critical thinking. I’m too much of a simpleton to critique your fine line of thought. I just ask simple questions to what I appreciate are very complex stuff. If indeed a Creator created the universe from nothing in the beginning, it begets the quest who creates the Creator? My mind cannot comprehend that level of thinking.

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      Simpleton? I think not.

      Your point is a magnificent condensation of Bertrand Russel’s rebuttal of The First Cause Argument:

      “Perhaps the simplest and easiest to understand is the argument of the First Cause. (It is maintained that everything we see in this world has a cause, and as you go back in the chain of causes further and further you must come to a First Cause, and to that First Cause you give the name of God.) That argument, I suppose, does not carry very much weight nowadays, because, in the first place, cause is not quite what it used to be. The philosophers and the men of science have got going on cause, and it has not anything like the vitality it used to have; but, apart from that, you can see that the argument that there must be a First Cause is one that cannot have any validity. I may say that when I was a young man and was debating these questions very seriously in my mind, I for a long time accepted the argument of the First Cause, until one day, at the age of eighteen, I read John Stuart Mill’s Autobiography, and I there found this sentence: “My father taught me that the question ‘Who made me?’ cannot be answered, since it immediately suggests the further question `Who made god?'” That very simple sentence showed me, as I still think, the fallacy in the argument of the First Cause. If everything must have a cause, then God must have a cause. If there can be anything without a cause, it may just as well be the world as God, so that there cannot be any validity in that argument. It is exactly of the same nature as the Hindu’s view, that the world rested upon an elephant and the elephant rested upon a tortoise; and when they said, “How about the tortoise?” the Indian said, “Suppose we change the subject.” The argument is really no better than that. There is no reason why the world could not have come into being without a cause; nor, on the other hand, is there any reason why it should not have always existed. There is no reason to suppose that the world had a beginning at all. The idea that things must have a beginning is really due to the poverty of our imagination. Therefore, perhaps, I need not waste any more time upon the argument about the First Cause.”
      *****

      • chempo says:

        Ah our esteemed sage…thanks Edgar. Good for contemplation.

        Some time back when I was in my ’40s, a certain catholic church was doing an outreach project (which they later got into trouble with the govt that led to some activists landing in jail — I’m not going into that). It was a well orchestrated project. They had TV adverts, flyers, billboard displays with the words ‘I FOUND IT’. For weeks the whole of Spore was wondering what the hell was that all about. Then the second part of they activity they had young teens all over downtown and everywhere handing out leaflets and approaching one and sundry to listen to their message. I got accosted every lunch time for a couple of weeks. ONly then I realised it was a church outreach programme. So these kids approach me and I asked what’s this I FOUND IT stuff…and they say “the meaning of life” and I was thinking ah these kids gonna tell me what is the meaning of life hahaha.

      • josephivo says:

        It is a lazy argument. We all live in the same universe, using a limited set of senses with varying sensitivities and we do fine with that in most and all practical situations. But ones we meet extremes our common sense starts fooling us. “What is north?” leads to “what is north of the North Pool?”. Not God. The pool being an extreme and at the pool point other geography rules than elsewhere. Worse at the big bang where many of our known dimensions where at their extreme, speed at the speed of light, all mass in one point…. My mind is too small to understand all other dimensions suggested, but having a Deus ex Machina, God, to explain what happened is too easy a solution.

    • sonny says:

      I venture to go two ways:

      1) the Scholastic philosophers: God is the Being whose essence is existence (from natural philosophy);

      2) the Being Moses spoke to: Yahweh = I am who am.(from revelation)

      This is all I got.

      • sonny says:

        Additionally to the above, St Anselm’s argument:

        “… Now we believe that you are something than which nothing greater can be imagined.”

        • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

          Caveat emptor: Without being conscious of it, I graduated Kindergarten with two awards: Excellence in Religion and Excellence in Good Manners and Right Conduct. So anything I say or testify for is coming from a kid who never grew up in the sense that I never questioned nor declared the existence of God. I just knew and accepted that there was one, partly because of my parents’ influence, partly because of a quiet sense inside of me telling me that all the Religion lessons I learned in Kindergarten were all true as I was true, it was like twin realities—I exist, therefore God exists, and God exists, therefore I exist. I sometimes envy or wonder at wise men and women who can somehow analyze the existence of non-existence of God by citing several authors, proof of their scholastic muscle tone which obviously I had none. For now, and until the day of my death, I shall whistle past the graveyard, knowing the possibility there may not be a God as I know Him to be after all, yet fighting the thought that I am all alone, that the stories of heroism and salvation I heard and read about were figments of man’s creativity and his need for a god to explain the unexplainable, that we will die and not face reward or punishment, none of that, only the void. But I will still walk and walk, whistling and enjoying the comfort of my innocence, as I was when I was five or six years old, content in my own set of knowledge no matter how basic or childlike. Therefore, what makes me happy and secure that God exists? The fact that I don’t question it, the fact that I thrust my foot into nothingness and step on something immovable, solid and secure. The world may shake to the nines of the Richter scale and turn ground to water, yet I know that when I walk towards the light, I will do so on solid ground, above water and towards heaven, my final home. Everything I know about God, I learned in Kindergarten.

          • edgar lores says:

            *******
            Wilfredo, you and Sonny are the lucky ones.
            *****

            • sonny says:

              … or unlucky ones.

              After my first Holy Communion decades ago, I must have thought of what I was going to have for breakfast right after Mass. Communicants had to fast after the midnight prior to communion.

              My second son (he was 11 at the time), on the other hand, took me aside after his first Holy Communion and quietly said: “Dad, I know that Jesus is in me.”

              🙂

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                No, lucky because you have lived with certitude for all, if not most, of your lives.

                And I am in accord with your son: the Divine is in us.
                *****

              • sonny says:

                Sapay koma, edgar, sapay koma. 🙂

              • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

                My FHC was almost, hmm, miraculous. I was dressed to the nines, all in white, including belt (but black shoes). I felt Jesus, the Holy Trinity, more so when we had to partake of the Filipino hot chocolate and something like churros I think. When I went astray in high school and college, and made a u turn back to God after college, It was easy because it was like reopening a door to which I had the key. First Holy Communion was the key. I was always welcome. Unlucky? Well, maybe because we don’t have wiggle room. It was always God or the highway.

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, that’s like trying to understand what’s outside the universe.

  34. Marius de Jess says:

    Thanks a lot for your reactions, everyone who takes time and trouble to reply to my message.

    I am prompted to bring up the question what is critical thinking: because Jose gives a good write-up on how Filipinos are not into critical thinking but thinking critically.

    And I say to myself that it is a good occasion to bring everyone together to work seriously to come to concur on what is critical thinking, of which Filipinos do not go into; but they go instead into thinking critically, whereby they remain not as effective in moving forth upward as a nation, unlike say Vietnamese and Japanese.

    And I bring up the debate on the existence of God, as a subject which will stir us to reason on truths, facts, and logic to come to the resolution, yes God exists or no God does not exist, that resolution founded namely on our to be concurred on concept of critical thinking.

    Forgive me, do you care to see whether your reactions to my message are examples of thinking critically but not of critical thinking?

    Here, let you consider what is God, according to truths, facts, and logic.

    No, you are not into what is God; instead I can already see in my mind you are right away going into thinking critically but not into critical thinking.

    Because as Joe tells us, it is serious work to do real critical thinking but more a welcome relief to go into thinking critically, i.e. into dodging the issue that is more fun.

    So, you do not go into critical thinking but bring up what you seem to take for granted, what you read from published writers are of some intellectual worth, like from one Bertrand Russell.

    Here is the text cited by one respondent published by Bertrand Russell:

    [quote]The First Cause Argument:

    “Perhaps the simplest and easiest to understand is the argument of the First Cause. (It is maintained that everything we see in this world has a cause, and as you go back in the chain of causes further and further you must come to a First Cause, and to that First Cause you give the name of God.) That argument, I suppose, does not carry very much weight nowadays, because, in the first place, cause is not quite what it used to be. The philosophers and the men of science have got going on cause, and it has not anything like the vitality it used to have; but, apart from that, you can see that the argument that there must be a First Cause is one that cannot have any validity. I may say that when I was a young man and was debating these questions very seriously in my mind, I for a long time accepted the argument of the First Cause, until one day, at the age of eighteen, I read John Stuart Mill’s Autobiography, and I there found this sentence: “My father taught me that the question ‘Who made me?’ cannot be answered, since it immediately suggests the further question `Who made god?’” That very simple sentence showed me, as I still think, the fallacy in the argument of the First Cause. If everything must have a cause, then God must have a cause. If there can be anything without a cause, it may just as well be the world as God, so that there cannot be any validity in that argument. It is exactly of the same nature as the Hindu’s view, that the world rested upon an elephant and the elephant rested upon a tortoise; and when they said, “How about the tortoise?” the Indian said, “Suppose we change the subject.” The argument is really no better than that. There is no reason why the world could not have come into being without a cause; nor, on the other hand, is there any reason why it should not have always existed. There is no reason to suppose that the world had a beginning at all. The idea that things must have a beginning is really due to the poverty of our imagination. Therefore, perhaps, I need not waste any more time upon the argument about the First Cause.”
    *****[/quote]

    Read carefully the text above, and see if at all Russell ever gives us what is his concept of cause, in the midst of pouring forth so much words.

    You see, dear colleagues here, Russell is a clever writer who knows all the trickish craft of using many words, but never saying anything except to distract his readers from doing any critical thinking at all: on whether he touches the real issue with first defining the concept of the thing he is proving to not exist.

    In order words, he essentially makes fun of God, but never gets into critically thinking over the issue, Does God exist.

    So, let us all do a very care critical reading of the text above, and find whether he ever sets forth his concept of what is a cause; because cause is the whole what I might call the camel back of the whole issue God exists or not.

    Read carefully, has he ever set forth his concept of what is cause?

    When you react to my present message, please tell me where he ever if at all sets forth his concept of what is a cause.

    I want to tell you, and forgive me, as you write, ask yourself, Have I found any concept of cause from the text above written by one Bertrand Russell?

    For I fear that you will go into dodging from the task of searching for the concept of cause from Bertrand Russell.

    Critical reading must be based on critical thinking, that is, as you read you keep on keeping track on what the writer is really saying, Is it apropos of the subject, or he is just having fun with his readers, by hoodwinking his readers from focusing on the issue with critical thinking.

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      There are several possibilities why Russell “neglects” to define the term “cause”.

      Part of critical thinking is using Occam’s Razor.

      By using Occam’s Razor, one possibility to explain Russell’s “neglect” would be:

      1. Russell does not have to define “cause” because he is using the term according to its context: “The First Cause Argument”.

      2. “The First Cause Argument” must refer to a formal argument for the existence of God.

      3. The formal argument must be well-known.

      4. It must have been postulated by someone before Russell.

      5. Russell assumes — and rightly so — that anyone reading him has some familiarity with the original postulate and perhaps postulator.
      *****

    • With all this talk about God, you eventually have to choose a God, Marius—- are you speaking of Spinoza’s God, or do you have one you’ve created for yourself, your very own conception of God, or borrowed someone else’s,

      or simply de faulting to the God in the Old Testament, or the God in the New Testament, or a combination of both.

      or the God in the Qur’an.

      or are you going exotic on us, and going with the Mormon God, with his very own planet, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mormon_cosmology#Other_worlds_and_extraterrestrial_life

      so which God are you espousing here, Marius?

      it’s good that you have a hunch that there’s a God, now you have to set out to describe and define your God—

      which values, which rules, do you think God recommends or commands you?

      The idea that things must have a beginning is really due to the poverty of our imagination. Therefore, perhaps, I need not waste any more time upon the argument about the First Cause.

      Now, that you’ve defined your First Cause, care to elaborate? There’s no need to waste any more time upon the argument about First Cause, please let’s describe it now, Marius.

      Otherwise, you just have a hunch—– as uninteresting as that sounds.

  35. Marius de Jess says:

    Forgive me, but as I have predicted, you will not find any concept of cause in the text of Bertrand Russell.

    That is the fact, and critical thinking must keep to facts.

    What you have done is what people usually do, they dodge the task at hand and go into attempts at escaping from the task.

    Like why Russell needs not mention his concept of cause. That is not my question.

    Or go into which God I am talking about. That is not my question.

    I am asking you whether Russell ever presents his concept of cause, yes or no; if yes, produce the lines from Russell where he defines what is a cause.

    The fact is: No, he nowhere in the text concerned presents his concept of what is a cause.

    Let us then find out for ourselves what is a cause.

    You will go to the dictionaries or again more conveniently google cause and then find a text, which might pass for your own exposition from your stock knowledge on what you know to be a cause.

    Suppose, and forgive me, you do your own writing from your own stock knowledge of what is a cause, is that all right with you? Instead of looking up again published sources.

    Please do not avoid this task, with saying that everyone knows what is a cause, etc.

    Well, then, tell readers here what is your concept of cause as you know it to be everyone’s idea of cause.

    May I hope to read from you, your concept of cause, or what you know to be cause with everyone, including Russell.

    When you write your reaction to my present message, examine it before sending it, asking yourself the question:

    Have I presented the concept of cause from my own stock knowledge, or from what I know to be everyone’s concept of cause?

    If not, then write again and keep to your intention, namely, to present your concept of cause, or what you know to be everyone’s concept of cause.

    • What is your concept of cause, and describe it, please. 😉 Describe it.

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      1. “I am asking you whether Russell ever presents his concept of cause, yes or no; if yes, produce the lines from Russell where he defines what is a cause.”

      1.1. One does not dictate the perimeters of a discussion, and attempt to confine discussion to what one thinks is the proper scope. Don’t you see the irony of this restrictiveness in a discussion that has arisen from the topic of critical thinking?

      1.2. This is not a courtroom where one limits the witness to yes and no answers.

      2. “That is the fact, and critical thinking must keep to facts.”

      2.1. If critical thinking is limited to facts, then why discuss the existence of God? For many, the existence of God is not a fact.

      2.2. Critical thinking must use reasoning and logic, which do not deal with facts necessarily but with abstractions.

      3. As to the matter at hand:

      3.1. As previously stated, there is no need for Russell to define the term “cause” because he is referring to an antecedent argument.

      3.2. He is assuming anyone reading him knows of the antecedent argument. Or should find out what that antecedent argument is.

      3.3. One has to go to that antecedent argument if one wishes to know the definition of “cause”. The definition may or may not be in the antecedent argument… because the postulator might have also assumed that a definition is not necessary.

      3.4. Did you understand the above three points?

      3.4. Now: why the emphasis on the lack of a definition? Despite your caveats, one can simply consult a dictionary. Again, why dictate the perimeters of discussion?

      3.5. And why insist on providing a subjective definition of the term when dictionaries will provide a commonly accepted definition?

      3.5.1. In discussions, it is the standard to use a dictionary definition because it gives a common starting point… and there is no confusion as to what is being discussed.

      3.6. There are several definitions of the term. Let us take for example two definitions from Google:

      3.6.1. a person or thing that gives rise to an action, phenomenon, or condition.

      3.6.2. a principle, aim, or movement to which one is committed and which one is prepared to defend or advocate.

      3.7. Obviously the second definition does not apply in the context of “The First Cause Argument.” We can take the first definition as the proper meaning of the term within the context. I am happy to accept that definition.

      4. If you do not accept any of the points under item 3, then there is no need to pursue this discussion… and this will be my last post.
      *****

  36. karl garcia says:

    Here is a song lyric that show cause: Love me for a reason,and let the reason be love.

  37. karl garcia says:

    what cause came before the first cause, the zero cause,before that the negative one cause…..

  38. Marius de Jess says:

    Here is my concept of what is a cause; but later we will go back to the text of Russell and work out what he is doing at all, whether he is into critical thinking or dodging from the actual issue at hand.

    Here is my concept of cause, namely:

    A cause is anything at all which contributes to the coming to existence of another thing at all; so that without the contribution from the first thing which is the cause, the second thing would certainly not have come to existence, and the second thing is the effect.

    Here is an example of cause, parents are the cause of their children.

    Let us all engage in a respectful and serious exchange, grounded on truths, facts, and logic.

    Now, logic dictates that we always attend to the actual issue at hand; what I notice is that a lot of exchange is even from the part of the initiator not into any precise issue at all, parties just talk in all directions, and all feel that they are contributing to the resolution of an issue, which is in reality nothing of any resolution, but just all into dodging from the issue — and the initiator himself does not know what is the issue he has set forth with the words he has used: because he himself is not into any serious undertaking at all (we have to ask him, What exactly is your point? then we will find out that he has no clear, definite, sharp point at all).

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      1. Thank you.

      2. I still do not understand why you will not accept the first Google definition that I cited: “a person or thing that gives rise to an action, phenomenon, or condition.”

      3. If I compare your definition with that of Google’s, I find your definition limited in two ways:

      3.1. The first limitation is in the use of the word “contribute”. When one says that “A contributes to B”, one is saying that A is only a partial cause of B.

      3.1.2. Again using Google, “contribute” means “help to cause or bring about.” Note the use of the word “help”.

      3.1.3. In other words, one cannot modify the above definition and say “contribute” means “to cause or bring about.” The term “help” connotes that “contribute” means “to provide a part of the whole”.

      3.1.4. Going to your example of “parents are the cause of their children”, one can say, “a mother is a cause of her children.” But one cannot say, “a mother is the cause of her children.” This is because the mother is a partial cause. It needs a father to “contribute” to the production of children.

      3.2. The second limitation is in the use of the word “existence”.

      3.2.1. Again using Google, “existence” means “the fact or state of living or having objective reality.”

      3.2.2. A cause can bring about non-existence. Example: “The bomb annihilated the plane and its passengers.”

      4. If you accept the Google definition of cause, we can proceed.

      5. Contrary to your observation, Russell did not dodge the issue. The core of his counterargument to The First Cause Argument is this: “If everything must have a cause, then God must have a cause. If there can be anything without a cause, it may just as well be the world as God, so that there cannot be any validity in that argument.”

      6. Your turn to demolish Russell.
      *****

      • Marius de Jess says:

        Dear Edgar:

        Here is again my concept of cause, namely:

        “A cause is anything at all which contributes to the coming to existence of another thing at all; so that without the contribution from the first thing which is the cause, the second thing would certainly not have come to existence, and the second thing is the effect.

        Here is an example of a cause, parents are the cause of their children.”

        You said:

        “a person or thing that gives rise to an action, phenomenon, or condition.”

        Suppose we agree to rewrite your definition of a cause into the following draft:

        “Any entity that gives rise to the existence of another entity,”

        is that all right with you?

        Then we have to both work to concur on what is an entity, and for me:

        “it is any existing being whatever, period”;

        is that all right with you?

        Okay, on that concept of a cause, namely:

        “Any entity that gives rise to the existence of another entity,”

        here is my example of what is a cause, namely:

        “parents are the cause of their children.”

        Please, Edgar, give an example of a cause on that concept of cause, namely:

        “Any entity that gives rise to the existence of another entity.”

        Okay, everyone, produce your own self-thought out concept of a cause, if you do not see this concept, namely:

        “Any entity that gives rise to the existence of another entity,”

        to be all right with you; and also very important, an example illustrating your own self-thought out and self-formulated concept of what is a cause.

        We are now into working together to come to a mutually agreed on concept of what is a cause, please keep to the present issue, what is a cause.

        Give your own self-thought out and self-written concept of what is a cause, and give an example of a cause.

        PS:
        Afterwards when we have concurred on the concept of a cause, we will proceed to examine the argument of Russell against the existence of God, whether he is doing critical thinking or not.

        • edgar lores says:

          *******
          Marius,

          1. The reworked definition does not embrace item 3.2 of my last post. It seems to me that you do not fully comprehend responses.

          2. Why reject Google’s definition?

          3. My concept of “cause” is precisely Google’s definition. I accept it, and have no subjective thoughts on the matter.

          3.1. Note that the Society of Honor allows specialized definitions. We use it all the time. We call it the Humpty Dumpty Dictionary. We do this to lay foundation in order to make a point (or two)… within the boundaries we have set. However you are attempting to lay foundation without proceeding to make a point.

          3.2. To be more specific, my objection to a specialized definition is that it enables one to introduce non-standard premises (or remove standard premises). Upon those non-standard premises, one can then build an entire pyramid. But the pyramid may be house of cards.

          3.3. So to me… I am sorry to say… there is a lack of forthrightness here. Are you being sneaky? Trying to lay an ambush with the use of the term “entity”?

          4. Examples of causation?

          4.1. “Marius is causing LCpl_X to be impatient.”
          4.2. “Religious fundamentalism is a cause of modern day terrorism.”
          4.3. “Hawking postulates that a singularity caused the birth of the universe.”
          4.4. “Thinking causes me to think that I exist.”
          4.5. “He died from a bullet wound.”

          5. Note that in some of the above examples, the cause is not an “entity” as we normally assume it to be. Which is why I prefer Google’s “a person or thing that gives rise to an action, phenomenon, or condition.”

          6. Rather than dwell on a specialized definition of “cause”, try to concentrate on addressing items 5 and 6 (of my last post).
          *****

    • Joe America says:

      The blog is a meeting room with no chairman and a very loose agenda. People get from it what they want or need, or they don’t read and don’t visit. There are a lot of side discussions going on, and migrations to a break-out room. There is a logic to unfettered, to chaotic, to free-form. There often is no need to have a sharp point. A good joke will do.

      • Joe America says:

        I would add that the blog is growing in readership and influence, so the idea that a new arrival should pretend some greater wisdom on how to carry on the debate is somewhat . . . well, illogical.

    • “A cause is anything at all which contributes to the coming to existence of another thing at all; “

      @ Marius,

      Eventually you’re gonna have to describe this cause. Otherwise it’s just a hunch.

      5. Contrary to your observation, Russell did not dodge the issue. The core of his counterargument to The First Cause Argument is this: “If everything must have a cause, then God must have a cause. If there can be anything without a cause, it may just as well be the world as God, so that there cannot be any validity in that argument.

      edgar has just demolished your “cause” (interestingly, the Mormon’s have the best response to that, as well as the Scientologists),

      but my position here is let’s go with your take, that there is a “cause”.

      Just describe this “cause” for us, what values do you assign it, what consciousness does it take on, etc. Otherwise you simply just have an indescribable term, “cause”—- what can you do with “cause”? Hence the need to describe it, and there’s plenty to choose from, I’m just curious if yours will be interesting and original.

      Don’t be coy now.

    • josephivo says:

      1. Does an absolute definition of cause exist? E.g. How do you define cause in quantum mechanics?

      2. Is practicality not a more important criteria than truth or even logic?

      • edgar lores says:

        *******
        Item 1 is a good question. Quantum nonlocality phenomena — such as quantum entanglement — exhibit behavior that cannot be categorized as cause and effect. There is correlation but no cause. Perhaps there is… but it is beyond our present ken.

        Item 2 is also a good question. Brings to mind the wave-particle duality. It does not matter whether a photon is a wave or matter. It depends on the practical applications from vacuum tubes to solar cells, from television to alarm clocks, shaving creams, computers and mobile phones.

        I daresay though that truths are important — as far as we can use logic to navigate and determine consensus… or even just an agreement to disagree.

        But we are roaming far afield now… and this will leave Marius more confused than ever.
        *****

        • Joe America says:

          Gadzooks, I love this blog, for the characters we collect.

        • karl garcia says:

          Quantum Whaat? You Never Cease to amaze!

        • josephivo says:

          Truth and reality are related and both “model” dependent. The Model you select to explain the world is your business and only your business as long as it does not hurt me.

          • edgar lores says:

            *******
            To a certain extent that is true. Individuals behave according to the truth and reality of their models.

            (I would not say “select” their models. It may not be a matter of conscious choice initially, but of inheritance. It can become a matter of choice eventually.)

            And for a certain model, individuals may come together in groups to adhere to that model — to its truth and reality.

            However, in the greater scheme of things, there is a plenitude of diverse models, and there is — unavoidably — interaction among the different models. This is to say that individuals and groups of one model interact with individuals and groups of other models.

            The interaction may be one of indifference, cooperation and harmony, or conflict.

            I think conflict can be mitigated if each model carries within itself the Inherent Truth and Reality (capital T/R) that its truth and reality (small t/r) are not universal. This Inherent Truth and Reality should be considered and recognized to be model independent.

            (There may be other realities and truths that are model independent.)

            And because no model is universal, accommodation is essential. And accommodation between and among individuals and groups should not cause any undue advantage or disadvantage.

            There is Our Way (or model) and Your Way and Their Way… but there may be no Absolute Way.
            *****

      • edgar lores says:

        *******
        Truth also matters because people are killing and being killed in the name of falsehoods.
        *****

    • karl garcia says:

      Marius can your concept of cause answer the chicken and the egg question,if it can,then I salute and bow to you.

      • josephivo says:

        How do you define a chicken? How many DNA errors allowed? One day sperm and egg from something that was almost a chicken or from 2 unstable chicken got together to make a new perfect chicken. The chicken and egg problem is a problem of changing definitions of what is a chicken and what is an egg. DNA gets constantly damaged and constantly repaired but some damages survive, nature with the surviving of the fittest (in changing environments) sorts this out.

        Who was the first homo sapiens? How much interbreeding with Denisovians, Neanderthals or Floresiencis allowed?

        But more important, what is the practicality of the question?

  39. Marius de Jess says:

    “LCpl_X (@LCpl_X) says:

    December 6, 2015 at 7:31 am

    “[ From Marius ] A cause is anything at all which contributes to the coming to existence of another thing at all; “

    @ Marius,

    Eventually you’re gonna have to describe this cause. Otherwise it’s just a hunch.”

    Let [Marius] me repeat:

    “Marius de Jess says:

    December 7, 2015 at 5:01 am

    Dear Edgar:

    Here is again my concept of cause, namely:

    “A cause is anything at all which contributes to the coming to existence of another thing at all; so that without the contribution from the first thing which is the cause, the second thing would certainly not have come to existence, and the second thing is the effect.

    Here is an example of a cause, parents are the cause of their children.”

    […]

    [ Put in very concise draft ]
    “Any entity that gives rise to the existence of another entity,”

    is that all right with you [Edgar]?

    […]

    Okay, on that concept of a cause, namely:

    “Any entity that gives rise to the existence of another entity,”

    here is my example of what is a cause, namely:

    “parents are the cause of their children.”

    […]

    “Any entity that gives rise to the existence of another entity.”

    Okay, everyone, produce your own self-thought out concept of a cause, if you do not see this concept, namely:

    [b]“Any entity that gives rise to the existence of another entity,”[/b]

    to be all right with you; and also very important, an example illustrating your own self-thought out and self-formulated concept of what is a cause.

    We are now into working together to come to a mutually agreed on concept of what is a cause, please keep to the present issue, what is a cause.

    Give your own self-thought out and self-written concept of what is a cause, and give an example of a cause.

    PS:
    Afterwards when we have concurred on the concept of a cause, we will proceed to examine the argument of Russell against the existence of God, whether he is doing critical thinking or not.”

    Now, first you present your concept of what is a cause and then give an example.

    If you want to factor in something like the chicken or the egg, or quantum mechanics, then work on that to think up your concept of what is cause as to cover your concept of cause, and then produce it here; don’t just throw in a question or an objection for an instance of what you see to be trouble for my concept of what is a cause, because that is not an act of critical thinking from your part but it is what Joe would call an instance thinking critically.

    Okay, put together everything you know that should factor into your concept of what is a cause, then produce it here in concise, precise, definite, clear words; and don’t forget to give an example.

    This approach requires you to do critical thinking, i.e., thinking that is grounded on truths, facts, and logic, factoring already into your thinking the instances of things which you see should be included into your concept of what is a cause.

    Now, suppose you don’t accept at all the concept whatever of a cause, then with due respect to your kind of thinking, you start a new thread and expound on why there is no such entity as a cause.

    What I am trying to achieve here is to at this point in time to get everyone to think on what is a cause, grounding himself in critical thinking, and also producing an example of his concept.

    Do you notice that many writers write volumes without giving his concepts of the important words he is using time and again, it is all because he knows it that he cannot be using so many words if he only sets forth first his glossary of terms which are important to make critical sense of his volumes of words; and sad to say, uncritical readers also take any text in his voluminous published works to prove anything he cares to prove, grounding himself on published voluminous writers.

    Okay, please factor in everything you think should be taken into account in your concept of cause, then produce it, and give an example -– all the time exercising already critical thinking, it is the thinking that is directly relevant i.e. connected to the issue at hand, and give an example.

    Here is now my most concise concept of a cause, namely:

    “Any entity that gives rise to the existence of another entity.”

    If you have any exceptions or objections, please first factor them into your concept of what is a cause, produce it, and give an example.

    This has been a long message, so I will and forgive me, repeat what I would like very much to read from everyone who thinks for himself: please, grounding yourself in critical thinking: produce your concept of what is a cause, and give an example.

    I sincerely want to learn from you all.

    But when you throw in questions instead of answering to the issue, what is a cause, then you are not being useful to my quest to learn from you. That is an example of what Joe calls thinking critically, but not critical thinking.

    • josephivo says:

      The more exact definition of cause depends on the context. Scientific: Physics –Newton, general relativity, quantum mechanics – , engineering, biology, medicine, epidemiology…, psychology, economics… ? Metaphysics? History? Legal? Theology – Christian, Hindu, Buddhism…- ?… Material cause, formal cause, efficient cause, final cause, accidental cause, secondary cause… Why would you want one definition covering all those fields?

      Does the model accept miracles, can a miraculous birth occur, thus Joseph not being the father? This opens a lot of cause discussions.

      What about statistics, probability?

      What about cocktails, A can only be a cause when B and C occur?

      What about cocktails, A can only be a cause when B and C are absent? Can “not B and not C” be a cause?

      Reciprocal cause effects, e.g. a mental situation aggravating a physical condition aggravating the mental condition….

      What about the butterfly in the Amazon?

      The scientific revolution is based on the discovery of ignorance. The acceptance of the fact that ultimately we don’t know. A huge shift from all previous times where knowledge was ultimately divine, all important things revealed by prophets and scriptures, all not revealed being unimportant. Today every cause is a cause just for the time being, until we have better observations or better models (=more coherent, more elegant, more predictive, less need for “miracles”….) . A cause became a practical term, no longer a philosophical.

  40. Marius de Jess says:

    Okay, before I leave for now until tomorrow morning, if you want to be concise, precise, definite, and clear, to be useful to my desire to learn from you, just present here your very self-thought out and self-drafted wording of what is a cause and give an example, limit yourself to fifty words or less.

    If you have many things to tell readers, please return to the request above, at the very end of your post.

    Thanks, and also best regards to Joe, so far he has been a very good host.

  41. karl garcia says:

    Times like these, I miss 17sharp.

  42. Marius de Jess says:

    I notice that you are very eager to go into the critical examination of Russell’s text, so let us go into Russell’s text to find out what is his concept of cause, is that all right with you?

    For the record, this is again and forgive me for the repetition:
    “Any entity that gives rise to the existence of another entity.”

  43. Marius de Jess says:

    “Joe America says:
    December 7, 2015 at 8:19 am

    Thank you, Marius. I appreciate that you are stretching and testing some of the greater minds here. Mine is not among them, so carry on . . . :)”

    That is very encouraging; you see you do have an idea of critical thinking as distinct from and contrary to thinking critically.

    My purpose is to get people to take on what is systematic critical thinking, by examining the text of Russell, where he argued against the first cause proof for the existence of a cause of the universe named God.

    You see, critical thinking just like any kind of common endeavor to achieve a common purpose, say, like building a house, humans must first agree to concur on what are the indispensable parameters to put in place, before they start building the complete house, in which context of building a house, everyone knows that before anything else: think about the foundation and start setting up the needed foundation, otherwise all kinds of thinking and construction work are futile — because there is no foundation at all for the whole enterprise to ever get completed supported by a foundation at all — like for example if some humans insist on starting with constructing the roof; pray. where is the roof going to be set on as the supporting ground when there is no foundation?

    Now that we can see deeper and higher and wider and longer into the present, the past, and also into the future, into objective reality that is independent of our mind, owing to the detection equipment mankind has invented, then it is all right that we examine and re-examine established authorities like Bertrand Russell, to see whether he did consult objective reality, or as with many a shall I say ‘glamorized’ writer, no one dares to undertake a serious investigation into his argument for this or that cause, like for example about women and marriage, etc. — when we know from common observation, that as a man behaves, so also he will fashion his ideas according as to make it appear that he is living an ideal existence, life (e.g., in accordance with his advanced and expounded values on sexual and marital ethic).

    Russell in that text presented by one poster here never presents his concept of what is a cause, but he makes it appear to what I dare to say, uncritical readers, that he has demolished the first cause argument of traditional philosophy in the Western world for the existence of God.

    To everyone, as you do not present in concise, precise, definite, and in clear language what to you is a cause, but you are eager to proceed right away to Russell’s text, let us go there, but again and forgive me again, here is my concept of what is a cause, namely:

    [b]“Any entity that gives rise to the existence of another entity.”[/b]

    So, let you choose and present the particular excerpt from the text of Russell, which according to your assessment is the demolition of the first cause argument for the existence of a cause called God, for the coming to existence of the universe.

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      Deflection.
      *****

    • Joe America says:

      Well, I can’t say that I agree with you, in that you define the parameters that constrain the thoughts of others. And your arguments come across as condescending. Still, I think it is a good tug of war, and Edgar is well-respected here.

    • josephivo says:

      Parents, the cause, creating children, the effect, and so we can go on for some generations, but then we’ll have to admit that nature made some mistakes, some DNA of a primate was damaged or wrongly repaired, so the parent was not a full blast homo anymore but an evolved primate. And so on, mistake onto mistake we arrive at the simple one cell organism and then some chemical accidents earlier RNA was created. Continuing to the prime mover, the fearful but logic expansion of this story seems to be that God must be the result of some random mistakes somewhere.

      Shouldn’t we stick to the simple logic that the supernatural is supernatural, more than natural and thus we can only “know” it by a revelation and not by natural logic?

      • edgar lores says:

        *******
        Ahaha! Marius was attempting the impossible. Still it was a valiant try.

        Belief in the supernatural rests a bit on reason but mostly on faith… ultimately on faith. That’s why it’s called belief.
        *****

  44. sonny says:

    May I suggest reading an omnibus about the topic (i.e. critical thinking) that has found itself reduced to the question of whether God exists or not. The latter, specifically further reduced to a focus on the term “cause.” Bringing in other terms such as “supernatural” “revelation” seems not to bring resolution but rather adds another tangent to the subject “God.”

    The omnibus I’m suggesting is a website dedicated to precisely this subject. The subtopics in the the link, in my opinion, will catalyze and reinforce many opinions brought out here in a friendly but clear manner, viz a manner with malice towards no one and charity towards all.

    http://www.existence-of-god.com/index.html

    • That’s a good site, sonny. Thanks. http://www.existence-of-god.com/existence-of-god.html (First Cause, Design & Moral arguments)

      Let’s proceed already, Marius.

      Marius’ stance is a set-up, he knows there’s nothing that can develop from a hunch, if left only as a hunch. Essentially, he’s sharing his hunch and “challenging” others to share their hunches, then a compare & contrast (this is suppose to be the “critical thinking/thinking critically part), where he gets to say, Well, at least my hunch is “something”, your hunch is “nothing”—- big WOW!!! and we’re all wiser for that.

      Then he’ll probably get into the design argument, ie. if there is “something” , then that “something” had to have created you and I. Great for killing time, it tickles the mind, probably interesting if we were all in high school, but eventually we’ll have to translate all these hunches into something useful to people,

      So from First Cause argument to Design (both still hunches), then we’ll have to proceed to Moral arguments, this is what all this talk eventually leads to, unless we’re all satisfied just talking about things beyond our 5 (maybe 6) senses, eventually we’ll have to apply it to living life——- why wait, Marius? This is a well worn path, the Greeks have also already answered that Moral argument,

      I’m sure that’s older than Epicurus, and since those words were uttered about the gods of Olympus, and maybe the Titans before (who were preceded by primordial gods themselves

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      We all have some familiarity with these arguments.

      The discussion could not get off the ground simply because of the insistence on a tailored definition of “cause”.

      You will note I was taking it step by step, but one cannot avoid the fact that others would foresee the perhaps inevitable conclusion that faith, and not reason, is the ultimate basis of belief.

      Most of these are rehashed arguments, with basically nothing new in them. And so one cannot prevent others from jumping the gun.

      What to me was important was the use of critical thinking at each point, to grind down on each assertion and show the missteps in thinking.
      *****

      • Sorry for jumping the gun here, edgar, I’ll re-join when the Bible is finally invoked. Hopefully, it’s not the Bible he’ll use, maybe something original like what JRR Tolkien or L Ron Hubbard created——- that would be interesting.

        For now (until religion is finally invoked, I still don’t know why the run around here), I’ll just eat popcorn and watch. 😉

  45. Marius de Jess says:

    Guys here:
    You have not presented your concept of cause, and now you have not presented your excerpt of Russell’s text for us all to examine together for his concept of cause, in connection with his argument against the first cause supposedly proving God does not exist as first cause of the existence of the universe.

    So, what exactly do you want to do with my proposal that we examine what is a cause, dodging as usual.

    Joe is happy with some of you folks here, but I see no critical thinking at all, but always dodging the issue, which at present is for us to work together to come to a mutually agreed on concept of cause: because it is the most fundamental concept in science as also in everything that we are into, in interacting with each other and also when we are dealing with the world.

    Here, I will try again to steer you into a path that will motivate you to do some genuine thinking on your own reasoning, instead of dodging the issue all the time.

    Tell me, when fire men put out a fire, what do they look for, the cause isn’t it?

    So they know what is a cause: it is any entity or thing (in the most broadest idea of a thing, that includes everything, persons, material things, etc.) already existing, which gives in any way to the coming to existence of another thing, like for example, the fire that burns down a house.

    Jose is right in saying that people do not do critical thinking but they go into thinking critically, because thinking, genuine thinking is not fun, but thinking critically is more fun and it gives people the feeling that they are intellectuals: even though they are factually into dodging the issue, straying into emotional reactions, instead of for example seeking the cause of a situation, like corruption wide-spread in our country.

    I just read a write-up from a local observer, and he says that people are always dodging the issue at hand, like for example: a foreigner complains that there is so much corruption in the city hall or in any government office whenever he has to undertake a transaction required by law with a government official in a government office.

    This foreigner asks, “Are you people doing anything at all to get rid of this pervasive corruption in the government?”

    You know what is the reaction of a lot of people here, they ask the foreigner: “Do you have evidence that there is pervasive corruption in the government?”

    See? Folks here are always into dodging the issue at hand, by launching into another direction that does not address the issue at hand, but leads to no usefulness for the issue at hand, in the present context, what we as a nation are doing to get rid of the pervasive corruption in the government?*

    Look into ourselves in this present issue to get us all to work together to come to a mutually concurred on concept of what is a cause, so far no one has come up with his own self-thought out concept of a cause, but they are into all kinds of mis-direction, like trying to find out what is my purpose in writing here — isn’t it obvious, to get us all to work with our own thinking grounded on truths, facts, and logic, what is a cause, so that we can understand, whether if at all Russell is into critical thinking in his argument against a first cause of the universe?

    Here is what I am now asking you guys posting in this blog of Joe America, and please no more dodging:

    When you hear fire men talking about why a house got burned down, what are they looking for, the cause, isn’t it? And they know what is a cause, namely, in the most broadest idea:

    A cause is any thing at all (understanding thing in the most broadest span of the word, thing) that already exists, which contributes to the coming to existence of another thing.

    Okay, now I like you all to tell me, what are fire men talking about when they explain why a house got burned down — please, oh please, do not go off into another direction which just goes to show that you do not have the discipline of focusing on the issue at hand, but always running away.

    *Google, corruption in the Philippines to realize that corruption is indeed pervasive in the government, and it has also permeated the whole local populace.

    When you write to react to this message, please before you send it, examine whether you are into thinking about what the fire men are doing, when they try to explain why a house got burned down.

  46. edgar lores says:

    *******
    Marius,

    I cannot read beyond your first paragraph. Here’s why:

    1. “You have not presented your concept of cause…”

    1.1. I have adopted Google’s definition of the term.

    1.2. I have objected to a tailored definition here: “To be more specific, my objection to a specialized definition is that it enables one to introduce non-standard premises (or remove standard premises). Upon those non-standard premises, one can then build an entire pyramid. But the pyramid may be house of cards.”

    2. “…you have not presented your excerpt of Russell’s text for us all to examine together for his concept of cause…”

    2.1. Within the context of Russell’s quoted essay. there is NO excerpt and I have given a plausible explanation for this here: https://joeam.com/2015/10/27/thinking-critically-vs-critical-thinking/#comment-150232

    2.2. Russell’s rebuttal of The First Cause Argument is here: ““If everything must have a cause, then God must have a cause. If there can be anything without a cause, it may just as well be the world as God, so that there cannot be any validity in that argument.”

    Sorry, this ends my participation in a discussion that is going nowhere.

    It is futile to engage with someone who keeps talking but is not listening.
    *****

  47. Marius de Jess says:

    Dear Edgar, I have presented my concept of a cause.

    Okay, here it is again, my concept of a cause:

    A cause is any thing at all existing at all that contributes to the to existence of another thing.

    You bring forth as you say, google’s definition of a cause; please just go to your memory or stock knowledge, think over it with critical thinking, and present the result of your critical research into your stock knowledge on what is a cause, and present it here in your next message.

    Please, produce your self-thought out concept of a cause, I will be most happy if you present it at the very top of your message in reaction to mine.

    Dear readers here, he will not present his own self-thought out concept of what is a cause, but he will go into another direction or mis-direction.

    Like that I am not allowed to dictate the direction of the exchange, etc., etc., etc., or that I am condescending, etc., etc., etc.

    Please, Edgar, do go to your memory or stock knowledge and come forth with you own self-thought out concept of what is a cause.

    And do that in less than 50 words.

    • Joe America says:

      You are allowed to try to set the terms of discussion, but if others elect not to abide by them, then you eventually end up speaking only to yourself. I am actually surprised at Edgar’s persistence at proceeding to a worthwhile discussion. I quit on your second epistle, for I object to being herded about like a cow on the open range. It is, after all, an open range. Maybe the Lance Corporal will take up the discussion.

  48. Marius de Jess says:

    Dear Edgar, as soon as you present your own self-thought out concept of a cause, and not from google or any published sources, I promise you that we will go together to examine this excerpt from you of Russell’s text:

    “[Russell’s rebuttal of The First Cause Argument is here:] “If everything must have a cause, then God must have a cause. If there can be anything without a cause, it may just as well be the world as God, so that there cannot be any validity in that argument.””

    By the way, the text you presented within quote marks, I presume it is a verbatim excerpt reproduction from Russell’s text, because we don’t want to or I at least don’t want to later on read from you telling me that it is not a verbatim reproduction.

    So, check or check again; and forgive me, but critical thinking must be manifested in critical writing, and that requires critically correct copying of quotations from published writers.

    Dear readers, I hope we can have a respectful, relevant, systematic, and thus fruitful exchange between Edgar and myself, on what is a cause, and how if at all Russell has done critical thinking in his exposition of no first cause of God existing.

    So, don’t leave me, Edgar, with the excuse whatever you want to bring up for an excuse; this is an occasion for us both to be into critical thinking, as Joe America wants us all to engage ourselves in, and abstain from useless thinking critically.

    Okay, produce at the top of your message to me, your own self-thought out concept of what is a cause.

    I will be back tomorrow morning.

    • “You bring forth as you say, google’s definition of a cause; please just go to your memory or stock knowledge, think over it with critical thinking, and present the result of your critical research into your stock knowledge on what is a cause, and present it here in your next message.”

      I’ll play, Marius.

      I don’t really know much about Philippine politics, so I just pretty much read when the articles are local politics. So I have time to spare for this.

      Here’s my very own personal, from stock knowledge, with critical thinking and research, definition of “cause”——– the source of something being examined, ie. the burning bush above is God (the source),

      your example of a burned down house———
      if there’s accelerant present, then the source could well be from an arsonist ; if there’s an accelerant but deemed accidental, then the source could well be that accelerant set afire accidentally (accident is the source, what insurance companies call an act of God); if no accelerant involved then maybe something else, accidental or lightning, weather or electrical, or batteries (again, an act of God);

      if there’s evidence of a body in the house, and that body was set aflame, then arson/murder (arsonist is the source); if a suicide note is found at scene or mailed to a relative (then suicide is the source, self-inflicted); if that body spontaneously combusted, then it was an act of God;

      if the man committed suicide because he heard voices inside is head which told him to, then it’s not a crime, it’s insanity, an act of God (figurative, can’t blame it on anything/anyone);

      if the arsonist is found and arrested by authorities, and explains that he burned the house or man inside the house because voices in his head told him to, then the source is either the voices (insanity), or if found sane, then it’s a crime, the person committing the act is at fault (again, the arsonist is the source);

      if we later found out that the voices in both suicide and murder was actually God himself, then it would again be an act of God, literally, just like the burning bush.

      But since everything listed above, the house, the bush, the arsonist, the body, lightning, weather, electrical, accidental, the voices, spontaneous combustion, insanity, sanity, suicide, homicide, murder and God, arguably comes from God… we can safely say all above is an act of God (the source), that’s if we peel the onion all the way to its core.

      Whether or not God is “something” or “nothing”, I’m not sure—- if you say, God is “something”, cool; if you say God is “nothing”, that’s cool too. I don’t know, the only way we’ll know is if we die, but there’s a pretty good chance we’ll not care then.

      How’s that for definition of cause, Marius? I’m sure you and I agree, no? The difference will be that you’ve attached this concept of God to a pre-existing story (the Bible), or maybe you’ve created your very own story like L Ron Hubbard or JRR Tolkien, I’d be interested in hearing that for sure. 😉

      Now that we got that out of the way, who or what is this God, in your opinion? Was God the burning bush or simply an image of God, like we are an image of God? Or did God simply “cause” the fire to burn, while not consuming the bush? hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…

  49. Marius de Jess says:

    LCpl_X (@LCpl_X) says:
    December 9, 2015 at 10:48 am

    “definition of “cause”——– the source of something being examined, ie. the burning bush above is God (the source).”

    That is very good, now you just present what to you is a cause in the text of Russell, here, I will reproduce the text for you as it comes from a poster here.

    edgar lores says:
    December 3, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    “The First Cause Argument:

    “Perhaps the simplest and easiest to understand is the argument of the First Cause. (It is maintained that everything we see in this world has a cause, and as you go back in the chain of causes further and further you must come to a First Cause, and to that First Cause you give the name of God.) That argument, I suppose, does not carry very much weight nowadays, because, in the first place, cause is not quite what it used to be. The philosophers and the men of science have got going on cause, and it has not anything like the vitality it used to have; but, apart from that, you can see that the argument that there must be a First Cause is one that cannot have any validity. I may say that when I was a young man and was debating these questions very seriously in my mind, I for a long time accepted the argument of the First Cause, until one day, at the age of eighteen, I read John Stuart Mill’s Autobiography, and I there found this sentence: “My father taught me that the question ‘Who made me?’ cannot be answered, since it immediately suggests the further question `Who made god?’” That very simple sentence showed me, as I still think, the fallacy in the argument of the First Cause. If everything must have a cause, then God must have a cause. If there can be anything without a cause, it may just as well be the world as God, so that there cannot be any validity in that argument. It is exactly of the same nature as the Hindu’s view, that the world rested upon an elephant and the elephant rested upon a tortoise; and when they said, “How about the tortoise?” the Indian said, “Suppose we change the subject.” The argument is really no better than that. There is no reason why the world could not have come into being without a cause; nor, on the other hand, is there any reason why it should not have always existed. There is no reason to suppose that the world had a beginning at all. The idea that things must have a beginning is really due to the poverty of our imagination. Therefore, perhaps, I need not waste any more time upon the argument about the First Cause.”

    Anyway, I will take your concept of cause as to be representing also for Russell his concept of cause, in the above cited text.

    So, look up the excerpt with Russell’s argument and reproduce it here, so that we will work together to see how Russell argues to the non-existence of a first cause, understanding cause per your concept:

    “definition of “cause”——– the source of something being examined, ie. the burning bush above is God (the source).”

    Your definition in few words means that cause is a source for the coming to existence of some thing.

    I concur with that, even though my concept is the following:

    “Cause is any thing at all existing at all that contributes to the coming to existence of another thing.”

    The key word here is thing, which I understand in the most broadest span of thing, namely, any entity at all that is in mind’s mind like a concept, or in particular outside of man’s mind and independent of man’s mind, and in regard to mankind can be a matter for man’s discourse.

    So, we are connected; now please present your excerpt from Russell’s text where he argues to the non-existence of a cause, assuming that he is talking about the existence of the universe from the standpoint of its cause, erh, its being without cause, and the universe is the one talked about by scientists.

    I await with bated breath your reply; but I have the pleasure of reproducing here a comment I put in another blog in this WordPress facility, which I hope will be a useful contribution of some protocol to critical exchange of thoughts, for everyone who is keen on mastering and practicing critical thinking.

    See Annex following below:

    ANNEX
    https://criticalatheism.wordpress.com/about/

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    “That is very good.

    Now, let us we two and others who are keen on what is critical thinking and how to do it, work together to draw up a list of fundamentals of critical thinking.

    Please tell me, should or shouldn’t the first fundamental ingredient of critical thinking is that thinkers are cognizant with complete human certainty that the default status of things in the world is existence.

    Do you understand what I am saying, namely: “the default status of things in the world is existence”?

    You see, I have been with atheists for so many years already perhaps 30 plus, and I always notice that the atheists I have dealt with have no fundamental grounds to adopt the identity of an atheist, i.e. a person who denies God exists.

    When I am trying to reason out with atheists on critical thinking, they some of them will resort to stating with a great deal of passion that We cannot be even certain that we exist, or that there is existence at all; at that point I say to myself, Time to go away from this atheist.

    That is why when I join any forums or blogs operated by atheists, eventually they will complain that I am dictating how the exchange with them should proceed, and then also that I am condescending toward them; that is the sign that sooner than later atheists running the forum or blog will at least just prevent me from posting, even though they don’t ban me altogether.

    So, dear fellow posters here, what do you say about this statement from me, is it or is it not the ultimate ground on which humans can even just get started to do critical thinking on any issue at all, is that the default status of things in the world is existence itself?

    Notice the paragraph just above, and I like to invite you to react to it, because then we will be connected in our exchange; but atheists usually will not connect with me, they routinely go astray into any and every thing except the issue at hand.

    So, prove me wrong, tell me Is or is not this idea, namely: the default status of things in the world is existence itself?” (Addendum: the first and foremost fundamental of critical thinking.)

    • Joe America says:

      The only thing that will get you banned is if you start levying insults at the moderator of the blog who is gracious enough to allow you the space for your lengthy epistles, even as you restrict others to 50 words. There is a certain irony to that 50-word limit, don’t you think?

      I am not an atheist, and I am the only guy running the forum. Thus, you have proved the flawed nature of your critical thinking.

  50. Marius de Jess says:

    Thanks Joe, for your reaction:

    You say:
    “The only thing that will get you banned is if you start levying insults at the moderator of the blog who is gracious enough to allow you the space for your lengthy epistles, even as you restrict others to 50 words. There is a certain irony to that 50-word limit, don’t you think?’

    My point is that when a poster presents his own self-thought out concept of cause, to keep to 50 words or less.

    He can write as much as he wants, I don’t require that the whole post from him be completed in 50 words or less.

    I will be back tomorrow morning; and Joe, thanks for your indulgence, and I am glad that you are not an atheist, because and forgive me, from 30 years plus of exchange with atheists, they are always into dodging the issue at hand.

    Even an intelligent and logician at that like Bertrand Russell takes to that tack; do you notice that he goes into the turtle all the way down flippancy.

    And he sums up his exposition thus:

    “The idea that things must have a beginning is really due to the poverty of our imagination. Therefore, perhaps, I need not waste any more time upon the argument about the First Cause.”

    Well, can you and I see he is in fact pleading for everyone to not anymore try to take him seriously, here are his very last words:

    “Therefore, perhaps, I need not waste any more time upon the argument about the First Cause.”

    That is exactly saying the following line addressed to his audience:

    “Please, ladies, and gentlemen, may I just dispense myself from any serious exposition altogether against the First Cause, that I started to launch into but never got to anything like an argument.”

    Anyway, I am very keen to work with posters here to examine what is the point of Bertrand Russell with his text on no God because there is no first cause.

    All in the service of working out a systematic exposition of what is critical thinking as opposed to thinking critically.

    To end up this post: at the risk dishonoring a deceased person like Bertrand Russell, I dare to sum up his text as a coterie of gratuitous allegations, but no shred of any genuine reasoning to the toppling of the First Cause Argument.

  51. Marius: “How do I prove God exists? From the principle of causality with things that have a beginning, namely: anything with a beginning has need of a cause to come to existence.”

    So God is a thing, according to Marius, who really has existence— like you and I “exist”. Not a concept, not an idea, but a thing. Cool.

    “…meaning that God is not any concept only dwelling in our mind, but He truly, actually, really has existence, like in term of existence, you and I exist even though should no other conscious beings have any idea of our existence in their minds.”

    Which brings us to edgar‘s definition of cause: “a person or thing that gives rise to an action, phenomenon, or condition.”

    And your definition of cause: “Cause is any thing at all existing at all that contributes to the coming to existence of another thing.” (pretty much the same as edgar‘s)

    My definition of cause isn’t a thing: “the source of something being examined.” (My ‘own self-thought out and self-written concept of what is a cause’, with examples to boot). This source can be knowable, or can be unknowable, ie. “something” or “nothing”— both I’m cool with.

    Marius: “… now please present your excerpt from Russell’s text where he argues to the non-existence of a cause”

    Russell doesn’t argue the non-existence of a cause, Marius. He’s simply saying that God is unknowable.

    Here it is: “If everything must have a cause, then God must have a cause.”

    The fallacy is ad infinitum, it’ll never end. Once you define or describe God, then the next logical step is to define and describe, that which caused God—- and so on and so forth. Its logical end is infinity—- hence, the invalidity of that argument, but not necessarily proof of the non-existence of God.

    When you face two mirrors from each other, you can see through infinity, but as soon as you turn one mirror away—- no more infinity.

    The question now is, are you going to follow infinity to its logical end, and redefine God beyond limits of human intellect, or

    will you put one mirror down, thus ending your look through infinity and go with a very human definition of God, dictated by some ancient text, most likely from the Middle East, or your very own.

    Is your Alpha and Omega finite, or is it infinite?

    Marius: “So, prove me wrong, tell me Is or is not this idea, namely: the default status of things in the world is existence itself?”

    Again, Alpha and Omega, Marius. If there is existence, then there is also non-existence, no? Does your view of non-existence end in Heaven, end at Omega, or

    are you as willing to go further the opposite way? ——————————-> 😦

    I can’t wait for you to start talking about Jesus already, Marius. 😉 I don’t know why you’re being coy about Jesus. Isn’t this the point of your one-man crusade here?

    • Joe America says:

      L Corp, I related it elsewhere, but my young son, who is in the early years of elementary school, on doing his Genesis memorization work citing what God made on different days of creation, asked, “Who made God? Did God make God?” I thought it demonstrated excellent skills at critical thinking. I did not try to provide an answer, as he also believes in Santa Claus, but at least he is asking the right questions. So he’s good to go no matter what he figures out.

      • “So he’s good to go no matter what he figures out.”

        Some of the best minds I’ve met are both atheists and non-atheists.

        I think it all boils down to how expansive your view of God is—— the moment you limit this concept to say a personal God, to a judgmental God, a constrained God or an evil God, then you’ve just compressed something meant to be explored infinitely.

        Most atheists I know are only atheists when it comes to this finite, compressed view of God. When they meet Sufis, Kabalists, mystics, shamans, etc. who tend to be more expansive, atheists (like me) are keen to listen.

        There’s room to expand. I hope your son never forgets that he was already a great thinker as a little kid—- hell, when I was 7 yrs old, I was still pee’ing my pants, questions like that would never have reached my mind. I hope he’ll always be expanding, Joe.


        http://terpconnect.umd.edu/~djb/shelley/necessity1880.html

  52. Marius de Jess says:

    Dear LCpl, you say from Russell:

    “If everything must have a cause, then God must have a cause.”

    Look over carefully the text from Russell, see below; I put it in bold the line you quote as coming from Russell, in the text below.

    “edgar lores says [reciting the text from Russell]:
    December 3, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    “The First Cause Argument:

    “Perhaps the simplest and easiest to understand is the argument of the First Cause. (It is maintained that everything we see in this world has a cause, and as you go back in the chain of causes further and further you must come to a First Cause, and to that First Cause you give the name of God.) That argument, I suppose, does not carry very much weight nowadays, because, in the first place, cause is not quite what it used to be. The philosophers and the men of science have got going on cause, and it has not anything like the vitality it used to have; but, apart from that, you can see that the argument that there must be a First Cause is one that cannot have any validity. I may say that when I was a young man and was debating these questions very seriously in my mind, I for a long time accepted the argument of the First Cause, until one day, at the age of eighteen, I read John Stuart Mill’s Autobiography, and I there found this sentence: “My father taught me that the question ‘Who made me?’ cannot be answered, since it immediately suggests the further question `Who made god?’” That very simple sentence showed me, as I still think, the fallacy in the argument of the First Cause. [b]If everything must have a cause, then God must have a cause.[/b] If there can be anything without a cause, it may just as well be the world as God, so that there cannot be any validity in that argument. It is exactly of the same nature as the Hindu’s view, that the world rested upon an elephant and the elephant rested upon a tortoise; and when they said, “How about the tortoise?” the Indian said, “Suppose we change the subject.” The argument is really no better than that. There is no reason why the world could not have come into being without a cause; nor, on the other hand, is there any reason why it should not have always existed. There is no reason to suppose that the world had a beginning at all. The idea that things must have a beginning is really due to the poverty of our imagination. Therefore, perhaps, I need not waste any more time upon the argument about the First Cause.”

    Do you notice that that line is not from Russell, but from John Stuart Mill talking about how his father (John’s) influences him (John).

    Now, I expect you to do critical reading; but that is typical of most people, they quote left and right, high and low, with ne’er a care to examine the context at all, like as much as 50 words preceding the line they are quoting, and a 50 words after the line they are quoting.

    John Stuart Mill is talking on the ‘authority’ of his father, and Russell is talking from the ‘authority’ of John and John’s father.

    Both John and Russell are into what is called the fallacy of quoting ‘authority’, they have done nothing of any examination on what is a cause and what is God, and what is the genuine exposition of the First Cause Argument.

    In brief, they have not been doing any independent thinking on their own reasoning, employing rigorously critical thinking.

    Atheists do nothing of any argument that is serious, honest, and above all grounded on critical thinking.

    What is critical thinking?

    Here, from my stock knowledge:

    Critical thinking is reasoning grounded upon truths, facts, and logic.

    If a writer does not write from truths, facts, and logic, he is into intellectual dishonesty and nonsense for contravening truths, facts, and logic.

    So, where did John’s father get that line, [b]If everything must have a cause, then God must have a cause[/b]?

    That is what I like to read from you at least at the very end of your message when you reply to my message here.

    And please, oh please, do critical reading!

    And I see you also to be into nothing but talking on rote memory from your ‘authorities.’

    • “Who made God? Did God make God?”

      Marius,

      When Joe’s elementary age child (first to third grade?, lower elementary) asked that question above, was he also “quoting” from authority?

      Questions don’t need authority, Marius.

      It’s common sense at work. Same as, why’s the sky blue?, where do babies come from?, why aren’t there anymore dinosaurs?, why are there so many languages in world?, why do people get sick?, etc. etc.

      These represent simple questions.

      Now the answers will differentiate chaff from wheat, that you’ve still conveniently avoided. 😉 How’s that for critical thinking?

      • No one’s quoting ‘authority’ here, Marius.

        Just like edgar wasn’t appealing to Google’s “authority” when he adopted the definition of ’cause’ (available in your own dictionary).

        Russell’s not appealing to Mill (nor Mill his dad).

        “If everything must have a cause, then God must have a cause”

        With or without Russell, Mill, or Mill’s dad, that there is still a valid argument —- granted it’s that thing that’s problematic, but since you want to hold fast to that, be my guess.

        But, there is no quoting ‘authority’ because the argument stands on its own regardless of “authority”. Keep that in mind.

        ————————————-

        As for God = something , if you hold fast to that notion, your position will always be subject to “If everything must have a cause, then God must have a cause” ,

        there’s no escaping it, Marius. Read josephivo‘s comment below for possibilities of escape. 😉

    • josephivo says:

      Instead of repeating, we could try to structure the discussion and assure that we are searching for logic answers to the same question and not discuss certain terms in different contexts.

      There are two schools of thought, for one the first step is asking “What is meant by ‘God’?” before proclaiming the original question “Does God exist?”, the second asks the questions in the reverse order.

      A- “What is meant by ‘God(s)’?”
      Some examples:
      I. The “Greatest Soul”, the super-natural dimension of all things.
      II. God as a force contained in every imaginable phenomenon as in the core extra dimension.
      III. The classical metaphysically ultimate being (the first, timeless, absolutely simple, and sovereign being).
      IV. The modern “Western” concept of God, a monotheistic, supreme, ultimate, and personal being as in all Abrahamic religions.
      V. A dual Being (a good God and an evil God).
      Or VI: The concept God cannot be defined, defining would contradict the transcendent nature of God.

      B- “Does (this) God exist?”
      I. Is the statement “God exists” a real truth claim? a) yes or b) no.
      II. If (a), a (logical) argument or (empirical) evidence is needed to substantiate that the statement is true? c) yes or d) no.
      III. If (c), this argument or that evidence has to be of scientific nature (a scientific method followed) or it is insufficient to proof of God by using own standards? e) yes or f) no.

      This leads to four categories of thinking about the existence of God
      b) God is not a reality, it is more a metaphor
      d) God exists but this existence has not to be proven, personal belief suffices. Proving the existence is a waste of time.
      e) God exists and scientific proof can underpin this statement. E.g. the types of arguments as classified by Kant: cosmological (e.g. the prime mover), ontological, teleological, moral, by observation.
      f) God exist and only non-scientific reasoning can proof it. Typical “religious” arguments are used such as revelation, sacred writings, religious experience, prayer, speaking in tongues, etc.

      I assume your definition of God is IV and your need to proof His existence is e), does this mean that all people with different choices/beliefs are atheists?

      • That’s NOT critical thinking, josephivo!!! You’re just quoting authorities again! Use your very own stock knowledge. 😉

        • josephivo says:

          I know, love to quote authority. But it also would be nice to know what I have to think critically about and why, the practicality of it all.

          • I will present to you, dear readers, my proof for the opposite conditional clause, “If not everything must have a cause.” Well, Marius has promised us this tomorrow, so it should at least push this discussion forward. We’ll finally get a taste of critical thinking— according to Marius.

  53. edgar lores says:

    *******
    Ahahahahaha!
    *****

  54. “they have done nothing of any examination on what is a cause and what is God,”

    @ Marius, neither have you.

    ad infinitum is this,

    Marius: I can prove the existence of God because “anything with a beginning has need of a cause to come to existence.”

    LCpl_X: If anything has a beginning, and God is a thing, then God too has a beginning— who caused him to begin?

    Marius: God 0 caused God 1 to begin.

    LCpl_X: Who caused God 0 to begin?

    Marius: God -1 caused God 0 to begin.

    LCpl_X: Who caused God -1?

    Marius: God -2 caused God -1.

    LCpl_X: Who caused God -2?

    .
    .
    .
    .

    LCpl_X: What caused God -3,890,899,893,235,232,123,565 ?

    (to infinity…)

    if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee. 😉

    It’s like watching Episode 7 without watching 4-6 first, then 1-3—- it’s just not fun, Marius. ad infinitum becomes ad nauseam.

    Common sense has to precede critical thinking.

    As much as I want to dive into the abyss with you, if you’re hesitant (meaning, you have nothing else original to add to “prove” your very own concept of God as thing), might I interest you in a talk about Resurrection according to Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John?

    Here’s the summary, but scroll up for the actual thread, Marius (I hope you like the KJV 😉 ) ——–

    https://joeam.com/2015/09/15/salvation-by-austerity/#comment-137373

  55. Marius de Jess says:

    Okay, LCpl, then according to you John’s father is not into authority quoting, and John is not into authority quoting, and Russell is not into authority quoting.

    Now, read the text again and you and I will see that they are into name dropping: Russell into name-dropping on John, and John on his father.

    And you are name-dropping on Russell and John and John’s father; besides you like them are not into independent thinking, grounded on truths, facts, and logic, but you are into repeating other people’s opinions without examining on critical thinking: whether their opinions are worth anything of genuine solid substance founded on truths, facts, and logic.

    Tell you what, imitate the younger Russell when he had not gone into name-dropping, instead of doing his own independent, fresh, pure thinking:

    Here, take notice of these words from Russell –- please always do critical reading, which is pay attention to all words carefully:

    “I may say that when I was a young man and was debating these questions very seriously in my mind, I for a long time accepted the argument of the First Cause, until one day, at the age of eighteen, I read John Stuart Mill’s Autobiography, and I there found this sentence: “My father taught me…”

    Now, let you and I apply critical thinking in regard to that sentence:

    “If everything must have a cause, then God must have a cause.”

    First, on critical thinking, the first part is a conditional sentence, it is equivalent to saying:

    “Let us assume that that everything must have a cause.”

    Or:

    “Supposing that everything must have a cause.”

    Now, critical thinkers and not name-droppers will examine the assumption or supposition, whether it is founded on truths, facts, and logic.

    Okay, you restore your original reasoning faculty, and do some uncontaminated, untarnished, pure, and honest thinking, grounding yourself on truths, facts, and logic, to examine this conditional clause:

    “If everything must have a cause.”

    And tell me whether it is the truth, it is the fact, and it is logical that everything must have a cause, and don’t forget what journalists have trained themselves to think on and write on, namely, as to answer the five W’s and one H: who, what, when, where, why, and how.

    Dear readers, when you read his reply to me, I am sure as LCpl the man [or woman] has no habit much less skill in critical thinking, but very good at name-dropping: he will not do the serious labor to undertake critical thinking. in order to conclude honestly to whether the condition, namely, “If everything must have a cause.” is truthful and/or factual and/or logical.

    • “And you are name-dropping on Russell and John and John’s father; besides you like them are not into independent thinking, grounded on truths, facts, and logic, but you are into repeating other people’s opinions without examining on critical thinking: “

      I am into name dropping? Scroll up— and explain how.

      I wasn’t even the one who introduced Russell in the discussion, I was answering your question re Russell’s quote, “If everything must have a cause, then God must have a cause”.

      Who’s name have I named-dropped? Is this all you really have, Marius? Name-dropping? How is that even related to critical thinking— name dropping I mean? LOL! 😉

      We are getting nowhere fast. Please dig deeper.

      Ask me an original question about the subject at hand. Otherwise, let’s please move on to Jesus already!!!!!!!! 😉

    • “And tell me whether it is the truth, it is the fact, and it is logical that everything must have a cause, “

      You’ve already stated this.

      Marius: “How do I prove God exists? From the principle of causality with things that have a beginning, namely: anything with a beginning has need of a cause to come to existence.”

      Is God a thing? You say he is.

      If God is a thing, and everything has a cause, then God must have a cause. How is this not valid, Marius?

      • Micha says:

        Marius is just channeling the Kalam Cosmological Argument peddled most notably by Christian apologist William Lane Craig.

        • edgar lores says:

          *******
          Micha, thanks.

          One learns something everyday.

          From Wikipedia about Craig:

          1. “Craig says that postulating a multiverse of worlds in varying thermodynamic states encounter the problem of Boltzmann brains—that it becomes highly probable for any observer that the universe is only an illusion of his own brain, a solipsistic conclusion Craig says no rational person would embrace.”

          2. “Based on these arguments, Craig concludes that the premise that the universe began to exist is more plausible than not, and conjoined with premise 1, the beginning of the universe implies the existence of a cause.”

          Immediately, I thought of the notion of Eternal Recurrence, most notably pushed by Nietzsche, as a counterpoint. So I googled if there was any connection between Craig and the old notion. There is.

          His objection to Eternal Recurrence is simply that it is “absurd” — which is not a philosophical argument… or one of modern physics, of which Craig seems to be enamored. As noted by one of the Google links, Craig “faces the Abyss and blinks.”
          *****

          • What’s this, more name-dropping? You two are just quoting authorities again! Use your very own stock knowledge, and do some serious labor to undertake critical thinking. 😉

            (Micha, thanks. I’d not heard of this Kalam argument either.)

            edgar,

            Craig “faces the Abyss and blinks.” It’s exactly what’s going on with our friend Marius here. Why the hesitance? He brought it up after all, we’re simply just obliging him.

            If it’s simply a tease, I’m getting blue balls now.

            When are we gonna talk about Jesus? Is this part of the Kalam argument to keep the subject of Jesus hidden the whole time?

  56. Marius de Jess says:

    Dear readers, I notice that LCpl has not returned to our exchange on the sentence, below in bold.

    [Start of quote from Marius]
    Now, let you and I apply critical thinking in regard to that sentence:

    [b]“If everything must have a cause, then God must have a cause.”[/b]

    First, on critical thinking, the first part is a conditional sentence, it is equivalent to saying:

    “Let us assume that everything must have a cause.”

    Or:

    “Supposing that everything must have a cause.”

    Now, critical thinkers and not name-droppers will examine the assumption or supposition, whether it is founded on truths, facts, and logic.

    Okay, you [LCpl] restore your original reasoning faculty, and do some uncontaminated, untarnished, pure, and honest thinking, grounding yourself on truths, facts, and logic, to examine this conditional clause:

    “If everything must have a cause.”

    And tell me whether it is the truth, it is the fact, and it is logical that everything must have a cause, and don’t forget what journalists have trained themselves to think on and write on, namely, as to answer the five W’s and one H: who, what, when, where, why, and how.

    Dear readers, when you read his reply to me, I am sure as LCpl the man [or woman] has no habit much less skill in critical thinking, but very good at name-dropping: he will not do the serious labor to undertake critical thinking. in order to conclude honestly to whether the condition, namely, “If everything must have a cause,” is truthful and/or factual and/or logical.”
    [End of quote]

    Dear readers here, let us all apply our mind to the sentence,

    “If everything must have a cause, then God must have a cause.”

    I told you that the first part of the sentence is a conditional clause, “If everything must have a cause.”

    And with a conditional clause we must find out whether the party posting the conditional clause can prove the thought in the condition to be a truth, a fact, and is grounded on logic.

    So, LCpl, prove that “Everything must have a cause” to be a truth, a fact, and is logical.

    In the meantime while LCpl is doing serious independent thinking to prove that condition, allow me to propose to you how to deal with that kind of a fallacious argument, starting with a conditional clause.

    You also start with another and opposite conditional clause, like this below, and that is exactly what critical thinkers do all the time, to topple fallacious pseudo thinkers.

    You and I we pose the opposite conditional clause, namely:

    “If not everything must have a cause.”

    And we will work to prove the truth, the fact, and the logic of our condition opposite to the condition posed by LCpl borrowed from Russell, who took it from John Stuart Mill, and this latter took it from his father.

    So, tomorrow we will read the proof from LCpl the conditional clause, “If everything must have a cause.”

    And I will present to you, dear readers, my proof for the opposite conditional clause, “If not everything must have a cause.”

    Stay connected, everyone; and abstain from quoting authorities in the guise of name-dropping, do you own independent thinking founded on truths, facts, and logic,

    And always factor in the what journalists have trained themselves to always observe rigorously, the five W’s and one H, into your thinking:

    Who, what, when, where, why, and how.

    • Bert says:

      May I. I think the arguments is going in circle. But first let me warn all dear readers that I’m butting in knowing that my English is so bad I’m not sure everybody can understand what I’m going to say:

      1. I think that the issues of God and causuality as related to the topic of critical thinking in this blog was first started by Marius de Jess (December 3, 11:58 am).

      2, In response to the posts by Marius, chempo asked Marius the question, “If indeed a Creator created the universe from nothing in the beginning, it begets the quest who create the creator?” (chempo says: December 3, 3:08 pm).

      3. These are the original issues here and not what Bertrand Russel said or name dropping.

      Let us now stick to the issues. Now Marius, may we know what is your answer to chempo’s question since you seems to be giving me the impression of being a very articulate and knowledgeable person re the topic of God and causuality? Can you?

    • “So, LCpl, prove that “Everything must have a cause” to be a truth, a fact, and is logical.”

      Dear Marius, that’s your point not mine. You have to “prove” that, NOT me. Remember this?

      Marius: “How do I prove God exists?

      From the principle of causality with things that have a beginning, namely: anything with a beginning has need of a cause to come to existence.”

      I can’t “prove” your point for you, man.

      Once you “prove” it, then God must have a cause— and this is where you say, well, God cannot have a cause… because ———————————- (insert your reason here & make it well worth our while we’re all dizzy from this merry-go-round you’ve constructed).

      Then maybe, we can talk about Jesus, finally! :-p

      The burden of proof is on you, Marius. You’re the one who promised all of us that you can “prove” God exists, I made no such claims. 😉 Show us critical thinking, we’ve been waiting for so long now.

    • “posed by LCpl borrowed from Russell,”

      Again, I wasn’t the one who brought up Russell, Marius— you were the one who wanted me to comment on him, which I did. We’re all waiting for your “proof”. Spit it out already, man!

  57. Marius de Jess says:

    Okay, everyone, who is advancing the argument, namely?

    “If everything must have a cause, then God must have a cause.”

    I am not the one, but I am advancing the opposite argument, namely:

    “If NOT everything must have a cause, then God must NOT have a cause.”

    Thanks, Bert, for you synopsis of the purpose of my posting in this blog from Joe America.

    [Start of quote from Bert]
    December 13, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    […]

    1. I think that the issues of God and causality as related to the topic of critical thinking in this blog was first started by Marius de Jess (December 3, 11:58 am).

    2, In response to the posts by Marius, chempo asked Marius the question, “If indeed a Creator created the universe from nothing in the beginning, it begets the quest who create the creator?” (chempo says: December 3, 3:08 pm).

    3. These are the original issues here and not what Bertrand Russel said or name dropping.

    Let us now stick to the issues. Now Marius, may we know what is your answer to chempo’s question since you seems to be giving me the impression of being a very articulate and knowledgeable person re the topic of God and causality? Can you?

    […]

    [End of quote]

    Bert and everyone, read my next post.

    • Bert says:

      “Marius: “How do I prove God exists?

      From the principle of causality with things that have a beginning, namely: anything with a beginning has need of a cause to come to existence.””

      ***********************

      How’s that for evidence, eh, Marius? Are you denying that statement? Or, are you flip-flopping? If you’re saying now that you are advancing the opposite of those statements above attributed to you, is it fair now to say that there is nothing to argue after all about the matter since you and Edgar and LCpl_X, and chempo were all saying the same thing and arguing about it since December 3? Please clarify.

    • josephivo says:

      Some name calling:

      “The causality principle isn’t true or false, it is an act of faith.” Max Planck

  58. Marius de Jess says:

    “If indeed a Creator created the universe from nothing in the beginning, it begets the quest who creates the creator?” (chempo says: December 3, 3:08 pm)”

    Dear Bert and everyone, let us first work to concur on the concepts of words employed in the sentence above; I believe that procedure is a most crucially important step in critical thinking, toward any exchange for the resolution of a question.

    Here is the question of chempo again, please keep connected to it.

    “If indeed a Creator created the universe from nothing in the beginning, it begets the quest who creates the creator?”

    Now, paging chempo, please come forward and participate in the work to concur on the concepts of words used in your question above.

    For my concern, I will focus on two words, namely, nothing and beginning.

    Nothing means literally nothing, not any nothing which is in fact something but posturing as nothing.

    On the literal meaning of nothing, then there is never anywhere nothing, but there is always something in existence.

    Now, what do you say, everyone, do you agree with me that there has never been ever anywhere in the universe or beyond the universe nothing; on the contrary there has always and everywhere been something existing, even in the status in which status there had not occurred yet the Big Bang — that means when time and space had not begun to exist with the rest of the universe, something exists in the status of no time and no space and no universe.

    Next, the word beginning, to my stock understanding which is the common understanding, beginning is a point in time and in space at which point in time and in space to the left there was no time and no space existing, time and space only start to exist to the right from that point called beginning — notice that I am taking time and space to be like a line, and the point is the beginning of time and space, and time and space moves forward, conventionally like as we read and write English, namely, from the starting point of a text to the direction toward the right, taking the right hand as the reference for which is the right direction.

    I invite everyone who do not agree with me on the concepts of the two words, nothing and beginning, to produce their concepts of nothing and beginning.

    And we will work out how to come to a mutually concurred on concept of nothing and of beginning, by mutual honest and sincerely intelligent exchange of ideas, that means nothing at all of any kinds of playing dumb, or taking up with flippancy, or going intentionally into alien matters.

    As soon as we have worked out successfully to agree on the concepts of nothing and beginning, and also what other words anyone of you guys here want to bring up, then I and with you will answer the question:

    “If indeed a Creator created the universe from nothing in the beginning, it begets the quest who creates the creator?” (chempo says: December 3, 3:08 pm)”

    Specifically, “Who creates the creator?”

    • “I invite everyone who do not agree with me on the concepts of the two words, nothing and beginning, to produce their concepts of nothing and beginning.”

      Let’s skip with all that bs for now, and
      just focus on this, Marius: “If NOT everything must have a cause, then God must NOT have a cause.”

      For now, just focus on that, and expound on how that “proves” the existence of God.

    • Joe America says:

      “Who creates the creator?” The creator of the creator, as sonny so wisely states, is “mystery”. Anything beyond that is faith, created by individual men to suit their needs. Your lectures are obtuse, pedantic, and amusing. I’m reminded of the bumper cars at the carnival, careening about bumping into each other, creating nothing, going no where at all, and eventually, the riders get off and go somewhere else to play.

      • Joe, I think he’s close to talking about Jesus— soon!!! 🙂

        But first this, “If NOT everything must have a cause, then God must NOT have a cause.” If only Marius can explain that, then all this would be worth it. 😉

        • edgar lores says:

          *******
          At this pace, Marius may not even deliver before the Second Coming. He may be waiting for the next cycle of the Eternal Recurrence.

          ***

          Primer, Marius and Mariano walk into a bar.

          Bartender: (Busy polishing glass and not looking at the trio.) “What are you having?”

          Primer: “Bartender! Please pay attention and address us as ‘Sirs’. It pains me that the rigor and quality of commercial protocol is not conscientiously and consistently observed.”

          Marius: “I concur. My dear Barkeep, you are not practicing critical thinking. Like Bertrand Russell who has no concept of “cause”, you are simply thinking critically… and appear to be unmindful of existence. I invite you to consider that the default status of things in the world is existence itself.”

          Mariano: (Slaps his forehead.) “WETAMINIT! I should have known from your Englistzches – you are UP graduates!” He walks out.

          *****

      • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

        Classic. The man writes with such ardor and imagery. And always right on the button.

  59. chempo says:

    I think the topic touches on how one views time. Western scientific minds view time as linear. So there is a beginning and there is an end …unless time is eternity. If you view time as linear, then you need to explain the beginning. Causality is good logic, but linear time requires the First Cause Argument. Going backwards through linear time we stop at the Big Bang, the creation of the universe as the beginning. So our Creator, or God, is the energy that created the First Cause. and as put forth by Josephino, we stop there and go no further backwards, as Faith.

    Edgar brought up the Eternal Recurrence notion, the Ouroboros.

    This is basically the eastern mind’s thinking. Eastern Science (if there is such a thing, and with reference to India and China) views time as cyclical. With cyclical time there is no beginning, there is no end. The centre is the core which holds everything together in harmony. It is whatever you want to call it — cosmic energy, Tao, God, Brahma… Everything is a cycle of birth, growth, decay and death. Everything is subject to the Law of Reversion. Which means that events are not purely repetitive. Each new cycle embodies refinements, modifications. Each new cycle is a new beginning.

    In Taoism one cannot ..
    “You cannot lay hold
    Of the end or the beginning”

    So now Marius says there is a cause for the Creator which he can explain by critical logic. Does Marius really have something interesting? Does he need a ’cause’ to reveal his beans?So if Marius can abolish the First Cause Argument, it could well mean time may not be linear after all.

    • “Going backwards through linear time we stop at the Big Bang… we stop there and go no further backwards, as Faith.”

      chempo,

      I love that picture, man, but did you know that snakes “eat” themselves up to actually stay warm? Yeah, they basically use their mouths and a portion of their digestive track to keep warm, like a sleeping bag—– if I could do that myself, I’d never have to leave home 😉

      But I digress… back to Faith and going further backwards, I just wanted to point out that not all faiths are created equal, some are just more interesting than others. Like at the end of black-holes are white-holes, which are big bangs, then so on and so forth,

      • chempo says:

        I do not know about snakes actually doing that. Be careful which way you bend. Self-gratification can be quite disgusting.

        • Black hole >< White hole (let me try this photo again… )

          “Self-gratification can be quite disgusting.”

          Noted, chemp. Those are words of wisdom, indeed. Physically, but virtually, I think Marius here is onto something re Self-gratification (or is it NOT something)? 😉

  60. Marius de Jess says:

    Do you all notice that you have not taken up with critical thinking to work on the words from chempo, namely:

    “If indeed a Creator created the universe from nothing in the beginning, it begets the quest who creates the creator?” (chempo says: December 3, 3:08 pm)”

    So you people are against critical thinking, and I will have to continue to motivate you to do critical thinking, for Joe talks about Filipinos always into thinking critically but never doing critical thinking.

    Now, I seem to see that chempo is into some weak attempt to do critical thinking on the meanings of words he uses in his question to me, namely:

    “If indeed a Creator created the universe from nothing in the beginning, it begets the quest who creates the creator?” (chempo says: December 3, 3:08 pm)”

    So, chempo, no need to go far and wide, just you and I do critical thinking here, to come to concurrence on what is your concept of nothing and of beginning.

    Allow me to reproduce my concepts of time and of beginning, see my text below enclosed within [b] and [/b]:

    [Start of quote from Marius]
    “If indeed a Creator created the universe from nothing in the beginning, it begets the quest who creates the creator?” (chempo says: December 3, 3:08 pm)”

    […]

    Now, paging chempo, please come forward and participate in the work to concur on the concepts of words used in your question above.

    For my concern, I will focus on two words, namely, nothing and beginning.

    [b]Nothing means literally nothing, not any nothing which is in fact something but posturing as nothing.

    On the literal meaning of nothing, then there is never anywhere nothing, but there is always something in existence.

    Now, what do you say, everyone, do you agree with me that there has never been ever anywhere in the universe or beyond the universe nothing; on the contrary there has always and everywhere been something existing, even in the status in which status there had not occurred yet the Big Bang — that means when time and space had not begun to exist with the rest of the universe, something exists in the status of no time and no space and no universe.

    Next, the word beginning, to my stock understanding which is the common understanding, beginning is a point in time and in space at which point in time and in space to the left there was no time and no space existing, time and space only start to exist to the right from that point called beginning — notice that I am taking time and space to be like a line, and the point is the beginning of time and space, and time and space move forward, conventionally like as we read and write English, namely, from the starting point of a text to the direction toward the right, taking the right hand as the reference for which is the right direction.[/b]

    I invite everyone who do not agree with me on the concepts of the two words, nothing and beginning, to produce their concepts of nothing and beginning.

    And we will work out how to come to a mutually concurred on concept of nothing and of beginning, by mutual honest and sincerely intelligent exchange of ideas, that means nothing at all of any kinds of playing dumb, or taking up with flippancy, or going intentionally into alien matters.

    As soon as we have worked out successfully to agree on the concepts of nothing and beginning, and also what other words anyone of you guys here want to bring up, then I and with you will answer the question:

    “If indeed a Creator created the universe from nothing in the beginning, it begets the quest who creates the creator?” (chempo says: December 3, 3:08 pm)”

    Specifically, “Who creates the creator?”
    [End of quote]

    Perhaps, Joe America, may I with all due respect, inquire whether you would like to work with me to concur on whether it is critical thinking that parties in an exchange should first labor on coming to concurrence, on mutually concorded meanings of the important words used in the draft of the issue they want to go into?

    So, I hope tomorrow people here will attend to either or both items, namely:

    1. Tell me what you understand of the words, nothing and beginning.

    2. Tell me whether working together to first agree on meanings of words is an utmost important part of critical thinking, when people seriously want to exchange thoughts as to arrive at the resolution of an issue.

    Dear folks, here please just take up one or the other of the two items above, or both.

    And abstain from going astray, or taking up with useless flippancy, or wasting bandwidth with impertinent graphics.

    Do genuine, serious, productive, and yes independent reasoning, employing critical thinking.

    • OK, Marius, we agree with you on your definition of nothing (NOT nothing) and beginning (NOT beginning). 😉

      Now can you just please explain these two statements and how they agree with one another— or not?

      Marius: “How do I prove God exists?

      From the principle of causality with things that have a beginning, namely: anything with a beginning has need of a cause to come to existence.”

      and,

      Marius: “If NOT everything must have a cause, then God must NOT have a cause.”

      Focus on me, Marius, don’t throw in the towel just yet. 😉 You still have to explain what you said above, my friend. No FREE passes here.

      • edgar lores says:

        *******
        Easy.

        1. ”From the principle of causality with things that have a beginning, namely: anything with a beginning has need of a cause to come to existence.”

        1.1. The Universe had a beginning for it to come into existence. Scientists may argue about the cause of the beginning, and they have postulated different models. They can offer no proof. Using Occam’s Razor, the simplest explanation for the cause of the Universe is God.

        1.2. The cause of the Universe can be no other than God, who is the First Cause.

        1.3. If God is NOT posited as the First Cause, then that begs the question that stumps such philosophers as Bertrand Russell and such mortals as Chempo: What caused the First Cause?

        1.4. The question can be extended backward infinitely and is, therefore, absurd. That is, it is inconsistent with reason and logic. It violates the principle of causality. This is not critical thinking.

        2. ”If NOT everything must have a cause, then God must NOT have a cause.”

        2.1. The principle of causality is domain specific. It operates only in the dimension of space and time. It does not operate in the domain of no-space and no-time… which is the domain of Eternity.

        2.2. God inhabits this eternal domain. He is eternal, and has no beginning and no end.

        2.3. But God being omnipotent can – and did – create the heaven and the earth. In doing so, He created space and time. In doing so, He laid the foundation for universal laws in the domain of space and time.

        2.4. One of these universal laws is the principle of causality. Science has discovered some other universal laws, such as those that have been discovered in classical physics and in quantum mechanics. Note that the laws in classical and modern physics are domain specific. As Einstein said, “God does not play dice with the universe.”

        2.5. Except… except when God throws the dice now and them. He can suspend the principle of causality in the phenomena known to us as miracles. He does this to remind us of His existence and of His love for us. For this reason, He sent his only begotten son, Jesus, so that we can be saved… and join Him in the domain of no-space and no-time.

        2.6. Men who do not see this love are not practicing thinking, much less critical thinking. Alas, they invite themselves to spend the rest of Eternity in the fires of damnation.
        *****

        • josephivo says:

          Can we call the domain of space and time the natural domain (including probably some extra dimensions related to gravity) and the domain of no-space and no-time the supernatural domain?

          And isn’t science dealing with natural phenomena and faith with the supernatural? Science only giving evidence based but “for the time being” answers, probabilistic answers based on an (individual or commonly accepted) selection of “models” or axioms. Faith too is an individual choice based on the culture one lives in, the stories parents told, the revelations one accepts or refuses. Critical thinking assures that the logic is sound, that the models are “elegant”, comprehensive, need the fewest axioms and “miracles” possible… But at the end, in science and in faith, there is always a jump in the unknown.

          If one would like to compare this individual jumps in the unknown, what would be the criteria? Practicality, the wellbeing of the individual, the wellbeing of the family, the nation, the universe? And is there another “objective” wellbeing than an “hedonistic” one?

          • sonny says:

            Joseph, I hope you won’t mind me piggy-backing this wonderful article (IMO), on your thread. The author is a respectable graduate of Oxford and speaks about things related to our topic of critical thinking. I hope people here will enjoy it as much as I did. The article touches on points that relate to our current zeitgeist of intellectual activity.

            http://www.crisismagazine.com/2015/making-dogma-out-of-unsettled-science

            • sonny,

              (Thanks for this article… after so many days running in circles here, we can finally talk about something worthwhile. 🙂 )

              There’s two parts to this article.

              Part I is an apology (in defense) of sorts for the Catholic church, how they were the actual stewards of knowledge—- which I agree partly, ie. Irish monks, but this was largely a grassroots movement, no thanks to Rome. I don’t want to belabor Part I, but Baruch Spinoza’s family moved to Holland because of the Spanish Inquisition (for religious reasons), he was then kicked out of his own Sephardic Jewish community (again for religious reasons), and when he did publish his works, it was anonymously for fear of Protestants (once again for religious reasons).

              My point is, that Catholic, Protestant, even Jews in the 1500-1700s weren’t blameless— and Baruch Spinoza came out on top, he died of natural causes, work-place related maybe, but he was the proprietor; others, weren’t as lucky is what I’m saying. 😉

              Part II, this took me by surprise, the article’s actually about climate change.

              “There are legitimate ways to consider the significance of carbon emissions in relation to variations in solar activity, changes in the terrestrial orbit and axis, fluctuations in gamma ray activity, and tectonic shifts, and the solid fact that Earth has been warmer than it is now in 7,000 of the last 10,000 years, but hypotheses should not be pronounced as conclusions. And if the Church’s “voice crying in the desert” is to be prophetic, it should not cry wolf.” from the article you shared.

              I’m sure edgar can pick that guy’s article apart.

              I just have one question, for you sonny… What is the Catholic Church’s position on climate change, because I thought Pope Francis laid out his “right of the environment” in his speech to the U.N. here:

              “First, it must be stated that a true “right of the environment” does exist, for two reasons. First, because we human beings are part of the environment. We live in communion with it, since the environment itself entails ethical limits which human activity must acknowledge and respect. Man, for all his remarkable gifts, which “are signs of a uniqueness which transcends the spheres of physics and biology” (Laudato Si’, 81), is at the same time a part of these spheres. He possesses a body shaped by physical, chemical and biological elements, and can only survive and develop if the ecological environment is favourable. Any harm done to the environment, therefore, is harm done to humanity.” http://www.cruxnow.com/papal-visit/2015/09/25/pope-francis-address-to-the-united-nations-english/

              So is that article you shared in opposition to Pope Francis’ stance, or simply a warning of sort to Pope Francis?

              more from the article you shared: “There may be offenses and even crimes against the balance of the ecosystem, but not sins, unless science really has become a religion. The irony is that many who impute sins to those who disrupt the balance of nature, also defend and promote unnatural acts among humans. Although the Immaculate Conception was neglected by the New Age light show with its flying birds and leaping porpoises, it is consoling to remember that the Virgin Mary was completely free of sins against the climate, and departed this world without leaving any carbon footprint. I don’t know about “sins”, sonny, but if the Virgin Mary cooked food for Jesus and his siblings, or lit a lamp, boiled water to make soup or tea, or stoked a fire to stay warm during those cold winters near Galilee, she left a carbon footprint.

              I get that the author’s calling business and academia hypocrites for setting the conditions for climate change, I agree and I’d agree there’s plenty of blame to go around too, remember I’m the guy that wrote Salvation by Austerity.

              But whatever the politics behind the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or before that, so long as it gets people to care more for the environment and see themselves as part of it, that’s a good thing—- and I hope we can agree that in the end that’s all that matters,

              because this guy seems to be saying otherwise, is he bankrolled by big oil or FOX news?

              “Science, by its nature, is unsettled, and today’s certitudes may be disproved tomorrow; the anthropogenic theories held by even a majority of climatologists may fade like the geocentric theories of astronomers in the days of Clavius.”

          • edgar lores says:

            *******
            1. Question: “Can we call the domain of space and time the natural domain and the domain of no-space and no-time the supernatural domain?”

            1.1. Answer: Yes.

            2. Question: “And isn’t science dealing with natural phenomena and faith with the supernatural? ”

            2.1. Answer: Yes, but….

            2.1.1. But reason also supports faith when dealing with the supernatural. The mind apprehends the wonder of existence and the universe and says, “This beauty is no accident.” There is — must be — an a priori reason for existence.

            2.1.2. And faith also supports science when dealing with the natural. The mind tries to apprehend the workings of the universe and says, “I have faith that the universe has internal constancy and works according to some physical laws, and I will try to discover what these laws are.” Without the initial faith in an expressed order, there would be no attempt to discover.

            3. Question: “What would be the criteria for the jump into the unknown?”

            3.1. Answers:

            3.1.1. I believe the primary reason is to overcome existential terror. This is psychological security in the presence of an intrinsic meaning in, and explanation for, the variability of existence. This psychological security is the second stage of Maslow’s hierarchy. But as we know, the first stage can become, well, not non-essential… but incidental.

            3.1.2. Then there are many secondary reasons: well-being as mentioned, power to organize the community, love, fellowship, celebration of life in rites and rituals… and finally communion and reconciliation with, if not dissolution in, the divine.
            *****

    • Joe America says:

      I don’t care to take up the dialogue with you. If others do, that is up to them. I’ll just wait for the executive summary after y’all have worked out the details.

    • Bert says:

      This:

      “Marius: “How do I prove God exists?

      From the principle of causality with things that have a beginning, namely: anything with a beginning has need of a cause to come to existence.””

      And now this:

      “I am not the one, but I am advancing the opposite argument, namely:

      “If NOT everything must have a cause, then God must NOT have a cause.””—Marius

      *****************************

      Marius,

      In the name of your causes, which are God and causality, can you please tell us what caused you to flip-flop on your previous statements quoted above?

      Maybe then can I have an idea on why you defined the word nothing as something.

    • josephivo says:

      Some more name dropping. Isn’t this discussion of nothing and something close to Russell’s paradox? The barber only shaving everybody who doesn’t shave himself, is this barber shaved or not? Wish I could understand Wittgenstein who has the answer to Russell’s paradox.

      Fun as critical thinking, but practical?

      • Bert says:

        How about this, Joseph:

        If the barber shaved himself, then there is no need to shave himself. Thus, the barber is shaved.

        If the barber did not shave shave himself, then according to the rule, he will have to do it after which the barber is now shaved.

        Conclusion: The barber is shaved.

        ********************

        Note: I’m not sure that is making sense. 🙂

        • josephivo says:

          If the barber shaves himself, then the statement is false, then he shaves somebody who shaves himself. If the barber does not shave himself, then the statement is false too, than he does not shave all who do not shave themselves.

          The easy solution is that the barber is a women 🙂

          The difficult one has something to do with 2 sets, an active one of people shaving and a passive one of people being shaved, if an element belongs to both than you get difficulties with logic statements of the negated sets… But I just accept that mysteries exists, even if Wittgensteins wiser than me can explain the mystery.

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