Recent Responses

Recent Responses

Response by Joe Rachiele on August 20, 2019

The version of Occam's Razor quoted above seems to support solipsism, the view that only one's conscious experience exists, over a view which also admits the reality of the external world. After all, solipsism is committed to fewer entities than the latter view, which also countenances the existence of stars, atoms, and rollercoasters.

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Response by Allen Stairs on August 1, 2019

As you've described the case, there's something the inventor could do that would save lives. There's also a dispute about how to analyze the notion of a cause. Some would say (your friend apparently is in this camp) that absences—in the case, not doing something—can't be causes. Others disagree and provide accounts that allow absences to be causal. This is an abstract and complicated issue, but how much difference will it make to how we judge the inventor?

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Response by Charles Taliaferro on August 1, 2019

Great questions and concerns. For most philosophical theists (those who affirm the existence of God) "good" and "evil" need to be used with the same sense / meaning in terms of humans and God. For you to be compassionate and God to be compassionate and to be called 'good' presumably we mean praise-worthy / desirable / it is better that there is such compassion rather than not. But value judgements are often contextual depending on those involved....more

Response by Allen Stairs on July 29, 2019

The reason you feel you don't understand the claim is because it's nonsense.

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Response by Allen Stairs on July 25, 2019

According to the internet, the sun rose at 6:02 this morning in Washington. I was awake and when I got around to opening the blinds I could see that the sky was blue. The sheets on the bed are blue too, though not the same blue. They're a few years old and I like the way they feel when I touch them.

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Response by Stephen Maitzen on July 25, 2019

One reason it doesn't sound right to me is that I don't know what could be meant by a "deductive statement." I know what a deductive argument is, but it always contains more than one token statement. Did the site say, instead, "every declarative statement" (i.e., every declarative sentence)?

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Response by Stephen Maitzen on April 29, 2019

I can't think of any ordinary sense of "opposite" that allows for the existence of opposite shapes (i.e., closed plane figures). But you and your friends could invent a technical sense of "opposite" that allows for opposite shapes. Maybe the opposite of a shape is the mirror image of the shape along the vertical axis, or along the horizontal axis, or along some oblique axis, provided that opposite shapes never look the same. On that definition, a circle wouldn't have an opposite shape, but a triangle could....more

Response by Stephen Maitzen on April 28, 2019

Not if they really are necessary truths. By definition, any necessary truth couldn't possibly have been false.

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Response by Stephen Maitzen on April 28, 2019

Your comment runs together two things that ought to be kept distinct: (1) Can we choose our preferences? (2) Could we have chosen otherwise than we in fact chose? I'll take them up in turn.

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Response by Charles Taliaferro on March 15, 2019

According to many (but perhaps not all) Christians and many secular philosophers (and persons of other faiths) marriage is fundamentally based on the vows that persons make to each other. So, for many Christians in the west, the church does not actually marry two persons; the church recognizes and proclaims (and blesses) the marriage. Insofar as "the married man" and his spouse have ended their vow (whether they think of this as breaking the vow or releasing each other from their vow), the marriage has ended, even if it is still a legal matter of divorce....more