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    • Digging through the archives, I came across an old panel from last year where I asked the question of who would people like to have interviewed on Cake. One of the most intriguing suggestions was to interview a renowned Philosophy professor.

      I know we have close to four hundred people following the topic of Philosophy, however, I rarely if ever see discussions started on it. And it seems a shame to interview someone, open it up to audience Q&A

      and then crickets.

      I think when the pandemic exploded in February and March, we all shifted to a Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs where our focus and conversations shifted to immediate needs.

      However, with more of the world reopening I’ve noticed a return to a greater range of discussions on Cake. And it has me now wondering if there currently is sufficient interest for discussions on philosophy. I’ll admit to being a neophyte in this area: a reading and a re-reading of Robert Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is the closest I’ve come to serious study. But I would be interested in learning from more learned minds and I might even contribute to such a conversation if I had a thought worthy of sharing.

    • There's a certain conundrum around the philosophical discussions, namely, in a certain portion of and direction of these the further you go, the less there is to say, or at least the less motivation to talk :) "Tao is older than God" and such.

    • I would be interested, but as a beginner seeking a solid and reliable entry point into the subject, with pointers for further reading etc. This would even include how "Philosophy" is defined, and what the "big issues" are seen to be today.

      Always been curious as to what King Crimson founder, Robert Fripp, saw in the words of J G Bennett, particularly as regards "Hazard"...

    • I was listening to a scientific debate between two sort-of scientists and whenever one would say “according to Professor so-and-so of MIT,” the other would say “that’s an appeal to authority, and there is a principle in philosophy that says that’s a logical fallacy.”

      Clearly, I thought, I need to know more about philosophy because I didn’t fully get that.

    • The alt-text (what is displayed when one hovers over an image) says:

      He wasn't the best babysitter either.

      If you've never read — you might (or might not) like it.

      One of the biggest meta-jokes of the series is how often the philosophies of different philosophers are incompatible.

      For example:

    • This is useful feedback. My sense is that we would benefit from greater knowledge in this area.

      Perhaps starting off with a Cliff’s Notes conversation on some of the common fallacy argument types. We all are lifelong learners, so this could be a worthy pursuit even if it doesn’t lead to more conversations on philosophy.

      I know the ad hominem fallacy argument is to attack someone personally,

      “You’re stupid!”

      rather than to dispute the validity of their ideas,

      “There’s no scientific evidence to support taking hydroxychloroquine as a daily supplement to prevent infection from COVID-19.”

      I am not entirely certain I have a firm grasp on the fallacy argument “appeal to authority” and I’m certain that I am in the dark on others.

    • The way I heard appeal to authority used landed on my ears as denialism, but I wasn’t sure exactly what it meant, so I’ve done some reading. Here’s the shortest, clearest description I’ve found:

      I can tell in my everyday life, I defer to authority all day long, dozens of times a day.

    • Most of the time the appeal to authority is used as a short-cut. If an "authority" says something is true then I can skip figuring it out for myself. One of my brilliant and highly respected college professors pointed that out, and I accepted it; because, after all, he said so! Took me years to question his conclusions, along with others. We humans crave certainty and are loathe to accept that "I really don't know" is still the answer to most questions.

    • Philosophy was my major at UC Berkeley, so I would love to have more philosophy conversations on Cake! Keep in mind, philosophy is pretty broad ranging from ethics to epistemology to logic. So, I think a lot of conversations on Cake are actually quite philosophical even if philosophy itself isn’t a tagged topic. Maybe more conversations should be tagged with philosophy even if we aren’t specifically discussing a philosopher.

    • So, I think a lot of conversations on Cake are actually quite philosophical even if philosophy itself isn’t a tagged topic.

      Could you give an example of a recent conversation on Cake that would fall under Philosophy? I’m a neophyte on this but am eager to learn.

    • This is one of the biggest problems that I run into in teaching the Bible. People want certainty even when there is no certainty and will "appeal to authority" when the supposed authority is just just giving an opinion.

      Some passages are crystal clear. There is no problem with certainty but some are not.

      For example, in Romans 1:17, the Greek says "ἐκ πίστεως εἰς πίστιν"

      Two of those words are forms of the same word namely pistis:

      The text literally says: ek (meaning out of) pistis (faith) eis (unto or leading to) pistis (faith) or as formal translations say "from faith to faith."

      But what does that mean?

      One possibility is that it is saying that God's faithfulness produces our faith.

      Another possibility is that it is saying that "the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints" produces personal conviction in the individual. (See Jude 3 for the quotation.) In other words that it is saying the same thing that Romans 10:17 says.

      Another possibility is that it is referring to faith growing stronger in the way that 2 Corinthians 3:18 uses the word "glory."

      Now what sometimes happens is that a preacher or teacher will make an assertion as to what the phrase means and some paraphrased translations drop the second use of the word and insert words that are not found in any manuscript. Then readers or listeners will "appeal to authority." "My preacher says" or "my translation says" but the fact is that these are opinions. When all is said and done, the text says what it says and my opinion as to its meaning is no more reliable than any other persons opinion.

    • But . . . but what if that opinion is eloquently and passionately expressed, with great assurance by a presumably "godly" individual that you personally have loved and trusted for decades and have no reason to question their motives?

      It remains what it is; an opinion, nothing more. That's a difficult lesson to learn, let alone teach!

    • That is my point.

      Jesus said to the scholars of His day:

      "How can you believe, which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that comes from God only." John 5:44

    • This one I wrote could be categorized as philosophy, I think: "Can a line be crossed when enforcing social distancing?" I tagged "ethics" as a topic in the post, which is a branch of philosophy.

      Posts like this I think have a philosophical bent to them even if they aren't about philosophy per se.

    • It sounds like we would have the most success in learning, and having meaningful discussions in Philosophy, if we started with ethics. Something current eventsy.

      @slamdunk406, the next time you start a news conversation that involves a discussion on ethics, could you be sure to tag everyone who’s participated in this conversation?

      We’ll probably ask you some questions in context to improve our understanding, if that’s okay.

    • Note I missed your post about your logical fallacy findings.

      Logical fallacies is something that skepticism has really taken hold of. The appeal to authority is simply the idea that just because someone that said something is a well regarded person it doesn't mean that they are right. They could be wrong or they could be mistaken. The appeal to authority is a logical fallacy that people use often in their arguments. They say well so and so from Harvard said such and such so it must be right. Well it's almost as likely that you can find someone from Harvard or some other renouned ivy league school that has an opposing view to the Harvard prof's. Now just because it's a logical fallacy doesn't mean that there is no merit in an authority figure, particularly if they are well regarded in their field and what they commented on is something in their area of expertise. It's just important to realize that they could be wrong and that one person's view isn't the end all be all. This is something that you'd already intuitively know Chris but now you know the name of it in philosophy. I'll also add that although logical fallacies are important to know and helpful in finding logical errors in someone's thinking, skeptics (myself included) often make too much of logical fallacies in everyday life. There's value in some of the thinking short cuts people make and not all statements need to hold up to scientific scrutiny. Something can also be a logical fallacy but correct, although this is not common.