July 9, 2014
book extract

Donal: “Anyway, without any further ado, and without unduly wasting time or unnecessarily extending the introduction to this debate; a debate which we are about to hear and one which we have all come here today to listen to, let us now begin this debate between Father Fred Hilly of Rocky Island and Father Mick Gurn of Stoney Island, to see who it is who will in fact have the best and most rationally persuasive arguments about the issue they will be debating about, and so ultimately win the debate for which we have all gathered here to witness today, to see whether moral relativism should be rationally preferred to moral objectivism, or whether moral objectivism should be rationally preferred to moral relativism.”

Excerpt from act three of “’Right’ said Father Fred: Father Ted and moral philosophy" by A.J. Doherty. Available today, July 9 for 99 cents from the kindle store in Amazon. No kindle required.

July 8, 2014
Mitchell & Webb - God, Abraham and Isaac

Welcome back to i.c.r.a.p.poetry. How are you? Here is a video from a U.K. comedy show, in which the crux of Plato’s Euthyphro dilemma is parodied. The two purposes of my posting this video are to inform you, my follower, that my latest e-book describes reactions to the Euthyprho dilemma in a humorous way, and to remind you that the e-book is still available to download from the kindle store in Amazon for just 99 cents until July 10. The title of the book is ” ‘Right’ said Father Fred: Father Ted and moral philosophy”. No kindle required. A. J. Doherty. Peace out.

July 3, 2014
Judge: “Sustained”
Defense lawyer: “Also your honour, the defense would like to present new evidence concerning A. J. Doherty’s new e-book: " ‘Right’ said Father Fred: Father Ted and moral philosophy" which is available to download from Amazon’s kindle store for just 99 cents from July 3 to July 10.”
Prosecution: “Objection, your honour - I don’t have a kindle”. 
Judge: “Over-ruled. Anyone can download a free kindle reader from Amazon, and read kindle e-books on whatever device they have.”
Plaintiff: “This trial/book-promotion is a sham! And a travesty. Much like the courtroom scene in Woody Allen’s ‘Bananas’.”
Judge: “Yes, I liked that movie. Case dismissed. My ruling is that people should take advantage of this fantastic offer and get the e-book.”

(caption from Private Eye No 1191, 17-30 August 2007, p.15)

Judge: “Sustained”

Defense lawyer: “Also your honour, the defense would like to present new evidence concerning A. J. Doherty’s new e-book: " ‘Right’ said Father Fred: Father Ted and moral philosophy" which is available to download from Amazon’s kindle store for just 99 cents from July 3 to July 10.”

Prosecution: “Objection, your honour - I don’t have a kindle”. 

Judge: “Over-ruled. Anyone can download a free kindle reader from Amazon, and read kindle e-books on whatever device they have.”

Plaintiff: “This trial/book-promotion is a sham! And a travesty. Much like the courtroom scene in Woody Allen’s ‘Bananas’.”

Judge: “Yes, I liked that movie. Case dismissed. My ruling is that people should take advantage of this fantastic offer and get the e-book.”

(caption from Private Eye No 1191, 17-30 August 2007, p.15)

July 2, 2014
On Omnipotence

Hi again Rey,

I think someone could be forgiven for interpreting your inchoate dilemma for theism as involving a faulty understanding of the distinction between physical and logical possibility because in your first draft (which didn’t explicitly advertise your controversial relativism about logic), you claim that:

“If Everett’s Many Worlds Interpretation is true, two mutually exclusive alternatives can be carried out naturally. A superposition of both the particle and its observer will result in a parallel universe in where the observer observes the particle in a different position than the one she observed in this universe. In other words, Annie A, in this universe, observes particle A in position A; Annie B, in that universe, observers particle B in position B; Annie C, in that other universe, observers particle C in position C. Thus, it’s not only two mutually exclusive alternatives, but an incalculable number!”

This was in response to C. S. Lewis’ claim which you quote: “It remains true that all things are possible with God: the intrinsic impossibilities are not things but nonentities. It is no more possible for God than for the weakest of His creatures to carry out both of two mutually exclusive alternatives; not because His power meets an obstacle, but because nonsense remains nonsense even when we talk it about God.”

― C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

It is clear that Lewis is talking about *logically* mutually exclusive alternatives here, yet you seem to think in your response quoted above that Everett’s many-worlds interpretation is a counter-example to Lewis. The problem is that you are only talking about *physically* mutually-exclusive alternatives, not logically mutually-exclusive alternatives. There is nothing logically inconsistent about supposing that Annie A observes a spherical object passing Tim H in universe A, but that Annie B observes Tim H catching the spherical object before it passes him in universe B.In which case, in order to try to make sense of what you are saying, one might be forgiven for thinking that you don’t understand the difference between physical and logical possibility/impossibility.

Now that your argument has evolved a bit (pun intended, sorry), you lay your cards on the table and admit to being a relativist about logic, at least in so far as you think that there could be universes in which different laws of logic hold, contrary to the mainstream view that logical theorems (if they are true at all) are true in all possible situations. To point out that some logicians deny that this or that theorem of logic applies in a particular context e.g. quantum physics, semantic paradoxes, vagueness, etc. only serves to remind us of the branch of philosophy known as philosophical logic. Whatever logic is ultimately preferred, whether it be quantum, intuitionistic, multi-valued, para-consistent, classical etc. none of these logics are relative in the sense that they only apply in certain physical circumstances i.e. given certain physical laws.

Bear in mind that if you espouse logical relativism i.e. you think one logic is applicable in one situation but not in another, you have a lot of explaining to do. Why does disjunctive syllogism apply usually (being crucial for standard mathematics) but not when we are dealing with semantic paradoxes (according to para-consistent logicians)? Why does excluded middle apply usually, but not in the context of vagueness (according to multi-valued logicians)? Why does e.g. non-contradiction apply in the macroscopic realm, but (apparently) not at the sub-atomic level (according to ‘quantum’ logicians)?

Furthermore, with different logics come different semantics. For reductio, assume that some particular logic e.g. classical logic is the one true logic in this universe, with it’s accompanying semantic principle of bi-valence. Why would one think that in a parallel universe (if there are any) that a different (e.g. three-valued) semantics accompanying a different system of logic would be rendered problem free just because of the possibly different physical laws of the other universe? The physical laws of the other putative universe have zero bearing on the question.

Of course, one might go along with the radical view of Quine that even logical laws are revisable in the light of experience - we may have to reconsider what we thought were logical truths if they clash with evidence e.g. from quantum physics. However, even if we go along with this idea, it would not show that logic is relative to the universe you live in, it would just show that what we thought were logically necessary truths were not so. The real logically necessary truths are still at large. In other words epistemology and metaphysics are separate disciplines.

Lastly, I’m puzzled as to why you think that logical laws are dependent for their existence on the existence of language-using intelligent beings. Analogously, do you think that the truth of 2+2=4 is dependent on the existence of intelligent beings? Intuitively, the truth of that arithmetical claim has nothing to do with whether anyone existed to appreciate the fact.

I think the above comments are enough to be going on with for now!

Best,

A. J.

(P.S. When I originally posted the above, the paragraph-breaks did not publish. Hopefully I’ve fixed that now so it’s more readable.)

icrappoetry:

Hi Rey,

I have no ‘axe to grind’ here regarding atheism v theism, you understand - I’m just pointing out that someone who thinks that the concept of omnipotence implies that any omnipotent being should be able to do logically impossible things doesn’t understand the notion of…

(Source: thatcurioustruth)

July 1, 2014
On Omnipotence

Hi Rey,

I have no ‘axe to grind’ here regarding atheism v theism, you understand - I’m just pointing out that someone who thinks that the concept of omnipotence implies that any omnipotent being should be able to do logically impossible things doesn’t understand the notion of logical impossibility.

I’m not sure why you think (in your comments below) that in making the above point, I’m thinking about voluntarism in any way. I do present well-known arguments regarding voluntarism in my book “’Right’ said Father Fred: Father Ted and moral philosophy”, but voluntarism is not directly relevant to the question of the coherence of the concept of omnipotence. The notion that god can only do what is logically possible is relevant to the above question, but it’s very confused to think that since neither human beings nor god (on the assumption that god exists) can do something logically impossible, that god’s power is thus constrained in any way.

Of course, if someone doesn’t understand the difference between logical and physical impossibility, they might think that the coherence of the notion of omnipotence is undermined if god is conceived of as not ‘transcendent’. (Slight aside - the proper distinction here is the ‘eternal / everlasting’ distinction, imo, not ‘transcendent / not transcendent’ - one can imagine an omnipotent being that is everlasting but also transcendent (as far as this universe is concerned) if e.g. that being exists in time per se, but also in different parallel universes. At least, if there’s any difficulty about this, the difficulty doesn’t seem to be to do with logical impossibility, rather it would be to do with physical impossibility - something physics might be able to find out about.). The naive thought would be that if god is non-transcendent, then he is subject to the same laws of logic as we are, thus he’s not omnipotent.

However, if one understands the notion of a law of logic, and of logical impossibility, one understands that laws of logic are not relative to particular possible universes (they are necessary truths), and that our ‘being subject to’ the same laws to logic that god is subject to does nothing whatsoever to impugn god’s power. (The phrase ‘being subject to a law of logic’ is tendentious because it invites one to think that a law should have a law giver, who decides which laws of logic the subjects should follow. That gives a false impression about logic to people who are ignorant of the subject.)

When you make the claims below such as -

"A transcendent being would be omnipotent in every possible world; thus, it would be omnipotent in worlds that are not logical according to our world."

(There are possible worlds in which god does not exist, rendering the above antecedent false. The consequent belies ignorance of the fact that logic deals in necessary truth, which spans all possible universes (and not just the actual ones, if there be more than one.)

"If not, you’re speaking of a being who’s all powerful in accordance to our laws of logic and physics—a being that is as powerless against those laws as we are."

(This repeats the basic error of thinking that in order for omnipotence to be coherent, any putatively omnipotent being would need to be able to do logically impossible things. There’s also a naive idea implicit in the quotation above that logic is relative to the universe you live in.)

- I begin to suspect that the dilemma you attempt to pose for theists is based on a faulty understanding of the nature of the difference between physical and logical possibility.

(P.S. for anyone interested in a fun introduction to this sort of stuff that presupposes no prior background in logic or philosophy, have a look at my latest e-book which I mention above. The book is written from a neutral perspective regarding the theism / atheism debate. I plan on doing a promotion on the book this week, making it available for just 99 cents from Amazon’s kindle store (no kindle required).)

Best,

A. J.

icrappoetry:

Hi all! I don’t regularly do philosophy posts, but since my latest e-book is relevant to some of what Rey from academicatheism posts below, and since I’m in a self-publicizing/publicizing mood, I thought I’d break my own rule (what a rebel). If this sort of stuff doesn’t…

(Source: thatcurioustruth)

June 30, 2014
More C.S. Lewis Nonsense

Hi all! I don’t regularly do philosophy posts, but since my latest e-book is relevant to some of what Rey from academicatheism posts below, and since I’m in a self-publicizing/publicizing mood, I thought I’d break my own rule (what a rebel). If this sort of stuff doesn’t interest you, please just ignore. (Some philosophically relevant material from past tumblr posts has ended up in the appendix of "I.C.R.A.P. 101" which you can still get for just 99 cents from Amazon’s kindle store until around ten or elevenish Monday morning, July 30th 2014.) 

Rey’s post concerns the concept of omnipotence amongst other things. Omnipotence is a philosophical term of art - there are several competing explications of the idea. One thing is clear though - it’s simply wrong to claim that in order for the notion of omnipotence to make coherent sense, it must be logically possible for an omnipotent being to be able to do logically impossible things. In other words, it is no constraint on any being’s power that they can’t do something that’s logically impossible. If someone can’t see that point, they don’t appreciate the nature of logical impossibility. 

Rey also mentions the concept of perfect benevolence. I discuss that concept as it relates to the question of the source of morality in the second act of my philosophical play “‘Right’ said Father Fred: Father Ted and moral philosophy”. (If you’re familiar with short introductory philosophical dialogues, it’s along the lines of one of those e.g. “A dialogue on personal identity and immortality” by John Perry. If you’re familiar with the cult classic U.K. TV comedy show "Father Ted", the play is written in the humorous style of that show with similar characters, and copious references to the dialogue from episodes of the original show.)

I have more to say about Rey’s views about the many-worlds interpretation of quantum physics and it’s relevance for the concept of omnipotence etc. (see his comments below) but I’ll leave that for another time and place.

academicatheism:

thatcurioustruth:

“His Omnipotence means power to do all that is intrinsically possible, not to do the intrinsically impossible. You may attribute miracles to Him, but not nonsense. There is no limit to His power.

There’s an obvious and straightforward limit to his power assuming he…

June 29, 2014
"But what I can tell you is that you still have time to download “I.C.R.A.P. 101" by A. J. Doherty from Amazon’s kindle store for only 99 cents. The usual price is $8-99. The special offer ends on Monday June 30th."
"OK, thanks. Do I need a kindle to read the e-book?"
"No sir. You can download a free kindle reader from Amazon for whatever sort of device you have, right from the page you go to when you click the link above. It’s easy -  see the tab entitled ‘free reading apps’ near the top of the page."
"OK, cheers. Bye."
"No problem."

"But what I can tell you is that you still have time to download “I.C.R.A.P. 101" by A. J. Doherty from Amazon’s kindle store for only 99 cents. The usual price is $8-99. The special offer ends on Monday June 30th."

"OK, thanks. Do I need a kindle to read the e-book?"

"No sir. You can download a free kindle reader from Amazon for whatever sort of device you have, right from the page you go to when you click the link above. It’s easy -  see the tab entitled ‘free reading apps’ near the top of the page."

"OK, cheers. Bye."

"No problem."

June 28, 2014
A man in Manhattan sans hat - no time for that. “I.C.R.A.P. 101" is available for 99 cents for only another couple of days! Regular price is $8-99. 249 pages of quality stuff ranging from infantile to intellectual. Satisfaction guaranteed!*

*Claims about satisfaction, due to the ‘Rolling Stones’ act of 1965 are not legally binding in some states, especially inebriated ones. Terms and conditions may apply. 

A man in Manhattan sans hat - no time for that. “I.C.R.A.P. 101" is available for 99 cents for only another couple of days! Regular price is $8-99. 249 pages of quality stuff ranging from infantile to intellectual. Satisfaction guaranteed!*

*Claims about satisfaction, due to the ‘Rolling Stones’ act of 1965 are not legally binding in some states, especially inebriated ones. Terms and conditions may apply. 

June 27, 2014
"I.C.R.A.P. 101" by A. J. Doherty is available to download for just 99 cents from Amazon’s Kindle store until the end of June!

Here’s what some artists are saying:

U2 - “Magnificent” - “Even better than the real thing”

The Monkees - “I’m a believer”

Morrissey: “Please please please let me get what I want (and what I want is “I.C.R.A.P. 101” by A. J. Doherty for just 99 cents from Amazon’s Kindle store - no kindle required)”

Simon and Garfunkel: “I am just a poor boy though my story’s seldom told, I have squandered my resistance, for a pocket-full of mumbles (and “I.C.R.A.P. 101” by A. J. Doherty which I downloaded for 99 cents from Amazon’s Kindle store).”

The Everly Brothers: “I’ve been cheated, been mistreated, when will I (be able to download “I.C.R.A.P. 101” by A. J. Doherty for 99 cents from Amazon’s Kindle store - no kindle required?).”

Bob Marley: “Could you be loved? Then (why not download “I.C.R.A.P. 101” by A. J. Doherty for 99 cents from Amazon’s Kindle store until the end of June - no kindle required)”

Elton John: “I hope you don’t mind, I hope you don’t mind, that I put down in words, how wonderful life is, now (“I.C.R.A.P 101” is on sale in the kindle store on Amazon until the end of June)”

Cat Stevens: “I’ve been smiling lately, thinking about (“I.C.R.A.P. 101” by A. J. Doherty being available for the special low price of 99 cents from Amazon’s Kindle store until the end of June)”

Paul McCartney: “When you were young and your heart was an open book (a bit like “I.C.R.A.P. 101” by A. J. Doherty) you used to say (very good value - 249 pages of quality stuff for under a dollar) you know you did you know you did you know you did.”

The Beatles: “Life is very short, and there’s no time (so don’t delay - download “I.C.R.A.P. 101” by A. J. Doherty from Amazon’s Kindle store before the end of June).

The Beatles: “Oh yeah I’ll tell you something - I think you’ll understand. When I, say that something - I want to (get “I.C.R.A.P. 101” by A. J. Doherty before the end of June, while it’s only 99 cents. Yeah yeah yeah yeahhh!).

John Lennon: “Imagine all the people, (downloading “I.C.R.A.P. 101” from Amazon’s kindle store)

Donovan: “In the chilly hours and minutes, of uncertainty, I want to be (reading “I.C.R.A.P. 101” by A. J. Doherty, which I downloaded for only 99 cents from the kindle store on Amazon).

Bon Jovi: “She says we’ve got to hold on, to what we’ve got - it doesn’t make a difference if we make it or not. We’ve got each other (and we also downloaded “I.C.R.A.P. 101” by A. J. Doherty from Amazon’s kindle store for only 99 cents). 

The Zombies: “It’s the time of the season for (downloading “I.C.R.A.P. 101” by A. J. Doherty from Amazon’s kindle store - get it for only 99 cents before the end of June, baby!).

Led Zeppelin: “There’s a lady who knows all that glitters is gold and she’s buying a (copy of “I.C.R.A.P. 101” from the kindle store on Amazon for just 99 cents before the end of June.No kindle required).

"I.C.R.A.P. 101" by A. J. Doherty is available to download for just 99 cents from Amazon’s Kindle store until the end of June!

Here’s what some artists are saying:

U2 - “Magnificent” - “Even better than the real thing”

The Monkees - “I’m a believer”

Morrissey: “Please please please let me get what I want (and what I want is “I.C.R.A.P. 101” by A. J. Doherty for just 99 cents from Amazon’s Kindle store - no kindle required)”

Simon and Garfunkel: “I am just a poor boy though my story’s seldom told, I have squandered my resistance, for a pocket-full of mumbles (and “I.C.R.A.P. 101” by A. J. Doherty which I downloaded for 99 cents from Amazon’s Kindle store).”

The Everly Brothers: “I’ve been cheated, been mistreated, when will I (be able to download “I.C.R.A.P. 101” by A. J. Doherty for 99 cents from Amazon’s Kindle store - no kindle required?).”

Bob Marley: “Could you be loved? Then (why not download “I.C.R.A.P. 101” by A. J. Doherty for 99 cents from Amazon’s Kindle store until the end of June - no kindle required)”

Elton John: “I hope you don’t mind, I hope you don’t mind, that I put down in words, how wonderful life is, now (“I.C.R.A.P 101” is on sale in the kindle store on Amazon until the end of June)”

Cat Stevens: “I’ve been smiling lately, thinking about (“I.C.R.A.P. 101” by A. J. Doherty being available for the special low price of 99 cents from Amazon’s Kindle store until the end of June)”

Paul McCartney: “When you were young and your heart was an open book (a bit like “I.C.R.A.P. 101” by A. J. Doherty) you used to say (very good value - 249 pages of quality stuff for under a dollar) you know you did you know you did you know you did.”

The Beatles: “Life is very short, and there’s no time (so don’t delay - download “I.C.R.A.P. 101” by A. J. Doherty from Amazon’s Kindle store before the end of June).

The Beatles: “Oh yeah I’ll tell you something - I think you’ll understand. When I, say that something - I want to (get “I.C.R.A.P. 101” by A. J. Doherty before the end of June, while it’s only 99 cents. Yeah yeah yeah yeahhh!).

John Lennon: “Imagine all the people, (downloading “I.C.R.A.P. 101” from Amazon’s kindle store)

Donovan: “In the chilly hours and minutes, of uncertainty, I want to be (reading “I.C.R.A.P. 101” by A. J. Doherty, which I downloaded for only 99 cents from the kindle store on Amazon).

Bon Jovi: “She says we’ve got to hold on, to what we’ve got - it doesn’t make a difference if we make it or not. We’ve got each other (and we also downloaded “I.C.R.A.P. 101” by A. J. Doherty from Amazon’s kindle store for only 99 cents).

The Zombies: “It’s the time of the season for (downloading “I.C.R.A.P. 101” by A. J. Doherty from Amazon’s kindle store - get it for only 99 cents before the end of June, baby!).

Led Zeppelin: “There’s a lady who knows all that glitters is gold and she’s buying a (copy of “I.C.R.A.P. 101” from the kindle store on Amazon for just 99 cents before the end of June.No kindle required).

June 27, 2014
"With the whole team made redundant, Fulchester’s prospects in their all-important crunch match against arch-rivals Grimthorpe City are looking decidedly bleak …"

"Yes"

"With the whole team made redundant, Fulchester’s prospects in their all-important crunch match against arch-rivals Grimthorpe City are looking decidedly bleak …"

"Yes"

June 26, 2014
'Reviews' of I.C.R.A.P. 101

image

"I.C.R.A.P. 101" by A. J. Doherty is available to download for just 99 cents from Amazon’s Kindle store until the end of June!

Here’s what some artists are saying:

U2 - “Magnificent” - “Even better than the real thing”

The Monkees - “I’m a believer”

Morrissey: “Please please please let me get what I want (and what I want is “I.C.R.A.P. 101” by A. J. Doherty for just 99 cents from Amazon’s Kindle store - no kindle required)”

Simon and Garfunkel: “I am just a poor boy though my story’s seldom told, I have squandered my resistance, for a pocket-full of mumbles (and “I.C.R.A.P. 101” by A. J. Doherty which I downloaded for 99 cents from Amazon’s Kindle store).”

The Everly Brothers: “I’ve been cheated, been mistreated, when will I (be able to download “I.C.R.A.P. 101” by A. J. Doherty for 99 cents from Amazon’s Kindle store - no kindle required?).”

Bob Marley: “Could you be loved? Then (why not download “I.C.R.A.P. 101” by A. J. Doherty for 99 cents from Amazon’s Kindle store until the end of June - no kindle required)”

Elton John: “I hope you don’t mind, I hope you don’t mind, that I put down in words, how wonderful life is, now (“I.C.R.A.P 101” is on sale in the kindle store on Amazon until the end of June)”

Cat Stevens: “I’ve been smiling lately, thinking about (“I.C.R.A.P. 101” by A. J. Doherty being available for the special low price of 99 cents from Amazon’s Kindle store until the end of June)”

Paul McCartney: “When you were young and your heart was an open book (a bit like “I.C.R.A.P. 101” by A. J. Doherty) you used to say (very good value - 249 pages of quality stuff for under a dollar) you know you did you know you did you know you did.”

The Beatles: “Life is very short, and there’s no time (so don’t delay - download “I.C.R.A.P. 101” by A. J. Doherty from Amazon’s Kindle store before the end of June).

The Beatles: “Oh yeah I’ll tell you something - I think you’ll understand. When I, say that something - I want to (get "I.C.R.A.P. 101" by A. J. Doherty before the end of June, while it’s only 99 cents. Yeah yeah yeah yeahhh!).

John Lennon: “Imagine all the people, (downloading "I.C.R.A.P. 101" from Amazon’s kindle store)

Donovan: “In the chilly hours and minutes, of uncertainty, I want to be (reading "I.C.R.A.P. 101" by A. J. Doherty, which I downloaded for only 99 cents from the kindle store on Amazon).

Bon Jovi: “She says we’ve got to hold on, to what we’ve got - it doesn’t make a difference if we make it or not. We’ve got each other (and we also downloaded "I.C.R.A.P. 101" by A. J. Doherty from Amazon’s kindle store for only 99 cents). 

The Zombies: “It’s the time of the season for (downloading "I.C.R.A.P. 101" by A. J. Doherty from Amazon’s kindle store - get it for only 99 cents before the end of June, baby!).

Led Zeppelin: “There’s a lady who knows all that glitters is gold and she’s buying a (copy of "I.C.R.A.P. 101" from the kindle store on Amazon for just 99 cents before the end of June.No kindle required).

(Source: icrappoetry)