Friday, June 26, 2015

Atheological philosophy

I went to use Google docs in the first time in forever, finding some old philosophy papers.

Ever wonder what a philosopher does? No? That's completely expected.

Regardless, here's an eight page paper of me disproving -- for some value of disprove -- prayer.

Despite that inflammatory idea, you'll quickly be bored. Paul may be an exception, and I will always love him for it.

Though, the text aside, he's the basic formulation of the argument. In truth, looking back it needs to be reworked, but I expect nothing less from 6-year-ago-me. The wording is really specific for a bunch of reasons.

1. If God exists, he is omnipotent, omniscient and omni-benevolent

2. Any omnipotent, omniscient and omni-benevolent being could not (or would
not) allow unnecessary suffering to exist.

3. If no unnecessary suffering exists, then it is the best of all possible worlds.

4. If God exists, then this is the best of all possible worlds  (1,2,3)

5. If a person believes God exists, then they must also accept that this is the best
of all possible worlds (4)

6. Unless God ceases to exist, or somehow loses his properties, then he will be
only be able to allow any world that exists to be the best of all possible
worlds. (4,5)

7. To a person who believes in a God, this must be the best of all possible worlds (5)

8. If God exists, then this is the best of all possible worlds, and it cannot
logically be any other way, as long as God continues to exist (6)

9. Petitionary prayer is intended to change the world

10. Petitionary prayer cannot impart any change upon the world if God exists (8, 9)

11. If an act cannot inflict a change upon the world, then it is cannot be said
accomplish anything

12. Petitionary prayer cannot accomplish anything. (10, 11)

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Women as equals. (Cue gasps of shock)

A few days ago I had a conversation with my buddy Mike. He (drunkenly, as with all things) made a point about a large swathe of not particularly intelligent or educated of the left side of the political spectrum (that is to say, the correct side) bringing up examples of famously intelligent or admirable women to point out gender equality. That, along with a number of other arguments and points on the topic, I'll address in a vain attempt to channel my argumentation outlets into fiction writing. Writing in which chapters tend to devolve less into stories and more into misanthropic, verbose and somewhat villainous monologues about how imbecilic and despicable effectively all people are.

First of all, the example of women like Madam Curie, to point out that women can and do achieve in scientific (among other) fields is not an argument in defense of women in general. Rather, it is a counter-argument to the idea that women can't succeed in these fields. However, more importantly, the example shows that the actual “ceiling” for women (intellectually or otherwise, depending) is just as high as the ceiling on males. The reason that this is grievously important is it tied into opportunity. If it is hypothetically possible that we're losing great minds in order to exclude or deny women access to these academic areas for absurd social reasons, we're doing humanity a great disservice. The idea that there can be great women scientists is not an argument or point that argues for women scientists. Rather, it is an argument that intends to show that women, as the examples are intended to point out, they can have a spark of academic genius in them, and to somehow bar their way into having a successful career in which their work benefits not only themselves but the rest of society is utter lunacy.

Sexual dimorphism: For those unaware, sexual dimorphism is the biological term to refer to the physiological differences between the two sexes of any particular species. In humanity, it's pretty undeniable there is some sexual dimorphism. Now, this starts treads on dangerous ground for a few reason. Firstly, there are plenty of misogynistic anti-intellecuals who would gladly post-hoc rationalize sexual dimorphism into justification for their bigotry, when there is no evidence or reason to do so. Secondly, because of the misogynistic trends, actually having a serious, academic or intellectual discussion about the evolutionary psychology and the sexual dimorphism in humanity becomes all but impossible. However, I'm going to make an argument I hope cuts down this entire, hellish, Vietnam like forest of intellectual agony.

The fact that males or females may be inherently better at a particular task due to biology misses the point for about a dozen reasons, but I'll go into detail about the one that's used as a default: Size and muscle, then undercut them all.

Here's the thing, the fact males are more physically imposing on average is completely moot. I'll use sports as a default example (and because that terrible fucking commercial exploiting a 15 minute famous little league pitcher and sentiment irritates the hell out of me) there's really a simple way to undermine the idea that sports shouldn't be co-ed, and it's this: If there a single male player on any male only professional sports, in which any single female is better than, than if you enjoy the spot you'd absolutely require that person to be in the league in place of the less able male. Why? It's simple, because having players based on competence means that competence wins, and as a result only the best possible players will be in that sport. As such, a better female replacing a better male – even if we're talking basically benchers – makes the spot more competitive at no cost to integrity. None.

Furthermore, lets just go off sports where being large is, in essence, 90% of the battle. Football, obviously, is the primary offender here. The thing is, even taking into account sexual dimorphism, there's no real point to exclude anyone based on gender. Sure, maybe only 5% of the male population has the physical dimensions to play in the NFL, and perhaps only .5% of women. The problem is, that doesn't mean shit. Of the 5% of men who have the physical dimensions, few have the skill and less the drive to be NFL players, yet there nonetheless is plenty of men in the NFL and trying to get into the NFL. Now, even if women had a much smaller chance of having physical dimensions of making them apt to play the game, the fact is that the statistics have no meaning on particulars. If I flip a coin ten times, and I get ten heads, the odds of that happening are pretty low. The odds of flipping eleven heads in a row is even less. However, the odds of getting a heads on the 11th flip is 50/50. Why? Because statics are forward projecting, and things that have happened have a 100% chance of having happened.
My point? It only takes one female with the physical traits to be successful in the NFL to be in the NFL, and even in this most male-and-testosterone driven sport, it makes no sense to exclude someone based on gender when that person can fit all the qualifications and be better than the worst person on your team. We're never talking about the “average women” joining the NFL... but we're also not talking about the “average man” joining the NFL, either. In either case, we're talking about exceptional people. Trying to point out women on average are smaller than men is like pointing out (Sports hopping here for my example) Jeremy Lin shouldn't in the NBA because, on average, those of Chinese decent are shorter than Americans. Generalizations are always general and thus moot anytime you're talking specifics.

Now, among the misogynists, there is also the evolutionary psychology angle they try to use to post-hoc rationalize their bigotry, and this is a topic that should probably have more discussion but, as noted, it becomes a minefield ranging from sensitivity to idiocy. The idea behind this, simply put, is because women and males typically had different roles in society from the beginning of the emergence of Homosapiens that their minds, like anything else, evolved in a way to suit those roles.

The thing is, there may be a grain of truth here, in that due to psychological and some physiological (e.g. testosterone) differences that it may very well be the case that men are, to use a typical misogynistic angle oft cited, “better at science” then women. Mostly, this is to impy science = intelligence by a bunch of scientifically (if not just normal) illiterate dullards who would drown in academia if they ever set foot in it, but I digress...

Despite that, we can even accept their unfounded assumptions about the human brain and it means nothing. Why? Well, just can say for sure that, on average, men are physically larger than women. However, as pointed out, that means nothing, because the greats of any society aren't based on averages, they're based on the outliers. It takes a single Madam Curie to be a Madam Curie, regardless of how many men or women are competent in the field, the fact is we're not trying to cultivate the most average, we're cultivating greats (you know, people like me) To deny any person with potential greatness the ability to express their greatness based on the averages of their gender is beyond absurd. It's unfathomable to me, as is most things most idiots somehow have enough ignorance and cognitive dissonance to believe. However, I think there is area of importance that is a greater concern than that of evolutionary psychology.

I think you'll be hard pressed to find someone who loathes the popular female culture more than I. Of course, you'll also be hard pressed to find someone who loathes the popular male culture more than I. The only thing that disgusts me as much as someone reading Cosmo is someone reading Maxim.
Here's the thing though, culture is society based and society fucks everyone up without exception. I think we have a significantly more important role to play in equalizing society than we do trying to pick apart the possible evolutionary differences in our brain, mostly because society is almost without exception the most defining factors of our development.

Here is an example I utterly loathe: “Booth babes” and very similarly, most cosplayers, but I'll stick to Boothers for now.

Booth Babes are “attractive” (nothing less attractive to me personally, but...) women who are hired by companies for conventions in order to appeal to socially inept man-children who will flock to them because... they're attractive women. Now, I don't know what appauls me the most, the women who are strippers with, given they're working for Con-goers, less dignity, the sad male population that somehow finds it appealing rather than abhorrent and flock to the tables because of it, or perhaps worst of all the companies that make the decisions to hire these women, in order to appeal to the despicable shits that make up their target market. Sure, they're just doing what works, but having some dignity and self-respect is pretty handy at times too, as well as not purposefully feeding into the pathetic culture.

The thing is, this works on both sides. The women find a job of talking to and being attractive near, for lack of a better word, losers, acceptable because it's fairly acceptable within culture and garners a ton of positive male attention. The men are more than happy to have a photo of themselves next to a women that would cross the street to avoid them if they weren't being paid. This is a culture that really demeans from both sides, and it's ingrained very deeply into culture. Sex sells, but so does meth and high fructose corn syrup. Is-Ought fallacy, you sons of bitches.

The thing is, this one little example is just that. An eight year old boy getting legos is going to be far more likely to help development of an intelligent person than an eight year old girl getting a Barbie doll. I don't know at which age a woman may have first started putting on makeup. I also don't know if she was pressured into it by her mother, or her peers. I don't know, because frankly, I've never had to deal with the idiocy of covering up your face in order to try to attract a mate, as though that is your goal every time you walk out of your house, if not your only goal in life. I never worried about it when I was ten. I never put on makeup at eleven. Or twelve. Or ever. As a child, putting up makeup was never a desire, nor a goal, nor a playtime activity for me. To call this a psychological difference is absurd, because without even the slightest doubt it is cultural, taught, behavior that has tons of implications in self-respect, importance, self-worth and the daily goals and thoughts of a woman.

and I think I need an entire book to go over the amount of cultural flaws I could detail, so I should probably wrap up this rambling, disjointed, less-than-sober and far-less-than-academic post and call it a day.

Maybe I'll proof-read and edit it, but as with all things, I'll lose motivation long before I do. I'm pretty proud I even spent time writing something that will be lost to the void... for some value of proud.