Category Archives: Ethics

9-11-Islamic terrorism

Never Forget The Cause of 9/11 — Islam.

The twin towers of the World Trade Center, icons of New York City, stood tall and proud. Before the Western values of reason and individuality were attacked by Islam.

Before 9/11, the twin towers stood as a symbol of the heights achievable by the efforts of reasoning individuals, who value productivity, self-esteem (ego) and rationality.

A symbol of what is achievable by individuals in a culture that values freedoms and individual rights.

Much like the Statue of Liberty, a symbol of the Western values.

A symbol of the American Dream rooted in every individual’s right to:

“life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”

DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE

The American dream that “life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement” (James Adams, 1931).

February 26, 1993 – Islam Attacks

The first terrorist attack on these values came on February 26, 1993. By an Islamic militant, Ramzi Yousef. Islamic ideology killed six people and injured 1,042 people.  

During the 1998 trial, Yousef condemned the United States for its American Victory over Japan in 1945 and its economic embargo against a rights-violating Cuba.  

You keep talking also about collective punishment and killing innocent people to force governments to change their policies; you call this terrorism when someone would kill innocent people or civilians in order to force the government to change its policies. Well, when you were the first one who invented this terrorism.

Ramzi Yousef, Wikipedia.

Here Yousef clearly drops context and pretends the military defence of a nation is equivalent to terrorism if it involves the loss of innocent lives.

However, nobody that understands the moral justification of warfare would say such a thing. It is a moral imperative for a moral nation to engage in warfare with enemy nations and to inflict crushing military defeat upon them.

This almost always involves the loss of innocent lives. It is not feasible to expect to be able to win a war against an enemy state without the loss of innocent lives in enemy nations.

However, the extent to which those innocent lives exist is not as great as most people think.

Most tyrants gain power by the consent of the people and thus the population is guilty of making such tyranny possible in the first place.

It is immoral to equate warfare against an enemy state, a war of self-defence with terrorism. To defend your nation against destruction by an enemy state can in no sense be equivalent to terrorism.

You were the first one who killed innocent people, and you are the first one who introduced this type of terrorism to the history of mankind when you dropped an atomic bomb which killed tens of thousands of women and children in Japan and when you killed over a hundred thousand people, most of them civilians, in Tokyo with fire bombings. You killed them by burning them to death. And you killed civilians in Vietnam with chemicals as with the so-called Orange agent. You killed civilians and innocent people, not soldiers, innocent people every single war you went. You went to wars more than any other country in this century, and then you have the nerve to talk about killing innocent people.

Ramzi Yousef, Wikipedia

The nuclear bombs dropped upon Japan were an act of heroism.

The alternative was a bloody invasion of the Japanese mainland that would have required the destruction of much of Japan and the loss of millions of Japanese lives.

So it is that even the Japanese came to be thankful that the Americans were able to find an alternative to an invasion of Japan that would have virtually destroyed Japan.

We must not judge the morality of a nation by the number of times it goes to war. There are legitimate reasons America may have needed to engage in war in self-defence.

Yes, doing this to Hiroshima was heroism. The alternative was doing this to most major Japanese cities.

One can argue that many of the wars America has been involved in, such as the war in Vietnam or Iraq were not justified in terms of defending American interests but were altruistic campaigns. This is a legitimate reason to condemn America for many of its invasions.

But there is no legitimate reason to condemn America for Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They were a moral necessity as soon as Japan threatened America’s values of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

And now you have invented new ways to kill innocent people. You have so-called economic embargo which kills nobody other than children and elderly people, and which other than Iraq you have been placing the economic embargo on Cuba and other countries for over 35 years. … The Government in its summations and opening statement said that I was a terrorist. Yes, I am a terrorist and I am proud of it. And I support terrorism so long as it was against the United States Government and against Israel because you are more than terrorists; you are the one who invented terrorism and using it every day. You are liars, butchers, and hypocrites.[29]

Ramzi Yousef, Wikipedia

Yousef condemns America for acts of violence and terrorism. He condemns America for acts of war and violence and for inventing terrorism.

Yet, Islam was engaging in religious terrorism long before the United States existed. It certainly did not invent terrorism, but it advocated terrorism long before America existed and long before modern Western culture existed.

The Quran contains at least 109 verses describing war with nonbelievers. Many are quite graphic and describe things such as decapitation of the nonbeliever.

Here are some of them:

As to those who reject faith, I will punish them with terrible agony in this world and in the Hereafter, nor will they have anyone to help.

Quran 3:56

Seems a clear condemnation of the so called “crime” of non-belief.

The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter, they shall have a grievous chastisement

Quran 5:33

And then there is this:

“(Remember) when your Lord inspired the angels… “I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore, strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them”

Quran 8:12

The Quran predates America and modern Western culture. So in what sense did the West invent terrorism? The Quran was clearly advocating terrorism long before America or the modern Western world was.

The truth is that Islam is a death-worshiping cult of widespread genocide.

During the trial of Yousef, Judge Duffy did not morally condemn Islam for it’s death worship. He apologized for Islam and faith.

Islam does not anyone to draw its deranged, murderous Prophet. But Jason has done just that.
Image available under the Creative Commons Share-Alike License.

Duffy did not condemn the sacrifice collection of such cults and religions.

Duffy condemned the ego, the very Western values that had made the twin towers possible!

Ramzi Yousef, you claim to be an Islamic militant. Of all the persons killed or harmed in some way by the World Trade Center bomb, you cannot name one who was against you or your cause. You did not care, just so long as you left dead bodies and people hurt.

Ramzi Yousef, you are not fit to uphold Islam. Your God is death. Your God is not Allah …

You weren’t seeking conversions. The only thing you wanted to do was to cause death. Your God is not Allah. You worship death and destruction. What you do, you do not for Allah; you do it only to satisfy your own twisted sense of ego.

You would have others believe that you are a soldier, but the attacks on civilization for which you stand convicted here were sneak attacks which sought to kill and maim totally innocent people …

You, Ramzi Yousef, came to this country pretending to be an Islamic fundamentalist, but you cared little or nothing for Islam or the faith of the Muslims. Rather, you adored not Allah, but the evil yourself have become. And I must say that as an apostle of evil, you have been most effective.[29]

Judge Duffy, Wikipedia

But we have seen that according to the Quran itself, Yousef was acting entirely consistent with the Quran.

The Quran has many verses like the ones given above. Not one of them says that a true Muslim shall spare a heretic imprisonment or a violent death!

Yousef is acting just as the Quran, as Islam demands. Let us look at another quote:

Not equal are those of the believers who sit (at home), except those who are disabled (by injury or are blind or lame, etc.), and those who strive hard and fight in the Cause of Allah with their wealth and their lives. Allah has preferred in grades those who strive hard and fight with their wealth and their lives above those who sit (at home). Unto each, Allah has promised good (Paradise), but Allah has preferred those who strive hard and fight, above those who sit (at home) by a huge reward “

Quran 4:95

This verse clearly criticizes peaceful Muslims! It holds those willing to violently strike against the nonbeliever as morally superior to those that refuse to do so!

September 11, 2001 — Islam Attacks Again

On September 11, 2001, the Western values of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” were attacked again. This time the twin towers collapsed. 2,192 civilians died. 414 sworn personnel died.  

If only the West did not apologize for its values…

If only America stood firmly and morally behind its victory over Japan in 1945

If only Judge Duffy and America had morally condemned Islamic ideologies as evil…

If only…

Next Page

Bible firmament

Biblical Absurdities: Is the Bible At Odds With Science?

Introduction

Is the Bible at odds with science? Let us take a look at some of the claims of this book, shall we?

We shall not go in any particular order, but pluck out things as I think of them.

I will not pick on easy things, such as the fact that the Bible asserts that God made the Earth in a few days. Even though we know that the Earth formed over millions of years.

Nor will I focus on the fact that the Earth is not, as the Bible seems to think, a flat circle.

I will not discuss the dome that the Bible asserts is above the Earth which keeps the waters in space from falling onto Earth.

Nor will I go into how Noah could not have gathered two animals of every “kind” onto the Ark.

Nor will I go into the fact that that the Biblical notion of “kind” is completely unscientific nonsense. He did not even have enough room on his Ark!

No, there are many claims the Bible makes about the world or how it works that I will not go into. But what am I going to go into?

I will focus on somewhat less obvious or less well-known ways in which the Bible is wrong.

Bible firmament
So, I guess I will not talk about the dome the Bible claims is over the Earth. But I will show it….

Our List of Blunders

Let us start with what the Bible thinks about insects…

The Bible Thinks Insects Have Four Legs

Here is one of the things the Bible has to say about insects:

All flying insects that walk on all fours are to be detestable to you. There are, however, some winged creatures that walk on all fours that you may eat: those that have jointed legs for hopping on the ground. Of these you may eat any kind of locust, katydid, cricket or grasshopper. But all other winged creatures that have four legs you are to detest.

Leviticus 11:20–23

Insects have six legs, not four. Therefore there are not any four-legged flying insects. Unless the Bible s, for some reason, concerned about insects that have lost two legs.

Surely the Bible authors noticed that insects have six legs?

Well, they noticed they had six limbs. But they did not count two of the limbs as legs. Why? Because at least for the insects described here, they did not consider the two hind legs as walking legs but leaping legs.

But all the same, insects all have six legs. So it is wrong to say that they are four-legged creatures.

The Bible Does Not Know Anything About the Mustard Seed

Let us see which seed the Bible considers to be the smallest seed.

Another parable put he [Jesus] forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.

Matthew 13:31;32

The mustard seed is not the smallest seed. Jesus might not have known that. But I suspect farmers and the like might have known that.

The mustard seed does not grow into a tree either. The mustard plant is clearly not a tree and looks nothing like a tree.

It might have been classified by some as a tree back then because it grew relatively tall. But that is not a scientifically valid reason to classify something as a tree.

The Bible Thinks Pi is 3

Let us turn to the Bible describing a cauldron and see if we can figure out if the all-knowing God knows the correct value of pi.

Also, he made a molten sea [cauldron] of ten cubits from brim to brim, round in compass, and five cubits the height thereof; and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about.

Kings 7:23-24

The more mathematically astute among you may have already seen the problem. Let me point it out.

Pi is a circle’s circumference divided by its diameter.

The circumference of a circle equals pi times the diameter.

Pi = Circumference divided by diameter.

Now, let us look at what the Bible says. It says that the cauldron is 30 cubits around. So, if we consider the circumference of the circle formed by the rim of the cauldron, it says this circle is 30 cubits around.

It also says that the cauldron is 10 cubits from one brim to the other. So, the diameter of the rim is 10 cubits.

Therefore, according to the Bible:

 Pi = C/d or 30/10 = 3.

But we know that pi is not equal to three. It is about 3.14 and the decimal digits go on indefinitely.

It certainly is not equal to three!

The Bible Thinks the Moon is a Light

Let us see what the Bible says about the Moon, shall we?

And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars.

Genesis 1:16

This seems to be talking about the Moon. The greater light would be the Sun and the “lesser light” seems to be the Moon.

But there is one big problem with this. The Moon is not a light, it gives off no light of its own. It is a big bunch of rock. People only think it is light because it reflects the light of the Sun.

So the Bible does not even know what the Moon is. Nor that it has no means of giving off any light of its own!

faith

Biblical Absurdities: Faith

Before we too far into our series on biblical absurdities, we should take a look at the most central issue here; faith itself. We should ask ourselves what faith is and why it is so unreasonable.

What is Faith?

I define faith as:

The blind acceptance of assertions in the absence of any evidence or proof, on the basis of emotion or wishing that claim to be true.

Dwayne Davies

So, it is the blind acceptance of empty assertions, for no reason.

The only claims which have any value are those which can be shown to have some relation to observable facts, those which can be said to have some truth to them. Those with some evidence or proof behind them. Any assertion accepted for no reason at all has no value at all.

But that is exactly what faith is, the acceptance of things for which there is no evidence or proof.

What is Wrong with Faith?

The truth typically does not matter to the devoutly religious. If it mattered to them, they would not be devoutly religious. They would not have faith in anything at all!

Faith is the belief in something for no reason whatsoever. Faith is typically defended against all reason. It is the acceptance of assertions without any attempt to find out what the facts are.

The most dishonest is position is knowing what the facts are and choosing to pretend that they are not so. But as we shall see, many faithful also do this. Making the devoutly faithful some of the most dishonest people that you are likely to meet.

As with any form of dishonesty, there are consequences for holding faith in anything.

Why? Because faith and reality are always in conflict. As is every claim of consequence that is assumed for no reason and against all reason.

Knowing the truth on any matter of consequence is not a trivial task. It takes observing reality, thought and understanding the facts for what they are.

Faith is the refusal to do any of that. Faith is the attempt to bypass thought and proceed directly to truth by the process of wishing empty assertions to be fact. As though wanting them to be true makes them true.

Assertions accepted on faith are wrong. They must be since since empty assertions accepted for no reason have no basis and blind assumptions are always wrong.

Once you have rejected reality and embraced faith, what does that leave you to believe? Whatever you want to believe in, as long as it is assumed blindly.

Most often this takes the form of whatever is emotionally satisfying or which seems easy to superficially grasp. Or which provides moral guidance with no actual connection to how man should act in order to be happy and thrive.

faith
Yes, Heaven may be an emotionally satisfying idea, but it just encourages people to waste their life.

The religions of every culture posit some kind of spiritual existence after death where the spirit can endure the death of the body. Why? Not because there is any reason to believe this. No, but because this is emotionally satisfying for some.

Every religion seems to offer some form of spiritual existence after bodily death usually by obeying the moral teachings of the religion and doing the bidding of the clergy.

Every religion tries to offer its followers moral teachings. This makes sense. We all need moral guidance in order to help choose which actions to take in life. Once you have rejected reality, you must get that moral guidance from somewhere and religions are all happy to offer that.

Often with plenty of threats and other forms of emotional manipulation.

The most devoutly religious people emotionally invest in their religion. They believe that their religion is the only means of moral guidance they have and more importantly, the only means by which they can achieve some kind of immortality.

It should come as little surprise that many of these people desperately cling to the teachings of their religion. Reality has little interest to them, unlike their religion. They are strongly incentivized to defend their religion against the facts of reality.

So, it should come as little surprise that since reality conflicts with religion, the truly devout have little interest in reality.

Their faith invariably clashes with science. Faith says one thing. But science says another. It is science that they discard.

When reality invariably clashes with their religion, they have two fundamental choices: to reject their faith as dishonest or to accept reality. But in embracing faith they have already rejected reality so they almost invariably continue to reject reality.

Many religious people know what the facts are. But they still refuse to abandon their faith. Reality is rejected for clashing with their delusions.

That is the harm in religion. It is the refusal to know reality and to accept whatever one wishes to believe. Assertions accepted on faith are always wrong about anything of consequence.

Faith is the epistemological equivalent of choosing to walk around blindfolded while declaring that you can see. But you cannot see. Reality is what it is despite you trying to make it whatever you want it to be.

faith
This is your brain on faith.

Is Biblical Faith “Justified Trust”?

There are those that might think that by “faith” the Bible means “justified trust”. I am about to present several several Biblical verses to disprove this notion.

The Bible never uses faith in that sense. By faith it means blindly believing things for no good reason and against all reason. It openly tells you to not to see reality but to just believe anyway.

Why? Because of the empty assertion of promises beyond the observable world. That is the only thing religions can offer anyone to have faith, empty assertions that have nothing to do with reality.

That is why every religion widely recognized as such always offers immaterial, unearthly rewards. Because they cannot offer anything real that relates to reality. All it can do is appeal to emotion and irrational, baseless desires that have nothing to do with reality.

Economic Fallacies: The Broken Window Fallacy

Many of us have heard about the broken window fallacy. But for those who might be unfamiliar or need reminding, let us briefly go over this.

Suppose the economy in my town is struggling and I want to do something to help. What could I do to help the local economy along?

Let us suppose that I am a good Keynesian. I agree with Keynes that spending money is itself a good way to stimulate the economy. I figure that perhaps I should try to find ways to get people to spend more money on stuff. Now how to do that?

I pass by a construction site and see a big pile of discarded bricks. Next to that is a row of shops with nice sparkling new windows. Those look nice and expensive. Someone surely paid a lot for them. I wonder how much it would cost to replace them…

And that is when I get a brilliant idea! What if I were to take the bricks and smash the windows! Not just these nice new windows, but as many windows as I could? Then the shopkeepers would have to spend money buying new windows.

Instead of hoarding all their money in big fat bank accounts, they would put their money to good use and give it to the glaziers to replace their windows! All that spending would be good for the economy!

Keynes
Keynes, the arch-villain, responsible for this spending fetish…

That would be more money for the glaziers and then they could spend that money somewhere else and so forth. Imagine the economic boon to be gained. And all I have to do is run around town smashing windows! See, this is very literally a broken window fallacy we are talking about in this example.

It might seem rather obvious that this is an extremely foolish plan. Surely nobody would do this. And indeed, very few people would ever do this. Many people might accept that this is indeed a very bad idea.

So why mention it? Because while a lot of people might not go around smashing shop windows, this illustrates the serious flaws in a lot of peoples economic thinking.

Perhaps the most obvious problem with this is that it focuses very much on only the most immediate consequences of this act of vandalism. The shopkeeper will indeed have to replace his window. The glazier will indeed receive some money for his work.

But we must look beyond this and look at the bigger picture. Now the shopkeeper has a broken window and he must pay, say, $500 to replace it. That is $500 he could have used to invest in his business.

He could have bought stock, spent it on advertising or hiring extra help during busy times. He could have used that money to help grow his business and get more customers or increase the productivity of his business.

Perhaps he was planning on saving that money or investing it in some other business. Either way that money could have been used to help fund other businesses and make them productive. All while earning the shopkeeper a little interest on his $500.

Either way, before he lost his window, he had the value of the window and $500 he could have spent on growing his business, paying staff, put in the bank or any number of things which are of unquestionable economic benefit. But after the window was broken, he has only the value of the window and no $500.

Yes, the glazier is $500 richer, but how much does that matter? His gain is the shopkeeper’s loss and so the economy is not any better off than it was before. The $500 simply exchanged hands.

Perhaps this helps to show why spending is not itself any kind of economic boon. Just because money has changed hands, it does not follow that the economy is growing or that wealth has been created.

We need to ask ourselves if the mere act of spending money is an economic plus. Does the fact that money changes hand mean that wealth has been created?

No. If we want to improve the economy, then we need to do more than simply pass money around. Several other things must happen, either in isolation or in tandem.

Producers must find something to expand the productive capacity of the economy. By creating new products that increase the productive capacity of the economy. Or they must find a way to work more productively.

Note that this typically requires producers to make investments. Well, where is this money to come from? This is where savings come in. Savings allow money to be invested in things like this. Be it the savings a producer himself saves or savings borrowed from other people.

It is savings which are important here and not spending. If you want to make your business more productive or to otherwise expand its economic activity, it is saving that you need.

Ah, but you might counter that if someone goes around breaking windows and you are a glazier, then you can get lots of money and invest that. Well, sure, you can, but this misses the big picture.

Look at all this destruction! Sweet, New York is in for some great economic times according to Keynes!

Suppose you save up $10,000 to invest in your business so that you can purchase better tools with which to fit glass. That $10,000 will let you reduce costs by 10%, meaning you can create the same quality windows for less money.

Suppose I came along and break enough windows for you to make a $10,000 profit fixing all the windows. You indeed have $10,000.

But all the shopkeepers have spent some of their money fixing their windows and now they have that much less money to spend on growing their businesses.

They cannot use that money to grow their businesses and generate wealth. They cannot save that money and now some other business might not be able to borrow the money they need. Not at a sufficiently cheap rate and they might not be able to grow and create more wealth.

So, while you have $10, 000, that is offset by the fact that others have lost money and gained nothing from having to get new windows. Not only do they have less money now, but they will also have less money available to expand production later on. 

And so will anyone else the shopkeepers might have chosen to spend the repair money on. Now the shopkeepers cannot spend their money at the electronics store buying things.

No, instead they had to effectively pour their money down the drain just to keep their shops running. They had to spend their money entirely non-productively.

You might be richer. As indeed will any other glaziers these people turn to have their windows fixed. But the other shopkeepers are poorer now and they are less able to expand their businesses. Not only have they lost $10,000, but they have also lost any other money they might have gained by growing their businesses.

What is missed here is that spending is merely the process of cash changing hands. But cash changing hands cannot itself grow the economy. That requires an increase in production/productivity. In other words, it requires an increase in production not an increase in the velocity of cash circulation.

So, let us conclude by returning to the broken window fallacy. What is it? It is the fallacy that destruction can be a benefit because it stimulates spending. As though the mere act of spending could be a benefit to an economy.

But we have seen that far from being a benefit, destruction is bad for the economy. Destruction reduces the potential for economic expansion and thus hurts the economy.

We should expect this. Common sense tells us that running around committing vandalism cannot be good for anyone. Despite what Keynes and his disciples might think, we cannot justify it by appealing to the magic of “spending”, as though bits of paper changing hands somehow creates wealth.

The problem with the broken window fallacy is that it glorifies destruction as an economic benefit. It looks only at the immediate benefit to one party, the glazier, while ignoring the cost to everyone else.

It looks at only one consequence while ignoring all the others. While ignoring the long-term cost of the act of breaking windows.

The broken window fallacy is a short-sighted narrow focus on the benefit to one party while ignoring the bigger picture. And is an example of the fetish of spending.

In the next installment of “Economic Fallacies”, we will see this fetish on spending taken to far more perverse extremes when it is used to paint war as an economic boon! That is not so much a broken window fallacy as a broken nation fallacy! Stay tuned for that.

brain biases

Episode Twenty Two – Biases, AI and Current Affairs

Play

Today we are talking about inherent biases, AI, time travel and faster than light travel. And then we will go over a shocking legal decision.

[Note: Please note that this transcript may not exactly match the audio. However, there should be no significant differences.]

Click here to download the PDF transcript.

Intro

Metaphysics of Physics is the much needed and crucial voice of reason in the philosophy of science, rarely found anywhere else in the world today. We are equipped with the fundamental principles of a rational philosophy that gives us the edge, may make us misfits in the mainstream sciences but also attracts rational minds to our community.

With this show, we are fighting for a more rational world, mostly by looking through the lens of the philosophy of science. We raise awareness of issues within the philosophy of science and present alternative and rational approaches.

We are your hosts and guides through the hallowed halls of the philosophy of science. Dwayne Davies, my husband, is the founder, primary content creator and voice for Metaphysics of Physics. I am Ashna and I help out however I can. You can find out more about us on the About page of the website.

You can also find all the episodes, transcripts, subscription options and more on the website at metaphysicsofphysics.com.

Hi everyone! This is episode twenty-two of the Metaphysics of Physics podcast. Today we are talking about inherent biases, artificial intelligence and parental neglect in the current affairs section.

Inherent Biases

The other day, one of our listeners shared a diagram on Facebook. It purported to show which parts of the brain are responsible for various cognitive biases. This is nonsense for many reasons, but we will explore some of the most obvious ones.

Firstly, this treats cognitive biases as though they were inherent functionalities of the brain. As though the reason we are sometimes guilty of these biases is that neurons in some specific part of our brains are firing.

But this is not how cognitive biases work. It is not as though they are the result of the hard-wired structures of our brain.

brain biases

Lets see if we can find the parts of the brain responsible for other biases? No, I don’t think we can either …

They are the result of a failure to properly reason. When we accuse someone of a cognitive bias, we are essentially saying “Well, what you said is not consistent with reality. You have made an error.”. They are not biases. There is nothing inherent in our brain which makes us more prone to make such errors.

But that is what this chart would like us to believe. That there are some parts of the brain which make us inherently inclined to such errors. But that is not how it works. Such errors are simply the result of improper reasoning or evading to reason at all.

If these so-called biases were indeed localized like this, then why is it relatively easy to avoid these biases? Why is it that the better one learns to think, the least subject they are to such biases? Why is it that highly logical people with sound reasoning skills seldom, if ever, are subject to such biases?

What is the motive behind all of this?

To excuse poor reasoning and to try to avoid the need to overcome the tendency some of us have towards these so-called biases. That way they can be poor thinkers and then blame their brain for being wired that way. And minimize or avoid the need to learn to avoid them by learning to think more rationally.

They want to evade responsibility for being prone to these biases. As though they cannot help it if they have biases built into their brain!

They can help it. By learning to reason properly to avoid such biases. But they would rather not accept the responsibility of learning to properly reason. It can be a long and difficult process. They would rather not do the work.

Learning to reason well involves a lot of practice and study for many of us. Effort some would not rather not make.

Perhaps some of them see little value in learning to reason. Why learn to reason when you can continue to be a poor thinker? And instead, pretend to be a victim of the unfortunate alleged structure of your brain.

This is a form of intellectual cowardice and laziness. And I find this morally reprehensible. It is difficult to imagine anything as immoral as the evasion of the need to learn to think rationally.

We should do our utmost to recognize any flaws in our thinking processes and attempt to learn to avoid them. That is how we become more rational and better able to deal with the world around us. Which is how we lead better and happier lives.

An Interesting Comment on AI

We recently received an interesting comment from one of our audience. It got us thinking and we have an answer you might find interesting. Here is the comment:

One possible way in which AI may emerge is the continual replacement of human parts until there is no longer any organic parts left.

e.g. as of today, I can replace most parts of a human, legs, arms, heart, most organs etc.

On the head I can replace the eyes, ears, nose & some parts of the brain.

As we understand more of what it is to be human, we will be able to replace more of the brain.

Eventually, the “consciousness” part of the brain will be replaced & on that day we will have an artificial AI or artificial human.

So, like organic evolution I think artificial evolution will occur in steps over a significant time period, but significantly less than that required by organic evolution i.e. 1000s of years not millions

Note: Given the expansiveness of the universe the only way humans can explore it is to evolve into artificial bodies since cosmic radiation is lethal to organic life & time travel & FTL travel are an impossibility.

Episode Twenty One: Homeopathy, Lies About Magic Potions

Play

Today we are talking about homeopathy. We will show that it is nonsense, how it is typically sold in a dishonest fashion and what should be done about it.

[Note: Please note that this transcript may not exactly match the audio. However, there should be no significant differences.]

Click here to download the PDF transcript.

Intro

Metaphysics of Physics is the much needed and crucial voice of reason in the philosophy of science, rarely found anywhere else in the world today. We are equipped with the fundamental principles of a rational philosophy that gives us the edge, may make us misfits in the mainstream sciences but also attracts rational minds to our community.

With this show, we are fighting for a more rational world, mostly by looking through the lens of the philosophy of science. We raise awareness of issues within the philosophy of science and present alternative and rational approaches.

We are your hosts and guides through the hallowed halls of the philosophy of science. Dwayne Davies, my husband, is the founder, primary content creator and voice for Metaphysics of Physics. I am Ashna and I help out however I can. You can find out more about us on the About page of the website.

You can also find all the episodes, transcripts, subscription options and more on the website at metaphysicsofphysics.com.

Hi everyone! This is episode twenty-one of the Metaphysics of Physics podcast. Today we are talking about homeopathy, how it is fraudulently sold and what should be done about it.

What is Homeopathy?

Homeopathy is based on the principle of “like cures like”. That is, you treat an ailment with something that causes the symptoms of the ailment. So, if you want a homeopathic “treatment” for watery eyes, you start with onion juice. Or, if you want to treat the flu you can apparently use belladonna.

homeopathy
Homeopathy is pseudoscience quackery. It was created by Samuel Hahnemann in 1796.

What homeopaths do is consider the symptoms of a disease. And then try to find natural remedies which cause reactions which look like symptoms of the disease. Things which also seem to cause reactions like the symptoms of the ailment in question. Which they then pretend is the same thing as finding a treatment for the disease.

When asked, a homeopath recently said that what they do is look at a picture of the affected body part and look at the symptoms. And then use stuff which would replicate those symptoms.

So, if a patient has a bee-sting, they might look at a picture of the patient’s foot. And then find something that causes inflammation. They then proceed to try to treat the bee sting with that. And possibly some other things that cause other visible symptoms.

We are not making this up, this is what an actual homeopath has said!

This is clearly non-scientific. Even if belladonna causes some flu-like symptoms, that does not mean that it has any effect against the flu itself or its symptoms.

They are trying to treat an ailment with something that also causes some of the same symptoms.

It does not matter since we know that “like cures like” is nonsense. You do not treat an ailment by exposing patients to the causes of the symptoms of ailment.

Ah, but homeopaths claim that what this does is build up the patient’s immunity to the ailment, or at least its symptoms. In the words of one such charlatan: “Homeopathic remedies aim to stimulate your body to respond to symptoms being experienced”.

No, not really. This is not vaccination we are talking about. This building up of resistance would not work.

But there is one major issue which makes all this invalid. Even if “like for like” cures worked. Even if we bought this nonsense about the remedies stimulating natural responses to symptoms.

What is this issue? It is that the ailment causing substance is not present in the so-called treatment!

Now, some of you may be scratching your head at this. Why did I tell you any of this if the substance in question is not in the treatment? If it is not there, how does the treatment work? What IS in the treatment?

They will use almost anything they think helps. Such as arsenic trioxide Yes, I said arsenic trioxide! About now you are probably wondering whether these people are out to poison people. Or at least make them sick.

Well, apparently, they figured out that giving someone ailment causing substances might be a bad idea. Oddly enough, people do not want to be treated with arsenic compounds!

As we shall see, instead of buying homeopathic nonsense, it is just easier to drink a glass of water.

In that case, how does the medicine work? This is where it becomes completely stupid and devolves into entirely magical, woolly thinking.

What you do is you dilute the substance in a vial of water in a 1:100 ratio. So that for every part of the substance there are 100 parts of water. Or, there is 100 times as much water in the vial as the “active ingredient”.

Now, I say water, but sometimes alcohol is used. And if you are taking pills, then probably most of what you are taking is sugar. But, for now lets just talk about water. You will see that it does not make much difference.

That might not sound that bad. There is still some of the ingredient left. It is just in minute quantities. We are not done yet, not by a long shot. This kind of dilution is not nearly dilute enough to be truly homeopathic!

Why Fundamentalists Dislike Science – Part One

Here we are going to confine our discussion to the fundamentalism espoused by Christian fundamentalists. The essential arguments apply to all fundamentalist interpretations of all religions.

What do we mean by a “fundamentalist”? Google provides a good definition of this term:

“A person who believes in the strict, literal interpretation of scripture in a religion.”

So, in other words, a fundamentalist is someone who takes the claims of the official holy books of their religion literally. In this case, we are talking about people who take the word of the Bible (and other canonical texts) as literally true.

These people typically believe that the Bible describes real history, events and people. They believe that since the Bible says God made the universe that God made the universe.

The Old Testament describes how God flooded the world and Noah built an ark. So, they believe a global flood happened. And that Noah loaded a not at all seaworthy ark with an impossible array of animals. And so forth.

Not only do they believe in the alleged events of the Bible, they believe that everything else in the Bible is the inerrant and infallibly true Word of God. They believe that anything God says is literally true. Regardless of how much evidence proves that God is wrong.

We know the Old Testament was written by desert-dwelling savages around 2600 and 3000 years ago. They will never accept that. We know that the New Testament is the result of Roman political propaganda. But they will not accept that either.

The fable of the Flood was stolen from the Epic of Gilgamesh. Which stole its flood from the Epic of Atrahasis. So, their nonsense was not even original!

No, fundamentalists believe whatever the Bible tells them. Or, more often, whatever their religious leaders tell them the Bible says. Many of them have read little or none of the Bible!

The truth does not matter to these people. As it does not matter to any devoutly religious person. If it mattered to them, they would not be devoutly religious. They would not take everything they read in the Bible or are told by their religious leaders on faith. They would not have faith in anything at all!

Faith is the belief in something for no reason whatsoever and is defended against all reason. It is thus the most dishonest position it is possible to have. And as with any form of dishonesty, there are consequences for holding faith in anything.

Why? Because faith and reality are always in conflict. As is every claim is assumed for no reason and against all reason.

It is not simply that fundamentalists are wrong.

They are, they are wrong about almost everything of any real importance which pertains to their religion. As they must be since what they believe has no basis and blind assumptions are almost always wrong.

Once you have rejected reality and embraced faith, what does that leave you to believe? Whatever you want to believe in, as long as it is assumed blindly.

Most often this takes the form of whatever is emotionally satisfying or easy to understand. Or which provides moral guidance with no actual connection to how man should act in order to be happy and thrive.

Every culture seems to posit some kind of spiritual existence after death where the spirit can endure the death of the body. And every religion seems to offer some form of spiritual existence after bodily death usually by obeying the moral teachings of the religion and doing the bidding of the clergy.

Every religion tries to offer its followers moral teachings. This makes sense. We all need moral guidance in order to help choose which actions to take in life.

Once you have rejected reality, you must get that moral guidance from somewhere and religions are all happy to offer that. Often with plenty of threats or instructions regarding how to achieve spiritual immortality while doing so.

So it is that most devoutly religious people are heavily emotionally invested in their religion. They believe that their religion is the only means of moral guidance they have and more importantly, the only means by which they can achieve some kind of immortality.

Heaven
All religions elevate some kind of afterlife above reality.

It should come as little surprise that many of these people desperately cling to the teachings of their religion. Reality has little interest to them, unlike their religion. They are strongly incentivized to defend their religion against the facts of reality.

So, it should come as little surprise that since reality conflicts with religions, fundamentalists have little interest in reality.

If science touches on something opined on by their religion, science is always rejected in favour of what their religion tells them.

Fundamentalists are not just wrong; they are hostile to many areas of science. Including biology, evolution, astronomy, taxonomy and more.

What They Are Wrong About

Clearly, fundamentalism disagrees with reality. It asserts that God created the universe and then the Earth and then the Sun, then the Moon. And then man and other creatures. As well as asserting countless other miracles.

People of a more scientific mindset know that this is not the case. We know that such mythologies are not only arbitrary, but they are also blatantly false. Almost everything we know about the world, the stars and every living thing, contradicts every creation myth.

This is all arbitrary nonsense. And so, in many ways, it warrants no serious argument. But I think it is nonetheless interesting to list some of the countless things the Christian faith is wrong about and some of its many contradictions with reality.

Roman coin

More Creating Christ Interviews!

This blog post takes the chance to share news of further “Creating Christ” interviews performed by MythVision. As many of you know, we are big fans of that book and the thesis it presents. So, it should come as no surprise that we would choose to share some updates on this.

Some of you will remember episode ten of the Metaphysics of Physics podcast, where we interviewed James Valliant on the book “Creating Christ”.

For those whom do not, this book details the remarkable and crucial evidence for the Roman involvement in the creation of Christianity. You can find out more by listening to the original podcast or you keep reading.

Episode Ten – Interview With The Author of “Creating Christ”

James Valliant has been very busy since then and has performed another excellent interview with the presenters of the excellent MythVision podcast. This interview has two parts and I highly recommend that you listen to both parts. Even if you have heard our interview with James. It covers some stuff in more detail or at least from a slightly different angle.

Click here for part one, which covers the first hour of the interview.

And click here for part two, covering the second hour of the interview.

James Valliant then went on to record a second interview with the MythVision. This time with his co-author Warren Fahy. And the distinguished scholar and expert on such matters, Dr Robert Price!

Why this particular scholar? Well, Dr Price has recently expressed great interest and support for the thesis of “Creating Christ”. This does not mean that he necessarily fully committed to agreeing with everything in the book, but there is enough to make him think.

In any case, It is obviously a great step for any thesis when notable scholars in the field start to take notice.

Do you want to know more about what Dr Price has to say on this? Well, you can out by listening to the MythVision interview. Click here to do that.

Dr. Price also reviewed “Creating Christ”! You can see that review by clicking here.

mushroom cloud

No, It Was Moral To Use Nukes Against Japan

I recently read the following article regarding the nukes used against Japan:

https://fee.org/articles/ike-and-leahy-were-right-the-bombings-of-hiroshima-and-nagasaki-were-wrong

And here are my brief thoughts on this issue. Which I have very strong views on.

Let me explain the reality of the situation.

The Reality

Anyone insisting the bombings were wrong has no understanding of the history or the moral issues. Or is advocating monstrously immoral surrender to evil.

Both nukes were absolutely moral. Let me explain why.

Japan had to be defeated. They made it clear that they were never going to cease their attacks until they won. Or until they were rendered unable to continue fighting.

So, that gave the US and its allies one option: Allow Japan to defeat them or defeat Japan. Obviously, they were not about to let Japan defeat them, not when that would mean the destruction of their countries.

So, they had to defeat Japan. But how to do so?

They could invade the mainland and destroy Japan’s ability to fight the war. That would involve firebombing much of Japans major cities and infrastructure into oblivion and then invading and causing vast destruction.

Much of Japan and its infrastructure would have been utterly destroyed. And many, many millions of Japanese lives would have been lost. Most of its major population centers destroyed.

Millions of US lives would also have been lost and the US and its allies would have spent years and billions of dollars of damages achieving this. For no reason, when they could prevented these deaths with the deployment of the nukes.

There was one alternative: Drop nukes on Japan until it surrendered. Since much of Japan would have been destroyed in the invasion, everyone was better off this way.

Not that it was the job of the US to worry about that. The Japanese were the aggressor and choose to start a war with the US. Enemy aggressors must be stopped. Regardless of what destruction must be rained down upon them to achieve this.

The destruction caused as a result is not the moral fault of those defeating the aggressor. They must destroy their enemy and force unconditional surrender, regardless of how much destruction is required to do so.

The defending nation must bear no moral blame for the level of destruction they must inflict upon their enemy before victory is achieved. The aggressor nation, in this case, Japan, must bear full moral blame for the destruction brought upon them by any wars they initiate.

Any nation defending against such an aggressor has the right to inflict unlimited destruction upon the enemy nation. And should do so if it helps achieve military victory. And thus remove the threat to their existence.

Including inflicting innocent casualties. Since the alternative is massive innocent casualties within their own nation.

Not that there are all that many innocent civilans in enemy states. After all, the leadership of a country tends to reflects its dominant political and moral idealogies.

But, let’s go back to what the US decided to do: Nuke one city and then give the Japanese a chance to surrender. They told them that they had a chance to surrender and should do so.

They refused. Another bomb was dropped. No long afterwards, they did surrender.

Now, which do you think is the better result, for everyone?

The nukes. The Japanese certainly came to agree. They came to see the nukes as “Gifts from Heaven”. Two cities were destroyed and many lives were lost. But they surrendered. Before much of their country was destroyed. They recognized that the nuclear destruction of two of their cities saved them from a far more destructive invasion and a far greater loss of Japanese lives.

nukes

If the nukes were so immoral, why then did the Japanese view them as “Gifts from Heaven”?

Were the nukes immoral? Given the only moral alternative was the widespread destruction of much of the country and a far greater loss of life? If it was immoral to nuke Japan, why were the Japanese so grateful?

Is any loss of life in enemy states immoral? What then was the alternative? Surrender to Japan and the loss of the war? Massive destruction of US and Allied nations and loss of Allied life?

Either the nukes were moral or you have to hold one of two false premises: That Japan would have been better off firebombed into oblivion or that the US had no business winning the war and should have allowed Japan to defeat it.

Either premise is false and indicative of either immense ignorance or moral surrender to evil.

Which is it? Or do you support the US nuking of Japan after all?

It really is this simple. If you value lives, on either side, then the only rational conclusion is that the nukes were moral.

Read more on this issue using the following link:

https://www.theobjectivestandard.com/issues/2007-winter/american-victory-over-japan-1945/

Global Warming and Computer Modelled Anti-Life Equations

Today I saw an interesting article that might help others see the anti-life agenda of the global warming movement:

The Zeller-Nikolov climate discovery may turn the world upside down.

This is not the first time I have seen an article which casts credible doubt on the role of carbon in global warming. This is one of the best in terms of causing some serious doubt on whether there is any credible science to behind the environmentalist movement.

If it is true that carbon is not necessarily a significant contributor to global warming, why then do so many scientists think that it is?

Firstly, the consensus is not nearly as large as many would have us believe. There have long been many climate scientists whom either doubt the theory that carbon is a significant factor in global warming or are still undecided.

Below we can see a long list of such scientists.

List of scientists who disagree with the “97%” consensus on global warming.

But, in fact, it does not matter whether there is a consensus. It does not matter if 0% or 100% of scientists agree with something, in neither case is that an indication of whether something is true. At one point most people, including educated people that knew anything about anything, thought the Earth was flat or that the objects in space were divine in nature. But, no sane person would argue that the fact most people believed such things made any of them true.

Truth is a matter of concordance with reality, not a matter of how many people you can get to agree with whatever you think. 97% of people can be just as badly wrong as one person and having more people on your side is in no way an indicator that you might be right. Only the facts can indicate that.

But why do the climate scientists that do believe it, whatever the proportion that might be, believe it?

This can largely be attributed to computer modelling. They have run an endless series of computer models, many of which confirm their assumptions.

But one must be very careful with computer models. They prove nothing about how the things they model actually work. They are useful for helping to identify potential areas of research, but their results do not themselves prove anything. They are not replacements for research and experiments in order to learn about how reality works.

They are nothing more than automated thought experiments and prove no more than would a thought experiment. If you conduct a thought experiment in your mind, it proves nothing about external reality. If you want to learn how reality outside your mind works, you have to study nature by performing experiments and collecting data.

Old Computer

it does not matter if you use this old thing or a supercomputer, it proves nothing.

A computer model is a mathematical model that processes data according to whatever rules its programmers program into it. It does whatever its programming tells it do and no more. If the assumptions of the programmer are wrong, then so is your model.

The model’s programmers have to make a series of such assumptions as to how to simulate the phenomena it is intended to model. According to their understanding of the phenomena and how closely they can get their model to simulate the actual phenomena.  Which can be very difficult when you are dealing with complicated things which are difficult to accurately model or which you do not properly understand.