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The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.Camus
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Re: Organism:


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Posted by Spratley on Thursday, December 05, 2002 at 13:35:47 :

In Reply to: Re: Organism: posted by Joe on Thursday, December 05, 2002 at 00:06:49 :

: First, under your definition of "organism", I fail to see how the universe is an organism. In fact, it strikes me as anything but.
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Your failure to see does not necessitate that it is not so. ELDRAS' question was "is it?" Your answer now is "no." So defend it. In your defense consider the following: Astronomoers almost universally agree that currently observable nebuli and stars had their origins in ancient supernovae, which distributed material outward into space, to be condensed later into new nebuli and stars. Also consider the Gaia principle --that earth is a a self sustaining positive feedback loop --that the by products of life are precisely what make life possible (Plants exhale oxygen, animals exhale CO2, plants inhale CO2. . .) Also consider that it is undetemined whether or not the universe will suffer heat death, or will contract into a big crunch, only to be reborn in anothe big bang.
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: Second, even if under some stretched definition of organism the universe counted, who cares? Eldras' question sucked because he wanted the connotations of "lions and tigers and bears" - thus the purported depth of the question - while not really arguing this point, a point that no one could argue.
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Funny. First you said that ELDRAS did not sufficiently indicate what he meant by organism. Now you tell me precisely what he meant.
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This liguistic bait and switch has caused absolute zeros like most existentialists and post-modernists to be read despite having exactly nothing useful to say.
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Number one qualification for being a philosopher (My opinion is that it is primary. No doubt it is essential): Knowing the difference between opinion and fact. You speak as if you have your hands on a fact, when it appears to me that you are just expressing an opinion, a taste, a sentiment. Socrates listed as his number one operating principle of philosophy :The only thing that I know is that I know nothing. What room do you leave for yourself to be in error about these things?
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: Third, grammar is quite useful in making a sophisticated point. I bitch about grammar at this site because 1) the lack of it invariably reflects a sloppy mind that hides behind a lack of clarity. Whatever one says about the point being made, the writer can always claim that "that's not what I meant" much like your late attempt to save Eldras. I have yet to meet a well-honed mind that expressed itself the way the pseudo-intellectuals at this site do.
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Well with a preemptive assumption like yours --that grammar is necessary for mental sophistication-- its no wonder you've never found a brilliant layman. You can't keep yourself from writing them off long enough to glimpse their brilliance! It seems to me that you make linguistic prowess a necessary condition for worthwhile mental content. Makes me wonder to what degree you mistake linguistic prowess for mental value.

True, thoughts for the most part ned to be expressed through language. The greater the skill at language, the greater the skill at comunicating thoughts. But, to invoke Socrates again, he also recognized the skill of elliciting other people's thoughts through his own use of language. The little slave boy in Meno couldn't express a mathematical opinion until Socrates asked some well-placed questions.

I didn't see you ask any questions. I just saw you stomp on someone's choice of language.
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Test yourself, Spratley. Limit your vocabulary to a few words and have them bounce around in your mind ungrammatically. How sophisticated are the thoughts you are able to think? Don't kid yourself that the two subjects are distinct? I assume the people who post here are trying to make their point as best they can.
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ITs a lot easier to have sophisticated thoughts when you free your thinking from the yoke of language. But according to the points you have made--the best you could make them-- without sophisticated language use the thoughts are nothing.

Some people have gifts with language. Some people don't. My own experience has been that the worth of one's thoughts do not depend on their talent with language. How do you reconcile our two differeing opinion?
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: 2) many people who post at this site are genuinely incomprehensible, and I haven't a clue what they're trying to say.

: Joe
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And yet, I don't see you asking any devoted questions (Example: You didn't ask ELDRAS what he meant by organism. Instead you told him that he didn't tell you what he meant, and then devalued him for not doing that courtesy.)




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