A philosophical joke

Courtesy of Jerry Fodor. Posted because I’m bored of seeing the previous post at the top of the page…

Once upon a time, a visiting scholar presented a lecture on the topic: ‘How many philosophical positions are there in principle?’ ‘In principle,’ he began, ‘there are exactly 12 philosophical positions.’ A voice called from the audience: ‘Thirteen.’ ‘There are,’ the lecturer repeated, ‘exactly 12 possible philosophical positions; not one less and not one more.’ ‘Thirteen,’ the voice from the audience called again. ‘Very well, then,’ said the lecturer, now perceptibly irked, ‘I shall proceed to enumerate the 12 possible philosophical positions. The first is sometimes called “naive realism”. It is the view according to which things are, by and large, very much the way that they seem to be.’ ‘Oh,’ said the voice from the audience. ‘Fourteen!’

Student elections

Our SRC (Student’s Representative Council) elections are underway. The candidate manifestos usually make for interesting reading, if only because of their idealism in terms of what they hope to accomplish during their terms of office. Sometimes, however, you find something truly alarming, such as this manifesto from Philani Msomi. While it’s reproduced verbatim, I’m afraid that I can’t do justice to the bizarre layout.

THE MISSION BEHIND THIS PAPER:

IS TO STOP UNIVERSITY MANAGEMENT FROM RUNNING THIS INSTITUTION AS A BUSINESS

TO CREATE A BETTER PEOPLES FRIEND CAMPUS

IS TO IMPLEMENT BETTER WAYS OF COMMUNICATION THAT WILL ENABLE STUDENTS TO UNLEASH THEIR ANGERS AND UNSATISFACTORINESS TO THE MANAGEMENT ON A DAILY BASIS

TO INTRODUCE AN EMAILING SYSTEM FOR LOST AND FOUND STUDENT CARDS AND OTHER PERSONAL BELONGINGS

TO INTRODUCE SUPPLEMENTS AND WINTER/SUMMER TERM(S)

IT IS NOT VISIONARY OR IDEALISTIC INDEPENDENT MINDED FOR AN INDEPENDENT CANDIDATE

I’ll report back after the election results are in, but I’d be willing to put money on him winning a seat on the council…

Apologists: lessons in how not to read

At some point, when time allows, I’ll share with you the extent of the confusion Christian apologists labour under. To generalise, this is a group that imagines themselves as Christian philosophers, and who take on the challenge of defending their belief system through what they imagine to be rational argumentation. Some even actively engage, and attempt to refute, arguments they encounter on non-theistic websites. Unfortunately, most of these non-theistic websites do civilization no favours themselves, as their rabid athiesm leads them to offer arguments nearly as poor as those of the theists. But sometimes the apologists don’t even bother trying to argue – they simply lie.
Continue reading “Apologists: lessons in how not to read”

Drones in denial

Yes, I’m a bad person, etc. With that out of the way, let us begin with the following, from Frank Lampard, via The Guardian:

Consider Lampard’s reflections after a fortnight spent on Roman Abramovich’s yacht. “I suppose people imagine that as a Premiership footballer, my life is quite special,” he hazards. “I would agree, but those two weeks opened my eyes to another world.” Ah, a millionaire yearning to be a billionaire … is there anything more charmless?

At dinner last Friday night, our ragtag collection of Resistentialism were confronted by a tsunami of social disorder. The tsunami was fully embodied in one person, rather than the more typical distribution involving a group of people, each exhibiting one or more elements.

Continue reading “Drones in denial”

Slacking, work, World Cup…

Apologies for the paucity of posts – until that Golden Day when slackers are given the respect they deserve, life and work sometimes intrude on one’s Resistentialism. And furthermore, one could quite safely gamble on this relative silence continuing until July 9 or so, when the World Cup ends (although there is another – quite likely – alternative: that Resistentialist.com gets completely subsumed by football posts!).

For the historical record, and hopefully to demonstrate the supreme powers that higher level Resistentialists possess, here is a document of the Semi-Finalists and winner of the 2006 World Cup:

Semi-finals: Argentina, Netherlands, Brazil, France

Final: Netherlands vs Argentina

Winner: Netherlands

Top-scorer: Ruud van Nistelrooy

I’d like to say England will win, but Argentina beat them in the QuarterFinals (I think on penalties, but my crystal ball is a bit cloudy on this issue).

Dumbing down

There are different kinds of silence; ours, I think, was an instinctive dread of catching the plague of dramatic rhetoric. People do not realize how insidiously, in certain circumstances, they can be infected by the rhetorical. And how important it is at least to try to shake it off. And to do so in the name of what seems a simple but is actually a perverse rule, that it is on the slippery confines between the banal and the mysterious that we only fleetingly brush against the never wholly grasped nature of things.
– Gustaw Herling

Continue reading “Dumbing down”

Someone please save us from god

The fundamentalist machine of Christianity – and its attendant programme of social engineering – is gathering pace at an alarming rate. While public chastity vows have been a regular feature of parts of American society for 7 or so years, we’re now also able to take our teenage daughters to “chastity balls“, where fathers and their offspring can slow dance to songs about god’s love, and promise to protect/be protected from impurity until “the right time” arrives. Continue reading “Someone please save us from god”

Playing the game

It must be 7 years since I finished my M.A., but I have yet to register for a Ph.D. Part of the reason is, of course, the amount of teaching that junior staff members end up doing. But a larger part of the reason is that I am a slacker (although a fellow Resistentialist claims that I’m too organised to count as a slacker). I’ll insist that I have earned the label, though, and cite in my defense that he’s actually produced far more measurable “product” than I have in the past 2 years or so. Continue reading “Playing the game”

Darling Nikki

One member of the Resistential community cannot understand why the rest of us are so attached to our (or each others’) cats. Perhaps we do fall into the quite typical trap of anthropomorphism when interacting with our cats, but despite that, they remain wonderful companions. And they are undoubtedly resistential – they may in fact be the ones who brought the movement to this planet. Continue reading “Darling Nikki”

The evils of “Democracy”

It has frequently been commented that the US has a rather peculiar relationship with democracy, at least in an ideological sense. They trumpet its virtues and their pride in being democratic, and even sometimes start wars, ostensibly in defense of this political system. But if democracy means – as it surely does – that everyone gets to vote, and everyone’s vote counts equally, then how can we square the stated American commitment to democracy with the likelihood that Dubya would reject the outcome of any Iraqi election (for example) which placed a dedicated theocratic government in power, no matter how fair that election may have been? Continue reading “The evils of “Democracy””