Category Archives: Philosophy

Reply to (For Atheists and Agnostics…) a post on the DeviantArt Forums

The question formulated by LostintheWhirlwind was the following:

I would like to know a specific reason why you do not believe in God or any other higher power.

Please actually explain yourself, and please don’t flame. I’m really interested in knowing what you all think.

I am an agnostic and I believe that the question is quite easy to answer.

Now, why would I choose to be an agnostic? What I am searching for a proves. You need proves in almost all the areas and parts of your daily life.

You do need to have a driving license when operating a car, so that you can prove that you are able to. You have to prove to your bank that you earn money in order to get a credit card. In court you have to be proven guilty before you can be sent to prison. Now, this last example is actually the most important one. Perhaps because it is the most obvious one to everybody, but perhaps because we just need – as human beings who like to question and analyse things – that something has taken place (a crime for instance) otherwise there is no need to believe that said convicted is a bad person and whatnot.

Interestingly, religion is the only place (hence the almost in my third sentence) I know of – or that I can come up with in a fraction of a second – where this seems not to apply. Why is that? I do not know. Prove me that that there is a god, and I will accept and formally acknowledge that I have been wrong. So far though, nobody has been able to do that.

You might argue that I could just as well prove that there is no god. Fair enough. But I believe I can counter that. To do so, we’ll have to get back to the court example I gave earlier on. People don’t go to a judge and say: “Look I haven’t done anything wrong.” without having been accused. There just is no need to prove that you haven’t done something, if there is nobody able to show that there has been an illegal act of your part. I reckon that most people do share my opinion on these court “rules”.

Now, I ask you. Where is the proof that there has been something – or that there is something – like a god? Asking me to prove that there is none seems just to be asking the question the wrong way around, as I tried to show with the court analogy.

As always, no offense meant to anybody whoever worships a god. I hope though that you will be able to understand why I am not.

Now, who would have thought…

I rarely take those online personality tests which so many people seem to freak about. I publish the results even more rarely. But this… Goodness me, I would never have though of this.

A blog entry by Erik on the Xfce Blog got me motivated to take this one (What is your Perfect Major?).

You scored as Philosophy. You should be a Philosophy major! Like the Philosopher, you are contemplative and you enjoy thinking about the purpose for humanity’s existence.

  • Philosophy – 100%
  • Linguistics – 92%
  • Theater – 92%
  • Chemistry – 92%
  • Engineering – 92%
  • Mathematics – 92%
  • English – 92%
  • Psychology – 75%
  • Sociology – 75%
  • Journalism – 67%
  • Anthropology – 58%
  • Dance – 58%
  • Biology – 58%
  • Art – 50%

Anyhow – you may move along now.

Open Source and the metric system

I am sad to see that while certain people propagate the use of free and open software, they keep on using something horribly outdated – the “imperial” unit of measurement. The International System of Units is used throughout the entire world, yet some Open Source software is not using it by default.

The one piece of software I ran across today, which was using that outdated system was Open Office. Now, I can not claim that it was indeed Open Office, because it might just as well be that the Ubuntu Crew changed some settings when packaging OpenOffice.org2 – than again it isn’t important who did this.

What I mean is, how can one advocate open source software, yet rely on a non universal standard for units of measurement. How bluntly irrational is it to criticize Microsoft for not conforming to a certain standard yet not doing so oneself? While nobody awaits from Microsoft to suddenly step forward and do something right, you could await such a thing from people who propagate the use and the right to use free and useful software.

I fear that not many people see this matter as I see it though. And crap; I am not in favor of dropping the support of the “imperial” system right away, or at all for that matter. I am just bored to see that the default setting keeps on being non-SI.

The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd

Well, I once again felt like reading poetry. Not that that feeling is something special, but I came across this wonderful poem which I liked that much that I decided share it with you.

Now frankly I do not think that many people care. But some might… So here we go:

The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd by Sir Walter Ralegh

If all the world and love were young,
and truth in every shepherd’s tongue,
these pretty pleasures might me move,
to live with thee and be thy love.

Time drives the flocks from field to fold,
when rivers rage and rocks grow cold,
and Philomel becometh dumb;
the rest complains of cares to come.

The flowers do fade, and wanton fields,
to wayward winter reckoning yields;
a honey tongue, a heart of gall,
is fancy’s spring, but sorrow’s fall.

Thy gowns, they shoes, thy beds of roses,
thy cap, thy kirtle, and thy posies,
soon break, soon wither, soon forgotten -
in folly ripe, in reason rotten.

Thy belt of straw and ivy buds,
thy coral clasps and amber studs,
all these in me no means can move,
to come to thee and be thy love.

But could youth last and love still breed,
had joys no date nor age no need,
then these delights my mind might move,
to live with thee and be thy love.

Google Talk

I am wondering at the moment what is best to be done. Technically I think that it is bad that Google is gaining more and more power on the net. Do not get me wrong, I basically do not have anything against Google, my concern is that Google might end up like Microsoft, and I do not like the position Microsoft is in at the moment.

Anyhow. My question is as follows. Is it a good thing to promote Google Talk or is it not? I mean, even though Google is definitely on the way to gain a huge amount of power – they are relying on an open standard, even if at the moment it still isn’t possible to sent a message from the “normal” Jabber network to Google Talk – isn’t is better to promote a “by standard” open network as Google Talk over the closed ones like for instance OSCAR2 (AOL and ICQ) or MSN?

Do you think that using Google Talk is any better than ICQ, AIM or MSN?

At the moment I still do not know. I think however that I tend towards the alternative of recommending Google Talk. We’ll see…