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Mathsteach2

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About Mathsteach2

  • Rank
    Castellian
  • Birthday 04/27/1942

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  • Gender: Male
  • Location: Barbados, W.I.
  • Interests: Spending time with my wife.
    Science and religion interface.
    Chess.
  • About me: I am a retired school teacher from the UK, secondary physics, mathematics and drama. My wife is a Barbadian, a retired nurse.

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Mathsteach2's Activity

  1. Mathsteach2 added a post in a topic PBS Crash Course Philosophy on U-Tube   

    I think I have learnt to copy and paste!
    Thank you for your post, The Heretic, I hope you do not mean the whole website, just this Extend Forum. My last post here was confusing, this thread was intended to find out what anyone thought about the Crash Philosophy course on U-Tube. I would open a thread on ID in the Science Forum, perhaps under a sub-title "Science or Pseudo-Science?". I also need to look at what is already here on ID. The last post in my thread on the TES website questions my suggestion that philosophy does not, and never has, provided absolute answers to anything!
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  2. Mathsteach2 added a post in a topic "Does Fascism lurk around the corner for the US?"   

     
    Now that Trump is President Elect, I have had a re-read of this thread, including the links in it. We certainly seem to be heading for a tumultuous term of office (if it lasts), and I remain interested but glad to be out of it now, at my age.
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  3. Mathsteach2 added a post in a topic PBS Crash Course Philosophy on U-Tube   

    I realize this is a quiet website, but I am a little disappointed that I have had no responses so far.  I came here to avoid the eristic interchanges on the TES (UK) website, but at the moment I   have something going on in their RE Forum.

    This forum here is entitled "whatever else we want to talk about". I want to talk  about Intelligent Design, and I am sure that here I can avoid eristic arguments. Please respond, and I will move my discussion here (but which I am holding in TES) perhaps as well, to answer my dilemma (explained in my last post in TES - I will try to give the link if required ). I do hope this website is not due to fold, it has been the most supportive of my own particular philosophy  (viz-a-vix Paul Feyerabend), and I really do not want my life's motivation  (anarchy, Feyerabend version of course - Dadaism) to flounder.
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  4. Mathsteach2 added a topic in Site   

    copy and paste
    THIS IS A TEST  (copy and paste)
    Oops its worked! But what did I do? At first I got my window described below now(!), with no paste option, then touched a few buttons e.g. <ENTER>, then my paste option window appeared. I will try again now with my first intended OP:
    "I have had trouble trying to copy and paste my posts into forum threads here. I use WordPad to compose, giving me time to do corrections, then a right click on the mouse allows me to copy it. When I sign onto TGL and go to a reply window, the right hand click returns a window which does not have the paste option."
    Success, but I still do not know what I did! Any suggestions?
     
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  5. Mathsteach2 added a topic in Extend   

    PBS Crash Course Philosophy on U-Tube
    I do not seem to be able to copy and paste, so I will try this:
    Crash Psychology.rtf
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  6. Mathsteach2 added a post in a topic "Does Fascism lurk around the corner for the US?"   

    Many thanks, The Heretic, for the links. I too have found quite a number (I referred to one in the Guardian UK but did not give the link), therefore the possibility of fascism in the USA is certainly a popular topic amongst the pundits, and is, of course, in the title of this thread.
    The question remains, whether or not the USA could become a fascist state rather than a democratic one, accepting the simplistic definitions of these forms of government? Obama has recently assured the Vietnamese that Donald Trump will not become president, but even assuming this, the movement worldwide against democracy is on the increase. Cameron says he will meet with Trump if he becomes elected, even though a while ago he said he would not allow him to enter the UK because of his pronouncements concerning Muslims. To maintain "the special relationship" I guess he would have no alternative!
    We all have to wait and see. I say to Peter that I no longer care because I am old and not bothered any more, but that is not to say that I am not interested or concerned. In fact, this world prospect of the rise of authoritarianism (if not fascism) seems to be to me very disappointing, being an arm-chair anarchist (with my acknowledgements to Paul Feyerabend)!
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  7. Mathsteach2 added a post in a topic "Does Fascism lurk around the corner for the US?"   

    I hope this works!!
    American politics5.rtf
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  8. Mathsteach2 added a post in a topic "Does Fascism lurk around the corner for the US?"   

    "Trump is not the problem" has to be a truism of the first order. He may become a problem if he succeeds in becoming President, and I am suggesting that the USA would then be on the slippery slope towards a fascist state, and civil war and possibly WW3 to defeat it as in WW2.
    The problem is the innate evil in all of us, and the propensity to give this evil space to flourish in an economic and socially divisive society such as the USA appears to be moving towards. Of course, as in Germany in the 1930's, many citizens would emigrate, or would stay and resist, but far more will at least acquiesce quietly, or worse they will become part of the fascist hegemony.
    Michael S. Pearl's last post addresses this issue eloquently and adequately in terms of an analysis, but are we any nearer to solutions? Will the Republican Party refuse to endorse his nomination (and would he then run as an Independent?), and if the Democratic candidate becomes President will we get more of the same, and further down the road (perhaps not in my lifetime) will we still be confronting the possibilities of civil strife or worse?
    I was about to post this little piece, but I then came across this, following the watching of a short interview on CNN of Jonathan Weiler.
    http://www.vox.com/2016/3/1/11127424/trump-authoritarianism
    My trends of observation and thought are not my own but have been around for quite some time. Authoritarianism is on the rise it appears, I wonder if and how it will end?
     
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  9. Mathsteach2 added a post in a topic "Does Fascism lurk around the corner for the US?"   

    How close are we to civil war in the USA, or to WW3?!
    Perhaps my pre-occupation with death in another thread, and to evil in another thread, brings me to my pessimism being expressed in this thread. Unless, of course, this whole conversation here is being treated as a joke, as I have already suggested, and the sanity which we exhibit in TGL will manifest itself in American politics. But again I repeat, I am not holding my breath.
    Michael S. Pearl suggests it is not useful to compare the current presidential and economic cicumstances with Germany or Italy in the 1920's and 30's, but some commentators are doing precisely that. Are we really on the slippery slope to fascism in the USA, or is it the end of the Republican Party as we know it? However, a one-party state, in this case presumably the Democratic Party, could become just as authoritarian as any other. Perhaps the two-term only presidency is one safety valve which would avoid this?
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  10. Mathsteach2 added a post in a topic "Does Fascism lurk around the corner for the US?"   

    Many thanks for your two links, Michael S. Pearl. There is plenty of reading there, especially if we include the embedded links in each article.

    The one which attracted me immediately was from your second link, and questioned whether or not Donald Trump was a fascist. It seems to me that this thread is not concerned with that. The title is very clear, "Does Fascism lurk around the corner for the US?", with no reference there to Donald Trump, and I am therefore ,trying to stick to this topic of the thread.

    May I suggest that we are apparently obsessed with the  media presentations of the American political process, and Trump is captivating a lot of it! What I am trying to focus on is whether or not the machinery and protocol of the American political process, complicated as it is which may be to its advantage, is sufficiently robust and mature to avoid the catastrophe of the governments of Germany and Italy in the 1930's? If it is not, then the inherent evil in all of us could well manifest itself in a democratically elected government.

    Once overt authoritarianism is in power, all moderate and liberal people will acquiesce to it, and thug mentality will predominate in millions, giving rise to a fascist state with imprisonment or worse for the objectors, unless they go to war against it. This is the scenario I paint in response to the thread title. I hope and pray that sufficient numbers of us have learnt from history that this will not occur, but dare I hold my breath?
     
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  11. Mathsteach2 added a topic in Read   

    Anna Karenina and Tolstoy
    It was suggested to me recently on a UK teachers' website that reading (and watching films) was passive, and that in my old age (I am 73, but somewhat disabled) I need to get involved in more active pastimes.

    Here at TGL "The Brothers Karamazov" was recommended, which I have now read twice.

    My reason for posting here is in answer to the forum title, concerning the book which I am reading now, and to suggest my involvement is not passive. I could have posted in the thread begun by spitfire8125 in 2008, but I was hoping to confine this discussion solely to Anna and Tolstoy, if a discussion takes off.

    "Anna Karenina", translated by Constance Garnett and downloaded from Project Gutenburg, which is enabling me to read it on a laptop, even in bed, the laptop propped sideways(!), takes me into a real world far more effectively than any film. I marvel at the detail which Tolstoy puts into his descriptions, of the characters, of conversations, of events, and the descriptions of the weather, the scenery, the farming, the horse racing, the social gatherings - everything and anything is treated with the same minute detail. And in my retirement, I now have the time to read it all slowly and be transported into a world of wealth, privilege and debauchery, and also the world of peasantry. My cynicism concerning present day world affairs, including American politics, is entirely reinforced, and I can relax in my retirement thinking there is nothing I can do about it. I am reminded of the elderly couple in the film "Titanic", who lay in bed in theinr cabin whilst so may others were pointlessly rushing around the decks above!
     
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  12. Mathsteach2 added a post in a topic "Does Fascism lurk around the corner for the US?"   

    I am realising that this thread was started really as a joke! The lack of responses to my last post tell me this, and it seems fascism (as defined by my dictionary quotation) is never going to happen. Thank goodness for that!
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  13. Mathsteach2 added a post in a topic "Does Fascism lurk around the corner for the US?"   

    In conversation with friends here in Barbados, they are suggesting that there has been no response so far to my last post because I have hit a nail on the head, and Americans are not prepared to defend their propensity towards evil which may result in a movement towards fascism in their government, supported by the populace mentality to which I have already referred.

    Please note that my posts are entirely in response to the title of this thread, so I am sure on this site I will not be criticized for expressing some concern about American voters and their politics. I ask again, will the establshed democratic process of the USA avoid the situation which provided Hitler in the 1930s his rise to power? We are saying here in Barbados that if Trump becomes the USA president, then it may take a war to defeat his position.
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  14. Mathsteach2 added a post in a topic "Does Fascism lurk around the corner for the US?"   

    Many thanks (seriously) for the comic strip, chad3006, I enjoyed watching it but I have to say I gave up reading comics at 10 years old with The Dandy and The Beano (UK). I read mostly science fiction through my teens, and then, regrettably, gave up all fiction until now, in my seventies. Video games totally bore me!

    This video is, of course, a piece of total fiction, along with Superman and Batman etc. The idea of the all American hero is appealing, and in reality they do exist - I always wear a poppy on Armistice Day in the UK - in memory of all who died during the wars.

    However, and there is a reference in this thread to the existence of evil either in all of us, or an objective evil, and since we know that racism and other prejudices do exist, often overtly, then it may be that should fascism surface in the USA, it may take a war to defeat it. It certainly took WW2 to defeat it in the 1940s.

    There are many people with the thug mentality, even in the police and armed services, therefore, as has already been said, it would be quite easy for fascism to arise in the USA. The equivalent of the Nazi SS and storm troopers would be created, and American super-heroes would be reduced to resistance fighters, or they would leave, as many Germans did so in the 1930s. Are we confident that the so-called American democratic process would avoid this?
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  15. Mathsteach2 added a post in a topic "Does Fascism lurk around the corner for the US?"   

    This being a philosophy site, it is quite acceptable to question the meaning of the words we use. Until chad3006 raised this issue, it seems we have all been using the word as if we had all agreed as to its preferred meaning. I am quite comfortable with a dictionary definition: "A governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism".

    As I have said, I am trying to be a realist. We do have governments, we do have nation states, and therefore we do have national boundaries, ultimately defended by military force (Tolstoy). My contribution here is to express my concerns that the USA is on the slippery slope towards this type of government, and I made two statements in my last post about which I now have some reservations.

    I am beginning to lose faith in the majority American electorate. Trump appears to be appealing to a populace (that is, the ignorant, prejudiced and corporate) voter, and reading the whole of this thread again makes me think that they may well succeed democratically. Someone said Americans get the politicians they deserve.

    My second statement said that Hillory Clinton would become the next president, but it seems she is beginning to struggle. Trump may well get in - "Heil Hitler!". Being now in my seventies, I really couldn't care less, but I feel the need to keep my mind active and occasionally contribute to discussions here. I will certainly try to avoid eristic exchanges, which seem to, unfortunately, occasionally creep into this site.
    (Copy and paste from WordPad has worked now, with my new laptop!)
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