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Everything posted by Mathsteach2

  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.
    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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  16. Mathsteach2 added a post in a topic "Does Fascism lurk around the corner for the US?"   

    I do not know what I am doing!! God bless!
    American politics3.rtf
    And below is the text:
    It appears that my idealism is being compounded with my realism!
    Jesus, when He looked at a Roman coin, said we should give to Caesar what is his, and give to God what is His. I will add the other notable directive (from somewhere!) that when in Rome we should do as Rome does!
    Michael suggested that when I used the word "should", that we should all stay where we find ourselves, then perhaps there was a moral imperative implied. However, as individuals, we "should" all be free to do whatever we want, but also be directed by Jesus's command that we should do unto others only what we would have done to ourselves.
    My idealism rests on a world society without government and therefore there would be no national boundaries. Movement of people would be totally unrestricted. My realism rests on the fact that we do have governments, and therefore nation states, and national boundaries. In this thread I am trying to be realistic, not idealistic, but I Do not want to compromise my idealisms in conversation.
    Back then to American politics. Reading this thread, and its links, there seems to be a suggestion that there may be a repetition in the USA of facism, similar to the rise of Nazism in the 1930's. Hitler was democratically voted into power, and then eventually achieved dictatorship based on his racist and supremacist ideas. If Trump became the next US President, then I agree we might be on that slippery slope, but that is not going to happen. I have confidence in the ordinary American voter for them to see the slope.
    The existence of national boundaries (Trump's Mexican wall!) has to be addressed. Whilst they remain, border controls are inevitable, and each country will decide on the nature of those controls, ultimately backed up by physical force. The USA claims to be an open and free society and in many ways it is for those living within its borders, but there the rhetoric ends.
    This reminds me very much of the standard argument for conscription, heavily promulgated during WW1. That is, if you do not enlist, what would you do if enemy soldiers burst into your home and raped your wife and murdered your children? This is the reality to which I refer, and thousands responded and gave their lives.
    I disagree Chato, if refugees and boundary issues are addressed, this appears to be a very relavent input to a discussion about about presidential candidates, and the so-called protocols of American politics. I say again, Hillary Clinton is going to be your next US president.
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  17. Mathsteach2 added a post in a topic "Does Fascism lurk around the corner for the US?"   

    I am trying to copy and paste from WordPad, without success. The technicalities of the WWW, not only defeat me, but I am rapidly beginning to lose interest in this workings of the devil! (Teilhard de Chardin  acknowledged and excepted!!).
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  18. Mathsteach2 added a post in a topic "Does Fascism lurk around the corner for the US?"   

    Having tried to promote a discussion on American politics in Chato's other thread, which appears to now be generally ignored (without ignoring Michael S Pearl's response), I am going to throw in my immediate view (as a non-violent revolutionary viz-a-viz Tolstoy - perhaps Ghandi - and Paul Feyerabend) on immigration.
    In an ideal world society, there would be no national boundaries. OK, so let us move from an unattainable society (as described by William Morris, for instance, in "News From Nowhere" for instance), to present realities.
    My immediate reaction to any immigration/refugee problem is to say that people should stay where they are, no matter their circumstances. If their country disintegrates into civil war, they should stay within their own boundaries and do the best they can to survive, and hopefully resolve the conflict. Isn't that what happened during the American Civil War? Where did refugees go then!?
    If their own country declares war on another country, or is invaded by another country, they stay where they are and try to survive (become soldiers or resistance fighters if so inclined). I guess I need not cite the experiences of millions during WW1 and WW2.
    Therefore what is motivating the present refugee crisis? Surely it has to be that the refugees, and in peace time the immigrants, think they are going to get a better life in another country. Perhaps they should talk to the millions of Americans who are already on the poverty line, and exist only on social services.
    Donald Trump should begin to espouse some revolutionary philosophies (beyond what he has already done!). However, it is all academic, Hillary Clinton is going to  be the next US president.
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  19. Mathsteach2 added a post in a topic GOP recent events   

    My apologies, Michael, it was not my intention to use the word "terrorists" to specifically mean radicalised Muslims. Inappropriately, and totally without understanding the political ideology of anarchism, the media might use "anarchists" instead of terrorists, and that would also convey my use of the word "terrorist". Karen Armstrong, in her book "The Battle for God" (2000), identifies what I mean by terrorism, motivated by religious fundamentalism.
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  20. Mathsteach2 added a post in a topic GOP recent events   

    I want to copy and paste from WordPad. How do I do this? Well, I did something (log out and sign back in) and it seems to have worked!
    Perhaps my last post has closed conversation in this thread because it has 'hit the nail on the head'!?
    As a retired British national, now living in Barbados with my Barbadian wife, we are both finding time to try (!?) to understand the US political landscape. We can mostly only do this by watching the TV media coverage. I was hoping to read some interesting views here in TGL and this thread was started by chad3006, but this poster seems to have retired from the thread.
    To be more specific, we (my wife and myself) are interested in how the USA is going to deal with Islamic terrorism, particularly ISIS, but now we seem to have some Muslims responsible for 14 deaths in California. Apparently they are both now dead (shot by police) but is this nonsense ever going to end?
    Thank God that we are both retired, in our 70's, and if we stay at home the likelyhood of anything happening to us is minimised! We are recommending this even to younf people, but that, I think, is exactly what the terrorists want, to shut down the capitalist system, exemplified by the USA. So again I ask, with my arm-chair anarchist views, if I was a USA citizen, for whom should I vote?
    Hillary Clinton is going to get it, we all know that, but as Michael Pearl says, 'same old, same old' (even if a Republican gets in!), or is it time for a revolution (Tolstoy/Gandhi style, that is non-violent), or are we all too comfortable not to get out on the streets and cause some real and effective criticism of capitalism?
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  21. Mathsteach2 added a post in a topic GOP recent events   

    I appear to be getting the impression that posters here are not overwhelmingly impressed with contemporary politics or politicians! The last but one election here in Barbados I voted for the old opposition; not to get them in for their policies, but to get the other ones out! We were successful, but little has changed and my vote has supported them into their second term. Five years more then of the "same old same old", but I hope and pray that Barbados remains free from terrorism. The world stage is frighteningly interesting nowadays, and no-one has any real answers, do they?
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  22. Mathsteach2 added a post in a topic GOP recent events   

    You have left me a little confused and "in the air", Michael!
    Confused, because I thought it was legitimate for anyone interested in the enormous variety of philosophical positions to prefer one or more to others, although I fully accept an eclecticism in any position, political, religious or philosophical, which we may hold. I am no expert, but we often say John Locke was an empiricist, Emmanuel Kant was an idealist, John Stuart Mill was a utilitarian, Plato was an idealist and a realist, etc. Of course to begin to understand in depth what these over-simplified designations really mean, and the supreme fault of categorization, we have to study philosophy!
    I am still "in the air" concerning American politics. The statements of the presidential candidates may all be pure rhetoric, which returns me to my anarchical position not to vote, because whoever we vote for the government always gets in! As a citizen I do support the democratic process and I do vote, once every five years, but I hold no great faith in any real change or anything being done to solve man's inhumanity to man.
    As a progressive, and if I was a US citizen, who should I vote for!!
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  23. Mathsteach2 added a post in a topic GOP recent events   

    I am still struggling as to how to copy and paste my post, which I usually compose with WordPad.
    American politics.rtf
    Here is the text which was not in the previous posting:
    It may be that my post has been read as the ramblings of a simpleton, which may not be far from the truth. However, I am going to pursue my ramblings in the event that I spark some responses, even if I am hammered for my ignorance of American politics!
    Continuing to read "Emile", and accepting all major criticisms of Rousseau's educational, political and religious philosophies, and acknowledging the historical context in which he wrote it, I still believe there is something to be said for progressivism, both as an educational ideology, and perhaps as a significant aspect of the US political landscape. I cited Hilary Clinton above because she claimed she was a progressive, but also "wanted to get things done!". Is this just rhetoric, or is it inaccurate? That is, as an educational progressive, I never felt that I was not getting things done.
    It appears that progressivism is founded on the idea that the human species (homo sapiens sapiens?) has the capacity to progress, from a primitive savage to modern man, or even super-man. Teihard de Chardin developed his ideas as the progress from the geo-sphere to the bio-sphere to the noo-sphere, believing in an evolutionary God culminating in the Omega of the Second Coming of Christ. The noo-sphere, some people think, encourages them to describe Teilhard as the father of the Internet.
    Some commentators describe Rousseau as the father of progressivism, and some describe William Godwin as the father of anarchism. Both of these thinkers hold the view that man is basically good. Both were concerned with man as an individual, and how he might take a constructive part in society.
    Returning then to American politics, under the consideration of whether or not man is basically good or has an innate propensity for evil, it might appear that Hillary Clinton holds to the former view, whilst Donald Trump (if he becomes the Republican candidate) considers man as basically evil and wants what is tantamount to a megalomaniacal basis for the US government. How else can America be a leader in the world without being its police force (which is what he has said recently), if ultimately in current society, all power ultimately resides in the exercise of force through military strength!?
    Here I return to Tolstoy.
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  24. Mathsteach2 added a post in a topic GOP recent events   

    Sorry I could not copy and paste, I still have to learn how to do that!
    American politics.rtf
    Here is the text
    I was considering starting a new thread, but I have two already in which I am participating (one on death and the other on evil!), therefore I have decided to join this one. I trust I am not diverting the OP's intentions, but I want to open up a discussion more on American politics in general.
    In my retirement I now have the time to read a little about American politics, and have been quite interested, in the TV debates, by the views of some of the candidates for presidency.
    Hillary Clinton recently claimed to be a progressive. In my teaching career I have always held progressivism as my motivational educational ideology, having read, cover to cover in my early teaching, Rousseau's "Emile" and "Against Method" by Paul Feyerabend. I think I am correct in knowing that to be a progressive in American politics is not the same thing, but I wonder if Hillary Clinton can cite a book which she read cover to cover which influenced her political career!? Bernie Sanders claims to be a socialist, with Donald Trump calling him a socialist/communist. I wonder which books they have read cover to cover!?
    Apparently Nietsche cited Schopenhauer's "The World As Will And Representation", and recently on a teachers' website in the UK "The Philosophy Shop" was cited, a winner of Educational Book of the Year 2013. This could please many of us here! I am sure there many other examples.
    On the GOP side, and to return to the OP, Donald Trump calls for a revolution. Ghandi succeeded with his non-violent revolution, and he was influenced by the writings of Tolstoy. Does Trump understand what he is calling for when he says 'revolution'? Reading the link in the OP makes me think Trump is not really a Republican, or is he?
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  25. Mathsteach2 added a post in a topic Death   

    I was going to copy and paste my second post, but I have not found out how to do it!
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