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You are listening to "Coming Home" by Peter Schilling. It's been a favorite of mine since my middle school days, which seems like forever ago now. The original version of this song is actually in German. This is inspired by David Bowie's "Space Oddity", which is a very good song as well.

My "about me" sections used to be more major than this. But I guess if you really want to know more about me you'll have to write me.

Despite the sex of my avatar, I am not a female. I am a male. My avatar is a representation of Haelix. Haelix is a character of mine that I first developed when I was in middle school. For quite some time now Haelix has been the model of myself in a different form, the primary difference being that she is a female, but another difference being that she exists in a fantasy world. As I grow and mature, so does Haelix. She is my expression of myself since I have spent a lot of my life being rejected for who I am. Haelix is a more acceptable form of who I am to many people, which is why I pretended to be a female for almost six years.

I am 25. This isn't a bad thing.

I am a college student. My major is Biblical Counseling. Originally I went to school for Professional Writing, as writing has been a passion of mine since third grade. I was then called to the ministry.

If you didn't guess by my major, I am a Christian, non-denominational. I believe many things. If you want to learn more, write me.

I am married. My wife is Sabeine. She is absolutely, 100% amazing to me.

My favorite color is red. It took me a long time to realize this, because I love many colors. I prefer darker shades. Purple, blue, black, and pink are some other colors that I like. I also love green in certain shades.

My favorite animal is the wolf. I also like zebras and have to come to terms with the fact that I like some monkeys as well. My primary reason for refusing to like monkeys came primarily from the fact that monkeys were popular, and I have a general disdain for popular things. WoW is not included in this. I have never liked WoW for multiple reasons, and I will never like WoW. It is nice to see people waking up from their Blizzard induced comas and realizing what I've been saying for...years.

If you didn't guess by my favorite animal, I am a dog person. I have a general dislike for cats. This is not true for every cat. Just most.

My favorite season is winter. Or perhaps it is autumn. My favorite season shifts, not based on the weather I am experiencing (i.e. "oh, it's cold, I prefer autumn) but rather simply on...I'm not sure. But I know it doesn't have to do with the weather. It is always, however, either autumn or winter.

My favorite food is the cheeseburger. I also like lasagna, spaghetti, fried chicken, sushi. My favorite fruit is the strawberry. It is the best fruit in the world. And I'm not one of those people who coats it with sugar. No. I like pure, unadulterated strawberries. Watermelon is a second favorite, and I like raspberries and blackberries too.

My love of strawberries has helped me come to really enjoy eating strawberry yogurt. I love strawberry yogurt. This has not been the case for 98% of my life.

I like rock, techno, trance, alternative, and progressive music. I also like random songs from various genres here and there.

I am a writer. I love to write. I try to write as often as I can. I also like to do research and enjoy critical and deep thinking. They're fun.

May you find what it means to be truly happy.

Jesus Reigns

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Sibfox

Report | 07/12/2014 7:31 am

Sibfox

that's hard to say. its been a long time. I've been good and bad since then. I feel selfish when I get sad, because I have so much in life, and I can get a lot of the simple things I want. But there are still things I want that I can't have. I don't feel like its wrong to want those things, but maybe I just want them too much and I am ignoring all the good things I have. I feel like I appreciate it all, but dammit, I am painfully single.
Jio Barzahd

Report | 07/10/2014 9:34 am

Jio Barzahd

(continued - again...)
I know the Ancient Greeks wrestled with these questions, but they all came up with some different answers.
-Oh, sorry, I should have been clearer. I didn’t mean that the Greeks solved all of these questions. I only meant to say that they clearly solved the problem about how morality can exist without it being dependent on some divine entity. The Euthyphro took care of that and divine command theory.

So, I do have a question for you. I’m curious as to how much we disagree. Now do you think that there is no room for morality within atheism or do you only think there’s no room for morality within a naturalistic framework?
Jio Barzahd

Report | 07/10/2014 9:33 am

Jio Barzahd

Here goes - (no bold this time, since it doesn't work in your comments)


And what if what you think we "ought" to do is different from what somebody else thinks we "ought" to do?
(continued) – Now it does get interesting when we found ourselves party to a disagreement with a peer-like figure (notice that I’m using ‘peer-like’ rather than ‘peer’, since I’m pretty sure we don’t have peers in philosophy – or at least as the literature on disagreement uses the term). In that case, we do need to give the opposing opinion some weight, and so we should lower our confidence to some extent. However, this needn’t mean that we always ought to lower our confidence below the threshold of belief. And this is because both our original body of evidence and reasons (prior to the acquisition of evidence that a peer-like figure disagrees) may support one’s belief. If it supports one’s belief strongly enough, then the drop in degree of confidence won’t require one to abandon one’s belief. For instance, let’s say that I believe that causing suffering for funzies is immoral (hereafter p) and Kate, (my gf and a peer-like figure to me for ethics) disbelieves p (she doesn’t, lol, but for the sake of the example, let’s pretend she does). In this case, upon learning that Kate disagrees, I acquire some evidence that maybe I’ve made a mistake in my moral reasoning (one of us has made a mistake, and maybe it’s me). So, that’s some evidence for me to lower my confidence. However, my belief that p comes from a solid understanding of the concept of right and wrong and how it relates to p. And this understanding gives me very strong reasons for believing that p. Accordingly, in that case my total body of evidence pertaining to p still supports a belief that p, even though there’s disagreement. Now of course let’s say I’m a philosophy nub, and I don’t have very strong reasons for believing that p. Say I believe it out of unreflective dogma. If that were the case (it’s not ^^;; ) then my total body of evidence would require me to give up my belief that p, perhaps even disbelief p due to the way my total body of evidence is. So, it really depends on one’s total body of evidence as to whether disagreement renders one’s moral beliefs unjustified or not. But this is no special problem for morality, that’s how all beliefs work.

How do you determine who is "right" about what "ought" to be done? And by "right" I am referring to that which is correct, or true--not in any moral sense. "Ought" covers that.
-First off, why do you put those words in quotes? I’m not talking about some malnourished conception of right/correct/truth or oughts? Do you mean just to denote a word? I’m not a relativists, so if that’s what you’re after, it’s just not the case. Moral realism is not a form of relativism.
Secondly, maybe I’m a bit nitpicky here, but no one determines who is correct and what we ought to do, in the sense that these things are mind-dependent. I’m a realist about these things. But if by this you just mean who settles who is correct and what the oughts are, then we attempt to settle this through rational reflection, argumentation, and discourse. How else would we attempt to settle non-empirical matters?

And why would doing what "ought" to be done be the meaning of life?
If you re-look at what I said, I never said that it would be. I offered responses to two different interpretations of what you meant by ‘the meaning of life’. In all honesty, I’m not sure what you or anyone else means by those words. And I’m not trying to be a logical posistivist about it lol. I’m not saying “oh it’s not empirically verifiable so it has no semantic content.” I just mean that it’s thrown around in such a vague flowerly way that I no longer know what any given individual means by those words when they ask it.

I know the Ancient Greeks wrestled with these questions, but they all came up w
Jio Barzahd

Report | 07/07/2014 3:22 pm

Jio Barzahd

And it would appear that comments got cut short. Let me know if they did on your end too and I'll re-type em.
Jio Barzahd

Report | 07/07/2014 3:20 pm

Jio Barzahd

Well, I'll start with the easiest one. 


Naturalism, as it is commonly understood, is a pretty grand claim. It presupposes that everything that exists can be studied by our methods in the natural science, but that's quite the leap beyond what we have good reason to believe. We have no reason to assume that what exists must conform to being discoverable through empirical methods. Now of course, I'm not saying let's just blow up our ontology and let in all sorts of crazy things just because we ought to reject naturalism. I just mean that we're in no place to set up a "you must be discoverable by the natural sciences" sign next to our ontology. That's nothing more than scientism (in the pejorative sense).

And now to the messy area of my approach to morality. :xp:

Yes, I'm still quite sympathetic to skepticism about moral facts. I mean, the philosophical arguments for their existence (at least for moral realism) are less than wholely satisfying. But, I've come to at least buy them for now.

[b]Tell me--how is it that you believe moral facts to be a fundamental, true part of reality?[/b] (For the sake of organization, I'll just paste your question in bold above my response)

So, on the one hand, I don't think we can reduce moral claims, such as "A moral agent morally ought not boil babies for funzies" to other claims. This is because 'moral' and 'immoral' seem to be brute, unanalyzable terms. If you plug in some other terms, we'll lose the same meaning, which suggests that if there are moral facts, they're sui generis or fundamental in the sense of non-reducible. So, that gets the part about them being fundamental. And the next question should also address why I take them to be true.

[b]How do you know that we "ought" to do something? Why "ought" we do anything at all?[/b]

With this one, I'll start with the first part, since once we get moral realism, an answer to the second one falls out. After all, it'd be incoherent to say there are moral facts, but there are not oughts. That'd be like saying there are triangles, but no shapes. So, I've grown to be quite sympathetic to moral intuitionism, or at least the form that views moral intuitions as an application of our faculty of rational reflection. So, if we think about the very concept of morality (right and wrong), we can see (through moral intuition or rational reflection) that certain things are true. For instance, if you think about the very concept of morality, you can understand the proposition "Committing genocide is [i]prima facie[/i] wrong" as true. And I see this as similar to approaches to issues in epistemology about the norms of rationality (epistemic rationality, btw, not the malnourished concept of rational as "self-interest" in other fields). If we think about the concept of rationality, we can come to see that certain norms are true. For instance, we can understand through rational reflection that believing p merely because p is the first thing that pops in our head is not rational. I see nothing fishy with this method for approaching certain areas of epistemology, and I do not see why it should be fishy with regard to moral realism. (Or at least, not yet anyway. I'm very interested in looking further into whether it does get fishy with regard to moral realism.)

[b]And what if what you think we "ought" to do is different from what somebody else thinks we "ought" to do?[/b]

Well, on this one, I don't think mere disagreement has any epistemic impact at all. For instance, if I hold that we ought not bash the skulls of baby pigs in for fun, I'm not going to suddenly lower my confidence or change my mind just because some backwoods redneck who has never thought about normative ethics disagrees with me. His belief carries no weight, since he's my epistemic inferior on the matter. And the same can be said for anyone else who I have good reason to believe will be much less likely to get things right than me.

Now it does get interesting when it come
Jio Barzahd

Report | 07/06/2014 9:22 pm

Jio Barzahd

As much as I'll whine about secular humanism, I'd say that I could fit under that title if we're using it in a loose sense. I just don't think it's really worth getting all worked up over and specializing in it as a philosopher. I mean the issue of whether morality can exist without a god or gods was settled way back in Ancient Greece and can rightfully be considered one of the few things there is philosophical consensus about. Let's devote our research to something puzzling and interesting, not something obviously true and settled by the Ancient Greeks. That'd be like working in geometry and devoting yourself to proving certain basic theorems that have already been proven long ago.

Although, I guess if we're wanting to be picky and tie secular humanism to some form of naturalism (as in all facts can be reduced to something that could be, in principle, studied by the natural sciences), then I'd certainly reject that. That's just nonsense. I'm also not a fan of anything that can easily slip into something like a verificationist standard for each and every belief.

I actually don't know what you mean by 'Nihilism' sweatdrop

I'm only familiar with nihilism about x, not just nihilism without qualification. If you mean a rejection of morality, then no. I'm a moral realist and take moral facts to be an irreducible, fundamental part of reality.

If you mean a rejection of meaning (not semantic meaning, but like "what's the meaning of life?" meaning) then, maybe? If by meaning you mean a purpose for being here, then sure, yeah, I don't think there's any objective meaning to life. After all, as an atheist I don't think things were brought about with some design or intention in mind that determines our purpose. But if by the meaning of life we just mean what we ought to do with life, then I wouldn't reject meaning. I'd say the meaning of it is to do the right thing, since that's what the right thing means - the thing we ought to do.
Jio Barzahd

Report | 07/05/2014 9:52 pm

Jio Barzahd

While I can see why one may find it more hospitable to non-theistic beliefs, I certainly think it'd be a ridiculous stretch to view it as a form of non-religious salvation. My area of work certainly has nothing to do with "secular salvation" (whatever the hell that vague, flowery language is supposed to denote) And the area I work in is regarded as one of the core areas of traditional philosophy. Leave it to someone whose wikipage starts off talking about his love of secular humanism to take an overly dramatic and romantic picture of philosophy rolleyes
Jio Barzahd

Report | 07/04/2014 9:23 pm

Jio Barzahd

I haven't. I haven't actually even heard of him until now and did a quick google search. Have you been reading some of his stuff lately?
Jio Barzahd

Report | 06/22/2014 8:30 pm

Jio Barzahd

An object composed of parts. So I was curious about whether composite objects actually exist or if there are only collection of simples (i.e. things not made of further parts) arranged in multiple ways. It sounds a little dumb, but I find the notion of a further thing somehow popping into existence if we get the right sort of composition in place a bit suspect. It sounds like adding 2 and 2 to get 5, if you ask me.
Jio Barzahd

Report | 06/16/2014 8:08 pm

Jio Barzahd

Well, I hope you get it sorted out. I imagine that could be stressful going through.

Um, it's a bit pragmatic in my case. I started my MA program with the idea that I'd specialize in metaphysics. I was especially interested in the issue of whether the notion of composite objects is actually coherent, and some upshots from that about the nature of consciousness (e.g. no composite objects might suggest that consciousness - in some form or another - ultimately comes down to a property of an ontological simple). However, when it came time to start thinking about a thesis topic I hadn't really learned much more about that issue or metaphysics in general. I had mostly been taught about different epistemological issues and I was already fairly exposed to current issue in the literature of epistemology. So, I just went in that direction and eventually preferred epistemology to metaphysics anyway.

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What is heaven without God but a hollow paradise? And what is a hollow paradise but a beautiful looking hell?

Christ is King. Christ is Lord.