Materialism: the assumption that proves itself

As Thomas Nagel once said, materialism is a vast limiting assumption about what is real, and whatever could be real. I bought a book by a famous professor, Robert Sapolsky, called Behave. (As you may have gathered, I read people with whom I do not agree). Sapolsky was speaking in an interview recorded in MacLean’s Magazine:

 

You’ve written a lot about neurology and the law. You’re not really impressed with the concept of free will.

Nah. I used to be polite and say stuff like I certainly can’t prove there isn’t free will. But no, there’s none. There simply is nothing compatible with a 21st century understanding of how the physical laws of the universe work to have room for some sort of volitional little homunculus crawling around in our heads that takes advice from the biological inputs but at the end of the day goes and makes this independent decision on its own. It’s just not compatible with anything we understand about how biology works. All that free will is, is the biology we don’t understand yet. If you’re willing to look at the trajectory of what’s happened with knowledge, anything that still counts as free will we’re going to have an explanation for at some point soon.

Observe how what is assumed is consequently proved. Since we are nothing but a meat machine (a purely material occurrence), free will “cannot be compatible with anything we understand about how biology works.” Ipso facto.

 

 

If your understanding is materialist, your understanding is materialist. He starts  from his out of date understanding of physical laws: quantum indeterminacy has not been discovered in the Sapolsky view. Then he writes a huge promissory note on the future. “Anything that still counts as free will we’re going to have an explanation for at some point soon.”

In other words, if we cannot explain free will and consciousness, do not worry. We will do so soon. In the meantime take my materialist notions on, what would you call it? – faith.

And this guy has a McArthur Foundation genius grant?

From the Wikipedia article on him:

Sapolsky describes himself as an atheist.[5][6] He stated in his acceptance speech for the Emperor Has No Clothes Award, “I was raised in an Orthodox (Jewish) household, and I was raised devoutly religious up until around age 13 or so. In my adolescent years, one of the defining actions in my life was breaking away from all religious belief whatsoever.”[7

At least his materialism is consistent, unproven, and thorough. Assuming the truth of his assumptions, there can be no free will. Bully for him

Constitutionality of Catalonian Independence

Earlier the Economist stated the following about the Catalonian independence.

Mr Puigdemont invokes “the legitimate right to self-determination of a thousand-year-old nation”. National and international law is against him. Spain’s constitution of 1978—approved by over 90% of Catalan voters in a referendum—granted the regions great autonomy. But it affirmed “the indissoluble unity of the Spanish nation”. Only the Spanish parliament can change the constitution. Catalonia’s own autonomy statute, which Mr Puigdemont’s law would replace, can only be amended by a two-thirds majority of its parliament. And the Council of Europe, which Mr Puigdemont consulted, said in June that any referendum must be carried out “in full compliance with the constitution”.

Globalist, like Economist, should not be so dismissive because every upstanding globalist, are there any other kind, knows that UN supersedes all. Following excerpt is from International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which Spain is a signatory.

PART I

Article 1

1. All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.

2. All peoples may, for their own ends, freely dispose of their natural wealth and resources without prejudice to any obligations arising out of international economic co-operation, based upon the principle of mutual benefit, and international law. In no case may a people be deprived of its own means of subsistence.

3. The States Parties to the present Covenant, including those having responsibility for the administration of Non-Self-Governing and Trust Territories, shall promote the realization of the right of self-determination, and shall respect that right, in conformity with the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations.

Three important facts about DNC funding of the Russian Dossier

From Washington Examiner

….Rep. Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. The California Republican has been pursuing the dossier more aggressively than anyone else, and it was his Oct. 4 subpoena for the bank records of Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm that handled the dossier, that finally shook loose the information….

Sometime in October 2016 — that is, at the height of the presidential campaign — Christopher Steele, the foreign agent hired by Fusion GPS to compile the Trump dossier, approached the FBI with information he had gleaned during the project. According to a February report in the Washington Post, Steele “reached an agreement with the FBI a few weeks before the election for the bureau to pay him to continue his work.”

It was an astonishing turn: the nation’s top federal law enforcement agency agreeing to fund an ongoing opposition research project being conducted by one of the candidates in the midst of a presidential election….

When the Post story broke Tuesday night, some journalists noted that Democrats involved in the story had been lying about their role. “When I tried to report this story, Clinton campaign lawyer Marc Elias pushed back vigorously, saying ‘You (or your sources) are wrong,'” tweeted the New York Times’ Ken Vogel. “Folks involved in funding this lied about it, and with sanctimony, for a year,” added the Times’ Maggie Haberman.

Madame speaks about Harvey Weinstein

 

“Did it ever occur to you how you look to them?”

My wife had an insightful comment about Harvey Weinstein and men in general. She said that it often does not occur to men that a woman might not want to have sex, then, there, at that time of day, over the back of a chair, or on the desk, on the spur of the moment, while she is dressed, under lights, in an office, on the floor, just then. Just because a man is randy doesn’t make her equally turned on. Women are so choosy, choosy.

And it occurred to me from recollecting my earlier life that some situations were best explained by the idea that women often are not in the mood. I do not know why, but they are frequently not in the mood. Go figure. Whereas I was in the mood from the age of 16 onward. And pulling out a hard dick does not constitute foreplay, but frequently might be seen as an unwelcome advance. I do not understand why women are like this, but they are.

Failure to adjust to these realities can get heterosexual men into an awful scrape.

Harvey ought to have known better.

Quebec’s Niqab Ban

I am in favour of it. It is appropriately targeted discrimination. It targets Muslim women who feel compelled to cover their faces in public. People do not cover their faces in public unless they have reasons to fear being looked at or identified. In the case of Muslim women, it is the fear of being subject to the lustful gaze of males who are not their husbands.

Quebec insists, rightly or wrongly, in the assertion of collective values over the choices of individuals. In Quebec and the rest of the western world, women are in general forced to cover themselves from above the breasts to above the knees. We do not think twice about it except when a woman wants to go topless somewhere else than the beach. Even toplessness at the beach is considered provocative in most places. Yet these rules exist and police enforce them. Men as well as women are frequently told by store signs: “No shirt, no shoes, no service”. This is plainly discriminatory, and society generally agrees with the discrimination.

The National Post today is filled with shrill defences of the right of Islamic women to be shamed into covering their faces. Who do you think enforces the shaming? Islamic men, of a particular and strictly Islamic disposition. Body shaming of this sort is the worst form of misogyny, and reinforces power of the Islamic shame culture. Quebec society has had the guts to say no, as in just say no to Islamic body shaming. Is this discriminatory? You betcha.Is it a just and reasonable discrimination? Yes, absolutely.

[The logic of this reasoning about the female face and the male gaze suggests that soon some women in universities will be covering their faces too, so as to escape the “male gaze”, one of the favoured tropes of feminist furies. Face coverings will be labelled progressive.]

In the Islamic idea of male-female relations, it is always the female who is responsible for inciting male lust. Males are not expected to show any control whatever; they are the passive victims of female provocations. The female is covered up to prevent public indecency, because women by their nature are indecent.

Quebec has shown much greater sense than the English-Canadian commentariat about the real reasons women wear the niqab, and much better sense that the collective has a right to insist of public standards of decorum, including not only what must be covered, but what must be uncovered.