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About DocWatts

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  1. The proximate reason a turtle shell is able to exist is because our Reality seems to be structured so that self organizing structures are the vehicles for change and novelty. It's not due to random chance. Now, why it is that Reality seems to be structured in this way is a fair arena to question whether or not teleology plays a role. This is in principle a metaphysical and ontological question rather than a scientific one.
  2. No. What they want is a return to the white, male, and Christian dominated apartheid state that existed from the end of the Civil War up until the Civil Rights movement. What they basically want is for the ethno-state that existed during Jim Crowe to be restored, for LGBT people to be suppressed, and for (thier twisted version of) Christianity to become the State religion.
  3. Well first off let's understand what fascism actually entails, so that the term is being used in a precise way rather than as a pejorative. Of course this isn't the only valid definition of fascism, just the one I'm choosing to use. Fascism is a symptom of failing democracy. It's a mass based political movement obsessed with victimization and decline in which nationalist militants coordinate with traditional forms of authority to dismantle the existing democracy, and to return to the former glory of a romanticized past. In multicultural societies like the United States, this romanticized past is always one where one's own ethno-cultutal group sat at the top of an entrenched dominator hierarchy. While a white supremacist aparthied state may have been consistent with societal sensibilities of the 1700 and 1800s, the rise of mass based political movements with a desire to return to that previous state of affairs well after marginalized groups have gained some semblance of equality is indicative of fascism.
  4. No other way to frame this than as the drawn out collapse of US democracy.
  5. For what's it's worth, I totally agree with you on that criticism. If you're interested in the topic, the philosopher Thomas Nagel write an entire book about just this topic that might be worth checking out.
  6. Anyone who was already on board the MAGA train is foaming at the mouth at the prospect of getting their chance to further persecute what they consider to be their social inferiors. The question is whether enough otherwise disengaged and apathetic people will bother to put in the effort to resist the country's slide towards fascism by voting in the 2022 election. It's really on the Democratic Party and on social activists to keep people engaged until the November election. If you're in the States, you should be being very vocal about what's happening right now so that half a century's worth of Civil Rights being overturned doesn't have the opportunity to become a half remembered news item a few months from now. Don't let the country's slide towards fascism and theocracy become normalized. Call out what's happening right now loudly and repeatedly, and do what you can to encourage political engagement.
  7. @SQAAD I wouldn't go so far as to say that evolution by natural selection is full of crap as you put it, but it is fair to question whether or not it's the whole story. Similiar to how Newtonian mechanics uncovered something important about how Reality behaves (even if its ontology later proved to be inadequate), the same can probably be said for evolution. Neither theory is 'wrong', so much as it is partial and incomplete. Calling either theory 'wrong' simply for being partial incomplete seems to be a case of bad epistemological standards since no theory can ever capture the fullness of Reality. The best it can do is uncover very partial aspects of Reality as they are disclosed to human interests. For evolution in particular, it does not and cannot answer the more fundamental question of why we seem to be living in a Reality that gives rise to self organizing systems and creative novelty. Evolution does inarguably tell us something important about how that happens, but it can't in principle give a satisfying answer as to why that is.
  8. Interesting to note that this very point, about conceptual theories always being inadequate to describe the full depth of Reality, is actually integrated into Whitehead's philosophical system. Which is to say Whitehead fully aware of this point, and part of his motivation was to demonstrate how ignoring this leads to bad epistomology. In contrast, he contests that good philosophy both begins and ends in mystery and wonder .
  9. Lots of offramps from religion that one can find in our society, since it's not hard to find the likes of a Sam Harris or a Neil deGrasse Tyson to hand hold you through the process. While the exit from unexamined scientific materialism is more akin to getting a pilot's license.
  10. No other way to say it: what we're witnessing is US democracy in the process of collapsing. US institutions have proven themselves incapable of solving any of the underlying systemic problems which are fueling fascism, and the best it can do is play whackamole until reactionaries within the US finally succeed in their coup. Trying to keep Republicans out of power forever is unsustainable, and whenever Republicans do have control of the presidency and Congress you can be sure that they're going to do everything in their power to make it so that they'll never be threatened by another election again. I wouldn't blame my fellow Americans for seriously considering emigrating to another country, as things are poised to get really bad here over the next decade or two.
  11. A lot of SD-Green folks could really benefit from knowing this. Important to keep in mind that most 'normie' SD-Blue folks have been subject to decades of propaganda and misinformation on this subject, something that's useful to keep in mind for those of us that have some of these people as family members or acquaintances.
  12. Since alot of pro-lifers are willfully ignorant about this point. Around 1 in 10 pregnancies ends in miscarriage, which translates into an effective death sentence for tens of thousands of women every year who won't be able to access abortion services. "Pro-life" is an abuse of the term.
  13. Well said, and a good illustration of the pre-trans fallacy when it comes to some types of New Age mysticism. If the former falls prey to scientific illiteracy, it's equally fair to say that the misuse of skepticism falls prey to epistemic illiteracy in that they're unable to recognize the ontological assumptions baked into their skepticism. Hardline physicalists handwaving away the incoherency of consciousness somehow arising from inert matter are arguably just the other side of the coin of New Age magnet mysticism.
  14. By that logic the Southern States were equally justified when a majority of voters in those States decided that black people shouldn't be granted civil or political rights. Human rights can and should be prioritized over the legislative agendas of State governments.