Paris police arrest 58 at burka law protest

English.rtf


A woman wearing a burka near Paris

Reuters/Regis Duvignau

By RFI

Paris police have arrested 58 people trying to take part in a banned demonstration against President Nicolas Sarkozy’s government’s new law banning the burka and other all-covering clothing.

Police swooped on the protesters near the capital’s Place de la Nation and took them in for identity checks.

Explainer – the background to France’s burka debate

Eighteen women were among those arrested, officials say.

Two people have been ordered to leave French territory following identity checks – one to then United Kingdom, the other to Belgium. One of them was arrested on the motorway between Amiens and Paris.

An application for permission to hold the demonstration was turned down on Friday. Police said that the ban was because they feared violent clashes with counter-demonstrators.

About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic

100 Replies to “Paris police arrest 58 at burka law protest”

  1. George prove the existence of free will. Your argument with regards human choice is based upon this rock. However, I put it to you that proving free will is not something that it is easy to do. We can accept it prior to (a priori) proving its existence but then we move on the basis of a philosphical unnderstanding.

  2. “consciousness is the ground of all being. In this view, consciousness imposes “downward causation.” In other words, our free will is real. When we act in the world we really are acting with causal power. This view does not deny that matter also has causal potency—it does not deny that there is causal power from elementary particles upward, so there is upward causation—but in addition it insists that there is also downward causation. It shows up in our creativity and acts of free will, or when we make moral decisions. In those occasions we are actually witnessing downward causation by consciousness.” Interesting quote from a gentleman whos is proff of physicis called Amit Goswami. Now this does not prove free will as I have asked you to do George but it takes it does take free will into its world view but from the vantage point of the primacy of consciousness. My point here is that free will is easier to encompass within the subjective realm of existence called consciousness than it is in the purely material realm of matter. After all my feeling of free will is a subjective experience. So the starting point of conciousness as the primary basis of all existence makes it easier to incorporate free will.

  3. Deb,
    Your arguments are beyond ridiculous, not to mention foul mouthed. But the one that I hear repeated by many in defence of wearing the niqab/burqa is the claim that western women’s clothing objectifies them as sex objects. This is absolute hogwash. Modesty is not about what you wear, it’s about how you conduct yourself. I can wear a bikini and be perfectly modest. If Muslim women are not viewed as sex objects as many contend, why is it then they have to cover themselves in protection from the ‘gaze’ of men? If this is not being objectified as a sex object, I don’t know what is.

  4. First come the stooges, the victims, more sinned against than sinning. Such girls – and they are young girls – are dominated by Muslim fathers and brothers. Living in the West they are not of it. Their choice to wear a jilbab to school, like thirteen-year-old Shabina Begum, is a choice between doing what they are told and being beaten..

    Second we have attention seekers. Their Islam screams “Look at me, I’m different!” And in the West, a niqab or burkha does stand out in the crowd. Long may this continue – if it were the norm, we would be lost. Far from suggesting modesty, the Islamic tent appeals to vanity. Under it, every woman, no matter how plain, can imagine herself irresistible. The vanity may not be physical; it could equally be that the otherwise dull convert wishes to appear interesting and enigmatic, as if she knows something you don’t. What, she wants you to ask, is a clever clogs like you doing in a religion like that?

    Overlapping with attention seekers are the contrarians. Such women do not usually convert, but praise Islam simply because it is anti-Western. The British Journalist Yvonne Ridley is a case in point. Her opposition to all things British has recently taken such a perverse turn that she accused the BBC of being biased in its coverage of Israel. Biased, that is towards Israel. Germaine Greer, High Priestess of feminism, supported Shabina Begum’s decision to wear the jilbab, a symbol of oppression which she would abhor were it worn by Christian fundamentalists. Opposition to the West, or rather a caricature of the West, is all that matters. “Slutty” Skirts and bikinis are contrasted with the “portable seclusion”

    My favourite species of dozy bint is the swooner. A swooner is a Western woman whose heart goes pitter-patter and whose knees – and brain – go weak at the sight of a Son of Allah. This is nothing new – those liquid brown eyes, those sensuous yet cruel mouths have been mesmerising the English rose for at least a century.

    Finally, not least among dozy bints is Mrs Whatabout. You know her – she’s so called because whenever you criticise Islamic misogyny, she reflexively counters with “But whatabout ….” Tu quoque, “whataboutery”, “yesbuttery”, whatever you like to call it, is a classic strategy of denial. Reluctance to criticise Islam has led Mrs Whatabout into all kinds of contorted attempts at moral equivalence. Don’t you know, she squeals, that one in five American women has been assaulted by her partner? And that only one in twenty British rapists is convicted?

    It is wearisome to explain that wife-beating in Islamic countries is not even a crime, that the reporting of rape means that the victim herself will be punished by being thrown into prison for adultery, that, in short, the country to worry about is one that does not admit to problems. Quoted from a Mary Jackson article

    After looking at this list. I think Deb falls into the Mrs Whatabout catagory. Mary Jackson explains that the word bint is a word for women which is not polite but is affectionate and was adopted from Arabic by British Servicemen. Rarely used nowadays.

  5. Mary Jackson has also identified an new catgory of dozy bint. She explains in her own style: The Marie Antoinettes. Marie Antoinette, as we know, played shepherdess, knowing that it was a game, and that she could stop at any time. This is what some Western converts to Islam imagine – that they could go back to their partying and drinking and mini-skirting if they so wished. In the West, they generally can – although times can change suddenly, as Marie Antoinette found out. Not so in the Muslim world, and Western converts insult apostates every time they don the hijab.

  6. Deb,
    Let’s get the issue straight. This has nothing to do with a clothing choice, oppression, women working, pole dancers, strippers, modesty, beards, racism, Katie Price, Paris Hilton, Playboy, holy books, pigs, hats, ringlets, halal, hookers, slaves, islam or islamophobia. I don’t care whether you’re a man or a woman, Muslim or non-Muslim or how much of the Qur’an you’ve read.

    It’s straight forward.

    France has banned face coverings of which the niqab/burqa is one. It’s a matter of practicality. No one, Muslim or otherwise can be properly seen or identified with their face covered, socially interact properly, conduct business properly, vote properly, testify properly or drive properly. I don’t care if people are forced to cover their faces, whether they choose to cover their faces, if they do so out of protest, defiance, spite, ignorance, subjugation, a fast-track to heaven, devotion, fear, fantasy, vanity or some political, religious or cultural statement.

    France has every right to determine what’s best for it’s society according to it’s values and to create legislation around those core principles without apology. All the moaning, bitching and philosophy don’t amount to a hill of beans. The law is the law and is meant to be followed with some respect. Break it for whatever reason and there are consequences. I hope Canada follows France’s lead.

  7. OxAO:

    “… this part is very poor logic:
    “without existence your consciousness would have nothing to be conscious of (nothing to identify) and therefore could not exist. This is the principle of the primacy of existence. It means that the existence of a supernatural existence-creating consciousness – an (GOD), if you will – is impossible.””

    Consciousness exists in nature. And like all existents, consciousness has identity, i.e., it is what it is, and it must act in accordance with its identity (or nature, if you prefer). Consciousness is the faculty of awareness, and in accordance with its nature it passively perceives objects by means of sensory apparatus (perception) and then, by means of the active processes of abstraction and integration, forms concepts (conception or conceptualization). But before a consciousness can exist, both the sensory apparatus required for perception and the objects of perception themselves must exist. A consciousness with no means to perceive and no objects to perceive would have no content – no perceptual knowledge – to process conceptually. And it could not be conscious or aware of itself because self-awareness requires the active process of conceptualization. If you have understood this, you will realize that a consciousness, in the absence of any sensory apparatus and objects to perceive, cannot exist. This validates the primacy of existence principle. This principle denies any possibility of a universe-creating god, benevolent or malevolent or neither.

    “Then your article is grossly mistaken:
    “Nature is not evidence for the existence of “super-nature.””

    In what way is the assertion “Nature is not evidence for the existence of super-nature” mistaken? The only logical alternative to this assertion is the assertion that nature is evidence for the existence of super-nature, which clearly is fallacious. And yet this is the assertion you make next:

    “If anything, nature and its existence is a perfect example of something that was created or made by something we do not understand. For example, what came before the big bang? “Nothing” is what scientists say but nothing doesn’t create something.”

    The fallacy here is that nature – all of that which exists – must have a primary cause, i.e., that something beyond nature must have created it, a “something” that is invariably posited as a complex consciousness. But if we accept this assertion as fact, we are then faced with the question: what created the complex consciousness that created nature? And the likely answer would be: an even more complex consciousness than the one that created nature. This line of ‘reasoning’, however, leads us down the never-ending road of the infinite regress, with an infinite number of complex creative consciousnesses, each more complex than its progeny. At which level do we draw the line? There is no logical reason why the universe must have a primary cause.

    “time and space is more complex then we can comprehend”

    Time and space are certainly difficult to comprehend, but they are parts of nature and are therefore knowable.

    “I am agnostic which means I have an open mind”

    If you are agnostic in regard to the existence of a god, then you must simultaneously be an atheist, .i.e., you must have an absence of belief in a god. Either you believe in a god or you don’t; logically, there can be no middle ground here. Technically, you would be classified as an agnostic atheist.

  8. Interesting attempt at truncating existence of its prime subjective function which is to know reality, by way of conciousness.. This will not work, as you have not proved that conciousness can only exist within a material shell. All you know is that consciousness within your experience exists within a material shell but how do you know that conciousness needs that and may indeed have an independent existence beyond all matter. Just because conciousness apprehends matter does not mean it snuffs out of existence if existence snuffs out of existence. It is a different order of existence. It is immune to the oscillations of matter. It has to be so in order to do something that no ordinary matter can ever do and that is be conscious of matter. There are two primary independent forms of existence and that is matter and that which knows matter ( ie consciousnes which is either bound by matter or it is not bound by matter). The point is that its function is to know and if it knows no matter it must by definition know itself. Consciousness goes out into the realm of matter and find that the universe has ceased to be and then it bounces on itself and knows itself. It is the principle of pure subjective existence whose function is to know. Knowing of no matter in a universe which is no longer available for it to apprehend it knows itself.

  9. On the question of who created what etc. Once we know the nature of existence ie matter and that which apprehends matter that is all we can really know. Questions about the creation of the universe are difficult . Nature and conciousness is what we have. With consciouness we see and know nature. Who is to say that there ever was beginning. Perhaps these two modes of nature are eternal. No beginning no end. So the question of an infinite regress which ends up of with lots of creators does not come up in this view. Eternal consciousness. Eternal matter.

  10. @George

    I find myself agreeing with Veteran Negrologist here on the points he made.
    Consciousness could be far more complex than the box that we understand so far.

    Said, “we are then faced with the question: what created the complex consciousness that created nature?”

    Not if we don’t know what ‘it’ is yet. ‘it’ or god could very well be all things at all time and if that is the case nothing made ‘it’ since there is no starting time frame. Time and space from our prospective is knowable but if there is no time and no space or infinite time and space we can’t even view it thus never can be knowable from our limited space and time we understand.

    I reject that I am an atheist and it isn’t an either I believe or don’t believe in god. I simply do not know and leave it at that which is agnostic. I am over the years believing there is much more likelihood to be a designer. The universe and everything in it is far more complex then we could even comprehend all the way down to single cell organisms. ‘Evolved by chance’ has a lot of explaining to do. Such as how did the first single cell organisms become alive?

  11. Well Dennet is no a qualified scientist. As far as I am aware he is a proff of philosophy. I have heard him debate and test himself against Dinesh D’souza, which shows he is an intelligent guy. Actually, they are both too sharp. However, I would not just let his name do the work. What does he say. We can tackle that.

  12. “But before a consciousness can exist, both the sensory apparatus required for perception and the objects of perception themselves must exist.” George please prove empirically this statement.

    Ok I am not distracted with chips etc so now this is something I can focus on. I can focus on…………. Hmm? what does that mean? Does that mean that a little man sits in by brain apprehending everything I focus on. Then who apprehends what he apprehends. Surely this must be another little man in his brain and so on we have an infinite regress. Now this is absurd. No I apprehend everything. And that is the subjective conciousness. Does this subjective conciousness need material reality to apprehend through while it is embodied. Yes. But then it can do so through a vast array of bodies. Each body with different faculties. It appears to be the case that consciousness apprehend things through a various natural machinery and is so flexible it can move within the realm of material machinery and be at home in a vast variety of natural material machines. It can also be apprehend without the aid of material natural machinery.This has been attested by surgeons who bring people back to life. One thing that intrigues surgeions has been the accounts given by people when theyare brough back to life. So surgeons have placed information in areas of the operating theatre that can not normally be seen from a normal human height. There are numerous accounts of people brought back to life who have told the surgeons exactly what was the contents of the information that was so placed by the clever surgeons.

  13. @Eeyore

    Dennett has nothing new to say since Ancient Greek times which relies on the empiricist theory of truth which for all of us including Dennett is our five sense. None of his theories can be verified by our five sense.

    Without verification it isn’t science.

  14. Well the theory of the five senses will be conditioned by the body in which this perception is taking place. Dennet’s body. An embodiment. It is only by the creativity of the human mind that we escape it with flashes of insight, creativity and openess to new ways of thinking. A person who limits himself in this way is similiar to a religious person limiting themselves with all kinds of silly restrictions imposed on them by a white arab of the seventh century who told them to do things this way. We are a back to the burka only on strep away from the body of a human who limits himself like Dennet to what he can learn from the five senses that nature has fashioned for him. Better than the burka imprisoned but still imprisoned, this time by resolutely refusing to move beyond the realm of the five senses with flashes of insight, and creativity. Indeed not even conceding the possibility of conciousness without it being imprisoned by matter. A mind trapped inside such a world view is not free. Something is denied. The mind wants to fly and imagine and think in new ways and that is its natural work. To shut it up and deny it this is the work of the resolute empiracist.

  15. Veteran:

    “George prove the existence of free will. Your argument with regards human choice is based upon this rock. However, I put it to you that proving free will is not something that it is easy to do. We can accept it prior to (a priori) proving its existence but then we move on the basis of a philosophical understanding.”

    Free-will is a corollary of consciousness, and like consciousness it is axiomatic; it is self-evident whenever you choose to focus your mind and think. And you implicitly accept that I have free-will when you ask me to prove that we possess it, because you implicitly accept that I will choose to attempt a proof or not. Free will is also implicit in any attempt to deny it.

    Do you accept that the computer you are now using exists? Implicitly you do, otherwise you would not be using it now to discuss these various issues with me? If you explicitly accept that it exists, as you must, then please prove to me that it does. I put it to you that there is no empirical way of doing so; all you can do is say that its existence is self-evident, that it is axiomatic. If in this instance you do not accept self-evidence as validation, then how can you accept self-evidence as validation for anything that exists? Your position would be tantamount to denying the validity of the whole of reality, in which case your further involvement in this discussion would be pointless.

    A scientist wishing to embark on an empirical investigation of, say, willow-trees, implicitly accepts that the willow-trees he wishes to investigate exist. He doesn’t postpone his investigation until he, or others, has proved their existence empirically; if he did, his investigation of the willow-trees would never begin.

    If all conscious action were deterministic, then you would have no choice in regard to your mental content. In these circumstances there could be no objectivity in science, no way of judging rationally, no possibility of validating or proving anything, because implicit in all of these mental actions is choice and, as you have stated yourself, choice is based upon the “rock” of free-will.

    If all conscious action were deterministic, there could be no possibility of choosing, and therefore no requirement for a code of values to guide one’s choices – a morality. In these circumstances we would be as well simply submitting and fatalistically letting what will be, be. This would be tantamount to saying “If Allah wills it”, and accepting all the dire consequences that this would entail.

  16. Veteran:

    ““But before a consciousness can exist, both the sensory apparatus required for perception and the objects of perception themselves must exist.” George please prove empirically this statement.”

    This statement (which you take out of context) is validated by the chain of inferences that precedes it and which proceeds from the axioms existence, identity and consciousness. Please explain to me how a consciousness, in the absence of any sensory apparatus and any objects to perceive, could possess any content. A consciousness with no content is a contradiction – a contradiction that is self-evident. And I would urge you not to repeat the fallacy that it would be conscious of itself, because this would require the process of conceptualization, and a consciousness with no content would have nothing to conceptualize.

    “Ok I am not distracted with chips etc so now this is something I can focus on. I can focus on…………. Hmm? what does that mean? Does that mean that a little man sits in by brain apprehending everything I focus on. Then who apprehends what he apprehends. Surely this must be another little man in his brain and so on we have an infinite regress. Now this is absurd. No I apprehend everything. And that is the subjective conciousness. Does this subjective conciousness need material reality to apprehend through while it is embodied. Yes. But then it can do so through a vast array of bodies. Each body with different faculties. It appears to be the case that consciousness apprehend things through a various natural machinery and is so flexible it can move within the realm of material machinery and be at home in a vast variety of natural material machines.”

    To perceive (acquire content in the form of perceptual knowledge), a consciousness would require some form of sensory apparatus and something to perceive.

    “It can also apprehend without the aid of material natural machinery. This has been attested by surgeons who bring people back to life. One thing that intrigues surgeions has been the accounts given by people when theyare brough back to life. So surgeons have placed information in areas of the operating theatre that can not normally be seen from a normal human height. There are numerous accounts of people brought back to life who have told the surgeons exactly what was the contents of the information that was so placed by the clever surgeons.”

    You have now jumped off topic, the topic being ‘the validation of the primacy of existence’. You are now considering whether a disembodied consciousness with content (content acquired while in the embodied state through the normal processes of perception and conception) can exist. Although this can tell us nothing about metaphysical primacy, it is nonetheless a fascinating subject. I have read quite a few books and accounts of so-called out-of-body experiences and near-death experiences and attempts at their validation by scientific investigation. In particular I am reasonably familiar with the work of Dr Sam Parnia in this regard, and quite a number of years ago I did read a few papers by Penrose and Hameroff in regard to their orchestrated-objective-reduction-of-quantum-coherence-in-brain-microtubules theory of consciousness. However, to the best of my knowledge, all of the various subjective content of near-death and out-of-body experiences has been replicated in people whose consciousnesses were clearly not ‘out of body’. In particular, the experience of being ‘out of body’ can be readily induced by subjecting the brain to very strong electro-magnetic fields. I know of no hard evidence that validates the existence of a human consciousness out of, and separate from, its body. It is highly probable, in my opinion, that the out-of-body experience is illusory.

  17. Veteran:

    “Dennet is a proff of philosophy. He is not a qualified scientist.”

    But it is worth realising that rational philosophy is the bedrock of the scientific method.
    Here is an excerpt from “What is Philosophy” by William R Thomas:

    In Greek, “philosophy” means “love of wisdom”. Philosophy is based on rational argument and appeal to facts. The history of the modern sciences begins with philosophical inquiries, and the scientific method of experimentation and proof remains an instance of the general approach that a philosopher tries to bring to a question: one that is logical and rigorous. However, while today the sciences focus on specialized inquiries in restricted domains, the questions addressed by philosophy remain the most general and most basic, the issues that underlie the sciences and stand at the base of a worldview.

  18. @George

    “Do you accept that the computer you are now using exists? If you explicitly accept that it exists, as you must, then please prove to me that it does.”

    No problem my wife just observed it and anyone else that comes into the room can as well there for it exists.

    Nature we can not observe how it was created or formed thus there is no way to prove anyones theories on how it came to be. What made or formed the first life form? again there is no way to observe that either.

    At present I don’t see anything that comes close to what the answers could be either. I do not believe any of the theories that I have read are even close. The reason i say that is because we don’t have and never will have the concept of infinite time and space. String theory is the first to conceptualize multiple dimensions and put into a theory but even this concept is very weak

  19. Thank you for your excellent definition of philsophy with which I agree. That does not mean that if one loves wisdom and tries to apply it that one does it well. That is what I am essentially saying. Not being a scientist in a very complex issue of biology means Dennet is not the best source for information on the topic of conciousness. A brain surgeon and heart surgeon might be a better source of information on this topic of conciousness flickering in and out in the body. Years of hands on experience in this area in the theatre vs standing in front of a class talking philosphy. There is a degree of practicality which comes with science and I am more inclined to take seriously those that demonstrate it in their chosen field of scientific endeavour.

  20. You see a butterfly. It is dream. You think it is very real while the dream goes on. On awakening you realise that the dream is not real. Senses decieve. You are on drugs. You believe you can fly. You try and fall to your death. Senses are limited. You can not see your own head that reads this. You need help. You need a mirror. Actually look into the screen and you will see an outline but that is not your head. It is reflection. So you can not directly and never will be able to see your own head with which you guide yourself through life. So to limit yourself in this way to a series of senses which have such obvious limitations is to limit your horizons. Now is your chair in the room real. Yes assuming your senses are working well and someone is not projecting a hologram to fool you. Perhaps he is and then again you are deceived. Now there is no hologram, there is no dream and you are not on drugs is the chair real. The possibility remains that someone superior to all created beings exists and is deceiving them according to Descartes. So you can be again deceived but being deceived you know one thing you are not being deceived. Which means you do exist. Whether deceived or not your existence is not in question. Whether deceived or not the bedrock principle is your own existence. Even if you doubt your own existence it is you who are doubting it. So the prime principle is not the world ones sees and knows but oneself, the subjective self that see and know all these gradations of material reality. The bedrock principle is conciousness.

  21. OxAO:

    “No problem, my wife just observed it and anyone else that comes into the room can as well, therefore it exists.”

    Precisely, OxAO. You are validating the fundamental truth that your computer exists on the basis that it is self-evident. And implicit in this explicit validation is the validation of your means to perception – your sensory apparatus. You see, hear and feel the computer, therefore it exists.

    But what you are not doing here is proving the existence of your computer in any formal sense as applicable to science or mathematics. Recall that proof is the logical derivation of a logical conclusion from antecedent knowledge, and that nothing is antecedent to axioms. Axioms are the starting points of cognition, upon which all proofs depend. Therefore, axioms are outside the realm of proof.

    Existence is a fundamental truth of reality, a starting point, upon which all other truths and proofs rest. Identity (it is what it is), consciousness and free-will are also fundamental truths of reality (axioms), and they are implicit in everything you think, say or do; in short, they are implicit in every concept you form. And they are also implicit in every attempt at their denial; in this way they have a built-in protection against all attacks. In short, they are inescapable.

  22. No what I did was miss read your post. No one in their right mind would explicitly validate their computer but it could be done.

    Lets not get into word games here. Empiricist theory is all we need to be expressing on this issue.

  23. Are we not getting away from the central topic? I believe the central issue is the primacy of subjective conciousness, not existence with conciousness being impicit in that. The reason for this is that consiousness can exist with or without a body, in which case there could be as a possibility an entity called God. God could be the supreme consiousness.

  24. I have tried to show using cartesian logic that the only thing that you can be sure of is your own existence. From this we can conclude that anything else is conjecture. But we have proved the primacy of subjective existence.

  25. Veteran:

    “Thank you for your excellent definition of philosophy, with which I agree.”

    No worries, Veteran; my pleasure.

    “You see a butterfly. It is dream. You think it is very real while the dream goes on. On awakening you realise that the dream is not real. Senses decieve. You are on drugs. You believe you can fly. You try and fall to your death. Senses are limited. You can not see your own head that reads this. You need help. You need a mirror. Actually look into the screen and you will see an outline but that is not your head. It is reflection. So you can not directly and never will be able to see your own head with which you guide yourself through life. So to limit yourself in this way to a series of senses which have such obvious limitations is to limit your horizons. Now is your chair in the room real. Yes assuming your senses are working well and someone is not projecting a hologram to fool you. Perhaps he is and then again you are deceived. Now there is no hologram, there is no dream and you are not on drugs is the chair real. The possibility remains that someone superior to all created beings exists and is deceiving them according to Descartes. So you can be again deceived but being deceived you know one thing you are not being deceived. Which means you do exist. Whether deceived or not your existence is not in question. Whether deceived or not the bedrock principle is your own existence. Even if you doubt your own existence it is you who are doubting it. So the prime principle is not the world ones sees and knows but oneself, the subjective self that see and know all these gradations of material reality. The bedrock principle is conciousness.”

    No man is infallible, this is the nature of man in accordance with his identity. Under normal circumstances (leaving aside perceptual distortions due to faulty sensory apparatus, or cognitive impairment due to, for example, drugs) one can be misled by one’s perceptions – consider, for example, the effect of the refraction of light from a stick in a glass of water – but if one’s ability to conceptualize rationally is intact, a distorted view of reality will be discovered sooner or later and rectified. Also, hold in mind that even when one’s perceptions or conceptions of reality are in error, the fundamental axiomatic truths of reality remain. No matter how fanciful one’s conception of reality may be, this does not alter the fact that reality is, and it is what it is. To imagine, for example, that a supernatural consciousness created reality, does not make it so. Also, don’t forget that reality by definition includes everything that exists; to say, therefore, that there is something above or beyond reality is to make a contradiction. Also, don’t lose sight of the fact that the mind is not limited to perceptual content alone; for example, we know that atoms and molecules exist even though we have never perceived them directly, and we know this because we are able, through the faculty of reason, to conceptualize them and to validate our concepts of them.

  26. Veteran:

    “I believe the central issue is the primacy of subjective conciousness, not existence with conciousness being impicit in that. The reason for this is that consiousness can exist with or without a body, in which case there could be as a possibility an entity called God. God could be the supreme consiousness.”

    The principle of the primacy of existence has been validated – this is not an opinion but a fact (Note that a principle is a fundamental truth upon which other truths depend). Existence is possible without consciousness, but consciousness is not possible without existence. What is your evidence for “consciousness existing without a body”? The principle of the primacy of existence excludes all possibility of a universe-creating god.

    “I have tried to show using cartesian logic that the only thing that you can be sure of is your own existence. From this we can conclude that anything else is conjecture. But we have proved the primacy of subjective existence.”

    When you think or say to yourself “The only thing that I can be certain of is my own existence” you are conceptualizing. But in this instance you are conceptualizing irrationally. When you grasp that the basis of all conceptualization is perceptual knowledge, and that all perceptual knowledge is knowledge of objects that exist outside and separate from your own consciousness , you will realize that implicit in the assertion “I can be certain only of my own existence” is the existence of objects separate from your own consciousness, the certainty of which existence your assertion denies. This is a contradiction. When you think or say “I am certain of my own existence, therefore I am certain of the existence of objects beyond my own existence” you are conceptualizing rationally.

    Veteran, if you desire a crystal-clear understanding of the issue of metaphysical primacy and the principle of the primacy of existence, upon which all factual knowledge is ultimately based, then I would urge you to read “Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand” by Leonard Peikoff and to peruse the contents of this website http://www.reocities.com/Athens/Sparta/1019/Thorn2.html

    It is crucial that people grasp the principle of the primacy of existence, for it is this principle that denies absolutely any possibility of there being a universe-creating god, or, for that matter, any kind of supernatural entity. When people realize this principle they will be able to consign the concept “god” to the trashcan marked “Irrational Concepts” and to commit confidently to living their lives on earth for their own individual sakes, lives guided by a morality based on reason and rooted in the facts of reality. Guided by such a rational morality, each person would endeavor to make only those choices that would further and enrich his/her life, never sacrificing a higher value for a lower value, never sacrificing his/her own life for the sake of others, and never sacrificing the lives of others for his/her own sake. Individuals would interact voluntarily by trading value for value (material and spiritual) for mutual benefit, and war would become a thing of the past.

  27. George if narrow human and animal conciousness is implicit in nature than the possibility opens up that conciousness is implicit in the universe. Both are matter and both have implicit conciousness. This satisifies the condition you impose of there being nothing beyond existence and all that then remains within the realm of existence is a concious nature known as the the unverse. The concept of a multiverse is also nullified because a universe includes all that is and so a multiverse is a redundant concept. Now if this implict universal conciouness is part of nature and is one with nature we have the concept of God known as Monism. Just like we have the concept of human and animal with their own implicit conciousness the unverse has its own implicit conciousness. Now remember I am only opening up the possibility you propose. This detail is something that needs to be examined carefully as it is an extapolation of your view that existence has an implicit conciousness as seen in sentient beings. To limit it would be like limiting our view of atoms even though we can not see them. At least admit the possiblity exists. As with atoms we use our conceptual abilities to understand the smallest thing in the universe which are impacted by the reality in quantum physics of the observer effect. So an intrinsic conciousness could be available to guide the entire universe. If the smallest is guided bya concious observer why not the biggest as the biggest is in fact a collection of the smallest units of existence. Atoms make the universe.

  28. Consciouses is awareness of existence and so is an order of existence which is very unique. Can you destroy it with a ninja sword.? No. You can destroy the body in which the conciousness is housed but not the conciounsess as shown by heart surgeons in many cases where patients have come back to life and speak about their experiences. This is a verifiable detail of medical science and you need to be aware of it as it shows the operation of consciouness at the moment it flickers out of a body at clinical death and when it comes back once a surgeon has restarted the heart. Unless you include these real life scientific experiences in your analysis you will not convince anyone of the validity of your arugement as it i s not grounded in medical scientifc real life events involving life and death. You have repeated your assertion about consciounses being implicit in sentient beings etc but we need to move on now to hard science involving real life case studies of people who have experienced death and come back to tell of their experiences. If we do not move on we live in a world of conjecture.

  29. you will realize that implicit in the assertion “I can be certain only of my own existence” is the existence of objects separate from your own consciousness, the certainty of which existence your assertion denies.
    Wrong I explicity deny all objects in the universe. There is no implicit assertion that objects exist. I deny everything explicity. It is you who are saying that I accept the existence of objects implicitly. This is a misrepresentation of what I said. I deny everything in the universe and can only be one hundred percent certain of my existence as I can not deny that it is me who is denying existence. For all I know all of life may be a dream. I explicit denial includes any implicit embedded assertion that there is anything but myself. My denial of all things is explicit and implicit. I am only certain of myself. Cogito ergo sum …………Rene Descarte.

  30. you will realize that implicit in the assertion “I can be certain only of my own existence” is the existence of objects separate from your own consciousness, the certainty of which existence your assertion denies.
    This time I will not just rephrase my assertion to make it completely clear as I have done above but use your logic on one of your assertions. Now you say that you are an atheist. Do you know that implicit in this sentence is the thought that you are a theist. When you say that the central plank of your arguement is that existence is the only thing we know due to the knowledge we gain from our five senes and mind that implicit in this is the idea that existence is not the central thing we know from our five senses and mind and that it is indeed the subjective element that is also implied. Now if we carry on like this we can never again enter into any philosophical discourse as the opposite element will always be implied in any logical statement if only implicity and thus we have a situation of stagnation in our discourse. I am only applying your logical principle to your statements in order to show that it is not valid as a universal principle because it destroys all discourse as it never allows one to make any statement due to the implicit opposite being present in it and thus destroying the intent of the original statement as you did with my statement and as I have done with two of your statements.

  31. Both of you are doing a fantastic job at explaining yourselves.

    George’s if you discount the unknown you are no longer working in the realm of science, thus your thoughts are a form of theism.

    Let me explain:
    Lets say your a two dimensional critter living on a 2D world. you bring in a 3D finger and place it next to the critter he can only see a slice of your finger. You pull your finger away the critter can not see it anymore.

    Same with the 3D world we live in. But are just now we starting to put our 5 sense to view the 4th dimension.

    We have only one strongly supported observation of a 4th dimension that is a Black Hole it has the 3D of space plus time. This is why the EU created the Hadron Collider which was originally dumbed the black whole generator. They changed the name to avoid fear of what people don’t understand.

    Those working on the CERN projects are attempting to make observations to the string theory which is multi dimensional (eleven so far.) My own theory is there is no limit of time or space.

  32. Sorry, for the number of spelling errors and ‘your moving finger’

    I would repost but there is no way to delete the old post.

    I hope i got the point across. Which is we can not assume anything if we want to work with in the scope of science. Once you start assuming and not use facts as your bases then you are basing your observations on observed truths or self truths.

  33. This is certainly a civil and polite discussion. OxAo you certainly hit the nail on the head. Atheism as a belief system is so wont to remove from the picture the unknown and stick with the known that it is form of belief in the reality before one’s eyes a bit like the viewing of the sun going down. Where has it gone? Who knows where the sun goes at night. A group of opposing religious wise men will call it the sun god the wiser atheist ones will say it is a natural thing but who know beyond on that. Best not think about it too much as we should stick with what we can know from our senses and mind and that is what we know. I know it breaks down when we investigate further and we step into the light so to speak. My point is that atheism as a belief system can be just as close minded as theism. In any case now we know better. It was steps into the unknown and new ways of thinking that broke the grip of the wise theist and atheist men who speculated on what they have seen. This is why I am trying to move the discussion away from our own thinking and into the operating theatre where surgeons do have access to data on life and death, unconciousness and conciousness.

  34. “My point is that atheism as a belief system can be just as close minded as theism.”

    They are very similar there is very little difference other then the type of ‘god’ they worship. The atheist god is themselves because all observations is the only reality that they observe and accept.

    Allow me to explain.

    Take the 2D critter and a 3D finger placed next to him. The 2D critter can only observe what is real to him that is his observed world or his self truths. For the 2D critter the finger is not 3D because he can only view a slice of the finger. the critter doesn’t know there is more to the finger.

    The Atheist critter will not speculate on the slice of the finger because it isn’t of any importance.
    Only what he observes is his reality. His end statement will be, ‘it is highly unlikely there is anything more’ (Which gives them an out if they are wrong). This makes atheist critter the center of his universe.

    The theist critter will make up stories of speculation of something greater then a slice of finger and they worship the finger based on their stories.

    The Agnostic critter will look at the slice of the finger and say, ‘damned if i know.’
    (I will repeat myself here. Not knowing isn’t the same as saying, “it is highly unlikely there is anything more then what is observed.”)

  35. Veteran:

    “Atheism as a belief system is so wont to remove from the picture the unknown and stick with the known that it is form of belief in the reality before one’s eyes a bit like the viewing of the sun going down. Where has it gone? Who knows where the sun goes at night. A group of opposing religious wise men will call it the sun god the wiser atheist ones will say it is a natural thing but who know beyond on that. Best not think about it too much as we should stick with what we can know from our senses and mind and that is what we know. I know it breaks down when we investigate further and we step into the light so to speak. My point is that atheism as a belief system can be just as close minded as theism.”

    The only way for man to know reality is to apply logic (the art of non-contradictory identification) to observation (the material provided by his senses) by means of his faculty of reason; there is no other way. The sum total of all factual human knowledge (which is knowledge of reality) has been achieved by this method and this method alone. Faith, feeling, and intuition are no means to factual knowledge.

    Atheism is the absence of belief in a god. So how can an absence of belief constitute a belief system? Your statement “Atheism as a belief system” is clearly a contradiction.

    “Now you say that you are an atheist. Do you know that implicit in this sentence is the thought that you are a theist?”

    An atheist has an absence of belief in a god. To say that an atheist is also a theist (i.e., believes in a god) is a contradiction.

    “This time I will not just rephrase my assertion to make it completely clear as I have done above but use your logic on one of your assertions. Now you say that you are an atheist. Do you know that implicit in this sentence is the thought that you are a theist. When you say that the central plank of your arguement is that existence is the only thing we know due to the knowledge we gain from our five senes and mind that implicit in this is the idea that existence is not the central thing we know from our five senses and mind and that it is indeed the subjective element that is also implied. Now if we carry on like this we can never again enter into any philosophical discourse as the opposite element will always be implied in any logical statement if only implicity and thus we have a situation of stagnation in our discourse. I am only applying your logical principle to your statements in order to show that it is not valid as a universal principle because it destroys all discourse as it never allows one to make any statement due to the implicit opposite being present in it and thus destroying the intent of the original statement as you did with my statement and as I have done with two of your statements.”

    You seem to be implying here that I have asserted that implicit in any statement of fact is the denial of that same fact, which is absurd.

    I shall now make one last attempt at explicating the principle of the primacy of existence and shall point out one of the most important implications in regard to humanity of denying it:

    What the principle of the primacy of existence is saying is that in reality “existence” is primary, that “existence” comes first, that nothing precedes “existence”, that “existence” is a metaphysical starting point. Now all things in reality (existents) must have identity ( a nature) because all existents must exist as something (e.g., the nature of a cube is to have six square sides and all its angles as right angles), but in order to have identity (a nature) an existent must first exist. Consciousness, too, is a thing that exists, and therefore, by virtue of its existence, it must have identity (a nature), and its nature is to be conscious or aware of other existents. But before it can be aware of other existents it must first have the means to be aware of them (the means to perceive them) – the means being sensory apparatus.

    Let us for now restrict our consideration to human consciousness. And let us consider first the case of a newborn child with no sensory apparatus whatsoever. This child’s “mind” would have no perceptual content – no perceptual knowledge whatsoever. And since all conceptual knowledge is based on the processing of perceptual knowledge, the child would have no conceptual knowledge either. It would have no possibility of forming even the most basic of concepts – in other words, it would be incapable of thinking. Strictly speaking this child would have no consciousness, no awareness. If this child were to be kept alive and grew to be an adult that lived to be one hundred years of age, it would still have no mental content, i.e., no consciousness, no awareness.

    It should be clear to you from the above case that in order for a consciousness to exist there must first exist objects for the consciousness to be conscious of. The very fact that you are able to form concepts implies that you have perceptual knowledge with which to process into concepts. And the very fact that you have perceptual knowledge implies that there must exists beyond your consciousness objects that your consciousness has perceived.

    In light of all of this, it should now be clear to you that for one to form the concept “I can be certain only of my own existence (my own consciousness)” there must exist objects (existents) beyond oneself. It should now be immediately clear that the statement “I can be certain only of my own existence” is false – that it is a contradiction, and that the non-contradictory statement would be “I am certain of my own existence, therefore I am certain of the existence of objects (existents) beyond my own existence.

    And the implication of all this is that a consciousness cannot be the first thing to exist – it cannot be primary – it must be preceded by the existence of other existents. Another important implication, of course, is that a consciousness existing before anything else and then creating the whole of reality (beyond its own existence) is not only impossible, but absurd.

    “Consciouses is awareness of existence and so is an order of existence which is very unique. Can you destroy it with a ninja sword.? No. You can destroy the body in which the conciousness is housed but not the conciounsess as shown by heart surgeons in many cases where patients have come back to life and speak about their experiences. This is a verifiable detail of medical science and you need to be aware of it as it shows the operation of consciouness at the moment it flickers out of a body at clinical death and when it comes back once a surgeon has restarted the heart. Unless you include these real life scientific experiences in your analysis you will not convince anyone of the validity of your arugement as it i s not grounded in medical scientifc real life events involving life and death. You have repeated your assertion about consciounses being implicit in sentient beings etc but we need to move on now to hard science involving real life case studies of people who have experienced death and come back to tell of their experiences. If we do not move on we live in a world of conjecture.”

    You seem to be saying here that a disembodied consciousness (with some unspecified means to perceive) is not only possible but has been proved scientifically. If this is what you are saying, then what you are saying is wrong.

    “I deny everything in the universe and can only be one hundred percent certain of my existence as I can not deny that it is me who is denying existence. For all I know all of life may be a dream. I explicit denial includes any implicit embedded assertion that there is anything but myself. My denial of all things is explicit and implicit. I am only certain of myself. Cogito ergo sum …………Rene Descarte.”

    If this is your view, then, as you are certain that I do not exist and that your means of communication (your computer) also does not exist, there can be no point in your continuing this “discourse”.

  36. OxAO:

    “My point is that atheism as a belief system can be just as close minded as theism.”

    Atheism is the absence of belief in a god. So how can an absence of belief constitute a belief system? The statement “Atheism as a belief system” is clearly a contradiction.

    Furthermore, all people at birth have an absence of belief in a god and are therefore at this time in their lives atheists. Furthermore if you are agnostic, you do not yet consider there is evidence enough for you to believe that there is a god. If you do not yet believe there is a god, then you have an absence of belief in a god, and if you have an absence of belief in a god, then you are an atheist.

  37. said, “Atheism is the absence of belief in a god.”

    you can repeat that statement as much as you like it simply isn’t true.

    Atheism can only accept what he/she observes as reality.
    As such he/she world revolves around what they observe which is like a Mystic.

  38. This child’s “mind” would have no perceptual content – no perceptual knowledge whatsoever. And since all conceptual knowledge is based on the processing of perceptual knowledge, the child would have no conceptual knowledge either. It would have no possibility of forming even the most basic of concepts – in other words, it would be incapable of thinking. Strictly speaking this child would have no consciousness, no awareness.

    A child is somebody not something. It has humanity and sentience. It is aware of many things, such as sound, sights, memory of its parents, likes and dislikes, pain etc. It is like an animal in this regard and so deserves the same love and protection that they do. Animals and babys both have awareness and sentience and rudimentary minds and this makes them special and different from mere inanimate objects. Conciousness or awareness is the key difference. And it is this conciounsess which can not be denied as to deny it needs the thinker to be there to deny it. Now children can not reason like that but they will be able to. The potential is there and it is in seed form. As the child sproats up we see the mind being more and more capable and thus able to form the concept that is primary and that relates to its subjective conciouness as distinct form that of the inanimate universe. The fully grown sentient being known as man then sees himself as the knower and all else as the known.

  39. “Now you say that you are an atheist. Do you know that implicit in this sentence is the thought that you are a theist?” quote from Veteran.

    you will realize that implicit in the assertion “I can be certain only of my own existence” is the existence of objects separate from your own consciousness, the certainty of which existence your assertion denies. quote from George.

    We have done the same thing George.

    I only did it to show that this line of reasoning can be applied to any statement so if you apply to my one statement if it is valid as universal logical statement then it should and could be applied to your statements or to any statements. This is clearly not the case as your protest when I applied it to your statement. Let us at least discard this principle as it has been shown to not work. I am happy to do so. But then you need to discard it for all statements including my own.

  40. Veteran, OxAO:

    Well, chaps, I have said all that I wish to say on the principle of the primacy of existence and allied matters, and so at this point I shall withdraw from any further discourse of these matters.

    I shall, however, leave you with two questions to ponder: Can anything have intrinsic value? Do animals have natural rights?

    I should like to thank you both for contributing to what for me has been an intriguing and mind-focusing discourse and for doing so in such a well-mannered and civil way.

  41. “Atheism is the absence of belief in a god.” It is an absense in a belief but it is also as AxAo has pointed out a belief in something.In any case we are all atheists with some beliefs. I am atheist with regard to the god Thor. However, you do believe in something, as we all do. A belief in your case in the inanimate object of the universe or to put it another way the inanimate objects that constitute the universe. Descarte tried to show that such a belief is flawed due the failing of the senses and the capacitity they show of being sucked into an illusion. The world revolves around such a person and he thinks that is all there is. He forgets himself. He forgets the subjective self as the key element that observes it all. An alert fully concious man sees both. He sees himself looking at the world. He sees the duality of existence. It is not one thing. It is subjective and objective. A drunk by contrast under the intoxicated illusion of his senses sees very little. A religous fanatic under the minds intoxicated delusional state sees very little. A clear thinker like Descartes shows us the way. Cogito Ergo Sum.

  42. Thank you George. Yes I too have notice the civil and poilite way we have discussed these things. I certainly need to reply to your last comment. Yes animals have the same rights as babies do. They are sentient beings. They feel pain. A baby feels pain. An animal feels pain.The philosopher Tom Regan has coined the word painient. A sentient being is somebody not something and as a somebody with a life story they deserve love and respect. However, due to the gradation of natural forms in nature there is going to occasions when we do not give children and animals the love they need. However, since children are like us our tribal human instinct kicks in and we do not eat them for food, or deprive them of their skin for for our clothing etc. We do that to animals and it is because we treat them as inanimate objects. A dangerous thing for them and for our moral development. Our moral development is complete when we see the primacy of the subjective self in all sentient beings and treat them as we would wish to be treated ie with love and respect. This is imperative in our day with regard to animals as we seem to have drawn the circle around the human race and not seen it in the eyes of a monkey who we are keen to lock up in a cage for our amusement at zoos or inlaboratories around the world.

  43. @George

    “Can anything have intrinsic value? Do animals have natural rights?”

    1. no, value is relative to the existence of something else that needs it.

    2. no, it takes conceptualizing to understand basic rights. As far as I am aware only humans can do that.

    Self god or community god is what communist forced on people it didn’t work with them and I think it is a repugnant idea.

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