Saturday, October 27, 2012

Top Ten Episodes of The Simpsons

Every once in awhile I like to take a break from philosophy on this blog and do something more lighthearted.  I'm a big Simpsons fan, and I maintain that seasons 3 through 9 comprise the show's golden era.  It won't be any surprise, then, that my list of the top ten episodes will only include episodes during that time - 1991 to 1998.

1. Last Exit to Springfield (Season Four)

2. Marge vs. the Monorail (Season Four)

3. You Only Move Twice (Season Eight)

4. Rosebud (Season Five)

5. Treehouse of Horror V (Season Six)

6. Homer at the Bat (Season Three)

7. Cape Feare (Season Five)

8. Bart Sells His Soul (Season Seven)

9. El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer (The Mysterious Voyage of Homer) (Season Eight)

10. Flaming Moe's (Season Three)

"The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson" (Season Nine) is an honorable mention.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

An Argument Against Naturalism Based on the Laws of Logic

Let's define Naturalism as the view that only nature, e.g. physical space, time, matter and energy exists.  Not only does God not exist, but nothing like God exists, either.  I propose that a commitment to the positive ontological status of the laws of logic refutes Naturalism.

1. The laws of logic are immutable. (Premise)

2. Nature is dynamic. (Premise)

3. Therefore, the laws of logic cannot be part of nature. (Implied by 1 and 2)

The laws of logic, if they exist at all, include the laws of non-contradiction, identity, excluded middle, modus ponens, and so forth.  These are not to be confused with the laws of nature (gravity, electromagnetism, and the strong and weak atomic forces).  The laws of logic are immutable.  Square-circles cannot suddenly become possibilities.  It can never be the case that A is ~A.

Nature, on the other hand, is dynamic (mutable).  It is in a constant state of flux.  Acorns have their potentialities actualized into oak trees, for example.

What this implies, according to (3), is that the laws of logic cannot be part of nature.  After all, if the laws of logic were part of nature, then that would imply the laws of logic could change.  Since this is impossible, it follows that the laws of logic exist independently of nature.  Since Naturalism is the view that only nature exists, the existence of the laws of logic refutes Naturalism.  One is either left with Platonism or theism (as a result of conceptualism).

Monday, October 8, 2012

A Summary of the Modal Cosmological Argument

1. Possibly, everything that exists has an explanation of its existence, either in the necessity of its own nature or in an external cause. (Premise, W-PSR)

2. If the sum total of contingent entities C has an explanation of its existence, that explanation is a necessary cause. (Implied by 1)

3. C exists. (Premise)

4. Hence, C possibly has an explanation of its existence. (From 1 and 3)

5. Possibly, a necessary cause of C exists. (From 2 and 4)

6. Therefore, a necessary cause exists. (From 5 and S5)