Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Intuition Pumps

Intuition Pumps are Dan Dennett's term for thought experiments.  The basic idea is that they appeal to a person's philosophical intuition and not entirely to reason.  They can be useful logical tools, but they can also be misleading, implying that their analogy is complete in itself, leaving out other logical possibilities.

It seems that anymore, any expression or idea that has "feeling" somehow imbued within it, is no longer sound.  I admit, logic carries us a long way.  It has taken us to the moon, allowed incredible advances in medicine, politics and society, and in general, science is founded upon it.

However, the very act of hypothesis is itself intuitive until it becomes solidified in factual results.  The Latin "intuitio" means "to look at, consider".  Not that art cannot be logical, but so many aspects of inspiration, at least seem to come from outside of the walls of reason.  This is regardless of whether or not they can be formally expressed.  If everything can simply be reduced down to something biochemical, etc. then we become rote and entirely predictable more or less. I do not doubt Dan Dennett's idea, however, it seems that we must become machines in order to reach "perfection" as logical beings.  Perhaps this is a reductio ad absurdum, but this is what my intuition tells me.  ;)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Gemma Ward Magic

Friday, November 8, 2013

Rebecca Morgan

I love this artist named Rebecca Morgan.  Her work is some of the freshest and more poignant work in painting/drawing I have seen in a long time.  There is so much here...she critiques so many dimensions and expresses them in an incredibly beautiful, talented hand.  Currently, I believe she is represented by Asya Geisberg, an old schoolmate of mine.

What I see foremost is her incredibly interesting portrayal of femininity.  She does it in a visceral way that seems uncanny and not hackneyed like so many feminist artists of the past.  There is a mixture of comedy, horror and beauty that seems to yearn for resolutions between the contrived urban world, and the sublimely Utopian world of nature.  Of course, woman in a traditional sense is nature and ancient myths conveyed this through elaborate symbol systems.

I think many artists can relate to this symbology, regardless of their gender.  The detachment and ennui felt while living in New York City and pursuing an art "career" are daunting and relentless.  I think too that the place of the feminine in this world has become detached from itself, ironically through years of trying to achieve liberation.  Perhaps there is an unconscious yearning to go back to some perceived ideal?  Perhaps too Rebecca masterfully portrays the odd inability of such ideals, as they can only exist conceptually.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Atheism is a Religion

More and more...I am starting to form the position that Atheism is in fact a religion.  Of course, this very idea is abhorrent to Atheists, who mistakenly believe that not believing in God or the supernatural is equitable with not believing in anything.  Furthermore, another mistake made in this case is that being an atheist is equitable with being more rational and intelligent.  There are so many hypocrisies lurking here that it is disturbing.  Atheism and Science go hand and hand.  Although Atheism is not dependent on science per se to exist, most and many modern atheists are Darwinists and/or Naturalists.  Dan Dennett is an example.   Being probably agnostic myself, Dan Dennett is an atheist and philosopher I enjoy learning from, as he most definitely presents challenging and intelligent information about our world.  Being intellectual, I try to entertain as many ideas as possible, so as to keep an open mind.  Life after all is some infinitely open book of knowledge as far as I am concerned.

So, back to the issue of Atheism being a religion.  There are several more traditional examples, especially Buddhism, which many atheists understand to be atheistic, but still hold on to the idea that Buddhism posits the supernatural into its philosophy.  The Four Noble Truths are very basic, grounded ideas and have nothing to do with the supernatural at all.  Tibetan Buddhism is another thing altogether.  Atheistic Quakers exist and if one has a more complex understanding, Hinduism and Jainism for example, offer up negative theologies as well.  The absence of God in religion is not a new thing.

Another thing of interest is "The Sunday Assembly", an atheistic church.  Ninian Smart's 7 Dimensions of Religion do apply to something of this nature.  The very fact that atheism is itself a belief system, since the existence of God or the supernatural cannot be proven, sets it up for religiosity.  Religion as defined is more open for me and going to the root of the word, is more of a reliance on an idea, creed or belief as to how one lives one's life.

For me it does not matter either way...I do not however find salvation in Atheism.

Good luck in trying to do so...