"Begin at the beginning,and go on till you come to the end: then stop." (Lewis Carroll, 1832-1896)

Alice came to a fork in the road. "Which road do I take?" she asked."Where do you want to go?" responded the Cheshire cat."I don't know," Alice answered."Then," said the cat, "it doesn't matter."

"So long as I get somewhere," Alice added as an explanation. "Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."

"All right," said the Cat; and this time it vanished quite slowly, beginning with the end of the tail, and ending with the grin, which remained some time after the rest of it had gone. "Well! I've often seen a cat without a grin," thought Alice; "but a grin without a cat! It's the most curious thing I ever saw in my life!"

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Location: Australia

I am diagonally parked in a parallel universe. Like Arthur Dent from "Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy", if you do not have a Babel Fish in your ear this blog will be completely unintelligible to you and will read something like this: "boggle, google, snoggle, slurp, slurp, dingleberry to the power of 10". Fortunately, those who have had the Babel Fish inserted in their ear, will understood this blog perfectly. If you are familiar with this technology, you will know that the Babel Fish lives on brainwave radiation. It excretes energy in the form of exactly the correct brainwaves needed by its host to understand what was just said; or in this case, what was read. The Babel Fish, thanks to scientific research, reverses the problem defined by its namesake in the Tower of Babel, where a deity was supposedly inspired to confuse the human race by making them unable to understand each other.


Beepbeepitsme has been added to The Atheist Blogroll. You can see the blogroll in my sidebar. The Atheist blogroll is a community building service provided free of charge to Atheist bloggers from around the world. If you would like to join, visit Mojoey at Deep Thoughts.

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

The Thinking Blogger Award

Bruce from The Thinker's Podium has tagged me with a Thinking Blogger Award. (I just knew that liking Monty Python would score me some bonus points one day.)

The Thinking Blogger awards have rules as follows:

1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with 5 blogs that make you think
2. Link to this post so that people can find the exact origin of the meme.
3. Optional: Proudly display the “Thinking Blogger Award” with a link to the post that you wrote (there is a silver version if gold doesn’t fit your blog).
4. Your chosen blogs cannot have been previously awarded.

"Cogito, ergo sum" (Latin: "I think, therefore I am" ) or "Dubito, ergo cogito, ergo sum" (Latin: "I doubt, therefore I think, therefore I am") -
These people think and therefore they are as well. (If you have been tagged before, please let me know so that I can tag someone else.)

KA from
Biblioblography - (An atheist's viewpoints on religion, government, culture, adding friction to the fray. Will be talking about books occasionally, hence the title. Blunt, mocking (gently & otherwise), shootin' straight from the hip (hopefully), a dash of humor w/liberal doses of cynicism.)

PZ Myers from
Pharyngula - (Evolution, development, and random biological ejaculations from a godless liberal.)

Ted from
Plonka's Blog - (A cul-de-sac down which ideas are lured, then quietly strangled.)

BEAJ from
The Atheist Jew - (If you want BS or Political Correctness you have come to the wrong place.)

Steve G from
The Philosopher's Playground - (One Part Sandbox, One Part Soapbox -- An on-going game of intellectual tag concerning ethics, science, politics, and all topics philosophical.)

The Ditty Bops- Wishful Thinking



Blogger Sadie Lou said...

Great nominations. I'm partial to KA's blog and Ted's.

5/4/07 8:46 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

Pharyngula is probably one of the best blogs concerning science on the net. PZ Myers also has a lot to do with Talk Origins, a website which explains evolution.

Talk Origins

5/4/07 9:04 am  
Anonymous Confused, Maybe not said...

There are so many logical errors packed into this short sentence, "I think, therefore I am." For starters, it confuses a name with an essence.

5/4/07 10:26 am  
Anonymous Confused, Maybe not said...

meant to say, confuses a name for essence.

5/4/07 10:27 am  
Anonymous Confused, Maybe not said...

I'm too high for this. I meant to say, confuses a name for an essence. Phew!

5/4/07 11:05 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I forgot to say that the above is not my insight, but that of Bertrand Russell, even though the German Philosopher Franz Rosenzweig articulated the problem (of confusing names for essence) about 30 years before Russell, not to mention about 10 or 12 before Wittgenstein started playing with this stuff.

5/4/07 12:10 pm  
Anonymous Confused, Maybe not said...

The above correction is from Confused,Maybe not. BeepBeep any way to change having to type one's name for every post. Plus, what's the point of having to type in the listed letters?

5/4/07 12:43 pm  
Blogger Blueberry said...

Yours is definitely a good choice for a thinking blogger award. Always great, thought-provoking topics.

I saw the Ditty-bops last year. They opened for Nickel Creek at Gruene Hall, an old Texas Dance Hall.

confused: the letters are there to make sure a human is posting, not a spam-bot.

5/4/07 2:06 pm  
Anonymous Confused, Maybe not said...

blueberry, Thanks, now I won't find typing them annoying.

5/4/07 2:20 pm  
Blogger Krystalline Apostate said...

I thank you for the props, beep. & here I thought you just kept me around to clock the trolls (hehehehe).
Truly, I'm touched, & not in the head, either. ;)

5/4/07 2:33 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

KA: Oh, I keep you around for that reason too. ;)

5/4/07 4:10 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...



I hadn't heard the Ditty Bops until a couple of days ago. I liked the video. It is fresh and fun.

5/4/07 4:11 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...


I am not a huge fan of the word "essence" unless someone is prepared to describe in detail what it is that they mean by it.

Essence of roses, I have no problem with.

5/4/07 4:13 pm  
Anonymous ted said...

KA: & here I thought you just kept me around to clock the trolls (hehehehe).

Well don't stop now...:)

Thanks Beep, honoured is what I am...:)

5/4/07 7:05 pm  
Anonymous Confused, maybe not said...

But your statement, or DesCartes, presupposes an essence. An essence, philosophically, is that which makes a thing what it is rather than its being or becoming something else, or the essential defining characteristic of a thing, or as Aristotle might say, that something which the thing is to be in its final completed state. Now, when one says, "I think, therefore I am," one is conflating the name "I" with an essence or confusing the name/pronoun "I" for an essence. If one does not believe that the name "I" does not have an essence, or even further that one does not have an essence, then the claim "I think, therefore I am" is logically invalid, for what is the essence of "I?" Since DesCartes believed in essences, we might cut him some slack. Although, from DesCartes' reasoning, he should have said, "I think, therefore I am thoughts."

6/4/07 2:31 am  
Anonymous remy said...

If I didn't know better I'd swear you were my dead friend Ron. He too delighted in the arcane and would frequently lead discusion into whether weather was indeed weather or if we can truly understand the intellignce of inanimate objects.

My guess is that you are still in school. Your joy of discovery is admirable but it has been a very long time since I have been shopenwithhuaer and I kant say that I would like to revisit the kind of dewey spinoza which you so love. I would rather liebniz alone.

Sorry for being such an old fart. I hasten to add that if I had a god, He would be Russell.

6/4/07 3:32 am  
Anonymous Confused, maybe not said...

Remy, thanks for your nice words. But I am not longer in school, not in the sense that you mean. But I'm happy to be thought of as still in school.

I made a mistake in my last comment.

"If one does not believe that the name "I" does not have an essence, or even further that one does not have an essence,"

I should not have said, "belief." I meant, to say, "If one cannot show or logically prove that the name "I" does not have an essence...."

Also, instead of saying DesCartes believed, even though that was the case, it would have been better for me to have said as Descartes assumed....

6/4/07 3:41 am  
Anonymous remy said...


But what is it that you thought I meant by 'mean'? Did I mean what I meant, or at least what I thought I meant, or did I mean what YOU thought I meant. I mean, I meant that you are engaged in writing about philosophy for more than personnal gratification. oui?

6/4/07 4:25 am  
Anonymous Confused, maybe not said...

you're right. My interest is not only directed by personal gratification. I find philosopies and philosophical discussion ensures discussion, and for me - this is fundamental for a pluralistic society. As I said on another post on this site, I find myself alarmed when discussion ceases or someone tries to own the discussion or the evidence for the discussion. Simply, I worry about ideological thinking and my interest in philosophy partly comes from this. Thank you for your comments. I now have to attend a work meeting. Perhaps, I'll find you here another time.

6/4/07 5:38 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...


RE: "But your statement, or DesCartes, presupposes an essence."

It does? I think it is a statement which suggests that thought is evidence of existence.

6/4/07 8:06 am  
Anonymous Confused, maybe not said...

Logically, his statement does presuppose an essence and he is confusing a name for an essence. "I am" is an ontological statement. It is a statement of being. Logically, thought is only evidence for the existence of thought, not being. However, empirically it does not make sense to talk about thinking without a thinker that is embodied. In fact, many philosophers today argue that our thoughts are embodied, even the colors we see are embodied. Colors are flesh, if one were to put it crudely. (They actually don't say it like that, but I can't resist mocking the claim, even though those who make the claim have more intelligence in one fingernail than my brain generates.) Specifically, I'm thinking of the philosopher Mark Johnson, who wrote the popular work "Philosophy in the Flesh." As for me, the grass is green and my eyes and brain do not make it so, but I stand with a small, philosophical minority on this one. Back to the discussion. Logic is not about common sense or empirical truth, even though it might empirically aide one.

Personally, don't you think it's odd that DesCartes felt a need for evidence that he existed? It's funny for one to run around looking for certainty that one exists, as if doubting one's existence makes any sense. I fall into the camp that DesCartes wasn't very serious about this stuff (which leads to his claims for the existence of God) and was more interested in math and science, but wrote such things to avoid the fate of Galileo.

6/4/07 8:39 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

"I observed that nothing at all belonged to the nature of essence of body except that it was a thing with length and breadth and depth, admitting of various shapes and various motions. I found also that its shapes and motions were only modes, which no power could make to exist apart from it; and on the other hand that colours, odours, savours and the rest of such things, were merely sensations existing in my thought and differing no less from bodies than pain differs from the shape and motion of the instrument which inflicts it."

Descartes explicitly states that thoughts, or what you would call essence, are not separate from the body, but have their form and function within the human body.

6/4/07 10:47 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

If you can ask the question, "Do I exist?" - that in itself would be evidence that one does.

6/4/07 10:53 am  
Anonymous Confused, maybe not said...

First of all, I am not critiquing his empirical claims, but critiquing his logic, which is troublesome, to say the least, not to mention that the quote you provide is filled with empirical nonsense. For example,
"but have their form and function within the human body." "Within" asserts a seperation between body and soul, soul is the esssential claim And when DesCartes says "I" you can bet your savings that he does not mean a body. I would not turn to DesCartes to support your reasoning on this one. I can spend all night shredding his rationalism from empiricism, and when he deigns to dip himself in the empirical waters, he muddies them. And from everything I have read in the name of "beepbeep," you are an empiricist. But the minute you go there, as you did when I first arrived on your site, I will run with the rationalists, for they are often insightful. DesCartes, who is brilliant, nonetheless spent way too much time alone. Furthermore, do you really not see the dualism in the following, not to mention his logical confusion? "colours, odours, savours and the rest of such things, were merely sensations existing in my thought and differing no less from bodies than pain differs from the shape and motion of the instrument which inflicts it." I suspect you do, but if not, I'm happy to deconstruct this.

6/4/07 11:04 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

I think that the Descartes quote is used primarily to rebut those who decide to go down the track of "well, how do you know that you exist?"

To me, this just seems silly and obfuscative. If we cannot agree that we exist, then what is the point of discussing anything at all?

I am always tempted to say to people like that - "Fine, none of us exist including you."

Pursuant to this is the concept that if none of us exist, there is no point to them holding onto the thought that a god does either.

6/4/07 11:13 am  
Anonymous Confused, maybe not said...

beepbeep said,

"If you can ask the question, "Do I exist?" - that in itself would be evidence that one does."

Why does he need to assert he exists? What or to whom is he responding? Himself. And the need for evidence regarding human existence? Is it really in doubt? I may need evidence that someone is a good person, but not that one is a person. Fortunately, most philosophers have not fallen for this. On the other hand, DesCartes does show the limitations of knowledge. It's too bad he didn't realize that understanding is another ballgame. I may not know what you're thinking, but that is only an issue if I have doubts. But I generally understand what you're saying. Knowledge claims logically and grammatically only make sense in relation to skepticism. If there are no grounds for skepticism, there are no grounds for knowledge claims. DesCartes really liked to role play, so he played both the knower and the skeptic. As said, he really spent too much time alone.

6/4/07 11:20 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE: " As said, he really spent too much time alone."

Ditto to anyone who thinks that after a period of seclusion, that a mysterious voice from the sky is speaking to them.

6/4/07 11:42 am  
Anonymous confused, maybe not said...

beepbeep said,
"Pursuant to this is the concept that if none of us exist, there is no point to them holding onto the thought that a god does either."

I like this point. I had not thought about it in this context. I normally see DesCartes as logically misguided as opposed to being a source for critquing theocrats. On the other hand, I wish I were as smart as Rene. But I could never spend that much time alone.

7/4/07 2:02 am  
Blogger Spike said...

Surely what the quote is saying is "I think, therefore I am a thinking thing?" Unless you are positing the existence of some incorporeal source for all of the thoughts, this test gives the results of existence. This is also sometimes taken as evidence that the thinker has free will, and is not just some whisp of an idea in the minds of others, but for this purpose, it should really be "I think I think, therefore I think I am."

7/4/07 9:17 am  
Anonymous Confused, maybe not said...

Spike, almost, which is why DesCartes ought to have said, "I think, therefore I am thoughts."

9/4/07 11:19 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

I think therefore I don't confuse my thoughts with voices from the sky doing a vulcan mind meld.

10/4/07 9:35 pm  

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