PHILOMADRID

PhiloMadrid - Pub Philosophy Meetings in Madrid

Thursday, January 28, 2010

from Lawrence, Pub Philosophy Group, Sunday meeting: Hell is other people

Dear friends,

This weekend we will be discussing: hell is other people.

I am sure that we have all experienced such people, however what does it
take for someone to be hell to others. And I don't mean how complex this
hell can be. But rather what motivates someone to create such a situation.

Hell is other people

Hell is a very strong word in English. We usually leave this sort of
semantics for those special occasion when such other words as difficult,
hard, annoying, stressful, unbelievable will not do. So how can people
be such extreme bad news in our life?

And precisely what are the necessary and or sufficient conditions for
someone to be our hell on Earth?

Since we are in hell then by definition one of the necessary conditions
is that the condition is subjective. It is our hell and it is hell by
our standards. Something like going to the dentist; it is our pain, our
toothache and we have to go to the dentist. However, it is sufficient
for one person to be the cause of all the woe.

Even still we must accept that sometimes people can make our life
difficult when they do not have any intention or desire to do so. And
sometimes people make mistakes. It goes without saying that we can cope
and maybe even forgive such bad luck situation in our life.

However, it is usually not these situations that would annoy us so much
that we would label them hell. It is rather situation that have been
brought about by thoughtless or even inconsiderate actions. Maybe even
straightforward selfish actions.

In which case, can we say that hell in our life is but the intentional
or careless actions of others? But if hell is other people, then must
they intend to create hell on Earth for us and even more telling, are we
other people? In other words are we capable of creating hell for others?

Take care

Lawrence


IF YOU DON'T GET AN EMAIL BY FRIDAY PLEASE LET ME KNOW


+++++++++MEETING DETAILS+++++++++
SUNDAY 6.00pm – 8.30pm at Molly Malone's Pub, probably downstairs----
-Email: philomadrid@yahoo.co.uk
-Yahoo group >> philomadridgroup-subscribe@yahoogroups.co.uk <
-Old essays: www.geocities.com/philomadrid
- Blog: http://philomadrid.blogspot.com/
-Group
photos: http://picasaweb.google.com/photosphilo
-My
tel 606081813
-metro: Bilbao : buses: 21, 149, 147
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


Tertulia with Ignacio and friends: Every Thursday, from 19:30 to 21h, at
Moore's Irish Pub, c/ Barceló 1 (metro Tribunal).
http://sites.google.com/site/tertuliainenglishmadrid/


from Lawrence, Pub Philosophy Group, Sunday meeting: Hell is other people

Thursday, January 21, 2010

from Lawrence, Pub Philosophy Group, Sunday meeting: why do we need a partner?

Dear friends,
This Sunday we are discussing a very practical topic: why do we need a
partner?
Of course, establishing why we need a partner does not in itself help us
actually find a partner. Admittedly this is the real and practical
question for many. We might even include the exercise of how do we find
the best partner for us. Maybe even Socrates might have asked, who is a
good partner? By de-fault a necessary condition for a good partner is
someone who says yes when asked if they would be someone's partner.
However, there is a deeper, and maybe, a more troubling philosophical
issue lurking underneath these type of questions. If we are determined
to have a partner by virtue of biological make up, I am not particularly
fussed how you interpret determined here, why is it that we don't find a
matching mechanism that equally determines that we actually do find a
partner.
Of course, some might argue that competition is that mechanism by which
we go about finding a partner, but this not what I mean. By being human
we inherit, ipso facto, the need to have a partner. But there is no ipso
facto mechanism that when the time comes to find a partner, we activate
this mechanism and, voilà, we have a partner. After all, if we are born
human there is an ipso facto mechanism that determines that our partner
is human, and the same goes for zebras, lions and fruit bats. Or
whatever is your favourite fauna. And that mechanism is the fact that
other humans are about; when we look for a partner we don't need to
decide the nature of that partner will; it has to be human.
The present system of trial and error does not make sense, and at the
very least, it is very wasteful. The issue is that, as we all know,
there are so many good reasons why we need a partner, that any delay and
wasted effort in finding the partner for us tantamount to an immoral
obscenity.
In the meantime, hope to see you Sunday with or without your partner.
Take care
Lawrence
IF YOU DON'T GET AN EMAIL BY FRIDAY PLEASE LET ME KNOW

+++++++++MEETING DETAILS+++++++++
SUNDAY 6.00pm – 8.30pm at Molly Malone's Pub, probably downstairs----
-Email: philomadrid@yahoo.co.uk
-Yahoo group >> philomadridgroup-subscribe@yahoogroups.co.uk <
-Old essays: www.geocities.com/philomadrid
- Blog: http://philomadrid.blogspot.com/
-Group
photos: http://picasaweb.google.com/photosphilo
-My
tel 606081813
-metro: Bilbao : buses: 21, 149, 147
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Tertulia with Ignacio and friends: Every Thursday, from 19:30 to 21h, at
Moore's Irish Pub, c/ Barceló 1 (metro Tribunal).
http://sites.google.com/site/tertuliainenglishmadrid/
from Lawrence, Pub Philosophy Group, Sunday meeting: why do we need a
partner?

Friday, January 15, 2010

from Lawrence, Pub Philosophy Group, Sunday meeting: Hypocrisy (the beauty of)

Dear friends,

This Sunday we are discussing a very relevant topic, hypocrisy, but
maybe, with a bit of a twist, the beauty of hypocrisy.

Although hypocrisy is considered a bad thing, we have to agree that it
is nevertheless based on some nifty thinking. And maybe it is this that
brings out the beauty in hypocrisy. However, it might be beautiful, but
I don't think it is desirable.

See you Sunday

All the best

Lawrence


IF YOU DON'T GET AN EMAIL BY FRIDAY PLEASE LET ME KNOW


+++++++++MEETING DETAILS+++++++++
SUNDAY 6.00pm – 8.30pm at Molly Malone's Pub, probably downstairs----
-Email: philomadrid@yahoo.co.uk
-Yahoo group >> philomadridgroup-subscribe@yahoogroups.co.uk <
-Old essays: www.geocities.com/philomadrid
- Blog: http://philomadrid.blogspot.com/
-Group
photos: http://picasaweb.google.com/photosphilo
-My
tel 606081813
-metro: Bilbao : buses: 21, 149, 147
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


Tertulia with Ignacio and friends: Every Thursday, from 19:30 to 21h, at
Moore's Irish Pub, c/ Barceló 1 (metro Tribunal).
http://sites.google.com/site/tertuliainenglishmadrid/
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


Hypocrisy (the beauty of)

Hypocrisy is a form of lying which in game or strategy theory would be
considered as cheating. Those who are hypocrites espouse beliefs which
they really do not hold. But they know very well, or at least ought to
know, that if people accept these hypocritical beliefs these people
would behave and act in such a way that would normally benefit the
hypocrite.

However, we have to be clear and distinguish between hypocrisy and maybe
expressing a lie for some greater good. For example a politician might
deny the existence of a plot to blow up parliament knowing full well
that there is such a plot. But by lying the politician hopes to avert a
panic in the country, or at the very least parliament.

However, a politician who claims to believe in open and transparent
government but then makes secret deals with terrorists is certainly a
hypocrisy.

For hypocrisy to succeed there must be two important conditions:
believability by the intended audience and to act upon such a belief by
said audience. Furthermore, for hypocrisy to make sense the hypocrite
should really receive some sort of benefit. And although there is no law
to be rational, I submit that rational hypocrites would seek a benefit.

Once again we must distinguish between hypocrisy and acquiescence and
conformity. The chances are that if our bosses or leaders are hypocrites
we have very little choice but to acquiesce and play the game if we have
to work or live with these people. Some might argue that the real choice
is to be a hypocrite or to leave the organisation we belong to.

But, maybe, very few people are in the envious position where they can
just pack their bags and leave. Some institutions or organisations
choose people who they can directly or indirectly control or manipulate.
However, they claim that they are only providing employment to people.

For example, employing married people, especially men with families, who
just simply cannot just pack their bags and leave. Thus making these
people very vulnerable to manipulation. Women who are career minded can
also become vulnerable to sexual harassment.

Although hypocrisy can and in many cases does bring some benefit, it is
also what I will call "relatively short term" strategy. Short term
because eventually the person will be found out, but relative because it
might take a very long while for this to happen.

But there is a different type of beauty to hypocrisy that really makes
it a survival strategy rather than an opportunistic strategy. Lying
would be opportunistic because we can take advantage of our action in a
given limited context, and maybe in a given instant. There is something
about the here and now about lying that hypocrisy does not have.

Hypocrisy and hypocrites, have to build and nurture their social
environment where the lie is to flourish. Not only flourish in the
present, but the hypocrite hopes to benefit also in the long term. Thus
the hypocrite might not only have to espouse different beliefs but they
also have to live the life those beliefs imply. A person who joins a
religious order because of the security and comfort it provides, even
though they have reservations about god, have to live the life of the
order if they expect to stay with the order for a long time.

This long term view of hypocrisy suggests that hypocrisy is a more
sophisticated strategy than lying. Earlier I said that a rational
hypocrite would try to benefit from their hypocrisy. Maybe hypocrisy is
a rational and sophisticated form of cheating in a world we have built
for us based on rational and complex ideas.

Maybe what the lie was for the cave man, hypocrisy is to the city dweller.

Take care

Lawrence

from Lawrence, Pub Philosophy Group, Sunday meeting: Hypocrisy (the
beauty of)

Thursday, January 07, 2010

from Lawrence, Pub Philosophy Group, Sunday meeting: Does the past determine the future?

Dear friends,


Hope you have recovered from the Christmas holidays.

This Sunday we are discussing, Does the past determine the future?

Of course, the way we use ordinary language we might feel confident and
justified to think that the past determines the future. For example, all
the cakes, turkeys and Christmas puddings (thank you again Edwin) we ate
these past couple of weeks means that starting Monday we have to start
dieting, take more exercises and generally be concerned about our waist
lines, of the expanded type I mean. In other words, past eaten Christmas
pudding determines waist line of the future.

Basically, we know that the past determines the future because we know
how to use this sort of language. But is this also true of philosophy?
Indeed this is an old issue in philosophy which needs no introduction.
What's more it remain a valid philosophical problem because even other
sciences cannot find a real answer to this question.

However, a curious philosophical issue is how can something determine
the future when the future is an unknown factor by virtue of the fact
that it has not happened yet. In other words, how can we confirm that
the past determines the future when we don't know what the future is like?

Of course, one of the problems with this question is the semantics. The
question itself refers to events that have yet to come. However, our
instinct to confirm that the past determines the future, is precisely
formed by looking at events in the past. Which is basically the same as
asking do past events determine past events?

This means that the way we look at this questions affects us with how we
understand our daily life. For example, we can safely say, on the
balance of probability, that in past Christmases, when we over indulged
on the turkey and Christmas pudding, we discovered that we couldn't
easily fit in some of our favourite clothes. And we knew what to do, and
more or less we saved most of our wardrobe even if we took full
advantage of the seasonal sales.

But how do we know that this is going to happen on Monday?

Take care and see you Sunday


Lawrence

IF YOU DON'T GET AN EMAIL BY FRIDAY PLEASE LET ME KNOW


+++++++++MEETING DETAILS+++++++++
SUNDAY 6.00pm – 8.30pm at Molly Malone's Pub, probably downstairs----
-Email: philomadrid@yahoo.co.uk
-Yahoo group >> philomadridgroup-subscribe@yahoogroups.co.uk <
-Old essays: www.geocities.com/philomadrid
- Blog: http://philomadrid.blogspot.com/
-Group
photos: http://picasaweb.google.com/photosphilo
-My
tel 606081813
-metro: Bilbao : buses: 21, 149, 147
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


Tertulia with Ignacio and friends: Every Thursday, from 19:30 to 21h, at
Moore's Irish Pub, c/ Barceló 1 (metro Tribunal).
http://sites.google.com/site/tertuliainenglishmadrid/

from Lawrence, Pub Philosophy Group, Sunday meeting: Does the past
determine the future?

from Lawrence, Pub Philosophy Group, Sunday meeting: Does the past determine the future?

Dear friends,


Hope you have recovered from the Christmas holidays.

This Sunday we are discussing, Does the past determine the future?

Of course, the way we use ordinary language we might feel confident and
justified to think that the past determines the future. For example, all
the cakes, turkeys and Christmas puddings (thank you again Edwin) we ate
these past couple of weeks means that starting Monday we have to start
dieting, take more exercises and generally be concerned about our waist
lines, of the expanded type I mean. In other words, past eaten Christmas
pudding determines waist line of the future.

Basically, we know that the past determines the future because we know
how to use this sort of language. But is this also true of philosophy?
Indeed this is an old issue in philosophy which needs no introduction.
What's more it remain a valid philosophical problem because even other
sciences cannot find a real answer to this question.

However, a curious philosophical issue is how can something determine
the future when the future is an unknown factor by virtue of the fact
that it has not happened yet. In other words, how can we confirm that
the past determines the future when we don't know what the future is like?

Of course, one of the problems with this question is the semantics. The
question itself refers to events that have yet to come. However, our
instinct to confirm that the past determines the future, is precisely
formed by looking at events in the past. Which is basically the same as
asking do past events determine past events?

This means that the way we look at this questions affects us with how we
understand our daily life. For example, we can safely say, on the
balance of probability, that in past Christmases, when we over indulged
on the turkey and Christmas pudding, we discovered that we couldn't
easily fit in some of our favourite clothes. And we knew what to do, and
more or less we saved most of our wardrobe even if we took full
advantage of the seasonal sales.

But how do we know that this is going to happen on Monday?

Take care and see you Sunday


Lawrence

IF YOU DON'T GET AN EMAIL BY FRIDAY PLEASE LET ME KNOW


+++++++++MEETING DETAILS+++++++++
SUNDAY 6.00pm – 8.30pm at Molly Malone's Pub, probably downstairs----
-Email: philomadrid@yahoo.co.uk
-Yahoo group >> philomadridgroup-subscribe@yahoogroups.co.uk <
-Old essays: www.geocities.com/philomadrid
- Blog: http://philomadrid.blogspot.com/
-Group
photos: http://picasaweb.google.com/photosphilo
-My
tel 606081813
-metro: Bilbao : buses: 21, 149, 147
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


Tertulia with Ignacio and friends: Every Thursday, from 19:30 to 21h, at
Moore's Irish Pub, c/ Barceló 1 (metro Tribunal).
http://sites.google.com/site/tertuliainenglishmadrid/

from Lawrence, Pub Philosophy Group, Sunday meeting: Does the past
determine the future?

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