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    idiotsavon @idiotsavon

    Thanks @thane 16, much appreciated. Full disclosure: I have -ahem- “borrowed” somewhat from Bickerton. Here it is if you’re interested.


    In your shoes I would definitely give some thought to the angle that “rational argument is inappropriate” but that’s just my preference. I’m a linguist, so naturally I’m all over the language aspect.

    You could have a quick gist read of this article and see whether it floats your boat. If the German quotations are a hindrance I can help you out but the author tends to rephrase in English anyway.

    ‘Philosophy to the glory of God’. Wittgenstein on God, religion and theology




    LionHeart564 @lionheart564


    Through my personal experience I found profits is the better driving force for providing good service then bureaucracy, of course it means people need to be able to afford to enjoy it. it so I want all people have Universa Basic Income unconditional.A well regulated public owned companies is still under public control with interest of public still being considered. It’s not something new in China,our public communication system is three state owned companies compete in a limited market. it do have some major  faults but just needs to be reformed.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by  LionHeart564.
    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @lionheart564 I have a different experience in the UK- train services, Water companies, both have become less efficient while being profit driven. Admittedly, those are not in direct competition, but also, different energy providers, different internet providers, no good experiences there. This might in part be because ‘government controlled’ means something different in our respective countries, a don’t think a government over here has ever had as much control as the Chinese government does.

    And the idea of ‘being able to afford healthcare’ is slightly alien to me (though for how much longer I couldn’t say.) The healthcare I mentioned, for example, for my boyfriend, is paid through tax. In Wales, even the prescriptions are free at the point of use. Chronic illness costs nothing, other than inevitable loss of income through not being able to work, this loss of income (and resultant inability to pay tax on income) doesn’t affect access to healthcare.

    Competition between healthcare companies where patients have to pay could well keep costs down while giving an incentive to provide a good service. In the UK, competition with the NHS actually keeps the cost of private healthcare down and creates incentive to provide a good service (they are competing with a service that is free/already and will continue to be paid for by people who use the private company). It also lures healthcare professionals away from the NHS who have trained them, unfortunately, but that’s another story about government driven cuts to real terms pay and slashing of pensions – a story, however, that makes ‘government control’ seem unappealing to me.

    We can’t really have competing, profit driven medical companies paid out of the public purse, the only profit could be money saved out of the budget. And an unconditional basic income that could cover long term chronic illness doesn’t sound like a viable option. Both the income, and the subsidies for healthcare would be impractically high. I’m talking about years of therapies, operations, medications, related conditions occurring. we can barely afford our vet fees and our dog is very small.

    LionHeart564 @lionheart564


    I am living in a “socialism” nation and it is broken promise. We tried the the communism and it failed so hard it costed millions of lives. Our economic success brought one billion people out of  poverty not because socialism but because we embraced our “worse enemy” the western capitalism and it’s market. Today our “socialism” government is a corrupt,  inefficient mass on a good day ,Down right oppressive on other days . I know your socialism is very different from my so I apologize if I said something that offered you.We don’t have the same life experience so our perspective of things will be very different. I actually agree with you on the point of society and education but disagree about government has the greatest power  within society

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @lionheart564 it is a fact that ‘communism’ and ‘socialism’ mean different things to different people. I don’t feel that what Marx was getting at was the kind of ‘communism’ that occurred in China and the USSR.

    Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, who lived under the USSR suggested in one of his works that part of the problem there was that people were not ready, at the time of revolution, to seize control. So control was seized for them, supposedly on their behalf, and they ended up under a totalitarian regime (see also China, see also, for that matter, Nepolionic France).

    The UK is a socialistic state. We have socialised healthcare, socialised education, a benefits system. All three are breaking down, not because of a general lack of money (these were established during a time of post-war austerity) but because of an ideological resistance to the persistence of socialistic systems in a capitalist economy. The last Labour government attempted (and I’d argue, to an extent, succeeded) to make capitalism pay for socialism. The problem with that lay in the insecurity of that capitalist system.

    LionHeart564 @lionheart564

    <span class=”useratname”>@miapatrick</span>

    And an unconditional basic income that could cover long term chronic illness doesn’t sound like a viable option. Both the income, and the subsidies for healthcare would be impractically high. I’m talking about years of therapies, operations, medications, related conditions occurring. we can barely afford our vet fees and our dog is very small.

    I actually never thought about it, maybe because our current system never cover it and we just think it as the norm because no one actually talks about it. Thank you for opening my eyes a little bit.

    competing, profit driven medical companies paid out of the public purse, the only profit could be money saved out of the budget.

    I mean public invest and owned but it is mostly independent financially takes both the cost and the profit. Like most state owned companies in China .

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @lionheart564 yes I had a quick look at what healthcare in China consists of, because I realised we might be coming from very different perspectives there. I honestly don’t know what would have become of my boyfriend by now under your system, or any system other than the kind we live under. Which makes me somewhat partial. But I grew up with my father undergoing two years of cancer treatment, and it came as a shock to me to consider how someone would manage if they had to find money for the treatments.

    The UK is a much smaller entity than China, and I can see how it would have been easier for nationalised healthcare to work here than there.

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @lionheart564 yes I had a quick look at what healthcare in China consists of, because I realised we might be coming from very different perspectives there. I honestly don’t know what would have become of my boyfriend by now under your system, or any system other than the kind we live under. Which makes me somewhat partial. But I grew up with my father undergoing two years of cancer treatment, and it came as a shock to me to consider how someone would manage if they had to find money for the treatments.

    The UK is a much smaller entity than China, and I can see how it would have been easier for nationalised healthcare to work here than there.



    Or, as pedant might say “anecdote isn’t in itself a truth” -and I might have that totally wrong.

    Anecdote isn’t the singular of evidence.

    An anecdote might be true, though.

    LionHeart564 @lionheart564


    The UK is about some size of a Chinese province, and our GDP per person is no far lower than yours, maybe your system works better for the UK . I have one family member who has brain cancer who has to borrowed money from other family members including my parents to paid for the treatment. Used all of his and his wife’s savings and still trying pay for the debt to this day .we all just thought they just unlucky.

    I sincerely hope your boyfriend will be better in the future

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @lionheart564 yes scale makes a difference. Not that I think it’s impossible, but the initial circumstances were so different.

    And thank you. To be honest, he won’t, but he copes. I’m sorry about your family member, cancer on its own is bad enough luck.

    Cath Annabel @cathannabel

    @thane16 You’re not wrong, this is a bloody brilliant place.  Love it.

    idiotsavon @idiotsavon

    @janetteb I think I can identify with your 5 star hotel experience. I once worked for a year on the phones at a company that touts itself as a “global concierge service” for “high-net-worth individuals.” (Translation: If you’re massively rich and you want it and it’s not entirely illegal, our minions will find a way.)

    How the other half live 🙂

    I still spat out my tea at “gold filings in the soup” though…

    idiotsavon @idiotsavon

    @thane16 Just to point you to my links up top. I got your handle wrong so you won’t have had a notification. X

    lisa @lisa


    Yes.    Bickerton is correct. The EU is facing a crisis.  They are like the Titanic heading for

    the iceberg.  Brexit is the life boat.  Both philosophical and financial.  They’ve already admitted

    that rebates will be ending. Grants will probably be cut back too.  The various countries in Europe

    that depend on the UK for a export market are scared shit less about how the EU is jerking around

    the negotiations. Portugal recently admitted how desperate they are for a deal.   I totally disagree

    with the shortages scare mongering. You trade with the rest of the world too. You can get your oranges

    elsewhere and they likely will cost less.   But you know…… backstop.   What drove success in the EU

    was economic expansions.  But they made critical economic mistakes and now they have outrageous

    amounts of toxic debt and are basically running on fumes. That’s why they wont help Italy.  But you

    know …. its those rules again.  Defaults are coming.  When you get close to Brussels you recognize

    that they haven’t properly evolved and still behave like they’re the head of a sort of exclusive club

    and the club members are all slowly beginning to accept their legitimacy less and less.  The EU hasn’t

    been able to manage that.

    BTW, I recently read about the real reason why Jeremy Hunt went to Switzerland . Its all about this

    new F4  group.  This is what the F4 alliance is.

    Its basically a back door into the EU market.  Westminster maybe a mess but the City Of London

    financial district has geniuses !!

    idiotsavon @idiotsavon

    @lisa Thanks so much for that. For a woman whose days are devoted to a toddler and massive looney-tunes dog, I’ve done a LOT of reading. So it’s nice to know I am finally approaching a sincere understanding.

    There’s more to say, but right now I’m playing Trains 🙂




    Out of interest is there a Chinese equivalent of what we call “Chinese Whispers” (ie a message gets more and more garbled as it is passed along)?

    Mudlark @mudlark

    @lionheart564   @miapatrick

    Discussion of whether health care is better provided by the private sector or by a socialised system such as the NHS, funded by taxation and free at the point of service, is particularly complicated when it comes to comparing China and the UK. On one level it is, as you say, a matter of scale. The UK is geographically much smaller than China, its population is less than a 20th the size, and the systems and problems of government are not the same. Equally significantly, our historical experience is different, and because of that experience our understanding of the meaning of  ‘socialism’ is probably very different.

    Private enterprise, competition and the profit incentive have certainly proved more efficient in the manufacturing industries, the retail market and certain non-essential services, although even here some degree of regulation seems to be necessary, since unfettered capitalism tends to result in a very unequal society, both economically and socially, as we are seeing now in the UK and in the USA. Not to mention that an inadequately regulated financial sector resulted in the crash of 2008.

    When it comes to public services such as health care, public transport and the utilities such as electricity, gas, water and sewage, the advantages of private enterprise and competition are a lot less evident. The privatisation of regional transport services and the utilities in the UK has not, in my experience, resulted in greater efficiency than when these services were nationalised, and it has certainly made them more complicated and expensive. The maintenance of the national railway tracks for example, after being tendered out separately from the regional railway services, was so inefficient that it had to be renationalised.

    On the subject of the NHS I am perhaps a bit more knowledgeable, because I have family members who work or have worked within it as doctors and nurses, some of them at a very senior level. I have also, throughout my by now fairly long life, had a good deal of experience as a patient, and have some immediate basis of comparison since I have relatives in France and am familiar with the system there.  My experience is not necessarily typical of all other regions in the UK, but for what it is worth I have found the NHS here generally to be extremely effective, not least because it is an integrated system with efficient communication between the various sectors.  At present the NHS also costs less per capita than any other system which provides universal coverage, and at least some of the problems it is currently experiencing could be remedied by increasing the level of funding to that in Germany or France.

    The government determines the amount of money allotted to it, provides oversight on standards and can, for better or worse, make changes to the way the system is organised.  But contrary to the misconceptions in some quarters,  in the day to day running there is no central command structure. GP practices – the primary care providers – are privately owned and managed, usually by a partnership of several practitioners*, but most are wholly contracted to the NHS and allocated money according to the range of services they provide which can be fairly wide.  The majority of hospitals in England are run by regional trusts. Neither GP practices nor hospital trusts need to make a profit, because there are no shareholders involved.

    A conservative government in the 1980s introduced the idea of market competition within this national health service, based on an ideological conviction that it would result in greater efficiency. Sometimes it did, if fiscal efficiency was the only intended result, but that was often at the expense of the primary purpose of the service: to provide effective and timely health care. It also placed an added administrative burden on staff. As my brother once said, ruefully, ‘I seem to spend half my time now pushing paper round a desk when I would rather be out on the wards saving lives’.

    In the past two decades, reliance on the private sector rather than public borrowing to fund the building of new hospitals has left hospital trusts burdened with onerous repayments out of a budget which could otherwise be spent on their patients. Health ministers in government since 2010 have also been keen to tender NHS services out to the private sector. To me this doesn’t make sense. The money still comes from the public purse, but if a service is run by a private company, however efficiently, a part of that money will necessarily be creamed off in profit to pay their shareholders and their (probably) overpaid CEOs. The likelihood is that either the service provided will accordingly be more expensive, or corners will be cut to save money and the service will be inferior.  There have certainly already been problems, and some companies which undertook to provide services have had to concede their inability to do so.

    For those who can afford it in the UK there are also private hospitals and doctors who treat patients privately, and for that you may get a private room and slightly better food; but if anything goes wrong you are likely to be transferred to an NHS hospital for treatment because they have better and more extensive facilities; and generally speaking the same is true for anyone who is critically ill.

    * The medium-sized practice where I am registered, one of several in the area which I could have chosen, consists of five GPs in partnership, one salaried GP employed by them, a practice nurse, healthcare assistants including a phlebotomist, a practice manager and receptionists, in addition to their access to district nursing staff, midwives etc.


    Mudlark @mudlark


    I am probably the last person to consult on matters of philosophy, having never studied the subject except at the most superficial level. That said, when I read of your philosophy assignment the first thing that occurred to me was, how do you define the terms fundamental to the argument? Logical argument depends on the premise, and what is meant by ‘God’ when the concept seems to mean so many different things depending on belief, even within the Abrahamic religions and the various sects which comprise those religions? I remember having heated, and probably not very coherent arguments on the subject with a schoolfriend who was a devout high church Anglican (i.e. Catholic in all matters other than recognition of the authority of the Pope). She thought of God as somehow external, to which or whom the sacraments were our sole connection – a kind of lifeline. My concept, brought up as I was in the Quaker tradition, was somewhat different and more personal, based as it was in the concept of the ‘inner light’ and seeing ‘that of God’ in everyone.

    So, given that many of these concepts were formed long before there was any knowledge or understanding of the vastness and complexity of the universe,  is the God of your argument the creator and prescriptive ruler of the Israelites, an omniscient,omnipotent and ultimately benevolent overseer of the universe and our human destiny, the Ground of Being integral to the existence of all living beings, the Atman or universal soul, or what? And how do you construct a rational, logical argument  on that basis?

    All of which will probably be shot down in flames by those better grounded in these matters. Moral Philosophy (or Logic and Metaphysics) were required first year courses for many students at Edinburgh University when I was there, but not for honours Archaeology students, and I opted for Social Anthropology instead 😉



    syzygy @thane16


    I understand what you are saying about communism -and I agree. What I wrote next embodied what I believe to be important elements of society which if delivered by profit-focussed competitive markets, won’t happen. This might assist you in your thinking:

    …our taxes pay for the very issues we use to determine the signs and signals of our best selves, the very things that move our civilisation.

    Society should embody our best selves, not our middle-ground selves. We should never anyone behind. Taxes don’t strip us of wealth or potential. Well used, they provide what we need but also store money for the things we don’t yet know we need.

    I think we probably agree about all that, actually! On the ‘God thing’ the 2 paragraphs I gave to teacher 2 days ago weren’t good. We give one draft. But no-one else had done that because shortly we have another one due in 6 days. They could have had a different assessment . A viva voce, or a Socratic circle discussion. We’re all tired of writing! An essay is this semester’s assessment for every subject (maths; science too). Bad planning 🙂

    LionHeart564 @lionheart564


    悄声传信,direct translation will be “whispering   voice passing messages”

    LionHeart564 @lionheart564



    Thank you for your insight. Our current system is that most of hospitals are technically public,either belongs to government or med school but it isn’t free.Our state health insurance is closed to nonexistent. It doesn’t have full cover of most of major health problems and most people don’t used it, they just pay it out their own pocket because of its almost comedic inefficient.


    Yes,we all agreed on that.No one should be left behind,every member of society deserve a decent life.but I want people to have the power of control instead the government waste it or just take it for it’s own pockets. what better way of taking control then give everyone their fair share directly, let the people have the freedom to dictate what they want to do.




    So is there an idiomatic meaning/ translation that captures the way the message gets garbled?

    LionHeart564 @lionheart564

    <p style=”text-align: left;”>I not sure I understand your meaning. Another similar phrase is 穿井得人(make a well and get a man), it origin is a story about a family made a well so it saved one man’ s workloads but after the story spread it become the family made a well and they dugs up another man.</p>

    idiotsavon @idiotsavon

    Posting this in the pub, as it has nought to do with Arachnids…

    @lionheart564 @miapatrick

    True story: In my 20’s I spent a couple of years living in Cameroon near the Chad border. Overwhelmingly, anybody there who wasn’t from Cameroon or Chad would either be white European/American/Canadian, or Chinese.
    I am stereotypically white European in appearance, but was regularly asked by Cameroonian strangers whether I was Chinese. They genuinely couldn’t tell.
    Conversely, my Cameroonian colleagues and neighbours had no trouble discerning on sight whether a bypasser was Chadian, Cameroonian, or perhaps had mixed ancestry. Apparently there is a marked difference in facial characteristics, but I could never see it.

    lisa @lisa

    So to my mind the Whit Doc is trying to flesh out -still – her character thru a social justice warrior lens.

    Ok I’ve accepted that this series will be heavy handed with this multiculturalism theme.

    CC is trying to change the status quo in this franchise.  The subliminal message of Whit Doc

    is to question yourself .

    My problem is probably that his preoccupation  with his ideology is clashing with (so far) a

    good plot arc.  I prefer a good plot arc.  Davies and Moffatt  did that really well.

    LionHeart564 @lionheart564


    Chinese form different regions also have small differences in appearance even for Han people. northern Chinese normally are higher and Chinese from southwest border provinces have darker skin.

    Mudlark @mudlark

    @idiotsavon  @lionheart564

    Even if the nuances escape those of us not indigenous to Africa, there tend to be obvious differences in build and facial features between people from West African Countries and those from East and North East Africa.

    Fun fact, which you may already be aware of: modern studies of DNA show that there is a much more genetic diversity within the population of the African continent that there is within or between the populations of any and all regions of the world beyond it. That is presumably because everyone outside Africa is descended from a comparatively very small population of modern humans who migrated from there. Minor differences in physical appearance have very little significance beyond the fact that some are adaptations favourable to local conditions. So, for example, it seems from recent DNA analysis of early human remains that the first modern humans in  Europe were dark skinned but, in regions towards the poles which get less sunlight, the process of evolution favoured those with less melanin. It pretty much makes a nonsense of the whole concept of race, which can therefore be seen as a purely social construct.  It is not as if we are any of us of different species; and even in the matter of species, it now seems that Homo Neanderthalensis contributed a small amount to the genetic makeup of modern Europeans.

    It all begins with what seems to be a deeply rooted tendency for people to identify themselves and their immediate community in terms of who they are not or, to put it another way, in relation to the ‘other’. We in our family, clan or  tribe are people. Those others who are not of our group may be rivals, and maybe they are not quite people like us, maybe not even entirely human, so perhaps we need not treat them as such. Even among the indigenous (if decidedly mongrel) population of  England, a small country, we tend to define ourselves by the region or county we come from and sometimes to be a little bit contemptuous, even if only in a joking way, about those from other regions. And the relations between the countries which make up the UK can for historical reasons be a lot more edgy.  At the most trivial level, support of a football team can be the basis of a strong sense of identity, and rivalries between teams taken very seriously, even sometimes the pretext for outright violence.  Given that seemingly innate mindset, whenever there are stresses in a society it is all too easy for people to make scapegoats of members of the population who form an identifiable minority and to blame the ‘other’ as the source of their problems.

    As to what constitutes racial ‘otherness’, there doesn’t seem to be any consistency. The Romans did not apparently  discriminate between people on grounds of colour or regional origin as long as they were Roman citizens. In their world the ‘outsider’ was either the citizen of a rival empire such as the Parthians, or a barbarian, and the term barbarian stems from Greek and originally meant simply, someone who did not speak Greek and was therefore, by inference, not civilised. In the Roman world, once the barbarian was incorporated into the empire as citizen he might even aspire to be emperor.

    When civilisations which had been geographically separated by distance began to come into direct contact there was a good deal of cultural dissonance which I doubt was necessarily to do with ‘race’ as we tend to think of it now. The Chinese, with a civilisation far older and for a long time more technically advanced than that of peoples in the lands to the west of them, seemed to have conceived of their empire in solipsistic terms as the centre of the world, so, when people from Western European nations came to the court of the Emperor they thought they were on a diplomatic mission to establish a trading relationship. The Emperor and his ministers, on the other hand, interpreted the mission in terms they understood from long experience, as a an embassy from an inferior nation offering tribute. It was an unfortunate misapprehension which had long term and regrettable repercussions, but how much it was to do with concepts of race, except as justification after the fact, and how much to do with a cultural clash between a very old established civilisation and a younger and more aggressive mercantile one which was rapidly starting to outstrip it in technological development, is debateable.





    Craig @craig

    Just a general shout-out. As I’m currently ‘funemployed’ I’d thought I’d ask your opinion on this – don’t worry if you don’t have the time. This is not an assignment – but if you’re looking for something to read that will only take you a couple of hours you might enjoy it.

    The BBC are making a three-part TV show of a book called “Death and Nightingales” by Eugene McCabe, starring Jamie Dornan – he of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ and ‘The Fall’.

    Many years ago I worked for the producer, Jonathan Cavendish, who is producing this version. In my earlier life I used to read scripts for him and work on development. I also wrote some scripts.

    He bought the rights to the book, and after one adaptation that wasn’t accepted, I adapted it and they bought my script, but nothing came of it at the time. It was a hot property at the time. Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson, when they were married, also tried to buy the rights.

    Now, 22 years later, it’s finally getting made – but not with my script. Just the way things work out. Who would be a screenwriter?

    Anyway, I’m thinking I might go back to writing, so I’d be interested to hear what you think. Any good?

    It obviously spoils the whole TV series. So if you don’t want spoilers… don’t read it.

    Also, trigger warnings, it’s quite dark – it features spousal abuse, threats of child abuse etc. – I didn’t come up with the story, I only dramatised it. So again, if you don’t fancy that, don’t feel the need to read it.

    There are some glaring typos – I’m ashamed I mix up ‘their’ and ‘they’re’ occasionally, and ‘its’ and ‘it’s’ etc. But hey, I was young and I wrote it quickly (and there was no ‘grammar check’ or ‘spell check’ in those days).

    My old phone number is on there but it’s changed, so don’t try calling. 🙂

    For those interested, I hope you like it.

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord


    I’ll definitely be interested in giving it a read when I get a chance….

    And as you’re ‘funemployed’ at the moment, surely no better time to sit down and write something else?

    Craig @craig

    @jimthefish Cheers. I have to admit that I never finished your book, but I got a new Kindle and it’s currently one of only two books on there so I’ll be reading it again soon. Don’t take it personally – I have many books I’ve never finished. I get easily distracted.

    I have a web shop to build for a friend (more distraction), but maybe after that I’ll start writing something again. I keep telling people that one day I will write the greatest screenplay ever written. So I should really do it at some point.

    ‘Funemployed’ comes from a woman my friend/co-worker and I met at a festival this year. She was a free-spirit traveller type and we were having a chat. She was back from India and going off to Thailand the week after. I told her we’d both been made unemployed and she said “No, you’re now funemployed”. I loved her for that. Made my day.

    syzygy @thane16


    So, given that many of these concepts were formed long before there was any knowledge or understanding of the vastness and complexity of the universe, is the God of your argument the creator and prescriptive ruler of the Israelites, an omniscient,omnipotent and ultimately benevolent overseer of the universe and our human destiny, the Ground of Being integral to the existence of all living beings, the Atman or universal soul, or what? And how do you construct a rational, logical argument on that basis?

    ‘He/She’ is a “god” but the question did also state 2 other descriptors -nirvana or The Great Emptiness.

    Thank you for your wonderful response -Puro did philosophy years ago at college but it was more an introduction even though it was in 4th year. We are going waaay too fast. Therefore, in arguing whether God exists we need to determine more the word “exists” rather than whether it’s a god/not- god/other not -god thing.

    Exists is essentially the problem according to Kant who talks about predicates some which I found from my teacher when he finally woke up and realised he had to do something and also @bluesqueakpip who recommended the 1st Order Predicates and 2nd Order Predicates. Honestly ‘Pip you were SO helpful. Thankyou. Be our teacher!!

    The latter mentioned Alvin Plantinga who my teacher was not happy about: (sorry ‘Pip) “as a theist he’s morally invested in the God Problem.”

    So, in cosmology we can use Aquinas who argues for God’s existence but we then provide counter-arguments.  Teleological arguments explain the universe is ordered so well there is no other option but to believe in a hidden Designer.  According to Kant (I think, and Hume) Order is only there because our minds are pre-determined to ‘see’ such Order. That argument I get. I also understand  (sort of) how to argue this.

    Most kids thought it was about finding evidence to prove God is or isn’t there. But we had  5 lessons during which the teacher (a stand in) did nothing at all. There’s a limit to how many times mum could complain to the school regarding how pathetic they all are . I now don’t have a single teacher who knows anything. I think I’d know (cue the 17 year old “oh he think he knows it all” 😀  ). LOL

    Dad reckons complain about things next year when grades matter. No grades are used this year determining next year’s overall position or OP. In Brisbane it’s a combination of essays/ exams which give you an Overall Position. An OP of 1 to 2 means Medicine is doable. OPs of the same and a 3-4 means some universities will accept you for Law. So a 4 -6 means higher level courses like engineering/architecture/planning/economics courses are open. If you want to do Physical Education or Human Movements with its emphasis on science you actually need a 2 (most HM students become teachers)

    I had a predicted 5 earlier this year but I’ll be lucky to get a 12 now*. (22 is the lowest) except I have no interest in going to university. I need to be organised which is a sore to Puro:  “organisation is the key to undergraduate existence.” 🙂


    PS: it’s also about what subjects you take and where, on the Overall Position line you fit. You can be an A- next to a few other A-s in History but if you are a B+ surrounded by no others you could get a higher score than the A-. Also a subject like Chemistry or Physics has a high OP area and the former is equivalent to taking Ancient History, Ancient Greek or Music with composition and performance.



    And today in “Name That Logical Fallacy” we bring you:

    Teleological arguments explain the universe is ordered so well there is no other option but to believe in a hidden Designer.

    A curiosity:

    According to Kant (I think, and Hume) Order is only there because our minds are pre-determined to ‘see’ such Order.

    Probably close to neurological truth than either could have realised. Seeing order and there being order are not the same thing.

    Have you bought that book yet?

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    The latter mentioned Alvin Plantinga who my teacher was not happy about: (sorry ‘Pip) “as a theist he’s morally invested in the God Problem.”

    Well, if your teacher was teaching Philosophy at the equivalent stage in the UK (A level – last two years of secondary school) he’d have to teach Plantinga, because he’s on the syllabus. And you’d lose marks if you didn’t include him in any essay on the ontological argument.

    And God, Freedom and Evil is one of the Further Reading books. 😛

    “Morally invested?” Wow. He’s supposed to be teaching you how to construct an argument and counter-arguments, not encouraging you to use ad hominems.

    syzygy @thane16


    the latter mentioned Alvin Plantinga who my teacher was not happy about: (sorry ‘Pip) “as a theist he’s morally invested in the God Problem.”

    I don’t agree with what my teacher said, Pip. He is a very young guy who made it clear to us he’s atheist. Because of my Christian background I’m usually getting a lot of ‘wax’ about how dumb I therefore am. It doesn’t help when I add that Kant, Descartes and Hume were believers.

    @pedant (thank you for your response as well as Pip’s) My response & my mates was, “they are ALL morally invested in the God problem.”

    A philosopher asks questions & uses argument to explain positions. They don’t ‘debunk’ an idea but explain their concepts using argument without sneering. Those who sneer don’t succeed.

    ***In my mind and also mum’s mind, this is how you could do it: If you have a question: ” you can/not use rational argument to prove that God exists” you would explain WHAT arguments can be used to prove god exists. You should explain how Kant provided us with answers or suggestions to further our understanding of god such as “the gap between ratiocination and God is faith and hope.” You would also explain the 3 arguments which help us understand the philosopher’s logic:

    cosmological; ontological; teleological. Then explain how each of these can be countered using logical argument according to the expected manner in which philosophers work using a variety from Plato, Hume, Kant, Plantinga

    In our school we write, “no, you can’t prove God exists using argument”  using one of the above methods (I’ve chosen teleological) & two philosophers, mainly. The premise can be argued, too. Each link in the chain does not need support (weird).

    It’s not good enough. And yet it is 1200 words not 500. So, there’s a problem with this too. The way I would do it at *** above would give you an approximate 1200 words whereas the method the teacher used would be more suited to 500 words.

    I understand your frustration. 🙁


    idiotsavon @idiotsavon


    I found this article which, to my untrained eye, seems to cover the arguments and philosophers you are writing about. Although it doesn’t answer your precise question (can we establish…) the author does evaluate philosophy’s “success” if you like, in answering the God question. So I thought it might be an interesting read.

    The author is a philosopher at MIT and has made a lot of his writing available on a range of topics, so given your lack of an obvious teacher, I thought this list might be a handy resource for you at some point, even if not now.

    syzygy @thane16


    (I really dislike calling you idiot!). Seriously, that has been very helpful. I clocked 9 hours today and 1000 words.  I think the article was actually referencing “Does God exist in argument or ratiocination?” well. We need to counter the counter-argument, if that makes sense. As of right now, I could achieve a basic pass or a distinction which is odd. I generally have a good idea….

    Thank you.


    Mudlark @mudlark


    On the evidence you should do well, although if the person doing the assessment isn’t really qualified to teach the subject, what is their assessment worth?  Either way you cannot lose 🙂

    Once the basic tools have been imparted the overriding purpose of education is surely to teach the student how to think critically, and from that point of view studying philosophy in year 12 seems an excellent idea and I wish that I and the majority of those in my generation had had that opportunity.  On the other hand it is no use prescribing an ideal syllabus if there are not enough teachers qualified to teach all the subjects in that syllabus; and in my limited experience, even when the teachers are so qualified (and mine were for the most part), that doesn’t guarantee that they are effective in their job.

    One of the better memories of my schooldays is the feeling of mixed apprehension and liberation when, within the first week of entering the sixth form (years 13/14), one of our history teachers  told us, ‘From now on you are expected to think for yourselves, and if you simply regurgitate what you have read in one source or what has been discussed in class you will be penalised’.




    idiotsavon @idiotsavon

    @thane16 Good, I’m glad it was helpful. I’ll be interested to find out how you get on, and what your teacher has to say.

    I’ve really enjoyed reading this discussion and finding more out for myself. I had thoughts circling about the appropriateness of rational argument and the limitations of lanugage, but they never quite crystallised into a coherent paragraph.

    I hope you’ll post other topics from philosophy class up for discussion!

    I think an effective teacher needs to help students to understand what the criteria are by which their work is to be assessed. I was never allowed give students a B, say, on the basis that “I liked it but I didn’t love it.” I gave them a B because their work demonstrably met the criteria for a B, as outlined by the exam board or Department for Education. An important part of my job was to ensure that students were familiar with the criteria and understood what they meant in concrete terms. Ideally students themselves need to be able to grade their own work with reference to the criteria – and understand what they need to do differently (or extra) to achieve the next grade up. They should be in a position to challenge me about their grades.
    They shouldn’t be grasping in the dark.

    You say you’re not sure whether you’ll get a basic pass or a distinction, so I suspect (although I may be wrong) that your teacher isn’t explicitly sharing the grading criteria with you in such a way that you can make use of them.

    If this is the case, here is my advice:
    You first need to know who is setting the syllabus, grading criteria etc. (Is it a government department or an exam board? What’s the name of the govt deparment or exam board?) The organisation in question should have a great deal of very helpful information available on their website. In the UK, nearly all the published guidance that is available for teachers is freely accessible online – sometimes alongside plain-language guides for students and parents. This information includes the syllabus, past papers, grading criteria, and exemplar answers that achieved an A or C, say, and an accompanying explanation of why the work achieved the grade it did, with reference to the grading criteria.

    I don’t know what info will be accessible to you online, but I do know it will be an awful lot better than nothing.

    If this is of interest, and you can use a hand searching for the info you need, do give me a nudge.

    idiotsavon @idiotsavon


    Here you go. You mentioned Brisbane so I assume this is your study programme? If so I think it will be extremely helpful for future topics.

    If you download the syllabus, you’ll find your question word-for-word under topic 6, along with suggested content. Criteria for judging standards across all topics are thoroughly explained at the bottom of the document. Note that Plantinga, “morally invested” or not, is one of the suggested philosophers!


    swordwhale @swordwhale

    @bluesqueakpip …love that: “Democracy means that losing side always thinks the winning side is stupid…Democracy includes the right to make stupid decisions.”


    Having voted (Pennsylvania, US), I am sitting here hoping for the Big Blue Wave to wash away the Orange Menace…

    many people are quite energized, but had a long conversation with older neighbor lady who is Just Fed Up and completely cynical about all politicians…


    Nary a problem that couldn’t be helped by a smaller population of (healthier, happier, better educated, diverse) humans: give women education, health care, control over their own reproduction, and problem solved.

    syzygy @thane16

    @idiotsavon  ! She does it again!  🙂  Thank you….!!!

    I’ve nipped home to get some stuff for mum and then I’m back to school for a 2 day excursion where we are driving 7 hours there, 7 hours back. We have to bring a packed lunch and afternoon tea AND bring $50 for dinner, breakfast and lunch the next day. It’s NUTS! My school : what a wacked place.

    Anyway, I see you have found the actual QLD National Curriculum. If you stumble into History you’ll see Mum’s involved (or maybe there are no names) -but this was early grades, 7 -10 only. My teacher in answer t o”you haven’t taught us anything” emailed us the pages associated with this topic on Monday. It’s due Friday but for me, today, because of this history excursion to Bergara -or near Miall Creek which is our history topic. It will be 43 degrees @blenkinsopthebrave  in the shade and I think we’ll be sleeping on the bus. So, Monday afternoon I spent the day at home (Oh I was very ill) doing things, seeing mum, and typing out the assignment.

    And darn, I didn’t use Plantinga. Terrific. Except he sneered -I think. Or laughed. Dunno. He’s shy. I read it over. Now, I have Maths and left all my workings-out at home and I’m headed for a c- for that!

    I am thrilled with the philo. Sweet, thank you for the link. It will be SO helpful. I still think I’ll be lucky to get a B-. I’ll be stoked, actually. I should send it to you to read! Bear in mind it’s Semester 2 of 4. I’m 16 (still) and not word perfect (as you can tell). Still, not sure what one can do to get an A when the teacher…is…. well, I’ve said all that. You can tell I’ve had no sleep!


    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    T16, well it is true that I do not envy you the 43 degree heat, but I do envy you the trip to Myall Creek for your history assignment. It is a place I never made it to and would have very much liked to.

    To all those non-Australians, Myall Creek was the site of a massacre of aboriginal people by white settlers in 1838. But it’s importance lies in the fact that it resulted in a trial and, for the very first time in Australia, the conviction and subsequent execution of seven of the perpetrators. Like what was presented in “Rosa”, it didn’t end the racism and violence, but it was a step forward.

    Here is a good explanation of its importance:


    idiotsavon @idiotsavon

    Please do send your assignment to me, I’d love to read it. But that’s just for fun. Obviously there are others here that can really guide (@bluesqueakpip) and challenge (@pedant)

    But I’m enjoying learning about philosophy, and I can help you out with criteria from a boring, generic teacher viewpoint for what it’s worth. So please don’t hesitate.

    I hope your visit is rewarding. Sounds quite incredible and massively humbling actually, from @blenkinsopthebrave‘s description.


    syzygy @thane16

    @idiotsavon @blenkinsopthebrave

    Home again, to pack.  Thank you for the link and the mention Mr Blenkinsop. It was an awful time. It is still a depressed community in many areas and this isn’t something, in ‘middle’ Brisbane we are aware of. The gentleman driving the bus may come from that area and I enjoy conversing with adults where I can and I hope that if he is a shy person, that I can be quiet and listen.

    I spelled both destinations wrong which is terrible of me: it would be like spelling ‘Brisbane’ or “Capaldi’ wrong insofar as it is disrespectful and I do apologise for that.

    Unfortunately we will be spending 14 hours on the bus -or more, as the afternoon trip may take longer.  Because of this the learning we do at Myall Creek may be  less than hoped? Mum has not been there in many years but when I was 5 and 6 we would drive nearby when going to Sydney. Without a doubt, now that the 3 other tasks are over, I am looking forward to experiencing this & it’s humbling, as you say.

    I shall report back, Thank you for all your help and I will re-read the link as it will also help in my understanding. T16.


    You know that thing where you are going about your lawful business, signal in good time and when stopping to take a right and…

    …BMW hits you from behind at full speed.


    idiotsavon @idiotsavon

    @pedant What a nightmare. Makes you wonder how some people ever got a licence. How are you? Hope not hurt or shaken.


    @idiotsavon I suspect I’m going to be aching all over for while, and a nasty bruise on my arm where the seatbelt dug in. Paramedics where happy to let me go.

    The lad who hit me can be very grateful for BMW’s safety engineering.

    Incidental by-product, I discovered that my blood glucose has fallen to sensible levels. So yay for that.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @pedant I have long believed there is something about BMWs that attracts the wrong sort of driver. I hope all the @pedant constituent parts are in working order.


    @blenkinsopthebrave – many thanks. To be fair, most of my constituent parts probably need a service anyway!

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