Here are all your posts at the gb cafe




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berrestr@execpc.com
D: Wednesday, 2 December 1998
P: 9171
R:
T: A philosophical system can be criticized for its consequences. Whether or not that criticism is itself philosophy, it is still relevant.

N: 9312
S: Blood Test
A: Terrence Berres
E:
berrestr@execpc.com
D: Thursday, 3 December 1998
P: 9257
R:
T: You say
T: > Once again, to argue where the preponderance of blood was spilt is crass,
T: While I do not agree that such an argument is crass, isn't it the argument you make when you say
T: > dogmatism, that which has spilt more blood since the beginning of time than has action behind any other banner.
T: or when you say
T: > dogma is the scourge of man.
T:

N: 9916
S: Law Review
A: Terrence Berres
E:
berrestr@execpc.com
D: Wednesday, 16 December 1998
P: 9834
R: 9943
T: Since you asked, IMLO:
T: In my state, and I believe most others, jury nullification is not the law. Jurors are instructed that under their oath as jurors, they are bound to accept the rules of law that the judge gives them whether they agree with them or not. Nullification occurs despite this. Counsel have a lot of latitude in arguing the case to the jury and defense counsel may occasionally argue, in effect, for nullification. In the United States, the prosecution cannot appeal from acquital of criminal charges.
T: In my state, abortion is murder. At least, in the codified statutes, the statute making abortion a crime follows the statutes on first degree and felony murder and precedes the statute on second degree murder. A federal court enjoined prosecutions under the abortion statute shortly after the Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions by the U. S. Supreme Court.

N: 9992
S: Law Review (catalogued under periodicals)
A: Terrence Berres
E:
berrestr@execpc.com
D: Friday, 18 December 1998
P: 9943
R:
T: > As to homicide there are essentially four types: criminal, excusable, justifiable, and praiseworthy. Criminal, often called felonious, is further broken down into murder, manslaughter, and negligent homicide. Murder is further broken down into various degrees depending on whether it was willful, deliberate, pre-meditated, or accompanied by other heinous crimes. Every other category is similarly differentiated into various subcategories by their characteristics.
T: I don't know in what jurisdiction you practice. Here, what you have described would not be a very accurate summary of the law of homicide.
T: > What type is involved does not matter to the person slain. The distinctions are for the benefit of the lawyers.
T: Seems to me that at least some people would be able to express a preference among these alternative ways dying. And I doubt that the distinction is made between, say, criminal and justifiable homicide, just so we lawyers will have something to argue about by the billable hour.
T:

N: 10063
S: Reviewing the Transcripts
A: Terrence Berres
E:
berrestr@execpc.com
D: Tuesday, 22 December 1998
P: 10057
R:
T: > You state, assert, aver: 'Anyone who claims to be able to do something extraordinary without being willing to prove it deserves to be publicly humiliated.'
T: > I take it that means that you were in favor of Pontius Pilate's action in the case of the alleged claims of the Nazarene known as Issa ben Joseph.
T: I checked the four records of this proceeding available to me. All indicated it was claims made against the defendant, not claims made by him, that Pontius Pilate found not proven.

N: 10083
S: ohcE rof tseT
A: Terrence Berres
E:
berrestr@execpc.com
D: Tuesday, 22 December 1998
P: 10079
R:
T:
T: > So, uh. . .what're people readin' these days?
T: Christmas shopping lists. Christmas cards. Photocopied letters enclosed in Christmas cards. Mall directories. Credit card bills. Tom n' Jerry Mix instructions. Fruitcake ingredient lists. Egg Nog cholesterol numbers. Mass schedule.

N: 10090
S: Partisan Ship Ahoy
A: Terrence Berres
E:
berrestr@execpc.com
D: Tuesday, 22 December 1998
P: 10081
R:
T:
T: > It's more complicated than that. We have a real-life example today with regard to the 2000 census. The conventional wisdom is that an accurate census using modern sampling techniques would aid the Democrats. So the Democrats support use of the most reliable techniques, and the Republicans support the traditional procedure that produces a substantial undercount, as the majority of those undercounted would be expected to support Democrats.
T: While I'm a little reluctant to follow this tangential issue further, I will point out that it's more complicated yet. While experts in the field might agree that sampling could reduce the undercount, some testified before Congress that the actual statistical models that the Census Bureau proposes to use will not produce accurate estimates. There is the issue whether the change of methods should first be approved by Congress. There is the issue whether using estimates rather than counts is constitutional. And finally, my Democratic congressman says he is opposed to using estimates but votes against bills that would ban them.

N: 10093
S: Coalition Politics
A: Terrence Berres
E:
berrestr@execpc.com
D: Tuesday, 22 December 1998
P: 10068
R: 10476
T: We have more than two parties in the United States. It's just that rather than remain separate and form coalition governments, they have formed two coalition parties. The compromises seen in parliamentary systems are here done within the parties. Every substantial faction of the electorate will be accomodated by one party or the other in the attempt to obtain a majority. That's why American third parties don't last long.

N: 10108
S: God's Work
A: Terrence Berres
E:
berrestr@execpc.com
D: Wednesday, 23 December 1998
P: 10086
R: 10112
T: Does Adler confine his argument to the material universe? There is an intuitive appeal to a need for constant intervention to keep in existence a material universe that originated from nothing, or to keep organized a material universe that originated in chaos. On the other hand, there might not seem to be the same need to keep immaterial creatures in existence.
T: For example, a few years back came the announcement that a group or mathematicians, using a computer, had discovered a new prime number. Discovery is their characterization. Most mathematicians, I understand, are Platonists to the extent they believe numbers to be already existing things which they discover. Numbers being immaterial, it might not require divine intervention to preserve their existence in the way it might for the material universe.

N: 10110
S: 'Twas Glenn Knight Before Christmas
A: Terrence Berres
E:
berrestr@execpc.com
D: Wednesday, 23 December 1998
P: 10035
R:
T: 'Twas Glenn Knight before Christmas, Thinking what to say To fill up his quota Of posts for the day,
T: When what should appear In surplice and alb Through mirror dot org's connection: A virtual Jeff Kalb.
T: Glenn said
T: > Into my plans
T: > You're throwing a wrench.
T: > Can't you just instead
T: > Go see Harold French?
T: >> Now Glenn, reconsider.
T: >> To you I send Hope,
T: >> Crossing the Threshold of,
T: >> And it's signed by the Pope!
T: > Can't I pick my own gift?
T: > I'll exchange yours for money.
T: >> You can in twelve days
T: >> On your own Epiphany,
T: >> When one Weismann will come
T: >> From out of the East
T: >> (side of Chicago)
T: > With more gifts on his beast?
T: >> Camel? He might smoke
T: >> But not ride as of old;
T: >> No frankincense, myrrh,
T: >> Jay the only Gold.
T: >> He'll bring you the gift
T: >> Of Great Ideas dialogue:
T: >> His Mortimer Adler
T: >> Mail order catalog.
T: >> But my work here is done.
T: >> 'See' you in the Cafe.
T: >> My next stop is Zaheer's
T: >> So I'm off to L. A.
T: But Glenn heard Jeff exclaim As they signed off the site,
T: >> Merry Christmas to all
T: >> And to all a good night.
T: - Edward De Vere

N: 10161
S: Does pi need a dish?
A: Terrence Berres
E:
berrestr@execpc.com
D: Thursday, 24 December 1998
P: 10112
R:
T: > The appeal for something to sustain the universe seems to be analagous: as Glenn Knight has remarked, why stop at that point? Why not keep asking, 'What is the cause of that cause which is the cause of....' and so on?
T: It doesn't seem to be analogous in mathematics. Numbers may be believed by most mathematicians to have an immaterial existence but there is no 'Why stop there?' (or 'What holds numbers up?') critique of this.
T: If we take the step to the immaterial, that is only additional step. Perhaps once we are outside the material, there is no need or no way to continue a chain of causation, there being no time and space to require it or to support it. In any case, no one is asking 'What is the cause of that cause which is the cause of....' because they actually see a need for an answer.
T:

N: 10196
S: Minions for Defense
A: Terrence Berres
E:
berrestr@execpc.com
D: Friday, 25 December 1998
P: 10190
R: 10209
T: Merry Christmas.
T: > Then there's the explanation that you have been duped by the Pope and his evil minions.
T: In the case of others, would it be the respective evil minions of Luther, Calvin, Muhammed, Buddha, etc.?
T: > But that, while it has some truth to it, is probably unprovable.
T: So you hold its truth as an article of faith?
T: > But the probable explanation is twofold. You believe as a habit; you were taught this stuff at such an early age, by people who were authority figures, and you therefore identify with it. For you to reject some of these beliefs would be to reject part of your identity.
T: Are you saying there is a difference between your psychological makeup and that of all such people?
T: > It should be clear by now that belief in Christianity, or anything else, has a lot less to do with the truth of the object of belief than with the need of the believer to believe.
T: Wouldn't this then be just as true of you regarding anything you believe, e.g., your belief regarding the pope and his minions?
T: > I should point out that your belief is not evidence of the truth of what you believe (lots of people believed that the Sun orbited the Earth, too).
T: But isn't widespread belief evidence against the an assertion of the inherent improbability of that belief? Geocentrism wasn't inherently improbable; your daily paper probably still records the time of 'sunrise' and 'sunset.'
T:

N: 10219
S: Again with the minions
A: Terrence Berres
E:
berrestr@execpc.com
D: Saturday, 26 December 1998
P: 10209
R:
T:
T: > As I recall, Mr. Berres, you first used the title 'Minions for Defense' about three months ago in response to one of my posts. Bet you thought we'd forget.
T: You lose your bet. Did you actually suppose I would think you would be so thoughtless as to forget? It points up the repeated use of the term: why the characterization of those with different views as 'minions?'
T: > We are condemned (as Sartre would say) to make our own judgments and not rely on how widespread various beliefs are.
T: Sartre apparently did not believe in unmixed blessings. We can't rely on it but neither should we disregard it. We ought to give 'a decent respect to the opinions of mankind.' And I do anticipate you will be among the first to remind me of this standard when the opportunity arises.

N: 10222
S: Purgatory and its origins
A: Terrence Berres
E:
berrestr@execpc.com
D: Saturday, 26 December 1998
P: 9907
R:
T: Had to take some time to do a little research to resond.
T: > Purgatory has not always been a part of orthodox Christianity. There is no mention of it in the Bible, and to my knowledge by any of the early church fathers.
T: The Syntopicon (1st Ed.) lists several topics related to Purgatory. One is Immortality 5d 'The process of purification: the state of Purgatory.' The references listed include the Old Testament, Apocrypha, and New Testament. Among the other references are several to St. Augustine. In Book XXI, Ch. 13, of 'The City of God' he says 'temporary punishments are suffered by some in this life only, by others after death, by others both now and then ...' GBWW (1st) vol. 18, p. 572. A word search of the on-line edition of 'The Early Church Fathers' produced several references having to do with Purgatory.
T: I am told the practice of Christians praying for the dead is recorded at least as far back as the second century A.D. in the 'Acts of Paul and Thecla.'
T: > Does anyone know when it became a part of Roman Catholic doctrine? Was it taken seriously before Dante's Divine Commedy?
T: I understand that some of the most basic Christian beliefs have never been formally or definitively defined as doctrine by the Catholic Church. Its usual practice is only to do so when the circumstances require it (perhaps under a Latin motto equivalent to 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it'). The discussion of Purgatory takes up less than a page of its current Catechism, sect. 1030-1031. In addition to references to the Bible, the Catechism's references pre-dating Dante's Comedy are to works of St. John Chrysostom (345?-407), St. Gregory the Great (pope 590-604), and the Second Council of Lyons (1274).

N: 10244
S: Man's search for meaninglessness
A: Terrence Berres
E:
berrestr@execpc.com
D: Sunday, 27 December 1998
P: 10229
R: 10245 10246
T: You are using the term 'meaningless' as a kind of term or art, aren't you? That is, your position is not just that no one has demonstrated that existence, ours or the universe's, has some deeper meaning. I understand you to instead be saying that grasping this lack of meaning in itself can give one's life meaning of a different kind. The former would mean (should I say signify?) that you remain unpersuaded because of lack of evidence. You instead are persuaded by the evidence of the lack of evidence to take a position from which you might also try to persuade others of life's meaninglessness.
T: (I'm starting to feel like I should sign as 'Screwtape' so I'll say no more.)

N: 10253
S: So finally we called Godot on the cell phone.
A: Terrence Berres
E:
berrestr@execpc.com
D: Sunday, 27 December 1998
P: 10245
R: 10254
T: > You responded to Ms. Ludrick's post, but I think the response was directed at me
T: Thirty years ago I could run a mainframe but now I can't even figure out who to respond to ...
T: > The only concern I have about the way you put it is that it has the potential for making it too easy for people to say, 'Yes it's meaningless, and that means....' Making that move too quickly destroys the value of the insight.
T: A person goes through a protracted interior struggle with this issue and ultimately finds in existence itself what others once found in the meaning of existence. Closer to what you intend?
T: You give the impression that this is a less durable outlook than the belief in a transcendent meaning in our individual and the universe's existence.

N: 10261
S: You've Godot!
A: Terrence Berres
E:
berrestr@execpc.com
D: Monday, 28 December 1998
P: 10254
R: 10264
T: >> You give the impression that this is a less durable outlook than the belief in a transcendent meaning in our individual and the universe's existence.
T: > What do you mean by 'durable'?
T: Is this outlook likely to sustain people through life's trials? Part of the process you describe in achieving this outlook is going through a period of despair over a cold, empty, meaningless universe. Won't this be more than many can bear? Once achieved, wouldn't life's hardest parts push many who initially survived to process back into despair?
T: If this outlook is based on the true human condition, shouldn't we expect it to be the the most suitable for the most people? It appears less than probable it will prove so. It's not a question of whether people find it palatable. It's a question whether it supplies the necessary nutrients.
T:

N: 10281
S: Nietzsche's Skybox
A: Terrence Berres
E:
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