Do unicorns exist?

Discuss philosophical concepts and moral issues.
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ruby sparks
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Do unicorns exist?

Post by ruby sparks » Thu May 11, 2017 1:14 pm

Last edited by ruby sparks on Thu May 11, 2017 2:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Politesse
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Post by Politesse » Thu May 11, 2017 7:24 pm

Is that second shot one of Oberon Zell's unicorn goats? I met him a while back, quite a character.
"The truth about stories is that's all we are" ~Thomas King

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ruby sparks
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Post by ruby sparks » Thu May 11, 2017 9:45 pm

Hadn't heard of him, until now, but his wife (or should I say one of his wives) looks cute:

Image

Image

You do raise an interesting question though. Are they unicorn goats, or unicorns?

It's especially interesting in this case because I think they have had one horn removed.
Last edited by ruby sparks on Thu May 11, 2017 9:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Politesse
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Post by Politesse » Thu May 11, 2017 9:55 pm

[quote=""ruby sparks""]Hadn't heard of him, until now, but his wife (or should I say one of his wives) looks cute:

Image

Image

You do raise an interesting question though. Are they unicorn goats, or unicorns?

It's especially interesting in this case because I think they have had one horn removed.[/quote]

Morning Glory Zell. She passed recently and is much missed in the community. They certainly just called them unicorns; Oberon was convinced that the original unicorns of myth were caprine or taurine, and resulted from natural circumstances similar to those he artificially created. They didn't remove either horn, so much as encourage them to grow together.
"The truth about stories is that's all we are" ~Thomas King

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ruby sparks
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Post by ruby sparks » Thu May 11, 2017 10:00 pm

I suppose the question of whether they are unicorns may have some similarity to asking if Caitlyn Jenner is a woman.

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ruby sparks
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Post by ruby sparks » Fri May 12, 2017 8:42 am

Image

Image

Would it be reasonable to say that these are unicorns?
Last edited by ruby sparks on Fri May 12, 2017 9:09 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Ozymandias
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Post by Ozymandias » Fri May 12, 2017 9:26 am

[quote=""ruby sparks""]
Would it be reasonable to say that these are unicorns?[/quote]

I believe any animal has a right to self-identify as a unicorn. The actual existence of a horn is immaterial - what is important is how they feel inside.

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ruby sparks
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Post by ruby sparks » Fri May 12, 2017 9:36 am

[quote=""Ozymandias""]
ruby sparks;671017 wrote: Would it be reasonable to say that these are unicorns?
I believe any animal has a right to self-identify as a unicorn. The actual existence of a horn is immaterial - what is important is how they feel inside.[/QUOTE]

In that case, two unicorns kissing. The guy on the left is called Shaft:
Image


"My name's Shaft and I'm a fabulous unicorn"
https://video.vice.com/en_uk/video/unic ... r_videos=1
Last edited by ruby sparks on Fri May 12, 2017 9:46 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by ruby sparks » Fri May 12, 2017 9:50 am

Are Indian Rhinos or Narwhals types of unicorn?

I'm aiming to use this as a way to critique free will compatibilism, of which I am not a big fan.

It seems to me that Daniel Dennett, for example, might or would need to say (to be consistent in approach) that although they don't have all the characteristics traditionally associated with unicorns, they are nonetheless unicorns. He might even, at a pinch, say that it would be wrong and possibly harmful to tell people that they (the rhino and the narwhal) are not unicorns.
Last edited by ruby sparks on Fri May 12, 2017 10:54 am, edited 22 times in total.

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Politesse
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Post by Politesse » Fri May 12, 2017 3:12 pm

[quote=""ruby sparks""]Are Indian Rhinos or Narwhals types of unicorn?

I'm aiming to use this as a way to critique free will compatibilism, of which I am not a big fan.

It seems to me that Daniel Dennett, for example, might or would need to say (to be consistent in approach) that although they don't have all the characteristics traditionally associated with unicorns, they are nonetheless unicorns. He might even, at a pinch, say that it would be wrong and possibly harmful to tell people that they (the rhino and the narwhal) are not unicorns.[/quote]

What is your critique?
"The truth about stories is that's all we are" ~Thomas King

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ruby sparks
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Post by ruby sparks » Fri May 12, 2017 6:11 pm

[quote=""Politesse""]
ruby sparks;671020 wrote:Are Indian Rhinos or Narwhals types of unicorn?

I'm aiming to use this as a way to critique free will compatibilism, of which I am not a big fan.

It seems to me that Daniel Dennett, for example, might or would need to say (to be consistent in approach) that although they don't have all the characteristics traditionally associated with unicorns, they are nonetheless unicorns. He might even, at a pinch, say that it would be wrong and possibly harmful to tell people that they (the rhino and the narwhal) are not unicorns.
What is your critique?[/QUOTE]

It's related to what I said in my last paragraph, regards consistency.

Also, my view of compatibilism (and perhaps his in particular though this may be because his is the one I'm most familiar with) is that it's a fudge. In a determined (and/or partly or wholly random) world, there would appear to be no possible, actual free will*, unless the term is redefined to fit, a bit like whittling a square peg to fit in a round hole and still calling your peg square.

Another analogy might be to ask does or should anyone say that something is 'the variety of phlogiston worth wanting/having', or that something has 'some perpetual motion'? None of these analogies (including unicorns, elves, dragons or what have you) are 1 on 1 mappings onto free will, obviously.

It's a fairly common criticism of compatibilism. Some critics would go as far as to suggest that the redefining is a bit like what some theists do with god (analogies with free will of the gaps might be thought of). I'm not saying it goes quite that far (in fact I would say it doesn't go that far, despite appearing to have similarities), but I do think it's dodgy nonetheless.


* Caveat: there may be some way, as yet unexplained or understood, that there is actual free will.
Last edited by ruby sparks on Fri May 12, 2017 7:18 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Post by dancer_rnb » Fri May 12, 2017 8:47 pm

Shouldn't the question be "Is this what people in the past described as unicorns?"
There is no such thing as "politically correct." It's code for liberalism. The whole idea of "political correctness" was a brief academic flash-in-the-pan in the early 1990's, but has been a good conservative bugaboo ever since.

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ruby sparks
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Post by ruby sparks » Fri May 12, 2017 11:01 pm

[quote=""dancer_rnb""]Shouldn't the question be "Is this what people in the past described as unicorns?"[/quote]
That might potentially be an easier question.
Last edited by ruby sparks on Fri May 12, 2017 11:54 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Eldarion Lathria
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If they are invisible and pink they exist

Post by Eldarion Lathria » Mon May 15, 2017 1:02 am

and they're everywhere.

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Jobar
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Post by Jobar » Mon May 15, 2017 11:48 am

Image

Peace Be Upon Her Holy Horn!

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ruby sparks
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Post by ruby sparks » Mon May 15, 2017 8:54 pm

It's really just a matter of redefining either pink and/or invisible. Simples. Get a compatibilist on the job.

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ruby sparks
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Post by ruby sparks » Fri May 19, 2017 6:55 pm

Why free-will compatibilism resembles Sophisticated Theology™:

1. Both redefine old notions (Biblical literalism or contracausal free will) and claim nobody believes in them any more. Like scripture is for Sophisticated Theologians™, so is free will for compatibilists: both have become metaphors for more recent notions.

2. The definitions of free will, like that of Sophisticated Gods, are concocted post facto, after compatibilists have decided in advance that their task is not to find the truth, but to buttress a conclusion they want to reach (i.e., we have free will).

3. Both set humans aside as special—different from other animals (souls or free will).

4. In both cases academic doyens (theologians or philosophers) feel that it’s dangerous for the public to know the truth (about God or about determinism).

5. Both groups need some sense of free will to “sustain our sense of moral responsibility”.

6. There are as many versions of compatibilism as there are conceptions of God (and no general agreement on them), so advocates can always say to critics, “you’re not attacking the best argument.”

7. Both dismiss science as either irrelevant or inferior to philosophy for solving the Big Question at hand (free will or the existence of God).

https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.co ... templeton/

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ruby sparks
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Post by ruby sparks » Sun May 28, 2017 10:35 am

Image
Phase 1: The compatibilist tries to find the unicorn.
Last edited by ruby sparks on Sun May 28, 2017 11:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by subsymbolic » Sun May 28, 2017 12:47 pm

One day you are going to realise what you have missed. However, as it takes months and an awful lot of shit like the above to explain ideas in philosophy to the point you get them, you are on your own. If you were remotely apologetic when you do eventually understand something it might be different, but you never are.

So keep up the jokes. They are on you.

Oh and you are supposed to be a mathematician, so here's a thought for you: can you make two balls out of one ball in the physical world? Because if you can't, then the onus is on you to explain why you can in a supervenient but emergent one.

Not that that's Dennett's argument, of course.

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