Trevor Harvey

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Trevor Harvey
Posted 4 months ago
Jill Shargaa: Please, please, people. Let's put the 'awe' back in 'awesome'
Elena, yes, things are changing - for the worse! And we don't deal with it. Awesome has not gained new nuances of meaning. It's ridiculously exhausted, a meaningless mindless throwaway which has lost all relevance. You'll have noticed how most replies to questions now open with the word "So". Politicians and news anchors don't lie, they "misspeak"! America is disseminating its endless fashionable abuse of the English language to the Anglophone community worldwide. Shee-ut, Omygard and Arrsum epitomise the impoverished vernacular of stupified US youngsters. Language defines a country's thought and influence, its cultural direction. What does awesome's ubiquity say about you?
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Trevor Harvey
Posted 7 months ago
Sandra Aamodt: Why dieting doesn't usually work
The assertions in the talk regarding starvation. human history and lowered metabolic rate are not universally accepted; the research data is ambiguous and variously interpreted. Mindful eating sounds sensible but how that works practically for a control eater wasn't really explained. Seems the gist is folks ought to oppose mindless automatic eating... somehow. The comparative influence of exercise, smoking, alcohol, were helpful. Overweight - like much else we can't much control, e.g. poverty - draws self-righteous judgment. Humans are nasty critical creatures, and rightly or wrongly, weight gain is a sure, certain and rapid way to lose the love and respect of others.
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Trevor Harvey
Posted 11 months ago
Jill Shargaa: Please, please, people. Let's put the 'awe' back in 'awesome'
The real concern is not that awesome is more or less literally used than fabulous, wonderful, brilliant or fantastic. The tragedy for our language is that a whole generation of (especially younger) Americans endlessly turn in knee-jerk mindlessness to a single inappropriate word to describe the vast richness of their lived experiences. The deeper failure here is US education, the conformist and unimaginative nature of which is betrayed by this now-exausted former superlative. Awesome is the shibboleth of a consumerist, apathetic and shallow culture passed on with no cerebral engagement at all.
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Trevor Harvey
Posted almost 2 years ago
Is a purely logical debate possible?
To claim that Christianity is a logical outcome of consideration of the relevant facts is to offer the mother of all non sequitur debates and posit it as founded on logic, in which case, we may conclude that your use of the word logic is (with all due respect) deeply flawed. A religion that relies on evidence of attributed revelation to historical unwitnessed characters we never met, and know nothing of, is so far from logic as to be ludicrous. I offer you a prophet ostensibly spoken to by his donkey, a man who lived in a big fish, 3 men who survived in a furnace, a man who remained unharmed in a den of wild lions, a city whose walls fell down at the blast of trumpets, a spinning chariot, a temporarily receding sea, the appearance of angels at odd times, a virgin birth and much else that defies any known logic except the most extremely irrational misunderstanding of the word. I wouldn't know where logic can be used to verify Noah's gathering of billions of fertile pairs of globally distributed animals and plants, let alone how his vessel might have held, fed and preserved them, leave alone perfectly replace them into flood-destroyed environments to thrive. Whatever arguments you may offer - and I've heard them all - logic bares no relation to religion whatsoever, and, nothing personal, but merely asserting it does based on your personally constructed redefinition of what we mean by logic doesn't cut it. If you mean it became obvious or convincing or appealing to you as a theory of existence; granted, it may have, (any faithful Muslim or Hindu might argue likewise), but where is the logic we are considering in any of that? Logic isn't whatever you want it to be; it is the branch of philosophy concerned with inference. You are not referring to logic, but to argument, or intuition or somesuch.
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Trevor Harvey
Posted almost 2 years ago
Is a purely logical debate possible?
There's no right or wrong answer; we debate in many domains. Some debates use hard data, other, more soft evidence. Some are scientific, detached from our personas; we can stand away from them personally and give a point of view. I'd put global warming there. We have much data about energy consumption, the sun, matter, population and climate records, so that debate can be advanced or destroyed by yet more data. Others debates relate to exactly who we believe we are. Inevitably emotive is "Why is the West's population increasingly obese?" Debaters have vested interests, or may feel vulnerable, blamed, unattractive, guilty, attacked for their weight and so on. Don't expect logic to rule there! Likewise, debates on gun crime and the right to bear arms in the US are a proxy for bigger political issues. De-criminalizing marijuanha; do you imagine this could be logically resolved? More emotive: the causation of homosexuality and whether it (if there is an "it) can or should be reversed; can a single parent can do as good a job as a father and mother; can a lesbian couple do as well as a man and a woman at bringing up kids? Such debates are intrinsically important to us, but we know debaters are NEVER going to look to solely logical argument. These are too contraversial and sensitive - the case data we're offered from here will be the polar opposite of the case data from there, or it'll be considered culturally skewed or otherwise biased. So, let's respect logic for the argumentation where the data is valid, verifiable, scientifically secure. We know emotion will come in screaming and early in all debates where human or animal rights, personal identity and status pertain. Experience shows that in any debate concerning sex, gender or politics, logic is irrelevant and a fight may break out at any time. Where we debate religion, we're joining in an insoluble conflict that never goes away and logic can have no place whatsoever in that debate.