Well, I tried to take a couple of polls at FB, and they hung up on me (perhaps because of my paranoid cookie settings), and I tried to post this on my wall, but it was too long, so I’ll just say it here:
- I support same-sex marriage, or if it can be shown that this unduly infringes the rights of churches (though I think this would be difficult), I support making civil unions and marriage legally indistinguishable from the point of view of government, hospitals, insurance companies, etc.
- I believe that the theory of evolution is probably true, in the same way that I believe that the theory of gravity and the germ theory of disease are probably true. By which I mean that, like every other body of scientific thought, while it’s open to reinterpretation in ways that fit all the same facts but explain them better and predict new findings better (like what relativity and quantum mechanics did to what came before), our current idea fits the facts the best.
In no particular order (and for no particular reason …) :
Search engine: Google
Task lists: Remember The Milk (rmilk.com)
News (sort of): Reddit.com
Goofing off (definitely): Reddit.com (though lately Facebook (shudder) comes in a close second)
I’ve thought a lot about axioms (things believed to be true without proof) in the context of personal philosophy. The only one I’ve come up with so far, for myself, personally, is “I can derive accurate information about reality via my senses.” Not necessarily perfect, and not necessarily complete, but, on the whole, over time, accurate. Call this Axiom 1.
(Actually, I also include, for completeness, “I exist”. Some philosophers get touchy about this one. Call this Axiom 0.)
What axioms do you have, if any, that do not follow from this one?
As an example, I’ve considered adding to the list “Both inductive and deductive reasoning can yield valid statements about reality”, but I haven’t, because I believe you can show empirically (by observing reality with your senses) that this is true.
Update: Wikipedia points out that “observations themselves do not establish the validity of inductive reasoning, except inductively. In other words, observations that inductive reasoning has worked in the past do not ensure that it will always work.” In more other words, induction cannot empirically prove itself. So maybe I do have to include induction, and possibly deduction, in an axiom.