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Tuesday, July 26, 2005


Ugandan MP to reward virgins with university fees

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Tuesday, July 05, 2005


Would an atheist (nihilist) dedicate his/her life to a cause? IX


I guess it's rather futile arguing with a person who, in the same discussion thread,

Look who's talking, from thanking for providing a better picture now the concerned person finds it futile to argue with me; or was the previous posting just a prank to buy some time for attending philosophy classes. So how did the philosophy classes go, BTW? You have much to say, I bet they were good.

I wonder why he wants people to "come up with proof", when he thinks "proof itself is not provable" .. which sounds dangerously close to nonsense

Give me one proof that is not based on an assumption (or in other words a belief) and I will take back my statement that "proof is not provable."

And finally, the Disclaimer,

Ya it worked didn't it. And your replies are akin to the increase in security cover every time a terrorist attack takes place. Nothing substantially new is ever done, but they will make the claim(s) anyway!

but the problem with the statement is that : the concept of 'mattering' itself doesn't exist at the level of analysis he's talking about

Or in other words, "I have no arguments to refute what you have said but I won't agree anyway."

To speak sense ... infact, to mean anything .. meaning must follow existence .. and existence of any entity is a belief, corroborated by other beliefs .. which work in tandem (through causative logic).

This statement sounds remarkably similar to Sartre's "existence precedes essence," but he was an existentialist anyway. Just a quick reminder that existentialism is a philosophy which comes in the same category which you "threw out" not so long ago. BTW, no I am not claiming that you are existentialist just an observation.

And what I prove subsequently is that either case of "nothing matters" is fallacious.

So let's see the claimed proof for a moment: If nothing matters, then this statement itself doesn't matter, and thus this leads to what is called the nihilistic void. Now in Case A you discredit the statement "nothing matters" (or the nihilistic void) by saying that it is wholly redundant & null & void, but the statement "nothing matters" itself conveys that it is null & void & redundant. So basically you assume for no apparent reason other than your intuition that statement "nothing matters" is false.

Now the tricky part (for me, i.e.!) here is why would anybody write so much, and in the end make the same assumption that he/she could have made in the beginning and could have done nothing differently (except for the number of words typed!). One guess could be that all this was an exercise in public relations. Most people will see a lengthy proof of something which is not acceptable to them based on their intuition and assume "hence proved," despite the proof making no sense to them. (Huh philosophy!)

The retort based on "proof itself is not provable" is best left to popular imagination.

And your nomadic ramblings are well suited for public consumption, congratulations. Huh!

And finally the much highlighted "gem" of mine, viz. peanut sized intellect:
Well I find it useful to label most of the people who advice others to commit suicide for nothing other their own lack of argument(s), as the ones with "peanut sized intellect." Of course the labeling is arbitrary and actually the person may have an intellect greater than a pea-nut. But based on your recent postings I have no doubt that it was a "gem" alright!

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Would an atheist (nihilist) dedicate his/her life to a cause? VIII


Nihilism did seem more of an "excuse" rather than a philosophy and I tended to oppose it and ignore it, but had to resist. I hope my feelings are a bit clearer now.

Ignoring that I don't consider nihilism a philosophy; "excuse" for what! excuses are needed by people who like to put everything into folders, nihilists don't and neither do they need any excuses.

From claiming he doesn't exist to providing quotes to giving a disclaimer at the bottom of his posts, he succeeded in thoroughly confusing me on what he believes.

When I don't believe in existence of something this doesn't mean that I claim that it doesn't exist. I don't believe for lack of proof, so if you call disbelief a claim, that's your problem not mine. And one last time (as if it matters) I don't believe in anything.

I definitely wouldn't want to get into an argument with him !!

That's ok! I wasn't considering inviting you for a cup of tea anyway!!

I even don't know whether he has projected the true picture of the philosophy called 'Nihilism'.

If you think you have a better one, why don't you come up with that, wise boy.

Instinct and usefulness seem reasonable.

Only because it doesn't contradict your beliefs.

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Monday, July 04, 2005

Federico Biancuzzi talks to Eric Raymond about license issues. "Q:Why did you say we don't need the GPL anymore? A:It's 2005, not 1985. We've learned a lot in the last 20 years. The fears that originally led to the reciprocity stuff in GPL are nowadays, at least in my opinion, baseless. People who do what the GPL tries to prevent (e.g., closed source forks of open source projects) wind up injuring only themselves. They trap themselves unto competing with a small in-house development group against the much larger one in the parent open source project, and failing."


We don´t need ESR anymore. Look at the "huge success" in marketing and development momentum the BSDs are. Heh. No offense to the BSD crowd, but they are only "in the map" IMHO because of the great deal of GPLd software that was available some time ago... including, and mainly GCC, which is the toolchain to make *every* one of them. Pfff. Nothing to see here.

ESR and his "Open Source" thing was needed at a certain point to un-scare all the enterprises, but nowadays, any sane PHB will just go after IBM :-)

(Posted Jul 1, 2005 22:44 UTC (Fri) by subscriber Quazatron)

I agree with you. I'm also a user, and to me the GPL means the the software I use won't just die like proprietary software when the company bites the dust, it will be maintained in some form or other.

BSD is nice, but mostly benefits the *software companies* that leech all the good code while giving back nothing. GPL makes sure the software evolves and that is surely a benefit to all the *users*.

As for ESR, my guess is that he is now seeing the subject from the company's point of view, not from the developers/users point of view, so yes, we lost him.

(Posted Jul 1, 2005 18:26 UTC (Fri) by guest jimi)

Not every project has huge numbers of developers behind it. The projects I'm involved in have at most six developers, of which three at most continue to contribute. Nevertheless, we have a substantial user base. But we couldn't compete against even a small shop with dedicated developers. The GPL protects our hard work.

But surviving closed source competition isn't even the point. The GPL is for the citizenry at large, not just a few developers. It gives everyone rights and freedoms that they would otherwise not have. The software does not need the GPL, we do.

It's not the software that's free; it's you.
- billyskank on Groklaw

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Friday, July 01, 2005


Would an atheist (nihilist) dedicate his/her life to a cause? VII


I am a bit worried that he maybe right bcos his philosophy (or whatever he calls it) ,if true ,can lead one down a defeatist path.

Almost everything that I wanted to write is here. Even though it becomes slightly religious at the end and gives the impression that mysticism has somehow crept in.

Like XXX has said, the attitude can mock an honest effort towards anything.

Most nihilists that I know of don't do that even when nihilists think that nothing matters, they do support such efforts because they find them useful. Nihilism is a sword that strikes both ways if nothing matters than nobody can claim that he/she is superior in any way and I think that is where it hurts the most to the "conventional" people.

But I can't disregard it just because it doesn't seem convenient...

You can actually, you choose to or not is another thing. And either way you can't claim some greatness (*) or at least don't become great.

* (Disclaimer: before somebody claims that I believe that I said all this, I deny that I believe that I said all this, or that I believe that this world, the starred (*) item, I, anything else, proof or even this very statement exists or means anything!)

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Would an atheist (nihilist) dedicate his/her life to a cause? VI


Just because you are one who is doing all the hair-splitting I am replying, for one last time to your post (unless something very interesting comes up). I have no interest in carrying on this intellectual masturbation in which you are so profoundly interested in. Further it doesn't matter if you want to live in a world where something matters, because nothing matters; you can go-on make further assumptions and try refuting something which was never claimed.

If nothing has to matter, it has to matter to somebody.

Hah! That's a convenient (*) assumption and it comes at the right (*) time (*) too! As if nothing is something which has to matter to somebody.

This statement is wholly redundant & null & void.

I (*) never claimed (*) that this or any other statement was useful, valid or binding. This is your way of looking at the world (*) and its a pity (*) you think that everybody looks the world in the same way.

Even if you proverbially squeeze it, you won't get anything out

I never claimed that I (*), you (*) or anybody else (*) is getting anything from it. Nobody gets nothing from nowhere. Nothing exists because nothing is provable, because proof itself is not provable!

Case B: Nothing matters (to somebody)

Case B is absurd (*) as there is no need for it.

Rest of your argument I don't even need to be read as it is based on the validity of Case B, which only is true based on the assumption that Case A is false. In your concocted world you can live with that, because nothing matters anyway.

do yourself a favour: suicide.

If it wasn't a new paragraph I would have missed it.

Yes I am arrogant, sue me! Yes I am nonchalant, sue me! Yes I disregard your postings, sue me!

If it wasn't for you peanut sized intellect I would have been more severe and elaborate in my comments on this one, but since even this doesn't matter, I would look the other way instead.

Finally in my concluding remarks I quote Buzarov (from Fathers and Sons - Turgenev):

"I'm not going to argue with you," interrupted Bazarov. "I'm even ready to agree that there you are right."

"And if I am right . . ."

"It proves nothing, all the same."

* (Disclaimer: before somebody claims that I believe that I said all this, I deny that I believe that I said all this, or that I believe that this world, the starred (*) item, I, anything else, proof or even this very statement exists or means anything!)

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Would an atheist (nihilist) dedicate his/her life to a cause? V


who's speaking ?

Who knows, even who, speaking and knowing is indeterminate.

* (Disclaimer: before somebody claims that I believe that I said all this, I deny that I believe that I said all this, or that I believe that this world, the starred (*) item, I, anything else, proof or even this very statement exists or means anything!)

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Would an atheist (nihilist) dedicate his/her life to a cause? IV


I am not in favour of beating ourselves up with a lot of philosophy and making every little action seem very important.

That is what nihilism is about, unfortunately as absurd (as if absurdity exists!) it may seem but most people can't take it because of their predisposed minds. But since nothing matters, even this doesn't matter. Whatever gets you through your life! (And BTW even that doesn't matter!)

Just do what you want to do and get on with it'is what I like. Be it, being a revolutionary or a politician or changing the world or working in a 9 to 5 job or having lots of children.

Close enough!

It suspiciously sounds like either laziness or a shirking of responsibilities or arrogance.

I don't want to comment on your accusation of laziness or shirking of responsibility, because it is already covered (or at least I think (*) ) by posts made by me. For the arrogance part (ignoring for a moment that it is just another instance of humans creating categories to label everything): I don't understand how is it arrogance. Is telling the world that you, I and everybody else doesn't matter arrogance? Well if it is nothing isn't. Probably you feel it arrogant the way nihilists (and that includes me) put it. But there is no other way to say the truth than saying it. If you want to hear things which generate a feeling of hope (whatever that is) among people than you are not much different than theists who are also looking for hope. Hope is hallucination and this is not to say that it is good or bad because nothing is either way, the reason being that it can't be proved either way. It is just another evolutionary step. Remember evolution isn't for good or bad, because good or bad doesn't exist, it is only we who create such folders to stuff things into.

If all this sounds arrogant to you, so be it, what can I or anybody else do.

It still is a fact that if I had been put on an island as soon as I was born (highly unlikely of course) I would still fend for myself and eat and survive. So then something does matter right?

Again the assumption that nothing matters means nothing matters to X, where X is a something or somebody. Let me give you a hint, if nothing matters to X is true, than X will be lying dead in the gutter, but that doesn't happen with (almost) any X (where X can be a nihilist also). But still nothing matters. Another hint, if nothing matters means nothing matters (to me) as some gentleman put it, then I would probably as well commit suicide as he told me quite courteously, but, more on that latter.

Looking back, I think the times I resorted to nihilism was in times of despair as a sort of defense mechanism.

That would be very wrong (*) way to see nihilism, nihilism is the realization that nothing matters, it is not depression (*) that causes it. Or at least it was not so in my case.

And I now feel that the theists are sort of nihilists too in a warped sense. If nothing matters to nihilists then 'only god and his higher plans' matter to theists.

Well, this is not the most absurd (*) thing that I have heard people say, but I think we are close. It is the similar to saying that atheism is nothing but theism with n gods, where n=0. Nihilism is the realization (*) that truth is indeterminate (*) or unprovable (*), and that for all practical purposes truth is non-existent. That is all it is. It says nowhere that people should stop the search for truth (if you understand what I mean by truth here) and in fact it even doesn't claim that being nihilist is somehow superior or something that is desirable. And that is one of the reasons why I don't call (*) it a philosophy.

All I know is I hate it when 'nihilist sophistication' mocks an honest effort towards anything.

The sophistication that you so despise of is similar that is generated in theists when they hear atheist arguments. All is what I want to say. Truth is never easy, hope is a hallucination and I don't want to repeat what I said about it being neither good or bad.

And when it makes hope look so naive.

Hope is naive (*), there is no different way to put it. (If it sounds arrogant to you so be it.) But all that I want to say that it is our assumption that being naive is good or bad, it is neither. But still that isn't going to stop me from spreading the word that hope is naive, because nothing matters and some may choose to lie dead in gutters, but I (*) based on my instincts and based on its usefulness as perceived by me chose to do (*) this.

* (Disclaimer: before somebody claims that I believe that I said all this, I deny that I believe that I said all this, or that I believe that this world, the starred (*) item, I, anything else, proof or even this very statement exists or means anything!)

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Wednesday, June 29, 2005


Would an atheist (nihilist) dedicate his/her life to a cause? III


First of all I never said that I believed that I exist, because there exists no proof. As a matter of fact there exists no proof that a proof is indeed a proof. Nihilism is denying everything that lacks proof, and since proof itself has no proof, it amounts to denying everything. And if that includes me, so be it.

Next stop putting words into mouths of the people, I never said Nothing matters (to me), if anything that is your statement, I said Nothing matters.

Replying to rest of your argument is an exercise in futility, because you assume too much and your split-hair reasoning is better suited for a philosophical community where people have nothing better to do than split-hair and complicate their life. Further it seems that you are arguing just for the sake of argument. It carries no weight as it is based on flawed assumptions.

this analysis throws out the set of all philosophies which opine the irrelevancy of everything.

You are being a lawyer and a judge simultaneously. Anyway, as I said if nothing matters, nothing matters [strike-through] (to me) [/strike-through] (just for clarity), and that includes your not accepting that nothing matters.

This amounts to re-interpreting the Cartesian 'I think therefore I am' as 'I think I am = I believe I am = I'

Excuse me but I don't seem to recall that I ever mentioned Descartes or his "cogito ergo sum." But wait a minute this is in continuance of the assumption that I believe that I exist. Just another kind reminder, I don't believe that I exist. Further, we have a pretty good library at our institute and I am not that bad a reader either, so don't (once again!) assume that I need to do all the reading.

Your second post is as irrelevant as first because it tries to refute a claim which I never made.

To sum it all up, a lot matters a lot more than you think.

This is your assumption, but what does it matter anyway!! Huh!

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Tuesday, June 28, 2005


Would an atheist (nihilist) dedicate his/her life to a cause? II


You say life is meaningless and yet you have alot of things to do!!. I wonder what it is that you do! I must also ask why do _anything_ ! Not to say that I find that life is full of meaning, but I'm trying to understand your philosophy.

First of all it is no philosophy but, denial of each and every philosophy which is based on some belief (which pretty much includes every philosophy that I have encountered). It can be called rejection of philosophy but a better and more accurate thing to say would be a disbelief in philosophy. Just like atheism is disbelief in existence of god and not a belief in itself, similarly nihilism, a glimpse of which you got in my previous posting, is a disbelief in everything (or more accurately everything not based on proof) and not belief in disbelief, hence is no philosophy.

Now to your question why do I do something when nothing matters anyway. So let's answer the question (or at least try to):

Why does a tiger kill a deer? Is it that, tiger knows that if he (read `it' if you prefer) doesn't kill the deer, the deer population will increase and ecological balance would be disturbed? Or is that tiger knows that if he doesn't kill and eat the deer he will be rendered unfit to survive the process of evolution? Or is it because he thinks that someday all his troubles will be over and some light will shine and he will get moksha or mukti, so it is better to survive till then? Or is it anything equally absurd? In reality (if there is such a thing) tiger does things based on his instincts and usefulness.

Similarly, nihilists (and indeed me) act on the basis of usefulness and instincts (and instincts include not only those by birth, but also which are a product of societal and environmental interactions). Living beings don't require a purpose for survival and human beings are no exception. Brain and thinking ability is nothing but a tool for better survival to human beings which is a result of non-directional and purposeless process of evolution.

To think that human beings require a purpose to survive is one of the greatest follies of all times. Some may, based on their upbringing, their milieu and due to some totally random factors; but that doesn't mean that everybody needs it or indeed that majority needs it, simply because there exist no proof.

Further rejection of philosophy as absolute truth or as a purpose of life doesn't mean that you can't still live with the philosophy, because if nothing matters; nothing matters. If life doesn't have a purpose and absolute truth is indeterminate (or non-existent for all practical purposes) than it doesn't matter even if you live with the belief that what you believe is absolute truth. Also, if nothing matters than it doesn't matter whether you are acting based on instincts developed due to a philosophy or find something useful based on certain philosophy, even though you fully know that the philosophy itself is flawed because it is based on unproven or more accurately unprovable assumptions.

That is why nihilists, however small in number, that exist on the face of planet are so different from each other. If nothing matters; nothing matters. The fact that nothing matters doesn't alter or at least doesn't alter substantially what we do based on our instincts and perceived usefulness of our action, because it doesn't matter.

Finally, indeed nihilism can lead to tendencies in people which may be called fatalistic in nature; who think that if nothing matters why should we do anything. But if absolute truth does not exist (or is at least indeterminate) and if good, evil, ethics, morality, etc. don't exist what does it matter, if somebody is behaving fatalistically. The assumption that if a person has fatalistic tendencies, it is bad, is an assumption and has no proof. Come up with proof and then we are talking again.

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Monday, June 27, 2005


Not a single Indian in Al Qaeda: Natwar Singh

Link: Not a single Indian in Al Qaeda: Natwar Singh

Now that what america or rather bush administration calls terrorism is the de facto definition of terrorism and that Mr. Natwar Singh also has with him the list of all al queda members along with their nationalities can we have them grounded also.

BTW nobody should take this lightly, there are no muslim al queda members from india. Being a secular country only secular people are allowed to be terrorists here. As a result only atheist/agnostic/non-religious people are allowed to be al queda members from india.

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