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CA2: Crossing threshold to arrest without warrant violates …

 Fourth Amendment  Comments Off on CA2: Crossing threshold to arrest without warrant violates …
Feb 032016

ABA Journal’s Blawg 100 (2015)

by John Wesley Hall Criminal Defense Lawyer and Search and seizure law consultant Little Rock, Arkansas Contact / The Book

2003-16, online since Feb. 24, 2003 real non-robot URL hits since 2010; approx. 18k posts since 2003


Fourth Amendment cases, citations, and links

Latest Slip Opinions: U.S. Supreme Court (Home) Federal Appellate Courts Opinions First Circuit Second Circuit Third Circuit Fourth Circuit Fifth Circuit Sixth Circuit Seventh Circuit Eighth Circuit Ninth Circuit Tenth Circuit Eleventh Circuit D.C. Circuit Federal Circuit Foreign Intell.Surv.Ct. FDsys, many district courts, other federal courts, other Military Courts: C.A.A.F., Army, AF, N-M, CG State courts (and some USDC opinions)

Google Scholar Advanced Google Scholar Google search tips LexisWeb LII State Appellate Courts LexisONE free caselaw Findlaw Free Opinions To search Search and Seizure on $

Research Links: Supreme Court: SCOTUSBlog S. Ct. Docket Solicitor General’s site SCOTUSreport Briefs online (but no amicus briefs) Curiae (Yale Law) Oyez Project (NWU) “On the Docket”Medill S.Ct. Monitor: S.Ct. Com’t’ry:

General (many free): LexisWeb Google Scholar | Google LexisOne Legal Website Directory Crimelynx $ (criminal law/ 4th Amd) $ (4th Amd) $ F.R.Crim.P. 41 FBI Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide (2008) (pdf) DEA Agents Manual (2002) (download) DOJ Computer Search Manual (2009) (pdf) Stringrays (ACLU No. Cal.) (pdf)

Congressional Research Service: –Electronic Communications Privacy Act (2012) –Overview of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (2012) –Outline of Federal Statutes Governing Wiretapping and Electronic Eavesdropping (2012) –Federal Statutes Governing Wiretapping and Electronic Eavesdropping (2012) –Federal Laws Relating to Cybersecurity: Discussion of Proposed Revisions (2012) ACLU on privacy Privacy Foundation Electronic Frontier Foundation NACDLs Domestic Drone Information Center Electronic Privacy Information Center Criminal Appeal (post-conviction) (9th Cir.) Section 1983 Blog

“If it was easy, everybody would be doing it. It isn’t, and they don’t.” Me

I still learn something new every day. Pete Townshend, The Who 50th Anniversary Tour, “The Who Live at Hyde Park” (Showtime 2015)

“I can’t talk about my singing. I’m inside it. How can you describe something you’re inside of?” Janis Joplin

“Love work; hate mastery over others; and avoid intimacy with the government.” Shemaya, in the Thalmud

“A system of law that not only makes certain conduct criminal, but also lays down rules for the conduct of the authorities, often becomes complex in its application to individual cases, and will from time to time produce imperfect results, especially if one’s attention is confined to the particular case at bar. Some criminals do go free because of the necessity of keeping government and its servants in their place. That is one of the costs of having and enforcing a Bill of Rights. This country is built on the assumption that the cost is worth paying, and that in the long run we are all both freer and safer if the Constitution is strictly enforced.” Williams v. Nix, 700 F. 2d 1164, 1173 (8th Cir. 1983) (Richard Sheppard Arnold, J.), rev’d Nix v. Williams, 467 US. 431 (1984).

“The criminal goes free, if he must, but it is the law that sets him free. Nothing can destroy a government more quickly than its failure to observe its own laws, or worse, its disregard of the charter of its own existence.” Mapp v. Ohio, 367 U.S. 643, 659 (1961).

Any costs the exclusionary rule are costs imposed directly by the Fourth Amendment. Yale Kamisar, 86 Mich.L.Rev. 1, 36 n. 151 (1987).

“There have been powerful hydraulic pressures throughout our history that bear heavily on the Court to water down constitutional guarantees and give the police the upper hand. That hydraulic pressure has probably never been greater than it is today.” Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 39 (1968) (Douglas, J., dissenting).

“The great end, for which men entered into society, was to secure their property.” Entick v. Carrington, 19 How.St.Tr. 1029, 1066, 95 Eng. Rep. 807 (C.P. 1765)

“It is a fair summary of history to say that the safeguards of liberty have frequently been forged in controversies involving not very nice people. And so, while we are concerned here with a shabby defrauder, we must deal with his case in the context of what are really the great themes expressed by the Fourth Amendment.” United States v. Rabinowitz, 339 U.S. 56, 69 (1950) (Frankfurter, J., dissenting)

“The course of true law pertaining to searches and seizures, as enunciated here, has notto put it mildlyrun smooth.” Chapman v. United States, 365 U.S. 610, 618 (1961) (Frankfurter, J., concurring).

“A search is a search, even if it happens to disclose nothing but the bottom of a turntable.” Arizona v. Hicks, 480 U.S. 321, 325 (1987)

“For the Fourth Amendment protects people, not places. What a person knowingly exposes to the public, even in his own home or office, is not a subject of Fourth Amendment protection. … But what he seeks to preserve as private, even in an area accessible to the public, may be constitutionally protected.” Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347, 351 (1967)

Experience should teach us to be most on guard to protect liberty when the Governments purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding. United States v. Olmstead, 277 U.S. 438, 479 (1925) (Brandeis, J., dissenting)

Libertythe freedom from unwarranted intrusion by governmentis as easily lost through insistent nibbles by government officials who seek to do their jobs too well as by those whose purpose it is to oppress; the piranha can be as deadly as the shark. United States v. $124,570, 873 F.2d 1240, 1246 (9th Cir. 1989)

“You can’t always get what you want / But if you try sometimes / You just might find / You get what you need.” Mick Jagger & Keith Richards

“In Germany, they first came for the communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Catholic. Then they came for meand by that time there was nobody left to speak up.” Martin Niemller (1945) [he served seven years in a concentration camp]

You know, most men would get discouraged by now. Fortunately for you, I am not most men! “The point of the Fourth Amendment, which often is not grasped by zealous officers, is not that it denies law enforcement the support of the usual inferences which reasonable men draw from evidence. Its protection consists in requiring that those inferences be drawn by a neutral and detached magistrate instead of being judged by the officer engaged in the often competitive enterprise of ferreting out crime.” Johnson v. United States, 333 U.S. 10, 13-14 (1948)

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CA2: Crossing threshold to arrest without warrant violates …

Rationalism | Article about rationalism by The Free Dictionary

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Feb 022016

[Lat.,=belonging to reason], in philosophy, a theory that holds that reason alone, unaided by experience, can arrive at basic truth regarding the world. Associated with rationalism is the doctrine of innate ideas and the method of logically deducing truths about the world from “self-evident” premises. Rationalism is opposed to empiricism on the question of the source of knowledge and the techniques for verification of knowledge. Ren Descartes, G. W. von Leibniz, and Baruch Spinoza all represent the rationalist position, and John Locke the empirical. Immanuel Kant in his critical philosophy attempted a synthesis of these two positions. More loosely, rationalism may signify confidence in the intelligible, orderly character of the world and in the mind’s ability to discern such order. It is opposed by irrationalism, a view that either denies meaning and coherence in reality or discredits the ability of reason to discern such coherence. Irrational philosophies accordingly stress the will at the expense of reason, as exemplified in the existentialism of Jean-Paul Sartre or Karl Jaspers. In religion, rationalism is the view that recognizes as true only that content of faith that can be made to appeal to reason. In the Middle Ages the relationship of faith to reason was a fundamental concern of


See E. Heimann, Reason and Faith in Modern Society (1961); T. F. Torrance, God and Rationality (1971); R. L. Arrington, Rationalism, Realism, and Relativism (1989).

e.g. in

, endangered by world events as well as by sceptical movements in philosophy. However, rationalism in the sense of a belief in progress survives in a modified form in many areas of sociology and philosophy (e.g. see

). A further view is that it is a mistake to polarize rationalism and empiricism, since both of these play a role in human knowledge, which always involves both conception (rationalism) and perception (empiricism), e.g. See

. See also


a collective designation for the architectural schools of the first half of the 20th century that made use of the achievements of modern science and technology. In the broad sense, rationalism in architecture is sometimes equated with the concept of modern architecture, as represented by the work of L. H. Sullivan in the United States, H. P. Berlage in the Netherlands, A. Loos in Austria, the masters of the Deutscher Werkbund in Germany, and A. Perret in France.

The establishment of rationalism in the early 1920s was largely promoted by the theories propagated by the circle of architects associated with the journal LEsprit nouveau. The movements leaders were Le Corbusier in France and W. Gro-pius of the Bauhaus school of architecture in Germany.

Rationalism flourished essentially from the 1920s through the 1950s. In 1928 its supporters organized the International Congress for Modern Architecture, which met until 1959. Rationalist ideas concerning urban planning were set forth in 1933 in the Athens Charter. In the 1950s the general architectural principles of rationalism led to the creation of the international style, represented by the work of L. Mies van der Rohe and many others. The dogmatic architectural ideas and the social-reformist utopianism of the proponents of rationalism led to a crisis in the movement by the late 1950s.

The Russian architects of Asnova (Association of New Architects), including N. A. Ladovskii and K. S. Melnikov, proclaimed themselves to be rationalists. They emphasized psychological and physiological factors in the appreciation of architectural form and sought rational principles in the visual aspect of architecture.

a philosophical school that considers reason to be the foundation of human understanding and behavior. Rationalism is the opposite of fideism, irrationalism, and sensationalism (empiricism). The term rationalism has been used to designate and characterize philosophical concepts since the 19th century, but historically the rationalist tradition originated in ancient Greek philosophy. For example, Parmenides, who distinguished between the knowledge of truth (obtained through reason) and the knowledge of opinion (obtained through sensory perception), considered reason to be the criterion of truth.

Rationalism took shape in modern times as an integral system of epistemological views, as a result of the development of mathematics and the natural sciences. In contrast to medieval Scholasticism and religious dogmatism, the classical rationalism of the 17th and 18th centuries (Descartes, Spinoza, Male-branche, and Leibniz) was based on the idea of natural orderan infinite chain of causality pervading the world. Thus, the principles of rationalism were accepted by both materialists (Spinoza) and idealists (Leibniz), although the character of rationalism differed in the two philosophical trends, depending on how the question of the origin of knowledge was resolved.

The rationalism of the 17th and 18th centuries, which asserted the decisive role of reason in both human cognition and human activity, was one of the philosophical sources of the ideology of the Enlightenment. The cult of reason was also characteristic of the 18th-century French materialists, who adopted a philosophical position of materialistic sensationalism and criticized the speculative constructs of rationalism.

Seeking to substantiate the absolute reliability of the principles of science and the tenets of mathematics and the natural sciences, rationalism attempted to explain how knowledge obtained through human cognitive activity could be objective, universal, and necessary. Unlike sensationalism, rationalism maintained that scientific knowledge, which possesses these logical properties, could be attained through reason, which served as the source of knowledge and as the criterion of truth. For example, the rationalist Leibniz modified the basic thesis of sensationalism, as stated by Locke (there is nothing in reason that was not previously present in sensations) by appending to it the phrase other than reason itself. In other words, reason is capable of grasping not only the particular and the accidental, to which sensory perception is limited, but also the universal and the essential.

The concept of reason as the single source of scientific knowledge led rationalists to an idealist conclusion regarding the existence of innate ideas (Descartes) or of predispositions and inclinations in thought that are independent of sensory impressions (Leibniz). The underestimation by rationalists of the role of sensory perception, mans link with the external world, led to the separation of thought from the object of cognition.

Kant, who attempted to reconcile the ideas of rationalism and sensationalism, proposed that all our knowledge begins with the senses, passes to the faculty of understanding, and ends with reason (I. Kant, Sock, vol. 3, Moscow, 1964, p. 340). According to Kant, reason cannot serve as the universal criterion of truth. In order to explain the properties of knowledge, Kant introduced the concept of the apriority (a priori knowledge) of both conceptual forms (as in classical rationalism) and forms of contemplationspace and time. However, Kantian rationalism retains its force only at the price of adopting an agnostic positionthat is, it deals only with the world of phenomena and excludes consideration of things-in-themselves, or objective reality.

In Hegels philosophy the absolute idea, or absolute reason, is the original principle and essence of the world, and the process of cognition is viewed as the self-cognition of reason, which comprehends its own content in the world. In Hegel, therefore, the development of the objective world is represented as a purely logical, rational process, and rationalism assumes the character of panlogism.

Bourgeois philosophy of the 19th and 20th centuries (positivism and neopositivism, for example) lost faith in the unlimited power of reason. The prevailing trend in 19th- and 20th- century bourgeois philosophy is a critique of classical rationalism, with its ideals of the power of reason and mans unlimited rational activity. This critique is based either on irrationalism or on a moderate, limited rationalism. For example, Freudianism, which asserts the dominant role of irrational, subconscious elements, criticizes rationalism from the standpoint of irrationalism, as do intuitionism and existentialism. The concepts of M. Weber and K. Mannheim are representative of the critique of rationalism from the standpoint of moderate, limited rationalism, which is associated less with the logical problems of cognition and more with a search for the sociocultural bases and limits of rationalism.

The narrrow, one-sided character of rationalism was overcome in Marxism. It was possible to resolve the contradiction between empiricism and rationalism on the basis of fundamentally new principles developed in the theory of cognition of dialectical materialism. The basic condition for resolving the contradiction between empiricism and rationalism was an analysis of the process of cognition, in integral association with practical activity for transforming reality. V. I. Lenin wrote: From living perception to abstract thought, and from this to practice such is the dialectical path of the cognition of truth and the cognition of objective reality (Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 29, pp. 15253).

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Rationalism | Article about rationalism by The Free Dictionary

Empiricism versus Rationalism – Mesa Community College

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Feb 022016

Empiricism v. rationalism

THE EMPIRICISTS: Empiricists share the view that there is no such thing as innate knowledge, and that instead knowledge is derived from experience (either sensed via the five senses or reasoned via the brain or mind). Locke, Berkeley, and Hume are empiricists (though they have very different views about metaphysics).

The rationalists: Rationalists share the view that there is innate knowledge; they differ in that they choose different objects of innate knowledge. Plato is a rationalist because he thinks that we have innate knowledge of the Forms [mathematical objects and concepts (triangles, equality, largeness), moral concepts (goodness, beauty, virtue, piety), and possibly color he doesnt ever explicitly state that there are Forms of colors]; Descartes thinks that the idea of God, or perfection and infinity, and knowledge of my own existence is innate; G.W. Leibniz thinks that logical principles are innate; and Noam Chomsky thinks that the ability to use language (e.g., language rules) is innate.

Empiricism (In favor of Empiricism, against Rationalism):

1. Empiricism is Simpler: Compared to Empiricism, Rationalism has one more entity that exists: Innate knowledge. According to the Empiricist, the innate knowledge is unobservable and inefficacious; that is, it does not do anything. The knowledge may sit there, never being used. Using Ockhams Razor (= when deciding between competing theories that explain the same phenomena, the simpler theory is better),1 Empiricism is the better theory.

2. Colors: How would you know what the color blue looks like if you were born blind? The only way to come to have the idea of blue is to experience it with your senses. (This objection only works possibly against Plato; see the introduction above again to see why this objection would not faze Descartes, Leibniz, or Chomsky.)

3. Imagination and Experience: How can we get the idea of perfect triangularity? We can extrapolate from our experience with crooked, sensible triangles and use our imagination to straighten out what is crooked and see what perfect triangularity is.

4. Rationalists have been Wrong about Their Innate Knowledge: Some medieval rationalists claimed that the notion of a vacuum was rationally absurd and hence it was impossible for one to exist. However, we have shown that it is possible.2 Reason is not the only way to discover the truth about a matter.

5. The Advance of Science: Much of science is founded on empiricist principles, and would not have advanced without it. If we base our conclusions about the world on empiricism, we can change our theories and improve upon them and see our mistakes. A rationalist seems to have to say that weve discovered innate knowledge and then be embarrassed if he or she is ever wrong (see examples such as the vacuum, above).

6. All Rationalists do Not Agree about Innate Knowledge: Rationalists claim that there is innate knowledge that gives us fundamental truths about reality, but even among rationalists (e.g., Plato, who believes in reincarnation and Forms and Descartes, who does not believe in either but does believe in a soul), there is disagreement about the nature of reality, the self, etc. How can this be, if there is innate knowledge of these things?

Rationalism (In favor of Rationalism, against Empiricism):

1. Math and Logic are Innate: Doesnt it seem that mathematical and logical truths are true not because of our five senses, but because of reasons ability to connect ideas?

2. Morality is Innate: How do we get a sense of what right and wrong are with our five senses? Since we cannot experience things like justice, human rights, moral duties, moral good and evil with our five senses, what can the empiricists ethical theory like? Hume (an empiricist) says morality is based solely on emotions; Locke says experience can provide us with data to show what is morally right and wrong, but does it seem that way to you?

3. Verifying Empiricism: Locke (an empiricist) says that our experiences tell us about the nature of reality, but how can we ever check our experience with what reality really is, in order to know that? Rationalists do not think we can, so we have to rely on reason.

4. Poverty of Stimulus Problem: Three year olds use language in ways that they are not explicitly taught. For example, they form original sentences from words that they havent heard put together in precisely that way before. Also, they start to understand grammatical rules before they even know what a noun or a verb is. If we can only say what weve heard said by others, how can three year olds speak as well as they do? This is known as the poverty of stimulus problem. You may think that Rationalism is strange, but it does a better job of explaining this problem than Empiricism. One way of choosing which of two theories is better (in addition to or instead of Ockhams Razor see Empiricism point #1 above) is asking, Which theory explains the phenomena better?1

5. Empiricism Undermines Creativity? According to Empiricism, you can combine things, separate them, and nothing else. With Rationalism, we come to experience with ready-made tools for creativity. E.g., Plato would say that were in touch with abstract, immutable realities, which provide lots of material with which to create.

6. Controllable Humans? According to Empiricism, human beings can be controlled and manipulated exceptionally easily. If we are nothing other than what we experience, then we should be able to be made to do whatever were taught. Rationalism has it that there is an invariable core (call it human nature) that refuses to be manipulated, which is what makes us unique.


1 I hasten to add that Ockham’s Razor is simply a rule of thumb, and that I would recommend that the reader track down an excellent paper by Elliot Sober, entitled, “Let’s Razor Ockham’s Razor,” wherein he demonstrates that if one uses Ockham’s razor in a certain case of evolutionary biology, one will choose the wrong theory to explain the phenomena, because the situation is more complex than it may seem. I am persuaded by this argument and think we should not use Ockham’s razor; I have it here because people seem to like using it, but hopefully they will be persuaded by Dr. Sober’s argument as I am. 2 I have recently seen an episode of “Through the Wormhole” with God, I mean, Morgan Freeman, and scientists have apparently discovered that, even in a vaccum, there are some sort of subatomic particles there, so there is no such thing as nothing, or that even nothing is something.

2013 by David J. Yount

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Empiricism versus Rationalism – Mesa Community College

cryonics – The Skeptic’s Dictionary –

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Feb 022016

Cryonics claims it can store a dead human body at low temperatures in such a way that it will be possible to revitalize that body and restore life at some unspecified future date. One hook the cryonics folks use is to give hope that a cure for a disease one dies of today will be found tomorrow, allowing that cure to be applied to the thawed body before or while bringing the dead person back to life. Cryonics might be called resurrection by technology and believers in it might be classified as suffering from the Moses syndrome. The simple fact is once you are dead, you are dead forever. This fact may seem horrifying, but it is not nearly as horrifying as the thought of living forever.

The technology exists to freeze or preserve people and that technology is improving and will probably get better. The technology to revivify a frozen body exists in the imagination. Nanotechnology, for example, is a technology that supporters of cryonics appeal to. Someday, they say, we’ll be able to rebuild anything, including diseased or damaged cells in the body, with nanobots. So, no matter what disease destroyed healthy cells in the living body before preservation and no matter what damage was done to the cells of the frozen body during storage, nanotechnology will allow us to bring the dead back to life. This seems like wishful thinking. Nanotechnology might rebuild a mass of dead tissue into a mass of healthy tissue, but without a complete isomorphic model of the brain it will be impossible to return a mushy brain to the exact state it was in before death occurred. (Of course, since this is an exercise in imagination, one can posit that some day we will be able to preserve the brain without any decomposition or transformation at all.) In any case, some other jolt, probably electricity, will be needed to get the heart beating and the brain working again, assuming, of course, that the mush brain has been reconstructed into a healthy brain.

Some preserved by cryonics have the head severed from the body after death. Then, either the head alone is preserved, or both the head and the body are preserved separately. Maybe some future technology will allow the head to be attached to an artificial body. It can be imagined without contradiction, as the philosophers say, so it is not logically impossible that some day our planet will be inhabited by bodiless heads that are connected to machines that allow either actual or virtual experiences of any kind imaginable without requiring the head to leave the room. Of course, when that times comes medical science will have advanced to the point where the aging process can be reversed or maintained in stasis.

A business based on little more than hope for developments that can be imagined by science is quackery. (Cryonics should not be confused with cryogenics, which is a branch of physics that studies the effects of low temperatures on the structure of objects.) There is little reason to believe that the promises of cryonics will ever be fulfilled. Even if a dead body is somehow preserved for a century or two and then repaired, whatever is animated by whatever process will not be the same person who died. The brain is the key to consciousness and to who a person is. There is no reason to believe that a brain preserved by whatever means and restored to whatever state by nanobots will result in a consciousness that is in any way connected to the consciousness of the person who died two centuries earlier.

For those who want to live forever, cloning might be a more realistic possibility but I wouldn’t bank on it. First, there is the aging problem. Even if cloning is successful, you won’t be able to clone yourself as younger. Of course, you can hope that future technology will have solved the aging problem. Perhaps your body can be cloned repeatedly until science can assist you to overcome aging. However, there is no reason to believe that your clone would be a continuation of you. Your bodies might have identical looking cells, but the only way your minds could be identical is if you had no experience. (It is logically impossible for your bodies to have identical experiences since they occupy different spatial and temporal coordinates.) In that case, you would be as good as dead.

origin of cryonics

Teacher Robert Ettinger (physics and math) brought cryonics into the intellectual mainstream in 1964 with The Prospect of Immortality. Ettinger founded the Cryonics Institute and the related Immortalist Society. He got the idea for cryonics from a story by Neil R. Jones. “The Jameson Satellite” appeared in the July 1931 issue of Amazing Stories. It told the tale of

one Professor Jameson [who] had his corpse sent into earth orbit where (as the author mistakenly thought) it would remain preserved indefinitely at near absolute zero. And so it did, in the story, until millions of years later, when, with humanity extinct, a race of mechanical men with organic brains chanced upon it. They revived and repaired Jameson’s brain, installed it in a mechanical body, and he became one of their company.*

Thus was born the idea that we could freeze our bodies, repair them at a later date, and bring them back to life when technology had advanced sufficiently to do the repairs and the reviving.

ethical & other issues

I will leave to others to discuss most of the ethical, legal, political, and economic issues of cryonics. I’ll conclude with some comments about the cryonics case of Ted Williams.

Williams died in 2002 at the age of 83. According to his estranged daughter, Barbara Joyce (Bobby-Jo Ferrell) Williams, he left a will in which he expressed his desire to be cremated and have his ashes spread over his favorite fishing grounds in the Florida Keys. His son (Barbara Joyce’s half-brother), John Henry Williams, arranged for Williams’s body to be processed by Alcor LIfe Extension Foundation. A story in (SI) stated:

Hall of Famer Ted Williams’ head and body are being stored in separate containers at an Arizona cryonics lab that is still trying to collect a $111,000 bill from Williams’ son [he had already paid $25,000], according to a story by Tom Verducci in the latest issue of Sports Illustrated.

Alcor still has Williams’s head in a canister and his body in a tank, both filled with liquid nitrogen (to keep the remains at a cool -321 degrees Fahrenheit). According to SI, Alcor representatives met with John Henry Williams, but not Ted Williams, about a year before Ted’s death. Furthermore, SI reported that the Consent for Cryonic Suspension form submitted to Alcor after Williams had died had a blank line where his signature should have been.

There was a lawsuit by the estranged daughter that fizzled, allegedly for lack of funds, but no legal action by the authorities was taken against John Henry or Alcor. There is a movement still going to right this ship (see the Free Ted Williams website.) Larry Johnson, who worked briefly at Alcor, is leading the crusade to get Congress and a couple of state legislatures to regulate the cryonics industry and have Ted Williams cremated. A video interview with Johnson on “Good Morning America” discussing the disposition of Ted Williams’s body at Alcor can be viewed by clicking here. Johnson’s book on the subject, Shiver: A Whistleblower’s Chilling Expose of Cryonics and the Truth Behind What Happened to Ted Williams, is scheduled to be published in May 2009.

See also Ralian and my comments on cryonics in Mass Media Funk.

further reading

books and articles

Ettinger, Robert C. W. 1964. The Prospect of Immortality. Doubleday.

Kunzman, Alan, with Paul Nieto. 2004. Mothermelters: The inside story of Cryonics and the Dora Kent Homicide. 1st Books Library. (For Alcor’s version of the case, see Our Finest Hours: Notes On the Dora Kent Crisis by Michael Perry, Ph.D.)

Johnson, Larry with Scott Baldyga. 2009. Shiver: A Whistleblower’s Chilling Expose of Cryonics and the Truth Behind What Happened to Ted Williams. Morgan James Publishing.

Polidoro, J. P. 2005. Brain Freeze -321 f ~Saving “Reggie” Sanford~. Xlibris Corporation. (A novel about a former baseball player whose body is whisked off to a cryonics facility….)

websites and blogs

Nano Nonsense & Cryonics by Michael Shermer

CryonicsA futile desire for everlasting life – Only on Wednesdays

Is Cryonics Feasible? Stephen Barrett, M.D.

Dora Kent – Wikipedia (“News coverage at the time [1987] was limited, due to the gruesomeness of the case and the Christmas season.”)

Cryonics UK

Debates about cryonics with skeptics (condensed from exchanges that occurred in May-June 2006 in the James Randi Educational Forum (JREF).)

Cryonics: The Issues (An Overview) by Ben Best

Can cryogenic cooling miraculously improve car parts, sports equipment, and musical instruments? – The Straight Dope

Last updated 05-Dec-2013

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cryonics – The Skeptic’s Dictionary –

Talk:Colonization of Mars – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 Mars Colonization  Comments Off on Talk:Colonization of Mars – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Feb 022016

Cost of a Manned Mission?[edit]

Is there any reliable information about the cost of a manned mission to mars? I think it would be useful to include in the article.

For anyone who digs this up, two ideas would be:

Q: How much will sending humans to Mars cost? A: Estimates of the cost of a human Mars exploration program over the years have been wildly disparate, leaving much confusion in their wake. On the high end of the scale was the Space Exploration Initiative proposed by President George H. W. Bush in 1989 at $450 billion; Mars Direct occupies the low end of the scale at roughly $30 billion. –

-Lexspoon 12:51, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

I know many are already aware that both “colonization” and “colonisation” are valid ways of spelling the word. Nevertheless, I thought it would be nice to make a note of it here since I noticed some people changing things to reflect one particular spelling. This may be done for the sake of consistency, but, in that case, it should be noted that the wikipedia article for the term is listed under Colonisation. –Xaliqen

Consideration ought to be given to retitling this entry “Settlement of Mars” rather than coloniz/sation, given the negative connotations the word “colonization” engenders in political discussion. Inevitably — amazingly — such diversionary concerns arise when discussing Martian settlement. Ericmachmer (talk) 21:48, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

The possibility of terraforming plays a great part all over the article. However, I’m in doubt about its feasibility. For one thing I believe it takes too long to wait for the results, and nobody is willing to invest a dollar into something that possibly (!) returns in some hundred or may be thousand years. For another, there is good reason Mars having such a thin atmosphere today. The long term stability of a terraformed environment is pretty unlikely. All this about the terraforming thing seems to be science fiction, while the colonization is not. So, how about reducing the idea of terraforming to a small paragraph with a link to the main article Terraforming of Mars? The whole article would be more believable if it concentrates strictly on technology that is in reach of men. — The Cascade (talk) 08:04, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

Yes, our presence will change the Martian environment, there is no doubt about it. I would not call this unintentional influence terraforming, because it surely does not aim to make Mars resemble Terra. Neither I would expect the unintentional changes to leed even into this direction. No, our presence will not terraform Mars. Probably, our presence will dirtyform it.

Still this is not what I meant. The article describes intentional terraforming. Sure, it is much easier to live on a terraformed Mars, but yet it is not possible with our current knowledge and technology. There are ideas, but nobody knows about the viability. It’s too premature. I find it nice to have that article Terraforming of Mars. It is a good article, and I definitely want to keep it, even grow it bigger, concentrate all available info in it. However, the article Colonization of Mars points to a more realistic scenario. It describes many ideas to colonize the planet without the need for terraforming, which is possible with known technology. I wouldn’t want to describe terraforming here as inevitable, which is not at all. I find terraforming too fantastic, and my impression is that it makes the article somehow fantastic, too. I’d rather want the article be realistic. — The Cascade (talk) 14:48, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

Sorry for being rude. And offensive for that matter… first of all the green house gases: Mars has a lots of it. atmosphere consists of >95% CO2. and there is frozen CO2 all over the planet… thats just not the reason why the atmosphere is so thin.

there are mainly two reasons:

1. mars is too small to keep a dense atmosphere. just not enough gravity to keep it.

2. no magnetic field. the charged particles from the sun (sun wind) just “blow” away the atmosphere.

We can think about a solution for (2), like building a superconductor coil around the equator. But because of (1) this wont help in the long run… terraforming mars is a nice dream. but as long as we dont invent a seriously new kind physics, it will be a dream..

Anyway i think it is good to mention the historical ideas about terraforming, just please also mention that it is just nowhere close to be imaginable for someone who studied physics. (talk) 17:17, 25 January 2011 (UTC)


Mars surface gravity is high enough to keep all gases except Hydrogen, Helium and Water. Further, water stays in the troposphere, (because of the cold trap), and is not normally lost to thermal escape. Mars HAS lost about 15 meters of water globally, but most of this was from UV light disassociating water into hydrogen and oxygen, with the hydrogen being quickly lost. If Mars was to have an oxygen atmosphere (and an ozone layer), it would keep its water for billions of years. In fact, even with out an oxygen atmosphere, Mars has kept its water for billions of years. Plenty of water is in its ice caps and as permafrost. It has not lost all of its water from thermal escape or any other method.

Scientists have shown that worlds with no magnetic field lose tiny amounts of air from solar wind erosion. This adds up over billions of years. However, it is not something that terraformers have to worry about over hundred of millions of year time scales. (100 million years is far longer than the lifetime of our species.)

Venus has no magnetic field and a solar flux more than 5 times what Mars has but it has not lost its atmosphere. Mercury has quite a strong magnetic field and basically has no atmosphere. The meme that no magnetic field = no atmosphere is far too simplistic. Venus is an obvious disproof of this idea.

Scientists think Mars had a 3 or 4 bar atmosphere early in its life and estimate that about 75% to 80% of this was lost to the solar wind. (The solar wind was ~100 times stronger at the start of the solar system and ~6 times stronger ~2.5 billion years ago.) Since it now has an atmosphere of 1/100th of a bar, where is its air?

In the soil. Lightning and UV radiation will form nitrates. On Earth these are recycled quickly by life. But in some regions like the Gobi desert, the nitrate beds are very deep. (Dozens of meters deep if I remember correctly, don’t quote me.) On Mars, most of the nitrogen was not lost, it has been deposited in the soil. Oxygen is too heavy for thermal escape, but will react with rocks or with salts to form perchlorates. Carbon dioxide will form carbonate rocks, be absorbed into CO2 clathrates, and be dissolved in ground water and form ice caps. Further, clays which are common on Mars will absorb carbon dioxide when they get cold, typically 4 to 6% by mass. Most of Mars’ atmosphere is in its soils and rocks.

If terraformers brought Mars atmosphere up to 1 bar pressure by dropping comets onto the planet, it would take 2 to 3 billion years of solar wind sputtering to reduce its air pressure to the point where humans still would NOT need a pressure suit. (Tho the pressure would be too low for humans to breath.) (This assumes that the Sun’s solar wind continues to decline or at least stays the same.) Claiming that we can’t live on a Terraformed Mars because the solar wind will erode the atmosphere in 2.5 billion years when the Earth’s biosphere won’t survive 800 million years (because the sun is warming) is silly. Let’s focus on the next two hundred to 200,000,000 years and let someone else worry about the time after that.

I’ll track down more references for these statements later. Out of time.

“Life and Death of Planet Earth, The: How The New Science Of Astrobiology Charts The Ultimate Fate” by Peter D Ward & Don Brownlee. // They show multicellar life likely won’t last 1/2 a billion years on Earth as the sun warms.…11.2479W

“Mars: A Warmer Wetter Planet” by Jeffrey S. Kargel // Discussed MEGAOUTFLO events in the past when the atmosphere in the soil out gases. Also talks about the 3 to 4 bar early Martian atmosphere & the martian water budget.

Warm regards, Rick. (talk) 15:51, 27 May 2011 (UTC)

I think that the discussion of economics on this page pays too much attention to ways that Earth could economically supplement life on Mars, and not enough attention to how Mars could supplement Earth. It mentions trade between Earth and Mars without mentioning what exactly Mars would have to offer Earth. I think the entire feasibility of Mars colonization rests on Mars having something that Earth does not have, and at this point, I have a great deal of trouble seeing what that might be, except cheap land, which doesn’t seem to me to make up for the transportation and development costs that would go into it. Maybe a tourist industry, but I don’t think you could build anything bigger than a small city on the basis of the tourist industry. Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:24, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

I agree with the above. The moon advocates have a myriad of ways to provide services/products to earth in a fiscal timetable, and value for value trades. However, this section on mars economics focuses mainly on earth providing economic benefits to mars and not an even exchange of value for value.Moonus111 (talk) 20:38, 1 October 2010 (UTC)


We know Mars has water enriched with deuterium (5 times more so than Earth). which is a viable export for cash. Strategic metals worth $10,000 / kg or more (gold and more expensive metals) can be shipped to Earth for a profit. Also, if there are asteroid bases, it is FAR cheaper to supply them from Mars than from Earth. Robert Zubrin suggested a triangle trade. High tech parts from Earth to Mars. Fuel, light industry supplies and food from Mars to the Asteroids. Asteroids send strategic metals back to Earth.

It is also easier for Mars to send stuff to Luna than it is to go from Earth to Luna. So if we get an industry collecting Helium 3 from the Moon, a similar triangle trade can be set up between the Earth, Mars and the Moon.

It won’t be profitable to go to Mars to get Platinum (for example). It would be cheaper to re-open marginal mines on Earth. But the platinum on Mars won’t have been picked over for hundreds of years – it will be right on the surface. If there are Martian colonists, they will be able to easily collect iridium, deuterium, rubidium, palladium, gallium, gold, etc, since there will be vulcanism and water created deposits right on the surface. These could be sold for a profit to get high tech, low mass supplies from Earth.

Mars has all of the elements needed for rocket fuel, plastics, industrial metals, computer chips and food. It also has a ~24 hour day night cycle which allows growing food economically. Coupled with Mars’ greatest resource (a shallow gravity well) it can supply needed materials to bases in the inner and outer solars system more cheaply than Earth can.

For example: On page 230 of “the case for Mars” Robert Zubrin shows that a mission to Ceres requires 50 times less mass to be launched from Mars rather than Earth. (If the mission requires 1,000 tonnes of supplies it can be done with two launches from Mars or 107 launches from Earth.) This assumes that no propellent has to be hauled to Ceres. If we have to bring return fuel as well, then the Earth based mission becomes even more hopeless. Even if space launches from Mars are 10 times more expensive than Earth, it would still be much more profitable to send supplies from Mars.

Luna has severe disadvantages for a self sustaining colony. It lacks 24 hour day night cycle which is a huge problem if you have to grow plants there. (Plants require a really tremendous amount of energy to grow with artificial light.) Its lack of atmosphere means that plants will die from solar flares unless you have thick glass walls which will crack from the day / night heat stress. It lacks ores since the moon is made up of junk rock (see page 220 ibid for why ores are rare on Luna but likely common on Mars). Elements like H, C, N, P, K & S are all rare or very rare on Luna and must be imported from else where. There is plenty of oxygen and silicon but they are tightly bound to the rock and require a huge amount of energy and hydrogen and carbon to extract.

For references to what I’ve said above (and far more details), see “The Case for Mars” and “Opening Space” by Robert Zubrin. (talk) 14:40, 27 May 2011 (UTC)Warm regards, Rick.

WHY WAS COMMENTS ON ROCKET SLEDS / ROTATING SKY HOOKS DELETED? Space elevators are far more difficult to build than a rocket sled / sky ramp and or a rotating sky hook. If you are looking for cheap ways for a martian colony to make getting into space both methods are far more practical than a space elevator. Further, a sky ramp can put things into low Mars orbit, which a space elevator can’t do, unless you haul rocket fuel up and launch from part way up the the elevator. I suggest that a rocket sled or Mag Lev style sky ramp located on Pavonis Mons is so many more times more practical than a space elevator (especially for a small colony struggling for capital) that the space elevator reference should be considered to be removed as a remote fantasy. I did not site sources in this article, but provided links to Wiki pages where there ARE references. (talk) 14:40, 27 May 2011 (UTC)Regards, Rick

While interesting, I’d not stress this too much until 1) the results are duplicated independently, and 2) a longer time period is tested. 34 days is hardly long enough to ensure the survival of earth-life in Martian conditions. Cumulative radiation affects, for example, could prove disastrous over the course of months/years. Additionally, one good solar flare would probably destroy any life exposed to it in the same environment that this lab used, which due to its lack of a magnetosphere, Mars would be greatly affected by (locally.) I don’t have a paper to cite, but discussions with some profs at the local university were not very positive on the long-term success of such tests. Note that hard questions were not asked/answered in the news articles cited, either. HammerFilmFan (talk) 12:20, 17 June 2012 (UTC)

On the 10th of November 2011 R.Schuster called for a citation for the statement: “It is not known if this is enough to prevent the health problems associated with Weightlessness.” However it is well known that no experiments were done in which human beings were subjected to fractional g accelerations for weeks or more at a time. The experimental evidence is from free fall in orbit. There does not need to be much documentation to show that we do not know something. So it seems we could just drop the citation needed template on the basis of common knowledge. We should do that or get rid of the statement. – Fartherred (talk) 02:18, 12 July 2012 (UTC)

In a number of edits on the 19th of July, Robertinventor among other things removed the sentences: “It’s impossible for any manned mission to Mars to keep to the requirements of the [[COSPAR]] (Committee on Space Research) guidelines for planetary protection. NASA currently follows COSPAR guidelines.” He replaced these with a second link to [[Manned_mission_to_Mars#Critiques]] and his comments about introducing Earth organisms to Mars affecting Mars’ biologically pristine condition. I have added the comment about NASA following COSPAR guidelines of planetary protection to the [[Manned_mission_to_Mars#Critiques]]. However, this is better addressed directly in the [[Colonization of Mars]] article because it is a direct concern of colonization. The time of a colonization mission cannot be until nations supporting launches to orbit consider that the research question of life developing independently on Mars or not has been sufficiently addressed. Technologies necessary to the colonization of Mars have not been sufficiently developed to have a one-way mission to Mars yet, so we are not waiting just for the COSPAR requirements to expire; but it is a definite road block. There are some advocates of colonization that want colonization started in their lifetimes, as do the backers of Mars One. So this is an item of interest to them. For a neutral point of view, we should not be promoting Mars colonization or minimizing or ignoring the problems. We should present significant facts that are published. – Fartherred (talk) 17:53, 24 July 2012 (UTC)

The article fails to point out how easy it is to colonize mars. It has wind, a steady stream of wind will blow on mars as a faint wistle effect. Mars is a dead planet. It can easily be colonized and solar power is not an issue. Ever here of electro-magentic generators? Its called free energy. They would be quite sufficient.–Asfd777 (talk) 14:49, 15 September 2012 (UTC)

People can get the idea of domes for Mars colonies by looking at many old science fiction magazine covers, but a transparent dome is impractical for Mars. Temperatures down to -143 degrees Celsius just overwhelm the limited heating available from a dome greenhouse. It is more practical for a greenhouse to be a buried cylinder with a portion of the curved roof made of glass and steel exposed to sunlight from mirrors that concentrate it as much as is needed to maintain operating temperature, and the skylight covered by insulation at night. I cannot give a reliable source for this but it is rather obvious to someone who knows a little physics. I would like to see a reliable source for the statement that domes are useful for trapping heat for greenhouses on Mars so that if it comes from a graduate student I can urge that they flunk out and if it comes from a professor I can urge that his research funds be cut back. – Fartherred (talk) 21:23, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

There has been the direct observation of many of the elements necessary for life and this could be supported by citation. However some of the elements necessary for life are necessary only in trace amounts and have not been directly measured yet. We have from the theory of the solar system forming from a cloud of gas and dust that Earth and Mars formed from planetesimals that formed from dust in neighboring regions of the cloud. Therefore the elemental composition of Earth and Mars should have been similar to start with and only limited differences in environment caused changes in composition over geological ages. That Mars is expected to have all of the elements necessary for life can be arrived at by synthesis from sources that I have found, but maybe someone can find the synthesis published. Then it could be included in the article. – Fartherred (talk) 10:14, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

The result of the proposal was no consensus. –BDD (talk) 17:51, 22 March 2013 (UTC) (non-admin closure)

Colonization of Mars Settlement of Mars Reflects modern terminology in the space advocate community without the distracting cultural baggage accompanying the term ‘colonization’ Relisted. BDD (talk) 16:33, 15 March 2013 (UTC) Ericmachmer (talk) 15:56, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

Comment I think consensus was quite clear, it was to not move. — (talk) 01:55, 24 March 2013 (UTC)

Settlement of Mars , Mars settlement , Mars settlement should all redirect here. — (talk) 02:08, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

Why is this useful? It seems to me that any worries about colonization should be addressed in the relevant sections up page. A lot of the info is literally duplicated from above. Also, it contains unsourced SYNTH from Robert Walker. Already have deleted some of the obvious duplication of info and unsourced opinions. The telerobotics paragraph is irrelevant so that was deleted as well. I have half a mind to delete the whole section. Warren Platts (talk) 17:14, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

This article now has an Advocacy section but no balancing Concerns section.

I kept a copy of the original Concerns section in my user space here: User:Robertinventor/Colonization_of_Mars_-_concerns

I expected this to happen as the author said he is nauseated by all the concerns sections on Project Mars and is on a cleanup mission, also to remove all content written by myself on contamination issues. I did not write this now deleted section, just contributed some material to it. Robert Walker (talk) 14:12, 14 July 2013 (UTC)

Please be aware that a Request for Arbitration has been submitted to address the long-standing user conduct issues that prevent the resolution of content disputes. The RFAR is at: Robert McClenon (talk) 23:04, 14 July 2013 (UTC)

Can we include a more realistic-looking image (like CGI or something like that) as the lead one? The current one looks a little like it’s from a children’s magazine… –Againme (talk) 19:56, 16 October 2013 (UTC)


Why not just stage something in Arizona, to convey the illusion that there are already people on Mars? It seems that this “childish” picture is sufficient to mislead the uninformed that Mars is already colonized. WikiEditor2563 (talk) 18:42, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

This is in response to a personal email I received from wikieditor Grayfell, who asked that I discuss this here. I need instruction from him or anyone so I can email him personally, I find communicating this way to be overly complicated and incoherent First, I’m writing the final pages of a non-fiction book, which includes several chapters on the colonization of Mars, exoplanets, etc, so I’m somewhat of an expert on the subject, regarding the real potential of a colony on Mars.

Now, the Colonization of Mars is a particularly unique subject, in particular regarding its inclusion in an encyclopedia, because there isnt actually a colony on Mars! And such a thing is certainly not inevitable. EVERYTHING about the colonization of Mars is opinion and highly speculative. The case can easily be made that nothing about this wiki page is encyclopedic! and that this web page is nothing but a bullhorn for the Mars advocates which certainly seems to be the case when some of the edits Ive made are undone before Ive even logged off! I mean, why would anyone be so vigilant about (of all things) the colonization of Mars?

Your sense of how things can be edited is too strict. Even your sense of what constitutes an encyclopedic tone is subjective and about which you dont have the last word. You and a few others are way too quick to simply undo others edits, and is arrogant.

First, why do you insist on using the word hospitable in describing Mars? That is entirely propagandistic. In no sense of the word, relatively or absolutely, is Mars hospitable. That might have been a matter of speculation to people in the stone ages, who gazed up in wonder but who couldnt have known any better; to Galileo; or even to early 20th century manbut NOW? given all that we know, in all its degrees of precision?

The sources that you are protecting belie the facts, and have no place in this wiki page. Anyone can write a science article these days and theres no reason their opinion is more relevant than mine. Even science articles are biased and often have a case to promote, and this is especially true for articles about Mars and the exploration of space. Furthermore, there are no sources that say that Mars has been colonized (regardless of unmanned research – which is truly amazing and gives me goose bumps), so maybe the entire Colonization of Mars page should be removed.

For the intro paragraph for this webpage, you need something for a general audience, not bogged down in misleading data. The fact is, a colony on Mars is science-fiction, and there are HUGE obstacles that prevent this from ever happening. this should be conveyed somewhere in the wiki page, preferably at the top, rather than cater to the dreamers and fantasists in some form of agenda.

For example, its FAR better to say that circumstances on Mars in fact would be deadly to all life as we know it (except for perhaps some extremophilic microorganisms) THAN deadly to most life because that implies that there are some forms of life on Mars, which is an OUTRAGEOUS implication, and propagandistic. Things that can be grown in simulated conditions on Earth do NOT change this simple fact! Mars is absolutely NOT hospitable to life and it is propagandistic to suggest that it does or might. Its not encyclopedic to suggest that there MIGHT be life on Mars when after the last 50 years of reconnaissance and actual soil and air analysisNO LIFE HAS BEEN FOUND ON MARS. Its very irrational at this point in the research – given all that we know, and we know a lot, and to a great deal of precision that there might be life on Mars. Thats a serious hang-up that is not supported by science, only by science-fiction fans and fantasists. Science doesnt HOPE or DREAM. Science simply collects facts.

The discovery of life on another planet would be the biggest breakthrough OF ALL TIME. That milestone has not been reached, so to imply that life may exist on Mars because of some dumb simulation here on Earth, or the unrestrained enthusiasm for such, does NOT belong in an encyclopedia. Maybe in Bizarre Fantasy Weekly, but not an encyclopedia.

This wiki page should not be used as a voice for dreamers, fantasists, or space tourism promoters. Now, I should be free to say THIS in the introductory paragraph maybe now you can appreciate how much restraint Ive been exercising.

The intro para to this wiki page should say, or convey, this specific point, because its realistic, not bogged down with misleading data, doesnt promote an agenda, and is entirely, as you say, encyclopedic:

It is absolutely true that This does not preclude the possibility that man might one day step foot on Mars and scout around, but whether or not we ever get to Mars seems less a matter of scientific progress, than the balance of power between sane and crazy which is properly referenced by National Geographic but which you reject because YOU HAVE AN AGENDA TO PROMOTE, which is in complete violation of the Wiki terms of service.

Its not scientific or encyclopedic to HOPE for something, just to state the facts or what can be reasonably surmised where scientific proof of something may be impossible, which seems to be the case, to a large degree, in this arena.

Given what we know, it makes more sense, at this point, to surmise that man will NOT colonize Mars, even though of course theres nothing to stop him from trying. This opinion should be conveyed, somehow, in the wiki page for this topic.

Bearing in mind that if someone wants to learn about Mars they are better served by the wiki page for Mars, because as a planet there is, of course, much to be said. WikiEditor2563 (talk) 20:03, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

As I indicated above, there are really no facts regarding a colonization of Mars, only opinions – much of which is wild speculation – so the idea of “reliable sources” regarding this is somewhat meaningless – since no one’s been to Mars! One could challenge anyone who claims to be an expert on this subject. For that reason I don’t understand why this webpage is so bulky! There seems to be nothing on the plus side for Mars! So where does the optimism come from?

Even for reliable sources, some things are still a matter of subjective opinion, or involve tremendous amounts of speculation, particularly about a colony on Mars. Such opinions are very biased, it’s nave to deny this. This occurs, for example, when a “specialist” says something will happen in 20 years – which gets them off the hook, and implies “let the next generation do it while we still collect a paycheck.” Engineers are not magicians, they can’t turn lead into gold. There’s an incentive to push things ahead 20 years and not a more realistic 50 – or 100. 20 years seems more within reach, so project funding is maintained. Imagine if they said 50 years – funding would stop! When a specialist at NASA says “something can be done” its because if he said “it can’t be done” he and the rest of his pals would lose their jobs! So this website CAN’T be a bullhorn for NASA or the Mars advocates. AND IN THIS ARENA, MANY THINGS MUST BE SURMISED, and this Wikipedia page includes a lot of surmising and speculating. Who do you think has their fingers crossed the hardest? NASA. When we read their articles we need to take everything they say with a few grains of salt, and be skeptical of their optimism, because the idea of a colony on Mars IS outrageous, for many reasons (and hence the book I’m writing). For starters, heavy payloads can’t land gently on Mars – but that’s just a distraction, that’s not even one of the REAL obstacles. Maybe these reasons are just more intuitive to me than you, based on years of reading and my own point of view, for which I have 2 science degrees to support, but you have a point of view too, it’s hard for ANYONE to be completely objective, we’re all rooting for one side or another.

Also, there are a lot of “opinions” on Wikipedia, everything isn’t sourced. Everything I’ve contributed to Wikipedia is objective, restrained, suitable for a general audience, and free of promotion. Even the part about “balance between sane and crazy” but I knew that would be deleted, even though some science articles are describing some things in this arena as just that. The content I’ve repeatedly posted to introduce this Wikipedia page is both historically correct, succinct, insightful, and captures the spirit of the concept without going overboard.

_____________________ I only

What’s interesting is that you haven’t substantiated any of your disagreements with me, just condescending threats and warnings.

As I just said to another editor,

So saying that something is “sourced” is, in the end, somewhat meaningless. Which is why I put a higher priority on relevance and readability than the source material. It goes without saying that ALL of my edits are informed through the research I’ve been doing the last 15 months – and which is ongoing.

And again, regarding the “warring,” it takes two to tango. WikiEditor2563 (talk) 19:37, 13 November 2013 (UTC) __________________________

WikiEditor2563, why are you removing sourced, relevant text and wikilinks? [2] –NeilN talk to me 18:30, 13 November 2013 (UTC) _______________________

Note: this editor has now been indefinitely blocked. andy (talk) 22:56, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

I have no particular expertise in the area but as an ever-curious reader here is what struck me about the article:

My two cents anyways. –NeilN talk to me 00:27, 14 November 2013 (UTC)

As far as I can see the article now has no mention of the requirements for planetary protection of Mars. Particularly, increasing evidence of possible habitable regions on present day Mars surface for microbes. This is a recent news story in Nature about the warm seasonal flows now found in equatorial regions: Water seems to flow freely on Mars – Any areas of water could be off-limits to all but the cleanest spacecraft.

Current guidelines for Planetary protection require us to keep Mars free of Earth life so that we can study it in its pristine state. This is an international requirement under the Outer Space Treaty which all space faring countries and countries with space ambitions except N. Korea have signed and nearly all other countries as well.

There is much published on planetary protection issues for rovers on Mars, as of course is an ongoing thing – there is not so much published on planetary protection for future human missions to Mars, although the issues are of course far greater for humans.

This is one article Human Missions to Mars a Challenge for Planetary Protection:Gernot Groemer

There are also general statements in some of the COSPAR documents but no detailed discussion or technical details.

I think the general assumption is that the humans would be sent to Mars only after the current exploration phase is already completed, at a point when requirements for protection can be relaxed somewhat, but there is no set criterion for the end of the exploration phase (which I personally think must surely last at least several more decades, probably longer, before we have a reasonable understanding of Mars by way of ground truth).

On the idea that perhaps it might be a major issue for human missions to address, there is this 2012 article, with remarks from Cassie Conley planetary protection officer. Manned Mars Missions Could Threaten Red Planet Life – which of course is a bit out of date not mentioning the newer 2013 resuults.

Suggestion: to say that

Robert Walker (talk) 14:00, 5 January 2014 (UTC)

Hello everybody! I’m interested in reading about the feasability of a martian space elevator, such as mentionned by the end of the Tranportation section of this article. I already found an articles about the Space Elevators on Earth and the Moon. Now I need data about the martian one. Can anybody find them and add them to the article? Thanks. (talk) 15:28, 4 April 2015 (UTC) A Martian lost on Earth;)

In the section, Economics, there is a link to Economics of extraterrestrial resource extraction which at first sounds pertinent to colonization of Mars, but when one follows the link it leads by redirect to the asteroid mining article which is only indirectly related to Mars colonization. This link is particularly distracting because although it is attached to the words “economic problem” it does not elaborate the economic problem of the Colonization of Mars. – Fartherred (talk) 04:48, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

Magnetosphere does nothing to UV or gamma rays, only to charged particles like beta and alpha rays. Now the sentence is misleading, but magnetosphere is good to mention in context of other radiation. I just don’t have clue what is the effect size..? (talk) 01:58, 3 May 2015 (UTC)

See more here:
Talk:Colonization of Mars – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

NATO – Wikipedija

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Feb 012016

Organizacija Sjevernoatlantskog ugovora, naziva se jo i Sjevernoatlantski savez, poznatiji po kratici NATO (od engleskog naziva North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, francuski Organisation du Trait de l’Atlantique Nord – OTAN), meunarodna je organizacija vojno-politike prirode, osnovana je 1949. godine potpisivanjem Sjevernoatlantskog ugovora (Washingtonski ugovor) izmeu dvanaest drava tadanjeg zapadnog bloka.

Kljuna odredba u Sjevernoatlantskom ugovoru glasi:


Osnova Sjevernoatlantskog saveza Ugovor je drava lanica, koji je po svojoj prirodi meunarodni ugovor. Ugovor priznaje i podrava njihova pojedinana prava, kao i njihove meunarodne obveze u skladu s Poveljom Ujedinjenih Naroda. Obvezuje svaku dravu lanicu da sudjeluje u rizicima i odgovornostima, uspostavlja sustav zajednike obrane te zahtijeva od svake od njih da ne prihvaa nikakve meunarodne obveze koje bi mogle biti u suprotnosti s Ugovorom.

Politiko sredite Organizacije i trajno sjedite Sjevernoatlantskog vijea je u Bruxellesu (Belgija).

Neposredno nakon okonanja Drugog svjetskog rata Europa se nala raspolovljena na dva ideoloka bloka, kapitalistiki, i komunistiki pod utjecajem Sovjetskog Saveza. I dok se Moskva tijekom 1945. i 1946. djelomino suzdravala od otvorenog politikog djelovanja, u dravama u kojima je imala utjecaj, tijekom 1947., a posebno 1948., postalo je jasno da se sovjetska vojska, ne samo nema namjeru povui, ve da ima namjeru krenuti i dalje.

U ratom razruenoj Europi irenje komunistike ideologije moglo se ostvariti na dva naina. Prvi je bio izazivanje “spontanih” revolucija nezadovoljnih radnikih masa, predvoenih komunistikim partijama. Iako je bilo nekoliko pokuaja, najvei je uspjeh ostvaren u Grkoj, gdje je 1946. zapoeo graanski rat, predvoen tamonjom komunistikom partijom. Iako su grke snage do kraja 1949. uspjele uguiti pobunu, bilo je oito kako bi se u osiromaenoj Europi ideje komunizma lako mogle proiriti. Zbog toga je u srpnju 1947. pokrenut Plan europske obnove, poznatiji kao Marshallov plan. U naredne e etiri godine Sjedinjene Amerike Drave europskim dravama dati pomo u vrijednosti oko 13 milijardi amerikih dolara.

Drugi nain irenja komunizma bio je znatno opasniji. Naime, neposredno nakon okonanja Drugog svjetskog rata, SAD-e i skoro sve europske drave, barem one koje nisu pale pod sovjetski utjecaj, provele su masovnu demobilizaciju vojnih snaga i otkazale narudbe oruja i vojne opreme. S druge strane, Sovjetski Savez nije izvrio smanjivanje oruanih snaga, ve ih je nastavio intenzivno jaati, kako brojano tako i tehniki. Nakon to su uvrstili okupacije istonoeuropskih drava, 24. lipnja 1948. zapoela je blokada zapadnog Berlina. Bio je to poetak najvee politike krize od okonanja Drugog svjetskog rata i trajat e sve do 11. svibnja 1949. Berlinska blokada s jedne je strane ubrzala stvaranje Savezne Republike Njemake, a s druge, formiranje velikog obrambenog saveza koji e Zapadnu Europu tititi od sovjetske najezde.

Svojevrstan poetak bio je Briselski sporazum kojem su 17. oujka pristupile Belgija, Francuska, Luksemburg, Nizozemska i Velika Britanija. Cilj je bio razvijanje zajednikih sustava obrane i jaanje meusobnih veza kako bi se zajedniki oduprle ideolokim, politikim i vojnim prijetnjama nacionalnoj sigurnosti. Znajui da njihovi gospodarski i vojni kapaciteti nisu dostatni da ih obrane od sovjetske prijetnje, ove su drave odmah zapoele i pregovore sa Sjedinjenim Amerikim Dravama i Kanadom s ciljem stvaranja novog vojnog saveza, utemeljenog na zajednikim obvezama i sigurnosnim jamstvima Europe i Sjeverne Amerike. Drave potpisnice Briselskog sporazuma pozvale su Dansku, Island, Italiju i Portugal da se ukljue u taj proces. Dvanaest drava s obje strane Atlantskog oceana 4. travnja 1949. godine u Washingtonu su potpisale Sjevernoatlantski ugovor, uspostavivi savez kako bi se suprotstavile prijetnjama iz komunistikog dijela svijeta, te sprjeavanje irenja komunizma na ostali dio Europe. Drave potpisnice obvezale su se na meusobnu obranu u sluaju vojne agresije na bilo koju dravu lanicu. Tako je stvorena Organizacija Sjevernoatlantskog ugovora (NATO).

S vremenom je sve vie zemalja pristupalo Savezu, prepoznajui u njemu mogunost obrane slobode te ouvanja stabilnosti i napretka.

Tako se NATO-u 1952. godine pridruuju Grka i Turska, tri godine kasnije, 1955., i Savezna Republika Njemaka, a 1982. panjolska. Sigurnost koju jami NATO savez omoguila je mir i stabilnost kojima se, kao temeljnim preduvjetima, stvarao temelj europske ekonomske suradnje i integracije.

Ne elei svoje oruane snage, a prije svega nuklearno oruje, staviti pod nadzor NATO saveza, francuski je predsjednik Charles de Gaulle u veljai 1966. povukao Francusku iz zajednikog zapovjednitva NATO saveza, te od tada nije sudjelovala u akcijama planiranja, obuke i voenja zajednikih operacija. Ostala je tek u politikim strukturama (Sjevernoatlantsko vijee). Bio je odraz de Gaulleve elje da Francuska ima sredinje mjesto u formiranju europske politike, kako se vie nikad ne bi ponovila 1914. i 1939. godina. Meutim, zbog promjena politikih odnosa u Europi, ali i u svijetu temeljito drukijih u odnosu na ezdesete godine prolog stoljea, francuski predsjednik Nicolas Sarkozy odluio da se Francuska vrati i u vojne strukture Saveza.

Padom Berlinskog zida NATO se naao pred novim izazovom. Prestao je postojati Varavski pakt, a raspao se i Sovjetski Savez. U vrijeme bipolarne podijele svijeta uloga i zadae NATO-a bile su jasne i povijesno opravdane. Zavretkom gotovo polustoljetnog neprijateljstva, neki su analitiari smatrali kako NATO vie ne treba postojati te kako bi se trokovi ulaganja u naoruanje mogli znatno smanjiti. Mnoge drave lanice smanjile su financijska davanja za obranu, ali ubrzo se pokazalo kako se trajni mir na europskom kontinentu nije ostvario.

Na podruju biveg Sovjetskog Saveza izbilo je nekoliko regionalnih sukoba koji su uglavnom nastali zbog etnikih netrpeljivosti. Sukobi u jugoistonoj Europi takoer su znatno poremetili sliku o Europi kao prostoru mira i suradnje, a postojao je i opravdan strah od irenja tih sukoba. Tada su drave lanice Sjevernoatlantskog saveza shvatile da je i dalje potrebno njihovo djelovanje kroz kolektivnu obranu i sigurnost u postkomunistikoj Europi.

Danas se smanjila opasnost od konvencionalnog vojnog sukoba i masovne uporabe teko naoruanih postrojbi, ali, pojavili su se novi izazovi koji sve lanice stavljaju pred nove dileme na koje treba pronai adekvatan odgovor. Nove su prijetnje po naravi drukije od onih iz doba Hladnog rata. Nove su zadae NATO borba protiv novih prijetnji: terorizma, proizvodnje i proliferacije oruja za masovno unitenje, opasnosti koje prijete iz takozvanih neuspjelih ili slabih drava te mora djelovati preventivno kako bi se u budunosti sprijeile takve opasnosti. Posljednjih godina NATO uspostavlja naine borbe protiv suvremenih opasnosti koje ugroavaju sigurnost i stabilnost. Upravljanje krizom (“crisis management”) i mirovne operacije za ouvanje i odravanjem mira (“peacekeeping” i “peace-support”) neki su od naina djelovanja suvremenog Sjevernoatlantskog saveza u odgovoru na nove izazove.

Nakon pada komunizma i zavretka Hladnog rata, Sjevernoatlantskom savezu pridruile su se zemlje bive lanice nekadanjeg Varavskog ugovora. Tako su lanicama Saveza 1999. godine postale eka, Maarska i Poljska. Uspjean primjer prve tri postkomunistike lanice potaknuo je i druge da se vrsto opredijele za pristupanje Savezu kao najbolji nain ostvarenja dugorone stabilnosti. Savezu 2004. godine pristupaju Bugarska, Rumunjska, Slovenija, Slovaka, Estonija, Litva i Latvija, a pozivnicu za lanstvo na samitu u Bukuretu 2008. godine dobile su Hrvatska i Albanija, koje su ule ve sljedee, 2009. godine

Od 1999. godine sve aspirantice za lanstvo sudjeluju u takozvanom Akcijskom planu za lanstvo koji nudi praktine savjete i pomo da se drave to bolje pripreme za lanstvo u Savezu.

Trenutani kandidati za lanstvo su Bosna i Hercegovina, Crna Gora i Makedonija. Makedonija je ispunila sve uvjete za lanstvo istodobno kada i Hrvatska i Albanija, ali pristupanje Makedonije NATO-u je blokirala Grka zbog spora oko naziva drave Makedonije.

Danas Organizacija Sjevernoatlantskog ugovora ima 28 drava lanica.

Drave osnivaice su dvanaest drava koje su 4. travnja 1949. godine u Washingtonu potpisale Sjevernoatlantski ugovor:

Savezu je naknadno pristupilo jo esnaest drava, i to u est krugova proirenja:

Sjevernoatlantsko vijee, Odbor za obrambeno planiranje i Skupina za nuklearno planiranje glavne su institucije za razvoj politike i donoenje odluka. Odluke koje je donijelo svako od tih tijela imaju istu vanost i predstavljaju dogovorenu politiku zemalja lanica, bez obzira na razinu na kojoj su donesene. Ovim tijelima podinjeni su specijalizirani odbori.

Podrobniji lanak o temi: Sjevernoatlantsko vijee

Sjevernoatlantsko vijee (eng. North Atlantic Council, kratica NAC) jedino je tijelo NATO-a koje je formalno uspostavljeno Sjevernoatlantskim ugovorom iz kojeg crpi svoje ovlasti (lanak 9. Ugovora). Vijee ima politike ovlasti i pravo donoenja odluka koje se tiu Saveza. Sastoji od stalnih predstavnika svih drava lanica koji se sastaju najmanje jedanput tjedno, a po potrebi i u kratkom roku. Vijee se takoer sastoji i na viim razinama koje obuhvaaju efove drava i vlada, ministre vanjskih poslova, ministre obrane. Sjednicama Vijea predsjedava Glavni tajnik NATO-a (ili njegov zamjenik).

Pitanja koja se razmatraju i odluke koje se donose na sastancima Vijea pokrivaju aspekte djelatnosti NATO-a, i esto se temelje na izvjeima i preporukama koje pripremaju podinjena povjerenstva. Isto tako, predmete rasprave moe predloiti bilo koji od nacionalnih predstavnika ili Glavni tajnik. Stalni predstavnici rade prema naputcima svojih vlada.

Odluke u Vijeu donose se jednoglasno i to zajednikim pristankom. Nema glasovanja niti se odluke donose veinom. Na taj nain nemogue je donijeti odluku koja e obvezati dravu koja u njezinom donoenju nije sudjelovala niti je na nju pristala. Svaka drava lanica zadrava potpunu suverenost i odgovornost pri donoenju svojih odluka.

Pripreme za rad Vijea vre podinjeni odbori; odbori odgovorni za pojedina podruja aktivnosti NATO-a.

Odbor za obrambeno planiranje (eng. Defence Planning Committee, kratica DPC) sastavljen je od stalnih predstavnika, ali se sastaje i na razini ministara obrane najmanje dvaput godinje. U radu odbora sudjeluju sve drave lanice. Odborom predsjedava Glavni tajnik NATO-a. Odbor je glavno tijelo za donoenje odluka glede pitanja planiranja kolektivne obrane i integrirane NATO vojne strukture te daje smjernice vojnim vlastima NATO-a. Rad Odbora priprema vei broj podreenih odbora, meu kojima je najvaniji Odbor za obrambenu reviziju (eng. Defence Review Committee, kratica DRC) koji nadzire postupak organizacije oruanih snaga unutar NATO-a i poruava druga pitanja vezana uz zdruenu vojnu strukturu.

Skupina za nuklearno planiranje (eng. Nuclear Planning Group, kratica NPG) sastoji se od ministara obrane drava lanica koje sudjeluju u radu Odbora za obrambeno planiranje. Unutar Skupine raspravlja se o posebnim politikim pitanjima koji se tiu nuklearnog naoruanja. Skupinom predsjedava Glavni tajnik NATO-a. Rad Skupine za nuklearno planiranje priprema Skupina osoblja NPG (eng. NPG Staff Group), sastavljena od lanova nacionalnih izaslanstava drava koje sudjeluju u NPG, lanova Meunarodnog vojnog osoblja i predstavnika Stratekih zapovjednika. Skupina obavlja rad u ime Stalnih predstavnika NPG-a. Skupina na visokoj razini (eng. High Level Group, kratica HLG) visoko je savjetodavno tijelo NPG-a na podruju nuklearne politike i planiranja. Ovom skupinom predsjedavaju SAD.

Finska sudjeluje gotovo u svim akcijama programa Partnerstvo za mir i daje snage za mirovne operacije u Afganistanu i na Kosovu. Istraivanja javnog mijenja pokazuje da je tamonje stanovnitvo potpuno protivno protiv ulaska u NATO.[4] Mogunost ulaska u ovaj vojni savez je bilo jedno od glavnih pitanja tijekom finskih predsjednikih izbora 2006. godine. Glavni opozicijski kandidat za predsjednika Sauli Niinisto je podravao ulazak u NATO emu se protivila dotadanja predsjednica Tarja Halonen koja je i dobila izbore. Njena pobjeda je otklonila mogunost ulaska Finske u NATO barem tijekom njenog predsjednikog mandata. S druge strane ministarstvo obrane zahtjeva ulazak u NATO kako bi se pojaala sigurnost ove skandinavske zemlje.[5]

Bivi finski predsjednici Martti Ahtisaari i Mauno Koivisto stoje na razliitim barikadama po ovom pitanju. Prvi se zalae za ulazak u savez kako bi se postalo lan organizacije gdje se nalaze i druge demokratske zemlje, dok se drugi tomu protive znajui da Rusija ne bi ovu promjenu dobro prihvatila.[6]

1949. godine vedska je odluila ne ui u NATO savez ime je postavila temelje svoje politike neutralnosti koja see do dananjih dana. Ova je politika bila neupitna tijekom cijelog hladnog rata, ali tijekom devedesetih godina poelo se raspravljati o moguem ulazu u savez. Iako su se vladajue stranke protivile ulasku u NATO vedski vojnici su sudjelovali tijekom NATO operacija u Bosni i Hercegovini, na Kosovu i Afganistanu. Veina vedskih stranaka po ovom je pitanju postala oita krajem 2006. godine kada se trebala donijeti odluka o kupovini 2 nova transportna aviona ili da se po ovom pitanju ue u kooperaciju s NATO savezom.[7]

Istraivanje javnog mijenja iz 2006. godine je pokazalo da se veina veana protivi ulasku u NATO (46% protiv i 22% za).[8]

Ministar obrane Ukrajine Anatolij Hrytsenko je izjavio da e njegova zemlja imati akcijski plan za ulazak u NATO do oujka 2006. godine, a da e se izvravati od rujna. Konana se odluka o moguem ulasku oekuje u 2008. godini, a puno lanstvo e, najvjerojatnije, biti mogue od 2010. godine.[9]

Ideja Ukrajinskog ulaska u savez je dobila podrku od nekoliko lidera drava koje se tamo nalaze. Meu dravnicima koji su pruili javnu podrku se nalaze rumunjski predsjednik Traian Basescu[10] i slovaki predsjednik Ivan Gaparovi.[11] S druge strane zamjenik ministra vanjskih poslova Rusije je izjavio da lanstvo u NATO savezu nije u interesu Ukrajine i da ono nee poboljati njihove odnose.[12]

Trenutano je veina stanovnika Ukrajine protiv ulaska u NATO bez obzira na njihove politike poglede. Ovo protivljenje je bilo iskazano protestnim okupljanjima i skupljanjem potpisa. Bivi premijer Jurij Jekhanurov je izjavio kako drava nee ui sve dok je narod protiv toga.[13]

Planovi za lanstvo su prekinuti 14. rujna 2006. zbog velikog protivljenja NATO savezu.[14] Trenutana je vlada Ukrajine pokrenula informativnu kampanju kako bi prikazala beneficije ulaska u ovaj savez.

Napomena: Ovaj tekst ili jedan njegov dio je preuzet iz internetskog izdanja asopisa Hrvatski vojnik. Vidi Doputenje Hrvatskog vojnika za Wikipediju na hrvatskome jeziku.

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NATO – Wikipedija

First Amendment Day – UNC Center for Media Law and Policy

 Misc  Comments Off on First Amendment Day – UNC Center for Media Law and Policy
Jan 312016

Each year, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill celebrates First Amendment Day. This campus-wide, daylong event is designedto both celebrate the First Amendment and explore its role in the lives of Carolinastudents. Students and other members of the university community read from banned books,sing controversial music and discuss the publicuniversitys special role as a marketplace of ideas and the need to be tolerant when others exercise their rights. First AmendmentDay is observed during National Banned Books Week.

First Amendment Day is organized by the UNC Center for Media Law and Policy. The UNC Center for Media Law and Policy is a collaboration between the School of Media and Journalism and the School of Law. Generous funding for the days events is provided by Time Warner Cable.

The seventh annual First Amendment Day was held onSeptember 29, 2015.

Be part of the conversation by tweeting with the hashtag #uncfree

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First Amendment Day – UNC Center for Media Law and Policy

Fourth Amendment – Kids |

 Fourth Amendment  Comments Off on Fourth Amendment – Kids |
Jan 292016

A Guide to the Fourth Amendment

The Fourth Amendment, or Amendment IV of the United States Constitution is the section of the Bill of Rights that protects people from being searched or having their things taken away from them without any good reason. If the government or any law enforcement official wants to do that, he or she must have a very good reason to do that and must get permission to perform the search from a judge. The fourth amendment was introduced into the Constitution of the United States as a part of the Bill of Rights on September 5, 1789 and was ratified or voted four by three fourths of the states on December 15, 1791.

The Text of the Fourth Amendment

The text of the Fourth Amendment which is found in the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights is the following:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

History of the Third Amendment

In Colonial America, laws were written in order to help the English earn money on customs. The justices of the peace would do this by writing general warrants, which allowed general search and seizure to happen. Massachusetts wrote a law in 1756 that banned these warrants, because tax collectors were abusing their powers by searching the colonists homes for illegal goods. These general warrants allowed any messenger or officer to search a suspected place without any evidence. It also allowed them to seize people without even saying what they did wrong or showing evidence of their wrongdoings. Virginia also banned the use of general warrants later due to other fears. These actions later led to the addition of the Fourth Amendment in the Bill of Rights.

The Fourth Amendment Today

Today, the Fourth Amendment means that in order for a police officer to search and arrest someone, he or she will need to get permission or a warrant to do so from a judge. In order to get a warrant, the police officer must have evidence or probable cause that supports it. The police officer, or whoever has the evidence, must swear that it is true to his or her knowledge.

Facts About the Fourth Amendment

The Fourth Amendment applies to the government, but not any searches done by organizations or people who are not doing it for the government.

Some searches can be done without a warrant without breaking the law, like when there is a good reason to think that a crime is happening.


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Fourth Amendment – Kids |

The Tor Browser: Tor Browser –

 Tor Browser  Comments Off on The Tor Browser: Tor Browser –
Jan 282016

The Tor Browser makes the tricky work of surfing the Web anonymously as easy as using any other browser, but with a significant performance hit.

Jan. 26, 2016

Need to hire an assassin, buy some contraband, view illegal porn, or just bypass government, corporate, or identity thief snooping? Tor is your answer. Tor, which stands for “The Onion Router” is not a product, but a protocol that lets you hide your Web browsing as though it were obscured by the many layers of an onion. The most common way to view the so-called Dark Web that comprises Tor sites is by using the Tor Browser, a modded version of Mozilla Firefox. Using this Web browser also hides your location, IP address, and other identifying data from regular websites. Accessing Tor has long been beyond the ability of the average user. Tor Browser manages to simplify the process of protecting your identity onlinebut at the price of performance.

What Is Tor? Ifyou’re thinking that Tor comes from a sketchy group of hackers, know that its core technology was developed by the U.S. Naval Research Lab and D.A.R.P.A.. The Tor Project non-profit receives sizeable donations from various federal entities such as The National Science Foundation. The Tor Project has a page listing many examples of legitimate types of Tor users, such as political dissidents in countries with tight control over the Internet and individuals concerned about personal privacy.

Tor won’t encrypt your datafor that, you’ll need a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Instead, Tor routes your Internet traffic through a series of intermediary nodes. This makes it very difficult for government snoops or aggressive advertisers to track you online. Using Tor affords far more privacy than other browsers’ private (or Incognito) modes, since it obscures your IP address so that you can’t be trackedwith it. Standard browsers’ private browsing modes discard your cached pages and browsing history afteryour browsing session.Even Firefox’s new, enhanced private browsing mode doesn’t hide your identifiable IP address from the sites you visit, though it does prevent them tracking you based on cookies.

We tested a standard Windows installer, with choices to create desktop icons and run the browser immediately. The browser itself is a heavily modified version of Firefox 38.5 (as of this writing), and includes several security plug-ins as well as security tweaks such as not caching any website data. For a full rundown of the PCMag Editors’ Choice browser’s many features, read our full review of Firefox.

Before merrily browsing along anonymously, you need to inform Tor about your Webconnection. If your Internet connection is censored, you configure one way, if not, you can connect directly to the network. Since we live in a free societyand work for benevolent corporate overlords, we connected directly for testing. After connecting to the Tor relay system (a dialog with a progress bar appears at this stage), the browser launches, and you see theTor project’s page.

The browser interface is identical with Firefox, except with some necessary add-ons installed. NoScript, a commonly used Firefox add-on, is preinstalled and can be used to block most non-HTML content on the Web. The green onion button to the left of the address bar is the Torbutton add-on. It lets you see your Tor network settings, but also the circuit you’re using: Ourcircuit started in Germany and passed through two different addresses in the Netherlands before reaching the good old Internet. If that doesn’t suit you, you can request a new circuit, either for the current session or for the current site. This was one of our favorite features.

One thing we really like about the Tor Browser is how it makes existing security and privacy tools easier to use. NoScript, for example, can be a harsh mistress, who can bedifficult to configure, and can break websites. But a security panel in the Torbutton presents you with a simple security slide. At the lowest, default setting, all browser features are enabled. At the highest setting, all JavaScript and even some image types are blocked, among other settings. This makes it easy to raise or lower the level of protection you need, without having to muck around in multiple settings windows.

Everything you do in the browser is tested for anonymity: When we tried full-screening the browser window, a message told us that that could provide sites a way to track us, and recommended leaving the window at the default size. And the project’s site specifically states that using Tor alone doesn’t guarantee anonymity, but rather that you have to abide by safe browsing guidelines: don’t use BitTorrent, don’t install additionalbrowser add-ons, don’t open documents or media while online. The recommendation to only visit secure HTTPS sites is optionally enforced by a plug-in called HTTPS Everywhere.

Even if you follow these recommendations, though, someone could detect the simple fact that you’re using Tor, unless you set it up to use a Tor bridge relay. Those are not listed in the Tor directory, so hackers (and governments) would have more trouble finding them.

One thing we noticed while browsing the standard Web through Tor was the need to enter a CAPTCHA to access many sites. This is because your cloaked URL looks suspicious to website security services such as CloudFlare, used by millions of sites to protect themselves. It’s just one more price you pay for anonymity.

We also had trouble finding the correct version of websites we wished to visit. Directing the Tor Browser to, for example, took us to the Netherlands localization of our website. We could not find any way to direct us back to the main URL, which lets you access the U.S. site.

Tor hidden sites have URLs that end in .onion, preceded by 16 alphanumeric characters. You can find directories of these hidden sites with categories resembling the good old days of Yahoo. There’s even a Tor Links Directory page (on the regular Web) that’s a directory of these directories. There are many chat and message boards, but you even find directories of things like lossless audio files, video game hacks, and financial services such as anonymous bitcoin, and even a Tor version of Facebook. Many onion sites are very slow or completely downkeep in mind that they’re not run by deep-pocketed Web companies. Very often we clicked an onion link only to be greeted with an “Unable to Connect” error. Sinbad helpfully displays a red “Offline on last crawl” bullet to let you know that a site is probably nonfunctional.

As for browser benchmarks, the results hew to Firefox’s own performance, with near-leading performance on all the major JavaScript tests, JetStream and Octane, for example. Onourtest laptop, the Tor Browser scored 20,195 on Octane, compared with 22,297 for standard Firefoxnot a huge difference. The Tor network routing is a far more significant factor in browsing performance than browser JavaScript speed. That is, unless you’ve blocked all JavaScript.

Keep in mind, though, that the Tor Browser is based on the Firefox Extended Support Release versions, which updates less frequently so that large organizations have time to maintain their custom code. That means you don’t get quite the latest in Firefox performance and features, but security updates are delivered at the same time as new main versions.

There’s a similar story when it comes to standards compatibility: On the site, which quantifies the number of new Web standards supported by a browser, the Tor Browser gets a score of 412, compared with 468 for the latest Firefox version. You may run into incompatible sites, though. For example, none of the Internet speed connection test sites performed correctly in the Tor Browser.

Of course, you pay a price of extra setup and slower performance with the Tor Browser, but it’s less onerous than you may think. And the included support for fine-grain privacy and security protection is excellent. If you take your online privacy seriously, you owe it to yourself to check out the Tor Browser. For standard, full-speed Web browsing, however, check out PCMag Editors’ Choice Web browser, Firefox.

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The Tor Browser: Tor Browser –

Social Media Services – SEO Charleston SC

 SEO  Comments Off on Social Media Services – SEO Charleston SC
Jan 262016

Social media marketing presents a great opportunity for your business to increase brand awareness while also improving your SEO results. Since major search engines have started crawling social media platforms for content, now is the time to optimize your platforms to provide search engines with the content users are searching for. Let the experts at Charleston SEO help. We tailor our social media strategy to your industry and brand for each individual platform.

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1st Amendment – Revolutionary War and Beyond!

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Jan 232016

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The 1st Amendment is the most well known to Americans of all the amendments in the Bill of Rights. It contains some of the most familiar phrases in political discussion, such as freedom of religion, freedom of speech and freedom of the press. The 1st Amendment reads like this:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

The 1st Amendment protects your right to believe and practice whatever religious principles you choose and your right to say what you believe, even if it is unpopular or against the will of elected officials.

It also protects your right to publish any information you want, join together with whomever you want and ask the government to correct its own errors.

What exactly does the 1st Amendment mean and how does it apply to people today? Does it have relevance to you today? It sure does. In fact, it affects just about everything you do.

The 1st Amendment has seven clauses. This page has a brief description of each clause with links to more detailed information about the history and purpose of each section.

The Opening Phrase of the 1st Amendment says “Congress shall make no law.” This opening phrase immediately tells exactly who this amendment is aimed at… and that entity is Congress. So the 1st Amendment specifically prohibits Congress from making laws interfering with the rights mentioned in the amendment.

It does not however, prohibit the states from making such laws, nor does it prohibit individuals from restricting these rights to those who may be under their authority, such as a parent and child or an employer and an employee.

For one hundred years the 1st Amendment was understood to only apply to the federal government, but after the Civil War and the 14th Amendment was added to the Constitution, courts began to forbid the states to interfere with these rights as well due to an idea called “due process of law.”

Learn more about the Opening Phrase of the 1st Amendment here.

The Establishment Clause is the part of the 1st Amendment that says Congress shall make no law “respecting an establishment of religion.” This is a very crucial part of the American Constitution. It prohibits the government from establishing a state religion or denomination and from directing people in what they must believe.

Without the Establishment Clause, the government could choose a state religion and force everyone to participate in it. It could also punish anyone who didn’t adhere to its chosen faith.

This clause has been the focus of much debate in the last half century. Some Americans believe that whenever the government is involved, absolutely all religious expression must be forbidden in order to comply with the Establishment Clause.

For example, they might say a public school football team should not pray at a football game because the school is a government funded school.

Other Americans believe the government must make certain allowances for religious expressions in public events and buildings because Americans are a very religious people. They belive a high school football team prayer or a government employee displaying a cross at work does not violate the Establishment Clause because it is simply a personal expression and not an expression endorsed by the state.

Indeed, in the minds of some, banning expressions of religious faith like this is a violation of another clause of the 1st Amendment – the Free Exercise Clause, because it seeks to control the religious expressions of citizens.

Learn more about the history and purpose of the Establishment Clause here.

The Free Exercise Clause is the part of the 1st Amendment that says Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion or “the free exercise thereof.” This phrase deals with the restriction on Congress to regulate anyone’s religious practices.

In general, Congress cannot tell people how they can or cannot express their religious beliefs. Such things as telling people when or how to pray, when they should go to church or to whom they should pray, are off limits to lawmakers.

In general, this is the case, but sometimes, minority religious groups may want to practice something that is not generally accepted or that the state has a very strong interest in regulating. For example, polygamy, ritual sacrifice and drug usage have been banned at times, because there is a compelling public interest in eliminating these behaviors.

In such cases, the Supreme Court has often ruled that the Free Exercise Clause does not apply. In other words, the Free Exercise Clause does not give free license to any behavior that someone says is their religious belief.

You can learn all about the Free Exercise Clause here.

The Freedom of Speech Clause is the part of the 1st Amendment that says, “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech.”

British history contained a long string of suppression by those in authority of those with whom they disagreed. Many British subjects had been thrown in prison for voicing their religious and political beliefs. The Americans intended to prevent this from ever happening in their newly formed republic.

This is one of the protections in the Constitution that Americans hold most dear. They value it because it allows them to speak out against government policies they don’t like. It also allows them to express the religious beliefs of their choosing.

Negatively speaking, many people abuse this right by slandering people they disagree with, or using ugly and offensive language, racial epithets or hateful language about people who are different than they are.

Generally, freedom of speech is considered to be not only the words people speak, but any type of expression that is used to convey an idea. Such things as picketing, wearing symbols or burning the flag are considered protected forms of speech because they are expressing the ideas of the people participating in them.

You can learn more about the Freedom of Speech Clause by clicking here.

The Freedom of the Press Clause states that “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom… of the press.”

This was a very important principle to the Founding Fathers of America because of the importance the press played during the Revolutionary War.

Without the press, the Founding Fathers would have found it very difficult to distribute their views to people in other parts of the country. The press turned out to be a very important instigation in getting Americans to consolidate their views against England and in spreading the concepts that would justify a break with England.

English history contained no freedoms for the press whatsoever. All publications were subject to governmental review before publication. Criticisms of the government were strictly prosecuted as sedition. All Americans wanted the right to criticize their government freely as well as to discuss other topics whenever they chose.

If you would like to learn more about the Freedom of the Press Clause, please click here.

The Freedom of Assembly Clause is the part of the First Amendment that reads like this: “Congress shall make no law… abridging… the right of the people peaceably to assemble…” This clause is also sometimes referred to as the Freedom of Association Clause. This clause protects the right to assemble in peace to all Americans.

The Freedom of Assembly was very important to early Americans because without the right to assemble, they could not coordinate their opposition to the British government. The Freedom of Assembly was recognized to be of utmost importance if the Americans were to be successful in establishing a government of the people.

The Freedom of Assembly Clause has been relied upon by many groups in American history, such as civil rights groups, women’s suffrage groups and labor unions. Government officials in each case tried to restrict the speech of these groups and prevent them from meeting, organizing and getting their message out. The Freedom of Assembly proved to be an important factor that allowed these groups to prosper and see their visions fulfilled.

You can learn more about the history and importance of the Freedom of Assembly Clause here.

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King George III

by Allan Ramsay

The Freedom of Petition Clause of the 1st Amendment reads like this:

“Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom… of the people… to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

The freedom to petition the government was very important to early Americans because of their experience with trying to get King George III and Parliament to respond to their grievances. The colonists were so angry about the Monarchy’s refusal to acknowledge their grievances that they mentioned this fact in the Declaration of Independence.

The freedom to petition the government for redress of grievances has come to include the right to do such things as picketing, protesting, conducting peaceful sitins or boycotts and addressing government officials through any media available.

You can read more about the history and meaning of the Freedom of Petition Clause here.

Preamble to the Bill of Rights Learn about the 1st Amendment here. Learn about the 2nd Amendment here. Learn about the 3rd Amendment here. Learn about the 4th Amendment here. Learn about the 5th Amendment here. Learn about the 6th Amendment here. Learn about the 7th Amendment here. Learn about the 8th Amendment here. Learn about the 9th Amendment here. Learn about the 10th Amendment here.

Read the Bill of Rights here.

Learn more about the Bill of Rights with the following articles:

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Mr-SEO-San Francisco SEO Company Affordable Optimization

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Jan 222016


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Nihilism | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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Jan 202016

Nihilism is the belief that all values are baseless and that nothing can be known or communicated. It is often associated with extreme pessimism and a radical skepticism that condemns existence. A true nihilist would believe in nothing, have no loyalties, and no purpose other than, perhaps, an impulse to destroy. While few philosophers would claim to be nihilists, nihilism is most often associated with Friedrich Nietzsche who argued that its corrosive effects would eventually destroy all moral, religious, and metaphysical convictions and precipitate the greatest crisis in human history. In the 20th century, nihilistic themes–epistemological failure, value destruction, and cosmic purposelessness–have preoccupied artists, social critics, and philosophers. Mid-century, for example, the existentialists helped popularize tenets of nihilism in their attempts to blunt its destructive potential. By the end of the century, existential despair as a response to nihilism gave way to an attitude of indifference, often associated with antifoundationalism.

“Nihilism” comes from the Latin nihil, or nothing, which means not anything, that which does not exist. It appears in the verb “annihilate,” meaning to bring to nothing, to destroy completely. Early in the nineteenth century, Friedrich Jacobi used the word to negatively characterize transcendental idealism. It only became popularized, however, after its appearance in Ivan Turgenev’s novel Fathers and Sons (1862) where he used “nihilism” to describe the crude scientism espoused by his character Bazarov who preaches a creed of total negation.

In Russia, nihilism became identified with a loosely organized revolutionary movement (C.1860-1917) that rejected the authority of the state, church, and family. In his early writing, anarchist leader Mikhael Bakunin (1814-1876) composed the notorious entreaty still identified with nihilism: “Let us put our trust in the eternal spirit which destroys and annihilates only because it is the unsearchable and eternally creative source of all life–the passion for destruction is also a creative passion!” (Reaction in Germany, 1842). The movement advocated a social arrangement based on rationalism and materialism as the sole source of knowledge and individual freedom as the highest goal. By rejecting man’s spiritual essence in favor of a solely materialistic one, nihilists denounced God and religious authority as antithetical to freedom. The movement eventually deteriorated into an ethos of subversion, destruction, and anarchy, and by the late 1870s, a nihilist was anyone associated with clandestine political groups advocating terrorism and assassination.

The earliest philosophical positions associated with what could be characterized as a nihilistic outlook are those of the Skeptics. Because they denied the possibility of certainty, Skeptics could denounce traditional truths as unjustifiable opinions. When Demosthenes (c.371-322 BC), for example, observes that “What he wished to believe, that is what each man believes” (Olynthiac), he posits the relational nature of knowledge. Extreme skepticism, then, is linked to epistemological nihilism which denies the possibility of knowledge and truth; this form of nihilism is currently identified with postmodern antifoundationalism. Nihilism, in fact, can be understood in several different ways. Political Nihilism, as noted, is associated with the belief that the destruction of all existing political, social, and religious order is a prerequisite for any future improvement. Ethical nihilism or moral nihilism rejects the possibility of absolute moral or ethical values. Instead, good and evil are nebulous, and values addressing such are the product of nothing more than social and emotive pressures. Existential nihilism is the notion that life has no intrinsic meaning or value, and it is, no doubt, the most commonly used and understood sense of the word today.

Max Stirner’s (1806-1856) attacks on systematic philosophy, his denial of absolutes, and his rejection of abstract concepts of any kind often places him among the first philosophical nihilists. For Stirner, achieving individual freedom is the only law; and the state, which necessarily imperils freedom, must be destroyed. Even beyond the oppression of the state, though, are the constraints imposed by others because their very existence is an obstacle compromising individual freedom. Thus Stirner argues that existence is an endless “war of each against all” (The Ego and its Own, trans. 1907).

Among philosophers, Friedrich Nietzsche is most often associated with nihilism. For Nietzsche, there is no objective order or structure in the world except what we give it. Penetrating the faades buttressing convictions, the nihilist discovers that all values are baseless and that reason is impotent. “Every belief, every considering something-true,” Nietzsche writes, “is necessarily false because there is simply no true world” (Will to Power [notes from 1883-1888]). For him, nihilism requires a radical repudiation of all imposed values and meaning: “Nihilism is . . . not only the belief that everything deserves to perish; but one actually puts one’s shoulder to the plough; one destroys” (Will to Power).

The caustic strength of nihilism is absolute, Nietzsche argues, and under its withering scrutiny “the highest values devalue themselves. The aim is lacking, and ‘Why’ finds no answer” (Will to Power). Inevitably, nihilism will expose all cherished beliefs and sacrosanct truths as symptoms of a defective Western mythos. This collapse of meaning, relevance, and purpose will be the most destructive force in history, constituting a total assault on reality and nothing less than the greatest crisis of humanity:

What I relate is the history of the next two centuries. I describe what is coming, what can no longer come differently: the advent of nihilism. . . . For some time now our whole European culture has been moving as toward a catastrophe, with a tortured tension that is growing from decade to decade: restlessly, violently, headlong, like a river that wants to reach the end. . . . (Will to Power)

Since Nietzsche’s compelling critique, nihilistic themes–epistemological failure, value destruction, and cosmic purposelessness–have preoccupied artists, social critics, and philosophers. Convinced that Nietzsche’s analysis was accurate, for example, Oswald Spengler in The Decline of the West (1926) studied several cultures to confirm that patterns of nihilism were indeed a conspicuous feature of collapsing civilizations. In each of the failed cultures he examines, Spengler noticed that centuries-old religious, artistic, and political traditions were weakened and finally toppled by the insidious workings of several distinct nihilistic postures: the Faustian nihilist “shatters the ideals”; the Apollinian nihilist “watches them crumble before his eyes”; and the Indian nihilist “withdraws from their presence into himself.” Withdrawal, for instance, often identified with the negation of reality and resignation advocated by Eastern religions, is in the West associated with various versions of epicureanism and stoicism. In his study, Spengler concludes that Western civilization is already in the advanced stages of decay with all three forms of nihilism working to undermine epistemological authority and ontological grounding.

In 1927, Martin Heidegger, to cite another example, observed that nihilism in various and hidden forms was already “the normal state of man” (The Question of Being). Other philosophers’ predictions about nihilism’s impact have been dire. Outlining the symptoms of nihilism in the 20th century, Helmut Thielicke wrote that “Nihilism literally has only one truth to declare, namely, that ultimately Nothingness prevails and the world is meaningless” (Nihilism: Its Origin and Nature, with a Christian Answer, 1969). From the nihilist’s perspective, one can conclude that life is completely amoral, a conclusion, Thielicke believes, that motivates such monstrosities as the Nazi reign of terror. Gloomy predictions of nihilism’s impact are also charted in Eugene Rose’s Nihilism: The Root of the Revolution of the Modern Age (1994). If nihilism proves victorious–and it’s well on its way, he argues–our world will become “a cold, inhuman world” where “nothingness, incoherence, and absurdity” will triumph.

While nihilism is often discussed in terms of extreme skepticism and relativism, for most of the 20th century it has been associated with the belief that life is meaningless. Existential nihilism begins with the notion that the world is without meaning or purpose. Given this circumstance, existence itself–all action, suffering, and feeling–is ultimately senseless and empty.

In The Dark Side: Thoughts on the Futility of Life (1994), Alan Pratt demonstrates that existential nihilism, in one form or another, has been a part of the Western intellectual tradition from the beginning. The Skeptic Empedocles’ observation that “the life of mortals is so mean a thing as to be virtually un-life,” for instance, embodies the same kind of extreme pessimism associated with existential nihilism. In antiquity, such profound pessimism may have reached its apex with Hegesis. Because miseries vastly outnumber pleasures, happiness is impossible, the philosopher argues, and subsequently advocates suicide. Centuries later during the Renaissance, William Shakespeare eloquently summarized the existential nihilist’s perspective when, in this famous passage near the end of Macbeth, he has Macbeth pour out his disgust for life:

Out, out, brief candle! Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and frets his hour upon the stage And then is heard no more; it is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.

In the twentieth century, it’s the atheistic existentialist movement, popularized in France in the 1940s and 50s, that is responsible for the currency of existential nihilism in the popular consciousness. Jean-Paul Sartre’s (1905-1980) defining preposition for the movement, “existence precedes essence,” rules out any ground or foundation for establishing an essential self or a human nature. When we abandon illusions, life is revealed as nothing; and for the existentialists, nothingness is the source of not only absolute freedom but also existential horror and emotional anguish. Nothingness reveals each individual as an isolated being “thrown” into an alien and unresponsive universe, barred forever from knowing why yet required to invent meaning. It’s a situation that’s nothing short of absurd. Writing from the enlightened perspective of the absurd, Albert Camus (1913-1960) observed that Sisyphus’ plight, condemned to eternal, useless struggle, was a superb metaphor for human existence (The Myth of Sisyphus, 1942).

The common thread in the literature of the existentialists is coping with the emotional anguish arising from our confrontation with nothingness, and they expended great energy responding to the question of whether surviving it was possible. Their answer was a qualified “Yes,” advocating a formula of passionate commitment and impassive stoicism. In retrospect, it was an anecdote tinged with desperation because in an absurd world there are absolutely no guidelines, and any course of action is problematic. Passionate commitment, be it to conquest, creation, or whatever, is itself meaningless. Enter nihilism.

Camus, like the other existentialists, was convinced that nihilism was the most vexing problem of the twentieth century. Although he argues passionately that individuals could endure its corrosive effects, his most famous works betray the extraordinary difficulty he faced building a convincing case. In The Stranger (1942), for example, Meursault has rejected the existential suppositions on which the uninitiated and weak rely. Just moments before his execution for a gratuitous murder, he discovers that life alone is reason enough for living, a raison d’tre, however, that in context seems scarcely convincing. In Caligula (1944), the mad emperor tries to escape the human predicament by dehumanizing himself with acts of senseless violence, fails, and surreptitiously arranges his own assassination. The Plague (1947) shows the futility of doing one’s best in an absurd world. And in his last novel, the short and sardonic, The Fall (1956), Camus posits that everyone has bloody hands because we are all responsible for making a sorry state worse by our inane action and inaction alike. In these works and other works by the existentialists, one is often left with the impression that living authentically with the meaninglessness of life is impossible.

Camus was fully aware of the pitfalls of defining existence without meaning, and in his philosophical essay The Rebel (1951) he faces the problem of nihilism head-on. In it, he describes at length how metaphysical collapse often ends in total negation and the victory of nihilism, characterized by profound hatred, pathological destruction, and incalculable violence and death.

By the late 20th century, “nihilism” had assumed two different castes. In one form, “nihilist” is used to characterize the postmodern person, a dehumanized conformist, alienated, indifferent, and baffled, directing psychological energy into hedonistic narcissism or into a deep ressentiment that often explodes in violence. This perspective is derived from the existentialists’ reflections on nihilism stripped of any hopeful expectations, leaving only the experience of sickness, decay, and disintegration.

In his study of meaninglessness, Donald Crosby writes that the source of modern nihilism paradoxically stems from a commitment to honest intellectual openness. “Once set in motion, the process of questioning could come to but one end, the erosion of conviction and certitude and collapse into despair” (The Specter of the Absurd, 1988). When sincere inquiry is extended to moral convictions and social consensus, it can prove deadly, Crosby continues, promoting forces that ultimately destroy civilizations. Michael Novak’s recently revised The Experience of Nothingness (1968, 1998) tells a similar story. Both studies are responses to the existentialists’ gloomy findings from earlier in the century. And both optimistically discuss ways out of the abyss by focusing of the positive implications nothingness reveals, such as liberty, freedom, and creative possibilities. Novak, for example, describes how since WWII we have been working to “climb out of nihilism” on the way to building a new civilization.

In contrast to the efforts to overcome nihilism noted above is the uniquely postmodern response associated with the current antifoundationalists. The philosophical, ethical, and intellectual crisis of nihilism that has tormented modern philosophers for over a century has given way to mild annoyance or, more interestingly, an upbeat acceptance of meaninglessness.

French philosopher Jean-Francois Lyotard characterizes postmodernism as an “incredulity toward metanarratives,” those all-embracing foundations that we have relied on to make sense of the world. This extreme skepticism has undermined intellectual and moral hierarchies and made “truth” claims, transcendental or transcultural, problematic. Postmodern antifoundationalists, paradoxically grounded in relativism, dismiss knowledge as relational and “truth” as transitory, genuine only until something more palatable replaces it (reminiscent of William James’ notion of “cash value”). The critic Jacques Derrida, for example, asserts that one can never be sure that what one knows corresponds with what is. Since human beings participate in only an infinitesimal part of the whole, they are unable to grasp anything with certainty, and absolutes are merely “fictional forms.”

American antifoundationalist Richard Rorty makes a similar point: “Nothing grounds our practices, nothing legitimizes them, nothing shows them to be in touch with the way things are” (“From Logic to Language to Play,” 1986). This epistemological cul-de-sac, Rorty concludes, leads inevitably to nihilism. “Faced with the nonhuman, the nonlinguistic, we no longer have the ability to overcome contingency and pain by appropriation and transformation, but only the ability to recognize contingency and pain” (Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity, 1989). In contrast to Nietzsche’s fears and the angst of the existentialists, nihilism becomes for the antifoundationalists just another aspect of our contemporary milieu, one best endured with sang-froid.

In The Banalization of Nihilism (1992) Karen Carr discusses the antifoundationalist response to nihilism. Although it still inflames a paralyzing relativism and subverts critical tools, “cheerful nihilism” carries the day, she notes, distinguished by an easy-going acceptance of meaninglessness. Such a development, Carr concludes, is alarming. If we accept that all perspectives are equally non-binding, then intellectual or moral arrogance will determine which perspective has precedence. Worse still, the banalization of nihilism creates an environment where ideas can be imposed forcibly with little resistance, raw power alone determining intellectual and moral hierarchies. It’s a conclusion that dovetails nicely with Nietzsche’s, who pointed out that all interpretations of the world are simply manifestations of will-to-power.

It has been over a century now since Nietzsche explored nihilism and its implications for civilization. As he predicted, nihilism’s impact on the culture and values of the 20th century has been pervasive, its apocalyptic tenor spawning a mood of gloom and a good deal of anxiety, anger, and terror. Interestingly, Nietzsche himself, a radical skeptic preoccupied with language, knowledge, and truth, anticipated many of the themes of postmodernity. It’s helpful to note, then, that he believed we could–at a terrible price–eventually work through nihilism. If we survived the process of destroying all interpretations of the world, we could then perhaps discover the correct course for humankind:

I praise, I do not reproach, [nihilism’s] arrival. I believe it is one of the greatest crises, a moment of the deepest self-reflection of humanity. Whether man recovers from it, whether he becomes master of this crisis, is a question of his strength. It is possible. . . . (Complete Works Vol. 13)

Alan Pratt Email: Embry-Riddle University U. S. A.

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Atheism | Define Atheism at

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Jan 202016

Contemporary Examples

Just as no unbeliever may be barred from federal service for his atheism, no true believer may be excluded for his abiding faith.

She is not public about her atheism, just as many of us are not public about our faith.

atheism is highest in Europe, where there are established churches involved in the political process.

In 2009 he published a book defaming Hitchens and Richard Dawkins because he was irked by their bellicose brand of atheism.

There is little evidence to support the notion that evolution is the result of an assumption of atheism.

Historical Examples

An attempt to exclude him on charges of atheism and blasphemy failed.

For at bottom, atheism is either a fad or a trade or a fatuity.

Mr. Saunders, so far as his atheism was concerned, was suggested by Professor Clifford.

From the peddling-box, therefore, I turned even as I did from atheism.

atheism and downright infidelity, as a general rule, are never very popular.

British Dictionary definitions for atheism Expand

rejection of belief in God or gods

Word Origin

C16: from French athisme, from Greek atheos godless, from a-1 + theos god

Word Origin and History for atheism Expand

1580s, from French athisme (16c.), from Greek atheos “without god” (see atheist). A slightly earlier form is represented by atheonism (1530s) which is perhaps from Italian atheo “atheist.” Ancient Greek atheotes meant “ungodliness.”

atheism in Culture Expand

Denial that there is a God. (Compare agnosticism.)

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Positive Atheism (since 1995) Join the Struggle Against …

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Jan 202016

And Think Before You Click!

A note to some theists who write to us:

We insist on the right to insist on truthfulness in all discussions.

Positive Atheism is for atheists. Here we learn of the joys and hardships of being truthful about our own religion. We study our heritage as unbelievers, often finding that atheism is no big deal. Still, there exists a class of meddlers who seem unwilling to resist any opportunity to “tell those atheists a thing or two!”

Do you wish to hold us accountable for what we think, do, or say? Then you’d best be certain that we actually thought it, did it, or said it before launching your salvos against us. If you lie to us or about us, we will call you on it, because we insist on truthfulness. So please, think about what you say first. If nothing else, consider the fact that we like to post unreasonable and untruthful letters for comic relief. This way, atheists who visit get a glimpse of what conversion to theism could be like for us.

If you think you have a truly original argument to present to us, we will do our best to give it a fair look. Who knows? Everyone might learn something!

By the way, we’ve heard the rot they feed you in those “Refuting Atheists” videos shown at seminars with names like “Headlong Discipleship: Hook, Line, and Surrender,” staged in venues such as The Tambourine Bangin’ Fundamentalist Revival Temple.

Some of that stuff we’ve seen time and time again, actually, hundreds, or even thousands of times. “Apologetics” books and videos are spun with an eye toward keeping you from wandering astray from the fold; your leaders know better than to think any of it would affect a thinking atheist. The handful of us who do convert to theism do so as the result of an emotional fluctuation of some sort, not because of the cribbed arrogance sent to this forum and others like it.

So lay off the LeeStrobel books, the CSLewis commentaries, the PhilipJohnson videos, and those insipid little comic tracts. This is not to disparage those authors (except the last one): we just want you, as a writer to our forum, to speak for yourself. Send your own original thoughts: do not parrot the ideas of others.

By submitting letters and other material, you agree to be held to the stipulations in our game rules, got that?

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Hedonism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

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Jan 202016

Bentham’s claim that pain and pleasure determine what we do makes him a psychological hedonist, and more specifically a hedonist about the determination of action. This section focuses instead on the more modest claim that only pleasure or displeasure motivates us. This form of psychological hedonism helpfully allows that some hedonic motivations of ours fail to determine our action, and that some of our hedonically determined actions fail actually to get us pleasure. Weakness of agency can see our motivation fail to generate our action (see weakness of will); and the related paradox of hedonism is the plausible claim that some of our hedonically motivated or determined action actually secures less pleasure than we would otherwise have got (e.g., Sidgwick: 48f).

Why believe even the relatively modest motivational form of psychological hedonism? One argument infers it from the motivational egoist claim that each of us is always motivated to maximize what we take to be our own good, plus the claim that we each accept that our good is our maximal or sufficient balance of pleasure over displeasure. But motivational egoism is at best controversial (see entry on egoism). Also controversial is the psychological thesis that each of us accepts hedonism about our own good. For one thing, it ungenerously implies that those who think they reject hedonism about their own good do not even know their own minds on this matter.

Another argument for motivational hedonism is this: sometimes we are motivated by pleasure, every case can be accounted for in this way, the more unified the account the better, and hedonism is the most unified account. But at most, this argument shows only that in the unification respect hedonism is the best account of our motivation. Even if that is so, unification is not the only feature that it is desirable for theories of motivation to have, and the argument is silent on how motivational hedonism scores on any other desirable feature. The argument consequently fails to establish the overall plausibility of motivational hedonism, let alone the thesis that it is the most plausible theory of motivation. In addition, parallel arguments arguably show that we are sometimes motivated to improve ourselves, to survive, to attend to our near-and-dear, to live with integrity, and so forth; that every case can be narrated in such terms; and thus that all these rival views are just as unified as is motivational hedonism.

A third argument for motivational hedonism claims that it is a truth of everyday meaning that the words is motivated just mean some such thing as aims for the greatest balance of pleasure over pain. The core trouble here is that motivational hedonism is not a truth of everyday meaning. Even if it were such a truth, the main issue of substance would remain. Rivals would simply re-state the ongoing central issue using neighbouring concepts; for example: however it might be with the narrower concept motive, the claim that we are always moved by pleasure is false. Nor would it help motivational hedonists to make a Humpty Dumpty move here (see Carroll: ch. 6): when I use the words is motivated, said Humpty Dumpty, they mean just what I choose them to mean, namely is aimed at pleasure. Such stipulation does not identify any good reason for anyone to join Humpty Dumpty in his eccentric word usage.

Even if all of the above arguments for motivational hedonism fail, other arguments for it could be made. Even if every argument for motivational hedonism fails, failure of a positive is not success of a negative. What then of the arguments against this relatively modest form of psychological hedonism?

Some challenges to motivational hedonism are demands for its thesis to be made more determinate. First, is it about every motivation; or is it only about the motives of ours that predominate, with exceptions when little pleasure or displeasure is at stake and/or when much else is at stake (c.f. Kavka: 6480 on predominant egoism)? The present entry takes motivational hedonism to be the first of these views. Second, is it about all motivational entities, including all desires, wants, preferences, inclinations, intentions, decisions, and choices; or is it instead a claim about only an incomplete subset of these? The present entry treats it as a claim just about desires (see the entries on desire and intention). Third and relatedly, is it a pair of claims, one about desires for pleasure and the other about aversions to displeasure; or is it instead a single claim about overall or net desires for a sufficient or maximal net pleasure-displeasure balance? The present entry generally treats it as the latter. Fourth, is it a claim about every desire whatever, or just a claim about every human desire? The present entry treats it as the latter, though it is a good question why human desirers might be thought to be specially pleasure-oriented. Fifth, is it the egoistic claim that one desires only one’s own pleasure, or the egocentric claim that one desires only the pleasure of oneself and one’s near-and-dear, or is it instead a non-egoistic claim? When it makes a difference, the present entry takes motivational hedonism to be the first of these claims. Sixth, is it the production-based claim that we are motivated to cause pleasure, or does it allow, for example, that being moved to laugh might be being motivated to express rather than to produce pleasure? The present entry considers production-based claims, plus the distinct idea that our desire only ever has pleasure as its object.

From critical demands for more determinacy, turn now to the following articulated incredulous stare (after Lewis: 86) challenge to motivational hedonism. We direct our richly various mental lives our beliefs, musings, intentions, enthusiasms, hopes, aspirations, and so on and on at massively plural and diverse items in ourselves, in others, in myriad aspects of the non-human world, and in the infinities of contingent future possibility. In keeping with this overall psychological picture, our motivations too have objects that are massively plural and diverse. In the light of such facts, motivational hedonism merits an incredulous stare: why would anyone believe even for a minute that all human motivation takes as its object just one sort of item? On this point, some go beyond incredulity to contempt. Thus Nietzsche: Man does not strive for pleasure; only the Englishman does (Nietzsche: Maxims and Arrows #12). Perhaps the most promising motivational hedonist response, about all humans including Englishmen, is to say that all our basic motives are directed at pleasure and all our non-basic motives are pleasure-centred too, but less directly so. This move is examined further below in discussion of Butler and Hume.

Some other criticisms of motivational hedonism can be quickly rebutted. One such criticism is that we are often motivated by things that in fact give us neither pleasure nor the best available pleasure-displeasure balance, such as when we step under a shower that we take to be suitably warm but find instead to be scalding hot. Another is that the idea of maximal pleasure, or of the best feasible pleasure-displeasure balance, assumes a common measure that cannot be had. A third criticism is that not every pleasure in prospect motivates us. Hedonists can reply: first, that one is always and only motivated by what one thinks to be one’s maximal or sufficient pleasure or pleasure-displeasure balance; second, that this is possible even if the idea of pleasure maximization in such settings does not ultimately make sense; and third, that hedonism does not imply that one is motivated by every pleasure prospect.

Motivational hedonism would be seriously undermined by any case of an individual who is motivated otherwise than by pleasure or displeasure. Here are some standard candidates that seem true to experience: the parent who seeks to give his child good early years and a good start in life for that child’s sake, the walker who kicks a small stone just for the hell of it, the soldier who opts for a painful death for himself to save his comrades, and the dying person who fights to keep a grip on life despite fully grasping that much pain and little or no pleasure now remains to her.

The standard style of hedonist response to attempted counterexamples is to offer rival motivational stories: the soldier was really motivated only by an underlying belief that her dying would secure her a joyful afterlife or at least a half-second’s sweet pleasure of hero’s self-sacrifice; the parent was actually motivated only by his own pleasurable intention to give the child a good start or by his expectation that his now having this intention will somehow cause him to have pleasure later; the dying non-believer in any afterlife in fact hangs on only because she really believes that in her life there is still pleasure for her; and so on.

The capability of hedonists to tell hedonic stories as to our motives does not in itself generate any reason to think such narratives true. To escape refutation by counterexample, motivational hedonists need to tell the tale of every relevant motive in hedonic terms that are not merely imaginative but are also in every case more plausible than the anti-hedonist lessons that our experience seems repeatedly to teach some of us about many of our motives.

As noted above, some statements of motivational hedonism are indeterminate. Consider now the more precise thesis that each of one’s desires or passions or appetites has one’s own pleasure and only this as its object, as that at which alone it is aimed or is directed or is about. This thesis was a target of Bishop Joseph Butler in his 1729 work Fifteen Sermons Preached at the Rolls Chapel. Butler noted in his Preface that there are: such passions in mankind as desire of esteem, or of being beloved, or of knowledge. All of these have objects other than pleasure. Drawing on Butler’s critique, David Hume added further examples: that people have bodily appetites such as hunger and thirst; that mental passions drive them to attain such things as fame, power, and vengeance; and that many of us also: feel a desire of another’s happiness and good (Hume: Appendix 2, 1213). All these appetites have objects other than just one’s own pleasure or displeasure. By appeal to such cases Butler and Hume arguably refuted the strong motivational hedonist thesis that one’s every desire has one’s own pleasure and that alone as its object.

In pulling things together downstream from the Butler-Hume critique, hedonist responses might first distinguish basic from non-basic desires. A desire is basic if one has it independently of any thought one has about what else this will or might cause or bring about. A desire is non-basic if one’s having it does depend on one’s having such further thought. Equipped with this distinction, motivational hedonists can claim that one’s every basic desire has one’s own pleasure as its object, and one’s every non-basic desire depends on one’s thinking this will or might bring one pleasure. Thus propelled, hedonists can swim back against the broader Butler-Hume stream by claiming, of everyone in every case, that has only non-basic desire for esteem or knowledge or to be beloved, and this only because one thinks it will or might give one pleasure; and likewise with one’s appetite for food or drink, one’s mental passion for fame or power or vengeance, and one’s desire for the happiness or good of any other.

Despite the implicature of the clich, it is possible to sink even as one swims. Still, the foregoing does supply hedonists with some potential buoyancy aids. They can claim that one’s every basic desire is directed at one’s own pleasure, and one’s every non-basic desire, directed at something other than pleasure, is had only because one thinks this will or might bring one pleasure. The wide range of ways in which one’s desire for non-pleasure could bring one pleasure include: by this desire’s itself being an instance of pleasure (e.g., by appeal to a desire-pleasure identity thesis; see Heathwood), by the desire’s having the property of pleasurableness (e.g., deploying the thought that pleasure is a higher-order property of every desire), by the desire’s causing one pleasure independently of whether its object obtains (e.g., a fan’s desire to be a vampire or a hobbit might cause him pleasure even though this desire of his is never fulfilled); or by the desire’s causing its object to obtain, where this object is an instance of one’s pleasure, or has pleasure as one of its properties, or causes one pleasure. Well and good. But again, it is one thing to tell such motivational hedonist stories and it is another thing to identify any reason to think the stories true.

A wider issue about motivational hedonism is this: is it a contingent claim about an aspect of our psychology that could have been otherwise; or does it posit a law of our psychological nature; or is it a necessary truth about all metaphysically or conceptually or logically possible motivations? The answers to such questions also bear on the sorts of evidence and argument we need if we are fully to appraise motivational hedonism. If it is an empirical psychological thesis, as it seems to be, then it is reasonable to expect application of the methods and evidence of empirical psychology, social inquiry, and perhaps also biological science, to do the main work of appraising it. It is also reasonable to expect that most of this work is to be done by specialist scientists and social scientists through their systematic conduct of meta-analyses of large numbers of empirical studies. Philosophical work will continue to be needed too, to weed out incoherent ideas, to separate out the numerous distinct motivational hedonist theses; and to scrutinize whether, and if so with what significance, various empirical findings actually do bear on these various hedonist theses. For instance, even the feasibility of a research design that is capable of empirically separating out our basic from our non-basic motives would be a serious challenge. Philosophical work can also identify the various features that it is desirable for theories of motivation to have and to be appraised against. Unification, determinacy, and confirmation by cases are treated above as desirable. Other desirable features might include consistency and maximal scope. Philosophers and others can systematically appraise theories of motivation in such terms, including through pairwise comparative assessments of rival theories in terms of those desirable features.

This section has critically reviewed motivational hedonism and has found weaknesses in some central arguments for the view, together with some significant problems of determinacy and disconfirmation. It has also found that there are arguments against motivational hedonism that have some force. Ongoing inquiry is continuing to assess whether such troubles for motivational hedonism can be overcome, and whether any of its rivals fare any better overall than it does.

At its simplest, ethical hedonism is the claim that all and only pleasure has positive importance and all and only pain or displeasure has negative importance. This importance is to be understood non-instrumentally, that is, independently of the importance of anything that pleasure or displeasure might cause or prevent. From ethical hedonism, it follows that if our relationships, achievements, knowledge, character states, and so on, have any non-instrumental importance, this is just a matter of any pleasure or displeasure that is in their natures. Otherwise, they have only instrumental importance through the pleasure they cause or displeasure they diminish. At least from the simple forms of ethical hedonism, it also follows that pleasure is good whenever it is had, even in matters that are themselves worthless or worse. Some hedonists are willing to bite such bullets; others develop more complex forms of ethical hedonism that seek to soften the bullets or even to dissolve them.

Some things have both instrumental and non-instrumental importance, and in such cases their overall importance is a function of both. These two matters can also pull in opposite directions. Your pain of being once bitten has non-instrumental negative importance, for example, but it might also have instrumental positive importance through the further pain you avoid by its making you twice shy. Instrumental importance is a contingent matter and it varies widely from case to case. This is why the non-instrumental claims of pleasure and displeasure are the present focus.

Ethical hedonism can be universalist, me-and-my-near-and-dear egocentric, or egoistically focused just on one’s own pleasure. It can also be a claim about value, morality, well-being, rationality, reasons or aesthetics. It can be a claim about grounds for action, belief, motivation or feeling; or a claim about ought, obligation, good and bad, or right and wrong. And these are not the only the possibilities. The discussion below aims for both determinacy of formulation and generality across the different forms of ethical hedonism, albeit that these two aims are in some tension with one another. For economy of expression, discussion proceeds below in terms of hedonism about value. At its simplest, this is the thesis that anything has non-instrumental value if and only if it is an instance of pleasure, and has non-instrumental disvalue if and only if it is an instance of pain or displeasure.

Aristotle (1095a1522) claimed that we all agree that the good is eudaimonia but there is disagreement among us about what eudaimonia is. Similarly, ethical hedonists agree with one another that the good is pleasure, but there is some disagreement among them, and among non-hedonists too, about what pleasure is. Accounts of pleasure are canvassed below, and issues with them are briefly reviewed, especially regarding the various ways in which they bear on the prospects for ethical hedonism.

Phenomenalism about pleasure is the thesis that pleasure is a mental state or property that is or that has a certain something that is what it is like for its subject; a certain feel, feeling, felt character, tone or phenomenology. On the face of it, the classic utilitarians Jeremy Bentham and J.S. Mill were phenomenalists about pleasure. With various complexities and qualifications, so too are some more recent writers (e.g., Moore: 64, Broad: 22933, Schlick: ch. 2, Sprigge: ch. 5, Tnnsj: 8484, Crisp 2006: 103109, Bradley, Labukt).

Intentionalism about pleasure is the thesis that pleasure is an intentional state or property and thus has directedness. Intentional or representational states or properties are many and diverse, but they share a subject-mode-content structure (Crane: ch. 1). You or I or the next person might be the subject, belief or intention or desire or perception or emotion or pleasure might be the intentional mode, and the content of this intentional state or property includes its object or that which it is about. If I delight in the day, for example, I am the subject of this mental state or property that has delight as its intentional mode and the day as its intentional object. My delight in the day is thus an instance of intentional pleasure. Intentionalism implies that pleasure is an intentional state or a property in the pleasure mode that has some object. Brentano (1874/1973) was an intentionalist about pleasure, and so too are some more recent philosophers (e.g., Chisholm, Crane, Feldman 2004).

Intentionalist accounts of pleasure are less well known than phenomenalist accounts, so they merit brief elaboration on several points. First, to say that pleasure is an intentional state or property is not to make any claim about deliberateness, choice or intention. Intentionalism is the thesis that pleasure has about-ness, it not a thesis about pleasure’s relation to the will. Second, if pleasure is an intentional state or property then it has an object, but it does not follow that all pleasures are propositional attitudes, with states of affairs or propositions as their objects. On one standard account, any psychological verb that can be inserted into the place in the schema S s that p is an attitude (e.g., thinks, hopes, wishes, prefers, delights, enjoys) to a proposition p. Some accept the universal thesis that all intentional states are propositional attitudes. But this thesis is vulnerable to counterexample from object-directed emotions including personal love and hate, the objects of which seem not to be fully specifiable as states of affairs or as propositions. Relatedly, though some intentional pleasures are indeed propositional attitudes, it is a significant further question whether they all are. A third clarification is this. If there are intentional pleasures then they are such that their objects might or might not exist. I could delight in the concert performance of my favourite musician, for example, even if the actual performer is instead just a talented imposter, or even if the performer is in fact just an audio-visual effect of clever sound and light projection. Or, to update and to make concrete an older and more abstract example from Chisholm (2829), Gore might for a time have enjoyed his victory in the 2000 U.S. presidential election, even though he actually did not win it. These claims about intentional pleasures are instances of the wider and admittedly rather perplexing point that the objects of some intentional states and properties do not exist (see entry on Intentionality).

In various significant ways, issues concerning the phenomenal and intentional nature of pleasure bear on hedonism about value. Such matters are canvassed below.

Intentionalism about the mental is the thesis is that all mental matters are intentional, that they all have directedness or aboutness (e.g., Brentano 1874/1973, Crane). Pleasure is a mental matter, so intentionalism about pleasure implies that any pleasure is an intentional matter and thus has an object. Strong intentionalism implies that phenomenal character is purely a matter of intentional character, and this implies in turn that intentional character exhausts phenomenal character. All intentionalist accounts of pleasure are of course consistent with intentionalism about pleasure. But intentionalism about pleasure is inconsistent with any radical phenomenalist account that claims, of some or all pleasure, that it has no intentional character. Moderate phenomenalist accounts instead claim that all pleasure is both phenomenal and intentional; so they are consistent with intentionalism, and some are also consistent with strong intentionalism. Some phenomenalist accounts of pleasure are neither radical nor moderate; but are instead indeterminate on the matter of whether or not pleasure has any intentional character. Such indeterminacy then carries through to any form of hedonism that is built on them. Insofar as such indeterminacy is undesirable in any account of pleasure, and in any hedonist thesis, it is a count against these views.

Phenomenalism about pleasure is the thesis that all pleasure has phenomenal character. Radical intentionalist accounts (e.g., Feldman 2004: 56, Shafer-Landau: 20) claim, of some or all pleasure, that it has no phenomenal or felt character. Any such account is inconsistent with phenomenalism about pleasure. Though Feldman and Shafer-Landau do argue that intentional pleasure need not have any phenomenology or felt character, they also argue, respectively, that there is a distinct sensory or physical sort of pleasure that does have felt character. Moderate intentionalist accounts, by contrast, claim that all pleasure is both phenomenal and intentional, and this makes them consistent with phenomenalism about pleasure. Most intentionalists are mindful that all pleasure has a phenomenal reputation, and they attempt to account for this.

Moderate phenomenalism and moderate intentionalism can be re-framed as hybrid accounts that build on the idea that pleasure has both phenomenal and intentional character. A strong intentionalist hybrid view (e.g., Crane: chs. 1, 3) is that pleasure is a property or state the phenomenal character of which is fully captured in its intentional character. On one account of this sort, the phenomenal property or state of my delighting in the day just is my having a state or property in the intentional mode of delight, with content that includes directedness at the day. A different hybrid account is that pleasure is an intentional state or property that also has a phenomenal higher-order property. Along these lines, it might be held that delight in the day is a state or property in the delight mode that is directed at the day, and that in addition has a certain felt character. A third hybrid account is that pleasure is an intentional state or property that has a phenomenal object. Along these lines, my delighting in the day might be taken to be my intrinsically desiring a certain day-caused phenomenal delight-state or delight-property of mine. A fourth hybrid account is that pleasure is a phenomenal state or property that in addition meets an object-of-intentional-state condition. For example, one might regard: Pleasure as a feeling which is at least implicitly apprehended as desirable (Sidgwick: 127; see also Brandt, Sumner: 90). This fourth sort of hybrid view is rather demanding, because any subject who lacks the capacity implicitly to apprehend as desirable is incapable of such pleasure.

Ryle (1954) argued that all sensations have felt location. For example, one feels the pain of toe-stubbing to be located in one’s toe. Ryle also argued that pleasure has no felt location, and he concluded that it cannot be a sensation. Phenomenalists about pleasure need not contest any of this. They need not think pleasure is a sensory or a sensation state or property, and if they allow that bodily phenomenal pain does have intentional character, they can account for the felt location of one’s pain of toe-stubbing in terms of its being directed at one’s toe. Much the same is true of intentionalists. They can claim that pleasure is an intentional state or property, without claiming that its intentional character involves its having any felt location. For example, my delight in the day is about the day, not about any bodily location of mine. Moderate phenomenalism and moderate intentionalism are thus consistent with Ryle on these points. Ryle’s arguments do nevertheless present challenges for some pleasure-pain symmetry theses.

It is plausible that at least some pleasures have directedness. These pleasures present challenges for radical phenomenalists who deny that any pleasure has any intentional character. They need not trouble more modest forms of phenomenalism that do allow also for intentional character.

One option is to claim that some pleasures do not have any intentional character and are thus not directed at or about anything. For example, it might be claimed that there is objectless euphoria and ecstasy, or that undirected feelings of anxiety or suffering exist. Such cases would be no trouble for the sorts of phenomenalism that reject any form of intentionalism about pleasure. Intentionalists, by contrast, must insist that every pleasure and displeasure has an object. They might argue, for example, that allegedly objectless euphoria and ecstasy or anxiety in fact do have objects, even if these objects are not fully determinate; perhaps, for example, they are directed at things in general, or one’s life in general. Intentionalists might add that the indeterminacy of these objects is part of the charm of objectless euphoria and ecstasy, and of the awfulness of objectless anxiety and depression. In support of the broader idea that intentional states can have vague or indeterminate objects, while ordinary or substantial objects cannot, Elizabeth Anscombe offered this pugilist’s example: I can think of a man without thinking of a man of any particular height; I cannot hit a man without hitting a man of any particular height, because there is no such thing as a man of no particular height (Anscombe: 161). A different response to the claim that some pleasures and displeasures are objectless is to move to a fundamentally pluralist view, according to which some pleasure and displeasure is intentional, other pleasure and displeasure is phenomenal, and some of the latter has no intentional character at all.

Monism about pleasure is the thesis that there is just one basic kind of mental state or property that is pleasure. Phenomenal monism holds that there is just one basic kind pleasure feeling or tone, while intentional monism claims there is just one basic kind of pleasure intentional state or property. The disunity objection to monism is based on the claim that there is no unified or common element in all instances of pleasure (e.g., Sidgwick: 127, Alston: 344, Brandt: 3542, Parfit: 493, Griffin: 8, Sprigge: ch. 5). With few exceptions if any, such objections have to date targeted phenomenal monism. But both the objection and the possible replies to it are under-explored in the different context of intentional monism. The standard phenomenal monist reply is to insist that there is just one basic kind of pleasure and that this is a matter of there being a common element in pleasure’s feeling, felt tone, or phenomenology, or in what it is like to have pleasure (e.g., Moore: 1213, Broad: 229, Sumner: 8791). Broad, for example, wrote that the common phenomenal character of pleasure is something we cannot define but are perfectly acquainted with (Broad: 229). Alternatively, if some definition is to be attempted, one thought is that the common phenomenal character of all pleasure is just its felt pleasantness. A different claim is that there is a common feel-good character or felt positivity in all pleasure. This claim is not clear, but can be spelt out in at least the following three different ways: that there is such a property as felt positivity and that all instances of pleasure have it; that all pleasure consists partly in feeling the existence of goodness or value; or that all pleasure has goodness or value as an intentional object, and this is so whether or not goodness or value exists.

Pluralism in the present setting is the thesis that there is more than one basic kind of state or property that is pleasure, that pleasure is multiply or variously or diversely realizable, or that there is a basic plurality of sufficient conditions for pleasure. The core idea is that there is a basic plurality of kinds of feel or of intentional state, each of which is a kind of pleasure (e.g., Rachels, Labukt, perhaps Rawls: 557). The unity objection to any such pluralism is that all instances of pleasure must meet some unitary sufficient condition, and that pluralism is inconsistent with this. The obvious pluralist reply is to reject this demand for unitariness. One rationale for this reply is that multiple or plural realization theses about many kinds of mental states are coherent, widely made and merit serious consideration, so the unity objector is not justified in thus seeking to rule them out at the outset of inquiry into the nature of pleasure.

Reflection on both the disunity objection to monism and the unity objection to pluralism about pleasure suggests a further option. This is the thesis that there is some feature that is phenomenal or intentional or both and that is common to all instances of pleasure, and that in addition, some pleasures differ from others in at least one other respect that has phenomenal or intentional character or both. One motivation for such views is to draw out and combine insights from both monism and pluralism about the nature of pleasure.

Which features of pleasure are most closely related to its value? Bentham claimed that there are at least six dimensions of value in a pleasure or a pain: intensity, duration, certainty or uncertainty, propinquity or remoteness, fecundity, and purity (Bentham: ch. 4). On one account, fecundity is a matter of being instrumental in other pleasure or pain, purity is a matter of separating pleasure out from non-pleasure, propinquity and remoteness concern temporal and/or spatial nearness or farness, and the essentials of certainty and uncertainty are plain enough. Recalling that non-instrumental value is the present point of focus, Bentham’s account suggests the quantitative hedonist idea that the non-instrumental value of pleasure is a matter just of its quantitative features, and that these reduce just to its duration and its intensity.

Quantitative hedonism is consistent with monist phenomenalism about pleasure, with intensity here understood as felt intensity. It is also consistent with pluralist phenomenalism about pleasure, but only on the assumption that none of the plurality-making features of pleasure also adds non-instrumentally to its value. It is less straightforward to see how to combine quantitative hedonism with those forms of intentionalism that deny that pleasure need have any phenomenal character. Such accounts would need to explain the intensity or strength of pleasure in intentional terms and without making any appeal to felt intensity.

Responding especially to the charge that a Benthamite account is a doctrine worthy only of swine, J.S. Mill (ch. 2) developed an alternative approach according to which there is higher and lower pleasure, and its value is irreducibly a matter of its quality as well as its quantity. Mill argued that of two sorts of pleasures, if there is one that at least a majority of those who have experience of both prefer then it is the more desirable. The standard criticism of this qualitative hedonism is that pleasure’s quality reduces either to its quantity, or to some anti-hedonist claim about value. The best sort of reply for qualitative hedonists is to present an account that does not suffer from either such reduction or such collapse. Pluralism about the nature of pleasure seems to be necessary for this, together with the claim that one or more of the plurality-constituting features of pleasure does also add non-instrumentally add to its value. Qualitative hedonists who are also phenomenalists about pleasure will seek to find the sources of such value differences in phenomenal differences. Qualitative hedonists who are also intentionalists about the nature of pleasure will seek to find the sources of such value differences in irreducibly non-quantitative differences amongst pleasures in the intentional mode, in the intentional content, or in both of these aspects of these mental states or properties. Feldman’s Truth-Adjusted Intrinsic Attitudinal Hedonism is a view of this sort, due to its claim that the amount of intrinsic value of a life is a matter of the truth-adjusted amount of its intrinsic attitudinal pleasure (Feldman 2004: 112). The same is true of Feldman’s Desert-Adjusted Intrinsic Attitudinal Hedonism, according to which the amount of intrinsic value of a life is a matter of the desert-adjusted amount of its intrinsic attitudinal pleasure (Feldman 2004: 121).

One significant objection to hedonism about value is based on claims about the nature and existence of pleasure. It assumes hedonism about value, conjoins this with the eliminativist thesis that there is no such thing as pleasure, infers the nihilist thesis that nothing actually has value, rebounds by rejecting this value nihilism, and then concludes by retaining eliminativism about pleasure while rejecting hedonism about value. The most radical forms of eliminativism about pleasure are across-the-board theses: there is no such thing as pleasure, or there is no such thing as pain (e.g., Dennett; criticized by Flanagan amongst others), or both. Objections of the above sort that are based on the most radical eliminativist thesis speak against all forms of hedonism. Objections based on eliminativism about only phenomenal pleasure, or about only intentional pleasure, or about only sensational pleasure (e.g., Ryle, perhaps Sidgwick: 127, perhaps Aristotle 1175a22f) speak against only the correspondingly narrower forms of hedonism.

Why believe eliminativism about phenomenal or intentional pleasure? One sort of argument for it moves from the premise that there is no phenomenally or intentionally distinctive character common to all instances of, for example, new romantic love, slaking a powerful thirst, sexual orgasm, solving a hard intellectual problem, and fireside reminiscence amongst friends, to the conclusion that there is no such thing as phenomenal or intentional pleasure. This sort of argument relies on monism about pleasure, and monism about pleasure is argued above to be questionable. Why believe eliminativism about sensational pleasure? One sort of argument for it is that any such pleasure must be a sensation, and any sensation must have felt location, but no pleasure has felt location, so no pleasure sensation exists. Perhaps the most promising sort of hedonist response is to argue against eliminativism about pleasure, or at least against eliminativism about pleasure on some particular favoured account of its nature.

This section has discussed the nature of pleasure as it bears on ethical hedonism. It has outlined phenomenalist accounts, intentionalist accounts and hybrid accounts of pleasure. It has examined various critical issues for hedonism that are related to the nature of pleasure, especially: quantitative versus qualitative hedonism, disunity objections to monistic hedonism and unity objections to pluralistic hedonism, and arguments from eliminativism about pleasure to the rejection of hedonism about value. One overall conclusion to draw from this sub-section is that there would be benefit in further philosophical examination of the multiple connections between ethical hedonism and the phenomenal and intentional character of pleasure and displeasure.

At its simplest, ethical hedonism is the thesis that all and only pleasure has positive non-instrumental importance and all and only pain or displeasure has negative non-instrumental importance. The focus below is on hedonism about value, and the discussion is intended to be generalizable also to other forms of ethical hedonism.

Consider the following unification argument for hedonism about value: the case for the value of pleasure is stronger than the case for the value of any non-pleasure; the more unified the theory of value the better it is; unification around the strongest case is better than unification around any other case; therefore: hedonism is the best theory of value. This argument has weaknesses. Its first premise is not obviously true and needs further argument. In addition, the further argument that it still needs is in effect a separate argument for hedonism over its rivals, so this unification argument is not self-standing. Its second premise is also ambiguous between the claim that a theory of value is in one respect better if it is more unified, and the claim that it is all-things-considered better if it is more unified. Plausibility requires the first interpretation, but the unification argument requires the second interpretation. In short, there are significant problems with this unification argument for ethical hedonism.

Here is a motivation argument for hedonism about value: one’s basic motivation is always and only pleasure; all and only that which is one’s basic motivation has value for one; therefore all and only what is valuable for one is pleasure. On one interpretation, this argument appeals to a form of the motivational hedonist thesis that the only object of our basic motives is pleasure. This form of motivational hedonism is questionable, as Section 1.2 discussed above. In addition, motivational hedonism is most plausible as a claim about the role of pleasure as an object of each of our motives, whether or not that object actually exists in each case; whereas hedonism about value is most plausible as a view just about real states or properties of pleasure. Furthermore, this motivation argument depends on a pro-attitude or motivation theory of value. It thus makes hedonism about value an implication of, and in that respect dependent on, this form of subjectivism about value. On an alternative interpretation of the motivation argument, its first premise is the pleasure-motive identity thesis that our motives just are our pleasures (see Heathwood). For the motivation argument to bear fruit on this second interpretation, its proponents need to show that this pleasure-motive identity thesis is plausible.

One scientific naturalist argument for hedonism is this: in the value domain we should be scientific naturalists in our methods of inquiry; hedonism is the best option in respect of scientific naturalism; therefore, we should be hedonists about value. Various issues arise. Both premises of the argument need support. First, what are scientific naturalist forms of inquiry into value, and why think they should be adopted them in the value domain? One broadly scientific rationale for adopting such methods is the claim that their empirical track record is superior to that of philosophical theorising about value. But the thesis that naturalistic methods have a superior empirical track record or prospect is not obviously true and needs argument. A case also needs to be made that hedonism does do better than its rivals in the scientific naturalist respect. Why think it has better naturalistic credentials, for example, than the numerous non-hedonic and extra-hedonic mental states and properties, and the various forms of agency and of personal relationship, that are amongst the promising rival or additional candidates for non-instrumental value status?

Consider now this doxastic or belief argument for hedonism about value: all or most of us believe hedonism about value, albeit that some of us suffer from self-deception about that; and this state of our beliefs supports hedonism itself. One response is that even if the premise is true it fails to support the conclusion. Consider structurally similar cases. First, even if we all believe we have free will and even if we cannot but believe this, it does not show that we actually have free will. Second, suppose instead that a strong general form of belief involuntarism is true, according to which we are not free to have any beliefs other than those we do in fact have. Again, this would not have any tendency to establish the truth of any of these beliefs of ours, however robustly it might permit our having them. Any convincing form of the doxastic or belief argument would need to overcome such difficulties.

Phenomenal arguments for hedonism move from some aspect of the felt character of pleasure or pain to a thesis about the value of pleasure or pain.Some argue that pain or pleasure or both have felt character or felt quality that generates reason to avoid or alleviate or minimize the former and seek the latter (e.g., Nagel 1986: 156162). It might be thought that such phenomenal considerations can be deployed also in an argument for some form of ethical hedonism. One overall point is that the most such phenomenal arguments can show is the sufficiency of pleasure for value, and/or of pain for disvalue. Even if the relevant phenomenal character is unique to pleasure and pain, this can establish at most that pleasure is necessary to phenomenal arguments for value, and that pain is necessary to phenomenal arguments for disvalue. It cannot show that pleasure and pain alone have non-instrumental value. Phenomenal arguments also need to avoid appeal to any equivocation on quality. From the mere fact that pain or pleasure has a certain felt quality in the sense of felt character, it does not immediately follow that it has any felt quality in the sense of value or disvalue.

Can phenomenal arguments be strengthened? First, one might conjoin the premise that pleasure has certain felt character with the premise that all or most of us believe this felt character to be good. But this is just a doxastic argument again, plus a phenomenal account of the nature of pleasure. Second, one might instead appeal to the epistemic thesis that the felt character of pain and pleasure gives us direct awareness, perception or apprehension of the badness of pain and the goodness of pleasure. One construal of this idea is that pleasure is an intentional feeling that has its own value or goodness as an object. Even if this thesis is granted, however, it is a general feature of intentional states that their objects might or might not exist. This being so, even if its own goodness is an intentional object of pleasure and its own badness is an intentional object of pain, it does not follow that pleasure is good or that pain is bad. A third way to interpret the phenomenal argument is as claiming that pleasure and pain are propositional feels that have feels-to-be-good and feels-to-be-bad intentional and phenomenal character, respectively. Again however, if such feels share the character of propositional attitudes in general, then feels-to-be-good does not entail is-good and feels-to-be-bad does not entail is-bad.

Causal arguments for hedonism about value move from premises about pleasure’s causal relations to the conclusion that pleasure alone is valuable. One thing to note about the particular causal arguments for hedonism that are discussed below (c.f. Crisp 2006: 120122) is that they are in tension with doxastic arguments for hedonism (and with epistemic arguments, on which see below), because they counsel caution or even skepticism about the epistemic credentials of our hedonism-related beliefs.

One causal argument for hedonism is that autonomy, achievement, friendship, honesty, and so on, generally produce pleasure, and this makes us tend to think they have value of their own; in this way the valuable pleasure produced by these non-pleasures tends to confound our thinking about what has value. Even granting that achievement, friendship and the like tend to cause pleasure, however, why think this merely instrumental consideration also causes us to think these non-hedonic matters have their own non-instrumental value? Is there, for instance, any empirical evidence for this claim? And even granted both causal claims, why think these are the only causes of belief in non-hedonism? Even granted that these are the only causes of non-hedonist belief, why think these causes of belief justify it, and why think they are its only justifiers? Perhaps these questions all have good hedonism-friendly answers, but that needs to be shown. Alternatively, perhaps this causal argument is instead exactly as good as the parallel causal argument from the thesis that pleasure generally produces autonomy, achievement, and the like, to the opposite conclusion that hedonism is false.

Another causal argument for hedonism is that anti-hedonism about value is pleasure-maximizing; this tends to cause anti-hedonist belief; and it also justifies our having anti-hedonist belief without our needing to think such belief true. As it stands, this argument is weak. The issue is whether anti-hedonism is true, and this causal argument fails even to address that issue. Even if anti-hedonist belief has good or ideal consequences, and even if such consequences tend to produce such belief, this does not tend to establish either the truth or the falsehood of anti-hedonism.

Explanatory arguments for hedonism about value invite us to make a list of the things that we regard as good or valuable, to ask of each of them why is it good? or what explains its being good?, to agree that all of the goodness or value of all but one such listed item is best explained by its generation of pleasure, and also to agree that no satisfactorily explanatory answer can be given to such questions as why is pleasure good? or what explains pleasure’s being good?. Proponents of the explanatory argument then conclude in favour of hedonism about value.

Those already sympathetic to hedonism about value should find explanatory arguments congenial. It is a good question, partly empirical in nature, how the explanatory argument will strike those not already inclined either for or against hedonism about value. Those already sympathetic to non-hedonist pluralism about value, however, can reasonably respond with some scepticism to explanatory arguments for hedonism. They can hold that the non-instrumental value of each of pleasure, knowledge, autonomy, friendship and achievement (or any other good proposed instead) is best explained by its own non-instrumental features. Subjectivists will add that these non-instrumental features are matters of each item’s being some object of some actual or counterfactual pro-stance. Objectivists will instead claim that the non-instrumental features of pleasure, achievement, friendship, knowledge and autonomy that explain its value are independent of its being any object of any pro-stance. All parties can also agree that at least part of the instrumental goodness or value of pleasure, knowledge, autonomy, friendship and achievement is best explained by its generation of pleasure.

Epistemic arguments for hedonism about value claim that pleasure clearly or obviously has value (c.f. Crisp 2006: 124), and that nothing else clearly does; and they conclude that this justifies belief in hedonism about value. But the assertion that pleasure’s value claims are clearer or more robust or more obvious than those of any other candidate for value status needs argument. Until this is supplied, perhaps by doxastic, phenomenal, explanatory, or causal arguments, epistemic arguments add little to the case for hedonism about value.

This sub-section has outlined and reviewed some of the main forms of argument for hedonism about value: unification, motivation, scientific naturalist, doxastic, phenomenal, explanatory, causal and epistemic arguments. Arguments of each of these sorts could also be made for other forms of ethical hedonism. Each argument is problematical, but perhaps one or more of them can be made robust. Perhaps other promising arguments for ethical hedonism might also be developed. Even if all such arguments fail, this would still not in itself be a convincing overall case against hedonism. The next sub-section examines arguments against ethical hedonism.

There are many and varied arguments against ethical hedonism. Those that appeal to claims about the nature of pleasure are canvassed in Section 2.1 above. Further arguments against ethical hedonism could be constructed that broadly parallel the unification, motivation, scientific naturalist, doxastic, phenomenal, explanatory, causal and epistemic arguments for ethical hedonism presented and examined in Section 2.2 above. That task is not pursued in this entry. The following sub-sections instead review other objections to ethical hedonism.

At its simplest, ethical hedonism is the thesis that all and only pleasure is good non-instrumentally, and all and only pain or displeasure is bad non-instrumentally. The non-necessity objection to this rejects its claim that only pleasure is good, or its claim that only displeasure is bad, or both of these claims. Its thesis is that pleasure is not necessary for positive importance, or that displeasure is not necessary for negative importance, or both. Its basic idea is that something other than pleasure has value, and/or that something other than displeasure has disvalue. Any cases that are hedonic equals but value unequals would deliver what the non-necessity objector seeks.

One expression of the non-necessity objection is the following articulated incredulous stare (after Lewis 1986). Why would anyone think, even for a minute, that hedonism is a plausible theory of value? Even if we focus very narrowly, just on those mental states of ours that arguably are instances of pleasure or have pleasure as a higher-order property contentment, delight, ecstasy, elation, enjoyment, euphoria, exhilaration, exultation, gladness, gratification, gratitude, joy, liking, love, relief, satisfaction, Schadenfreude, tranquility, and so on each of these mental states or events or properties also has one or more non-hedonic properties that contribute to its importance. Beyond pleasure, our mental lives are full of significant and diverse thoughts, perceptions, emotions, imaginings, wishes, and so on. These engage with massively plural and diverse items in ourselves, in others, in myriad aspects of the non-human world, and in the infinities of contingent future possibility. This is true also of our relationships with ourselves and with others, and with multiple aspects of the wider world. It is true also of our agency our deliberations, choices, plans, intentions, and so forth. In the light of such reflections, an incredulous stare might be thought an apt response to a profession of belief in ethical hedonism. This incredulous stare argument is far from decisive, but perhaps it should disrupt any complacent presumption in favour of hedonism.

Many well-known criticisms of hedonism can reasonably be interpreted as non-necessity objections. A short survey of some of the more significant of these follows.

Plato pointed out that if your life is just one of pleasure then it would not even include any recollection of pleasure; nor any distinct thought that you were pleased, even when you were pleased. His conclusion was that your life would be the life, not of a man, but of an oyster (Philebus 21a). Similarly, on J.S. Mill’s account of him at least (Mill: ch. 2), Carlyle held that hedonism is a doctrine worthy only of swine.

Nozick (1971) and Nagel (1970) present schematic descriptions of lives that have all the appearance but none of the reality of self-understanding, achievement, loving relationships, self-directedness, and so on, alongside lives that have these appearances and also the corresponding realities. On the face of it, hedonism is committed to the hedonic equality and thus the equal value of these lives. Commenting on his more fantastical and more famous experience machine case, Nozick added further detail, claiming that it is also good in itself to do certain things, and not just have the experience [as if] of doing them, to be a certain way, to be a certain sort of person and not just to be an indeterminate blob floating in a tank, and to make a difference in the world rather than merely to appear to oneself to do so. He concluded: something matters to us in addition to experience (Nozick 1974: 4344).

Consider further the idea that actually having certain relationships with oneself (e.g., relations of self-understanding) and with others (e.g., mutual relations of interpersonal love) matters, in addition to the value of any experience one has that is just as if one has such relationships. The thought here is that the motto also connect expresses something important, even if novelist E.M. Forster’s more ambitious only connect (Forster: ch. 33) was an exaggeration.

In a famous case description, Moore argued that a world with beauty but without its contemplation, and indeed without any mental states whatever, is better than a world that is simply one heap of filth (Moore: sec. 50; contrast Sidgwick: 114). If Moore is right about this beauty and the filth case, then pleasure is not necessary for value.

W.D. Ross (138) considered two worlds that are equals both hedonically and in character terms. In one world, the virtuous have the pleasure and the vicious have the pain, while in the other the vicious have the pleasure and the virtuous have the pain. To help secure across all plausible accounts of the nature of pleasure the equality of pleasure that is central to this case comparison, suppose that in each world the same pleasures are taken in the same objects. Pleasure is equal across these two worlds, but Ross argues that the well-matched world is better than the mis-matched world. If he is right, then this is a case of same pleasure, different value, and thereby also a case in which difference of pleasure is not necessary for difference of value.

Imagining oneself to have a hedonically perfect life, a non-necessity objector is apt to respond along the lines of the popular Paul Jabara / Jo Asher song: Something’s missing in my life. One way to fill out the detail is with some variant of that song’s second premise: Baby it’s you. The objectors’ claim is that there is something that is sufficient for value and that is missing from the life of perfect pleasure. If the objection stands then pleasure is not necessary for value.

There is a range of possible hedonist responses to non-necessity objections. One reply is that the allegedly non-hedonic item on which the objector focuses just is an instance of pleasure, so its being valuable is just what a hedonist would expect. A related reply is that the item to which the objector points is sufficient for value only insofar as it is an instance of pleasure, so the thesis that pleasure is necessary for value again remains unscathed. Responses of these sorts are relatively easy for hedonists to make; but it is less easy to show anyone who is not already a hedonist that these replies provide grounds for taking the hedonist side of the arguments. A third reply hedonists might make to non-necessity objections is to allow that the item in question is or includes non-pleasure that has value, but then to argue that this is merely instrumental value. A fourth and more concessive reply is that the item in question might be a non-pleasure and might be sufficient for non-instrumental value of some sort (e.g., moral value), but to add that there is also at least one sort of value (e.g., prudential value) for which pleasure is necessary. For example, it might be claimed that self-sacrifice that protects the non-sentient environment has non-hedonic moral value but lacks prudential value for the agent. An option that is yet more concessive is for hedonists is to agree that pleasure is not necessary for value or that displeasure is not necessary for disvalue or both of these things, but to continue to insist that pleasure is sufficient for value or that displeasure is sufficient for disvalue or both of these things.

As noted above, the simplest form of ethical hedonism is the claim that all and only pleasure is good non-instrumentally and all and only pain or displeasure is bad non-instrumentally. The insufficiency objection rejects the ethical hedonist claim that all pleasure is good, or that all displeasure is bad, or both claims. Its contrary thesis is that pleasure is insufficient for good, and/or that displeasure is insufficient for bad; some pleasure has no value, and/or some displeasure has no disvalue. Any pair of cases that are value equals but hedonic unequals would deliver what the insufficiency objector seeks.

Various insufficiency objections are outlined below. Each aims to show that some pleasure is worthless or worse and is thus insufficient for good or value. Some focus on the bad as cause of pleasure, others on the bad as object of pleasure. A third possible focus is on pleasure understood as a property of something bad such as a sadistic thought or act, rather than as an effect of something bad.

Aristotle (Book x, ch. 3) argued that some pleasure is disgraceful or base. Brentano (1889/1969: 90) argued that pleasure in the bad both lacks value and has disvalue. Moore (sec. 56) expressed similar thoughts in a bracingly concrete manner by imagining the pleasures of perpetual indulgence in bestiality and claiming them to be not good but bad. Self-destructive or masochistic pleasure, pleasure with a non-existent or false object, and contra-deserved pleasure are some other targets of insufficiency objections to hedonism about value.

Hedonists can respond in various ways to insufficiency objections. These are canvassed below.

One sort of hedonist response to an insufficiency objection is to accept that the objector’s case is an instance of pleasure, but then to claim that it is sufficient for value. This response is underpinned by insistence on the wider thought that any pleasure is sufficient for value. Consistent with this, but rather concessively, it could also be claimed that pleasure is sufficient for only very little value, and that substantial or major value is present only if further conditions are met. Such further conditions might concern the extent to which the pleasure is higher rather than lower, whether its object exists, or whether its object merits pleasure. Feldman (2004) has formulated and sympathetically examined several views that have this sort of structure, including Altitude-Adjusted, Truth-Adjusted, and Desert-Adjusted forms of Intrinsic Attitudinal Hedonism.

A second hedonist response is to accept that the insufficiency objector has indeed found a case that is insufficient for value, but then to claim that it is not an instance of pleasure. This sort of response is underpinned by the hedonist’s insistence on the wider thought that anything insufficient for value is not pleasure.

A third hedonist response is somewhat concessive. It distinguishes at least two basic kinds of value, and continues to insist that pleasure is sufficient for one of these, while also accepting the objector’s thesis that there is at least one other sort of value for which pleasure is not sufficient. One instance of this response is the claim that sadistic pleasure adds prudential value for the sadist but also lacks moral value and indeed has moral disvalue. But such a move is more awkward in other cases, including those of pleasure that is self-destructive or masochistic.

A fourth hedonist response is concessive. It abandons altogether the thesis that pleasure is sufficient for value, while also continuing to insist that pleasure is necessary for value. Consistent with this response, one could claim that pleasure is conditionally valuable; that is, sufficient for value when and only when certain further conditions are met. These conditions could be specified either negatively (e.g., pleasure is valuable only when it does not arise from and is not directed at a bad deed or character state or state of affairs), or positively (e.g., pleasure is valuable only when its object exists, or only when its object is deserving of it). Modified forms of Altitude-Adjusted, Truth-Adjusted, and Desert-Adjusted Intrinsic Attitudinal Hedonism would have this structure (see Feldman 2004).

The critical discussion of Section 2 above has supplemented the Section 1 consideration of psychological hedonism, by examining arguments both for and against ethical hedonism. On one influential view that John Rawls attributes to Henry Sidgwick, justification in ethics ideally proceeds against standards of reasoned justification carefully formulated, and satisfactory justification of any particular moral conception must proceed from a full knowledge and systematic comparison of the more significant conceptions in the philosophical tradition (editor’s Foreword to Sidgwick). This entry has not attempted any such systematic comparative examination of psychological hedonism or ethical hedonism against its main rivals.

Both psychological hedonism and ethical hedonism remain worthy of serious philosophical attention. Each also has broader philosophical significance, especially but not only in utilitarian and egoist traditions of ethical thought, and in empiricist and scientific naturalist philosophical traditions.

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Hedonism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

Michigan SEO Company – Search Engine Optimization Company

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Jan 192016

Jay Bale & Associates is comprised of the most talented SEO developers and digital marketing professionals in Michigan. We specialize in the creation of websites that score highly on search engine algorithms and are simple to navigate for interested consumers. Search Engine Optimization always begins with a well built site. Our highly skilled and dedicated team will get you the highest and most relevant rankings.

The founder of our SEO company has an extensive track record of success online. Jay Bale is a co-founder of leading eCommerce company, active manager of Google’s primary SEO discussion group, and has been involved in billions of dollars in transactions on the web. He was integral in the online marketing and search engine optimization going on inside US Mattress and he continues to provide those services to clients in a variety of other industries. He has facilitated over $500 million in web-driven sales. Over the course of his career, he has spent over $100 million in online advertising, primarily through Google.

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Kentucky Beaches, Barkley, Lake Cumberland, Cave Run, Barren …

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Jan 192016

MAIN Beaches US Kentucky Beaches It’s more than bourbon and bluegrass. In Kentucky, there’s lots more to beat the heat during the summer season — at start parks, lake resorts, and national recreational areas.

At left, the natural beauty of Land Between The Lakes is surrounded by Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley, and offers endless opportunities for water sports and activities, or just lazing the summer days away.

Whether you’re interested in fishing, pleasure boating, water skiing, wake boarding, or just going for a swim, Kentucky’s got it covered ….

Have fun!

DID YOU KNOW? Kentucky lake beach fun facts:

Kentucky Lake and Barkley Lake combined make up about 4,000 miles of Kentucky shoreline.

Despite its name, Rough River provides a perfect place for swimming at a family-friendly beach where gentle waves wash the shore during the height of the summer season.

In Eastern Kentucky, Carr Creek State Park features the longest beach of any state park in Kentucky..

also see -> Kentucky campgrounds | Kentucky tourist attractions

More about Kentucky beaches and lakes around the Web:

– The USA Today guide with a list of top lake beaches including a description of amenities, nearby attractions, and related resources.

Barren River Lake State Resort – Check out the public beach, marina, campgrounds and more with location and contact info, maps, pictures, and links to nearby attractions.

Lake Cumberland Vacation – The online visitors guide with info on recreational activities and current events calendar, lodging and camping facilities, detailed maps, pictures, e-cards and wallpapers.

Cave Run Lake – With emphasis on their reputation as muskie fishing capital of the South, this guide offers information on swimming, hiking and camping, including a photo gallery, video clips, maps, driving directions and related links to Kentucky recreational activities.

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Definition of Rationalism –

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Jan 182016

Rationalism is the term used to describe writers and philosophers who privilege scientific reason and logical thought over and above everything else. The Rationalists in America were very much influenced by the Enlightenment that was happening in the 18th century in Europe. However, unlike the Enlightenments great thinkers and philosophers, the Founding Fathers of America attempted to put the philosophy of the Enlightenment to actual use. This is most likely directly related to the fact that American Rationalists evolved out of the tradition of Puritanism, not the class structure and Feudalism of Europe.

Rationalism is based on the concepts of logic and scientific reasoning, but the Rationalists themselves were not scientists as we think of the term. Science in the 18th century was not a profession it was a hobby. Wealthier Americans who had gone to the universities went back to their homes and began to categorize the flora and fauna of their home regions. Not because they were biologists, but because somebody had to do it, and it might as well be them.

Most American science was based on figuring out how to do things more efficiently (and profitably). Rationalists used the scientific method of identifying the problem, hypothesizing a solution, and testing the hypotheses until you reach a satisfactory conclusion. Benjamin Franklin became one of Americas great scientists, but almost everything that he invented (bifocals, lightning rods, Franklin stoves, etc) were designed to solve specific problems. He was not just puttering around or doing experiments willy-nilly.

One side effect of rationalism was that it led to questioning of everything. Instead of following tradition simply because it had always been done that way, rationalists questioned the traditions and made the necessary changes based on what they observed. Thus, because of the rationalist worldview, instead of automatically setting up a government like every other government in Europe, the Founding Fathers asked what sort of government made the most logical sense.

One other significant element of rationalism is their view of religion. As is often pointed out in church/state discussions today, the Founding Fathers made reference to God on a regular basis. However, their view of God and religion was NOT the same as the Puritans. The vast majority of the Founding Fathers and other leading Rationalists were Deists. They believed in God, but it was not a God who was involved in human affairs. The metaphor that was commonly used was the God was like a Clockmaker who had made the universe, wound it up, and was letting it wind down. By referencing God, they were referencing the very notion of a rational, planned universe. Mans role was to try to make proper use of what God had created, whether it be in political structures, daily life, or even scientific observation. Studying the world scientifically wasnt in defiance of religion, it was to better understand what God had created.

This is just a very simple beginning explanation of Puritanism. Check out these websites if you want to know more:

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Rationalism (international relations) – Wikipedia, the …

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Jan 182016

Rationalism in politics is often seen as the midpoint in the three major political viewpoints of realism, rationalism, and internationalism. Whereas Realism and Internationalism are both on ends of the scale, rationalism tends to occupy the middle ground on most issues, and finds compromise between these two conflicting points of view.

Believers of Rationalism believe that multinational and multilateral organizations have their place in the world order, but not that a world government would be feasible. They point to current international organizations, most notably the United Nations, and point out that these organizations leave a lot to be desired and, in some cases, do more harm than good. They believe that this can be achieved through greater international law making procedures and that the use of force can be avoided in resolving disputes.[1]

Rationalists tend to see the rule of law and order as being equally important to states as it helps reduce conflicts. This in turn helps states become more willing to negotiate treaties and agreements where it best suits their interests. However, they see it as wrong for a nation to promote its own national interests, reminiscent of Internationalism, but that there is already a high level of order in the international system without a world government.[1]

Rationalists believe that states have a right to sovereignty, particularly over territory, but that this sovereignty can be violated in exceptional circumstances, such as human rights violations.

In situations such as that of Burma after Cyclone Nargis, rationalists find it acceptable for other states to violate that country’s sovereignty in order to help its people. This would be where an organisation such as the United Nations would come in and decide whether the situation is exceptional enough to warrant a violation of that state’s sovereignty.[1]

Realists believe that states act independently of each other and that states’ sovereignty is effectively sacred. Rationalists agree to a certain extent. However, as stated previously, rationalism includes sovereignty as a vital factor, but not as untouchable and ‘sacred’.

Realists also hold the Treaty of Westphalia and the international system that arose from this as the international system that prevails to this day. Rationalists acknowledge that the treaty has played an important part in shaping international relations and the world order and that certain aspects, such as sovereignty, still exist and play a vital role, but not that it has survived in its entirety. They believe that through the existence of international organisations, such as the European Union and the United Nations, the international system is less anarchic than Realists claim.[2]

Internationalists believe in a world order where an effective world government would govern the world, that sovereignty is an outdated concept and barrier to creating peace, the need for a common humanity and the need for cooperative solutions. Rationalists adhere to these beliefs to some extent. For example, with regards to the need for a common humanity and cooperative solutions, rationalists see this as being achieved without the need to abolish sovereignty and the Westphalian concept of the nation-state. The current system is seen as the example of this, as nation-states still hold their sovereignty and yet international organisations exist that potentially have the power to violate it, for the need to create peace, law and order.[1]

It is believed that the proposals for reform of the United Nations come from rationalist thoughts and points of view. This belief is held because most members of the UN agree that the UN requires reform, in the way of expanding or abolishing the Security Council and granting it more powers to violate sovereignty if necessary.[1]

Some figures who consider themselves as ‘rationalist’ include:

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Pierre Teilhard De Chardin | Designer Children | Prometheism | Euvolution | Transhumanism