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Cosmic Heaven & Magic Sense – Without You | Crystal Clouds

 Cosmic  Comments Off on Cosmic Heaven & Magic Sense – Without You | Crystal Clouds
Feb 052016

Cosmic Heaven with Magic Sense are back on Beyond The Stars Recordings with their latest collaboration entitled Without You. Together these two have created an energetic, uplifting original that combines a classical break with a powerful main that seamlessly combine to create an epic track!

The Chronosapien Remix enters into a more techno mind frame, the pump generated from this track has you dancing on the ground!

Sepehr Nazari’s Remix synths are so present that the mix is build beneath them effortlessly. The kick and bass holding such a strong base to complete this song.

Together, these three uplifting mixes combine to create a loving trio that would be added to any djs bag!

Artists: Chronosapien, Cosmic Heaven, Magic Sense, Sepehr Nazari Record Label: Beyond The Stars Recordings Catalog Number: BTSR089 Release Date (All Stores): 2016-02-08

01. Cosmic Heaven & Magic Sense – Without You (Original Mix) 02. Cosmic Heaven & Magic Sense – Without You (Chronosapien Remix) 03. Cosmic Heaven & Magic Sense – Without You (Sepehr Nazari Remix)


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Rationalism – definition of rationalism by The Free Dictionary

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Feb 022016


1. Reliance on reason as the best guide for belief and action.

2. Philosophy The theory that the exercise of reason, rather than experience, authority, or spiritual revelation, provides the primary basis for knowledge.

rationalist n.

rationalistic adj.

rationalistically adv.

1. reliance on reason rather than intuition to justify one’s beliefs or actions

a. the doctrine that knowledge about reality can be obtained by reason alone without recourse to experience

b. the doctrine that human knowledge can all be encompassed within a single, usually deductive, system

c. the school of philosophy initiated by Descartes which held both the above doctrines

3. the belief that knowledge and truth are ascertained by rational thought and not by divine or supernatural revelation

rationalist n

rationalistic adj

rationalistically adv


1. the principle or habit of accepting reason as the supreme authority in matters of opinion, belief, or conduct.

a. a philosophic doctrine that reason alone is a source of knowledge and is independent of experience.

b. a doctrine that all knowledge is expressible in self-evident propositions or their consequences.

3. a doctrine that human reason, unaided by divine revelation, is an adequate or the sole guide to all attainable religious truth.


rationalist, n.

1. the doctrine that knowledge is gained only through the reason, a faculty independent of experience. 2. the doctrine that all knowledge is expressible in self-evident propositions or their consequences. rationalist, n. rationalistic, adj.

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Empiricism – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Feb 022016

Empiricism is a theory that states that knowledge comes only or primarily from sensory experience.[1] One of several views of epistemology, the study of human knowledge, along with rationalism and skepticism, empiricism emphasizes the role of experience and evidence, especially sensory experience, in the formation of ideas, over the notion of innate ideas or traditions;[2] empiricists may argue however that traditions (or customs) arise due to relations of previous sense experiences.[3]

Empiricism in the philosophy of science emphasizes evidence, especially as discovered in experiments. It is a fundamental part of the scientific method that all hypotheses and theories must be tested against observations of the natural world rather than resting solely on a priori reasoning, intuition, or revelation.

Empiricism, often used by natural scientists, says that “knowledge is based on experience” and that “knowledge is tentative and probabilistic, subject to continued revision and falsification.”[4] One of the epistemological tenets is that sensory experience creates knowledge. The scientific method, including experiments and validated measurement tools, guides empirical research.

The English term “empirical” derives from the Greek word , which is cognate with and translates to the Latin experientia, from which we derive the word “experience” and the related “experiment”. The term was used by the Empiric school of ancient Greek medical practitioners, who rejected the three doctrines of the Dogmatic school, preferring to rely on the observation of “phenomena”.[5]

A central concept in science and the scientific method is that it must be empirically based on the evidence of the senses. Both natural and social sciences use working hypotheses that are testable by observation and experiment. The term semi-empirical is sometimes used to describe theoretical methods that make use of basic axioms, established scientific laws, and previous experimental results in order to engage in reasoned model building and theoretical inquiry.

Philosophical empiricists hold no knowledge to be properly inferred or deduced unless it is derived from one’s sense-based experience.[6] This view is commonly contrasted with rationalism, which states that knowledge may be derived from reason independently of the senses. For example John Locke held that some knowledge (e.g. knowledge of God’s existence) could be arrived at through intuition and reasoning alone. Similarly Robert Boyle, a prominent advocate of the experimental method, held that we have innate ideas.[7][8] The main continental rationalists (Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz) were also advocates of the empirical “scientific method”.[9][10]

Vaisheshika darshana founded by ancient Indian philosopher Kanada accepted perception and inference as only two reliable source of knowledge. This is enumerated in his work Vaieika Stra.

The notion of tabula rasa (“clean slate” or “blank tablet”) connotes a view of mind as an originally blank or empty recorder (Locke used the words “white paper”) on which experience leaves marks. This denies that humans have innate ideas. The image dates back to Aristotle:

What the mind (nous) thinks must be in it in the same sense as letters are on a tablet (grammateion) which bears no actual writing (grammenon); this is just what happens in the case of the mind. (Aristotle, On the Soul, 3.4.430a1).

Aristotle’s explanation of how this was possible was not strictly empiricist in a modern sense, but rather based on his theory of potentiality and actuality, and experience of sense perceptions still requires the help of the active nous. These notions contrasted with Platonic notions of the human mind as an entity that pre-existed somewhere in the heavens, before being sent down to join a body on Earth (see Plato’s Phaedo and Apology, as well as others). Aristotle was considered to give a more important position to sense perception than Plato, and commentators in the middle ages summarized one of his positions as “nihil in intellectu nisi prius fuerit in sensu” (Latin for “nothing in the intellect without first being in the senses”).

This idea was later developed in ancient philosophy by the Stoic school. Stoic epistemology generally emphasized that the mind starts blank, but acquires knowledge as the outside world is impressed upon it.[11] The doxographer Aetius summarizes this view as “When a man is born, the Stoics say, he has the commanding part of his soul like a sheet of paper ready for writing upon.”[12] Later stoics, such as Sextus of Chaeronea, would continue this idea of empiricism in later Stoic writings as well. As Sextus contends “For every thought comes from sense-perception or not without sense-perception and either from direct experience or not without direct experience” (Against the Professors, 8.56-8).

During the middle ages Aristotle’s theory of tabula rasa was developed by Islamic philosophers starting with Al Farabi, developing into an elaborate theory by Avicenna[14] and demonstrated as a thought experiment by Ibn Tufail.[15] For Avicenna (Ibn Sina), for example, the tabula rasa is a pure potentiality that is actualized through education, and knowledge is attained through “empirical familiarity with objects in this world from which one abstracts universal concepts” developed through a “syllogistic method of reasoning in which observations lead to propositional statements which when compounded lead to further abstract concepts”. The intellect itself develops from a material intellect (al-‘aql al-hayulani), which is a potentiality “that can acquire knowledge to the active intellect (al-‘aql al-fa’il), the state of the human intellect in conjunction with the perfect source of knowledge”.[14] So the immaterial “active intellect”, separate from any individual person, is still essential for understanding to occur.

In the 12th century CE the Andalusian Muslim philosopher and novelist Abu Bakr Ibn Tufail (known as “Abubacer” or “Ebn Tophail” in the West) included the theory of tabula rasa as a thought experiment in his Arabic philosophical novel, Hayy ibn Yaqdhan in which he depicted the development of the mind of a feral child “from a tabula rasa to that of an adult, in complete isolation from society” on a desert island, through experience alone. The Latin translation of his philosophical novel, entitled Philosophus Autodidactus, published by Edward Pococke the Younger in 1671, had an influence on John Locke’s formulation of tabula rasa in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding.[15]

A similar Islamic theological novel, Theologus Autodidactus, was written by the Arab theologian and physician Ibn al-Nafis in the 13th century. It also dealt with the theme of empiricism through the story of a feral child on a desert island, but departed from its predecessor by depicting the development of the protagonist’s mind through contact with society rather than in isolation from society.[16]

During the 13th century Thomas Aquinas adopted the Aristotelian position that the senses are essential to mind into scholasticism. Bonaventure (12211274), one of Aquinas’ strongest intellectual opponents, offered some of the strongest arguments in favour of the Platonic idea of the mind.

In the late renaissance various writers began to question the medieval and classical understanding of knowledge acquisition in a more fundamental way. In political and historical writing Niccol Machiavelli and his friend Francesco Guicciardini initiated a new realistic style of writing. Machiavelli in particular was scornful of writers on politics who judged everything in comparison to mental ideals and demanded that people should study the “effectual truth” instead. Their contemporary, Leonardo da Vinci (14521519) said, “If you find from your own experience that something is a fact and it contradicts what some authority has written down, then you must abandon the authority and base your reasoning on your own findings.”[17]

The decidedly anti-Aristotelian and anti-clerical music theorist Vincenzo Galilei (ca. 15201591), father of Galileo and the inventor of monody, made use of the method in successfully solving musical problems, firstly, of tuning such as the relationship of pitch to string tension and mass in stringed instruments, and to volume of air in wind instruments; and secondly to composition, by his various suggestions to composers in his Dialogo della musica antica e moderna (Florence, 1581). The Italian word he used for “experiment” was esperienza. It is known that he was the essential pedagogical influence upon the young Galileo, his eldest son (cf. Coelho, ed. Music and Science in the Age of Galileo Galilei), arguably one of the most influential empiricists in history. Vincenzo, through his tuning research, found the underlying truth at the heart of the misunderstood myth of ‘Pythagoras’ hammers’ (the square of the numbers concerned yielded those musical intervals, not the actual numbers, as believed), and through this and other discoveries that demonstrated the fallibility of traditional authorities, a radically empirical attitude developed, passed on to Galileo, which regarded “experience and demonstration” as the sine qua non of valid rational enquiry.

British empiricism, though it was not a term used at the time, derives from the 17th century period of early modern philosophy and modern science. The term became useful in order to describe differences perceived between two of its founders Francis Bacon, described as empiricist, and Ren Descartes, who is described as a rationalist. Thomas Hobbes and Baruch Spinoza, in the next generation, are often also described as an empiricist and a rationalist respectively. John Locke, George Berkeley, and David Hume were the primary exponents of empiricism in the 18th century Enlightenment, with Locke being the person who is normally known as the founder of empiricism as such.

In response to the early-to-mid-17th century “continental rationalism” John Locke (16321704) proposed in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1689) a very influential view wherein the only knowledge humans can have is a posteriori, i.e., based upon experience. Locke is famously attributed with holding the proposition that the human mind is a tabula rasa, a “blank tablet”, in Locke’s words “white paper”, on which the experiences derived from sense impressions as a person’s life proceeds are written. There are two sources of our ideas: sensation and reflection. In both cases, a distinction is made between simple and complex ideas. The former are unanalysable, and are broken down into primary and secondary qualities. Primary qualities are essential for the object in question to be what it is. Without specific primary qualities, an object would not be what it is. For example, an apple is an apple because of the arrangement of its atomic structure. If an apple was structured differently, it would cease to be an apple. Secondary qualities are the sensory information we can perceive from its primary qualities. For example, an apple can be perceived in various colours, sizes, and textures but it is still identified as an apple. Therefore its primary qualities dictate what the object essentially is, while its secondary qualities define its attributes. Complex ideas combine simple ones, and divide into substances, modes, and relations. According to Locke, our knowledge of things is a perception of ideas that are in accordance or discordance with each other, which is very different from the quest for certainty of Descartes.

A generation later, the Irish Anglican bishop, George Berkeley (16851753), determined that Locke’s view immediately opened a door that would lead to eventual atheism. In response to Locke, he put forth in his Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge (1710) an important challenge to empiricism in which things only exist either as a result of their being perceived, or by virtue of the fact that they are an entity doing the perceiving. (For Berkeley, God fills in for humans by doing the perceiving whenever humans are not around to do it). In his text Alciphron, Berkeley maintained that any order humans may see in nature is the language or handwriting of God.[18] Berkeley’s approach to empiricism would later come to be called subjective idealism.[19][20]

The Scottish philosopher David Hume (17111776) responded to Berkeley’s criticisms of Locke, as well as other differences between early modern philosophers, and moved empiricism to a new level of skepticism. Hume argued in keeping with the empiricist view that all knowledge derives from sense experience, but he accepted that this has implications not normally acceptable to philosophers. He wrote for example, “Locke divides all arguments into demonstrative and probable. On this view, we must say that it is only probable that all men must die or that the sun will rise to-morrow, because neither of these can be demonstrated. But to conform our language more to common use, we ought to divide arguments into demonstrations, proofs, and probabilitiesby proofs meaning arguments from experience that leave no room for doubt or opposition.”[21] And,[22]

“I believe the most general and most popular explication of this matter, is to say [See Mr. Locke, chapter of power.], that finding from experience, that there are several new productions in matter, such as the motions and variations of body, and concluding that there must somewhere be a power capable of producing them, we arrive at last by this reasoning at the idea of power and efficacy. But to be convinced that this explication is more popular than philosophical, we need but reflect on two very obvious principles. First, That reason alone can never give rise to any original idea, and secondly, that reason, as distinguished from experience, can never make us conclude, that a cause or productive quality is absolutely requisite to every beginning of existence. Both these considerations have been sufficiently explained: and therefore shall not at present be any farther insisted on.”

Hume Section XIV “of the idea of necessary connexion in A Treatise of Human Nature

Hume divided all of human knowledge into two categories: relations of ideas and matters of fact (see also Kant’s analytic-synthetic distinction). Mathematical and logical propositions (e.g. “that the square of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares of the two sides”) are examples of the first, while propositions involving some contingent observation of the world (e.g. “the sun rises in the East”) are examples of the second. All of people’s “ideas”, in turn, are derived from their “impressions”. For Hume, an “impression” corresponds roughly with what we call a sensation. To remember or to imagine such impressions is to have an “idea”. Ideas are therefore the faint copies of sensations.[23]

Hume maintained that all knowledge, even the most basic beliefs about the natural world, cannot be conclusively established by reason. Rather, he maintained, our beliefs are more a result of accumulated habits, developed in response to accumulated sense experiences. Among his many arguments Hume also added another important slant to the debate about scientific method that of the problem of induction. Hume argued that it requires inductive reasoning to arrive at the premises for the principle of inductive reasoning, and therefore the justification for inductive reasoning is a circular argument.[23] Among Hume’s conclusions regarding the problem of induction is that there is no certainty that the future will resemble the past. Thus, as a simple instance posed by Hume, we cannot know with certainty by inductive reasoning that the sun will continue to rise in the East, but instead come to expect it to do so because it has repeatedly done so in the past.[23]

Hume concluded that such things as belief in an external world and belief in the existence of the self were not rationally justifiable. According to Hume these beliefs were to be accepted nonetheless because of their profound basis in instinct and custom. Hume’s lasting legacy, however, was the doubt that his skeptical arguments cast on the legitimacy of inductive reasoning, allowing many skeptics who followed to cast similar doubt.

Most of Hume’s followers have disagreed with his conclusion that belief in an external world is rationally unjustifiable, contending that Hume’s own principles implicitly contained the rational justification for such a belief, that is, beyond being content to let the issue rest on human instinct, custom and habit.[24] According to an extreme empiricist theory known as phenomenalism, anticipated by the arguments of both Hume and George Berkeley, a physical object is a kind of construction out of our experiences.[25] Phenomenalism is the view that physical objects, properties, events (whatever is physical) are reducible to mental objects, properties, events. Ultimately, only mental objects, properties, events, exist hence the closely related term subjective idealism. By the phenomenalistic line of thinking, to have a visual experience of a real physical thing is to have an experience of a certain kind of group of experiences. This type of set of experiences possesses a constancy and coherence that is lacking in the set of experiences of which hallucinations, for example, are a part. As John Stuart Mill put it in the mid-19th century, matter is the “permanent possibility of sensation”.[26] Mill’s empiricism went a significant step beyond Hume in still another respect: in maintaining that induction is necessary for all meaningful knowledge including mathematics. As summarized by D.W. Hamlin:

[Mill] claimed that mathematical truths were merely very highly confirmed generalizations from experience; mathematical inference, generally conceived as deductive [and a priori] in nature, Mill set down as founded on induction. Thus, in Mill’s philosophy there was no real place for knowledge based on relations of ideas. In his view logical and mathematical necessity is psychological; we are merely unable to conceive any other possibilities than those that logical and mathematical propositions assert. This is perhaps the most extreme version of empiricism known, but it has not found many defenders.[20]

Mill’s empiricism thus held that knowledge of any kind is not from direct experience but an inductive inference from direct experience.[27] The problems other philosophers have had with Mill’s position center around the following issues: Firstly, Mill’s formulation encounters difficulty when it describes what direct experience is by differentiating only between actual and possible sensations. This misses some key discussion concerning conditions under which such “groups of permanent possibilities of sensation” might exist in the first place. Berkeley put God in that gap; the phenomenalists, including Mill, essentially left the question unanswered. In the end, lacking an acknowledgement of an aspect of “reality” that goes beyond mere “possibilities of sensation”, such a position leads to a version of subjective idealism. Questions of how floor beams continue to support a floor while unobserved, how trees continue to grow while unobserved and untouched by human hands, etc., remain unanswered, and perhaps unanswerable in these terms.[20][28] Secondly, Mill’s formulation leaves open the unsettling possibility that the “gap-filling entities are purely possibilities and not actualities at all”.[28] Thirdly, Mill’s position, by calling mathematics merely another species of inductive inference, misapprehends mathematics. It fails to fully consider the structure and method of mathematical science, the products of which are arrived at through an internally consistent deductive set of procedures which do not, either today or at the time Mill wrote, fall under the agreed meaning of induction.[20][28][29]

The phenomenalist phase of post-Humean empiricism ended by the 1940s, for by that time it had become obvious that statements about physical things could not be translated into statements about actual and possible sense data.[30] If a physical object statement is to be translatable into a sense-data statement, the former must be at least deducible from the latter. But it came to be realized that there is no finite set of statements about actual and possible sense-data from which we can deduce even a single physical-object statement. Remember that the translating or paraphrasing statement must be couched in terms of normal observers in normal conditions of observation. There is, however, no finite set of statements that are couched in purely sensory terms and can express the satisfaction of the condition of the presence of a normal observer. According to phenomenalism, to say that a normal observer is present is to make the hypothetical statement that were a doctor to inspect the observer, the observer would appear to the doctor to be normal. But, of course, the doctor himself must be a normal observer. If we are to specify this doctor’s normality in sensory terms, we must make reference to a second doctor who, when inspecting the sense organs of the first doctor, would himself have to have the sense data a normal observer has when inspecting the sense organs of a subject who is a normal observer. And if we are to specify in sensory terms that the second doctor is a normal observer, we must refer to a third doctor, and so on (also see the third man).[31][32]

Logical empiricism (also logical positivism or neopositivism) was an early 20th-century attempt to synthesize the essential ideas of British empiricism (e.g. a strong emphasis on sensory experience as the basis for knowledge) with certain insights from mathematical logic that had been developed by Gottlob Frege and Ludwig Wittgenstein. Some of the key figures in this movement were Otto Neurath, Moritz Schlick and the rest of the Vienna Circle, along with A.J. Ayer, Rudolf Carnap and Hans Reichenbach.

The neopositivists subscribed to a notion of philosophy as the conceptual clarification of the methods, insights and discoveries of the sciences. They saw in the logical symbolism elaborated by Frege (18481925) and Bertrand Russell (18721970) a powerful instrument that could rationally reconstruct all scientific discourse into an ideal, logically perfect, language that would be free of the ambiguities and deformations of natural language. This gave rise to what they saw as metaphysical pseudoproblems and other conceptual confusions. By combining Frege’s thesis that all mathematical truths are logical with the early Wittgenstein’s idea that all logical truths are mere linguistic tautologies, they arrived at a twofold classification of all propositions: the analytic (a priori) and the synthetic (a posteriori).[33] On this basis, they formulated a strong principle of demarcation between sentences that have sense and those that do not: the so-called verification principle. Any sentence that is not purely logical, or is unverifiable is devoid of meaning. As a result, most metaphysical, ethical, aesthetic and other traditional philosophical problems came to be considered pseudoproblems.[34]

In the extreme empiricism of the neopositivistsat least before the 1930sany genuinely synthetic assertion must be reducible to an ultimate assertion (or set of ultimate assertions) that expresses direct observations or perceptions. In later years, Carnap and Neurath abandoned this sort of phenomenalism in favor of a rational reconstruction of knowledge into the language of an objective spatio-temporal physics. That is, instead of translating sentences about physical objects into sense-data, such sentences were to be translated into so-called protocol sentences, for example, “X at location Y and at time T observes such and such.”[35] The central theses of logical positivism (verificationism, the analytic-synthetic distinction, reductionism, etc.) came under sharp attack after World War II by thinkers such as Nelson Goodman, W.V. Quine, Hilary Putnam, Karl Popper, and Richard Rorty. By the late 1960s, it had become evident to most philosophers that the movement had pretty much run its course, though its influence is still significant among contemporary analytic philosophers such as Michael Dummett and other anti-realists.

In the late 19th and early 20th century several forms of pragmatic philosophy arose. The ideas of pragmatism, in its various forms, developed mainly from discussions between Charles Sanders Peirce and William James when both men were at Harvard in the 1870s. James popularized the term “pragmatism”, giving Peirce full credit for its patrimony, but Peirce later demurred from the tangents that the movement was taking, and redubbed what he regarded as the original idea with the name of “pragmatism”. Along with its pragmatic theory of truth, this perspective integrates the basic insights of empirical (experience-based) and rational (concept-based) thinking.

Charles Peirce (18391914) was highly influential in laying the groundwork for today’s empirical scientific method.[citation needed] Although Peirce severely criticized many elements of Descartes’ peculiar brand of rationalism, he did not reject rationalism outright. Indeed, he concurred with the main ideas of rationalism, most importantly the idea that rational concepts can be meaningful and the idea that rational concepts necessarily go beyond the data given by empirical observation. In later years he even emphasized the concept-driven side of the then ongoing debate between strict empiricism and strict rationalism, in part to counterbalance the excesses to which some of his cohorts had taken pragmatism under the “data-driven” strict-empiricist view.

Among Peirce’s major contributions was to place inductive reasoning and deductive reasoning in a complementary rather than competitive mode, the latter of which had been the primary trend among the educated since David Hume wrote a century before. To this, Peirce added the concept of abductive reasoning. The combined three forms of reasoning serve as a primary conceptual foundation for the empirically based scientific method today. Peirce’s approach “presupposes that (1) the objects of knowledge are real things, (2) the characters (properties) of real things do not depend on our perceptions of them, and (3) everyone who has sufficient experience of real things will agree on the truth about them. According to Peirce’s doctrine of fallibilism, the conclusions of science are always tentative. The rationality of the scientific method does not depend on the certainty of its conclusions, but on its self-corrective character: by continued application of the method science can detect and correct its own mistakes, and thus eventually lead to the discovery of truth”.[36]

In his Harvard “Lectures on Pragmatism” (1903), Peirce enumerated what he called the “three cotary propositions of pragmatism” (L: cos, cotis whetstone), saying that they “put the edge on the maxim of pragmatism”. First among these he listed the peripatetic-thomist observation mentioned above, but he further observed that this link between sensory perception and intellectual conception is a two-way street. That is, it can be taken to say that whatever we find in the intellect is also incipiently in the senses. Hence, if theories are theory-laden then so are the senses, and perception itself can be seen as a species of abductive inference, its difference being that it is beyond control and hence beyond critique in a word, incorrigible. This in no way conflicts with the fallibility and revisability of scientific concepts, since it is only the immediate percept in its unique individuality or “thisness” what the Scholastics called its haecceity that stands beyond control and correction. Scientific concepts, on the other hand, are general in nature, and transient sensations do in another sense find correction within them. This notion of perception as abduction has received periodic revivals in artificial intelligence and cognitive science research, most recently for instance with the work of Irvin Rock on indirect perception.[37][38]

Around the beginning of the 20th century, William James (18421910) coined the term “radical empiricism” to describe an offshoot of his form of pragmatism, which he argued could be dealt with separately from his pragmatism though in fact the two concepts are intertwined in James’s published lectures. James maintained that the empirically observed “directly apprehended universe needs … no extraneous trans-empirical connective support”,[39] by which he meant to rule out the perception that there can be any value added by seeking supernatural explanations for natural phenomena. James’s “radical empiricism” is thus not radical in the context of the term “empiricism”, but is instead fairly consistent with the modern use of the term “empirical”. (His method of argument in arriving at this view, however, still readily encounters debate within philosophy even today.)

John Dewey (18591952) modified James’ pragmatism to form a theory known as instrumentalism. The role of sense experience in Dewey’s theory is crucial, in that he saw experience as unified totality of things through which everything else is interrelated. Dewey’s basic thought, in accordance with empiricism was that reality is determined by past experience. Therefore, humans adapt their past experiences of things to perform experiments upon and test the pragmatic values of such experience. The value of such experience is measured experientially and scientifically, and the results of such tests generate ideas that serve as instruments for future experimentation,[40] in physical sciences as in ethics.[41] Thus, ideas in Dewey’s system retain their empiricist flavour in that they are only known a posteriori.

Leavitt, Fred: “Dancing with Absurdity: Your Most Cherished Beliefs (and All Your Others) are Probably Wrong. (2015) Peter Lang Publishers.

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Singularities and Black Holes (Stanford Encyclopedia of …

 The Singularity  Comments Off on Singularities and Black Holes (Stanford Encyclopedia of …
Feb 012016

General relativity, Einstein’s theory of space, time, and gravity, allows for the existence of singularities. On this nearly all agree. However, when it comes to the question of how, precisely, singularities are to be defined, there is widespread disagreement Singularties in some way signal a breakdown of the geometry itself, but this presents an obvious difficulty in referring to a singulary as a thing that resides at some location in spacetime: without a well-behaved geomtry, there can be no location. For this reason, some philosopers and physicists have suggested that we should not speak of singularities at all, but rather of singular spacetimes. In this entry, we shall generally treat these two formulations as being equivalent, but we will highlight the distinction when it becomes significant.

Singularities are often conceived of metaphorically as akin to a tear in the fabric of spacetime. The most common attempts to define singularities center on one of two core ideas that this image readily suggests.

The first is that a spacetime has a singularity just in case it contains an incomplete path, one that cannot be continued indefinitely, but draws up short, as it were, with no possibility of extension. (Where is the path supposed to go after it runs into the tear? Where did it come from when it emerged from the tear?). The second is that a spacetime is singular just in case there are points missing from it. (Where are the spacetime points that used to be or should be where the tear is?) Another common thought, often adverted to in discussion of the two primary notions, is that singular structure, whether in the form of missing points or incomplete paths, must be related to pathological behavior of some sort on the part of the singular spacetime’s curvature, that is, the fundamental deformation of spacetime that manifests itself as the gravitational field. For example, some measure of the intensity of the curvature (the strength of the gravitational field) may increase without bound as one traverses the incomplete path. Each of these three ideas will be considered in turn below.

There is likewise considerable disagreement over the significance of singularties. Many eminent physicists believe that general relativity’s prediction of singular structure signals a serious deficiency in the theory; singularities are an indication that the description offered by general relativity is breaking down. Others believe that singularities represent an exciting new horizon for physicists to aim for and explore in cosmology, holding out the promise of physical phenomena differing so radically from any that we have yet experienced as to ensure, in our attempt to observe, quantify and understand them, a profound advance in our comprehension of the physical world.

While there are competing definitions of spacetime singularities, the most central, and widely accepted, criterion rests on the possibility that some spacetimes contain incomplete paths. Indeed, the rival definitions (in terms of missing points or curvature pathology) still make use of the notion of path incompleteness.

(The reader unfamiliar with general relativity may find it helpful to review the Hole Argument entry’s Beginner’s Guide to Modern Spacetime Theories, which presents a brief and accessible introduction to the concepts of a spacetime manifold, a metric, and a worldline.)

A path in spacetime is a continuous chain of events through space and time. If I snap my fingers continually, without pause, then the collection of snaps forms a path. The paths used in the most important singularity theorems represent possible trajectories of particles and observers. Such paths are known as world-lines; they consist of the events occupied by an object throughout its lifetime. That the paths be incomplete and inextendible means, roughly speaking, that, after a finite amount of time, a particle or observer following that path would run out of world, as it wereit would hurtle into the tear in the fabric of spacetime and vanish. Alternatively, a particle or observer could leap out of the tear to follow such a path. While there is no logical or physical contradiction in any of this, it appears on the face of it physically suspect for an observer or a particle to be allowed to pop in or out of existence right in the middle of spacetime, so to speakif that does not suffice for concluding that the spacetime is singular, it is difficult to imagine what else would. At the same time, the ground-breaking work predicting the existence of such pathological paths produced no consensus on what ought to count as a necessary condition for singular structure according to this criterion, and thus no consensus on a fixed definition for it.

In this context, an incomplete path in spacetime is one that is both inextendible and of finite proper length, which means that any particle or observer traversing the path would experience only a finite interval of existence that in principle cannot be continued any longer. However, for this criterion to do the work we want it to, we’ll need to limit the class of spacetimes under discussion. Specifically, we shall be concerned with spacetimes that are maximally extended (or just maximal). In effect, this condition says that one’s representation of spacetime is as big as it possibly can bethere is, from the mathematical point of view, no way to treat the spacetime as being a proper subset of a larger, more extensive spacetime.

If there is an incomplete path in a spacetime, goes the thinking behind the requirement, then perhaps the path is incomplete only because one has not made one’s model of spacetime big enough. If one were to extend the spacetime manifold maximally, then perhaps the previously incomplete path could be extended into the new portions of the larger spacetime, indicating that no physical pathology underlay the incompleteness of the path. The inadequacy would merely reside in the incomplete physical model we had been using to represent spacetime.

An example of a non-maximally extended spacetime can be easily had, along with a sense of why they intuitively seem in some way or other deficient. For the moment, imagine spacetime is only two-dimensional, and flat. Now, excise from somewhere on the plane a closed set shaped like Ingrid Bergman. Any path that had passed through one of the points in the removed set is now incomplete.

In this case, the maximal extension of the resulting spacetime is obvious, and does indeed fix the problem of all such incomplete paths: re-incorporate the previously excised set. The seemingly artificial and contrived nature of such examples, along with the ease of rectifying them, seems to militate in favor of requiring spacetimes to be maximal.

Once we’ve established that we’re interested in maximal spacetimes, the next issue is what sort of path incompleteness is relevant for singularities. Here we find a good deal of controversy. Criteria of incompleteness typically look at how some parameter naturally associated with the path (such as its proper length) grows. One generally also places further restrictions on the paths that are worth considering (for example, one rules out paths that could only be taken by particles undergoing unbounded acceleration in a finite period of time). A spacetime is said to be singular if it possesses a path such that the specified parameter associated with that path cannot increase without bound as one traverses the entirety of the maximally extended path. The idea is that the parameter at issue will serve as a marker for something like the time experienced by a particle or observer, and so, if the value of that parameter remains finite along the whole path then we’ve run out of path in a finite amout of time, as it were. We’ve hit and edge or a tear in spacetime.

For a path that is everywhere timelike (i.e., that does not involves speeds at or above that of light), it is natural to take as the parameter the proper time a particle or observer would experience along the path, that is, the time measured along the path by a natural clock, such as one based on the natural vibrational frequency of an atom. (There are also fairly natural choices that one can make for spacelike paths (i.e., those that consist of points at a single time) and null paths (those followed by light signals). However, because the spacelike and null cases add yet another level of difficulty, we shall not discuss them here.) The physical interpretation of this sort of incompleteness for timelike paths is more or less straightforward: a timelike path incomplete with respect to proper time in the future direction would represent the possible trajectory of a massive body that would, say, never age beyond a certain point in its existence (an analogous statement can be made, mutatis mutandis, if the path were incomplete in the past direction).

We cannot, however, simply stipulate that a maximal spacetime is singular just in case it contains paths of finite proper length that cannot be extended. Such a criterion would imply that even the flat spacetime described by special relativity is singular, which is surely unacceptable. This would follow because, even in flat spacetime, there are timelike paths with unbounded acceleration which have only a finite proper length (proper time, in this case) and are also inextendible.

The most obvious option is to define a spacetime as singular if and only if it contains incomplete, inextendible timelike geodesics, i.e., paths representing the trajectories of inertial observers, those in free-fall experiencing no acceleration other than that due to gravity. However, this criterion seems too permissive, in that it would count as non-singular some spacetimes whose geometry seems quite pathological. For example, Geroch (1968) demonstrates that a spacetime can be geodesically complete and yet possess an incomplete timelike path of bounded total accelerationthat is to say, an inextendible path in spacetime traversable by a rocket with a finite amount of fuel, along which an observer could experience only a finite amount of proper time. Surely the intrepid astronaut in such a rocket, who would never age beyond a certain point but who also would never necessarily die or cease to exist, would have just cause to complain that something was singular about this spacetime.

We therefore want a definition that is not restricted to geodesics when deciding whether a spacetime is singular. However, we need some way of overcoming the fact that non-singular spacetimes include inextendible paths of finite proper length. The most widely accepted solution to this problem makes use of a slightly different (and slightly technical) notion of length, known as generalized affine length.[1] Unlike proper length, this generalized affine length depends on some arbitrary choices (roughly speaking, the length will vary depending on the coordinates one chooses). However, if the length is infinite for one such choice, it will be infinite for all other choices. Thus the question of whether a path has a finite or infinite generalized affine length is a perfectly well-defined question, and that is all we’ll need.

The definition that has won the most widespread acceptance leading Earman (1995, p. 36) to dub this the semiofficial definition of singularities is the following:

To say that a spacetime is singular then is to say that there is at least one maximally extended path that has a bounded (generalized affine) length. To put it another way, a spacetime is nonsingular when it is complete in the sense that the only reason any given path might not be extendible is that it’s already infinitely long (in this technical sense).

The chief problem facing this definition of singularities is that the physical significance of generalized affine length is opaque, and thus it is unclear what the relevance of singularities, defined in this way, might be. It does nothing, for example, to clarify the physical status of the spacetime described by Geroch; it seems as though the new criterion does nothing more than sweep the troubling aspects of such examples under the rug. It does not explain why we ought not take such prima facie puzzling and troubling examples as physically pathological; it merely declares by fiat that they are not.

So where does this leave us? The consensus seems to be that, while it is easy in specific examples to conclude that incomplete paths of various sorts represent singular structure, no entirely satisfactory, strict definition of singular structure in their terms has yet been formulated. For a philosopher, the issues offer deep and rich veins for those contemplating, among other matters, the role of explanatory power in the determination of the adequacy of physical theories, the role of metaphysics and intuition, questions about the nature of the existence attributable to physical entities in spacetime and to spacetime itself, and the status of mathematical models of physical systems in the determination of our understanding of those systems as opposed to in the mere representation our knowledge of them.

We have seen that one runs into difficulties if one tries to define singularities as things that have locations, and how some of those difficulties can be avoided by defining singular spacetimes in terms of incomplete paths. However, it would be desirable for many reasons to have a characterization of a spacetime singularity in general relativity as, in some sense or other, a spatiotemporal place. If one had a precise characterization of a singularity in terms of points that are missing from spacetime, one might then be able to analyze the structure of the spacetime locally at the singularity, instead of taking troublesome, perhaps ill-defined limits along incomplete paths. Many discussions of singular structure in relativistic spacetimes, therefore, are premised on the idea that a singularity represents a point or set of points that in some sense or other is missing from the spacetime manifold, that spacetime has a hole or tear in it that we could fill in or patch by the appendage of a boundary to it.

In trying to determine whether an ordinary web of cloth has a hole in it, for example, one would naturally rely on the fact that the web exists in space and time. In this case one can, so to speak, point to a hole in the cloth by specifying points of space at a particular moment of time not currently occupied by any of the cloth but which would, as it were, complete the cloth were they so occupied. When trying to conceive of a singular spacetime, however, one does not have the luxury of imagining it embedded in a larger space with respect to which one can say there are points missing from it. In any event, the demand that the spacetime be maximal rules out the possibility of embedding the spacetime manifold in any larger spacetime manifold of any ordinary sort. It would seem, then, that making precise the idea that a singularity is a marker of missing points ought to devolve upon some idea of intrinsic structural incompleteness in the spacetime manifold rather than extrinsic incompleteness with respect to an external structure.

Force of analogy suggests that one define a spacetime to have points missing from it if and only if it contains incomplete, inextendible paths, and then try to use these incomplete paths to construct in some fashion or other new, properly situated points for the spacetime, the addition of which will make the previously inextendible paths extendible. These constructed points would then be our candidate singularities. Missing points on this view would correspond to a boundary for a singular spacetimeactual points of an extended spacetime at which paths incomplete in the original spacetime would terminate. (We will, therefore, alternate between speaking of missing points and speaking of boundary points, with no difference of sense intended.) The goal then is to construct this extended space using the incomplete paths as one’s guide.

Now, in trivial examples of spacetimes with missing points such as the one offered before, flat spacetime with a closed set in the shape of Ingrid Bergman excised from it, one does not need any technical machinery to add the missing points back in. One can do it by hand, as it were. Many spacetimes with incomplete paths, however, do not allow missing points to be attached in any obvious way by hand, as this example does. For this program to be viable, which is to say, in order to give substance to the idea that there really are points that in some sense ought to have been included in the spacetime in the first place, we require a physically natural completion procedure based on the incomplete paths that can be applied to incomplete paths in arbitrary spacetimes.

Several problems with this program make themselves felt immediately. Consider, for example, an instance of spacetime representing the final state of the complete gravitational collapse of a spherically symmetric body resulting in a black hole. (See 3 below for a description of black holes.) In this spacetime, any timelike path entering the black hole will necessarily be extendible for only a finite amount of proper timeit then runs into the singularity at the center of the black hole. In its usual presentation, however, there are no obvious points missing from the spacetime at all. It is, to all appearances, as complete as the Cartesian plane, excepting only for the existence of incomplete curves, no class of which indicates by itself a place in the manifold to add a point to it to make the paths in the class complete. Likewise, in our own spacetime every inextendible, past-directed timelike path is incomplete (and our spacetime is singular): they all run into the Big Bang. Insofar as there is no moment of time at which the Big Bang occurred (there is no moment of time at which time began, so to speak), there is no point to serve as the past endpoint of such a path.

The reaction to the problems faced by these boundary constructions is varied, to say the least, ranging from blithe acceptance of the pathology (Clarke 1993), to the attitude that there is no satisfying boundary construction currently available without ruling out the possibility of better ones in the future (Wald 1984), to not even mentioning the possibility of boundary constructions when discussing singular structure (Joshi 1993), to rejection of the need for such constructions at all (Geroch, Can-bin and Wald, 1982).

Nonetheless, many eminent physicists seem convinced that general relativity stands in need of such a construction, and have exerted extraordinary efforts in the service of trying to devise such constructions. This fact raises several fascinating philosophical problems. Though physicists offer as strong motivation the possibility of gaining the ability to analyze singular phenomena locally in a mathematically well-defined manner, they more often speak in terms that strongly suggest they suffer a metaphysical, even an ontological, itch that can be scratched only by the sharp point of a localizable, spatiotemporal entity serving as the locus of their theorizing. However, even were such a construction forthcoming, what sort of physical and theoretical status could accrue to these missing points? They would not be idealizations of a physical system in any ordinary sense of the term, insofar as they would not represent a simplified model of a system formed by ignoring various of its physical features, as, for example, one may idealize the modeling of a fluid by ignoring its viscosity. Neither would they seem necessarily to be only convenient mathematical fictions, as, for example, are the physically impossible dynamical evolutions of a system one integrates over in the variational derivation of the Euler-Lagrange equations, for, as we have remarked, many physicists and philosophers seem eager to find such a construction for the purpose of bestowing substantive and clear ontic status on singular structure. What sorts of theoretical entities, then, could they be, and how could they serve in physical theory?

While the point of this project may seem at bottom identical to the path incompleteness account discussed in 1.1, insofar as singular structure will be defined by the presence of incomplete, inextendible paths, there is a crucial semantic and logical difference between the two. Here, the existence of the incomplete path is not taken itself to constitute the singular structure, but rather serves only as a marker for the presence of singular structure in the sense of missing points: the incomplete path is incomplete because it runs into a hole in the spacetime that, were it filled, would allow the path to be continued; this hole is the singular structure, and the points constructed to fill it compose its locus.

Currently, however, there seems to be even less consensus on how (and whether) one should define singular structure in terms of missing points than there is regarding definitions in terms of path incompleteness. Moreover, this project also faces even more technical and philosophical problems. For these reasons, path incompleteness is generally considered the default definition of singularities.

While path incompleteness seems to capture an important aspect of the intuitive picture of singular structure, it completely ignores another seemingly integral aspect of it: curvature pathology. If there are incomplete paths in a spacetime, it seems that there should be a reason that the path cannot go farther. The most obvious candidate explanation of this sort is something going wrong with the dynamical structure of the spacetime, which is to say, with the curvature of the spacetime. This suggestion is bolstered by the fact that local measures of curvature do in fact blow up as one approaches the singularity of a standard black hole or the big bang singularity. However, there is one problem with this line of thought: no species of curvature pathology we know how to define is either necessary or sufficient for the existence of incomplete paths. (For a discussion of defining singularities in terms of curvature pathologies, see Curiel 1998.)

To make the notion of curvature pathology more precise, we will use the manifestly physical idea of tidal force. Tidal force is generated by the differential in intensity of the gravitational field, so to speak, at neighboring points of spacetime. For example, when you stand, your head is farther from the center of the Earth than your feet, so it feels a (practically negligible) smaller pull downward than your feet. (For a diagram illustrating the nature of tidal forces, see Figure 9 of the entry on Inertial Frames.) Tidal forces are a physical manifestation of spacetime curvature, and one gets direct observational access to curvature by measuring these forces. For our purposes, it is important that in regions of extreme curvature, tidal forces can grow without bound.

It is perhaps surprising that the state of motion of the observer as it traverses an incomplete path (e.g. whether the observer is accelerating or spinning) can be decisive in determining the physical response of an object to the curvature pathology. Whether the object is spinning on its axis or not, for example, or accelerating slightly in the direction of motion, may determine whether the object gets crushed to zero volume along such a path or whether it survives (roughly) intact all the way along it, as in examples offered by Ellis and Schmidt (1977). The effect of the observer’s state of motion on his or her experience of tidal forces can be even more pronounced than this. There are examples of spacetimes in which an observer cruising along a certain kind of path would experience unbounded tidal forces and so be torn apart, while another observer, in a certain technical sense approaching the same limiting point as the first observer, accelerating and decelerating in just the proper way, would experience a perfectly well-behaved tidal force, though she would approach as near as one likes to the other fellow who is in the midst of being ripped to shreds.[2]

Things can get stranger still. There are examples of incomplete geodesics contained entirely within a well-defined area of a spacetime, each having as its limiting point an honest-to-goodness point of spacetime, such that an observer freely falling along such a path would be torn apart by unbounded tidal forces; it can easily be arranged in such cases, however, that a separate observer, who actually travels through the limiting point, will experience perfectly well-behaved tidal forces.[3] Here we have an example of an observer being ripped apart by unbounded tidal forces right in the middle of spacetime, as it were, while other observers cruising peacefully by could reach out to touch him or her in solace during the final throes of agony. This example also provides a nice illustration of the inevitable difficulties attendant on attempts to localize singular structure.

It would seem, then, that curvature pathology as standardly quantified is not in any physical sense a well-defined property of a region of spacetime simpliciter. When we consider the curvature of four-dimensional spacetime, the motion of the device that we use to probe a region (as well as the nature of the device) becomes crucially important for the question of whether pathological behavior manifests itself. This fact raises questions about the nature of quantitative measures of properties of entities in general relativity, and what ought to count as observable, in the sense of reflecting the underlying physical structure of spacetime. Because apparently pathological phenomena may occur or not depending on the types of measurements one is performing, it does not seem that this pathology reflects anything about the state of spacetime itself, or at least not in any localizable way. What then may it reflect, if anything? Much work remains to be done by both physicists and by philosophers in this area, the determination of the nature of physical quantities in general relativity and what ought to count as an observable with intrinsic physical significance. See Bergmann (1977), Bergmann and Komar (1962), Bertotti (1962), Coleman and Kort (1992), and Rovelli (1991, 2001, 2002a, 2002b) for discussion of many different topics in this area, approached from several different perspectives.

When considering the implications of spacetime singularities, it is important to note that we have good reasons to believe that the spacetime of our universe is singular. In the late 1960s, Hawking, Penrose, and Geroch proved several singularity theorems, using the path-incompleteness definition of singularities (see, e.g., Hawking and Ellis 1973). These theorems showed that if certain reasonable premises were satisfied, then in certain circumstances singularities could not be avoided. Notable among these conditions was the positive energy condition that captures the idea that energy is never negative. These theorems indicate that our universe began with an initial singularity, the Big Bang, 13.7 billion years ago. They also indicate that in certain circumstances (discussed below) collapsing matter will form a black hole with a central singularity.

Should these results lead us to believe that singularities are real? Many physicists and philosophers resist this conclusion. Some argue that singularities are too repugnant to be real. Others argue that the singular behavior at the center of black holes and at the beginning of time points to a the limit of the domain of applicability of general relativity. However, some are inclined to take general relativity at its word, and simply accept its prediction of singularities as a surprising, but perfectly consistent account of the geometry of our world.

As we have seen, there is no commonly accepted, strict definition of singularity, no physically reasonable definition of missing point, and no necessary connection of singular structure, at least as characterized by the presence of incomplete paths, to the presence of curvature pathology. What conclusions should be drawn from this state of affairs? There seem to be two primary responses, that of Clarke (1993) and Earman (1995) on the one hand, and that of Geroch, Can-bin and Wald (1982), and Curiel (1998) on the other. The former holds that the mettle of physics and philosophy demands that we find a precise, rigorous and univocal definition of singularity. On this view, the host of philosophical and physical questions surrounding general relativity’s prediction of singular structure would best be addressed with such a definition in hand, so as better to frame and answer these questions with precision in its terms, and thus perhaps find other, even better questions to pose and attempt to answer. The latter view is perhaps best summarized by a remark of Geroch, Can-bin and Wald (1982): The purpose of a construction [of singular points], after all, is merely to clarify the discussion of various physical issues involving singular space-times: general relativity as it stands is fully viable with no precise notion of singular points. On this view, the specific physics under investigation in any particular situation should dictate which definition of singularity to use in that situation, if, indeed, any at all.

In sum, the question becomes the following: Is there a need for a single, blanket definition of singularity or does the urge for one bespeak only an old Platonic, essentialist prejudice? This question has obvious connections to the broader question of natural kinds in science. One sees debates similar to those canvassed above when one tries to find, for example, a strict definition of biological species. Clearly part of the motivation for searching for a single exceptionless definition is the impression that there is some real feature of the world (or at least of our spacetime models) which we can hope to capture precisely. Further, we might hope that our attempts to find a rigorous and exceptionless definition will help us to better understand the feature itself. Nonetheless, it is not entirely clear why we shouldn’t be happy with a variety of types of singular structure, and with the permissive attitude that none should be considered the right definition of singularities.

Even without an accepted, strict definition of singularity for relativistic spacetimes, the question can be posed of what it may mean to ascribe existence to singular structure under any of the available open possibilities. It is not farfetched to think that answers to this question may bear on the larger question of the existence of spacetime points in general.

It would be difficult to argue that an incomplete path in a maximal relativistic spacetime does not exist in at least some sense of the term. It is not hard to convince oneself, however, that the incompleteness of the path does not exist at any particular point of the spacetime in the same way, say, as this glass of beer at this moment exists at this point of spacetime. If there were a point on the manifold where the incompleteness of the path could be localized, surely that would be the point at which the incomplete path terminated. But if there were such a point, then the path could be extended by having it pass through that point. It is perhaps this fact that lies behind much of the urgency surrounding the attempt to define singular structure as missing points.

The demand that singular structure be localized at a particular place bespeaks an old Aristotelian substantivalism that invokes the maxim, To exist is to exist in space and time (Earman 1995, p. 28). Aristotelian substantivalism here refers to the idea contained in Aristotle’s contention that everything that exists is a substance and that all substances can be qualified by the Aristotelian categories, two of which are location in time and location in space. One need not consider anything so outr as incomplete, inextendible paths, though, in order to produce examples of entities that seem undeniably to exist in some sense of the term or other, and yet which cannot have any even vaguely determined location in time and space predicated of them. Indeed, several essential features of a relativistic spacetime, singular or not, cannot be localized in the way that an Aristotelian substantivalist would demand. For example, the Euclidean (or non-Euclidean ) nature of a space is not something with a precise location. Likewise, various spacetime geometrical structures (such as the metric, the affine structure, etc.) cannot be localized in the way that the Aristotelian would demand. The existential status of such entities vis–vis more traditionally considered objects is an open and largely ignored issue. Because of the way the issue of singular structure in relativistic spacetimes ramifies into almost every major open question in relativistic physics today, both physical and philosophical, it provides a peculiarly rich and attractive focus for these sorts of questions.

At the heart of all of our conceptions of a spacetime singularity is the notion of some sort of failing: a path that disappears, points that are torn out, spacetime curvature that becomes pathological. However, perhaps the failing lies not in the spacetime of the actual world (or of any physically possible world), but rather in the theoretical description of the spacetime. That is, perhaps we shouldn’t think that general relativity is accurately describing the world when it posits singular structure.

Indeed, in most scientific arenas, singular behavior is viewed as an indication that the theory being used is deficient. It is therefore common to claim that general relativity, in predicting that spacetime is singular, is predicting its own demise, and that classical descriptions of space and time break down at black hole singularities and at the Big Bang. Such a view seems to deny that singularities are real features of the actual world, and to assert that they are instead merely artifices of our current (flawed) physical theories. A more fundamental theory presumably a full theory of quantum gravity will be free of such singular behavior. For example, Ashtekar and Bojowald (2006) and Ashtekar, Pawlowski and Singh (2006) argue that, in the context of loop quantum gravity, neither the big bang singularity nor black hole singularities appear.

On this reading, many of the earlier worries about the status of singularities become moot. Singularties don’t exist, nor is the question of how to define them, as such, particularly urgent. Instead, the pressing question is what indicates the borders of the domain of applicability of general relativity? We pick up this question below in Section 5 on quantum black holes, for it is in this context that many of the explicit debates play out over the limits of general relativity.

The simplest picture of a black hole is that of a body whose gravity is so strong that nothing, not even light, can escape from it. Bodies of this type are already possible in the familiar Newtonian theory of gravity. The escape velocity of a body is the velocity at which an object would have to travel to escape the gravitational pull of the body and continue flying out to infinity. Because the escape velocity is measured from the surface of an object, it becomes higher if a body contracts down and becomes more dense. (Under such contraction, the mass of the body remains the same, but its surface gets closer to its center of mass; thus the gravitational force at the surface increases.) If the object were to become sufficiently dense, the escape velocity could therefore exceed the speed of light, and light itself would be unable to escape.

This much of the argument makes no appeal to relativistic physics, and the possibility of such classical black holes was noted in the late 18th Century by Michel (1784) and Laplace (1796). These Newtonian black holes do not precipitate quite the same sense of crisis as do relativistic black holes. While light hurled ballistically from the surface of the collapsed body cannot escape, a rocket with powerful motors firing could still gently pull itself free.

Taking relativistic considerations into account, however, we find that black holes are far more exotic entities. Given the usual understanding that relativity theory rules out any physical process going faster than light, we conclude that not only is light unable to escape from such a body: nothing would be able to escape this gravitational force. That includes the powerful rocket that could escape a Newtonian black hole. Further, once the body has collapsed down to the point where its escape velocity is the speed of light, no physical force whatsoever could prevent the body from continuing to collapse down further for this would be equivalent to accelerating something to speeds beyond that of light. Thus once this critical amount of collapse is reached, the body will get smaller and smaller, more and more dense, without limit. It has formed a relativistic black hole; at its center lies a spacetime singularity.

For any given body, this critical stage of unavoidable collapse occurs when the object has collapsed to within its so-called Schwarzschild radius, which is proportional to the mass of the body. Our sun has a Schwarzschild radius of approximately three kilometers; the Earth’s Schwarzschild radius is a little less than a centimeter. This means that if you could collapse all the Earth’s matter down to a sphere the size of a pea, it would form a black hole. It is worth noting, however, that one does not need an extremely high density of matter to form a black hole if one has enough mass. Thus for example, if one has a couple hundred million solar masses of water at its standard density, it will be contained within its Schwarzschild radius and will form a black hole. Some supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies are thought to be even more massive than this, at several billion solar masses.

The event horizon of a black hole is the point of no return. That is, it comprises the last events in the spacetime around the singularity at which a light signal can still escape to the external universe. For a standard (uncharged, non-rotating) black hole, the event horizon lies at the Schwarzschild radius. A flash of light that originates at an event inside the black hole will not be able to escape, but will instead end up in the central singularity of the black hole. A light flash originating at an event outside of the event horizon will escape, but it will be red-shifted strongly to the extent that it is near the horizon. An outgoing beam of light that originates at an event on the event horizon itself, by definition, remains on the event horizon until the temporal end of the universe.

General relativity tells us that clocks running at different locations in a gravitational field will generally not agree with one another. In the case of a black hole, this manifests itself in the following way. Imagine someone falls into a black hole, and, while falling, she flashes a light signal to us every time her watch hand ticks. Observing from a safe distance outside the black hole, we would find the times between the arrival of successive light signals to grow larger without limit. That is, it would appear to us that time were slowing down for the falling person as she approached the event horizon. The ticking of her watch (and every other process as well) would seem to go slower and slower as she got closer and closer to the event horizon. We would never actually see the light signals she emits when she crosses the event horizon; instead, she would seem to be eternally frozen just above the horizon. (This talk of seeing the person is somewhat misleading, because the light coming from the person would rapidly become severely red-shifted, and soon would not be practically detectable.)

From the perspective of the infalling person, however, nothing unusual happens at the event horizon. She would experience no slowing of clocks, nor see any evidence that she is passing through the event horizon of a black hole. Her passing the event horizon is simply the last moment in her history at which a light signal she emits would be able to escape from the black hole. The concept of an event horizon is a global concept that depends on how the events on the event horizon relate to the overall structure of the spacetime. Locally there is nothing noteworthy about the events at the event horizon. If the black hole is fairly small, then the tidal gravitational forces there would be quite strong. This just means that gravitational pull on one’s feet, closer to the singularity, would be much stronger than the gravitational pull on one’s head. That difference of force would be great enough to pull one apart. For a sufficiently large black hole the difference in gravitation at one’s feet and head would be small enough for these tidal forces to be negligible.

As in the case of singularties, alternative definitions of black holes have been explored. These definitions typically focus on the one-way nature of the event horizon: things can go in, but nothing can get out. Such accounts have not won widespread support, however, and we have not space here to elaborate on them further.[4]

One of the most remarkable features of relativistic black holes is that they are purely gravitational entities. A pure black hole spacetime contains no matter whatsoever. It is a vacuum solution to the Einstein field equations, which just means that it is a solution of Einstein’s gravitational field equations in which the matter density is everywhere zero. (Of course, one can also consider a black hole with matter present.) In pre-relativistic physics we think of gravity as a force produced by the mass contained in some matter. In the context of general relativity, however, we do away with gravitational force, and instead postulate a curved spacetime geometry that produces all the effects we standardly attribute to gravity. Thus a black hole is not a thing in spacetime; it is instead a feature of spacetime itself.

A careful definition of a relativistic black hole will therefore rely only on the geometrical features of spacetime. We’ll need to be a little more precise about what it means to be a region from which nothing, not even light, can escape. First, there will have to be someplace to escape to if our definition is to make sense. The most common method of making this idea precise and rigorous employs the notion of escaping to infinity. If a particle or light ray cannot travel arbitrarily far from a definite, bounded region in the interior of spacetime but must remain always in the region, the idea is, then that region is one of no escape, and is thus a black hole. The boundary of the region is called the event horizon. Once a physical entity crosses the event horizon into the hole, it never crosses it again.

Second, we will need a clear notion of the geometry that allows for escape, or makes such escape impossible. For this, we need the notion of the causal structure of spacetime. At any event in the spacetime, the possible trajectories of all light signals form a cone (or, more precisely, the four-dimensional analog of a cone). Since light travels at the fastest speed allowed in the spacetime, these cones map out the possible causal processes in the spacetime. If an occurence at an event A is able to causally affect another occurence at event B, there must be a continuous trajectory in spacetime from event A to event B such that the trajectory lies in or on the lightcones of every event along it. (For more discussion, see the Supplementary Document: Lightcones and Causal Structure.)

Figure 1 is a spacetime diagram of a sphere of matter collapsing down to form a black hole. The curvature of the spacetime is represented by the tilting of the light cones away from 45 degrees. Notice that the light cones tilt inwards more and more as one approaches the center of the black hole. The jagged line running vertically up the center of the diagram depicts the black hole central singularity. As we emphasized in Section 1, this is not actually part of the spacetime, but might be thought of as an edge of space and time itself. Thus, one should not imagine the possibility of traveling through the singularity; this would be as nonsensical as something’s leaving the diagram (i.e., the spacetime) altogether.

What makes this a black hole spacetime is the fact that it contains a region from which it is impossible to exit while traveling at or below the speed of light. This region is marked off by the events at which the outside edge of the forward light cone points straight upward. As one moves inward from these events, the light cone tilts so much that one is always forced to move inward toward the central singularity. This point of no return is, of course, the event horizon; and the spacetime region inside it is the black hole. In this region, one inevitably moves towards the singularity; the impossibility of avoiding the singularity is exactly like the impossibility of preventing ourselves from moving forward in time.

Notice that the matter of the collapsing star disappears into the black hole singularity. All the details of the matter are completely lost; all that is left is the geometrical properties of the black hole which can be identified with mass, charge, and angular momentum. Indeed, there are so-called no-hair theorems which make rigorous the claim that a black hole in equilibrium is entirely characterized by its mass, its angular momentum, and its electric charge. This has the remarkable consequence that no matter what the particulars may be of any body that collapses to form a black holeit may be as intricate, complicated and Byzantine as one likes, composed of the most exotic materialsthe final result after the system has settled down to equilibrium will be identical in every respect to a black hole that formed from the collapse of any other body having the same total mass, angular momentum and electric charge. For this reason Chandrasekhar (1983) called black holes the most perfect objects in the universe.

While spacetime singularities in general are frequently viewed with suspicion, physicists often offer the reassurance that we expect most of them to be hidden away behind the event horizons of black holes. Such singularities therefore could not affect us unless we were actually tojump into the black hole. A naked singularity, on the other hand, is one that is not hidden behind an event horizon. Such singularities appear much more threatening because they are uncontained, accessible to vast areas of spacetime.

The heart of the worry is that singular structure would seem to signify some sort of breakdown in the fundamental structure of spacetime to such a profound depth that it could wreak havoc on any region of universe that it were visible to. Because the structures that break down in singular spacetimes are required for the formulation of our known physical laws in general, and of initial-value problems for individual physical systems in particular, one such fear is that determinism would collapse entirely wherever the singular breakdown were causally visible. As Earman (1995, pp. 65-6) characterizes the worry, nothing would seem to stop the singularity from disgorging any manner of unpleasant jetsam, from TVs showing Nixon’s Checkers Speech to old lost socks, in a way completely undetermined by the state of spacetime in any region whatsoever, and in such a way as to render strictly indeterminable all regions in causal contact with what it spews out.

One form that such a naked singularity could take is that of a white hole, which is a time-reversed black hole. Imagine taking a film of a black hole forming, and various astronauts, rockets, etc. falling into it. Now imagine that film being run backwards. This is the picture of a white hole: one starts with a naked singularity, out of which might appear people, artifacts, and eventually a star bursting forth. Absolutely nothing in the causal past of such a white hole would determine what would pop out of it (just as items that fall into a black hole leave no trace on the future). Because the field equations of general relativity do not pick out a preferred direction of time, if the formation of a black hole is allowed by the laws of spacetime and gravity, then white holes will also be permitted by these laws.

Roger Penrose famously suggested that although naked singularties are comaptible with general relativity, in physically realistic situations naked singularities will never form; that is, any process that results in a singularity will safely deposit that singularity behind an event horizon. This suggestion, titled the Cosmic Censorship Hypothesis, has met with a fair degree of success and popularity; however, it also faces several difficulties.

Penrose’s original formulation relied on black holes: a suitably generic singularity will always be contained in a black hole (and so causally invisible outside the black hole). As the counter-examples to various ways of articulating the hypothesis in terms of this idea have accumulated over the years, it has gradually been abandoned.

More recent approaches either begin with an attempt to provide necessary and sufficient conditions for cosmic censorship itself, yielding an indirect characterization of a naked singularity as any phenomenon violating those conditions, or else they begin with an attempt to provide a characterization of a naked singularity and so conclude with a definite statement of cosmic censorship as the absence of such phenomena. The variety of proposals made using both approaches is too great to canvass here; the interested reader is referred to Joshi (2003) for a review of the current state of the art, and to Earman (1995, ch. 3) for a philosophical discussion of many of the proposals.

The challenge of uniting quantum theory and general relativity in a successful theory of quantum gravity has arguably been the greatest challenge facing theoretical physics for the past eighty years. One avenue that has seemed particularly promising here is the attempt to apply quantum theory to black holes. This is in part because, as completely gravitational entities, black holes present an especially pure case to study the quantization of gravity. Further, because the gravitational force grows without bound as one nears a standard black hole singularity, one would expect quantum gravitational effects (which should come into play at extremely high energies) to manifest themselves in black holes.

Studies of quantum mechanics in black hole spacetimes have revealed several surprises that threaten to overturn our traditional views of space, time, and matter. A remarkable parallel between the laws of black hole mechanics and the laws of thermodynamics indicates that spacetime and thermodynamics may be linked in a fundamental (and previously unimagined) way. This linkage hints at a fundamental limitation on how much entropy can be contained in a spatial region. A further topic of foundational importance is found in the so-called information loss paradox, which suggests that standard quantum evolution will not hold when black holes are present. While many of these suggestions are somewhat speculative, they nevertheless touch on deep issues in the foundations of physics.

In the early 1970s, Bekenstein argued that the second law of thermodynamics requires one to assign a finite entropy to a black hole. His worry was that one could collapse any amount of highly entropic matter into a black hole which, as we have emphasized, is an extremely simple object leaving no trace of the original disorder. This seems to violate the second law of thermodynamics, which asserts that the entropy (disorder) of a closed system can never decrease. However, adding mass to a black hole will increase its size, which led Bekenstein to suggest that the area of a black hole is a measure of its entropy. This conviction grew when, in 1972, Hawking proved that the surface area of a black hole, like the entropy of a closed system, can never decrease.

The similarity between black holes and thermodynamic systems was considerably strengthened when Bardeen, Carter, and Hawking (1973) proved three other laws of black hole mechanics that parallel exactly the first, third, and zeroth laws of thermodynamics. Although this parallel was extremely suggestive, taking it seriously would require one to assign a non-zero temperature to a black hole, which all then agreed was absurd: All hot bodies emit thermal radiation (like the heat given off from a stove). However, according to general relativity, a black hole ought to be a perfect sink for energy, mass, and radiation, insofar as it absorbs everything (including light), and emits nothing (including light). The only temperature one might be able to assign it would be absolute zero.

This obvious fact was overthrown when Hawking (1974, 1975) demonstrated that black holes are not completely black after all. His analysis of quantum fields in black hole spacetimes revealed that the black holes will emit particles: black holes generate heat at a temperature that is inversely proportional to their mass and directly proportional to their so-called surface gravity. It glows like a lump of smoldering coal even though light should not be able to escape from it! The temperature of this Hawking effect radiation is extremely low for stellar-scale black holes, but for very small black holes the temperatures would be quite high. This means that a very small black hole should rapidly evaporate away, as all of its mass-energy is emitted in high-temperature Hawking radiation.

These results were taken to establish that the parallel between the laws of black hole mechanics and the laws of thermodynamics was not a mere fluke: it seems they really are getting at the same deep physics. The Hawking effect establishes that the surface gravity of a black hole can indeed be interpreted as a physical temperature. Further, mass in black hole mechanics is mirrored by energy in thermodynamics, and we know from relativity theory that mass and energy are actually equivalent. Connecting the two sets of laws also requires linking the surface area of a black hole with entropy, as Bekenstein had suggested. This black hole entropy is called its Bekenstein entropy, and is proportional to the area of the event horizon of the black hole.

In the context of thermodynamic systems containing black holes, one can construct apparent violations of the laws of thermodynamics, and of the laws of black hole mechanics, if one considers these laws to be independent of each other. So for example, if a black hole gives off radiation through the Hawking effect, then it will lose mass in apparent violation of the area increase theorem. Likewise, as Bekenstein argued, we could violate the second law of thermodynamics by dumping matter with high entropy into a black hole. However, the price of dropping matter into the black hole is that its event horizon will increase in size. Likewise, the price of allowing the event horizon to shrink by giving off Hawking radiation is that the entropy of the external matter fields will go up. We can consider a combinationof the two laws that stipulates that the sumof a black hole’s area, and the entropy of the system, can never decrease. This is the generalized second law of (black hole) thermodynamics.

From the time that Bekenstein first proposed that the area of a black hole could be a measure of its entropy, it was know to face difficulties that appeared insurmountable. Geroch (1971) proposed a scenario that seems to allow a violation of the generalized second law. If we have a box full of energetic radiation with a high entropy, that box will have a certain weight as it is attracted by the gravitational force of a black hole. One can use this weight to drive an engine to produce energy (e.g., to produce electricity) while slowly lowering the box towards the event horizon of the black hole. This process extracts energy, but not entropy, from the radiation in the box; once the box reaches the event horizon itself, it can have an arbitrarily small amount of energy remaining. If one then opens the box to let the radiation fall into the black hole, the size of the event horizon will not increase any appreciable amount (because the mass-energy of the black hole has barely been increased), but the thermodynamic entropy outside the black hole has decreased. Thus we seem to have violated the generalized second law.

The question of whether we should be troubled by this possible violation of the generalized law touches on several issues in the foundations of physics. The status of the ordinary second law of thermodynamics is itself a thorny philosophical puzzle, quite apart from the issue of black holes. Many physicists and philosophers deny that the ordinary second law holds universally, so one might question whether we should insist on its validity in the presence of black holes. On the other hand, the second law clearly captures some significant feature of our world, and the analogy between black hole mechanics and thermodynamics seems too rich to be thrown out without a fight. Indeed, the generalized second law is our only law that joins together the fields of general relativity, quantum mechanics, and thermodynamics. As such, it seems the most promising window we have into the truly fundamental nature of the physical world.

In response to this apparent violation of the generalized second law, Bekenstein pointed out that one could never get all of the radiation in the box arbitrarily close to the event horizon, because the box itself would have to have some volume. This observation by itself is not enough to save the second law, however, unless there is some limit to how much entropy can be contained in a given volume of space. Current physics poses no such limit, so Bekenstein (1981) postulated that the limit would be enforced by the underlying theory of quantum gravity, which black hole thermodynamics is providing a glimpse of.

However, Unruh and Wald (1982) argue that there is a less ad hoc way to save the generalized second law. The heat given off by any hot body, including a black hole, will produce a kind of buoyancy force on any object (like our box) that blocks thermal radiation. This means that when we are lowering our box of high-entropy radiation towards the black hole, the optimal place to release that radiation will not be just above the event horizon, but rather at the floating point for the container. Unruh and Wald demonstrate that this fact is enough guarantee that the decrease in outside entropy will be compensated by an increase in the area of the event horizon. It therefore seems that there is no reliable way to violate the generalized second law of black hole thermodynamics.

There is, however, a further reason that one might think that black hole thermodynamics implies a fundamental bound on the amount of entropy that can be contained in a region. Suppose that there were more entropy in some region of space than the Bekenstein entropy of a black hole of the same size. Then one could collapse that entropic matter into a black hole, which obviously could not be larger than the size of the original region (or the mass-energy would have already formed a black hole). But this would violate the generalized second law, for the Bekenstein entropy of a the resulting black hole would be less than that of the matter that formed it. Thus the second law appears to imply a fundamental limit on how much entropy a region can contain. If this is right, it seems to be a deep insight into the nature of quantum gravity.

Arguments along these lines led t Hooft (1985) to postulate the Holographic Principle (though the title is due to Susskind). This principle claims that the number of fundamental degrees of freedom in any spherical region is given by the Bekenstein entropy of a black hole of the same size as that region. The Holographic Principle is notable not only because it postulates a well-defined, finite, number of degrees of freedom for any region, but also because this number grows as the area surrounding the region, and not as the volume of the region. This flies in the face of standard physical pictures, whether of particles or fields. According to that picture, the entropy is the number of possible ways something can be, and that number of ways increases as the volume of any spatial region. The Holographic Principle does get some support from a result in string theory known as the AdS/CFT correspondence. If the Principle is correct, then one spatial dimension can, in a sense, be viewed as superfluous: the fundamental physical story of a spatial region is actually a story that can be told merely about the boundary of the region.

In classical thermodynamics, that a system possesses entropy is often attributed to the fact that we in practice are never able to render to it a complete description. When describing a cloud of gas, we do not specify values for the position and velocity of every molecule in it; we rather describe it in terms of quantities, such as pressure and temperature, constructed as statistical measures over underlying, more finely grained quantities, such as the momentum and energy of the individual molecules. The entropy of the gas then measures the incompleteness, as it were, of the gross description. In the attempt to take seriously the idea that a black hole has a true physical entropy, it is therefore natural to attempt to construct such a statistical origin for it. The tools of classical general relativity cannot provide such a construction, for it allows no way to describe a black hole as a system whose physical attributes arise as gross statistical measures over underlying, more finely grained quantities. Not even the tools of quantum field theory on curved spacetime can provide it, for they still treat the black hole as an entity defined entirely in terms of the classical geometry of the spacetime. Any such statistical accounting, therefore, must come from a theory that attributes to the classical geometry a description in terms of an underlying, discrete collection of micro-states. Explaining what these states are that are counted by the Bekenstein entropy has been a challenge that has been eagerly pursued by quantum gravity researchers.

In 1996, superstring theorists were able to give an account of how M-theory (which is an extension of superstring theory) generates a number of the string-states for a certain class of black holes, and this number matched that given by the Bekenstein entropy (Strominger and Vafa, 1996). A counting of black hole states using loop quantum gravity has also recovered the Bekenstein entropy (Ashtekar et al., 1998). It is philosophically noteworthy that this is treated as a significant success for these theories (i.e., it is presented as a reason for thinking that these theories are on the right track) even though Hawking radiation has never been experimentally observed (in part, because for macroscopic black holes the effect is minute).

Hawking’s discovery that black holes give off radiation presented an apparent problem for the possibility of describing black holes quantum mechanically. According to standard quantum mechanics, the entropy of a closed system never changes; this is captured formally by the unitary nature of quantum evolution. Such evolution guarantees that the initial conditions, together with the quantum Schrdinger equation, will fix the future state of the system. Likewise, a reverse application of the Schrdinger equation will take us from the later state back to the original initial state. The states at each time are rich enough, detailed enough, to fix (via the dynamical equations) the states at all other times. Thus there is a sense in which the completeness of the state is maintained by unitary time evolution.

It is typical to characterize this feature with the claim that quantum evolution preserves information. If one begins with a system in a precisely known quantum state, then unitary evolution guarantees that the details about that system will evolve in such a way that one can infer the precise quantum state of the system at some later time (as long as one knows the law of evolution and can perform the relevant calculations), and vice versa. This quantum preservation of details implies that if we burn a chair, for example, it would in principle be possible to perform a complete set of measurements on all the outgoing radiation, the smoke, and the ashes, and reconstruct exactly what the chair looked like. However, if we were instead to throw the chair into a black hole, then it would be physically impossible for the details about the chair ever to escape to the outside universe. This might not be a problem if the black hole continued to exist for all time, but Hawking tells us that the black hole is giving off energy, and thus it will shrink down and presumably will eventually disappear altogether. At that point, the details about the chair will be irrevocably lost; thus such evolution cannot be described unitarily. This problem has been labeled the information loss paradox of quantum black holes.

(A brief technical explanation for those familiar with quantum mechanics: The argument is simply that the interior and the exterior of the black hole will generally be entangled. However, microcausality implies that the entangled degrees of freedom in the black hole cannot coherently recombine with the external universe. Thus once the black hole has completely evaporated away, the entropy of the universe will have increased in violation of unitary evolution.)

The attitude physicists adopted towards this paradox was apparently strongly influenced by their vision of which theory, general relativity or quantum theory, would have to yield to achieve a consistent theory of quantum gravity. Spacetime physicists tended to view non-unitary evolution as a fairly natural consequence of singular spacetimes: one wouldn’t expect all the details to be available at late times if they were lost in a singularity. Hawking, for example, argued that the paradox shows that the full theory of quantum gravity will be a non-unitary theory, and he began working to develop such a theory. (He has since abandoned this position.)

However, particle physicists (such as superstring theorists) tended to view black holes as being just another quantum state. If two particles were to collide at extremely high (i.e., Planck-scale) energies, they would form a very small black hole. This tiny black hole would have a very high Hawking temperature, and thus it would very quickly give off many high-energy particles and disappear. Such a process would look very much like a standard high-energy scattering experiment: two particles collide and their mass-energy is then converted into showers of outgoing particles. The fact that all known scattering processes are unitary then seems to give us some reason to expect that black hole formation and evaporation should also be unitary.

These considerations led many physicists to propose scenarios that might allow for the unitary evolution of quantum black holes, while not violating other basic physical principles, such as the requirement that no physical influences be allowed to travel faster than light (the requirement of microcausality), at least not when we are far from the domain of quantum gravity (the Planck scale). Once energies do enter the domain of quantum gravity, e.g. near the central singularity of a black hole, then we might expect the classical description of spacetime to break down; thus, physicists were generally prepared to allow for the possibility of violations of microcausality in this region.

A very helpful overview of this debate can be found in Belot, Earman, and Ruetsche (1999). Most of the scenarios proposed to escape Hawking’s argument faced serious difficulties and have been abandoned by their supporters. The proposal that currently enjoys the most wide-spread (though certainly not universal) support is known as black hole complementarity. This proposal has been the subject of philosophical controversy because it includes apparently incompatible claims, and then tries to escape the contradiction by making a controversial appeal to quantum complementarity or (so charge the critics) verificationism.

The challenge of saving information from a black hole lies in the fact that it is impossible to copy the quantum details (especially the quantum correlations) that are preserved by unitary evolution. This implies that if the details pass behind the event horizon, for example, if an astronaut falls into a black hole, then those details are lost forever. Advocates of black hole complementarity (Susskind et al. 1993), however, point out that an outside observer will never see the infalling astronaut pass through the event horizon. Instead, as we saw in Section 2, she will seem to hover at the horizon for all time. But all the while, the black hole will also be giving off heat, and shrinking down, and getting hotter, and shrinking more. The black hole complementarian therefore suggests that an outside observer should conclude that the infalling astronaut gets burned up before she crosses the event horizon, and all the details about her state will be returned in the outgoing radiation, just as would be the case if she and her belongings were incinerated in a more conventional manner; thus the information (and standard quantum evolution) is saved.

However, this suggestion flies in the face of the fact (discussed earlier) that for an infalling observer, nothing out of the ordinary should be experienced at the event horizon. Indeed, for a large enough black hole, one wouldn’t even know that she was passing through an event horizon at all. This obviously contradicts the suggestion that she might be burned up as she passes through the horizon. The black hole complementarian tries to resolve this contradiction by agreeing that the infalling observer will notice nothing remarkable at the horizon. This is followed by a suggestion that the account of the infalling astronaut should be considered to be complementary to the account of the external observer, rather in the same way that position and momentum are complementary descriptions of quantum particles (Susskind et al. 1993). The fact that the infalling observer cannot communicate to the external world that she survived her passage through the event horizon is supposed to imply that there is no genuine contradiction here.

This solution to the information loss paradox has been criticized for making an illegitimate appeal to verificationism (Belot, Earman, and Ruetsche 1999). However, the proposal has nevertheless won wide-spread support in the physics community, in part because models of M-theory seem to behave somewhat as the black hole complementarian scenario suggests (for a philosophical discussion, see van Dongen and de Haro 2004). Bokulich (2005) argues that the most fruitful way of viewing black hole complementarity is as a novel suggestion for how a non-local theory of quantum gravity will recover the local behavior of quantum field theory when black holes are involved.

The physical investigation of spacetime singularities and black holes has touched on numerous philosophical issues. To begin, we were confronted with the question of the definition and significance of singularities. Should they be defined in terms of incomplete paths, missing points, or curvature pathology? Should we even think that there is a single correct answer to this question? Need we include such things in our ontology, or do they instead merely indicate the break-down of a particular physical theory? Are they edges of spacetime, or merely inadequate descriptions that will be dispensed with by a truly fundamental theory of quantum gravity?

This has obvious connections to the issue of how we are to interpret the ontology of merely effective physical descriptions. The debate over the information loss paradox also highlights the conceptual importance of the relationship between different effective theories. At root, the debate is over where and how our effective physical theories will break down: when can they be trusted, and where must they be replaced by a more adequate theory?

Black holes appear to be crucial for our understanding of the relationship between matter and spacetime. As discussed in Section 3, When matter forms a black hole, it is transformed into a purely gravitational entity. When a black hole evaporates, spacetime curvature is transformed into ordinary matter. Thus black holes offer an important arena for investigating the ontology of spacetime and ordinary objects.

Black holes were also seen to provide an important testing ground to investigate the conceptual problems underlying quantum theory and general relativity. The question of whether black hole evolution is unitary raises the issue of how the unitary evolution of standard quantum mechanics serves to guarantee that no experiment can reveal a violation of energy conservation or of microcausality. Likewise, the debate over the information loss paradox can be seen as a debate over whether spacetime or an abstract dynamical state space (Hilbert space) should be viewed as being more fundamental. Might spacetime itself be an emergent entity belonging only to an effective physical theory?

Singularities and black holes are arguably our best windows into the details of quantum gravity, which would seem to be the best candidate for a truly fundamental physical description of the world (if such a fundamental description exists). As such, they offer glimpses into deepest nature of matter, dynamical laws, and space and time; and these glimpses seem to call for a conceptual revision at least as great as that required by quantum mechanics or relativity theory alone.

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Illuminati Wikipdia, a enciclopdia livre

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Jan 312016

Illuminati (plural do latim illuminatus, “aquele que iluminado”) a denominao de diversos grupos, alguns histricos, outros modernos, reais ou fictcios. Mas comumente, contudo, o termo “Illuminati” tem sido empregado especificamente para referir-se aos Illuminati da Baviera, uma sociedade secreta da era do Iluminismo fundada em 1 de maio de 1776. Nos tempos modernos, tambm usado para se referir a uma suposta organizao conspiratria que controlaria os assuntos dos vrios Estados secretamente, normalmente como verso moderna ou como continuao dos referidos Illuminati bvaros, como sinnimo e crebro por trs dos acontecimentos que levariam ao estabelecimento de uma Nova Ordem Mundial, com os objetivos primrios de unir o mundo sob uma espcie de tirania global.

Dado que “Illuminati” significa literalmente os iluminados em latim, natural que diversos grupos histricos, no relacionados entre si, se tenham autodenominados de Illuminati. Frequentemente, faziam isso alegando possuir textos gnsticos ou outras informaes arcanas (secretas) no disponveis ao grande pblico.[1]

A designao “Illuminati” esteve em uso tambm desde o sculo XIV pelos Irmos do Livre Esprito, e no sculo XV,[2] o ttulo foi assumido por outros entusiastas que argumentavam que a luz da iluminao provinha, no de uma fonte autorizada, mas secreta, de dentro, como resultado de um estado alterado de conscincia, ou iluminismo, que representaria o esclarecimento espiritual e psquico.

Desta forma, durante os perodos moderno e contemporneo, foi designado por “Illuminati” um nmero de grupos (alguns dos quais tm reivindicado o ttulo), mais ou menos marginal e secreto, e muitas vezes em conflito com autoridades religiosas ou polticas; so eles: os Irmos do Livre Esprito, os Illumins, os Martinistas, o Palladium… e, principalmente os Illuminati da Baviera. Embora as doutrinas desses grupos tenham sido variadas e por vezes contraditrias, a confuso entre eles tem sido muitas vezes mantida e levado s teorias de conspirao de uma sociedade secreta atuando atravs da histria.

A Ordem dos Illuminati da Baviera foi fundada na noite de 30 de abril a 1 de Maio de 1776 (vspera da famosa Noite de Santa Valburga) em uma floresta perto de Ingolstadt (Baviera), no sul da Alemanha, onde um pequeno grupo de jovens criou e prometeu cumprir os fins da sociedade. Entre aqueles que estavam naquela noite, sabe-se apenas a identidade de trs: Adam Weishaupt, Max Merz e Anton von Massenhausen. O fato de que no se sabe exatamente quem estava presente naquela noite foi a causa da especulao sobre o nmero de pessoas que criaram a ordem, alguns dizem que eram apenas quatro e outros argumentam que foram treze. Aps a fundao, Adam Weishaupt (que se proclamou a si mesmo o nome simblico de Spartacus) atraiu seus primeiros seguidores, um estudante de Munique chamado Franz Xavier von Zwack e um baro protestante de Hanver chamado Adolph von Knigge (Frater Philon) que j havia sido iniciado na Maonaria e, posteriormente, desenvolveu o Rito dos Illuminati da Baviera, junto com Weishaupt, a quem foi introduzido na loja de Munique: Theodor zum guten Rath.

Graas s habilidades de von Knigge, os Illuminati rapidamente se espalham pela Alemanha, ustria, Hungria, Sua, Frana, Itlia e outras partes da Europa e afiliando personalidades como Herder (Damasus), Goethe (Abaris), Cagliostro, o Conde de Mirabeau (Leonidas) e o lendrio alquimista o Conde de St. Germain, entre outros. Alguns nobres como o duque de Saxe-Weimar e de Saxe-Gotha, os prncipes Ferdinando de Brunswick e Karl de Hesse, Conde de Stolberg e o Baro Karl Theodor von Dalberg, tambm figuraram dentro da iniciao iluminada.

Incentivado pelo seu sucesso em conseguir recrutar um grande nmero de pensadores, filsofos, artistas, polticos, banqueiros, analistas, etc; Adam Weishaupt tomou a deciso de juntar-se a Maonaria por meio de Von Knigge, e ordenou a infiltrao e dominao da mesma.

Em 16 de julho de 1782, numa reunio da maonaria continental realizada no Convento de Wilhelmsbad, os Illuminati tentaram unificar e controlar sob a sua autoridade todos os ramos da Maonaria. Embora tenham conseguido se infiltrar nas lojas em toda a Europa, a Grande Loja de Inglaterra, a Grande Oriente de Frana e os iluminados tesofos de Swedenborg decidiram no apoiar os planos de Weishaupt, contrariando assim algumas das ambies da Ordem.

Devido ao fracasso do movimento, Von Knigge renunciou pensando que seria intil continuar com os planos e foi para Bremen, onde passou seus ltimos anos. Entretanto, Weishaupt recebia a ofensiva dos Maons da Inglaterra e dos Martinistas, a quem denunciou em seus escritos, argumentando que a Grande Loja de Londres em si foi criada em 1717 por pastores protestantes, que no foram iniciados na Maonaria, isto , que foi fundada por profanos sem documentos vlidos ou provas.

Os Illuminati da Baviera foram um movimento de curta durao de autointitulados livre-pensadores, o ramo mais radical do Iluminismo a cujos seguidores foi atribudo o nome de Illuminati (mas que a si mesmos chamavam de perfectibilistas ou “perfeccionistas”) foi fundado, a 1 de maio de 1776, pelo professor de lei cannica Adam Weishaupt (1748-1830), e pelo maom baro Adolph von Knigge na cidade de Ingolstadt, Baviera, atual Alemanha. O grupo foi criado com o nome de “Antigos e Iluminados Profetas da Baviera (Ancient and Illuminated Seers of Bavaria, AISB)” ou “Ordem dos Perfeitos”, mas tem sido chamado de “Ordem Illuminati”, a “Ordem dos Illuminati” e os “Iluminados Bvaros”.[3][4][5][6]

Na Baviera, onde o Eleitor Maximiliano Jos III de Wittelsbach foi sucedido em 1777 pelo seu herdeiro Carl Theodor, a organizao no durou muito at ser suprimida pela polcia sob acusaes de conspirao. Em 1784, o governo bvaro baniu todas as sociedades secretas incluindo os Illuminati e os maons. A estrutura dos Illuminati desmoronou logo, mas enquanto existiu, alguns intelectuais influentes se contaram entre os seus membros. Eles eram recrutados principalmente dentre os maons e ex-maons, juravam obedincia a seus superiores e estavam divididos em trs classes principais: a primeira, conhecida como Berrio, compreendia os graus ascendentes ou ofcios de Preparao, Noviciado, Minerval e Illuminatus Minor; a segunda, conhecida como a Maonaria, consistia dos graus ascendentes de Illuminatus Major e Illuminatus dirigens, esse ltimo algumas vezes chamado de Cavaleiro Escocs; a terceira, designada de Mistrios, estava subdividida nos graus de Mistrios Menores (Presbtero e Regente) e Mistrios Maiores (Magus e Rex). Relaes com as lojas manicas foram estabelecidas em Munique e Frisinga, em 1780.

A ordem tinha ramos na maior parte dos pases europeus, mas o nmero total de membros parece nunca ter sido superior a 2000 durante o perodo de dez anos.[4] O esquema teve a sua atrao para os literatos, como Goethe e Herder, e mesmo para os duques reinantes de Gota e Weimar. Rupturas internas precederam o desmoronamento da organizao, que foi efetivado por um dito do governo bvaro em 1785. A ordem foi encerrada em 1788..[4]

Em 22 de junho de 1784, o Eleitor da Baviera, duque Carl Theodor advertiu sobre o perigo representado pelos Illuminati, e aprovou um decreto contra a sociedade bvara.[7] Weishaupt foi demitido de sua ctedra indo para o exlio em Ratisbona, para liderar a Ordem no exterior sob a proteo do duque de Saxe. Em 1785, o edital foi confirmado e assim comeou a perseguio e detenes aos membros da sociedade.[8]

Em seguida, o jornalista Johann Joachim Christoph Bode, se torna o lder de fato da Ordem. Em 1787, vai para a Frana, Estrasburgo e depois a Paris,[9] onde se encontrou com membros da Loja de Filaleto.[10] De acordo com o seu “Travel Journal”, alguns deles, ento, constituem em segredo o ncleo dos “Philadelphes”, uma sociedade semelhante aos Illuminati alemes.

Caados, os Illuminati da Baviera desapareceram completamente do sul da Alemanha, em 1786, aps um portugus chamado Joo ter apanhado cerca de 10, apenas algumas lojas resistiram na Saxnia at 1789. Alguns dos planos dos Illuminati foram revelados por acaso na noite de 10 de julho de 1784, quando um mensageiro de Weishaupt, identificado como o abade Lanz, morreu inesperadamente devido a um raio. Seu corpo foi levado para a Capela de San Emmeran por habitantes do local e entre os seus hbitos foram encontrados documentos importantes que se tratavam de planos secretos para a conquista mundial. A polcia da Baviera investigou os detalhes da conspirao, dando a entender a Francisco I, Sacro Imperador Romano-Germnico, o compl contra todas as monarquias, sobretudo na Frana, onde mais tarde, em 1789, gestaria a chamada Revoluo Francesa e a queda de Lus XVI e Maria Antonieta, seus ltimos monarcas.

Os documentos foram divulgados pelo governo da Baviera, alertando a nobreza e o clero da Europa. No entanto, logo se convenceram de que a conspirao tinha sido destruda devido dissoluo formal dos Illuminati, juntamente com o banimento de Weishaupt e a deteno de muitos de seus adeptos.

Apesar de sua curta durao, os Illuminati da Baviera lanaram uma longa sombra na histria popular, graas aos escritos de seus opositores. Em 1797, o Abade Augustin Barruel publicou o livro Memrias ilustrativas da histria do Jacobinismo, delineando uma teoria envolvendo os Cavaleiros Templrios, os Rosacruzes, os Jacobinos e os Illuminati. Simultnea e independentemente, um maom escocs e professor de Histria Natural, chamado John Robison, comeou a publicar Provas de uma conspirao contra todas as religies e governos da Europa, em 1798. Robinson alegava apresentar evidncias de que uma conspirao dos Illuminati estava dedicada a substituir todas as religies e naes com o humanismo e um governo mundial nico, respectivamente.

Mais recentemente, Antony Cyril Sutton sugeriu que a sociedade secreta Skull and Bones foi fundada como o ramo norte-americano dos Illuminati. Outros pensam que a Scroll and Key tambm tem origem nos Illuminati. Robert Gillete defende que esses Illuminati pretendem, em ltima instncia, estabelecer um governo mundial por meio de assassinatos, corrupo, chantagem, controle dos bancos e outras entidades financeiras, infiltrao nos governos, e causando guerras e revolues, com a finalidade de colocar seus prprios membros em posies cada vez mais altas da hierarquia poltica. Thomas Jefferson reparou na infiltrao da ordem na maonaria, e atribuiu o carter secreto dos Illuminati ao que chamou de a tirania de um dspota e dos sacerdotes.

Ambos parecem concordar que os oponentes dos Illuminati foram os monarcas da Europa e a Igreja. Barruel afirmou que a Revoluo Francesa (1789) foi planejada e controlada pelos Illuminati atravs dos jacobinos, e mais tarde alguns tambm alegaram a responsabilidade deles na Revoluo Russa (1917).

Desde o final do sculo XVIII at meados do sculo XX, muitos pesquisadores tm especulado que os Illuminati sobreviveram sua supresso, por causa de sua infiltrao na Maonaria, e se tornaram o crebro por trs de grandes eventos histricos como a Revoluo Americana,[11] a Revoluo Francesa,[12] a Revoluo Russa,[13] as Guerras Mundiais[13] e os ataques de 11 de setembro de 2001;[14] oAtentado em Boston,o Ataques de novembro 2015 em Paris,Acidente Nuclear de Fukushima. Levando a cabo um plano secreto para subverter as monarquias da Europa e a religio Crist visando a formao de uma Nova Ordem Mundial.

Escritores como Mark Dice,[15]David Icke, Ryan Burke, Jri Lina e Morgan Gricar alm de outros tm argumentado que os Illuminati da Baviera sobreviveram, possivelmente at hoje. Muitas destas teorias prope que os eventos mundiais esto a ser controlados e manipulados por uma sociedade secreta que se autodenomina Illuminati.[16][17] Os tericos afirmam que muitas pessoas notveis foram ou so membros dos Illuminati, incluindo Winston Churchill (que teria alertado a respeito da organizao),[18] a famlia Bush,[19]Barack Obama,[20] a famlia Rothschild,[21][19] a famlia Rockefeller (incluindo David Rockefeller) e Zbigniew Brzezinski, entre outros.[22] O termo “Illuminati” tambm geralmente associado com os membros de instituies e sociedades secretas de inspirao ocultista e / ou globalista: os Skull & Bones, Grupo Mesa Redonda, a Sociedade Fabiana, o Royal Institute of International Affairs, o Council on Foreign Relations, o Bohemian Club, o Clube de Bilderberg, a Comisso Trilateral, o Clube de Roma, a Fundao Carnegie, a Fundao Rockefeller, etc.

Tambm sugerem que os fundadores dos Estados Unidos sendo alguns deles franco-maons estavam influenciados pela corrupo dos Illuminati. Frequentemente o smbolo da pirmide que tudo v no Grande Selo dos Estados Unidos citado como exemplo do olho sempre presente dos Illuminati sobre os americanos.

E tambm citam que usam nas notas a escrita Novus Ordo Seclorum que significa Nova Ordem Secular. Jordan Maxwell, pesquisador dos Iluminati, afirma que ‘Novus Ordo Seclorum” pode ser traduzido para “Nova Ordem Mundial”.

Pouca evidncia pode ser encontrada para apoiar a hiptese de que o grupo de Weishaupt tenha sobrevivido at o sculo XIX. Contudo, diversos grupos tm usado a fama dos Illuminati desde ento para criar seus prprios ritos, alegando serem os Illuminati, incluindo a Ordo Illuminatorum, Die Alten Erleuchteten Seher Bayerns, The Illuminati Order, e outros.”[23][24][25]

Os Aquisitores o nome genrico dado a supostos grupos dissidentes que surgiram com a atuao dos Illuminati no Brasil. Sua origem est quase sempre relacionada renuncia de Jnio Quadros, o presidente que renunciou por no aguentar o peso das “foras terrveis” (“foras ocultas”) e a instaurao do Regime Militar em 1964. O nome Aquisitores uma referncia a prosperidade financeira e a atuao de seus membros na economia do pas, especialmente na regio de So Bernardo do Campo, no ABC Paulista durante a prspera fase pela qual passou a regio na dcada de 1970, no movimento metalrgico e na posterior eleio do Presidente Lula.

Durante a ditadura militar, at pouco depois de 1985, os membros brasileiros dos Illuminati supostamente se organizaram em dois grupos opostos e teoricamente independentes dos Illuminati da Baviera. Estes captulos isolados passaram ambos a reivindicar o antigo nome do grupo como sendo os nicos e verdadeiros Aquisitores. Alguns pesquisadores se esforam para ligar todos os escndalos polticos que ocorreram no pas desde a ditadura militar a estes dois grupos e seus jogos de poder.

Porm, os Aquisitores no so reconhecidos como grupo por historiadores acadmicos, e no existem trabalhos acadmicos que confirmem sua existncia. Um exemplo a investigao nos anos 90 sobre a morte do presidente Juscelino Kubitschek ou a investigao iniciada em 2007 no Rio Grande do Sul sobre a morte de Joo Goulart, que oficialmente morreu de doena cardaca, mas teria sido assassinado pela Operao Condor arquitetada pelos Aquisitores. At o momento nenhuma dessas investigaes apresentou provas palpveis, mas a sucesso de eventos alimenta a curiosidade de alguns: Jango, JK e Lacerda, os trs grandes nomes da oposio ao regime militar morreram todos em espao de meses entre o fim de 1976 e incio de 1977.

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First Amendment Activities | United States Courts

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Jan 312016

Apply landmark Supreme Court cases to contemporary scenarios related to the five pillars of the First Amendment and your rights to freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition.

“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 redress of grievances.”First Amendment, U.S. Constitution

Cox v. New Hampshire Protests and freedom to assemble

Elonis v. U.S. Facebook and free speech

Engel v. Vitale Prayer in schools and freedom of religion

Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier Student newspapers and free speech

Morse v. Frederick School-sponsored events and free speech

Snyder v. Phelps Public concerns, private matters, and free speech

Texas v. Johnson Flag burning and free speech

U.S. v. Alvarez Lies and free speech

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NSA warrantless surveillance (200107) – Wikipedia, the free …

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Jan 252016

The NSA warrantless surveillance controversy (“warrantless wiretapping”) concerns surveillance of persons within the United States during the collection of allegedly foreign intelligence by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) as part of the touted war on terror. Under this program, referred to by the Bush administration as the terrorist surveillance program,[1] part of the broader President’s Surveillance Program, the NSA was authorized by executive order to monitor, without search warrants, the phone calls, Internet activity (Web, e-mail, etc.), text messaging, and other communication involving any party believed by the NSA to be outside the U.S., even if the other end of the communication lies within the U.S. However, it has been discovered that all U.S. communications have been digitally cloned by government agencies, in apparent violation of unreasonable search and seizure.

Critics claim that the program was in an effort to attempt to silence critics of the Bush Administration and its handling of several controversial issues during its tenure. Under public pressure, the Bush administration allegedly ceased the warrantless wiretapping program in January 2007 and returned review of surveillance to the FISA court.[2] Subsequently, in 2008 Congress passed the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which relaxed some of the original FISA court requirements.

During the Obama Administration, the NSA has allegedly continued operating under the new FISA guidelines despite campaign promises to end warrantless wiretapping.[3] However, in April 2009 officials at the United States Department of Justice acknowledged that the NSA had engaged in “overcollection” of domestic communications in excess of the FISA court’s authority, but claimed that the acts were unintentional and had since been rectified.[4]

All wiretapping of American citizens by the National Security Agency requires a warrant from a three-judge court set up under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. After the 9/11 attacks, Congress passed the Patriot Act, which granted the President broad powers to fight a war against terrorism. The George W. Bush administration used these powers to bypass the FISA court and directed the NSA to spy directly on al-Qaeda in a new NSA electronic surveillance program. Reports at the time indicate that an “apparently accidental” “glitch” resulted in the interception of communications that were purely domestic in nature.[5] This action was challenged by a number of groups, including Congress, as unconstitutional.

The exact scope of the program remains secret, but the NSA was provided total, unsupervised access to all fiber-optic communications going between some of the nation’s largest telecommunication companies’ major interconnected locations, including phone conversations, email, web browsing, and corporate private network traffic.[6] Critics said that such “domestic” intercepts required FISC authorization under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.[7] The Bush administration maintained that the authorized intercepts were not domestic but rather foreign intelligence integral to the conduct of war and that the warrant requirements of FISA were implicitly superseded by the subsequent passage of the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists (AUMF).[8] FISA makes it illegal to intentionally engage in electronic surveillance under appearance of an official act or to disclose or use information obtained by electronic surveillance under appearance of an official act knowing that it was not authorized by statute; this is punishable with a fine of up to $10,000 or up to five years in prison, or both.[9] In addition, the Wiretap Act prohibits any person from illegally intercepting, disclosing, using or divulging phone calls or electronic communications; this is punishable with a fine or up to five years in prison, or both.[10]

After an article about the program, (which had been code-named Stellar Wind), was published in The New York Times on December 16, 2005, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales confirmed its existence.[11][12][13]The Times had posted the exclusive story on their website the night before, after learning that the Bush administration was considering seeking a Pentagon-Papers-style court injunction to block its publication.[14]Bill Keller, the newspaper’s former executive editor, had withheld the story from publication since before the 2004 Presidential Election, and the story that was ultimately published was essentially the same as reporters James Risen and Eric Lichtblau had submitted in 2004. The delay drew criticism from some in the press, arguing that an earlier publication could have changed the election’s outcome.[15] In a December 2008 interview with Newsweek, former Justice Department employee Thomas Tamm revealed himself to be the initial whistle-blower to The Times.[16] The FBI began investigating leaks about the program in 2005, with 25 agents and 5 prosecutors on the case.[17]

Gonzales said the program authorized warrantless intercepts where the government had “a reasonable basis to conclude that one party to the communication is a member of al Qaeda, affiliated with al Qaeda, or a member of an organization affiliated with al Qaeda, or working in support of al Qaeda” and that one party to the conversation was “outside of the United States.”[18] The revelation raised immediate concern among elected officials, civil right activists, legal scholars and the public at large about the legality and constitutionality of the program and the potential for abuse. Since then, the controversy has expanded to include the press’ role in exposing a classified program, the role and responsibility of the US Congress in its executive oversight function and the scope and extent of presidential powers under Article II of the Constitution.[19]

In mid-August 2007, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit heard arguments in two lawsuits challenging the surveillance program. The appeals were the first to reach the court after dozens of civil suits against the government and telecommunications companies over NSA surveillance were consolidated last year before the chief judge of the Northern District of California, Vaughn R. Walker. One of the cases is a class-action lawsuit against AT&T, focusing on allegations that the company provided the NSA with its customers’ phone and Internet communications for a vast data-mining operation. Plaintiffs in the second case are the al-Haramain Foundation Islamic charity and two of its lawyers.[20][21]

On November 16, 2007, the three judgesM. Margaret McKeown, Michael Daly Hawkins, and Harry Pregersonissued a 27-page ruling that the charity, the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation, could not introduce a key piece of evidence in its case because it fell under the government’s claim of state secrets, although the judges said that “In light of extensive government disclosures, the government is hard-pressed to sustain its claim that the very subject matter of the litigation is a state secret.”[22][23]

In an August 14, 2007, question-and-answer session with the El Paso Times which was published on August 22, Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell confirmed for the first time that the private sector helped the warrantless surveillance program. McConnell argued that the companies deserved immunity for their help: “Now if you play out the suits at the value they’re claimed, it would bankrupt these companies”.[24] Plaintiffs in the AT&T suit subsequently filed a motion with the court to have McConnell’s acknowledgement admitted as evidence in their case.[25]

The program may face an additional legal challenge in the appeal of two Albany, New York, men convicted of criminal charges in an FBI anti-terror sting operation. Their lawyers say they have evidence the men were the subjects of NSA electronic surveillance, which was used to obtain their convictions but not made public at trial or made available in response to discovery requests by defense counsel at that time.[26]

In an unusual related legal development, on October 13, 2007, The Washington Post reported that Joseph P. Nacchio, the former CEO of Qwest Communications, is appealing an April 2007 conviction on 19 counts of insider trading by alleging that the government withdrew opportunities for contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars after Qwest refused to participate in an unidentified National Security Agency program that the company thought might be illegal. According to court documents unsealed in Denver in early October as part of Nacchio’s appeal, the NSA approached Qwest about participating in a warrantless surveillance program more than six months before the Sep 11, 2001, attacks which have been cited by the government as the main impetus for its efforts. Nacchio is using the allegation to try to show why his stock sale should not have been considered improper.[27] According to a lawsuit filed against other telecommunications companies for violating customer privacy, AT&T began preparing facilities for the NSA to monitor “phone call information and Internet traffic” seven months before 9/11.[28]

On August 17, 2007, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court said it would consider a request filed by the American Civil Liberties Union which asked the intelligence court to make public its recent, classified rulings on the scope of the government’s wiretapping powers. Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, presiding judge of the FISC, signed an order calling the ACLU’s motion “an unprecedented request that warrants further briefing.”[29] The FISC ordered the government to respond on the issue by August 31, saying that anything involving classified material could be filed under court seal.[30][31] On the August 31 deadline, the National Security Division of the Justice Department filed a response in opposition to the ACLU’s motion with the court.[32]

In previous developments, the case ACLU v. NSA was dismissed on July 6, 2007 by the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.[33] The court did not rule on the spying program’s legality. Instead, its 65-page opinion declared that the American Civil Liberties Union and the others who brought the case including academics, lawyers and journalists did not have the legal standing to sue because they could not demonstrate that they had been direct targets of the clandestine surveillance.[34] Detroit District Court judge Anna Diggs Taylor had originally ruled on August 17, 2006 that the program is illegal under FISA as well as unconstitutional under the First and Fourth amendments of the United States Constitution.[35][36][37]Judicial Watch, a watchdog group, discovered that at the time of the ruling Taylor “serves as a secretary and trustee for a foundation that donated funds to the ACLU of Michigan, a plaintiff in the case.”[38] On February 19, 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court, without comment, turned down an appeal from the American Civil Liberties Union, letting stand the earlier decision dismissing the case.[39]

On September 28, 2006 the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Electronic Surveillance Modernization Act (H.R. 5825).[40] That bill now has been passed to the U.S. Senate, where three competing, mutually exclusive, billsthe Terrorist Surveillance Act of 2006 (S.2455) (the DeWine bill), the National Security Surveillance Act of 2006 (S.2455) (the Specter bill), and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Improvement and Enhancement Act of 2006 (S.3001) (the Specter-Feinstein bill) were themselves referred for debate to the full Senate by the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 13, 2006.[41] Each of these bills would in some form broaden the statutory authorization for electronic surveillance, while still subjecting it to some restrictions. The Specter-Feinstein bill would extend the peacetime period for obtaining retroactive warrants to seven days and implement other changes to facilitate eavesdropping while maintaining FISA court oversight. The DeWine bill, the Specter bill, and the Electronic Surveillance Modernization Act (passed by the House) would all authorize some limited forms or periods of warrantless electronic surveillance subject to additional programmatic oversight by either the FISC (Specter bill) or Congress (DeWine and Wilson bills).

On January 17, 2007, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales informed U.S. Senate leaders by letter that the program would not be reauthorized by the President.[2] “Any electronic surveillance that was occurring as part of the Terrorist Surveillance Program will now be conducted subject to the approval of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court,” according to his letter.[42]

On September 18, 2008, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), an Internet-privacy advocacy group, filed a new lawsuit against the NSA, President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Cheney’s chief of staff David Addington, former Attorney General and White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales and other government agencies and individuals who ordered or participated in the warrantless surveillance. They sued on behalf of AT&T customers to seek redress for what the EFF alleges to be an illegal, unconstitutional, and ongoing dragnet surveillance of their communications and communications records. An earlier, ongoing suit by the EFF may be bogged down by the recent changes to FISA provisions, but these are not expected to impact this new case.[43][44]

On January 23, 2009, the administration of President Barack Obama adopted the same position as his predecessor when it urged U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker to set aside a ruling in Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation et al. v. Obama, et al.[45] The Obama administration also sided with the former administration in its legal defense of July 2008 legislation that immunized the nation’s telecommunications companies from lawsuits accusing them of complicity in the eavesdropping program, according to testimony by Attorney General Eric Holder.[46]

On March 31, 2010, Judge Vaughn R. Walker, chief judge of the Federal District Court in San Francisco, ruled that the National Security Agency’s program of surveillance without warrants was illegal when it intercepted phone calls of Al Haramain. Declaring that the plaintiffs had been “subjected to unlawful surveillance”, the judge said the government was liable to pay them damages.[47]

In 2012, the Ninth Circuit vacated the judgment against the United States and affirmed the district court’s dismissal of the claim against Mueller.[48]

The Trailblazer Project, an NSA IT project that began in 2000, has also been linked to warrantless surveillance. It was chosen over ThinThread, which had included some privacy protections. Three ex-NSA staffers, William Binney, J. Kirke Wiebe, and Ed Loomis, all of whom had quit NSA over concerns about the legality of the agency’s activities, teamed with Diane Roark, a staffer on the House Intelligence Committee, to ask the Inspector General to investigate. A major source for the IG report was Thomas Andrews Drake, an ex-Air Force senior NSA official with an expertise in computers. Siobhan Gorman of The Baltimore Sun published a series of articles about Trailblazer in 20062007.

The FBI agents investigating the 2005 The New York Times story eventually made their way to The Baltimore Sun story, and then to Binney, Wiebe, Loomis, Roark, and Drake. In 2007 armed FBI agents raided the houses of Roark, Binney, and Wiebe. Binney claimed they pointed guns at his head. Wiebe said it reminded him of the Soviet Union. None were charged with crimes except for Drake. In 2010 he was indicted under the Espionage Act of 1917, as part of Obama’s unprecedented crackdown on leakers.[49][50] The charges against him were dropped in 2011 and he pled to a single misdemeanor.

The 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) regulates U.S. government agencies’ carrying out of physical searches, and electronic surveillance, wherein a significant purpose is the gathering of foreign intelligence information. “Foreign intelligence information” is defined in 50 U.S.C.1801 as information necessary to protect the U.S. or its allies against actual or potential attack from a foreign power, sabotage or international terrorism. FISA defines a “foreign power” as a foreign government or any faction(s) of a foreign government not substantially composed of US persons, or any entity directed or controlled by a foreign government. FISA provides for both criminal and civil liability for intentional electronic surveillance under color of law except as authorized by statute.

FISA provides two documents for the authorization of surveillance. First, FISA allows the Justice Department to obtain warrants from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) before or up to 72 hours after the beginning of the surveillance. FISA authorizes a FISC judge to issue a warrant for the electronic cameras if “there is probable cause to believe that the target of the electronic surveillance is a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power.” 50 U.S.C. 1805(a)(3). Second, FISA permits the President or his delegate to authorize warrantless surveillance for the collection of foreign intelligence if “there is no substantial likelihood that the surveillance will acquire the contents of any communication to which a United States person is a party”. 50 U.S.C. 1802(a)(1).[51]

Soon after the September 11, 2001 attacks U.S. President George W. Bush issued an executive order that authorized the National Security Agency (NSA) to conduct surveillance of certain telephone calls without obtaining a warrant from the FISC as stipulated by FISA (see 50 U.S.C.1802 50 U.S.C.1809 ). The complete details of the executive order are not known, but according to statements by the administration,[52] the authorization covers telephone calls originating overseas from or to a person suspected of having links to terrorist organizations such as al-Qaeda or its affiliates even when the other party to the call is within the US. The legality of surveillance involving US persons and extent of this authorization is at the core of this controversy which has steadily grown to include:

About a week after the 9/11 attacks, Congress passed the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists (AUMF) which authorized the President to “use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.”

The administration has argued that the language used in the AUMF implicitly authorized the President to exercise those powers “incident to the waging of war”, including the collection of enemy intelligence, FISA provisions notwithstanding.[8]

On January 20, 2006, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee along with lone co-sponsor Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) introduced S. Res. 350, a resolution “expressing the sense of the Senate that Senate Joint Resolution 23 (107th Congress), as adopted by the Senate on September 14, 2001, and subsequently enacted as the Authorization for Use of Military Force does not authorize warrantless domestic surveillance of United States citizens.”[55][56] This non-binding resolution died in the Senate without being brought up for debate or being voted upon.[57]

Because of its highly classified status, little is publicly known about the actual implementation of the NSA domestic electronic surveillance program. Mark Klein, a retired AT&T communications technician, submitted an affidavit including limited technical details known to him personally in support of a class-action lawsuit filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation in federal district court in San Francisco in January 2006 on behalf of AT&T customers who alleged that they had been damaged by the telecommunications corporation’s cooperation with the NSA. The lawsuit is called Hepting v. AT&T.[60][61]

A January 16, 2004 statement by Mr. Klein includes additional technical details regarding the secret 2003 construction of an NSA-operated monitoring facility in Room 641A of 611 Folsom Street in San Francisco, the site of a large SBC phone building, three floors of which are occupied by AT&T.[62][63]

According to Klein’s affidavit, the NSA-equipped room uses equipment built by Narus Corporation to intercept and analyze communications traffic, as well as perform data-mining functions.[64]

In an article appearing in the January/February 2008 issue of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers journal of Security and Privacy, noted technology experts from academia and the computing industry analyzed potential security risks posed by the NSA program, based on information contained in Klein’s affidavits as well as those of expert witness J. Scott Marcus, a designer of large-scale IP-based data networks, former CTO at GTE Internetworking and at Genuity, and former senior advisor for Internet Technology at the US Federal Communications Commission.[65] They concluded that the likely architecture of the system created serious security risks, including the danger that such a surveillance system could be exploited by unauthorized users, criminally misused by trusted insiders, or abused by government agents.[66]

Journalist Barton Gellman reported in the Washington Post that David Addington who was at that time legal counsel to former Vice President Dick Cheney was the author of the controlling legal and technical documents for the NSA surveillance program, typing the documents on a TEMPEST-shielded computer across from his desk in room 268 of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building and storing them in a vault in his office.[67][68][69]

The NSA surveillance controversy involves legal issues that fall into two broad disciplines: statutory interpretation and Constitutional law. Statutory interpretation is the process of interpreting and applying legislation to the facts of a given case. Constitutional law is the body of law that governs the interpretation of the United States Constitution and covers areas of law such as the relationship between the federal government and state governments, the rights of individuals, and other fundamental aspects of the application of government authority in the United States.[70]

However, there are analogies between the NSA Spying Scandal (20012007) and Hewlett-Packard spying scandal (2006)[71] that may ease to predict the court outcomes. HP, in order to find the leak source of its board strategic minutes revealed to press, employed several contractors to investigate the leak issue but without engaging any external legal firm and supervisory stakeholder. Contractors, under supervision of the HP’s internal investigation team, confidentially used false pretense and social security numbers a spying technique namely Pretexting for obtaining phone records of suspicious board members and several journalists. Later on, the HP’s surveillance extended beyond the board of directors leaking issue and became a conspiracy for interest of the probe initiators; through which it was claimed that the informational privacy rights of even innocent employees and directors of the board, who had nothing to do with the board leaks, were violated.

In October 2006, HP’s chairwoman Patricia Dunn and HP’s former chief ethics officer Kevin Hunsaker and several private investigators were charged for criminal cases under California Penal Code such as

All of these charges were dismissed.[72]

18 U.S.C.2511(2)(f) provides in relevant part that “the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 shall be the exclusive means by which electronic surveillance, as defined in 50 U.S.C.1801(f) … and the intercept of domestic [communications] may be conducted.” The interpretation of this clause is central to the controversy because both sides agree that the NSA program operates outside of the procedural framework provided by FISA. The interpretive conflict arises because other provisions of FISA, including the criminal sanctions subpart 50 U.S.C.1809 include an “unless authorized by statute” provision, raising the issue of statutory ambiguity. The administration’s position is that the AUMF is an authorizing statute which satisfies the FISA criteria.

The U.S. Supreme Court faced a similar issue in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld where the government claimed that the AUMF authorized the President to detain U.S. citizens designated as an enemy combatant despite its lack of specific language to that intent and notwithstanding the provisions of 18 U.S.C.4001(a) which requires that the United States government cannot detain an American citizen except by an act of Congress. In that case, the Court ruled:

[B]ecause we conclude that the Government’s second assertion [“that 4001(a) is satisfied, because Hamdi is being detained “pursuant to an Act of Congress” [the AUMF] is correct, we do not address the first. In other words, for the reasons that follow, we conclude that the AUMF is explicit congressional authorization for the detention of individuals … and that the AUMF satisfied 4001(a)’s requirement that a detention be “pursuant to an Act of Congress”

In Hamdan v. Rumsfeld however, the court rejected the government’s argument that the AUMF implicitly authorized the President to establish military commissions in violation of the UCMJ. The opinion of the Court held:

Neither of these congressional Acts, [AUMF or ATC] however, expands the President’s authority to convene military commissions. First, while we assume that the AUMF activated the President’s war powers, see Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, 542 U.S. 507 (2004)) (plurality opinion), and that those powers include the authority to convene military commissions in appropriate circumstances, see id., at 518; Quirin, 317 U. S., at 2829; see also Yamashita, 327 U. S., at 11, there is nothing in the text or legislative history of the AUMF even hinting that Congress intended to expand or alter the authorization set forth in Article 21 of the UCMJ. Cf. Yerger, 8 Wall., at 105 (“Repeals by implication are not favored”)

Determining when explicit congressional authorization is and is not required appears by this decision to require a court to first determine whether an implicit authorization would amount to a “repeal by implication” of the governing Act.

The exclusivity clause also raises a separation of powers issue. (See Constitutional law issues below)

The arguments against the legality of the NSA fall into two broad categories, those who argue that FISA raises no Constitutional issues and therefore the NSA program is illegal on its face

Common to both of these views is the argument that the participation of “US persons” as defined in FISA 50 U.S.C.1801 renders the objectional intercepts “domestic” in nature.[73] Those advocating the “no constitutional issue” position, argue that Congress has the authority it needs to legislate in this area under Article I and the Fourth Amendment[74] while those who see a constitutional conflict[75] acknowledge that the existing delineation between Congressional and Executive authority in this area is not clear[76] but that Congress, in including the exclusivity clause in FISA, meant to carve out a legitimate role for itself in this arena.

The administration holds that an exception to the normal warrant requirements exists when the purpose of the surveillance is to prevent attack from a foreign threat. Such an exception has been upheld at the Circuit Court level when the target was a foreign agent residing abroad,[77][78] a foreign agent residing in the US,[79][80][81][82] and a US citizen abroad.[83] The warrantless exception was struck down when both the target and the threat was deemed domestic.[84] The legality of targeting US persons acting as agents of a foreign power and residing in this country has not been addressed by the US Supreme Court, but has occurred at least once, in the case of Aldrich Ames.[85]

The Administration’s position with regard to statutory interpretation, as outlined in the DOJ whitepaper, is to avoid what it has termed the “difficult Constitutional questions” by

This argument, as outlined in the DOJ whitepaper, is based on the language of the AUMF, specifically, the acknowledgment of the President’s Constitutional authority contained in the preamble; “Whereas, the President has authority under the Constitution to take action to deter and prevent acts of international terrorism against the United States”, and the language in the resolution itself;

[Be it resolved] [t]hat the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.

The administration also adds that the program is legal under Title II of the USA PATRIOT Act entitled Enhanced Surveillance Procedures,[citation needed] although it is not relying upon the domestic law enforcement provisions of the PATRIOT Act for authorization of any of the NSA program activities.[citation needed] The President had said prior to this, that Americans’ civil liberties were being protected and that purely domestic wiretapping was being conducted pursuant to warrants under applicable law, including the Patriot Act.[87]

These arguments must be compared to the language of the FISA itself, which states:

Notwithstanding any other law, the President, through the Attorney General, may authorize electronic surveillance without a court order under this subchapter to acquire foreign intelligence information for a period not to exceed fifteen calendar days following a declaration of war by the Congress.[88]

Because the law only authorizes the President to bypass the FISA court during the first 15 days of a war declared by Congress (see “Declaration of war”), the administration’s argument rests on the assumption that the AUMF gave the President more power than was understood as absolutely implicit in any Congressional “declaration of war” at the time of the statute’s enactment. However, as a “declaration of war by the Congress” encompasses all military actions so declared, no matter how small, brief or otherwise constrained by Congress, the above citation could be seen as setting not a default or typical level of Presidential wartime authority, but instead a presumptive minimum, which might more often than not be extended (explicitly or implicitly) by Congress’s war declaration.

According to Peter J. Wallison, former White House Counsel to President Ronald Reagan: “It is true, of course, that a president’s failure to report to Congress when he is required to do so by law is a serious matter, but in reality the reporting requirement was a technicality that a President could not be expected to know about.”[89] In regard to this program, a Gang of Eight (eight key members of Congress, thirteen in this case between the 107th and 109th Congressional Sessions) have been kept informed to some degree:

Under the National Security Act of 1947, 501503, codified as 50 USC 413-413b,[90] the President is required to keep Congressional intelligence committees “fully and currently” informed of U.S. intelligence activities, “consistent with … protection from unauthorized disclosure of classified information relating to sensitive intelligence sources and methods or other exceptionally sensitive matters.” For covert actions, from which intelligence gathering activities are specifically excluded in 413b(e)(1), the President is specifically permitted to limit reporting to the so-called “Gang of Eight”.[91]

The administration contends that with regard to the NSA surveillance program, the administration fulfilled its notification obligations by briefing key members of Congress (thirteen individuals in this case between the 107th and 109th Congressional sessions) have been briefed on the NSA program more than a dozen times[citation needed] but they were forbidden from sharing information about the program with other members or staff.[citation needed]

On January 18, 2006 the Congressional Research Service released a report, “Statutory Procedures Under Which Congress Is To Be Informed of U.S. Intelligence Activities, Including Covert Actions”.[92][93] That report found that “[b]ased upon publicly reported descriptions of the program, the NSA surveillance program would appear to fall more closely under the definition of an intelligence collection program, rather than qualify as a covert action program as defined by statute”, and, therefore, concluded there was no specific statutory basis for limiting briefings on the terrorist surveillance program to the Gang of Eight.[94] However, the report goes on to note in its concluding paragraph that limited disclosure is also permitted under the statute “in order to protect intelligence sources and methods”.[95]

Thus, although the specific statutory “Gang of Eight” notification procedure for covert action would not seem to apply to the NSA program, it is not clear if a limited notification procedure intended to protect sources and methods is expressly prohibited. Additionally, should the sources and methods exception apply it will require a factual determination as to whether it should apply to disclosure of the program itself or only to specific sensitive aspects.

The constitutional debate surrounding executive authorization of warrantless surveillance is principally about separation of powers (“checks and balances”). If, as discussed above, no “fair reading” of FISA can be found in satisfaction of the canon of avoidance, these issues will have to be decided at the appellate level, by United States courts of appeals. It should be noted that in such a separation of powers dispute, the burden of proof is placed upon the Congress to establish its supremacy in the matter: the Executive branch enjoys the presumption of authority until an Appellate Court rules against it.[citation needed]

Article I vests Congress with the sole authority “To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces” and “To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.” The U.S. Supreme Court has used the “necessary and proper” clause of Article I to affirm broad Congressional authority to legislate as it sees fit in the domestic arena[citation needed] but has limited its application in the arena of foreign affairs. In the landmark Curtiss-Wright decision, Justice Sutherland writes in his opinion of the Court:

The [“powers of the federal government in respect of foreign or external affairs and those in respect of domestic or internal affairs”] are different, both in respect of their origin and their nature. The broad statement that the federal government can exercise no powers except those specifically enumerated in the Constitution, and such implied powers as are necessary and proper to carry into effect the enumerated powers, is categorically true only in respect of our internal affairs.

Article II vests the President with power as “Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States,” and requires that he “shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed”.

The U.S. Supreme Court has historically used Article II to justify wide deference to the President in the arena of foreign affairs.[citation needed] Two historical and recent Supreme Court cases define the secret wiretapping by the NSA. Quoting again from the Curtiss-Wright decision:

It is important to bear in mind that we are here dealing not alone with an authority vested in the President by an exertion of legislative power, but with such an authority plus the very delicate, plenary and exclusive power of the President as the sole organ of the federal government in the field of international relationsa power which does not require as a basis for its exercise an act of Congress, but which, of course, like every other governmental power, must be exercised in subordination to the applicable provisions of the Constitution.

The extent of the President’s power as Commander-in-Chief has never been fully defined, but two U.S. Supreme Court cases are considered seminal in this area:[96][97]Youngstown Sheet and Tube Co. v. Sawyer and Curtiss-Wright.

In addition, two relatively new cases, Hamdi v. Rumsfeld and Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, have clarified, and in the case of Hamdan limited, the scope of executive power to detain and try suspected terrorists as enemy combatants.

In Hamdan, the Court’s opinion in footnote 23, rejected the notion that Congress is impotent to regulate the exercise of executive war powers:

Whether or not the President has independent power, absent congressional authorization, to convene military commissions, he may not disregard limitations that Congress has, in proper exercise of its own war powers, placed on his powers. See Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, 343 U. S. 579, 637 (1952) (Jackson, J., concurring). The Government does not argue otherwise.

Whether “proper exercise” of Congressional war powers includes authority to regulate the gathering of foreign intelligence, which in other rulings[citation needed] has been recognized as “fundamentally incident to the waging of war”, is a historical point of contention between the Executive and Legislative branches.[8][98]

As noted in “Presidential Authority to Conduct Warrantless Electronic Surveillance to Gather Foreign Intelligence Information”, published by The Congressional Research Service:

A review of the history of intelligence collection and its regulation by Congress suggests that the two political branches have never quite achieved a meeting of the minds regarding their respective powers. Presidents have long contended that the ability to conduct surveillance for intelligence purposes is a purely executive function, and have tended to make broad assertions of authority while resisting efforts on the part of Congress or the courts to impose restrictions. Congress has asserted itself with respect to domestic surveillance, but has largely left matters involving overseas surveillance to executive self-regulation, subject to congressional oversight and willingness to provide funds.

The same report makes clear the Congressional view that intelligence gathered within the U.S. and where “one party is a U.S. person” qualifies as domestic in nature and as such completely within their purview to regulate, and further that Congress may “tailor the President’s use of an inherent constitutional power”:

The passage of FISA and the inclusion of such exclusivity language reflects Congress’s view of its authority to cabin the President’s use of any inherent constitutional authority with respect to warrantless electronic surveillance to gather foreign intelligence.

The Senate Judiciary Committee articulated its view with respect to congressional power to tailor the President’s use of an inherent constitutional power:

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights and helps guard against “unreasonable” searches and seizures by agents of the government. It is solely a right of the people that neither the Executive nor Legislative branch can lawfully abrogate, not even if acting in concert: no statute can make an unreasonable search reasonable, nor a reasonable search unreasonable.

The term “unreasonable” is deliberately imprecise but connotes the sense that there is a rational basis for the search and that it is not an excessive imposition upon the individual given the motivation for and circumstances of the search, and is in accordance with customary societal norms. It is conceived that a judge will be sufficiently distanced from the authorities seeking a warrant that they can render an impartial decision unaffected by any prejudices or improper motivations they (or the legislators who enacted a law they are seeking to enforce) may harbor.

An individual who believes their Fourth Amendment rights have been violated by an unreasonable search or seizure may file a civil suit for monetary compensation and seek a court-ordered end to a pattern or practice of such unlawful activities by government authorities, although the plaintiff will need to have evidence that such a wiretap is taking place in order to show standing (Amnesty International v. Clapper). Such civil rights violations are sometimes punishable by state or federal law. Evidence obtained in an unlawful search or seizure is generally inadmissible in a criminal trial.

The law countenances searches without warrant as “reasonable” in numerous circumstances, among them (see below): the persons, property, and papers of individuals crossing the border of the United States and those of paroled felons; in prisons, public schools and government offices; and of international mail. Although these are undertaken as a result of statute or Executive order, they should not be seen as deriving their legitimacy from these, rather, the Fourth Amendment explicitly allows reasonable searches, and the government has instituted some of these as public policy.

The Supreme Court held in Katz v. United States (1967), that the monitoring and recording of private conversations within the United States constitutes a “search” for Fourth Amendment purposes, and therefore the government must generally obtain a warrant before undertaking such domestic recordings.

The Supreme Court has also held in Smith v Maryland (1979) that citizens have no Fourth Amendment expectation of privacy in the business records (sometimes termed metadata) of their communications. This means that the court can subpoena data such as the numbers that an individual has phoned, when and, to a limited degree, where (subject to Jones v. United States) the phone conversation occurred, although a full judicial warrant would be required for the government to acquire or admit audio content from the telephone call. Under Section 215 of the PATRIOT act, the FBI can subpoena some or all such records from a business record holder using a warrant applied for in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

The protection of “private conversations” has been held to apply only to conversations where the participants have not only manifested a desire but also a reasonable expectation that their conversation is indeed private and that no other party is listening in. In the absence of such a reasonable expectation, the Fourth Amendment does not apply, and surveillance without warrant does not violate it. Privacy is clearly not a reasonable expectation in communications to persons in the many countries whose governments openly intercept electronic communications, and is of dubious reasonability in countries against which the United States is waging war.

The law also recognizes a distinction between domestic surveillance taking place within U.S. borders and foreign surveillance of non-U.S. persons either in the U.S. or abroad.[99] In United States v. Verdugo-Urquidez, the Supreme Court reaffirmed the principle that the Constitution does not extend protection to non-U.S. persons located outside of the United States, so no warrant would be required to engage in even physical searches of non-U.S. citizens abroad.

The U.S. Supreme Court has never ruled on the constitutionality of warrantless searches targeting foreign powers or their agents within the US. There have been, however, a number of Circuit Court rulings upholding the constitutionality of such warrantless searches.[100] In United States v. Bin Laden, the Second Circuit noted that “no court, prior to FISA, that was faced with the choice, imposed a warrant requirement for foreign intelligence searches undertaken within the United States.”[101] Assistant Attorney General William Moschella in his written response to questions from the House Judiciary Committee explained that in the administration’s view, this unanimity of pre-FISA Circuit Court decisions vindicates their argument that warrantless foreign-intelligence surveillance authority existed prior to FISA and since, as these ruling indicate, that authority derives from the Executive’s inherent Article II powers, they may not be encroached by statute.[102] In 2002, the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review (Court of Review) met for the first time and issued an opinion (In re: Sealed Case No. 02-001) which seems to echo that view. They too noted all the Federal courts of appeal having looked at the issue had concluded that there was constitutional power for the president to conduct warrantless foreign intelligence surveillance. Furthermore, based on these rulings it “took for granted such power exits” and ruled that under this presumption, “FISA could not encroach on the president’s constitutional power.” Professor Orin Kerr argues in rebuttal that the part of In re: Sealed Case No. 02-001 that dealt with FISA (rather than the Fourth Amendment) was nonbinding obiter dicta and that the argument does not restrict Congress’s power to regulate the executive in general.[103]

Harold Koh, dean of Yale Law School, Suzanne Spaulding, former general counsel for the Intelligence Committees of the House and Senate, and former Counsel to the President John Dean, contend that FISA clearly makes the wiretapping illegal and subject to the criminal penalties of FISA,[104] (in seeming disagreement with the FISA Court of Review finding above) and that the president’s own admissions already constitute sufficient evidence of a violation of the Fourth Amendment, without requiring further factual evidence. Professor John C. Eastman, in his analysis, prepared at the behest of the House Judiciary Committee, comparing the CRS and DOJ reports, concluded instead that under the Constitution and ratified by both historical and Supreme Court precedent, “the President clearly has the authority to conduct surveillance of enemy communications in time of war and of the communications to and from those he reasonably believes are affiliated with our enemies. Moreover, it should go without saying that such activities are a fundamental incident of war.”[105]

Orin S. Kerr, associate professor of law at The George Washington University Law School[106] and a leading scholar in the subjects of computer crime law and internet surveillance,[107] points to an analogy between the NSA intercepts and searches allowed by the Fourth Amendment under the border search exception.

The border search exception permits searches at the border of the United States “or its functional equivalent.” (United States v. Montoya De Hernandez, 473 U.S. 531, 538 (1985)). The idea here is that the United States as a sovereign nation has a right to inspect stuff entering or exiting the country as a way of protecting its sovereign interests, and that the Fourth Amendment permits such searches. Courts have applied the border search exception in cases of PCs and computer hard drives; if you bring a computer into or out of the United States, the government can search your computer for contraband or other prohibited items at the airport or wherever you are entering or leaving the country. See, e.g., United States v. Ickes, 393 F.3d 501 (4th Cir. 2005) (Wilkinson, J.)…At the same time, I don’t know of a rationale in the case law for treating data differently than physical storage devices. The case law on the border search exception is phrased in pretty broad language, so it seems at least plausible that a border search exception could apply to monitoring at an ISP or telephone provider as the “functional equivalent of the border,” much like airports are the functional equivalent of the border in the case of international airline travel…the most persuasive case on point: United States v. Ramsey, [held] that the border search exception applies to all international postal mail, permitting all international postal mail to be searched.

Evidence gathered without warrant may raise significant Fourth Amendment issues which could preclude its use in a criminal trial. As a general rule of law, evidence obtained improperly without lawful authority, may not be used in a criminal prosecution.[citation needed] The U.S. Supreme Court has never addressed the constitutionality of warrantless searches (which has been broadly defined by the court to include surveillance) targeting foreign powers or their agents, the admissibility of such evidence in a criminal trial nor whether it is permissible to obtain or use evidence gathered without warrant against US persons acting as agents of a foreign power.[citation needed]

The National Security Act of 1947[108] requires Presidential findings for covert acts. SEC. 503. [50 U.S.C. 413b] (a) (5) of that act states: “A finding may not authorize any action that would violate the Constitution or any statute of the United States.”

On August 17, 2006, Judge Anna Diggs Taylor of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan ruled in ACLU v. NSA that the Terrorist Surveillance Program was unconstitutional under the Fourth and First Amendments and enjoined the NSA from using the program to conduct electronic surveillance “in contravention of [FISA or Title III]”.[36] In her ruling,[109] she wrote:

The President of the United States, a creature of the same Constitution which gave us these Amendments, has indisputably violated the Fourth in failing to procure judicial orders as required by FISA, and accordingly has violated the First Amendment Rights of these Plaintiffs as well.

Even some legal experts who agreed with the outcome have criticized the reasoning set forth in the opinion.[110] Others have argued that the perceived flaws in the opinion in fact reflect the Department of Justice’s refusal to argue the legal merits of the program (they chose to focus solely on arguments about standing and state secrets grounds).[111]

On October 4, 2006, a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit unanimously ruled that the government can continue the program while it appeals the lower court decision.[112][113]

On July 6, 2007 the Sixth Circuit dismissed the case, finding that the plaintiffs had no standing.

The Court found that:[114]

[T]he plaintiffs do not and because of the State Secrets Doctrine cannot produce any evidence that any of their own communications have ever been intercepted by the NSA, under the TSP, or without warrants. Instead, they assert a mere belief, which they contend is reasonable and which they label a well founded belief,…

Implicit in each of the plaintiffs’ alleged injuries is the underlying possibility which the plaintiffs label a “well founded belief” and seek to treat as a probability or even a certainty that the NSA is presently intercepting, or will eventually intercept, communications to or from one or more of these particular plaintiffs, and that such interception would be detrimental to the plaintiffs’ clients, sources, or overseas contacts. This is the premise upon which the plaintiffs’ entire theory is built.

But even though the plaintiffs’ beliefs based on their superior knowledge of their contacts’ activities may be reasonable, the alternative possibility remains that the NSA might not be intercepting, and might never actually intercept, any communication by any of the plaintiffs named in this lawsuit.

Corporate secrecy is also an issue. Wired reported: In a letter to the EFF, AT&T objected to the filing of the documents in any manner, saying that they contain sensitive trade secrets and could be “used to ‘hack’ into the AT&T network, compromising its integrity.”[115] However, Chief Judge Vaughn Walker stated, during the September 12, 2008 hearing in the class-action lawsuit filed by the EFF, that the Klein evidence could be presented in court, effectively ruling that AT&T’s trade secret and security claims were unfounded.

The majority of legal arguments supporting the NSA warrantless surveillance program have been based on the War Powers Resolution. There have not been any other noteworthy types of supporting legal arguments. The War Powers Resolution has been questioned as unconstitutional since its creation, and its adaptation to the NSA warrantless surveillance program has been questionable.

NSA warrantless surveillance (200107) – Wikipedia, the free …

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Singularity (operating system) – Wikipedia, the free …

 The Singularity  Comments Off on Singularity (operating system) – Wikipedia, the free …
Jan 232016

Singularity was an experimental operating system built by Microsoft Research between 2003 and 2010.[1] It was designed as a highly-dependable OS in which the kernel, device drivers, and applications were all written in managed code.

The lowest-level x86 interrupt dispatch code is written in assembly language and C. Once this code has done its job, it invokes the kernel, whose runtime and garbage collector are written in Sing# (an extended version of Spec#, itself an extension of C#) and runs in unprotected mode. The hardware abstraction layer is written in C++ and runs in protected mode. There is also some C code to handle debugging. The computer’s BIOS is invoked during the 16-bit real mode bootstrap stage; once in 32-bit mode, Singularity never invokes the BIOS again, but invokes device drivers written in Sing#. During installation, Common Intermediate Language (CIL) opcodes are compiled into x86 opcodes using the Bartok compiler.

Singularity is a microkernel operating system. Unlike most historical microkernels, its components execute in the same address space (process), which contains “software-isolated processes” (SIPs). Each SIP has its own data and code layout, and is independent from other SIPs. These SIPs behave like normal processes, but avoid the cost of task-switches.

Protection in this system is provided by a set of rules called invariants that are verified by static analysis. For example, in the memory-invariant states there must be no cross-references (or memory pointers) between two SIPs; communication between SIPs occurs via higher-order communication channels managed by the operating system. Invariants are checked during installation of the application. (In Singularity, installation is managed by the operating system.)

Most of the invariants rely on the use of safer memory-managed languages, such as Sing#, which have a garbage collector, allow no arbitrary pointers, and allow code to be verified to meet a certain policy.

Singularity 1.0 was completed in 2007. A Singularity Research Development Kit (RDK) has been released under a Shared Source license that permits academic non-commercial use and is available from CodePlex. Version 1.1 was released in March 2007 and version 2.0 was released on November 14, 2008.

The rest is here:
Singularity (operating system) – Wikipedia, the free …

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Pet Friendly Hotels Near Canfield Oh

 Beaches  Comments Off on Pet Friendly Hotels Near Canfield Oh
Jan 232016

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Pet Friendly Hotels Near Canfield Oh

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The Rational Response Squad

 Atheism  Comments Off on The Rational Response Squad
Jan 202016

In 2006 a member posted a thread on our message board to ask other atheists about favorite quotes that are anti-religious. The first post of this thread has been edited, to compile most of these atheist quotes in one place. Some of these quotes can be found at

“Surely the ass who invented the first religion ought to be the first ass damned” – Mark Twain

“Faith is believing in that which I know ain’t so.” – Mark Twain

“The hands that help are better far than lips that pray.”Robert Green Ingersoll

“Nothing could be more idiotic and absurd than the doctrine of the trinity.”Robert Green Ingersoll

“Fear paints pictures of ghosts and hangs them in the gallery of ignorance.”Robert Green Ingersoll

“Nothing could be more idiotic and absurd than the doctrine of the trinity.”Robert Green Ingersoll

(paraphrase) – “If God objected to [people with various handicaps], he ought not have created such people.”Robert G Ingersoll

“All thinking men are atheists.” – Ernest Hemmingway

“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” Mohandas Gandhi

“Born again?! No, I’m not. Excuse me for getting it right the first time.” – Dennis Miller

Annie Dillard: Eskimo:”If I did not know about God and sin, would I go to hell?” Priest: “No, not if you did not know.” Eskimo: “Then why did you tell me?”

“Religion is the most malevolent of all mind viruses.” – Arthur C. Clarke

“Without religion, we’d have good people doing good things, and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.” Stephen Weinburg

“”Shake off all the fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear. ” Thomas Jefferson

“Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between church and State.” Thomas Jefferson

“To talk of immaterial existences is to talk of nothings. To say that the human soul, angels, god, are immaterial, is to say they are nothings, or that there is no god, no angels, no soul. I cannot reason otherwise: but I believe I am supported in my creed of materialism by Locke, Tracy, and Stewart. At what age of the Christian church this heresy of immaterialism, this masked atheism, crept in, I do not know. But heresy it certainly is.” Thomas Jefferson

“And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerve in the brain of Jupiter.” Thomas Jefferson

“In Christianity neither morality nor religion come into contact with reality at any point.”- Friederich Nietzsche

“The word “Christianity” is already a misunderstanding – in reality there has been only one Christian, and he died on the Cross.” Friederich Nietzsche

“The Christian resolution to find the world ugly and bad has made the world ugly and bad.” Friederich Nietzsche

“There is not enough love and kindness in the world to give any of it away to imaginary beings.” – Friederich Nietzsche

“It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.” – Carl Sagan

“This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it.” – John Adams

“The world holds two classes of men – intelligent men without religion, and religious men without intelligence.” – Abu Ala Al-Maari

“Creationists make it sound like a ‘theory’ is something you dreamt up after being drunk all night.” – Isaac Asimov

“So far as religion of the day is concerned, it is a damned fake. Religion is all bunk.” – Thomas Alva Edison

“I am myself a dissenter from all known religions, and I hope that every kind of religious belief will die out.” – Bertrand Russell

“I do not believe any type of religion should ever be introduced into the public schools of the United States.” – Thomas Alva Edison

“Tell me there is a God in the serene heavens that will damn his children for the expression of an honest belief! More men have died in their sins, judged by your orthodox creeds, than there are leaves in all the forests in the wide world ten thousand times over. Tell me these men are in Hell; that these men are in torment; that these children are in eternal pain, and that they are to be punished forever and forever! I denounce this doctrine as the most infamous of lies.” – Robert G. Ingersoll

“The Christian god can easily be pictured as virtually the same god as the many ancient gods of past civilizations. The Christian god is a three headed monster; cruel, vengeful and capricious. If one wishes to know more of this raging, three headed beast-like god, one only needs to look at the caliber of people who say they serve him. They are always of two classes: fools and hypocrites.” – Thomas Jefferson

“Religion is “so absurd that it comes close to imbecility.” – H. L. Mencken

“Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration–courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and, above all, love of the truth.”- H. L. Mencken

“. Religions vary in their degree of idiocy, but I reject them all. For most people, religion is nothing more than a substitute for a malfunctioning brain.” – Gene Roddenberry

“If God has spoken, why is the world not convinced?” – Percy Bysshe Shelley

“It is easier to suppose that the universe has existed for all eternity than to conceive a being beyond its limits capable of creating it.” – Percy Bysshe Shelley

“Christianity is the most ridiculous, the most absurd and bloody religion that has ever infected the world.” – Voltaire

“Reality is what it is, not what you want it to be.” – Frank Zappa

“To sit alone with my conscience will be judgment enough for me.” – Charles William Stubbs

“For there is nothing either good or bad, thinking makes it so.” – William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Hamlet, II.ii

“Faith: not wanting to know what is true.” – Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)

“The being we call god is merely a pawn working for a powerful and rational force in some far-off galaxy. This force is trying to weed out people who are irrational by seeing who would be stupid enough to believe in his god illusion so easily. Those that believe in this illusion, he will send to eternal damnation and he will deliver the rational beings, those who stoically refused to believe in a god, to heaven.” – Nicholas Yee

“God for you is where you sweep away all the mysteries of the world, all the challenges to our intelligence. You simply turn your mind off and say God did it.” – Carl Sagan (1934-1996), Contact

“Religions are all alike – founded upon fables and mythologies.”–Thomas Jefferson

“It’s fair to say that the Bible contains equal amounts of fact, history, and pizza.” –Penn Jillette

“I don’t see any god up here” – Yuri Gagarin – first man in space, while in space.

God is a concept by which we measure our pain.- John Lennon

“We need more understanding of human nature, becausethe only real danger that exists is man himself.”- Carl Gustav Jung

I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.- Susan B. Anthony

If the gods listened to the prayers of men, all humankind would quickly perish since they constantly pray for many evils to befall oneanother.- Epicurus

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God? – Epicurus

God Himself, sir, does not propose to judge a man until his life is over. Why should you and I?- Samuel Johnson

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.- Galileo

To judge from the notions expounded by theologians, one must conclude that God created most men simply with a view to crowding hell.- Marquis De Sade

God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.- Voltaire

God is the great mysterious motivator of what we call nature and it has been said often by philosophers, that nature is the will of God . And, I prefer to say that nature is the only body of God that we shall ever see. – Frank Lloyd Wright

Forgive, O Lord, my little jokes on Thee And I’ll forgive Thy great big one on me. – Robert Frost

To know a person’s religion we need not listen to his profession of faith but must find his brand of intolerance.- Eric Hoffer

If I were personally to define religion, I would say that it is a bandage that man has invented to protect a soul made bloody by circustance.- Theodore Dreiser

A country dominated by televangelism would be unrecognizable to the Founding Fathers, who envisioned religion as personal and spiritua, not social and political. No particular variety of religion was intended to control the political agenda, to set the community’s moral tone or to judge who are the true believers and members of our society. But this is precisely the objective of the electric church- Razelle Frankel

My faith is that the only soul a man must save is his own.- William Orville Douglas

England has forty-two religions and only two sauces.- Voltaire

Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than going to the garage makes you a car.- Laurence J. Peter

I think that God in creating man somewhat overestimated his ability.- Oscar Wilde

If there is no God, who pops up the next Kleenex?- Art Hoppe

“Since no one really knows anything about God,those who think they do are justtroublemakers.”Rabia Al-Basri

The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance. – Socrates.

“I refuse to prove that I exist” says God, “for proof denies faith, and without faith, I am nothing.” “Oh,” says man, “but the Babel Fish is a dead give-away, isn’t it? It proves You exist, and so therefore You don’t. Q.E.D.” “Oh, I hadn’t thought of that,” says God, who promptly vanishes in a puff of logic. ~ Douglas Adams,Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Moral: a peerless maxim enumerated by God in his Holy Bible, such as that of Deut. 23:1, if your testicles are crushed or your male member missing, you must never enter a sanctuary of the Lord. ~ Donald Morgan

There is a story, which is fairly well known, about when the missionaries came to Africa. They had the Bible and we, the natives, had the land. They said “Let us pray,” and we dutifully shut our eyes. When we opened them, why, they now had the land and we had the Bible. ~Desmond M. Tutu, “Religious Human Rights and the Bible”

Religion: A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable. ~ Ambrose Bierce

I am treated as evil by people who claim that they are being oppressed because they are not allowed to force me to practice what they do. ~ D. Dale Gulledge

Why should we take advice on sex from the pope? If he knows anything about it, he shouldn’t. ~ George Bernard Shaw

The world is not a prison house but a kind of spiritual kindergarten where millions of bewildered infants are trying to spell God with the wrong blocks. ~Edwin Arlington Robinson

The god who is reputed to have created fleas to keep dogs from moping over their situation must also have created fundamentalists to keep rationalists from getting flabby. Let us be duly thankful for out blessings. ~Garrett Hardin

Sunday school: a prison in which children do penance for the evil conscience of their parents. ~H.L. Mencken

If I were not an atheist, I would believe in a God who would choose to save people on the basis of the totality of their lives and not the pattern of their words. I think he would prefer an honest and righteous atheist to a TV preacher whose every word is God, God, God, and whose every deed is foul, foul, foul. ~Isaac Asimov,I. Asimov: A Memoir

“There’s a big difference between kneeling down and bending over.” – Frank Zappa.

“How do I know the Bible isn’t the word of God? Well if it was the word of God it would be clear and easy to understand…considering God was the creator of LANGUAGE!” – Bill Hicks.

“”I’m proud to be an atheist – it helps me stand for so much more and fall for so much less.” – Dan Barker

“All religions have been made by men.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

“But who prays for Satan? Who, in eighteen centuries, has had the common humanity to pray for the one sinner that needed it most?” – Mark Twain

“We are all atheists about most of the gods that societies have ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.” – Richard Dawkins

“Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beutiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?” – Douglas Adams

“We must respect the other fellow’s religion, but only in the same sense to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beutiful and his children smart.” – H.L. Mencken

“One cannot really be a Catholic and grown up.” – George Orwell

“I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect, had intended for us to forgo their use.” – Galileo Galilei

“Atheism is a requirement for a complete human being. Religion is a crutch that is shackled to you, one you never really needed in the first place, but were convinced by others that you couldn’t live without. Once you discover it’s only an illusion, that it’s not even a real crutch, you discard it gladly.” -Brent Yaciw

“If there is a God, atheism must seem to Him as less of an insult than religion.–Edmond de Goncourt

“The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike.”–Huang Po

“Faith is a cop-out. It is intellectual bankruptcy. If the only way you can accept an assertion is by faith, then you are conceding that it can’t be taken on its own merits.”–Dan Barker, former evangelist

“Atheism is not a philosophy; it is not even a view of the world; it is simply an admission of the obvious. In fact, ‘atheist’ is a term that should not ever exist. No one ever needs to identify himself as a ‘non astrologer’ or a ‘non-alchemist’. We do not have words for people who doubt that Elvis is still alive or that aliens traversed the galaxy only to molest ranchers and their cattle. Atheism is nothing more than the noises reasonable people make in the presence of unjustified religious beliefs. An atheist is simply a person who believes that the 260 million Americans (87 percent of the population) claiming to ‘never doubt the existence of God’ should be obliged to present evidence for his existence-and, indeed, for his BENEVOLENCE, given the relentless destruction of innocent human beings we witness in the world each day.”–Sam Harris, “Letter to a Christian Nation”

“Religion is the opium of the masses.” Karl Marx

Heaven will be a great place as long as you keep the christians out. – G. Janus

“Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest” – Denis Diderot.

Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quietNapoleon Bonaparte

Hence today I believe I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty CreatorAdolph Hitler

I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn’t do my job.George W. Bush

“Let’s face it; God has an ego problem, why do we always have to worship him? “- Bill Maher

“I don’t know anyone less Jesus like than Christians.” – Bill Maher

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The Rational Response Squad

 Posted by at 10:44 am  Tagged with:

History of atheism – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 Atheism  Comments Off on History of atheism – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jan 202016

Atheism (derived from the Ancient Greek atheos meaning “without gods; godless; secular; denying or disdaining the gods, especially officially sanctioned gods”[1]) is the absence or rejection of the belief that deities exist. The English term was used at least as early as the sixteenth century and atheistic ideas and their influence have a longer history. Over the centuries, atheists have supported their lack of belief in gods through a variety of avenues, including scientific, philosophical and ideological notions.

Philosophical atheist thought began to appear in Europe and Asia in the sixth or fifth century BCE. Will Durant explains that certain pygmy tribes found in Africa were observed to have no identifiable cults or rites. There were no totems, no deities, and no spirits. Their dead were buried without special ceremonies or accompanying items and received no further attention. They even appeared to lack simple superstitions, according to travelers’ reports.[citation needed] The Vedas of Ceylon[clarification needed] only admitted the possibility that deities might exist, but went no further. Neither prayers nor sacrifices were suggested in any way.[citation needed]

In the East, a contemplative life not centered on the idea of deities began in the sixth century BCE with the rise of Jainism, Buddhism, and certain sects of Hinduism in India, and of Taoism in China. These religions claim to offer a philosophic and salvific path not involving on deity worship. Deities are not seen as necessary to the salvific goal of the early Buddhist tradition, their reality is explicitly questioned and refuted there is a fundamental incompatibility between the notion of gods and basic Buddhist principles.[2]

Within the astika (“orthodox”) schools of Hindu philosophy, the Samkhya and the early Mimamsa school did not accept a creator-deity in their respective systems.

The principal text of the Samkhya school, the Samkhya Karika, was written by Ishvara Krishna in the fourth century CE, by which time it was already a dominant Hindu school. The origins of the school are much older and are lost in legend. The school was both dualistic and atheistic. They believed in a dual existence of Prakriti (“nature”) and Purusha (“spirit”) and had no place for an Ishvara (“God”) in its system, arguing that the existence of Ishvara cannot be proved and hence cannot be admitted to exist. The school dominated Hindu philosophy in its day, but declined after the tenth century, although commentaries were still being written as late as the sixteenth century.

The foundational text for the Mimamsa school is the Purva Mimamsa Sutras of Jaimini (c. third to first century BCE). The school reached its height c. 700 CE, and for some time in the Early Middle Ages exerted near-dominant influence on learned Hindu thought. The Mimamsa school saw their primary enquiry was into the nature of dharma based on close interpretation of the Vedas. Its core tenets were ritualism (orthopraxy), anti-asceticism and anti-mysticism. The early Mimamsakas believed in an adrishta (“unseen”) that is the result of performing karmas (“works”) and saw no need for an Ishvara (“God”) in their system. Mimamsa persists in some subschools of Hinduism today.

Jains see their tradition as eternal. Organized Jainism can be dated back to Parshva who lived in the ninth century BCE, and, more reliably, to Mahavira, a teacher of the sixth century BCE, and a contemporary of the Buddha. Jainism is a dualistic religion with the universe made up of matter and souls. The universe, and the matter and souls within it, is eternal and uncreated, and there is no omnipotent creator deity in Jainism. There are, however, “gods” and other spirits who exist within the universe and Jains believe that the soul can attain “godhood”, however none of these supernatural beings exercise any sort of creative activity or have the capacity or ability to intervene in answers to prayers.

The thoroughly materialistic and anti-religious philosophical Crvka school that originated in India with the Brhaspatya-stras (final centuries BCE) is probably the most explicitly atheist school of philosophy in the region. The school grew out of the generic skepticism in the Mauryan period. Already in the sixth century BCE, Ajita Kesakambalin, was quoted in Pali scriptures by the Buddhists with whom he was debating, teaching that “with the break-up of the body, the wise and the foolish alike are annihilated, destroyed. They do not exist after death.”[3] Crvkan philosophy is now known principally from its Astika and Buddhist opponents. The proper aim of a Crvkan, according to these sources, was to live a prosperous, happy, productive life in this world. The Tattvopaplavasimha of Jayarashi Bhatta (c. eighth century) is sometimes cited as a surviving Carvaka text. The school appears to have died out sometime around the fifteenth century.

The non-adherence[4] to the notion of a supreme deity or a prime mover is seen by many as a key distinction between Buddhism and other religions. While Buddhist traditions do not deny the existence of supernatural beings (many are discussed in Buddhist scripture), it does not ascribe powers, in the typical Western sense, for creation, salvation or judgement, to the “gods”, however, praying to enlightened deities is sometimes seen as leading to some degree of spiritual merit.

Buddhists accept the existence of beings in higher realms, known as devas, but they, like humans, are said to be suffering in samsara,[5] and not particularly wiser than we are. In fact the Buddha is often portrayed as a teacher of the deities,[6] and superior to them.[7] Despite this they do have some enlightened Devas in the path of buddhahood.

In later Mahayana literature, however, the idea of an eternal, all-pervading, all-knowing, immaculate, uncreated, and deathless Ground of Being (the dharmadhatu, inherently linked to the sattvadhatu, the realm of beings), which is the Awakened Mind (bodhicitta) or dharmakaya (“body of Truth”) of the Buddha himself, is attributed to the Buddha in a number of Mahayana sutras, and is found in various tantras as well. In some Mahayana texts, such a principle is occasionally presented as manifesting in a more personalised form as a primordial Buddha, such as Samantabhadra, Vajradhara, Vairochana, Amitabha, and Adi-Buddha, among others.

In western Classical antiquity, theism was the fundamental belief that supported the legitimacy of the state (Polis, later the Roman Empire). Historically, any person who did not believe in any deity supported by the state was fair game to accusations of atheism, a capital crime. For political reasons, Socrates in Athens (399 BCE) was accused of being atheos (“refusing to acknowledge the gods recognized by the state”). Christians in Rome were also considered subversive to the state religion and persecuted as atheists.[8] Thus, charges of atheism, meaning the subversion of religion, were often used similarly to charges of heresy and impiety as a political tool to eliminate enemies.

The roots of Western philosophy began in the Greek world in the sixth century BCE. The first Hellenic philosophers were not atheists, but they attempted to explain the world in terms of the processes of nature instead of by mythological accounts. Thus lightning was the result of “wind breaking out and parting the clouds”,[9] and earthquakes occurred when “the earth is considerably altered by heating and cooling”.[10] The early philosophers often criticised traditional religious notions. Xenophanes (sixth century BCE) famously said that if cows and horses had hands, “then horses would draw the forms of gods like horses, and cows like cows”.[11] Another philosopher, Anaxagoras (fifth century BCE), claimed that the Sun was “a fiery mass, larger than the Peloponnese”; a charge of impiety was brought against him, and he was forced to flee Athens.[12]

The first fully materialistic philosophy was produced by the atomists Leucippus and Democritus (fifth century BCE), who attempted to explain the formation and development of the world in terms of the chance movements of atoms moving in infinite space.

Euripides (480406 BCE), in his play Bellerophon, had the eponymous main character say:

Doth some one say that there be gods above? There are not; no, there are not. Let no fool, Led by the old false fable, thus deceive you.[13]

Aristophanes (ca. 448380 BCE), known for his satirical style, wrote in his play The Knights: “Shrines! Shrines! Surely you don’t believe in the gods. What’s your argument? Where’s your proof?”[14]

In the fifth century BCE the Sophists began to question many of the traditional assumptions of Greek culture. Prodicus of Ceos was said to have believed that “it was the things which were serviceable to human life that had been regarded as gods,”[15] and Protagoras stated at the beginning of a book that “With regard to the gods I am unable to say either that they exist or do not exist.”[16]

Diagoras of Melos (fifth century BCE) is known as the “first atheist”. He blasphemed by making public the Eleusinian Mysteries and discouraging people from being initiated.[17] Somewhat later (c. 300 BCE), the Cyrenaic philosopher Theodorus of Cyrene is supposed to have denied that gods exist, and wrote a book On the Gods expounding his views.

Euhemerus (c. 330260 BCE) published his view that the gods were only the deified rulers, conquerors, and founders of the past, and that their cults and religions were in essence the continuation of vanished kingdoms and earlier political structures.[18] Although Euhemerus was later criticized for having “spread atheism over the whole inhabited earth by obliterating the gods”,[19] his worldview was not atheist in a strict and theoretical sense, because he differentiated that the primordial deities were “eternal and imperishable”.[20] Some historians have argued that he merely aimed at reinventing the old religions in the light of the beginning of deification of political rulers such as Alexander the Great.[21] Euhemerus’ work was translated into Latin by Ennius, possibly to mythographically pave the way for the planned divinization of Scipio Africanus in Rome.[22]

Also important in the history of atheism was Epicurus (c. 300 BCE). Drawing on the ideas of Democritus and the Atomists, he espoused a materialistic philosophy where the universe was governed by the laws of chance without the need for divine intervention. Although he stated that deities existed, he believed that they were uninterested in human existence. The aim of the Epicureans was to attain peace of mind by exposing fear of divine wrath as irrational.

One of the most eloquent expressions of Epicurean thought is Lucretius’ On the Nature of Things (first century BCE) in which he held that gods exist but argued that religious fear was one of the chief causes of human unhappiness and that the gods did not involve themselves in the world.[23][24]

The Epicureans also denied the existence of an afterlife.[25]

Epicureans were not persecuted, but their teachings were controversial, and were harshly attacked by the mainstream schools of Stoicism and Neoplatonism. The movement remained marginal, and gradually died out at the end of the Roman Empire.

In medieval Islam, Muslim scholars recognized the idea of atheism, and frequently attacked unbelievers, although they were unable to name any atheists.[26] When individuals were accused of atheism, they were usually viewed as heretics rather than proponents of atheism.[27] However, outspoken rationalists and atheists existed, one notable figure being the ninth-century scholar Ibn al-Rawandi, who criticized the notion of religious prophecy, including that of Muhammad, and maintained that religious dogmas were not acceptable to reason and must be rejected.[28] Other critics of religion in the Islamic world include the physician and philosopher Abu Bakr al-Razi (865925), the poet Al-Maarri (9731057), and the scholar Abu Isa al-Warraq (fl. 7th century). Al-Maarri, for example, wrote and taught that religion itself was a “fable invented by the ancients”[29] and that humans were “of two sorts: those with brains, but no religion, and those with religion, but no brains.”[30]

In the European Middle Ages, no clear expression of atheism is known. The titular character of the Icelandic saga Hrafnkell, written in the late thirteenth century, says that I think it is folly to have faith in gods. After his temple to Freyr is burnt and he is enslaved, he vows never to perform another sacrifice, a position described in the sagas as golauss “godless”. Jacob Grimm in his Teutonic Mythology observes that

It is remarkable that Old Norse legend occasionally mentions certain men who, turning away in utter disgust and doubt from the heathen faith, placed their reliance on their own strength and virtue. Thus in the Slar lio 17 we read of Vbogi and Rdey sik au tru, “in themselves they trusted”,[31]

citing several other examples, including two kings.

In Christian Europe, people were persecuted for heresy, especially in countries where the Inquisition was active. Thomas Aquinas’ five proofs of God’s existence and Anselm’s ontological argument implicitly acknowledged the validity of the question about God’s existence.[original research?]Frederick Copleston, however, explains that Thomas laid out his proofs not to counter atheism, but to address certain early Christian writers such as John of Damascus, who asserted that knowledge of God’s existence was naturally innate in man, based on his natural desire for happiness.[32] Thomas stated that although there is desire for happiness which forms the basis for a proof of God’s existence in man, further reflection is required to understand that this desire is only fulfilled in God, not for example in wealth or sensual pleasure.[32]

The charge of atheism was used to attack political or religious opponents. Pope Boniface VIII, because he insisted on the political supremacy of the church, was accused by his enemies after his death of holding (unlikely) atheistic positions such as “neither believing in the immortality nor incorruptibility of the soul, nor in a life to come.”[33]

During the time of the Renaissance and the Reformation, criticism of the religious establishment became more frequent in predominantly Christian countries, but did not amount to atheism, per se.

The term athisme was coined in France in the sixteenth century. The word “atheist” appears in English books at least as early as 1566.[34] The concept of atheism re-emerged initially as a reaction to the intellectual and religious turmoil of the Age of Enlightenment and the Reformation as a charge used by those who saw the denial of god and godlessness in the controversial positions being put forward by others. During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the word ‘atheist’ was used exclusively as an insult; nobody wanted to be regarded as an atheist.[35] Although one overtly atheistic compendium known as the Theophrastus redivivus was published by an anonymous author in the seventeenth century, atheism was an epithet implying a lack of moral restraint.[36]

According to Geoffrey Blainey, the Reformation in Europe had paved the way for atheists by attacking the authority of the Catholic Church, which in turn “quietly inspired other thinkers to attack the authority of the new Protestant churches”. Deism gained influence in France, Prussia and England, and proffered belief in a non-interventionist deity, but “while some deists were atheists in disguise, most were religious, and by today’s standards would be called true believers”. The scientific and mathematical discoveries of such as Copernicus, Newton and Descartes sketched a pattern of natural laws that lent weight to this new outlook[37] Blainey wrote that the Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza was “probably the first well known ‘semi-atheist’ to announce himself in a Christian land in the modern era”. Spinoza had been expelled from his synagogue for his protests against the teachings of its rabbis and for failing to attend Saturday services. He believed that God did not interfere in the running of the world, but rather that natural laws explained the workings of the universe. In 1661 he published his Short Treatise on God, but he was not a popular figure for the first century following his death: “An unbeliever was expected to be a rebel in almost everything and wicked in all his ways”, wrote Blainey, “but here was a virtuous one. He lived the good life and made his living in a useful way… It took courage to be a Spinoza or even one of his supporters. If a handful of scholars agreed with his writings, they did not so say in public.”[38]

How dangerous it was to be accused of being an atheist at this time is illustrated by the examples of tienne Dolet who was strangled and burned in 1546, and Giulio Cesare Vanini who received a similar fate in 1619. In 1689 the Polish nobleman Kazimierz yszczyski, who had denied the existence of God in his philosophical treatise De non existentia Dei, was imprisoned unlawfully; despite Warsaw Confederation tradition and king Sobieski’s intercession, yszczyski was condemned to death for atheism and beheaded in Warsaw after his tongue was pulled out with a burning iron and his hands slowly burned. Similarly in 1766, the French nobleman Franois-Jean de la Barre, was tortured, beheaded, and his body burned for alleged vandalism of a crucifix, a case that became a cause clbre because Voltaire tried unsuccessfully to have the judgment reversed.

The English philosopher Thomas Hobbes (15881679) was also accused of atheism, but he denied it. His theism was unusual, in that he held god to be material. Even earlier, the British playwright and poet Christopher Marlowe (15631593) was accused of atheism when a tract denying the divinity of Christ was found in his home. Before he could finish defending himself against the charge, Marlowe was murdered.

In early modern times, the first explicit atheist known by name was the German-languaged Danish critic of religion Matthias Knutzen (1646after 1674), who published three atheist writings in 1674.[39]

Kazimierz yszczyski, a Polish philosopher (executed in 1689, following a hasty and controversial trial pressed by the Catholic Church) demonstrated strong atheism in his work De non existentia Dei:

II – the Man is a creator of God, and God is a concept and creation of a Man. Hence the people are architects and engineers of God and God is not a true being, but a being existing only within mind, being chimaeric by its nature, because a God and a chimaera are the same.[40]

IV – simple folk are cheated by the more cunning with the fabrication of God for their own oppression; whereas the same oppression is shielded by the folk in a way, that if the wise attempted to free them by the truth, they would be quelled by the very people.[41][42]

While not gaining converts from large portions of the population, versions of deism became influential in certain intellectual circles. Jean Jacques Rousseau challenged the Christian notion that human beings had been tainted by sin since the Garden of Eden, and instead proposed that humans were originally good, only later to be corrupted by civilisation. The influential figure of Voltaire, spread deistic notions of to a wide audience. “After the French Revolution and its outbursts of atheism, Voltaire was widely condemned as one of the causes”, wrote Blainey, “Nonetheless, his writings did concede that fear of God was an essential policeman in a disorderly world: ‘If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him’, wrote Voltaire”.[43]

Arguably the first book in modern times solely dedicated to promoting atheism was written by French Catholic priest Jean Meslier (16641729), whose posthumously published lengthy philosophical essay (part of the original title: Thoughts and Feelings of Jean Meslier … Clear and Evident Demonstrations of the Vanity and Falsity of All the Religions of the World[44]) rejects the concept of god (both in the Christian and also in the Deistic sense), the soul, miracles and the discipline of theology.[45] Philosopher Michel Onfray states that Meslier’s work marks the beginning of “the history of true atheism”.[45]

By the 1770s, atheism in some predominantly Christian countries was ceasing to be a dangerous accusation that required denial, and was evolving into a position openly avowed by some. The first open denial of the existence of God and avowal of atheism since classical times may be that of Baron d’Holbach (17231789) in his 1770 work, The System of Nature. D’Holbach was a Parisian social figure who conducted a famous salon widely attended by many intellectual notables of the day, including Denis Diderot, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, David Hume, Adam Smith, and Benjamin Franklin. Nevertheless, his book was published under a pseudonym, and was banned and publicly burned by the Executioner.[citation needed] Diderot, one of the Enlightenment’s most prominent philosophes, and editor-in-chief of the Encyclopdie, which sought to challenge religious, particularly Catholic, dogma said, “Reason is to the estimation of the philosophe what grace is to the Christian”, he wrote. “Grace determines the Christian’s action; reason the philosophe’s”.[46] Diderot was briefly imprisoned for his writing, some of which was banned and burned.[citation needed]

In Scotland, David Hume produced a six volume history of England in 1754, which gave little attention to God. He implied that if God existed he was impotent in the face of European upheaval. Hume ridiculed miracles, but walked a careful line so as to avoid being too dismissive of Christianity. With Hume’s presence, Edinburgh gained a reputation as a “haven of atheism”, alarming many ordinary Britons.[47]

The culte de la Raison developed during the uncertain period 179294 (Years I and III of the Revolution), following the September Massacres, when Revolutionary France was ripe with fears of internal and foreign enemies. Several Parisian churches were transformed into Temples of Reason, notably the Church of Saint-Paul Saint-Louis in the Marais. The churches were closed in May 1793 and more securely, 24 November 1793, when the Catholic Mass was forbidden.

Blainey wrote that “atheism seized the pedestal in revolutionary France in the 1790s. The secular symbols replaced the cross. In the cathedral of Notre Dame the altar, the holy place, was converted into a monument to Reason…” During the Terror of 1792-93, France’s Christian calendar was abolished, monasteries, convents and church properties were seized and monks and nuns expelled. Historic churches were dismantled.[48] The Cult of Reason was a creed based on atheism devised during the French Revolution by Jacques Hbert, Pierre Gaspard Chaumette, and their supporters. It was stopped by Maximilien Robespierre, a Deist, who instituted the Cult of the Supreme Being.[49] Both cults were the outcome of the “de-Christianization” of French society during the Revolution and part of the Reign of Terror.

The Cult of Reason was celebrated in a carnival atmosphere of parades, ransacking of churches, ceremonious iconoclasm, in which religious and royal images were defaced, and ceremonies which substituted the “martyrs of the Revolution” for Christian martyrs. The earliest public demonstrations took place en province, outside Paris, notably by Hbertists in Lyon, but took a further radical turn with the Fte de la Libert (“Festival of Liberty”) at Notre Dame de Paris, 10 November (20 Brumaire) 1793, in ceremonies devised and organised by Pierre-Gaspard Chaumette.

The pamphlet Answer to Dr. Priestley’s Letters to a Philosophical Unbeliever (1782) is considered to be the first published declaration of atheism in Britain plausibly the first in English (as distinct from covert or cryptically atheist works). The otherwise unknown ‘William Hammon’ (possibly a pseudonym) signed the preface and postscript as editor of the work, and the anonymous main text is attributed to Matthew Turner (d. 1788?), a Liverpool physician who may have known Priestley. Historian of atheism David Berman has argued strongly for Turner’s authorship, but also suggested that there may have been two authors.[50]

The French Revolution of 1789 catapulted atheistic thought into political notability in some Western countries, and opened the way for the nineteenth century movements of Rationalism, Freethought, and Liberalism. Born in 1792, Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, a child of the Age of Enlightenment, was expelled from England’s Oxford University in 1811 for submitting to the Dean an anonymous pamphlet that he wrote entitled, The Necessity of Atheism. This pamphlet is considered by scholars as the first atheistic ideas published in the English language. An early atheistic influence in Germany was The Essence of Christianity by Ludwig Feuerbach (18041872). He influenced other German nineteenth century atheistic thinkers like Karl Marx, Max Stirner, Arthur Schopenhauer (17881860), and Friedrich Nietzsche (18441900).

The freethinker Charles Bradlaugh (18331891) was repeatedly elected to the British Parliament, but was not allowed to take his seat after his request to affirm rather than take the religious oath was turned down (he then offered to take the oath, but this too was denied him). After Bradlaugh was re-elected for the fourth time, a new Speaker allowed Bradlaugh to take the oath and permitted no objections.[51] He became the first outspoken atheist to sit in Parliament, where he participated in amending the Oaths Act.[52]

In 1844, Karl Marx (18181883), an atheistic political economist, wrote in his Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right: “Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.” Marx believed that people turn to religion in order to dull the pain caused by the reality of social situations; that is, Marx suggests religion is an attempt at transcending the material state of affairs in a society the pain of class oppression by effectively creating a dream world, rendering the religious believer amenable to social control and exploitation in this world while they hope for relief and justice in life after death. In the same essay, Marx states, “…[m]an creates religion, religion does not create man…”[53]

Friedrich Nietzsche, a prominent nineteenth century philosopher, is well known for coining the aphorism “God is dead” (German: “Gott ist tot”); incidentally the phrase was not spoken by Nietzsche directly, but was used as a dialogue for the characters in his works. Nietzsche argued that Christian theism as a belief system had been a moral foundation of the Western world, and that the rejection and collapse of this foundation as a result of modern thinking (the death of God) would naturally cause a rise in nihilism or the lack of values. While Nietzsche was staunchly atheistic, he was also concerned about the negative effects of nihilism on humanity. As such, he called for a re-evaluation of old values and a creation of new ones, hoping that in doing so humans would achieve a higher state he labeled the Overman.

Atheist feminism also began in the nineteenth century. Atheist feminism is a movement that advocates feminism within atheism.[54] Atheist feminists also oppose religion as a main source of female oppression and inequality, believing that the majority of the religions are sexist and oppressive to women.[55]

Atheism in the twentieth century found recognition in a wide variety of other, broader philosophies in the Western tradition, such as existentialism, Objectivism,[56]secular humanism, nihilism, logical positivism, Marxism, anarchism, feminism,[57] and the general scientific and rationalist movement. Neopositivism and analytical philosophy discarded classical rationalism and metaphysics in favor of strict empiricism and epistemological nominalism. Proponents such as Bertrand Russell emphatically rejected belief in God. In his early work, Ludwig Wittgenstein attempted to separate metaphysical and supernatural language from rational discourse. H. L. Mencken sought to debunk both the idea that science and religion are compatible, and the idea that science is a dogmatic belief system just like any religion.[58]

A. J. Ayer asserted the unverifiability and meaninglessness of religious statements, citing his adherence to the empirical sciences. The structuralism of Lvi-Strauss sourced religious language to the human subconscious, denying its transcendental meaning. J. N. Findlay and J. J. C. Smart argued that the existence of God is not logically necessary. Naturalists and materialists such as John Dewey considered the natural world to be the basis of everything, denying the existence of God or immortality.[59][60]

The historian Geoffrey Blainey wrote that during the twentieth century, atheists in Western societies became more active and even militant, though they often “relied essentially on arguments used by numerous radical Christians since at least the eighteenth century”. They rejected the idea of an interventionist God, and said that Christianity promoted war and violence, though “the most ruthless leaders in the Second World War were atheists and secularists who were intensely hostile to both Judaism and Christianity” and “Later massive atrocities were committed in the East by those ardent atheists, Pol Pot and Mao Zedong”. Some scientists were meanwhile articulating a view that as the world becomes more educated, religion will be superseded.[61]

Often, the state’s opposition to religion took more violent forms; Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn documents widespread persecution, imprisonments and torture of believers, in his seminal work The Gulag Archipelago. Consequently, religious organizations, such as the Catholic Church, were among the most stringent opponents of communist regimes. In some cases, the initial strict measures of control and opposition to religious activity were gradually relaxed in communist states. Pope Pius XI followed his encyclicals challenging the new right-wing creeds of Italian Fascism, (Non abbiamo bisogno 1931); and Nazism (Mit brennender Sorge, 1937); with a denunciation of atheist Communism in Divini redemptoris (1937).[62]

The Russian Orthodox Church, for centuries the strongest of all Orthodox Churches, was suppressed by Russia’s atheists.[63] In 1922, the Soviet regime arrested the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church.[64] The Soviet leaders Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin energetically pursued the persecution of the Church through the 1920s and 1930s. Lenin wrote that every religious idea and every idea of God “is unutterable vileness… of the most dangerous kind, ‘contagion of the most abominable kind”.[65] Many priests were killed and imprisoned. Thousands of churches were closed, some turned into hospitals. In 1925 the government founded the League of Militant Atheists to intensify the persecution. The regime only relented in its persecution following the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941.[63] Bullock wrote that “A Marxist regime was ‘godless’ by definition, and Stalin had mocked religious belief since his days in the Tiflis seminary”. His assault on the Russian peasantry, wrote Bullock, “had been as much an attack on their traditional religion as on their individual holdings, and the defence of it had played a major part in arousing peasant resistance… “.[66] In Divini Redemptoris, Pius XI said that atheistic Communism being led by Moscow was aimed at “upsetting the social order and at undermining the very foundations of Christian civilization”:[67]

The central figure in Italian Fascism was the atheist Benito Mussolini.[68] In his early career, Mussolini was a strident opponent of the Church, and the first Fascist programme, written in 1919, had called for the secularization of Church property in Italy.[69] More pragmatic than his German ally Adolf Hitler, Mussolini later moderated his stance, and in office, permitted the teaching of religion in schools and came to terms with the Papacy in the Lateran Treaty.[68] Nevertheless, Non abbiamo bisogno condemned his Fascist movement’s “pagan worship of the State” and “revolution which snatches the young from the Church and from Jesus Christ, and which inculcates in its own young people hatred, violence and irreverence.”[70]

As noted by Steigmann-Gall, in October 1928 Hitler had publicly declared: “We tolerate no one in our ranks who attacks the ideas of Christianity … in fact our movement is Christian.”[71] In contrast to that, Richard J. Evans wrote that “Hitler emphasised again and again his belief that Nazism was a secular ideology founded on modern science. Science, he declared, would easily destroy the last remaining vestiges of superstition [-] ‘In the long run’, [Hitler] concluded in July 1941, ‘National Socialism and religion will no longer be able to exist together’ […] The ideal solution would be to leave the religions to devour themselves, without persecutions.’ “[72][73] On Steigmann-Gall’s research, Evans says, “Far from being uniformly anti-Christian, Nazism contained a wide variety of religious beliefs, and Steigmann-Gall has performed a valuable service in providing a meticulously documented account of them in all their bizarre variety.”[71]

The majority of Nazis did not leave their churches. Evans wrote that, by 1939, 95% of Germans still called themselves Protestant or Catholic, while 3.5% were gottglubig and 1.5% atheist. Most in these latter categories were “convinced Nazis who had left their Church at the behest of the Party, which had been trying since the mid 1930s to reduce the influence of Christianity in society”.[74] The majority of the three million Nazi Party members continued to pay their church taxes and register as either Roman Catholic or Evangelical Protestant Christians.[75] “Gottglubig” (lit. “believers in god”) were a non-denominational nazified outlook on god beliefs, often described as predominantly based on creationist and deistic views.[76]Heinrich Himmler, who himself was fascinated with Germanic paganism[citation needed], was a strong promoter of the gottglubig movement and didn’t allow atheists into the SS, arguing that their “refusal to acknowledge higher powers” would be a “potential source of indiscipline”.[77]

Across Eastern Europe following World War Two, the parts of the Nazi Empire conquered by the Soviet Red Army, and Yugsolavia became one party Communist states, which, like the Soviet Union, were antipathetic to religion. Persecutions of religious leaders followed.[78][79] The Soviet Union ended its truce against the Russian Orthodox Church, and extended its persecutions to the newly Communist Eastern block: “In Poland, Hungary, Lithuania and other Eastern European countries, Catholic leaders who were unwilling to be silent were denounced, publicly humiliated or imprisoned by the Communists. Leaders of the national Orthodox Churches in Romania and Bulgaria had to be cautious and submissive”, wrote Blainey.[63] While the churches were generally not as severely treated at they had been in the USSR, nearly all their schools and many of their churches were closed, and they lost their formally prominent roles in public life. Children were taught atheism, and clergy were imprisoned by the thousands.[80]

Albania under Enver Hoxha became, in 1967, the first (and to date only) formally declared atheist state,[81] going far beyond what most other countries had attempted completely prohibiting religious observance, and systematically repressing and persecuting adherents. The right to religious practice was restored in the fall of communism in 1991.

Further post-war communist victories in the East saw religion purged by atheist regimes across China, North Korea and much of Indo-China.[80] In 1949, China became a Communist state under the leadership of Mao Zedong’s Communist Party of China. China itself had been a cradle of religious thought since ancient times, being the birthplace of Confucianism and Daoism, and Buddhists having arrived in the first century AD. Under Mao, China became officially atheist, and though some religious practices were permitted to continue under State supervision, religious groups deemed a threat to order have been suppressed – as with Tibetan Buddhism from 1959 and Falun Gong in recent years. Today around two-fifths of the population claim to be nonreligious or atheist.[82] Religious schools and social institutions were closed, foreign missionaries expelled, and local religious practices discouraged.[80] During the Cultural Revolution, Mao instigated “struggles” against the Four Olds: “old ideas, customs, culture, and habits of mind”.[83] In 1999, the Communist Party launched a three-year drive to promote atheism in Tibet, saying intensifying propaganda on atheism is “especially important for Tibet because atheism plays an extremely important role in promoting economic construction, social advancement and socialist spiritual civilization in the region”.[84]

In India, E. V. Ramasami Naicker (Periyar), a prominent atheist leader, fought against Hinduism and the Brahmins for discriminating and dividing people in the name of caste and religion.[85] This was highlighted in 1956 when he made the Hindu god Rama wear a garland made of slippers and made antitheistic statements.[86]

During this period, Christianity in the United States retained its popular appeal, and, wrote Blainey, the country “was the guardian, militarily of the “free world” and the defender of its religion in the face of militant communism”.[87] During the Cold War, wrote Thomas Aiello the United States often characterized its opponents as “godless communists”, which tended to reinforce the view that atheists were unreliable and unpatriotic.[88] Against this background, the words “under God” were inserted into the pledge of allegiance in 1954,[89] and the national motto was changed from E Pluribus Unum to In God We Trust in 1956. However, there were some prominent atheist activists active at this time. Atheist Vashti McCollum was the plaintiff in a landmark 1948 Supreme Court case (McCollum v. Board of Education) that struck down religious education in U.S. public schools.[90][91]Madalyn Murray O’Hair was perhaps one of the most influential American atheists; she brought forth the 1963 Supreme Court case Murray v. Curlett which banned compulsory prayer in public schools.[92] Also in 1963 she founded American Atheists, an organization dedicated to defending the civil liberties of atheists and advocating for the complete separation of church and state.[93][94]

The early twenty-first century has continued to see secularism and atheism promoted in the Western world, with the general consensus being that the number of people not affiliated with any particular religion has increased.[95][96] This has been assisted by non-profit organizations such as the Freedom From Religion Foundation in the United States (co-founded by Anne Nicol Gaylor and her daughter, Annie Laurie Gaylor, in 1976 and incorporated nationally in 1978, it promotes the separation of church and state[97][98]), and the Brights movement, which aims to promote public understanding and acknowledgment of the naturalistic worldview.[99] In addition, a large number of accessible antitheist and secularist books, many of which have become bestsellers, have been published by authors such as Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Christopher Hitchens, and Victor J. Stenger.[100][101] This period has seen the rise of the New Atheism movement, a label that has been applied, sometimes pejoratively, to outspoken critics of theism.[102] Richard Dawkins also propounds a more visible form of atheist activism which he light-heartedly describes as ‘militant atheism’.[103]

Atheist feminism has also become more prominent in the 2010s. In 2012 the first “Women in Secularism” conference was held.[104] Also, Secular Woman was founded on June 28, 2012 as the first national American organization focused on nonreligious women. The mission of Secular Woman is to amplify the voice, presence, and influence of non-religious women. The atheist feminist movement has also become increasingly focused on fighting sexism and sexual harassment within the atheist movement itself.

In 2013 the first atheist monument on American government property was unveiled at the Bradford County Courthouse in Florida; it is a 1,500-pound granite bench and plinth inscribed with quotes by Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and Madalyn Murray O’Hair.[105][106]

In 2015, Madison, Wisconsin’s common council amended their city’s equal opportunity ordinance, adding atheism as a protected class in the areas of employment, housing, and public accommodations.[107] This makes Madison the first city in America to pass an ordinance protecting atheists.[107]

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Jan 202016

[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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Jan 132016

Post navigation Tavake the red tailed tropicbird (Phaeton rubricauda). Photo by G. McCormack.

tavake, n

1. Red-tailed Tropic bird (Phaethon rubricauda).

Kua akamneaia tna pare ki te iku tavake. His hat was decorated with tropic-birds tail-feathers.

Tavake iku-tea, White-tailed Tropic bird.

2. Large variety of breadfruit with long-fingered leaves and fruit that resembles the kuru patea.

E tavake tn kuru. That breadfruit is a tavake.

[Pn. *taweke.]

spiritual entities

See New Zealand Law Commission, Mori Custom and Values, 2001: 30 for New Zealand Maori equivalent.

war cries. Savage, S., A Dictionary of the Mori Language of Rarotonga, 1962: 19

Another meaning is sayings. Numerous totou (sayings) [New Zealand Mori whakatauk], identifying the connectedness of particular mountains, rivers or lakes, tribes and people, are constantly invoked to reaffirm anau tangata or unga tangata between people and their lands.

The ceremony and feast at the end of a battle was called akamoe-i-takau. Savage, S., A Dictionary of the Mori Language of Rarotonga, 1962: 16.

The word itoro which is sometimes used instead of ai tupuna is a coined word which shades it with a post LMS descriptive bias.

akateitei also means arrogant

vangeria, n. Gospel.

Kua ttia te vangeria ki te tene, the gospel was preached to the heathen;

kara ki te


1. (-a, -ia). (Wear) a necklace, garland, wreath, chaplet, scarf.

T ei nei au i tku ei poe prau, Im wearing my pearl necklace;

Eia tou ei, put on your lei (necklace of flowers);

Nku te ei tiare mori, nou te ei ara moa, mine is the gardenia necklace, yours is the pandanus one;

Ei Ktorika, rosary;

Ei ttauro, cross (crucifix) worn round the neck;

T tui ei ra a Runa m, Runa and the others are making wreaths;

Nai tia pare ei? whose chaplet is this?;

E ei i t tei uruuru ki runga i t kak, wrap your woollen scarf around your neck.

2. v.i. Encircled, ensnared, trapped, caught (in net, web, noose, snare, trap).

Kua ei te ika ki roto i te kupenga, the fish were caught in the net;

Kua ei te moa taetaevao ki roto i te pereere, the wild fowl was trapped in a snare;

Kua ptakaiti te rango i te eianga ki roto i te pngverevere, the fly struggled, caught in the cobweb. (see ei, tei(ei)). [Pn. *sei.]

ei, ai, locative particle. (The form ai is used when the preceding word ends in a, when, in traditional orthography it was often written as i and suffixed to the preceding word. E.g. tuatua ai is written tuatuai in Bibilia Tapu). A particle which relates the verb preceding it to an adverbial (time, place, reason, cause, purpose, means) or nominal antecedent. The antecedent to which ei refers may have been placed ahead of the verbal particle of the ei-clause for emphasis; Or it may occur in (or comprise) a preceding clause to which the ei-clause is linked.

1. Ei occurs in a main clause where the antecedent is

(a) an adverbial phrase fronted for emphasis (interrogatives are often topicalised in this way).

te Varaire te pa e akaruke ei, its Friday that the ship leaves / Friday is when the ship leaves (cf. the unmarked word order

ka akaruke te pa te Varaire, the ship leaves on Friday);

N te matangi i kino ei te rkau, its the wind thats spoiled the tree;

N tna vareae i rutu ei aia iku it was out of jealousy that he hit me;

I naea krua i tuatua ai i tn manako?, when did you two discuss that idea?;

Ei ea tua kaikai ei?, where shall we have our meal?;

E aa te mea i tuaru ei koe iia?, what did you drive him away for?

(b) an adverbial clause:

iku e t ra, kite atu ei au i te pa, as I was standing there, I caught sight of the ship;

(c) an adverbial conjunction:

u te r k opu ei, before the sun sets;

Mri ake koe i akatikaia mai ei au, thanks to you I was given permission.

2. Ei occurs in a subordinate (relative) clause.

Ko tia nei te puka tau i apai ei?, is this the book you were carrying?;

Ko ai te tangata tau i p ei?, who was the person you struck?;

E painapa tku i kai ei, it was pineapple(s) that I ate;

Ko tea toa tau i aere ei?, which shop was it you went to?;

E tpito tna maki i noo ei aia ki te kinga, it was stomach-trouble that he stayed home with;

Te ngi i rave mai ei koe, the place you got it from;

Te mataara e tae ei ki runga i tr maunga, the path leading up that mountain;

T pat ra rtou i te taua i akaruke atu ei au, they were cementing the floor when I left;

Ko te tumu t reira i aere mai ei au, thats the reason why I came;

I akapeaia e koe te tamaiti i au ei, what did you do to the child to make him cry?

3. Indicating the sequence of action in the second of two clauses, the verbal particle often being omitted from the second clause, (and) then.

Kia tae mai au, ka rote ei tua i tau ngi, let me get there, then well start ploughing your place;

K noo ttou kia p, ka aere ei, lets stay till its dark and then go;

Aere mai ki runga i te moenga, takoto ei, come on to the mat and lie down;

E taritari mai i te pt kpara ki te pae tai, tuku ei, carry the sacks of copra down to the beach and put them down there;

T aere nei au e tangata k angaanga ai, Im going to go and work for someone else.

4. In the construction

n (ttai tangata) ei, (somebody) said.

Kvea mai taku uri, n P ei, bring me my spear, said P;

Nna ai k inu aia i te kava nani, he said hed have some orange liquor;

e vaine mnea tika ai koe, n P mai ei kiku. Aere ki k atu, nku atu ei, auraka koe e tparu mai iku. E tika ai nku, nna mai ei, You really are a good-looking woman, says P to me. Get away with you, says I, dont you go flattering me. I really mean it, he says. [Pn. *ai.]

enguengu, v.i., fq. engu, groan, q.v.

Kua kite au e moemoe nna i tna enguenguanga, I could tell that she was having a dream from her groaning;

Kia tae atu au, t enguengu u ra aia n te mamae, when I got there, he was groaning with the pain. [engu RR.]


1. v.i., n. Groan, moan, grunt, (make a deep throaty noise.

E aa koe i engu ua ai i roto i tau moe inap?, why were you groaning in your sleep last night?;

Kua rongo au i tna enguanga i te anga aia ki runga i te patu, I heard him grunt when he banged into the wall;

Kua rongo au i te engu i vao, kre r au i aere ana i te kara, I heard moaning outside, but I didnt go to look.

2. v.t. Hum.

T engu u ra aia i te mene, hes just humming the song. [Np. *fe

eeu, (-a, -ia, ua, euia). Draw back or remove (covering, screen or lid).

Kua purara mai te verovero o te r ki roto i te are i tku eeuanga i te rai mramarama, the suns rays burst into the house when I drew the curtains;

Kua eeu aia i te riki kaingkai, she removed the tablecloth;

Eeua ake te moenga kia purmuia te repo, lift up the mat to sweep the dirt out;

eeke, v.i., intens. of eke1. Flow copiously, descend.

Kua eeke ua te toto i te putaanga tna katu i te rkau, the blood gushed when the pole struck him on the head;

Kua eeke ua te vai n roto i tna kinga, the water poured through his garden;

I n konei rtou i te eekeanga, they scrambled down this way. [eke1 rR.]

eeke, v.i., fq. eeke. Flow, q.v.

, n. Boil, carbuncle.

Kre e meitaki kia viia tou , n te mea kre i para, it wont do any good getting your boil lanced, it hasnt come to a head yet;

Paraia ki te vairkau , put a boil poultice on it;

eaea, v.i., fq. of ea. Rise to the surface.

Kua pou rtou ki roto i te vai kua eaea ki ttai tua i te kauvai, they dived into the water and came up on the other side of the river;

Kua pupui te aronga ruku i t rtou ao i t rtou eaeaanga, the divers let their breath out with a rush as they surfaced. [ea RR.]

eaa, what? A spelling of e + aa, q.v.

e, interj. Yes? What is it? What do you want? (reply to a call, polite, cf. eaa? which is discourteous).

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What is Regenerative Medicine? | Regenerative Medicine …

 Regenerative Medicine  Comments Off on What is Regenerative Medicine? | Regenerative Medicine …
Jan 132016

Scientists in Regenerative Medicine study the molecular, cellular, and developmental processes that control the development of new, healthy tissue. In order to provide an overview of what Regenerative Medicine entails it is helpful to discuss the objectives of the field:

In understanding these mechanisms, scientists will gain the ability to manipulate the growth of cells and tissues toward a state of regeneration rather than fibrosis.

The field of Regenerative Medicine seeks to treat and cure diseases by discovering the underlying mechanisms that are utilized by nature to restore the structure and function of damaged or diseased tissues and organs. By bringing together multiple disciplines, inlcuding biology, chemistry, engineering, mathematics, and computer science, to name a few, Regenerative Medicine is evolving to help revolutionize the world of science and medicine.

Most tissues are in a constant battle between tissue regeneration and repair by fibrosis (scarring) as author, David Stocum, puts well. He also notes a fundamental question scientists in the field of Regenerative Medicine ask: Why do we see scar tissue form (fibrosis) when an organ or body part is damaged or lost (for example, a finger or toe is severed) instead of regrowth or regeneration of the tissue?

Reference: Regenerative Biology and Medicine, David L Stocum 2006, Elsevier Inc.

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What is Regenerative Medicine? | Regenerative Medicine …

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Department of Regenerative Medicine and Cell Biology

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Jan 132016

Message from the Chair

Welcome to the Department of Regenerative Medicine and Cell Biology. The goal of the department is to apply our knowledge of molecular and cellular biology to understand and reverse human disease. Regenerative medicine is an emerging field that aims to revolutionize the treatment of disease by providing cures rather than treating symptoms. It relies on multidisciplinary approaches that require expertise in diverse areas. Approaches include the use of stem cells to provide limitless supplies of cells for transplant therapy and disease modeling, bioengineering and tissue engineering to generate replacement tissues and organs, and the production of transgenic animals to study the fundamental molecular basis of organ formation and disease. The department has active research programs in tissue fabrication and bioengineering, developmental biology, cardiovascular and liver disease, cancer biology, cell signaling, and drug development. The Department is also heavily involved in biomedical education through the training of medical and graduate students. Regenerative medicine is at a particularly exciting stage, with investigators being poised to make discipline-changing advances of high impact. The field is on the cusp of revolutionizing biomedical science, and as regenerative medicine researchers we are limited only by our imaginations.

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Department of Regenerative Medicine and Cell Biology

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Regenerative Medicine – University of Nebraska Medical Center

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Jan 132016

News: The Regenerative Medicine Symposium 2016 will be held on April 15th at Mahoney State Park. More details to follow…

New therapies are on the horizon Hope is on the horizon.

Regenerative Medicine is an emerging interdisciplinary field of research. The clinical applications resulting from this field focus on the repair, replacement or regeneration of cells, tissues, or organs to restore lost function that has been lost from any cause, including hereditary defects, disease, injury, and aging. Using methodologies from diverse scientific fields, Regenerative Medicine has the capacity to launch far ahead of traditional transplantation and replacement therapies.

The Regenerative Medicine Program has been established at UNMC to bring many areas of science and medicine together to provide those in Nebraska and surrounding areas more advanced therapies and treatments that can enhance their quality of life beyond what we are currently capable of providing. Researchers hope to develop strategies to grow bone and muscle tissue for amputees or new heart tissue for those who suffer from heart disease.

Here at UNMC, researchers and students have access to state of the art facilities and equipment to allow successful research to expand and grow.

Kristina Lorenzo-Arteaga BS (Research Technologist), Abby Lucas BS (Research Technologist), Jenni Irving MA (Project Associate), Katie Jolly MS (Clinical Technologist)

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Regenerative Medicine – University of Nebraska Medical Center

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California Beaches – California Beach Vacation

 Beaches  Comments Off on California Beaches – California Beach Vacation
Jan 072016

With hundreds of miles of lovely beaches empty except for the wildlife, there is no lack of coastline for you to enjoy on a California Beach vacation. Half the state and the most scenic drive facing the pacific run the length of its western coast, and a lovely California beach can be the setting for an unforgettable trip.

If you enjoy wholesome fun and family friendly entertainment, the beaches at Santa Cruz and San Diego have excellent parks right on the water, and are the setting for an unforgettable part of your California beach vacation, with lots of fun amusement rides.

There are a few areas just north of Los Angeles that have all sandy shores you could expect in Southern California beaches.

If you enjoy a more outdoorsy experience, you can enjoy the Pacific in luxury, as the Northern Coast is quickly becoming a place where a California Beach rental is gaining a great deal of popularity. Up north, relaxing outdoor activities like fishing and hiking can be enjoyed. You’ll feel like you really fit into the scenery when you book a California beach rental, be it on the sunny beaches of Southern California or right here on the windswept northern part of the scenic Highway 1 drive down the coast.

Lovely nature preserves are off the coast of Monterey, and also south of Carmel just place the 17 mile drive, which is a scenic drive past a lovely California Beach that is part of the Point Lobos nature preserve. If you visit the world class Aquarium, you can add en education aspect that is fun as well to you California beach vacation. Spend a weekend in a California Beach Hotel, and take your time exploring the cannery, the Wharf and the Marina.

California Beach

Whether you prefer the solitude and proximity to thousands or square miles of Pacific in front of you, there is something magical about staying in a California beach hotel. If you’ve at a rustic cabin or the Northern California Beach or nestled n a luxurious bed and breakfast on the Central Coast, you’ll love being close to the shores.

Southern California lives up to its reputation of being a water lover’s heaven, home to fun water sports like snorkeling and scuba diving at La Jolla beach, or windsurfing on a breeze California beach, you’ll love. All the way up and down the coast, from the remote rocky beach far below the Highway 1 route and its scenic drive on the Northern Coast, to the small Oceanside communities of Pismo Beach, a California beach vacation is the most relaxing way to experience to state and its incredible views, which in themselves are California vacations.

Southern CA Beach

Whether you like the serene coasts of the north or the sunny, fun filled beaches of Los Angeles, you can get to a California beach easily, and there are as plentiful and varied as the attractive people sunning themselves on a busy Southern California beach.

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California Beaches – California Beach Vacation

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Freedom N.Y., Inc.

 Freedom  Comments Off on Freedom N.Y., Inc.
Jan 052016

The purpose of the Freedom N.Y. Newsletter is to communicate to the world the FACTS about the injustices that were handed to the company. Freedom N.Y., Inc. a Bronx N.Y. based Defense Prime Meals Ready To Eat (MRE) Contractor that thrived in the 1980s. For over the past two decades, Freedom has fought to unbury itself from the lies and deceptions used illegally to halt its production lines of MREs (the sort of meals now being fed to our troops in Iraq). Freedom’s contract was breached 26 times and, as a result of these wrongful breaches of contract, lost its MRE Industrial Preparedness Prime contractor position within the Department of Defense. Additionally, Freedom has lost over 442 jobs as well as a massive 400,000 sq ft U.S.D.A. approved plant in the South Bronx of N.Y.

Freedom has been involved in a court battle for some time to set the record straight about what happened. This website will reveal the factual events that took place during the contract period. And will include recent court findings, ruling and decisions that confirmed what Freedom said happened over 17 years ago.

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Freedom N.Y., Inc.

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Mississippi Vacation – Mississippi Travel

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Dec 252015

Each season in Mississippi has its pluses and minuses just as most destinations do. Your own interests and hopes for a vacation away from home will help to determine when to take your Mississippi vacation. Autumn is a really nice time for Mississippi travel and many areas along the river will boast wonderful colors, abundant wildlife and plenty of activities. When planning to travel during the Thanksgiving holiday or Labor Day it’s best to make travel arrangements ahead of time, especially for transportation and also hotel accommodation.

When To Go

Both Fall and spring in Natchez are especially fun as this is when the Natchez Pilgrimage Tours happen. The Fall Pilgrimage of Homes includes affluent mansions, historic plantations and beautiful southern belles which exemplify America’s deep south and Civil War era history. Most of the striking homes that take part in the tour are private homes that only open up to the public during the pilgrimages which begin in September and run for a month. Book Natchez hotels well ahead of time and consider a Mississippi tour along the river to round out a trip.

The winter months are the best time for a Mississippi fishing trip and Red Fish and Crappies are the best catches. Forget any ideas of ice fishing! The Mississippi winter months are a temperate time of year making a trip on the water extremely pleasant. When fishing in saltwater the Redfish swim along the shallow parts of the shoreline looking for a meal of shrimp, crabs and small minnows. A Mississippi River vacation is ideal for fishing as well. The low levels of water running down to the Gulf Coast create excellent opportunities for a good catch.

A popular Mississippi river vacation choice is a houseboat rental which can be had anytime of year. Catering to both anglers and non-anglers this type of holiday provides something for everyone including sightseeing, swimming, fishing and more. If your Mississippi River vacation destination is anywhere near Natchez don’t miss The Great Mississippi River Balloon Race which happens every year at the end of October and features colorful hot air balloon races.

A Mississippi fishing trip can be taken anywhere along the Mississippi River or in the south along the Gulf Coast for saltwater fishing. A saltwater trip can see you catching the likes of Shark, Red Snapper, Trout, King Mackerel and more. When discovering the Gulf Coast during the winter pair your Mississippi fishing trip with a tour of the coastal highway. Head to Biloxi and try your hand at gaming. Biloxi casinos are some of the best in the state and offer the most up-to-date machines and table games along with world-class accommodations and dining.

Spring is a beautiful time for Mississippi travel and sees less action from the masses. The temperatures are pleasant and the Gulf Coast normally sees higher temperatures than the rest of the state year-round. If your Mississippi vacation is during the spring one of the best places to head to is Tupelo. The annual festivals and events in Tupelo create a fun backdrop to any trip. Though small in size the town is big on excitement during this time of year where the small-town festivals offer excellent southern hospitality. For car-lovers the Big Suede Cruise kicks off at the beginning of May with plenty of exceptional classic cars, entertainment great southern fare.

Summer is the best time to enjoy the Gulf Islands National Seashore or any place along the Gulf Coast. This is the best time of year to explore the coastal Mississippi beaches or a trip to Ship Island. Temperatures get extremely hot and many opt for waterpark adventures to cool off during Mississippi travel in the summer. Both Geyser Falls Waterpark northeast of Jackson and Gulf Island Waterpark between Gulfport and Biloxi offer a huge amount of wild water fun for the entire family.

Mississippi’s climate is defined by warm months with the absence of any extreme cold temperatures. Summer months can be extremely hot yet it’s still the most popular time of year for a Mississippi vacation. A Mississippi River vacation is ideal in the summer and perfect for cooling off when away from the Gulf Coast waters. Be sure to find out about the many exciting events and festivals happening all over the state and head on over to experience local hospitality at its best.

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Mississippi Vacation – Mississippi Travel

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Molecular nanotechnology – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 Nano Technology  Comments Off on Molecular nanotechnology – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Dec 152015

Molecular nanotechnology (MNT) is a technology based on the ability to build structures to complex, atomic specifications by means of mechanosynthesis.[1] This is distinct from nanoscale materials. Based on Richard Feynman’s vision of miniature factories using nanomachines to build complex products (including additional nanomachines), this advanced form of nanotechnology (or molecular manufacturing[2]) would make use of positionally-controlled mechanosynthesis guided by molecular machine systems. MNT would involve combining physical principles demonstrated by biophysics, chemistry, other nanotechnologies, and the molecular machinery of life with the systems engineering principles found in modern macroscale factories.

While conventional chemistry uses inexact processes obtaining inexact results, and biology exploits inexact processes to obtain definitive results, molecular nanotechnology would employ original definitive processes to obtain definitive results. The desire in molecular nanotechnology would be to balance molecular reactions in positionally-controlled locations and orientations to obtain desired chemical reactions, and then to build systems by further assembling the products of these reactions.

A roadmap for the development of MNT is an objective of a broadly based technology project led by Battelle (the manager of several U.S. National Laboratories) and the Foresight Institute.[3] The roadmap was originally scheduled for completion by late 2006, but was released in January 2008.[4] The Nanofactory Collaboration[5] is a more focused ongoing effort involving 23 researchers from 10 organizations and 4 countries that is developing a practical research agenda[6] specifically aimed at positionally-controlled diamond mechanosynthesis and diamondoid nanofactory development. In August 2005, a task force consisting of 50+ international experts from various fields was organized by the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology to study the societal implications of molecular nanotechnology.[7]

One proposed application of MNT is so-called smart materials. This term refers to any sort of material designed and engineered at the nanometer scale for a specific task. It encompasses a wide variety of possible commercial applications. One example would be materials designed to respond differently to various molecules; such a capability could lead, for example, to artificial drugs which would recognize and render inert specific viruses. Another is the idea of self-healing structures, which would repair small tears in a surface naturally in the same way as self-sealing tires or human skin.

A MNT nanosensor would resemble a smart material, involving a small component within a larger machine that would react to its environment and change in some fundamental, intentional way. A very simple example: a photosensor might passively measure the incident light and discharge its absorbed energy as electricity when the light passes above or below a specified threshold, sending a signal to a larger machine. Such a sensor would supposedly cost less and use less power than a conventional sensor, and yet function usefully in all the same applications for example, turning on parking lot lights when it gets dark.

While smart materials and nanosensors both exemplify useful applications of MNT, they pale in comparison with the complexity of the technology most popularly associated with the term: the replicating nanorobot.

MNT nanofacturing is popularly linked with the idea of swarms of coordinated nanoscale robots working together, a popularization of an early proposal by K. Eric Drexler in his 1986 discussions of MNT, but superseded in 1992. In this early proposal, sufficiently capable nanorobots would construct more nanorobots in an artificial environment containing special molecular building blocks.

Critics have doubted both the feasibility of self-replicating nanorobots and the feasibility of control if self-replicating nanorobots could be achieved: they cite the possibility of mutations removing any control and favoring reproduction of mutant pathogenic variations. Advocates address the first doubt by pointing out that the first macroscale autonomous machine replicator, made of Lego blocks, was built and operated experimentally in 2002.[8] While there are sensory advantages present at the macroscale compared to the limited sensorium available at the nanoscale, proposals for positionally controlled nanoscale mechanosynthetic fabrication systems employ dead reckoning of tooltips combined with reliable reaction sequence design to ensure reliable results, hence a limited sensorium is no handicap; similar considerations apply to the positional assembly of small nanoparts. Advocates address the second doubt by arguing that bacteria are (of necessity) evolved to evolve, while nanorobot mutation could be actively prevented by common error-correcting techniques. Similar ideas are advocated in the Foresight Guidelines on Molecular Nanotechnology,[9] and a map of the 137-dimensional replicator design space[10] recently published by Freitas and Merkle provides numerous proposed methods by which replicators could, in principle, be safely controlled by good design.

However, the concept of suppressing mutation raises the question: How can design evolution occur at the nanoscale without a process of random mutation and deterministic selection? Critics argue that MNT advocates have not provided a substitute for such a process of evolution in this nanoscale arena where conventional sensory-based selection processes are lacking. The limits of the sensorium available at the nanoscale could make it difficult or impossible to winnow successes from failures. Advocates argue that design evolution should occur deterministically and strictly under human control, using the conventional engineering paradigm of modeling, design, prototyping, testing, analysis, and redesign.

In any event, since 1992 technical proposals for MNT do not include self-replicating nanorobots, and recent ethical guidelines put forth by MNT advocates prohibit unconstrained self-replication.[9][11]

One of the most important applications of MNT would be medical nanorobotics or nanomedicine, an area pioneered by Robert Freitas in numerous books[12] and papers.[13] The ability to design, build, and deploy large numbers of medical nanorobots would, at a minimum, make possible the rapid elimination of disease and the reliable and relatively painless recovery from physical trauma. Medical nanorobots might also make possible the convenient correction of genetic defects, and help to ensure a greatly expanded lifespan. More controversially, medical nanorobots might be used to augment natural human capabilities.

Another proposed application of molecular nanotechnology is “utility fog”[14] in which a cloud of networked microscopic robots (simpler than assemblers) would change its shape and properties to form macroscopic objects and tools in accordance with software commands. Rather than modify the current practices of consuming material goods in different forms, utility fog would simply replace many physical objects.

Yet another proposed application of MNT would be phased-array optics (PAO).[15] However, this appears to be a problem addressable by ordinary nanoscale technology. PAO would use the principle of phased-array millimeter technology but at optical wavelengths. This would permit the duplication of any sort of optical effect but virtually. Users could request holograms, sunrises and sunsets, or floating lasers as the mood strikes. PAO systems were described in BC Crandall’s Nanotechnology: Molecular Speculations on Global Abundance in the Brian Wowk article “Phased-Array Optics.”[16]

Nanotechnology (or molecular nanotechnology to refer more specifically to the goals discussed here) will let us continue the historical trends in manufacturing right up to the fundamental limits imposed by physical law. It will let us make remarkably powerful molecular computers. It will let us make materials over fifty times lighter than steel or aluminium alloy but with the same strength. We’ll be able to make jets, rockets, cars or even chairs that, by today’s standards, would be remarkably light, strong, and inexpensive. Molecular surgical tools, guided by molecular computers and injected into the blood stream could find and destroy cancer cells or invading bacteria, unclog arteries, or provide oxygen when the circulation is impaired.

Nanotechnology will replace our entire manufacturing base with a new, radically more precise, radically less expensive, and radically more flexible way of making products. The aim is not simply to replace today’s computer chip making plants, but also to replace the assembly lines for cars, televisions, telephones, books, surgical tools, missiles, bookcases, airplanes, tractors, and all the rest. The objective is a pervasive change in manufacturing, a change that will leave virtually no product untouched. Economic progress and military readiness in the 21st Century will depend fundamentally on maintaining a competitive position in nanotechnology.


Despite the current early developmental status of nanotechnology and molecular nanotechnology, much concern surrounds MNT’s anticipated impact on economics[18][19] and on law. Whatever the exact effects, MNT, if achieved, would tend to reduce the scarcity of manufactured goods and make many more goods (such as food and health aids) manufacturable.

It is generally considered[by whom?] that future citizens of a molecular-nanotechnological society would still need money, in the form of unforgeable digital cash or physical specie[20] (in special circumstances). They might use such money to buy goods and services that are unique, or limited within the solar system. These might include: matter, energy, information, real estate, design services, entertainment services, legal services, fame, political power, or the attention of other people to one’s political/religious/philosophical message. Furthermore, futurists must consider war, even between prosperous states, and non-economic goals.

If MNT were realized, some resources would remain limited, because unique physical objects are limited (a plot of land in the real Jerusalem, mining rights to the larger near-earth asteroids) or because they depend on the goodwill of a particular person (the love of a famous person, a live audience in a musical concert). Demand will always exceed supply for some things, and a political economy may continue to exist in any case. Whether the interest in these limited resources would diminish with the advent of virtual reality, where they could be easily substituted, is yet unclear. One reason why it might not is a hypothetical preference for “the real thing”, although such an opinion could easily be mollified if virtual reality were to develop to a certain level of quality.

MNT should make possible nanomedical capabilities able to cure any medical condition not already cured by advances in other areas. Good health would be common, and poor health of any form would be as rare as smallpox and scurvy are today. Even cryonics would be feasible, as cryopreserved tissue could be fully repaired.

Molecular nanotechnology is one of the technologies that some analysts believe could lead to a Technological Singularity. Some feel that molecular nanotechnology would have daunting risks.[21] It conceivably could enable cheaper and more destructive conventional weapons. Also, molecular nanotechnology might permit weapons of mass destruction that could self-replicate, as viruses and cancer cells do when attacking the human body. Commentators generally agree that, in the event molecular nanotechnology were developed, its self-replication should be permitted only under very controlled or “inherently safe” conditions.

A fear exists that nanomechanical robots, if achieved, and if designed to self-replicate using naturally occurring materials (a difficult task), could consume the entire planet in their hunger for raw materials,[22] or simply crowd out natural life, out-competing it for energy (as happened historically when blue-green algae appeared and outcompeted earlier life forms). Some commentators have referred to this situation as the “grey goo” or “ecophagy” scenario. K. Eric Drexler considers an accidental “grey goo” scenario extremely unlikely and says so in later editions of Engines of Creation.

In light of this perception of potential danger, the Foresight Institute (founded by K. Eric Drexler to prepare for the arrival of future technologies) has drafted a set of guidelines[23] for the ethical development of nanotechnology. These include the banning of free-foraging self-replicating pseudo-organisms on the Earth’s surface, at least, and possibly in other places.

The feasibility of the basic technologies analyzed in Nanosystems has been the subject of a formal scientific review by U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and has also been the focus of extensive debate on the internet and in the popular press.

In 2006, U.S. National Academy of Sciences released the report of a study of molecular manufacturing as part of a longer report, A Matter of Size: Triennial Review of the National Nanotechnology Initiative[24] The study committee reviewed the technical content of Nanosystems, and in its conclusion states that no current theoretical analysis can be considered definitive regarding several questions of potential system performance, and that optimal paths for implementing high-performance systems cannot be predicted with confidence. It recommends experimental research to advance knowledge in this area:

A section heading in Drexler’s Engines of Creation reads[25] “Universal Assemblers”, and the following text speaks of multiple types of assemblers which, collectively, could hypothetically “build almost anything that the laws of nature allow to exist.” Drexler’s colleague Ralph Merkle has noted that, contrary to widespread legend,[26] Drexler never claimed that assembler systems could build absolutely any molecular structure. The endnotes in Drexler’s book explain the qualification “almost”: “For example, a delicate structure might be designed that, like a stone arch, would self-destruct unless all its pieces were already in place. If there were no room in the design for the placement and removal of a scaffolding, then the structure might be impossible to build. Few structures of practical interest seem likely to exhibit such a problem, however.”

In 1992, Drexler published Nanosystems: Molecular Machinery, Manufacturing, and Computation,[27] a detailed proposal for synthesizing stiff covalent structures using a table-top factory. Diamondoid structures and other stiff covalent structures, if achieved, would have a wide range of possible applications, going far beyond current MEMS technology. An outline of a path was put forward in 1992 for building a table-top factory in the absence of an assembler. Other researchers have begun advancing tentative, alternative proposed paths [5] for this in the years since Nanosystems was published.

In 2004 Richard Jones wrote Soft Machines (nanotechnology and life), a book for lay audiences published by Oxford University. In this book he describes radical nanotechnology (as advocated by Drexler) as a deterministic/mechanistic idea of nano engineered machines that does not take into account the nanoscale challenges such as wetness, stickness, Brownian motion, and high viscosity. He also explains what is soft nanotechnology or more appropriatelly biomimetic nanotechnology which is the way forward, if not the best way, to design functional nanodevices that can cope with all the problems at a nanoscale. One can think of soft nanotechnology as the development of nanomachines that uses the lessons learned from biology on how things work, chemistry to precisely engineer such devices and stochastic physics to model the system and its natural processes in detail.

Several researchers, including Nobel Prize winner Dr. Richard Smalley (19432005),[28] attacked the notion of universal assemblers, leading to a rebuttal from Drexler and colleagues,[29] and eventually to an exchange of letters.[30] Smalley argued that chemistry is extremely complicated, reactions are hard to control, and that a universal assembler is science fiction. Drexler and colleagues, however, noted that Drexler never proposed universal assemblers able to make absolutely anything, but instead proposed more limited assemblers able to make a very wide variety of things. They challenged the relevance of Smalley’s arguments to the more specific proposals advanced in Nanosystems. Also, Smalley argued that nearly all of modern chemistry involves reactions that take place in a solvent (usually water), because the small molecules of a solvent contribute many things, such as lowering binding energies for transition states. Since nearly all known chemistry requires a solvent, Smalley felt that Drexler’s proposal to use a high vacuum environment was not feasible. However, Drexler addresses this in Nanosystems by showing mathematically that well designed catalysts can provide the effects of a solvent and can fundamentally be made even more efficient than a solvent/enzyme reaction could ever be. It is noteworthy that, contrary to Smalley’s opinion that enzymes require water, “Not only do enzymes work vigorously in anhydrous organic media, but in this unnatural milieu they acquire remarkable properties such as greatly enhanced stability, radically altered substrate and enantiomeric specificities, molecular memory, and the ability to catalyse unusual reactions.””Enzymatic catalysis in anhydrous organic solvents.”. April 1989.””Enzymatic catalysis in anhydrous organic solvents” (PDF). April 1989.

For the future, some means have to be found for MNT design evolution at the nanoscale which mimics the process of biological evolution at the molecular scale. Biological evolution proceeds by random variation in ensemble averages of organisms combined with culling of the less-successful variants and reproduction of the more-successful variants, and macroscale engineering design also proceeds by a process of design evolution from simplicity to complexity as set forth somewhat satirically by John Gall: “A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. . . . A complex system designed from scratch never works and can not be patched up to make it work. You have to start over, beginning with a system that works.” [31] A breakthrough in MNT is needed which proceeds from the simple atomic ensembles which can be built with, e.g., an STM to complex MNT systems via a process of design evolution. A handicap in this process is the difficulty of seeing and manipulation at the nanoscale compared to the macroscale which makes deterministic selection of successful trials difficult; in contrast biological evolution proceeds via action of what Richard Dawkins has called the “blind watchmaker” [32] comprising random molecular variation and deterministic reproduction/extinction.

At present in 2007 the practice of nanotechnology embraces both stochastic approaches (in which, for example, supramolecular chemistry creates waterproof pants) and deterministic approaches wherein single molecules (created by stochastic chemistry) are manipulated on substrate surfaces (created by stochastic deposition methods) by deterministic methods comprising nudging them with STM or AFM probes and causing simple binding or cleavage reactions to occur. The dream of a complex, deterministic molecular nanotechnology remains elusive. Since the mid-1990s, thousands of surface scientists and thin film technocrats have latched on to the nanotechnology bandwagon and redefined their disciplines as nanotechnology. This has caused much confusion in the field and has spawned thousands of “nano”-papers on the peer reviewed literature. Most of these reports are extensions of the more ordinary research done in the parent fields.

The feasibility of Drexler’s proposals largely depends, therefore, on whether designs like those in Nanosystems could be built in the absence of a universal assembler to build them and would work as described. Supporters of molecular nanotechnology frequently claim that no significant errors have been discovered in Nanosystems since 1992. Even some critics concede[33] that “Drexler has carefully considered a number of physical principles underlying the ‘high level’ aspects of the nanosystems he proposes and, indeed, has thought in some detail” about some issues.

Other critics claim, however, that Nanosystems omits important chemical details about the low-level ‘machine language’ of molecular nanotechnology.[34][35][36][37] They also claim that much of the other low-level chemistry in Nanosystems requires extensive further work, and that Drexler’s higher-level designs therefore rest on speculative foundations. Recent such further work by Freitas and Merkle [38] is aimed at strengthening these foundations by filling the existing gaps in the low-level chemistry.

Drexler argues that we may need to wait until our conventional nanotechnology improves before solving these issues: “Molecular manufacturing will result from a series of advances in molecular machine systems, much as the first Moon landing resulted from a series of advances in liquid-fuel rocket systems. We are now in a position like that of the British Interplanetary Society of the 1930s which described how multistage liquid-fueled rockets could reach the Moon and pointed to early rockets as illustrations of the basic principle.”[39] However, Freitas and Merkle argue [40] that a focused effort to achieve diamond mechanosynthesis (DMS) can begin now, using existing technology, and might achieve success in less than a decade if their “direct-to-DMS approach is pursued rather than a more circuitous development approach that seeks to implement less efficacious nondiamondoid molecular manufacturing technologies before progressing to diamondoid”.

To summarize the arguments against feasibility: First, critics argue that a primary barrier to achieving molecular nanotechnology is the lack of an efficient way to create machines on a molecular/atomic scale, especially in the absence of a well-defined path toward a self-replicating assembler or diamondoid nanofactory. Advocates respond that a preliminary research path leading to a diamondoid nanofactory is being developed.[6]

A second difficulty in reaching molecular nanotechnology is design. Hand design of a gear or bearing at the level of atoms might take a few to several weeks. While Drexler, Merkle and others have created designs of simple parts, no comprehensive design effort for anything approaching the complexity of a Model T Ford has been attempted. Advocates respond that it is difficult to undertake a comprehensive design effort in the absence of significant funding for such efforts, and that despite this handicap much useful design-ahead has nevertheless been accomplished with new software tools that have been developed, e.g., at Nanorex.[41]

In the latest report A Matter of Size: Triennial Review of the National Nanotechnology Initiative[24] put out by the National Academies Press in December 2006 (roughly twenty years after Engines of Creation was published), no clear way forward toward molecular nanotechnology could yet be seen, as per the conclusion on page 108 of that report: “Although theoretical calculations can be made today, the eventually attainable range of chemical reaction cycles, error rates, speed of operation, and thermodynamic efficiencies of such bottom-up manufacturing systems cannot be reliably predicted at this time. Thus, the eventually attainable perfection and complexity of manufactured products, while they can be calculated in theory, cannot be predicted with confidence. Finally, the optimum research paths that might lead to systems which greatly exceed the thermodynamic efficiencies and other capabilities of biological systems cannot be reliably predicted at this time. Research funding that is based on the ability of investigators to produce experimental demonstrations that link to abstract models and guide long-term vision is most appropriate to achieve this goal.” This call for research leading to demonstrations is welcomed by groups such as the Nanofactory Collaboration who are specifically seeking experimental successes in diamond mechanosynthesis.[42] The “Technology Roadmap for Productive Nanosystems”[43] aims to offer additional constructive insights.

It is perhaps interesting to ask whether or not most structures consistent with physical law can in fact be manufactured. Advocates assert that to achieve most of the vision of molecular manufacturing it is not necessary to be able to build “any structure that is compatible with natural law.” Rather, it is necessary to be able to build only a sufficient (possibly modest) subset of such structuresas is true, in fact, of any practical manufacturing process used in the world today, and is true even in biology. In any event, as Richard Feynman once said, “It is scientific only to say what’s more likely or less likely, and not to be proving all the time what’s possible or impossible.”[44]

There is a growing body of peer-reviewed theoretical work on synthesizing diamond by mechanically removing/adding hydrogen atoms [45] and depositing carbon atoms [46][47][48][49][50][51] (a process known as mechanosynthesis). This work is slowly permeating the broader nanoscience community and is being critiqued. For instance, Peng et al. (2006)[52] (in the continuing research effort by Freitas, Merkle and their collaborators) reports that the most-studied mechanosynthesis tooltip motif (DCB6Ge) successfully places a C2 carbon dimer on a C(110) diamond surface at both 300K (room temperature) and 80K (liquid nitrogen temperature), and that the silicon variant (DCB6Si) also works at 80K but not at 300K. Over 100,000 CPU hours were invested in this latest study. The DCB6 tooltip motif, initially described by Merkle and Freitas at a Foresight Conference in 2002, was the first complete tooltip ever proposed for diamond mechanosynthesis and remains the only tooltip motif that has been successfully simulated for its intended function on a full 200-atom diamond surface.

The tooltips modeled in this work are intended to be used only in carefully controlled environments (e.g., vacuum). Maximum acceptable limits for tooltip translational and rotational misplacement errors are reported in Peng et al. (2006) — tooltips must be positioned with great accuracy to avoid bonding the dimer incorrectly. Peng et al. (2006) reports that increasing the handle thickness from 4 support planes of C atoms above the tooltip to 5 planes decreases the resonance frequency of the entire structure from 2.0THz to 1.8THz. More importantly, the vibrational footprints of a DCB6Ge tooltip mounted on a 384-atom handle and of the same tooltip mounted on a similarly constrained but much larger 636-atom “crossbar” handle are virtually identical in the non-crossbar directions. Additional computational studies modeling still bigger handle structures are welcome, but the ability to precisely position SPM tips to the requisite atomic accuracy has been repeatedly demonstrated experimentally at low temperature,[53][54] or even at room temperature[55][56] constituting a basic existence proof for this capability.

Further research[57] to consider additional tooltips will require time-consuming computational chemistry and difficult laboratory work.

A working nanofactory would require a variety of well-designed tips for different reactions, and detailed analyses of placing atoms on more complicated surfaces. Although this appears a challenging problem given current resources, many tools will be available to help future researchers: Moore’s Law predicts further increases in computer power, semiconductor fabrication techniques continue to approach the nanoscale, and researchers grow ever more skilled at using proteins, ribosomes and DNA to perform novel chemistry.

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