Philosophy - Metaphysics


One of the great things about the current age is that you can return to a university and do additional courses in subject areas of interest like Philosophy rather than those needed to earn a living whenever you feel like it (and have the time) over the Internet. With the benefit of age, experience and hindsight a lot of the metaphysics arguments can be quite amusing.

One thing is for sure most of the philosophical concepts have changed and evolved with modern knowledge and concepts obtained since the start of the Enlightenment. God is out and science is in and I'm quite thankful about that as a supernatural being looking over my shoulder all the time is a nuisance and an invasion of privacy.

If he/she/it is omniscient then he/she/it knows what I'm going to do anyway so why bother watching me. Of course that means that I have no free will and I am just a puppet on a string and he/she/it wants me to write stuff denying the existence of him/her/it. Errrr... logic error.

My society, the Advanced New Age Union of Scientific Experts in Unequivocal Metaphysics (adNAUSEUM) will feature some of my philosophical ramblings.

You can get a taste of these from the list in the menu to the right.


The Brain in the Vat is a common concept to those interested in how the mind works. The question is asked what if a brain was separated from a persons body and placed in a container where it had life support. We then connect it through its sensory nerve connections to an avatar in an artificial computer created world.

Would it know the difference between being alive in physical body in a physical world and that of the avatar body in the computer simulated world. The concept has been examined in movies such as the Matrix.

The Brain in the Vat Has Strings Attached is my send up of the concept.



The Cave of Shadows is an allegory which has often been used to illustrate the concept of deception. We live in a world of deception do this or that and the truth will be revealed to you generally by a religion and supernatural beings. The question of course is there are several choices and which reality being revealed is true. Perhaps none of them, perhaps all of them in different ways. My story the Cave of Decisions begins where the Cave of Shadows ends.

Deception is interesting as the world is full of it. Lies, dam lies and statistics. Do you believe a car salesman? Do you tell your partner the truth? She says 'Does my bum look big in this dress.' You say 'Of course not my darling.' but believe otherwise.

Perhaps the most interesting type of deception is self deception as here we fool ourselves into believing something that can often be proven logically to be untrue. My essay Are We Deceiving Ourselvesn is an attempt to examine self deception in a philosophical way. Hope you like it.

What is real and what is illusion? Is all we see just a supernatural inspired deception. Is reality nothing more than an illusion in our minds. What is reality anyway. How can we know what is real and what is not. Well science has been very useful in answering this question. My essay Does Scientific Realism Model Reality? will possibly answer some of your questions.

By choosing to use knowledge gained by scientific enquiry rather than edicts from fictional gods we are empowered to make our own decisions on how we live out lives. My essay on Is Science a Belief not a Faith examines the real difference between religion and science. One is based on supernatural fantasy the other is based upon valid rational fact.

My essay on the significance of fear on the evolution of society entitled How Has Fear Changed the World is likely to give you some food for thought.

Can Religion and Democracy coexist? In many ways their ideals clash. Secular democracy provides a solution to coexistance but can it be achieved? My discussion on Why is Religion Opposed to Secular Democracy examines the issue.

Beauty has been considered by ancient philosophers and poets as being divine. A form of perfection given to us by some supernatural entity. What if it has a more natural origin. My essay Can Science Explain Beauty examines this concept.

I hope you enjoy this section of the site and it made you think. These offerings are just a start. There are many more issues to explore and these will be placed here in due course.

Des Pensable

Last Updated 7th January, 2017

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Selected mischief


Brain in a Vat Concept has Strings Attached

A What if ... satire of the classical concept of teh brain in the Vat.

The Cave of Decisions

This one is more serious satire- its an allegory about an allegory.

Are You Deceiving Yourself?

A serious look at self deception from a philosophical and behavioral point of view by Des.

Does Scientific Realism Model Reality?

A serious philosophical view of our current understand of science that leaves little room for belief in the supernatural.

Is Science a Belief or a Faith?

A philosophical view on the differences between religion and science

Can Science Explain Beauty?

Science versus philosophy on beauty

How Has Fear Shaped the World?

A speculative philosophical view on the evolution of our society through fear, religion and science.

Why is Religion Opposed to Secular Democracy?

A speculative philosophical view on whether democracy and religion can coexist.

Does Social Media Increase Our Ignorance in the Current Post Truth World?

Is all the false news around is doing us harm?

What is a Thought?

Cogito ergo sum which means I think therefore I am. These are the famous words of Descartes a 17th century philosopher about something very familiar to us all and that is thinking. If we are thinking and self aware then we are alive and know that we are alive. Wow seems intuitive.

But what exactly is a thought? Is it an image of something, a concept, a meme, a question, an answer, a decision, an idea, a trigger to or from an emotion or action, a zeroth dimensional entity in space time or perhaps all of these.

What is thinking? Is it just a sequence of thoughts. Do we have control of it or does it just ramble along changing direction as we are stimulated by those people and events around us.

Do our thoughts flow like scenes in a movie over which we have little control or are they more like the sights we see while driving along in the car. Each object we see while driving being analogous to a thought.

If we choose to travel down different roads and see different sights this then might be considered to be analogous to thinking differently and perhaps even having free will.

But is it? Do you really have a choice? We live in a society that imposes restrictions on everything you do and say, how you behave, where you should be or not be.

If you are born into a Christian, Muslim, Hindu or other type of religious family the odds are that will dictate how you think and act all your life because that is what is expected of you by your religion, family and peers.

You're a robot, an automaton that has been programmed to do what your society wants. You're a slave. You have to work until you're too old to work and then die as soon as possible as otherwise you're an inconvenience. You're like an ant in an ant colony !

Have you the courage to think freely? To ask questions? To consider the answers based on evidence and logic not hearsay. If you do then you should be writing to help others to be free thinking humans not automatons or slaves.

Just thinking about thinking makes you think doesn't it!

Who or what Influences your thoughts?