Positor's Poems

All things related to Art! Poetry, painting, literature, visual, theater, movies, tv, music, media, culture, etc. Share your creativity or others', reviews, aesthetic theories, etc.

Positor's Poems

Postby Positor on March 23rd, 2012, 8:06 pm 

Sonnet: Two Paths to Enlightenment

As natural philosophy progressed
And rigorous procedures were evolved,
The method of hypothesis and test
Bore fruit, and age-old mysteries were solved.
But metaphysics was beset by gloom;
It had no clinching arguments to hand.
The brisk, no-nonsense views of David Hume
Competed with Kant's theories, dense but grand.
Plain realism clashed with the sublime,
And still produced no obvious advance –
A pass that has continued in our time
With charlatans from Germany and France.
For knowledge, then, and practical appliance,
The brightest brains prefer careers in science.
Positor
Active Member
 
Posts: 1005
Joined: 05 Feb 2010
Marshall liked this post


Comments by other posters on Positor's verse

Postby Marshall on March 23rd, 2012, 10:29 pm 

COMMENT on Sonnet: Two Paths to Enlightenment

Positor wrote:As natural philosophy progressed
And rigorous procedures were evolved,
The method of hypothesis and test
Bore fruit, and age-old mysteries were solved.
But metaphysics was beset by gloom;
It had no clinching arguments to hand.
The brisk, no-nonsense views of David Hume
Competed with Kant's theories, dense but grand.
Plain realism clashed with the sublime,
And still produced no obvious advance –
A pass that has continued in our time
With charlatans from Germany and France.
For knowledge, then, and practical appliance,
The brightest brains prefer careers in science.


I like this a lot. I just plain like the sonnet form, especially when put to good use like this. The account of history has the qualities of truth and conciseness that make the final couplet forceful.
Nice work.

You had the choice of brains vs minds, and you chose the former, which has alliteration on the B.
But had you chosen minds you would have a nice chiming repetition of the long I vowell:

the brIghtest mInds prefer careers in scIence

You probably thought of it both ways, it's a trade-off. You might reconsider though.

I actually think that my mind is more than just my brain. What makes my mind is partly the other people around me, the daily discussions available to me, the secure environment, diet, exercise. If you kept my brain the same but changed my circumstances I might be LESS bright and I might have different PREFERENCES including if I were younger about career-related stuff. I think of my mind as a PROCESS that is mostly supported by the organ of my brain but is also sustained and determined in part by other stuff.
So I would say that my mind is what would prefer careers in science, and people in science, rather than my brain.

But brain is OK, the final couplet is strong either way. This way you get the alliteration so maybe that's best.

For me the postmodern deconstructionists who treat science as another mythology or "hegemony" or something---they are the charlatans I think of. But there were also the densely abstruse 19th century German metaphysics guys. You might mean them. Who was it who spoke of "the accursed fecundity of metaphysics"? I'm a bit sketchy on my hist. of phil. (to say the least.) It might be those other charlatans that you were referring to.
User avatar
Marshall
Honored Member
 
Posts: 7916
Joined: 17 Oct 2006


The Philosophy of Religion: A Poem

Postby Positor on November 10th, 2012, 10:40 pm 

It's said that God eludes the grasp
Of Man's imperfect mind;
That his transcendent qualities
Can never be defined.
Smart theologians reconcile
This fact through paradox,
While priests dispense with theory, and
Preach dogma to their flocks.

Theist philosophers, when asked:
"What do you mean by 'God'?"
Reply: "He is ineffable;
We find your question odd".
The skeptic says: "Well, in that case,
He can't be proved by logic".
"Of course not", comes the smug retort,
In manner pedagogic.

"So", the believers carry on,
"If logic cannot cope,
There must be something complex there
(You get our point, we hope).
Non-being's simple, for it has
No attributes to list;
Since this does not apply to God,
He must, therefore, exist".

"What question-begging balderdash!"
The atheist replies.
"One stroke of Occam's Razor must
Result in God's demise."
Agnostics of assorted kinds –
Don't-knows, don't-cares, and others –
Chip in, as do the humanists
Who say all men are brothers.

And so the great debate rolls on:
"Religion – truth or fable?"
The doctrines of conflicting faiths
Exacerbate this Babel.
Some bloggers bandy Darwin's name;
Some mention Kant or Nietzsche.
Ah! such disputes will always be
A widespread human feature.
Positor
Active Member
 
Posts: 1005
Joined: 05 Feb 2010
Marshall liked this post


Re: The Philosophy of Religion: A Poem

Postby Marshall on November 10th, 2012, 11:11 pm 

This is a skillful and witty bit of rhyming!
I sense an enigmatic smile at the end: Someone in the UK might say "FEE-CHUH" to rhyme with Nietzsche and there are Midwest Americans who, if they had heard of the German philosopher, might well pronounce his name "NEE-CHER" to rhyme with feature.
Positor wrote:It's said that God eludes the grasp
Of Man's imperfect mind;
That his transcendent qualities
Can never be defined.
Smart theologians reconcile
This fact through paradox,
While priests dispense with theory, and
Preach dogma to their flocks.

Theist philosophers, when asked:
"What do you mean by 'God'?"
Reply: "He is ineffable;
We find your question odd".
The skeptic says: "Well, in that case,
He can't be proved by logic".
"Of course not", comes the smug retort,
In manner pedagogic.

"So", the believers carry on,
"If logic cannot cope,
There must be something complex there
(You get our point, we hope).
Non-being's simple, for it has
No attributes to list;
Since this does not apply to God,
He must, therefore, exist".

"What question-begging balderdash!"
The atheist replies.
"One stroke of Occam's Razor must
Result in God's demise."
Agnostics of assorted kinds –
Don't-knows, don't-cares, and others –
Chip in, as do the humanists
Who say all men are brothers.

And so the great debate rolls on:
"Religion – truth or fable?"
The doctrines of conflicting faiths
Exacerbate this Babel.
Some bloggers bandy Darwin's name;
Some mention Kant or Nietzsche.
Ah! such disputes will always be
A widespread human feature.


I'm curious, Positor. When did you accomplish this? I assume it is your work. I've never seen it before.
User avatar
Marshall
Honored Member
 
Posts: 7916
Joined: 17 Oct 2006


Re: The Philosophy of Religion: A Poem

Postby Serpent on November 11th, 2012, 12:53 am 

Kudos! I enjoyed that - and not a mean word!
Serpent
Resident Member
 
Posts: 2579
Joined: 24 Dec 2011


Re: The Philosophy of Religion: A Poem

Postby BadgerJelly on November 11th, 2012, 4:21 am 

That was very nice! ENCORE!
User avatar
BadgerJelly
Resident Member
 
Posts: 4593
Joined: 14 Mar 2012


Re: The Philosophy of Religion: A Poem

Postby Positor on November 11th, 2012, 8:42 am 

Marshall wrote:I'm curious, Positor. When did you accomplish this? I assume it is your work.

Yes. I composed it yesterday, actually. I was reading an article in a philosophy magazine, which gave an unconvincing argument for God's existence. I thought I could sum it up in a poem, which I then expanded to cover the general topic of religious belief and non-belief.
Positor
Active Member
 
Posts: 1005
Joined: 05 Feb 2010


Re: The Philosophy of Religion: A Poem

Postby Whut on November 11th, 2012, 10:41 am 

5*
Whut
Active Member
 
Posts: 1065
Joined: 10 Sep 2010


Re: The Philosophy of Religion: A Poem

Postby DragonFly on November 11th, 2012, 5:58 pm 

Hail Positor!

The poem covers it all. There is the conclusion of ‘God’ already used as an input to its proof, as the horse before the cart, which only tells of what God isn’t (effable) instead of what He is, since dogma admits no contest.

A simple stroke of the razor cuts out complexity as being the First, but the believers’ template claim life must come from Life; however, they forgot about then Life requiring LIFE and threw their question-begging template right out of their stained glass window.
User avatar
DragonFly
Resident Member
 
Posts: 2171
Joined: 04 Aug 2012


Re: The Philosophy of Religion: A Poem

Postby Dave_Oblad on November 12th, 2012, 11:56 pm 

I agree, excellent work Positor!

Bravo & Regards,
Dave :^)
User avatar
Dave_Oblad
Resident Member
 
Posts: 3213
Joined: 08 Sep 2010
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Blog: View Blog (2)


Re: The Philosophy of Religion: A Poem

Postby Marshall on December 5th, 2012, 3:08 pm 

Positor's poem seems to have met with general approval. I didn't want it to drift down the menu and get hard to find so I made it a sticky. It can be a pleasure to go back to and read again from time to time.
User avatar
Marshall
Honored Member
 
Posts: 7916
Joined: 17 Oct 2006


On Philosophical Method

Postby Positor on December 26th, 2012, 4:14 pm 

I relish the challenge of wacky ideas;
I'll probe any theory to check it coheres.
I won't dismiss angels or backward causation,
Infinity, thought waves, or even Creation;
I'll ponder each premise, no matter how subtle,
Until I've produced a convincing rebuttal.

I trust that Existence adheres to strict rules,
Which humans may seek with sharp reasoning tools.
We may not succeed in our ultimate quest,
But that's no excuse for not trying our best.
If Data and Logic advance hand in hand,
The bounds of our knowledge will surely expand;
And let us consider the unorthodox,
The better to loosen conceptual blocks.

Some types of philosopher shun this approach;
They waffle, and hate to let Reason encroach
Upon their unqualified relativism,
Which views simple facts through a scattering prism.
They see True and False as in no way distinct,
And scoff at Reduction, for "all things are linked".
With such scorn for Method, how can we progress?
I think my approach has more chance of success.

So this is the principle which I hold dear:
Please keep your mind open, but make your thoughts clear.
Positor
Active Member
 
Posts: 1005
Joined: 05 Feb 2010
Marshall liked this post


Re: Poem: On Philosophical Method

Postby Marshall on December 27th, 2012, 1:40 am 

It's a rare skill to be able to combine wit, an instructive message, and metric perfection.

If I were reading or reciting this poem in company, I would put stress on the FIRST syllable of
unorthodox.
That is, I would read unorthodox in an unorthodox way: un or tho dox.

that's a nice little twist in its own right, IMHO.

All the other lines seem to fall into a natural pattern of
Iamb, anapest, anapest, anapest
*@, **@, **@, **@

I relish the chal lenge of wacky ideas

They see True and False as in no way distinct,

And let us consider the unorthodox,
User avatar
Marshall
Honored Member
 
Posts: 7916
Joined: 17 Oct 2006


Poem: Mathematical Reality

Postby Positor on February 6th, 2013, 9:26 pm 

If I told you that Existence and the Universe aren't physical,
You'd ask if I was kidding, or at least look highly quizzical,
And if I then proceeded to say all is mathematics,
You'd snort with disbelief, but praise my mental acrobatics.

There is a recent theory, though, that things in their totality
Are solved equations, which do not describe, but are, reality.
Mind-shattering complexity reflects their cosmic scope;
We couldn't fully reproduce them in our wildest hope.

And yet, if we had knowledge to the ultimate degree,
We'd find that they amount to everything we hear and see.
They're perfectly defined, admitting nothing vague or random,
Because they're made of numbers and combining rules in tandem.

All these equations must exist, and have no need of God;
They constitute their own computer, though that may seem odd;
They don't require to be conceived by Man or other creatures;
They just sit there eternally as necessary features.

Now, whether this convinces you depends on your ontology;
You may, for instance, challenge it for reasons of theology.
The skeptics will declare the base assumptions unreliable;
Empiricists may claim the theory's quite unfalsifiable.

Should I proclaim it nonsense on conservatives' behalf?
Or will the Oblads and the Tegmarks have the final laugh?
Positor
Active Member
 
Posts: 1005
Joined: 05 Feb 2010
Dave_Oblad liked this post


Re: Poem: Mathematical Reality

Postby Marshall on February 6th, 2013, 10:29 pm 

You might like this. :-D
Bee is one of my favorite people.
http://backreaction.blogspot.com/2007/0 ... -part.html
User avatar
Marshall
Honored Member
 
Posts: 7916
Joined: 17 Oct 2006


Re: Poem: Mathematical Reality

Postby mtbturtle on February 6th, 2013, 10:37 pm 

Very nice. Pythagoras would approve :)
User avatar
mtbturtle
Banned User
 
Posts: 10229
Joined: 16 Dec 2005


Re: Poem: Mathematical Reality

Postby Dave_Oblad on February 6th, 2013, 11:12 pm 

Hi Positor,

Very.. Very.. Very.. good!

Haw, haw, haw, haw.....

That was me having a final laugh ;^P

Best wishes,
Dave :^)
User avatar
Dave_Oblad
Resident Member
 
Posts: 3213
Joined: 08 Sep 2010
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Blog: View Blog (2)


Re: Poem: Mathematical Reality

Postby Lomax on February 7th, 2013, 1:11 am 

Haha, love it Positor :) I always enjoyed Lucretius 'cause he could tell an interesting tale without even having a protagonist. You have the same knack, I feel.
User avatar
Lomax
Forum Administrator
 
Posts: 3502
Joined: 01 Jul 2010
Location: Nuneaton, UK


Re: Poem: Mathematical Reality

Postby DragonFly on February 7th, 2013, 9:51 am 

Good one.

I stayed up all night, doing the math for the equation of eternity, and so far I have:

1 + (-1) = 0
User avatar
DragonFly
Resident Member
 
Posts: 2171
Joined: 04 Aug 2012


The Philosopher's Dream

Postby Positor on February 24th, 2013, 9:24 am 

I saw the world dissolve, and in its place
Appeared a numinous, effulgent face
Whose name was Truth;
With plaintive plea it bade me heed its homily,
Declaring Man a localized anomaly
It deemed uncouth.

And while it spoke, the dusky ether teemed;
Quanta of meaning physically streamed,
With contrails glowing.
The grave locutor called me to attention,
And told me of a network of Dimension
Beyond my knowing.

"Dear thinker", it intoned, "your mathematics
Are limited to juvenile quadratics
And schoolroom surds.
You cannot grasp the Transcendental Rule,
Which would defeat the wit of Gauss or Boole,
Through signs or words.

"Permit me, though, to say that Space and Time
Are side-effects of something more sublime.
It may be solved
By humans if they finally attain
The necessary wisdom, when their brain
Is more evolved."

I sighed in wonderment, alloyed with gloom,
For such a revelation seemed to doom
My lifetime search;
I understood why those with lofty aims
Seize on the grand but unsupported claims
One hears in church.

And then, amid the data-streams so bright,
I spied a hair-thin grid of laser light,
Or so I thought.
Its lines formed curious polyhedral sections,
Which the dynamic pattern of reflections
Served to distort.

"Those filaments", the spirit-face explained,
"Allow co-ordinates to be obtained
In 7D.
For in this awesome, vast and complex realm,
Geometry can even overwhelm
Great gods like me."

At every junction of the lucent net,
Some symbols from an alien alphabet
Dimly appeared.
I asked myself if I was really seeing
The key to some exalted plane of Being –
It was too weird!

But suddenly the whole perplexing scene
Fragmented into pixels on a screen,
Then faded out...
Though still I probe the riddle of Existence,
I now suspect the fruits of such persistence
Must be in doubt.
Positor
Active Member
 
Posts: 1005
Joined: 05 Feb 2010
Marshall liked this post


Re: The Philosopher's Dream

Postby Gregorygregg1 on February 24th, 2013, 10:07 am 

Nice
Doubt is our treasure and our curse because doubt leads to learning, and learning leads to doubt. In an infinitely complex universe there is no end to either.
User avatar
Gregorygregg1
Resident Member
 
Posts: 2078
Joined: 16 May 2012
Location: The center of the universe


Re: The Philosopher's Dream

Postby Obvious Leo on February 24th, 2013, 8:13 pm 

Congratulations Positor. A thoughtful piece of work.

Regards Leo
Obvious Leo
Resident Member
 
Posts: 3146
Joined: 30 Oct 2012
Blog: View Blog (4)


Re: The Philosopher's Dream

Postby Percarus on March 6th, 2013, 10:15 am 

Was this a real occurence or is it all a metaphor? Is the spirit-face a true spirit? Was it really a physical supernatural experience or just a realization?
User avatar
Percarus
Banned User
 
Posts: 787
Joined: 16 Dec 2008
Location: Perth - Australia
Blog: View Blog (4)


Re: The Philosopher's Dream

Postby Positor on March 6th, 2013, 9:41 pm 

In the poem, I imagine a philosopher falling asleep with his/her mind full of different philosophical and scientific theories about the nature of the universe. These become mixed together in a vivid dream. On waking, the philosopher realises that the images were not real, but they nevertheless impress upon him/her that the range of possibilities is so great that we may never be able to fathom ultimate reality.
Positor
Active Member
 
Posts: 1005
Joined: 05 Feb 2010


Re: The Philosopher's Dream

Postby Percarus on March 7th, 2013, 8:18 am 

On my book, 'Advances Philosophy Book!', all the experiences are real, so I thought I'd ask. I am up to page 100 of a new book of which I am working on a lot. I was hoping to obtain feedback on the first one so that I would be aware if I should publish this new improved different book.
User avatar
Percarus
Banned User
 
Posts: 787
Joined: 16 Dec 2008
Location: Perth - Australia
Blog: View Blog (4)


Re: The Evolution of Ignorance

Postby Positor on April 14th, 2013, 7:38 am 

The cerebral primate, the questioning ape,
By will, wile and wisdom resolved to escape
The age-old routine of arboreal strife
And ventured towards a more purposeful life.

Across the savanna, persistent and bold,
Through desert and marshland, through tempest and cold,
We hunted and bred, and placated our gods
(A vital precaution for beating the odds).

The centuries passed, and we spread round the globe
And ever continued to query and probe;
The stars were exploited for magical arts,
And catalogued later with accurate charts.

Ad hoc explanations of natural facts
In terms of pure chance, or a deity's acts,
Gave way to grand theories, and greater reliance
On regular laws of empirical science.

We now possess data on issues as grand
As whether the cosmos will always expand
Till Time itself dies in the final dispersal,
Or whether we'll see a dramatic reversal.

Though saints' revelations and oracles' trances
Have sometimes retarded our wondrous advances,
Such tiresome diversions can never quite stall
The gain in our knowledge of things large and small.

Despite our assured individual death,
We look to the future while still we draw breath
And fervently hope that our species survives,
To give lasting meaning to previous lives.
Positor
Active Member
 
Posts: 1005
Joined: 05 Feb 2010
Marshall liked this post


Re: The Philosophy of Religion: A Poem

Postby Marshall on June 10th, 2013, 11:12 pm 

Things tend to get scattered and hard to find after a while. Since there seems to be general approval of his rhymed verses, I'll tack on a few more Positors, while I still know where to find them.
User avatar
Marshall
Honored Member
 
Posts: 7916
Joined: 17 Oct 2006


Re: The Philosophy of Religion: A Poem

Postby Marshall on June 10th, 2013, 11:19 pm 

From Odds and Ends:
"Humanity can be divided broadly into two"
by Positor


Humanity can be divided broadly into two:
The folk who cherish certainty and guard a settled view,
And those who probe disputed points in search of synthesis;
Both types are represented on discussion boards like this.

Consider first the dogmatists, who can be further split
Into the would-be saints and seers who thrive on holy writ
And confident contrarians who circumvent hard queries
With notions that the mods reject and shunt into "Alt Theories".

Apologists of faith may harp on ancient myths or quarrels,
Condemn the modern world in terms of antiquated morals,
Anathematize reason as a tactic of the Devil,
Or put forth other statements at that qualitative level.

The mavericks – the ones who scorn the physics paradigm –
Incur the wrath of scientists for wasting precious time:
"All tests have proved you wrong, so there is really no excuse...
Go on, then, show your formulae. You can't? Oh, what's the use!"

In contrast, honest thinkers read, revise and ruminate;
No inference is final, no result beyond debate.
The world's a complicated place, and open-minded teachers
Can offer more enlightenment than cocksure public preachers.
User avatar
Marshall
Honored Member
 
Posts: 7916
Joined: 17 Oct 2006


Re: The Philosophy of Religion: A Poem

Postby Marshall on June 10th, 2013, 11:32 pm 

Topical stanzas on the world theory of Leo, from Odds and Ends:
"Can Leo's unorthodox theories"
by Positor

Can Leo's unorthodox theories
Stand up to hard physicists' queries?
Will his claims be deemed mystic
And quaintly artistic,
Like DragonFly's poetry series?

If Leo could give, on occasion,
A neat algebraic equation,
Such detail perhaps
Might impress those dull chaps
Of a strictly empiric persuasion.

So now let us cut to the chase:
Which claims have no factual base?
Are any confounded
(Not merely ungrounded)
By tests that investigate space?
User avatar
Marshall
Honored Member
 
Posts: 7916
Joined: 17 Oct 2006


Re: The Philosophy of Religion: A Poem

Postby Marshall on June 10th, 2013, 11:48 pm 

From Odds and Ends:
"The cerebral primate, the questioning ape"
by Positor

The cerebral primate, the questioning ape,
By will, wile and wisdom resolved to escape
The age-old routine of arboreal strife
And ventured towards a more purposeful life.

Across the savanna, persistent and bold,
Through desert and marshland, through tempest and cold,
We hunted and bred, and placated our gods
(A vital precaution for beating the odds).

The centuries passed, and we spread round the globe
And ever continued to query and probe;
The stars were exploited for magical arts,
And catalogued later with accurate charts.

Ad hoc explanations of natural facts
In terms of pure chance, or a deity's acts,
Gave way to grand theories, and greater reliance
On regular laws of empirical science.

We now possess data on issues as grand
As whether the cosmos will always expand
Till Time itself dies in the final dispersal,
Or whether we'll see a dramatic reversal.

Though saints' revelations and oracles' trances
Have sometimes retarded our wondrous advances,
Such tiresome diversions can never quite stall
The gain in our knowledge of things large and small.

Despite our assured individual death,
We look to the future while still we draw breath
And fervently hope that our species survives,
To give lasting meaning to previous lives.
User avatar
Marshall
Honored Member
 
Posts: 7916
Joined: 17 Oct 2006


Next

Return to Art

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests