The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of; An Introduction to Ontology

Presentation to the May 2007 Melbourne Philosophy Forum

1.1. Ontology (from the Hellenic onto~ (being) and logos (science, study, theory) is the study of being and existence. It can be considered, along with logic and epistemology, one of the three core components of philosophy as a discipline.

Logic in Philosophy: Formal and Rhetorical

Presentation to the Philosophy Forum, April 22, 2007

1.1 Logic comes from the classic Greek logos (meaning 'word', 'reason' or 'principle'). It is concerned with the validity of inference and demonstration. It is a key component of philosophy along with epistemology and ontology. Logic establishes the correctness of argumentation and judgement[1], almost invariably with deductive reasoning from given axioms. Its greatest strength is the ability to uncover fallacies and its greatest challenge is paradoxes.

What Is Philosophy? Universal and Rational

Presentation to The Philosophy Forum, March 22, 2007

1.1 The word itself is of Greek origin: philosophía is a compound of phílos (friend, or lover) and sophía (wisdom). Major historical traditions include Classical philosophy, Religious Philosophy and Modern Philosophy.1

1.2 All definitions of philosophy are controversial and applications are always historically grounded. Some principles however include:

The Future of Planet Earth

Dedication

This presentation is dedicated to the Chinese Yangtze river dolphin (also known as "the goddess of Yangtze") which, as of several weeks ago, is now "functionally extinct" [1] following a six week survey that resulted in 0 sightings. The species declined over decades due to a variety of causes, including the building of the Three Gorges Dam, environmental degradation, loss of food supply in the river, electric fishing, noise pollution hunting by humans, and collisions with ships.

It had previously been on the planet for over twenty million years.

Devils, Pagan Gods and Polyhedrons

Introduction

This presentation is an elaboration of a talk given in August last year at the Melbourne Unitarian Church on “Role Playing and Religion”. That particular presentation concentrated on the reaction of fundamentalist Christian organisations and individuals to such games. It also provided a convenient opportunity to explain to the congregation what some of their members and others were doing every Sunday after the service.

Rationalist and Liberal Prospects in Islam

Purpose of the Presentation

The Story of Francis David and King John Sigismund: The Establishment of the Transylvanian Unitarian Church

Introduction

Many Unitarian references note in passing the works of Francis David, the founder of the Hungarian Unitarians and the proclamation of Edict of Torda by King John Sigismund Zapolya II, the first time religious freedom was established in modern Europe. These events of the second half of the sixteenth century are however a fascinating story, deserving of more attention, and provide some valuable insights for the treatment and expression of religious views today.

Logic in Philosophy

Presentation to The Philosophy Forum, April 18, 2007

1.1 Logic comes from the classic Greek logos (meaning 'word', 'reason' or 'principle'). It is concerned with the validity of inference and demonstration. It is a key component of philosophy along with epistemology and ontology. Logic establishes the correctness of argumentation and judgement[1], almost invariably with deductive reasoning from given axioms. Its greatest strength is the ability to uncover fallacies and its greatest challenge is paradoxes.

Role Playing and Religion

Role Playing at the Melbourne Unitarian Church

In recent months a group of individuals have been meeting at the Melbourne Unitarian Church on Sunday afternoons. To the casual observer their actions may initially seem a little strange. Apparently the participants are engaged in some sort of game that involves strange-looking dice. Spend a little more time and they seem to be engaged in an improvised radio drama, describing the actions of characters that they adopt to a setting and circumstances. These actions do not seem occur automatically however, as they often refer to thick and numerous rule books which provide a simulation model for the proposed activities.

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