Reason, emotion and motivation

Imagine you’re in a restaurant, reading the menu and trying to decide what you’re gonna eat when magically, all of a sudden, you loose all your emotions and become a purely rational person. You become incapable of feeling fear, sadness, happiness, of suffering or feeling pleasure. You still have your senses, but even if you eat and feel a good taste, it won’t please you anymore. It won’t really feel good anymore. Actually, the word “good” will loose its meaning in your new universe, once nothing brings pleasure. If something touches you, you notice it, but there is no feeling of pleasure or pain. Even if you get hurt and feel what you used to call “pain”, it won’t bother you anymore. Under these conditions, what do you think you’d do? Continue reading

Determinism and free will

John Wayne Gacy (1942 – 1994), also known as “the killer clown”, was an American serial killer sentenced and executed for the rape and murder of 33 boys and young men between 1972 and his capture in 1978.

As we well know, John was the fruit of a sexual encounter between a man and a woman. Let’s imagine, however, that on the day of this encounter, as the sperm cell met the egg, the life that started forming in the woman’s womb was yours, instead of John’s. Continue reading

Moralism and Religious Intolerance

Atheists are often accused of arrogance and prejudice against religions. Sentences like “Each to their own”, “What is the problem with believing in God?”, “Religion is personal” are always used to defend religion. In this text I explain the cause to my opposing religion and how, in some cases, the mere existence of religious persons may have negative consequences to the construction of a just and equalitarian society. Continue reading

Why Ghostless Machine?

Many people wonder where the name of the blog comes from. The terms “ghost” and “machine” were taken from a metaphor that Descartes used to symbolize the dualism (body/ “soul”) which he defended. He believed that the body worked like a machine, “had the material properties of extension and movement”, and followed the laws of physics. The mind (“soul”/ “spirit”), however, was described as a non-material entity which didn’t conform to natural laws. Continue reading