Posts Tagged ‘Philosophy’

A Parable About Roofing

November 27, 2009

A parent and their child live in a house together. One day, the child comes across the parent, working on the house’s roof.

“What are you doing up there?” the child asks.

“I’m working on the roof, it needs fixing.” the parent says.

“But,” the child says, confused, “You don’t know anything about how to fix a roof.”

“Be that as it may, someone needs to fix the roof and it might as well be me.”

“I think we should get a roofer to do it,” the child says. “So get down from there before you fall or something!”

The parent huffs stubbornly, “We can’t trust a roofer. They could do shoddy work or overcharge us and we’d never know until it was too late.”

“Well,” the child says, “We can do it ourselves, I guess, but we need to learn what we need to do first. Let’s go to the library and look up how to roof a house.”

“Nope!” the parent says. “Can’t do that.”


“Because the books on roofing are all biased towards what roofers think.”

The child says, “Well… yes? Books about roofing are written by roofers.”

“Ah-ha!” the parent says triumphantly, standing upright on the roof, swaying slightly in the breeze. “You see? It’s all biased towards roofers, instead of us everyday folk who can’t roof a house!”

“But why not learn to roof the house so you can know what you’re doing!?” the child yells, exasperated.

“But I do know what I’m doing!” the parent said.

“You asked a roofer how to do it?”


“Oh, so you already read a roofing book.”

“Of course not!”

”…You got on the internet and found a guide?”


“Okay, I give up.”

The parent states proudly, “I joined The Nonroofer Organization.”

“The what?”

“The Nonroofer Organization. We’re a bunch of people who don’t know how to  roof houses, advocating for the right to be able to roof our houses without roofers telling us what to do! Roofing freedom for all!”

“I, uh… but… Now my brain hurts.” the child says, eyes closed and fingers massaging temples. “But what if you screw up and the roof collapses or something?”

“Risk is a necessary part of freedom,” the parent says, looking towards the horizon. “It’s just something we all have to accept.”

“But I don’t want the roof to collapse on me!” the child says.

“Don’t worry, it won’t collapse, I’ll do this right.”

“No you won’t! You don’t know what you’re doing! You’ll make the roof collapse and squish us!”

“Hey, I told you not to worry – I’m trusting my gut, and I’m trusting God, and that should be enough.”

“Uh…” the child says, “Can I spend the night at a friend’s house?”


What’s the opposite of a P-zombie?

May 16, 2009

If it is possible for a thing to have all the physical trappings of consciousness, and yet lack consciousness (the definition of a P-zombie), then it seems to me that something can have none of those trappings and yet still possess consciousness.

Thusly, I postulate the possibility of the sentient inanimate object:

-Given that there exists a nonphysical state for objects unrelated to its’ physical state,

-Thus that an object’s physical state is irrelevant to its’ nonphysical state,

-And that ‘consciousness’ is to be considered such a nonphysical attribute,

-Thus that an object’s physical state is irrelevant to the fact of its’ consciousness,

Thus, any concievable object may be conscious.

-Furthermore, that since physical states can give no indication of nonphysical states (as the nonphysical state is unrelated),

Thus, any concievable object is as likely to be conscious as any other concievable object.

I dub an inanimate, yet still conscious, object to be a “P-spirit” (EDIT: For religious compatibility, “Little God” is also acceptable).

So, non-physicalists, next time you cook your food, be sure to thank the oven. Methinks it’d be rude to do otherwise.