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Google CEO Schmidt Predicts End of Online Anonymity

Philosinfinity Re:This will not end well (591 comments)

Parent makes a valid, albeit snarky point. Someone needs to mod this up from Troll.

more than 3 years ago
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Magnetism Can Sway Man's Moral Compass

Philosinfinity Re:The difference? (586 comments)

Also, sorry about the lact of clarity. The conditional at the end of my first paragraph was meant as a separate thought. There were basically 3 types of scenarios I was attempting to demonstrate (1) No available action that excludes harm, (2) multiple options that exclude harm, and (3) accidental ethics or unintended consequences that may or may not cause harm.

more than 4 years ago
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Magnetism Can Sway Man's Moral Compass

Philosinfinity Re:The difference? (586 comments)

I would agree with this, also. Kant had issues in his appeal to intent based ethics in the first forumlation of his theory that an action is moral if it was performed in accordance with one's duty to Good Will. Personally, I don't believe in either intent based or consequentionalist based ethics. Nonetheless, the example still demonstrates the concept of accidentally moral acts.

more than 4 years ago
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Magnetism Can Sway Man's Moral Compass

Philosinfinity Re:The difference? (586 comments)

Completely agreed on the second part. However, the grandparent stated that an act is morally justified if it causes nobody harm. By this, I am infering that GP means if a given act to cause any individual harm, then it would be immoral.

more than 4 years ago
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Magnetism Can Sway Man's Moral Compass

Philosinfinity Re:Helm of Opposite Alignment (586 comments)

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Reletivism, whether cultural, individual, or otherwise, is a set of philosophical proposals that there are multiple acceptable and competing ethical evaluations based on whatever criteria the reletavist is using (culture is the most common). In the research given, it is not the case that the researchers are concluding that there are multiple acceptable moral values for a given action, but rather that forces can manipulate the expected response. If nothing else, all of the subjects were consistent in their answers and that consistency was purely consequentionalist with no appeal toward reletive ethics whatsoever. I've looked at a few of your posts before deciding whether to respond and after seeing you go after this reletivisim idea a few times, I felt compelled to seek some clarification.

more than 4 years ago
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Magnetism Can Sway Man's Moral Compass

Philosinfinity Re:Not going to RTFA; explain? (586 comments)

In this case, while it would be absurd to say that there could be reverse causality where the decrease in morality could cause a magnetic field in the area of the brain they are studying, it would not be absurd to state that the magnetism against that area of the brain causes something else which causes the drop in moral understanding. Outside the context of the cause in the middle, the magnetism itself would not cause the change in moral understanding. At least that's the way I am reading it. Overall, I think such a disclaimer should precede all scientific and statistical conclusions, as there is never true proof of causality.

more than 4 years ago
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Magnetism Can Sway Man's Moral Compass

Philosinfinity Re:The difference? (586 comments)

... and your argument would be wrong (no offense). Imagine a friend who is about to be killed. You could kill the would be killer and save your friend or you could let the scenario unfold naturally. Either choice causes harm by either allowing the death of a friend or causing the death of the killer. Even solid consequentionalists like Mill argued that when given a choice between actions, the moral road is not merely to minimize suffering but also to maximize happiness. Given for any choice that an action is either moral or not moral (law of the excluded middle), if two possible actions both yield no suffering or harm, then the moral choice is the action that then maximized happiness.

Again, that's if you believe all that utilitarian garbage. What consequentionalist ethics does not address is the "accidental moral choice" where an unintended consequence makes an immorally intended act moral. Imagine that you see an enemy on the street and you go to puch him in the face. You miss and knock out a guy who has your enemy held up at gunpoint. In effect, you've saved your enemy's life even though the intent was to cause harm. Clearly, this cannot be a moral act. By example, one can understand that purely reviewing the consequences of an action cannot define that action moral or immoral.

more than 4 years ago
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Amazon Pulls Purchased E-Book Copies of 1984 and Animal Farm

Philosinfinity Re:Stay away from the Kindle! (645 comments)

Quite incorrect. Atheism falls into two interpretations. Strong atheism is the affirmative belief that there is no god. Weak atheism is the lack of belief in God. Citation: Atheism: The Case Against God, Smith.

about 5 years ago
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GPS-Based System For Driving Tax Being Field Tested

Philosinfinity Re:Great Idea (891 comments)

Let's assume I get on a toll road and pay my $0.06/mile (roughly) which is a fee whose stated purpose is for maintenance, repair, and depreciation. Let's also assume that the mileage tax is in place, whose stated purpose is for maintenance, repair, and depreciation of the roadway. So, I drive 30 miles on the toll road, and pay about $1.80 in tolls. I then pay my $0.02/mile tax, which amounts to about $0.60.

Alright, so with the scenario laid out, two things should be glaringly obvious. First, the amount of money the mileage tax takes in, as a means of ensuring upkeep on the tollroad plus as a cost offset for the upkeep of significantly less traveled roads is 1/3 of what we pay in tolls. One has to wonder why the tollway needs 3X as much money to upkeep their roads. Second, government is excellent at implementing taxes and fees and other revenue generating schemes, but they are reluctant to get rid of such programs. Understanding that in all likelihood, I will be paying a toll and a tax that independently serve exact same purpose seems unreasonable.

about 5 years ago
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GPS-Based System For Driving Tax Being Field Tested

Philosinfinity Re:Great Idea (891 comments)

In Illinois, the tollway system was brought forth for initial construction of roads, only. The idea was that once tolls had paid for the road construction, the tollway would be given over to IDOT and tolls would be removed. However, with the realization of how much money could be genereated from tolls, they were kept in place citing utilization of toll funds for upkeep and maintenance. Considering this, I think your post brings up an interesting point. Besides all the other issues with this plan, do they expect me to pay for tolls plus a mileage tax for driving on the toll road? In essence, this would generate a dual taxation against the same mileage driven.

about 5 years ago
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College Threatens Students Over Email Addresses

Philosinfinity Re:This is stupid, but for different reasons. (452 comments)

... and the first sentence of the article reads

Santa Rosa Junior College is threatening to sue several hundred students and faculty members who have created private e-mail addresses that use the collegeâ(TM)s name without permission.

Now, it sounds to me like the cease and desist was sent to students and staff, not to the actual offending email addresses. In fact, this is supported a few paragraphs down...

The college offered little explanation when it announced the crackdown in e-mail messages sent to all faculty Tuesday and people it had identified as violators of its new policy.

In summary, you are wrong. Have a nice day.

more than 5 years ago
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Powerful Sonar Causes Deafness In Dolphins

Philosinfinity Re:Experiments like these... (323 comments)

I'm going to have to declare Offtopic here, and due to my lack of mod points, I will just declare it publicly here.

Your comparison isn't a good one. It would be like losing your vision for 40 minutes and wandering around with deep holes around for you to fall in. Once you're in those holes it's a fair chance you won't survive unless someone helps you out.

OP was examining the long term effects of this experiment on the dolphins being experimented on and not the short term effects of SONAR use in the wild. His comparison holds, as it does a better job illustrating the point OP was trying to make.

Anything that is used for prolonged periods (16 hours) is going to have detrimental effects on the mammals' methods of navigation. Why is it such a terrible crime that the Navy consider what damage it does to its surroundings? Not implying you, it's just their stance is TeRRorisM! our actions can't be hindered.

Again, I'm not quite sure how this is related to the OP whatsoever. The OP was denouncing the experiments not because he felt the Navy shouldn't be concerned, but rather because the unreasonably high dBs that the dolphins were being subjected to.

more than 5 years ago
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If We Have Free Will, Then So Do Electrons

Philosinfinity Re:Yawn. (610 comments)

I've always thought that the illusion of free will comes from a point you bring up, here. Kant argues that his ethical theory is grounded in reason, and that anyone who is reasonable will agree and those who are "defective" will not. However, the brain by its very nature is defective in both function and capacity. I think free will is merely a mental mechanism that we use to justify not performing the most ideal action in a given situation. Rather than giving into the idea that our imperfect brains make our bodies perform an action in a given circumstance (oftentimes leading to performing a bad act), the subjective nature of individualism doesn't allow us to seriously take this into account and instead uses the same subjective nature of choice to justify the action.

more than 5 years ago
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My handwriting ...

Philosinfinity Re:Mine is awful... (613 comments)

Just as an interesting aside, one of the more sensible ideas of gene function is as a "context sensitive difference maker." In this definition, genes don't code for anything by themselves, but only through environment do they allow for phenotypic expression. In the measles example you gave, the measles may have robbed the environment from something required for the genes that code hearing to express their phenotype.

Given that possibility, it would be interesting to determine if the thumbless person has a sequence that, given certain environmental conditions, does not express its phenotype or if there is a sequence actively coding the lack of thumbs given a certain environment.

more than 5 years ago
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Philosophy and Computer Science Revisited

Philosinfinity Re:I Think You're Reaching There (204 comments)

I think you've got this a bit wrong. You're looking at the subject matter of philosophy and missing the bigger picture. As a philosophy graduate who works in IT, I can tell you that Philosophy may teach aspects like ethical theory and metaphysics, but the real utility is a greater understanding of how to learn and assimilate information. After several years of in depth philosophical study, you begin to learn that all information, regardless of subject matter, is similarly able to be processed. You learn to read more effectively, think more logically, and analyze data from multiple levels.

Really, philosophy puts you in a position to have sharply honed skills that can be utilized in any possible profession. If marketed correctly, if could mean the difference between your promotion over a coworker or even your ability to negotiate a better salary. Greater than that, also... what happens if you get tired of being a code monkey? What if one day you lose the passion you once had for the things you do on a daily basis? A strong philosophical background provides an excellent basis for a career move to nearly any field you want.

more than 5 years ago
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T-Mobile G1 Rooted

Philosinfinity Re:Coral to the rescue (246 comments)

It could be worse... I chose a domain name with a double hyphen... aleph--null.com Whenever a web form states that my email address is invalid, i realize my folly just a bit more.

more than 5 years ago

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