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Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

a whoabot 200 years ago. (898 comments)

There is already value without God. Kant derived moral judgements on purely secular bases 200 years ago. The "deontology" he ushered in is now the single most common ethical view held by philosophers today (25.9% according to Bourget & Chalmers 2013), and Kant scholars are at pains to teach it to students and anyone else who would listen.

The problem for many people is they suppose that determining what is wrong and what is right must be easy. Why think this? Why should it be easy? Do you fully understand Wiles' proof of Fermat's Last Theorem? Probably not, but he gave it. Do you fully understand Kant's deduction of the categorical imperative in particular and his deduction of the possibility of synthetic a priory judgements in general? Probably not, but he gave them.

5 days ago

Cameras On Cops: Coming To a Town Near You

a whoabot Re:Won't do any good. (264 comments)

The results show that use of force and complaints are down. How is that the "exact opposite" of his theory? Maybe most of the complaints that were prevented would have been frivolous. Maybe most of the use of force that stopped would have been appropriate: I.e., the cameras cause those interacting with the police to behave better. Maybe most of the abuse is intentional: If that's the case, then there is nothing strange about hypothesis that the police intending to be abusive would also intend to turn off the cameras when they intend to be abusive.

There's no reason to assume that he "ignores real evidence".

about 6 months ago

Piracy Offers Heavy Metal a New Business Model

a whoabot Re:Maybe, but... (246 comments)

Power go out on the autotune? Power is more likely to go out on the mains than on the outboard, and no large show is happening without those.

You know that the stage flash and gimmicks of Iron Maiden are partly what Spinal Tap is mocking, right? They are not known for the quality their music, but for their bombast in both the music and the stage show. Many acts will play with a single dim light and sit down in some chairs and just play their songs. Iron Maiden brings out lasers, fog, sets, costumes, pyrotechnics; they are an Insane Clown Posse antecedent. Iron Maiden's only number one was called "Bring Your Daughter to the Slaughter" which became famous almost solely for its shock value.

about 10 months ago

Wikipedia's Participation Problem

a whoabot Re:No Big Mystery (372 comments)

It's been over 2 hours now. Still no reversion of my edits. And these were done with an IP address, which has the highest chance of being scrutinized and reverted. Over 500 users have the page on their watchlists (source, and the page is viewed between 2000 and 5000 times a day source, making it ranked 3496th in traffic, out of over 4 million articles, therefore making it in the top 1% of most viewed articles.

about a year ago

Administration Admits Obamacare Website Stinks

a whoabot Re:I'm confused (516 comments)

I am in Canada and I can tell you that Health Canada does indeed decide not to cover expensive treatments. My father is a physician and director at a hospital in Ontario. Here's an example he has spoken to me about: Someone in critical condition needs to be transferred to the regional hospital for surgery, transferring by air ambulance (helicopter) is far more likely to save their life than going by road. If the person is old, a drunkard, etc. they are not likely to receive such treatment. If they are young, employed, have young children, they are likely to receive the air lift. Decisions like this are made every day. Medical professionals in Canada have a duty to keep costs down, as there are not infinite resources. Anyway, you can see why costs can be less but outcomes better given such actions: If the distribution of medical treatment more closely follows the distribution of wealth, then costs can be higher, as the wealthy would be willing/able to pay more, and there is no connection between one's having money and the aptness of one's treatment to be a marginal benefit to the average outcome/cost ratio. Indeed, wealthy Canadians often go to the US for medical treatment where their money can buy them something.

about a year ago

Russia Today: Vladimir Putin's Weapon In 'The War of Images'

a whoabot A sad demand (254 comments)

Go ahead and watch online: Two channels in English. Sad that there is a demand for news bent to the side of a human right abuser like Russia. But the Obama administration (like the Bush administration) before has been so corrupt that outside views are needed.

about a year ago

Encrypted Email Provider Lavabit Shuts Down, Blames US Gov't

a whoabot Context (771 comments)

So when Obama boycotts a meeting with the Russians due to concerns over "human rights", you may now know that this is a lie.

about a year ago

Are We At the Limit of Screen Resolution Improvements?

a whoabot Re:Human eye (414 comments)

Completely ridiculous. You've taken "angular resolution" to mean "angular pixel spacing". You would need more than one pixel for every 4 arcminutes in order to have an angular resolution of 4 arcminutes. has a review of material which shows that the pixel spacing required would be around 0.3 to 0.4 arcminutes, a far cry from 4.

about a year ago

Alaskan Middle Schoolers Phish Their Teachers

a whoabot Re:Teacher should of been ready (215 comments)

"I would of fired each one of them."

If they taught you grammar like that, I would have too.

about a year ago

Does Scientific Literacy Make People More Ethical?

a whoabot Re:scientific literacy along with general educatio (315 comments)

One might argue a lot of things, but that does not mean that one is right. A sound argument which is tautological is still a sound argument. And one could argue that that is as assumption as well, but that also does not mean that one right. It is not an assumption: It's a logical truth. It cannot possibly be not-true.

I don't miss such a distinction. I can reach an absolute conclusion of "torture is wrong" while having the condition "if". Having that "if" does not mean my strongest conclusion is "if X, then torture is wrong". Proceeding from conditional to absolute does not require taking up the assumption "X = true". Indeed, this last point is partly what Kant showed in the first Critque by establishing the possibility of transcendental philosophy.

1. Deduction A implies that X is true.
2. Deduction A is sound.
3. If X, then torture is wrong.
Therefore, 4. Torture is wrong.

There is no assumption X is true. QED: There is an absolute conclusion of "torture is wrong", while having a condition "if", and no assumption that X is true.

about a year and a half ago

Does Scientific Literacy Make People More Ethical?

a whoabot Re:scientific literacy along with general educatio (315 comments)

The argument is sound within an assumed framework and also within any framework. It's entirely sound. You cannot show me any logician of any level of pedantry who would deny that if X then X.

Even if you can't reach conclusions about external conditions "X" without the condition "if", that does not in any way imply that you can never logically argue to an absolute conclusion like "torture is wrong", because there is nothing preventing you from arguing logically while using the condition "if".

about a year and a half ago

Does Scientific Literacy Make People More Ethical?

a whoabot Re:scientific literacy along with general educatio (315 comments)

I'm not assuming there is an X.
I'm not assuming X doesn't change.
I'm not sure what the question means. I'm not calling anything X and I don't claim that anything is called X, can be called X, or anything else about the topic of calling things X.

You think it suffices for what?

about a year and a half ago

Does Scientific Literacy Make People More Ethical?

a whoabot Re:scientific literacy along with general educatio (315 comments)

Not every logical argument begins with assumptions, so how could I forget something which I know to be false? Take an argument:
1. If X then X.
2. If X then X.
Therefore, 3. If X then X.

This argument is sound and no assumption is made.

" If you don't accept his assumptions, stated or otherwise, his argument is meaningless. " Please, demonstrate this: Which assumptions, if I deny them, does his argument become meaningless? And in what way exactly is his argument meaningless if I deny these assumptions?

about a year and a half ago

Does Scientific Literacy Make People More Ethical?

a whoabot Re:scientific literacy along with general educatio (315 comments)

Kant showed why such things are objectively wrong almost 200 years ago. It's just that very few people have the patience to read the first and second critiques, the Groundwork and the Metaphysics of Morals, so most people are ignorant of this advancement in ethics.

In particular look at the second formulation of the Categorical Imperative in the Groundwork. A morally-correct maxim necessarily assumes a respect for other people's autonomy. Torturing someone for fun completely undermines any such respect.

about a year and a half ago

What 'Negative Temperature' Really Means

a whoabot Re:Uhhhh (204 comments)

The English word "temperature" was used in 1531 by Sir Thomas Elyot, long before Robert Boyle wrote The Sceptical Chymist. So how could that be its original meaning?

about a year and a half ago

Wikipedia Is Nearing "Completion"

a whoabot Can't contribute? (248 comments)

I see a few people posting on here saying that they try to contribute but their contributions are just reverted by other editors. However, no one supplies any examples in the edit histories. I'm suspicious. I've been editing lately, and haven't had any of my contributions reverted. I edited quite a bit maybe 6 months ago too, and had maybe two of those edits reverted. What are you people including as references for your edits? I'm guessing not much. If you want your edits to go through include an inline citation to your source; published academic works written by an expert on the topic at hand make the best sources generally. If you don't include that, don't be surprised that someone will doubt and delete it. I'm not saying that contributions aren't reverted for no good reason, I know this happens because it has happened to me; but in my experience this is rare.

As to TFA:

Obviously I'm not familiar with every Wikipedia article. I know that many important articles in philosophy are very poor and nowhere near "completion". Compare the current Platonic realism with the SEP article. Many important philosophy articles are lacking like this. This situation is similar for many important religion articles.

about 2 years ago

Dr. Richard Dawkins On Education, 'Innocence of Muslims,' and Rep. Paul Broun

a whoabot Re:Chemistry and Physics get a pass... (862 comments)

ahhh the theory of gay marriage. My favourite theory of them all.

Also, I'm totally gay for science.

It's widely known that after atheists declared that God was dead, they began work on their Gay Science.

about 2 years ago



White House Archival of Online Forums

a whoabot a whoabot writes  |  about 5 years ago

a whoabot (706122) writes "The Executive Office of the President (EOP) has put out a solicitation for firms to "capture, store, extract to approved formats, and transfer content published by EOP on publicly-accessible web sites, along with information posted by non-EOP persons on publicly-accessible web sites where the EOP offices under PRA maintains a presence" [emphasis added]. The activity is supposed to bring archives to accord with the Presidential Records Act (PRA). However, the National Legal Policy Center says that non-EOP content is not supposed to be covered by the PRA, but the way the EOP is interpreting the PRA to cover anything received by PRA components or personnel is "so expansive that virtually any communication mentioning the president or the Administration could become subject to collection and archiving under the Act". Affected sites include Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube, Flickr and any other where the EOP "maintains a presence". The PDF of the solicitation is here [PDF, 431KB]."

Obama Defends Warrantless Wiretapping

a whoabot a whoabot writes  |  more than 5 years ago

a whoabot (706122) writes "The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Obama administration has stepped in to defend AT&T in the case over their participation in the warrantless wiretapping program started by Bush. The Obama administration argues that that continuation of the case will lead to the disclosure of important "state secrets." The Electronic Frontier Foundation has described the action as an "embrace" of the Bush policy."
top blocked in Turkey

a whoabot a whoabot writes  |  about 6 years ago

a whoabot (706122) writes "Türk Telekom, the state ISP of Turkey, has blocked access to Richard Dawkins' website. This is in accordance with a court order stemming from a case lodged by prominent Islamic creationist Harun Yahya, complaining that Dawkins defamed his book Atlas of Creation, apparently in this piece on Dawkins' site. The Monsters and Critics article mentions that Yahya previously tried to have Richard Dawkin's book The God Delusion banned in Turkey, though failed, and has also previously had "millions of web blogs using the hosting service" blocked."


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