• Donald Trump (All General Trump Conversations Here)
    Some interesting material here for those, like me, who are a bit bemused how Trump is popular at all, etc.

  • Why are drugs so popular?
    In my mind, what this means is that a good college education is of greater value for becoming open-minded and non-conformist. Then again, some people also take some drugs while at collegeShawn

    You may be right, but my experience is not that at all. I learned much at college but almost nothing of any use from the courses. On the contrary all my formal education seemed designed to create the "ideal" conforming angst-ridden robot, that is all governments can cope with.
  • Why are drugs so popular?
    How can a break from reality bring one closer to reality?Shawn

    I thought that would be clear, sorry. The worst feature of insanity is lack of insight. Most people think that sanity is normality and so they like what the neighbours like, believe what the television tells them, do what the priest tells them, and so on.

    To be amenable and flexible is part of sanity when it is a conscious choice, but when it becomes unconscious and rigid conformism, it is a madness of false identification and leads to horrors. Magas, Nazis, cultists, fanatics and zealots of all persuasions all suffer from the loss of reality in favour of ideology. This is sadly the mental condition of normality, that confers on the sufferer a complete confidence in their distorted thinking. Psychodelics in particular serve to break down the identification somewhat - with luck, the cracks that are made in the psycho-ceramic's everyday insane certainty will allow a glimpse of reality to reach the sufferer.

    To take the acid test is to made aware of one's insanity; to make a habit of it is the exact same insanity.
  • Is communism an experiment?
    There's a reasonable chance that you and I are old.T Clark

    My big sister bought this.

  • Why are drugs so popular?
    I'd like to add to my OP, that I don't quite understand the 1960's that well. I know it was the counterculture movement; but, I don't understand why it became a fascination with drugs... I mean, it was about peace, love, and political activism; but, why the popularity arose to drugs?Shawn

    Have you seen the movie, Pleasantville? It explains the '60's rather well. There was a desperate need to escape from the American Dream, because it was covering up the American Nightmare of Vietnam and became the prison of suburban convention.

    There [Pleasantville],fire does not exist, and firefighters merely rescue cats from trees, and everyone is unaware that anything exists outside of Pleasantville, as all roads circle back into it. David tells Jennifer they must play the show's characters and not disrupt Pleasantville, but she rebelliously goes on a date with Mary Sue's boyfriend, Skip Martin, the most popular boy in school. She has sex with Skip, who is shocked by the experience, which leads to the first bursts of color appearing in town.

    Bill Johnson, owner of the malt shop where Bud works, experiences an existential crisis after realizing the repetitive nature of his life. David tries to help him break out of his routine and notices an attraction between Bill and Betty.

    As Jennifer influences other teenagers, parts of Pleasantville become colorized, including some of the residents. Books in the library, previously blank, begin to fill with words after David and Jennifer summarize the plot to their classmates. When Jennifer gives a curious Betty an explanation about sex and tells her how to masturbate, Betty has an orgasm that results in her colorization and a fire in a tree outside.

    One self medicates because one is in a state of such confinement in one's own mind, and such alienation from reality, that intoxication actually brings one closer to reality for a short while. It is not a new thing, though the particular drugs were new; "In vino, veritas." the Romans used to say. Unfortunately, the conventions of drug-culture and self-indulgence quickly become as grey and confining, (if not more so), as the dreamworld they seek to escape.

    Here is a pig singing about it for you.

  • Is communism an experiment?
    I'm also not sure it makes sense to talk about the US ever being great.T Clark

    You guys should make like Britain and just incorporate greatness into the name just as you incorporated the unity — "The United States of Great America". It's that easy!
  • Is communism an experiment?
    It seems plausible to me that any large Communist regime will inevitably end up in tyranny. Again, that's my "seems to me" opinion, not a solid claimi.T Clark

    It seems plausible to me that any large regime will inevitably end up in tyranny. Again, that's my "seems to me" opinion, not a solid claim.

    Revolutions usually happen when the 'government' The Tzar, king, despot, oligarch, and his coterie become completely careless of the ordinary folk. 'Communism' is simply a label adopted by, or imposed upon, recent populist uprisings. 'Democracy' is a label adopted by governments that want to prevent revolutions.

    Russia before the revolution was a medieval society of nobles and serfs. The same is true of China. Such a system is destabilised by the industrial revolution, just as the system of slavery became destabilised in America.

    The common mistake is to suppose that anything very much is different between one system and another - exceptionalism. There are better and worse governments to suffer under, and generally wealthy governments are more generous to their people, and when there is little growth, they become meaner and meaner. The reality is that no one is going to make America great again for ordinary people.
  • Donald Trump (All General Trump Conversations Here)
    This is a story about the folks who lived around Trump's Scottish golf course. I wonder, since it is distant from the party politics, if folks might be more open to seeing the rights and wrongs of it? If you can access it that is.

  • Solipsism is a weak interpretation of the underlying observation
    If we accept the observation that we only ever experience Sensory Data;Treatid

    I never experience sensory data. It is a mere abstraction that imagines the smell of coffee to be "the same" as birdsong and "the same" as a bunch of words including "Sensory Data".
  • Concept of no-self in Buddhism
    But doesn't the fact that specific thoughts arise for a particular individual (and are unique to that conscious individual) indicate the ownership of thoughts?Heracloitus

    Disclaimer: I know little about Buddhism.

    There is a point of view, behind the eyes, and a point of hearing between the ears, and there is a sensitive body, that has various instincts for self- preservation. And for a human there is also thought, imagination planning rehearsing dreaming remembering, replaying, recounting.

    I don't think Buddhism denies these facts of individuality. But when you speak of consciousness, it seems to me that you are not speaking of any of these things, but rather these are all things that one might be conscious of.

    It is as if all the world is a great play that consciousness watches - the life of the hero, told from his point of view. But the performer is always hidden under costume and makeup, and the audience is silent and passive sitting in darkness.

    And which is the individual, the performer or the watcher? They seem to be the same, and this implies that one is the whole world: the play, the performer and the audience. Or as it has been very simply put, 'your skin doesn't separate you from the world, it joins you to it.' Or even shorter, J. Krishnamurti said, "You are the world".
  • Finding a Suitable Partner
    Sure they do, but you have to look up from your
    phone occasionally and look around and smile at anyone who's looking at you.

    Nobody ever looks up from a phone, and no one who is on a phone in public is likely to be noticed at all except as an arsehole talking to someone who isn't there like a schizo. The point of being in a public place in this context is to be present to the world, and engaged in an activity, but open to the presence of others. I gave many options apart from a book, and none of them was a phone for good reason.
  • Finding a Suitable Partner
    These days people don't approach others in public I'm afraid. Despite most people desiring to be approached more.fdrake

    Sure they do, but you have to look up from your book occasionally and look around and smile at anyone who's looking at you. If they smile back, you say "I love this book..." and then they want to know what book, and...
  • Finding a Suitable Partner
    Be yourself in a public place. If you are unusual but not creepy you will attract the interest of those who might be interested. It might take more than 5 minutes. Hey look Mum, that guy's reading a book/ feeding the birds,/playing the mandolin/whittling a spoon/doing tai chi. Anything you fancy apart from "searching for a soulmate" That's too creepy and predatory!
  • How would you respond to the trolley problem?
    Not sure why you've suddenly started linking railway death statistics.Tzeentch

    Right. Understood.
  • How would you respond to the trolley problem?
    "Thou shalt not kill" seems like a perfectly realistic moral obligation, for example.Tzeentch

    Thou shalt not kill 1, or thou shalt not kill 5? In this context, that seems a particularly foolish comment. It happens rather frequently to train drivers that people are killed by the train they are driving.

    Of the fatalities on the railway in 2019/20:

    Six occurred on a level crossing
    17 involved people trespassing on the railway
    283 were suicides or suspected suicides
  • How would you respond to the trolley problem?
    I think you're throwing the term around too loosely, and in the process either claiming the existence of moral obligations which are impossible to fulfill, or 'obligations' which are so vague and subjective that they lose all their meaning.Tzeentch

    And I think you are confusing moral obligations with legal ones. Of course moral obligations are impossible. And if you try very hard indeed, you get crucified for your pains.
  • How would you respond to the trolley problem?
    A while back a concert was bombed by a terrorist in Manchester UK, and there was much criticism because the emergency services (police fire ambulance) did not immediately rush in, for fear of a second bomb or other terrorist act. Some people died as a result of the delay. Emergency services routinely put themselves in harm's way for others, but the senior persons in this case thought the danger for their crews too great to intervene immediately, and crews stood by for some time to see what developed.

    As it happened the lone bomber was dead. Dilemmas happen, and sometimes even the experts get it wrong.

    reducing this to statistics is not a solution as I could save the wrong person. I could save a Hamas leader or Bibi and I'd rather not.Benkei

    I think introducing another calculation as to the moral worth of the individuals is a completely false move. This is what doctors are expressly forbidden to do, but their oath is to do their best for PolPot and Mother Theresa without distinction. The War Crimes Tribunal is the place for such judgements, not the railway line or the hospital.
  • How would you respond to the trolley problem?
    Well, you were challenging my comment and I worked with what you gave me.Tzeentch

    Yes. I challenge the idea that we have no obligation to strangers. We have a small obligation to do something if we reasonably can to make another's situation better if they are in difficulty. The trolley situation as played out in 's video would be traumatic precisely because one would feel that one ought to intervene and take responsibility, as the the only person able to. But behind it is the real question as to what the train operator's policy ought to be and what the the professional switchman should do or not do in that situation. The stranger would not be blamed for making a wrong decision or freezing in the unfamiliar emergency, but the switchman and the rail company need a policy, based on a moral principle. And of course, the workers on the line also need to know that policy to protect themselves from random track switchers.

    So if you work for unenlightened railways, or if you like to trespass on unenlightened tracks, you should be aware that trains will never be switched unless the line is thought to be clear, and no-one who is not in danger should be put in serious danger by anyone else to save others. If you are on the tracks, you are putting yourself in danger, and workmen should always be alert to the possibility of trains, and not stand on the tracks to make phone-calls or have a chat about what an arse the boss is, especially with headphones on.
  • How would you respond to the trolley problem?
    Apparently there exists a moral obligation to save people from dying, even if it requires the murder of bystanders, but this obligation is limited by distance and now seemingly also does not include acts that exceed the effort of a lever pull.Tzeentch

    No, I'm on the other side of the lever pulling in theory, but i think in the moment I would be tempted. Try to keep up.

    There is no obligation to act whenever there is no action one can take. If breaking the the tv would stop the war, I'd feel obligated to break the tv, but it wouldn't. I can respond to something on the tv by various means, usually involving my bank account so as to pay someone else to do something. But if I did that too often I'd have to sell the tv and then I wouldn't even have that option. What can you do heroic countless times a day if only you felt you ought ?
  • How would you respond to the trolley problem?
    There are no levers on a television.
  • How would you respond to the trolley problem?
    All of us are after all bystanders in countless numbers of situations which are just begging for a hero.Tzeentch

    I'm not sure where you live, but where I live, people are not dying in front of me countless times, or even ever in my longish life.
    I can't help it if I'm lucky. — Bob Dylan
  • Donald Trump (All General Trump Conversations Here)

    Smile! Make America smile again.
  • How would you respond to the trolley problem?
    This ignores what he's actually said. In the OG scenario, you have no idea about differential value. You couldn't employ such a principle.

    IN the subsequent, it is available to you. Unless i've missed something fundamentally esoteric about hte cases, this seems obvious.

    Nor is there any differential value in the variant examples I offered unless you have something against fat men or people who need transplants. Let me say something callous sounding.

    There are way more people in the world than it can sustain, and we are destroying the ecosystem on which we depend. Therefore it is better that five people die than one. Assume the facts are true; is the moral logic wrong? This is the logic of accelerationism. Human population is in overshoot and the sooner it is radically reduced, the better it will be both for the planet and for humanity. Only the most fortunate will have a quick death by trolley; most will die of heat-stroke or starvation.
  • How would you respond to the trolley problem?
    Why? Morality is often thought of as, "What ought to be/happen." If you think the moral actions is that the lever should be pressed, then you think its moral to do so. Your guilt or emotions over the issue don't change whether something is moral or not.Philosophim

    I do not always do what I think I ought to do. I base what I thought I would do on my feelings on watching the video. But one of the things I believe one ought not do is calculate the moral value of lives in the way the problem and the situation invites, because every life has infinite value. But neither do i think it is right to make the opposite calculation of course, that one life is worth more than five. and neither do I believe there is any more virtue in inaction than in action. So I have nothing. I do not think there is a moral problem at all, there is no right thing to do, and whatever someone does in that situation,
    I would neither laud or condemn, but sympathise with the stress of the crisis. In other words, I am not a consequentialist.
  • How would you respond to the trolley problem?
    It's one of those things that gives philosophy a bad name. It's nothing like any person will ever have to face in the real world. I wasn't going to say anything and disrupt the discussion, but you gave me an opening.T Clark

    In the light of the video above, where folks were placed in a situation that they really believed that was almost exactly the trolley problem, it is clearly a possible scenario, and one has to suspect that you have other reasons to hate it.

    I vote revolution. Off with their heads.Benkei

    Not on the ballot paper. Personally, I found it bad enough beheading a chicken. I do not believe either of us would even behead Putin or Trump.
  • How would you respond to the trolley problem?
    Aye, there's the rub. My action killed one, but your inaction killed five.

    So here is your principle: If I do nothing, I do nothing wrong. So now you are one of the five tied on the track; do you want to persuade me to act at all?

    I think this problem is morally irrelevant. This is a game, where the game master has constrained your moral agency to a binary choice of bad outcomes.Benkei

    As is usually the case, in for instance an election, will you vote for the Dispicables or the Incompetents?

    I'm not declaring a principle. I'm declaring, "In X scenario, this is the correct answer"Philosophim

    The one over the five people every time.Philosophim

    This is what I mean by a principle. but it turns out that you don't think it's every time, but only this specific time. And the only lesson I can learn, in that case, is to ask Philosophim whenever there's a moral dilemma, because he will know the correct answer, but will not know why it is correct. That is more of a cult than a philosophy.

    So to be clear, there's a lever for you to pull or not to pull. Five nameless vs 1 nameless, the track is currently set to kill five nameless humans. What do you find moral in this specific and unaltered situation and why?Philosophim

    I don't know what i would do, quite possibly freeze like most of the people in the video. But if I didn't freeze, I would pull the lever. But I would feel guilty about it, because I do not believe it is moral to do so. I believe it is the comfortable thing to do.
  • How would you respond to the trolley problem?
    Hey, I just saved 5 people from certain death, and you're complaining just because I had to sacrifice you? It wasn't my fault you were wandering around the trolly tracks not trying to save anyone.
  • How would you respond to the trolley problem?
    Please explain how the arithmetic is not crucialPhilosophim

    If there is a principle that it is right to act to kill 1 to save 5, the principle should apply to both scenarios. Since it doesn't apply to both scenarios, there must be another principle that overrides the numbers principle that makes the difference. This is the idea of doing thought experiments, that you test how you justify things.

    Hence another variation, where you cannot switch the points, but you can push a fat man onto the track and save the 5 at the cost of his life. Again, switching the points and having someone die as "collateral damage" seems less repugnant than actively pushing some passer-by, like @Tzeentch, into harms way. But is it? I think the callous bastard deserves it. :wink:
  • How would you respond to the trolley problem?
    My answer is to the specific scenario they gave. Of course the answer is different with a different scenario.Philosophim

    Then the arithmetic is not crucial, and your justification based on the arithmetic is not valid.
  • How would you respond to the trolley problem?
    That is a different scenario.Philosophim

    The sameness in the scenario is that one acts to deliberately kill one person not in danger, in order to save 5 people who would otherwise die.

    If your answer is different in different scenarios, you need to add moral principles to your analysis that makes the moral distinction clear, because it is not as obvious as the arithmetic.
  • How would you respond to the trolley problem?
    If of course its simply a matter of numbers, the answer is obvious.Philosophim

    And yet doctors are not permitted to sacrifice one person to save five lives with organ transplants.

    The mathematics only works some of the time.
  • American Idol: Art?
    A definition is nothing more or less than some words about a word that can roughly substitute for it. Take this as a definition of "definition".

    Herewith, some words about "art", that will not quite do as a definition, but may be somewhat illuminating and/or somewhat obscuring.

    One meaning of 'art' can be 'a skilful practice', and particularly one that involves judgement that cannot be entirely tied down to an algorithm, but that is very broad, and inexact. In the context of speaking of, say, "artistic merit" another criterion is important - creativity. This seems to involve novelty or originality, thus to call a piece "derivative" is to denigrate it. But mere novelty does not suffice, there must also surely be meaning and significance, which entails a communication of some sort, and since communication is shared, it it involves what has already been done, and is already known, and this is where some expertise is necessary for the judgement of artistic merit, to the extent that it becomes an art in itself.

    It is part of the business of the artist to challenge and transcend the limits of the meaning of the word "art", and add something new to it, and this is why one can never capture it in a definition. This in turn gives some clue as to the limitations of formulaic tv shows that purport to be the arbiters of good taste and artistry.
  • The Process of a Good Discussion
    I was debating with a malicious user about what a paradox is. I tried my best at debating, but the discussion was over because I was not comfortable typing in English, according to him. Here is when the malicious user gets trapped in his own ignorance. It is impossible to say to me that I am not comfortable debating in English if my texts are proofread by a grammar checker. But, I get it. I know I will keep reading similar comments if someone does not agree with me in the future. It is just some of you behave and post with malice.javi2541997

    Some people will take any opportunity to make themselves feel better by making others feel worse. And even the mods cannot protect us from that entirely. I lived in France for a few years and was always the stupid foreigner. My proudest moment was once to be mistaken for a Belgian - a stupid alcoholic French-speaking foreigner. I felt I had conquered the language. But it's not just grammar, there is a rhythm and music, and idiomatic references that one can get wrong.

    For example there is a running joke in one comedy series where an Italian, whenever there is a pairing of things, gets them the "wrong" way round - raining dogs and cats, kidney and steak pie, at it tongs and hammer, ... there are thousands of these pairings in English that always go in a certain order Jack and Jill, never Jill and Jack. An AI is unlikely to correct such things because there is actually nothing wrong - but they sound foreign.

    As to 'paradox' that is easy enough for anyone to misunderstand, almost to the point where to understand it would be paradoxical. :groan:
  • Donald Trump (All General Trump Conversations Here)
    Truth is though it's a balancing act between not allowing anyone to be above the law versus being a banana republic that throws their political opponents in jail.Hanover

    Banana republics traditionally do both, so it's more a matter of choosing which end of the banana you want to eat and which end you want to pratfall on.
  • Donald Trump (All General Trump Conversations Here)

    Skip to the end if you like, and see what convicted felon Trump said back when he was committing his felonies, about his opponent, Hilary Clinton, who he supposed might be charged with a felony.

    Everything he says about others, is the projection of what he really thinks and feels about himself. As soon as I can afford to, I will pity him for his tortured existence.

    "He's incredibly conflicted and corrupt."
  • Donald Trump (All General Trump Conversations Here)

    The cult is exposed in the nature of this defence.

    Back in my misspent youth I had occasion to be shown the certain sign of guilt in the form of the "too many excuses" defence. A fence had been damaged a boy was questioned and his response has remained in my mind for fifty years, as equivalent to a confession: "It wasn't me. — And anyway, it was an accident."

    The defence in the case contradicted itself in just this way, and @NOS4A2 has done the same thing again. In order for Trump to be innocent, the judge, the jury, the prosecutor, the legal system, the constitution, and crucially, all his previous lawyers and accountants have to be guilty. And also we who are watching.

    It is beyond reasonable doubt, because there is zero evidence, and because it involves way too many conspiracies, that this defence is false.

    The trial defence was the same: Stormy lied there was no affair Pecker lied, there was no coverup Then there was the ludicrous defence that any payment to a lawyer must be for legal expenses, then the accountant lied, then his own lawyer at the time was rogue and did all without Trump knowing, Everyone was guilty except Trump.

    "It doesn't make sense. And if it doesn't make sense, it's not true." Judge Judy.
  • Imagining a world without the concept of ownership
    ↪frank Why would owning something mean someone was likely to take it from them?flannel jesus

    Why would you need to assert ownership of something no one else wanted?
  • Imagining a world without the concept of ownership
    Why do some societies enshrine private property?frank

    I think Marx went into it in detail, but the advent of agriculture, memorialised as 'the fall' from a state of nature into the condition of bring forth bread by the sweat of thy brow begins the idea of 'property' that could be cooperatively or privately owned, with title originating in the hard work of clearing and fencing and improving land. Before that, though a tribe had a territory, it was not clear whether land belonged to people or people belonged to land.
  • Do actions based upon 'good faith' still exist?
    So, I believe that throughout history people have every right to be paranoid or skeptical.Shawn

    Yes, I'm not going to argue against that, except to note that in the derogatory sense, paranoia is a mental condition that entails some disconnection from reality - not a rights issue. Because we absolutely need to trust others every day to conduct our lives, and because we know that there are bad actors, trust goes along with distrust, and is never absolute, after infancy.

    But I maintain that bona fide, as honesty and trust, is what makes any cooperation at all possible; without it, the individual is completely isolated and communication is impossible. even deceit becomes impossible because no one is listening, except for the physical deceits of feints and camouflage, etc.

    And the solitary man does not survive.
  • Do actions based upon 'good faith' still exist?
    If you live in Ukraine or Gaza, I can understand, but even there... war is also a cooperative affair.