• Donald Trump (All General Trump Conversations Here)
    Moderator should have been a woman
  • Donald Trump (All General Trump Conversations Here)
    Trump is steamrolling Biden and Biden isn't putting up a fight. It's bad.
  • Donald Trump (All General Trump Conversations Here)
    Trump's braggadocio is in full swing
  • Currently Reading
    I'll prolly make a post on the book once I finish it.
  • Currently Reading
    I loved Dune.

    In the Presence of Schopenhauer, Michel Houellebecq, recently published in English.
  • Changing colors
    Albinism. Or maybe just skin pigmentation in general, which means so much to so many for such dumb reasons.
  • Would you like some immortality maybe?
    I wouldn't want to be immortal, but I would like to be able to decide when my life will end. It would be nice to not have to stave off death, nor endure a pointless and drawn-out decline, and instead live exactly as long as I wish. At the end of the day though it doesn't matter how long your life is, what you did in it or even that you existed at all, except for maybe the legacy you leave behind for everyone else (whose lives are equally meaningless).
  • Is there a good political compass?
    Really interesting diagram.
  • David Graeber - Introduction to Mutual Aid
    Damn WTF this sucks, how did I not hear about this. Cool dude, really made me think.
  • Coronavirus
    For the obese, diabetic, supersized-junkburger and dietcoke consuming crowds waddling through Walmart it is a very big danger. They already should take some responsibility for their health, Corona just amplifies that.Derukugi

    In other words, fat people deserve to die.

  • Apologist inefficacy?
    Seems nonsensical that a Shaivist would convert a Sunni with a cosmological argument, for example. Cosmological (and other popular apologist) arguments largely cater to existing religious believers as confirmation (bias) anyway, as indicated by the gap from typical apologist arguments to the common elaborate religions.jorndoe

    I think these arguments serve two purposes:

    1. reinforcing the beliefs of the already initiated, and
    2. planting the idea of belief in those who are not

    From the perspective of the faithful, these are positive. In a crisis of faith, having that rational justification can be reassuring. And while these arguments may not convert by themselves, they may at least lend credibility to the faith, which can later blossom into a conversion.

    From the perspective of the skeptical, they are negative. These arguments are ad hoc justifications for positions that are otherwise indefensible, akin to someone desperately clutching to whatever makeshift device that keeps them afloat. And they are dangerous too; otherwise level-headed people get hoodwinked into believing nonsense by a pretense of reason.

    I have read many arguments for and against the existence of god. Each one of them seemed to me laborious, and driven by ulterior/subconscious motives. I have yet to read one that did not seem to be an expression of the person articulating it. I do not think that the question of god is something that can be answered definitely, one way or another, though I find myself leaning towards the skeptical end.
  • Does systemic racism exist in the US?

    Thought this panel was interesting.
  • Coronavirus
    Yes, but WITH Corona, not FROM Corona. It is a different statement.Derukugi

    Not at all. Vulnerable people die from a combination of COVID-19 and other illnesses.

    What you seem to be implying is that COVID-19 is an epiphenomenon of sorts, that it happens to accompany these deaths but does not actively play a role in them. This is unsubstantiated. COVID-19 does in fact play a causal role in these deaths.

    And it more reflects the general health of a population than anything about the virus. (Which I suspect will be the general global outcome anyway, once this thing has run its course.)Derukugi

    In other words, "sucks to suck!" :roll:
  • Coronavirus
    Corona has killed about 9000 people in the US, a practically irrelevant figure.

    (Yes, the figure always quoted in the media is 150,000, but those are with co-morbidities. Corona alone only 6% of that, aka about 9000 people).

    This doesn't change the fact that 150K people with pre-existing conditions are dead.

    "Well, if they weren't diabetic, maybe they wouldn't have died. COVID-19 didn't kill them!"

    "Well, if the forest wasn't so dry, it wouldn't have caught fire. The lightning strike didn't start it!"

    "Well, if she had been wearing her seat belt, she would still be alive. The drunk driver didn't kill her!"

    COVID-19 is still a pandemic, even if it doesn't kill healthy people. The combination of certain pre-existing conditions and COVID-19 has proven to be lethal, and those vulnerable to this are pleading to everyone else: please don't kill me.
  • How to gain knowledge and pleasure from philosophy forums
    Damn, that sounds awesome. Thanks for sharing.
  • How to gain knowledge and pleasure from philosophy forums
    I'm jealous, the early internet seemed like a pretty cool place. The pioneering days, before the digital suburbia popped up.
  • Abortion, IT'S A Problem
    fetuses are personsTheMadFool

    Fetuses physically resemble human people, just like the moon sometimes looks like a face but it's really just a hunk of rock.

    A human != a person.
  • Utilitarianism and Murder
    Well if you add up all the suffering of 7 billion people over long periods of time it would be more than the nuke eventually. Especially considering that as we keep growing in number all of us individually suffer more.khaled

    This is assuming life continues to exist as it does, and that nature does not take a different course.

    besides I only brought up that point to show how ridiculous negative utilitarianism can bekhaled

    Fair enough.
  • Utilitarianism and Murder
    With NU I can’t justify NOT nuking the entire world of you get the chance much less not killing children.khaled

    If you nuke the planet, you guarantee a certain amount of suffering with the hope that it will prevent some greater amount of suffering in the future. But you can't ever be sure it will, since you're gone. Oh well, what's done is done, I guess.

    But anyway, all of this assumes a whole lot about humanity, e.g. that it has a manifest destiny to save the world, as if humans are masters of the world and not simply a product (or an abberration) of it. Instead of letting nature run its course and aligning their will with that of nature's, humans must undergo this Promethean effort to wrestle nature into alignment with their will.
  • Utilitarianism and Murder
    A rationalization of what?
  • Utilitarianism and Murder
    I largely base my ethical groundwork around the basis of negative utilitarianism, in minimising potential net suffering.JacobPhilosophy

    Do you really? Do you actually live your life according to these principles?
  • Donald Trump (All General Trump Conversations Here)
    So the entire content of the RNC was: Trump Is The Best.Wayfarer

    Correction: "America is the best, and nobody has done more to protect and advance it than President Trump."

  • Coronavirus
    I was thinking that even after we get a vaccine (if we get a vaccine), it might be a good idea to continue to wear a mask when in indoor public areas, as a courtesy to other people. Like how you wash your hands after using the restroom, or cough into your sleeve. It's easy enough to wear a mask, and doing so could prevent other people from getting sick. This could become part of expected basic hygiene.

    I imagine if pathogens were visible to the naked eye, we would all be more concerned about not spreading them. But because they are microscopic and invisible, we don't worry - out of sight, out of mind.
  • Currently Reading
    That comic reminds me of the covers of the classic Compilers: Principles, Techniques and Tools, aka the "Dragon Book", back when compiler design was still a lively, active field, which accurately described how designing a compiler could feel like:




    Unfortunately, the newest version went off in a totally different direction for whatever reason:


    There's also another classic "Dinosaur Book" for operating systems that has fortunately held on to its traditional cover art, most of the time. Fun stuff.
  • Currently Reading
    The World in Your Head: A Gestalt View of the Mechanism of Conscious Experience by Steven Lehar
  • Why is there something rather than nothing?
    My thinking on this is that "nothing" is a non-sense term. "Nothing" - the absence of things; yet there is still something left over, that "background context" that differentiates "nothing" from "something".

    The question isn't "why is there something rather than nothing?" but "why is this something rather than another?", which is a question for science. There always is something.
  • Is my red the same as yours?
    An aside, and maybe this is better suited as a separate thread as suggested, but have you read David Gamez?, and if so do you have thoughts on his dialogue over primary/secondary qualities?
  • A reason should be given when a thread is moved
    oh my god this is beyond stupid
  • Deep Songs

    I owe my life to music.
  • Is my red the same as yours?
    Primary properties it seems enter into discussion in a quite different way to Secondary properties - the simplest way to set this out is to say that the later is More subjective.Banno

    David Gamez in What We Can Never Know provides three common reasons - and refutations - of Lockean primary/secondary properties:

    • Primary qualities are more stable than secondary qualities, so therefore ideas about them resemble how things actually are. This is a non-sequitur, since all this shows is that primary qualities are more stable than secondary.
    • Primary qualities tend to be perceived by many senses (e.g. shape with sight, sound, touch), while secondary senses are perceived only by one sense (e.g. color with sight), so therefore ideas about primary qualities resemble how things actually are. Once more this is a non-sequitur, and even undermined by physics, which postulates objective features of the world that are not perceived by any senses at all (e.g. radiation, magnetic fields, etc).
    • Secondary qualities are can be experienced differently by different people, while primary qualities tend to be experienced the same way across people. Again, a non-sequitur, as while this may show that secondary qualities are not objective features of the world, this is not an argument for the resemblance of ideas about primary qualities to reality, since there could be an invariant connection between how a phenomenon is and how it is modeled in our minds, which prevents it from being modeled in any other way.

    Later, Gamez pace Mackie claims that Locke believed in the primary/secondary quality distinction not because of these arguments, but because of the empirical success of atomism + mechanism. Science is successful due to measurement and the mapping of a manipulation of abstract symbols back to reality, but this does not tell us whether our ideas of primary qualities resemble the way the world is.

    Take Boyle's theorem, PV=k. Pressure is found by finding a ratio of the effect an object has on a glass tube of mercury, while volume is found by comparing the dimension of an object to a given standard. But pressure could be found based on the sound of the gas, and volume its color, as long as they map to the same numbers. Both methods would give the same predictions.

    The non-sensory matter that is the hypothetical source of signals and phenomenal matter belong to different worlds and we have no evidence at all for any resemblance between them. [...] Ideas of space, time, matter and motion accurately predict the transformations of our ideas, but within virtual reality we have no reason to believe that our idea of space resembles physical space, that our idea of time resembles physical time, that our idea of solidity resembles physical solidity, or that our idea of motion resembles objective physical motion. From the standpoint of human knowledge we have to treat the real world as if it had a completely non-sensory nature. — Gamez

    e.g. it is unimaginable, in that Kantian way.

    Good book imo, maybe you'll like it.
  • The Shoutbox
    Wildfires in Colorado are getting bad. Smoke is everywhere and irritates the throat if you are outside for too long. I was eight miles away from one of the fires this weekend.
  • Can Life Have Meaning Without Afterlife?
    I go back and forth on this a lot. One thing I've come up with is that "meaning", as understood even within the confines of this idea of life having meaning only in the present, is a concept that stems from some sort of metaphysical "meta-meaning" situation. We thought life had meaning in relation to an afterlife, but now we've amended that, and, using the same language, we say that life only has meaning in the now. And then it gets twisted up with some concepts borrowed from Hinduism or Buddhism.Noble Dust

    Interesting. I have had the thought that the "meaning in the now" is second-rate in comparison to some ultimate transcendent purpose, kind of like salvaging whatever we can.

    On the other hand, I have also thought that meaning derived from the future is "horizontal", while meaning derived from the present is "vertical". The present has depth, the future has breadth. The present is real, the only real, but is fleeting. The future is never real, but always eternal. Whatever we don't have now, we can project into the future. The present slips through our fingers, and the future is a mirage. Neither one is exactly what we want or need; any search for meaning necessarily falls short. This is the burden of time-consciousness.

    I'm a little drunk right now so idk if that made sense.