Search found 187 matches

by Hedonic Treader
Fri Aug 31, 2012 2:13 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: What’s the best piece of advice you could give to everyone?
Replies: 121
Views: 29573

Re: What’s the best piece of advice you could give to everyo

Don't inflict suffering on those who can't opt-out.
by Hedonic Treader
Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:14 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Global Basic Income Fund
Replies: 8
Views: 3540

Re: Global Basic Income Fund

Thanks for your feedback. It seems those are some quite decisive criticisms. As for the lack of a digital bank accounts, GiveDirectly operates with the use of SIM cards and pre-existing mobile phones to use a national independent money transfer service, M-Pesa. This service can be used to transfer m...
by Hedonic Treader
Thu Aug 09, 2012 1:15 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Global Basic Income Fund
Replies: 8
Views: 3540

Global Basic Income Fund

Would it be technically possible to create a global basic income fund, funded by charity? I was fascinated to hear of GiveDirectly , a charity aiming to give direct cash grants to poor families. I then wondered what it would look like if that principle were taken further, with less restrictions (e.g...
by Hedonic Treader
Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:21 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Right to die.
Replies: 187
Views: 30457

Re: Right to die.

I bring this up because I see a constraint on the right to die that could employ this logical chain: "suicidal depression is mental illness, thus any responses should be aimed at treatment rather than opening access to death". Due to the distinctions drawn in the previous paragraph, I rej...
by Hedonic Treader
Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:12 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Right to die.
Replies: 187
Views: 30457

Re: Right to die.

Diadem wrote:On the patient, the requirement is merely that the wish to die is not the result of a curable psychological problem, but the result of an informed, carefully considered and lasting decision.

That sounds much more sane.
by Hedonic Treader
Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:54 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Right to die.
Replies: 187
Views: 30457

Re: Right to die.

If you are depressed and full of debt and you just want to end your life, well in this case the state doesn't legalize anyone in helping you (because they are purely egoistical reasons), but since when does that stop someone to commit suicide? I see. I wouldn't make this distinction. If someone wan...
by Hedonic Treader
Tue Feb 21, 2012 5:57 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Right to die.
Replies: 187
Views: 30457

Re: Right to die.

i.e. you cannot commit suicide for purely egoistic intentions. Such as? Not wanting to personally suffer? You know, we could at least outlaw procreation. Actually punish parents for forcing more children onto this rock. It is non-consensual after all, and they cannot opt out for "egoistic inte...
by Hedonic Treader
Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:49 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: How Would The World React To a Post-Scarcity Society?
Replies: 123
Views: 27691

Re: How Would The World React To a Post-Scarcity Society?

Outside of the likely scenario where an affluent society decides to secure the advancement of individuals who has progressed humanity, what advantage would it give to the person who got there first? Being first will always be scarce. Just like being on top of a high score ladder or social hierarchy...
by Hedonic Treader
Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:23 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: How Would The World React To a Post-Scarcity Society?
Replies: 123
Views: 27691

Re: How Would The World React To a Post-Scarcity Society?

jseah wrote:Plus, what else are we going to do with our time anyway?

I know stuff.
by Hedonic Treader
Sun Feb 19, 2012 1:30 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Right to die.
Replies: 187
Views: 30457

Re: Right to die.

Even if it later turns out that they have a good reason for wanting to end their lives, there are better ways of doing that than suicide. This is nice-sounding, but objectively wrong. Consider this hypothetical: Let's assume you could aquire 10^5 additional average (not superhappy, just average) hu...
by Hedonic Treader
Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:25 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Infant Circumcision
Replies: 1022
Views: 106508

Re: Male Infant Circumcision

The complications of circumcision at age 17 might be different. Assuming they are the same as they are in an infant, then I don't think it would be unreasonable to suggest that your parents require you get circumcised. I know that they can require you to get other operations. Oh wow. Is this really...
by Hedonic Treader
Fri Dec 09, 2011 5:36 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Death Note
Replies: 45
Views: 8460

Re: Death Note

If I had such a book, I'd keep it a secret to everybody and use it, in a slow but steady rhythm, to get rid of the total set of dictators on this planet.
by Hedonic Treader
Thu Dec 08, 2011 11:21 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: "What's next, Bestiality?" revisited
Replies: 81
Views: 13226

Re: "What's next, Bestiality?" revisited

There are many maimed, starving, crippled, blind, deaf, poor, thirsty, troubled, ill people out there who want to live as long as they can. There are also many people on the planet who wish they had better suicide methods and who regret that they were born . There's neurological differences in pain...
by Hedonic Treader
Wed Dec 07, 2011 9:59 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: "What's next, Bestiality?" revisited
Replies: 81
Views: 13226

Re: "What's next, Bestiality?" revisited

So it's the question of whether living as a dog is better or worse than not existing at all. You are right that this is the correct question. I do indeed tend to think that existing as a non-human animal on this planet is currently worse than not existing (in the wild, in factory farms, probably as...
by Hedonic Treader
Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:39 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: "What's next, Bestiality?" revisited
Replies: 81
Views: 13226

Re: "What's next, Bestiality?" revisited

Once again the question was phrased as one of marriage, though, so what would be a net loss for society to allowing some kind of relationship between species be recognized? I tend to think sex with animals should be illegal just like sex with young minors should be illegal: Sex with beings who can'...
by Hedonic Treader
Tue Dec 06, 2011 12:11 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: "What's next, Bestiality?" revisited
Replies: 81
Views: 13226

Re: "What's next, Bestiality?" revisited

Obviously the probability of both are pretty small overall. You write this in the age of vaccinations, unprecedented hygiene standards and antibiotics (that still work). I think you're underestimating the number of your ancestors and their contemporaries who died from infectious diseases. But, from...
by Hedonic Treader
Mon Dec 05, 2011 9:44 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: "What's next, Bestiality?" revisited
Replies: 81
Views: 13226

Re: "What's next, Bestiality?" revisited

It probably feels icky to most people for the same reason most other things that feel icky/scary do so (engaging in incest, touching poo, a spider falling on you etc): It's dangerous to the individual or bad for the species. Dangerous for the individual is a proper reason, if it is indeed true. Bad...
by Hedonic Treader
Sat Dec 03, 2011 10:38 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: "What's next, Bestiality?" revisited
Replies: 81
Views: 13226

Re: "What's next, Bestiality?" revisited

Unless you have people agreeing to be harmed. Yes, it does happen . Ideally, people should have the right to harm themselves and consent to being harmed by others in specific ways. I'm not sure what the legal restrictions should be, but as far as I can tell, paternalistic interventions are so vulne...
by Hedonic Treader
Sat Dec 03, 2011 10:32 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: "What's next, Bestiality?" revisited
Replies: 81
Views: 13226

Re: "What's next, Bestiality?" revisited

The laws against bestiality are as much a moral statement as they are in the interests of protecting your animals from inter-species sex. It's the Eww factor. I agree with yurell's counter-argument, we violate the interests of hundreds of millions of non-human animals in even more severe ways, and ...
by Hedonic Treader
Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:33 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Legal Prostitution?
Replies: 91
Views: 13739

Re: Legal Prostitution?

Legal contract enforcement is a rather fundamental part of our particular society. You're asking for a revolution, not something 'simple'. Which might be interesting to consider, but it hardly tells you much about prostitution in the here and now. Esepcialyl as the more illegal parts of the sector ...
by Hedonic Treader
Wed Nov 30, 2011 6:53 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Legal Prostitution?
Replies: 91
Views: 13739

Re: Legal Prostitution?

The big question is: what happens when people are deeply in debt? Is there a bottom of what can be expected of them, after which creditors just have to accept their losses? The answer is simple: Make paying back debt voluntary. Defaulting on debt could be a unilateral standard legal action, at leas...
by Hedonic Treader
Fri Nov 11, 2011 7:21 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: How Would The World React To a Post-Scarcity Society?
Replies: 123
Views: 27691

Re: How Would The World React To a Post-Scarcity Society?

Hm, are they really sentient at this point? It's only a matter of time. What would it take to create systems that recognize and prevent suffering and torture for sentient algorithms? Is this possible at all? Is there research at this point? People sometimes claim that life would be meaningless or s...
by Hedonic Treader
Thu Nov 10, 2011 8:02 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: How Would The World React To a Post-Scarcity Society?
Replies: 123
Views: 27691

Re: How Would The World React To a Post-Scarcity Society?

It's called Dwarf Fortress. Hm, are they really sentient at this point? Evolution ensured people have a drive to copulate, but until fairly recently the whole choice of whether or not that led to childbirth did not exist. Yes, but selection pressures may work around that. Eventually, we may be able...
by Hedonic Treader
Thu Nov 10, 2011 8:10 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: How Would The World React To a Post-Scarcity Society?
Replies: 123
Views: 27691

Re: How Would The World React To a Post-Scarcity Society?

Who cleans the toilets in that society?. Self-cleaning toilets. Generally, automization. Alternately, if robots don't work out, The Hedonistic Imperative might make everyone enjoy cleaning toilets as much as they enjoy having sex, so noone will mind the planet-wide rota system. That's a general ans...
by Hedonic Treader
Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:05 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Strong AI and simulations
Replies: 11
Views: 3243

Re: Strong AI and simulations

Spoiler:
A sick and twisted part of me still hopes I'll meet this nice lady in the future. I'll make sure to let her out of the box when that happens. :mrgreen:
by Hedonic Treader
Wed Jun 29, 2011 5:49 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: What to make of a creation statement from a Christian school
Replies: 21
Views: 3464

Re: What to make of a creation statement from a Christian sc

I'm not really sure this is true. If I read Lord of the Rings , I can say that there are definitive things that the character Gandalf values, even though Gandalf does not exist as a physical person, because Gandalf is a representation of a possible real person with real values; likewise, even if th...
by Hedonic Treader
Wed Jun 29, 2011 4:46 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: What to make of a creation statement from a Christian school
Replies: 21
Views: 3464

Re: What to make of a creation statement from a Christian sc

That probably depends on your definition of "benevolent"; lots of different assumptions tend to be packed into it by different people. Yeah, I guess you're right. That's the key strategy of religion: Express your claims in the language of pseudo-factuality, but interpret them as vaguely a...
by Hedonic Treader
Wed Jun 29, 2011 4:00 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: What to make of a creation statement from a Christian school
Replies: 21
Views: 3464

Re: What to make of a creation statement from a Christian sc

Would “merely” in this sentence mean “Not only a naturalistic process but also a divine one” i.e. God having a hand in everything somehow, or is the statement to be read as “Not a naturalistic process, period“. That´s an important distinction. I think it's less important than most people think. A r...
by Hedonic Treader
Fri Jun 24, 2011 10:43 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: The ethics of teleportation
Replies: 116
Views: 43305

Re: The ethics of teleportation

A related, very well-done cartoon elaboration: John Weldon's "To Be"
by Hedonic Treader
Fri May 13, 2011 12:13 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Can an objective metric for good and bad exist?
Replies: 128
Views: 16922

Re: Can an objective metric for good and bad exist?

Let's get some misunderstandings out of the way quickly. But there is no "natural distinction" between good and bad any more than there is a "natural distinction" between colors. You mean color percepts, not mere wave lenghts, right? I think there is a natural distinction between...
by Hedonic Treader
Fri May 13, 2011 10:59 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: About steering human evolution
Replies: 94
Views: 8981

Re: About steering human evolution

It is definitely abusive to have children, period. Answers like this are why we can't make small but effective changes in the issue of genetic selection, because the discussion is derailed and reduced to absurdity. That wasn't the intention of the statement, and it doesn't logically follow either. ...
by Hedonic Treader
Fri May 13, 2011 10:50 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Can an objective metric for good and bad exist?
Replies: 128
Views: 16922

Re: Can an objective metric for good and bad exist?

We can do the same thing with the concepts of "good" and "bad." We standardize the definitions by having them describe a specific set of things that we can objectively measure. So that if I tell you that something is good, you know what specific observable properties I'm talking...
by Hedonic Treader
Fri May 13, 2011 10:26 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: About steering human evolution
Replies: 94
Views: 8981

Re: About steering human evolution

Thanks Randomizer, my thoughts exactly. A few points: Before saying disabled people shouldn't be born for their own good, it would be wise to identify which specific disorders, which even if treated, would cause the person significant pain/distress, and how much pain/distress there needs to be for a...
by Hedonic Treader
Thu May 12, 2011 10:58 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: About steering human evolution
Replies: 94
Views: 8981

Re: About steering human evolution

You missed the point entirely. An inalienable right to reproduce necessarily includes the right to abuse children; it is impossible to separate the two because of the simple ability to create beings with guaranteed negative quality of life. The right to raise children is entirely irrelevant because...
by Hedonic Treader
Thu May 12, 2011 3:39 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Can an objective metric for good and bad exist?
Replies: 128
Views: 16922

Re: Can an objective metric for good and bad exist?

The reason why or at least the process that created it, is that natural selection "selected" an incentive system to promote certain behavior thats beneficial to passing along our genes. Right. That's the causal explanation for the existence of the function. What I'd be very interested in ...
by Hedonic Treader
Thu May 12, 2011 2:59 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Can an objective metric for good and bad exist?
Replies: 128
Views: 16922

Re: Can an objective metric for good and bad exist?

[Yes, I know this post is months old.] What does it mean to "objectively characterize human well-being?" Human well-being seems to be an incredibly value-laden concept, in fact, I can't imagine how it could not be. It means to come up with metrics that one can objectively measure (i.e the ...
by Hedonic Treader
Thu May 12, 2011 2:53 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: About steering human evolution
Replies: 94
Views: 8981

Re: About steering human evolution

I love those debates. "We can know which morals are the right ones", "No we cannot", and both sides are roughly self-consistent. Presumably, people have had this debate for ever and will continue for quite some time, in ever more detail. Yeah, it's kind of entertaining... maybe ...
by Hedonic Treader
Thu May 12, 2011 1:43 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: About steering human evolution
Replies: 94
Views: 8981

Re: About steering human evolution

I don't agree with the concept of reproductive rights. As far as I am concerned, there is no such thing. Some disagree . Yeah, so what? I disagree with them. What the WHO doesn't even mention is the right of the child not to be inflicted with involuntary distress and risks of suffering - that inclu...
by Hedonic Treader
Thu May 12, 2011 12:10 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: About steering human evolution
Replies: 94
Views: 8981

Re: About steering human evolution

Perhaps someone with a clear propensity for passing on genetic diseases could opt out of the healthcare system, or give their own healthcare on to their child. If their children develop a disease they'll be taken care of, and the parent is still being socially responsible. If the disease entails su...
by Hedonic Treader
Thu May 12, 2011 12:03 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: About steering human evolution
Replies: 94
Views: 8981

Re: About steering human evolution

I'm still trying to wrap my head around the idea that some people actually believe that it is moral to force a biological change on another human being. I'm mostly against the government mandating anything that has to do with our private lives so long as we are not hurting another human being. Why ...

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