Search found 140 matches

by SnakesNDMartyrs
Wed Oct 06, 2010 12:26 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Can an objective metric for good and bad exist?
Replies: 128
Views: 17073

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

So, instead of trying to find an objective metric for good and evil you re-define 'objective' to mean 'inter-subjective'... poor form. Objectivity does exist and it is useful, "'P' and not 'P' can not both exist at the same time" is an objective law. Objectively, every action has an equal ...
by SnakesNDMartyrs
Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:32 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Can an objective metric for good and bad exist?
Replies: 128
Views: 17073

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

My point, and I imagine Dark567's point, is that what works across many cultures is not necessarily moral.


Moral by which standards? :) Indeed I imagine to the enslavers it was perfectly moral, perhaps not to the enslaved though..
by SnakesNDMartyrs
Sun Oct 03, 2010 10:12 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Can an objective metric for good and bad exist?
Replies: 128
Views: 17073

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

From my point of view the definitions the problem. We don't need a hypothetical at all. We only have what is here, now. I can imagine anything but we have to deal with life as it is here and now. If presented with evidence of other situations then you change the theory to fit. If we are the only be...
by SnakesNDMartyrs
Thu Sep 30, 2010 10:24 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Can an objective metric for good and bad exist?
Replies: 128
Views: 17073

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

By something that is not physical but evolved to interpret brain states? How could something non-physical possibly evolve in our very physical darwinian world? I have never said that the mind is not physical, I'm just treating it as an abstract concept because we don't really know what it is. That ...
by SnakesNDMartyrs
Thu Sep 30, 2010 9:13 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Can an objective metric for good and bad exist?
Replies: 128
Views: 17073

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

And you simply declare that? That's like saying, "Pixels cannot smile; therefore the Mona Lisa cannot be displayed on a computer screen made only out of pixels." It's absolutely plausible that what we call colors are complex biochemical and electrical patterns. Same for pleasure and agony...
by SnakesNDMartyrs
Thu Sep 30, 2010 3:54 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Can an objective metric for good and bad exist?
Replies: 128
Views: 17073

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

I think that's false. If we could identify the states of agony and pleasure correctly and replicate it in a dead person's brain (the feasibility of which is a very strong assumption), then we would also replicate consciousness within that brain (at least temporarily). However, there's no need to as...
by SnakesNDMartyrs
Wed Sep 29, 2010 2:50 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Can an objective metric for good and bad exist?
Replies: 128
Views: 17073

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

It would simply mean that some physical configurations (such as your brain in a state of pleasure) are inherently more valuable than others (such as your brain in a state of agony). They are more valuable to the conscious mind 'observing' or 'experiencing' them IE: subjectively. Independent of any ...
by SnakesNDMartyrs
Mon Sep 27, 2010 9:43 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Can an objective metric for good and bad exist?
Replies: 128
Views: 17073

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

An objective metric for good and bad can't exist because nothing is inherently good or bad.

An objective metric for subjective valuations of good and bad could, in theory, exist; although it would have to be continually re-calibrated as the subjective valuations change with time.
by SnakesNDMartyrs
Thu Sep 02, 2010 4:04 am UTC
Forum: XKCD Meetups
Topic: [NZ] New Zealand!
Replies: 470
Views: 212076

Re: New Zealand meet up

Oh what - I like that road, although twice a day might be a bit much.. You think you had it bad, I was commuting from Tapawera to Nelson for work everyday for a few months. Dark when I left, dark when I returned and I don't even think it was winter :)
by SnakesNDMartyrs
Wed Sep 01, 2010 10:35 pm UTC
Forum: XKCD Meetups
Topic: [NZ] New Zealand!
Replies: 470
Views: 212076

Re: New Zealand meet up

Live in Stoke and work in the city :) yourself?
by SnakesNDMartyrs
Wed Sep 01, 2010 4:25 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Human nature (or is there such a thing?)
Replies: 3
Views: 2037

Re: Human nature (or is there such a thing?)

Or one of my personal favorites, Utilitarianism: do the greatest good for the greatest number of people. Ignore the individual and serve society by acting in its best interest. It is hard to imagine that we've built our present day societies if we didn't have a natural urge to better our collective...
by SnakesNDMartyrs
Tue Aug 31, 2010 9:45 pm UTC
Forum: XKCD Meetups
Topic: [NZ] New Zealand!
Replies: 470
Views: 212076

Re: New Zealand meet up

Born and bred. Been here 21 years and can't wait to get out.


I would've been gone already if I didn't pick up such a good job after I came back from Uni.
by SnakesNDMartyrs
Mon Aug 30, 2010 1:20 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: So, Define "Intelligence"?
Replies: 27
Views: 5674

Re: So, Define "Intelligence"?

The ability for a creature to act in such a way it reduces its suffering as much as possible. If you want less ambiguity, at least in my unpsychological opinion. So for example, a whale is dehydrated on the beach. It tosses and turns until the whale slides down the shore, reducing it's suffering. A...
by SnakesNDMartyrs
Fri Aug 27, 2010 4:55 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Freewill [Philosophy]
Replies: 189
Views: 28069

Re: Freewill [Philosophy]

Charlie! wrote:Bit of a silly thing to define free will in terms of "free," which remains undefined.


Think of it as unimpeded. 'Made or done unimpeded or of one's own accord; voluntary'.

Of course this is quite clearly incompatible with determinism by definition.
by SnakesNDMartyrs
Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:48 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Freewill [Philosophy]
Replies: 189
Views: 28069

Re: Freewill [Philosophy]

To clear up the definition of 'Freewill' - let us use the dictionary definition for now:

Freewill - made or done freely or of one's own accord; voluntary.
by SnakesNDMartyrs
Thu Aug 26, 2010 11:54 pm UTC
Forum: XKCD Meetups
Topic: [NZ] New Zealand!
Replies: 470
Views: 212076

Re: New Zealand meet up

I could show you Nelson, and some of the surrounding area. It's no joke the most beautiful place in the worl


Nelson since I was 2 - I'd have to agree with you :)
by SnakesNDMartyrs
Thu Aug 26, 2010 11:31 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Freewill [Philosophy]
Replies: 189
Views: 28069

Re: Freewill [Philosophy]

I'm not sure what we are talking about, the OP seemed to be talking about Free Will in the sense of The Philosophical Point of view where anything and everything is undetermined versus determinism which seems to say that everything that occurs was meant to occur and can't be changed. If we are talk...
by SnakesNDMartyrs
Thu Aug 26, 2010 10:51 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Freewill [Philosophy]
Replies: 189
Views: 28069

Re: Freewill [Philosophy]

With regards to punishment, reward and morality - these all have value even in a fully deterministic system. Part of the 'decision' when committing a crime is to simulate the consequences of that crime which, in our current society includes some form of punishment as a deterrent. It is important to ...
by SnakesNDMartyrs
Thu Aug 26, 2010 4:36 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Freewill [Philosophy]
Replies: 189
Views: 28069

Re: Freewill [Philosophy]

This makes "free will" dependent on the observer, which seems odd. But I think that's OK, because it's really just an abstraction we use to designate that the subject should be treated like it has an agency. I think it makes the impression of freewill dependent on the observer, at the end...
by SnakesNDMartyrs
Thu Aug 26, 2010 1:07 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Freewill [Philosophy]
Replies: 189
Views: 28069

Re: Freewill [Philosophy]

Is there a way to know? Kind of like is there a God. Untestable and unknowable. Untestable is irrelevant, this is Philosophy not Science. Logic is king where empirical experiments fail. As for unknowable? Why is the nature of freewill unknowable? We make decisions every day - are you saying that we...
by SnakesNDMartyrs
Wed Aug 25, 2010 10:40 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Freewill [Philosophy]
Replies: 189
Views: 28069

Freewill [Philosophy]

This has been touched on in several threads but never had its own little place to call home * . I figure this thread can be referred to when the concept of freewill arises in other threads to prevent them getting derailed. The discussion is probably as old as philosophy itself and whilst the issue m...
by SnakesNDMartyrs
Fri Aug 20, 2010 3:54 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Russell's Teapot vs. Munroe's Ants [Philosophy]
Replies: 135
Views: 15032

Re: Russell's Teapot vs. Munroe's Ants [Philosophy]

Like.... who? I should point out that I'm not talking about prominent atheists like Dawkins, but your every day atheist that you might pass on the street. Join any 'paranormal activity' (or alien, psychic, reptilian etc..) forum and poll how many of them are atheists but believe in the existence of...
by SnakesNDMartyrs
Fri Aug 20, 2010 2:21 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Russell's Teapot vs. Munroe's Ants [Philosophy]
Replies: 135
Views: 15032

Re: Russell's Teapot vs. Munroe's Ants [Philosophy]

Yeah, but thats what science is. Every scientific claim is logically invalid, because it relies on induction. Unless of course you assume induction works as a premise. If thats the case than absence of evidence does equate to evidence for absence. From my anecdotal experience very few hardcore athe...
by SnakesNDMartyrs
Fri Aug 20, 2010 12:41 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Russell's Teapot vs. Munroe's Ants [Philosophy]
Replies: 135
Views: 15032

Re: Russell's Teapot vs. Munroe's Ants [Philosophy]

When doing logic yes. But I think the everyday phrase "X doesn't exist" does have some sort of meaningful definition that can be applied to a lot of things. Of course, the Scientific revolution has instilled a degree of skepticism in to the general population where absence of evidence doe...
by SnakesNDMartyrs
Fri Aug 20, 2010 12:10 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Russell's Teapot vs. Munroe's Ants [Philosophy]
Replies: 135
Views: 15032

Re: Russell's Teapot vs. Munroe's Ants [Philosophy]

Actually there are probably an infinite number of variations on the general concept "God exists" as well. So the chance of of any sort of God existing is infinity/infinity, and then it probably gets into orders of infinity and other math I don't understand. So essentially, it is meaningle...
by SnakesNDMartyrs
Thu Aug 19, 2010 11:52 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Russell's Teapot vs. Munroe's Ants [Philosophy]
Replies: 135
Views: 15032

Re: Russell's Teapot vs. Munroe's Ants [Philosophy]

To translate the metaphor a bit - the size of the box is a limitation in the same way that logical contradictions create a limited amount of logical space for statements to be true or false. I think that "God" can be defined in so many ways that the word by itself is almost meaningless. B...
by SnakesNDMartyrs
Thu Aug 19, 2010 10:24 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Russell's Teapot vs. Munroe's Ants [Philosophy]
Replies: 135
Views: 15032

Re: Russell's Teapot vs. Munroe's Ants [Philosophy]

morriswalters wrote: Perhaps my reasoning is faulty, I'll lay it out. The probability of anything is stated as the ratio of the number of things divided by the number of members of the data space. First off, this is false. For example a weighted die. It should be taken for granted in this example t...
by SnakesNDMartyrs
Thu Aug 19, 2010 9:09 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Russell's Teapot vs. Munroe's Ants [Philosophy]
Replies: 135
Views: 15032

Re: Russell's Teapot vs. Munroe's Ants [Philosophy]

Hm, odd, I didn't expect this to be the problem. I'd just assumed you understood probabilistic reasoning. The problem is that probabilistic reasoning is meaningless in this case because, as stated above, based on the information we have the chance of God existing is 1/2. But what if you were wrong ...
by SnakesNDMartyrs
Wed Aug 18, 2010 9:39 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Russell's Teapot vs. Munroe's Ants [Philosophy]
Replies: 135
Views: 15032

Re: Russell's Teapot vs. Munroe's Ants [Philosophy]

Sure. And how does one find out the truth about God? One can't. God existing is an unfalsifiable proposition: it could be proved true, but not false. But that doesn't mean it's not true, it just means it's outside of the scientific method (unlike poisonous berries). God existing can be falsified, d...
by SnakesNDMartyrs
Wed Aug 18, 2010 4:56 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Russell's Teapot vs. Munroe's Ants [Philosophy]
Replies: 135
Views: 15032

Re: Russell's Teapot vs. Munroe's Ants [Philosophy]

I have never seen Australia. Should I seriously doubt that it exists?


There is a lot of objective empirical evidence that has been corroborated countless times, there is no contradictory evidence - I think it would be wise to assume that it exists.
by SnakesNDMartyrs
Wed Aug 18, 2010 4:49 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Russell's Teapot vs. Munroe's Ants [Philosophy]
Replies: 135
Views: 15032

Re: Russell's Teapot vs. Munroe's Ants [Philosophy]

Yes, every combination of cards of the other player is equal likely to occur(minus the cards in your hand of course), that gives you the probability he has a certain hand, which is 1/X where X is the number of different combinations of cards left. This is exactly what I am saying about "why we...
by SnakesNDMartyrs
Wed Aug 18, 2010 4:15 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Russell's Teapot vs. Munroe's Ants [Philosophy]
Replies: 135
Views: 15032

Re: Russell's Teapot vs. Munroe's Ants [Philosophy]

The point I am making that if they really considered that the probability of gods existence were equal to that of Zeus, they would probably not believe in god, not turn around and also give Zeus a chance. We have incomplete information, yes, but that doesn't mean we can't assign probabilities. In p...
by SnakesNDMartyrs
Wed Aug 18, 2010 12:54 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Russell's Teapot vs. Munroe's Ants [Philosophy]
Replies: 135
Views: 15032

Re: Russell's Teapot vs. Munroe's Ants [Philosophy]

It's the same probablility that Zeus exists. Yes, it's not 0 probability, but I still don't believe in Zeus. Pretty much everyone is atheistic toward Zeus, they don't believe he exists. They actively live their lives ignoring any chance he exists. People don't walk around going "Maybe Zeus exi...
by SnakesNDMartyrs
Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:43 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Russell's Teapot vs. Munroe's Ants [Philosophy]
Replies: 135
Views: 15032

Re: Russell's Teapot vs. Munroe's Ants [Philosophy]

I guess I feel like you're not putting things in terms of probabilities and that's causing you to see bigger divides and not fine details. You require atheism to be based on an absolute rather than probabilistic thinking, and you think of the teapot as in the absolute category of "not dismisse...
by SnakesNDMartyrs
Tue Aug 17, 2010 12:38 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: So, Define "Intelligence"?
Replies: 27
Views: 5674

Re: So, Define "Intelligence"?

Dictionary.com: in·tel·li·gence   [in-tel-i-juhns] –noun 1. capacity for learning, reasoning, understanding, and similar forms of mental activity; aptitude in grasping truths, relationships, facts, meanings, etc. 2. manifestation of a high mental capacity: He writes with intelligence and wit. 3. the...
by SnakesNDMartyrs
Mon Aug 16, 2010 9:36 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Russell's Teapot vs. Munroe's Ants [Philosophy]
Replies: 135
Views: 15032

Re: Russell's Teapot vs. Munroe's Ants [Philosophy]

The first is logically sound. You are just omitting the 0 premise. It should be something more like: 0. Nothing exists with out evidence of its existence. 1. We have no evidence that x exists. Therefore 2. x does not exist. Now, the premise may be incorrect, but it is logically sound. An argument c...
by SnakesNDMartyrs
Mon Aug 16, 2010 1:58 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Russell's Teapot vs. Munroe's Ants [Philosophy]
Replies: 135
Views: 15032

Re: Russell's Teapot vs. Munroe's Ants [Philosophy]

Although it may be a poor choice because of emotional entanglements, I think this passage is important. You're using a rule-of-thumb based way of thinking that tries to make uncertain things either "chosen" or "dismissed" (and seeing the actions of other people through that lens...
by SnakesNDMartyrs
Mon Aug 16, 2010 1:07 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Russell's Teapot vs. Munroe's Ants [Philosophy]
Replies: 135
Views: 15032

Re: Russell's Teapot vs. Munroe's Ants [Philosophy]

And no, it does not imply that; being told something is, in no way, facts that can point to a claim Your definition was never 'facts that point to a conclusion' it was 'anything that points to a conclusion'. There is a significant difference, your example of someone being skeptical due to a lack of...
by SnakesNDMartyrs
Fri Aug 13, 2010 4:57 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Russell's Teapot vs. Munroe's Ants [Philosophy]
Replies: 135
Views: 15032

Re: Russell's Teapot vs. Munroe's Ants [Philosophy]

Yes it is. Since ''evidence'' is something that points towards a conclusion, but does not prove it, we can say ''Absence of evidence points towards, but does not prove, absence.'' I see what you've done - you've trapped me in to a particular definition of evidence, my own fault though. However, jus...
by SnakesNDMartyrs
Fri Aug 13, 2010 4:02 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Russell's Teapot vs. Munroe's Ants [Philosophy]
Replies: 135
Views: 15032

Re: Russell's Teapot vs. Munroe's Ants [Philosophy]

Russell's Teapot: 1.No evidence for X. 2.No evidence for X. 3.No evidence for X. . . . 99. No evidence for X. Therefore X is probably false. Both methods are simply using induction to reach a (probabilistic) conclusion. Firstly, there is only: 1.No evidence for X. Secondly, induction is logically i...

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