Trump presidency

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Liri » Sun Jul 15, 2018 1:01 am UTC

I've been mostly ignoring this thread, lately, but skimmed through and I quite like Quercus' post here.
Spoiler:
Quercus wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:It's easier to discount the insect's individual moral worth.


I think you will find that this is a point on which we differ, probably quite profoundly.

There are a ton of insects, and they are generally not terribly sapient. I suspect most humans would not grant an insect a great deal of worth over and above practical considerations. So any estimation ignoring that would introduce comparatively little error.


Again, this is back to assigning value from the perspective of humans. If insects have any significant moral worth, individually or on aggregate (and I believe that they do, especially as I don't believe moral worth is determined exclusively by sapience) then it matters not a jot what worth humans in general grant them; they have worth in-and-of themselves.

My point in the context of this thread is that the adequacy of dollars as a sole measure of value varies dramatically depending on which moral axioms one lives by.

Oh, and if we're being sceptical about religious ideas, the idea that humans are the moral pinnacle of life is a doozy:

Genesis 1:26 wrote:Then God said, "Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby addams » Sun Jul 15, 2018 2:09 am UTC

Nah.
This is better for This Thread.
https://www.bing.com/images/search?view ... ajaxhist=0

Remember the happy day?
https://www.bing.com/images/search?view ... ajaxhist=0

Why is there No Note taker??
No Witness? Recording device?
Spoiler:
I need two witnesses to make funeral plans for Me!
He can make funeral plans for us without One! Not Fair!
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Sableagle » Sun Jul 15, 2018 10:10 pm UTC

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pn2AG39VcPg

Quite a lot of people. At one point I overheard a little girl saying to her parents: "Nobody likes him." Hell yeah.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby addams » Sun Jul 15, 2018 10:28 pm UTC

Sableagle wrote:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pn2AG39VcPg

Quite a lot of people. At one point I overheard a little girl saying to her parents: "Nobody likes him." Hell yeah.
aawww....
That is touching.
It is nice to know, we have Friends in the United Kingdom.
Spoiler:
Say It Loud.
Say it Clear.

We Don't Want Trump Here!
....either.
Can you imagine what a kerfuffle would be going on in the US
if any other Representative insisted upon being alone in meetings?

Obama was not allowed to have a beer without notetakers.
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Orange is a very successful Russian Asset.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Sableagle » Mon Jul 16, 2018 9:41 am UTC

Trump's ambassador lobbied Britain on behalf of jailed right-wing activist Tommy Robinson

Sam Brownback, the U.S. Ambassador for International Religious Freedom, complained to the British ambassador in Washington D.C. about the treatment of an English right-wing activist who is in jail for disrupting a trial, according to three sources familiar with the discussion.

Brownback raised the case of the activist known as Tommy Robinson in a June meeting with Sir Kim Darroch, Britain’s Ambassador to the United States, according to a British official and two sources close to the organizers of a pro-Robinson demonstration planned for London on Saturday.

Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, though he also uses other aliases, is a founder of the English Defense League, which has organised violent demonstrations against Islamic immigrants in the UK in the past decade. More recently, Robinson has branded himself a journalist and campaigner against Islamic extremism, a move that won him contacts with American anti-Muslim activists.

Robinson was arrested in late May outside a courthouse in Leeds, England, while making video recordings about a trial related to child molestation and jailed for 13 months for violating English law limiting publicity during criminal trials.

Brownback raised the jailing of Robinson during a meeting with Darroch that covered a range of “religious freedom issues”, the British official confirmed earlier this week.

Brownback told Darroch that if Britain did not treat Robinson more sympathetically, the Trump administration might be compelled to criticize Britain’s handling of the case, according to the two sources in contact with organizers of the planned pro-Robinson demonstration.


Related posts in the Darker Side thread:
viewtopic.php?p=4357691#p4357691
viewtopic.php?p=4357726#p4357726
viewtopic.php?p=4369722#p4369722

I love the dig that Reuters slipped into their article:

Reuters was unable to determine why the top U.S. official responsible for defending religious freedom would try to intervene with the British government on behalf of an activist who has expressed anti-Islamic views.
Oh, Willie McBride, it was all done in vain.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:37 am UTC

The logic (of somebody else, probably) of someone who believes that the land founded on freedom from having to have a particular religious viewpoint promoted at the highest levels and dissenting beliefs crushed is where just one particular viewpoint should be promoted at the highest levels and dissenting beliefs must be crushed.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby bbluewi » Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:16 pm UTC

So the meeting (or summit, or whatever the hell you want to call it) with Putin happened today. When asked at the joint press conference whether here believed Putin or the entire US intelligence community about election interference, the answer was...(drum roll)...Putin. The longer this goes on, the more guilty he looks of collusion and conspiracy.

(No links because this is my first post, but it shouldn't be hard to find.)

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby addams » Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:46 pm UTC

It is not hard to find.
It is hard to stomach.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-44852812
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Thesh » Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:49 pm UTC

Yeah, as time goes on I become more and more convinced that Trump takes orders directly from Putin.

https://www.emptywheel.net/2018/07/16/a ... r-meeting/
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby LaserGuy » Mon Jul 16, 2018 6:03 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Circumstances in life vary. If more money will compensate for one's circumstances or not, well...it depends. That said, I've been both decently well off and quite poor, and I much prefer the former. Sure, I might get hit with, say, an unfortunate illness, and that would diminish my happiness, but I would be happier to face any given illness with money rather than without.

At the end of the day, a great many sources of unhappiness can be solved or reduced with money, and I can exchange money for things that bring me joy. Money may not be equivalent to happiness, but it can definitely be traded for it.


Research tends to suggest that money only correlates with happiness up to a specific dollar amount, and beyond that money does not provide any additional happiness... essentially financial security leads to extra happiness, but excess wealth does not. The threshold is somewhere around 75k annual salary.

This is also related to the problem that the value of money scales logarithmically (roughly) with how much money you already have. So a thousand dollars to a person who has no money has a much greater value to that individual than an extra million dollars to a person who already has a million.

Anyway, if you believe that money is functionally equivalent to utility or well-being, then I hope you are in favor of massive wealth redistribution.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby addams » Mon Jul 16, 2018 6:09 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:Yeah, as time goes on I become more and more convinced that Trump takes orders directly from Putin.

https://www.emptywheel.net/2018/07/16/a ... r-meeting/
ok...
Now, there are two of us.

I can almost hear the words.
Spoken in that Musical Russian accent.

"Don't blink."
"Stay Strong."

"I have cared for you, in the past."
"I will care for you now, if you do."

"Remember."
"Remember, where the Money comes from."

"Not from the FBI."
"Nor from the CIA."

"All of your Money, for many years, has come from me."
"You, Donald Trump, belong to me. I have paid for you."
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Jul 16, 2018 6:42 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Circumstances in life vary. If more money will compensate for one's circumstances or not, well...it depends. That said, I've been both decently well off and quite poor, and I much prefer the former. Sure, I might get hit with, say, an unfortunate illness, and that would diminish my happiness, but I would be happier to face any given illness with money rather than without.

At the end of the day, a great many sources of unhappiness can be solved or reduced with money, and I can exchange money for things that bring me joy. Money may not be equivalent to happiness, but it can definitely be traded for it.


Research tends to suggest that money only correlates with happiness up to a specific dollar amount, and beyond that money does not provide any additional happiness... essentially financial security leads to extra happiness, but excess wealth does not. The threshold is somewhere around 75k annual salary.

This is also related to the problem that the value of money scales logarithmically (roughly) with how much money you already have. So a thousand dollars to a person who has no money has a much greater value to that individual than an extra million dollars to a person who already has a million.


Money is measured in quite small amounts with accuracy. Happiness is measured with far less precision than money. In this case, it's a 1-10 scale, leaving fairly little range for expressing happiness, and potentially missing smaller scales. Toss in the measurement error from surveys, and point of time measurements of something that changes over time, and I have doubts that happiness is measured with nearly as much precision as finances are. While the study itself is unfortunately paywalled, I observe that people routinely continue to pursue wealth beyond the supposed satiation point.

So, people themselves apparently feel there is value in continuing to pursue wealth beyond that point. Perhaps diminishing, but certainly non-zero additional value by some metric. If you halved the income of someone making $160k a year, I believe they'd express sadness. Likewise, if you doubled the salary of someone making $80k a year, you'd see happiness. In short, the study's supposed findings do not match commonly observed behaviors.

Anyway, if you believe that money is functionally equivalent to utility or well-being, then I hope you are in favor of massive wealth redistribution.


Not equivalent as in identical, merely as in exchangeable for. I can exchange money for utility or improved well being, and examples are trivial to find.

I don't see how wealth redistribution follows. Quite a lot of people are against wealth redistribution, but at least understand that money can be used for some of the above things. Perhaps there's a hidden axiom or something like "everyone deserves to be happy" or something that I'm missing.

In any case, no, I don't think massive wealth redistribution is any more ideal than, say, forced organ redistribution would be. You can construct a utilitarian argument for it, provided you ignore most of the inconvenient costs the redistribution will create. It isn't enough to catalog direct costs.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby LaserGuy » Mon Jul 16, 2018 6:57 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:I don't see how wealth redistribution follows. Quite a lot of people are against wealth redistribution, but at least understand that money can be used for some of the above things. Perhaps there's a hidden axiom or something like "everyone deserves to be happy" or something that I'm missing.


The whole point of utilitarian ethics is to maximize utility. That's practically the definition. Since there are diminishing returns in terms of utility on wealth, it follows that horded wealth should be redistributed to maximize utility.

In any case, no, I don't think massive wealth redistribution is any more ideal than, say, forced organ redistribution would be. You can construct a utilitarian argument for it, provided you ignore most of the inconvenient costs the redistribution will create. It isn't enough to catalog direct costs.


I don't see how this is any more of a problem than reducing the inconvenient costs of air pollution to dollars and cents.

So, people themselves apparently feel there is value in continuing to pursue wealth beyond that point. Perhaps diminishing, but certainly non-zero additional value by some metric. If you halved the income of someone making $160k a year, I believe they'd express sadness. Likewise, if you doubled the salary of someone making $80k a year, you'd see happiness. In short, the study's supposed findings do not match commonly observed behaviors.


I don't think this is dealing with instantaneous changes in wealth, but rather effects in the long term.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Thesh » Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:06 pm UTC

That's because you see utility as unimportant. Humans evolved to be survival and reproduction machines, not happiness maximization engines. Beyond survival, literally the only thing that matters to your happiness are your relationships and your ability to stay occupied. All of our relationships suffer because of the inequality, even the relationships of the very wealthy. We sacrifice the vast majority of our ability to produce happiness as a country, all because we believe that encouraging hoarding behavior will result in a concentration of resources that will lead to advancing technology so much that it will solve all of our problems without them having to give up the stuff they hoard. Of course, no matter how much technology advances, the people starve to death unless the government steps in to redistribute.

And what do they do with this wealth they hoarded? They seek to hoard even more of it. They want to hoard entire companies, not for the sake of doing anything positive with it, but purely for the sake of hoarding. In fact, they hoard all of the information about everything their company does and sells, and then seek to gain customer information so they can hoard even more wealth. As the economy grows less and less efficient, and they hoard even more and more companies, reducing competition, innovation, and increasing information asymmetry further, we are told that the competitive advantage is all part of playing the game, and that by allowing people to hoard more we will have even more technological advancement, and it will be so much better that it will make up for all of the inequality and the massively inefficient market conditions created.

Because redistribution has costs. Ignore all the police and military, and everything we do to enforce the inequality. Government is bad unless it is using force to prevent people from taking property from the wealthy.

Seriously, we know this is about your fucking nihilistic, authoritarian view of human rights for you, and you don't care about the actual practicality. You just believe that the people with wealth deserve wealth and the people without wealth deserve to suffer.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby ucim » Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:10 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:Yeah, as time goes on I become more and more convinced that Trump takes orders directly from Putin.
Or from Bannon and the like, who take their orders from Putin. Dunno. Any evidence of communication there?

Tyndmyr wrote:Happiness is measured with far less precision than money.
Perhaps this is a clue that there isn't an equivalence between them.


Tyndmyr wrote:I observe that people routinely continue to pursue wealth beyond the supposed satiation point.
Yes. Money can be addictive.

Tyndmyr wrote:...the study's supposed findings do not match commonly observed behaviors.
They don't contradict it either. I have personally found that sometimes more money made me less happy, and I could even see the mechanism. Nonetheless, more money gave me more choices and more security, (which also have value) so I was not about to toss it away. There's a lot of truth to the adage "it's the journey, not the destination".

Tyndmyr wrote:Not equivalent as in identical, merely as in exchangeable for. I can exchange money for utility or improved well being, and examples are trivial to find.
That is "functionally equivalent". There are however things that you cannot exchange for money.

Integrity, for one. You cannot purchase it. Nonetheless, it features (or should feature) in decisions that a person or a country makes. Integrity has value, but it's not "hard cash dollars and cents" value. You could choose to destroy it; you do this every time you cheat somebody. But unlike money, you cannot "exchange" integrity.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Thesh » Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:14 pm UTC

Trump had multiple private meetings with Putin without any Americans, not even a translator, present. I'd say that's pretty unusual behavior in and of itself, and with everything else going on... He's had a history of dealing with organized crime, and has likely been laundering money for people close to Putin for years. If it wasn't for the fact that the only thing Trump seems consistent on outside of racism is advancing Russian interests, I would be skeptical... But he is consistent.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:15 pm UTC

Redistributing organs is bad from a utilitarian perspective because of secondary consequences of living in a world where you can't trust you'll survive a hospital visit even (or especially) if you're healthy.

Redistribution of wealth so everyone has enough to eat and be healthy at the expense of billionaires having slightly fewer billions of dollars has none of these sorts of costs.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:21 pm UTC

Not if, as a result, the billionaires respond by offshoring their wealth even moreso than they currently do.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Thesh » Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:25 pm UTC

Offshoring their cash. All of the "private" wealth in the country is wealth that the government guarantees by law, and can take away just as easily. Government can always raise the money if it wants.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:29 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Not if, as a result, the billionaires respond by offshoring their wealth even moreso than they currently do.
Then aggressively work to make that impossible. You could even mention guillotines if need be.

Whatever gets done to the people who've amassed billions of dollars of other people's production, it still won't be comparable to organ redistribution, because people can easily and healthily avoid becoming or remaining multibillionaires, while you can't healthily avoid having organs a "kill one to save five" surgeon might want to take.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:36 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:I don't see how wealth redistribution follows. Quite a lot of people are against wealth redistribution, but at least understand that money can be used for some of the above things. Perhaps there's a hidden axiom or something like "everyone deserves to be happy" or something that I'm missing.


The whole point of utilitarian ethics is to maximize utility. That's practically the definition. Since there are diminishing returns in terms of utility on wealth, it follows that horded wealth should be redistributed to maximize utility.


Utility and happiness are not identical. Taking drugs continuously until you die would be one path with high happiness but utility.

Utility can generate happiness, but happiness can't necessarily create utility.

In any case, no, I don't think massive wealth redistribution is any more ideal than, say, forced organ redistribution would be. You can construct a utilitarian argument for it, provided you ignore most of the inconvenient costs the redistribution will create. It isn't enough to catalog direct costs.


I don't see how this is any more of a problem than reducing the inconvenient costs of air pollution to dollars and cents.


It isn't a problem of the "hard to count" sort. It's a problem in that the tradition examples just ignore huge costs.

From a strict accounting perspective, we could take one healthy person, part them out to save some number of dying individuals that is significantly greater than 1. Direct costs, one life lost, direct gains, several lives saved.

But if you create a world in which being healthy means you can get chopped up for organ fodder, you have some serious problems. Individual incentives are not to be healthy. This creates a second order cost which can be extremely negative. The same applies if you punish financial success and reward financial mismanagement. The concrete example Corrupt gives of rich people leaving if success is punished is a sound one.

So, people themselves apparently feel there is value in continuing to pursue wealth beyond that point. Perhaps diminishing, but certainly non-zero additional value by some metric. If you halved the income of someone making $160k a year, I believe they'd express sadness. Likewise, if you doubled the salary of someone making $80k a year, you'd see happiness. In short, the study's supposed findings do not match commonly observed behaviors.


I don't think this is dealing with instantaneous changes in wealth, but rather effects in the long term.


The method of measuring happiness appeared to be via one time survey, given that the article itself noted that the day one was surveyed could change the results. By definition, it's gathering instantaneous data.

In any case, if wealth above a given number genuinely didn't matter, then why would everyone react as if it does? Even up to extremely large amounts, we treat wealth as something obviously desirable.

ucim wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:I observe that people routinely continue to pursue wealth beyond the supposed satiation point.
Yes. Money can be addictive.


It's not merely an addictive property, as the poor also exhibit this behavior. One does not need to have millions of dollars to see the appeal in winning the lottery. If those who are not habituated to wealth still desire it, it cannot be "addiction".

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Thesh » Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:47 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:In any case, if wealth above a given number genuinely didn't matter, then why would everyone react as if it does? Even up to extremely large amounts, we treat wealth as something obviously desirable.


Because people are not rational and the more money you have the less rational your spending is.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Dauric » Mon Jul 16, 2018 8:03 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:In any case, if wealth above a given number genuinely didn't matter, then why would everyone react as if it does? Even up to extremely large amounts, we treat wealth as something obviously desirable.


Because people are not rational and the more money you have the less rational your spending is.


Pretty much this. The more primitive parts of the brain have a problem with the concept of "enough". "Having enough" is a concept heavily driven by rational thought, and is in turn rather easily overridden in most people by so-called "reptilian" brain structures (ie: parts of the brain that are still structured for basic survival instincts) that if your competitors have more food resources than you do they will be stronger and eventually convert you in to food as well.

Marketers often drive their messages to effect these primitive survival stimuli in large part because as survival instincts they can be triggered without having to engage rational thought. You can trigger survival responses in someone who isn't completely paying attention or who isn't actively thinking through the stimuli, which increases the likelihood of them acting on the message you're broadcasting without rationally considering if it is something they really need.

We, as a species, have yet to properly evolve our brains and thinking processes in an environment where overabundance is as much a threat as scarcity (ie: obesity and diabetes).
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Thesh » Mon Jul 16, 2018 8:08 pm UTC

Also, if you think about not the money that they are using to acquire these things, but the personal effort involved, you will see that the people with ten car garages and millions of dollars in art didn't actually put in that much effort, and for the most part all the extras cost them nothing. It's likely that people wouldn't find a lot of their spending worth it if their money didn't come effort-free.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Jul 16, 2018 8:14 pm UTC

Dauric wrote:
Thesh wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:In any case, if wealth above a given number genuinely didn't matter, then why would everyone react as if it does? Even up to extremely large amounts, we treat wealth as something obviously desirable.


Because people are not rational and the more money you have the less rational your spending is.


Pretty much this. The more primitive parts of the brain have a problem with the concept of "enough". "Having enough" is a concept heavily driven by rational thought, and is in turn rather easily overridden in most people by so-called "reptilian" brain structures (ie: parts of the brain that are still structured for basic survival instincts) that if your competitors have more food resources than you do they will be stronger and eventually convert you in to food as well.


If it's solely a result of lizard-brain concerns over surviving the winter and other such things from our distant evolutionary past, why are people so rarely compelled to stockpile actual food instead of money?

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Thesh » Mon Jul 16, 2018 8:17 pm UTC

https://www.valuepenguin.com/average-household-budget

People experience running out of money a lot more than they experience grocery stores running out of food.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Jul 16, 2018 8:23 pm UTC

The organ harvesting comparison also fails because it lacks a sense of "fairness".

In terms of trolley problems, we generally agree that it's ok to switch the trolley tracks thereby killing one to save five, but not ok to push someone onto the tracks to slow it down enough to save five people. We also don't think it's ok to derail the trolley and have it roll down a hill, crushing a guy who was taking a nap by the shore. The reasons vary, but generally, the lone person on the track is in a place where they should not be, and there's a risk of being hit by a trolley when on the tracks. So it's more "fair" to kill that one to save the five, but not "fair" to kill the guy just taking a nap in a "safe" spot.

Your organ donor problem? We generally value young, healthy people more highly, even though we might not say as such. Don't believe me? Ask yourself if you were a firefighter in a house that was close to collapse, you have enough time to rescue two old people near the door, or run upstairs and save the infant, but you can not save all three; do you save the two or the one? So right off the bat, the comparison is flawed due to the medical five not being equal in value to the trolley five. Further complicating matters is that often organ failure is self inflicted, and most would not agree to sacrificing the healthy person to save the alcoholic who needs a new liver or the smoker the lungs. This would be the equivalent of killing the one innocent bystander in order to save the five who willingly stepped on the tracks.

And that's BEFORE getting into the secondary effect problem of healthy people not showing up the hospitals or intentionally infecting themselves with hepatitis or the like to avoid being turned into spare parts.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby eran_rathan » Mon Jul 16, 2018 8:35 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Perhaps there's a hidden axiom or something like "everyone deserves to be happy" or something that I'm missing.


No so hidden.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby bbluewi » Mon Jul 16, 2018 8:41 pm UTC

eran_rathan wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Perhaps there's a hidden axiom or something like "everyone deserves to be happy" or something that I'm missing.


No so hidden.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."


And to pre-empt the "everyone does have the right, equal opportunity =/= equal outcomes" that I'm sure is coming (having lurked this thread for about 3 months now), equal opportunity doesn't happen when the "best economic investment" in a 1D value system only using dollars and cents has the intentional effect of concentrating more and more wealth in fewer and fewer hands.
Last edited by bbluewi on Mon Jul 16, 2018 8:43 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Dauric » Mon Jul 16, 2018 8:43 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
Dauric wrote:
Thesh wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:In any case, if wealth above a given number genuinely didn't matter, then why would everyone react as if it does? Even up to extremely large amounts, we treat wealth as something obviously desirable.


Because people are not rational and the more money you have the less rational your spending is.


Pretty much this. The more primitive parts of the brain have a problem with the concept of "enough". "Having enough" is a concept heavily driven by rational thought, and is in turn rather easily overridden in most people by so-called "reptilian" brain structures (ie: parts of the brain that are still structured for basic survival instincts) that if your competitors have more food resources than you do they will be stronger and eventually convert you in to food as well.


If it's solely a result of lizard-brain concerns over surviving the winter and other such things from our distant evolutionary past, why are people so rarely compelled to stockpile actual food instead of money?


I never said "Solely". It is however a significant, and exploitable, factor.

That said the survival instinct simply triggers the perception of a need for "More". What to stockpile is driven by higher pattern-recognition functions that recognize and prioritize different types of resources as they are recognized. Money happens to be a flexible resource that can be converted in to potential future needs without the effort of attempting to predict what those resource needs will be, including food, shelter, social influence, and comfort (which are also important survival stimuli).
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Pfhorrest » Mon Jul 16, 2018 8:52 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:In terms of trolley problems, we generally agree that it's ok to switch the trolley tracks thereby killing one to save five,

nope
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Jul 16, 2018 9:05 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:In terms of trolley problems, we generally agree that it's ok to switch the trolley tracks thereby killing one to save five,

nope


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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Jul 16, 2018 9:17 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:The organ harvesting comparison also fails because it lacks a sense of "fairness".

In terms of trolley problems, we generally agree that it's ok to switch the trolley tracks thereby killing one to save five, but not ok to push someone onto the tracks to slow it down enough to save five people. We also don't think it's ok to derail the trolley and have it roll down a hill, crushing a guy who was taking a nap by the shore. The reasons vary, but generally, the lone person on the track is in a place where they should not be, and there's a risk of being hit by a trolley when on the tracks. So it's more "fair" to kill that one to save the five, but not "fair" to kill the guy just taking a nap in a "safe" spot.


The classic trolley problem is usually not intended to highlight the folks on the tracks as trespassers, but to consider moral responsibility and tradeoffs. I disagree that the "take one life to save five" part of the trolley scenario relies upon the one life being a person who has chosen to be there. Both the five and the one are generally presented as not being unusually virtuous or evil, at least for the initial pass.

Further iterations sometimes introduce additional complications as a way of weighing values against another. However, even if one accepted that the five were tresspassing and the one was not, selecting the five over the one is still putting a very high weight on the act of tresspassing. I'm not sure this is justified. As crimes go, this is not a very large one, and choosing to kill more people is generally considered to be significantly worse. You take it as a given that we would all answer those two trolley problems the way you do, but I don't think we all would.

I think if you've embraced the idea of killing one to save five, the idea that the one guy is peacefully taking a nap isn't a big change. Many people are gonna pick the same answer for both.

Your organ donor problem? We generally value young, healthy people more highly, even though we might not say as such.


Agreed, but one could say that we're sacrificing one young, healthy person, to save half a dozen young, otherwise healthy people(who will be healthy if they receive this organ), all with no moral failing in setting up their scenario, and problems would still exist.

The same is true for financial inequality. Yes, in some cases, people might be poor due to their own actions. However, we can use example people who have not erred in that way, and who are otherwise equal to the rich individual. Isolating out extra variables can make for a more convincing example.

eran_rathan wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Perhaps there's a hidden axiom or something like "everyone deserves to be happy" or something that I'm missing.


No so hidden.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."


Pursuit of happiness ain't a guarantee of it.

bbluewi wrote:And to pre-empt the "everyone does have the right, equal opportunity =/= equal outcomes" that I'm sure is coming (having lurked this thread for about 3 months now), equal opportunity doesn't happen when the "best economic investment" in a 1D value system only using dollars and cents has the intentional effect of concentrating more and more wealth in fewer and fewer hands.


It doesn't say "equal chance at happiness" either.

As an aside, I'd also hold the "Creator" part to be a bit hard to prove as well. Rights are all well and good, but I'm not convinced that relying on deific origin is reasonable.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Pfhorrest » Mon Jul 16, 2018 9:18 pm UTC

was voicing my disagreement, not questioning popular agreement (which I didn’t realize you were asserting).

though not surprised to learn that as usual, most people are wrong.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Jul 16, 2018 9:39 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:was voicing my disagreement, not questioning popular agreement (which I didn’t realize you were asserting).

though not surprised to learn that as usual, most people are wrong.


Ethics and morals are social constructs, so "right" and "wrong" kiiinda goes by majority.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Pfhorrest » Mon Jul 16, 2018 9:41 pm UTC

that way lies relativism and thence nihilism
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Thesh » Mon Jul 16, 2018 9:43 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:
Pfhorrest wrote:was voicing my disagreement, not questioning popular agreement (which I didn’t realize you were asserting).

though not surprised to learn that as usual, most people are wrong.


Ethics and morals are social constructs, so "right" and "wrong" kiiinda goes by majority.


So, slavery was right because a majority agreed with it?
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Jul 16, 2018 9:46 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:
Pfhorrest wrote:was voicing my disagreement, not questioning popular agreement (which I didn’t realize you were asserting).

though not surprised to learn that as usual, most people are wrong.


Ethics and morals are social constructs, so "right" and "wrong" kiiinda goes by majority.


I don't think that voting is the only way to determine right and wrong.

Nor is it necessarily a very good, or coherent way to do so. It's probably the least-bad way to elect leaders, but as a moral basis, it's a bit iffy.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby bbluewi » Mon Jul 16, 2018 9:49 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
eran_rathan wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Perhaps there's a hidden axiom or something like "everyone deserves to be happy" or something that I'm missing.


No so hidden.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."


Pursuit of happiness ain't a guarantee of it.

bbluewi wrote:And to pre-empt the "everyone does have the right, equal opportunity =/= equal outcomes" that I'm sure is coming (having lurked this thread for about 3 months now), equal opportunity doesn't happen when the "best economic investment" in a 1D value system only using dollars and cents has the intentional effect of concentrating more and more wealth in fewer and fewer hands.


It doesn't say "equal chance at happiness" either.

As an aside, I'd also hold the "Creator" part to be a bit hard to prove as well. Rights are all well and good, but I'm not convinced that relying on deific origin is reasonable.


You're right, it doesn't explicitly say that, depending on your interpretation of the word right. (And of course, the founding documents of this country are remarkably vague, but that's another thread.) The definition I (and others on the left side of the spectrum) tend to use for "right" is something that all should have equal access to, such as the statement "health care is a human right." Following from that definition, the right to the pursuit of happiness would be "everyone gets access to the resources required to be able to look beyond basic needs and find fulfillment," which isn't something that happens in America right now (and to be honest, hasn't been for at least a century, since getting beyond basic needs became a "simple" enough task to not be fulfilling in and of itself).

As for the actual text of the Declaration (breaking up quotes is more work than it's worth on mobile), these men were deists--they still believed in some form of higher power (though FWIW, there wasn't much else to believe yet).

As a random Declaration aside, remember that time that a bunch of people (the far right) thought NPR was inciting violence when they tweeted the Declaration on July 4 last year? I do. Iron[y] is tasty.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby ucim » Mon Jul 16, 2018 9:58 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:Redistributing organs is bad from a utilitarian perspective because of secondary consequences of living in a world where you can't trust you'll survive a hospital visit even (or especially) if you're healthy.
We only take organs from "those kinds" of people. If you're one of us, you're fine.

Tyndmyr wrote:It's not merely an addictive property, as the poor also exhibit this behavior. One does not need to have millions of dollars to see the appeal in winning the lottery. If those who are not habituated to wealth still desire it, it cannot be "addiction".
"Not merely" isn't the same as "not". And what something appears to be is not the same as what it is.

eran_rathan wrote:"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
It originally was "...life, liberty, and property".
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Dauric wrote:The more primitive parts of the brain have a problem with the concept of "enough".
But the more advanced parts of the brain consider the future. Stockpiling for a rainy day is smart. It keeps you from becoming a burden to the state later in life. That is a virtue.

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