Profile for Diprosopus


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Nyyyoron~! in General
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Profile #45
The point, sir, is not that you do anything meaningful with your lives; merely that watching hamfisted quasi-debates about politics is wearying, and that scenario production has petered out. The Vogelian school of design has grown so horrifically bland that I keep the hope-- my lit candle, in your parlance-- that you vibrant folks might put to use the hot piss and vinegar which comprises you.
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Nyyyoron~! in General
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Profile #42
I propose making RPGs as bad as possible. My reasoning: The more quickly internet junkies get bored of their games, the more readily they will accept amusement from more productive outlets (ie. social interaction, academia, etc). Thus, I demand that JV immediately produce nothing but the lowest quality games henceforth.

It may take the muffins out of his daughters' mouths, but the sacrifice would be worthwhile. :P
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Scope of Ethics in General
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Profile #59
That others balk at impartial ethics leaves ethicists who believe in impartiality compelled to address the concerns of their discontents. Even if impartial ethical systems are workable rules of thumb, the ethical systems in question are internally inconsistent if they're justified only by appealing to their usefulness for the ethicist in question.

Also, just because something is complex doesn't mean that we can't know it. Further, it seems like discovering what's ethical is as pertinent as anything.
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Scope of Ethics in General
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Profile #56
Things may rely on common sense in how we justify them, but that doesn't mean that things are true because they are common sense, just that we know that they're true (if we even do) because they are common sense. When I ask you what ethical system you use, however, I am not asking you about how you know any ethical system is superior to any other; while you may use your path to knowledge in order to justify your given ethical system to me, I am asking you for what that ethical system is.

I may not be the best at providing examples, but: Imagine that we are trying to determine what drags all things towards the Earth when released. Even if you say "well, I know things fall to the earth because it's common sense," you're still not identifying what the thing in question is.

Of course if you're saying that following common sense is an ethical system unto itself, that's... something, I suppose. At least, it would certainly be a courageous position to hold. :)
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Poll of the Executive Branch in General
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Profile #3
You know, for a country who's so bent on determining which other countries' leaders terms shouldn't be allowed to pass, it's strange that we might house an even bloodier dictator and give him the benefit of the doubt like a leader of the civilized world rather than the ruthless, blood-crazed psychopath he is.
Posts: 134 | Registered: Sunday, February 3 2008 08:00
Scope of Ethics in General
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Profile #54
That ethics relies on common sense in itself is absurd. That ethics relies on practicality is moot; even if the recitation of an ethical system is practical, that doesn't make the ethical system itself valid.
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Scope of Ethics in General
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Profile #52
What makes Kantianism so sound? It can't be that it simply fits in conveniently with common understanding of morality or that it's useful to adopt, because neither of those necessarily tell us what's true about ethics.
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Nyyyoron~! in General
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Profile #6
I'm not sure what all of this means. Is he some sort of troll? :(
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What have you been reading recently? in General
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Profile #7
Currently, Pragmatism, Minima Moralia, and a thick but unintimidating summary of psychology of religion.
Posts: 134 | Registered: Sunday, February 3 2008 08:00
Scope of Ethics in General
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Profile #38
I chose the nerveless sadist precisely because he wouldn't actively want to be stabbed. The masochist would technically be reading the GR literally by stabbing other people, but that sort of example is unrealistic because the masochist might as easily harm himself, and why would someone want to stab other people if she won't derive any pleasure for it anyway?

Or, to show this more clearly, another example: Let us say that I propose to give 50% of my wealth to an incredibly wealthy person. Under the GR, I certainly wouldn't be doing it for the explicit purpose of having that wealthy person give 50% of her wealth to me; that would be foolish, and would violate the initial reasons why the GR appealed to us, namely immediate practicality.

The masochist stabbing others has no motive to stab others by the GR since reading the GR in that way renders it totally absurd. The example of the nerveless sadist at least places a minimal practical expectation for how to act. The GR oughtn't disallow us from doing things we want, and so I chose an example which would motivate the agent. Note that I didn't say that the GR under the first reading I considered commanded the agent to harm others, merely that it permitted him to. That the harm the sadist proposed inflicting was non-injurious: This means that the sadist would only afflict himself with a minor annoyance. Both examples would eventually fall to the same critique, but I wanted to produce an example that drew out the "GR isn't physical" criticism more discreetly. Of course, I spelled it out afterwards anyway, so I'd just as soon not revisit the particulars of an example, but I do hope my points have crystallized more distinctly in your mind. :)

As for grandiose systems of morality: If they are inevitably susceptible to abominable examples, perhaps you deny the abominations in the world. It's easy to be moral in times of plenty under any system, but moral codes are defined by the dilemmas which they answer.

Zeviz, sir, I cannot but notice that you're hinting at the same point I've been trying to make to Student of Trinity. Your formulation of the CI is incomplete, but it's also incomplete in the way I had described previously.

And to Kelandon, the Greek scholar: I'm aware of the contradiction in my first objection; it was a straw man by design which I erected simply to anticipate someone else's potentially building it thereafter. Thuryl's riposte, meanwhile, invites you to the dilemma I posed in my second example.

Welcome to the discussion, Mr. VCH! Are wristcutters teaching ethics courses nowadays? ;) If you would so much as humor me: Even if you pursue that which is good (i.e. what you want) first, is it inconceivable to say that it's right to pursue that which is good? You seem to be advocating ethical egoism. Read about it, you sympathize with it. :D

Also, if you don't believe in right or wrong, why would you care about anyone else's utility?

Mr. Eggs, it strikes me that even if politicians' ideals are contrary to the fundamental assumptions which underlie utilitarianism, politicians (in their facility as politicians) must be act utilitarians. We might simply say that being a politician places one in a constant "critical state."
Posts: 134 | Registered: Sunday, February 3 2008 08:00
Scenario Release - Kill Them Dead in Blades of Avernum
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Profile #5
Amusing piece. I cannot begin to fathom which scenarios you might be lambasting. ;)
Posts: 134 | Registered: Sunday, February 3 2008 08:00
Scope of Ethics in General
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Profile #29
I was hoping I didn't have to revisit my examples. I'm impressed with the liberty you took to rewrite my examples, although perhaps I wasn't sufficiently clear. :( Replace the instance of "hurt" in the sadist's original proposition with something along the lines of "puncture" or "scald" or some other act that leads to pain in people who can process it but wouldn't in the sadist herself. The dilemma I posed with the first example is simply this: If the GR is set to the means by which the agent obtains a favorable outcome, then our nerveless agent in question is permitted to stab as she sees fit. If it's limited to the means by which an agent might do unto another which would obtain an outcome favored by the other, then I pose the dilemma (as does Mr. Thuryl) of the two foes who request that you assist them in fighting the other.

There must be some mitigating factor which determines the scope of the GR, and I'm unsure what that scope would begin to look like, other than the first prong of the CI test: That is, that we oughtn't contradict our own will. Until I receive a formulation of the GR which doesn't fall prey to either of these dilemmas, then I am simply going to file the GR away as a part of the CI as I had stated explicitly before. To argue otherwise, I need a solid definition of the GR, and until we obtain one, I'm not sure where this discussion would proceed. :o

[ Sunday, February 10, 2008 23:34: Message edited by: Diprosopus ]
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Owchie in General
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Profile #2
Ha ha! The funny man cursed on television, and about politics, no less! Oh, good times. :cool:
Posts: 134 | Registered: Sunday, February 3 2008 08:00
Scope of Ethics in General
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Profile #27
Excuse me, Mr. Excalibur, but you may find an objection on this very topic somewhere prior. Or perhaps you hadn't noticed? No worries, take your time. :)

Mr. Drew: I believe the inimitably snide Thuryl was applying reductio to the GR along similar lines of the example I had provided earlier. Are you perhaps implying that game theory is the only alternative to the GR? I'm not quite sure what your sarcastic quip was supposed to have meant.
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Should there be a big battle at the end of geneforge 5? in Geneforge 4: Rebellion
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Profile #23
Why are you people writing (and reading) so many of each other's pages about retro, shareware RPGs? Could not your time and energy be better spent?
Posts: 134 | Registered: Sunday, February 3 2008 08:00
Scope of Ethics in General
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Profile #21
Even if the GR is at the historical roots of those ideas, it's such a vague and poorly formulated rule that it probably shouldn't be our justification for any law, custom, etc.
Posts: 134 | Registered: Sunday, February 3 2008 08:00
Scope of Ethics in General
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Profile #19
You misunderstand. I'm saying that the GR is a crappy formulation that's best understood as part of the CI-- namely, contradiction in the will.

Anyway, the golden rule is such a blithely ineffective moral code that it's no longer worth discussing, and religion is a total non-starter for any discussion about ethics, so this tangent is over.
Posts: 134 | Registered: Sunday, February 3 2008 08:00
Scope of Ethics in General
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Profile #17
Let us say I am a sadist who cannot feel pain and am considering hurting you in a non-injurious way. (I cannot injure myself, since I wouldn't actually feel any pain and I would know it, so I wouldn't be able to please myself as a sadist in this way. That is, I have an outstanding desire to hurt specifically other people. :cool: ) Let us also assume that this doesn't arise out of any debilitating mental illness, and I am rational despite this quirk. By what means does the GR prevent me from doing so? If someone else were to hurt me, I would not feel it so it would be irrelevant to me. Is the GR really weak enough to allow me to hurt this other person?

And if it isn't that weak, then by what means? Is it asking something more along the lines of, "do unto others as you would have them do unto you if your identities were swapped"? In that case, I'm forbidden from hurting you, but now I'm also forbidden from doing anything that anyone wouldn't like. For instance, what if I encountered two people, each of whom asks me to punch the other, and neither of whom likes being punched. Under this reading of the GR, I would be forced to obey both and neither of their commands at the same time, so the GR cannot possibly mean this either.

So now we're left with a GR whose circumstances and standards cannot be particular to those of any individual. This only brings us so far as the contradiction in the will in the CI; we're still missing the contradiction in the inception, though, and I don't think we're going to get it. Still, that doesn't make the GR any less social than the CI; you're still thinking about everyone under both, but the CI has you think about everyone in two different ways.

Edited: A kind thanks to Mr. Kelandon! I guess that clears up the judgment issue.

As for the bigger picture: For someone who's arguing for chilling out, you're sure quick to resort to vocations there. ;) It's probably a lot simpler. God stewards the world, God is good, so trusting in His will and just going with the flow will result in good stuff happening. Not that going with the flow requires inaction: The flow may move you to help others. You simply shouldn't doubt it in either case. Now put your books and essays down and stop thinking so freaking hard about theology! The more seriously people take God, the sooner they turn into atheists. (And after that, your options are limited to nihilist libertarianism and millenarian Marxism.) Religion was never designed to withstand careful scrutiny, it was just designed to make you feel cuddly inside. When the faithful begin to question whether or not their imaginary friends are real, it leaves me bizarrely perplexed: We truly don't live in a world committed to truth enough for truth to matter. If you want to know if your imaginary friend is real, try cuddling it more. :)

[ Saturday, February 09, 2008 18:39: Message edited by: Diprosopus ]
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Getting political in General
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Profile #53
"We?" Is there a Canberra in America I'm not familiar with?
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Should there be a big battle at the end of geneforge 5? in Geneforge 4: Rebellion
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Profile #14
quote:
Computer games and especially RPGs are, first and foremost, adolescent power fantasies, with a very few notable exceptions. What do you expect?
More notable exceptions.
Posts: 134 | Registered: Sunday, February 3 2008 08:00
Scope of Ethics in General
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Profile #14
Salmon: I'll try my best. ;)

Arancaytar: Welcome to the akratic gap; try not to fall in. (One you sartre, it's hard to stop. :D ) Is it inconceivable for a smoker to say, "I know I should quit, but I'm gonna light up anyway"? Sure, you can say "the smoker wasn't sincere when deciding that smoking was wrong," but perhaps the smoker had simply underestimated the temptation they would face. And in that case, we wouldn't allow someone to say "I shouldn't murder hookers" unless they're actually in a situation where there would be a temptation to murder hookers.

It strikes me that it's perfectly possible to break one's own ethics, since ethics only pertaining to the present is weak, and expecting people to follow ethics at all times is unreasonable.

Micawber: As much as Aran's problem seems unconvincing to me, it also seems strange that anyone would conceivably commit themselves to ethics that they don't want to commit themselves to at the moment of committal. That being said, "picking whatever the hell you want then doing it and declaring yourself ethical" is how a lot of people think about ethics. I'm not convinced that it's wrong, either. If you want to take up that position, go ahead.

Student of Trinity: I won't assume that you're defending Jesus, although your screen name suggests this much. I'd simply point out that I don't see how I shouldn't judge other people just because it opens me up to being judged. Further, I don't see how the golden rule of Jesus isn't social: I might want someone to help me when I'm in trouble; the golden rule seems to bind others to helping me just as much as the CI.

I'm also not sure that Jesus was much of a quietist. The Bible indisputably advocates conversion and building the kingdom of heaven, which would look a great deal like the kingdom of ends. Accepting suffering seems like a very hard mean to employ in order to achieve the peace Jesus allegedly wanted. And if "heaven" isn't a bigger picture, I have no idea what ever could be.

Rowen: Authority doesn't have to be limited to people. A rule can hold authority, but it certainly cannot hold honor. Also, it's not unthinkable to imagine someone with no honor but a great deal of authority. Coercion results in a lot of authority, even if that authority is very bad. Although like I said to Micawber, it's strange to think of ethical authority as being coercive. (Not even Kantians would maintain that position nowadays.)
Posts: 134 | Registered: Sunday, February 3 2008 08:00
Scope of Ethics in General
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Profile #2
It strikes me that you are asking a leading question, which I have already stated my desire to have answered by others. That being said, an alternative definition of ethics is, "that which has nothing to do with which platform you use, the origin of species, or whether or not we are safer from the terrorists yet." :rolleyes:
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Spiderweb Demographics 2008 in General
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Profile #133
Xel'Raga, do you truly believe that we invaded Iraq purely to get revenge on Saddam? Pumping federal money into the military-industrial complex, obtaining oil, and preventing China from obtaining Iraqi oil probably had a lot more to do with a decision to go to war than a personal feud. Also, you seem to have limited your criticisms of Bush exclusively to the war. Are you not angered by his attempts to dismantle social security, how he damaged our education system, that he allows torture, that he ripped off our veterans, lying repeatedly to the American people, that he took medicine out of the hands of sick children and the elderly, etc, etc, etc? Bush may well be the worst leader of any modern, liberal democracy in all of human history.

Also, I'm not sure what "Dead skin that fell of while masturbating of a atheist Christan who believed he was Jesus." is supposed to mean, but it certainly is quite rabid-sounding. ;)
Posts: 134 | Registered: Sunday, February 3 2008 08:00
Scope of Ethics in General
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Profile #0
I was told to begin an academic topic, so: What do you believe is the scope of ethics? How much authority do you think ethics currently holds over us in our daily lives? How much authority do you think ethics should hold over us?

I do not have any set opinions on this matter, so I would be interested to hear what you have to say.
Posts: 134 | Registered: Sunday, February 3 2008 08:00

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