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Thread: Future Important Thread (Maybe)

  1. #8281
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShowtekGER View Post
    Since Wikileaks recently has released so much that discredits Clinton and therefore supports Trump, all of a sudden everyone who likes Trump now also likes Wikileaks. I suspect that this is not because Trump supporters believe in the importance of whistle-blowing for a free democracy, but because they like to read what they agree with anyway.
    Totally. More and more evidence is building that a great number of people in my country lack self-honesty. As you said, they use the evidence that supports their side, as opposed to following the evidence where it leads. Another example of this can be found in recent polls showing how Republicans have developed a more favorable view of Russia since Trump began his bid for the presidency. Traditionally Republicans prided themselves on being more hawkish on the Russians (think Reagan), but now that has been muddied simply for the desire to win politically.

    I've mostly seen this as a right-wing problem but a week ago I became concerned while reading the comment section of the NYT who reported that the CIA thought that Russian hackers supported Trump in the election. All top rated comments were about Trump being a traitor who accepted help from a hostile, foreign power and for that he should not be allowed to become president. Again, a total lack of nuance and a pre-determined opinion that is exacerbated by information which isn't really relevant in regard to it.
    Yup, liberals can be irrational too. Although I have to confess that I too think of Trump as an anti-American traitor. I'm not sure about the specific article you mentioned above, but in general when a politician puts their own power above the truth (as with CIA evidence, global warming, and a million other things in Trump's case) I think they lean more and more in the direction of betraying their country.

  2. #8282
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    Quote Originally Posted by danthechan View Post
    really got to watch that fake news. that is right up their alley of a story that will generate shares and clicks. social security numbers weren't issued before 1936.
    https://www.ssa.gov/history/ssn/firstcard.html
    Wow!!! You called that one. I'm getting the feeling, though, that ITZ is just playing a practical joke on us with some of the things he's been saying.... I don't know if he's totally serious.

  3. #8283
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zefelius View Post
    Yup, liberals can be irrational too. Although I have to confess that I too think of Trump as an anti-American traitor. I'm not sure about the specific article you mentioned above, but in general when a politician puts their own power above the truth (as with CIA evidence, global warming, and a million other things in Trump's case) I think they lean more and more in the direction of betraying their country.
    I think that most politicians who would profit from a Russian hack like Trump probably did would tilt towards downplaying or rejecting the evidence. Politicians who are damaged by the hack will tilt towards highlighting the evidence. What truly separates Trump from other politicians is that he is more extreme in this regard and that he doesn't at all hide his intentions to deny politically undesirable evidence credibility.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zefelius View Post
    Traditionally Republicans prided themselves on being more hawkish on the Russians (think Reagan), but now that has been muddied simply for the desire to win politically.
    There are real arguments involved here, Russia and the USA (and their relitive positions) have changed since Regan's era. Regardless most of the republican foreign policy 'experts' are hawkish on Russia and are not changing their minds. The foreign policy establishment is wildly opposed to Trump changing how foreign policy is approached.

    Yup, liberals can be irrational too. Although I have to confess that I too think of Trump as an anti-American traitor.
    That is a fairly inflammatory word. By these standards are not most of the world leaders 'traitors'? And what do you do if a traitor runs your country? What sort of action does that a call for?

    Both of these things worry me a bit - it worries me that countries like the USA and Russia and China could stumble mindlessly towards war in the way states often do. And it worries me that the US could tear down its political system through each side selling to itself (a little bit at a time) how absolutely intolerable it is for the other side to have power. I suppose, in a way they are the same thing...

  5. #8285
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottieX View Post

    That is a fairly inflammatory word. By these standards are not most of the world leaders 'traitors'? And what do you do if a traitor runs your country? What sort of action does that a call for?
    I mostly agree with this. Though, I probably differ from you in that I would actually claim that most world leaders are traitors. If the government is of the people, by the people, for the people, then most top politicians are traitors. Across the globe, they primarily serve themselves, their friends, and a tiny class of very powerful people.

    At the same time, I agree with Zef that Trump is exceptional. He fits unusually well the idea of the "traitor". He more explicitly promised to serve the people and the middle class than most mainstream politicians and up until now he has done the exact opposite. Basically, he will do what any president since the eighties has done but he will do it more consequently and in greater contrast to his promises.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShowtekGER View Post
    I mostly agree with this. Though, I probably differ from you in that I would actually claim that most world leaders are traitors.
    No I get this argument. You have high standards, and we should have high standards for our leaders. I would support severe consequences for misuse of political power. I've probably explained how I'd see that working on here at some stage long ago.

    middle class than most mainstream politicians and up until now he has done the exact opposite. Basically, he will do what any president since the eighties has done but he will do it more consequently and in greater contrast to his promises.
    Quite likely... But you seem to be judging him for things you assume he will do before he actually had power to enact his ideas or see how they work out.

    Yes some of his cabinet picks and so forth are odd and seem to contradict his stated positions... but one could apply the same eye to Mr "Hope and not much change" Obama.
    Last edited by ScottieX; 12-20-2016 at 03:19 PM.

  7. #8287
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottieX View Post


    That is a fairly inflammatory word. By these standards are not most of the world leaders 'traitors'? And what do you do if a traitor runs your country? What sort of action does that a call for?

    Both of these things worry me a bit - it worries me that countries like the USA and Russia and China could stumble mindlessly towards war in the way states often do. And it worries me that the US could tear down its political system through each side selling to itself (a little bit at a time) how absolutely intolerable it is for the other side to have power. I suppose, in a way they are the same thing...
    Sorry for the delayed response Scottie! You have a point about using words too broadly. But that's exactly why I added the caveat of "leaning more and more" toward something intolerable. Obviously it's a matter of degrees. So not everyone is a traitor simply because they desire power or lie from time to time. But the more somebody pursues the former without much regard for either truth or what's really good for the country, I imagine it becomes more acceptable to use words akin to traitor (unless the reason is something else entirely, as with being insane or really stupid).

    In Trump's case, I would say it's at least debatable whether he's a traitor to his country----and even just that, being debatable, has to be a serious problem for a president-elect!! There shouldn't even be a question about it! Just take one example with the Russian cyber-attacks to interfere with our elections. For him to dismiss the evidence of the CIA without any real clue about it (much like with climate change), he demonstrates to anyone who is fair and objective (non-partisan) that he really cares more about himself than the U.S. Now, that's just one clue to his personality. But the more he displays this tendency to put himself above the good of the people, the more he needs to be kicked out of office...

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    Funny how this thread picked up recently. I guess that shows how current world events, from Syria to the U.S., have provoked the need for discussions.

    It's nice hearing from different perspectives, even when we disagree.

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    I'm generally one for accepting the system works. But if I was to be convinced that the system has failed terribly and elected a person to a position where they are indeed an existential threat I must also recognize that Trump took advantage of forces at play in the US that won't go away even if he does*, at best they might be set back if he is allowed to objectively screw up, at worst the US system is irreparable.

    *I don't mean racism which has been higher in US history, I mean celebrity culture, mindless partisanship, anger at the decline of US economic and political influence etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zefelius View Post
    Funny how this thread picked up recently. I guess that shows how current world events, from Syria to the U.S., have provoked the need for discussions.

    It's nice hearing from different perspectives, even when we disagree.
    I think it was just chance for me. Ran out of podcasts/youtubes/tweets to watch/discuss and wondered what was going on here

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottieX View Post
    I think it was just chance for me. Ran out of podcasts/youtubes/tweets to watch/discuss and wondered what was going on here
    Are there any games you'd recommend? I haven't had an Xbox for a couple of years.... but right now I'm finishing a book and was thinking maybe I'd buy one of the new consoles when I'm done writing it in a few weeks. But I only want to do that if it's worth it. There were never that many games that I really liked, but the ones I did like I played over and over... like Civ Rev, BioShock (1 and 2), Dead Space (1 and 2), and only a couple of others. Any games that you've seen that are comparable????

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zefelius View Post
    Are there any games you'd recommend? I haven't had an Xbox for a couple of years.... but right now I'm finishing a book and was thinking maybe I'd buy one of the new consoles when I'm done writing it in a few weeks. But I only want to do that if it's worth it. There were never that many games that I really liked, but the ones I did like I played over and over... like Civ Rev, BioShock (1 and 2), Dead Space (1 and 2), and only a couple of others. Any games that you've seen that are comparable????
    I got a Xbox one and really didn't use it that much (not enough to justify it).
    I'm just holding out for Argonia (elder scrolls 6) or the faint chance that something like Civ will be created by someone). I have the Witcher 3 and its ok - but not the same addictiveness.

    I'm tempted to give up on consoles and switch to PC gaming so that I can get more mods for those games that I do really like and the other more civ like games that I dont think they have on consoles like like europa universalis.

  13. #8293
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottieX View Post
    I got a Xbox one and really didn't use it that much (not enough to justify it).
    I'm just holding out for Argonia (elder scrolls 6) or the faint chance that something like Civ will be created by someone). I have the Witcher 3 and its ok - but not the same addictiveness.

    I'm tempted to give up on consoles and switch to PC gaming so that I can get more mods for those games that I do really like and the other more civ like games that I dont think they have on consoles like like europa universalis.
    Well, Scottie, you have me interested. I looked up EU4 and it does look good. When I finish my work this break, my college promises me a new computer. I'll download it and forget about work for a while!!!!!

  14. #8294
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottieX View Post
    Quite likely... But you seem to be judging him for things you assume he will do before he actually had power to enact his ideas or see how they work out.

    Yes some of his cabinet picks and so forth are odd and seem to contradict his stated positions... but one could apply the same eye to Mr "Hope and not much change" Obama.
    And we should apply that to Obama and any other politician whose actual policies diverge greatly from what was promised. Sadly, this gap between stated policy and what is actually implemented is the norm rather than the exception. I doubt that Trump will be much different and so far he has done little to convince me otherwise.

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    The world's eight richest men now own as much as the poorer half of the world's population, that is 3.600.000.000 people. What a f*cked up economic system we have established! Why do people accept this? Where is the revolution?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShowtekGER View Post
    The world's eight richest men now own as much as the poorer half of the world's population, that is 3.600.000.000 people. What a f*cked up economic system we have established! Why do people accept this? Where is the revolution?
    I sense a certain moral outrage on your part, Showtek. It's interesting, because you're an epistemic skeptic. I would think that would carry over to morality as well. So correct me if I'm wrong, but you probably don't believe in some sort of absolute values, right? If you don't, then you reject the notion that we can prove that humans have intrinsic, inalienable rights. I myself most definitely reject them. But if you don't believe in them, then is it simply utility that motivates your moral view points? I would get that to a certain degree: it's plausible that we should increase happiness whenever possible (plausible, although I myself reject this thesis). And income inequality doesn't do this, right? But even if it's right, whence the moral outrage? In other words, even if we believe that there should be more happiness in the world, why does it bother some of us so much when others aren't happy? It almost seems to me that the strong passions betray a hidden, residual moral belief that humans have real intrinsic value.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zefelius View Post
    I sense a certain moral outrage on your part, Showtek. It's interesting, because you're an epistemic skeptic. I would think that would carry over to morality as well. So correct me if I'm wrong, but you probably don't believe in some sort of absolute values, right? If you don't, then you reject the notion that we can prove that humans have intrinsic, inalienable rights. I myself most definitely reject them. But if you don't believe in them, then is it simply utility that motivates your moral view points? I would get that to a certain degree: it's plausible that we should increase happiness whenever possible (plausible, although I myself reject this thesis). And income inequality doesn't do this, right? But even if it's right, whence the moral outrage? In other words, even if we believe that there should be more happiness in the world, why does it bother some of us so much when others aren't happy? It almost seems to me that the strong passions betray a hidden, residual moral belief that humans have real intrinsic value.
    No, I don't believe in intrinsic human rights. However, that doesn't mean that we cannot or should not erect some (relative) principles on which to build politics and society. Some of such principles which we have established are meritocracy, equality of opportunity, and democracy. I happen to support all three of these principles (although, ideally and utopianly, I would prefer communism over meritocracy) and I find that they are all violated by rampant inequality.

    The differences in wealth between people within and across nations are grotesquely disproportionate to differences in contribution to society. Huge wealth gaps greatly restrict equality of opportunity and ever increasing concentration of wealth parallels concentration of political power. As rich people exert more control over politics, e.g. in the form of super PACs, what democracy we have left is slowly changing into an oligarchy.

    Civil and human rights might be limited, the welfare state abolished, society turned into a social Darwinian, Hobbes like hell hole while a small elite pulls the strings in the background. Internationalism might be abandoned in favor of a new nationalism and neo-fascism where we once again fight amongst each other and hate one another. It is my belief that the rising inequality and the leaving behind of ordinary citizens is deeply connected to all of these issues.

    Am I morally outraged? I suppose I am. If we value concepts such as meritocracy, equality of opportunity, and democracy I think we have a moral duty to act in accordance with them. While those with great economic and political power publicly profess to support our common principles, they actually work to subvert them, consciously and unconsciously.

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    Perhaps important to mention is the fact that my outrage is really motivated by fear. I am afraid that my world is falling apart, that everything I value in life can be taken away from me. Loss of social status, of a future with a positive outlook, peace, etc. Reducing my objection to inequality to the lowest quantity, what remains might be much more egoistical and much less intellectual and rational than what was expressed in my above post.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShowtekGER View Post
    No, I don't believe in intrinsic human rights. However, that doesn't mean that we cannot or should not erect some (relative) principles on which to build politics and society. Some of such principles which we have established are meritocracy, equality of opportunity, and democracy. I happen to support all three of these principles (although, ideally and utopianly, I would prefer communism over meritocracy) and I find that they are all violated by rampant inequality.

    The differences in wealth between people within and across nations are grotesquely disproportionate to differences in contribution to society. Huge wealth gaps greatly restrict equality of opportunity and ever increasing concentration of wealth parallels concentration of political power. As rich people exert more control over politics, e.g. in the form of super PACs, what democracy we have left is slowly changing into an oligarchy.

    Civil and human rights might be limited, the welfare state abolished, society turned into a social Darwinian, Hobbes like hell hole while a small elite pulls the strings in the background. Internationalism might be abandoned in favor of a new nationalism and neo-fascism where we once again fight amongst each other and hate one another. It is my belief that the rising inequality and the leaving behind of ordinary citizens is deeply connected to all of these issues.

    Am I morally outraged? I suppose I am. If we value concepts such as meritocracy, equality of opportunity, and democracy I think we have a moral duty to act in accordance with them. While those with great economic and political power publicly profess to support our common principles, they actually work to subvert them, consciously and unconsciously.
    That makes sense. So there are relative conditions for moral values. In this way, it can be argued, as I think you implied, that democratic principles and equality serve what is in on our best interest, at least for most people.

    It may also follow, although I don't know if you'd agree, that the super rich are likewise doing what they think is in their best interest. It may be that they're deceived (for example, perhaps they'd be better off if they were more deeply connected with the rest of humanity), but let's assume for the sake of argument that they are relatively speaking fairly happy with the way things are (with inequality, etc.). In that case, they aren't actually bad or evil people, but it just happens to turn out that there is a conflict of interests between the few and the many--at least if you're right that moral values are relative, conditional, and so on.

    So what strikes me as interesting is that the protestors against Trump and his cronies speak as if it's about real moral values---that it's not just conditional. For example, feminist protestors will say women's rights are human rights. To me that just sounds like religious faith in something that hasn't been proven.

    I liked your second comment about emotion. It could be that many of the protestors use language that sounds absolutist (as in "black lives matter"), when in fact they are just using strong language to make a strong impression. I'm sure it varies from person to person.

    Anyway, I'm a little torn. I hate Trump. Mostly because he's an idiot who will ruin my country if given the chance. On the other hand, I shy away from the group mentality of the leftists. They can sound very religious to me when they talk about group identity, rights, sympathy for the weak, equality, etc. But for the moment, they are much more appealing to me than Pence, Trump, the alt-right, racists, etc.
    Last edited by Zefelius; 01-21-2017 at 08:47 PM.

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    Although, tbh, I have my own religion. I don't believe that animals have rights, but when I see what humans are doing to their environment I do feel pity for them. So if I give money to the Sierra Club or something, I do so out of pure sadness for those creatures. It's almost as if I feel that they've been wronged in some way, although objectively that's questionable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zefelius View Post
    That makes sense. So there are relative conditions for moral values. In this way, it can be argued, as I think you implied, that democratic principles and equality serve what is in on our best interest, at least for most people.

    It may also follow, although I don't know if you'd agree, that the super rich are likewise doing what they think is in their best interest. It may be that they're deceived (for example, perhaps they'd be better off if they were more deeply connected with the rest of humanity), but let's assume for the sake of argument that they are relatively speaking fairly happy with the way things are (with inequality, etc.). In that case, they aren't actually bad or evil people, but it just happens to turn out that there is a conflict of interests between the few and the many--at least if you're right that moral values are relative, conditional, and so on.
    Sure, I completely agree that this is about a conflict of interest---or a perceived conflict of interest. Isn't this just plain class conflict?

    So what strikes me as interesting is that the protestors against Trump and his cronies speak as if it's about real moral values---that it's not just conditional. For example, feminist protestors will say women's rights are human rights. To me that just sounds like religious faith in something that hasn't been proven.

    I liked your second comment about emotion. It could be that many of the protestors use language that sounds absolutist (as in "black lives matter"), when in fact they are just using strong language to make a strong impression. I'm sure it varies from person to person.

    Anyway, I'm a little torn. I hate Trump. Mostly because he's an idiot who will ruin my country if given the chance. On the other hand, I shy away from the group mentality of the leftists. They can sound very religious to me when they talk about group identity, rights, sympathy for the weak, equality, etc. But for the moment, they are much more appealing to me than Pence, Trump, the alt-right, racists, etc.
    Is the difference between absolute (or "religious" or "real") and relative morality important in this regard? How can you prove or disprove that women's rights are human rights? Aren't questions about rights always a matter of discussion, objectively arbitrary decisions, and, if you'll excuse me for using that term, social construction?

    In that sense, I agree that women's rights are human rights. Nobody should be discriminated against based on their sex. That just makes sense to me. Do I believe that this is a universal law that is hard-coded into the cosmos? No. Will I vehemently defend women's rights in the face of patriarchy? Of course. I don't see any contradiction in that.

    I'm not sure if I see exactly what it is about those leftists that displeases you. Is it because they're ideologues who don't agree that their values aren't universal? Perhaps you just feel like too much of a hawk in order to be able to fully sympathize with the left. I often get the feeling that in your criticism of the left you're guided by inner core principles and values (we need to be tough, life is hard, conflict is inevitable and desirable, etc.) but in reality, when it comes to actual policy, you're really a left-winger.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zefelius View Post
    Although, tbh, I have my own religion. I don't believe that animals have rights, but when I see what humans are doing to their environment I do feel pity for them. So if I give money to the Sierra Club or something, I do so out of pure sadness for those creatures. It's almost as if I feel that they've been wronged in some way, although objectively that's questionable.
    Is it really that questionable? If we assume that animals with a nervous system are sentient at least to some degree isn't it imperative based on basic ethics that we don't impose more suffering than needed on the animals we use? You can always question the objectivity of moral values but that discussion is much more academic than the very real issue we're actually facing: We're unnecessarily torturing billions of sentient creatures every year. That is not morally defensible based on any moral philosophy that is prevalent in the West. They are violently wronged by us. When you feel the way you do you're certainly feeling in accordance with our moral system even though you might not agree with it intellectually.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShowtekGER View Post
    The world's eight richest men now own as much as the poorer half of the world's population, that is 3.600.000.000 people. What a f*cked up economic system we have established! Why do people accept this? Where is the revolution?
    Not that it fixes the problem... but a lot of that money is "imaginary" - the resources are in a sense just reinvested in giving us services and if they took that money out and tried to spend it on their retail happiness it would disappear in inflation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zefelius View Post
    Anyway, I'm a little torn. I hate Trump. Mostly because he's an idiot who will ruin my country if given the chance. On the other hand, I shy away from the group mentality of the leftists. They can sound very religious to me when they talk about group identity, rights, sympathy for the weak, equality, etc. But for the moment, they are much more appealing to me than Pence, Trump, the alt-right, racists, etc.
    I wonder if some good things could come from the US hating Donald Trump. Maybe some review of presidential power? Maybe Trump and CIA at war will result in controls on the CIA? Maybe congress and Trump will go to war over spending in a way more productive than dems vs tea party. etc...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zefelius View Post
    Wow!!! You called that one. I'm getting the feeling, though, that ITZ is just playing a practical joke on us with some of the things he's been saying.... I don't know if he's totally serious.
    Or I'm just an idiot Idk where I read this from, but clearly it was bull I admit I don't actually fact check every article I read, mostly I just use the knowledge I have and judge if something seems creedible while glancing over it. Obviously fake news has become a bigger problem in the last few years. I admit I'm not that smart, but I like to think my critical thinking is above average Americans. Obviously if I'm stupid enough to believe this crap most of America probably is as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottieX View Post
    There are real arguments involved here, Russia and the USA (and their relitive positions) have changed since Regan's era. Regardless most of the republican foreign policy 'experts' are hawkish on Russia and are not changing their minds. The foreign policy establishment is wildly opposed to Trump changing how foreign policy is approached.



    That is a fairly inflammatory word. By these standards are not most of the world leaders 'traitors'? And what do you do if a traitor runs your country? What sort of action does that a call for?

    Both of these things worry me a bit - it worries me that countries like the USA and Russia and China could stumble mindlessly towards war in the way states often do. And it worries me that the US could tear down its political system through each side selling to itself (a little bit at a time) how absolutely intolerable it is for the other side to have power. I suppose, in a way they are the same thing...
    You should be very frightened lol. This is a pattern that's been repeated throughout history. Except this time might be our last. Our capacity to annihilate one another means we might not get a do over after this cycle ends. The course of humanity and life will likely be decided this century imo. I don't have much faith it'll go the way we want it to :/

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShowtekGER View Post
    The world's eight richest men now own as much as the poorer half of the world's population, that is 3.600.000.000 people. What a f*cked up economic system we have established! Why do people accept this? Where is the revolution?
    Revolution won't take place until the majority are suffering to such an extent that they're dying off. That's how backwards we are as a species. We can see a problem and know it'll affect us in the future, yet do nothing to try to prevent it from happening as long as our standard of life is acceptable in our eyes. Imagine if a few thousand armed civilians decided to march to Washington today? The majority of people would view them as degenerates or terrorists. Now imagine in 20 years same thing happened, but now unemployment is 50+% Americans are starving and lots of people are dying. I'm pretty sure those people would be viewed differently by the majority of Americans then. Our standard of living determines when revolution is a viable option. Even though now we know that collapse is inevitable, our standard of living is still tolerable for the most part so revolution would seem too extreme for most. Only on the precipice of destruction do people choose to act. Which is sad, because a lot of unnecessary suffering could be prevented if we acted before it came to that. Can't change human nature, it's easy to forget at times we're barely more evolved apes. It's hard to undo millions of years of evolution in a few thousand :/

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    Quote Originally Posted by ITZ DENI3D View Post
    Only on the precipice of destruction do people choose to act. Which is sad, because a lot of unnecessary suffering could be prevented if we acted before it came to that. Can't change human nature, it's easy to forget at times we're barely more evolved apes. It's hard to undo millions of years of evolution in a few thousand :/
    Although, to be fair, if we were more easily triggered to revolution there would be a serious risk of perpetual revolution between competing ideologies or tribes that needs to be managed.

    I suppose the whole array of strategies that we have now have been successful in evolution at one time or other.

  29. #8309
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShowtekGER View Post
    That is not morally defensible based on any moral philosophy that is prevalent in the West.
    I presume the defense that would be presented would be that the animals simply don't exist as moral entities. something like
    they cant offer a moral contract so they cant receive one or they simply are machines and don't really 'feel' pain and don't have goals that can be thwarted.

    This aside from the more normal concept that humans are just much more important and our desires tend to outweigh theirs - but in that case one still opposes gratuitous treatment.

  30. #8310
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    Quote Originally Posted by ITZ DENI3D View Post
    You should be very frightened lol. This is a pattern that's been repeated throughout history. Except this time might be our last. Our capacity to annihilate one another means we might not get a do over after this cycle ends. The course of humanity and life will likely be decided this century imo. I don't have much faith it'll go the way we want it to :/
    sobering, scary, but also probably true.

  31. #8311
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    Quote Originally Posted by danthechan View Post
    sobering, scary, but also probably true.
    Some dangers I can think of are
    1) How we manage triggers like the Chinese becoming stronger than the USA
    2) AI becoming smarter than us and replacing all our labour in every situation
    3) Very powerful weapons being miniaturized (or at least made cheap) so that terrorists can make them easily and states can't stop the determined ones without extreme authoritarianism.
    4) Various resources starting to run out due to population and unwise resource management and people fighting to keep standards of living
    5) Governments becoming so good at spying on us and managing that information that democratic safeguards collapse

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottieX View Post
    Some dangers I can think of are
    1) How we manage triggers like the Chinese becoming stronger than the USA
    2) AI becoming smarter than us and replacing all our labour in every situation
    3) Very powerful weapons being miniaturized (or at least made cheap) so that terrorists can make them easily and states can't stop the determined ones without extreme authoritarianism.
    4) Various resources starting to run out due to population and unwise resource management and people fighting to keep standards of living
    5) Governments becoming so good at spying on us and managing that information that democratic safeguards collapse
    The 2 billion+ people that will be displaced from global warming means war is inevitable, that's assuming we don't start WW3 before that happens. It will happen this century unless we find a way to start removing C02 from the atmosphere.

  33. #8313
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    Quote Originally Posted by ITZ DENI3D View Post
    Revolution won't take place until the majority are suffering to such an extent that they're dying off. That's how backwards we are as a species. We can see a problem and know it'll affect us in the future, yet do nothing to try to prevent it from happening as long as our standard of life is acceptable in our eyes. Imagine if a few thousand armed civilians decided to march to Washington today? The majority of people would view them as degenerates or terrorists. Now imagine in 20 years same thing happened, but now unemployment is 50+% Americans are starving and lots of people are dying. I'm pretty sure those people would be viewed differently by the majority of Americans then. Our standard of living determines when revolution is a viable option. Even though now we know that collapse is inevitable, our standard of living is still tolerable for the most part so revolution would seem too extreme for most. Only on the precipice of destruction do people choose to act. Which is sad, because a lot of unnecessary suffering could be prevented if we acted before it came to that. Can't change human nature, it's easy to forget at times we're barely more evolved apes. It's hard to undo millions of years of evolution in a few thousand :/
    I agree for the most part but I'm less pessimistic than you. It's true that some of the current threats we face could result in near complete destruction of human life. But is it inevitable for humanity to destroy itself? I think there's many reasons to be cynical about humanity but in the course of civilization, on average, I think we've seen progress. Better standards of living, more just societies, abandonment of slavery (at least nominal slavery), women's rights, civil liberties, etc. Humanity can progress in the right direction and, on average, I think it does. The question is if we can now adapt fast enough to avoid nuclear war or environmental catastrophe.

  34. #8314
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottieX View Post
    I presume the defense that would be presented would be that the animals simply don't exist as moral entities.
    An argument in this category is the last I have left that I might find somewhat defensible. It might be argued that because animals lack self-consciousness that their ability to suffer is greatly diminished compared to humans. Humans have concepts of future, past, justice, enslavement, and a political consciousness of their situations as bad, less good than before, unfair, etc. Other animals, I would argue, don't have concepts at all. They don't conceive. This means that they don't conceive of themselves as an individual entity either. They just exist without pondering that existence. I think that a great deal of the suffering we as humans know of stems from our ability to think about ourselves, life, and pain.

    But, of course, animals still clearly suffer in an immediate and direct way. Even though that kind of pain might be different and less than human pain, I really can't see any moral justification for it since it's completely unnecessary.

    Quote Originally Posted by ScottieX View Post
    they simply are machines and don't really 'feel' pain
    This was the argument I used for a long time but the more I look into it the more it seems like a scientific consensus that animals with a nervous system do have some form of consciousness and do feel pain.

    Quote Originally Posted by ScottieX View Post
    This aside from the more normal concept that humans are just much more important and our desires tend to outweigh theirs - but in that case one still opposes gratuitous treatment.
    I wonder if that concept will go on through human history. I doubt it. Not long ago, it was completely accepted, even with support from the scientific community, that people of color and women were less valuable than people of European origin. Gradually, we expanded human dignity to apply to increasingly more groups of humans. I don't really see why that development shouldn't continue and we will come to value other animals as possessing as much dignity as ourselves. We might apply our own moral code to them as well.

    That development might continue further and be extended to the earth, the universe, and non-living things as well. That view isn't as far-fetched as it sounds. In Eastern traditions, it is a common theme that suffering and subjugation of others and nature stems from the idea that we are an individual cut off from its surroundings. In these traditions' view, the goal is to realize that we are actually the same as or continuous with our environment and by mistreating it we are mistreating ourselves.

  35. #8315
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottieX View Post
    2) AI becoming smarter than us and replacing all our labour in every situation
    It's really the fault of our economic system that we view this as anything other than a development that will benefit all of mankind. We just cannot get past the idea that in order to receive society's benefits you have to in some way be able to sell your labor or acquire means of production. Technological development demands that we replace this outdated system. If we don't we'll simply end up with a lot of people out of work and an elite of capitals that are richer than ever before.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShowtekGER View Post
    I don't really see why that development shouldn't continue and we will come to value other animals as possessing as much dignity as ourselves. We might apply our own moral code to them as well.
    That development might continue further and be extended to the earth, the universe, and non-living things as well. That view isn't as far-fetched as it sounds.
    In Eastern traditions, it is a common theme that suffering and subjugation of others and nature stems from the idea that we are an individual cut off from its surroundings. In these traditions' view, the goal is to realize that we are actually the same as or continuous with our environment and by mistreating it we are mistreating ourselves.
    Yes there is a trend in that direction but I don't think it would stop there. Probably technology will turn us into a sort of Gaia and the tradition will be literal reality.
    Not sure the time frame for that though.

  37. #8317
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShowtekGER View Post
    It's really the fault of our economic system that we view this as anything other than a development that will benefit all of mankind. We just cannot get past the idea that in order to receive society's benefits you have to in some way be able to sell your labor or acquire means of production. Technological development demands that we replace this outdated system. If we don't we'll simply end up with a lot of people out of work and an elite of capitals that are richer than ever before.
    1) I think even if we make a effort to fix the issue it is still a massive issue. Radical change to how society is structured would cause a lot of pain.
    2) I imagine this issue would eventually fix the elite wealth problem. Because they too would be just as obsolete as everyone else.

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    Anyway - looks like we have one vote from ITZ for 4 to destroy the world (via global warming) any other votes?

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    haven't you heard? all mention of climate change has been erased from our government websites. apparently it was just a hoax, or team trump solved it already. either way Hip Hip Hooray!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by danthechan View Post
    haven't you heard? all mention of climate change has been erased from our government websites. apparently it was just a hoax, or team trump solved it already. either way Hip Hip Hooray!!
    OK I did a quick look into this. I think what has happened is that Obama's website has been archived and it has been replaced by Trumps which is new and not that detailed (and doesn't include climate change as a main issue).

    It is fair enough to say that climate change isn't one of Trumps policy platforms of course and that there is almost no chance be helping out in that area unless he can get all the other countries to (put on similar constraints and thus no net loss to the USA which is pretty unlikely).

    On many other govt sites there is clearly still mention of climate change - but I don't imagine they meant those.
    (eg https://www.climate.gov/climate-and-...climate-change)

    ahh an update
    Possibly if I was american i'd have known this.

    He tried to take down mention of it from the EPA site and then backed down after a backlash.

    http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/...imate-web-page
    Last edited by ScottieX; 01-27-2017 at 10:07 PM.

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