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Messages - markuzick

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391
If you could download all your memories, feelings, personality and thoughts into an android body with a quantum computer based brain, that would be somehow be known to be conscious and experience itself as being you only with a vastly improved intelligence and a perfect never aging body, capable of 100 times as much pleasure, would you do it if that entailed the death of your original self?

If your original self still lived, would you consider your new self a separate person?

If the original you was forced to choose to save either your new self or your old self from death, who would you save?

392
The Polling Pit / Re: Of Man and Machine...
« on: February 15, 2007, 06:41:07 PM »
Quote
If it passes a Turing test that I administer...
That's gonna be really really hard. But I'd consider it human if it had

Can it be proven that thinking requires consciousness? ( I don't know )

If it's programed to have "emotions and consciousness and morality and shit..." once it passes the Turing test, are there any ways to know if it is really experiencing consciousness as we do, or if it's only an extremely good simulation.( I don't know and I'm skeptical too )

If it's only programed to think and given no information about emotions and moods, but somehow spontaneously develops them, then I would be inclined to consider it to be a sentient being and possibly a person.

393
The Polling Pit / Re: Religion
« on: December 03, 2006, 09:56:48 AM »
These days, a virgin birth is entirely medically possible. A fertilized egg can be artificially implanted in the uterus.

How about 2,006 years ago?

i think you mean between 2014 and 2008 years ago.

the priest who created the gregorian calendar we use got it wrong.

The story was probably written about 1800 to 1900 years ago. Any resemblance of characters to people, real or imagined, is purely coincidental.

394
The Polling Pit / Re: Religion
« on: November 12, 2006, 11:06:29 AM »
Life in the army might therefore be called a religion, because the solders share a lifestyle, a system of rules, and common activities.  If, like many of us, you spend 2-3 hours a day listening to FTL, and perhaps another hour on these forums, then one might say that FTL is our religion.   8)

When "religion" is used that way, it's a metaphor.  I don't think you really want to make the definition that vague....it becomes effectively useless.  There needs to be a term for belief in a supernatural order which involves spirits or gods and prescribes a given moral system.

You're right that when it's applied to that example, the word religion is used metaphorically, but I believe that it can be used to describe any system of dogmatic belief, usually based on tradition, faith in authority and usually some combination of both.

395
The Polling Pit / Re: Religion
« on: November 11, 2006, 01:46:06 AM »
Humanism is a philosophy...it can be religious or secular, so I would say no. 

I disagree.  There are Humanist clubs that have weekly gatherings, publications, and an evolving common body of knowledge and traditions.

The concept of "Religion" is often assumed to imply mysticism, but when talking about new religious ideas that often isn't the case.  What it is instead is a "community philosophy", a shared and well-established tradition of thought and practice.

Life in the army might therefore be called a religion, because the solders share a lifestyle, a system of rules, and common activities.  If, like many of us, you spend 2-3 hours a day listening to FTL, and perhaps another hour on these forums, then one might say that FTL is our religion.   8)


Ha Ha! Imagine FTL as the opiate of the masses!

396
The Polling Pit / Re: Religion
« on: November 08, 2006, 02:46:23 AM »
Indifferent - closest to agnostic. Honestly I don't care whether there is a higher being or not, it doesn't effect my life.
Probably doesn't affect your life, either.

You're going to do this everytime I mess up now aren't you?

Why don't you foil his sinister plot with your spell checker, or do you consider that cheating? E.g., my spell checker tells me that "every time" is two words.

397
The Polling Pit / Re: Should Morality be altruistic or egoistic?
« on: October 25, 2006, 04:11:32 PM »
If we can limit selfishness to rational self interest, in order to get rational selfishness, then why not limit altruism to rational empathy, in order to get rational- altruism.

Here's how it would look:

Just as

selfishness: Concern for yourself, without regard to the welfare or rights of others.

becomes

rational selfishness: Concern for yourself, but limited by ethical behavior and augmented by the pleasure of helping others.,

so

altruism: The principle or practice of unselfish concern for or devotion to the welfare of others.

becomes

rational- altruism: The principle or practice of rational selfish concern for or devotion to the welfare of others.


What do you think?

Sounds good to me.  I think most people are rational altruists, or try to be.  One caveat with regard to "altruism" is that even though it is usually used to mean "helping others at one's own expense," the understanding is generally that it may be at one's own expense now,  but is not ultimately so-- that is, there is a reasonable expectation that the act will bring rewards in the future, whether directly from those you helped or indirectly from those who observed you helping and have decided to help you on that basis, believing there are grounds for trust that you would do the same for them. 

Therefore, "altruism" may be somewhat sacrificial, but only in the very short term for most people, most of the time, and arguably it is therefore usually self-interested even if not consciously so.  This is most common in close-knit groups of people, such as family and smaller societies where people rely on established bonds of trust.  The proper term for it in this sense is "reciprocal altruism."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reciprocal_altruism

Thanks for your input.

That's not exactly the same thing that I mean by rational-altruism. I'm talking about the case where love or empathic satisfaction is the only tat that you will receive for your tit. Actually, I'm having second thoughts about including altruism in the term at all, since it's original meaning is so contradictory to what most people really believe in. How about:

empathic-egoism:  The principle or practice of rational selfish concern for or devotion to the welfare of others, with expectation of only emotional reward.

398
The Polling Pit / Re: Should Morality be altruistic or egoistic?
« on: October 25, 2006, 01:24:55 AM »
For me, egoism includes altruism, so I must say "both."

That's just as logical as secular religion.

Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.0.1) - Cite This Source
e‧go‧ism  /ˈigoʊˌɪzəm, ˈɛgoʊ-/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[ee-goh-iz-uhm, eg-oh-] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun
1.   the habit of valuing everything only in reference to one's personal interest; selfishness (opposed to altruism).
____________________________________________________________________________
Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.0.1) - Cite This Source
al‧tru‧ism  /ˈæltruˌɪzəm/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[al-troo-iz-uhm] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun
1.   the principle or practice of unselfish concern for or devotion to the welfare of others (opposed to egoism).
______________________________________________________________________________
Given the value that you place on the concern for the welfare of others, as well as on egoism, don't you think it's time to coin a new term to encompass both values? So I will ask you for the 3rd time:


If we can limit selfishness to rational self interest, in order to get rational selfishness, then why not limit altruism to rational empathy, in order to get rational- altruism.

Here's how it would look:

Just as

selfishness: Concern for yourself, without regard to the welfare or rights of others.

becomes

rational selfishness: Concern for yourself, but limited by ethical behavior and augmented by the pleasure of helping others.,

so

altruism: The principle or practice of unselfish concern for or devotion to the welfare of others.

becomes

rational- altruism: The principle or practice of rational selfish concern for or devotion to the welfare of others.


What do you think?


399
General / Re: I have quite Christianity
« on: August 25, 2006, 11:14:05 AM »
Fine.  Tell me the point of Deism.

It seems like the biggest cop out ever.  "Oh yes, there's a God, he made the world, but now he's on vacation in some other universe sipping on martinis."  In a deist world, God is neither sufficient or nessecary- he fails Occam's Razor.

So why believe in God at all?

You don't have to believe in God to be a Deist.  I believe that something created the world.  That something is currently taking a less active run in the world than it used to.  I am a Deist.  You can call that something God, the Creator, Krishna, Jesus, Allah, Big Baby Jesus, Torgo, or the Force.  I could care less, but I believe in it and its power.

We were created and now we are to look after ourself, that is my belief.

If this "something" is not required to be supernatural wouldn't that make the concept of deism mundane, in the sense that everyone, from a bible thumper to to an atheist believes we came from somewhere?

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