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Messages - Mike Barskey

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The Polling Pit / Re: Of Man and Machine...
« on: February 15, 2007, 10:45:25 PM »
Mike, not according to logic if you include that rationality is the fundamental portion of the definition of person. That implies the Set of Person includes non-humans.

Lemme give you a different angle. A biological life form from another planet comes to Earth and greets you. Maybe his name is analogous to the name Bill or whatever, but s/he/it greets you. And it says it wants to talk to you. Maybe sports, maybe the secret to life or whatever, but it wants to talk to you. Are you saying the alien from another world is not a person, thus is not allowed to be treated as an equal in turn as the term person also implies sameness, thus equalness insomuch of equal consideration or equal access to what we call rights. So, if you don't consider it a person, it implies it is not equal to you [maybe it's greater than you, who knows in this definitional argument...] and that might imply it has no access to rights.

Do you understand why this is a problem? Consider it a reverse 'slippery slope', but in this case the slippery slope is legitimate. If you can a rational agent a non-person just because of its compositional status, then it implies the other two things I stated, which could also be applied to any other human that is different to a greater or lesser extent. Think of the idea that women have no rights because they can't create sperm or have superior upper body strength. That mildly or severely retarded humans are not persons because their reasoning is not exactly like our own, thus not open to equal access to rights, moral consideration, and etc. I could go on and on, but I think I made my point. :)

-- Bridget

Bridget, I understand and agree with your first point about fundamental properties being a mandatory part of a defniition. In fact I agree with most of what you just said, but I simply think the word "person" in the English language is not appropriate for a robot or an alien or any non-human, regardless of their intelligence (of course, language evolves and should we discover such intelligent beings and people commonly refer to them as "people" then the term itself would change). However, I disagree with what you said regarding equality: "So, if you don't consider it a person, it implies it is not equal to you." That's not correct: Just because I consider something as a "non-person" does not mean that I consider it equal or inequal to me (or to other "persons"), it just means I consider it different.

Regarding rights and equality of this other intelligent type of being: should we discover or encounter this being, our ideas of rights and equality  will need reviewing. Some people won't think at all and their prejudices are irrelevant. Others, like me and probably you, will use logic to categorize and abstract the fundamental properties of humans and of this robot/alien, and we'd possibly end up determining that all rational beings are morally equal. Men and women are physically different to a slight degree, and morally we are equal. Humans and dogs are physically different and are not morally equal due to dogs' lack of rationality.

In other words, I completely agree that this being might be equal, moral, intelligent, social, etc., but I would not use the word "person."

- Mike

The Polling Pit / Re: Of Man and Machine...
« on: February 15, 2007, 09:41:00 PM »
I'd have no problem calling a thinking machine or "synthetic" entity "intelligent," "sentient," "rational," "self-aware," etc., as well as whatever term is created to identify this new type of being (like "homo-sapien" or "human" or "person" define us). But it is not a "person," which word's etymology includes the parital definition of "being a human being." Common use of the word "person" also implies human being.

- Mike

(what is the proper grammar there: "But it's not a 'person,' which word's..." - is "which word's" correct?)

The Polling Pit / Re: Valentine's Day
« on: February 13, 2007, 04:18:28 PM »
I, too, "have" someone to whom I can give a Valentine's Day gift, but I won't. Like Danielle and Gordee, I don't give gifts because gifts are traditionally given (birthdays, xmas, weddings, etc.). I give gifts when I want to give someone a gift, when I want to use my ability to give to someone I like or love something that will add to their happiness. That makes me happy, whereas shopping for a gift for someone during crowded shopping times (like december) or when I don't know what to give a person but am traditionally "supposed to" give them something makes me frustrated.

- Mike

The Polling Pit / Re: Enneagram Test
« on: February 10, 2007, 09:02:56 PM »
Main Type: Overall Self

- Mike

The Polling Pit / Re: What to do with BenTucker?
« on: January 07, 2007, 08:49:14 PM »
I voted to "Leave him be, he represents valuable opposition."

Despite his broken-record mantra ("economic rent economic rent economic rent"), he does have an interesting point now and again. I think he is not very good at debate - he doesn't fully address his partners' points and sometimes he ignores them altogether.

I almost voted "Don't respond to his posts, because it gets us nowhere," but I think it would be better to, in each topic, reply to his original post once and then if he repeats himself and/or ignore your points, then ignore him.

I think "Make his life miserable, God knows he's done it to us" and "Hunt him down and kill him, he's compelled us to labor for our existence for too damn long!!" are rediculous options, and not very libertarian considering he has not infringed any of our rights. Surely the last was made in jest, though.
To "Petition Ian and Mark to ban him, he is basically a spammer" is not wise, as it would be a step in the direction of turning this very free forum into a limited group.

- Mike

The Polling Pit / Re: Free State Project - First 1000 Pledge
« on: December 19, 2006, 11:09:13 PM »
Sorry, Mike, there were too many options already.  This is the 21st century, ya gotta learn the guesstimate odds.   :lol:

I wasn't whining, Alex. I was just voicing (typing) my opinion since it wasn't a poll option, wondering if anyone else had similar thoughts. I guess not - at least, not yet. I'm pleasantly surprised to hear there were so many recent pledges to the 1st 1000, even if I am not participating.

- Mike

The Polling Pit / Re: Free State Project - First 1000 Pledge
« on: December 19, 2006, 02:28:01 AM »
I didn't vote. There's not an option close enough to my response, which is: I'm considering moving to NH, and when I make my decision I'll pledge, but the 1st 1000 deadline is just too soon for me to gather enough information to decide.

- Mike

The Polling Pit / Re: Tricky Question
« on: December 13, 2006, 01:06:08 AM »
If you stick to thinking, he's got you beat.

Then I think I'll stick to running. Doh!

OK OK enough of this stupid tangent. back to the original question!

- Mike

The Polling Pit / Re: Tricky Question
« on: December 13, 2006, 12:56:49 AM »
If you add a few more theoreticals in there, Stephen Hawking's gonna come in here and blow angry little puffs of air into his talky box. 

That is theoretically possible, but statistically improbable. Besides, I think I can outrun him!

- Mike

The Polling Pit / Re: Tricky Question
« on: December 13, 2006, 12:36:40 AM »
You misunderstand--how can a POLITICIAN, who is, by definition, not only an agent of GOVERNMENT, but actually a DIRECTOR of Government, which is an entity BASED on initiatory force, be INNOCENT of the initiation of force?

While I know you (I'm assuming here) want to give credit to the rare exceptional sort of politician like Ron Paul, and while I personally wouldn't put someone like him up against the wall come the Revolution, I have to say that even he is not free of responsibility.  Even he compromises the principle, and subsists on stolen money, and props up the false aura of government legitimacy.

No, I understand that. But a pro-freedom politican in our current government is *possible.* What if someone refused to be paid, refused to accept any compensation or utilize anything tax-funded (he paid for his own office, supplies, employees, etc.), refused to pass any laws, only repealed current laws, held the traditional libertarian views, etc., and somehow got elected? They'd be the theoretical person I'm talking about. I'm just saying it is possible! I'm not saying this person exists or will ever exist, I'm just saying their existence is a theoretical possibility, and because of that possibility it is inappropriate to think that since we've never seen this person before they cannot exist.

But this has really become too strong a tangent. The point is: would you or I turn in our friend who informed us they had killed a politician. I think we've both commented on that.

- Mike

The Polling Pit / Re: Tricky Question
« on: December 12, 2006, 05:28:52 PM »
AncapAgency -

I agree and understand, so perhaps I just worded my sentence poorly. I meant that even if you are the person in the world who personally knows the most US politicans, you do not know *all* the politicians; hence, if all those that you know are anti-freedom, it is still possible for one of the unknown politicians to be pro-freedom.

But even so, my original sentence is technically correct:
However likely it is that a politician is anti-freedom, statistical probability does not make a member of a group the same as everyone else in the group.

From the *probability* that a member of a group has a same characteristic as every other member of the group, you cannot *conclude* that every member of the group has this characteristic. It is probable (by the definition of "probability") but it is not definite.

But thanks for point this out. Seriously. I think accuracy and exactness are important.

- Mike

The Polling Pit / Re: Tricky Question
« on: December 11, 2006, 01:37:49 AM »
You are right, Bill: when a person tells you about their illegal activity, you are instantly implicated and must include that in your decision how to act.

But moral arguments are never bullshit. What if the highest authority in today's system was a dictator? Does that mean that no person under their reign should act on their morals? Hardly. If so, it means that as soon as one person in the world acts immorally it starts a snowball chain of events that is irreversible and ends with the destruction of humanity.

- Mike

The Polling Pit / Re: Tricky Question
« on: December 10, 2006, 04:26:02 PM »
Yeah, I understand what you're saying. All I know is (growing up on the mean streets of Shepherdsville, KY) is that snitches usually die.

I don't doubt you, even though I've never heard of Shepherdsville. But I made a mistake. When voting to not turn in my friend, I was assuming today's American (corrupt) culuture. But when I said I was ready to live with society's acceptance or astracism of me due to my snitchiness, I was dreaming of a libertarian society. Thinking about it now, I answer the same but realize that it is far more likely to be ostracized (i.e. killed) for snitching, and I'd simply have to be more aware of my surroundings and be prepared to defend myself for my beliefs. Sucks, though.

- Mike

The Polling Pit / Re: Tricky Question
« on: December 10, 2006, 04:17:57 PM »
That'd still be snitching, snitch.

Well, I'd be comfortable with my snitchiness as it would be the moral thing to do. And I'd have to live with the rest of society's reaction to my snitchiness. But I would sure be bitter if society in general accepted my friend for murder but ostracized me for snitching on him!

- Mike

The Polling Pit / Re: Tricky Question
« on: December 10, 2006, 03:53:27 PM »
Roycerson and Brent are right, and of course context is important. If the murder was in self-defense (if the politician was directly - even partially - responsible for attacking my friend's rights, e.g. through enforcing taxation or a smoking ban or a military draft or national service) then my friend was morally justified in defending himself. However likely it is that a politician is anti-freedom, statistical probability does not make a member of a group the same as everyone else in the group. So if the politician was not actually responsible for attacking my friend's liberty (or the liberty of someone my friend chose to defnd), then the murder would be immoral and I would turn him in*.

I voted No.

- Mike

*Of course, to whom would I turn my friend in? The government, which is corrupt and immoral. Instead of turning him in, should I make it publicly known that my friend murdered under such-and-such a specific situation and let people decide for themselves how to react to him (ostracize or accept him)?

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