# ydoaPs

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1. ## If I can imagine it, it is possible!

The title is a common view among crackpots. They often think that the ability to imagine something means that the universe might actually be that way or could have been that way were things differently. To use philosophy words, they often think that conceivability means epistemic or metaphysical possibility. But, the question is, is that true? To find that out, we need to find something that is conceivable but is impossible. For the first sense of possibility, (how things might actually be), that is incredibly easy. All we have to do is find something that is conceivable but not the case. Have you ever been wrong about something? If you have, you've shown that conceivability does not mean epistemic possibility. The second one is a bit harder, since there's disagreement on the exact requirements of what makes something metaphysically possible, but we do know that for something to be metaphysically possible, it must also be logically possible. That is, were things different, an accurate description of the universe still wouldn't entail a contradiction. So, we can knock this out by finding something which is conceivable, yet logically impossible. Can we imagine things which are contradictions? You might be tempted to say "No one can imagine a square circle!". But I'd like to talk about one which almost everyone intuitively conceives. People intuitively like to group things. It's how we make sense of the world. We have apples, chairs, etc. All you have to do is put things together and you have a group. In mathematics, we call these kind of groupings 'sets'. The things in these groups are called "members". Any group of members of a set is called a "subset". This does mean that all sets are subsets of themselves, but that's not of interest to us here. What we're interested in is the idea that you can group whatever you want into a set. You can make sets of sets. You can take your set of cats and your set of dogs and put them together into a new set! So, let's take a look at a specific set: the set of all sets which are not members of themselves. The set of all cats is not a member of the set of all cats-it's a set of cats, not of sets! So, it goes in! Likewise, any set consisting of no sets will go in this set of all sets which are not members of themselves. So, we pose a question: Is this set of all sets which are not members of themselves (from here on out, we'll call it 'R') a member of itself? If R is a member of R, then it fails to meet the requirements to be in R, so it isn't a member of R. That's a contradiction, so that's no good. That means R must not be a member of itself. But what happens if R is a member of itself? If R is a member of itself, it meets the requirement to be in R. Since R is the set of ALL sets meeting this requirements, it goes in. Again we have R both being a member of itself and not being a member of itself. So, either way, we get a contradiction. This means something is logically impossible. But we got this result simply from the definitions of sets and members and from the very conceivable idea that you can group whatever you want together. This is a situation in which something is conceivable, but logically impossible. This means it is not the case that whatever you can imagine is possible. Crackpots, take note: the fact that you can imagine something in no way implies that it is possible. It doesn't matter how clear your perpetual motion device/unified theory/God/electric universe is, imagining it doesn't cut the mustard. This is one of the reasons you NEED the math.
2. ## If I can imagine it, it is possible!

I take it you didn't actually read the OP. It's generally good practice to do that before posting in its thread.
3. ## When do AIs become moral agents?

What features would be required in an AI for us to include it in our moral sphere of consideration? Facebook just shut down an AI. With what minimum features of the AI would that be immoral?
4. ## Favorite False Cognates in CS

In linguistics, a cognates are words two different languages that sound the same and have the same meaning. English "beer" and German "Bier" are cognates. Similarly, false cognates sound the same, but have vastly different meanings. English "gift" and German "Gift" are false cognates, as an English gift is something you get someone you like and the German Gift is something you give someone you want to die, namely poison. In CS, different languages have similar ideas with similar names. Floats, ints, and doubles are everywhere. I'm interested in seeing your favorite examples false cognates in programming languages. My favorite is the for loop. Python's for loop is nothing like the rest of the for loops. Python's for loop iterates over an iterable while letting the program do stuff with the current member for each iteration. The rest of them initialize a variable, then let the program do stuff with the variable, then increment/decrement the variable. That goes on until the cessation condition is met. Python: for member in iterable: stuff(member) C++: for(initialize variable; cessation condition; increment/decrement){ stuff(variable);} For python to mimic the other for loops, it would need a while loop. def cpp_for(initialization, condition, incrementation): i = initialization while(condition): stuff(i) i += 1 if incrementation == 'increment' else i -= 1 What's your favorite example?
5. ## Need a percentage problem done

80 = 0.25x y = 0.75x Solve for y.
6. ## When do AIs become moral agents?

Probably more of a fuzzy gradient than a sharp line, but that's the idea.
7. ## When do AIs become moral agents?

That's kind of the target of the thread: when should we care?
8. ## When do AIs become moral agents?

But anticipation wasn't your criterion; explicitly being coded was.
9. ## When do AIs become moral agents?

Facebook's AI made its own language--an act for which it was not programmed. As did Google Translate. Would deactivating either of these be tantamount to murder?
10. ## Logic gate help

Since it's clear that the OP is not returning in time for the homework to be submitted, the answer is "input 1 AND NOT input 2".
11. ## If you want to learn rocket science intuition...

...Kerbal Space Program is half off on the Steam Summer Sale. I just got it. I know that Scott Manly is one of the best tutorial sources for it on YouTube. Anybody have other suggestions?
12. ## Logic gate help

! Moderator Note We don't give homework answers, but we help you figure out the answer on your own. You can always start by showing us what you've tried so far. Topic moved to Homework Help. x 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 That's an odd table, so we know it's not a single gate. not: x 0 1 1 0 or: x 0 1 0 0 1 1 1 1 xor: x 0 1 0 0 1 1 1 0 nor: x 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 and: x 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 nand: x 0 1 0 1 1 1 1 0 Which combinations of these gates have you tried? Hint: It's only two gates.
13. ## How do you unlock a topic?

That's usually when we close them.
14. ## If you want to learn rocket science intuition...

Surprisingly, Jebediah Kermin survived all of my rockets so far. I still haven't looked at any tutorials, but I think I will soon. I'm playing through the career mode before I go into sandbox mode.
15. ## Challenge to Thermodynamics

Too bad there isn't a giant ball of plasma bathing the Earth in usable energy.
16. ## Rand Paul's Grasp of the Constitution and Its Amendments

Tweet text: ".@Judgenap: Why do we have a Second Amendment? It's not to shoot deer. It's to shoot the government when it becomes tyrannical!"(6/23/16, 12:48PM). What do you think? Is he right? Is there a right? I'm arguing that not only is he wrong, he's the exact opposite of right. The purpose, rather than to allow us to shoot at the government, is to stop us from shooting at the government. As we know from the Heller decision, "The Amendments prefatory clause announces a purpose, but does not limit or expand the scope of the second part, the operative clause.". So, to find the stated purpose, we just need to look at the part of the Second Amendment of the US Constitution. The Second Amendment is as follows: "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." So, while there may be more purposes for the second amendment, the only one we know incontrovertibly is to secure a free state via a well-functioning militia. But what's a militia? Luckily for us, the Constitution defines it for us. Article 1 Section 8: "To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions; To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;" Article 2 Section 2: "The President shall be commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several states, when called into the actual service of the United States;" The Constitution also happens to define one and only one crime: Article 3 Section 3: "Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort" So the militia is a paramilitary force organized by the states and controlled by both the states and by POTUS. It's the equivalent of the National Guard. That alone should be enough to question Paul's narrative, but, luckily for us, Article 1 Section 8 also gives us the purposes of the militia. One of the explicitly stated purposes of the militia is to quell insurrection. So rather than being the people taking up arms against a tyrannical government, the militia the the vehicle through which said tyrannical government wipes out those raising arms against it. That means the stated purpose of the second amendment is to ensure national security by making sure the people who kill those shooting at the government can do so efficiently. Yet Paul wants us to believe that one of the present but not stated purposes is to condone the only crime outlined in the Constitution and whose punishment is ensured by the stated purpose of the amendment. I find that to be highly unlikely. Am I wrong? Is Paul wrong? Are we both wrong?
17. ## Rand Paul's Grasp of the Constitution and Its Amendments

What makes you think that? Why do you think that? Again, shooting at the government is the only crime detailed in the Constitution and the stated purpose of the second amendment is to make the prosecution of the crime run smoothly. How do you get that a purpose of the amendment is to condone said crime?
18. ## Why is life after death really not possible?

Why would that imply life after death? Walk us through your thought process.
19. ## Rand Paul's Grasp of the Constitution and Its Amendments

How do you square that with the fact that trying to overthrow the government is an instance of the only crime detailed in the Constitution and that making its punishment more efficient is the stated purpose of the amendment in question?
20. ## Tipping

It's a little complicated in the US. Tipped workers are minimum wage workers. Excluding tips for a moment, they make the same as any other job that pays minimum wage. Being in the class of tipped employees, the tips make things a little weird. The employer is allowed to use a certain amount of the tips as a credit against the wages, within limits. There's a maximum that the employer can use of the tips as wages. If the employer's minimum contribution plus the tips do not at least equal the minimum wage, the employer must make up the difference. If the employer's minimum contribution plus the tips do at least equal the minimum wage, the employee gets to keep the extra (though it is be subject to tax).
21. ## Why you don't believe?

It's all about evidence and how it impacts how likely things are. To incorporate new information into a probability, we use something called "Bayes's Rule": $P(hypothesis|evidence) = \frac{P(evidence|hypothesis)\times{P(hypothesis)}}{P(evidence)}$ Now, the question is: "How likely is it that Christianity is true?". We can come up with a minimal version of Christianity. As far as I am concerned, anything that is properly called "Christianity" has at least these things in common, though I'm sure many people would require many more: Jesus was the product of a virgin birth Jesus rose from the dead after 3 days God exists That means we're looking to see how we can estimate P(Jesus was born of a virgin AND Jesus rose from the dead AND God exists). When you're looking at the probability of a conjunction, you're looking at multiplication of fractions. There s no way around that. We know right off the bat that the answer will be (a number less than 1)x(another number less than one)x(yet another number less than one). If we say that each of them has the probability of 75%, then we end up with a probability of 42%. But we're not talking about things with probability anywhere near 75%. 75% of the people you meet aren't born of a virgin. 75% of the people you meet aren't going to pop out of their graves after three days. There have been about 100billion people on Earth thusfar. Let's be extremely generous and say that 100 have been born of a virgin and 100 have risen from the dead after three days. That means that each of them is 1 in a billion. That means that together (there's no obvious link between the two causing one to be more likely in the presence of the other, so I'll treat them as independent)the probability is 1 in one quintillion. And since we need to factor in the existence of God on top of that, we know it will be some fraction of that. But how likely is the existence of God? We can figure that out by thinking about the relation between mind and matter. If everything (including mind) comes from matter, that's called "Source Materialism". If everything comes from mind, then that's called "Source Idealism". There's no reason to think that one is inherently more important than the other, so we can have them starting with equal sized parts of the probability space. But theism isn't the only thing in source idealism. There are nontheistic source idealistic hypotheses. So we know that broad theism is less than 1/2. We're talking about something more specific than broad theism in the case of Christian theism, though. We're talking about the interactionist big 3-O God: Omniscient, Omnipotent, and Omnibenevolent. These theses are obviously fairly independent if not completely independent. There's nothing about being all powerful that implies that you'd be all good or even care about people at all. In fact, in humans at least, power tends to corrupt. So lets treat the attributes as independent. We've got Christian theism at less than (1/2)x(1/2)x(1/2)x(1/2). So we've got our "prior probability" of theism as less than 1 in 16 quintillion. What sort of evidence do you have that can bring that up to a coin flip? I should mention, however, that literally every possible observation is evidence against the existence of an interactionist deity. For any ontology, the P(observation|nontheistic version) is greater than the P(observation|theistic version) since for any potential observation, God could poke his finger in and make something different happen. That means, using the equation above by making a ratio $\frac{P(theism|observation)}{P(nontheism|observation)}$ we can see that the existence of the Christian God goes down and naturalism goes up with every observation. So, before we look at the evidence, Christianity starts with a probability of less than one in 16 quintillion. Then we look at how the evidence works and see that it starts there and continually goes down. So, short answer to the OP: I don't believe it, because it's unimaginably unlikely to be true.
22. ## Future of self-driving automobiles...

Humans aren't designed to do anything...yet.
23. ## Weird Algebra 1 problem

Great job. Do you have any other problems you need help with?
24. ## Weird Algebra 1 problem

So, if f(x) = 4x - 5, then f(g) = 4g - 5. Now, substitute in f(x) for g. Can you get it from there?
25. ## Intuitions about free will?

! Moderator Note Topic moved to Philosophy, as it falls under the purview of Experimental Philosophy You might have a look at this and this.