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Posts posted by MSC

  1. 30 minutes ago, MigL said:

    Sorry, human life.
    Don't like goose … too 'greasy'.

    Is autistic, human? Doesn't feel like it to me.

    Feels like I'm an alien on a strange world where up is down, down is up, kindness is hatred and hatred is kindness.

  2. 6 minutes ago, zapatos said:

    A sound mind is how we define it. As I said it needs to be worked out, but it won't be determined by comparing what your family says vs what everyone else says. We need to come up with a well thought out, generally agreed up, measurable definition. I'm pretty sure this already exists in places, I just don't know the details.

    Assuming you meet the criteria, then yes, you should be able to kill yourself with a clear conscience and free from unreasonable criticism.

    Are autistic people of sound mind? I looked up definition of sanity and it used the word normal. I'm not normal... That being said, who exactly is normal?

  3. 2 minutes ago, zapatos said:

    Yes. With the stipulation that the person is of 'sound' mind. Whatever that means. I've not thought through the details.

    I've yet to meet anyone with a sound mind and our species is careening towards environmental disaster. Are any of us of sound mind? My loved ones tell me I am of sound mind, everyone else treats me like I'm crazy.

    So is it permissable for me to kill myself?

  4. 15 minutes ago, MigL said:

    Your argument has a hole big enough to drive a truck through.
    But it is off-topic in this thread.

    Psh, everyone is off-topic in this thread. Opened it up thinking I was going to get to discuss Hume, no takers. Everyone just wants to pile onto the 'crazy' person and ignore absolutely everything said in the OP like it just doesn't fucking matter at all. 

    So what is the hole in my argument? You might as well just say what it is since no one is on topic here.

    So is anyone going to even try to stay on topic or address any of the OP seriously? Cuz it seems to me like it's just becoming a thread where people pile onto me, call me bitchy, tell me to write less, infer that I can't read etc. It's fucking sick. Just talk about the fucking subject matter I am sick to fucking death of having conversations where people seem to judge me for having fucking feelings. Just everyone fuck off if you're not going to read the OP and stop using me as your bully boy target. Just picking on disabled people at this point.


  5. 14 minutes ago, MigL said:

    So you are saying that discriminating amongst differing traits as to which is more desirable, is always wrong. Even if one attempts to use it for a 'good' purpose, like selecting out a genetic disorder.
    Yet when I suggested that discriminating according to 'racial 'traits is wrong , even for the 'good' purpose of Affirmative Action, you ( and others ) were totally against it, and that I was misguided.

    You really should be more consistent with your arguments.
    Or do you get to pick and choose when to apply your high ( superior ? ) morals/ethics ?

    No, I don't. It's a good point to make and I had a feeling you would make it. So I prepared an answer in advance.

    Affirmative action is not discrimination based on racial traits but a racial history of injustice. Although, I suppose you could argue for when the period of restitution and reparation should end? I don't know.

    If the inverse scenario had been true, and whites had been enslaved on mass and brought to Africa to work against their will, then todays affirmative action would be for the benefits of that white history of being victims of a great injustice.

    It isn't solely based on race. Your arguments didn't even strike me as eugenics, I would have said something if any of them had struck me as such. You made your point in that thread that your ultimate fears in regards to affirmative action, reside in overcompensation leading to a different kind of racism or unjust prejudice. 

    What you didn't suggest, was that current and ongoing systems of inequality are justified based on inherent superiority of one groups genes over another. Eugenics lite, for lack of a better way to describe what I mean. 

    I could try and expand more, but I'm going to make more of an effort to be more concise and to the point, as INow suggests. So I'll try to refrain and stick to a more casual flow of conversation. Results may vary...


  6. 40 minutes ago, iNow said:

    Nickels worth of free advice: Stop writing War and Peace with every post.

    If you can’t say it concisely, then you likely don’t understand it well enough to be discussing it at all.

    You mean just in the forum setting right? 

    That isn't the only reason you might not be able to say something concisely. Depends on how complex and elaborate what you're talking about is. 

    I barely write more than a small essays worth at a time. Maybe the mistake I make is thinking that just because I take the time to write it, others will put the same amount of time into reading it? The annoying thing about writing a book, is slow feedback. 

    I don't really know how you put a decades worth of research into something concise enough to be short, sweet and simple. The closest I can get to that; reality and existence are complicated, it isn't short, it isn't simple or easily describable, that is the simplest truth there is. 

    I'm a devil is in the details and nuance type. If people want something that can fit into a tweet or makes a nice sounding short quote for someones yearbook, that is not philosophy or ethics... Oh my, how the tables have turned. I sound like the older ones just saying that and it leaves a bad taste in my mouth, but despite my ignorance and rejection of it at the time, they were right...

    I'll take your advice though, that the forum venue is not the place for my windbag proclivities and that I am wasting my time writing at length when time to read is not something everyone has. 

    That being said, be aware that your advice runs counter to others on this same forum, which is that I should expand more. Unless you think the criticism, that I write too much when I should write little, and too little when I should write more, would be a valid criticism to make of me? You can answer that honestly without fear of me snapping back you by the way. You've displayed to me, a level of linguistic precision that I envy, within the ethics threads. You are also direct and to the point. I can't believe I'm saying it, but I actually trust you to objectively critique my approach, as you've displayed a great deal of competency in your arguments for affirmative action. 

    As we'd say in Scotland; go oan san, intellectually roast me mate! Gi me the fear.

  7. On 12/5/2020 at 1:31 PM, zapatos said:

    When my mother was near the end of her life she emotionally suffered whenever any of her kids or grandkids experienced any setbacks. We instituted a policy, at my urging, that we lie like crazy to my mom. David got into graduate school. Mary's debt was forgiven. I got that promotion. 

    I've never been happier about a decision to lie in my life.

    For the most part I believe that people should be told the truth, but I'm sure there are dozens of exceptions depending on the circumstances.

    This is a good example of what we would call a white lie. 

    When people are talking about lying, they are really only talking about one form of falsehood. It often ends up being a catch all term for all falsehoods. 

    On 12/5/2020 at 11:58 AM, VenusPrincess said:

    If you believed something was true, but also knew that others would be demoralized and angry at you for sharing that truth, should you stay quiet or lie about it instead?

    If you present what you believe to be the truth with a clear argument and justification for believing in that claim, by way of logical consistency and preferably evidence, you should not stay quiet about it or lie about it. To be clear though, just because you are not lying about what your belief is, does not mean you are not just wrong and engaging in a falsehood. 

    However, if your argument runs the risk of being dangerously misconstrued, you have a duty to stay silent and be careful about who you are speaking to about it. Once you've said what you say, it is out there in the world and it is your epistemic responsibility to make sure it is not misinterpreted in a way where an outcome that you did not want comes to fruition. Like an argument being used to advocate violence against a group, or an argument that claims superiority of one group over another, which can be misconstrued as justification for said violence. 

    If you believe you can make an argument for a moral claim and are confident it will not be misinterpreted to ill effect, then by all means speak it from the hilltops. Reality does not have to match your confidence however and you can still choose poorly. 

    This is why Wittgenstein only released one book while he was alive and why he detested people taking notes of what he said in casual conversation. Words are dangerous. Talking about ethics, is very dangerous and is very high stakes. A lot of people do not appreciate or understand the gravity of this. 

    It's one thing to be wrong when making claims about what the answer to a mathematical problem is, being wrong in ethics, can have some very far reaching consequences. Nietzsche for example is often greatly misunderstood and misinterpreted to ill effect for him and his readers.


  8. 1 hour ago, MigL said:

    As for the rest of the 'bitch session', I suggest PM.
    Nobody needs to air their dirty laundry in public.

    A thick concept description toward airing a grievance publicly if it is required. Or maybe people who bring lawsuits are just having a "bitch session" too?

    This is an example of throwing an eggshell onto the ground. If you find it tasteless for people to air their grievances in a public setting, then your issues are with natural responses towards perceived misuses of authority. 

    Last time I tried to deal with this in a PM, I was banned. So maybe with a little empathy you can perhaps understand why I felt the need to make it public? Since it seemed like the only way to have a reasonable discussion where one side wasn't silenced completely. 

    Just so you know, the issues have been resolved, in part because I aired them here. If you don't want me to take things personally, don't describe my behaviour as bitchy in anyway. I detest the use of thick concepts to describe peoples behaviour and if your desire is to NOT escalate things, don't use that word unless you are actually talking about a female dog.

    This is what I meant in my earlier comment when I asked if it was somehow distasteful for a man to display or admit to hurt feelings. To the point where you'd use the term 'bitch session' as a means to shame me into not breaking that cultural taboo again. Too bad, I'm a man, I have feelings, the only thing wrong about my sharing that publicly are peoples attitudes towards that act being so negative in the first place. 

    1 hour ago, MigL said:

    I was involved in that thread also ( if it's the one concerning barriers to education ), and I don't recall eugenics being discussed at all.
    Eugenics: the practice or advocacy of improving the human species by selectively mating people with desirable hereditary traits.
    We do this all the time with animals and has led to the domestication of many species.
    It is even somewhat practiced when selecting characteristics of the father, during artificial insemination from a sperm bank.
    This is a science forum and humans are just another species.
    Aside from moral/ethical considerations, I don't see the objection to discussing eugenics as defined above.

    If MSC has a different definition for eugenics, I'd be interested in hearing it.
    I don't relish 'walking on eggshells' with my posts because he misinterprets meanings, or is easily offended, and reports people.

    Take out mating from that definition and you have broad eugenics. Who decides what is and isn't a desirable trait and is any desirable trait always a desirable trait? Advocating for selection criteria based solely upon inherited traits, internal or external, is eugenics. It's a slippery slope to be on, because if you can justify selecting who gets an education based solely on what one or a majority group of people decide is a desirable trait, then why not just go the whole nine and claim the genetically "inferior" should just be destroyed so they stop trying to get into school and demanding things like equality of opportunity?

    In philosophy and ethics, a lot of people get caught up in finding the right definition for a word, instead of the right definition within a certain context. 

    A quick look at any dictionary will display clearly that few words have only one meaning. If it is a philosophy dictionary, that reality becomes even more apparent. 

    This is a science forum, ethics is a social science. Like any other science, it has it's own vocabulary and definitions are relative to the context in which they are used. Linguistics is also a science and that too has theories which revolve around meaning of a word being relative to the context in which it is used.

    However, this should not be taken to mean that the meaning of a word is subjective and that we can use any word to mean anything whenever we want, that would be chaos. No, it has to make contextual sense. This includes the etymology of a word, it's past and current uses, the history behind the use of a word. 

    The history of the theories of eugenics, does not end at selective mating, but using genetic criteria to be selective about everything, from who gets to have freedom, rights, opportunity, resources, everything. 

    The question that I've yet to hear a eugenics advocate answer, from minor eugenics to extreme eugenics, who exactly decides what is and is not a desirable trait and what gives them the authority to make those judgements?

    This is the sort of thing I compulsively perseverate over. Using those words very specifically, compulsive and perseverate. That way people will maybe be open to the possibility that I take things personally because I cannot forget and it actually takes a lot of effort for me to just move on with no resolution to a problem. This is something most autistic people have a problem with. It doesn't make me bitchy nor does it make me a bad person. If people would remember that I do infact have an ASD diagnosis, maybe they'd understand why I communicate differently and also why selecting based on neurology is abhorrent to me, I don't know if you've ever come across an autism hate site, but people there regularly argue that people like me be aborted and go so far as to put out misinformation that autism can be cured by drinking bleach. Parents have actually believed this and tried to force feed bleach to autistic children. 

    Ethical discussions, tend to be all eggshells. It's not always fun, it is not comfortable, these sorts of talks are difficult to have and even the best of us lose our heads.

    I stand by my categorization of VenusPrincesses claims as eugenics. I've also given them the opportunity to rephrase it since maybe they aren't aware of the history of eugenics nor it's different modal applications. 



  9. 1 hour ago, VenusPrincess said:

    If you're talking about the thread where I claimed that the intelligence of a biological organism is determined by its neurological system then that is not eugenic. I can claim that automobiles with a V8 engine can go faster than those with a V6 engine, and there is no implication that I believe automobiles with V6 engines should be destroyed.

    No, that is the barrier to equal opportunities in education thread, not the eugenics thread I was referring to.

    This is also not the claim that you made in the education thread. 


    If people do not behave in the same way it is because there is a morphological difference between them. That is the fundamental source of inequality. It's also impossible to fix, and there is no reason to either. Should we alter the genetics of the potato so that it will have the same morphology as a dog? Why? Why should organisms be equal? To what end? Give up on this childish dream of equality and accept reality.

    This was in fact your first comment. Your claim is that we should not try to fix inequality because genetic difference is the underlying source of it. You also conflate equality with genetic sameness in this instance and are using genetics to make moral claims about how we should treat people who are different. Which also ignores the environmental factors at play in the neurological evolution of an individual within their lifetime.


    You have implicitly decided. It seems like many "progressives" have decided that morphological differences related to skin color and skull structure, i.e. the outward physical indicators of race, supersede all other others when ensuring equal opportunity.

    Your focus on outward morphological differences is wrong headed. The morphological differences which are responsible for differences in achievement are most likely found within the neurological system. If those differences are passed down in conjunction with and therefore correlated with outward morphological differences then the problem is not with the outward differences, but with the neurological system.

    If by progressive, you mean liberal, then you're wrong. I'm not a liberal or a conservative and this is not a political debate, it is an ethical one. 

    Ultimately your argument rests on maintaining an unequal status quo, on the basis that those at the top are neurologically superior to others because of achievement, while adhering to a very strict definition of achievement in academia being a reflection of success as an organism. 

    You even used the phrase "passed down". 

    My claim, is that using morphological and genetic criteria to come to the conclusion that inequality should not be fixed, reeks of eugenics. Yes, you've not straight up said we should destroy the people you deem to have genes and neurology inferior to your own, but you are still allowing it to dictate your moral reasoning. 

    I also don't think you want to make that argument to me, about neurological difference in academic performance. I have a better memory than most, due to my neurological structure and this has been verified through peer reviewed research into autistic individuals (allowing for variance within that spectrum of course) and I out performed most of my peers in written exams. Not all and I can only give first hand accounts to the people I went to school with. Don't have the data to compare to other schools.

    It shouldn't matter either way anyway. As my neurology does not make me more or less deserving than others of an education. There is always a bigger fish in the brain department but should we not even bother to teach children because they start out with the neurology of a complete ignoramus? Does our society have a need for achievers and success in multiple areas of life? Not just success in academia? Yes. Then you have the notion that what makes you weak in one field of study, can be a strength in another field of study. 

    So you'll have to forgive me for saying you have presented yourself as a eugenics advocate, but your word choice and conclusions look like eugenics. So maybe you'd like to retract and rephrase what your moral claims are?


  10. 51 minutes ago, Phi for All said:

    Whether or not you had access to the list swansont referred to, it was made clear you both were simply not on the same page in that instance.

    This is the first time any of you have even mentioned the possibility that we weren't BOTH on the same page. Up until now it has been put that it was solely me whom was not on the same page. This is the first time any one has even admitted I was right in the first instance when I said there was a eugenics thread on this forum. 

    If Swansont can't admit he misunderstood me the first time, he can forego the apology. As it is, an apology for misunderstanding me or accusing me of lying, it makes no difference. I am owed an apology one way or the other. I'm happy to apologise for my part in a misunderstanding. 

    You also did not address what I mentioned about me being okay with your moderation in the first instance, only for swansont to make it personal and pile on, hypervalent Iodine too, whom has never spoken to me at all and I know nothing about, save that they scolded me for being upset that I was misread or accused by swansont.

    Have you truly tried to see this from my perspective? Or is it somehow distateful for me as a man to admit that you and others are capable of hurting my feelings without good justification?

    51 minutes ago, Phi for All said:

    This is why I hate how ethics is often studied. There seems to be no way to disagree with The Ethical Folks without it becoming an issue of your own integrity.

    Who are The Ethical Folks? Do you hate how it is studied or do you hate that you don't know exactly how it is studied, discussed and debated? Or maybe you do know exactly but still hate it because it can lead to a lot of emotional charging and triggering on all sides? To me that is just part of the human condition itself. I myself have witnessed (although not here which is good) arguments and debates in hard sciences that get just as emotionally charged as ethical subjects. 

    To be completely honest with you, there are plenty of contexts where I'd agree, I really wish how ethics was studied was different, or at least consistent. I also hate how other ethicists can make the same implications that bother you, about my integrity. Whenever I get into a debate with Antinatalists, I am usually faced with the same thing. Unfortunately, integrity is a moral subject. 

    Do I believe you personally have a lot of personal integrity? Yes, you wouldn't be arguing this hard if you didn't and anyone who creates or contributes to a free source of learning and discussion definitely is a good person in my eyes. 

    I think the thing that really bothers people about ethics, is that if you talk about it with anyone for long enough, conflicts will arise as everyone invariably ends up having to deal with the knowledge that they cannot be ethically perfect or that others cannot. We all have blindspots, biases and predispositions not only towards different ideas but also different styles of putting those ideas across in communication. 

    I don't really know if it is possible to keep such things out of the field. It also isn't just your integrity that is at play, my own is at play too. Swansont insulted it, I returned it in kind. I firmly believe in giving people what they give and it doesn't take a genius to know that Swansont can be unfairly abrasive and rude when he speaks to people he has authority over.

    If by "the ethical folks" you mean ethicists, or people whom have devoted their lives toward that intellectual pursuit, maybe you can look at it this way. How would you feel if your area of expertise is viewed by most people as subjective or a matter of opinion, even from experts within that field who have to make sincere efforts to argue consistently from a moral realist position, the position that has led to the increased levels of safety and security some of us in the modern world enjoy?

    My position has never been that I am unassailable or more moral or immoral than the next person. Do I believe there is a number of right and wrong ways to engage with a situation? Yes. Am I always going to be right? No. Is anyone? No. Are you? No. 

    There are consequences to our actions. The consequences for Swansonts misreading of me and appearing to accuse me of lying, is that I feel deeply insulted and the insult grows the longer I am without an apology. I can forgive without one, but I won't forget it without one. I am also not in control of how I feel. I'm not feeling a certain way to make anyone feel as if I am saying they are an awful person. I am just saying, if you want to repair the damage and cost of the harming actions, the best start is with an apology. Do not refuse to give one, out of an unassailable position that you have somehow not done anything wrong when the negative consequences of the actions are right there in front of you.

    Not giving one at this point isn't the moral high-ground or preserving integrity, it's pride and an invalidation of the hurt party as less than, not worthy of an apology on even a basic human level.

    Of course, if anyone wants to claim I have not been wronged on deontological grounds, I'm all ear. Consequentialist grounds won't work though as negative consequences have already happened. 




  11. 4 minutes ago, Phi for All said:

    You seem very reasonable about other subjects, but when you start talking about ethics you get very high-leg about the subject, and act like anyone who disagrees with you is calling you a monster. That's what triggered my comments about the unassailable position. You act like we're all at fault here, but you were the one who asked the staff to do something against their own ethics, and when we pushed back you unleased the kraken on us, and accused us of all kinds of things. 

    I've already said my piece on that and I considered the matter closed until Swansont came in and accused me of lying after misreading what I said. I did not "fly into a rage" as you say until the point where he had accused me of being a liar. 

    This is what I mean by imagining my writing as if I'm shouting it at you, instead of assuming I was calm when I said what I said. 

    My anger, is towards eugenics and being accused of lying. 

    I did not break any rules by reaching out to the moderation team, reporting what I thought may have been rule breaching posts for you to evaluate, nor is it against the rules to communicate that if a certain view (eugenics) is not moderated the way it has been in the past, I won't feel comfortable enough to remain here. It was in no way blackmail and I dropped the issue after you had moderated the person. Swansont piling on and calling me a liar was out of order, the molehill as you put it, had been dealt with. I did not dig it back up. Swansont did. 

    There is a eugenics thread on this site, he countered that claim by saying there was not, I then sent him a link to that thread and he never retracted his statement or acknowledged that I was in fact telling the truth. He instead doubled down and moved the goalposts to say he was talking only specifically about what is on his report list, something I have no access to as I am not staff here nor do I want to be. The original message I sent highlighted very specifically the eugenics thread, not the eugenics report which I never made nor claimed to word in any report I have made. The eugenics thread exists, so Swansonts claim that there was not, came across as an accusation that I was lying about the existence of a thread. Why would I lie about something so easily and quickly verifiable? Why is that accusation not worthy of an apology to the person who got accused of lying? 


  12. 21 minutes ago, swansont said:

    It wasn't an apology; I guess we haven't ruled out that the problem might just be reading comprehension.

    Probably, but on which side? I wasn't the one who originally misread what I said about a eugenics thread and then accused someone of lying by saying no such thread exists. 

    I think we haven't ruled out the problem that someone should apologise, for the sake of maintaining civility and de-escalating conflicts at least. 

    Or, you can just keep on insulting me and expecting me to listen to that like it's valid. Knowing full well I will not. Do you really think that's the best strategy here? I gave you plenty of opportunity to send an apology privately, you have not as you think I'm beneath you for some reason, knowing full well I believe in equality and knowing that I believe no one, myself included, is faultless or perfect. If I believe that of myself, what could possibly make you think I don't believe the same of you? 😕

    I genuinely want there to be resolution here, but I'm not the one slapping the hand away. 

    There is an apology to you in a suggestions thread, if you wish to have an open dialogue about this, where the goal is resolution and amends, we can carry on this conversation there. 

    12 minutes ago, Phi for All said:

    This is a good example of the unassailable stance I mentioned earlier. You claim to be the one with ethics, and judge me as the one with anger who's not in the right frame of mind and needs to chill out and stop holding baseless grudges. I must be unethical, because you surely can't be!

    It's like skepticism, which can be easily misused. Skeptics can't just sit on the fence. If they don't accept something, they need to dig into it and decide one way or the other. And folks who study ethics should be wary of assuming their arguments and stances are always right. 

    Adding a disclaimer to note that I'm still discussing the meta-ethical aspects of this topic, and my comments have nothing to do with anyone personally, or with any past event, or a different thread, and come from a reasoned frame of mind. 

    I claimed I study ethics. I never claimed you were unethical or that I was more or less ethical. I'm not the one strawmanning nor am I the one who is now projecting. If I truly believed you were unethical, I'd not be speaking to you now.

    Out of the two of us, only one has made biased ethical comparisons and judgements, it was not me. Do I need to quote you from the private message you sent me?

    Neither of you even behave as if I am worthy of an apology. Who's making the ethical judgements? Who banned who and accused who of abusive behaviour? I was direct and honest, imagining that I shouted my writing at you has caused you to justify your behaviour, even though I was calm and sincere when writing, as I still am. 

    Can you really not see how hurtful your actions were? Do you think I'm lying when I say I feel unjustly hurt by you? Why would I lie about that?

    I know you're not lying if you say the same to me. Do you want an apology? Ask for it, I've already given one in another thread but it is no skin off my nose to apologise, I know better than most how I come across to others, I know better than most that even with the best of intentions, I can still cause hurt. 

    21 minutes ago, Phi for All said:

    And folks who study ethics should be wary of assuming their arguments and stances are always right. 

    But you don't have to be wary of that too? Okay. PhiforAllism reigns supreme and you decide right and wrong for everyone, from now on.

    So am I unethical? Am I a bad irredeemable person who should be dead and not here?

    38 minutes ago, Phi for All said:

    Adding a disclaimer to note that I'm still discussing the meta-ethical aspects of this topic, and my comments have nothing to do with anyone personally, or with any past event, or a different thread, and come from a reasoned frame of mind. 

    Just saw this disclaimer. That is fine by me and I'll retract my previous inferences of your underlying motivations for commenting. There is a thread open elsewhere if you or anyone else wants to discuss the grievances.

    On 12/3/2020 at 3:20 PM, Phi for All said:

    think too many people are motivated by love and hate because they've started with that emotional premise rather than finding an intellectual motivation and investing their passions in THAT. It's far too easy to react with a jerk of the knee rather than a reasoned response.

    I focussed on love and hate in the OP, however my main point, or Humes point, is that we are all emotionally motivated. Ethics too is an intellectual pursuit, so how can you fault anyone who puts their passions into it, if that is what your advice is?

    The reason I talk about valuing as the basis for meta-ethical reasoning and not on values themselves, is due to observation that we all in fact engage in value ascriptions every day, in every way. Emotional sentiment is the core motivator for engagement in all pursuits, intellectual or otherwise. 

    I'd even go so far as to say that even when we feel certain we are being rational and reasonable, these two are emotional states. 

    How familiar are you with stoic temperance and what do you take temperance to mean? This is very important as a lot of people misunderstand what is meant by temperance. 

    In the rest of this discussion, there will be a lot of ground to cover and it will take me some time to mention everything in my research that contributes to my methodology. This is a disclaimer where I state clearly that my methods for philosophical and moral evaluation and reasoning are NOT unassailable, but they are nuanced and complex and will take time for me to go over. So I'd appreciate if people can reserve judgement on it until the picture has been painted, at which time constructive criticism will be more effective. 

    Ultimately, I actually believe that myself, Swansont and you have similar values and morals, but we differ greatly on the modal expression of those. Particularly I think when it comes to the subject of authority. Which is a very contentious topic of conversation anywhere. From this point on though, when we discuss authority we will steer clear of discussing it's dynamic in this forum and focus on other venues where we are equal in that neither of us is an authority within those venues, neither of us are career politicians for example.

  13. 11 minutes ago, swansont said:

    Moderator Note

    And Phi didn't accuse you of saying it.

    Phi gave you an out for the strawman you appeared to be making, and you've chosen not to take the graceful approach of clarifying what you meant, in a way that eliminates the strawman.

    Instead, we have this.


    Moderator Note

    This is a response that absolves you of any wrongdoing; you've decided that the answer is that someone is mad at you and it's their fault that there is a disagreement, rather than the possibility that you had misinterpreted or misread something, or were just wrong about something. 

    This approach leaves a lot to be desired.




    This is a strange apology?

  14. Quote
    1. We expect arguments to be made in good faith. Honest discussions, backed up by evidence when necessary. Example of tactics that are not in good faith include misrepresentation, arguments based on distraction, attempts to omit or ignore information, advancing an ideology or agenda at the expense of the science being discussed, general appeals to science being flawed or dogmatic, conspiracies, and trolling.

    This rule here for example; as it is written, it is a good rule for the hard science sections but even when arguing in good faith in say the ethics or philosophy forum, what exactly is considered evidence in those fields?

    How could the rule be copied but reformatted for the sections where although science is a part of the fields in question, it is not the only part? 

    I am making this request out of sincere desire to understand exactly how the staff here want the rules of engagement within these forums to be interpreted as recent arguments, misunderstandings and hurt feelings are probably being caused by these sorts of confusions. 

    As it is, it seems even quoting a moderator from a past moderation is being deemed as abusive behaviour. 

    I don't think anyone here wants to feel responsible for discouraging individuals from taking part in the forum but that is currently what is happening at times. 

    So how can we fix things if no one is willing to address this, offer apologies where they are due or not directly insult members who are making sincere attempts to obey the rules and guidelines of the forum as they are written?

    I do enjoy my time here when everyone is being respectful, peaceful and everyone is viewed as equally worthy of basic respect. I'd prefer not to feel forced to leave because the rules or staff do not allow for inclusion of people who, through no fault of their own, find the rules ill suited to parts of the forum where they are hard to apply or easily interpret. 

    I apologise to the moderators for the upset I have caused with them, I would appreciate a reciprocal apology as it takes two sides to argue. I summarily reject the narrative where they are choosing to believe I am a bad and unethical person that should not be spoken to in a respectful manner. It's very closed minded and being closed minded is behavior I know and have observed them being capable of not being. 

    I understand we are all here voluntarily, that should not be a good reason as to why it's allowable to throw insults and accusations peoples way, then justifying it by how the person reacts to the insults and accusations. We are all people first, we are not the screens we all see and we are all here for the same reasons. Why is that not enough to resolve conflicts we are all equally responsible for?

    I'd ask and suggest this directly and not air this publicly, however I do not trust that I won't simply be banned for sending another message to request this and I'd rather not be ganged up on by three different moderators again without witnesses. Just for trying to be a direct, and helpful member of this community, who would at the very least like their good intentions to be acknowledged and recognised.



  15. 32 minutes ago, studiot said:

    Well thank you, I'm flattered as I don't deserve such special reatment.

    Anyway, You too have a good holiday but above all,

    Stay Safe.

    Too many in the UK are currently putting their 'right to a good hioliday' above the safety of themselves.
    This is their choice and perhaps their right but the trouble is that all rights come with responsibilities and they are also affecting the safety of other people by doing this.


    No but I snapped at you before and misinterpreted what you were saying so I wanted to make it up to you and treat you more respectfully. 

    Oh I know what you mean, in America it is just crazy, the airports were jam packed of people travelling to be with their families for thanksgiving and it was quite a shock to me, I haven't seen my family in two years and some people here can't manage a single month without spreading the virus everywhere. 😕

  16. 3 minutes ago, Phi for All said:

    Let me point out the difference between what I said and what you're arguing against, otherwise you're strawmanning me. I advocated forming an intellectual argument first, THEN putting your emotions and passions behind THAT, rather than starting off emotionally. How is that "a state of pure reason where no emotion is felt"? Don't do this again, I don't suck that badly at explaining things.

    I didn't say you sucked? Okay, I can see that you're still angry with me and not in the frame of mind to discuss these things without an attitude. Maybe you should try and chill out a little and stop holding a grudge you have no business having in the first place. You didn't get called a liar and an asshole so you can stop pretending like you are the one owed an apology. I should be the one holding a grudge, yet here I am still trying to have a conversation with you despite the passive aggression you throw my way. 

    I'm asking you, how does anyone form an intellectual argument first when emotion is always the motivator? 

    This is my last comment until after the holidays. Figure out if you want to treat me with basic respect by then, if not we probably shouldn't bother discussing anything with each other. I really can't be bothered with people who hold grudges and talk down to people they aren't even prepared to try and understand.

  17. On 12/3/2020 at 3:20 PM, Phi for All said:

    Overall, I think the term is misused a LOT. I think many people who claim to study ethics consider themselves beyond reproach when it comes to ethical matters. It's very much like those who claim they're skeptics, because you can't possibly be wrong if you're questioning everything, right? It's tails I win, heads you lose, because I've already claimed the high ground.

    I also think too many people invest too much emotion in this sense of rightness. If ethics are so basic, we should be able to dispassionately cite why, instead of feigning moral outrage when the basics don't seem clear to someone else. 

    I think too many people are motivated by love and hate because they've started with that emotional premise rather than finding an intellectual motivation and investing their passions in THAT. It's far too easy to react with a jerk of the knee rather than a reasoned response.

    Beyond reproach or have a high bar for proof?

    What is an intellectual motivation in comparison to an emotional one? Are you suggesting there is a state of pure reason where no emotion is felt, no desires are had and only reason and rationality exist? Doesn't sound human to me and flies in the face of facts of human psychology. 

    Do you not love science? Do you not hate ignorance? I kind of get the feeling that someone who doesn't feel emotion wouldn't be rational and reasonable, they just wouldn't do anything at all and would have little motivation to do anything at all.

    For example; let's say I want to learn about the human body because I am curious as to how it works. Now, you'd maybe call that a purely intellectual motivation. If it is purely intellectual, should it matter if you study on a cadaver or a living being? 

    Also, who said ethics is basic? I don't agree with that nor did I claim it, ever. It's actually very difficult. 

    Maybe you want to reread my OP and not react with a jerk of the knee yourself. Maybe you want to quote and narrow down which parts of the OP you are specifically addressing with your response as it seems unclear to me.

     Maybe a better way to display some of my own moral beliefs (since you've never really bothered to ask what any of them are before judging me) will be to ask this question. Do you think it is possible to be ethical? Or will every act we do invariably be perceived as an injustice or harm to someone else? 

    My main point, is that we as living beings, cannot help but value things. For example you value intellectual pursuits but seem to hold emotions in a state of negative value, which is kind of like having an emotional reaction to the idea of emotions and is kind of funny to me. 

    Just so we are clear, I absolutely do not think I am beyond reproach, ethics to me is an intellectual pursuit, I didn't talk about a "sense of rightness", I don't think people feign moral outrage when someone calls them a liar and an asshole, I think they are just feeling emotionally hurt because neither are very nice things to call people and it is kind of abusive. But then, by this forums logic, being called a liar and an asshole makes you the abusive one, not the people calling you that, for some reason. Last I checked the people shutting down and claiming the moral high ground was never me. So maybe you want to engage with this thread appropriately and save the projection and guilty conscious for someone who's trust and respect for you, you haven't damaged.


  18. On 12/3/2020 at 3:55 PM, studiot said:


    Thank you.

    Thank you also for providing an accurate statement of the setup in Scotland we can all agree.


    So can I ask you to consider the value of accuracy in discussion ?


    Rather than going over old ground any more can we also discuss your title question ?

    Only the first line provides a discussion topic,

    I would rather not comment on the rest except to ask you  to you consider if this is a good way to address people and open a conversation you hope to have an adult discussion with.


    So did you wish to discuss barriers to equal opportunity in  'education'.    -  as you state in the title


    barriers to equal opportunity in 'academia'     -  as you state in your opening post ?

    I hope you are not conflating the two.

    They are not the same.


    In any event we need an agreed working definition of 'education' and 'academia' before progress can be made.

    I do value accuracy in discussion, when and where possible. That being said, achieving that can be difficult when you don't know who you're speaking to that well or when you're strapped for time. Sometimes you have to sacrifice accuracy, in favour of accessibility.

    I do appreciate the questions the the criticisms though.

    I suppose I do mean a broad definition of education but it is good to highlight the dichotomy between the two formats, institutionalised formal academia and access to materials for informal learning. 

    So on the one side of that are things like school policies, formats, teaching methods and philosophies.

    On the other side, library, internet, work and life experience etc. 

    So you are right. We should diversify and expand our current discussion by delineating not precisely what we mean by education, but delineating what education can mean in different contexts and asking the questions of each of those contexts. 

    This way, we are looking at and evaluating the different barriers towards different styles and formats of education and figuring out what factors are at play and if any can be found in all contexts of what we can mean by 'Education', and which ones belong only within certain contexts.

    As for your query about whether or not the attitude I had when I wrote the OP was a good way to address people. By that I'm assuming you mean the emotionality and accusatory nature of it. Probably not the best way to start a discussion but then I've always worn my emotions on my sleeves and I am also of the opinion that sometimes you have to consciously show how you are feeling rather than bottle it and pretend you don't have any. We can agree to disagree on that front. Asking me to change the past or not feel nor express my emotions is probably a waste of time. Changing the past is beyond my control, whether I express any emotions is beyond others control. I might be doing it consciously to make a point or I might genuinely be having trouble regulating. Either way, whether or not it is conducive toward creating open and constructive dialogues, depends on context. Personally I don't mind if people are angry or emotional when they are speaking to me, so long as they aren't calling me or others names, shutting down conversations, using thick concepts or are being judgemental for the sake of dehumanising someone. However, if someone is going to tell me, I am behaving like an asshole, they better have a logical argument as to why, else I'll not bother with them as me and my self esteem have better things to do than listen to someone who is not only feeling emotional, but making it personal, inciting and spiteful. You know the types I mean, the one's who say something really insulting or accuse you of something with no evidence and then shut down the conversation and give the silent treatment for not agreeing with their summary that you are some unchangeable evil asshole. Shock horror, wonder why.

    Anyway, I only came back here to reply to you, I have one more comment to make on another thread, then I'm out of here until the New Year.

    Enjoy the Holidays :)


  19. I'd like to start by quoting from this forums Statement of Purpose.


    Section 1: Purpose Statement
    ScienceForums.net is dedicated to providing a forum for the discussion of all things scientific with the highest degree of integrity and respectability. We aim to provide all individuals, regardless of their education level, a forum to express their ideas and love of science.

    I love this Purpose statement, yet I also hate it, because despite there being a Philosophy section here, I like to think that I try hard to discuss philosophy and ethics with the highest degree of integrity and respectability. 'Try' being the operative at least. I am by no means perfect. So it would be nice if the purpose statement of this page extended to mention this of ethics and philosophy, as well as science. For I have a love for Ethics and Philosophy that is just as bright as the one I have for Science. 

    When I look around me, I am valuing everything as a something. We often talk of what values we should have, yet ignore the constant that we all are valuers. In ethics and meta-ethics, we have to talk about theories of value because how, why, what and to what degree we value are fundamental to moral motivation.

    I love ethics for what it can do for the individual and the collective. I also hate it for what it can do to them. 

    One of the things that shocked me the most about ethics, was that it stopped everything being black, white or gray in my eyes. It seemed more like their was this whole rainbow of a moral spectrum. Black and white still existed, but grey was gone and replaced by other colour. Virtue theory seemed yellow, Utilitarian Green, deontology blue. I even had a strange dream about this where the same scene was showed to me with my sight shaded by different colours each time I looked at it. I can't remember the scene, just what the colors felt like in my mind although in the end colour coding is arbitrary in this instance. 

    The more I learned and diversified my studies in all of these different moral perspectives, the more diverse the colours became and the more I started to suspect that there are very few, potentially no people who can truly be seen as being in the ultra negative or positive end of this spectrum, whether you call that black or white. I suspected that a person would have to be blinded to something to be in or close to either extreme. 

    In Pragmatic ethics, you'll maybe sometimes read the phrase Moral Ecology. Which describes the moral landscape of humanity and at times life itself, as diverse and constantly evolving. I believe this to be so. The one constant I see is that living entities can be described as agents of value. We all have that love/hate relationship with the universe and reality. More or less everyone seems to have things they value in the positive or the negative in this reality. From the basically physical demands and obstacles of life to the more abstract mental ones. 

    This is why forms of moral-antirealism seem so ludicrous to me, value exists because valuers exist. All moral anti-realism does is take value and moral as concepts and applies a negative value to them as false, therefore all attempts to have a moral discussion is meaningless. Even though they literally just did the valuing act..

    In conclusion, my purpose with this thread is to open up discussions in meta-ethics where we can focus on identifying just who it is that we are and what we are doing when we talk about things like good, bad, maladaptive, beneficial, etc. I can honestly say I am motivated by love and hate, love of the things that benefit our physical and moral ecology, hatred of the things that threaten it by being maladaptive or needlessly destructive. Using intellect, language and my own emotions in service to a principle of defense for our moral ecology. Albeit imperfectly, as I'm only human.


  20. 1 hour ago, studiot said:

    One point at a time.

    Initially I  granted you the opportunity to expand on your statement

    in my short reply

    You replied

    And I offered this which is true.

    And you replied specifically zero costs, repeating your earlier contention.


    Currently the cost of a single Pharmacy textbook is in the range £35 - £75.
    A Pharmacy student wanting to have their own BNF (renewable every year)  could fork out £400
    A suitable laptop would cost in the range £500 - £600

    Then of course there are living costs.

    And travel costs

    Not counting the opportunity cost of cost earned income during the time of studying.

    Now do you still maintain the zero cost option ?

    Ahhh I see now where our wires have crossed. My poor word choice and lack of expansion. I am really sorry for misinterpreting you. Forgive me, real life intrudes and my effort here suffers for it at times. 

    In Scotland, there are means tested grants, bursaries, loans, allowances for disabled people, single mother specific grants etc. Creches and other facilities have also been implemented in some colleges and universities, all the ones in Edinburgh and definitely one in Glasgow that I know of 1st hand.

    So for some, but admittedly not all, fees, textbooks, and living costs are paid directly to students in the form of bursaries, allowances and loans. This includes travel costs for those who need it and live further than a mile or so away from the university. These funds go to the people who, upon the conclusion of an income means test, are identified as needing the help in order to have an opportunity to enter into higher education. Also, at 16, EMA, that is educational maintenance allowance is given as a stipend to students who remain in education, as they can leave of their own volition at 16 when they are in the 4th or 5th year of highschool. This was £120 a month when I was sixteen but it's probably went up a little bit with inflation over the years. At 18, you're eligible for a bursary to continue higher education. 

    So who are the individuals who are not eligible for these sorts of financial aid? The people who by means testing were found to be from a wealthy enough background that they could pay their own way. 

    All of that being said, in the greater context of the thread, you raised interesting points about loss of opportunity for work and personal computer/laptop. Yes, most students who are not living with parents take on part time jobs to pay for these sorts of things. Their Bursaries, are not enough to cover it all. There are probably some good arguments to be made about how much students should be given. Colleges and universities here do have a large amount of onsite computers that are always free for students to reserve or access if they are free. That point is a bit moot under covid though and even if you booked a day off in a computer lab, the school does not cover that travel fair so unless you have college that day, you have to spend your own money.

    Now when I was at school, full time students weren't eligible for housing financial aid from the government. I think that might have changed now but I'll need to double check. 

    So in conclusion, upon your direction I'll revise and clarify my claims.

    In Scotland, if you're a citizen or permanent resident and you can't afford an education, you can get one. However it does not pay for all the costs associated with it unless you're a spartan minimalist with a laptop, or living with parents. Most students have to take on part time jobs. Students in the US do the same, the difference is that students in Scotland won't have massive amounts of debt they can't pay when they are finished, unless they were dumb enough to get a credit card or something? But then their debt isn't to their school.

    So I should have expanded when I said cost and I will retract statements where I implied all costs are paid for. 


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