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Everything posted by Edtharan

  1. I don't really get what you are trying to say here. To me it sounds like you are trying to say that before the scientific method was formalised, they didn't follow the scientific method (but something similar). If that is what you are saying, then you have no objection here. The method they followed was similar, but it didn't have the "falsifiability" requirement that the modern scientific method has. And, because of that the problems you point out with it would occur. No surprise or objection ehre. The modern Scientific Method is different from the ancient methodologies. Now, while they were somewhat successful, they had many problems, one of which was a reliance on authority. That is if someone was considered an authority, then they must be true even if there is evidence against them. You seem to think the modern scientific method is like this, but that was the method used by the the pre scientific investigators. It was through the repeated failure of this methodology (even though it did have some successes) that the modern scientific method was created. It was because there were more and more things being shown not to be true, even though the authorities that initially claimed them to be true, that they recognised the problem and sought to work out a better system (the modern scientific method). They even changed the name of the field to indicate that the approach was fundamentally different (science as opposed to natural philosophy). Again, this is all pre-scientific method, so has no real relevance to the discussion other than to point out that the old system had its flaws and the modern scientific method was created to fix them. In other words, you are making my argument for me. Thanks. Actually, it has been known for quite some time that certain types of diabetes is caused by autoimmune responses. So someone coming out and making this "new" claim would not really make too much of an impact. it is like if I came up to you and said: "Did you know the sky is blue, I can prove it." You probably would not be surprised that it is blue because you would have already know that. The reason the research is being done on hyperglycaemia (or hypoglycaemia) for diabetes is that is the effect of it that causes the symptoms and damage to the body. Knowing it is an autoimmune condition (type 1 diabetes) still causes the problem of poor control of blood glucose levels. Type 2 diabetes is caused by stressing the pancreas with too much glucose in the blood stream (actually it is more about going from low to high blood glucose level more than just constantly high level, but constantly high level also stresses the pancreas). However, in either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, the fluctuating blood glucose levels puts further stress on the pancreas exasperating the problem. If medication and medical treatments can be found to reduce this stress on the pancreas, then the problem can be stabilised, and possibly reversed. However, this does not mean that research into eliminating type 1 diabetes through dealing with immune system is not being undertaken. There is much research being done with transplants, artificial pancreas, tissue engineering to replace a pancreas and re-educating the immune system to eliminate the autoimmune response. As I said above: This study didn't actually tell them anything they didn't already know, or were already performing research on to correct. It also means that this "evidence" for your argument that science rejects things is clearly false, because they already knew this, accepted this and were working on a way to treat it before this study was even begun. Yes, it is important to defend the old theories. This could be because the results of the new experiments are wrong, that the old theory does indeed explain the new data just that no one was aware of that application of it before, or for many other reasons. defending an old theory does not mean that that the scientific method has failed, it actually means it is working. For a scientist to defend an old theory over a new theory means that the scientist is seriously considering that the new theory is on equal terms as the old theory. It means that they are not just accepting of authority (and someone saying: "I have new data" is an authority on the new data). The purpose of the scientific method is to determine which of competing explanations of a phenomena is the better one. And the only way to do this is for someone to defend each theory and try their bets to prove the others are inferior. You seem to be saying on one hand that scientists will never accept anything new. But then on the other hand you seem to be saying that scientist should not just accept anything new because it is new. This is a logical fallacy called a strawman. You have created your own version of what the scientific method should be, and does so in a way that is completely impossible to achieve. then when science does not achieve it, you claim victory. What we have had to repeatedly explain to you, and you don't seem to be able to grasp, is that your version of the scientific method is wrong. So you can argue all you like against your own made up version of it, but your arguments don't have any relevance to the actual scientific method. We haven't even been able to disuses the scientific method with you, because you can't even seem to understand that you don't know what the scientific method actually is. For this discussion to proceed, you have to understand what it is you are arguing against. You must forget your version of the scientific method, and learn what the scientific method actually it.
  2. If you truly have free will, then even absolute proof will not take it away, as you would still be free to believe against reality anyway. You are confusing having enough information to make the correct choice, with the loss of free will. They are not the same. Physics is about as certain as we have come to how the universe works, but there are still people, even when presented with this almost absolute proof, will choose to believe otherwise. They will believe, against the evidence, in their own fantasy. So, if you believe that we have free will, and that proof would remove that free will, then how can you account for these people? Proof does not remove free will, it just makes good choices much more likely. So, if God wanted us to make the right choices more often, then He should give us 100% certainty of His existence. It would not remove free will, it would only give us better information with which to make the right choice.
  3. Actually I am not saying that, and thus this is another strawman. Actually it is the exact same form of argument that is if "one thing is allowed then all should be allowed" that you made in your last reply to me. I am sort of arguing the opposite, that something should be shown to be harmless (or less harmful) for it be be acceptable. Unlike Mill's principal, where everything is allowed unless proved harmful, I am saying that the default position should be illegal unless harm to others can be shown not to exist (or be less than not allowing the behaviour).
  4. DNA is a series of chemicals called Deoxyribonucleic Acids (hence DNA). This sequence of chemicals can be referred to as their name, or a letter that abbreviates their name. This way a sequence of DNA can be represented as a sequence of letters. Now, as the DNA determines what the organism will develop into, then changing that sequence of letters can change the development of an organism. This is because the differences between two types of species is just the sequence of their DNA. But, if you slowly replace one letter at a time in a sequence of letters (also either remove or add a letter which is also know to occur as well in DNA mutations), then you can convert one sequence of letter into another Such as: ABCD EBDC EFCD EFGD EFGH ABCD has been turned into EFGH. But, EFGH is an entirely different sequence of letters than ABCD, and in terms of genetics (and thus what the egg will develop into), this would represent an entirely different species of organism. The DNA sequence would be completely different, and the subsequent development too. Now, when you consider you would only need to change around 1.6% of the DNA in us to get the DNA sequence of a chimpanzee, the differences between species is actually very small. If you think about a book. If you changed just 1.6% of the letters in a book, you would not consider that book to be a completely different book, let alone a book written by a completely different author. If you are willing to accept that a book with just 1.6% of the letters change in it, is not a completely different book, or a book written by a different author, then why can you not accept that just a 1.6% difference in the genetic code means that two species can be related. If you changed just 1.6% of the letters in a book, you would still be able to read the book without too much trouble. Sure, some words might not make sense (or are different words), but you could still understand the book.
  5. If there are a lot of creatures on the ground, then there is an advantage in getting a food source that is not being use by any other creature. Thus, if there are only creatures without wings and falling kills them, then they will live on the ground. But as that food source on the ground becomes completely use, then any creature that could climb (even with the risk of falling) has an advantage. As these climbers have the advantage they will evolve to be better climbers and fall less often. However, one can never eliminate the chance of falling, so once you have climbing creatures, then they have a chance to fall. If some mutation made a creature less likely to be injured (say small protuberances that allowed stability in the fall, or that provide air resistance) then these creatures would survive more often and come to dominate the gene pool because of their advantage. Over time, the creatures with the protuberances that allow them to survive more often will come to dominate the gene pool, and this will cause the evolution of protuberances into proto-wingflaps, and then on into wings. Each step provides some degree of advantage to the organism, from climbing, to protuberances to proto-wingflaps to wings. Each giving it access to more food, or survive better.
  6. Yes, although there might be individuals that resist change, the scientific community as a whole is very accepting of change, so long as it is show to match reality. Think of it like this: Imagine you ran a car company and are really good at it, then you design a car that doesn't work, yet you push on into production despite the evidence that it doesn't work. However, other companies see that the car you design doesn't work and design cars that do work. Which company will end up selling cars? Actually, think about it a bit more. If you got to be the head of that car company and were successful at it, then that means you know how to choose between cars that work and cars that don't. You would have demonstrated enough competence not to make such bad decisions. Also, the head of a car company has an interest in making cars that work, not in just making cars. As it is with scientists. What draws a scientist to become a scientist is curiosity and the discovery of how the universe works. You seem to think it is money, but very few scientists make a lot of money (except on TV and moves, and we all know TV is real don't we... [/sarcasm] ). They don't go in for the money. So, if a scientist who became a scientist because they were curious about how the universe works, was faced with learning more about how the universe works, or a small amount of money, which do you think they would take? This is why your analogy is so wrong. Sure, there might be a few scientists out there that would act as you stated, but that is only a few out of millions. And, if scientists acted that way, then they would loose their job (and there have been examples of such). In other words, if the chairman in your example did that, because everyone else knows that they were wrong, and the chairman continues to act as if they weren't, they would have an even more tenuous hold on their job and would likely be fired for incompetence. It is interesting that you use the cycles/epicycles as an example. It shows how little you know of science. It was the fall of the cycle/epicycle proposition that really founded science. Scientists didn't really exists (they were called natural philosophers then and operated under a different methodology) and it was Newton that showed how experimentation and the scientific method could work. In other words, by bringing up the epicycle model, you have shown exactly why the scientific method works over the other methods. You have provided a really good argument against your position. You are doing our work for us. Actually, Galileo probably never performed that experiment. What he did show was that the reasoning behind the old model was flawed. Through showing that if you had a lighter weight that fell slower than a heavy weight, then joining them together should make them both slower (as the lighter weight would slow down the heavy weight) and faster (the weigh of them combined would be greater than separate and thus must fall faster than the initial heavy weight) at the same time. At that point, one had no evidence for either, it was only though very careful experimentation was one discovered to be correct. He also showed that different shaped weights, even though the same weight, landed at different times. His actual experiments used weights the same size and shape, but of different weights (balls rolled down slopes) to determine the difference (none between different weighted objects). But here the thing. Even though we accept Galileo's theory, we don't stop testing them. We use vacuum pumps to create airless environments to test it, we have done the experiments on the moon where there is a natural vacuum, and we use highly sensitive measuring devices (far more accurate than Galileo could have ever imagined or though possible). In other words, we still have not 100% accepted Galileo as being right. Any result, no matter by who, or how long it has been accepted, is still under scrutiny by science. And that is the power of science. It is why it works.
  7. Perhaps, but there are plenty of examples of God interfering in the bible. Even just to reveal Himself to people would be a kind of marketing, and thus violate "Free Will". So, if God is truly against violating free will, then we can conclude that the God of the bible is not actually God. But then this means that violating free will might not be a problem, and the whole of the bible could be wrong (which opens a completely different set of problems for religions.
  8. The reason I called it worthless is because the effect of adrenaline and other stress hormones on aggression were well known (and were the exact effects reported), but they dismissed these already known results in favour of the result they were trying to prove. Essentially, the only "new" information that can be got from that is that stressful situations video games can be stressful. They tried to push the violence aspect, and pass that off as being the cause, when the actual cause was already well known. Imagine this scenario: I let people take a known pain killer (say aspirin, but then make sure they only take blue coloured tablets. I then make the claim that blue coloured tablets releave pain. I would not get such a paper published. But these people did exactly that. They took a known effect (that stressful situations make people more aggressive) and then put that in a certain situation (violent games) and then said it was the violent games that did it. Sorry, there is already a known factor that accounts for the effect, then you can't just publish something else as causing that effect unless you show the original cause was either not present or not in effect (and violent games are stressful), or the effect was greater than the original cause can account for. Not only that, they published results that actually disprove their conclusions by the results of player who played the violent games a lot, but didn't get the same brain activity. Did it occur to them that players who are use to playing those games would not be as stressed by the situation than players who don't play them often?
  9. What this is, is a strawman argument. You are trying to show that I meant that if any freedom is allowed, then all freedoms are allowed, then using that you show there is a contradiction. Well, I never advocated total freedoms, but the freedoms self determination. Because what you are presenting is not my argument, but your own made up version of mine, this makes your argument a strawman. So, as I have said that I would allow people the freedom to risk their lives, say in extreme sports. This does not automatically give anyone the freedom to risk someone else's life in their own pursuit of extreme sports. I never claimed reasonable judgement. In fact, I thought I made it clear that judgement is very much a relative thing, that everyone judges things differently (one of my posts was mainly about this). Actually if we do take into account the historical contexts involved in this, you can see that "reasonable" varies greatly from time to time and region to region. So either there is no such thing as "reasonable", everyone else got it wrong, or we shouldn't use "reasonable" as a defining trait. Basically, if you undertake an action that harms others, then this is the restriction you must place on it. Remember, this is about freedoms, and harming another against their will, is to remove their freedoms. So giving people the freedom to harm others, is not actually giving freedom at all, but taking it away. But this is now starting to get off topic, and more about philosophy than ethics too. So if you want to continue the discussions about freedoms and what it actually means you should start a topic in the philosophy section. And I will be happy to discuss it there. So back to the topic: The fact remains, that when prostitution is made legal, the sex workers have better working conditions, are more healthy, there is less organised crime, they are free to leave when they want, and are generally better off. This means that anyone who claims that legalising prostitution is harmful is either ignorant of the facts, or wishes harm to these people (often as punishment for what they see as immoral actions). Now that you know these facts, which side do you comes down on?
  10. Dark matter is matter that doesn't interact with the electromagnetic force. Anti matter does interact with the electromagnetic force ( it is electrically opposite matter, and thus by necessity must interact with it), so Dark Matter can not be Antimatter.
  11. Have you seen the sci-fi TV series "Doll-house"? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dollhouse_(TV_series) It is quite an interesting take on this whole concept.
  12. Unlike planes, birds have a very sophisticated feedback mechanism to control their stability. There have been some planes that use unstable flight characteristics and a feedback system for stability control to increase their manoeuvrability. I think this would work for birds too. So having an unstable flight characteristic with a feedback mechanism would allow birds to be more manoeuvrable. This would aid them in avoiding predators, or to target prey themselves. Also, flying in confined spaces would be easier too with such a system in place. So, as Cap'n Refsmmat said, there is no real advantage for birds to develop tail fins. And, there could actually be a disadvantage to developing them.
  13. Science can be summed up: Reality Wins That is, it wouldn't matter if it came form a 5 year old, or Einstein, if the evidence shows that something is wrong, science will accept the new results.
  14. First of all, this is what I was talking about. It is easy to find a study that agrees with your point of view (either for or against video games increase violence). But, look again at that study. It doesn't show any long term increase in violence. It only shows a short term increase. Which can be attributed to increased adrenaline, testosterone and such. There have been studies that show increased adrenaline and testosterone increases aggresion. And, violent video games will cause an increase in adrenaline and testosterone, so I am not at all surprised that immediately after they played a violent game they had increased aggression. Actually that conclusion is assumes that violent games cause violence. You get that so much with such studies. The thing is people exposed to violent video games could just as easily learnt to deal with the increased adrenaline and testosterone and so they don't react to it. That would mean that they would end up less prone to violence than people who haven't learnt to control themselves in such situations. But that is my point: These studies are virtually worthless because you can cherry pick the result you want and assume a conclusion not actually supported by the study to reach the conclusion you want. The link is tenuous at best because they didn't look at long term effects, they only looked at the short term effects and didn't account for the fact that the neuo-chemicals that are produced in stressful situations cause the exact effects they are reporting. These same effects have been seen by people who undergo stressful situations. You may have even experienced it yourself (I have). When you get into a stressful situation (and non-violent), you will still react more aggressively (for a short period of time afterwards too) than you would in a non stressful situation. People who play violent games more are better at them and would considder them less stressful, so you would not expect them to have as strong (or any) reaction like that. So really, all this study shows is that stressful situations make people more aggressive. That is not something new at all. I agree that playing too much video games is bad. Mainly because it reduces the physical activity children get. Also, if a child has not learnt to deal with certain themes and content, then that can be bad too. However, the studies are inconclusive. There are so many that seem to show that they increase violence (but have the problem that the study you linked to has) and there are studies that show no causal link either (which have their own problems too). I think it is too inconclusive to make a judgement on it. It is not definite enough to say they increase (have no effect, or even decrease) violence. And anyone that uses it one way or the other is just pushing an agender without any conclusive supporting evidence. Football and many sports also "encourage active participation in violence". Think of american football, you are encouraged to slam into people and try to knock them down. Essentially you are fighting them. But nobody seems to think sport is a bad thing for children, in fact it is just the opposite, sport is encouraged in children. I see thins as kind of hypocritical, especially when one is fantasy violence and the other is real violence.
  15. I actually struggled over the wording. I agree that torture does not give reliable results. What I meant by "completely ineffective" is that it would not result in the breaking down of the prisoner (whether they told the truth or not is not what I was talking about). Actually mental harm can be more permanent and disabling than physical harm. And when/if the prisoner is released, the psychological harm can spread to the people in the prisoners community too so psychological torture has even more wide reaching effects than physical torture too. So this would put mental torture as much worse than physical torture. If there is, it is fine line. I suppose that killing a combatant means that you killed someone in a comparable situation. They are willing to kill you and you are willing to kill them. In torture, the prisoner is not willing but the torture is. So I think that is where the line lies. But I agree, that War is immoral and brutal and the worst of human nature (and brings out the worst too). However, what happens is that wars tend to become justified to the population as some form of ideological justification.. Put simply: Good guys vs the Bad Guys, and we are the good guys. But when the action undertaken in the name of the "Good Guys" is torture, killing civilians, etc, then the justification of "The Good Guys" no longer applies. All wars in modern times, due to the scrutiny of the world media, needs to have this ideological justification. Especially in terms of terrorism. The only way the terrorists can recruit is by ideological justification. They paint the enemy as the bad guys and use that as their recruiting. They are not protecting a country from invasion, they are not a regular army, thus means they need to recruit with other justifications than patriotism. If the non terrorists take actions that are clearly immoral (like torture, killing civilians, etc) then this just enhances the ability of the terrorists to recruit and thus perpetuating the war.
  16. Actually I don't feel strange about it. I believe that people are intelligent enough to make their own judgements about their own actions. It is part of what being an adult is all about. I don't seek to control anyone, so I don't have a problem if people want to risk their lives for some reason (fun, profit, etc). Actually fun is a good example: Take extreme sports like bungee jumping, or even BASE jumping. Do you fell "strange" that although you might not want to do these things, other people do? Would you seek to stop them? I don't because Thorpe people are adults and they accept the risk of the activity for the sense of exhilaration they get. Now, as far as I am concerned, if an adult is willing to take on the risks of an activity (for whatever reason), they are entitled to. So many people talk about freedoms, but this is actually what freedom means. You have to accept that people are willing to take risks that you might not take yourself. They should have that freedom if you want the freedom NOT to have to undertake an activity that you feel is too risky. It is a two way street. If you want the freedom, you have to give that freedom to others, even if it makes you feel uncomfortable. Thus, if you want to have the freedom to have sex for your own reasons, then you have to allow other people to have sex for their own, even if this means they are willing to have sex for money. But look at this again. As I have said, it is about freedoms. Forcing someone (either through violence, threat of violence, coercion, etc) is robbing people of the freedom to choose. This is why I am against illegal prostitution as it encourages these situations, but why I am for legal prostitution as it gives people the freedom to choose. As a sound bite sentence: If I want the freedom to say "No" to sex for whatever reason I want, then I have to be willing for other people to say "Yes" for whatever reason they want. But you are forgetting the rules of supply and demand: If demand is high and supply low, then the price will increase. Sure, there might be a high demand, but this means the sex workers will be paid well. I have no problem with that. If sex work becomes a high paid job, then more people will become attracted to it, thus increasing the supply. Any risk assessment is actually a risk/reward assessment. So if the reward is good enough, more people will be willing to take the risk. Take extreme sports again: The reward for these highly risky activities (far more risky than legal sex work) has no economic benefit, but just the endorphin reward (much like a drug hit reward actually). People who don't like the endorphin reward (or don't get as strong a reward) don't end up doing extreme sports because their risk/reward assessment does not come out in favour of it. If you were to increase the endorphin reward from those activities, then more of the non-extreme sports people will take it up. What I am saying is that if I am willing to let people take any risk at all of their own free choice, then I can't just say: No prostitution because it is risky. If people want to risk themselves for money, that is their choice and they should have the freedom to choose to do so if I want the freedom to choose not to do it. The suspension of judgement is because of the appeal to emotion. So what I am saying is that we should actually look at what is happening. The fact remains that legal sex workers are better off than illegal sex workers. If you use the appeal to emotion that you have been using, the result is that we should agree that legal sex work is wrong and make all sex work illegal. But this means that people (the sex workers) are worse off. So your appeal to emotion is actually an argument for turning people into slaves. Making them have sex against their will because someone can force them to do it because of their situation (desperate for money, drug addiction, violence, etc). This is why appeals to emotion must be avoided. It is because if we rely on them then we can make decision that lead us to make really bad decisions (like ending up advocating sex slavery). You do understand that "Birth Control" is not just abortion right. This means that someone can be against abortion, but still be for things like condoms, the pill, etc. Abstinence is still a form of birth control, so all those people that campaign against birth control in favour of abstinence are just hypocrites. As they are trying to campaign against the thing they are campaigning for. What they really should be campaigning for/against are specific forms of birth control. When a married couple chooses to have sex, there is risk. It is a risk reward assessment. If you are willing for these people to willingly have sex despite the risks, then why do you object to someone else being allowed to make that same assessment? Is it just because they would come to a different conclusion to you, that they asses the rewards and the risks different to you? I'll bring up extreme sports again. If you don't do extreme sports, are you OK with people being allowed to make the same assessment, asses the risks and rewards different from you and come to a different conclusion? If not, then does this mean that you believe that everyone in the world should only make the same choices you do? If you don't, then you have to acknowledge that people can asses the risks and rewards associated with sex and come to a different conclusion to you. You might not be willing to have sex for money because you think it is too risky. But, if you are willing to let other people make their own assessments and judgements, then you have to allow them to choose to have sex for money because they see the reward as greater then the risk. It seems to be that you want to control people because you they want to make a choice that you would not make. Pregnancy is just one risk factor with sex (or it could be the reward - see people can have different opinions on what is risk or reward). There are STIs and such as well. Condoms, and medications are getting good enough that the risk factors associated with these (including pregnancy), while not being eliminated, are greatly reduced. Yes, sex is rewarding in and of itself, and sex for money also has the monetary reward. Also legal sex workers that choose to be sex workers don't only do it for the money either. They also have the challenge to perform as good as they can. It can be a reward just to be able to perform really well and give the client pleasure. Also, some sex workers actually get a reward from giving others pleasure. So, along with the many risk factors there are also many reward factors too. Each person assess these factors (both risk and reward) differently and so come to different conclusions. Just because you are no willing to make a sacrifice for something does not mean that someone else is not willing. Just because you think something is too risky or the reward is not good enough does not mean that someone else would not think otherwise.
  17. With fast internet communications, more and more people are able to work remotely. So, this might be the solution that could be applied to swansont's scenario to allow people to work while travelling.
  18. What I find interesting in these kinds of discussions is that people automatically place plants at a low level of consciousness, because they don't move, and not due to any other reason. Sure, they don't move, but slime moulds move and they have no brain (or even neurons) to be concious with, but because they move, people tend to think of then as being more conscious. Plants have been demonstrated to have specific electro-chemical signalling cells that enable sensory stimuli to be detected, processed and relayed to remote locations in the plant. These cells act just as neurons in animals do (which are cells that use electro-chemical signalling, etc). So, plants have the capacity to have communicative networks that react to sensory stimuli, and this is what most people think of conciousness. Now, I don't know that plants are concious not not, to any degree, but the fact that they have similar equipment (electro-chemically signalling and processing of sensory information) to animals, then I don't see why they couldn't be just as conscious as animals. And, as they have the same basic equipment that allows consciousness in animals, then to assume they are not is just that - an assumption. And one not based on evidence (with potential evidence to the contrary). This means that the entire premise of the OP, that there exists a scale of conciousness from plants to animals to humans look much more shaky. Also, don't forget fungi. Fungi are more closely related to humans that they are to plants. So, where would they fit into that list?
  19. Actually this is the point. Different people value things differently. Think back to my spiderman/superman comic example. I valued the spiderman comic differently to how you would have, just as I valued your superman comic differently from what you would have. The point is that people value things differently. If they didn't there would be no advantage to trade and no economy could ever work. it's not clear what you're referring to here. What I am referring to is that although someone who just manages logistic (getting people what they want), instead of producing anything means that the people receiving the goods that were produced has freed up the time of all the people who received them from having to go and get them themselves. To put it into a sound bite sentence: Convenience has value. Convenience saves time, and time has a value. It is what you can use to produce something. Thus, if someone provides the service that gives you convenience, then they have generated value without "producing" anything. This was to show you that your post where you said "it becomes a zero-sum game because people are trying to extract maximum value out of minimum amount of productivity." I showed that it is not only productivity that can increase value, but that there are other actions besides production that can increase value, thus negating your argument about zero-sum systems. GDP is not actually a good measure of the wealth of an economy. At best it is an indirect measure. It is more a measure of the "activity" of an economy, not it's overall volume. Take for example this situation: Imagine you are playing a game of Monopoly. Say you had "Pacific Avenue" and I had "North Carolina Avenue". Both are worth $300. Now, if I sold you my North Carolina Avenue for $300 (exchange for the money), and then you sold me your Pacific Avenue for $300. Then $600 of activity will be resisted in the GDP, but no value has actually been added to the system (because both being green, we don't end up in a position to increase what we have any more than we did). This shows that GDP does not actually reflect the value moving around (increasing or decreasing) in an economy. GDP looks at money, not value, and that is why it doesn't truly reflect what is going on in an economy (but it is easier to measure than value and it does come close in the real world). Now, about scarcity. There is value in scarcity, but that is not the only value in goods and services. Infact, as the example of the logistics manager shows, there is value in reducing scarcity (by getting people what they want when they want it). In fact, much of today's manufacturing is about reducing scarcity and getting the value in that. At the moment, the market for reducing scarcity is new and relatively untapped, but this market is not infinite (large, and growing, but not infinite). Eventually this market will become saturated too. But there are still other sources for value out there that can be exploited to earn value and keep the economy operating. However, there are those that can't see these, or are not in a position to exploit them. These people have an invested interest in keeping the economy in a scarcity economy. This is not the first time this sort of thing has occurred either. The invention of the printing press, specifically the Gutenberg/movable type printing press was one such event (industrial revolution was another). When this occurred, there were many people who entrenched in the old way of producing books, and the printing press threatened this. They said that this would destroy the literary industry, that such devices would rob authors of any way of making a living. History shows that the reduction is scarcity did exactly the opposite. The literary industry is massive today, and the results of that and the new markets set up to exploit the new forms of value that such reduction created is probably the main driving force behind modern information technology (and interestingly the same thing is happening again with pirated movies and music, reduction in scarcity, etc - even the term "pirate" comes from the whole printing press situation as the operators of the printing presses were called pirates too - although back then piracy was a capital offence that carried the death penalty ). Any move towards post scarcity is a disruptive move as there are people and organisations that are designed to profit from scarcity. However, these individuals and organisations will have to change as the structure they built their businesses from actually causes the drive to reduce scarcity. Competition in a full market means selling more and selling them for less. This is the force that drives production towards post-scarcity.
  20. For everyone to go bankrupt at the same time, all value would have to be eliminated and all ways of generating value would also have to cease operating (it is essentially an impossible situation). The only way for this to occur, the entire world would have to stop all trading, lending, charity and any interaction. Basically we would have to become totally isolated from every other person permanently (because if, after the "event", you have anything, you are not bankrupt). As rioting requires multiple people, and to get universal bankruptcy requires isolation, we can not have riots. Looting could occur, but as what you take can not detract from anyone and what they take can not detract from you, it becomes meaningless to talk about looters, as theft has to be from someone, and at this point there is effectively no one else. There would also be no poverty as you would be both the riches and poorest person in the world (as there could effectively not be anyone else). What you must remember is it is not money that is the fundamental unit of an economy, but is instead "Value". Money has Value, but Value doesn't have Money. Thus value is a property of money and not the other way around, which means that value is more fundamental than money. In any trade there are 4 values: A) The value I place on what I have B) The value I place on what you have C) The value you place on what you have D) The value you place on what I have If the value I place on what you have is greater than the value I place on what I have (if A < B), then I am willing to trade. If the value you place on what I have is greater then the value you place on what you have (if C < D), then you are willing to trade. If we are both willing to trade, then a trade can occur. But, because I have an increase of value, and you have an increase of value (A+C < B+D thus increased value), the total value of the system has gone up. Thus trade increase total value. Thus, if I have anything beyond my own needs (even time), that means I can not be completely without value or the ability to increase my value (as I can trade it for something I value more than what I have got). So, what this means is that the value of money could be wiped out, it doesn't mean that there will be universal poverty. It means there will still be those that have a greater means of generating value (the wealthy), and those that don't (the poor). So if interaction is possible, then you can not get your scenario. There will still be the haves and have nots, it is just not likely to be the same as the ones that are currently in those places.
  21. Be careful of this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equivocation The term "Force" is one highly subject to the fallacy of equivocation. People with supernatural beliefs tend to use the word to mean either an external purpose imposed on the material world, or some form of conciousness causing something to occur. However, in science (and as this is a science forum site), force has a very specific, but different meaning. Essentially the difference is that in science "Force" is a blind purposeless impulse, where as the supernatural "Force" is one with a purpose. So, in terms of science: Yes, I believe there can be purposeless "forces" that cause organisation. But according to the supernatural force: No, I don't believe there is a purpose behind it. Using complexity theory, it is possible to show that networks have self organising properties. These can be shown to be purposeless, but organising none the less. There is no supernatural forces at work and the system can be shown to work completely in a mathematical/logical system. Take for example "Conway's Game of Life": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conway%27s_game_of_life These 3 rules (Any cell with 3 neighbours become live, and cell with 2 neighbours stays the same and any other case the cell dies), create a self organising system. If you start with a random set of cells either live or dead, patterns will start to emerge. One that is common is the "Glider", and this is amazing as not only is it self organising, the pattern has movement through the world (although no cells actually have movement at all). There is no supernatural effects at work here, just mathematics and logic, and yet there is a self organising system that shows high level functions (they have successfully made a computer that works using just those rules and a pattern of live and dead cells - and that computer could then run a version of Conway's game of life, in which a computer could be constructed which could run Conway's game of life...). You can also get self organising systems that occur naturally. take for example lipids (like soap). these, when in water will form small bubble like structures called vesicles. This has nothing supernatural about it and it is completely understood in terms of chemistry and electromagnetic attraction and repulsion. Again, no purpose, but self organising systems that follow logical processes. These show that no supernatural process is necessary for self organising system to exist. Although it doesn't rule them out, is shows that they are not necessary for self organisation to exist. As supernatural causes are not necessary for self organisation, then the existence of self organisation does not prove supernatural existence (but neither does it disprove it either). Here you posit two properties and then conflate them into one. The properties are "Creative" and "Organising". I don't think anyone could really disagree with an organising force (in terms of the definition by science). DNA is know as that organising force along with biochemistry. However, "Creativity" implies purpose (otherwise it is just randomness). It is this that people are really objecting to, but because you conflate them, they do too (as they are using your definition of "Force", and the conflation shows what your definition is - the supernatural definition of "Force"). As I showed above, just because there is organisation does not mean that there needs to be some supernatural force (with creativity).
  22. I had to respond to this. When someone uses physical torture, what they are using is the psychological factor, that the prisoner will continue to suffer unless the prisoner does what their captors tell them. Waterboarding uses the same mechanisms, just that it doesn't leave physical scars. Physical injuries will (mostly) heal over time. So it is not the physical injury that is the main problem. I suffer from a chronic pain condition. One of the things you quickly learn is that pain, injury and suffering are not the same thing. You can have any of them in isolation (without the others), and that is proof that, although they might be closely correlated, they are not the same thing. If you had a prisoner that could not remember any previous torture sessions, then the torture would be completely ineffective. It is the threat of more torture and the promise to stop it that is the cause of the prisoners complying. As it is not pain itself that is aim of torture, but forcing the prisoner to make a choice between compliance and suffering, then any action that uses that same mechanism is torture. It doesn't matter if it leaves a physical scar or not, it is placing someone is a position where they have to choose to endure more suffering or comply with the captors is what torture is. Thus waterboarding is torture. Take this for example: If I placed you in a position where by I would kill or harm members of your family unless you did what I said, would you consider this torture? I would, as would probably most people and you probably would. But, what if I wasn't really harming your family, but was just presenting you with a fake (say really good computer animations of these events). Would this in any way, at the time it occurs, change your experience. No. So, if you would accept the first part as torture, then why would you not accept the second part as torture? As far as you would be concerned there is no difference. It is only in one that you think that harm is being done and the other it really is. Is this not like how you described waterboarding, that it was designed to make the prisoner "think" they were in real physical danger. If you would consider actually drowning a person unless they complied as torture, how is making them believe that you really are going to drown them any different, from the experience of the prisoner?
  23. I remember a conversation I had with a parent on this topic. They refused to let their children watch cartoons as they were too violent, but insisted they watch the news every night. I found this rather strange as they were refusing to let their children watch fantasy violence, but insisting they watch real violence. I have heard of many studies that have tried to link violent music/cartoons/movies/stories/computer games/the current fad to violence in children. There are enough studies done that it is easy to cherry pick the results that agree with what you want to believe to prove your point (usually these surface when some incident occurs). From this, I think that the best you can truly say is that it is: Inconclusive. However, I would say that violent people are attracted to violent things, but this does not mean that violent things cause violence (or increase it). But I would also say that just because you are attracted to violent things does not make you violent (I am a pacifist but I still love a good action game/movie - I know the difference between reality and fantasy).
  24. Isn't this the same question as in you other thread? http://www.scienceforums.net/topic/57021-responding-to-income-deficiency/ My answer there was that you are focused on money as the fundamental unit of an economy. However, money is not the fundamental unit, but "Value" is. Think of it this way: Goods, Services and Money have value (thus value is a property of goods services and money). But Value doesn't have Goods, Services or Money. In other words, Value is a property that they all share. When you perform a trade, it doesn't matter if you are exchanging goods for good, or goods for services, or good for money. What you are actually doing is exchanging the value these have between the people involved in the exchange. And a loan is an exchange. Money is an abstract potential for value. That is it can represents a value (the abstract) and it can be exchanged easily for things of value (the potential). So lending someone money is lending them the potential to increase their value. Now, if someone uses what they got from a loan badly, say buying a luxury yacht, then this use of the value has not been used to increase their ability to generate value (it still has value, but it doesn't generate it). Using loans so as to increase your ability to generate value is called investment. To use a loan for non-investment purposes is a bad idea. However, most people don't think this way. They see money as the fundamental unit of the economy, and thus think that having money is enough, even if it is borrowed and tied up in non-investment uses (They think that your total worth is the sum of all the stuff you have). Borrowing money to increase your ability to generate value is good and non exploitative, however, not all lending institutions screen for this (and they shouldn't have to), and thus people borrow money to use in non-investment purposes (it is a matter of education, not restriction that solves this problem). Predatory lending is lending that is geared to encouraging people to take out a bigger loan than they need (and that need might be $0), or to use it in non-investment ways. In the long run, this is a self destructive act by the lenders as when the people can't increase their ability to create value (enough), they can't repay their debt and the lender looses the money the borrower can't pay back. However, many lending institutions cover the potential loss by taking out insurance against this, and having in place laws that allow them to try and recover their losses from the borrowers some other way. With institutions and laws like that in place, lenders don't have to worry so much as it mitigates the effects of bad debts. they have protection. The borrowers, on the other hand, don't have such protections, and this makes predatory lending profitable for the lenders as they have reduced, or eliminated their risks, without doing anything to alleviate the risks to the borrowers. As it is the risks to the lenders that is supposed to regulate the lender/borrower problem, this lopsided deal means that it is no longer self-destructive to the lenders and this cases a drain on the economy (as value gets wiped out - and it is the value the money represents that gets wiped out, but the money stays, so the value of the money goes down and you get economic crashes). If you look at the current financial crisis, this is exactly what happened. The Banks lent money, but because they had in place deals that prevented them from suffering the consequences of a bad loan, they had no real incentive to not make bad loans. When those loans went bad, the value represented by the money in those loans disappeared and the value of the american dollar crashed along with the value of many other currencies that were tied into the value of the american dollar. IF you analyse it in terms of money, it is hard to see what happened as the same amount of money was still there. But, when you analyse it using "Value" as the fundamental unit of the economy, it make sense and should have been clear long before the trouble occurred. It is why I pointed out in the last thread, and in this one, that you can't use money as the fundamental unit of the economy, but must instead use "Value" as it really is the fundamental unit and thus cuts through a lot of the complications that money causes.
  25. See this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_emotion What you have proposed is an appeal to emotion as an argument. Sex work has risks involved with it (pregnancy disease, etc), however, there are jobs that have greater risks, but we think it is OK to prompt people to enter those jobs (eg: bomb disposal, military service). Sex work is also a very intimate profession, and there are people who could not handle, or desire that kind of interaction with other people. So, would there be jobs (not just sex work) I would not prompt people to enter. Yes. Take military for instance. We consider killing people morally objectionable, but we find it OK to have professionals that kill people and call them soldiers. As such, I would never prompt someone to enter military service if they didn't already want to join. Also, Mine work is also very dangerous (but not morally objectionable like killing people). But because of the danger, I would not prompt someone to become a miner, unless they wanted to become a miner (or work in that industry). So, yes, there are jobs that I would not prompt someone to enter because of danger, or moral abjection. However, this does not mean I don't think nobody should do those jobs, just that I don't think people should be pushed into doing things they don't want to do. So, just because someone is unemployed would not mean I would push someone into becoming a sex worker, but, just because I would not push someone into becoming a sex worker does not mean I have any objection to people entering that job of their own free will or desire. And, for the record, I have had friends (that is social friends) in the sex industry (it is legal where I live) and I don't have any problem with that. As far as they saw it and I saw it, it was just a job. They enjoyed the work and actually liked the challenge of it (There is quite a bit of skill needed for a good sex worker). Have a watch of these videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/xxxThePeachxxx#p/c/C53D3C06343D8D38/0/89hT7HYRH6Y
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