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Wednesday, January 16th, 2008
12:27 am

Hi guys!

I have a favor to ask!

My name is Anna and I’m finishing my degree on Psychology Moscow State University in Russia, and as a part of it I’m doing a case study. My subject is people's beliefs about the concept of family.
If you could please help me out and take the test that would be great.

It would be also great if you could forward it along to your friends and associates. This is restricted to American born people between the ages 22 and 40.
Ideally I need 30 people - 15 male and 15 female. The test only takes about 10 minutes to complete.

Here's the link:

Thank you very much!

Thank you for your consideration!

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Saturday, January 21st, 2006
12:28 am - Is murder really that bad?

Is murder morally wrong?
If so, what makes it morally wrong?

Secondly, would you agree that I would be a selfish bastard making an immoral decision if I decided not to save a drowning child because the riverbank was muddy and I didn't want to lose my new $100 pair of shoes in the mud?
If so, is it equally selfish and immoral to decide not to give $100 to an aid organization if that organization could use the money to save not one but two or three children from imminent starvation?

(Don't worry, I don't expect anyone to answer. This community's pretty much been dead since it started.)

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Friday, September 9th, 2005
12:02 am

Help, seriously. (i realize this is such a faux pas, but hopefully you'll all take pity on my desperate situation)

I'm up the creek. I had a few essays to write over the summer break, and understood they would be due at the beginning of term (first week of Oct). It turns out I misunderstood and they were actually due SEPT 1st. (I had scheduled a week write each, and now my timing has been cut SERIOUSLY short, as I'm overtime)

I have written two of them, but there's another two to go and I am drowning in angst about it..

If anyone wants to contribute advice, here are the essay questions. I have to pick two of them and write 2000 words analyzing the arguments and objections and critically assessing everything.

here goes:

Write essays on two of the following.

1. “The hypothesis which we embrace is plain. It maintains that morality is determined by sentiment. It defines virtue to be whatever mental action or quality gives to a spectator the pleasing sentiment of approbation; and vice the contrary.” (HUME, Enquiry) Explain and critically discuss.

2. “If killing the innocent wrong, then abortion is wrong. Killing the innocent is wrong, so abortion is wrong.” What should an expressivist say about this inference? Is it logically valid?

3. If I have a moral obligation to do something, does it follow that I should do it?

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Friday, August 26th, 2005
4:46 pm

I've been pondering this one for a week, and i'm still a bit muddled on it..

I've been thinking about well-being (how well a person's life is going for that person.. its a prudential value), and the desire fulfillment account of well-being (essentially, that the wellbeing in someone's life is measured by the amount of desires they have fulfilled.. in other words: someone's life is made better off to the extent that their desires are fulfilled)..

But, is it a plausible account?

On the one hand- it makes sense that measuring the goodness in someone's life by the amount of things that go their way (their desires) is quite reasonable..
But what are the problems with it? I've come accross a few counter arguments, but nothing that's really tugging me in either direction, and i hate sitting on the fence.

So... is the desire-fulfillment view of well being plausible?

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Tuesday, August 16th, 2005
9:48 pm

I'm a philosophy masters student, and here's one I thought I'd introduce myself with..

Should the decision of which of two groups to save be based on the number of
persons in each group?

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Monday, April 4th, 2005
10:35 pm - Metaculture

Once upon a time, humans lived in harmony with the Earth. Then in Mesopotamia a culture decided that it was going to conquer the world. They brutally expanded their cultural empire by either forcing their neighbors to assimilate into their culture or by outright slaughtering their neighbors. Over the course of ten thousand years this metacultural conquest has covered the globe, with only small pockets of aboriginal cultures remaining unassimilated. The seemingly diverse modern cultures of the world all share one common metacultural trait which began in Mesopotamia: they all believe that the world belongs to humans. This belief has a corollary: that the individual is separate from the world around it. These beliefs of separation and ownership have justified all atrocities against fellow humans and Earthly inhabitants. The reason that the ancient ecologically harmonious cultures of the world fell under this conquest is because as a collective they lacked a cultural immune system.
As a visual metaphor, let us label the warlike Mesopotamian metaculture as "black", and the ecological metaculture as "white". The "black" metaculture successfully conquered the peaceful "white" cultures due to their lack of militarism. What was needed was an immunological "gray" metaculture. A gray culture appears for all intents and purposes as a "white" culture under normal conditions. However, when a gray culture identifies a "black" culture, it enters immunological mode and annihilates the "black" culture, possibly destroying itself in the process. Had the ancient world been composed of gray cultures instead of "white" ones, then our current world would not be corrupted as it is by greed; we would not be living in a "black" world. Greed directly stems from the notions of separation and ownership. If humanity survives its current "black" metacultural infection and returns to ecologically harmonious ways without first destroying itself and the ecology of the planet by its current path, then humanity will have to adopt the wisdom of gray metaculture, otherwise the cycle of global ecological devastation will begin again when another metacultural infection arises. No sufficiently complex system, be it a peaceful global culture or a biological organism, can survive without an immune system.

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Wednesday, March 24th, 2004
9:16 pm - [Xlucidus]

The beginning of light ... [Xlucidus] ... is born. You are invited to join.

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Wednesday, March 3rd, 2004
5:06 pm - Fact and Fiction

As some of you may have seen on the Daily Show, Peter Ludlow, a philosophy professor at UM Ann Arbor, ran into some trouble with Electronic Arts' "The Sims Online". The first widely-read article about it is here, but he's also been written about in the New York Times and, by now, numerous other news sources.

Well, last night he talked to the philosophy club about blurring the "distinction" between fact and fiction, and some interesting points were brought up.

When the Daily Show interviewed a guy from EA, he said that if Ludlow was a real journalist, he was a railroad tycoon every time he played Monopoly. Ignoring (1) the fact that Ludlow was in reality writing about the interactions of other real live people, just like any other real journalist, whereas the EA guy has never owned what we'd call a real live railroad company in his entire life (I'm assuming), and (2) the fact that to actually be any good at Monopoly you've got to have way more of a hotel chain owner than a railroad tycoon, we discussed how this statement might actually be true. Why, Ludlow wonders, can't we say that the utterance, "Anthony Hopkins is a psycho killer", is on its face a true statement by the standards of some contexts which are more limited in scope than our everyday life?* (The alternative would be to say that it's only true in virtue of the fact that what the utterer *means* is, "Anthony Hopkins is a psycho killer (within the fiction of a series of movies in which Hopkins represents a cannibal serial killer).")

This contextualism would, in some cases, make certain apparent crossovers between fact and fiction less difficult, philosophically, to deal with. For instance, the statement, "Klingon is a language," was once only true in a very limited context. Rather than saying a fake language suddenly became real when real people started learning and further developing Klingon, might it be simpler to simply say the context in which it's true to say "Klingon is a language" is now wider than it was initially? Or that "I am a railroad tycoon" can be truly uttered by someone who's never even seen a full-sized train whenever he's playing Monopoly? An example Ludlow brought up to illustrate this had to do with water and tea. If someone at the water treatment poured tons of tea leaves into the water right before it went out into the city's pipes, and you turned on your faucet to get a brownish liquid, it is true to say that liquid is dirty water, and to complain to the city that your water isn't treated properly. However, if you ordered a glass of water in a restaurant, and the exact same mixture of substances was brought out to you, that liquid would be truly called tea, and your complaint would likely not be that your water was dirty but that they brought you the wrong drink altogether. (Sure, we know that it could still be technically true, in a wider sense, that tea is always just dirty water. But this is the sense in which it's also true that "My glass is empty" is never true, because technically there's always air in it.)

I think one particularly interesting area that sort of lies between what we'd typically call fact and what we'd typically call fiction is economics. It's something in which everyone partakes, so in a typical conversational context, a statement like "this diamond costs more than that cabbage patch doll" will be true. But the economy is a great example of consensus-based reality. If everyone, or even just a large enough group of people, agreed that cabbage patch dolls were more valuable than diamonds, then the cost inequality would suddenly switch, based not on anything as concrete as a physical change, but rather just one of opinion. Many of the same things can be said about the economies of multiplayer online role-playing games. Because people with more money in the game world can be more entertained when playing the game, they are often willing to pay "real" money in exchange for "fake" money, which they can then exchange for "fake" objects in the "fake" world of the game. But the supposedly fake objects are software subroutines, and as we all know the richest man in the world has gotten most of his wealth from the sale of computer programs. And if you exchange American dollars for some currency that can only be used in a game, and that game has a million players, then how is that really different than if you exchanged American dollars for some currency that can only be used in a country with a million citizens?

*As it happens, Ludlow has a friend (or maybe it was actually his sister?) who's worked with Hopkins, and in asking him this question, Hopkins agreed that, certainly, he's not just *representing* a character when making a movie, he actually *is* that character in the context of moviemaking. Which, considering some of the roles he's played, is perhaps a bit concerning...

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Saturday, February 21st, 2004
10:38 pm - aristotle

i was talking to a friend the other day, and he mentioned that aristotle's scientific beliefs are based on flawed and preconceived theories about the world rather than on observing the world around him. what do you all think, especially concerning the structure of scientific knowledge and his actual scientific practice?

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Saturday, January 17th, 2004
3:16 am - A Philosophical Religious Question

Here's a philosophical question for you:

Not knowing what your religious background is I ask this question. I'll be referring to the omnipotent being as just "God" because everyone has a different name for him/her.

A huge asteroid is heading for Earth. If this asteroid hit Earth all of us would be killed and the planet would be annihilated. In your opinion, would it be against "God's" will for us to devise a way to stop this catastrophe? Or, would it be your argument that it would be "God's" will for us to invent a way to save ourselves?

I was watching CONTACT a few days ago and I was a little bewildered that people were actually against contacting other Alien beings. I was also bewildered by arguments against saving the Earth should a catastrophe such as a huge asteroid striking Earth ever occur.

What are your thoughts on the Religious arguments concerning Earth tragedy and such? I only wonder because the new movie, THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW is soon to be released.

Before answering your question or commenting on others answers keep in mind that all Religious views should be respected and no one should be criticized for their beliefs.

current mood: curious

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Monday, January 12th, 2004
9:54 pm
constants Hey everyone, I'm new here, so despite my shyness, I figured I should introduce myself.
I'm Constance, and I reside in Milan, Michigan. I abosolutely love music, technology, coffee/coffeeshops, coding, and philosophy. My favorite programming language would probably be c# or php. My favorite varieties of philosophy would be Moral Relativism, Relativity, Political, Analytic as for divisions I really enjoy Ontology , Metaphysics, and Logic. Hmm.. my favorite colors are clear, and a few bands I'm into are The shins, the unicorns....to Atmosphere and Cage. It's ecclectic I suppose. I've played the piano for 11 years now and I'm a hopeless romantic. I hope I have fun doing this community stuff.
Take care,

current mood: calm

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Thursday, October 23rd, 2003
3:21 pm - Spread the Disease

http://virus.lucifer.com/ Read it, love it, live it. Now.

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Saturday, October 18th, 2003
8:10 pm - Does anyone still read this?

Hi. Stumbled in, I did. I'd post something relevant if there were reason to believe it would matter.


Linked, so as not to be tottally worthless.

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Sunday, July 20th, 2003
12:02 pm - sorry for X-posting...

"Remarkably, recent developments in theoretical physics answer some of these questions, and the answers might be important clues to the ultimate theory of reality"

woahhh. the ULTIMATE THEORY!! WOW!!! hahahaha. like its a fucking treasure hunt.

Read more...Collapse )

Scientific American: Information in the Holographic Universe [ PHYSICS ]


current mood: full

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Friday, May 16th, 2003
2:02 pm - Awe as the root of religious experience

Rather than possibly fill your friends page with several copies of this entry, I'll just direct you to my own journal.

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Friday, May 2nd, 2003
1:59 pm - Sure, I'll join

altrumanifesto told me I should join, so I did.

Rather than fill up this journal with stuff I've written, I'll just include this link for anyone who's interested in reading some of my philosophical writings. (Even for non-philosophy classes, most of my stuff is somewhat philosophical in nature.)

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Tuesday, April 29th, 2003
11:01 am

im really sad that noone posts to this community.

i just thought id remind everyone that this community exists, and post a link to civil disobedience. maybe someone could react to it?

you are thoreau's bitch!

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Tuesday, April 15th, 2003
12:44 am

Plato or Aristotle?

..just curious.

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Sunday, April 6th, 2003
6:34 am - words from anthem

i finished reading anthem today...i have never taken so long to read such a short book. but there is a passage towards the end that i would like to share. an interesting situation to apply this to is the war this iraq and how many say that we must be unified and support our country. community can be a very beautiful, benificial thing...and is something i have always sought out. this it an interesting perspective to at least take a look at.
"The secrets of this earth are not for all men to see, but only for those who would seek them."

"The word 'We' is the lime poured over men, which sets and hardens to stone, and crushes all beneath it and that is white and that which is black are lost equally in the grey of it. It is the word by which depraved steal the virtue of the good, by which the weak steal the might of the strong, by which the fools steal the wisdom of the sages."

"What is my joy if all hands, even the unclean, can reach to it? What is my wisdom, if even the fools can dictate to me? What is my freedom, if all creatures, even the botched and the impotent, are my masters? What is my life, if I am to bow, to agree and obey?"

"To be free, a man must be free of his brothers. That is freedom. This and nothing else."

current mood: tired

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