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Comment: Re: Score one for the other team (Score 1) 173

by Empiric (#48006319) Attached to: Solar System's Water Is Older Than the Sun

Interesting counterpoint, but do note almost the entirely of your reasoning here is based either in being "not what theism says" or "parallel to what theism says".

I think you missed the point of my post. I said there isn't the merest beginnings to a functional "atheist ethics", and there won't be, because no consensus has occurred in secular philosophy in 2500 years, and you, well, simply have no means of connecting a material worldview with any particular norms in a rational way. That's called the "is-ought dichotomy" in philosophy, and it is indeed really difficult for atheism to address.

So, I'm not really denying you can't have an ethics, when it's almost entirely actually theistic ethics that you've absorbed by cultural exposure, and then denying its origins. I'm denying you can formulate anything functional of your own, and your reply has only amplified that for me.

And yes, you would be something of an outlier by even knowing what Utilitarianism is, but I'll put a rather simple question to you--what is your argument to someone who dismisses Utilitarianism and proposes the precise opposite of every principle it holds is the correct course of action? How do you resolve the question by reference to something (anything) objective, and not merely a "justification" that one can simply repeat "why?" to and to each subsequent rationale "justifying" the previous statement?

Comment: Re:I can't quite decide (Score 1) 82

by Empiric (#48006103) Attached to: How the NSA Profits Off of Its Surveillance Technology

I have a bit of a conceptual issue with the "be made available for licensing and further development by those taxpayers" rationale.

If you're the type of taxpayer that runs a corporation, it is available to you, because you have the resources to commercially exploit the tax-funded technologies. If you are a common taxpayer, you have no actual ability to do this, given the costs of carrying on research and/or implementing and distributing something derived from it.

So, essentially, this comes down to "if you're a rich taxpayer, it is available to you, if you're a not-rich taxpayer, it's 'available' to you only in name". This seems to do nothing but accelerate the government-corporate power integration trend we've seen quite clearly of late.

Comment: Re:"stashes its cash" (Score 1) 363

by Empiric (#48001133) Attached to: Microsoft On US Immigration: It's Our Way Or the Canadian Highway
Thus person A's accumulation of wealth is not immoral or unethical, merely because person B is incapable of doing the same.

That isn't my argument. My argument is the behavior is unethical if those who can do the same, have disparate "rules" applied to them from those who have already benefited from the "rules". That's where this becomes much more nuanced than physical incapability to reproduce. Perhaps a clearer example here would be the "no poaching" agreements between established companies. Does the fact one could theoretically create their own company to then "pull the ladder up behind them" and establish anti-competitive agreements in contradiction to the "free market" that put the companies in a position to do that, validate the practice? I would say no. Ethically it would be required that these CEOs advocate that any given person in the market be able to similarly restrict trade for their personal benefit. Since actually implementing that could not work and have a functional economy, the stance is unethical per the Categorical Imperative. Similarly, evading the taxation that provided the infrastructure for your fledgling organization to grow and exist, while advocating denying others this benefit, is, on the face of it, similarly unethical. Certainly, there could be arguments here as to what represents "parity of opportunity" and even what the centrality of that is, but it is much different than the situation of someone who can't reproduce being relevant to the choices of people who can.

I think we'd probably have further contention along the lines of your assertion that people with financial wealth "do work now" in return for calling upon societies resources in the future. To be only mildly oversimplifying, I deny CEOs do work. Their wealth is derived from others who do work, and they benefit disproportionately from it. One need not consider any more than what actual degree of wealth one could personally generate from an agrarian society to make this clear. That's broadly the upper-bound of what "their work", individually, could return. Otherwise, they are engaged in a collective endeavor, and the terms for that work should be established as if no one knew what position they would be in, in the company, when establishing the "rules" and benefits. That's what's harmonious with the Categorical Imperative, as well as Rousseau's "social contract", and no CEO would dream of agreeing to it. That's where we could efficiently begin to discern what is, and is not, ethical norms for proceeding with the business enterprise, largely from examination of the rationalizations of "why not" proceeding from the aggrieved CEOs. But that'd be practice, not theory, and we're discussing the latter, with the former an unlikely-in-this-world ideal.

Comment: Re:Score one for the other team (Score 1) 173

by Empiric (#48001037) Attached to: Solar System's Water Is Older Than the Sun

So, you cite the bible directly providing experience and knowledge derived after death, cite nothing denying NDE's as a means of religious experience and knowledge, and then conclude the bible denies NDE's as a means of religious experience and knowledge?

I think you'll need to... elaborate.

But yes, as Clement of Alexandria said, "Not all true things are to be said to all men". At least not directly.

Comment: Re:"stashes its cash" (Score 1) 363

by Empiric (#48000747) Attached to: Microsoft On US Immigration: It's Our Way Or the Canadian Highway

I would disagree with your particular distinction between ethics and morals in this context. It seems clear that Kant saw his principles as directly derived and necessitated by reason alone, which would be an intrinsic attribute of humans, and thus "originating from the self" in your terms and not influenced or mediated by external social norms or their imposition. His examples of "duty" seem clearly in the domain of intrinsically-justified rationales applying to every person, regardless of social, legal, or political context.

As for reproduction, I would say that issues that are not in the domain of choice, are not in the domain of ethics. The presumption (dubious as it may be) is that people in general could choose to be in the same financial conditions as multinational corporations. The reasonableness of this disparity in activities seems to directly correlate with the degree one accepts the notion they could (perhaps if they "worked harder"), as you seem to have alluded to yourself. If one simply and clearly cannot, regardless of any questions of individual choice, engage in a particular activity, I would see this as excluding their circumstances from morality or ethics entirely, and therefore others acting otherwise who are in the domain of choice in that respect, would not run contrary to the Categorical Imperative.

As usual, proper application is a more nuanced endeavor than knowing a principle itself. Interesting.

And yes, I consider the laws themselves encouraging unethical behavior to be not only possible, but the general case.

Comment: Re: Score one for the other team (Score 1) 173

by Empiric (#48000263) Attached to: Solar System's Water Is Older Than the Sun

Since this seems to be an honest inquiry, I'll attempt to elaborate a bit.

Let's substitute for "the bible", say, Orwell's "Animal Farm". While I can agree or disagree with the assertions "the part about the farmer can be taken literally" or "the part about the talking animal is allegorical", atheism for me by analogy rejects the totality of the information conveyed in the work, for which the political and ethical views conveyed are clearly the most important attribute. Atheism for me does the equivalent of rejecting these ethics -per se-, and thereby any ethics or methodology toward it, and therefore is willfully wrongheaded and farther away from the truth or constructive engagement with the work than any position regarding the nature of the details of presentation.

Along with this is the view that although everyone is happy to congratulate themselves on being a "decent human being", the reality is the broad subjective range of this determination does not result in a decent society. For that, there must be some measure of consensus on core abstract norms, and I persistently find that people's attitude to theology and their attitude toward any type of systematic ethics at all, for which they'd actually accept adherence to, very closely mirror each other. I submit that people's actual, primary motivation to rejecting theology is a desire to reject ethics per se, or construct for themselves whatever subjective, easily-ignorable ethics may suit their purposes in doing whatever they wanted anyway while claiming an "ethics" which exists, in their reality as nothing more than a word in its specifics. As a practical thought-experiment I've suggested on this, gather 5 fellow atheists and each write down, independently, your top 10 most important ethical principles. Then check the correlation between them afterward. That should give a good indicator of the expected functionality of the application of this approach, if actually applied--when, I suspect, the whole point to anti-theism was to block application of -any- norms that would create any personal behavior expectations. I suggest we can then expect just as much energy being applied to attacking -whatever- norms were decided on, as is applied to attacking theism. One could say we don't have evidence of this. Or, one could say the reason we don't is that we have no place the merest beginnings of this has worked, that "atheist ethics" is a non-entity in theory and practice, and the average atheist would have it no other way.

From this standpoint, yes, I see atheism as more distant in its particulars and in its methodology toward the most -important- truths than either YEC or OEC. It's the difference between "we disagree on how to get there" and "there is no there, there".

Comment: Re:Score one for the other team (Score 1) 173

by Empiric (#47999891) Attached to: Solar System's Water Is Older Than the Sun

The discovery agrees with the "woo woo", and you call upon the discovery as scientifically valid to dismiss the religious argument. Great reasoning there.

You say it's "old water", therefore that's objective fact, therefore censorship is okay. That's nonsense. It's "old", therefore it's wrong. That's nonsense too.

It's disagreed with my your imagined majority here, therefore it's "off-topic". Also nonsense.

It is vastly not the most accepting forum. That's why I'm here. Besides reality being ultimately compulsory, I do indeed have my reasons, that you don't yet perceive. Your reasons don't need to be mine.

I would have little issue with the moderation, if it was a category other than "overrated", which by the lack of specification given by the site for it, it was. That's, again, a coward's moderation when having no actual criticism or argument other than they don't like what it says, and they -know- it.

Comment: Re:Score one for the other team (Score 1) 173

by Empiric (#47999855) Attached to: Solar System's Water Is Older Than the Sun

Really, you deserve at least a "+1 Funny" for this, even if it is entirely content-free where it isn't directly wrong. Peer-reviewed evidence has been posted in this very thread. As well as a thorough demonstration that there is no possible way you can know in -any- case whether someone else has evidence, much less your desperation-amplified "never, ever, been a single shred of evidence". You don't have psychic powers. You cannot possibly know this, as a matter of provable epistemology. You -cannot- know what evidence a single other person knows or experienced as of this moment, much less all others, absurdly less what everyone of all time has had evidence for or has experienced. If anything is "delusional" (and note that a belief that is shared by the majority of one's culture -cannot- be correctly stated as "delusional", per the people whose field this actually is, and the DSM), it is your claim. How do you possibly know there "never, ever" has been any evidence? You don't. You're neither omniscient nor psychic. Your nonsensical word-mangling of "a shred of proof" (what's a partial piece of something that's by definition proven, or disproven, anyway?) doesn't grant you those psychic powers, either.

You can't construct anything but nonsensical and false characterizations, and you've proven it here.

I know, I know. Your psychic powers tell you that regardless of what arguments you encounter, none of them will be "meaningful" alter your position from its complete, provable irrationality. Fair enough, I'll let Natural Selection take you out for me then.


Comment: Re:Score one for the other team (Score 1) 173

by Empiric (#47999487) Attached to: Solar System's Water Is Older Than the Sun

You stated "a several thousand year old myth", and the age was the only thing there's any backing for, no matter how dumb (and I'll have to repeat it, because I have no doubt you've been persistently this dumb for years, so saying that was perfectly natural for you) it is to consider age relevant to something's truth-status.

The "myth" part you gave absolutely no backing for at all. And I see from you repeating that claim you don't get what a Bare Assertion fallacy is, either.

I seriously hope nobody listens to you and considers you anything other than a provably-nonsense spewing aberration. They deserve better than to adopt your incoherence.

Comment: Re:Score one for the other team (Score 1) 173

by Empiric (#47999361) Attached to: Solar System's Water Is Older Than the Sun

So... you've got nothing but a self-contradictory wish/insult. Fair enough.

And, to be clear, I have no interest in including you now or in the future against your choice. Still open to negotiation with your associates, though. Physical reality will probably have some input on that eventually as well.

Debug is human, de-fix divine.