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Comment: Re:Hasn't been true for a while (Score 4, Insightful) 448

Besides, it saves me from using Creative's bloatware.

This is what comes to my mind whenever I hear of Creative. Nice enough hardware, but shockingly bad software, 80% of which no-one ever had any need for. And it would invariably all be set up to load at boot-time, sucking up resources and RAM.

Comment: Re:another language shoved down your throat (Score 1) 411

by gsslay (#47413825) Attached to: Python Bumps Off Java As Top Learning Language

If you are just starting out learning to program, you are not in a position to determine which language is best to learn by. You have to take advice, or take what you are given. If you feel 'force fed' you are either way over-opinionated for someone who knows nothing, or are an idiot who has booked themselves onto the wrong course.

Comment: Re:Murder, for example (Score 1) 1314

by walshy007 (#47404977) Attached to: U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

Nah, I'm just not under the illusion that we are special in any way. The universe doesn't give a shit about whether we survive or not, that we often want to is simply a personal bias, not an inherent truth, and those personal biases can vary..

Whether we survive or not is just a thing that happens, it's not inherently "right" or "wrong". No matter what happens to us the universe keeps turning, doing it's thing.

Perhaps the goal of preventing human extinction is the one arbitrary priority, the one "unicorn in the garden" [], as a starting point to make atheism practical.

You don't need that assumption to make atheism practical. Atheism is practical because "god" is not a falsifiable concept, this doesn't make it wrong, but it puts it in the realm of other things of that realm like the tooth fairy and santa. Things that even if they so happened by some freaky coincidence to be right there is no possible way to have evidence of it because of the lack of ability of the conjecture to be tested.

Critical rationalism allows atheism to function. Not in a hard "there is no god, for sure" stance, but in the "there is no reason, and can be no reason to prefer the conjecture that there is a god, so I'm going to totally ignore it like all other untestable things" sense.

Comment: Re:Murder, for example (Score 1) 1314

by walshy007 (#47398021) Attached to: U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

add the axiom "Humankind ought to continue to exist."

Why? what justification do you have for this?

If you think this goal isn't right, feel free to remove yourself.

Just because someone doesn't think that it is an inherent truth that it is "right" that all people should continue to exist doesn't mean they think that people should not exist

Otherwise, you can continue by answering questions like this: Does the benefit to humankind of not living in fear of being murdered outweigh the benefit to humankind of having the freedom to murder someone?

What people consider to be a benefit or detriment depends entirely on their desired outcomes and priorities, which can be arbitrary. When what is "benefit" is arbitrary so too can be your morals if what is of benefit is your guiding light.

Comment: Re:Logic itself is a human construct (Score 1) 1314

by walshy007 (#47396783) Attached to: U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

The main problem I see with people who talk about "morals derived from logic", comes from people not realizing that it all comes down to their own biases and their own preferences.

Sure, the system you've devised might be a reasonable and logical way to achieve the goals you intend.. but why do you have those goals? why are those goals "right"?

It all comes down to an a priori justification of their morals in the end. They just haven't recursively analyzed their own morals enough to realize it yet.

When all morals are effectively arbitrary (as the priorities and values that influence them can be) it is hard to say they are defined by "logic".

Comment: Re:The same way many global warming papers got pub (Score 4, Insightful) 109

by hey! (#47383665) Attached to: How Did Those STAP Stem Cell Papers Get Accepted In the First Place?

Peer reviewed. Yeah, right. And just who is reviewing the peers?

Ha! I knew the denialists would come swarming out of the woodwork on this one.

Consider the stem cell paper that we're talking about here. It was published in January and immediately started going down in flames. Here we are six months later, watching scientists gleefully kick the cold corpse of the authors' reputations. And you're still wondering who keeps the reviewers and editors of a scientific journal honest?

Peer review isn't some kind of certification of a paper's truth. It can't reliably weed out misconduct, experimental error, or statistical bad luck. It's just supposed to reduce the frequency of fiascos like this one by examining the reasoning and methods as described in the paper. It doesn't have to be perfect; in fact it's preferable for it to let the occasional clunker through onto the slaughterhouse floor than to squelch dissenting views or innovation.

That's why climate change denialists still get published today, even the ones who disbelieve climate change because it contravenes their view of the Bible. Peer review allows them to keep tugging at the loose threads of the AGW consensus while preventing them from publishing papers making embarrassingly broad claims for which they don't have evidence that has any chance of convincing someone familiar with the past fifty years of furious scientific debate.

Comment: Re:Sad, sad times... (Score 1) 333

Here's what I think is the confounding factor (there always is one): I'd be wondering, "Does that button REALLY deliver a shock, or is it some kind of sham social psychology experiment prop? I bet it's a prop. If it isn't, it won't deliver THAT bad a shock. If it is, I wonder what the researchers will do when I push it?"

The confounding factor is curiosity. They'd have to do *two* sessions with the overly curious.

Comment: I ignore July 4th.. (Score 1) 335

by popoutman (#47378009) Attached to: On 4th of July:
My ex's birthday is July 4th, so I really have no reason to care about it at this stage now that she's an ex-girlfriend - plus the fact that I do not live in the US also makes this date as relevant as any other normal day on the calendar.
At least this year I am spending this day doing some decent downhill mountain biking in France, so my only concerns about the date involve what runs am I doing, and where will I eat really good food that evening..

Comment: Re:Blaming Google (Score 1) 238

by gsslay (#47375243) Attached to: Following EU Ruling, BBC Article Excluded From Google Searches

This statement is not the conclusion of the article, it's the headline of the article.

The journalist is using a basic journalistic technique of stating the position in the simpliest, bluntest and most provacative way possible. That makes it easy for the casual browser to grasp the topic, and hopefully draws them in.

The article then goes on to modify and explain.

Comment: Re:Distinct DNA (Score 1) 1314

by walshy007 (#47374159) Attached to: U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

The question is, and or at least definitely should be, are you doing harm to something that can suffer? here's the key issue: Does it have a nervous system, and does that nervous system couple to something sophisticated enough to convert those signals into suffering?

Aside from our own personal biases that lend us toward favouring our own systems, how would you define suffering?

If it is reacting to stimuli that causes it harm, plants, vegetables and many forms of life do that. If you try to not eat anything of that nature you'll quickly find yourself starving.

Why should only harm that can be applied to us or things like us be considered harm?

"Religion is something left over from the infancy of our intelligence, it will fade away as we adopt reason and science as our guidelines." -- Bertrand Russell