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Churchill Accused of Sealing UFO Files, Fearing Public Panic 615

Newly released secret files show that Winston Churchill ordered a cover-up of an alleged encounter between a UFO and a RAF bomber because he feared public panic. From the article: "Mr Churchill is reported to have made a declaration to the effect of the following: 'This event should be immediately classified since it would create mass panic among the general population and destroy one's belief in the Church.'"

Science Historian Deciphers Plato's Code 402

Reader eldavojohn tips the news of a researcher in the UK, Jay Kennedy, who has uncovered a hidden code in the writings of Plato. From the University of Manchester press release: "[Dr. Kennedy said] 'I have shown rigorously that the books do contain codes and symbols and that unraveling them reveals the hidden philosophy of Plato. This is a true discovery, not simply reinterpretation.' ... The hidden codes show that Plato anticipated the Scientific Revolution 2,000 years before Isaac Newton, discovering its most important idea — the book of nature is written in the language of mathematics. ... Plato did not design his secret patterns purely for pleasure — it was for his own safety. Plato's ideas were a dangerous threat to Greek religion. He said that mathematical laws and not the gods controlled the universe. Plato's own teacher [Socrates] had been executed for heresy. Secrecy was normal in ancient times, especially for esoteric and religious knowledge, but for Plato it was a matter of life and death." Here is the paper (PDF), which was published in the journal Apeiron: A Journal of Ancient Philosophy and Science.

Comment Re:The difference? (Score 1) 586

Also, sorry about the lact of clarity. The conditional at the end of my first paragraph was meant as a separate thought. There were basically 3 types of scenarios I was attempting to demonstrate (1) No available action that excludes harm, (2) multiple options that exclude harm, and (3) accidental ethics or unintended consequences that may or may not cause harm.

Comment Re:The difference? (Score 1) 586

I would agree with this, also. Kant had issues in his appeal to intent based ethics in the first forumlation of his theory that an action is moral if it was performed in accordance with one's duty to Good Will. Personally, I don't believe in either intent based or consequentionalist based ethics. Nonetheless, the example still demonstrates the concept of accidentally moral acts.

Comment Re:Helm of Opposite Alignment (Score 1) 586

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Reletivism, whether cultural, individual, or otherwise, is a set of philosophical proposals that there are multiple acceptable and competing ethical evaluations based on whatever criteria the reletavist is using (culture is the most common). In the research given, it is not the case that the researchers are concluding that there are multiple acceptable moral values for a given action, but rather that forces can manipulate the expected response. If nothing else, all of the subjects were consistent in their answers and that consistency was purely consequentionalist with no appeal toward reletive ethics whatsoever. I've looked at a few of your posts before deciding whether to respond and after seeing you go after this reletivisim idea a few times, I felt compelled to seek some clarification.

Comment Re:Not going to RTFA; explain? (Score 1) 586

In this case, while it would be absurd to say that there could be reverse causality where the decrease in morality could cause a magnetic field in the area of the brain they are studying, it would not be absurd to state that the magnetism against that area of the brain causes something else which causes the drop in moral understanding. Outside the context of the cause in the middle, the magnetism itself would not cause the change in moral understanding. At least that's the way I am reading it. Overall, I think such a disclaimer should precede all scientific and statistical conclusions, as there is never true proof of causality.

Comment Re:The difference? (Score 2, Interesting) 586

... and your argument would be wrong (no offense). Imagine a friend who is about to be killed. You could kill the would be killer and save your friend or you could let the scenario unfold naturally. Either choice causes harm by either allowing the death of a friend or causing the death of the killer. Even solid consequentionalists like Mill argued that when given a choice between actions, the moral road is not merely to minimize suffering but also to maximize happiness. Given for any choice that an action is either moral or not moral (law of the excluded middle), if two possible actions both yield no suffering or harm, then the moral choice is the action that then maximized happiness.

Again, that's if you believe all that utilitarian garbage. What consequentionalist ethics does not address is the "accidental moral choice" where an unintended consequence makes an immorally intended act moral. Imagine that you see an enemy on the street and you go to puch him in the face. You miss and knock out a guy who has your enemy held up at gunpoint. In effect, you've saved your enemy's life even though the intent was to cause harm. Clearly, this cannot be a moral act. By example, one can understand that purely reviewing the consequences of an action cannot define that action moral or immoral.

Comment Re:Great Idea (Score 1) 891

Let's assume I get on a toll road and pay my $0.06/mile (roughly) which is a fee whose stated purpose is for maintenance, repair, and depreciation. Let's also assume that the mileage tax is in place, whose stated purpose is for maintenance, repair, and depreciation of the roadway. So, I drive 30 miles on the toll road, and pay about $1.80 in tolls. I then pay my $0.02/mile tax, which amounts to about $0.60.

Alright, so with the scenario laid out, two things should be glaringly obvious. First, the amount of money the mileage tax takes in, as a means of ensuring upkeep on the tollroad plus as a cost offset for the upkeep of significantly less traveled roads is 1/3 of what we pay in tolls. One has to wonder why the tollway needs 3X as much money to upkeep their roads. Second, government is excellent at implementing taxes and fees and other revenue generating schemes, but they are reluctant to get rid of such programs. Understanding that in all likelihood, I will be paying a toll and a tax that independently serve exact same purpose seems unreasonable.

Comment Re:Great Idea (Score 1) 891

In Illinois, the tollway system was brought forth for initial construction of roads, only. The idea was that once tolls had paid for the road construction, the tollway would be given over to IDOT and tolls would be removed. However, with the realization of how much money could be genereated from tolls, they were kept in place citing utilization of toll funds for upkeep and maintenance. Considering this, I think your post brings up an interesting point. Besides all the other issues with this plan, do they expect me to pay for tolls plus a mileage tax for driving on the toll road? In essence, this would generate a dual taxation against the same mileage driven.

Comment Re:This is stupid, but for different reasons. (Score 1) 452

... and the first sentence of the article reads

Santa Rosa Junior College is threatening to sue several hundred students and faculty members who have created private e-mail addresses that use the collegeâ(TM)s name without permission.

Now, it sounds to me like the cease and desist was sent to students and staff, not to the actual offending email addresses. In fact, this is supported a few paragraphs down...

The college offered little explanation when it announced the crackdown in e-mail messages sent to all faculty Tuesday and people it had identified as violators of its new policy.

In summary, you are wrong. Have a nice day.

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