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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:18 am 
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If your view of morality is "strong do what they want," no wonder you have nothing interesting to ponder.

EDIT: Also, amusingly, it might mean Chinook is the ultimate arbitrator of right in Schlock Mercenary.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:13 pm 
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JohnSmith wrote:
If your view of morality is "strong do what they want," no wonder you have nothing interesting to ponder.

EDIT: Also, amusingly, it might mean Chinook is the ultimate arbitrator of right in Schlock Mercenary.


It would not. It would either be Petey or the Pa'nuri. Chinook has a long gun fleet, and a massive artificial habitat. But Petey has a long gun fleet, the core generator, Osiri, a bunch of regular fleets, a bunch of habitats, etc. And the Pa'nuri have an entire galaxy. For that matter the Allstar probably also has long guns plus an entire Dyson fleet, which out weighs what Chinook has.

Chinook is being highlighted here because she is going rogue, but if Petey were to do this he would be an even worse threat.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:37 pm 
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Petey has power, that doesn't mean he can stop her. But I mean, sure. Petey decides to end all life, he's right. The Gatekeepers were right to clone and mindrip the galaxy a couple times over. They had the power, so they were right to do it.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:11 pm 
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That's an abhorrent moral code.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:18 pm 
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JohnSmith wrote:
If your view of morality is "strong do what they want,"...

That wasn't a moral statement. It was a critical one.

That's also a mischaracterization of what I wrote. Try rereading it without your biases in place.

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...no wonder you have nothing interesting to ponder.

I've already pondered this issue. So all that is left (for me) is to comment on it.


If someone comes up with a clever/new argument, then I'll readdress my thoughts on the issue.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:22 pm 
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If you're answering questions of morality with "critical statements" maybe don't be surprised when people think you're making moral statements?


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:41 pm 
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It's less about what is right and more about only wanting to change the minds of people wanting you dead. Because letting people want you dead is not a good long term survival strategy.

Sadly it looks like no-one here has the power to stay alive given the scenario currently in play.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:22 am 
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JohnSmith wrote:
If you're answering questions of morality with "critical statements" maybe don't be surprised when people think you're making moral statements?

That you mistake "Privilege always flows in one direction, from the Powerful to the Weak" as some moral statement is less on me than you.

I have been making a moral statement, the same one repeatedly: "Don't mess with people until they become a danger to themselves or others", cleanly and clearly a moral or ethical standard.

The previous one? That's just a fact, a statement of reality.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:10 am 
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Ugh. I'm sorry evileeyore, but trying to have a discussion with you sometimes feels like hitting my head against a wall repeatedly.

I ask moral questions, you respond with "decision making is a privilege." If you don't mean it as a moral statement, it's just a stupid response. We all know realpolitik, it's not helpful or interesting. It's literally a dismissal of the moral question.

Your "don't mess with people until they become a danger" is so stupidly vague that it's a complete nonanswer, as I've said repeatedly. WHERE IS THE FUCKING LINE? Somebody who hates you but can't do anything? Somebody who acts in ways society doesn't approve of? Somebody who can end civilization? And how do you justify where you put that line? How much intervention is justified? In THIS comic, would petey be justified in rewriting every single person so that the Long Gun is unthinkable?

If you're not interested in having that discussion, please just stop answering when I ask those questions, okay?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:30 pm 
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JohnSmith wrote:
I ask moral questions...

You asked: "If it's a privilege, who's granting it?"

That is not a moral question. If you wanted to make it a 'moral' question perhaps phrase it as "What gives someone the right to grant or revoke privileges?" To which I would respond, "They have no 'right', rather they simply have the power. It is their responsibility to use this power... responsibly."

Not exactly a 'moral' answer... but then there are no moral answers to such a question. One can discuss the morality of actions with a set moral framework, but have designated no such framework.

So I'm simply giving "This is the way it is, deal with it" answers.

Quote:
... you respond with "decision making is a privilege."

There is a difference between "decision making" and "self-agency".

However, I will grant that I've actually been meaning "self determination" in some/many of those posts, but I'm not going back and editing now.

Quote:
Your "don't mess with people until they become a danger" is so stupidly vague that it's a complete nonanswer, as I've said repeatedly.

You saying "it's irrelevant" does not make it so. It's the line I draw and it's generally the line society (in the US) draws.

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WHERE IS THE FUCKING LINE?

Do we really have to explain to you what the concept of 'danger' means in this context?

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In THIS comic, would petey be justified in rewriting every single person so that the Long Gun is unthinkable?

That is facile, and if you stopped and thought about it you would understand why.

And in case you refuse to think about it, the answer is "No".

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If you're not interested in having that discussion, please just stop answering when I ask those questions, okay?

Ahaha.. haha... no.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:51 pm 
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Do we really have to explain to you what the concept of 'danger' means in this context?
Yes, you do. Especially when you follow up with,

Quote:
And in case you refuse to think about it, the answer is "No".

Why? Everybody is a danger to each other due to long gun tech. Is it because, maybe THEY AREN'T CAPABLE OF CARRYING IT OUT OH LOOK VOG AGAIN.

Right, I'm done with ya then. Have a good one.

EDIT: Oh joy, I can't add mods to the ignore list. How wonderful. Gotta love tools working as intended.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:39 pm 
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JohnSmith wrote:
Yes, you do.

Okay...

A person may be dangerous to self and others when he or she have recently threatened or attempted suicide or some serious bodily injury. He or she may have demonstrated danger of substantial and imminent harm to himself and/ or others through some recent act, attempt or threat of the same. ‘Dangerous to self’ may also include a situation where a person is unable to cater to his nourishment, shelter or self protection without supervision or assistance of another person.

Is it clear to you? Are you capable of moving forward with the understanding of what 'danger' means in this context?

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Everybody is a danger to each other due to long gun tech.

Possession of capacity to be a danger does not equate to being a danger so long as the intent is absent.

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Is it because, maybe THEY AREN'T CAPABLE OF CARRYING IT OUT OH LOOK VOG AGAIN.

That sentence is facile. !Vog had the capacity and intent to harm others and had proven to have the capacity and intent to harm himself.

Have you forgotten that episode? He threw himself off a balcony to his death.

Proven intent and capacity to commit self harm. !Vog was a danger to himself, thus those in power took steps to reduce his intent to cause self and other's harm.


No Petey shouldn't go about meddling with thoughts and intents of others in a direct manner until such a time as they prove to be a danger*. I can not be any clearer on this stance.


* Something he has done already repeatedly when groups have proven to be dangerous.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:20 pm 
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!Vog was a case of choosing the least bad of a litany of bad options to deal with him;

- leaving him alone was not a option unless you were fine with him killing himself or perhaps someone else. Doc Bunnigus was not fine with that.

- shipping him home makes him a danger to any surviving members of his race

- just lock him up? Gonna have to keep a Suicide Watch on him for the rest of his very long life...

- adjusting his brain was the best of all these lousy options

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:52 pm 
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macnut wrote:
!Vog was a case of choosing the least bad of a litany of bad options to deal with him;

- leaving him alone was not a option unless you were fine with him killing himself or perhaps someone else. Doc Bunnigus was not fine with that.

- shipping him home makes him a danger to any surviving members of his race

- just lock him up? Gonna have to keep a Suicide Watch on him for the rest of his very long life...

- adjusting his brain was the best of all these lousy options


I'm not convinced Vog was trying to commit suicide rather than escape. Either way, if he preferred death, isn't that his choice? How much of that person is left after the brain tweaking, anyway? The Xenophobia certainly seemed to be a central personality trait.

I spent quite a few words earlier pointing out how there's no difference between "letting somebody choose" and just changing their mind for them, so please don't bring that up again.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:42 pm 
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JohnSmith wrote:
macnut wrote:
!Vog was a case of choosing the least bad of a litany of bad options to deal with him;

- leaving him alone was not a option unless you were fine with him killing himself or perhaps someone else. Doc Bunnigus was not fine with that.

- shipping him home makes him a danger to any surviving members of his race

- just lock him up? Gonna have to keep a Suicide Watch on him for the rest of his very long life...

- adjusting his brain was the best of all these lousy options


I'm not convinced Vog was trying to commit suicide rather than escape. Either way, if he preferred death, isn't that his choice? How much of that person is left after the brain tweaking, anyway? The Xenophobia certainly seemed to be a central personality trait.

I spent quite a few words earlier pointing out how there's no difference between "letting somebody choose" and just changing their mind for them, so please don't bring that up again.



Escape from several thousand feet up, with no visible surfaces, and taking a running leap which would put him at a ballistic trajectory moving AWAY from anything he could grab on to.

I suppose suicide IS a form of escape for some....

The xenophobia was hard wired into his brain. It was less personality trait than "program stored in BIOS through which all else was filtered". He was designed very precisely so that he COULDN'T be anything BUT what he was built to be; a soldier. And to make that easier, he was designed to hate everything but the very specific set of criteria that was the faction that made him. Everything else was 'enemy'.

No difference between making somebody CAPABLE of a choice being no different than changing their mind for them? Wow. That's. That sure is an opinion.

So I gather you wouldn't offer somebody who's dying of thirst water, since you'd be forcing them to change their mind about the whole 'dying of thirst' thing. Or offer a hand to somebody who's jumped from a building. Clearly by making a choice possible (die or not) you're forcing them to do as you want.


Say I place a loaded gun in front of you and give you three choices. Shoot me in the head, shoot yourself in the head, or just walk out of the room completely unmolested with no repercussions, I'm making up your mind for you? That's a choice you didn't have before, so it's one I'm making you capable of.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:01 pm 
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Sigh. I can only assume you didn't read through this whole thread, Kendrakirai.
Let me preface this with the fact that I actually study neuroscience. I think about this stuff a lot.

You are your brain. The structure, the operation, the "hardcoded behaviour." Take for example the pretty universal repulsion towards eating other humans.

If I take you over to your neighbor's house when you're hungry and say "Hey, why not munch on them? Don't worry, I'll make sure it never comes back on you." Will you do it? No. No more than Vog would willingly talk to an alien.

If I removed that low-level inhibition with some creative brain surgery and you ate your neighbors, would you say that I had "given you more choices" or that I had "massively and invasively changed your basic personality?" What was once something horrifying and disgusting to you is now just a question of how much you feel like breaking out the BBQ.

You say Vog couldn't be anything but what he was created to be. True. Neither can you. Would it be okay if people started changing your brain? How much of "you" would be left after the tweaking, especially if it were your core concepts of self that they were modifying?

Oh, and if this were Petey doing the creative brain surgery, of course he knows which way the end decision is going to fall. So it's not even a random outcome, he's tweaking to what he wants.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:35 pm 
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JohnSmith wrote:
Sigh. I can only assume you didn't read through this whole thread, Kendrakirai.
Let me preface this with the fact that I actually study neuroscience. I think about this stuff a lot.

You are your brain. The structure, the operation, the "hardcoded behaviour." Take for example the pretty universal repulsion towards eating other humans.

If I take you over to your neighbor's house when you're hungry and say "Hey, why not munch on them? Don't worry, I'll make sure it never comes back on you." Will you do it? No. No more than Vog would willingly talk to an alien.

If I removed that low-level inhibition with some creative brain surgery and you ate your neighbors, would you say that I had "given you more choices" or that I had "massively and invasively changed your basic personality?" What was once something horrifying and disgusting to you is now just a question of how much you feel like breaking out the BBQ.

You say Vog couldn't be anything but what he was created to be. True. Neither can you. Would it be okay if people started changing your brain? How much of "you" would be left after the tweaking, especially if it were your core concepts of self that they were modifying?

Oh, and if this were Petey doing the creative brain surgery, of course he knows which way the end decision is going to fall. So it's not even a random outcome, he's tweaking to what he wants.


Except that following that chain of thought we're all just a bunch of chemicals and there is no choice ever. Everything is predetermined since the Big Bang.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:36 pm 
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Arcanestomper wrote:
JohnSmith wrote:
Sigh. I can only assume you didn't read through this whole thread, Kendrakirai.
Let me preface this with the fact that I actually study neuroscience. I think about this stuff a lot.

You are your brain. The structure, the operation, the "hardcoded behaviour." Take for example the pretty universal repulsion towards eating other humans.

If I take you over to your neighbor's house when you're hungry and say "Hey, why not munch on them? Don't worry, I'll make sure it never comes back on you." Will you do it? No. No more than Vog would willingly talk to an alien.

If I removed that low-level inhibition with some creative brain surgery and you ate your neighbors, would you say that I had "given you more choices" or that I had "massively and invasively changed your basic personality?" What was once something horrifying and disgusting to you is now just a question of how much you feel like breaking out the BBQ.

You say Vog couldn't be anything but what he was created to be. True. Neither can you. Would it be okay if people started changing your brain? How much of "you" would be left after the tweaking, especially if it were your core concepts of self that they were modifying?

Oh, and if this were Petey doing the creative brain surgery, of course he knows which way the end decision is going to fall. So it's not even a random outcome, he's tweaking to what he wants.


Except that following that chain of thought we're all just a bunch of chemicals and there is no choice ever. Everything is predetermined since the Big Bang.


... which I commented on earlier, is absolutely true. Just not helpful in everyday life. I mean, for a certain value of predetermined - if quantum randomness is true, then that probably scrambles things. But that's still not free will, any more than a Geiger counter displays free will.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:39 pm 
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JohnSmith wrote:
Arcanestomper wrote:
JohnSmith wrote:
Sigh. I can only assume you didn't read through this whole thread, Kendrakirai.
Let me preface this with the fact that I actually study neuroscience. I think about this stuff a lot.

You are your brain. The structure, the operation, the "hardcoded behaviour." Take for example the pretty universal repulsion towards eating other humans.

If I take you over to your neighbor's house when you're hungry and say "Hey, why not munch on them? Don't worry, I'll make sure it never comes back on you." Will you do it? No. No more than Vog would willingly talk to an alien.

If I removed that low-level inhibition with some creative brain surgery and you ate your neighbors, would you say that I had "given you more choices" or that I had "massively and invasively changed your basic personality?" What was once something horrifying and disgusting to you is now just a question of how much you feel like breaking out the BBQ.

You say Vog couldn't be anything but what he was created to be. True. Neither can you. Would it be okay if people started changing your brain? How much of "you" would be left after the tweaking, especially if it were your core concepts of self that they were modifying?

Oh, and if this were Petey doing the creative brain surgery, of course he knows which way the end decision is going to fall. So it's not even a random outcome, he's tweaking to what he wants.


Except that following that chain of thought we're all just a bunch of chemicals and there is no choice ever. Everything is predetermined since the Big Bang.


... which I commented on earlier, is absolutely true. Just not helpful in everyday life. I mean, for a certain value of predetermined - if quantum randomness is true, then that probably scrambles things. But that's still not free will, any more than a Geiger counter displays free will.


Which is the point. If you can make a valid choice even when your body has hardwired you to do certain things. Then you can still make a valid choice when someone else changes that hard wiring.


Last edited by Arcanestomper on Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:41 pm 
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Arcanestomper wrote:
Which is the point. If you can still make a valid choice even when your body has hardwired you to do certain things. Then you can still make a valid choice when someone else changes that hard wiring.


I have no idea what you're trying to say with that. What is a "valid" choice in this context? Eating your neighbor? Not eating your neighbor?

Are you trying to say that you're still "making a choice?" But is the person making it even the same? Their personality has been grossly altered. They're making a decision that the original person would hate. The regulatory framework you and others are railing against is part of Vog's brain, same as your disgust framework is part of yours.


Last edited by JohnSmith on Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:42 pm 
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JohnSmith wrote:
Sigh. I can only assume you didn't read through this whole thread, Kendrakirai.
Let me preface this with the fact that I actually study neuroscience. I think about this stuff a lot.

You are your brain. The structure, the operation, the "hardcoded behaviour." Take for example the pretty universal repulsion towards eating other humans.

If I take you over to your neighbor's house when you're hungry and say "Hey, why not munch on them? Don't worry, I'll make sure it never comes back on you." Will you do it? No. No more than Vog would willingly talk to an alien.

If I removed that low-level inhibition with some creative brain surgery and you ate your neighbors, would you say that I had "given you more choices" or that I had "massively and invasively changed your basic personality?" What was once something horrifying and disgusting to you is now just a question of how much you feel like breaking out the BBQ.

You say Vog couldn't be anything but what he was created to be. True. Neither can you. Would it be okay if people started changing your brain? How much of "you" would be left after the tweaking, especially if it were your core concepts of self that they were modifying?

Oh, and if this were Petey doing the creative brain surgery, of course he knows which way the end decision is going to fall. So it's not even a random outcome, he's tweaking to what he wants.

That's not really the same. Aversion to cannibalism is a learned behavior, one that is not existent in some cultures. It's no more hard-wired then murder or sodomy or any other action that falls in or out of favour depending on the year and region and what we know. Hell, even now aversion to cannibalism is not an instinct but a logical decision. The human body holds diseases that can affect other humans when ingested, culturally we bury or burn our dead instead of eating them, and if anyone found out you ate grandma you'd be as culturally excluded as a woman in the wrong place at Salem.


What Vog has is something far more hardwired, closer to the instinct for keeping the heart beating then anything else. He was among a species with malleable brain matter, but even then it took them a long time and a lot of pain just to spackle over that warrior instinct until it stopped taking over - and even then the instinct took over again when the UNS rolled back his brain.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:44 pm 
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I'm surprised nobody brought up OCD or other compulsion disorders. Those act as a form of hard-wiring that is nearly impossible to disable except with the help of medication and the correct care.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:47 pm 
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JohnSmith wrote:
Arcanestomper wrote:
Which is the point. If you can still make a valid choice even when your body has hardwired you to do certain things. Then you can still make a valid choice when someone else changes that hard wiring.


I have no idea what you're trying to say with that. What is a "valid" choice in this context? Eating your neighbor? Not eating your neighbor?


A valid choice in this case is one you make of your own free will. So yes, not eating your neighbors is an equivalent choice to eating them. You are saying that there is some portion of your brain that keeps you from eating your neighbors. Now I agree with grahamf, eating other people isn't actually hardwired.

But assuming that it is and your body is hardwired not to eat other people, then you are suggesting that your decision to not eat them is a choice on your part. If so and someone removes that hardwiring, then choosing to eat them would also be a choice on your part.

Either you can still make choices even when your brain is programmed to do certain things. Or you can't and free will is a lie. Honestly the way you've been arguing I would think you would fall on that side of the fence. But you've said it's not a useful point of view.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:49 pm 
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If OCD makes you feel like the analogy works better go for it. I went with the disgust response for rhetoric effect here, though earlier in the thread I was using cutting one's own throat or jumping off buildings as examples as well. Point is, you have built-in things that you will not do by choice. Period. These restrictions are part of you, and you don't see them as preventing a choice - they ARE your choice, one you never seriously doubt. "Allowing a choice" is just weakening the choice you've ALREADY made, which is effectively choosing for you.

EDITagain - it's not useful because it's unhelpfully reductionist in most situations. It's still TRUE. I've said that repeatedly. It's like saying "All matter is ACTUALLY equivalent to energy" when discussing tax policy.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:17 pm 
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Arcanestomper wrote:
JohnSmith wrote:
If OCD makes you feel like the analogy works better go for it. I went with the disgust response for rhetoric effect here, though earlier in the thread I was using cutting one's own throat or jumping off buildings as examples as well. Point is, you have built-in things that you will not do by choice. Period. These restrictions are part of you, and you don't see them as preventing a choice - they ARE your choice, one you never seriously doubt. "Allowing a choice" is just weakening the choice you've ALREADY made, which is effectively choosing for you.

EDITagain - it's not useful because it's unhelpfully reductionist in most situations. It's still TRUE. I've said that repeatedly. It's like saying "All matter is ACTUALLY equivalent to energy" when discussing tax policy.


You seem to have a weird view of it though. It's okay to have a hardwired point of view as long as you were born with it but if anything changes that suddenly you lose free will?

What if you are of the opinion that sugar cookies are the best food ever. You will always choose them no matter what. Then someone comes up to you and tells you sugar cookies are actually kind of unhealthy and here are some brownies you could try instead. They are simultaneously weakening your previous choice while providing an alternative they would obviously prefer you chose. Is that also mind control?


There's never any free will. Period. You are your brain. You are the more-or-less deterministic outcome of neuronal firing.

Every view you have is a result of structure and activity in your brain. The tenuous ones and the concrete ones. These get changed all the time, naturally. You say "Those are unhealthy" and a cascade of activity goes through my brain. Maybe the outcome is "Oh shit, you're right." Or maybe it's "Sugar cookies are the best." This depends entirely, 100% on the structure and activity in my brain. A strong tendency for sugar cookies means nothing you say will stop me from eating them.

What we have been discussing, again and again, is if somebody can jump into this process and change the structure or activity to tilt the outcome one way or another manually. This is not talking, which filters through all this existing structure and activity. This is directly rebalancing the outcome for their own purposes. You don't see how that's on an entirely different level? How it's literally a direct change to your person, instead of a natural change of views over time?


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:22 am 
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JohnSmith wrote:
"Allowing a choice" is just weakening the choice you've ALREADY made, which is effectively choosing for you.

No it is not. Altering someone so the choice is possible is still not forcing them to chose that possibility. Making a choice is still within them.

Unless you are really trying to say that removing a barrier to choice is equivalent to tilting the balance towards what you want them to do? Which is dumb beyond words because that is not what anyone else is saying or, until now with Chinook, doing.



JohnSmith wrote:
What we have been discussing, again and again, is if somebody can jump into this process and change the structure or activity to tilt the outcome one way or another manually. This is not talking, which filters through all this existing structure and activity.

"Tilting the balance" is entirely different than "removing impediment". Stop making that error.


Now, if you want to discuss the issue with rewritting Chinook instead of removing !Vog's input/output filter, that's a whole 'nother kettle of fish, as that is exactly what Petey and Putzho were going to do.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:32 am 
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JohnSmith,

You're ignoring that the hard-wired xenophobia wasn't an original part of Vog. Vog had been changed, altered, millennia ago, by his military.
To say that it was no longer Vog making the choice to give outsiders a chance, after Petey selectively anesthetized his brain, is to say that it was not Vog making the choice to be xenophobic, before Petey selectively anesthetized his brain.
It was his long-dead military commanders who made that choice for him and made certain he couldn't change his own mind.

Do we even know the original Vog? Maybe the original Vog was a hippie, who was sentenced to undergo the procedure for not being sufficiently militant. Or possibly a POW, restructured to be an enemy to his once-allies. Or maybe he was a volunteer, who gleefully asked that that future choice be removed from him. (How many Christians would willingly go through a lobotomy to remove all doubt?) We don't know. But, I'd say that Vog, minus the hard-wired compulsion, is closer to the pre military "indoctrination" Vog.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:40 am 
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Sean wrote:
JohnSmith,

You're ignoring that the hard-wired xenophobia wasn't an original part of Vog. Vog had been changed, altered, millennia ago, by his military.
To say that it was no longer Vog making the choice to give outsiders a chance, after Petey selectively anesthetized his brain, is to say that it was not Vog making the choice to be xenophobic, before Petey selectively anesthetized his brain.
It was his long-dead military commanders who made that choice for him and made certain he couldn't change his own mind.

Do we even know the original Vog? Maybe the original Vog was a hippie, who was sentenced to undergo the procedure for not being sufficiently militant. Or possibly a POW, restructured to be an enemy to his once-allies. Or maybe he was a volunteer, who gleefully asked that that future choice be removed from him. (How many Christians would willingly go through a lobotomy to remove all doubt?) We don't know. But, I'd say that Vog, minus the hard-wired compulsion, is closer to the pre military "indoctrination" Vog.


I actually explicitly addressed that earlier, Sean. What was or wasn't part of Vog once upon a time is irrelevant to who he is now. This is the point I keep trying to make, again and again. That person - that xenophobic, violent person - is just who he is. He's the sum of responses of his brain to stimulus. We can not like it, we can think that the hypothetical pacifist Vog of twelve million years ago is a better person, we can mourn that person's loss - but that's not who this person in front of us is. Removing the regulatory hate-all-aliens bits is just as much of a change in person as adding them was in the first place.

EDIT:
Okay, curiosity has the better of me. If anybody wants to continue this discussion, could you start with a statement on whether or not you accept the premise that there is no mind-body duality? That your mind is 100% the product of your brain?


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:55 am 
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JohnSmith wrote:
Sean wrote:
JohnSmith,

You're ignoring that the hard-wired xenophobia wasn't an original part of Vog. Vog had been changed, altered, millennia ago, by his military.
To say that it was no longer Vog making the choice to give outsiders a chance, after Petey selectively anesthetized his brain, is to say that it was not Vog making the choice to be xenophobic, before Petey selectively anesthetized his brain.
It was his long-dead military commanders who made that choice for him and made certain he couldn't change his own mind.

Do we even know the original Vog? Maybe the original Vog was a hippie, who was sentenced to undergo the procedure for not being sufficiently militant. Or possibly a POW, restructured to be an enemy to his once-allies. Or maybe he was a volunteer, who gleefully asked that that future choice be removed from him. (How many Christians would willingly go through a lobotomy to remove all doubt?) We don't know. But, I'd say that Vog, minus the hard-wired compulsion, is closer to the pre military "indoctrination" Vog.


I actually explicitly addressed that earlier, Sean. What was or wasn't part of Vog once upon a time is irrelevant to who he is now. This is the point I keep trying to make, again and again. That person - that xenophobic, violent person - is just who he is. He's the sum of responses of his brain to stimulus. We can not like it, we can think that the hypothetical pacifist Vog of twelve million years ago is a better person, we can mourn that person's loss - but that's not who this person in front of us is. Removing the regulatory hate-all-aliens bits is just as much of a change in person as adding them was in the first place.


So, you're saying it's a Trolley problem, and you'd not throw the switch. That old-Vog, whoever he was, should stay dead because new-Vog is here now. That to restore new-Vog to life required murdering old-Vog.

Let's change things again. What if the impulse had been managed by a physical collar. A magical slave collar that made the wearer loyal to the collar's owner, and prone to aggressively defend the collar from being removed. Is Vog now the combination of the collar, clearly an artifact, and his brain? Is removing that collar also killing new-Vog or is new-Vog only a figment of the interaction between old-Vog and the collar, and having no rights to personality that are not derived from old-Vog? In this analogy, Petey merely surreptitiously placed an antimagic field around new-Vog in order to see where the line between old-Vog and the collar lay.

Because, since the casualness of brain surgery is part of what made Vog's people; that even reduced to a stone-age subsistence, they retained the tools to perform the second change; I can not distinguish between Bradicor brain surgery and the crafting of an artifact which would be clearly artificial.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:22 am 
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I'm not sure I'd call it a trolley problem or even "killed," but you've more or less summed up my position there. I think you understand where I'm coming from, at least!

Yeah, it gets weird when you start adding external devices instead of bits of brain, doesn't it? Are you familiar with Neuralink? It's elon musk's foray into brain surgery. The short-term goal is to make deep-brain stimulation electrodes. But just like SpaceX is building rockets because Elon wants humans on Mars, Neuralink is making electrodes because Elon wants to give you an exocortex. That is, an AI connected directly to your brain. I'd argue that even though the computer is external, this truly would be a part of you. Cutting this link would be removing part of your brain.

So I don't see an 'artifact' changing my argument. "New" you is an interaction between the old bits and the new bits, but that's true for every single part of your brain. You are an interaction between all the different parts, however old or new they are. What substrate the brain is made of doesn't really factor in. Meat, magic or transistors.

So 'temporarily' shutting off part of Vog's brain is still just changing Vog. You are not "allowing the person to make a decision." You are making a new person who is more likely to agree with you on something.


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