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Old 03-16-2010, 06:02 PM   #391
clockworkzombie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Thornton View Post
I think that, at last, this thread has finally finished the "piracy is theft" debate. Here's my air-tight logical argument:

A: copyright infringement is theft
B: theft is a crime
C: therefore, copyright infringement is a crime
D: all criminals think that what they do is right
E: people only feel guilt when they think that what they do is not-right
F: therefore, all criminals are not guilty
G: therefore, copyright infringers are not guilty
H: people who are not guilty are not criminals
I: therefore, copyright infringers are not criminals
J: which is a contradiction compared to C

Any assertion that leads to a contradiction is false.
Therefore, copyright infringement is not theft
QED.

Thank goodness for that.

What are you reading?
I cannot read right now. My head is spinning.
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Old 03-16-2010, 06:09 PM   #392
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Thornton View Post
I think that, at last, this thread has finally finished the "piracy is theft" debate. Here's my air-tight logical argument:

A: copyright infringement is theft
B: theft is a crime
C: therefore, copyright infringement is a crime
D: all criminals think that what they do is right
E: people only feel guilt when they think that what they do is not-right
F: therefore, all criminals are not guilty
G: therefore, copyright infringers are not guilty
H: people who are not guilty are not criminals
I: therefore, copyright infringers are not criminals
J: which is a contradiction compared to C

Any assertion that leads to a contradiction is false.
Therefore, copyright infringement is not theft
QED.

Thank goodness for that.

What are you reading?
I'm supposed to be reading "The Cognition of the Literary Work of Art" by Roman Ingarden, but I have momentarily lost the will to live.
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Old 03-16-2010, 06:16 PM   #393
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Originally Posted by TGS View Post
I'm supposed to be reading "The Cognition of the Literary Work of Art" by Roman Ingarden, but I have momentarily lost the will to live.
Amazon has it in stock at $34.95, but I'm managing to resist. Looks like a page-turner.

Have you seen Ramachandran's presentations on cognition and visual art? They're interesting.
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Old 03-16-2010, 06:24 PM   #394
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Thornton View Post
I think that, at last, this thread has finally finished the "piracy is theft" debate. Here's my air-tight logical argument:

A: copyright infringement is theft
B: theft is a crime
C: therefore, copyright infringement is a crime
D: all criminals think that what they do is right
E: people only feel guilt when they think that what they do is not-right
F: therefore, all criminals are not guilty
G: therefore, copyright infringers are not guilty
H: people who are not guilty are not criminals
I: therefore, copyright infringers are not criminals
J: which is a contradiction compared to C

Any assertion that leads to a contradiction is false.
Therefore, copyright infringement is not theft
QED.

Thank goodness for that.

What are you reading?


Excellent! Can a moderator please now close this thread and post this proof as a sticky so that this topic doesn't distract anybody else any more?
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Old 03-16-2010, 06:38 PM   #395
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Amazon has it in stock at $34.95, but I'm managing to resist. Looks like a page-turner.

Have you seen Ramachandran's presentations on cognition and visual art? They're interesting.
Oh absolutely a page turner - and I'm even reading it as a pbook, so there's dedication for you. Had a lecture on Ramachandran just last week (I'm a, what we call in the UK, "mature" MA student, but I'm studying in Denmark, where there isn't an equivalent concept, so I'm just a bit weird here). My prof thinks Ramachandran has got it the wrong way round - when we encounter a painting, for example, we've already solved the object recognition problem - which is central to R's thesis - we know what the object is - it's a painting. The puzzle is, how does it come to have the meaning that it has.

Do hope your post has brought this thread to a long overdue end - perhaps we should start one on the aesthetic value of literary works of art
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Old 03-16-2010, 06:46 PM   #396
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You're right - we wouldn't have the emotion of guilt if we always thought that what we'd done is right.

Kenny seems to be suggesting that no criminal is guilty
Ben, Ben, Ben, how many time have we talked about you putting words in other peoples mouths. Please speak for yourself, I can speak for me, thank you.

Are you feeling guilty?

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Old 03-16-2010, 06:51 PM   #397
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Ben, Ben, Ben, how many time have we talked about you putting words in other peoples mouths. Please speak for yourself, I can speak for me, thank you.

Are you feeling guilty?
Kenny, Kenny, Kenny, we'd just got them to sleep and now you're going to wake them up again. Shhhh...
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Old 03-16-2010, 06:52 PM   #398
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Kenny, Kenny, Kenny, we'd just got them to sleep and now you're going to wake them up again. Shhhh...
Oops, my bad.



Quick! Look over there ------------------->>>>
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Old 03-16-2010, 06:56 PM   #399
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Thornton View Post
I think that, at last, this thread has finally finished the "piracy is theft" debate. Here's my air-tight logical argument:

A: copyright infringement is theft
B: theft is a crime
C: therefore, copyright infringement is a crime
D: all criminals think that what they do is right
E: people only feel guilt when they think that what they do is not-right
F: therefore, all criminals are not guilty
G: therefore, copyright infringers are not guilty
H: people who are not guilty are not criminals
I: therefore, copyright infringers are not criminals
J: which is a contradiction compared to C

Any assertion that leads to a contradiction is false.
Therefore, copyright infringement is not theft
QED.

Thank goodness for that.

What are you reading?
What's Quantum Electrodynamics got to do with it?

(Yes, I know—after all, I'm the one who submitted the hyper-linked copy of Spinoza's Ethics to MobileRead! The textbooks say it stands for quod erat demonstrandum, which means "that which was to be demonstrated," but I think it means, "So there!")

Last edited by WT Sharpe; 03-16-2010 at 07:00 PM.
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Old 03-16-2010, 07:03 PM   #400
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What's Quantum Electrodynamics got to do with it?

...


It's all relative anyway.
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Old 03-16-2010, 07:06 PM   #401
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Thornton View Post
I think that, at last, this thread has finally finished the "piracy is theft" debate. Here's my air-tight logical argument:

A: copyright infringement is theft
B: theft is a crime
C: therefore, copyright infringement is a crime
D: all criminals think that what they do is right
E: people only feel guilt when they think that what they do is not-right
F: therefore, all criminals are not guilty
G: therefore, copyright infringers are not guilty
H: people who are not guilty are not criminals
I: therefore, copyright infringers are not criminals
J: which is a contradiction compared to C

Any assertion that leads to a contradiction is false.
Therefore, copyright infringement is not theft
QED.

Thank goodness for that.

What are you reading?
You are my new hero. o.o
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Old 03-16-2010, 07:31 PM   #402
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I'm sorry that this post is so long; I lack the clarity of mind to make it shorter and more concise

I feel that answering to all the posts in the last four pages since I posted would only complicate the discussion. So I'll explain what I mean by reasoning without using the concept of "right" and "wrong".

As has been stated before, one can't reason in void, so one has to have a set of assumptions one believes are true. Descartes and Thomas Aquinas tried to get everything from First Principle, without using knowledge gathered by human civilisation - I don't think this is possible, unless the First Principle is the Unified Field Theory from physics, and we get everything right on the way. I take my assumptions, in order, from following disciplines:

1) Physics. I assume physical experiments will continue to give the same results in the future, so physical theories can be used to determine how everything in the world works. Mathematics can also be used, albeit one has to be careful to make sure it really works like the world does where one applied it - while maths is always correct, using it may give incorrect results otherwise.

2) History - with less certainty, but applicable to societies and human beings more than physics. The more something happens time and again in history, with the same results, the more I can trust it will happen again in the same way. There are disciplines that try to summarize historical results in theories easier to comprehend , like sociology and psychology, but those disciplines are full of contradicting schools and theories, and the concept of "right" and "wrong" is so often used in experiments and by test subjects that I tend to stay away from those, instead concentrating on historical accounts - which I admit I like to read a lot anyway Statistics can be a good source of information, but one needs to be sure how information was gathered before one can trust it - sociological surveys shove millions of variables under the rug (as those can't be accounted for, us being only human) and behave as if their results were as hard a data as data from physics experiments.

Based on only this data, and various summaries of this data I decide to trust less or more (I only have one human life and can't double-check everything) I think I can draw a lot of conclusions, without having to use even once a word like: "good", "bad", "evil", "right", "wrong", "morality" or "ethics".

I can, for example, understand the "free speech" idea by checking with history how it originated, that it basically means that some government or another organisation controlling some place says that it won't oppress people for speaking freely. Then I can check how it really worked in the past, what people could do, what governments did, etc. Nowhere in that reasoning I have to state that "free speech" is a "right", or worse, an "absolute right". Such things don't exist, don't have basis in reality, but it's surely nice to hear your government telling you you have an absolute right to something by virtue of being alive.
Good commercial.

If you happen to live in society that accepts slavery, then it's accepted and normal there - it's a fact of life. Now, you may feel you would feel better in a society where the slavery is not accepted, or that such society would be more efficient, better prepared for the future, or simply more people would be happier (as much as you can perceive their happiness), and thus you can work to steer that society in the desired direction, by changing people's minds about it. But saying the slavery is "bad", because people have a "right" to be free is gibberish. It sounds like speech, it looks like reasoning, but the words don't mean anything, so they mean a different thing to each person saying them or hearing them. Of course, skilled orator or politician can use such sounding words to maximize the number of people that support his ascent to power, but if you try to have a logical discussion with those words, soon you notice that you can prove or disprove everything ,and you're turning in circles instead of getting conclusions everyone can agree with (possibly with reservations), or at worst, getting a conclusion that something can't be proven, disproved or solved.

tompe seems to use moral theories as a basis for reasoning, though complicated ones. I can't say I'm in the same boat - I tried to study various philosophical theories, but usually very close to the beginning of the reasoning I encounter one of those words that don't mean anything, and I don't understand anything they're trying to say from that point on. So I just keep to what I described above.

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Originally Posted by PKFFW View Post
Sorry but you seem to contradict yourself here.

Firstly, you assume that the "reasoning will be flawed, and usually untrue" without providing any sort of proof of such. Your assumption is based purely on whether or not you personally believe the outcomes are the best that could be achieved and then further assume that an outcome based on reasoning of right and wrong could not possibly come up with that outcome.
Well, I'd say this can be neither proved nor disproved. Based on the historical data I believe that social theories that influenced society in the past all had some unforeseen side-effects, or worked against the society. As we now have quite a lot of history behind us to study, and history of societies of all possible sizes, I think that if social theory based on some idealistic concept worked, it would work by pure coincidence. The facts of life seem to be that we're all egoistical herd animals, and though our working brains and memes in them created in the last few thousand years complicate the picture enormously, I think any social theory that has a chance of working, or a proof that no social theory can work should start with those facts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PKFFW View Post
Secondly, basically you are saying that people should reason based on a set of principles and values that you think are appropriate. Or to put it another way the set of principles and values that you think are "right". Whilst this reasoning may not be based on your concept of "right and wrong" it certainly takes right and wrong into account by suggesting that your way of reasoning is the right way.
Well, yes, as much as you consider physics and history information that I arbitrarily think are appropriate and trustworthy. Since nearly everyone who doesn't ignore those disciplines completely agreed with bulk of information in them, differing only in details, I'd say it's a best set of assumptions one can find. I don't think any of this information is "right" or "wrong", only "true" or "false". But you can say I think it's "right" to base my reasoning on this information, and no other.

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Originally Posted by PKFFW View Post
I don't see the point in using a mentally unhinged person as an example really. Of course there are always going to mentally ill people, psychopaths etc that make decisions that are questionable based on what they think are right. Arguing that no one should make decisions based on what they think is right or wrong because of it seems rather inane to me.
1. It's easy to say some people have a "personality disorder" and thus you can throw all the rules out the window and apply a new set. I disagree with such distinction - if a human organism is functional enough to fulfill its own basic needs, there's no basis to decide who is "sane" and "stable" and who isn't. Unless of course one applies subjective opinions, saying people one can understand and feel empathy with are sane, and the rest are completely crazy.

2. I 'm not saying no one should make decisions based on incomplete information, or fuzzy, unwieldy representation of information which "right" and "wrong" is. I'm saying you shouldn't trust the conclusions from such reasoning. If someone completely unknown to me attacks my family member, I won't waste time to gather more information, but will jump to the rescue - with hope I'm doing the right thing. But when I have time to think, and a desire to write a philosophical essay, I won't employ such hacky reasoning in it.

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Originally Posted by PKFFW View Post
Well I'm sure the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi's that are now dead because Georgie boy needed to bolster his oil mates bottom line are very glad he was predictable and didn't use nukes!
I must confess I'm not into this conflict as much as many Americans, possibly because I'm from a different country, and not watching TV, and not reading newspapers. I try to read the news if they're 2 weeks old and still there
But when you write about hundreds of thousands of Iraqi's, I feel compelled to check some facts - and I'm not sure we have enough information to judge. Wikipedia says the "that the total Iraqi violent death toll due to the Iraq War since the US-led invasion is more than 1.2 million (1,220,580)" and later "the death estimate was revised to 1,033,000 with a given range of 946,000 to 1,120,000". Additionally about 4.2 million (16% of population) have become refugees "fleeing systematic persecution and have no desire to return". However, it's not clear that all those casualties are the effect of war, and it's not known how many people might have died or lost homes, due to moves of Saddam regime, had the invasion not happened. So I generally try to avoid reasoning about current events, as with time more data comes, and it's gathered by less emotionally engaged people. The whole Iraq was, and is a country of fighting clans, there were lots of casualties there before the invasion, most refugees are now afraid of attacks by their own compatriots and not by American soldiers, and I'd argue the more direct cause for the majority of Iraqi deaths in the recent years are the beliefs and ethics (to use the most descriptive word) of the Iraqi societies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PKFFW View Post
And btw, Georgie boy has gone on record and stated that the USA would use any and all means, including nuclear strikes, to protect the USA so I wouldn't be so sure that all those self interested egotists are predictable and would never launch nuclear weapons.
I'm sure he stated it - after all, words are the tools of politicians - but I doubt that George W. Bush would launch nuclear weapons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PKFFW View Post
For that matter it was one of those supposedly predictable people who made a very logical decision to drop 2 atomic weapons in the past. Based purely on the numbers of US lives that would be saved of course and had nothing whatsoever to do with wanting to see which design would work better! There was of course a logical and absolute need to drop 2, even though Japan had already sent overtures of peace.
I expect political considerations were taken into account as well, the effect of the strike on Russia, China, the need to remove all doubt whether the first attack was something else, etc. Also, like in case of Iraq, it's possible that if they didn't drop two there, they would have to drop ten later in some major conflict in China or Korea that never happened.

But on that point, you're probably right - there's no telling who might use nuclear weapons, and for what reasons. Even a very practical person might have some illogical but beautiful dream, like destruction of US, that leads this person in life.
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Old 03-16-2010, 07:58 PM   #403
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PKFFW:

Your choice to provide personal data is just that, a choice. I chose not to, for very good reasons, and you should respect my decision.
Yes it is your choice not to. I never denied that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DawnFalcon
Personal data is not statistical data. Your instance that they're the same thing shows a fairly stunning lack on your part: one which you are continuing to insist on highlighting. This is of course your own business, but I'd not want to brag about that.
Sorry to ask for proof again but please provide any quote or link to where I stated personal data is the same thing as statistical data.

I stated that I am doing the same thing you have done in the past by asking you to provide some proof or data to back up a claim you made. That such proof or data needs be personal in nature is irrelevant to the fact that my asking you to provide data is no different to you asking another to provide data. Yes the data is different in nature but the asking is the same.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DawnFalcon
Your instance on personal attacks rather than attacking any given argument I've made is getting old as well. You've managed to turn what was a lighthearted joke I had with another member of the forum into a nasty display of someone repeatedly demanding personal data from another member.
I have not once attacked you. I have merely offered for sale a bridge in Australia to anyone who believes you actually used the word "took" the first time you described the actions of those who "took" you idea and claimed credit for it.

Cheers,
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Old 03-16-2010, 08:15 PM   #404
Iphinome
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kennyc View Post
No nothing is simplistic about it, it's very clear what is wrong is what the society you live in says is wrong.
Society is often wrong every society. Slavery, segregation, sodomy laws, I'm not going to go all godwin's law here but that society was wrong too. The tyranny of the majority doesn't make them right any more than might makes right.
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Old 03-16-2010, 08:18 PM   #405
PKFFW
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krystian Galaj View Post
I can, for example, understand the "free speech" idea by checking with history how it originated, that it basically means that some government or another organisation controlling some place says that it won't oppress people for speaking freely. Then I can check how it really worked in the past, what people could do, what governments did, etc. Nowhere in that reasoning I have to state that "free speech" is a "right", or worse, an "absolute right". Such things don't exist, don't have basis in reality, but it's surely nice to hear your government telling you you have an absolute right to something by virtue of being alive.
Good commercial.
I have not mentioned anything about "rights" and "absolute rights" in regards to what one is entitled to.(for what of a better way of saying it. eg: the "right" to free speech)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krystian Galaj
......but if you try to have a logical discussion with those words, soon you notice that you can prove or disprove everything ,and you're turning in circles instead of getting conclusions everyone can agree with (possibly with reservations), or at worst, getting a conclusion that something can't be proven, disproved or solved.......
I wasn't talking about "having a logical discussion" and that is not what you stated when you said people should stop using right and wrong as the basis for making decisions.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krystian Galaj
Well, yes, as much as you consider physics and history information that I arbitrarily think are appropriate and trustworthy. Since nearly everyone who doesn't ignore those disciplines completely agreed with bulk of information in them, differing only in details, I'd say it's a best set of assumptions one can find. I don't think any of this information is "right" or "wrong", only "true" or "false". But you can say I think it's "right" to base my reasoning on this information, and no other.
I'm not questioning whether the information you base your decision making process on is right or wrong.

I'm stating that the mere fact that you believe the decision making process should be based on that information is an assertion by you that this is the "right" way to make decisions. Or the "right" information on which to base decisions.

Ergo, you begin the very decision making process itself with a determination of what you think is "right".
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krystian Galaj
2. I 'm not saying no one should make decisions based on incomplete information, or fuzzy, unwieldy representation of information which "right" and "wrong" is.
Oh, ok. I thought when you stated people should not use "right and wrong" to make decisions that is what you meant.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krystian Galaj
If someone completely unknown to me attacks my family member, I won't waste time to gather more information, but will jump to the rescue - with hope I'm doing the right thing.
Exactly, you will make a decision based on what you believe to be the "right" thing to do at the time. Which was exactly my point.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krystian Galaj
But when I have time to think, and a desire to write a philosophical essay, I won't employ such hacky reasoning in it.
Use whatever hacky reasoning you feel like. Just admit that when you made the decision you made that decision based on what you believed to be the right thing to do. And at the time the decision was made it was a perfectly acceptable way to make the decision.

Cheers,
PKFFW
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