ForumsWEPRTHE GREAT DEBATES! (Rd. 6 Results)

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Moegreche
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Moegreche
3,570 posts
Duke

Some of you may remember The Great Debates thread from years past. Some thought it was fun, and some thought it was just too heavy.

So I thought I'd bring things back, but with a twist! The basic idea is still the same: two users will debate on a topic. The difference is that you won't get to pick the topic or which side you'll be arguing for.

Oh, and I almost forgot - the topics are going to be somewhat ... silly But that doesn't mean your argument has to be silly. In fact, if you can defend your silly point in a serious way, you might just earn yourself a merit! So it's not about winners or losers, it's about whether you can argue for, well, just about anything!

RULES:

- I will provide three possible topics for debate. If you'd like to participate, then you can SIGN-UP HERE in the Art, Music, and Writing forum: click here

- Once 6 people (at least for now) have signed up for the current three topics, the signup thread will close and the debates will begin

- Assignments will be given on this thread (who will be debating for which topic and what side).
**NOTE** You are signing up to play. Which topic you get and what side you'll be arguing for will be decided randomly. So be prepared!

- You will only have 1 post in which to give your argument, so make it count! Keep in mind that your argument should stand on its own. So don't quote your opponent and just shoot down their arguments. But you should also anticipate potential objections and try to respond to them.

- Merit-earners will present well-reasoned and genuine arguments in favour of their position - even in the face of some pretty silly topics. What that means is that, if users on opposite sides each give great arguments, they would both earn merits!

- A loosely enforced time limit (which has yet to be officially established) will be in place. Once that time limit is reached, the next round will begin.

Good luck! And let the return of The Great Debates begin!

  • 224 Replies
nichodemus
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nichodemus
14,867 posts
Viceroy

I could patter on, but I didn't....hence the abrupt ending.

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There is nothing perennial about an opinion, especially one that tests solidly our personal judgments and moral systems, as well as one that will inevitably be shaped heavily by our personal experiences.

I hence feel that it is more pertinent, relevant and fair to weigh this argument based on the spirit and rationale behind it. After all, one can easily give any number of examples to prove such absolutes hilariously wrong. I feel then, that the crux of the question is twofold - Firstly, a test of one's generosity and whether one would prioritise oneself over others. Secondly, it seems to me that another sentiment behind this question is a test of one's self-control and adaptability; Whether we can endure our own disappointment and bounce back after failing to get what we want, or dissolve into footstamping and pouting. There are probably a greater number of reasons behind the questions, but these are the two that spring to my mind immediately.

So, onto the first point, which is broadly speaking, the case whereby our wants would be mutually exclusive from those of others and hence incompatible - My desire to switch on the football means my friend cannot watch her serial dramas. There can be of course, degrees of compromise, but I will assume that the question at hand indicates that our wants are absolute, it's all or nothing, in order to make the argument simpler and more focused. Flexibility of opinion is the key for me at hand, because I abhor the idea of absolutes. It is important to attain one's wants, because the pursuit of one's own happiness is as some would argue, the main motivation in life. What is life but a wretched span of years without a taste of happiness from time to time? The belief that unhappiness as a result of giving in is admirably noble, and that happiness is selfish is misguided and misleading. One should always strive to be altruistic, but not to the point that one becomes dark and brooding, forever with a chip on the shoulder. Yet, it is equally erroneous to constantly put forth one's own wants before others, especially when such actions would lead to drastic consequences on the happiness of others. It is a delicate balance. But with sufficient experience and judgment, one can properly think and choose correctly when to prioritise oneself over others. It is unkind to not give up one's seat for an expectant woman just because one is tired, but it is equally stupid, painful, and ultimately frustrating to not splurge on that fashionable watch just because you're constantly trying to pamper your significant other with rich gifts.

The other category worth discussing is that when your wants are not realised through a failure on one's part. Do we have the will to carry on striving? Or will we withdraw and not sally forth again? I feel that these qualities - an indomitable will, and a goal driven soul should be the things one places an emphasis on, and that the question is not whether it is always good to get what one wants. After all, it is surely heartening to see that one achieves good grades after hitting the books. Yet for others who have encountered failure in their studies a dozen times despite the effort, surely it would be too cruel to deny them yet another round of success? Clearly, we can see that for both kinds of students, the flip side of the coin to the argument would apply. In the end, for me, it boils down to whether one can make the point to put in the effort, and to carry on even after bumping into initial failure. It is not the end goal of getting our desires that should be in contention, but what goes into the endeavor.

Ultimately for me, absolutes should be taken with a pinch of salt - one should not rigidly adhere to a principle that one's own wants rule supreme, nor should one relegate one's wants to a second tier of importance. It is only through mature balancing can we ultimately achieve happiness and satisfaction.

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Funnily, I just realised that after spending a while arguing against absolutes, it seems that my final stand should be that it is never always good to get what you want. Hmmm. Bleargh at the "always" in there.

RedN
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RedN
142 posts
Archduke

Pursuing happiness may lead to happiness,and if it does,it will avoid unhappiness,because happiness and unhappiness are opposites,we cannot be both happy and unhappy at once,on the other hand,if it does not lead to happiness,then it will not result obviously in unhappiness.

By avoiding unhappiness,you'll have much lower chances of facing it,but you will also have a low chance of getting happy,if by avoiding unhappiness you don't get unhappy,then you would have done nothing to get happy,so,chances for you to get happy while trying to avoid unhappiness are low.

@Moegreche Thanks for the guidance,is it better than the first one?I really don't know what I should add/remove

Omegap12
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Omegap12
1,982 posts
Farmer

Alright, im calling for a re-do!

So if an object is stripped of all scientific properties (for a rock, smoothness, roughness, etc.) is there an underlying substance under that??

Lets use a rock as an example. So lets the the rock im talking about is rough, bumpy, square-shaped, and dirty. If someone was to take away all the properties of this rock i just described, there would be (warning: THIS WILL SOUND CORNY!) the spirit, or what makes the rock, well, a rock. So there may not be anything visible left of the rock, if all properties were stripped of it, but there would still be some sort of substance, if it would be the spirit, some sort of rock DNA, or anything that Mother Nature (or God) used to classify the rock as a rock.

So to answer the question, yes. There is an underlying substance of an object if all properties were stripped from it.

R2D21999
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R2D21999
18,314 posts
Templar

Knowledge is more valuable than mere true belief. (Pick whichever side you like.)


Knowledge is more valuable than some belief in something. It's best to know if something is real not believe it is. It's like Santa Claus, remember when you were a child and you just believed in Santa Claus? Then your parents just tell you in some way that Santa Claus isn't real? It broke your little child heart. That's why it's best for children to KNOW Santa Claus isn't real before hand, that's why it's best to KNOW instead of BELIEVING.

Let me give a better example, it's best to know guns kill people, not to believe guns kill people. If I believe, I may just test it out on someone, and that's not something neither the shooter or the one that is shot wants to go through.

So that's why knowledge is more valuable than belief, people wind up getting hurt with belief.
Kennethhartanto
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Kennethhartanto
241 posts
Treasurer

Hmmmm, I'm really sorry i fail to notice this yesterday. Actually, i am on the same position as Mino, i even agreed with him on all points of his posts earlier but let me try to do the opposite.....

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Before I start arguing that killing one person to save 5 IS morally permissible, we need to dig what morally permissible definition is, right? so then, after reading This, i came across the definition of morality itself which is:

Morality (from the Latin moralitas "manner, character, proper behavior&quot is the differentiation of intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are "good" (or right) and those that are "bad" (or wrong)

"Permissible" means "allowed, justifiable" in KBBI ( kamus besar bahasa indonesia, or the great Indonesian language dictionary ) for an equivalent verb of the indonesian language: Diizinkan. so, lump these two together and you have the literal definition of "Morally permissible", which is " the differentiation of allowable or justifiable intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are justifiable and those that isn't".

After defining what the definition of morally permissible is, let's work our way to arguing whether killing 1 person to save 5 person is morally permissible or not. first off, i will argue WHY would in any case you need to kill 1 to save 5.It is because there are situations, situations when you're betting someone's life where you need to make quick decisions to save more lives at a cost of a view, some jobs literally done this on a daily basis. examples include firefighters and police. let's take the police job, and present someone working in that field to, for instance a gunman holding hostages. if you were in their shoes, you would in the first try to negotiate. but if it fails, you would be forced to subdue or even kill the gunman to save the hostages, because in that situation there would be only two options to save the hostages, which is subduing him or negotiating with him for a surrender.

Now the second problem, is that action ( the second one ) morally permissible? Well, it is. our morality and ethics since it's inception is mostly to control the "targets" ( a.k.a us/the ones holding that morality to be valid) action and decision and also gives an appropriate sanction and penalties to the ones breaking it. in this case, the ones breaking the morality ( the gunman ) has to be given a penalty because of what he did. that penalty can include from minor fining to death by bullets or punches in some countries. because this penalty comes from the ones enforcing it, then the penalty itself would be justifiable by morality or i would term it "morally permissible".

That is the case when the one person we are about to kill to save the other person ( let's say 5 hostages) are the ones that can kill them or end their lives ( the other 5 hostages) . but what if the one person is just an innocent bystander? this can be explained by the Trolley problem. Suppose this is the case:

Suppose that a judge or magistrate is faced with rioters demanding that a culprit be found guilty for a certain crime and threatening otherwise to take their own bloody revenge on a particular section of the community. The real culprit being unknown, the judge sees himself as able to prevent the bloodshed only by framing some innocent person and having him executed.

In this case should the judge prevent the bloodshed and kill an innocent person, or do nothing to save the one person but letting the bloodshed happens? Well, first off let's see what wiki has to say about this. this is the pro-kill-the-one-innocent-bystander-to-save-the-more-people

According to simple utilitarianism, such a decision would be not only permissible, but, morally speaking, the better option (the other option being no action at all).[6] An alternate viewpoint is that since moral wrongs are already in place in the situation, moving to another track constitutes a participation in the moral wrong, making one partially responsible for the death when otherwise no one would be responsible.

I agree more with this, because how i see it is since the past "heroism" is morally encouraged to be "true". wouldn't your actions be more justified by the actions of saving 5 persons rather than 1 person? this is assuming that all lives are equal in value. also, if you did not do anything, then you would negligently sacrifice more people. this would arguably put you in a much more "moral debt" to 5 families, rather than just one in the case when you sacrifice the innocent bystander. Therefore, i will state that killing one to save many is morally justifiable or permissible, it is even encouraged to do so.

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glad that's over. so then, what do you think Moe? any leaks?

R2D21999
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R2D21999
18,314 posts
Templar

Knowledge is more valuable than some belief in something.


I just realized the first sentence made no sense at all. SO let me retype that whole thing.

Knowledge is more valuable than belief because it's best to know if something is true, not to believe it's true. It's like Santa Claus, remember when you were a child and you just believed in Santa Claus? Then your parents told you in some way or form that Santa Claus isn't real? It broke your little child heart. That's why it's best for children to KNOW Santa Claus isn't real before hand, that's why it's best to KNOW instead of BELIEVING.

Let me give a better example, it's best to know guns kill people, not to believe guns kill people. If I believe it does or doesn't, I may just test it out on someone, and that's not something neither the shooter or the one that is shot wants to go through.

So that's why knowledge is more valuable than belief, people wind up getting hurt with belief.
Reton8
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Reton8
3,110 posts
King

Knowledge is/isn't more valuable than mere true belief.


First a definition of knowledge. Knowledge, defined by Plato is
a justified true belief. A justified true belief is something that is
true, justified, and believed (source).

An example of a justified true belief given here from Wikipedia:

... a subject S knows that a proposition P is true if and only if:

P is true
S believes that P is true, and
S is justified in believing that P is true


(source)

However, the term knowledge can be defined even more narrowly. Here in lies the Gettier Problem, which basically states that one may hold a justified true belief, in which there is a belief is true and the proposition is true, but the justification for believing the proposition is true is faulty (source).
Therefore one may hold a justified true belief, but this justified true belief does not count as knowledge. (This type of falsely justified true belief may be considered a mere true belief).

Suppose I think that my friend will be late to work today because I knew he was out late last night. I find out today that my friend was indeed late for work. I now hold a justified true belief. My friend was late (P is true), I believed my friend would be late (S believes that P is true), and I had a justification for believing that my friend would be late (I believed he would be late because he was out late last night). However, my justification is faulty, my friend was actually late to work, not because he was out late the night before, but because he was stuck in traffic on the commute to work. I have a justified true belief, but it is not knowledge due to my faulty justification.

Therefore the definition for knowledge can be defined as:
a proposition that is true, believed by a person, and is correctly justified.

A mere true belief occurs when a person has no justification for believing a proposition or the justification is false.

____________________________________________________________

Knowledge is/isn't more valuable than mere true belief.


I state that:
Knowledge is not more valuable than a mere true belief.

First, I hold that there is a temporal order in the process of obtaining knowledge that holds true for almost all cases.

Second, I hold that knowledge must be handed down as mere true beliefs. Those who learn a piece of knowledge learn it as a mere true belief first. The learners must themselves form and verify their own justifications in order to have knowledge, as a true justification is a required criterion for knowledge.

This is how I propose the temporal order of knowledge acquisition:
1.) Subject S must be aware of a proposition P.
2.) Subject S must believe in proposition P. (This step may occur after 3, 4, or 5 depending on when subject S decides to hold the belief)
3.) Subject S must form a justification for belief in proposition P.
4.) Subject S must test or verify the formed justification for belief in proposition P.
5.) If the formed justification for belief in proposition P holds true after verification or testing and subject S still believes in proposition P then subject S now has obtained knowledge (knowledge P).

Take, for example, Isaac Newton who developed the laws of universal gravitation. For this example it can be said that no one else, ever living at any point up to Newton, had been able to prove the laws of universal gravitation. Before Newton was able to justify and test the justification for the laws of universal gravitation, he must have first had to have had a belief in universal gravitation. Also, because Newton was correct about the laws of universal gravitation, Newton held a mere true belief about the laws of universal gravitation before he held knowledge about them.

Another example could be a student being lectured in a science classroom. The student at hand will readily believe anything the teacher tells them when the teacher is lecturing about the subject material.
The teacher writes the equation for Dalton's law of partial pressures on the board, but does not explain why the equation hold true. The student now has a mere true belief in Dalton's law of partial pressures, but not knowledge. It is not until later into the lecture, when the teacher explains why Dalton's law of partial pressures holds true (or gives the criteria for when they hold true) and the student tests Dalton's law of partial pressures (perhaps with equations or during a lab) that the student holds knowledge of Dalton's law of partial pressures. (As this is the point at which the student now has a correct justification for holding the belief in Dalton's law of partial pressures).

Therefore, mere true beliefs are valuable as they bring forth knowledge. Mere true beliefs are a required stepping stone on the path to knowledge.

____________________________________________________________

Again, knowledge is not more valuable than a mere true belief for the reason that knowledge is not as time efficient as mere true belief.

Knowledge requires a correct justification whilst mere true belief does not, therefore a mere true belief is more time efficient than knowledge.

For instance, person B holds a mere true belief that water is a healthy drink. This person B has no justification for drinking water to stay healthy. Person B has only been told that water is healthy.
In order for Person B to have a correct justification of water being healthy for one to drink, person B would have to learn about human biological systems and test the effects of drinking water and the human body in order to have a correct justification and knowledge that drinking water is healthy. It seems that it would be more time efficient for person B to keep the mere true belief instead of questing for the knowledge.

A person has a mere true belief that his car is safe to drive to work. If this person stops to form a correct justification for this mere true belief they will be late for work. It is better to just hold the mere true belief than to go to be late to work with the knowledge of a safe car.

Another example, person B is told that not clocking out for lunch, at work, is a bad idea. Person B believes this, although person B is unaware that those who do not clock out for lunch will eventually get caught and reprimanded or fired (as punch in and punch out times are closely monitored). Thus, person B holds a mere true belief as he has no justification. Now person B could test not clocking out for lunch himself to form a correct justification for believing that not clocking out for work is a bad idea, but this would lead to negative consequences. Person B could ask around the office about not clocking out for lunch to form a correct justification, but this could look suspicious. Person B could also do research about the company policy online to form a correct justification. This may not have a negative consequence, yet it still takes time.

Knowledge is not more valuable than a mere true belief because knowledge is not time efficient.

___________________________________________________________

Lastly, a mere true belief must be true. A mere true belief must be true as this is integral to the definition and criteria for what actually is a mere true belief. The following can also be said, if a mere true belief were false, it would simply just be a belief.

The assignment at hand does contain "if knowledge is more valuable than belief", but contains "if knowledge is more valuable than a mere true belief". For this reason, given the current set of circumstances for the assignment
(Knowledge is/isn't more valuable than mere true belief), I can safely assume that for any example or hypothesis I give here, the hypothetical person's involved will hold a mere true believe that is correctly true. This should reinforce that a mere true belief is more time efficient to have than knowledge. The final arrival at the mere true belief will be equally correct as the the final arrival at knowledge, although the means for arriving at the belief are faulty.

____________________________________________________________

In conclusion, this my stance, knowledge is not more valuable than a mere true belief. Mere true beliefs bring forth knowledge, thus making mere true beliefs at least equally as valuable as knowledge. The final product of a mere true belief is as correct as the final product of knowledge. Also, mere true beliefs are less time consuming in acquiring than knowledge, thus
making mere true beliefs valuable in that they are time efficient. Knowledge is not more valuable than a mere true belief.
KentyBK
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KentyBK
567 posts
Peasant

First up, some definitions. I'll be using the following Merriam-Webster definitions for both understanding and knowledge, because they illustrate my point most clearly:

2 a : the power of comprehending; especially : the capacity to apprehend general relations of particulars
b : the power to make experience intelligible by applying concepts and categories

4 a : the sum of what is known : the body of truth, information, and principles acquired by humankind

__________________

Understanding is more valuable than knowledge.

My main argument for why understanding is more valuable than Knowledge lies in the relation between the two concepts. I believe that understanding builds upon existing knowledge and because of this, it is always preferable to have understanding of a subject, rather than the mere knowledge of the subject (or even knowledge about certain aspects of it).

Of course, having knowledge is still important. After all, you cannot even begin to understand things if you don't first build up some degree of knowledge. However, that knowledge is merely the theoretical background. In order to truly gain an understanding of something, you have to be able to actually use this background.

Suppose we have two students taking an oral exam. Both of them studied their material, but only one of them truly understands the subject. If the professor asks them about specific definitions, both of them would be able to give the correct answer, because of their preparation. However, if they have to explain certain aspects on their own or apply those aspects to a given problem, the student that understands his topic is going to have an easier time, because he knows how the various bits of knowledge he has relate to each other.

Another intuitive example is language itself. Many people could, when given a text or speech sample in a foreign language, identify the language with some degree of accuracy. We know what certain languages look and sound like. However, not nearly as many people understand those languages. Understanding a language means more than knowing all the words in that language. It also means being able to form coherent sentences and applying grammar rules.

In fact, we can find many examples where this correlation between understanding and knowledge is true. Learning any sort of skill ultimately requires you to get an understanding in order to actually use it. The four stages of competence, a psychological learning model, illustrates this well. If we apply our definitions to it, the first stage, unconscious incompetence, describes an absense of knowledge. Once a person has gained some knowledge, he would reach the second stage, conscious incompetence. However, at this stage the individual is still unable to apply his knowledge. The third and forth stages, conscious and unconscious competence, describe what we can call understanding, because the person is able to demonstrate the newly learned skill at will.

In conclusion, we can see that understand is very important in order to actually make use of the knowledge we have gained. Only with the application of knowledge can new knowledge be discovered, which is why understanding is more valuable than knowledge.

Moegreche
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Moegreche
3,570 posts
Duke

My forthcoming post is a review of you guys' argument. Some of you I have already responded to, but if I've missed you and you'd like to hear my thoughts, please let me know.
And you can also feel free to discuss anything further with me on my profile. Heck, lots of these questions are interesting enough (in my opinion) to be threads of their own!
On the whole, I'm really impressed with everyone. I'll only be handing out a handful of quests this time around - not because people don't deserve them but because I want people to keep coming back and help keep this thread alive.
Most of you, though, will be earning merits, which I'll be awarding later (probably tomorrow - I have a very busy day today).

Thanks for playing guys, and keep your eyes peeled for Round 3 coming soon!

Moegreche
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Moegreche
3,570 posts
Duke

@MattEmAngel - I actually had a completely different sort of question in mind - one dealing with radical scepticism in general. But you did manage to argue for a position that you (and I) completely disagree with and is entirely incoherent. So well done! I especially like the objection to your view that you looked at, and I think you avoided the charge of the position being self-defeating quite nicely.

@Minotaur55 - You've done a really nice job presenting a very unique sort of argument to the table. I especially like that you've looked at several different approaches to the problem. Here's one thing to think about: when considering philosophical thought experiments, you're sort of restricted to the confines of the thought experiment. So challenging it on the grounds that you only have the possibility to save someone changes the thought experiment. It may seem silly, but keeping to the nature of the thought experiment is what draws out what sort of position you're holding.

@nichodemus - Your writing is very unique. It has a beautiful feel to it and actually feels nice reading aloud. But as an argument, it is incredibly difficult to follow. It wasn't until the last little bit that I knew what you were actually arguing for. I read it a few times after that and it was still really difficult to piece together an argument from what's going on. I know that you're ridiculously smart, so get your own voice in there. I like to write how I teach - I want my argument clear and up front to my audience and then explain things really thoroughly to them.

@TheRed555 - That's a really nice revision of your original argument and you've done well taking in my previous comments. Your prose is a bit difficult to follow, but I imagine that's just a language barrier. A better argument would be a bit more thorough, but I'm impressed with your effort!

@omegap12 - This is a nice revision, and your view isn't crazy at all! In fact, this is what Plato (and probably Socrates) thought about objects. After all, things like 'whiteness' or 'roundness' appear in multiple places at once. But individual snowballs, while partaking in 'whiteness' and 'roundness', can only appear at one place at one time. So clearly these two things must be different (or so they thought). It would help to spell out your argument a bit more and look at some possible objections. But the core is there.

@Kennethhartanto - This is a beautifully researched and presented argument and I'm deeply impressed with the work you've put in. Your look at the Trolley Problem and various cases also shows your thoroughness. One thing that sticks out, though, is that it reads more like an opinion piece than an argument. You mentioned utiliarianism, for example, and stated that you agree with it. That's fine to do, but make some moves to motivate it. Show how it gets the cases right or matches with our intuitions. But also look at some objections to the view, as there are many for utilitarianism! Overall, this is still a very impressive job!

@R2D21999 - I didn't consider how challenging this question is. Notice, though, that you're comparing knowledge to false belief, which isn't quite the question. So the position you're arguing for is definitely correct, but seemingly trivially so. What I really do like is the move you make that suggests that knowledge can be action-guiding in a way that belief may not be. This is a super interesting point and one that I'm a big fan of.

@Reton8 - This is the most thorough argument I've seen so far. You've approached the problem from a number of different directions, used some nice examples, and cut off some potential objections. The Gettier stuff ended up not doing much work for you. From a technical point of view, Gettier cases are justified true beliefs, so they are 'higher up on the spectrum' than mere true belief. Your view of knowledge overall, however, is really interesting. It's also really demanding. Most people (well, most epistemologists) take it that we can obtain knowledge directly via testimony. The stories differ on what is conferring the knowledge (whether it's the speaker's epistemic status or the testimony itself) and the standards can shift around. But I've not seen a position on knowledge that's as demanding as yours. On your account, knowledge is really hard to get! Nonetheless, this is completely consistent with your conclusion. Maybe knowledge has more value as an achievement (since it is so hard to get) but mere true belief outweighs knowledge in terms of practical value. Makes sense to me. Well done!

@KentyBK - A man after my heart! I vehemently agree with everything you've said (it also meshes very well with what I've published on understanding). So the basic thought is that knowledge does have value, but it is only instrumental value relative to understanding. Without the understanding, our knowledge can't do much work for us. The examples you gave work really well to demonstrate your point, and I really love the line you take with respect to the 4 stages of competence. Everything here just comes together really, really well. One objection you could have looked at is whether understanding is just a species of knowledge. But even that objection doesn't really challenge your position on value. So really nice work!

Moegreche
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Moegreche
3,570 posts
Duke

Speaking of which, you totally did that on purpose. You were watching the BRF argument, and how consistent I was in arguing against him, and thought it would be hilarious to make me argue the exact opposite.


As I explained in the response to you, the question you had wasn't on purpose. I had a completely different question in mind. Also, the assignments to the questions were random. I wouldn't purposefully make this more challenging than it already is, and I wouldn't have someone argue for a position that I find completely ridiculous. This, to me, would be like asking someone to argue that penguins can, in fact, fly. But your assumption that I am somehow petty or vindictive has been duly noted.
Minotaur55
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Minotaur55
1,380 posts
Jester

So challenging it on the grounds that you only have the possibility to save someone changes the thought experiment.

That's understood, but in the general basis of logic you're only given the possibility to save those people. There is no reassurance that I will save them, or any physics behind the case scenario that ensures I will succeed in saving those five people after the one has been slain. The wording of the sentence even states that my failure is not taken into consideration.

It is *never* morally permissible to kill 1 person in order to save 5.

In order to is the key phrase in that sentence. In order to, according to the dictionary sources I have looked at, means " For the purpose of". Purpose is the reason behind the action but does not include the successful result of an action. If the sentence were, for example, "It is *never* morally permissible to kill 1 person to inevitably save 5." it would be a different case. My argument included the physics behind that situation, which is only the possibility to save someone.

Moegreche
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Moegreche
3,570 posts
Duke

Oh, I see what you mean, Mino. If I do X in order to achieve Y, something might still go wrong in the process. This was actually an exam question I had last term. Maybe I should have worded it differently!

RedN
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RedN
142 posts
Archduke

Anybody can pursue happiness,for example,if you want to get happy,you could go on a trip out with your friends,visit another city,go to the beach,go practice your favourite sport etc.,however,because unhappiness is unpredictable,you cannot avoid all kinds of it,it comes all of a sudden,and sad events happen anywhere,for example,your brother could get a fine for driving at high speed,or your child could get a bad mark at an exam,making you sad and unhappy,you cannot really predict or avoid such events,that's why it's better to do your best to be happy,thus,pursuing happiness is more valuable than avoiding unhappiness.

@Moegreche Again,thanks for pointing me to the right direction,I think that I have another argument,this is not a revision of my previous work.

KentyBK
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KentyBK
567 posts
Peasant

One objection you could have looked at is whether understanding is just a species of knowledge.


As a matter of fact, I was considering that idea. Something along the lines of "Understanding is the knowledge of how to apply previous knowledge". But I couldn't quite include it into my argument without sounding contradictory. It's an interesting change of perspective though.
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