Saturday, August 11, 2018

A Quality of Mercy


    Should euthanasia be legal? Why or why not?
   Euthanasia should be legal. A person of sound mind should be able to mercifully end his own life if he chooses to do so. Ending one's life should certainly be an option for those suffering towards the end with horrible, terminal illnesses. It makes no sense will will offer our pets a peaceful exit, but not our loved ones.
       I refer only to a fulfillment of a person's wishes here. I do not support the idea of euthanize a person against their wishes or refusing to treat a person who has reached a certain age or health condition. I place the weight of my support for euthanasia on individual freedom to choose one's fate. Forcing someone to be euthanize is the complete opposite of my rationale. So id abortion, if you are curious as to how I feel about it.
    It is worth clarifying I only speak here of legality. While the option of euthanasia should be available, I am not saying euthanasia is a moral action. Anyone who chooses to end his own life will face whatever eternal consequences come from such an action. I condone having the choice, but I with hold offering it my moral seal of approval.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Geopolitical Good Guys


    Is it just and right to deny entry into a country even if it means certain death for the person and their family?
     Yes. A country should be able to maintain its borders as it sees fit. By letting in a person who may be threatened in his home country, the act would be considered taking sides in a conflict we mat not fully understand or have any interest in taking part in. This is a harsh reality of national sovereignty and international relations.
     If a country does decide to offer asylum to a person and his family whose lives are threatened, I applaud them. The country has done a good thing. But the country was not morally obligated to do the good deed.

Careful About Those Unrealistic Goals

     You can waste a lot of time and effort for nothing.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Earth First. We Will Take the Other Planets Later.


   Should we terraform other planets even if it means destroying microscopic alien life?
     Yes.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

The Definition of Evil


     What is your definition of evil?
     Profound immorality, wickedness, or depravity. I often measure evil by how cruelly its effects are on other people.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Big Tech and Legacy Media Combine to Ban Infowars


     Alex Jones' Infowars was banned by four separate Big Tech entities within a twelve hour period yesterday. YouTube, Facebook, Apple, and Spotify sought to remove all traces of Jones' conservative, often conspiratorial content. While unfounded collusion accusations are all the rage among the left, they are deafeningly silent when it comes to demonstrable collusion by Big Tech. At least at this early point. If the situation changes, I will give credit where credit is due.
     Allow me to preface the rest of my comments with my thoughts on Infowars. I am not a fan of Alex Jones. He believes 9/11 was an inside job, Sandy hook was a false flag event, and something about frogs being turned gay that I do not even want to think about. He has been inflammatory in the past, but nothing to to the point of inciting violence as someone like Maxine waters has. I am not interested in Infowars' content. Nor do I think there is much value in it. But there is a general principle involved for which there is much value.
     All four of those Big Tech companies mentioned above are private entities that can choose to host whatever content they deem appropriate, this is not a First Amendment issue. It is a First Amendment issue in spirit, as the four companies host the presentation of various opinions which may be unpopular and/or offensive. So perhaps these companies should be more inclined to honor free speech even if they are not obligated to do so because of the content they are hosting and from which they are earning revenue. This does not appear to be the case.
    What is the case is an attempt by legacy media to silence new media through its ties with Big Tech. Infowars had 2.5 million subscribers and far more views on YouTube than did CNN. There are many more people than ever before going to alternate news sources for content. Legacy media is losing their ability to influence the public because of the competition. New media must be silenced!
     Infowars is only the beginning. Big Tech is testing the waters by removing a controversial outlet to see how the public will react. If there is an outcry, Infowars will return with an apology Big tech acted in haste. If there is no outcry—and there is not one at this moment—Big Tech will move on to other targets.
    Yours and my social media accounts may the ax eventually. I am small potatoes and I have seen some odd happenings going on with my follows and followers. Recall PewdePie was a streaming gamer before The Washington Post, who still has fewer YouTube follows than him, wrote a character assassination piece on him that lead to the demonetization issues users still face now. It does not matter how big they are or how tiny you are. They will go after you in order to keep their tenuous grip on the public's attention. Big Tech and legacy media's re-assertion of power is likely inevitable, but it needs to be said anyway to not just let it quietly happen.

Fear and Loathing


  What is the most fertile soil for hatred? Is it possible some people are genetically predisposed to hatred?
     Fear. People hate things that scare them. Ignorance often plays a part. People can fear and hate things we do not understand. But there are a lot of times we hate something because we do understand it. So fear is a better answer.
     Are some people genetically predisposed to hatred? People are tribal, so they tend to group together with similar people. A consequence of grouping with similar people is a fear and distrust of the dissimilar, so there probably is a predisposition towards hatred.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Aim to Misbehave


     Does anonymity on the internet compel people to misbehave or does it reveal how people would act if they could get away with it?
     Both. Anonymity allows people to do what they would like to do normally, but are afraid of the consequences. That said, there are also many people acting out a fantasy of being someone online they could never be in their everyday lives. These individual's online activities do not necessarily reflect how they would like to act if there were no consequences but more escapism for the real world. In this sense, anonymity is more a protection from embarrassment than an aim to misbehave.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Bad Samaritan


     Is a person morally obligated to save anther’s life if he is able?
     It certainly is moral to save another person's life if you are able, but that does not mean it is immoral to not save a person's life. It depends largely on your relationship with the endangered person, whether you definitely have what it takes to save them, and the risks to yourself. All that said, most people will probably assure you there is nothing you could have done. Good Samaritans are a rarity, and sometimes they make things worse.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

The Question of Civil Disobedience


     If you can save another person's life, but don't because taking the action would break the law, is your decision ethical?
   Yes. If taking the action is generally known to be illegal, it would be considered ethical for you not to break the law regardless of someone being killed. Of course, this depends on the law. If littering is all it would take to save someone's life, then you would be condemned for not committing the crime. As a more uncomfortable example, the average citizen in Nazi occupied countries is not condemned for not hiding Jews to escape the Holocaust because of the consequences those who hid Jews would have suffered. Looking back, some may judge out of the idea they would have saved Jews in spite of the risk, The vast majority would find a way to rationalize not taking action.
     There will always be those engaging in civil disobedience in the name of following a higher principle. Whether those actions are ethical depends on how much you value the higher principles being upheld.

Why is the Rum Gone?

     Captain Cat Sparrow.

Friday, August 3, 2018

The End of the Innocence


     If babies are considered innocent, when do people cease to be considered innocent?
         It is not exactly a set time. When people can discern right from wrong and deliberately make the choice to do wrong, they lose their innocence. This is true the vast majority of the time. With all sorts of causes for diminished capacity for understanding the distinction between good and evil, the question must be decided on a case by case basis.
       In another sense, we all lose our innocence when idealism is inevitably replaced by realism. There is no definite point in life when this occurs, either. It hits some people harder than others.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Pre-emptive Strike


     If scientists could accurately predict who was most predisposed to commit crime, what should society do with the information?
     There is some ambiguity in the question prompting two different answers depending on the question's intent. Is the question asking if scientists could identify genetic traits that would make one more likely to commit crime or is it asking if scientists can identify external, societal factors that would make it more likely one would be more likely to commit crimes? The only thing to do is answer as if both are the case.
  As for whether scientists could predetermine criminal tendencies genetically, the idea of eugenics makes me uneasy. Add in the idea of thought police assuming someone's mind is dangerous and taking some action beforehand is guilty with bothering to about proving innocence. I definitely do not go for that. If some people are genetically predisposed to be criminals, they will still need to commit a crime in order to be a criminal.
If the question means scientists can predict external, societal factors that make a person more likely to commit crimes, then society should take reasonable steps to either ease those factors if possible or offer ways to help at risk people cope with those factors.
    The bottom line is I do not advocate condemning people beforehand. Everyone ought to get a chance before proving they are a danger to others.

Social Media Dumb-ination


     I mentioned yesterday blogging as it was around 2005 or so has gone nearly extinct in favor of the micro-blogging provided by social media like facebook and Twitter. I am guilty—if that is the right word—myself of spending more time waxing poetic on social media rather than writing more in depth blog entries on the same subjects. There was a time when I focused almost exclusively on the latter.
     Social media has hit a crossroads of late. While Facebook and twitter played a huge part in the 2016 election and the victory of Donald trump, the powers that be have been clamping down since. I do beer care to get into the more conspiratorial theories about conservatives being censored and banned, but I can speak of my own experiences with friends suspended over alleged “hate speech” within guidelines so loose any SJW worth his salt could find offense and 250 followers declared bots in one night before twitter realized its mistake mislabeling around 230 and restating them. Both Twitter and Facebook have paid the price recently for their shenanigans with plummeting stock value. So maybe social media's high point is now in the past.
     What I have found difficult about social media is getting my point across. It is not easy to be clear in 290 characters. I am misinterpreted all the time. The problem is two-fold. One, my sense of humor is cynical bordering on nihilistic. My philosophy of humor is not for everyone, particularly if one is not open to accepting the shades of gray in morality in practice versus the black and white of morality in theory. . Two, there is no room for nuance in short bursts. Readers can only take what I give and run with it. These two problems ought compel me to return to more comprehensive blogging.
     But you know the real motivation? Facebook has eliminated the ability to connect to Twitter. My tweets no longer automatically publish as Facebook status updates. If I want my tweets to show up on Facebook, I now must cut and paste. The added inconvenience forces me to be more discerning about what tweets I transfer. The reality is my Twitter followers and Facebook friends are two distinct groups. One size does not fit all. Oddly enough, I suddenly feel like my commentary ought to be in a central place now and shared as I deem appropriate. This arrangement is exactly like the old days of blogging. Maybe I am finally coming full circle. Or maybe social media is dying the same as blogging and I will soon be completely out of luck. We shall see.