Four philosophical questions to make your brain hurt

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by cosmokanga2, Nov 20, 2008.

  1. cosmokanga2 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2008
    Canada, where we live in igloos.
    Thought it interesting.
    Full article and more at BBC
  2. nanvinnie macrumors regular

    Feb 23, 2007
  3. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
  4. themoonisdown09 macrumors 601


    Nov 19, 2007
    Georgia, USA
    I say kill Bill. What has he done for the community?
  5. That-Is-Bull macrumors 6502


    Sep 29, 2007
    Edmond, Oklahoma
    Holy facks. This is exactly what I've been thinking about lately, and I was actually going to make a thread about it today. Everything that happens, including everything that we think, is a result of something else. There's no such thing as free will, every thought we have branches off of something else that has happened. So, if we knew everything about the big bang, and all the laws of the universe, could we run a simulation of the big bang on a computer, and tell the future? Assuming it's possible to create a computer that powerful.

    Damn BBC, that was my idea :(

    The other questions sucked though.
  6. atszyman macrumors 68020


    Sep 16, 2003
    The Dallas 'burbs
    I thought it was impossible to know both the position and velocity of a particle?

    That's why I always make sure I have a GPS in every car I drive.

    Officer: Do you know how fast you were going?
    Me : No, but I know exactly where I was.
  7. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
  8. Iscariot macrumors 68030


    Aug 16, 2007
    If the kidnapper allows you to shoot one hostage dead, what's to stop you from turning the gun on him instead? Once he's dead, we give his organs to the five sick people, and then you can use the gun, a wad of human hair and a straw to "jimmy" power steering fluid into the brake line for the tram (a la MacGyver) thus saving the day.
  9. 3rdpath macrumors 68000


    Jan 7, 2002
    2nd star on the right and straight till morning
    Their findings challenge conventional notions of choice.

    actually, i think these findings challenge the common definition of conscious and unconscious decision making. it's not a new line of thinking...just one that's not readily accepted.

    the bhagavad gita:

    "the man who has seen the truth thinks " i am not the doer" at all times-when he sees, hears, touches, when he smells, eats, walks, sleeps, breathes.
  10. Macaddicttt macrumors 6502a


    Apr 22, 2004
    San Diego, CA
    I think that line of thinking made sense up until the discovery of quantum physics and uncertainty. We find that electrons are spinning in both directions at the same time until we observe them. Then their spin is fixed in one direction. Perhaps making decisions is a type of "observation" that fixes an electron going through our brain to one particular decision when others were equally valid.
  11. leekohler macrumors G5


    Dec 22, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    OMG- quantum physics. Don't me started. That stuff is so fascinating! I wish I were better at math- I'd be locked away in some University lab somewhere getting into it.
  12. atszyman macrumors 68020


    Sep 16, 2003
    The Dallas 'burbs
    In the hostage and train examples, absent any other information you're dealing with a person who's insane enough to force you to choose between taking the life of one or taking the life of many. Who's to say he's telling the truth?

    How do you know that the current path of the train isn't the one that only has one, and he's trying to make you throw the switch to kill 4?

    With the organs, there may very well be a compromise. A person can live fine with one kidney so if one of the dying people can be saved with a kidney, it can be done without killing the donor, there may be other options available making it possible to save one or more of the terminal patients without killing the donor, and as long as the donor is conscious it's up to the donor or his/her custodians whether or not they want to donate their organs to save the lives of many.
  13. chrmjenkins macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2007
    Since when did we start calling God Fred? :p
  14. skunk macrumors G4


    Jun 29, 2002
    Republic of Ukistan
    There is will, but it is not necessarily free. There are sequences of events, but they are not necessarily predetermined. There is value in life, but it is not necessarily quantifiable. All these designer quandaries are based on lazy supposition and cliché masquerading as truism. Many, if not most of us are driven by force of habit and prejudice in our smallest as in our largest decisions, whether we recognise it or not.
  15. Counterfit macrumors G3


    Aug 20, 2003
    sitting on your shoulder
    Since when did vehicles on rails have power steering? :p

Share This Page