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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » How to kill a child and get away with it (Page 6)

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Author Topic: How to kill a child and get away with it
Dan_Frank
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Dobbie's statement was ironic (and pretty clearly a joke) because in making the statement s/he was inherently failing to live up to it.

It was a generalization of other races, followed by a statement that s/he never generalizes races and only judges people on an individual basis.

This added to the fact that it was Dobbie making the post and I'm a bit surprised people didn't get it!

So, anyway, I've explained and therefore ruined the joke. Hope you're happy. [Smile]

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Scott R
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quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:
Timeline of the Trayvon Martin shooting.

Just didn't want this post to get lost-- it refutes and clarifies a couple things stated on this thread. (For example, Zimmerman's gun was confiscated)
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capaxinfiniti
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quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:
quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:
Timeline of the Trayvon Martin shooting.

Just didn't want this post to get lost-- it refutes and clarifies a couple things stated on this thread. (For example, Zimmerman's gun was confiscated)
That's a very insightful link and brings forward important elements which have either been overlooked or intentionally ignored by many news outlets and various talking heads.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
I'd bet money that had the young man out at night been white in a hoody instead of black that it would have gone down the same way.
I'd take that bet.
easy money
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BBegley
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Bottom line to me, either Zimmerman is guilty of a crime or the law needs to be changed.

I get that the race issue is important to a lot of people. For some it means the difference between whether the event occurs at all, or whether Zimmerman is arrested and charged. For others, they think the media has blown it out of proportion and it wouldn't be a story without the race angle.

While I'm in the first camp, race is not the big issue here to me.

If the following happened to one of my kids:
1) They're walking down the street and notice someone following them in a car.
2) They run away and the guy gets out of the car and runs after them.

I think they would be perfectly within their rights to hide and, if they thought it was a good idea, attack their follower.

In fact, although Martin was too young to be legally carrying a gun, I would not blink at a self-defense plea if he had shot Zimmerman for following and chasing him.

Zimmerman, on the other hand, is the real instigator here. He created the situation. The idea of chasing and cornering someone and then killing them in self defense when they fight back is ridiculous.

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Destineer
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quote:

So, for the victim, I think getting them precisely what they want (which should be along the lines of "Not getting hurt or killed or chased or raped or robbed") is extremely desirable, unless they themselves have an irrational/immoral want (like "Killing this uppity black kid").

If it seems the best way for them to get what they want (the good wants, mind you) is for them to shoot their attacker, I think that's what they should do. I don't think they generally have a moral obligation to protect their aggressor.

On the side of the aggressor, in most situations they will have de facto immoral/irrational wants (to rape this person, to take this person's wallet, to beat this guy up because he called me gay, etc.) They'll presumably have implicit wants too, like "not experiencing any negative feedback for my behavior."

In general, I don't see any value in creating an "overall beneficial outcome" if that is defined as both parties getting as much that they want as possible. Some desires are rational and moral, some aren't, and that lends itself to a pretty direct hierarchy to my mind.

This framework for thinking about things seems kind of weird to me, Dan. If what creates the asymmetry between the defender and aggressor is the superior morality/rationality of the defender's goals, does that mean the defender loses his right to self-defense if the goals the attacker is frustrating are irrational or immoral?

What if the defender is going somewhere for the purpose of cheating on his faithful wife? What if he's going to a Scientologist get-together to bequeath his fortune to the Church?

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Dan_Frank
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Not exactly.

I think that the defender's implicit desire to not be coerced by others is extremely rational, even if his explicit desire of giving his money to Scientology is foolish.

And, conversely, even if they have good intentions, someone who wants to coerce someone into being more rational is, themselves, being very irrational.

This is probably where I get borderline libertarian and kind of Non-Aggression-Principle-y on you, but there it is. Because I'm a fallibilist, I don't think you can justify forcing someone else to do something for their own good. Because you could be mistaken, and they could be right, and they should be the final arbiter of what they do with their life.

You should only use force when someone is impeding your ability to do things for your own good (i.e. taking your money and giving it to Scientology).

That being said, however, I'm not a real Libertarian, and this also gets to why. I think you're actually sort of on the right track in a way, I just think the immoral behavior of the defender would need to itself involve coercive force of the type I explained above.

This is why I am not inherently opposed to preemptive action (which would get my Libertarian card revoked in a heartbeat). If you are reasonably convinced that someone is going to use force against you, then taking steps to prevent that is rational. So if, instead of going to donate his money to Scientology, he is going to pick up a gun with which to murder you, it might be moral to take action.

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capaxinfiniti
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quote:
Originally posted by BBegley:
The idea of chasing and cornering someone and then killing them in self defense when they fight back is ridiculous.

I don't recall any reports saying Martin was cornered.
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Destineer
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I agree with you that pre-emption can be warranted (which is why I find the moral message of Minority Report so bizarre).

To sound you out further, how do you feel about the kind of case where someone is carrying a really bad communicable disease? Is force potentially justified there, even when the person hasn't committed any aggression and has no plans to do so?

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Dan_Frank
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My immediate reaction is "Yeah, probably, use the minimum amount of force necessary to contain the person." Hopefully none, since a reasonable person wouldn't want to spread their disease!

It's not something I've given a great deal of thought to offhand, though, so as I reflect I may change my mind (or at least clarify it).

(As an aside, I find the epistemological message of Minority Report bizarre and wrong. It fundamentally relies on determinism. But that's sort of a problem with most things that play with knowing the future/being unable to change the future.)

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Kwea
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quote:
Originally posted by capaxinfiniti:
quote:
Originally posted by BBegley:
The idea of chasing and cornering someone and then killing them in self defense when they fight back is ridiculous.

I don't recall any reports saying Martin was cornered.
He wasn't. Zimmerman went back to his car, and Martin followed him back and confronted him. No one is even bother to argue that, even with all the other blatant lies and prejudices going on.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Destineer:
I agree with you that pre-emption can be warranted (which is why I find the moral message of Minority Report so bizarre).

:spoilers:

It was, in Dick style, somewhat ambiguous. But I think the moral "message," if it could be so called, was that a person may have the power to change his destiny. That though Anderton searches through the whole film for a reason why his destiny is not, in fact, real, all it takes in the end is an act of will not to follow it through. Because even though Crowe dies in the end, he kills himself- an act that would not have triggered a yellow ball with Anderton's name on it.

They reach the moment of the killing, and Anderton doesn't do it, and so the intervention of any outside force on his destiny is, possibly, invalidated. The Dick twist is that since Anderton himself caught the yellow ball, and since that act led him to the scene of the murder, we can never rely be sure whether there is ever a force outside of the prime timeline that can effect his destiny, and yet he doesn't go through with the murder.

So really, I've always thought MR was more about the concept of destiny and choice, and the implications about human knowledge and destiny. If we know where we're going, does that effect us getting there? Dick might ask: if you know the face of God, is he still God?

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Stone_Wolf_
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As far as I can see the moral of Minority Report was basically "The future is unwritten, we have freewill to choose."
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BBegley
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quote:Originally posted by capaxinfiniti:
quote:

quote:Originally posted by BBegley:
The idea of chasing and cornering someone and then killing them in self defense when they fight back is ridiculous.

I don't recall any reports saying Martin was cornered.

He wasn't. Zimmerman went back to his car, and Martin followed him back and confronted him. No one is even bother to argue that, even with all the other blatant lies and prejudices going on.


Are you sure the dead kid hasn't refuted that? Oh, that's right, he's dead.

No one has said that's what happened except Zimmerman. No one else witnessed the incident prior to the altercation. Zimmerman also said that he got his head banged on the pavement, but the witness I heard said they were on the grass.

If you don't recall any reports to the contrary, it's probably related to you getting all your news from Fox, Drudge and NRO.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Because I'm a fallibilist, I don't think you can justify forcing someone else to do something for their own good.
1. Can you take a schizophrenic into medical custody during a psychotic break?

2. Can you impose medication onto them based on the severity of their condition?

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Rakeesh
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Which other 'blatant lies', the one on NBC, which honestly probably benefitted Zimmerman now that the dishonesty is outed? The bit about his gun confiscation?

Here's what I didn't then and don't now understand: *why* is Zimmerman afforded so much credibility, that is that his story is believed largely on its own merit? And I say that because for every piece of evidence we've seen that seems to exonerate him, there is at least one that calls his innocence into question. After that, we're left with the facts as known prior to that night, and to sum up broadly: a kid with no known history of violence, though perhaps that has changed since I checked the news on this guy, and a man with I think we would universally describe as awful judgment about emergencies and when and how police need to be involved?

What about those basic facts prior to the events is wrong, and what about them leads anyone-you, for example, Kwea-to think, "I'm gonna give this guy a shot re: honesty," if that is in fact what you're doing? Why did Zimmerman get out of his car, exactly? Why on Earth did Martin suddenly just blow past like half a dozen warning signs in his life that would indicate a propensity towards sudden, aggressive violence?

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Samprimary
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quote:
Here's what I didn't then and don't now understand: *why* is Zimmerman afforded so much credibility, that is that his story is believed largely on its own merit?
His story appeals to vigilante culture and people who see in him an avatar of the frustration they themselves have with lawless and minority elements. They trust in vigilantist narratives, so they automatically infer that this must be another attempt to impose a counter-narrative against Zimmerman for the purpose of further fomenting unwarranted outrage and pressure against Zimmerman and the vigilante/gun culture he represents.
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BBegley
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There is also the phone call with the girlfriend that phone records confirm was taking place while Zimmerman was pursuing Martin. For some reason the police did not follow up on that during the investigation.
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Because I'm a fallibilist, I don't think you can justify forcing someone else to do something for their own good.
1. Can you take a schizophrenic into medical custody during a psychotic break?

2. Can you impose medication onto them based on the severity of their condition?

I'm going to try and answer your questions while simultaneously avoiding too much engagement in discussion of psychiatry with you, because I don't think I have the energy for the arguments that would ensue.

Let's see how well I do!

1: If you have compelling reasons to believe they'll harm other people, yeah, of course. Otherwise, no.

2: No.

Huh, I guess I managed it okay. Brevity saves the day!

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Anthonie
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
Because I'm a fallibilist, I don't think you can justify forcing someone else to do something for their own good. Because you could be mistaken, and they could be right, and they should be the final arbiter of what they do with their life.

You should only use force when someone is impeding your ability to do things for your own good

Dan_Frank, another clarifying hypothetical question:

1. Does that include if someone wants to end their own life?
Say your adult brother walks out in front of a bus in heavy traffic intending suicide. You know him very well (as he is your brother after all). Do you stop him with force and push him out of the way? It appears to you (and us) he's being irrational. But wouldn't pushing him out of the way for his own good be outside your purview, as his jumping in front of the bus does not impede your ability to do things for your own good? Is there any point where we can justify force for what we believe is good for another person?

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Dan_Frank
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Yeah, suicide is a tough one emotionally for me.

Philosophically, I'm inclined to say this: If I know someone who is suicidal I should do everything I can to convince them not to do it, and do anything I can to help them but I don't think that physically restraining them against their will or otherwise forcing them not to commit suicide is morally right.

Sometimes people are in sufficient physical or emotional pain that they don't know how to solve it and would rather die. I'm not them, and I don't know what they're going through. It would be unreasonable to act as though I know they are wrong and force them not to commit suicide, when I can't possibly know that.

As I have said before, I think that failure to persuade someone to do something is a terrible justification for forcing them to do it.

Now, that's what I think philosophically.

On the other hand, I've had loved ones who have been suicidal. Thankfully I've always been able to help them via persuasion as outlined above. But if I failed, and I found them in the middle of trying to kill themselves, I don't know that I have sufficient control of my emotions to keep myself from acting in the moment to try and save them.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
As far as I can see the moral of Minority Report was basically "The future is unwritten, we have freewill to choose."

:face palm:

Yeah, I guess.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
As far as I can see the moral of Minority Report was basically "The future is unwritten, we have freewill to choose."
As long as no one confuses the moral of the movie with the moral of the actual story, I'm fine with that.
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Orincoro
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Interesting distinction. Are we talking about the moral of the story, including the story in the movie, or the story by Dick? Because it wouldn't be the first time a movie forgot that the story it tells has a moral somewhat different from what the movie thinks it is.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Because I'm a fallibilist, I don't think you can justify forcing someone else to do something for their own good.
1. Can you take a schizophrenic into medical custody during a psychotic break?

2. Can you impose medication onto them based on the severity of their condition?

I'm going to try and answer your questions while simultaneously avoiding too much engagement in discussion of psychiatry with you, because I don't think I have the energy for the arguments that would ensue.

Let's see how well I do!

1: If you have compelling reasons to believe they'll harm other people, yeah, of course. Otherwise, no.

2: No.

Huh, I guess I managed it okay. Brevity saves the day!

I guess the equally brevity-inspired response is to just simply note "and this is an introduction into why the fallibilism position is impractical and won't end up anywhere."
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Destineer
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Yeah, you'd have a lot of bipolar people who'd just die off, to say nothing of the schizophrenics, if we held scrupulously to those rules.

A good friend of mine from grad school would absolutely be dead, no question.

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Destineer
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
(As an aside, I find the epistemological message of Minority Report bizarre and wrong. It fundamentally relies on determinism. But that's sort of a problem with most things that play with knowing the future/being unable to change the future.)

Determinism is still a thornier issue than you might think. Your buddy David Deutsch, for example, believes that even quantum physics is deterministic. It's just that we're constantly splitting into multiple copies of ourselves, which leads to the illusion that the outcome of the events where we split is due to chance.

Even denying that kind of view, though, if the human brain works basically like a neural network (as it's generally thought to), then in principle you could predict things pretty far in advance with a high degree of accuracy. Which is basically what the precogs do in Minority Report.

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Stone_Wolf_
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
As far as I can see the moral of Minority Report was basically "The future is unwritten, we have freewill to choose."
As long as no one confuses the moral of the movie with the moral of the actual story, I'm fine with that.
I'm not following the distinction. Please elaborate.

quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
I think that failure to persuade someone to do something is a terrible justification for forcing them to do it.

One of my father's best friends has announced his plan to take his life if he suffers another stroke and his quality of life goes down and he must reenter the hospital (with a plastic bag and a bottle of helium). He has given it a lot of thought and discussed it with his family.

In his case, I acknowledge that he is making a difficult choice, and doing it carefully and deliberately. And for him, I agree with your statement above.

Where the plot thickens is when people are not in their right mind, either with mental illness, under the influence of drugs or under extreme emotional pressure and make a snap decision.

What do you say about these cases? Can you convince someone who is out of their mind with reasonable arguments? Or is it morally imperative to step in and protect them until such time as they are regained their stability?

I am a Libertarian, but I tend to say that when it comes to life or death, if someone is temporarily not capable of making choices at the capacity they would normally that society should protect them from themselves.

That leads to an even harder question: Who decides if you are at a limited capacity?

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Anthonie
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Along the lines of Stone Wolf, we can consider limited capacity using children again.

For example, say you observe a small child standing on the edge of the deep end of the swimming pool ready to jump. You have reason to believe the child cannot swim. Do you step in and stop the child? Does their limited capacity warrant force of action on your part? How is an adult of limited/diminished capacity different? Of course a difference in this situation is the apparent lack of suicidal intent on the part of the child, replaced with curiosity or lack of understanding.

But suicidal intent is not necessarily absent even in children. About a decade ago, my boss's young son (I believe he was 8) killed himself. He was suffering from a stomach condition that I understand is treatable, but painful. His son told his parents good night and that he loved them and then went to his room and shot himself. They were never certain exactly what their son was thinking, but based on statements and behavior before his death it was likely a combination of him being tired of constant pain and feeling guilty that he caused his parents so much trouble with his required care. I am nigh unto certain had his father been in his room he would have taken the gun and gone with his son to counseling.

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Tuukka
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
Because I'm a fallibilist, I don't think you can justify forcing someone else to do something for their own good. Because you could be mistaken, and they could be right, and they should be the final arbiter of what they do with their life.

I'm sorry if I'm completely misunderstanding what you are trying to say, but...

I know several people who are living content and even happy lives now, and who would all be dead if they wouldn't have been forced to stay in a mental hospital.

I think you would find that people who are *forced* to not commit suicide tend to be very grateful that they were forced, once they are not in psychosis or in deep depression anymore. Of course, some people have very valid reasons to commit suicide, for example because of terminal illness, but it's quite a different thing.

Another criteria are people who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It's quite common for people to act stupid and get killed under the influence. Often their good friends - or even strangers - save their lives by "forcing" them to stay away from doing lethal things. You would find that just about all people who were forced are very grateful that they were forced. - I don't really have any actual statistics for this, but this seems like common sense? Most people prefer to stay alive, instead of getting dead in a drunken accident.

Then there are children. Children constantly try do very stupid and extremely dangerous things. Their parents consistently use force to save the lives of the kids, because much of the time kids are not listening to common sense. Every parent does this. Do you think the parents are wrong because they essentially save the lives of their children?

I'm just curious. It feels to me that your principles are very unpractical and not applicable to the real world.

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Destineer:
quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
(As an aside, I find the epistemological message of Minority Report bizarre and wrong. It fundamentally relies on determinism. But that's sort of a problem with most things that play with knowing the future/being unable to change the future.)

Determinism is still a thornier issue than you might think. Your buddy David Deutsch, for example, believes that even quantum physics is deterministic. It's just that we're constantly splitting into multiple copies of ourselves, which leads to the illusion that the outcome of the events where we split is due to chance.
Heh, David and I aren't buddies. Not sure if you meant that sincerely or if it was a bit of a dig, but I thought I'd correct it for the record regardless.

Despite that, I can say with confidence that he'd disagree with your characterization of MWI as deterministic. Or at least, that his idea of MWI is deterministic. (For what it's worth I have no particular opinion of MWI itself, as I'm not even an armchair physicist.)

He argues, on epistemological grounds, in favor of free will (and consequently against determinism) in his books.

quote:
Originally posted by Destineer:
Even denying that kind of view, though, if the human brain works basically like a neural network (as it's generally thought to), then in principle you could predict things pretty far in advance with a high degree of accuracy. Which is basically what the precogs do in Minority Report.

Forgive my ignorance, but isn't "neural network" and "brain" sort of synonymous? Not just that we think one works like the other... Maybe I don't know what a "neural network" is.

Anyway, I don't doubt that you could predict things in advance with relatively high accuracy. People often take the path of least resistance.

But that's completely different from saying that reality is deterministic (in which case it would be possible to predict behavior with 100% accuracy, which I don't think is true.)

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Because I'm a fallibilist, I don't think you can justify forcing someone else to do something for their own good.
1. Can you take a schizophrenic into medical custody during a psychotic break?

2. Can you impose medication onto them based on the severity of their condition?

I'm going to try and answer your questions while simultaneously avoiding too much engagement in discussion of psychiatry with you, because I don't think I have the energy for the arguments that would ensue.

Let's see how well I do!

1: If you have compelling reasons to believe they'll harm other people, yeah, of course. Otherwise, no.

2: No.

Huh, I guess I managed it okay. Brevity saves the day!

I guess the equally brevity-inspired response is to just simply note "and this is an introduction into why the fallibilism position is impractical and won't end up anywhere."
My opinion of psychiatry is only tentatively related to fallibilism. Also there have been a lot of fallibilists who I don't agree with, and really only one who I do, so lumping them all together isn't very practical.

Popperian fallibilism can be largely consistent with objectivism, for example, whereas many other fallibilists would see the two ideas as completely incompatible.

Anyway, it has more to do with the fact that I think a deep and fundamental failure to understand epistemology leads modern psychiatry into defining people with bad ideas as being "out of their mind" as SW put it.

To the extent that I think someone can really be "out of their mind" and incapable of thinking, I of course no longer see persuasion as the only viable option.

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Tuukka:
quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
Because I'm a fallibilist, I don't think you can justify forcing someone else to do something for their own good. Because you could be mistaken, and they could be right, and they should be the final arbiter of what they do with their life.

I'm sorry if I'm completely misunderstanding what you are trying to say, but...

I know several people who are living content and even happy lives now, and who would all be dead if they wouldn't have been forced to stay in a mental hospital.

I think you would find that people who are *forced* to not commit suicide tend to be very grateful that they were forced, once they are not in psychosis or in deep depression anymore. Of course, some people have very valid reasons to commit suicide, for example because of terminal illness, but it's quite a different thing.

And some people continue to attempt suicide over and over again.

People commit suicide because they believe it's the best option based on their level of physical and/or emotional pain.

I disagree with them! I don't think any level of physical or emotional pain is cause for suicide, because of the immense potential value of being alive. The opportunity cost of suicide is just too high.

But people fail to understand opportunity costs consistently, in countless areas, and their lives suffer for it. I don't think that's cause to force them to rearrange their lives.

quote:
Originally posted by Tuukka:
Another criteria are people who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It's quite common for people to act stupid and get killed under the influence. Often their good friends - or even strangers - save their lives by "forcing" them to stay away from doing lethal things. You would find that just about all people who were forced are very grateful that they were forced. - I don't really have any actual statistics for this, but this seems like common sense? Most people prefer to stay alive, instead of getting dead in a drunken accident.

Then there are children. Children constantly try do very stupid and extremely dangerous things. Their parents consistently use force to save the lives of the kids, because much of the time kids are not listening to common sense. Every parent does this. Do you think the parents are wrong because they essentially save the lives of their children?

I'm just curious. It feels to me that your principles are very unpractical and not applicable to the real world.

I think that most people have wrong ideas about being drunk, and wildly wrong ideas about how to interact with children. But these are more areas I think I'll refrain from elaborating on any further for the moment.

You're certainly free to not adopt my worldview if you don't find it persuasive, though. [Smile]

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Tuukka
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:


People commit suicide because they believe it's the best option based on their level of physical and/or emotional pain.

I disagree with them! I don't think any level of physical or emotional pain is cause for suicide, because of the immense potential value of being alive. The opportunity cost of suicide is just too high.

But people fail to understand opportunity costs consistently, in countless areas, and their lives suffer for it. I don't think that's cause to force them to rearrange their lives.


I already referred to psychosis in my post. You know what psychosis is, right? A person in psychosis is not even capable of evaluating the things you so nicely try to evaluate in your post. He is *literally* incapable of it, because he has lost contact with reality.

Deep chronic depression is often characterized as having symptoms of psychosis - It's basically a milder form of full-blown psychosis.

quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
I think that most people have wrong ideas about being drunk, and wildly wrong ideas about how to interact with children. But these are more areas I think I'll refrain from elaborating on any further for the moment.

If you refrain from answering on the most obvious criticisms of why your philosophy isn't applicable in the real world, it's hard to take that philosophy seriously.

You are of course free to believe in it. But - It's basically useless, if it can't be applied in the real world.

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Destineer
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quote:
Despite that, I can say with confidence that he'd disagree with your characterization of MWI as deterministic. Or at least, that his idea of MWI is deterministic. (For what it's worth I have no particular opinion of MWI itself, as I'm not even an armchair physicist.)

He argues, on epistemological grounds, in favor of free will (and consequently against determinism) in his books.

Bizarre. It's possible he's using the word 'determinism' in a non-standard way. I suspect that's it. But regardless, it's true, just as a matter of math, that in the bare theory of quantum mechanics (which is all the MWI is) the state at one time uniquely determines the state at all future times.

quote:
Forgive my ignorance, but isn't "neural network" and "brain" sort of synonymous? Not just that we think one works like the other... Maybe I don't know what a "neural network" is.

This is what I meant:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artificial_neural_network

quote:

I think that most people have wrong ideas about being drunk, and wildly wrong ideas about how to interact with children. But these are more areas I think I'll refrain from elaborating on any further for the moment.

But regardless of the details of how you think parents should treat kids, you can't possibly think it's wrong for a parent to (in effect) use force to prevent a largely pre-verbal two-year-old from doing something dangerous that he really wants to do.

Unless you disagree with that, Tuukka's point would seem to be well taken.

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Dan_Frank
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I think you and Tuukka are forgetting the existence of implicit wants. Which is important when talking about infants, because their minds are mostly made up of purely implicit ideas.

Most infants strongly desire to not die, they simply do so implicitly. If they are unable to communicate, then yeah, fulfilling their implicit desire to not die by picking them up before they crawl off a cliff (even though it could be said you've stymied their slightly more explicit desire to explore the other side of the cliff) is a good idea.

I'm not sure it even really makes a great deal of sense to characterize picking up an infant in those circumstances as "force," since infants are unable to communicate and need you to use "force" on them even to get them things they explicitly want. Because they can't wipe their own butts, feed themselves, etc.

I don't think that most "impaired" people are comparable to pre-verbal infants. Do you?

Those that truly are, sure, I suppose treating them like what they are (a perpetual infant) seems fine to me.

quote:
Originally posted by Tuukka:
I already referred to psychosis in my post. You know what psychosis is, right? A person in psychosis is not even capable of evaluating the things you so nicely try to evaluate in your post. He is *literally* incapable of it, because he has lost contact with reality.

Deep chronic depression is often characterized as having symptoms of psychosis - It's basically a milder form of full-blown psychosis.

I disagree with your underlying assumption: that anyone who has been diagnosed by a psychiatrist as psychotic is literally incapable of evaluating things or making decisions about their life.

Where do we go from here, Tuukka? I think psychology fundamentally fails at epistemology, which means it fundamentally misunderstands how ideas are actually created by human minds, which means it fundamentally misinterprets most of the data it gathers.

I don't think you agree. What's more, I don't think this is the right vector of approach for this discussion. To properly discuss this with you, I think we'd need to back up and discuss things like epistemology first, to a level of precision I don't care to do on Hatrack.

If you're really interested, I and many other folk frequently discuss epistemology (and, yes, psychology as well) on several email lists, and I can point you to one of them if you like. But there's a reason I tend to choose specific topics to engage in on Hatrack, and there's a reason psychology isn't usually one of them.

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Destineer:
quote:
Despite that, I can say with confidence that he'd disagree with your characterization of MWI as deterministic. Or at least, that his idea of MWI is deterministic. (For what it's worth I have no particular opinion of MWI itself, as I'm not even an armchair physicist.)

He argues, on epistemological grounds, in favor of free will (and consequently against determinism) in his books.

Bizarre. It's possible he's using the word 'determinism' in a non-standard way. I suspect that's it. But regardless, it's true, just as a matter of math, that in the bare theory of quantum mechanics (which is all the MWI is) the state at one time uniquely determines the state at all future times.

Yeah, for one thing, that sort of determinism doesn't seem to be contradicted by the notion of free will.

You obviously know more about the physics than I do. So,to use a layman's analogy, it seems like you're saying MWI is deterministic in the sense that whether or not I choose to buy apples today will determine whether or not I can eat an apple without leaving the house when I get up tomorrow.

Does that make sense, or did I get it wrong?

Yes, decisions have consequences, but we're still free to make more decisions along the way that create new consequences and change old ones.

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Parkour
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Dismissing psychology by saying it fundamentally fails at epistemology requires a pretty solid case outlining why. I think its much more likely you are just eager to dismiss what we know about our biological minds when they create situations inconvenient to your unpractically naive worldview.
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Dan_Frank
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That's an understandable hypothesis, especially in light of my lack of interest in discussing the issue. [Smile]
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Destineer
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quote:
Yeah, for one thing, that sort of determinism doesn't seem to be contradicted by the notion of free will.

You obviously know more about the physics than I do. So,to use a layman's analogy, it seems like you're saying MWI is deterministic in the sense that whether or not I choose to buy apples today will determine whether or not I can eat an apple without leaving the house when I get up tomorrow.

Does that make sense, or did I get it wrong?

Well, as a compatibilist, I don't think any notion of determinism, by itself, is in tension with our having free will.

But I'm afraid you might have misunderstood. In bare quantum mechanics, given a complete description of how the physical universe is at 1:00, there is only one possible way for the universe to end up at 1:01, and at 1:02, and at every future time. It's no different in that respect from classical physics.

The appearance of indeterminism (which is probably all that Deutsch meant by indeterminism) arises because we (deterministically) split into multiple copies of ourselves at various points in time. When that happens, we become uncertain about which of the new copies we are. But of course there's no fact of the matter about which copy is really you. Each one is equally connected with the original person.

quote:

I don't think that most "impaired" people are comparable to pre-verbal infants. Do you?

Well, let's look at the example of my bipolar friend from grad school. Like the infant, I don't think he had decided against his desire to live. He still wanted to. But for some reason he was drinking about a fifth of scotch every day.

The reason, partly, was that he was so manic (and drunk) that he couldn't even remember from one minute to the next how much he was drinking. Or anything else that was happening. Many times I had the exact same conversation with the guy twice in half an hour, without him even realizing. He was literally acting like Guy Pearce in Memento.

There were certainly some powers of reasoning he possessed even then that a baby lacks. But the ability to act in pursuit of his most important life goals--let alone figure out what the hell was happening to him most of the time--was quite beyond him.

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Kwea
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quote:
Originally posted by BBegley:
quote:Originally posted by capaxinfiniti:
quote:

quote:Originally posted by BBegley:
The idea of chasing and cornering someone and then killing them in self defense when they fight back is ridiculous.

I don't recall any reports saying Martin was cornered.

He wasn't. Zimmerman went back to his car, and Martin followed him back and confronted him. No one is even bother to argue that, even with all the other blatant lies and prejudices going on.


Are you sure the dead kid hasn't refuted that? Oh, that's right, he's dead.

No one has said that's what happened except Zimmerman. No one else witnessed the incident prior to the altercation. Zimmerman also said that he got his head banged on the pavement, but the witness I heard said they were on the grass.

If you don't recall any reports to the contrary, it's probably related to you getting all your news from Fox, Drudge and NRO.

And if you would get off you high horse, and knew anything about me, you'd know how ignorant you sound accusing me of that. I am far more likely to get it from MSNBC and CNN, and anyone considering me to be a conservative would HAVE to be a pure Marxist, because I am hardly that.


I was pointing out the fact that as more and more events are uncovered, so far EVERYTHING Zimmerman has said has at least some basis in fact. He didn't call anyone a coon, didn't chase and corner Martin (because the altercation happened near his freaking car), he was assaulted and did have wounds to prove it. His 911 tape was edited specifically to make him sound racist, the video that everyone claimed showed no injuries actually DID show injuries, the medical report and the police report showed he had injuries, and he had grass stains on his freaking BACK.

Martin was not the 14 year old angel his parents claimed he was, and he was over 6 foot tall and weighed between 160 and 170. He was creeping around in the rain, with his hood pulled over his head, looking suspicious.

Did he deserve to die? No. Is Zimmerman an idiot? Probably. But we don't know what happened, which is why we need a freaking investigation, not a witch hunt.


How many people still remember the trench coat mafia at Columbine? And that the murders were all about bullying? Never mind that NONE OF THAT IS TRUE. It has all been refuted over and over again, by people who knew them, people at the school, family members and school officials. But all people remember is the dumb ass media coverage, and 15 years later... the majority of American's still have the wrong idea about what happened there, and why. I fear the same thing is happening here, and it will affect the investigation.


So take a step back, and listen to what I am actually saying, not what you assumed Fox News told me. They are actually not the same thing at all.

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Rakeesh
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Really? Zimmerman was assaulted? I may have missed where that was proven. I also have missed where it was demonstrated that he stopped his car and got out (for some reason) far from Martin, who then approached, or something. I missed the part where his injuries, such as they are, demonstrate Martin attacked him and nothing else.

I especially missed how someone with their hoodie up in the rain (and seriously, Kwea, if it was raining, and he had a hoodie, *why wouldn't it be up?*) just...is suspicious. And I ESPECIALLY missed why on Earth anyone anywhere ought to trust Zimmerman's word on what looks suspicious. The man called 911 for potholes! How is his judgment worth a tin turd? I don't even have to go into the likelihood that several elements in his past point to a history of violence (wife's restraining order, charges dropped on resisting arrest), and please note I say 'likelihood'. I don't have to go there to utterly destroy Zimmerman's judgment as worthwhile because the 911 history is well documented and cannot be disputed.

Without saying anything further, let me add: 'creeping'? Did he decide he needed to load up on a beverage and skittles before, what, casing those houses in the rain? The fact that you would characterize what we know of what Martin was doing as Zimmerman began following him (as instructed not to) points to two possibilities I can think of: one, you regard Zimmerman's judgment of what is suspicious as trustworthy. I think that's a pretty unsustainable belief IMO, but perhaps there's something you could share that would persuade me. The other possibility is that Martin walking through that neighborhood in that weather and clothing was suspicious in itself, not needing Zimmerman's judgment to validate. That is a disturbing thing to have hinted at, Kwea.

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Kwea
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Except it isn't....I would be suspicious of someone in a high crime neighborhood I didn't recognize, and who looked suspicious to me. I don't care what race he was. Also, don't forget Zimmerman had actually caught several burglaries in progress, and was fairly effective in the neighborhood watch capacity, at least at times.

I doubt he called the potholes suspicious when he called. [Wink]

I am not one of his "supporters", but the fact that a number of spurious claims about Zimmerman have already been brought to light just proves my point. I never said he wasn't guilty, that he wasn't out of line. I never said he should have been wearing a gun, although I can understand it. But being on a neighborhood watch precludes wearing a gun, IIRC.

But if he had not been wearing one, he might (I say might) have been the one who was dead, and then what?

More than half the things said ABOUT him have been proven to be complete crap.

And you know....the dispatcher can tell someone not to follow, but there is NO legal requirement to listen, as long as he is not trespassing while doing so. He had every bit as much right to be on that street as Martin did.

To me, what this case comes down to is who assaulted who first. If the evidence suggests that Zimmerman returned to his car, then Martin approached him and grabbed for his gun, then he walks. If the evidence points to inconsistencies in his story, and that isn't what happened, then he needs to go to jail.

And if you can't prove BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT that he wasn't assaulted, then he walks. It's that simple. It doesn't matter if he is a douche (he probably is), or what you think of firearms (he had a licence), or even what you think about his 911 call record (which is a mixed bag at best).

All the rest of this is a dog and pony show, and kinda makes me sick.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
Except it isn't....I would be suspicious of someone in a high crime neighborhood I didn't recognize, and who looked suspicious to me. I don't care what race he was. Also, don't forget Zimmerman had actually caught several burglaries in progress, and was fairly effective in the neighborhood watch capacity, at least at times.
Well yes, a paranoid person who overreacts and calls emergency lines on obvious non-emergencies is probably going to interrupt more burglaries than someone of, y'know, level headed rational judgment who isn't out looking for scary trouble in the form of burglaries, suspicious teenagers, potholes, and open garage doors.

So sure, effective 'at times' indeed. I do wonder, though, was there ever a delay in dispatch response to real, live, sane emergencies while dealing with one of his nutbag calls? When police became involved in one of his dozens of unnecessary calls, might their time have been better spent elsewhere? I really don't know, but it's certainly possible. Even likely. What I DO know, or am feeling pretty good about, is that if had this case ever happened and you knew I made a habit of calling 911 like that and patrolling my neighborhood armed and I asked, "Hey Kwea, you'd say my judgment is good, right?" you'd look at me cross eyed. And rightly so.

quote:
I am not one of his "supporters", but the fact that a number of spurious claims about Zimmerman have already been brought to light just proves my point. I never said he wasn't guilty, that he wasn't out of line. I never said he should have been wearing a gun, although I can understand it. But being on a neighborhood watch precludes wearing a gun, IIRC.
Well you'll have to pardon people for reacting as though you were, because you've gone quite a bit further than just rejecting false claims, and held up his statements as valid on their own merits-a clear expression of support if there ever was one. You said Martin was 'looking suspicious', that he assaulted Zimmerman, and that he went to where Zimmerman was to do it. Now perhaps you aren't intending to support Zimmerman, but in fact you are, by your own words.

Another example: Martin as 'no angel'. I'm eager to hear where he's been linked to the sort of violence that would even hint at this.

quote:
And you know....the dispatcher can tell someone not to follow, but there is NO legal requirement to listen, as long as he is not trespassing while doing so. He had every bit as much right to be on that street as Martin did.
My point wasn't to suggest he was bound to obey dispatch, but to call his judgment which as far as the actual event goes you support fully into question. There's a reason they tell you to do things like that, just like there's a reason this Stand Your Ground law was opposed by police organizations. It's because avoiding or fleeing a confrontation is usually far safer than pursuing one, and because most don't need to happen at all.

quote:
And if you can't prove BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT that he wasn't assaulted, then he walks. It's that simple. It doesn't matter if he is a douche (he probably is), or what you think of firearms (he had a licence), or even what you think about his 911 call record (which is a mixed bag at best).
Sure. Who has said otherwise? But I'd love to hear why his 911 record is a 'mixed bag'. I remain totally baffled how anyone can simply gloss over that the way you are now. I was always taught that you call 911 for emergencies, and that to use if frivolously was irresponsible, dangerous, and stupid.

As for the rest being a dog and pony show, well. Nonsense. It raises important questions such as who should be allowed to carry a gun? When should they be allowed to use one? When is a black male teenager suspicious or not? As to that last question, well apparently it's when he's walking in the rain with his hoodie up (!!!!!!!!!!) and Zimmerman says he is. That's another point you sort of glossed over, Kwea. You actually suggested that walking in the rain with a hoodie up is suspicious. Well, holy hell, thank god us didn't have galoshes or something, he might have looked like a terrorist or something!

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Kwea:
And if you can't prove BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT that he wasn't assaulted, then he walks.

I would really like to see what would happen if we could make onus in cases like this work like how you're describing it. Say, for instance, I walk into someone's house and shoot them dead, then tell the police that if they can't prove beyond a reasonable doubt that I wasn't invited in and assaulted, I walk ...
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
My opinion of psychiatry is only tentatively related to fallibilism. Also there have been a lot of fallibilists who I don't agree with, and really only one who I do, so lumping them all together isn't very practical.

Whatever we would care to label the subset of fallibilism you use and denoted as a fallibilist perspective, we still have an introduction into how your ideals are going to end up incompatible with the realities of the way people are.

quote:
Anyway, it has more to do with the fact that I think a deep and fundamental failure to understand epistemology leads modern psychiatry into defining people with bad ideas as being "out of their mind" as SW put it.
You're going to decline to discuss epistemology. You're going to decline discussing your opinion on modern psychiatry. You're going to decline providing any substance whatsoever to this rather specific conclusion you have about psychology and epistemology. The way in which you do so often leaves what surface-level pronouncements you make so easily dismissable as to make one wonder why you assert them in the first place at all, since they are bound to fail to be persuasive. But if you want to provide anything at all to give any semblance of an indication about the substance of your views, I would choose to hear on what substantive basis and from what sources you have come to use to demonstrate that modern psychiatry 'defines people with bad ideas as being out of their mind.' Where does this come from. What trend is it following. What is an example of a bad idea that leads modern psychiatry/psychology into defining someone as out of their mind. What do you understand a "out of their mind" diagnosis to be.
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Tuukka
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
I think you and Tuukka are forgetting the existence of implicit wants. Which is important when talking about infants, because their minds are mostly made up of purely implicit ideas.

Most infants strongly desire to not die, they simply do so implicitly.

Most people strongly desire not to die, also on an implicit level. This is obvious, yes? It's how all living creatures in general are genetically hardwired - It's crucial for the survival of the species. So according to this logic, we should also help adults to not kill themselves.

quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:

If they are unable to communicate, then yeah, fulfilling their implicit desire to not die by picking them up before they crawl off a cliff (even though it could be said you've stymied their slightly more explicit desire to explore the other side of the cliff) is a good idea.

I'm not sure it even really makes a great deal of sense to characterize picking up an infant in those circumstances as "force," since infants are unable to communicate and need you to use "force" on them even to get them things they explicitly want. Because they can't wipe their own butts, feed themselves, etc.

Children are very able to communicate their needs from the moment they are born. Their needs are very simple at first, and become increasingly complex very fast. Parents, especially mothers, tend to be very good at reading this communication. We are genetically hardwired to do that - It's been very useful for the survival of the species.

Communication is not just words. If you assume that being able to speak the words is the criteria here, it would allow us to forcefully help mute people against their will, while non-mutes shouldn't be helped. Also it would allow us to forcefully help people who don't speak the same language as we speak, because they couldn't communicate with us properly.

Moreover, children learn to speak before they are 2 years old. They still do reckless, potentially lethal behavior for several years after that. 2-year olds are in constant danger of death and permanent injury if they are not forcefully guided by their parents.

quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:


I don't think that most "impaired" people are comparable to pre-verbal infants. Do you?[

Those that truly are, sure, I suppose treating them like what they are (a perpetual infant) seems fine to me.

Like I said, "pre-verbal" is a non-sensical argument, as a very big part of human communication is non-verbal. Also, there are many crazy people who are very verbal, yet can't use words to establish a proper communication with other people - People in psychosis are typically a good example of this.

quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:


I disagree with your underlying assumption: that anyone who has been diagnosed by a psychiatrist as psychotic is literally incapable of evaluating things or making decisions about their life.

Where do we go from here, Tuukka? I think psychology fundamentally fails at epistemology, which means it fundamentally misunderstands how ideas are actually created by human minds, which means it fundamentally misinterprets most of the data it gathers.

It seems to me that you still don't know what a psychosis is? You don't need to be diagnosed by a doctor to be psychotic. Being psychotic means that you have lost contact with reality. This loss of contact has happened regardless of whether someone has diagnosed you or not.

For example, some time ago I met a woman who genuinely believed that she was the daughter of Obama Barrack, and she had been kidnapped here to Finland as a baby. Then she had been raised by her kidnapper for 20 years. Nobody believed her story, and she thought all her "friends" and "family" were fakes in a conspiracy against her, wanting to kill her.

Of course, none of it was true. But she genuinely believed it was all true. She had also tried to kill herself due to the desperation and emotional pain of the situation. Thankfully she was forcefully saved by other people and was in a mental institution. She was diagnosed with psychosis - AFTER all those bad things had already happened (and were still going on).

I also met a man who thought he was a serial killer who had committed multiple rape-murders. He genuinely believed so, and wanted to kill himself so he couldn't hurt anyone anymore.

He had in fact never killed or raped anyone. He just thought so, because he was psychotic. I talked with him before he was diagnosed, and before he entered the mental hospital... The point is - He was psychotic BEFORE he even met a psychiatrist. Psychosis is a real state of being, not just some fancy word to describe people. Even he would have never met a doctor, and he would have not been diagnosed, he would still have been psychotic.

Thankfully psychosis is usually a temporary state. The man is in really good shape now. I've heard the woman is getting better.

This is all anecdotal evidence of course, but gives a good impression of how psychotic people in general are.

quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:


I don't think you agree. What's more, I don't think this is the right vector of approach for this discussion. To properly discuss this with you, I think we'd need to back up and discuss things like epistemology first, to a level of precision I don't care to do on Hatrack.

If you're really interested, I and many other folk frequently discuss epistemology (and, yes, psychology as well) on several email lists, and I can point you to one of them if you like. But there's a reason I tend to choose specific topics to engage in on Hatrack, and there's a reason psychology isn't usually one of them.

I don't think anyone in here has refused to talk epistemology with you. People are probably perfectly willing to discuss it.

The problem is that your arguments seem to have really big logical flaws, and they are not applicable to real world. I think it's fine to have ideological ideas that one admits are never gonna work in practice.

But you seem to imply that your philosophy could actually be used in the real world, when it cant be. It's just too illogical and filled with too many holes to be taken seriously.

[ April 08, 2012, 07:27 AM: Message edited by: Tuukka ]

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Rakeesh
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Well, a straightforward question seems to almost ask itself. Someone may have already. What is your basis for claiming not just that you are uncertain whether psychiatry 'gets it wrong' (to speak very generally, for time's sake)? I mean, what is the source for this knowledge of yours?

I don't claim you or anyone should just believe experts only because they're educated and trained in a given field, though frankly that IS generally a pretty darned good reason not to simply dismiss them outright. But you go quite a bit further than skepticism into outright claims that they're wrong, which necessarily means you believe you have better, more accurate ideas than they do.

Where do those ideas come from? Why did you decide then and continue to decide now to believe them? I don't say you claim others should believe them-which is frankly sensible, you seem to realize that's a non-starter-but if we're going to discuss these ideas, why do YOU believe them?

ETA: Just thought I'd check, Kwea, capax, have you read the timeline of events posted up at the top by Scott? It refutes several of the assertions being made here, especially those of eye witnesses and just when the encounter actually started: namely, with Zimmerman following Martin for the suspicious behavior of wearing a hoodie in the rain with 'something' in his hand, and Martin fleeing.

It also points another finger at Zimmerman's judgment that I'd forgotten about: he went armed to the *grocery store*. Lord knows how often I get hassled at the cash register and hafta light some fools up when they won't step off.

[ April 08, 2012, 01:52 PM: Message edited by: Rakeesh ]

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James Tiberius Kirk
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Originally posted by Kwea:
And if you can't prove BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT that he wasn't assaulted, then he walks.

I would really like to see what would happen if we could make onus in cases like this work like how you're describing it. Say, for instance, I walk into someone's house and shoot them dead, then tell the police that if they can't prove beyond a reasonable doubt that I wasn't invited in and assaulted, I walk ...
This is the root of my frustration with this case. It's difficult to presume Zimmerman innocent without presuming that Martin was guilty of something that warranted his death. I'm not sure his shooter should be granted the benefit of the doubt.

Whether or not Zimmerman shot Martin isn't in dispute. The police won't have any trouble proving that beyound reasonable doubt. I am definitely not a lawyer, so someone can correct me if I'm wrong - but isn't "self defense" an affirmative defense? Doesn't that place a certain burden of proof on Zimmerman?

[ April 08, 2012, 02:32 PM: Message edited by: James Tiberius Kirk ]

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Samprimary
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On the simplest level, we just note that there's an 'affirmative' investigation into it, as is the case for most claims of self defense. And what made me go ahead and make this thread and get people talking about it was, specifically, the incredibly suspect revelations about zimmerman and the police department. The resulting indications that the police were paperbagging this entire case are already compelling enough for two independent federal level investigations, not just of zimmerman, but of the entire department that seems to have covered for him. The story is already two levels beyond the issue of whether or not Trayvon is or is not an angel, or whatever.
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