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File: 1563574143243.jpg (123.14 KB, 670x671, 670:671, Billy-Connolly-Religion-Is….jpg) ImgOps Exif Google

In the U.K. recently, an individual named Brian Leach posted on social media a viral video of comedian Billy Connolly (pictured) mocking religious people and religion. This caused him to be fired from his job at Asda, a supermarket chain. His sacking brought about a public outcry, however, and he just got his job back.

More details at: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/thefreethinker/2019/07/man-sacked-for-facebook-anti-religious-post-is-reinstated/ (which is where I found this out)

This is a minor news story, but it directly touches upon a huge issue that I personally don't have a clear opinion on. It's a controversial topic to say the least, though. In short:

>Should there be a separation of commerce and free speech?

>Is it right to fire somebody due to their expressed personal viewpoints, even if it didn't necessarily have anything to do with his or her work?

This can go one of many different ways. Suppose that Mr. Leach had posted some viral video from a British conservative pundit mocking LGBT people and calling for them to lose their civil rights, instead. Would that make a difference? What if he only posted something supporting the U.K. Labour Party and his boss, happening to be a supporter or some other political faction, sacked him for that reason? What if Leach was an outright Nazi who spent his free time outside of work marching around in a full uniform and trolling folks online with posts glorifying Hitler? Should this be a more nuanced thing, or does free speech essentially conquer all here?

Does the type of job make the difference? Could somebody who posts comments online supporting pedophilia work as a janitor at an insurance company, say, while being forbidden to apply at a school, daycare center, etc? And what if the employer has a cause outside of making money? What if an LGBT newspaper fires their electrician because they find out he donated to the campaign to ban gay marriage a few years ago?  

I get the feeling (though I may be wrong) that most people here support anti-discrimination laws wholeheartedly when it comes to hiring and firing. We don't want somebody hurt just because he or she happens to be born black, gay, Jewish, etc. I'm genuinely unsure about vPost too long. Click here to view the full text.
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There's an excellent piece at Slate Star Codex that was written several years ago on this issue, and basically it kind of sums up what I think I personally believe on this.

Link: https://slatestarcodex.com/2013/12/29/the-spirit-of-the-first-amendment/

In short:
>"Bad argument gets counterargument. Does not get bullet. Does not get doxxing. Does not get harassment. Does not get fired from job. Gets counterargument. Should not be hard."

I should mention that the last sentence is pretty clearly untrue. This is an extremely hard topic. There are a lot of circumstances where I can certainly see a company being rather ethically justified in wanting to fire somebody, especially if we're literally talking about communists and Nazis. If I have to choose, though, I'd rather that government set up laws forbidding hiring and firing based on politics.



Oh! Nice article! It articulates concepts that have been swirling in my head to something concrete! That's always nice!

I personally think that the upside of avoiding this brute force politics is well worth the downside of not having a handful of extremists fired.


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Yeah, I think that gets at the problem.  One is not very free to speak if they are threatened for speaking, and one can be threatened for speaking when an asymmetry of power exists:  Big company vs. peon employee.  Individual vs. mob.  The threats are not arguments, but silencing.


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California will start penalizing their legal citizens for not being able to afford healthcare, and they will use the money to fund free healthcare for illegal immigrants.


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Unbelievable, we have our own people on the streets and they want to give illegal vermin our tax dollars?  So looking forward to when the middle class dies off there and they run out of tax dollars.  Those politicians are traitors to our nation and people.



Referring to people as "illegal vermin" is not appropriate for the atmosphere of the discussion board, and the rest of the post wasn't exactly constructive, either.  If you've something to say about the OP do try to remain civil about it and make sure to explain your reasoning in order to contribute to a discussion.


It should probably be mentioned that state insurance mandates are somewhat common, and they're not limited to what are typically regarded as "liberal states".

See: https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-01-aca-mandate-states-require-coverage.html

My personal opinion, though, is that it's fundamentally unethical to make people buy a product that they sincerely can't afford due to the whole health care system in the U.S. being such a backward mess.

As far as the illegal immigration question goes, somebody having a heart attack (or whatever else) going to an ER should get treatment regardless of whatever the hell his or her citizenship status is. That's a matter of fundamental morality. We're human beings with consciences. We don't sit back and let our fellow man die when we could do something.


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I'm making this thread here because of it's highly controversial nature. I hope we are mature enough to discuss weighty matters, but I also acknowledge that people don't always live up to what we hope they'd be, and one must be prepared for certain eventualities of human emotion. I also don't want to completely dismiss these habits since they reflect an underlying passion on the parts of ourselves and our society; a passion that is essential in keeping our lives and our culture from stagnating. I don't ask for passionlessness, the opposite in fact, but I do hope for mutual respect, even if you are wrong.

Formalities aside. I'd like to have serious and mature discussion about the Golden Age of Hollywood. We all know that peak among the virtues of the silver screen is sex appeal. There is currently much talk about the male gaze and unrealistic body standards in Hollywood. With that end, I would like to have a serious and a mature conversation, with mutual respect, about who are the sexiest stars of the Silver Screen, particularly from the Golden Age of Hollywood when the movies became what we know them as today, and why is the sexiest Yul Brynner.
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Remember when smoking cigarettes was still a thing?  Pepperidge Farm remembers.


Could you clarify when the "Golden Age of Hollywood" beings and ends?



Usually from the end of the silent era in the mid-late 1920s and the period that saw the dismantling of the studio system starting around 1948 with the United States vs Paramount Pictures decision and culminating with the dominance of television in the mid 1950s.


Alright, dudes. We gotta talk about this.

Last week we had a thread talking about male victims of rape and how they were made fun of in comedy. I think the consensus so far in that thread is, that that kind of portrayal is probably not healthy for men, especially male survivors of rape. But maybe someone will pop in here and prove that that is still a point of some contention.

Today, I've brought for your considerations from the same youtube channel some portrayals of sexual assault in harrison ford movies.

I know at least one of you have struggled with thoughts about how you were supposed to be around women in a romantic setting, without being accused of sexual assault. So more discussions about consent and when it's recognized, might be useful for someone.

I'd love to hear what you think of these portrayals as before, and maybe we can have a neat conversation about, what the prevalence of such egregious tropes in popular media, could mean for our society, and how it might give us some clues, as to what some popular myths about courtship might be in our society, that might not be wise to adhere to.
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>I see what you're saying, but I think a lot of this also rests on this inordinate obsession we have where the pursuit of a relationship and getting sexual experience, informs too much of a man's self worth. The reason it feels like a catch-22, is because men feel they are worthless without women, and because they feel worthless, they cannot feel that a woman could ever love them genuinely. If we dispell the myth that sexual experience or being in a relationship is essential to manly worth, we teach men that they can expect to be appreciated, and we give them the confidence necesseary to pursue it in the best way possible.

I agree with this and feel like I need to project it more to the men in my life. Sometimes I get a little too caught up in my head and forget to remind the people I love, why I love them.


I'm sure they'll love that <3


I think taking time to remind people that is a really wonderful thing.


I found it interesting.
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Demagogues of this kind also characterize critique and satire as censorship and opposition. They will build an image for themselves as the valiant social pariah, no matter the amount of actual censorship or critique. The same single tweet or video can be used as fuel for framing by every single alt-right/far right or conservative demagogue in existence, and outrage can even be fabricated from nothing at all.

It doesn't matter what we do, essentially, their presentation of themselves remains as it is.


But isn't the alternative literally being everything they say we are? Oversensitive, censor-happy people who'd rather pull authority than argue the points? So much so that even moderate-minded people would lean towards sympathizing with them? It's just hard for me to see that as being a good move, and i don't really see another alternative...


It's not an easy problem, and as such there's not an easy solution.

A lot of this comes down to subjective determinations in the end. As we know, if we had lived nazi germany at the time of world war II we would likely have been nazis ourselves. The banality of evil is such that anyone can engage in it, and be convinced to engage in it.

There's a difference between choosing to platform something, and platforming it responsibly. Discussing naziism in a fact based way with a historical framing is useful and productive.

Letting some demagogue with no expertize argue that we should deport all brown people just because he feels like that's the right solution (and this is often what it boils down to, the stats from these kinds of demagogues are nearly always fabricated), is not responsible. Someone is going to be swayed, because they simply can't be bothered to fact check. That's why we have anti hate-speech laws for public forums in a lot of developed countries.


What are Townhall's thoughts on this kind of portrayal?
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> if a joke implies male victims of rape are weak or cowards, yeah.
"Rape" jokes don't imply that necessarilly either


I generally agree that these sort of portrayals do reinforce some frankly damaging attitudes towards male victims of sexual assault.

Now, I don't believe that such portrayals actually encourage assault. I don't think media can incite action (unless that encitement is explicit and overt) but media does influence attitudes, which in turn effects how people approach those who are male victims of sexual assault.


Right you are, but in this thread we're talking about jokes that make fun of male rape victims.

So notice, that I am not saying, and have never said, that one cannot tell jokes about rape without doing this. Rape jokes can be empowering or humanizing.

I like that take.

The reason I personally feellike I do is that I've read a number of studies that indicate that holding certain attitudes can increase the likelyhood of sexual assault, and since we consider jokes like these to be influencing attitudes regarding rape and sexual assault, it seems to me I have to believe that it can influence behavior in some ways too.


File: 1562972421246.jpg (537.85 KB, 883x912, 883:912, CRISPR-1.jpg) ImgOps Exif Google

Part A.  Suppose that, 15 years in the future, scientists have discovered certain combinations of alleles affecting general intelligence.  Suppose that one common combination (let's call it "A") is found to be contribute, on average, to an IQ 10 points greater than other common combinations.  Suppose that the distribution is racially uneven, such that 85% of whites have combination A, while only 15% of blacks have combination A.  Further suppose that gene editing techniques have been developed so that parents can conceive a child with an A genotype regardless of their own genotypes.  Should the government fund this treatment for intending parents with a non-A genotype if the treatment costs an average of $10,000 per child (in 2019 dollars)?  What if it costs an average of $100,000 per child?

Part B.  Suppose that patent rights for the treatment are held by a white supremacist who refuses to voluntarily license them for use in the above-mentioned government program.  What should the government do?  
(A) seize the patent rights under eminent domain, paying fair market value (FMV) compensation as determined by a court,
(B) enact a law requiring that patents for such treatment be compulsorily licensed on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms,
(C) exempt human gene editing from patents altogether, or
(D) do something else (please specify).
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>Sounds like the same thing we've been doing the last couple hundred years and it's really working out swell.

I can vouch for it. I'm only here today because experimental medicine saved my life when i was an newborn. If we were less willing to move forward, less willing to take risks moving forward, i'd have died before i was a month old.


Since intelligence is only 50% to 75% heritable and nurture plays such an immense role, wouldn't it make more sense to spend money ending the war on drugs, ending environmental racism, ending the school-to-prison pipeline, fixing the health care system for children, setting up a guaranteed minimum income, et cetera?
It's objectively clear that most African-Americans spend their early years in a more hostile environment compared to essentially all other groups, and that harms intelligence as much as it harms everything else.

It seems so much cheaper and easier. Not to mention less controversial. Less risk of genetic fuckery in terms of side effects too.


> wouldn't it make more sense to spend money ...
I dunno, I'd have to run the numbers.  

>spend money ending the war on drugs
Or more likely save money by ending the war on drugs by defunding the DEA (which shouldn't even exist anyway if the government actually obeyed the Constitution).


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I would like to discuss the recent film "Vice", and the aspects of the George W. Bush presidency and the time immediately before and following the 9/11 attacks covered by that film.

It's been nearly 20 years now since the George W. Bush administration began and a lot of the people who post on this site are too young to remember the events surrounding it with much clarity or context, if at all. A lot of things have come to light about the administration and actions taken by it in the intervening time, most notably the amount of of misleading information that was spread at the time.

I feel this film does a good job of covering the basics of that information in a factual, yet entertaining way.
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I'd prefer people watch the movie before we discuss so that everyone is up to speed on the topic. But if you're knowledgeable about the topic, you can certainly weigh in.


I'm not! I'll just be lurking.

A movie is a large barrier for entry, though, not sure how likely it is you'll get much discussion going.


>A movie is a large barrier for entry

I thought it a smaller barrier for entry than having a vast knowledge of the Bush administration and the 9/11 attacks, which happened while many posters here were still children or infants.

This way, we can limit the scope of the discussion to only the issues covered in the movie, such as the Patriot Act.


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This isn't so much of a debate topic or anything as a general sense of questions that have bugged me lately. There's three things sticking on my mind after spending too much time looking at 4chan /lgbt/.

A)What do you think is the best and succinct way to explain being 'non-binary' to people, like in a paragraph speech form?

B)What do you think is the best way to explain this as being distinct from being 'stereotypically transgender' in the sense of having to take hormones, eventually have surgery, and so on?

C)Do you agree with the idea of there being a kind of 'transgender umbrella' that extends over a wide group of people, or would you define that term more narrowly?
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np <3

This is Eph, btw. Hope you're doing well.


I used to watch videos by this one youtuber a while back. Was never a huge fan, but caught a couple of their videos because they were on a site with other contributors. In one video I saw her reviewing an anime, and they were utterly perplexed when they saw a male character urinate and then shake up and down a little after he did so. She went on to explain her asking her male friends about it. Turns out she was completely unaware of the after-pee dick shake male people do. It was kind of hilarious to me. Like I get that she wouldn't know about it because she was female, but to think something that is part of my life daily would so confuse someone else was shocking in a funny way.

Years go by, and later on I hear that the person who created that video had come out as transsexual and was living as a man now. it made me think, Isn't someone who had so little knowledge of the male experience living as a man now sort of strange? How does that work? I've never had a good time or place to bring it up, but it's been in the back of my mind for a while now.


 No.407[Reply][Last 50 Posts]

Debate footage starts at 2:00:44.

So the first Democratic Presidential Debate was last night, the other half of contenders are going on tonight.  To anyone who watched it, what were your opinions?  Who would you say made themselves look good in that debate, and who are supporting right now?

I think Beto o'Rourke and Gabbard went off on some weird tangents in there.  De Blasio seems to have some pretty extreme viewpoints, but they're viewpoints a lot of people could support, too.  I thought Klobuchar, Booker, and Castro all gave pretty even handed answers.

Tonight I'm really looking forward to high pollers like Sanders and the former VP.  But I'm especially looking forward to Yang, who's still my favorite for the nomination, even though he's currently sort of behind.  This might be his chance to really get into the public light.

As some further questioning, what did you think of Hillary Clinton's race the last go around, and what do you think the democratic party needs to succeed this time?
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But why spend billions upon billions on a wall when there are already fences along the border?

This doesn't make any sense. I don't know how people even entertain this idea.

It's like there's a miasma around Donald Trump that just kills everyone's brains.


>the latter is just simply a rediculous idea. Unfeasible by any stretch of imagination.

There are active tunnels that people use to get into the United States from Mexico right now  We semi-frequently discover them and shut them down, but it's far from unfeasible.

I'm not sure it's entirely moral to shoot down civilian boats, either.


>I'm not sure it's entirely moral to shoot down civilian boats, either.
You know how the saying goes though.

Don't expect sound moral reasoning from someone willing to place impoverished people in indentured servitude.


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I would like to propose an topic of discussion after reading and reviewing several Reddit threads and websites around Tech support Stories.

It's a very well known fact that in today's society computers and technology are not only a common thing, but practically required to be used in many cases.
Office jobs require computers for typing, paperwork, communication and data storage.
Along with that stores and restaurants are also moving towards automated and technical approaches to service with self-checkouts, ordering kiosks, and even little digital table menu's that you can pay your bill on.

With all of this going on it would seem common sense that people should have some sort of computer knowledge or at least some ability to be able to use the most basic of functions on a computer, even if it's pecking typing. More often than not though it seems there's a complete lack of understanding on using a computer, and in many cases a complete unwillingness to even try to learn or educate oneself.

Altogether this boils down to an interesting situation where many people do need jobs to survive and will work in jobs that require the use of technical equipment, and more often than not these people also have no ability to use a computer though it is a constant in their jobs. Granted people can avoid needing to use computers at some extent outside of the work, however at work many require and depend on computers.

The big problem I seem to see is many go to supervisors, managers, tech support, and colleagues asking about doing simple tasks over and over without ever learning, and it ends up leading to a lot of stress and frustration on all parts. And with a lot of jobs if they require the use of tools or knowledge they have to get a license or a permit to be able to do the job legally. Even someone working in fast food needs a food handler's permit.

So, my thought comes to this, with computers being so widespread and part of the mainstream of life nowadays, wouldn't it be a good idea of it was requires for people that have to work on computers to need a license or permit saying they're at least know enough about computers to know how to work a mouse or even turn it on, or would this be considered too restrictive of an idea and prevent people from getting access to necessary work to be able to live
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If you can point and click a mouse you can use Linux...


You can't really install new programs on Linux. What the fuck is a "directory"?


It's really easy. Most have in built graphical package managers. As in you search for software and click 'install'.


This video from How To ADHD recently explains the differences between ASD and ADHD, and it's very informative. I want to open this as a discussion of the differences highlighted and ones not covered, and invite everyone with ADHD or ASD to share their experiences if they feel comfortable. let's all learn to understand each other
normies are welcome too.
Posting on townhall because I don't want this to get too silly and this is a sensitive topic for some people


I have ADHD, well, it was called ADD when I was a kid, not sure when they added the H, or if I have hyperactivity.

But in either case, I was curious about this video because of that. But this video is really too casual and anecdotal for me. I'd be interested in a most scientific and/or informative exploration on this, if someone made that.


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You wake up in the morning and find yourself back to back in bed with an unconscious violinist. A famous unconscious violinist. He has been found to have a fatal kidney ailment, and the Society of Music Lovers has canvassed all the available medical records and found that you alone have the right blood type to help. They have therefore kidnapped you, and last night the violinist's circulatory system was plugged into yours, so that your kidneys can be used to extract poisons from his blood as well as your own. If he is unplugged from you now, he will die; but in nine months he will have recovered from his ailment, and can safely be unplugged from you.

Is it moral for you to detach yourself from the violinist knowing that it would kill him?
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It obviously causes both emotional harm and physical harm, though.

You're never going to feel safe again, you'll always be worried that you'll be kidnapped again, and god help you if the violinist had any kind of bloodborne disease, parasites or if the procedure causes an autoimmune response of any kind, or if your kidneys are caused some kind of damage from the overwork they've now been put on. not to mention, an incision or an insertion had to be made somewhere, so your circulatory systems could be connected, exposing you to infection and other problems.

Add to this that you can't exercise for nine months, you can't hardly do anything, and your mental and physical faculties are almost certainly going to atrophy as a result, plus, if you do unplug yourself, and you're not a total unempathetic asshole, you're at least going to feel a twinge of guilt or letdown, over having to be the one to pull the plug. You're forced into a situation where harm will almost certainly come to you, that's effectively the same as doing harm and actually a pretty large amount of it.


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What method of morality are we operating under?

The question of if something is moral depends entirely on what moral code you're working under.

In mine, if I do not personally know the violinist, do not personally have a connection to them, or a personal reason to want them to stay alive, I would detach. My morality dictates that my life is the most important one, but I would make exceptions to that rule for people I have vested interest in, or personal relationships with.

ah damn i got the shitty animal this time


Yes. It is moral. You have no duty to this person in the first place, and on top of that, you were kidnapped and assaulted. You owe nothing to this person, and the fact that neither the violinist nor this group that wants to keep him alive has offered you so much as a cent for your valuable amd unique blood, and is more or less stealing your body from you, when if they have the means to track down amd kidnap you, they have the means to make a reasonable offer to you, makes your duty to them even shaker. Any and all responsibility for what happens lies with the kidnappers.


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Well I might not have agreed with everything being said, I was still interested in hearing the different view points.

Minty, not sure if you browse townhall, and you don't have to reveal yourself in the thread, but if you would like I am interested in continuing the discussion and hearing the different views.
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>purpose is concerned, it's useful information, but I see no practical use for it.
The practical use of this information is to supplement with creatine if you're on a vegetarian diet.  (As a side note, even if on a diet that includes red meat, if you do weight lifting, supplementing with creatine is still helpful.)


Sorry I'm being a bit obtuse. My point is if I wanted better muscle growth and performance, we already know that creatine can do that regardless of your diet.

And for the cognitive aspect, I read through the study myself, and it looked super weak. The sample size is so small, I feel like the margin of error must be enormous. Maybe this is how all studies are run, I don't read through many. But it felt kinda meh.

I've been vegetarian for a few years, no creatine supplement. I'm actually starting to care about muscle for once so I think I'll try starting to supplement. And I'll find some way to to test my cognitive ability before and maybe a month after. I'm not against the idea there will be measurable improvement, I'm just skeptical (for the cognitive side). Trying it myself could be interesting. I just need to figure out how best to measure it...


A few things to note

Studies that use biomechanical outcomes, are as a rule, more reliable even at lower sample sizes, than studies that use more subjective outcome measures. This is part of the reason why medical science can often get away with really low sample sizes.

The only non-contentious cognitive effect of creatine that seems measurable so far on healthy adults is memory improvements.

The body has a natural desired level of creatine. Negative feedback loops will drive down your natural production over time, returning it to normal when you stop supplementing.

High levels of creatine are not reccomended for those with renal diseases

Vegans and vegetarians tend to have a lower baseline due to not consuming any meat, and benefit more from supplementation.

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File: 1559622788167.jpg (49.91 KB, 960x720, 4:3, Hard Determinism Compatibi….jpg) ImgOps Exif Google

Today I heard a new term called compatibilism and it got me looking at this whole philosophical discussion.

I consider myself a hard determinist, though I'm honestly struggling to grasp the concept of compatibilism and what it implies. So I'm open to being that, it is possible that I claim I don't believe in free will while simultaneously not understanding what a compatibilist thinks free will is.

For instance I told a friend he should make a choice, to try to be better, to not let his emotion get the best of him. Does that mean I think he has the free will to choose that for himself? No, but what I know is that our determined course of action is calculated based on the entire state of the universe, including the words I have said to him. So, in effect, telling him to make a choice has not altered fate, but it was a component of fate in motion and that input into the cosmic equation was a necessary part of him getting from predetermined state to the next predetermined state.

Can anyone help me better understand what compatibilism is? It's completely frying my brain trying to understand the concept as I've been reading about it. Like, everything I read about it sounds precisely like hard determinism but just wrapped up in a way in which we can still hold people accountable morally for their predetermined actions. Maybe, that is precisely what it is? Thoughts?
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Well this all looks very nice and I like it.

>5. As a corollary of the above, when two different models not linked in such a hierarchy use the same term for their definition, that fact technically means nothing by itself - these concepts are completely unrelated to each other, even sharing that name. The definition would actually have to be the same.
I do have a bit of a problem with this assumption, not because I think it's a bad deduction from the other assumptions, but because I think it doesn't accurately characterize how things tend to work in reality. The concepts are unrelated, in a sense, but they're attempting to account for the same human tendency, so in application this makes a comparison valid. If you're going to build a moral framework, and your framework relies on free will, you have to consider which kind of conception you're going to use. The two conceptions of free will we've discussed in this thread are likely to be contenders for such application, and it's valid to compare and contrast them.

In regards to 6, I agree, and of course I am not claiming that free will in disparate models is always or even usually referring to the same thing.

>Nah, "convenient" was right. If a concept is so orthogonal to reality that its truth or falsehood literally has no effect anyone in said reality can detect (so, that blows the "congruent with reality" criterion out of the water from the start), just picking the convenient stance and going from there seems to me to be correct. It's possible discuss what's more convenient, at most.
That really must depend on what you mean by convenient.

>It's a straightforward purely logical process that under-the-hood doesn't actually rely on anyone's opinion to work. The idea isn't to produce a "useful" object at the end of the construction, the idea is to expose a hole. What we do with that hole is a separate question entirely.
I see what you mean, about how your process works. I find it interesting, and of course it is not unusual to try and strive for this kind of proces in philosophy, but I wonder whether it's of much use to view the world through only a purely logical process, in this particular case. Can you actually say anything relevant with this?



>I think it doesn't accurately characterize how things tend to work in reality

Isn't this covered by #6 though? That to make things practical we do have to bring in a whole host of tacit assumptions? And that it's okay to do so, so long as we're aware it's what's happening?

As you say, there's a human tendency to think of "free will" in a certain way. I'd say it's even a specific aspect of human decision making that these models are trying to address. That aspect is common to them, yet the commonality is not explicitly defined, and what makes it work for enabling comparisons is that it's part of that grab-bag of tacit assumptions we're bringing in. Otherwise the "free will" of one model and the "free will" of another would simply be different unrelated things with the same name. How can you compare such things?

And yes, you do need to pick the specific variant when you want to work within a model. Just be aware that it might not just be a different slice of the same thing, but a different thing entirely.

>That really must depend on what you mean by convenient.

Well, here's a few examples of stances I would call convenient. Consider Russell's teapot, except in a different star system for good measure. The consequences if it were real would be massive, yet we can't check for its existence. The convenient option is to essentially just shrug and proceed with the assumption it's not there*.

Consider the old cliche "if a tree falls in a forest and there's nobody around to hear it, does it make a sound", with its modern day update to account for the possibility of scientific equipment etc. acting as observers, and "hearing" being just whatever form of detecting through observation. What if it didn't make a sound under such circumstances (because, say, the simulation hypothesis is right and the simulation is optimized to save some CPU cycles)? That would be hugely interesting but we'll never know it is so. Might as well shrug, apply the Occam's razor and go with the convenient option of "yes it does".
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Sorry, I've been working out some shit the past few days.

>Isn't this covered by #6 though? That to make things practical we do have to bring in a whole host of tacit assumptions? And that it's okay to do so, so long as we're aware it's what's happening?
I felt like it didn't really, because you characterized it like it was being drawn from a vague notion of free will common in the discourse, and that this vague notion might have ambigiuous meaning which resolves to an individual conception when read by different people, but I think it's more common for a good model to have a specific and defined idea of what free will is, since it's so foundational to assigning moral value to an action.

>How can you compare such things?
I'm not sure exactly what you mean by tacit assumptions, but it seems you can easily compare different conceptions of free will by examining the assumptions behind the conceptions, how they differ in the ways they tie free will to reality, and what the consequences of implementing different conceptions into a moral or ethical framework would be. There's plenty to compare, I think.

Are you suggesting that there is nothing to compare or what do you mean?

>Well, here's a few examples of stances I would call convenient. Consider Russell's teapot, except in a different star system for good measure. The consequences if it were real would be massive, yet we can't check for its existence. The convenient option is to essentially just shrug and proceed with the assumption it's not there*.

I agree, but I don't think just saying convenient is sufficient explanation for why we don't want to believe this hypothesis.

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