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We all know the trolley dilemma, but let's add a bit of a twist to it.

Let's assume that the track leading to multiple people, has people that are strangers on it. You have never met these people before and know nothing about them.

The track that is leading to a single person, you do know. Infact, this person is one of your very dear friends, perhaps even your best friend.

Now, just a few weeks before you come to find yourself in front of this lever, you and this friend have, ironically, had a talk about sacrifices. During this talk, your friend told you that they would rather sacrifice themselves, rather than let other people die.

Now, having this information about your friend clearly in your mind, can you pull the lever to switch the track to hit your friend, instead of the strangers?
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Someone's value to you shouldn't be the deciding factor on whether they live or die. That's kind of a terrible way of thinking. There are millions and millions of people with absolutely no "value" to me. I still do not wish them to die, nor would I sacrifice their lives.

>I doubt a drug addict would remain a friend of mine for long anyway.

That's completely missing the point. Your friend could be an unemployed gamer or whatever. The point is, your friend may not benefit society as much as the "stranger" does, and your friend may not have as many people who would mourn their lose as the "stranger" does. There's other factors to weigh besides "who does more for me."

>Aren't friends supposed to treat each other specially and have some loyalty to each other?

That doesn't mean that their lives are worth more. I am being put in a position where I choose who lives and who dies. I'm not going to arbitrarily choose my friend because they are my friend. And if my friend is OK with self-sacrifice, they would understand that idea. That sometimes the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one. That's not to say I'd NEVER choose my friend, and indeed, my friend has an unfair advantage if it's him versus one person. But him versus 5 people? Yeah, that's not a decision I would just make lightly.


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>But knowing that your friend would be -ok- with giving their life, and this being the major focus of the dilemma, could you pull the lever and, basically, sacrifice your friend to save these other five people?
Probably not, unless I was a railroad employee responsible for switch.  As a mere bystander, I would have a hard time taking responsibility for altering fate like that.

>Does knowing the one person, in this scenario, and knowing their wishes, make it any less hard to pull the lever?
Yes.  But not enough though that I would do it if I was just a random bystander.

>Someone's value to you shouldn't be the deciding factor on whether they live or die.
Well, what if I have to take an action to save anybody (e.g., if there was a burning building and I could either save a friend or a random stranger)?  If I choose a random stranger instead of my friend, then I wouldn't be a very good friend, would I?  A parent should choose to save their own children instead of a random stranger's children.  In fact, if they don't, they could even be punished by the law!

>That's kind of a terrible way of thinking.
Why do you say that my way of thinking is terrible?

>There are millions and millions of people with absolutely no "value" to me.
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My friend lives. End of story. No sequel. In a different circumstance, I would probably even pull the lever to hit the other people if it saved my friend.


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"It wouldn't be an issue if we let kids wear whatever clothes they wanted and play with whatever toys they wanted.
I always wanted soldier toys but my brother wanted barbies. My parents should have just let him wear pink and play with barbies.
If society didn't box people by their genitals, we wouldn't have people trying to jump into the other box.
You don't see many people saying they identify as brown-eyed. That's because eye color doesn't dictate how people treat you."

Do you agree or disagree?  Do gender roles serve a useful enough function in modern society to justify their existence?  Or should socially encouragement/enforcement of gender roles be relaxed/eliminated?
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>Should we by default drop society's expectation on everything?
No, I wouldn't want people to be rude and anti social for the sake of dropping social expectations. But letting a child chose their favorite color, toys, and clothing is completely harmless to society and should be allowed.


>If my kid wants to run around naked at a public event, would that be acceptable?
Why wouldn't it be acceptable, as long as there is no danger of (hypothermia or frostbite) and adequate precautions are taken against UV damage?


>"It wouldn't be an issue if we let kids wear whatever clothes they wanted and play with whatever toys they wanted.
>I always wanted soldier toys but my brother wanted barbies. My parents should have just let him wear pink and play with barbies.

Completely agree

>If society didn't box people by their genitals, we wouldn't have people trying to jump into the other box.
>You don't see many people saying they identify as brown-eyed. That's because eye color doesn't dictate how people treat you."

100% disagree.

My childhood access to girls things had no bearing on whether or not my subconscious mind expects my body to be shaped and to function different than it does and causes me a low level panic when my ability to disassociate from my body is compromised from something like say, something touching my genitals.

Girly things may serve the function of appearing to be a girl in the mirror, but we don't identify the way we do based on what roles we can or cannot fill.

 No.3687[Reply][Last 50 Posts]

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What's up with Hillary?  Yesterday she was saying something about Jill Stein (former Green Party presidential nominee and respected environmentalist) and Tulsi Gabbard being "Russian assets" or something ridiculous like that.  And apparently lots of people think that Hillary is going to run for president again this year. [1]  What's going on?

[1] https://www.predictit.org/markets/detail/4614/Will-Hillary-Clinton-run-for-president-in-2020
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>And again, willingness to gamble on something doesn't necessarily mean there's a significant chance of it happening. Some people don't follow politics very closely. This is a silly argument.
Studies show that prediction markets are pretty good at predicting what will happen.  Again, I suggest you read up on prediction markets; it's a really interesting subject!

>If you want to believe Hillary will run again, you can.
The market equilibrium for Hillary running is only 20%; that means that it's much more likely that she won't run.

>But i'm choosing to see that as very unlikely to a high degree based on what I know about presidential campaigns.
I don't think you're choosing.  In general, humans can't consciously choose to believe something; they need to be convinced that the belief is true.  I think you just have different priors ("priors" in the Bayesian sense) and weigh the evidence differently than I.


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>Ex-Clinton strategist: Don't rule out Hillary run, amidst news of Bloomberg's entrance


"Guy who used to work for Hillary guesses at her intentions" doesn't sound very credible.


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What are the foundations of ethics? Do you subscribe to some form of utilitarianism? Deontology? Something else?
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>>What are the foundations of ethics?
>Authority, I suppose.
What authority?


I do what Batman would do.


That's the hard question.  You might first think ethics is following your heart, but I guess that doesn't work at a grand scale, that idea is superseded for many ethical questions.  What happens instead is you get a relationship between an person or group capable of administering punishments and rewards and a person or group incapable of escaping those punishments and rewards.  When people choose this relationship, right and wrong relate to punishment and reward, and so ethical power moves from an individual to that individual's authorities.


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Lots of people believe that the Healthcare system in America is broken.

Do you think it's broken, if so what is making it broken?
How should we fix it, or improve on it?

This is a very partisan question, and I think both sides disagree why Healthcare doesn't work. Be ready to back yourself up with sources if need be.
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I just have to chime in to say that I hate this graph.


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Why do you hate it?


Bad axes (which I forgive) and a line poorly fit to scattergram data as if it represents some sort of causal relationship to emphasize deviation from that contrived causality (which I do not forgive).


Ahh, when the mask slips off ...


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Is there any such thing as unconditional love?

Personally, it seems love is created based on conditions -- are you similar? are you sufficient? do you make me feel good?, often are your genes similar?.  It's hard to believe once formed love would be free of conditions.  And I know not all relationships or even marriages continue (short of death).  I could explain that by saying someone tripped a no-go love condition.

But there is no shortage of articles telling me otherwise, perhaps even suggesting I've never experienced true love (or never acknowledged it), I've only been used, and drawing on my own experience am probably only capable of using others myself.  Express your perspective, if desired.
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There's always a breaking point.  But it's a nice idea.


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Probably not.


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>That might as well be unconditional love.
True, perhaps.

>find someone they're more compatible with
That does sound nice.

Hmm...can you love someone by not supporting their goals because their goals are self-destructive?  Probably.  It's a bit paternal, like a mother keeping a baby from going off a ledge.  Harder when you don't have that level of control.

I see.

Maybe it's possible to separate unconditional love and unconditional affection.
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If you could push a button to instantly eradicate all forms of socialism, including National Socialism, would you press it?
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You could have at least said strasserism instead which was a strand of nazism that was at the least intended to be closer to socialism due to the complete lack of socialism in nazism. Strasserism is still bad though and still should be condemned. Socialism however in my opinion is fine outside of more authoritarian and oppression versions of state socialism and other questionable manifestations of it some of which are also questionable if they're socialism at all.

At any rate to answer OP's question no especially since fascism would still exist anyway as would ultranationalism of a similar nature to nazism.

Don't forget lack of government as stateless socialism is a thing.

Idk I think there are enough bad manifestations of more authoritarian versions of state socialism to make the choice interesting without bringing something into it that isn't socialism save for arguably strasserism.

It really doesn't as there are already fairly well established definitions of socialism. Taking hitler's idea of socialism as socialism especially if you take it as the ONLY form of socialism as he advocates is like saying the political right is actually the political left. It's just pointless and counterproductive.


I wouldn't, but only because pure Capitalism would be just as deadly as pure Socialism and pure Communism.

A mixed system is the way to go. Some Socialist policies are good. Some things are better off in the hands of Capitalism.

If you could get me a button to erase all forms of Communism however, I would press it thrice for good measure.


Yea, I'm of this opinion as well. You want to find a system that has the productivity of capitalism with the resource allocation of socialism. Such a system is likely impossible, but some kind of compromise that has a bit of both. The extreme of either is mass famine and poverty, either because there was no incentive for anyone to be productive (socialism problem) or because 3 people control everything and don't feel like sharing (oligarchy, aka the only logical endpoint to free-market capitalism). We want a system where people are working and putting in real effort, but not one where working 60 hour weeks isn't enough for basic necessities (looking at you, California)


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The number of children with autism has been steadily increasing. Up from 1 in 166 children in 2004 to 1 in 59 children in 2018. (https://www.autismspeaks.org/science-news/cdc-increases-estimate-autisms-prevalence-15-percent-1-59-children)

Do you think this increase in the number of autistic children has had any effect on the quality of children's entertainment?
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I just want to avoid insulting or offending any autistic people or normal people close to autistic people.


Alternatively thinking people...
Malleoconscious individuals
Strong minded folks.


Let's get back on topic.

If a symptom of autism is not understanding subtle and non-verbal cues, and a growing percentage of child audiences have autism, is it possible that cartoons have or will become gradually less subtle? Will more cartoons have to start spelling out a cartoon character's intentions more directly so the audience will understand?


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Recently Bernie Sanders made the claim in the subject. But under our current capitalist society and government, there is nothing really wrong with billionaires, it may even be a positive thing. Something 'working as intended'.

Do you agree with the statement "billionaires should not exist"?

If not, are you concerned with the current tread of a widening wealth gap? Is it something that needs to be fixed? If so, how? If not, where do you expect it to lead to and is that the right place to take our society?

If you agree that billionaires should not exist, what should we do about it? Is it 'fair' to target and try to reduce the wealth of billionaires? What about multimillionaires? How much is wealth is too much wealth? And might trying to prevent anyone acquiring or holding too much wealth be damaging in some way to our society and economic system?

Also, this isn't a thread to talk about Bernie, the presidential election, or anything to do with partisan politics. I'm looking for how you feel about the ultra rich, the wealth gap, and how you would approach the issue (if at all).
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Well, I guess, as a prosocial pony, I try to minimize unpopular opinions.  I read a book where the authors said specialists in the field agreed on a connection between IQ and productivity, but I gather the book solidly failed peer review, and I have no research of my own, so I defer to the mainstream view of no association between IQ and much else in life, except perhaps whether a person gets the privilege of being able to pay dues to Mensa.


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It's true that not every position requires a high IQ.  For some positions, a person with IQ=130 might not be any faster than a person with IQ=85.  But other positions really do require a high level of intelligence.  If high-IQ individuals cost many times a low-IQ individual, then the right solution for a research-and-engineering-and-manufacturing organization will probably be a mix of people.  But if you eliminate ALL the high-IQ individuals, you can't really replace them even with 10,000 low-IQ individuals.

>Given that, I'm willing to place my money on the 10,000 people just trying things repeatedly until something works.
Not all tasks are parallelizable like that.  You might have hundreds of subsystems that need to function together.  And if you look at all the major advances in physics, none have been from people with below-average intelligence.

> I try to minimize unpopular opinions.
You should instead try to minimize false beliefs, and only let evidence of truth be the deciding factor of what to believe.

>I defer to the mainstream view of no association between IQ and much else in life
That's not the mainstream view.  Hardly anyone with an IQ < 85 even graduates from college.


I seek some social connection and I know about being agreeable.  If the mainstream sociologists have published their view on intelligence, and it's understandable, I may read it.  I assume those who work for NASA need college degrees, yes.


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The word "high" in the phrase "high crimes" refers to the office and not the offense, and the offense may not even be a breach of criminal statute.

There are allegations that (1) President Trump, acting in his official capacity, pressured Volodymyr Zelenskyy (President of Ukraine) to launch an official investigation of Hunter Biden's activities in Ukraine and (2) Trump's intent was to help his own re-election campaign, not to advance the interests of the United States.  If these allegations are true, would you consider Trump's conduct a high crime (or a high misdemeanor)?

If Trump were to be impeached by the House and convicted by the Senate, would another Republican presidential candidate have a better chance of winning in 2020 than Trump would if he were not removed from office?  Who do you think would be the Republican candidate best able to win the 2020 election if Trump is removed from office?
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>So I'm not sure what that situation has to do with what we are discussing.
I thought you said you followed the logic, in >>2866.

Maybe you can elaborate on why you think a call to investigate Jussie Smollett who is proper, but Trump's called to investigate Biden was improper.  What is the important difference?


I'm not aware of any call to further investigate Jussie Smollett. I was under the impression that it was an open and shut case. He created a hoax and was almost immediately found out.

As for Trump investigating Biden, I think the issue here is that Trump did not go through the proper channels and organizations to investigate it. Instead he tried to pressure another nation into giving him information he could use against a political opponent.



remember, the alt-right is essentially a cult


After a report sent about this thread, it's been locked, and we're currently reviewing the report and thread contents!


This thread has not been found to meet the site standards for /Townhall/, and has subsequently been locked. Thank you all for your cooperation!


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Good evening, pony friends. I have an announcement today, from the staff.

The staff has been getting a lot of reports from /townhall/ lately, concerning the breaking of our rules on behavior and civility.

The staff has been discussing your reports, and your complaints about the system to us, and we've arrived at what we feel is a more fair, equitable way to proceed here on /townhall/ without the need for extreme action.

We've put together two plans, based on the two prevailing schools of thought here on staff.

First, is Plan A, which is our default plan, and how we'll be moving forward.

Under Plan A, everyone will be given a COMPLETELY CLEAN SLATE to start from, and thereby no amount of past history will influence decisions moving forward here on townhall, -but-, the rules will be here-on-out enforced a lot more strictly.

The first report a thread gets will cause that thread to be locked. This report has to come from a user with post history, and abuse of this system will lead to users being banned.

Thereafter, whosoever is deemed to have instigated the uncivil behavior, will receive a ban
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>This place doesn't have an explicit political focus.
It's got a serious topic focus, though
I guess if you mean more scientific or philosophic topics, sure. But, that's more or less in the same boat for me.
I was wanting something less serious.


We can't really force OP names, I think. There are some users on ponyville that are anonymous all the time.

I think you're right that it will create some discontent when users are banned for what is percieved as invalid reasons, but my hope is that people would channel that discontent by creating better threads and participating in the threads with the best frameworks.

if I'm right, I think this should lead to a system by which the quality of thread moderation systems is improved through an iterative approach.

But it could also suck major dick.


I can agree this can be a problem. And often times one mod would not see a post as a problem, then another would come and claim it was once the thread had derailed.

I think the problem with this plan is that the modstaff is relatively small, made up of volunteers with their own lives outside of moderating, and their own biases. I'm not sure this system is going to help the problem they think it will.


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1. Suppose you are responsible for setting up a holiday party for your company.  And further suppose that your wife owns a catering company.  Would it be conflict of interest for you to personally select your wife's company to cater for the holiday party?

2. Suppose you are the chief executive officer of a very large organization.  This organization is going to be setting up a conference.  You happen to personally own a convention center.  Would it be a conflict of interest for you to select your own convention center as the location of the conference?
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Most public organisations and government organisations have, or should have an acquisition process. If you have a conflict of interest you shouldn't be part of that acquisition process. You could nominate your business, on the premise of being cheap sure. But that shouldn't garuntee your success. You can't scratch your own back using someone else's hand.

Private enterprises are allowed to do what they wish. They are not using other people's money. You can subsidise one of your private ventures with the other if you really want.


Assuming that they are private ventures and you are the full owner. If it were an LLC or a publicly traded company then the laws are different.

Very very few companies have an ownership structure that would allow that degree of autonomy from an owner, including companies that only have one top executive who is the founder.


Realistically yes. private companies typically have an acquisition process because it's a good idea anyway. They do not however have fiduciary duty to anyone.

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