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Recent Comments

While obviously the legacy of history always remains a social force to some extent, it's open to question exactly how *potent* that force is. Clearly it's less potent than it used to be -- but acknowledging this is frowned upon in some circles because it sounds like a [concession to the enemy](http:...(read more)

<i>consider Christian Heaven: singing hymns doesn't sound like loads of endless fun</i>

Unless, perhaps, you happen to enjoy music...

(Seriously -- suppose you got to compose your own hymns.)

A general comment: I am tempted to question the wisdom of tying Fun Theory so closely to the aesthetics o...(read more)

TGGP, I'm not going to argue the point that there has been moral progress. It isn't the topic of this post.

Phil Goetz:

<i>Everybody says that not taking the land from the Native Americans would have been the right thing to do; but nobody wants to give it back.</i>

The whole point of my original ...(read more)

Michael, I take the point about outliers -- but claims like the one I made are inherently statistical in nature.

Furthermore, it is worth noting that (1) pre-WWI Germany would indeed have to be considered one of the more morally enlightened societies of the time; and (2) the Nazi regime ultimately ...(read more)

TGGP, I'm afraid you've committed the moral analogue of replying to some truth claim with a statement of the form: "As a non-X-ist, I don't find the notion of truth to be meaningful".

By "moral progress" I simply mean the sense in which Western civilization is nicer today than it used to be. E.g. w...(read more)

Slightly tangential, but I think this needs addressing:

<i>What is the moral argument for not colonizing America?</i>

Literally interpreted, that's a meaningless question. We can't change history by moral argument. What we can do is point to past deeds and say, "let's not do things like that anymo...(read more)

Eliezer, although you and Robin agree on the general principle, Robin has signed up with Alcor, while you have signed up with CI. (Despite the fact that you say you could afford Alcor also.) How much of a disagreement is this, and what does it reflect?

More generally, how should one rationally appr...(read more)


Komponisto: that definition includes human beings

No it doesn't. I said controlling the weather, not affecting it or influencing it.

Unknown, how about this:

God: a conscious entity capable of controlling the weather.

(At least, I propose these as <i>necessary</i> attributes of a deity.)

Under this definition, I'm pretty sure Eliezer is an atheist. On the other hand, do you dare assert that a typical theist doesn't believe th...(read more)

<i>To all defending Modern Art: Please point to at least one item available online which exemplifies that which you think I'm ignoring or missing.</i>

Funny -- I didn't actually read the post as an attack on Modern Art. The point seemed to be that, appearances to the contrary, Modern Artists <i>are...(read more)