This is not a cultural argument per se.
Say x and y come from, respectively: a tribe of quasaieugenicists that settle distributions based on "fitness" rankings (using something like IQ - probably largely arbitrary - but that doesn't matter), and a tribe of equal-sharers (that subscribe to y's conclusion is in the dialog). Within each culture the relevant version of "fairness" (or the 'core distributive principle') is intuitive, much like y's system is for us. In the x culture people with low rankings intuit that their superiors are 'enti... (read more)
Devil's advocate (literally) on xmas day, here we go:
Premise 1: The Bible contains some useful guidelines regarding interpersonal ethics.
Premise 2: SOME people may not adhere to such guidelines absent metaphysical threats (e.g. damnation) or a public shaming (for going against doctrine).
In other words, I'm not convinced that widespread indoctrination MUST always yield worse results (in terms of the ethical behaviors within a group) than a widespread 'understanding' that all people are to think for themselves.
Say we come up with a (more or less comprehensi... (read more)
Ethics be damned we need more experiments like this
How is this experiment unethical? It was just a regular summer camp, with counselors that happened to be taking notes.
Well its more or less an empirical question isn't it? On the one hand maybe 9/11 was a fluke - in that case the best option would be to just rebuild and carry on, like Eliezer says. But maybe it wasn't - maybe the people behind it were/are both willing and capable to successfully launch more attacks. In that case it seems to make sense to wager, or at least consider wagering, some amount of lives to prevent greater losses in the future. It all depends on the information available: what are the resources/intents of your enemy? Would it be at all possible to... (read more)