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About TaylorS

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    TGL Apprentice
  • Birthday 04/28/1986

TaylorS's Activity

  1. TaylorS added a post in a topic Ontological relativism   

    An excellent book on the Standard Model of Particle Physics for a non-physicist readership called The Theory of Nearly Everything describes physical laws as mathematical approximations of various symmetries of nature that determine the workings of the universe. E=mc^2, for example, is a description of a symmetry between matter and energy. I'll fathom a hypothesis that both substance theory and bundle theory are correct in some respects, these symmetries of nature may be better things to label as "substances" of a sort and the "bundles" are the particles/quantum fields and the emergent systems based on those particles/fields.

    Of course there is the question of the exact nature of these symmetries and if they can be truly described to be real, something I've been mulling over recently...
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  2. TaylorS added a post in a topic Bostrom's fine-tuning survey   

    My problem with the fine tuning argument is that, IMO, it strays dangerously close to the lack of imagination associated with anthropocentric thinking. My argument is that it is true that nearly all possible arrangements of physical laws preclude the existance of life and sapience as we know it, but that does not mean such universes must then preclude the existance of life or the existance of sapience just based on our current knowledge of life. Another argument is that there may be possible universes that are more amicable to life then ours is. The answer, IMO, will remain unfalsifiable until, at the very least, far in the future, and it will most likely always remain unfalsifiable.

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  3. TaylorS added a post in a topic Is this real?   

    Another issue before these would be viable sperm, I'd guess, is that there would be parental gene imprinting issues. Imprinting refers to that many genes are "tagged" as either comming from the mother or the father. genetic tag problems can lead to Angelman and Prader-Willi Syndromes.
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  4. TaylorS added a post in a topic A Meta-Ethical issue that has really been bothering me   

    The issue I have with the concept of an "essence of Man" is that species, our species included, don't have "essential" natures, such essentialism is a relic of Platonic and Aristotelian metaphysics in Western thought. There is no one "Human Nature," only a multiplicity of human natures based on each individual's genetic dispositions and cultural upbringing. Thus, ethical arguments based on "human nature" in the general sense seem questionable.

    Hmmm, I'm inclined to agree.
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  5. TaylorS added a post in a topic A Meta-Ethical issue that has really been bothering me   

    Excellent post! I'll be chewing over this for a while.
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  6. TaylorS added a post in a topic Our hand on humanity   

    I consider myself an transhumanist and I consider 4 principles at the core of the movement:

    Reducing human suffering through technology, with a goal of eliminating aging and all illnesses as well as reducing the material barriers to a good quality of life that cause poverty and force people to work for most of their waking lives.

    Morphological freedom. People should have the right to modify their own physical appearance however they desire, or not modify themselves at all if they wish.

    Cognitive Liberty. Non-harmful cognitive differences between people, either natural (such as Asperger's Syndrome/High-Functioning Autism or ADD) or the result artificial brain modification or enhancement should be celebrated, not stigmatized.

    The personhood of sapient AI. Sapient AIs, one they arrive, are persons and deserve all the "human" rights given other people.
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  7. TaylorS added a post in a topic 2008 Presidential election   

    I'm an Obama supporter. My main issue with Clinton is that she is tied to the sclerotic, triangulation-based, establishment wing of the Democratic party, the wing that, IMO, have created a political atmosphere in which the Republicans are free to frame the issues how they want to and then the Democrats blindly follow the right-ward shift in the polls caused by right-wing memes. She's also taken a lot more money from corporate donors then Obama has. I actually like the fact that he hasn't had much experience in Washington, it means he's not infected with beltway groupthink. I am much more impressed with Obama's on-the-ground work on the South Side of Chicago than the political experience of the Clintons.
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  8. TaylorS added a topic in Explore   

    A Meta-Ethical issue that has really been bothering me
    The issue stem from this thread from another message board I frequent (I'm the poster "Odin" there). In that thread the poster AwesomelyGlorious raises issues about the rational basis of morality and that, in his opinion, Egoism is the only truly rational ethical theory and that there is no logical reason why I ought to reduce the suffering of others.

    My question: Does the Is-Ought distinction rule out any form of moral naturalism, consequentialist forms of moral naturalism based on happiness and self-actualization especially?
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  9. TaylorS added a post in a topic free will, physicalism, and naturalism.   

    I take issue with the assertion of "free will" as a "brute fact." Indeed, the notion of "free will" has always seemed to me to be a muddled concept that often seems to have whatever definition someone wants in order to fit his or her pet theory of mind, kind of like a socialist and a libertarian arguing about the meaning of the term "freedom."
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  10. TaylorS added a post in a topic Time   

    In The Fabric of Reality physicist David Deutsch argues that the "flow of time" is an illusion. He basically fuses Einstein's "block universe" eternalism with the Many Worlds Interpretation of QM, resulting in a "block multiverse."
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  11. TaylorS added a post in a topic How did you get here?   

    I found this site via Google when I was searching for some stuff on ethics.
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  12. TaylorS added a post in a topic Introduce yourself here...   

    Hello everyone! I am a 21-year old college student majoring in biochemistry. My interests in science led me to an interest in epistemology (I currently lean towards the "Critical Rationalism" of Karl Popper and "Evolutionary Epistemology") and metaphysics (I am a physicalist and a weak emergentist).

    My major philosophical influences are from the Epicureans, David Hume, Immanuel Kant, J. S. Mill, and Karl Popper.
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