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Date:2005-03-04 20:13
Subject:Attention South Florida Atheists, Agnostics, Freethinkers, and Humanists

Our current members and I of the Broward Atheists Meetup (www.browardatheists.com and in www.meetup.com) welcome all interested in atheism, theism, freethought, agnosticism, humanism, transhumanism, state and church seperation (otherwise known as seperation of sturch), and related topics to our Tuesday meetings after 6:30pm. The www.browardatheists.com website has details on our venue, it is currently a pub, but will change when more members are acquired. We're already bulging at the seams with an average attendance of about twelve. No matter your age, beliefs, or preferences, we'd like to hear your opinion. Even the sternest Christians may come and present their thoughts, because if you really believe we're going to hell, we sure don't want to be wrong about the subject, haha, but most members are pretty confident about their atheism and agnosticism. I mention the invitation only to be open-minded. Anyways, we usually discuss religion, politics, philosophy, etc. but do not feel obligated to have to order anything despite it being a pub. There is no membership fee either, it is an informal event so far seeing how we have too few to be more organized, but we'd like to be! And we'd like to have enough people to start some activism and be as productive as possible.

Aside from the weekly Tuesday meetings, there are fun events such as campfires and beach barbeques scheduled. We sure would like to cooperate with other groups and more members to voice the rights and freedoms we and others deserve regardless of our beliefs and with your ideas and help, this can be made possible. The current goal is to eliminate the negative stigma attached to our labels by altruism and stoicism such as scholarships and good deeds. E-mail me with any questions or better yet, any one else you can get in contact with from the website to get a clearer understanding of who and what we are. We turn no one down and encourage debate, skepticism, and reason. The meetings are definitely worthwhile and interesting or else I wouldn't waste the little free time I have as a college student to invite any one else to come join the experience. If you are in the area and find the time inconvenient with your busy schedule, no hard feelings will be had, but at least sign the guestbook so we can know you support us and wish you could come. :-)


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Date:2004-10-06 18:59
Subject:Transhumanism and Fukuyama

Francis Fukuyama, in an article that seems, to me atleast, to be uncharacteristic of him says that transhumanism is a disturbing trend. The basis for his argument is that we come as a package with the good features and the bad features. Trying to improve the good characteristics through technology can lead to disastrous circumstances.

... If we weren’t violent and aggressive, we wouldn’t be able to defend ourselves; if we didn’t have feelings of exclusivity, we wouldn’t be loyal to those close to us; if we never felt jealousy, we would also never feel love. ...

But one might equally assert that the "better" human created through this process will automatically adjust his/her good and bad characteristics to form a complex whole which is self-sustaining.

Fukuyama seems to be petrified by the possibility that human beings will mutate. This fear seems irrational as humans are going to evolve anyway, albeit much more slowly. Also, just because something is unpredictable does not make it bad.

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Date:2004-10-05 22:30
Subject:Admirable Immorality

Going through some philosophical blogs of academicians today, I found Admirable Immorality and Nonmoral Values on PEA Soup.

The point that the author is trying to make is that there exist some circumstances under which non-moral actions might be viewed as admirable. Obviously, one cannot pursue this further without stating one's ethical beliefs or atleast elucidating what he/she means by "moral". The author says that this proposition is valid even in consequentialist theories. But, this can only hold for objective consequentialist theories.

This does not hold in subjective consequentialist theories, as can be easily seen because, by definition, what is called "moral" in such theories is what brings about the best consequences. A non-moral act under this framework is one that does not bring about the best possible consequence.

If one is to make the reasonable assumption that what is "admirable" (atleast in the sense of "admirable immorality") is what is "good", it is easy enough to see that admirable immorality is not a possiblity.

The author of the article says, in conclusion, that admirable immorality is possible when:

(1) There is a moral code: that is, a socially accepted set of instructions for bringing about outcomes that are justifiable in terms of considerations that have moral weight.

(2) Actions that go against the dictates of the moral code are considered immoral.

(3) Due to the complexity of the moral universe, and to pragmatic limitations on the nature and complexity of moral codes, the moral code occasionally dictates action that fails to bring about the best possible outcome, as judged from the perspective of those considerations that have moral weight.

In this, the author is justified. But, it is also worth mentioning that AI is not possible when what is "moral" is deemed to be what brings about the best consequence.

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Date:2004-10-04 17:14
Subject:Qualitative and quantitative

Philosophically speaking, is there any fundamental difference between qualitative and quantitative in the context of comparison? What is viewed as "qualitative different" might be a case of "quantitatively different", except that we know lesser about it. Equally, the opposite belief might also be justly held.

Additionally, is an answer to this question possible independently of the metaphysical beliefs of a person? For instance, a materialist (in the metaphysical sense) who believes that there in a single fundamental unit will be more inclined to agree that both qualitative and quantitive difference are just different configurations of the same fundamental unit. A mind-body dualist will perhaps be of the opinion that qualitative and quantitative difference are two separate concepts.

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Date:2004-10-01 22:56

Welcome to the philociphers community. Feel free to post on any philosophical issue, be it epistemology, metaphysics, aesthetics, logic or ethics or maybe even political philosophy.

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