A Simple Explanation for Why Empiricism Doesn't Work In Politics

Argotitan
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A Simple Explanation for Why Empiricism Doesn't Work In Politics

Let's consider a simple situation for why empiricism doesn't work and why due process is needed to ensure the rule of law.

In politics and government there is a concept known as "plausible deniability" where because of lack of evidence, criminals are able to get away with crime...

...so let's illustrate this.

Say we have two people: X and Y.

X offends Y such that Y is provoked to retort.  Perhaps on top of this, if Y doesn't retort, then Y will appear pathetic, vulnerable, insecure, etc. to the public.

Y retorts, and X takes that as an excuse to assault Y.

Y is traumatized such that Y can't even recall what originally happened.  Y's memory is damaged nevermind how Y does not have an objective record of events.

When X and Y are adjudicated over by a judge, X claims that Y provoked the assault, and Y can't counterclaim the original provocation.  It's even possible that the trauma of being assaulted inhibits Y from being able to argue for oneself, and even in the case of having representation, Y won't necessarily be able to ensure that representation is exercising due diligence.

Therefore, the judge adjudicates that Y got what one deserved, and that X is innocent.

 


Vastet
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lol

lol

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Are you laughing because

Are you laughing because you're anxious about finding yourself in that position before?


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I'm laughing because I could

I'm laughing because I could write a whole book on why you are simultaneously right and wrong.

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What's stopping you from

What's stopping you from writing it?

 


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Noone would pay me for the

Noone would pay me for the effort. Smiling

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Maybe you need to focus more

Maybe you need to focus more on style and less on content then.  Quality comes before quantity...

...not that you should need to be paid anyway.  Fraternizing over philosophy is it's own reward from refining your mind and relating with others.  :-\

In sum, deontology comes before utilitarianism.

That's another reason why empiricism fails in politics.  Investigations don't happen for free.

 

 


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Philosophy is for fools who

Philosophy is for fools who don't want to get a real job that actually accomplishes something.

If I'm going to put time and effort into writing a book, I'd damned well better get paid for it. Otherwise I'll do something else that does pay.

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Well if it wasn't for how

Well if it wasn't for how philosophy is central to the rule of law, I might be inclined to agree.

The problem is some people work without regard to others.  We need ethics in order to get along, we need epistemology to reach consensus on justified true beliefs, and we need linguistics to understand how different people express ideas differently.

If you want to be an idealist who believes we live in utopia, then yes, philosophy would be meaningless since people would get along without question.

Unfortunately, reality has many questions that need to be answered.

 


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The only part of philosophy

The only part of philosophy that has any business in law is logic. Sadly, most people are quite deficient in that skill from my observations. Which is part of why there are so many stupid and pointless laws.

The rest of philosophy has no business being part of the enforcement of law. It can and should be covered by science. Hopefully one day it will. The possibility of criminals escaping justice just because someone else decided to take the law into their own hands and neglected to construct a sufficient defence is not sufficient reason to value philosophical games over empirical evidence. Innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt is supposed to be the cornerstone of the justice system. Proof is far more likely to come from science than anything else.

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Oh I certainly agree with

Oh I certainly agree with you about logic.  Lots of people believe in conflict which only gets reconciled through trial and error.  They don't have a willingness to think before they act.  Heck, some of them do this because they enjoy the surprise of drama, and others do it because they sadistically enjoy others' suffering.

The problem with relying on science though is you're begging the question.  Science itself doesn't explain proper experimental design, nor does it explain burden of proof.  A classic example of this is negligence where criminals hide behind plausible deniability while claiming, "What did I do?"  Negligence, however, is a situation where someone DIDN'T do despite a previous responsibility.

If negligence is incapacitating and burden of proof is on the victim rather than criminal of negligence, then a criminal will get off the hook.  "Reasonable doubt" always leaves some victims behind as exceptions to the rule.  We need philosophy to prevent what can't be cured.

 


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The problem with attacking

The problem with attacking plausible deniability is that it exists to prevent the innocent from being imprisoned. Society at large has decided it is better to let some criminals go than to imprison people who are innocent. It is one of the few things that society and I agree on.

Negligence really isn't all that tricky in my view. Everyone has responsibilities, including the responsibility of knowing what your responsibilities are. Therefore if something happens, and you were supposed to be responsible for not permitting it to happen, then you are negligent. Ignorance of the law isn't an excuse because, by law, you are required to know what the laws are.

Now using this strategy will inevitably result in the imprisonment of both criminals who were intentionally negligent as well as people who simply made a mistake or forgot something, but they were responsible, regardless of intent. They signed up for that responsibility. They can't be let go just because they didn't intend the results.

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That would simply encourage

That would simply encourage further negligence.

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Eh... that's a false

Eh... that's a false dichotomy.  We don't need to choose between false innocent positives and false guilty negatives.   We can test people's attitudes before allowing them to participate in activities so their peers aren't vulnerable.  In fact, we already do this through licensing.

I'm not sure why you're saying people are responsible of knowing what their responsibilities are either.  The social contract isn't implicit.  People don't consent to associate in the first place.  They don't sign up for responsibility.

 

 

 

 


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A false dichotomy first

A false dichotomy first requires a statement that has only two propositions that are framed as the only possibilities when other possibilities may or do exist.

But since I didn't make such a statement, there can be no false dichotomy. I named two possibilities, and then demonstrated intent was irrelevant to the fact that they were responsible and thus they were negligent.

No party can be negligent if they are not responsible, so your claim of a false dichotomy is flawed.

They sign up for responsibility by being citizens, making them responsible as all citizens are. They even literally sign their name to it every time they participate in any function of society that requires a signature, such as aquiring a drivers licence or doing taxes or signing up for a bank account. You aren't eligible for these things if you are not a citizen, not without taking extra steps at least, and therefore you affirm your citizenship just by signing your name. Therefore you admit you are responsible.

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Tyerefore abandonment or

Therefore abandonment or failure of your admitted responsibility is negligent by definition.

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Argotitan wrote:Let's

Argotitan wrote:

Let's consider a simple situation for why empiricism doesn't work and why due process is needed to ensure the rule of law.

In politics and government there is a concept known as "plausible deniability" where because of lack of evidence, criminals are able to get away with crime...

...so let's illustrate this.

Say we have two people: X and Y.

X offends Y such that Y is provoked to retort.  Perhaps on top of this, if Y doesn't retort, then Y will appear pathetic, vulnerable, insecure, etc. to the public.

Y retorts, and X takes that as an excuse to assault Y.

Y is traumatized such that Y can't even recall what originally happened.  Y's memory is damaged nevermind how Y does not have an objective record of events.

When X and Y are adjudicated over by a judge, X claims that Y provoked the assault, and Y can't counterclaim the original provocation.  It's even possible that the trauma of being assaulted inhibits Y from being able to argue for oneself, and even in the case of having representation, Y won't necessarily be able to ensure that representation is exercising due diligence.

Therefore, the judge adjudicates that Y got what one deserved, and that X is innocent.

I fail to see how this is a case against empiricism in politics.  Firstly, I don't think the concepts have coherent dependencies.  Secondly, empiricism states that knowledge comes from sensory input, from a strictly empirical perspective, X's account is correct since Y lacks any empirical information.  This carries no ethical weight at all.  Would a rationalistic perspective offer better guidance or carry more ethical weight? All you have is X's narrative, within this frame of reference any epistemic perspective would lead to the same conclusion.

Politics is concerned with governance, I would think that politicians want to stay clear of any empirical approach and concentrate on an idealistic perspective.

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I am amazed at your ability

I am amazed at your ability to simultaneously demonstrate your ignorance of both the law and politics. Your hypothetical is absurd and bears no relation to reality. 

 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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Vastet, you said, "Society

Vastet, you said, "Society at large has decided it is better to let some criminals go than to imprison people who are innocent."  Letting some criminals go and imprisoning innocent people are multiple possibilities.  If you have other possibilities in mind, then please show them.  Otherwise, you're drawing up a false-dichotomy.

Intent is what the criminal justice system is set up to investigate.  A false positive innocent that upholds one's responsibilities is not negligent even if one's found guilty of negligence.  Likewise, a false negative criminal that ignores one's responsibilities is negligent even if one's not found guilty of it.

I'm not sure what you're saying about signing up for responsibility as citizens either.  Immigrants might, but natives don't.  Natives are born into their jurisdictions without consent.  They sign contracts because contracts are the custom by which offer and acceptance is conducted.  At the very least, they need to accept offers in order to accommodate the emotional demands of hunger, exposure, and exhaustion pushed upon them by birthright.  At the very most, they want to accept offers in order to accommodate the emotional demands of curiosity and loneliness pushed upon them by advertising.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Ktulu, I'm saying sensory

Ktulu, I'm saying sensory inputs are unreliable.  A criminal justice system built primarily upon that forces victims to assume the risk of trauma.  I'm not sure what your remark on coherent dependencies refers to either.

It sounds like you believe the victim deserves to be victimized and the criminal deserves to get off the hook since the criminal successfully traumatized the victim.  I'm not sure how that's ethical at all.


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Argotitan wrote:Ktulu, I'm

Argotitan wrote:

Ktulu, I'm saying sensory inputs are unreliable.  A criminal justice system built primarily upon that forces victims to assume the risk of trauma.  I'm not sure what your remark on coherent dependencies refers to either.

It sounds like you believe the victim deserves to be victimized and the criminal deserves to get off the hook since the criminal successfully traumatized the victim.  I'm not sure how that's ethical at all.

Well... Coherent=

Oxford Dictionary wrote:

Definition of coherent

adjective

1(of an argument, theory, or policy) logical and consistent:

they failed to develop a coherent economic strategy

 (of a person) able to speak clearly and logically:

she was lucid and coherent and did not appear to be injured

2forming a unified whole:

the arts could be systematized into one coherent body of knowledge

3 Physics (of waves) having a constant phase relationship.

Basically, they don't depend on themselves in any way that is logical.  The fact that the data was obtained empirically, rationally, ideally or any other epistemological method isn't what's on trial. 

I'm also saying that epistemology and ethics are incommensurable.  You cannot dismiss one method of gathering knowledge on ethical grounds.  Empiricism does not (cannot) care about who's right or wrong..

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Argotitan wrote:Letting some

Argotitan wrote:
Letting some criminals go and imprisoning innocent people are multiple possibilities.  If you have other possibilities in mind, then please show them.  Otherwise, you're drawing up a false-dichotomy.

Bullshit, that was a statement of fact, not an argument, and not a false dichotomy.

Argotitan wrote:
Intent is what the criminal justice system is set up to investigate.  

More bullshit. Guilt and/or innocence is what the justice system was set up to investigate. Intent can be a factor in sentencing, but not in determination of guilt.

Argotitan wrote:
I'm not sure what you're saying about signing up for responsibility as citizens either.  Immigrants might, but natives don't.

Even more bullshit. Natives are just as responsible as immigrants. In fact, they should be held to a higher standard simply because they are native and thus have no excuse for not knowing the law.

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Well since you ignored

Well since you ignored everything I said about licensing, I'm going to ignore what you said about statement of fact.

I don't know why you're ignoring intent when it comes to determination.  For example, there are affirmative defenses where people admit to doing something that is ordinarily criminal, but because of extraordinary circumstances, they're excused.

Likewise, you seem to believe natives are born into society with predestined callings to be in touch with intelligent design in order to understand their responsibilities under the rule of law.  You're ignoring how people mature over time, and need to be taught social standards on right from wrong.  Common sense isn't all that common.

Sorry.  I don't find that to be particularly rational.

 


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Argotitan wrote:Well since

Argotitan wrote:
Well since you ignored everything I said about licensing, I'm going to ignore what you said about statement of fact.

I ignored what you said about licensing because you ignored what I said about licensing.

Argotitan wrote:
I don't know why you're ignoring intent when it comes to determination.

Intent is irrelevant to guilt. I could kill someone completely by accident and still be guilty of killing someone.

Argotitan wrote:
For example, there are affirmative defenses where people admit to doing something that is ordinarily criminal, but because of extraordinary circumstances, they're excused.

That is ridiculously rare. The only such cases I'm familiar with involve medical marijuana. And most or all of them still end up in jail anyway.

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Argotitan wrote:Likewise,

Argotitan wrote:
Likewise, you seem to believe natives are born into society with predestined callings to be in touch with intelligent design in order to understand their responsibilities under the rule of law.  

That makes absolutely no sense at all. Please try again.

Argotitan wrote:
You're ignoring how people mature over time, and need to be taught social standards on right from wrong.  Common sense isn't all that common.

Bullshit. I don't know how the US does it but in Canada there's this thing called the Young Offenders Act, which specifically deals with minors committing crimes that are beyond the ability of said minors to understand the consequences of.

By the time you're an adult you don't have an excuse anymore. You are either guilty or you are innocent. Intent is irrelevant to guilt.

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 Please read:

Please read: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mens_rea

Also, I'm not much for ageist definitions of adulthood.  Some people are mature beyond their years, and others never grow up.  The quantity of time that passes has nothing to do with whether or not someone should be legally responsible or not. 


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It most certainly does. If

It most certainly does. If you are a functioning adult you have NO excuse for not knowing the law, and intent is irrelevant to guilt.

If you are not a functioning adult, the system can take that into account. But the fact remains that if someone is a danger to the public then they must be sequestered from the public. Whether or not they comprehend the circumstances is as irrelevant as intent.

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Well you have three problems

Well you have four problems there:

One, what's functional is subjective.  It depends on the lifestyle you're trying to live.  Do you believe everyone ought to conform to being normal?

Two, functionality is not subject to age.  Some people become functional earlier than others.

Three, you're encouraging moral hazard.  People could deliberately remain dysfunctional and avoid maturity in order to avoid responsibility.

Four, it's unreliable how you're defining functionality without comprehension.

(As an aside, I just want to point out that you're sounding very conservative right now.  Normalcy, ageism, and anti-intellectualism are very conservative paradigms.  You're actually pushing me into my old liberal paradigm which I haven't used for a very long time.)

I don't understand why you're dismissing intent either.  I've point blank shown you its value.  At this point, I'm getting the impression you're intentionally denying the obvious and asserting the inane.  In fact, this is at least the second time you've done this after saying, "I ignored what you said about licensing because you ignored what I said about licensing."

You never said anything about licensing.  

Actually, there was a third time you did it too with regards to predestined callings and intelligent design.  You never explained why you believe natives are automatically familiar with the rule of law.

I'm assuming automatic familiarity is why you believe natives ought to be held to a higher standard.   Otherwise, you're just prejudiced against natives.

(Your dismissal of intent is very conservative as well in terms of being results- instead of process-oriented.)


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1: Not really no. If you are

1: Not really no. If you are capable of living independently, as the vast majority are, then you are functional. As per laws that determine functionallity. They are subjective only in the sense that every country decides what functional means. And if you don't qualify as functional then an entire arm of the justice system is devoted to you.
It has absolutely nothing to do with the type of lifestyle you want to live.

2: Functionality is in FACT directly tied to age, hence why there is a age of majority.

3: If you intentionally aren't functional then by definition you are functional, making you culpable.

4: No it isn't. The people decide what is functional. We are in a democracy.

I don't care how I sound to you. I am neither liberal nor conservative, because both are quite stupid. Both have some great ideas, but more bad ideas than good.

I'm dismissing intent because it isn't relevant to guilt. How many times will I have to say this before it sinks in? You haven't even attempted to counter this fact.

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Are you being intentionally

Are you being intentionally obtuse or are you just stupid?

'You never said anything about licensing.'

A blatant lie.

'You never explained why you believe natives are automatically familiar with the rule of law.'

Another blatant lie. In fact that's a borderline strawman.

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Out of curiosity, are you

Out of curiosity, are you trying to teach me a lesson on what Ludwig Wittgenstein called "language games"?

(Canadians are usually dodgy about being conventionally liberal or conservative... in fact, you have a name for it - Red Tories.  It's similar to what Americans call Rockefeller Republicans.)


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Ad hominems, red herrings,

Ad hominems, red herrings, and dodges don't do you any favours.

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Argotitan wrote:Two,

Argotitan wrote:

Two, functionality is not subject to age.  Some people become functional earlier than others.

 

Being a buttinsky here, functionality is definitely subject to age. Yes, some people are more functional than others at any age. Yes, there are no hard and fast ages for attaining certain developmental stages. Infants are not capable of language or reading. Not even the most precocious of infants can read. Two year old children act and feel as if they are the center of the universe. We can state with reasonable certainty that people less than 20 are not adults even though their emotional centers (amygdala and mesolimbic reward systems, e.g.) are mature. Most people do not develop their prefontal cortex completely until about age 25. It is completely true that this is not the case for every person, but it is often enough the case that we can make generalizations that hold true for the majority. Granted some people never mature. Still, an infant is not an adult.

Take a class on human development some time.

 

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Sorry.  Are you a

Sorry.  Are you a biological computer?

You're reducing people's maturity down to physical circumstances as if they don't have to make choices in order to appreciate values.  How do you even recognize "people" without that?

Wait.  Don't tell me.  You're a "pragmatist".  You recognize people only because it's practical to do so despite how what's practical to someone isn't automatically practical to everyone, nor is what's practical necessarily ideal.

Correlation is not causation.  Not only is generalizing personalities according to "reasonable certainty" stereotyping and offensive, but it also denies the autonomy of judgment in determining statistical significance.

Next time you make a scientific judgment, please contain it to the private sector instead of expounding it to the public sphere.  Your opinion on what qualifies as statistical significance is not fact.

The same goes for pragmatism.  What's practical to you isn't automatically practical to everyone.

(I'm just flabbergasted.  I'm not religious, but usually, scientific people complain about the simple-minded pragmatism of religious people who are their primary opponents on human development.  Likewise, religious people are some of the most adamant about ageist definitions of maturity since they're afraid of being too stupid to be qualitatively tested for it instead.)


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Argotitan wrote: Sorry.

Argotitan wrote:

Sorry.  Are you a biological computer?

You're reducing people's maturity down to physical circumstances as if they don't have to make choices in order to appreciate values.  How do you even recognize "people" without that?

 

I'm discussing human development. An infant does not have the same mental processing capability as an adult. Some adults had very rough childhoods and so their brain may not have completed development - as in the physical structures of the brain have not fully developed. Some people have injuries that impact the functioning of the brain - ask Gabby Giffords how important the physical structures of her brain are to her functioning.

 

Argotitan wrote:

Wait.  Don't tell me.  You're a "pragmatist".  You recognize people only because it's practical to do so despite how what's practical to someone isn't automatically practical to everyone, nor is what's practical necessarily ideal.

Correlation is not causation.  Not only is generalizing personalities according to "reasonable certainty" stereotyping and offensive, but it also denies the autonomy of judgment in determining statistical significance.

 

If correlation is associated with demonstrable causes, then the correlation points to a true relationship. As in - if you are born without or have a stoke or a catastrophic injury and your hippocampus is damaged, you will have difficulties with remembering. What you have difficulties remembering will depend on the location of the anomaly. The brain has been mapped by many different methods for many years. It started with observations of how people courses) and brain surgery for epileptics where electrodes were inserted into the brain in order to pinpoint the exact location of the necessary surgery. See Stanislas Dehaene, Reading in the Brain for a detailed, personal history of neurosurgery. He is a neurosurgeon and a neuroscientist.

EDIT: Apologies, one of the sentences was truncated and I didn't see it before I hit "post." It should read -

It started with observations of how people changed after a stroke or brain injury (see Phineas Gage, a fixture of freshman psych courses) and brain surgery.......

/EDIT

And I am a realistic pragmatist or pragmatic realist. If you believe that is insulting, whatever. Applying an electrical stimulation to a particular part of the brain will elicit the exact same reaction - physical movement, scent, memories, vision, etc. The visual cortex is not in the back of some people's brains and in the front of others. It is always in the back.

For over 20 years, I have been a system administrator - and computers are modeled after human brains. There are some similarities between brains and computers - engineers planned it that way.

 

Argotitan wrote:

Next time you make a scientific judgment, please contain it to the private sector instead of expounding it to the public sphere.  Your opinion on what qualifies as statistical significance is not fact.

The same goes for pragmatism.  What's practical to you isn't automatically practical to everyone.

(I'm just flabbergasted.  I'm not religious, but usually, scientific people complain about the simple-minded pragmatism of religious people who are their primary opponents on human development.  Likewise, religious people are some of the most adamant about ageist definitions of maturity since they're afraid of being too stupid to be qualitatively tested for it instead.)

 

What ageist definition of maturity? I'm sixty-freaking-two years old. Maturity is defined differently depending on context. Legally, I am of sane mind (granted there are those who would not agree), I am competent (again, some would not agree), and I am over 18 - ergo, legally, I am a capable adult. It really doesn't matter about those who do not agree. Legally, lots of people who are competent, sane and over age 18 I would have my doubts about.

Legal maturity is not a reflection of one's abilities and functionality. If your prefrontal cortex has not developed adequately, you likely do not have what is called "executive function." That is, the ability to think ahead and plan for consequences. You may believe nothing bad can ever happen to you. We have plenty of evidence to support this - how many teens do you know or have heard of who believe that accidents could never happen to them when they text or drink and drive? Way too many.

I'm with you that correlation does not imply causation. I agree that correlation is a generalization that does not take into account individual differences in personality and capabilities. It doesn't change the fact that infants are not adults. And that many - if not most - teens (and some adults) don't have the capacity to plan for consequences. And this lack is definitely related to the structure of the brain.

See also, Simon Baron-Cohen, The Science of Evil for a discussion about brain structures, borderline personality disorder, psychopathy, and autism. He is a professor of psychology at Cambridge and has done extensive work with autistic people.

Yeah, yeah, argument from authority - try it, you might learn something.

 

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Argotitan wrote:Wait.

Argotitan wrote:

Wait.  Don't tell me.  You're a "pragmatist".  You recognize people only because it's practical to do so despite how what's practical to someone isn't automatically practical to everyone, nor is what's practical necessarily ideal.

Correlation is not causation.  Not only is generalizing personalities according to "reasonable certainty" stereotyping and offensive, but it also denies the autonomy of judgment in determining statistical significance.

Next time you make a scientific judgment, please contain it to the private sector instead of expounding it to the public sphere.  Your opinion on what qualifies as statistical significance is not fact.

Next time you make a comment regarding "practicality", please provide a frame of reference on which this is to be quantified.  There is no such thing as "absolute practicality", I think you're missing the whole point of pragmatism as philosophical concept.   Also, this is the first time that I have seen the phrase "single-minded pragmatism of religious people" in a philosophical discussion.  I'm assuming that by pragmatic you mean practical, and not the actual epistemological concept.

"Don't seek these laws to understand. Only the mad can comprehend..." -- George Cosbuc