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    There are only two things that I am absolutely...

    There are only two things that I am absolutely certain of, one is that happiness is the only intrinsic good and distress is the only intrinsic bad. In a universe without sentient beings, nothing...
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    In my view, a preference is just an estimation as...

    In my view, a preference is just an estimation as to what will cause pleasure. What matters (in my opinion) is not preference satisfaction but the pleasure that preference satisfaction causes. It's...
  3. I don't understand. Wouldn't breaking a few bones...

    I don't understand. Wouldn't breaking a few bones make me very sad?
  4. In my view, 'violence' is any act of aggression...

    In my view, 'violence' is any act of aggression intended to harm another and I define 'harm' in emotional terms. What we think of as 'physical pain' is just an emotional reaction to physical injury....
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    Utilitarianism

    What do you think of utilitarianism, as an ethical theory?

    Utilitarianism is the idea that the worth of an action is determined exclusively by it's usefulness in maximizing utility (or minimizing...
  6. Hitting a woman cannot be considered morally worse than hitting a man

    I think this attitude is superstitious and outdated. I'm not saying that it isn't very wrong (for a man) to hit a woman, I just don't see why it should be considered morally worse for a man to hit a...
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    Maybe it started out as a convenient means to...

    Maybe it started out as a convenient means to dispose of a dead body. For whatever reason it's done, it can only benefit the living.
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    Are there hierarchies of pleasure?

    Most people, I think, would respond 'yes' but think before you do. I'm using 'pleasure' interchangeably with 'happiness' as an umbrella term for all positive, desirable emotions (sexual pleasure,...
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    Thanks

    Thanks
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    I can lose myself in the personalities, emotions...

    I can lose myself in the personalities, emotions and affairs of other people. To be honest, I like good movies and television shows for the same reason.
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    African_love doesn't exist

    and neither do you! It feels so strongly that there is a permanent, central observer in 'my' brain with a constant identity but there isn't. There are 100 billion separate neurons in 'my' brain and...
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    I've never understood how someone can mistakenly...

    I've never understood how someone can mistakenly think that they feel an emotion that they don't. What does age or maturity have to do with your capacity to feel a certain emotion? Anyways, I agree...
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    How so? By 'hedonism' I mean the view that...

    How so? By 'hedonism' I mean the view that happiness is the only intrinsic good and suffering is the only intrinsic bad, so an action is good or bad only to the extent that it minimizes...
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    Hedonist fiction

    Do you know of any novels where ethical/normative hedonism is a strong theme?
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    No other cell is specialized to process...

    No other cell is specialized to process information like neurons are. Consciousness is just the brain processing information. We have no actual direct access to the world, sensory stimuli is...
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    bolded - would you say that feces is as beautiful...

    bolded - would you say that feces is as beautiful as a sunset? Probably not, but you can't analyze one as being more beautiful than the other. Either you have that emotional response or you do not.
    ...
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    No, art is an expression of emotion. You cannot...

    No, art is an expression of emotion. You cannot analyze whether or not art is valid because emotions are not logical or illogical. This attitude is why I could never consider myself to be an...
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    I have to read more about the issue and this is a...

    I have to read more about the issue and this is a reasonable argument as far as legitimately acquired debt is concerned (despite the need to lower as much debt as is possible for humanitarian...
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    I view this as elitist. Art is supposed to...

    I view this as elitist. Art is supposed to generate emotion, it can't be analyzed as being 'valid' or not because it doesn't appeal to you.
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    I think you have an overly literal understanding...

    I think you have an overly literal understanding of empathy. The basis of empathy is imagination. I can't literally feel what you feel but I can imagine your emotional state of mind and identify with...
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    In a way, I thought the author was trying to get...

    In a way, I thought the author was trying to get you to see things from Bigger's point of view, even though he was far from likeable. I remember Richard Wright once saying that Native Son was a...
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    A good author

    makes you love his/her characters. Otherwise, how can you care what happens to them. Does you agree?
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    Post your unpopular opinions

    I'll start with 10 of my own.

    1. Moral decisions should be based on empathy and empathy alone. I define empathy as being emotionally insync with another being's state of mind (ie. happy because...
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    Fiction vs. philosophy

    I've come to the conclusion that fiction is more useful in promoting a (moral) philosophy or world view or even just generating an interest/discussion in/about moral issues than ethics (as an...
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    I don't see how. By 'autonomy', I mean the...

    I don't see how. By 'autonomy', I mean the capacity to make all decisions regarding your body as you see fit. If a 7 year old wants to stay up late and you make them go to bed, you are violating...
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