Mismatched technology and ethics

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bobbo_the_Pragmatist
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Re: Mismatched technology and ethics

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Fri Jun 02, 2017 6:11 am

You know lance..................when a subject has 15 different attributes, you do violence to valid appreciating by latching onto just one attribute and dismissing all the rest.

Rinse, Lather, and repeat.
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Re: Mismatched technology and ethics

Postby Lance Kennedy » Fri Jun 02, 2017 6:17 am

Not clear, Bobbo.
What do you mean by that?

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Re: Mismatched technology and ethics

Postby ElectricMonk » Fri Jun 02, 2017 6:28 am

Fertility isn't the same as number of offspring: women could have way more children if they wanted.
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
- Douglas Adams

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Re: Mismatched technology and ethics

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Fri Jun 02, 2017 6:37 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:Not clear, Bobbo.
What do you mean by that?

THE SUBJECT is the interplay of morality and technology................NOT what you consider to be other more relevant issues.....whether they are or not. The Rinse, lather, repeat is my reference to you doing this fairly regularly....ie: not coming to grips with counterpoints, making it easier to keep opinions not as settled as you present them.
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Re: Mismatched technology and ethics

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Fri Jun 02, 2017 6:39 am

fertility: has more than one definition. One regards populations of people, the other regards of individual people.
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Re: Mismatched technology and ethics

Postby ElectricMonk » Fri Jun 02, 2017 7:16 am

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:fertility: has more than one definition. One regards populations of people, the other regards of individual people.



nope.

fertility is a question of the potential to have offspring: a women can be fertile without ever having a child.

This, for many, is the actual scare about lower birthrates, because they assume it's due to a drop in fertility and not a conscious decision by the mothers. This fear stems from the fact if women have babies at all, they have them at an older age than previously in history, which does result in problems of fertility, but only because they are nearing menopause.

So calling lower birthrates lower fertility has all kinds of connotations which at best distract and at worse focus on a non-existed problem.
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
- Douglas Adams

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Lance Kennedy
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Re: Mismatched technology and ethics

Postby Lance Kennedy » Fri Jun 02, 2017 8:12 am

EM

Demographics use the term 'fertility' to mean the number of children a woman has, as an average for a population. Current average fertility globally is under 2.4. The level required for replace the population is 2.1. By this use age of the word, whether a woman can have children is moot. Of course, the word can also be used biologically to refer to her ability to get pregnant. Biology and demography use the same word slightly differently.

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Re: Mismatched technology and ethics

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Fri Jun 02, 2017 10:04 am

EM--nope from me back at ya. Use any dictionary as Lance set forth.

To dither.... most words have more than one meaning. Usually all closely related unless the same letters spell out entirely different concepts, forget the word for that happenstance. Further dithering, I'm in mind of your use of individual fertility or ability to give birth as a synonym of fecundity whereas the other fertility of a population synonym includes "birth rate."

Words.===another definition of fecundity is the intellectual productivity of a creative imagination giving rise to be fecund and fertile while sterile and barren at the same time. Ain't that neat?

Ya gotta love 'em.
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Re: Mismatched technology and ethics

Postby Nikki Nyx » Wed Jun 07, 2017 2:34 am

....... An idea that stuck with me is that one of the sources of conflict is a mismatch between the knowledge and technology used medically and that used to inform the ethical decision-making. ...........

For instance, a major conflict occurs when people accept modern technology (chemical and procedural) to insure fertility, and then adopt a different stance when addressing the consequent production of too many fetuses (i.e., refusing advice to abort which then leads to extreme medical problems).

Is there a term in general use for this phenomenon? I’d like to find some other thoughts along these lines.


The term is "cognitive dissonance," even though it doesn't refer specifically to the situation you describe. It's the same type of thing that makes people talk about "god's will" while they're wearing glasses and have fillings in their teeth. Apparently, it's not "god's will" that they be blind and toothless, but it's always "god's will" that you have that child in your belly, even it it kills you in the process.

Like a lot of things, it seems to be a function of superstitious beliefs overriding factual knowledge. The critical thinker concludes that technology is either helpful (like contact lenses) or harmful (like nuclear missiles). The superstitious person anthropomorphizes technology as either "good" (like automobiles) or "evil" (like abortions).

In the Terri Schiavo case, for example, those who believed she should have been allowed to die a natural death deemed keeping her alive "invasive" and "inhumane," while those who felt she should be kept alive considered it a "godsend" and a "miracle." The nature of the terms used is interesting as well. The negatives imply human evil while the positives imply theistic or supernatural good. Rational people see a woman who will never lead a normal life, has no brain activity, and is merely a corpse being kept alive artificially. And we're disgusted.

There would have been no conflict had Ms. Schiavo's fate been decided based solely on the medical facts. In fact, I would go so far as to say that remaining unemotional, however difficult, is the only way to ensure you are making the ethical, correct decision. And I speak from experience...

Fifteen years ago, my 93-year-old grandfather had a massive stroke. We didn't know until he failed to arrive at my house for dinner, some hours later, and we drove to his house when he didn't answer his phone. By that time, he was dehydrated. The trauma doctor on duty wanted to immediately put him on fluids and potassium and such, but I argued with her. I asked if he would ever recover to resume the independent life he was leading. She said there was no way he would ever walk or talk, the stroke had been extensive. I replied, "Then put him on a morphine drip in case he's in pain, and let him go. He's 93. My grandmother died over a year ago. He's ready to go."

My emotions were screaming at me to intervene to keep him alive, but I knew that was pure selfishness. Was it the correct decision, ethically-speaking? I maintain it was. Had I listened to my emotions, I would have FUBAR'd it.
What are the facts? Again and again and again-what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!
—Lazarus Long, from Time Enough for Love, by Robert A. Heinlein

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Re: Mismatched technology and ethics

Postby Nikki Nyx » Wed Jun 07, 2017 2:53 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:A moral choice is your own business if the result affects only you. If a moral choice harms others, then it becomes the business of others.


I would be extremely careful stepping onto that slippery slope.

When someone suffering from depression suicides, is his decision immoral because his death affects others? Or is it manifestly unfair to make snap judgments without taking into account the individual and his personal circumstances?

Here's a more difficult one: A couple learns they're pregnant. A few months in, they learn she can't carry the baby to term for health reasons. She and her doctor agree to abort before she's in danger, but her husband objects and wants her to carry the baby long enough for it to be viable as a premie, regardless of the risk to her health. Now, whichever decision is made, someone is harmed. Which is the moral choice? And who has more right to make the decision?

I think it's quite a bit more complicated than, "If a moral choice harms others, then it becomes the business of others." Generalities will get you in trouble every time.
What are the facts? Again and again and again-what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!
—Lazarus Long, from Time Enough for Love, by Robert A. Heinlein

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Re: Mismatched technology and ethics

Postby Lance Kennedy » Wed Jun 07, 2017 3:31 am

Luna Nik

I liked your post two back, in which you were being a good skeptic.

The last post, you were asking questions, which is also good. Since the questions related to moral standards, the answers can only be opinions, and opinions are not something that anyone can say is correct, or incorrect. They are just opinions.

My view on depression suicide is that it is an illness, and we should feel a need to treat the sick person. The abortion scenario is one where I would favor the woman, since she is the one who literally "carries the baby" and suffers the harm.

Of course, my views are my opinions, and you and others may decide idea I am right or wrong based on your own opinions.

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Re: Mismatched technology and ethics

Postby Nikki Nyx » Wed Jun 07, 2017 5:15 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:Since the questions related to moral standards, the answers can only be opinions, and opinions are not something that anyone can say is correct, or incorrect. They are just opinions.


There are times when opinions can be correct or incorrect. For example, I would say the Flat Earther's opinion is incorrect because it lacks a factual basis. Similarly, a blissfully ignorant Alabama Republican introduced a bill in 2011 to make pi equal to three, allegedly to make things easier for students. Clearly, her opinion was also incorrect.

Morals are fuzzier, but I'm a firm believer in avoiding generalizations and rigid objectivity, because both remove the human element. It's simple to say "killing another human being is wrong," but the moment you introduce the word "always" before "wrong," you've created moral conundrums that can't be untangled. For example, let's say a crazed murderer is attempting to kill someone in your family. You have a chance to act. Do you kill the killer, thereby saving your loved one? Or do you do nothing, thereby contributing not only to the death of your loved one, but also to the deaths of any others that murderer may go on to kill? That word "always," which created both a generalization and an objective moral, resulted in a dilemma that couldn't be solved.

I wasn't saying you're morally wrong. My only objection was to the generalization and objective moral. Most times, when you hear a generalization, I'll bet you can think of several exceptions right off the bat. And the same for an objective moral statement.
What are the facts? Again and again and again-what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!
—Lazarus Long, from Time Enough for Love, by Robert A. Heinlein

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Re: Mismatched technology and ethics

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Wed Jun 07, 2017 7:39 am

There is no "harm" to the hubby who want a premie. Frustrated and unhappy perhaps. but "harmed?"

Also good to know that thinking Nuke Energy is the safest form of energy is "just an opinion" and that others can have different opinions.

Moral Relativism: really comes down to how much "objective" content is contained in the judgement. Which is the best ice cream: factual void. Which is the safest energy source: lots of facts to consider in the assessment.
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Re: Mismatched technology and ethics

Postby Lance Kennedy » Wed Jun 07, 2017 8:31 am

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:
Also good to know that thinking Nuke Energy is the safest form of energy is "just an opinion" and that others can have different opinions.



Wrong example, Bobbo.

Where there is good solid, scientific data, we can bypass the 'opinion' thing. Nuclear energy has killed far fewer people per unit energy released, and that is scientifically demonstrated, and quantified in the former of clear cut numbers. No need to call it opinion, because it is not. It is a measured reality.

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Re: Mismatched technology and ethics

Postby TJrandom » Wed Jun 07, 2017 9:35 am

I`m pretttty sure that metabolism beats nuclear energy, hands down. If you aren`t cold blooded, that is... :roll:

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Re: Mismatched technology and ethics

Postby Nikki Nyx » Wed Jun 07, 2017 5:38 pm

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:There is no "harm" to the hubby who want a premie. Frustrated and unhappy perhaps. but "harmed?"

Also good to know that thinking Nuke Energy is the safest form of energy is "just an opinion" and that others can have different opinions.

Moral Relativism: really comes down to how much "objective" content is contained in the judgement. Which is the best ice cream: factual void. Which is the safest energy source: lots of facts to consider in the assessment.

Well, now we have another issue: If someone other than the person harmed is defining "harm," how does that person decide? And what authority does that person have?

In the case of the hubby, it's not merely that one baby, but the idea that he and his wife will not have another chance to have their own children. Remember, in that hypothetical case, she can't carry a baby to term. It might be better to avoid dismissing his claim of harm in favor of weighing the harm to both parties, then concluding that the harm to the wife is greater, since the pregnancy risks her life, and she's entitled to protect her life. That approach both seems more just and gives the wife all the legal precedent.

I said nothing about nuclear energy; I said that nuclear missiles were harmful.

I agree with you on moral relativism; obviously, that can be a slippery slope as well, given the human ability for rationalization. Something like, "Which is the best ice cream?" can't even be answered until the terms "best" and "ice cream" are defined. :D So, yes...factual void. For some, "best" might mean "made from only natural ingredients." For others, it might mean "low calorie." Purists would argue that "ice cream" doesn't include frozen yogurt, sherbets, gelatos, and such.

It irks me when people shrug and say, "That's just semantics." If we can't agree on semantics, how can we even properly have a conversation?
What are the facts? Again and again and again-what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!
—Lazarus Long, from Time Enough for Love, by Robert A. Heinlein

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Re: Mismatched technology and ethics

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Wed Jun 07, 2017 11:43 pm

LunaNik wrote: In the case of the hubby, it's not merely that one baby, but the idea that he and his wife will not have another chance to have their own children. Remember, in that hypothetical case, she can't carry a baby to term.


I reread the OP and do not find that fact. But lets assume its true: no reason not to get preggers again and have an early Cesarean. Or go for the first test tube. Or go for a rented womb. "Lots of Options" including getting over yourself.

xxxxxxxxxxx

LunaNik wrote: It might be better to avoid dismissing his claim of harm in favor of weighing the harm to both parties, then concluding that the harm to the wife is greater, since the pregnancy risks her life, and she's entitled to protect her life. That approach both seems more just and gives the wife all the legal precedent.


You mean change the issue entirely??????? Why not make it even more better and discuss how wonderful adoption is?

zzzzzzzzzzzz

LunaNik wrote: It irks me when people shrug and say, "That's just semantics." If we can't agree on semantics, how can we even properly have a conversation?


Yes, very irksome. How can you even know what you "think" yourself?
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Re: Mismatched technology and ethics

Postby Nikki Nyx » Thu Jun 08, 2017 12:48 am

LunaNik wrote: In the case of the hubby, it's not merely that one baby, but the idea that he and his wife will not have another chance to have their own children. Remember, in that hypothetical case, she can't carry a baby to term.

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:I reread the OP and do not find that fact. But lets assume its true: no reason not to get preggers again and have an early Cesarean. Or go for the first test tube. Or go for a rented womb. "Lots of Options" including getting over yourself.

I posted, "A few months in, they learn she can't carry the baby to term for health reasons," the presumption being that pregnancy was not an option for her. This has nothing to do with my personal viewpoints. I presented two hypothetical people and their desired choices per the statement given by Lance, then asked which was the moral choice based on his definition and their perceived harm.

LunaNik wrote: It might be better to avoid dismissing his claim of harm in favor of weighing the harm to both parties, then concluding that the harm to the wife is greater, since the pregnancy risks her life, and she's entitled to protect her life. That approach both seems more just and gives the wife all the legal precedent.

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:You mean change the issue entirely??????? Why not make it even more better and discuss how wonderful adoption is?

Like you keep doing? I must have missed the point at which this folder changed from "Skepticism and Critical Thinking" to "Find the Solution That Fits Your Personal Morals Even If You Have to Change the Given Parameters."

LunaNik wrote: It irks me when people shrug and say, "That's just semantics." If we can't agree on semantics, how can we even properly have a conversation?

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:Yes, very irksome. How can you even know what you "think" yourself?

Is this part of hazing the newbie? Or do you generally take an instant, knee-jerk dislike to people you've just met?
What are the facts? Again and again and again-what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!
—Lazarus Long, from Time Enough for Love, by Robert A. Heinlein


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