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Dating age difference rules xkcd

If you say nothing, the murderer will get angry and kill you; if you tell the truth he will find and kill your friend; if you lie, he will go on a wild goose chase and give you time to call the police. The brilliance of Constant’s thought experiment lies in its extreme nature.

If a person says they think lying is always wrong, we have two competing hypotheses: they’re accurately describing their own thought processes, which will indeed always output that lying is wrong; or they’re misjudging their own thought processes and actually there are some situations in which they will judge lying to be ethical.

In order to distinguish between the two, we need to come up with a story that presents the strongest possible case for lying, so that even the tiniest shred of sympathy for lying can be dragged up to the surface.

Everything in the universe has been exerting a gravitational effect on light all the time, but if you want to see it clearly you need to use the Sun during a solar eclipse, and if you really want to see it clearly your best bet is a black hole.

Great physicists and great philosophers share a certain perversity.

That is, two murders are twice as much of a tragedy as one murder; a hundred people losing their homes is ten times as bad as ten people losing their homes. Dust Specks is beautiful in its simplicity; it just takes this assumption and creates the most extreme case imaginable.

Take a tiny harm and aggregate it an unimaginably high number of times; then compare it to against a big harm which is nowhere near the aggregated sum of the tiny ones.

Compare Churchill: Churchill: Madam, would you sleep with me for five million pounds?

Lady: Well, for five million pounds…well…that’s a lot of money.Likewise, moral philosophers are as happy as anyone else not to lie in the real world.But they wonder whether they might be revealed to be only simplifications of more fundamental principles, principles that can only be discovered by placing them in a cyclotron and accelerating them to 99.99% of the speed of light.So let me use whatever credibility I have as a guy with a philosophy degree to confirm that Phil Robertson is doing moral philosophy exactly right.There’s a tradition at least as old as Kant of investigating philosophical dilemmas by appealing to our intuitions about extreme cases.By coming up with an extreme case (5 million Churchill-era pounds is about £250 million today) he was able to reveal that her apparent principle was actually a contingent effect of her real principle plus the situation. Physicists are always doing things like cooling stuff down to a millionth of a degree above absolute zero, or making clocks so precise they’ll be less than a second off by the time the sun goes out, or acclerating things to 99.99% of the speed of light.And one of the main reasons they do is to magnify small effects to the point where they can measure them.Churchill: Would you sleep with me for five pounds?Lady: (enraged) What kind of a woman do you think I am‽ Churchill: We’ve already established what kind of a woman you are, now we’re just haggling over the price The woman thinks she has a principle, “Never sleep with a man for money”.We’re sick in the head, have a nice day.’ If it happened to them, they probably would say, ‘Something about this just ain’t right’.The media has completely proportionally described this as Robinson “fantasizing about” raping atheists, and there are the usual calls for him to apologize/get fired/be beheaded.

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