Shanghai Disneyland will close in effort to contain coronavirus

Posted Friday, January 24, 2020 11:49 AM | Contributed by Tekwardo

Shanghai Disneyland will close its gates on Saturday in an effort to stop the spread of a new SARS-like virus that has killed 26 people and sickened at least 881, primarily in China. It’s not known when the theme park may reopen.

Read more from Gizmodo.

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Thursday, November 26, 2020 7:28 AM

Lots of deep discussion here going and I don't mean to minimize it. But, good grief...just wear the damn masks. I've been wearing them for so long now it doesn't feel much different than pulling my pants on in the morning.

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Thursday, November 26, 2020 8:33 AM

Hope everyone has a Thanksgiving that is both objectively and abstractly nice and safe.

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Thursday, November 26, 2020 9:50 AM

No dry humping!


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Thursday, November 26, 2020 10:00 AM

wahoo skipper said:

Lots of deep discussion here going and I don't mean to minimize it. But, good grief...just wear the damn masks.

I don't think I realized it until you put it this way, but....this whole discussion reminds me a lot of a faculty meeting.

There's a problem, along some obvious things that are worth trying but might require some effort and may not be 100% certain to solve the entire problem. Instead of just going forward with a few of those obvious things, we are much more likely to have a Significant Discussion about it---often resulting in forming a committee to write a report. Said report will then collect dust on a shelf, until maybe it gets read a few years later when the same discussion comes around again.

Maybe that's more to do with being people than professors.


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Thursday, November 26, 2020 11:59 AM
ApolloAndy's avatar

sirloindude said:

<A lot of good stuff>

I don't think it's any more or less logically consistent to say "There is an objective morality" than "There isn't an objective morality." Obviously, there are a lot of problems with objective morality in terms of origin, authority, and application of said objective morality but there are just as many problems with not having an objective morality.

Without objective morality, any notion of "should," which is the basis of a large part of the functioning of society and law, becomes completely meaningless. Without objective morality, there's no obligation to the other (which is a core part of nearly every religion, philosophy, and society). Without objective morality, we have to conclude that "even those we consider to be the greatest monsters of the past and present were and are just as entitled to their views as we are" which I patently object. I cannot accept a philosophy which says that genocide is just a matter of opinion.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I'm grateful for a platform to have a well reasoned discussion where people actually listen and respond. Hell, I've even had my mind changed a few times over the years.

Last edited by ApolloAndy, Thursday, November 26, 2020 12:00 PM

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Thursday, November 26, 2020 12:15 PM
Jeff's avatar

wahoo skipper said:

I've been wearing them for so long now it doesn't feel much different than pulling my pants on in the morning.

Wait, you're wearing pants?


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Thursday, November 26, 2020 12:27 PM
Jeff's avatar

ApolloAndy said:
Without objective morality, we have to conclude that "even those we consider to be the greatest monsters of the past and present were and are just as entitled to their views as we are" which I patently object. I cannot accept a philosophy which says that genocide is just a matter of opinion.

This is exactly the point where I can not reasonably conclude that there is no objectively moral reality. It's no different than the war on expertise, where people really believe their opinions hold equal weight to those of people who actually know what they're talking about. It's the Christiane Amanpour "truthful not neutral" theme applied to morality.

And as it applies to the pandemic, not one of us would find it acceptable if a person ran through a crowd punching people in the balls (and for ****'s, sake, let's not get lost in trying to disprove that fictitious scenario... pick any behaviour you know in your heart runs afoul of what you know is right), and yet America is willing to debate about whether or not it's OK to blow off the advice that would ultimately lead us to a better pandemic outcome, even though it requires some degree of sacrifice and pain in the short-term.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Thursday, November 26, 2020 1:43 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

What about tattoos? Or premarital sex? Or doctor assisted suicide? Or divorce? Or cloning humans? Or wearing fur?

Those are choices often born of morality. If morality is objective, then one side must be 'wrong' in all of those cases.

Or is morality only objective when we're so set on our personal belief that we can't understand how the other side can even be considered?


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Thursday, November 26, 2020 1:58 PM
Jeff's avatar

All of the things you list are not things that inherently harm other human beings, which is the very standard you often use to justify not wearing a seatbelt. Things like killing people and not wearing a mask can harm other human beings.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Thursday, November 26, 2020 2:13 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

So harming other human beings is objectionally bad? The rest is up for discussion?

I don't disagree with the death penalty or abortion. So it doesn't apply to me in those subjective situations.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Thursday, November 26, 2020 2:23 PM
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Thursday, November 26, 2020 3:03 PM
Bakeman31092's avatar

I’m wondering who here is familiar with Sam Harris and the argument he makes in his book The Moral Landscape from 10 years ago. He posits that not only is morality objective, but that it can be determined scientifically (at least in theory, if not in practice). He gets there with these steps, and I’m definitely paraphrasing here since I haven’t read the book in a long time:

1. Morality is based on the well being of conscious creatures. To the extent that actions and decisions made by human beings can effect the well being of other humans or other conscious creatures, morality says that decisions should be made in the direction of fostering well being and avoiding suffering. This is a bedrock principle—true and objective because, well, it just is. If you don’t agree that it’s a good thing to seek happiness and avoid suffering for yourself and others, then there’s just nowhere else to go.

2. Well being is a state of consciousness that arises from the brain, and thus can be examined using scientific principles and practices.

I have a lot more to say, but it’s Thanksgiving and I’m getting in trouble for not being with the family. So, I’ll let y’all chew on that for now.


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Thursday, November 26, 2020 4:24 PM
sirloindude's avatar

ApolloAndy said:

Without objective morality, any notion of "should," which is the basis of a large part of the functioning of society and law, becomes completely meaningless. Without objective morality, there's no obligation to the other (which is a core part of nearly every religion, philosophy, and society). Without objective morality, we have to conclude that "even those we consider to be the greatest monsters of the past and present were and are just as entitled to their views as we are" which I patently object. I cannot accept a philosophy which says that genocide is just a matter of opinion.

First off, I believe in objective morality, and to use your genocide example, I believe that it is objectively morally wrong to commit genocide. However, I don’t believe that the objective morality that exists is defined by any human entity, organization, or what have you. I believe that objective morality is defined by God. Now, say you don’t believe in God. I think we can all agree that genocide would still be wrong, but that judgment would be subjective because in the eyes of those who commit it, it’s acceptable for them to do so. As horribly uncomfortable as it is to even consider that, outside of any morally flawless entity, of which no human or human construct ever has or ever will qualify, there is nothing that gives our opinion any more value than that of anyone else.

Jeff said:

This is exactly the point where I can not reasonably conclude that there is no objectively moral reality. It's no different than the war on expertise, where people really believe their opinions hold equal weight to those of people who actually know what they're talking about. It's the Christiane Amanpour "truthful not neutral" theme applied to morality.

And as it applies to the pandemic, not one of us would find it acceptable if a person ran through a crowd punching people in the balls (and for ****'s, sake, let's not get lost in trying to disprove that fictitious scenario... pick any behaviour you know in your heart runs afoul of what you know is right), and yet America is willing to debate about whether or not it's OK to blow off the advice that would ultimately lead us to a better pandemic outcome, even though it requires some degree of sacrifice and pain in the short-term.

There’s a difference here. The laws of science (not so much theories, but actual laws) are empirically proven and exist outside the laws of human opinion. Force equals mass times acceleration. Whether you buy into that or not is irrelevant: it is an objective truth determined by forces outside the realm of human choice that is not in any way impinged upon by human opinion. Morality, at least as defined by humans, cannot be so in that it would be a matter of opinion if human-defined. If there was truly such a thing as human-defined objective morality, we obviously haven’t reached it as of 2020 AD, and I contend that we never will. Unless someone can conclusively prove that there is some sort of human moral authority that is objectively right about every aspect of it, human-defined objective morality would be impossible to determine.

Even to use the examples Gonch gave to you, Jeff, in response to your post, at least some of them absolutely can cause harm to other human beings.

Again, I very much believe in objective morality, and I think that many laws that get implemented align with what I believe to be objective morality. I think that harming another human being out of malice, selfishness, or any other sort of negative intent is morally wrong in an objective sense. I just don’t derive my take on that objective morality from a human authority. It becomes subjective the moment I try to make a determination where my basis for that objective morality doesn’t provide a clear answer, but I still believe the objective morality exists to begin with.


13 Boomerang, 9 SLC, and 8 B-TR clones

www.grapeadventuresphotography.com

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Thursday, November 26, 2020 5:07 PM

I've been going into the office, Jeff. We haven't relaxed the rules THAT much.

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Friday, November 27, 2020 12:05 AM
Jeff's avatar

You can't attribute objective morality to a god and expect a mutual expectation of truth if others don't have the same belief system. I'm pretty sure that God is a construct of the human imagination, and religion has been used to justify most of the human conflict in all of history. Heck, it's used to justify Donald Trump. And you could say, "Well, they're doing it wrong," and you'd be making my point.

Chris' point referencing the author is fascinating to me. I may have to add that to my reading list. But I keep coming back to Andy's point: Can you really make a case that genocide is moral? I mean really believe that? I'm not a psychologist, but I doubt anyone not a sociopath, even if they participated in genocide, could justify it as moral.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Friday, November 27, 2020 12:54 AM

Wahoo Skipper, easy for you to say, but not as easy as it sounds for everybody. Just keep that in mind, m'kay? Thanks.

sirloindude...And some of those examples that Gonch and Jeff traded not only involve potential harm to other people, but if you make the "wrong" decision then you run the risk of someone doing harm to *you*.

When the whole concept of objective morality came up in the first place I racked my brain trying to find *something* I could think of as an objectively moral stance. The only thing I could come up with was non-aggression, you know, that guiding principle (perhaps when taken to its extreme) of American Libertarianism, the whole "I'll do me, you do you" idea. And that's fine and dandy. Something we can probably all agree on. Gotcha. Ticks all the boxes. Fits with the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, the Ten Commandments, the Code of Hammurabi, English Common Law, Buddhism, Taoism, the Commandment of Jesus, even the Rule of Wyld Stallyns and the Asimov Robot Code. Surely that's an objectively moral concept, everyone surely must agree on it (even though most people fail to practice it), right?

Except...no. For an objective morality to be truly objective, it seems that a subjective morality would tend to incorporate it, would it not? And with nonaggression we see that while we can generate a laundry list of political and religious traditions that at least support the basic concept of non-aggression...there is also an (equally long?) laundry list of traditions that claim a moral imperative...but also effectively demand an aggressive response to anyone who espouses a different tradition. Heck, the concept seems to be enshrined in the founding documents of the United States of America, but American diplomacy is quite often carried out with a very large and very aggressive stick. Any religion demanding that infidels be put to death or non-believers be converted is making an aggressive stance into a moral obligation. From religion to politics to sports there are enough situations where aggression of some kind is a moral imperative that even nonaggression clearly isn't universal.

The more I think about it the closer I come to the conclusion that there is no objective morality. Which means we have to start somewhere...but we're back to the problem of finding *anything* that people can agree on!

--Dave Althoff, Jr.


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Friday, November 27, 2020 2:47 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Jeff said:

I'm not a psychologist, but I doubt anyone not a sociopath, even if they participated in genocide, could justify it as moral.

This is where you get into what GoBucks89 was giving us a few pages back.

At higher, simpler concepts (don't harm others) we can probably find almost universal shared belief, but once you dig into the details things like my death penalty or arbortion suggestions (or even something like self protection) it breaks down.

Sometimes harming others is definitely bad, sometimes, it's at least arguably acceptable. It's subjective. Genocide is just one degree of subjectiveness in the larger issue - harming others.

And if you want me to be me - If we ever reach in reality some weird hypothetical where eliminating a certain demographic saves mankind as a whole....well, then genocide it is!


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Friday, November 27, 2020 6:59 AM
sirloindude's avatar

Jeff said:

You can't attribute objective morality to a god and expect a mutual expectation of truth if others don't have the same belief system. I'm pretty sure that God is a construct of the human imagination, and religion has been used to justify most of the human conflict in all of history. Heck, it's used to justify Donald Trump. And you could say, "Well, they're doing it wrong," and you'd be making my point.

Chris' point referencing the author is fascinating to me. I may have to add that to my reading list. But I keep coming back to Andy's point: Can you really make a case that genocide is moral? I mean really believe that? I'm not a psychologist, but I doubt anyone not a sociopath, even if they participated in genocide, could justify it as moral.

That I believe in an objective morality defined by God doesn't mean that I expect anyone else to believe in it, nor would someone's disbelief in the same objective morality I believe exists, or at least their disbelief in its origins, have any effect on whether or not its true. Maybe it's false, but it wouldn't be because someone out there disagrees with me that would make it so. In much the same way as scientific laws are objectively true whether or not people choose to believe them, so too would be the case with objective morality.

Now, with that said, while I believe in objective morality, I don't believe that the morality by which I or anyone live is actually objective. I believe that God is inerrant and that he has a specific right and wrong answer for every moral issue, but that I don't know and never will know what all of those right answers are. The Bible doesn't spell out every conceivable moral situation, nor would I expect it or any text to do so given that there are an infinite number of situations, but this is where I find the beauty in Christianity: there is grace that covers the fact that I'll face moral issues where I have to make a judgment call, let alone where the answer is definitely clear and I just make the wrong one.

Let me provide you an example: the Bible doesn't discuss abortion in such a specific term. To my knowledge, it didn't really exist then. As such, I must make judgment calls based on what the Bible does cover and the guidance God provides in other forms (prayer, teachings from pastors, etc.) on whether or not I support it. I think the answer for a Christian should be pretty clear when it comes to matters of what I call "abortions of convenience," i.e. a prospective mother just doesn't feel like having a baby, but things for me get into a gray area when continuing the pregnancy puts the mother and/or child at severe risk of harm, suffering, and/or death. If my wife was pregnant and we faced a situation where completing the pregnancy would kill her, with aborting the baby the only way to preserve my wife's life, I believe I would go with the abortion. Is that the right answer? I can't say for sure, and I pray I am never faced with such a decision. I could argue that in theory, and even in light of my religious beliefs, there might not even be a right answer. I don't want to run down a theological tangent on this, although anyone is welcome to PM me if you want me to elaborate, but such a situation would be one that I think could stymy one of the tenets of the book Chris mentioned. If objective morality can be scientifically proven based on the premise that the well-being of humanity is what makes something objectively moral, how does one scientifically prove which is more in the best interests of humanity? It's possible in theory that the baby being aborted would do more for the betterment of humanity than the mother, and the reverse could also be true, but there is absolutely no way you, nor I, nor even science could ever make that decision with absolute certainty. As such, one would be forced to make a call, taking us back once again to a driving point I made: humans, and I suppose now even science, could never fully define objective morality.

Moving on to genocide, I'm not trying to make the case that it's moral. I don't believe that it is. I do believe that at least some people who have committed it, orchestrated it, etc. did believe that it was morally acceptable, though. The sheer magnitude of its horror ought to deter anyone who is even remotely on the fence about it, but I will grant you that some would still go through with it due to a variety of other pressures, motivations, etc. However, let's go back to a previous example I used. This is going to take things in an uncomfortable direction, but I ask for a bit of leeway here. I want to go back to abortion for a moment. I know there are a lot of pro-choice people here, and so I want to pose the following question: if you are pro-choice, do you mourn for someone who has a miscarriage? If so, why do you mourn for them? Do you believe a life was lost? Do you take a step back and mourn more for the possibility of life in the event you don't believe that life begins prior to birth? Do you mourn just to try to be supportive? Do you mourn for some other reason I've not covered? The difference between a miscarriage and an abortion is that one is involuntary and the other voluntary, but both are terminations of a pregnancy.

I bring that up to say this: to genuinely mourn a miscarriage over a sense of loss is essentially to admit that an abortion of any motivation of convenience or want is immoral. If there are holes in my logic, please address them, but I really can't see any way to reconcile the two. The closest you could theoretically get is to subscribe to the belief that life begins at birth, but while I think science outright torpedoes that idea, it would give you an out...at least until you accept that there isn't much of a point in mourning a miscarriage under this philosophy. If no life was lost, what is the point of being upset? I will grant that there are intricacies, but I still believe the premise holds some validity.

Things get far worse, though, if you mourn because you believe a life was lost. In that case, you accept that life does begin before birth, whether it be at a specific point in the pregnancy or all the way back to conception. If you believe that a life was lost, though, and yet you remain committed to the belief that someone should have the right to an abortion for any reason or motivation, you would essentially be condoning the greatest amount of mass murder in all of human history. As I recall, no genocide has ever yielded an equivalent number of casualties.

I don't bring this up in an effort to condemn anyone, and I'm not making that argument to claim any sort of moral superiority on my end. As I said, I believe in objective morality while owning the fact that the morality I exhibit is and only ever will be subjective. My point is that if the logic I presented holds true, it only reaffirms that objective morality can never be defined by any sort of human entity, nor could it likely ever be fully proven scientifically (I don't think science can predict the course of a person's life and the choices that person will make that could conceivably benefit the well-being of humanity).

I'd also like to elaborate on Dave's notions of non-aggression and how I think that all of humanity could try to go the non-aggressive route and it would statistically still end up resulting in aggressions, but that's for another time.

Last edited by sirloindude, Friday, November 27, 2020 7:04 AM

13 Boomerang, 9 SLC, and 8 B-TR clones

www.grapeadventuresphotography.com

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Friday, November 27, 2020 11:52 AM
Bakeman31092's avatar

I don't believe that citing examples of difficult moral questions proves that morality is subjective. All it proves is that morality is really hard. But just because something is really hard doesn't mean that there isn't an objectively right answer waiting to be discovered. To once again pull from The Moral Landscape: how many birds are currently in flight around the world? This is obviously impossible to answer, and it seems like it will always be impossible, even if humanity lost its collective mind and decided to devote all resources to being able to answer this question. But guess what? An answer does exist, and it's a very simple answer. It's just a number.

Doing harm to others without their consent seems like a pretty solid moral precept that we can all get behind, until pesky little things like context and intent are factored in. Should Lawrence Taylor have been punished for breaking Joe Theismann's leg? If a cop walks into a house and finds a dead person on the floor with another person standing over him with a smoking gun, should the cop arrest the shooter, no questions asked? After all, the shooter just murdered someone. Well, whose house was it? If the shooter was the home owner and the dead person was a stranger that had just broken in, then we feel that the home owner was morally justified in his actions.

Will we ever be able to determine whether or not capital punishment is morally justifiable, to the satisfaction of everyone? Probably not, however I can imagine some bits of knowledge that, if we had them, would get us closer to the right answer. For starters, our justice system is flawed in some significant ways. For me personally (subjectively!), the fact that we know that innocent people have been put to death by the state, and that there are currently people on death row who have been wrongfully convicted, makes the death penalty morally abhorrent. Having the government kill an innocent person in such a manner could probably be categorized as a bedrock principle of morality. No one wants this to happen. But what if this factor could be eliminated? What if we were able to improve our justice system to the point that we never convicted an innocent person? Well then we've just gotten a little closer to the answer, haven't we? We would next have to address the severity of the crime, and where it falls on the moral scale. A husband killing his wife in an act of blind rage is certainly an awful thing, but isn't it a bit less morally objectionable than a stranger kidnapping children and dismembering them? And what if our methods of rehabilitation were perfect? What if we had some combination of therapy and medication that was assured to take an unrepentant psychopath and turn him into a mentally healthy human being that could give back to society?

You could do this exercise with just about any moral quandary, and I think you'll find that the reason the problem is so vexing is because we just don't know enough, and it feels like we may never know enough. But that doesn't mean that we shouldn't try.

Last edited by Bakeman31092, Friday, November 27, 2020 4:47 PM
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Friday, November 27, 2020 12:27 PM

It seems as if the answer to the bird question is black and white (a number) while the answers to the other questions are not black and white. As an example, if we know absolutely positively that Person A killed person B, is it morally OK to kill Person A as their punishment? Different people are going to have different answers to that question.

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Friday, November 27, 2020 2:54 PM
Jeff's avatar

Now, with that said, while I believe in objective morality, I don't believe that the morality by which I or anyone live is actually objective.

Again, as soon as you bring religion in to it, anyone not sharing your beliefs will hear "blah blah blah," not because of a lack of will to understand, but because it's not the same foundation.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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