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  1. #1

    Default Do you think everything that should be done, can be done?

    (1) Do you think everything that should be done, can be done?

    (2) What impossible things do you think you should do?

    (3) What impossible things do you think others should do?

    This is meant as a launching point into an exploration of ideals and goals.

    But please think about the 1st three questions, if you could.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
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    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
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  2. #2
    Member Shadowrose's Avatar
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    Cool Huh.

    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    (1) Do you think everything that should be done, can be done?

    (2) What impossible things do you think you should do?

    (3) What impossible things do you think others should do?

    This is meant as a launching point into an exploration of ideals and goals.

    But please think about the 1st three questions, if you could.
    (1) Certainly, to assign an ethical value to a task that is impossible to complete is irrational.

    (2) See (1), no one should ever be obligated to perform an impossible task.

    (3) See (2).

    I've never understood the point of wholly unrealistic and unattainable goals. If anything, it seems it would be demoralizing knowing you can never really get what you want or do what you need.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    (1) Do you think everything that should be done, can be done?

    (2) What impossible things do you think you should do?

    (3) What impossible things do you think others should do?
    (1) Depends on how you interpret "Should". For one person, abortion Should be legal. For another person, abortion Should be illegal. You cannot do what every person on the earth thinks Should be done.

    (2) Well this question is blatantly contradictory, I'm confused why you asked it. Why try to do something that you know to be impossible?

    (3) Well this is different, maybe. You can say that these 'impossible things' are Impossible to You, but not to Others. So, what impossible things to me should others do? Well, that is the very nature of trust in your society, that there will always be someone there to do a job that is impossible for you. (hypothetically speaking).

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    Wonderer Samuel De Mazarin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowrose View Post
    (1) Certainly, to assign an ethical value to a task that is impossible to complete is irrational.

    (2) See (1), no one should ever be obligated to perform an impossible task.

    (3) See (2).

    I've never understood the point of wholly unrealistic and unattainable goals. If anything, it seems it would be demoralizing knowing you can never really get what you want or do what you need.
    I don't think this is quite true... for instance, is it possible to purge one's mind of all unreasonable prejudices (against) or biases (towards) certain people, ideas, etc.? To be completely objective and yet, at the same time, empathetic with one's fellows? No.

    And yet almost every single major religion and almost all systems of secular humanism advocate that we at least try to do just that...
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  5. #5

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    Good. We are starting a plularity of ideas. It is not so cut-and-dried for me.

    My first thoughts were also, "why hold ideals we can never reach?" But I think there are plenty of things of that sort (like the examples SDM mentioned).

    But, ignoring that for now...
    How do you know if something can or cannot be done? If you told somone in the 1800s to split an atom, they would have likely declared it impossible.

    If you had told someone in the Early 1900's to create a flying machine, they would have likely declared it impossible also.

    It seems like "Though should have only ideals that are achievable" is an unachievable ideal in itself.

    Now returning to ideals that are impossible...

    Should we play fair?
    Should we be truthful?
    Should we be kind?

    Perhaps you answer that we should be these things when it "makes sense." But what if we compelled to do this when it doesn't make sense.

    I believe ideals are often inherently unachievevable.

    No I turn the question on its head...
    What is an ideal that you meet all the time?

    If you object to "all the time," When can you achieve particular ideals you hold dear? How sure are you of those times?

    If you take I will know when, when it happens for ideals, how do you know you aren't copping-out?

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

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    Member Shadowrose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Samuel De Mazarin View Post
    I don't think this is quite true... for instance, is it possible to purge one's mind of all unreasonable prejudices (against) or biases (towards) certain people, ideas, etc.? To be completely objective and yet, at the same time, empathetic with one's fellows? No.

    And yet almost every single major religion and almost all systems of secular humanism advocate that we at least try to do just that...
    Objectivity and Empathy are perfectly compatible. And I suspect that the strongest point of contention here is how we define and discover what tasks are impossible. I'm, honestly, not sure what tasks truly -are- impossible. But, if you come to me and state, with whatever proof one may need, that this task is impossible, I certainly think it would be pointless and nigh inethical to actually attempt to perform said task.

    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    Now returning to ideals that are impossible...

    Should we play fair?
    Should we be truthful?
    Should we be kind?

    Perhaps you answer that we should be these things when it "makes sense." But what if we compelled to do this when it doesn't make sense.

    I believe ideals are often inherently unachievevable.

    I think, one issue here, is that achieving ideals and performing impossible tasks are distinctly different things. I would say it is, in fact, a noble pursuit to attempt to achieve an ideal. While you may not be able to do as such constantly, by working to achieve it you can noticeably -increase- how often you do it. If that makes sense.. so by virtue of that, you can still step closer to achieving it. Impossible tasks, however, are by nature tasks that you simply cannot do. There is no measure of completion or nearness, it is simply a binary "You have completed this" or not.

    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    No I turn the question on its head...
    What is an ideal that you meet all the time?

    If you object to "all the time," When can you achieve particular ideals you hold dear? How sure are you of those times?

    If you take I will know when, when it happens for ideals, how do you know you aren't copping-out?
    This is a hard one. I guess the easiest answer here for me is the ideal of Understanding, of Comprehension. I always make an attempt to attain as nearly complete an understanding of.. things.. as possible. In light of this, I am constantly questioning, always poking and prodding. I seek to achieve a systemic understanding of everything around me. In regards to all the time, I think this is kind of a cheating answer because it's mostly a subconscious process. And as far as times, any time I recognize a lack in my understanding, I immediately seek to rectify that lack.

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    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    (1) Do you think everything that should be done, can be done?

    (2) What impossible things do you think you should do?

    (3) What impossible things do you think others should do?

    This is meant as a launching point into an exploration of ideals and goals.

    But please think about the 1st three questions, if you could.
    1) Yes, as long as you state the general goal but not necessarily the method.

    2) To have perfect understanding of my role in this world, as well as my strengths and limitations, and then use that understanding for the greatest possible impact.

    3) Same as 2)
    My wife and I made a game to teach kids about nutrition. Please try our game and vote for us to win. (Voting period: July 14 - August 14)
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    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    (1) Do you think everything that should be done, can be done?
    by my definition, something that should be done has to be possible.

    first you figure out possible options, then you pick which one you should do.

  9. #9

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    The hard question often, for people who believe all that should be done can be done, is:

    How do you know when something can be done?

    Now, if you take dissonace's approach, the question is:

    How do you account for all possibilities?
    How do you know that the "possibilities" you have included are indeed possible?

    Consider in the Olympics, that the athletes strive (or seem to) for some ideals that seem impossible... they dive with no splash... the routine wihout errors... etc.

    In other activities, there are things people stive for that "stretch" themselves. These are often at the edge of possibility and sometimes impossible.

    So can you always say when you fail to do something you wanted to, that you couldn't? What if you are prompted by you conscience to strive for these goals?

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

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    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    The hard question often, for people who believe all that should be done can be done, is:

    How do you know when something can be done?
    This question is easy. Anything that has been done can be done. On the other hand if something hasn't been done, then we really don't know if it can or can't be done. The hard question is "How do you know when something can't be done?" Because you will never be able to answer this question with certainty. It is possible to answer the "can" question with certainty.

    Now, if you take dissonace's approach, the question is:

    How do you account for all possibilities?
    How do you know that the "possibilities" you have included are indeed possible?

    Consider in the Olympics, that the athletes strive (or seem to) for some ideals that seem impossible... they dive with no splash... the routine wihout errors... etc.

    In other activities, there are things people stive for that "stretch" themselves. These are often at the edge of possibility and sometimes impossible.

    So can you always say when you fail to do something you wanted to, that you couldn't? What if you are prompted by you conscience to strive for these goals?
    You'll never be able to achieve the impossible unless you first believe that you can do it. Some will fail and some will succeed.
    My wife and I made a game to teach kids about nutrition. Please try our game and vote for us to win. (Voting period: July 14 - August 14)
    http://www.revoltingvegetables.com

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