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wedrifid comments on The noncentral fallacy - the worst argument in the world? - Less Wrong

157 Post author: Yvain 27 August 2012 03:36AM

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Comment author: thomblake 19 September 2012 01:49:37PM 4 points [-]

The system of government here is enlightened absolutism.

This is a community blog. If your community has a dictator, you should overthrow him.

Comment author: wedrifid 20 September 2012 10:41:01AM *  0 points [-]

This is a community blog. If your community has a dictator, you should overthrow him.

With the caveats:

  • If the dictator isn't particularly noticed to be behaving in that kind of way it is probably not worth enforcing the principle. ie. It is fine for people to have the absolute power to do whatever they want regardless of the will of the people as long as they don't actually use it. A similar principle would also apply if the President of the United States started issuing pardons for whatever he damn well pleased. If US television informs me correctly (and it may not) then he is technically allowed to do so but I don't imagine that power would remain if it was used frequently for his own ends. (And I doubt it the reaction against excessive abuse of power would be limited to just not voting for him again.)
  • The 'should' is weak. ie. It applies all else being equal but with a huge "if it is convenient to do so and you haven't got something else you'd rather do with your time" implied.
Comment author: thomblake 20 September 2012 01:45:09PM 0 points [-]

Agreed. With the caveat that I think all 'should's are that weak.

Comment author: Kindly 20 September 2012 02:32:48PM 0 points [-]

"If you see someone about to die and can save them, you should."

Now, you might agree or disagree with this. But "If you see someone about to die and can save them, you should, if it is convenient to do so and you haven't got something else you'd rather do with your time" seems more like disagreement to me.

Comment author: thomblake 20 September 2012 02:41:46PM 0 points [-]

I don't think so. I agree with that statement, with the same caveats. If there are also 100 people about to die and I can save them instead, I should probably do so. I suppose it depends how morally-informed you think "something else you'd rather do with your time" is supposed to be.