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bnightm's Avatar Joined about 6 years ago
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Go to: The New Atheism

bnightm's Avatar Jump to comment 23 by bnightm

Blargh. Accidentally flagged your comment, Bernard Hurley, with a mouse gesture that crossed over the link. Sorry.

Obligatory on-topic comment: I think I agree too much with Victor Stenger to find his arguments very interesting. God - The Failed Hypothesis might have been such a dull read for that same reason.

Mon, 05 Apr 2010 12:20:00 UTC | #456038

Go to: Cern LHC sees high-energy success

bnightm's Avatar Jump to comment 4 by bnightm

Just a thought, why not release the results to the general public as they come in, so that any keen amateurs can do their own analysis- and maybe a prize for the first confirmed discoverer of the Higgs?

Or am I being naive?

It's 15 million billion bytes of data every year, uploaded via 10 Gbps lines to several sites that are then in turn accessible from more than a hundred universities around the world. I think they got their priorities straight on this one :P

Tue, 30 Mar 2010 13:51:00 UTC | #454013

Go to: Moral confusion in the name of 'science'

bnightm's Avatar Jump to comment 57 by bnightm

I watched his 45 minute Google Talk on the same topic, using pretty much the same slides, with a 30 minute question period afterwards, and I don't think he fared any better than at his TED Talk. In fact, I think the guys and girls at Google gave him a harder time, with their questions on his choice of fitting function for the "moral landscape".

Of course, morality can't be an abstract concept that has no impact on our brain states, or it would be irrelevant. But just because it isn't relevant doesn't make it an objective concept that can be maximized. He likens it to the concept of health which I do not think is a fair analogy. Diseases have pathology and death is a fairly agreed upon concept.

With morality, Harris seems to think minimizing experienced suffering or maximizing experiences is the best thing to do. In a vacuum those seem like good heuristics, but how should you weigh it against other (so called) liberties?

Harris himself is a staunch defender of freedom of speech, but what if it happened to be the case that his min/max function required it to be curbed? What then would he point to in order to keep freedom of speech? Same could be said for many other liberties, like the right to own private property. It seems intuitively obvious that a good society would allow these things, but would we, even in principle be ready to sacrifice it for the "greater good"? Ought we?

Tue, 30 Mar 2010 06:02:00 UTC | #453937

Go to: Humanists Prepare to Hold LGBT-Inclusive Prom in Mississippi

bnightm's Avatar Jump to comment 29 by bnightm

#28: Conspiracy nut much?

Sun, 14 Mar 2010 09:50:00 UTC | #449267

Go to: Richard Dawkins on Why Evolution Trumps Creationism

bnightm's Avatar Jump to comment 2 by bnightm

"The King of All the Atheists"? Please.

Sat, 13 Mar 2010 16:01:00 UTC | #449091

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