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Archive for February, 2010

Philosophy Summarized

Friday, February 5th, 2010

A series of posts summarizing current results in the field of Philosophy.
Part 1: The Thought Experiment:

Robot sees bird

If a train full of people whom you believe own Fords, but do not in fact own Fords, is traveling through a countryside full of fake barns, and is about to go off a cliff, and you can save these people by switching them to a track where the train will kill only one man, who has enough good organs to save the lives of 5 speluncean explorers who need organ transplants and are trapped in a cave and are committing acts of cannibalism, are you justified in lying to a murderer who comes to your door and attaches you to a dying violinist?

(Note: The experiment works better if you’re drinking twater with some antipodeans who’ve had their brains transplanted into the bodies of people who are either going to be tortured or given a million dollars if they get in a teletransporter that sends them to a room where they use an instruction manual to translate Chinese into English.)