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....I'm having a geek attack, because there is a Doctor Who episode in which a little girl saves all these dying people into her brain, which was a computer, I think...it's been a while since I've seen it. Anways. I'll be a serious debater now. :P
Interesting debate. I think that combining the definitions given create a good working definition of a human being: a human being is a conscious life form with human DNA. Now...I'm uncertain about this definition, so if anyone wants to argue it out, that would be great.
Now, as for computers and vegetative states: A human's mind inside of a computer cannot be a human being, as MK said, but if it could somehow have consciousness/sentience, I would say it is a person. Thanks to my Physicist brother(and his offense at my excluding aliens from the definition of "person"), I don't believe that a person has to be a human. Now, someone may bust out a dictionary and prove me wrong...but hopefully my point can be seen.
Vegetative states: If someone truly has no consciousness, no dreams, nothing, and they can never come out of it, then they are, as doctor's say, brain dead. Now, deciding whether or not the dead or the essentially dead are still human beings gets into some murky water that I don't think I'll wade in just yet(YaY for silly-sounding metaphors).
I should also mention that I was speaking hypothetically; it is very difficult to actually determine that a person is actually brain dead, in fact, I don't believe that we are technologically advanced(if i enough to determine it(due to people coming out of those states after having been declared brain dead). That's a bit of a side note, but I thought I'd mention it.
Sorry I got off topic....but excellent debate. It made me really have to think, which is awesome. :)
Hmmm...that is a problem. Of course, you could tag the debates as part of this community, couldn't you? I've seen Joe do that with his debates and community, I think. But I guess that wouldn't be any different than posting on the regular site, would it?
If you want to, sure, we can try to bring the site back to life. I think there are still a few people on here who care.
haha....I feel a bit silly; I'm acting I'm fighting for some lost monument or something. But in a way I guess it is like that. This was one of the only intelligent forum-type places I've been involved with on the internet. I really miss actually learning something from the people on here.
Well...no system is perfectly just. Democracy(either pure or representative...that's another debate, though) may be the closest thing you can have to a just government, and you could measure that through history and sociology, but no government can be completely just, at least not by all standards. That said, justice should be immutable, at least in theory. In practice, however, there is a problem. How do we decide what is just? Is it decided by the majority, or a smaller group of people, or a combination of the two?
In order to have a truly just government, the people must have a voice in deciding what is just. In this way, justice is mutable by a democracy, because the people can change their minds, or change what was already decided or assumed years ago. This is necessary in order to have a just government.
However, there is a limit. Some rules are not debatable, such as laws prohibiting murder. If the majority of Americans wanted to make it legal to bring back the gladiators, the federal government would obviously need to prevent this from becoming law. What I'm trying to say is yes, justice is to some degree mutable in a democracy, but there must be limits.
Honestly, I think it's an excellent idea to create some means of ensuring that those who run the country are intelligent. But I don't know if a test is the best way...some people are incredibly smart but really terrible at tests; and anyone can pass a test if they study the nature of the test and the specific material on the test enough... So I'm not sure that a test is a great solution. However, I can't think of any other solution either...
I think the scientific facts about it should be more well-known. I once tried to research global warming, to see if it was really occuring(to be honest, I still haven't really looked at the facts yet). Although I was just in high school and gave up quickly, I found something really upsetting when I looked at the sites stating that global warming is indeed a problem: The sites I found didn't give much of ANY scientific evidence about it! I know that NASA has some evidence, and that is obviously a reliable source, but I think if the facts were more widespread and it wasn't known by conservatives as simply "something Al Gore said", then most reasonable people would seek solutions. So really? An excellent solution to global warming is information.
Interesting point. I don't know enough about world history to know if you're right or not, though. x) But even if you are, I would still say that some things would be significantly different had certain events ended differently. At the very least, different countries would have been primary world powers than those that are in reality. And perspectives on some things would have been different. For instance, if Russia had moved away from autocracy/aristocracy(at the time it wasn't a pure autocracy), there would probably not have been as much paranoia about communism, or at least not about Russia. We might not have landed a man on the moon as quickly, we most likely would not have had the cold war, and we certainly would not have had Boris and Natasha. ;P
I'll start. Keep in mind that I am a Russian history novice(correction: World history novice), so be patient if I'm not being completely accurate.
How would the world look if the peasant revolts of the 1660's in Russia had been successful? If they had achieved something close to equality?
I say that there wouldn't have been as much distrust between Russia and the west, no cold war. I think the west would probably still have developed as it did with the same ideas of equality, but perhaps it would have done so faster.
I totally disagree. I don't think that humans will ever get to a point of thinking the same, or even close to the same...Well, I take that back; it depends on your definition of "essentially the same''. Still though, even among people that think SOMEWHAT similarly, there are HUGE differences, and therefore subcultures. There will always be different music styles, philosophies, clothing styles, etc. All these elements of culture and I really don't think humanity would ever agree on all those things--I don't even want them to. I want humanity to be united, to all believe in love, in peace, and in respect. But I do agree with those on the other side that there will ALWAYS be different cultures.
What are you talking about? Obama won't show his college thesis? I've never heard anything about that, and I highly doubt that it's any cause for concern. What, you think his college thesis contains secret plans to blow up the world, along with a confession that he was born in Kenya? :P I mean, I have some problems with Obama, but all this paranoia about him is ridiculous.