• You may receive an error message when sending PMs at the moment. The message you're trying to send has been sent and if you refresh your screen, you will see it. Otherwise you may get many repeated messages. We're working on this!

Philosophy Bunker

Status
Not open for further replies.

Dante

Git
SF Pro
SF Supporter
#1
cooltext378021327034591.png
For several years, 3 or 4 guys (myself being one of them) would meet at the pub regularly to discuss philosophy and religion, and in those discussions a recurring theme of difficult binary choices was put forward in the form of a button. "Press this button and XXX happens, would you press it?"

So here it is, you find yourself in the Philosophy Bunker, a place conveniently built into the foundation of Jim's Cafe, a place with many buttons and room for more. Peruse the buttons at your leisure and consider if you would or should press one, and what the implications of pressing or not pressing one may be. If you have any interesting ideas for your own buttons, feel free to post them (Buttons should raise philosophical questions, not questions of personal preference) and if you simply want to discuss or explore an interesting philosophical topic, feel free to do that too.

Rules of the buttons:
1) No one but you ever knows you pressed the button unless specifically stated in the button's description.
2) You cant undo a button press, once pressed, it is pressed.
3) No combining buttons.
4) Each button constituted a "press or dont press" dilemma, the choice to cause an effect or leave things as they are, unless otherwise stated in the description.
5) All buttons perform their actions on the current world in the present day, not an ideal or fantasy world.

Happy Button: Press the button and you will be happy with however life treats you. No matter how far you fall or how terrible life becomes, you will feel happy and content with your lot.
Do you press this button? Discuss

Trade Button: Press this button and a random person who is objectively a bad guy drops dead, another person, a Good Guy then survives what would have been a fatal illness and lives for as long as the Bad guy would have lived if he had been left alone.
Do you press this button? Discuss

Level Button: Press this button and everyone's skills and abilities get reset to the average for their age bracket, they all know the same information, all have the same training, and all have the same physical fitness, we are all truly equal.
Do you press this button? Discuss

Cupid Button: Press this button and the next (unmarried) person you fall in love with will also feel strong feelings of romantic love for you.
Do you press this button? Discuss

Justice Button: Press this button and every crime or bad deed is instantly and appropriately punished immediately after it is committed forevermore.
Do you press this button? Discuss

Truth Button: Press this button and everyone in the world will know what everyone else thinks of them, good and bad.
Do you press this button? Discuss

Reset Button: Press this button and the population of the world is reduced down to levels the environment can safely sustain, any extras above this number cease to have ever existed and no one remembers them.
Do you press this button? Discuss

Hitler Button: Press this button and any baby which will eventually grow up into a serial killer, a fascist dictator, or any other person who will end up intentionally causing countless deaths for their own ends, immediately dies.
Do you press this button? Discuss
 

SaFa61947

Kaiser Franz
#2
Thanks for making this... I think you have a talent and I really like philosophy so, I'll be your listener. It's evident the effort you put in making these so thanks.

Happy button

This is the easiest button. In fact, I decide to press this button right now. No matter what happens now I'll be happy with whatever comes my way. This wil be my style from now on.
 

SaFa61947

Kaiser Franz
#3
The last button was too easy and it didn't raise a philosophical question but the next one will.

Trade Button: Press this button and a random person who is objectively a bad guy drops dead, another person, a Good Guy then survives what would have been a fatal illness and lives for as long as the Bad guy would have lived if he had been left alone.
Do you press this button? Discuss

This seemed a good button at first, however there are a few problems with this button. I'd not press it. First of all... life isn't so simple as to have a "good guy" and a "bad guy". No one is a villain in his own story, and it has been seen that criminals are very kind to their old granny or a younger sibiling. And I don't trust anyone to be the good guy. C'mon, he's perfect? I guess whoever presses this button will kill someone that is not entirely bad and will see the good guy slowly spreading his claws and becoming bad, maybe worse than the initial "bad guy".
 

SaFa61947

Kaiser Franz
#4
Level Button: Press this button and everyone's skills and abilities get reset to the average for their age bracket, they all know the same information, all have the same training, and all have the same physical fitness, we are all truly equal.
Do you press this button? Discuss

I would only not press this button, but also create an association, sort of a justice league to prevent anyone from pressing this button, either by destroing it or by making it inacessible or even putting to jail whoever tries to press this. It would be utterly unfair. All the hard work some people put in things would be lost, and we would live in a Communist world. No, that's not fit for me.

And the people who fall behind, usually it's their own fault. I concede this button would be fair to some people who failed for lack of opportunities but that do not justify leveling everyone. We would lose many marvels and inventions if everyone were the same and had the same skill level.

Cupid Button: Press this button and the next (unmarried) person you fall in love with will also feel strong feelings of romantic love for you.
Do you press this button? Discuss

This seemed easy at first, but any decent philosopher wouldn't press this button. It's the same as the witch who makes a love potion and grows tired of her lover. Love blossoms only when it's free, and if there is a button that makes a person love you back, there is no effort, and you're actually stripping a person of its free will. This seemed like a good shortcut but I'm not that desperate, and I will never will. It's worth waiting for something real, even if that never comes.

Justice Button: Press this button and every crime or bad deed is instantly and appropriately punished immediately after it is committed forevermore.
Do you press this button? Discuss

I would press this one. Civilization has achieved some levels of justice, but sometimes we make mistakes. Since justice strives to be logical and equal to everyone, I think the mistakes the Justice Button would commit when judging bad deeds would not be heavy enough to compensate the good judgement on the important issues.

Considering the crimes would be punished according to the law, and humans had access to the law. It would make one less problem. All we had to do was to control who had access to the law. And the law would seem the biggest power there is and everyone would be more interested in politics, because it for sure would be observed. This button would make the world a better place.

Truth Button: Press this button and everyone in the world will know what everyone else thinks of them, good and bad.
Do you press this button? Discuss

This would drive some people crazy and very quickly the world would be insane. Diplomatic treaties would be more difficult. I think wars would start. Perhaps over time people would get used to it and it would be somewhat better because there would be no more fake friends or associations, but no one can predict how long it would take. I'd rather deal with some fake friends and people lying to me than give total access to my mind to everyone else.

Actually, I think I would rather quickly be sent to jail because boy do I think some crazy stuff. So, I don't press it.

Reset Button: Press this button and the population of the world is reduced down to levels the environment can safely sustain, any extras above this number cease to have ever existed and no one remembers them.
Do you press this button? Discuss

I'd press this button mostly because I think nothing would happen. We haven't reached that level yet that we are a threat to the world. And even in the case that a part of the population would die and we would forget some technology, it would give us answers if we are mistreating the planet or not. I think Nature is capable of restoration levels not yet seen. I think people who are afraid we are damaging our planet just by living and having cars, oil, etc. are short-sighted and do not realize Nature's true power.

Yes the poles are defrosting and there is a worldwide increase in temperature but I don't think this necessarily means we're marching towards the end of it all. Hasn't Science ever been wrong? In 1900 doctors made holes in people's skulls to cure them of mental issues. And they would bleed people until they faint to "renew blood". Science has became an answer to everything and I find that presumptuous. So, in short, yes I would press this one.

Hitler Button: Press this button and any baby which will eventually grow up into a serial killer, a fascist dictator, or any other person who will end up intentionally causing countless deaths for their own ends, immediately dies.
Do you press this button? Discuss

Good one. Again, I'd not press this. I think Hitler, Gengis Khan, Alexander the Great and individuals who commited crimes or were serial killers taught us about being human and gave us valuable lessons. If those people would die at birth would we be more peaceful? I don't know. But we would lose a compass on where to self-regulate. There would be no lessons to be learned. I think the ability to learn is more important than immediate peace. Everyone wants a peace which is good for oneself. No one wants a peace without bread. Peace is an umbrella term for many other things: food, shelter, water, dignity, companionship, access to resources and respect.

In other words I think these men weren't born evil but were rather a product of their time. I think by killing the next Hitler we would just delay the problems and we would have a series of unjustified infant deaths because our current times, as civilization, is sick and we need those people to teach the world a lesson. So, I don't press.

Thanks again, I didn't think I would have the energy to answer it all but there you go.

 

Auri

🎸🎼Metal Star🎼🎸
Safety & Support
SF Supporter
#5
For several years, 3 or 4 guys (myself being one of them) would meet at the pub regularly to discuss philosophy and religion,
You Sir sure know how to have fun. ;)

I love the idea of this thread... but I have lots of questions about some of the buttons before pressing them, lol, my mind doesn't accept the short descriptions. :p Others are easier because I instantly find a reason NOT to press them :

Hitler Button and Trade Button :
For buttons that mention "bad" and "good" people, I would definitely not press them for a few reasons. First, I don't believe in that kind of perfect distinction, and it's very hard to measure the net impact of a person on the world. Who decides that? A bad act that shouldn't have happened sometimes leads to lots of good things, what do we do with that? Is one person's pain worth the happiness of a 100?
For any person who's caused some suffering (from the smallest one to the most evil one) I'd rather take all the time and effort to try to rehabilitate/educate them to do better than to kill them, it's much more worth it in my mind.
I also don't think I have the right to end anyone's life. Who am I?

Justice Button :
I would have to read the manual of "appropriate" punishments. I'm sure it is not meant to be like the justice system in any existing country because those suck, so we'd have to go over that first. If it involves death or torture at any point, you know my answer. :p And are rehabilitation and education part of those "punishments"?
 

Auri

🎸🎼Metal Star🎼🎸
Safety & Support
SF Supporter
#6
Cupid Button :
Since we're not discussing personal preference... would anyone really like for the other person to love them because they pressed some magical button? How would it feel to you if you KNEW that they didn't actually fall in love with you because of all the awesome things about you, but only because you decided so? :D
 

Dante

Git
SF Pro
SF Supporter
#8
Thanks for making this... I think you have a talent and I really like philosophy so, I'll be your listener. It's evident the effort you put in making these so thanks.

Happy button

This is the easiest button. In fact, I decide to press this button right now. No matter what happens now I'll be happy with whatever comes my way. This wil be my style from now on.
Ah, but what about the question of human dignity? Would you be ok now knowing what you would become? Also, if you are happy with everything you will shut down, you will be happy just to sit and starve to death. I put this in there as one you would press on instinct and SERIOUSLY regret after :P
 

SaFa61947

Kaiser Franz
#9
Ah, but what about the question of human dignity? Would you be ok now knowing what you would become? Also, if you are happy with everything you will shut down, you will be happy just to sit and starve to death. I put this in there as one you would press on instinct and SERIOUSLY regret after :P
Oh shit, you got me! Now I'll keep drooling watching the clouds happily and not accomplishing anything! Damn!
 

Dante

Git
SF Pro
SF Supporter
#10
The last button was too easy and it didn't raise a philosophical question but the next one will.

Trade Button: Press this button and a random person who is objectively a bad guy drops dead, another person, a Good Guy then survives what would have been a fatal illness and lives for as long as the Bad guy would have lived if he had been left alone.
Do you press this button? Discuss

This seemed a good button at first, however there are a few problems with this button. I'd not press it. First of all... life isn't so simple as to have a "good guy" and a "bad guy". No one is a villain in his own story, and it has been seen that criminals are very kind to their old granny or a younger sibiling. And I don't trust anyone to be the good guy. C'mon, he's perfect? I guess whoever presses this button will kill someone that is not entirely bad and will see the good guy slowly spreading his claws and becoming bad, maybe worse than the initial "bad guy".
The philosophical part behind the happy button is to explore the ideas of dignity, human motivation, contribution to society, do you care what you become as long as you are happy? Do you think that discomfort is the source of all motivation and that a perpetually happy person will just die? There is plenty to unravel here and I would NEVER press that button myself.

Interesting slant on the Trade Button, I meant it to be a question of morality, would the button consider YOU a "good guy" after pressing it, what constitutes a "good guy" or "bad guy" and can you trust the button? etc, I never considered the future of the "good guy" and if they would turn bad.

OH WOW... I just saw you did them all in your next post....

Oh and feel free to tag people here if you think they will like it or come back and make your own buttons to see people's thoughts.
 

Dante

Git
SF Pro
SF Supporter
#11
Cupid Button :
Since we're not discussing personal preference... would anyone really like for the other person to love them because they pressed some magical button? How would it feel to you if you KNEW that they didn't actually fall in love with you because of all the awesome things about you, but only because you decided so? :D
Ah, but I specifically phrased the question so that it could be for someone in the future. Say you dont love anyone right now, if you press this button, for the rest of your life you will never know if the one you end up with would have loved you for you or if the button did it.

Im surprised you didnt bring up the issue of their right to free will though, I was all prepared with a rebuttal :P

You Sir sure know how to have fun. ;)

I love the idea of this thread... but I have lots of questions about some of the buttons before pressing them, lol, my mind doesn't accept the short descriptions. :p Others are easier because I instantly find a reason NOT to press them :

Hitler Button and Trade Button :
For buttons that mention "bad" and "good" people, I would definitely not press them for a few reasons. First, I don't believe in that kind of perfect distinction, and it's very hard to measure the net impact of a person on the world. Who decides that? A bad act that shouldn't have happened sometimes leads to lots of good things, what do we do with that? Is one person's pain worth the happiness of a 100?
For any person who's caused some suffering (from the smallest one to the most evil one) I'd rather take all the time and effort to try to rehabilitate/educate them to do better than to kill them, it's much more worth it in my mind.
I also don't think I have the right to end anyone's life. Who am I?

Justice Button :
I would have to read the manual of "appropriate" punishments. I'm sure it is not meant to be like the justice system in any existing country because those suck, so we'd have to go over that first. If it involves death or torture at any point, you know my answer. :p And are rehabilitation and education part of those "punishments"?
You hit the nail on the head with those buttons, is it morally right to kill supposed bad people, what is bad people, is a good person's happiness more valuable than a bad persons? BUT I didnt say good or bad people in the Hitler button, i was talking about their pre-determined death toll, how many lives they WILL take. Due to this, pressing the Hitler button will almost certainly reduce deathtoll, but then all those parents losing their kids....

For "appropriate punishments" see the following (the button is just a rip off of this):
 

Auri

🎸🎼Metal Star🎼🎸
Safety & Support
SF Supporter
#12
Ah, but I specifically phrased the question so that it could be for someone in the future. Say you dont love anyone right now, if you press this button, for the rest of your life you will never know if the one you end up with would have loved you for you or if the button did it.

Im surprised you didnt bring up the issue of their right to free will though, I was all prepared with a rebuttal :P
It doesn't matter to me if it's in the future. I think not knowing what caused it would be even more anxiogenic to be honest. I really like knowing. :p

When philosophizing on a forum I usually go for the first argument that comes to mind and leave it at that, otherwise I'll be in this thread forever, which is why I didn't mention the freedoms of the other person. :D However, the issue of free will in general would require for me to actually make an effort here, haha. I'm not even sure I've reached a conclusion myself at this point.

Feel free to post your rebuttal though, I might agree or disagree. ^^

I read what you wrote about the Happy Button and I had pretty much the same train of thought upon reading it, I wouldn't press it either. I guess I would have to be ok with the person I've magically become, since that's part of the definition of the button (I would be happy NO MATTER WHAT), but before pressing it, I am not okay with it... so I'm not pressing it. :p
 

Dante

Git
SF Pro
SF Supporter
#13
It doesn't matter to me if it's in the future. I think not knowing what caused it would be even more anxiogenic to be honest. I really like knowing. :p

When philosophizing on a forum I usually go for the first argument that comes to mind and leave it at that, otherwise I'll be in this thread forever, which is why I didn't mention the freedoms of the other person. :D However, the issue of free will in general would require for me to actually make an effort here, haha. I'm not even sure I've reached a conclusion myself at this point.

Feel free to post your rebuttal though, I might agree or disagree. ^^

I read what you wrote about the Happy Button and I had pretty much the same train of thought upon reading it, I wouldn't press it either. I guess I would have to be ok with the person I've magically become, since that's part of the definition of the button (I would be happy NO MATTER WHAT), but before pressing it, I am not okay with it... so I'm not pressing it. :p
I meant the hopelessness of knowing you will never know now or in the future, but yea, I would be SO tempted to press this button because I SERIOUSLY believe I am the "forever alone" guy, but at the same time, not knowing for sure would kill me.

If you HAD pointed out that it a violation of their right to free will I would mention that you have given them the feeling of love, take it from someone who knows, just the feeling of being in love is wonderful, and if that love is returned honestly and truly, thats just magic. If you fell in love with someone and FELT that, would it matter to you that they pressed a button to make it happen? Or maybe you would even be grateful. Love is wonderful. (on an unrelated note, Unrequited love turns painful QUICKLY, so it only stayed amazing for a short time).
 

Auri

🎸🎼Metal Star🎼🎸
Safety & Support
SF Supporter
#14
I meant the hopelessness of knowing you will never know now or in the future, but yea, I would be SO tempted to press this button because I SERIOUSLY believe I am the "forever alone" guy, but at the same time, not knowing for sure would kill me.

If you HAD pointed out that it a violation of their right to free will I would mention that you have given them the feeling of love, take it from someone who knows, just the feeling of being in love is wonderful, and if that love is returned honestly and truly, thats just magic. If you fell in love with someone and FELT that, would it matter to you that they pressed a button to make it happen? Or maybe you would even be grateful. Love is wonderful. (on an unrelated note, Unrequited love turns painful QUICKLY, so it only stayed amazing for a short time).
What if if you had not pressed the button their fate was to fall in love with someone else who would make them much happier because more suitable or for whatever reason? :D You'd have limited their happiness. :p (I'm not talking personally here, eh, I'm not implying that you'd actually limit someone by loving them and them loving you back. ;)) If you truly love someone, you want what's best for them, right. :D
 

Dante

Git
SF Pro
SF Supporter
#15
What if if you had not pressed the button their fate was to fall in love with someone else who would make them much happier because more suitable or for whatever reason? :D You'd have limited their happiness. :p (I'm not talking personally here, eh, I'm not implying that you'd actually limit someone by loving them and them loving you back. ;)) If you truly love someone, you want what's best for them, right. :D
But at the same time you can fall in love with all kinds of horrible people, at least you know YOUR intentions are pure, you may not be the best partner possible, but you also know you will be a good one, you are saving them from possible hardship.

Also, yes I know I would suck as a partner, but I have accepted that burden *dunno:D
 

Auri

🎸🎼Metal Star🎼🎸
Safety & Support
SF Supporter
#16
But at the same time you can fall in love with all kinds of horrible people, at least you know YOUR intentions are pure, you may not be the best partner possible, but you also know you will be a good one, you are saving them from possible hardship.
Then again it comes down to "not knowing" what the other outcome would be. *dunno Living in uncertainty... And come on, it's better to be loved for the good reasons!

Also, yes I know I would suck as a partner, but I have accepted that burden *dunno:D
Shhhhh.
 

KM76710

Kangaroo Manager
SF Pro
SF Supporter
#19
I would pick Justice, because we all deserve to be judged for good and bad in our lives. Never make me the judge though, it might be extreme on one side or the other and which I have done on more than one occasion.

Actually quite a fine thought experiment.
 

Dante

Git
SF Pro
SF Supporter
#20
I would pick Justice, because we all deserve to be judged for good and bad in our lives. Never make me the judge though, it might be extreme on one side or the other and which I have done on more than one occasion.

Actually quite a fine thought experiment.
But conversely we all break small laws here and there, can you imagine if you couldnt break any law at all, it would remove morality and choice and would be horribly restrictive.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Please Donate to Help Keep SF Running

Total amount
$100.00
Goal
$255.00
Top