View Poll Results: Do you believe in using "full versions" to try software products?

Voters
40. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yes, and do so often

    22 55.00%
  • No, never have

    5 12.50%
  • Depends on the program/price

    13 32.50%
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  1. #41  
    Originally posted by ****-richardson
    And as I re-read my hypothetical, it occurs to me that rape and incest may be absolute because of the impossibility for greater moral gain. Murder should probably go in the fuzzy section (a well placed sniper could've prevented the deaths of millions of Jews).
    I guess read my reply, specifically my professor's hypothetical.

    Along these lines, there is a superb short story by Ursula E LeGuinn called "The Ones Who Walked Away from Omelas." Read it here .
  2. #42  
    Alright, I'm giving in to one of my human imperfections and writing a post in this thread.

    This thread is about the ethics behind warez, bad or good, and has developed further into a thread about ethics in general. So here's my input. Take it, leave it, tear it to shreds. It's up to you.

    Ethics and Morals are are individual. Individuals choose for themselves what they believe as far as what is right or wrong. Many times, they don't live up to their own morals or ethics.

    However, right and wrong are not individual. This may be confusing to some of you. The explanation lies in the fact that humans were created with "free will," meaning that they make their own choices. So an individual can choose bad morals and bad ethics.

    Humans are imperfect and often try to justify their imperfections to try to appear more perfect. I believe relativism falls into this description. A human chooses to do steal something from another human. This human justifies it by saying that their individual ethics and morals state that they have the right to take the something from the other human. They are justifying their imperfect act of stealing with relative rationalizing, thus appearing (to themselves) as being less imperfect.

    Consider this example: Suppose I decide that I don't like you. Further suppose that my ethics and morals state that I can do whatever I want to someone I don't like. So I beat the snot out of you because there is nothing in my ethics or morals that says I am not allowed to do so. You, however, believe that there is an imperfection in my reasoning and ethics (mostly because I just beat the snot out of you) unless you were trying to get rid of that cold. So, what do you do? You believe in relativism, yet I just beat the snot out of you. If you believe in relativism, you probably also believe that someone else's morals should not be pressed on you. The problem lies right there. I just beat the snot out of you and you believe that was wrong. But you can't force that belief on me. So I ask again, what do you do?

    If real relativism was widespread, the world would be ruled by chaos. No laws, no standard punishments, just what each individual believes. If that's how you believe it should be, well, you're executing your free choice, and I'm not going to try and change your mind. That's not why I'm posting. I'm posting to give my point of view.

    There is one absolute, and you probably know what/who that is. I don't want to turn this thread into another type of thread so I won't get to deep in this. I don't claim to be spoken to directly, but there is a standard that has been given to us, and just about all modern laws have some root in it. I believe it was given by inspiration and it is flawless. But that's my choice. You decide what you want to do with it. Just be careful of the consequences.

    [rambling now finished]
    - Burns
    Check out my page on Visors:
    Burn's Visor page
  3. #43  
    Originally posted by dietrichbohn
    yes.. but only for those who we grant have an "non-twisted" conscience.
    You assume I agree that the conscience is malleable. I don't. The conscience is unimpeachable. Unfortunately, a person may be raised to ignore his/her conscience or to consult other urges before the conscience - something the psychologists can't prove either way, for such a person would equate personal desire with conscience (and/or morality).

    I am in complete agreement that deciphering which individuals are actually following their conscience is incredibly difficult. Impossible, really. The only way to get an idea is by that person's behavior (hardly fool-proof). Then again, the purpose of the conscience may not be to judge another's behavior - merely as a guidline for our own.
    Last edited by dick-richardson; 12/12/2001 at 01:03 PM.
    -Joshua
    I've decided to become enigmatic.
  4. #44  
    Josh,

    I am in total agreement with your conscience posts. Good posts.

    - Burns
    Check out my page on Visors:
    Burn's Visor page
  5. #45  
    Originally posted by ****-richardson
    You assume I agree that the conscience is malleable. I don't. The conscience is unimpeachable.
    The English Philosopher Joseph Butler held almost the identical view that you're subscribing to, look here.

    Concsience is malleable on at least three fronts:
    1. It can be eliminated or never created in the first place
    2. It has no reliably objective source (i.e. you can't source it in god)
    3. It can be distorted


    With regard to 1, The Gale Encyclopedia of Psycholgy states:
    The most effectively-diagnosed personality disorder is the antisocial personality. The outstanding traits of this disturbance are an inability to feel love, empathy, or loyalty towards other people and a lack of guilt or remorse for one's actions. Due to the lack of conscience that characterizes it, the condition that is currently known as antisocial personality disorder was labeled moral insanity in the nineteenth century. More recent names associated with this personality type are psychopath and sociopath. Unable to base their actions on anything except their own immediate desires, persons with this disorder demonstrate a pattern of impulsive, irresponsible, thoughtless, and sometimes criminal behavior. They are often intelligent, articulate individuals with an ability to charm and manipulate others; at their most dangerous, they can become violent criminals who are particularly dangerous to society because of their ability to gain the trust of others combined with their lack of conscience or remorse. (emphasis mine)

    With regard to 2
    Sourcing conscience in god is simply the most obvious solution. However, when you begin to speak to peoples of different societies you find they have actual differences in what their consciences tell them. Although you may be able to make the case for a universal, evolution-based morality, nobody's been successful at it yet. There are societies that accept Incest (ancient Egypt), rape (all kinds of ethnic cleansings), cannibalism (and you don't have to go tribal.. ever had communion?), and so on. Thus, conscience seems to be sourced in societal mores, not in holy ones.

    With regard to 3
    This one is probably too subjective to speak intelligently to, but I hold that given 2, it is possible to genuinely affect a person's conscience.

    ....yep.

    edit: added more bold to the quote from the psych guide. I wish I had a DSM-IV!!!
    Last edited by Dieter Bohn; 12/12/2001 at 01:57 PM.
  6. #46  
    I ought to admit here that, philosophically speaking, I find myself in the most annoying position possible (and not just annoying to me, but also to you): Not knowing where I stand, yet knowing that I have yet to find an acceptable option.

    I'm like the ancient Sophist that Plato hated and Pirsig loves: I can tear anything up, but can't build my own platform. It's not that extreme, I do have some views, but WRT other stuff all I can do is tear down.

    Moral absolutism is a subset of absolutism and therefore it gets my goat for some reason. So I work to tear it down. But I can't replace it (or that would become another absolute!), so then what? You can call it a vicious circle and call me ungodly and say I'm deluding myself and so on, but the bottom line is that I can say the same thing about your beliefs....

    sigh..

    I'm posting this mainly as a reply to Burns. I don't necessarily hold to Relativism, but the key point you're missing is that in Relativism, morality is defined by a person's society, not by that person. Thus, there is a shade of a standard by which I can defend myself...

    I suppose that were i to defend a moral standpoint, it would be Object Utilitarianism, outlined in a discussion thread that Burns and I remember well
  7. #47  
    Originally posted by dietrichbohn
    I suppose that were i to defend a moral standpoint, it would be Object Utilitarianism, outlined in a discussion thread that Burns and I remember well
    Last post for today, then you guys can tear me up.

    to bring this thread back to its original topic, I would say that Object Utilitarianism would argue that stealing software is not for the mutual benefit of all society. However, in certain extreme cases, it may be that we want to allow such theft if it does benefit society, as in the case of M$. A better solution would be for O.U. to apply its mores to M$ directly, i.e. change the society such that piracy is not longer beneficial to it...

    or something like that.

    rip away, I have work to do!
  8. #48  
    Maybe the publishers of the more expensive programs can come up with some sort of 'lease' option that would allow us to inexpensively use their software, with all features, for some period of time- possibly up to, but not including, the next upgrade?
    A lot of specialized high-end software is leased. Microsoft has been pitching the idea of doing it with all software.

    Personally, I think it is a great idea. Have Application Service Providers and you simply pay for different 'packages'. You would always have the latest updates, etc. Also, they could implement a pay-per-use model, too. There's a lot of times when I needed to use an expensive application for one small job. I usually had to find someone with the program and ask them to do it for me. It'd be great to have access to an application for a small fee to use for one day, for instance.

    There are a lot of infrastructure issues regarding this, of course, but it's a good idea IMHO.

    However, I believe that "Stealing a steak from a poor starving child" and "Stealing a steak from a rich cattle farmer" have important moral differences.
    I agree. You can only argue the legal points. It's quite difficult to argue moral points.

    I don't believe that using someone elses property for personal gain without compensating them is ever morally defensible.
    That's arguing a moral point. That's somewhat futile, as everyone has their own morals.

    But don't let that stop you...I've argued lots of futile points on these boards.

    Toby - If you are just trying to pick a fight, go find someone else. I made it very clear that although society is a major influence on what an individual regards as moral or immorral, ultimately this is an individual viewpoint.
    oops...spoke too soon...Bradhaak already made that point...

    Ever consider that neither of us may be fully qualified to determine the other's state of mind just within the text medium?
    Oh...thanks alot toby ...take ALL of the fun out of online debates, why don't you?

    What if there is such a thing as a conscience?
    Isn't your conscience simply your (as in 'humans'') ability to to interpret empathy?

    If my theory holds true, then Robin Hood remains a hero, stealing an attackers weapon is okay, and there is a difference between pirating software from MS vs. BlueNomad.
    But it's only OK in your mind. And stealing from the rich in Sherwood forest is only 'right' in the minds of those in Sherwood forest.

    A big problem in today's world is the fact that the planet is getting smaller. Different societies (and societies within societies) have completely different social norms and morals. These are colliding at an increasing rate. Fortunately, law is the mediator in all of this and we are striving for better international law. Whether that's actually doable, well, that's a whole other argument.

    And as I re-read my hypothetical, it occurs to me that rape and incest may be absolute because of the impossibility for greater moral gain.
    What is moral gain? Incest isn't an issue of morals...it's an issue of arbitrary social norms (and, to a lesser extent, biology). Rape is perfectly accepted in many societies and is deemed morally acceptable in them.

    Ethics and Morals are are individual. Individuals choose for themselves what they believe as far as what is right or wrong. Many times, they don't live up to their own morals or ethics.
    Ethics, like laws, CAN be formalized and adopted for a group. Morals less so.

    However, right and wrong are not individual. This may be confusing to some of you. The explanation lies in the fact that humans were created with "free will," meaning that they make their own choices. So an individual can choose bad morals and bad ethics.
    Right and wrong are individual concepts. Saying someone's morals are 'bad' is an individual concept.

    I just beat the snot out of you and you believe that was wrong. But you can't force that belief on me. So I ask again, what do you do?
    Of course I can't force that belief on you...that's the point. Morals are individual concepts. What I believe in is what I believe in...what you believe in is what you believe in.

    We've formalized some moral and ethical points and made them into laws. In this particular case, the law comes into effect and society takes over.

    There is one absolute, and you probably know what/who that is.
    Of course...science. But science doesn't dictate our morality.

    Oh wait...you're probably not talking about science, are you?
    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
    -David Byrne
  9. #49  
    Well, this thread may have served one useful purpose. It has caused me to reevaluate why I am participating in this board.

    I have been using PalmOS devices since before the first Pilot 1000 shipped. I have had a long and generally positive experience with them. I ordered a Blue Visor deluxe the day that HS started taking orders. Up to and including the Edge, I purchased every product that HS produced. They were exciting, cutting edge products. This was even true a year ago when I joined VC.

    Now people talk about other brands, how great the Treo is ( it isn't - I've used one), or when will HS come out with a new device with the next great feature. Meanwhile HandSpring has descended to the point that they introduce a new model that is the same as a previous model except for the color and expect excitement. They are even trying to turn the fact that they are using an obsolete OS version into a virtue. Even scarier is that so many nontechnical people accept this argument.

    Very few people here accept the fact that HS is nearly broke. They only have cash reserves for a single large product introduction. The Visor line is basically dead. If the Treo is not an absolutely huge success HandSpring is dead. And finally, that the Treo will not be that kind of success. The last item is the only one that is just my opinion and not a pretty well documented truth.

    This has had the effect of making this board a fairly sad place. This is the first thread that I have been interested enough to really participate in for quite a while. And the only reason it caught me is the fact that my income is directly related to people paying for software that I write. This accounts for my extreme viewpoint on the subject.

    It then turned into a discussion of morals. This is bad enough, but now it has devolved further into philosophy behind morals. Frankly, this bored me to tears in college and bores me even more now. Every opinion is based on fundamental assumptions that can neither be proved or disproved. So every opinion is possibly right, but probably wrong. Once more - I don't care.

    There is almost never news here that I don't get elsewhere and the interesting discussions aren't anymore.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is thanks for the push out the door, I will be going now. I may check back periodically just to see how some of the regulars are doing, but I am done visiting regularly and posting.

    Good luck to you all. It has been a fun ride, but the train is back in the station.
  10. #50  
    Originally posted by dietrichbohn
    regarding the psychological study
    Exactly how can they disregard the possibility that the individual in question simply disregards his/her conscience altogether?

    There is no proof - only possibilities and theories.
    Sourcing conscience in god is simply the most obvious solution. However, when you begin to speak to peoples of different societies you find they have actual differences in what their consciences tell them. Although you may be able to make the case for a universal, evolution-based morality, nobody's been successful at it yet. There are societies that accept Incest (ancient Egypt), rape (all kinds of ethnic cleansings), cannibalism (and you don't have to go tribal.. ever had communion?), and so on. Thus, conscience seems to be sourced in societal mores, not in holy ones.
    I'd argue that societal norms may be instilled regardless of conscience. You may recall the relatively famous sociological study where an individual lied about his/her perceptions to go along with the group. The conscience in my theory isn't a powerful urge, but an inborn...awareness.

    This one is probably too subjective to speak intelligently to, but I hold that given 2, it is possible to genuinely affect a person's conscience.
    Again, I don't believe one can affect the conscience. They may merely aide someone toward ignoring it (be it through raising a child, peer pressure, etc.), possibly in lieu of a "better" moral guide (e.g. rationalization, personal desires) that may or may not be "better." One can rarely go wrong with rational behavior (the main exception occuring with a lack of information).
    Last edited by dick-richardson; 12/12/2001 at 02:45 PM.
    -Joshua
    I've decided to become enigmatic.
  11. #51  
    DR, I don't think we're going to agree on this one. The major difference is that I believe that society can reach way way down into your depths and affect the very core of your identity. You believe that that zone is an inviolable place created by god. I could continue on displaying the research showing that sociopaths do not have a conscience at all, but you clearly are unwilling to accept the most reasonable interpretatin of that evidence. Fine. I'm sure there are subjects to which I respond in the same manner (ex. miracles).

    Bradhaak: sorry to have bored you, I suppose you could have just skipped over that stuff... I did try to bring it back to warez... I guess the thing is, when somebody presents an opinion, they have to back it up. And the the counter-opinion backs theirs up. And the backing up becomes a different kind of backing up--we backed into first principles of morality. I guess for me, that's the best way to change somebody's mind, honestly engage the foundations of their beliefs.

    and heck, if you've got a spicy rumor about Handspring, by all means bring it out, I'll speculate with the best of them! And your opinions about HS's viability are spot on, btw.

    As for these boards veering OT, I think you may be right about HS's doludrums being one of the causes, but another cause is that for some of us, this kind of discussion isn't boring. In some cases, the veering may allow us to steer back to the original topic with a new understanding. The new understanding that I'm groping for is a new way to deal with intellectual property that allows for both the moral/justice component and the I want my music now component.
  12. #52  
    Frankly, this bored me to tears in college and bores me even more now.
    Then why did you bother posting?

    Once more - I don't care.
    Then why did you bother posting?
    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
    -David Byrne
  13. #53  
    As Brad departs yet another is sucked into this endless debate.

    I believe in absolute morality.
    The "steak" example you gave?
    While stealing from the poor kid is worse, both are still wrong.


    The problem with relativism as I see it is that once you justify your actions using some extreme examples that most people will never ever experience, you start down a slippery slope of rationalizing anything you want to do.

    Example?
    What was this conversation about?
    Stealing software.
    Does this involve any poor kids?
    Is this a "Robin Hood" scenario?
    Please dont give me a what if the software could feed the world, cure cancer or some other hypothetical situation.

    Relativism allows just what we see here. We can rationalize wrong actions, (stealing from big companies) by using completely unrelated examples to justify our actions.
  14. #54  
    Originally posted by ByinHi
    Relativism allows just what we see here. We can rationalize wrong actions, (stealing from big companies) by using completely unrelated examples to justify our actions.
    You may be confusing Relativism, which is an Ethical theory that allows for differing ethics in differing cultures with no judgements as to which culture is more moral, with the practice of positing hypotheticals to test general statements.

    The hypotheticals do not bear directly on the software discussion, true, but they are useful insofar as they are an easy way to present the relative strengths and weaknesses of a given moral code. Thus, if a moral code that allows you to steal software also allows you to murder someone, there's a good chance it's a poor code. They therefore do have a place in this discussion.

    but yes, the poor kid hypothetical was pretty bad...
  15. #55  
    Originally posted by dietrichbohn

    You may be confusing Relativism, which is an Ethical theory that allows for differing ethics in differing cultures with no judgements as to which culture is more moral, with the practice of positing hypotheticals to test general statements.
    Thanks for the correction.
    I'm just a high school graduate trying to keep up with all you intellectual college educated types. Perhaps I use big words to try to sound like I belong. I hear the term "relativism" in conversation a few times an think that I know how to use it. How foolish of me.

    I use a simple dictionary, it just has 1700 pages in it.

    It defines relativism as:
    any theory of ethics or knowledge which maintains that the basis of judgement is relative, differing according to events, persons, ect.

    Don't recon I know what all that fancy dictionary talk all means but it sounds kinda like my original understanding of the term.
    Seems like all these examples are designed to show that right or wrong is not absolute but differs according to the circumstances.

    But then again I might be wrong.
    I am just a lowly truckdriver who likes to read.
    Any correction is appreciated as I love to learn.
  16. #56  
    Originally posted by ByinHi
    Stealing software.
    Does this involve any poor kids?
    Is this a "Robin Hood" scenario?
    Please dont give me a what if the software could feed the world, cure cancer or some other hypothetical situation.
    The question was raised, "Is there a difference between pirating software from MS vs. a small time developer." Again I say, yes. The money I give microsoft to use their products does not go directly to the person responsible as it does with a small company. Are they both wrong? Yes. Is one more wrong? I believe so.

    dietrichbohn, I've probably seen quite a bit of the research you're referring to. I don't see how believing that a person raised to ignore his conscience is any less logical than believing that person doesn't have one. If you'd think about it, the person woudn't necessarily believe he had a conscience - ignoring it would be as much of that person's nature as breathing. However, you may believe of me what you will.
    -Joshua
    I've decided to become enigmatic.
  17. #57  
    Originally posted by ****-richardson
    dietrichbohn, I've probably seen quite a bit of the research you're referring to. I don't see how believing that a person raised to ignore his conscience is any less logical than believing that person doesn't have one. If you'd think about it, the person woudn't necessarily believe he had a conscience - ignoring it would be as much of that person's nature as breathing. However, you may believe of me what you will.
    Sociopaths aren't exactly "raised" to not have a conscience. It is something that happens to them as a result of a combination of abuse and chemical imbalances/brain damage. They are literally unable to understand the concept of morality. Think of it as color-blindness. A color blind person knows about blue and red and could possible point them out, but only by imitating those around her. A sociopath is morality-blind in the exact same way. It unfortunately has little to do with their beliefs, the conscience simply isn't there to be ignored.

    Of course, when you get down to it, "conscience" is nothing more than an abstraction.

    Again, I think we're just going to have to leave it at this: I think you're idea of conscience is nuts, you think my idea of social condition is nuts.
  18. #58  
    Originally posted by bradhaak
    If you had read further, you would have seen where I stated completely honestly and openly that I don't live up to my own standards and I don't believe that anyone can. This would fit within the concept of imperfection. I have specifically said that by my own standards, I have failed and fallen onto the side of'immoral' many times in the past and will do so many times in the future.

    I don't see this as hypocritical, just slightly idealistic.
    I did read further. I didn't see a point in addressing it at that point. Why argue with the fool who freely admits himself a fool?
    I don't believe in lowering my standards to make myself look better (I'm not trying to imply that you do either).
    How one looks should be irrelevant according to your professed belief system. Its being irrelevant is also coincidentally in agreement with mine, although for quite different reasons.
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
  19. #59  
    Originally posted by ****-richardson

    The question was raised, "Is there a difference between pirating software from MS vs. a small time developer." Again I say, yes. The money I give microsoft to use their products does not go directly to the person responsible as it does with a small company. Are they both wrong? Yes. Is one more wrong? I believe so.

    If I am poor and rob and murder someone, is there a difference between that and Hitlers crimes? Sure.
    Can I excuse my actions on the basis that difference. No. Sure there are degrees of bad. But we aught not justify an act because it is "less bad."

    If I steal MS software, will the go broke? No. Will they hurt as much as bluenomad would? No. But where does it end. Will blue Nomad really go broke if I stole from them? Not really. Are the needs of my kids more important to me than Gorillas? I'm not registering DB4. Once you leave the moral high ground you can justify anything.
    Last edited by ByinHi; 12/12/2001 at 06:44 PM.
  20. #60  
    Originally posted by ByinHi
    It defines relativism as:
    any theory of ethics or knowledge which maintains that the basis of judgement is relative, differing according to events, persons, ect.

    Don't recon I know what all that fancy dictionary talk all means but it sounds kinda like my original understanding of the term.
    Seems like all these examples are designed to show that right or wrong is not absolute but differs according to the circumstances.

    But then again I might be wrong.
    I am just a lowly truckdriver who likes to read.
    Any correction is appreciated as I love to learn.
    Sorry if I came off as patronizing, I didn't mean to be. I think the link you're making between relativism and the "hypothetical method" is circumstantial. I happen to be defending relativism with it, but that doesn't mean that it can't be just as effective for another moral system.

    In fact, if you scroll back, you'll see that my professor used his extreme example as a defense of moral absolutism...

    yep...
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