The March Philosophy Book of the Month is Final Notice by Van Fleisher. Discuss Final Notice now.
The April Philosophy Book of the Month is The Unbound Soul by Richard L. Haight. Discuss The Unbound Soul Now
The May Philosophy Book of the Month is Misreading Judas by Robert Wahler.
Use this philosophy forum
to discuss and debate general philosophy topics that don't fit into one of the other categories.
This forum is NOT for factual, informational or scientific questions about philosophy (e.g. "What year was Socrates born?"); such homework-help-style
questions can be asked and answered on PhiloPedia: The Philosophy Wiki
. If your question is not already answered on the appropriate PhiloPedia page, then see How to Request Content on PhiloPedia
to see how to ask your informational question using the wiki.
- Posts: 629
- Joined: February 16th, 2018, 11:28 am
Alias wrote: ↑
November 9th, 2018, 12:11 am
For example, assuming no good argument can be made to wipe out all life on Earth, how could the knowledge or how to
kill all life on Earth be considered 'good'?
Not sure about all life on earth, but if I wanted to prevent someone blowing up the post office, I would need to first anticipate how they would go about attempting it. Knowing how it could be done is a prerequisite.
[/quote]But if the knowledge for how to blow up the post office did not exist, you're knowing how to do this would not be necessary. It only becomes necessary if the knowledge exists.
- Posts: 2657
- Joined: November 26th, 2011, 8:10 pm
- Favorite Philosopher: Terry Pratchett
Karpel Tunnel wrote: ↑
November 16th, 2018, 5:56 pm
But if the knowledge for how to blow up the post office did not exist, you're knowing how to do this would not be necessary. It only becomes necessary if the knowledge exists.
It only comes into question after
the knowledge exists. All the knowledge that doesn't
exist yet is both harmless and unhelpful, and impossible to valuate, until it is conceived. With some not-yet-conceived or not-yet-discovered data, we can be reasonably sure that they will come into existence if we are aware that some intelligent entity has a motive to seek it. For example, medical researchers are tirelessly seeking knowledge regarding the origins, causative agents and vectors of communicable disease, for the purpose of curing or preventing those diseases. That could be considered good knowledge, once it exists. However, at the same time, there may well be interests seeking the same information for the purpose of germ warfare. If they get it first, or acquire it from the medical researchers, it becomes bad knowledge.
I really can't bring myself to wish that the polio vaccine had never been invented.