POKER - the card game, not Wittgenstein's - seems to have taken many by storm, especially college students. Its ethical (not to mention legal) status, however, eludes us. Is it unethical to play poker? If your answer to this question relies on conceiving of poker as "gambling", then would poker tournaments, in which an entry fee is paid and one cannot lose more than that entry fee (your chips no longer represent real money), deserve the same appraisal? Is gambling unethical, and is there any such thing as something being inherently addictive, or do different people just get addicted to different things because of who they are?
Here's a preliminary thought: Our socio/economic system is rather unjust, with many poor people and a few very rich ones. At the poker table, however, a just meritocracy exists: those with intelligence win and climb up the economic ladder. Win one poker tournament for $5, and you now have the entry fee for 5 more such tournaments. For intelligent people currently working...
It seems that most of my thoughts are expressed as reflections of familiar stimuli received through the agreed-upon 'five senses' (this includes spoken and written language). Is there any appropriate way to speculate on what form the thoughts of a hypothetical person born without access to sight, sound, smell, touch, or taste might take?
I guess what I mean is: "please speculate!"
How do we resolve the fact that our finite brains can conceive of mental spaces far more vast than the known physical universe and more numerous than all of the atoms?
For example, the total possible state-space of a game of chess is well defined, finite, but much larger than the number of atoms in the universe (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shannon_number). Obviously, all of these states "exist" in some nebulous sense insofar as the rules of chess describe the boundaries of the possible space, and any particular instance within that space we conceive of is instantly manifest as soon as we think of it. But what is the nature of this existence, since it is equally obvious that the entire state-space can never actually be manifest simultaneously in our universe, as even the idea of a board position requires more than one atom to manifest that mental event? Yet through abstraction, we can casually refer to many such hyper-huge spaces. We can talk of infinite number ranges like the integers, and "bigger"...