Massacring the freedom of the press

A tenet of a free and democratic nation's judicial system is that its courtroom proceedings be visible to the public. Although often to the distress of the accused (commonly seen covering their faces to the camera), the purpose of this is not to shame anyone. It is to ensure that miscarriages (and abortions) of justice never go undetected. Such is not the case in my neighboring country. When the decision was made that Anders Behring Breivik's own account of the events of July 22 not be broadcast out of "understanding" for the victim's families and friends, there was a consensus of meek agreement in the media. I was surprised and enraged. Who are the judges to decide what the public may or may not see, and why is there no outrage that the (it should be noted, assumed) feelings of the concerned are considered to be of higher importance than the people's right to an open courtroom? Any such notion is thrown out the window; the judges pick-and-choose what you're allowed to see, lest the delusions of an extreme narcissist influence you or hurt the feelings of the easily hurt.

Enough of this sobfest; shame on the judges, shame on the NRK and shame on those who try to justify censorship.


On philosophy and existentialism

Hello, Giant Bomb, long timer caller, first time listener here. I'd like to talk about something that interests me. In this thread I will posit and argue why existential nihilism is the default and only reasonable position on the question of life's objective meaning.

As a disclaimer, I don't study philosophy. I use the words "agnostic" and "gnostic" to mean "not claiming to absolutely know" and "claiming to absolutely know" respectively, without any connection to religion. This is not a topic on religion.

As an introduction to my point, allow me to explain something about philosophy.

Philosophical claims will always be nothing more than speculative, intuition-based assertions. Trying to better understand the world without the foundation of empirical rationalism is pointless and only ever leads to unfalsifiable claims--this is why philosophy has never been considered a science. Those who talk about infinities without studying or caring for mathematics; who argue for the reasons of life and morality without ever studying biology or evolutionary psychology; who talk make claims about the reasons for consciousness without ever studying neuroscience--are doomed to making baseless assertions based on flawed intuition.

This brings me to my point: an existentialist or a nihilist who makes no gnostic claims of knowledge is taking the default and rational position. Those who make claims on the meaning of life, regardless of whether these are agnostic or gnostic, are making assertions that carry with them a burden of proof. But as these claims are unprovable and unfalsifiable the rational thing position to take when faced with them is to disbelieve; until fantastic claims come with fantastic evidence there is no reason to believe them. Nihilism also makes the fewest assumptions - it makes no assertions. Now that I've invoked both Hitchens' and Occam's sharp shaving blades, I will continue.

If you agree or can at least concede that disbelief in unprovable claims is a rational person's default position but are wondering why then nihilism isn't a belief, here is your answer: agnostic nihilism is not a belief because it offers nothing to believe in. Someone who doesn't buy the claims that there is objective meaning to life is by definition a nihilist. In this respect (and in others), nihilism is much like atheism, although again, this is not a thread on religion.

I realize a gaming forum may not be the best place to discuss this, but it's the off-topic board so why not. I look forward to any responses!