GingerJacob36 t1_je7oi7k wrote

There's a bit more to it than that.

One of the high ranking members of TikTok's parent company, I think called ByteDance, is a sitting member of the CCP. TikTok CEO says that this person is only dealing with the Chinese side of the business, but that's a potential area of influence from the Chinese government.

Also, it has been suggested that the app itself is not just collecting data, but also an attempt to subvert American youth in a variety of ways. The algorithm that runs the app in America is very different from the one in China. One notable way is that the app in China, called Douyin, requires anyone under 14 to register as a youth, and it limits their access to 40 minutes per day between 6am and 10pm. They also receive mandatory pauses every 5 minutes, and are shown only "inspiring content" from fields like math and science. Compare that to American teen usage which is mainly sexual dances and NyQuil chicken.

This can become a chicken or the egg kind of conversation, where it's not China's fault that American teens are idiots and pursue this kind of stuff, but it is a bit suspicious that they limit usage for their own but not for us. Whether or not that means that it is an intentionally insidious attack against America is debatable.


GingerJacob36 t1_jbt5h6m wrote

That question doesn't negate the existence of an objective morality. If the scenario you presented was one possible way of life, we could all agree that it would not be the best one. It is objectively not as good for as many people as many other ways to live. Enslaving 60% of the population would be much better, and enslaving 0% would be much better than that. These are all objectively better than each other, and that thought process can continue into pretty much anything else that we encounter.

It's not that it wouldn't be a hard question to answer, but it's not an impossible one to answer and there are metrics along which that decision could be made.


GingerJacob36 t1_jbgxlac wrote

Interesting that you feel there is no objective morality. I think we can agree that what is best for some is not best for others without feeling like we can't navigate the territory at all.

Even the martyrs are acting in a utilitarian mindset, either for a good we now generally agree about, or for a less discernibly positive way.


GingerJacob36 t1_jbg9xta wrote

Can you explain how activism runs against utility? It seems like it could be very much in line, as it is aimed towards the greatest good, at least in the mind of the activist.