View Poll Results: Did you intend to get a hangover? (See OP for full question)

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  • Yeah; you knew what you were getting.

    3 33.33%
  • Nope; hangover is a side effect you didn't want.

    1 11.11%
  • Who cares whether or not you knew, anyway?

    1 11.11%
  • Other answer (e.g. "Free will doesn't exist so there was no choice, or others.)

    1 11.11%
  • Betty White / TB / TB's Mom / TB sucks

    3 33.33%
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Thread: Random Friday Question 3.0

  1. #1
    Consul The Burninator's Avatar
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    Default Random Friday Question 3.0

    This one is inspired by true events and may permit of some related discussion .

    Question: if you have another drink because you want to, while knowing that it will result in a hangover, did you therefore also want the hangover? (You can see the Story for more details.)

    Feel free to explain to Jeff how to better drink more without getting a hangover, and also anything marginally related. If interested in the question about intentionality and double-effect this brings up more generally, you can see the second spoiler.

    Story:

    It's 10:35PM and you're at a bar. You're having a good time because your friends are good people. You're at that point where you're not drunk, but you've put away enough alcohol over time that you're definitely under the influence, and you don't want to come down. So you want another. BUT, you know yourself well and you know that if you have another drink tonight, you'll wake up tomorrow with a splitting headache and uncomfortable hangover.

    You decide to have that drink and as you predicted, your head does not appreciate it the next day. You complain to a friend about this, but he/she/it says: "hey, you're the one that wanted a hangover."

    "Nuh uh!"

    "Well did you know you were going to be hung over?"

    "Yes."

    "And you wanted it anyway?"

    "Yes."

    "So you must have wanted a hangover!"

    "Nuh uh, I wanted the drink. The hangover was just an anticipated side effect..."



    More philosophy:

    The question at hand is whether intent can be defined as action with foreknowledge. The idea is that if you take an action A that you know will result in effects B, and C, and you still do A, you must be intending the effects B and C. (Aside: there can also be effects of actions that are unforeseen, but people generally don't argue that such consequences are intended by actions.)

    The prevailing view amongst traditional philosophers has been to deny this through what is called the doctrine of double effect which is just the denial of this claim. It will say something like "if you want effect B but not C, then you would be much happier performing action A if C wasn't a result. As such, B is foreseen and intended while C is foreseen but unintended."

    This makes a lot of sense when the example is about hangovers, but it does have more dangerous applications. For example, it's often used in Just War Theory to justify the deaths of civilians. When Israel fires artillery into civilian areas of Gaza, it argues that its intent is to kill people firing rockets, while civilian casualties are foreseen but unintended. That is much more controversial and this shows why people do seem to link action with foresight to intent at least to some extent.

    Utilitarian philosophy which has come into vogue in contemporary circles is much more open to the idea that all consequences (that are foreseen) matter, but they have developed a more intricate attack on double effect, which I will explain below; it's called the "problem of closeness." It relies on the fact that when you perform an action you know has 2 effects, these effects may be separable in your mind but they're not separable in fact.

    Imagine you're trapped in a cave and the entrance has collapsed, trapping a fellow climber right in front of the entrance. You have a stick of dynamite and are sure you can blow out the entrance, saving yourself and your party, but you cannot free the trapped man. So obviously he will be killed by the dynamite. You are a structural engineer, by the way, and you're sure the cave won't just collapse. Also there's no other way out. No cell service or somesuch. So, you blow out the entrance of the cave killing the trapped man. Are you really going to want to argue that you didn't mean to kill the man you literally planted dynamite under? It was an unintended side effect? It runs into the issue that there could be a ****** Lite who "doesn't mean to kill all the Jews," but "just doesn't want them on Earth anymore." So, blasting them all into space, he argues "I just didn't want them on earth, I didn't want them to actually die. That was foreseen but not intended."

    Part of your skepticism about this will be because it is difficult to believe anyone would actually think that. But they could. Would they be ok? Would it be any worse if they admitted that they really wanted them dead?

    Further info on these and related issues can be found in the SEP under "doctrine of double effect" or by PMing me


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    Last edited by The Burninator; 03-17-2017 at 10:54 AM.

  2. #2
    Consul Rokchick's Avatar
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    You didn't want the hangover, but were prepared to accept it. It is therefore intentional. As are the other examples.

    So neither 1 or 2?

    How to drink more without a hangover? Be Scottish. I never cracked it, so now I just don't drink enough to suffer. Although.... if you do have to pick a time for a hangover, a long plane flight is good. You have to sit still and someone brings you drinks all day.
    I'm glad I'm not judgemental like all you smug, superficial idiots

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    Consul The Burninator's Avatar
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    Option 2 looks like what you're saying, methinks. I'd think that's the common sense consensus answer, too -- you just said "willing to accept" while I phrased it "didn't want." I don't that's material.

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    OK. You didn't want it then! There now, that's your daily dose of affirmation.
    I'm glad I'm not judgemental like all you smug, superficial idiots

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    Oh, talking utilitarianism, no wonder Hiroshima and Nagasaki were considered ethical by those who follow such an ethical theory.

    Wait, also
    consequentialism would have that covered with "the end justifies the means." but it would be opposite to your example since the hangover end is not actually intended.
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    I think I'm in the "you may not have actively wanted the hangover, but you were fully willing to accept the hangover in order to get what you did actively want, the drink" camp.

    Which I see as being partway between you first and second options.

    You don't want the trapped person to die, but you are willing to accept that as a consequence of your living.

    In some cases, I think that it can be just as morally reprehensible to be willing to accept certain consequences as a trade-off for certain gains, as it is to actively desire them as a thing separate from the gain they are consequent to. It depends on the gain and the consequence.
    And now I'll tell you what's against us, an art that's lived for centuries. Go through the years and you will find what's blackened all of history. Against us is the law with its immensity of strength and power - against us is the law! Police know how to make a man a guilty or an innocent. Against us is the power of police! The shameless lies that men have told will ever more be paid in gold - against us is the power of the gold! Against us is racial hatred and the simple fact that we are poor.
    - The Ballad of Sacco and Vanzetti, Joan Baez

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    Consul The Burninator's Avatar
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    I would put that in the second option.

    My conception of option 1 was like this: (of course you're allowed to conceive differently!)

    Choice 1: (one more drink + hangover)
    Choice 2: (no drink + no hangover)

    That's it. Pick one. If you go with choice 1, you chose to get a hangover, and you did it on purpose. You didn't accidentally have another drink. Thus, I conclude that you wanted choice 1, which contains both another drink and a hangover. In my own view, if you think otherwise, you must be imagining some third world where you can choose (drink + no hangover) and saying "that one!" But, I'd argue, that wasn't an option you were picking from.

    For choice two you can accept any doctrine of "double effect," meaning you're going to say something different about the two effects of the action. You're saying one was wanted and the other you're "willing to accept," and Rok's was "prepared to accept." The idea is that you've got a desire and are willing to "pay the price." In any case, 1 effect is treated different from the other effect.

    And that's all well and good, to a point, I think. I'm willing to allow "you would rather have not had to kill the trapped man," but I am NOT willing to allow "you didn't mean to kill the trapped man." IMO, you clearly did! Anyway thats where you could find the dilemma, Meherrin. Does the dynamite person MEAN to kill the trapped person or not? If he intended to, then choice 1. If not, and it was just an unfortunate side effect of what he wanted to do, choice 2. (The issue with the problem of closeness is that I can keep making up stories closer and closer to saying "kill" but having death as "an unfortunate side effect.")

    Option 3 was meant to be for people who are going to buck the question by saying like "we don't have real choices" or "I am not my past self so I don't identify with what my past self chose" or something.
    Last edited by The Burninator; 03-10-2017 at 09:52 PM.

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    I think my problem with choosing the second option is that, as least as you have phrased it, it removes all responsibility/culpability for known but undesired consequences.

    There's an action, A, which if you perform it will improve the quality of your own life. However, there is a known consequence, C, which is that it will also result in harm to another group of people.

    Some people will choose A, and also actively want C to occur, because they don't like the people who wil be asversely affected by C.

    Some people will choose A, thinking it's unfortunate that those people will have to suffer from C, but you really want A for yourself, so those other people will just have to suffer.

    Neither the first nor second option really deals with the second situation in my vague scenario, though the first option clearly covers my first situation.

    I guess the issue here is whether there can be responsibility without intention. If you don't actively intend C, even though you know it will happen if you do A, are you just as responsible for causing C as if you had wanted C as well as A?
    And now I'll tell you what's against us, an art that's lived for centuries. Go through the years and you will find what's blackened all of history. Against us is the law with its immensity of strength and power - against us is the law! Police know how to make a man a guilty or an innocent. Against us is the power of police! The shameless lies that men have told will ever more be paid in gold - against us is the power of the gold! Against us is racial hatred and the simple fact that we are poor.
    - The Ballad of Sacco and Vanzetti, Joan Baez

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    I guess part of the issue is that you seem to assume moral certitude that a hangover will be a consequence regardless of other efforts taken to avoid it. If he stayed up the rest of the night downing water and Advil he might be ok.
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    @Lurk: Yeah the example is supposed to be a case where you're certain what the result of your action will be. Better might be if you're allergic to hazelnuts but you have Nutella anyway (because it's just so darn good!) You can be pretty darn sure what's going to happen.

    @Meherrin: usually double effect theorists think this:
    It's NEVER permissible to do something bad (ie. kill someone innocent) intentionally, but
    If it's an unintended side effect it can be justifiable. That's why they always say that it was not intended in their justifications - it serves to show that it is justifiable in principle. You might still add other conditions, though. (Most do: most common addition is either least necessary harm or a net benefit requirement.)

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lurk View Post
    I guess part of the issue is that you seem to assume moral certitude that a hangover will be a consequence regardless of other efforts taken to avoid it. If he stayed up the rest of the night downing water and Advil he might be ok.
    I'm accepting that as part of the situation as Burn set it up. Obviously, if there is uncertainty as to whether C is a necessary consequence of doing A, that changes the situation.

    Though it still leaves open the question of whether one can be responsible without intention.

    If one chooses A, knowing that some people think C must follow, but one doesn't believe it, is one responsible if C does happen despite one's belief, which would nullify intent?

    Even further, if one chooses A with no knowledge that C might be a consequence, is one responsible if C does occur, even though there is no possibility of intent?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Burninator View Post
    @Meherrin: usually double effect theorists think this:
    It's NEVER permissible to do something bad (ie. kill someone innocent) intentionally, but
    If it's an unintended side effect it can be justifiable. That's why they always say that it was not intended in their justifications - it serves to show that it is justifiable in principle. You might still add other conditions, though. (Most do: most common addition is either least necessary harm or a net benefit requirement.)
    What about a real-life situation - drunk driving? If I know i'm impaired and choose to drive, not intending to kill anyone, but knowing that there is a greater likelihood that I might because of my impairment, what is my degree if responsibility if I do hurt kill someone?

    In many jurisdictions, that's classed as vehicular homicide, or manslaughter - not as serious as an active choice to kill, not still culpable.
    Last edited by Meherrin; 03-11-2017 at 01:44 AM.
    And now I'll tell you what's against us, an art that's lived for centuries. Go through the years and you will find what's blackened all of history. Against us is the law with its immensity of strength and power - against us is the law! Police know how to make a man a guilty or an innocent. Against us is the power of police! The shameless lies that men have told will ever more be paid in gold - against us is the power of the gold! Against us is racial hatred and the simple fact that we are poor.
    - The Ballad of Sacco and Vanzetti, Joan Baez

  12. #12
    Consul The Burninator's Avatar
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    Yeah you're doing it right meherrin

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Burninator View Post
    @Meherrin: usually double effect theorists think this:
    It's NEVER permissible to do something bad (ie. kill someone innocent) intentionally, but
    If it's an unintended side effect it can be justifiable. That's why they always say that it was not intended in their justifications - it serves to show that it is justifiable in principle. You might still add other conditions, though. (Most do: most common addition is either least necessary harm or a net benefit requirement.)
    Exactly. What is kind of amusing to me is that you're articulating Catholic social teaching here. Basically it goes something like this: An abortion is actually permissible in the case that the intention is not to kill the child; for example if a hysterectomy must be performed upon a pregnant woman due to cancer, this can be done in accord with Catholic law.

    They would also add a few other considerations, such as the proximity of the act. One of the factories my employer deals with makes Tasers. Let's say one of those Tasers was used in a racially motivated incident where someone was killed/severely injured with it. Does that mean that the workers that assisted in making that Taser are morally at fault? Under this system the answer is a clear "no," since their actions in creating the Taser are so far removed from the incident that it cannot reasonably be argued that they were involved.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lurk View Post
    Exactly. What is kind of amusing to me is that you're articulating Catholic social teaching here. Basically it goes something like this: An abortion is actually permissible in the case that the intention is not to kill the child; for example if a hysterectomy must be performed upon a pregnant woman due to cancer, this can be done in accord with Catholic law.

    They would also add a few other considerations, such as the proximity of the act. One of the factories my employer deals with makes Tasers. Let's say one of those Tasers was used in a racially motivated incident where someone was killed/severely injured with it. Does that mean that the workers that assisted in making that Taser are morally at fault? Under this system the answer is a clear "no," since their actions in creating the Taser are so far removed from the incident that it cannot reasonably be argued that they were involved.
    Oddly enough, I've been thinking about Catholic thought in my considerations of the relationship between responsibility and intent. As you can see, I have some issues with the idea that lack of intent implies absence of responsibility. Diminished responsibility, I can see. Total absence, no.

    There's a counter-philosophy that is becoming common in social justice circles, the idea that "impact trumps intent" - that regardless if whether you intended harm (or good), you have a responsibility for the actual impacts of your actions, separate from your intent. This seems more realistic to me.
    And now I'll tell you what's against us, an art that's lived for centuries. Go through the years and you will find what's blackened all of history. Against us is the law with its immensity of strength and power - against us is the law! Police know how to make a man a guilty or an innocent. Against us is the power of police! The shameless lies that men have told will ever more be paid in gold - against us is the power of the gold! Against us is racial hatred and the simple fact that we are poor.
    - The Ballad of Sacco and Vanzetti, Joan Baez

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    Consul The Burninator's Avatar
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    Lurk: one reason I hesitate to identify with atheists is that I've known them to too quickly dismiss the contributions of religious thought in philosophy. Yes, Just War Theory has its basis in Christian thought -- the doctrine of double effect was pioneered by catholic thinkers. However it is widely accepted by non-utilitarian philosophers today.

    I believe it is mistaken, but even amongst the Utilitarians, my view is considered odd.

    @Meherrin: your last post DOES suggest an interesting option 3 answer. "Who cares about intent? Consequences are what matter."
    Last edited by The Burninator; 03-11-2017 at 02:22 AM.

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    Disclaimer: While I have about 30 credits in graduate-level Catholic theology, I do not pretend to be a theologian or even speak as a Catholic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Meherrin View Post
    Oddly enough, I've been thinking about Catholic thought in my considerations of the relationship between responsibility and intent. As you can see, I have some issues with the idea that lack of intent implies absence of responsibility. Diminished responsibility, I can see. Total absence, no.
    Which is why I used the qualifier morally responsible. The maker of the Taser is in a certain sense responsible for someone else's misuse of it, insofar as that particular Taser would not have existed if it were not for the factory worker's actions. But to say that they are morally or legally responsible, is to me ridiculous, but also such a mindset would have terrible consequences if adopted by our legal system.

    Quote Originally Posted by Meherrin View Post
    There's a counter-philosophy that is becoming common in social justice circles, the idea that "impact trumps intent" - that regardless if whether you intended harm (or good), you have a responsibility for the actual impacts of your actions, separate from your intent. This seems more realistic to me.
    I would not adopt this unilaterally without regard for the possibility of individual cases. I would say that if unmitigated negative impact should/could reasonably have been foreseen then yes, I agree with this. IMO there should be room for a "We truly did the best we could with what we had" stance which clears the conscience.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Burninator View Post
    Lurk: one reason I hesitate to identify with atheists is that I've known them to too quickly dismiss the contributions of religious thought in philosophy. Yes, Just War Theory has its basis in Christian thought -- the doctrine of double effect was pioneered by catholic thinkers. However it is widely accepted by non-utilitarian philosophers today.
    Augustine gets most of the credit for the Just War theory, though he almost certainly borrowed some streams of thought from more ancient philosophers in the process of organizing and codifying the theory. But that is one of the things I appreciate about our discussions. The line between philosophy and religion is not always clear, and it is no accident that a degree in philosophy (not theology) is required before entering Catholic seminaries. Even at the state (public) college I attended for my undergraduate studies there was an upper-level (I think 400) class called philosophy of religion using this book.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lurk View Post
    Exactly. What is kind of amusing to me is that you're articulating Catholic social teaching here. Basically it goes something like this: An abortion is actually permissible in the case that the intention is not to kill the child; for example if a hysterectomy must be performed upon a pregnant woman due to cancer, this can be done in accord with Catholic law.

    They would also add a few other considerations, such as the proximity of the act. One of the factories my employer deals with makes Tasers. Let's say one of those Tasers was used in a racially motivated incident where someone was killed/severely injured with it. Does that mean that the workers that assisted in making that Taser are morally at fault? Under this system the answer is a clear "no," since their actions in creating the Taser are so far removed from the incident that it cannot reasonably be argued that they were involved.

    How far away is far enough? The makers of rocket launchers or STA missiles know that their main buyer is a war torn state (say Sudan). They know there is a big probability that there will be mass civilian deaths from their toys. Are they responsible? What about the brokers? The shareholders of the makers? The workers? The guys who deliver them? How about those who teach them how to use them?

    How about supporting the fight for Mosul?

    It's all serious stuff.
    I'm glad I'm not judgemental like all you smug, superficial idiots

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Burninator View Post

    @Meherrin: your last post DOES suggest an interesting option 3 answer. "Who cares about intent? Consequences are what matter."
    Again, I'm not sure I like that either. Lack of intent, or good intent, can I think mitigate responsibility - or perhaps it is more appropriate and accurate to say culpability. One can be a necessary link in a chain leading to a negative consequence, and thus in the strictest sense responsible, without being culpable. Or having diminished culpability.


    Quote Originally Posted by Lurk View Post
    Which is why I used the qualifier morally responsible. The maker of the Taser is in a certain sense responsible for someone else's misuse of it, insofar as that particular Taser would not have existed if it were not for the factory worker's actions. But to say that they are morally or legally responsible, is to me ridiculous, but also such a mindset would have terrible consequences if adopted by our legal system.
    Agreed on both points.


    Quote Originally Posted by Lurk View Post
    I would not adopt this unilaterally without regard for the possibility of individual cases. I would say that if unmitigated negative impact should/could reasonably have been foreseen then yes, I agree with this. IMO there should be room for a "We truly did the best we could with what we had" stance which clears the conscience.
    Again, agreed,

    As I said in another thread today, I'm not fond of either-or thinking, or one-size-fits-all explanations and solutions. Life is fuzzy, and in order to be just, we have to accept and accommodate that fuzziness in our thinking about issues.
    And now I'll tell you what's against us, an art that's lived for centuries. Go through the years and you will find what's blackened all of history. Against us is the law with its immensity of strength and power - against us is the law! Police know how to make a man a guilty or an innocent. Against us is the power of police! The shameless lies that men have told will ever more be paid in gold - against us is the power of the gold! Against us is racial hatred and the simple fact that we are poor.
    - The Ballad of Sacco and Vanzetti, Joan Baez

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    Philosopher н-υ-п-т-ε-я's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rokchick View Post
    How about supporting the fight for Mosul?
    Letting evil take control of people and kill them is unethical.

    Fighting evil, while harshly impacting innocent people is unethical.

    Now which is more unethical? what would those people chose?


    Utilitarians would probably go with the fight, since it would make the suffering of people lesser in the long run, probably!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meherrin View Post
    Again, I'm not sure I like that either. Lack of intent, or good intent, can I think mitigate responsibility - or perhaps it is more appropriate and accurate to say culpability. One can be a necessary link in a chain leading to a negative consequence, and thus in the strictest sense responsible, without being culpable. Or having diminished culpability.
    While you might think that the concept of culpability or blame is related to this, it's not the same concept. The concept still is intent. And I agree with you -- I think intent does have a place here. I don't think intent has anything to do with the goodness of an action (the action will be good or bad based on the consequences), but why you took the action might have a lot to do with how I judge the person who took it. In other words, taking a life is bad, but I'll judge someone who did it out of necessity in self defense less bad than someone who did it for fun. Their actions are just as bad but one is a bad perspn and the other is not necessarily a bad person.

    But, what you said still brought up the possibility of that answer, so I thought it was relevant to make that possibility explicit

    @Lurk: Augustine is honestly one of the most impressive thinkers in history, bar none. I did not know that JWT is credited to him, and I'm not surprised!

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    Are these all going to be about precisely how to define particular words?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mouse-Keyboard View Post
    Are these all going to be about precisely how to define particular words?

    Hey, definition of terms is a huge part of philosophy.
    And now I'll tell you what's against us, an art that's lived for centuries. Go through the years and you will find what's blackened all of history. Against us is the law with its immensity of strength and power - against us is the law! Police know how to make a man a guilty or an innocent. Against us is the power of police! The shameless lies that men have told will ever more be paid in gold - against us is the power of the gold! Against us is racial hatred and the simple fact that we are poor.
    - The Ballad of Sacco and Vanzetti, Joan Baez

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mouse-Keyboard View Post
    Are these all going to be about precisely how to define particular words?
    I'm open to suggestions. PM me <3

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    Passive aggressive fridays. I want people to disagree, but not with conviction.
    Quote Originally Posted by Baron D'Holbach View Post
    You should quote yourself. It's like liking your Facebook status or high-fiving yourself in the mirror.

    It's what I would do if I didn't have to keep mine exactly how it is for madsquirrels and erazer.

  25. #25
    Senator Cisalpine's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
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    Actually your decision making is already flawed by the time you go for the last drink. Been there many times, and at that point, you generally just say to hell with it and have another drink.
    The ORIGINALCisalpine! Retired


    http://forum.travian.us/showthread.php?t=95436 for the Awesome Natar Win
    http://forum.travian.us/showthread.php?t=93085 For US S1 history

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