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Erick José Ramirez
Santa Clara University
  1. How to (Dis)Solve the Gamer’s Dilemma.Erick Jose Ramirez - 2020 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice (1):1-21.
    The Gamer's Dilemma challenges us to find a distinction between virtual murder and virtual pedophilia. Without such a distinction, we are forced to conclude that either both are morally acceptable or that both should be morally illicit. This paper argues that the best way to solve the dilemma is, in one sense, to dissolve it. The Gamer's Dilemma rests on a misunderstanding in the sense that it does not distinguish between the form of a simulation and its surface content. A (...)
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  2. Real Moral Problems in the Use of Virtual Reality.Erick Jose Ramirez & Scott LaBarge - 2018 - Ethics and Information Technology (4):249-263.
    In this paper, we argue that, under a specific set of circumstances, designing and employing certain kinds of virtual reality (VR) experiences can be unethical. After a general discussion of simulations and their ethical context, we begin our argu-ment by distinguishing between the experiences generated by different media (text, film, computer game simulation, and VR simulation), and argue that VR experiences offer an unprecedented degree of what we call “perspectival fidelity” that prior modes of simulation lack. Additionally, we argue that (...)
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  3. A Conditional Defense of Shame and Shame Punishment.Erick Jose Ramirez - 2017 - Symposion: Theoretical and Applied Inquiries in Philosophy and Social Sciences 4 (1):77-95.
    This paper makes two essential claims about the nature of shame and shame punishment. I argue that, if we properly understand the nature of shame, that it is sometimes justifiable to shame others in the context of a pluralistic multicultural society. I begin by assessing the accounts of shame provided by Cheshire Calhoun (2004) and Julien Deonna, Raffaele Rodogno, & Fabrice Teroni (2012). I argue that both views have problems. I defend a theory of shame and embarrassment that connects both (...)
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  4. Ethical Issues with Simulating the Bridge Problem in VR.Erick Jose Ramirez & Scott LaBarge - 2020 - Science and Engineering Ethics 26 (6):3313-3331.
    We aim to generate a dilemma for virtual reality-based research that we motivate through an extended case study of Judith Thomson’s (1985) Bridge variant of the trolley problem. Though the problem we generate applies more broadly than the Bridge problem, we believe it makes a good exemplar of the kind of case we believe is problematic. First, we argue that simulations of these thought experiments run into a practicality horn that makes it practically impossible to produce them. These problems revolve (...)
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    Virtual Reality Interview (Metaphysics and Epistemology): "Welcome Back!".Erick Jose Ramirez & Miles Elliott - manuscript
    This is a virtual reality simulation that imagines its subject as emerging from a long stint in Robert Nozick's "Experience Machine." The simulation is an interview (with many branching paths) meant to gauge the subject's views on the metaphysics of virtual objects and the ethics of virtual actions. It draws heavily from the published work of David Chalmers, Mark Silcox, Jon Cogburn, Morgan Luck, and Nick Bostrom. *Requires an Oculus Rift (or Rift-S) or HTC Vive and a VR capable computer. (...)
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  6. What It’s Like to Be a ___: Why It’s (Often) Unethical to Use VR as an Empathy Nudging Tool.Erick Jose Ramirez, Miles Elliott & Per-Erik Milam - 2021 - Ethics and Information Technology 1.
    In this article, we apply the literature on the ethics of choice-architecture (nudges) to the realm of virtual reality (VR) to point out ethical problems with using VR for empathy-based nudging. Specifically, we argue that VR simulations aiming to enhance empathic understanding of others via perspective-taking will almost always be unethical to develop or deploy. We argue that VR-based empathy enhancement not only faces traditional ethical concerns about nudge (autonomy, welfare, transparency), but also a variant of the semantic variance problem (...)
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