Open Thread for Episode 20.44: Russell and Jen


Here you go. Don’t forget to check out the election night viewing party.

Comments

  1. BillBo says

    Russell, the problems with openly religious politicians saying that they will not let their religious views influence their secular decision making are: 1. They could be lying to us or themselves. The Koran actual tells Islams to explicitly lie to infidels, for example. 2. If their religion tells them that God comes first in all things and they are not following that, then they are an unprincipled individual. They do not act on what they claim to believe. (I know, describes almost all politicians). 3. The fact that they believe in unproven mythology shows that they are irrational. If your world view is messed up how can you correctly interpret situations and resolve proper solutions? (Must be ghosts. Call the Ghostbusters!)
    I think we would be much better off having someone make decisions for the group that is not either a liar, unprincipled, or deluded. If a politician outright claims to “luv gaaad” they are at least one of those bad things.

  2. Jason Waskiewicz says

    I’m glad you’re taking a stand on re-broadcasting. It was annoying to hear the echo on the channel, and these clowns are trying to play “gotcha”. There is no reason they couldn’t use a clip later under “fair use.” They’re playing a game.

  3. Anthony N. says

    Why are there such strict time constraints on a live steamed call in show? 1hr 30minutes – Russel – “That’s our show *hangs up on caller* Lets eat!”. I enjoy the show and wish it was a bit longer.

  4. Chancellor of the Exchequer says

    Great to have Jen back.

    I recommend that Jasmine learn the Thriller choreography and whenever her mom says she doesn’t exist just burst into the dance. That’d make her okay with it, I know that would make me okay with it. Or do the regular thing and let mom know that she needs to get to supporting her claim that atheists don’t exist, or even tell her that theists don’t exist if you’re feeling extra cheeky.

    Great! Another one! Just. What. The. Doctor. Ordered. Bret and his ilk are tired.

    Steven disagrees with other theists but he’s pretty much in the same bag. Steven wants people to know what he thinks and why he has an issue with debates, how wonky evolution is(because of his well read knowledge) and how he’s so against the grain. Yet refuses to answer valid questions about his stuff.

    Great to hear from Mark again.

    Daniel of Earth: stay away from apologetics.

    New Zealand in the house!

    Anyway it was an okay ep, thank you to everyone that work on the show. 🙂

  5. Vivec says

    @1

    3. The fact that they believe in unproven mythology shows that they are irrational. If your world view is messed up how can you correctly interpret situations and resolve proper solutions? (Must be ghosts. Call the Ghostbusters!)

    Fairly easily. Most of the most intelligent people and most accomplished politicians were some flavor of religious. The data just doesn’t bear out the assertion that religious belief necessarily entails total irrationality.

  6. Devocate says

    “The data just doesn’t bear out the assertion that religious belief necessarily entails total irrationality.”

    I rather they not have ANY irrationality. I don’t think one could even survive with TOTAL irrationality.

  7. ThisListener says

    So you go on a long tirade about voter ID, then say you think it’s important to promote skepticism? You can’t say a law doesn’t work, because it works. Voters can’t easily vote multiple times, or fake their identity because of the necessity of a voter ID. You can’t turn around and say that it doesn’t happen because no one gets away with it.

  8. Vivec says

    I rather they not have ANY irrationality. I don’t think one could even survive with TOTAL irrationality.

    Show me a human that lacks any irrationality and I’ll show you a liar.

  9. Vivec says

    Now, I’m not saying that it’s bad to hold as an ideal that people should attempt to have as few irrational beliefs as possible, I’m specifically disagreeing with the comment that explicitly implied that it’s impossible for a religionist to “correctly interpret situations and resolve proper solutions”.

  10. jeffh123 says

    I find it interesting that tax exempt organizations are not allowed to get involved in political discussions, but churches, which have exactly the same tax free status and the same rules, get away with taking political stands and yet keep their tax free status.

  11. Mark Yoon says

    @Chancellor of the Exchequer
    Thanks for the kind words. I was wondering if anyone finds my calls useful in anyway. Thanks.

  12. Brendan S says

    not your fault Jen & Russell but this episode was just shit call after shit call I’m afraid. You went had people who didn’t have a point, to people who couldn’t get to a point and people who just wanted affirmation about their athiest ideas

  13. jeffh123 says

    Steven: There aren’t that many scientists who don’t accept evolution. Those who the Discovery Institute lists are mostly non-biologists and are mostly really old farts worrying about their end days. And gee, there’s a lot of weird stuff out there. Forget science. It’s for fools. Sorry Steven, you are one confused dude.

  14. Mobius says

    @9 jeffh123

    It is not that churches (and non-profits) can not discuss politics. What they are forbidden by law to do is to specifically support a particular candidate. They can say, for example, “We do not support abortion on demand.” They can not say, however, “Vote for Joe, who is against abortion on demand.” A subtle but real difference.

    However, we have not seen the IRS enforce its own rule on this in the case of churches.

  15. Mobius says

    @11 jeffh123

    Oh, and concerning the Discovery Institute’s infamous list…

    The question asked was (perhaps intentionally) misleading. I’m paraphrasing here, but it went something like, “Do you doubt the Theory of Evolution.” Since all science is tentative, the answer if restricted to strictly Yes/No should be Yes for any scientist. That doubt should be very very small, however, given the vast amount of data supporting the Theory of Evolution. From my understanding, no nuance was allowed in the answers. There were a number of scientists that ended up on that list that demanded their name be withdrawn once they discovered who the petition was from and what its purpose was.

    Dishonesty from Creationists. Imagine that.

    Then there is Project Steve, a list of actual biologists whose name is some derivation of Steve (roughly 1% of all biologist in the US) who signed a list in support of the Theory of Evolution. According to the Wiki page (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Steve) the list contains 1397 names, roughly twice as many as the Discovery Institutes list (which is not restricted to biologists, or even scientists, or restricted by name).

    So it is quite true that very few scientists, and virtually no biologists, seriously doubt the Theory of Evolution.

  16. itsmejre says

    #8
    Warum ist das Universum so mit Dualitäten durchsetzt? Man könnte es vorziehen, Widersprüche oder Paradoxe oder Ungereimtheiten oder etwas anderes zu nennen, aber letztendlich stammen alle aus dem selbstreferentiellen Wesen einer zeitlichen Existenz, die sich selbst erschafft. Existenz ist ein Begriff, der nur in sich selbst definiert werden kann, und logischerweise führt Selbstreferenz immer zu Widersprüchen. Wir müssen bedenken, dass das, was real ist, relativ zu jedem Beobachter ist, es ist das Prinzip der Komplementarität. Wir kommen nur mit Widersprüchen in Schwierigkeiten, wenn wir versuchen, die Sichtweise jedes Beobachters mit der Sichtweise jedes anderen Beobachters zu vereinbaren. Das ist nicht möglich. Solange wir glauben, wir brauchen vollständige Konsequenz, werden wir nie finden, dass “Theorie von allem.”

  17. itsmejre says

    #11
    Einige Untersuchungen haben gezeigt, dass ein umfassender Fall für einen Satz – der eine repräsentative Stichprobe aller verfügbaren Beweise zusammenfasst – tatsächlich kontraproduktiv sein kann. Wenn die Person, die Sie versuchen zu überzeugen, einen kleinen (wahrgenommenen oder wirklichen) Fehler in Ihrem Fall findet, neigen sie dazu, anzunehmen, dass alles andere ebenso fehlerhaft sein muss und überhaupt nicht geschwächt wird. So präsentieren nur sehr wenige Argumente (nur die besten) kann viel effektiver sein als einen umfassenden Fall.
    Trotzdem können Tatsachen Fehlinformationen sogar stärker bilden, wie ein unter powered Antibiotikum.

  18. Yaddith says

    Interesting that some Christians are aatheists (they do not believe that atheists exist). One wonders how they reconcile this with Psalm 14:1:”The fool hast said in his heart, There is no God.”

  19. Wiggle Puppy says

    To the guy who wanted to talk about all the good life advice in the Bible and intends to call back: before you do that, do a cursory Google search for good passages in the Analects, the Dhammapada, the Tao The Ching, and the Koran. It doesn’t take anything divine or supernatural to come up with rules for good behavior; it generally just requires asking oneself the question, “gee, if everyone in my society did this thing, would my society be a better or worse place in which to live?” If you indeed have an argument that starts with “this book has good advice” and ends with “therefore, this book likely came from a god,” I’d be interested to hear it, but I’m doubtful that one could construct such an argument.

  20. Vivec says

    @21
    They believe that atheists are just claiming that they don’t believe in a god, while actually you would have to in order to maintain a coherent worldview. It’s pretty common presup crap and it’s wrong, but it doesn’t conflict with Psalm 14:1.

  21. Murat says

    I just posted a quite long comment but it somehow didn’t appear online, so, sending this one just as a test to understand if there’s a general problem or if length matters.

  22. Murat says

    A COMMENT ON THE ELECTION DISCUSSION – PART ONE

    Well, about the election safety thing: I guess I have something like a “right to reply” because we had exchanged some ideas with Jen about this over Twitter, and a few of the things she said at the beginning of the show referred to that thread.

    I’m well aware that it’s off-topic simply because the security of elections have nothing to do with atheism, but as Russell put it, the patterns of thinking we apply to certain ideas do indeed correspond to how we approach in general to certain arguments, not excluding theism… So:

    What I had written as a reply to Jen’s tweet about her having used the vote was about Trump being a character who would try to steal votes, and maybe he already had put an effort to that… After that, Jen wrote things implying that the elections were totally safe and that I was an ignorant person under the influence of right-wing conspiracy theories.

    I was surprised to get that kind of a reaction from someone who voted for Hillary, because I was simply claiming TRUMP would TRY cheating… Therefore, I tried to express myself better without calling her names or insulting her level of intelligence, because I know her from the show as a smart person and I thought it would be better to clarify that she was replying to something I did not write.

    It seems that Jen was sick and tired of some conspiracy theories coming from the right-wing, hence, was quick to label that simple tweet of mine (which was more about Trump’s character and methods) to that bunch of arguments. From what I heard on the show, I assume some people were trying to convince the public to NOT VOTE based on such claims of a rigged election… First of all, I find this attempt stupid coming from whichever side, because they could as well be losing their own votes by discouraging the public and making potential voters lose faith in the election system… And second of all, I’m amazed that the existence of such a conspiracy-based attempt could suffice to make Jen harshly attack anyone stating something completely different.

    During our exchange of ideas, I never, not even once, promoted the idea of “not voting”… On the contrary, I tried to explain to her that ANY election system was vulnerable due to the fact that with every security measure came a new level of attempts at security breach… I wrote to her that, in many parts of the world, “voters’ initiatives” are formed to provide an even further check for the system; and explained that I was simply suggesting people to not “just” vote, but (through whatever means possible) be involved in the processes much as they could.

    Well, it was hard to point out to the huge gap between what I said and what Jen heard each time. But I tried. She never simply said anything like “oh, I see your point, but that’s very unlikely”… I kept expressing to her that I had nothing to do with any right-wing conspiracy camps that promote not voting, and that the sole concern I had written about was regarding this particular election being more open to an attempt at cheating from the right-wing candidate than any previous one… But every time I did that, she called me names based on me not knowing how the election system worked.

    This is exactly the point where I believe this kind of approach does not correspond to the rational and skeptical way of thinking:

    Do we need to know the details of any system in order to state that one can TRY hacking it? Can there be any such thing as an “air-tight” system of voting and counting?

    Had I come up with a particular claim regarding a certain kind of cheating for a certain state, that would qualify as a conspiracy theory and Jen could say it was impossible to be performed in the light of how the system was designed to protect itself against that.

    But all I was saying was this particular election being more open to an ATTEMPT and I was claiming this in the light of:

    1) the right-wing candidate’s likelihood and methods as a magnate from the Wall Street tradition of foul play (as stated by Bernie Sanders)

    2) a foreign power of high intelligence and operational capacities, unlike any time before, having a dog in this race (as implied by Hillary Clinton)

    I can understand a trust in the election system and I could simply respect Jen for arguing against any possibility of even an attempt to rig it, but I just don’t like it when I see a ready-made pattern of attitude coming out of the pocket as a reaction to the MENTION of something which is elsewhere, by others, used as an element of a “conspiracy theory”.

    Recently, some scientist said that sending signals to outer space might not be a good idea, stating that the history of weak civilisations contacting more advanced civilisations is not a happy one… Now, does this statement deserve being MOCKED simply because there are nutjobs somewhere in the world who are going about with unsubstantiated alien abduction stories?

    I say NO, because an excercise of the mind regarding possibilities has absolutely NOTHING to do with claims that contradict with the given data of what is actually occurring.

  23. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Murat #24:
    Length doesn’t matter. Comments automatically get moderated if they contain more than 3 links. Occasionally, the server will burp, and site will randomly reload the page in response to posting but not acknowledge the comment, as if it got lost in transit.

  24. says

    this episode’s theists in a nutshell:

    a) “my brand of theism is actually pretty rational.”
    b) “no, i can’t explain it to you.”
    c) “i didn’t call in to defend it.”
    d) “but you can’t refute it, can you?”

  25. mond says

    @ThisListener You are missing the point with voter ID fraud. You conveniently didn’t mention the second part of what the hosts said. When you make a law so onerous you actively stop people from voting who are entitled.
    There are already historic basic protections to stop fraud but the recent state voter ID laws are not these.
    **WARNING*** Analagogy Alert – You have been warned.
    To drive a car you pass a test.
    This test gives a basic level of protection to road users so that people driving have had a modicum of training. It will not prevent all accidents but keeps them down.
    I would say that recent voter ID laws would the equivalent of law makers deciding you must take 100 lessons at 100 dollars per lesson before you take the test. Nothing is stopping you **legally** from taking the test as long as you jump through the (100 lessons) hoops. In practically terms you have just removed a lot of peoples ability to drive but you can claim it is for road safety reasons.

  26. Murat says

    @26 Sky Captain
    Thanks for the info. I divided the text into two parts and posted the first one alright, but still have problem loading the second part. Will try again.

  27. Devocate says

    @9: “Show me a human that lacks any irrationality and I’ll show you a liar.”

    You want some pumpkins for all those strawmen?

  28. Vivec says

    You want some pumpkins for all those strawmen?

    Hardly a strawman, you literally said

    I rather they not have ANY irrationality

    No, “saying in your heart” is christian code for believing, not claiming,

    Not among presup syeclones. Hence terms like “professed atheist”.

  29. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Murat #25

    What I had written as a reply to Jen’s tweet about her having used the vote was about Trump being a character who would try to steal votes, and maybe he already had put an effort to that… After that, Jen wrote things implying that the elections were totally safe and that I was an ignorant person under the influence of right-wing conspiracy theories.

    For reference…
     
    Twitter Search: Tweets between Murat and Jen
     
    Latest — (from:MURATMIHCIOGLU @RationalJen) OR (from:RationalJen) since:2016-11-01 until:2016-11-08

  30. Monocle Smile says

    It’s not that elections are “totally safe,” it’s that doing enough damage to swing a presidential election (at least, one with the currently predicted margin of victory) would take an insane operation. Like, Ocean’s Eleven to the tenth power. I believe Jen references right wing conspiracy theories because that’s where the idea that elections are extremely vulnerable comes from, Florida 2000 notwithstanding.

  31. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Jen (6:21)

    The biggest way that you can influence an election is something that happens all the time. It’s called gerrymanderiong where you cut the districts up in a way that favors one political group or another […] There’s actually a computer algorithm that will set the districts up… It’s basically agnostic when it comes to political parties. […] It basically cuts districts up based on population, so that would be the fairest way to decide what the districts should look like.

    Article: Wikipedia – Gerrymandering, Shortest Splitline Algorithm
     
    Playlist CGPGrey – Politics in the Animal Kingdom
    (Five 3-7 minute videos explain gerrymanderiong and districting methods, winner-take-all and other possible voting systems.)

  32. Devocate says

    @32:
    “Hardly a strawman, you literally said
    I rather they not have ANY irrationality

    And if you can’t tell the difference between a subjunctive wish, and a claim of existence, you aren’t worth having this discussion with.

  33. steele says

    Russel and Jen may not want to tell you who to vote for but I will; VOTE TRUMP! Shrillary for Prison 2016!

  34. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    So you go on a long tirade about voter ID, then say you think it’s important to promote skepticism? You can’t say a law doesn’t work, because it works. Voters can’t easily vote multiple times, or fake their identity because of the necessity of a voter ID. You can’t turn around and say that it doesn’t happen because no one gets away with it.

    In short:
    the general category of “voter ID laws” are not bad on its face. Current voter ID laws in the US are bad as applied. The short version is that there is no voter fraud problem in the US. However, because of these laws, there is a real and very big voter disenfranchisement problem, and that disenfranchisement is being intentionally targeted at certain racial minorities and certain political voting blocks. That’s bad. They’re a net bad.

  35. mond says

    @Steele

    Now I wish I was an ‘murkin so I could follow your sage advice…ho hum…such is life.

  36. Monocle Smile says

    @steele
    Good job making a decent deposit into your Poe account.
    Unlike followers of your religion, the ACA knows how to follow the law.

  37. Vasily says

    “Anthony is not a “big” fan”? I saw in one of his videos that he watches the show religiously and devotes that time slot on Sundays as a bother-free atmosphere.

  38. Vivec says

    And if you can’t tell the difference between a subjunctive wish, and a claim of existence, you aren’t worth having this discussion with.

    Hence the comment @10 saying just that?

    To quote what I literally said right after the post you quoted:

    Now, I’m not saying that it’s bad to hold as an ideal that people should attempt to have as few irrational beliefs as possible

  39. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Caller Ron’s got another hour and a half of his usual ranting. First ten minutes are paranoid finger pointing about the rebroadcast audio complaint and gimmicks to make theists look bad on the show.
     
    Video: TrueEmpiricism – The Atheist Experience is a joke (1:41:50)

    (33:00): I’ve been saying all along. These people. They’re not trying to have a discussion. When they tell you that they’re open to the truth and that they are atheists because they just disbelieve or have a lack of belief in god or gods, that is a load of crap. These are people who zealously refuse to hear anything that anybody from any standpoint has to say whether be philosophy, whatever category of science… These are people that are sticking their fingers so far in their ears, they are grabbing their brain and scrambling it to pieces with their fingers.

     

    (43:30): When we’re responding to these people [atheists] and we keep on going after them… Yeah I get that a lot of people see that they’re sort of idiots, and a lot of em they’re not that smart… But we’re not going after them because they’re smart. We’re going after them because it’s a very large crowd that tends to mislead people. Whether it be dishonest, it’s beneficial to point out that they’re lying, so maybe in the future if people keep on seeing that lying, they’ll learn not to trust them. And they’ll just be disqualified from that end. Or if they’re idiots and they don’t know about the topic, maybe people will get the picture that this guy’s uninformed and I shouldn’t be getting my information from him.

  40. trijezdci says

    One caller talked about having had a private argument with a colleague who was a buddhist who got so upset about him not believing in reincarnation that the colleague complained to their boss(es) and he lost his job.

    First of all, I find that story very questionable. It sounds like it was made up. Why would anyone get fired for not agreeing with a colleague in a private conversation about religion? That really doesn’t make any sense.

    And if indeed there was such an argument and indeed the other person was a buddhist and indeed got upset about the non-buddhist not believing in reincarnation, then the so called buddhist does not understand buddhism. It is possible that Westerners who adopted buddhism out of novelty may treat their newly adopted buddhist faith in the same manner as they treat their former Christian faith.

    However, in Asia buddhism isn’t taught on this basis. It is not only an atheist religion, but it is first and foremost about tolerance. No real buddhist would get upset at anyone telling them they don’t believe in reincarnation. Even as a buddhist there is not requirement to believe in it. In buddhism it isn’t central whether the stories are true or not. Instead the focus is on ethics.

    The purpose of concepts such as karma and reincarnation is to reflect on the fate of other living creatures, to develop empathy for all living creatures, not only for fellow humans. It doesn’t matter if reincarnation is true or not. It is no more than a thought experiment as if we were to say “What if I was that poor little animal?”. That’s all there is to it.

    I was once staying in a buddhist temple in Japan and spent time with the monks and asked them questions. They told me that the question of whether there is a god or not is typically Western. They said we Westerners are so obsessed with this that we complete lose track of the essential: the ethics. When I told them I liked their philosophy but couldn’t possibly believe in reincarnation they said once again that this was typically Western. They said it is not important whether to believe or not, it was important to reflect on the ethics the story tries to promote.

    I have lived in Japan for more than 20 years and met plenty of buddhists. I have never met any single one who would have taken issue with somebody else not believing in reincarnation. It would be very untypical.

  41. Monocle Smile says

    @Sky Captain
    You’re quite the masochist, listening to TrueEmpiricism scream into the microphone. He’s the internet troll version of Frank Turek with barely a grade school education. It’s a bonus that he looks like the basement dweller meme.

  42. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Monocle Smile #45:
    Scream? Nah. TrueEmpiricism was flat. Screed, yes.
    At least with 2x playback speed he only wastes half that time. 😉

  43. Rob Wilson says

    I really wish Russel had commented on the likelihood of elections being rigged by electronic voting. If it is going to be rigged it would seem that would be the most likely way to rig it.

  44. Chancellor of the Exchequer says

    NP, Mark. 😉

    So this is going to become a regular thing with the utubejesussquad, huh? Hulk, have mercy.

  45. TheYouTube Guy says

    I spoke to TE in one of their group chats once. He informed me that I didn’t understand the topic I was explaining to him. Meanwhile… I use that topic all the time. Amazing how he knows more about randomness leading to specified complexity than I do.

    The conversation literally ended with him not letting me speak and basically telling me I had everything wrong. If that is the case, my genetic algorithm shouldn’t work (According to him). Oh wait, I just checked and it still works. Turns out randomness can create something complex and work towards a goal.

    In short, speaking to these people isn’t worth our time. They use the Ray Comfort tactic of forgeting any argument that shows they’re wrong. They then recycle the same argument against other people who maybe don’t know how to show them they’re wrong and declare victory when the argument works.

  46. HappyPerson says

    steven – i called to tell you that i am tired of all these religion vs. atheism debates.
    russell – but we didn’t call you…

    comedy gold.

  47. Ilan says

    Very good show. The only part that didn’t sit well with me is when Jen said “if you don’t allow the possibility for impossible then not everything is possible” it is a bad statement. A statement like that is equivalent to calling someone on their grammar. Are you going to attack his wording or his ideas?

    Has anyone who has made that statement intended to include the impossible, because it they did it would invalidate the statement. Fight the idea not its poor delivery.

  48. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Video: TrueEmpiricism Live Hangout
    Now THIS is masochism: TrueEmpiricism and G-Man (he’s a screamer) flailing at what the meaning of PI even is… for an hour and a half.
     
    TrueEmpiricism was incapable of even dividing circumference by diameter and arriving at the correct answer. When given numbers and instructed to do so, repeatedly. Or even using “ratio” properly in a sentence.
     
    He asked “What is a diameter?” and later tried to spin that as having been a clever gotcha question – receiving the right answer was a clear sign of lazy atheist google cheating!
     
    Somehow Brenda the atheist made it to the end before cracking up.
     
     
    /It’s meh argument against inerrancy.
    But TE’s stunning incompetence at math made up for it.

  49. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Oops, youtube glitched the start time on that link. Trying again.
     
    Video: TrueEmpiricism vs PI

  50. Raucous Indignation says

    Would you please live blog the election viewing party? I’ll be channel surfing like a crazy person. I’ll need some thing to ground me. And somewhere to be drunkenly snarky. Very, very snarky.

  51. ThisListener says

    @mond
    I’m not missing anything. The fact that there are some that might not be able to vote is irrelevant to the matter of “Do the laws prevent voter fraud.” And you intentionally went on about specifics I never mentioned. She said voter fraud doesn’t happen, then calls herself a skeptic. I’d challenge that because there’s literally no way to, with what we have now, if the reason that no voter fraud happens is because people can’t or because people don’t want to do it in the first place. She’s making an assertion without sufficient evidence.

    @EnlightenmentLiberal
    Sure, all you have to do is show that voter fraud isn’t being attempted. I’ll gladly concede.

  52. TheYouTube Guy says

    @CompulsoryAccount7746

    That is almost exactly what happened to me. I explained to them the concept:

    “A genetic algorithm (GA) is a method for solving both constrained and unconstrained optimization problems based on a natural selection process that mimics biological evolution.”

    I went in to detail beyond the definition because I’ve actually used these. I understand how they use randomness to achieve a goal. Meanwhile TE kept telling me I was wrong and that I didn’t understand the concept. Apparently the concept I explained to him, I did not understand.

    Their hangouts (For the most part) are just an echo-chamber for the uneducated or people who have gone down the rabbit hole a little too far. I kept asking TE to give me any sort of proof for his religion/beliefs… he insisted that he didn’t have to… I guess he isn’t interested in convincing anyone of anything!

    Many of these individuals have practiced up on not making claims and just attacking. Their goal isn’t to show their beliefs are correct but merely mock their opponent. However, what if the theist and the hard atheist can’t prove their beliefs? That leaves us with soft atheism. If there is no evidence for or against their being a God we are left with failing to believe there is a God.

    Wait…. isn’t that EXACTLY what Traci was trying to explain to Brett last week when he kept shouting, “Prove to me there isn’t a God!!!” Something tells me TE wouldn’t have made a much better argument. TE is welcome to come on here and make his argument. How about it TE? Show us up. Give us your best argument. Leave the echo-chamber and give us your best argument for what you believe. Let’s have open and honest debate.

  53. TheYouTube Guy says

    @ThisListner
    <br
    Do you ask someone to show a negative in jest? By our best estimates voter fraud is extreme rare but it is hard to say how often it happens because our estimates are based on the voter fraud we catch. However, if you’re going to steal an election you’d do it with election fraud. You’d change the votes on the back end. We should be more afraid of paperless voting than we should be of Joe down the street trying to vote twice (Because they can catch these people quite easily, just google recent events).

  54. says

    @55

    FYI, I thought this was interesting on how we can embrace a technological solution… still technically keeping the paper, but better solving these issues:

  55. Monocle Smile says

    @ThisListener
    Might be nice if you addressed what mond and EL actually said rather than a conveniently distorted caricature.

  56. walter says

    #20
    Ja, we saw that in the recent ‘debate’ between Ehrman and Price on the Jesus as Myth — Price had all sorts of non-relevant things to say. Ehrman found fault with an irrelevant argument and therefore cast all Price’s other arguments (such as they were) in doubt.

  57. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    The fact that there are some that might not be able to vote is irrelevant to the matter of “Do the laws prevent voter fraud.”

    No, it’s entirely relevant. When discussing public policy, such as this, one should look at the sum of all of the pros and all of the cons in order to make a proper decision. This is more or less the actual definition of what it means to be “rational”.

    This is also how courts make decisions regarding civil liberties, and rightly so (I’m skipping a lot of details).

    Sure, all you have to do is show that voter fraud isn’t being attempted. I’ll gladly concede.

    Absence of expected evidence. Lots of Republicans look for voter fraud, and Republicans frequently claim to find lots of voter fraud. When we look into their details, the vast majority of such examples are a mistaken claim of voter fraud. For example, a Republican might claim voter fraud when John Smith votes twice, but actually it was just a mistake in the voter rolls and there is a John Smith and a Jon Smith. Or a missing “Jr”. Or a misspelling. Etc.

    Further, IIRC, according to NPR a few days ago, the evidence we do have concerning voter fraud is the vast majority of actual voter fraud in the US happens in absentee ballots, and a majority of absentee ballots are Republicans. How curious that Republicans are not focusing their efforts on preventing the majority of known voter fraud, and instead are chasing this seemingly imaginary voter fraud (/sarcasm).

  58. Chancellor of the Exchequer says

    The power of white frustration has just thrown the world for a tailspin. I. Am. Reeling.

  59. Murat says

    2nd part of the comment that began in #25:

    Had I claimed that US elections of the past three decades were rigged in favour of Dems through this and that scheme, yes, THAT would be voicing a conspiracy theory… But NO, when I simply say that Trump is a character who would try to steal votes, I don’t care what kinda reference to whichever conspiracy theory that sentence triggers on a certain mind, and I see no affiliation between such a remark and a call to “not vote”.

    If a friend of mine has a painting of a deceased artist in her home, and if that artist gains a post-mortem recognition at a given time due to a trend in art, and if there is a shady character known to be a collector of his work, then I can simply tell my friend that it is more likely now than before that some people may try to steal the painting…

    Do I need to know what kinda security she has at home, in order to say that?… Does the spirit of what I am saying have anything to do with my level of knowledge on how she has secured the painting?… Would it be a polite thing for her to call me a moron for coming up with that concern?…

    Before jumping into conclusions about why someone is saying something, one should first check if they are on the same page, and if the remark really does refer to anything other than what it simply suggests.

    Being “rational” is one thing, and developing a highly reactional attitude against the mention of a possibility is another. An occupational hazard for people who practice sciences is to sometimes get drowned into numbers and drift away from the points being made in coversations.

    I understand that the US election system is a multi-layered and transparent one, and I appreciate the fact that this makes it waaaay more trustable than an election held in a sub-Saharan totalitarian regime or something. Still, I have an objection to Jen and Russell pointing out some particular characteristics of the system as “assurances”:

    In all the examples they gave, they seemed to have on mind that an attempt at cheating was to be made FROM BOTTOM TO TOP, and not FROM TOP TO BOTTOM. Only 30 votes being given under the names of deceased people out of a million or billion is of course of minimal effect and can not change the outcome. But, hey, this is about “individual voters” trying to perform some kind of a cheat! What does this have to do with any concern or claim (or even, a conspiracy theory) that addresses a certain CANDIDATE as a possible cheater? In that case, the attempt will of course be made “from top to bottom”, which means some kind of hack involving the countings and adding-up of votes would occur…

    I know I did not, but I’m almost certain that no one else could ever have claimed that Trump would try to cheat by bribing various individuals to try and vote under names of the deceased. Of course not!

    Also, the emphasis on detecting false positives and false negatives seemed to refer not to the COUNTING phase, but to the VOTING phase, whereas the remote likelihood of an attempt at hacking would definitely involve adding-up of overall counts, and not punctual votes used.

    I don’t understand why having a FRACTURED body for the election system was referred to as a very positive thing, because this can also make harder to detect attempts at hacking via cyber attacks. When they were talking about this aspect of the whole thing, I could not help but think of that state-of-the-art British passenger liner that was constructed in such a way that it had watertight compartments and funnels. Eleven vertically closing watertight doors could seal off the compartments in the event of an emergency. The ship’s exposed decking was made of pine and teak, while interior ceilings were covered in painted granulated cork to combat condensation…

    Oh, and it sank in the North Atlantic Ocean in the early morning of 15 April 1912, after colliding with an iceberg during her maiden voyage.

    Still, NO, I’m neither expecting, nor willing for any foul play to happen during or right after the elections… And I admire Russell and Jen for taking their time to rid people of mistrust, for calling them to VOTE as they should.

    But if I were Jen, I’d try to step outside the numbers whenever they were pumping up OVERCONFIDENCE about any issue. You can refer to statistics to point out to people that vaccinations do work for the greater good, to ease people’s minds against conspiracy theories that raise unsubstantiated questions etc…

    But, be it vaccination procedures or the election system or anything else, a structure CAN be vulnerable under certain conditions, and a mere mention of such a probability should not deserve the label of a “conspiracy theory”.

    That aside, having some “conspiracy theory nutjobs” around can be quite healthy for a society as they serve to ALERT attention to certain issues that would otherwise be left solely to MASS OVERCONFIDENCE. Those unsubstantiated fears open a way into suspicion and questioning for many… Metaphorically, they, too, function like vaccinations do…

    It’s ok to devalue conspiracy theories as a genre of approach. But companies, governments, magnates, intelligence service etc DO conspire against each other quite often, some people are PAID to do that, there ARE ladders that are made to jump over walls of ANY height, and there IS quite an obvious line between an awareness of THAT and being mentally absorbed by the “genre” of conspiracy theories.

    An additional comment right after hearing the results: Maybe locking the idea of a possible rig to the Dems was a simple and smart move by Trump as he was trying his own bit, so he painted them to a corner on this issue… I’m just sad now…

  60. ThisListener says

    @TheYouTube Guy
    I don’t do it in jest. I do it because they’re claiming that they can. They’ve come to the conclusion that it doesn’t happen and thus saying the law, who’s sole purpose is to prevent that kind of fraud is useless. I don’t see how they can see the law in place and conclude that the law is useless instead of that the law actually works.

    @Monocle Smile
    It’s nice that I’m addressing what they’ve said.

    @EnlightenmentLiberal
    Except you’re talking about things that I’m not. I’m speaking solely to the conclusion: Voter ID laws are ineffective because the kind of voter fraud that it’s meant to prevent don’t happen. I’m discussing the rationality behind that and only that. Right now, I don’t care about the fact that others may not be able to vote due to these laws.

    That conclusion is akin to seeing a pipe with a cork blocking it and saying that since no water comes through it, the cork is doing nothing. How can you say that the lack of voter fraud is evidence that the laws that prevent voter fraud are useless? If the laws weren’t there, then yes, you could come to that conclusion, but not while it’s in place.

    BTW, how do I quote on this platform?

  61. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To ThisListener

    I’m discussing the rationality behind that and only that. Right now, I don’t care about the fact that others may not be able to vote due to these laws.

    Based on your other posts in this thread, you’re being dishonest in this latest post. Your dishonesty is part of a tactic called sealioning.
    http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/sea-lioning
    https://www.quora.com/What-is-sealioning

    Sealioning is the name given to a specific, pervasive form of aggressive cluelessness, that masquerades as a sincere desire to understand.

    Your sincerity is a fraud. It’s a lie. You’ve moved the goalposts from your first post, in order to pretend to seem sincere, in order to move along this conversation towards the reasonableness of voter suppression laws today. Especially now, considering recent events and the implication that voter suppression had on those events, I have absolutely zero interest to engage with a troll (i.e. you) on this topic. I’m pretty sure that most people here share m feelings on this topic, commentors and hosts included. Fuck off.

  62. ThisListener says

    @EnlightenmentLiberal

    You’ve moved the goalposts from your first post

    I’ll copy/paste exactly what I said in my first post:
    So you go on a long tirade about voter ID, then say you think it’s important to promote skepticism? You can’t say a law doesn’t work, because it works. Voters can’t easily vote multiple times, or fake their identity because of the necessity of a voter ID. You can’t turn around and say that it doesn’t happen because no one gets away with it.

    Since my attempts at not not being outwardly aggressive aren’t welcome: I’ve haven’t moved the goalposts. Where in my first post did I talk about people who can’t vote? Quote me. My issue was ALWAYS about her saying that voter ID laws don’t work because voter fraud doesn’t happen. I never changed that. Other people introduced the fact that others may not be able to vote. I didn’t bring that up in my comment because I don’t care about it. You are aware that it’s possible to talk about one part of something without talking about all the other parts right? Actually, in my response to the first person that responded to me, mond, I explicitly stated that I’m not interested in talking about the fact that there are people who can’t vote due to those laws.

    in order to move along this conversation towards the reasonableness of voter suppression laws today

    Oh wow, now you know what I’m doing without me even knowing or want to do it. but I’m the one being dishonest, yup.

    Especially now, considering recent events and the implication that voter suppression had on those events

    Was I supposed to care about said recent events, because again, they’re not relevant.

    It’s fascinating how you took what I said, try to twist it however you want then demean me, calling me names and claiming that I’m faking, when I don’t freely allow you to. And you’re claim that I’m sealioning is BS. I quite literally didn’t come asking for an answer to anything. I also didn’t pest anybody. I only responded when someone directed something towards me. If they stopped, I stopped. Notice how I didn’t go after mond or Monocle Smile? And I didn’t fake sincerity or politeness, I was civil and didn’t call any names because it wasn’t necessary. I fit into none of the requirements, but what was be expected. You’ve twisted everything I’ve said so far.

  63. Monocle Smile says

    @ThisListener
    Jen said much, much more than what you portrayed. That’s pretty dishonest right there, and EL called you out on it.
    Also, please prove that voter fraud was a problem before the recent-ish wave of voter ID laws. Go ahead, back up your statement. You avoided doing this to bitch about something else.

    You are aware that it’s possible to talk about one part of something without talking about all the other parts right?

    When the parts are meant to be communicated as a whole, this is called “dishonesty.” And it doesn’t matter, because you have provided exactly zero evidence that voter fraud was a problem before the specified voter ID laws.

    Where in my first post did I talk about people who can’t vote? Quote me

    This is part of that aggressive cluelessness that EL talks about. You missed the point entirely.

  64. Monocle Smile says

    @ThisListener
    Jen said much, much more than what you portrayed. That’s pretty dishonest right there, and EL called you out on it.
    Also, please prove that voter fraud was a problem before the recent-ish wave of voter ID laws. Go ahead, back up your statement. You avoided doing this to bitch about something else.

    You are aware that it’s possible to talk about one part of something without talking about all the other parts right?

    When the parts are meant to be communicated as a whole, this is called “dishonesty.” And it doesn’t matter, because you have provided exactly zero evidence that voter fraud was a problem before the specified voter ID laws.

    Where in my first post did I talk about people who can’t vote? Quote me

    This is part of that aggressive cluelessness that EL talks about. You missed the point entirely. Not mentioning this is precisely the criticism.

  65. indianajones says

    @ThisListener
    Trying to fix a problem that just barely exists (to the point of objectively being insignificant and not having any measurable effect) with a ‘solution’ that screws over (again, objectively demonstrable) already marginalised groups cos ‘reasons’? Yeah, you are a racist that can garn get fucked.

  66. BillBo says

    @6

    Most of the most intelligent people and most accomplished politicians were some flavor of religious. The data just doesn’t bear out the assertion that religious belief necessarily entails total irrationality.

    Sorry if I was unclear. I was not making a case that religious people are perfectly or completely irrational. Nor did I say anything about a religious person being incapable of making a good or rational decision. The point was/is that someone that openly and proudly admits that some/any of their decisions are based on the interpretation of the will of some imaginary magical being is not someone I want to have making the big decisions. It is not enough for me (as it was for Russell) for the openly religious politician to just say they won’t let it affect their secular governing, because their world view is tainted. And many of them say the opposite, that their god will drive their decisions in office. I simply will not vote for any politician that openly professes their religiosity as thought it is a good thing. Paul Ryan mentioned God 3 times in about a five minute acceptance speech. What he said and the way he said it sickened and frightened me. Hope I haven’t said too many things in this post that can be interpreted in an unintended way.

  67. ThisListener says

    @Monocle Smile

    Jen said much, much more than what you portrayed. That’s pretty dishonest right there, and EL called you out on it.

    I know she said more than that. I even agree that the laws lead to certain persons not being able to vote. I never said that everything she said was wrong. I closed on one specific thing and, for some reason, everyone wants to talk about the entire issue. I’ve tried to make that clear three times now. Let’s say someone presents an argument with twenty premises and one is wrong, can you not point out that that one premise is wrong without having to talk about the entire argument? That’s basically what you guys are saying.
    .

    Also, please prove that voter fraud was a problem before the recent-ish wave of voter ID laws.

    I can do no such thing. I’m not American. The only thing I know is that voters need a government issued ID in order to vote. But that’s irrelevant, because there’s no need for me to prove anything. This is an issue of the validity of the argument. Maybe you should look up what a valid argument is as opposed to a sound argument.
    .

    Go ahead, back up your statement. You avoided doing this to bitch about something else.

    And that statement would be?
    .

    When the parts are meant to be communicated as a whole, this is called “dishonesty.”

    The one premise can be argued by itself. If doesn’t need to be with the rest of the argument, so no, it’s not being dishonest. Her argument was that voter ID fraud doesn’t happen and so voter ID laws aren’t necessary (I can’t remember exactly if she said they should be removed). How is the rest, most of which I do admit to agreeing with, relevant?
    .

    This is part of that aggressive cluelessness that EL talks about

    Actually no. That wasn’t me being clueless in any way. That’s be being purely aggressive. I want him to quote where I mentioned people not being able to vote. I know I didn’t so I know he can’t. And I’m being purely aggressive when I ask you what statement you want me to back up. I made no assertion is whether or not voter ID fraud happens. But again, you can quote where I made a definitive statement on whether or not it happens. I’ve said it before and I guess I’ll say it one more time. I’m concerned only about her conclusion, because there isn’t a rational way to get to that conclusion while the laws are still in place. Notice how I didn’t say whether or not her conclusion is accurate or not?
    .
    @indianajones
    Another person who isn’t going to bother understanding what I’ve actually said. Oh, and I’m racist too? Beautiful. But wait, I thought black people couldn’t be racist? M

  68. Monocle Smile says

    @ThisListener
    I could respond to that, but this seems to indicate that it’s not worth the effort:

    I can do no such thing. I’m not American

    Does data not exist in your country? What the fuck kind of bullshit excuse is this? So you’re bitching about something Jen said when you have absolutely no idea whether or not she’s right or wrong. Do you assume she’s useless like you and doesn’t know how to track down the data? There are ways to see if “voter ID” laws actually work, but of course, you’re interested in evidently grinding your ax, not engaging in real discussion.

    Her argument was that voter ID fraud doesn’t happen and so voter ID laws aren’t necessary

    Not only is that a rather dishonest reading of her argument, but you are admittedly clueless as to whether she is correct or not and have no interest in finding out…so I’ll echo EL and tell you to fuck off.

  69. ThisListener says

    @Monocle Smile

    but this seems to indicate that it’s not worth the effort

    You mean the part where I meticulously explained myself? The part where I made it very clear what my argument was and how you weren’t understanding it? I even encouraged you to note what a valid argument is, as that, I think, would make it abundantly clear. It’s so sad that you all are so biased that any kind of disagreement has to be wrong. Not one of you has actually gotten what I’ve been saying, despite me repeating it in many different ways.

    So you’re bitching about something Jen said when you have absolutely no idea whether or not she’s right or wrong.

    Actually, yes. Do people not know how to read on these forums? I just said that I’m interested in the validity of the argument and thus the conclusion she made, regardless of whether the conclusion is accurate or not.

    Not only is that a rather dishonest reading of her argument, but you are admittedly clueless as to whether she is correct or not and have no interest in finding out

    Yup, dipshits really don’t know how to read. I don’t care if the conclusion is accurate or not. The premises she used to get there aren’t valid. And you’re the one being dishonest now as you’re very clearly misrepresenting my argument. Oh the irony. She might as well have said black people exist so voter laws aren’t necessary, you all jump on the bandwagon and repeat it even though the logic is clearly flawed.

    you’re interested in evidently grinding your ax, not engaging in real discussion.

    I am, but you’re not interested in actually listening to anyone that disagrees with you.

  70. Monocle Smile says

    @ThisListener

    I just said that I’m interested in the validity of the argument and thus the conclusion she made, regardless of whether the conclusion is accurate or not

    This does not jive with your earlier statements:

    They’ve come to the conclusion that it doesn’t happen and thus saying the law, who’s sole purpose is to prevent that kind of fraud is useless. I don’t see how they can see the law in place and conclude that the law is useless instead of that the law actually works

    I’m speaking solely to the conclusion: Voter ID laws are ineffective because the kind of voter fraud that it’s meant to prevent don’t happen

    This is the goalpost shifting that EL talked about. This is also a malformed version of Jen’s argument. You’re removing premises and changing some words, and that’s pretty dishonest. If you were interested in the validity of the argument, you wouldn’t put so much effort into distorting it.
    Also…why? Is there anything even worth discussing here? What is it about Jen’s statement that’s got you in a tizzy? At best, you’re being excessively pedantic for no real reason, which is why most of the posters don’t believe you when you claim you’re “only interested in the validity of an argument.”

  71. Monocle Smile says

    Here’s an actual version of Jen’s argument, and of course, I have to paraphrase because she talked for a bit and I’m leaving out the obvious premises.

    P1) Voter ID laws exist to supposedly prevent voter fraud
    P2) Voter fraud is an extremely rare phenomenon that doesn’t have any measurable impact on elections
    P3) Voter ID laws disenfranchise groups of legitimate voters
    C) Voter ID laws are a net negative to society

    This is much more along the lines of the talk on voter ID laws, and this was pretty easy to pick out.

  72. ThisListener says

    @Monocle Smile

    This does not jive with your earlier statements:.

    How does it not? This, here, just might be me being clueless.
    The second quote is basically a more wordy and informal version of the first. What’s the difference?

    You know what, instead of me repeating myself again, how about you actually tell me what these goalposts are that I’m shifting? Since everyone knows my argument better than I do, tell me what my initial argument was and what it is now.
    I’m kinda tired of saying the same thing over and over when no one here is going to actually listen.
    .

    Also…why? Is there anything even worth discussing here? What is it about Jen’s statement that’s got you in a tizzy? At best, you’re being excessively pedantic for no real reason, which is why most of the posters don’t believe you when you claim you’re “only interested in the validity of an argument.”

    Why? Because immediately after, Russell went on the mention that they promote skepticism. I don’t believe you can move from make statements that aren’t really rational to saying you promote skepticism. I literally gave that same sentiment in my initial post and it wasn’t necessarily meant to be some big discussion either. And I am interested in just the validity of the argument; I have no other problem with Jen, if that’s what you’re thinking.
    .

    Here’s an actual version of Jen’s argument

    OK, I’ll work with that. Our representations of her argument don’t differ. I just didn’t focus on P3, because I had no issue with that. I even admitted that it happened. So I definitely stand behind my statements regarding my not having misrepresented her argument in any way.
    Anyhow, my issue is with P2. You can’t actually tell if voter ID fraud occurs or not when the laws are still in place to prevent voter ID fraud. And due to that, the argument, and thus the conclusion is flawed. That’s why I made the analogy to the pipe and the cork. It could well be the case that the laws being in place prevent voter ID fraud and also deter others from even attempting it. You can’t show and therefore conclude that it does or doesn’t happen.

  73. Monocle Smile says

    @ThisListener
    Are you under the mistaken impression that voter ID laws have been around forever? Because they’re actually a pretty recent phenomenon, and there was a big hubbub about this in the US in 2002. Maybe this is the catching point.

  74. ThisListener says

    @Monocle Smile
    I figured it would have been sometime in the 90’s the latest. Just about every site or study I took a quick look at studied in the 2000s, mainly including 2007 and 2014, which is still after voter ID laws were put in place. Frankly, if a study was made before these laws were put in place, then sure, I’d be more willing to agree that it doesn’t happen.

    However, assuming she’s just repeating what shes heard, that would be me having an issue with the studies and not necessarily Jen. I do believe that these studies are flawed and noticed several other things, but continuing at this point actually would shift completely from being related to this episode and post.

  75. Monocle Smile says

    @ThisListener
    Virginia was the first state to do something along the lines of the current ID laws, and that was in 1999. It wasn’t a nationwide thing until 2006.

    Frankly, if a study was made before these laws were put in place, then sure, I’d be more willing to agree that it doesn’t happen

    So you made zero effort to explore this and just assumed Jen was talking out of her ass in irrational fashion. That’s fun. I guess this still comes down to you being clueless.
    https://www.brennancenter.org/sites/default/files/analysis/Analysis%20of%20Voter%20Fraud%20Demos.pdf
    Thirty seconds of Googling. Page 6 states that after examining reports from 1992 to 2002 (stated on page 4), voter fraud appears to be exceedingly rare and that several notorious cases of suspected voter fraud-ridden elections turned out to be nothing but baselss accusations.

  76. ThisListener says

    @Monocle Smile

    So you made zero effort to explore this and just assumed Jen was talking out of her ass in irrational fashion.

    So I miss a study, that Google doesn’t present to me btw, and I magically did no effort at all. I just pulled the 2007-2014 thing out of my ass too huh? Or do I need to show you screenshots of my history and the search results? Your “thirty seconds of Googling” is a vast exaggeration. It’s fascinating too that now that you apparently see what my initial argument was, you won’t speak to what it actually was, which still was valid. But seeing as we’re going back to ignoring anything I put forward and just slamming at me, I’ll do as you requested and not bother responding. I see how things work around here.

  77. Monocle Smile says

    @ThisListener
    Stop being butthurt. You’ve been shown to be wrong and now you’re just whining. It’s childish.

    If you had instead asked for evidence that voter fraud is rare even without ID laws in inquiring fashion, then someone would have provided a study and this discussion would have gone differently. Instead, you made brainless accusations and distorted the statements of the hosts. Why are you surprised at the reaction? It should be expected.

  78. louis cyfer says

    @MS i have a question about P3. how do voter id laws disenfranchise groups of legitimate voters?

  79. Monocle Smile says

    Good thing I have email notifications turned on.

    @louis cyfer
    Voter ID laws require specific types of ID that are far less likely to be held by certain groups…the poor and minorities. For instance, if a college ID is the only photo ID possessed, a voter with a college ID and a birth certificate will be turned away in the states with strict laws. Meanwhile, a Concealed Carry license alone will be admitted.

    Here’s the bigger issue: other than a few notable instances in citywide elections (discussed in the study I linked), voter fraud has never even been implied as a serious problem by data from election results in the past or people who evaluate elections, at least at the state and federal levels. “Voter fraud” as a topic of discussion and impetus to pass voter ID laws appears to be the product of right-wing conspiracies perpetuated by talking heads with large audiences. Election swaying has always been done with (illegal) gerrymandering, not “voter fraud.” Voter ID laws were a very poor response to what is ultimately a distraction from the gerrymandering problem, which has benefited the GOP far more in the past few decades, if not longer. Plenty of citizens of course support voter ID laws, because they’ve been convinced that there are millions of undocumented immigrants who would like nothing more than to derail elections with fraudulent votes. What a farce.

  80. jeffh123 says

    From the ACLU:
    Requiring voters to obtain an ID in order to vote is tantamount to a poll tax. Although some states issue IDs for free, the birth certificates, passports, or other documents required to obtain a government-issued ID cost money, and many Americans simply cannot afford to pay for them.
    In addition, states incur sizable costs when providing IDs to voters who do not have them. Given the financial strain many states already are experiencing, this is an unnecessary allocation of taxpayer dollars.
    Voter ID laws have a disproportionate and unfair impact on low-income individuals, racial and ethnic minority voters, students, senior citizens, voters with disabilities and others who do not have a government-issued ID or the money to acquire one.
    The Supreme Court has held that a state cannot value one person’s vote over another and that is exactly what these laws do.
    Research shows that 11% of US citizens – or more than 21 million Americans — do not have government-issued photo identification.
    As many as 25% of African American citizens of voting age do not have a government-issued photo ID, compared to only 8% of their white counterparts.
    18% of Americans over the age of 65 (or 6 million senior citizens) do not have a government-issued photo ID.
    In 2008, it was widely reported that Indiana’s voter ID law disfranchised 12 nuns who were trying to vote in the primary election. The nuns were all over 80 years old, all had a history of voting in past elections, and none of them drove. Their limited mobility made it difficult for them to get an ID.