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Mar 22 2014

[Thunderdome]

This is Thunderdome, the unmoderated open thread on Pharyngula. Say what you want, how you want.

Status: UNMODERATED; Previous thread

758 comments

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  1. 501
    chigau (違う)

    page 2
    &→&

  2. 502
    consciousness razor

    It explains why its immoral to extort taxes from innocent people

    Heh, “innocent people”? Is extorting from guilty people okay? But whatever. It does no such thing.

    I’m pro-liberty because its wrong to coerce innocent people into something they don’t want to do.

    You volunteering to do good things is not more important than that the good things themselves are actually done.* Come up with a society which is organized in some way, such that it meets the needs of the people constituting it. Now tell me how that society is any different from one with a government that has a way to enforce some kind taxation on the citizens.

    If you don’t want to contribute (despite being capable of doing it without significant harm which outweighs the benefits, hence the need for progressive taxes), that does not matter in the slightest. You are morally obliged to contribute to it whether you want to or not, because if you aren’t, then neither is anyone else. There goes that entire fictional society you just dreamed up.

    So let’s put it this way: I’m pro-liberty because “coercing” people to do the right thing is the only viable option, it doesn’t outweigh the fact that the right things actually get done. People are more free when they are not suffering from an unjust society which isn’t even attempting to make their living conditions better, safer, fairer and more free. You don’t give a shit whether the right things actually get done; you only give a shit about what you want, which isn’t liberty at all. It’s selfishness.

    *I bet you’re totally flummoxed when theists trot out the “free will” defense to the problem of evil.

  3. 503
    Jacob Schmidt

    page 2
    &→&

    So why not just type &?

  4. 504
    Amphiox

    Speaking of coercion, there is no system of collective organized action that does coerce. “Organize” means rules. Rules are only meaningful if enforced. Enforcement requires coercion.

    The so-called “free market” is just as coercive, if not more so, than many governmental systems. The methods of coercion may (or may not) be weighted more to financial ones, but they are still coercion nevertheless.

  5. 505
    A. Noyd

    Jacob Schmidt (#503)

    So why not just type &?

    If all you want is a naked & you can just type & but if you want to write out ampersand character coding so others can see it, you have to use the & instead. Like, when you see me write ™ I’m actually writing ™ or WordPress would just show you ™.

  6. 506
    consciousness razor

    So why not just type &?

    Because the html gods will magically transform it into something else when it’s put in front of certain other strings. Sometimes, you need to circumvent the will of these gods, though many consider this heretical.

    For example: ™

    I just used the & character, followed immediately by “trade;” (without quotation marks). If I want to show you how to make the trademark symbol using html (as I must do on this blog), I don’t want the html gods performing their miracles on the ampersand symbol. I need some way to get you to see “™” (instead of ™) which itself is done by using the string “™” — and that last one is done by using the string “™” …. This could go on forever, but the pattern should be clear.

  7. 507
    chigau (違う)

    whew
    I’m glad I didn’t have to attempt all that meta& stuff.
    :)

  8. 508
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    I have long wondered how you all were able to show the proper formatting for blockquotes…now I know.

  9. 509
    opposablethumbs

    I didn’t ask for any gov’t service.

    You’d better be living on a rock in the middle of the ocean with a solar-powered computer, then, because otherwise you’re benefiting from them anyway.

    Oops, no, you still fail Tomas. You’re using an internet connection, you have an IP address …

    And in reality you probably use all sorts of nice things the government maintains directly or indirectly, such as roads and minimum food standards and fire services …. etc. etc. etc.

  10. 510
    vaiyt

    The Free Market: it’s fucking magic, I ain’t gotta explain shit!

  11. 511
    vaiyt

    I didn’t ask for any gov’t service.

    You don’t want to pay, then get out! Go live off the land somewhere away from society! Because else you’re just a parasite, wanting to reap the benefits of living in community without paying your dues.

  12. 512
    Jacob Schmidt

    Shoulda checked page 1, that woulda made more sense, then.

  13. 513
    LykeX

    The libertarian “I don’t want to pay, so why should I have to” attitude is very plausible… but it doesn’t actually work in the real world.

    Let’s take roads as an example. Our Friendly Neighborhood Libertarian doesn’t want to pay for the road. He agrees to not use the road in exchange for not having to pay for the construction and maintenance. Everybody’s happy, right? The FNL doesn’t have to pay and everybody else still gets their road.

    Except, what if there’s a narrow passage between two buildings and people want to pave that? Does the FNL have to walk the long way around now, because he’s not allowed to use the pavement without paying? Does he get to prevent others from building the paved passage because it would otherwise restrict his movement? Or does he get an exemption from both payment and movement restrictions because it’s the only way between the two buildings?

    - If he uses the road without paying, that’s not fair to the builders. They put a lot of work into it and are entitled to some payment.
    - If he’s forced to walk around, that’s not fair to him. He had no say in the building of the road, so why should his movement be restricted in that way?
    - If he uses this argument to prevent the building of the road, that’s not fair to the builders. Why does his convenience get to trump theirs?
    - And if he’s required to pay for the road, then it’s not fair to him, since he didn’t decide to build the road in the first place.

    So, what’s the answer?

  14. 514
    Al Dente

    One thing I detest about libertarians is their recognition that there’s no free lunch and then insisting they have the “right” to squat in the country, getting all the public goodies without paying for them because “coercion” and “taxes are theft.”

  15. 515
    SallyStrange

    Here’s stuff on monopolies [Wiki link]

    oooh la la, those libertarians theories!

  16. 516
    consciousness razor

    And if he’s required to pay for the road, then it’s not fair to him, since he didn’t decide to build the road in the first place.

    This one isn’t true. It is fair. The fair outcome for a group of people is not whatever any specific individual wants, but what’s fair for the entire group. They do not get to hijack the notion of fairness because they can whine very loudly and misuse words like “extortion.”

    The relatively small amount each person pays (which of course can vary according to their ability to pay the tax) presumably isn’t outweighing the benefit to the entire group. If it is, then the libertarian can explain to the rest of the group why none of them actually want the road either. He may or may not use the road, but he now has the freedom to use it which he didn’t before (in circumstances he perhaps didn’t foresee when he thought he didn’t want the road), and many other people using the road obviously benefit a great deal from it, or else they already have good reasons not to build the road for themselves. You can make a valid argument that a particular expenditure is too costly or is better spent on other projects (even similar road-building projects or an alternative design for the same road which is less expensive), but that wouldn’t be an argument against all public projects of any kind whatsoever.

  17. 517
    The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge

    The libertarian theory on roads that I’ve seen is that if you need to go to the grocery store, all you need to do is buy up the property to build a road between your house and the grocery store, and Bob’s you uncle. You can recover your costs by charging a toll for everybody else to use your road.

    Now, if I think your toll is too high, I’m perfectly free to buy up a different right-of-way and construct my own road, then undercut you on the toll. How this is supposed to work when you would have presumably chosen the easiest and cheapest route to begin with I don’t know, but I’m sure the Free Market (Pbui) will take care of that. (And allow an infinite number of roads between point A and point B—it’s Magic!)

  18. 518
    Jacob Schmidt

    (And allow an infinite number of roads between point A and point B—it’s Magic!)

    If we imagine points A and B on an empty plane, it totally works out; the first road would be a straight line, but after that it would be a series of concentric curves from point A to point B. It all depends on how much your willing to pay, and how much your time is worth.

  19. 519
    Amphiox

    The libertarian theory on roads that I’ve seen is that if you need to go to the grocery store, all you need to do is buy up the property to build a road between your house and the grocery store, and Bob’s you uncle. You can recover your costs by charging a toll for everybody else to use your road.

    Naturally that only works until your neighbours realize that you, alone, have no way of effectively policing your road or enforcing the toll, at which point they will simply “jaywalk” whenever you aren’t looking.

    Or even just organize themselves into a mob and take your road.

    Or even simply refuse to accept your claim to ownership of the property on which the road is built.

    Unless, of course, you had a GOVERNMENT that you could appeal to to regulate and enforce all the rules about ownership of land, entitlements to building on the land, use of and trespass onto private lands, and enforcement of fees, tolls, and fines.

  20. 520
    vaiyt

    Hey people! Wouldn’t it be totally cool if we had a society where we could selectively decide which obligations and benefits we have? We could all totally have all the benefits while giving nothing back!

  21. 521
    Amphiox

    The very idea of “property” is an abstract fiction created by government and maintained by the government, with the threat of force.

    Without government, the only “property” any individual can be said to own is that which he or she can carry on her own person and defend from being taken by others with his or her own bare hands.

  22. 522
    The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge

    Amphiox @ 521:

    The very idea of “property” is an abstract fiction created by government and maintained by the government, with the threat of force.

    The same thing could be said about money. Libertarians like to scream about “their” money (like they dug it out of the ground) but the government prints it, guarantees it, and prevents counterfeiters from diluting the supply. It’s a service offered by the government to facilitate exchange and they would be perfectly justified in taking a cut of each transaction—but just imagine the libertarian screaming if they tried, though.

  23. 523
    consciousness razor

    If we imagine points A and B on an empty plane, it totally works out; the first road would be a straight line, but after that it would be a series of concentric curves from point A to point B. It all depends on how much your willing to pay, and how much your time is worth.

    Suppose there is a market. If this market is Free™, it must be the greatest conceivable market, therefore it must exist. So this shouldn’t be a problem at all. For the Free Market™ so loved the world, that it encourages innovation in 1-dimensional road-building, because that is the (rigorously mathematically-defined) optimal solution, and because it will ultimately triumph over the pesky “regularities” in the laws of physics which threaten to restrict our road-building by requiring that they be constructed with 3-dimensional objects and conspiring against us to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids….

  24. 524
    Amphiox

    If we imagine points A and B on an empty plane, it totally works out; the first road would be a straight line, but after that it would be a series of concentric curves from point A to point B. It all depends on how much your willing to pay, and how much your time is worth.

    Consider a spherical market in a vacuum….

  25. 525
    brianpansky

    just in case anyone wants to actually use math to make a map of all those roads:

    use a source and sink with the stream function method.

  26. 526
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    For my next trick, I will notice that the thread has turned over within 4 hours.

  27. 527
    Rey Fox

    The very idea of “property” is an abstract fiction created by government and maintained by the government, with the threat of force.

    The businesses that they love so much are only able to exist through the contract and incorporation systems built and maintained by the government too.

  28. 528
    Snoof

    (And allow an infinite number of roads between point A and point B—it’s Magic!)

    I see we can add graph theory to the list of things which libertarian road builders don’t understand.

    (Oh, K3,3. You are the most beautiful of non-planar graphs. Don’t believe what K5 tells you, it’s you I love.)

  29. 529
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Heeeeey, did we have our Might Morphin’ Sockpuppetting troll last night? I don’t recall seeing any deleted posts. Perhaps the libertarian fuckwits scared them off?

  30. 530
    A. Noyd

    Tony (#529)

    Perhaps the libertarian fuckwits scared them off?

    Maybe they are one of the libertarian fuckwits and are seeing how long they can stick around as a troll if they avoid the usual tells and harp on something else. Of course, that would destroy their little fiction that they’re being banned for disagreeing, and I doubt the morphing troll would be so brave as to risk disconfirmation of such a precious belief.

  31. 531
    Lofty

    Westboro Baptists still hatin’ gays just like in the good old days. School kids learn something about religious extremists!

  32. 532
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Before I and others turned up, commenters like Kroos Control would have been banned, for disagreeing, for not conforming to the party line. Some of it is actually getting through Meyers’ thick skull, albeit a tiny amount

    I see these pissants are still clinging to the lie that PZ bans people for disagreement.

  33. 533
    Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm

    Gawsh, I can’t imagine why anyone would think pitters are misogynistic rape apologists, can you guys?

  34. 534
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Midnightblue –> hushfile
    Bye-bye someone not worth listening to….

  35. 535
    Tommy Capitalist

    @consciousness razor
    Watch the “George ought to help” video here
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGMQZEIXBMs

    Is it really moral to force George under threat of violence to donate his money against his will.

  36. 536
    Jacob Schmidt

    Before I and others turned up, commenters like Kroos Control would have been banned, for disagreeing, for not conforming to the party line.

    You mean the Kroos Control who posted dozens of time daily, for almost a week?

    Yes, his poor voice would have been silenced, and we’d have all been the worse for not being exposed to yet more William Lane Craig presuppositional nonsense.

  37. 537
    Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm

    Tomas C. you and Midnight McMorphpants up there should exchange emails. Seems like you’d have a lot in common given your shared penchant for repeating the same slogan over and over as if it gets truer each time.

  38. 538
    Tommy Capitalist

    Imagine if we lived in the same community (or on a desert island if you will) . One day I come around collecting payments from everyone in the community. I we’re going to build a fence around the community to keep stray animals out. I’m also hiring a bunch of guys to round up and punish everyone in the community who likes to smoke a particular plant. You don’t trust my ability to use the funds I collect in an efficient manner to build the fence and don’t think we should be restricting what plants people smoke in the community. You say , no , you’re not going to give me money. I say if you didn’t pay I would fine you bigger payments and if you still refused I would use force to pull you away and lock you up. I said you’re going to receive this service whether you like it or agree with it or not if you didn’t like it you would have to move away. (I would still collect exit taxes from you if you moved away). You refuse to agree and I get a bunch of my goons to come in with force to take you away and lock you up for not paying.

    Is it the right thing to do as people have asserted? Is it really moral to threaten innocent people like this for money?
    That’s why I’m pro-liberty.

    People are talking about all the thing the Government does, but its just the Gov’t-of-the-gaps fallacy to assume the free market could not provide these as well.
    There are many benefits of the privatization of roads.
    http://mises.org/document/4084/The-Privatization-of-Roads-and-Highways
    There are many thriving private educational institutions.
    One person cited the internet . This is ironic , because if not for gov’t restrictions , the internet would have been open to the public many years sooner! The gov’t bureacracy is always messing thing up. Need I remind you of all the wonderful things the free market can provide! The free market should be the agent faciliating exchange of funds , not threats of violence!

  39. 539
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Is it the right thing to do as people have asserted? Is it really moral to threaten innocent people like this for money?

    What innocent people who aren’t leaches on the societal infrastructure.
    Liberturds are guilty people. They are guilty of being morally bankrupt, not caring about their neighbors, not caring about the poor. They are guilty of being leeches on society, as they don’t want to pay for what they use. They are fuckwitted religious idjits, who simply cannot prove with historical data that their idiotiology is workable. Guilty losers all.

  40. 540
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Innocent liberturd = oxymoron.

  41. 541
    Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm

    I think you and I would have more in common that me and Tomas C would.

    I’m skeptical of this assertion. Can’t imagine why.

  42. 542
    Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm

    Zing.

  43. 543
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    The free market should be the agent faciliating exchange of funds , not threats of violence!

    Religious sloganeering. Cite reality, or this is bullshit.

  44. 544
    LykeX

    Say, does it suddenly smell fresher in here? Almost as if a big pile of shit had been scooped up and removed.

  45. 545
    Xanthë, Amy of my threads

    Ah, the sweet hour when a new day dawns, and the obsessive-compulsive morphing troll’s excretions evanesce like the night’s dew.

    (Seriously, it’s been a fortnight or so since he began? Long since time to seek help dude.)

  46. 546
    consciousness razor

    Tomas C.:

    Watch the “George ought to help” video here

    I already did. You don’t need to spam it. It was pretty stupid.

    Is it really moral to force George under threat of violence to donate his money against his will.

    George not wanting to help when he ought to do so is no argument against the claim that he ought to help. He should in fact do certain things, even if he doesn’t want to. Taxes are what any functioning society needs, whether or not you consider them “donations” or that they are “under the threat of violence” (both of these are conceptually bizarre to me, but whatever). If George cannot pay without causing himself significant harm, then he should not pay the tax. Notice that. I said sometimes he shouldn’t be forced to pay a certain tax. However, if he can pay without causing himself significant harm, so that the cost doesn’t outweigh the benefits to himself and the rest of the society, then yes, he very well should pay the tax. That is the morally correct outcome. The only thing you need to consider is that there are cases in which it is moral that people pay a tax. You will not demonstrate that there are no such circumstances. All libertarians like you ever do is claim you don’t want to, which is completely missing the fucking point. I care about whether the result is actually moral. You aren’t even addressing your own fucking question here, and I already did address it above, and now I have once again. You just don’t listen … probably because you don’t want to.

  47. 547
    la tricoteuse

    My opinion isn’t any more important than anyone else’s obviously, but am I the only one who gets REALLY confused when trollposts are disappeared? I’m always thankful when someone who has engaged the troll has, in the course of said engagement, quoted its’ blathering so I know what the hell everyone is on about. And the numbering…oh god…the numbering…*whimper*

    I mean…I understand why they’re disappeared, and less ugliness around the place is always an improvement, but it still leaves me metaphorically looking around with a baffled expression on my face like “derp, what’d I miss?”

    *wanders off muttering vaguely to self*

  48. 548
    Tommy Capitalist

    @Consciousness Razor.

    Its not moral to threaten George with force to get him to pay up the money. Its immoral. People have the rights and freedom.

  49. 549
    Tommy Capitalist

    @Consciousness Razor
    The point of the video was that we can use voluntary action instead of coercion and threats of violence to organize society.
    That’s the basic idea of the pro-liberty position. Isn’t that preferable?

  50. 550
    Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm

    The point of the video was that we can use voluntary action instead of coercion and threats of violence to organize society.

    The entire point of your video was that George wouldn’t voluntarily cough up a few bucks for the good of society and that he shouldn’t have to because he doesn’t wanna. So how is the magical free market fairy going to convince George to help out when he wouldn’t before?

  51. 551
    la tricoteuse

    Tomas C @ 549:

    @Consciousness Razor
    The point of the video was that we can use voluntary action instead of coercion and threats of violence to organize society.
    That’s the basic idea of the pro-liberty position. Isn’t that preferable?

    Probably not to the people who starve because not enough Georges WANTED to help them not starve.

  52. 552
    consciousness razor

    People have the rights and freedom.

    How are those guaranteed? With a government that is able to enforce them (actual violence isn’t generally necessary, but we must do something to protect others’ rights and freedoms, not just our own). So the government needs resources at its disposal. That is why it needs to collect taxes.

    The point of the video was that we can use voluntary action instead of coercion and threats of violence to organize society.

    No we can’t. That does not even vaguely resemble an organized society. People aren’t necessarily willing to protect others’ rights and freedoms. To ensure that we are free and have the rights we should, those who want to infringe our freedoms and rights must be “coerced” into respecting those rights and freedoms. And that requires actual physical resources (which doesn’t amount to physical violence, except as the last possible resort to people who simply refuse to respect our rights and freedoms and will do anything to stop it, including confuse people like yourself into allying with them). It does not happen by magic because everybody spontaneously wants it to be a certain way. That is why we need taxes.

  53. 553
    Amphiox

    The point of the video was that we can use voluntary action instead of coercion and threats of violence to organize society.

    Ahistorical idiocy.

    No where in the history of humanity has pure voluntary action ever successfully organized any society without having at least SOME coercion and threats of violence in the background as a backup.

    Truth is governments DO use voluntary action MOST of the time. 99% of all taxes are paid VOLUNTARILY. And even the most oppressive police state could not function without a large majority of the people voluntarily complying with the government’s edicts most of the time.

    All functioning societies need both voluntary buy-in of their citizens and coercive enforcement of regulations when necessary.

  54. 554
    The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge

    Tomas:

    Repeating your Lord of the Flies scenario yet again in comment #538 doesn’t make it any more accurate or cogent. Your castaways have decided they need a wall to keep the stray animals out. They have delegated a subset of their number to deal with the matter and allocated a certain amount of resources to accomplish it.

    You—or George—the gLibertarian castaway says: “Inna wanna no wall! No give up no coconuts to build it!”

    Everybody else: “Fine, but you’ve got to move outside the wall then.”

    George: “Nuh-Uh! I gots same rights az innybody! George no wanna get et!”

    This is a much more accurate portrayal of how a society with a (rudimentary) government operates. Unfortunately, due to the past prevalence of fuckwads like you and George, we live in a society with the diseased requirement that every square foot of land has to be somebody’s “property”. The government has managed to sequester a small and shrinking proportion as public property, but after you gLibertarian shitweasels destroy the government all that will be gobbled up too. So there is no “outside the wall” for George to move to. We have to build a wall and shove them “outside” society into a 6′ x 6′ space*. Blame your coreligionists. Alternatively, I hear Somalia is lovely this time of year.

    *(Beats being expelled into the first 6″ of Bauredel, I guess.)

  55. 555
    Amphiox

    Property rights exists ONLY because GOVERNMENT enforces ownership against mob appropriation and theft by FORCE and VIOLENCE.

    Freedom exists ONLY because GOVERNMENT enforces it for every individual against opposing groups by FORCE and VIOLENCE.

    The Free Market can ONLY exist because GOVERNMENT enforces all the rules governing financial transactions by FORCE and VIOLENCE.

    The Free Market can ONLY exist because GOVERNMENT guarantees the stability of the currency by FORCE and VIOLENCE.

    NO system of organization of any kind can function without, at the very base, a method of enforcement, and no enforcement is possible without the option of a threat of force and violence.

    The assertion that force and violence, in and of themselves is “immoral” is bald-faced dishonest lunacy. Force and violence are an unavoidable reality of human existence, and like all things that are unavoidable realities, neither moral nor immoral. The morality of any SPECIFIC use of force and violence depends on what it was used FOR and WHY.

  56. 556
    anteprepro

    Pro-liberty apparently means optimism regarding human nature and the power of charities, a belief in a near magical level of Independence, a knee-jerk disgust regarding the idea that any behavior, good or bad, should be regulated, and an emphasis on being able to be FREEEEE enough to neglect and refuse to help other people, in any way, shape, or form. Libertarian liberty is just the right to be a capricious, selfish, and self-righteous asshole. Libertarian liberty is the right to take because you are too stupid to see that you are, in fact, taking from other people, and the subsequent right to never give back, because really, what did anyone else ever do for you anyway.

    Get a fucking clue Tomas.

  57. 557
    Amphiox

    The free market should be the agent faciliating exchange of funds , not threats of violence!

    The free market would not be able to facilitate the transfer of a single red cent without the GOVERNMENT backing up the rules of fair exchange with the THREAT of FORCE and VIOLENCE.

  58. 558
    anteprepro

    Hey Tomas, since you have such a large stick up your ass regarding the HORRORS of paying for things you didn’t necessarily want in order to benefit others….do you even fucking realize how product prices work? Oh, yes, you in your simple myopic mind think “hey, I’m just paying for the thing!”. And you, being the sycophantic worshipper of the Invisible Hand and the Glory of the CEO, are fine with companies arbitrarily charging whatever they want. But, ya see, aside from paying for that sweet, sweet profit when you buy a product, you also helping the business pay for its own costs. Like additional fees, or perhaps Business Taxes if you will, all hidden underneath the price tag.

    What are the things you are helping to pay for?
    Costs of labor for obtaining raw materials
    Costs of machinery used for obtaining raw materials
    Administrative costs for the company that obtains the raw materials
    Shipping of raw materials
    Profit for the raw material producer
    Factory worker wages
    Overhead for factory that makes the final product
    Administrative costs for the factory
    Selling and advertising costs for the product and company
    Shipping costs from factory to store
    Management salaries
    Store rent and utility bills
    Cashier wages
    Store maintenance costs
    Cost of store equipment (cash registers, etc.)
    Cost associated with parking lot
    Cost associated with necessary permits for selling products
    Price increase to help compensate for merchandise stolen, expired, returned, etc.

    And there is probably more that I didn’t even think of!

    What if you want the product but don’t want to pay for every single one of those elements of the price? Well tough shit for you.

    And what if you want to use American infrastructure, live here, work here, get money here, and don’t want to pay the service charges for all the shit you are using? Tough shit for you again.

    Welcome to economics, shit for brains.

  59. 559
    Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm

    I’d also like to know what this society which has been organized via voluntary effort would look like and how said organization would be meaningfully different than a government.

  60. 560
    chigau (違う)

    anteprepro #558
    waitwaitwait
    You mean all that cool stuff in stores does not just appear???!
    Next you’ll be telling us electricty isn’t made by elves!

  61. 561
    Amphiox

    George goes to exchange his coconuts for Bill’s fish. Bill, being bigger than George, clubs him with a whalebone and gets both the coconuts AND the fish.

    Who ensures George’s right to free safe exchange with Bill?

    Bill goes to exchange his newly acquired coconuts for Sally’s chicken eggs. Sally, having more friends than Bill, has a couple of them hide in the bushes and shoot Bill in the back with arrows, so she can have the coconuts, the fish, AND the eggs.

    Who ensures Bill’s right to free safe exchange with Sally?

  62. 562
    Tommy Capitalist

    @antepropo
    The point is that there’s no violence.
    I can always refuse to buy the product and not get thrown into jail. That’s the free market. The Govt doesn not give people that option.

    @Amphiox

    99% of all taxes are paid VOLUNTARILY.

    The only reason most people pay taxes is because of government threats. If a government decided not to enforce tax law punishments and said all taxes were to be paid on a voluntary basis , I doubt 99% of people would keep paying without the threats.

    You guys should all question the big gov’t dogma.
    Is it really right to threaten people with violence for money? Or should people be able to freely choose what they want to do with their money or what transactions they want to engage in in a free market.

  63. 563
    chigau (違う)

    Without Government®, what do we use for Money™?

  64. 564
    Tommy Capitalist

    Come on guys , think about the Issues
    Why can’t we give freedom a chance? Why do we need to threaten peaceful people with violence?

  65. 565
    consciousness razor

    I can always refuse to buy the product and not get thrown into jail. That’s the free market.

    Yeah, you get to freely choose to starve and not receive medical care. It’s absolutely wonderful how fucking free you are, and how no one ever threatened you with anything! You’ll really love that, even though you’re dead.

    The Govt doesn not give people that option.

    Sometimes people shouldn’t have that option. Do you actually want freedom, or do you just want to whine about not getting your way and only your way and fuck everybody else? How do you intend to get it? How are we going to maintain the security of your society full of voluntary actors? How are they going to exchange goods? How are they going to act, when people want things which conflict with what other people want? Are any things which someone may want that are harmful to anyone else in this society? What could anyone do about that?

  66. 566
    chigau (違う)

    I thought these people were ‘innocent’.
    Now they are ‘peaceful’.
    huh.

  67. 567
    anteprepro

    The point is, Tomas, that you are paying taxes for being in this country. Your alternative is to not be in this country. Your taxes are membership fees that, like product costs, pay for a lot of things, even if you are not necessarily consenting to each and every one of those things. Same with education fees in college. You will be put in jail if you take a product under the assumption that you will pay for it later, and then refuse to pay because you don’t like the idea of paying for factory supervisors and someone else’s electric bill. Same deal with taxes: You are, by being in this country, using and indirectly benefiting from tax-funded services. If you do not pay for those services, YOU are stealing.

    Your fear of “force” and “violence” at work in economics is a disingenuous libertarian talking point. Bank loans are repaid under fear of Teh Men With Guns. If it weren’t for Teh Men With Guns, there wouldn’t be credit cards. Get some perspective, grow the fuck up, and take a step into the real world, you clueless fuck.

  68. 568
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Thomas C, we have had liberturds arguing your sloganeer points for the last five years. You offer nothing new; no new perspective, nothing. The problem with your religion is that you can’t offer real world examples. Like 30 years use in a first world country in the last century.
    The closest the US came was between the Civil War and the Sherman anti-trust act. History showed large boom/bust cycles, harsh poverty for the 99%, trusts, monopolies, cartels, etc. Not the large number of small shops your ideology/religion pretends is the case.
    Conclusion: history shows your idiotology doesn’t work in real life. Move on to greener pastures.

  69. 569
    opposablethumbs

    Tomas hasn’t brought a knife to a gun-fight – he’s brought a cheap, knock-off Disney cartoon drawing. Of a plastic butter-knife.

    And the sad thing is, he genuinely doesn’t seem to realise it :-\

    Tomas, are you going to make any attempt – any attempt at all – to provide some evidence for what you laughably seem to be under the delusion is your “point”?

  70. 570
    Snoof

    Why can’t we give freedom a chance? Why do we need to threaten peaceful people with violence?

    Hey, out of interest, Tomas… why do you think, historically speaking, people started using threats of violence?

    (People have been doing it for a while. The Code of Hammurabi proscribes the death penalty for numerous offences, and it’s on the order of four thousand years old by this point.)

  71. 571
    Snoof

    (Edit to 570: That should be prescribes. Proscribes would mean that it forbids the death penalty, which it most certainly does not.)

  72. 572
    Tommy Capitalist

    @opposablethumbs
    My main points are

    1)We all recognize we shouldn’t threaten George to give his money to Oliver or someone else. Is immoral. Why should we allow the state to do the same thing and threaten people to give up money?
    2)Why can’t we give freedom and the free market a chance, instead of resorting violence and threats against innocent people?

    People made analogy of services you buy from someone. But those are purely voluntary services that you request and agree terms to. George can’t voluntarily refuse to pay taxes or he’ll get thrown in jail.

  73. 573
    Tommy Capitalist

    @opposablethumbs
    That’s the evidence I have . Peace and Freedom. Look at all the wonderful things the free market has done. We’d all be more rich and prosperous if it wasn’t for gov’t intervention.

  74. 574
    anteprepro

    That’s the evidence I have . Peace and Freedom. Look at all the wonderful things the free market has done. We’d all be more rich and prosperous if it wasn’t for gov’t intervention.

    You are one dumb sack of shit, Tomas. How is it possible for one person to be so incredibly, laughably ignorant and naive?

  75. 575
    alwayscurious

    Tomas, the problem is George’s island is too simplistic a model for our current government. Small/limited/no government works fine for small, sparse populations. That isn’t the world most of us live in anymore. Lots of people living close together need lots of rules. Who makes those rules? Governing bodies of one kind or another.

    The very fact you are using a computer is testament to the fact that you are benefiting from government forcing utilities to develop services everywhere, government road networks developed everywhere, government mandating education, government loaning money to students for advanced education, government grants to develop sophisticated electronics, government grants to develop software required to complement the sophisticated hardware, etc. Government does this by forcing people to pay taxes.

    If you’d asked anyone about the Internet 100 years ago, they’d laugh. But thanks mostly to government, it exists today.

  76. 576
    anteprepro

    People made analogy of services you buy from someone. But those are purely voluntary services that you request and agree terms to. George can’t voluntarily refuse to pay taxes or he’ll get thrown in jail.

    If you don’t pay rent you’ll get evicted.
    If you don’t pay your credit card they’ll come after you.
    If you don’t pay a loan they’ll come after you.
    If you let a check bounce, they’ll come after you.
    Whether it is for a voluntary service, or for a basic human necessity.

    George can’t voluntarily refuse to pay taxes because he is already benefiting from the services that those taxes pay for. Advocating against taxes is either advocating for EVERYTHING to become privatized or advocating for theft. Either route is idiotic.

  77. 577
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @Tomas C

    Its not moral to threaten George with force to get him to pay up the money. Its immoral. People have the rights and freedom.

    What rights? What freedoms?

    Please define your terms. Is a “right” simply something that you think someone should be able to do, regardless of the effects on or desires of others? Is a “right” something that your preferred deity has said somewhere that you can do (or not said somewhere that you can’t)? From where does that right come? How do you know you have it?

    How is a freedom different from a right?

    People competent in political and social philosophy can answer these questions and meaningfully discuss the implications of these answers. If you’re competent in political and social philosophy, go ahead and lets try to understand what you’re really asserting.

  78. 578
    chigau (違う)

    erichovind is in the Activism thread.

  79. 579
    consciousness razor

    Look at all the wonderful things the free market has done.

    So, your premise: there is a free market. And it does stuff. Look at the stuff it does.

    We’d all be more rich and prosperous if it wasn’t for gov’t intervention.

    Now this is your premise: There is not a free market. It isn’t doing stuff, so we can’t look at the stuff it does.

    Impressive, that you can contradict yourself in two consecutive sentences. See if you can do it in one sentence….. wait, you already did and this was already pointed out:

    I’m pro-liberty because its wrong to coerce innocent people into something they don’t want to do.

    You claim to care about what’s right and wrong, but then you claim to care about what you want, no matter whether it’s right or wrong. And you claim that this is about being pro-liberty, but this is not liberty. Getting what you want is not liberty, and it does not lead to liberty. It’s selfishness. So you aren’t pro-liberty either. You’re anti-liberty, because the only way we can have any liberty is by not being completely, absolutely, unrestrictedly “free” to do anything whatsoever that we want.

  80. 580
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @Tomas C:

    Fine, we’ll play your game, you rogue.

    A society based entirely off of charitable giving would crumble into starvation and chaos. Those who are able to give must make the choice whether or not to give. If they give, it’s of their excess. If something happens to cull that excess, the amount they can give wavers.

    Can you see the problem there?

  81. 581
    Snoof

    I’m pro-liberty because its wrong to coerce innocent people into something they don’t want to do.

    So if I don’t want to haul my garbage to the midden, but would rather leave it strewn around the streets, it’s wrong to to coerce me to take it there?

    How about if I don’t want to stay in quarantine, despite being an asymptomatic carrier of typhoid? Is it wrong to confine me?

    If I want to let my goats graze all over, is it wrong to force me to keep them confined?

    I’m celebrating by firing my assault rifle into the air at random, in the direction of a heavily populated area. Is it wrong to coerce me to stop?

    I’m brewing bathtub gin in my basement, and selling it to your kids. Are you going to stop me from doing so? (Is it wrong to prevent your children from buying it?)

  82. 582
    Infophile

    In reply to erichovind: http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2014/03/28/another-review-of-noah/comment-page-1/#comment-772884

    The universe has no purpose that we can attribute to us. But do we have purpose? Maybe. Maybe not.

    Here’s the thing: You can’t get an “ought” from and “is.” We could set up an absolutely perfect model of the universe which predicts every physical interaction we can conceive of (limited only by computing power and the fact that we’re inside the universe as well), and it still wouldn’t answer a single ethical question of what we ought to do. However, if we start with even a few “oughts,” we can use them to answer others. For instance, let’s say we start with the following postulates:

    1. Human suffering ought to be decreased.
    2. Human pleasure ought to be increased.
    3. Human freedom ought to be increased.

    From these, we can argue to very complicated positions, from “If you have more than you need, give to someone who needs less than they have” to “Constitutionally-bound democracies are preferable governments to hereditary dictatorships” (Or otherwise, if you can think of an argument for the reverse).

    But this leads to two related problems:

    1. How do we decide these initial postulates?
    2. How do we decide between these postulates when they conflict?

    For 1, we have to bow down to human nature. Humans as a whole will seek out pleasure and avoid suffering, so it seems logical they should be valued. But it isn’t strictly logical – we can’t get these oughts from pure logic and knowledge about the universe alone. We have to simply accept we’re going to be seeking things that aren’t purely logical because we want to. The way our brains work make us seek these things out, so let’s accept these premises in order to help seek them out in the future. It doesn’t have to be purely logical for us to do it.

    As for #2, well, this is where society has to come together and decide how much of one is worth the others, and how strongly they’re valued compared to each other. For harm versus pleasure, for instance, you could try asking someone: “If it will give you a burst of pleasure equivalent to an orgasm, will you poke an innocent other person with a pin? Will you poke yourself with a pin?” You can ask a lot of people this, and you can vary the amounts of harm and pleasure in each situation to find how the society’s values compare to each other. For harm/pleasure, it’s rather straightforward in practice (when done to oneself, there’s a reasonable balance, but harming others never justifies pleasure for oneself), but other balances are more complicated – Would you rather be a happy slave or a depressed free person? for instance.

    So all this comes back to purpose. Well, once we’ve got these premises laid out, it naturally follows that our purposes in life are to fulfill them, with a particular eye for ourselves (since we know our own needs and desires better than others. There’s nothing inherently wrong with making yourself feel good), and with taking our own circumstances and skillsets in mind. You can try to reduce harm to others, try to give pleasure to others, or even pursue a different premise that I didn’t list here but which you still feel is innately valuable. And there you have it, purpose in life.

  83. 583
    thebackrowstudents

    “1. Human suffering ought to be decreased.
    2. Human pleasure ought to be increased.
    3. Human freedom ought to be increased.” ~#582

    Why? What is the standard and authority that you use to decide these facts?

  84. 584
    erichovind

    Info #582 “However, if we start with even a few “oughts,”…

    Just know that you have to use the Christian worldview in order to have any “oughts.”

  85. 585
    Infophile

    @582: You might want to finish reading. I address that.

  86. 586
    PZ Myers

    For some reason, Eric Hovind wants me to start a fresh thunderdome today — he probably expects to lead an influx of creationist acolytes here. What do you say?

  87. 587
    opposablethumbs

    Tomas, repeating the same assertions over and over again isn’t evidence, and it doesn’t make them any more convincing.
    .
    As others have pointed out on this thread, in the real world a civilised society needs infrastructure and social security. Private enterprise does not provide either of these things.
    .
    I want the freedom not to live in a Somalia-alike country. The freedom to breathe clean air and know that the water coming out of my tap will a) keep coming and b) be safe to drink. The freedom to know the food I eat is unadulterated. The freedom to see a doctor if I’m worried about my health, without worrying about being able to pay for it (incidentally, have you any idea how absolutely wonderful it feels to be able to get healthcare any time I need it and never pay a penny up front? Never to have to weigh up between the cost of over-the-counter pills vs seeing an actual trained physician? That’s freedom from fear and pain). The freedom to send my kids to school and know they’re getting a reasonable curriculum, without worrying about being able to pay for it – and to know that everyone else in the country has access to that reasonable curriculum, so that my kids and I don’t have to live in a country full of religious fanatics or people otherwise deprived of education. I’d like to have more freedoms like these, not fewer.
    .
    These are real freedoms. The so-called “freedom” to say nah, I don’t have any school-age kids so why should I pay for schools – or to say nah, I don’t go to X county so I don’t want to pay for flood defences or bridges there – or just to say nah, I-don-wanna-pay-for-nuffink-no-more – is a crock, the whining of a selfish brat so mentally short-sighted they can’t see any further than the end of their own nose. Who is going to enable the ill, the disabled, the vulnerable to live with independence and dignity? Not a bunch of church charities, that’s for sure. Your experiment has been tried, Tomas, in many countries and it has never worked.

    You see, I don’t care whether the tiny handful of the richest have the “freedom” to run their own fleet of private ambulances; I care how a society treats its most vulnerable members. That is the gauge of civilisation – and your weakest-go-to-the-wall cloud cuckoo land is just a bloody, back-stabbing hell with fancy PR.

  88. 588
    voidhawk

    @thebackrowstudents

    Read the post again, pillock,Infophile already addressed this.

  89. 589
    haroldweasley

    Infophile #582
    What standard do you use and where did it originate for the three points you made about increasing pleasure and decreasing suffering? Without God there is no standard.

  90. 590
    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    erichovind

    Perhaps you could enlighten us as to what the purpose of life is. Where do Atheists get “purpose” in a universe without “purpose”?

    Turn it around. As far as I can make out, the “purpose” of life, according to Christians, is to pass some sort of test and get into Heaven. What purpose does this eternal life have?

  91. 591
    Infophile

    @584: No I don’t. Or do you have evidence to show otherwise? I might as well say to you, “Just know that you have to use the Hindu worldview in order to have any “oughts,” and it would have the same persuasive power on you that your statement does on me. If you want to persuade me, go to evidence, or go to logic based on premises I agree to (if you don’t know what I’ll agree to, my previous comment is a good place to start, or otherwise just ask).

    (and my previous post should have been @583, sorry).

  92. 592
    voidhawk

    @ Erichovind,

    You do know that oughts were established thousands of years before a Nazarene carpenter was nailed to the cross, right? The Jewish scripture and the code of Hammurabi to name just two collections of ‘oughts’

  93. 593
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    Whoa! There was a Hovind commenting here and I didn’t know? Damn.

  94. 594
    anteprepro

    Eric The Great sez:

    Just know that you have to use the Christian worldview in order to have any “oughts.”

    lolwut? Bullshit. Show your fucking work.

  95. 595
    chigau (違う)

    PZ #586
    Go for it.
    You could use a really gross zombie jesus for the top picture.

  96. 596
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @erichovind:

    My purpose comes from me. I determined my purpose in life.

  97. 597
    haroldweasley

    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall #590

    The purpose of life for a Christian is to glorify God.
    You have not addressed the question however.
    What is an atheist’s purpose?

  98. 598
    Infophile

    @589 and others: If you don’t want to read the whole post, fine. No one’s forcing you. But when you ask questions that have already been answered in it, it’s… Let’s just say “tiresome.”

  99. 599
    haroldweasley

    anteprepro @594

    Where do your oughts come from then?

  100. 600
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    That’s the evidence I have . Peace and Freedom. Look at all the wonderful things the free market has done. We’d all be more rich and prosperous if it wasn’t for gov’t intervention.

    These are all unevidenced assertions, which are dismissed. Since you provide no evidence, your word is subjected to the highest degree of skepticism, as it should be. What we are asking for is evidence. Something from the academic literature found here to demonstrate you aren’t expelling flatus, and what you say is actually true.

  101. 601
    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    haroldweasley #597

    The purpose of life for a Christian is to glorify God.

    That’s it? For eternity? And what purpose does this lackeyism glorification serve?

    You have not addressed the question however.
    What is an atheist’s purpose?

    Whatever purpose I decide to give it. “Purpose” is not a property of the universe.

  102. 602
    thebackrowstudents

    @voidhawk

    Okay, so how does society determine that harming people is wrong?

  103. 603
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @thebackrowstudents

    “1. Human suffering ought to be decreased.
    2. Human pleasure ought to be increased.
    3. Human freedom ought to be increased.” ~#582

    Why? What is the standard and authority that you use to decide these facts?

    Do you want to suffer? No? Didn’t think so. You want to feel pleasure? You want to be free? Yes? Thought so. Can you name one person who does not want those things, or at least acknowledge them as an overall positive? No? Didn’t think so. Ta-da! Reasoning done.

    Some things are simple.

    It’s interesting that you assume you need an authority to tell you those things are true before they can be.

  104. 604
    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    Infophile

    Please use people’s nyms rather than/as well as comment numbers.

  105. 605
    erichovind

    Info #598
    So you don’t believe that the Bible is true?

  106. 606
    anteprepro

    harold at 597:

    The purpose of life for a Christian is to glorify God.

    And that’s a horrible purpose. That’s what you Christians don’t get. God doesn’t need to be glorified! God doesn’t need you! Our purpose is ridiculous and meaningless! You fill no role, you reach no goal. Your entire “purpose” is to be God’s window dressing. That’s not a fucking purpose!

  107. 607
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Let EH post, providing he supplies conclusive physical evidence for his imaginary deity, evidence that will pass muster with scientists, magicians, and professional debunkers as being of divine, and not natural (scientifically explained), origin.

    We don’t need another session of “how do you know?” Please don’t let that happen.

  108. 608
    brianpansky

    @584
    erichovind

    Just know that you have to use the Christian worldview in order to have any “oughts.”

    false.

    see hypothetical imperatives, which can be factually true.

    even worse for you is that the christian oughts cannot be demonstrated to be factually true. so you have it entirely backwards.

  109. 609
    thebackrowstudents

    @Thumper: Token Breeder

    “Do you want to suffer? No? Didn’t think so. You want to feel pleasure? You want to be free? Yes? Thought so. Can you name one person who does not want those things, or at least acknowledge them as an overall positive? No? Didn’t think so. Ta-da! Reasoning done.

    Some things are simple.

    It’s interesting that you assume you need an authority to tell you those things are true before they can be.”

    Don’t you assume that society is your authority? Could you be wrong about that?

  110. 610
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    So you don’t believe that the Bible is true?

    The babble is a book of mythology/fiction. Prove otherwise with solid and conclusive physical evidence.

  111. 611
    brianpansky

    @thomas c

    you just ignored a lot of the feedback you received and now you are repeating your points which are already refuted.

  112. 612
    anteprepro

    It’s like Idjit in Stereo.

    harold 599:

    Where do your oughts come from then?

    Irrelevant.
    1. Where do you establish that oughts only come from deities in general, one.
    2. Where do you establish that oughts can only come from the Christian God in particular, and no others.

    The answers to the above 2 cannot simply be on the presumption that Christianity is true, because then your reasoning on the matter is utterly circular.

  113. 613
    Infophile

    @602: Because it’s hardwired into the way (most of our) brains develop. The human brain has its own morality built into it, and that’s where “right” and “wrong” come from. For most of us, the conclusions generally align when we speak of generalities (though people will disagree on why. But the mind actually comes to moral conclusions first, rather than reasoning first) like “Is harming others wrong?” So from this, we can pick out a few key principles we all mostly agree on, and use that as a basis for logical argument about more complicated questions like “Should we strive for a free market at the expense of government regulation?”

    And this hardwiring into our brains comes from evolution, I’d dare say – it’s been beneficial for the propagation of the species to have these values. Though I’m willing to bet you’ll disagree with me on that point.

  114. 614
    haroldweasley

    anteprepro #606

    Could you be wrong about that?

  115. 615
    voidhawk

    brs #602

    “Okay, so how does society determine that harming people is wrong?”

    A society which didn’t decide harming people was wrong wouldn’t survive long. That is probably the central tenet of most societies, the only thing that’s changed is who we consider to be ‘people’ in the society’s eyes. We have ample evidence to suggest that we’re stronger when we work together and don’t harm one another, on a societal as well as individual level.

  116. 616
    brianpansky

    all these questions of purpose and morality are well addressed in richard carrier’s “Sense and Goodness without God”.

  117. 617
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @haroldweasel

    What is an atheist’s purpose?

    You realise the entire concept of purpose is a human construct, right? What’s the purpose of the sky? Or the purpose of Rhesus monkies? Or the purpose of a daffodil? All these questions make about as much sense as the one you just asked. Your purpose is whatever you determine it to be.

  118. 618
    Infophile

    @604 Daz: My apologies, I was getting lazy there, but it probably saves time for others to spend the extra time writing in names.

    (Example of moral reasoning: It causes me less effort than it saves others. Therefore I ought to do it. Why is saving effort a good? Meh, it feels that way, so I’m going for it. No need to dig deeper than that.)

  119. 619
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @erichovind:

    So you don’t believe that the Bible is true?

    Not for a single second.

  120. 620
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @thebackrowstudents #609

    Don’t you assume that society is your authority? Could you be wrong about that?

    No, I don’t assume that at all. Why would society be my authority? I’m genuinely confused as to where you got this notion from.

  121. 621
    anteprepro

    What do you call a group of JAQoffs?

    Judging by their kawing and flocking behavior, I’m debating between an Unkindness of JAQoffs or a Murder of JAQoffs.

  122. 622
    The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge

    Harold Weasley @ 597:

    What is an atheist’s purpose?

    The purpose of this atheist is to tell your imaginary Sky-Fairy YHWH the Wind God—the most evil creation of the human mind—”Fuck you up the ass sideways with a rusty chainsaw, you disgusting, evil piece of shit!”

    Your buddy Hovind asked earlier how atheists determine good and evil without an imaginary Sky-Fairy to attribute them to..well, it’s easy: You take everything that asspimple YHWH says and reverse it. Easy-peasy!

    You think YHWH is listening, you brainwashed numpties? Hey YHWH! Hear what I just said? Come at me, Bro!

  123. 623
    consciousness razor

    Here’s the thing: You can’t get an “ought” from and “is.”

    David Hume is spinning rapidly in his grave. He meant that you ought (!!) to recognize this is a new kind of relation, which isn’t like the one between ordinary (non-ought) is-statements. The shift can be “imperceptible,” which means we should make it explicit and recognize it for what it is: a different kind of relation between is-statements, unlike other kinds of relations between is-statements. It doesn’t mean what you think it means: it means that there is a “new relation” at work, not that there is no relation.

    Think about it: how is your take on this problem not saying that there are no oughts? If an “ought” isn’t derivable in any way whatsoever from an “is,” then they wouldn’t come from anything at all. They’re either magic or they don’t exist. And neither of those is what Hume was actually claiming.

    We could set up an absolutely perfect model of the universe which predicts every physical interaction we can conceive of (limited only by computing power and the fact that we’re inside the universe as well), and it still wouldn’t answer a single ethical question of what we ought to do.

    False. It’s as if you believe morality can only be about something that isn’t in the unvierse. Guess what? It’s about us, how we feel, what our goals are. Those are all natural objects, not magic.

    And there you have it, purpose in life.

    All you needed to do was to observe that we act purposefully, which is to say that we have goals and make our own purposes. You didn’t need any axioms, much less specifically ethical ones. And you still didn’t show there’s some purpose to existence itself, which is (1) external to humans, and (2) which we ought to be following no matter what our goals happen to be. Because that’s what theists are expecting you to show. So you haven’t even addressed their problems with the lack of “ultimate” or “cosmic” purposes, and it isn’t even appropriate or useful to simply assert that human have goals, because that’s just the sort of thing science can actually do: empirical observations.

  124. 624
    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    Infophile #618

    No worries. And nice catch, tying it into morality 101!

  125. 625
    brianpansky

    the morality section here has some good explanation, and also links to another article with more details.

  126. 626
    thebackrowstudents

    @Infophile

    “@602: Because it’s hardwired into the way (most of our) brains develop. The human brain has its own morality built into it, and that’s where “right” and “wrong” come from. For most of us, the conclusions generally align when we speak of generalities (though people will disagree on why. But the mind actually comes to moral conclusions first, rather than reasoning first) like “Is harming others wrong?” So from this, we can pick out a few key principles we all mostly agree on, and use that as a basis for logical argument about more complicated questions like “Should we strive for a free market at the expense of government regulation?”

    And this hardwiring into our brains comes from evolution, I’d dare say – it’s been beneficial for the propagation of the species to have these values. Though I’m willing to bet you’ll disagree with me on that point.”

    I’m not saying that morality is wrong- but I have a standard for where morality came from.
    You are still appealing to the fact that there is morality built in. What if my morality was built in different than yours? Can you be wrong about what you believe?

  127. 627
    anteprepro

    harold at 614:

    Could you be wrong about that?

    WERE YOU THERE HURR HURR HURR.

    Can you fuckwits do anything but ask the most infuriatingly inane questions?

  128. 628
    Louis

    An atheist’s purpose? To athe of course. The act of atheing is very important, I’ve athed a few things I can tell you. Hey, folks, remember that time we athed that thing? That was some good atheing.

    Whaddya mean atheing isn’t a real thing? I’ve got a book all about it.

    Louis

    P.S. Hominem unius libri timeo. (And yes, I do know who “said” that. Interestingly that’s part of the point.)

  129. 629
    chigau (違う)

    Which bible?

  130. 630
    Tommy Capitalist

    @erichovind
    I’ll take the bait.
    In ethics
    For practical matters , I usually consider (a) my intuition/reflection (b) if I can discern any harm to other persons.
    For purpose
    mostly intuition I guess. Also personal preferences.

    So
    1)Where do you get your standard of good from?
    2)Where do you get your purpose from?
    3) How do you know these are the right standards and not a different one?

  131. 631
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @anteprepro #621

    A Waste of JAQoffs?

  132. 632
    Louis

    Oops ^ hominem = Homo. Silly Louis.

  133. 633
    brianpansky

    any talk about “value” is incomplete without looking at the person who values the thing.

    even in the christian’s view, the believer must be motivated in some way to accept the purpose and morality of their god.

    so god simply gets tacked on to the purpose and morality etc that humans already have access to based on their desires, reason, and facts. no god required.

  134. 634
    Infophile

    @605 erichovind: Some things in are true, some things are useful moral lessons, but I also believe that many things in it are false and many things are useless or counterproductive moral lessons.

    In case it’s asked: Could I be wrong about that? Sure. But if you think I am, give me some evidence that this is indeed the case. I’ll give you a good one to start with: I believe the Bible is wrong about the creation of earth and human life. I believe that it took many billion times longer than the days stated in the bible, and that the evidence available supports this conclusion for the age of the universe.

    If you want to prove the Bible is true, start by proving the universe is only a few thousand years. You can start by explaining what’s wrong with <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lambda-CDM_model"the standard model of cosmology.

  135. 635
    Infophile

    Whoops, screwed up that link. My apologies. Go here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lambda-CDM_model

  136. 636
    chigau (違う)

    anteprepro #621
    how about a vomit of jaqoffs?

  137. 637
    thebackrowstudents

    @Thumper

    “No, I don’t assume that at all. Why would society be my authority? I’m genuinely confused as to where you got this notion from.”

    So, you don’t agree with Infophile on society being the basis of morality? If not, where do you get your morality?

  138. 638
    Rey Fox

    So I guess Eric Hovind and his friends got into the pixie sticks today. I guess we might need a new Thunderdome or else the libertarians are going to get bullied out. Free market, you know. Might makes right.

    Why? What is the standard and authority that you use to decide these facts?

    Batman.

  139. 639
    anteprepro

    Vomit and Waste both sound good. I also just thought: A Deluge of JAQoffs. Seems oddly appropriate, considering the nature of our visitors…

  140. 640
    brianpansky

    also, another thing about morqality:

    there are only two options for the believer in god:

    1) base the very definition of goodness and morality on god/godliness

    2) begin with a definition of goodness which you can then use to measure whether god truly is good.

    if you choose #1, your morality is entirely arbitrary and meaningless!

    if you choose #2, then you can’t say that there is a problem for the atheist.

  141. 641
    Rey Fox

    If not, where do you get your morality?

    Batman.

  142. 642
    impact

    #633 if there is no true God, where do you get your value?

  143. 643
    Louis

    Rey Fox, #638,

    Batman.

    FUCK YOU!!!!!! SPIDERMAN 4EVA!!!!!!

    [Aside: Schism?]

    Louis

  144. 644
    Infophile

    @626 thebackrowstudents: I wouldn’t be surprised at all if your morality is built in different than my. Different people have different values. For instance, some have stronger moral feelings about authority than others. That’s where discussion comes in. We talk it out, and we try to come to a compromise between everyone in a society for what we’ll all value in public policy matters. In private matters though, when it doesn’t conflict with others well-being, feel free to live your life according to a moral compass different than mine. I’ll care if your actions cause what I see as bad moral outcomes, but if it’s something simple like not arguing with your boss when you think s/he’s wrong because you value authority more than I do, then *shrug* your life.

  145. 645
    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    haroldweasley

    I asked you what purpose this glorification of a deity serves. Please answer the question. Because, right now, your “purpose of life” is looking every bit a self-chosen-purpose as an atheist’s “whatever purpose I give it.”

    If you’re going to criticise atheists’ lack of Ultimate Purpose, you bloody well need to show that your theistic view mandates such a thing.

  146. 646
    brianpansky

    @637
    thebackrowstudents

    reasoning and desires are all that is required for morality.

  147. 647
    haroldweasley

    Thumper: Token Breeder #617

    You said “Your purpose is whatever you determine it to be.”

    What if my purpose was to steal for a living?
    Would that be wrong according to your worldview?
    Where do you get right and wrong from in your worldview?

  148. 648
    brianpansky

    *well of course we need facts to reason about, but no god is required is what i meant.

  149. 649
    Rey Fox

    Come on guys , think about the Issues

    Having apparently run out of Youtube cartoons and libertarian think tank links, Tom C picks a music video by a comedy folk duo that perfectly lines up with how glib and superficial his own political views are. Couldn’t get a much better gift than that. (Especially ’cause FOtC rulez)

    People have the rights and freedom.

    What rights? What freedoms?

    THE rights and freedom, duh. The ones given to us by the Ultimate Source of Morality.

    (Which is Batman)

  150. 650
    sanekids3

    @623

    “It’s as if you believe morality can only be about something that isn’t in the universe. Guess what? It’s about us, how we feel, what our goals are.”

    So if someone murdered a 5 yr old girl just because he felt like it, would that make it right?

  151. 651
    thebackrowstudents

    @ Infophile

    “@626 thebackrowstudents: I wouldn’t be surprised at all if your morality is built in different than my. Different people have different values. For instance, some have stronger moral feelings about authority than others. That’s where discussion comes in. We talk it out, and we try to come to a compromise between everyone in a society for what we’ll all value in public policy matters. In private matters though, when it doesn’t conflict with others well-being, feel free to live your life according to a moral compass different than mine. I’ll care if your actions cause what I see as bad moral outcomes, but if it’s something simple like not arguing with your boss when you think s/he’s wrong because you value authority more than I do, then *shrug* your life.”

    How do you know your reasoning is valid?

  152. 652
    anteprepro

    637 backrow sycophants

    So, you don’t agree with Infophile on society being the basis of morality? If not, where do you get your morality?

    This is an utter mischaracterization of Infofile, so whoops, there goes your inane argument!

    (The basis of morality in Infofile’s example was, ultimately, logic . Based on certain assumptions, justified by human society and nature, societies are able to use logic to determine what is best)

  153. 653
    Rey Fox

    [Aside: Schism?]

    Bring it on, infidel scum.

  154. 654
    brianpansky

    @647
    haroldweasley

    What if my purpose was to steal for a living?

    indeed, if it were, that would be the case, even in a god worldview.

    but in reality, stealing tends to contradict other desires that we have for ourselves. reasoning is used to sort out the preferred course of action.

  155. 655
    Infophile

    @637 thebackrowstudents:

    I believe you misunderstood. I don’t consider society to be the ultimate arbiter of morality. I don’t believe there to be an ultimate arbiter of morality. I don’t believe there is any absolute morality. But the closest thing we have to an absolute morality is the standards of the society we live in, and the morals humanity have mutually decided upon. These aren’t absolute however – different societies have come to a lot of different conclusions, and one could well decide that another society’s conclusions are quite bad and should be opposed and changed. That’s where debate comes in: Speak up! Let them know you think their morals are wrong. If enough people feel the same way, maybe it will change.

    Or maybe not. You may be in the distinct minority. Well, live by your own morals, call your own morals right, but if those morals conflict with society’s, expect pushback.

  156. 656
    haroldweasley

    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall #645

    The simple reason: He deserves it because He made us and He is just. He commands us to worship Him for who He is.

  157. 657
    Rey Fox

    How do you know your reasoning is valid?

    BATMAN. Jeez, no wonder you’re at the back of the classroom, you must be one of the slow kids.

  158. 658
    impact

    #646-brianpansky
    “reasoning and desires are all that is required for morality.” How do you know your reasoning is valid?

  159. 659
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    if there is no true God, where do you get your value?

    Same has humans have done for years. Look at the consequences of those values. Do they help or hinder society or the tribe?

    What if my purpose was to steal for a living?

    The problem cricket, is that you are still thinking your imaginary deity has a purpose for you. In the case you make your claim for, you are the one who decided to be a thief, and therefore, you must take responsibility for that task. Which means, don’t do the crime, if you can’t do the time.

  160. 660
    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    How to comment:

    Nym + comment-number

    <blockquote>Paste quoted words here if needed</blockquote>
    Produces:

    Paste quoted words here if needed

    Reply goes here.

  161. 661
    thebackrowstudents

    @anteprepro

    “This is an utter mischaracterization of Infofile, so whoops, there goes your inane argument!

    (The basis of morality in Infofile’s example was, ultimately, logic . Based on certain assumptions, justified by human society and nature, societies are able to use logic to determine what is best)”

    How do you know your logic is right?

  162. 662
    brianpansky

    @650
    sanekids3

    So if someone murdered a 5 yr old girl just because he felt like it, would that make it right?

    no, please address all necessary components i have presented.

  163. 663
    Snoof

    sanekids3 @ 650

    So if someone murdered a 5 yr old girl just because he felt like it, would that make it right?

    If someone murdered a 5 yr old girl just because God told him to, would that make it right?

  164. 664
    Tommy Capitalist

    @opposablethumbs

    Would it be acceptable if I used threats of violence to coerce money from you and give it to some charity to help people? Or used it to pay someone else’s bills?
    Then why do you consider it acceptable for the state to do this?
    I believe in freedom and no violent threats.
    I’m sure the free market can provide all the good you need. Its self-regulation allows for good quality. Also free market without government intervention will make everyone more proseperous and we can afford more. It would be the opposite of Somalia
    Even the most vulnerable members can enjoy their money and freedom in the free market.
    I don’t think we can call any society based on coercion and threats of violence a civilised society.
    I think civilised societies value principles of freedom and voluntary action.

  165. 665
    Infophile

    @651 thebackrowstudents: I don’t know it’s valid. Since I’d have to use my own reasoning to judge that, one could say that I can’t possibly know my reasoning is valid. Hell, I’m not even 100% convinced the rest of the world actually exists and I’m not just a brain in a jar imagining it all. But we have to start somewhere. There’s a good possibility there are a lot of other minds out there being carted around in flesh jars they call “human bodies” who would prefer I not act like this is all an illusion, so I think I’ll treat this all as real just in case it causes the perception of suffering by an illusion of consciousness.

  166. 666
    doublereed

    Morality comes from the consequences to individuals. Basically consequentialism and utilitarianism. And that’s not saying where “morality comes from.” That’s just talking about the definition of morality that people mean.

    The main flaws of utilitarianism that people bring up have to do with individual rights and consent. But these ideas of rights come from centuries of iterated prisoner’s dilemmas discovering the unseen consequences when people’s consent and rights are violated. Deontological notions of rights essentially come from the underlying consequentialist roots, putting them in more human terms.

    So when libertarians and such try to purify the deontological notions of rights, they often completely throw out the actual consequences this has to people in the society.

  167. 667
    thebackrowstudents

    @Infophile

    “I believe you misunderstood. I don’t consider society to be the ultimate arbiter of morality. I don’t believe there to be an ultimate arbiter of morality. I don’t believe there is any absolute morality. But the closest thing we have to an absolute morality is the standards of the society we live in, and the morals humanity have mutually decided upon. These aren’t absolute however – different societies have come to a lot of different conclusions, and one could well decide that another society’s conclusions are quite bad and should be opposed and changed. That’s where debate comes in: Speak up! Let them know you think their morals are wrong. If enough people feel the same way, maybe it will change.

    Or maybe not. You may be in the distinct minority. Well, live by your own morals, call your own morals right, but if those morals conflict with society’s, expect pushback.”

    Okay, so since you say that there is no absolute morality, are you absolute about that?

  168. 668
    Amphiox

    What is an atheist’s purpose?

    Whatever he or she chooses it to be.

    Which, when it comes down to it, is exactly the same as that of any Christian, or any other theist. The atheist just doesn’t stick in “god” as a post hoc justification for the choice he or she had already made for different reasons.

  169. 669
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Would it be acceptable if I used threats of violence to coerce money from you and give it to some charity to help people? Or used it to pay someone else’s bills?

    Yes, that is called stealing. So is not paying your fair share of your taxes fuckwit, it is also stealing from us who do pay taxes.

  170. 670
    haroldweasley

    brianpansky #654

    You said: “indeed, if it were, that would be the case, even in a god worldview.”

    God is the absolute authority and He said in the Ten Commandments that stealing is wrong.
    Do you believe in absolute morality?

  171. 671
    Louis

    Okay everybody, please calmly organise yourselves into two groups. Those of you decent and righteous people who believe the one true SPIDERMAN to be the fount of all wisdom, knowledge, moral goodness and righteousness please come over here and stand next to me in the comfortable lounge area.

    Those foul, benighted, dribbling pissants who pledge their odious allegiance to that foulest of beings, BATMAN, please go over there and stand in that enormous pile of dog shit.

    Thanks.

    Louis

  172. 672
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @thebackrowstudents #637

    Oh I see, you meant the authority I get my morality from? I’m still confused by the notion it has to come from one single authority, laid down to you point by point. You are taught a system of morality from an early age by everyone around you. As such your personal system of morality is informed by many different influences. The current social mores of society at large inform it to a large extent, because those are the most commonly held values and therefore the ones you will come into contact with most often. Other major influences are anyone in a teaching role, our parents, extended family, friends… etc. My morality is very different from my father’s, despite him being a primary influence on it. Equally, we hold many values in common. My morality is quite similar to my mother’s, but again, different. Like I said, it is a multi-faceted thing informed by many different influences.

    I assume you believe yours comes from God. If that is the case, why do so many Christians have vastly differing systems of morality? Some are homophobic, while others find that disgusting. Some are racist, others find that disgusting. Some believe it is the moral choice to beat your children, others believe that to be immoral. Some believe they have the God-given right to beat their wife, others believe that to be immoral. If morality comes direct from God, why do so many of his followers have such vastly differing systems of morality?

  173. 673
    anteprepro

    impacted 658 at

    How do you know your reasoning is valid?

    backrow sycophants at 661

    How do you know your logic is right?

    BAHAHAHAHA. You idiots are hysterical! As if you haven’t played “what if we were all just brains in a vast” level of skepticism enough, now you go and throw fucking logic under the bus. Good fucking work, geniuses.

  174. 674
    brianpansky

    @658
    impact

    “reasoning and desires are all that is required for morality.” How do you know your reasoning is valid?

    bayes’ theorem.

  175. 675
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Okay, so since you say that there is no absolute morality, are you absolute about that?

    Absolute zero temperature, otherwise, nothing.

  176. 676
    Rey Fox

    Just to explain my Deeply And Sincerely Held Beliefs a little more, in case anyone thinks they deserve it, my purpose in life is to be a good and upstanding citizen and contribute to making a safe and prosperous Gotham City. Which seems like a much better purpose than singing eternal hosannahs to a clearly insecure and capricious god. Batman would just be embarrassed by that.

    And with that contribution to Blind Worship Day in the Thunderdome, I shall take my leave.

  177. 677
    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    haroldweasley #656

    The simple reason: He deserves it because He made us and He is just. He commands us to worship Him for who He is.

    So your purpose is: “Do what he says.” (Because you believe that he deserves it.)

    You haven’t shown what purpose this serves. Nor have you shown that this is anything but your own choice of what purpose to give your life—thus your purpose is no more externally mandated than mine. I merely choose to help visible people rather than invisible gods.

  178. 678
    Snoof

    Tomas C @ 664

    I believe in freedom and no violent threats.

    How about the freedoms I just listed earlier in post 581? Do you believe in them?

    Even the most vulnerable members can enjoy their money and freedom in the free market.

    Right up until they discover the only grocery store in town has a “No blacks allowed” sign on the door. Which actually happened prior to the civil rights movement.

  179. 679
    thebackrowstudents

    @Thumper: Token Breeder

    “Oh I see, you meant the authority I get my morality from? I’m still confused by the notion it has to come from one single authority, laid down to you point by point. You are taught a system of morality from an early age by everyone around you. As such your personal system of morality is informed by many different influences. The current social mores of society at large inform it to a large extent, because those are the most commonly held values and therefore the ones you will come into contact with most often. Other major influences are anyone in a teaching role, our parents, extended family, friends… etc. My morality is very different from my father’s, despite him being a primary influence on it. Equally, we hold many values in common. My morality is quite similar to my mother’s, but again, different. Like I said, it is a multi-faceted thing informed by many different influences.

    I assume you believe yours comes from God. If that is the case, why do so many Christians have vastly differing systems of morality? Some are homophobic, while others find that disgusting. Some are racist, others find that disgusting. Some believe it is the moral choice to beat your children, others believe that to be immoral. Some believe they have the God-given right to beat their wife, others believe that to be immoral. If morality comes direct from God, why do so many of his followers have such vastly differing systems of morality?”

    Well, lets say my society and my parents society had morals that said child sacrifice is okay? There are still people who do that, so does it make it right?

  180. 680
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Do you believe in absolute morality?

    Since your deity is imaginary, since you have provide zero conclusive physical evidence for it, no.

  181. 681
    doublereed

    Look, I think all Batman and Spiderman people have the right to your beliefs, I just think you’re horribly wrong. Lobo is the One True God.

    Just check out Lobo’s Paramilitary Christmas Special!

  182. 682
    Amphiox

    Okay, so since you say that there is no absolute morality, are you absolute about that?

    He doesn’t’ have to be. He simply has to be relatively sure enough that he is willing to make life choices and behavioral decisions based on a provisional acceptance of its likelihood to be close enough to true that it will produce favourable practical outcomes.

    And of course this is exactly the same as any theist except that the atheist doesn’t delude him or herself into thinking that his or her own relative, provisional decisions are guaranteed some how to be absolutely true.

  183. 683
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    There are still people who do that, so does it make it right?

    Irrelevant question. The only relevant question is where the fuck is your evidence for your imaginary deity?

  184. 684
    impact

    #673-anteprepro
    how do you know that your logic is true and ours is not? Where do you get your authority for your logic?

  185. 685
    Infophile

    @667 thebackrowstudents:

    Okay, so since you say that there is no absolute morality, are you absolute about that?

    As I mentioned before, I can’t be 100% certain in my own abilities to apply logic, so I can’t be absolute about anything. But if we accept my own logic as true, then I believe that there can’t be any ultimate purpose or meaning. There’s always one more question “Why?” (Why are we here to glorify God? for instance.) Either than will be answered, in which case a new question arises and we’re back where we started, or it’s unanswerable. In either case, there’s no ultimate answer – but there may be an ultimate question. Funny that. It’s not exactly a satisfying conclusion, but hey, reality doesn’t give a damn what I find satisfying. It is what it is.

  186. 686
    anteprepro

    weasely at 670

    God is the absolute authority and He said in the Ten Commandments that stealing is wrong

    God also ordered people to commit genocide, ordered women to marry their rapist, ordered people to not mix fabrics and not eat shellfish, ordered people to not work on the Sabbath, ordered disobedient children to be stoned to death, ordered that women who didn’t cry out for help when raped to be stoned to death, and said absolutely nothing about an age of consent, preventing child abuse, equality of men and women, or equality of races.

    Do YOU believe in absolute morality?

  187. 687
    brianpansky

    @670
    haroldweasley

    You said: “indeed, if it were, that would be the case, even in a god worldview.”

    God is the absolute authority and He said in the Ten Commandments that stealing is wrong.
    Do you believe in absolute morality?

    “authority” is a meaningless concept for morality.

    all morals derive from hypothetical imperatives, many of which are not absolute (lying in order to save lives is morally good, but lying in many other situations is wrong).

  188. 688
    haroldweasley

    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls #680

    You say there is no absolute morality. Are you absolutely certain about that?

  189. 689
    vaiyt

    Okay, so since you say that there is no absolute morality, are you absolute about that?

    This is up there with “You’re just intolerant of my intolerance” on the Hall of Fame of inanity.

  190. 690
    brianpansky

    @ impact

    you are now moving on from morality to reason and logic.

    do you concede that if an atheist can have valid logic and reason then indeed we can have morality? if so we can move on to the discussion of reason and logic.

  191. 691
    sanekids3

    brianpansky @662

    so you believe that there are standards of right vs. wrong?

  192. 692
    doublereed

    @685 Infophile

    In my experience, it’s better to give an example of something that you’re totally sure about.

    For instance, I’m more sure that God does not exist than I am about the Statue of Liberty being green. Or even stronger, I’m more sure that God does not exist you are about the Statue of Liberty being green.

    They will try to make you sound wishy-washy because you refuse infinite certainty. But there’s nothing really wishy-washy about it at all.

  193. 693
    Infophile

    @682 Amphiox:

    He doesn’t’ have to be. He simply has to be relatively sure enough that he is willing to make life choices and behavioral decisions based on a provisional acceptance of its likelihood to be close enough to true that it will produce favourable practical outcomes.

    And of course this is exactly the same as any theist except that the atheist doesn’t delude him or herself into thinking that his or her own relative, provisional decisions are guaranteed some how to be absolutely true.

    A great way of putting it. I’ll agree to that analysis. Or at least, the illusion of consciousness here will instruct the flesh jar it believes exists to say it agrees.

  194. 694
    chigau (違う)

    It’s The Batman.

  195. 695
    thebackrowstudents

    @ Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    “Irrelevant question. The only relevant question is where the fuck is your evidence for your imaginary deity?”

    No, it’s not. How is it irrelevant because those people have a morality taken from society as Thumper says they grew up with. ” The current social mores of society at large inform it to a large extent, because those are the most commonly held values and therefore the ones you will come into contact with most often.”

    How would it be irrelevant? I’m using your world view to apply it to the morality of the person who still sacrifices children. According to your world view, if it is socially accepted it is therefore, moral.

  196. 696
    anteprepro

    Like playing chess with a pig in mud. Or like wrestling a chicken. Or both.

    684 impact sez

    how do you know that your logic is true and ours is not?

    Hilarious. Do you have a different system of logic than the one we are using? Different rules? Because that would explain a lot! But I don’t think even the most ridiculous of fundies would admit that they feel entitled to their own Jeebus Approved form of logic, distinct from that evul, stanky secular logic.

  197. 697
    brianpansky

    @688

    your implications of contradiction rely on an equivocation between 1)the certainty of a conclusion and 2)the content of a conclusion.

    but these are not the same thing.

  198. 698
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Are you absolutely certain about that?

    Typical assine question from a non-thinker. I’m certain to 99.99999%. Good enough. Whereas, show me the absolute evidence for your imaginary deity….I think I’ll be waiting forever, as it doesn’t exist.

  199. 699
    Infophile

    @692 doublereed:

    In my experience, it’s better to give an example of something that you’re totally sure about.

    For instance, I’m more sure that God does not exist than I am about the Statue of Liberty being green. Or even stronger, I’m more sure that God does not exist you are about the Statue of Liberty being green.

    They will try to make you sound wishy-washy because you refuse infinite certainty. But there’s nothing really wishy-washy about it at all.

    Hmm, might be better. I’ve kind of walked into a hyper-logical corner here. And while I’m perfectly comfortable in it, it may not be the best for convincing others.

  200. 700
    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    impact #684

    Where do you get your authority for your logic?

    A: Logic needs no authority. Hell, “pure” logic doesn’t even need to have its premises based on reality.
    B: Arguments from authority fail as descriptions of reality, unless you can show that the authority in question has reached the correct conclusion—in which case you don’t need the authority.

  201. 701
    thebackrowstudents

    @Infophile

    “As I mentioned before, I can’t be 100% certain in my own abilities to apply logic, so I can’t be absolute about anything. But if we accept my own logic as true, then I believe that there can’t be any ultimate purpose or meaning. There’s always one more question “Why?” (Why are we here to glorify God? for instance.) Either than will be answered, in which case a new question arises and we’re back where we started, or it’s unanswerable. In either case, there’s no ultimate answer – but there may be an ultimate question. Funny that. It’s not exactly a satisfying conclusion, but hey, reality doesn’t give a damn what I find satisfying. It is what it is.”

    Are you absolute about that?

  202. 702
    haroldweasley

    anteprepro #686

    How do you know rape and genocide is wrong? Do you believe rape and genocide is wrong? According to your worldview there is no right and wrong. Do you believe in right and wrong? What is you authority on right and wrong?

  203. 703
    consciousness razor

    So if someone murdered a 5 yr old girl just because he felt like it, would that make it right?

    Nope. No idea how you could’ve gotten that idea. It also doesn’t matter what the age or the gender of the person is: if it’s murder, it’s murder, which is definitionally unjustifiably killing someone (as opposed to defending oneself against an attacker, for example, and having no other option except to kill them).

    Can something only be right or wrong if something supernatural exists? Nope, that’s not the only way things could be right or wrong; and indeed, I see no connection at all between the existence of something supernatural and whether something is right or wrong. That’s my claim. Now, you start from that, instead of absurd positions you invented for me.

  204. 704
    brianpansky

    @691
    sanekids3

    so you believe that there are standards of right vs. wrong?

    sure, hypothetical imperatives tell us what which action we should choose to do given a choice (one choice is right and the others are wrong).

  205. 705
    chigau (違う)

    How to comment:

    Nym + comment-number

    <blockquote>Paste quoted words here if needed</blockquote>
    Produces:

    Paste quoted words here if needed

    Reply goes here.

  206. 706
    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    Oh shit. Not Objective Morality&trade again.

  207. 707
    Inaji

    harold:

    What is an atheist’s purpose?

    To actually live a life. You don’t do that, you simply quiver in fear of an imaginary god who is the very definition of evil.

    I live, love, learn, grow, and help others. All in all, I’m pretty happy. I can look up at the universe at night and not be scared that there’s no buffer, I’m not worried that the universe is uncaring.

  208. 708
    Infophile

    @701 thebackrowstudents:

    Are you absolute about that?

    Is that a sense of humor I spot? Why would humans develop a sense of humor anyway? Okay, so why would that be beneficial to the species? Okay, so why might a universe exist with consistent laws anyway? Okay, so why…

  209. 709
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    How do you know rape and genocide is wrong? Do you believe rape and genocide is wrong? According to your worldview there is no right and wrong. Do you believe in right and wrong? What is you authority on right and wrong?

    Ever read your babble? Rape and genocide are there, with your imaginary deities approval. Whereas real thinkers look at the consequences of those actions, and make the conclusion that rape and genocide is bad. All without your imaginary deity, which doesn’t ever appear, as it approves of rape and genocide.

  210. 710
    Inaji

    harold:

    What is you authority on right and wrong?

    A humanist view based on empathy. That god of yours is particularly devoid of empathy. Not a good basis for morality.

  211. 711
    thebackrowstudents

    @Infophile #708

    Is that a sense of humor I spot? Why would humans develop a sense of humor anyway? Okay, so why would that be beneficial to the species? Okay, so why might a universe exist with consistent laws anyway? Okay, so why…

    You didn’t answer my question. Are you absolute on the fact that you don’t know absolutes.

    I can’t be 100% certain in my own abilities to apply logic, so I can’t be absolute about anything.

    So, are you absolute on the fact that you don’t know any absolutes?

  212. 712
    brianpansky

    according to the bible fairy story, god just drowned all those children in the big flood.

    a reasonable person would have used the child protection services to take custody of the children (if the parents were actually that bad).

    god could have been the protection services, instead he chose to be a murderer of babies and children.

  213. 713
    Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm

    Hm. It’s gotten very circular in here all of a sudden.

  214. 714
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @thebackrowstudents #679

    Well, lets say my society and my parents society had morals that said child sacrifice is okay? There are still people who do that, so does it make it right

    Not in my books, no. But the people doing it don’t believe it to be immoral, do they? Because they have a differing moral system. Of course one has to question where they got the idea that murdering a child is OK. Since you specifically mentioned a sacrifice, one would assume their God told them that it’s moral. If your God commanded you to sacrifice a child, would you do it?

    And you didn’t answer my question. If morality comes from God, why do so many Christians have such vastly differing systems of morality? Answer, please.

  215. 715
    Inaji

    Time for a repeat:

    How could one not be so angry when they see the universe as purposeless, random, and amoral?

    The universe is amazing, awesome, full of wonder. Does it scare you so? It must. I love looking at stars and planets – holy shit, have you never seen a stellar nursery? Gives me chills, something like that. The dance of chaos is beautiful, it shines in the soft darkness, cold fire of wondrous things.

    To steal from an episode of Babylon 5, we are star stuff, we are the universe made manifest. I find comfort in that, and I’m glad I don’t have a psychopathic god staring over my shoulder, fretting over whether or not I masturbate or have impure thoughts. FFS, why would anyone be happier with that, then being busy living, loving, and having an ongoing brain affair with the wonders of our planet and the universe?

  216. 716
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    According to your worldview there is no right and wrong.

    Where’d they get this idea?

  217. 717
    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    I would like to cite Seven of Mine’s #713 as evidence that it’s got very circular in here all of a sudden.

  218. 718
    Friendly

    Eric and Pals (coming soon to a Saturday morning cartoon block near you):

    I’ll charitably imagine that someone had the brilliant idea, “Hey! Let’s start commenting on that blog by that atheist Meyers or Miers or whatever his name is and ask some basic questions to try to get those people to see how groundless their beliefs are! If we can get even one person to open their eyes and see that their foundation is built on sand, we will have done our duty for the kingdom!” This charitable interpretation allows me to thank you for perhaps possibly caring, however misguidedly, about our eternal welfare.

    However, do you think this questioning technique of yours is persuasive? Do you think that anyone here is yearning for the false comfort of your belief system, which you yourselves do not question? Because we aren’t, and the burden is not on us to answer you. You Christians always seem to think that if you sashay up to the edifice of reason and tickle it hard enough with annoying pointy twigs, it will collapse, and people will somehow realize that their only recourse is to return to “the wisdom of the ancients” — well, the wisdom of *your* preferred batch of ancients, anyway. It doesn’t work that way. The burden is on *you*, not to ask leading questions that vacuously imply that our conclusions about the universe are incorrect, but to present your own well-evidenced model of the universe that explains what we observe and predicts what we will discover, and thus *persuade* us that *your* conclusions about the universe are more nearly correct than ours. If you can’t do that, as John Lennon wrote, “you ain’t gonna make it with anyone anyhow.” Not here, at least.

  219. 719
    sanekids3

    consciousness razor @703

    you said there is

    no connection at all between the existence of something supernatural and whether something is right or wrong.

    How do you know that? Could you be wrong about everything you think you know?

  220. 720
    haroldweasley

    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls #709

    The Bible says rape is wrong. Deuteronomy 22:25-28.
    Do you believe rape is wrong?
    If so, why? If not, why?

  221. 721
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Hm. It’s gotten very circular in here all of a sudden.

    That tends to happen with EH’s presuppositionalist students try make points with sophistry. Except they constantly show their own lack of thinking, and understand of the responses.

  222. 722
    Tommy Capitalist

    I wonder if Er’c’s friend Sye will come over too.

  223. 723
    Jackie

    sanekids,
    Nice ablist nym.

    You cannot use logic and reason to attack using logic and reason. Seriously, you silly people.

  224. 724
    impact

    #690-brainpansky
    You are using our foundation of absolutes to get your laws, logic, and reasoning (without which you cant have morality).We know that you can have valid logic and reason to reach morality but only because you know our God exists. Romans 1:20, “so they are without excuse”. Every time you use laws, logic, or reason you are appealing to our God.

  225. 725
    Infophile

    @711 thebackrowstudents:

    You didn’t answer my question. Are you absolute on the fact that you don’t know absolutes.

    Ah damn, so it wasn’t a sense of humor. Well, I tried explaining it one way, so let’s try another: I’m roughly as absolute on that as I bet you are that night will turn into day tomorrow (for most of the world, that is, outside tiny specks near the poles… Crap, should have chosen a different “absolute”).

  226. 726
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    The Bible says rape is wrong. Deuteronomy 22:25-28.
    Do you believe rape is wrong?
    If so, why? If not, why?

    The babble approved of sexual slaves from conquered cities. That is rape. So you lie when you say your imaginary deity disapproves of rape. So, your babble both approves and disapproves of rape. HOW DO YOU KNOW WHICH ONE IS RIGHT?

  227. 727
    Snoof

    “According to your worldview there is no right and wrong.”

    Where’d they get this idea?

    Fear of ambiguity mixed with mistaken ideas about cultural relativism, I guess. “Oh noes! This moral code is not absolute! Therefore it is indistinguishable from no moral code at all!”

    (I have a blanket. It’s green. But because it’s got a stain in one corner, it’s not absolutely green. Therefore it’s not green, and in fact, is not any colour.)

  228. 728
    thebackrowstudents

    @Thumper #714

    And you didn’t answer my question. If morality comes from God, why do so many Christians have such vastly differing systems of morality? Answer, please

    Because they don’t follow the Biblical and true standard of God. Now, I have a question for you.

    Not in my books, no. But the people doing it don’t believe it to be immoral, do they? Because they have a differing moral system. Of course one has to question where they got the idea that murdering a child is OK. Since you specifically mentioned a sacrifice, one would assume their God told them that it’s moral. If your God commanded you to sacrifice a child, would you do it?

    It is not okay for your book, but you allow it to continue in their books? If that is the case then anyone can have any rules they want because we all have our own books. What stops me from my book saying it is okay to steal from you?

  229. 729
    LykeX

    How do you know rape and genocide is wrong?

    Because I say it is.

    What is you authority on right and wrong?

    I am.

  230. 730
    Jackie

    Harold,
    The Bible says rape is A-OK in several places. Gods tells his warriors to rape little girls and keep them as sex slaves, just after he orders the murders of their families. The Bible god is a nasty piece of work.

    If you are going to be dishonest while you go on about your superior morals, we’re just going to laugh at you.

  231. 731
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Every time you use laws, logic, or reason you are appealing to our God.

    Nope, can’t appeal to something that doesn’t exist, except as a delusion in your mind.
    Evolution allowed for reason and logic. QED

  232. 732
    Infophile

    If it’s getting circular in here, it’s only because it’s getting circular in here. And I’m absolute that I’m absolute about being absolute about my absoluteness.

    But yeah, when the argument reaches full circle, that’s when I usually decide that it’s run its course. I think I’ll leave it there and get back to work here.

  233. 733
    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    haroldweasley #720

    The Bible says rape is wrong. Deuteronomy 22:25-28.

    Disingenuous fucker. Make it 25-29:

    25 “But if in the field the man finds the girl who is engaged, and the man forces her and lies with her, then only the man who lies with her shall die.

    26 “But you shall do nothing to the girl; there is no sin in the girl worthy of death, for just as a man rises against his neighbor and murders him, so is this case.

    27 “When he found her in the field, the engaged girl cried out, but there was no one to save her.

    28 “If a man finds a girl who is a virgin, who is not engaged, and seizes her and lies with her and they are discovered,

    29 then the man who lay with her shall give to the girl’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall become his wife because he has violated her; he cannot divorce her all his days.
    [My emphasis]

    Do you stand by this as a just and fair punishment for rape?

  234. 734
    a_ray_in_dilbert_space

    So why is it difficult for theists to understand that a highly social species–one for which social cohesion is essential to survival–might have a well codified and generally accepted “morality” without need of any sky pixie carving said commandments into stone tablets. Hell, my dogs have morals–most of which have to do with not getting caught, granted, but morals nonetheless. And if you look at dogs around the world, they all have similar conventions of right and wrong behavior. Even social insects follow expected conventions–a “morality” of sorts. If you look at it this way, it is easy to see why common conventions exist, why they are sometimes flouted, and what the consequences of flouting the “objective” moral standards can be. It’s a lot more enlightening than GODDIDIT.

  235. 735
    sanekids3

    @723

    You cannot use logic and reason to attack using logic and reason.

    what are you using to attack my usage of logic and reason?

  236. 736
    gussnarp

    I love that over in the Noah thread someone chose Exodus as their example of the Bible being true. Exodus. Although I guess the number of people who are aware that Exodus is one part of the Bible we can be quite certain is pure fiction, even more so than the existence of Jesus, which is at least a matter of some conjecture, is pretty small. Still, it made me laugh.

  237. 737
    Inaji

    harold:

    The Bible says rape is wrong. Deuteronomy 22:25-28.

    City Rape

    If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her; Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city. — Deuteronomy 22:23-24

    Country Rape

    But if a man find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her: then the man only that lay with her shall die. … For he found her in the field, and the betrothed damsel cried, and there was none to save her. — Deuteronomy 22:25-27

    Of an unbetrothed virgin

    If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found; Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days. — Deuteronomy 22:28-29

    Of prisoners of war

    And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive? … Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves. — Numbers 31:15-18

    So…if a woman is raped, she is either executed or sold to her rapist. That’s your idea of stating rape is wrong? Interestin’ morals you have there – as in, you don’t have any.

    The Old Testament is chock full of stories of God approved rape. You should read it sometime.

  238. 738
    thebackrowstudents

    @Infophile #725

    Ah damn, so it wasn’t a sense of humor. Well, I tried explaining it one way, so let’s try another: I’m roughly as absolute on that as I bet you are that night will turn into day tomorrow (for most of the world, that is, outside tiny specks near the poles… Crap, should have chosen a different “absolute”).

    You are begging the question.
    So, you are saying that using the past to tell the future? If I pass seven hundred houses on a road, and all of them are red, what color will the next house be?

  239. 739
    Jackie

    Is it clueless, dishonest religionist day in the ‘Dome?

  240. 740
    Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm

    The entirety of the referenced verse in #720:

    25 “But if in the open country a man meets a young woman who is betrothed, and the man seizes her and lies with her, then only the man who lay with her shall die. 26 But you shall do nothing to the young woman; she has committed no offense punishable by death. For this case is like that of a man attacking and murdering his neighbor, 27 because he met her in the open country, and though the betrothed young woman cried for help there was no one to rescue her.

    28 “If a man meets a virgin who is not betrothed, and seizes her and lies with her, and they are found, 29 then the man who lay with her shall give to the father of the young woman fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife, because he has violated her. He may not divorce her all his days.

    The bible says it’s wrong to rape an engaged virgin. If the victim is unattached, SHE MARRIES HER RAPIST.

  241. 741
    haroldweasley

    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls #726

    Please answer the question. Do you believe there is any such thing as right and wrong? In your worldview is rape wrong or not?

  242. 742
    impact

    #731- Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Nope, can’t appeal to something that doesn’t exist, except as a delusion in your mind.

    Where do you get your truth then?

  243. 743
    erichovind

    LOL

    You cannot use logic and reason to attack using logic and reason

  244. 744
    chigau (違う)

    Which bible?

  245. 745
    Jackie

    #735
    I’m not and you wouldn’t know reason and logic if they sat on your lap and whistled a jaunty tune.

  246. 746
    chigau (違う)

    Do absolutes look anything like turtles?

  247. 747
    Jackie

    impact,
    What does believing in a man in the sky have to do with truth? Belief in fairytales is not truth. It’s just being very silly.

  248. 748
    erichovind

    Info:

    The human brain has its own morality built into it, and that’s where “right” and “wrong” come from.

    Sounds like you agree with the Bible! Rom 2:15

  249. 749
    Jackie

    chigau,
    Yep and they go all the way down.

  250. 750
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @haroldweasely #720

    The Bible says rape is wrong. Deuteronomy 22:25-28.
    Do you believe rape is wrong?
    If so, why? If not, why?

    Really? I looked it up. The internet’s a wonderful thing.

    Deuteronomy 22:25–28

    25 “But if in the field the man finds the girl who is engaged, and the man forces her and lies with her, then only the man who lies with her shall die.

    26 “But you shall do nothing to the girl; there is no sin in the girl worthy of death, for just as a man rises against his neighbor and murders him, so is this case.

    27 “When he found her in the field, the engaged girl cried out, but there was no one to save her.

    28 “aIf a man finds a girl who is a virgin, who is not engaged, and seizes her and lies with her and they are discovered,

    It doesn’t say that rape is wrong at all, you liar. It says if a man rapes a woman who is engaged he shall be killed.

    Let’s look at some more Deuteronomy, shall we? Just below the first quoted passage:

    27 “When he found her in the field, the engaged girl cried out, but there was no one to save her.

    28 “aIf a man finds a girl who is a virgin, who is not engaged, and seizes her and lies with her and they are discovered,

    29 then the man who lay with her shall give to the girl’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall become his wife because he has violated her; he cannot divorce her all his days.

    30 “1aA man shall not take his father’s wife so that he will not uncover his father’s skirt.

    A man who rapes a virgin shall be fined, and his victim forced to marry him. Very moral.

    And just above the original quoted passage:

    13 “aIf any man takes a wife and goes in to her and then 1turns against her,

    14 and charges her with shameful deeds and 1publicly defames her, and says, ‘I took this woman, but when I came near her, I did not find her a virgin,’

    15 then the girl’s father and her mother shall take and bring out the evidence of the girl’s virginity to the elders of the city at the gate.

    16 “The girl’s father shall say to the elders, ‘I gave my daughter to this man for a wife, but he 1turned against her;

    17 and behold, he has charged her with shameful deeds, saying, “I did not find your daughter a virgin.” But 1this is the evidence of my daughter’s virginity.’ And they shall spread the garment before the elders of the city.

    18 “So athe elders of that city shall take the man and chastise him,

    19 and they shall fine him a hundred shekels of silver and give it to the girl’s father, because he 1publicly defamed a virgin of Israel. And she shall remain his wife; he cannot 2divorce her all his days.

    20 “But if this 1acharge is true, that the girl was not found a virgin,

    21 then they shall bring out the girl to the doorway of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her 1to death because she has acommitted an act of folly in Israel by playing the harlot in her father’s house; thus byou shall purge the evil from among you.

    If you’re not a virgin when you get married, you will be stoned to death. Real moral.

    22 “aIf a man is found lying with a married woman, then both of them shall die, the man who lay with the woman, and the woman; thus you shall purge the evil from Israel.

    Adultery is worthy of death? So moral!

    23 “aIf there is a girl who is a virgin engaged to a man, and another man finds her in the city and lies with her,

    24 then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city and you shall stone them 1to death; the girl, because she did not cry out in the city, and the man, because he has violated his neighbor’s wife. Thus you shall purge the evil from among you.

    If a virgin, who is engaged, is raped in a city, but does not cry out, she is stoned to death. Real fuckin’ moral. What happens if she’s raped in the country? The babble doesn’t say.

  251. 751
    octopod

    It sounds like these guys reject all arguments OTHER than the argument from authority, to be honest…

  252. 752
    Tommy Capitalist

    @Kevin FFC 580

    @Tomas C:

    Fine, we’ll play your game, you rogue.

    A society based entirely off of charitable giving would crumble into starvation and chaos. Those who are able to give must make the choice whether or not to give. If they give, it’s of their excess. If something happens to cull that excess, the amount they can give wavers.

    Can you see the problem there?

    Assuming this is true, is your solution really to use threats of violence to get people to give up their hard earned money? Is this really a civilised and moral solution?

    also , in my view charities and mutual aids can help provide. The free market will allow anyone to us it and have the opportunity to make money. Isn’t that more civilised?

  253. 753
    haroldweasley

    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls #726

    Could you be wrong about everything you think you know.

  254. 754
    sanekids3

    @745

    I’m not

    So you’re not using logic and reason? In that case, how do you know anything? Do you know anything for certain?

  255. 755
    Snoof

    chigau (違う) @ 746

    Do absolutes look anything like turtles?

    Yes, but they’re made from obsidian and have four eyes which burn like magnesium flares. Also they have a countably infinite number of scales on their shells, arranged in a Sierpinski fractal.

    (It makes as much sense as anything else the Hovindites have said.)

  256. 756
    consciousness razor

    you said there is

    no connection at all between the existence of something supernatural and whether something is right or wrong.

    I said that “I see no connection,” you dishonest quote-miner you. If you say there is one, then give me some reason to believe that’s true. Show your work. If you have nothing at all, then say that.

    If there are supernatural entities, then would I would in fact expect that at least relationships between them could be right or wrong. They can supposedly think and feel, if I go by what theists claim. So if you know that there are supernatural agents who have relationships with each other, demonstrate that, and I’ll happily concede that they can act rightly or wrongly toward one another. But that isn’t addressing the general question of whether something is right or wrong, even to natural agents like us and concerning how we treat each other. That of course depends on whether there are natural agents like us. But there are natural agents like us. We exist. If that isn’t already clear to you, then let’s do it from first principles: we think, therefore we are. And we can feel, so we can act rightly or wrongly toward each other. No holes, there. Nothing else needs to be demonstrated. We’re done.

    Could you be wrong about everything you think you know?

    I couldn’t be wrong that I exist. That is one thing I could not be wrong about. So no, I couldn’t be wrong about everything I think I know. However, I figure I’m probably not right about some other things. How do you think this is relevant? Could you be wrong about some things? Of course you could. It gets us nowhere. If you’re fine settling for a bunch of cheap and sleazy insinuations about your opponent, using sloppy reasoning and relying incoherent nonsense, so be it. I don’t think it helps you.

  257. 757
    ibyea

    eric hovind
    What lol? If you think logic is wrong, then by using logic to attack logic, you are using the foundational premise you think is wrong to attack something you think is wrong. You are assuming the premise itself is correct in order to say it is incorrect!

  258. 758
    PZ Myers

    NEW THREAD.

    Also, an IQ test for the Hovindites. Will they ever be able to find their way there? Will they ever figure out how blockquotes work?

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