Richard Carrier will be everywhere all the time »« [Lounge #455]

Comments

  1. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    Ing,

    I’ve constantly been amazed at the level of nastiness you get away with due to familiarity around here and by the nerve you have to whine anytime that privilege fails you.

    Gotta be honest, that’s the bit that’s always surprised me too.

    He reminds me of Thomas from Downton Abbey. He’s unabashedly nasty to everyone around him, constantly plotting to get the other servants in trouble etc. and yet still manages to feel hard done-by when nobody shows him any loyalty.

  2. Louis says

    Sheeeeeeeeeeeeiiiit [/Senator Clay Davis from The Wire] I scraped in under that portcullis.

    I wonder what THIS Thunderdome has in store. Will it be fairies and pixie dust?

    Louis

  3. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    Sorry that should be a nested blockquote w/ 2nd sentence belonging to Louis.

  4. says

    I’ve just been wondering since when Ing had a reputation for being nasty….

    Seven of Mine
    I admit you’re right. The permanently morphing troll is everything I’m hopefully not. You can probably meassure human deceny by looking at how far one is removed from The Troll™

  5. Lofty says

    Louis

    I wonder what THIS Thunderdome has in store. Will it be fairies and pixie dust?

    Probably more mucus from our tame troll “beatermale” tomorrow at 3am. What will be his next nym??? Tune in same time, same place, for the next installment in clueless silver streak marks across the carpet.

  6. Louis says

    Seven of Mine, #1,

    Since I’m meant to be (by my own admonition) ignoring he who shall be referred to henceforth as “The Pointless, Humourless, Cavilling Pissant Who Shall Not Be Named”* I really shouldn’t comment, but what the hell, it’s all in the best POSSIBLE taste [/Kenny Everett's Cupid Stunt character]

    I don’t watch Downton Abbey (I KNOW! A Brit who doesn’t watch Downton Abbey. I’ll be serving my Thought Crime sentence shortly) but the person I am most reminded of every time The Pointless, Humourless, Cavilling Pissant Who Shall Not Be Named vomits forth some comment replete with whinging and poorly concealed, bared teeth hate is Peter Hitchens.

    Or rather the bastard offspring of Peter Hitchens and Melanie Philips. Just VASTLY less well read, educated, capable of writing, worth reading and smart….

    …tolerant, open to new ideas, intellectually flexible and gifted, happy…

    …given to lightness of touch, subtle, witty…

    …and vaguely resembling any kind of human being that isn’t some kind of bitter, deluded inadequate, trotting out snippets of loathing because they’re simply incapable of managing even the basic grace required of something approaching a pleasantly functioning member of society.

    And that really is saying something. Sorry I didn’t give the full list of descriptors.

    The pinch-faced, humourlessness, self regard and utter privilege blind bigotry, all hiding under a thin skin covering a sausage made purely of a desire to claim (false) superiority, nitpick at anything or anyone trying to do good or daring to differ from the retrograde, reactionary beliefs of The Pointless, Humourless, Cavilling Pissant Who Shall Not Be Named always brings that image to mind.

    And whilst I’m at it, might as well go the whole hog, I can’t resist…well I can but I’m going to amuse myself anyway:

    But I don’t know what you mean by the pot/kettle cliche; if I’ve ever typed 800 words in a row on here, about anything, I’ll eat Louis’s hat.

    Not only point missed (HILAIRIOUSLY) but Post #752 (previous ‘Dome) =774 words including quotes.

    First approximation? Order of magnitude? Round up to nearest 100? 1 significant figure?**

    But I don’t have a hat…

    Oh I suppose that there are some excuses, parts are copied and pasted not typed etc. But I think this “WAH SOMETHING IS LONG” attempt at “criticism” is utterly pathetic. Nearly up to the level of “WAH you put your name at the end of your comments”, real biting, trenchant stuff.

    Anyway, I didn’t see a valid, unjustly ridiculed argument against abortion and women’s rights, autonomy and bodily integrity. Surely it must be coming any day now. After all, it’s why I nosed into my killfile and looked at the doings in the first place.

    Louis

    *Or perhaps “Cavilling, Humourless, Asinine Shitstain”, take your pick.

    **This comment, including everything, is 498 words. Still under #752 of the last Thunderdome by The Pointless, Humourless, Cavilling Pissant Who Shall Not Be Named. And I did all the typing myself too because I’m a special snowflake.

  7. Louis says

    Lofty,

    I, for one, am looking forward to being called an apologist for saying that PZ (or whoever, this is a general point) is not beyond criticism, is perfectly good to be disagreed with (I’ve even done it myself), and sundry things. I **LOVE** the mentality that runs “You do not hate X exactly as I do, thus you are an apologist for X”. It runs the political spectrum, it’s stupid everywhere.

    Louis

  8. Louis says

    Hmmmm I really have to stop amusing myself by moron baiting and get some work done.

    Louis

  9. es0tericcha0s says

    I guess this is the place to ask since it is an open thread…? Well, I’ve been reading the site for a couple years now and love all the info and intelligent responses to many of today’s hot topics, but one thing that has baffled me is the hate-on for libertarians. Now, let me clear: I don’t associate with a lot of people who are very political (at least out-spoken about it), and have only been paying more attention to politics in general in the past 8 years or so as I can’t stand most of the attitudes where it’s mostly a power grab for greedy bastards on all sides of the field with just enough misinformation and a little bit of give and a lot of take to gloss over how much crap goes on behind the doors. I don’t really care to call myself one political party or the other because they all suck mightily. Sure, they have GREAT ideas, but unfortunately the implementation of said ideas rarely works right. I typically end up voting Democrat because at least they pretend to care about social issues. I don’t care for “big” government either, but despite how Republicans tend to cry about having too much oversight, when they are controlling the party, it seems like things don’t go that way unless it’s less oversight for people with $ and more so for people that don’t care for (LGBT people for example). Now, with all that said, the only person I know personally who claims some part of Libertarianism is my wife. My confusion about that venom spewed any time the word is brought up is because of that. My wife (let’s call her Anne) has absolutely no interest in what seems to be the prevalent idea that many have here about Libertarians in regards to the “fuck you, I have mine mentality”, and really nothing could be farther from the truth. She’s generous, altruistic, and has no interest in screwing others to get a head. She has volunteered to a couple different organizations (and is itching to do it again, since we have moved recently), donates to organizations like Doctors w/o Borders (when we have spare $ – not as often as liked :/) , and doesn’t have a greedy bone in her body. Obviously, a small sample, but she knows others and doesn’t seem to find that Ayn Rand mentality in that large of a % of people she has met either. Is it really THAT common that it’s pretty much universally hated here? From the stuff I have read and what they claim to stand for doesn’t seem that crazy. Like for instance, last election, Bob Barr from the Libertarian Party was running for President. From all that I could find in the public websites about him and his work, he seemed like a fairly competent politician who genuinely didn’t seem as interested in screwing over as many as some. Now, I ended up voting D because although Obama has done many questionable things, I still feel that he’s tried to do a lot of good too and more often than not, the R party just strong armed whatever was proposed just because it wasn’t they who proposed it. If Obama said the sky was blue, the Repubs would have a filibuster to argue that it isn’t, it feels like. I figured that was slightly better than someone we KNOW doesn’t have most of the people’s well being in their interest and still make my vote count somewhat. But the L party seems to be one of those things that is just blanketed with almost universal disregard here and seems weird that everyone is just lumped into the “eh, they’re all the same, so fuck’em” category. Yet, when others group atheists (or gay people, or other races, etc) together as one, many are quick to point out the diversity and it’s ok. So yea, sorry, not the most articulate writing on here, but it’s early, so there’s that…

  10. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    @ 9 es0tericcha0s

    First: Sweet mother of Abraham Lincoln, paragraph breaks next time, please.

    Secondly, there’s a difference (I think) between the average person who will claim some affinity with the Libertarian political party and someone who will attempt to defend a complete libertarian world view. I don’t have the knowledge about either to speak with authority on the details but the Cliff’s Notes version is the latter tends to do a lot of ivory tower philoso-wanking about hypothetical situations and never manages to answer questions about how one should deal with many real world situations which arise outside said ivory tower.

  11. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    Further to my #10 an example would be if you ask a libertarian how environmental concerns should be dealt with, they’ll likely claim that consumers just won’t buy from companies that destroy the environment thus causing those companies to fail while more conscientious companies succeed. They won’t, however, have anything at all to say about how consumers are supposed to know which companies to avoid or whether avoiding them would even be feasible for the average person.

  12. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    @ 9 es0tericcha0s:

    Libertarianism, as a political philosophy practiced in the United States, has been co-opted by the 1% as a way to: privatize government functions (more profit), deregulate business and industry (more profit), destroy unions (more profit) and cut taxes for the wealthy (more profit). All of which have the net effect of making the rich richer, the middle class stagnate, and the poor poorer. Personally, I really have no major beef with the philosophy of libertarianism — it is every bit as useful as the philosophy of communism, or any of the other economic and social systems that are based on not being pragmatic. But when it is adopted, in everything but name, by a major political party, and used as an excuse to privatize government functions, deregulate business and industry, destroy unions and cut taxes for the rich, it kill people. It will, given enough time, destroy the American middle class. It will destroy the US public education system. It will destroy the environment. It will destroy economic opportunity. And will further entrench the oligarchy. Inside the ivory tower, libertarianism is an interesting thought exercise. In the real world, it kills people.

  13. carlie says

    es0tericcha0s, your wife sounds like a wonderful person. But the problem with the libertarian mindset can be seen if you pull the focus out from one person to an entire community. Picture a person who cannot support themselves, through no fault of their own. Make it whatever makes sense to you – mental disability, physical disability, old age, whatever, and this person has no family who can help out either, again through no fault of that family. Your wife’s generosity is large, but it cannot be enough to fully support that person in their own life (unless your family is quite rich). So, for that person to be supported, others must contribute too. Do you think that there are enough people in the community who are naturally as altruistic as your wife to entirely cover the needs of that person? Does it seem like a tenable solution for that other person to have to wait and hope that enough kind people exist for them to be able to eat and live in a place with a roof and heat? That’s the biggest failing of volunteer charity – it is entirely dependent on a) enough people being kind and b) those same people being able to afford to spare a lot of resources. There’s also c), that the people who need it have to get that information to the people who can donate, and then you run into the entirely unsavory aspect of having to beg and manipulate emotions by tugging at heartstrings as much as possible to be sure to get the donations you need.

    Apart from that, it speaks to the kind of society you want, and the kind of ethics you have. Is it ok for a person to starve to death because they can’t provide directly measurable economic value to your community? That’s the real question. Is it ok for that to happen? Because if all social support is volunteer-based, that is what will happen. It’s been shown over and over that volunteer charity does not provide enough support for everyone in a community who needs it. An opposition to that statement can be made on ethical grounds that it is not moral to let another human starve to death, or it can be less “emotional” and be that it is bad for society to have people who are desperate and and more likely to steal and sick and more likely to transmit diseases and such. But either way, a true libertarian stance is that yes, it is ok for a person to starve to death in your own community simply because they can’t provide direct economic value.

  14. Rich Woods says

    the bastard offspring of Peter Hitchens and Melanie Philips.

    Someone please help me climb back onto my chair. My sides have split.

  15. Al Dente says

    Libertarians would completely change the American social and economic system. They suffer from what Paul Kienitz calls the Fallacy of Revolution. This can be found in any movement that seeks to radically revise the underpinnings of society, whether by abolishing money, imposing a theocracy, eliminating undesirable ethnic groups, organizing everyone’s diet according to principles of macrobiotics, or whatever other secret of a perfect society any group comes up with. In particular, it comes up in exactly equal form among communists seeking to eliminate private property and libertarians trying to do the opposite. The fallacy can be expressed:

    By making these radical changes, we are removing the root cause of all the failures and evils of society as it presently stands. This will eliminate all of the existing problems, and since we have no knowledge of what new problems might arise, we can assume there will be none. Everything will work right, because there are no foreseeable things that can go wrong.

    In other words, since by removing the basis by which any problems already known to us can be predicted, there is no shortcoming of the new system that can be anticipated in advance. Therefore it is within the margin of error that there might not be any at all–that the perfect society will arise. Once the possibility is apparent, someone who wants to believe in the system will find every argument to show that this is not just possible but inevitable. Every counterargument that occurs to nonbelievers is met by either a tortuous chain of logic showing how people, once “freed” of money or godlessness or mongrelization or nonmacrobiotic misbalance of yin and yang, would spontaneously take care of the problem in the best way, or an assertion that the difficulty the nonbeliever raises is not really a problem and it’s morally right to ignore it. The advocate of the new system simply refuses to believe in anything going wrong with it. The more radical the change from the old way, and the less we know from experience about how things would really work under the new rules, the more unshakable this belief is. They can deal with any objections by dreaming up a simple answer that’s plausible enough to satisfy themselves, and then just promising everyone that it’s sure to work. Nobody can prove it won’t. (A Libertarian once answered my objections with nothing more than “Trust me, it will all work out.” This is like the 1960s hippies’ “It’ll be groovy, Man, you’re gonna love it.”) This is why top-to-bottom revolutions can have a special appeal that evolutionary change does not: because it’s easy to think that maybe all problems might be solved.

    A corrolary of this fallacy is that if one believes that there is one big solution, you usually have to believe that there is only one big problem. This means that once you have identified the problem, it gets blamed for everything. The identified group or institution becomes a scapegoat, so that even problems that have nothing to do with it are laid at its door. What communists, anti-communists, Nazis and other ethnic nationalists, theocrats, and revolutionaries of every kind all have in common is that they can name the source of society’s ills in one word or phrase. For libertarians, the word is “government”.

  16. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    Yet, when others group atheists (or gay people, or other races, etc) together as one, many are quick to point out the diversity and it’s ok.

    Just wanted to observe that this is kind of an odd statement. Sure there’s diversity of political views among atheists or gay people or various races but you really wouldn’t expect there to be (much) diversity of political views among adherents of a particular political philosophy. That’s like expecting there to be a lot of diverse opinions on the existence of gods among atheists.

  17. Louis says

    Rich Woods,

    Not sure if you’re being sarcastic or not (happy either way, sarcasm = GUD ;-) ) but assuming you’re not, do you, and/or anyone else, get the sense when looking at P Hitchens or M Philips that these are people more desperately in need of a good shit, a thorough shag, or a nigh on heroic dose of hallucinogens than the vast majority of humanity? Hell, I’m no medic but I’d prescribe all three, not necessarily at the same time.

    Mind you I could have got that wrong. Is it thorough hallucinogens, a good dose of shit, or a heroic shag? I never can tell.

    Louis

  18. Louis says

    Seven of Mine,

    That’s like expecting there to be a lot of diverse opinions on the existence of gods among atheists.

    I thought the same thing the last time the current morpho/socking troll popped up and dribbled on about diversity.

    Louis

  19. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    At work, we had diversity training.

    The longer you work here, diverse it gets.

  20. says

    communism

    communists

    In other words, since by removing the basis by which any problems already known to us can be predicted, there is no shortcoming of the new system that can be anticipated in advance

    For chrissakes, how many times do I have to postthese? For fuck’s sake, there are fucking numbers and everything! It’s not a panacea, but only an idiot would expect an economic system to fix non-economic problems(granted, a fair number of devoted Marxists are indeed this type of idiot, which is why I haven’t got much use for the Fourth International, but A) no goal or movement is ever so noble it won’t attract jackasses, and b) Communism is not synonymous with Marxism). Libertarian economic remedies, by contrast, have also been tried, and been catastrophic failures on every level.

  21. chigau (違う) says

    All clowns.
    They don’t need to be blood-soaked like the top pic.
    Fuck clowns.

  22. Louis says

    Coulrophobia? Or dislike based on matters of taste?

    Just curious, I’ve never met a real coulrophobe before (if you are one).

    Louis

  23. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    chigau,

    Is it the humiliation? The mocking? I hate clowns too. Pity and hate them.

  24. Louis says

    Well I’m going to state out right that I like clowns. I know, I know, big shock.

    Obviously this means some sort of schism is needed. Shall we declare that each group is an irredeemable series of bastards and start Deep Rifts ™ ?

    ;-)

    Louis

  25. Louis says

    I suppose, for the sake of not tipping off a genuine war, I should clarify I mean the Pratchettian/Pagliacci in Alan Moore’s Watchmen/Circus type clowns. The proper, serious, tragicomic, classical clown. It’s a proper art form, like mime…

    …ooooh I was doing so well then I lost ya! ;-)

    Louis

  26. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Louis:

    So if I put my two cents in for not liking clowns, does that tilt the ‘irredeemable’ part of it to the anti-clown side?

  27. says

    chigau, to me, from the previous thread:

    Being drunk doesn’t really help.
    You just think it does.

    I know. I’m just in the grumply, “But I really want a beer,” phase. And then, “When does the insomnia end?” phase. Which are one and the same, it seems.

  28. says

    Giliell – from the previous thread:

    I really don’t know what the guy is getting out of it.
    It’s like putting on an obviously fake moustache in order to get into a club you’ve been kicked out, where the other guests hate you and where you neither like the music or the drinks

    The point isn’t the music, the drinks or the company. The point is to ruin the evening for the other guests. People like that are sadists, plain and simple. That’s why the only way to deal with them is just to consistently ban the crap out of them.

  29. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    i do, however, like the Pratchett take on clowns: the sadness, the cruelty, the rote-ism of the Fool’s Guild. I really do feel sorry for the inmates in the Fool’s Guild.

    (and the battle clowning in Making Money is fantastic)

  30. Jacob Schmidt says

    I really don’t know what the guy is getting out of it.
    It’s like putting on an obviously fake moustache in order to get into a club you’ve been kicked out, where the other guests hate you and where you neither like the music or the drinks

    The slymepit takes screenshots and laughs at them.

  31. ChasCPeterson says

    I’ve just been wondering since when Ing had a reputation for being nasty….

    I don’t deal in reputations; it’s an observation. If you haven’t observed it, then you haven’t been paying attention.

    Louis:
    Your unending Quest for the last word 500 words is another fail. I’m sorry. I do of course look forward to your next textwall list of adjectives and middle-school name-calling though. (btw, did I miss any of your patented hilarious knee-slappin’ Humour in there? apologies if so.)

    HILAIRIOUSLY

    Just to make Ing feel better, I’m going to point out your misspelling here. That’s not a typo, Ing. fyi.

    774 words including quotes.

    Ouch! Because responding directly to a series of statements a la Marjonovic is totally the same thing as “typing 800 words in a row”!
    But it’s always fun to play the Trivial False-Equivalence Hypocrisy Gotcha Game, eh? You and Nick and the Slymepit denizens share that fun hobby.

    I think this “WAH SOMETHING IS LONG” attempt at “criticism” is utterly pathetic.

    It’s not criticism, fool, it’s mockery. Talk about missing the point. ‘Here is a series of essay-length diatribes about something I allegedly don’t care about’ is worth mocking. If somebody actually used their 800 words to make an actual point or argument, then, see, would be different than using them for mean-spirited self-indulgent juvenile clowning. No “wah.”

    “Cavilling, Humourless, Asinine Shitstain”

    Biting. Trenchant. Humourous.

    But to the important point:

    I didn’t see a valid, unjustly ridiculed argument against abortion and women’s rights, autonomy and bodily integrity. Surely it must be coming any day now.

    No, asshole, it’s not coming; nor was anything like that ever promised. As you might know; you are self-admittedly baiting me (it strikes me that on a fishing boat the baiting is a less prestigious job than the trolling, but I digress), but on the other hand you keep demonstrating the deficiencies in your reading comprehension. So. In a probably pointless attempt to avoid the Pharyngula Telephone Game of mestastisizing misinterpretation, I am going to make one last attempt at explaining what was actually said and meant.
    TRIGGER WARNING: Analytical Vulcan-like emotion-free treatment of a topic that actually affects people’s lives. And WAH! It’s long! (over 500 words typed in a row!)
    NOTE TO DAZ MONITORS: This is not an ‘abortion thread’.
    1. Background: Dave Silverman sez “There is a secular argument against abortion; it’s out there.” Teh ECO responds, first “nuh-uh; no there isn’t” and then “there is but it requires lying about science”, both of which strike me as stupid posturing.
    2. I point out that all that is required for a secular argument against abortion is to impute ethical value to human fetuses. That’s it.
    2a. This is sufficient to support Silverman, because there are, empirically and inarguably, secular nontheistic people who do just that. (nb: it’s irrelevant to the argument, but I am not one of them.)
    2b. By analogy, there are secular people who impute ethical value to cattle and chickens. They are called vegetarians (though there are of course other reasons for vegetarianism). There are secular people who impute ethical value to fish and squid. They are called vegans. There are secular people who impute ethical value to poor children in other parts of the world. They are called humanists. Likewise, there are secular people who impute ethical value to human fetuses. They are called EVIL MISOGYNIST DOUCHEBAGS. (nb: it’s irrelevant to the argument, but I am not one of them.)
    2c. Imputing ethical value to human fetuses can be part of a perfectly coherent and (though I doubt I ever used this term) valid system of personal secualr ethics.
    3. Being “against abortion” in this sense is not (necessarily) being anti-choice, anti-woman, anti-bodily autonomy, or anything else. It’s perfectly possible to be “against abortion” because one imputes ethical value to human fetuses but at the same time be unwilling to impose one’s personal ethics on everybody else. It’s possible to be “against abortion” because one imputes ethical value to human fetuses but to impute even more value to living breathing fully grown women. It’s possible to b.”a.a.”b.o.i.e.v.t.h.f. but think that the principle of bodily autonomy is so important that it trumps all other ethical considerations.
    And a lot of secular people do think those ways. They are “anti-abortion” on a personal level but not in any way “anti-choice”. They may even be vocal pro-choice advocates and activists despite their personal ethical misgivings.
    This is all I’ve ever said or argued on the subject. I honestly don’t see how any of it is problematic in any way.
    But I expect I’m about to find out.
    Last word on the subject, I swear, so please try to read it carefully and–if you must–respond to what I actually typed, since I won’t be replying, whether biting and trenchant or completely wrongheaded.

    Charles

  32. chigau (違う) says

    Avo
    I did click but I got the tab closed immediately after the first glimpse.

  33. Jacob Schmidt says

    Dave Silverman sez “There is a secular argument against abortion; it’s out there.”

    What struct me as silly about that statement was that Silverman singled out anti-abortion arguments, ignoring the rest. There are secular arguments for homophobia, racism, transphobia; fuck, not only are there secular arguments for church, but some atheists like Chris Stedman are famous for making them. And given that Silverman was criticizing religious arguments specifically, it’s hard to see him deliberately and arbitrarily setting aside anti-abortion arguments as anything but an attempt to legitimize anti-abortion stances.

    I don’t think Silverman is personally against abortion; I think he as trying to walk a think line between not pissing off the conservatives too much, and representing secularism and atheism in an honest way. He fucked up, plain and simple.

  34. chris61 says

    @37 Chas

    Not that my opinion carries any weight on this matter but I agree pretty much with your comments on abortion.

  35. says

    chris61:

    Not that my opinion carries any weight on this matter but I agree pretty much with your comments on abortion.

    My, my. Well, if this doesn’t give you pause, Chas, I suppose nothing will.

  36. says

    Chas:
    Silverman specifically singled out abortion as a subject where there were secular arguments. He specifically separated it from other subjects, like gay marriage and school prayer, effectively implying that there are no secular arguments for those.

    Are you as busy chastising him for that mistake as you are correcting people here? If not, why not?

  37. brianpansky says

    @15
    Al Dente

    thanks for the post, it put a few things into words that i’ve been suspecting.

    i’m not libertarian, but i do dream up all kinds of ideas about making the world a better place, and staying realistic is important to me.

  38. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Person A: “Abortion is icky and I would never do it, but everyone should be able to get one if they need it.”
    Person B: some anti-choice crap

    So. A is obviously some steps above B. In theory, they are pro-choice. In practice… only if they are actually engaging and in some way actively supporting women who need abortions.
    In the environment where a woman who wants to abort is vilified, they are not helping. In an environment where women are being denying abortion their adding “but abortion is horrible and you should feel really bad about having one” is doing much more to encourage anti-choicers and make women who abort feel like shit, than actually supporting their rights.

    That should be obvious. It’s not about correct thinking, it’s about actual harm.

  39. Portia says

    Beatrice

    It’s not about correct thinking

    But if you admit you’re being an asshole while mocking the people who call you an asshole, doesn’t that make you less of asshole? Somehow? (e.g.

    TRIGGER WARNING: Analytical Vulcan-like emotion-free treatment of a topic that actually affects people’s lives.

    )

  40. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    I don’t see any reason to think Silverman was talking about being personally against abortion without being anti-choice because the comments were made in the context of courting a group of people who are, in fact, by and large, anti-choice. How is “I totally agree people should feel bad about having abortions but would never dream of denying them the right to make their own choice” supposed to make secularism more attractive to this particular group? I don’t buy that it would, and I don’t buy that’s what Silverman was saying. I think he was talking about abortion rights and I think, if he wasn’t talking about abortion rights he would have just released a simple statement saying as much after everything blew up.

  41. Portia says

    See also: I’m pro-choice, but I’d never have an abortion.

    Using the vegetarian analogy, if you impute ethical value to the lives of animals, but believe that if people have no access to other food, and that killing animals is thereby justified, then you’re not against killing animals for food at all. Ergo, imputing ethical value to the lives of fetuses and believing that pregnant peoples’ bodily autonomy outweighs that ethical value, is not an argument against abortion at all.

  42. Amphiox says

    This distinction between “secular” and “religious” arguments for or against something really misses the point. Examine any “religious” argument closely enough, and you will find that it is actually a secular argument with “and god said so, so there!” tacked on to the end as a post hoc justification. Usually done because the secular argument was in fact too weak to stand alone.

    The distinction that matters is whether an argument is a good one or a bad one.

  43. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Seven of Mine,

    My take on this from the beginning:

    Silverman could:
    a) be a moron who hasn’t noticed there are atheist gay haters and non-religious folks making arguments against right to die
    b) have meant that there are valid secular arguments against abortion when he said that these arguments exist.

    Since I’m guessing that he’s not an idiot… we’re left with b.

  44. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    Beatrice,

    I agree. Not sure exactly which part of my post you’re responding to…?

  45. says

    chris61:
    Your abortion thoughts:

    #174 Nerd, Sure enough a lot of changes occur with birth. A lot of changes occur with conception as well and since birth can’t occur without conception occurring first I think one could argue that the changes that occur at conception are the more important

    more of your thoughts:

    #217 Nerd, one might argue that a normally developing fetus is a fully functioning human being for its stage of development. Whether it fulfills the criteria for a “fully functioning human being” as you put it, depends upon what you set your criteria for fully functioning human being to be. Your criteria seem to be existence outside a uterus. Okay. Nope it doesn’t fulfill your criteria. Not arguing with that. Some people would argue you don’t become a fully functional human being until you learn to drive, get a job and move out of the parental home. Fetus clearly doesn’t fulfill those criteria either. There are probably people out there who don’t consider you a fully functioning human being until you make your first million dollars. I suspect most of us don’t fulfill that criterion.

    Of course the changes that occur to the fetus upon exiting the uterus only happen because the fetus is breathing outside the woman. That’s what I mean by a change in environment. The changes that occur upon conception only occur because a sperm fuses with an egg. So what. What makes one set of changes more important than the other?

    more of your opinions:

    This is for Noyd because they asked.

    #594 Noyd, I thought I explained Gosnell. Yes he killed them outside the womb because what he was doing was not, by definition, an abortion. Nonetheless he was ridding women of unwanted babies. He was capable of leaving them alive but that is NOT what these women wanted or they wouldn’t have gone to him in the first place. He gave them what they wanted and that presumably is why the complaints against him didn’t come from them. Nobody wanted to name it incompetent abortion because that would be politically uncomfortable given the political issues currently surrounded abortion in the USA. But if it was really murder, why weren’t they named as accomplices?

    Why might anyone assign greater moral good to anything? It’s a matter of opinion and not necessarily based on religion. That was all I was saying. If you want to know why I would consider forcing a fetus to be born rather than killing it to avoid having it suffer might be considered a greater moral good than I would say that by killing it you are removing the possibility of it experiencing joy and accomplishment and all the other positive human experiences that someone gave each and every one of us on this thread the opportunity to experience. Is that a religious argument? I would say it’s a philosophical argument. In any case, I personally don’t think that public policy on abortion should be a matter of justifying morally superior choices.

    I’m saying that there are no real comparisons to the relationship between a fetus and its mother and so I don’t see how a woman is justified to get rid of it based on bodily autonomy or the notion that is a parasite. A parasite is, as I’ve always understood it, one species living off another. A fetus isn’t another species nor is it an aggressor. Uniqueness matters because that’s why we’re talking about abortion in the first place.

    Valde was arguing that because a zygote can only reach gestation with the blood sweat and tears of another human being. I noted that is true past gestation all the way to adulthood and in many case beyond. You want to argue the difference being that after birth anyone can take over that role so that makes it different. Okay. It makes it different. Does that make it morally superior to kill a fetus in utero and preserve or at least attempt to preserve at all cost the life of a neonate? Why?

    The argument was being made that you can justify abortion because otherwise you are forcing a pregnant individual to risk their life to save another individual and I was just pointing out that you can turn that argument around and say that you can justify not allowing abortion because you are forcing a fetus to die to save potential harm to the mother. In case it hasn’t become clear to you I am not justifying forcing a woman to carry a fetus to term. I am pointing out there are arguments against it that do not require a religious perspective.

    #710 Noyd, In the USA very few fetuses survive abortion because many if not most of the time efforts are made to ensure they don’t. Death of the fetus is the whole purpose of the exercise. Google scholar search intrafetal injection digoxin for some literature. Use scholar because google itself will just give you a bunch of pro-life BS.

    #750 Noyd, That’s right we do talk about cancer that way and nobody objects because in general nobody sees any value to anyone or anything (either the person or the cancer) of leaving the cancer in place. There is a value to leaving a fetus in place. You don’t think that value outweighs the rights of the pregnant individual, again, that’s your opinion and you are entitled to it but I think it would be naïve at best to argue there was no difference between a tumor and a fetus

    yet more:

    I wouldn’t expect a woman who was the victim of rape to continue a pregnancy if she chose not to because the ‘special relationship’ between a woman and her fetus includes the conditions under which the pregnancy occurred.

    I could go on, as there is quite a bit more of your “nuanced” views of a woman’s right to have an abortion.
    Have you read the Grand Jury report of the Gosnell case to clear up your ignorance?

  46. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Seven of Mine,

    Going with the talk about what Silverman meant with that statement. Sorry for going a bit off tangent there.

  47. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    Beatrice, no worries just wasn’t sure if you were correcting me or expounding upon my comment.

  48. Portia says

    I know I got the ‘vegan’ thing wrong. But it’s hardly the point.

    I don’t know if you are responding to me, but it wasn’t my point either.

  49. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    Silverman could:
    a) be a moron who hasn’t noticed there are atheist gay haters and non-religious folks making arguments against right to die
    b) have meant that there are valid secular arguments against abortion when he said that these arguments exist.

    Since I’m guessing that he’s not an idiot… we’re left with b.

    I’m partial to (c): He’s a cynical politician trying to play all sides of every argument, completely unaware that he’s losing entire swaths of his current support base by hamfistedly reaching out to other ones.

  50. says

    I once saw a website for Ouchy the S&M Clown, who apparently offered pro dom services accompanied by slapstick routines and pies in the face. Also regular clowning. And then of course there’s Portland’s own Extremo the Clown and his EPIC FUCKING WHEELS.

  51. Rich Woods says

    @Louis #17:

    I definitely wasn’t being sarcastic. I did indeed suffer a gravitationally-driven event subsequent to humour-related bodily convulsions. And my lower back still hurts. (Thank you for that. The chiropractor’s bill is in the post. Or is it cheiromancer? I can never tell.)

    do you, and/or anyone else, get the sense when looking at P Hitchens or M Philips that these are people more desperately in need of a good shit, a thorough shag, or a nigh on heroic dose of hallucinogens than the vast majority of humanity?

    At the risk of making sexist/racist comments, M Phillips needs the broomstick pulling out of her arse and P Hitchens reminds me of the Robin Williams line, “You are in more dire need of a blowjob than any white man in history.”

  52. cuervocuero says

    Does Hjornbeck wander in here at all? I wanted to ask them some stuff about CCBR.

  53. says

    Cuervocuero:

    Does Hjornbeck wander in here at all?

    Not usually. You’d be better tracking them down elsewhere. I think I saw them over at Ophelia’s blog the other day.

  54. says

    Dalillama:

    And then of course there’s Portland’s own Extremo the Clown and his EPIC FUCKING WHEELS.

    Well, it is Portland.

  55. brianpansky says

    @60
    cuervocuero

    Does Hjornbeck wander in here at all?

    i sent him an email to wander over.

  56. ChasCPeterson says

    you’ll be able to tell whether I’m responding to you or not by applying this simple mnemonic: not.

  57. Jacob Schmidt says

    you’ll be able to tell whether I’m responding to you or not by applying this simple mnemonic: not.

    I like irony.

  58. Portia says

    Jacob

    I like irony.

    It’s like the set of all sets that does not contain itself.

    See, I was a philosophy major, too. *nodnod*

  59. Rich Woods says

    @Daz #63:

    Just a reminder for those who’re interested. Episode three of The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy radio show is now online.

    Mate, there’s a damn sight more than just HHGTTG available online!

  60. says

    “Chas, can you back up this claim?”
    “Fuck you if you don;t know I won;t tell you! I am te only rational one here!? why do I keep returning to such an echochamber of liberal bias antiscience bleeding heart idiots! oh woe is my lot woe woe woe”

    Lather, rinse, repeat

  61. hjhornbeck says

    cuervocuero @60:

    Does Hjornbeck wander in here at all? I wanted to ask them some stuff about CCBR.

    Not yet, but fortunately someone else flagged me down. How can I be of service?

  62. cuervocuero says

    Fellow Canadian poking at CCBR. You mentioned in your comments you’ve been looking into them and that in your opinion they’re the abortion equivalent of ID.

    Did you slog through their “Pro-Life Classroom” ‘lessons’? Lesson 4: The Science of When Life Begins. I was doing so because I was seeing what linked to who. This paragraph in particular leapt out at me.

    Science teaches that living things come from other living things. This is the Law of Biogenesis, which was established when the notion of Spontaneous Generation was disproved. People once believed that mice or flies would spontaneously appear from rags or meat. It was discovered, however, that these animals came not from the inanimate objects, but from other living things. Science also teaches that living things reproduce after their own kind; or, like begets like: dogs produce dogs, cats produce cats, and humans produce humans. So it follows that in human reproduction the offspring must be of the human species.

    Aside from the same old deliberate misinterpretation of zygotes being human, ergo baby killers, I’ve never seen that emphasized line in anything but the creationist resources, which indicates the ‘Science’ they’re grounding on is Creation Science despite their secular-washing of the main site.

    I googled it and it throws back nothing but ID/creation sources. It looks like they’re not the equivalent of but simply are DI/creation science proponents if they’re quoting page and book from the ID primers.

    What do you think?

  63. hjhornbeck says

    cuervocuero @77:

    I googled it and it throws back nothing but ID/creation sources. It looks like they’re not the equivalent of but simply are DI/creation science proponents if they’re quoting page and book from the ID primers.

    What do you think?

    Close, but not quite. The CCBR is nearly a copy-paste job from the CBR, or Center for Bioethical Reform. I have a good primer on their influences here, but long story short: Gregg Cunningham felt the anti-choice movement was failing, and wanted to reinvent it. He founded the CBR shortly after Intelligent Design was being drafted (1990 vs 1984-1990), and no doubt his brainstorming was influenced by it. The CCBR then inherited his approach.

    However, I can’t find any formal ties between ID and those two, nor am I hopeful I will. The similarities could just as easily be explained by their shared “New Right” ancestors [snerk], like well-paid think tanks and techniques such as the Southern Strategy.

    Cunningham simply wanted to scrub religion from anti-choice discourse to make it more attractive, and reached for the most convenient “secular” replacements. As I’ve put it elsewhere, they asserted “God Science says human life is sacred has intrinsic value” and went hunting for evidence. ID just happened to be one piece of that “evidence.”

  64. Seize says

    hjhornbeck, thank you for your much more useful opinion.

    cuervocuero, I had first heard “like begets like” many years ago in Catholic school. My Jesuit teachers informed me that this somewhat inaccurate but well-bred statement about the indelible nature of hereditary information is science’s way of confirming what Paul says in Galatians 6 before he gets all het up about circumcision: man “reaps what he sows.” People who sow pervy seeds will get pervy crops, and so forth. The only contemporary reference I can find is the title of an English language scholar’s book on what Charles Dickens though about heredity, which dates it for you somewhat.

    Sorry if details from my early education were not what you were seeking. :)

  65. hjhornbeck says

    Seize @79:

    hjhornbeck, thank you for your much more useful opinion.

    No prob! I’m collecting what I’ve learned about the anti-choice movement in the past week into a blog post, but in the meantime I’ve consolidated some key citations over in the Lounge. I especially recommend a PhD thesis on anti-choice messaging I found (click on my last comment’s link and scroll up).

  66. cuervocuero says

    @79 I’m mostly looking at formation of ‘scientific’ sentences/arguments as echoes/clones of overly ID statements, in the way the NCSE and its investigators formalized the realization that there are ID arguments and phrases that are cut and pasted from version to version, despite whatever ‘washing’ the apologists do to disguise the ID/creationist origins.

  67. rorschach says

    Is it just my impression, or has the atheist movement gone into a bit of a lull? Seems to me that we are mainly circle-jerking at our conferences and in our forums, but that there isnt really a big effort being made for any kind of outreach at the moment.
    The organised atheists like Dave are showing themselves to be at heart conservative assholes, Mehta, who theoretically could do something useful based on his large audience, is an embarrassment as usual, and other than that nothing much seems to be happening. In August the atheist elite will sit on the hard wooden benches at Oxford and wank each other off for a weekend, and nothing else will come of it.

    Maybe we’ve lost interest? Or maybe we’ve lost our audience.

  68. says

    @Rorschach

    No I noticed that too. I think all the low hanging fruit has been picked and we’re seeing now a lot of people either realizing the flaws of organizations or digging heels in to be for lack of a better term fundamentalists.

  69. rorschach says

    and we’re seeing now a lot of people either realizing the flaws of organizations or digging heels in to be for lack of a better term fundamentalists.

    Quite right. We should not forget that the religious do not rest, and while we are disillusioned with movement atheism and maybe slacking off a bit, they keep recruiting children, the poor and the vulnerable into their cults.

    I have no answer, and I’m busy with other shit myself(that “life” stuff they tell you about on cable), but maybe we should realise that our dear leaders have lost their edge a bit now that we know them better, and maybe this movement needs to be a broader, ahem, church.

  70. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Daz,

    Just a reminder for those who’re interested. Episode three of The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy radio show is now online.

    Thanks again!

    Rich Woods,
    *bookmarked*

    I had no idea I liked radio shows until a a couple of weeks back.

  71. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    Oh look. The morph is back conducting a clinic on self-awareness as is his wont at this time of day.

    *toots a party horn and tosses some confetti*

  72. says

    mrmojorisin #100

    While being a jackass, you accidentally made a relevant point. I think part of the reason for the atheist movement not having the same momentum it used to is that, like Ing says, we’ve dealt with the simple stuff and now we’re faced with a more basic question of where we want to go from here. Turns out, there’s not actually all that much agreement on that point.

    Some of us view atheism as simply one leg of a larger platform for a progressive social movement; not even necessarily the most important part. Other people very much disagree with this. Especially the fight against sexism seems to get a lot of pushback from certain corners.

    When the criticism was directed outwards, it was easy to stay united. Once the focus turned back to ourselves and how we behave, that’s when the disagreements started to surface with force. I think such self-criticism is absolutely essential, but it’s almost inevitable that it’ll lead to some degree of factioning and in-fighting.

    I’m not personally involved with any kind of organization efforts, so I don’t feel equipped to speak on how to really deal with this. It may be a matter of just establishing organizations that are very explicit in their goals and the letting people choose where they want to be. Of course that means wasting a lot of energy duplicating functions.

    I don’t know the answer. I do know that I’m not willing to compromise on women’s rights. As has been pointed out before you can’t have both assholes and their victims in the same organization. Either you throw the assholes out or sooner or later the victims get tired of the treatment and stop coming. Whatever you do, you’ve made a choice. Not making a choice is effectively a choice in favor of the assholes.

  73. Al Dente says

    LykeX @94

    Serves me right for taking so long to compose the post.

    I got caught reacting too slowly to the cleanup as well.

    The broader point you and rorschach bring up is something we have to consider. I’m deeply disappointed by organized atheism. David Silverman, Edwina Rogers, DJ Grothe and Ron Lindsay are not going in directions I find attractive or engaging. The Harvard Humanists’ attempts to set up a godless religion don’t appeal to me (the Unitarian Universalists already fill that niche, except they’re not as welcoming to atheists as they might be).

    I had hopes that A+ would be a nexus around which atheists could gather to determine where to go from here. Possibly it will but there’s too much pushback from the slymepit and its imitators, including the libertarian atheist contingent, for A+ to be effective right now.

    Quo vadis?

  74. hjhornbeck says

    Copy-pasta:

    There’s no confirmation on whether or not Stollznow agrees with this statement. PZ Myers claims Radford wrote the entire statement, and posted it without getting Stollznow’s signature, but says nothing on that question.
    There are a number of ways to interpret this letter. Accepting it at face value is tough to square against the words of Blake Smith, Matthew Baxter, Ian Murphy, Joe Anderson, Ron Lindsay, and DJ Groethe via Carrie Poppy. Deceiving all these people would be an impressive conspiracy.
    Another hypothesis is that Stollznow was forced to agree with the statement due to legal pressure from Radford. If this hypothesis is correct, then Radford could use public statements made about him and Stollznow in order to antagonize her further, compounding what’s already coming from skeptics/atheists in the community friendly to Radford.
    In short, think before you post.

  75. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    Like I said over at Lousy Canuck’s:

    In other words, “shut up about me or the dame gets it.” That really shows us the quality of the people we’re looking at here.

  76. Louis says

    Wonderful! Nearly fortnight of baiting and Chas finally bites. And does so in a superbly incompetent fashion. So let’s dissect what I knew was coming.

    I’m going to have to break this down into several posts because it will be extremely long and it will contain multiple links.

    I make few apologies for length because it’s necessary in this instance to counter the claims I want to counter. That said, I realise that this fortnight’s campaign of mocking Chas has been unpleasantly self indulgent on my part (and self-indulgently unpleasant), and I do think I’ve been a bit naughty, so for that I apologise.

    Not that anyone needs my permission but please feel free to ignore any and all of this, and I apologise for strain on scrolling fingers and or clicking on killfile fingers.

    1) Humour, invective, mockery, and sundry frivolities:

    a) Whether or not Chas likes my humour:

    Chas, your liking of anything I write that is humorous (or not) is immaterial. Especially if that humour is directed at mocking you. You’re not the intended audience of the humour, in this instance you’re the target of it. The fact that you cannot recognise that is the first point of evidence of your shallow thought and comparative lack of intelligence. This is a theme to which I will be returning, it is very relevant to one of my major points. Believe it or not, arguments have been hidden (exceedingly badly hidden, I practically telegraphed them) in the majority of my posts.

    The second point here is that when the joke/humour is there for you to get, you simply don’t get it. This is one of the reasons I call you “humourless” and mean it very seriously. You have a long documented past record of simply not understanding peoples’ (by far and away not just mine) humour (Just one recent example. You also have a long history of deriding humour as not serious. You could not be further from the truth if you tried. Humour is deeply serious and serves a serious purpose. The fact that you miss this too is further evidence of your shallow thought, relative lack of intellect and perspicacity.

    You are mistaking the intent and target of the humour (at the very least) and criticising your own misinterpretation rather than what is said.

  77. Louis says

    b) Invective:

    A large part of what I have posted to you since the start of this interaction on the 10th of this month has been simple abuse. Invective. Insult. Whilst I might question my own wisdom in acting this way, and I freely grant it can and does say all sorts of unpleasant things about my character that I would so richly indulge my crueller side, I have on no occasion ever pretended differently. I am happy, gleefully so, to acknowledge my flaws in this (and any other) regard.

    Like I said, Chas, over the years you have made no secret of your dislike for me, why does it surprise you that I make no secret of mine for you? Are you to be permitted free licence in your dislike and expression of it, and no one else in theirs? I think you actually believe that this is the case, it’s a fundamental element of your hypocrisy as it happens.

    It is, however, not invective without a point, whatever you may think. I use invective to specifically illustrate precisely how low you ride in my opinion. I use it specifically to bait you, to goad you into responses because I know those responses will expose you and the flaws in your claims. You are an easy fish to catch.

    Things like the “C.H.A.S.” acronym are not criticism, they are insult. To try to claim obvious goads and insults are arguments is disingenuous. They are not claimed to be. The arguments might be buried in the insult, they are not claimed to be the insult. And if you think insult is all there is, you’re not reading for anything vaguely resembling comprehension. A trivially easy error on your part to avoid, and yet you fell into the obvious heffalump trap.

    For example, the comment you refer to is mostly insulting. Admittedly in a silly and unpleasantly humorous way (again the audience is not you, the purpose of the humour and silliness is solidarity with other commenters and a good bit of self indulgence. It amuses me to be to unpleasant to you, Chas. You’re unpleasant to others, you think you’re beyond response, as demonstrated by your behaviour, and thus I indulged myself). It does however contain a point or two, firstly, the hypocrisy of your complaint about mere length of comment when you’re perfectly comfortable to do this yourself. As if length itself were a negative (remember you brought up length as criticism). Second, it is further comment on your humorlessness and a reply to a comment about what and who your humorlessness reminds people of. Third, it is a reminder that yet again to that point you had yet to deliver on supporting the claims you made (a habitual failure on your part). There’s more but let’s leave it there. The fact that this is not abundantly obvious to you is, yet again, evidence of your comparative lack of intellect and perspicacity. A point I really am going to hammer home.

    What you think of that, whether you care about that, is irrelevant. As is whether or not I care about your opinion of me etc. Note the difference between how you demonstrate something and that you demonstrate something. It’s a distinction you’ve missed. Further evidence.

  78. Louis says

    c) Criticism:

    You have, yet again, demonstrated you don’t understand what you criticise. And furthermore don’t understand criticism. This matters because of the content of your responses, what you claim to be the case. Here’s just one case in point from your comment #37 on this thread:

    Ouch! Because responding directly to a series of statements a la Marjonovic is totally the same thing as “typing 800 words in a row”! But it’s always fun to play the Trivial False-Equivalence Hypocrisy Gotcha Game, eh? You and Nick and the Slymepit denizens share that fun hobby.

    And what I actually said:

    Not only point missed (HILAIRIOUSLY) but Post #752 (previous ‘Dome) =774 words including quotes.

    First approximation? Order of magnitude? Round up to nearest 100? 1 significant figure?**

    But I don’t have a hat…

    Oh I suppose that there are some excuses, parts are copied and pasted not typed etc. But I think this “WAH SOMETHING IS LONG” attempt at “criticism” is utterly pathetic. Nearly up to the level of “WAH you put your name at the end of your comments”, real biting, trenchant stuff.

    No false equivalence at all. I’ve bolded the relevant part for you. Again, you are simply too stupid, too lacking in perspicacity and too keen to criticise and cavil to notice what’s actually said. “Parts are copied and pasted not typed” “…there are some excuses”, the use of the conditional preposition “but” (indicating to even the meanest intellect a departure from the previous point) demonstrate unambiguously that no equivalence is being made. You are being mocked for complaining about an irrelevance. Your lack of understanding that it is irrelevant is actually meaningful and pertinent to the points I’ve been making. Not that you’ve noticed.

    You flail around to try to find something to criticise, as if your criticism will distract from your obvious lack of argument, insight and point. Hence why you seize on “things you don’t like” (length, the signing the end of my posts etc) as if they were pertinent or relevant. They’re not. I’ll make a point about length and caring in the next section by the way, don’t think I’ve ignored it.

    If I claimed I had no personal quirks that others could find annoying/affected (like signing the bottom of my posts), your criticism of that would have a point. I have never done that. If I claimed that long comments were somehow negative, then your initial complaint about length would be relevant. I’ve never done so, so your complaint isn’t. Remember, before you go off half-cocked as usual, there is a point about length and caring I’ll make below.

    The point here is that your complaints are utterly irrelevant to anything I’ve been saying. They are a distraction, a transparent one, from your own failings. You cannot muster an argument against your critics, of which I am one, so you obfuscate. I’m not fooled, very few people are fooled, by this as is clearly demonstrated by the nature of the pushback you receive.

    If you any of doubt this, there are plenty of examples. Believe me when I say I have every comment open and ready to quote. You’ve provided me with an opportunity to do something I care about. So onto caring.

    (One quick aside: what do you think criticising spelling does? Do you know if I spelled that word incorrectly on purpose or not? If I did, do you even get the joke (because it is there by the way, oblique though it might be)? If I didn’t, how is your criticism meaningful? Swiping at Ing, the obvious point of that comment is meaningless. Spelling is not a relevant criticism, and there are plenty of examples of your own misspellings to be found. Note I don’t bother to, or need to, criticise your misspellings. They’re irrelevant. Again, this is just evidence that you are flailing at people, trying to find negatives about their comments to disguise your own flaws. You have nothing but unpleasantness to contribute, so you do nothing else.)

  79. Louis says

    d) Caring:

    As before, you don’t understand what I have said I care about, and slide two (or more) meanings and targets of “care” together to obfuscate your own failings. When I say I do not care for you, that is an expression of dislike. This is separate from caring about you, which is a more debatable thing. It is also very separate from caring about what you do here at Pharyngula which I do care about. A reasonable amount, otherwise why put any effort in at all.

    I do not care for you, I dislike you. I am relatively indifferent to you in the sense of caring about you, I wish you no harm in any meaningful sense, and genuinely hope that your life outside of posting at Pharyngula is as pleasant and obstacle free as possible. Whether or not I believe you to be a happy and fulfilled person (I don’t) outside of Pharyngula is meaningless, irrelevant and a happy distraction.

    However, I do care a measurable amount about what you do here at Pharyngula, after all this is the medium in which we interact, and in which you interact with others. So, yes, I will spend effort on that. It is not shame, nor crime, nor negative thing to spend time on something I have some degree of interest in. Whatever degree that might be.

    I also care about the abortion issue and women’s rights in general. I confess I didn’t particularly start life that way, and into my teens and early twenties (and in some cases even later) I know for a fact I made the exact same errors of judgement and conduct that so regularly get excoriated here. I am, after all, a product of my environment like anyone else. Conversations at Pharyngula, even heated ones where I was demonstrably wrong and it took me ages to “get it”, were instrumental in me changing my mind about many subjects to do with women’s rights and abortion. I’m not saying I started of as an MRA equivalent, I didn’t, but I was, and I am even sure am now, occasionally thoughtlessly sexist. I’m putting in the effort to reduce the instances of this. That’s not a virtue, it’s a recognition that I am not perfectly virtuous.

    For example, I specifically remember being an advocate of “safe, legal and rare” on abortion. Reading arguments here and elsewhere about the limits of that position and the unintended negative consequences of that convinced me I was wrong to advocate that position in that way. I didn’t, in that case, need a massive argument like I have in others. I feel no shame in either or any case because I simply don’t believe, nor have ever claimed, I am beyond error. I will argue my case if I believe I am not in error in a specific instance, and I also see no shame in that, regardless of whether I am wrong or right. Incidentally, the fact you think I should be ashamed of things like this, as evidenced by your bringing them up (do I need to quote you?) is very telling of your attitude to error.

    That aside, the point about caring is that I do care. I care about the quality of arguments before me, for example (my comment on the subject was a partial agreement with you on the value of debate). I disagreed about the context and forum, but in principle I strongly agree about the utility of debate.

    I also care that the environment of Pharyngula is made demonstrably more combative and unpleasant by your comments. Not because you disagree, but because of how you disagree. The fact of disagreement is immaterial. I think disagreement is good. I don’t think how you, Chas, disagree with things is generally productive, insightful or pleasant. I am sure there are exceptions, but this recent instance is not one of them. In fact, as I’ll demonstrate when I get to the abortion question, you’ve absolutely not understood the issues, and your style of sniping and cavilling has obscured good argument in favour of generating invective. I’ll grant it takes two (or in this case, many) to tango, and I am certainly not about to claim to be above the fray, above the use of abuse and invective to get my distaste across, and I’ll not claim that for many (or even anyone) here. But the point here is that your specific style of criticism and disagreement is spectacularly at odds with what you claim for yourself and any form of reasoned discourse.

    So let’s move onto that before the genuinely relevant stuff:

  80. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    @97

    As long as that “retraction” exists only as a photo on Ben Radford’s FB page, I see no reason to take it seriously.

  81. Louis says

    2) Chas’ methods (The first thing under genuine criticism):

    The comparatively short comments you make that snipe at individuals or arguments are at best elliptical. Mostly they’re misguided. This abortion example being a wonderful case in point, hence why I bothered to comment to and about you at all. You’re in my killfile for a reason and you go largely ignored.

    You frequently make claims about the incompleteness or foolishness of certain arguments, and when challenged often do not back up these assertions. Again, this is by no means always the case, but in this instance it is. You have a reputation for this as any reading of the comments in the original thread or for another example this one will demonstrate.

    A successful rebuttal to this is not “you have this negative reputation X, Louis”, because a) I’m not denying that I have undeniably negative traits that lead to a negative reputation and b) I am not setting myself up as a critic of some hivemind/groupthink/PC brigade and thus the only clear thinker in the room. Unlike you, Chas. Take for example this classic.

    I just think that ideas are worth thinking about and discussing, whatever they are, and that unquestioned adherence to Correct Doctrine is lazy and boring.

    Bolding mine. And this as another example.

    I s’pose Silverman just doesn’t buy the analogy of atheists to correctly progressive baseball cards. weird, I know.

    Bolding mine.

    What are “unquestioned adherence to correct doctrine” and “correctly progressive” if not (at least implicit, but in this case quite overt) claims that there is some politically correct dogma being adhered to? These are attempts to complain about political correctness and broad “progressive” ideas without ever actually using the words political correctness. They fool no one.

    How about this gem on persecution, accusations of group think etc?

    Why is it sop terrifying to think about an alternative perspective on what to a lot of people is a far more complex issue than can be covered by your conventional nostrums?
    I’ll repeat: I agree with your opinion. I simply can’t condone the righteous sanctimony and obnoxious snark with which you dismiss (some) alternative ones. Look at the OP: abortion, in which something is irrefutably killed, whatever you want to call it, is equivocated with wearing underpants on your head. Sorry, that’s offensively facile to me. And I don’t mind saying so. Nor do I give a rat’s ass what you think of me for saying so.
    So have nice days.

    Bolding, again, mine.

    All of these (and there are more) directly contradict this claim:

    You’re making shit up. If you can’t quote of me using a phrase anything like “PC police” or even complaining about harsh treatment, you’re a liar.

    What I complain about is all the people–take you for example–who habitually give me shit for stuff I never said, because they can’t read and just jump to the easy usual conclusion instead. You’re the freakin king of such bullshit. On the other hand, people with decent reading comprehension can be as harsh to me as they see fit. I’ll cite strange gods and SC as examples. I’ve taken more angry bullshit in stride than anyone else around here, bar none, and it’s because I know the difference between legitimate criticism of ideas and opinions on the one hand and the barking of half-learned slogans on the other.

    Bolding mine.

    I’ll repeat what I initially said: it’s not terrifying to think about an alternative perspective. That’s not the issue at all. Claiming it is is a direct, unambiguous claim that other people are not thinking about alternative perspectives (they are), that they are terrified (and thus reacting purely emotionally or defensively. They’re not), “righteous sanctimony” and “obnoxious snark” are expressly claims about attack (in this instance not personal to Chas), and “give me shit” etc is a claim about personal attack (in this instance personal to Chas).

    There exist alternative explanations. Terrifying for you, Chas, I know. At least one of which is that you are transparent. You are not superior or possessed of unique insights as the above quotes indicate you think you are. The reason you get shit is not due to mere sloganeering or political correctness (whatever words you use to describe that) or unthought adherence to dogma. The reason you get shit is because you repeatedly demonstrate a tin ear on specific subjects and offer nothing novel or insightful on them either. Instead you cavil and carp without a substantial objection. This will become obvious in the abortion section of my comments.

    You’re not the only one who has ever received “shit” from people, and regardless of what you like to think, others have learned from it. Take Walton as an example. Came in a libertarian, took ENORMOUS amounts of shit, changed his mind, admits he was previously wrong. There are a good few dozen other examples from major to minor. You on the other hand most frequently try to blame other people for you being wrong, as in this instance, and try to obfuscate by lashing out, as in this instance.

  82. Louis says

    (Crap! Should have previewed, apologies for borkquote, clarification available if needed)

    3) David Silverman and abortion comments (The second and last thing under genuine criticism):

    Finally you make your points. Granted they’ve been palpable from the start, but this is where my baiting (never claimed it was noble or prestigious btw. I will claim it a) has a purpose and b) is not very nice. Sometimes you have to climb into the gutter to fight the scum.) was intended to get you. You whined, cavilled and attacked when asked, mocked or even challenged to produce this. Reading back over the threads you have also, largely but not exclusively, avoided addressing the rebuttals and refutations of your claims. As I expect you to do here.

    Let’s take things in order:

    No, asshole, it’s not coming; nor was anything like that ever promised.

    Sorry, Chas, I wasn’t claiming you promised it, I was mocking you for claiming that something existed, and then when challenged on that claim, failing to support it.

    1. Background: Dave Silverman sez “There is a secular argument against abortion; it’s out there.” Teh ECO responds, first “nuh-uh; no there isn’t” and then “there is but it requires lying about science”, both of which strike me as stupid posturing.

    First, I don’t know what an ECO is, is this a swipe at PZ? Pretty cheap shot if so. Immaterial anyway. Second, NO! This is not what David Silverman said. What he said was:

    I will admit there is a secular argument against abortion. You can’t deny that it’s there, and it’s maybe not as clean cut as school prayer, right to die, and gay marriage.

    This is an explicit referral to the broad issue of abortion. NOT the individual decisions of people. This is relevant to claim 3 by you, by the way.

    The implication, by comparison with the other issues mentioned, is that unlike them the grand issue of abortion is up for debate in a manner the others are not. That a secular argument against abortion exists, and in some manner is sufficiently valid to cast the matter into some factual or ethical doubt. Again, this is a broad, general, not personal or individual claim.

    You make a similar claim (despite your protestation that you didn’t) here

    My evidently extremely unpopular thing is to think for myself and venture to express some opinions where it looks to me like a valid point of view is being ignored or unjustly ridiculed. It’s just how my brain works; no lie. I’m sorry it makes folks unhappy.

    As for trolling, yeah, maybe, sometimes, but only after being thoroughly frustrated by irrationality.

    Bolding mine.

    “Valid” and “unjustly ridiculed”. I chose those words deliberately. They were your words. I also predicted somewhere (and annoyingly I can’t find the comment, so it’s possible that it’s one I didn’t post or my google-fu is weak) that you’d slide to “personal arguments” when the topic is clearly about general ones. As you were told right back on the original thread (not by me I hasten to add).

    Next, PZ did NOT claim a “secular argument did not exist”, he explicitly said in the OP that the criterion “secular” is insufficient.

    But here’s the bottom line: it is not enough to make a purely secular argument. It has to also be a good argument, unless atheism is to become a smokescreen for nonsense, to be accepted purely because of its godless label. And then atheism might as well just be another religion.

    So you are simply wrong about your first claim in all possible senses. At this point I actually question whether or not you are merely wrong or actually dishonest. After all both of these facts were pointed out to you repeatedly over the various threads. So stupid or dishonest? I’d argue both, but then I don’t like you.

    Given your whining about reading comprehension, I’ll pause to note that you demonstrably, unambiguously have shown you cannot read for comprehension. I, on the other hand, have not. You’re not being misread, you’re simply wrong and too fragile an egotist to cope with that. Hence the flailing and echo chamber bullshit.

  83. Louis says

    2. I point out that all that is required for a secular argument against abortion is to impute ethical value to human fetuses. That’s it.

    Shoddy reasoning. All that’s required for a secular argument is that it’s secular, i.e. contains no religious/theistic/deistic/polytheistic etc premises or referents.

    As noted above the whole point of the debate against Silverman’s comments and yours is not that an argument is merely secular but that it is good. In other words that it counters some points of the pro-abortion arguments. The arguments debated in the various threads do not do this. And you have barely mentioned any of them beyond a token. In other words you have not supported any of the claims you state. That is one reason you are receiving push back. You’re making a claim and not supporting it.

    2a. This is sufficient to support Silverman, because there are, empirically and inarguably, secular nontheistic people who do just that. (nb: it’s irrelevant to the argument, but I am not one of them.)

    This is an identical claim to “religious scientists exist, therefore science and religion are compatible”. It’s wrong. It’s a category error. It’s actually a pretty disingenuous argument. Simply because people hold an idea it does not follow that this idea is valid or coherent, the claim being made by yourself and Silverman. The claim that is at issue.

    Not only that but several people informed you very clearly that the existence of these people was a) never in doubt and b) irrelevant.

    I’m going to ignore 2b because you’ve already admitted you got that wrong, it’s a fairly big tangent too. Largely irrelevant because the analogy is a poor one, eating animals is not sufficiently analogous to carrying a foetus to term with all that entails. I can come back to it if needed.

  84. Louis says

    2c. Imputing ethical value to human fetuses can be part of a perfectly coherent and (though I doubt I ever used this term) valid system of personal secualr ethics.

    The evidence of you using this term is above. And this has been the major bone of contention between others and yourself/the Silverman quote.

    The point of “they can’t do it without lying about science” and similar arguments has been that, no, this VALID argument does not exist. The argument is incoherent and invalid. It contradicts, at some point, bodily autonomy for the woman etc. Bodily autonomy that the person advancing the argument demonstrably claims for themselves. It is fundamentally self contradicting in that it leads to a near magical flip of the importance of bodily autonomy between the woman and the foetus, and that it requires a double standard regarding global bodily autonomy. This was laboriously pointed out to you by many people on several threads and largely ignored by you. It’s also only one of the problems.

    The problem is not that this claim of foetal potential/value can be made on some ethical basis, it’s that this claim of foetal potential/value cannot be made in a coherent, valid, non-self contradictory manner. As many posters demonstrated to you (again, I wasn’t one of them, nor was it my intention to be. I can be if so desired though).

    The secular pro-choice arguments rest on beliefs about foetal potential (for the most part, and as you have acknowledged). This exception is neither taken to its logical conclusion nor are the consequences for the woman involved accounted for. She is effectively erased in the evidence free elevation of the foetus at some point. The standard extremist “8 months then ABORT” nonsense is a frequent addition at this point.

    3. Being “against abortion” in this sense is not (necessarily) being anti-choice, anti-woman, anti-bodily autonomy, or anything else. It’s perfectly possible to be “against abortion” because one imputes ethical value to human fetuses but at the same time be unwilling to impose one’s personal ethics on everybody else. It’s possible to be “against abortion” because one imputes ethical value to human fetuses but to impute even more value to living breathing fully grown women. It’s possible to b.”a.a.”b.o.i.e.v.t.h.f. but think that the principle of bodily autonomy is so important that it trumps all other ethical considerations.
    And a lot of secular people do think those ways. They are “anti-abortion” on a personal level but not in any way “anti-choice”. They may even be vocal pro-choice advocates and activists despite their personal ethical misgivings.

    This is, as noted, a very tiresome irrelevance. The existence of secular, politically pro-choice people who would not choose to have an abortion themselves is neither controversial, problematic, but most importantly nor is it an indicator that a valid, secular argument against abortion exists. This merely shows that people can realise that their personal choices do not need to be binding on anyone else.

  85. Louis says

    So ~4700 (Hell, let’s call it 5000 between friends) words later, what’s the point?

    Doubtless you, Chas, will make some spurious and utterly irrelevant complaint as you continually have being. Okay so there has been a bit of a point, a reason I spent my morning typing away into Word and reading threads from the last fortnight. Part of that point is to expose your drivel for what it is, part of it is to demonstrate your arguments for the obvious nonsense they are.

    I make no secret of the fact that my manipulation of you lead you to fall into some very obviously laid traps, and that part of my motivation is because I find you to be deeply unpleasant. I also find you to be shallow and transparent, and whilst it’s not a pleasant characteristic of mine, exposing that to greater scrutiny is to some degree amusing and worthwhile.

    But, whether you believe it or not, the bulk of the point is to get you to put your claims up for scrutiny. And such bad claims they are. Based on misreadings (deliberate misrepresentations?) of what people have said and your own curmudgeonly ego.

    Let’s see if you have the spine to actually defend a claim (not that you can) rather than obfuscate with further stupidity.

    Louis

    P.S. I’m sorry this is a bit late, watching Leicester beat Exeter and having lunch got in the way. I do hope I’ll be forgiven.

  86. Rich Woods says

    @Beatrice #87:

    I had no idea I liked radio shows until a a couple of weeks back.

    I know what you mean. I never listened to the radio at all until four or five years ago, when I started listening to the 6.30pm comedies on BBC Radio 4. There are some truly incredible programmes on, like Old Harry’s Game and I’m Sorry, I Haven’t A Clue, all arising out of the same groundbreaking tradition as HHGTTG, going back as far as the 1940s.

    It could take me the rest of my life to listen to it all, but it’s not like I’ve got anything better to do!

  87. Al Dente says

    Louis @109

    Leicester beat Exeter

    That’s a fiver I’ll never see again. That is if I had actually bet on the game.

  88. brianpansky says

    @john a

    Morality can’t exist without God.

    i would refute you, but you already partially refute yourself:

    a nice tool we invent to make society work better.

    anyways, you have a few problems:

    1) you would need to explain what it means for morality to exist when a god exists

    2) you would need to explain why that morality is “real”, but others are not

    3) you would have to face off with hypothetical imperatives, which not only encompass your fictional god morals, but also provide us with true morality regardless of the existence of a god.

    but i assume all you will have is word games, as usual.

  89. ck says

    So, what do you suppose happens when feminists work on a documentary on the problems that boys face when given impossible standards of masculinity (The Mask You Live In – Trailer, by the group who created Miss Representation)? They hate it and decry it (in the comments), of course. It’s “cultural marxism”, “emasculating”, “pussification”, “feminizing”, etc., etc. No surprise, of course. The MRA crowd has always been more about anti-feminism than really giving a shit about the welfare of men or boys.

    One thing I don’t understand: What the hell is “cultural marxism” supposed to be anyway? I know how it’s used to describe just about anything that isn’t hard right and reactionary, but the phrase itself seems utterly meaningless to me.

  90. anteprepro says

    ck

    What the hell is “cultural marxism” supposed to be anyway? I know how it’s used to describe just about anything that isn’t hard right and reactionary, but the phrase itself seems utterly meaningless to me.

    I don’t hear it that often. Sounds like bafflegab. I’m guessing the logic goes:

    -“Marxism” is all about handouts and utopianism and entitlements and everybody having everything. It’s about Teh Nanny State.
    -“Cultural Marxism” is a culture that is like that: too touchy-feely, not Independent and Ruggest Individualist enough. It turns everyone in The State into Nannies.

    Maybe that’s what they are going for? But that’s giving them way too much credit. They are probably just thoughtlessly spewing out buzzwords and that’s all they need to do.

  91. ck says

    @anteprepro,

    I’ve seen it used somewhat frequently to describe anything to do with multiculturalism or feminism, but not often against social welfare programs, so maybe. Anders Breivik was fond of the term, and helped publicise it by killing all those kids.

    Wikipedia has an article on the term, but it just discusses a rather obsolete definition that seems to have died in the 1960s, and then the modern one that conservatives have adopted, while there isn’t much to link the two. I was kinda hoping that it wasn’t just a generic insult lobbed at anyone who they oppose (much like they use fascist, nazi, socialist, etc), but it really does seem like it is.

  92. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Huh, what? Good morning.

    *stumbles out of bathroom, toweling hair*
    *looks around*

    Um. Where is everybo…. *scream*

  93. vaiyt says

    @Chas

    It’s perfectly possible to be “against abortion” because one imputes ethical value to human fetuses but at the same time be unwilling to impose one’s personal ethics on everybody else.

    If you won’t have an abortion yourself but defends that others can have the choice, guess what, you’re pro-choice. Someone as smart as you should have figured this out.

  94. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    @Chas

    It’s perfectly possible to be “against abortion” because one imputes ethical value to human fetuses but at the same time be unwilling to impose one’s personal ethics on everybody else.

    If you won’t have an abortion yourself but defends that others can have the choice, guess what, you’re pro-choice. Someone as smart as you should have figured this out.

    I think what Chas, in his infinite and fact-averse wisdom, is trying to say is that Silverman was merely asserting the existence of people who hold this position and not trying to claim that there are valid arguments against abortion rights at all. Of course, as has been pointed out numerous times (I’m sure totally accidentally overlooked by Chas and not at all willfully ignored), he’s full of shit based on the context of Silverman’s comments.

  95. Louis says

    J’ai toujours fait une prière à Dieu, qui est fort courte. La voici: Mon Dieu, rendez nos ennemis bien ridicules! Dieu m’a exaucé.

    Voltaire.

    I wish I’d said that. (You have, Louis, you have.)

    Louis

  96. rq says

    Stahp! Stahp with the radio archives! I can’t even read the first list to its end before the new stuff being linked! *drowns in radio shows*

  97. ChasCPeterson says

    Why is it so difficult for so many to just address what someone actually said instead of going through the mental gyrations necessary to address what you personally think they really meant?

    [And I swore I would not respond, and meant it, but I cannot help wondering to what "facts" I am allegedly "averse". A short list would be most helpful. I'm serious. Facts and data are far more important to me than feelings or intuitions, yours or mine, and if I really appear fact-averse it would be something worth correcting.]

  98. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    @128 Chas

    Why is it so difficult for so many to just address what someone actually said instead of going through the mental gyrations necessary to address what you personally think they really meant?

    Why is it so difficult for you to specify what people are getting wrong instead of pissing and moaning about how misunderstood you are?

    I cannot help wondering to what “facts” I am allegedly “averse”. A short list would be most helpful. I’m serious. Facts and data are far more important to me than feelings or intuitions, yours or mine, and if I really appear fact-averse it would be something worth correcting.

    The fact to which you are averse in this case is the context of the comments Silverman made which, funnily enough, I discussed in my comment.

    Look. It’s been pointed out to you that being personally against abortion while being politically pro-choice is not meaningfully different than simply being pro-choice which makes all your bloviating re: the ethical value of fetuses relative to pregnant adults not an argument against abortion at all, let alone a valid one. It’s been pointed out to you that Silverman listed abortion along with other human rights issues which strongly suggests he’s talking about abortion rights and not his personal morality. It’s also been pointed out that he contrasted abortion with those other topics as being much more open for debate than the others.

    If you didn’t mean your treatise on the ethical value of fetuses as a valid argument against abortion rights and you didn’t mean that Silverman was speaking of personal morality and not about rights at all, then explain what you did mean or shut the fuck up about it.

    If everyone you’re trying to communicate with is taking a different meaning from your words than what you’re trying to convey, the problem is on your end.

  99. Jacob Schmidt says

    Why is it so difficult for so many to just address what someone actually said instead of going through the mental gyrations necessary to address what you personally think they really meant?

    Are you talking about your words or Silverman’s? If the latter, I’ve gone over my problem’s with them way up the thread, as have several others.

    I don’t have much of a problem with your words, but you do seem to be stuck on a weird tangent. You competently argue that one can be against abortion personally without being against abortion rights, except I don’t think anyone here has a problem with that. You’re right, you’re just off topic.

  100. chigau (違う) says

    Whinge about another thread
    How is it some commenters can manage to blockquote but can’t manage upper case or punctuation?

  101. says

    Chigau:

    How is it some commenters can manage to blockquote but can’t manage upper case or punctuation?

    Pressing those keys is haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaard. Really.

  102. Lofty says

    Inaji

    Pressing those keys is haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaard. Really.

    yeah well one hand typing and all that

  103. Portia says

    Ingdigo Jump@129

    @Chas

    I think we would be all happier if you actually stuck to your oaths.

    Chas is not responding. Don’t be fooled. Your eyes deceive you. To be responding, he’d have to be saying something. Which he’s not. Because reasons.

  104. anteprepro says

    torbertin: Good review! Shameful movie. Though I’m surprised your brother was surprised. That’s par for the fucking course. Glad he brought attention to it, though. Especially mentioning the audience gleefully responding to the movie despite that conclusion. Typical, but disturbing.

  105. chigau (違う) says

    So that’s it then.
    Beatrice is toast, I mean it’s been more than 20 hours…

  106. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend, Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Beatrice Gone? Sorry, I’ve been largely unavailable, what with my sudden trip out of town. I must have missed some significant events. Well, I’m off to get some things done. Do tell me if anything else horrible happens while I’m conveniently gone.

    What? Oh, that? Um, sorry [rubrubrub; looks at red smear on hand]. Oh, that was, um, some lipstick. From Ms Cripdyke. Who very, very frequently wears lots of lipstick and then kisses me on the edge of my face.

    So, I’m off again. I’ll, um, check in after a while.

  107. Jacob Schmidt says

    That’s a good review.

    From the trailer and the review,* I think I’m going to enjoy professor Radisson as a character. I know he’s supposed to e the biggest pompous asshole on the planet, but preformances like this are so over the top I can’t help but enjoy the ridiculousness of it all.

    *Specifically this bit:

    … I shit you not, there is literally a scene where [Radisson] sneers over the quality of the wine that he drinks shortly before directing an antagonistic recitation of a greek quote at his significant other and then mocking her for not speaking ancient greek…

  108. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    [enters, whistling a jaunty tune]

    Oh hey, I didn’t see you there.

    Don’t mind me, I’m just off to the basement. I thought I heard a cat or something down there.

    No, no, stay here, won’t be a minute…

    [exits]

  109. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Huh, what? Good morning.

    *stumbles out of bathroom, toweling hair*
    *looks around*

    Um. Where is everybo…. *scream*

  110. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @Kroos in 714 in previous thread
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2014/03/19/thunderdome-42/comment-page-2/#comment-769372

    Still not seeing it. You can assert all you want that logic and rules cannot come from nothing, but you’re just asserting your premise. Sorry – I do not accept your naked assertion.

    I think it plausible that rules and logic can just happen, and in that space that was created from nothing, those rules and logic can apply. I think it plausible that the universe came into existence absent logic, causation, etc., and then reason and logic are binding in the newly created space of the new universe. I see nothing wrong with this.

    All you have is the assertion that “nu-uh”. You have not made a valid and sound argument from premises I accept that it cannot happen. You have not made an argument showing a logical inconsistency in my beliefs. Thus your comments are unconvincing. All you have is repeating the same bare assertions which I’ve already said that I do not accept. Your presuppositionalist tactics are unconvincing. You’ve added absolutely nothing new in at least a dozen posts now. You fail to comprehend this simple truth: Again, if you want to persuade me, show a sound argument from premises I accept as true, or show how my beliefs are logically inconsistent. Anything else I can and will dismiss.

    @consciousness razor
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2014/03/19/thunderdome-42/comment-page-2/#comment-769433

    You cannot convince me with reason to not use reason. Similarly, you cannot use evidence and science to convince me to not use evidence and science.

    I’m not interested in convincing you to not use reason or evidence or science. What the hell is your point?

    I think you asked for examples of facts / beliefs / values which I hold beyond all doubt. I gave examples. Those are my examples. I even went above and beyond that you also have those facts / beliefs / values, and you also hold those particular examples beyond all doubt. Or are you saying that I can reason you out of using reason?

    About libertarianism. It is my assertion that if a 1% income tax were sufficient to prevent hunger in the US, then we citizens of the US would be morally obliged to do so. Even if 90% of it went to corruption and waste. Even if 90% of it went to lazy bums mooching the system who “should get a job”. It is a moral requirement to actively help out your neighbour in some small part at least a little. There is a term for this, “food stamps”, AFAIK also known as SNAP or something.

    Furthermore, those numbers are a gross exaggeration by the US Republican party lie campaign.

    It is hard to think of a more despicable position to hold than the position that we ought to get rid of food stamps. Yet, right now in this country, the Republican party is trying hard to get rid of food stamps. This is pure, unadulterated evil. It is hard to imagine a public policy which is more evil than letting people starve when we could give them food.

    If you think that food stamps are a good idea, then you are not a libertarian. You are for the redistribution of material wealth (food, and money to buy food) with violence (taxes are violence). You are a socialist (a little bit at least). This is what the words mean.

    Libertarians are supremely ignorant, or supremely evil. Or both. It’s hard to tell sometimes.

  111. Louis says

    Chas,

    I’m not going to bite you. I really have no idea where you’ve been. Sounds positively unhygienic.

    Louis

    P.S. Res ipsa loquitor

  112. Owlmirror says

    This is just to say
    I have eaten
    the data
    that were on
    your computer

    and which
    you were probably
    planning
    to serve to web browsers

    forgive me
    they were delicious
    and my cache server
    needed varnishing

  113. says

    ElightenmentLiberal

    You are a socialist (a little bit at least). This is what the words mean.

    It damn well doesn’t, and I’m sick of people saying it is. Infrastructure (which is what a social safety net is) is an essential part of any economic system. Libertarians don’t understand this, which is one of the things that make them so supremely ignorant (many are also profoundly evil). A little bit of Socialism would be government factories where you could go work if no-one else would hire you (a lot of socialism and that’s the only place to look for work anyway; this is inadvisable.)

  114. says

    And on that note, redistribution of money ≠ redistribution of wealth. Redistribution of wealth would be things like moving people into empty houses, transferring titles to residents from banks and landlords, splitting company ownership equally among the workers, and things of that kidney.

  115. caesar says

    It is my assertion that if a 1% income tax were sufficient to prevent hunger in the US, then we citizens of the US would be morally obliged to do so.

    Based on what exactly? It seems to me that your assertion of a moral obligation has as much weight as anybody else’s, which is exactly nil.

    Even if 90% of it went to corruption and waste. Even if 90% of it went to lazy bums mooching the system who “should get a job”

    If a whopping 90% was wasted or went to corruption, then it seems to me that the program should be ended.

  116. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    ? It seems to me that your assertion of a moral obligation has as much weight as anybody else’s, which is exactly nil.

    No, you have a moral responsibility to see for the welfare of the society you live in. No man is an island, but liberturds like to pretend that is the case.If a whopping 90% was wasted or went to corruption, then it seems to me that the program should be ended.Prima facie evidence of your moral bankruptcy, by not providing for those in need, and are part of the 6.2 million unemployed, facing only 200,000 new jobs per month. Your idiotology sucks bigtime.

  117. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Dang, borked the second blockquote in #159, which is caesars 90% waste whine.

  118. brianpansky says

    If a whopping 90% was wasted or went to corruption, then it seems to me that the program should be ended.

    you are commenting on a hypothetical scenario where hunger is successfully prevented with a call to simply end the program?

    there would be a multitude of other options available to try, if you really couldn’t stand the 90% waste. but i can’t see why you would end such a successful program. yes, ending hunger would be a spectacular success, and possibly the most epic achievement for any large society.

  119. opposablethumbs says

    caesar – priorities,ffs? In the hypothetical case that hunger could be prevented with such a vanishingly tiny effort on the part of those paying income tax then obviously they should do it; the hypothetical 90% misused wouldn’t matter a gnat’s fart (and don’t forget to compare that with the reality, where the percentage wrongly paid out is actually tiny). Moral obligation? How about shared humanity, will that do? Or are you one of those I-am-an-island types?

  120. says

    caesar
    If you don’t like the moral argument, how’s one based on brutal pragmatism grab ya?
    People don’t tend to starve quietly. When the pangs of hunger get to bad, or you look into the pinched face of a family member who hasn’t had a meal in days, you don’t just shrug your shoulders and damn your luck. You break a window in the night, and make off with a loaf of bread, or whatever you can get. Or maybe you cosh someone who looks more prosperous than you to go through wallets and purses. If you’ve got a different kind of mind, you grab the first weapon that comes to hand and go look for revenge on the whole damn world until they bring you down. This is what people do. No amount of moralizing, no amount of preaching, no amount of insisting that they ought to do something else will change this simple fact. And all of these things come with costs. Costs that everyone pays, in locks and deadbolts, in bars and alarms and police and prisons, in pain and death, in suspicion and fear and the breakdown of the fundamental glue that makes a society. Those are the costs of doing nothing, that can be avoided at with a social safety net, cheap at the price.
    And that’s just for starters; there’s the multiplier effect caused by people who wouldn’t otherwise have money buying thing and keeping the currency circulating, the economic benefits of which increase tax revenues and help pay for the program, something that can’t be said of, say, military adventurism.

  121. vaiyt says

    If a whopping 90% was wasted or went to corruption, then it seems to me that the program should be ended.

    Even if it actually worked?

  122. caesar says

    No, you have a moral responsibility to see for the welfare of the society you live in. No man is an island, but liberturds like to pretend that is the case

    Yes, it would be bad for the society as a whole if a large segment were not well fed and make enough money to live off of, but that doesn’t require any sort of moral obligation. People talk about morals as if they’re facts that can be determined by careful study. I have yet to see any evidence of that. At the end of the day, nobody really has to care about anyone beyond the extent necessary to ensure your own survival.

    Prima facie evidence of your moral bankruptcy

    Not moral bankruptcy, just pure logic. If anything is morally bankrupt, its continuing to support a program which you know mainly supports the corrupt. Aren’t you effectively endorsing theft by taking money and wasting it?

  123. brianpansky says

    @166

    are you trying to confirm every caricature of libertarians?

    mainly supports the corrupt

    you have no sense of scale, do you?

    completely ending hunger is huge. i can’t imagine how it would not outweigh whatever happens to the 90% waste. you are going to have to dream up something equally huge as a negative consequence, and the mere word “corruption” does not cut it.

  124. opposablethumbs says

    So … you’d rather people starve and die (and turn to crime out of desperation (which is kind of what anybody will do before they’ll watch their kids die)) than know that nobody is going hungry while countenancing the waste of 0.9% of your income. And you have the nerve to call this hypothetical 1% income tax situation “morally bankrupt”? Wow.

    Any chance we can offer caesar and all his little pals an island of their very own and invite them to stay there?

  125. brianpansky says

    put another way, the percentages don’t matter at all, only the consequences. one could just as easily imagine only 1% waste…but if that waste had a bad enough consequence to outweigh the 99%, or even reverse the positive effect of the 99%, then the program should be shut down.

    like, imagine the 10% ends hunger…and the 90% just kinda buys the bad people some nice shoes. it kinda matters what that 90% actually does.

  126. says

    opposablethumbs

    Any chance we can offer caesar and all his little pals an island of their very own and invite them to stay there?

    They keep saying they’ll build one, but the lazy sods can’t seem to get that right either.

  127. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Not moral bankruptcy, just pure logic. If anything is morally bankrupt, its continuing to support a program which you know mainly supports the corrupt. Aren’t you effectively endorsing theft by taking money and wasting it?

    I’ll support the program as you offer no replacement for it. And that does show your morally bankrupt character, terminating a program without offering a replacement. One doesn’t ever just jettison a program that helps people without replacing it with something better. You offer nothing better.

  128. caesar says

    brianpanski@161:

    you are commenting on a hypothetical scenario where hunger is successfully prevented with a call to simply end the program?

    If such a scenario were actually possible then maybe it would be worth it. On the other hand, all that money going to waste and corruption would likely be diverting funds from other things which might be of use to everyone. Seems to me that if you want to claim that Im morally bankrupt then it’s laughable to dismiss the waste of taxpayer money as merely minor side effect of ending hunger.

  129. opposablethumbs says

    Link’s borked, Dalillama, but I think I have an idea of the kind of thing it would have led to :-)

    Oh, if only they would.

    Actually that would make such a fantastic premise for a dystopian short story … I bet someone’s written one?

  130. says

    Not to be confused with Charles Stross’ Saturn’s Children, a completely unrelated book involving robots colonizing the solar system after the extinction of humanity for the first time, although I do recommend that one as well.
    caesar

    Seems to me that if you want to claim that Im morally bankrupt then it’s laughable to dismiss the waste of taxpayer money as merely minor side effect of ending hunger.

    That’s because we value human life and human flourishing, while you value…scraps of paper? Digital representations of hypothetical scraps of paper? Abstract concepts? What the hell do you value, anyway? Therefore, we consider something that allows a whole lot of human lives to continue to outweigh the specific number of digital representations of scraps of paper are involved in the process. As I noted in my earlier post, military spending (beyond maintenance of the National Guard) consists of 100% waste, but I don’t hear you whining about that.

  131. Pteryxx says

    So … you’d rather people starve and die (and turn to crime out of desperation (which is kind of what anybody will do before they’ll watch their kids die)) than know that nobody is going hungry while countenancing the waste of 0.9% of your income. And you have the nerve to call this hypothetical 1% income tax situation “morally bankrupt”? Wow.

    Well, it’s not like 90% of them are starving. If only 10% starve for lack of food aid funding, that’s obviously less immoral than wasting taxpayers’ money. /snark

  132. caesar says

    Dalillama@163:
    I’m not arguing against a safety net. I’m disputing this idea of moral responsibility. I agree that from a utilitarian viewpoint, it’s a net benefit to alleviate poverty, but the idea of moral responsibility seems to be just some made up BS that people ise to justify whatever they want. Seeing that most people on this site are atheists, I wonder how you justify this claim that we’re morally obligated to help others, as that implies that people have intrinsic worth. As Carl Sagan said, we are all space dust.

  133. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    Seems to me that if you want to claim that Im morally bankrupt then it’s laughable to dismiss the waste of taxpayer money as merely minor side effect of ending hunger.

    The mind. It boggles.

  134. Amphiox says

    If a whopping 90% was wasted or went to corruption, then it seems to me that the program should be ended.

    Does the 10% serve a necessary need?

    Is there an alternative that serves that necessary need better, or equally but with less “waste”?

    If no, then that 90% isn’t “waste”, it is simply an ancillary expense required to get the job done.

    Seems to me that if you want to claim that Im morally bankrupt then it’s laughable to dismiss the waste of taxpayer money as merely minor side effect of ending hunger.

    Why is it laughable? Compared to the importance of the primary goal, it IS a minor side effect. And until you demonstrate a more “efficient” alternative that serves the same purpose, it isn’t even “waste”. It is overhead.

  135. Rob Grigjanis says

    Why do so many libertarians seem to think that theft is something poor people do? As was pointed out in a previous thread, welfare fraud is a tiny fraction of corporate tax evasion. And the rich control government, especially in the US, in effect writing laws for their own (short-term) benefit. Yet most of the libertarian squawking I hear seems to be about food stamps and the minimum wage. Curious.

    Some numbers from a few years ago. I’m sure they’d be much worse now.

  136. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    Also to be considered, some not insignificant portion of what gets called benefit fraud in the US is people doing things like selling food stamps so they can buy toilet paper or put gas in the car.

  137. Amphiox says

    An internal combustion engine is, give or take, roughly 10% efficient.

    10% of the total energy produced from burning the fuel actually moves the vehicle. The rest, the 90%, is “wasted” as heat.

    So, should all ICE’s be banned? Motor vehicles abandoned, and people left to walk?

    In your standard rocket, about 1% of the fuel actually produces thrust to lift the payload into orbit. 99% of the fuel is “wasted”. Should we end spaceflight and satellite launches?

  138. Rob Grigjanis says

    opposablethumbs @180: So thoughtful of you to anticipate my comment :-)

    Nice graphic.

  139. brianpansky says

    lol, “well no one should really be using moral language, therefore no one has a point against my opinion” or something?

    @172

    i didn’t really make a moral accusation of you. anyways, i just can’t understand this:

    it’s laughable to dismiss the waste of taxpayer money as merely minor side effect of ending hunger.

    to that i only need to respond with: “it’s laughable to dismiss ending hunger based on the mere side effect of the waste of taxpayer money.”

    you don’t have any logic, you don’t have any content, your opinion is dismissed.

  140. Rey Fox says

    At the end of the day, nobody really has to care about anyone beyond the extent necessary to ensure your own survival.

    A statement that’s not necessarily untrue, but it takes a libertarian to just state it and then blithely walk away from the conversation.

    Seeing that most people on this site are atheists, I wonder how you justify this claim that we’re morally obligated to help others, as that implies that people have intrinsic worth. As Carl Sagan said, we are all space dust.

    It wouldn’t be so hard to fight the stigma of atheists being uncaring or nihilistic if there weren’t so many atheists chomping at the bit to live up to that stereotype.

  141. caesar says

    Dalillama@175:

    That’s because we value human life and human flourishing, while you value…scraps of paper? Digital representations of hypothetical scraps of paper?

    That may be true in your fantasy world, but in the real world economies dont work off of that warm, fuzzy feeling you got when you donate your 50 cents a day to prevent a kid from starving. They work because of efficient allocation of resources, like those “scraps of paper “. By knowingly wasting them, you’re not doing anyone any good besides your own ego. Wouldn’t want you to feel like you’re not a morally upstanding citizen.

  142. says

    caesar @172:

    If such a scenario were actually possible then maybe it would be worth it.

    *maybe*?

    Let me guess, you don’t envision the possibility that you’ll ever face starvation?
    “I don’t believe that will ever happen to me. That happens to other people. I’m strong and capable and don’t need a social safety net.”

    You libertarians (and those people who claim not to be libertarians, but who have many of the same reality challenged beliefs) are empathy deficient.

  143. Rob Grigjanis says

    They work because of efficient allocation of resources, like those “scraps of paper “.

    They work by funneling more and more wealth to the already wealthy. Theft and waste on an epic scale.

  144. says

    caesar @177:

    Seeing that most people on this site are atheists, I wonder how you justify this claim that we’re morally obligated to help others, as that implies that people have intrinsic worth

    1- No, it doesn’t imply that. As a species, we’ve decided we have value and a basic level of rights.
    2- While most people here are atheists, that’s not the only (or even most important) label people attach to themselves. You’ve heard of Humanism, no?

    Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without supernaturalism, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity.

    The lifestance of Humanism—guided by reason, inspired by compassion, and informed by experience—encourages us to live life well and fully. It evolved through the ages and continues to develop through the efforts of thoughtful people who recognize that values and ideals, however carefully wrought, are subject to change as our knowledge and understandings advance.

    This document is part of an ongoing effort to manifest in clear and positive terms the conceptual boundaries of Humanism, not what we must believe but a consensus of what we do believe. It is in this sense that we affirm the following:

    Knowledge of the world is derived by observation, experimentation, and rational analysis. Humanists find that science is the best method for determining this knowledge as well as for solving problems and developing beneficial technologies. We also recognize the value of new departures in thought, the arts, and inner experience—each subject to analysis by critical intelligence.

    Humans are an integral part of nature, the result of unguided evolutionary change. Humanists recognize nature as self-existing. We accept our life as all and enough, distinguishing things as they are from things as we might wish or imagine them to be. We welcome the challenges of the future, and are drawn to and undaunted by the yet to be known.

    Ethical values are derived from human need and interest as tested by experience. Humanists ground values in human welfare shaped by human circumstances, interests, and concerns and extended to the global ecosystem and beyond. We are committed to treating each person as having inherent worth and dignity, and to making informed choices in a context of freedom consonant with responsibility.

    Life’s fulfillment emerges from individual participation in the service of humane ideals. We aim for our fullest possible development and animate our lives with a deep sense of purpose, finding wonder and awe in the joys and beauties of human existence, its challenges and tragedies, and even in the inevitability and finality of death. Humanists rely on the rich heritage of human culture and the lifestance of Humanism to provide comfort in times of want and encouragement in times of plenty.

    Humans are social by nature and find meaning in relationships. Humanists long for and strive toward a world of mutual care and concern, free of cruelty and its consequences, where differences are resolved cooperatively without resorting to violence. The joining of individuality with interdependence enriches our lives, encourages us to enrich the lives of others, and inspires hope of attaining peace, justice, and opportunity for all.

    Working to benefit society maximizes individual happiness. Progressive cultures have worked to free humanity from the brutalities of mere survival and to reduce suffering, improve society, and develop global community. We seek to minimize the inequities of circumstance and ability, and we support a just distribution of nature’s resources and the fruits of human effort so that as many as possible can enjoy a good life.

    Humanists are concerned for the well being of all, are committed to diversity, and respect those of differing yet humane views. We work to uphold the equal enjoyment of human rights and civil liberties in an open, secular society and maintain it is a civic duty to participate in the democratic process and a planetary duty to protect nature’s integrity, diversity, and beauty in a secure, sustainable manner.

    Thus engaged in the flow of life, we aspire to this vision with the informed conviction that humanity has the ability to progress toward its highest ideals. The responsibility for our lives and the kind of world in which we live is ours and ours alone.

    http://americanhumanist.org/Humanism/Humanist_Manifesto_III

  145. says

    caesar:

    That may be true in your fantasy world, but in the real world economies dont work off of that warm, fuzzy feeling you got when you donate your 50 cents a day to prevent a kid from starving. They work because of efficient allocation of resources, like those “scraps of paper “. By knowingly wasting them, you’re not doing anyone any good besides your own ego.

    What you still don’t seem to grok is this: despite the fact that social safety programs are unable to eliminate poverty (which they aren’t intended to do anyway), they still provide a tremendous benefit to millions of people. Where libertarians want to eliminate these programs, which would lead to increased suffering, I’d rather see them continue, and for our society to make the programs more efficient.

  146. caesar says

    Amphiox@181:

    Why is it laughable? Compared to the importance of the primary goal, it IS a minor side effect. And until you demonstrate a more “efficient” alternative that serves the same purpose, it isn’t even “waste”. It is overhead.

    It doesn’t matter if you can devise a real or hypothetical solution to end hunger. If 90% of your resources went to corruption or people not deserving of it, then it’s waste, regardless of whether it achieved its goal. You might be ok with that, but that doesn’t change the facts. Hypothetically, that might be worth it, but if a real world solution were that inefficient, i’d rather stick with the status quo.

  147. consciousness razor says

    Seeing that most people on this site are atheists, I wonder how you justify this claim that we’re morally obligated to help others, as that implies that people have intrinsic worth.

    “Moral obligation” doesn’t entail “intrinsic worth.” So this is a strawman. Also, “intrinsic worth” isn’t a supernatural concept anyway. So your assumptions are totally fucked.

  148. consciousness razor says

    It doesn’t matter if you can devise a real or hypothetical solution to end hunger. If 90% of your resources went to corruption or people not deserving of it, then it’s waste, regardless of whether it achieved its goal.

    Ending hunger is more than sufficient to justify resources being wasted. I don’t care how resources feel, because they don’t feel anything. I care that people are not starving.

    Hypothetically, that might be worth it, but if a real world solution were that inefficient, i’d rather stick with the status quo.

    So, you say it might be worth it, yet at the same time, you’d prefer people starve, meaning you don’t think it would be worth it. That’s inconsistent. Or even less reasonably, you’re saying you recognize the more moral option but insist we still ought to do the less moral one, which isn’t even coherent.

  149. Rob Grigjanis says

    caesar @195: The status quo is kleptocracy. OK as long as it’s efficient, right?

  150. opposablethumbs says

    Incidentally, the somewhat surprising title of that benefit fraud vs tax evasion article refers to the fact that a disproportionate amount is spent on combating the (relatively tiny) issue of benefit fraud in comparison to the derisory amounts spend on combating the (vastly greater) problem of tax evasion.

  151. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Hypothetically, that might be worth it, but if a real world solution were that inefficient, i’d rather stick with the status quo.

    Yes, you are a heartless amoral asshole. 6.2 million unemployed, 200,000 jobs opening per month, and you want to terminate unemployment payments to save money. Never mind that unemployment money gets spent, and while transferred, actually improves the overall economy making it more likely employers will offer more jobs.
    Liberturd idjit inside and out. I’ve got mine, fuck you and the economy.

  152. Rey Fox says

    You heard it here first: thousands of starving people are a better outcome than 90% “waste” on a 1% (flat?) income tax. And libertarians wonder why decent people avoid them.

  153. Rey Fox says

    OK as long as it’s efficient, right?

    Depends on what it is efficient in doing. Frankly, I’d rather have “wasted” money out in the wild than in the offshore bank accounts of millionaires, but that’s just me, caring about the society I live in again.

  154. says

    Rey Fox:

    but that’s just me, caring about the society I live in again.

    See, there’s your problem. You should be in a closet, cuddling your wallet.

  155. Anthony K says

    What happens to ‘wasted’ taxpayer money? Does it rot, like a seafood penne that the customer sent back to the kitchen because it was overcooked, so that nobody can use it again? If so, wouldn’t that decrease inflation anyway?

  156. Amphiox says

    It doesn’t matter if you can devise a real or hypothetical solution to end hunger. If 90% of your resources went to corruption or people not deserving of it, then it’s waste, regardless of whether it achieved its goal.

    In the VAST MAJORITY of human activity, upwards of 90% of the resources spent do not directly contribute to the goal. Even the very first stone tools used only about 10% of the original rock, the rest being “waste” shards that are discarded. But the GOAL CANNOT BE COMPLETED without spending those resources, “waste” and all. If the goal is WORTH DOING, then the “waste” is irrelevant. We spend it happily, knowing that it is the BEST real world solution available.

    Again, I ask you, should internal combustion engines be all thrown away because they “waste” 90% of the energy in their fuel?

    You might be ok with that, but that doesn’t change the facts.

    You implied that it would be “morally bankrupt”. An assessment of such is a value judgment, and has nothing to do with “facts”, and everything to do with whether or not someone is “ok with that”. So thanks for proving my point for me.

    I now await your retraction and apology for your dishonest attempt to imply such as “morally bankrupt”.

    Hypothetically, that might be worth it, but if a real world solution were that inefficient, i’d rather stick with the status quo.

    The status quo is people starving.

    So what is your dollar/efficiency value for a human life? If you won’t accept 90%, would 80% do? How about 50%? Keep in mind that you will never achieve 100% efficiency, what with the Second Law of Thermodynamics and all its related phenomenon.

    And why have you made the MORAL judgment that 90% inefficiency and “waste” is ok in the engine that moves your car, but not ok for addressing the social problem of hungry people?

  157. Amphiox says

    All taxpayer money “wasted” is actually SPENT. ie it goes into the economy. It doesn’t just vanish – it is still out there doing the stuff that money is supposed to do.

    So the objection to “waste” boils down to the concept of “opportunity cost”. What ELSE could we have done with that money rather than the thing it was “wasted” on.

    So it is time to ask our libertarian friend exactly what it was he had in mind that he preferred that money be spent on. What is the thing that he deems so much more important than helping starving people.

    Well?

  158. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    It doesn’t matter if you can devise a real or hypothetical solution to end hunger. If 90% of your resources went to corruption or people not deserving of it, then it’s waste, regardless of whether it achieved its goal. You might be ok with that, but that doesn’t change the facts. Hypothetically, that might be worth it, but if a real world solution were that inefficient, i’d rather stick with the status quo.

    And here is the libertarian asshat making my argument for me. Libertarians, breathtakingly stupid or evil – or both.

  159. says

    Amphiox

    An internal combustion engine is, give or take, roughly 10% efficient.

    10% of the total energy produced from burning the fuel actually moves the vehicle. The rest, the 90%, is “wasted” as heat.

    So, should all ICE’s be banned? Motor vehicles abandoned, and people left to walk?

    In your standard rocket, about 1% of the fuel actually produces thrust to lift the payload into orbit. 99% of the fuel is “wasted”. Should we end spaceflight and satellite launches?

    For that matter, once you factor in the percentage of the energy that’s moving the vehicle rather than payload, the efficiencies of cars as transportation start to look rather close to those rockets. (For which reason their use as a primary mode of moving people and cargo is extremely suboptimal from an efficiency standpoint, but we’ve got a bastard lot of built environment that’s centered on the damn things, and changing that’s going to take time, so for now we’ve got to keep using the wretched resource sinks.).

    caesar
    By the perpetually pulsating phallus of Pan Priapus, you’re a right fuckhead, aren’t you?

    Seeing that most people on this site are atheists, I wonder how you justify this claim that we’re morally obligated to help others,

    I actually didn’t make that argument, but here it is: as I noted above, my moral code prizes human life, health, happiness, and flourishing. Those moral premises call for certain actions on the part of those who hold them, specifically that their actions should increase those things or at the least not damage them. Therefore, if you share these moral values, you will recognize the validity of the moral argument advanced. If you do not share these moral values, you’re an unspeakable shithead and I don’t want to know you, or speak with you, or live in a society that runs by your rules, because societies run by and for shitheads tend to suck, a lot.

    That may be true in your fantasy world, but in the real world economies dont work off of that warm, fuzzy feeling you got when you donate your 50 cents a day to prevent a kid from starving.

    It’s amazing how you shitheads can read without comprehension. Did you not notice the bit about multiplier effects, you jackass? Putting money into that kid’s hand leads not only to the kid not starving, but to someone being paid to feed them. That person, in turn, can go take the money and spend it on something else, and someone has to be paid to provide that, and so on and so forth. Currency has no value nor purpose outside of circulation.

    They work because of efficient allocation of resources, like those “scraps of paper “.

    Those aren’t the resources, those are the representations of the resources. The map is not the territory. I bet you’re a goldbug too, aren’t you?

    By knowingly wasting them, you’re not doing anyone any good besides your own ego.

    As has been pointed out by others, you appear to be unable to distinguish between waste and overhead. This is another failure common to libertarians.

    . If 90% of your resources went to corruption or people not deserving of it

    And another standard libertarian trope! I’ll have the bingo in no time at this rate. How do you justify your determination of who ‘deserves’ help or not, since we’re all just space dust with no worth? Your moral proclamations are awfully hollow in light of your denunciations of us.

    Hypothetically, that might be worth it, but if a real world solution were that inefficient, i’d rather stick with the status quo.

    So, in other words, you’d rather watch people starve and accept all the costs that go with that (as I enumerated in my initial response) because it contradicts some abstract concept that you’ve decided you value more than human life. Congratulations, you’re an unspeakable shithead.

  160. Amphiox says

    An incandescent light bulb is 1.5-2.5% efficient. 97.5-98.5% of the electricity powering the bulb does not produce light, but is “wasted”.

    A fluorescent light bulb is 7-10% (there’s that 10% number again!) efficient. 93-90% of the electricity powering the bulb does not produce light, but is “wasted”.

    Even LEDs are only a little bit better than 10% at the brightness levels for standard household lighting.

    And since we pay our power bills by wattage of electricity and not by lumen of light, that is a direct “waste” of dollars spent on the power bill.

    So I ask our libertarian friend again, why has he judged this degree of WASTEFUL expenditure morally acceptable for the lighting of his house (or the lighting of the public lights on his neighborhood street) but not morally acceptable for feeding starving people?

    Or perhaps he also agrees that street lights and traffic lights should all be dismantled, since powering them wastes 90% of the taxpayer money.

    Or does he walk his talk and light his home with fireflies (those little buggers are 30-50% efficient….)?

  161. Anthony K says

    Why do libertarians think their crybaby whining is compelling? The only meaningful argument that anyone’s ever made for appeasing libertarian whining is that they’ll go Galt otherwise, but we’ve called their bluff and they’ve all but admitted that they’re too fucking chickenshit to do it. Even the Seasteading Institute admits it won’t put its money where its mouth is unless it can find a sympathetic nanny state to suckle it to independence and freedom. They’re leeches.

    So leave, fuckers. There’s a whole ocean out there on/in which to build an island with no building codes. Get the fuck out. No one’s stopping you. Go Galt. We dare you.

  162. Amphiox says

    Police forces are roughly about 90% inefficient. Only about 10% of the money spent on them actually directly prevents crime/enforces laws. The rest is wasted on paperwork, beat patrol that doesn’t actually do anything, and yes, even direct corruption. Some of it goes to incompetent officers who do not deserve it.

    Does our libertarian friend propose that all police departments be shut down as wasteful of taxpayer money? We can always return to the status quo BEFORE police departments of every vigilante for himself.

    Fire departments are probably even less than 10% efficient, what with all the money spent maintaining the department while the firefighters twiddle their thumbs on all those days without fires.

    Does our libertarian friend propose that all fire departments be shut down as wasteful of taxpayer money? We can always return to the status quo BEFORE fire departments, where we just let the fires burn until they run out of fuel and then rebuild on the ashes.

  163. Amphiox says

    Do you happen to know how bioluminescent algae compares?

    No, but if they also use the luciferase enzyme it is likely going to be similar!

    (Actually a pretty interesting question whether or not bioluminescence is a conserved evolutionary adaption using the same enzyme pathways or not!)

    Though in general I would think that the single celled algae would be good odds to beat the metazoans in the efficiency department, since they won’t have all that extraneous overhead from mucking with the multicellular environment. (Light loss just due to the transparency of the cuticle versus the cell membrane, for example) And the prokaryotes would probably have the eukaryotes beat, too.

  164. says

    Amphiox:

    So I ask our libertarian friend again, why has he judged this degree of WASTEFUL expenditure morally acceptable for the lighting of his house (or the lighting of the public lights on his neighborhood street) but not morally acceptable for feeding starving people?

    Or perhaps he also agrees that street lights and traffic lights should all be dismantled, since powering them wastes 90% of the taxpayer money.

    Or does he walk his talk and light his home with fireflies (those little buggers are 30-50% efficient….)?

    I’m going with another possibility: ignorance and apathy.
    ::entering the realm of speclation:: Caesar neither knows nor cares about the the impact libertarian policies would have on people just as xe neither knows nor cares about the waste involved in lighting xir home.

  165. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    183
    Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm

    Also to be considered, some not insignificant portion of what gets called benefit fraud in the US is people doing things like selling food stamps so they can buy toilet paper or put gas in the car.

    Or lying on the application so they can qualify for the help they desperately need but can’t get due to rich trying to legislate away reality.

    *raises hand*

    Roomie’s new min. wage temp job would royally fuck us over if we reported as the same household because of the extremely outdated way they calculate. Plus the cutbacks.

    If we want to talk about welfare waste, what about all the wasted money on drug tests? Which has done nothing but soak up time and money from people who need it.

  166. consciousness razor says

    So leave, fuckers. There’s a whole ocean out there on/in which to build an island with no building codes. Get the fuck out. No one’s stopping you. Go Galt. We dare you.

    They’d just add to the garbage in the ocean, so I’d definitely prefer they claim some part of outer space. Plenty of room for them there. Have at it, assholes. Take as much of the whole fucking galaxy as you want. Just leave our planet for the people who give a shit about each other.

  167. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    195
    caesar

    It doesn’t matter if you can devise a real or hypothetical solution to end hunger. If 90% of your resources went to corruption or people not deserving of it, then it’s waste, regardless of whether it achieved its goal. You might be ok with that, but that doesn’t change the facts. Hypothetically, that might be worth it, but if a real world solution were that inefficient, i’d rather stick with the status quo.

    It always boils down to morality: being poor is wrong. Kill people, acquire money. The American Way since Columbus. To not do that is Un-American, which warrants a death sentence.

  168. consciousness razor says

    What? How did you know? Are you psychic?

    The last time I did any remote viewing, it was with a telescope. Does that count?

    I know because “libertarians add to the garbage” is true by definition.

  169. Anthony K says

    I know because “libertarians add to the garbage” is true by definition.

    Ah, you mean like how the definition of ‘efficiency’ is ‘multiple companies making similar products of varying quality most of which are just junk because the market requires competition and therefore redundancy to function properly’?

    Wait, no: your definition makes sense.

  170. opposablethumbs says

    the market requires competition and therefore redundancy to function properly

    Funny how they all seem to be so much in love with a grossly over-simplified picture of evolution without ever considering how stunningly inefficient and wasteful that is.

  171. Portia says

    Amphiox 213

    Fire departments are probably even less than 10% efficient, what with all the money spent maintaining the department while the firefighters twiddle their thumbs on all those days without fires.

    Hey! I resemble that remark! Or rather, I would…if they paid me. That must mean my fire department is very very efficient, yes? Given that we must first travel

    No…I have nothing of value to add at the moment. Carry on with the chewing of the chewtoy.

  172. Portia says

    224 – commentus interruptus – woops. That is to say, my fire department must be the most financially efficient because we have to first travel to the station and then to the fire – thereby reducing any monies paid to have us twiddling our thumbs waiting for a fire. Of course, the fire is not so considerate as to wait while we assemble ourselves, our gear, our apparatus, and our water – it continues to merrily consume whatever it’s burning. So, while very efficient, it’s not efficient at all, is it?

  173. consciousness razor says

    A sequel to Prometheus!!!!!!!!.

    Maybe this one will be about how an obsessed billionaire in the future sent some scientifically illiterate astronauts to look for aliens, but instead all they found was Jesus. And with even more special effects, naturally.

    Probably, the android was the most disappointing character for me in Prometheus. The trailers made it seem like at least that part might be interesting.

  174. Amphiox says

    So, while very efficient, it’s not efficient at all, is it?

    The most efficient firefighters of all time must be the Roman ones, who were always present even before the fires started…. because they set them!

  175. Pteryxx says

    JAL: good to see you on!

    If we want to talk about welfare waste, what about all the wasted money on drug tests? Which has done nothing but soak up time and money from people who need it.

    Heck, there’s a link on it right over there. *waves up the alphabet*

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/dispatches/2011/09/06/2-of-welfare-recipients-fail-drug-tests-in-florida/

    Welfare recipients use drugs at a lower rate than the rest of the population — and by a pretty significant margin.

    Net savings to the state — $3,400 to $8,200 annually on one month’s worth of rejected applicants. Over 12 months, the money saved on all rejected applicants would add up to $40,800-$98,400 for the cash assistance program that state analysts have predicted will cost $178 million this fiscal year.

    That’s an 1800-to-one waste ratio, if I math it right.

  176. caesar says

    ReyFox@187:

    but it takes a libertarian to just state it and then blithely walk away from the conversation.

    No, it just requires a person to be honest about the state of things. It may be glib, but who cares?

    It wouldn’t be so hard to fight the stigma of atheists being uncaring or nihilistic if there weren’t so many atheists chomping at the bit to live up to that stereotype.

    I’m simply stating the fact that the universe is indifferent to your suffering. It’s nihilistic but that doesn’tmean that it’s uncaring. It just means that if you want a altruistic society, then you have to make it happen. Appeals to moral obligation are only meaningful to people who feel the same way you do.

  177. says

    I’m always fascinated where people expect the opinion “why shouldn’t we let the poor die (or cause their deaths ourselves cause fuck em)” to not be treated as equivalent to “Why shouldn’t we rape babies for fun and profit?/”

  178. says

    I personally cry myself to sleep every night knowing someone might have wasted twenty bucks on something worthless like a child’s laughter.

  179. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Portia, when I lived in Dah YooPee, the town had a semi-volunteer fire department. I think it had three or four full time firemen, who maintained the equipment, and drove the truck with everybody’s gear to the fire. The volunteers headed directly to the site of the fire, so maybe ten people were putting out the fire by the end.

  180. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    I’m simply stating the fact that the universe is indifferent to your suffering. It’s nihilistic but that doesn’tmean that it’s uncaring. It just means that if you want a altruistic society, then you have to make it happen. Appeals to moral obligation are only meaningful to people who feel the same way you do.

    What is this? I don’t even?

    What sort of idiotic bait and switch is this? No one here has argued that the universe cares. No one has argued that there is a moral substance in our shared reality like depth and mass.

    What we have argued is that you ought to support food stamps. I take the values of humanism as given. They are self-evident. They are just as self-evident that I should use logic and reason, and I should base my beliefs on evidence and science. You don’t have the same stick up your ass and wouldn’t try to defend solipsists or those who would deny that I’m sitting on a chair, but you are going well out of your way to defend those who are for letting people starve. Scientific facts are not more special nor more privileged nor more undeniable than moral facts.

    I can argue that it is an undeniable moral fact that we should have food stamps, while simultaneously saying that “objective morality” (as commonly used) and “moral realism” (as commonly used) are ill-defined nonsense.

  181. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Appeals to moral obligation are only meaningful to people who feel the same way you do.

    Then cease posting your bankrupt morals under then name of an idiotology you can’t prove actually works, which makes it a theology. Your religion is rejected.

  182. Anthony K says

    Appeals to moral obligation are only meaningful to people who feel the same way you do.

    If you actually believed this, you would stop trying to appeal to people that taxing you is theft, or anything like it.

    I’m implacable in the face of your personal suffering caesar. In fact, I support it. As you’ll recall, in another thread I advocated taking all of your money for social benefit and leaving you, caesar, with nothing but a fat lip to suck on for your troubles while you starve.

    Now, in light of the above quoted comment of yours, please try to convince people that you should not be assaulted and robbed of everything you own. If your life is meaningless to others, but the resources you temporarily control aren’t, a world with no social moral obligations isn’t going to be work out so well for you.

    The universe isn’t going to argue on your behalf, so I guess it’s up to you.

  183. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    @230 caesar

    It may be glib, but who cares?

    *raises hand*

    A glib statement is one that is offhand and shallow with little substance or forethought. People are glib when they give pat, inane answers to complex questions. And that’s why the term “glibertarian” is a thing and why it’s not a compliment.

  184. says

    Ing:

    I personally cry myself to sleep every night knowing someone might have wasted twenty bucks on something worthless like a child’s laughter.

    Or even worse, building up a child’s sense of security and comfort. By all the dead gods, you just can’t have that sort of thing, it’s mollycoddling at its worst!

  185. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    Or even worse, building up a child’s sense of security and comfort. By all the dead gods, you just can’t have that sort of thing, it’s mollycoddling at its worst!

    Look, if these precious children of yours wanted security and comfort, they should have thought of that before being born into poor families. Damn bleeding heart liberals.

  186. Amphiox says

    I’m simply stating the fact that the universe is indifferent to your suffering.

    No, as a matter of fact, you were not.

    No, it just requires a person to be honest about the state of things.

    To state a problem, and then walk away, is like building half a bridge. The epitome of a waste of resources.

    To which I ask you once again. You apparently felt that you were morally entitled to come here and “honestly” point out the “state of things”, and then walk away without providing any meaningful suggestion as to what to do about it, and thus wasting 90% of your own energy and OUR TIME. This is apparently ok with you. And yet you apparently have a problem with “waste” of resources used to help starving people.

    Please explain this inconsistency between your stated position, and your actions.

    It may be glib, but who cares?

    You should. A human being should aspire to be more than merely glib.

    Appeals to moral obligation are only meaningful to people who feel the same way you do.

    And in what way is your insistence that “wasting” some percentage of taxpayer money is somehow morally wrong anything other than an appeal to moral obligation?

    And since most here DO NOT feel the same way you do, I ask again, what the hell are you doing here, then, wasting 90% of OUR TIME?

  187. Al Dente says

    So caesar doesn’t care if people starve. And libertarians wonder why normal people think they’re callous sociopaths who care only about themselves and their rich masters.

  188. caesar says

    consciousness@ 196:

    Moral obligation” doesn’t entail “intrinsic worth.” So this is a strawman.

    Sure it does. Otherwise morality reduces to a mere social construct which changes with the times, for good or bad.

  189. Louis says

    I saw a child laugh once.

    I vomited napalm over them and stole their parents’ money to put in my Cash Pool for swimming in later.

    Then I said five “Hail Rand!”s and poked a dying baby in the eye with a pointed stick as I hurdled starving homeless people on my way to the bank.

    Of course I acheived all this by pulling myself up by my bootstraps. Walking on pavements I laid, driving on roads I made, living in buildings I built by learning from books I wrote, whilst maintaining my health with my own medical degree and feeding myself from the food I grew, using technology I designed, saved by medicines I discovered, wondering at all the scientific research I’d done and art I’d created as the millions I made single handedly with no employees or help in any way flowed through my fingers all to me. Me. ME! Because I am a rock. I am an island. I need nothing or no one. I’m self made entirely. Why, I don’t even have parents. I fucked myself into existence.

    Louis

  190. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Otherwise morality reduces to a mere social construct which changes with the times, for good or bad.

    And your morality comes from your goddess Rand, and is absolute? Show, with evidence from legitimate sources outside of your self, your work….

  191. caesar says

    consciousness@ 198:

    I don’t care how resources feel, because they don’t feel anything

    But if resources are used poorly then the people you claim to care about won’t be helped.

    So, you say it might be worth it, yet at the same time, you’d prefer people starve, meaning you don’t think it would be worth it. That’s inconsistent. Or even less reasonably, you’re saying you recognize the more moral option but insist we still ought to do the less moral one, which isn’t even coherent.

    The point is that the real world doesn’t work like that hypothetical example. Resources are limited. If a program is wasting 90% of its resources then it should be restructured or removed, so that those resources towards something more efficient and sustainable. If some people lose out, then that’s tough.

  192. Rey Fox says

    It just means that if you want a altruistic society, then you have to make it happen.

    Use of the second person pronoun noted.

    I fucked myself into existence.

    Internet won forever and evermore.

  193. says

    caeser:

    Appeals to moral obligation are only meaningful to people who feel the same way you do.

    You better be squirreling away those millions, cupcake, because if you’re ever in a situation where you need care, you might find it hard to locate people who care enough about you to help out. And don’t go thinking it can’t happen to you. “Oh, it won’t happen to me!” idiots are a dime a dozen, and they usually end up with a very painful lesson.

    It just means that if you want a altruistic society, then you have to make it happen.

    Yeah, we know. We’re trying, sweetpea, but we keep running into assholes like yourself. I’m with Anthony K – please, go Galt. You have no use for a society of human beings, and we don’t have any use for you (unless you suddenly figure out a way to reap power from the constant complaining and whining of libertarians. Now that would be useful.)

  194. vaiyt says

    @caesar

    Hypothetically, that might be worth it, but if a real world solution were that inefficient, i’d rather stick with the status quo.

    So, what you’re saying is that you’d rather have people starve to fucking death. than feed 0.9% of your income to corruption.

    Thanks for giving more evidence that your dumb ass shitty ideology is as morally bankrupt as it appears to be.

  195. Anthony K says

    I’m with Anthony K – please, go Galt.

    Libertarians won’t go Galt; their bluff has been called, and they’ve got nothing else. They should be forcefully expelled from society, free to live their lives free from taxes as they see fit, provided they survive the expulsion process. (In an uncaring universe, I see no reason why the catapult build to launch them should have any safety standards whatsoever, and caesar of course will not argue for them.)

    In a world where resources are scarce, there’s no reason not to fling libertarians at far-off locales at speeds far surpassing the human body’s capacity to withstand. We’re all better off without them.

  196. caesar says

    Amphiox@ 206:

    Again, I ask you, should internal combustion engines be all thrown away because they “waste” 90% of the energy in their fuel?

    I was going to ignore this but it actually helps prove my point. We recognize that they are inefficient and rely on non-renewable resources so we’re working on more efficient ways of powering our vehicles. Some people will be hurt by this transition away from fossil fuels, like people who work in the oil industry, but for the sustainability of our society, we’ll accept that some people will suffer.

    And why have you made the MORAL judgment that 90% inefficiency and “waste” is ok in the engine that moves your car, but not ok for addressing the social problem of hungry people?

    As i stated above, resources are limited and therefore inefficient programs should be restructured or removed. This applies equally wekl to cars and people.

  197. consciousness razor says

    caesar:

    Appeals to moral obligation are only meaningful to people who feel the same way you do.

    Quite the deepity you have there. They’re meaningful to people who can think and feel, to which things have meaning.

    I haven’t suggested they’re meaningful to rocks or potatoes or bags of doorknobs. Because that would be really fucking stupid.

    Moral obligation” doesn’t entail “intrinsic worth.” So this is a strawman.

    Sure it does. Otherwise morality reduces to a mere social construct which changes with the times, for good or bad.

    So you don’t know what “intrinsic” means. Intrinsic to what, dumbass? And if you don’t follow that question, then the point has been made.

    Also, morality is socially constructed, and that doesn’t mean you have no moral obligations. Being confused and ignorant is not an argument, so you have anything else?

    But if resources are used poorly then the people you claim to care about won’t be helped.

    By hypothesis, they are helped. If you spend a bajillion dollars on something, it does not follow that you don’t have that thing because it’s possible to spend less on it.

    The point is that the real world doesn’t work like that hypothetical example. Resources are limited. If a program is wasting 90% of its resources then it should be restructured or removed, so that those resources towards something more efficient and sustainable.

    No one is arguing that it isn’t better to be efficient than inefficient. They’re arguing that it’s better people not starve than selfish assholes hoard their precious wealth. You said you wanted “the status quo,” which (among other things) involves people starving. And this is because….. “meh, fuck ‘em all”?

    If some people lose out, then that’s tough.

    I’ve got mine; fuck you.

    No, seriously. Fuck you. As far as reasoning goes, you’ve got nothing.

  198. brianpansky says

    @253

    yes, all along it has been pointed out to you that complaining about inefficiency has to be done relatively to a better option, instead of nothing at all to replace it with.

    you are finally getting it maybe.

  199. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    @253 caesar

    This applies equally wekl to cars and people.

    Only if you don’t give a shit that people, unlike cars, feel.

  200. says

    Anthony K:

    Libertarians won’t go Galt; their bluff has been called, and they’ve got nothing else.

    I know. I’m all for tossing it in their face. They know they can’t manage outside society and the help it provides, they just want to whine. Constantly.

  201. caesar says

    Amphiox@ 207:

    What is the thing that he deems so much more important than helping starving people.

    I didn’t say that feeding starving people wasn’t important. Only that it’s not beneficial for the country as a whole to support programs which waste the vast majority of their resources. It’s not sustainable and it only leads to more corruption and waste in the long run. Also, seeing as the whole point of government is to reallocate resources effectively, if it can’t do that, then why would you continue to support it?

  202. anteprepro says

    Caesar:

    We recognize that they are inefficient and rely on non-renewable resources so we’re working on more efficient ways of powering our vehicles. Some people will be hurt by this transition away from fossil fuels, like people who work in the oil industry, but for the sustainability of our society, we’ll accept that some people will suffer.

    Except you are willing to scrap a program that completely eliminates hunger and starvation just because of hypothetical inefficiency without having an alternative, more efficient program . The analogy isn’t saying we should transition from fossil fuels to a more efficient alternative energy source: It is simply declaring that fossil fuels aren’t perfect and ditching them completely with no viable alternative in place, because OH NOES WASTED MONEYS! In other words, standard libertarian lack of empathy and logic.

  203. says

    Dalillama:
    My hands are raised…
    ****

    Caesar:
    You fail to realize that social safety nets provide benefits to millions. While the programs are not as efficient as they could be (owing in large part to Republican cuts to such programs) that they alleviate suffering for millions is without question. I find your libertarian beliefs morally reprehensible.

    Btw do you have an answer to my questions at #244?

    I realize you are not responding to my comments (such as my comment about humanism) but you really ought to address the failings of your selfish ideology.

  204. brianpansky says

    @258
    caesar

    it’s not beneficial for the country as a whole to support programs which waste the vast majority of their resources. It’s not sustainable and it only leads to more corruption and waste in the long run.

    are you having some imaginary conversation that doesn’t involve the hypothetical elimination of starving?

    that IS BENEFICIAL.

    and it is upon you to show how the situation (only a 1% tax for fucking crying out loud) could possibly be “not sustainable”.

    do it now, show your fucking work. enough of your nonsense assertions.

  205. consciousness razor says

    Only that it’s not beneficial for the country as a whole to support programs which waste the vast majority of their resources.

    0.9% = “the vast majority”

    The vast majority of libertarians aren’t ignorant, lying, selfish assholes. That is to say, 9 out of every 1000 of them is not like that. Not completely.

    It’s not sustainable and it only leads to more corruption and waste in the long run.

    It certainly can be sustainable. Being inefficient doesn’t mean unsustainable. You’re conflating these two different concepts.

    We do not ever, under any circumstances, use energy or resources or anything else 100% efficiently. Yet somehow, humans have managed to survive for a very long time on this planet, which isn’t the best of all possible worlds.

    And how does it lead? What’s the mechanism causing this long historical trend you just pulled out of your ass? Am we to assume that in some golden age long ago, there must have been less corruption and waste, because corruption and waste only leads to more corruption and waste?

  206. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    There’s actually a Heinlein story about that… (Everyone who’s surprised by this, raise your hands)

    I read Time Enough For Love when I was sixteen.

    #regrets

  207. consciousness razor says

    Are we to assume….. or Am I?

    Either way. You’ve way too much assuming, so maybe someone else should take care of that for a while.

  208. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    It’s not sustainable and it only leads to more corruption and waste in the long run.

    Citation fucking needed. Our present tax can increase and still be sustainable. You saying it can’t be is a unevidenced assertion. Which, like all liberturds, you are full of. And short on historical and real evidence to show your religion works as advertised and sloganeered.

  209. Rob Grigjanis says

    caesar @258:

    Only that it’s not beneficial for the country as a whole to support programs which waste the vast majority of their resources. It’s not sustainable and it only leads to more corruption and waste in the long run.

    The way we are living now isn’t sustainable. What part of this aren’t you getting? The 0.1% are sucking us all (and the rest of the biosphere) dry, with the poor being the first victims of the depraved greed.

    In the USA: until they can fix their sociopathic campaign financing laws, desperate measures are required to save as many people as possible. The ‘waste’ caused by any programs to help them couldn’t possibly match the waste caused by corporate welfare, lobbying and tax evasion. Point your ‘pure logic’ upwards, arsehole. Kicking down is so 1920s always and forever.

  210. Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive] says

    Caesar, how many people not starving who otherwise would have is enough to justify a dollar of waste?

    For me – and I think many here would agree with me – if I have to set fire to $1 million in bills (neatly stacked in sequential bills) to ensure that one person goes to bed every night will a full stomach, then that’s worth it.

    As for your question about why we should care: you’re right, the universe doesn’t. But that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t care. In fact, I’d say that the fact that the universe is cold, unfeeling, and ultimately meaningless is why we should care. We don’t have a SkyDaddy to care for those we can’t be bothered to care for – we don’t have that excuse. We should care about the least amongst us for the very simple reason that someone should.

  211. Amphiox says

    I didn’t say that feeding starving people wasn’t important. Only that it’s not beneficial for the country as a whole to support programs which waste the vast majority of their resources.

    Define “beneficial”.

    Define “waste”.

    Is the internal combustion engine that runs your car “not beneficial”?

    Is the light bulb that lights your home “not beneficial”?

    I have already shown that BOTH “waste” the vast majority of their resources.

    What you call “waste” I call “necessarily ancillary expense”.

    And while you are at it, define “country as a whole”. What meaning or relevance does the airy-fairy-hypothetical concept of a “country as a whole” have compared to the REAL PEOPLE THAT MAKE IT UP.

    I don’t give a shit about the “country as a whole”. I care only about the REAL PEOPLE THAT MAKE IT UP.

    And see, letting those people starve is not an option for me. If benefitting “the country as a whole” means letting those people starve, then to hell with the “country as a whole”. A country that cannot ensure that its people do not starve is too incompetent to deserve to be a country and does not deserve to exist. A country can but will not ensure that its people do not starve is too immoral to deserve to be a country and does not deserve to exist.

    So let it fall. Nothing of value would be lost.

  212. Amphiox says

    It’s not sustainable and it only leads to more corruption and waste in the long run.

    Define “not sustainable”.

    Demonstrate this “leads to more corruption and waste”.

    Define “in the long run”.

    Just because you write it down doesn’t make it true.

  213. Amphiox says

    Also, seeing as the whole point of government is to reallocate resources effectively, if it can’t do that, then why would you continue to support it?

    Define “effectively”.

    Define “can’t”.

    DEMONSTRATE WITH EVIDENCE A SUPERIOR ALTERNATIVE, or shut up.

  214. Amphiox says

    I didn’t say that feeding starving people wasn’t important.

    Evading the question. You are opposed to spending a certain amount of money on feeding starving people. Money MEANS NOTHING unless it is spent on SOMETHING, unless you’re Scrooge McDuck and want to swim in a giant pool of dollar bills.

    By saying you are opposed to spending a certain amount of money on feeding starving people, you are AUTOMATICALLY saying that there is SOMETHING ELSE you would rather spend that money on.

    So ANSWER THE QUESTION, WHAT IS IT that you would rather spend the money on?

  215. Rob Grigjanis says

    Amphiox @268:

    I don’t give a shit about the “country as a whole”

    To be fair to caesar, I think that by “country as a whole”, xe means those poor souls who can’t afford a second yacht. They are to be pitied, but not for the reasons caesar thinks.

  216. vaiyt says

    it’s not beneficial for the country as a whole to support programs which waste the vast majority of their resources.

    Not beneficial for the country as a whole, except for the people who don’t starve. Waste the vast majority of their resources, if by majority you mean 0.9% of everyone’s income.

    Look at the good side – when the Wall Street fat cats are reduced to bankruptcy because of such a monstrous tax burden, at least they won’t starve!

  217. caesar says

    Enlightment @ 234:

    No one has argued that there is a moral substance in our shared reality like depth and mass…
    . Scientific facts are not more special nor more privileged nor more undeniable than moral facts.

    I can argue that it is an undeniable moral fact that we should have food stamps, while simultaneously saying
    that “objective morality” (as commonly used) and “moral realism” (as commonly used) are ill-defined nonsense.

    By referring to “moral facts” you are claiming that there is in your words “a moral substance in our shared reality like depth and mass”. If there are moral facts, then what is the evidence for these facts?

    but you are going well out of your way to defend those who are for letting people starve.

    I’m not defending anyone except myself, nor do I know anyone who supports letting people starve.

  218. says

    caesar #258

    Also, seeing as the whole point of government is to reallocate resources effectively, if it can’t do that, then why would you continue to support it?

    Eliminating material poverty ≠ effective?

    I don’t grok that at all. If any program were to manage such a feat it would be, by definition, effective. It could only only be seen as ineffective if we were to prioritise saving money for its own sake.

  219. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I’m not defending anyone except myself, nor do I know anyone who supports letting people starve.

    Liberturd and Rethuglican doctrine. Who gives a fuck if people, especially those black and brown, starve because we are so religious we won’t approve a minor tax increase to cover feeding them. In fact, lets cut the SNAP program. Quit lying to yourself. Only then, will you quit lying to us.

  220. anteprepro says

    I’m not defending anyone except myself, nor do I know anyone who supports letting people starve.

    You mean aside from yourself, Mr. Salad?

  221. caesar says

    Anthony @ 236:

    Now, in light of the above quoted comment of yours, please try to convince people that you should
    not be assaulted and robbed of everything you own. If your life is meaningless to others, but the resources you
    temporarily control aren’t, a world with no social moral obligations isn’t going to be work out so well for you.

    Well, as Charleton Heston said, “From my cold, dead, hands”! But in any case, it’s true that the world would be
    highly undesirable to live in, but that’s the world we live in. Aside from appeals to our common humanity, or appeals
    to the advantages of altruism vs selfishness, neither of us can justify why in an absolute sense, anyone should care about our personal wellbeing

  222. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    By referring to “moral facts” you are claiming that there is in your words “a moral substance in our shared reality like depth and mass”.

    No.

    If there are moral facts, then what is the evidence for these facts?

    If I release a hammer many times, and it falls many times, we can safely conclude that hammers fall when released. But, what do you say to someone who doesn’t see the conclusion? What can you say to someone who denies this basic use of reason, evidence, science, and logic? What if he says that he has a strong inner conviction that it will be different next time? What kind of reasoned argument can you make to someone who doesn’t value reason? What kind of evidence can you use to someone who doesn’t value evidence?

    If I show you that using a red-hot poker to poke strangers on the street causes needless pain, we can conclude that this is a bad thing to do. But, what do you say to someone who doesn’t see the conclusion? What can you say to someone who says that it’s good for strangers to be burned randomly on the street? Maybe he argues that it builds character, or burn scars are sexy. Maybe he’ll argue that his brief amusement of hearing their screams is all that matters. What kind of argument can you make that someone should value human well-being if they do not already value human well-being?

    If you do not already accept the values underlying science, then we cannot talk about scientific facts. If you do not already value evidence, reason, logic, science, etc., I have no possible argument or “evidence” for any scientific material fact whatsoever. Material facts exist only in a particular value framework – the framework of science. There may be people who do not accept this framework, but the existence of insane people does not mean that suddenly we don’t have scientific knowledge.

    If you do not already accept the values underlying humanism, then we cannot talk about moral facts. If you do not already value human well-being, I have no possible argument or “evidence” for any moral fact whatsoever. Moral facts exist only in a particular value framework – the framework of humanism. There may be people who do not accept this framework, but the existence of psychopaths does not mean that suddenly we don’t have moral knowledge.

    This is basically Sam Harris’s shtick of his book “The Moral Landscape”.

    Imagine a world where everyone suffers as much as they possibly can, for as long as they possibly can. All you have to grant me is this situation is bad, plus a little intellectual honesty. With that, moral facts as sure as any material facts, and the “The Moral Landscape”, follow inexorably.

  223. consciousness razor says

    neither of us can justify why in an absolute sense

    Good thing all we have to do is justify it. You expecting an incoherent mess doesn’t mean we’ve actually failed at anything relevant when we don’t meet your expectations.

  224. says

    Yes Caeser if someone is determined not to give a shit then definitionally they wont

    Congratulations on defining yourself as someone who is dead set refused to help anyone else or aid in any common efforts. We call that “an obstacle.”

  225. consciousness razor says

    Moral facts exist only in a particular value framework – the framework of humanism.

    Don’t do this. Humanism is not the only moral philosophy. To begin with, it’s not even one thing, but if we averaged them all out somehow, that wouldn’t be “the framework.”

  226. Amphiox says

    neither of us can justify why in an absolute sense

    Who cares about that?

    Any and all discussions with the word “absolute” in them, unless they are about temperature, is nothing more than divorced-from-reality hypothetical wanking.

    It is frankly offensive to attempt to stick that word “absolute” into any discussion about real life problems, such as that of starving people.

    nor do I know anyone who supports letting people starve.

    In opposing even the idea of collective efforts to address the problem of people starving, without even attempting to propose an alternative, YOU DO, for all practical intents and purposes, SUPPORT LETTING PEOPLE STARVE.

    End.
    Of.
    Story.

  227. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @consciousness razor
    Sorry. I’m appealing to a loose but still sufficiently well defined concept of human well-being. I’m not here to start up any arguments on the finer points of utilitarianism, consequentialism, and such. I’m just making the point that morality is about the suffering, happiness, safety, freedom, self-determination, well-being, etc., of conscious creatures. Of minds. And that I will argue is the framework.

  228. Amphiox says

    But in any case, it’s true that the world would be highly undesirable to live in, but that’s the world we live in.

    More irrelevant wanking.

    There is only one question that for practical purposes matters. Given the above do you or do you not believe that people should be making efforts to CHANGE that reality.

    Yes or no?

    And you still haven’t answered my original question. WHAT is it that you would prefer to spend the money you oppose spending on helping starving people, on?

  229. caesar says

    Amphiox @240:

    No, as a matter of fact, you were not.No, as a matter of fact, you were not.

    Yes, I was.

    To state a problem, and then walk away, is like building half a bridge. The epitome of a waste of resources.

    I stated that nobody is obligated to care about anyone else, beyond the extent that they derive any benefit from it. It’s not a problem to be solved, just an immutable fact about the world. Therefore, what can you do except walk away?
    You accept it and move on because dwelling on it is pointless, and a waste of resources.

    You apparently felt that you were morally entitled to come here and “honestly” point out the “state of things”,
    and then walk away without providing any meaningful suggestion as to what to do about it, and thus wasting 90% of
    your own energy and OUR TIME

    Actually I was just bored at work, and decided to check out the blog out of curiosity. If your time was wasted, then boo-hoo. Nobody forced you to respond.I guess you’ll just have to accept it, and use your time more efficiently.

    And in what way is your insistence that “wasting” some percentage of taxpayer money is somehow morally wrong anything other than an appeal to moral obligation?

    The argument doesn’t need to assert a moral obligation to wokr. If you care so much about the poor, then it’s inconsistent to knowingly support the diversion of a large portion of resources to corruption or waste.

  230. anteprepro says

    Aside from appeals to our common humanity, or appeals to the advantages of altruism vs selfishness, neither of us can justify why in an absolute sense, anyone should care about our personal wellbeing

    So putting aside the fact THEIR wellbeing is dependent on OUR wellbeing, and vice versa, we can’t justify why someone else should care about our wellbeing?

    *blinks*

    Okay then. Guess we are officially entering into “Chess With A Pigeon” Mode.

  231. consciousness razor says

    There may be people who do not accept this framework, but the existence of insane people does not mean that suddenly we don’t have scientific knowledge.

    Don’t do this either. You don’t need to be “insane,” whatever you think that means. Indeed, you don’t even need to be irrational to fail to accept scientific facts. You can be ignorant, you can have a different theory (a falsifiable one, no less), you can be in all sorts of different situations in which the facts seem to you to be other than what they actually are. The point is much more effective if you don’t blithely label all of that as “insanity,” but more importantly, the splash damage is harmful all by itself. I thought someone already brought that up in an earlier T-dome to you, but haven’t bothered to search for it..

  232. consciousness razor says

    The argument doesn’t need to assert a moral obligation to wokr. If you care so much about the poor, then it’s inconsistent to knowingly support the diversion of a large portion of resources to corruption or waste.

    You apparently believe what the world lacks is money. Guess what? We invent money. And there are disgustingly wealthy people wasting money on all manner of expensive crap, which does not benefit anyone in any significant way. Fuck, people literally blow money up and set it on fire and send it to wars to kill millions and millions of people and send it to courtrooms and prisons for people to suffer for having committed victimless crimes. There is no lack of money, just an overabundance of assholes like you who don’t give a fuck about anyone but themselves.

  233. anteprepro says

    If you care so much about the poor, then it’s inconsistent to knowingly support the diversion of a large portion of resources to corruption or waste.

    Because God The Invisible Hand knows that there is corruption and waste in programs helping poor people! Those are the programs that need to be nuked from orbit for their corruption and waste! Because otherwise they are actually hurting poor people in order to help them! Can’t have that. Can only have programs that exclusively hurt poor people and only hurt them. Because consistency!

    caesar and other libertarians seem to use an interesting form of the argument from incredulity. Argument from lack of empathy? Argument from indifference to morality? Argument from egocentric sociopathy? Basically it is the same “Nuh uh” argument we get from every flavor of fuckwitted denialist, but this “nuh uh” tries to dishonestly nuke any semblance of moral standards into the ground, but in a strategic fashion, so as to still claim in the fallout that you are obliged to honor their property rights. I honestly don’t know how these people live with themselves or sleep at night. But I guess when you hollow yourself out and fill the void inside with The Almighty Dollar, just like the folks who take enemas of The Holy Spirit, they sleep like fucking amoral, wantonly destructive babies.

  234. Rey Fox says

    If you care so much about the poor, then it’s inconsistent to knowingly support the diversion of a large portion of resources to corruption or waste.

    But in this hypothetical, the needs of the poor are being met. You’re the one who cares about “waste” without defining why.

  235. Snoof says

    I stated that nobody is obligated to care about anyone else

    …there’s no fundamental law of physics that requires it, no. Nor is there a law of physics that would prevent me from killing and eating you.

    So?

  236. caesar says

    consciousness@254:
    <blockquoteQuite the deepity you have there. They’re meaningful to people who can think and feel, to which things have meaning.
    Glad you agree with me.

    So you don’t know what “intrinsic” means. Intrinsic to what, dumbass? And if you don’t follow that question, then the point has been made.

    To itself dumbass! Don’t you have a dictionary?

    Also, morality is socially constructed, and that doesn’t mean you have no moral obligations.

    If you mean moral obligation in a subjective sense, then that’s true.

    You said you wanted “the status quo,” which (among other things) involves people starving.

    I said that the status quo was preferable to simply throwing away resources in an attempt to end hunger.

  237. says

    Congratulations Caeser you’ve successfully argued you’re either a) an immoral fuck who probably should be locked up for everyone’s sake or b) too stupid to understand the core hypothetical as presented.

  238. consciousness razor says

    Glad you agree with me.

    That means we agree that you don’t have a point.

    To itself dumbass! Don’t you have a dictionary?

    What is “it”? Do you remember, or did you never think about it in the first place? We’re talking about social interactions, how people regard and act toward others, including the obligations they have, which is another way of talking about their responsibilities to each other. How’s that not extrinsic or relational?

    If you mean moral obligation in a subjective sense, then that’s true.

    No idea what you think this means. Too vague to mean anything in particular, which isn’t surprising coming from you.

    I said that the status quo was preferable to simply throwing away resources in an attempt to end hunger.

    A successful attempt. It’s as if you keep forgetting that part. Or you’re dishonest.

    I’d like to know in what sense you believe the status quo isn’t being wasteful in its attempt to end/reduce hunger by using tax dollars. Do you think there are no cases of people abusing the system? Do people ever spend food stamps on stuff you don’t believe they deserve? Whatever your views, what exactly makes you think everything is just as it should be? Give me your best Leibniz impression. Tell me why it must be the best of all possible worlds. The market? Freedom? You evaded taxes this year?

  239. caesar says

    anteprepro@259:

    The analogy isn’t saying we should transition from fossil fuels to a more efficient alternative energy source: It is simply declaring that fossil fuels aren’t perfect and ditching them completely with no viable alternative in place, because OH NOES WASTED MONEYS!

    No, the analogy is declaring that inefficiencies should be eliminated as quickly as possible, or that we should develop an alternative which can take its place after said alternative is ready to be deployed.

  240. says

    btw Chas, ignoring a “don’t’ comment on this subject” request at least twice and just getting a response to your snark is an example of that privilege of familiarity I was talking about.

  241. brianpansky says

    I said that the status quo was preferable to simply throwing away resources in an attempt to end hunger.

    we’ve been talking about an “attempt” to end hunger that is SUCCESSFUL.

    where have you been?

    i’ll just quote your own words again:

    It doesn’t matter if you can devise a real or hypothetical solution to end hunger. If 90% of your resources went to corruption or people not deserving of it, then it’s waste, regardless of whether it achieved its goal. You might be ok with that, but that doesn’t change the facts. Hypothetically, that might be worth it, but if a real world solution were that inefficient, i’d rather stick with the status quo.

    so regardless of whether it acheived it’s goal. so let’s re-do your recent sentence:

    I said that the status quo was preferable regardless of whether hunger was ended. something something about some wasted money that outweighs this in some way somehow

    you still have not presented any reasoning to support your conclusion.

  242. anteprepro says

    caesar now:

    No, the analogy is declaring that inefficiencies should be eliminated as quickly as possible, or that we should develop an alternative which can take its place after said alternative is ready to be deployed.

    Huh. Then I must be blind or hallucinating then.

    Caesar’s first comment:

    If a whopping 90% was wasted or went to corruption, then it seems to me that the program should be ended.

    Caesar 195:

    It doesn’t matter if you can devise a real or hypothetical solution to end hunger. If 90% of your resources went to corruption or people not deserving of it, then it’s waste, regardless of whether it achieved its goal. You might be ok with that, but that doesn’t change the facts. Hypothetically, that might be worth it, but if a real world solution were that inefficient, i’d rather stick with the status quo.

    I guess I must be hallucinating or something! I think I saw those goalposts cross the town limits!

  243. brianpansky says

    *maybe there is no conclusion. maybe ceasar has no point, just an opinion untethered from reasoning.

  244. caesar says

    @261:

    and it is upon you to show how the situation (only a 1% tax for fucking crying out loud) could possibly be “not sustainable”.

    I didn’t say that a 1% tax was unsustainable. I said that a program that wastes 90% of its resourses is unsustainable. Try to keep up.

  245. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    maybe ceasar has no point, just an opinion untethered from reasoning.

    By FSM, you may be on to something….

  246. Snoof says

    you still have not presented any reasoning to support your conclusion.

    But waste is objectively bad!

    Unlike people starving, which is only subjectively bad.

    Or something like that.

  247. brianpansky says

    @301
    caesar

    nice dodge. let’s try that again.

    and it is upon you to show how the situation (only a 1% tax for fucking crying out loud) could possibly be “not sustainable”.

    I didn’t say that a 1% tax was unsustainable. I said that a program that wastes 90% of its resourses is unsustainable.

    let’s try it without my stuff in brackets:

    and it is upon you to show how the situation could possibly be “not sustainable”.

    seriously, you claim that a program that wastes 90% of its resourses is unsustainable.

    now back that up. unsustainable how? in what way?

    answer the how. do the showing.

    no more dodging.

  248. Rey Fox says

    I said that the status quo was preferable to simply throwing away resources in an attempt to end hunger.

    Throwing away to where? As opposed to putting where?

  249. says

    I don’t understand this idea of waste

    if the job gets done but 90% is wasted doesn’t that just mean our estimate for the cost was off?

  250. caesar says

    @262:

    It certainly can be sustainable. Being inefficient doesn’t mean unsustainable. You’re conflating these two different concepts.

    It does when the cost of inefficiency is high, as in the case of a debt strapped government such as Detroit.

    We do not ever, under any circumstances, use energy or resources or anything else 100% efficiently. Yet somehow, humans have managed to survive for a very long time on this planet, which isn’t the best of all possible worlds.

    I never said that 100% efficiency was required. The issue was that a 10% efficiency rate with tax dollars is unacceptable to me.

  251. Snoof says

    I never said that 100% efficiency was required. The issue was that a 10% efficiency rate with tax dollars is unacceptable to me.

    So if you could pay $100 per year for medicine that would keep you alive, and knew that it had a total cost of $10 to produce with the remaining $90 being burned to ashes, you’d choose death instead?

    Fascinating.

  252. consciousness razor says

    I never said that 100% efficiency was required. The issue was that a 10% efficiency rate with tax dollars is unacceptable to me.

    I think I get it now. When you say “unsustainable,” what you actually mean to say is that you (and your ilk) won’t allow it to sustain. It’s just meant to be rhetorically slamming your fist on the table like a whiny little child who just learned a big new word, not making any substantial point about economics. Is that about right?

    I’ll retract another assumption I made before. You probably wouldn’t notice a difference if progressive taxes went up, because you’re probably not wealthy. Most likely, fear and ignorance are a much bigger motivation to you than simply greed. But definitely not solid reasoning.

  253. hjhornbeck says

    Head’s up: two more comments have disappeared over on Ben Radford’s announcement. If anyone has an archive of the page that covers Sunday, March 23rd between 11:00 AM and 3:00 PM (MDT), please forward it on to Karen Stollznow or her lawyers.

    Radford seems to be on the defensive, as per LykeX’s comment over here, and may be starting to erase his tracks. Keep an eye peeled.

  254. caesar says

    @272:

    To be fair to caesar, I think that by “country as a whole”, xe means those poor souls who can’t afford a second yacht

    No, it actually means all 300+ million people in the US with regards to general indicators of wellbeing including income, unemployment rate, etc. It’s not that hard of a concept to get.

  255. anteprepro says

    Score card:
    Ing

    btw Chas, ignoring a “don’t’ comment on this subject” request at least twice and just getting a response to your snark is an example of that privilege of familiarity I was talking about.

    Here’s my scorecard so far:

    Thread: I’m not willing to trade one woman for the entire membership of CPAC
    Excuse: “I didn’t know that another post about Silverman and CPAC was also about abortion!”

    Thread: The biological species concept is not an anti-choice argument.
    Excuse: “It’s just a quibble about BIOLOGY not abortion!”
    Posts in the above thread again as a passive aggressive response to a monitor note.
    Excuse: Pending.

    Thread: You Should Have A Right To Not Have Babies.
    Excuse: Pending.

    I swear he is actively trying to test how merciful PZ is, but I don’t know why .

  256. Portia says

    but I don’t know why .

    He has claimed before that bringing the piss and vinegar is purely for his own amusement.

  257. anteprepro says

    Portia:

    He has claimed before that bringing the piss and vinegar is purely for his own amusement.

    i.e. “I did it for the lulz”

    Sounds about right.

  258. Rob Grigjanis says

    caesar @311: You’re simply ignoring questions about the real theft perpetrated by the ruling class. That is fascinating, and it’s not that hard of a concept to get, unless you’re innumerate.

  259. anteprepro says

    No, it actually means all 300+ million people in the US with regards to general indicators of wellbeing including income, unemployment rate , etc.

    Considering that libertarians think that property rights are supreme, and that right to live or rights over your own body are simply an extension of property rights rather than independent rights that are even more vital than property rights , I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that a libertarian’s conception of “wellbeing” all boils down to Money Money Money.

  260. hjhornbeck says

    Shit is going down, and the pieces are falling into place:

    Karen Stollznow:

    I didn’t write it, I never agreed to it, I never signed it, and I’m not the liar here.

    Baxter (her husband):

    I wrote a joint statement, they morphed it into an apology, said that I worked on it with them, and claimed that @karenstollznow agreed.

    Ben Radford:

    Yep, I saw that. I’ll be addressing that shortly. It’s a strange comment given that her husband Baxter e-mailed me a few days ago telling me that she agreed to it and would be having it notarized today. [image]

  261. says

    —Why is it so difficult for so many to just address what someone actually said instead of going through the mental gyrations necessary to address what you personally think they really meant?—

    I don’t know, Chas? What is so fucking difficult about addressing what someone actually is saying instead of going through twisted mental gymnastics to warp it into what you want them to have said?

    Why don’t you try checking your narcissism at the door and shut up and listen for a moment?

    Of course you think bodily autonomy is irrelevant, YOURS isn’t in any danger of being offered up as sacrifice. Your so-called ‘intellect’ is nothing more than pure privilege.

  262. Snoof says

    Considering that libertarians think that property rights are supreme, and that right to live or rights over your own body are simply an extension of property rights rather than independent rights that are even more vital than property rights , I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that a libertarian’s conception of “wellbeing” all boils down to Money Money Money.

    <bitter irony> Of course money is more important than a mere body! I mean, a body’s only worth about $45 million, and that’s assuming all the parts are perfect condition. Most are worth much less. Some bank accounts are worth thousands of times that! </bitter irony>

  263. ChasCPeterson says

    Of course you think bodily autonomy is irrelevant

    wut

    are you illiterate, delusional, stupid, or a combination?

    Honestly: given what I have actually said, your comment makes absolutely zero sense at all.
    You perfectly illustrate the point you quote.

    un be lievable.

  264. ChasCPeterson says

    He has claimed before that bringing the piss and vinegar is purely for his own amusement.

    that’s a lie. Fuck you.

  265. says

    Chas

    If you’re determined to play the “ask me about something I actually said” game, please answer my #46, wherein I not only quote your words, but link to the fucking comment I’m quoting from. I’ve asked you about those words four times now, including this comment, and I’ve seen others ask about them too.

    You made the thinly-veiled “PC” accusation. Fucking-well back it up.

  266. hjhornbeck says

    News is coming in fast on the Stollznow/Radford case. I’ll just direct everyone here, and point out that Radford’s Facebook page and image of his email (linked above) are gone.

    Also, Stollznow will be in need of a legal fund.

  267. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @consciousness razor

    Don’t do this either. You don’t need to be “insane,” whatever you think that means.

    Oh, but I do want to do this one. I meant that in context to refer to the canonical falling hammer example. The implied context there is that we’re dealing with a person in our world who flatly believes that hammers do not fall when you drop them, because reasons. This person is insane.

    The point is much more effective if you don’t blithely label all of that as “insanity,” but more importantly, the splash damage is harmful all by itself. I thought someone already brought that up in an earlier T-dome to you, but haven’t bothered to search for it.

    Politely, but strongly, disagreed.

    First, see my reply to the other posts which you cite, here:
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2014/03/19/thunderdome-42/comment-page-1/#comment-768207

    I admit culpability in whole. I do however have a nit. Being disabled is a bad thing.

    So, is your problem with the particular word “insane”? Or is your problem with me treating as a bad thing the condition of “being detached from reality”?

    If your problem is with the word, I’ll try to accommodate. How about “crazy”, “deranged”, “unhinged”?

    However, if your problem is with me treating “being detached from reality” as a bad thing, then I am sorry. I will not accommodate you.

    In cases like the canonical hammer falling example, I believe that almost every people who disagree are merely confused. Anyone here who says that hammers do not fall when you drop them is not serious, or if they are serious, seriously confused. My best hope of fixing their thought processes is to set up a cognitive dissonance between 1- their ridiculous beliefs about hammers, and 2- their pre-existing beliefs and values that being “detached from reality” is a bad thing. My only hope in a conversation like this is to appeal to that pre-existing bias that being insane is bad. So no, I completely disagree. Rather than being more effective, I will be completely ineffective if I cannot appeal to the value that acting as if insane is bad. Similarly, I need to be able to appeal to the value that acting as if extremely stupid is bad.

    For those people who have mental disabilities, they have my sympathy and my respect. Their is something wrong with them. It’s not their fault. I hope our medical doctors and researches find better treatments, cures, prevention, etc. In the meantime, they deserve basic human dignity, respect, sympathy, etc. However, for those who are able-minded and purposefully trying to mimic mentally disabled people, they deserve our scorn and ridicule, and that is perhaps the only effective way to get them to change their mind and overcome whatever bullshit childhood indoctrination, fear, etc., is holding them back.

    PS: Of course, it must be properly targeted. Too much scorn and ridicule just turn people off. You need to apply the proper amount in the proper context to properly set up cognitive dissonance. Too little and you become an ineffectual accommodationist. Too much and you become the almost-nonexistant caricature of the angry atheist, and you again become ineffectual. Making a difference involves finding the right level of ridicule for the situation.

    However again, an otherwise normal person who does not accept that hammers fall, or the equivalent such as believing the Earth is 6000 years old, needs to be mocked and ridiculed.

  268. Louis says

    Enlightenment Liberal,

    Being disabled is a bad thing.

    ORLY?

    “Bad” as in some moral, intellectual or ethical judgement? Or “Bad” as in merely unlucky or unfortunate?

    Louis

  269. Portia says

    He has claimed before that bringing the piss and vinegar is purely for his own amusement.

    that’s a lie. Fuck you.

    If you think I’m lying about something, use this helpful mnemonic: not.

    Have a lovely day, Chas!

  270. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    For those people who have mental disabilities, they have my sympathy and my respect.

    Neither of which is apparently worth enough for you to stop associating mental illness/disability with people being willfully ignorant, amoral shitheads in the interest of your mutual philosowanking festivities. Fuck you.

  271. Amphiox says

    I never said that 100% efficiency was required. The issue was that a 10% efficiency rate with tax dollars is unacceptable to me.

    WHY do you accept a 10% efficiency rate for the engine that moves your car and the light bulb that lights your home but not with tax dollars?

    No, it actually means all 300+ million people in the US with regards to general indicators of wellbeing including income, unemployment rate, etc. It’s not that hard of a concept to get.

    PARTICULARLY when the spending you decry actually improves these metrics?

    I said that a program that wastes 90% of its resourses is unsustainable.

    It doesn’t magically become true just because you keep repeating it. DEMONSTRATE the unsustainability with EVIDENCE, or shut up.

    No, the analogy is declaring that inefficiencies should be eliminated as quickly as possible, or that we should develop an alternative which can take its place after said alternative is ready to be deployed.

    Which means the program SHOULD NOT BE ENDED until an alternative is actually available and ready to be deployed.

    Thank you for conceding the argument.

    Now, the onus is ON YOU to describe a potential alternative and DEMONSTRATE WITH EVIDENCE that it is indeed more effective and more efficient.

  272. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Where does the 90% inefficient come from? Estimates of waste, fraud, and abuse in the US welfare system range from around 2% to 5%. And overhead costs (administration of the programmes) run 5% to 20%. Could someone show me a private industry even 1% the size of these programmes with lower waste, fraud, abuse, or administration costs? Additionally, how much would it cost to lower the rates of fraud, waste and abuse? If it added 5 points to the administrative costs, would eliminating 1 point of waste, fraud and abuse be worth doing?

  273. says

    He has claimed before that bringing the piss and vinegar is purely for his own amusement.

    that’s a lie. Fuck you.

    Except you HAVE said, more than once, that you do troll regulars for shits n giggles. I guess you’ve never said that shits n giggles is the ONLY motivation so maybe the word “purely” qualifies the statement as untruthful. Either way, it’s still true that you troll, so it’s not 100% of a lie.

    And like I said before, I found your excuse about not realizing that another post about CPAC and David Silverman and involving Amanda Marcotte would somehow not be about abortion to be pathetically unbelievable. I think you were lying then and my assessment of you as a truthful asshole has been called into question, especially since you then went on and continued to post in abortion threads with similarly weak justifications. Your behavior is that of a person who really, really wants to post in abortion threads, not that of someone who just isn’t paying enough attention to realize that is the topic at hand.

    And now here you are saying it’s a lie to identify you as a person whose SOLE motivation is trolling. Yeah, okay, it’s only a partial motivation, there now, feel better? That’s not really grounds for getting all het up and yelling “fuck you” though.

  274. Portia says

    I wish to retract the word “purely” from my earlier statement.

    It was in error.

    I apologize, Chas, for characterizing you as having only one motivation for being an asshole. Clearly there must be more than one motivation for such persistent assholery.

  275. says

    @ Portia–I had forgotten the charming part where Chas eschews responsibility for his own actions, blaming it on his brain, which, like the devil, makes him do bad things, and everyone else, it’s their own fault he lied to them and provoked them. Look what we made him do! If only we weren’t so irrational then he wouldn’t be forced to troll us.

  276. Portia says

    SallyStrange
    Well, we have to correctly progressive, don’tcha know – that clouds our poor minds to the Truth and Logic of Chas.

  277. Louis says

    Sally,

    I made Chas misread Silverman’s claim, PZ’s comments and several people’s words subsequent to that. I did that all before commenting on the issue at all (this time round). I really am very naughty.

    Louis

  278. vaiyt says

    If you care so much about the poor, then it’s inconsistent to knowingly support the diversion of a large portion of resources to corruption or waste.

    But apparently it’s perfectly consistent to care about the poor and willingly let them starve to combat corruption and waste. Priorities, ur doin it rong.

  279. Louis says

    Portia,

    Well I, for one, am terrified of thinking about alternative perspectives…oops I just did a little poo thinking about one for a microsecond. I better scuttle back to unquestioned adherence to correct doctrine and conventional nostrums lest I accidentally bark a half learned slogan…wait….no…it’s the conventional nostrums that make me bark half learned slogans. Crikey, better get that right, wouldn’t want any legitmate criticism.

    Louis

    P.S. The above is a TEEEENSY bit sarcastic for those (I’m looking at you Chasy baby) who struggle to fully grasp anything humorous. Chas…may I call you Chuckmeister Fucky D? Thanks. Chuckmeister, or Fucky if you prefer, you truly are a tin eared clod on this one. Perhaps the terrifying thought here is not that we terrible people (and we are terrible, just look at our hair) are PC loons trotting out slogans etc, but that you are demonstrably wrong, factually bereft, incorrect, in error, mistaken and so on, on this issue? Maybe….juuuuuuust maybe.

  280. Amphiox says

    If you care so much about the poor, then it’s inconsistent to knowingly support the diversion of a large portion of resources to corruption or waste.

    Only if there already exists an alternative that is equally effective at the primary goal which diverts less to “corruption” and “waste”.

    If no such alternative exists then irrespective of the raw numbers we are in fact talking about the most efficient alternative available, and it doesn’t matter if it is 99.9% inefficient. You go ahead abd do it and budget accordingly.

    Just as you continue to use an ICE in your car, and light your home with electric light bulbs.

    Raw efficiency numbers are MEANINGLESS unless in the context of comparison to other ALTERNATIVES.

  281. Rey Fox says

    Where does the 90% inefficient come from?

    It’s purely a hypothetical. See EnlightenmentLiberal’s comment #152.

  282. says

    EnlightenmentLiberal:

    For those people who have mental disabilities, they have my sympathy and my respect. Their is something wrong with them. It’s not their fault. I hope our medical doctors and researches find better treatments, cures, prevention, etc. In the meantime, they deserve basic human dignity, respect, sympathy, etc.

    People with mental or physical disabilities deserve the same dignity and respect as everyone else. I don’t think telling them that there’s something wrong with you shows them dignity or respect.

  283. Anthony K says

    that’s a lie. Fuck you.

    I don’t know if that’s a lie, but this certainly is:

    And I swore I would not respond, and meant it

    …or is it just another ChasCPromise?

    (and in b4 the requisite knee-jerk “fuck you”: I know Chas doesn’t really mean it. He never really means anything he says, as years of evidence (some of it in this thread) will show. But I guess a reputation for rank dishonesty is the price one pays when one is hard-wired to think of oneself as the Maverick™ in their very own Mary Sue story.)

    Chas…may I call you Chuckmeister Fucky D?

    Try referring to him as “Lone Wolf McQuade” because he plays by his own rules, man. Nobody helps him, sticks up for him, or refuses to ban him despite several warnings because he’s a regular, and that’s just the way he likes it. I wonder what PZ does with all the badges and guns Chas throws on his desk, just before declaring he’s gonna take down the bad guys his own way, unencumbered by all those ‘correctly political’ regulations.

  284. Amphiox says

    Here’s another thing that is 90% inefficient:

    Eating beef. (Or really any other form of domesticated meat).

    Takes about 9 kg of corn/wheat/soy etc to produce 1 kg of cow. Far more efficient to just eat the corn and soybeans.

    Is our libertarian friend a vegetarian?

  285. Louis says

    Anthony K,

    I forgot he stood alone, a shining Knight in Armour of Gold standing against the Dark Pharyngulean Horde Of Political Correctness

    …oops…sorry…I mean…{ahem}…

    … standing against the Dark Pharyngulean Horde Of People Who Are Terrified Of Alternative Perspectives And Who Bark Half-Learned Slogans Whilst Unquestioningly Adhering To Correct Doctrine And Conventional Nostrums And That Is Not In Anyway A Backhanded Way Of Saying “Political Correctness” Because Magic Reasons And Humpty Dumpty Use Of Words That Really Fool Everybody No Really Honest They’re Like Fooled And Shit.

    Oooh my knees went all weak and a little bit of wee came out because I am just so in AWE of the Great Warrior. How Noble! How Original! How Freethinking! How Reciting Well Worn Well Disproven Old Anti-Woman Dogwhistles And Misunderstanding Other People’s Simple Claims And Words Whilst Being Weally-Weally-Sooper-Pro-Choice-Despite-There-Being-Valid-Unreasonably-Ridiculed-Anti-Woman-Arguments-And-That’s-Not-Self-Contrdictory-OKAY.

    Sorry, I’d forgotten about all of that. Tchoh! Silly me.

    Louis

  286. Anthony K says

    I forgot he stood alone, a shining Knight in Armour of Gold standing against the Dark Pharyngulean Horde Of Political Correctness

    Really? You forgot? He reminds everyone every opportunity PZ gives him.

  287. Amphiox says

    Here’s another human activity that runs on 90% inefficiency for our libertarian friend.

    Procreative sex.

    At the peak of her cycle (ie maximum fertility), the average woman’s likelihood for pregnancy from a single episode of unprotected intercourse is about 9%. For the rest of the month it is even lower than that.

    So, if you’re out to make a baby, 90% of your effort will be wasted. What a travesty! And let’s not forget that effort ain’t free. Those be calories you be burning up, and calories = food = MONEY. A 90% waste on that portion of the monthly food bill. It’s even in the same direct category (ie food money) as the issue of dealing with starving people.

    Time to ban sex. Procreation should be done in vitro only. Much higher efficiencies there.

    And masturbation, naturally, can only be permitted for the deserving few.

  288. Christopher says

    Isn’t 10% the efficiency rate of energy transfer between trophic levels?

    It is a close enough rule of thumb.

    Time to kill all non-primary producers.

    Then again, plants are usually less than 2% efficient at converting sunlight into biomass. Therefore we should kill everything.

  289. alwayscurious says

    ****News alert: Eating is inefficient, Casaer starts hunger strike, vows a conversion to photosynthesism****

    Details at eleven.

  290. Amphiox says

    News alert: Eating is inefficient, Casaer starts hunger strike, vows a conversion to photosynthesism

    25 feet of guts to supply a 6 foot organism. Talk about bureaucratic wastage, man!

  291. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @Louis
    I again invite you to read what I wrote on this, rather than copy-paste:
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2014/03/19/thunderdome-42/comment-page-1/#comment-768207

    @Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm

    Neither of which is apparently worth enough for you to stop associating mental illness/disability with people being willfully ignorant, amoral shitheads in the interest of your mutual philosowanking festivities. Fuck you.

    It is. Did you not read what I wrote? I’m asked what terms are ok to insult some idiotic Christian who is acting like an idiot, or who is willfully detached from reality.

    I ask again: what words are ok, and what are not? My goal is not to stigmatize those with legitimate mental disabilities. My goal is to set up cognitive dissonance and make people feel uncomfortable when they are acting stupidly and when they are in a break from reality.

    At best, I’m treading a very fine line. I don’t know if I can avoid that association. I need to treat “being in a break from reality” as a bad thing that is to be avoided.

    I ask you – is it possible to appeal to the value that being in a break from reality” is a bad thing without also stigmatizing people with legitimate mental disabilities?

    I’m ignorant of this topic, of what words have a strong connotation of being ableist, and that’s why I’m asking. I again ask – how should I phrase it? Is “break from reality” ok? Because of my ignorance of this topic, I thought “moronic” was just as fine as “retarded”, but apparently I missed the cultural movement where the second word is now a dirty word that stigmatizes people with mental disabilities. I don’t want to do that, so I’ll try to avoid that word. I did so in ignorance, and now I’m stopping. Similarly, I thought that “crazy”, “insane”, “deranged”, “break from reality”, etc., were all equally fine. Am I wrong? Which ones are bad, and which are not?

  292. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    EnlightenmentLiberal sez:

    My goal is not to stigmatize those with legitimate mental disabilities.

    after having previously said:

    My only hope in a conversation like this is to appeal to that pre-existing bias that being insane is bad.

    You don’t want to stigmatize those with mental illnesses/disabilities but you’re just totes cool with riffing on existing stigmas to make a point.

    I ask you – is it possible to appeal to the value that being in a break from reality” is a bad thing without also stigmatizing people with legitimate mental disabilities?

    You can convey the message that something someone said is inconsistent with reality all kinds of ways. Use your imagination. If what you want to do is imply that, if the person with whom you’re conversing doesn’t acknowledge the validity of your argument, you’ll have no choice but to conclude they’re suffering from a mental illness, then no, there’s really no way to do that without being ableist because it equates mental illness with being a willfully obtuse shithead.

    Which ones are bad, and which are not?

    Anything that involves you appealing to stigmas surrounding mental illness/disability to make a point is bad.

  293. consciousness razor says

    EnlightenmentLiberal:

    It is. Did you not read what I wrote? I’m asked what terms are ok to insult some idiotic Christian who is acting like an idiot, or who is willfully detached from reality.

    I ask again: what words are ok, and what are not?

    Since your goal is explicitly to be insulting, you shouldn’t use any terms referring to mental illnesses/disorders/disabilities. You’re not insulting Christians when you do that. You’re insulting disabled people. They don’t “act” like idiots, and they’re not “willfully” disabled, so you can and should easily be able to tell the difference.

    And it’s not as if the words themselves are harmful in all circumstances, so asking for a list of “not okay words” is asking for the wrong sort of thing. You could probably think of times when some aren’t insulting (unlike what you’ve been doing). For example, you could say things like “that party last night was crazy” or “that math problem was insanely hard,” and the people listening to you could understand that what you meant by it wasn’t an insult to disabled people.

    My goal is not to stigmatize those with legitimate mental disabilities.

    Then listen to what other people are saying, instead of just yourself, and don’t do that.

    Because of my ignorance of this topic, I thought “moronic” was just as fine as “retarded”, but apparently I missed the cultural movement where the second word is now a dirty word that stigmatizes people with mental disabilities.

    Terms like “moronic” and “idiotic” are much less associated nowadays with medical conditions and diagnoses, and they have been for quite a long time. Retardation is still a much more clinical term.

    And guess what? You’re not a doctor. So aside from the splash damage, you should also know better than to say things which sound like you’re making a diagnosis. Keep your theory of epistemology as only a theory of epistemology. Don’t act as if you’re a fucking psychiatrist, because that’s actual science with actual data and actual methodology that you are not in any way doing. That sort of honesty and humility makes for better philosophy too, so it’s a win-win.

  294. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm
    I note that you’re dodging my questions and not answering them.

    I ask again, is it ok to say that they are “in a break from reality”? Or is that also appealing to the stigma surrounding mental illness? “Deranged”? “Unhinged”? “Unstable”? I’ll carefully consider what you are saying, but my initial gut reaction is that you are outlawing whole swathes of the English language, and making it impossible to ever call someone out on bullshit by name.

    Even saying “willfully delusional” or “break from reality (psychosis)” can be construed as appealing to the stigma surrounding people with mental illness with delusions, such as paranoid schizophrenia. I don’t know if your position is reasonable. I don’t know if I’m willing to bow down so far as to be unable to use the term “willfully delusional”.

  295. consciousness razor says

    I ask again, is it ok to say that they are “in a break from reality”?

    How do you know that about this hypothetical person? Are you their doctor, or are you yourself in a break from reality right now?

  296. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @consciousness razor
    Because this is referring to a hypothetical person who adamantly holds that hammers do not fall when released, even after several demonstrations.

  297. caesar says

    Let’s say that this hypothetical program actually worked in reality, despite being horribly inefficient. I wonder what harm is being done by having 90% of the funds not being used to help people at all. I wonder if those wasted funds are going to people who don’t need any assistance, or if for example, instead of helping pay to keep a updated lab equipment in schools, it’s going into some politician’s coffers to be used for lavish dinners with those evil 1 percenters. And then what if there’s a recession, resulting in a decrease in tax revenues? There’sgoing to be increased pressure to use tax revenues efficiently, which pretty much always means that important programs get cut, and all those poor people you guys claim to care about, will be no better off.
    But who cares about any of that when you can self righteously claim that you’re so caring, all while enabling the very corruption and waste that perpetuates poverty. In fact it’s the misuse of taxpayer funds like that which gives ammo to right wingers who claim that the government is the problem. And they wouldn’t be wrong, because how can you claim that the rich pay more when a large amount of the money going to the governmentis just going to be misused anyway?

  298. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    There’sgoing to be increased pressure to use tax revenues efficiently, which pretty much always means that important programs get cut, and all those poor people you guys claim to care about, will be no better off.

    Name me a program more important than not letting your neighbor starve.

    (I know you can, but that would be missing the point of this proverbial question.)

  299. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    EnlightenmentLiberal

    I note that you’re dodging my questions and not answering them.

    I’m not dodging anything. I’m sorry you didn’t get a bullet-pointed list of proscribed words you could jot down on a post-it note, but you’re not going to get that. You need to understand that using language associated with actual medical disabilities (whether official nomenclature or slang) to insult someone who is willfully being horrible is ableist. More generally, using language associated with things people can’t help as an insult is *-ist.

    If not drawing those comparisons is too damn much to ask of you, well let me reiterate: fuck you.

  300. Portia says

    At the peak of her a monthly cycle (ie maximum fertility), the average woman uterus-possessing person’s likelihood for pregnancy

    FTFY

  301. carbonfox says

    Hey guys, I just wanted to say THANK YOU for the training on rape culture. Today on Facebook some idiot was telling my (young and naive) sister that “scantily scad” women invited rape onto themselves, but I was able to destroy their “arguments” thanks to some of the things I’ve learned from the Horde. I feel good about it, like I’ve helped my sister a little in navigating the big bad world. :)

  302. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    Because this is referring to a hypothetical person who adamantly holds that hammers do not fall when released, even after several demonstrations.

    Then say that their claims are not consistent with facts currently in evidence. Something other than implying that they’re experiencing some sort of medical issue. Jesus fuck, speaking of willfully obtuse…

  303. Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive] says

    Caesar, please stick with reality.

    I think most everyone here would agree that a program that is 90% inefficient would be bad and could be improved.

    But – are you arguing that current welfare programs are that inefficient? And that this is an argument that they should be scrapped?

    Lay your cards on the table.

  304. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    As I understand your position, you would disallow me from using “you’re being willfully delusional” as a pejorative. I’m sorry, but that’s asking too much. I will not respect your wishes in this matter.

    If not drawing those comparisons is too damn much to ask of you, well let me reiterate: fuck you.

    Noted.

    PS: Via a literal 5 seconds of google:
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2014/03/03/how-delusional-can-climate-change-denialists-get/
    Quoting PZ Myers:

    How delusional can climate change denialists get?

    This is about the point where I stopped caring about your concerns.

  305. anteprepro says

    caesar

    Let’s say that this hypothetical program actually worked in reality, despite being horribly inefficient. I wonder what harm is being done by having 90% of the funds not being used to help people at all.

    What? Who fucking cares! The program WORKS, is ELIMINATING HUNGER and is SAVING LIVES. The options at the point for a human being with the tiniest bit of morality and perspective would either be to SLIGHTLY tinker it to enhance efficiency or just sit back, shut the fuck, and enjoy the fact that your country ELIMINATED HUNGER. You clueless, callous fuck.

    I wonder if those wasted funds are going to people who don’t need any assistance, or if for example, instead of helping pay to keep a updated lab equipment in schools, it’s going into some politician’s coffers to be used for lavish dinners with those evil 1 percenters. And then what if there’s a recession, resulting in a decrease in tax revenues?

    Because, again, God knows that politicans and the ridiculously rich aren’t going to filtering money into their pocket from the economy at large unless we have an (arguably) inefficient Feed The Poor program!

    How many degrees of separation are their between reality and a libertarian’s perception of it?

    But who cares about any of that when you can self righteously claim that you’re so caring, all while enabling the very corruption and waste that perpetuates poverty.

    Yes, corruption and waste perpetuates poverty. I’m sure that disingenuous fuckwads like yourself trying to gut any form of financial assistance and safety net programs have absolutely no role in poverty. The problem is just Big Gubmint Waste, all the way down.

    I bet you would say that the government is doing TOO MUCH already, wouldn’t you? And then you have the gall to say:

    In fact it’s the misuse of taxpayer funds like that which gives ammo to right wingers who claim that the government is the problem.

    As if you don’t rely on that same meme. As if you are so distinct from the run of the mill right wingers. Don’t make me fucking laugh.

  306. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    This is about the point where I stopped caring about your concerns.

    Because PZ used a word that I disapprove of? Um…
    El.
    Oh.
    El.

    I guess that’s me been schooled, then…

    Wow.

  307. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    But who cares about any of that when you can self righteously claim that you’re so caring, all while enabling the very corruption and waste that perpetuates poverty.

    Evidenceless inane liberturd sloganeering, dismissed without a citation to back it up. Either start putting up evidence from legitimate sources outside of yourself, so we can make this a fact based argument, not a sloganeering argument from your perspective. Drop the slogans, and provide the evidence. Or you are dismissed as irrelevant to any logical and evidence based discussion.

  308. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    It’s been over a century since that fucknugget Goddard coined the term “moron” to slot in above the existing terms “idiot” and “imbecile”. It had been my understanding that since very few people now alive are old enough to have seen these terms used clinically, that it was now acceptable to use them as insults without stigmatizing anyone who had received these diagnoses because there aren’t any any more.

    Living in a country that is rapidly being driven into the ground by the accession of hordes of stupid and crazy people into political dominance, it’s very hard not to be able to use some insulting terms to describe them. I wouldn’t want to insult or stigmatize anyone with any actual mental illnesses or challenges, but the current political situation makes me so angry that in the past I may have—for which I apologize.

    My question is: does the old rule of thumb about obsolescence of a term making it acceptable hold or not? I can testify that when I was in first grade and a number of portables were moved onto our schoolyard to house “Special” classes, the terms “retarded” and/or “mentally retarded” were already so radioactive that they absolutely couldn’t be used, and even “special” was in search of a new euphemism, because you were supposed to use it in kind of hushed tones, with averted eyes. This would have been in about 1958.

    So if I understand, a term that was totally unusable in a clinical sense 55 years ago is still unacceptable, so the time limit is longer than that? Really, I’m not fishing for justification to use insulting terminology, I’m just an old man who grew up in a less sensitive age, trying to adapt.

  309. caesar says

    @366:
    I’m not claiming that current welfare programs are that inefficient. I was referring to the hypothetical scenario brought up yesterday where a poster claimed that ending hunger with a 1% tax on the wealthy was acceptable even if 90% of the funds were wasted. Im claiming that if a program that wasteful actually existed, then it should probably be ended or reformed.

  310. Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive] says

    So, you value “efficiency” and people’s pocketbooks more than you value people not starving, even in the hypothetical.

    Gotcha.

    Do you sleep well at night?

  311. Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive] says

    Just to be fully understood, I would tolerate 99% inefficiency – unless said inefficiency was producing more suffering (e.g. the funds were being funneled to people who were making child pornography) – if it meant that every child was growing up fully nourished.

  312. chigau (違う) says

    EnlightenmentLiberal
    The discussion about using accusations mental illness to insult people who disagree with you has a long history here on Pharyngula.
    “PZ said it, too!” is not considered a valid defence.

  313. says

    Let’s say that this hypothetical program actually worked in reality, despite being horribly inefficient. I wonder what harm is being done by having 90% of the funds not being used to help people at all.

    Unless that harm is worse than people starving, what does it matter?

    And then what if there’s a recession, resulting in a decrease in tax revenues? There’sgoing to be increased pressure to use tax revenues efficiently, which pretty much always means that important programs get cut, and all those poor people you guys claim to care about, will be no better off.

    Nor will they be any worse off than if we never instituted the program to begin with. At least for a while they didn’t starve. Unless you can demonstrate a causal link between the “waste” and the recession, I don’t see what your point is.

    I’m claiming that if a program that wasteful actually existed, then it should probably be ended or reformed.

    I don’t think you’ll find anyone here arguing that it shouldn’t be improve if it can be improved. That’s not what this is about. The question is this: If it’s a choice between a 90% waste or not doing it at all, what do you choose?

    The reason that question is asked is because it tells us a lot about where your priorities lie. Which is more important: Some abstract notion of efficiency or the practical results for real people?

  314. anteprepro says

    Libertarian logic: “I would give $20 to that charity that would guarantee that a child’s life is saved, but only $4 of my actual donation would be actually used on that child! The rest would be wasted! WASTED!!! So I’m going to go spend my $20 on a big dinner and I am going to make sure that someone investigates that wasteful charity and shuts its inefficient, money-burning ass down! FUCK YOU, CHARITY! The Free Market has spoken” *lights cigarette with burning $10 bill*

  315. consciousness razor says

    EnlightenmentLiberal

    Because this is referring to a hypothetical person who adamantly holds that hammers do not fall when released, even after several demonstrations.

    Theists (and supernaturals) don’t do that. But this is presumably supposed to be an analogy for a much larger variety of behaviors which you’ve decided to lump together. Are you going to think about when that analogy is appropriate, or do we have to do that for you?

    I assume that was an answer to how you know that, not an answer to whether or not you’re their doctor (there’s also no indication you even read my previous comment). People do have religious delusions. They might have delusional beliefs (e.g., that they are a deity or an angel or a prophet), or they might experience hallucinations, or they might have some other confused and beliefs due to things like “near-death” experiences. Those are actual delusions. But they aren’t “willful.” And pay especially close attention here: the fact that they’re false (even blatantly, demonstrably, ridiculously false) does not make the person dishonest. Those are very, very different things. They are disanalogous in so many ways, but I don’t have the time in this comment to address it all.

    What you ought to be ridiculing, because it is actually what you’re dealing with the vast majority of the time with theists, is their dishonesty. That is what they ought to be ashamed of, and that is what they actually have to be cognitively dissonant about (not their nonexistent illness). They should not be ashamed of any comparison to a disabled person, and you should not consider being a disabled person to be shameful. Because it isn’t, and that is as much a newfangled cultural norm as the idea that mental illness isn’t caused by demonic possession. So it should be clear already that the fact that it’s a “bad” thing that there are disabled people is utterly beside the point — if you don’t realize you’re equivocating between these two very different senses of the word, then you should think on that a little more and listen to the criticisms you’re getting. And if you’re honest with yourself, about the kind of knowledge you have about this person, about the most reasonable interpretation of what they’re actually saying and doing (as opposed to your inane, presumptuous analogies), then that’s no kind of restriction to complain about.

  316. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    @371 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge

    So if I understand, a term that was totally unusable in a clinical sense 55 years ago is still unacceptable, so the time limit is longer than that? Really, I’m not fishing for justification to use insulting terminology, I’m just an old man who grew up in a less sensitive age, trying to adapt.

    I don’t think you’d be able to pin anyone down on a precise time frame, that’s really not what it’s about. It’s more about “has the generally accepted meaning of the word(s) evolved enough.” It seems to me that “idiot”, “moron” and “imbecile” are a bit of a gray area. Their usage as actual medical terminology is recent enough that a few seconds of casual google-fu will turn up their etymology but also distant enough that most newcomers to able-ism related social justice have no idea until it’s pointed out to them.

    My personal position on those words in particular (as well as ‘stupid’) is that their continued usage is not worth fighting for. While they aren’t as obviously ableist as “retarded”, they also don’t have any explanatory value either. You can call someone an idiot or say their claims are idiotic and you really haven’t shed any light on what the actual problem is. So, when I add it up, I have non-trivial numbers of people who find these words hurtful if I keep them and no loss of my ability to explain or describe anything if I jettison them. Easy choice, really.

  317. says

    Carbonfox:

    Hey guys, I just wanted to say THANK YOU for the training on rape culture. Today on Facebook some idiot was telling my (young and naive) sister that “scantily scad” women invited rape onto themselves, but I was able to destroy their “arguments” thanks to some of the things I’ve learned from the Horde. I feel good about it, like I’ve helped my sister a little in navigating the big bad world. :)

    Yay, you! That’s great, and thank you very much.

  318. says

    Enlightement Liberal:

    This is a liberal blog. We believe in social justice and equality for all. We are sex-positive: gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgendered, heterosexuals, and asexuals all hang out here and are welcome. We are pro-woman and pro-feminist, and we also think men are just peachy (I am one, after all). You don’t get to criticize people for what they are, so don’t bother with your gendered, racist, classist, or ableist insults, but please do tear into bad ideas. Leave your jingoism behind, this blog has an international readership and if you assume your nationality is favored, you are going to get an unpleasant surprise. Wars solve nothing, violence is deplored, and if you’re a right-wing crank, fuck off already.

    See that bolded bit? Pay attention, and knock off the ableist slurs.

  319. caesar says

    What? Who fucking cares! The program WORKS, is ELIMINATING HUNGER and is SAVING LIVES. The options at the point for a human being with the tiniest bit of morality and perspective would either be to SLIGHTLY tinker it to enhance efficiency or just sit back, shut the fuck, and enjoy the fact that your country ELIMINATED HUNGER. You clueless, callous fuck.

    It DOESN’T FUCKING MATTER that it works if 90% of the funds go right back to keeping people in poverty, thereby perpetuating the same hunger which you claim to want to get rid of. Let’s forget about the government and imagine a private charity that claims that they were 100% successful at eliminating hunger while diverting 90% of its funds to waste or to things that perpetute hunger. I’ll bet you would call that a ponzi scheme, but if the government does the same we’re supposed to say, oh well. Fuck that.

  320. anteprepro says

    It DOESN’T FUCKING MATTER that it works if 90% of the funds go right back to keeping people in poverty, thereby perpetuating the same hunger which you claim to want to get rid of.

    It’s like talking to a fucking wall. You have no sense of perspective, no grasp of logic, not even the slightest ounce of morality. A randroid is a randroid is a randroid.

  321. Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive] says

    Caesar, inefficiency can vary – if the form of inefficiency you’re upset about is contributing to poverty or otherwise causing harm, then absolutely that’s bad. But if the inefficiency isn’t contributing to anything other than the size of someone’s bank account, who the fuck cares?

  322. anteprepro says

    It’s completely disingenuous as well because I doubt caesar gives a shit about whether a given government activity somehow negatively affects poor people in general. I sincerely doubt caesar wants higher minimum wages, wants us to clamp down strict regulations on corporations, wants us to spend more on education and public infrastructure that will help the least advantaged the most. No, caesar wants government burnt to the ground, like all glibertarians, and is only suddenly concerned with whether poor people are being hurt when we are talking about something that supposedly just isn’t helping them enough. I am not fooled for fucking second, caesar.

  323. says

    —-wut

    are you illiterate, delusional, stupid, or a combination?

    Honestly: given what I have actually said, your comment makes absolutely zero sense at all.
    You perfectly illustrate the point you quote.

    un be lievable.—-

    Chas, you really should read your own posts sometime. Do you think the fact that we are currently on FTB means that we are somehow unable to read your posts on other forums?

    Here is my source for what you ‘actually said’ – http://disqus.com/disqus_4QIAckO8X4/ . I suggest you peruse this link, as it may help refresh your memory. You’ll notice, if you read that link, that you repeatedly state that a woman’s bodily autonomy is irrelevant, as apparently any ‘person’ has the right to use her body against her will.

    In it, you also claim that there is nothing necessarily wrong with slavery or infanticide other than they are currently illegal.

  324. says

    Let’s forget about the government and imagine a private charity that claims that they were 100% successful at eliminating hunger while diverting 90% of its funds to waste or to things that perpetute hunger. I’ll bet you would call that a ponzi scheme, but if the government does the same we’re supposed to say, oh well. Fuck that.

    Bull-fucking-shit, for several reasons.

    1) If no other method was available to end hunger expect the supposedly wasteful private charity, then I’d be okay with that. I wouldn’t be entirely happy about the waste, but I’d accept it as a necessary cost of ending hunger.

    2) What’s the deal with suddenly bringing in the idea that the waste would “perpetuate hunger”? Where did that come from? Nobody has mentioned that before. The fact that you have to introduce this is a sign that you’re working from a different set of assumptions form everyone else.

    3) Nobody is saying “oh well, fuck that”. As I mentioned above, if you’ve got a way to end hunger while also reducing waste, I don’t think you’ll find anyone here who’d object. We’d all jump at that idea in a second.

    The disagreement starts when you suggest that we should let people starve to avoid waste. You appear to think that every program can be run without waste and that we shouldn’t institute any such program until we figure out how to manage it perfectly. Correct me if I’m wrong.

  325. Owlmirror says

    Original scenario in #152 by EnlightenmentLiberal:

    It is my assertion that if a 1% income tax were sufficient to prevent hunger in the US, then we citizens of the US would be morally obliged to do so. Even if 90% of it went to corruption and waste. Even if 90% of it went to lazy bums mooching the system who “should get a job”.

    cesar @#382:

    It DOESN’T FUCKING MATTER that it works if 90% of the funds go right back to keeping people in poverty,

    (emph mine)

    *raises eyebrow*

    There is a disconnect between what you type and the given scenario.

    Let’s forget about the government and imagine a private charity that claims that they were 100% successful

    Are you implying that the claim is false? Because in the scenario, the 100% success is an actual given.

    at eliminating hunger while diverting 90% of its funds to waste or to things that perpetute hunger.

    Again the disconnect. Whence “things that perpetuate hunger”, in the given scenario?

    I’ll bet you would call that a ponzi scheme,

    Ponzi schemes don’t involve valid claims to nourish 100% of malnourished people.

  326. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @Everyone
    I’m not finding a good way to say this. I did some research and reading, and I found this:
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/2289
    He makes some good points. Rather than dig my hole deeper, I think I’ll just go with this short reply:

    @Inaji

    See that bolded bit? Pay attention, and knock off the ableist slurs.

    Saying someone is willfully delusional is not an ableist slur.

    @consciousness razor

    Theists (and supernaturals) don’t do that [EL: referring to my dropping hammer example].

    People do have religious delusions. They might have delusional beliefs (e.g., that they are a deity or an angel or a prophet) [...]

    Your standards are way too high. Many religious people believe that prayer works. Many religious people believe that a man died, and 3 days later rose from the dead (either spiritually or physically). These are demonstrably false ideas. The evidence is overwhelming that they are false. After I make someone aware of the evidence, and they report back that they are going “on faith”, that’s all I need to conclude that they have a delusion. In other words, they are delusional.

    Furthermore, there is a huge aspect of wisfhul thinking in most of these cases. Hence why I add on the prefix “willful” to “willful delusion”. I also do that in order to distinguish it from other delusions, such as from paranoid schizophrenia.

    You mention dishonesty. I don’t think most people who say that prayer works are being dishonest to me. At bset, they are being dishonest to themself. We sometimes call this intellectual dishonesty. Of course, this is also basically the dictionary definition of delusion. So no, I shouldn’t be shaming them for being dishonest with me, because that’s not true. I need to be shaming them for being willfully delusional.

    Is there really a difference between the following?
    1- You sir are holding a preposterous belief in contradiction of overwhelming evidence?
    2- You sir are (willfully) delusional.

    Finally, your bit about “doctors”. IMHO I am obviously not making a clinical diagnosis according to the DSM-5 that they have one of the symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia. I’m going by the layman English dictionary for delusion. Is your problem the clinical connotation? I didn’t respond to this bit earlier because I am entirely unimpressed by this line of argument.

  327. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    @390 (Allegedly)EnlightenedLiberal

    See that bolded bit? Pay attention, and knock off the ableist slurs.

    Saying someone is willfully delusional is not an ableist slur.

    “Willfully delusional” is a term you introduced only once you began attempting to defend your previous use of ableist bullshit. Acting as if that’s the only objectionable thing you’ve said is transparently dishonest.

  328. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    It is time for a sill question. Did Nick K.D Chaleunphone troll this site years ago?

  329. says

    I just noticed that Chas left me a comment on an ancient post on my blog. (They’re all ancient since I’m both busy and lazy.) It says “u r so cool.”

    Thanks Chas. You’re pathetic.

  330. says

    EL:

    Saying someone is willfully delusional is not an ableist slur.

    You might want to give your incessant dishonesty a rest. If what you mean is willfully ignorant, then fucking say that. If you mean willfully delusional, then fucking say that. It is not what you said earlier, and what you said earlier is right up there ^, in black and white for everyone to read. You were being an ableist slur slinging doucheweasel.

    Drop the godsdamned bullshit already. You obviously have a right to your repugnant views about things, however, you do not have the right, here at Pharyngula, to indulge in bigoted slurs. Pretending you didn’t say anything bigoted isn’t going to help matters.

  331. says

    WithinThisMind:

    Here is my source for what you ‘actually said’ – http://disqus.com/disqus_4QIAckO8X4/ .

    How interesting. Thanks.

    Chas:

    My complaint with bodily autonomy arguments? They tend to make the fetus seem more like a person. They suggest a fundamental difference between a fetus and other unwanted tissue (after all, bodily autonomy doesn’t come up with appendectomies). I see bodily autonomy arguments leading into traps that strengthen the position of the anti-choicers.

    Jesus Fuck. No, bodily autonomy doesn’t come up with appendectomies, because 1) most every person has one, and 2) when they come to attention medically, it’s because they are life threatening and must be removed.

    You are one burning bright flaming doucheweasel on this subject.

  332. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    @396

    Wow. That comment from Chas reads like someone who has never done/studied/followed something but has heard other people talking about it enough to have picked up most of the jargon and is now trying to talk as if they actually understand what’s going on.

  333. says

    I just noticed that Chas left me a comment on an ancient post on my blog. (They’re all ancient since I’m both busy and lazy.) It says “u r so cool.”

    Thanks Chas. You’re pathetic.

    Oh I’m sure Chas will excuse this sort of thing as it being your fault for linking to your blog. Because going off site via someone elses blog or e-mail is totally a healthy response and not at all the actions of a childish wanna be bully.

  334. Amphiox says

    It DOESN’T FUCKING MATTER that it works if 90% of the funds go right back to keeping people in poverty, thereby perpetuating the same hunger which you claim to want to get rid of.

    If it perpetuates hunger to a degree greater than it alleviates it, then it would not be successful. But if it is SUCCESSFUL, that means that at the END OF THE DAY, the NET result of everything is a decrease in hunger. It means that the amount of hunger alleviated by the 10% is GREATER than the amount of hunger perpetuated by the 90%.

    And if it is the best available alternative that produces the best NET alleviation of hunger, then so bet it. We spend the money on it.

    So YES YOU PITIFUL WANKER IT DOES FUCKING MATTER THAT IT WORKS.

    Let’s forget about the government and imagine a private charity that claims that they were 100% successful at eliminating hunger while diverting 90% of its funds to waste or to things that perpetute hunger.

    If they were 100% successful in eliminated hunger in the NET, then it DOESN’T MATTER IF 90% of the funds went to things that perpetuated hunger, because at the end of the day, the NET result is that the 10% of funds that alleviated hunger ALLEVIATED EVEN THAT PART THAT WAS PERPETUATED BY THE 90%.

    THAT’S WHAT 100% SUCCESS MEANS.

    And in the end it MATTERS NOT ONE WHIT what the company “claims”. What matters is the facts on the ground. Was or was not hunger alleviated IN THE NET?

    Now if you had an alternative program that does not “waste” that 90% of resources, and somehow manages an even bigger NET alleviation of hunger, then by all means PROPOSE IT. If you DON’T have such an alternative then SHUT UP while the grown-ups get around to the important business of PREVENTING PEOPLE FROM STARVING.

  335. Amphiox says

    Im claiming that if a program that wasteful actually existed, then it should probably be ended or reformed.

    And you STILL HAVE NOT ADDRESSED the counterargument to that. That first there HAS TO BE AN AVAILABLE ALTERNATIVE to replace the program that does the job better, or to which the program can be REFORMED INTO.

    If such an alternative does not exist, then 90% waste is SIMPLY THE COST OF DOING BUSINESS BY THE BEST AVAILABLE MEANS, the same way that the 97-98% waste of solar energy in the process of photosynthesis is just the cost of doing the “business” of photosynthesis in the overall best available method that evolution could arrive at.

  336. ChasCPeterson says

    “pathetic”?
    Jeez, Sally, I agreed with the general theme of your post.

    (I think…I must have been pretty drunk to click on your nym in the first place. Don’t worry, it won’t happen again.)

    (But hey, if you’d like to return the favor, I have a pointless, disused blog of my own someplace… give me a second.)

  337. says

    Now you’re pathetic and weird. Your behavior is reminiscent of the trope of schoolboys pulling girls’ hair because they like them. Not a flattering look in a grown man. Also, I don’t believe that you actually think I am “so cool” unless “so cool” is a synonym for “correctly progressive.” I used to think you were just an asshole; now I think you’re a dishonest asshole.

  338. says

    @Chas

    Yes funny how you keep ‘accidently’ doing things like that, Chas

    Still “accidently” not responding?

    God Chas, grow some spine and take some goddamn responsibility.

  339. brianpansky says

    @ enlightenment liberal

    and @ everyone else on the topic of the word “insane” in this instance.

    i think using “unreasonable” or “egregiously irrational” would be better in many ways.

  340. brianpansky says

    @382
    caesar

    It DOESN’T FUCKING MATTER that it works if 90% of the funds go right back to keeping people in poverty, thereby perpetuating the same hunger which you claim to want to get rid of.

    alright, let’s get something clear.

    1) if the waste undoes the benefit, then of course the program is junk.

    2) if the waste is has a negligible impact, you would agree that the program is better than no program?

  341. Jacob Schmidt says

    “pathetic”?
    Jeez, Sally, I agreed with the general theme of your post.

    (I think…I must have been pretty drunk to click on your nym in the first place. Don’t worry, it won’t happen again.)

    (But hey, if you’d like to return the favor, I have a pointless, disused blog of my own someplace… give me a second.)

    What?

  342. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm
    @Inaji
    I honestly fail to see any relevant difference between “willfully delusional” and “insane”. By your apparent standards, both are ableist.

    For example, see my reply here:

    @brianpansky

    and @ everyone else on the topic of the word “insane” in this instance.

    i think using “unreasonable” or “egregiously irrational” would be better in many ways.

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/insanity

    : something that is very foolish or unreasonable

    See, this is what I mean. As far as I can tell, “insane” and “unreasonable” are synonyms. At least, that’s what the dictionary tells me. Yet, I’m told I can use one, but not the other. What’s the difference?

    Is it that I should avoid words that have clinical connotations? Then how is “willfully delusional” ok? “Delusional” has clear clinical connotations, arguably moreso than “insane” nowadays. Or are you saying that “insane” has a bigger clinical connotation than “delusional” today?

    Is it that “insane” has acquired a connotation of cultural stigmatization, like the n-word and like “retarded”? That’s a good argument, and I was completely unaware of that development. If that’s the case, I again have to ask about “crazy”, “deranged”, “unhinged”, “has a break with reality”, and so forth. Would it matter if I phrased it as “acting crazy”, “acting deranged”, etc.?

    What’s the difference between the following?
    1- This person is ignoring all available evidence, asserting things contrary to evidence, behaving in a self-harmful way, refusing to see reason, etc.
    2- This person is deluded and insane.

    That’s what I’m trying to tease out, because thus far what you’re asking makes absolutely no sense to me. It’s not dishonesty. I’m just dumbstruck and completely lost. (Hell, is “dumbstruck” also a taboo word?)

  343. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    For example, I’ve been doing some more reading. Let’s take this as an example:
    http://indigowombat.tumblr.com/post/54638088749/lets-wipe-out-ableism-not-autism

    The central point is that autism is not a negative like cancer, and that some people identify and like being autistic. Ok. I’m ok with that. But then why does the author apply the “ableism” label? The root of “ableism” is “abled”, right? If being autistic is not being dis-abled, then how is “let’s wipe out autism” ableist? (Proverbial question. No answer is expected.)

    I’ve been doing a lot of reading with whatever comes up on google for “ableist”. In almost all of the hits, I’m seeing a common confusion over the two meanings “it is bad to be disabled”. Of course it’s disadvantageous to be blind, and it is not reasonable to choose to be blind if it was free and reliable to fix the problem. That is, being blind is a problem, for the blind person. The second sense is that blind people are worth less than others. Of course that is wrong. A blind person should be given as much respect and consideration by others as a sighted person.

    I’ve been seeing a lot of this same confusion in this thread.

    We should avoid stigmatizing people with extremely low intelligence and mental capability. They have as much worth as any other person, and we should make reasonable accommodations for them, as we would with any person.

    However, just like being blind, having severe mental impairments – actual impairments – is a negative. For example, if it’s a fixable thing when discovered early, doctors should counsel parents on their options. This is distinct from finding out your child is gay. A doctor should not counsel parents on their “options” to make the child not gay.

    If a person wants to be blind, ok. If a person wants to be without legs, ok. Their body. Whatever. Even if they do so, they still deserve equal consideration and respect.

    However, it is a profound disservice to those without working eyes and those without legs to say that there’s nothing wrong with them, that they have just as many opportunities as everyone else, that they can accomplish what anyone else can. Those are simply lies. We have to be open and honest with them, with compassion, caring, empathy, and respect. Often that means not coddling them and letting them live independent lives, not focusing on the disability, and recognizing them as a person instead of by their disability.

    This confusion has really been irritating me. It’s been setting off my dishonesty sensor, and dishonesty ticks me off more than anything.

    Furthermore, I am seriously concerned that if we go the distance here, we’ll lose too much of the English language. Gone are words like “retarded” and “gimp” and “dwarf”. Also gone are words liek “lame”. Also gone are words like “insane”. Also gone are words like “weak”.

    Example:
    I’m a mathematician (among other things). Just an undergrad degree. The word “weak” is a technical term. I’m going to have to use that word. I also think it’s quite unreasonable for me to be so politically-correct focused as to be greatly concerned that I might offend someone with the use of the word “weak”. Should I be on a crusade to change the name of “strict weak ordering” to something else? If I write for technical math audiences, should I invent my own vocabulary and have a note at the bottom? This is well beyond silly IMHO.

  344. Owlmirror says

    EnlightenmentLiberal @#408:

    As far as I can tell, “insane” and “unreasonable” are synonyms. At least, that’s what the dictionary tells me.

    Um, I’m not sure myself where I stand on the whole ableism issue, but I think you’re emphasizing brief dictionary definitions over actual usage of the word.

    While the terms meanings can shade into each other in common usage, would you ever say that someone was diagnosed as clinically unreasonable, or that they had been taken to an unreasonable asylum?

    If they’re really completely synonymous, why wouldn’t you just use “unreasonable” all the time? What do you think that using “insane” communicates that “unreasonable” doesn’t?

  345. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @Owlmirror
    Because I’m trying to determine by what rule they determine which words are taboo. I’m not seeing it yet. I’d prefer not to upset anyone, and I’d like to know how to do that. I prefer only to be an ass when trying to be an ass.

    I’m still mightily confused as to how “insane” is bad and “willfully deluded” is ok. And I’m going to fight rather hard that “willfully deluded” is not ableist (pending someone explaining to me how it is).

  346. Owlmirror says

    (Proverbial question.

    I’m pretty sure that “rhetorical” is not synonymous with “proverbial”.

    Furthermore, I am seriously concerned that if we go the distance here, we’ll lose too much of the English language.

    Nonsense. The point is not to lose the words, the point is to not use slurs — words used to denigrate people for aspects of themselves that they cannot change.

    Gone are words like “retarded” and “gimp” and “dwarf”.

    The words will still exist. Hopefully, they will not be used as slurs.

    I’m a mathematician (among other things). Just an undergrad degree. The word “weak” is a technical term. I’m going to have to use that word. I also think it’s quite unreasonable for me to be so politically-correct focused as to be greatly concerned that I might offend someone with the use of the word “weak”.

    Since “weak” in mathematics is not used to refer to persons at all (and is therefore not used in the sense of a slur in that field), your concern is unnecessary.

  347. anteprepro says

    Gone are words like “retarded” and “gimp” and “dwarf”.

    *sad trombone*

    They won’t be missed.

    Here’s a tip: It isn’t about the denotation, it’s the connotation. It’s how the word was used historically, and is currently being used. It is what kind of images and ideas the word is linked to. It is about the typical motivation and attitudes that come up when the word is used as a label. Who is targeted and why. It’s “colored”, despite just harmless being a suffixed version of “color”, is still reviled as a slur, for instance. Because it historically was and presently is used as a slur . As all of the above are. This isn’t rocket surgery.

  348. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    Crip Dyke, I tried that first before I asked. But the old Pharyngula ScienceBlog site is in shambles.

    But I can remember seeing Nicky’s stupid shit years ago. I just cannot remember where I saw it.

  349. Amphiox says

    Because I’m trying to determine by what rule they determine which words are taboo. I’m not seeing it yet. I’d prefer not to upset anyone, and I’d like to know how to do that. I prefer only to be an ass when trying to be an ass.

    The rules are simple. There is really just one.

    1. If you use a word and someone is upset by it, apologize to that person and do not use that word again in the forum(s) where that person is present.

    Or put another way – don’t use words that will hurt someone when you KNOW it will hurt someone because that someone already told you they are hurt by it.

    Or out another way – don’t be a friggin asshole.

  350. Amphiox says

    Anyone notice how our libertarian friend moved the goalposts back there?

    First it was just 90% “waste”. Then all of a sudden it was 90% going “right back to keeping people in poverty”.

  351. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Tip:
    If you do stupid things online when you’re drunk, do yourself a favor and don’t go online while drunk. Or if you must, at least go read Cracked articles until you feel like napping.

  352. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    @EnlightenmentLiberal

    I honestly fail to see any relevant difference between “willfully delusional” and “insane”. By your apparent standards, both are ableist.

    I didn’t say “willfully delusional” wasn’t a problem. I said that it’s a term you smuggled in after you had already been called out for other ableist bullshit and then tried to act as if that term was the sole bone of contention. That made it look like you thought you could defend “delusional” so you decided to act like the rest didn’t happen.

    Personally, I’m probably less likely to call someone out over ‘delusional’ because believing things in opposition to available evidence is not something one needs to be mentally ill to do, as evidenced by every god bot and glibertarian that saunters through here. The connotation just isn’t as obviously referencing mental illness as ‘insane’ or ‘crazy.’ Having said that, I personally opt not to use it because I have plenty of other words at my disposal with which to express the view that someone’s beliefs are inconsistent with reality.

    At least, that’s what the dictionary tells me.

    So we’re on “but the dictionary,” now? Nice. Tell me please, what cultural association does the word “unreasonable” have with mental illness? It doesn’t. There’s your clue.

    If that’s the case, I again have to ask about “crazy”, “deranged”, “unhinged”, “has a break with reality”, and so forth. Would it matter if I phrased it as “acting crazy”, “acting deranged”, etc.?

    How many times does it need to be said that it’s not specifically about the words before you stop making it about the words? It’s about using the implication that someone is suffering from a mental illness to insult them for being hurtful or refusing to engage with facts. It’s about equating a condition someone can’t help with just being an awful person. That’s insulting. There’s nothing about being mentally ill that predisposes someone to be callous and willfully obtuse as caesar is doing. Likewise, being callous and willfully obtuse are not symptoms of mental illness.

    So no, it would not matter if you said “acting crazy” because you’re still implying that being a willfully obtuse shithead is a thing mentally ill people are prone to and gawsh you wouldn’t want people to think you’re mentally ill, would you? You’re still riffing on a stigma about mental illness to shame someone into being more receptive to your argument. If you’re using the insinuation of mental illness to shame someone, you’re validating the idea that being mentally ill is something to be ashamed of.

    What’s the difference between the following?
    1- This person is ignoring all available evidence, asserting things contrary to evidence, behaving in a self-harmful way, refusing to see reason, etc.
    2- This person is deluded and insane.

    I find it hard to believe you are having difficulty appreciating a difference between those things. There’s nothing that says one needs to be mentally ill to be fact-averse, self destructive or unreasonable. Those are all things that one might be if one is mentally ill, but neither entails the other.

    However, it is a profound disservice to those without working eyes and those without legs to say that there’s nothing wrong with them, that they have just as many opportunities as everyone else, that they can accomplish what anyone else can. Those are simply lies.

    Bullshit. Stevie Wonder. Ray Charles. Oscar Pistorius. Stephen Hawking. Hellen Keller. Any opportunity disabled people don’t have has far more to do with society’s failure to accommodate their needs than with their actual inability to do XYZ.

    Furthermore, I am seriously concerned that if we go the distance here, we’ll lose too much of the English language. Gone are words like “retarded” and “gimp” and “dwarf”. Also gone are words liek “lame”. Also gone are words like “insane”. Also gone are words like “weak”.

    So fucking what? Define “too much” such that losing too much of the English language is worse than continuing to stigmatize and dehumanize people for things they can’t help. I’ll wait.

  353. says

    @ Amphiox

    First it was just 90% “waste”. Then all of a sudden it was 90% going “right back to keeping people in poverty”.

    I very much doubt that our liberatarian friend has a clue to what xe is on about, but I have indeed come across such an example. The issue is described in :

    ———-“Bailout: An Inside Account of How Washington Abandoned Main Street While Rescuing Wall Street,” by Neil Barofsky —————-

    Basically money was set aside to help out individual mortgage holders to keep possession of their homes. The very money that was set aside to keep people off the streets, was eaten by banks. But worse: The application process was used by the same banks to leverage those people out of their homes. A double wammy for the poor (former) home owners.

    The system was (is!) essentially designed to be corrupt. As a means to transfer capital not just from the state to the wealthy, but also from the people the initiative had claimed to be helping.

    Barofsky made the dreadful mistake of thinking he was there to protect the interests of the 100%.

  354. consciousness razor says

    Then how is “willfully delusional” ok?

    It makes no sense. “Willfully ignorant” does. Being ignorant or knowledgeable of something is a choice: spend the time to learn about something or don’t. Being delusional isn’t a choice. Some people aren’t objecting to “willful delusion” on ableist grounds, probably in part because it makes no sense. One would have to reinterpret whatever meaning does make sense, concerning phenomena which do actually happen, and whatever that might be (unless “willful” is tossed out) is not a disability.

    And “delusional” by itself is often not used to mean some form of mental health issue, so it can be ambiguous anyway. Those uses of the word aren’t relevant here, like your uses of the word “weak” in mathematical jargon which are even less relevant.

    But like many other terms you’ve tried to claim are equivalent to “insanity,” “ignorant” is never referring to an illness, because it isn’t an illness. There’s no such thing as an ignorance disease, or an unreasonableness disease, or a having-false-beliefs, or a having-an-unsatisfactory-epistemology disease. None of those things are health issues.*

    If whichever dictionary you picked up doesn’t tell you about all of the logical and empirical and social implications of the words’ meanings, who cares? That’s not surprising in the least. Dictionaries are not accurate guides to reality. They just say how some people use some words, often not well enough to make informed decisions.

    *I’ll add that none of this is to imply that everything today which is considered symptomatic of a “mental health” issue is not better understood as a social issue (i.e., their relationships or society are causing or exacerbating it). That’s a serious conversation we could have again, but not so much while we’re “arguing” with a stubborn bullshitter who’s trying to rationalize their choice of insults.

  355. Fishcake-SireSpout says

    EnlightenmentLiberal:

    For those people who have mental disabilities, they have my sympathy and my respect. Their is something wrong with them.

    What.The.Actual.Fuck. Maybe “their” is something wrong with you fuckwitted abelist douchecanoe.

    It’s not their fault. I hope our medical doctors and researches find better treatments, cures, prevention, etc. In the meantime, they deserve basic human dignity, respect, sympathy, etc.

    Oh wow gee thanks. It’s not our own fault that “their” is something wrong with us. How compassionate of you and how generous of you to bestow upon us your gifts of dignity and respect and sympathy which clearly we don’t really have any right to on our own accord.

    Somebody please stop the world, I want to get off.

  356. Fishcake-SireSpout says

    EnlightenmentLiberal:

    Then how is “willfully delusional” ok?

    As a moniker for you, it seems just about right. Keep fighting for your right to use abelist slurs you willfully delusional fucknugget.

  357. consciousness razor says

    Jacob Schmidt:

    That’s … interesting.

    But much more importantly, fostering and adopting are things that potential parents should want to do, not something that they feel obligated to perform just because some people on the Internet think that it’s their duty.

    Is there some reason why we must not want to do what we ought to do? If you ought to do it, you don’t want to, and vice versa? Isn’t this just completely sidestepping the moral issue? Did I miss the part where we found out stuff like overpopulation (and the existence of actual children who are suffering for lack of parents) is no big deal?

    I should note the irony of some person on the internet disparaging what some people on the internet think. Just because of this one excerpt from a cracked article, I’m going to strangle a kitten. I’ll just blatantly ignore any reason not to, since it isn’t conveniently supporting exactly what I already decided I want to do.

    (No kittens were strangled in the creation of this comment. But it may have been produced in a facility where kittens have been given stern looks of disapproval.)

  358. brianpansky says

    @ EL,
    more on the “insanity” topic:

    -essentialist language is often a problem.

    -you are trying to describe something which is a personal failure of the person, an irresponsibility.

    now look at this part where you come close to understanding:

    I’m seeing a common confusion over the two meanings “it is bad to be disabled”. Of course it’s disadvantageous to be blind, and it is not reasonable to choose to be blind if it was free and reliable to fix the problem. That is, being blind is a problem, for the blind person. The second sense is that blind people are worth less than others. Of course that is wrong.

    these should indeed be distinct. YOU are the one making the distinction ambiguous by using a word for the former in a context where you are infusing it with personal failure and irresponsibility. so don’t complain to us, it’s you.

  359. vaiyt says

    It DOESN’T FUCKING MATTER that it works if 90% of the funds go right back to keeping people in poverty, thereby perpetuating the same hunger which you claim to want to get rid of.

    What you’re saying is that “it doesn’t fucking matter that it works because it won’t work”.

    Keep in mind that said “90% of the funds” are just 0.9% of the total economy. That’s not a startling rate of corruption from where I’m standing.

  360. Tomas C. says

    @Seven of mine
    ” the latter tends to do a lot of ivory tower philoso-wanking about hypothetical situations and never manages to answer questions about how one should deal with many real world situations which arise outside said ivory tower.”
    It sounds like you’re using the classic “Government of the gaps” fallacy used against pro-liberty people.
    Anti-liberty people think just because libertarians can’t explain something ,the government has to be the solution.

  361. Amphiox says

    It sounds like you’re using the classic “Government of the gaps” fallacy used against pro-liberty people.
    Anti-liberty people think just because libertarians can’t explain something ,the government has to be the solution.

    Your attempt to make this analogy fails for two reasons:

    1. Government actually does exist.
    2. There is actual repeatable evidence that Government can be the solution to many problems.

  362. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Anti-liberty people think just because libertarians can’t explain something ,the government has to be the solution.

    Since they can’t/won’t explain something, they have nothing to offer except slogans. What they need to offer is the historical/economic/political evidence that their theology works in real life as their slogans claim. When those of us who have studied a modicum of those topics know better.

  363. Jacob Schmidt says

    Gods, that video is aweful.

    It sounds like you’re using the classic “Government of the gaps” fallacy used against pro-liberty people.
    Anti-liberty people think just because libertarians can’t explain something ,the government has to be the solution.

    No, government is a solution. It might not be the only one, it might not be the best one, but it is known that government can and does alleviate many problems.

  364. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    @433 Tomas

    Given that I only gave 1 even vaguely concrete example and said nothing about what I thought the solution would be, it sounds to me like you’re talking out of your ass.

  365. Tomas C. says

    Did you see this video I linked above?
    It explains why its immoral to extort taxes from innocent people

  366. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Government is the best solution when a problem is intractable, will take a long time to solve, requires long-term planning and implementation, and there is no way to make a buck on it. For instance: reducing poverty and making it possible to break the poverty cycle; ensuring that illness or accident does not bankrupt families; ensuring that all get a good education, not just the rich; creating, maintaining and funding mass transit; reducing food insecurity; keeping businesses from destroying themselves (Enron, PennCentral) through heavy regulation; protecting the environment; preserving the past; providing for national defense; emergency services; that sort of thing.

  367. says

    Tomas:

    Anti-liberty people think just because libertarians can’t explain something ,the government has to be the solution.

    I don’t like how you’ve framed this. Libertarians are only for liberty so far as *they* are concerned. When it comes to the rights of others (such as the right NOT to be discriminated against bc you’re black, gay, or disabled), personal liberty goes out the window, and the rights of business owners become of supreme importance.

    Also, there’s a lot libertarians cannot explain because your selfish ideology has not been fully implemented here in reality. For example, libertarians like to claim charities should replace government assistance, despite the fact that charities cannot meet the needs of the millions of people who use government assistance programs. Libertarians cannot explain how infrastructure will be maintained, how public schools will be funded, how diseases will be studied, how food will be deemed safe for consumption, and so many more functions that government performs. At least around here, those (such as myself) who oppose the libertarian “fuck you, I’ve got mine” mentality don’t think the government is perfect.

    Finally, being opposed to libertarianism is not “anti-liberty”.

  368. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    It explains why its immoral to extort taxes from innocent people

    Taxes are what you pay to have a societal infrastructure that works. They aren’t extorted, except in the minds of liberturds. Whose basic attitude, is “I’ve got mine, fuck the rest of humanity”.

  369. Tomas C. says

    @Tony!TFQS

    If we had free markets without government regulation , we’d all be more rich and prosperous.
    The Free market will set up schools for people and infrasctructure and medication and food. The free market is self-regulating!
    You can’t just say “Let the Gov’t do it” because you can’t think of a solution.
    I’m pro-liberty because its wrong to coerce innocent people into something they don’t want to do.

  370. says

    Tomas:

    It explains why its immoral to extort taxes from innocent people

    FFS, I’m sick of the whining from libertarians about paying taxes. Don’t like paying taxes? Move somewhere else. Me, I like public education, SNAP, clean air, clean water, companies that comply with non discrimination laws, roads, bridges, planes, dams, sewers, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and many, many more of the services the government provides that are paid for with our tax dollars. As you have a problem with taxes, and offer no workable solution, please pack your bags and move elsewhere.

  371. brianpansky says

    @438

    the video fails because there is always going to be “force”. the best we can do is regulate it (hopefully in proportion to the need for it). how is force prevented in your fantasy society?

    the video also seems to implicitly advocate the elimination of all forms of money/debt. i hope i understood that correctly.

  372. says

    An unregulated, free market tends naturally towards monopolies. Once a monopoly is in place, everybody pays more for less.

  373. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

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

    It is morally bankrupt to pretend you don’t use the present infrastructure, and you have not proper methodology other than your theology which historically doesn’t work to present in its place. Which is why you aren’t innocent. You are one morally guilty fool who is a selfish idjit.

  374. says

    Tomas:

    If we had free markets without government regulation , we’d all be more rich and prosperous.

    Really? Because just a look at West Virginia tells me that *less regulation* of companies has a detrimental impact on people. I want *more* regulation and better enforcing of those regulations because I think people deserve to have clean air and water. The companies are not going to do that on their own. So no, we all wouldn’t be more rich and prosperous. Only those who are at the top will. The rest of us would suffer greatly. But then fuckers like you don’t give two shits.

    The Free market will set up schools for people and infrasctructure and medication and food. The free market is self-regulating!
    You can’t just say “Let the Gov’t do it” because you can’t think of a solution.
    I’m pro-liberty because its wrong to coerce innocent people into something they don’t want to do.

    Ah yes, the Magic of the Free Market. Despite no evidence to support your beliefs, you continue spouting them. Go educate yourself you libertarian asspimple.

  375. opposablethumbs says

    its wrong to coerce innocent people into something they don’t want to do

    Right. Well I don’t want to be coerced into living in a Somalia-alike society, thank you very much. In the real world, a “free market” means might makes right – no regulation to protect the environment or the rights of minorities or the vulnerable.

    Tomas C, if you genuinely believe the so-called “free market” will “set up schools for people and infrasctructure (sic) and medication and food” you are living in cloud-cuckoo land.

    You should move to Sealand, you’d be happy there! Well, just as long as you could leech off the infrastructure of the nearest actual nation when you needed it, that is.

  376. Tomas C. says

    @Tony.
    All those things can come from the free markets. What if I went to your house , told you you had to pay up a monthly fee. 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. It would be immoral.
    Its the same thing the state does with the taxes.

  377. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Tomas:

    If we had free markets without government regulation , we’d all be more rich and prosperous.

    So, back in the period 1870 to 1900, a time when there were virtually no government regulations, everyone was rich and prosperous? Really? You sure you want to make that argument?

  378. Tomas C. says

    @Tony
    ^an addition . Imagine if I told you that if you didn’t like paying tribute to me , you should move somewhere else. That’s what you’re basically saying.

  379. Tomas C. says

    @Ogvorbis
    If we had the same freedom , with the technology we have today back then we’d all be rich and prosperous.

  380. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    The Free market will set up schools for people and infrasctructure and medication and food. The free market is self-regulating!
    You can’t just say “Let the Gov’t do it” because you can’t think of a solution.

    *coughPOEcough*

    You can’t just say “Let the Gov’t do it” but “let the free market do it” is totes a viable strategy.

  381. brianpansky says

    @449
    Tomas C.

    so in your society anyone can refuse to pay for anything they want?

    you are ignoring that taxes are a payment for a service that is being done for the citizen. any replacement for these services would have the same problems taxation has.

    @451

    same problem happens with any other method of making places livable.

    you are simply ignoring that even your own solution boils down to the same thing: there is a service that people do actually want that needs to be provided. if they don’t want to pay the provider, something is going to have to happen.

    you have nothing.

  382. says

    Tomas:

    All those things can come from the free markets. What if I went to your house , told you you had to pay up a monthly fee. 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. It would be immoral.
    Its the same thing the state does with the taxes.

    Given that libertarianism is not a political philosophy that has been fully implemented, I have no idea why you think the free market can provide the vast array of services currently provided by the government. Your blackmail scenario would be immoral. That’s not what the goverment is doing. I benefit from public services and infrastructure. These things are provided by the government. I pay a negligible amount in taxes for services that I reap great benefits from and have since I was born.

    You have nothing to offer beyond a vague “magic hand of the free market”. You offer no workable solutions to current problems. You offer no explanation for how the free market will do anything. It just will. By magic. Fuck that.

  383. Tomas C. says

    @opposablethumbs

    “You should move to Sealand, you’d be happy there! Well, just as long as you could leech off the infrastructure of the nearest actual nation when you needed it, that is.”
    What if I went to your house , told you you had to pay up a monthly fee. I said I’d be using the money to provide ‘services’.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 if you didn’t like it you could always move away.

    That’s the same thing the state does to people!

  384. brianpansky says

    @451
    Tomas C.

    Imagine if I told you that if you didn’t like paying tribute to me , you should move somewhere else.

    this isn’t even accurate, you are excluding the crucial fact: taxes are not a payment of tribute, they are payment for services.

    distorting reality does not help your position, it exposes you.

  385. says

    Tomas:

    Imagine if I told you that if you didn’t like paying tribute to me , you should move somewhere else. That’s what you’re basically saying.

    You’re a fool.
    Neither you, nor I pays “tribute” to the government. There is much you benefit from in society. These benefits are funded by taxes. I’m saying if you no longer want to reap the benefits your taxes have provided you all your life, then fucking move elsewhere you selfish fuck.

  386. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Tomas:

    If we had the same freedom , with the technology we have today back then we’d all be rich and prosperous.

    So other nations, today, with access to the same technology and no regulations, would be populated totally by rich and prosperous people? Such as . . . .? I can think of a couple. Can you?

  387. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    If we had the same freedom , with the technology we have today back then we’d all be rich and prosperous.

    Sorry fool, we would still have the 1%, and the 99%, with you in the 99%. History says monopolies, trusts, and cartels form and jack up prices to keep the riff-raff (which includes you) down. Why are liberyturds so ignorant of history? [/rhetorical]

  388. anteprepro says

    Tomas at 456: Apparently libertarians also don’t believe in rent or evicting tenants for non-payment. Remind me to never rent to a libertarian….

  389. brianpansky says

    @456
    Tomas C.

    any attempt, even yours, to make locations nice rather than awful runs into the same problem.

    i will pay for my location and society to be nice. that’s a product that has to be paid for, you don’t get it for free.

    the same would be true with any free market solution you propose.

  390. Tomas C. says

    This video makes the same point.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fasTSY-dB-s

    Imagine if in teh exampel above , I was collecting money to buy something for the community , like a fence around the neghbourhood . But 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 if you didn’t like it you could always move away.

    Just because I’m providing ‘service’ doesn’t make it moral to coerce people for cash.

  391. Tomas C. says

    @brianpansky

    Its immoral to threaten innocent people with force to pay up for something they don’t want to.

  392. Tomas C. says

    ” History says monopolies, trusts, and cartels form and jack up prices to keep the riff-raff (which includes you) down. ”
    Those monopolies came about because of gov’t regulation.

  393. anteprepro says

    Ah bugger, read Tomas’s situation incorrectly. The real issue is that Tomas is willfully ignorant of the services that government provides and has a knee-jerk opposition to the idea of paying for the benefit of being in a certain area. Have Tomas go to college and watch their head explode over the idea of paying for Fees and not just Tuition.

  394. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    Just FYI, Greta has a post up directing people to the defense fund for Karen Stollznow here.

  395. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    Ah, coolio. Well over halfway there already. Hooray for decent people.

  396. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Those monopolies came about because of gov’t regulation.

    No history illiterate, they were what caused the Sherman Antitrust bill to be passed. They form naturally without regulations, since some folks are overly greedy. Just how little have you read?

  397. says

    This new libertarian is even more tedious than caesar. Tomas C, try making an argument, or a case, or providing an example, or anything. Chanting ‘Free Market’ over and over again isn’t going to get you anywhere, and makes you sound like a bad Eliza script. Make an effort, will you?

  398. says

    Ogvorbis:

    I can think of a couple. Can you?

    I’m going with ‘no’.
    Tomas knows a few libertarian talking points, but xe doesn’t appear to have thought through the implications of xir beliefs.

    ****

    Tomas:
    The onus is on you to explain how a libertarian system of government would be superior to the current system in place. It’s going to take far more than “the free market will do X, Y, and Z”. You’ve got a *lot* of work to do, so hop to it.

  399. Amphiox says

    Those monopolies came about because of gov’t regulation.

    Where is your evidence for this claim?

  400. says

    Tomas the asshole:

    Its immoral to threaten innocent people with force to pay up for something they don’t want to

    So you want to continue reaping the benefits of society, without contributing to it. And you have the gall to talk about immorality.

  401. Tomas C. says

    “You have nothing to offer beyond a vague “magic hand of the free market”. You offer no workable solutions to current problems. You offer no explanation for how the free market will do anything. It just will. By magic. Fuck that.”
    libertarians do have theories about that . But anti-libertarian people don’t want to hear theories , they want to blindly stick “Gov’t did it” like the religionists in the video didn’t want to hear scientific theories and stuck to sacrificing goats and saying Goddidit.

  402. brianpansky says

    464
    Tomas C.

    correct.

    now just realize that the actual situation is that a service IS BEING USED without payment. if you don’t want the service, you have to stop using it.

    you could argue that it is currently difficult to stop using the service. but this situation can again arise whether it be from govt or free market.

    i really don’t think you have any point.

    @461

    exactly.

  403. Amphiox says

    Its immoral to threaten innocent people with force to pay up for something they don’t want to.

    If someone doesn’t want to pay for a service they have already received, then they are not “innocent”.

    Either way though, such threats of coercion underpin both the public and private sector, and indeed, without it, there could be no economy of any kind whatsoever.

    How do you think private companies pursue debts if not with the threat of force?

  404. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Tomas C.

    Those monopolies came about because of gov’t regulation.

    Speaking as a professional public historian in the field of railroad history (including labour history), I need to see a citation to back that one up.

  405. Amphiox says

    libertarians do have theories about that

    All those theories that have been actually tested have already been shown not to work. The rest are in fact untestable without genetically engineering a new species of human with a completely different psychology.

    “theories” are useless wankery unless there is also evidence to back them up, or you can show how such evidence could be obtained, in which case the debate should be suspended until such evidence IS obtained.

    The onus is still on you to provide that evidence, or that methodology for getting evidence.

  406. brianpansky says

    476
    Tomas C.

    libertarians do have theories about that . But anti-libertarian people don’t want to hear theories

    um, i do want to hear.

    fucking cough it up.

    or did you just come here to repeat “you don’t want to listen to me” over and over again no matter how much people ask you to tell them?

  407. Amphiox says

    On the other hand, in almost each and every case where liberals and progressives propose that Government do something, there actually is a long and rich history of government doing and succeeding at doing that exact thing, or something similar enough that the hypothesis that government could do this new thing is reasonable and testable.

  408. chigau (違う) says

    Tomas C.
    How to make quoted text stand out:

    <blockquote>paste copied text here</blockquote>
    results in this

    paste copied text here

    It will make your comments easier to follow.
    It will do nothing to improve the quality of those comments.

  409. anteprepro says

    I swear libertarians love the “gubmint creates monopolies” talking point. Fucking bullshit.

    U.S. Steel
    Standard Oil
    AT&T
    Western Union
    United Aircraft and Transport

    All were early industrial monopolies. All of which the government attempted to reign in with anti-trust laws.

    libertarians do have theories about that . But anti-libertarian people don’t want to hear theories , they want to blindly stick “Gov’t did it” like the religionists in the video didn’t want to hear scientific theories and stuck to sacrificing goats and saying Goddidit.

    By God, this is the most galling case of projection I’ve ever seen.

    Do you know who really loves to just mindlessly chalk up everything to The Government, with no real rhyme or reason? I’ll give you a hint: The analogy isn’t to “God did it” in this situation, it is analogous “Satan is to blame!”.

  410. brianpansky says

    @485
    chigau (違う)

    i am mystified at how your example code actually shows up instead of transforming into an actual blockquote…O:

  411. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Tomas:

    Have you ever visited a National Park?

    Have you ever visited a state park?

    Have you ever visited a city park?

    Have you ever been to a museum?

    Have you ever driven on a road?

    Have you ever obeyed a traffic light?

    Have you ever eaten anything?

    Have you ever consumed tap water (not coming from a single-use well)?

    Have you ever gone to school?

    Have you ever been in a traffic accident?

    Have you ever had a house fire?

    Have you flown on a commercial flight?

    Have you visited a National Forest?

    Have you ever used paper?

    Have you ever used wood?

    Have you ever taken medicine?

  412. Rey Fox says

    If we had free markets without government regulation , we’d all be more rich and prosperous.
    The Free market will set up schools for people and infrasctructure and medication and food. The free market is self-regulating!

    Thanks, I needed a good laugh.

    You offer no explanation for how the free market will do anything.

    Oh, I’m sure he’s got lots of other fun little Youtube videos made by fellow brave bootstrap heroes.

  413. Tomas C. says

    @Amphiox
    But I did want those services from the private company. I didn’t ask for any gov’t service.
    Imagine if in the exampel above , I was collecting money to buy something for the community , like a fence around the neighbourhood . But 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 if you didn’t like it you could always move away.

    Just because I’m providing ‘service’ doesn’t make it moral to coerce people for cash.

  414. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    But I did want those services from the private company. I didn’t ask for any gov’t service.

    But the government can and does supply those services, and at less cost than and private company would since no unreasonable profits are involved, while paying their workforce a living wage. You have a problem with one word. Whereas I have a problem with your evidenceless sloganeering, lack of historical evidence to back up your claims, much less any solid economics to do so. Ignorance and moral bankruptcy from start to finish. Which is why you are mocked and not agreed with.

  415. says

    Tomas:

    I didn’t ask for those services!

    So what?

    If you don’t want to pay the taxes, then you cannot reap the benefits. Stop drinking that water. Stop breathing that clean air. Stop eating food and taking medication. Stop driving on roads. Stop using your water and toilet.

    You don’t get it. There are costs associated with living in society.
    The benefits taxation provides to society (i.e. the 300+ million people in the US) far outstrips the measly price we pay to live in that society.

  416. says

    Tomas:

    Let’s cut to the chase.
    On the whole, the community here is opposed to libertarianism. The libertarian theories you think will work out have been discussed and refuted many times over. You’re not likely to convince anyone here that your beliefs are rational, logical, and evidence based. You’re definitely not going to sway anyone by simply saying “government can’t do it, but free market can”. You’ve thrown out slogans without showing you’ve given much thought to them, you’ve presented no evidence to support your vague claims that the free market perform the services that the government provides, and you’ve shown you are ignorant about economics and history.

    Given all that, WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU HERE?

  417. Amphiox says

    But I did want those services from the private company. I didn’t ask for any gov’t service.

    Too bad for you.

    Unfortunately, humans evolved as a social species. There are services provided by the community that every human automatically benefits from simply by living within that community. A human being cannot “refuse” to use those services just because he or she doesn’t want to. Using those services is an automatic and unavoidable part of living as a human.

    Every human being uses and needs those services. Every human being thus has an obligation to contribute to the maintenance of those services. And every human being has a vested interest in enforcing the contribution from all other members of the community group. Human communities all have the right to collectively determine to what extent they wish to provide such services for their members, and they have the right to enforce contribution from all their members who would benefit from such services by lieu of their membership within the community. Such contribution is the price that must be paid for membership in the community.

    Membership has privileges. Membership has responsibilities.

    Membership is voluntary. Contribution once a member is not.

    This is what it means to be human and to live as a human. Aspects of human life are not necessarily ideal in the real world. Sometimes they even suck. But that is the way it is.

  418. Amphiox says

    The Free market will set up schools for people and infrasctructure and medication and food. The free market is self-regulating!

    This of course has been gone over many many times with other libertarian fools on this forum.

    The Free Market did, in fact, attempt to set up schools and infrastructure and medication and food and all that. Government did not start by providing these services. For long, long, long stretches of history it was the free market that provided all of these.

    And the empirical evidence poured in. The free market FAILED. MISERABLY.

    If failed so obviously, so terribly, so brutally, that, in democratic systems, the people rose up and DEMANDED their governments take over these services. Most of these governments were initially VERY RELUCTANT to get involved. But they had no choice, as public demand, spurred by the utter failure of the free market to properly provide these services, became too strong.

    And THAT is why today we have governments in liberal democracies providing these services.

    The free market was TESTED empirically, and the free market HAS ALREADY FAILED.

  419. A. Noyd says

    brianpansky (#488)

    i am mystified at how your example code actually shows up instead of transforming into an actual blockquote

    chigau is using ampersand characters:
    &lt; → <
    &gt; → >
    &lt;blockquote&gt; → <blockquote>

    They’re also nice for things like these:
    &ne; → ≠
    &trade; → ™
    &euro; → €
    &sup1; → ¹
    &sup2; → ²

    Just don’t forget the semicolon at the end or the characters won’t display correctly for some people.