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News: Atlas Hardware Upgrade complete October 13, 2013.

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1  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Ayn Rand reviews children's movies on: Today at 01:07:45 pm
I would have thought the scene at Wandering Oaken's Trading Post and Sauna, with its discussion of the effects of supply and demand would have given Frozen at least two stars.
2  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Sony hackers threaten 9/11 style attacks on theaters that show "The Interview". on: Today at 10:28:49 am
Well they're caving because the theaters caved. Once AMC, Regal, etc. said they weren't running it, Sony didn't really have a choice.

They could still have released it through video-on-demand or direct-to-DVD. All the publicity it's received guarantees that a huge number of people will want to see it regardless of how good it is.

Financially, it may well make sense for them to let the insurance company take that risk.
3  Questions and Answers / The Atlas / Re: Recent bans on: Today at 10:26:14 am
Yeah, if GaussLaw was jmfcst, he's had a considerable mellowing in his theology and I don't think so.  In fact I think we had a self-admitted jmfcst sock or two while GaussLaw was active.

Incidentally, it still is remotely possible that GaussLaw was guilty of nothing worse than using the same proxy servers as our steroid troll, but that's exactly why their use is strongly discouraged.  For those posting on topic for the forum, there simply is no reason why a proxy server should ever be necessary for those posting in accordance with the Terms of Service.  (Some of the stuff that gets posted in the Forum Community, maybe, but that really isn't the focus of our little group.)
4  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Please help me understand non-religious metaethics. on: Today at 10:17:19 am
@Nathan: why is it more difficult to reconcile the presence of good in a world created by an evil God than it is to accept the presence of evil in a world created by the God of Christianity?

I think Nathan laid out a fairly clear position. (Italics Nathan's, bold mine.)

I grant that it's not by any means self-evident that creating the universe would give a deity the right to establish moral norms but I don't see where else in a divinely created universe moral norms could have come from, without positing either that the deity that created it is in some way not omnipotent and has less than complete power over it or that the moral norms are not objective. I don't see any options for a theistic universe having any other setup than its creator deity establishing moral norms or morality being entirely subjective, and neither of those provide any real basis on which to call the creator deity 'evil'.

It's not that Nathan finds it impossible for there to be good in a world created by an evil deity, rather Nathan finds it impossible for there to be an objective standard of good and evil under which a creator deity could be deemed evil.

I'd have to disagree with that proposition.  Granted, in a theistic universe it is difficult to see who else would be in a position to judge "absolute good" but "relative good" doesn't require deific omniscience to determine.  Relative good involves acting upon others in a manner that is mutually beneficial whenever such an option exists.  In that sense, it would be possible for a creator deity to be evil if ey acts in its own benefit to the harm of others, even when a action that would be beneficial to both exists.
5  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: is it legal/would a judge accept a guilty plea w/penalty of death? on: Today at 07:19:38 am
As far as legal, probably.  A judge might reject the deal especially if the sentencing guidelines don't recommend the death penalty.  We had a judge reject a plea deal for our former sheriff earlier this week because it was too lenient according to the guidelines.
6  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Is there such a thing as objective reality? on: Today at 02:30:41 am
And while there appears to be a physical phenomenon that produces the color red, we have no way of knowing if everyone actually perceives red the same way.  Maybe what red looks like in your brain looks like green in my brain.  We'll never know, but does it matter?  Even if we have what could be considered different subjective experiences internally, if they are stimulated by the same external stimuli and we respond externally to them identically, is there really a subjective difference?
7  Questions and Answers / The Atlas / Re: Recent bans on: Today at 02:18:08 am
Has GuassLaw/Liftweights34/ROIDRAGER#BB been banned yet, or do we need more evidence that Liftweights34 and ROIDRAGER#BB are socks of GuassLaw (as GuassLaw is claiming that Liftweights34 and ROIDRAGER#BB are not his socks)?

They have been, as has been the latest lame effort by BetaMale.
8  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The Al Realpolitik Institute of Sulfur Mining & Extraction on: December 18, 2014, 11:48:41 pm
Al, I didn't think anything posted in this thread would leave anyone here speechless, least of all you, but apparently it did if you had to resort to an animated GIF to express yourself.
9  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The Al Realpolitik Institute of Sulfur Mining & Extraction on: December 18, 2014, 10:18:05 pm
The response was better IMO.

You still write like an angsty teenager churning out dire fanfic. Does this worry you at all?

Forgive me, I thought politics was about relating to the target audience.

You still make sport out of treating people like crap. Does this worry you at all?
10  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: What was the best present baby Jesus received? on: December 18, 2014, 10:14:00 pm
write-in: $25 Braum's gift card

11  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Nebraska and Oklahoma sue Colorado over marijuana legalization on: December 18, 2014, 09:53:35 pm
Quote from: Denver Post
"Nebraska taxpayers have to bear the cost," Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning said at a news conference Thursday, in comments reported by the Omaha World-Herald. "We can't afford to divert resources to deal with Colorado's problem."

Except Colorado isn't the one with a problem.

To the degree this lawsuit has any validity, it still fails since individual States don't have standing to sue concerning non-compliance with Federal laws.  Only the Federal government would have standing, and even then they'd have an extremely high hurdle to jump, and I don't think they've got the leg strength.  Federal drug laws were largely written in an era in which the States were expected to do as they were told, and it was expected the States would be in agreement with anti-drug laws.  I doubt that the sorts of carrots typically used to get State compliance with Federal mandates exist, and even if they do, at most Colorado would have to forgo receiving the carrots.
12  General Discussion / Alternative History / Re: Under what circumstances would the whole of Ireland stayed with the UK? on: December 18, 2014, 08:40:18 pm
It's improbable, down right impossible, but under what circumstances would what's now The Republic of Ireland have stayed with the United Kingdom?

Ironically, Ireland might still be united with Britain today had it not been for the United Kingdom.  At the very least, a different response to the rebellion of 1798 would have been required.  But even then, the most likely result would have been that Ireland would have obtained the same status as Canada, Newfoundland, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa as dominions within the British Commonwealth.
13  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Vermont Has Bailed on Single-Payer Health Care on: December 18, 2014, 08:06:41 pm
Put another way, if Cuomo was the governor of Oklahoma rather than New York, he'd probably be able beat Hitler and Stalin in polls. Tongue

Depends on who has the R and who has the D behind their name.
14  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: US police "honesty/ethics" rating up among Whites, crashes among Non-Whites on: December 18, 2014, 08:03:32 pm
Somewhat disingenuous to say the rating is "up" among Whites when the increase wasn't even one standard deviation, let alone the two standard deviations of the standard MoE.  Still, the crash among non-Whites is extremely striking.
15  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: EU Parliament overwhelmingly votes in favour of the country Palestine on: December 18, 2014, 07:10:31 pm
On another note, how did the British EU delegation vote?

Lab, SNP, Green, LD, Plaid, Sinn Féin all seem to be yes.

UKIP were mostly no but quite a few abstained and one voted yes.

Con had quite a lot of abstentions, but those who voted seem to be 5 No, 3 Yes.

Both the UUP and DUP MEPs voted no.

Regardless of any feelings about the Palestinian issue, I'm surprised any UKIPer would vote in favor of giving Brussels a say in the matter.
16  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: EU Parliament overwhelmingly votes in favour of the country Palestine on: December 18, 2014, 07:07:47 pm
I still think a 3-state solution is the only viable one, but I could never see anyone convincing Egypt to take Gaza. Jordan taking the West Bank, maybe.

No one wants a 3-state solution except Americans who know nothing about Arabs.

I'm very aware: I said most viable, not most popular.

Similarly, I'd say that even though very few people claim to "want" large territory transfers between Israel and Palestine, I think that would have to be an integral part of any viable two-state solution.
Which is exactly why the two-state solution is not viable, especially as long on one side gets to decide unilaterally what gets transferred.

Why do you think making Palestine take the Arab triangle would make the two state solution non-viable?

Because of all the choice plums Israel would insist on taking for itself.

A Palestine that is a collection of Bantustans and ghettos is not and never will be acceptable to the Palestinians.  A Palestine that includes none of Jerusalem is not and never will be acceptable.
17  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Please help me understand non-religious metaethics. on: December 18, 2014, 02:30:05 pm
Actually, I do subscribe to adoptionism.  As for the virgin birth of Jesus, it couldn't have been parthogenesis since Jesus was male. Aside from that nitpick, the whole of the nativity story is non-essential to my own views of Jesus. In part that is because as an adoptionist I do not see the need for any miracles prior to Jesus' baptism, but also those alleged miracles run counter to the theme that when Jesus began his ministry, everyone was startled that Jesus was acting as he did.

As for Matthew 19:17, I don't see it as deference, in the sense of subservience that you seem to mean it, but acknowledgement that without the omniscience ascribed to God, it is impossible for us as humans to fully foresee the consequences of our actions and thus know what is absolutely good.  At best, we can establish general rules that certain actions are more likely to lead to good than to evil. I happen to be a gradual adoptionist, so my view is that at that point in the ministry of Jesus, he had some but not all of the aspects of godhood, and in particular he did not at that time possess omniscience.

That said, it is clear that I can't convince you that is possible for a being to be both god and human. The definitions you use preclude not only that possibility, but also the possibility that god could fully ken man or vice versa.
18  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: EU Parliament overwhelmingly votes in favour of the country Palestine on: December 18, 2014, 02:25:26 am
I still think a 3-state solution is the only viable one, but I could never see anyone convincing Egypt to take Gaza. Jordan taking the West Bank, maybe.

No one wants a 3-state solution except Americans who know nothing about Arabs.

I'm very aware: I said most viable, not most popular.

Similarly, I'd say that even though very few people claim to "want" large territory transfers between Israel and Palestine, I think that would have to be an integral part of any viable two-state solution.
Which is exactly why the two-state solution is not viable, especially as long on one side gets to decide unilaterally what gets transferred.
19  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Sony hackers threaten 9/11 style attacks on theaters that show "The Interview". on: December 18, 2014, 02:22:38 am
Altho, given the horrible reviews the movie has gotten, one wonders if the chains weren't merely using the threat as an excuse to get rid of a stinker, especially at Xmas time.
20  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Please help me understand non-religious metaethics. on: December 17, 2014, 11:37:04 pm
Regardless of whether god has a physical or not physical form it is a god. It is not a human. If it spends a brief sojourn in a human body, it's still not 'a human' as by being able to do such a thing, to come and go as it pleases from form to form, clearly demonstrates.
Except that if one accepts at face value the gospel account, clearly God clearly did not go from form to form as it pleased.  The body of Jesus did not spring into existence out of nothing, he was born.  He did not wink out of existence, he died.  The resurrection was into that same physical form, with all the wounds he suffered during the crucifixion still present.  He did so because to have done otherwise would have indeed meant that as you assert, he hadn't really been human.  If that were the case, then the crucifixion and resurrection are a farce without any validity because they only have merit if Jesus was human.  You keep asserting a very black or white viewpoint that there are certain categories which it is impossible to be jointly a part of, but that is solely because of how you define what it means to be a member of those categories.

As for the pinky analogy, no analogy can ever be a perfect representation, but I must reject your assertion that your pinky is you.  While it could not exist without you, you could exist perfectly well without it, albeit you would be somewhat different.
21  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: UK General Discussion II on: December 17, 2014, 04:02:32 pm
A lot of rumours flying about today about a potential Christmas abdication announcement.

I doubt that Charles will abdicate the Princedom of Wales in favor of his son William, but we can always hope.

Abdication is a very modern solution to what happens when royality 'just won't die.' The Queen in 88. Charles is 66 and William is 32. If the Queen lives as long as her mother, Charles will himself be 79 when he becomes king. The potential for a succession of geriatric monarchs is a potential problem because despite what people often think, the monarch has things to do in a constitutional sense. It makes sense for the Queen to step down and Charles to reign for a decade before handing down to William.

I quite like Charles, but that aside handing over straight to William would be problematic but also unfair on the man who can at least have the luxury of raising a family before he steps into the role. It also helps the process of disestablishment re the CofE if that is opted.

Elizabeth has indicated in the past she has no intent of abdicating, and as far as I am aware, there is no reason to think she is incapable yet of doing things a monarch must do.  That's why I joked that if anyone were to abdicate, it would be Charles.
22  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Please help me understand non-religious metaethics. on: December 17, 2014, 03:24:16 pm
Andrew, it looks like an unclear pronoun reference in what I quoted earlier was the cause of some confusion.  I was taking "it" as referring to "the mind" and you meant "the mind of God".  But even so, I fail to accept your assertion that if God exists, he must lack a physical form.  Granted, the Abrahamic religions generally reject the idea of an anthropomorphic deity, but that still leaves open pantheism, pandeism, panentheism, and no doubt other concepts that also posit a physical yet non-human deity.

Assume for a moment that God is pantheistic.  Your assertion that "It cannot therefore ‘judge’ the actions that we take because it is not us." would be analogous to "A human cannot therefore ‘judge’ the actions that its pinky finger takes because it is not a pinky finger." Now I don't know about you, but I think I can judge my pinky.  But even if you disagree, then what about the Christian belief that God became Man in the form of Jesus?  Even if one asserts that one can only be justly judged by one's peers, then if Jesus were indeed both Man and God, it would seem to me that he meets your requirements to be a judge of human actions despite being God.
23  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: UK General Discussion II on: December 17, 2014, 02:44:56 pm
A lot of rumours flying about today about a potential Christmas abdication announcement.

I doubt that Charles will abdicate the Princedom of Wales in favor of his son William, but we can always hope.
24  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: EU Parliament overwhelmingly votes in favour of the country Palestine on: December 17, 2014, 02:42:18 pm
The huge irony of all these (mostly symbolic) recognitions of Palestine is that they are coming now that a viable two-state solution is pretty much no longer possible.
It's doubtful it ever was, and it's been more than a decade since the possibility was something more than wishful thinking.
25  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of incorporating the cross into Christmas celebrations? on: December 17, 2014, 02:32:30 pm
Nah, Jesus is fine. Baby Jesus is of course adorable, and adult left-wing revolutionary Jesus is a badass. If the Christians would just let us enjoy those two versions of Jesus without trying to force this "Son of God, died for our sins blah blah blah" nonsense down our throats while we're trying to enjoy a nice egg nog or some chocolate eggs, then Jesus would be perfectly okay.

Not egg nog, Mystic Mountain Blueberry Powerade!
http://youtu.be/vuAUI_0knfk
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