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1  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Which version of "Whole Lotta Love" is better? on: July 24, 2014, 07:27:24 pm
BRTD would you mosh to "Communication Breakdown"?
2  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Ask Hifly on: July 22, 2014, 04:10:17 pm
With what religion, if any, did your parents raise you?
3  General Discussion / History / Re: Talk to Gully about matters to do with culture, history, 'theory', etc on: July 22, 2014, 03:58:24 pm
What is the legitimate role of evolutionary psychology?

I'll answer this fully later but does this refer to the concept of evolutionary psychology or the academic discipline as created by Leeda Cosmides and John Tooby?

The former, though you can address the latter as well.
4  General Discussion / History / Re: Talk to Gully about matters to do with culture, history, 'theory', etc on: July 22, 2014, 10:56:50 am
What is the legitimate role of evolutionary psychology?
5  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The Bacon King Institute of Comedy on: July 21, 2014, 08:22:48 pm
Spent a week in Hawai'i recently. First couple days went okay, saw Pearl Harbor,went to a luau etc. Then on my second to last day, I almost got in a fight with a Hawaiian on the bus, because I didn't get out of my seat fast enough. (He had Parkinson's so I was supposed to give it to him). And of course I got off at the wrong stop. I wound up in Chinatown, surrounded by broken glass,graffiti and stores with bars on the windows. I ended up spending a night in jail to because I wouldn't let a cop search my bag.
6  General Discussion / History / Re: Converse with Joe Republic and his stunning ignorance of basic historical events on: July 21, 2014, 11:04:00 am
Why did the piano come to replace the harpsichord in the Classical music tradition when the latter is obviously the superior instrument?
7  General Discussion / History / Re: Talk with Hashemite about some history topics on: July 19, 2014, 10:43:04 am
What would you say to someone who insists that the treatment of whites in Zimbabwe amounts to "white genocide"? (Yes, I'm trolling; humor me, pls)
8  General Discussion / History / Re: Argue pointlessly with Al about history and so on on: July 17, 2014, 07:19:41 pm
I get the impression that popular uprisings against the aristocracy were rarely, if ever, successful. Yet, the landed elite did eventually lose power. What was the cause of this?
9  General Discussion / History / Re: Argue pointlessly with Al about history and so on on: July 16, 2014, 08:50:29 pm
How frequent were Medieval peasant uprisings?
10  General Discussion / History / Re: Chat with The Mikado about cool history topics that interest you on: July 13, 2014, 11:52:53 am
What do you know about the interesting historical case of the Khazars?

Other than the famous stuff?  Turkic tribe whose ruler, like so many other rulers in the era of the great migrations, decided to adopt a new religion, but unlike all of the other Turkic tribes converting to Islam or Christianity or Buddhism or (for the early Uyghurs) Manicheanism, their ruler picked Judaism.  The tribe's ordinary members didn't heavily Judaize, but their elites did.  The Khazars aligned with the Byzantines but lost many wars with the Rus principalities and were finally crushed by the pagan Cumans.

Of course, the remarkable thing is that they chose Judaism. I suppose that it's possible that King Bulan really did convene a debate between representatives of the three major Abrahamic faiths and happened to choose Judaism as the superior religion, but it seems more likely to me that the faith was seen as a middle ground between Christianity and Islam.

On a related note, what do you think would have happened if Vladimir I had chosen Judaism?

Quote
There's a long-standing view that today's Jews are mostly Khazar descendants, but given how very few (relatively speaking) Khazars actually converted to Judaism, while it might be possible that later Jews have some Khazar blood in them, they're clearly not the source of Jews elsewhere.

Yes, I've encountered that theory among Christians who want to maintain the Hebrew roots of their faith while simultaneously being anti-Semitic.
11  General Discussion / History / Re: Chat with The Mikado about cool history topics that interest you on: July 13, 2014, 10:01:07 am
What do you know about the interesting historical case of the Khazars?
12  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Cool chart showing the changing US murder rate over time on: July 05, 2014, 01:58:28 pm
For the record, I looked up the homicide rates in France and Massachusetts, a European country and an American state that I figured would have similar demographics. Massachusetts turned out to have the higher homicide rate, despite it having both a whiter population and a higher per capita income, as I later found out. What do you make of this comparison, SPC?

Massachusetts is not exactly known as a haven for permissive gun laws, to say the least. In fact, it appears that France is actually more permissive in some areas, such as magazine restrictions and "assault weapons." Thus, I'm not quite sure what the point of your comparison is.

The point of my comparison was to more closely examine your contention that the homicide rates of the United States and Europe cannot be compared due to demographic differences, which I did by comparing the murder rates of an American state and a European country with similar demographics. But if that comparison is unfair because Massachusetts has stricter gun control laws, we can easily replace Massachusetts with New Hampshire - the latter, a state that is known as a haven of permissive gun laws - and France with Austria, whose demographics are similar to New Hampshire's.

Now, according to the most readily available information, New Hampshire's homicide rate is 1.1 murders per 100,000 people, contrasted with 0.9 murders per 100,000 people in Austria. Given that New Hampshire is marginally whiter and has more lenient gun control laws than Austria, this doesn't exactly endorse the claim that the primary influences on the murder rate are gun control and race.
13  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Cool chart showing the changing US murder rate over time on: July 05, 2014, 08:32:55 am
For the record, I looked up the homicide rates in France and Massachusetts, a European country and an American state that I figured would have similar demographics. Massachusetts turned out to have the higher homicide rate, despite it having both a whiter population and a higher per capita income, as I later found out. What do you make of this comparison, SPC?
14  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: SCOTUS on: June 30, 2014, 07:07:02 pm
Corporations that engage in labor practices that are perceived as exploitative are regularly criticized by left-wingers. That's because the people who run corporations are expected to have a basic moral compass that prevents them from engaging in business practices that are unfair. So when the people who run a company decide that subsidizing birth control for their employees violates that moral compass, I don't think that those on the left have much credibility when they say that corporations aren't allowed to have moral beliefs.

With that said, I don't personally see a difference between subsidizing an employee health insurance plan that could hypothetically allow an employee to obtain birth control for free, and an employee purchasing birth control with part of her salary. It isn't as if businesses are required to pay for birth control out of their own pockets and personally see to it that all of their female employees are regularly taking The Pill.

Of course, none of this would matter if health insurance were paid for by the government rather than by one's employer.
15  Forum Community / Election and History Games / Re: The New Order--Information/Sign-up/Discussion on: June 29, 2014, 09:03:30 am
Unless Meursault happens to chime in I doubt that anyone will be interested in playing as the Third Reich, so I'll go ahead and volunteer.
16  General Discussion / Alternative History / Re: American domestic policy in the event of a Nazi victory in Europe on: June 28, 2014, 07:25:44 pm
Hitler wanted the world 

Cite? As far as I've read, Hitler's territorial ambitions didn't extend beyond Iran and the Ural Mountains to the east and Mittelafrika to the south. 
17  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: “Any growing interest in soccer can only be a sign of the nation’s moral decay" on: June 27, 2014, 08:52:07 am
     America should stick with sports where it can dominate (basketball, American football). Wink

It's not hard to dominate a sport that's only seriously played in one country. Smiley

Basketball is surprisingly popular in the Baltic countries and The Philippines.
18  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Opinion: Germany had a legitimate claim on Danzig. on: June 24, 2014, 10:24:35 am
IMO, returning the Polish-Prussian border to the lines that it exhibited at the height of the Duchy of Warsaw would have been the most logical course of action following World War I.
19  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Reconstruction on: June 23, 2014, 12:39:42 pm

Hmm, yes, I suppose that that was an oversight on my part. Still, I consider the Thirteenth Amendment a consequence more of the Civil War than of Reconstruction, and the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments weren't even faithfully carried out until the modern Civil Rights Movement.
20  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Reconstruction on: June 23, 2014, 08:42:36 am
Freedom Policy in conception, Horrible Policy in execution. I mean, did it even accomplish a single thing in the end?
21  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of the French Revolution on: June 22, 2014, 01:07:32 pm
Freedom Revolution, but not aesthetically pleasing enough compared to Red October, the March On Rome, or the Nazi Seizure Of Power. It needed uniforms and a centrifugal iconography.

I've read that a contingent of Revolutionaries (the Freemason ones, probably) had a strong affiliation for Ancient Egyptian imagery, and there were even plans to include such imagery in the architecture of post-Revolution Paris. It's too bad that those plans never came to fruition.
22  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of cops on: June 19, 2014, 08:03:12 pm
Fug le police! :^D))
23  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Is fornication sinful? on: June 16, 2014, 01:58:02 pm
Just because sex is nice, pleasurable, emotionally fulfilling, what have you, does not make it acceptable in the eyes of God. The Bible is very clear on this. If not fornication, adultery- which includes premarital sex (as far as the Church is concerned, at the very least)- is considered a grave sin. There really is no argument here.

If something is nice, pleasurable, and emotionally fulfilling, why would God consider it unacceptable?

Well, "nice" is a bit subjective.

Could a calculating serial killer consider murder pleasurable and emotionally fulfilling? Could a rapist enjoy the destructive actions that he decides to take? I suspect this might be the case.

As sinful humans, we can "like" something that isn't actually the best for us. Based on that, God likely considers some things unacceptable even if they are enjoyed by people.

Rape and murder, in general, are decidedly not pleasurable for at least one of the parties involved. It is from this fact that their immorality is derived. If you're going to assert that fornication in general, which is, generally speaking, pleasurable for all parties, is immoral, then the burden is on you to prove that fornicating, in general, is not in people's best interest.

So you are saying that something is moral because it is pleasurable? In other words, if it feels good, do it? That sounds hedonistic to me. Considering that fornication has various disadvantages and can cause damage, even if the full extent of that damage isn't readily seen, I question the narrative that fornication is good for all parties involved.

No, I am not saying that something is moral just because it is pleasurable (the Hedonists wouldn't have said that either, for what it's worth). I am saying that before something is declared "immoral", some harm inherent to that thing should have to be proven. That's why I appreciate your attempt to provide examples of the potential harms of premarital sex, even if the examples named on the websites that you linked to were either dubious, avoidable, or only applicable to practicing Christians.
24  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Is fornication sinful? on: June 16, 2014, 10:59:22 am
Just because sex is nice, pleasurable, emotionally fulfilling, what have you, does not make it acceptable in the eyes of God. The Bible is very clear on this. If not fornication, adultery- which includes premarital sex (as far as the Church is concerned, at the very least)- is considered a grave sin. There really is no argument here.

If something is nice, pleasurable, and emotionally fulfilling, why would God consider it unacceptable?

Well, "nice" is a bit subjective.

Could a calculating serial killer consider murder pleasurable and emotionally fulfilling? Could a rapist enjoy the destructive actions that he decides to take? I suspect this might be the case.

As sinful humans, we can "like" something that isn't actually the best for us. Based on that, God likely considers some things unacceptable even if they are enjoyed by people.

Rape and murder, in general, are decidedly not pleasurable for at least one of the parties involved. It is from this fact that their immorality is derived. If you're going to assert that fornication in general, which is, generally speaking, pleasurable for all parties, is immoral, then the burden is on you to prove that fornicating, in general, is not in people's best interest.
25  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Which of the following decades produced the best music? on: June 16, 2014, 10:22:22 am
It's interesting to think of jazz as an "art" music since was arguably the style of much of "pop" music from the 1920's through the 40's. Does that suggest later in this century rock may become an "art" music when some other style becomes the mainstay of "pop"?

I suppose that it's possible that, as rock music continues to recede in popularity, its shrinking fanbase becomes more discerning at the same time that what's being put out becomes more sophisticated (I'm fairly certain that that's what happened to jazz after all). Certainly, there's already plenty of rock music out there that has more in common with "art" music (whether jazz or classical) than it does with pop music.
Uh, I don't think so.  Rock has become such a massively popular and all-encompassing genre that new terms are needed to describe it; hence "pop," "metal," "alternative," and nearly any other term you hear bandied about now.

You say "now" as if this is some recent development, when in fact the terms "pop rock", "heavy metal", and "alternative rock" have been in use for decades. This is a function of the many different subgenres that have spun off from rock and roll, which was at one time the dominant force in pop music. Since the 1990's, however, rock music's relevance has steadily declined while country, hip-hop, and contemporary R&B have become more popular by the year. If this trend continues, it isn't hard to see rock becoming a niche genre in the way that jazz is today. My hope is that this would be accompanied by a kind of increase in sophistication that was visited upon the latter genre after its own decline in commercial popularity.
I simply meant since the 50s, the time when rock first became the dominant form of pop music.

I know what you meant. I was using your post as an excuse to make a broader point.
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