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1  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Update for Everyone III - The Whinge Binge on: Today at 07:21:54 am
Thanks Cathcon and Simfan. Still waiting to hear...

He's clear. It wasn't cancerous. I am relieved.
2  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: A question about the opponents of gay marriage on: Today at 07:14:36 am
...which is to encourage the kind of relationships that most help the state's interest in procreation, which is obviously man-woman marriage and not same-sex marriage.

I'm not in favor of prohibiting gay couples from living together or adopting. But the state should simply not be required to subsidize it because it is not the situation that best advances the state's interest in procreation.

If the state has an interest in procreation; i.e the having of and raising of children (and infertile, post menopausal couples sit aside from that 'just because'), yet you think its okay for gay couples to adopt, then why should children be given less rights than other children or be perceived as 'different' by law or by social convention, just because their legal parents happen to be of the same sex?

There are as much as 6 million children in the USA that live in such a situation. What have you got against them? Why should procreation/raising children - if that's what marriage is 'all about' only matter if their parents are of the opposite sex?
3  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: A question about the opponents of gay marriage on: Today at 03:59:33 am
So wait. I'm a Scotsman with an American husband.  Under your law neither of us would be able to settle together because we couldn't be sponsored for a settlement visa. Why?
4  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Who is the highest ranking political figure(s) that you have shaken hands with? on: March 03, 2015, 07:01:30 am
Alex Salmond.
5  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 on: March 02, 2015, 05:48:45 pm
YouGov have given a 3 point Tory lead.

This sort of spread is far more in keeping with what polls should be doing if the parties are actually separated by a cigarette paper in terms of support.
6  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Would you rather have your son become a hipster Christian or Randian atheist? on: March 02, 2015, 05:43:28 pm
As Torie said, none of these descriptors actually tell me anything about what sort of person they would be.
7  Forum Community / Forum Community Election Match-ups / Re: Wulfric vs The Normal Heart (2014) on: March 01, 2015, 07:12:10 pm
He's just a stupid kid.
8  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: A question about the opponents of gay marriage on: March 01, 2015, 07:11:17 pm
That's not answering the question. I am married under New York law. On what qualification should that marriage be rescinded?
9  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: A question about the opponents of gay marriage on: March 01, 2015, 07:04:22 pm
I am not a Christian. I do not feel 'shame' over an integral part of my being. That's just silly. Please give a valid reason why your definition of sin should exclude me from marrying?
10  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Will Hillary Become 'Mommy President' to Millennials? on: March 01, 2015, 01:28:58 pm
I think Millennials will be happy with 'mommy', 'grandma', or 'nurse' Hillary given that her opponent is likely to be 'cranky old neighbour with gun collection who doesn't tip 'spics and probably has children hidden behind a secret wall in his garage.'
11  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: A question about the opponents of gay marriage on: March 01, 2015, 12:54:11 pm
I must oppose it, no matter whether I want to or not, or I am going directly against the word of god, which I am always striving to avoid.

If you see married same sex couples, some who have been together for years, decades even and they are caring for each other, supporting each other, nursing each other through illness and death, do you see in that 'sinful acts'?

When my husband was in hospital and I held his hand as he went under general anaesthetic and he came out of it, do you think that was a sinful act? When I changed his bandages and washed his scars was that a sinful act? I did these things because I love him more than I've ever known how to love. Was it the result of 'sinful' lust?
12  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 on: March 01, 2015, 12:44:52 pm
The LD pulls in the single digits, how many seats would they be expected to lose, and who would pick them up? LD seems to me this odd duck where in some seats, their main competitor is the Tories, and in others, the Tories are near invisible, and the race is with Labor.  It's almost schizophrenic.

On the first point, no one really knows. The LibDems are weirdly optimistic (insisting that their vote will only crash in places where it doesn't matter) but the excessive optimism is in their nature. I note that as recently as 1992 they had just twenty seats and that was with a much higher share of the vote (18%) than currently looks realistic. That isn't a prediction, but a reminder that there's no reason to assume that they will automatically have a large block of MPs.

As for who benefits (perhaps), then it depends where. But it's certainly true that the Tories finished second in most LibDem seats and that many of these seats were reliably Conservative before 1997. Tory hopes of a majority rest (to a considerable extent) on the idea that they can gut their coalition partners while holding their ground elsewhere.

The two steepest drops in the Liberal share occurred in 1979 and 1992 and the Liberals were shielded somewhat from loosing more than 2 seats on each occasion. In 1992 they even achieved swings towards them in many seats that would later fall to them five years later. So if we are looking at 'gentle' decline down to the high teens I would actually expect them to hold on to 2/3rds of what they have. As you say however, they are polling at a two generational low and there's a lot of confidence that we don't know is misplaces or not. There are some places where they seems to be resilient locally, their London suburban seats, Eastleigh, Lewes and fortress Westmoreland for example, so I think their ground game will be good enough to see them overperform UNS.
13  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 on: March 01, 2015, 04:29:54 am
How surprising! English nationalists hate Wales and Scotland.
I think a major issue is that there is a strong view that England subsides the rest of the UK - when it doesn't. This is never countered by the media, as the biggest media sources are based in England, so people continue to believe it.

I think the main issue for me is that 'who gets what' shouldn't actually matter on the basis that any sound economy is operated on moving wealth around the country and secondly, Scotland by this type of measurement is less 'subsidised' than Northern Ireland, or Wales or indeed the North East of England, the North West, Yorkshire, East and West Midlands and, taking into account the large amount of subsidy by the government for departments/civil service as well as other infrastructure schemes; London.
14  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Update for Everyone III - The Whinge Binge on: March 01, 2015, 04:24:56 am
Thanks Cathcon and Simfan. Still waiting to hear...
15  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: How strongly do you agree or disagree? on: February 28, 2015, 07:28:17 pm
That's why I apply different standards of proof to claims made in the different realms: If you claim to have a personal relationship with Barack Obama, I'm going to ask for proof; If you claim to have a personal relationship with God, who am I to say that you don't?

So essentially, you don't apply standard of proof to anything a person can imagine?

I suppose that I do expect the things that a person imagines to make some degree of logical sense, considering that logic itself is a product of the human mind.

Why should you expect that what a person imagines is by default, logical given that it is possible to conceive of illogical things? When asleep the mind mostly conceives of illogical things. Added to the illogical things that the mind infers while awake, you could argue that we spend more time engaging with illogical concepts that logical concepts given that most logical concepts, even if we do not fully understand the reasoning behind them are self evident (and often rooted in material experiences/sequelae/needs) and don't require much thought.

Logic is also inferred. If the inference is, to give two extreme examples based on fleeting or embedded schizotypal or autistic traits, then on what basis is one concept more logical or illogical than the other? They exist within their own fields of reference. If someone says 'the mountain does not move' then that is a logical statement. It is also an illogical statement as the mountain, in respect to say the Milky Way, just moves an almost inconceivable amount slower than a jet plane.

Why should logic have anything to do with what a person imagines? 'Logic' may infer a god (or no god); deism is not entirely outside of the realms of logical inference, but one would expect that logic would also infer one outcome from that, as opposed to so many competing notions of god that not only does every person hold a different notion from the next person, but may hold different, overlapping or competing notions of god within themselves.
16  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: How strongly do you agree or disagree? on: February 28, 2015, 06:37:15 pm
That's why I apply different standards of proof to claims made in the different realms: If you claim to have a personal relationship with Barack Obama, I'm going to ask for proof; If you claim to have a personal relationship with God, who am I to say that you don't?

So essentially, you don't apply standard of proof to anything a person can imagine?
17  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: How strongly do you agree or disagree? on: February 28, 2015, 04:46:19 pm
A relationship with a deity is material

Only if you are a Kantian. An object is not an object in itself. An object is always an object for a subject. The subject is man and man is material. His senses and thoughts are material. His relationship with anything that he postulates (because the postulation is an object of the conscious mind which is bound to the material) is material. A relationship with god is material because it is processed (whether it is reciprocal at all) within the mind.
18  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: How strongly do you agree or disagree? on: February 28, 2015, 03:57:18 pm
I'd say that the ultimate "goal" of human existence is to cultivate an inner peace that can't be disturbed by external events. That's a challenge that the materialist is particularly poorly equipped to deal with. 

Why do you distill people's systems of 'non-belief' into base materialism? If materialism is simply reliant on other people/selves, then why can a person not acquire an inner peace through being content with themselves and their friends?

They can (though I would say that if your happiness is reliant upon your social circle, you haven't achieved true, lasting happiness, as your social circle is liable to change). However, my experience has been that many non-religious people (and many religious people) derive their happiness from things - which is a much less stable source of happiness than a relationship with one's deity, or something similarly intransitory.

A relationship with a deity is material; it is for the personal benefit and contentment of the believer. At worst it is a 'relationship' on egg shells, which psychologically may not be of any benefit to the believer at all. Whether such relationships benefit the deity is unknowable. Even the most transient and fleeting of human inter-personal relationships are more reciprocal.
19  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: How strongly do you agree or disagree? on: February 28, 2015, 03:29:51 pm
I'd say that the ultimate "goal" of human existence is to cultivate an inner peace that can't be disturbed by external events. That's a challenge that the materialist is particularly poorly equipped to deal with. 

Why do you distill people's systems of 'non-belief' into base materialism? If materialism is simply reliant on other people/selves, then why can a person not acquire an inner peace through being content with themselves and their friends?
20  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: NC Senate considers bill for magistrates to opt-out of SSM marriages on: February 28, 2015, 07:32:48 am
Religious freedom. Forcing someone to obey a law that's against their religion is a violation of civil liberties.

What happens if they change religions, or change interpretation of their existing religion and now support things they once opposed and oppose things they once supported. Can they now ignore different bits of the law depending on what they decide to believe in?

Why should religious freedom be the only 'freedom' that should be allowed to opt out of the law. What about non-religious positions? What about ethical stances? Political ones, ideological ones. If you are a self described fascist and the traditions and stances of fascism resonate with you in your daily life and give you order, purpose and morals, should you be allowed to opt out of the laws that go against your fascist beliefs?

What about the other parts of the First Amendment? If it's your Freedom of Speech to say you think the races shouldn't mix, should you be allowed to ignore a law that's against their personal beliefs? Should the press be allowed to ignore the law because their rights are protected?


Our resident vocal atheist strikes.

First of all, civil liberties based on religion are perfectly acceptable. If you want to go back to discriminate because of religion, then do that.

Second, the fascism comparison is terrible. No fascist would have a chance at being a judge, regardless of what people say. Unlike political ideology, religious values and virtues (or according to you, lack therof) are brought up from youth. They may change ideas regarding their beliefs, but still hold morals. Every atheist knows that cheating, coventing, disrespect, and extramarital affiars are bad without having to look at the Ten Commandments.

I loved how you answered a question I didn't ask and ignored the one I did Smiley
21  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: RIP Leonard Nimoy on: February 27, 2015, 03:38:15 pm
Bugger.
22  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: What color is this dress? on: February 27, 2015, 09:55:14 am
It's a blue dress with black stripes and anyone who says otherwise is trolling

^^ srsly

It's literally a blue and black dress.  As in, the actual dress is colored blue and black.

Idk where the f[inks] you guys are seeing white.

And so it was said unto the people of Tumblr, ‘This dress be white and gold. For those who say it be black and blue, may they be slayed and their bellies cut open and may they be attacked from the forest by bears. This dress is white and gold, which are pure and sacred colours and most pleasing to The Lord.’ And so the message was carried to all four corners of the Earth. Except to women. Because vaginas.

[Atlas] Of course it’s important to remember that while we now know that the dress isn’t actually white and gold, it’s just how some people portray it, what this really relates to is the message for us all. If we take the dress, the colours, the slaying, the bears, the ability of a non-corporeal being, being able to perceive colours without physical eyes and a brain, the fact the earth isn’t flat and that having a vagina isn’t the career killer it used to be, there is still a really powerful message that we can all relate to in 2015. You just don’t understand. [/Atlas]
23  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: The last movie you've seen thread 2014 and 2015 on: February 27, 2015, 07:17:13 am
I'm under the impression it's very much in the "Crosses The Line Twice" style of Kick-Ass.

That's an unusual way to describe Kick-Ass. And yes, I'm aware of what the term means.

It's another Mark Millar adaptation. His violence is gratuitous but it's 'comic' so you have to be faithful to that. There's a scene in Kingsman which is downright silly, with a touch of Willy Wonka about it but probably the most contentious (and I have no idea how this will play in the US) is an entire church congregation killing each other in a rampage using chairs, bibles, crucifixes and anything they can use within the building. It's set up in such a way so that you don't 'object' but it seems to annoy more across the Atlantic than it does here.

Kingsman is actually very well..uh...executed. There's nods to Bond but also to other parts of the genre, a little bit of Alan Moore and even the recent trend of 'Nordic-noir.' Despite being more violent, it glorifies it less than Kick-Ass and it lacks the same sort of sexual undertones.
24  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: NC Senate considers bill for magistrates to opt-out of SSM marriages on: February 27, 2015, 07:03:59 am
Religious freedom. Forcing someone to obey a law that's against their religion is a violation of civil liberties.

What happens if they change religions, or change interpretation of their existing religion and now support things they once opposed and oppose things they once supported. Can they now ignore different bits of the law depending on what they decide to believe in?

Why should religious freedom be the only 'freedom' that should be allowed to opt out of the law. What about non-religious positions? What about ethical stances? Political ones, ideological ones. If you are a self described fascist and the traditions and stances of fascism resonate with you in your daily life and give you order, purpose and morals, should you be allowed to opt out of the laws that go against your fascist beliefs?

What about the other parts of the First Amendment? If it's your Freedom of Speech to say you think the races shouldn't mix, should you be allowed to ignore a law that's against their personal beliefs? Should the press be allowed to ignore the law because their rights are protected?
25  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 on: February 27, 2015, 06:45:32 am
Scotland is, however, suffering from a severe case of sinistrisme at present, so I'm not sure if findings of that sort are much use Tongue

Possibly. I think that would be more apt to describe a ‘fragmented left’ against a stalwart right. While Scottish politics is left party dominated, there is no strong right wing party in Scotland. Labour’s problem is that it may, by default become that and not because of any change of direction politically, but because right of centre voters, unionist voters might align behind them. Certainly at conference the Scottish Conservatives were very keen to clamp down on the recent private chatter about ‘rallying behind Labour’ (which will be easier to dampen now than it will be in say 2016)

I think this election (and 2016) will be influenced strongly by the Yes/No divide. However the SNP’s electoral strength was already apparent before the campaign. It is of no coincidence that the current polls point towards a similar vote share as in 2011. The question is from which pool of the ‘45%’ will the SNP’s vote come from?.

There is a tendency to think that Scottish voters are naturally Labour and they ‘lend’ their vote to the SNP, even in 2007 and even in 2011 (if you look at the 2010 GE results) However, given that the SNP vote share at the GE has generally declined from ‘92/’97 (which itself never hit the highs of ‘74) it may be worthwhile postulating that the opposite is true; that there is a natural SNP constituency, and growing, that lends its vote to Labour. The SNP’s decline post ’74 was due to a variety of factors, in short the stalling of the Assembly, the leakage of votes to the Tories and then later the Alliance (there is a correlation between the SNP vote in the ’74 elections with Liberal ‘bubble’ in ’64 and ’66 for example) and the entire political re-orientation of the party and moving towards the left while still being a reasonable ‘centre-right’ alternative to the Tories (in its rural rhetoric against urban Thatcherism, to put it simply) where it mattered. The SNP tracked back a towards the ‘right’ under John Swinney and paid a price for that. If anything the good results for the Greens and the SSP in 2003 were more to do with that, than to do with anything distinctly wrong with Labour at that time. I would argue that this was classic sinistrisme, but at the same time the political ‘correction’ was not necessarily a rush to the centre, but ‘Salmondism’, which rhetorically worked well against Thatcherism but was now re-directed against Labour.

Thatcherism didn’t really do in the Tories in Scotland, it was the perception and an accurate perception that she just didn’t care about Scotland. Not necessarily left-wing Scotland, but she didn’t care about her own Tory constituency in Scotland. That feeling translated to how the electorate felt about this whole party with the 1997 No campaign (rather than 1997 GE rout) damaging the Tories almost irreversibly. The party only survives because it appeals to what’s left of the party and it’s notion of national identity; pockets of suburban unionism, exploiting national disconnect in the Borders and hoover-ing up the UK expat votes. Labour are now struggling because they are perceived to be ‘un-Scottish’, or certainly aren’t connecting with ‘labour Scotland’. That could kill it.

Because Labour have never really had to work for their votes, they don’t know who their own constituency is anymore, particularly post referendum. There isn’t enough time to diagnose this before the next two national elections.
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