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76  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: How can anyone be sure their religion is correct? on: February 13, 2015, 08:42:44 am
Alcon, I think the corrections I just made to the post I tried to hurriedly get out this morning should clarify most or even all of what you bolded.  But yes, I do mean correct and not intuitive.  That is because people react the same to all forms of personal truth, even the parts that are not universal truth.  That appears to be the major difference between me and you two. For you and Andrew the important aspect of truth is its objective reality, but for me it is the subjective reality.

If you are not only equating but actually elevating what you ‘feel to be true’ above empirical truth, then truth has no value. It is robbed of any definition and is merely granted whatever definition an individual gives it, even if that person has reduced or different faculties or methods of perception. Furthermore as a person reorganises his personal beliefs/truisms due to life experience, then what was once true becomes false and what was once false becomes true. As a result, ‘what is’ cannot be given any value at all.

To return to the issue at hand, in trying to tie your belief in god to a personal truth in order to give it credence in the discussion as to ‘how you know your faith is true you’ve helped undermine it. It is a personal truth (to use your definition) to you that god is x, but to another it is a personal truth that god is y. To a third it is a personal truth that there is no god and to a fourth it is a personal truth that the concept of god/no god in itself is of no relevance. All of these cannot be therefore be ‘true.’ A theist may argue that there is a god and some can perceive it and others cannot or will not (what actions, if any taken by the god as a result are a separate matter). However a non-theist will argue that there is no god and that some perceive it because they require it in order to make sense of their intuition.

So you cannot determine with ‘personal truth’ that there is a god. Nor can it be determined empirically. If you can’t determine it with either or any method, then it has no value as a statement.
77  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 on: February 12, 2015, 02:08:16 pm
It's still early enough to test a few ideas out, so here's something. Would people here find this kind of thing useful or not?



Sudoku? Cheesy
78  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Atheist man opens fire on Muslim students at UNC Chapel Hill on: February 12, 2015, 01:36:14 pm
What on earth is this thread? Armchair psychoanalysis of a gun nut, possibly mentally unstable, 'patriotic' atheist coupled with a bit of self congratulating. People have tragically died. That's the only fact we need to contend with right now.
79  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: How can anyone be sure their religion is correct? on: February 12, 2015, 08:20:00 am
You've basically made a whole bunch of declarative sentences without clearly tying together what they mean.

That's very Ernest Cheesy

Other people's reported direct experiences are unless you can replicate it for yourself as a direct experience only an indirect experience for you.  Only those replicable experiences constitute universal truth. Personal truth includes universal truth, direct experience that cannot be replicated by another, indirect experience you belief, and the inferences you make from the proceeding.  For an individual "truth" equals "personal truth" because it all is valid for that person. It is the sum of that personal truth that makes their personal religion correct for them.  I don't particularly believe in the concept of a universal religion that would be correct for all, save perhaps if one limits the universe of discussion to those people who are able to interact socially.  For example, the rule "Thou shall not murder." would be a part of such a universal religion, as murder is the killing of people that society frowns upon killing.

You can't call 'what I think is true for me' a personal truth. Because there is no inherent truth to it. If you change your position on a matter you once held as a personal truth it would mean that a 'truth' becomes a 'falsehood' when nothing about that particular matter has changed at all, merely your opinion of it or what validity you place on it has changed. A truth or falsehood exists independently of what you may think about it.

You merely have intuition. Humans have a great difficulty in juggling between intuition and empirical reality. While reality is ‘truer’ from a neutral perspective, intuition can ‘feel true.’ (the sun rises and sets doesn't it? Not precisely, but it's helpful to every living organism to think that it does) Because we interact with the world as an agency, we tend to presume that the world interacts back with us. Sometimes it does; person to person, agent to agent. When it doesn't, we constantly try to infer it's action - why has drought ruined my crops, why are we here? Evolution has tuned the brain to either spot agents or suspect them if they cannot be directly observed. A god is a presumed agent constructed around the pieces of your consciousness that requires an agent to make sense of it the world around it, or the philosophical matters it muses. It is why every iteration of every god is different from person to person.

Your intuition tells you there is a god, not your ' personal truth'. My intuition, formed as it was from being raised religious told me the same thing, until I allowed my sense of intuition to be violated (at some discomfort) when presented with external evidence to the contrary. It is only when the person internalises the external evidence so that it replaces their intuition that they can then at last accept it.

This sort of internal re-organisation happens subconsciously all the time. Because it does, you cannot hold up personal faith as a personal truth.
80  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: What will the official 2016 republican platform say on the issue of SSM? on: February 11, 2015, 06:03:56 pm
Same as the last few cycles. Maybe by 2024 they might stop talking about it.
81  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Northern Ireland Local Election Maps on: February 11, 2015, 04:34:52 pm
Fantastic work. You beat me to it Cheesy
82  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: conservatives continue their attempts to destroy the institution of marriage on: February 06, 2015, 06:23:33 pm
Look moderately upward in the sky! It's a moderately paced bird!

No! It's a plane traveling at a moderate speed!

It's Wulfric!
That's really not funny. This isn't a spam thread.

Funniest thing I have read today. Apart from your support for civil unions, which is a step back from the new status quo.
83  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: How similar are your politics to the average voter in your area? on: February 06, 2015, 02:49:04 pm
I live in the only polling district in Glasgow where the Greens topped the poll in the local elections.
84  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Pope says it's OK to spank children if you don't demean them on: February 06, 2015, 02:46:14 pm
Spanking is fine if not done out of anger or vindiction.

Really? A parent spanking a child when they are not angry at the child is sinister.
85  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Pope says it's OK to spank children if you don't demean them on: February 06, 2015, 12:57:22 pm
I fail to see how it is possible to spank a child with 'dignity'.
86  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Black Mirror on: February 06, 2015, 07:05:09 am
I can't grade them. It's like deciding which rose has the least appealing fragrance.

Charlie Brooker's Weekly Wipe is back. Enjoy it while you can.
87  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Opinion of Le Corbusier on: February 06, 2015, 07:01:27 am
Mixed.

He could design a good house, but not a good home. The bigger the project, the less impressive his execution of his aesthetic. His early pre-war designs are exceptionally good however.
88  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of MormDem on: February 06, 2015, 06:53:57 am
He's generally a nice guy. There's one thing he can't take criticism of though.
89  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Beer, wine, or whiskey? on: February 05, 2015, 04:17:15 pm
WHISKEY
90  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Is the SNP a socialist party? on: February 05, 2015, 07:26:05 am
Irrelevant to the question at hand because this poll is about the SNP.

All the images of Rupert Murdoch pictured next to x is entirely irrelevant as to whether or not a party is socialist (which the SNP clearly isn't anyway) Which made me wonder why you posted it at all.
91  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: UK General Discussion II on: February 04, 2015, 04:59:16 pm
Commissioners taking over has been inevitable since the Jay report last year (because that's the way that central government responds to this kind of thing now).

The report today is both damning and a wonderful insight into how organisations protect themselves, even so much as 'blaming' the victims. Also the asian elephant in the room...
92  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 on: February 04, 2015, 04:54:21 pm
Andrew - are you still a Tory?  Or, since your Yes vote in September, has your partisan allegiance... shall we say, migrated?

I ended my membership when the majority of Tories didn't vote for SSM. It was their last hurdle on that issue and they blew it, despite the fact their leader in Scotland is an out lesbian who voted for it. So that ship sailed before the referendum. I had been gifting the SNP my vote in Scottish elections since 2007 and now I'd say I'm firmly behind them. Do I want a Tory win in the GE? Yes, because Milliband would be a disaster but I'd be happy for a Labour/SNP coalition because first off it would be hilarious and secondly, it might actually give us independence in all but name.
93  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Is the SNP a socialist party? on: February 04, 2015, 03:11:58 pm
We can all play this game Smiley





94  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: UK General Discussion II on: February 04, 2015, 03:08:44 pm
Rotherham sh!t storm. Discuss.
95  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 on: February 04, 2015, 10:42:38 am
Why has a turnaround like this happened? I just don't get it.



A full answer would take a whole day, but here’s a rundown.

1.  The SNP have been the dominant party in Scotland since 2007. Nobody seems to have noticed that yet. The only national election they haven’t won since then was the 2010 GE. One year after that election in which Labour won 42% of the vote, the SNP won 45% of the vote. In seats like Glenrothes where the SNP were miles behind, the following year they were miles ahead. Despite Labour winning big in 2010, Labour failed to form a government. Which would also be a reoccurring theme during the referendum campaign.

2. In Holyrood opinion polls since 2011, the SNP have 9 times out of 10 polled as well (and Labour as badly) as the ‘one off’ 2011 landslide. In Westminster opinion polls, Labour had been underperforming going into 2014. The SNP rose during the campaign and took off just as it finished. The SNP have levelled off, perhaps not coincidently at the magic ‘45’; their level of support in 2011 and the level of Yes support in 2014.

3. A national referendum on independence saw the highest turnout in Scotland since the common man got the vote. Yes ‘only’ got 45%. Labour ran the pro-union campaign side by side with the Tories offering Scotland ‘sh-t on a stick’ should we become independent. The Yes vote polled most strongly in Labour strongholds that the SNP even failed to win in 2011. There was a strong correlation between the Yes vote and Labour’s core (and some religious correlation too) This might explain heavier swings in these areas.

4. In the aftermath, Alex Salmond a divisive figure who had unhealthily high approval ratings for a leader in a western democracy resigned. He was replaced by an even more popular but less divisive Nicola Sturgeon. Labour leader Johann Lamont resigned citing intrusion from Westminster Labour. A leadership election resulted in Labour electing a Blairite, right of the party, Westminster MP, Jim Murphy as leader to face off against left wing Nicola Sturgeon to help Labour win back the left. Jim Murphy’s personal ratings are poor and so far has not moved the opinion polls in either direction.

5. The ‘sugar on a stick’ weekend in August when a poll showed Yes ahead led to the unionist parties offer basically anything. It is possible that this swayed voters back to No but who knows. In either event being purposely vague translated as being deceitful. When the Smith Commission reported, this was not seen as ‘Devo-Max’ so voters felt they had been had.  Voters could feel that way, and the SNP could say the same because the unionist parties had been deliberately vague beforehand. It did not help that the Labour Party in the Smith Commission were the least in favour of further devolution out of all the represented parties.

6. There is one Nationalist party fighting for ‘the 45%’. There are three Unionist parties fighting for ‘the 55%’, if voters cleave along those lines. However, You can’t stop Labour being wiped out if it’s Labour voters who are the ones moving to the SNP. There’s not enough Tory/Lib Dem voters in these seats to make any difference and there’s no suggestion that those voters are wanting to vote Labour. Ashcroft’s internals for all the seats polled where it’s a Labour/SNP fight (that’s every seat but Inverness and Gordon) show that 34% of those who voted Labour in 2010 will vote SNP. Only 60% are sticking with Labour. Amongst 2010 Tory voters (as little as there were) 9% are voting Labour but 10% SNP. Amongst Lib Dems, 19% are voting Labour but 47% SNP. So in the Central Scotland seats polled, more Lib Dems and potentially more Tories are switching to the SNP than to Labour.

7. If nothing changes, then Labour having lost their ‘best’ during the constituency wipe out in 2011 will suffer the same fate again. Their membership (official figures have not been released since 2008) has been decimated, with some CLP’s really struggling while the SNP have reached 100,000.

8. The SNP ran their 2011 campaign on optimism. The Yes campaign was ran the same way. Labour ran their 2011 on negativity. The No campaign was ran the same way. I don’t even think that’s a partisan statement; both camps on both occasions have admitted this is the case. Optimism is infectious. It will run out one day and perhaps the SNP will take a disproportionate hit in the future but for now the ‘mood’ of positivity, at least amongst half the population since before the referendum has continued into this year’s new long campaign. 45% don’t just ‘give up’ on believing in something just because it was lost. Voters, even No voters keen on further devolution, know that the SNP can hold feet to the fire and secure complete devolution to Scotland an potentially a federal settlement for the whole of the UK.
96  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 on: February 04, 2015, 07:01:20 am
What is the likelihood that, if the numbers add up sufficiently, Labour and SNP form a coalition?

It might be the only viable option in terms of arithmetic if the current polls and seat 'predictions' are correct. I don't think Labour wants it though. They have an election to fight in Scotland in 2016.

As for Ashcroft, first off 'lol Airdrie'

Anyway, I think Ashcroft has another wave coming but the change in the share of the vote within all these seats based on 2010 is Conservatives down 2.5, Labour down 14.9, Lib Dems down 13.6%, SNP up 26.4% and others up 3.6%. That would, nationally give the following:

SNP 46.3
LAB 27.1
CON 14.2
LDEM 5.3
OTH 7.1

So not out of line with the polls, but it does suggest that the swing to the SNP is high enough to actually oust Labour from the few seats they would mathematically hold under a swing of that degree. Can they in turn hold on in other seats?

We haven’t had results from the more interesting competitions actually and nothing from outside Lanarkshire except those lone polls for Gordon, Inverness and Dundee West. Gordon is interesting, but only on the basis that it’s the only discernable seat where Labour and the Tories drop significantly and the Lib Dems rise as a result on the constituency question, but the SNP also go up a little too. Inverness is terrible for the Lib Dems and is one in fact where I thought they would do alright.

Nothing from Ochil, Falkirk, Dumfries etc which will probably be the more interesting results in terms of what the effect is on Labour.
97  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: When did Generation X outliberal the Baby Boomers? on: February 04, 2015, 06:48:57 am
Intermoderate and Madeleine broadly get it right. First off, the first wave of actual boomers (even if we don't call them so) were born in the 1940’s. They are essentially in their late 60’s and 70’s now and were in their 30’s during Watergate, during the oil crisis and during the ‘come down’ from the 60’s. As a cohort (and why these sorts of generational splits should be looked at with more care) the ‘boomers’ also include the children of ‘boomers’ (those born in the 60’s). Their economic security allowed them to settle young and start a family young. The big dividing line in America is the Depression/New Deal. You can see that in the older exit polls even during the Reagan years. If people experienced that as young adults or children it made a huge difference in how they aligned themselves politically until their dying day.

It is also worth noting that the boomers (both waves) fashioned the ‘bride of the GOP’; the religious right which as a movement was very much born from the boomers (and the reasons should be self-evident, as should the reasons why it’s now starting to fall apart) Over the past 30 years that’s probably shifted maybe 10-15% of the electorate towards the GOP and against voters economic self-interest.

Now it appears at this moment, that Millennials/Gen Y are disproportionately Dem voters. If you take cohorts now in their mid 30’s, they’ve voted in four presidential cycles (all relatively close in terms of vote share) and have generally voted Democratic from Gore through to Obama. They’ve lived through ‘the stolen election’, Iraq, economic downturn and huge changes in social attitudes. That electorate is also a lot less white and lot more connected than older generations. It’s a difficult nut for the GOP to crack.

Pew has done research that’s quite interesting. If you turned 18 under Roosevelt (and would now be in your late 80’s and beyond) compared with the national average since 1994, you voted more Democratic right through until you were too small to count. The ‘Silent’ generation, the first wave of post war  boomers who turned 18 under Truman/Eisenhower (actual ‘hippies’) have been generally been more Republican except in 2000.

Boomers ‘fracture’ internally depending on your age. Those who turned 18 during Kennedy/Johnson (and are now in their 60’) are more Democratic until 2000 and then shift to the GOP. Those who turned 18 under Nixon do something completely different. They are more Republican in 1994, but that’s it. They are more Democratic than the nation and indeed could be considered to follow the average of what the entire electorate did (2004 excluded) However those who reach 18 under Ford/Carter (and therefore start their families under Reagan) are solidly GOP as are the first wave of ‘X-ers’ who reach 18 under Reagan/Bush. Those who turn 18 under Clinton, the last wave of X-ers are solidly Democratic (except the 9/11 effect  in 2004) and those who turned 18 under Bush/Obama even more solidly.

So part of the reason why the Democrats have struggled to win national elections since the 60’s (Clinton was helped by a split vote) until Obama is precisely because there wasn’t a consistent block of voters who would stick with Dems year on year to replace those who lived during the Depression who were dying off. Now there may be.
98  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 on: February 03, 2015, 05:58:21 pm
If correct it's worth noting that Ashcroft is predicting that the SNP will win in areas they didn't win in 2011 (Glasgow, Lanarkshire etc)
99  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 on: February 03, 2015, 02:25:19 pm
Of course had Yes won, No would now doubtless be leading Grin
Who knows. Also, the events that followed the referendum would have been different - so the polling figures would have changed accordingly.

Salmond resigning may have, ironically, moved people towards yes.

Salmond resigning and being replaced by Sturgeon is probably the key event that helped the SNP. They would not have risen as high without her, her positives are stratospheric at the moment. We can never know because it happened simultaneously with the 'No' vote.
100  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Should the Republican Party change its symbol from an elephant to an owl? on: February 03, 2015, 02:20:43 pm
no, owl's are awesome.

This.
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