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76  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Do animals/pets go to heaven? on: April 02, 2016, 08:48:47 am
However, the second half of that verse leads me to believe that just as we are to be in our perfected forms, so will they. Hence don't expect Fluffy to be there in his current twisted form if he's one of those pure inbred animals.

So heaven will be full of packs of wolves Cheesy
77  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Scottish Parliament election - 2016 on: April 02, 2016, 05:19:39 am
I've known about Kezia for years in part because I am in social circles that in some edges overlap with hers. Good for her for being upfront about it.
78  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Mississippi House Passes Religious Freedom Bill on: April 02, 2016, 02:59:29 am
This bill is unique in that it targets LGBT people specifically and allows for blanket discrimination.
79  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Are you sick of the 'Bathroom Question'? on: March 31, 2016, 04:16:33 pm
Nope. It's a legitimate public safety concern.

True, forcing trans women to use the men's room does put them at risk of being beaten up.

Exactly.

Is a hulking, hairy muscle bound deep voiced manly man supposed to use the female restroom because he was born with a vagina? I mean, the ideal response to that would be to beat the sh**t out of him for using a woman's restroom when he's clearly a man.
80  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: TRUMP: "There has to be some form of punishment" for women who have abortions on: March 31, 2016, 10:43:04 am
Placing you to the right of Thomas Aquinas there Wink (who would have considered it ‘something less than homicide’)

And yet, I'm to the left of Gregory of Nyssa on whether or not somebody would go to hell for doing it. Wink

(I'm aware that this may not come across as an appropriate riposte or worthy of a Wink to somebody who's not still reeling from a fall semester spent arguing about patristic and medieval theology.)

Quote
Psychologically there is no ‘child’

If existence itself is based on feelings, why is murder wrong?

You're sort of proving my point on the ontology!  Because you conceive a zygote as life you make the comparison to murder. A pregnant woman isn't wilfully 'murdering' anything; that is not her intent when choosing an abortion.

This is, I agree, an important distinction, and feeds back into the argument I've been making to (or, in some cases, over against) other pro-lifers over the past day that women who have abortions are way more sympathetic than people who commit murder/homicide/acts that pro-lifers believe to be murder or homicide in other contexts and for other reasons.

Re: Your post directly in response to me: I've alluded in the recent past that while I'd still be personally uncomfortable with an equal-protection finding of a right to abortion I'd accept it as perfectly valid and respectable constitutional law.

In general my thoughts on what the best political/legal (as opposed to religious, moral, medical, feminist activists, et cetera) attitude to adopt or consensus to advocate on this might be have been swinging pretty wildly back and forth for...longer than I've let on, and will probably continue to do so, even though my personal religious/moral attitudes are probably going to stay put (and have been where they are for, again, longer than I've let on).

I haven't yet responded to your main philosophical argument--either at the beginning of the year or now--because I don't yet have the grounding in the relevant fields of philosophy to adequately do so and I respect you too much to bullsh**t something. (Also because I'm on Atlas Forum during a class discussion about WHINSEC and liberation theology and don't want to get too too involved in this conversation right now in case something interesting pops up.)

And I think on that basis, we could have a consensus because ultimately those who are pro-choice are generally not absolutist. No one actually wants everyone to have an abortion under every conceivable circumstance of pregnancy (which is what a theoretical absolutist position would be). Likewise after the point of viability (the point after which when delivered, the foetus ‘may live’ as opposed to ‘always die’), if the foetus and mother are in relatively good health, you are unlikely to find advocacy for it unless the positions change. Indeed, the very fact that viability is able to shift progressively backwards thanks to advances in post-natal care is something that is universally welcomed.

However opposition to abortion under almost every conceivable circumstance (even resulting in nixing what it means by ‘health’ of the mother) is in some areas, becoming mainstream. That opposition can bleed into matters entirely unrelated to being in a state of pregnancy (opposition to birth control) Being pro-life and defining outlook by that ontology can force the movement into what is essentially an absolutist position on the matter (and indeed can lead to some of the hyperbole you’ve just read)

To echo some of that hyperbole in this thread, and to perhaps demonstrate the above, then I would have to consider myself ‘pro-murder’, by another’s definition because I don’t hold an absolutist position with respect to taking a life, even if that life is standing right in front of me and staring me in the face. For very obvious reasons. I’m not going to deny that I’m an animal, like all other animals, when faced with a threat. My grandfather even got medals for it.

Otherwise, I would agree that while employing ‘definitions’ (even if they are strict) would be understandable when trying to define the ‘whole’ they aren’t something that should necessarily be adhered to by the person, nor is it appropriate to elevate a ‘definition’ to such a status in order to facilitate forms of punishment/reward (which shouldn’t necessarily flow from any legal status either) against a person.

That ‘Brand USA’ Christianity (Paul Weyrich et al)  so readily adopted the Catholic position on ‘defining life’, couched as it is marian piety in order to fight the culture wars is the strangest takeaway from all of this!
81  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: TRUMP: "There has to be some form of punishment" for women who have abortions on: March 31, 2016, 08:08:24 am
Quote
Psychologically there is no ‘child’

If existence itself is based on feelings, why is murder wrong?

You're sort of proving my point on the ontology!  Because you conceive a zygote as life you make the comparison to murder. A pregnant woman isn't wilfully 'murdering' anything; that is not her intent when choosing an abortion.
82  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Are you Prochoice? on: March 31, 2016, 06:12:43 am
Pro-lifers don't get to determine what constitutes 'pro-choice' by miscategorising what pro-choice actually means so

Dem - F-ck you.
83  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The "You" in 2006 time-travels to right now... your reaction? on: March 31, 2016, 06:09:40 am
'You lift? Niiiiiice.'
84  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: TRUMP: "There has to be some form of punishment" for women who have abortions on: March 31, 2016, 06:06:38 am
Because women who seek abortions usually have much more sympathetic motivations, and because, if we're being honest about what sorts of laws a decent society would or should actually tolerate, punishing them is simply impracticable to do in any way that's subjectively reasonable.

I guess, but I still think the people who want to ban abortion but don't want to punish the women should not call abortion murder if they don't intend to punish the woman. It's hypocritical. Why call it murder if you don't intend to treat it like murder?

You're right, actually. This is a good reason to prefer a word like 'homicide'. There are all sorts of types of homicide with all sorts of types of consequences. Unfortunately, 'abortion is homicide' comes across as the sort of technical statement that makes most people's eyes glaze over and makes for terrible copy.

Placing you to the right of Thomas Aquinas there Wink (who would have considered it ‘something less than homicide’)

Ultimately Christian religious objection to abortion is increasingly pseudo-scientific in nature, not religious. Original Christian thinkers made very obvious distinctions, and rather advanced arguments of that distinction between the ‘formed’ and ‘unformed’ foetus (in part because the Bible is peppered with such inferences) Their positions, extrapolated to fit the framework of embryonic development of which we are now aware, are not particularly far removed from the contemporary general position of pro-choicers. As with everything however, the Church shat the bed a few centuries later and we are all having to pay for it.

Like many issues (LGBT matters being another obvious out) we have to deal with religious groups 'opinion forming' without reference to or input from the actual groups affected. What women or gays, think, feel, experience or want is a 'nuisance' to position forming.

For what it’s worth I’ve been pro-choice since I first gave the issue any thought (And I suppose I’ve never shared this before, but taking the position almost got me suspended from the Catholic school I attended but for the fact 14 year old me was able to argue effectively enough with the priest headmaster that he was impressed enough that I had actually put effort into it)

If anything, as a pro-choicer we have to wrestle the ‘ontology’ away from pro-lifers who are setting definitions against which we are measured and by which ‘life’ is defined. For many women, pregnancy is a ‘state’ which they do not wish to be in. Psychologically there is no ‘child’. They are in a state of a psychological and somatic state of which they wish to be relieved. As I argued with you at the start of the year, in opposing abortion by choosing an a priori definition under which to then bar it may satisfy your theological or moral needs, that does nothing to address her needs. Which are very real. There are women, right now who are pregnant. And it is hell for them. In are accepting that a woman has no right to take any action against the physical or psychological harm caused by pregnancy, then you do not have a response to the harm which she is experiencing because you see it as ‘less’ than that which could be experienced by the unborn (which I had suggested was curiously utilitarian of you)

Luckily, with the courts (in the US) there has been a move (in part thanks to the frequent pithy challenges to the law) towards seeing abortion rights as more of an equality over a liberty matter, which addresses this head on; on what assumptions is state intervention in protecting ‘potential’ life based? Are they seeking to protect the unborn in ways it would not do so, but for patriarchal/religious assumptions about women’s roles. Assumptions are being made about how woman should respond to pregnancy, when most terminations occur not on the a priori assumption that in doing so women are consciously rejecting the process, but rather as I mentioned above, that their actions are in response to the state of pregnancy that they are in. What’s helpful to the pro-choice movement is that the anti-choice movement are, generally speaking, so fixed on liberty, as expressed in Roe, that their arguments against equal protection are embryonic at best.

85  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Christians... why do you identify as Christian? on: March 27, 2016, 11:05:25 am
I have come to the conclusion that the most likely explanation for the Universe as we know it is that it was created/designed by a higher entity/consciousness of some kind that exists beyond the four dimensions we can perceive, and Christianity offers the most believable and unique description of such a being, IMO.  I also give the Bible the benefit of the doubt as a somewhat accurate historical text just like any other (certainly not all of it, especially many Old Testament stories), and I have a hard time believing that the disciples would have behaved in the way they did under persecution if they hadn't truly witnessed something miraculous (the Resurrection).  Beyond that, the obvious answers of it was what I grew up with, it makes me feel fulfilled inside and I just have an odd gut feeling/spiritual attraction that I don't expect or necessarily want anyone else to understand.

Happy Easter!

So you consider that the most believable and unique description of the creator of the entire universe and everything in it, is that which was forwarded by a small part of a tribe in the middle east of the planet Earth some 2000 year ago? That if there is any any sentient life in this vast universe it's not worth them looking for evidence or inspiration from their own world and their own experiences because you're pretty sure that Roman Judea nailed it?

In terms of the disciples, do people only suffer and die for beliefs that are true? Why should strong belief correlate in any way to truth? People 'martyred' themselves for Jim Jones. People blow themselves up for 70 virgins. People do all sorts of extraordinary things for what they believe to be truth. But it doesn't by extension make that true.

Christianity's own 'creation myth' is not an adequate representation of what actually happened.

Christianity spread (and this is meant to be a very quick rundown) through the Roman Empire through missionaries at first with strong evidence it was adopted by soldiers (for the same reasons that Mithraism was popular amongst soldiers) when it was an interesting new cult which helped ‘prime’ some areas of the Empire before missionaries actually got there.

Incidentally it also went east by virtue of the silk road and survived in fluctuating pockets (before 500 ad, 1/3rd of the world’s Christians were in what we would now consider Asia).

Then of course it became mandated by the Empire itself to the point at which laws forbade the practice of all other faiths for the first time in the entire history of the Roman Republic/Empire until such a point that it became integrated within the imperial government, leading to a form of 'caesaropapism' that ended up surviving the collapse of the Empire itself. At the time of Constantine’s conversion it was estimated that a small minority of the population of the Roman Empire were Christian and we can say than in the loosest sense of the word because there were numerous competing Christian sects. Not only did Constantine prompt the beginning of the Empire’s general edict against paganism, he was also the first Roman Emperor to specifically target unwanted Christian sects. That in turn affected early Christian thinkers like Augustine of Hippo to find ‘merit’ in using violence against heretics which they had previously argued against.

Then followed periods of forced conversion and by the early 400’s the first instances of genuine political/state action taken against ‘heretics’ (literally eradicating them) Christianity then had to fight its way into Europe which wasn’t necessarily ‘completely’ Christianised until the 1000’s-1100’s. While Europe was busy bludgeoning itself over whether Jesus liked ruffs or puritan buckles, Europe managed to export Christianity to the New World in ways and means that are genuinely barbarous. Same in Africa too.
86  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: New Zealand Votes to Keep Its FLag on: March 27, 2016, 07:59:31 am
Because it's f**king boring that half a dozen countries around the world still have variations of the Union Jack as their flags. It's much better for every country's to have its unique flag.

Also, every relic of the British Empire must be torn down.

That's not even a remotely good reason.

'This flag, unlike the previous flag, can readily be distinguished from other flags' isn't a good reason?

I mean, I can readily distinguish it just fine.

Good for you. Many people in many contexts can't.

In every context, the flag is distinguishable unless it's on a flag poll and there's no breeze. That's it. There are more important tangible, every day things a country should get right in all contexts; coinage and banknotes for example (of which the USA is one of the worst when it comes to aiding partially sighted people) which NZ gets right. As a country it is defined by national symbols other than what's on it's flag. Australia is the same. If anything that's post-imperialist/post-nationalist and should be applauded.
87  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Christians... why do you identify as Christian? on: March 27, 2016, 07:46:44 am
When I was a Christian even then, the honest answer was I was raised Christian in a Christian household in a nominally Christian country. Of course I was going to have a Christian ontological outlook. The odds of me therefore being Christian and understanding Christian concepts that in turn influenced a sort of conformation bias were therefore high. I was a Christian for the same reason my Muslim friends were Muslim.
88  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Christians are moral, but atheists aren't on: March 26, 2016, 11:44:28 am
Regardless of whether you godless heathens are moral or not, I and a lot of others today prayed for you to know God's love.

I have husband love, family love and friendship love. I don't need the ascribed creator of the universe to make me feel any more 'loved' than I already am Smiley
89  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: North Carolina Overturns LGBT-Discrimination Bans on: March 25, 2016, 05:31:47 pm
Honestly, I don't think there's any coherent way to legislate the [Inks]ing bathroom issue one way or another.

The question is, why would anyone try to in the first place?

Exactly.
90  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: North Carolina Overturns LGBT-Discrimination Bans on: March 25, 2016, 12:22:35 pm
As the above pictures demonstrate, I do love that laws likes these trying to stop 'women' using mens rooms and 'men' (commas not mine) using womens rooms actually ends up with women using mens rooms and men using womens rooms.
91  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Are agnostics fence sitters? on: March 25, 2016, 09:32:04 am
It's fairer to say you don't care rather than 'don't know'

No, it's not. I for one am very interested in metaphysical ideas and discussions.


Quote
I find it strange to declare agnosticism on the god argument, but not on other manifestations of belief.

Because most other manifestations of belief can actually be assessed based on factual evidence? There is no such thing as a logically coherent "proof" of God's existence or nonexistence.

There is no such thing as logically coherent 'proof' of tarot, demons, fairy folk etc. But you're not agnostic towards them. You are not agnostic towards them as there aren't several billion people trying to advance them in public discourse. You are agnostic towards one theological concept because it has been elevated to a position of reverence.

The idea that ontology must be structured around the dichotomy of 'god v no god' is evidence of that. Thinking in the West from philosophy to sociology to concepts of the self and of justice consciously reflect this dichotomy. However, for a long time, isolated from the ebb and flow of what was flowing out of the middle east, China for example developed an ontology/metaphysics in which that dichotomy was essentially absent or not elevated to a 'base'. The same has been found even in undeveloped isolated groups/tribes; their stories and legends and song don't revolve around what Nietszche would categorise as 'God v Death of God'.

Part of the reason I am defined as a-theist, but in reality increasingly care less and less about god as a concept is that I'm conscious of that dichotomy and really think there are more interesting (to me) and more far reaching concepts to grapple with.
92  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: North Carolina Overturns LGBT-Discrimination Bans on: March 24, 2016, 12:28:15 pm
We must do everything to protect those poor poor straight Christians.
93  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Explosion at Brussels Airport (Update: also at Molenbeek metro station) 34 dead on: March 24, 2016, 06:35:44 am
Keep it cool. I'll sort out this thread later.
94  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Are agnostics fence sitters? on: March 24, 2016, 04:10:54 am
It's fairer to say you don't care rather than 'don't know' I find it strange to declare agnosticism on the god argument, but not on other manifestations of belief.
95  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Should there be a border wall between Mexico and the United States? on: March 23, 2016, 05:36:57 pm
Only for Mexico's protection.
96  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: GOP congressman wants to stop federal employees from watching porn at work on: March 23, 2016, 05:11:03 pm
If he's that concerned about such low level issues he should be proposing bills to deal with water coolers, staplers and carpet tiles.

What a waste of everyone's bloody time.
97  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Bill Clinton as a president and as a person on: March 23, 2016, 04:37:03 pm
As a person? You don't know him. Simple as that. You can judge him as a figure and politician and president and moral leader if you want, but unless you are his family or close friends you know f-ck all about him to be honest. So take the feathers out of your caps and the sticks out your ass.
98  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Explosion at Brussels Airport (Update: also at Molenbeek metro station) 34 dead on: March 23, 2016, 04:33:06 pm
Fyck nihilist death cults.

They aren't nihilist. The very fact they are for something so powerful that it consumes them is testament to that. They are more accurately sociopathic in nature. Unfortunately 'non sociopathic' ways of combatting this is probably doomed to fail. We might have to lose a sense of our selves (as we  did when confronting outright fascism) in order to eradicate the problem.
99  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Does Sanders still think he has a chance? on: March 23, 2016, 04:31:08 am
It's a campaign for manufactured outrage. Sanders has joined the Democrats only to follow the Republican playbook...
100  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: And it's back again (Shrinking the House : Take Two) on: March 22, 2016, 04:28:57 pm
If you use the more variable quota, the seats formed are much more smooth.

In all honesty, I can see this review being abandoned once the provisional results are published. The government have an idea of what they think this review will be like and the rules it needs but the end result will always end up being not what they expected (with no lessons learned from the last review). If they go ahead with it, they will also presume that the following review will see a few wards moving here and there rather than the potential to have to redraw every seat every few years.
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