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1  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Worst poster on this board? on: February 02, 2017, 10:53:27 am
Despite everything, BRTD is definitely not a bad person, and he's certainly not the worst poster here.
He's been posting here for a long time and he hasn't changed. He needs to grow up.
2  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Worst poster on this board? on: February 02, 2017, 09:29:14 am
I have to agree, it's brtd. The fact that he has posted on atlas more than anyone earns him this distinction, and not just on this board but on all of atlas. He isn't a nice person, but I'm not saying anything that he doesn't already know.
3  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: When DID "life" begin? on: February 02, 2017, 09:22:00 am
I think the modern answer to the question in the OP comes by reframing it this way, "When did the last common ancestor of all living humans live?" It defines what biologists call the clade of humans. The dominant view among biologists would place the answer at around 200,000 years ago.

I don't this makes sense on the micro scale, with sexual reproduction involved. The last common ancestor of all living humans lived very recently, considering that they weren't the only ancestor of all iliving humans. Wikipedia says that the last common ancestor of all living humans might have beeen as recently as 3000 years ago, but it would be ridiculous to say that that person was the first human.
I'm not sure I get what you're saying. Do believe that we have ancestors that
were "partially human"? That the difference between us and our nonhuman ancestors
is some sort of continuum? That the term "human" is somewhat arbitrary?
It could be similar to a "human's" life in the womb. "Life" doesn't actually begin
at one point in time, but is gradual and at sometime before birth the fetus becomes fully
human. Many people believe that it begins at birth. An alternate theory is that it happens
gradually. At conception the lifeform doesn't look human. Minutes before birth it does.
This seems very similar to human evolution. The "missing" links would be what you
might call partly human.
4  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Have you ever embodied your ethnic stereotype? on: February 02, 2017, 09:10:25 am
I'm a pretentious asshole who complains about everything, so duh.
Well, I like you, even if you are a pretentious asshole. Smiley
5  General Politics / Political Debate / Argue the opposite - pacifism on: January 27, 2017, 01:44:46 pm
My political philosophy is more than pacifism, in fact, I would rank it #2.

Go...
6  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: How many deaths would have been an acceptable price for abolition of slavery? on: January 27, 2017, 01:21:22 pm
The enslavement of human beings was evil, period.  I have an idealistic view that evil (in the form of institutional slavery, genocide or whatever) must be stopped, and the cost might seem very high but is worth it.
The cost of war is not just very high, it's always too high, and therefore not cost effective. The peace dividend is also very high, and can be used to stop war dead in it's track.
Pacifism is the way. War is the problem. Peace is the result of impeccable logic. War is the result of specious logic. As simple as all this is, most people just can't seem to get it. I don't understand why, but I know it is because people are not logical enough. Why people choose the dark side over the light is a mystery, and doesn't bode well for us as a species.
Ah yes, I'm sure that pacifism would have been quite effective at stopping things like slavery and Nazism! Smiley
Actually, no, but that isn't the point.
7  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: How many deaths would have been an acceptable price for abolition of slavery? on: January 27, 2017, 12:10:47 pm
The enslavement of human beings was evil, period.  I have an idealistic view that evil (in the form of institutional slavery, genocide or whatever) must be stopped, and the cost might seem very high but is worth it.
The cost of war is not just very high, it's always too high, and therefore not cost effective. The peace dividend is also very high, and can be used to stop war dead in it's track.
Pacifism is the way. War is the problem. Peace is the result of impeccable logic. War is the result of specious logic. As simple as all this is, most people just can't seem to get it. I don't understand why, but I know it is because people are not logical enough. Why people choose the dark side over the light is a mystery, and doesn't bode well for us as a species.
8  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: The Idea of Life. on: January 27, 2017, 10:42:18 am
42=222, but I don't know if that is a meaningful fact

edit: nor if it has anything to do with this thread, as I don't get Kingpolean's post vis a vis the topic at hand
9  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / When DID "life" begin? on: January 27, 2017, 10:39:10 am
Human life that is. Was there a time when a nonhuman gave birth to a human? Is such an event the only way to answer the title question? If there was such an event, when did it occur?

In the future, will a human give birth to a superior species?
10  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: How many deaths would have been an acceptable price for abolition of slavery? on: January 27, 2017, 10:27:26 am
zero
11  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: If every third-party voter voted for either Trump or Clinton on: January 27, 2017, 09:13:41 am
By the way, Reagan in 1980 didn't win a majority of electoral votes in states where he won a majority and yet it was considered quite a landslide. Most people are not aware of this.
12  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: If every third-party voter voted for either Trump or Clinton on: January 27, 2017, 09:11:44 am
Is this at gunpoint? A large number of people didn't like either of them.
Unfortunately a large number of people also feel that they have to support the "lesser of two evils", even though they don't.
13  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: If every third-party voter voted for either Trump or Clinton on: January 27, 2017, 09:09:57 am
Of course, all of this is useless idle speculation, albeit fun for some, no doubt.
IRV IRV IRV
Then it wouldn't be a "what if" scenario... (or approval voting which would have a similar if
not identical outcome).
Write it down 200 times, "I will support IRV". Plurality voting makes not sense to me.
It would be hard to "argue the opposite". The only reason to support it is to maintain
the status quo of "Democrat v Republican" which is a false dichotomy and hasn't seemed to be very effective. Those who support the status quo and think that everything is fine, undoubtedly are more likely to support plurality voting. What happened in Maine (the irv referendum) was a good thing.
14  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Argue the opposite of your actual views - slavery edition on: January 26, 2017, 12:32:16 pm
Although it is always challenging to play the devil's advocate, this one is especially difficult, given the fact that most people find both racism and slavery so repugnant, so your willingness to take on this task is comendable.

The following is my actual view, and not the opposite, although it is in a sense, contrary to the point of this thread, since I am not arguing the opposite:

While there are no former slaves (American ones from the 19th century) still living, obviously racism didn't end and still remains a serious problem, so I can see that this is a highly sensitive topic.
15  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Do you believe that many or some are TOTALLY Depraved? on: January 26, 2017, 11:05:15 am
Every* living thing is born selfish, but not an asshole.  Humans are no better or worse than any other animal.  It's how we're all wired, evolution and all that jazz.  Your environment determines how much of your selfishness you can lose and how big of an asshole you become.  Maybe your genetics limits or accelerates those things, I don't know.

So yeah, some are totally depraved, but they were (likely) not born that way.  They were created.



*some animals are born selfish to their leader and not themselves, but I think it's mostly bugs right?  I can't think of any non-bug examples at least.
Well, some people have surrendered to the dark side. Is that because they are truly evil or because it seems the easier thing to do, since
we live in a world that is so corrupt that it appears to some that is in the own interest to join the winning side?
Once someone has as it were "damned" themselves to being "evil"- Can they be turned back to "the light" or has the "light" gone out
in them forever?
16  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Argue the opposite of your views - gay marriage edition on: January 26, 2017, 09:06:32 am

A slavery thread could still be interesting just because very few people alive today have been exposed to a sober argument in favor of slavery. I'd be willing to try that as an exercise. I hope a mod doesn't misunderstand it and ban me!
I suppose it is possible that some people could object to such a thread and want it deleted, but I hope not, I think it would be clear that it was just an excercise and not an attempt at "trolling".
17  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Do you believe that many or some are TOTALLY Depraved? on: January 26, 2017, 09:00:27 am
As far as my previous description of heaven and hell. Neither were my own concepts about what such places might be like. They were simply contrasts of opposite extremes.
Eternal torment (hell fire) vs Eternal bliss. Rather than heaven or hell, they are actuall two types of what hell might be like because they are both extreme. In fact, this is not exactly a new idea about a "heaven" which turns out to be "the other place"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Nice_Place_to_Visit
18  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Do you believe that many or some are TOTALLY Depraved? on: January 26, 2017, 08:46:15 am
To me it's not a question of whether an afterlife is possible, but whether it is possible
to achieve immortality in this life is. They seem like two sides to the same coin.
What I am talking about is stopping and even reversing the aging process. Who
would want to live forever in the body of a 122 year old?
I don't mean reversing it to the age of a child, but just to have a strong healthy energetic
body, which even a 70 year old could have.

Why say eternal life is possible after death and not say it is equally possible to live forever in the life of this world (and universe(s))?  Both seem equally plausible?

I am not saying I want to live forever, because if I could live another 1,000 or 2,000 years that may be enough, I may experience all that there is to experience or at least all that I want to experience. Since, many want to live forever in some afterlife, why not have that same desire to never die? Many believe that their eventual death is 100%, but not everybody does.
19  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Do you believe that many or some are TOTALLY Depraved? on: January 26, 2017, 08:38:03 am
Everyone has good and bad tendencies... but the CORE ESSENCE of each person is Good.
Actually, that may all be true.
20  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Do you believe that many or some are TOTALLY Depraved? on: January 25, 2017, 08:56:18 pm
If there is no Creator, no afterlife, no conscious supra-human construct, all these questions are rather academic, no? Human dignity or morality is a mere invention at that point.
Well, I would say that these are fairly subjective, although I know that Sam Harris has argued for a morality based on science.
21  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Do you believe that many or some are TOTALLY Depraved? on: January 25, 2017, 08:54:29 pm
It is hard to argue with your point about there not being hard evidence that there is an afterlife.  Having said that, what hard evidence is there that there is not an afterlife?
I don't have anything original on that. It's mostly based on the question of whether the absence of evidence is evidence for absence. My thinking is based on how difficult it would be to conceptualize such an existence. Also, based on conventional theories that an afterlife would likely be an eternal existence, although something like reincarnation might be a long series of non eternal lives however.
If I try to conceptualize existing as an eternal life form, it would have to be more like a hologram that can't be damaged, because if I exist in a body, what would there be to protect that body forever.
22  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Do you believe that many or some are TOTALLY Depraved? on: January 25, 2017, 08:28:12 pm
on second thought I would like to revise the op. Too much hyperbole. There is some truth in it, but really my perception is often a little distorted as I was focusing too much on certain people who tend to get under my skin on occasion

My negative emotions on religion also may be clouding my objectivity, but I do think that there are good reasons to oppose certain aspects of religion for purely logical non emotional reasons as well.
23  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Mary Tyler Moore dead at 80 on: January 25, 2017, 08:13:07 pm
Shouldn't be surprising since it is close to life expectancy. I didn't realize that she was 80 and to be honest I was a little surprised. The Mary Tyler Moore show is one of my favorites.

Interesting however that Betty White is still alive having just turned 95.
24  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Argue the opposite of your views - gay marriage edition on: January 25, 2017, 08:09:42 pm
by the way, I think it would be interesting to do one on slavery, but I doubt that there are many people here who favor slavery
25  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Argue the opposite of your views - gay marriage edition on: January 25, 2017, 08:08:14 pm
.. and I think that you could do an excellent job in conflict resolutions considering your willingness to be objective, open minded, and willing to see another point of view, all of which is not easy.
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