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    posted a message on Russia, the possibility they hacked the DNC, and the possibility they're next for an Iraq WMD situation
    wrt: the comparison to Iraqi WMD, that wasn't the CIA saying Iraq had WMD. That was the White House themselves. They'd actually gotten the info from an Iranian agent, Ahmed Chalabi. They trusted the Iranians more than the CIA, just as Trump trusts the Russians more than the CIA.
    And the CIA have even vindicated themselves on the whole Fidel Castro thing by finally taking him down through the classic "wait until he dies" approach. So their track record right now is actually looking pretty good. Smile

    Also, in all seriousness, with respect to what happened after the White House asserted that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, there is essentially zero chance of us "regime-changing" Russia. And there wouldn't be even if we had a Russia hawk in office instead of a quasi-Manchurian candidate (Muscovite candidate?). Russia, after all, definitely has weapons of mass destruction, of the "obliterate New York City from halfway around the world" sort, and it has them precisely to discourage this sort of thing. So given that a war is a virtual impossibility, I'm not sure what Mockingbird is asking about exactly when he raises the question of an "Iraq WMD situation".
    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on Is the future of the Democratic party purely cosmopolitan, being represented mostly by minorities and the professional class?
    Quote from combo player »
    Liberalism is losing appeal to capital in favour of fascism, what with Clinton's comical failure to secure the position the Democrats had given up most other politics for...
    Was it also losing appeal in 1980, 1984,1988, 2000 and 2004? Because all of those defeats except for 2000 were more decisive than this one. And was it gaining appeal again in 1992, 1996, 2004 and 2008? Because all of those victories were more decisive than this one too.

    Quote from combo player »
    ...and losing appeal to workers due to its insistence on punching leftwards.
    I hate to be the one to break it to you, dude, but mass hard-left sentiment in the working class does not exist. You are projecting, and you need to stop doing that if you want to understand what really happened. If "punching leftwards" were unappealing to workers, how the hell do you explain them preferring Donald J. Trump, who was more pugilistic by far than Clinton (or, for that matter, any other candidate in recent history)?

    Quote from combo player »
    Their main source of votes are urban professionals living in enclaves and people who view them as simply the lesser of two evils. Things are not going to go well for the Democratic Party if it doesn't get its ***** together as serious opposition and given that liberalism is incapable of fighting and prefers fascism over leftism I would say that the prospects are grim.
    Bluntly: communists make it something of a habit to try predicting the future through socioeconomics, but if they were any good at it the world would look very different than it does. Do try to keep that success rate in mind when evaluating the predictive power of your dogma.

    Quote from osieorb18 »
    I don't think the Democratic party has ever been what I would call a "champion of capital." That's more of the Republicans' realm.
    Nah, by his standards they are. When he says that he's just complaining that neither party is much interested in militantly seizing the means of production.
    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on Is the future of the Democratic party purely cosmopolitan, being represented mostly by minorities and the professional class?
    Quote from combo player »
    The Democratic Party is facing more than simply adversity, it's facing a struggle for what it should even represent.
    I think it's more clear than ever what it represents. It lost an election, not an electorate.

    Quote from combo player »
    I'm not convinced that trying to take over the Democratic Party is worth it, not the least because the DNC is the party, so we're more likely to see something new instead.
    Here you appear to be conflating what you think is right with what you think is likely.
    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on US Election Day and results thread 2016
    Quote from warghoul »
    Stopped them from staling an underwater drone to...
    China reliably does something like this whenever an American president takes office, to test his resolve or show strength or some such dick-measuring nonsense. In 2009, they surrounded USNS Impeccable in international waters and tried to grab its towed listening array. In 2001, they sent fighters to buzz an EP-3 resulting in a midair collision and a major diplomatic incident. It's their way of saying "hello, new guy".
    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on Is the future of the Democratic party purely cosmopolitan, being represented mostly by minorities and the professional class?
    Quote from Pigglebee »
    Most Americans agree more with Democratic policies, even the ones who vote GOP (when you do not say which policy belongs to which party).
    You can write those sorts of studies to show that most Americans agree with Democratic policies and you can write them to show that most Americans agree with Republican policies. "This bill would financially assist parents in sending their kids to the school of their choice - agree or disagree?" "This bill would redirect funds from already-struggling public schools to affluent private schools - agree or disagree?" So how many Americans actually agree with school voucher systems? Depends on how you phrase the question. The real answer, of course, is that a lot of Americans don't pay that much attention and don't have an opinion until you ask them, and that both parties have policies which are well-intentioned and sound good to an undecided person when put to them sympathetically.

    One observation I can make is that Americans tend to support Republican policies in the abstract and Democratic policies when they directly benefit. A.k.a. the "Slash government spending, but don't you dare touch my Social Security!" phenomenon.
    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on US Election Day and results thread 2016
    There's a difference between an audit and a recount. Audits are performed regularly. They're little random spot-checks aimed at spotting error or malfeasance through statistical anomalies. What you're talking about is a recount, which is an extraordinary and comprehensive process that takes a lot of time, effort, and money.
    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on US Election Day and results thread 2016
    Quote from Kahedron »
    The rest of the article can be found here if any one is interested in seeing what else we either rely on now or are very likely to rely on in the future got broken but I have snipped out the relevant bit to the thread.

    I have to admit that I am concerned that Halderman believes that his undergraduates would have been able to alter the results of the election. And whilst we haven't yet been able to difinetively prove that the election was hacked the old adage abscence of proof is not the same as proof of abscence.

    If I were a US citizen I would be petioning my State represnentatives, congress person and senators to get the minimum standards of security on these machines increased. Forget about voter registration this is potentially a far bigger cause of election fraud.
    I hate to say it, but this isn't news. Cybersecurity experts have been saying "Use paper, stupid!" for years.

    And many districts do. Including many of the districts that unexpectedly flipped red on Election Day. So while this is a very serious potential avenue of attack, I honestly don't think anything like it happened this year.
    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on SJW - Just A Pejoritive
    Quote from Tiax »
    If your criteria for rejecting them is that they are hate, why even ask for the studies in the first place? You knew they were hate from their conclusions.
    The conclusions would mean something different if they had come out of a reputable research institution. If Harvard or wherever publishes conclusions like this, you can't just shout "hate" and reject them offhand -- you have to take them reasonably seriously. Of course, Harvard or wherever doesn't publish conclusions like this, and that's why we don't take such ideas seriously. (Although it must be said that this trust of the research community is only valid if we know they're looking into these questions and coming up with negative results, rather than rejecting the questions on principle *cough*larrysummers*cough*)

    There are some differences between the races that are well documented with solid research, like the prevalence in people of African descent of the gene causing sickle-cell anemia (while protecting from malaria). If Person A tells me that black people are genetically more likely to get sickle-cell, and Person B tells me that black people are genetically more likely to get, say, Down syndrome, I can ask to see the studies. When Person A links me to the work of E. A. Beet and J. V. Neel in the British Journal of Haematology, and Person B links me to something in The Racist Pseudo-Journal of White Supremacy, I can tell pretty quickly that the sickle-cell thing is serious and the Down syndrome thing is bull*****.
    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on US Election Day and results thread 2016
    Quote from YamahaR1 »
    My reference to MTGS is because its not really that different. There's a long list of things (or views) you dare not express because you know exactly whats going to happen (say, immigration, abortion or... CLIMATE CHANGE ROFL!) Its either going to be the racist bat, the bigot stick or the dunce hat. And once anyone retaining the last of conservative views is gone, what's left? A group of people just nodding in agreement - like an echo chamber. How much is really achieved?

    Not to state the obvious, but this is the Debate section. Your views on immigration, abortion, and climate change are going to be challenged here, because that's the point. Everyone's views are challenged here. Does being challenged make you feel unwelcome? Would you rather we all just smile and accept your viewpoint uncritically? Do you think you might go find other forums where people will do that? Because if so, guess what: you're not condemning an echo chamber, you're looking for one.
    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on Is the future of the Democratic party purely cosmopolitan, being represented mostly by minorities and the professional class?
    Quote from Verbal »
    I mean the US should absolutely have mandatory voting.
    Voting is a right, not a responsibility.

    Quote from Verbal »
    But way, way more than that it needs to reform its voting laws so you don't have to vote on a ******* tuesday, because seriously what the hell is that. (I mean I know why but it does tend to disenfranchise people). Failing that, a national public holiday every four years.
    Every year, actually. We do have elections in off-years.

    Quote from Verbal »
    You need to take districting out of the hands of partisans and into the hands of sane people like, oh, most countries...
    Yes.

    Quote from Verbal »
    ...and you need to get rid of the absurdity that is the electoral college.
    Which part of the electoral college? Because one of the most important parts we've already gotten rid of. It was the part where the college was a deliberative body not beholden to the votes of the electorate, in a measure intended to protect the country from populist demagogues. A lot of people wish we still had that part right now.

    Quote from Verbal »
    And, for preference, the states existing because I'd be willing to bet it is grossly ineffecient.
    *spit-take* I'd take you up on that bet in a hot minute. Name one modern country of any size that doesn't use some sort of regional government set-up. Hell, most of them (including yours) are federal systems modeled to a greater or lesser extent on the United States. History is unequivocal on this point: overcentralization is what's grossly inefficient.
    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on US Election Day and results thread 2016
    Quote from YamahaR1 »
    I believe social media, mainstream media, television and the internet do a very good job of silencing opinions they don't like. This leads people to believe that everyone (the overwhelming majority) thinks the same - that everyone is on the same page. On the night of the election, you could see just how shocked every news anchor (and comedians like Trevor Noah) were.
    First of all, the way the social media echo chamber actually works seems to be a little different than you might think.

    Now, sure, some people were shocked on Nov. 8 because of the echo chamber. The Huffington Post projected a Clinton win with 99% confidence -- that was clearly bull. But some people were shocked because the result was legitimately shocking. Polling data are not an echo chamber, and they really did favor Clinton from beginning to end. Trump himself has said that he went into Election Day expecting to lose. And, of course, Trump did lose the popular vote; the polls weren't that far from wrong.

    Were there people out there who were confident Trump would win? Oh yes. The Huffington Post may have given Clinton 99% odds, but I also saw Trump supporters projecting that he would be the first candidate to sweep all fifty states. They could only be so confident by being in their own echo chamber: one which insulated them from the data or told them to ignore them. This echo chamber also had to downplay Trump's naked self-interest, his utter contempt for facts, and his myriad failings as a human being while at the same time spinning Hillary Clinton into a criminal mastermind on the basis of no evidence whatsoever. So considering one echo chamber elected a man totally unfit for the White House, while the other chamber merely thought that guy would lose, no points for guessing which one I'm more concerned about right now.
    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on Is the future of the Democratic party purely cosmopolitan, being represented mostly by minorities and the professional class?
    Quote from Teysa_Karlov »
    Doing what you propose would allow gerrymandering to do even more damage than it already does. Look at North Carolina. Basically whatever party is in power during the census would make it nearly impossible for the other side to win.
    I think that's going to vary from state to state. I live in Nebraska, one of the two states that splits its vote, and we don't have gerrymandered districts. Maybe because we only have three of them. But regardless, in the run-up to Election Day FiveThirtyEight had the NE-2 projected as the most competitive single electoral vote in the country. (Trump ultimately won by about 9,000 votes.) So it can work.

    But what you really want is a rule tying the electoral vote directly to the proportion of the statewide popular vote.
    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on New evidence uncovered by the Washington Post puts scary new spin on the "Fake News" Crisis -- It really was Russia all along
    Quote from Typho0nn »
    Do you have an email or money trail?
    Yes, an electronic trail consisting of IP addresses and Bit.ly accounts. Now, do you have an email or money trail for a 9/11 conspiracy? No. Do you have any evidence for such a conspiracy remotely equivalent to the evidence presented here for the Russian hack? No. So why do you believe in a 9/11 conspiracy? And don't try to give me the "not relevant" brushoff, because what constitutes evidence is very relevant. Tell me exactly why you are demanding a standard of proof to which you do not hold yourself.

    Quote from Typho0nn »
    "FBI Agrees with CIA Assessment That Russia Wanted to Help Trump" LOL ok, Russia wanting to help Trump =/= evidence for Russian Government hacking or paying hacking group.
    I wasn't posting that as evidence of the Russia hack. I was posting that as evidence that you had made a patently false statement about the FBI's findings. At least have the decency to own your mistake.

    Quote from Typho0nn »
    ...A strange reversal for an organization supposedly dedicated to freedom of information, don't you think?

    Still not relevant to this case.
    Impeaches credibility and establishes motive.

    Quote from Typho0nn »
    Because him saying he is not working for Russia would happen either way, it does not constitute evidence either way. Something is only evidence if it would not happen any other way.


    Still not evidence of the Russians doing it.
    Nor is it evidence of the Russians not doing it. You claimed that it was. That was incorrect.

    Quote from Typho0nn »
    You setting them does not mean I have to answer. We are looking for evidence of Russian Hacking or support.
    You: Why are we talking about Russian hacking? The content of the emails is what matters!
    Me: Okay, show me evidence of a crime in the emails.
    You: ... Why are we talking about the content of the emails? The Russian hacking is what matters!

    Quote from Typho0nn »
    “Our primary targets are those highly oppressive regimes in China, Russia and Central Eurasia, but we also expect to be of assistance to those in the West who wish to reveal illegal or immoral behavior in their own governments and corporations.” -- Julian Assange, 2006 (source 1 source 2)

    " but we also expect to be of assistance to those in the West who wish to reveal illegal or immoral behavior in their own governments and corporations" Even if they haven't published anything, still not proof of Russian Hacking or Support.
    Is the highly oppressive regime in Russia a "primary target" of Wikileaks? Obviously not. Assange did not tell the truth here.

    Quote from Typho0nn »
    ...and not to belabor the point, but Russia kills journalists.

    Evidence?
    Are you freaking kidding me?

    Quote from Typho0nn »
    Evidence?

    Hillary overthrowing Gaddafi https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fgcd1ghag5Y
    Me: Show me evidence of the U.S. interfering in a foreign election.
    You: Here's eleven seconds of Hillary Clinton discussing the rebellion against a man who never stood for an election in his life, and rolling her eyes at the suggestion that she was involved.

    Quote from Typho0nn »
    With or without the emails, Russia is still allowed to publish news against the USA illegal actions, which bias Journalists/editors seem to be missing out on.
    So wait, the emails don't matter all of a sudden?

    Quote from Typho0nn »
    They are saying the news is 'fake' without reason.
    When articles report fabricated and factually incorrect information, that's pretty good reason to call it "fake". And we're not talking about fake news, anyway.

    Quote from Typho0nn »
    I'm just going to give my closing statement.
    *sigh* If only...
    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on Star Wars: Rogue One
    Quote from willdice »
    That's true, but there was another way to do it.
    Namely, what they did with Mon Mothma - just take two actors who look enough like Peter Cushing and young Carrie Fisher, and film them normally, maybe with heavy make up or prosthetics for Tarkin, but no CGI. Done!
    They did that at the end of Revenge of the Sith, you might remember. That didn't look great either. With Mon Mothma, they happened to luck out and find a dead ringer for Caroline Blakiston.

    Of course, we've got young Han Solo and Lando Calrissian coming up.
    Posted in: Movies
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    posted a message on New evidence uncovered by the Washington Post puts scary new spin on the "Fake News" Crisis -- It really was Russia all along
    Quote from Typho0nn »
    -There is no evidence, but 'magic' connecting WORDS that claim the Russians Hacked.
    Words and numbers. As in, lines of computer code and IP addresses. For the third time: that's more than you have ever had in support of any of your pet theories.

    Quote from Typho0nn »
    -FBI, Ron Paul, Julian Assange have said it is NOT the Russians.
    Assange wouldn't tell us if it were.

    Ron Paul is an unconnected third party whose opinion is meaningless.

    And the FBI said in no uncertain terms that it was the Russians -- you're just flat-out misrepresenting the truth there.
    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on New evidence uncovered by the Washington Post puts scary new spin on the "Fake News" Crisis -- It really was Russia all along
    Quote from Typho0nn »
    Not relevant to this exposure of Hillary's emails. Maybe nobody from China or Russia, has come forward.
    Oh, but they have. Just not on Wikileaks. You may recall the Panama Papers this year? The largest leak of anything ever in history? Among lots and lots of other stuff, it included damaging information about the finances of a close friend of Vladimir Putin's -- just how did a freaking cellist get his hands on billions of dollars? Now, Wikileaks was not responsible for publishing the Panama papers. According to the leaker, he attempted to contact Wikileaks multiple times with his information but they never got back to him. Furthermore, when the Panama Papers were published through another outlet, Wikileaks was critical of them, calling them an "attack on Putin" funded by the U.S. government (even though the government only funded the OCCRP, just one out of the many news groups reporting on the leak, which also included Russian papers Vedomoya and Novaya Gazeta, and the leaks also embarrassed many Westerners, bringing down the government of Iceland). A strange reversal for an organization supposedly dedicated to freedom of information, don't you think?

    All this was in the New York Times article you were bashing, by the way.

    Quote from Typho0nn »
    Is he working for Russia, that is yet to be proven. You calling it the truth means nothing.
    There are two possibilities: he is working for Russia or he isn't.

    If he is not working for Russia, he is going to say he is not working for Russia.
    If he is working for Russia, he is still going to say he is not working for Russia.

    Because him saying he is not working for Russia would happen either way, it does not constitute evidence either way. Something is only evidence if it would not happen any other way.

    Quote from Typho0nn »
    Hillary's emails from Wikileaks...
    Of which I still have yet to see you cite a single word of incriminating evidence. Which, again, has been the goalpost I set for you all along.

    Quote from Typho0nn »
    Fancy Bear and Cozy Bear are Russian.

    Still not the Russian Government.
    (a) Now who's moving the goalposts? (b) Yes, they actually are; that's what the "Bear" means.

    Quote from Typho0nn »
    If you had evidence for a 9/11 conspiracy as solid as documented tactics, tools, server addresses, and online accounts used in the attack that are distinctive to a covert operations group known to be sponsored by the U.S. government and act in its interests, you would be shouting it from the rooftops.

    So you believe this one with its 'evidence', yet disbelieve 9/11 with its evidence?
    Reading comprehension, dude. "If you had evidence for a 9/11 conspiracy as solid as [this] = you don't have evidence for a 9/11 conspiracy as solid as this. You believe in that conspiracy on the basis of no admissions of guilt, no paper trail, no evidence of any of the sort that you're demanding here. Your bar for evidence is, in fact, absurdly low for it. But when it comes to Russian hacking, this for some reason you don't want to believe, so the bar suddenly becomes absurdly high, and all the real and demonstrable links to Russian agents -- the sort of links you do not have for 9/11 -- are just "speculation". Be consistent. Set the bar at the same standard for both cases.

    Quote from Typho0nn »
    What promise?
    Our primary targets are those highly oppressive regimes in China, Russia and Central Eurasia, but we also expect to be of assistance to those in the West who wish to reveal illegal or immoral behavior in their own governments and corporations.” -- Julian Assange, 2006 (source 1 source 2)

    Quote from Typho0nn »
    Assange COULD just be going for a candidate that might pardon him. These Secrets don't matter to this case, he might have a bias in those that want to help him live.
    ...and not to belabor the point, but Russia kills journalists.

    Quote from Typho0nn »
    Their belief is not proof.
    Words for you to live by.

    Quote from Typho0nn »
    I supported Trump cause I thought he was the most peaceful candidate that wanted to work with Russia to help defeat ISIS. Hillary wants to go to war with Russia and Take out President Assad.
    Do me a favor: google "Trump China Taiwan". Then try to tell me Trump is peaceful.

    Quote from Typho0nn »
    The US is interfering in other countries elections.
    Evidence?

    Quote from Typho0nn »
    Maybe Russia was maybe it wasn't but it was still using free speech, which is part of the US constitution.
    Accessing private email servers is not protected by the U.S. Constitution. If I hacked into your emails and published them online, I would be criminally liable. Notwithstanding that, it's a bit rich of you to praise Russia for exercising freedom of speech when that is a freedom the Russian government has been strangling to death domestically. Siding with Russia against the United States in this is siding with a nation that has one of the most extensive state-controlled media systems in the world against a nation that has enshrined journalistic independence as its literal first political ideal. Which, again, is why it's so bizarre that Wikileaks and Assange have decided to do exactly that.

    Quote from Typho0nn »
    The opposing side should have used arguments to try and defeat them, but now they are silencing them and just calling them 'fake' without reason. The emails are real!!!
    Nobody here is saying the emails are fake.
    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on Deadpool's Unicorn
    Spam thread locked.
    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on Star Wars: Rogue One
    Good movie. Some disjointed plot points, maybe could use a little more character development for the supporting cast, but it ends very strong. The first Star Wars movie that's really been a war movie. Recalls the classic WW2 commando films especially (and very deliberately, of course).

    • Vader should not have appeared in the middle of the film. His appearance at the end would have had more impact if it's the first we see of him. That said, Vader's discussion with Krennic confirming that he's kind of "meh" on the Death Star is some nice attention to character detail. That's his attitude in A New Hope, but a lot of writers would have just written him as being pro-Death-Star because it's easier. The Death Star is Tarkin's baby.
    • The CGI Tarkin and Leia weren't perfect, but you kind of had to have them. Tarkin especially. Like I said, the Death Star is his baby.
    • Did anyone else think that the Vader costume didn't fit the actor right? The mask looked loose around the neck to me.
    • R2-D2 and C-3PO don't make sense showing up where they do. They're at the rebel base when the fleet has already left? How are they on the Tantive IV in ANH?
    • But overall, in sharp contrast to the prequel trilogy, this movie actually feels like it makes sense leading into ANH. I didn't catch a line or bit of character knowledge that's out of place. The one thing I can think if is how many people saw the Death Star in action. Almost all of them die, but it's now canonical that Leia has seen it prior to the events of ANH, so maybe the destruction of Alderaan scene is changed in significance somewhat.
    Posted in: Movies
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    posted a message on libertarianism.
    Quote from Highroller »
    I'm rather confused about this talk of evolution. Should not evolution be responsible for all of human nature, whether it be our better nature or worse? Thus, shouldn't the capacity to be tribal, factional, and exclusionary also be argued as evolutionary?
    It definitely* is. But it's not the ethical part of our nature, any more than the shape of our eyes is ethical. "Ethics" is the label we've chosen for this one particular part of our nature.

    *Science is never definite.
    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on New evidence uncovered by the Washington Post puts scary new spin on the "Fake News" Crisis -- It really was Russia all along
    Quote from Typho0nn »
    Well neither 9/11 or Bill are reasons to discredit Assange on source of Hacked emails.
    Your logic is, "He didn't do it because he said he didn't do it."

    By that logic, Bill Clinton also didn't do it because he said he didn't do it.

    And the hypothetical 9/11 conspirators didn't do it because they said they didn't do it.

    If you think that Clinton did it, or that the 9/11 conspirators did it, you acknowledge the possibility that someone can do something even if they've said they didn't do it. Therefore, it is possible that Assange did it even though he's said he didn't do it. Therefore, Assange saying he didn't do it does not constitute evidence that he didn't do it.

    Quote from Typho0nn »
    This is why I am defending Assange because he has proven to be a reliable source while the Washington Post and other corporate media outlets have not(WoMD).
    Assange started WikiLeaks promising to focus on revealing the state secrets of authoritarian regimes like Russia and China.

    Where are those state secrets, exactly?

    Quote from Typho0nn »
    A little bit more than what?
    You said he has every reason not to lie because lying would ruin his record. If the truth is that he is working for Russia, telling the truth would ruin his record more than lying about it.

    Quote from Typho0nn »
    Do you have documents with a money trail or a sound recording or...
    Do you? For this, or literally anything you claim?

    Quote from Typho0nn »
    If it has been used before, it could have been easily copied from someone else to use to make it look like the Russians.
    Or it could have been the Russians.

    Quote from Typho0nn »
    Coming from a time zone does not mean anything, you can re-rout around the world.
    Or it could have been the Russians.

    Quote from Typho0nn »
    If it was them it is still not the Russians.
    In case you missed it somehow: Fancy Bear and Cozy Bear are Russian.

    Quote from Typho0nn »
    Someone can access it to if they used the same programs that these 2 groups have in the past.
    They didn't just use the same program, they used the same Bit.ly account.

    Quote from Typho0nn »
    These 3 arguments are nothing but speculation and no evidence.
    If you had evidence for a 9/11 conspiracy as solid as documented tactics, tools, server addresses, and online accounts used in the attack that are distinctive to a covert operations group known to be sponsored by the U.S. government and act in its interests, you would be shouting it from the rooftops.

    Quote from Typho0nn »
    It is not credible and there is no evidence, it is all speculation.
    If you're absolutely determined not to credit it, then I can't make you. But it is credible.

    Quote from Typho0nn »
    How is bill relevant to discrediting Assange?
    Parallel logic, like I showed above.

    Quote from Typho0nn »
    Was just using the same standards.
    You really weren't. I quipped that WikiLeaks is a big site because you hadn't directed me to anything in particular on that site. For that matter, you still haven't. (Complain all you like about moving the goalposts, but it's a bit rich when you haven't even passed the initial goalposts.) So when you say that the Times is a big site when I have directed you to a particular article... like I said, faceplant.

    Quote from Typho0nn »
    What evidence are you claiming that they have?
    They're chronicling Assange's public actions. All the evidence is out in the open, they're simply aggregating it to show that there's a pattern. Do you dispute any of what they say Assange has done, or that there's a pattern? I repeat: where are the promised state secrets from Russia and China?

    Quote from Typho0nn »
    They are even in support of Assange; "American officials say Mr. Assange and WikiLeaks probably have no direct ties to Russian intelligence services."
    They go on to explain how exactly they believe Assange is being used by Russian intelligence services. But that doesn't work as well for your position as an out-of-context quotation.
    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on libertarianism.
    Quote from nightwyrm »
    Evolutionary ethics is....difficult. Biological and social/cultural evolution can be quite different. For one, biological evolution does not "forecast". It is quite the anti-thesis to your outside-context sufficiently rational actor proposing an optimal solution.
    You can talk about the sufficiently rational actor in biological evolution too. Remember, he's not real, he's just a way of illustrating that the laws of nature are objective and work the same way for everyone. He's the guy mapping the optimization landscape. The guy who, for example, looks at the physics of fluid dynamics and says, "Well, then, an efficient wing should look like this." And biological wings tend to converge on that design. Not because the rational actor caused them to, but because they're responding through evolutionary pressures to the same natural laws that he is reasoning about.

    Quote from nightwyrm »
    Evolutionary processes cannot get you (or your society in this case) to your global optimal if you're currently stuck in a local optimal and you need to cross a valley of bad solutions which leaves you temporarily worse off then you currently are (I'm using global and local in terms of solution-space). Every step of the way needs to be better, or at least just as good, as the previous step and there's no leaping. If you're stuck in a local optimal, there has to be outside perturbation that jolts you out of the rut or the environment has to change in such a way as to create a path out of it. This is one of the reasons I'm somewhat skeptical of utopian societies that requires a period of severe societal disruption where everything is worse off for everybody until you get to something better on the other side. People will just not be willing to enter and endure that period of "badness". Cultural evolution might be able to "forecast" and "leap", but I'm not an expert in this aspect and I'm still somewhat skeptical due to my background.
    It's certainly possible in principle to "forecast" and "leap" because, after all, we are dealing with humans who are capable of doing that. We even do it for biological evolution, with the selective breeding of domesticated organisms and now their direct genetic modification. But you're right to be skeptical that it's a major driving force in social evolution. Most humans through most of history lived their lives without thinking too hard about the ethical constitution of their societies. When people do think about it and try to give it a total overhaul, they do not seem to have thought about it very well -- communist revolutions and utopian societies, as you note, diverge in outcome from intention pretty radically and painfully. Which of course is natural selection at work again.

    Those "revolutions" which can be chalked up as success stories, like the American one, are much more incremental in the changes they make, and so might be better analogized to biological evolution as mutations than leaps: they're trying out a nearby point on the optimization landscape to see if it's an improvement. Now, it can be said that unlike mutations these revolutions are intelligently directed. And yeah, they are. But given how badly the communists and utopians think about this stuff, it may not be wise to assume the incrementalists are thinking about it any better. A cynic could argue that revolutionaries push their societies in effectively random directions, and if some incremental revolutions are successful it's only because they're not trying to leap across an optimization chasm.

    Just some food for thought.

    Quote from nightwyrm »
    There is also no guarantee that evolution makes things better for a society's individuals. Evolution just tells us that traits that work out better than your competitor tends to be retained and get passed on to the next generation. It may be that societal traits of liberal democracy is currently more competitive, but if the environment changes in such a way to favour authoritarian regimes then that is what will survive and spread. Drones in a beehive lives a pretty crappy life, all considering, but bees are one of the most successful insect species. Evolution is amoral in that sense. Whenever I see evolution being used as if it was some sort of universal force that promotes the well-being of everybody, it really annoys me.
    Sure. But the empirical evidence is that liberal democracy is more competitive than authoritarianism. And I don't think that's just a happy accident of the current environment. Humans aren't bees. Individuals are highly intelligent and autonomous, actively pursuing their personal desires for well-being. When a system doesn't let them do what they want, they resist. This fact in and of itself constitutes a selection pressure in favor of freedom and individual dignity, and it's not going to change as long as humans are humans.

    Quote from nightwyrm »
    Now, our ethics is certainly a product of evolution and a solution reached by game theory. We have a strong incentive to cooperate with our in-group and we have evolved mechanisms which tells us to punish members of our in-group which refuses to cooperate. But there is also strong evolutionary incentive to poorly treat an out-group with whom we do not come into contact regularly. What worries me a lot is that it seems the world is currently moving in a direction where in-groups and out-groups are becoming very strongly defined.
    I see the general trend as in-groups enlarging, and in-group/out-group divides breaking down. With travel and mass media there are fewer and fewer out-groups with whom we do not come into contact regularly. I'm not going to pretend the current resurgence of populist nationalism in America and Europe isn't troubling, but it's also a flash in the pan historically speaking. Get back to me in a half-century or so, but right now I'm far from convinced that it constitutes a reversal of the liberalizing trend.
    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on libertarianism.
    Quote from Typho0nn »
    I was providing examples of how societies that looked after well-being tend to fail, using examples of different scale. (It was a counter argument, not that you should even need to be told how to argue)

    Alright... and how do these relate to; "Cultures with norms that promote their members' well-being tend to survive and expand; cultures with other norms tend to collapse and disappear." How are they doing better from "Human rights" and "moral sense" and expanding. I can't see how you have argued that these things are allowing to survive and expand. Rights are constantly violated when expansion is needed. Government will forcefully buy out any property for expansion as in China and has happened here in Adelaide with the Southern Express way/Port rd expansion.
    You are simply not talking about what I'm talking about. You're echoing my words without understanding what they refer to. And to be blunt, I'm not interested in trying to teach evolutionary ethics to someone who's going to fight me every step of the way. So let this one go. If you're truly interested in the topic, you can start by reading Leviathan and The Origin of Species, then maybe a modern synthesis like Darwin's Dangerous Idea or The Better Angels of Our Nature.
    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on New evidence uncovered by the Washington Post puts scary new spin on the "Fake News" Crisis -- It really was Russia all along
    Quote from Typho0nn »
    So Bill has admitted guilt and confessed. Julian has denied the claims. Innocent till proven guilty... GrrrAAAAAH Can you see the difference?
    Has anybody that you believe was responsible for the 9/11 attacks admitted guilt and confessed? Or does "innocent until proven guilty" only apply to the people you want to be innocent?

    Quote from Typho0nn »
    Julian has 100% accuracy rating with Wikileaks, he has every reason not to lie to maintain his record.
    If Assange admits he is a catspaw for Russian intelligence, don't you think that would ruin his record just a little bit more? Nobody's going to say, "Oh, this person we thought was an independent crusader for freedom of information is actually a Kremlin spy, but at least he's honest about it! What a great guy!" (Oh, and the Russians probably won't be happy he outed their operation either. And remember, the Russians kill journalists.)

    Quote from Typho0nn »
    Even when independently verified the likes of the WP has claimed, they still give no evidence or names.
    It's probable that they don't know the names of the individual hackers, any more than you know my name or I yours. But they do have the name of the groups -- "Fancy Bear" and "Cozy Bear" -- and the evidence consists of the classic triad of means, motive, and opportunity.

    Means: The DNC hack was performed by the same malware code, written by a Russian-speaker in the Moscow time zone, used by Fancy Bear in previous attacks, and it sent information back to the same server. The Podesta hack was performed with the same Bit.ly spearphishing tactic used by Cozy Bear in previous attacks.
    Motive: Fancy Bear and Cozy Bear's attacks have consistently targeted enemies of the Russian state, and this attack against a presidential candidate who is resistant to Russia's neo-imperialist interests and whom Putin seems personally to dislike is no exception.
    Opportunity: We can see the malware in the DNC's servers that have Fancy Bear access to them. We can see the very spearphishing email that was sent to Podesta, and the email from his tech support accidentally telling him it was "legitimate". We know he clicked the link, giving Cozy Bear the opportunity to access his emails. We know they were in there.

    Quote from Typho0nn »
    Doesn't an argument still stand if it is not disproven?
    No. You yourself say why:

    Quote from Typho0nn »
    And if you can't prove an argument, then it's not an argument.
    Yes, basically. Arguments require credible evidence. Which we have.

    So to sum up, if an argument cannot be "proven" (more precisely, "supported with evidence"), it doesn't need to be disproven or discredited. It doesn't have any proof or credit to begin with.

    Quote from Typho0nn »
    You have done the same with the Bill argument.
    How?

    Quote from Typho0nn »
    And Lithl had done the same with the "It's an extremely biased right-wing rag with "institutional racism," to quote one of their own reporters." argument. Why did you not correct him?
    I'm not debating with Lithl. I'm debating with you. If I corrected every logical fallacy on this site, I'd be working full time at it. But for the record, yes, Lithl's statement does not constitute discreditation. So you shouldn't do what he did.

    Quote from Typho0nn »
    I think we need to set up some standards in order to continue this debate. One argument works for your side, but when I use the same tactic it is not viable. this is **goal posts moving**
    Even if your accusation is true, it's not moving the goalposts, it's a double standard again. Please, please, please have some idea what the terms you're using mean before you use them.

    Quote from Typho0nn »
    The Times is a big site, you are going to have to be more "specific" about which claims you want to be argued.
    Please stop trying to be clever by echoing me. You only ever faceplant. I didn't point you to the Times, I pointed you to a single article by the Times. If you can't read one article, that's on you.

    Quote from Typho0nn »
    And its not fake if its been Hacked!!! We should be more worried about the content of the hack rather than who did it, with the Clinton foundation fraud among other things.
    What Clinton foundation fraud? Where's your evidence for that? All the emails have been out in the open for a while now, and the FBI has certified that they've gone through them. If there were evidence that the Clinton Foundation was engaging in fraud, well, that's a crime, and they should have indicted her. So I want to see a specific document where Clinton admits to criminal behavior. Or else -- by your own standard -- she is innocent until proven guilty.
    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on New evidence uncovered by the Washington Post puts scary new spin on the "Fake News" Crisis -- It really was Russia all along
    Quote from Typho0nn »
    People who are accused of wrongdoing tend to deny it.

    not disproof. Argument Still Stands.
    Ergo, Bill Clinton really did not have sex with Monica Lewinsky, I guess. Rolleyes

    Quote from Typho0nn »
    "His account cannot be independently verified."

    Not disproof.
    You asked for discreditation, and it is that. If a statement by someone who has every reason to lie cannot be independently verified, we cannot trust it -- i.e., we cannot credit it -- thus it is discredited. Maybe it's true, maybe it's false, but it's not proof of anything.

    Quote from Typho0nn »
    Your first 'source'
    "individuals with connections" connections is not proof....

    Second source
    "believe are spies..." belief is not proof.
    Do you notice how, for your arguments, you're saying the argument stands if it is not disproven, but for my arguments, you're saying the argument fails if it is not proven? That's called a "double standard". By your own standard for yourself, we should believe my sources, because you have not disproven their claims. And by your own standard for me, we should not believe your sources, because you have not proven their claims. Either way, you lose.

    Quote from Typho0nn »
    Third 'source' NY times, has been supporting WOMD lies. It is bias.
    Now, this is an actual ad hominem argument. You are using discredit a claim based on a(n alleged) fact about the source that is not relevant to the claim. Is any claim the Times makes about Assange untrue? If so, which ones, and what's your evidence that they're untrue?
    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on libertarianism.
    Quote from Typho0nn »
    I wasn't saying you were talking about socialism, I was saying you didn't add any references or examples. You just blanketed. I was giving some examples of where the 'well-being' of people was looked after in the terms of socialism and communism and had failed. But could you add some references or examples to your 'argument'/statement.

    Facepalm Me, two posts before what you quoted, because you didn't read the thread for context like I told you to (not that you should even need to be told): "I will say that we do have some instinctive recognition for human rights in the form of our moral sense, because evolution has been chugging away at this same problem for millions of years."

    A little bit earlier: "Give Hobbes and Locke another look -- especially Hobbes. Rights aren't just any old social contract; they are the optimizing contract. Think of human society as a math problem and rights as the solution."

    You think I may have been talking about human rights, perhaps? "Life, liberty, and property" and all that?
    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on New evidence uncovered by the Washington Post puts scary new spin on the "Fake News" Crisis -- It really was Russia all along
    Quote from Grant »
    I wonder whether the (accredited by a non-partisan organisation and required to be transparent with regard to sources) fact-checking organisations will now be accused of bias.
    "Will they be accused of bias?" Does a bear crap in the woods? Is the Pope reptiloid?

    But I'm more concerned with what effect they think a nannying little message like "Before you share this story, you might want to know that independent fact-checkers disputed its accuracy" is going to have. That tone is only going to piss off people predisposed to believe the story.
    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on New evidence uncovered by the Washington Post puts scary new spin on the "Fake News" Crisis -- It really was Russia all along
    Quote from Typho0nn »
    I edited it above, but lets go with Julian Assnage himself saying it was not the Russians.
    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/world-news/julian-assange-russian-government-not-source-of-leaked-dnc-and-podesta-emails-wikileaks-editor-contradicts-cia-claims-in-new-interview-35300175.html

    It seems like other people are discrediting whole sights, via "Right-wing bias", instead of going into a specific article and discrediting that.

    Maybe you want to go back on this one and discredit it specifically: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4034038/Ex-British-ambassador-WikiLeaks-operative-claims-Russia-did-NOT-provide-Clinton-emails-handed-D-C-park-intermediary-disgusted-Democratic-insiders.html
    People who are accused of wrongdoing tend to deny it. Bill Clinton said he did not have sexual relations with that woman. Does that mean he didn't? Of course not. We shouldn't believe someone didn't do something just because they say so. We need to look at all the other evidence surrounding the case to get a truthful picture of what happened. And your Daily Mail article contains those magic words of journalism: "His account cannot be independently verified."

    Now, what can be independently verified, and has been, is that the DNC was hacked by two known Kremlin-backed hacking groups (source) and Podesta was also spearphished by one of those groups (source). It's still theoretically possible given what we know that the Russians got in but didn't do anything, and then WikiLeaks got access to the same information by other means. But it sure seems like a suspicious coincidence. Especially given Julian Assange's troubling pattern of pro-Russian behavior (source).
    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on libertarianism.
    Quote from Typho0nn »
    Cultures that promote their members well-being, through communism or socialism tend to collapse, or many deaths involved. Look at USSR, Venezuela, Nazi-Germany, Mao China. The freer the culture the better they tend to expand and survive and improvements in overall quality of life; USA, Australia, S Korea, Today China. You have no reference or examples... for your 'argument'.
    You have no idea what my "argument" even was. Read the thread for context. I was not talking about socialism.
    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on New evidence uncovered by the Washington Post puts scary new spin on the "Fake News" Crisis -- It really was Russia all along
    Quote from Typho0nn »
    I want to 'debate' "specifically" how he is going to discredit it. :S
    There's nothing I even need to discredit until you show me some specific documents that you can claim provide evidence for your hypotheses. Just saying "Wikileaks" doesn't prove anything. And it's not my job to go through all ten-million-plus documents on the site and try to guess which ones, if any, you're thinking about.
    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on New evidence uncovered by the Washington Post puts scary new spin on the "Fake News" Crisis -- It really was Russia all along
    Quote from Typho0nn »
    Alright lets do it again, start with discrediting Wikileaks, in a reasonable way, instead of saying all my sources are "crap".
    What in particular would you like to discuss about Wikileaks? It's a big site.
    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on libertarianism.
    Quote from Stairc »
    Yep. Evolution's got to do at least some of it, because any species with a murder rate higher than its birth rate is going to do pretty poorly in the Darwin sweepstakes.
    And there's social evolution as well as biological evolution. Cultures with norms that promote their members' well-being tend to survive and expand; cultures with other norms tend to collapse and disappear.
    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on New evidence uncovered by the Washington Post puts scary new spin on the "Fake News" Crisis -- It really was Russia all along
    Quote from Typho0nn »
    "for lack of a better term..." this is sarcastic and degradation, if you want to debate please keep it civil. You are just trying to pass it off as crap.
    It is crap. We've done this dance before, remember? Every time you've cited a source on any topic, one of two things has been true: either (a) it has been blatantly pushing a particular narrative (i.e. biased) and filled with lies and omissions; or (b) it has been a decent source that you did not understand because you were reading it through the filter of your own commitment to a particular narrative (i.e. bias). If you wish, I can go back and find examples of both of these issues occurring, and of myself and others identifying and explaining them to you. So when I say that the information you prefer to work with is overwhelmingly bad information, it is with the weight of evidence and experience. And I am under no obligation to give deference to bad information. Stop complaining that I'm being mean to you and start asking yourself whether you might, in fact, have a problem. You say you're a skeptic, but real skepticism starts with the self.
    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on libertarianism.
    Quote from nightwyrm »
    Ah...I see the disagreement here. You meant the rational actor as the outside context entity solving the problem. I had read that as part of Hobbe's "men are reasonable and rational" assumption which seemed to me to be part of the word problem in the same way as "You want to shoot a cow out of a cannon over the wall. Just to make the problem tractable, we'll assume the cow is a frictionless sphere."
    Hobbes emphatically does not make that assumption. Hobbes thinks people are terrible. That's part of the problem.

    Quote from nightwyrm »
    It seems I may have used the wrong term in my first post. Perhaps social construct would be better? The point I was trying to make was that rights are an idea and something that only exists and affects the world only insofar as both parties agree it exists and should affect a person's behaviour, but some people seems to treat it as something tangible, instinctively recognizable and respected by all, the same way I would respect the claws on a tiger.
    Fair enough. I will say that we do have some instinctive recognition for human rights in the form of our moral sense, because evolution has been chugging away at this same problem for millions of years. But it's lacking in detail, and easily overridden by other concerns.
    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on libertarianism.
    Are really counting revolutions and insurrections that came from refusing to pay?
    Such as that one in 1776?
    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on libertarianism.
    Quote from VidarThor »
    Oh I am sorry, I did not know the american goverment consisted of one singular man during the nixon days, I missed that memo.
    Really? You're doubling down on this? If the American government had decided that it was legal for men working for the president to break into the premises of and surveil political opponents, then there would have been nothing wrong with what Nixon did?

    Quote from nightwyrm »
    Going about yelling that your optimal solution to an idealized math problem is being violated sounds a lot less catchy...
    That's how the sausage is made.

    Quote from nightwyrm »
    And I somewhat question the universal applicability of an optimal solution to a problem that assumes spherical, frictionless cows (sufficiently intelligent rational actors).
    Sufficiently intelligent rational actors aren't part of the problem or the solution. They're a philosophical fiction used to illustrate that the solution objectively exists. The solution for x2 - 2x + 1 = 0 is x = 1. Any sufficiently intelligent rational actor is going to come to that solution. But the take-home point is that, even if there are no sufficiently intelligent rational actors around, that's still the solution. If that problem comes up when you're trying to build a bridge or fly a plane or whatever, and you use a different value of x, you're not going to do very well. Reality -- nature -- is going to disagree with you. Hence "natural law".

    If you're skeptical about whether this concept applies to human society, fine. We can talk about that. But you're the one who first brought out the term "social contract", so it's important that you understand what that theory actually entails.
    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on New evidence uncovered by the Washington Post puts scary new spin on the "Fake News" Crisis -- It really was Russia all along
    Quote from Typho0nn »
    This is probably the most reasonable thing I have heard you say!!!
    Think on how it applies to you and your favored sources of what for lack of a better term I'll call "information".
    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on libertarianism.
    Quote from VidarThor »
    Because the goverment defines what is teft. ^—^
    I wouldn't commit to that argument if I were you. Makes it impossible by definition for a government to abuse power. See: Louis XIV, Richard Nixon.

    Quote from nightwyrm »
    Libertarians love to talk about rights, especially property rights, as some sort of magical, naturally existing thing. Rights are nothing more than a societal contract. If I'm alone on a deserted island with a man with a gun, I have no "rights".
    Common misunderstanding of social contract theory. Give Hobbes and Locke another look -- especially Hobbes. Rights aren't just any old social contract; they are the optimizing contract. Think of human society as a math problem and rights as the solution. Now, whether or not you want to say that solutions to math problems "naturally exist" is a bit of a semantic question. Certainly they don't possess material existence in the same way you and I do. But whatever you call it, they do have some sort of real and objective status beyond the arbitrary. As with other truths about nature, they are something to be discovered, rather than invented: you can't just guess an answer and expect it to be correct. It is for this reason that Hobbes calls his system "natural law". It is the social contract that a sufficiently intelligent rational actor would agree to, not necessarily the social contract that we do agree to -- just as the solution to a math problem is the one that a sufficiently intelligent rational actor would find, not necessarily what you scribble down in your homework.
    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on Debators of Debate: What are the top decks and formats you play?
    Not a debate. Moved to Magic General.
    Posted in: Magic General
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    posted a message on libertarianism.
    Quote from Kahedron »
    The Original European Pitcairn Islanders didn't really set out to have a colony beyond civilisation though. They had just committed mutiny and needed to find the deepest whole they could find so the British Navy wouldn't find them and hang them.

    If it was a planned colonisation one would hope that it was better planned and had a group of people with the skills needed to set up a new life instead of a bunch of desperate men and their unwilling captives.
    The difference between a civilization and, say, a business venture is that a civilization needs to encompass and to be able to handle all types of people.
    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on libertarianism.
    Quote from Stairc »
    Ignoring the service side of the equation is talking past me. It's the same as demanding a health-based valence for "cutting" instead of a valence for an entire medical procedure...
    We want all the valences to do a complete analysis. Let me put it another way: if we just see the net valence and that it is positive, rather than seeing the valences of the individual elements and that there is a negative in there, we're less likely to ask, "Is this negative element necessary here? Is there maybe a way we can reduce or eliminate it?" Sometimes, as here, the negative element is necessary, but it's still better to be aware of it. It's like taking a budget and just looking at the bottom line rather than the itemized breakdown.

    Quote from Stairc »
    If you want to say "taxes always limit freedom on their own, but the revenue can be spent on services which result in net increase in personal freedom" I'm with you.
    It's a little more complicated than that, because, like I said, the net increases in personal freedom tend to happen to other people than the ones paying the tax, and also because many government services provide benefits which, while still indisputably positive things, would be a stretch to call "increases in personal freedom". Freedom is not the only good.

    Quote from Stairc »
    Good thing that wasn't what I was saying. If I was, it would invalidate my entire argument.
    You kind of were, though. You were saying that taxation wasn't a reduction in personal freedom.
    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on libertarianism.
    Quote from Stairc »
    In short, it ignores the consequence of those taxes.
    It ought to. Because taxes do not necessarily have those consequences. The elements in the scenario are separable. It is very, very easy for a state to tax its citizens and then not provide the government services which would justify the tax. If you have a moral valence for "taxes + government services" but not a moral valence for "taxes" per se, your analysis is superficial and cannot address the separated scenario.

    Quote from Stairc »
    This is like saying, "surgery means you're being cut so it's a net negative in personal health, but sometimes is necessary for other reasons".
    Exactly. Generally we don't think cutting people is a good idea. If somebody proposes cutting people, they need to justify it. We don't undergo surgery lightly, and when we do undergo it we expect results.

    Quote from Stairc »
    It's misleading to say that taxes are a reduction in personal freedom without looking at what opportunities the tax expenditures protect or create.
    No, it's misleading to say that the health benefits of surgery mean the surgeon isn't cutting you. This is effectively what you're doing here. Surgery = taxation; cutting = reducing personal freedom; negative = negative; health benefits = government services; positive = positive.

    Quote from Stairc »
    Things look different if we define personal freedom closer to a core dictionary definition; the power to act, speak and think as one wants.
    I want to act by spending this money I have. Taxing the money removes that power from me. This isn't a definitional disagreement; any sensible definition of personal freedom is going to find taxation per se as a reduction in it. The problem, again, is that you're conflating taxation with the consequences of taxation.
    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on libertarianism.
    Quote from Stairc »
    Gotta disagree there in at least some contexts. A lot of vital services wouldn't exist, or wouldn't be available to many people, if taxes weren't a thing. It's pretty easy to come up with scenarios in which a certain tax for a certain goal increases most peoples' ability to live life how they choose.

    To get around this, you have to do what a lot of libertarians do: narrow the definition of freedom until it means "no one who works for an official government organization can tell me what to do". In that definition, absolutely taxes limit personal freedom. So does a law banning murder, or a building code that reduces the chance of the building collapsing and killing everyone during an earthquake. When these issues are pointed out, libertarians tend to start brainstorming ways that groups of citizens could come together in order to economically punish dangerous businesses or imprison/execute murderers. Of course we'd need to ensure it's fair through some sort of clear process and codified rules, because otherwise no one would know if what they're doing is going to get them killed... And we'll need to figure out how to agree on which of these things will become 'laws'... But it's totally not a government. Wink
    You're attacking two strawmen here, one per paragraph. The one in the second paragraph is more obvious, and it's also not an effigy of me, so let's just take a look at the first.

    Of course taxes fund government services. But when you say this constitutes an increase in personal freedom because "most people" benefit from the services, that's more than a little misleading, because the "most people" who benefit are not necessarily the people who pay most of the tax. In fact, they generally aren't. If there is some service that will increase a person's personal freedom, then the government doesn't need to tax that person to pay for the service insofar as it benefits that person. If they have the money for it, they'll pay voluntarily. And if they don't have the money for it, then a tax isn't going to get money out of them that doesn't exist. So the purpose of a tax is to get more money out of some people who are able to afford it in order to provide the service to other people who are not. (In fact, in some cases, rich people pay a tax and then don't use the government-provided service at all. Private versus public education springs to mind.)

    And again, none of this is necessarily a bad thing. Taxation is absolutely justified as long as the money is put to good use. But it is a reduction in personal freedom. The people who are paying the tax are losing the freedom to spend their money how they choose. This is not a matter of overly narrowing the definition; it's a matter of being analytical. To analyze the whole complex scenario of "taxes fund public services", we break it down into atomic components and examine them. Looking at the "taxes" part in isolation, we see this freedom loss and view it as a negative. It would not be okay if the government taxed us and then just sat on the money doing nothing. And the "government services" part is a positive. It would be very good if the government could provide us with the services without taxing us. The taxation is only justified because it is necessary for the government services. The positive outweighs the negative for a net good.

    But this doesn't erase the negative or turn it into a positive. It's still a negative per se, and it's important to remember that. You may think I'm being pedantic here, but like I said earlier, this distinction I am making is the same distinction as "shooting people is a bad thing that is sometimes necessary to preserve certain good things" versus "shooting people is a good thing".
    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on US Election Day and results thread 2016
    Quote from Mockingbird »
    Second, the Hamilton Electors.
    Remember those talks of faithless electors? Well, now they've dubbed themselves the Hamilton Electors, have legal representation and a private platform to strategize thanks to Law Professor Lawrence Lessig and his friends, and a Texas Republican elector has joined the effort. Also, it looks like the Hamilton Electors have reached a candidate to cast a ballot for instead of Trump or Clinton: Governor John Kasich.
    So far at I can tell, right now it's eight Democratic electors and zero Republican electors.

    This isn't happening.
    Posted in: Debate
  • 1

    posted a message on Trump Assassinating Political Enemies?
    Troll thread locked.
    Posted in: Debate
  • 1

    posted a message on libertarianism.
    Quote from VidarThor »
    If you do not like the subject matters they teach at my universaty what am I to do?
    Think critically. At your university you should not just learn to regurgitate what the professors tell you. You should learn to question what they tell you, to demand their conclusions be supported by concrete facts and evidence, to draw your own conclusions and support them with the same. You say the American Revolution was inspired by French political thought? You can't expect people to believe that based only on your say-so. You can't even expect people to believe that based on your professors' say-so. If you want people to believe that the American Revolution was inspired by French political thought, you're going to have to prove it. Don't just say there's a connection, show it. It's not even really about persuading other people. If you can't show this connection, how do you know it's there?

    Quote from VidarThor »
    I guess we should fire all the professors, and probably the parts of goverment in charge of theese things.
    If they're actually teaching you that events in 1788 occurred before events in 1776, then yes, they absolutely should. But I'm going to give these people the benefit of the doubt. They're not here to defend themselves, and even the craziest profs I know understand how chronology works. So I think it's more likely that the mistake is yours than theirs.

    Quote from VidarThor »
    I was actually hoping to learn something here...
    And I was actually trying to teach you something here. You asked what was up with libertarianism in America, and I answered. But you apparently didn't like those answers and decided to argue with them, as though redefining "freedom" were going to change the reality of American culture. And when you launched into a muddled condemnation of libertarianism and the Constitution which was misinformed on not just random historical facts, but the specific historical facts of which you had already been informed in this thread, I decided it was time for some tough love. If you want to know how libertarians think or what Americans think about libertarianism, ask and I'll be happy to answer. But if you want to say that the Constitution is "outdated", that is not a question but a thesis statement, and I'm going to challenge you to defend it with real, specific, and accurate argument that demonstrates an understanding of the subject.
    Posted in: Debate
  • 1

    posted a message on libertarianism.
    Quote from VidarThor »
    You don't think potensial cultural imperalism is a problem when the Disney movies come? We in Norway take these things quite seriusly, or rather the branch of the goverment in charge of this takes this quite seriusly. When Disney channel launched in Norway NRK made a new channel, NRK 3. This channel is focused on children / youths. They do this to give children a fictional entertainment that more realisticly represent the culture they are growing up in. Instead of representing very american values, and also disneys lack of feminism. Or at least used to, Frozen was a step in the right direction (set in a fictional Norway mind you.)

    Witout having american (or british or japansese) prodused culture saturate the market we are free to produse our own cultural products and distribute among other countries.
    Seriously? We've got a wide-ranging discussion on economics, the military, and the US Constitution, and it's the House of Mouse you decide to focus on? That's really not a great move for you, partially because I probably know more about the Disney animated canon than I do about political history and philosophy, but mostly because it's the single most trivial subject on the table. So while I could mount a spirited feminist/multiculturalist defense of Disney films going back to Snow White, or rib you for your parochialism in happening to like the one movie that's maybe-kind-of-sort-of set in your country... I think we're done here.
    Posted in: Debate
  • 0

    posted a message on libertarianism.
    Quote from VidarThor »
    Elite colaberation between countries: Example of elite colaberating: A tech company constructing internett infrastructure, working with a small group in the targetingc ountry. Setting up infrastructure for telecomminication/internett. Now the tech company is massivly profiting on the lack of infra structure in the new market. This crippels the new market meaning they get a monopoly.

    We can also see this when Disney pump out content targeted at children / youth. The cost of translating it for a new country is massivly cheaper then produsing new content in the targeted country. This corners the market as the potensial local market gets tapped. Over time all local resistance gets quelced, and a cultural imperialismen will sett in. There are examples of counter culture, but it happens rarly. It needs some form of govermental regulation or the country gets screwed over time. In Norway we activly counter this. The liberterian model would not protect it's own infrastructure or colture.
    Yes, by all means you need to protect your country from the threat of... Disney animated movies. Rolleyes

    Quote from VidarThor »
    Impede technological progress: While there are few examples of countries holding back technolagy, we have seen examples of what happens when new technology enters the playing field. The word sabotour for instance comes from the french sabo (meaning wooden shoe) and refers to the weavers throwing the shoes into the new weaving machines that outsorced them.
    It's "sabot", actually. And I'd bet dollars to donuts the clothes you're wearing right now are machine woven. The French government didn't protect the hand-weaving industry, because that would have been stupid, because machine weaving massively increased the supply of textiles, making much more of them available to many more people for much lower prices. The saboteurs were attempting to save their jobs at the expense of their entire country's economic prosperity.

    None of these address my point. Yes, technology is doing jobs that were once performed by humans. That doesn't mean the state or anyone else should try to protect those jobs.

    Quote from VidarThor »
    Free press: In Norway the state actualy subsidize newspapers and other journalistic things. They even have their own TV network called NRK, and they have also branched out for news on radio and online. Without this I think it will be hard to have 'objective news'. While we can discuss what objective means, it sure does not mean news outlets like what we see in North Korea and Russia.
    Both North Korean and Russian news outlets are state funded. When we speak about a "free press", it is freedom from the government that we are talking about first and foremost. I'm sure NRK is a fine news source, like the BBC in Britain or NPR and public television in the United States. But these sources are good despite state funding, not because of it.

    Quote from VidarThor »
    Maybe it is all free marked in USA...
    It isn't. Again: do your homework.

    Quote from VidarThor »
    ...but in Norway we ensure that we have free press. Payed for by the goverment.
    This is straight-up oxymoronic.

    Quote from VidarThor »
    Private hospitals: I think the idea of private hospitals is very bad. Free healthcare for everyone is a much better system to make sure your giverment works out fine. Under full liberterianismn I can garantee you that not everyone would be able to cover their bills. It would be much closer to the senarioes pressented in the literary realism where poor people die because of they where poor, and that is the way it should be.

    Private orphanages: You are right that private orphanages predate state-run orphanages. But can you come up with a good buissniss model for a private orphanage under liberterianism? It sounds like a bad way to get ahead in sociaty.
    "Private hospitals and orphanages are bad" is a completely different argument than "private hospitals and orphanages are impossible". You had claimed the latter, and that's what I was refuting.

    Quote from VidarThor »
    Timeline American / French revolaution: You do know that the french had more then one revolution right? They are the country with most revolutions in the least amount of time for a long period.
    Yes. All of which occurred after the American Revolution broke out in 1776. I honestly can't believe you're pushing back on this. All the dates are right there in the history books in black and white.

    Quote from VidarThor »
    And while the American Revolution help pioner liberterian ideas these ideas came out of the thoughts being developed in france.
    It did not help pioneer libertarian ideas, because libertarian ideas would not exist for over a hundred years. And the ideas it did pioneer were coming out of Britain much more than France. John Locke and Thomas Hobbes were Englishmen; David Hume was a Scot. Rousseau is the most famous French-language political philosopher of the period, but he was seldom cited by the American Founders (and he was Swiss anyway).

    Quote from VidarThor »
    And then french again benefits from the good ideas generated in amerika. Norway also build on these ideas when we where founded. It seems like you have a poor understanding on how pholosofical ideas can be trased throughout history Blinking Spirit.
    Rolleyes

    Quote from VidarThor »
    Founding farthers: People like Lin-Manuel Miranda, in fact a lot of americans, are idolising the founding farthers to much.
    You said they wouldn't care. They do. Now you're saying they shouldn't care. That's a different argument.

    Quote from VidarThor »
    If the founding farthers where alive today they would get a heart attack at the sight of a smartphone, let alone an airplane.
    What exactly in the Constitution is incompatible with a smart phone or an airplane?

    Quote from VidarThor »
    In fact during the drafting of the American constetution they where running out of time, and it would apear there would be solution. They came upon the idea of having very vague language in it, meaning each representative could read into it whatever they wanted.
    You may not be aware that we have transcripts of the Constitutional Convention, so we can tell exactly what they were thinking and discussing when they wrote the thing. You may also not be aware that I have read these transcripts from beginning to end. So when I tell you that what you're saying here simply isn't true, it is with some authority. If you like, you can look through Madison's notes for yourself (they're right here) and show me where they talk about how it would be a good idea to use vague language in order to allow for multiple interpretations. But, spoiler alert: you won't find it.

    Quote from VidarThor »
    While it worked at the time, the vagua language has been haunting America ever since. Many Americans are so stuck in the past you can not get any movement. Discussions about guns for instance is one of these discussion. Your country shoul '***** or get of the pot'. But instead you have the same argument again and again. Your constetution should unite your country, not split it.
    While I do appreciate you finally at least referencing a specific section of the Constitution, I honestly don't understand what you're proposing here. What would our country "*****ting" entail, versus "getting off the pot", and how would this unite the country? You do realize, right, that the reason there isn't a lot of movement on the gun issue is that most Americans are happy where we're at, and Euro-style gun control is a losing issue for liberal Democrats? Here's Obama doing some recreational shooting to boost his Second Amendment cred.

    Quote from VidarThor »
    Using it as a basis for being liberterian is a bad idea.
    I agree.

    Quote from VidarThor »
    NATO: America is so conserned about keeping their fotholds both culturaly and economically of course you are paying for NATO. It is through NATO you can invade, sorry 'liberate', all these countries. Just last month you wanted USA troops stationed, sorry 'rotated', in Norway. You are welcome, by the way.
    Riiight. Your eastern neighbor is getting all annexy, and you're doing us a favor. It's not like the Norwegian Defense Ministry asked for the troop rotation or anything...

    "In 2014, that was a clear sign that Russia has stepped in to an area where they are willing and able to use military power," says Brigadier Eldar Bernil, of the Norwegian Army. "Suddenly we have changed focus in particular from what was going on in Afghanistan to collective national defense." (Source)
    Posted in: Debate
  • 3

    posted a message on libertarianism.
    Quote from MTGTCG »
    I dont want to pay for this overwhelming superiority you speak off... If you want to pay for that then by all means go ahead.
    If you don't want to pay for it then by all means move. If you don't move then you're stealing the service provided by the military without paying for it. And no, you don't get to claim you didn't consent to the service. The United States and its military were here long before you were. If you buy property in America you do so knowing full well what American residency entails.

    Quote from MTGTCG »
    I don't see how a policy of complete neutrality and universal free trade would anger any country thus reducing the risk of conflict.
    And that's kind of the problem. Even before we go into the specific ways this policy might anger other countries, you're resting the security of your country on the assumption that it definitely won't, that everything will always go right. Your planning is based on a best-case scenario, not a worst-case scenario. You're making an investment while ignoring the risk. You're engaging in wishful thinking.

    Now, as for those specific ways other countries might find reason to wage war against you, the first and most obvious is that if everything does go right for you and you get rich off of trade, then you're rich. Attacking rich lands and taking their wealth is one of the oldest reasons for warfare there is. Your invader might just want to plunder you and leave, they might make you a tributary, or they might try to conquer you so they can control and tax this wonderful trade hub directly. That's one reason. Reason two is that your invader is another trading power and wants to shut down your trade, rendering theirs more valuable. States can engage in monopolistic practices just as easily as companies can. Reason three is that in your neutrality you're trading with both sides in a war, and one side decides that your trade is benefiting the other side too much to be allowed to continue unabated. Reason four is that your land is strategically valuable. Reason five is that you're just plain the wrong religion. Reason six... reason seven... I can go on and on. Human beings don't exactly need a lot of excuse to go to war.

    And before you dismiss these scenarios as not likely, remember that, between the two of us, I'm the one drawing his arguments from the historical record, and you're the one repeatedly face-planting into that same record. Not only can I provide examples of all these things actually happening, I can provide examples of all these things actually happening without leaving the freaking Netherlands.

    Quote from MTGTCG »
    I forgot to address your argument against my proposed gambling system of funding the minarchic government: if someone wants to ruin their life by gambling, more power to them, it is not my job to tell people what they can or can not do, and I shouldn't be guilty for allowing them to excersise their free will.
    Washing your hands of moral responsibility for the consequences of your actions is not a good way to convince us that libertarianism is the morally superior system.
    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on Who is the best God to follow?
    Quote from Xeruh »
    Well, this is kind of why polytheism is fun, no need to choose. Having to pick one individual one to rule everything just seems kind of like a bad idea anyways, the world is too diverse for one "ruler" in that sense.
    It's a god. You can just define it as being capable of handling that much diversity.
    Posted in: Religion
  • 1

    posted a message on libertarianism.
    Quote from MTGTCG »
    Look, if some one ruins their life with lottery or gambling, then it's not my problem and it shouldn't be anyone's problem except that individual's.
    It's your problem if you're directly profiting from their ruin.

    Quote from MTGTCG »
    That isn't my point, my point is that we can probably fund a small government whose only role is national defense and courts with gambling as the government can outcompete the private gambling businesses for obvious reasons and monopolize the industry.
    So the government is more efficient than a private industry now?

    Quote from MTGTCG »
    And look, America spends way too much on its military it spends more than the rest of the world combined. We could cut the annual military budget by 75% and still spend more on the military per year than the second highest spender(China). The US could go without spending money on its military for many years and still be the strongest military power in the world.
    The military is not an area in which you want to spend just a bit more than potential rivals. If the best boxer in the world is only a bit stronger than the second-best boxer in the world, then the second-best boxer in the world wants to challenge him for the title. And even if the best boxer in the world wins that fight, he still leaves the ring bloodied. If he doesn't want to have to fight, he needs to invest in overwhelming superiority.

    Quote from MTGTCG »
    Edit: Also this minarchy I am proposing would be very neutral and isolationist when it comes to foreign policy, and would try to pursue a policy of universal free trade.
    "Isolationist" and "universal free trade" are oxymoronic. Either you've got foreign entanglements through free trade agreements, or you don't.

    Quote from MTGTCG »
    When you aren't upsetting anyone, there is no point in spending ridiculous amounts on the military.
    If you think trading doesn't upset anyone... argh. England. The Netherlands. Venice. Byzantium. History. Read it.
    Posted in: Debate
  • 0

    posted a message on The Repeal of the ACA
    Quote from Frostdragon4 »
    Write your congressmen.
    Only yours, though. Congressional offices toss non-constituent mail unless you're like Angelina Jolie or somebody. Sometimes even then.

    Quote from Frostdragon4 »
    Voting isn't the biggest thing, it's continual communication and pressure on the largest issues. These people do read their mail and do respond. Pick out the specifics, and use those specifics to your advantage. Not just "angry letter, I want this" rather think through and connect to a narrative and some of the aspects of these people.
    Eh. "Angry letter, I want this" has much the same effect. They definitely pay attention to constituent letters, but obviously they don't read all of them themselves. Staffers read them and enter the take-home point into a database so they can hand their member a summary saying "X people contacted us in favor of this bill and Y people contacted us against it".

    If you have more nuanced policy ideas, the best way to float them is to find out who your member's legislative assistant is for the relevant issue and address your letter to that person rather than to the member.
    Posted in: Debate
  • 2

    posted a message on libertarianism.
    Oookay. Reality check for the other side now.

    Quote from VidarThor »
    In universaty (300 democratic culture) we learned that usualy the elite in one country will try to work together with the elite in another country to benefit the two smaller groups, usualy at the cost of the once not in the elite. This often would be private firms running infrastructure. If they can corner a monopoly you have no way to get past paying high prices.
    Can you give a historical example of this happening?

    Quote from VidarThor »
    With no goverment you will have no way to protect yourself from cheap competetive labour from the outside. Every itemn will be imported leaving many jobs absolete.
    It's called comparative advantage. If someone overseas can do my job more efficiently than I can, that frees me up to to another job. More work gets done overall, the economy grows, and everyone benefits. With or without a government, this is a good thing. Failing to recognize that fact is why protectionist policies can hamstring economies. You will note that the biggest protectionist voice in the world right now is that of notorious ignoramus Donald J. Trump.

    Quote from VidarThor »
    Also a lot of tech companies are working on robots who can replace most menial tasks all the way from taxi, uber self driving card, up to doctor diagnostocian, watson who can diagnose cancer better then humans. Cilicon valey are also learning robots to copy regular body movement meaning all labour like making food, cleaning, doing services can all be gone as jobs in 10 to 100 years. This is a problem even with a state, and a big one without it.
    Wait, are you saying that you think an advantage of a state is that it can impede technological progress? (a) No, it can't; and (b) why would we want it to?

    Quote from VidarThor »
    With no free press (that needs finacial backing) it is hard to get information that is true. False news, or newss badly reported would be everywhere. The elites in the country would start regulating the news, shaping the public narative like in dictatorships run countries.
    Do you think the state runs the free press? Do you not know how the free press works?

    Quote from VidarThor »
    Also with no state none will care for the sick.
    This is just flatly untrue. Private hospitals are a thing and historically have been for far longer than state-run hospitals.

    Quote from VidarThor »
    And there is no money in privatising orpheneges.
    Actually, again, private orphanages predate state-run orphanages. They were horrible, but if your argument is that they didn't exist, you're still wrong.

    Quote from VidarThor »
    We in Norway based our constetution on the French ideas (same as you) and also on the American constetution. But we have kept updating it as time goes by. Americans seem so star struck by their cinstetution. I will grant you the founding fathers where ahead of their time, but they are getting more and more dates as time goes by.
    See, now it seems like you're just not paying attention, because you're directly contradicting two basic historical facts that have already been pointed out in this thread:

    (1) The American Revolution predates the French Revolution by over a decade.

    (2) The American Revolution predates the libertarian movement by over a century.

    You're also ignoring the fact, not yet stated on this thread but nevertheless well known and easily verified, that the U.S. Constitution is updated with some regularity.

    And of course, you provide precisely zero concrete examples of ways in which the Constitution is outdated. It's four pages of plain English. If you know what you're talking about, it shouldn't be hard for you to quote a few choice passages which you think illustrate your point.

    Quote from VidarThor »
    If the founding fathers where alive today, nobody would care what they thought in todays political climate.
    That's pretty manifestly not true. Just ask Lin-Manuel Miranda.

    Quote from VidarThor »
    This is where you counter with a snappy one liner to feel superior in the debate. Something like 'Freedom is not free'. This is true. That is why all of the social democratic scandinavian countries are paying as much taxed as we can. Because freedom is not free.
    "Freedom isn't free" is a reference to the necessity of a military to protect the country and its institutions from hostile forces. As a NATO member, Norway's freedom is overwhelmingly subsidized by American defense spending. Even as a percentage of GDP, Norway (like twenty-two other NATO states out of twenty-eight) is spending less than its treaty obligation requires. In short: you're not paying for your freedom; I'm paying for your freedom. You're welcome, by the way.

    So come on, man. If you're going to do snappy, first do your homework.
    Posted in: Debate
  • 0

    posted a message on Who is the best God to follow?
    If God does not know the capital of Australia, then there is something he cannot do: answer the question "What is the capital of Australia?" Ergo, he is not omnipotent.
    Posted in: Religion
  • 0

    posted a message on Who is the best God to follow?
    Quote from Verbal »
    Omnipotent just means you have the ability/power to do anything.
    And knowing a fact is a thing I can do.
    Posted in: Religion
  • 0

    posted a message on Who is the best God to follow?
    Quote from Verbal »
    But BS is correct - the various constructions of (typically) the christian god who are actual perfect and loving would be great. Just remove the 'pretending not to exist' fetish and we're golden.
    Nothing in the definition says the Philosophers' God incarnated in Roman Judea or died on a cross. He/she/it could have done so, but only if it would have been the most maximally good thing to do. Which seems unlikely.

    Quote from osieorb18 »
    Also, the idea of a God that is omnibenevolent and omnipotent but knows nothing seems like it would have potential for some amusing results.
    Unfortunately for our amusement, omnipotence implies omniscience.
    Posted in: Religion
  • 2

    posted a message on libertarianism.
    Quote from MTGTCG »
    Edit: an idea I recently came up with is that if we could get the government so small that its only purposes would be to provide a court system and national defense, couldn't it be funded voluntarily by the government starting a sort of lottery/online gambling business? I know I would buy lottery tickets if it meant supporting my military...
    Yet again, we need only look to history to see how your idea fares in the real world. There have been numerous attempts at a minimalist, voluntarily funded government. Two with which I am most familiar are the original Icelandic Althing and the United States federal government under the Articles of Confederation. But to avoid turning this into a lecture, let's skip to the end: they don't work too well. It turns out that when people can choose whether to pay or not pay for a service, most of them choose not to pay, at least not in the amounts necessary to fund an effective court system and national defense. This isn't exactly a matter of leaving your waiter an extra $20 in the tip because you're feeling generous, here.

    As for your idea of a lottery, two problems. The first is just a revisitation of the problem from last paragraph: it can offset the cost of some small government programs, but you're not going to make enough selling lottery tickets to pay for stuff like $4.5 billion aircraft carriers. The second is that a lottery is an exploitation of public ignorance and addictive behavior. It's almost like you're saying, "Taxes are bad, so let's get everybody hooked on cocaine instead." And where are public ignorance and addictive behavior most acute? That's right, in the lower socioeconomic classes. Not only do these people not have as much money to give you for their fix (getting back to problem one), but what they do give is going to be a larger proportion of their income and therefore do more damage to their lives and prospects.
    Posted in: Debate
  • 0

    posted a message on libertarianism.
    Quote from VidarThor »
    I would not say state regulation is a robbery of personal freedom.
    I didn't say that either. I said it was a limitation on personal freedom. Some limitations on personal freedom are justified. But that doesn't mean they're not limitations on personal freedom. When there's a government regulation saying "You have to do this thing this way", then I have to do that thing that way. I can no longer choose to do the thing some other way, or not to do the thing at all. I have less freedom of action than I did before.

    If a hostile army invades your country, your soldiers are going to start shooting at them. Normally we think that shooting at people is bad, but in this case almost everybody would agree that the shooting is justified: the bad act is serving a greater good. What you're trying to say here is like saying that because it's is justified, the soldiers aren't actually "shooting" at all. This is a misuse of the word "shooting", and a potentially dangerous downplaying of the fact that what's happening is still a bad act in its own right and not to be undertaken lightly.

    Quote from VidarThor »
    free education
    It's not free. Somebody's paying for it. If it's not you, it's somebody else who would otherwise be able to spend that money on themselves and their family. Again, I'm not saying public education isn't justified. Public education is a very good thing. But we shouldn't start pretending it's "free" and lose sight of what actually goes into it. It's a meaningful tradeoff, not magic.
    Posted in: Debate
  • 0

    posted a message on libertarianism.
    Quote from VidarThor »
    Blinking Spirit I do not think I mistake freedom with power. In america it does not matter that you can get an edication and have a 'class journey' if you do not have posabilaty to do so.
    The ability to do something is what we call "power".

    Quote from VidarThor »
    Currently that it something very few have. You went as far as to make the metafor with faust, but that just seems unrealistic.
    What, do you not have the Devil in Norway or something? Smile

    Quote from VidarThor »
    If anything, what you seem to be saying is that a liberterians favoret senario would be to be stuck in an island without anything like robinson cruso.
    Not the favorite scenario, but yes, archetypically, the American culture hero would prefer to be poor but independent rather than wealthy but dependent on the government or some other outside entity. Getting rich is nice, but being free is more important. Better to be Crusoe than Faust.

    Quote from VidarThor »
    It seems to me that you are looking for the end goal of as much personal freedom as possible. I think the scandinavian countries have that one nailed down, even though we have very big state regulation.
    These two sentences are directly contradictory. A state regulation is by definition a limitation on personal freedom.
    Posted in: Debate
  • 0

    posted a message on libertarianism.
    Quote from VidarThor »
    Edit: To be more precise. Is not the true measure of freedom how much can do? Instead of what your are allowed to do? Being allowed to do something is not the same as being able to do it. Are you not more free if you are able to do something instead of not being able to do it? I would think so.
    A man named Faust made a deal with the Devil. The Devil granted him great power: he was able to do many more things than he could before. But in return, Faust had to do the Devil's bidding. Did this pact make Faust more free, or less?

    What you're talking about isn't freedom, it's power. And, notwithstanding my Mephistophelean metaphor, power is not always a bad thing. But a recurring theme in American culture is that giving up freedom for power is a bad trade. Ben Franklin said it outright, in one of the most popular quotations from any of our Founders: "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." The iconic American farmer would rather struggle to make a living on land he owned outright than mortgage the farm for a more comfortable life beholden to a bank. We take pride in independence and rankle at having to accept handouts. The American Dream at its purest is making it on your own. If you get a leg-up, whether from a rich family or from the government or from a bank, it doesn't count. This is why Obama's 2012 statement that "If you've got a business -- you didn't build that" caused so much white-hot fury, and why Donald Trump tries to portray himself as raising his business empire from almost nothing, downplaying its origins as "a very, very small loan from my father" (of only a million dollars Rolleyes ).

    So you can argue until you're blue in the face that the "true" definition of freedom is social democracy, but you'll just be playing word games and missing the real point. No matter what you try to call it, what you're talking about is not the freedom of the American Dream. It's actually the opposite of that.
    Posted in: Debate
  • 0

    posted a message on libertarianism.
    Quote from VidarThor »
    Well I guess it depends on how you define freedom. Yes you pay less taxes in America, but I would say for the averadge citisent in USA they have little freedom. One thing I value very higly in a sociaty would be social mobilaty, AKA the abilaty to move socialy from where you are born to where you want to be in life. Also known as the american dream, or a huge part of the american dream. This is easier to achive in Norway because we have big social mobilaty.
    This would not be how Americans, or indeed I think most English speakers, would define "freedom". Not that it's a bad thing, but that's not the word we'd use. There are lots of good things that aren't matters of freedom: peace, GDP per capita, literacy, low crime, etc. Freedom is very simple: how much is the government telling me what I can and can't do?

    As for state of the American Dream: it's Silicon Valley, not Silicon Fjord. Just sayin'.
    Posted in: Debate
  • 1

    posted a message on Is it just me or are Republicans hamstringing themselves?
    Quote from Hackworth »
    Trump lost the popular vote by like half of NZ's population (2.2 million and change, for those of you keeping score).
    Which comes to about one US voter out of fifty. Come on, man, you have to know how abusive it is to compare absolute population numbers like that.
    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on Who is the best God to follow?
    The so-called "Philosopher's God", the entity philosophers are normally assumed to be talking about when they ask questions like "Does God exist?" This being has three defining properties: (a) omniscience; (b) omnipotence; and (c) omnibenevolence. So it's pretty clear that this deity is best by definition: it always wishes to do maximal good, knows how to do maximal good, and is capable of --

    oh who am I kidding
    Posted in: Religion
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    posted a message on libertarianism.
    Quote from VidarThor »
    What I am more interested in is why people, americans mostly, who want personal freedom are so against soscial democrasy?
    Because raising your taxes reduces your freedom to decide how to spend your money, and providing you with state-run services reduces your freedom to shop around for the service you want. Social democracy sure as hell isn't fascism, but it's still unquestionably a relative reduction in personal freedom.
    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on The Repeal of the ACA
    Quote from gumOnShoe »
    This is my understanding of the republican position
    1. The government shouldn't be involved in healthcare because it's bad at it.
    2. The regulations that exist are bad.
    3. Businesses and individuals know best and we should let the market solve the problem.

    Because of this base ideology they support cutting a lot of programs because they truly believe the system will be better if they change it.
    Okay. It's a long way from there to "the poor deserve to die in the gutter". As Jay touched on, we're pretty much all solidly against that at this point in human history. In a way, that's the problem. One of the reasons the ACA is such a Frankensteinian monster is that it's the stitched-up remains of everybody's different plans, Republican as well as Democrat. (Also because it was apparently written in a single sitting, I can only assume over a stormy night in a mountain villa with full access to the liquor cabinet of history's most notorious libertine. But that's neither here nor there.)

    Quote from gumOnShoe »
    Just know that when I insult the "republican establishment" or "republicans" it's not directed at you.
    When Donald Trump insults women it's not directed at me either, but I still frown on it. My stance is indiscriminately anti-insult. (Unless it's really funny.) Admittedly I didn't say it in the most serious way, but I was serious: it's your credibility that gets hurt here, not my feelings. It turns what you have to say from ideas into tribal posturing.
    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on US Election Day and results thread 2016

    Hey, look on the bright side: fewer carbon emissions.
    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on libertarianism.
    VidarThor, you're on to something, but it's not really that libertarianism is an "American" thing per se. The United States was founded in an era when the discussion of personal rights and how to protect those rights from government overreach was all the rage in political philosophy. We declared independence from the British Empire in response to perceived tyranny -- America can be crudely summed up as the most successful tax revolt in history. So our founding documents are written in a language of inviolable rights and limited government. Libertarianism proper came along a while later, but it grew out of this same philosophical tradition and used this same language. So its ideas may resonate more strongly among Americans than among citizens of many other countries.

    That said, the philosophers who inspired the American founders were European, and they were widely read in Europe as well. And libertarianism, which grew out of these philosophers, is likewise just as much a product of Europe as it is America. The particular strain of libertarianism MTGTCG is attempting to defend is called the "Austrian School", for the sensible reason that it was developed and promulgated mostly by Austrians, particularly a man named Ludwig von Mises. But to bring this discussion full circle, von Mises did emigrate to America, and his ideas are certainly more broadly popular in America than they are in Austria.
    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on Practicality of calling a racist a racist in a debate
    Quote from Tiax »
    You were willing to make the claim that Roof had turned away from his friends, but the opposite claim requires video evidence? Perhaps instead of video evidence, you'd accept the account of those friends?
    I was making a general claim about how friendships work. You were making a specific claim about how these particular friends interacted.

    Quote from Tiax »
    At what point should I expect this alienation to drive me to murder?
    I don't know. How often are these pundits telling you that you should commit murder?

    Quote from Tiax »
    Somehow the lung cancer-smoking link seems a smidge stronger to me than the tumblr-murder link, don't you think?
    If anything, it's the other way around. Some people really do just get lung cancer out of the blue. But I have yet to find a violent white nationalist who didn't consume violence-advocating white nationalist literature.

    Quote from Tiax »
    That's not what he means by disbelief, and you know it. He means he was shocked at what he found - he didn't go in expecting to find it. He wasn't already convinced when he Googled.
    If he were already convinced, we'd just be asking the tautological question of why violent people are violent again. But he was certainly receptive to it in a way that you and I obviously aren't. White nationalist propaganda may have a frog as its mascot, but it isn't Hypnotoad.

    Quote from gumOnShoe »
    I take issue with the idea that I somehow betrayed him.
    I put "betraying" in scare-quotes specifically to connote that you weren't actually betraying him, but only doing it in his own mind.

    Quote from gumOnShoe »
    That's something I think you're not understanding here. There's something inside some people that allows them to live a duplicitive life where they are around people who don't believe like they do, who would never support extremism or who are friends to those sorts of people. But they have a filter on the way they view the world and they can be presented with a ton of contrary information & experience and still ignore it.
    Dude, I get it. Did you notice how I talked repeatedly about how things look from our perspective versus from their perspective? I thought I even used the word "filter", but it looks like that was in an earlier draft of the paragraph or just in my head. In any case, a filter is exactly what they have.
    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on New evidence uncovered by the Washington Post puts scary new spin on the "Fake News" Crisis -- It really was Russia all along
    Quote from gumOnShoe »
    There's a nuanced argument for why a person who is here without papers is not here illigally and why calling a person "illigal" is a dehuminzation of the individual.
    That argument isn't nuanced. It's a mash-up of disparate legal and ethical principles which is attacking at least three strawmen I can see offhand. Most obviously, it argues against the term 'illegal alien', but the term Jusstice used was 'illegal immigrant' -- and as the article itself acknowledges, "the act of entering the country" (also known as 'immigration') "without inspection is a federal misdemeanor".

    So... we'll chalk that one up as a swing and a miss.

    Quote from gumOnShoe »
    But the core of the democratic party is introspective, intellectual, and downright full of self doubt.
    I have a hard time believing you were able to type that with a straight face.

    Quote from gumOnShoe »
    I've yet to see any substantive evidence that this has infiltrated the left's core the way it has on the right. It could happen, but I don't think it has.
    See? That's more reasonable. (Provided by "left" you mean "American Democrats and allies". Because when you get to the hard left... well, y'know.)

    Quote from gumOnShoe »
    Bias doesn't kill truth. Lies kill truth.
    Bias is what motivates lies (and omissions, which can be just as dangerous).
    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on Practicality of calling a racist a racist in a debate
    Quote from gumOnShoe »
    But I entirely reject the idea that his sins are somehow my responsibility because I decided that his actions could no longer be tolerated when he called me a race traitor on the night in 2007 when Obama was elected to POTUS.
    They're not your responsibility. Nobody is saying you have to put up with those kind of people in your life forever -- you have a right to be happy and to choose your friends. But it's a very difficult situation, because the brute psychological fact is that your pushback, however reasonable on your end, probably did feed into his twisted worldview. I mean, "race traitor"? You actually "betraying" him by cutting him out is not exactly going to dissuade him from that narrative.

    It's like how on one level, fighting ISIS terrorists is a perfectly justified response to them trying to kill or conquer everyone else, but on their level, it confirms the belief that America is at war against Islam. It's not America's fault that fighting terrorists often creates more terrorists, we're not responsible for the terrorists' crimes, but it is an effect we should be aware of, and maybe start thinking about how we can counteract.

    Quote from gumOnShoe »
    The reality is that a lot of people who get trapped in these echo-chambers of extremism, who need a helping hand to get out ARE OFFERED THAT HAND and ARE SURROUNDED BY GOOD PEOPLE (at least some of the time) and REJECT IT. Because who knows why. Either biologically they're out of whack and can't make the right choices or they've been raised in a truly messed up mental system that they can't hack their way out of.
    Nobody said there was a magic bullet solution. In fact, I believe I already said there wasn't.
    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on Practicality of calling a racist a racist in a debate
    Quote from Tiax »
    His friends didn't attempt to dissuade him, they just brushed his racist remarks off. There was no choosing the internet over them.
    I don't think we can make a claim like that without having video footage of his life and reviewing the interactions he had with his friends. What we can say is that friends generally have a profound influence on one's own worldview. I mean, I'd like to think that I'm anti-racist because the pure light of moral truth shines through that position to be apprehended by my superior rational mind, but the truth is more likely that I'm anti-racist because my friends and family are anti-racist (and that hopefully this network of people is spread wide enough to maybe catch the occasional glimpse of the pure light of moral truth). So when somebody takes a sharp right turn from their peer group, that's significant.

    Quote from Tiax »
    Even if that were the case, does that mean I am alienated from my conservative friends because I put more stock in the opinions of internet pundits I read over theirs?
    Maybe.

    Quote from Tiax »
    If this is your definition of being in an echo chamber, it applies to a huge number of people, not just violent extremists. How then can it be the explanation for violence?
    Lots of people smoke cigarettes without getting lung cancer, but if you want to know why somebody got lung cancer you should still start with the fact that their hobby is inhaling burning tar.

    Quote from Tiax »
    Roof says he googled "black on white crime" and was "in disbelief" over what he found. If he felt white people were under attack prior to googling, why would he be in disbelief?
    Um... he pretty obviously did believe it.
    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on The Repeal of the ACA
    Quote from gumOnShoe »
    When you feel like engaging my ideas, let me know; posting standards clearly apply to you.
    Would you feel like engaging the ideas of somebody who ended their post with, "...and Democrats support abortion because it is child sacrifice for the demon Baal Moloch"? Of course not; this is clearly not a person who is interested in anything you have to say.
    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on libertarianism.
    Quote from MTGTCG »
    1. First of all, the DeBeers market share reached an all time high of 80% and then startes decreasing to its current market share of 50%. Anyways, even if a company monopolizes through the use of violence, governments or private defense agencies could help out and besides they're diamonds, they're rare and not very important, so it isnt a big deal.
    Let me get this straight. Over the course of this thread you've gone from "monopolies are impossible" to "yes, companies can violently monopolize, but a diamond monopoly isn't a big deal"?

    Quote from MTGTCG »
    2. If push comes to shove and the discriminated against group can't find anyone that lets the group buy the things the group wants to buy from them,(this being obviously unlikely)...
    Jesus Christ, do you not even know what a history book is? This happened. Every single thing that you've said is unlikely or impossible in this thread has actually happened! And not only that, but happened frequently and harmfully enough to be the very reason the laws that you're railing against exist in the first place!

    Quote from MTGTCG »
    ...the group can make their own businesses.
    Which have vastly less capital, resources, and skilled labor, and the same old lack-of-competitive-access problem. You are creating a second-class market that has to make do with the leavings of the first market. That's not free-market capitalism. And again, because this is what actually happened, we know for a fact this is how it turns out.

    Quote from MTGTCG »
    3. If I steal from you to buy you a car,I have still stolen from you.
    But the government isn't stealing from you to buy you a car. It's buying your parents a car, with their consent, to be paid for on an installment plan, such that when you inherit the car you have to keep up the payments or else the car gets repossessed.

    Quote from MTGTCG »
    Besides I'd like to object to your statement that the state benefits me as I would think that the some of the things the state does, the free market could do better,and some of the things the state does is useless or harmful to the economy and the people.
    Okay, object away. But "I think this is true" doesn't exactly constitute a dazzling argument in your favor. In any case, even if some other arrangement could theoretically build e.g. the interstate highway system more efficiently than the federal government, that doesn't change the fact that the federal government built the interstate highway system you're actually using. You have to pay for your dinner at the restaurant you're at, even if you think some other restaurant might have prepared it better.
    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on The Repeal of the ACA
    Quote from gumOnShoe »
    It isn't entirely clear exactly what's going to happen, but it certainly looks like worse coverage for the poor and elderly on the whole. Which is pretty standard fair. Republicans still believe that healthcare is something that only the people who "add to our economy" deserve. Anyone who's lazy and doesn't have a job can die in the gutter they sleep in, that's just fine. That's freedom.
    You were doing so well, but then you had to end with a mustache-twirling caricature and your credibility just went *PBBBBBT*.
    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on Practicality of calling a racist a racist in a debate
    Quote from Tiax »
    I'm certainly willing to entertain the possibility that the trend is not the way numbers make it appear (perhaps due to reporting bias or otherwise), but I'm not sure it's true that the evidence is purely anecdotal.
    I'm not sure it is either. And my case certainly doesn't rest on what you say not being true. I'm just throwing out a cautionary note.

    Quote from Tiax »
    I don't think it's true that he decided to turn away from his friends and associates. He lived with his friends right up until the murders. He made racist comments from time to time, but they shrugged it off. He wasn't driven away from them, he wasn't berated or made to feel embarrassed or ashamed.
    But he decided to take the opinion of some faceless weirdos on the internet over them.

    Quote from Tiax »
    That seems like a bit of a stretch. Is it really the case that any reading of supremacist literature constitutes an echo chamber, regardless of whether you're also being exposed to other media and voices?
    I'm not exactly unique in calling online communities with strong ideological leanings "echo chambers". It's not just a matter of raw exposure, it's a matter of belonging and trust. Most of the diehards who frequent Stormfront or Tumblr or LessWrong or wherever are almost certainly exposed to other media, they just don't listen to them.

    Quote from Tiax »
    If the previous attempt was a bit of a stretch, then this is a huge leap. He googled that because of the Trayvon Martin incident, not because he felt he was under attack.
    I was around for the Trayvon Martin incident too, but I didn't google "black on white crime" or climb down the rabbit hole of racism. Something within him primed him to be susceptible to this literature. And the phrasing of his Google query is, I think, extremely revealing as to what that was. If nothing else, there's the fact that the Trayvon Martin incident was white on black.

    Quote from Tiax »
    You should challenge it with the perspective that it is illegitimate and unacceptable. Not in the manner one might debate, say, the capital gains tax, in which different perspectives are all potentially valid answers.
    If you're debating the capital gains tax, you don't think different perspectives are all potentially valid -- you think your perspective is the correct one and the others are incorrect. The difference is that "incorrect" in the case of the capital gains tax means "maybe a bit less economic efficiency", whereas "incorrect" in the case of racism means "moral evil".
    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on libertarianism.
    Quote from MTGTCG »
    1. Would you buy from a business that steals and kills people?
    History shows that people frequently do exactly that. Businesses are sometimes able to cover up the fact that they steal and kill people, because, y'know, tons of money and no police. But sometimes it seems like they don't even have to bother. As Lithl has pointed out, De Beers' business practices haven't exactly been secret. The buying public just didn't care.

    Quote from MTGTCG »
    2. Bad analogy, killing people with poisoned apples is different from not doing business with someone.
    Special pleading. How is it different, and how does the difference break the analogy? The relevant similarity is that in both cases, the public has a reasonable understanding of what is being offered, and you are acting contrary to that understanding.

    Quote from MTGTCG »
    Also this conspiracy is doomed to fail because most rational businesses want to maximize profits.
    Again, history shows that this is not the case. In the Jim Crow South, enough businesses refused to serve black people for the conspiracy to persist for decades and deal vast economic damage to the black community (which was not exactly rolling in the dough to begin with). Maybe, as FourDogs suggested, this is because they weren't profit-maximizing rational actors. Real-life human beings after all have a lot of motives other than money, and bigotry can certainly be among them. But even if they were profit-maximizing rational actors, in those communities white people were more populous, more wealthy, and more racist, so doing business with black people could easily have resulted in a greater loss of business from white people. (Under such circumstances, an antidiscrimination law would be to the business' benefit: racists can't blame the business owners for serving black people if they are legally required to do so. It is an odd consequence of game theory that sometimes restricting choices can improve profitability.)

    Quote from MTGTCG »
    3. Again why should I have to immigrate to avoid taxes, what if I told you I would steal from you on a regular basis unless you move?
    You should have to emigrate to avoid taxes because otherwise you are collecting on the services the government provides to the community without paying for them. Like how you have to move to avoid rent because otherwise you are collecting on the services your landlord provides to you without paying for them. With a thief? Not so much.

    Quote from MTGTCG »
    Not fair.
    This isn't grade school.
    Posted in: Debate
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