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Black Wolf

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  1. Okay, so I've gotten into an argument with someone about whether or not this nation was based on Judeo-Christian legal tradtions. Our Constitution is secular. We don't have an argument about that. He argues that - The 8th amendment is based on "an eye for an eye" - Republicanism over Theocracy - Individualism over Collectivism - Democracy over Authoritarianism - Natural law over Positive Law He agrees that the Constitution is meant to allow for secular beliefs. What we do not agree on is that this nation's legal tradition is Judeo-Christian in nature. I argue that the Declaration of Independence provision that states that it is morally acceptable to revolt against an abusive leader, and the Second Amendment based on this notion is inconsistent with the Bible, and thus, it is not compatible with Judeo-Christian law. Is our government largely Judeo-Christian? I mean not to imply that many legal concepts Ayn Rand found to be moral were results of the aforementioned religions, but is our legal tradition Judeo-Christian in nature? Or is it just largely influenced by J-C?
  2. So what is the difference between civil unions and marriage anyway? Aside from tax breaks and monetary benefits?
  3. I hate to admit it, but this may be the first time I got into an argument about evolution/intelligent design with someone who appears to know what he's talking about. I drafted a response to this guy, but I couldn't help but feel my arguments were not strong enough. If anyone would like to critique my responses (My arguments are under the "B"s), please feel free to be very honest. ---------- A - opponent B - me I didn't give a full response to this mess, but I did the best I could on my own with admittedly a lack of knowledge about the issue A I know exactly what I'm talking about and the sources are history and science. This isnt a college paper where I need to document. B If you're going to make radical claims, I'd like to see where you are getting them from. Just because you're not writing a college paper doesn't mean you can't verify what you're saying. A As I said, scientists of the past have been 100% wrong, B Still not correct. 100% of what? Everything they've said? Parts of claims they've made? You make it sound like every scientist that has ever lived has been discredited as total rubbish, when really, all I've witnesses is future scientists expanding on earlier scientists, and -maybe- contradicting one or two things the previous scientist has speculated. A yet you appeal to the authority (logical fallacy) of scientists today B Appeals to authority aren't inherently fallacious, and arguments from authority aren't necessarily appeals. An appeal is an instigation. I am not instigating, I am contending that based on the lack of peer reviewed evidence for intelligent design, there exists no valid reason to put it in a biology class. "Your not giving me a good enough reason to not want resources invested in this study" is not my burden. A that they somehow know better what is true. Peer review does not determine what is and is not science. It is rather a modern editorial fashion, arising in the last 50 years, not something that determines what is and is not science. B No, but it's the best way to interpret things for the layman. There should definitely be more standards as to what qualifies as valid peer review, and less conflicts of interest. But then again, I'm not claiming that peer review is unequivocal truth. I'm not saying that peer review is the standard for what qualifies as science. I'm saying that peer review should be the standard of prioritizing what educators should invest their resources in. . A Your analogy of alchemy being equivalent to design theory is also disingenuous, as alchemy is a discredited semi-mystical practice, not a scientific theory. B "Discredited"? Ooh, sounds like a reliance on the same standard you dismissed as an appeal to authority. Discredited by whom? And LOL @ "Alchemy is not a scientific theory". It was considered a scientific theory at the time. A ANY valid theories should be presented and shown their merits and evidence against. The evidence for design is rather plain, you have intricate systems that could not form by evolution as they are too complex, interdependent, and can not be explain as developing from step by step changes as many changes would have to occur concurrently in separate systems to continue working, Evolution is inadequate to explain it. B The argument from irreducible complexity ignores the fact that, although removing a part may render an organism helpless for one thing, it may still be perfectly useful for other things. Intelligent design is based on pure conjecture. The proposition "Some people believe that these organisms had to have been designed by an intelligent design" is relevant to social studies classrooms or philosophy, not a science class room. A The point of education is not to present one view. It is not to indoctrinate people. B Only teaching the theory of evolution is not indoctrination. In much the same way that only teaching modern chemistry, as opposed to alchemy is not indoctrination. Intelligent design is not taught, because it is not relevant to biology. Relying on the teacher to teach all aternative ideas is impossible. A It is to allow students to see the full range of ideas and yes choose their own. And when teaching science, which should ALWAYS accept alternate theories, why would say not presenting alternatives is wrong? They taught the big bang (creationist) and steady state theories (atheist) when they were both considered equally (chuckle) plausible. B Hahah what? A define "define" truth is the true nature of the universe B No circular definitions here, no sir. But if you want to get philosophical about it - there are no sources of truth. Science is the only accurate means of acquiring knowledge. A No, you merely show your ignorance. The example was gravity. Newton's theory has entirely been overturned. B So... what, ~-9.8m/s^2 is no longer the acceleration of gravity (yes, I know mileage may vary)? The gravitaitonal force of a planet is no longer m1 * m2 / (distance between two objects)^2 ? Force is no longer equal to mass * acceleration + velocity * (massdtime)? A We no longer believe gravity is a mystical force acting at a distance and no longer believe in Newton's Law even, which is at best an approximation. The present theory that overturned it believes that gravity is caused by a deformation of spacetime and the "correct" math expression of gravity is Einstein's field equation. B This is an example of modification, not 100% absolute 180 refutation, like you are insisting. A Sigh, you do realize that all theories in their beginning have little evidence because no one's looked for it. Einstein, even today, is proved "correct" due to a handful of evidence of a few experiments. Observations during an eclipse and time appearing to slow fractions of a second on spacetrips. The big bang is "proven" with a far too uniform background radiation that is less than half the lower range of the predicted value. Yet these are believed to be true. The evidence for evolution is not overwhelming and as said, its original evidence has faded away largely. Much of the remaining evidence is largely contrived. B Darwins theory is definitely not "in it's beginning", though. A no. but do tell how Newton modified the Greek view that gravity was caused by love? Do tell how Einstein modified Newton's theory of forces at distance to his view of warped spacetime. Seems entirely novel ideas. B Yes, because you cherrypicked the novelty out of the ideas and presented them as examples of scientific theories being 100% refuted - when they appear to be irrelevant to the overall theories. A No it is not stupid and again false analogies. Hitler did not reject Darwin's theory. B No proof A His entire racial theory was based on popular and scientific views of evolution of the time. B No proof. A You can not understand Nazi policy without its connection to evolution. They believed that the German people had been corrupted by cross breeding with non-Germans, particularly Jews, which was an obvious and distinct subgroup in Germany. This came from "scientific" views that non-whites were a subhuman species that whites evolved from (source: Darwin's descent of man <--how bout that -- he called them the melanin races) Northern Europeans were considered the most evolved and interbreeding with lower species caused their descendents to go backwards in evolution. This is why not only were "pure" Germans not permitted to marry non-pure germans, but also the destruction of less pure races, their planned enslavement, as well as encouraging "pure" Germans to breed more, from baby farms to encouraging births out of wed lock. B If you actually look at the context of the book, you'll notice that Darwin A Appeal to authority rather than facts...logical fallacy condems you :-D B That would be true, if I gave you an appeal to authority -without- facts. That's not the case. I provided some facts, and, although it was very hasty, it was definitely not a simple appeal to authority. A wow you present a whole video that comes up with the overwhelming evidence of um ring species. And this proves common descent how? No one is denying evolution as a process. I deny the THEORY of evolution that all species came from 1 single magic cell that we dont have a clue how it formed (MAGIC!) B Now you're shifting the goal posts. A well lets see: 1. artificial selection - once believed to show the incredible malleability of species, we now know that interbreeding causes reduction in the genome and less healthy individuals the more they are inbred and can be inbred to extinction. 2. Vestigial organs - once believed to have 100s in the human body alone, now we found functions for them and are left with well a vestigial bit of a theory that science holds on to. Simply put there are no vestigial traces, which also eliminates the possibility of new organs arising or declining out them. Even the appendix is an important lymphatic organ at the juncture of 2 organs. It is also a vestige from.....umm....mice? since monkeys do not have an appendix, but mice and apes do. So we have an organ that jumped not only an intermediate species, but a whole group. Seems that would be a flaw in common descent, but perfect evidence for design as designers tend to reuse models and parts. 3. Embryology --well this one totally f-d up too. They once believed that species relived their evolutionary development as embryos. Well even at the time, real embryologists said um no. Yet this too persists. Now they claim there's a stage where they all look the same, which is also false. What is really odd is the earliest stages of fish and reptiles and birds look similar, but not to the other group of amphibians and mammals that look similar, yet mammals, reptiles/birds, fish, and amphibian early embryos are all quite distinct in development. 4. Fossil record....well an amazing record that is totally contrived, scientists go out looking for skeletons with a certain trait (say an ape that can walk) and wow they find one (even tho it has equal length arms and legs which implies it walks on all fours) but the hips look at things in the hips dammit!! ignore those arms and legs. and viola it becomes our ancestor with an amazing half dozen partial skeletons. And repeat ad naseum. 5. Comparative anatomy....well the only proof left...but things looking alike does not prove direct relationship. Especially when you have jumping organs like the appendix above, and a vast amount of other inconsistencies. The problem with this "proof" is that its based on classification which is LOOKING for similarities and ignoring the vast differences. B I had no response because I admittedly know nothing about the subject as of know, and I would like to learn. A No, he does not debunk that evolution must arise out of random processes. We debunks probability arguments. I said nothing about probability so point? B You're spouting a common misconception about evolution being "mere chance", and you think you said nothing about probability? A Please then tell me the theory how cells evolved, how complex cells evolved, and how multicelled creatures formed (about a dozen times at least, all in the same basic way....? explain that) B I admittedly had no response or no idea how to research this A "But then all theories of origin are not true experimental science, they are mere modern mythology no better than creationism in intent" It's based on mathematical science. If there exists no observable evidence, scientists turn to reliable mathematics Um, common descent is based on math? wow, did not know that. B Had no response. If anyone's wondering about the quote beforehand, I admit I kinda just vomitted that response up A "So why do atheists believe their mythology is better than Christian?" Loaded question. " it is a mythology. Common descent is generally accepted on faith, since there are not even theories about how the major events of evolution (those listed above) occurred, yet you have faith it caused them and all species are related. I would agree with the relation, but it could only have happened by design and a designer. This is the only explanation that explains the evidence. Complex systems out of nothing, following the same methods....by the way all those events occurred the same way too...addition of a more complex reproduction method and compartmentalization of function, which had to occur at the same time too or else the advance could not have happened. so really why do you have faith in common descent? B Had no response --- If at any point, I put "had no response", it's because I didn't feel like writing up a response at the time. I'm not looking for someone to formulate a response for me, all I'm looking for is perhaps some improvement on what I already wrote. Here is the first dialogue I had with the guy, to clear things up --------------- Ahahaha you have no idea what you're talking about. You're on your soapbox and you've provided no sources. Not every idea deserves equal time in a science classroom. The idea that evolution and intelligent design are two equally plausible theories are absolutely -not- held by most scientists, but that's a myth they're trying to push. Intelligent design is rejected as unscientific by peer review, by people who regularly study evolutionary biology (ex: Francis Collins, who has absolutely no atheistic convictions motivating him to believe in evolution, yet admits that the evidence is overwhelming anyway). For the same reason that Chemistry classes aren't being required to offer a chapter on Alchemy, Biology classes shouldn't be forced to offer a chapter on Intelligent design. I don't believe most people would have a problem with intelligent design being taught in classrooms like.. philosophy, religion, etc. But the point of learning about science is not to "let students decide for themselves what they like" - The teachers are only teaching what the scientists have discovered. Whether or not people chose to accept it does not mean that the teacher should provide an alernative theory to what scientists accept. The mother then chimed in ask him about why he doesn't like science? The liberal newscaster in the panel then got almost exasperated that it is in issue that people can believe in something when science disagrees. I think this is a fundamental misunderstanding of science by people that is promoted by atheists who many treat "science" as a core belief of their religion. Define "truth" The examples you provided below are examples of modifications of former theories, no examples of theories that have been "overturned as false". Some aspects have been overturned, yes, but for you to claim that it is 100% wrong is idiotic. There's also no reason to categorize things with overwhelming evidence, to things with no evidence. Examples of modifcations of previous theories, not absolute refutations of theories. Ahahahaha... you do realize that Hitler rejected Darwin's theory of evolution, right? I'm only responding to that point because you have no sources for any of your claims, and your first claim was the only one I commonly heard. It's almost as stupid as saying (and yes, I realize atheists say this a lot and it is annoying) "Christianity has caused the crusades/murder of indigenous people" or "Islam has caused the WTC to blow up/slavery in Africa". Francis Collins, director of the Human Genome project disagrees with you. There is overwhelimg evidence that it has ever done so. No evidence provided for your claim whatsoever. Supporters of the theory of evolution don't claim that everything happens by the same chance as rolling a dice. Most mutations are based on previous mutations. http://www.dhbailey.com/papers/dhb-probability.pdf Here David H Bailey debunks the common misconception that evolution is pure randomness. All of these are incorrect, you should perhaps replace "no theory' with 'no answer that I like". It's based on mathematical science. If there exists no observable evidence, scientists turn to reliable mathematics Loaded question.
  4. Global Warming

    http://www.climatedepot.com/a/13403/MITs-Richard-Lindzen--Physicist-David-Douglass-Mullers-findings-of-warming-arenothing-remarkable--BEST-study-does-not-alter-Climategates-serious-breaches-of-ethics A nice article dismissing this finding this study as irrelevant
  5. If racism of particular people were the things keeping black people down - then asians and jews would not be having the same "privileges" they have today
  6. http://johncostella.webs.com/neutrino-blunder.pdf TL;DR OPERA claims that they found that neutrinos could exceed the speed of light, even accounting for statistical and systematic errors. John P. Costella claims that their fit wasn't tight enough, and that the neutrinos were actually going at a speed less than the speed of light, if properly accounting for the statistical and systematic errors.
  7. I've been hearing a lot of arguments against child labor, that children of young ages can't consent - therefore, if any child were to work somewhere, it would be slavery. Now, I'm not sure if Ayn Rand has addressed child labor laws at all, but I am guessing in a free-market society, child labor wouldn't necessarily be illegal - government may perhaps take action against them only in cases where it seems as though the parent is out of their mind, either for leting or encouraging them to work in certain places. But at the same time, it can also be argued that, if children work anywhere - regardless of whether or not it's at Starbucks, or a coal mine- the child is a slave. Would it be wrong to argue that the child is a slave, until he is conscious enough to be able to legally consent?
  8. Biologists Replicate Key Evolutionary Step

    This is truly amazing... I heard about it this Monday. I was excited
  9. SOPA - Is it right?

    Are you sure SOPA violates due process? I do understand that it's a 71 page bill, but on the very first page it says that no action by the state can be found to violate the first amendment. It also says that sufficient evidence must be provided that the website owner's primary purpose is to distribute copyright material. Also, it says that criminal action can be taken against anyone who files false SOPA claims. Is there something in the 71 page thing that contradicts this?
  10. Oslo Shooting and Bombing

    Just for corrections, because I missed this one: When McVeigh claimed to be an agnostic, he thought it meant "I'm not sure what denomination of Christianity I am". That's why he didn't attend mass - not because he was an agnostic. He still professed a belief in a God.
  11. Is all child labor "child slavery"?

    I might. I think perhaps, my confusion stems from the lack of arguments provided other than reductio ad absurdum. I understand that children have limited rights, due to a developing rational faculty - but the problem I'm having is - does this make them inherently slaves, if they do any work?
  12. Is all child labor "child slavery"?

    Because if someone can make the case that a child can't consent at a certain age, regardless of what they actually say - and if people make the argument that a slave is, by definition, someone who is working without consent - then the case can be made that a child is inherently a slave. Your argument is that if the child is working, or being asked to find a job that is not a danger to his health, in exchange for continued shelter. That's great - but it doesn't eliminate the problem of - can a child consent? Child labor, good or bad, humane or inhumane is not voluntary unless the case can be made that consent can be given. Mutual transactions that aren't consented doesn't eliminate slaveyr. CapitalistFred and you have provided very good arguments that kids should be allowed to work - but it doesn't eliminate the problem of: - Can a child consent to work? - Is child labor voluntary? - If it's not, is it slavery? The fact that a child is able to purchase may imply that the child is capable of consenting to certain activies. Now, imagine if the store clerk said.. "Hey kiddo, you want more of these candies? If you get a job here, you can afford more of this candy!" The child instantly says yes... in this situation, it doesn't seem like the child was in his right mind to consent. What would be proper consent - if he asked his parents first? Assuming what Avila said, that a child getting a job is merely contributing to the welfare of his family, perhaps the case can be made that child labor, with consent of the parents, is not slavery.
  13. Is all child labor "child slavery"?

    This is the issue I'm having: I'm not so clear that it's not true. It may not be necessarily a bad thing that a kid is told to wash dishes, but the issue I'm having trouble with is the idea that child labor is not slavery. Would I have to argue that, by definition, a kid is a slave until he is an adult capable of making his own choices?
  14. "The US has exactly as much right (to attack another country because they have nukes) as other nations have to attack the US for having nukes." This is not correct - the United States and Iran are completely different countries with completely different regimes. The United States, despite perhaps having a history of having some ideological wars, has a Constitution and regime that prevents them from doing so. With Iran, their Constitution encourages their military to start ideological wars - wars in the name of Islam. Iran has a history of initiating force against us - They did nationalize oil found by American enterprise
  15. Politically Correct Atheism

    Who said atheism automatically makes one rational? Or more rational? I'm never met an atheist acutally say that - and believe me, I have MANY complaints about fellow atheists.
  16. Creative work ahead of family?

    "Nor was it important to Ayn Rand, so you're probably in the wrong place to look for a concept of family to strive for (a family of your own)." Ahahahah, what?
  17. I was joking too. And yeah, I don't think my ability to pinpoint spelling errors instantly prevents me from seeing the bigger picture. It makes me happy that I can recognize that it's a spelling error - and it helps me a lot when writing essays. And if I feel something is worthy of being disagreed with, I generally don't mention any spelling or grammatical errors I come across. As for the topic hand, I wonder - is it possible that maybe, just maybe, philosophers may have a potential job market outside of colleges? Perhaps a psychologist can hire a philosopher as an assistant. Like.. maybe, all a depressed person really would need is to have a conversation with a philosopher. I really don't know how something like this would work out. But I will agree the modern psychiatry is too pre-occupied with medication as a solution. Obviously, this approach would not work right now.
  18. Prop 8 Ruling CA - Bad from O-ist POV

    So, I have a question - Didn't Judge Walker defy binding precedent by ruling in favor of Perry, on the grounds that it was a violation of Due Process and the Equal Proteciton Clause? Baker v. Nelson, 409 U.S. 810, 34 L.E.2d 65, 93 S Ct 37 (1972), is a Supreme Court case, which is a higher jurisdiction than the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Since Judge Walker refused to rule along with a lawsuit much similar to the one he judged, he violated binding precedent.
  19. Objectivism and homosexuality dont mix

    If this is based solely on Ayn Rand's comments on feminine/masculine, then your last statement is unsupported. You understand that people have no obligation to reproduce, fine. But there is nothing about gender differences alone that hinder any compliments.
  20. http://facebook.cufi.org/2011/11/iran-nearing-nuclear-capability/ http://in.reuters.com/article/2011/11/07/idINIndia-60362820111107 Well, it seems as though Iran has mastered the important steps needed to create a nuclear weapon. Many people are arguing that if Iran were to not only be able to develop nuclear energy, but nuclear weapons, it would be a good thing. If Iran had the ability to develop nuclear weapons, Iran and rival countries with nukes would be less likely to get involved in all-out war. I would be compelled to agree with this, if A) They have given us back the oil that we've uncovered and Iran wasn't mentally ill So, should the United States take any steps necessary to interfere with their creation of nuclear weapons? Or should we let Iran develop them?
  21. Was that in reference to my post? Because I'm mostly asking a question of what way of dealing with Iran will result in least negative consequences for us. The topics you posted are rather old - Iranians may have more power to screw us over now.
  22. I'm not sure if this is addressed, but what is the best way to deal with Iran, if we're to use retributive force on them, without screwing ourselves over? A direct attack from the U.S. Military? What if Iran decides to attack us in a way that could severely screw our economy up? That's all they'd need to do to make us very vulnerable. And, if everyone's right about them being willing to die for religious causes, I doubt it would be too much of a strech that they'd try to curse us before they go out. Pay mercenaries? Same problem... if the U.S government is the one paying them. If Iran figures out we put them up to it, they'll attack us. Letters of marque and reprise? That's usually called for tiny, non international conflicts.. but it could work. If several people were applying for them
  23. Ahmadinejad is an asshole, I don't think most people would argue against that. But does he really speak for Iran? Yeah, he's the president, but he really doesn't even have that much power. He doesn't control Iranian nuclear strategy, or foreign policy. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is the guy that's in charge. Ahmadinejad isn't even the -2nd- most powerful person in the country, more like the 14th.
  24. I guess now would be a bad time to comment on the irony of diagnosing me with OCD in a topic where you decry the hasty diagnoses of modern psychiatry?
  25. You can't just a country's foreign policy motives based on what their religion says - you have to have more than that. Anyone can claim to be of a certain religion, and totally ignore the passages, or even fundamentals of the religion. It seems that most of the violence done on Iran's part has been ethnic, not religious. That's still not a case for allowing them to develop nukes, of course. Just to be clear, we're not talking about Ahmadinejad, are we?