Sunday, July 24, 2011

I like the idea...

     I like the idea presented in this comic. Unfortunately, it won't work. As it currently stands, people already rate comments with which they don't agree "unconstructive," "unhelpful," "useless," or whichever term is used for the purpose. Alternately, if they like something, they will rate "woo, this is the ACE!!!!1111ONE!!1!1!" as "constructive." Spammers would, sadly, just mimic this behavior. Ultimately, no one who wasn't selling garbage would be able to get in.

Capitalism is great...

     Well, capitalism is great for anyone who can shut his doors, isolate himself from the outside world and still feed and clothe his family. If you have a farm and the skills to work it and can feed and clothe yourself and your family, businesses can't really force you into an unfavorable contract. If you have sufficient money and investments, you're good to go.
     The problem with capitalism comes when people need an outside income to be able to sustain themselves. Then you get business owners who tell them that if they don't want to work for starvation wages, there are plenty of others who will. It really is a type of duress.
     Capitalism needs to be tempered just enough so that everyone can feel safe in saying "no." to a bad deal. Otherwise, you have a type of de facto slavery.

Ah, Norman, lying again.

     He likes to fancy himself as educating people, but let that pass. At any rate, he has recently put up part of a screen shot of mine and falsely claimed that it exhibited argument from silence. It did not. The assertion of mine is that christians, like Norman, are willing to lie, cheat, steal, kill, etc. to further their ends. I also informed him that if he deleted my comment it would imply that christians, like himself, do this. But this isn't because of an arguement from silence, a false dilemma, or any other logical fallacy. It is because, by deleting my comment, he exhibited the very behavior of which I accused him. In other words, his deletion of my comment implied that he agreed with the charge whether or not I pointed it out. My pointing it out merely gave him the chance to reconsider. I'm like that.
     Now, Norman says that I was trying to manipulate him. I suppose a case could be made for that. One could argue that I was trying to manipulate him into honest discession by giving him a disincentive to engage in his normal behavior of suppressing everything that doesn't kiss his -- ahem -- feet. The fact is that if he remotely believed his lies about me, he would let all my comments stand. He would think that they portray precisely the image into which he wishes to cast all non-christians. The fact that he doesn't and even edits my screen capture to prevent anyone from seeing what he doesn't want them to see speaks volumes about his real beliefs.
     I also find it amusing that he uses the example of a bully saying "if you don't meet me where I say, you are scared." Well, I can admit that I have been scared of bullies. The fact is that the bully in his example is actually making a true statement. The manipulation comes from the fact that people don't want to admit that they are scared. Since it is Norman's analogy, we may reasonably conclude that he agreed with my assessment of christians, but doesn't want to admit it.

Monday, July 18, 2011

About free speech rights

     One blogger claims that free speech rights are being lost because a distraught father filed a police report, the policeman took the opportunity to criticize the man's daughter, and the policeman faces the prospect of being fired. Well, I've got news. Free speech rights have never protected you from being fired for saying something the boss didn't like while on the job. More importantly, a police officer's job is not to increase the distress of those who come for help.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

It would appear that christians and atheists each prefer to have their own echo chambers.

     I recently noticed this post. In it, Paule Baird is criticizing the use of valueless sound bites against the christian faith as it makes atheists appear indistinguishable from christians. He overlooks what I consider an important point. For the most part, atheists are indistinguishable from christians. They don't come to their belief from a careful examination of the evidence. They base their belief on what is convenient and/or comforting to them or they just take the word of a trusted authority and they only look at differring beliefs for the express purpose of "showing how they are wrong." They pay no real attention to what is being said.
     Paul was attacked by other atheists for the simple reason that he did not show 100 percent unwavering loyalty to the cause. That is, he questioned the method used as ineffective. He's right, of course. It is ineffective. Anyone not already in one of the respective camps will recognize it as mindless propaganda -- something with which I am only too familiar. But, in levelling the criticism, he revealed that he was not following like a sheep. And this is just as intolerable in atheist circles as it is in christian circles.

It seems a lot of people are upset about the Casey Anthony verdict.

     Many people want to know how the jury could find Casey Anthony innocent. Well, first off, they didn't. That is a common confusion with our justice system. Personally, I think that juries should have three options for a verdict, "guilty," "not guilty," and "innocent." I also think that in the event of an "innocent" verdict, the prosecution should be held personaly responsible for any damages caused to the accused -- even if or especially if the defendant was indicted by a grand jury. If there were the actual verdict of "innocent" available, the "not guilty" verdict might not have left such a sour taste in the jurors' mouths.

Monday, July 04, 2011

I would like to take some time...

     I would like to take some time on this day in which we celebrate the freedoms that we don't really have to talk about the issue.
     A lot of people say that the government is us. That is simply not true -- except for the people who can afford to buy the politicians. We, the members of the general population do not really get a voice in government. I am quite aware of the elections in which one can vote for the red puppet or the blue puppet. But the puppeteer remains the same in any event. The courts havfe ruled essentially that the general public has no recourse when cheated by the big businesses and has also ruled that big business can use its vast wealth to silence any opposition.

Americans and History

     I have seen a lot op people lately complaining about the fact that Americans don't seem to remember history very well. And it is quite true. But, then, these same people think of history in terms of nothing more than names and dates. That's right. They single out the least important part and treat it as though it were the whole thing.
     It is simply not that important that the date on which Mr. Hancock signed the Daclaration of Independence was 4 Jul 1776. It would not make a significant difference if it were signed a year earlier, a year later, or at some other time of year. It wouldn't even matter if the names of the people involved were different. What is important is that the colonists were fed up with what they saw as oppressive treatment and decided to take the risk involved in taking up arms against the established regime. The events that unfolded and the reasons why people took the actions they did are the true lessons of history. Learning a bunch of names and dates is missing the point.