Lord Mord

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  1. Prunes,  I appreciate your response and your candor. So, if the police are afraid to shut down this pedophilia ring due to PC reprisals, I presume it's not fear of the public directly which motivates them, but instead they fear reprisals from their employers.  Their employers are, presumably, elected public officials who will need votes, and who fear a PC smear campaign in the next election. Have I got that all straight?
  2. Prunes, You also haven't answered my question.  Indeed, respectfully, I don't see how it can have been considered an answer to my question at all.  I was not interested in a specific incidence of political correctness, accurate or otherwise.  I was asking if you were positing a definition for political correctness.  Is political correctness by definition characterized by the inaccuracy of its criticisms?
  3.  Prunes, Are you positing that the distinction between criticism and political correctness is that the former is always accurate and the latter is always in error?
  4. Prunes, Thank you.  If you were to criticize a police department for racist conduct, why shouldn't everyone discount your complaint as mere political correctness?
  5. Prunes,   I'm sorry, but this doesn't really answer any of my questions. My fault for bad phrasing and for trying to do too much at one go.  I should break this down by individual questions, perhaps. Now, keep in mind, please, that at least some of these questions, including the very first one, I'm pretty sure I know the answer to.  Yet, just to make sure I don't get ahead of myself again, I need to take it slowly.  I appreciate your patience in bearing with me on this. First question: Do you believe that the people should criticize their police and other public officials if they have cause to believe the conduct of those officials is racially motivated?
  6. Prunes,  I'm having a bit of difficulty here.  You clearly aren't suggesting that police and politicians should be immune from public criticism when their practices are racist or bigoted, right? Aren't you concerned that if your worldview gained greater acceptance, then the police and politicians could deflect all criticism along those lines as political correctness? Why can't political correctness be that balance, between the apathy about racism that you are arguably projecting on the one hand, and the unthinking mob you are not completely accurately portraying on the other?  Why can't you allow that political correctness can simply be anti-racist activism, good for purging the system, and not by definition a runaway train?  Your caricature would, it seems to me, have to silence everyone into just accepting whatever the police do, even if it is to unfairly profile by skin color and religion. You are probably not particularly racist yourself, but whatever your intentions, you're giving the racists a billy club for smacking their way back into their heyday and I just don't know why you would want to do that.
  7. Bloom County's Take on "Safe Spaces" (so far)

    The boy is perverting the notion of safe space and the father is abdicating his responsibility for drawing any distinctions.  If the author's point is to make fun of the very idea of safe zones, then he's failing, because it reads to me as a critique of our failure to engage micro-aggressions seriously.  What I read is that in this country, as observers of this phenomenon, we assume the role of the father, in that we're choosing to frame this as either/or.  Either everybody can claim safety from some form of micro-aggression, to the point that we turn the very notion of responsibility itself into a micro-aggression, or else we have to disregard any talk of zones and trample on everyone's safety.  Since the latter choice carries the greater opprobrium, the father chooses the former, when, of course, the truth is that we don't have to choose between these exaggerated concepts at all. If the author wants to actually tear down the very idea of safe zones, he'll have to be smarter about it.
  8. Religion vs Atheism Book 2

     Rorschach, If one is not subject to another's law, then one is subject to oneself alone, which is the definition of arbitrary.
  9. Religion vs Atheism Book 2

     Erik, Equally problematic is the fact that you never really know what God's morality is.  If you go with your pastor, it's what your pastor says, not what God says.  If you go from a book, it's what the publisher says, not what God says.  If you go from what you feel inside after asking God about in deep and persistent prayer for weeks, then you're still just going from what you feel, like most of us. Sure, if we can ever identify the word of God, as such, then there's still big problems of either God's weakness or his arbitrariness.  He's either relatively weak, because he's subject to a bigger universal law of what's good that he is powerless to change -- or else he's arbitrary, because he isn't.  Yet, we'll never really get to that point of objectively identifying what his word is anyway, I think.
  10. Religion vs Atheism Book 2

     Stubby, Okay, this makes sense to me. I was reading the conflict as one of morality, and thereby assigning to you, as I now suppose, a position you probably do not hold.  What I now believe you mean, is that religion offers certain remarks as "facts", which facts are contradicted by scientific evidence, and even by overwhelming consensus in many cases.  If that's true, the only way to disprove you would be to offer all or nearly all of the facts which the various religions purport and show that science has upheld them, which of course is ludicrous. Anyway, thank you for being, in the main, patient, and at nearly all times, quite thorough.  Also, sorry for missing the point for so long.
  11. Religion and Atheism

    Stubby, Where the viewpoint I'm providing would work in real life is like this: Suppose that instead of Jo, we were talking with a religious legislator, proposing the law which killed this woman.  We object to its being based in religion.  He says that science and religion needn't be opposed and says that his reasoning is entirely valid. Is he wrong?  All other things equal, we can't know.  For your position to be true and usable, for every instance of a religious argument, you have to find some invalid derivation, and given the infinite number of arguments possible, that is far from certain.  If even one is logically derived from the assumptions, your position falls apart. My position, by contrast, makes everything simpler.  "Valid?!" we cry.  "Who gives a shit about valid?  Ridiculously low bar to clear.  Your conclusion is immoral on its face, as is at least one of your major assumptions." We shouldn't care if religion and science are compatible, because science is only an amoral tool.  We should care if religious values are compatible with human rights and dignity, and where they aren't, reject them forcibly.
  12. Religion and Atheism

    Stubby,   The thing is, rather than demonstrating anything about the logical conclusions of my arguments, you've made a whole bunch of entirely unsubstantiated inferences based on what you feel to be true.   As to your perennial complaint about no real-world examples, I'm not even sure what it is that you think I'm trying to prove.  As for what I am trying to prove, I just don't know what kind of real-world example could be made to demonstrate it, because it's not that kind of argument.  Re: the point to which you first took objection, what I took away from it seemed, if not necessarily correct, then at least not decidedly incorrect.  You're taking the opposite position, that it's decidedly incorrect.  My argument has been simply that if you were defining the terms correctly, you would see that your position is, while not not necessarily false, also decidedly not necessarily true.  All I can do to show that, it seems to me, is to remind you what science really means and what its limitations are. What I keep running up against is your steadfast refusal to budge from the connotations you have assigned to to the word science, and your tendency to make conflations generally.  So, in the end, you're probably right to call this one.  Agree to disagree.
  13. Religion and Atheism

    Stubby,  Why on earth would I justify the mother's death?  That is an outrageously stupid law.  That particular law is probably invalidly derived, as far as logic goes, but just because the conclusion is horrible is insufficient to call it invalid.  It's plenty enough to call it evil, though, and I'm behind you 100% on that one.  
  14. Religion and Atheism

    Stubby,   Okay.  So.  Uh, sorry, sorry.  Dead horse, and all that, but upon further review, this point struck me forcibly, and I have to respond.  Thank you.  Emphasis mine. Can you please show me where I said or suggested it was okay?  I merely said it was not necessarily in conflict with science.  I think it highlights the center of our disagreement, when my attempt to bring you around to seeing a religious position as not necessarily in conflict with science suggests to you that I'm saying that the religious position is therefore "okay" -- as if not being in conflict with science would confer moral legitimacy. Not being in conflict with science is not morally proper or improper; it's a thing unto itself.  Science doesn't care where we get our personal values from, or what we do with those values.  Science will just measure the impact that a realization of our values has on the world.  And that's it, really: science is just an instrument to measure.  Science cannot tell us what is moral, only what the consequences of a given morality will be.  We can disagree over which consequences, and therefore which morals, are most desirable, but at some point that will come down to personal preference.  I would argue that not all personal preferences are morally equal, but that is of course wholly subjective.
  15. Religion and Atheism

    Stubby, I admit that my chief concern is for civility, so how you get there, is up to you.  One thing you might consider, though, is assuming good faith.  If we both mean to reach a conclusion, and we're both open to looking at facts, then if one of us is truly "right," some combination of facts will probably get us there.  At some point, we may find that we're talking past each other, in which case we stop, recognizing that our aims don't really have anything to do with each other.  At some point, we may find that it's really some one value judgment -- and not a fact at all -- that separates us, in which case we respectfully agree to disagree.  Or at some point, one of us may change his mind.  In none of these instances is abuse a requirement. The thing is, I don't think anyone here, with the possible exception of Ser Scot can say definitely that he or she has always been civil, and certainly I can't.  It's just, in that moment, it was a bit of a buzzkill for participating in the thread, and I hoped that was not your intention, to make me stop. But to the point, you keep using this expression, "philosophical hand-waving," but you realize that's all this thread can be about, right?  Philosophy, one's philosophical approach.  You use a dismissive, sneering term in contrast to your shining, concrete "real-world", but again, your examples are merely data.  Your data can't tell me how to feel about the subject, it's numbers or words on a page, full stop.  You then color those facts with your philosophical approach to the world, assigning value to the elements and telling a story.  What is being pointed out is that there is not only one valid philosophy in the world, and those differences of philosophy will take the same facts, color them differently, and reach a different conclusion.  What you call hand-waving, I call an attempt to introduce you to the concept of more than one valid point of view. In any event, I've realized this morning that I have again spent several posts here in what is essentially a semantic argument.  You have adopted your values in the absence of a religious doctrine, and you have correlated your values so strongly with your self-image as a scientist (by philosophy, if not by profession), that you will not hear of science being separated out of the equation.  You have convinced yourself that science gave you your values, and that's totally fine. I really shouldn't bother trying to dissuade you, since our values and our conclusions, I think, largely align. I just disagree with your definition of science.  If you're interested in the semantics still, then let me just say this: no one can base their judgment on all of the facts, and weigh them all equally.  Differences in weight are not suspensions of the scientific method, they are simply intrinsic to the existence of differing philosophies and points of view.  Ignoring a fact does not make one un-scientific, because scientists ignore certain facts all the time, in order to reach their conclusions.  They call these facts "outliers" or they say that the connection to why (x) happens has not yet been made, but they still draw inferences from the data that someone else, someone who believes those outliers must be more significant than that, will challenge.  Who is more scientific?  The answer is not absolute; it depends on what you value.  Science will give us the data, but which data we choose to believe are important is not scientific, but personal.