Politics (formerly Election 2012)

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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Aubade » Wed Jan 29, 2014 1:01 pm

Amirya wrote:I don't understand the point of teaching Creationism/ID alongside evolution. Would they also require schools to teach other religious beliefs of how the planet came to be populated? Not every religion believes that they were created by a deity or highly evolved being.

If they would not, then why does Creationism/ID get a free pass?

(Note: I make no comment on the idea of Creationism/ID itself)


Simple. Creationists/ID are the people who made the big stink. They don't believe in separation of church and state. They've been told (Falsely) that this country was founded as a christian country, so they think we should all adhere to their christian ideals. They give just as little crap about other religions as they do about evolution since to them it's not about teaching equally across ideals. It's about teaching THEIR Ideals, because their ideals are right, and everyone else's is made-up crap.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Kal » Wed Jan 29, 2014 1:14 pm

For anyone interested in Creationism/ID, I suggest watching the Ken Ham/Bill Nye debate “Is creation a viable model of origins?” coming up Feb 4th. (link) Would this deserve it own thread after it airs?

richarddawkins.net has an article commenting on it already, titled "Why Bill Nye shouldn't debate Ken Ham". I disagree with some of their main points as follows:

"Debating creationists offer their position credibility" I agree with this statement, but to then say "Scientists should not debate creationists. Period." is a non sequitur. I think truth is always worth debating, no matter how silly or sinister the opposition.

"Nye is not a biologist" Also a fair point, but neither is Ken Ham. To put a finer point on it, evolution isn't necessarily being defended, so much as Creationism being criticized. More importantly, Bill Nye is an educator. I think he is well qualified to criticize teaching Creationism as inappropriate for children.

"You must fully understand your opponent" This is simply an unfair criticism, I think. Who is to say Bill Nye doesn't know deceit when he sees it, or is unprepared to counter it? I've seen his TV spots concerning climate change, and they indicate he is a skilled debater, as well as a skilled presenter.

On a personal note, I was a Young-Earth Creationist as a kid, since that was what I was taught in school, and what caused me to reject Creationism was simply an unrestricted education. After I read Origin of Species and The Blind Watchmaker, Creationism simply didn't stand a chance with me anymore.

Bottom line: Bill Nye is a science educator, with decades of experience. I have high hopes for the outcome of this debate.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Koatanga » Wed Jan 29, 2014 2:55 pm

For me, the issue is that Creationism relies on logical fallacies, such as "it's true because you can't conclusively prove that it's not true". Nye should be used to formal debate where such tactics are frowned upon. The audience that believes in Creationism will likely not recognize logical fallacy as foul play because they are used to accepting fallacies as valid arguments.

I'm curious to see how he handles it. If he points out they are logical fallacies, he'll be seen as bullying Ham. If he allows them then he'll have difficulty refuting them as it is logically impossible to prove a negative. You cannot prove that you are not a space alien, or that you don't have weapons of mass destruction hidden somewhere, or that magic doesn't exist. All you can do is show an alternative that is explained via scientific principles, upon which you are met with the Gambler's Fallacy, which is "Yes, that could happen, but the odds of it happening that way are nearly nonexistent".
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Wed Jan 29, 2014 3:04 pm

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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Nooska » Wed Jan 29, 2014 3:58 pm

Koatanga wrote:logical fallacies, such as "it's true because you can't conclusively prove that it's not true".


Thing is, when it comes to religion or faith, that isn't a logical fallacy, as faith is about believing that which cannot be proven (which means its the default position).
This is what so many people arguing against religious perception fails to understand, because faith is driven by belief, you can't prove they are wrong by saying they have to prove they are right.

Faith is belief without proof, so requiring proof for faith to be "right" is logically fallacious in and of itself, as you require faith do be proven belief only.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fivelives » Wed Jan 29, 2014 4:29 pm

Klaudandus wrote:http://www.realclear.com/news/2014/01/29/snowden_nominated_for_nobel_peace_prize_5420.html

I'm OK with this.


I'm not. He swore an oath to keep secrets, then purposefully and systematically violated that oath. I'd like to think that the Nobel peace prize is worth more than that, that the person getting it has to have at least some modicum of integrity - otherwise, what's the point of it? It's bad enough that they've already given one out for essentially nothing (love him or hate him, Obama definitely did not earn a Nobel peace prize for getting elected - and as history has already shown he probably wouldn't even have been nominated today).

I mean think about it this way:
Martin Luther King, Jr. Mother Teresa. Nelson Mandela. Edward Snowden.

One of those names is not like the other.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Wed Jan 29, 2014 4:38 pm

You see. I am perfectly ok with intelligence agencies gathering intelligence on terrorists attacks -- gathering intelligence on Petrobras or Siemens will not stop a terrorist attack though. That's why Snowden going Benedict Arnold is actually good for everyone, big picture wise.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Koatanga » Wed Jan 29, 2014 4:51 pm

Fivelives wrote:I'm not. He swore an oath to keep secrets, then purposefully and systematically violated that oath.

When the organization that he swore to keep secrets for turned out to be operating illegally, I would think the ethics of keeping the oath fall into a gray area at best.

I am sure at one point he swore allegiance to the flag of the United States, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, and all that. That oath would be in direct conflict with an oath to keep secrets for an organization operating against the laws of that republic. He is therefore ethically bound to serve the Republic, not the organization.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Kal » Wed Jan 29, 2014 4:57 pm

Snowden swore an oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Wed Jan 29, 2014 5:07 pm

Kal wrote:Snowden swore an oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic.


Bravo.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fivelives » Wed Jan 29, 2014 6:49 pm

There are ways to report those kinds of things that don't involve leaking everything publicly. He could've gone to the congressional oversight committees, he could've gone to his chain of command, he could've even gone to the media as an anonymous source and reported it without leaking the classified documents then let the journalists dig into it (although that would be an absolute last resort once every other legal avenue had been exhausted). That would require he remain anonymous, though.

Instead, by leaking everything to the public, he became one of those domestic enemies that he swore to defend us against. Everyone knows that everyone spies on everyone else. But it's not an issue unless it's made public, which is exactly what Snowden did. Now we have the EU - historically strong allies of the US - balking at trade deals and demanding (and getting) concessions that can be pretty harmful to our economy. Not to mention the massive amount of political ammunition Snowden just handed the entire world that will hamper diplomatic efforts for years to come.

Snowden didn't do this because he was a patriot. If he was a patriot, he would've gone through the proper established channels - that actually do work - instead of leaking it publicly. He did this because he wanted attention in the wake of Julian Assange proving just how damn effective leaks can be at getting a relative unknown celebrity status.

To reiterate: absolutely nothing Snowden leaked was anything other than common knowledge. But the leak itself did near-irreparable harm to the same country he swore an oath to protect and defend, and violated the oath that he swore to protect the secrets under his care.

Whether the actions are right, wrong, or indifferent (and in this case they are wrong beyond comprehension), treason should never be rewarded. Like I said earlier, Martin Luther King, Jr. moved mountains in the civil rights campaign. Mother Teresa moved heaven and earth to help those in need. Nelson Mandela ended apartheid in South Africa. Edward Snowden wanted to be famous. One of those names is not like the other.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Wed Jan 29, 2014 6:59 pm

There's no way he could have tried going thru regular channels. All the stuff would be swept under the rug under the pretense of national security.

Again, if spying of PetroBras or Siemmens stopped a terrorist attack, then I am the Queen of England.

The spying is just too pervasive and with little oversight.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Amirya » Thu Jan 30, 2014 12:04 am

Fivelives wrote:If he was a patriot, he would've gone through the proper established channels - that actually do work - instead of leaking it publicly.

I haven't followed the story too much, because I have no faith in the US government. None, at all.

So I don't know if Snowden has claimed he tried other methods, or if he hasn't said anything. But I do question why I should believe congressional committees "actually do work." So far, all I've seen of Congress is that they fight worse than spoiled 3 year olds, and that's being unkind to said spoiled 3 year olds. "We will not discuss or investigate these allegations because it would be a breach of national security." Same with said chain of command.

The only one that could potentially be considered to actually work is the media, and even then, not really.

Could he have gone about this a whole different way? Absolutely. But to suggest the government would have done anything if he'd brought it to the attention of those in it? I have not the words for that.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby KysenMurrin » Thu Jan 30, 2014 3:28 am

IIRC Snowden has claimed that he went to his superiors at some point with his concerns, while the NSA says there's no evidence those conversations happened.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Nooska » Thu Jan 30, 2014 7:11 am

Also, regardless, no way anything significant would happen without public outcry, which he caused.
Thinsg are changing, for the better in regards to world peace, because of the action Edward Snowden took, at the peril of his own liberty (and probably life - there is no way I can be convinced an "accident" wouldn't be above the tactics of a super secret intelligence agency operating beyond the law).

That does sound like the thing that would afford a nomination - whether he will / would get it, is anothe rmatter, but him being nominated is fair and right as far as most of teh western world thinks (US excluded as a state, not individuals).

An Oath to keep secret things that are illegal would not hold up in any court of law - except in a country that actively perpetrated said illegalities (which is not a state based of laws, but the very definition of a dictatorship or police state).
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