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Everything posted by philpot123

  1. Long time no see GD. I have a very tight friend group of four close friends. Two of them recently went through rough periods of breakups, depression, etc. and coped by turning to each other for intimacy even though they were both interested in other people. Now they both feel intense guilt and have agreed they can't see each other anymore which is shattering our friend group, and one of them lied to me about what happened even though he was pretending to be forthcoming about everything and asking me for advice. So this rapid change of pace made me rethink everything I've gone through in the past few years getting to know these people and coming to college and everything else, and I remembered how I used to hop on here when I was in high school and dealing with similar problems. I was a bit of an ass then, alienated some people, but I made some cool friends and it was an overall happy time in my life. So I thought I'd revisit for some nostalgia.
  2. But there is a clear difference between the sort of triage you are describing and setting out to kill someone, right? Choosing to prioritize the care of one patient over another in an emergency situation is not saying the other life isn't worth preserving, it's that this life is the more likely to be saved of the two, so a difficult decision must be made. The difference is intent. So yes, it is a mistake to say that the life of the child in the womb is "worth more" than the life of the mother, but it is also a mistake to say that the child in the womb is not a life worth preserving.
  3. I have a pretty intense loathing for most of the people running for president, from both parties. Yay politics.
  4. "Far more" is a gross overstatement. I don't know where you live, but the US averages about 89 firearms per every 100 residents. That means that for every violent gun crime, there are literally hundreds of law-abiding citizens keeping their guns holstered and secured. The number of defensive uses of firearms per year in the US is exponentially higher than the number of criminal uses. It's totally cool if you don't like guns, but to say that there are "far more unresponsible [irresponsible] psychopaths" than there are peaceful gun owners is just objectively wrong. I shoot quite often, with a variety of firearms. It's highly enjoyable. I'm looking forward to getting my carry permit as soon as possible.
  5. The possibility of mistakes doesn't go to the essential issue here. The fundamental question is whether or not someone who commits murder, or rape, etc. is deserving of death. What is the just penalty for those crimes? Once that question has been resolved, then you can deal with the practical applications, evidence standards, etc., but until that question is resolved, the conversation is useless.
  6. No, we don't desire for "women to suffer." That's absurd. We just don't want people to have legal access to murder. If what we say about abortion is true, "preventing" women from aborting children is exactly the same as "preventing" people from committing any other sort of homicide, or rather infanticide.
  7. For one, it's a great blessing to be able to learn about history with the freedom we're afforded in the modern era. We lowly everyday non-historians have access to source documents and original records like never before thanks to the internet. Academic history is like a big detective novel. Historians are taking the best extant evidence, personal accounts, secondhand accounts, art, tombs, literature, and they're piecing together what happened before our time. If that's not cool, I don't know what is. Besides the fact that historical discovery is exciting and rewarding, the culture you live in doesn't exist in a vacuum. If you live in a western nation, your culture is probably strongly influenced by the philosophy of the Enlightenment, so it's pretty handy to learn about the Enlightenment and what the philosophes thought and taught so that you can better understand your own culture. That's just a tiny, broad example really, because there's a million things other than the Enlightenment that play into why your culture is the way it is. Have you never looked around at what people in your community are doing and wondered "why do we do X," or "why is X the way it is?" On a small scale, it can be as simple as wondering why your city was located where it currently sits, or as big as why the USA South as a whole is economically deficient when compared to the North. I suppose I can understand that some people just aren't all that interested in history, but it certainly seems like you should understand why there's value in teaching it and learning it.
  8. I've been playing ukulele for several years, and I've taught lessons a time or two. It's basically the happiest instrument ever.
  9. Well that's a rather depressing attitude towards education.
  10. Next semester is trying to kill me already. I'm taking more hours, working more hours, and I have a few new responsibilities as a custodial crew supervisor and a staff writer for an on-campus international social affairs journal. At the same time, I'm glad to see the summer wrap up. It's been a good break, and I'm happy to get back to school. Plus, I just finished a summer research project on Batman for a literature colloquium, so that's basically the coolest thing I've ever accomplished.
  11. Still not really sure what analogy you're trying to draw. It seems a bit weak, in either case. Making economic transactions coerced rather than voluntary is absurd. They could have argued it under current SCOTUS precedent, yes, but current precedent regarding the commerce clause is laughable. It's been butchered and ***ized to the point that it means nothing close to what it was originally intended to regulate, which was COMMERCE (i.e. shipping and sales) across state lines. The idea that something could be regulated under the commerce clause just because it could be done in several different states would have been laughable to the framers. I don't know enough about the medical science to argue this one way or the other, but that is a point of debate, is it not? If it weren't, there would be no reason for people to be opposed to plan b any more than they are opposed to other forms of BC. I think minimum wage is ridiculous and harmful to the economy. I believe there are better ways to deal with environmental issues than the ways we are currently handling them, although pollutants are different than wage laws and healthcare laws (it's not "coercive" in the same sense to punish someone for actual harm). What compelling gov't interest is there to guarantee free access to healthcare?? How do you even define a "compelling government interest"? The Supreme Court never did, but they still use it as a legal test. Funny how that works. The government taking my money by force and using it for bad things is not the same thing as the government forcing me to use the money in my possession for bad things. I would beg to differ about whether or not we "know" anything of the sort, but that's a discussion fit for another discussion board.
  12. I'm really not sure what the first part of your post has to do with anything, so I'll start with this. I realize that. I think the law is stupid and inane and coercive and illogical. The fact that something is the law doesn't change its nature of being stupid. You should do some study into natural law arguments against BC. Yes, there is logic to opposing abortion and opposing birth control simultaneously. I'm not going to argue about that here, because moral opposition to the use of birth control generally is something that rests on fundamental presuppositions we don't share. But at the least, if one believes that life begins at conception, thinks like plan B and IUDs cause post-conception termination, which would be the ending of a life. I'm acting as if business managers should be able to choose what healthcare plans they want to offer as part of their incentives package and shouldn't be coerced into buying anything, much less things they morally object to. I'm also acting like the act of not buying something is fundamentally different than the act of preventing someone from getting that same thing. To say Hobby Lobby is "preventing" or "keeping" their employees from accessing anything is an outright lie.
  13. Well, I missed the USA game today because of work, but that was a heartbreaking loss to go back and watch. Looks like I'll be pulling for Germany exclusively now.
  14. Say again: Sixteen. Sixteen different types of birth control. That covers a broad enough spectrum for anybody. Nobody uses Plan B for the same health reasons as hormonal birth control, so that's a non-issue in this case. Again with the "forcing" language. Your definition of coercion must be different than mine, because the Supreme Court decision I read certainly didn't give Hobby Lobby the right to control anyone's life, or prevent them from getting birth control, or even prevent them from getting certain TYPES of birth control. Is my boss preventing me from eating because he doesn't give me free food on lunch break? Is my boss preventing me from going on vacation because he doesn't pay me when I don't come to work, and I can't afford a vacation this year? Explain to me how this is different. Hobby Lobby covers all types of BC that could conceivably be used for generic health reasons and only refuses to cover those that are exclusively used to cause post-conception termination of a pregnancy. Who is being forced to do or not do ANYTHING by their ability to determine what they do and don't pay for??
  15. This is simple nonsense. Hobby Lobby isn't asking anyone to share their religious beliefs. The act of NOT providing free access to something does not equal the act of forcing anything upon you. Hobby Lobby is not forbidding their employees to use birth control, (in fact, they cover 16 kinds of birth control that aren't considered aboritfacients). They are simply saying that they don't wish to provide it as a part of their company insurance plan. The lovely thing is that in an open job market, people can look for places to apply and work on the basis of benefits offered, so if you don't like the fact that Hobby Lobby won't pay for your post-conception birth control products, you can avoid them and apply elsewhere, or you could buy it on your own dollar! Imagine that. The way people are talking about this, you'd think Hobby Lobby is trying to forbid their employees from purchasing birth control. This sort of statement is absolutely absurd. They aren't complaining that people want the ability to get contraceptives, they are complaining that they are being coerced by an absurd statist law to pay for things that they don't wish to provide. Once again, Hobby Lobby pays for SIXTEEN DIFFERENT TYPES OF BIRTH CONTROL as part of their healthcare plans. They object to the ones that cause post-conception termination of pregnancies. If you work at Hobby Lobby and decide to terminate a pregnancy or purchase a morning after pill, no one is stopping you, they just aren't giving you the money to do it. I'm still at a loss as to why this is even an issue. It's like saying "my boss won't buy me a company car, therefore he has invaded my garage and is trying to prevent me from owning a car."
  16. I've played soccer for years, but I've never been a huge fan of watching it being played professionally. I've been keeping up with the World Cup this year, though, and I do find it really interesting. I'm rooting for USA out of born-and-bred loyalty ('Murca), but considering we don't have a snowball's chance in hell of winning, I'm also rooting for Germany due to family roots.
  17. Claiming membership in a "fandom" is quite different from self-identifying as "being fond of X." I'm quite fond of the Harry Potter series, but I'm in no way part of the "fandom." There is something about the conceptual, abstract membership in a collective that appeals to people. I'm not fixating on the word, I'm fixating on the phenomenon of people grouping themselves according to that word and then assuming an identity on the basis thereof. And in a sense, the word and its usage is important. There is a psychological difference between expressing taste/preference and claiming membership in a group. If there are rabid stamp collectors who participate in similar behaviors, then I would classify them under the same heading, but they're far less prevalent around the internet, and certainly don't have the same popular appeal. It's a cultural cliche now to be a brony or Whovian or something similar, something pop-culturally relevant.
  18. I don't mean it in a demeaning way. Obviously it's important to appreciate art and media. That's not a bad thing. But compared to things I can't change, like my ethnic heritage and where I was born, or things that supposedly impact all areas of my life, like religion, what book I read and enjoyed last week or what show I keep up with when it's on television is relatively insignificant. That's what I mean by triviality. You said yourself, most people don't orient their lives around their media tastes, but my life is oriented around where I live and what I believe. And what you're saying is exactly why I think fandoms are different and intriguing. They allow people to bypass things that our lives ARE generally centered around and form relationships and communities solely on the basis of things that in everyday life are considered more peripheral. I also don't see many stamp collectors creating fan-accounts on social media for their favorite stamp artists... I'm fairly certain there's a clear difference between Beliebers/Bronys/Whovians and stamp collectors. And again, the difference I see is between "I enjoy stamps" and "I am part of the so-and-so stamp artist fandom." I myself am a huge literature buff, but to say that I enjoy literature broadly, or even that I like a particular author like John Steinbeck, isn't as exclusive and self-indentifying as saying "I'm part of the John Steinbeck fandom!" Do you see the difference? It's taking something common, like love of literature, reducing it to its minuscule parts, like individual authors or works of fiction, and then identifying yourself according to that extremely narrowed category. I'm not saying it's a bad thing necessarily, I'm just saying that it seems like a new unique manifestation of old human habits, most likely fostered by online discussion forums and sites like 4Chan and Tumblr that facilitate the development of sub-cultures.
  19. There are arguable similarities with some of those things, but none quite fit. It seems that fandoms are most similar to radical nationalism like what was seen in the early 1900s, but they're founded on something even more trivial than "I was born within X border." But even despite its triviality, the simple fact of common media tastes becomes radically unifying and creates fierce loyalty and group behavior. It's not that the need to belong is new, or that people trying to fulfill that need is new, it's that this is a pretty new way of going about fulfilling it (by piling on self-professed membership in various fandoms). The internet obviously aids and perpetuates it, probably by giving us the ability to have a "oh, you like them TOO?" moment, while also removing the need to know all the little bothersome things about a person that would keep us from closely identifying with them on the basis of such a small commonality.
  20. Well yes, but groups tend to form on the basis of large commonalities like ethnic/cultural heritage or a common faith background. The relative triviality of "I like the BBC show Dr. Who" (for example) as a unifying piece of information between people across ethnonational/religious lines is pretty astounding in historical context.
  21. Perhaps, but the need to identify one's self as part of a distinct group called a "fandom" is still relatively new. Obviously there have been fans of particular authors or works of literature since literature has existed, but it seems there's a clear difference between "I enjoy/like/am a fan of X" and "I'm part of the X fandom." One is a statement of taste, the other a statement of membership and inclusion.
  22. I would be really interested to see some serious research done on the sociology and psychology of fandoms. In their current form, they're a relatively recent phenomenon. I mean, there's certainly instances of large groups of rabid fans dating back to Roman gladiators (see Pompeii graffiti), and in the past couple generations with the advent of Elvis and then subsequent Beatle mania. But the idea of a fandom as a large number of people unified into a distinguishable group or subculture by their passionate love for a particular band, show, or literary work seems new. It also seems to lead to interesting attitudes and relationships. Why is it that enjoying similar TV shows or books can be so tremendously unifying over and above all other aspects of someone's beliefs, tastes, and personality? Anyways. That would be an interesting topic for a research paper or broader study.
  23. “[F]or when you get in love you are made all over again. The person who loves you has picked you out of the great mass of uncreated clay which is humanity to make something out of, and the poor lumpish clay which is you wants to find out what it has been made into. But at the same time, you, in the act of loving somebody, become real, cease to be a part of the continuum of the uncreated clay and get the breath of life in you and rise up. So you create yourself by creating another person, who, however, has also created you, picked up the you-chunk of clay out of the mass. So there are two you's, the one you create by loving and the one the beloved creates by loving you. The farther those two you's are apart the more the world grinds and grudges on its axis. But if you loved and were loved perfectly then there wouldn't be any difference between the two you's or any distance between them. They would coincide perfectly, there would be perfect focus, as when a stereoscope gets the twin images on the card into perfect alignment.” - Robert Penn Warren, All the King's Men.
  24. Why? Who determines the compensation amount? If consumers are making free choices regarding food purchases, farmers will be paid exactly how much their labor is worth. If you artificially inflate their prices, how is the consumer going to afford the increased prices? Will you increase their wages as well? But if their wages are increased, they will have greater purchasing power, and businesses will adjust their prices to match, so prices will go up again. Will you prevent businesses from raising their prices? Then there will be a shortage of goods. Value judgments about what someone ought to be paid cannot change the objective consequences of playing with the economy.