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Everything posted by philpot123

  1. I'm not saying my contributions are going to be brilliant. My point is that the internet provides an easy avenue for everyone (including me) to believe that their self-published opinions hold some merit, even when they're based on nothing but pure speculation. Are people allowed to make ridiculous claims that have no basis in fact or in economic theory? Sure. This thread is clear proof of that. Just micro and macroec, and further studies in historical economics and economic theory. Yes, I pay attention to real life. Small businesses may not be able to directly compete with Walmart. That's true. Economies of scale and whatnot. They can't set up right next to Walmart and expect to return the same sort of profit, because they need to charge more to make a profit. Small businesses can, though, offer things that Walmart doesn't (better service, quality product, better location). Also, Walmart isn't the only large supermarket in the country, is it? Other large supermarkets can and do undercut Walmart when they provide cheap product or mistreat their employees. Despite the existence of Walmart, Food City, Piggly Wiggly, whatever, small businesses still exist, don't they? Does the building of a Walmart place strain on small businesses? Yes. Does the building of a Walmart provide jobs? Yes. Does Walmart have a monopoly? No. Not in the slightest. So just to be clear, you believe the answer to big evil Walmart is for government to intervene and do... what exactly? Why is the accumulation of wealth a bad thing? No, the owner of multiple apartment buildings cannot give them individual attention. But he can provide jobs by hiring people to give the apartments attention. Imagine that! Job creation! "Capitalistic theory" is just how the market works. I absolutely agree that business owners should treat their employees well. Completely. But again, your idea of a business owner giving his employees next to nothing to live on while swimming in cash is unrealistic. Employment is a voluntary contract. No one is forcing the employee to be abused and to receive inadequate wages, are they? A business owner who does not provide adequate services or wages won't be able to find customers or employees. Do you see how these things HAVE to work out in practicality? If a landlord doesn't offer due wages, he will have trouble finding good employees. Without good employees, his apartment complexes will descend into disrepair. If he wants to draw tenants into his rundown apartments, he'll have to slash his prices. It's in his best interest to treat his employees well and to offer living wages. Why stop at $15? Why not $20? Wouldn't that make things even better? Why not $25? Why not $30? $100? Why the arbitrary $15? The truth is that minimum wage laws create no jobs. They are laws that outlaw certain voluntary wage contracts. The government says "I don't care if you're willing to work for $6 an hour, you have to find someone who is willing to pay you more than that." Minimum wage creates an artificial price floor, and when that floor is above the natural equilibrium, it creates a surplus of workers and a shortage of jobs. The fact that other large supermarkets other than Walmart exist is showing it working in practice.The only way they can "kill off" competition apart from legal sanctions is by offering a product that people are willing to buy at the price offered. No one is forcing people to buy it. Please explain to me why that's a negative thing. The consumer is uninformed, therefore they need the government to make their economic choices for them? Patents prove that we don't live in a free market and haven't in a long time. I would argue that yes, under our current system, it's possible for businesses to gain an advantage that would not be afforded them in a truly free markets. I'm not defending the system as it exists. I'm arguing for a real free market. One where the government's role in the economy is to ensure that contracts are enforced, fraud doesn't occur, and theft doesn't happen. How many actually produce them? Probably more than you think. How many could if they felt like investing the capital? Plenty. Sure, it's an area of the market that has high entry barriers, but again, explain to me why that's a bad thing? Explain to me why this sort of competition is bad, explain to me what the alternative is, and show me an example of your alternative working in practice.
  2. So many outrageous claims, so little practical economic theory to back them up. Such is the way of the internet. That's a lot of big words, but behind them is a completely false statement of basic capitalistic theory and practice. Capitalism encourages competition. Competition drives the market. In regards to monopolism, true monopoly can only happen when someone either has complete control of a specific good or product by natural consequence (owns all the land X mineral is found in), or when the government interferes into the free market and grants a monopoly (only Y company can legally make hats). Naturally occurring monopolies are not inherently bad. They become bad when a monopolist overcharges for a product, in which case either A. people will stop buying the product in favor of a substitute, or B. someone else will enter the market and create competition, because "true" monopolies don't typically exist in the form of natural monopolies, because new materials are always being discovered and new substitutes are always being developed. Yay for un-stifled ingenuity! Legal monopolies granted by the government are always terrible and are the antithesis to true capitalism, and funny enough, that's what socialistic economic policies tend to produce. First, what makes you think that it's possible to literally do nothing but watch money roll in when you own 15 apartment buildings? Have you ever owned 15 apartment buildings and had to manage all the financial and practical difficulties that come with that? Sure, there's people who have earned enough money to hire people to do the cleaning and menial labor for them. Why is that a bad thing? Did he not work to get to his position? Does he still not work managing finances and logistics of hiring multiple teams of people to do the various tasks that need to be done? Your imaginary parasitic landlord doesn't exist in reality. That's not how businesses operate. I'm also interested in knowing at what arbitrary standard of wealth I become a parasitic capitalist pig rather than a faithful job producing employer?
  3. Have you ever taken a logic class? I don't mean this in a derogatory way, this is just basic stuff. If I make a statement that is CLEARLY relative (it is raining), it can only be true in the relative sense. If my "it is raining" statement is universal (it is raining everywhere), I would be wrong. If I intended my statement to be relative to my current state and observation (it is currently raining where I am at), then it would be a true statement. This difference in absolute claims vs. relative claims adds NOTHING to the discussion of whether or not two truly contradictory things can coexist. No, He cannot be. God, if He exists, is always good, because that is His nature. If you want to have a discussion about the particulars of scripture and how different events are perfectly compatible with the attributes of God, by all means, lets. But I wasn't even really talking about the Bible, so let's establish ahead of time that people wont start calling me a Bible thumper for responding to Biblical challenges someone else brought in AGAIN you completely misunderstand what I'm saying. Are you enjoying knocking over your straw men? He's saying that Oneness Pentecostals and trinitarian other-peoples can't both be right. That's why us trinitarians call Oneness folks heretics ;P On free will, we'd need a working definition of free will before we tackled that. Rational vs. irrational is dependent on transcendant laws of logic, not my perception thereof. Did you arrive at that conclusion using your senses and reasoning? Fascinating.
  4. Yeah, I'm aware of what it is. I just find it amusing that we have to introduce theoretical concepts as a rational justification for why we can be irrational.
  5. Multiverse? Really? That's because the statement "it is raining" has an implied "it is raining in my current location." It is not an absolute universal statement. That assumes a discontinuity of being within the deity, doesn't it? ETA: That is to say, the apple can be both red and green because those things do not conflict, and can exist in the same fruit. But can your vast, transcendent deity be both just and unjust, faithful and unfaithful, good and evil, etc? Can opposing character traits exist in the same divine person? I suppose that depends on what your conception/perception of the divine nature is, but the God I believe to be true is consistent and never differs from Himself. We know things to be true of Him, and though we do not know Him exhaustively because of our finitude, we know that His attributes are such that He cannot be other than what He is. That which we do not know of Him cannot contradict that which we do not know of Him. You have entirely missed what I'm saying if you think that I'm saying things are untrue because they sound untrue to me. As a side note to no one in particular, if I supported coerced standardized education, I would make Aristotelian logic a mandatory course to get a high school diploma.
  6. That's a poor analogy to draw on. Light behaves both as a particle and as a wave, but those things are clearly not contradictory, or they could not coexist in the same "thing." Simply because we lack understanding of it doesn't mean it's contradictory. I can justify absolute knowledge of truth within my worldview, but you and others won't accept the answer we'll just end up in another foundationalism discussion, and I don't recall that ever resolving well the last time I brought it up. But not having the whole picture does not necessitate contradictions. Everyone seems to be missing that. The fact that random pet patient gives X fact about the vet does not preclude the possibility that he plays tennis as well. The mere fact that we have limited knowledge does not give us license to attempt to justify logical contradictions. When Christians say that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, and it is by him and through him alone that one receives salvation, that either means that everyone who says otherwise is wrong, or that we are. There is no room for differing interpretations, views, and perspectives here. My statement either accurately reflects the nature of the supernatural or it does not.
  7. My inability to see the relevant characteristics of the apple doesn't change its nature, does it? Right, obviously. That happens all the time. But I'm saying that the evidence represents an objective truth that doesn't change by virtue of my interpretation (or misinterpretation) of it through my subjective biases. And regardless of subjective biases, two contradictory "truths" STILL cannot both be objectively true.
  8. Isn't it, though? nice to see you around! In what sense?
  9. Apparent contradictions are not necessarily actual contradictions. The truth would be that the apple is green, and if you said that it WAS NOT green, then you would be objectively wrong. Saying "the apple is red" =/= saying "the apple is not green." If I said "the apple is red" and you said "the apple is not red," then we have a problem. An actual contradiction. Philosophy and religion are terribly closely linked
  10. Both are true statements, because they are not contradictory. Two things that are not contradictory can both be objectively true. If one of us said that the apple is exclusively red, and the other said the apple was exclusively green, we would both be wrong, because those are contradictory. The apple can be both red and green. Jesus cannot be both the only way to have access to God and not the only way to access God. You're definitely free to believe that, but I don't see support for that in scripture.
  11. I don't walk around saying "let's talk about your beliefs so I can tell you how wrong you are." I'm talking about when people want to publicly trumpet their beliefs, but somehow expect that everyone should sit back and not challenge it. Let's change roles here. If I started quoting scripture at you and telling you how wrong abortion and homosexuality and sex outside of marriage is, would you not challenge me? wouldn't it be unreasonable of me to cut the conversation short at that point and say "hey! I don't want to defend this, I'm just as right as your are, stop bothering me!" ? You'd think I was ridiculous. Definitions MATTER. I'm "caught up" in definitions because they change what we're talking about! Have you ever done any sort of competitive debate? Definitions make or break the round. How can you expect to discuss things without defining terms? How can we have reasonable conversation when we're using the same word two different ways? Discussion is not possible without defining terms. So again, if you could define truth, that would be wonderful. If not, this won't go any further. For what it's worth, I disagree with your assessment of faith, but my explanation won't make sense unless we define terms.
  12. Define truth. Because I think we're working with different definitions, here. You guys seem hung up on this "conversion" thing like all I do is quote Bible verses or something. I'm not talking about when I'm actively proselytizing. Me saying "what about this glaring flaw in your worldview" is not trying to convert someone. And I'm not talking about cornering someone in an awkward situation where they don't want to talk. I'm talking about people who just want to trumpet their opinions and don't want to deal with being challenged, because everyone is right after all!
  13. I guess I just don't understand what you mean by saying that it could "be true for someone else." Can you explain that a little further?
  14. That's because the apple is both green and red. Those aren't contradictory statements, because they can both be true. However, the statements "every person must be saved through faith is Jesus Christ alone or suffer punishment" and "there are multiple ways to salvation/a good afterlife" are absolutely not compatible. I should have clarified. I love learning about other people's religions. I've had entire lunch conversations with people that consisted of my asking questions and them expositing their faith (or lack thereof). I love those sorts of conversations. They're fruitful for gaining knowledge of other faiths. But they don't accomplish anything past that. They don't seek to resolve any moral, philosophical, or epistemological issues. Simply stating beliefs is fine, but I refuse to stop there. I won't just say "well, you're just as right as I am, let's go on with our lives." From there, I'd like to accomplish something by discussing which view is accurate and workable external to myself. Yeah, you can say your belief is right to you. But how does it work in practice? What are the implications of it? Where does it lead morally? Those are discussions that involve objective fact. We cannot reduce those to subjectivity. We cannot simply say everyone is right and never deal with those issues. The type of discussion you're describing is the sort that I enjoy. Everyone presents perspectives and argues/defends why they are RIGHT. It fosters discussion, it challenges presuppositions, and everyone benefits. But if ALL we ever do is say "everyone is right" and we fail to try to determine how things objectively ARE, then it's not productive. Oh, obviously. Because all I've done in this discussion is quote Bible verses and proselytize. Sarcasm aside, obviously I believe the christian worldview reflects reality. You think your Wiccan (if I recall correctly?) worldview reflects reality. So again, I enjoy discussion that involves arguing particulars, exposing inconsistencies, etc. And you seem to enjoy that as well. The happy-go-lucky "everyone is right" thing bugs me because I run into people so often that are unwilling to defend their own beliefs. It's a "get out of discussion free card." If I present a challenge, they simply say "well, that's right for you, and what I believe is right for me. Leave me alone." Not many people here are like that. But the people I talk to in real life are. And it's a rather large pet peeve of mine.
  15. If this is aimed at me, I hold to a Reformed Christian worldview.
  16. It's my opinion that it isn't possible for two contradicting thoughts to both be correct. Stop forcing your opinion on me, I'm just as right as you are. (Also, not just my opinion. It's kind of what the word contradiction means.) But they are CLAIMS about fact. I hold opinions because I think they ARE factual. I wouldn't hold them if I didn't. Again, I've conceded that everyone's opinions are "right" to them. That's tautological and useless to say. It doesn't need to be said. You wouldn't believe what you do if you didn't think you were right. But those things aren't just opinions about yourself, your mind, your being. They're opinions about things outside of yourself. So I'm saying that religious conversations are only useful and productive if we talk about whether or not your opinions reflect reality, whether or not my opinions reflect reality, and how our beliefs measure up to each other. Otherwise we don't accomplish anything. We could just sit around and say everybody is right and feel good about ourselves, or we can challenge each other and debate according to fact and grow intellectually. I only participate in one of those
  17. And the human factor is such that even if the abdication of private property was an ideal state of existence (which it's not, in my opinion), it could still never work.
  18. Statements regarding food and food allergies are not logically contradictory, because they are necessarily subjective. I, myself, am allergic to eggs. I make no statements about the objective quality of the egg by saying that I am allergic to it. If I was to say that eggs contain protein, that would be an objective statement about an egg that happens to be true. If someone was to say "that egg has no protein," logically contradicting my statement, one of us would be right, and the other would be wrong. When one makes claims about religion, or God and His nature, it is not a subjective statement like "eggs are deadly to ME." It is a claim about the substance of something outside of myself. Would it always be true for someone to say "I FEEL this way"? Yes, but again, that's basically tautological. I feel a certain way, therefore it is true that I feel a certain way. That's not productive. When we start discussing our opinions about things outside of ourselves, like the existence of deities and their respective qualities, those opinions are either true or they are false. Either they accurately reflect reality or they do not. And if I claim that ONLY one God exists, and you claim that two or more exist, or that none exist, both of us cannot be correct. This unitarian idea that everyone is right is absolute nonsense, first, and does not foster reasonable discussion, second. What are you referring to, specifically?
  19. Because it's better than a country that systematically murders its citizens like every established communist nation has.
  20. I can discuss what you believe and be informed about what you think is right, sure. But the instant someone who says "everyone is right" tries to convince me, who disagrees with that proposition, that their opinion is preferable to mine (which they do by virtue of making the previous statement), they're being inconsistent. Essentially, you have two options here. "Everyone is right, and if you think differently, you're wrong." (self-defeating) "Everyone is right. Therefore, you who think everyone is NOT right is actually right, too." (also self-defeating) Do you see the problem here?
  21. I don't think beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I think beauty is an objective quality that is appreciated differently by different people. Taste is in the eye of the beholder. Preference is in the eye of the beholder. But the nature of beauty does not change by virtue of my observation of it. This is what I take issue with. If I and someone else both make contradictory statements about the nature of the supernatural, one of us or both of us must, by logical necessity, be wrong. Might my statement SEEM right to me? Yes. Might my statement make me happy? Yes. In that sense, it's subjectively "right" for me, but in that case, you're defining "rightness" according to taste and preference. But regardless of what feels right to me, either my claims about the supernatural are accurate or they are not. So yes, that DOES make one (or both) of them wrong. I would still be fussy about effectively saying "neither of you is wrong," without clarifying that you mean that neither of you is violating your own preference and taste. I would think if you're using the word "wrong" in that sense, then it should be self evident. Of COURSE I hold X belief because I believe it's true. None of us is wrong, based on that definition. So yes, in a subjective sense, everybody is right. Doesn't that give you the warm fuzzies? But because opinions about religion are by nature assertions (or denials) relating to things that are external, outside of ourselves, either our opinion is an accurate assessment of reality, or it is not. Simply saying "everybody is right in their own head, so nobody is wrong" is overly simplistic, and does nothing to advance reasonable discussion.
  22. Then you're misusing the word "right." A better word to use would be "taste" or "preference." X religion suits my tastes, or fits my preference. It isn't "right" for me and "wrong" for someone else. It is either right or it is wrong. Either I am right/correct/accurate in my worldview, or I am wrong/incorrect/inaccurate in my worldview. Yes, the way in which I view the world and things like religion is subjective, but my act of viewing it and forming opinions on it doesn't change its nature of objective rightness or wrongness.
  23. I don't know if Mohammed would have agreed... But in any case, there are many religions that claim to possess real, objective truth. If two such religions disagree over what that truth is, they cannot logically both be right. To say they are is to give up rationality.