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Bringerofpie
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« Reply #60 on: November 24, 2008, 17:55:00 EST »

I've noticed that there's a level of respect between die-hard fans, regardless of team.

P.S. I'm proud of the Dolphins for breaking 500 this year.
P.P.S. The Eagles should find a new quarterback.
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Set a new standard
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Step up.

Economic Left/Right: -7.00
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -8.21

Does anyone else get more liberal every time they take the political compass test?
Blue Boy from Red Country
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« Reply #61 on: November 24, 2008, 17:56:58 EST »

Quote from: Eon
For those of us living in the supposedly civilised United States, atheists are already harassed, threatened, assaulted, and murdered, not to mention having their property vandalised (indeed, this, more so than anything else, is why I would never want to live in America).
I think it's important to differentiate between appearance and reality here too.  The media in the UK go out of their way to present America as a land of ignorant hicks.  Certainly some of it is.  Much of it though is not.


Yes, and many of the "hicks" aren't extremely hostile... There are those who will demean or harass people who aren't "normal", but very few are genuinely violent. They are far more apt to just give you a cold shoulder and try to ignore you, saving their criticisms for when they're out of ear shot.
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PyRoFoXiE
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« Reply #62 on: November 24, 2008, 18:30:24 EST »

With Richard Dawkin's name having been brought of in this thread, I want to ask the athiests in the audience if they believe that the "faithful's" distrust of atheists and atheism in general is because of Richard Dawkins, Christoper Hitchens, and their ilk to some degree. When you have books titled "God is Not Great" and "The God Delusion" published, that sounds a lot like throwing rocks at a hornet's next if you ask me.

And for the record: I worship the magical platypus. Why? Because it's a mad mad mad mad mad mad world!
« Last Edit: November 24, 2008, 18:33:44 EST by PyRoFoXiE » Logged

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Medivh
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« Reply #63 on: November 24, 2008, 19:46:42 EST »

Again, this is logically impossible.  No one can gain power unless the culture propels them to it. <snip tangent to !Kung tribes>
Not at all, if you think about it; few people will vote for someone more radical than themselves. It usually comes out like this: "While the guy from the Boring-Grey-Hair-No-Change party refuses to let society progress any further, the guy from the Let-Murderers-Run-Free-And-Damn-The-Consequences party go too far." I suspect this is why the Republican party is still relevant at all; there are a lot of people who like most of the Democratic platform, but find one item to go too far. Gay marriage, at the moment, seems to be that one issue.
First off, we are discussing how society works in general.  Please do not treat as tangential evidence for societal operations that I bring up, as it is very annoying and mildly insulting to me.  If I say it, I have a reason for it, and it's not just to make my posts longer.

I snipped it and called it tangental because it's evidence of how one society works. Evidence of one, without some sort of induction or deduction, does not constitute proof of all.

I'm sorry if you take insult, but I'm a fairly blunt person and will point out error where I find it.

Next, directly on topic, your example continues to prove my point, and I am very confused why you think it doesn't.  The American society doesn't want a 'best fit' leadership, it wants a true leadership to take it where it wants to go.  The Republicans are fortunate because, for the last 20 or so years, the American society hasn't wanted to step away from what it has been unless it likes where it is stepping towards.  Things were, for the majority, fine as long as the money was growing nicely.  Now that people feel where they were standing ain't so grand, they want "change".  So they move over to the Democratic side.  Obviously, this isn't a universal move, but societies rarely move in lockstep anyway.  The power in America comes more obviously from the people due to how our elections are organized, but it is still the power created by the society, rather then anything created by the government.

I don't follow from "'best fit' leadership" to "American society". You're essentially defining a 'best fit' leadership with that next sentence.

I will also remind you that in statements directly and Grand Political Strategy, George W Bush advocated what we all want:  Better schools, more money, safer lives... it was in the details that he bungled it, and this is why he will be treated as a worthless waste of presidential portrait space for the next decade or two, at least.  Until the details came out, he represented what Americans wanted.  Once he stopped representing that, he was fittingly crucified for it to a great deal.  While many who have gravitated here might think that the details came out sufficiently well back in 2002 or 2003, the society disagreed and kept him in power until 2006ish, when people stopped caring about his opinions directly, and started just seeing him as an obstacle.  Now, by peculiarity, we couldn't evict him in legal name then like he was in spirit, but make no bones about it:  almost no one cared about Bush's opinions for most of the second half of his presidency here, and so he had to actually convince people to listen to him rather then just tell them what he was going to do.  This is a major blow to power compared with how he was set up in 2001.

Incorrect. Despite people having had enough of Bush in 2006, they hadn't had enough of him that they elected a veto-proof majority to the Senate. Thus, a quirk in the legal system of the US grants Bush the power to stop anything he wants to. While he lost power over congress, that's not the only power available to the POTUS.

"Power" as we have envisioned it is enforced by neither law nor force nor divine mandate.  It is granted by the people of a society allowing it to be had by someone through actions and interaction, if not through democratic decision.  This is how dictators and presidents alike are turned into what we would call "lame ducks", where while the authority of the society technically rests with them, no one actually listens or recognizes the person when they exercise that authority.

Sometimes, you're right. Sometimes, the dictator has the loyalty of the army, and the people daren't resist openly. Regardless, from the above, it often goes "well, my health care sucks. But at least the sanctity of marriage is safe while the Republicans are in power."
This is why I mentioned the !Kung.  A dictator rolls in with his army in tow.  The people say "no, you can't command us" either by direct opposition or ignoring the dictator.  The dictator orders people to get shot.  The people fight back, and either kill said dictator, get them to stop wanting to order people around, or agree that their lives are more valuable then not having a dictator ordering them around.  In the last case, it is only the value you place on your own life that gives a dictator the power to control you.  Otherwise you would leave, ignore him, or do as you please in some other way.  The power of the gun only exists if death is an inherently negative result, which it need not be universally.

To some extent, you're right. Some people fight to free their country of a dictator. But, despite the majority of Iraqis hating Saddam, he wasn't toppled from within.

This also assumes the existence of a standing army or potentially similar militaristic group of individuals.  How then does your little coup scenario work if the military either doesn't exist or won't support the dictator?  Really, you're not a dictator if everyone you try to order around just locks you up in a nuthouse.

The same way that your internal strife scenario works if there's no-one willing to fight. It doesn't.

Ergo, even if law is not the direct codificaiton of what society deems important, the power that codifies your law is propped up and created by the culture that created your power.
To an extent. It's at least twice removed from what society deems important, though. And for that, it's very much a lagging indicator of society.
Not really.  Law is actually surprisingly easy for people to change.  Look at how the PATRIOT Act was turned into law.  Look at the Espionage Act.  All you have to do is convince people that it's a good idea.  Once they are convinced, the process takes care of itself and it either becomes legal law or cultural law.  And cultural law is even stronger then legal law, as there is no 'court' to truly appeal it to.  See my discussion on what happens when you punch a serviceman in the face if you need a concrete example on it.

The PATRIOT act wasn't up for general vote. If it was, it would have been defeated; the people that care about the act can be divided into two groups. Politicians and, for want of a better term, computer geeks. There are a lot more geeks who have a lot more people power than politicians. I can only assume that the Espionage act is similar.

Music pirating is culturally acceptable, or at least neutral, but illegal. Explain that.

The art, of course, is convincing people that it matters, and that's another beast entirely.  This may be where you're getting hung up in my statement, or it may not.  I'm not 100% sure.  I will try to suffice it to say that just because something seems like it should "make sense" to one person doesn't mean the society is going to agree with the notion, no matter how logical it is to the native system of logic the society uses.  Unfortunately, that starts to tangent off, so let me know if you'd like me to elaborate more.

Nope, I'm getting hung up on the fact that, for instance, the SCOTUS and most other courts on Earth are treating intellectual property like physical property. Clearly, from this angle, law is lagging behind culture. There are several other angles where law is clearly behind culture, but it's most obvious around technology.

Do you mean wussball or Real Football?

Wait, you're not calling Rugby With Armor And Fewer Rules, AKA gridiron, "Real Football" are you?

Quote from: Eon
For those of us living in the supposedly civilised United States, atheists are already harassed, threatened, assaulted, and murdered, not to mention having their property vandalised (indeed, this, more so than anything else, is why I would never want to live in America).
I think it's important to differentiate between appearance and reality here too.  The media in the UK go out of their way to present America as a land of ignorant hicks.  Certainly some of it is.  Much of it though is not.


Yes, and many of the "hicks" aren't extremely hostile... There are those who will demean or harass people who aren't "normal", but very few are genuinely violent. They are far more apt to just give you a cold shoulder and try to ignore you, saving their criticisms for when they're out of ear shot.

Trust me, I'd prefer the cold shoulder treatment to what I already get. I can deal with bastards who gossip, it's the ones who refuse to get out of my face that annoy me the most.

With Richard Dawkin's name having been brought of in this thread, I want to ask the athiests in the audience if they believe that the "faithful's" distrust of atheists and atheism in general is because of Richard Dawkins, Christoper Hitchens, and their ilk to some degree. When you have books titled "God is Not Great" and "The God Delusion" published, that sounds a lot like throwing rocks at a hornet's next if you ask me.

My anecdote earlier in the thread was from before either book was released. So, no, I don't think that these books are the cause of distrust. I think, though, that they are fanning the flames. Though, I think that this is because they're showing atheists that they're not alone. Groups that aren't actively antagonist, like CFI On Campus, are doing similar things to the proverbial flames.

"Oh thank the stars! I'm not alone! I don't have to take this shit!"
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And if i catch you comin' back my way
I'm gonna serve it to you
And that ain't what you want to hear
But that's what I'll do
-- "Seven Nation Army", The White Stripes

So what you're telling me is that LTV's fudge factor means more than it's independent variable?
Yes...
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« Reply #64 on: November 24, 2008, 22:04:53 EST »

Quite a few people seem to have taken my "spitting teeth" comment more literally than I'd meant it. I really only meant it as an extension of the "taking the gloves off" metaphor.

To give an example, suppose an militant atheist group lobbied to have the Bible declared hate litterature (I don't know why, but it strikes me as something they might do); and a fundamentalist group lobbied to have "The God Delusion" declared hate litterature (again, I don't know why, but it strikes me as something they might do).

Which initiative do you think would have the highest chance of success...

Quote from: Eon
For those of us living in the supposedly civilised United States, atheists are already harassed, threatened, assaulted, and murdered, not to mention having their property vandalised (indeed, this, more so than anything else, is why I would never want to live in America).
... But you don't mind living in the UK, which has an official state church which you support with tax money... which I'd guess is still more intrusion of the church in the life of private citizens than people in the US have to suffer.

Quote from: Heq
Not caring about a sport where the chief requirement for a cup is grabbing one's one knee and feigning an injury, or going down like a ton of bricks when one gets shoved is a sign of good character.
You obviously haven't watched the last cup of Europe. Spain won it because...
wait for it...
brace yourself...
they ditched the tricks and played well.

I think at some point in the future, teams will realize that the best way to win at football (by which I mean real football, not american rugby) is to play well.

And as far as american rugby goes, it always struck me as very similar to what we call "lapte gros" (google it, there are fun videos on youtube)... only with tighter pants and more groping.

I'm not a huge football fan, but I'll take it over that anytime. Hockey's nice enough, quite similar to football actually...

(Yes, I can occasionally be a jackass like anyone else)
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Medivh
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« Reply #65 on: November 25, 2008, 01:02:17 EST »

Which initiative do you think would have the highest chance of success...

Long or short term? Long term, I give them about equal probability.
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And if i catch you comin' back my way
I'm gonna serve it to you
And that ain't what you want to hear
But that's what I'll do
-- "Seven Nation Army", The White Stripes

So what you're telling me is that LTV's fudge factor means more than it's independent variable?
Yes...
rwpikul
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« Reply #66 on: November 25, 2008, 02:20:10 EST »

Being out in the boonies you probably missed it, but getting to the point of not being seen as a threat took riots over police harassment, decades of court fights and decades of marches will the full "get over it" message.  Just being nice doesn't get you very far in this kind of fight, and even less if "being nice" means pretending you don't exist.
As such, do not assume that the children of the people who were being rebelled against in the 60s are the same as their parents.

Your argument falls apart right here:  I wasn't simply referring to the fights of the 1960s.

For the homosexual issue alone, the Bathhouse riots were in 1981 and the court fights ran into the 21st century before they were all over, (although the serious wins were by the early 90's).

Once you start looking at other issues that are similar, you get a string of issues running right back into at least the _19th_ century.

"Being nice" didn't work for the suffragettes.
"Being nice" didn't work for the early labour movement.
"Being nice" didn't work for the blacks.
"Being nice" didn't work for the homosexuals.

And there is no reason to believe that "being nice" is going to work now.  Plus, the least nice that has come out of the atheists is putting a nail through a cracker.


Now, how about looking at what we can face if we were to, say, object to a proselytizing teacher who burns crosses on the arms of his studentsActive harassment, and  assaults.  Things would have been even worse if the family had not been Christian.  Standard advice to atheist parents is to be ready to, at the minimum, switch your kids to another school should you complain about such flagrant illegality.
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« Reply #67 on: November 25, 2008, 06:55:47 EST »

*sigh* Once more unto the breach...

Quote from: Eon
For those of us living in the supposedly civilised United States, atheists are already harassed, threatened, assaulted, and murdered, not to mention having their property vandalised (indeed, this, more so than anything else, is why I would never want to live in America).
... But you don't mind living in the UK, which has an official state church which you support with tax money... which I'd guess is still more intrusion of the church in the life of private citizens than people in the US have to suffer.

If you can find one example of anywhere on the internet where I have ever claimed that I "don't mind living in the UK", I'll show you a weapon of mass destruction in Iraq. Go ahead, I dare you to search. I'm not happy with this country, and I am interested in leaving. Please refrain from making assumptions about people you do not know. The fact that I wouldn't want to live in America does not automatically mean that I'm perfectly content living where I am. Fortunately, there are other places in the world besides the UK and the USA. You appear to be slipping into the fallacy of the false dichotomy.

However, it is not for church/state reasons that I want to leave the UK. I shall not go into those reasons in this topic as they're not relevant. Furthermore, your opinion on the status of church and state in the UK betrays your ignorance on the subject. There is not a state church in the UK; there are state churches only in England and in Scotland, and they are different churches. Northern Ireland and Wales have long since disestablished what used to be their state churches.

Also, while there is a state church in England and one in Scotland, there is a de facto separation of church and state. None of our politicians stand on a platform of religious fundamentalism, nor do they seek to pander to the whims of any particular religious group. Indeed, one of the few things I admired about Tony Blair was his staunch opposition to mixing religion and politics. You'll notice that things that the Republicans use to energise their conservative Christian base like gay rights, abortion, etc., are not even issues over here (or at least not even close to the degree they are over there). Oh, occasionally some Catholic bishop will issue an opinion about some such issue, but it has little bearing on the politics here, and the response is usually quite damning.

Should state and church be legally separated? Absolutely. And I hope one day that they are, but in the meantime, no one of any significance in British politics is trying to use the agencies of the state to impose a particular religious ideology upon us all (it would be political suicide for them to try), and with an increasingly irreligious population (church attendance of any kind being down to about 8%), that is a trend that does not look like being reversed any time soon. But it'll take much more than that to keep me on this rock if I get the opportunity to leave. And if I really only had a choice between the UK and the USA, I'd go with the one with less people who'd be inclined to despise me simply because I don't accept ridiculous propositions without any evidence.
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« Reply #68 on: November 25, 2008, 07:05:57 EST »

Quote from: Eon
For those of us living in the supposedly civilised United States, atheists are already harassed, threatened, assaulted, and murdered, not to mention having their property vandalised (indeed, this, more so than anything else, is why I would never want to live in America).
... But you don't mind living in the UK, which has an official state church which you support with tax money... which I'd guess is still more intrusion of the church in the life of private citizens than people in the US have to suffer.
The Church of England is financially independent of the government, they aren't supported by taxes.  They are supported by donations and various financial investments that they acquired while they were much closer to the state.

That said, the part of the government that deal with preserving historic buildings often give them large grants for the repair of churches.
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« Reply #69 on: November 25, 2008, 10:07:38 EST »

Quote from: Eon
For those of us living in the supposedly civilised United States, atheists are already harassed, threatened, assaulted, and murdered, not to mention having their property vandalised (indeed, this, more so than anything else, is why I would never want to live in America).
... But you don't mind living in the UK, which has an official state church which you support with tax money... which I'd guess is still more intrusion of the church in the life of private citizens than people in the US have to suffer.
The Church of England is financially independent of the government, they aren't supported by taxes.  They are supported by donations and various financial investments that they acquired while they were much closer to the state.

That said, the part of the government that deal with preserving historic buildings often give them large grants for the repair of churches.

And considering many churches are indeed historic buildings, I'm not sure I'm totally opposed to that.
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« Reply #70 on: November 25, 2008, 11:30:44 EST »

Quote from: Eon
For those of us living in the supposedly civilised United States, atheists are already harassed, threatened, assaulted, and murdered, not to mention having their property vandalised (indeed, this, more so than anything else, is why I would never want to live in America).
... But you don't mind living in the UK, which has an official state church which you support with tax money... which I'd guess is still more intrusion of the church in the life of private citizens than people in the US have to suffer.
The Church of England is financially independent of the government, they aren't supported by taxes.  They are supported by donations and various financial investments that they acquired while they were much closer to the state.

That said, the part of the government that deal with preserving historic buildings often give them large grants for the repair of churches.

And considering many churches are indeed historic buildings, I'm not sure I'm totally opposed to that.
Well, I'm suspicious of it.  I think that English heritage funding gives them a line of support that other churches with newer buildings don't have.  I think this is unfair, probably this is not abused currently, but I there is that risk in the future.

I think that it would not be a calamity if English Heritage were less generous.  In Ireland the anglican church (The "Church of Ireland") have similar problem with old buildings to that in England.  The difference is though that they are not liked by the government.  This doesn't mean though that their buildings are falling down.  Rather they are selling those churches they can't maintain.
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« Reply #71 on: November 25, 2008, 12:11:25 EST »

Quote from: Eon
However, it is not for church/state reasons that I want to leave the UK.
Curiously quite a lot of my side seem to be seeing things the same way.

There something ironic here.  Grumpy libertarians are talking about leaving and so are grumpy social democrats.
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PyRoFoXiE
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« Reply #72 on: November 25, 2008, 14:08:37 EST »

Now, how about looking at what we can face if we were to, say, object to a proselytizing teacher who burns crosses on the arms of his studentsActive harassment, and  assaults.  Things would have been even worse if the family had not been Christian.  Standard advice to atheist parents is to be ready to, at the minimum, switch your kids to another school should you complain about such flagrant illegality.

...hmm so this John Freshwater guy is one of the nutbars that believes humans and dinosaurs co-existed? Guess someone forgot to tell him that "the Flintstones" are fictional.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2008, 18:01:30 EST by PyRoFoXiE » Logged

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« Reply #73 on: November 26, 2008, 11:01:44 EST »

...hmm so this John Freshwater guy is one of the nutbars that believes humans and dinosaurs co-existed? Guess someone forgot to tell him that "the Flintstones" are fictional.

It's deeply troubling how many people actually believe that... or that dinosaurs never existed at all and that their "fossils" were created by Satan to lure unsuspecting people away from the truth of the scriptures. It's even more troubling that I knew someone in school (yes, in Nottingham, in England) who believed that. Fortunately, a year at university seemed to transform her entirely.
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« Reply #74 on: November 26, 2008, 11:21:55 EST »

...hmm so this John Freshwater guy is one of the nutbars that believes humans and dinosaurs co-existed? Guess someone forgot to tell him that "the Flintstones" are fictional.

It's deeply troubling how many people actually believe that... or that dinosaurs never existed at all and that their "fossils" were created by Satan to lure unsuspecting people away from the truth of the scriptures. It's even more troubling that I knew someone in school (yes, in Nottingham, in England) who believed that. Fortunately, a year at university seemed to transform her entirely.
Exactly, there are nutters everywhere.

Who of course considers who to be a nutter is another interesting aspect of the whole thing.
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