Comment History

on 25 Roots

25 Comments

Forum: Morality and Stuff!
yeroc
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I'm confused about what you're trying to argue for. Your post makes it sound like you're make an empirical observation of the world, but, given the title, I'd think you'd be arguing for a normative "this-is-how-the-world-should-be" kind of thing.
Forum: Wishful Thinking
yeroc
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Pretty much everything Samwise said sums up how I feel... Being pretty and wearing effeminate clothing does actually appeal to me. Would I want to get an operation? Well, no, because it costs money and takes the span of least a year to occur, during which the individual would be half-man half-women for a while. And then another part of me says its a case of the grass always being greener on the other side... I wonder how many women wish they could be masculine, even if it was for a day. I don't really think it's something that applies to everyone; in some ways, I feel detached from the masculine aspects of society and I've always thought I get along better with men then with women. As for it being unnatural, well, lots of things about society could be deemed "unnatural". Is this computer natural? What about our houses? If someone highlights their hair, is that "unnatural"? It's too ambiguous for me to want to draw a definitive line.
Forum: Rick Perry
yeroc
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Personally, I don't like any of the current Republican candidates. This video may make Perry seem extreme, but compared to Bachmann, who recommended all her followers read a pro-slavery book, he's tame as a kitten. As a matter of fact, I don't think he's as bad as some of the other front-runners the republicans have examined (I'd much prefer him to Gingrich, Cain, or the previously mentioned Bachmann). To me, it seems like he fell out of favor with the republicans because of his poor performance in the debates. Apart from moments like this add, his speeches haven't been that bad, and, in my opinion, attempts to tarnish his track record as governor of Texas have been mostly unsuccessful.

Of course, there was this ad. I disagree with... pretty much every ideological point he made in this ad. But... I can understand them. I understand conservative philosophy, and I see its uses. It can all sort of be summed up by Voltaire's quote: "If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him." Contrary to thinkers like Kant, conservatives believe that rationality alone isn't enough to create social order and convince people to act morally. We don't necessarily need God to keep people together, but conservatives would argue that we need shared communal values that people can follow. The problem with this is that it sometimes means we have to incorporate "bad" values, such as the discrimination against homosexuals, but I see the point the conservatives are trying to make. The question is whether or not it's worth it.

Of course, as a liberal, I'd point out that America is one of the more conservative nations in the world and we've been mired in tradition for a bit too long. I'd also point out that many of Perry's capitalist views conflict with Christianity, and that our cultural is already showing an inevitable trend towards the accepting of homosexuals that really can't be stopped. However, I still *understand* Rick Perry. For some of those candidates, I am entirely serious when I say I might have to move to Canada if they get elected. For Mr. Perry, I would only say such a thing in jest.
Forum: Another Bill of Rights Violation?
yeroc
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My point is that it may just be needless worry. We can't know how dangerous this disease will be without releasing it on the public. Which would be immoral and ruin the point of doing research on it. It's easy to jump to the conclusion that this will be a major pandemic, but we have no guarantee of that, especially when there are reasons to doubt it will be a pandemic.
Forum: Another Bill of Rights Violation?
yeroc
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As Sethen mentioned, if terrorists don't create this disease, Mother Nature will. We're essentially in a damned if you do, damned if you don't, but you might have a way to be not damned under one set of circumstances. However, I'd also question the severity of the problem. The thing about pandemics is that they need to spread to be dangerous. If a disease infects and kills three people, that's sad, but it's not a pandemic. If all cases of Bird Flu have killed the afflicted, then it is probably one of those diseases that kills its host before it can't spread. Granted, I'm not a biologist, so I don't know if this applies to bird flu, but I've heard scientists making that general point about diseases. To truly be a pandemic, a disease would have to let its host live long enough to spread to others, which sometimes means not killing the first host at all.
Forum: God
yeroc
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If I understood your post correctly, it wasn't the second law that relied on the universe existing, it was the idea that the second law indicates that time is finite. You were saying energy has a max amount per moles of matter, but if we have infinite moles of matter, that doesn't mean anything. The ratio can't change if it's always infinity over infinity, meaning the ratio will not change with time, at least as far as the universe is concerned. As for energy flowing from place, I don't think we can understand an infinite universe well enough to make that judgment. If the universe is infinite, does the conservation of energy still apply, or is that only for a system smaller than the universe? And how fast does the energy travel to a place with less energy when we're talking about a distance that's infinitely large? Can an infinite distance be crossed in an infinite amount of time?
Forum: God
yeroc
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If the universe is infinite, then that would mean it's not a closed system, so entropy doesn't apply. From what I understand of physics, we don't know if it's infinite because we can't see farther than a certain number of lightyears away from ourselves. The possibility that the universe is an infinite unclosed system is still a possibility.
Forum: God
yeroc
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I do not mean to say that humans, as they are created, would be better off in some hedonistic paradise or some blank void in space where happiness is the only thing that exists (undoubtedly, some people would think that, but I'm not one of them). My point is that God made life, and, according to you, God designed things so that they would be orderly. If God designed things, he could've designed us in such a way that our lives could have meaning without the levels of suffering that are present in our universe (it is my opinion that life have meaning is a psychological rather than a metaphysical phenomena. I believe that this is consistent with your views, as any metaphysical meaning to life would be highly objective and we would undoubtedly be able to obtain it without the existence of suffering). I do believe that suffering has its role, but in an entirely Nietzschean sense: We are human, and, unlike God, we cannot do anything about that. Since it is our nature to "benefit" from suffering, we may as well accept this. The problem only occurs when one believes that our nature was designed, in which case we have reason to be resentful of the designer, implying a lack of benevolence in that being who created us.
Forum: God
yeroc
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(Hmm, it feels rather awkward responding to a post when someone starts it by saying they didn't get their full argument out due to technical constraints. Oh, well)

Ahem! First off, on the percentage of people who die from natural evils... yes. That's my point. I'm arguing that human society has brought down the percentage of people who die from natural evils. I assure you, more than 3.2% of people were eaten alive by lions or died in some sort of storm in our caveman years. That just proves that human actions are more orderly than the actions of nature.

I'm not sure how many times I have to mention that nature helping us survive is irrelevant. Nature is the force we have to survive against. What you're essentially saying is that if someone tries to kill you, but throws you a knife so you can defend yourself, he's helping you survive. I suppose he technically is, but if this person were of a different nature you wouldn't need the help to survive. If God does exist, he had no reason to create nature in such a way that hurricanes, floods, etc, were necessary for the Earth to be a survivable place. God is omnipotent. Otherwise, he wouldn't be God. He can do anything. God can transfer excessive heat energy without hurricanes. God can give us farming minerals without floods. God can design nature so that this all happens automatically without catastrophes. That's what being omnipotent means.

You also mentioned that nature can evoke sympathy. As some have said, God could simply have designed us so that we were sympathetic by default; he had no reason to make us tabula rasa humans that need to watch other people die before we can become good people. Yes, I've heard the free will argument, but affecting our dispositions doesn't interfere with free will, especially if it's only done at birth. If dispositions are all there is to freedom, then given the massive number of dispositions that have been proven to be genetic, we wouldn't have free will anyways.

I'd also like you to explain why sympathy would be important in a world where we can't die. The reason sympathy's important in this world is because it's an excellent survival mechanism. Let us survive without sympathy, and it becomes an empty and hollow value.
Forum: God
yeroc
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On monkeys: Actually, some scientists do believe the universe could simply have existed forever in a completely atheistic manner. If being infinite can be an intrinsic property of God, I don't see why it can't be an intrinsic property of the universe. As for the monkeys hitting 's' a bunch of times, well... on the watch metaphor, didn't you say it was just an example and not to scrutinize such metaphors carefully? The same thing applies here, especially with the previously mentioned points about evolution and such.

I find the point about nature helping man unconvincing. What is mother nature helping us do? Survive? Why is it so hard to survive? As for mother nature being God's tool to punish man, I'm assuming you believe in some sort of omnibenevolent God (or maybe you don't, in which case my entire argument is moot), so I'd ask you this: Has a good person ever been harmed by a random act of nature? If God was omnibenevolent, I can accept that God would punish the wicked. But grouping humanity into a giant category and punishing random people because some of them are bad is not omnibenevolence. It's no better than racism, and the only way it's different from genocide is because it's not systematic or organized.

I do believe you did not make the point about God making man to regenerate and survive in this thread. Well, claiming that the world is perfect but not humans is like saying, "Mardek 3 is a perfect game, but the exploration bits are imperfect." They're a part of the game, and humans are part of the Earth. If we're imperfect, we bring the world down with us.

I also get the impression that we're talking about different kinds of chaos. I still hold that natural evils create more chaos than man; our actions have spared us from chaos such as carnivorous beasts (meaning we created order), while things like hurricanes and tornadoes run rampant (and create chaos). You seem to hold that man has created chaos. Some of us are murderers, yes, and we occasionally go to war, but what percentage of the human population died from natural evils in our caveman years as a result of natural evils as compared to the percentage of people who die now because of man-made evils? Obviously, there's no way to count. We have no written records of humanity's early days (though I once heard that we almost went extinct, and I'm pretty sure that's not because we had high murder rates), but I'm willing to wager our society has created a certain order that has saved lives.

And no, we could not have survived if dinosaurs existed, so why did God create them in the first place? Is he not omnipotent and omniscient? And why are the things that killed the dinosaurs still around? Doomsday scenarios still exist today.

Hmm, I realize I forgot to mention in my first post that I do agree with one of your points: that belief in a God holds society together. I suppose you are going a bit far in one direction, but I see it in a similar light to the ancient Chinese legalists: If I'm a craftsman and I want straight wood, do I wander around the forest until I have found wood that is naturally straight, enough for whatever I'm building? No, I'm a craftsman. My job is to make the wood straight. Essentially, I think some people would be good without God, just not enough. So, am I making the world a worse place by arguing against the existence of God? Perhaps. Or perhaps Mr. Mill is right and these beliefs are stronger when you have to deal with devil's advocates. I'm also a bit torn about whether or not the truth should be withheld in the name of pragmatism; that almost has a tyrannical ring to it. Oh, well.