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Dr Twisted Brain
The Secret Underground Lair
Beneath the Volcano
6926 posts • joined 19 Jan 2007
Dr Twisted Brain
The Secret Underground Lair
Beneath the Volcano
"Conservative" and "Liberal" are such broad and sweeping generalisations of someone's political philosophy that any assumptions based on them are nothing more than just other broad and sweeping generalisations and using those as a basis "for the sake of argument" is why I suggested that you were simply trolling.
The fact that you then try (and fail) to score a cheap point by a sneering implication that I don't know what "arguendo" means (despite the fact that it was obvious from my reply that I do) appears to confirm this.
"Assuming arguendo that that's true"?
Assuming that it's not true because you seem to have nothing to base such an assumption on other than opinion, what does that say about your motivations...?
@Bainshie: You really seem to love the idea of Big Brother looking over your shoulder at everything you (and we) do, don't you? I bet you also think that "if you've done nothing wrong you've got nothing to hide" too.
Remember that the last Government wanted to put ANPR cameras at intersections on all major roads and then issue automatic speeding tickets to anyone who got from A to B quicker than they were supposed to. Of course this would also have allowed them to track exactly who goes where and when, but, hey, if these people have got nothing to hide, why should they worry?
As for your imagining of your putative interlocutors, I am a member of the IAM, I have passed my Advanced Motorcycle Test, I am neither fat, nor balding, nor drive a van, nor eat sandwiches, nor use mobile phones when moving, nor engage in any of the other ridiculous behaviours you wish to ascribe to me. In fact the only bit you did get right is that I'm white.
Not very successful imaginings, then and when you add in your belief that the system you support would eliminate hit-and-runs, tailgating and all the other nonsense, well, I can do you a good deal on Tower Bridge...
And telling people that don't agree with you that "you're an arse" doesn't add anything to the validity or credibility of your arguments either.
"all the data is anonymised by the agency and that no individual, vehicle or device can be identified so that only data about traffic levels on a road is provided."
And how long will it be before Theresa May and her merry cohorts say "Hey, wouldn't it be useful to prevent terrorism/ protect children/ other spurious excuse if that data wasn't anonymised so much"...?
"Nice product you've inveted here, Squire. Be a shame if anything happened to it, know what I mean..."
... on some (or all) of them going out with un-wiped hard drives?
... I blame Agent Smith myself...!
"That is not dead which can eternal lie..."
Sod that, Alan Rickman for the Roger Delgado incarnation of The Master!
Really would make a bad film if you know much about BDSM and understand that interest in it is not generally a result of childhood abuse (or that most people who are into it don't have mental health problems, see Secretary for details) and that a BDSM relationship needs communication and understanding of the participants limits and desires, let alone emphasis of the importance of safety and respect.
(Sorry about the hijack, but 50 Shades of Drivel is giving a lot of people the wrong idea about BDSM)
It's probably some Commie Plot to sap our Precious Bodily Fluids!
Probably someone in the Indian Government thought "Well if we *say* that we have the encryption keys, maybe that will put people off using Blackberry which we can't monitor and get them using something we *can* monitor..."
Yes, MZ, Bitch!
So what's next? There aren't many people in the countryside, so let's discontinue the postal service, bus service, in fact let's not even bother with providing them with a phone service.
After all, it's only a few peasants and we can't make much money out of them, so why bother?
If you live in the country you can get water from a borehole, electricity from generators, dump your sewerage in a cess pit and get gas delivered by tanker.
How do you suggest that those living in the country get their broadband delivered?
"You're meant to click at each stage the hazard changes. One of those changes is the one they're monitoring for."
But if you click too often, you'll score zero because they think you're trying to fiddle the score...
I had a similar problem when I took my motorbike test a few years ago and bought some practice CDs.
From many years of cycling, I'm very aware of watching for hazards (and, yes, I *know* some cyclists are numpties, but let's not get into that now, ok?) so I would click as soon as I saw something which could turn out to be hazardous.
But the Test wants you to spot a "Developing Hazard" ie you only click *after* something starts actually becoming a danger to you, so I had to slow down my responses in order to succeed!
There's also the problem that the Hazard Perception Test just shows a fixed view ahead, so, for example, there's no situation where the driver approach a T-Junction (from the minor road) and pulls out in front of a biker who they haven't seen because they didn't look properly...
If you copy from one source, that's plagiarism.
If you copy from three sources, that's research!
"t has already been studied and the findings were fairly clear."
No, it has been repeatedly studied and the findings have been incredibly equivocal at best with those who have a desire to ban pornography (or violent video games etc etc) skewing statistics and cherry-picking results which fit their personal biases.
And playing the "won't someone think of the children" card doesn't give any more credibility to your position.
... meanwhile, in a different case, it's been ruled that private text chat on the internet can be subject to the Obscene Publications Act.
"According to the Court of Appeal’s Judgment in the recent case of R v GS  private one to one text chat on the internet can be subject to the Obscene Publications Act 1959 (OPA)."
You mean like "Vote Fascist for a Third Glorious Decade of Total Law Enforcement"?
Or the Polyversity as it's still cynically referred to as by graduates such as myself...
And as has been seen in other countries, eg Australia, which have tried this sort of nonsense, a whole bunch of other sites have "accidentally" been included in the ban list.
... whom will this actually inconvenience...?
And whilst we're at it, why don't we update HG Wells...?!
I would have suggested Syria Planum, but then you'd know I was located at the secret Psi Corps base...
Once upon a time I knew the route to get the Oil Slick virtually every time from the Weapons Truck.
Ah, many a wasted, err, enjoyed 10p...!
And, of course, unlike games today, it *was* a) 1 game for 10p and b) there was no "keep shovelling in the money until you complete it" option. You *had* to be good!
Ah, Outrun! I remember one Saturday afternoon at the Students Union, just for the hell of it, I completed the game by *EVERY* possible route :-)
Not to mention how much public money has been wasted on a ridiculous attempt at extradition.
Oh are we indeed? So you've *NOT* moved things around? You've not made the user interface "prettier"? You've not decided that it will be better for us if a function we've always been used to doing one thing suddenly does something else as well/ instead of?
How would you like it if we suddenly "updated" your car so that the ignition key slot moved from the steering column to the dashboard? Or maybe turning on the heaters turned the radio on too? Or what about it suddenly being repainted so it's blue instead of white?
You wouldn't like that? So why the *HELL* do you think that we are going to be happy when you pull that shit on us???
What is the point of going to the beach if you're just got to sit there yakking on your mobile or texting people?
Get off your backside and enjoy the waves, dude!
Surf's up :-)
Does he *really* think that the GOP is going to be more likely to cough up everyone's files?
J1 - I wasn't planning on replying again, but you make comments that I wil not leave unaddressed.
Firstly it is not "arrogant to dismiss all gods in one fell swoop", it is a simple fact that there is *no proof* of the existence of *any* gods. To claim existence and expect others to accept this without proof is arrogance. If you can provide demonstratable proof, I'm entirely willing to admit that I am wrong and gods exist, but even without proof you insist that your god does exist. (BTW calling this "faith" instead does not eliminate the total absence of proof).
Next, why should I not "get involved"? This is a public discussion, not a private conversation. You claimed (incorrectly) that "for Atheists there is not right and wrong", justifying this by claiming that only god (or, at least, your god) could a) do this and b) judge it. I have pointed out that your view is as subjective as mine, but you refuse to accept this, continuing to expect me to accept that, since Atheism is "made up" whilst your "objective" holy book is divinely inspired, thereby it is *you* who "have won".
I have to say, by the way, that I wish I could find it astonishing that you seem to be proud of the fact that you "never claimed to be able to think for myself". You gave me some reasons "to reject such names as god", based on what, it seems, you want to believe a god should be and you seem incapable of realising that those are, once again, totally subjective. When you can objectively and logically justify that a god *should* be such things in the first place, *then* you can start asking me for my reasons of rejecting such claims. Of course that's not likely to happen since you admit you're unable to think for yourself and question what you have blindly accepted "on faith".
You bring up drinking, porn, free sex etc and say "I suspect these are all to do with the Atheist attitude... of you only live once.. enjoy it while it lasts. You claim to be the exception, but still want to enjoy drinking, porn and free sex in all their forms", well, yes, at least you pretty much get that right, albeit for the wrong reasons. Sure, if people abuse drink etc, it causes problems, but that is *not* justification for banning them. There are plenty of people who enjoy such things *without* causing problems, yet once again you seem to think that the Nanny State should step in and say "well *some* people can't enjoy these things without abusing them, so *nobody* should be allowed to enjoy them at all!"
You say "You don't even know what 'good' is, yet you say you behave in a 'good' way. That is the problem. Other people also claim to be doing good.. and justify it in the same manner as you. Yet their good is not yours.. and may end up being to your detriment. So which is good? Your subjective opinion gets you nowhere", yet you fail to remember that there are those who follow the same god as you, who have read the same holy book as you and who have undertaken some truly despicable actions against innocents, yet they still believe that they are "doing good". So where does *your* allegedly objective opinion get you? Sure, *if* you're right and there's some deity passing out judgements after death, they may get punished, but that doesn't do any good(!) in *this* world, does it?
Regarding the quote from Shakespeare, you're really reaching now. Nobody has *told* me to accept what he wrote without question, nobody has threatened me with damnation if I don't believe it, those words simply are a good summation of my feelings, not holy writ.
And so you dismiss me as "not thinking for myself" because you again admit that you are not capable of doing so and have to rely on the crutch of faith, but if your faith is so weak that jokes at its (or your) expense upset you then perhaps it's not as good(!) as you think.
Now I am finished with this discussion and will leave you with what I said back in my first post: "So please, feel free to hold to whatever beliefs you want and don't do things that you consider are "forbidden" to you, but do not be so arrogant as to consider everyone else to be so weak-minded and morally bankrupt that they need *you* to protect them from all the bad things in the world with a "Nanny (or god) knows best" attitude."
If you wish to declare victory or get the last word in, please feel free.
"He may or may not insist that others believe like him."
I think you missed the point I was making. I was speaking *for myself* as an atheist. I'm not "insisting that others believe like me", nor would I be so arrogant as to think that.
J1, it is not me who is missing the point. Yes, "Personal opinion, is just that. You can put them up against each other and decide for yourself which you prefer" I agree entirely, however when someone then goes on to say "my holy book or my prophet or my deity says X,Y and Z and that trumps your personal opinion, so you *cannot ever* win the argument", that is arrogance, plain and simple.
And, no, my Atheism does not "tell me anything" because there is no "Big Book of Atheism" which tells people what to think, unlike the many and multifarious holy books which purport to be the sole bearers of "the only truth", so all of your arguments questioning the basis of my arguments because "atheism doesn't tell you A, B or C" fall based on your lack of understanding of what Atheism is (or, rather, is not).
You ask "If you acknowledge the possiblity that you could be wrong.. then why take it so badly when it is pointed out?" but again you fail to understand. When I mentioned various other claimed deities you " provided a brief set of reasons for rejecting them", but those are simply opinions, not facts. Who says that a god has to be infallible, untirable, indomitable etc etc? Can you prove any of those by any logical or rational argument? Or do you simply have to fall back on the "it says so in $BOOK" which is just a way of dodging the issue. Well, you give the answer yourself: "As soon as God has said something on a subject, ie. do not steal.. I can't now consider the options." you are no longer thinking for yourself, you're letting someone else do it for you.
As for "Which means that your actions in the world of the living add up to a big nothing. Which means there is no responsibility", this is ridiculous. To quote Shakespeare "This above all: to thine own self be true". I don't need threats of some putative hell and damnation or being refused entry into some equally putative heaven to make me behave in a "good" way, I *CHOOSE* to behave that way. Why do *you* have such a problem with that?
You go on to say "People tend to do whatever they want to, whatever they can get away with. The riots are evidence of that." but how many people actually *participated* in those riots? How many just tagged along? How many wanted nothing to do with them? The last group is, of course, by far the largest, but they're not newsworthy, yet they are the ones who *had* the opportunity to "do whatever they wanted" but *chose* not to!
J1 I see little point in continuing this discussion with you because whatever I say, it seems you're going to fall back on "my holy book, my god, his prophet said this, so I can't argue against it". Well fine, that's your choice and I respect your right to believe it. What I will not respect and what I will not submit to is someone telling me "I believe this, I don't like that, so just because of that *you* are not allowed to do it" which is where we came in and this is where I *choose* to step out.
You said: "The issue is one of what is right and wrong. Who defines it, who sets the limits, who enforces. For the Atheist, there is no such thing.. Objectively, it does not exist.. Subjectively, make up whatever you like. Change it whenever you like.. base it on whatever you like.. it does not have to make sense etc.. your call. "
You are absolutely right that there *is* no objective critieria for what is "right" and what is "wrong". Just because someone wrote a book 1,500 or 2,000 or however many years ago saying "God told me this" and lots of people *choose* to believe that, does not provide any objective criteria ie it's simply something that someone, "subjectively, made up whatever they liked".
Unless $DEITY has personally appeared to you via some form of supernatural manifestation what you choose to believe comes from other peoples *opinions* so the only knowledge you have of Him/ Her/ It/ Them comes from other people. If you choose to reinforce that in your mind, that's up to you.
You choose to believe that your god has defined "right" and "wrong" and seemingly choose to dismiss anyone else's views on the subject, that is not providing an answer, that is arrogance. "I'm right and you are wrong because my god tells me so".
You tell me that my personal choice not to lie etc cannot be derived from Atheism and ask me "how is your view superior to theirs", the answer to that is that is *may not* be, but I am capable of having a rational and logical debate about the subject without needing to fall back on the argument that "$BOOK says $DEITY says so, end of discussion. If you can come up with an argument other than that for why my choices are wrong, please. let's discuss the subject, I'd be happy to engage in it with you, alas I don't think that's going to happen because you don't seem to comprehend that it *IS* just "one view against another" rather than "my belief is better than your belief".
You go on to say "Essentially, all you have said is.. do what ever you want. No one should tell anyone else a better way, because that would be classed as arrogance, or presumption" but once again you either misunderstand or fail to comprehend. There are those who justify atrocities, slavery, killings and so on because $BOOK says $DEITY says it's ok for me to do so (see the Books of Exodus and Leviticus for some perfect examples) in other words they can do what they want *because* their holy book says so. They don't have to think about it, they don't have to make a decision on their own, they've been *TOLD* that it's ok!
This is the difference between morals and ethics. Morals are things that are imposed from outside "Thou shalt do this, thou shalt not do that" etc usually because a particular religion says so. I, however, have ethics. I have considered what I can do and have made my own decisions. It's my choice, my responsibility, not that of an Imam, Vicar, Priest, Shaman or whatever to tell me what I should or shouldn't do. You seem to think that I would follow Aleister Crowleys "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law" because I have chosen to make up my own mind, however, in fact, I prefer to follow the Wiccan Rede of "An it harm no other, do what thou wilt."
BTW I find it somewhat ironically amusing that you claim that *you* cannot tell me what to do, however your god does and can. Well, when and if he appears to me in person and tells me what to do, I may change my viewpoint, but until such time, all I hear are the words of *men* arrogantly telling what god wants me to do (and, of course, what I should *not* do!)
You continue by saying "In a society, you will always find people that will take advantage of the other.. that is why you have rules, laws and punishments if you break the laws.. what you seem to be suggesting is that the world can do without the laws, and law enforcement.. because everyone is able to decide for themselves, and does not need a 'nanny' to keep them in check.. the evidence would suggest otherwise" but yet again you show your misunderstanding (however your views would be welcomed by certain British Governments!)
The law in England is based on the premise that "anything that is not forbidden is permitted". Unfortunately there are too many who think that it should "anything that is not permitted should be forbidden" and, of course *they* are the only ones who are capable of being arbiters of what is or isn't permitted and believe that (as I've said before) if *they* don't like it then *we* should not be allowed to do it, be it drinking, looking at pornography, marrying someone they love if they are of the same sex or whatever. They consider that if *they* are not there to be "Nanny" then society will collapse, the country's morals will vapourise and we will descend into anarchy, so they are doing it to us "for our own good".
Well I say that that is nonsense. Despite what they (and, it seems, you) believe, people *can* behave in a responsible and reasonable manner and they don't need to be forced into doing it by repressive laws or religious dictats, all they need is education, not coercion.
So, please feel free to express your views, but don't be so arrogant as to think that just because *you* believe it, everyone else must too. History is laden with examples of what has happened when that attitude is taken to extremes...
"And as far as god is concerned, which god ?"
I saw a lovely quote from Ricky Gervais the other day:
"The dictionary definition of God is “a supernatural creator and overseer of the universe.” Included in this definition are all deities, goddesses and supernatural beings. Since the beginning of recorded history, which is defined by the invention of writing by the Sumerians around 6,000 years ago, historians have cataloged over 3700 supernatural beings, of which 2870 can be considered deities.
"So next time someone tells me they believe in God, I’ll say “Oh which one? Zeus? Hades? Jupiter? Mars? Odin? Thor? Krishna? Vishnu? Ra?…” If they say “Just God. I only believe in the one God,” I’ll point out that they are nearly as atheistic as me. I don’t believe in 2,870 gods, and they don’t believe in 2,869."
I, as an atheist, say that you are free to believe whatever you want to, just as everyone else is free to believe what they want.
If you believe that your god says you shouldn't do something, fine, don't do it, I have no problem with that. However you also seem to think that because *you* don't like something, *we* should not be allowed to do it and that I have a problem with.
To say that only your god (or any god) can define what is right and wrong is supremely presumptuous. I do not cheat, steal, murder etc etc because I *CHOOSE* not to. Not because I am threatened with some alleged divine vengeance at the end of my life, but because I consider the world is a better place *now* if I don't do them.
So please, feel free to hold to whatever beliefs you want and don't do things that you consider are "forbidden" to you, but do not be so arrogant as to consider everyone else to be so weak-minded and morally bankrupt that they need *you* to protect them from all the bad things in the world with a "Nanny (or god) knows best" attitude.
... there's a Darth Vader action figure with a sign on it saying "Warning - Choking Hazard"...
Exactly! A black keyboard with black letters and black buttons that light up black to let you know you've pressed them...
"I'll make my mind up once he's been convicted or aquitted in a court of law. As he seems intent on avoiding having to challenge the evidence, I'm leaning towards "guilty as sin" myself."
Well that's a nice open minded viewpoint you have there. Forget about Presumption of Innocence, let's just assume he's guilty. I can see you're so willing to wait for a verdict...!
I don't know. Perhaps you could ask those who protested in the former Soviet Union or China or Syria or...
"One of the main reasons photos of children are not published, particularly with accompanying names, is to protect children who have been removed from abusive families and relocated to safer places."
No, that's just the *excuse* that's given to justify a stupid and over-bearing "cover your arse" policy brought in by people frightened of being sued by No Win, No Fee lawyers.
See here for some perfect examples of useless cycle lanes...
... it seems that, as expected, the only winners from the .xxx domain sell off are Icann and the lawyers.
... instead of splurging a boat-load of tax-payers' money on something which is liable to turn into another IT vanity project catastrophe, we deal with those who have committed actual crimes faster by stopping creating new laws and wasting time and money on prosecuting people for trivial "offences"?
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