Recent posts by Einar on Kongregate

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Wikileaks.

Softest: why are you convinced that Wikileaks leaked the documents completely unredacted? I would like to see a source for that, because everything I’ve read indicates that Wikileaks did redact the documents they received; in fact, they quietly held on to the documents for something like six months while redacting them. The fact that there are still hundreds of people who are identifiable from them is a testament to the size of the leak and Wikileaks’ lack of manpower more than some sort of sloppiness in redacting.

And furthermore, as I said before, even the DoD at this point admits that the documents they have looked at so far were properly redacted. General Robert Gates explicitly stated that “… the review to date has not revealed any sensitive intelligence sources and methods compromised by the disclosure”. I mean, this was in that link I posted, and near the bottom of the section of the Wikipedia article you just cited, did you perchance miss it?

So to sum up: although they missed some things, Wikileaks did censor the documents well enough that even the Department of Defense, who wants their blood, has had to admit that they did not reveal any sensitive intelligence sources or methods.

You say you’re for government transparency, right? Well then, this is forced transparency right here – no lives have been lost, these loose lips have sunk no ships, and now we know what our government has been doing in Afghanistan. Are you for it?

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Wikileaks.

Softest, have you been paying attention? There was no “long list of names” in the previous leak, and the Department of Defense itself has admitted that no US or allied assets were compromised by the leak. Sure, it might not have been safe to release those documents, but it looks like the people who redacted them did a good enough job – and we’re better off for having them.

The government and military’s denial of it doesn’t mean that we all went “Oh, gee. Well, nevermind, if the gubmn’t says it’s not happening, then it must not be.”

So are you saying is that outright, blatant lying about military operations is ok, as long as you don’t tell anyone about it and the real truth only comes out when it’s leaked? I mean, you seem to be far more concerned about the fact that Wikileaks leaked this information than the fact that our military leaders outright lied to us. Which is more important here?

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Is God Real... Is Heaven And Hell Real? If Not, Then What Happens When We Die?

Morthamus: are you seriously pulling out Pascal’s wager? Because that argument is so deeply flawed it’s not even funny.

Consider, for instance, that perhaps God hates Christianity – after all, they’re the guys who think the death of His son was a good thing. All Christians automatically go to Hell, no ifs ands or buts. Then, believing in your religion would be a sure ticket to Hell, wouldn’t it? We’d all be fools for being Christians – indeed, the outcome of Pascal’s wager would be exactly the opposite.

“Aha!” you say, “I know for certain that God does actually like Christians!”

Well, I would retort thusly: “How would you be able to tell the difference between your idea, that God sends Christians to heaven, and my idea, that God sends Christians to hell?”

How would you tell? How would the universe you see around you be different?

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Wikileaks.

You’re entirely wrong, and five seconds worth of research would have shown that.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / IF god was real why dosnt he fix the world we live in now

Seriously? It’s in the Athanasian Creed of the Catholic Church:

… So there is One Father, not Three Fathers; one Son, not Three Sons; One Holy Ghost, not Three Holy Ghosts. And in this Trinity none is afore or after Other, None is greater or less than Another, but the whole Three Persons are Co-eternal together, and Co-equal …

Your description would contradict that.

It’s hard to say anything about the Protestants; due to their beliefs about sola scriptura basically every Protestant is a Christian sect in and of themselves. However, the major Trinitarian Protestant denominations also generally follow the same things that the Catholic Church says about the Trinity.

Of course, there are Unitarian Protestant churches, but that’s Unitarianism – it just says God is only one thing, not three, so there’s nothing to explain there.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / IF god was real why dosnt he fix the world we live in now

I’m explaining one possibility for the makeup of the Christian God.

Please note that explaining one viable possibility is not the same thing as stating with categorical fact.

This is the point you seem to have trouble understanding, Einar.

Possibility is not the same as categorical fact.

I’m not sure how to explain it any more simply than that, but may have to try.

No, see, I don’t think you understand how dogma works. What you are describing has been explicitly stated to not be how the Christian God works. Therefore, what you are describing is not a possibility for the makeup of the Christian God. What you are explaining, where God is one thing made up of three entities, is simply off the table as far as Christianity is concerned.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Is This A Proof That Time Travelling Is Possible?

Haha “only”, that’s hilarious. Wormholes, stable or not, are currently purely in the realm of theoretical physics.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / IF god was real why dosnt he fix the world we live in now

Vika, you’re explaining how something could be. It is not the Trinitarian Christian God, for the reasons in that blog post. It is also not the topic under discussion, since for some reason we seem to be discussing the Christian God.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / IF god was real why dosnt he fix the world we live in now

I’m explaining how they could be one entity in multiple forms at the same time. Many bodies, only one being. If you separate one body from the others, you don’t get a separate being, as it cannot survive on its own – its a limb.

I did read what you wrote, vika, but that’s the thing – there is no way of stating what the Trinity is in real terms that is not a heresy. I don’t think you understand the depth of the contortions the Church has gone through to appease people who believe one thing or the other. They’re one entity in one form, but also multiple entities in multiple forms. Saying that they are explicitly one or the other is a heresy. You are saying that they are explicitly one entity in multiple forms, which is essentially the heresy of Modalism. Here’s a handy chart explaining it.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Is God Real... Is Heaven And Hell Real? If Not, Then What Happens When We Die?

What does a soul contain?

Good question! Let’s see if we can determine this empirically, shall we?

First, let’s define the term “soul”. In this post, I will take it to be an eternal, unchanging part of you, which your mind can read from and write to.

Does the soul contain your memories? No, clearly not – forgetting is possible, after all, so if memories were stored in an eternal, unchanging vessel that would not be possible. Furthermore, degenerative brain diseases can and do wipe out memories (see e.g, Alzheimers), which means that memories cannot be stored in some external, immaterial area.

Does the soul contain your personality? No, clearly not – people’s personalities change all the time and for various reasons. Maniac children can grow up into somber adults; bright and chipper soldiers can become dark and moody after going to war; victims of severe head trauma occasionally experience sudden personality changes. Clearly, if personality was kept in some external, immaterial storage space, this would not be the case.

Well then, does the soul contain some kernel of your personality, from which “you” can be re-derived? This is of course impossible to test as science has, so far, been completely unable to find a soul which could be observed, but I would argue that no, the soul does not contain such a kernel. After all, we have already determined that the soul does not contain your memories, and I would argue that your memories are a necessary part of who you are. Furthermore, all sorts of research shows that the environment you grow up in has a tremendous effect on your personality and abilities – or in other words, that the memories you make as a child have a tremendous effect on you as an adult. So, I would have to say that because the soul does not contain your memories, it (by definition) cannot contain a kernel of your personality; even if there is some “ground state” contained in the soul, because your memories are not recorded, the person who comes out as a result of that ground state growing up must be different from you.

So what’s left for the soul to contain? I would argue that there is nothing left for the soul to “do”, and given that there is exactly zero evidence that would suggest that such a thing even exists in the first place, we should therefore discard this hypothesis.

Of course, this does not discount other formulations of a “soul”, (e.g, one that is write-only) but I believe mine is the most commonly used formulation of the hypothesis.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / IF god was real why dosnt he fix the world we live in now

Nope sorry vika, that’s a heresy. I forget the specific name for that one, but it boils down to the fact that you don’t think God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are one. You think they are three separate but connected entities. Further, by definition, if Christians believed in that they would be polytheists, not monotheists.

That’s the thing, basically. Over the years, the Catholic Church has basically ruled that each and every rational explanation of the Trinity is a heresy. They have defined what it’s not to the point where there is literally no self-consistent system that can define the Trinity.

That’s why they just call it a “mystery” nowadays, because trying to explain it will inevitably lead to people just wondering “why not just drop the whole thing?”

It is, however, a really great argument for theists who think “Occam’s Razor therefore Judeo-Christian God”; that great big baroque Trinity totally contravenes the principle of parsimony.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Overweight people should pay 'fat tax' to cover healthcare costs.

“local council”? That sounds like socialism.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Overweight people should pay 'fat tax' to cover healthcare costs.

I just wanted to point out something I think a lot of you are unaware of:

The United States, at least, is full of what are called food deserts – that is, areas of the country where, for whatever reason, you simply can’t get healthy food, and fast food (or frozen, pre-made meals like TV dinners) are the only option. For instance, if you don’t have a car and public transit is unreliable, you might have to eat food from the local 7-11, just because there’s no practical way to actually get to a real grocery store; if you have a car but the only grocery store is an hour away, you might not have the time to get real food. In either case, if you’re already working

Simply taxing “unhealthy” food would just make the lives of people who are in this situation more miserable, unless such taxes were supplemented by programs to finance new grocery stores or healthy restaurants in such areas, along with educational outreach (having all the fresh food in the world available to you is no help if you’re convinced you can’t cook, after all).

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Wikileaks.

Oh hey guys guess what: turns out the Pentagon was outright lying about sectarian violence and its death toll in Iraq, despite knowing better! How about that. Who would have guessed that the government, of all groups, would lie to us in order to keep this war from becoming unpopular!

And how would we have known about this without Wikileaks, pray tell?

*Edit: changed link to source instead of a blog post, original was to here

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Wikileaks.

softest_voice: your understanding is completely wrong in every way, I’m sorry to say. Wikileaks ended up waiting several months to release the documents; in the meantime, they scanned through them, asked and received aid from the Times and the Guardian to help scan through them, asked the Pentagon to help scan through them (and were denied).

So basically you’re just plain wrong. Sorry.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Wikileaks.

That’s not a very good example, because firing a gun into a crowd is always a bad idea and almost never serves a useful purpose.

A better one would be vaccinating a group of people. SaintAjora says “No don’t vaccinate those people, there’s poison in the syringes. You shouldn’t do this”. I say “There were poison-filled syringes, but people who know what they’re doing have gone through and removed almost all of them. We need to get these things out there, though, so I agree with moving ahead”.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Wikileaks.

Oh hey guess what guys: I was right. The DOD itself confirms that nobody was harmed as a result of the Wikileaks leak.

“The initial assessment in no way discounts the risk to national security,” Gates wrote. “However, the review to date has not revealed any sensitive intelligence sources and methods compromised by the disclosure.

But a senior NATO official in Kabul told CNN that there has not been a single case of Afghans needing protection or to be moved because of the leak.

And of course Gates has to cover the asses of the entire military establishment, so he also added:


“We assess this risk as likely to cause significant harm or damage to national security interests of the United States and are examining mitigation options,” Gates wrote in the letter. “We are working closely with our allies to determine what risks our mission partners may face as a result of the disclosure.”

Which I find hilarious given the first quoted statement.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Official God FAQ

We do know, about certain deities, that they cannot exist with their present definition.

Yes, and that definition applies to God – with the caveat being that when I say God, I (like everyone living today) mean the God of Abraham.

If you mean some pansy Deist God that does nothing but contemplate is own navel, then your statement can be true – however, you are not talking about the same God that Christians talk about. Further, that definition is so toothless as to be useless; you might as well be talking about a divine stalk of celery.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Tae-Kwon-Do

Personally I think any martial art that encourages kicks above the shins (waist at the most) is not very serious. In an actual fight, trying to kick someone in the head is a flashy, one-hit KO move that will almost always result in you getting your ass handed to you when they grab your leg and twist it around.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Official God FAQ

Why is it so incredibly hard to accept we should say “we don’t know”?

Because we can say for certain that God does not exist, of course.

Are you equally agnostic about Zeus? What about Odin? Or Thor? Or that trickster Coyote?

If you say “we don’t know” about those other deities, then your position is consistent. It’s also quite useless, because you have to say “we don’t know” about any subject that is presented to you without evidence.

If, on the other hand, you say “we know they do not exist” about Zeus or Odin or Thor or Coyote or literally any other god ever proposed by anyone, then your position is inconsistent.

So basically, in order to live in reality, we must be discerning about the things we believe to be true. We must say “look, if there is no positive evidence for the truth value of a statement, then we have to default to assuming it is false”. You can’t just go around believing in whatever things are proposed to you; it is both impractical and dangerous.

(after all, if I said “on the third Thursday of April 2011, you’ll be able to jump off a cliff and fly”, are you going to say “well we don’t know if that’s true or not”? No, you’re going to say that’s bullshit. And it is.)

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Official God FAQ

You know how we found Pluto (and also Neptune, about fifty years earlier)? We looked at the orbit of Uranus, and discovered that it was being perturbed in a manner consistent with the existence of another planetary mass in a further orbit. At that point, it was reasonable to believe that there were planetary masses in orbit out beyond Uranus.

If we had looked at the orbit of Uranus and seen that it was completely consistent with the hypothesis that there were no further planetary masses in further orbits, then it would not have been reasonable to believe that there were planetary masses in orbit out beyond Uranus. If you had said that maybe there was an outer planet except that it somehow didn’t affect Uranus’ orbit, you would not be justified in saying that such a planet exists. The preponderance of the evidence would be against such a planet.

Similarly, the Bible claims that God does certain things. If we hypothesize that God exists, then we would expect Him to do those things. However, when we examine reality, we find that no such things happen. Even if you can come up with hypothetical deist God that doesn’t affect anything, you are not justified in saying that God exists. The preponderance of the evidence is against the existence of God.

Right now, with God, we’re in the latter example. There is no evidence for a God, and when we look where God should be we find nothing, so thus saying that God doesn’t exist is a perfectly valid answer.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Girl Trouble

Compress all your feelings into a tiny little ball until they undergo a process similar to nuclear fusion and turn into a single seething, white-hot point of all consuming hatred, then bottle it up and sell it on the black market.

Then use the money to buy her flowers. Girls like flowers.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Wikileaks.

Originally posted by SaintAjora:

And if it was that obvious, why didn’t the Pentagon choose to help?

They are trying, but remember there are 90,000 documents which means a lot of names. Plus, some people can’t be moved, like local leaders or entire villages.

The Pentagon isn’t trying to help – Wikileaks had the documents for several months before making them publicly available, and in that time asked the Pentagon for help redacting them. The Pentagon refused. How is that helping?

But that’s the thing – this one soldier did it because he objected to the way the war was being prosecuted. Is it so hard to imagine another soldier doing it for the heroin?

If that were the case, they would have no reason to give it to wikileaks then.

Do you realize how many soldiers there are in Afghanistan right now? If this one, relatively lowly placed guy managed to make this information available to Wikileaks makes it a near certainty that there have been other leaks, which have gone directly to the Taliban without redaction. It’s called operations security, and it seems like the Army is failing at it in Afghanistan.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Official God FAQ

The FAQ is true in all practical respects.

How would you tell the difference between this universe and a universe that doesn’t have God in it? No tests have ever been proposed; thus, for all practical purposes this universe is indistinguishable from one in which God does not exist; thus, it is quite justified to say “No” to the question of God’s existence, as the universe we live in is indistinguishable from one in which God does not exist.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Blindness in Religion

Originally posted by EPR89:
Originally posted by 7032:

Let’s not forget that God came up with the system of evolution, because God’s attention is on the entire universe. God does not have the ability to micro manage each and every single planet he creates, so he make evolution to automate the planets.

What God do you believe in that isn’t omnipotent?

Heh, this is another area where religion is blind – no religion can see God.

After all, if all religions knew God, all religions would supply consistent results when queried about God. The fact that instead of combining over time, religions fracture and splinter can only be explained by the fact that they all see different Gods – and thus see no true Gods.