Recent posts by mrjake2 on Kongregate

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Topic: Kongregate Multiplayer Games / [Remnants of Skystone] Beta Testers Needed for Remnants of Skystone

Please sign me up – thanks!

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Why are you Atheist?

XD guess its just hard for me to imagine….being here and then….nothing

I think my favorite thing on this topic was said by Wittgenstein:

“Death is not an event in life. We do not live to experience death.”

This is one of those obvious-sounding statements that actually says a lot. His point is exactly why you find it hard to imagine not-being – because not-being is not a part of life (which, ostensibly, all of us posters are currently experiencing).

This isn’t an argument for atheism, but it is a refutation of the argument that there must be life after death because we can’t imagine it any other way.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Age Factor

When your 22 and you see a 16 year old pregnant, you think unprotected sex at a young age. Wouldn’t you feel different if the girl was 24 or something?

Yes, but the situation is likely different. In short: I don’t know many 16-year-olds who are actively trying to get pregnant. Many 24-year-olds, however, are. Therefore, the 16 year-old is almost certainly dealing with an unexpected pregnancy, whereas the 24 year-old is not.

Now you may say to that, “well, some of those 24-year-olds are dealing with unexpected pregnancy, too.” That’s true, but they are probably also in a better position to deal with it. I don’t mean mentally; I mean in terms of their life situation. They have finished high school and probably college, and are most likely working.

Having said all that, though, a key difference is that this is judging the situation, not the person. Anybody who makes a personal judgement about a 16 year old because they got pregnant is doing that person a disservice.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Who are the top 3 worst presidents we have ever had?

Branball,

I suppose we will have to agree to disagree on Bush’s record. I do, however, think that the constitutional issues I mentioned were democracy-threatening. I don’t like when people in the executive branch rule by fiat, regardless of their party affiliation, and I’m saddened that the Republican members of congress put their party affiliation with the president above their duty to respect the constitution’s checks and balances. BTW, I would be equally saddened to see Democrats do the same.

As for Bush being rich and successful, I don’t think that’s a very strong argument. When your dad is rich and powerful with a long pedigree, it’s easy to get into Yale and Harvard – he literally got in because of his father and grandfather’s attendance, and has described himself as a ‘C’ student.

I’m not going to make too much of that, though, because I know plenty of people who are successful who didn’t even graduate from high school. As for rich, though…well, he owned an oil business that went belly up, and his dad & dad’s friends bailed him out. How many of us get that kind of support? The only reason he is rich is due to his family connetions.

Since ‘successful’ is up to interpretation, I’ll leave that alone.

Lastly, I wouldn’t make too much of that approval rating – it is now only one point above the lowest recorded approval rating ever (for Truman, interestingly). So I don’t see that as an argument either for or against.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Why are you Atheist?

Religion is a choice whichever choice you pick doesn’t make you ignorant.

I don’t think anybody in the thread was ever arguing that being religious made one ignorant.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Marxism: Is it even relevant anymore?

Well, Russia IMO is still a Communist state that is trying not to be called a Communist state.

No, they are a former communist authoritarian state that is now a plutocratic, oligarchical authoritarian state.

I think you are confusing the authoritarian aspect of the USSR with its communist one. KGB enforcement has nothing to do with their economics.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / How's America the best country in the world?

I disagree. Trade could easily defend a country as well as an army, through trade sanctions and loan collection.

I am interested in the article, being a history/econ junkie.

However…this approach only works in isolated, narrow cases. Unfortunately, that doesn’t make it a catch-all for every military action by hostile neighbors. Consider the case: you are a country with no military, and I am a neighboring country who wants to invade you for your resources, and neither you nor any of your allies has any economic leverage on me because you have no trade agreements, loans, etc. with me. What is to stop me from invading you? If you have no army, you’d better hope you have some good friends who do.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Muslims

More bible verses:

“And it shall be, if the wicked man be worthy to be beaten, that the judge shall cause him to lie down, and to be beaten before his face, according to his fault, by a certain number.” ~ Deuteronomy 25:2

“1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.
2 Therefore he who resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.
3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of him who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval,
4 For he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain; he is the servant of God to execute his wrath on the wrongdoer.”
- Romans 13:1-4

“10 When thou comest nigh unto a city to fight against it, then proclaim peace unto it.
11 And it shall be, if it make thee answer of peace, and open unto thee, then it shall be, that all the people that is found therein shall be tributaries unto thee, and they shall serve thee.
12 And if it will make no peace with thee, but will make war against thee, then thou shalt besiege it.”
- Deuteronomy 20:10-12

And most of all, Deuteronomy 7, which begins:
“1 When the LORD your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations—the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, seven nations larger and stronger than you- 2 and when the LORD your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. "

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Who are the top 3 worst presidents we have ever had?

Mrjake, please list a reason that George W. Bush is the worst president of all time.

Certainly (and thanks for asking for civil debate rather than just firing back). But before I begin, I have to state emphatically that it is not simply because he is our current blundering president, nor because his poll numbers are pathetically low. No – in fact, if you had asked me after the end of his first term, like you I would have ranked him in the lower half of presidents, but certainly not the worst. Term II sealed the deal for me.

First, and foremostly (and I can’t emphasize this enough), his administration has trampled and desecrated the Constitution. Really. The massive power grab they have perpetrated on behalf of the executive branch has completely upset the system of checks and balances that the founding fathers (and myself) found so important. It has reduced the power of both Congress and the Judicial Branch in favor of an Executive aspiring to kingship. Among other things they have done in this regard are:

Attaching more ‘signing statements’ to bills they signed than any president in history (signing statements, of dubious legality, are basically this administration’s way of saying that they aren’t going to enforce certain laws while not having the cojones to simply veto them, a practice so base that even Arlen Specter blasted them for it);

Claiming that the Vice President could not be subpoena’ed as part of an executive inquiry because he was a member of the legislative branch, given the pathetic excuse that the Veep is the tiebreaking vote in the Senate;

Ignoring FISA completely and basically spying on US citizens through fiat declaration, then asking the legislature to clean up the legal mess after the fact;

Turning the once-independent Justice Department into a legal shill for the executive (remember, Janet Reno started the investigation against Clinton. Would Ashcroft, Gonzalez, or Mukasey have had the similar discipline? Clearly not.)

That covers the constitution. What else? Well, he spouted the ol’ ‘free markets’ rhetoric every chance he got, except now that Wall Street is in a tizzy he started exclaiming for the need for a bailout to stabilize our economy. Get that? Capitalists should be free to live by the sword, but they don’t need to die by the sword. Because Uncle Sam will bail them out if things ever get too rough. Oh, but only if you make billions and billions of dollars per year.

How about education? No child left behind? That’s the program where you tell schools that they need to meet certain standards while providing ZERO funding toward that. And these are standards that educators themselves said are unrealistic. Add to that the vetoing of stem cell research, and you basically kick out the innovation that this country is so well known for and turn us into a provincial religious backwater.

I won’t even get into Iraq. Anybody who still believes they were 100% truthful about their reasons for invading has never heard of Project For a New American Century, and is simply not worth conversing with.

There’s more. there’s tons more. But, in my opinion, the above items alone put him in the bottom three.

We need to start electing people who we believe are smarter than us, rather than people we think we could sit down and have a beer with.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / How's America the best country in the world?

i think that America is just greedy. a good country shouldn’t have an army. too many good people die in the army.

Peacenik though I am, this overly idealistic. You need some form of military to prevent another one from invading you unjustly. Japan doesn’t have a military, sure, but only because the USA provides them with a de facto one.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / The Flying Spaghetti Monster

Mildly funny, but dumb. Seriously. And I’m saying this as a relatively non-religious person.

The reasons for people having faith in any particular religious tradition have very little to do with the ease with which one can construct a sham one.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Muslims

Really?

“Gilead then cut Ephraim off from the fords of the Jordan, and whenever Ephraimite fugitives said, ‘Let me cross,’ the men of Gilead would ask, ‘Are you an Ephraimite?’ If he said, ‘No,’ they then said, ‘Very well, say Shibboleth.’ If anyone said, ‘Sibboleth’, because he could not pronounce it, then they would seize him and kill him by the fords of the Jordan. Forty-two thousand Ephraimites fell on this occasion.”

- Judges 12:5-6

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / How's America the best country in the world?

America’s free market system encourages inventing, too.

<sigh> I wish that were true. It used to be true, but look at the modern history of copyright and patent law and you’ll find otherwise. In an age where Amazon can patent something as bone-headed as ‘one-click shopping’, and Disney can effectively lobby Congress to keep extending copyright law indefinitely so that they don’t have to release Mickey Mouse to the public domain, I think that era of innovation is over.
 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Who are the top 3 worst presidents we have ever had?

actually, 3dd656 is way off base regarding our current banking system. If you really want to get down to it, Nixon is responsible for pulling us out of Bretton-Woods and the gold standard, essentially giving the ability to mint money at will to a private NGO. that is the root of the current boom-bust cycle. (Before you insist that Woodrow Wilson is worse because he was president when the Fed was created, keep in mind that he certainly didn’t have any nefarious intent in mind at the time. Although if we were talking about a list of ten worst presidents, I would certainly include him.)

Having said that, I really believe the worst presidents of all time (in reverse chronological order), are:

1) George W. Bush
2) Herbert Hoover
3) James Buchanan

And gysmo1, I would love to see any evidence indicating how Dubya tried to ‘reform’ fanny and freddie.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Same Sex Marriage?

Unproductive, you are clearly a George Washington arguing to the Sarah Palins of the world.

Do you ever feel like you’re living in Idiocracy? I do.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Same Sex Marriage?

I love how Orzo responds to the weaker argument but not the stronger.

Orzo, if you really believe what you are saying is true, please respond to the facts that unproductive has posted.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Why are you Atheist?

Navarre wins.

Wow – I thought this was a discussion, not a contest.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Same Sex Marriage?

Also, the link is wholly irrelevant. The topic is about why gay marriage should or should not be legal, not about whether it is or is not healthy. I’d rather not have the state or federal government impose anyone’s ‘health’ values on me, thank you very much.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Should Christianity have so many forms?

There are far more forms of Buddhism than that.

Zen
Tibetan
Amida (aka Pure Land)
Mahayana
Theravada
Hinayana
etc.

Wikipedia has a more complete list.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Why are you Atheist?

I, as all people are, was born an atheist.

Actually, I’d imagine most people are born agnostic.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / This made me sad

Agreed with SaintAjora – if a candidate has a personal history in the legislature, then I think that is quite valid information for the electorate to know when deciding on their representative.

So norumaru, you are correct that we are not guaranteed that a politician will hold to those same policies they pledge to in order to get your vote. However, their legislative or personal history may give you insight into how likely they are to keep those promises. It also gives you a chance to verify that the candidate has not, in fact, adopted those positions just for the purpose of vote-getting – chances are if you hear John McCain talking about how we need tighter regulation on Wall Street when his legislative record shows that he has fought against that very thing in Congress for the last 20 years, you know he is pandering for the purpose of getting votes.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / How's America the best country in the world?

All the stuff Al Gore invented. [I kid]

That’s right. He only invented the TCP/IP protocol. The rest were his research assistants.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / How's America the best country in the world?

bq.America is the greatest country because hundreds of countries rely on us. If our economy starts dying, the rest of the world’s economy will suffer as well.

Not a very strong argument – it works the other way around, too. We are just as dependent on China, Japan, and Europe for trade as they are on us. Consequently, they could put in just as strong a bid for “greatest country in the world”.

bq.We are also the number one nation that intervenes with issues in other countries such as viruses, hunger, natural disasters, etc.

Of course, the international trade laws that the G7 countries impose on the rest of the world are largely responsible for those country being unable to afford to purchase those foods and medicines at a fair market rate.

Overall, I think the argument that ANY country in the world is the ‘greatest’ is patently stupid.

p.s. Seriously, what am I doing wrong with the bq tag?

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Explain the logic in BELIEVING in god

Stealthboy,

The common fundamentalist response to your point is that God guided the hand of the people who translated the bible from one language to another, accepted and rejected the various early Christian writings and doctrines, etc. I personally find this to be a spurious, whitewashed, ad hoc way of explaining this process – Aramaic and English are such fundamentally different languages that much of the meaning of the original texts (if one even believes in getting to a text that is ‘original’) has been largely lost in any translation, no matter how valiant, without tons and tons of footnotes.

I have seen bibles that do this, but they are generally spurned by the average Christian as they leave open the door to questioning some of the quote-literal truths-unquote that fundamentalists are so fond of. Take a look at a heavily footnoted version of Genesis someday and you’ll see what I mean.

And let’s not even get into the politics of the early Christian church. The whole doctrine of the Holy Trinity was the process of a vote at the Council of Nicea. Many Christians at the time didn’t believe in this or many of the other issues now considered ‘fundamental’ to Christianity, but they were, quite simply, shouted down in a parliamentary vote.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / This made me sad

norumaru,

I think the problem with that system is that it removes the all-too-important human element from the equation: do you trust the personal qualities of the candidate who claims to be aligned with your policy positions?

To play devil’s advocate, suppose that pre-election polling told the electors which positions the vast majority of citizens agreed with. Throw all those numbers into the hopper, figure out the slate of issues you have the best chance of winning with, and boom, there’s your policy as a candidate.

Perhaps that sounds overly Machiavellian, but I don’t think so; the last few election cycles in the US have demonstrated the scorched earth policies that political parties are willing to go to in order to retain or gain power.