Recent posts by SithDoughnut on Kongregate

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Topic: Serious Discussion / The Moral Argument

Nice to know this forum still exists.

If you are a non-theist, why do objective moral truths matter to you? Or if they don’t, why not?

There are no objective morals, but it’s useful to pretend that there is to some extent, because that’s how laws come about. Collective subjective morality would be a better way to describe laws and the customs of a society, but in terms of actual application, there is very little difference. Either way, you have an external set of “rules” that all members of a society are required to follow. That’s pretty important, because without that, you can’t have a society.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Are all races truly equal?

All people are not equal, so all races are not equal. Not that it matters – race is becoming a more and more arbitrary term as the human race becomes more and more globalised. Even before it’s pretty much just based on factors that lump various groups together. If you get a random group of people and put them in sub-groups according to hair colour, for example, you’re going to see that the averages are not equal.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / An argument arising on Facebook.

Originally posted by Aneslayer:

And why the equation was written as such?

To be confusing. At least for people who had forgotten BODMAS and couldn’t be asked to look it up.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Oh lawd, dat sum esoteric conspiracy

Paper money =/= all money.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Proof that Japan has been downplaying their nuke problems.

I’m in Japan, and I haven’t turned into a crazy mutant yet. Nor has anyone else. Nor have we all died from over-exposure to radiation. Now can we please stop turning this into our problem and try caring about other people for a change? For example, how about the workers in the power plant? They’re actually in danger.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / 2011 Sendai Earthquake and Tsunami

UPDATE: The area of evacuation around Power Plant 1 has been increased from 10km to 20km. Power Plant 2 still has a 10km evacuation area. There are possible reports of an explosion at Power Plant 1. I’m not entirely sure, but I think something like one of the fuel rods melting has happened.

I’m getting this from NHK G, by the way.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / 2011 Sendai Earthquake and Tsunami

All suffering is bad, regardless of whether it is a few people or a lot. Trying to make a scale of one suffering being more important than another is a waste of time. It’s all suffering. Now, can we get back to stuff that actually matters?

I’ve had NHK on in the background since this began. The death count is still rising. I must say that I am impressed with how all the Japanese have dealt with this – the building codes and strict procedures that are in place have almost certainly saved dozens, if not hundreds of lives. There are reports of missing people turning up in various places because they followed the emergency drills that are regularly practiced. It’s nice that there is some good news in all of this.

 
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Topic: Off-topic / What browser are you using?

Minefield.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / The Obvious Decline of Talent through Music

Originally posted by StrawInk:

I’m sure Im not alone when I say that listening to the radio is painful now. Artists like Ke$ha, Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, Rihanna, and Pink CANNOT SING.

In these days, if you are not a mute, then you can be famous.

Take Katy Perry’s song California Gurls song for example. SHE IS NOT SINGING. She is talking. Talking in a pitch a TINY bit higher than your regular voice does not make you a singer.

And for those who saw her preform on SNL, she can’t dance either. This is not favoritism, (and yes, Im straight) but the only people played on the radio that can sing are:

Beyonce
Alicia Keys
Celine Deon
etc.

Do you guys agree?

It’s no different now than it ever was. You only think it’s getting worse because it’s really only the ‘good’ (as in acclaimed commercially and/or critically, not necessarily what you’d like) bands that are still listened to today. There’s always been crap bands. Go find a chart list from a few decades ago and listen to it – you’ll be amazed how much awful music there is.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / A Letter to Skeptics (!!TL;DR!!)

Originally posted by Syneil:
Originally posted by SithDoughnut:

Atheists are anyone who is not a theist. The clue is in the name (A being a prefix that means “without”). This includes agnostics.

It doesn’t include agnostic theists; people who believe in one or more deities but do not believe its/their existence can be proven.

I know, that’s why I said agnostic, not agnostic theist. Some people consider themselves to be purely agnostic.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / A Letter to Skeptics (!!TL;DR!!)

Originally posted by Stiltonchees:
Originally posted by MrRubix:

Most atheists ARE agnostic. So this entire paragraph is kinda lol.

If someone is rational enough to be atheist, they’re also rational enough to typically be agnostic about it (as science is not in the business of proving things but rather disproving things — and you can’t disprove what’s always defined as lying outside what we know).

Soooooo…

Then they are not truly an Athiest and shouldn’t say they are.

Atheists are anyone who is not a theist. The clue is in the name (A being a prefix that means “without”). This includes agnostics.

As for the OP, all I’m seeing is someone saying “Be open-minded”. I always figured that to be a skeptic, open-mindedness had to be in there somewhere anyway.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Barack Obama Bowed before Saudi King Abdullah

Since when was not doing something a tradition? Just thought I’d ask.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Evolution - true or not?

It’s a troll, but I’ll bite.

Originally posted by Senakus:

God’s impact on this universe is visible in all aspects of life. This belief has been challenged by the theory of evolution, even though evolution cannot be proven.

It can, and it has. Repeatedly. We’ve physically watched it happen.

There are those geniuses on the internet to find they can hide behind a veil of unproven “science” in order to doubt the presence of a god. You all must embrace god so you can walk among him in your afterlife.

You need to embrace Google – you’ll actually find that you’re able to have a position based on facts than what everyone says.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / England News: Policing in neighborhoods in London will be HALVED

I have a suspicion that there won’t be much of a difference, given that a large portion of the police force don’t actually have the power to do much policing. The safer neighbourhood teams are largely Community Support Officers, who can’t actually do anything.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / AI benevolent dictator

Seeing as the AI will be designed and programmed by people, it will still fall victim to human error.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Vegetarians

Originally posted by norumaru:

You only say that because you’re not a biologist. ;)

What we do know about suffering and pain is that it at least requires some kind of central nervous system,

That is exactly what I am contesting. You only say animals feel pain because you see them react to damage, but plants do that too (Mimosa pudica is only the most egregious example), and some animals (sponges, jellyfish) don’t. The only reason we think plants don’t feel pain is because their responses are so slow that we can hardly see it, but I think they are pretty obviously there if you look. My family has a house in the countryside, with a place for bonfires that is under some trees. It has been there for 8+ years, and all new branches the trees grow are to the other side.

In what way is that a reaction to sensory input? Plants do not have senses, which are required to feel pain. Pain is not just any response, it’s a particular type of response that plants and a number of animals are not capable of.

I don’t deny that plants react to the world around them, but so do chemicals. If I burn magnesium, am I causing it pain?

Originally posted by EPR89:

It could trigger mechanisms that stop liquid being transported to reduce dehydration or that help in closing ruptures (e.g. with resin).
On another note, I still don’t really understand why an inabilty to feel pain the (at least in the way we do) makes a living being eligible for getting killed (wink thanks for the link, atlafan.)

Because that’s the arbitrary decision many people have made, like the arbitrary decision most of us make not to eat other people. Both of those decisions ride on entirely subjective opinions.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / atheist, they really need to be discriminated?

Originally posted by alexthenoob:
Originally posted by Sciamancer:
Originally posted by yralpmexe:

I think we should send atheists to “re-education” camps until they choose a religion. (Hopefully Christianity)

What about religious atheists?

Paradox?

Not all religions have a god.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Vegetarians

Originally posted by norumaru:

Wait, Arthropods have learning abilities? That is a new one. I always thought that pretty much only higher vertebrates and octopuses had learning abilities, while invertebrates account for 98% of all animal life.

And many, if not most, vegetarians have less of an issue with invertebrates than with vertebrates. At least, those who base their decision upon animal suffering alone do.

What I am saying is that to me it seems like vegetarianism pretty much draws a distinction based on little else but visible mobility, and does so under a label of ethics of compassion. I think that is completely fine, and everybody can eat and not eat what they want to, and rationalize that however they please. I just hold the position that the argument that plants are eligible for food because they don’t suffer is either unsubstantiated, or you have to include a lot of animals in there as well. Plants do suffer (or lobsters don’t), you just don’t empathize because they look “dead” from the start.

All eating choices are arbitrary. There is not a single position on what is good and bad to eat that does not hinge on at least one arbitrary judgement. Why is cannibalism wrong? Because we judge humans as different to other animals, purely on an arbitrary basis. Our position on what can be eaten is no better than a vegetarian’s.

I’d wager that for most vegetarians they’re playing it safe. We do not fully understand how animals think and work, and we can’t even come up with a consensus on how suffering works. What we do know about suffering and pain is that it at least requires some kind of central nervous system, and a way of processing that information. Plants do not have that, so they’re OK. Some animals do, and although for many it makes no difference, we are not entirely sure about that, so the safest option is to avoid them all. I’ve had a few vegetarians I know explain it to me like that, and several pescetarians (some of whom consider themselves to be pretty much the same as vegetarians).

Also, don’t forget that when someone says “I don’t eat animals”, they haven’t incorporated every animal in existence into that decision, for the simple reason that we only eat a few of them with any sort of regularity. Those animals will be the ones that the decision is based upon, because it’s pointless to consider the rest. Most of the animals that we eat can feel pain, so they’ll have based their judgement on that, and probably extrapolated that to the rest of the animal kingdom. Life’s too short to be wasting time studying the pain thresholds of animals.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Christianity & The Age of the Earth

Originally posted by bellis99:

In the media, it is often said that Christians who believe the Biblical story of creation also believe that the Earth is 6,000 – 10,000 years old. In reality, there are many Christians who have absolutely no problem accepting that the Earth and universe are billions of years old. Christians who accept this view do not see an inconsistency between the creation account in Genesis and an old earth and universe. So even though this view is held by many Christians, why does the media always portray creationists as believing in a young earth?

Because the majority of Christians who believe in an Earth older than 10,000 years believe in Theistic Evolution, not Creationism. Creationism implies a Young Earth, as that is how it is almost exclusively used.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Vegetarians

Originally posted by norumaru:

Well, I wasn’t trying to do that. I just don’t really see a difference between an unpleasant experience associated with tissue damage as experienced by plants or as experienced by animals.
As for the “emotional” part, I think with that you’ll have to count out basically anything that doesn’t recognize themselves in a mirror, because we really have no way to know what the emotions of non-self aware life look like.

The definition would probably be better if it said “and/or”, with regards to all organisms. Pain is a physical sensation as well as an emotional one. Basically, the difference between damage response in plants and damage response in many (not all) animals is that animals mentally process this and react to it (as demonstrated through the fact that they can do things such as learn from the pain), whereas for plants it is not a sentient reaction at all. Although pain in animals is disagreed on, it is generally accepted that animals get the sensory part of it. So I wouldn’t say it is particularly arbitrary. The way pain is processed may differ from animal to animal, but it still has to be processed. Plants simply do not have that ability.

Of course, drawing distinctions between plants and animals in terms of whether they can be eaten or not is completely arbitrary, but so is banning cannibalism.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Lion Tacos: A study in Speciesism

Originally posted by Aneslayer:

@Sith – Was the cat dish any good? Heard that cats tastes very bad….

It’s pretty awful. Tastes like how urine smells, if that makes any sense. If you mask that with enough alternative tastes (as most dishes involving cat do) then it’s OK. Still quite stringy and tough though.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Idea for New Thread Series

Instead of asking, just make the thread. If people are interested they’ll join in.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Vegetarians

Originally posted by norumaru:

That seems like a false dichotomy. What is pain, if not a self preservation mechanism?

Pain: An unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage.

As defined here.

Pain is a self-preservation mechanism. That does not mean that all self-preservation mechanisms are pain.

And this is what we were talking about: That, as always, it’s not as easy and clear-cut as it seemed at the start.

That’s true, if people insist on manipulating definitions and then try to crowbar reality into them. If you wish to define plant self-preservation mechanisms as pain, then fine. However, at that point, you’ve redefined the entire argument. You can’t take someone’s argument, manipulate the words and then throw it back as if that’s what they meant in the first place.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Vegetarians

Originally posted by Flypurplehamster:
Originally posted by dd790:
Originally posted by Flypurplehamster:
Originally posted by dd790:
Originally posted by DarkBaron:

And why does nobody care about making the plants feel pain? Double standards all up in this thread.

PLANTS DON’T FEEL! They have no central nervous system.

Plants are sensitive to touch, see the OP’s link.

There is a difference between having feelings and feeling pain to responding to touch/light etc

If you feel touch, why are you unable to feel bad touches?

Because “Bad touch” =/= Pain. Pain and suffering require sentience. Organisms that are not sentient cannot feel pain and cannot suffer. Plants fall under the non-sentient category. It’s really a lot simpler than people are making out here.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Is ambiguity crucial in language?

Ambiguity isn’t crucial, although there are a lot of literary uses for it. I doubt you could remove it though, the only way to have an unambiguous language is to build one from scratch and then be very strict in your enforcing of it’s rules. An académie française with actual power, sort of thing. That wouldn’t stop slang though, it would just enforce the official language. You’d have to keep the number of speakers of this language very low in order to have a chance at avoiding slang.