Recent posts by atlafan on Kongregate

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Internet Crisis

Another problem with the bill is that the government doesn’t have to provide any oversight. It allows a company to just accuse another company or individual of copyright infringement, and then the DNS has to stop directing to the site, advertisers have to stop giving them revenue, Paypal has to stop allowing transactions, Google has to stop linking, etc. All without any judge or hearing. And the accused only has five days to respond, which is a ridiculously small amount of time to get legal counseling.

I’m not even so worried about the repercussions on sites like the Pirate Bay, or on pirates. That’s a different discussion. But what’s to stop, say, Viacom from claiming an independent news provider infringed their copyrights when they post a scandal? Or what’s to stop larger companies from snuffing out internet start ups in their field? How does Youtube or Twitter survive when it’s liable to be taken down for a single infringing user post?

Also, it’s receiving so much attention because it looks like it has a decent shot at passing. It’s supported by both Republicans and Democrats (and, according to idiot, the president), and it’s ‘hearing’ was a sham — out of the 6 reps invited, only 1 was from a technological field (Google). That was the only one that was meant to offer any dissent (Mastercard eventually voiced misgivings about how much liability credit cards would have, but it wasn’t expected). And when Google started talking about all the problems it would cause DNS and the basic fabric of the internet, they asked one of the other panelists (and the champions of the bill) just to identify what DNS was, and they couldn’t.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Abortion

I’ve read Baumgartner’s article, and it doesn’t seem very logical. He dismisses the idea of separating the fetus from the child because we don’t put different moral worth on the one-year-old compared to the ten-year-old. To which most respond: we aren’t basing this on age, but on capacity to feel pain, and self-awareness. He then goes on to ask what gives embryos moral worth as a human, and replies with (essentially) “because it is human.” No evidence, no logic, just the statement.

To the Lejeune, I’d say, “Yes, it is, as many, many other doctors have explained.”

And Gordon doesn’t contradict pro-choice. No one denies that life is physically present at conception. But life in the same way that bacteria are life, or silkworms, or leaves. Life =/= moral status, nor does life = human. Life =/= imbued with rights.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Abortion

jhco — US Federal Law does not define what is and is not moral. Unless you think slavery pre-Civil War was legit, and women should have been content without the right to vote…

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Abortion

If you can’t name the line, and you just arbitrarily claim that there’s “something” in things-that-will-one-day-maybe-become-people that makes them more special than, say, and ant or mouse with its own social structure and feeling of pain, despite not itself being able to feel pain or care about anything at all, then…well, it seems like you’re the one making things up to make abortion seem evil.

Signs of human life:
-Sentience
-Self awareness
-Ability to create
-Ability to survive on its own
-Complex thought
-Ability to feel pain (physical or emotional)

Guess what? A fetus can’t do any of these. It shouldn’t legally count as human any more than a corpse.

It’s like saying, “Cutting down a rare endemic tree and cutting down the oak behind your house is the same. THe concept of ‘rarity’ or ‘extinction’ or ‘endangerment’ are just made up to make cutting down trees seem evil. But it isn’t evil, it’s just cutting down a tree.”

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EDIT
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I am not a Libertarian, but Conservative and murder is not acceptable to us.

Libertarianism isn’t just a political idea, it’s a philosophical structuring of morality. Political libertarians aren’t necessarily moral libertarians, and vice versa.

For the ants — should I just say, “Ah well, the ants have taken over. It’s their house now. Let’s find somewhere else to live…”? And what makes ants or mice, with norms, some form of society, and the ability to suffer, less deserving of protection?

I won’t bother responding to the rest of your arguments, because it’s just the same stuff you’ve been spouting without reasons backing them up. Why does a genetic pattern that will lead one to one day becoming human mean that its life is just as inviolable as a fully sentient being?

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Abortion

jhco, the problem is that not all people agree with your morals. Here are some common moral theories and what they might say to abortion:

Utilitarianism – abortion does not cause any aggregate unhappiness, as the fetus is unable to feel, but could cause increased happiness in the mother. Therefore, morally acceptable.

Deontology – individuals have the inviolable right to control their own bodies. Therefore, morally acceptable.

Egoism – abortion might be in my best interests. Therefore, morally acceptable.

Libertarianism – an individual has the inviolable right to themselves, whereas things living as parasites do not have this right. Therefore, morally acceptable.

So, yeah. If you hold any one of these moral viewpoints, and some others I’ve not mentioned, abortion is at worst morally permissible.

Also. I let my food sit out, open, in the cupboard. I know it might invite ants, so I seal them up in packaging. Some of the packaging deteriorated, or popped open, or was eaten through, and now a colony of ants and mice live in my cupboard. Most people wouldn’t say killing them is morally wrong (even fewer with the stipulation that they would not be able to feel pain, nor were they conscious beings and able to comprehend the ideas of life, death, and survival), even though I “invited” them into my home by leaving food in my cupboard, as opposed to in a refrigerator or bread box. How is this any different?

And, further, you claim that there aren’t nearly as many ‘accidents’ as claimed here? I could just as easily claim there aren’t nearly as many people using it as a primary form of birth control. And it doesn’t matter. The woman’s right to her own body is more important than your moral objections.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Abortion

jhco: Why should the girl keep her legs closed? Until you advocate guys keeping their legs closed, or having to carry around a 10 pound sack around their middle and abstain from drinking, smoking, eating certain fish, etc., for nine months, then stay home for the next six weeks, then I think the burden is unfairly placed on the woman.

Is abortion ideal? No. Should it be used in place of birth control? Absolutely not. But plenty of accidents happen, plenty of people find themselves unable to carry to term, and a woman shouldn’t be penalized by it just because she happened to get stuck with an extra X and, therefore, is the one responsible for carrying around the baby.

Men don’t have to, and never will have to, carry a baby in their belly. They don’t have to worry about quitting their job, or getting fired, or being unable to complete school, or gaining weight, or having to push an eight pound baby from between their legs. Once the man in the relationship also has to do that, then I won’t consider your saying “Women should keep their legs closed” a bit sexist. But until then, you’re creating an impossible and unfair double standard.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Are your moral standards consistent? Test...

axl — I don’t think that one can do a cost-benefit analysis of rights. Hitler killed 6 million Jews; that was wrong. However, our killing him to save those 6 million does not make the act of murder any less wrong. No one deserves to be murdered or hurt, regardless of their actions; we can lock them up so that they aren’t a threat to anyone else, but it doesn’t make sense to me (morally) to right a wrong with the same wrong.

I suppose the Hitler example is a bit less clear cut, but taken to the next level, the Hitler example seems to justify straight utilitarianism. As in the saving-five-people example. I don’t think that ‘rights’ should come with a cost-benefit analysis, because sometimes that means an innocent person gets the shaft for something completely out of his control.

I guess I agree with Nozick when he states, “There is no social entity with a good that undergoes some sacrifice for its own good. There are only individual people, different individual people, with their own individual lives. Using one of these people for the benefit of others, uses him and benefits the others. Nothing more.”

I in the general picture, I don’t think we can sacrifice others for the ‘greater good’ because the greater good is an illusion, and the only thing that really exists is individual welfare. Hurting one person to benefit others doesn’t make sense, as one can only experience one’s own life, and no amount of justification will give the one person you kill their life back — they don’t care that you made society better, they’re just dead.

I suppose it comes down to certain inviolable rights, without which we could not function as a society — to me, those are life, certain forms of personal property, etc. Life being the most inviolable (if that makes sense…).

For Hitler, I’d say that murder is wrong — taking life is wrong, always — because it denies a person their inherent dignity, rejects any positive contributions they might make, etc. That includes Hitler. So while Hitler is in the wrong killing those Jews, I am not in the right by killing him to stop him.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Are your moral standards consistent? Test...

Yeah…a better example than Hitler would probably be “Fred is going to kill six million people when he grows up. You know this for a fact. If you have the chance to kill Fred, do you?”

I do believe in absolute morals. I’m not quite certain yet as to which particular ‘school’ of morality I believe in (if any), but I know for a fact it isn’t utilitarianism. I don’t think that one can morally kill anyone, except in a situation where one’s own life (or the life of another) is in immediate danger and death is the only way to fix it.

Though I’m not sure where I stand on the act-omission debate, I’m fairly certain that I think omission (while it can be morally forbidden in certain situations) is the better alternative than committing another morally forbidden act. So, for example, letting 5 people drown in front of you when you could save them all by jumping them in and dragging them out (suppose you have the time and swimming skills for it) at the cost of a nice suit is a moral obligation, because one doesn’t break any moral rules by doing it and does some nebulous good. However, if you had to kill someone else to save those five people (suppose the organ donation scenario where the one person has a heart, two lungs, and two kidneys, and those five people all need one of those organs to live) is not justified. Perhaps side constraints?

Eh. Tl;dr: Don’t kill Hitler, because murder is always wrong; don’t kill Hitler’s mother, because then you’re murdering an innocent as well.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Abortion

The French for baby is bébé. It’s Latin for offspring. And there’s no real reason to stick to the literal Latin meaning for something — if I were to tell you that my friend has cancer, you wouldn’t think she had a crab (and if I were to tell you she has crabs, you’d think something completely different…).

So. Etymology =/= how it is used today, or it’s current meaning, and trying to argue that sort of thing misses the point completely.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Condoms and Birth Control Pills a Sin?

Originally posted by Stiltonchees:

lol, I’m still confused how you are getting “no contraception” out of the Bible.

I think it’s a mix between the importance of family, self-restraint, and avoiding lust. It doesn’t necessarily have to be in the Bible, you know…it can be textually implied, or part of the Church’s tradition.

However, there are stories in the Bible where contraception of any kind is explicitly forbidden. Onan ‘pulls out’ and is killed, for example. There are many mentions of children being a sort of great blessing, and the wonderfulness of the gift of life, etc. Further, lot of early Christian writing decries contraception.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Is God really evil?

No, it actually is unfair to give more privileges to the people who support you. Imagine Obama giving a tax cut to everyone who voted for him.

It’s more like Obama arresting people that refuse to accept his legitimacy as president, and who break the laws he passes.

(I’m not entirely sure what the context of your debate with GCK was, but I’m saying this isn’t a valid argument as to why God is evil. In case there’s confusion, I’m not agreeing with what GCK may have said.)

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Condoms and Birth Control Pills a Sin?

paying attention to periods: oughright dangerous. If a pregnancy gets started way up in the tube, it’s nasty. Abortion is often the only option when this happens (because the mother can easily die before the baby is ready to survive in an incubator)

Wouldn’t this mean that you would have to pay attention to your periods to make sure you didn’t have sex during the time where the egg was ‘way up in the tube’? Also, even if the egg is fertilized, if it doesn’t attach to something (the uterine lining), it’ll still be flushed out. You only have a period because your uterus tried to become ‘hospitable’ to the egg, but the lining was never needed. An egg attaching itself to anything other than the uterine lining is a fluke, and fairly rare.

I’m not going to bother responding to the ‘axioms,’ because they aren’t relevant to the thread.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Is this plausible?

Don’t forget the Khmer Rouge. And I’m pretty sure their definition of intellectual was “person with an elementary school education.”

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / What's the last book you've read?

Just finished “Crime and Punishment,” started “The Things They Carried.”

John: I’d try “Ender’s Game,” which tends towards action-y stuff (most people who I know who read it as teens liked it); “The Book Thief” (which is a really easy read, as in it’s not too dense, but has a really fascinating storyline); “Uglies” by Scott Westerfield (I dunno, it was really good and kind of has themes teen girls might relate to, without being one of those vapid ‘Clique’ type books); “To Kill a Mockingbird” (classic); or anything by Tamora Pierce (really appeals to girls, strong female leads, interesting moral dilemmas.)

You might also want to give her an Emily Dickinson anthology. Her poetry is good, kind of sing-songy, and can certainly be read just for the pleasure of reading it, but the underlying themes are still there.

I’d second Maximum Ride and City of Ember, but Redwall made me really, really angry as a kid. It took me a full month to slog through, and I don’t remember enjoying it at all.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Condoms and Birth Control Pills a Sin?

In my original post, I was contradicting your claim that the Pope has never said that condoms are less effective than abstinence.

What I said in my original post was not that the Pope had never said that abstinence is more effective than condom usage (which is true, full-stop), but that the Pope had never said that just using condoms during sex makes you more likely to get AIDS than not using condoms during sex.

This should be obvious, as in the sentence directly after it, I qualify the statement by saying the three things the Pope has gone on record saying about condoms, one of which is that they are less effective than abstinence. Why don’t you try reading what I type before telling me what I have.

Winna:

…you can’t seriously suggest that the Church advocate extramarital sex so that they can keep their ban on masturbation?

Dark:

The Church has a solution, and it falls in line with their teaching. If I were to have safe sex outside of marriage, even if I knew the guy was STD-negative, the Church would condemn it. The Church should not obscure or lie about the individual effectiveness of condoms (which, as I said in my first post, I haven’t found), but their solution works and is moral. It wouldn’t make sense for them to advocate a solution that is immoral. Further, it wouldn’t make sense for them to lighten the moral requirement on people just because they live in an area with high HIV infection rates.

Imagine if you lived in the nice part of NYC, and your friend Bill lives in the bad part of NYC. Would it make sense for NYPD to tell you that you cannot do crack, but for them to tell your friend that crack is fine so long as they have someone designated to stay sober and watch for signs of medical problems? No. You’d expect them to tell both of you not to do crack, regardless of how ‘feasible’ it is, because regardless of where you live, you’ll be arrested if you do crack, and their telling one person to abstain while telling another to just be safe about it is hypocritical.

Likewise, the Church — whose job is to keep you, essentially, on the ‘right path’ (kind of like morality police, only they can only warn you what the laws are that you’ll face when you die) — should tell everyone to abstain from extramarital sex and condom use, regardless of their circumstance, because extramarital sex and condom use is a sin, regardless of the circumstances. Just like in the cop example, anything else would be hypocritical.

((Also, Dark, the Church does not condemn all contraception — only ‘unnatural’ forms, e.g., pills and condoms. Natural methods, like pulling out or watching one’s calendar, are acceptable))

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Condoms and Birth Control Pills a Sin?

Stilton:

Regardless of how you interpret the Bible, the official interpretation of the Church is that life is a gift and avoiding it when having sex (which, yes, is meant to be pleasurable) is a sin. Natural family planning (like, looking at your ‘calendar’ and such) is okay, because there is still the chance if it is ‘meant to be’ or something. I’m not really sure. Either way, the Church teaches that using condoms is wrong, so it would be hypocritical for them to concurrently support its use.

Darkruler:

Yes, people do still want to have sex. But the Church — who is teaching as a moral authority — does and should tell people not to if that’s what their teaching is. It’s not like the Church is putting any more rules on people in AIDS stricken areas; they’re saying, essentially, “Do exactly what we teach everyone else to do, and abstain.” That’s completely consistant with their normal teachings.

Quick clarification: I’m not necessarily saying that I personally believe using condoms is wrong, but I am saying that it’s justified for the Church to support abstinence over condom use.

It’s all well and good that, if you are going to have sex, condoms will greatly reduce your chances of contracting AIDS and other STDs. But there’s no reason for the Church to advocate that when they already say that you shouldn’t be having the sex in the first place. And even government authorities support the one-faithful-partner rule as a way of reducing your risk of STDs; the Church is just supporting that the partner should be your spouse.

Spag:

Originally posted by Spaghedeity:
My point is, Spaghedeity claimed that condons work better then abstinence. I dont see how would that be possible.

Except that I didn’t say that at all. How great did it feel when you realized you could just make things up? A lot like Ricky Gervais, I bet.

Originally posted by Spaghedeity:
Show me a quote where the Pope says that “Condom use will not, on an individual basis, make it less likely that you get AIDS.
As far as I’ve read, he’s only really said that condom use (1) could exacerbate the problem, (2) do not work as well as abstinence, and (3) are immoral.
Originally posted by Spaghedeity:

You can get herpes from kissing someone. And that’s if you ignore the fact that preaching “abstinence only” doesn’t work, ever.

Yes, you did essentially say condoms are more effective than abstinence. If abstinence fails, it’s because you didn’t do it right. People may be less likely to abstain, but it is the ‘safer’ move.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Condoms and Birth Control Pills a Sin?

EPR:

Show me a quote where the Pope says that “Condom use will not, on an individual basis, make it less likely that you get AIDS.” As far as I’ve read, he’s only really said that condom use (1) could exacerbate the problem, (2) do not work as well as abstinence, and (3) are immoral.

The 2nd is true (no sex is always the best way to prevent STDs, for obvious reasons), and the 3rd is technically true (they are immoral under the Catholic Church, and he is presumably preaching to Catholics about Catholic teaching).

The first is what people might have issue with, but it is true. Condoms use could make the problem worse. For example, they aren’t 100% effective, and it could promote promiscuity / the idea that wearing a condom makes the wearer ‘invincible.’ Further, people tend not to use condoms correctly, even when just trying to prevent babies. Especially when they’re uneducated. So I don’t see how the Pope is wrong in saying, essentially, that saying wearing a condom will fix the AIDS problem when the people at risk probably aren’t that educated about condoms, and will likely (if only from unfamiliarity) misuse them or misunderstand it.

I don’t think the Pope is even wrong. If you want to not have a baby, the best way to do that is to not have sex. Condoms help, sure, but they aren’t failsafe. They break. They’re put on incorrectly. If you really want to avoid that baby, abstain. Condom use could curtail the epidemic, but abstinence / single-partner relationships are the best method, and that’s essentially what the Pope is teaching.

It could also be argued that promotion of condoms without promotion of abstinence / fidelity could promote more sexual relations, and a feeling of ‘immortality’ and invulnerability (the idea of risk compensation). I’m not saying this is what I think, but it could be argued that way. And, if that is what you believe (and you have a reason for believing it), then, yes, it is reasonable to say that condoms could make the epidemic worse by promoting more sex outside of single-partner relationships.

So show me where the Pope says that condoms are completely ineffective as protecting the individual on an individual, and I’ll grant you the point. But if he says it isn’t a way to fix the problem, then I don’t know I disagree with him.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Condoms and Birth Control Pills a Sin?

It would be hypocritical for the Church to support condom use to prevent AIDS, though. The official stance of the Church is that it’s a sin to have sex outside of marriage, at all, full-stop. And when you’re in marriage, you shouldn’t be avoiding children. Go forth and multiply, and all that.

It would be like your parents saying, “Don’t ever, ever, ever do drugs. If you do drugs, I’ll be very cross with you. But, if you do do drugs, only buy your crack from John at the corner of G and 42nd Street…”

It doesn’t make sense for them to support condom use, because having sex outside of marriage in the first place is considered wrong. Technically, if everyone followed the Church’s teaching about that, it wouldn’t be an issue.

Now, apparently some people actively teach that condom use won’t help. I don’t support that at all. Misinformation is never good. I do, however, see nothing wrong with the Church not actively supporting or encouraging condom use, so long as they don’t misinform people about condom’s usefulness.

because you aren’t supposed to enjoy sex too much, as that passion gives you an outlet other than religious fervor.

I don’t know what kind of Catholics you know, but intercourse is meant to be enjoyable for both parties involved. Sex inside marriage is meant to be the ultimate joining of two people, an expression of love and commitment to each other. It’s supposed to be one of the most intimate and wonderful gifts two people can give each other. So, yes, you are supposed to enjoy it, just within marriage, and without using contraception.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Gay Marriage

Originally posted by DarkBaron:

For anyone who uses the argument “Does gay marriage in any way effect YOU? No? Stop bitching” I have only this to say: Does gay marriage being banned effect YOU in any way? No? Drop the subject.

Yes, actually. I have to watch my sibling/friend/child live in an unfair world where they cannot marry the person they love. Or, should I choose to, I could not marry the person I love.

The emotional ‘pain’ of being surrounded by ‘sinners’ is not as much as the emotional pain of being denied equal status before the law, incase you’re going to say that.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Pledge of Allegiance

Also, whether or not the Japanese ever intended to invade mainland America, they did bomb some Pacific states. Even killed a some kids. Granted, not too many casualties, but America was ‘under attack’ so they did have the right to defend…Sunday School picnics everywhere.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Gay Marriage

jhco: If marriage is a religious ceremony, and only a religious ceremony:
1. Can atheists get married? Because if marriage is religious, and atheists don’t believe in religion, it follows they shouldn’t be allowed to marry.
2. Should marriage hold benefits? The State is supposed to separate itself from religion. If you’re stating that the government should stay out of religion’s way in who they marry, why should they grant benefit to those that religions do happen to wed?
3. What about non-Christians? Muslims and Hindus and Sikhs and Daoists marry. There are people of other religions that simply don’t have the same beliefs as you. What happens when you have someone whose religion states that gay marriage is fine? Why should your religion mean take precedence over theirs? And, if the government should stay out of religious decisions over marriage (which you claim), shouldn’t that mean all religions should be free to marry whomever they want? Or are you saying that the government should actively support any Judeo-Christian (and I use the Judeo- part lightly, because some Jewish groups support gay marriage; the same can actually be said for Christian groups, but…still) definition?

Going off of 3, would it be acceptable to you to allow any sort of marriage between one man and one woman, so long as no individual church was required to marry them? So, if Bob and Andy want to get married at the local courthouse, or at their local gay-friendly congregation, or at their Dao or Unitarian Universalist place of worship, can the governments stay out of their way and let them (and acknowledge it), so long as they don’t force the Methodist church down the street to marry them if it is disagreeable to their religion?

Finally: on the gay pride thing. I mean, you have to understand that not all gays are the people in gay pride. By definition those things are done by extremists. Not all Irish people are the IRA-loving, beer-chugging, orange-haired, green-clothed blonde people seen in St. Patty’s Day parades, and you would be called insane for thinking they were. Why is this any different from Pride parades?


Edit: The Constitution says that people must be treated equally and without discrimination. So, if you’re giving two people tax benefits, medical benefits, etc., because they have declared to be lifelong partners, it’s unconstitutional to not give other people the same benefits for being lifelong partners. Not to mention that whole ‘Separate but Equal’ thing never really worked out…

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Gay Marriage

It’s more likely that this is because the only marriage bisexuals aren’t allowed is same-sex marriage. They don’t have a reason to create a separate force for it; it fits into the gay marriage category nicely.

That was kind of my point…the point at which they decide to settle down with someone, society and its laws more or less reclassify them as straight or gay for the purposes of marriage. Thus, a bisexual who wants to marry someone of the same sex is, in the eyes of the law, the same as a homosexual.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Gay Marriage

Seems it is only the outright gays who can’t keep to themselves.

Probs because anyone who is bi either knows that, if they find a woman, they will be ‘accepted’ and allowed to marry (and probably socially reclassified as heterosexual), while as soon as they find a male life-partner and starts arguing for marriage rights they’re reclassified as “homosexual.” There isn’t a bisexual marriage force because their actions are either 1. Accepted as straight or 2. Denounced as gay. No individual act can be both (I mean, except for threesomes, but that’s a different can’o’worms).

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Pledge of Allegiance

Idiot:

The ‘republic for which it stands’ is ‘one nation (under God), indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.’

Dark:

I support the Constitution regardless of the historical interpretations of the document, because the actual words there cause no offense. There is no need for “All men are created equal” to refer only to white, Anglo-Saxon Protestant males. Likewise, I see no reason for the Pledge to have to refer only to the way it was interpreted. If you actually parse the sentence (and don’t let yourself be brainwashed by only listening to what other people tell you it means), you’ll notice that:
1. You aren’t pledging allegiance to the USA, you’re pledging its allegiance to the flag, i.e., a symbol of the nation;
2. The flag represents a country where everyone has liberty and justice, regardless of any other personal circumstances;
3. The America you are pledging allegiance to, therefore, has these things;
4. You owe allegiance to that vision of America, not the America that is now.

I find no reason to rewrite the Constitution, why should I rewrite the Declaration? The words it uses, and the meaning of it, is fine, it’s just its historical interpretation that’s tarnished. Since it’s a personal pledge, there’s no reason to adhere to the words it used to mean. I can stand for everything in the Constitution without believing in slavery or female subjugation. I see that as no different than believing in the Pledge.

If you take it outside the context of history, than my interpretation of it could still be found. Yours couldn’t. Therefore, I fail to find how I am being contradictory just because I take its meaning but not its historical interpretation. If you refuse to say it because of how people have used it in the past, that’s your business, but I am honestly pledging my allegiance to an America where everyone is free and equal, and getting America there if she already isn’t. That’s how I interpret the pledge, that’s how I pledge it; there’s nothing textually to invalidate that. Therefore, it’s an honest and legitimate promise that doesn’t have anything to do with your interpretation.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Pledge of Allegiance

I know why the pledge was created, why certain words were added, etc. But the words themselves I can get behind. Fun fact: “for white males” isn’t part of the pledge. It’s for all. I see no problem stating honestly that I believe in a country where everyone is equal. If you have a problem with the pledge for what it’s historically represented, that’s fine. Some people have a problem with the Constitution for the same reason. I, on the other hand, have no problem saying the pledge because the words are in line with what I believe.

Like, if you have a problem saying you believe in equality, liberty, and fraternity because of the history of bloodshed and violence that it comes out of, fine. If you want to say you support it because you do, in fact, support equality, liberty, and fraternity, I also have no problem with that. If you want to say you hate communism because of Russia, whatever. If you want to say you support communism because it can mean things other than what happened in Russia, fine.

The point is that the way people may have historically taken a phrase is not the same way as it is taken now, nor is the current interpretation of a string of words invalid. If you don’t want to say a sentence or declaration of intent because of the way it has historically been interpreted, I’m perfectly okay with that. But if I decide to say it because of the way I interpret it, and because of the way it could logically be interpreted without historical context, than why not?

After all, I’m not saying, “I pledge allegiance to the flag America, and to the Christian republic for which it stands, one nation theocracy under the Christian God, with liberty and justice for all WASPs”. I’m saying that I pledge my allegiance to the ideals of the USA, namely, that all people are equal under the law and that everyone deserves freedom. That’s what I’m saying when I say the pledge, that’s how I interpret it’s meaning because, as far as I’m concerned, historical opinions on the meaning of a text do not inherently exclude new ones. The Constitution is a living document that gets re-interpreted outside of even the creator’s original intents; why can’t the pledge?