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  Topic: Presidential Politics & Antievolution, Tracking the issue< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

Posts: 83
Joined: Aug. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 10 2008,12:36   

Erasmus, I don't mean this to be offensive, but at times I find your post to be...mere rhetoric.  You accused Lou of word salad a while back but I have trouble seeing how some of your responses wouldn't qualify for the same.  Perhaps I'm just not used to your way of speaking and perhaps it is just over my head, but IMO the best way to get ideas across is to make sure you are understood.  So, if in my response I miss your point, it's not out of purposeful avoidance, but an inability to understand; my ignorance and/or your writing the cause.

So, what are 'options'?  What if the best answer is 'not an option'? Options may be contextually determined, the in principle best solution is critique is not based on a better way to run a nation the size of the united states within the confines of the system currently employed.  if that means it is 'not an option' then the point is far over your head.

Notice that you ask me what the options are.  My point is not that he has to pick from a list of approved options, it was that he criticizes and offers NOTHING.  Sure, you can criticize all you like, but if you have nothing to offer, even if it is what is considered an outlandish idea, then why not just go babble on the street corner?  If he gave the suggestion to dissolve the US, that's fine.  It might not be a realistic option at this point in time but at least he would be giving a suggestion of which way to go.

How do you separate these two groups?  My my it sounds like the Not A True Christian argument.  When I hear such arguments I know there is a fallacy at root.  I think I've found one of them.

What two groups would that be Erasmus?  Do you mean the difference between the lying group and the honest?  Well, mainly you look at it by actions.  Do their actions reflect their words and facts or not.  I don't mean this to come across as condescending, but I feel like you are purposefully crossing signals.  People throw the No True Scotsman fallacy around way too easily.  Definition is the problem obviously, but some definitions really can't be refined.  An apple is an apple and an orange isn't.  A person who has told an intentional false statement has lied.  They are a lair.  (I feel like such a 3rd grader saying it like that).

Here's the other thing, I didn't even say that people who go against what I believe are selfish and those that agree with me are honest.  I said that there are well intentioned people that are trying to do what they think is best.  Whether what they think actually is the best is another conversation.

What I was trying to say in that paragraph was that neither group is pure good or pure evil.  As bitter and jaded to the politics as I am, I at least have enough sense of reality to realize that not every single person in politics is out only to help themselves.  I can understand where that frustration comes from but, well I guess I have a bit more faith in humanity.  Which I think would break the irony meters of my friends.

If you abstain you can a) offer no suggestions and simply complain that all politicians are a waste or b) you can push for change.

Or you can do both.  Offering burnt offerings to the gods suggestions to the system is a lot like pouring piss down a rat hole.  The merit of an argument is irrelevant to the degree which it is implemented, unless by merit you mean how much $ do you make and who do you have to pay off.

How can you do both?  Honestly, not rhetorical but a serious question.  You say that you can do both but give no example.  How is it possible to just complain and push for change?  If you are pushing for change, then you are not just complaining.  If you are not pushing for change (ANY CHANGE) then you are simply complaining.  I'm seriously confused by what you mean here.

And you are mixing things ups...I said you can abstain and push for change.  What does that have to do with offering suggestions to the system?  My point was that if you choose not to participate in the system because of your disgust with it (my words, not speaking for you), these were some of the options that I saw.  I didn't say that was the only thing, but a simple list.  And they weren't suggestions TO the system but ABOUT the system.  What is it that you want to see done about the problems that bother you?  I did list changes to the current system, but if you notice I also listed a new government or other ideas.  I didn't limit options to what is possible now.

Let's say that we despise the system, refuse to participate in it, and want it changed.  Short of armed revolution, how else will you change the system?

change it to what?

The question of what it changes to was not the question I asked.  I was trying to understand HOW to change a system that we wanted changed if we preclude physical violence and participating in the system.  I didn't say it was impossible either...I want to hear ideas, suggestions, anecdotes, examples, anything.  I mentioned changing the culture of the nation but that alone wouldn't change the system.

I hesitate to draw this connection, but part of the Civil Rights movement was a cultural change that pushed a change of the system.  And yes, the system was resistant and it wasn't easy but the cultural change helped to bring about a change of the system.  It didn't work in a vacuum though.  There was violence, there were people trying to change the culture, and there were people that worked in the system to try to fix it.  Now, I'm not saying we have totally conquered that hill...racial problems are still obvious.  My point is that if you removed the violence and the people participating in the system, how would the situation have changed?  Seriously, I don't meant to be dense, but I don't see how things would have changed in any appreciable time.  Sure, if you changed the culture, the mentality it would just happen…but how long would that take and what happens in the mean time?  And that assumes that everyone would have eventually agreed, and we can see even now, that isn’t the case.

you dont think any threat to existing power structures will go unchallenged by armed means, just because it makes more sense?  nope.  people die in conflict.

When did I EVER say that a challenge to the existing power structure would go unchallenged?  In fact, I specifically stated that it would be resisted every step of the way.

i've been trying to stress that people die as a result of your vote:  if you are going to argue that people would die if you didn't vote then I think we can use some algebra to get at the question of how valuable this vote is.

People die whether I vote or not, it's true but what does that mean?  If you are trying to say that our government has engaged in wars regardless of political leadership, I agree.  Never said otherwise.  However, I think it can be very persuasively argued that the number of people that die, how they die, and why they die can change depending upon how I vote.

anyway i think it is common for folks to lose their personal ontology in a group identity.  the question, my friends, is not "What are we going to do" it is "How can I keep all these brain dead bastards out of my vegetable garden when the S.H.F."  I am a lot more concerned about repelling the starving zombie hordes than I am about making sure that everybody is as free as Jesus made them.  i'd rather eat squirrels than rats but right now there is not enough to go around for everybody.

Who said anything about group identity?  This whole section confuses me because it feels like a non sequitur.  Unless this is something about being a citizen of the US and the good of the nation.  If so, I somewhat agree.  Whenever someone says 'good of the nation' in a serious tone, I become wary.  What do they mean?

Now, I have seen that you have no interest in society (Arden's sig) and that's fine by me.  Honestly, I have no objection to people that wish to live without society.  But the problem is that others do wish to live that way and what they do with that society affects the world.  Because I can be a part of this society and can try to have some effect, I can try to give it the best direction I can and work to make it better.  It's not perfect and bad things will happen.  But without trying to tame it in some directions, even more bad things will probably happen.

Also the "I'm looking out for me, screw society" is a rather selfish mentality, IMO.  Which the only difference I see between that and the selfish politician above, is that the politician exploits society to get what he wants and doesn't care what happens to others.  The "I'm looking out for me" doesn't care about other people at all.

Is voting in the current system something of a tacit approval of the broken politics?  Unfortunately yes, but no less than not voting is tacit approval of the status quo.

This is more creationist logic.  All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.  What, you don't believe in God?  Why you are still a sinner.  Again be skeptical of such arguments.

Huh?  I know you keep trying to connect me with creationist stuff but I feel you are barking up an empty tree.  If you have the power to object to something but don't, this is often seen as tacit approval.  Think of racism.  If you are on a bus and a racist person starts yelling out about how horrible Race A is and no one says anything otherwise, anyone of Race A on that bus shouldn't be faulted for thinking the other passengers agree.  Maybe they are just too scared to speak up or maybe they agree.  Either way, the other passengers did not challenge what was going on.

You can work with a broken system by putting into power people that are willing to make changes to fix it.

really?  name one.  substituting a soap opera personality passion play for whatever it is that the political system is supposed to represent has always been the name of the game.  If the whole thing is premised on incorrect assumptions it doesn't matter how much you monkey with the business nested within it.

How about most politicians?  They are elected because people believe that they will be able to make the changes that they want for the government.  Now, I myself am not a supporter, however Ron Paul will work as a good example.  If part of what you saw as a broken system is federal income tax and you wished it were abolished, then it would behoove you to try to get Ron Paul elected.  He has consistently pushed for the elimination of federal income tax and would work to make it go away.  Would electing him simply make it disappear? No, and no one is saying that.  But, he would be able to start the ball rolling by, say, limiting who can be taxed.  When his term ends and more needs to be done, you elect another, like minded individual that can take that further.

Now, I’m not saying this example is a good idea or a bad idea, but the point is that not every politician wants to keep things the same.  Some want to change things and are trying to get elected to do just that.  And yes, they are being denied because they are too far outside the ‘mainstream’, so you have to work to get them accepted and move from there.  Again, not easy, but that’s life.

Please correct me if I’m wrong, but something that you seem to be saying is that government & society in general is a bad idea and doesn’t work.  Okay, works for me.  Then how do you go about getting rid of them?  You refusing to take part in it won’t make it go away.  Even if a majority doesn’t want to take part in them, they won’t just go away.  As long as there are enough people that want a government and want a society, then they will exist.  Yes, perhaps you can change the culture and it can be that people don’t want to live like that, but it’s not going to just happen and while you are working towards that, what do you do in the mean time?

You reference The Story of B in a later post, and perhaps you think this is a good option.  You never actually say, so I’m inferring and so my apologies if I’m wrong.  If what you prefer is a return to a hunter/gather life rather than agriculture; we all know that most people don’t want this.  Nothing exciting here.  Obviously, if anyone tried to force this one people and dissolve the country, there would be revolt.  People don’t want to give up what they have.  They are happy, they are content, they see no need to ‘go back’.  So, in order to bring about the change you want, you will have to change their worldview.  You’ll need to educate them and convince them; and you seem to doing that in your post, suggesting that I grow my own food.  Awesome, but this will obviously take time.  In the meantime, life continues much as it has: pollution increases, as does deforestation and extinction.  Land use degrades natural habitat beyond recovery within human lifetime.  Assuming you could convince people to change, by the time that change happens, irreparable harm has probably happened.

We have still been outside the system this entire time.  Now, let’s add to your efforts, a person that agrees with you but is willing to work within the system.  While you are trying to change minds and habits, this person helps to make stronger environmental laws that slow damage.  She works to restrict oil and natural resource exploration to save habitable lands.  She pushes energy conservation and recycling.  So, when you have finally changed enough minds there is more benefit to be had.

Yes, the above is a bit of a fairy tale but I’m trying to stress that things don’t happen in a vacuum.  One thing I am not saying is, ‘don’t try, just follow the rules’.  I’ve never said that and do not think that.  I am trying to get you to recognize that governments, society, culture are going to continue to exist and that perhaps the best thing to do is to make them responsible until they can be dismantled, assuming that might be desirable to you.  And my apologies if I read too much into your comments, but I hope you still understand what I was trying to get at.

However such a fatalistic attitude assumes that you could not being to lay the groundwork that would make changing the system possible.

you can start by growing your own beans and taters.  food is the key to revolution.

Awesome, a suggestion!  Seriously, I'm happy about this and sorry if that comes across badly.  (I hate the internet to mask/obscure emotions)  But it's only part of the step...great, I grow my own food.  Now what?  I'm all for hearing about a full revolution, but I do want to hear about it.  How is the revolution going to grow and what happens to those people who don't want to be a part of it?  This is at least more than I'm getting from my friend but it still doesn't answer how that supplants or changes anything in the grand scheme of things.

Your comments regarding the teaching of anti-evolution are spot on of  course.  I would suggest that you consider that a politician will do anything that gets him elected.  the democrat leaders wish they had the drooling fundie nutcase block, if they had a shot at it you would see this behavior supposedly celebrating the teaching of real science nipped in the bud immediately.  i support this by my own truism, "Anyone who deserved the job would never want it".

Again, I think you are trying to connect the No True Scotsman with me.  But never, throughout my post, do I say that one group will always do one thing and the other would never do it.  Yes, there are pandering democrats just like there are pandering republicans...a fact which I mentioned right at the top of all this.  I spoke about people.  Individual people and what their positions were and if those positions were something worth supporting or not.  That is why people need to get informed about who they vote for and really dig into what the person has said and done.  It's not easy and it can be exhausting, but voting party line is not much better than voting for a person because "they're like me".

Here’s the thing about the truism…while I like it, it perhaps goes the wrong way.  Someone who deserves the job, should want it.  They should want to get in there and try to change what bothers them.  Society/culture/government might not be able to be controlled in a way you like, but they can be limited and guided to do the least damage.

  1878 replies since Aug. 25 2008,04:17 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

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