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   G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic:  Politics
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   Author  Topic: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic:  Politics  (Read 52411 times)
Stegfucius
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic:  Politics
« Reply #350 on: Nov 5th, 2008, 9:17pm »
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on Nov 5th, 2008, 1:27am, StegRock wrote:
My post-election insight on this historical election victory...
 
First and foremost, congratulations and good luck to President-elect Obama!
 
As per my post above, I'm not unhappy that Obama won.  (I sort of think it needed to happen... for a multitude of reasons.)  On the other hand, had McCain won, note that I'm not going to say that I would have been happy; again, I would have been not unhappy.  What I am happy about,... I am happy that this election is over, and went the way it did, because of the absolute unrelenting, unreasonable, over-the-top nasty vitriol liberals have embodied throughout this process and over the last few years.  I will be happy to live without that out-of-control, unbalanced vitriolic negativity surrounding me.  And, implicit in that claim is that I firmly believe that conservatives will not comport themselves in such an embarrassingly unsavory crazed, cry-baby, over-the-top unfair and biased manner.  I, in fact, have much respect for Barack Obama.  But, for liberal Democrats, this election is an, albeit needed, pacifier, four or perhaps eight years to gather their senses.

 
In speaking about this stuff and sharing this post of mine with one of my colleagues today, I was afforded by her an interesting, even academic, and I think, in any event, accurate, explanation for what I say I've experienced in my post above...
 
(A quick, but VERY IMPORTANT prefacing comment, remember the important distinction here between conservative and liberal politicians engaging in policy-making and partisan rhetoric and so forth and conservative and liberal people going about their day-to-day.  Below, the latter is being talked about, not the former.)
 
She said that it is because conservatives tend to treat people as individuals, as persons, on a case-by-case basis, whereas, liberals tend to treat of ideas and ideals, causes, "isms", and people as the masses to which to apply those ideas and ideals.  So, while, case in point, I am able to afford Barack Obama and, before that, Bill Clinton the benefit of the doubt "as persons", liberals are not so apt to because George Bush or Ronald Reagan are seen, not as persons, but as simply "that which" defeated and is against their cause.  I don't know if the theory's right.  But, it does ring true, and it does explain things.
 
As a specific case in point, I was living and working in South Korea while both Clinton and Bush were President.  I didn't vote for Clinton, either time.  HOWEVER, when, for example, the Monica Lewinsky thing went down and Korean magazines were railing on Clinton, I got his back.  In contrast, when was in Korea in 2002, when 9/11 was still a raw wound, liberal American flotsam were already trash-talking George Bush to their Korean friends, and this is pre-Iraq.  Again, to use my colleague's model, they couldn't get over the 2000 election and just treat Bush as a human being.
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic:  Politics
« Reply #351 on: Nov 5th, 2008, 9:53pm »
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 Stegs reply:
Quote:
Speak for yourself, man.  Who are these people?  I know I'm not one of them.  
 

 
That person is me. Its me every time a airplane flys over downtown Indy. Its me every time I go to the Airport and need to take my shoes off. Or how bout the worry of one of my sons or daughters classmates carrying their parents gun to school.
 
A great man has been selected by the greatest union in the world. A man so great that his mear presence in the political landscape can change the whole world view. Purhaps in 4 years Im proven wrong, but for right now.....
My HOPE is that things will get better in this great country. I hope that people will rally around something positive, Or someone positive and snowball it into something great. Rather than find something negitive to post right from jump street.  
 
Steve, I wish I could better respond to your post. I simply dont understand a lot of it. That is not your fault. It is mine. I dont want you to "dumb it down". It wouldnt be in your nature. I just cant be in the sword fight with out a sword.
 
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic:  Politics
« Reply #352 on: Nov 5th, 2008, 10:44pm »
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on Nov 5th, 2008, 9:53pm, sk wrote:
That person is me. Its me every time a airplane flys over downtown Indy. Its me every time I go to the Airport and need to take my shoes off. Or how bout the worry of one of my sons or daughters classmates carrying their parents gun to school.

 
Nice, honest follow-up, sk...  Let me jet a question back atchya...  Just to narrow it down, I would like to focus on the sentence of yours I bolded and underlined in the quote above.  The question is,... how does your fear manifest/what form does your "fear" take in that case, the case of the airport and the long security lines and having to take off your shoes?  (Now we're conversatin'!)
 
Quote:
A great man has been selected by the greatest union in the world. A man so great that his mear presence in the political landscape can change the whole world view. Purhaps in 4 years Im proven wrong, but for right now.....

 
Nice! Fair enough! Not just that, but I by and large share your sentiments.
 
Quote:
My HOPE is that things will get better in this great country. I hope that people will rally around something positive, Or someone positive and snowball it into something great. Rather than find something negitive to post right from jump street.

 
Agreed.  The only thing I would challenge you, sk, on is the possible implication here that you are lumping in my post as "something negative right from jump street".  Maybe you are not.  Please clarify!  I don't take my post to be negative.  Sober maybe!  But, not negative. No? (Again, we're conversatin'!)
 
Quote:
Steve, I wish I could better respond to your post. I simply dont understand a lot of it. That is not your fault. It is mine. I dont want you to "dumb it down". It wouldnt be in your nature. I just cant be in the sword fight with out a sword.

 
Don't sell yourself too short, man.  Keep trying... as long as you can take it.  I relish the day I sit back and read one of your posts and say, "Ooo.  He got me good on that point," and I'll be the first to say so, brother.  I mean... you've definitely gotten better at it, bro.
 
Now, I digress...  Incidentally, I just saw a BEAUTIFUL expose on Fox News to start off Greta Van Susteren's show, a video montage of people's positive emotional reactions (save the one of Rush, but, hey, fair and balanced, right? ) to Obama's election.  It really is a touching event on many levels, and a big metaphorical sigh of relief.
 
Along the lines of your stating wishes, sk, here's mine...  I just wish some, just a little, of that love could be expressed toward or, at least, could be transformed into giving a little break to the outgoing President, who was in office at one of the most difficult times, if not the single most difficult time, in our country's history and didn't do half-bad getting us through it, at least, as I humbly see it.
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic:  Politics
« Reply #353 on: Nov 6th, 2008, 12:46am »
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on Nov 5th, 2008, 9:53pm, sk wrote:
 
A great man has been selected by the greatest union in the world. A man so great that his mear presence in the political landscape can change the whole world view. Purhaps in 4 years Im proven wrong, but for right now.....
My HOPE is that things will get better in this great country. I hope that people will rally around something positive, Or someone positive and snowball it into something great. Rather than find something negitive to post right from jump street.  

 
Thought I'd contribute my two cents worth here . . .  I don't know Barack Obama personally, so I can't ultimately say much about him, but I would dispute, based on his public moral actions, the claim that he is a great man.  It's impossible to be a great man and at the same time a public proponent of mass murder, and since Obama is the most pro-abortion president we've ever had, that kinda excludes him from being a great man, at least as far as one's public actions show one's greatness (or lack thereof).
 
Even setting aside the abortion and embryonic stem cell research problems, it's hard to state that Obama is a great man.  What makes him great over and against other Democratic nominees -- Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, et al.?  My point is this: people in this country, and even the media on many an occasion, are proclaiming Obama as the "savior" of our nation, ushering in the "morning" / "springtime" of our nation.  All of this is unsubstantiated, uncalled-for, non-rational praise.  I have a hard time believing Republicans would say this about McCain had he won the election.  Somehow Obama is seen differently -- why?  It doesn't make sense, unless the answer I'd rather not accept is true, namely, that it's because of sheer personality and charisma.  But then wouldn't Bill Clinton also deserve the same adulation?  But even Bill didn't get this type of hype.  What is it?  Is it because Obama is the first black president, achieving a milestone in American history?  I certainly hope that's not the reason; while it is a great sign that Americans are at last able to look through someone's skin color and judge their ideas and actions rather than their color, if Obama gets all this adulation simply because he's black, it sure sounds like soft racism.  If a president-elect is going to be given messiah-like adulation, he ought to deserve it, or at least show that he deserves it, and Obama certainly hasn't shown he deserves it and it sure seems like he doesn't actually deserve it.  Has he displayed any original ideas for overcoming the Republican/Democrat divide on any issues?  I'm not aware of any.  Has he given us any evidence that he'll be any better than any other liberal Democrat?  Not that I know of, unless by "better" you mean "more leftist."
 
By the way, is America the greatest country in the world?  Is it?  Everyone keeps saying it without offering any reasons for it, as if it's a matter of faith.  It's certainly debatable: our children's education is atrocious, we pollute the hell out of the atmosphere, we're one of the largest, if not the largest purveyor of pornography in the world, we're slowly but surely encroaching on religious freedoms with the homosexual lobby, we're growing increasingly anti-Christian, and we abort thousands of our own children every day.  Given all this, and given the lack of explanation of statements like "America is the greatest country in the world," such statements ring jingoistic in my ears.
 
I suppose I'm a little bitter about politics these days -- every time I check out any campaigning or public debates, all I hear is "blah blah blah maverick blah blah blah change blah blah blah hope blah blah blah maverick" -- buzzwords repeated over and over, and no substance given to back them up, and this by both candidates and by both parties.  It's very disheartening.
« Last Edit: Nov 6th, 2008, 12:50am by Travistotle » Logged
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic:  Politics
« Reply #354 on: Nov 6th, 2008, 9:38am »
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on Nov 5th, 2008, 10:44pm, StegRock wrote:

 
  The question is,... how does your fear manifest/what form does your "fear" take in that case, the case of the airport and the long security lines and having to take off your shoes?  (Now we're conversatin'!)
 

 
Its more of a reminder of the evil you cannot see. Its like when I said that Hate accompanys fear. Imagine sitting on your porch in your lovely suburban Neighborhood when very slowly several Police cars drive by.  obviously the police are there to serve and protect, however there is some uncomfort anticipating what that might bring with it. Lots of security is a reminder, a constant reminder, of the fact that we are not to assume saftey. Keeping your gaurd up is exausting.  
I DIGRESS...
    Definition:  
    Paranoia is an exaggerated distrust of others that is not based on fact. As a psychotic feature of bipolar disorder, schizoaffective disorder or schizophrenia, paranoia may manifest as delusions of persecution.

Obviously fear generates a certain amount of paranoia. I think the equation would be something like this:
Fear + Time = Paranoia = Fear+Time + Paranoia= Distrust = Fear + Time + Paranoia + Distrust = Hate. Heres something neat.
 
I DIGRESS...
    My son, myself and my daughter took my mom to the airport. We hugged her goodbye at the security check point. My teenage son started to reminis about the old days when he could go to the gate and wave goodbye to the plane as it left the gate. This began a barrage of questions from my young daughter.  

 
It dawned on me right then that she didnt ever experience the liberties that most american adults knew.  Look how we have evolved. We have evolved into a sociaty that thinks we should embrace fear and use it to motivate security.
 
Check this out
I DIGRESS...
    "They that give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety... deserve neither safety nor liberty." Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759  
     

 
Steve here is a question back to you. This is the task at hand.
How can we convert fear and parinoia of the neighborhood into a dislpay of compassion for the neighbors?
 
 
 
T-Rave
Quote:
 I don't know Barack Obama personally, so I can't ultimately say much about him, but I would dispute, based on his public moral actions, the claim that he is a great man.  It's impossible to be a great man and at the same time a public proponent of mass murder, and since Obama is the most pro-abortion president we've ever had, that kinda excludes him from being a great man, at least as far as one's public actions show one's greatness (or lack thereof).  

 
Its funny. Pro-lifers never use the term Pro-choice when speaking of abortion. Its always pro-abortion. I mean, saying Obama is pro abortion is just frankly a horse shit thing to say. Nobody is "Pro-abortion". Even the doctor that performs the procedure isnt pro-abortion. Do you think the doctor runs home and say's " honey, I had a great day! I did 3 abortions. " This thing is all about choices and freedoms. Its because we as a government dont know where to stop and start when it comes to limiting freedoms. Another quick story here. This involves the sex offender registry.  
I DIGRESS...
    I have a buddy of mine named Bruce.  We were all camping in a state park. 12 of us. Camp fire going on a summer night. Several guys had there kids with them. Good time was being had by all. Oh yeah, I forgot. there was lots of beer. Unknown to us, off in the woods, looking in on us was a group of park rangers. They were looking for underage drinkers. The park restroom was about 200 yards from our camp. Bruce grabbed the nearest tree. This tree was in plain view of the rangers. About 10 minutes after Bruce urinated on the tree, the ranger came to our camp for a furthar inspection. Everything was ok until a smart ass comment was made by either Bruce or one of the rangers.  The short of it is that tempers flaired and Bruce was arrested for indecent exposure. And because of the sex offender laws in Indiana, Bruce had to register as a sex offender. Its very expensive and difficult to get that overturned in Indiana. That follows him everywhere he goes. Its funny, if someone needs directions to his house, we usually print it off the sex offender map. Circle the yellow star. Not so funny for Bruce as he is in constant fear of losing his current job, as he knows it would be nearly imposssible to get another.

 
The moral here is that its really hard for big government to protect one group of people with out harming another. So when in doubt one must protect the constitution.
 
Steg
Quote:
Along the lines of your stating wishes, sk, here's mine...  I just wish some, just a little, of that love could be expressed toward or, at least, could be transformed into giving a little break to the outgoing President, who was in office at one of the most difficult times, if not the single most difficult time, in our country's history and didn't do half-bad getting us through it, at least, as I humbly see it.  

 
Maybe in a few years. Some wounds need to heal before we can get a clear and objective view.
 
Sorry for all the mis-spellings and typos. I ran out of time for proofing.
 
« Last Edit: Nov 6th, 2008, 9:53am by sk » Logged
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic:  Politics
« Reply #355 on: Nov 7th, 2008, 10:49pm »
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on Nov 6th, 2008, 12:46am, T-Rave wrote:

... Somehow Obama is seen differently -- why?  It doesn't make sense, unless the answer I'd rather not accept is true, namely, that it's because of sheer personality and charisma.  But then wouldn't Bill Clinton also deserve the same adulation?  But even Bill didn't get this type of hype.  What is it?  Is it because Obama is the first black president, achieving a milestone in American history?  I certainly hope that's not the reason; while it is a great sign that Americans are at last able to look through someone's skin color and judge their ideas and actions rather than their color, if Obama gets all this adulation simply because he's black, it sure sounds like soft racism.

 
That's the nail, getting hit squarely on the head.
 
Quote:
If a president-elect is going to be given messiah-like adulation, he ought to deserve it, or at least show that he deserves it, and Obama certainly hasn't shown he deserves it and it sure seems like he doesn't actually deserve it.

 
Spending almost 150 days in Congress isn't enough to earn that adulation? 
 
Quote:
Has he displayed any original ideas for overcoming the Republican/Democrat divide on any issues?  I'm not aware of any.  Has he given us any evidence that he'll be any better than any other liberal Democrat?  Not that I know of, unless by "better" you mean "more leftist."

 
No, even worse... "more socialist." Barack Obama thinks Robin Hood can save the world. Let's tax the heck out of those who work hard for their money and hand it out to those who don't.
 
Quote:
By the way, is America the greatest country in the world?  Is it?  Everyone keeps saying it without offering any reasons for it, as if it's a matter of faith.  It's certainly debatable: our children's education is atrocious, we pollute the hell out of the atmosphere, we're one of the largest, if not the largest purveyor of pornography in the world, we're slowly but surely encroaching on religious freedoms with the homosexual lobby, we're growing increasingly anti-Christian, and we abort thousands of our own children every day.  Given all this, and given the lack of explanation of statements like "America is the greatest country in the world," such statements ring jingoistic in my ears.

 
I'm not interested in getting into any arguments about religion or abortion or homosexuality. But I'll still argue that America is the greatest country in the world. I appreciate my freedom and opportunities. I appreciate the ingenuity and resolve and compassion of the American people. I recognize that we have been destroying the environment, but I don't know any other country that is doing more to change its ways and right the past wrongs. (And don't throw the Kyoto Agreement back at me... the US didn't sign it because it was flawed and allowed other nations to continue their polluting ways without any recourse.) Americans are always at the forefront to stop genocide and other atrocities around the world and no country is as charitable as the US. America is far from perfect, but it's the greatest country in the world in this man's eyes.
 
Quote:
I suppose I'm a little bitter about politics these days -- every time I check out any campaigning or public debates, all I hear is "blah blah blah maverick blah blah blah change blah blah blah hope blah blah blah maverick" -- buzzwords repeated over and over, and no substance given to back them up, and this by both candidates and by both parties.  It's very disheartening.

 
I agree wholeheartedly on this. I'm just glad the campaigning and mudslinging is finished. The next four years will be interesting. I work in a very liberal field and have had to endure the whinings of the left regarding George Bush for the past 8 years. I look forward to the spin that I'll hear when Obama fails to become the "savior" that he's being proclaimed to be.
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic:  Politics
« Reply #356 on: Nov 7th, 2008, 11:57pm »
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First, I want to address sk...
 
Before even attempting to consider your post line-by-line, which with just a modicum of depth and specificity would be pretty much impossible within the confines of a day (now two days), I just need to give a "bigger picture philosophical" response.  I just... , sk, or, should I "smiley",... that you will take the time to at least try to digest it lest I fear we will have some rough times ahead of us. In fact, that hope speaks to my first point...
 
If you really aren't "getting (a lot of) it" when it comes to my posts as you, in an apparently stand-up fashion, admit above, then WHY doesn't more time elapse between your posts and why aren't your responses to me littered with more questions? In the very least, it puts the genuineness of your admission into question and shows a lack of consideration for the extraordinary amount of time and effort I put into these responses to you.  [To wit, this one here I spent all day yesterday jotting down in a notebook as I went about my errands for the day and am now typing up today (now tonight).  It's really only been worth it for me, especially if you don't take it seriously, insofar as it is somewhat useful to me in terms of my formal studies in Philosophy, which only goes to show you the value of it and what you are potentially missing out on by not making a fair attempt at critically grasping at least some of it.  Pieces of this stuff could find its way into a book someday, and, after all, it is directed to and in a sense inspired by you.  So, go get some cups of coffee over however many mornings, evenings it takes, and try to give this one your best shot, man.]  Incidentally, a meta-response to that question above is basically it is because (it is obvious) you're having a very hard time breaking through your subjective experiences and preconceptions.  This is worth mentioning insofar as what I am going to go on to write is going to speak to that difficulty and that "holding on to and not letting go of".
 
I'm actually going to give this thing a title...
 
"Appropriateness versus Tolerance"

 
What I'm first going to talk about (and this is going to be the real nectar of this post) is fostering a proactive attitude of appropriateness, rather than a reactive mindset of tolerance, which has become so en vogue... and subtly damaging.  Without question, people should be reasonably tolerant of others, but, coming prior to that, should be one's self-critical consciousness of the appropriateness of their own actions.  Basic tolerance for your fellow man is the lowest common denominator.  The fact that it, tolerance, is the level at which we are wrestling ethically is a sad commentary, no less, moreover, making it the virtue par excellence, which is downright dangerous.
 
Emphasizing appropriateness over tolerance shifts the focus away from the other and back on the personal subject, oneself, and personal responsibility.  Even though the virtue of tolerance is in its generosity to others and the various unfamiliar ways life can be lived, when it is turned back on oneself as acting subject "I should be tolerated (by others around me)," wins out over "I should be tolerable (to others around me)," in other words, "I should be appropriate."  Tolerance, like everything in America anymore, becomes a matter of cost-benefit.  In other words, I am tolerant of others, so I am "owed" the tolerance of others in return.  YIKES! The movement is surely away from personal responsibility (and, yet, not necessarily toward rights, but rather toward hubris, but, in any event, not toward responsibility).  When you reflect appropriateness on yourself, it really doesn't lend itself to anything other than "I should be appropriate (around others)."  A philosophy of appropriateness doesn't lend itself to the aforementioned easy way out (of responsibility) the way a "philosophy" of tolerance does, notwithstanding its virtue.  Appropriateness, when you apply it to yourself, in contrast with tolerance, puts the (moral/ethical) burden squarely on your shoulders, and, at the end of the proverbial day, the only person you have (should have, no?) sovereignty over is yourself.  You can only control yourself; you cannot (should not, right?) control others.
 
This is why (but it's personally taken me a long time to arrive at this understanding, and this is, quite literally, my vocation) we have to get away from (and I am suspect of) a philosophy that pretentiously and arrogantly espouses what everybody should do/requires that everybody do this or that (even though we do it all the time) as if "everybody" is going to just "get it", totally agree AND fall peaceably in line... like a bunch of lemmings.  Now, don't get me wrong!  It's an innocent mindset to fall into.  It's our Western philosophical legacy.  It's what we in the West are accustomed to doing, devising philosophical systems that is.  Systems treat of the "other", the masses; they don't treat of the particular, the individual/person (here it would be good to reflect back on my CIIS colleague's thoughts above).  This is as opposed to the Eastern philosophical sensibility of a way (dao) of life to be lived by each person individually (de) (and, hence, the Dao De Jing).
 
Also, we all know the wisdom of the adage "don't judge others," and the trouble judging others, practically speaking, can get us in.  However, that ends up coming out in the wash in an overly simplistic and all too easy way because it's difficult and takes effort to really meet the call.  Don't judge others becomes don't be judgmental, which is pejorative, and which ultimately translates into don't judge others negatively.  Oh, could we make it more easy on ourselves (as individuals because, again, that avoidance of negative judgment is also something each of us is owed).  Now, of course, that's not what it meant as that is irrational and self-contradictory and, thus, self-defeating because it affords us no way to negatively judge the negative "judger".  It's like how those extremist militant Muslims in the Middle East use our (American/Western/European "liberal") virtues, like abstaining from torture as per the Geneva Conventions, against us without adhering, having to adhere to the higher (ethical) standard themselves.  In other words, they make us look bad on our terms, when they themselves have no terms.  This may be effective in argument, but shitty in reality when dudes are getting their throats sliced on camera and torched, dismembered bodies are hanging in the streets and we are getting beat up, nay, beating up ourselves for giving three squares to dudes opposing us on the field of combat.  How droll!  I digress...  Those guys in Guantanamo get out eventually (moreover, to tell their stories... to lawyers licking their chops).  The other guys I mentioned, the ones with the slit throats and charred bodies, DON'T!  Anyway, back to my point about judging others vis-a-vis tolerance, don't judge others negatively is not what the adage says.  It says don't judge others, period!  However, the "philosophy" of tolerance forces us to judge others, albeit "positively", but with the same impossible (logical) ramifications.  Absolute tolerance means no standards; no standards means no progress; no progess means no progressive thinking; no progressive thinking means no tolerance!  Absolute tolerance is not the answer.  Absolute tolerance is, in fact, self-defeating (as just illustrated).
 
I DIGRESS...
    In light of this, I would like to share with you the kind of philosophy I am raising my baby daughter on...  I understand she is not yet even three-weeks-old, but I'm hoping the words and ideas I get rattling around her head now sound osmotically familiar and, moreover, ring naturally true later when she's embarking on her life as an ethical being, being and acting together with others and self-reflecting on her actions.  There are three (so far):
     
    1)  A la Sartre, always ask, "What if everybody did this," of yourself and what you have done or are about to do, and not so much of others.  (Whereas we always use this wonderful insightful adage against others to prove our own "point", the real wisdom of the question, which Sartre understood, is to ask it of and act on it yourself, not use it to merely "make a point".)
     
    2) At as many steps as possible in life, constantly ask yourself as you are about to do this or that, setting all traditional moral rules, norms, standards, mores, commandments, etc., aside, "Is this the person I want to be/become?  Is this who I am?"  [Mind you, this is not an assault on traditional morals; think it through (if you still don't get it, feel free to ASK me about it)!]
     
    3) (At a glance, this is going to seem merely like a knee-jerk, protective father-to-daughter fashion statement, but, along the lines of what I am saying here, it is actually much deeper.  It's about managing the manifestation of your subjectivity out in the world.)  There is nothing you can put on or do to your body that will ever come close to showing who you really are on the inside, in your heart and in your mind.  In fact, it is more likely to act as a detraction and distraction from that, not just for your onlookers but for you too as you get caught up in it.  There is a wisdom to school uniforms (not that I ever wore one or my daughter ever will) and social norms when it comes to dress.  Even though the simpletons don't get it, dress code is about putting as little as possible "between" you and others (get your minds out of the gutters here, fellas ); it's the middle-ground over which we meet and which is supposed to just not get in the way; it's about making for a level playing field so that what differentiates people is that which is beneath the skin, not on it, no less it itself (a poignant point at this point in our history, no?).  You want to meet people as "bare", so to speak, (again, minds out of the gutters, guys ) as possible.

 
One last thing in addition to this part of my treatise here, concern for appropriateness in your life implies paying attention to situatedness and, to hearken back to another philosophical paradigm of mine, "freedom from".  Tolerance, on the other hand, implies a focus on "freedom to" and individual rights without considering, in spite of, or, as is often the "case", in defiance of and combat with the bigger surrounding context.  (By the way, sk, if you want to understand what I'm talking about with this "freedom from"/"freedom to" stuff, do a search for the terms on this very thread.  I've already been there and done that, with success with those with whom I was dialoguing.)  As, again, if that isn't bad enough in and of itself, tolerance is, accordingly, very anthropocentric.  Appropriateness, however, isn't.  Because it's about responding, not reactions, responsibility, not rights, acting appropriately is not just an enterprise directed toward other humans but also one's greater surroundings, the environment, animals, and so on.  As it is inappropriate to smoke in a confined space around another person, it is around a dog, a plant, even a (nice, new) lampshade.  Appropriateness gets you to that sensibility; tolerance definitely will not!
 
Okay, next,... arguing by way of telling stories is a no-no. Stories require belief both of the story and in the storyteller, i.e. that the story happened but, moreover, that it happened the way it is being told and, thus, that the moral of the story is what it is being claimed to be.  This is like church.  This is preaching.  Belief, which I think you would agree, Todd, is not a good foundation for an argument (you exude such a sensibility).  Share your stories, but just don't line 'em up thinking that it presents anything sensible even if it seems to.  That's why I explicitly try not to weave stories and my personal experiences, of which I have a multitude that cross the spectrum, my friend, into my arguments.  I'll tell them sometimes.  But they are almost always standalone.  I don't want my position assented to based merely on (the weak argumentational foundation of) belief.  I want it to be appreciated based on its cogency, not like we do in church (right?).  Again, sharing stories is fine.  The problem is when people draw sweeping conclusions based on these relative experiences, which is what you often do and, in any case, did in your last post.  I don't think I'm saying anything here that, if you think it through, you wouldn't wholeheartedly agree with.
 
(Continued in next post...)
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic:  Politics
« Reply #357 on: Nov 8th, 2008, 12:33am »
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(Sorry for getting in your way here, Phil!  I see you posted just a little before my "first" post here tonight.)
 
Without wasting room with quotes, here's a little more of a specific address of your post, sk.  What your post screams more than anything is "I have a problem with police," and everything falls from there, your whole "philosophy" and disposition.  I would say, combining what you wrote along with my experience of you here, that you (seem to) have an issue with authority.  In any event, you obviously have an axe to grind with officers of the law, and I think it's become quite self-fulfilling.  What your stories about your daughter and your friend Bruce and your disposition towards police and authorities are indicative of more than anything is the fact that we've had it too good in America for too long.  There is much in the way of hyperbole, generality, assumptions and, again, naivety in your story about your daughter and accompanying rhetoric.  Franklin's quote, quoted as if I don't know it and, moreover, hasn't already been quoted on this thread (by JYJ back in the day, I think it was), is about as outdated as the Second Amendment.  It speaks to a different time.  I once heard some security dude from the NSA, CIA, FBI or some security agency on the news say that what it takes for us to keep America secure most people couldn't stomach.  I personally think that is more applicable to today.  But, whatever.  If that story is the worst you and your daughter, me and my daughter ever have to endure, rip off my shoes and tell me to greet grandma outside the airport.  The musings of a child are just that.  Times change... for better and worse.  Woe is me for not being able to breath the fresh air my great, great, great, great, great grandparents did.  It's not always just gonna be "positive" change.  I'll tell ya one thing...  Don't do any extensive traveling with your family abroad, brother, unless you're in for a VERY rude awakening in many an airport around the world.
 
In more specific response to your story, if only we had such security before 9/11.  Then, 9/11 wouldn't have happened and you, your daughter, me and my daughter wouldn't have known any better.  Oh, wait a minute.  My daughter won't know any better, anyway, but she's safer, at least as I see it.  Ah, and the realization yet again,... historical vantage point is all relative.  Of course, I suppose the retort is that none of us "know any better" when the bomb rips through our bodies and takes us from life to the here after in a moment's time. Okay, deep breaths!  Step down!  The "modest" point here is that there are probably (I guess) many ways to go about securing our nation (post 9/11).  Our jobs aren't to convince one another of our positions.  It's to try to appreciate that fact and work together with the officials elected via our system and give the method they have chosen to try a fair shake, knowing that in four years we'll be given a choice again.  I personally think Bush has done a great job securing our nation, post 9/11.  I'm now willing to give Obama a fair shake.  You hate "my guy".  I don't hate yours.  So, whose responsible for stopping the "hatred", which you are so concerned about?
 
As for your question about converting fear and paranoia into compassion, it's fallacious and LOADED out of the gate.  It's not about converting or even transforming fear and paranoia into compassion.  I don't even know what that means.  It's a platitude based on a false premise.  You have stated the impossible, the not even comprehensible.  Yet, you proclaim "it is the task at hand."  Oh, all seer! Thine eyes only lay themselves on the Truth of ALL things! sk, all I'm trying to do with such hyperbolic language is engender a sense of humility in you.  It's not that your heart is not in the right place.  I don't think that you would come close to claiming that you know it all.  But, you gotta make it sound that way (logically and objectively, i.e., I'm not talking about people's letting their inferiority complexes or whatever get the best of them when conversing with me).  To this end, you gotta know the limitations of what you are wanting to express.
 
Your story about Bruce is a shame, for sure, but in a twofold way that I don't think you think it is.  I do appreciate your candor, sk, when relating it.  But, it is littered with red flags, my friend, and it's being told strictly from you all's side.  From the picture I get, from the way you yourself tell it, I'm thinking you sound like the kind of campers I wouldn't want to have pitched tent next to.  Just apply the "philosophy of appropriateness" I explicated above to this situation.  Look, I'm not saying the rangers/forest police acted appropriately.  But, you can't do anything about that.  You can only control what you do, and, while maybe it wasn't as inappropriate as the rangers' behavior, it seems that you all, and at least Bruce, didn't decide to proceed in an appropriate, swallow-your-pride-and-move-on kind of way.  As a fraternity boy in college and as an adult, I've been in similar situations, and none ever came close to resulting in such a conclusion as yours and Bruce's, and in the case of, at least, the former, tons of, at least, weed, shrooms and alcohol and underage drinking and legitimately rowdy and even felonious behavior, meriting punishment, were involved (ATO camp-outs in the Rockies).  I mean, in that situation that you described, if the rangers were spooking us, we would have had one of the soberest among us go on over and say, "Hey, what's up, fellas?  Are there any problems," and in a tactful, diplomatic, humble way apologize for drawing their attention and ask what we can do as a corrective so as to avoid having to have them hover over us.  And, that's the fraternity party.  As I've grown into an adult, such a situation hasn't even come close to happening, most notably because of the moderation of the use of intoxicants.  In any event, it's not a bad thing to feel a little antsy around authorities.  In fact, not doing so is a cause for some concern.  Now, again, that doesn't give the police the right to abuse their authority, but that's out of your control.  And, again, this story is yet again indicative of how we've had it too good in America for too long.  Trust me, dude, America is FAR FROM a police state.  Try South Korea on for size!  And, it really ain't even close to being a police state.
 
Now, I think your paranoia "equation" is interesting and potentially headed in a useful direction, but where it is at present is WAAAAAAAAAAY TOOOOOOOOOO simplistic.  You need more of a calculus for such a complex, mult-faceted dynamism as paranoia.  You're just working with arithmatic, the inadequacy of which for the purpose at hand comes out once you break it down mathematically, which was your choice of presenting it.  All you are really, logically saying in the end is:
 
Hate = Paranoia + Paranoia + Paranoia
as
Distrust = Paranoia + Paranoia
because
Paranoia = Fear + Time
and
Distrust = Paranoia + Fear + Time
and, finally,
Hate = Distrust + Paranoia + Fear + Time
 
 
Follow?  This is trivial.  It looks neat, but doesn't work... unless you are just saying that hate is a worse level of paranoia than distrust and distrust, a worse level of paranoia than "basic", run-of-the-mill paranoia.
 
One step up would be to rephrase it in terms of conditionals.  But, even though I'm sure it is more accurate, it doesn't quite fit what you want to say because the necessary and sufficient conditions need to be reversed in a way that contradicts your original arithmetic rendering:
 
(If) Paranoia ->  (then) Fear + Time
Distrust (sufficient condition) -> 2(Fear + Time) (necessary condition)
Hate -> 3(Fear + Time)
 
The problem is that what you want to say is something more along these lines:
 
Fear + Time -> Paranoia
2(Fear + Time) -> Distrust
3(Fear + Time) -> Hate
 
Besides the fact that this is all WAY TOO simplistic, what reversing the necessary and sufficient conditions back to what you would want to say exposes the problem:  namely, while it could be said that paranoia necessarily does imply "fear over time", we all know that "fear over time" does not necessarily imply paranoia.  "Fear over time" is also, actually probably more provably, the grounds for the Stockholm Syndrome (and many other things, probably mostly bad, but now we're at the level of the trivial).  Now, you may wonder why I'm... with all this hardcore logic as, as you might point out, you "admit" above to "intellectual inferiority", which, however, I think you do tendentiously and which, in any event, I don't think you need to do.  I'm just trying to engender a healthy sense of humility in you, not one where you somewhat passive-aggressively make unnecessary admissions, which you use, as far as I can tell, to bolster your "position" (in both senses) rather than to function as a case in point of your taking steps toward a more humble attitude.  We're not even at the tip of the of the tip of the tip of the logical iceberg here and things have fallen apart.  Mind you, this is to totally eschew the valid argument (not that I wholeheartedly agree with it) that a little fear of the police, like as exhibited in many countries with much lower crime rates (South Korea, Japan, Singapore), is a healthy thing.  Anyway, the point here really is to just illustrate how MUCH is really required to state something truly insightful in the way you are trying to and, again, hopefully engender in you a sense of awe and humility.
 
As for your response to my query about ending the Bush hating, see above...  I know I was asking it generally, but, as per the motif of my posts here (appropriateness, personal responsibility, and such), I was really asking you.
 
And, I guess I am going to quote one thing,... of all things, a meta-comment you made...
 
on Nov 6th, 2008, 9:38am, sk wrote:
Sorry for all the mis-spellings and typos. I ran out of time for proofing.

 
Maybe, just maybe this means that you bit off more than you could chew... at the time.  Again, as I suggested to you a couple posts ago, less can be more.  Your shorter, tighter, more focused posts tend to be much more effective.  When you start riffin' away is when you get in "trouble" (but, again, as long as you can take it, it's all good, I suppose,... although I don't think it's all too efficient).
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic:  Politics
« Reply #358 on: Nov 8th, 2008, 12:46am »
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Now, I want to address T-Rave...
 
I won't need to do anything line-by-line.  I "get" whence you are coming, T, and, though I have some bones to pick with some of what you're saying, your point (disagreeble or not) is clearly laid out and well-communicated (although with a few run-on sentences here and there ... ).
 
First, quickly, regarding the semantics of the abortion "debate", I pretty much agree with sk's take.  The pro-abortion rhetoric does seem to me to be inflammatory more than substantive.  But, in any event, our arguing the abortion issue is a waste of time.  We are not coming from the same bases and premises.  You've formulated your position on theological grounds, which I don't accept, and I, mine for socio-economic reasons, which you will not find acceptable, at least to the degree that they don't trump your theological reasoning as regards abortion.  I'm not going to argue it theologically, and you are not going to socio-ecomincally, so we won't even be speaking to, no less with, each other.  So, we're at a stalemate.
 
Now, while I agree with sk's claim regarding pro-abortion rhetoric, I do agree with you that late-term abortion's being entertained by our legislators is absolutely hideous and whoever would be amenable to such legislation is surely up for being stripped of his "great man", no less messiah, ... status.
 
More importantly, though, I want to address your take on the abortion issue as it relates to the characterization of America as the greatest country in the world.  That claim merely comes from the same mindset that allows us to erroneously and pretentiously dub our Major League Baseball championship series the World Series.  Though I absolutely agree with your sensibility, T, I don't think the claim is being thought-through at all, and, even though it is general food for thought for sk (and perhaps other readers here), I don't find it to be of particular import at the moment.  BUT, to include on the list of what constitutes a truly great country some of the things you do, like the "right" stance on abortion, is naive, myopic and subjective and, insofar as it is strictly indicative of your position as a Catholic American, not much better than the "jingoistic" one you are (albeit correctly) critiquing, and, mind you, this is setting aside how the matter of separation of church and state arguably relates to the position you, an American, hold.  Incidentally, pollution is about the only one you mention that I think is valid.  In any event, regarding abortion specifically, one of the only countries in the world where abortion is outlawed is, ironically, Vatican City, a "country" full of celibates.  There are slews of predominantly Catholic countries which do not outlaw abortion.  But, at any rate, my point, how fair or, moreover, legitimate is it to evaluate the greatness of a country like, say, Thailand, which is like 98% (Theravadan) Buddhist, according to American, no less Catholic, no less Catholic-American, standards?  Come on...  You know better than that.
 
Finally, I do think your point as regards the role of ethnicity (still falsely labeled "race") in all this is salient.  I would like to briefly speak to it with this allusion...  In the wake of the Obama election is our seemingly perennial "beat-ourselves-up"/self-loathing discussion (on ESPN) regarding the dearth of African-American head coaches, this time as it relates to college football.  They point out that there are only 12 black head coaches coaching 119 Division I teams.  That's 10%.  They say how deplorable of a state of affairs that is given that black players number about 50%.  But, wait a minute!  Vis-a-vis the population, which is comprised of about 12% African-Americans, it's about right.  Whites number about 70% of America's population.  Couldn't it then be very reasonably argued that the problem is with the number of white players getting a chance?  Surely, we can't argue soci-economics like people do with regards to basketball.  Is it that African-Americans are just better athletes?  Why is it that, relative to the population, there are SO MANY more black college football players and such a dearth of white college football players?  Is it inherent/inherited superiority?  But, if I start doing this from the "other side",... isn't that where we're not supposed to go?  So, if it's not just that they are innately "better", what is it?   Oh, for the love of Jimmy the Greek,... who tried to explain it in socio-economic, historical terms.  But, that socio-economics and history is not "agreeable".  We only attend to "agreeable" socio-economic and historical matters, moreover, "agreeably".  SO, it MUST be reverse discrimination on the gridiron, NO?  Or, we're just supposed to look past it... OR, the way America is set up, doesn't the American marketplace of talent just work itself out, and fuck the explanations, which really are just the source of ethnic frustration because they potentially involve unwelcome generalizations (which was back in the day Jimmy the Greek's main faux pas; it was a matter of sensitivity and, moreover, modern relevance)?  It is what it is.  The best player gets the opportunity.  The best coach gets the opportunity.  Let's get over it and move on and forward.  The election of Barack Obama to President of the US should actually have US, the US, moving away from this kind of "status quota" mindset.
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic:  Politics
« Reply #359 on: Nov 8th, 2008, 5:36am »
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Get this, fellas...  I just happened on this tonight just as this happened:  Chris Matthews on his show Hardball introducing so-and-so Democratic strategist and then so-and-so Republican strategist, prefacing "but he is one of the good kind".  WTF? I've NEVER seen O'Reilly or anyone who runs a Hardball-type show on Fox News ever pull anything like that (against the Democrats).  If they did, I'd flick it off, just like I flicked Matthews off moments after he said that.
 
And, look,... I'm not saying that Fox News isn't in the tank for the Republicans [like MSNBC, et "AL(L)." are for the Democrats].  In fact, though, that goes to support the claim I made in my original post that got this discussion going that (Republican) conservatives are more apt to control themselves in the wake of this year's election than (Democrat) liberals are when they don't get their way,... which invariably sends them into an out-of-control frenzy.
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic:  Politics
« Reply #360 on: Nov 8th, 2008, 3:32pm »
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on Nov 8th, 2008, 12:46am, StegRock wrote:

your point (disagreeble or not) is clearly laid out and well-communicated (although with a few run-on sentences here and there ... ).

 
Just thought I'd throw in a challenge here, for the sake of us grammar freaks - find me a run-on sentence in my post.  There's not one there, unless we define "run-on" sentence differently.  
 
 
on Nov 6th, 2008, 9:38am, sk wrote:

Its funny. Pro-lifers never use the term Pro-choice when speaking of abortion. Its always pro-abortion. I mean, saying Obama is pro abortion is just frankly a horse shit thing to say. Nobody is "Pro-abortion". Even the doctor that performs the procedure isnt pro-abortion. Do you think the doctor runs home and say's " honey, I had a great day! I did 3 abortions. " This thing is all about choices and freedoms. Its because we as a government dont know where to stop and start when it comes to limiting freedoms.  

on Nov 8th, 2008, 12:46am, StegRock wrote:

First, quickly, regarding the semantics of the abortion "debate," I pretty much agree with sk's take.  The pro-abortion rhetoric does seem to me to be inflammatory more than substantive.  

 
Let me explain.  It's one thing to say that abortion is an evil but the government shouldn't legislate one way or the other, so that the woman has the ability to choose an abortion if she so wishes.  It's another thing to legislate abortion.  Most pro-choice politicians follow the former path, but Obama follows the latter.  Before I give the argument, let me give some facts that are indicative.  Obama is (whereas most Democrats are not) in favor of partial-birth abortion and infanticide.  He has publicly referred to getting pregnant and carrying a baby as a "punishment."  These facts are at least indicative of something more than run-of-the-mill, milder pro-choice beliefs.  Now for the argument: Obama supports a bill that would legalize and make an industry of embryonic stem cell research.  Mass production of embryos would be the result, of course.  Here's the catch: under Obama's bill, it would be a federal crime for a women to attempt to implant one of these embryos in her womb and carry it to term.  There is no choice here (i.e., it's not pro-choice): abortion is the only option.  This is clearly over the pro-choice line and into pro-abortion territory.
 
 
on Nov 8th, 2008, 12:46am, StegRock wrote:

But, in any event, our arguing the abortion issue is a waste of time.  We are not coming from the same bases and premises.  You've formulated your position on theological grounds, which I don't accept, and I, mine for socio-economic reasons, which you will not find acceptable, at least to the degree that they don't trump your theological reasoning as regards abortion.  I'm not going to argue it theologically, and you are not going to socio-ecomincally, so we won't even be speaking to, no less with, each other.  So, we're at a stalemate.

 
This is a misguided argument, Steg.  I don't formulate my position on theological grounds.  I formulate it on moral grounds that are non-theological; in fact, they're philosophical.  Furthermore, it is not necessarily the case that I would not accept your socio-economic grounds.  Characterizing the pro-life arguments as theological not only is false but also is "poisoning the well" against any pro-life argument.  
 
 
on Nov 8th, 2008, 12:46am, StegRock wrote:

BUT, to include on the list of what constitutes a truly great country some of the things you do, like the "right" stance on abortion, is naive, myopic and subjective and, insofar as it is strictly indicative of your position as a Catholic American, not much better than the "jingoistic" one you are (albeit correctly) critiquing, and, mind you, this is setting aside how the matter of separation of church and state arguably relates to the position you, an American, hold.  Incidentally, pollution is about the only one you mention that I think is valid.  In any event, regarding abortion specifically, one of the only countries in the world where abortion is outlawed is, ironically, Vatican City, a "country" full of celibates.  There are slews of predominantly Catholic countries which do not outlaw abortion.  But, at any rate, my point, how fair or, moreover, legitimate is it to evaluate the greatness of a country like, say, Thailand, which is like 98% (Theravadan) Buddhist, according to American, no less Catholic, no less Catholic-American, standards?  Come on...  You know better than that.

 
I'm afraid, Steg, that I not only disagree with your position here but also think your argument is wrong-headed.  I claimed that a country's stance on abortion is highly indicative of how great a country it is.  You claimed that this is not only naïve and subjective but also equally jingoistic as the claim I was attempting to refute.  This is impossible: jingoism is irrational patriotism that is extremist, and my including abortion among the qualifications for greatness neither regards patriotism nor is irrational.  Nor is my claim naïve and subjective, unless everyone's claims in this regard are also naïve and subjective.  Here's what I mean: there ARE some objective standards for how great a country is.  How a country treats its children and its most weak and defenseless citizens is one such objective standard, since a thing's "greatness" is how well it accomplishes what it ought to accomplish, i.e., a thing's "virtue."  Now if you want to limit that to "material greatness," fine, but "greatness" as such will have to include as its constitutive element MORAL QUALITY.  
 
Some may say that my opinion of the standard of greatness is my own, subjective opinion, no better than anyone else's.  This would be rank relativism/indifferentism.  
 
It seems to me, Steg, that you're objecting to my inclusion of "theological" standards of greatness.  Two things: first, the standards I listed as examples are, with one exception, not theological - they are moral and philosophical but not strictly speaking theological.  A theological standard would be how well a country embraces and professes a particular religious faith or how well it favored religious denominations (I included one such standard - viz., that we are becoming increasingly anti-Christian).  You may refer to my standards as naïve and subjective but only one thing matters: are they TRUE standards or not.  This depends on whether Catholicism is true or not - if it is true in itself, then certain standards of greatness WILL be theological, or at least involve theological presuppositions.  
 
Your points about "Catholic" countries allowing abortion and about the irony of Vatican City are neither here nor there.  The issue at hand is about standards of greatness, not about concrete details about how well such-and-such "Catholic" country meets those standards.  
 
Your last line, about not judging a non-Catholic, non-Christian country by Christian standards, smacks of fundamental relativism.  If every country should be judged as great according to standards that EACH country dictates for itself, then EVERY country is "great."  This is, of course, absurd, but it's what your position implies.  For example, ought we to say, as you seem to be implying, that we can't judge a country composed of ancient Aztecs (who performed human sacrifice) according to OUR moral standards because that's unfair?  Of course we can judge such a country - they killed innocent human beings regularly and according to their law.  Their customs, and the laws that upheld them, were, in this regard, fundamentally unjust and corrupt and in this regard their "country" was the opposite of "great."  Likewise, unless we are to embrace sheer relativism, we not only DO but MUST judge other countries according to SOME objective moral standards.  I know that there are certain objective standards (many moral and philosophical, some theological) and that to be great a country must meet certain standards.  This makes it possible to judge even countries that don't share those standards (whether it's Spain, Libya, Thailand, Iceland, etc.).  Some countries fail to meet those standards because they don't know what the objective standards are, while some fail to meet them because they are, to a greater or lesser extent, corrupt.  Either way, they fail to be great.
 
Incidentally, regarding your aside about separation of church and state, I don't agree with the typical American position on this.  I would also contest that the common contemporary secularist view of separation of church and state is fundamentally non-American.  But that's a different can of worms.  The point here is that certain moral standards must be applied to determine a country's greatness, and those moral standards (often enshrined in religious faith but separable from it as fundamentally human standards) apply whether or not the majority of a country's inhabitants accept those standards.
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic:  Politics
« Reply #361 on: Nov 8th, 2008, 10:45pm »
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on Nov 8th, 2008, 3:32pm, T-Rave wrote:
Just thought I'd throw in a challenge here, for the sake of us grammar freaks - find me a run-on sentence in my post.  There's not one there, unless we define "run-on" sentence differently.  

 
I think this is ultimately going to come down to differences in grammatical style/interpretation, T, and, furthermore, I must confess that I was actually mistaken about the particular sentence I had in mind. ... But, at least as I interpret independent clause and comma rules, the following sentence is run-on...
 
on Nov 6th, 2008, 12:46am, T-Rave wrote:
It's certainly debatable: our children's education is atrocious, we pollute the hell out of the atmosphere, we're one of the largest, if not the largest purveyor of pornography in the world, we're slowly but surely encroaching on religious freedoms with the homosexual lobby, we're growing increasingly anti-Christian, and we abort thousands of our own children every day.

 
The commas before all the "we's" (of course, the use of that apostrophe right there is up for debate) should be semi-colons in my book.  But, the sentence I really had in mind was this one,...
 
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I certainly hope that's not the reason; while it is a great sign that Americans are at last able to look through someone's skin color and judge their ideas and actions rather than their color, if Obama gets all this adulation simply because he's black, it sure sounds like soft racism.

 
... which is not a run-on sentence.  It's actually a beautifully constructed sentence.  I just somehow kept reading right through the word "while" there, which I've italicized, bolded and underlined in the quote above.
 
...
 
Okay,... time to get to a wrestlin'... ... ...
 
on Nov 8th, 2008, 3:32pm, T-Rave wrote:
Let me explain.  It's one thing to say that abortion is an evil but the government shouldn't legislate one way or the other, so that the woman has the ability to choose an abortion if she so wishes.  It's another thing to legislate abortion.  Most pro-choice politicians follow the former path, but Obama follows the latter.  Before I give the argument, let me give some facts that are indicative.  Obama is (whereas most Democrats are not) in favor of partial-birth abortion and infanticide.  He has publicly referred to getting pregnant and carrying a baby as a "punishment."  These facts are at least indicative of something more than run-of-the-mill, milder pro-choice beliefs.  Now for the argument: Obama supports a bill that would legalize and make an industry of embryonic stem cell research.  Mass production of embryos would be the result, of course.  Here's the catch: under Obama's bill, it would be a federal crime for a women to attempt to implant one of these embryos in her womb and carry it to term.  There is no choice here (i.e., it's not pro-choice): abortion is the only option.  This is clearly over the pro-choice line and into pro-abortion territory.

 
This is surely noteworthy information.  I still don't know how I personally stand on this specific bill as I don't share your moral convictions/standpoint.  BUT, I am NO supporter of late-term abortions, no less partial-birth abortions or infanticide. ... I can only "pray" (using the term loosely) that the groundwork for such an agenda is not laid from the Office of the President.
 
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Characterizing the pro-life arguments as theological not only is false but also is "poisoning the well" against any pro-life argument.

 
Why/How is it that a theological characterization necessarily "poisons the well"?  (I just want to hear you wane philosophical, Ravenous...) (But, please, do answer...)
 
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You claimed that this is not only naïve and subjective but also equally jingoistic as the claim I was attempting to refute.  This is impossible: jingoism is irrational patriotism that is extremist, and my including abortion among the qualifications for greatness neither regards patriotism nor is irrational.

 
You're reading between the lines into what I wrote... I didn't say "in terms of jingoism".  I actually made sure that is not what my sentence said. I realize I'm walking a fine line there, but, strictly speaking, I didn't say what you say I said. ...
 
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Nor is my claim naïve and subjective, unless everyone's claims in this regard are also naïve and subjective.  Here's what I mean: there ARE some objective standards for how great a country is.  How a country treats its children and its most weak and defenseless citizens is one such objective standard, since a thing's "greatness" is how well it accomplishes what it ought to accomplish, i.e., a thing's "virtue."  Now if you want to limit that to "material greatness," fine, but "greatness" as such will have to include as its constitutive element MORAL QUALITY.

 
Now, the genealogy of our moral perspectives surely diverges, but, T, you know me, good Confucian that I am, that moral conduct, though I frame it quite differently than you, is absolutely paramount to me.  I firmly believe that the greatness of a nation rests on its morals and ethics or, in other words, its goodness to its inhabitants and surroundings.  To coin a phrase, goodness is prior to greatness.  I just do not share the opinion that morals and ethics are primarily a matter of objectivity.  In fact, my moral compass is directed by subjectivity, not of the relativistic kind, but rather the kind cultivated by a moral sensibility, shared in a very specific way by Wojtyla, Confucius and Gyatso, of self-authorship/determination, interrelational action and self-reflection.  <{Although, believe it or not, I do think there is some slight, but not unimportant overlap in the two subjectivisms insofar as once a healthy subjective disposition [of the brand I'm, for example, raising my daughter on (see my digression above in the first of the two consecutive responses to sk; I take #2 to be intersubjective conscience in action or, perhaps better, the enactment of intersubjective conscience)] is acquired, egoistic relativism dissolves into an intersubjective realism.}  I digress...  I get away with my run-on sentences with ridiculous parantheticals.> In any event, the question of the character(ization) of this "moral quality" still remains.  Is societal greatness determined by the degree to which a society emulates or approximates some top-down, transcendent, objective moral ideal or set of ideals or by the quality of the bottom-up, subjective treatment of immanental moral dilemmas that come about and are, thus, addressed in relation to the given society's objective socio-economic state of affairs?  In other words, in short, is it about most closely approximating some aspired-to ideal moral notion or the most effective, intersubjective response to societally relative moral dilemmas?
 
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It seems to me, Steg, that you're objecting to my inclusion of "theological" standards of greatness.

 
You've read me well, T. And, I still think you are walking a very tight rope in your insistence on objectivity, as opposed to subjectivity, and truth, as opposed to circumstances, as paramount as those are surely the fodder of theology.  I think this tight rope was somewhat exemplified when you wrote...
 
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... only one thing matters: are they TRUE standards or not.  This depends on whether Catholicism is true or not - if it is true in itself, then certain standards of greatness WILL be theological, or at least involve theological presuppositions.

 
...
 
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Your last line, about not judging a non-Catholic, non-Christian country by Christian standards, smacks of fundamental relativism.  If every country should be judged as great according to standards that EACH country dictates for itself, then EVERY country is "great."  This is, of course, absurd, but it's what your position implies.

 
No, it's not, and, no, it doesn't.
 
(Re-quote...)
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If every country should be judged as great according to standards that EACH country dictates for itself, then EVERY country is "great."

 
Unless a country's/people's guiding belief system or way of life, religious or otherwise, is debauched, as long as they engage in sufficient, critical self-reflection, that's just not true, objectively or even relativistically.  (That's probably the most pithy thing I'll ever write in my life.)
 
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Incidentally, regarding your aside about separation of church and state, I don't agree with the typical American position on this.

 
Me too, but from a different perspective...
 
on Mar 17th, 2008, 1:02am, StegRock wrote:
I stumbled upon this VERY supportive... nugget while perusing D.C. Lau's "Introduction" to his translation of the Mencius...  As per what I've written above, I wouldn't express this in quite the way Lau does, but the point is surely well-taken... by this "crusader"...
 
"One great difference between moral philosophers in the Chinese tradition and those in the Western tradition is that the latter do not look upon it as their concern to help people to become sages while the former assume that that is their main concern.  Western philosophers deal only with the problem of what morality is.  They leave the problem of how to make people better to religious teachers.  In China, however, there has never been a strong tradition of religious teaching, and the problem has always fallen within the province of the philosopher."

 
on Jul 25th, 2007, 11:27pm, StegRock wrote:
In the Far East (we're not talking India, and remember Buddhism is Indian), traditionally, culturally and historically, ethics and morality is NOT based on religion.  There is no religious system which provides for you ethical maxims, like the Ten Commandments.  Religion and belief are used more for dealing with the unknown, especially death, and, as my wife puts it, "wishing".  Its most common manifestation is in the way of ancestor worship and wishing for good fortune.  (Incidentally, this combinational dynamism is what makes Tibetan Buddhism so fascinating and useful because, while being very religiously Buddhist, it has a certain humanistic bent when it comes to ethical conduct, which is very evident in the works of Tenzin Gyatso, the current Dalai Lama.)  Religion does NOT act as the basis for acting in the world together with others.  Religion and, moreover, belief are not the ground for ethics and morality.  [In fact, making religion/belief(s) the ground of action is my definition of "belief system".]
 
In the West, traditionally, culturally and historically, this is quite the contrary.  Religions and belief systems are precisely what provided us with our morality and ethics.  The only way the western mind has been trained to have a moral and ethical sensibility is through religion.  In fact, we call people who don't live according to their religious/religion's moral beliefs hypocrites.  Now, there are differences from western religion to western religion, but the "Thou shalt not kills" overlapped enough that we could get by.  However, and here's the rub, this fledgling country comes along (America) and, with good, but imperfect intentions, declares the separation of Church and State.  It is no wonder how, in a short 225-year span, we have a country in rather extreme moral decay.  At least, we all recognize the steady downward trend in morals from generation to generation.  (How many times have you had that conversation about "how it once was", probably hearkening back to a time before you were even born???)  This psychological process of being told what's right and wrong and what to do in a religious, "Ten Commandments" type of way has made us reliant on rules and laws to tell us what and what not to do, and that's why the Constitution has become God in America.  I see it right here on "the Gridiron".  Rules are not seen as guidelines.  They are seen as commandments.  Whenever a situation arises that requires thinking outside or beyond the rules and forces us to confront morality and ethics in its more raw form, head-on, I watch the moral compasses spin out of control (mine used to too).  But, it's not a great mystery.  How couldn't an ethical sensibility of a people have been lost and morals undergone decay when we have gone and separated OUT of our leadership model that which has been the source of moral and ethical understanding and guidance in our cultural heritage for millennia?
 
Again, summed up, there's a people whose morals and ethics are bound up in religion.  That same people creates a society that separates out religion from governance.  It's no surprise that that people is going to lose its moral and ethical way.  WE ARE THAT PEOPLE!!!
 
Now, mind you, I'm not saying that (Western-style) religion is the best source of moral conduct or that we should work backward and try to rescind our separation of Church and State.  What I'm saying is that we are at a VERY unique juncture in human history where the wrong move could mean eventual, inevitable oblivion to America, BUT the right move would mean America's reclaiming its great status in the world.  Western-style religiousness could enrich the Far-eastern way of believing, and a Far-eastern understanding of ethics could enrich the western way of acting in the world.
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic:  Politics
« Reply #362 on: Nov 11th, 2008, 11:46am »
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Came across this Political/Religous piece. This is the only place this fits I think. No matter whether you believe in what the Bible has said about the "end times", or if you subscribe to another belief system...this is still interesting and thought provoking.
 
 
America Cries, "Give us a King!"  
 By Jan Markell
 
 
There is a story in II Samuel 8 where we see Israel demanding a king. God
was not sufficient for them, so they asked for a "real king." They
got an evil one -- Saul.  
 
America has been in a similar mood. We want a "king" to solve our
many problems starting with the economy. So Israel said to Samuel,  
"Now appoint a king to lead us such as all the other nations have"  
(II Samuel 8:5). But all the other nations had pagan kings.
 
God lamented to Samuel and said, "Now listen to them; but warn them
solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will
do."
 
Two years ago came a charismatic man named Barack Obama who was  
engulfed in a cult-like atmosphere. Some actually called him "the messiah."
Shrines were built to him. A Web site said, "Obama is god." There has
been a messianic fervor, adoration and a worship-like atmosphere
surrounding him. At some rallies people fainted at the sight of him.
Young children recorded on YouTube sang songs to him stating he would
change the world.
 
The intrigue with this man is global. Newsweek magazine had a headline
recently titled, "The World Hopes for its First President." Imagine,
a world president! Newsweek states, "In country after country, polls show  
a record-high fascination with the outcome of the U.S. elections."  
 
Newsweek basically said "The international audience really cared less
about John McCain, Sarah Palin, or Joe Biden. Somewhere along the road to
the White House, Obama became the world's candidate."
 
Even for those with proper eschatology this sounds alarming. But on the
positive side, a barometer as to how late the hour is has been revealed.
Newsweek continues, "Obama is a 21st century man with whom the whole
world can identify."  
 
In Obama's speech in Berlin, Obama said that we are all citizens of the
world! Talk about a message on globalism. Will he establish the one-world
system?
 
America longs for a king to take care of us. We demanded change and
change we will get! There are YouTube clips of people jumping for joy
that Obama will take care of them. As one says, "Obama will pay my
mortgage and buy my gas." The entitlement mentality reigns and it is
cross-cultural.
 
As Jack Kinsella says in his recent Omega Intelligence Digest, "In
October capitalism passed away after a long illness." He is right.
Socialism now is very appealing and being implemented in America. The
government is buying up many industries and turning them over to a new
Socialist president!  
 
None of the candidates who ran in "Campaign 2008" can save us! Only
the Lord God of Israel can do that! But as in Samuel's day, God is not  
good enough for America. Thus, I believe He has allowed "strong delusion"
to filter across the nation and around the world. It says in Isaiah 66:4, "I
will choose their delusions." Thus, all has happened for a reason. God
removes kings and establishes kings for His own purposes. (Daniel 2:21)
 
Here's what we do know for sure. In spite of troubling and even perilous
times, the Bible still has all the answers, the Holy Spirit is still active, God  
still inhabits the praises of His people, there will still be room at the cross,  
Jesus will still save the lost, and Jesus will still return to the holy city of  
Jerusalem to establish perfect government: A Theocracy for 1000 years.  
 
"For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government
will be upon His shoulder.  And His name will be called Wonderful,
Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Of the
increase of His government and peace there will be no end...."  
Isaiah 9:6-7.

 
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic:  Politics
« Reply #363 on: Nov 11th, 2008, 3:18pm »
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on Nov 8th, 2008, 3:32pm, T-Rave wrote:

 
Let me explain.  It's one thing to say that abortion is an evil but the government shouldn't legislate one way or the other, so that the woman has the ability to choose an abortion if she so wishes.  It's another thing to legislate abortion.  Most pro-choice politicians follow the former path, but Obama follows the latter.  Before I give the argument, let me give some facts that are indicative.  Obama is (whereas most Democrats are not) in favor of partial-birth abortion and infanticide.  

 
 
Your use of the word "fact" is slightly out of whack here. Yes, Obama voted against the 1997 federal bill banning partial and late term abortions. You dont say, or maybe what you dont know is, why he voted that way.  
It was for several reasons.  
1. There was no provision within the bill to protect the health of the mother. Meaning, if a womans health was at risk carrying a baby to term, she could not choose her own health over that of the fetus.
2. Partial birth and late term bans could be, and should be governed at the state level.  
 
on Nov 8th, 2008, 3:32pm, T-Rave wrote:

 He has publicly referred to getting pregnant and carrying a baby as a "punishment."  These facts are at least indicative of something more than run-of-the-mill, milder pro-choice beliefs.

 
Thats twisted! He said that he would not want his daughters to be punished by being force to carry a crisis pregnacy to term. By crisis pregnacy, I hope you understand, he's refering to rape.  
 
 
on Nov 8th, 2008, 3:32pm, T-Rave wrote:

 Now for the argument: Obama supports a bill that would legalize and make an industry of embryonic stem cell research.  Mass production of embryos would be the result, of course.  Here's the catch: under Obama's bill, it would be a federal crime for a women to attempt to implant one of these embryos in her womb and carry it to term.  There is no choice here (i.e., it's not pro-choice): abortion is the only option.  This is clearly over the pro-choice line and into pro-abortion territory.

 
True! It would be illegal to implant a manufactured embryo. Because of the genetic possibilities I dont think that would be a good idea. Can you say "Cloning". How many huge footed Michael Phelps babies do we need running around here.
Seriously, there are thousands of frozen embryos that are discarded each year as infertile couples find alteratives. We have 400000 embryo's frozen in perminate storage now that will go unused. Millions of people are dying slowly from diseases such as ALS, Altzhiemers, spinal cord injuries, diseases of the blood, ect, that stem cell research shows great promise. We have to find moral middle ground here. We owe it to those who are suffering.
 
 
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic:  Politics
« Reply #364 on: Nov 12th, 2008, 5:35am »
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In this post I am addressing MC's post specifically...
 
Duuude...
 
Now, off the top, let me preface that I am not going to respond to the post with much in the way critical reflection because it's a waste of time.  I'll get to that as I go on...
 
Moving right along, what's good for the goose is surely good for the gander.  If I am going to give it to sk like I did in my post back on October 9th, I got to give it to you here, MC, to the degree that I want to remain internally consistent.  This post of yours is, first of all, non sequitur.  But, I'm starting to realize I might have to start conceding this point except in the most egregious of cases.  An on-line message board environment is what it is (as I myself as board administrator frame it here, it is hard to "cut in" on the thread on which your post, albeit bringing up something new, is apropos); there was a little lull in the (ongoing) conversation (although, for the record let it be noted, not nearly as long of a lull as sk had back on October 8th and I gave it to him pretty good), and you are correct that this was the right thread for your post (that's kind of the bottom line I've got to start giving in on, except in the most egregious of cases, if I want to maintain the somewhat strict thread organization I ask for).  So, you (are all) off the hook there.
 
HOWEVER, the greater concern, as it was back with sk, is the lack of any commentary, no less critically thought-through commentary, accompanying the post.  Without repeating myself YET AGAIN in toto, it gets US away from speaking WITH and even learning from EACH OTHER in favor of talking AT and merely lecturing one another...
on Oct 9th, 2008, 5:20pm, StegRock wrote:
Whence is the above?  ...  Most importantly, though, what is the specific point (of this post) vis-a-vis the heretofore ongoing discussion?  It seems non sequitur and "merely political", which is the only thing that frustrates me.  There isn't even any commentary provided with the above (from what I can tell).  It just looks like a copy-and-paste.  Look...  Just to get things straight, I much more so appreciate and respect a person who has and expresses a well-thought-out take different from mine and doesn't get offended by intelligent argumentation from that opposing vantagepoint than someone who holds a simpleminded position which just so happens to be in agreement with mine but isn't well-thought-through at all.
 
Now with (all due) respect to the post, I am contemplating arguing with it.  But, a) it's usually not a productive enterprise arguing with copy-and-pasted speeches of other people because they are not here to represent themselves and the words come with an "authority" impossible to match by anyone here, and b) by and large, the copy-and-pasted portions above express generalities and political platitudes that cannot be argued with with any degree of specificity, in fact much of it is just generally agreeable (political) rhetoric, and cannot be broken down without dialoguing with the person who said them [which, again, is a source of my frustrations about merely copy-and-pasted content (the brand of which JYJ used to be notorious for on this thread) because it gets US away from dialoguing WITH ONE ANOTHER and just has us posting long-winded bumper stickers of sorts in each others' faces, which is, especially during this heated political season, what I feel the above post merely is].

 
I mean with relatively little brain work we can post competing copy-and-pastes from our favorite (biased) sources at each other all the live-long day and not get anywhere.  Mind you, it's not just that we wouldn't be getting anywhere in just some general, unspecific way insofar as we aren't hearing each other out.  That's, of course, true, but there is a deeper problem.  It's because these articles give you something else to hide behind (as if we need MORE to hide behind in cyberworld).  It's because for true interpersonal progress to be made you got to stick your neck out, no someone else's (i.e. an author's).
 
Of course, on a more mundane note, most of what I would want to copy-and-paste, if I were so inclined, isn't available on the internet, i.e. BOOKS.  Of course, you have to read a book in its entirety to truly get the whole picture (at least the kind of books I would recommend), which gets me to another point.  Most "big picture" points, like the one of the article you posted, MC, require a book for the point to be adequately made.  Otherwise, it's just propoganda.
 
In any event, there is also another way of speaking to this, a little bit peripherally, but nevertheless, I think, usefully.  We explicitly learn in graduate school not to litter our papers with too many quotes because, while quotes can be used as authoritative, direct support for your argument, oftentimes people use/fall back on quotations as a means to communicate that which they don't really understand themselves and, thus, cannot express in their own words.  The point of that is one of certainty.  Because you don't really understand it, there, a fortiori, is no certainty that 1) it says what you think it does/what you want it to, and, worse yet, 2) you would even agree if you did totally understand it (this will become an important point below).  I wonder if you, MC, really understand what agreement with such a piece as the one you've copy-and-pasted (philosophically and theologically) commits you to.  I mean if you really thought the position of the essay all the way through, MC, I'm sure you would see the ill-logic it commits you to.  But, I digress...
 
I'm asking the following questions of and bringing up the following food for thought for other readers because this is unquestioned dogma (I'll get to that below) to you, MC.  And, look, I'm going to leave the egregiously ridiculous shit to the side, (okay, not totally) like when the writer writes, "In Obama's speech in Berlin, Obama said that we are all citizens of the world!  Talk about a message on globalism.  Will he establish the one-world system?"  Oh, please... To take such a positive, humanistic statement promoting world harmony and spin it negatively, to me, is REAL evil.  And, then, this... "Even for those with proper eschatology this sounds alarming.  But on the positive side, a barometer as to how late the hour is has been revealed."  Oh, please,... I've officially just entered Nitwitville... But, I digress...  Again, leaving that bullshit behind...
 
1) The article says that "the Bible has all the answers".  For argument's sake, let's just grant that that is the case (but note that I don't think it is).  A critical question remains.  Why and how is that so?  Does it mean that the Bible is the ultimate, tell-all oracle of sorts, OR is it that Biblical passages can be taken in so many various ways that it can be interpreted to say pretty much anything?   In other words, is it its flexible interpretability or its oracular nature that makes this so?  Considerations...  The size of the Bible, my Bible is 508 pages written in about 6-point font with three columns per page.  I also have a Tanakh (the Hebrew Holy Scriptures, i.e. the Old Testament), and a "Good News for the Modern Man" version of the New Testament.  The former is 1,624 pages; the latter is 651 pages.  The point is this is a tome.  Also, people use the Bible to make incompatible, even contradictory claims.  I mean I've seen Christians spin Biblical passages to say that Bush is Satan.
 
2) The intimation/tone of the essay is that any public figure liked, no less loved, the world over, as Obama is (being claimed to be), is a sort of anti-Christ.  Again, to be generous, we'll set aside our judgments on (ridiculous) "anti-Christ" rhetoric, the fact that this is simple-minded post hoc ergo propter hoc reasoning (interestingly biased against Democrats who, whether appropriately or not, in the present era tend to be more well-liked abroad), and that it is just whack.  Does the writer realize the deeper logical flaw upon which the position is predicated, the ill-logic of conflating the necessary and sufficient conditions?  Or, worse yet, is the writer doing this on purpose so as to subtly and insidiously influence the reader?  What, I'm sure, any reader who is empathetic with this writer's point but has half a brain is thinking is being said is "If so-and-so is an anti-Christ, then he or she will be loved the world over (like Obama is)."  Though on its face somewhat philosophically, anthropologically and sociologically repugnant, it's not a ridiculous claim in terms of logic.  The necessary and sufficient conditions are in their proper places.  BUT, whether or not this writer even realizes it, that is not the picture being painted.  According to the presentation, what is being asserted is, "If so-and-so is loved the world over, then he or she is the anti-Christ."  YIIIKES!  That is a subtle move, but extremely effective in promoting propoganda... and problematic from a logical standpoint.  A little lesson in logic is required...  The "if" clause is called the necessary condition; the "then" clause is called the sufficient condition.  They canNOT be switched.  For example (and forgive me for the double-negative, but the example is really about the simplest I can come up with), "If it is black, it is not white."  TRUE!  This is called modus ponens.  Now, let's reverse it...  "If it is not white, it is black."  FALSE (i.e. not necessarily true; it could be orange or blue or whatever)!  However, let's reverse it and NEGATE both sides, "If it is not not white (i.e., it's white), it is not black."  TRUE!  This is called modus tollens.  The point is that when you reverse necessary and sufficient conditions you are not saying the same thing.  In fact, if a certain "modus ponens" is taken to be true, then reversing the conditions makes for a falsehood.  And, in this case, while I think any "level-headed" (Christian) reader of this essay is thinking, "If so-and-so is an anti-Christ, then he or she will be loved the world over," said reader is actually (being) lulled into thinking, "If so-and-so is loved the world over, then he or she is an anti-Christ," a much stronger and unacceptable position.  The first one says that all anti-Christs/the anti-Christ will have the characteristic of being loved the world over and that "if so-and-so is not loved the world over, he or she is not the anti-Christ," which, though repugnant to most of us, is actually "reasonable".  The second one, though, says that those loved the world over are anti-Christs or the person loved the world over is the anti-Christ and that "if so-and-so is not the anti-Christ, then he or she is not loved the world over," which is not merely repugnant, but ridiculous and, not just ill-logical, but downright illogical.  It says that Pope John Paul II, the Dalai Lama, Gandhi, arguably Ronald Reagan, and definitely Jesus are all anti-Christs, some of whom have been victimized by such rhetoric.  But, of course, there is only one Biblical anti-Christ.  In this case, the person fulfilling the role of the person loved the world over, the person being set up, is Barack Obama.  Again, note, the contention of the piece is not (explicitly) that Obama is the anti-Christ and so he is loved the world over, which would offend most of our sensibilities but be logical.  It is that Obama is loved the world over and so (implicitly) he is the anti-Christ.  This is insidiously clever and extremely dangerous propoganda.
 
3) Finally, consider this part of the piece from the third-to-last paragraph, "But as in Samuel's day, God is not good enough for America.  Thus, I believe He has allowed 'strong delusion' to filter across the nation and around the world.  It says in Isaiah 66:4, 'I will choose their delusions.'  Thus, all has happened for a reason.  God removes kings and establishes kings for His own purposes."  Setting aside the issue of claiming God as creator of delusions (I thought, in this type of context, that was Satan's or the anti-Christ's job) and taking Isaiah 66:4 TOTALLY out of context [I know...  What's new about silly extremist (born-again) Christian rhetoric] (see Isaiah 66:3 and 66:5, which are respectively about false ritual and worship and disposition toward God, on the one hand, and deliverance of true believers in the True Lord, on the other) and, moreover, the bigger problem of who in the hell even knows what that even means, does it even contribute to the writer's point?  In other words, besides being externally questionable to say the least, is it even internally consistent?
 
Now, I'm not going to explicitly answer the questions (though you can probably guess my answers).  It's just that any sincere seeker of the truth will want to ask these kinds of questions and critically think them through.
 
What I wonder, MC, is what you think the effect this kind of post is going to have on this community's readership.  What do you think you are going to accomplish?  At least, using myself as the case in point, not that I'm at all vulnerable to evangelization (or the hynotic effects of Buddhist meditation practices), this kind of rhetoric does nothing but turn me more off from the kind of Christianity you adhere to and espouse.  Yet, you'd think you'd think to yourself, as you've expressed to me, "Steg's a decent chap, heart in the right place; smart bugger who's really well-read and who I admire and, in any event, am attracted to along with his goofy web site, for whatever reason."  From what I can tell, though, that gives you NO pause, and, while, in and of itself, that is fine, that is the practical definition of dogmatic.  As many an astute politician and four-star general point out with regards to extreme Islamists, you can't sit down and talk with dogmatists and expect to get anywhere.  Again, what's good for the goose is good for the gander.  That unfortunately applies here.  Your position on these "richer" and deeper matters, MC, doesn't demand the critical (in both senses) reflection and allow for the open-mindedness that is required for authentic exchange that is meaningful, middle-ground and penetrating, and your heels are dug in deep.  It's just preaching, and that so bums me out.  I mean it's all good, though.  I like you and surely enjoy hanging with you in arenas other than this.  I just think that your last post is a waste of bandwidth.
 


Fox News alert... I saw a very fair and balanced piece by Brit Hume that poked fun at and exposed the ridiculousness of Republican Congressman Paul Broun and his concern that Obama is going to set up a Marxist dictatorship.  Hume compared his rantings to the "derangement syndrome" liberal fanatics exhibited in relation to President Bush and Sarah Palin.  Great stuff!
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic:  Politics
« Reply #365 on: Nov 12th, 2008, 10:33am »
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This is what I wrote. There is not one single statement in my "own words" that support or disclaim the authors ideas. It simply stated that no matter what your belief system was, this article was interesting enough to provoke some thought.....which it evidently DID.  
 
on Nov 11th, 2008, 11:46am, MordecaiCourage wrote:
Came across this Political/Religous piece. This is the only place this fits I think. No matter whether you believe in what the Bible has said about the "end times", or if you subscribe to another belief system...this is still interesting and thought provoking.

 
 
 
Yes, I DO understand that my post did not articulate  my own commentary, and that in itself is not in the "spirit" of getting to know one another around here. My bad. My lead-in to this story made no suggestion as to which way I leaned on this article. However, your remarks about it suggests that you believe I posted this because, either I am a Christian and I am trying (like the writer) to spread my rhetoric, or because I just blindly subscribe to anything that "sounds" remotely Christian. Steve, give me some credit man. If I was sold on what the writer said, you'd better believe I WOULD MAKE IT EXTREMELY CLEAR that I endorsed what I was posting. Getting an endorsement from me would entail hours of self-study on the subject, not just how I felt about the subject. As far as the writer's take on Obama. I don't believe that Obama is THE anti-Christ, though I do believe he is anti-Christ(ian).  
 
Like Forrest Gump said "That's all I'm gonna say about that"
 
 
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic:  Politics
« Reply #366 on: Nov 12th, 2008, 12:48pm »
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MC, with that said, before you posted your reply, I prepared a further follow-up, which, though a bit non sequitur now, I am going to post anyway... because I still don't think I totally understand your m.o.
 
With all my cards on the table (which may seem bass-ackwards to some, but I actually think is the forthright way and is not "setting people up") and since I know you are a man of conviction, permit me to ask you the following...
 
What about that essay speaks to you, speaks to your heart, rings true for (or is interesting to) you?  And, secondarily, what about it do you think would speak constructively to followers of other belief systems?
 
Now, I realize that at this point you may have already answered those questions in your last post (in fact I had to add the parenthetical "or is interesting to" to question one based on your prior reply), but I'd appreciate it if you could frame a response in terms of those two questions. I just strongly feel that such a post requires some context from the poster, especially when most of us know whence said poster is generally coming, lest it comes off as tendentious and sets people up.  I mean you are a believer in what the Bible has to say about end times, so pardon the error of my ways, but I do think I was at least a little (mis)led there (by, at least, a lack of context)...
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic:  Politics
« Reply #367 on: Nov 12th, 2008, 2:47pm »
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on Nov 12th, 2008, 12:48pm, StegRock wrote:

What about that essay speaks to you, speaks to your heart, rings true for (or is interesting to) you?  And, secondarily, what about it do you think would speak constructively to followers of other belief systems?
 

 
Steve, none of it speaks to my heart. I just find discussion on "end times" fascinating and extremely interesting. I did not send this out to "speak" to anyone in particular, I just thought any citizen of the world would find this author's take on the whole subject, interesting, irregardless of their belief system. What's constructive about it? Any time debate is open, and people talk, it's constructive in my thinking.
 
With that being said, I do believe the premise on which this author spoke, I just don't see it quite like she does. In fact, I actually think she got lost a bit. For instance, I don't believe Obama, or any other charismatic world figure can be positively identified as the Anti-Christ at this moment. I don't believe that if someone speaks globally they are automatically anti-Christ either...that would be absurd. Yes, I do believe that there will be an Anti-Christ, but only after several prophecies (yes, from the Bible) that have yet to be fulfilled, have come to past. (For sake of not going there on the subject..I'm not going there! Just know that I do believe and follow what the Bible has to say about it. )  No man knows the hour, but we can recognize the season, and I personally think that we are in the season. I base my recognition on the many prophecies (from the Bible) that actually have come to past. Without going into detail, (which I know just pains you  ) many prophecies predicting the "season" have already come to light and/or are directly on the horizon. (Meaning they are doable at this moment in history.) My only example will be this: the taking of a number on your hand or head. Completely comprehendable at this moment in time, even more comprehendable if we were to have a one-world system. Think along these lines for a moment. Identity theft is rampant worldwide. What better way to solve identity theft than to require your monies to be completely on-line with your proof that the one withdrawing your money is you, than to have a chip(bar-code if you will indulge me) imbedded in your hand? You have to be there to withdraw, right. Oops, I am a limblesss man, I can't recieve a chip!! Not so fast sir, take this mark upon your head...as long as you are alive your head (eyes, if you're thinking retinal scan)will be with you. That is only one use for receiving your number. Kidnappings,  finding murdered people, census, tracking terrorists, emergency contact info., etc... etc....all this possible through satellite tracking that would be encoded on the chip in your body. It all actually makes sense that we have that now, just think how much more sense it would make if you had to track every person in a one world society. Heck, even as we speak, my dog has a chip in her that has her vital information if I were to lose her. So, it's in use in some form already.
 
In working for the DoD, I can tell you that much of this type of tracking is already taking place on me with a card. My fingerprints, my retinal scan, my medical info., my next-of-kin, etc. My "chip" is in my card currently. My card and myself can become seperated easily. The obvious next step to track me would be for me to get a chip inside me, don't you think.
 
Steve-o, this just touches the tip of all that I could say about "end-times" and "end times" prophecies. Because I don't preach this stuff,  I will not go on. I only preach the simple message of salvation through Jesus Christ. That is all I am called to do. If someone comes to this belief as I have, then they can study and examine the Scriptures for themselves. It is in that examination that they would be able to comprehend what I believe. Outside of that knowledge, argument on the subject is really rather futile don't you think? Respectfully, MC
 
 
by the way...I have no modus operandi, but I suppose if I did, it would be.... Christ First.
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic:  Politics
« Reply #368 on: Nov 12th, 2008, 5:02pm »
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on Nov 12th, 2008, 2:47pm, MordecaiCourage wrote:
What's constructive about it? Any time debate is open, and people talk, it's constructive in my thinking.
 
...
 
Outside of that knowledge, argument on the subject is really rather futile don't you think?

 
Come on...  You don't see at least one problem with that...  I actually see two, and I would actually call them contradictions or, at least, contradictory.
 
Setting that aside, responding to just the first part above, so, ANYTHING that prompts discussion/debate is worth posting???  You can't be serious.  I mean any dialogue may be able to be said to be good in and of itself, but surely not ANY impetus is.  Come on!  Think that through.  You don't really think that.  Right?  Now, I'm not necessarily saying (right now) that your post crosses that line.  But, it's one thing to say that.  It is a whole nother to say that there is no line.
 
That having been said, it does seem to cross your line since you are ultimately not willing to go there until or unless...
Quote:
If someone comes to this belief as I have, then they can study and examine the Scriptures for themselves. It is in that examination that they would be able to comprehend what I believe.

 
I just think, for the sake of more productive discussion, again, especially when you know that the guy comes from a particular mindset (which is, mind you, to the credit of the character of this community that we do have a more intimate knowledge of each other ), your now-posted, after-the-fact commentary should (have) be(en) done at the point of posting so as to "frame" the issue for us.  You should at least give us a hint as to where you stand and say that a commentary is forthcoming (and mean it, of course).  Otherwise, it's just baiting, no, and perhaps tendentiously, even if unwittingly?
 
In any event, even though you express the above in the first-person, doesn't that stand for pretty much anybody('s experience), man?  I mean I don't necessarily think that has to be the case.  But, if you do, to maintain internal consistency you've got to.  The wall's are up and you've got to get inside the castle to comprehend what's within its walls.  But, everybody is entitled to their castle, right?  I'm willing to come out of mine and discuss others' stuff.  I'm not going to make everybody have to do all the work I've done to get a glimpse of the "goods". Of course, I'm going to go outside with a critical eye like I turn to my own "castle".
 
But, as you state it, it's ultimately hopeless.  So, just keep it at the level of jokey, jokey and the superficial.  That's the only solution I can see.  And, to wit, down through the years, I've heard you say things along those lines.  But, then, why make the post above?  For mere superficial discussion...???  I mean I hear you.  I just don't 100% see that you hear yourself (not that you, in fact, don't).  Maybe you need to just "lay it out there" and, the hell with etiquette, just lambaste me, or maybe you need to use that backspace button more often (which I, believe it or not, often do).  I say this only because, in contrast with what I just said, I think you are fairly self-aware of what your convictions are and where you stand on things.  I just think you get slipped up by the rhetoric.  Like in the first quote I made above, I think who you really are is the second part, not the first.  Get rid of the first part and at least the logical problem dissolves.  I mean I personally still think that second part is problematic and, in all likelihood, a discussion stifler.  But, at least, we can cut through the bullshit.  Now, I'm willing to be wrong about my rhetorical assessment.  But, I got to see it.
 
Now we're getting into what I consider to be more productive waters.  But, we didn't need Jan to get us here (I mean obviously I guess we did in an immanental, unfolding-of-subjectivity sense, but I don't think we necessarily did in a logical sense).  Anyway, good luck with that end-times stuff and getting through the "season"... or not.
...
You absolutely do not have to worry about my going there. I'm just along for the ride.
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic:  Politics
« Reply #369 on: Nov 12th, 2008, 5:34pm »
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on Nov 12th, 2008, 2:47pm, MordecaiCourage wrote:

 
Outside of that knowledge, argument on the subject is really rather futile don't you think? Respectfully, MC
Meaning that I will not be budged on what I know in my heart of hearts and with sound mind to be true, by someone without the same personal saving knowledge of God that I have. I will not take what God has revealed to me and argue it, just like I would not expect you or anyone else to expect me to understand what your relationship is personally with God.  Semantics is always arguable though.
 
Bottom line on the rest of it is that I am NOT going to tell someone how to believe in Christ, because I can't. It is personal and different for everyone.
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic:  Politics
« Reply #370 on: Nov 12th, 2008, 5:49pm »
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on Nov 12th, 2008, 5:34pm, MordecaiCourage wrote:
Meaning that I will not be budged on what I know in my heart of hearts and with sound mind to be true, by someone without the same personal saving knowledge of God that I have. I will not take what God has revealed to me and argue it, just like I would not expect you or anyone else to expect me to understand what your relationship is personally with God.

 
Exactly...  But, then, I still maintain that you have to seriously reconsider the appropriateness, vis-a-vis that stance, of your making a post such as the one above.  If you are not willing to argue/critically discuss the intricacies of all reasonably directly related aspects of something you post, it's not fair to the rest of us, and it's back to what I originally dubbed it, preaching... insofar as there are, at least, (KEY) aspects of it that aren't up for critical discussion, no less outright debate, with you.  That's by definition preaching.
 
"KNOW"...  Uhhhhh,... ooo-kay...
 
But, anyway, I think your post is honest.  So, fair enough, save for the qualification I stated above.
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic:  Politics
« Reply #371 on: Nov 12th, 2008, 5:59pm »
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on Nov 12th, 2008, 5:02pm, StegRock wrote:

 
 
I just think, for the sake of more productive discussion, again, especially when you know that the guy comes from a particular mindset (which is, mind you, to the credit of the character of this community that we do have a more intimate knowledge of each other ),

 
Make no mistake about this, we (you and I) have already gone the route of who claims and who does not claim Christianity as their sole belief system. In that alone, we do not have the same mindset, I would not even call it similar to what you profess. Are you knowledgable of Christianity? Without a doubt! Is it personal for you? I doubt it!
 
Quote:

In any event, even though you express the above in the first-person, doesn't that stand for pretty much anybody('s experience), man?  
Yes and No...Yes in the fact that each person has the opportunity to study and comprehend the same as I...No...in the sense that my comprehension may lead me in a different direction than someone elses comprehension. Each of us could have the exact understanding but respond differently due to the personal nature of our relationship with Christ. I may read "help orphans and widows" and be lead to help orhans.......you may read the same thing and be lead to help widows. It's all in God's directions to us personally..it's how he uses Christians to get the entirety of His work done.
 
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic:  Politics
« Reply #372 on: Nov 12th, 2008, 6:01pm »
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on Nov 12th, 2008, 5:49pm, StegRock wrote:

 
 
"KNOW"...  Uhhhhh,... ooo-kay...
 

 
 
Yes..... absolutely......I  KNOW
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic:  Politics
« Reply #373 on: Nov 12th, 2008, 6:35pm »
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on Nov 12th, 2008, 5:59pm, MordecaiCourage wrote:
Make no mistake about this, we (you and I) have already gone the route of who claims and who does not claim Christianity as their sole belief system.

 
It's not!  (Not that you know this, obviously, but I'm not a "belief system" guy, period, no less a "Christian belief system" guy.)
 
Quote:
In that alone, we do not have the same mindset, I would not even call it similar to what you profess.

 
It's not!  (Not that you have the slightest clue about my "deal", though.)
 
Quote:
Are you knowledgable of Christianity? Without a doubt! Is it personal for you? I doubt it!

 
And, once again, it's not.  I've all but told (all of) you all this.  That's no mystery.  You're "meeting" me only on your terms, though.  That's not what I'm even striving for.  So, of course, it's not.
 
Quote:
Yes and No...Yes in the fact that each person has the opportunity to study and comprehend the same as I...No...in the sense that my comprehension may lead me in a different direction than someone elses comprehension. Each of us could have the exact understanding but respond differently due to the personal nature of our relationship with Christ. I may read "help orphans and widows" and be lead to help orhans.......you may read the same thing and be lead to help widows. It's all in God's directions to us personally..it's how he uses Christians to get the entirety of His work done.

 
... But, I have to admit that I don't understand your second sentence which I've bolded above.  Could you rephrase or explain it, please?
 
on Nov 12th, 2008, 6:01pm, MordecaiCourage wrote:
Yes..... absolutely......I  KNOW

 
More power to you, bro... Rock on...
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic:  Politics
« Reply #374 on: Nov 12th, 2008, 6:45pm »
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on Nov 12th, 2008, 6:35pm, StegRock wrote:

 ... But, I have to admit that I don't understand your second sentence which I've bolded above.  Could you rephrase or explain it, please?
 

 
It's laid out in the few sentences that follow that line, if that makes more sense...it's what the line was intended to mean, perhaps it doesn't quite fit the phrasing that follws  
 
Example: We both have the same set of directions to build a bridge...you start from the East bank, I start from the West. We both comprehend the directions, but we build it differently. The end product is a bridge that gets us across the same river
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