Atheists in the News

* Gawker, on how Richard Dawkins is being "torn limb from limb–by atheists."
* Timothy Sandefur, on Sam Harris' "many imprecisions, undefined terms, self-contradictory assertions, undefended, unarticulated assumptions, and other failings."  
* The New York Times Book Review, on the #14 hardcover in the country, Penn Jillette's God, No! Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales.
* The Boston Globe's Michael Washburn, on Christopher Hitchens' new book Arguably.
* The Religious News Service's Kimberly Winston, on how "9/11 gave birth to aggressive, unapologetic 'New Atheists.'"
* The Guardian's James Wood, on how "a more nuanced examination of religious belief can be found in modern fiction."

Reason on atheism here.

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  • Warty||

    Dear Muslima
    Stop whining, will you. Yes, yes, I know you had your genitals mutilated with a razor blade, and … yawn … don't tell me yet again, I know you aren't allowed to drive a car, and you can't leave the house without a male relative, and your husband is allowed to beat you, and you'll be stoned to death if you commit adultery. But stop whining, will you. Think of the suffering your poor American sisters have to put up with.
    Only this week I heard of one, she calls herself Skep"chick", and do you know what happened to her? A man in a hotel elevator invited her back to his room for coffee. I am not exaggerating. He really did. He invited her back to his room for coffee. Of course she said no, and of course he didn't lay a finger on her, but even so …
    And you, Muslima, think you have misogyny to complain about! For goodness sake grow up, or at least grow a thicker skin.
    Richard

    That is an out-fucking-standing fuck you, isn't it?

  • Old Mexican||

    Indeed it is. Except done in a very condescending, holier-than-thou way... Typical Dawkins.

    My favorite biologist/paleontologist/evolutionist/atheist was Stephen Jay Gould, a totally likable and decent chap. I do miss him.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I don't care for Dawkins, but it was the response she needed. There's little not to enjoy with that whole story.

  • ||

    ...it was the response she needed.

    Ah, ok. I see where you're coming from.

  • Doubtful||

    Considering you're too painfully stupid to see that "complain about sexualizing while sexualizing= hypocrite" I doubt you see much of anything as it is.

  • ||

    :)

  • So you ARE THAT fucking stupid||

    Isn't it funny too that you knew you were wrong, hence that oh-so-tired "context" argument, as though openly and intentionally sexualizing people (calendar) is BETTER than someone engaging in questionably sexualizing behavior (elevator).

    If we accept your argument, she looks like a much bigger asshole.

  • ||

    Oh, yes.

  • AT LAST!||

    You have no idea how rare it is for an admission like yours!

    Nice to see you know your position was moronic and wrong.

  • ||

    I'd hate to make someone look like an asshole.

  • Sure||

    you just content yourself with behaving like one

  • ||

    How so?

  • Everyone you know||

    Just ask us.

  • ||

    I've asked. They say it's you, not me. I thought that was rude of them to say.

  • 2nd grade||

    "They say it's you, not me."

    OOOH I KNOW YOU ARE BUT WHAT AM I!!!! MY FAVORITE!!!!

  • ||

    Yay!

  • You answered your own question||

    "How so?"
    "Yay!"

  • ||

    Boo?

  • highnumber's parents||

    I'd hate to make someone look like an asshole.

    Then for our sake, shut the fuck up.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    I think I missed something in this dialogue here.

  • BakedPenguin||

    You aren't alone.

  • ||

    You're not alone. I think it was in the DVD commentary to the blog.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Oh, it's down below.

  • ||

    That doesn't sound like Mom & Dad at all.

  • highnumber's parents||

    as you have proven so effectively on this board, you just weren't listening

  • ||

    I wasn't listening to what?

  • Firefox add ons||

    You know the best thing about modern browsers?

    The ease with which one can add the capability to completely remove a user from the discussion.

    Sorry VirginMoose, I just went Argentina on your ass, you disappeared without a trace.

    The joy flows.

  • ||

    "Modern browsers" heh! I'm so steampunk I use Victorian era browsers.

    But they don't work so well in Web 2.0

  • <s>Viking</s> PerkyVirginMoose||

    yay!!!! I got flushed!

    the joy flows along with your mucus, blood, fecal matter, and semen! yay!

    now vee kan party. I have left the door open for you. Since I know you're gonna peak back behind the curtain to watch my chiseled man ass!

  • VikingMoose||

    Sit down, Hr. Highumber:

    it's time we had a talk with you. You know those people you call, "Mom" and "Dad", well, they're actually not your real parents.

    One is a mime, the other is a Clown.

    And don't feel bad about not being able to read. We decided that miming juggling lessons were more important.

    Troll - not to worry. we've got it covered. In any context.

  • Warty||

    Dawkins is brilliant, and usually great rhetorically, but always a dick. It's an asset, as far as I'm concerned.

  • MNG||

    Is it the British thing? Hitchens can do that pretty well too.

  • Tim||

    He's the Simon Cowell of philosophy.

  • Zeb||

    Oxford and Cambridge have special Being a Dick seminars for those who want to become public intellectuals.

  • Skr||

    I think its an intelligence thing. It allows run of the mill dickishness to ascend to an astonishing level.

  • ||

    Is it the British thing?

    No...the British thing is they all seem gay.

    Dawkins is a dick with any accent.

    That being said everyone should read The Selfish Gene.

    I should point out that i have discussed the Selfish Gene many years ago with feminists....and let me tell you they do not like that book one little bit.

  • -||

    Always a dick. It's an asset, as far as I'm concerned

    We know.

  • Realist||

    I agree.

  • Pantless Deviant||

    "My favorite biologist/paleontologist/evolutionist/atheist was Stephen Jay Gould, a totally likable and decent chap. I do miss him."

    Other than, you know, the fact that he was a political Marxist, yeah.

  • Franklin Harris||

    And seems to have been wrong, on the facts, in every single one of his disputes with Dawkins and Dawkins' friends (e.g. Dan Dennett).

  • ||

    Other than, you know, the fact that he was a political Marxist, yeah.

    Plus the fact that his particular take on evolution was dead wrong.

  • Old Mexican||

    Gawker, on how Richard Dawkins is being "torn limb from limb–by atheists."


    Oh no! Besides that, they're also into cannibalism!

  • Brainiac||

    Another pointless religion vs. atheism thread in 3...2...1...

  • Zeb||

    Hey, it's a million times better than an abortion thread.

  • Old Mexican||

    I'm an atheist when it comes to the new fad religion: Statism.

  • Tim||

    "Statanists"

  • Church Lady||

    Could it be?

  • goober1223||

    I don't know if this is how you mean it, but if "statism" were a religion, I would be a "statanist". Instead of worshipping the state (statist) or believing the state doesn't exist (atheist analog), I would be against the state, as a satanist is against the christian god.

  • Civilization = Statism||

    If you like the agricultural City-State (civilization,) you'll love Statism.

    If you heap derision upon Non-State sociopolitical typologies,* (egalitarian bands and tribes) then you're a Statist.

    * NON-STATE AND STATE SOCIETIES
    faculty.smu.edu/rkemper/cf_3333/Non_State_and_State_Societies.pdf

  • Tim||

    ?

  • Warty||

    Just let him be.

  • Tony||

    There are no libertarians in foxholes.

  • ||

    How the hell would you know?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    What about political commissars in the Red Army? Weren't at least some of them atheists?

  • ||

    To be sure, but I doubt many were libertarians, and I'm damn sure none of them were Libertarians. (Just two more ways the USSR sucked.)

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Bullshit.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Of course, I'm certain Tony is a veteran and knows exactly what he's talking about.

  • Tony||

    Maybe I should have said hurricanes.

  • Destrudo||

    I've managed to survive several blizzards with power loss for days (and two hurricanes) without turning into a boot-licking troll. Weird!

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Foxholes being a euphemism for...?

  • ||

    There are no libertarians in foxholes.

    Yes we know how to avoid a draft...and how to avoid the brainless nationalism it takes to willing throw ones life away for the egos of politicians and generals.

  • MNG||

    Meh, I don't believe in atheists

  • Get brain cancer MNG||

    Please kill yourself.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Who's this dick wishing ill on MNG?

  • Get AIDS Art-P.O.G.||

    You can have some too cunt, die painfully.

  • ||

    Unlike herpes... if you ignore it, it will go away.

  • Your mom||

    That wasn't true the first time your mom said it, and it isn't true now that you've posted it for the 500th time, in a pathetic attempt to inject yourself into the conversation.

    That you lack anything more valuable to say tells us everything we need to know about you.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    That wasn't true the first time your mom said it

    SugarFree doesn't have a mom, he and his dad share yours.

  • His mom||

    Then he still has a mom.

    That didn't make sense when you were displaying your stupidity with it at 5 and it doesn't make sense now.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Someone steal your My Little Pony collection this weekend?

  • I never had one||

    SugarFree and I share yours.

    Cry more now.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    u mad?

  • Why would I be?||

    You're the one crying cause I'm playing with your my little pony collection.

  • VikingMoose||

    just pretty pretty please leave some caked on santorum for me. It's really good on ritz crackers, you saucy little man, you!

  • PIRS||

    If you want to convince people your point of view is correct this is not the way to accomplish that mission.

  • I don't||

    I want to wish painful illness on MNG, a renowned asshole.

    What now douchey?

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Another low-quality troll? Astounding.

  • ||

    All trolls are really but one troll.

  • Tissues||

    Yes, your tears are nectar!

    I always wondered too, how totally empty and fucking meaningless your life must be that you think playing board police and making such invaluable commentary as "Another low-quality troll? Astounding." is a good use of your time.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    OK, Anonadick. Ha ha, oh brother.

  • Awww!||

    Look who is mad!

  • Seriously though||

    how totally empty and fucking meaningless is your life that you think playing board police and making such invaluable commentary as "Another low-quality troll? Astounding." is a good use of your time?

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Probably less empty than that of someone who plays moral scold/life coach on the same board.

  • Seriously though||

    "Probably less empty than that of someone who plays moral scold/life coach on the same board."

    You mean like you just did?

    Yeah.

  • VikingMoose||

    not only low quality trolling, but ignorant, too.

    i'm sorry, son, you're just too fucking stupid to post hier.

    it's "your tears are [so] yummy and sweet". k?

    salty ham tears, my man. salty ham.

    now save some of that gunk on your finger. I like where it's been.

  • ||

    it's "your tears are [so] yummy and sweet"

    Actually, that was a take on the original.

  • Pip||

    WTF is wrong with you?

  • Tim||

    It's a great thing about our civilization that your Penn Jilletes and Christopher Hitchens can live in peace with believers of all stripes.

  • PIRS||

    Agreed.

  • ||

    Atheists should thank the god for the particular tolerance of Christians.

  • Apatheist||

    I don't get this evangelical atheism. Isn't part of the joy of non belief that you can spend your time doing something else?

  • -||

    Most of us do.

  • Sparky||

    Every group has extremists.

  • Warty||

    Has anyone else read The Portable Atheist by Hitchens? It makes for great highbrow shitter reading.

  • Tim||

    You're thinking of "The portolet Atheist".

  • Not into wasting tim||

    No, I don't really give a shit about the pointless pontificating of some self satisfied assholes.

    (looks around)

    in fact, I'm out of here

  • mozzie||

    I liked Sandefur's comments about Harris. I've met a number of self-identifying rationalists/skeptics who are not really so rational when it comes to one or two things, like money or when someone has something they don't have. They can spit out the cliches with the best of the Santa worshipers if you just hit the right buttons.

  • Warty||

    Well, sure. Rationality is not natural for humans, and even the best fail at it.

  • Warty||

    Not that Sam Harris is even close to the best. That guy's a prick.

  • Pantless Deviant||

    And an economic moron.

  • Ben P.||

    So, this would be the same Skepchick that produced a pin-up calendar, right? Just want to make sure before I set my hypocrite filter.

  • Thank you||

    Thanks for the heads up, didn't know that.

    Hypocrisy like that is delicious.

  • ||

    Explain how it's hypocritical, please.

  • you're THAT fucking stupid?||

    complain about sexualizing while sexualizing= hypocrite.

    how fucking stupid are you? or is this where you make a moronically transparent defense?

  • ||

    con·text
    Noun/ˈkäntekst/
    1. The circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea, and in terms of which it can be fully understood and assessed.

  • So you ARE THAT fucking stupid||

    "con·text
    Noun/ˈkäntekst/
    1. The circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea, and in terms of which it can be fully understood and assessed" in no way changes that complaining about sexualizing while doing it yourself = hypocrisy.

    Your pathetic, and expected, transparent defense failed.

  • ||

    :O

  • So you ARE THAT fucking stupid||

    "con·text
    Noun/ˈkäntekst/
    1. The circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea, and in terms of which it can be fully understood and assessed" in no way changes that complaining about sexualizing while doing it yourself = hypocrisy.

    Your pathetic, and expected, transparent defense failed.

  • ||

    (am I supposed to respond again?)

  • who cares||

    you're the one who resorted to the classic "definition with no argument" troll, followed by the "post characters in a pathetic attempt to pretend I'm not pissed" troll, why not just cut your losses and call it a life?

  • ||

    Are you talking to me or you or someone else? And is that a "no"?

  • who cares||

    "who cares"

    it's a who cares, is your reading comprehension THAT shitty?

    oh, yeah, you just showed it is

  • ||

    I'm starting to think you're right about my reading comprehension skills because I can't make heads or tails out of "it's a who cares."

  • Basic reading skills||

    "I'm starting to think you're right about my reading comprehension skills because I can't make heads or tails out of "it's a who cares.""

    Then learn to read, it's clear to anyone who doesn't have shitty reading comprehension.

  • highnumber proves to be dumb||

    "is that a 'no'?"
    "it's a who cares"

    You're stupid. You just proved it.

  • ||

    Whoops!

  • ||

    What's "a who cares"?

  • Seriously though||

    "is that a 'no'?"
    "it's a who cares"

    You're stupid. You just proved it.

  • Seriously though||

    "I'm starting to think you're right about my reading comprehension skills because I can't make heads or tails out of "it's a who cares.""

    Then learn to read, it's clear to anyone who doesn't have shitty reading comprehension.

  • Seriously though||

    "(am I supposed to respond again?)"
    "is that a 'no'?"
    "it's a who cares"

    You're stupid. You just proved it.

  • ||

    You seem to be getting a bit worked up. Is everything ok?

  • Not exactly||

    "You seem to be getting a bit worked up."

    Cause copy paste is so hard.

    You must think it's reading for comprehension or something...

  • VikingMoose||

    ooh. "Not Exactly" is getting hard from pasting his copy.

    you know, that makes me hard, too.

    If only you could understand what a context was. then I'd sex up your context til it couldn't walk

    or walk funnier than you already do.

  • ||

    Cause copy paste is so hard.

    That was very easy. (You see what I did there?)

  • Your anger issues||

    (You see what I did there?)

    Got upset, yeah I see, you've been doing it all day.

  • ||

    That's it! Now I really am upset. You, YOU, YOU ARE JUST A TROLL! A LOUSY STINKING TROLL! YOU KNOW WHAT YOU'RE WORTHLESS YOURE GARBAGE UR JST A MEEN MEEN JREK!

  • The truth comes out||

    At least you finally admitted it instead of the silly passive aggressive crap you've been pulling.

    ":P"
    ":X"
    ";0"

    Go ahead and rage.

  • ||

    Nah. I'm done. Smiles are back. It's all sunshine and hugs from here on out.

  • The truth comes out||

    At least you finally admitted it instead of the silly passive aggressive crap you've been pulling.

    ":P"
    ":X"
    ";0"

    Go ahead and rage.

  • ||

    Nah. I'm done. Smiles are back. It's all sunshine and hugs from here on out.

  • Yeah, you sure are||

    "Nah. I'm done."

    You were done after you pathetically posted a definition and pretended it was an argument.

    "Smiles are back"

    Great, we're back to ":)"

  • ||

    ;)

  • Back at it then?||

    you're the one who resorted to the classic "definition with no argument" troll, followed by the "post characters in a pathetic attempt to pretend I'm not pissed" troll, why not just cut your losses and call it a life?

  • ||

    Can't walk away, can you?

  • ||

    Or can you?

  • ||

    I miss you!

  • ||

    (I notice now that I forgot to use incorrect punctuation and omit spaces between words.)

  • Yeah, you sure are||

    I didn't, I'm not pedantic

  • ||

    Nice!

  • VikingMoose||

    no he's not. I'M stupid. And if you watched the movie Deepthroater Highlander, you know that there can be only one.

    and I think that since it's just me, that's one, but I hafta check with my group home manager.

  • VikingMoose||

    as someone who IS that fucking stupid I can assure you of several things:

    i cannot differentiate between rope climbing and "sexualizing" things

    library paste tastes really good

    and moronically transparent is the type of cling wrap I use for the ol' sealed genitals trick.

  • IQ||

    I can tell you I am not the "highnumber" after which the poster is named.

  • ||

    :p

  • VikingMoose||

    still having trouble grasping where any hypocrisy lies:
    1) assuming there was a sexual advance: not of her choice
    2) calendar = of her choice

    the "she was asking for it cuz of look at how she dresses" is just too "Mad Men" to be taken seriously.

  • MNG||

    still having trouble grasping where any hypocrisy lies

    1) she was sexualized by someone (presumably)
    2) she chose to objectify someone else, after complaining about the harmful effects of sexualization

    It appears you are actually as thick as you were previously pretending to be if you cannot grasp the obvious and irrefutable hypocrisy.

  • Destrudo||

    Should he have asked permission to extend an invitiation? "May I have your permission to hit on you?" Is that the depth that PC feminist insanity has reached?

  • ||

    You're saying you're actually stupid enough that "do as I say, not as I do" is not hypocrisy?

    I know you've been trolling, but you can't be that stupid...

  • VikingMoose||

    apparently YOU are - grasping nuance in what you're reading (incorrectly) into what I wrote shows a complete lack of I dunno, besides balls, wtf are you also lacking... dunno. but if you think that controlled/consensual situation is the same and has the same value propositions as one that's uncontrolled, well, glad I don't live in your world. what the fuck.

    dumbass.

  • ||

    No ones gives a shit about that New Labour rag The New Statesman.

  • ||

    No one

  • VikingMoose||

    but we do care, on the other hand that the community colleges have started up again, hence some of the comments upthread!

    i guess their usual handles aren't funny enough for this stuff, and they need new ones.

    just as long, however, that they adhere... no. in their cases, comply with the Ukase of Mr. Steven Crane: "the shit better be funny".

    The New Statesman, while being funny, is not deliberately so. They can sod off.

    *takes nuther big schluck of some non-specified human-generated liquid*

  • ||

    but we do care, on the other hand that the community colleges have started up again, hence some of the comments upthread!

    Don't be so hard on yourself.

  • VikingMoose||

    no worries. I have given up on expecting anything reasonable from you.

    are you actually one of those anonymous irrational twerps on this thread? they seem to be about your level.

    and shame that really wasn't you they found a few weeks ago. you and yassir get the same treatment.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Atheists find it difficult to maintain their impeccable rationality when it comes to feminism. "Oppression by old, rich white men!" When did Dawkins' race become relevant?

  • ||

    Re: skeptical atheists...

    It's good to see that there's another group that is as socially-awkward and dickish as libertarians.

    Oh, wait... The two groups tend to overlap? Ah, fuck.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Hard to say who is sillier:

    Sam Harris: “...the quasi-religious abhorrence of ‘wealth redistribution’ that causes many Americans to oppose tax increases, even on the ultra rich...”

    How does Harris define "religious" or "quasi-religious?" No fair saying that "a religious idea is an idea I don't like."

    Timothy Sandefur, criticizing Harris: "The longest-standing advocate of compelled wealth redistribution in western history is, of course, the Christian religion...with the possible exception of the Jewish religion."

    He got his stereotypes wrong. You see, the Christian religion dupes the poor with tales of "pie in the sky when you die." The Jewish religion, of course, is made up of bankers and usurers who don't want to share their wealth.

  • Tony||

    By what rational method do you conclude the following: "The wealth distribution should remain as it is, or further favor the very wealthiest"?

    The justification I hear amounts to the most simplistic religious concept: good vs. evil. The wealthy are good because they are wealthy, and deserve low taxes. The poor are bad because they are poor and deserve to be punished.

    The entire motivation behind your guys' idea of the proper wealth distribution is moral judgment.

  • Um, no one makes that argument||

    Name, SPECIFICALLY, who the "you" is in your clearly fallacious straw man filled tirade?

    SPECIFICALLY, you lying sack.

  • Tony||

    Give me an argument for maintaining the current distribution or further tilting it to the rich (which is, in fact, the result of EVERY libertarian economic/fiscal/tax policy ever offered) that doesn't amount to "the rich are good" i.e., productive and "the poor are evil" i.e., lazy, unproductive.

    There is not, after all, a pure and good distribution wherein all are the most free and treated with the utmost of fairness. There is simply power pulling it in one of two directions.

    So to make your call, you have to judge that a person doing backbreaking menial labor deserves poverty-level income while a guy sitting on a fortune deserves to make boundless millions just because he has wealth in the first place. Yet we can't tax a dime of it because...? Because he "earned" it, right? Earning being defined as "having" in your case but still a value judgment.

    An economy rewards what it's set up to reward. Your decidedly non-hippie-dippie version of Christian moralizing makes it so that what's rewarded is already being wealthy, and what's punished is already being poor.

  • Rev. Blue Moon||

    Tony, all your appeals to "fairness" are tiresome. You are assuming the following:

    1. Fairness is definable under some rubric (of course, it's a rubric you decide)
    2. Fairness, even if definable (which it isn't) is a goal worth pursuing
    3. Even assuming that you can define fairness and maintain that it is a goal worth pursuing, you cannot convince me that it is worth using force to get to that goal.

  • Tony||

    We can't define fairness, therefore the rich should get all of the national wealth? That what you're saying?

    I'm not trying to make anyone accept my definition of fairness. I'm trying to argue that the distribution goes in one of two directions. Toward the top or toward the bottom. Neither way is "correct" according to any principle. At a basic level it's simply a power struggle.

    You guys would have us believe the poor are winning this struggle, even as wealth further concentrates at the very, very top.

  • I didn't ask for a tantrum ||

    "Name, SPECIFICALLY, who the "you" is in your clearly fallacious straw man filled tirade?

    SPECIFICALLY, you lying sack"

    Can you fucking read?

  • Rev. Blue Moon||

    I'm not trying to make anyone accept my definition of fairness.

    Implicitly, you are. Your appeal to "backbreaking labor" is odious, emotionally-based, and yes, an implicit appeal to what is "just". I have no interest in examining each and every wealthy person and then trying to determine if that particular state of wealth is somehow "just". They own it, and if they did not acquire it through force or fraud, then that is their property. Full stop. You, on the other hand, want to have government examine every single state of affairs and make a vague judgment call as to the "justice" of that state of affairs as it exists. I am not buying it.

  • Tony||

    They own it, and if they did not acquire it through force or fraud, then that is their property. Full stop.

    Ownership is a legal framework. They own it because they are allowed to own it according to laws and standards of our civilization. By those exact same standards the elderly own every cent of their Medicare payments and the poor own every cent of every welfare check. There is no ownership without government defining what ownership means.

    Yet you want to claim that wealth in the hands of certain types of people is theirs by virtue of a universal definition of fairness, while the wealth in the hands of other types of people is evil looting.

    At the bottom of all of this is wealth=virtue, poverty=vice.

  • I didn't ask for a tantrum |||

    "Name, SPECIFICALLY, who the "you" is in your clearly fallacious straw man filled tirade?

    SPECIFICALLY, you lying sack"

    Can you fucking read?

  • Zeb||

    Libertarians favor many things that would make it much easier for the poor to improve their lives without relying on other people to give them stuff (or be forced to give them stuff). It is the well intentioned welfare and redistribution projects that put the poor in the position of a permanent underclass.

    In any case, libertarianism is not about who should have what or who deserves what. It is about treating all people the same and applying the same, minimally invasive, rules to everyone.

    You keep going on about things as if we live under some sort of libertarian system now, which of course is not true. The wealth distribution that it exists now is the result of a rather un-libertarian system that favors huge concentrations of wealth.
    In any case, I have never heard any convincing argument that wealth inequality is in itself a problem. Wealth distribution is not zero sum. It is perfectly possible for the lives of the poorest people to improve while the income/wealth gap increases and I don't see the problem as long as life is improving generally for everyone.

  • Tony||

    It is perfectly possible for the lives of the poorest people to improve while the income/wealth gap increases and I don't see the problem as long as life is improving generally for everyone.

    Maybe, but that's certainly not what's been happening in this country over the last few decades.

    I think relative poverty is more important than absolute poverty: For one, it allows you guys to take an arbitrary level of poverty and declare it "good enough" for society, and let the rest of the loot go to the top.

    Also, the greater the gap the less available the promises of capitalism are to people. In order for capitalism to work as advertised (an equal opportunity success machine for those who work hard enough), there can't be barriers to entry to the upper classes. That means some measure of a safety net is imperative, and a social and economic structure that resembles meritocracy more than plutocracy would also be helpful.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Capitalism promises nothing except the ability to freely exchange goods and services -- in doing so, it has created jobs and prosperity for millions, but it certainly never promised either in the arbitrary amounts that you desire.

    This stands in stark contrast to centrally-planned systems, whose many promises and assurances are as common as their remarkable failure to meet said promises.

  • Tony||

    So why should I worship at the feet of capitalism then? It doesn't get a gold star for not making promises it can't keep. It should be judged on the outcome for human well-being.

    The central flaw: you don't care about the outcome, because whatever pure capitalism produces is by definition "good." Even if most people are starving, it's what the market gods have demanded.

    If laissez-faire capitalism provided the best possible society on its own then I'd be in favor of it. But it doesn't, so I believe in applying human ingenuity to governing in addition to producing widgets.

  • I didn't ask for a tantrum||

    "Name, SPECIFICALLY, who the "you" is in your clearly fallacious straw man filled tirade?

    SPECIFICALLY, you lying sack"

    Can you fucking read?

  • Skr||

    But most people aren't starving and human welfare has been improving faster under capitalism than any other economic system in the history of man. So much so that economic interventionists have to give up the "people starving" definition of poverty and move the goalposts to a relative poverty position. But for some reason, regardless of the results, the lack of any intention to help people out of poverty condemns the entire capitalist system.

  • Tony||

    Capitalism has been causing starvation, not to mention death-by-warfare, aplenty. But I suspect you aren't even the slightest bit willing to look at the dark sides of capitalism, because you don't think there can be a dark side to something so natural and pure. Any flaws are someone else's fault.

  • skr||

    It's not a question of whether there is any starvation at all but whether there is a greater or lesser proportion of the world's population that is now starving than in the past under a differing economic system. The answer to that one is that there is significantly less starvation than in the past and people in massive amounts of poverty are less likely to starve than in the past. There are fewer occurances of outright famine than in the past. How fucking hard is this to understand. Capitalism doesn't strive towards some utopian fantasy goal of no starvation but it is carrying the world there faster than any other system before it regardless of intention. But oh noes bad things happen so throw the baby out with the bath water.

  • I didn't ask for a tantrum ||

    "Name, SPECIFICALLY, who the "you" is in your clearly fallacious straw man filled tirade?

    SPECIFICALLY, you lying sack"

    Can you fucking read?

  • VikingMoose||

    how very interesting.

    you would differentiate between fallacious straw men and ... what, true straw men?

    but isn't there a No True Strawmen argument to be made?

    yeah - it's like which type of Scotch, do you spell it *y or *ey, and all that other stuff.

    And what color is your loincloth beneath your kilt? is it sexy?

    I bet it is. oh yeah. you're a sexy fucking tantrum. Oh yeah.

    *GO 'WAY. BATIN*

  • I didn't ask for a tantrum||

    you would differentiate between fallacious straw men and ... what, true straw men?

    No, I would be smart enough to understand that fallcious is modifier, and is used properly.

    A straw man IS fallacious, calling it so is neither redundant nor incorrect, it is simply more descriptive.

    Funny how you TRY to seem intellectually deficient, but in the one instance in your post, upon which your vapid criticism is based, you demonstrate your actual lack of intellect.

  • VikingMoose||

    no - i don't need vapid criticism to demonstrate my actual lack of intellect. I have a certificate from my home state that will attest to that.

    it's a modifier? wow! gosh! more descriptive, so it's like a straw man plus. a ... straw giant?

    amazing!

    what are you going to take after community college beginning composition, cuz you're learning me reel good!

    durrrrr....

  • VikingMoose||

    (but it IS cute how you're trying to seem smart. posting to impress is definitely worth it. we all now understand that you and Vizzini are the top of the intelligence heap)

    you know, the very unique smartest. modifiers rule!!!

  • I didn't ask for a tantrum||

    So, now that you've turned from simple general trolling to actively mocking, should we take that as the proof that u mad?

    I mean "so it's like a straw man plus. a ... straw giant? amazing! what are you going to take after community college beginning composition, cuz you're learning me reel good!" is pretty much an admission that you know I'm right and your previous criticism was not.

    So, why so mad guy?

  • Obvioustrollisobvious||

    In other words, your vapid criticism was inaccurate and you know it.

  • Mad troll is MAD||

    Cry more

  • VikingMoose||

    Matt, Tim, Reason et al: the 2:13 comment is not from the real VikingMoose who's wandered these parts for many years... it is an impostor.

  • NotSure||

    You keep on claiming that the poor should be given free stuff not because of moral arguments, but because it is a good economic idea to reward losers. All you are showing is that your wish for economic growth is your overriding moral imperative, even if it is based on the absurd belief that paying the unproductive from money of the productive increases productivity.

  • Tony||

    Thanks, at least, for confirming my point. They're not just poor, they're "losers."

    You could mean that in one of two ways: they are losers, i.e., morally unfit, or they are losers, i.e., victims of bad luck or poor participants in the game of capitalism.

    Now why should ANY of these reasons justify leaving ANYONE in poverty?

    I don't think a decent civilization allows even the worse murdering psychopath to go hungry. You want to condemn an entire economic class of people because they are, in your judgment, "losers"?

    I trust neither your definition of "winning" and "losing" nor your definition of "productive."

    But if we're talking about economic efficiency, every single shred of data suggests that wealth concentrated in the hands of the few is a recipe not only for social unrest but economic stagnation. This country was at its most "productive" during times of high tax rates on the rich. There is no evidence whatsoever that giving the rich more money means they'll be more productive.

    But that's just a pseudo-Keynesian excuse for rewarding those you find virtuous anyway.

  • NotSure||

    What would you call somebody who can work and does not work ? A loser, this is not a moral observation, its simply what they are. I suppose you would run a company that keeps on paying workers that do no work, and claim that paying them is a good idea.

    I assume you are talking about America, the economy grew the most before 1914 bozo, not when your great society was implemented. No doubt the industrial revolution happened because social democracy was introduced ?

  • Tony||

    Well, ideas and critiques of social organization under capitalism all began after the industrial revolution made modern capitalism possible. To me, the question shouldn't be "what makes the most money for the productive or lucky," it should be "what increases human well-being across the spectrum?"

    I'll accept the formulation that one must work in order to receive the benefits of capitalism. But as I explained above, labor has less to do with success in capitalism than already being successful.

    But you fail to answer the question "to what end?" You may claim that capitalism lifts all boats. But capitalism in its rawest form simply tends to reward success already had: it concentrates wealth at the top. Social organizations must be invented and maintained to spread the successes of capitalism so that well-being is maximized. At the most basic level capitalism is about exploiting resources (and even social status) that nature provided. If industriousness brings you material well-being, fine, but you still want to claim that the only important measure of anything, including access to basic needs, is success in capitalism. Where is that written?

    Besides, if you want a society of dependents, concentrate wealth at the top. Do you want to create a feudal society so you can better discern who are the heaven-bound and who are the damned? I just don't see why a hedge fund manager is more virtuous than a teacher. Both receive payments according to how society is structured to dole them out. I'll pat someone on the back for being successful within our current scheme, but that's about as far as I'll go--whether people are going hungry is a more important thing to pay attention to.

  • NotSure||

    It is you who wants to create a society of dependents, not me, a feudal society had a strong ruler which the serfs depended on, exactly what you support. Also, you keep on using words such as "virtuous" and "decent, or the eternal "hunger" argument, yet say you are not making the argument based on morals ? You can write a lot of words, but in the end its just self contradictory shit.

  • Tony||

    Absolutely not. I favor less power in the hands of economic elite and more power in the hands of a democratic populace. Yes, they will take more for themselves. To my mind the wealthy elites should be fearing beheadings instead of a tiny increase in income tax rate; if it's the latter they're successfully battling then too much power has gone to them already.

  • NotSure||

    Beheadings ? Well at least you do expose your twisted world view, if rich people do not pay then the risk society beheading them. Tell me, who has more power (and is more dangerous), a man that can launch nuclear bombs and wages war all over the world ? Or man who owns telecoms all over South America ? If you do not know who I am talking about, I am talking about the biggest government man versus the worlds richest man.

  • Tony||

    Government should have more power at all times, because it is elected by the people.

    The situation we're in is that government is quite powerless against some private entities. That's dangerous.

  • ||

    The situation we're in is that government is quite powerless against some private entities. That's dangerous.

    You do realize that a democracy requires that the government be powerless against private entities don't you?

  • NotSure||

    Not all governments are elected by the people last time I checked. A businessman not wanting to invest in country might be your definition of being powerless, not mine. You care to mention name, which private entity is any government powerless against, even your oil company bogeymen are forced to prostrate themselves to your finger wagging politicians, so who are you talking about ?

  • Tony||

    We have a government that seems to see its job as giving out whatever powerful private lobbies want. You guys just legitimize it by slapping a bumper sticker that reads "freedom" on the arrangement. If private organizations can buy $100 profit with $1 lobbying investment, who has the power? Government only nominally at this point.

  • NotSure||

    You get that when one gets big governments, it is a fact of life. There is no government in the world that does not have this problem, even your sacred two, France and Sweden have big influential companies paying bribes. The bigger you make the government, something you believe is fundamental, the more you attract those that can gain from buying favours.

  • Dick Fitzwell||

    Government should have more power at all times, because it is elected by the people.

    This has got to be a spoof. Right?

  • I didn't ask for a tantrum |||

    "Name, SPECIFICALLY, who the "you" is in your clearly fallacious straw man filled tirade?

    SPECIFICALLY, you lying sack"

    Can you fucking read?

  • Skr||

    Can work but does not work and doesn't die of starvation? Sounds like winning to me. Suckers!!!!

  • I didn't ask for a tantrum ||

    "Name, SPECIFICALLY, who the "you" is in your clearly fallacious straw man filled tirade?

    SPECIFICALLY, you lying sack"

    Can you fucking read?

  • Tony||

    Anyone who is not arguing for raising taxes on the rich. I'll not hold my breath waiting for takers.

  • I didn't ask for a tantrum |||

    "Name, SPECIFICALLY, who the "you" is in your clearly fallacious straw man filled tirade?

    SPECIFICALLY, you lying sack"

    Can you fucking read?

  • Nucking Figger||

    Dude, it's no use. Tony is operating under the unproven assumption that tax decreases only serve to increase the wealth of the ultra-rich. Ergo, by his logic, anyone who supports tax decreases automatically supports his fictitious oligarchy. Nevermind that each of the major marginal tax rate decreases in post-war history included cuts for the middle and lowe class - funny how tony doesn't want to change those).

  • Tony||

    Then you would agree that the current Republican mindset is oligarchic (dogmatically opposed to any tax hikes on the rich, are willing to negotiate on hiking the payroll tax)?

  • I didn't ask for a tantrum||

    "Name, SPECIFICALLY, who the "you" is in your clearly fallacious straw man filled tirade?

    SPECIFICALLY, you lying sack"

    Can you fucking read?

  • ||

    Then you would agree that the current Republican mindset is oligarchic

    Who the fuck knows.

    I agree with this democrat about cutting taxes:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEdXrfIMdiU

  • Pip||

    Dear Tony,

    1) Are you gainfully employed?

    2) If so, what is your job / position?

    3) Are you saving for your retirement?

  • Tony||

    Yes, none of your business, and yes.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Tony is a frozen pizza magnate.

  • ||

    LOL Wow. I laughed hard on this on!!

  • MJ||

    "And the best question: Have the world's self-professed rationalists really spent the last week arguing about a proposition in an elevator?"

    Who would have thought that combining the adherents of two belief systems (atheists& feminists) noted for arrogance, condescension, and thin-skins would blow up into a major feud when a little disagreement comes up?

  • MJ||

    "...don't invite me back to your hotel room right after I finish talking about how it creeps me out and makes me uncomfortable when men sexualize me in that manner."

    "Rebecca's a progressive gal; she probably won't be morally scandalized by your desire to hook up. (And if she is, well, fuck it. Not your fault.)"

    She was morally scandalized about being sexualized, which suggests she is not open to being propostioned anywhere at anytime.

    "Was he really arguing that, because greater evils happen elsewhere, lesser evils oughtn't be fought close to home?"

    Which accepts the premise that the guy propositioning Watson committed and act of evil that should be fought. The guy made a polite (if terribly awkward and forward) request and did nothing threatening when he was rebuffed. That is an evil which should be fought? Or is it something regrettable that should be ignored?

  • Fluffy||

    I don't even think it's something regrettable.

    Watson was writing about this interaction AFTER THE FACT.

    She already knew that the outcome was entirely benign.

    If someone interacts with you and the outcome is benign, they are completely blameless and any momentary apprehension you feel during the interaction is your fault.

    If a black man approached me on the street, and while he was approaching I felt fear, but it turned out that he merely wanted to ask me what time it was, he would be utterly blameless in the interaction and I would have only myself to blame for my apprehension. And if I complained about the interaction, I would be a worthless fucking asshole.

  • Pip||

    In my neighborhood, asking what time it is would be the first step in mugging me. That's how it's done. They ask you what time it is and then if you look at your watch or cell phone and then they jack you.

    The correct answer to the question "Do you know what time it is?" would be "I HAVE NO FUCKING IDEA." and then just keep walking.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Shit, Pip. I'd consider moving.

  • VikingMoose||

    i guess Pip's internet tuff gai act needs some work.

    you're supposed to say that you pull guard, dim mak, reverse triangle omoplata shit. you know, cuz you're all about the UFC. in your tapout gear and affliction tshirts.

  • Zeb||

    Did she even consider for a moment that perhaps he just wanted to have coffee and talk to her some more?

  • Skr||

    There was a comment about how men use intimidation all the time when propositioning women. Intimidation tactics like getting them alone in an elevator. All I could think was, "you know what else is intimidating? The prospect of getting shot down in front of a room full of people. Naw, that couldn't have had anything to do with that guys decision."

  • PantsFan||

    Grab a sandwich and chill the fuck out.

  • ||

    Grab a sandwich Make me a sammich and chill the fuck out.

  • Tony||

    Religion has caused untold death and destruction, has held back civilization for sometimes centuries, has deliberately kept people ignorant, has promoted sexism, racism, and nationalism, not to mention mortally frightening children generation after generation.

    But that atheist guy has a somewhat rude tone!

  • NotSure||

    Goverments have also caused untold death and destruction, and all those other things you mention. Yet somehow you have no problem licking government arse. Three of the biggest killers of all time, please show either Mao, Stalin or Hitler are examples of religious excess not government excess ?

  • Tony||

    You only think this makes sense because you think anarchy is, for some reason, exempt from blame for all the death and destruction that would happen under it.

    I don't have to answer for every government ever because I believe in government. Everyone believes in government except people who are comfortably receiving its benefits and think they should get it all for free, like a spoiled teenager. You shouldn't be surprised if nobody comes to you for ideas on how to properly run a government. Tyranny and oppression come from dogmatism like the kind you have, systems that care more about appeasing an ideology than human wellbeing.

  • I didn't ask for a tantrum ||

    "Name, SPECIFICALLY, who the "you" is in your clearly fallacious straw man filled tirade?

    SPECIFICALLY, you lying sack"

    Can you fucking read?

  • NotSure||

    Yet making blanket statements about all religions is not dogmatic.

    Believing and protecting in individual rights would have prevented the millions of deaths that happened in the name of the greater good, calling that "dogmatic" shows what a called hearted pig you are.

  • Tony||

    But people don't have an individual right to freedom from poverty in your scheme. That is a huge oversight. How do you justify this? By calling those who suffer "losers," i.e. pointing the finger of moral judgment. I'll take any scheme that increases human well-being across the board. Laissez-faire capitalism isn't the best we can do.

  • NotSure||

    You do not believe in morals, that is what you claim, so stop trying to make all your arguments a moral one then.

    Oh and please define what poverty is, let me guess its whatever the bottom 20% live like, no matter how good they live compared to those before them.

  • Tony||

    Yep. I don't think it's sufficient to let you decide what's "good enough" for society's losers. Minimum standards evolve with time, but that's OK because they evolve for everyone. What matters is the relative distribution. Beyond all economic arguments, it's just bad to have classes of people who escape the game altogether because they've built up enough wealth. Wealth is power, and private power needs to be managed so that it does not exploit and abuse people.

  • NotSure||

    But people like you should decide what losers should be given ?

    And no, the relative distribution does not matter moron. If most people lived liked Bill Gates but some lived even better, you would then define the world as living in poverty.

    And I repeat, stop making the stupid statements about not making moral arguments when every single thing you say is from a moral standpoint.

  • Pip||

    "But people don't have an individual right to freedom from poverty in your scheme."

    Get a job. Work hard. Get an education. Get a better job. Repeat.

  • Tony||

    Thank you public schools?

  • I didn't ask for a tantrum |||

    "Name, SPECIFICALLY, who the "you" is in your clearly fallacious straw man filled tirade?

    SPECIFICALLY, you lying sack"

    Can you fucking read?

  • Fluffy||

    But people don't have an individual right to freedom from poverty in your scheme. That is a huge oversight. How do you justify this? By calling those who suffer "losers," i.e. pointing the finger of moral judgment.

    That's not necessary at all.

    I hate to go all thought-experiment on you, but if we were all deposited on to a desert island, and some of us engaged in productive work and some didn't, the former group wouldn't have to "say" anything at all about the latter group.

    They would lack "freedom from poverty" all on their lonesome, in the absence of any moral judgment or even at notice from the former group at all.

  • Tony||

    We're not on a deserted island or some other environment in which the only law is Darwinian competition. Civilization exists to mitigate the extremes of that lifestyle.

    Besides, even in the most dire circumstance, the corpses of the nonproductive would pile up and you'd need to do something about them. You might find it prudent to redistribute to some extent even if some are totally lazy. There must be some work in order to maintain the society itself--including transferring large amounts of wealth to the least productive class: children.

  • NotSure||

    Ah, the children, for being against moral arguments, now you have to resort: "its for the children" desperate argument.

    Here is a shocking fact for you, people are not children forever, here is another shocking fact: people die !, and the money gets transferred to next generations, again no government is needed to do this moron.

  • Tony||

    It's funny that you guys think you can completely dismiss children, as they are merely pawns in a game of moral blackmail.

    The problem with your scheme is that it completely ignores the existence of children. They are the most vicious type of people according to your formula: they do the least work and take the most handouts.

    But nobody argues that they are being treated unfairly. Almost everyone accepts that a child can have bad or good parents, or rich or poor parents, and their station in life is totally the product of luck. So even the most ardent libertarian makes some room for a safety net for children, since they are not at fault for their situation. But the poor and elderly are mostly at fault for theirs, so it's OK to leave them to the whims of nature. See, moral judgment all around.

  • NotSure||

    Tell me, do you have children of your own ? I doubt it, because if you did, then you would realise the crap you speak.

    Like I said children grow up to be adults, you want a society that treats people like children all their lives, not me.

    You want to prevent bad parents, to do that you would have to define what a bad parent is, because you do not believe in morals, then you cannot do that, no matter how big your government is.

  • Tony||

    Maybe I do want society to treat people like children, to a degree. Because there are degrees here, not "on the dole" or "productive." The elderly are like children in that they have needs that outweigh their ability to work to provide for them.

  • Nucking Figger||

    They do have an "individual right" of freedom from poverty. They just can't trample on OTHERS rights to exercise this right, i.e. with coercion.

    Not to mention how numbingly ambiguous a term like "poverty" is, especially since it's a measure of relative wealth distribution. What about "freedom to be able to afford a car"? "Freedom to be able to afford 5 acres of land", "freedom to able to buy bananas" etc etc... All of these freedoms unfortunately make demands on OTHER people - that they HAVE to provide others with cars, acres of land, bananas, the money to afford these, etc etc...

  • Tony||

    Society is built on coercion. You just don't like the official versions of it (those sanctioned by democratic legitimacy). You're fine with coercion if it comes from the private sector, you just don't call it coercion.

  • NotSure||

    So when I buy something I want, I am being coerced, got it.

  • Fluffy||

    Tony, all of this is irrelevant to the point I responded to:

    You asserted that it's impossible to oppose redistribution of wealth without making a moral judgment of the poor as "losers".

    The only point of my thought experiment was to demonstrate that your claim was not true.

    I don't make any moral claim about the poor at all.

    It is quite easy to oppose redistribution on the basis of a single moral claim about one's self: "I do not know of anything I have done to make anyone poor, therefore I deny that it's my responsibility to ameliorate their condition."

    This moral claim, and its constituent elements, would be true (or false) regardless of whether the poor were losers or not.

    To argue against it, you'd have to convince me that I had personally done something to the poor to make them poor. OR you'd have to prove to me that my responsibility to assist the poor existed without regard to my individual guilt in creating poverty. Now, maybe you can do one or both of those things - but that would be a separate discussion.

  • Tony||

    I argue that whether you personally did something to make them poor, or whether they are degenerate layabouts, or whether you are a specimen of human perfection, are all irrelevant to the question of how to organize a society. Moral judgment will always creep in. You should pay a little to help the lowest rung of society because it's in your best interest to do so. But as that's only the case in the aggregate, and that free riders will always want both a) a society in which the corpses of the poor don't pile up in the streets and b) not to have to pay for the service, we get the need for redistributive policy.

    Though I can't think of a decent moral argument for keeping the distribution where it is or making it even more inequitable. So you fail on those grounds too, imo.

  • Tony||

    Also, the most important thing is this: you could be that poor person.

    You want to increase the role of risk in daily life, right? So what makes you so sure you'll be on the winning side of that equation? Will you accept your fate like a man, or might you wish there were some risk-mitigating structure that society had developed so you can get back in the game?

  • I didn't ask for a tantrum ||

    "Name, SPECIFICALLY, who the "you" is in your clearly fallacious straw man filled tirade?

    SPECIFICALLY, you lying sack"

    Can you fucking read?

  • Realist||

    The problem is most atheists are asshole liberals.
    But there are a few of us libertarian, capitalist atheists.

  • billhilly||

    It's too bad so many atheist use up all their skeptisism figuring out there are no gods. The should save some for government.

  • Fluffy||

    John has documented for me where Dawkins has called for the use of the police power to prevent parents from raising their children in the religion of their choice.

    It would be nice if someone was mad at him for THAT, instead of for the fact that he made some negative comments about that worthless cunt Rebecca Watson.

  • Metazoan||

    +1,000

    That sums it up pretty nicely.

  • ||

    According to the last link athiests are responsable for islamphopia since 9/11... I guess it makes sense that your average koran burning evagelist takes their orders from "militant" athiests

  • ||

    I think you mean the next-to-last (penultimate) link, and Islamophobia (everybody knows there's no Phopia in Islam).

    If the woman who wrote that for RNS was capable of being embarrassed, she'd be embarrassed.

    ("Islamophobia" = "STFU, you bad person!")

  • anonymous||

    No mention to the dawkins/skepchick dustup can be complete without a nod to this sideshow:

    The Skepchick+Althouse Blogggingheads dialog! (google it lest I exceed link limits)

    Complete with post-vlog recriminations and accusations of dunderheadery and misunderstandings!

    Watch for the carwreck you know is going to happen, stay for the stupid:

    http://skepchick.org/2011/07/a.....gingheads/

    http://althouse.blogspot.com/2.....-time.html

  • Adolph||

    We need to deal with the athiest problem.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    You dealt with it when you offed yourself, Adolf.

  • mozzie||

    'evagelist'
    Would that be someone who does or does not believe in vaginas?

  • mozzie||

    "believe" or "propagate" vaginas

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Oops. I should've taken SugarFree's advice sooner.

  • Not exactly||

    Take mine and find a bridge, no one will miss you or your forum cop stupidity.

  • ||

    I would have thought you had learned your lesson about listening to my advice after the whole "should I pierce my frenulum?" debacle of '08.

  • Truth||

    or the fact that you think wasting time on this board is a good use of your life

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    I probably shouldn't have gone with the 0000 gauge.

  • VikingMoose||

    ***OFFICIAL DECLARATION OF THREAD VICTORY***

    I HEREBY ACCEPT VICTORY IN THIS THREAD. BEING "FILTERED" SEALED THE DEAL.

    THEREFORE, IT IS RESOLVED:
    1) HIGHNUMBER IS ADOPTED, MUCH TO THE CHAGRIN OF THE PARENTS, THE ADOPTION AGENCY, AND THAT HOMELESS GUY AT PARK AND 73RD
    2) IN KONTEXT, THIS MAKES PERFECT SENSE.
    3) CLOWN COLLEGE OBVIOUSLY HAS POST-TROPICAL STORM DAY OFF
    4) I AM JUST A SEETHING PILE OF STEAMING AWESOMENESS.

    THAT IS ALL. YOU CAN'T HANDLE MORE THAN THAT.

  • ||

    I just want to know one thing: It was you that stole highnumber's bikes, wasn't it? Confession is good for the soul.

  • VikingMoose||

    i use his shed for beating off, but that's about it. maybe a little bit of santorum got on the bikes, but they were still there.

    I stopped humping them after that nasty, "chain +WD 40" incident.

  • ||

    Of course, one has to ask whether it's a crime to steal from a replicant, but that's a discussion for another time.

  • Truth||

    DIdn't you get mad a throw a namecalling fit because you can't read earlier in the thread?

    (checks)

    Yes, it appears you did.

  • VikingMoose||

    no. that was someone breaking the rules. I did not post that.

  • VikingMoose||

    absolutely!

    did you see that vizzini is hier on this thread? most impressive chap, him!

  • Fluffy||

    To my mind the wealthy elites should be fearing beheadings

    This is all you need to know about Tony.

    Basically forever.

  • Fluffy||

    I think relative poverty is more important than absolute poverty: For one, it allows you guys to take an arbitrary level of poverty and declare it "good enough" for society, and let the rest of the loot go to the top.

    You haven't presented any argument giving us any reason why this would be bad.

    Let's say that at some hypothetical point in the future productivity is so high and wealth is so high that the poorest person lives the lifestyle that Bill Gates lives today - and the richest person has some multiple of the wealth available to Bill Gates.

    Are you seriously asserting that this relative wealth disparity would constitute "poverty" because "minimum standards evolve over time"?

    Really?

    And you expect us to take this seriously?

    Not only that, but you consider it a moral argument for that "poorest" person to say, "Because you rich people are refusing to raise my standard of living above its current Bill Gatesish level, I am entitled to kill you and take your property"?

    Really?

  • Tony||

    I believe inequality to be an injury by itself, regardless of the absolute measures involved.

    But if there is ever a day when the poorest have all of their basic needs met and then some, we can talk about a just distribution.

    Right now the principle remains that the distribution goes in one direction or the other, and no realistic assessment is that it too heavily favors the poor.

  • Fluffy||

    I believe inequality to be an injury by itself, regardless of the absolute measures involved.

    You've said that many times in this thread but you pointedly refuse to describe specifically how.

    Explain it to me. Tell me the exact nature of the injury.

  • Tony||

    Because people with an obscenely large difference in wealth from you have de facto power over you.

  • Fluffy||

    How?

    The town manager in my town has infinitely more power over me than Bill Gates or the Kardashians.

    Please explain to me how Kim Kardashian has power over me.

  • skr||

    The same could be said of a guy with a big stick so we should take everyone's sticks away from them. Men are stronger than women so we should hobble all men and burly women just to be safe. I have power over the lizards in my yard but there is no moral component of consequence or even any fucking harm unless there is action upon that power. Now if you were making and actual argument about rich people actually going around shooting poor people because they can get away with it because of their great wealth and it was codified into law because they bought all the politicians, you might actually have an argumemt. But they don't and you don't have shit because imagining up some fantastic concept of unweilded power as real harm without any actual action is stooopid.

  • Joe M||

    I'm nominating this for Worst Thread 2011.

  • ||

    Fairly certain that is the same thing as declaring me The Whiner The Weiner The Viper The Winner.

  • T||

    You and VM fight it out and get back to us.

  • Vagina||

    I win!

  • ||

    What did you win?

  • ||

    A date with STEVE SMITH?

  • Vagina||

    a lot of dicks

  • ||

    Seriously, kids, let this thread be a lesson to you.

  • VikingMoose||

    but... but... but... where did everybody go???
    *snif*

  • ||

    Right here, dearie.

  • 補習||

    I don't even think it's something regrettable too~

  • ||

    Me rightful, also ^_^

  • Minion of URKOBOLD||

    SILLY FOOLS. THIS THREAD'S VICTORY IS SEALED. THOSE WHO DISAGREE WITH A SPECIFIC POSTER (TO BE DETERMINED LATER) ARE ALL WRONG.

    PRIZES TO BE DISTRIBUTED AFTER WINNER IS PICKED.

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