Government employees

67 Percent of Americans Think Government Workers Get Better Health Care Benefits

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The recent Reason-Rupe poll finds that when considering the quality and cost of health care for government workers compared to private sector workers, 67 percent of Americans think government workers receive better health care benefits.

Even among public sector workers, a majority (55 percent) believes they receive better health care benefits than private sector workers.

The belief that public sector workers receive better health care benefits that private sector workers is virtually unchallenged among demographics and political groups. In fact, upwards of 60 percent of each group believe government workers receive better benefits, except for: public sector workers (55 percent agree), communitarians (58 percent agree), and Latinos (59 percent agree).

 

Interestingly, neither group is statistically more likely to be satisfied with their health care. 59 percent among government workers and 57 percent of private sector workers are satisfied with their healthcare. This suggests that despite both public and private sector workers believing public sector workers receive better health care benefits, both are equally satisfied with their own health care. This raises the question: how is the perceived additional health care benefit among government workers translating into satisfaction, if satisfaction levels are statistically the same across both public and private workers. To answer this, further research will need to be conducted.

Full poll results found here.

Nationwide telephone poll conducted March 10th-20th of both mobile and landline phones, 1200 adults, margin of error +/- 3 percent. Columns may not add up to 100 percent due to rounding. Full methodology can be found here

Emily Ekins is the director of polling for Reason Foundation where she leads the Reason-Rupe public opinion research project, launched in 2011. Follow her on Twitter @emilyekins.

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  1. 67 Percent of Commenters Think Forum Trolls get Better Alt-Text

  2. Could the next poll address how tired readers are of reading poll results?

    1. 82% of everyone knows that.

  3. Think? I know a federal retiree with health problems. His benefits are astounding, and he’s not sure he’s getting his due.

    1. “I worked like 5-6 solid hours a day until I was 50. I deserve more, dammit!”

    2. This is what I’m wondering. The post seems to imply that gubmint workers don’t have better health benefits, but it never actually says so.

      Well, do they or don’t they?

      1. Well, do they or don’t they?

        What is usually the case when spending someone else’s money, underspending or overspending?

        1. Given that the “private” insurance market is so heavily regulated with so much mandated coverage, I don’t think that the answer is as obvious as you imply.

          1. fair enough.

      2. As a federal employee I received worse benefits than when I was in private practice. No dental, no vision, and still about $150/mo (30% of premium). In fact, what I had as a federal employee was about what my ideal would be – catastrophic only.

  4. This raises the question: how is the perceived additional health care benefit among government workers translating into satisfaction, if satisfaction levels are statistically the same across both public and private workers.

    I’m probably about as satisfied with my house as the people down the road are satisfied with their 2x more expensive ones.

    People quickly get used to better things and see them as the new “average.”

  5. It’s good to be the king.

  6. My wife worked for OSU Medical Center. I work for a telecom. Surprisingly, my health insurance blew hers away. Of course she was just an admin, the peon staff was pretty much treated like crap all the way around. I’m sure faculty did much better.

    1. I had pretty awesome coverage when I worked at Ohio State, but I was quasi-faculty.

      1. Yeah, that doesn’t surprise me.

        1. I had an “A” parking decal, which meant that, legally speaking, I could run over students when parking. But only when parking!

          1. 🙂

          2. I thought that meant you were permitted to give an A for a lay?

            1. No classes–I was a pure research director. Student slaves, yes. I helped put the “but” in ABD for several PhD candidates.

    2. I work for a telecom. Surprisingly, my health insurance blew hers away.

      My COBRA cost when I was at Verizon was over $1,000 / mo. For a single non-smoking man under age 25. I really wish they would have let me funnel some of whatever they were paying United Healthcare into my salary instead of the paltry $500 a year they give you for opting out.

  7. Off-Topic: Anyone familiar with the NICS appeal process. I was denied purchase of a basic 870 shotgun. The letter said my name or description “was similar to” someone ineligible, that being “a fugitive from the law”. I’m not a fugitive btw, and if that were the case why mail me a letter, just come to my house and get me. Anyways, their solution is that I supply them with fingerprints to prove my actual ID. I don’t feel I should have to supply them with fingerprints. They should “prove” I’m ineligible or reverse their decision. Any one ever try to fight that, or is that a waste of time? Even with the fingerprints it sounds like a 6 month appeal process from the letter, which is crap. May end up calling my congressman. I hope I don’t have to go through this every time. I have made several gun purchases over the years since NICS with no problem. The only offenses since my last purchase were speeding tickets.

    1. Threaten to bring suit for libel, and obstruction of justice, on 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 9th, and 10th amendment grounds.

      1. I have considered contacting an attorney about it but I certainly don’t have the deep pockets that the FBI does.

        1. Yeah, that was pretty much tongue in cheek. Kiss the ring, or don’t get what you want, that’s more or less the name of the game in this country, pretensions of freedom notwithstanding.

          And if you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to fear, dontchaknow.

          1. Years ago, I came this >< close to getting arrested because I had the same first name, *middle initial*, and last name as the SOB who did have a warrant.

            The stupid fucking cop had to look at the middle names (thus the emphasis above), and he STILL wasn’t convinced until a slightly-smarter cop pointed out the, ahem, glaring discrepancy.

            Hell, that would probably put me on the no-gun-buyin’ list, come to think of it… fuckin’ government.

            1. I was initially worried because years ago one of my credit reports showed me as deceased. I had to clear that up and I was actually happy this was something stupid and not that showing up again.

            2. Might be that I can one-up you a little on that. When I was a kid, we moved next door. The people who bought our old house, unrelated to us, had the same last name. And a kid with the same name as me — who ended up being a bit of a troublemaker years later. Try explaining this to a cop who’s pulled you over, thinking you are your neighbor.

              1. That would suck. It’s bad enough if you’re in the same city much less having the same address.

                1. That’s a huge bowl of suck, 0x.

    2. Absent hiring an attorney, I would call (not write, initially) and ask what their “near miss” is based on (tell them you are worried about identity theft), and if there are alternative means for identity verification, as you have philosophical objections to fingerprints.

      You’re not going to win on the “burden of proof” thing.

      You have no leverage without hiring an attorney and going to court. Admit this to yourself up front. Be civil, pleasant, and accomodating to whoever you wind up having to work with. Be reasonable. If you can’t appeal to their better nature, you’ll get nothing, and have to either (a) never buy another gun again or (b) cough up your fingerprints.

      1. Yeah, I did intially call when denied and was told that they would not discuss anything about it over the phone. Yeah, I know I’m pretty much going to be stuck doing the fingerprint thing. I guess they’ll have them on file if I ever decide to go class III:)

        1. Just tell them your name is Eric Holder. Gets you both bullets and ballots.

          1. You don’t need the bullet if you got the ballot.

            Are you up for the down stroke, C.C.?

            1. You’re my piece of the rock, and I love ya, C.C.

  8. One other thing to keep in mind: the amount pubsecs pay out of their own pockets toward those health benefits is generally a lower percentage that their private sector counterparts.

  9. “77% Believe Jesus Rose From the Dead.”

    Rasmussen has a poll.
    Seventy-eight percent (78%) think Jesus was the son of God. Sixteen percent (16%) don’t believe that’s true.

    Seventy-seven percent (77%) believe Jesus rose from the dead, while 16% reject the central Christian tenet of the Resurrection.

    http://www.rasmussenreports.co…..m_the_dead

    1. The further I get, chronologically, from my time as an evangelical Christian, the more I marvel that such a fundamentally weird religion like Christianity took root. The logical weakness of the sacrifice of God’s Son is the part that floors me more often than anything else.

      1. I always find it interesting that on the one hand, Jesus is said to be the first to rise from the dead (believe it or not). And yet Jesus is said to have raise Lazarus from the dead at an ealier date (believe it or not).

        1. It’s the difference between giving someone a blow job and giving yourself one. The latter is a much more impressive feat.

          1. Again, this might be the only place on the internet where you can have a cogent analogy made between the Easter miracle and a blowjob.

        2. And that widow’s son. And that temple guy’s daughter.

          I should point out that the fact that the Son of God rose from the dead actually isn’t the most objectionable facet of the myth for me. It’s that God “needed” to make a “sacrifice” to save the world from sin. First, God giving over a Son is not a sacrifice: he can make as many sons as he wants. Second, God could just snap his fingers and we would be free from sin – why would you need to kill a guy to get it done? He’s God. He can do anything he wants.

          1. He’s God. He can do anything he wants.

            Apparently, he can’t.

          2. Or he didn’t want to.

            I think that the most sensible interpretation is that God just likes fucking with people. I mean, just look at the Old Testament.

            1. OT God is one mean bastard, that’s for sure.

          3. God giving over a Son is not a sacrifice: he can make as many sons as he wants.

            By that logic, a parent shouldn’t mourn their deceased child, they can always just procreate and make another one.

      2. I was out when He put the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the garden. That’s the bitch move of someone who’s going to play a cosmic game of gotcha no matter what you do.

        My parents were asked not to bring me back to 2nd grade VBS after the story of Noah’s Ark when I asked the teacher the 2nd grade equivalent of, “Wait, what? God killed everyone not on the ark to get rid of sin and we still have sin? WTF?”

        1. The Tree thing always felt kind of dirty to me too.

          And there’s there the “Psych!” he pulled on Abraham. What a shitbird. I always thought the condition on Lot’s wife kinda sucked too. What kind of game was God playing at?

          1. And Job, too. “Let’s destroy a man’s life to see how much shit he will eat.”

            The Gnostics had the right idea… The Yahwah of the Old Testament was only The Demiurge, the flawed creator of a flawed creation. Some even considered him The Devil. The Old Testament was a cautionary tale of following the “strong” deity instead of the wise one.

            1. Boney’s high on China white,
              Shorty’s found a punk,
              Don’t you know there ain’t no devil,
              That’s just G-d when he’s drunk.

              – Tom Waits

            2. Shifting off of the Old Testament for a second, it always irked me that the common talking point was that the Jews killed Christ. Years later, I recognized that I was a budding libertarian when, as a kid, I said “Hey wait, the Roman Government killed Christ, not the Jews!”

              1. It was the Italian homeboys,
                Cheese suckin’,
                Mother F….

                – Old SNL Skit.

                1. Pasta salad-grabbin’
                  Big nose-havin’
                  Tommy gun-totin’
                  Parmesan cheese-smokin’!

                  Pizza breath
                  Hairy chest
                  Mama Leone’s
                  Kraft macaroni and cheese suckin’
                  etc. etc.

                  Classic.

              2. “Hey wait, the Roman Government killed Christ, not the Jews!”

                The Roman Catholic Church had to do something to distract people from realizing that the fox was now running the hen house. “It was the JOOOOOOS!”

          2. Don’t forget the repeated genocide.

            1. Genocide is OK if the people you kill have a different invisible friend than you.

              Didn’t you learn anything from George Carlin?

              http://philosopherpoet.wordpre…..mandments/

      3. Most people are inculcated as children, prior to the development of logical faculties. By the time logic is developed (if it indeed is), the tenets of Christianity are so ingrained they are immune from questioning.

        Of course, this would not explain the modern rise of Scientology, whose adherents are often adults, and whose tenets are so strange they make Christianity’s stories read like a Dick and Jane primer.

        1. this would not explain the modern rise of Scientology, whose adherents are often adults

          according to the law at least.

        2. Scientology preys on the revealed knowledge weakness of the human mind, like most exploitative cults. “Not too many people know this, only you are special enough to be able to understand it.” It’s the egotism of false rationality commodified into digestible chunks for the fake mental rebel.

          1. Jellineck: Hey, Jerri! I know you’re in there. Listen, I have no idea what you went through. I don’t have any answers, I’m not acting in your best interests. Why won’t you trust me?

            Jerri: I wanna go back! Those people care about me!

            Jellineck: Yes, maybe that’s true. But do they care about me? I don’t think so. Do you see the flaw in your logic now?

            Jerri: No.

            Jellineck: Agh! I can’t reach her! She’s lost in some frightening world that isn’t centered around me!

        3. That is just completely untrue. It doesn’t explain the millions of people who convert upon adulthood. And of course it misses that small elephant sitting in the corner known as the 2000 year history of Christian philosophy. You are telling me Aquinas was completely irrational?

          It is things like this that cause me not to take atheists seriously.

          1. That is just completely untrue.

            This assertion makes me wonder whether you have ever questioned why you believe what you believe. If you haven’t at least considered the possibility and found some truth in it, you are probably avoiding it.

            It doesn’t explain the millions of people who convert upon adulthood.

            Was it supposed to explain that?

            You are telling me Aquinas was completely irrational?

            Any philosophy can be rational within its accepted assumptions.

            1. Baked Penquin is saying that no one could ever rationally being anything but an atheist unless they were brainwashed from childhood. And that is just hogwash. Millions and million of rational adults have changed from being atheists to believers for entirely rational reasons. That fact makes his statement ridiculous.

              And yes, about those assumptions. Everyone makes them. The difference is atheists pretend they don’t or that their assumptions are somehow better than any other assumption because they don’t involve God. They flutter around pretending the abyss has a happy ending.

              1. Millions and million of rational adults have changed from being atheists to believers for entirely rational reasons.

                atheists? I’d be more inclined to think those adults were just undecided believers who finally decided/settled on belief-structure.

                1. Go to any born again church. You will will have no problem finding someone who was once a hard core atheist. It is pretty easy to fall from one ditch into the other.

                  1. Go to any born again church.

                    I’m not falling for that.

                    You will will have no problem finding someone who was once a hard core atheist.

                    Someone? Sure. Millions? Eh…

              2. Shorter John:

                I obviously didn’t read what Baked Penquin is saying that no one could ever rationally being anything but an atheist unless they were brainwashed from childhood. And that is just hogwash. Millions and million of rational adults have changed from being atheists to believers for entirely rational reasons. That fact makes his statement ridiculous.

                1. Shorter Butt Naked,

                  I will pretend that BP said something else since I can’t defend what he said.

                  What the fuck does

                  Most people are inculcated as children, prior to the development of logical faculties. By the time logic is developed (if it indeed is), the tenets of Christianity are so ingrained they are immune from questioning.

                  mean if not “most people are only believers because they don’t know any better and were brain washed from childhood?”

                  1. Because this is hard for you for some reason:

                    Most people are inculcated as children, prior to the development of logical faculties. By the time logic is developed (if it indeed is), the tenets of Christianity are so ingrained they are immune from questioning.
                    !=!
                    no one could ever rationally being anything but an atheist unless they were brainwashed from childhood.

                    It’s an annoying habit that you share with minge, John. Characterizing an opponents stance in a much more inflexible, and therefore brittle way. Then it looks like (to you anyhow) that you’ve somehow won with your dumbass counter-example.

              3. Baked Penquin is saying that no one could ever rationally being anything but an atheist unless they were brainwashed from childhood.

                Sounds about right.

            2. Any philosophy can be rational within its accepted assumptions.

              A rational argument based upon false premises is known as a fallacy.

              1. Well, maybe that’s what he believes, but it isn’t what he said.

                As for converting adults, I tried to convert. I found a lot of valid arguments, but they were only sound if you shared the assumptions.

                My local church told me you become a believer by choosing to believe. Not rational at all, but that’s how one particular denomination get folks to convert.

                Given my experiences and my belief that most people simply aren’t rational, I find the idea that millions are converting for rational reasons dubious.

                1. Well Arf,

                  People are both rational and irrational. I find the idea that atheists are any more rational than believers by virtue of their atheism to be completely laughable.

                  1. I find the idea that atheists are any more rational than believers by virtue of their atheism to be completely laughable.

                    That looks like a straw man argument to me.

                    Like I said below.
                    Don’t conflate atheism with anti-relgionism.

                    One is a lack of faith, the other is hostility towards it.

                    They’re not the same thing.

                    1. I keep hearing about these non hostile atheists just like I keep hearing about jackalopes.

                    2. How do you define “non hostile atheist?”

                    3. How do you define “non hostile atheist?”

                      I think it’s that type of atheist that admits Jesus is the son of God.

                    4. Atheist. Not hostile towards religious folk.

                    5. There are plenty of those, so it seems like he must have a different definition. I suspect someone who calls his belief irrational is hostile, in his mind.

      4. For me it’s the belief in the Bible as The Word of God? and the rationalization that even though it was written (and rewritten, and translated, and edited, and reassembled) by men, it was divinely inspired.

        Oh and ever-evolving Hell, which is where you go if you don’t kowtow to the people in charge (all of which have slightly different rules).

      5. There’s something appealing to the notion that you can sin all you want and be forgiven.

        Then there’s the whole notion that bad people in power will answer to a higher authority.

        But I think the most appealing part is the ease of salvation.
        Just utter one mystical incantation and *viola* you’re saved!

        1. “But I think the most appealing part is the ease of salvation.
          Just utter one mystical incantation and *viola* you’re saved!”

          I think that only works for Catholics.

        2. I have no problem sinning all I want and then just dying. I don’t need to be forgiven.

          1. I do not need to be redeemed. I am not a coupon.

          2. I was brought up going to Church and that always was my biggest objection. I need to be saved from what exactly? The whole premise of salvation or redemption seems absurd.

      6. hmm… my theological history may be off here, but the historical interest in Christianity was rooted in the redemption-in-the-next-life factor. This is something that the poor and slaves would find most rewarding, considering the hardship of their life. A story about love and sacrifice, instead of the normal ‘Jupiter/Zeus & ilk’ super-beings.

        The popularity eventually spilled into the ruling-class, slowly turning once ‘pagan’ Rome into Christian.

        Btw, most of my atheism at age 10 sprung from 1) Science via Carl Sagan’s Cosmos and 2) History. Back then, I thought to myself, before there was Christianity, there were other religions. Those people had deep beliefs in those religions – and for good reasons – are they wrong and the Christians are right? I’m sure the average Spartan or Athenian would disagree – they were still men with honor and courage with a moral code.

        1. Most of my Atheism sprung from reading the Bible cover to cover.

    2. Of course there is an entirely rational case to be made that he did rise from the dead. The fact is Jesus was hardly the first or last person who claimed to be a messiah. And the Romans and Jewish authorities dealt with all of them the same way. They executed them. And in every case but this one, their followers gave up. Yet for some reason it didn’t work this time. The guy had 12 followers at the time of his death. And one of them sold him out to the authorities.

      And worse still, the authorities made it very clear that anyone who claimed to follow him was going to be killed. Yet somehow these 11 people didn’t just quit like everyone else in their situation had. They managed to create a religion that converted the entire known world.

      There is no rational explanation for why these people did this. No reason that they should have for the most part gone to their deaths in the name of a person who had died.

      The only rational explanation is that these people believed that Jesus had conquered death and that death for them wasn’t really death. They had to have believed that. Now, of course that doesn’t prove that Jesus actually rose from the dead. It is possible that they had some kind of a one of a kind mass hallucination. But even that seems like a pretty big stretch.

      1. The point is that, we don’t know what happened and what we do know is completely inexplicable. And for that reason believing that this in fact happened is not nearly as irrational you people would like to think. Moreover, over the course of 2000 years any number of imminently rational and smart people have believed as much. That fact alone argues against the belief being completely irrational.

        1. Do you find it inexplicable that 13 million or so people worldwide believe that Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon off golden tablets with the aid of magical glasses given to him by angels?

          I sure do.

          Doesn’t mean it’s worth believing.

          It just means that some people will believe anything.

          1. I don’t think it is worth believing either. But I wouldn’t call the 13 million people who do insane.

            I am not out to convert atheists, just puncture their arrogance and silly claims to have a monopoly on rationality.

            1. Do not confuse anti-religionists with atheists.

              The former give the latter a bad name.

            2. Doesn’t being religious require some irrational belief? Isn’t that what faith is? I’m really asking, not trying to make fun. But it seems to me that if you are religious, you have explicitly rejected a purely rational approach to making sense of the world.

              1. No. I don’t think it requires any deviation from irrationality. At most it requires to make a speculation about things we do not know. That is it.

                And of course every rational atheists assumes that every religious experience anyone in the history of the world was a state of complete false consciousness. Maybe they are right. But it is hardly irrational to believe that perhaps in some cases they are wrong.

                1. I guess my question about religious experience is why would you believe that the experience is coming from an external rather than an internal source? Maybe it doesn’t matter.

                  I accept that it is possible that I am just missing something when it comes to religion. Maybe I don’t have that part of the brain that God talks to. Who knows. But I’m not going to consider the magical explanation when I have perfectly good explanations that fit nicely with a highly successful scientific explanation of the world.

                  1. Why is it magical Zeb? All it is saying is that there are things we don’t fully understand. It is no more magical than quantum mechanics. We don’t’ understand any of it for a moment. And most of it contradicts our daily experience. Yet, we still believe it to be true.

                    1. I use magical to mean more or less the same a miraculous. Isn’t the whole point that the resurrection was miraculous? That God directly intervened in history? If something is miraculous, isn’t it by definition not rationally explicable? If there were a rational explanation, it wouldn’t be a miracle, would it?

                      That’s why I say “magical”. Perhaps there is a non-magical explanation and some guy really did appear to die, but then somehow escaped his tomb. It was all a big misunderstanding. But wouldn’t that break the whole foundation of the religion?

                      Well, that’s probably about it for me today. I think this stuff is very interesting to discuss. Pity this is not such a good forum to really flesh things out.

              2. Doesn’t being religious require some irrational belief? Isn’t that what faith is?

                It requires believing in something that cannot be proven.
                That’s faith in a nutshell.

                1. Al Gore likes this.

          2. “Doesn’t mean it’s worth believing.”

            But more importantly, does Mitt Romney believe this sexist, racist cock-and-bull story?

            – Piers Morgan

        2. Rational and smart people thought the sun was Apollo’s chariot wheel, didn’t they?

          1. wait, I’ve been lied to all these years?

          2. And for good reason. If you didn’t have science to explain it otherwise, you probably would be lucky to come up with as good of a theory. Considering their situation and state of knowledge, that belief was hardly “irrational”. It was wrong, but it wasn’t irrational.

            1. Are you open to the possibility of science disproving your faith?

              I highly doubt it.

            2. Making up a god of the gaps because you don’t have a scientific explanation is irrational.

              1. As opposed to making up a scientific theory to explain the facts? That is better? Ptolemy was just as wrong as the Pagans. Was he irrational? They were both making up stories to explain what they knew.

                1. Hell, at least Ptolemy was using his reason to try to explain what he saw. I don’t hold it against someone who is trying but wrong. “Flaming chariot wheel” isn’t even trying.

                  Newton’s thoughts on gravitation weren’t exactly right either, but to attempt to equate how and why and the degree to which he was wrong with a story about getting winter because Persephone ate some fucking pomegranate seeds doesn’t even rise to the level of disingenuous.

                2. Yes, making a scientific theory is more rational than using religion to explain facts. It just is. That’s why science works so much better to explain how things work than religion does. Science is rational. Some people abuse it and treat it like faith, but that’s not science. Science explicitly accepts the possibility that any theory might be disproven.
                  Ptolemy wasn’t doing science as it is understood today anyway.

            3. How was it based on reason? And what makes you think your creation story is any less wrong?

              If you didn’t have science to explain it otherwise, you probably would be lucky to come up with as good of a theory.

              I think you confuse the definitions of “theory” and “mythology.” Cockamamie stories about natural phenomena don’t rise to the level of “theories.”

              If I didn’t have the science to explain it, I’d probably say some omnipotent, omniscient being created the universe. That doesn’t make it right or rational.

              Any God that gives me a rational mind and then expects me to believe in Him on faith can go fuck Himself, anyway. Maybe He can tell my why He drowned a world to get rid of sin and still didn’t get rid of it before He condemns me to hell.

              1. If I didn’t have the science to explain it, I’d probably say some omnipotent, omniscient being created the universe. That doesn’t make it right or rational.

                Because you just know believing in a God is irrational. Good thing you don’t have any assumptions or anything. As opposed to the really rational theory that there is an infinite number of universes that we will never be able to see or whose existence will be verified. And that explains why all of the constants in our universe are perfect for life to exist. Really rational shit like that.

                And you totally miss the point of what science is. You only know it is not Apollo because someone told you otherwise. And we only know it is not as a society because our observations don’t fit with that theory.

                Again, Ptolemy was every bit as wrong as the Pagans. And in the end, they were both doing the same thing, making up stories to fit what facts they knew. I wouldn’t call either irrational. Just wrong.

              2. Hell, at least Ptolemy was using his reason to try to explain what he saw. I don’t hold it against someone who is trying but wrong. “Flaming chariot wheel” isn’t even trying.

                He was making up a story to fit the facts he knew. That is all he was doing.

          3. Rational and smart people thought the sun was Apollo’s chariot wheel, didn’t they?

            Yep. And that should (but, it seems, rarely does) inspire humility in the rest of us.

            Those people were just as smart as us. So being as smart as us is no proof against believing crazy shit. I wonder what crazy shit we believe that future generations will scoff at.

            Because we do, and they will.

            1. But that is hardly a reason not to scoff at the crazy shit people believed in the past.

              1. But that is hardly a reason not to scoff at the crazy shit people believed in the past.

                The scoffing is not at the people that thought the sun was Apollo’s wheel 2,5000 years ago, but rather at the people who profess to still believing the same thing now.

                It’s the difference between merely ignorant and actively stupid.

                1. It’s the difference between merely ignorant and actively stupid.

                  Good Point.

            2. That was my point. That smart and rational people believe in God is no more evidence of His existence than it was of Apollo’s.

              I have no doubt that there is a crapton of things we believe which will turn out to be wrong. But they’ll be wrong because we are operating on more incomplete knowledge, as opposed to throwing in the towel and going with supernatural explanations. As I said above, sure, Newton wasn’t correct in every detail but his errors were fundamentally different than those who explain with mere stories.

              1. I think you are kidding yourself Night Elf. Newton is every bit a story. He can’t explain gravity. He only describes it. He has no idea what it is or even if what he is saying will be true tomorrow. All he did was accurately describe what was going on. He never got to any underlying truth or explanation.

                1. I would argue that science only ever describes and cannot explain anything. Truth is not what science is after. Science is after a consistent quantifiable description of observed facts.

            3. “I wonder what crazy shit we believe that future generations will scoff at.”

              That Obama is competent?

              1. “I wonder what crazy shit we believe that future generations will scoff at.”

                That Obama is competent?

                future generations?

      2. Of course there is an entirely rational case to be made that he did rise from the dead…

        The only rational explanation is that these people believed that Jesus had conquered death and that death for them wasn’t really death.

        John, buddy, I hate to break this to you, but people believing something has nothing to do with making a “rational case.” People lie all the time, and many stupid people believe them. That doesn’t make the lie true.

        1. Hey Heller,

          Could you at least, you know try to read the fucking post before shooting your mouth off? Right after your quote I said

          Now, of course that doesn’t prove that Jesus actually rose from the dead. It is possible that they had some kind of a one of a kind mass hallucination. But even that seems like a pretty big stretch.

          Now gnaw on that a little bit and come back and talk to me. You completely miss the point, which is that any explanation is going to be pretty unlikely and unbelievable because the events were unbelievable. And I don’t see how believing in some unprecedented hallucination is any more rational than believing their actual testimony.

          Hate to break this to you heller, but you are fucking moron.

          1. Yup, it doesn’t prove it, and it doesn’t “make a case” for it either.

            And I like how you keep calling this a mass hallucination. That’s just slightly different from dumb people believing a liar. Just slightly John.

            1. If it wasn’t a mass hallucination, what was it? You explain it. Why did these people go out and effectively commit suicide when no one else in their situation had? And how in the hell did they manage to start a religion that converted the known world? Give me a rational explanation for that one without reverting to some pretty wild speculation. I sure don’t see one.

              1. If it wasn’t a mass hallucination, what was it? You explain it.

                I believe heller did explain it.

                Give me a rational explanation for that one without reverting to some pretty wild speculation.

                They lied. How’s that for an explanation?
                They made some shit up and stuck with it to the end.
                The shit they went through while holding onto their story was enough to get others to believe it was true, and a religion was born.

                Sounds to me to be more plausible than defying death.

                1. Their lying meant their death. Why did they lie to get themselves put on a cross? And there was no reason for them to believe for a moment that they were going to convert anyone to this story. Further, if they were going to lie, they would have made up a better story. If they had concocted a story to convert people, it would have been nothing like the story they actually told.

                  1. It is still more rational, in my mind anyway, than someone rising from the dead.
                    By rational I don’t mean their actions, but as in something that I can rationalize.

                    But that’s what faith is. Faith is believing in something that cannot be proven.

                    I have no faith. You do.

                    Who cares?

              2. How did Islam conquer the world John? Oh Muhammed must have done all that shit, because people wouldn’t just believe fantastic lies. Well if it’s between mass hallucination and Islam being true, I guess you have to concede the latter, right John?

                You’re like a caricature.

                1. First, it didn’t conquer the world. And second, Muhamad was a military leader. He wasn’t some second rate prophet who got nailed to cross. He was a bad ass who united a bunch of pretty war like tribes into a unified fighting force.

                  The rise of Islam is a hell of a lot more explicable than the rise of Christianity.

                  Try again Heller.

                  1. How does that address the magical things that are attributed to Muhammed John?

                    Christianity and Islam both have about 2 billion followers. Surely they aren’t all mass hallucinating?

                    1. It addresses it to say that the magical things are not necessary to explain the rise of Islam. We know how he rose to prominence, by the sword. We have no idea how to explain why Christianity didn’t die like every other messianic cult.

                2. “Well if it’s between mass hallucination and Islam being true, I guess you have to concede the latter, right John?”

                  True, but Islamist are far too rational to die for their beliefs.

                  Oh, wait…

              3. I don’t know why you think that mass hallucination or delusion is such an unlikely scenario. Such things do happen. I’m sure it wasn’t unprecedented. And it is certainly a much more reasonable explanation than a person actually coming back to life after being crucified and stabbed.

                How does any religion get started? I don’t know. People are gullible, I guess, and want easy answers.
                Christianity became a major world religion because it was eventually adopted by emperors and kings and they declared that all of their subjects were Christian and forced them to pay to support the church.

      3. I’d say the mass hallucination seems like far less of a stretch than a person actually rising from the dead. The former is possible and conceivable given a modern scientific understanding of the world. The latter, not so much.

        1. The former is possible and conceivable given a modern scientific understanding of the world. The latter, not so much.

          First, you assume our scientific knowledge is somehow a complete understanding of the world. Of course it is not. And worse still we have no idea what we don’t know. So science can’t by definition rule such a thing out.

          And second, there is no evidence for a mass hallucination or any reason to believe it other than “I can’t think of any other reason” and that strikes me as being pretty faith based.

          1. Science can’t rule out magic?

            Wow John, any more amazing tidbits to shower on us today?

            1. Since this happened 2000 years ago and we don’t know what the facts are, science can’t rule out shit. Science is only as good as the facts it has.

              Try again.

              1. Why are you even arguing about what did or did not happened 2000 years ago? Jesus was a fag. Or not.

              2. And I can’t rule out ghosts either, might as well believe in them right?

                BAHAHAHA

                1. If that floats your boat heller have fun. But you can believe or not believe. But what you can’t do is claim you can definitely rule out things where you lack complete knowledge of the situation.

                  1. Where is “complete knowledge of the situation” ever available?

                    1. and what is “complete knowledge of the situation”?

            2. not to go off on a tangent, but who was it who said any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic?

              einstein?
              asimov?

              1. Arthur C. Clarke

          2. First, you assume our scientific knowledge is somehow a complete

            I am definitely not doing that. I am only saying that given the current state of knowledge mass hallucination is plausible, rising from the dead is not. Maybe some day we will learn something new that makes resurrection seem more plausible, but for now, it is not. That’s why it’s a miracle. Because it is impossible.

            And I really don’t get why you think that mass hallucination is so implausible. It happens a lot. I’ve seen it happen to a bunch of people on acid. Who knows what kind of mold was on their bread that day?

            1. I shouldn’t say impossible above. There is no known mechanism to explain it. Occams razor and all that.

          3. First, you assume our scientific knowledge is somehow a complete understanding of the world.

            Straw man.

            And worse still we have no idea what we don’t know. So science can’t by definition rule such a thing out.

            Actually, you’re wrong.

            Science, by definition, only includes what we do know.
            Which rules out what we don’t know.

            Once you’re dead you’re dead.

            Doesn’t matter if your name is John or Jesus.

            You’re dead.

            *phfft*

            1. Once you’re dead you’re dead.

              Really? There seems to be one instance where people claimed to the contrary. Do you know they just made it up? No you don’t. All you know for sure is that it hasn’t happened any other time. That is it. The rest is just conjecture on your part.

              1. “Oh yeah! Prove it didn’t happen!”

                I honestly don’t know how people can walk around with compartments in their brain like that.

                1. I honestly don’t know how people can walk around with compartments in their brain like that.

                  That’s because you’re rational.

                2. I have eye witness testimony that says it did happen Trespassers. All you have is the assumption that it couldn’t have happened that way.

                  Maybe you are right. But neither one of us are exactly acting from a strong position here.

              2. You are switching the burden of proof.

                The burden of proof is not on me to show that someone did not rise from the dead. That is proven all the time as millions of people die and do not rise from the dead.

                The burden of proof is on you.

                So you take it on faith.

                I don’t. I choose to believe in things that can be proven because believing in things that cannot be proven is irrational.

                The end.

                1. I have eyewitness testimony that says it happened. What do you have? All you got is “it couldn’t have happened that way”. That sounds a whole lot like faith to me.

                  1. I have eyewitness testimony that says it happened.

                    From witnesses who died 2000 years ago.

                    Big whoop.

                  2. I have eyewitness testimony that says it happened.

                    You do? It is my understanding that the gospels were written well after the supposed events occurred and that there are no contemporary accounts of Jesus’ life or death. Please correct me if I am missing something.

                    1. Sure they were written afterwards just like every other ancient source. But that does not mean they are not true or have no persuasive value.

                    2. Objection, hearsay.

                  3. The bible is eyewitness testimony now?

                    Good grief…

                    1. Why is it not? Tacitus was written a hundred years after Tiberius, yet I don’t hear anyone claiming it is wrong.

                      What evidence do you have the bible is wrong other than you don’t like it and it tells you thinks you would prefer not to be true? How is it any less reliable than any other ancient source?

                    2. If you pick and choose particular stories out of the bible you can match them up pretty well with stories out of ancient Greek, Roman, and Egyptian mythology.

                    3. Heck, some other things you can match up with druidic rituals as well.

                    4. So what? That doesn’t mean they are not true. And you can only match up some of them, not all of them. Most of them are just wierd and match up to nothing. And even the ones you can, just because you imagine the connections, doesn’t mean they are there. Some things just are what they are. It only works if you operate from the assumptions they were made up and didn’t happen. And that is what all of you do. Maybe you are right. But maybe you are wrong too.

                    5. And maybe leprechauns are going to deliver you a magic lamp made of unicorn farts. Maybe.

                    6. You definitely have to be selective and take everything with a grain of salt with ancient sources. We’ll never know for sure what really happened.
                      Herodotus is one of my favorite ancient historians, but half of what he wrote is obviously pure fantasy. My favorites are the giant gold collecting ants of India and his explanation of why the Nile floods.

                  4. I have eyewitness testimony that says it happened. What do you have?

                    I was there. I carried Jesus’ dead body out of the tomb and dumped it in a shallow grave. I hired a look-alike to convince His followers that He rose from the dead.

                    Prove it didn’t happen that way.

            2. Once you’re dead you’re dead.

              Trauma teams and cardiologists everywhere beg to differ.

              1. Brain dead? For days?

  10. People lie all the time, and many stupid people believe them.

    There is the essence of power.

    1. almost.

      People lie all the time, and many stupid people believe them are willing to give them their money.

      ftfy.

  11. I see John is continuing in the fine tradition of Bill “Can’t Explain That” O’Reilly and William “Irreducible Complexity” Behe.

    Preachify that glorious God of the Gaps brother!

    1. Go fuck yourself heller. It is not the God of the gaps. Don’t get in the argument if you don’t understand it.

      1. But I believe I understand it, so I’m halfway there, right John?

        1. No you are a silly and ignorant atheist who pretends to have a monopoly on rationality.

          1. ok guys, why don;t you finish this conversation in the next life.

            1. Hopefully I’ll be reincarnated as a parrot then. Reincarnation has to be true if all those Buddhists believe it right?

              1. Yeah, I probably shouldn’t ask but why a parrot heller?

                1. Parrots talk. And I think you have to be reincarnated as a non-human. That’s what the Buddhists tell me.

                  1. I think that’s only if you’re a shitty Bhuddist which it sounds like you probably would be:) So good call.

                    1. Are you attacking my faith? Fuck off nihilist?

                    2. No not your faith, just you:)

                    3. What’s the difference? Stop monopolizing being smart!

          2. You started this by saying something silly. I never claimed to have a monopoly on rationality.

            You must be insecure in your faith if you need to prop it up by attempting to attach rationality to it.

            1. I never claimed to have a monopoly on rationality.

              It makes for a convenient straw man for John to attack.

              1. You never claim it, you just call anyone who isn’t an atheist irrational.

                1. Yes, if you hold an irrational belief you are being irrational. Not exactly a controversial statement, and not exactly a claim of monopoly on rationality.

  12. If you want to believe in the Sky Fairy, do that.

    If you want to talk about rationality, put down the Amazing Jesus action figure first.

    1. But you are not claiming a monopoly on rationality. Can you fucking make up your mind heller? Or least have the balls to stick by a statement.

      You are silly and ignorant faith based atheist. Your entire life is based on the faith that you know for sure that there is no God and yet at the same time there is some kind of moral code that you have access too that matters. Have fun with that. But put down your little atheist nihilism without the abyss action figure if you are going to talk about rationality.

      1. I don’t know why this is so hard to get John. Believing that Jesus is magic is irrational.

        When someone points out that you believe something irrational, do you always claim they are “monopolizing rationality?”

        1. There is nothing irrational about it at all. I have eyewitness testimony and a 2000 year tradition that says it is true. It may wrong. But it is not irrational.

          1. And I have a 6000 year tradition and eyewitness testimony that says God created all the animals at the same time, in one spot. I guess evolution is just a theory and we should throw it out since the “evidence” contradicts it.

            1. Nope. No eyewitnesses to that. And it never says it was 6000 years ago. That is human conjecture.

              1. John stop monopolizing rationality. Who are you to say that my evidence is wrong?

      2. Your entire life is based on the faith that you know for sure that there is no God

        Uh, no? Not believing in something is not an action.

        Are you sure you’re not Tony?

        1. If sure as hell is an action. In not believing in God you are by definition believing in something.

          1. Just like by not buying health insurance I’m engaging in interstate commerce?

            Thx Tony!

            1. There is no God is just as much of an affirmative statement as saying there is a God.

              Try again butt naked.

              1. No is an affirmative? So that’s why the police keep arresting people for no cause.

              2. Well, almost, it’s just as much of a declaration of fact. All I will say is that I see no good reason to believe that there is a God. If I say “there is no God” I am being lazy and using shorthand. But it gets tiresome trying to qualify every statement of fact with “to the extent of my current understanding, this is what I think, but I could conceivably be wrong”.

              3. There is no God is just as much of an affirmative statement as saying there is a God

                If true can I just not give a shit about assholes arguing about it.

          2. I know for a fact that the Christian God does not exist. One night, the Invisible Pink Unicorn showed up in my room and told me. Therefore I have unassailable proof that God does not exist.

      3. I mean, if you were being scammed, and one of your friends tried to tell you, would you tell them to fuck off and stop being a nihilist?

        1. You are the one being scammed Heller. You are being scammed into believing that anything matters. If you are going to be an atheist be one.

          1. You are being scammed into believing that anything matters.

            What the hell does that even mean?

            Geez John, get a hold of yourself.

  13. Well I’d love to stick around and see who wins but it’s happy hour so have fun!

    1. It is good to keep this place from being an echo chamber. It breaks up the clouds of smug.

      1. I thought that was what shrike does.

        1. Shrike doesn’t get involved in “theocratic” civil wars.

          1. He doesn’t have much to offer besides “christfag”.

            I am an atheist who loves to discuss theology. GO figure.

    2. Not that I mind (obviously), but how did this turn into a thread about religion anyway? At least it didn’t turn to abortion.

      1. What do you have against abortion? Zeb is waging war on women!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        1. I only object to long threads where everyone repeats their same tired old crap about what they think about abortion. Of course, what I believe about abortion is well reasoned and unassailable.

    3. Lots of talking past each other, is what I see above.

      Let me consider the question of miracles. While there exist neither observational nor theoretical grounds for believing in their occurrence, it would nevertheless be incorrect to deny that they could potentially occur, or that they may have occurred in the past. No less incorrect than it would be, after one had been confirmed to have occurred, to continue to deny their possibility. Lack of universal knowledge dictates that one hold open the possibility, however unlikely it may be.

      That is the extent of what can be said, in terms of strict logic. As such, what is it that is actually at issue? The question is concerned with whether miracles have occurred in the past. This is a question not of logic or evidence, but of testimony, and of the likelihood of its truthfulness.

      If you accept it, you do so on faith. That’s all there is to it — you believe the testimony. If you reject it, though, you should not feel as though you are somehow intellectually superior to the person who accepts it. Because, by rejecting, what are you doing? Ruling out a possibility, and on the basis of what? Only on the basis of what you currently know, which is necessarily incomplete.

      To state as fact, that which one knows could potentially be refuted, is to expose a flaw in one’s internal logical process. The reasonable position, it seems to me, then, is only this: miracles are unlikely, given the evidence. I can go no further than that.

      1. Wow. Well said.

  14. Black Power

  15. Sounds like a plan to me dude.

    http://www.Anon-Tool.tk

  16. when i compare my benefits to my friends who aren’t govt. workers… it’s not even CLOSE

    mine are MUCH better

    what’s ironic is that when you get hurt line of duty, otoh, you WISH it happened off-duty, since the state L&I is way more difficult to deal with than insurance

    it’s the difference between waiting 4 days for surgery (off duty injury i had) vs. 2 months AND COUNTING for the approval from L&I since my doctor recommended it for a line of duty injury.

    one of my partners was shot 3 times line of duty … on a warrant. he was getting calls 9 months after he got shot threatening him with termination if he didn’t start to work light duty assignments.

    he was still in pain, on his back, recovering from multiple bullet wounds, including substantial abdominal wounds.

    it’s ridiculous

    L&I basically punishes everybody because they know some people abuse the system.

    but again, our private insurance is phenomenal.

  17. I am a retired Fed, and I think that my healthcare policy is pretty good. Not as god as the “workers” at GM, or maybe some of the other large companies, but it meets all my needs, and it covers me everywhere in the world. I live in France, where the healthcare coverage is NOT as good as my Federal BCBS coverage, but it is much cheaper than in the US.

  18. There should be a law that says, “Politicians cannot pass a law that they, themselves are exempt from.” Obamacare is a prime example. The Democrats passed a healthcare law that exempted members of Congress. If the program was so damn good then why isn’t it good enough for EVERYONE?

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