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Cynical types view all politicians as power-hungry morally bankrupt two-faced sociopaths, while more optimistic types see them as generally good people who try their best in difficult jobs. Partisans often believe the best about their own party and the worst about the other. Others try to sidestep the question by suggesting that politicians be judged purely on their results, while others believe that good leadership requires good character. Others blame the system rather than the people.
For those who lie on the extreme ends of the capitalist/socialist spectrum, the answer is black and white. For those who favor a balance between the two ideals, there is a threshold at which redistributing wealth from the rich to do the poor may be unfair (assuming the rich deserve their wealth), or may actually hurt poor people (assuming the rich skillfully manage the job-creating businesses and investments they own). Has that threshold been crossed?
It's common to believe one can and should "change the world", and certainly leaders commonly espouse such an attitude, reminding us of how "each little drop counts". However, some pragmatists argue such idealism is futile, and that blind optimism only makes life more difficult for oneself. The pragmatists tend to view the matter quantitatively, reasoning that the negative effect on oneself far outweighs the positive effect on others, if indeed one is having a positive effect at all.
Anders Breivik is responsible for the 2011 Norway Attacks, killing 76 people. The knee-jerk assessment of his personality is that he's insane, but is this actually the case? Is evil possible without insanity?
Debate in Australia rages over whether the current Labor Government plan to spend $37 billion on a National Broadband Network (NBN) is the best use of the Government resources. The ruling Labor party on the advice of their experts won the 2010 election under the mantra: Do it once, do it right, do it with fibre. The NBN will roll fibre to the home (FTTH) to 93% of Australian homes, and all towns with more than 1,000 premises, and supply wireless or satellite to the rest.
Hypnosis is a psychological procedure for entering an altered state of consciousness, most notably one that is unusually open to suggestion. Hypnotherapy is used for psychotherapy or performance enhancement, while stage hypnosis is used for entertainment. The theatrical nature of stage hypnosis - whereby a member of an audience will believe and do anything - such as walking around clucking like a chicken - has caused some skeptics to doubt whether hypnosis is a real phenomenon at all.
Religious people and even scientists sometimes claim that science is ultimately just a matter of faith, based on unproven assumptions. The argument is used to cast doubt on all scientific beliefs, as well as demonstrating that scientific attacks on religion are ultimately not only impotent but furthermore hypocritical.
Critics of feminism suggest that the movement that once gave birth to positive changes such as emancipation has since soured. The goal of equal rights has allegedly now become simply a desire to dominate men, often under the guise of victimhood. Many feminists vehemently deny such allegations, often citing evidence of the continued suppression of women, such as inequality in wages.
Popularized by movies such as the Matrix, the simulation argument states that the physical world as we know it is actually running on a simulation. Is this argument science or science-fiction?
Michio Kaku
Is free will an illusion? Mostly Disagree
… Einstein was wrong. God does play dice. Every time we look at an electron it moves. There is uncertainty with regards to the position of the electron. So what does that mean for free will? It means in some sense we do have some kind of free will. No one can determine your future events given your past history. There is always the wildcard. There is always the possibility of uncertainty in whatever we do.
Bill Maher
(Larry King interview) Maher: the defense against disease is to have a strong immune system. A flu shot just compromises your immune system. King: So you don't take any western medicine, don’t take an aspirin? Maher: Never, an aspirin no. Thousands of people die from aspirin every year.
James Randi
I accuse the Christian god of murder by allowing the Holocaust to take place — not to mention the “ethnic cleansing” presently being performed by Christians in our world — and I condemn and vilify this mythical deity for encouraging racial prejudice and commanding the degradation of women.
The Catholic Church
The Church teaches that every spiritual soul is created immediately by God
Steven Novella
Does God exist? Disagree
First, to be clear I don’t believe in God or any supernatural being …
Kenneth Miller
Miller proposes that God set the world in motion and nature is evolving just as planned. "We cannot think of God as a part of nature. God is the reason for nature," he explained.
John Stewart Bell
So I believe that the many‐universes interpretation is a kind of heuristic, simplified theory, which people have done on the backs of envelopes but haven’t really thought through. When you do try to think it through it is not coherent
David Keith
… And so I guess my view on this is not that I want to do it, I do not, but that we should move this out of the shadows and talk about it seriously, because sooner or later we’ll be confronted with decisions about this, and it’s better if we think hard about it, even if we want to think hard about reasons why we should never do it.
Mitt Romney
Well, yes. I'm going to want to see a marriage limited to a man and a woman. I don't want to see civil union either. Of course, if we find ourselves in a setting where the only choice is between civil union and marriage, I will prefer civil union. But I would prefer neither.
Benjamin Franklin
In 1736 I lost one of my sons, a fine boy of four years old, by the small-pox, taken in the common way. I long regretted bitterly, and still regret that I had not given it to him by inoculation. This I mention for the sake of parents who omit that operation, on the supposition that they should never forgive themselves if a child died under it; my example showing that the regret may be the same either way, and that, therefore, the safer should be chosen.
Massimo Pigliucci
The new ad says: “You KNOW they’re all SCAMS,” and it’s signed “American Atheists — Telling the truth since 1963.” “They” are at least five of the major religious traditions, as is made clear by a set of symbols accompanying the poster. … it is a really bad PR move, even if the target audience is in fact limited to closet atheists and agnostics. … it is an even worse PR move when it comes to the public perception of atheists considered more broadly.

New Comments

0 Points       Christopherion       15 Dec 2014     Is it plausible that we're living in a simulation? Mostly Agree
Can a Higgs Boson materialize? Let there be light, I always say. :)

0 Points       Christopherion       15 Dec 2014     Is it plausible that we're living in a simulation? Mostly Agree
A: YES AND NO and SOMETHING ELSE Q: "ARE WE IN A MATRIX STYLE SIMULATION?"

YES: it is axiomatic of the future of evolution under a linear projection of biological scenarios, that such a simulation like the present Reality offers, would be essential, actually, in order to preserve aspects of the species like depth of understanding and maturity. Else the Species would be ruined. It would also be essential that it be a "divested" experience with no possibility of rescue, in order to instill the irretrievable instinct to LET THE EXPERIENCE EVOLVE with PARTICIPATION - just as in Reality.

SOMETHING ELSE: It is also axiomatic that the best simulation is no simulation, and "Reality" just might IN FACT and ACTUALITY serve such a function - if at full scale, by extinction or "resetting" & civilization-scale fecundity ("competition").

NO: One would expect to observe a limit of computation scaling that would show up as "matrix anomalies." I would expect to see sudden loss of detail, and not just peculiar occurrence of Quantum Magic, e.g. synchronicity.

SOMETHING ELSE: Dreams are an example of such a simulation that suffers sudden loss of detail, signaling a constant stream of changing scenarios that share a common and deep theme, as dream analysis proves, and not just a random "simulation of Reality." This is interesting towards a concept of PURPOSE, and also implies that the "simulation" need not appear "true-to-real" to be effective.

SOMETHING ELSE: It is therefore evident, especially the deeper one goes towards understanding, that the human experience floats atop simulation on both the macro and micro scale, that it is itself deeply evolved as a platform to exploit and to be exploited to facilitate it.

SOMETHING ELSE: In context of a significant role for reincarnation or "repurposing" of life experience in some similar fashion that reincarnation may not capture, perhaps simple histories - the tradition of story telling - and in some future way in a "totality" of context that we do not yet know.

SOMETHING ELSE: Perhaps such a future scenario would involve the capacity to actually recreate "the full life experience" through an accurate reconstruction method under an "information causality and preservation theory." This might be possible as a function of the once hot question of "black hole" information preservation. Though the problem may be more generally stated than literally as a "black hole phenomenon," to one of the First Principles of Quantum Magic. The solution to that problem (the "First Principle") might be so big that it actually drives the entire universe in a poly-universe-style of Fates and Potentials (with "Entaglement"), spanning at least the top levels of complexity. (Crude and fused example: 24 screenwriters on "TOOTSIE")

NO: not directly as in a Matrix storyline scenario. Recall that at least in the Animatrix told story of "The Kid" the story is driven by repeated emphasis on the sensation of "Strangeness" - of "not-realness." This is simply not present to any degree "here", unless one is dreaming.

YES: The storyline of "THE ONE" (Neo) is, by itself, the continuity of the storyline within the Matrix. "The One" lifetime anthropomorphizes the phases of human enlightenment within the life experience of "the founder" of "the next" age, and is the one essential storyline to promote the species, given the decay of the prior age.

SOMETHING ELSE: This scenario might be played ("simulated") on the ACTUAL stage of Reality to produce the needed Neo. Or, such an idea might be generalized to a state of "Teleological Purposefulness" ("potentiated delusion") over "Randomness and hopelessness in the absence of Purpose."

Something Else: Alpha-Omega thesis: A finite number of phases of human enlightenment, and humanity will attain a long-term "Eonic" state, that will have "succeeded" in evolution - "Overcome" - and faces Eternity as "in a new beginning."

Ion-Christopher, UUNIS.net

0 Points       Sherlock Holmes       23 Nov 2013     Does God exist? Agree
I beleive that God exists that loves us so that he gave His One and only Son to die on the cross for our sins and rise from the dead on the third day.I am a Christian.

0 Points       tellvinay2003       14 May 2013     Do Muslims have the right to build a mosque near ground zero? Disagree
Why we want to memorise such disasteraus incident for ever?
Why don't we make a new World Trade Center on the same place and start with new Entusiasm to demolish the fear of terror for coming generation.

0 Points       Esl       03 May 2013     Would the world be better off without the Catholic Church? Mostly Agree
I think the world benefits from religion and the morals and bonds that it brings. However, I do think the world would be better off without the Catholics. I believe this, because the reason the world doesn't flying cars or a cure for cancer yet is because of the Catholics. Their years of scientific oppression in Europe, the birth place of science, have set the world back century's in development.

0 Points       Nashhinton       24 Apr 2013     Should abortion be legal? Agree
"O Daughter of Babylon doomed to destruction, happy is he who repays you, he who seizes your infants and crashes them against the rocks." In that verse, "he who is happy"... that "seizes your infants and crashes them against the rocks", is God himself. Read the entire passage. God loves it when babies are dashed to pieces against rocks.

0 Points       Nashhinton       21 Apr 2013     Does relative wealth make us happier than absolute wealth? Agree
Studies tend to show that relative wealth leads to excessive happiness because it behaves like a point system. That's why we shouldn't simply redistribute wealth through taxation to establish unwarranted egalitarianism, but we should rather provide basic services and opportunities to citizens to increase their motivations to succeed. We need universal college education, job training, universal healthcare (healthy citizens are happy) etc., or any other type of mechanism to encourage citizens to work to eventually accumulate wealth on their own and stimulate the economy. We must ensure that citizens can easily move to the top of the ladder without obstacles, fairly, and without wide disparities of difficulty levels. It may lead to happiness, but it's immoral to accumulate and safeguard vast quantities of wealth in a vault somewhere without using it to stimulate future economic growth. I'm an ethical socialist who promotes a free competitive market and a large work ethic.

0 Points       Nashhinton       20 Apr 2013     Is God on our side in war? Disagree
God doesn't exist.

0 Points       Nashhinton       20 Apr 2013     Should the US privatize Social Security? Disagree
Privatizing social security is one of the dumbest things you can do. Not only will it cause sudden volatility in the economy, it will financially ruin the disabled and the elderly. Their reliance for assistance will be left in the hands of private individuals. F... libertarians and f... these greedy corporate asses. It's unimaginable! The combined annual (just one year) salary of the top 100 richest people in the entire world can cure global poverty fourfold. That is a fact! Just the slightest increase on their tax rate will be able to solve this social security dilemma. Why do they need to obtain more money when the vast majority of their cash is currently not used? We could vastly increase education in 3rd world nations and stimulate the global economy with such money. But of course, the sad truth is that humans are inherently selfish.

0 Points       Nashhinton       20 Apr 2013     Do we work unnecessarily long hours? Mostly Disagree
People should work their asses off. That's what stimulates the economy.

0 Points       Nashhinton       20 Apr 2013     Should homosexual couples be able to adopt kids? Agree
Yes, they should.

0 Points       Nashhinton       20 Apr 2013     Should the United States have Universal health care? Agree
Universal healthcare should be implemented.