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America. Not the land of the free nor home of the brave.

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America. Not the land of the free nor home of the brave.
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australopithecusAdministratorUser avatarPosts: 4282Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 9:27 pmLocation: Kernow Gender: Time Lord

Post Re: America. Not the land of the free nor home of the brave.

Tree wrote: Here's the thing, what is marriage (I'm asking you culturally speaking, not legally speaking, what does it represent in our culture?) if not a public statement that:

1. you intend to be with someone for the rest of your life
2. start a family
3. have children


I wish someone had told me this before I got married, because I have no intention of ever having children.
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Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:21 pm
TreePosts: 41Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2017 7:08 pm Gender: Tree

Post Re: America. Not the land of the free nor home of the brave.

MarsCydonia wrote:Who determined that marriage makes these statements? As it was pointed out to you, "start a family/have children" is not a requirement of any marriages (and since you think "start a family" and "have children" are two different things, you should really clarify how they are different).


It was not a requirement because it was statistically likely to happen anyway and because you have it backwards. Marriage comes first, then the children. When you build a home you first raise the walls, then you put in the furniture, not the other way around.

So with this type of institution called marriage you would ensure any children produced would be taken care of in a household with relative stability and you would reasonably be able to tell who the father is and made sure he wouldn't skip on his responsibility.

Who determines this? We do. Our culture does, which is pretty much every advanced culture. We invented marriage. Sure the details change but legacy has always been at the core of marriage.

If you think it's something else, then please tell me:

1. what that is
2. why the government needs to recognize it and give it special benefits that nobody else gets
3. why it needs to be called "marriage" in the first place given its actual cultural significance? I did raise the question before: should all organizations or unions simply be called "organization" and be treated as legally indistinguishable? After all worker unions, charities, companies, churches are all distinct entities under the law because they have different purposes.

What do you think about two strangers marrying just to get one a green card? Does that count as marriage to you? It is basely purely on consent or is there something more to it? Also is there a limit on the number of people?


You asked what the difference is between starting a family and having children. As I said, you first get married, then the children come, they don't need to be there instantly as long as you prepare for them so preferably you have an income, you don't rely on your parents unless they're rich or something, can sustain a household.

MarsCydonia wrote:Plus, "you intend to be with someone for the rest of your life" was actually "Your father (or head of family) intends you to be with the person he's chosen for you for the rest of your life" for most of history but that is no longer the case. Somehow, proponents of "traditional marriage" always gloss over that part of what marriage traditionally was...


You're going into irrelevant details that have nothing to do with the core of marriage.

Parents deciding wasn't even universal. Sometimes they did, sometimes they didn't and sometimes children just said fuck it and ignored them with no recourse on their part. I'm not aware of any universal mechanism to enforce this idea legally and certainly didn't exist in the US.

MarsCydonia wrote:
Tree wrote:Confident, assertive, controls his emotions, strong, kicks ass... defensively I mean, being the aggressor dishonors you, deals with his problems, stands up for himself, can make the tough decisions and generally doesn't act like a wimp.

Did you realise that women can be or act all of these? Or are women never and/or should never be confident, assertive, control their emotions, etc.?


I never said they couldn't be, but it's not nearly as important as it is for a man to be like that.

Whether you're assertive or not, it doesn't matter if you want to date and find a good husband one day. But a guy who is none of those things is going to be put aside. There's a reason people keep saying "man up" and no, it's not because we're sexist, it's because we're realistic about gender differences and dynamics.

You don't need to be physically strong either, in fact being too muscular makes you less desirable to men since we're wired to like feminine traits.

MarsCydonia wrote:What you actually meant when you defined "real man" is that a man should be all of these and have a penis, didn't you?

You're stuck between modern society and the time of "traditional" marriages.


I'm "stuck" as you put it because there are many aspects of traditionalism that are wrong, like the sexual repression and excluding women from working, and many aspects of modernity that are wrong, like the fact that an increasing percentage of children today are raised without both their parents and we get really bad outcomes because of it, more drugs, more crime, more unemployment. Compare the outcomes of children raised by intact families with those raised by divorced or never married single moms.

Some things really need to be scaled back because we went from one extreme to the other, and I don't mean passing even more laws and bloating our government even more, I mean the culture itself needs to change. If it doesn't, no government action or inaction will solve it.

I also notice that gender relations are worse than they've ever been with record high divorces, feminists demonizing men, MRAs demonizing women and then in 2014 we got a maniac shooting up Isla Vista because he couldn't attract women.

We've set up some unrealistic expectations that put people at each others' throats unnecessarily and all in the name of some unattainable level of gender "equality".

Just look at the way Trump was demonized. He wasn't demonized for being an adulterer (which in all honesty would have at least been a legitimate point of criticism) he was demonized for being a horny man and accused of all sorts of heinous things with no proof. This is people's priorities nowadays. Standard male sexuality is now seen as "toxic", "entitled" and "objectifying". The guy said he likes to grab women by the pussy, so do I, he didn't say anything about doing it without consent or in public.
Fri Feb 17, 2017 9:46 pm
australopithecusAdministratorUser avatarPosts: 4282Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 9:27 pmLocation: Kernow Gender: Time Lord

Post Re: America. Not the land of the free nor home of the brave.

As I don't apparently qualify as a real man, given the above entry criteria, at what point should I insist my wife divorces me? I'm not sure she's aware of the qualifications either. You'd have thought after nearly 7 years she'd would have, but alas not, almost as if humans are nuanced or something.
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Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:51 pm
TreePosts: 41Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2017 7:08 pm Gender: Tree

Post Re: America. Not the land of the free nor home of the brave.

Very funny...

You did touch on an important issue earlier that is probably worth addressing and that is being married with no intention of having children.

So we can agree this is purely a personal matter, right? Seeing as there's no apparent benefit (or harm) to the society as a whole, I'd like you to explain why you're entitled to this:

https://www.gov.uk/married-couples-allowance/overview

Married Couple’s Allowance could reduce your tax bill by between £322 and £835.50 a year.

You can claim Married Couple’s Allowance if all the following apply:

you’re married or in a civil partnership
you’re living with your spouse or civil partner
one of you was born before 6 April 1935


Single people don't get this benefit.
Non-married girlfriend/boyfriend don't get this benefit.
Definitely hooker and john don't get this benefit.


Put simply, the government is throwing money away for something that is of absolutely 0 public interest. I'm all for lowering taxes, but this should not be done arbitrarily.

I don't want you to get the impression I'm blaming you cause honestly you didn't make up this system but that's the thing, personal freedom works both ways. Just as I think the government or the "collective" or whatever you want to call it should leave consenting adults alone I equally expect consenting adults to leave the government alone and not expect special benefits unless it's for a really really really good reason. Continuation of the species is perhaps a good reason.

Inheritance is a good reason although as far as I'm concerned that's a negative right and not really an entitlement or a form of government assistance, people should be free to donate their property to whoever they want, even total strangers they've never met, the government isn't in any position to say otherwise. Likewise charity shouldn't be taxed because it's not commerce, it's not actually part of the economic cycle. That's one aspect of marriage I argue falls under individual rights.

Love no, you don't the help of the government for that. You can love just fine AND still pay the same taxes most people pay. This is the kind of bizarre setups you get when you decouple marriage from its core purpose. Instead of being mutually beneficial i.e. we the people cut you some slack in certain areas and you contribute to the survival of the species/country/whatever, it's a one-sided deal.
Sat Feb 18, 2017 1:18 am
VisakiUser avatarPosts: 765Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:26 pmLocation: Helsinki, Finland Gender: Male

Post Re: America. Not the land of the free nor home of the brave.

I have only one thing to say about all this marriage stuff: If you think marriage is some unchanging, uniform tradition you are sorely mistaken. The meaning, customs and laws about marriage have changed with the times and I'm sure you wouldn't agree with many of the ones from as little as 200 years ago (or even 100, depending on the region). Thus it's silly, even false, to try and oppose marriage (or as some people still call it, gay marriage) based on what "marriage" is supposed to be or represent.
Sat Feb 18, 2017 9:56 am
australopithecusAdministratorUser avatarPosts: 4282Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 9:27 pmLocation: Kernow Gender: Time Lord

Post Re: America. Not the land of the free nor home of the brave.

I don't get a tax reduction for being married, nor would I apply for it. I happen to think paying the right amount of tax is a good thing.

The salient point, I don't think has been addressed, is that eligibility is for those born before April 1935, which isn't a lot of people these days.
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Sat Feb 18, 2017 1:11 pm
TreePosts: 41Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2017 7:08 pm Gender: Tree

Post Re: America. Not the land of the free nor home of the brave.

That was one example, there's also Marriage Allowance which isn't really something I oppose but seems arbitrarily applied.

There are pension and healthcare benefits which are akin to a giant welfare scheme for people's spouses who either never worked a day in their life or made significantly less. There might be a case to sponsor the nuclear family, but I don't think the government has any duty to take care of people's boyfriends or girlfriends, that would be almost like the people being substitute sugar daddies. The whole rationale behind it was that some people (usually women) were stay at home parents and the government wanted to help out families, that's something you can argue for. But if you were never a parent, never wanted to be a parent, then what's the point? One-sided deal. I'm not a libertarian but damn, taxes need to be used a bit more wisely than they are these days because people are being taken advantage of and that's not fair.

Maybe you apply for none of those benefits, but policies need to take into account of large numbers of people. If you think most people don't exploit all the legal loopholes offered to them, you don't know people.

Visaki wrote:I have only one thing to say about all this marriage stuff: If you think marriage is some unchanging, uniform tradition you are sorely mistaken. The meaning, customs and laws about marriage have changed with the times and I'm sure you wouldn't agree with many of the ones from as little as 200 years ago (or even 100, depending on the region). Thus it's silly, even false, to try and oppose marriage (or as some people still call it, gay marriage) based on what "marriage" is supposed to be or represent.


There's a difference between changing the details and changing the very essence of the concept to the point of irrelevancy. Surely you don't think a claim by Apple to be a "church" would be credible or have merit?

I have no problem with change by the way, it just needs to be justified.
Sat Feb 18, 2017 3:24 pm
australopithecusAdministratorUser avatarPosts: 4282Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 9:27 pmLocation: Kernow Gender: Time Lord

Post Re: America. Not the land of the free nor home of the brave.

Marriage allowance is based on household income, which is hardly arbitrary.
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Sat Feb 18, 2017 3:59 pm
VisakiUser avatarPosts: 765Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:26 pmLocation: Helsinki, Finland Gender: Male

Post Re: America. Not the land of the free nor home of the brave.

Tree wrote:There's a difference between changing the details and changing the very essence of the concept to the point of irrelevancy. Surely you don't think a claim by Apple to be a "church" would be credible or have merit?

I have no problem with change by the way, it just needs to be justified.

I feel we will disagree not only on what the very essence of marriage is in this moment of time, but also if it's immutable.
Sat Feb 18, 2017 10:43 pm
he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3318Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: America. Not the land of the free nor home of the brave.

Tree wrote:
he_who_is_nobody wrote:I never claimed them as an authority on anything or agenda free (who would think anything is agenda free?). I simply pointed out that Constitutional lawyers are suing on the grounds that the ban violates the Establishment Clause and a judged seemed to agree.


There have been court challenges from multiple sources in the last few weeks with some success, but nothing permanent yet. Getting a temporary restraining order is far easier than a permanent repeal. If he makes a new executive order with a clear exception for legal residents, any defense should be air tight. I think I've explained why.


I just have to say that I am very surprised that someone from the Right would be gitty for the next Executive Order. For the last eight years, they were a sure sign of a tyrant or someone that is not by-partisan at the very least. Now, they are seen as something that gets the job done.

Tree wrote:
he_who_is_nobody wrote:Why are you trying to make a mountain out of this molehill? They think it is better to refer to immigrants as undocumented, you think it is better to call them illegal. In the end, we are all talking about the same thing. Why fight over semantics? Are they not free to decide their own policies? Beyond that, I know a lot of Libertarians that would agree that the boarder is not that important of a thing.


If someone wants to call them "undocumented" that's fine, but they shouldn't force others to, that's my point.


Are they forcing people or are they making arguments to try to persuade people, much like you are doing?

Tree wrote:Illegal works fine and trying to pretend that it's like racial slur is disingenuous. You don't choose your race, but you can choose to obey the law and not cross the border of another country illegally.


It is even more disingenuous since undocumented immigrants come from all corners of the world.

Tree wrote:.Consider for example a law, parts 1 2 3 are good for you, part 4 completely abolishes the age of consent and provides absolutely no viable alternative. Would you support that? I don't think so.

No need to take a bad bundle just because you agree with some of it.


I get three things that I like and one bad thing? I would take that deal. That means I have more time to focus on working on that new bad thing instead of having to split my time between three/four different bad things.

Honestly, this sounds like you are against compromise. Since you cannot get everything you want, you will refuse getting most of what you want. Very stupid.

Tree wrote:Abortion involves a 2nd human life. I'd argue first term abortion is okay but not after that because the baby starts to develop a brain and become aware on some level of its existence.


Glad to hear that you are pro-choice. Does that mean you will stand with me against Draconian laws that the Republicans are trying to pass (such as things like The "Heartbeat Bill)?

Tree wrote:Gay marriage isn't just individual rights. It's a whole package with some aspects being individual rights, some being basically a welfare program for lifelong couples and the rest having implications on the way children are born raised in our society.


I hate to break this to you, but people have children without being married all the time. Others, like myself, are married and will never have children.

Tree wrote:The only thing I will agree on is that a small limited government should not try to ban same sex relations or prevent them from living together. It doesn't need to give them special tax breaks or even allow them to adopt if that is not in the interest of the child. You cannot claim a right to children that aren't your own, it's just a privilege.


So, you are advocating that some people are allowed to have rights and privileges from a government, but other people are not for some arbitrary reason. It would be nice if you could get into them, instead of your vague Think of the Children Argument, that has already been put to bed. That is beyond the fact that straight people have children all the time out of marriage. In order for this argument to make sense on any level, one would first have to argue that everyone be placed on birth control and only taken off of it after marriage.

Tree wrote:I lean to the side of some form of civil union because I don't think an inherently infertile union is completely interchangeable with a standard opposite sex union.


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I do not care what you think.

Tree wrote: This idea that everyone has a right to a child, even if they're unmarried, even if they can't conceive a child is pretty bizarre to me. Children are not pets, they're a serious responsibility.


Again, marriage is not synonymous with having children. However, since you seem to believe that children do better not being adopted (by single, or gay parents) and remaining in the system, I would love to know how you know that. Because, how you feel about it is irrelevant.

Tree wrote:If you think it's all about religious opposition and "pseudoscience" I don't think you've been paying attention. And just a note on the pseudoscience part, it's a fact that that children are better off with their natural mommy and natural daddy, not mommy and a stranger, not daddy and a stranger, not 2 or 3 or 10 strangers. The nuclear family is important and should be preserved whenever possible.


I do not doubt this to be the case for the most part, but shit happens. What if the father or mother dies? What if they are just a terrible person and it is actually better to slit up? What about children that are already in social services, are they expected to not go to homes because they would be better off if mommy and daddy got back together? It seems like you are not only against gay marriage, but against divorce with this statement.

Tree wrote:Gay marriage only opens to door for more children being fatherless and motherless, not by accident, but this time by design and I think that's going to have a lot of negative outcomes in the long run, the same way the normalization of single moms has.


Again, I do not care about your feeling. Beyond that, straight people have children outside of web-lock all the time. Again, are you advocating that everyone be on birth control until their wedding night?

Tree wrote:Society as a whole has not been taking marriage seriously for decades with terrible outcomes on children caught in these homes and this trend needs to be reversed, not made worse.


Citation needed.

Tree wrote: One way would be to reform how welfare is done so that it doesn't incentivize single parenthood to begin with. The government is not your substitute husband or wife.


Does the government incentivize single parents and is that the real reason why people are single and a parent or are you jumping to a causation based on a correlation? All I know is that if I started to have children, my taxes would go down with every one of them and I am married.

Tree wrote:It's also just not very optimal. Sorry but two women will never mold a young boy into a real man, you need a father figure for that.


Says you.

Tree wrote:Plenty of secular minded leaders and classically liberal thinkers in history and at no point, other than the last few decades, have they ever suggested that marriage needs to be redefined in that way.


Yet, you did not quote or name any of them.

Tree wrote:It's not correct to link to religion. Sure there is that part, but it's not exclusive, there are many secular conservatives as well as religious conservatives who articulate this stuff in secular terms.


Well, if they are articulating it as well as you have, I can see why it is not that popular.

Tree wrote:Here's the thing, what is marriage (I'm asking you culturally speaking, not legally speaking, what does it represent in our culture?) if not a public statement that:

1. you intend to be with someone for the rest of your life
2. start a family
3. have children


I always saw it as a public declaration of love. Strange how love is nowhere in what you call a marriage. However, you do realize that you are just appealing to tradition, right?

Oh, and just to nit this early, I married my wife out of love. Having lower taxes or whatever never factored into that decision.

Tree wrote:Confident, assertive, controls his emotions, strong, kicks ass... defensively I mean, being the aggressor dishonors you, deals with his problems, stands up for himself, can make the tough decisions and generally doesn't act like a wimp.


That sounds like our 44th president. Strange, since he was raised in a single mother household.

Tree wrote:People were criticizing his cabinet even before he was sworn in.


He appointed a Young Earth Creationist to Secretary of Education. Should I wait and see what she does before criticizing that move?

Tree wrote:I'd love nothing more than to burn that toxic bridge with the Saudis, so if that means drilling at home more or some kind of deal with Russia, anything's better than giving money to a horrible country that funds subversion of the free world under the pretense of "freedom of religion".


I agree with your means, however, to get to your ends, we need to go nuclear.

Tree wrote:2. why the government needs to recognize it and give it special benefits that nobody else gets


I can name one great reason. My wife and I are both atheist. Her family is mostly Jehovah Witness. That means if anything happens to my wife, I can speak on her behalf to a doctor and not her parents. That seems like a good reason why government should recognize marriage that does not involve taxes.

Tree wrote:What do you think about two strangers marrying just to get one a green card? Does that count as marriage to you? It is basely purely on consent or is there something more to it? Also is there a limit on the number of people?


Does their marriage affect me in anyway? No. Than who cares? If you have a problem with green card marriages, why not try to get rid of that rule (getting a green card with marriage). If you did that, than people would stop, right?

Tree wrote:The guy said he likes to grab women by the pussy, so do I, he didn't say anything about doing it without consent or in public.


Says the guy that admitted to not watching the film and used a quote that was mined to make it look like he was not talking about a real person. Oh, and since he said he just goes up to woman and starts kissing them, he is not getting consent.
_BONES AND FOSSILS = LOVE_
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Mon Feb 20, 2017 2:09 am
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thenexttodiePosts: 799Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2015 7:59 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: America. Not the land of the free nor home of the brave.

Do you think America should be more like Europe? Is not letting people we don't want into the country better than pretending we want them, then letting 1000's of them drown in boats and keeping them behind cages. Or pretending that letting them all will serve some vital economic purpose or will save the lives of millions of people? Then after so many of them rape and murder even Angela Merkel now wants to pay them all to just please leave Germany.

Everyone in Africa and the Middle East knows that the people in countries like Somalia and Iraq would happily kill any American they could get there hands on. Even anyone from Europe. I challenge any of you to go there.

The reason why none of you will ever go there is because you know these people will kill you. Right. So what is wrong with some one trying to keep these people out of your country?
“..the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of doubt, what is laid before him.” Tolstoy
Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:36 pm
australopithecusAdministratorUser avatarPosts: 4282Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 9:27 pmLocation: Kernow Gender: Time Lord

Post Re: America. Not the land of the free nor home of the brave.

Edgelord says what?
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Tue Feb 21, 2017 9:36 pm
TreePosts: 41Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2017 7:08 pm Gender: Tree

Post Re: America. Not the land of the free nor home of the brave.

He_who_is_nobody, just out interest, do you know the difference between positive rights and negative rights?

Negative rights are those that involve limitations on what the government and sometimes individuals can do to you. Like no murder, no theft, no kidnapping.
Positive rights are benefits granted by the collective. We can talk about them, but in no way should they be considered unalienable rights since they require other people doing stuff for you.

I think this lack of distinction has lead to a misunderstanding of what I'm trying to say.

This is what I mean for example when I say that if you cannot conceive a child naturally then you cannot claim a right to be a parent. Because what that means is essentially you want the right, not the privilege but the RIGHT, to raise other people's children.

Take for example gun rights, you're allowed to own guns (negative right), but they're not free, the government doesn't issue you a gun. You have to go out and earn it.
Fri Feb 24, 2017 12:53 pm
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 2954Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: America. Not the land of the free nor home of the brave.

Greetings,

Tree wrote:He_who_is_nobody, just out interest, do you know the difference between positive rights and negative rights?

Negative rights are those that involve limitations on what the government and sometimes individuals can do to you. Like no murder, no theft, no kidnapping.
Positive rights are benefits granted by the collective. We can talk about them, but in no way should they be considered unalienable rights since they require other people doing stuff for you.

I think this lack of distinction has lead to a misunderstanding of what I'm trying to say.

This is what I mean for example when I say that if you cannot conceive a child naturally then you cannot claim a right to be a parent. Because what that means is essentially you want the right, not the privilege but the RIGHT, to raise other people's children.

Take for example gun rights, you're allowed to own guns (negative right), but they're not free, the government doesn't issue you a gun. You have to go out and earn it.

I realize that the guns issue is a hot-button topic but I'd argue that your right to own guns is only constitutional, it's not a natural right.

Kindest regards,

James
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"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Fri Feb 24, 2017 3:38 pm
TreePosts: 41Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2017 7:08 pm Gender: Tree

Post Re: America. Not the land of the free nor home of the brave.

Well that doesn't make a lot of sense considering the US Constitution is supposed to protect rights, not grant or define rights.

Not allowing law abiding adult citizens to create or buy guns or other personal weapons (knives, swords, stun guns you name it) impacts on their right to defend themselves from aggression, including potentially the aggression done by the state as has happened many times in history. It would be like defanging a feline and then leaving it out in the open to fend for itself, or taking away a bird's nest and still expecting it to survive and reproduce, very cruel. Just as that messes up the natural order of the animal kingdom, so too does taking guns from people mess with their natural right to be free from aggression.

Sure technically you can resist a tyrannical state with your bare arms, practically - not really. You're at the mercy of an entity that heavily outguns you and technology has drastically improved the weapons capability of governments. FAR beyond anything feudal monarchs had relative to let's say the fighting power of peasants with their torches and pitchforks. A better balance of power is needed. You can argue that none of that is needed because of democracy and checks and balances. That's fine, I don't expect a revolution in my life time, but don't take it for granted. The norm has always been despotism, most countries around the world are not in any sense free and democracy can always be destroyed due to internal corruption. Never take freedom for granted and never assume that a despot can't be replaced by something even worse.
Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:38 pm
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 2954Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: America. Not the land of the free nor home of the brave.

Greetings,

Tree wrote:Well that doesn't make a lot of sense considering the US Constitution is supposed to protect rights, not grant or define rights.

Who decided they were "rights"?

They're merely subjective. And since the Constitution is a living document that can be amended by "the People", what it protects can change.

Tree wrote:Not allowing law abiding adult citizens to create or buy guns or other personal weapons (knives, swords, stun guns you name it) impacts on their right to defend themselves from aggression, including potentially the aggression done by the state as has happened many times in history. It would be like defanging a feline and then leaving it out in the open to fend for itself, or taking away a bird's nest and still expecting it to survive and reproduce, very cruel. Just as that messes up the natural order of the animal kingdom, so too does taking guns from people mess with their natural right to be free from aggression.

With all due respect, I think you're confusing what's meant by a natural right.

All life-forms have a natural right to survive - to defend life and limb.

Felines are born with "weapons", in the form of claws and fangs, to defend themselves. These are intrinsic to the life-form. Humans are also born with "weapons" of a similar nature, even if they pale in comparison.

We're not born with guns, or any other external weapons, in our hands. If attacked, you might pick up something to use as a weapon to defend yourself - but that doesn't mean you can now go around with it "just in case".

The only way to allow for this is through the law - as in the Constitution, in the case of the US.

The "right" to keep and bear arms is a legal (constitutional), not a natural, right.

Tree wrote:Sure technically you can resist a tyrannical state with your bare arms, practically - not really. You're at the mercy of an entity that heavily outguns you and technology has drastically improved the weapons capability of governments. FAR beyond anything feudal monarchs had relative to let's say the fighting power of peasants with their torches and pitchforks. A better balance of power is needed. You can argue that none of that is needed because of democracy and checks and balances. That's fine, I don't expect a revolution in my life time, but don't take it for granted. The norm has always been despotism, most countries around the world are not in any sense free and democracy can always be destroyed due to internal corruption. Never take freedom for granted and never assume that a despot can't be replaced by something even worse.

In America there is a dichotomy between the individual and the state that doesn't exist in other countries, mainly because of the history of how your country came into being. (I wonder if you've read Liberty and Coercion!?)

Americans seem to forget that the government is made up of Americans - it's not a foreign (and, by definition, tyrannical) power, as the threat of which the 2nd Amendment was intended to address.

Having taken care of the threat of a external tyrannical government, how do you prevent an internal tyrannical government? By exercising your democratic right to vote wisely.

Since people with extreme views tend to be tyrannical in imposing them, one should vote for those who are moderate/centrist, rather than extremists.

Sure, you may claim that the 2nd Amendment "I have a gun!" argument is the ultimate protection of freedom/democracy.

The fact is that you shouldn't need it - except for purely external threats - if you use your vote wisely.

Sadly, there are those on the extreme right - "anarcho-liberals" - who don't seem to realise that humans are a social species; we're "joiners" rather than "loners" - the correct term for the latter is actually "failed joiners".

Kindest regards,

James
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"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Sat Feb 25, 2017 3:54 pm
TreePosts: 41Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2017 7:08 pm Gender: Tree

Post Re: America. Not the land of the free nor home of the brave.

True, we're not born with weapons in our hands but we're born with enough intelligence to make them using resources from our surroundings.

Obviously if someone uses natural rights in a malicious way they have to be stopped and they have to be of sound mind since rights comes with the responsibility not to harm others' rights, but to just assume everyone by default can't be trusted with a gun is silly.

The nest analogy is even better. If you repeatedly destroy or take away a bird's nest can you honestly say you don't impact on its ability to survive and reproduce, just because you're not literally killing it?

Dragan Glas wrote:Who decided they were "rights"?

They're merely subjective.


And some people think they have a right to have sex with any minor they want. Personal opinion is a poor basis for rights.

Dragan Glas wrote:Americans seem to forget that the government is made up of Americans - it's not a foreign (and, by definition, tyrannical) power, as the threat of which the 2nd Amendment was intended to address.


The 2nd Amendment makes no distinction between a foreign or domestic threat to the "security of a FREE state".

Can be an invading army, can be the federal government going berserk, can be anything really that threatens the continued existence of the US as a free republic.

Can even be a local threat like let's say your local authorities go berserk or steal the election or whatever. And let's say this kind of abuse has been going on for a long time and you've exhausted any peaceful resolutions. Unlikely, but not entirely impossible, read about the Battle of Athens 1946 where regular citizens used firearms against local authorities to stop them from abusing their powers and stealing the election. None of them were ever prosecuted, rightfully so since they were the victims, not the aggressors.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Athens_(1946)

This is more than just about the US by the way, I argue that all people who want to be free should not be in favor of strict gun control, maybe some gun control, but not a lot that could meaningfully impact law abiding citizens from owning guns in as much quantity and quality as they want. After all what is gun control? It's not really gun control, it's just the government having all the guns and the people having sticks. That's a terrible balance of power.

Europe could have easily avoided the devastating impacts of Hitler's or Stalin's tyrannies in the east if those population were armed. Running a police state is very hard when the population is both resisting and able to resist. What exactly are 50000 peaceful protestors going to do if the dictator decides to just mow down everyone with machine guns? They can do it, it has happened.

You can easily arrest a dissident journalist if a gun free state where virtually nobody but police, judges and politicians carry guns. But if that journalist is armed and his family is armed and his neighbors are armed and they're all against you, you're in for a fight before you abusively arrest any of them. Also let's face it: if 6 million people are armed, common sense say you're not taking them anywhere. The Gestapo has no more than 32000 employees and that's counting the janitor and other people who can't fight. The SS had no more than 800000 employees. Good luck with that cause you're in for the fight of your life, even if it's just untrained civilians mostly. If they're unarmed you can pick them off one by one and the rest can't do anything about it except run, but if they're armed, you're done.

If Europe had the gun culture of America and the Jews were allowed to own high powered weapons, many of them would still be alive.

Notice that everyone who wants to overthrow Assad or ISIS talks about "arming" the Kurds, "arming" the rebels. Everyone knows that a disarmed population can't fight back. (By the way I'm not saying Assad should be overthrown, I think the results in that case would be worse, I'm saying if you want that to happen then you can't do that without an armed population.)

PS: As I have said before, don't count on elections alone. They're very effective, but they're not full proof because the system can be destroyed from within, especially in times of crisis. You may think that it's fine now, but you don't know what's going to happen in the future. You don't even know what's going to happen in a decade let alone after your natural death.

PPS: For clarification, I don't believe either Obama or Trump are in any sense dictators or "fascists" and any calls to overthrow them were unwarranted and stupid. Doesn't mean a genuine fascist with a genuinely dictatorial policy could not one day take power and commit so many abuses that peaceful resistance becomes impossible. Happens all the time around the world, most countries are no free even in 2017, and it can happen in the US too since human nature isn't different just because it's the US. I think the structure of the republic is more robust in that sense and the culture is more geared towards freedom too, but again, it shouldn't be taken for granted just because it's been fine for a very very very long time.
Sat Feb 25, 2017 6:16 pm
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 2954Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: America. Not the land of the free nor home of the brave.

Greetings,

Tree wrote:True, we're not born with weapons in our hands but we're born with enough intelligence to make them using resources from our surroundings

Agreed - though the same intelligence could be used to find better solutions to any conflict of interest. I grant that it's better to negotiate from a position of strength - as long as that doesn't lead to an arms race, which itself is likely to prevent a peaceful solution.

Tree wrote:Obviously if someone uses natural rights in a malicious way they have to be stopped and they have to be of sound mind since rights comes the responsibility not to harm others' rights, but to just assume everyone by default can't be trusted with a gun is silly.

None of which negates the point I made about it being a legal (constitutional) right rather than a natural one.

Equally, given that someone with a gun is more dangerous than someone without, the safer option is to err on the side of caution, and not allow guns except to the armed forces, military or civil.

Tree wrote:The nest analogy is even better. If you repeatedly destroy or take away a bird's nest can you honestly say you don't impact on its ability to survive and reproduce, just because you're not literally killing it?

Agreed, however your analogy as it applies to humans is faulty.

A nest is not a weapon. Humans having a roof over their heads does not require a weapon of any description.

Hence, I'd argue a natural right to keep weapons does not exist. It may be practical to do so but this doesn't translate into a natural right.

Tree wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:Who decided they were "rights"?

They're merely subjective.


And some people think they have a right to have sex with any minor they want. Personal opinion is a poor basis for rights.

But that's all that decides what are "rights".

"We hold these tuths to be self-evident...", and all that.

Tree wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:Americans seem to forget that the government is made up of Americans - it's not a foreign (and, by definition, tyrannical) power, as the threat of which the 2nd Amendment was intended to address.


The 2nd Amendment makes no distinction between a foreign or domestic threat to the "security of a FREE state".

The state is an artificial geo-political entity with defined borders. It;s not people.

So it's the right of the state to exist that is being defended by the 2nd Amendment, for which the populace in general was expected to defend it, and as the way that was done at the time was through militias called from the populace, that was why the people were expected, and had that right confirmed, to keep arms to bear them in defence of the state.

Hence, a legal right (to defend the state), rather than a natural one (to preserve life and limb).

Needless to say we'll disagree on this! :lol:

Tree wrote:Can be an invading army, can be the federal government going berserk, can be anything really that threatens the continued existence of the US as a free republic.

Can even be a local threat like let's say your local authorities go berserk or steal the election or whatever. And let's say this kind of abuse has been going on for a long time and you've exhausted any peaceful resolutions. Unlikely, but not entirely impossible, read about the Battle of Athens 1946 where regular citizens used firearms against local authorities to stop them from abusing their powers and stealing the election. None of them were ever prosecuted, rightfully so since they were the victims, not the aggressors.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Athens_(1946)

This is more than just about the US by the way, I argue that all people who want to be free should not be in favor of strict gun control, maybe some gun control, but not a lot that could meaningfully impact law abiding citizens from owning guns in as much quantity and quality as they want. After all what is gun control? It's not really gun control, it's just the government having all the guns and the people having sticks. That's a terrible balance of power.

Europe could have easily avoided the devastating impacts of Hitler's or Stalin's tyrannies in the east if those population were armed. Running a police state is very hard when the population is both resisting and able to resist. What exactly are 50000 peaceful protestors going to do if the dictator decides to just mow down everyone with machine guns? They can do it, it has happened.

You can easily arrest a dissident journalist if a gun free state where virtually nobody but police, judges and politicians carry guns. But if that journalist is armed and his family is armed and his neighbors are armed and they're all against you, you're in for a fight before you abusively arrest any of them. Also let's face it: if 6 million people are armed, common sense say you're not taking them anywhere. The Gestapo has no more than 32000 employees and that's counting the janitor and other people who can't fight. The SS had no more than 800000 employees. Good luck with that cause you're in for the fight of your life, even if it's just untrained civilians mostly. If they're unarmed you can pick them off one by one and the rest can't do anything about it except run, but if they're armed, you're done.

If Europe had the gun culture of America and the Jews were allowed to own high powered weapons, many of them would still be alive.

Notice that everyone who wants to overthrow Assad or ISIS talks about "arming" the Kurds, "arming" the rebels. Everyone knows that a disarmed population can't fight back. (By the way I'm not saying Assad should be overthrown, I think the results in that case would be worse, I'm saying if you want that to happen then you can't do that without an armed population.)

PS: As I have said before, don't count on elections alone. They're very effective, but they're not full proof because the system can be destroyed from within, especially in times of crisis. You may think that it's fine now, but you don't know what's going to happen in the future. You don't even know what's going to happen in a decade let alone after your natural death.

PPS: For clarification, I don't believe either Obama or Trump are in any sense dictators or "fascists" and any calls to overthrow them were unwarranted and stupid. Doesn't mean a genuine fascist with a genuinely dictatorial policy could not one day take power and commit so many abuses that peaceful resistance becomes impossible. Happens all the time around the world, most countries are no free even in 2017, and it can happen in the US too since human nature isn't different just because it's the US. I think the structure of the republic is more robust in that sense and the culture is more geared towards freedom too, but again, it shouldn't be taken for granted just because it's been fine for a very very very long time.

One has to take into account cultural differences - Arabic culture is authoritarian, it's not conducive to democracy, which is why they don't tend to want democracy, no matter what Americans might believe regarding the so-called "Arab Spring". Even China's protests leading to Tiananmen Square were not for democracy as we think of it in the West.

And Europe has had overthrows of governments without the populace being armed - consider the fall of Ceausescu's regime in Romania, where a crowd's anti-Ceausescu chants quickly led to the army turning against the regime, and the secret service. This was particularly impressive given that it was estimated that one-in-three of the populace were informants. Or the fall of East Germany.

I realise you're not a proverbial "right-wing nut" from your posts so far, and the latter paragraphs - at least, I don't think you are ;)

Kindest regards,

James
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"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Sun Feb 26, 2017 3:10 pm
TreePosts: 41Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2017 7:08 pm Gender: Tree

Post Re: America. Not the land of the free nor home of the brave.

Agreed - though the same intelligence could be used to find better solutions to any conflict of interest. I grant that it's better to negotiate from a position of strength - as long as that doesn't lead to an arms race, which itself is likely to prevent a peaceful solution.


Yeah but we're talking about individual rights here, not necessarily consequences leading to some greater good, although I don't agree that's the case either.

Speaking of an arms race, the governments of the world already have exponentially more powerful weapons than they ever did and they're only getting vastly more stronger than their populations. So they've been in a one-sided arms race from the start where most populations haven't even passed the starting line. Might be even worse in some places where you used to be able to walk around with swords and daggers and now even that is forbidden. A monarch would have his knights and lords with the best swords and armor. Pretty strong for a commoner to beat alone, but not unbeatable if you have superior numbers. Modern governments have tanks, assault rifles, fighter jets, drones and some have nukes. They have ways to spy on you that even the most tyrannical monarchs could only dream of. The only thing they don't currently have is access to your mind, but once they have that, and neuroscience is getting us there, it's pretty much game over. Kind of how computational power will grow so much in some years that computers will literally beat chess.

So if you want to argue that civilians shouldn't have guns, can you say the same for governments and their vast arsenal which includes way more than just guns as well as non-lethal means of controlling the population such as mass surveillance, including covert programs we're not even allowed to know about? Only problem is, if you disarm your government, then you're vulnerable to attacks from other countries.

Agreed, however your analogy as it applies to humans is faulty.

A nest is not a weapon. Humans having a roof over their heads does not require a weapon of any description.


They're not born with a house next to them either, even if their parents have one it's still not theirs while they're alive, yet property rights are considered natural rights too.

"We hold these tuths to be self-evident...", and all that.


Natural rights are not merely the arbitrary whims of the founding fathers of the US nor are your rights "granted" to you by the founders, even the founders themselves would deny the idea that they are the origin of the these rights. If they wanted to sure, they could have set a bunch of arbitrary rules that catered to their hedonistic desires, but the goal was to create a republic that would withstand the test of time by not repeating the mistakes of past countries and that would allow people the freedom to live life on their own terms provided they didn't harm other people's rights. They didn't always live up to those values but that's the flaw of humans. Oh well.

Personal opinion - not a good basis for rights since then people will just define rights as whatever caters to their wildest dreams. You have to look at the bigger picture.

Let's read what follows after:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government

So notice a few things:

1. The founders or even the people don't define rights, rights come from a "Creator". I'm not religious myself and I don't think the founders were referring to any specific religious creator, for an atheist you can just as easily consider nature itself to be the Creator which would literally be true. You are literally a product of natural phenomenon and assuming at least there's no human coercion involved, exactly how long you live or how much property you acquire or whether or not you can reproduce is also based on nature. So let's take the right to life. That doesn't mean you have a right to live forever (nobody could possibly guarantee that anyway), it just means people should leave you alone and not try to harm you from the moment you become a sentient being to natural death, which is largely based on your DNA, for example the average human in a healthy environment generally lives up to 80. They can help prolong your existence with modern medicine, but it's better to have that done on a voluntary basis as much as possible such as charity, purchasing medical services or being insured.
2. Rights come before government, so government cannot be the author of rights


So it's the right of the state to exist that is being defended by the 2nd Amendment, for which the populace in general was expected to defend it, and as the way that was done at the time was through militias called from the populace, that was why the people were expected, and had that right confirmed, to keep arms to bear them in defence of the state.

Hence, a legal right (to defend the state), rather than a natural one (to preserve life and limb).


The text of the 2nd Amendment makes its clear that it's referring to the "right of the people" to "keep and bear arms". So it's not the right of the state. That part of the text doesn't affirm a right that the state has or for that matter a right that the militia has, it merely explains the purpose for which the 2nd Amendment was written into the Bill of Rights.

Supreme Court has ruled this is an individual right by the way, not a collective right. So basically any adult of sound mind who's not a convicted criminal has to be allowed to create or buy weapons.

Put simply, you can't take away people's weapons so that in the event of a crisis like this they can form militias (militias by their nature are largely untrained civilians taking up arms) and resist whatever tyrannical force is out to get them.

One has to take into account cultural differences - Arabic culture is authoritarian, it's not conducive to democracy, which is why they don't tend to want democracy, no matter what Americans might believe regarding the so-called "Arab Spring". Even China's protests leading to Tiananmen Square were not for democracy as we think of it in the West.


I'm taking that into account, I even said that in Syria's particular case I don't see an alternative to the Assad regime. Frankly the rebels worry me a lot more than Assad does. At least Assad isn't a jihadist and if people are so worried about his ties to Iran because Iran is bad, then go after Iran directly. Assad is no threat to the west. I never understood the establishment's obsession with getting rid of Assad.

But it doesn't negate the point that an unarmed population could never overthrow Assad.

As for other countries, I'm not saying guns should be legalized instantly in cultures that were never very familiar with them, but it should be a long-term goal of the people... if they want to be free.

If they don't, oh well... I tried to warn people.

And Europe has had overthrows of governments without the populace being armed - consider the fall of Ceausescu's regime in Romania, where a crowd's anti-Ceausescu chants quickly led to the army turning against the regime, and the secret service. This was particularly impressive given that it was estimated that one-in-three of the populace were informants. Or the fall of East Germany.


I'd call that luck and considering it took 45 years to do it, don't count on it. He could have easily just massacred everyone with machine guns if he wanted to. Belarus for example is still a communist state. Cuba still communist. North Korea still communist and there's no end in sight.

An armed population could have stopped it much sooner and even if you want to make the case that Russia was just too powerful to resist, if Russia itself had a gun culture and a culture more geared towards individual freedom, natural rights, the communists would not have taken over there either.

The US also made the mistake of enabling that regime just to fight Hitler. Even made the Soviet Union a partner in the UN as a founding member. That should have never happened. Not the way it did anyway. The enemy of your enemy may be useful, but he's not your friend by default. Stalin was just as bad as Hitler and the US should have had a plan to deal with both. And I don't claim to be a statesman so I don't have all the answers as to what should have been done but damn that was dumb.
Sun Feb 26, 2017 8:07 pm
he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3318Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: America. Not the land of the free nor home of the brave.

Tree wrote:He_who_is_nobody, just out interest, do you know the difference between positive rights and negative rights?

Negative rights are those that involve limitations on what the government and sometimes individuals can do to you. Like no murder, no theft, no kidnapping.
Positive rights are benefits granted by the collective. We can talk about them, but in no way should they be considered unalienable rights since they require other people doing stuff for you.


Agreed.

Tree wrote:I think this lack of distinction has lead to a misunderstanding of what I'm trying to say.

This is what I mean for example when I say that if you cannot conceive a child naturally then you cannot claim a right to be a parent. Because what that means is essentially you want the right, not the privilege but the RIGHT, to raise other people's children.


Yes. However, what does this have to do with marriage? Marriage is not synonymous with having children. Related, sure, but one can have one without the other. We can discuss adoption and single parent issues later if you want.

Tree wrote:Take for example gun rights, you're allowed to own guns (negative right), but they're not free, the government doesn't issue you a gun. You have to go out and earn it.


Correct, much like marriage.
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