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No Sacred Cows—can rationalists remain rational when the issue is gun control?
Posted: 12 August 2009 05:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]  
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The main question I have is, “What are these little wimps so afraid of that they can’t leave their houses unless they’re strapped?”

Land of the Free!  Home of the terrified little weasels standing in a puddle of their own urine! 

Nah.  It doesn’t scan.

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Posted: 12 August 2009 06:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]  
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SkepticX - 12 August 2009 08:54 PM

Something would have to compel me quite forcefully, to put it rather mildly.

This is a bullshit (mild) statement. What could it mean, “forcefully”? Basically, it means that you live in a land of armed and active militias. Is that what we want? Do we want to believe that people are better than they are? We are, after all, facing down the theists.

Frankly, I’d like to see the gun nuts fish or cut bait with each other. Don’t shoot till you see the whites.

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Posted: 12 August 2009 06:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]  
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Traces Elk - 12 August 2009 10:01 PM
SkepticX - 12 August 2009 08:54 PM

Something would have to compel me quite forcefully, to put it rather mildly.

This is a bullshit (mild) statement. What could it mean, “forcefully”?

Fair enough question ...

Traces Elk - 12 August 2009 10:01 PM

Basically, it means that you live in a land of armed and active militias.

... ah, but I see you already have the answer you want and that you’re not really interested in mine at all.

Why be so coy about it? Why the elaborate pretense of interest in discussion?

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Posted: 12 August 2009 06:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]  
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SkepticX - 12 August 2009 08:25 PM

Yeah, it’s basic tactics. Showing your hand is a gesture of peaceful intent. That’s how both the terminology I just used and the literal handshake developed in the first place. That gesture can certainly be a ruse, but it doesn’t take a War College graduate to recognize that such a “ruse” would fail miserably as such for the aforementioned reason.

Of course, how unintuitive, openly carrying a gun is an obvious “gesture of peaceful intent”.
Is that what you learn in “war college”? It’s not so much that we disagree, but that we live in entirely different worlds.

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Posted: 12 August 2009 07:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]  
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SkepticX - 12 August 2009 10:26 PM

Why be so coy about it? Why the elaborate pretense of interest in discussion?

eucaryote - 12 August 2009 10:30 PM

It’s not so much that we disagree, but that we live in entirely different worlds.

I can add nothing to this, as a response to your so-called “questions”. Basically, I think the problem is that you tried to finesse the deuce. It’s actually rather clear what you were trying to say with this example. The main problem is that you said something trivial. I can only pretend interest in discussing trivia.

When you can inform me about (rather than simply glorifying) the world you inhabit, perhaps we can further converse about it.

[ Edited: 12 August 2009 07:05 PM by Traces Elk]
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Posted: 12 August 2009 07:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]  
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Traces Elk - 12 August 2009 11:00 PM

Basically, I think the problem is that you tried to finesse the deuce. It’s actually rather clear what you were trying to say with this example. The main problem is that you said something trivial. I can only pretend interest in discussing trivia.

When you can inform me about (rather than simply glorifying) the world you inhabit, perhaps we can further converse about it.

The problem is actually that both you’ve presumed my side of the “exchange” and seem to have absolutely no interest in learning what it is first, or in anything resembling genuine dialog, just like Eucaryote.

Maybe if you two sit back and watch for a while as others of us actually engage in some discussion, you can learn how it works.

Eh?

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Posted: 12 August 2009 08:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]  
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teuchter - 12 August 2009 09:33 PM

The main question I have is, “What are these little wimps so afraid of that they can’t leave their houses unless they’re strapped?”

Land of the Free!  Home of the terrified little weasels standing in a puddle of their own urine!

Nah.  It doesn’t scan.

What’s your basis for the position that gun carriers (or owners?) do so out of fear, or that they’re fearful people?

Byron

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Posted: 12 August 2009 08:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]  
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SkepticX - 12 August 2009 11:19 PM
Traces Elk - 12 August 2009 11:00 PM

Basically, I think the problem is that you tried to finesse the deuce. It’s actually rather clear what you were trying to say with this example. The main problem is that you said something trivial. I can only pretend interest in discussing trivia.

When you can inform me about (rather than simply glorifying) the world you inhabit, perhaps we can further converse about it.

The problem is actually that both you’ve presumed my side of the “exchange” and seem to have absolutely no interest in learning what it is first, or in anything resembling genuine dialog, just like Eucaryote.

Wrong. I engaged in plenty of dialog with you only to discover that you hold some apparently unalterable, fundamental and very unintuitive beliefs. One of those beliefs is that those who disagree and continue to hold their intuitive understandings become “histrionic” irrational critics who lack sufficient information to validate their views….in your mind.

Again, I never read the bible or more guns - less crime, etc. Here where I live though, (literally and figuratively), we know it when we step in it. I just can’t imagine that I live in a culture where openly displaying, (brandishing is the term you used earlier), your weapon is a “gesture of peaceful intent”. But again, you make no distinction between deadly weapons and 1st aid kits. So from your perspective, where guns and 1st aid kits, fire extinguishers, life preservers and the like are equivalent and lack any relevant distinction, it’s easy to see how brandishing a 1st aid kit could be seen only as a “gesture of peaceful intent”.

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Posted: 12 August 2009 08:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]  
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SkepticX - 13 August 2009 12:22 AM
teuchter - 12 August 2009 09:33 PM

The main question I have is, “What are these little wimps so afraid of that they can’t leave their houses unless they’re strapped?”

Land of the Free!  Home of the terrified little weasels standing in a puddle of their own urine!

Nah.  It doesn’t scan.

What’s your basis for the position that gun carriers (or owners?) do so out of fear, or that they’re fearful people?

Byron

Here we go again! Gee, I wonder why teucher thinks gun carriers are fearful? This is self evident, don’t you think? Maybe not…

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Posted: 12 August 2009 08:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]  
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Traces Elk - 12 August 2009 11:00 PM

asically, I think the problem is that you tried to finesse the deuce.

Finesse the deuce…...I like that. Very descriptive. Sounds like a variant of a strict interpretation of the duck theory.

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Posted: 12 August 2009 08:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]  
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Arguing with Byron reminded me of Lil Bo Peep for some reason…....completely comic interlude wink

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQA6tBYAvms&NR=1

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Posted: 13 August 2009 04:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]  
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What Eucaryote’s talking about, again, is the thread called Some Sound Governance, in which he offers us a spectacular example of something I posted at the outset of that one:

SkepticX - 15 July 2009 05:22 PM

This illuminates one of the fundamental reasons the guns and violence “debate” and even a great deal of the research (most done well outside of the researchers’ fields of expertise, such as pretty much all medical research on the social effects). In my experience most people utterly fail to consider the issue from within the proper context (researchers included to a large extent), and most also fail to consider but one side of the equation at all rationally (if they manage to be rational about even the one).

Very few people seem able to come even close to adequately separating the emotional and philosophical baggage from the analytical process (what’s real vs. what I feel). So we get counterproductive policy pretty much randomly advocated and actually implemented along with some of the very few policies that are at all productive ... because a lot of people feel better, never mind that if we consider them responsibly like adults we discover that, if anything, they’re counterproductive or just hamper others’ civil liberties needlessly, albeit marginally so for the vast majority.

Another key component to all of this deeply flawed thinking is that the majority of Westerners (and probably others as well) are basically retarded when it comes to security and the realities of actual violence (street/functional violence rather than sport). This causes a lot of the above problem with people utterly failing to consider the issue from within the proper context.

So no, I actually have no problem with the no guns in bars restriction itself, my opposition is to the idea that it actually accomplishes anything and the deeply flawed thinking that goes along with that fantasy, and I’m especially opposed to creating the false security such laws seem to generate in some people, seemingly many people (as if a person who isn’t deterred by the laws against shooting someone would be deterred by the laws against carrying a gun into a bar ... or a school, or a church, etc).

and later:

SkepticX - 19 July 2009 08:10 PM

As I said initially, this is why I really hate this topic—a fine example, in fact, sadly. The Dark Side of humanity comes out both inherently because the issue is about violence, but also the tendency many people have to very harshly judge and marginalize and even dehumanize others without even feeling the slightest sense of responsibility to get their facts or attitudes straight. It’s a very ugly character flaw in a great many people, mostly seen in the more deeply religious, but it’s also alive and well amongst “my” people as well. I don’t like to see that. It’s repulsive. It’s one of the few realities I’ve found very difficult to come to terms with. If I see too much of this form of fear and hatred and disregard for others it can be downright depressing. I tend to think very highly of my fellow humans, personally, and like no other this topic exposes and often brightly illuminates the nasty, dirty, ugly Dark Side of humanity, both regarding the violence inherent to the topic, and in this deplorable, hateful, destructive mentality—makes it just a bit harder to be such a fan of my own species.

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Posted: 13 August 2009 04:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]  
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SkepticX - 13 August 2009 12:22 AM

What’s your basis for the position that gun carriers (or owners?) do so out of fear, or that they’re fearful people?

There is a phenomenon that happens in political discussions involving people who consider themselves “moderate” believers. In whatever. Could be “God”, could be guns. The phenomenon is that sharp criticism of a belief is interpreted as a personal attack. I actually do not think it is fair to characterize the incident described in the OP as one having only to do with fear any more than to characterize a response to subsequent criticism being made only out of fear.

Maybe there is some sort of test for determining if someone is phlegmatic enough to own a firearm, with retesting every few months like they do for airline pilots, but it’s currently not part of the permit application process. I’ve been around plenty of gun owners I thought I could characterize that way, but I didn’t really know them all that well. I’ve never gotten to know a gun owner all that well. Was it just coincidence, or were there other features of their personality that went along with it? I’m sure many gun owners get to know each other very well, perhaps because they don’t feel they have to be defensive in one another’s company.

the tendency many people have to very harshly judge and marginalize and even dehumanize others without even feeling the slightest sense of responsibility to get their facts or attitudes straight

Hence we get this business where the only thing in view is someone claiming that his ox has been gored. We’re no longer discussing the idea, but arguing about whether criticism of the idea was “fair”. It’s not a duck problem, it’s an ox problem. Where’s the beef? It’s certainly not simply that someone’s ox has been gored, and we can go back to talking about it any time.

Regardless, discussing whether someone’s ox has been gored is no longer all that interesting. Enough familiarity with a phenomenon can breed contempt. It’s not contempt of a person, I remind you, but contempt of a phenomenon that occurs in discourse. There are no bad people here, just bad arguments.

I’m becoming convinced that social or ideological conservatism is not simply a reluctance to modify traditions “without very good reasons”, but a failure to recognize that change has occurred. The “very good reasons” that get ignored have to do with recognizing that changes have occurred whether one wanted the changes or not.

The “fear” might simply be of the fact that with increasing numbers of people, there are increasing numbers of “stupid” people. Nobody “sensible” wants to be penalized for the actions of the “stupid”. Everybody’s freedom is being curtailed by this inevitable “phenomenon”. The “moderate belief” in the relation between freedom and responsibility also seems to be permeating the health care debate going on next door, and from which this gun debate sprouted as from a spore. I don’t doubt that the old frontier combination of prudent, powerful (and rugged) individualists still strikes a chord with lots of people. Sometimes “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” just deteriorates into wishful thinking.

So we get counterproductive policy pretty much randomly advocated and actually implemented along with some of the very few policies that are at all productive ... because a lot of people feel better, never mind that if we consider them responsibly like adults we discover that, if anything, they’re counterproductive or just hamper others’ civil liberties needlessly, albeit marginally so for the vast majority.

There it is, plain as day. This is what we are arguing about. Guns have nothing to do with it, do they? We could apply this equally to the way some people are arguing about health care reform. It’s about change. Sometimes small change, sometimes big bucks. It’s about a moderate (or even extreme) belief in some sort of “god”, as teuchter points out so aptly. Sometimes is the free market, sometimes its rugged individualism. We fear too much government because we still dream it is one “of the people, by the people, and for the people”. It’s some kind of aporia, I suppose. I no longer have high hopes for the United States. It has served its purpose by landing the first people on the moon and developing a system of public education that actually makes home schooling appealing.

This reminds me of that old chestnut from the Unix “fortune” program: /earth is 98% full.  Please delete anyone you can.

[ Edited: 13 August 2009 05:26 AM by Traces Elk]
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Posted: 13 August 2009 06:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]  
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Traces Elk - 13 August 2009 08:57 AM

There is a phenomenon that happens in political discussions involving people who consider themselves “moderate” believers.

Do you have an actual clue as to what my position is? Upon what basis do you call me a moderate believer, and why?

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Posted: 13 August 2009 06:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]  
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Traces Elk - 13 August 2009 08:57 AM
SkepticX - 13 August 2009 12:22 AM

What’s your basis for the position that gun carriers (or owners?) do so out of fear, or that they’re fearful people?

There is a phenomenon that happens in political discussions involving people who consider themselves “moderate” believers. In whatever. Could be “God”, could be guns. The phenomenon is that sharp criticism of a belief is interpreted as a personal attack.

So you think by asking that question I took the comment I asked about as a personal attack?

Traces Elk - 13 August 2009 08:57 AM

We’re no longer discussing the idea, but arguing about whether criticism of the idea was “fair”.

How about pertinent, or applicable?

I think you’re pretty much completely presuming my positions, as indicated above.

Do you want to engage in discussion, like adults, or do you just want to rage and flame, maybe work yourself into a frenzy ... blow off some stress?

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“We say, ‘Love your brother…’ We don’t say it really, but… Well we don’t literally say it. We don’t really, literally mean it. No, we don’t believe it either, but… But that message should be clear.”—David St. Hubbins

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