jamesd on September 25, 2010, 04:51:09 pm
So you treat Christian requests for respect exactly like Muslim demands for respect?  Riiiiiight.

Well, I've never had anyone both identify themselves as Muslim and demand respect;

You have certain had people identify themselves as Muslims and demand respect for Muslims.  You may practice methodical individualism, but you have to interact with people who do not.

I observe a lot of people in this forum speaking of Christians in ways that they would never dream of speaking of Muslims.  They are responding to menacing demands for respect, and conceding to those demands.

NeitherRuleNorBeRuled on September 25, 2010, 08:16:13 pm
So you treat Christian requests for respect exactly like Muslim demands for respect?  Riiiiiight.

Well, I've never had anyone both identify themselves as Muslim and demand respect;

You have certain had people identify themselves as Muslims and demand respect for Muslims.  You may practice methodical individualism, but you have to interact with people who do not.

While those I've encountered who have identified themselves as Muslm, none has demanded respect for Muslims (either personally or others who identify as Muslim) in my presence.  Perhaps this is because I've never seen anyone show disrespect to them (or others) in my presence.  I cannot truthfully say that none of them have never made such a demand out of my presence.  I cannot truthfully say that any of them has made such a demand out of my presence, either.  To say otherwise would be to make assumptions -- such as assuming that I have met persons who meet both criteria,  I endeavor to avoid such assumptions, as they would diminish my credibility.

Quote
I observe a lot of people in this forum speaking of Christians in ways that they would never dream of speaking of Muslims.  They are responding to menacing demands for respect, and conceding to those demands.

An alternate explanation is that they, as I, have directly encountered one or more people who identify as Christian, and have used force or credible threat of force (including indirect use by petitioning others in the form of "government") against me or others who have asked my assistance. I personally have encountered this numerous times with "Christians", but have yet to encounter the same with "Muslims".  I recognize this may be due to the number of "Christians" I interact with far exceeding the number of "Muslims";  however this is not certain, and to accept it would be yet another assumption.

mellyrn on September 25, 2010, 09:12:53 pm
Quote
Making a utopia for human beings where nothing bad can happen is similarly unworkable.

It is indeed.

My father-in-law used to send his kids out to clean up the family yard with the instructions, "Only pick up the big pieces of trash."  Half an hour later, they would be on the verge of fetching tweezers to get these tiny, tiny flecks of paper or plastic -- because, of course, once the very biggest pieces were removed, no longer available for comparison, they still saw "big" pieces to be picked up.

If nothing else, if you could arrange a utopia where the worst bad that could happen was a hangnail, the residents would be as deeply traumatized by the hangnail as a free hunter-gatherer would be by having his children eaten by bears.

The Cerereans live on the hairy edge.  They have to be brave to live there at all, ergo they are free.

jamesd on September 25, 2010, 09:15:16 pm
I observe a lot of people in this forum speaking of Christians in ways that they would never dream of speaking of Muslims.  They are responding to menacing demands for respect, and conceding to those demands.

An alternate explanation is that they, as I, have directly encountered one or more people who identify as Christian, and have used force or credible threat of force (including indirect use by petitioning others in the form of "government") against me or others who have asked my assistance.

Bullshit.  Give specifics of this remarkable event.

The preacher who threatened to burn a bunch of Korans is being fined two hundred thousand dollars.  Sure sounds like government force to me.  What is the guy who made piss Christ being fined?

I personally have encountered this numerous times with "Christians",

I find this hard to believe.  Give a concrete and specific example.

I think that what you have observed is that if you utter disrespectful words about Muslims you are likely to be punished, whereas it is easy and safe to utter hate filled words about Christians, demonize them to justify those that murder them - and so you condemn the people who are being attacked, and support the people who are attacking.


Tucci78 on September 26, 2010, 08:11:22 am

Cats are evolved to not be at the top of the food chain. They have four or five kittens a year, and in good years they have two litters. On average no more than 10% or so of them live to reproduce. These people want to subvert that, to catch as many wild cats as possible and convert them to neutered domesticated cats. They want the surviving cats to be the ones produced by human breeders.

--
Hm. The species we call Felis catus (the housecat) is rather less "evolved" over the past nine-and-a-half millennia than it has been bred to suit its role as domesticated animals, serving as companion critters and/or vermin control mechanisms (consider the intact tomcat's characterization as "the original ball-bearing mousetrap"). 

Because feral housecats are arguably an invasive species in many environments and themselves qualify as vermin, efforts have been made - often very stupidly, in my opinion - to remove them, exterminate them, or sterilize them and so reduce their impact in those environments. 

From the perspective of anybody trained in biology to any significant level, that's damned dumb.  For example, the U.S. Navy has from time to time spent tens of thousands of dollars to clear feral cats out of the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, but never to any long-term effect.  The presence of prey species within the twelve-hundred-plus acres of the facility draws hungry (or otherwise predatorily interested) cats the way a Form 1040 Schedule C draws the attention of an IRS agent.

Yet another predatory species classifiable as vermin, but that's neither here nor there....

The reproductive ability of F. catus is a species advantage only if it goes feral.  Note that it is emphatically not an individual advantage, as housecats tend not to cooperate in hunting or other activities when in the wild, and are instead intensely exclusionary in their territoriality.  Bearing kittens shortens the life of each fecund female housecat, to no objective benefit whatsoever, and the competition to sire them gets tomcats mutilated and killed.

Cats kept as pets can benefit indirectly through their ability to breed only as their humans value the kittens sired or delivered, but that's a whole 'nother matter. 

Lose a couple or three housecats to infectious diseases (like feline leukemia) picked up while roaming the neighborhood and the case for keeping them indoors becomes both apprehensible and persuasive.

If kept indoors away from such infectious disease risks, and without deliberate intent to breed them, what the hell does it matter whether a domestic pet cat is left intact or neutered to abate the nuisances of females in estrus and males scent-marking every vertical surface around them?
--
"I is a great believer in peaceful settlements," Jik-jik assured him. "Ain't nobody as peaceful as a dead trouble-maker."
-- Keith Laumer, Retief's War (1966)

mellyrn on September 26, 2010, 08:43:58 am
Quote
[racial profiling] will only maybe stop that one sort of harm,

On reflection, it doesn't even do that much.  At best it only postpones trouble, and very likely increases the risk, as it is much like trying to cure a disease by suppressing a symptom.  It turns previously-neutral people hostile; it may even turn previously-friendly people hostile; either way, risk is increased.  It also lets your targets know what you are thinking.  If I intend you harm and I am visually distinctive by my "race" and I know you are "profiling" people who look like me, I am also bright enough to include as a line item in my "fools I will destroy you all" budget, "Hire agents from people who look like them."  Better yet, "Hire agents from people who look like my greatest enemy."  Bwahaha.  And I ain't exactly the brightest bulb on the string.

Racial profiling lets the profiler feel all warm and fuzzy about having Done Something towards reducing the threat even as he's increased his danger and reduced the number of friends he can call on.

mellyrn on September 26, 2010, 08:46:41 am
Quote
Cats are evolved to not be at the top of the food chain.

What is at the "top" of the food chain?

Mosquitos?

J Thomas on September 26, 2010, 10:18:16 am
Quote
Cats are evolved to not be at the top of the food chain.

What is at the "top" of the food chain?

Mosquitos?

Sorry, shorthand notation.

The usual terms here are "r-selected" and "K-selected". R-selected organisms have lots of offspring and most of them die before they can reproduce. K-selected organisms have a few offspring and many of them survive to reproduce.

Most human populations in modern societies are currently K-selected. We have infant mortality rates below 10% and the death rate goes way down from there. It's possible for a human woman to have 16 or so children. My grandmother lived in the mountains and she had 13 pregnancies including 5 who were stillborn or died before they were christened. But few postindustrial women do that by choice today.

Cats are set up to have rather more offspring than that. They tend to have 5 kittens per litter where humans usually have only one. They can have 2 litters a year, and seldom go a year without a litter. They are "designed" to have a high mortality rate. Whether that's from being eaten (not top of the food chain) or other reasons is not really the point

J Thomas on September 26, 2010, 10:39:19 am
The species we call Felis catus (the housecat) is rather less "evolved" over the past nine-and-a-half millennia than it has been bred to suit its role as domesticated animals, serving as companion critters and/or vermin control mechanisms (consider the intact tomcat's characterization as "the original ball-bearing mousetrap"). 

Most places, most times, people didn't breed cats. The cats worked out for themselves who to mate with. Humans did throw rocks etc at the cats they liked least, though.

Quote
The reproductive ability of F. catus is a species advantage only if it goes feral.  Note that it is emphatically not an individual advantage, as housecats tend not to cooperate in hunting or other activities when in the wild, and are instead intensely exclusionary in their territoriality.  Bearing kittens shortens the life of each fecund female housecat, to no objective benefit whatsoever, and the competition to sire them gets tomcats mutilated and killed.

Cats kept as pets can benefit indirectly through their ability to breed only as their humans value the kittens sired or delivered, but that's a whole 'nother matter. 

Lose a couple or three housecats to infectious diseases (like feline leukemia) picked up while roaming the neighborhood and the case for keeping them indoors becomes both apprehensible and persuasive.

If kept indoors away from such infectious disease risks, and without deliberate intent to breed them, what the hell does it matter whether a domestic pet cat is left intact or neutered to abate the nuisances of females in estrus and males scent-marking every vertical surface around them?
--

Well, in evolutionary terms, an individual who doesn't reproduce has not contributed genes to the next generation. Loser. So you aren't thinking in those terms, you're thinking about -- what? What the cat wants? What you think the cat wants?

So I like my metaphor. Women face dangers out in the workplace, and whenever they leave home they could catch diseases. And there are significant health risks to pregnancy. And their periods are messy. So wouldn't you want your daughter to be sterilized and kept inside my harem for the rest of her life where she won't have any of those risks and dangers? That's better for her as an individual, exactly as it's better for her cat.

NeitherRuleNorBeRuled on September 26, 2010, 07:44:21 pm
I observe a lot of people in this forum speaking of Christians in ways that they would never dream of speaking of Muslims.  They are responding to menacing demands for respect, and conceding to those demands.

An alternate explanation is that they, as I, have directly encountered one or more people who identify as Christian, and have used force or credible threat of force (including indirect use by petitioning others in the form of "government") against me or others who have asked my assistance.

Bullshit.  Give specifics of this remarkable event.

Some friends of mine owned several strip clubs and adult bookstores.  A number of "Christians" led primarily by a group from Rod Parsley's World Harvest Church set about picketing these businesses (and thereby attempting to intimidate potential customers), and lobbied local "law enforcement" to find ways to shut them down (one of which was to bring state-sponsored civil suits to close them down -- these suits did not permit juries, thus ensuring that the predetermined decisions were made by the professional thugs).

I participated in a number of counter protests; at one of these I was nearly attacked by one of these self-identified "Christians" who did not like my heterodox interpretation of the Crucifixion of Jesus.   He backed down when one of his comrades pointed out that there were several witnesses including an attorney, who were not aligned with them.
[/quote]


Quote
The preacher who threatened to burn a bunch of Korans is being fined two hundred thousand dollars.  Sure sounds like government force to me.  What is the guy who made piss Christ being fined?

I have seen it suggested that (a) said preacher requested special protection, and (b) the "fine" was in fact a bill for that protection.

Quote
I personally have encountered this numerous times with "Christians",

I find this hard to believe.  Give a concrete and specific example.

I think that what you have observed is that if you utter disrespectful words about Muslims you are likely to be punished, whereas it is easy and safe to utter hate filled words about Christians, demonize them to justify those that murder them - and so you condemn the people who are being attacked, and support the people who are attacking.

I gave a concrete and specific example above.  I note that there was no one who identified as Muslim in the groups that tried to deprive honest, beneficial, sex-positive workers from engaging in consensual business. If they had, I would react differently.  Instead, there was a group of hate-filled, force initiating individuals who self-identified as "Christian"  doing so. 

quadibloc on September 26, 2010, 11:44:35 pm
I have seen it suggested that (a) said preacher requested special protection, and (b) the "fine" was in fact a bill for that protection.
I've seen (b) suggested without (a). In that case, the city shouldn't have a leg to stand on. Taxing people extra because you don't like their lawful actions is an initiation of force which even those who accept taxes and conscription in principle recognize as an infringement of freedom.

terry_freeman on September 27, 2010, 01:08:38 am
For all the 9/11 theorists who whine that all Muslims should have been strip-searched in order to avoid the hijackings, I suggest a far more practical solution, comprised of two parts:

1) the government should stop bombing Muslims in the name of America. This will greatly reduce the supply of potential terrorists.
2) everyone who boards a plane should be asked "9mm, .45acp, or .38?" as in "which caliber handgun would you like to carry?

Any terrorist wannabe would then be greatly outnumbered. End of problem.

I observe that, when the government wishes to recruit terrorist wannabes in order to entrap them and make the government look like a) there is a threat and b) something is being done about it, the government does not distribute pamphlets with selected Quran verses for recruiting tools. The government recruiters do not whine about miniskirts and freedom. No, the government recruiters choose to use a more effective approach: wads of money and complaints about the number of Muslims being killed by the government itself.

If Jamesd's theories about the Quran are correct, then he should persuade the American government recruiters to switch to a far more efficacious method, and to distribute his diatribes on the Quran. This will enable far more wannabes to be entrapped, if his theories are even approximately correct.
 

Tucci78 on September 27, 2010, 02:30:01 am
Well, in evolutionary terms, an individual who doesn't reproduce has not contributed genes to the next generation. Loser. So you aren't thinking in those terms, you're thinking about -- what? What the cat wants? What you think the cat wants?

So I like my metaphor. Women face dangers out in the workplace, and whenever they leave home they could catch diseases. And there are significant health risks to pregnancy. And their periods are messy. So wouldn't you want your daughter to be sterilized and kept inside my harem for the rest of her life where she won't have any of those risks and dangers? That's better for her as an individual, exactly as it's better for her cat.

--
Once a critter comes into domestication, they're effectively out of the evolutionary lottery altogether.  Think instead in those terms. 

The selection pressures upon any domesticated animal are not at all dependent upon the individual specimen's viability in a natural ecological niche, or its contribution to species survival - meaning reproduction - as a free agent, but rather how well its appearance and performance suit the desires of the sapient entities which have domesticated said critter.

But whether domesticated or feral, can a cat even be said to have "wants" in the same sense that one speaks of human beings electing options?  While animals such as cats, dogs, birds, and even fish can be conditioned to certain behaviors in response to stimuli, they lack the quality of moral agency, and for this reason they are treated as objects for legal purposes, not as entities capable of committing criminal acts.

A woman - being human and functioning without such mental impairment as to oblige certification as legally incompetent - is capable of moral agency.  She can sign a contract, enter into matrimony (in some states, even with a person of her own gender), foster and adopt children, commit felonies, seek and secure occupational licensure, sign mortgage papers, all that kinda stuff.

And my own personal daughter, with her third kid having entered Kindergarten this year, doesn't need to get herself sterilized.  After that last pregnancy, her husband elected to have himself a vasectomy, and assuming that marital fidelity continues, I'm not going to wind up with yet another grandchild on the birthdays-and-Christmas gift list.

There is a fatuous tendency to anthropomorphize animals.  This is, while excusable in small children and people dumb enough to believe that Barry Soetoro had been  born in a still-as-yet-unspecified labor and delivery unit in Honolulu instead of in Mombasa's Coast General Hospital, unacceptable in those who make a pretense at presenting themselves as capable of reasoned thought.

Your metaphor bites.
--
"I is a great believer in peaceful settlements," Jik-jik assured him. "Ain't nobody as peaceful as a dead trouble-maker."
-- Keith Laumer, Retief's War (1966)

J Thomas on September 27, 2010, 09:54:42 am
Well, in evolutionary terms, an individual who doesn't reproduce has not contributed genes to the next generation. Loser. So you aren't thinking in those terms, you're thinking about -- what? What the cat wants? What you think the cat wants?

So I like my metaphor. Women face dangers out in the workplace, and whenever they leave home they could catch diseases. And there are significant health risks to pregnancy. And their periods are messy. So wouldn't you want your daughter to be sterilized and kept inside my harem for the rest of her life where she won't have any of those risks and dangers? That's better for her as an individual, exactly as it's better for her cat.

--
Once a critter comes into domestication, they're effectively out of the evolutionary lottery altogether.  Think instead in those terms. 

It depends. We've bred most of our chickens to the point they probably can't survive in the wild at all. Likewise our corn. Lots of stuff can survive, depending on their environment.  And surviving under domestication is still survival.

Quote
The selection pressures upon any domesticated animal are not at all dependent upon the individual specimen's viability in a natural ecological niche, or its contribution to species survival - meaning reproduction - as a free agent, but rather how well its appearance and performance suit the desires of the sapient entities which have domesticated said critter.

That applies more to animals that get bred by humans who choose which get to breed and which offspring to cull. Mostly humans have let cats handle that. Humans have tended to drown whole litters at once based on random factors rather than choose the cutest kittens out of a litter to survive. We have killed some adult cats based on our convenience, but that's true of all animals and plants we interact with. We have tended to create male deer with juvenile or deformed antlers by preferring to kill those with magnificent racks, for example. There aren't many "natural" ecological niches left on the planet if you care about that kind of thing.

Quote
But whether domesticated or feral, can a cat even be said to have "wants" in the same sense that one speaks of human beings electing options?  While animals such as cats, dogs, birds, and even fish can be conditioned to certain behaviors in response to stimuli, they lack the quality of moral agency, and for this reason they are treated as objects for legal purposes, not as entities capable of committing criminal acts.

The central thing is that they don't know english to tell us about their moral agency. So we don't think of them as fellow citizens. That's an arbitrary standard, but it's what we use.

Quote
There is a fatuous tendency to anthropomorphize animals.

And there is a cold-blooded tendency to treat animals as inanimate things. "They have no souls." "They can't feel pain." It's arbitrary either way.

Quote
Your metaphor bites.

Your esthetic judgement is open to being judged by my esthetic judgement. I judge your morality according to my morality. And vice versa.

My original point was that the people who try to make sure that nothing bad every happens to any cat are being obviously silly, and the same applies to people who try to keep anything bad happening to US citizens -- for the same reasons.

I personally try to keep bad things from happening to my friends. I choose to think of my pets as friends, and it's fine for me to want good things (as I see things as good) for my pets. You choose to think of your pets as possessions that have no rights and whose lives have no meaning except as they please you. That's your privilege. I would not give you a kitten, just as you would not give me your friend's daughter.

MacFall on September 27, 2010, 10:20:01 am
I find this hard to believe.  Give a concrete and specific example.

The Southern Baptist Convention's ardent support for the wars in the Middle East, the Patriot Act, and the war on drugs.

I'm a Christian myself, and I'm definitely in agreement with NRNBR. Many Christians in the USA (to my ongoing sorrow and frustration) believe that the American state is divinely appointed to do God's work on the Earth. Some of them believe that to that end there should be Christians in control of it. Of those who believe neither of those things, most are apathetic; even if they believe the state is "bad" they still believe we should accept it. A minority believe that the Church should reject political power entirely and seek non-political solutions to the world's problems - they are the ones who take Christ's command to love their neighbors seriously. Such Christians range from "apolitical" people who take no particular stance against the state in the abstract to anarchists (like myself) who consider the state to be antichrist, and something which we have a duty to tear down. But here in America, we are a minority within a minority. The heresy of state-worship is ubiquitous in this country.
Government is not, as is often believed, a "necessary evil". Rather, it is a plain evil of such power that it has been able to convince people of its necessity.