From ‘God Creation’: side conversations …

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ajax18
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Re: God Creation

Post by ajax18 »

Gunnar wrote:
Wed Aug 03, 2022 10:39 pm
Hawkeye wrote:
Wed Aug 03, 2022 7:17 pm
It's hard to say with so much inertia. But everything would change for me. If you think I'm bad now, you wouldn't want to be around me as a nonbeliever.
In other words, if you stopped believing you would be even more selfish and hateful towards others than you obviously already are? Horrors! In that case, I hope you never lose your belief in God!

Atheism hasn't exacttly made you the princee of peace nor the champion of liberty. I

If social security were just a forced retirement program, you should have no problem allowing people opt out and to save for their own retirement.
And when the Confederates saw Jackson standing fearless like a stonewall, the army of Northern Virginia took courage and drove the federal army off their land.
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Doctor CamNC4Me
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Re: God Creation

Post by Doctor CamNC4Me »

ajax18 wrote:
Wed Aug 03, 2022 11:31 pm
What reasons could you give the drug addict or child criminal to become ...

> child criminal

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1. Speech is aggression.
2. Every utterance has a winner or a loser.
3. Curiosity is feigned.
4. Lying is performative.
5. Stupidity is power.
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Re: God Creation

Post by Res Ipsa »

Hawkeye wrote:
Wed Aug 03, 2022 4:15 pm
In fact, if you and I put our heads together to try and figure out a common moral codes between us, I’d start with the Bible precisely because I know you consider it authoritative.
Why would I be persuaded by the interpretation of a nonbeliever? If there is no God, no supernatural, no ultimate justice, to me the Bible is just foolishness as Schmo says. The death of Christ makes no sense to me without the resurrection.
Why wouldn’t you? I’ve met believers who know very little about what the Bible actually says and non-believers who who are experts, having read the Bible in Greek. I was raised LDS, so I know the Bible from the perspective of a believer. I don’t have to believe in a divine Jesus to understand the Golden Rule or the parable of the Good Samaritan.

The notion that the Bible is either the word of God or complete foolishness is a fundamental logical fallacy called the fallacy of the excluded middle. Good ideas that can form part of a moral code can be found in lots of books, including the Bible. Don’t you think it kind of weird that I, an atheist, find more intrinsic value in your holy book than you do?

I don’t have to believe that the New Testament it’s an accurate history to agree with you that the crucifixion of Jesus makes no sense without the resurrection. The resurrection is an essential part of the story the New Testament tells. Leaving it out would be like ending the original Star Wars story after The Empire Strikes back. It would make no sense. But that doesn’t make Return of the Jedi factual.
Hawkeye wrote: I am interested in your beliefs and what motivates you to give money to West Virginia drug addicts, unwed mothers, and welfare cases. Many of them share my DNA but it was never a part of our culture to enable behavior like this. When I see bums on the street I give them a card to Ranstad Temp agency.
I didn’t say I did that. You claimed you were working yourself into bankruptcy for Schmo’s people but that he wouldn’t do the same for yours. I assumed you were doing your usually posting and moaning about taxes. I simply pointed out that I pay taxes, just like you do, and expressed my belief that the government should help those in need, whether you considered them Schmo’s people or your people.

But see what you did to your fellow human beings there? You othered them. You labeled them in a way that lets you think of them as less human than you are. The most important thing is that those folks are your fellow humans. You share their DNA — close to 100% of it. So, who you are really talking about is a fellow human who is addicted to drugs, a fellow human who cares for a child without a husband, and a fellow human who receives temporary monetary help, primarily to house and feed her children.

And, yes, I don’t mind in the slightest paying taxes to help my fellow humans overcome his addiction, make sure their children have enough to eat and a safe place to stay, and have enough food and safe shelter for themselves. I don’t begrudge that in the slightest. And I don’t care what color their skin is, what state they live in, whether they’re urban or rural, or whether they are POF or atheists.

I hear Jesus told the poor to “get a job, ya’ bum “ too.😉


Res Ipsa wrote:Society has set up a system through which you don’t have to.
Hawkeye wrote: I think I should have the right to voluntarily opt out of the that system. Would it be within your moral code to kill me to keep me from opting out of that system? That sounds a lot like slavery doesn't it? It sure isn't freedom.
Well you have the right to opt out of the system that your fellow Americans and fellow citizens of your state have adopted. Just relocate to a different country. Find yourself a Paleo Libertarian or AnarcoCapitalist utopia and bask in the freedom they offer.

But you shouldn’t have right to enjoy the whole system of public goods while not paying your share. Payment for public goods comes with an enormous financial incentive for individual to free ride of the backs of everyone else. So, we all kick in or have no government financed roads, police, jails, ports, infrastructure, courts, etc. If you don’t want to be part of society, including the costs of belonging to that society, your remedy is to go elsewhere. (Assuming, of course, that your perfect utopia has open borders.)

Or, you can try to persuade your fellow citizens that the public should not provide the services that you don’t want to pay for. In this society, that’s also an option you have. But it’s not guaranteed to work.

What? Kill you for refusing to pay your taxes? Hell no. Why would I do that?

As for slavery, here’s what it actually looks like. I send a few grand to Doc, and then I own you, your wife, and your kids. I sell your kids to Marcus and you never see them again. I have sex with your wife and you can’t do a damn thing about it. You have to do whatever work I give you, and if you refuse, I have you whipped until you almost die. I don’t pay you one red cent for your labor. You eat what I choose to give you and wear what I choose to give you. I never have to give you a day off. You only get to leave my property when I allow it, and you can only go where I allow you to go. And if you try to escape, I or anyone else can shoot you without consequence. You are not human — you are property, just like my car, my shoes, or my toilet seat. And I can do with you as I choose.

So, naw, paying taxes sounds nothing like slavery to me.
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Res Ipsa
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Re: God Creation

Post by Res Ipsa »

Hawkeye wrote:
Wed Aug 03, 2022 7:10 pm
If someone really wants to 'opt out' of the system, go live in the woods. Find out what life is really like when you opt out. Most people just want to opt out of their obligations, but do not want to opt out of the benefits of the society they want to reject.
I'll agree to never collect a social security or SSI check. That's more than fair considering what I've already paid into the program. We call ourselves the land of liberty. But we're not really free.
Even Ayn Rand, who was was more extreme than you, took the government checks that she despised others for taking. Your concept of Liberty is pretty immature. You have more freedom today to do more things than at any time in history, including when the country was founded. You just close your eyes to all that freedom and complain about paying for the things that enabled that freedom. Hell, just look at the difference in life expectancy between the year you were born and the 1700s. Look at the ability to travel. Look at the access to knowledge and information. You are rich with freedom and opportunity far beyond what was available to the founders. And yet you insist on playing the victim.
he/him
"Everything we see hides another thing, we always want to see what is hidden by what we see."
– Rene Magritte
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Re: God Creation

Post by Gunnar »

Doctor CamNC4Me wrote:
Wed Aug 03, 2022 11:22 pm
That’s, ah, only partially true, friend. I think not acknowledging the HUGE benefits and entitlements that exist within the SSA makes it seem like ‘leftists’ are lying about the matter. There’s a lot the SSA could do to keep cheats, lazies, and other grey area users out of the system.

- Doc
I don't deny there are cheats and criminals who take unfair advantage of the system and that more needs to be done to prevent that and root out ineligible beneficiaries of the system, but I think my point remains that the eligible beneficiaries are only getting their own money back, not a government dole or undeserved freebies and that it would be foolish of them to refuse it.
No precept or claim is more suspect or more likely to be false than one that can only be supported by invoking the claim of Divine authority for it--no matter who or what claims such authority.
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Re: God Creation

Post by Gunnar »

ajax18 wrote:
Wed Aug 03, 2022 11:28 pm
Gunnar wrote:
Wed Aug 03, 2022 10:39 pm

In other words, if you stopped believing you would be even more selfish and hateful towards others than you obviously already are? Horrors! In that case, I hope you never lose your belief in God!
Atheism hasn't exacttly made you the princee of peace nor the champion of liberty. I
What have I said that makes you think I in any way diminish the value of peace or liberty?
If social security were just a forced retirement program, you should have no problem allowing people opt out and to save for their own retirement.
If it were true that social security was just a forced retirement program, that would only make it all the more foolish to refuse government efforts to return your own money that it has taken from you. If anyone chooses to also invest some additional money of their own in a personal retirement program, there is nothing to prevent them from doing that, but there is no guarantee on the return of such investments, and it is not uncommon for such discretionary investments to turn out to be bad choices. In my view, relying on both social security and discretionary additional investments would be safer for most people than relying on one's own discretionary investments alone.
Last edited by Gunnar on Thu Aug 04, 2022 8:24 am, edited 4 times in total.
No precept or claim is more suspect or more likely to be false than one that can only be supported by invoking the claim of Divine authority for it--no matter who or what claims such authority.
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Re: God Creation

Post by Chap »

Hawkeye wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 4:06 pm
You have to re-insert them into a normal way of life, and that requires devoting human and financial resources to doing so. You can, for instance, make it possible for people to come out of prison into a worthwhile job in a supportive environment. One example of how that can be done is here - Timpson's is a very successful UK chain of service providers who I use regularly for such things as watch and shoe repairs, simply because they are very good at what they do:
So give people enough money and opportunity and that will make honest men of them? Why wouldn't more people choose the criminal path if it leads to such blessings?
Use the blasted quote feature to identify the people to whose posts you reply. Is that beyond you?

Anyway, I said
Chap wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 8:52 am
(c) As for Hawkeye's request to be given 'reasons could you give the drug addict or child criminal to become a responsible contributing member of society', I respond to that by pointing out that you don't 'reason' somebody out of a way of life profoundly alienated from normal human society, and particularly not by telling them 'if you don't stop doing that <name of preferred deity> will be very annoyed, and will punish you'. You have to re-insert them into a normal way of life, and that requires devoting human and financial resources to doing so. You can, for instance, make it possible for people to come out of prison into a worthwhile job in a supportive environment. [...]

Timpson's is a business who do what they do because it is good business. But even if one was to use tax dollars on good programmes to get alienated people back into normal life, it will always be a lot cheaper than paying to have them arrested, prosecuted and incarcerated over and over again, as well as taking the economic damage caused by the harm they do during a life of crime. (Of course, the owners of private incarceration companies will make lots of money in the process - but that is not what the criminal justice system is for, is it?)
Of course you omitted the point that didn't suit you. Rehabilitating people in a way that sticks will entail costs. But in the long run it is a lot cheaper to spend that money than leaving them to damage our society by criminal activity, and then having to pay to incarcerate them over and over again. Yes, I know the idea of punishment gives you a hard-on. But rehabilitation is cheaper all round, even if you find the idea unexciting.
Maksutov:
That's the problem with this supernatural stuff, it doesn't really solve anything. It's a placeholder for ignorance.
Mayan Elephant:
Not only have I denounced the Big Lie, I have denounced the Big lie big lie.
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Re: God Creation

Post by Hawkeye »

Chap wrote:
Of course you omitted the point that didn't suit you. Rehabilitating people in a way that sticks will entail costs. But in the long run it is a lot cheaper to spend that money than leaving them to damage our society by criminal activity, and then having to pay to incarcerate them over and over again. Yes, I know the idea of punishment gives you a hard-on. But rehabilitation is cheaper all round, even if you find the idea unexciting.
How much would it cost to rehabilitate El Chapo? What job are you going to train him for that can compete with being a multimillionaire drug lord?
The best part about this is waiting four years to see how all the crazy apocalyptic predictions made by the fear mongering idiots in Right Wing media turned out to be painfully wrong...Gasoline would hit $10/gallon. Hyperinflation would ensue.
Icarus
Chap
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Re: God Creation

Post by Chap »

Hawkeye wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 4:45 pm
Chap wrote:
Of course you omitted the point that didn't suit you. Rehabilitating people in a way that sticks will entail costs. But in the long run it is a lot cheaper to spend that money than leaving them to damage our society by criminal activity, and then having to pay to incarcerate them over and over again. Yes, I know the idea of punishment gives you a hard-on. But rehabilitation is cheaper all round, even if you find the idea unexciting.
How much would it cost to rehabilitate El Chapo? What job are you going to train him for that can compete with being a multimillionaire drug lord?
El Chapo* was imprisoned for life in 2019. The question of rehabilitating him into someone fit to operate normally in outside society does not arise.

However, for most low-grade criminals, the economic gain from not having to pay for their repeated incarcerations, and ending the social and financial harm of the crimes they commit is likely to significantly outweigh the costs of a programme that can succeed in rehabilitating a large proportion of such offenders. Petty crime is not a great life for most of the people who commit it.


*No relation. Really.
Maksutov:
That's the problem with this supernatural stuff, it doesn't really solve anything. It's a placeholder for ignorance.
Mayan Elephant:
Not only have I denounced the Big Lie, I have denounced the Big lie big lie.
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Re: God Creation

Post by Gunnar »

Hawkeye wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 4:45 pm
How much would it cost to rehabilitate El Chapo? What job are you going to train him for that can compete with being a multimillionaire drug lord?
So, because it is probably impossible to rehabilitate as hardcore a criminal as El Chapo, we should never try to rehabilitate anyone at all? What utter nonsense!

What Norway’s Prison System Can Teach the United States
By Rudy Gerhold

When one thinks of prison, they are likely to conjure images of overcrowded cells, tough inmates almost ready for a brawl, and lousy food. None would ever have the idea of Halden Prison, one of the most popular prisons in Norway.

Halden is a maximum-security prison within a 75-acre land. It is also the second biggest of its kind in Norway and receives people from worldwide. However, it is also an interior design awardee and, most of all, one of the most liberal prisons.

In Halden, inmates live almost similar to the general population. They engage in a variety of activities, from sports to music. Their windows don’t have bars, and they have easy access to sharp objects. The only difference is they’re stuck there for some time.

Halden isn’t the only prison to operate in this manner. So do the rest in Norway. While some have criticized this system, most call it the most successful—one worth emulating by American prisons.

The Biggest Lessons and Rewards

What makes Norway’s prison system successful, and what makes that of the United States challenging? What can the latter country learn from the former?

1. US Prisons Struggle with Overcrowding

One of the biggest issues in the US prison system is overcrowding. In Utah, for example, the number of inmates has already increased by almost 300% since 1983. But most facilities almost remain the same.

Overcrowding also means a higher prison budget. It accounts for at least 5% of the total tax dollars the federal and state governments receive. The Prison Policy Initiative revealed that mass incarceration spending could be $100 billion more annually than previously thought. Meanwhile, in California, an inmate could mean a budget of $80,000 to keep them behind bars.

The more inmates there are, the more expensive it gets for the government and even taxpayers. And yet, the resources are finite. Moreover, overcrowding increases the risk of diseases and thus healthcare costs. It also adds a lot of burden to the personnel.

But American prisons and inmates can explore plenty of ways to reduce overcrowding. Utah families, for example, can consider working with bail bonds specialists. This can already remove thousands of unconvicted individuals from jails.

2. Norway’s Prisons Focus on Restorative Justice

For many, it seems the goal of prisons is to punish the individual. For Norway, it is an opportunity to rehabilitate the person so they can be part of society again. This concept is called restorative justice.

For this reason, inmates in Norway engage in many activities, so they can become productive and mend their ways. They learn life skills, while others go to school. They may also have regular contact with their families. They can visit their incarcerated loved ones twice a week and spend time with them privately.

Restorative justice is also one reason why the maximum prison sentence in Norway is only 21 years, even if the crime is heinous. Think of Anders Behring Breivik, who caused the 2011 Norway attacks that killed several children.

Despite the severity of his actions, he will still spend less prison time than many Americans with lesser crimes. He receives the same chance for rehabilitation as the others.

This isn’t to say that the person doesn’t receive any punishment. However, they believe that the real penalty is not to keep an individual behind bars but to take away their freedom.

Further, Norway can add 5 years into the sentence until they have data to show the person is already rehabilitated. Those who are less likely to change may not go out ever.

3. Norway’s Recidivism Rate Is Extremely Low

Norway’s prison system seems counterproductive, but the data shows that it’s working. It has one of the lowest recidivism rates in the world, at 20%. In other words, only 20% of those released become repeat offenders in the country. Compare that to a whopping 76.6% in the United States.

Restorative justice has a lot to do with it. Most inmates feel their facilities can help them become better people once they leave. Moreover, the personnel implement “dynamic security,” which means they are forced to interact or socialize with the people they are guarding. Meanwhile, the United States implements a more static approach, which is authoritarian-like.

Granted, many factors can affect or spell the difference between the prison system of the United States and Norway. There’s culture, budget, and even the demographics and behaviors of offenders.

However, Norway’s prison system won’t reach such status for no reason. Certainly, the United States can pick some nuggets of wisdom from the setup.
By far the strongest reason to study the Norwegian system and learn from it is the much lower recidivism rate compared the USA rate, that I highlighted in the above quote. Unfortunately, however, there are powerful corporate prison supporters who make literally billions of dollars from incarcerating as many people as possible for as long as possible. Rehabilitation is one of the lowest priorities for them.
No precept or claim is more suspect or more likely to be false than one that can only be supported by invoking the claim of Divine authority for it--no matter who or what claims such authority.
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