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So what do you want to name your clone?Follow

#52 May 20 2013 at 5:26 PM Rating: Decent
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
I have no moral qualms about cloning in general, nor organ farming (assuming you don't clone a sentient being specifically for it). My ethics coursework for philosophy always included it, and most arguments come down to the same ones used against birth control - don't play God.


I think it's a little more complex than that. And it's closer to the issue of abortion than birth control (although I suppose you could argue that those intersect). The underlying question is when someone/thing is considered a "human" and qualifies for rights. And much like abortion, the issue generally resolves around a matter of degrees. Some cells in a petri dish? Probably safe to consider not human. Fully formed fetus, with potential for survival on its own? Probably should be considered human. Sadly, we still have issues with this, so it's reasonable to expect that cloning will make things even murkier.

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There IS one other major track of reasoning against both cloning and genetic engineering, though, which argues that it would be immoral based on the inherent classism it would endorse. Basic story: The rich could afford to engineer their children, when the poor couldn't, so over time the wealthy class would produce humans with capabilities vastly above the lower class. This would turn economic class into an actual biological class.


Yeah, I saw that movie too. I doubt we'll be in a position to engineer super children any time soon. I'm more concerned with the steps in between.

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I suppose you could use that for cloning too, in some form. But considering there's no good reason to consider a clone anything but their own human person under the law, you'd just use family laws for inheritances and such. I mean, natural clones exist - they're called "twins" - so it's not like this actually creates any new issues with the law - procedural or forensic.


Honestly, that's part of the ethical quandary. If we adopt the idea that clones aren't humans, doesn't that same logic you just applied (that twins are natural clones) justify treating a twin as non or less than human? Let's assume we decide to avoid the problem by designing our clones with a flaw that will prevent higher brain functions from developing, thus allowing us to argue that this clone/fetus can never be a viable living human and thus doesn't deserve legal protection. What's to prevent some bright bulb from realizing that we can do the same thing to a "natural' fetus? So if I introduce some damage that'll ensure lack of higher brain function in a fetus at a stage early enough in the pregnancy that I could perform an abortion, what happens? Can the woman bring that non-sentient baby to term? Then what? That's a pretty huge loophole we've created. If we've already determined that a full set of non-sentient body parts that just happens to take on a human form isn't "human" and has no rights, does it matter how we arrive at that result?


The question of what makes a person a person is a relevant and important question to ask. And the question of God (or playing God), while a wonderful distraction, isn't the end all and be all of the issue.

Edited, May 20th 2013 4:27pm by gbaji
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#53 May 20 2013 at 6:38 PM Rating: Decent
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The underlying question is when someone/thing is considered a "human" and qualifies for rights. And much like abortion, the issue generally resolves around a matter of degrees. Some cells in a petri dish? Probably safe to consider not human. Fully formed fetus, with potential for survival on its own? Probably should be considered human.

So at 37 weeks, then? Or by "fully formed" do you mean "looks sort of like a baby?" Because there are quite a few dolls that will likely be delighted to gain full human rights.

Consciousness is the determining factor for qualifying for rights. Not complicated. Brain dead people don't have "full human rights". We restrict "human" rights in wide variety of ways in the US. "Human" rights for children are vastly different than "human" rights for adults, etc. If we clone something that becomes conscious, it should have rights. Again, not tricky. If we clone entire humans but have a technique to prevent consciousness from taking place (non cerebellum/brain stem functions never develop or whatever), those humans should be considered meat.

The ethics are really straight forward if you aren't a squishy brained believer in the invisible man in the sky and "souls" and all that nonsense. It should be a non issue. It'll be a huge divisive issue.
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#54 May 20 2013 at 7:33 PM Rating: Decent
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Smasharoo wrote:
Consciousness is the determining factor for qualifying for rights. Not complicated.


Sure. But things get more complicated when we change that state deliberately.

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Brain dead people don't have "full human rights". We restrict "human" rights in wide variety of ways in the US. "Human" rights for children are vastly different than "human" rights for adults, etc.


Ok, but restricting rights is different than not having them. And in most cases, we're talking about those rights transferring to another person, not disappearing entirely. The spouse or closest relative gain the rights to make decisions about a brain dead person. Otherwise any random person walking by could just go "Hey. Free body parts".

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If we clone something that becomes conscious, it should have rights. Again, not tricky. If we clone entire humans but have a technique to prevent consciousness from taking place (non cerebellum/brain stem functions never develop or whatever), those humans should be considered meat.


Sure. But then, as I asked in my post, do we apply the same rules to naturally formed fetuses who were modified to produce the same result? I'm guessing that sabotaging the development of the brain stem or whatever to ensure no higher functions develop is vastly easier than genetically engineering superior intellect or hand eye coordination. If we accept the ethics of growing a clone from scratch, completely healthy except for its lack of higher brain function in order to use for parts, might it not be simpler to ****** those brain functions in an already created zygote/embroyo/whatever? I fully acknowledge this may be a moot point and that there would be no use for doing this (cause cloning produces an exact copy of the person you're making the organs for, while using a source resulting from a mix of genetic material would not), but do we rest our ethical hands on the assumption that "no one will want to do this"?

I don't know what direction this will go. I'm just pointing out that it's not nearly as clear cut as some seem to want it to be.

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The ethics are really straight forward if you aren't a squishy brained believer in the invisible man in the sky and "souls" and all that nonsense


It's statements like this that make people question the claim that secular humanism can and does produce ethically sound decisions. I agree that it *should*. Sadly, so often those who practice it work so hard to distance themselves from those silly people who believe in invisible men in the sky that they reject many ethical position solely because they don't want to agree with those aforementioned believers.

Which is staggeringly irrational, doubly so from a group of people who claim to be all about rational thinking.

Edited, May 20th 2013 6:35pm by gbaji
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#55 May 20 2013 at 8:17 PM Rating: Good
gbaji wrote:
It's statements like this that make people question the claim that secular humanism can and does produce ethically sound decisions. I agree that it *should*. Sadly, so often those who practice it work so hard to distance themselves from those silly people who believe in invisible men in the sky that they reject many ethical position solely because they don't want to agree with those aforementioned believers.
It's statements like this that make me wonder how you can continue to claim you are no kind of deist.

You earlier claimed you were not a Christian. Are you Jewish? Moslem? Unitarian?


I R Smiley: confused
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#56 May 20 2013 at 8:35 PM Rating: Decent
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Friar Bijou wrote:
gbaji wrote:
It's statements like this that make people question the claim that secular humanism can and does produce ethically sound decisions. I agree that it *should*. Sadly, so often those who practice it work so hard to distance themselves from those silly people who believe in invisible men in the sky that they reject many ethical position solely because they don't want to agree with those aforementioned believers.
It's statements like this that make me wonder how you can continue to claim you are no kind of deist.


Huh? What makes you conclude that anyone who points out that secular humanists often fail to produce the ethical decisions they claim they are just as capable of achieving as deists must therefore be a deist?

It's not always "us versus them".
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#57 May 20 2013 at 8:42 PM Rating: Good
gbaji wrote:
Friar Bijou wrote:
gbaji wrote:
It's statements like this that make people question the claim that secular humanism can and does produce ethically sound decisions. I agree that it *should*. Sadly, so often those who practice it work so hard to distance themselves from those silly people who believe in invisible men in the sky that they reject many ethical position solely because they don't want to agree with those aforementioned believers.
It's statements like this that make me wonder how you can continue to claim you are no kind of deist.
Huh? What makes you conclude that anyone who points out that secular humanists often fail to produce the ethical decisions they claim they are just as capable of achieving as deists must therefore be a deist?

It's not always "us versus them".
If you're not a deist or a humanist....what the **** are you?
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#58 May 20 2013 at 8:47 PM Rating: Default
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Let me be a bit more clear (or at least less snarky).

Atheists commonly argue that there is no value or need for religion or faith because humans are just as capable of generating good ethical rules using rational thinking and logic and without needing god and pesky/silly rules, threats, promises of reward in heaven or punishment in ****, etc to achieve. Thus, says the atheist, since god isn't needed to produce ethical results and moral societies (truly moral they argue since there wont be those terrible negatives that blind adherence to faith produces), we can and should chuck god, religion, and faith out the window.

I happen to agree in principle with this. I do wish we could derive equal (or even better!) ethical outcomes and be able to chuck out the silly parts of religion. It would be wonderful if we could achieve "thou shalt not kill/steal/etc" without needing "homos are icky" or "sacrifice a goat please". I absolutely have issues with many of the dogmatic and just plain silly things that religions often push on the followers and by extension the populations their followers live in. Sadly though, secular humanists have failed fairly consistently at the promise of even remotely equivalent ethics, much less the ability to motivate or otherwise produce a consistent and usable moral rule set for any society.

I would honestly love if they could, but as I said earlier, it seems like far too many are caught up in the "hate religion, so have to oppose anything they stand for" to be able to do this. They can't get past their own dogma to see that there are a whole **** of a lot of good teachings that do come from religious sources. For some reasons they have to chuck out the useful stuff with the non-useful. It's why someone like Smash will make the statement he made. He clearly stated that the only reason one might care about when a person is a person is if one believes in god.

Put another way, he's essentially saying that one should not care about such a thing precisely because those who believe in god *do*. And that's an incredibly stupid reason to take any position. It is exactly as stupid as the religious person taking a position because his religion says it's what he should believe. Strangely, atheists often completely fail to see this. Leading me to speculate that they care more about opposing religion than they do about projecting their own rationality and thus defeat their own strongest and best argument.
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#59 May 20 2013 at 8:51 PM Rating: Default
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Friar Bijou wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Friar Bijou wrote:
gbaji wrote:
It's statements like this that make people question the claim that secular humanism can and does produce ethically sound decisions. I agree that it *should*. Sadly, so often those who practice it work so hard to distance themselves from those silly people who believe in invisible men in the sky that they reject many ethical position solely because they don't want to agree with those aforementioned believers.
It's statements like this that make me wonder how you can continue to claim you are no kind of deist.
Huh? What makes you conclude that anyone who points out that secular humanists often fail to produce the ethical decisions they claim they are just as capable of achieving as deists must therefore be a deist?

It's not always "us versus them".
If you're not a deist or a humanist....what the @#%^ are you?


I'm a guy who would love for society to produce good rules for good reasons looking around and seeing an equal amount of stupidity from both "sides" apparently purely because they've decided to be on "sides" in the first place. I'm looking for the actual rational decision making the secularists claim to be all about and finding that it's not there.

The very fact that you seem to be having a hard time even considering that one might step outside those "sides" kinda supports my point. Secularism should not be opposed to religion. It should be actually trying to make the case that it's *better* than religion. But it doesn't. Which is an utter waste of an otherwise promising idea.
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#60 May 21 2013 at 12:10 AM Rating: Good
gbaji wrote:
Friar Bijou wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Friar Bijou wrote:
gbaji wrote:
It's statements like this that make people question the claim that secular humanism can and does produce ethically sound decisions. I agree that it *should*. Sadly, so often those who practice it work so hard to distance themselves from those silly people who believe in invisible men in the sky that they reject many ethical position solely because they don't want to agree with those aforementioned believers.
It's statements like this that make me wonder how you can continue to claim you are no kind of deist.
Huh? What makes you conclude that anyone who points out that secular humanists often fail to produce the ethical decisions they claim they are just as capable of achieving as deists must therefore be a deist?

It's not always "us versus them".
If you're not a deist or a humanist....what the @#%^ are you?


I'm a guy who would love for society to produce good rules for good reasons looking around and seeing an equal amount of stupidity from both "sides" apparently purely because they've decided to be on "sides" in the first place. I'm looking for the actual rational decision making the secularists claim to be all about and finding that it's not there.

The very fact that you seem to be having a hard time even considering that one might step outside those "sides" kinda supports my point. Secularism should not be opposed to religion. It should be actually trying to make the case that it's *better* than religion. But it doesn't. Which is an utter waste of an otherwise promising idea.
Try saying "I'm agnostic" and save the bandwidth, dude.
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#61 May 21 2013 at 5:38 AM Rating: Good
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Friar Bijou wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Friar Bijou wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Friar Bijou wrote:
[quote=gbaji]It's statements like this that make people question the claim that secular humanism can and does produce ethically sound decisions. I agree that it *should*. Sadly, so often those who practice it work so hard to distance themselves from those silly people who believe in invisible men in the sky that they reject many ethical position solely because they don't want to agree with those aforementioned believers.
It's statements like this that make me wonder how you can continue to claim you are no kind of deist.
Huh? What makes you conclude that anyone who points out that secular humanists often fail to produce the ethical decisions they claim they are just as capable of achieving as deists must therefore be a deist?

It's not always "us versus them".
If you're not a deist or a humanist....what the @#%^ are you?


I'm a guy who would love for society to produce good rules for good reasons looking around and seeing an equal amount of stupidity from both "sides" apparently purely because they've decided to be on "sides" in the first place. I'm looking for the actual rational decision making the secularists claim to be all about and finding that it's not there.

The very fact that you seem to be having a hard time even considering that one might step outside those "sides" kinda supports my point. Secularism should not be opposed to religion. It should be actually trying to make the case that it's *better* than religion. But it doesn't. Which is an utter waste of an otherwise promising idea.
No government is perfect, but to make a stupid *** claim that because a government is ineffective or inefficient or broke because it doesn't support a state religion is extremely short-sighted. It's not the lack of a god that is causing it to fail.

Secularism, religion, gods and other fantasy constructs shouldn't be included in a discussion about the best methods of democratically 'governing a country.
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#62 May 21 2013 at 7:12 AM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
I'm a guy who would love for society to produce good rules for good reasons looking around and seeing an equal amount of stupidity from both "sides" apparently purely because they've decided to be on "sides" in the first place.
If only you'd acknowledge both sides are actually equally stupid and not jump at the chance to defend one and demonize the other.
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#63 May 21 2013 at 10:37 AM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
I think it's a little more complex than that. And it's closer to the issue of abortion than birth control (although I suppose you could argue that those intersect). The underlying question is when someone/thing is considered a "human" and qualifies for rights. And much like abortion, the issue generally resolves around a matter of degrees. Some cells in a petri dish? Probably safe to consider not human. Fully formed fetus, with potential for survival on its own? Probably should be considered human. Sadly, we still have issues with this, so it's reasonable to expect that cloning will make things even murkier.

It's all human, we just haven't really had an appreciation of what that really means for long enough for the law to play catchup. The underlying philosophies are thousands of years old and view a "human" through those filters. The blob of cells isn't any less human, it just lacks the characteristics a collective of diploid cells can take on. Not that this makes the science any more palatable mind you, and that rat with a bunch of human genes is quite an interesting moral experiment to say the least. For my money were way past the point where we should be concerned about the muddying the waters, they're pretty darn opaque at the moment.

Morality will eventually catch up, in the mean time those diploid collectives would prefer not to die, and have no problem paying for scientists to do morally questionable things to make that happen. It's like industrial farming, everyone wants cheap meat, nobody wants to see the slaughterhouse, or the conditions the animals are raised in. Footage of that stuff gets out, and people throw a fit for a while about it for a while, then go back to eating their KFC. Same way these moral issues make their way into the light when something like this paper comes out, and then quickly fades away once people realize they want us to cure some disease and are willing to overlook moral issues if it means they live 5 years longer. So long as it stays out of sight and out of mind.
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#64 May 21 2013 at 11:06 AM Rating: Decent
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Friar Bijou wrote:
Try saying "I'm agnostic" and save the bandwidth, dude.


Are you new here?

Besides, I've said "I'm agnostic" at least a thousand times on this forum, and, well... you're not new, right?
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#65 May 21 2013 at 11:10 AM Rating: Decent
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Elinda, Goblin in Disguise wrote:
No government is perfect, but to make a stupid *** claim that because a government is ineffective or inefficient or broke because it doesn't support a state religion is extremely short-sighted. It's not the lack of a god that is causing it to fail.


First off, I never mentioned government. Secondly, you utterly missed the point I made about it *not* being an us vs them either/or kind of thing and by viewing it that way we fall into a silly and irrational pattern of behavior.

Quote:
Secularism, religion, gods and other fantasy constructs shouldn't be included in a discussion about the best methods of democratically 'governing a country.


I was talking about ethics and social morals. I'm not sure what you're talking about.
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#66 May 21 2013 at 11:12 AM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
Besides, I've said "I'm agnostic" at least a thousand times on this forum,
Or four.
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#67 May 21 2013 at 11:13 AM Rating: Decent
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lolgaxe wrote:
gbaji wrote:
I'm a guy who would love for society to produce good rules for good reasons looking around and seeing an equal amount of stupidity from both "sides" apparently purely because they've decided to be on "sides" in the first place.
If only you'd acknowledge both sides are actually equally stupid and not jump at the chance to defend one and demonize the other.


I'm an equal opportunity critic really, doubly so on this kind of subject. If I defend one "side" more than the other it's because of the people I'm responding to taking one position more than the other. If I were posting on a predominantly conservative or religious site, there would be a guy like you making the exact opposite observation about me.
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#68 May 21 2013 at 11:13 AM Rating: Decent
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lolgaxe wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Besides, I've said "I'm agnostic" at least a thousand times on this forum,
Or four.


Ok. Four thousand. Smiley: grin
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#69 May 21 2013 at 11:20 AM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
I'm an equal opportunity critic really, doubly so on this kind of subject. If I defend one "side" more than the other it's because of the people I'm responding to taking one position more than the other.
"Contrarian," and it's not like that's surprising to anyone.
gbaji wrote:
If I were posting on a predominantly conservative or religious site, there would be a guy like you making the exact opposite observation about me.
If this were a predominantly conservative or religious site, you'd be the guy posting exactly the same, but liberal, and I'd be the guy making the exact same observation about you: That you're a contrarian. Even the whole agnostic thing is just you being too weak willed to take a stand on any opinion on your own.

Edited, May 21st 2013 1:21pm by lolgaxe
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#70 May 21 2013 at 11:25 AM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
Elinda, Goblin in Disguise wrote:
No government is perfect, but to make a stupid *** claim that because a government is ineffective or inefficient or broke because it doesn't support a state religion is extremely short-sighted. It's not the lack of a god that is causing it to fail.


First off, I never mentioned government. Secondly, you utterly missed the point I made about it *not* being an us vs them either/or kind of thing and by viewing it that way we fall into a silly and irrational pattern of behavior.

Quote:
Secularism, religion, gods and other fantasy constructs shouldn't be included in a discussion about the best methods of democratically 'governing a country.


I was talking about ethics and social morals. I'm not sure what you're talking about.
Admittedly, I read very little of this thread.

Let me try and comment again (still without reading much of the thread)....

Quote:
I'm a guy who would love for society to produce good rules for good reasons looking around and seeing an equal amount of stupidity from both "sides" apparently purely because they've decided to be on "sides" in the first place. I'm looking for the actual rational decision making the secularists claim to be all about and finding that it's not there.
Ok, here. You've now made yourself a group - the Secularists. I can't imagine why there'd be such a group - specially if we're making our rules (governance) specifically to avoid categorizing people based on beliefs or fancies.

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The very fact that you seem to be having a hard time even considering that one might step outside those "sides" kinda supports my point. Secularism should not be opposed to religion. It should be actually trying to make the case that it's *better* than religion. But it doesn't. Which is an utter waste of an otherwise promising idea.
Secularism isn't better than religion. Air isn't better than coffee. Kaolian isn't better than Darqflame. Secularism is a term YOU keep using to label people who don't want to make decisions based on a religious faith.

The only one I see playing kissing face with a 'side' is you. And you're cheating on yourself!
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#71 May 21 2013 at 11:57 AM Rating: Default
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lolgaxe wrote:
gbaji wrote:
I'm an equal opportunity critic really, doubly so on this kind of subject. If I defend one "side" more than the other it's because of the people I'm responding to taking one position more than the other.
"Contrarian," and it's not like that's surprising to anyone.
gbaji wrote:
If I were posting on a predominantly conservative or religious site, there would be a guy like you making the exact opposite observation about me.
If this were a predominantly conservative or religious site, you'd be the guy posting exactly the same, but liberal, and I'd be the guy making the exact same observation about you: That you're a contrarian. Even the whole agnostic thing is just you being too weak willed to take a stand on any opinion on your own.


If that's your round about way of saying "I was wrong", I guess I'll take it.
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#72 May 21 2013 at 11:58 AM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
If that's your round about way of saying "I was wrong", I guess I'll take it.
Of course, because it's the opposite of what was said. Proving me right at every turn.
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#73 May 21 2013 at 12:14 PM Rating: Decent
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Elinda, Goblin in Disguise wrote:
Let me try and comment again (still without reading much of the thread)....


Fair enough. It's a broad topic, so no worries.

Quote:
Quote:
I'm a guy who would love for society to produce good rules for good reasons looking around and seeing an equal amount of stupidity from both "sides" apparently purely because they've decided to be on "sides" in the first place. I'm looking for the actual rational decision making the secularists claim to be all about and finding that it's not there.
Ok, here. You've now made yourself a group - the Secularists. I can't imagine why there'd be such a group - specially if we're making our rules (governance) specifically to avoid categorizing people based on beliefs or fancies.


I didn't make the group though (didn't make the label either). I'm observing that many people who decide that they want to derive ethics and social mores without relying on religious fiat (which, btw, I actually think is a good thing) often fail to focus on making those positive social/ethical actions and instead fall into a trap of simply opposing any position people who are religious take. This leads to the kind of statement that Smash made, which in turn polarizes people. What he did was associate caring about when a person should count as a human with blind adherence to religious beliefs. Which should be an absurd statement, but is unfortunately common.


I believe that people *can* make good ethical decisions without basing it on "god tells me so". It's just hard to do so in an environment where you're branded a religious nut if you attempt to actually do so.

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The very fact that you seem to be having a hard time even considering that one might step outside those "sides" kinda supports my point. Secularism should not be opposed to religion. It should be actually trying to make the case that it's *better* than religion. But it doesn't. Which is an utter waste of an otherwise promising idea.
Secularism isn't better than religion. Air isn't better than coffee. Kaolian isn't better than Darqflame. Secularism is a term YOU keep using to label people who don't want to make decisions based on a religious faith.

The only one I see playing kissing face with a 'side' is you. And you're cheating on yourself!


Lol. Good one! Honestly though, secularism *could* be better than religion if it could derive the same sorts of useful social rules absent the religious dogma bits. That is, in fact, the entire premise behind philosophies like secular humanism. Unfortunately, as I observed earlier, it often fails to do so. And for really really silly reasons.
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#74 May 21 2013 at 12:22 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
Unfortunately, as I observed earlier, it often fails to do so. And for really really silly reasons.
This is pretty ungrounded discussion but
secular' social rules don't fail simply because they lack a god.

I need an example of what you construe to be a religious social norm and what you'd define as a secular social norm - a failing secular social rule would be good too.

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#75 May 21 2013 at 1:51 PM Rating: Decent
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Elinda, Goblin in Disguise wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Unfortunately, as I observed earlier, it often fails to do so. And for really really silly reasons.
This is pretty ungrounded discussion but
secular' social rules don't fail simply because they lack a god.


I'm not saying that they do. I'm saying that they often fail because those making them (or at least the most vocal about them) are more interested in attacking the beliefs of religious people than they are with creating good social rules. I find it ironic because the starting point is "let's make rules that don't take into account religious beliefs", but then tend to devolve into "let's make rules that oppose those created by those with religious beliefs", which ultimately means that they're still reacting to the same irrational input, just in the opposite direction.

If supporting an ethical position "because god says so" is wrong, it's equally wrong to oppose that position "because god says so". The correct answer should be "because this makes the most sense" or "because this will produce the best social outcomes". The problem is that sometimes (quite often in fact) social rules that are derived "because god says so" also happen to make the most sense and/or produce the best social outcomes. But many secularists will reject them, not because of an assessment of the rule itself but because religious people adopt it for what they consider to be the wrong reasons.

And I think that's silly.

Quote:
I need an example of what you construe to be a religious social norm and what you'd define as a secular social norm - a failing secular social rule would be good too.


Social norms should not be defined as "religious" or "secular" though. That's the point I'm trying to make. The reasons one might adopt or reject them may be religious or secular, but the norms themselves aren't inherently one or the other. The problem is that too many people label a position as "religious" and judge it based on that, and not its own merits.

Here's an example:

Smasharoo wrote:
The ethics are really straight forward if you aren't a squishy brained believer in the invisible man in the sky and "souls" and all that nonsense. It should be a non issue. It'll be a huge divisive issue.


Smash equates merely considering the ethics of cloning to be complex as something only "squishy brained" religious people would do. So he's basically trying to convince people to not bother to consider the ethical issue at all under threat of being labeled as "religious" (and presumably all the negatives that entails). That's not terribly useful from a social examination perspective though, and one can assume leads many secularists who might otherwise be willing and able to engage in good ethical examinations of given subjects to shy away from them instead.


This is why I say that secularism *could* be better than religion at generating good usable social rules. But it often doesn't because its hampered by the more hard core folks like Smash who constantly threaten them with the "religious" label if they stray into any sort of ethical position which might just happen to be similar to one that religious folks happen to agree with. As I said earlier, it's become more about "us vs them" than doing the right thing.
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#76 May 21 2013 at 2:07 PM Rating: Excellent
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Secularists also can't threaten an eternity of torment for disobeying their created tenants. The carrot and stick approach fails if you have a wimpy stick.
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#77 May 21 2013 at 2:23 PM Rating: Decent
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someproteinguy wrote:
Secularists also can't threaten an eternity of torment for disobeying their created tenants. The carrot and stick approach fails if you have a wimpy stick.


Sure. Social adoption is another facet of the issue, but I'm just looking at the ethical choices themselves. Abortion is a great example of this in action. Most people, myself included, believe that the right of the woman to control her own body is gradually superseded by the right of the developing fetus to live. It's a very reasonable and workable approach. It also ties in nicely with some core operating principles of our own system of laws (the idea that laws should resolve conflicts of competing rights within our society). However, it's shocking the sheer frequency with which someone who merely questions the possibility that some loophole or rule might be in violation with that reasonable middle position is labeled as "religious" and dismissed on that grounds.

I just think it's a terrible methodology to use. Judge the position, not something else you've associated with it. Yes. Lots of religious people oppose elective late term abortion. That does not mean that if I also oppose it that I'm religious, much less that the opposition is wrong. It's quite possible for ethical positions to be derived in the absence of religious belief. In fact, it's the core tenant of secular humanism. Yet it seems like when one attempts to do this the very folks who argue hardest that secularism can derive ethical outcomes will label those who do as religious.

And I find that ironic and self defeating.
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#78 May 22 2013 at 6:39 AM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:

Here's an example:

Smasharoo wrote:
The ethics are really straight forward if you aren't a squishy brained believer in the invisible man in the sky and "souls" and all that nonsense. It should be a non issue. It'll be a huge divisive issue.


Smash equates merely considering the ethics of cloning to be complex as something only "squishy brained" religious people would do. So he's basically trying to convince people to not bother to consider the ethical issue at all under threat of being labeled as "religious" (and presumably all the negatives that entails). That's not terribly useful from a social examination perspective though, and one can assume leads many secularists who might otherwise be willing and able to engage in good ethical examinations of given subjects to shy away from them instead.
Smiley: lol You can't use Smash as an example. Not unless you balance it out with a Nexa example.

Quote:
This is why I say that secularism *could* be better than religion at generating good usable social rules.
Well, better or not secularism is the only option that really jives with our constitution.

I guess maybe my point is it's pointless to argue that religious social norms may or may not be better than an alternative when they can't exist in our society with any legitimacy (outside of their own constituency of course).
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#79 May 23 2013 at 11:45 AM Rating: Good
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Elinda, Goblin in Disguise wrote:
You can't use Smash as an example. Not unless you balance it out with a Nexa example.


In a broad context, true. But I responded directly to Smash's statement with "this is the kind of thing that...". So can we agree that those kinds of statements aren't helpful for anyone who actually wants to embrace the idea that secular humanism can derive equivalent ethical rules without requiring the baggage of religious doctrine? That's all I was saying.

Quote:
Well, better or not secularism is the only option that really jives with our constitution.


I'll point out again that ethical choices are not inherently religious or secular. The process of deriving them may be, but it's not like we reject the idea that it's wrong to kill people because the bible happens to say so. I guess I'm still struggling to get across the point that we should not make decisions about ethical positions based on the source of those positions, but by looking at the positions themselves.

Quote:
I guess maybe my point is it's pointless to argue that religious social norms may or may not be better than an alternative when they can't exist in our society with any legitimacy (outside of their own constituency of course).


I think this approach simply avoids the issue entirely. By declaring that religious sources for social norms are always invalid, you determine that you can't therefore judge the social norm proposals deriving via secular means because there's no other choice? This brings us back to my disagreement with the idea that we shouldn't have any ethical concerns about cloning because we've arbitrarily decided those concerns are "religious" in nature. I think we can (and should) assess anything on ethical grounds and not worry ourselves about whether a "side" in this silly religious/secular conflict may be more or less aligned with that outcome. More importantly, I don't think we should be taking ethical positions out of a desire to avoid appearing to agree with a "side" we're not on.


I just think that's a particularly horrible way of making ethical choices for our society.

Edited, May 23rd 2013 10:46am by gbaji
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#80 May 23 2013 at 11:53 AM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
I guess I'm still struggling to get across the point that we should not make decisions about ethical positions based on the source of those positions, but by looking at the positions themselves.
Seemed pretty clear to me (which is a miracle given the wall-o-text you're so fond of Smiley: tongue). I don't see how you'd get a lot of argument on that point. There's bound to be some disagreement about whether or not people believe they are really doing that, but the concept itself isn't so offensive.
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#81 May 23 2013 at 12:07 PM Rating: Good
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As long as those positions are "Republican," all is well!
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#82 May 23 2013 at 12:13 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
Elinda, Goblin in Disguise wrote:
You can't use Smash as an example. Not unless you balance it out with a Nexa example.


In a broad context, true. But I responded directly to Smash's statement with "this is the kind of thing that...". So can we agree that those kinds of statements aren't helpful for anyone who actually wants to embrace the idea that secular humanism can derive equivalent ethical rules without requiring the baggage of religious doctrine? That's all I was saying.
Smiley: lol I agree. Lets not use statements made by "Smasharoo" to set social rules. It would be illegitimate anyway as he's got that disclaimer.

Quote:
Quote:
Well, better or not secularism is the only option that really jives with our constitution.


I'll point out again that ethical choices are not inherently religious or secular. The process of deriving them may be, but it's not like we reject the idea that it's wrong to kill people because the bible happens to say so.
Of course we don't. You'd have to assume that the only reason we don't kill people is because the bible tells us "not to" in order for that line of thinking to make any sense. The flipside of course is we don't reject, oh say..., SSM even though the bible says we should (at least by some interpretations).
Quote:

I think this approach simply avoids the issue entirely.
Yes. This should be non-issue.





Edited, May 23rd 2013 8:15pm by Elinda
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#83 May 23 2013 at 12:55 PM Rating: Decent
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Elinda, Goblin in Disguise wrote:
Smiley: lol I agree. Lets not use statements made by "Smasharoo" to set social rules. It would be illegitimate anyway as he's got that disclaimer.


Yeah. The disclaimer. Clever *******...

Quote:
Quote:
I'll point out again that ethical choices are not inherently religious or secular. The process of deriving them may be, but it's not like we reject the idea that it's wrong to kill people because the bible happens to say so.
Of course we don't. You'd have to assume that the only reason we don't kill people is because the bible tells us "not to" in order for that line of thinking to make any sense.


Not in that case. But we do in others. Abortion is a great example of this. Positions are rejected, not because of the positions themselves, but because they're associated with religion by those dismissing them. Are we seriously to believe that the only possible way to arrive at the "life begins at conception" position is if one is religious? Isn't that basically saying the only reason we don't kill fetuses is because god tells us that there's a soul in there? I happen to think there are perfectly reasonable secular ethical reasons in opposition to killing fetuses.

Quote:
The flipside of course is we don't reject, oh say..., SSM even though the bible says we should (at least by some interpretations).


But people often reject opposition to SSM because they associate that opposition with religion. I could give you dozens of examples just from arguments on this forum alone. It's a **** poor method to derive positions, yet it's very common. I'm suggesting that maybe people should wait to criticize someone else for using an irrational justification for their position (like religion) until they've checked to make sure they're not doing the exact same thing.


Edited, May 23rd 2013 11:56am by gbaji
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#84 May 23 2013 at 12:59 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:


But people often reject opposition to SSM because they associate that opposition with religion. I could give you dozens of examples just from arguments on this forum alone. It's a **** poor method to derive positions, yet it's very common. I'm suggesting that maybe people should wait to criticize someone else for using an irrational justification for their position (like religion) until they've checked to make sure they're not doing the exact same thing.


Edited, May 23rd 2013 11:56am by gbaji
You really think some people may only be 'pro' ssm or at least state they are pro'ssm' because they want to be anti-religious?




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#85 May 23 2013 at 2:10 PM Rating: Default
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Elinda, Goblin in Disguise wrote:
You really think some people may only be 'pro' ssm or at least state they are pro'ssm' because they want to be anti-religious?


Yes. I believe that many people take a more absolute stance in support of SSM, without looking too closely at the particulars, precisely because it's been framed in a "you either support SSM, or you are a religious zealot who hates gays" way. Anyone not wanting to be so labeled, will support SSM, even when the specific proposals may not be something they'd agree to if it were not framed in that way.


It's the same thing that happens with Global Warming (with perhaps less overt religious connotation though). There are a ton of aspects to that subject. It's a complex issue with lots of moving parts, and many variations in terms of specific effects that are occurring, different causes for those effects, and different proposals to deal with those various things. Yet, it's often simplified down to either being "for" or "against" the whole thing. You either oppose any and everything about global warming, or you support any and everything, including even the most ridiculous proposed political "solutions" to the problem.


That kind of polarization is done deliberately. It's done to force the masses to either adopt a position or be labeled as ignorant, anti-science, etc. But once you've done that, you can use it to get those masses to support any proposal you want. It ceases to be about "is this a reasonable solution to this problem" and becomes "you must accept our solution or you are rejecting the problem". And that's a terrible way to go about doing things.
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#86 May 23 2013 at 4:13 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Yes. I believe that many people take a more absolute stance in support of SSM, without looking too closely at the particulars, precisely because it's been framed in a "you either support SSM, or you are a religious zealot who hates gays" way

Well, you have to admit that the non-religious "It's just obvious! Unfair use of my taxes!" reasons suck so much that assuming someone is against SSM on religious grounds is actually doing them a favor.
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#87 May 23 2013 at 8:26 PM Rating: Decent
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Why must we always let gbaji ruin these fun-type threads with his brand of "ethics" discussions?

Wait, I just glanced at the previous posts. ANOTHER *** THREAD! LOCKDOWN!

Edited, May 23rd 2013 10:26pm by Debalic
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#88 May 24 2013 at 6:11 AM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
Elinda, Goblin in Disguise wrote:
You really think some people may only be 'pro' ssm or at least state they are pro'ssm' because they want to be anti-religious?


Yes. I believe that many people take a more absolute stance in support of SSM, without looking too closely at the particulars, precisely because it's been framed in a "you either support SSM, or you are a religious zealot who hates gays" way. Anyone not wanting to be so labeled, will support SSM, even when the specific proposals may not be something they'd agree to if it were not framed in that way.

I've never heard the argument framed quite that way. Maybe - "you either support SSM or you are a bigoted ignoramous who hates people who are different", but I've never, ever, felt that it was an anti-religious thing. I think you're projecting. Smiley: clown
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#89 May 24 2013 at 7:13 AM Rating: Good
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Elinda, Goblin in Disguise wrote:
I think you're projecting. Smiley: clown
The most likely scenario is that he used that exact argument in another forum that's more religious and conservative leaning and got called that, and just mixed up which forums did what.
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#90 May 24 2013 at 11:03 AM Rating: Good
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Elinda, Goblin in Disguise wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Elinda, Goblin in Disguise wrote:
You really think some people may only be 'pro' ssm or at least state they are pro'ssm' because they want to be anti-religious?


Yes. I believe that many people take a more absolute stance in support of SSM, without looking too closely at the particulars, precisely because it's been framed in a "you either support SSM, or you are a religious zealot who hates gays" way. Anyone not wanting to be so labeled, will support SSM, even when the specific proposals may not be something they'd agree to if it were not framed in that way.

I've never heard the argument framed quite that way. Maybe - "you either support SSM or you are a bigoted ignoramous who hates people who are different", but I've never, ever, felt that it was an anti-religious thing. I think you're projecting. Smiley: clown


In SSM, you either support the 14th amendment or you're a bigoted ignoramus who clearly hates the Constitution.
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#92 May 28 2013 at 9:59 AM Rating: Good
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I'd name mine Mazra #3 to keep it simple.
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Mazra Copy.cln
Mazra Copy1.cln

Like a proper copypasta'd computer file.
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#94 May 29 2013 at 7:04 AM Rating: Good
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Mazra wrote:
I'd name mine Mazra #3 to keep it simple.
Screenshot
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His Excellency Aethien wrote:
Mazra Copy.cln
Mazra Copy1.cln

Like a proper copypasta'd computer file.
5, 000 Mazra clones with lazereyes and flamethrowers = 1 Mazragade.
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Elinda wrote:
His Excellency Aethien wrote:
Mazra Copy.cln
Mazra Copy1.cln

Like a proper copypasta'd computer file.
5, 000 Mazra clones with lazereyes and flamethrowers = 1 Mazragade.

And they all refer to the original as Ahura Mazra.
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#97 May 31 2013 at 2:30 PM Rating: Decent
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Sorry. Bored on a Friday, totally missed this.

Elinda, Goblin in Disguise wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Elinda, Goblin in Disguise wrote:
You really think some people may only be 'pro' ssm or at least state they are pro'ssm' because they want to be anti-religious?


Yes. I believe that many people take a more absolute stance in support of SSM, without looking too closely at the particulars, precisely because it's been framed in a "you either support SSM, or you are a religious zealot who hates gays" way. Anyone not wanting to be so labeled, will support SSM, even when the specific proposals may not be something they'd agree to if it were not framed in that way.

I've never heard the argument framed quite that way.


I've seen at least a couple SSM threads on this forum where the first mention of any religious aspect to the issue at all was someone accusing someone taking an opposed position of doing so because of religious reasons. I seem to recall commenting on it in a thread because it was so blatant. Like 30 posts into the thread, not one religious argument or reference from anyone opposed to SSM, then a string of "You're just saying that because god tells you to hate gays" (or something similar).

Happens a lot more often than you might be aware of.

Quote:
Maybe - "you either support SSM or you are a bigoted ignoramous who hates people who are different", but I've never, ever, felt that it was an anti-religious thing.


Not everyone does this, of course. But it's a common enough argument from the Left that I've made note of it on many occasions.


Quote:
I think you're projecting. Smiley: clown


Not sure how projection applies here. I've *never* made a religious argument with regards to SSM, stem cell research, abortion, or frankly any argument we've ever had on this forum (that wasn't already about religion itself of course). I'd wager I've probably been accused of being a religious fanatic, or at least of "only saying that because a man in the sky tells you X" hundreds of times. I'm more aware of this exactly because I take great pains to make sure my arguments have no elements of religion to them, so it really really stands out to me when someone does this. And it happens a lot more often than you might think.
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#98 May 31 2013 at 5:15 PM Rating: Good
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Hey, remember the plan to raid the E.T. landfill we tossed around last page? Well it's too late, a documentary about the excavation of the landfill is going to be filled with New Mexico's cash fueled blessings.
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