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06-05-2014, 10:03 PM
RE: I just need to vent
(06-05-2014 05:41 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  
(06-05-2014 05:19 PM)Michael_Tadlock Wrote:  Are you implying that god is the moral law giver and source of objective moral truth? If so, how do you know? Can you prove it?

We have spent some time now telling you all of our positions. Where do you believe morals come from? Lets hear your argument.

I am simply agreeing with something ethicist Richard Taylor once wrote. He writes:

"The idea of moral…obligation is clear enough, provided reference to some lawmaker higher…than those of the state is understood. In other words, our moral obligations…can be understood as those imposed by God... But what if this higher-than-human lawgiver is no longer taken into account? Does the concept of moral obligation…still make sense?… The concept of moral obligation [is] unintelligible apart from the idea of God. The words remain but their meaning is gone."

He then goes on to state:

"The modern age, more or less repudiating the idea of a divine lawgiver, has nevertheless tried to retain the ideas of moral right and wrong, not noticing that, in casting God aside, they have also abolished the conditions of meaningfulness for moral right and wrong as well.

Thus, even educated persons sometimes declare that such things as war, or abortion, or the violation of certain human rights, are 'morally wrong,' and they imagine that they have said something true and significant.

Educated people do not need to be told, however, that questions such as these have never been answered outside of religion."

He concludes,

"Contemporary writers in ethics, who blithely discourse upon moral right and wrong and moral obligation without any reference to religion, are really just weaving intellectual webs from thin air; which amounts to saying that they discourse without meaning."


Richard Taylor, Ethics, Faith, and Reason (Englewood Cliffs, N. J.: Prentice Hall, 1985)

Now since this man was an atheist and an American philosopher renowned for his dry wit and his contributions to metaphysics who took his PhD at Brown University, where his supervisor was Roderick Chisholm and who taught at Brown University, Columbia and the University of Rochester, and had visiting appointments at about a dozen other institutions who wrote books including: Metaphysics (1963), Action and Purpose (1966), Good and Evil (1970) and Virtue Ethics (1991) then he has some of the qualifications you might look for in someone who you would expect to know a little bit about what he was talking about.

He was intelligent, learned, well respected in his field, known for his dry wit, had a PhD from Brown University and had visiting appointments at numerous other institutions and was a published contemporary atheist philosopher.

In other words, this is not some young teenage atheist posting stuff he has read on infidel websites.

Take a good look at what he says and you will notice it is essentially what I have been saying all along.

This is not a Christian speaking, but an atheistic philosopher.

Just ponder what he has written for a while and think on it.

So, you took that from Craig who dishonestly quote-mined Taylor.

In the debate where Craig used that, here is part of Taylor's rebuttal:

Richard Taylor Wrote:I had not met the Reverend Mr. Craig until a couple of hours ago, and I must say right off I am pleased by his eloquence. I am more than flattered by the fact that he has read my book—and with some care. As I listened, however, I couldn’t help thinking of a remark that someone made—and I don’t want this to be taken in the wrong way—that the devil can quote Scripture to his own ends. I’m not comparing my distinguished opponent to the devil, but I am suggesting that as he combed through my book, he did pick out those things that he could use to his own ends and left out the positive elements which I think are there. However, the book hasn’t had a great sale. I’m not going to get rich by it, and I’m glad that one person has read it with care. Reverend Mr. Craig did not address himself to the points that I made, understandably, because he hadn’t heard them until a moment ago. So I don’t hold that against him. My points, I think, do stand.

Craig is a charlatan and you are a dupe for using his dishonest horseshit.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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06-05-2014, 10:03 PM (This post was last modified: 07-05-2014 11:47 AM by djhall.)
RE: I just need to vent
(06-05-2014 09:51 PM)Michael_Tadlock Wrote:  If you debating morality with someone, and you hold a common set of moral principles to be true, recognizing that there is nothing about the universe that mandates they be true, then you can absolutely objectively arrive at moral truths based logic, reasoning, and what falls out of those agreed upon moral principles. That is how morality generally works in the actual world. This is why humans have a pretty consistent and similar moral code. It may not be as satisfying or as righteous as believing in god, but it is still functional, reasonable, and perfectly consistent.
This is essentially my argument in a nutshell, except that I am positing that the very disagreement on a common set of moral principles can, in and of itself, serve as the fundamental common principle from which you can objectively arrive at moral principles based on logic and reasoning. A very recognizable set of moral principles can be objectively derived with logic and reason directly from even the initial position of trying to avoid preferential treatment one set of principles over another.
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06-05-2014, 10:07 PM
RE: I just need to vent
(06-05-2014 09:41 PM)djhall Wrote:  
(06-05-2014 09:29 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Selecting the 'imposition of will' as your criteria of morality is a subjective decision... Drinking Beverage

Objectivity, objectiveness, and proof are ideal standards that human beings can aspire to and strive to achieve, but which we can never be certain of fully realizing. Unless we become omniscient ourselves, there will always be the possibility of new knowledge, new information, and new reasoning that causes us to question, revise, and re-evaluate our prior judgements.

That is simply the nature of being human, and as such it is true regardless of whether we are trying to determine the most objective criteria for moral judgements or evaluating the merits of the competing claims of competing gods with competing standards of objective morality.

The human condition is such that we cannot eliminate all subjectivity. We just have to settle for "as objective-ish" as we can get with what we have to work with and always continue striving to improve toward the ideals of objectivity and proof. Should someone claim to have a better criteria for objective fairness in arbitrating between competing and uncertain standards of morality, we can test that claim, evaluate the merits, and accept or reject that claim as being more objectively useful and fair.

When your two kids have to share one piece of pizza, an objectively fair principle might be to split it in half, or we could argue that we should apportion it by relative size, with the larger kid getting a proportionately bigger piece. We can argue the objective merits of the claims. But giving it to your favorite because you like them better is clearly less objective and more subjective. We don't need 100% certainty before we can make any comparisons about the relative objectivity of one standard versus another.

And that's all subjective. Using human 'well-being' or 'flourishing' as a criteria is subjective. Human well-being does not have any objective value, it is of value to us because we are humans with empathy. It means nothing to those without empathy (psychopaths), or for those who prefer to divide humanity into group and have moral systems that favor their own group while ignoring others (religions).

In a universe full of nothing but rocks and lacking any intelligence or sentience, morality would not exist; objective or otherwise. Morality itself is subject to the existence and interaction of conscious creatures.

The best you can do is select a subjective criteria, do your best to support and convince others of the soundness of that criteria. You can do your best to make objective decisions within the system, but the system itself is always built upon a subjective foundation.

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07-05-2014, 11:31 AM (This post was last modified: 07-05-2014 11:59 AM by Jeremy E Walker.)
RE: I just need to vent
(06-05-2014 09:51 PM)Michael_Tadlock Wrote:  
(06-05-2014 08:43 PM)djhall Wrote:  Thinking on it is one of the most common shared experiences among atheists.

Here is the problem. We are born into a pluralistic and uncertain world. A veritable "tower of babel" of beliefs and ideas and values and morals exist. "Everyone knows..." no longer serves as any form of guide as NOTHING is agreed upon by more than a sizable minority. "It is obvious...." no longer serves as a reliable guide. "But the book says..." Uh, which holy text would that be, since there are multiple contenders to chose from? "Science has proven..." conflicts with deeply held religious beliefs about things which are outside the realm of scientific understanding. "But logic tells us..." conflicts with god working in mysterious ways we can't fully judge. "If we pray and search with an open heart and mind..." then on average you are just as likely to decide on Islam or Judaism or Hinduism, as Christianity, except that astonishingly enough (<-- sarcasm), people tend to overwhelmingly find proof to believe whatever their parents and culture do.

This is a highly simplified representation of the moral landscape of the world we live in as it pertains to claims of moral truth:

1) 20% - Assorted Variations of God A, but not Gods B or C.
2) 20% - Assorted Variations of God B, but not Gods A or C.
3) 20% - Assorted Variations of God C, but not Gods A or B.
4) 20% - Assorted Variations on Not God A, B, or C
5) 20% - Individual mixes of beliefs from multiple sources and alternative beliefs.

Each group subjectively believes they know moral truths and desires to live their lives in accordance. These beliefs often conflict with one another. As these conflicting beliefs cannot all be objectively true, all groups face the objective reality that their fervently held objective moral truths are, most likely, not actually objectively true.

What can we do from here? The most common response has been insist all the louder that ours is the one group that is right, try to convince those who don't agree, and try to force those who won't be convinced. The less common response has been to abandon objective morality all together and insist right and wrong are merely the subjective preferences of individuals and cultures.

However, I propose there is a third option for objective standards of morality:

IF the most objective truth we can prove about moral claims is that most people's claims to objective moral truths are uncertain,
THEN no point of view, including one's own, should be presumed by its adherents to be right for others who disagree with it, or should be imposed on others who disagree with it against their wills,
AND we should allow them to pursue their purposes, desires, and happiness without interference and without imposing our own purposes, wills, or desires upon them or forcing them to do what we want against their wills.
THEREFORE, competing moral claims, principles, and standards can be objectively evaluated according to the degree to which they sustain this ideal to the greatest extent possible, even when it is impossible to not violate this ideal no matter what we do.

If you think about the kinds of moral positions that would be supported from this objective principle, we actually can argue that things like rape are objectively wrong. We can objectively demonstrate that moral claims are uncertain and unlikely to be objective moral truths. The most objectively neutral course of action is therefore to resist imposing our wills on others to the greatest extent possible. We can use that principle to objectively compare the claims that raping a woman most closely sustains that ideal standard or refraining from raping a woman most closely sustains that ideal standard. The woman who claims the "right" to go about her day without being raped is not attempting to impose her will on a rapist, and a rapist need not even exist for her to carry out that plan of action. The rapist, however, requires the existence of the woman to be raped, and the imposition of his will over her objection, in order to carry out his plan of action. Therefore, we can fairly clearly determine that the woman is objectively right, and the rapist is objectively wrong, in adhering to objective principles in a world where objective truths are uncertain.

All of our morality pretty much stems from the gold rule. Its even in the bible, that is how good it is Tongue. Because people have empathy and in general want to be safe and be left alone all cultures all over have come up with very similar moral rules. This is a great thing, because for the most part debating whether or not rape is wrong is a hypothetical argument. We all pretty much agree its wrong, because we all know we wouldn't want to get raped ourselves.

If you are being really super philosophical about it though, you would realize that even terms like "good" and "bad" or "best" and "ideal" are based on values and not on principles. We like good outcomes, but as far as the universe is concerned it doesn't care either way. Space and time and gravity behave the same regardless of what moral dilemma is taking place somewhere. It takes a person to decide if something is good or bad, which is why it is subjective. You must have a subject, aka an individual like you and me, in order to pass moral judgement. Moral judgement doesn't exist without a moral actor; you can't have morality independent of the person who holds that moral view and so in that way it is not objective.

That doesn't make our human value judgement any less important and valid. We have to except some thing as true in order to get anywhere. If you debating morality with someone, and you hold a common set of moral principles to be true, recognizing that there is nothing about the universe that mandates they be true, then you can absolutely objectively arrive at moral truths based logic, reasoning, and what falls out of those agreed upon moral principles. That is how morality generally works in the actual world. This is why humans have a pretty consistent and similar moral code. It may not be as satisfying or as righteous as believing in god, but it is still functional, reasonable, and perfectly consistent.

People used to have different views about what the stars were. Some thought they were the light emanating from the campfires started by people who lived far away. Some thought they were gods. Some thought they were other things.

Just because they thought these things does not mean that they were all of these things Michael. Nor does it follow that all of these views were true.

That is why you cannot use as an argument against objective moral values and duties, the fact of moral divergence. It is a non-sequitur.

There is one right answer to a particular algebra equation even if the students solving it all give different answers.

There are disagreements regarding certain acts i.e abortion but the disagreement is on when a fetus is considered a human being. The disagreement is not on whether or not a child should be murdered which is something that people on both sides of the abortion argument can agree on.
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07-05-2014, 11:55 AM
RE: I just need to vent
(07-05-2014 11:31 AM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  
(06-05-2014 09:51 PM)Michael_Tadlock Wrote:  All of our morality pretty much stems from the gold rule. Its even in the bible, that is how good it is Tongue. Because people have empathy and in general want to be safe and be left alone all cultures all over have come up with very similar moral rules. This is a great thing, because for the most part debating whether or not rape is wrong is a hypothetical argument. We all pretty much agree its wrong, because we all know we wouldn't want to get raped ourselves.

If you are being really super philosophical about it though, you would realize that even terms like "good" and "bad" or "best" and "ideal" are based on values and not on principles. We like good outcomes, but as far as the universe is concerned it doesn't care either way. Space and time and gravity behave the same regardless of what moral dilemma is taking place somewhere. It takes a person to decide if something is good or bad, which is why it is subjective. You must have a subject, aka an individual like you and me, in order to pass moral judgement. Moral judgement doesn't exist without a moral actor; you can't have morality independent of the person who holds that moral view and so in that way it is not objective.

That doesn't make our human value judgement any less important and valid. We have to except some thing as true in order to get anywhere. If you debating morality with someone, and you hold a common set of moral principles to be true, recognizing that there is nothing about the universe that mandates they be true, then you can absolutely objectively arrive at moral truths based logic, reasoning, and what falls out of those agreed upon moral principles. That is how morality generally works in the actual world. This is why humans have a pretty consistent and similar moral code. It may not be as satisfying or as righteous as believing in god, but it is still functional, reasonable, and perfectly consistent.

People used to have different views about what the stars were. Some thought they were the light emanating from the campfires started by people who lived far away. Some thought they were gods. Some thought they were other things.

Just because they thought these things does not mean that they were all of these things Michael.

That is why you cannot use as an argument against objective moral values and duties, the fact of moral divergence. It is a non-sequitur.

There is one right answer to a particular algebra equation even if the students solving it all give different answers.

Comparing morals to mathematics gives you another DUMB JACKASS award. BTW, there ARE some equations in algebra that can have more than one right answer.

“Truth does not demand belief. Scientists do not join hands every Sunday, singing, yes, gravity is real! I will have faith! I will be strong! I believe in my heart that what goes up, up, up, must come down, down, down. Amen! If they did, we would think they were pretty insecure about it.”
— Dan Barker —
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07-05-2014, 12:32 PM
RE: I just need to vent
As much as I hate lawyers, right now I am just so grateful our courts aren't run by theologians and philosophers!

We'd have a murder trial with the perpetrator clearly recorded in high definition audio & video stating his full intent to commit murder before killing the victim in front of multiple witnesses, yet all the participants would die of old age before we ever reached any agreement on such concepts as whether we can prove the defendant and the court exist, if the video recording should be considered subjective because we cannot view it from an objective perspective, and indeed, if the victim is even dead, since we cannot prove the victim isn't "alive" as an immortal soul in a metaphysical plane of existence. Facepalm
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07-05-2014, 02:07 PM
RE: I just need to vent
(07-05-2014 11:31 AM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  
(06-05-2014 09:51 PM)Michael_Tadlock Wrote:  All of our morality pretty much stems from the gold rule. Its even in the bible, that is how good it is Tongue. Because people have empathy and in general want to be safe and be left alone all cultures all over have come up with very similar moral rules. This is a great thing, because for the most part debating whether or not rape is wrong is a hypothetical argument. We all pretty much agree its wrong, because we all know we wouldn't want to get raped ourselves.

If you are being really super philosophical about it though, you would realize that even terms like "good" and "bad" or "best" and "ideal" are based on values and not on principles. We like good outcomes, but as far as the universe is concerned it doesn't care either way. Space and time and gravity behave the same regardless of what moral dilemma is taking place somewhere. It takes a person to decide if something is good or bad, which is why it is subjective. You must have a subject, aka an individual like you and me, in order to pass moral judgement. Moral judgement doesn't exist without a moral actor; you can't have morality independent of the person who holds that moral view and so in that way it is not objective.

That doesn't make our human value judgement any less important and valid. We have to except some thing as true in order to get anywhere. If you debating morality with someone, and you hold a common set of moral principles to be true, recognizing that there is nothing about the universe that mandates they be true, then you can absolutely objectively arrive at moral truths based logic, reasoning, and what falls out of those agreed upon moral principles. That is how morality generally works in the actual world. This is why humans have a pretty consistent and similar moral code. It may not be as satisfying or as righteous as believing in god, but it is still functional, reasonable, and perfectly consistent.

People used to have different views about what the stars were. Some thought they were the light emanating from the campfires started by people who lived far away. Some thought they were gods. Some thought they were other things.

The stars are tangible objects. They have a literal, physical reference. That is not true of morality. You can't escape it, the simple truth is morality is an idea, so long as it only exists in the thoughts of a person it can only be subjective.

Quote:Just because they thought these things does not mean that they were all of these things Michael. Nor does it follow that all of these views were true.

We know ancient peoples theories about the stars were incorrect because we can measure stars. We know their approximate mass, distance from the earth, probably surface and core temperatures, diameter, ect. We can track their movements and can observe them in their development. The analogy doesn't apply to morality. They are to different categories of things.

Quote:That is why you cannot use as an argument against objective moral values and duties, the fact of moral divergence. It is a non-sequitur.

That is not what non-sequitor means, but I think I see what you are trying to say. Its quite the opposite actually. My conclusion follows very clearly from my argument, yours however clearly does not. You have a lot more to do to justify your claim, including the monumental task of providing where objective morality comes from.

At the very minimum you would have to be able to point out a weakness in my argument. It wouldn't prove morality comes from god if you did, but at least it would leave room for the possibility. You aren't satisfied with the conclusions that fall out of subjective morality, but I am. It does not trouble me that in the absence of objective morality you can't definitively say things like "rape is wrong". I have provided a plausable explanation for why that is and how come it doesn't really matter (see my previous post). I agree that this is true. Your task then is to demonstrate that this is false, which you haven't yet done.

Quote:There is one right answer to a particular algebra equation even if the students solving it all give different answers.

A key difference between math and morality is all concepts in math have a fixed and clearly defined definition. Nobody disagrees as to the meaning of numbers or a limit. You can prove things objectively in math for that reason.

If you really examine it though, mathematics is a symbolic representation of real things. If you challenge the definitions that define the philosophy of mathematics, then you will find you can undermine them as readily as morality. So in this way your analogy is very appropriate. You wouldn't argue that math came from god would you? But you do argue that morality did. I have to ask, what is the difference?

Quote:There are disagreements regarding certain acts i.e abortion but the disagreement is on when a fetus is considered a human being. The disagreement is not on whether or not a child should be murdered which is something that people on both sides of the abortion argument can agree on.

This a non sequitor. Whether people agreed on abortion or not, or the point of contention on which they did or did not agree on abortion, would have no bearing on your argument. Neither instance proves or disproves the existence of objective morality.

If anything, the disagreement on abortion best underlines just how come morality is subjective. If god was certain on the fact, then we as godly creatures would be endowed with his certainty, would we not? The definition of life, the moment in which a fetus passes into being a person, is not clearly defined. It really up to interpretation. Subject to debate maybe?
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08-05-2014, 05:15 PM
RE: I just need to vent
(05-05-2014 10:22 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  
(05-05-2014 08:32 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  Simple. You think raping young women is wrong even if rapists think it is right. In thinking this you admit that just because they think it is right does not actually make it so.

Didn't you get the memo? Rape isn't okay because the rapist thinks it is, its okay because the rapist's God says it is.



http://www.cbsnews.com/news/nigeria-says...n-thought/

As you approach a town to attack it, first offer its people terms for peace. If they accept your terms and open the gates to you, then all the people inside will serve you in forced labor. But if they refuse to make peace and prepare to fight, you must attack the town. When the LORD your God hands it over to you, kill every man in the town. But you may keep for yourselves all the women, children, livestock, and other plunder. You may enjoy the spoils of your enemies that the LORD your God has given you. (Deuteronomy 20:10-14)


They must be dividing the spoils they took: there must be a damsel or two for each man, Spoils of dyed cloth as Sisera's spoil, an ornate shawl or two for me in the spoil. (Judges 5:30 NAB)


"When you go out to war against your enemies and the LORD, your God, delivers them into your hand, so that you take captives, if you see a comely woman among the captives and become so enamored of her that you wish to have her as wife, you may take her home to your house. But before she may live there, she must shave her head and pare her nails and lay aside her captive's garb. After she has mourned her father and mother for a full month, you may have relations with her, and you shall be her husband and she shall be your wife. However, if later on you lose your liking for her, you shall give her her freedom, if she wishes it; but you shall not sell her or enslave her, since she was married to you under compulsion." (Deuteronomy 21:10-14 NAB)


Lo, a day shall come for the Lord when the spoils shall be divided in your midst. And I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem for battle: the city shall be taken, houses plundered, women ravished; half of the city shall go into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be removed from the city. (Zechariah 14:1-2 NAB)

I was going to vent about this too, but you beat me to it. I'm so frustrated right now by my Facebook friends who keep posting about how this is a terrible tragedy yet defend the exact same actions committed by ancient Israelites at the command of their "emotionally stunted sycophantic pan-dimensional space wizard." (that's a brilliant description by the way Thumbsup ).

On one hand I really want to point out the inconsistency, but on the other I don't want to be the asshole that turns every misfortune into a debate.

Another example is a friend whose nephew died from taking Research Chemical he thought was LSD. Now she won't shut up about a new drug law that's named after him that's supposed to be one of the toughest in the country. The problem isn't that drug laws weren't tough enough already, but that they're stupid. If LSD was legal, he'd go to the store, buy LSD and get LSD instead of buying who knows what from some guy he didn't really know and obviously couldn't trust. But again, turning their tragedy into a debate won't accomplish anything other than making me look like a dick.

Thanks for letting me get that out of my system. I feel better now. Smile

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08-05-2014, 05:37 PM
RE: I just need to vent
(08-05-2014 05:15 PM)Can_of_Beans Wrote:  
(05-05-2014 10:22 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Didn't you get the memo? Rape isn't okay because the rapist thinks it is, its okay because the rapist's God says it is.



http://www.cbsnews.com/news/nigeria-says...n-thought/

As you approach a town to attack it, first offer its people terms for peace. If they accept your terms and open the gates to you, then all the people inside will serve you in forced labor. But if they refuse to make peace and prepare to fight, you must attack the town. When the LORD your God hands it over to you, kill every man in the town. But you may keep for yourselves all the women, children, livestock, and other plunder. You may enjoy the spoils of your enemies that the LORD your God has given you. (Deuteronomy 20:10-14)


They must be dividing the spoils they took: there must be a damsel or two for each man, Spoils of dyed cloth as Sisera's spoil, an ornate shawl or two for me in the spoil. (Judges 5:30 NAB)


"When you go out to war against your enemies and the LORD, your God, delivers them into your hand, so that you take captives, if you see a comely woman among the captives and become so enamored of her that you wish to have her as wife, you may take her home to your house. But before she may live there, she must shave her head and pare her nails and lay aside her captive's garb. After she has mourned her father and mother for a full month, you may have relations with her, and you shall be her husband and she shall be your wife. However, if later on you lose your liking for her, you shall give her her freedom, if she wishes it; but you shall not sell her or enslave her, since she was married to you under compulsion." (Deuteronomy 21:10-14 NAB)


Lo, a day shall come for the Lord when the spoils shall be divided in your midst. And I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem for battle: the city shall be taken, houses plundered, women ravished; half of the city shall go into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be removed from the city. (Zechariah 14:1-2 NAB)

I was going to vent about this too, but you beat me to it. I'm so frustrated right now by my Facebook friends who keep posting about how this is a terrible tragedy yet defend the exact same actions committed by ancient Israelites at the command of their "emotionally stunted sycophantic pan-dimensional space wizard." (that's a brilliant description by the way Thumbsup ).

On one hand I really want to point out the inconsistency, but on the other I don't want to be the asshole that turns every misfortune into a debate.

Another example is a friend whose nephew died from taking Research Chemical he thought was LSD. Now she won't shut up about a new drug law that's named after him that's supposed to be one of the toughest in the country. The problem isn't that drug laws weren't tough enough already, but that they're stupid. If LSD was legal, he'd go to the store, buy LSD and get LSD instead of buying who knows what from some guy he didn't really know and obviously couldn't trust. But again, turning their tragedy into a debate won't accomplish anything other than making me look like a dick.

Thanks for letting me get that out of my system. I feel better now. Smile

You sound like someone who believes that humans are under obligation to do and not do certain things.

What are you basing this on?
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08-05-2014, 05:40 PM
RE: I just need to vent
^^^^^^Holy shit! The irony of this post !Laugh out load
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