Looking for Atheist groups that are politically moderate
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25-12-2015, 06:02 PM
RE: Looking for Atheist groups that are politically moderate
(25-12-2015 05:53 PM)Sobek Wrote:  All of the debates that have ensued in this thread are EXACTLY why I would like to find an organization that is very narrowly focused on the goal of promoting secularism and injecting a non-theist viewpoint into the public discussion without getting sidetracked into a million other issues.

Getting this crew to agree on everything (anything?) is like herding cats.

We have one thing in common (for the most part) and that's a lack of belief in a god or gods.

You are likely to find someone who thinks in ways similar to you but if you want a place where topics don't get side-tracked...you have come to the wrong place.

See here they are the bruises some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF

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25-12-2015, 06:18 PM
RE: Looking for Atheist groups that are politically moderate
(25-12-2015 06:02 PM)Anjele Wrote:  
(25-12-2015 05:53 PM)Sobek Wrote:  All of the debates that have ensued in this thread are EXACTLY why I would like to find an organization that is very narrowly focused on the goal of promoting secularism and injecting a non-theist viewpoint into the public discussion without getting sidetracked into a million other issues.

Getting this crew to agree on everything (anything?) is like herding cats.

We have one thing in common (for the most part) and that's a lack of belief in a god or gods.

You are likely to find someone who thinks in ways similar to you but if you want a place where topics don't get side-tracked...you have come to the wrong place.

Understood. I didn't expect to find that here since this is a discussion forum, not an organization. Just trying to pick people's brains in case they might know of something similar to what I was looking for. So far my Google searches haven't turned up much and it may be that no such organization exists at present.
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25-12-2015, 08:23 PM
RE: Looking for Atheist groups that are politically moderate
(25-12-2015 06:18 PM)Sobek Wrote:  
(25-12-2015 06:02 PM)Anjele Wrote:  Getting this crew to agree on everything (anything?) is like herding cats.

We have one thing in common (for the most part) and that's a lack of belief in a god or gods.

You are likely to find someone who thinks in ways similar to you but if you want a place where topics don't get side-tracked...you have come to the wrong place.

Understood. I didn't expect to find that here since this is a discussion forum, not an organization. Just trying to pick people's brains in case they might know of something similar to what I was looking for. So far my Google searches haven't turned up much and it may be that no such organization exists at present.

Keep in mind that this is the holiday season and many of the members here are not as active. It's possible someone will be able to lead you in the direction you want to go...this is just a quieter time on the forum in general.

See here they are the bruises some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF

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25-12-2015, 08:34 PM
RE: Looking for Atheist groups that are politically moderate
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(25-12-2015 05:43 PM)Sobek Wrote:  @frankksj--My problem with Islam is at a much more fundamental level. For sake of discussion, let's imagine that all Muslim countries were stable and there were no violent jihadists. These societies would still be antithetical to Western Liberalism as I perceive it. Societies in which apostasy or blasphemy against the prophet are prosecutable crimes that can land you in jail or get you executed are not compatible with free inquiry and human progress.

I don't understand your point. Christianity and Judaism both teach the same things. Remember at one point before Christian nations separated state and religion, the Catholic church was executing people for blasphemy and apostasy. The old testament and torah still says that the jews are gods chosen people and he gave them the land and they have the right to kill whoever is living there (ie Palestinians) and take whatever they have.

My point is that when people get a good education, enjoy a stable economy and decent paying job, people take their religion with a grain of salt. Even though they claim to be ardent followers. For example, the headcovering. All 3 abrahamic religions mandate it. Moderate and liberal jews ignore it, while conservative Jewish women shave their head and wear wigs in order to technically comply without looking out of place. wikipedia:"The Biblical basis for headcoverings is found in 1 Corinthians 11:2–16. Though head covering was practiced by most Christian women up until the 1960s, it is now a minority practice among contemporary Christians in the West, although it remains the norm in the East."

Islam is no different. Before the US overthrew Iran's democratic government in 1952, back when they were a peaceful, modern democracy, women ignored the rules and ditched the head covering. Google 'Tehran in the 1950's' and you'll see images like the one below, and practically no head coverings. They had free speech, freedom of religion, equal rights for women, separation of church & state, and a secular government. So why isolate just islam? All the abrahamic religions teach the same crazy shit. Radical islam is a result of western intervention--not of their religion.

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25-12-2015, 09:49 PM (This post was last modified: 25-12-2015 09:55 PM by Chas.)
RE: Looking for Atheist groups that are politically moderate
(25-12-2015 08:34 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Islam is no different. Before the US overthrew Iran's democratic government in 1952, back when they were a peaceful, modern democracy, women ignored the rules and ditched the head covering. Google 'Tehran in the 1950's' and you'll see images like the one below, and practically no head coverings. They had free speech, freedom of religion, equal rights for women, separation of church & state, and a secular government. So why isolate just islam? All the abrahamic religions teach the same crazy shit. Radical islam is a result of western intervention--not of their religion.

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And yet again your statement of the 'facts' is untrue because you oversimplify and elide events.

Iran after 1953 looked much like Iran before 1953. A simple Google search will show that.
This shit works against any credibility you hope to have.
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25-12-2015, 10:16 PM
RE: Looking for Atheist groups that are politically moderate
(25-12-2015 08:34 PM)frankksj Wrote:  
(25-12-2015 05:43 PM)Sobek Wrote:  @frankksj--My problem with Islam is at a much more fundamental level. For sake of discussion, let's imagine that all Muslim countries were stable and there were no violent jihadists. These societies would still be antithetical to Western Liberalism as I perceive it. Societies in which apostasy or blasphemy against the prophet are prosecutable crimes that can land you in jail or get you executed are not compatible with free inquiry and human progress.

I don't understand your point. Christianity and Judaism both teach the same things. Remember at one point before Christian nations separated state and religion, the Catholic church was executing people for blasphemy and apostasy. The old testament and torah still says that the jews are gods chosen people and he gave them the land and they have the right to kill whoever is living there (ie Palestinians) and take whatever they have.

My point is that when people get a good education, enjoy a stable economy and decent paying job, people take their religion with a grain of salt. Even though they claim to be ardent followers. For example, the headcovering. All 3 abrahamic religions mandate it. Moderate and liberal jews ignore it, while conservative Jewish women shave their head and wear wigs in order to technically comply without looking out of place. wikipedia:"The Biblical basis for headcoverings is found in 1 Corinthians 11:2–16. Though head covering was practiced by most Christian women up until the 1960s, it is now a minority practice among contemporary Christians in the West, although it remains the norm in the East."

Islam is no different. Before the US overthrew Iran's democratic government in 1952, back when they were a peaceful, modern democracy, women ignored the rules and ditched the head covering. Google 'Tehran in the 1950's' and you'll see images like the one below, and practically no head coverings. They had free speech, freedom of religion, equal rights for women, separation of church & state, and a secular government. So why isolate just islam? All the abrahamic religions teach the same crazy shit. Radical islam is a result of western intervention--not of their religion.

[Image: 22.jpg]

We agree on this point. Fundamentally, all religion is bunk. I'm only "singling out" Islam to express my frustration with liberals and progressives who seem not to understand that they ARE one in the same, just different manifestations of the same old, outdated, discredited, invalid worldview. The same liberals who trash Christians and the Bible are now labeling the detractors of Islam as bigots and Islamophobes.

I called them simpletons because they don't understand the reality of Islam which is antithetical to their liberal values. Their misperception is in part a result of statements coming from the White House and Democratic Party that gloss over the troubling realities with cotton candy interfaith mumbo jumbo. Statements such as the claim that the terrorists are not TRUE Muslims and that no religion condones the killing of innocents. Well according to some very learned scholars, ISIS has as much right to the mantle of TRUE Muslims as any other group. They support their theology with citations from scripture. It's as if a group of Christians or Jews came along who decided to form their own state and enforce the Mosaic Laws found in Leviticus and Deuteronomy. This is the potential danger that exists with all these religions.

As I said before, I understand the administration's policy goals, I just fundamentally disagree with their methods. All of their semantics and word games won't change reality. Rather than pussyfooting around all politically correct so as not to offend 1.5 billion ignorant religionists, I'd prefer we call a spade a spade and stop mincing our words in the hopes that they won't murder us. The Bible and Koran should be viewed exactly the same way we view Greek or Roman mythology--interesting human literature from a bygone age. I for one would like to help hasten that eventuality along.
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25-12-2015, 11:13 PM (This post was last modified: 26-12-2015 05:20 AM by EvolutionKills.)
RE: Looking for Atheist groups that are politically moderate
(25-12-2015 05:12 PM)frankksj Wrote:  
(25-12-2015 03:53 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Different, and retarded as all hell and not even remotely feasible. Libertarianism is naivety, writ large.
First, lookup the significant inventions in human history, as well as other historic markers like longevity. After thousands of years of human history where it was tried your way...


Let me stop you right there fucktard. I haven't told you what my position is, other than to point out that your's is naive as all hell. But I'm sure your coming projection will be entertaining, if also worthlessly inept and vapid.


(25-12-2015 05:12 PM)frankksj Wrote:  ...and the role of government was to initiate force, and enforce the will of the ruling class (be it the majority or the monarchy), there was relatively little progress.


Little progress? So everything from the stone age up till the Enlightenment (including, but not limited to, agriculture, animal husbandry, cartography, metallurgy, algebra, philosophy, and astronomy) counts for fuck all? My, do the depths of your oversimplification know no bounds?



(25-12-2015 05:12 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Then in the 17th century when in a few countries classic liberalism (today called libertarianism) was tried, and they turned this on its head and decided the role of government was to block force, not initiate it, and to defend the minority against the tyranny of the majority, it instantly revolutionized the world and the rate of progress exploded.


Lets for a moment here ignore that 'progress' is a nebulous term here, and one for which you have not provided anything else to back that up. Are we talking scientific advancement? Quality of life? Human rights? Not only that, but placing that all at the pedestal of one concept is misleading, as it ignores other advancements, such as science. You are also ignoring prior high spots in civilization such as Hellenistic Greece, the ancient kingdoms of China, and the scientifically minded caliphates of early Arabia that saved human knowledge in the wake of the burning of the Library of Alexandria and Europe's fall to the Dark Ages. Advances they managed to achieve without 'classic liberalism'.


(25-12-2015 05:12 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Within just a couple centuries mankind went from a life of struggling to feed a child to survive you once you died at age 40, to a long life with advanced technology.


Which has more to do with scientific advancement, which can happen independent of political ideologies; just look at the Nazis, who were the leaders in multiple scientific and engineering fields (V2 rockets, ME-262, STG-44, etc.).


(25-12-2015 05:12 PM)frankksj Wrote:  We see that in so many ways as the world abandons libertarian principles, technology is going backwards. For example, transportation. In the matter of 100 years, the US went from having nothing to having 250,000 miles of rail, with air conditioned trains running at over 100 mph, and 2,500 different local electric rail lines that meant every town with a population over 10,000 had an electric light rail system and 90% of all trips were on electric mass transit. And in the 1920's the rail industry was working on the hyperloop, building a train in a vacuum concept to allow faster than the speed of sound travel. This was until the government took over.


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Also the Google self-driving car and Elon Musk's fleet of electric vehicles also call 'bullshit'.


(25-12-2015 05:12 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Then in the 1920's, politicians argued it should be regulated, so they capped the fares, thus eliminating all invention in new technology and the hyper loop was abandoned.


Regulation in and of itself does not necessarily stifle innovation or usage. Just look at Europe and Japan, where they've continued to invest in public transportation and it works for them. It's a different use set, as each one of those countries is a fraction of the size of the United States. Mass transit still works, where it is feasible, such as in urban and metropolitan areas like New York and Los Angeles. But for the most part, people don't want to pay even more in taxes to afford what they consider to be a less convenient way to get across the country. It might work well enough to get across a country in Europe or Japan, but considering that they're often the size of comparable states here in the US, there are different factors at play here.

Ignoring the realities of simple geography, once again, do you and your oversimplifications no favors.


(25-12-2015 05:12 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Then in 1935 they forced all the electric mass transit to be sold off, so it was all dismantled, and they eventually killed freight rail by passing regulation that they had to carry passengers, and eventually ended up nationalizing rail as Amtrack.


Are you ever going to stop equating 'poor regulation in hindsight' with 'therefor all regulation is evil'? Facepalm


(25-12-2015 05:12 PM)frankksj Wrote:  And as part of the new deal, the government decided to force everyone to pay for roads and subsidize transportation by internal combustion cars.


Yes, the New Deal. The massive social and public works programs that built our modern infrastructure. This unprecedented spending by the government was instrumental in pulling the United States out of the Great Depression, which had itself been cause by the unregulated private sector run amok.

Let's also not forget that our interstate highway system was envisioned as a mean to quickly transport men and material across the United States in case of Communist invasion during the Cold War; a very palpable fear in the post war years.

But no, I'm sure it was all just the big, bad, government looking to impose it's force and tax everyone for... reasons... Dodgy



(25-12-2015 05:12 PM)frankksj Wrote:  And now 100 years, technology is going backwards. The amount of time wasted in traffic is getting worse and worse. The US went from 250k miles of rail to 25k. And the trains are running at half the speed they were 100 years ago.


Near instantaneous global communications have made actual transportation of people less needed than ever. 100mph vacuum tube bullet trains are not feasible in every neighborhood to get everyone from home and back to work. I mean, we could use the government to force people into specific regimented housing so as to make such transportation setups feasible...

But that would limit people's limited freedom to chose where they want to live.

Plus the whole 'force' thing you're so adamantly against.


Go fly a kite dumbass.


(25-12-2015 05:12 PM)frankksj Wrote:  And there's no solution because progress by it's definition requires risk--trying new things which ultimately may fail.


Like NASA and the Apollo program?

Tell me again how private unregulated industry would have gotten us to the Moon. Drinking Beverage

Private industry in a capitalist economy are good for one thing; generating capitol. If your goal is anything other than making a profit (such as putting a man on the Moon), you'll be ill served by the profit driven private industry.


(25-12-2015 05:12 PM)frankksj Wrote:  But humans are risk:reward calculators and never take risk if there's no reward (nobody plays the lottery when there's no jackpot).


People are shit at calculating probability, which is why casinos and lotteries still exist. If people were actually cognitive of just how bad their chances of winning are and took them seriously, nobody would gamble on such long shots. That they not only continue to exist, but often thrive, is a testament to just how fucking wrong and short sighted your assertion is.


(25-12-2015 05:12 PM)frankksj Wrote:  So when self-proclaimed "progressives" fight to eliminate the reward associated with taking risk, they eliminate the risk and thus the progress.


You clearly have no idea how risk management works. Your black and white world, and the oversimplification you use to explain it, belie your abject naivety.


(25-12-2015 05:12 PM)frankksj Wrote:  You can see it today in California when they're planning to spend $50 billion on a train that does 150 mph. Elon Musk says we should revisit the hyperloop idea from 100 years ago and for 1/5 the price we can have a train that runs 3x as fast. But it's new technology, and that means risk. And since it's being run by the government, bureaucrats will never task risk since there's no reward.


Holy fucking shit, you're a damn conspiracy theorist loon. Dodgy

Let's not forget that Elon Musk, among other green technology developers, have received massive grants from the federal government. Let's also remember that there is always far more at play in politics than this gross oversimplification, single issue caricature you've presented.

Also, doesn't this shoot your earlier point in the foot? If there really was a market need, if all we really needed was for the government to stop interfering, then how come it's the government looking to invest $50 billion into a public transportation project and not private industry? Where are all of the private industries lining up to provide this service for the people? This is why your naive shortsightedness does you no favors.


(25-12-2015 05:12 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Why risk trying some new, unproven technology because if it fails, they'll be vilified for squandering public funds and the public will call for severe punishment, and if it succeeds, they'll just be able to keep the job they already have. The same as if they take no risk.


Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't; that's the risk. More than one rocket blew up on the launch pad before we put a man into orbit, and the Challenger disaster didn't single-handedly kill the Space Shuttle program either.


(25-12-2015 05:12 PM)frankksj Wrote:  If it's really naive, then why can't anybody name one example of a country that ever suffered from being too libertarian?


The United States, the unregulated private sectors that torpedoed the world economy; twice.


(25-12-2015 05:12 PM)frankksj Wrote:  When you rank countries by how closely they comply with the libertarian ideal, and then overlay that ranking with quality of life indexes, like life expectancy, income, etc., it's a straight line--the closer you get to the libertarian ideal the more people live long, happy, healthy, prosperous lives.


Those countries are also the heavily regulated and taxed modern democracies of western Europe. Facepalm


You want no regulation, look at sub-Saharan Africa.


(25-12-2015 05:12 PM)frankksj Wrote:  And the further you get away from it, like the extremes in N. Korea where the government micro-manages every aspect of one's life, people die young, miserable and destitute.


And yet one mismanaged hereditary dictatorship is not an indictment of government regulation or power; only their misuse.


(25-12-2015 05:12 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Yet when debating which direction a country should go, dems even more than reps argue we need to be more like N. Korea--concentrate and centralize the power even more, with fewer liberties, more government coercion.


Or, you know, more like Europe. Those countries that score better in every quality of life metric we care to measure. Rolleyes


(25-12-2015 05:12 PM)frankksj Wrote:  To me it's naive for you to dismiss the facts and evidence and cling to the neanderthal notion that the use of force is essential to solve every problem and that anybody who proposes peaceful, non-violent solutions is automatically a lunatic.


What facts? Your skewed view of history lacks all depth and nuance in your rush to protect your beliefs. That's why your view is naive, because it lacks any depth. You dig into huge concepts and ideas with multiple competing forces involved in a complex web of interactions, and you ignore all of them to push your narrative on a single issue.

That is ignorant, dishonest, and supremely childish.

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26-12-2015, 09:25 AM
RE: Looking for Atheist groups that are politically moderate
(25-12-2015 11:13 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Let me stop you right there fucktard. I haven't told you what my position is, other than to point out that your's is naive as all hell. But I'm sure your coming projection will be entertaining, if also worthlessly inept and vapid.

See my reply to your post in the 'king trump' thread. I do understand your position way better than you. You're backing Sanders, who advocates socialism, and doesn't even know what the word means.

(25-12-2015 11:13 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Little progress? So everything from the stone age up till the Enlightenment (including, but not limited to, agriculture, animal husbandry, cartography, metallurgy, algebra, philosophy, and astronomy) counts for fuck all? My, do the depths of your oversimplification know no bounds?

Look at the timeline of historic inventions. Sure, in the pre-classic liberalism period they learned how to write, do basic math, and care for animals over a span of 5,000 years. But as soon as classic liberalism took hold, in those countries which adopted it, in just over 200 years you had rocket ships going to the moon, the internet, people jetting all over the world, instant communication globally, MRI's and advanced medicine, double the life expectancy, and a world that would been unimaginable in the pre-classic liberalism period.

(25-12-2015 11:13 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Are we talking scientific advancement? Quality of life? Human rights? ... science.

All of them. By every possible measure, like life expectancy, literacy, to % living in poverty, science, human rights, everything jumped forward the moment countries adopted classical liberalism.

(25-12-2015 11:13 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Also the Google self-driving car and Elon Musk's fleet of electric vehicles also call 'bullshit'.

You proved my point. In half the world the government took over car production as well. And what advancements were made by any of the state-owned car companies. [crickets] The best they could manage was the Trabant. In the US, the state took over roads, but left the car companies privately run. Since then the cars themselves have advanced greatly--compare a Tesla Model S to a Ford Model T. But what holds them back is the the roads, which the government took over. How many roads have inductive charging to make the electric cars more viable? How many have integrated networks built in to communicate road conditions to cars? How many of the traffic lights display conditions digitally so self-driving cars can read them and not try to make a computer read an analog device (like a green light)?

(25-12-2015 11:13 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Mass transit still works, where it is feasible, such as in urban and metropolitan areas like New York and Los Angeles.

Yes, and when the private sector ran it, it was feasible in 2,500 different towns and cities in the US. Every town with a population over 10,000 had one.

(25-12-2015 11:13 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  But for the most part, people don't want to pay even more in taxes to afford what they consider to be a less convenient way to get across the country.

Sure, because paying the government to do it costs so much and you get so little. Americans pay private companies (ie airlines) to do this since it is SOOO much more efficient to just in a free-market system than to pay a state-run monopoly. Remember, some parts of the world still do have state-run monopolies on airlines, like N. Korea. And what % of the population gets to use them?

(25-12-2015 11:13 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Yes, the New Deal. The massive social and public works programs that built our modern infrastructure. This unprecedented spending by the government was instrumental in pulling the United States out of the Great Depression, which had itself been cause by the unregulated private sector run amok.

Clueless. The famous libertarian economist Milton Friedman published the most exhaustive analysis of the causes of the great depression and proved conclusively that it was caused by the federal reserve. The evidence was so overwhelming, that even the Chairman of the federal reserve, Bernanke, had to concede a mia culpa 'yes, the federal reserve caused the great depression'.

And your oblivious to the real reason why the US government pushed to end mass transit and force everyone to use roads and internal combustion cars... It was the oil and car industry. source This is what regulation is about. They had an inferior product. Cars were dangerous, unreliable, slow and expensive. But mass transit was at that time safe, fast, and efficient. So the company with the inferior product pushed for regulation, meaning that instead of letting the public pick the product which is best, the government picks the winners and losers--and the winners is whoever has the most lobbyists. Same thing with all regulation. It's invariably the companies who have a terrible product that are pushing for regulation because they need the government to force people to buy their crap. Same with air travel. Remember the US took over air travel around the same time as the roads--they set all the prices and routes. Then in the 1970's when some fought to de-regulate the airline industry, who fought to keep the regulation in place?! It was the airlines that were regulated of course. They lost, the government deregulated air travel, and within 10 years the cost to fly coast-to-coast dropped 90%, and air travel finally was within reach of the common person. If your precious regulation were still in effect, it would still be a luxury for only the super elite.

(25-12-2015 11:13 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  
(25-12-2015 05:12 PM)frankksj Wrote:  And there's no solution because progress by it's definition requires risk--trying new things which ultimately may fail.


Like NASA and the Apollo program?

Tell me again how private unregulated industry would have gotten us to the Moon. Drinking Beverage

This is the one form of transport I would have agreed with you on because the up front costs are so high and the reward so far in the future. When NASA said they were going to get out and let the private sector take over space travel, even I thought it wasn't going to work out. But I sure was wrong. Within 10 years private companies like SpaceX have slashed the cost per kg to get to space by up to 90%. And since this week they demonstrated the first re-usable rocket that lands back on earth rather than floating around as space junk that crashes into satellites, it's going to get even cheaper. Now space travel has become so affordable that even moderately well-off individuals can book a trip to space. And some companies are already recruiting volunteers to setup a colony on Mars--pure science fiction back when the government ran things.

(25-12-2015 11:13 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Private industry in a capitalist economy are good for one thing; generating capitol. If your goal is anything other than making a profit (such as putting a man on the Moon), you'll be ill served by the profit driven private industry.

Look around at your home at the hundreds of high-tech gadgets that make your life better. Smartphone, fridge, a/c, tv, computer, etc. What % came from the private sector vs. public? If it's not 100% from the private sector, I dare you to tell me what technology marvel you have in your home that came from a state run enterprise. [crickets]

(25-12-2015 11:13 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Also, doesn't this shoot your earlier point in the foot? If there really was a market need, if all we really needed was for the government to stop interfering, then how come it's the government looking to invest $50 billion into a public transportation project and not private industry? Where are all of the private industries lining up to provide this service for the people? This is why your naive shortsightedness does you no favors.

Seriously, you can't figure this out???? When private industry stepped up and built a best-in-the-world high speed electric transportation system that was used for 90% of all trips, what happened? We just went over it. You pro-government regulation guys used force to take it away from them and dismantle everything they built and they all went bankrupt, and instead force everyone at gunpoint to pay for the automotive industry's infrastructure. Of course once that happened no private company will invest because they know if it's a wild success, you guys will just come in with your guns and take it away from them like you did before, and even if you don't, it's hard for a private company to compete when the public is being forced at gunpoint to pay for their competitor's product (ie automotive) whether they want to use it or not.

(25-12-2015 11:13 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  The United States, the unregulated private sectors that torpedoed the world economy; twice.

Unregulated? Google 'what country has the most laws in the world'. What did you
find?

(25-12-2015 11:13 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Those countries are also the heavily regulated and taxed modern democracies of western Europe. Facepalm

I mentioned Switzerland and Hong Kong. Both come in at the top in almost all quality of life surveys. Switzerland in particular has zero poverty, almost no unemployment, and the lowest crime rates. They're also low-tax libertarian societies.

(25-12-2015 11:13 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  You want no regulation, look at sub-Saharan Africa.

This is what you non-libertarians always say. It's absurd. Libertarians are not anti-government. We're pro-government. Instead we're just arguing the role of government should be to reduce violence and use of force, instead of being the primary source of it. Name one country that went too far towards libertarianism and reduced violence too much, so that every person was free to choose without coercion?

Read the published statistics on corruption Sub-saharan Africa is the most corrupt in the world where people need to pay off politicians and other rulers to get anything done. It is a model of what happens under your system when too much power is centralized and concentrated.

(25-12-2015 11:13 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Or, you know, more like Europe. Those countries that score better in every quality of life metric we care to measure. Rolleyes

As I pointed out in the other post, if I proposed the US adopted the same federal income tax rates as, say, Sweden, you'd blast me for being a right-wing tea party nut. Yes, the Scandinavian countries have high taxes. But they also tell their citizens that if they're not getting a good value they're free to leave. Once they move to, say, Switzerland, like Sweden's richest man the founder of Ikea did, their duties to Sweden end. If someone proposed that in the US you'd say they were a right-wing nutjob. Scandinavian countries keep citizens from leaving, not by force like the US, but by shifting much authority to the local level so that the tax dollars are spent wisely and people get value for it--something the left in the US would never tolerate. Scandinavian countries are WAY closer to the libertarian ideal than the US. And THAT is why they have such high quality of life. If they did what the US left advocates, charge high taxes but have it all administered centrally in Washington and use force to make everybody stay even when they realize they're not getting any value for their tax dollars, then Scandinavia would be a train wreck.
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26-12-2015, 09:58 AM
RE: Looking for Atheist groups that are politically moderate
@EvolutionKills, I thought of a simpler challenge for you. Let's see if like all the US lefties I know you run with your tail between your legs, or if you're able to answer a few basic questions about your belief system honestly and directly without trying to change the topic.

Given: By libertarianism I mean 'people are free to make their own choices without force or coercion'.

Analyze 2 types of governments which say:

a) we charge 50% tax if you live here and use our services, but if you feel you're not getting good value for your money, you're free to live somewhere else where you feel you get better value for your tax dollar.

b) we charge 30% tax on everyone born here whether you live here or not, whether you use our services if not. If you feel you're not getting a good value and leave to live elsewhere and you stop paying those taxes, we will pressure the country to extradite you so we can haul you off at gunpoint and lock you in a cell.

So answer these questions.

1. Which type of government is closer to the libertarian ideal? a or b

2. Which type of government is the US? a or b

3. Which type of government is Scandinavia? a or b

4. Which governments rank higher in quality of life indexes? The US or Scandinavia?

5. In summary, when comparing the US and Scandinavia, which has the highest quality of living standards? That which is closer to the libertarian ideal, or further from it?

Those are simple, multiple choice questions. If you ask me similar questions I will answer honestly and directly. If you do not, then you understand why I feel I understand your position better than you do, because I can answer basic questions about your belief system and you cannot.
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27-12-2015, 12:06 AM (This post was last modified: 27-12-2015 12:31 AM by EvolutionKills.)
RE: Looking for Atheist groups that are politically moderate
(26-12-2015 09:25 AM)frankksj Wrote:  
(25-12-2015 11:13 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Let me stop you right there fucktard. I haven't told you what my position is, other than to point out that your's is naive as all hell. But I'm sure your coming projection will be entertaining, if also worthlessly inept and vapid.
See my reply to your post in the 'king trump' thread. I do understand your position way better than you. You're backing Sanders, who advocates socialism, and doesn't even know what the word means.


Oh, so you're psychic now too? Will the wonders never cease?

You do know that someone can back a candidate because they're the best option available, not because they're in 100% agreement with all of their policies, right? Of course not, there's that pesky little thing called nuance again that you seem to have so much trouble with.


(26-12-2015 09:25 AM)frankksj Wrote:  
(25-12-2015 11:13 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Little progress? So everything from the stone age up till the Enlightenment (including, but not limited to, agriculture, animal husbandry, cartography, metallurgy, algebra, philosophy, and astronomy) counts for fuck all? My, do the depths of your oversimplification know no bounds?
Look at the timeline of historic inventions. Sure, in the pre-classic liberalism period they learned how to write, do basic math, and care for animals over a span of 5,000 years. But as soon as classic liberalism took hold, in those countries which adopted it, in just over 200 years you had rocket ships going to the moon, the internet, people jetting all over the world, instant communication globally, MRI's and advanced medicine, double the life expectancy, and a world that would been unimaginable in the pre-classic liberalism period.


Correlation does not equal causation. Those advances also correlate with the development and advancement of the scientific method. It also ignores, once again, the very real advancements of the ancient world. Plus how many of the advances are you counting in your ledger were the product of post-liberalism big government, such as the space race, global telecommunications, and modern medicine?


(26-12-2015 09:25 AM)frankksj Wrote:  
(25-12-2015 11:13 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Are we talking scientific advancement? Quality of life? Human rights? ... science.
All of them. By every possible measure, like life expectancy, literacy, to % living in poverty, science, human rights, everything jumped forward the moment countries adopted classical liberalism.


And yet, you can also see those advances outside of it as well.


(26-12-2015 09:25 AM)frankksj Wrote:  
(25-12-2015 11:13 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Also the Google self-driving car and Elon Musk's fleet of electric vehicles also call 'bullshit'.
You proved my point. In half the world the government took over car production as well. And what advancements were made by any of the state-owned car companies. [crickets] The best they could manage was the Trabant. In the US, the state took over roads, but left the car companies privately run. Since then the cars themselves have advanced greatly--compare a Tesla Model S to a Ford Model T. But what holds them back is the the roads, which the government took over. How many roads have inductive charging to make the electric cars more viable? How many have integrated networks built in to communicate road conditions to cars? How many of the traffic lights display conditions digitally so self-driving cars can read them and not try to make a computer read an analog device (like a green light)?


Simple answer, where is the profit motive for private industry to over take infrastructure?

Is vital infrastructure something we want maintained with a profit-goal in mind?

Therein lies your problem. The interstate highway system was developed and built at the behest of the Defense Department as a means to protect the United States against a feared communist land invasion. Not everything is best served by profit seeking private industry (see also: healthcare), and not everything is best served by public works. So I'd appreciate it if you'd stop demonizing every public initiative.


(26-12-2015 09:25 AM)frankksj Wrote:  
(25-12-2015 11:13 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Mass transit still works, where it is feasible, such as in urban and metropolitan areas like New York and Los Angeles.
Yes, and when the private sector ran it, it was feasible in 2,500 different towns and cities in the US. Every town with a population over 10,000 had one.


Even assuming this is true, would that work now? Given how displaced and overworked most Americans are? Would that even be a feasible solution now? Would it have remained a feasible solution had it remained in place? Considering that we're not seeing a huge private investment in such public transportation, I can only assume that private industry has already ran the numbers and they just don't work. Government can subsidize losses for the greater good, a company with shareholders and a legal obligation to seek profit above all else, cannot.

You cannot answer these questions, and yet you act like you already have. So step it back a bit.


(26-12-2015 09:25 AM)frankksj Wrote:  
(25-12-2015 11:13 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  But for the most part, people don't want to pay even more in taxes to afford what they consider to be a less convenient way to get across the country.
Sure, because paying the government to do it costs so much and you get so little. Americans pay private companies (ie airlines) to do this since it is SOOO much more efficient to just in a free-market system than to pay a state-run monopoly. Remember, some parts of the world still do have state-run monopolies on airlines, like N. Korea. And what % of the population gets to use them?


North Korea is, once again, by no means a representative example of anything outside of a hereditary totalitarian dictatorship. Thanks for reminding everyone you cannot deal in nuance.

Look at healthcare. Medicare and Medicaid have 3% overhead, in comparison to private companies operating around 15% (CEO compensation, advertising, etc.). Not everything is best served by private industry, and not everything is best served by being privatized; and even private industry requires regulation for the benefit of the public good, which is one of the core duties of a government ran by and for the people.


(26-12-2015 09:25 AM)frankksj Wrote:  
(25-12-2015 11:13 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Yes, the New Deal. The massive social and public works programs that built our modern infrastructure. This unprecedented spending by the government was instrumental in pulling the United States out of the Great Depression, which had itself been cause by the unregulated private sector run amok.
Clueless. The famous libertarian economist Milton Friedman published the most exhaustive analysis of the causes of the great depression and proved conclusively that it was caused by the federal reserve. The evidence was so overwhelming, that even the Chairman of the federal reserve, Bernanke, had to concede a mia culpa 'yes, the federal reserve caused the great depression'.

And your oblivious to the real reason why the US government pushed to end mass transit and force everyone to use roads and internal combustion cars... It was the oil and car industry. source This is what regulation is about. They had an inferior product. Cars were dangerous, unreliable, slow and expensive. But mass transit was at that time safe, fast, and efficient. So the company with the inferior product pushed for regulation, meaning that instead of letting the public pick the product which is best, the government picks the winners and losers--and the winners is whoever has the most lobbyists. Same thing with all regulation. It's invariably the companies who have a terrible product that are pushing for regulation because they need the government to force people to buy their crap. Same with air travel. Remember the US took over air travel around the same time as the roads--they set all the prices and routes. Then in the 1970's when some fought to de-regulate the airline industry, who fought to keep the regulation in place?! It was the airlines that were regulated of course. They lost, the government deregulated air travel, and within 10 years the cost to fly coast-to-coast dropped 90%, and air travel finally was within reach of the common person. If your precious regulation were still in effect, it would still be a luxury for only the super elite.


All of that is an indictment of poor regulation, and regulation biased and compromised by the very same private interests you'd rather have unregulated. It is not an indictment against all regulation, which is the narrative you continue to push.

Remember, regulations are often put in place because somebody found a hole in the social contract and started fucking it.


(26-12-2015 09:25 AM)frankksj Wrote:  
(25-12-2015 11:13 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Like NASA and the Apollo program?

Tell me again how private unregulated industry would have gotten us to the Moon. Drinking Beverage
This is the one form of transport I would have agreed with you on because the up front costs are so high and the reward so far in the future. When NASA said they were going to get out and let the private sector take over space travel, even I thought it wasn't going to work out. But I sure was wrong. Within 10 years private companies like SpaceX have slashed the cost per kg to get to space by up to 90%. And since this week they demonstrated the first re-usable rocket that lands back on earth rather than floating around as space junk that crashes into satellites, it's going to get even cheaper. Now space travel has become so affordable that even moderately well-off individuals can book a trip to space. And some companies are already recruiting volunteers to setup a colony on Mars--pure science fiction back when the government ran things.


Private industry operating in a sector created and supported by the public sector. Space X would have nowhere to go if they weren't being paid to haul NASA's cargo. So there is a profit incentive to do that well, but where is the profit incentive to build the Hubble space telescope? Would we even want private industry involved with, hoarding, and monetizing the information and research from such an endeavor?

Would that best serve the public interest?


(26-12-2015 09:25 AM)frankksj Wrote:  
(25-12-2015 11:13 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Private industry in a capitalist economy are good for one thing; generating capitol. If your goal is anything other than making a profit (such as putting a man on the Moon), you'll be ill served by the profit driven private industry.
Look around at your home at the hundreds of high-tech gadgets that make your life better. Smartphone, fridge, a/c, tv, computer, etc. What % came from the private sector vs. public? If it's not 100% from the private sector, I dare you to tell me what technology marvel you have in your home that came from a state run enterprise. [crickets]


How about everything? It's powered by a power grid mostly envisioned and built by the public. Also how many of these devices are computers, or use transistors? Ideas that got their start and were developed in college laboratories funded by government grants or in private companies funded by defense industry contracts. The very first modern computer was a massive vacuum tubed monstrosity the size of a barn that was developed to compute artillery trajectories and ballistics for the US Army.

Your hyperbolic pronouncements do you no favors.


(26-12-2015 09:25 AM)frankksj Wrote:  
(25-12-2015 11:13 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Also, doesn't this shoot your earlier point in the foot? If there really was a market need, if all we really needed was for the government to stop interfering, then how come it's the government looking to invest $50 billion into a public transportation project and not private industry? Where are all of the private industries lining up to provide this service for the people? This is why your naive shortsightedness does you no favors.
Seriously, you can't figure this out???? When private industry stepped up and built a best-in-the-world high speed electric transportation system that was used for 90% of all trips, what happened? We just went over it. You pro-government regulation guys used force to take it away from them and dismantle everything they built and they all went bankrupt, and instead force everyone at gunpoint to pay for the automotive industry's infrastructure. Of course once that happened no private company will invest because they know if it's a wild success, you guys will just come in with your guns and take it away from them like you did before, and even if you don't, it's hard for a private company to compete when the public is being forced at gunpoint to pay for their competitor's product (ie automotive) whether they want to use it or not.


Right, so that single-track conspiracy theory mind is still chugging (and I mean, really chugging) along I see.

90% of all transportation? Uh, citation please.

Plus, this still favors my point and not yours. If anything, it an indictment against poor regulation biased with private industry motivation. I'm not in favor of poor regulation to do the bidding of corporations at the expense of the public, you inept troglodyte. Facepalm

Also, this ignore the reality of the technology at the time. Automobiles were a natural extension of horses and carriages, and simply slotted right into the current infrastructure and replaced horses. The Ford Model-T was a 'mechanical horse', and often referenced as such at it's time; there's a reason we still measure engines in 'horsepower'. So roads were going to be a thing, regardless. Now between electric and gasoline powered vehicles, gasoline came out on top. It was simply more powerful, more reliable, and more convenient; it offered the better solution at the time.

Now all of this was already in place long before the building of the Interstate road system.

Now did the oil industry have a vested interest in the success of the automobile industry? Yes. Should their power in politics be curtailed so that they do not unduly influence regulation in their favor at the expense of others and the public? Of course.


I'm a populist, not an establishment corpratist, you stupid fuck. Dodgy


Oh, right, I forgot you're psychic. So you already knew that, right? Rolleyes


(26-12-2015 09:25 AM)frankksj Wrote:  
(25-12-2015 11:13 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  The United States, the unregulated private sectors that torpedoed the world economy; twice.
Unregulated? Google 'what country has the most laws in the world'. What did you
find?


Google U: Now Anybody Can Be Pretend To Be Educated Laughat

Let's see if you can follow the logic train! Choo-choo!

If regulations are handicapped with obvious loopholes, bought and paid for by private interests, then they're not really regulations now are they?

We wanted to re-enact Dodd-Frank to stop banks from gambling. We couldn't, because the banks have too much influence; thus they can keep gambling with depositors money. That is effectively unregulated, because the regulations in place are ineffective because they've paid off the government to make them so. It's pages of bylines and noise, but with no real teeth or enforcement.


More laws does not equate to more effective laws. I'm surprised such a simple concept is apparently lost on you.


(26-12-2015 09:25 AM)frankksj Wrote:  
(25-12-2015 11:13 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Those countries are also the heavily regulated and taxed modern democracies of western Europe. Facepalm
I mentioned Switzerland and Hong Kong. Both come in at the top in almost all quality of life surveys. Switzerland in particular has zero poverty, almost no unemployment, and the lowest crime rates. They're also low-tax libertarian societies.


They're also both very homogeneous, and orders smaller than the United States. Our gun laws are far more lax (more freedom to bear arms when and where you want and having relatively cheap and easy access to them, go capitalism!) than theirs, and yet we have higher crime; there are many factors at play here. What works for Hong Kong, being in a very unique situation, doesn't make for a good example to draw blanket assertions from. Hong Kong simply wound't work if it wasn't both located where it is, and surrounded by other similar cities. The city is unique, and that makes it stand out and has helped it excel; but replicating it a bunch all around it would do nothing but undercut it's success.

Hong Kong is an oasis, and much like a real oasis, is stops being special outside of anything but a desert.


(26-12-2015 09:25 AM)frankksj Wrote:  
(25-12-2015 11:13 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  You want no regulation, look at sub-Saharan Africa.
This is what you non-libertarians always say. It's absurd. Libertarians are not anti-government. We're pro-government.


Could have fooled me, as so far, you've done nothing but rant against it.


(26-12-2015 09:25 AM)frankksj Wrote:  Instead we're just arguing the role of government should be to reduce violence and use of force, instead of being the primary source of it. Name one country that went too far towards libertarianism and reduced violence too much, so that every person was free to choose without coercion?


It hasn't happened. But when you start off sounding like a dyed-in-the-wool Glen Beck glue sniffing anarco-capitalist, don't be surprised when people jump to those conclusions.


(26-12-2015 09:25 AM)frankksj Wrote:  Read the published statistics on corruption Sub-saharan Africa is the most corrupt in the world where people need to pay off politicians and other rulers to get anything done. It is a model of what happens under your system when too much power is centralized and concentrated.


And yet anyone can pick up an AK and attempt to impose their own rules, a la extreme anarcho-capitalism. It's the kind of absurdest extreme that libertarians like Ted Nugget have wet dreams about. There's a reason why it's a go-to counter point all right.


(26-12-2015 09:25 AM)frankksj Wrote:  
(25-12-2015 11:13 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Or, you know, more like Europe. Those countries that score better in every quality of life metric we care to measure. Rolleyes
As I pointed out in the other post, if I proposed the US adopted the same federal income tax rates as, say, Sweden, you'd blast me for being a right-wing tea party nut.


Nope, the right-wing claim they want to cut taxes, even when it's not feasible for the amount of spending they want.


(26-12-2015 09:25 AM)frankksj Wrote:  Yes, the Scandinavian countries have high taxes. But they also tell their citizens that if they're not getting a good value they're free to leave.


How quintessentially right-wing.

Don't like it? You can leave! *spitoon*

Of course, they actually do get a good value over there, probably because they keep their private industries in check and stop them from unduly influencing their government. You know, with good regulations. Rolleyes


(26-12-2015 09:25 AM)frankksj Wrote:  Once they move to, say, Switzerland, like Sweden's richest man the founder of Ikea did, their duties to Sweden end. If someone proposed that in the US you'd say they were a right-wing nutjob.


No, I don't know enough, or care enough, about expatriate issues. We have enough problems to deal with with the citizens that are still here.


(26-12-2015 09:25 AM)frankksj Wrote:  Scandinavian countries keep citizens from leaving, not by force like the US, but by shifting much authority to the local level so that the tax dollars are spent wisely and people get value for it--something the left in the US would never tolerate.


Fuck you, efficient spending of tax dollars is exactly what I do want. But de-centralization and localization is not a magic cure-all, just look at the sad state of our education system.


(26-12-2015 09:25 AM)frankksj Wrote:  Scandinavian countries are WAY closer to the libertarian ideal than the US. And THAT is why they have such high quality of life.


Once again, boiling down a complex web of interconnected forces at play with a single assertion, does not make it evidently true.


(26-12-2015 09:25 AM)frankksj Wrote:  If they did what the US left advocates, charge high taxes but have it all administered centrally in Washington and use force to make everybody stay even when they realize they're not getting any value for their tax dollars, then Scandinavia would be a train wreck.


Force people to stay? In what universe? All anyone can seem to talk about is trying to keep people out, because for as fucked up as things are here, it's still an improvement and worth emigrating for many people.

Some things work better, or indeed need to be centrally regulated. Leave education up purely to the whims of individual states or municipalities therein, and you see the bullshit we have with abstinence-only sex education and creationism being taught in science classes. Also, if states were just allowed to be entirely left to their own devices, we'd still be a segregated country with woman and blacks being de facto second class citizens.

It's not the solution for all problems to be sure, but thanks for assuming that is what I was in favor of, you presumptuous jackass. Drinking Beverage

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