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Messages - Aris Katsaris

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General Comments / Re: And Iraaan, Iran so far awayyyy
« on: October 30, 2022, 04:27:06 AM »
According to Iran state media, 15 people were killed and 40 injured in a terrorist attack on a Shia mosque in the city of Shiraz, in Fars Province.  ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack.  Not sure why ISIS wants to kill Iranians.

Is this sarcasm or don't you know that ISIS is Sunni, and thus despises the Shia?

General Comments / Re: So, how is Uncle Joe working for you?
« on: October 13, 2022, 06:02:18 PM »

There is only an eighteen year lag between the appearance of a third-world squatter, and a voting “American”. If the founders only had the foresight to anticipate the potential conflation of the words “persons”, and “citizens”.

Persons used to count as 3/5th of a citizen, no, for purposes of representation?

General Comments / Re: The FBI plot to kidnap Gov Whitmer
« on: April 09, 2022, 03:52:35 PM »
However, when it comes down to it, even if the agents started the plot, these guys went along with it. They did not leave, they did not report to the police that the group was planning something illegal.

That's pretty much what 'entrapment' is about.

You, hopefully, don't want the authorities to be creating criminals just so you can capture the criminals that wouldn't have existed without you creating them. Talk about an abuse of power and a counterproductive waste of taxpayers' money!

Which means you shouldn't be wanting the agents to be "starting" a plot. You shouldn't want agents to be *creating* criminals, just so they can capture criminals. You don't want your firemen to be arsonists, you don't want your pest-exterminators to be pest-breeders, and you don't want your cops to be entrappers.

Encouraging someone into a crime, even when the benefits you plan to extract from it is arresting them for the crime (rather than the fruits of said crime itself), should be itself a crime equivalent to the crime encouraged.

You did say you weren't faulting Boebert for her statement

Just as a further note, I didn't say I wasn't faulting Boebert either, btw. I didn't *judge* Boebert on her statement. I don't know if the founders actually "intended" the constitution to be "evolving" or not. Not sure I particularly care of what they intended or not.

(Part of the bit where I care about the actual text of the constitution, is that I don't actually much care about what the founders intended or not when they were writing it. Because after all, it wasn't their personal diary so if they were actually intending anything relevant, they should put it in the actual text where the rest of the people can read it, when they vote for it or for them.)

What I did was that I merely didn't fault her with the silly "haha she hasn't heard about the concept of amendments" claim that the progressives in this thread seemingly did, disingenuously.

I recognized that (like the non-progressives said) she was probably talking about the 'reinterpretations' that people favour when they don't feel they can actually pass amendments.

But now you're making an argument in favor of the letter of the law, aren't you?

When have I ever made an argument for anything else?

I would personally very much like constitutions to mean exactly what they say, and to be formally amended to mean correct new things when it's decided they should mean something different than they did previously.

In an interpreted constitution, why wouldn't they be able to decide who is or isn't a person under the Constitution?

Yes, that's kinda my point. For the whole history of the United States from its very beginning, you've had an "interpreted constitution" whose words the Supreme Court interpreted to mean whatever it was politically useful for it to mean, disregarding its actual plainly spoken words.
And there's no example better than how for an entire century, the first century of USA's existence people pretended that slavery was allowed under the constitution, when clearly it was outlawed under the 4th and 5th amendment.

If you want a non-living, non-evolving, non-speciously interpreted Constitution, sure, I'd personally LOVE that. But don't tell me you ever *actually* had that before at any time in the history of the United States, from its very founding.

Declaring a fetus a non-person is actually much less specious than declaring black people non-persons just for the sake of those amendments, and simultaneoulsy counting them as persons for the sake of article 1, section 2. It takes a good amount of double-think, black people they be persons whenever we need them to be, no? Slaves are useful that way, persons for purpose of article 1, not actually persons for purposes of the bill of rights.

Slavery was wrong, but it wasn't the job of the supreme court to outlaw the practice - or was it? Original intenters would have sided with the idea that any restriction to slavery should be unconstitutional.

The 4th amendment already said that the right of the people to be secure in their person shall not be violated. Not "white people", just people.
The 5th amendment already said no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law. Not "no white person", just "no person".

These things outlawed slavery already. Slavery proponents were already crapping all over the constitution.

Do please explain to me how the hell was slavery supposedly allowed given the 4th and 5th amendments?

Haha, nevermind I actually know how -- slavery proponents were from the very start doing their creative reinterpretation of the meaning of the text of constitution to the point that you eventually had to have a war to explain with an additional amendment that using the magical word "slavery" doesn't give an exception to what the constitution already said about depriving people of liberty! That nothing in the constitution actually says it only grants rights to white people.

What a fine example you picked, the bit where hypocritical slavery proponents had decided from the start that the text of the constitution simply doesn't matter, because they themselves know that slavery is okay, they themselves know that only white people have rights -- so how can the constitution possibly say what it actually says, it must mean something different instead!

And, to answer your question: Yeah, every sane, every honest Supreme Court judge should have recognized that the 4th and 5th amendments clearly outlawed slavery. If slavery proponents didn't like it, they should amend the amendments.

Am on the local non-progressives' side on this, I've not seen sufficient evidence that she actually meant "there was no amendment process in the original constitution"

General Comments / Re: Vogon Haikus
« on: February 02, 2022, 03:49:24 PM »
Ooh, let me try my own hand at improvised poetry. A bit more free-form.

They used to say:
To be a real man, you need behave like one.
To be a real man, you need go to the army.
To be a real man, you need lose your virginity, to a prostitute if need be.
To be a real man, you need in the locker rooms, to talk about the sluts you've *censored*ed, and treat women like dirt.

You can definitely not be a real man:
if you are gentle
if you don't swear

definitely not a real man:
if you want to kiss other men
if you wear dresses

It's a strange form of progress,
an admission of defeat,
when they concede,
when they retreat from all that nonsense they used to preach,
and say --
to be a real man, it's not actually about behaviour and societal roles,
we were only making that up,
they now say:
to be a real man, you need simply have a penis.

But you must have had it from birth.
Surgically provided ones don't count.
For some reason, that only they understand.

Eh, whatever.
They were stupid then,
and they remain stupid now.

General Comments / Re: New trans laws
« on: February 02, 2022, 03:01:16 PM »
did Jesus love the money-changers he whipped?

Am amused at the different interpretations of this passage:

Christians who want to be violent argue that Jesus used violence against the merchants themselves. Christians who want a peaceful Christianity interpret it as Jesus only using the whip against the oxen and the sheep, since it's said he made the whip and it's not mentioned how he used it, it's only said he "drove out the merchants and overturned their tables"

As always creating God after our own image!

Either way, however, I'm not a Christian at all and I don't believe Jesus was divine, and I don't actually need to care at all about what Jesus did or didn't do, or what his feelings were at the time. If you insist however, I would however guess that, being an ordinary human being, he probably didn't love those particular people at that particular moment, no.

Not that this matters any.

General Comments / Re: New trans laws
« on: February 02, 2022, 02:26:27 PM »
Iran might not be quite as tolerant:

We all know what's going on here. Be a transwoman, they'll cut your balls off immediately.

Be gay and be executed.

That is what you're celebrating???

First of all -- I never celebrated Iran, the very opposite, I despise it: You're the one who wants a theocratic fascist regime, don't try to twist things around.

Secondly, what I'm actually reading ( is "If an Iranian is officially diagnosed with gender identity disorder, the government issues the authorization for them to legally start the sex reassignment process, and at the end of that process the court issues a new identity card, with a new gender listed. In other words, while Iran does not mandate that all trans individuals have the surgery, it is not possible to change your gender marker on official documents without undergoing the surgery."

so I don't know where you're getting "Be a transwoman, they'll cut off your balls immediately."

I think that's again just your wet dream of how a theocratic fascist regime will behave, not actually how Iran behaves.

They certainly murder lots of other LGBT people (gay people specifially), so that'll be making you happy, I know. Given your "love" for your fellow human beings.

General Comments / Re: New trans laws
« on: February 01, 2022, 01:54:01 PM »
Are you telling me that all non-zero probabilities will never come true?

ALL of them? ALL of them can be rounded down to zero?

Cause it only takes one to bite you in the ass is all I'm saying. Just one.

I wonder what the probability of that happening is.

No, I'm the one who is actually aware that different events have different probabilities, so I never said that "all non-zero probabilities will never come true".

It's you who seeks to conflate everything into a single mass of "non-zero probabilities" -- whether it's 99.9% or 0.1% you don't seem to care, as long as they're non-zero.

But as long as we're discussing probabilities, I'll tell you however, that a global fascist theocratic regime has a lot more probability of being Islamic than Christian -- since for starters, there are already fascist theocratic Islamic regimes, it's only the "global" adjective they're lacking.

Unfortunately for you, Iran doesn't hate trans people as much as you do, so don't be sure a fascist theocratic regime would be doing things you like.

General Comments / Re: New trans laws
« on: February 01, 2022, 05:38:02 AM »
There is a non-zero probability, sir, that the world will in my lifetime be under the control of a theocratic fascist regime.

There's a "non-zero probability" for a tyranny of sentient cross-dressing alien purple giraffes as well. But I wouldn't bet on it.

You know to use lots of phrases that end up meaning nothing while *sounding* as if they mean something. "non-zero probability" is one of those.

General Comments / Re: New trans laws
« on: January 31, 2022, 11:47:07 AM »
I really do believe that I will live forever in eternal joy. And I'm not the only one. I bet OSC does, too. I bet tons of Christians really, really, REALLY, do, just like me.

I respect people like C.S. Lewis who believed in Christianity, because they thought that the reason to believe in Christianity is because it was true.

From The Screwtape Letters, as spoken by the demon Screwtape, advising his demon nephew:
On the other hand we do want, and want very much, to make men treat Christianity as a means; preferably, of course, as a means to their own advancement, but, failing that, as a means to anything — even to social justice. The thing to do is to get a man at first to value social justice as a thing which the Enemy demands, and then work him on to the stage at which he values Christianity because it may produce social justice. For the Enemy will not be used as a convenience. Men or nations who think they can revive the Faith in order to make a good society might just as well think they can use the stairs of Heaven as a short cut to the nearest chemist's shop. Fortunately it is quite easy to coax humans round this little corner. Only today I have found a passage in a Christian writer where he recommends his own version of Christianity on the ground that “only such a faith can outlast the death of old cultures and the birth of new civilisations”. You see the little rift? “Believe this, not because it is true, but for some other reason.” That's the game,

Your affectionate uncle. SCREWTAPE.

Like the demon Screwtape suggests, you seem to be believing in Christianity, not because it's true, but for some other reason - because it makes you happy to believe it.

You aren't trying to convince people Christianity is true, you're (at best) trying to convince them that it has a non-zero probability of being true. Well yes, nearly everything have a non-zero probability, if you want to be strictly technical about it, but frankly, and to the extent that it even makes sense to try to compare infinitesmall probabilities -- I think I'd probably consider the existence of a Santa Claus working to make toys in North Pole accompanied by elves more likely than the existence of Christianity's God.

General Comments / Re: New trans laws
« on: January 30, 2022, 02:18:52 PM »
There is not and you don't understand how deeply confirmation bias and the brain post-processing perceptions can affect beliefs.

I do believe I understand all that.

What I don't understand is how you can *recognize* that your belief is simply a result of confirmation bias, a result of it simply making you happy to so believe, and still consider it your belief on the same level as your belief in, e.g. the blueness of the sky, or the existence of tables.

But hey, I don't think I care enough to probe further. Frankly you seem to me even more insane and more double-thinky than usual for theists, but I just don't care that much.

General Comments / Re: New trans laws
« on: January 29, 2022, 12:43:53 PM »
Bueller? Bueller?

Okay. I suspect that I'm the one who knows what I meant.

I meant: don't tell me what I "should" or "should not" believe.

That won't work. I will be believing what some refer to as "lies" if those "lies" maximize my own personal happiness. What some think is a "lie" I refer to as a "truth".

Like, for example, it is a fact that "God is love" in my reality.

Ok, you've made that clear enough by now -- but I'll say this definitely sounds more like make-believe rather than actual belief. I *think* that i you actually believed in those things, you'd not be self-aware you believe them because of ulterior motives like your happiness -- instead you'd think such things to be true.

That you recognize you have certain beliefs because of different reasons (they promote your happiness), just seems to me to mean that you don't actually have those beliefs. There's probably a big dinstinction in your mind between thoughts like "God is love" and "This table exists.", and I'd argue the second one is true belief and the first one... well, as I said, it sounds more like make-believe the way you describe it.

General Comments / Re: Putin... Why?
« on: January 28, 2022, 10:23:23 PM »
To answer the presumably rhetoric question first, what's difficult is mainly a combination of two things: the lack of any clear statement (and indeed, several apparently contradictory statements) and the heated maximalism of the claims of Putin-mind-reading.

So you are saying it's "mix and match" (on some basis, feel free to clarify which, but I'm trying to walk before I run here), not specifically "re-annex the USSR, re-dominate the Warsaw Pact", as we seemed to be getting a couple of posts ago.  Am I at least warm?

Let me summarize the whole discussion:

First, I said Putin wants to either (a) conquer nations & parts of nations, or (b) to dominate them with the constant threat of invasion & conquest.

Following that, you implied that (b) is just the normal state that all countries in East Europe are already feeling, so I guess no big deal.

Following that I then explained patiently to you that there's a big difference between a country fearing a neighbour, like e.g. Greece fears Turkey -- and what I meant with (b) being similar to the situation that East Europe nations faced during the Cold War, where they were under the de facto political control of USSR, because it was going to invade them if those countries did anything that displeased the USSR.

Somehow you twisted the above explanation to mean that he wants to annex the *exact* portions that USSR had annexed, and to control the *exact* nations that USSR had controlled.

If you're still not understanding what I'm saying, then I quit trying to explain it to you, because I have spent too much time already on repeating with very small words the very simple statement that he wants to conquer (or dominate with the threat of conquest) countries.

If you simply DISAGREE with what I'm saying about what Putin wants, then simply say that you disagree, instead of trying to tire me out with asking for explanations of what I meant, when what I meant was very very simple from the very beginning.

And if you are still not finding what I said quite simple, that's again your own reading comprehension problem.

General Comments / Re: Putin... Why?
« on: January 28, 2022, 09:27:20 PM »
I don't understand why it's so hard to communicate with you.

What's so difficult to understand with saying that he wants to revert Eastern Europe to the status it had under the Soviet Union's rule, where parts of it is annexed (like he did with Crimea), and parts of it are simply dominated militarily by Russia to effect that there's no true political autonomy (as is currently the case of say, Kazakhstan and Belarus, and used to be the case with a whole lot more countries)?

Are you truly not understanding what I'm saying, or is this some game I'm not getting?

General Comments / Re: Putin... Why?
« on: January 28, 2022, 07:18:15 PM »
That "at least" is doing a whole lot of work in that sentence.  Given that those countries pretty much feel that way anyway, the latter is trivially satisfied.  So that's a pretty big distinction you're breezing over.

I'm not talking about abstract fears of perhaps being threatened by a nasty neighbour like e.g. my own country of Greece has with Turkey -- I'm talking instead about the direct, straightforward knowledge of "If we do anything that displeases Russia, if we dare elect an anti-Russia politician, they're very likely to immediately send in the tanks".

The distinction I was making is just the difference between territories that were directly annexed by the USSR, and the countries that it forced into the Warsaw Pact and which it could then invade at will whenever they displeased it (like it did at different times with Czechoslovakia and Hungary)

General Comments / Re: Putin... Why?
« on: January 28, 2022, 06:13:52 PM »
They're pretty politically undoable, given that Nato decision-making is -- supposedly -- by consensus, and most of the countries Putin's demanding withdrawal from are rather spectacularly opposed to the idea.  Never mind them being de-memebershipped, which is only on that list:  I've no idea if there's any mechanism for that at all.  From a US PoV, there's options of quitting itself, no longer honouring its Article 5 commitments (see also, the ruminations of The Former Guy), or generally scaling back its commitment of forces (... after years of scolding others to scale them

Politically impossible, yes. But there's money involved with that, not safety concerns IMO. As for de-membership, I mean I don't even really know what that entails in brass tacks other than removing military bases and presumably the gravy train that goes along with the money flowing through them (services, contractors, etc). It's not like NATO will magically allow Poland to be conquered just because they shut down a costly military base there.

Putin wants to conquer Poland, and he wants to conquer to Baltics, or to at least have them under the constant THREAT of being invaded and conquered, that's why he wants NATO to remove itself from those countries and leave them undefended.

We're still discussing why Putin wants NATO gone? Why an invader and conqueror of nations want the defending forces to be gone, and the targets of his greed to be effectively excluded from a defensive alliance?

He wants NATO gone, so that Russia can more easily subdue all those nations that NATO will withdraw from.

Right, I can see what you mean. But I don't see all that much difference from you being (metaphorically) shackled in advance versus the instant you try anything bad the shackles appear. I was not suggesting we humans shouldn't be doing law enforcement. We need our current laws for current reasons, and to use our current crude methods to curb criminals. But we're talking here about the design of an entire universe, which means whatever laws are in place are eternal (more or less).

I don't see why you're not suggesting that, though. Since free will is supposedly so important for God as to allow rape and murder, it follows that we too SHOULDN'T be using our current crude methods to curb criminals, in order to respect their free will.

This compartmentalization in your mind between "eternal laws" and actual practical laws is doing nothing but permitting you to doublethink. In *actual* life, you know people shouldn't permit murder & rape when they can stop it -- you know we should be doing law enforcement... but by just dangling some phrases like "eternal laws", you allow yourself to effectively forget about all of that when judging God's actions and inactions.

And I wonder if I asked you about how, if free will is so paramount, you would explain God "punishing" Sodom, or drowning the world in Noah's flood, or drowning the pursuing soldiers of the Pharaoh... I wonder how you'd doublethink your way out of that as well.

The thing is, you see, we humans aren't so good at the free will thing. We don't respect it all that much, and much of the time the free will of others is at minimum a nuisance to us, and at times so outrageous that we would prefer they just vanish. Most people want other people under control, to be obedient, docile, and to do what they're told. This is not only convenient, but increases our personal security. It certainly reduces our anxiety and aggravation. We do not like it when people do things contrary to our desires, and we even often can't stand when they even say *or think* things we find bothersome.

So again backwards -- one would think that because "we humans" aren't so good at respecting the free will of others, we indeed should be very afraid of anything that remotely seems like restricting it for others, lest we fall down the slippery slope of tyranny -- and therefore we should leave such police enforcement to God who is incorruptible.

Again, there are philosophies and religions that might be compatible with the above idea -- pacifism or jainism or some forms of anarchy for example, but you however *do* support police enforcement which is pretty much the opposite of what your (supposed) philosophy ought lead you to.

But you aren't talking about scale, are you, just naming two atrocious things. But why would this god you have in mind abruptly stop you raping, but allow you to punch someone in the face? And why stop there, why would such a god allow you to call someone a bad name? That is a definite harm, even a distinctly material one since the brain is material. So which harms, in your ideal world, would you allow, and which would you intervene to stop?

Which things would you personally permit or not permit by ordinary human law? Talk to me not as if you were god, but a normal human legislator.

If I don't want to allow people to rape and murder, then I'm supposedly a fan of slavery?

I don't think you understand what 'allowing' means in this sense. It doesn't mean you're ok with people doing it; it doesn't even mean you don't take steps to disincentivize it. What 'allow' means is that you won't shackle people in a prison preemptively in case they might ever rape and murder. Your position is the I, Robot solution, where the robots enslave humanity to 'protect it' since though inaction they would otherwise be allowing humans to come to harm.

No, I think that YOU are the one who doesn't understand what "allowing" means in this sense, because I'm the one who used the word, and I know very well what I meant, so it would do you well if you were humble enough NOT to explain to me what *I* meant but to listen instead.

I didn't say anyrthing about "shackling in a prison preemptively".

I spoke about stopping the crime as it's taking place, THE EXACT SAME WAY THAT ANY GOOD PERSON IS SUPPOSED TO TRY TO DO.

I am saying that rapes and murder are happening right now, and your friend is supposedly standing around watching them happen in utterly depraved inaction, when he supposedly has the power to intervene to stop them. No thunderbolts smiting the villains, no comfort to the victims, not even anonymous 911 calls to help them after the fact.

Not even a "Please don't" voice from heaven.

Any human being that had the power to intervene to stop them, and didn't, and didn't even voice protest to the crime, would be considered a horrible horrible human being.

Your god, if he existed, would be a horrible horrible god.

But your god, is supposedly good, even though he's supposedly acting like a very *bad* human being. If he was actually there.

Thing is you know in advance he wouldn't act to stop any crimes, or visibly punish any wrongdoers! But you don't even perceive this cognitive dissonance. That you actually *expect* God to be invisible and inactive and generally behave as if he's not there at all!

But do please repeat, why stopping a rapist and a murderer, in ANY WAY, as the crime is taking place, is exactly the same as slavery.

and the argument that it's okay that God allows etc.

This argument always makes me wonder whether the person who says it realizes what they're saying. Big fan of slavery, are you? You would deny all choice rather than allow people to choose to do bad things?

If I don't want to allow people to rape and murder, then I'm supposedly a fan of slavery?

Are you really arguing in favour of legalizing rape and murder, and you're saying that to do otherwise (if we keep rape and murder illegal) that's equivalent to slavery?

EDIT: Btw, I said "the argument that it's okay that God allows rape & murder & lots of suffering" and you deliberately cut off the "rape & murder" part.

Amusing that you felt the need to do so. What you didn't want to remind us of what exactly it is that you want God to allow?

I suggest you could just as well make human suffering a consequence of pretty sunsets instead.

"Yes, see the pretty sunsets? Those explain suffering."
"Why allow murder and rape? It's a consequence of pretty sunsets."
"And childhood leukemia, and earthquakes? Yeah, I believe those are also a consequence of pretty sunsets."

Free Will is getting overused, I suggest you switch to Pretty Sunsets as your explanation for the problem of evil, it makes just as much sense.

Yeah, there's a bit of weird disconnect between the knowledge that good people don't rape & murder & try not to cause other people suffering, and in fact try to prevent these things -- and the argument that it's okay that God allows rape & murder & lots of suffering, and that he's totally Good despite letting those things happen.

If you saw a human being stand casually around, doing nothing while another person is getting raped or tortured, you'd probably consider him a very bad human being -- or atleast a coward, or a weakling.

And the more powerful such a person was, the less they had to worry about their own personal safety -- if they're physically strong and armed for example, and still didn't move to prevent the crime perpetrated against the victim... the worse we would think of them.

(Imagine Superman or Batman just standing around doing nothing while a woman is getting raped or murdered. If we saw such a comic panel, we'd think it must from one of those alt-universes where they're evil, or mind-controlled, or something)

But at some level of power -- letting other people suffer is okay again it seems. Because suffering is okay, after all, it turns out! If you're enlightened enough. (how does that justify the suffering of the non-enlightened, though?)

And if it's okay to let other people suffer, because suffering leads to enlightenment -- then as Ephrem says how is it not okay to cause such suffering? Don't worry about me murdering/raping/stealing from you, I'm not doing anything bad, I'm just leading you along to the path of enlightenment. Right? Right?

Yeah, no.

So what? It's reverse-engineering. I know what I want to happen, so I believe in it.

That makes me happy. I demand happiness.

Ok, just don't expect that that's an argument that can convince anyone else.

That is what I don't believe. Simulation Argument tells us it's possible. Those who don't believe, like you, exist as cannon fodder essentially to show theists like me what the outcome is of nonbelief. Like, an obsession with equality.

I don't care about equality. Instead, I care about loving everyone, and love does not imply agreement.

Calling us "cannon fodder" certainly demonstrates your love.

And I think you expect me to be shocked or something by your claim that you don't care about equality, but I only care about equality instrumentally as well, not as a terminal goal.

Equality is there to protect people, because we've seen the terrible suffering that occurs when inequality dominates.

What level of suffering is acceptable to you? None? A hangnail? If said sufferer ends up in the eternal joy of Heaven, who cares?

Even if that was a valid argument, what evidence have you given me about the existence of this "eternal joy of Heaven"? Why is the mortal suffering visible to us all, but this "eternal joy of Heaven" invisible?

What evidence have you given me of god's benevolence whatsoever?

You do get how BACKWARDS all your reasoning is, don't you? You've decided your conclusion, and every evidence to the contrary you just decide "Well, I just don't care about that."

You're like a detective who's decided who he wants to be the guilty party (which person being the guilty one would bring him the most "happiness") and they therefore don't give a damn about any evidence to the contrary.

Also it's not even about "level" of suffering man. If all the suffering was suffering attributable to "free will", then you might have had a point. When so much suffering is however about disease, old age, natural catastrophes, etc, you don't. It's not the amount of suffering alone that's the issue, it's the issue -- all the many ways that point to a neutral, impersonal, undesigned universe.

If it was just about the *amount* of suffering, I could have just said "I believe an omnipotent god is there, and he's a sadistic *censored*". But nah, he's simply not there. He's not a cruel god, and he's not a benevolent god, and he's not a whimsical random god -- he just doesn't exist at all. The suffering isn't there to teach us lessons, and it isn't there to satisfy divine cruelty, it's just there for a myriad impersonal reasons, as caused by evolutional drive and the laws of physics...

General Comments / Re: Putin... Why?
« on: January 25, 2022, 08:56:54 PM »
Well gee, Aris, you got it all figured out. Hey, while we're at it we can just make the same declaration about Taiwan - heck how about the whole world? And nobody ever gets invaded again.

Yes, the concept called "internationally recognized borders", and not counting Putin's invasions, and a couple other incidences around the world, the world has been remarkably good the last 70 years about averting invasions, conquests and annexations, WHENEVER EVERYONE AGREES TO GANG UP ON THE INVADER.

Occasionally there's a country that tries to think it can escape with annexing a neighbouring nation (see Iraq attacking Kuwait) usually caused by some superpower winking at it and saying "we won't actually mind if you annex your neighbouring nation".

So, yes, the thing that actually allows Peace, is everyone's determination to go to War against invaders.

And the thing that actually enables War (like the first Gulf War) is when moral cowards are saying that they won't go to war over some minor invasion of a neighbouring nation.

#2 - same thing with starting deployments. Remember the part where Putin already has a massive army on Ukraine's border?

Yes, that massive army is much less likely to attack if it needs to kill also Americans and Europeans, rather than Ukrainians which of course don't really matter.

I don't see you explaining how we'll avoid a Putin invasion, according to your brilliant tactic of letting him conquer the whole of Ukraine.

#3 - bordering nukes. Got it. Triggering several Cuban Missile crises all at the same time. Like that one didn't come close enough to armageddon.

Russia should feel free to unilaterally disarm, if Russia thinks that having nuclear weapons is bad and doesn't do anything to protect a nation from invasion.

Oh, and yeah NATO is defensive. Well if you ignore Bosnia? To say nothing of NATO countries acting unilaterally.

Hell, yes, NATO is a defensive alliance. Do you think that (a) Estonia entered NATO in order to grab a piece of Russia or (b) Estonia entered NATO in order to protect itself from Russia

dingdingding it was (b). Which means that NATO is a defensive alliance, with a defensive purpose. And every nation joining it, is in order to *defend* themselves from Russia, not in order to attack it.

"God" can be a super-intelligent alien (Arthur C Clarke on "magic"), sure, but what difference does that make, from our POV? We're being manipulated either way it seems to me. Perhaps that alien race thinks that we've gone overboard with our sex lives and thus is trying to force us to go back to sex only inside of a male-female marriage.

I don't think you understood a single word I said.

The scenario I described, provides you with "Gods" that inherently cannot interfere in our universe (though they could still save your soul after death) any more than we interfere in the digits of pi, thus explaining why everything in our universe shows absolutely zero evidence of Gods interfering with it.

That scenario I gave isn't theism (with Gods interfering in your universe) and it's not even deism either (with Gods creating our universe).

So it is kinda VERY relevantly different, isn't it? Such a god can't give "instructions" to force you one way or another. As evidenced by the fact they haven't. Such a god can't create the universe or humanity, as evidenced by the fact it looks remarkably undesigned.

You're mistaking a turn of phrase. "Must value" in this context is an issue of design, not of preference. It means if there is free will there is suffering, that's the trade-off.

Free will hardly explains things like leukemia in children, does it? Or earthquakes, or tsunamis?

"Free will" is a bloody lazy and bloody unsatisfying answer to explain "why evil, if an omnipotent god", takes five seconds of thought to think up of suffering that doesn't relate to free will.

Even if somehow, free will necessitated permitting the existence of murderers and rapists -- why does it also necessitate the existence of things like disease and natural catastrophes?

General Comments / Re: Putin... Why?
« on: January 25, 2022, 05:23:31 PM »
Seems like you are ready to start World War III.

No, it seems to me that you are, by appeasing Putin.

If optimism is required for your sanity, let me offer you an alternate scenario where you still have eternal life, without needing to resort to theism.

It's not an idea that I'd like to share, but perhaps some people would find comfort in it:

Imagine our universe as a mathematical structure. It's admittedly a mathematical structure that contains aspects of entropy/decay/etc, which prevent eternal life -- some bazillions years in the future it will die.

However imagine the hypothesis that all mathematical structures have existence (Tegmark IV hypothesis) to some degree or another.

Our universe has a relatively simple and deterministic structure, but we can imagine an infinite number of larger universes that contain it and can *see* into it, even though its own behaviour is inviolable by them -- they can see the universe as a *mathematical structure*, they wouldn't be able to affect it by an act of will any more than we could affect the digits of pi no matter how much we force we apply.

This implies a large number of entities that could copy people's minds and transfer them into the larger universe beyond, thus "saving them".

These creatures wouldn't be god-creators because they didn't actually create the universe, they didn't make it happen any more than we made the digits of pi happen. They're just viewing from outside a mathematical structure -- and extracting beings from that structure, taking them into the larger universe that contains it.

One might also guess that most such entities who endeavour to do such a thing to be benevolent, because it'd be primarily benevolent that'd want to 'rescue' minds from oblivion.

I'm giving you the above idea only with great hesitation, just in the hopes that it's a more benevolent idea might perhaps fill the place that your much more toxic christianity now occupies. An omnipotent god creating a universe with so much suffering is a toxic idea -- perhaps you'll be satisfied with the idea of bigger-than-us-but-still-limited entities from outside the universe just rescuing your soul (possibly everyone's souls) as an act of charity, even if they can't affect the universe itself. 

General Comments / Re: Putin... Why?
« on: January 25, 2022, 02:26:04 PM »
Let's say you're in charge of not only US foreign policy, but also all of Europe, Aris. What's you next move that isn't appeasement and saves Ukraine?

If I was God-emperor of United States and Europe?

- A declaration that an invasion of Ukraine and any further violation of its border by the Russian army (beyond what is established in Crimea) will be treated as a declaration of war against the whole of Europe & USA, a promise to protect Ukraine's sovereignty as if it were our own.

- Deploy (with Ukraine's permission of course) armed forces inside Ukraine, to defend it from attack.

- Demand from Russia that either Russia return Crimea to Ukraine, or atleast offer monetary compensation for its crime in annexing Crimea. If it doesn't, more sanctions on Russia, and confiscation of Russian state property abroad, as well as the confiscation of the property of Kremlin-aligned oligarchs, in the united states and europe.

- Arm Ukraine and every other Eastern European nation with a couple nuclear weapons each, so that they can defend themselves if Russia attacks them.

Look. I'm just maintaining my own sanity. That requires hope. The only hopeful way I can interpret the Simulation Argument is that something created us, meaning something more intelligent that us.

That's not how it works. The simulation argument implies powerful computers, but not particularly intelligent users, nor even any deliberate design. Perhaps we're actually the game run on a 13-year old (but 5-dimensional) girl's ap in her equivalent of a smartphone, playing her equivalent of Animal Crossing or Stardew Valley. Perhaps we're tests run on a company's mainframe, parameters set by some low-wage office worker.

I look at history and those who I trust to figure out what that means. The Bible all alone is only part of the picture. Church history is another important part. There have been zero gay marriages in the history of my church and we don't change.

Yeah, having been born in an Eastern Orthodox nation, it's certainly been my impression that if the Church has to choose between what is Good on one side and what Tradition on the other, they'll go with Tradition every single time -- to the extent that I think they worship Tradition much more than they worship even their (non-existent) God.

Anyone ever hear of Roko's Basilisk? Get on the wrong side of the Basilisk and your punishment in the here-and-now is more severe the longer you hold out. And that is exactly what is happening now in my lived experience.

Dude, I'm a LessWrong rationalist, I've heard about the Simulation Argument, I've known about the "map is not the territory" phrase, and I know about Roko's basilisk many many years now -- and I'm thoroughly horrified by how ignorantly you misrepresent all of them, using them as mottos rather than as anything that has anything to do with anything.

Roko's basilisk for example is about a hypothetical AI that would punish you if you haven't helped create it: It really doesn't have anything to do with your delusions about God or your desire for a fascist, patriarchal society, because those aren't inherently relevant to its creation.

You spew words you don't understand, and you spew them as flashy fireworks to impress -- on people who've known what they mean much better than you do.

General Comments / Re: Putin... Why?
« on: January 25, 2022, 10:52:29 AM »
I must have missed his plan to invade Finland, Finland, Mongolia, China, and North Korea.

Okay, you're correct he doesn't plan to invade Mongolia, China or North Korea.

Finland (and Finland) most definitely, though, don't worry.

Problem is that the world considers the ex-Soviet republics to be sovereign, independent countries, and Putin's attitude is more "ehhhh... <waggles hand>  ... kinda-sorta."

Clearly it's not legitimate to act on such notions, but it's clearly not unique to Putin, as far as domestic politics go.  Or perhaps we should say, it's not so much a perception Putin necessarily has, as one he's very happy to exploit.

While we're making woolly comparisons, one that springs to mind is if Pennsylvania and the entirety of the states of the North-East region had seceded thirty years ago...  and were now loudly discussing joining some organisation themed around militarily confronting the USA and nuking it in an act of mutually assured destruction if push came to shove.  There'd probably be...  unhappiness about that in Rump America.

I have very little tolerance for such apologetics towards imperialistic Hitleric conquerors.

Russia SUPPOSEDLY recognized those nations as independent.

That Putin regrets such recognition doesn't mean a blasted thing. Similarly Hitler I'm sure regretted that Poland was recognized as an independent nation after WW1.

Now Russia, just like Hitler after WW1, wants to reverse with a new World War, the defeat that his nation suffered at the end of the Cold War, when many nations became independent and FREE from Russian and Soviet tyranny.

Apologetics about that, and how it's all so "understandable" are despicable.

Lengthy segment on the BBC's Newsnight on the Ukraine sitch.  Their diplomatic editor (and former tanker (not to be confused with tankie!)) Mark Urban with a package on "things Russia and Nato might haggle over short of their 'New Yalta' position", and a zoom/studio interview with Kurt "sanctions now!" Volker and Kadri Liik from the European Council on Foreign Relations.  Interesting, but I'm bewildered as before, if not more so!  Wildly divergent prognostications on whether he's just looking for a pretext and opportunity to invade, or whether there's some set of concessions he'd settle for.

We should learn from bloody History. Each "concession" merely increases the appetite of the villain.

For Hitler after the Rhineland, came the Anschlus of Austria, and after the Anschluss came Sudetenland, and after Sudetenland came the rest of Czechoslovakia, and after Czechoslovakia came Poland, and (finally) WW2.

For Putin after Transnistria, came Abkhazia. After Abkhazia came South Ossetia. After South Ossetia came Crimea. After Crimea came Donbas. And now after Donbas, comes the rest of Ukraine.

Time & time again shows that concession to a villainous imperialist merely make everything worse.

Idiots want us to concede towards Putin the same way that Chamberlain made a pact in Munich with Hitler to recognize his conquest of Sudetenland.

General Comments / Re: Putin... Why?
« on: January 24, 2022, 05:28:22 PM »
I mean, I do kind of see the point while wholeheartedly disagreeing with the threat against Ukraine. We wouldn't take it too lightly if Mexico started taking steps to enter into military alliance with Russia. Especially if they had already got Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua into the pact.

Don't swallow Putin's bloody propaganda which persistently reverses cause and effect.

He already has invaded or otherwise threatens to invade EVERY neighboring nation. The countries that weren't part of any westerna alliance -- Moldova, Georgia, Ukraine, those are the ones he invaded *first*.

He's not planning to invade Ukraine because it's going to enter NATO -- it's the other way around, Ukraine wants to enter NATO because Russia has ALREADY INVADED IT! And the only reason that Russia doesn't want Ukraine to enter NATO, is because Russia wants to grab even more territory from Ukraine (possibly just conquer Ukraine its entirety).

This whole thing is practically identical to nazi propaganda in the 1930s about the West was "surrounding" Germany, by making an alliance with Poland to defend it against Hitler's aggression.

People are free to define words (maps) however they choose to. Idiolects, right?

The core issue here is every culture needs to decide if TWAW or not.

Sure, I guess. For example you know that the theocratic culture of Iran, has also decided that trans women are indeed women, they can change their gender legitimately? It's not just us whacky western godless progressives who are doing so?

Also not sure why you keep focusing on whether Trans Women Are Women so much.
What about the Trans Men?

For example the bearded guy at
You want to call him a woman?

Okay, but don't pretend that any earlier human society would have understood you in this, and that it's just modern people who are changing the map. Older cultures would certainly take one glance at the beard and his overall apperance and insist the guy is a guy.

I'm amused that you say something like "the map is not the territory" and then you also say things like "transwomen ARE NOT women".

I don't think you quite understand what is meant by "the map is not the territory" if you are making such errors. For starters one thing that sentence means is that all categories (including categories like "men" and "women") are man-made, they're not the underlying reality of things.

XX and XY chromosomes are part of the territory.
Vaginas and Penises are part of the territory.

"Man" and "Woman" are part of the map.

General Comments / Re: New trans laws
« on: January 22, 2022, 11:17:32 AM »
"Pascal's Wager" doesn't work for a multitude of reasons, including that cognitively honest people don't choose their honestly held beliefs based on what rewards they'll get for so believing.

This may sound like a truism to you, but in fact I do not think it's the case that people choose their honestly held beliefs in the first place, let alone for the reasons you believe they do.

I said "cognitively honest people don't choose their honestly held beliefs based on what rewards they'll get for so believing."

You somehow made up in your mind that I said people do choose them, and that I gave you which reasons they have. When I clearly said that they DON'T.

So I don't know what you're talking about.

You are ignoring the place genetics has in placing people on the political spectrum in the first place, which I believe it does. And further, your notion that 'honest' people don't have their perceptions shaped by the environment and its reward system is highly questionable. It's almost as if you don't think most people base their entire life plan on the options available in the economic system they inhabit.

Nothing you are saying relates at all to anything I said.

I neither ignored the role of genetics in determining politics, nor the role of "the enviroment and its reward system" in shaping perceptions.

I don't know how you make up these things about what I supposedly said or what I supposedly think.

You don't have the capacity to compute probabilities on this topic :)

Well, I think you'd compute the probabilities for the god Poseidon to exist to be under 50%, no? Probably you'd even say they are under 10%. Am I wrong in this?

I similarly compute probabilities for the christian god Ephrem seems to believe in.

He didn't say truth and goodness, he said truth and kindness. The difference between his version and yours is miles away. He's separating truth and goodness because (he is saying) truth involves sometimes telling people things they don't want to hear and which will be uncomfortable for them.

Yes, that's understandable, the way I'm saying that God doesn't exist, which you people might not want to hear, might be uncomfortable for you, but ultimately I consider it good for you to hear, since it's true.

Kindness in this context appears to mean 'making them feel good'. However goodness is an overarching term meaning doing the best thing for someone (or for everyone), which according to Ephrem's argument is probably similar or the same thing to truth. So within the confines of this sub-discussion truth and goodness are not two separate things. And certainly within the Christian tradition they are in fact identical, and you could toss "love" into the mix and say they are all interchangeable terms referring to the innate property of the creator.

When a nazi officer tries to come find the Jews you have hidden in the attic, is it good to tell him the truth of the matter? If not, it seems that truth and goodness seem two different things in at least this one matter.

Let's speak about a less extreme example which doesn't even involve any genocide: You see a fat woman in the street. Is it Good to go and tell her "You are fat. You disgust me with how fat you are. If I had to rate you 0 to 10 on an attractiveness scale, you'd get a 0." Is that a Good thing to do, even if it's True?"

General Comments / Re: New trans laws
« on: January 22, 2022, 07:17:43 AM »
Pascal's Wager and the most optimistic version of the Simulation Argument, where God does exist, and is sifting the wheat (those who get literal eternal joy) from the chaff (example: TWAW belief, perhaps)
"Pascal's Wager" doesn't work for a multitude of reasons, including that cognitively honest people don't choose their honestly held beliefs based on what rewards they'll get for so believing.

Also pretty sure an omnipotent omnibenevolent God wouldn't have needed to create people with gender dysphoria in the first place.

Most likely probability: your God doesn't exist. There also exists a possibility of course (though a tiny one) that he created the trans people you find so appalling to test you (yes, you personally) about how you'll treat them, and you're currently treating them appallingly, with sneering contempt, in which case he'll condemn you to hell or something.

I oppose you being condemned to hell, btw. That's also morally appalling.

edit: whoops, I misread, but no, I have the *ability*, but I do not gawk, I'm not gay, I'm disgusted by other men's penii.
not at all, let's create a third transwomens' shower room, and a fourth one for the transmen, why not?

hurt feelings? too expensive?

Yeah, see, I'm more generally appalled by all the American scenes in American shows/films where people seemingly have to shower communally or whatever. In my country, even when I was in the army for my 1-year mandatory conscription, there were separate cubicles in the showers. You didn't have to get completely naked in anyone else's presence.

Your fear "oh no trans people can gawk other people in the showers" is to me *weird* -- it implies that it's somehow okay for ANY people to gawk ANY other people in the showers, as long as they're the same gender.

Make individual cubicles in your showers. And then you won't have to look at either people's vaginas or penises, regardless of whether they're cis or trans.

Or go the other direction and just decide that nudity isn't a taboo anymore. Creating separate rooms for more categories doesn't work. Trying to fit everyone into *two* categories doesn't work. There'll be eventually people with multiple penis, vaginas and tentacles.

what the mentally ill want doesn't matter: TRUTH is not necessarily KIND, ask Plato about that
So close to the truth and so far away. It's exactly because TRUTH and GOODNESS are two separate things, that the mere facts of the universe (there's XX chromosome, there's XY chromosome, there are people born with vaginas, there are people born with penises) don't need constrain how we choose to deal with other people.

People who say "Trans women are women" don't disagree with you on the facts about whether these people have XX or XY chromosomes -- they're instead saying you should treat trans women like you should treat non-trans women. (I hate the stupid confusion between IS and SHOULD. I try to avoid the IS word because it leads to so much confusion, when people mean SHOULD. But that's a LINGUISTIC issue caused by people who don't communicate clearly)

ALL categories, ALL words, including words like "man" and "woman" are social categories.
You are correct that there are facts of the matter: That person has a penis, that person has a vagina, that person has XX chromosomes, that person has XY chromosomes. What categories human society derives from them however, and how human society deal with those categories in separate situations is a human society concern, not a Truth of the universe.

You can for example make it a rule to have a shower for people who phenotypically look male, and a shower for phenotypically look female. That would means that trans men & trans women will be joining those showers only after they've done surgery/been in hormones/etc.

If you say something that everyone with XY chromosomes is a man -- then well, I've heard the rumor that Jamie Lee Curtis actually has an XY chromosome though she's externally looking like a woman and been considered a woman all her life because of a medical condition.

In that case would you force Jamie Lee Curties to shower with the men, just because she has an XY chromosome?

General Comments / Re: New trans laws
« on: January 21, 2022, 05:38:19 AM »
"So then I have a God-given right to declare myself a "transgender butch lesbian" so I can go into my local 24 Hour Fitness and gawk discreetly in the womens' showers? And follow the prettiest one out?"

No, because among other things God doesn't exist, so He isn't there to give you any rights.

Also you seem to imply that as a man, you have the God-given right to "gawk discreetly" at people in the men's shower. What the hell?

Do you somehow think that a "natural-born" woman has the "God-given right" to gawk discreetly at women in the women's shower, and "follow the prettiest one out"?

Also, btw, aren't you simirarly telling ALL OF US that a trans man (often a bearded butch muscly dude) should be *according to you* have the God-Given right to "gawk discretely" at women in the women's showers, and "follow the prettiest one out"? You think that'd not be scary, even with the absence of a natural-born penis?

If you think that Assigned Women At Birth should all use the women's showers, aren't you telling us that this includes the big butch muscly trans men (since you consider them women)? Is a surgically constructed penis less scary than a natural born penis?

How does this work out?

The answer to "Trans men/women shouldn't use the facilities of their identified gender" has always been "Well, which facilities should they *censored* be using? Because the other way around work even less, no?"

Similarly with women's sports. You don't want to have trans women compete in the women's divisions --- but having trans men compete in the women's division doesn't work either, does it? They *want* to compete in the boy's division, but these muscly bearded dudes are often forced to play in the girl's division, because of laws that it's only their assigned-at-birth gender that matters.

General Comments / Re: New trans laws
« on: December 16, 2021, 09:37:55 AM »
I require an Accommodation. I cannot work when I see a transgender co-worker. I'm perfectly willing to work around that thing (meaning, transgender human being)'s schedule. I just need to know when NOT to come in to work.

Seem fair?

Is this some sort of joke I'm not getting?

But in case it's serious -- no, it doesn't seem "fair". What if people wanted "accommodations" because they couldn't work when they saw female co-workers, or male co-workers, or black co-workers, or white co-workers?

That doesn't seem like a workable system of "accomodations".

It seems more like a personal issue you need to work on with a therapist.

General Comments / Re: New trans laws
« on: September 14, 2021, 12:37:53 PM »
and they try to restrain you from leaving

If they try to restrain you from leaving, and you're merely using violence to free yourself from a captor who's trying to keep you captive against your wishes -- then why is anything else relevant in this situation, being cis or trans, having a bondage room or an ordinary bedroom, producing expected or unexpected genitalia?

In any of these cases the usage of violence would be legitimate, in order to free yourself from a captor.

General Comments / Re: New trans laws
« on: September 14, 2021, 12:02:57 PM »
So can someone (someone other than Fenring), explain what I'm supposedly getting wrong in what Fenring is saying?

The way I see the above discussion Fenring said the terms are needed to solve practical matters in matters of law. When I asked, he explained (and was indignant that I needed to ask) that he was talking about the legal oppression of gay people, and that's what he meant. Then I restated it, and he got upset again.

What am I *censored*ing misunderstanding? Someone other than Fenring, please.
I can't read anyone's mind, but I can see that the term "homosexual" would be useful in law in lists of things that it is illegal to discriminate against or to convert an "ordinary" crime into a hate crime.  So good for striking down the sort of laws given in the example.  It does not seem implausible to me that that is what Fenring meant. His initial phrasing suggests to me that he wasn't in favour of the oppression, and given he knew that he couldn't then comprehend that you didn't know it too - I have found that if you know what you meant when you wrote something it is often terribly hard to work out why anyone else can't see that.

Except, read the quotes: when I asked what he meant by "needed to solve practical matters in matters of law" he said "You are really unaware that in many (and historically, most) places it was illegal to conduct oneself as a homosexual?"

So he doesn't seem to be talking about it being needed so that the law makes it illegal for civilians to discriminate against homosexual people, he (clearly, and utterly unambiguously to me) seemed to be talking about it being needed by the law so that it could be made illegal to "conduct oneself as a homosexual".

This has in turn nothing to do with whether Fenring approves or disapproves of the law doing this -- I didn't claim he approved of the law doing that. At most I condemned his bile at me for simply not immediately understanding that when he said "needed" he meant "it is needed by evil people in order that they do an evil thing", since usually that's not the implied usage of the word needed. (When we say that something is needed without specifying an actor, we usually mean needed by good people to do good things instead)

If he was talking about anti-discrimination legislation it would have made better sense if he had said "Are you really unaware that in many places there's anti-discrimination legislation?", rathan than speak about the many places where homosexuality is illegal.

General Comments / Re: New trans laws
« on: September 13, 2021, 05:13:16 PM »
Fenring said
they're muddy terms but needed to solve practical issues in both the dating scene as well as in matters of law

I asked:
"In matters of law"? I don't see any reason that the labels hetero/gay are needed in matters of law, or for that matter why trans/cis would be needed in matters of law either.

Fenring said
Are you playing dumb to win an argument or something? You are really unaware that in many (and historically, most) places it was illegal to conduct oneself as a homosexual?

I summarize:
So when you said that the label "homosexual" (or gay) is needed to solve practical issues in both the dating scene as well as in matters of law, you meant that it's *needed* when the law is designed to solve the "practical isssue" of how to oppress gay people.

Well, excuse me, but I actually thought that you meant there was some matter of law where it's actually supposedly *good* and *useful* for the label to exist. That was the whole point of the paragraph, and since I couldn't think of one, I was reasonably confused when you spoke about the usefulness of the term in matters of law.

So, okay, I concede the point: It's useful for tyrannical evil regimes that want to oppress people, to use the term "homosexual" in matters of law.


So can someone (someone other than Fenring), explain what I'm supposedly getting wrong in what Fenring is saying?

The way I see the above discussion Fenring said the terms are needed to solve practical matters in matters of law. When I asked, he explained (and was indignant that I needed to ask) that he was talking about the legal oppression of gay people, and that's what he meant. Then I restated it, and he got upset again.

What am I *censored*ing misunderstanding? Someone other than Fenring, please.

General Comments / Re: New trans laws
« on: September 13, 2021, 04:42:07 PM »
You are literally telling me that what I said is that what I am arguing for is the need to oppress gay people. You didn't argue that it's an unintended conclusion of what I wrote, you're saying that I SAID IT. Since there is no conceivable way you could believe I wrote that, my only conclusion is you are lying about what I said in order do what? I won't put up with it. I don't know why you're pretending that what I wrote is so hard to understand. I don't trust your motives any more. I'll avoid you for a while now, thanks.

You first got upset and called me dishonest because I did NOT immediately get that you meant "for purposes of societal oppression" when I asked what the supposed usefulness is for the usage of the term "homosexual" in law, and now you get upset and call me dishonest for accepting your claim that you indeed meant "for purposes of societal oppression".

So I no longer know what the bleeping heck you meant, or if you meant anything at all, or if you're pretending at a meaning, or if you're pretending at getting offended -- all I know is that when I asked you what you meant you called me dishonest because I didn't get that you meant X,and when I restated the X you said you meant, you again called me dishonest because obviously you couldn't have meant that X you just said you meant.

We can't communicate -- either because you're utterly UTTERLY dishonest, or because of mental insufficiencies (in you or me or both), or both of the above.

General Comments / Re: New trans laws
« on: September 13, 2021, 03:39:07 PM »
Are you really equating baldness with someone surprising someone with penetrating sexual equipment when they weren't signing up for such an experience? Is consent culture around sex dead?

I don't think we're envisioning the same sort of scenario.

Looking at actual court cases where the "trans panic" defense has been used on the part of defendants to justify violence, they've been cases that range from "I flirted with a woman in a bar, and then I realized they were actually a man, so I had to beat him to death with my buddies " to "this person gave me a blowjob, which I fully consented to at the time, but two days later I realized she had a penis and wasn't a 'real' woman', and I was so grossed out in hindsight that I had to murder him."

You're instead envisioning a case, where what? A trans woman ties a person to a bed, and then tries to rape them with her penis? Well, yes, that'd be rape and bad. It'd also be rape if a cis woman tried to rape a man with a dildo when he hadn't consented to such. Or in any other way. Penis not actually required.

I can certainly see a person slightly freaking out if their partner suddenly produces an unexpected dildo (or penis), if they're themselves not into that and the two haven't discussed it in advance. But no, I wouldn't justify immediately resorting to violence.

General Comments / Re: New trans laws
« on: September 13, 2021, 03:06:45 PM »
Sorry, didn't bother reading beyond this. If you're not going to discuss in good faith then you're wasting my time.

You're the one not discussing in good faith.


You have repeatedly waffled, and you have repeatedly refused to explain the meaning of your words, in that mess of contradiction, confusions, and inanities you present as a supposed argument while leaping from random point to random point and ending up not saying anything meaningful at all.

You are disingenuous and dishonest.

General Comments / Re: New trans laws
« on: September 13, 2021, 03:04:14 PM »
If you're a lesbian, and they say they're female, you're a terrible person if you refuse to date/have sex with them and their penis.
If you're a gay male, and they say they're male, you're a terrible person if you refuse to date/have sex with them and their vagina.
If you're a straight female and they say they're male, you're a terrible person if you refuse to date/have sex with them.
If you're a straight male, and they say they're female, you're a terrible person if you refuse to date/have sex with them.

TheDeamon,that's  lots of words to just say "some people will always be self-serving jerks and use supposed politics to pressure/guilt other people into doing what serves them".

People are allowed to date/have sex with whatever person (and whatever body type) pleases them. Even if you're a gay man, you may not be into bears but only into twinks. Even if you're a lesbian, you may be into butch and not into femme. Or vice versa. You can date short or tall, fat or thin, circumcised or uncircumcised, and you're definitely allowed to date people with penises or people without penises.

Responses violent enough to justify documentation are arguably not justified in any case. But on the flip side, I could see a legitimate basis for the person who thought they were meeting someone whose equipment matched their presented gender to claim they were potentially warding off what suddenly turned into a sexual assault in their eyes.

I wonder would you feel the same ("see a legitimate basis"), if a woman violently attacked a man, if the man they thought they were meeting was wearing a wig in all the photos' they sent but was in reality bald, and the woman suddenly so realizes the guy is bald?

That suddenly becomes a sexual assault (they were going on a date with someone they thought had a full set of fair), so by the same argument, so there's a "legitimate basis" to claim the woman was "potentially warding off what turned into sexual assault in her eyes"?

General Comments / Re: New trans laws
« on: September 13, 2021, 02:02:59 PM »
"In matters of law"? I don't see any reason that the labels hetero/gay are needed in matters of law, or for that matter why trans/cis would be needed in matters of law either.

Are you playing dumb to win an argument or something? You are really unaware that in many (and historically, most) places it was illegal to conduct oneself as a homosexual? Having labels to distinguish straight/gay certainly comes into play when discussing the people whom the law is either favoring or sidelining (or worse).

So when you said that the label "homosexual" (or gay) is needed to solve practical issues in both the dating scene as well as in matters of law, you meant that it's *needed* when the law is designed to solve the "practical isssue" of how to oppress gay people.

Well, excuse me, but I actually thought that you meant there was some matter of law where it's actually supposedly *good* and *useful* for the label to exist. That was the whole point of the paragraph, and since I couldn't think of one, I was reasonably confused when you spoke about the usefulness of the term in matters of law.

So, okay, I concede the point: It's useful for tyrannical evil regimes that want to oppress people, to use the term "homosexual" in matters of law.

That's pretty much the exact opposite of what your argument was supposed to be about, which was presumably about the terms gay/straight being useful, fullstop, not "useful to evil tyrants, and harmful to everyone else".

It's not really like that at all. Part of the reason is that general use of the terms. "Men" and "American" predate any niche usage, which perhaps could still emerge from time to time. They're part of a popular lexicon. "Cis" was not, and has only come to be part of it in context of...what?

Presumably has come to be part of it, in the context of the existence of trans people and becoming more commonly known and trans issues becoming more publicized, via internet, etc. whereas even 20 years ago they weren't remotely to this extent.

The term "straight" or "heterosexual" wasn't a part of popular lexicon either, a century ago, I think. Now it is. Presumably because the population, via television etc, knows about the existence of gay people a bit more than it did a century ago.

General Comments / Re: New trans laws
« on: September 13, 2021, 07:25:33 AM »
Fenring, your argument goes all over the place and in contradictory directions.

(1) That the categories supposedly aren't meaningful because EVERYONE is a mismash, so everyone is trans/cis in some way
(2) That the label "trans" is okay to use, because they're an extreme minority, but the word "cis" isn't okay, because they're the vast majority.
-- But by your argument (1) how do you even count whether they're majority or minority, as you claimed that everyone is both & neither?
(3) And that the label "cis" is bad, because it's used to shut down people.
-- But that would make labels in general bad. Which yeah, they are bad, BUT THE LABEL "CIS" NOT MORE SO THAN ANY OTHER LABEL ANYWHERE, regardless of how fuzzy or clear, regardless of whether it's about a minority or a majority.

Hetero/gay is already a problematic (and inaccurate) designation, but it serves at least because in the very practical situation when you're in the hookup scene, there's a large probability the guy you're hitting on is gay (large enough to matter). The inaccuracy should be obvious, however, so the terms are contrary to what "cis" achieves: they're muddy terms but needed to solve practical issues in both the dating scene as well as in matters of law. For cis/trans this doesn't seem much to be the case, again, due to the sheer numbers involved.

"In matters of law"? I don't see any reason that the labels hetero/gay are needed in matters of law, or for that matter why trans/cis would be needed in matters of law either.

In regards to the "dating scene", both terms are useful, since many people likewise care about whether they'll be hitting on a trans woman or a cis woman, since they may have a strong preference for one particular type of genitalia in their sexual partners.

If you are making a dating app, you would want someone to be able to click a check box that indicates they're interested in cis women only but not trans women.

People encounter trans people so rare that it doesn't matter, you say effectively? Well, here's some news to you: from the point of view of trans people themselves, they *constantly* face people who encounters them, i.e. encounter a trans person. From the point of view of trans people, they're not an extreme minority rarely encountered, they're a minority that they have to deal with 100% of the time. Because it's them.

The distinction cis/trans is useful, practically, for the same reasons that the distinction man/woman matters.

And the assumption then carries over into "and therefore you're not entitled to participating in this conversation because of your privilege."

Again, an utterly irrelevant confusion with a *different* issue.

That we shouldn't call cis people "cis", because then it will be used to argue they aren't entitled to participate in this conversation, is the same argument as e.g. not calling men (either trans or cis) "men", because then calling them men would mean they aren't entitled to participate to conversations about female issues, and not calling American people Americans because that'd be used to mean they aren't entitled to participate to discussions about other countries, and so forth.

Again, you conflate TWO COMPLETELY DIFFERENT ISSUES - (a) the badness of trying to shut down the participation of others in a discussion, and (b) the identification of a certain category of people itself.

If this was a general discussion about the badness of labels, FINE. But when you're just using all these general arguments to in the end focus just on the label "cis", that seems disingenuous.

General Comments / Re: New trans laws
« on: September 12, 2021, 03:01:17 PM »
I know all of this must be taken with a grain of salt when asking you specifically since you're a transhumanist, but just for now you should pretend you're not because we're discussing language among people who actually do believe in such a thing as normal.

Perhaps I'm being uncharitable here, but I think that this effectively admits that the actual problem people have with the word "cis" is NOT that the word "cis" is denormalizing or otherizing or insulting people, but *just as I thought* that it actually has the opposite effect, by treating cis-ness as equivalent to trans-ness.

Is the *actual* problem, not that "cis" is somehow insulting, but that it tries to normalize the existence of trans people?

So the question is why one should have to create designations like "cisgender" to reference people
who are of the standard disposition.

Do you have the same issue with the words "heterosexual"/"straight"? Or are somehow the percentages in that case sufficient to merit the words?

Because of the internet bringing people together even though they may be physically apart, the world you inhabit is not the world that trans people inhabit. Trans people will know lots of other trans people and communicate much more with non-standard gender identities than an average person would. The point of "cis" is to have a simple way to refer to people with "standard" gender identities, without having to say "person with a typical gender identity" or something like that.

And no, "non-trans" wouldn't do, for a variety reasons, largely the same reasons that "non-gay" wouldn't work well as an alternative to "straight".

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