Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment Re:Bottom line... (Score 1) 814

As I already gave my definition of polite in this context, your statement is disingenuous at best and a deliberate attempt at misrepresentation at worst.

I quoted your definition and quoted you saying the definition doesn't apply. Don't be a coward and hide from your own words. You could just admit that one of the two things you said was wrong, instead you hide behind accusations and sophistry. I'm sorry you have to face the fact that your position is self-contradictory, but maybe you should do more thinking before you start arguing next time.

Comment Re:Bottom line... (Score 1) 814

The threat of armed response does not imply one is a coward.

Of course not, being threatened does not make one a coward. However, meekly obeying the people who make the threats does. There's the rub.

The saying does not in any way imply that polite societies cannot exist without arms. The saying does not negate other possibilities, it simply states that one route will have a specific effect. Your logic is the same as saying "Iced water is cold water" is equivalent to "Non-iced water cannot be cold." The statement that one precludes any other possibility is laughable.

That's a strawman argument. I said the clear implication was that unarmed societies are not polite which is exactly the way that quote is usually used. Otherwise people would be saying "An armed society is one of many ways to get a polite society". Mind you, it's not a pithy and is much less derisive towards anyone who disagrees with you. Also you contradicted yourself:

Nice strawman. I never said, nor has anyone else to my knowledge, that an armed society is a crime-free society.

You either mistake the meaning of "polite" in the statement or you are being intentionally pedantic to disguise the lack of basis for saying it means rude people should be killed. It has always referred to criminal activity, not general rudeness.

If a polite society doesn't refer to "rude" behaviour, but instead to criminal activity and an armed society isn't a crime-free society, then by your own admission, an armed society is not a "polite" society.

If the statement was equivalent to "might makes right," rural areas (which tend to be those with the highest proportion of firearm ownership by those who do not own them for criminal purposes) would be controlled by warlords. That this has not happened is by itself evidence enough that the two are not equivalent. Those people with firearms owned for non-criminal purposes have not imposed their will on others by the use of their superior might. Those areas where firearms are almost universally possessed by criminals are actually where you find the warlords.

You seem to have misunderstood. It is not gun ownership that is equivalent to "might makes right". It is the view that armed citizens have the right to take the lives of people with whom they have disagreements. In most cases, the facts will be tailored by the survivors to make themselves the not-criminals. There's another famous saying: "history is written by the victors".

Comment Re:Bottom line... (Score 1) 814

It's a very strange definition of bravery. Are you brave enough to don black clothes and repeatedly run across a busy freeway at night?

I find your examples to be a bit strange. You seem to be contending that the right to speak your mind is as frivolous as playing in traffic.

Perhaps you're more familiar with this quote "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." In the scenario conjured by Heilein's quote, people are trading their liberty to speak their minds for the temporary safety of not being gunned down for offending someone. That would hardly seem to be an ideal society.

The armed society does not make you a coward.

I don't think you understand my position. My contention is not that armed societies are bad or that polite societies are bad. I'm just extremely skeptical that an armed society is significantly more polite than an unarmed society. I think the supposition fails to account for essential human nature. It presumes that all men are easily cowed by the threat of violence. The mere existance of young, testosterone-driven, men should make the proposition ludicrously false. The people most likely to be rude are probably the people least likely to be intimidated by threats of violence. They are also the most likely ones to be making and carrying out threats of violence.

It simply associates every aggressive act with a price to pay. You are still free to go ahead - and pay the price in the end.

Does it? Is being rude an aggressive act that deserves what appears to be an disproportionate response (death)? Or is the aggressive act shooting someone who has offended you? It easy to see a society where being rude becomes a bit of an art form whereby the goal is to provoke your opponent into drawing first, so that you have sufficient justification to claim self-defence. In such a scenario, an armed society would be a rude society.

An unarmed society, on the other hand, does not even give you the choice. If you meet aggression, all you can do is run away and complain to United Nations.

Frankly, that's irrelevant. I'm arguing against the assumption behind the pithy statement. The assumption seems to be that all men are cowards because a little danger will radically change their behaviour. Perhaps the quote makes sense in the context of the novel, but as with many ideas from fiction (particularly those that deal with people), it doesn't work when translated to the real world because the author no longer has to power to force everyone to behave as he desires.

Comment Re:Bottom line... (Score 1) 814

A coward saves his own hide instead of saving someone else.

That may be a definition of coward, but it's not the primary one:

coward: 1. a person who lacks courage in facing danger, difficulty, opposition, pain, etc.; a timid or easily intimidated person.

By the above defintion, a society in which people are easily intimidated into silence by the threat of violence (as supposed by the proposition that "an armed society is a polite society") is clearly meets the standard definition of a society of cowards. Furthermore, when an entire society is walking on eggshells for fear of being gunned down, you know there's not a signle brave man (left) among them.

Of course, it is far more likely that when you have the "polite society" enforced by lethal violence, the criminals are already in charge.

Comment Re:Bottom line... (Score 1) 814

One does not imply the other.

Really? The saying certainly seems to indicate that using the threat of violence to enforce societal norms is a good and desired thing.

What it implies is that there are a number of people who would do bad things without the deterrent of firearms.

Does it? The saying is not "an armed society is a crime free society".

There are many reasons besides fear to support deterrents to crime.

Sure, but the first criteria should be effectiveness

An "armed society" is not the reason most people are polite to each other

But that is exactly what the saying says: "an armed society is a polite society". The clear implication is that an unarmed society would not be polite, which is the opposite of what you are saying.

I would posit that most criminals are cowards, with the exception of those with a predilection to violent crime.

I would question that assumption. It seems to me that criminals tend to take more risks than the average person. That means their either less cowardly or more desperate. In which case, in a society where extreme violence is used to enforce society's rules they may well have an advantage over their non-criminal companions.

Frankly, I think many people need to think about that saying a bit more. Why is the armed society polite? Because rude people are killed. If that's true, then it must follow that violent people are in charge of enforcing the rules. So what about the people who allow the violent people to enforce "politeness"? Are they ok with people be killed because they were rude and thus callously indifferent? Or are they too afraid of the violent people to object? After all, objecting to your violent benefactors, might be considered rude and we know what'll happen then...

It seems to me that in any situation where "an armed society is a polite society" were true, it would effetively be the same as "might makes right". So when might makes right, who ends up on top of the heap then? It seems to me it's those with a predilection towards violent crime.

Comment Re:Bottom line... (Score 1, Redundant) 814

An armed society is a polite society.

Have you ever considered that if "an armed society is a polite society" is true, it means that everyone (including you) is a coward? After all, if you're only being polite to everyone so that you won't give anyone a reason to shoot you, you're already dead inside.

Comment Re:Smart guns... (Score 1) 814

It's difficult to determine. It might curb some criminal behaviour, for example dumb and inexperienced criminals would be less likely to survive. However, it seems likely that criminal behaviour would adapt to the new circumstances. For example, the criminals might shift to taking their victims by surprise more often, and shooting them more often to prevent their victims from using the weapons they are presumed to be carrying. It's quite possible that if more people were carrying concealed weapons that more people would be injured during the commission of crimes with no real impact on the underlying crime rate. It's also possible that crime rates for "crimes of passion" (where the comitter isn't thinking straight), would go up since the means to cause serious damage and/or death are always at hand.

Overall, I actually doubt that gun ownership rates and concealed carry rates have any significant impact on crime rates. I think the largest impacts come from culture, heavy metal contamination (especially lead) rates and policing strategies.

Comment Re:guns used for defense hundreds per day. nukes n (Score 0, Troll) 814

One of the safest places in the world is a gun range

And yet people do get murdered at gun ranges. Do you have any evidence to back up your proposition that gun ranges are actually safer than average? I couldn't find any actual statistics as to whether you were more or less likely to be shot at the gun range, but my gut instinct says it's probably slightly higher than average because besides the occasional murders and suicides, there's also accidents to account for. It's simple mathematics, since the gun range has a much higher concentration of guns than most other places, the per-gun murder, suicide, and accident rates would have be substantially lower than other locations to balance out the higher concentration.

because you don't start a fight knowing that everyone is armed.

Often enough people do because they're angry, stupid and/or crazy. The problem when everyone is waving a gun around, how do you know which one to shoot?

Comment Re:Really?!? (Score 1) 1448

I don't know about that, it seems a bit of a stretch. After all by that standard isn't the New Testament actually Jewish fan fiction? I mean the author supposedly inserts himself into the story with god like powers. He can walk on water, make food appear, heal the sick, and turn water into wine, and is literally too good for this sinful earth. He really does seems like a Marty Stu character, in fact, he could be the first ever recorded Purity Stu character.

Comment Re:start with kicking out Ballmer (Score 1) 387

Hmm, have you considered that maybe the first two Xbox version only look "right" in comparison to everything else Microsoft has done wrong?

Microsoft had a golden opportunity to trounce Sony this generation, instead Sony recovered from a 8 million device deficit and the PS3 has now actually out-sold the Xbox 360. Given a year's head start, and a $100 (or was it $200) price differential, the Xbox 360 still wound up in last place this generation.

Now, the Xbox 1 (not the XBOne) did set the standard for online console gaming, so they deserve credit for that, but it was a finantial disaster that never actually became profitable.

Comment Re:Dooomed (Score 2) 249

And constantly blathering on about how evil we are as a whole and that we are destroying the planet and that we are causing the climate to no longer be in stasis...

Actually, the scientists and virtually all of the major groups that recognize that climate change is occurring are very much aware that the climate would be changing at a very slow rate even if humans didn't exist. In fact, they're the ones who discovered that in the first place.

That means the assumption is that the climate would never change if it weren't for the evil humans.

No it doesn't. That's a strawman argument, I've literally never seen that argument made by anyone who isn't actively denying the climate change is an issue.

That requires accepting that the climate has never changed.

No it doesn't. As previously mentioned, there are no major groups that claim that the climate has never changed.

And that requires ignoring a vast amount of physical evidence as well as written and oral history.

No it doesn't, because the only one making an argument that the climate has never changed in the imaginary opponent in your mind.

And I am in denial?!? wtf

Yes, you are. It's kind of like you are trying to argue your way out of a speeding ticket by claimin the police officer doesn't believe in continental drift and therefore couldn't accurate get a measure of your cars speed because he didn't account for it, and therefore your foot on the gas pedal shouldn't actually matter. What you are writing appears to be pretty much insane.

The natural temperature change is around -0.02 degrees per century. Our green house gas emissions have overwhelmed the negative trend and turned it into about +2.00 degrees per century (and still accelerating). It's 100 times faster in the opposite direction. That's actually a significant change attributable entirely to human acitvity.

Comment Re:Really?!? (Score 1) 1448

I used to think the same thing but Orson Scott Card fought against the de-criminalization of sodomy in the 90s because it would prevent the government from arresting and imprisoning openly gay men. His reasoning was that it was beneficial to society to have cudgels to use against anyone who refused to publicly conform to societal norms (specifically in this case, heterosexuality). Since then, it seems he's campaign against every gay rights issue he's come across. So from his actions, I think it's pretty clear his opposition to gay marriage is derived from his opposition to gays in general.

Comment Re:Really?!? (Score 1) 1448

Nothing in the links you provided indicate that Chik-Fil-A has had elevated sales after the counter-boycott, in fact, the first link explicitly states that they most likely wouldn't. Overall, Chik-Fil-A sales have continued to rise but the chain is expanding and sales were increasing both before and after the boycott, so it would be nearly impossible to determine what, if any, long term impact the boycott would have on sales. Interestingly, the second article predicted a landslide victory for the Republicans based on the Chik-Fil-A anti-boycott, obviously that call was way off.

On the other hand, Chik-Fil-A quietly withdrew corporate funding from several vehemently anti-gay organizations, so the boycott despite seeming to have backfired, it may have ultimately accomplished it's goal.

By the way, I've eaten at Chik-Fil-A and I found the food to be quite good. Compared to much of the other fast-food available, I can see why they're growing so fast.

Comment Re:Really?!? (Score 3, Insightful) 1448

Yeah, I think you cross a line when you call for the violent overthrow of the government for the crime of treating people equally. I wasn't aware that Card had done that or advocated to criminalize/keep criminalized homosexual behaviour so the the government could jail anyone who dared to admit they were gay.

I don't think I need to actually consciously boycott Card. I was already tired of his endless rehashing of the Book of Mormon in every thing he writes. These (new to me) revelations about his bigotry have made anything with his name of it completely unappealing.

Slashdot Top Deals

Biology grows on you.

Working...