Wednesday, April 16, 2014

[AvC] Re: Inherent rights iff inherent value?

On Thursday, April 17, 2014 4:41:54 AM UTC+2, Loopflanger wrote:

On Wednesday, April 16, 2014 1:12:37 PM UTC-7, Rupert wrote:

Presumably, they take a vote on how big his salary should be, and they are the ones who invested the capital which enabled the company to function in the first place.

Labor is the enabler & the materialize-r  here. Investing capital is investing people's time & labor.  If you pay them nothing,  that would be slavery. If you pay them next to nothing,  why would that be more justifiable than the former?     

Tell me more about it and I'll tell you whether I think it's justifiable.

Who is being paid next to nothing? Which company?

You're referring to a situation where the CEO makes 365 times more than, I assuming,  the lowest paid employee. What's the necessity for that, (other than saying somebody arbitrarily decided to do that)?

Well, it's an outcome of a decision by the stockholders....

Which is an arbitrary decision on their part.

It certainly wasn't arbitrary. They made it on the basis of what they thought would maximise the profitability of the stock.
You don't have to explain why workers with marginal productivity get low wages. You have to explain the justification for paying CEOs so much more than the people who work under them. (& if their productivity is so low, why should the CEO be awarded for that, in the first place?)

I'd be assuming it would be because they want to have a CEO who will make a big contribution to the profitability of the company, and they have to pay him a high wage or he'll go and work for another company?

So I don't really have a problem with the idea that they should make the decision. And of course if the company's employees find it unfair then they are free to withdraw their labour. They can also unionise if they want to, so as to organise collective withdrawal of labour if they feel that is appropriate.

Well, hell's bells. Why stop there? Why not rid of this parasitical relationship all together THAT YOU HAVEN'T DEMONSTRATED ANY NECESSITY FOR,  other than signifying that this is how things are CURRENTLY done. 

Of course there's no necessity for it, no-one has to take a job ...

No,  labor is necessary (for any useful things to exist &/or to be made use of). It's private ownership of this process that isn't absolutely necessary.  Now,  if you think otherwise,  explain. 

I don't think that private ownership of the means of production is absolutely necessary, I just don't think that you've demonstrated that any of the alternatives would somehow be a less "parasitical" relationship.

The matter is:  You haven't demonstrated that a non-parasitical relationship is impossible.

I never made such a claim. I don't think you've demonstrated that the relationnships that exist in the current economic system are parasitical.
You just keep trying to justify what is demonstrably parasitical

How so?
even though you now admit that it isn't absolutely necessary.

I haven't really been making any attempt to justify it. I have been offering speculations about why the stockholders make the decisions they do.

If wealth is to be created then it is necessary to have some kind of organisational structure and it is necessary that people have motivation of some description for participating in that organisational structure. I'm sure there are many possible alternatives to the structures that actually exist in the present society, but the point is you haven't demonstrated that anything is available which is appreciably better than what we've actually got.
Why do you support a parasitical economic order?

I don't.
Isn't that pathological? Doesn't that conflict with your beatific notions about alleviating suffering?

No, capitalism has been enormously successful at alleviating suffering.
Doesn't that reduce YOUR CONCERN for non-human animals to moral hypocrisy?


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[AvC] Re: Inherent rights iff inherent value?

On Thursday, April 17, 2014 4:53:21 AM UTC+2, Loopflanger wrote:

On Wednesday, April 16, 2014 1:08:51 PM UTC-7, Rupert wrote:

The statement that I am less centred on the well-being of humans than the well-being of nonhuman animals is false.

When it was brought to your attention that people working for the meat industry often suffer bad conditions your response was less than sympathetic.*  You're evidently conflicted about other people. 

 I just probably thought, correctly I would say, that they're not as badly off as the animals.

In your supercilious opinion. 

No, in the opinion of everyone with access to the facts and in possession of basic common sense. Nothing "supercilious" about that opinion.


How do you propose to achieve a society where people are not driven by the desire to make a profit?

For most of the 100,000 years of human history,  people haven't been profit driven.

You think? How do you know that?

"Economic trade for profit has existed since at least the second millennium BC",  ( ). "Anatomically modern humans first appear in the fossil record in Africa about 195,000 years ago, and studies of molecular biology give evidence that the approximate time of divergence from the common ancestor of all modern human populations was 200,000 years ago.[3][4][5][6][7]",
( ).

Doesn't seem to establish your claim. Even primates who trade favours of grooming each other are "trading for profit", it's just a more rudimentary economic system.

Can you give an example of something that we can recognise as an economic system that existed prior to the establishment of the institution of trading for prodit?

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Re: [AvC] Re: Earliest evidence for the inflationary model ("big bang") discovered

Hi lawrey,
the spiritual realm is the realm of at least higher reality/truth.
the physical universe is more akin to the matrix of the film
of the same name. With the visible molecules/atoms having
more space than matter and the energy holding them together
coming from a source beyond our comprehension.
If you think the present universe is a self-based reality you are in for a great shock
some time in the future. But let's dwell on the present reality of current events for
a moment. Who really runs this country? Your assignment is to look up the entity
or corporation supposedly from which both treasure secretaries of Bush and
the present pres. originated. Let's see if you can handle even this reality.

On Friday, April 4, 2014 11:01:42 PM UTC-7, lawrey wrote:


                             Thank you for your contribution, but I find it difficult to comprehend your requirement to insert this paragraph, which any sound, intelligent mind might find incomprehensible.

                              "We Christians call this the spirit realm and perhaps there were symbolic shadows or types of what we now have in our material universe but "space" had a totally different meaning
                                because matter as we know it did not yet exist."

                               For what intelligible purpose and or need would and or could there be, to wish or want to fill a space-time continuum with unknown, imagined, metaphysical nonentities designed
                               solely for the purpose of maintaining the status quo of ancient religious superstitions and specious somewhat vacuous vacillations of pagan beliefs?

                                Is there any need of a 'spirit realm' and why? What useful purpose would it serve?
All of life is a test whether you realize it or not. 

On Sunday, 30 March 2014 00:54:29 UTC, Art Grey wrote:
Hi Lawrey,
In his book ,"A Brief History of Time", Steven hawking paints an easy to understand
layman's view of the beginning of the universe in  accord with his ground-breaking Special Relativity
Theorems (along with Roger Penrose and Ellis) using Einsteins theory of General Relativity as a
When Hawking says that Relativity implies a beginning to space-time, matter and energy
it implies that a whole new type of existence came into being where before, in terms of our physical
universe, there was nothing. We mean nothing of space-time and therefore what was before
was from a totally different category of existence.
We Christians call this the spirit realm and perhaps there were symbolic shadows or types
of what we now have in our material universe but "space" had a totally different meaning
because matter as we know it did not yet exist.
Of course, hawking did not like the metaphysical implication of a beginning, so ever since he has
been trying to depict a universe that was eternal, but with little scientific success, only speculation.
Also, he has had to account for how apparent design, fine-tuning of mathematical "constraints"
and other amazing formations inherent in the big bang could allow for life as we know it to
exist and that gets into the weak and strong anthropic principles.
They mainly try to show that Relativity breaks down at the critical tiny fraction of a second
at the beginning of the big bang when everything is in the quantum stage yet to me the miracle
is that all the quantum particles produced a flat universe when quantum particles, by Hawking's
admission should have formed a spherical universe, but enough of that.

On Wednesday, March 26, 2014 5:27:34 PM UTC-7, lawrey wrote:

                          What one finds difficult to believe and incomprehensible to logic and reasoning religion requires that you have faith and believe it anyway.
                          That it happened is enough for me to say OK. But to say there is a god-thing who designed the universe 40 odd billion years ago and the Earth 4.54 billion years ago
                           Is beyond logic,reasoning, belief, or faith. It happened the way it happened so why don't you just say I don't know because you don't, nor do the best scientists, yet
                          they just speculate. If the BB was such a cataclysmic explosion, it had to have had space to explode into. I have blown up some pretty big structures in my time, when
                          I had an explosives license. I can tell you, any explosion even a striking of a match needs space you cant contain an explosion that is why it goes bang and creates so much
                          energy. That energy wave has to travel and it travels in space, through space until it has fully expended its energy which it does in time, eventually becoming weaker.
                           To say that space was created by the BB is to say that space is finite and has an end, but space is infinite. That is what I believe but do not know. Rather like god/s except
                         that they are unbelievable, and as far as I know they haven't gong bang! yet to announce their existence.

On Tuesday, 25 March 2014 03:36:44 UTC, Art Grey wrote:
Hi Timbo,
space, time, matter and energy all came into being with the big bang, according to the theorems of
special relativity worked by Hawking, penrose, ellis

On Monday, March 24, 2014 6:45:58 PM UTC-7, Timbo wrote:

On Monday, March 24, 2014 8:29:16 PM UTC-4, lawrey wrote:


                                      Thank you for taking the trouble and excuse my ignorance.


I lack the education in physics to know for sure what I'm talking about. I lack the knowledge in physics that make things absolute reality or just convenient formulas to make a case.  I stick with the Greater Science Community the same as I stick with the Greater Linguist Community. If the community says we are stopping knowns at the BB, I take that literally. Stop! We will get back to you when we can conclude something.  I don't postulate a space for the BB even if after thee BB physics says it had to have had space. They cannot claim had to have had and absolutely stop at the BB. 
The main point you need to realize is that the universe originated from a microscopic  beginning, perhaps a singularity
with an incredible mass suddenly coming into being and then exploding to eventually form life-supporting galaxies
and planets with incredible precision according to tight physical and mathematical constraints.
 George Ellis (British astrophysicist): "Amazing fine tuning occurs in the laws that make this [complexity] possible. Realization of the complexity of what is accomplished makes it very difficult not to use the word 'miraculous' without taking a stand as to the ontological status of the word."

Alan Sandage (winner of the Crawford prize in astronomy): "I find it quite improbable that such order came out of chaos. There has to be some organizing principle. God to me is a mystery but is the explanation for the miracle of existence, why there is something instead of nothing." (6)

John O'Keefe (astronomer at NASA): "We are, by astronomical standards, a pampered, cosseted, cherished group of creatures.. .. If the Universe had not been made with the most exacting precision we could never have come into existence. It is my view that these circumstances indicate the universe was created for man to live in"

On Monday, 24 March 2014 23:13:12 UTC, Timbo wrote:

On Sunday, March 23, 2014 6:27:55 AM UTC-4, lawrey wrote:

              you are virtually saying are you not, that time began when our perception of it became clear and in order for that we had to live and in order for that if we believe in the BB theory.
              then that is and must be the point from which we measure time. So that implies that if we cannot perceive it it does not exist. If we cannot perceive space then it cannot exist.
              an interval in space distance cannot exist. Yet for all that if we want the big bang we have to say it was an event in time and space. So time and space must have been before
              our perception of it. and although we know the interval of space is never ending  and that we can measure distance in time and space, can we not say that time and space
              are one and the same, since time has the same constancy as space. There is something about the scientific explanation of this that unsettles my way of thinking, it's just me.

It seems that all that you have revealed here is that yes, a distance was there before we learned to measure it with time, meters....

I can't see time as tangible anything, more than a human describing  energy in motion. If we can only mearsure that there was a big bang and not know what was before, then we cannot claim time and space before. We can't claim what we don't know about. I think we are assuming too much from physics in which we have no evidence. In this particular case, we are comparing known realities with unknown realities to come up with space.
art- no science shows that there was an entirely new type of existence created with the big bang. 

On Saturday, 22 March 2014 22:00:22 UTC, Timbo wrote:

On Saturday, March 22, 2014 4:40:55 PM UTC-4, Alan Wostenberg wrote:
Trance You say they would explain " the natural processes work to make the sky appear to be blue". But any process presumes time. But how is it there is time at all? How come time?

I only know time as conceptual. Like pointing at a moving auto and saying it is moving forward or reverse. The reality is that there isn't a forward or reverse. 

Time is a measurement of distance of change. It is no different than measuring distance between mass. There are no inches, just like there are no spirits floating about.
Just because you have not seen a spirit, how do you know the rest of us have not? Millions of people have had some kind of mystical experience such as near death or post death clinical situations
or know someone who has. 

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[AvC] Re: Inherent rights iff inherent value?

I don't think there is any sensible definition of inherent value. To ask "Can a thing have value, even if nobody is around to value it?" seems to be in the same category as the question about whether a falling tree makes a sound if nobody is around to observe it.

A realist would say: Of course it does.
An Anti-Realist would say: If you want to call a thing "real" which has no criterion and no observable properties, which makes no measurable difference to anything, go right ahead. I have a bottle of "Chi" I want to sell you. Chi is an invisible force which fills the universe and is responsible for all things. I have some in this bottle for only $19.95.

Similarly, "inherent value" seems a totally nebulous invisible thing that we want to paste on something WE value. Saving porpoises, the smile of a puppy, having human DNA, gay rights, marriage rights, pro-abortion, anti-abortion, euthanasia, going to war, you name it.

We often hear: "in order to protect the inherent value implicit in X, we really need to Y.  No matter that it is used equally on both sides of the argument. 
So my tentative definition is: 
Inherent Value: "something you happen to believe in, yet in a subconscious way, so you imagine it must come from something much bigger than yourself, preferably positing it as some sort of inherent feature of the universe."

On Thursday, April 10, 2014 1:14:31 PM UTC-5, Alan Wostenberg wrote:
Some time ago, Ll, wrote "everyone please: what is your definition of inherent value?". That seemed fruitful. Could we have a summary of definitions?  Distinguish between /what/ inherent value is and it's cause.

Atheists suspect there is an argument for theism in the premise "X has inherent value" and they may be right. It's interesting lawrey alone is making the case for inherent value from atheism.

But as I understand the term "inherent value" is an endowment -- like species membership - and not contingent on individual achievement or any other creature ascribing or even recognizing it.

Moreover, to be a locus of inherent value means I may not legitimately be treated as a mere means to an end. For X to value Y means X is using Y as a means to some end and /not/ treating Y as an end.

Now not every entity has inherent value. I may use rocks as means to ends. I may use living things as food, medicine, clothing, for the species not possessed of inherent value.

We could take it as a mystery certain beings are endowed with inherent value and table the causal explanation for now.

For if nothing has inherent value, what is the basis for inherent rights?

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[AvC] Re: Eclipse tonight

On Wednesday, April 16, 2014 8:12:06 PM UTC-7, Art Grey wrote:
Hi LL,
thanks for bringing this to our attention. The interesting coincidence here is that there will be three more
each about 6 months apart. Each of them comes on the Jewish Holy Days of which there are 3 most important.
Passover (Easter) and Tabernacles (September) are actually the two most honored and it is on these that the
reddish moon eclipses will occur.
The last time this happened, there was the 1967 Six day war between Israel and it's 3 neighbors, Egypt, Syria and Jordan.
Some similar event such as a war or Jewish persecution occurs. coincidence perhaps, but since this now occurs about the
time of the Mideast peace talks this could have repurcussions on the USA if we do not favor Israel.
Stay tuned. Again, this will happen next year also and the last of the 4 blood moon eclipses will occur on the very anniversary
day of 9-11-14 except on the Jewish calendar this will change because the jewish calendar is 30 days but sometime in September.

On Monday, April 14, 2014 11:34:47 PM UTC-7, LL wrote:
Will you be watching the blood moon and total eclipse tonight? Starts at 2 AM, Pacific time. Visible as a complete eclipse on the West Coast.

Go here

You may not see in again in your lifetime.

I'm going to bed and setting my alarm.
thanks again, yet many Christians are taking note of this and bad things are predicted
by September or 2015. I myself expect another war to break out in but worse than usual.

Christians have a very good record of making "predictions" after the fact.  A very poor one of making predictions BEFORE the fact.

Just as you have done above.  Twist the fact and the bible to try to make the two coincide or pick a happenstance and find something in the babble to claim it was a prediction.

Harry K 

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[AvC] Re: Why is there Evil in the presence of an almighty good God???

On Thursday, April 3, 2014 11:15:03 AM UTC-4, Steve in Virginia wrote:
You're right it's not rocket science - it's an ugly, inhumane, misogynist, violent, superstition that sees humankind as some kind of indelible stain on the universe.  Frankly, anyone who believes this vile, lunacy needs serious psychiatric counseling and probably long-term medication.   One of the things that eventually allowed me to break with Christianity, aside from its obsessive-compulsive fixation with death and suffering, is the endless recurring theme of blood-sacrifice and the need to constantly propitiate this vengeful, jealous, vindictive, murdering psychotic entity or face eternal damnation.

Frankly, I've never understood how the religious can in one breath go on and on about how they "love" their fellow man and in another breath pronounce that every non-believers has a one-way, first-class ticket on the hell-bound train.  The they do it with the same infantile glee usually reserved for a 4-year old who has managed to successfully snatch a handful of M&M's from the candy jar and secretly wolfed them down without mommy knowing it, just before dinner. 

Truthfully, I'd have more respect for the religious if they just said, "You non-believers can all go fuck yourselves.  We're right and you're all gonna die horrible and burn in hell forever.  God loves only the people who believe the way we do and if you're not with us you're against us.  Period.  It's just too damn bad we can't drag your, atheist, agnostic, humanist, logical, rational, bible-criticizing, scientific method, materialist, questioning asses out into the public square and burn you alive like we could in the good old days."  At least the religious would be honest about who they are and they wouldn't have to constantly pretend sufferance towards people they either openly revile or secretly despise but are forced by dogma, social convention or law to cloak their passive-aggression behind a mask of piety and false tolerance.

Steve that is the best reply I've ever read. It's so true and not sopposed to be funny, but I cant stop laughing. WOW!

On Thursday, April 3, 2014 9:12:57 AM UTC-4, Smoley wrote:

On Thursday, April 3, 2014 8:47:03 AM UTC-4, Dingbat wrote:

On Thursday, April 3, 2014 8:35:27 AM UTC-4, Smoley wrote:

On Thursday, April 3, 2014 2:52:27 AM UTC-4, Dingbat wrote:
On Wednesday, April 2, 2014 9:28:16 AM UTC-4, Smoley wrote:
If God is good, and God is omnipotent, then why doesn't He stop evil?

Does God merely ALLOW evil deeds or does God also ORDER/ CAUSE evil deeds? In Exodus 34, does God ALLOW baby donkeys' necks to be broken or does God ASK FOR baby donkey's necks to be broken?

He asked for the lamb to be slain so the donkey could go free.  If the lamb was not slain then the donkey must be slain.

Whether a lamb or donkey, some animal gets killed, for no good reason.

That's what happens when there is no law, when there is no right or wrong.  Are you saying that the Word, "Thou Shalt not Kill" should have been upheld?
That's good, because when the Word reigns supreme, you will be the first to bow your knee to it.  You have learned the difference between "Good and Evil" and you now understand that the Word is Good.

The lamb being a type of the Word.  We know this because Jesus Christ is compared to both. He was the Word, and He was the Lamb.

The only way that the "Ass" could be set free is by slaying the Word that was "contrary" to the "Ass".

Unless God is limited in his ability, there is another way for the donkey to be free - by God not demanding its life.

God humbled Himself. When this happened, it limited His ability.  He had the ability to prevent murders, but He took the backseat for little bit.  Waiting on you to bow the knee to His Word, so you can be put back into the perfect garden. 
If the Word had not been forsaken, as Jesus Christ was, then no "Ass" would live.

Because, the Word/Law/Righteousness can not allow for cancer to kill and destroy. Only by forsaking the Law of righteousness(for a short time) could God allow sin to "live".

Breaking a baby donkey's neck or killing a lamb in its place has nothing to do with rigteousness or sin. The donkey's neck is broken so God can claim that he owns it. Alternatively, a lamb is killed in the place in order to buy the donkey from God. Why does God need to own donkeys or sell donkeys and why does he demand payment in blood?

You say breaking the baby donkey's neck and killing a lamb has nothing to do with sin?  Then what is the problem?

God already owns the donkey. He already owns the lamb. His word created them. Without His word, they would not live.  DNA is necessary for life.  He gave them life when He gave them the Word.

He killed the Word, and they lost their life.  This isn't rocket science.

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[AvC] Re: Any room in here for an agnostic & validity of the bible

On Wednesday, April 16, 2014 8:30:01 PM UTC-7, Hippie wrote:
Hi all,
   Wow, some of the topics in here are deep. Don't wanna give any examples, don't wanna get anyone started, lol. However, I would like to hear from some folks about the validity of the bible, since that is a topic I have personal experience with and which has influenced my life immensley. 
   First of all, I'm gonna write as I speak, and have never spent a day in a college or university, so please bear with me on any grammatical errors. Second, I'm agnostic, not atheist. I don't claim to know the origin of the univers and especially life, and have no faith in either a spiritual/metaphysical type explanation or the current hypothesis' offered by some scientists. So until someone has proof of the origin of life, I'll be in my default position. Is there a creator? A supreme being? Probobly not, but if so, certainly not as religious people understand him and certainly not the 'author' of the bible. Finally, I wanna give a bit of personal background, which I think is pertinent, then throw a few questions up in the air.

If you want certainty you are out of luck. The one thing that philosophy has shown is that almost nothing is known for certain. But the human animal has survived by making guesses based on incomplete input. The lion would have eaten you long before you could be certain what the best course of action could be. So we make the best guesses at what is happening and more on {sometimes rather quickly, especially of there is a lion about). Science provides a method for making better guesses than other methods. Indeed, science has honed the art of making good guesses to a tee, 

   I was an evangelical christian. Not just the kind that goes to church on sunday, but a zealot and student of the 'word.' I also became an expert in justifying to myself the inconsistentcies, inconcise nature f the bible. And the blame is always on you, the reader; for lack uderstanding. Show a christian a clear contradiction, and it's always, 'you don't understand it correctly,' or 'that's not what it means.' I'd love to hear just once, "well I guess god could have made it clearer." So why didn't he? Not even counting the offshoot relgions like Jehovahs Witnesses,Mormonism, etc. the whole of christianity is divided into huge doctrinal differences. Huge, not minor things like pre or post milennialism. But like things there should be no question about. Half the churches some that  teach  that you have free will especially when it comes to salvation, the other half teaches  the opposite(unconditional election , irresistable grace)  u know, Martin Luther, TULIP and Calvinism, Presbyterian  VS. catholic etc. Half teaches you can lose your  salvation based on things you do or don't do, the other teaches the opposite, that u cant. I started asking myself questions, and then really noticing just how many and just how huge these errors were. If you take that and the scientific facts that it contradicts, there's nothing really left, except a few angels  having sex with women, giants, witches, demons and a partrige in a pear tree. I still never get tired of hearing a christian explain to me how the universe can only be 6,500 years old.
   A friend of mind gave me this to think about a while back.
   According to the bible...!. God created everything.   2. god had the choice to create any 'universe' that he wanted to   3. God knows all things, sees the 'future' /sees the end as if it were the beginning.  So god forsaw the universe that he created. Chose that universe to create -again knowing every little thing that would happen from the beginning to the end of time-chose that universe-our universe, the universe we live in here and now, and created it. For those three things to be correct, there can be no free will. Everything that has happened, is happening right now, and will happen was seen by god before creation, he chose it and created it. So free will is an illusion. Or god is not god.
Thanx for listening.

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