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Everything posted by Gilga-flesh

  1. People opposed to the death penalty are a mix of people who want criminals to suffer as little as possible AND people who want criminals suffer as much as possible, depending on their personal fears about death/life. That's amusing to say the least. Personally I can't imagine how someone would not agree that death is hardly the worst thing you can inflict on someone. Among the many things that are worse would be being locked up for life in an American prison/concrete box, being raped, beaten, devoid of all humanity or freedom for so long that your personality gets overwritten by one of fear and degradation that will cripple you for the remainder of your lifetime. Comparatively, death sounds quite nice. I figure many people are too afraid of their own mortality to accept the existence of capital punishment and consider literally everything better than death. Ironically plenty of inmates try to kill themselves, apparently agreeing with my viewpoint. Yet they are often 'saved' from death for either of the 2 above mentioned reasons (and several legal ones). But there is no universal standard that determines when death is preferable over death. Take euthanasia for example. For everyone who reads this will be situations that make death the better option. Can't think of any? Unfortunately reality isn't limited to your imagination. I would offer the following solution: we give criminals the choice. IF their sentencing is of sufficient length AND after sitting out at least a minimum amount of time, they can at any time request their death. If after psychological therapy their deathwish is genuine, they receive death. If the cost of execution is brought down as well, this solution might find wide acceptance. If this seems too nice to criminals then perhaps the victims and/or their surviving relatives should have a say in it as well. They might veto to allow the criminal to suffer or might relish the notion that the perpetrator is dead far more so. In short: nobody will receive death if they did not wish it but death is not withheld either (except for satisfaction of the victims). To me this seems like a balanced solution. Or at least less hypocritical than keeping people alive in horrible circumstances out of 'ethical concerns'.
  2. LOL Perhaps we should try to determine what unlikely sequence of events would lead people to witness the Aztec skeletal butterfly Goddess coming down to Earth, Hercule to perform his miracles or Zeus appearing in bedchambers of lonely women! So Maria claims that, when she was all alone, Jesus appeared in front of her and then disappeared again. Then later some other people totally saw him too. Ok sure. So how is this different from people seeing Elvis after HE died? Correct me if I'm wrong.. but psychosis and imagination are not recent inventions. And I'm being generous in assuming there even was a Jesus to begin with, or a Maria for that matter, rather than some amalgamation or complete fantasy.
  3. Bombs, poisons and drugs can be made out of over-the-counter ingredients.. but not by most people. Which is why regulating and/or outlawing bombs, poisons and drugs makes more sense than selling hand grenades in vending machines cause "let's just trust people". And no. I never said humanity is going to go extinct due to guns... I said humanity needed to change it's mentality in order to survive future developments. That's pretty much what you have been saying, I rather thought that would be the one thing we'd agree on. OK this conversation is clearly not going anywhere. I'm glad that policy makers have, and will have, my point of view rather than yours and leave it at that.
  4. What isn't my fault? What are you talking about. Anyway, most devices aren't as easily hacked as a game console. Safety depends on the investment and effort put into it. That's why we can have machines filled with cash on every streetcorner without every Joe Sixpack emptying them with some trick they saw on youtube. Oh I'm sure a few got hacked, but a few incidents hardly matters. It's about reduction of abuse not elimination. Besides we can always just TRUST people not to hack riiiiiight..? My bank once gave away free debitcard chargers that you could connect through the phoneline and use to charge your card. Nobody ever hacked them. Most people couldn't hack their own PC. They would get confused even if you gave them a step-by-step manual, that's why ICT helpdesks exist. So no I don't see the problem. Security measures have a high degree of access restriction and perfection is never required for policy to be useful. You are talking about metal detectors? Those are not the type of scanners I'm talking about. Metal or plastic doesn't matter for advanced scanners like terahertz scanners. They see through cloth and recognize weapons with algorithms. I'm afraid you are insane. I never mentioned anything about the tsa I got what your point is when this conversation started. I just do not agree with it. The increased potential for individuals to manufacture objects with potential risk does not, will not and has never ever been a reason not to regulate said objects in any sense whatsoever. We do not sell cyanide in shops, we do not sell cocaine in shops, we do not sell the bubonic plague in shops. We SHOULDN'T sell guns in shops. Why do you think it is forbidden to produce most drugs? I mean people can make them in their own lab right? Well most people can't. And most that can don't want to when it is illegal. That leaves a very small group of people who will now at least be punishable when caught in the act. Compare that to your alternative reality were literally *every possible weapon that could theoretically be produced at home* should be thrown in the open market cause "let's just trust each other". Why would people even WANT GUNS IF THEY TRUSTED EACH OTHER? That humanity needs a change of mentality to survive the future, yeah obviously. Like 5 minutes after they left the primordial swamp would have been ideal. Meanwhile survival of individuals would be greatly helped by RESTRICTING access to murder tools as much as possible. Again: as much as possible. Perfection is not required not is it expected by anyone.
  5. Progress goes very fast. Bulletproof material and scanners like the ones I mention won't be far behind. And indeed it will be difficult to built inhibitions into a 3D that can't be hacked. Nothing is 100% foolproof but it doesn't have to be. Rather the question is: can inhibitions be placed, one way or another, that will significantly limit illegitimate use not to produce anything harmfull? I look at all the equipment and programs that can potentially be hacked and how incredibly few people would actually be capable of doing so, and say yes. I'm sure you wouldn't want to get rid of airport security just because sometimes someone still sneaks a bomb onboard? We also produce ofcourse, I think every industrialized country does. But whether you export or produce, you are going to have it on your soil. What would be the difficulty for isolating them from the public? Is it that difficult to prevent theft? Again nothing is 100% foolproof but an incidental theft is not quite the same as throwing them out on the open market. As for trusting.. you gave a 5 year prediction. I personally doubt the more advanced 3D printers are going to be common in 5 years, but that aside. You can't really tell me that there is going to be a utopia in 5 years were all of humankind will embrace each other like brothers and live in peace eternal? Even if I trusted in the nature of humans, that will still leave MANY mentally imbalanced individuals that hardly know what they are doing. Yet in the states they can easily get a gun. I know they aren't supposed to, but we both know they can. I would be a lot less confused by the gun policy of the states if at least gun enthusiasts themselves would insist that sales were properly regulated. But you can get your gun from a car boot sale and nobody even cares about your ID. So much for MY trust in people! As for the bio-weapons, there are already proto-types of small bio-weapon scanners that will one day be used to permanently scan cities for possible threats. Any government that will make it policy to trust in the inner goodness of the likes of Daesh is not going to get my vote I can tell you. Will they get yours?
  6. We aren't #1 in firearm manufacturing but we are in the top 5 of millitary hardware/weapons export. None of that is available in the shop around the corner or ends up in the hands of street thugs. 3D printers is an interesting argument. It seems as if it is being used before it has really become relevant. You can make your own firearm without a 3D printer. It's rather difficult and the end result might just take your own arm off. For everyone but a few experts with very good printers the same will be true. Amateurish junk that, yes, might kill people but just aren't as effective and reliable as a professional weapon. Give it a few decades and I'm sure we all have a 3D printer in our home that could *potentially* make very effective firearms. But in that future we might have security protocols build into every 3D printer to prevent the manufacture of such parts. Or maybe we'll be able to produce dirt cheap clothing made from spidersilk that stop bullets from simple handguns and they'll become all the rage. Or maybe special scanners will be placed everywhere that can detect any type of conceiled firearm and call in authorities. If that doesn't convince you: think about bio-weapons. It is becoming easier every moment to gene-splice at home. Just order the reagents and there you go. I know I'm a cellbiologist, a lab is optional. One day people might become capable of designing viruses and bacteria at home. Does that mean it doesn't make sense to outlaw the sale of commercial pathogens? Should I be able to buy the bubonic plague in ye little disease shop because one day someone might be able to produce it anyway? That's the problem with 'in the future we will' arguments. We live now and legislation is made for the world we live in and not the world that might be there some day.
  7. OK another penny in the hat: As mentioned I'm not from the USA. In MY country there have almost never been shootings. It does occasionally happen that some crazed person tries to stab people. Crucial difference is that there are few if any victims and almost none of the victims die. The knife-man (basically always male) usually gets knocked out by some bystander, with a fist or chair or the like, before real damage is done. So here's my point: many pro-gunnies in the USA claim that criminals would get hold of guns despite a ban. So why exactly is the fact that the USA is the only (industrialized) country in the world with regular shootings ignored? This is a pretty big piece of freaking evidence that a nation does just fine without equipping its citizenry with firearms. Most of the weapons on the US black market started as legal firearms, till they were sold by irresponsible owners or stolen (possible from equally irresponsible owners). Here in my country we have, ofcourse, a few firearms on the black market. Last police report I read stated that most are adapted flareguns. They are small firearms with poor range and accuracy and cost thousands. Even ammo is difficult to get. Virtually no criminal sees the point in owning one, assuming they even have the connections or finances to get one. Why exactly would a gun ban not work for the USA if it worked for most of the civilized world?
  8. As a resident from a country in which firearms are NOT allowed, I have to say.. I think it's fear. I have scoured republican/conservative fora and it's pretty clear that they expect the enemy to lurk everywhere. Their discussions seem drenched in fear and an equal need to feel secure again. Here in my country people use other means to feel safe. Most aren't healthy either. People with fear will just clamp to whatever symbol they think will keep them save and never let go. Guns give them that feeling of safety. It's like a lucky charm keeping ghosts away. Telling them that it actually makes society more dangerous and increases their own chances of death won't score brownie points with them. I think gun violence could be best addressed by focussing on the unchecked sales of fire-arms to possible maniacs. If you can make people not only aware but AFRAID of such occurences, then perhaps they will agree on tighter gun control. I don't like shifting fears but it's the best strategy. At least untill the human race gets over its anxiety disorder.
  9. Yay a religion vs religion thread ^^ and it even involves Islam, the most popular religion of the moment!! I'm not religious but was raised to be (though neither Christian nor Muslim). I just didn't care much about authority including people telling me what to believe. I acknowledge some people will find it more difficult to go against culturally accepted, no obligated, beliefsystems so I don't hold it against anyone for not freeing themselves from a set of archaic rules that hardly made sense when they were first construed millennia ago. I also don't blame all followers of a religion for being part of said religion. For most, it will just be chance that determines which religion they get indoctrinated into. That said, there does seem to be a few differences between Christianity and Islam. Both religions have scriptures with at least a number of violence encouraging passages. But while the biblical Jesus is depicted as some sort of proto-hippie, Mohammed hardly disguises the fact that he was, in fact, a conqueror. It might not be a coincidence that Islam literally means surrender. When Mohammed and his army installed themselves in front of your town, he gave the people a choice: accept surrender/Islam and become a Muslim (literally he who has submitted) or accept death. So the religion grew pretty quick with people deciding it wasn't worth dying over which deity will ignore their prayers. And wouldnt-you-believe-it the most important man according to this new religon that Mohammed made up happens to be Mohammed! Further consolidating his hold over the very people he conquered and memetically enslaving their offspring for many generations after his own demise! Man that's a stroke of luck for Mohammed. MY POINT: Regardless whether a biblical Jesus existed or was merely a construction, he does appear to carry a message of peace and tolerance.. and he provides an innate excuse to ignore the onslaught of the old testament. (God got soft after he got a Son) For the most part, Islam doesn't feel it needs to excuse the violence of Mohammed. Most Muslims don't like the clearly described cruelty and try to rationalize it but the un-ambiguous nature of Mohammed's life-history makes it considerably more difficult to extract a message of peace and brotherly love than it would be from the Bible. If the very prophet of the Überforce Himself annointed Mohammed as the most Holy Prophet that will show humanity the right pad to walk... had slaughtered people by the thousands for refusing to surrender... how can it be wrong to kill a few apostates? That is the issue the peaceful Muslims are bothered with and I feel sorry for them.
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