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Everything posted by Dak

  1. The (early) constitution always struck me as a predominantly military thing: the 'inalienable rights' are the rights that, once surrendered, are harder to get back because they've been surrendered. e.g., to form an effective resistance against a government, you'd need: communication/co-ordination (1st, freedom of speach/press) to form a gang/army (1st, assembly, speach (for recruitment)) with guns (2nd) and, as a bonus, ally with the (at the time) only NGO capable of standing up to the government (1st, religion) along with transportation and logistics; but, at the time of righting, I'm pretty sure that the idea of putting limitations on citizens' rights to own horses or not work was written off. I'd suggest updating the military ones: right to communicate and co-ordinate (free speach, free press, +uncensored/monitored internet) right to form a gang (assembly, speach) right to bear arms (guns) +right to transportation (right to own cars and the means of transportation) +right to logistics (no barriers to owning the means of production) right to ally (religion would probably still be your best bet; maybe something about unions?) so, mainly update to accomodate the invention of the internet, and the feasability of putting at least some restrictions on business- or car-ownership. along with getting rid of the first-past-the-post voting system and implementing a proper democracy (y'know, where the leader needs the support of most people).
  2. Anyone see an analogue between raping a coma patient vs. normal rape and 'borrowing without persmission' (vs. theft)? ... ...... You know that doesn't count if the only reason there's 'no evidence otherwise' is because she's asleep, right?
  3. Do you think that masturbation is wrong? Whenever I have sex, there's always an element of tenderness towards a fellow human being there; but cracking one off is pure satiation of my sex drive. Or is it only actual sex you're a bit iffy on?
  4. Hmm... that's interesting: yes, very much so: and inpalatable truth over a pleasant lie any day No: i'd just get pissed for no reason. so, below a certain threshold, i'd rather remain ignorant, but beyond a certain point i'd want to know..?
  5. What about allitteration? How about building a database of the frequency with which words appear together in a paragraph, in order to gague relatedness? Or simply use a dictionary, and bias the program towards picking words that have similar words appear in their definition? e.g., checking in wiktionary, both 'boat' and 'moat' have 'water' in their definitions, so it might be possible to get the program to notice that and increase the chances of something like 'blah blah boat/ blah blah moat'? something like that? I guess then you could look for the pattern 'blah blah BOAT (VERB) blah blah MOAT' to grab an appropriate verb and get lines like the sail boat went down the moat umm... no doubt loads of false-positives from that tho...
  6. No worries. And we can use this thread, as it's got new posts in it
  7. Dak

    Why Atheism?

    At least I tautologied without summarising anyone's views in a moderately demeaning way. Point taken tho (although it still somewhat boils down to 'I don't believe in god because I don't believe in god'?) Merged post follows: Consecutive posts merged New thread here
  8. As long as you wear a condom, is it ok to rape someone whilst they're passed out? If you catch someone doing that, should you not make a fuss so as to ensure that the woman never finds out, and thus never suffers? Hmm... relatedly, if it happened to you, would you like to know (and thus suffer) or remain in blissful ignorance?
  9. Dak

    Why Atheism?

    To what standard of proof? Most decisions that you (a PhD in physics, for those who don't know) make are not scientifical, and I'm not even a scientist. Scientifically, no -- I guess if you push you'll be able to get me to admit to being technically agnostic (tho, you'd also be able to get me to admit to being agnostic that everything isn't all just a dream or some matrix-esque illusion). But science is for, say, if you ask me if i 'believe' in global warming -- I'll do my best to base my beliefs off of what I think the relevent scientists believe. You can't do that with religion, so i'm left with doing it another way, and I can't see any other decent way that proves that god exists. And I guess I work on a 'closed world' principle -- if there's no reason to believe something, then don't. I am not a scientist, but I suspect the only scientifically correct stance is 'no comment' as god is undisprovable. I'd actually be interested (maybe in another thread) as to wether the most scientific non-no-comment religious stance'd be agnosticism leaning towards atheism, strait down-the-middle agnosticism, or atheism.
  10. Dak

    On tact

    First off: I thought that this was the original thread and that 'why atheist' had been split from it, so sorry if I somewhat misunderstood the context of the thread. Secondly, the above actually gives your opinion and isn't rude; 'it's all nonsense', at the very least, is merely a tautaulogy -- "I don't believe in it because I don't believe in it". Finally: I don't know if you were around for the last incarnation of the Philosophy and Religion forum, but there is a reason we're being so anal, and that's because the last P&R forum degenerated into crap because both sides were arrogant and rude, so we're being a bit intolerant of it this time round. if that results in no-one being able to unsubstatiatedly summarize other people's beliefs as nonsense, and that seems a bit excessive, then sorry. We might loosen up a bit, depending on how this goes.
  11. Just out of interest, is anyone opposed to taking a socialistic approach to fire-fighting, infectious-disease control and curing, and pest (rat/cockroach/fleas/etc) removal? (I would assume you'd want to add pest-control and road-cleaning to your lists, but I'm in the UK so i'm not sure).
  12. I can handle a saw one-handed. And it's within my abilities to obtain a very sharp saw. However, I don't want to cut my hand off. So I won't. And I can't just arbitrarily choose to change what I do and do not want to do. So... is it 'within my power' to cut my hand off, or not?
  13. Isn't that a tad tautological? 'living' is part of the definition of 'biological', and if a living organism is made of living parts, then what's the definition of 'living part'?
  14. Dak

    On tact

    'Religious belief in deities is bullshit' isn't even an argument. How would someone counter it? "No, you're bullshit!!!"? Or maybe "No, Atheism and/or faith in the Scientific Method is bullshit"? I suppose the argument would continue "No, your Mum is bullshit"? "religion is bullshit, because ..." would be better, but if you're going to meaningfully contribute to threads and stuff, you may as well go the whole hog and not be overly provocative and rude. e.g., "religion is wrong, because ..." DID YOU SEE HOW I DID THAT WITHOUT SUMMING UP RELIGIOUS PEOPLE'S BELIEFS AS BULLSHIT??? THE BIT WHERE I SAID THEY WERE 'WRONG' INSTEAD, BECAUSE IT MEANS THE SAME BUT IS LESS RUDE??? OMG THIS IS HARD!!!!!!!1
  15. Dak

    Why Atheism?

    That would be 'Atheist'. Because gods don't exist?
  16. It was in response to Skye's comment on worker-bees. in at least some insects the males are haploid and the females diploid. The implication of this is that, if you consider sisters, the half of their DNA that they inherit from their father will be identical, meaning that sisters are 75% genetically identical to oneanother, but only 50% genetically identical to their offspring. Hence, with insects (unlike humans), the best way of passing their DNA on is to produce more sisters, which can only be done by their mother, so their best reproductive strategy is to protect their mother; as this is true of all of them, it's a small leap to understanding how evolution could lead to a selfless society. None of the above is true of, e.g., humans (or some insects), hence selflessness wrt evolution in some insects will not neccesarily be comparable to selflessness wrt evolution in other insects and non-insects.
  17. Don't insects like bees and ants use a genetic 'trick' so that, for each individual, their siblings are likely to be more genetically similar to them then their offspring would be? So, comparing altruism in colony-insects with human altruism doesn't quite work?
  18. Stumbled across this: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12001052?dopt=Abstract via http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norovirus blood grouping can affect susceptability to at least one virus, so there's a possible mechanism there (maybe it increases susceptability to a mind-degrading virus ). Still think the idea's silly tho.
  19. not that I disagree, but this: Is probably the case. Which blood-type is most common varies by geographic region, as does wealth; hence, there's probably a coincidental link between blood-type and wealth.
  20. lets leave it in chemistry Might help if you link to an example of the kind of site that you're after -- one of the overly-complex ones that you'd like a simpler version of -- and explain what you do/don't get.
  21. Isn't it? are there causless effects? or, is it just not scientifically proven that all effects have causes?
  22. Please don't spam the forums with the same post.
  23. It was just an observation on my example. there is a predictable and consistant end-result to that scenario, which differs from what would be the case in the absence of a filter. That kinda makes it unavoidable that evolution in that case follows a clear path. hmm... but, even stuff like the likelyhood of random drop-out due to genetic drift is not entirely random: if an allele is better at passing the filter, it will be more prevalent and thus less likely to suffer drop-out due to drift. It's this overall tendancy away from the base chance level towards something else that i'm thinking of as direction. how, if natural selection has a 'direction', does evolution not, what with NS being a major 'driving force' behind biological evolution?
  24. entropy filter actually sounds sort of right. the shannon-filter is the selection criteria. In natural selection, the prevalence of an allele is dependant mainly on how well the individuals posessing said allele can reproduce (more or less a tautology: the alleles that can get themselves inherited more are more common). hence, ability to reproduce is the shannon filter. Over time, the ability to reproduce will increase (ability to pass the shannon filter will increase over time). Being able to survive to reproduction age, being fertile, being sexy, being able to look after your offspring, and probably a few other things are all part of 'being able to reproduce'; hence, over time there will be a tendancy for an increase in survivability, fertility, sexyness, and looking after one's offspringyness; to a point, whereafter the higher-than-chance levels will be maintained by evolution (further increases either not being profitable, or the evolutionary forces not being able to overcome the deleteriousness effect of random change) As a thought experiment: imagine rolling 600 die, then re-rolling them: what would be the overall population of numbers (generally, 100 1's, 100 2's, etc). Now, introduce a shannon filter: 'hold' die with a 1/(number showing on the die + 1) probability'. Now, the tendancy over time will be towards a population heavy in 1's, next heavy in 2's, etc up to 'sparce in 6's'. Evolutionary 'direction' here is away from an even spread of numbers towards mostly lower numbers. Which, in a case as simple as this, actually means that evolution does have a clearly pre-determined outcome: there's more-or-less an arrow pointing down a path reading 'evolution goes this way' (as i'm sure a mathematician would confirm) Merged post follows: Consecutive posts merged pardon?
  25. Dak

    what is motion?

    but how do they affect motion? (if anyone's familiar with my spelling, affect is spelt correctly there: how do they actually cause motion? what is motion?)
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