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Posts posted by Outrider

  1. 7 minutes ago, CharonY said:

    I am not referring to war crimes. In the "just war" framework of morality there are two elements: jus ad bellum (i.e. the right to engage in war) and "jus in bello" (i.e. the conduct in war). If both are followed, it can be considered a just war. This explicitly includes killing of opposition fighters (which, on the individual moral level would not justified) but implicitly also collateral deaths in civilians. Some argue that this makes the jus in bello a rather murky proposal.

    I just don't see the alternative. I agree that some situations can be murky even for impartial observers. But in the Korean War situation I gave it seems pretty plain to me. Your choices are kill innocent children or give ground and power to those who have no problem killing innocents or otherwise using them in any way that pops into their head. Which is the moral choice?


    Is the world a better place with a divided Korea or would it be better if Kim had control over more people?

    15 minutes ago, CharonY said:

    I can dig out some literature, though my philosophy reading days are long over and I am not sure which books would be the right sources. The peace movement did indeed chip on the "just war" paradigm, but it has remained remarkably intact (and of course, quite a few vets joined the antiwar movement). It has been for example been used to justify the Iraq war(s).

    I can research it myself. I just thought you might have some online sources on hand.

    What is the alternative to the "just war" paradigm?

    Veterans did join the antiwar movement but I seriously doubt they ever questioned the morality of those doing the fighting except in the case of war crimes.

    22 minutes ago, CharonY said:

    My fear is that it would rather depend on where you are when a conflict escalates

    Many times this is true but not always.

    When Japan bombed Pearl Harbor what choice did the U.S. have?

    12 minutes ago, beecee said:

    I totally agree...I mean the world is full of ratbags, and the apologists for ratbags, and if one just happens to become a leader and proceed with  immoral and unjust actions, something needs to be done, once negotiations and agreements fail.

    Agree. Wholeheartedly. 

    12 minutes ago, beecee said:

    When all options have been implemented and the belligerence continues [as per Hitler in WW2] then yes, certainly humanity needs to act. Standing by, doing nothing and letting some ratbag bully such as Hitler have his way, is immoral. 


    13 minutes ago, beecee said:

    Wars that are morally unjust, will in general, have a barrier of some opposition. The Vietnam war as an example and Australia's participation in it was unjust and many moritorium marches took place in my country, of which I participated in one. 

    I mostly agree but I do think our leaders had good intentions when we first got involved in Vietnam. But decisions were made, for political reasons, knowing more human suffering would result. 


  2. On 2/3/2019 at 5:30 PM, CharonY said:

    1)The removing the morality of individual actions part is based on the framework used to establish the "just war" argument. A war is considered an act between nations, and that is were the just war argument shifts the morality. A person killing another person on the individual level is generally judged by factors such as motivation. E.g. killing in self-defence. However, even then killing is considered an extreme action.

    2)In a war, however, it becomes an accepted element. I.e. soldiers do not kill to defend themselves per se, but they are following orders. In the just war doctrine, the soldier is therefore blameless, and the war as a whole is judged based on two main aspects that I mentioned before. A) the justification of the war and B) following conduct of war. However, there are (as usual) quite a few problems with this framework for morality.  A fundamental one is the issue that this framework eliminates the morality of individual actions (as mentioned). Other issues exist when dealing with situations outside of two accepted nations. On top of that is the quasi legal framework that governs the right to go to war as well as conduct. The US, for example is not part of the international criminal court and as such undermines the very same framework that would ensure that point B would be followed within a just war doctrine. 

    3)As in the example I mentioned earlier, there is often also no objective measure to determine justification unless some legal system is applied. However even that is problematic as the case in disputed areas, for example. Some views are therefore shifting away from the just war framework and are looking into alternative moral theories, including shifting to individual actions again. But as a whole, it is quite a conundrum and I am sure one can spend year (as some have done) to explore this issue.

    4)Either way, it is a deeply worrying system in which individual actions are freed from moral constraints and collateral damage is an expected outcome. I do find it dangerous to think oneself in a position of moral superiority while engaging these actions, as it makes the loss of human life trivial. In my mind, war even engaged out of necessity or considered just should be conducted with extreme regret.

    Sorry for the very late reply to a well thought out post.

    1) Thanks for clarifying and I do agree.

    2) First soldiers are not authorized to do just anything they feel justified in doing. Although prosecutions are few and far between there have been some cases where charges have been leveled against rank and file soldiers. 

    Second you seem to be suggesting that soldiers commit acts of terror and violence against civilians because they feel they are fighting a moral war. I have always thought they do these things because they are put in a hellish situation. The North Koreans marched children in front of their assaults to force the Americans to shoot them first. You go through that a few times and all kinds of lines can get really blurry. I think this also explains the paucity of convictions for soldiers obviously guilty of war crimes. It is simply not fair what we ask them to do. But there are situations were I see no alternative. 

    Do you know of any studies done of why soldiers commit war crimes.

    3) Can you point me to any literature on this? I agree it is quite a conundrum. 

    But didn't we try this with Vietnam already? Didn't we tell them how gulity they were when they returned home? Remember that most of these men were drafted. They got to choose between baby killer or deserter of ones country.

    No really not fair at all.

    4) I agree with all this and in particular your last sentence.

    It is dangerous ground for a soldier to think he has the moral high ground and thats not the way I was trained. I was taught to leave the morality up to others. I was simply there to do a job. 

    The very best soldiers do the job with extreme regret confident that those who's job it is to decide these things were sure there was no alternative. This describes the vast majority of our fighting men and women of today.

    You will never see these on the front page of your newspaper. That is reserved for those who crack or are using the situation to engage in dark desires they already had.

    I agree the only way a war could be considered moral is if it was conducted out of absolute necessity.  I think it does happen that way some times. I think we both know it when we see it.

    On 2/8/2019 at 2:41 PM, beecee said:

    But situations do exist when one has no choice in the matter, and any moral concern need to be put in incubation for a period.

    I respect your opinion beecee but I just can't agree with this. I don't see morality as something that can be put on hold.

    When you get to the point of where violence is the only means of protecting yourself or others then violence becomes moral. IMO


  3. 3 hours ago, iNow said:

    The challenge, of course, is that you have no way of validating what was in her heart.

    True that. But there is some back history to suggest that "It's all about the benjamins" was meant to be anti-Semitic. 

    2 hours ago, zapatos said:

    However, I still see nothing that was anti-semitic, and I'm unsure in what other way she could have made that same criticism of US lawmakers.

    Zap she has made blatantly anti-Semitic comments in the past. So much so that Jewish leaders met with her before she took office in hopes of educating her.

    I hope you will read the article below.

    https://www-twincities-com.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s/www.twincities.com/2019/02/12/mn-jewish-leaders-talked-with-ilhan-omar-about-anti-semitism-last-year-why-they-remain-frustrated/amp/?usqp=mq331AQCCAE%3D&amp_js_v=0.1#referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&amp_tf=From %1%24s&ampshare=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.twincities.com%2F2019%2F02%2F12%2Fmn-jewish-leaders-talked-with-ilhan-omar-about-anti-semitism-last-year-why-they-remain-frustrated%2F


    Among their concerns was a 2012 tweet in which Omar wrote: “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.” The language evokes an anti-Semitic trope of Jews as practicers of some type of sorcery that allows them to control others. 


    Last year, state Sen. Ron Latz, a St. Louis Park Democrat who has served in the Legislature since 2002, invited Omar to his house, where a number of Jewish leaders had gathered. It wasn’t an ambush; Omar knew that group was there, and their purpose was to enlighten her.

    Back to Ten oz original question "should she be punished"?  I agree with J. C.

    Not legally but yes politically. It has been explained to her why these types of comments are hurtful for some people but she continues to make them. Good for her to apologize but she should still pay a price.

  4. 1 hour ago, Ten oz said:

    From Stephen Colbert to Bill Maher audiences on the left make the mistake of confusing entertainers with actual political commentators (my opinion).

    That was my original point so we agree it seems on that at least.

    But it's not only on the left. From Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck to SNL I think many Americans get their political commentary from the worst places.

    I know RL and GB are not comedians but to me they act more like comics than pundits. 

  5. 36 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

    What has MrAmerica done for MrUkraine so far?

    Nothing. And thats to our shame IMO.

    If you are attacked and the only way you can see to defend yourself is to harm the attacker what will you do? It's not a particularly complicated question in my mind but YMMV. 

    As for your last post you seem to be saying torture is an old joke but I somehow doubt that is the case.

  6. 13 hours ago, CharonY said:

    How do you evaluate immorality of a regime?

    How they treat their own, their neighbors and the rest of the world. As our cultural views evolve even how they treat the environment. Obviously you understand it's not always simple but that doesn't mean it's particularly difficult either.

    13 hours ago, CharonY said:

    As for defending, is any action in retaliation moral?

    No. Just for clarity I am a lifelong U.S. citizen. Very proud of my nation is some ways and ashamed of it in others both historically and currently.

    Dropping the one on Hiroshima maybe just maybe for the time was moral. Fair chance I would have never met my mom's dad if it hadn't been dropped. Dropping the one on Nagasaki was decidedly immoral. 

    13 hours ago, CharonY said:

    Say, there is a contested area and Nation A moves in to secure it. Nation B views is at an attack. Does Nation B now the moral authority for killing every person sent by Nation A? 

    No. But they are (in my eyes) justified in killing enough to repel the attackers. 

    13 hours ago, CharonY said:

    Guerilla fighters may see themselves as victims of unjust occupation. Are they in the right in all killing of whom they consider occupants?

    I would have to look at specific cases to respond to that. We have seen many times "freedom fighters" turn into ruthless dictators after the coup.

    13 hours ago, CharonY said:

    Actual situations are likely going to be extremely complicated and again, if we remove the morality of actions away from the individual, we have to ask ourselves how do we judge the morality of a nation?

    On their overall actions and on a case by case situation. For example even though we went to Kuwait for all the wrong reasons I still supported the action and considered it moral. I don't have a problem with us being the world police although I often have a problem with how we execute.

    I don't actually understand where you are going with "if we remove the morality of actions away from the individual," so sorry if that didn't answer your question. 

    13 hours ago, CharonY said:

    What if the group is not a formal nation, does it change the equation? If so who in the end determines that? 

    Not particularly and we do.

    24 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

    the case for torture argument. 

    Just answer Raider's questions please in the spirit they were asked.

    And I have no intention of clicking on your link to find out what you are on about. You can explain yourself or not. 

  7. 3 hours ago, dimreepr said:

    yes, if by defend you mean try not to die.  

    No I mean will you counterattack if you think that gives you best chance of not dying. 

    For me immoral and evil just mean to do wrong to your fellow human beings for no just cause.

    In my scenario above you would IMO have just cause.

    A sovereign country defending its borders would also have just cause. Hence they would still be morally right in my eyes.

    3 hours ago, dimreepr said:

    So war?

    No war is not synonymous with evil or immoral. 

  8. 2 hours ago, swansont said:

    I was unaware the Coulter has ever made a living doing comedy (i.e. being a comedian)

    Do you have a reference for this?

    Wikipedia has her listed as a "social commentator". Whatever that is.

    I guess I just think of her as a comic because the few times I've listened to her speak I couldn't take her seriously.  FWIW I didn't find it all that humorous either.

    Perhaps I shouldn't have commented at all because its been years since I gave Bill or Ann any of my time.

    1 hour ago, rangerx said:

    Ann Coulter is neither a comedian, nor had her own show, ever. For decades, Bill Maher has. He hosts liberals and conservatives and they discuss things like adults and in almost every case from the middle ground. He's no fan of snowflakes on either side of the coin and often derides liberals for not being ballsy enough to properly deal with the scandalous antics of today's conservatives.

    Coulter speaks in extremes for the purpose of shock value and division and little else. She has no skill sets other than appealing to the lowest common denominator among  conservatives.

    Ok maybe your right. I withdraw my claim that BM is a political hack.

    But I still think that AC and BM say many things just for shock value and I think its a shame when people shape their political values around these kinds of things.

  9. 1 hour ago, Strange said:

    Today I learned that (in newer cars, at least) there is a little arrow next to the fuel gauge to let you know which side the tank is:

    Yep my brother in law told me a couple years ago. It is a useful feature. 

    My 2005 Chevy Colorado has one.

  10. Thanks for the answers Strange. I gain new insights in the strangest of threads.:-)

    10 minutes ago, Strange said:

    Time is continuous, so there aren't a series of frames, there is a continuous change

    But isn't this still up in the air? I suspect that time isn't quantitized but I was under the impression that the scientific consensus at the moment is we just don't know.

    BTW the third quote in your response isn't mine. I don't have the prerequisites to be making assertions on this subject. 

  11. On 1/30/2019 at 3:55 PM, rangerx said:

    Indeed, Coulter is extreme in her views and outrageous in her statements. Maher, although decidedly liberal is centrist and articulates in common sense terms.

    Not really.

    They are both hacks for their perspective "sides".

    Or more to the point they are comedians saying whatever they think "sells" at the moment. I think it would be a mistake to let your political views to be shaped by a comedian. Any comedian. 

  12. On 1/30/2019 at 5:03 PM, studiot said:

    Could you please give a two line summary of what we are supposed to be discussing?

    Alright I couldn't get it down to two lines. But I think this is Argo's hypothesis. 

    On 1/30/2019 at 4:33 PM, argo said:


    The photo in the frame is a thought experiment that’s goes some way to proving time-flow is impossible by showing the mechanics involved. Assuming the whole universe was a photograph and time is an overlaying frame then there are only two options for making the pixels in the photo move.

    The first option is the contemporary view that time is a fourth dimension overlaying the three spatial dimensions all at once, if the original photo was to move to the next frame all the pixels would still be in the same place i.e. there would be no movement at all so this is not an option at all. A completely new photo must therefore be taken with the pixels in their new positions each and every time, this all apparently happens as time flows from frame to frame in some inexplicable way. 

    The second option is that time is a fourth dimension that overlays the three spatial dimensions but does so individually with a different frame for every part, every part/pixel in the universe/photo now has its own unique tiny time frame around it and is free to move independently meaning both linear and non-linear motions are accounted for. The mechanics involved are each new time surrounds a quantity of space, making particles of space and time, movement is just movement of these particles nothing more and time is defined as the when and where something exists nothing more, especially not the facilitator of movement in the universe.


    That's as short as I could as I could make it.:-)

    So my questions are directed not only towards Argo but all the thread participants. 

    1. Would it be better to say space-time overlays the other 3 spatial dimensions?

    2. Assuming Argo's hypothesis is correct would it really change anything?


    Could you please provide a peer reviewed paper claiming that "time flows" or drop your claim that the scientific community maintains that it does?

    Or better yet focus on supporting your idea!

  13. Another successful landing. Go NASA!





    Mars has just received its newest robotic resident. NASA's Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) lander successfully touched down on the Red Planet after an almost seven-month, 300-million-mile (458-million-kilometer) journey from Earth.


  14. 2 hours ago, Itoero said:

    Something else, our atmosphere is filled with particles, which enable sound.

    While worded poorly I think this mostly correct. 

    2 hours ago, Itoero said:

    When you move through that, then the gravit. field is altered depending on your speed.

    This is what you need to cite or better yet retract because its just wrong. AFAIK the only thing that alters a gravitational field is more or less mass.

    Also why do you spell gravitational like this "gravit."

    2 hours ago, Itoero said:

    Your speed changes the concentration of particles(which alters gravit. attraction) around you, which shortens or lengthens sound waves. This is what people call the doppler effect.


    This is also wrong.

    2 hours ago, Itoero said:

    Which gravity? The particles which enable sound (from police car) have also a gravitational attraction. When a police car drives, then the particles in front of him increase in concentration (which shortens waves) and the particles behind the car decrease in concentration.(which lengtens waves)

    This is simple aerodynamics.

    It is simple aerodynamics which is why we can and do ignore any gravitational effects. Your not wrong that particles in the air have a gravitational attraction its just that its so small that we can ignore it.

    Cross posted with Strange.

  15. On 11/17/2018 at 1:29 PM, beecee said:

    No one prepared to offer any thoughts on this? Does that mean I can safely conclude that it was just some sensationalistic media propaganda and that the claim doubting the detection of gravitational waves was/is totally invalid?


    Thanks beecee for bringing this to my attention and also for all the other science news you post. 

    I don't think it was just "sensationalist media propaganda" although there was an element of that in the story. I think Strange (above) got it about right. I think it is safe to assume for now that gravitational waves have been detected. After all the visual confirmation was the smoking gun IMO. Also I have a lot of respect for David Shoemaker who is on the team.

    Meanwhile people are out doing science with these results.




    The initial observations of GW170817 suggested that the two neutron stars merged into a black hole, an object with a gravitational field so powerful that not even light can travel quickly enough to escape its grasp. Van Putten and della Valle set out to check this, using a novel technique to analyse the data from LIGO and the Virgo gravitational wave detector sited in Italy.



    Van Putten comments: “We’re still very much in the pioneering era of gravitational wave astronomy. So it pays to look at data in detail. For us this really paid off, and we’ve been able to confirm that two neutron stars merged to form a larger one.”


    Gravitational wave astronomy, and eking out the data from every detection, will take another step forward next year, when the Japanese Kamioka Gravitational Wave Detector (KAGRA) comes online.



    Also the next wave of observations is on its way!




    The LIGO and Virgo teams are working on improving the performance of their instruments, with the objective of starting the third observing run (O3) early in 2019. 


    Open Public Alerts in O3

    The LIGO-Virgo (LV) Collaborations will issue Open, Public Alerts (OPA) for gravitational-wave transient event detections, starting with the next observing run of the instruments early in 2019. OPAs will enable the physics and astronomy community to pursue multi-messenger observations of gravitational-wave sources and maximize the science reach of the gravitational-wave instruments, in consistency with our data management plan.


    Wish we could get interesting stuff like this to go on for 10 pages.:wacko:

  16. One thing I haven't really seen discussed here is my belief that certain jokes shouldn't be told because it normalises certain behaviors that most of us find aberrant. Such as racial, rape and pedophile jokes. In fact I just noticed a pedophile joke in the The official jokes section thread.

    I think the wrong joke told at the right time could convince a racist that he's more the norm than he thought he was yesterday. Or convince a man thats having urges he hasn't acted on that hey everybody's doing it.

    Just something to think about.

  17. On 3/21/2018 at 2:37 PM, John Cuthber said:

    Q. What's brown and sticky?
    A. A stick.


    On 3/22/2018 at 4:41 AM, Strange said:

    One of the best jokes of all time.

    Without a doubt! My daughter was in the third grade when she came home one day and told me that joke. We still laugh about it now.

    Some time later she came home and told me this one.

    Q. How do you make a tissue dance?

    A. Put a little boogie in it.

  18. So here is some interesting reading I found regarding the OP today.

    The first is a transcript of a NPR debate on the pros and cons of thorium reactors between science writer Richard Martin (pro) and electrical and nuclear engineer Dr. Ajun Makhijani (con). It is rather lengthy but it helped me understand why some are leery of this technology. 


    The second is a list of pros and cons of thorium reactors. 


    From the second link:


    5. It produces high levels of energy.
    A thorium reactor can produce efficiency levels as high as 98%. Current nuclear technologies can achieve an efficiency rate of about 5% with its fuel.

    Any chance the above is accurate?



    Also Dr. Arjun addressed the problem below in the first (NPR) link but the quote is from the second link. It seems it could be a deal breaker if I understand correctly.


    3. Not every thorium design is self-sustaining.
    Although thorium reactors would create up to two orders of magnitude less in nuclear waste, not every reactor can produce as much fissile material as it consumes while generating energy. Some reactor designs required the addition of new fissile materials, such as plutonium, to maintain production levels. That reduces many of the benefits that a thorium reactor is able to deliver once it becomes operational.


  19. 12 hours ago, Ten oz said:

    The non citizen issue is more complicated. I think creating pathways to citizenship is the easiest answer.

    Ok we are on the same page here. Good deal!

    We need to promptly decide which illegals deserve amnesty (most of them) and then revamp the whole system. Not gonna happen but needs to.

    12 hours ago, Ten oz said:

    However I see no reason why felons should be kept from voting.

    Did you know this was state law? I didn't. Maybe its not as big a problem as you think.




    In Maine and Vermont, felons never lose their right to vote, even while they are incarcerated. 

    In 14 states and the District of Columbia, felons lose their voting rights only while incarcerated, and receive automatic restoration upon release.

    In 22 states, felons lose their voting rights during incarceration, and for a period of time after, typically while on parole and/or probation. Voting rights are automatically restored after this time period. Former felons may also have to pay any outstanding fines, fees or restitution before their rights are restored as well. 

    In 12 states felons lose their voting rights indefinitely for some crimes, or require a governor’s pardon in order for voting rights to be restored, or face an additional waiting period after completion of sentence (including parole and probation) before voting rights can be restored.


    So you just have a beef with 12 states.

    Also voting rights are not all felons stand to loose. For one employers may discriminate if they wish.




    Some of the most common rights lost or severely curtailed by a felony record include:


    Traveling abroad*

    The right to bear arms or own guns

    Jury service

    Employment in certain fields

    Public social benefits and housing

    Parental benefits


    *This may be enforced by the country the felon wishes to visit. 

    12 hours ago, Ten oz said:

    A felon can even be elected to Congress. 

    No I did not know that and yes I am against it.

  20. 17 hours ago, Ten oz said:

     Thanks to SCOTUS determining that money is speech and corporations are people wealthy non citizens are free to lobby the U.S. govt with money all they want provided it is in the name of U.S. corporations they own and or advocate for. 


    17 hours ago, Ten oz said:

    Also a corporation or organization from outside Alabama can pure all the money they want into Alabama political races.

    Again I see these as problems that need to be fixed. I don't see how giving felons and non citizens the right to vote fixes them.

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