RationalWiki:Saloon bar/Archive338

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This is an archive page, last updated 18 January 2020. Please do not make edits to this page.
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, (new)(back)


How can I find out how many views a page has?Jeh2ow Damn son! 17:26, 5 January 2020 (UTC)

We disabled page views years ago because something something Conservapedia something. I suppose page views could be reactivated, but old page views probably wouldn't be counted. Why do you ask? Avida Dollarsher again 20:18, 5 January 2020 (UTC)
I want to know how many people are looking at my pages.Jeh2ow Damn son! 20:46, 5 January 2020 (UTC)
Not many. Rationalwiki pages mostly only get traffic from being shared elsewhere. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 14:28, 6 January 2020 (UTC)
Also, because of the caching software, page view counts maintained by the MediaWiki software are inaccurate and meaningless. —Cosmikdebris (talk) 19:16, 6 January 2020 (UTC)

A change between then and now[edit]


I know the website name is.....dramatic, but it did get me thinking. Humans were pretty capable of surviving in "the wild" but now it seems like a good deal fear nature (scared of bugs,rodents, animals flying around and preferring cozy houses to "roughing it"). I'm not sure how accurate that is or if things are really better now as a result of progress. I can't really speak to the argument of the author he is reviewing but the name of the link (also after looking at their other content) brought that thought into my head.Machina (talk) 06:12, 6 January 2020 (UTC)

Humans have always been scared of nature. It was that fear that kept us alive and made us develop long range weapons like throwing spears and bows. We have a fear of insects and rodents because insects are often venomous, and rodents often carry disease. We evolved to prefer "cozy houses" because we evolved to not like being covered in dirt, being exposed to the elements, and having insects all over our food and skin. There are clear survival advantages towards having these fears and the desire to eliminate the source of them. And of course things are better now than they were in ages past (at least for a lot of people). Disease is much better controlled now (when was the last time 1/3rd of everyone you know died to a plague?), Food is much more abundant (when was the last time you went a whole day without food involuntarily, unable to find anything through foraging?), and people are able to live longer and have more of their children live to adulthood instead of dying young (were you one of the lucky 3 of 8 children who survived to adulthood in your immediate family? If you have had kids, did you have to bury half of them after listening to them slowly die due to some unknown disease you don't understand?). My point is this, be glad you have those fears, for they are what reminds you of how horrible it would be to not have the things that keep you safe and comfortable; fight to make those things sustainable, so we never again have to huddle around a fire praying to nonexistent spirits hoping to prevent the skies from destroying our huts with wind. MirrorIrorriM (talk) 11:55, 6 January 2020 (UTC)
Or, in a simplified and less erudite version...
"You know what man did before this decadent age of ours? He lived in the great outdoors, with nature!"
"Yeah. And then he invented housing and metal forging and agriculture and medicine and clothing and all that because nature basically sucks when you're living in it." Kencolt (talk) 16:08, 6 January 2020 (UTC)
Great place to visit, though. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 16:31, 6 January 2020 (UTC)
Today's hunter gatherers are (mostly) hunters because they want to be, cultural preservation and that, but even they enjoy modern conveniences. You'll find San hunters tracking down antelope in the Namib wearing t-shirts, and even the Sentinelese use metal scavenged from shipwrecks for tools. No one is untouched today by the modern age, no one. Oxyaena Harass 16:44, 6 January 2020 (UTC)

I get that, mostly. That it is easy to sit here with our modern ways and look back at these tribes and think how we were better off when the picture is more complex than that. This guy, Morris Berman, seems to suggest that there was a psychological change that resulted from switching from a horizontal vulture to a vertical one and that we have lost something vital that leaves us thinking something is always missing when really there isn’t.Machina (talk) 04:43, 7 January 2020 (UTC)

It's hard to argue with a paper I haven't read though I must say it reeks of vague silly arguments. In any case...yes...there is ALWAYS something missing from our lives. For example, in a state of nature people were middle aged by the time they were 18. What was missing was a life long enough to see your own grandchildren. They died in agony from a simple infected cut. What was missing was the most basic of sanitation, basic medicine and treatment. Child birth was extremely dangerous. What was missing was a likelihood that a baby would make it to its first birthday and the mother would survive giving birth. Being mauled by an animal, away from strong shelter...was an endless worry. What was missing was a sense of security. Perhaps a few guys love the thrill of playing some nature game with other animals...most did not...and just wanted to stay alive and be able to relax in the evening in peace. A lack of proper storage made life extremely hazardous meaning a sudden shortfall in food sources (for a myriad of reasons) could mean you and everyone you cared about died. What was missing was an ability to self develop which requires a little stability and at least a little reassurance that you won't be watching your children become emaciated. Everything remotely new and everything unknown scared the shit out of you instilling endless fear including the stars, natural events and unusual events. What was missing was fairly essential knowledge that we need to satisfy the very natural human curiosity we have. If you personally want to go back to a state of nature, leave all technology behind and any devices or means to contact us if something goes wrong and shed all those things in life that were never needed...then I'd recommend heading to the deep north of Canada. Wander aimlessly off the hi-way for two weeks and you'll likely have no chance in hell ever finding civilization again....even if you wanted to. Which apparently you wouldn't cause you'd have everything you needed. ShabiDOO 11:27, 7 January 2020 (UTC)
Not that inspiration from nature hasn't always existed to some degree (there's been a *whole* lot of art over human history to show that), but I think it's fair to say that technological comforts actually helped ushered in the modern environmental movement (which as far as I can tell only dates in serious form back to roughly the late 19th century). In so far as it was actually possible to admire nature without fearing it, and it was possible to see nature as something beyond resource extraction. (Indeed, the modern environmental movement pretty much came about when it was pretty clear that if something wasn't done to self-limit our base instinct, some aspect would be gone for good.) Unfortunately some of the modern environmental movement attaches too much overt mysticism to nature (no surprise when one of your top advocates was a Scottish priest but still). At any rate, to me this paper reeks of seeing nature and nomads through such a rose-colored lens, which as typical for the breed attributes a mythos of "freedom" to the ancient nomad, and a New Age-ish rejection of Western cultural structure (as if the nomads had no cultural structure or something), complete with hippie-ish embrace of serotonin hallucinogens because other foreign, ancient cultures *never* had sedative recreational substances to help them out, no way, nuh uh. It's basically the noble savage trope in action.
It is pretty easy to see that subsistence farmers run into far more troubles as far as food supply goes, being that they are subject to much greater variation. It is pretty easy to see that hunter-gatherers are subject to even more greater variation, especially after humans killed off all the "easy" prey a long time ago. I suppose there is a point that at one point there were too few humans around for systematic warfare to really exist, but what good does that knowledge do now? A nomadic lifestyle is *hard* to sustain now that there are so many humans around, just look at the land conflicts you see in modern nomadic cultures that still exist in Africa and certain parts of Asia such as Mongolia etc. (BTW, most nomadic cultures I am aware of don't even hunt these days, they are herders. Much more reliable, in an age where most of the easy prey is dead.) Soundwave106 (talk) 14:23, 7 January 2020 (UTC)
@Shabidoo Minor correction, if you managed to make it past childhood you could easily live into your fifties and sixties, therefore being able to see your grandchildren. The reason the average expectancy of life was so low back in the day was because of the sheer amount of deaths in childhood, mostly among agricultural peoples (because of the greater amount of diseases a concentrated population accumulates), and so those deaths tended to skew the statistics, to put it mildly. Oxyaena Harass 15:33, 7 January 2020 (UTC)
True but I'm pretty sure you are referring to life expectancy averages in the middle ages, which, despite being pretty awful...were a lot better (sorry...ARE a lot better) than those living a subsistence, non-settled state of nature where a wooden club was a revolutionary marvel of astounding technology. But yeah, by no means was seeing your grandchildren an impossibility. Perhaps...a luxury? ShabiDOO 17:54, 7 January 2020 (UTC)
Stone Age peoples were more advanced than you give them credit for, even Neanderthals were making things like glue and aspirin of all things. Oxyaena Harass 17:57, 7 January 2020 (UTC)
It seems like that a study of modern day hunter/gatherers with little to no access to modern food or medicine concluded that, if they survived to 15 years of age (only 55-65% do), stand a very good chance of living into their early 60s. I see no reason why this wouldn't be fairly reflective of ancient hunter gatherers as well, even though even the study's documentation of groups like the Aché and Hadzabe would not reflect a world untouched by modern civilization. (The Sentinelese and other uncontacted tribes would be one of the few examples today which are *not* touched much by modern civilization, but of course it is impossible to study them, at least ethically.) It makes sense -- modern medicine's triumphs reflect most heavily on decreased youth mortality, extended elderly lifespan, and considerable help with plagues and infectious disease that in general target the youth and the elderly worst. Soundwave106 (talk) 20:23, 7 January 2020 (UTC)
The people studied were outside of the African continent meaning they are the offspring of multiple different cultures which had dealt with and learnt multiple new survival skills, dealt with war and conflict, the pressure to adapt quickly to radically new environment and the combined experience and knowledge of the many generations that came before them traversing new environments, developing sophisticated hunting techniques and "relatively" advanced technology. I really don't believe that the humans who emerged in lightly populated Africa are comparable with those living in the Amazon, the islands off of India, Papua New Guinea etc. A bow and arrow is a "space age" technology in comparison. 1000 generations of accrued knowledge on hunting, food gathering, plants, basic tools, primitive medicine and so much other knowledge and skills...will make a big difference. Unfortunately we are stuck with educated guesses. The couple articles I've read on the topic estimate very short lives but they all emphasis that it is guess work. ShabiDOO 21:13, 7 January 2020 (UTC)
A correction here, a few of the tribes in the link are African. EG: The Hadza people are from Tanzania. But you are right -- it is still just an educated guess all the same. The Hadza, as an example, are *far* beyond uncontacted (you can actually book "Bushman walking safaris" etc. through Western tours), with only a small portion of the tribe is still involved with the traditional hunter gatherer lifestyle (and this lifestyle is under serious pressure from other humans). I actually found a paper that asks that very question though: just how useful of a model could the Hadza be for pre-historic questions? The truth is, unfortunately it is the best we have for this, I'm afraid, with the only other consideration being the ~40 year typical lifespan of our closest relatives (chimpanzees and bonobos). Soundwave106 (talk) 22:38, 7 January 2020 (UTC)

Again, I am referring to the alleged claims of the differences in psychology between of the humans of HG societies and those of today.Machina (talk) 19:59, 16 January 2020 (UTC)

Materially, how do you know there's any psychological difference at all? ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 20:10, 16 January 2020 (UTC)

Why do people refer to contributors to this site as “rats”?[edit]

From time to time I see people mention Rational-Wiki on other sites, and they refer to you guys as “rats”. Why is that? Is it because you are scientists and spend a lot of time in labs? (talk) 14:49, 6 January 2020 (UTC)

It's because of the name. Oxyaena Harass 14:56, 6 January 2020 (UTC)
I still don’t get it. Also, why do people call this a “vandal site”? Is it because it is easy to vandalize like Wikipedia? People don’t call Wikipedia a vandal site though? (talk) 14:58, 6 January 2020 (UTC)
"Rat(s)" is a truncated version of "rational" which itself is derived from "RationalWiki" in this context. Generally this nickname for users seems to be used mockingly or derogatorily, though sometimes it's used endearingly. If you listed some of the other sites it might add more context. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 14:59, 6 January 2020 (UTC)
I actually find very few references other than TVTropes to the "rats" term in da Google so I'd like to see where it is being used. As far as vandalism is concerned, I understand that Rationalwiki 1.0 had some Conservapedia vandals in the days when this site was basically a Conservapedia rebuttal, but this site really isn't just that anymore. Soundwave106 (talk) 15:06, 6 January 2020 (UTC)
I'm actually a long tailed member of the family rodentia, and bring plague fleas with me wherever I go. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 15:21, 6 January 2020 (UTC)
I mean, it makes sense. This is RATionalWiki, after all.Jeh2ow Damn son! 15:34, 6 January 2020 (UTC)
I thought this was supposed to be RATIONALWiki. Bongolian (talk) 17:46, 6 January 2020 (UTC)

Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 19:15, 6 January 2020 (UTC)

It somehow really fucks up the impact of that photoshop that "RATWIKI" is perfectly horizontal, while the other newspaper content looks hand-scanned and off-kilter. You can feel the webfontishness of it too, because the kerning isn't designed to pack characters into a perfect grid. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 19:34, 6 January 2020 (UTC)
We are rats now? We have been called Big Pharma shills, NWO shills, MRA's, Feminists, Communists, evolutionists among others. New one to add to the list. --Rationalzombie94 (talk) 03:30, 7 January 2020 (UTC)
It is the (Chinese calendar) Year of the Rat, if that is of any relevance. Anna Livia (talk) 10:37, 7 January 2020 (UTC)
Not quite yet. like... give it 3 weeks. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 14:18, 7 January 2020 (UTC)
...And then we take over? Kencolt (talk) 15:03, 7 January 2020 (UTC)
Who would the other 11 members of 'the Calendar Quango' be? Anna Livia (talk) 17:00, 7 January 2020 (UTC)

My turn to post a song[edit]

Since no one's done it in a while. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELPKuKvo44k&t= Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 03:49, 7 January 2020 (UTC)

That really is a spectacular song. But I'm not sure why you had to subject us to Guy Fieri ShabiDOO 11:32, 7 January 2020 (UTC)
Especially since the original music video IMHO is one of the best of all times. The only flaw about this cover is that it was produced by Rick "LOUDNESS WAR!!!!!" Rubin. Soundwave106 (talk) 17:49, 7 January 2020 (UTC)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l44Q8Kq8rlY More monster than man. I'm in no mood. Gol Sarnitt (talk) 04:11, 9 January 2020 (UTC)

I feel sore[edit]

Why is it that after you've been lifting weights for an hour, both your arms and legs start to hurt?Jeh2ow Damn son! 15:16, 7 January 2020 (UTC)

They used to think it was lactic acid buildup, and that's still a popular claim in the fitness community. Slightly more likely is actual physical damage to the tissues triggering low grade activation of pain receptors. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 15:35, 7 January 2020 (UTC)
So, lifting weights actually cause permanent damage, is that correct? Because usually, after a period of time, my arms no longer feel sore.Jeh2ow Damn son! 16:29, 7 January 2020 (UTC)
if its causing permanent damage you are doing it wrong. what should be happening is micro tears which your body turns into muscle growth as it it adapts to the stresses you are putting on it. also that soreness after exercise pretty much disappears as you progress. AMassiveGay (talk) 17:02, 7 January 2020 (UTC)
Now I get it. Thanks.Jeh2ow Damn son! 17:04, 7 January 2020 (UTC)

A question...[edit]

Why are so many left-wingers believing in pseudoscience? Examples of such people include Jill Stein, Bill Maher, and Kyle Kulinski. They all believe in anti-GMO bullshit and have conflated with the anti-vax movement.Jeh2ow Damn son! 17:07, 7 January 2020 (UTC)

Bill Maher's not a leftie, he's a centrist piece of human scum. I`m sure I shouldn't have to include some examples of his shittyness as a human being. Oxyaena Harass 17:43, 7 January 2020 (UTC)
Where is your source that a notable number of left-wingers believe in pseudo science? Are you limiting yourself solely to media-spokesmen/personalities from the United States who are democrats? ShabiDOO 18:00, 7 January 2020 (UTC)
No one group, political or otherwise, has a monopoly on being stupid. As for politics specifically, politics on the left, right, and center, has this tendency towards Ideological thinking. Ideology is like a sort of cocoon-the more you believe in your worldview, the more closed minded you are about parts of the world that do not fit your worldview, hence why some of the most obvious scientific facts still have deniers. Remember, science is ideally non-ideological, and Ideologies are not objectively real, rather they are things we come up with after the fact to rationalize our own lives and places in the world. Thus, all ideologies, the more devout they are, will inevitably find a point in the world where their worldview explains it differently than reality because ideology and reality are uneasy partners at best. As for the left, if you see advancements made or sold by companies as always chaotic evil, then you might see GMOs as part of a conspiracy to fore the third world into being dependent on western capitalism because that is how your ideology teaches you the world is. Remember the USSR actually denied climate change as being a western capitalist plot to prevent the third world from industrializing and going down the road to socialism, opening the former colonies to neocolonialism.-Flandres (talk) 18:11, 7 January 2020 (UTC)
By that logic, it would seem as if anyone can believe in pseudoscience. All you need to do is look at some conspiracy theory.Jeh2ow Damn son! 18:19, 7 January 2020 (UTC)
That is because anyone can believe in pseudoscience. This is why critical thinking is so important, and why people need to be taught how to resist blatant lies that only get supported because they fit a preexisting bias. Even acclaimed scientists in one field can be utter fools when they address a problem in another one(Look at how many climate deniers have degrees and brag about them, yet few of them are actually climatologists). Ideology just makes this riskier because you want to see the world in one way and will deny other approaches categorically. Most pseudoscience is backed by ideology in some way, but I do agree in modern times you see this stuff more on the right(racialism is propped up by racism, creationism is propped up by fundamentalism), which makes it disheartening when the left does it.-Flandres (talk) 18:27, 7 January 2020 (UTC)
Anti-GMO sentiments are equally common in republican and democrat leaning voters(about 40%, but varies depending on the exact question asked), and anti-vax is actually distinctly right wing in spite of its ideological origins in granola crunch cultures. The perception of these flavors of pseudoscience being "left leaning" is entirely derived from them not being entirely right wing affairs.
One only needs look at Natural News briefly to see how the nominally left-leaning hippieish subcultures can be hyper-right wing when it comes to actual political alignment. And that holds as you dig into your particular individuals, what left leaning positions does Bill Maher actually hold? That fundies are nuts, I guess? What right wing views does he hold? take a look here
  • "I think capital punishment works great. Every killer you kill never kills again."
  • "Women cannot complain about men anymore until they start getting better taste in them."
  • "Things aren't right. If a burglar breaks into your home and you shoot him, he can sue you. For what, restraint of trade?"
I wouldn't say he's far right or anything, he's just, well, lightly conservative. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 19:01, 7 January 2020 (UTC)
As has been stated, anyone can be susceptible to pseudoscience. The give-away is usually, people believing what they would like or hope to be true. In Bill Maher's case, as a comedian, he says those types of things mentioned above, and gets laughs in red states. Who knows what he really thinks? He can look like a lefty to a righty and a righty to a lefty. Pseudoscience is just a systemically specious method of reasoning about physical reality. But a false idea is just a false idea. That climate change is fake, or GMOs are dangerous, are just false ideas. It takes some scientific education to understand why.Ariel31459 (talk) 22:58, 7 January 2020 (UTC)
I've been noticing this for a while myself, that in the last decade a lot of the "crunchy granola" left has been moving to the far-right. The stereotype that anti-vaccine and anti-GMO sentiments are largely left-wing may have had a grain of truth to it back in the Bush years, but lately, as you pointed out, that stereotype has broken down. You mentioned Natural News; from the other direction, I'll raise you how last year The Huffington Post purged from its pages a lot of the alt-med and anti-vaccine writers that it used to be notorious for. I think the ascent of, and backlash against, the religious right in the 2000s, followed on by the growing importance of global warming as an issue with political implications in the 2010s, was the first of two major drivers of this realignment. The GOP's defense of naked pseudoscience like creationism and global warming denial, taken all the way to conspiracy theories alleging that the "scientific establishment" is suppressing alternative theories for political reasons, infuriated a lot of people who may have been apolitical or even leaned center-right beforehand but considered themselves pro-science, causing them to drift to the left because right-wing politics were turning increasingly inhospitable for them. This led to the anti-science cranks on the left finding themselves increasingly marginalized and disaffected within a more secular, pro-science Democratic Party. It's here where the second major driver IMO comes in: Ron Paul's insurgent Presidential campaigns in 2008 and 2012. His support for "health freedom" legislation was like catnip for many alties who felt that he was gonna be the guy who brought down Big Pharma, his staunch non-interventionism appealed to parts of the antiwar left, and his old base among the "Christian Patriots" started cross-pollinating with his new followers. While he never won the nomination, he laid the groundwork for a populist political coalition whose distrust of established authority extended to science and medicine, one that fully flowered in 2016. The election of Donald Trump was simply the point at which this realignment became irreversible; pro-science Republicans were actively repelled by his rhetoric and policies and turned in their GOP membership out of spite, while New Agers and other woo enthusiasts who were culturally left-wing but liked what Trump said about vaccines soon got sucked into a rabbit hole, coming out the other end claiming that the Age of Aquarius will come once QAnon and the "light workers" bring down the deep state pedophiles. KevinR1990 (talk) 05:20, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
Generally speaking, anti-vaccination hysterics stem from over-applying institutional mistrust (where some skepticism is often warranted, but unintelligent fear-mongering is not). I would consider Bill Maher a fairly smart (if a smug asshole, but sometimes there's nothing wrong with that :p ) centrist and normally fairly level headed. But he seems to have a bit of an insufferable streak regarding "big food" and "big pharma", as if he was a "healthy lifestyle" guy (normally a good thing) that has taken things way too far, and the anti-vaccine bullshit (along with other bullshit such as giving time to AIDS/HIV denialism) seems to come from that angle. (The unfortunate thing is there *are* major problems with American agriculture and medicine... to utilize a Jon Stewart meme, Bill, you're not helping...). There's still some prominent lefties in the anti-vaccination crowd (eg Robert De Niro) as well as the not-quite-Democrat-but-anti-establishment (eg hip hop artists like Nas). But even in the celebrity crowd I think the vast majority I could think of identify as Republican now (eg Roseanne Barr, Charlie Sheen, Alicia Silverstone) with one example, Rob Schneider, actually switching from Democrat to Republican in 2013. Soundwave106 (talk) 19:17, 8 January 2020 (UTC)

Probably a can of worms: Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki a necessary evil?[edit]

Okay, I know the issue is still debated but as much as I do not like or want to say it: it was a necessary evil. If the general event did not happen, it would have caused more deaths on both sides of the war. Japan would have never surrendered at all and would have probably starting using children as soldiers once adults ran out (see Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki). --Rationalzombie94 (talk) 00:25, 8 January 2020 (UTC)

Olympic and Coronet would have been much, much worse for both sides. So yes, I agree with you. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 00:43, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
Absolutely a necessary evil, and the better thing for the Japanese as well as the Americans. Consider the Battle of OkinawaWikipedia. Anywhere from 77,000 to 100,000 Japanese dead; 7,000 surrendered. Their culture and society would not have survived similar carnage on the main islands. And the other thing was that the Soviet Union was preparing to enter the Pacific war as well. Japan could have ended up half Communist and half free, rather like happened in Korea. They escaped that fate by surrendering to the United States. Smerdis of Tlön, wekʷōm teḱs. 05:37, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
South Korea for decades was under a capitalist, US backed dictatorship. I'd hardly call that "free." Oxyaena Harass 05:48, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
They were two ghastly events which mark, what I would call...America's most unforgivable war crimes. I don't know any Canadians or Europeans who think those bombings were justifiable. It is mostly an American phenomena...that of justifying wiping two cities off the face of the globe and the indiscriminate random murder of thousands of civilians. I think a better question would be: could you think of any modern conflict these days that would justify the use of an atomic bomb? ShabiDOO 07:58, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
Hi! European BoN here. I think the atomic bombings were totally justified and not even a war crime. There, you have one. And lots of Europeans thinks like me! Oh, and I also think that no modern conflict today require an A-Bomb. Different contexts. (talk) 10:40, 13 January 2020 (UTC)
They were ghastly and are together with the fire bombings of Tokyo or what was thrown in Dresden, but the alternatives -Olympia and Coronet- would have been far worse and included more nukes. Not to mention having the Soviets invading. Panzerfaust (talk) 08:36, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
Did the bombings prevent larger overall casualties? Yes. Did the innocent Japanese civilians slaughtered by the hundred thousand ask to be sacrificed by American war criminals to the great war machine, the survivors ask to be crippled for the rest of their lives? Absolutely not. The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki can only be justified through the inhumanity of utilitarianism, and speaks more than anything to how far the Japanese had been dehumanised in WW2 by the Allies that this was even on the table. Minish (talk) 13:24, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
What justifies anything if not utilitarianism? Suppose you like deontological ethics, and regard not killing people as important. The justification or lack thereof of the nuclear bombings would reflect how well that scenario meets the rules of your ethical system of choice (perhaps judged in the context of other possible scenarios). So it's still a utilitarian sort of consideration. It's just a fumbling, sloppy sort of process unless you assign quantitative values to various parameters and work out how to optimize them. For a more mundane example, it's a utilitarian calculus that determines whether it's a good idea to buy a cup of coffee. Different people have different tastes, budgets, stimulant-related preferences, etc., so different people will consider the issue in different ways and reach different conclusions. A person who gave up coffee as a New Year resolution would approach the question differently from someone who works double shifts but also suffers from insomnia., but they both consider the costs and benefits relative to some set of goals. 192․168․1․42 (talk) 14:26, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
Exactly. The US had no reason to drop the bombs. All they could've done was a simple peace treaty.Jeh2ow Damn son! 13:58, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
"It could have been much worse" is based entirely upon suppositions and guess work. We have no idea what would have happened once Honshu was invaded. We have no clue. And I would highly doubt that Russia, was in any position after losing 20 million people, to mount a proper invasion of Japan...enough to capture it and Sovietize it. That's the problem with the guessing game. Assuming something is a given + a general sense of dehumanizing the Japanese (a bunch of barbarians who will never stop) + weariness to lose more American soldiers and spend more American money = justified mass murder of thousands of civilians. Ask yourself how much hindsight is involved in these kinds of justifications...knowing what we now know? ShabiDOO 14:04, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
We can all arm chair strategize and say whether or not it was a good or bad decision. The only people who really know whether or not it was a good decision were the generals who had the intelligence at the time. [Edit: Specifically intelligence as to whether or not the decision would save American lives or was necessary to get the Japanese to surrender] So let us ask them, shall we?
"I voiced to him my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives. It was my belief that Japan was, at that very moment, seeking some way to surrender with a minimum loss of ‘face.’" ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower, general of the armies.
"When I asked General MacArthur [Five Star General, General of the Army] about the decision to drop the bomb, I was surprised to learn he had not even been consulted. What, I asked, would his advice have been? He replied that he saw no military justification for the dropping of the bomb. The war might have ended weeks earlier, he said, if the United States had agreed, as it later did anyway, to the retention of the institution of the Emperor.” ~ Norman Cousins, Journalist.
"We didn't need to do it, and we knew we didn't need to do it, and they knew that we didn't need to do it, we used them as an experiment for two atomic bombs." ~ Brig. Gen. Carter Clarke.
"The Japanese had, in fact, already sued for peace. The atomic bomb played no decisive part from a purely military point of view in the defeat of Japan. The use of atomic bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender." ~ Fleet Adm. Chester W. Nimitz, Commander in Chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet
"The use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender.… in being the first to use it, we…adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was not taught to make war in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children." ~ Adm. William Leahy, Truman's Chief of Staff
MirrorIrorriM (talk) 14:23, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
No we do not have to leave rules of war policy up to Generals. There isn't any moral justification to using the atomic bomb. Either you commit your resources and troops to fighting a war or you find some other solution. Dropping a bomb is a crime against humanity only justified under the excuse of "saving lives" when in reality it means "saving the lives of our own troops". If civilians aren't protected during engagement then there is no point in having any just war theory or rules of war. You might as well have anything goes. Dropping a bomb makes about as much sense as gas attacks. What America did was grotesque and morally reprehensible. (that isn't to say Japan didn't do morally reprehensible things as well...they very much did). ShabiDOO 14:40, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
Saving the lives of your own troops is considered a non-controversial good thing pretty much everywhere forever. Can you articulate the moral principles you're invoking here? 192․168․1․42 (talk) 14:47, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
@User:Shabidoo Did you read my post? It is adamantly anti-nuclear.
@BoN Mass slaughter of civilians who had no say in the war instead of targeting militarily useful targets makes dropping the bombs simply an act of terror. We didn't nuke a naval base. We didn't nuke a primary production factory of tanks or equipment. We nuked a civilian center. We slaughtered civilians instead of soldiers because we wanted blood. The generals of the day knew we didn't need to do it to save American lives, ergo my post above. MirrorIrorriM (talk) 14:52, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
To say all intentional killing of civilians in war is evil no matter the context is both ridiculous and dangerous. To paraphrase General Sherman: war is cruelty, and the crueler it is the quicker it's over. In modern, total, warfare, the targeting of solely military targets is simply not possible, as at the end of the day, the civilian population are the ones paying for, fighting in, and building the weapons of the war. Simply bombing soldiers and factories is neither a feasible strategy for victory nor a practically achievable reality. Also, to say all killing of civilians is inherently evil is just wrong, as that entails all such acts are equally abhorrent regardless of their context or manner in which the were perpetrated. It places the the strategic bombing of the Allies on the same moral level as genocides and war crimes of Japan and Germany. Comrade General Pootis (talk) 17:52, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
I didn't say ALL killing. I gave a disclaimer for reasonable collateral damage. Like a stray bomb or civilians in the way etc. The fall out from military engagements designed to minimize pointless civilian deaths. In those cases you aren't treating civilians like military objects. It is when you start treating them as targets or as tools that you cross a line and when you do so, you are no longer morally entitled to cry foul when the other side does it. And it is feasible to carry out war without massacres. There have been multiple modern wars with minimal pointless civilian deaths. Vapourising 100,000 people is not collateral damage or a stray missile or civilians getting in the way or some badly organized crow control or out of hand skirmish with the locals. It's truly indefensible. And an invitation to the other side to treat your own civilians as fodder. ShabiDOO 20:27, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
@ShabiDoo I do agree that intentionally killing enemy civilians means you forfeit your right to complain when it happens to you; however if that's your opinion then you have no grounds to attack the US for their use of the atomic bomb. Japan killed several times as many civilians in Nanjing alone as were killed by the atomic bombings of Hiroshima or Nagasaki, and they did it deliberately over the course of 6 weeks of mass rape, pillage, and murder. Across Asia the Japanese murdered many many millions of innocent civilians not from strategic bombing or collateral damage, but because they wanted to and could. In terms of numbers, their crimes are on par with those of Nazi Germany, and they far surpass even them in the brutality with which they went about it. They sowed the wind, and they reaped the whirlwind. Comrade General Pootis (talk) 14:33, 10 January 2020 (UTC)
@Comrade General Pootis That's a fallacious argument. @Shabidoo isn't Japanese (as far you or I know) and isn't a supporter of the Japanese empire. They don't defend the Nanjing Massacre and don't support any war crimes (as far as you or I know), meaning that yes actually, they can condemn the U.S. for nuking several cities full of civilians. It seems that from where I'm standing, it's you that is struggling to justify your case. And before you accuse me of anything, I'll point out that at several points throughout this topic that I buy (to some degree) the line that the U.S. thought it was the only way to avoid greater casualties. That still doesn't make it a moral, or even just, act. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 16:48, 10 January 2020 (UTC)

You can't and won't know the alternate history where it wasn't done. War is hell and untold suffering was definitely in the cards. Some of the motivations for doing it were evil, some were strictly strategic, some were genuinely good intentions. I condemn the former, fear the middle, and respect the latter. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 15:01, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
Yeah. It's called "just war theory". Civilians are, in general, off limits except for the fall out from carefully planned attacks meant to avoid as many innocent casualties as possible. There are dozens of "just war" theories which have been devised by war hawks and passifists, from the left to the right and almost universally amongst them (almost) are: civilians are off limits. Once you allow the slaughter of civilians just to reduce your own troop casualties then you've given no reason for your opponents to do the same. Crimes against humanity are...open game. The list of excuses justifying the monstrosity of that bomb are a joke and it's no coincidence that the ONLY people I ever hear babbling them out...are Americans. Go figure. ShabiDOO 15:57, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
Necessary? Perhaps, perhaps not. I'm sure they thought it was such at the time. Evil? Very much so. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 16:06, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
It's war. It'll never be pretty. Unsurprisingly I agree with Smerdis, especially without benefit of knowing what radiation would do to people it was the least worst option in an awful situation. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 16:10, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
Indeed war is ugly. But once civilians are free game, then you cannot possibly be horrified by gassing civilians, putting civilians in forced labor camps, executing civilians that are too expensive to feed, vaporizing 100,000 civilians etc. Once you start treating non-combatants as military objects then you have absolutely no moral ground to cry foul when the others do it. And yet...America has no problem sanctioning and after WWII executing those guilty of crimes against civilians. Well...the only people who seem to see nuclear bombing two cities as a non crime-against-humanity are guilt Americans desperate to explain away the indefensible and the handful of non-Americans who buy this story. Just-war theory is the only thing that lets you hold onto your humanity and at least a few basic principles while engaging in an ugly act. ShabiDOO 16:41, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
"This situation sucks already, so it is OK if we make it suck more" is not a very good philosophy in general. MirrorIrorriM (talk) 17:54, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
I agree with Shabidoo that it's unquestionably a war crime. Killing vast numbers of civilians - including pregnant women, children, hospital workers etc ets. It can't be anything other than a war crime. Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 19:32, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
@The Blade of the Northern Lights While it is indeed possible they didn't know about the horrors of nuclear radiation (there were multiple scientists who were at least somewhat aware, but it's unclear to me how much the politicians knew, I'm also referring about the decision to wipe out two cities full of non-combatants. Again, while they might have viewed it as a necessity at the time, it was still a war crime and immoral to its core. As others such as @Shabidoo have pointed out, once you start killing civilians, you've lost any real moral high ground. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 13:23, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
There's moral high ground, and there's winning a war. If your aim was the latter, that looked to be the most efficient way to do it; any invasion would have had an equal or greater number. It's an awful choice, but one someone had to make. Glad it wasn't me having to, for what it's worth. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 01:39, 10 January 2020 (UTC)

Somewhat perversely, the horror of Hiroshima and Nagasaki has likely done as much as anything else in preventing a full-scale nuclear war to date. There's no way to prove it, of course, but I can't shake the feeling that - once created - some idiot had to lob one two in anger at some point, and that we should probably be grateful it happened at a time when only one set of idiots was capable of doing it. Helena Bonham Carter (talk) 19:57, 8 January 2020 (UTC)

This article sheds some interesting light, wish I knew before when I started this conversation. https://www.ushistory.org/us/51g.asp

Looking at it from a different perspective, it is awful and bringing surrender via other methods would be better. I was never taught in school that parts of the Japanese government wanted to surrender. --Rationalzombie94 (talk) 21:46, 8 January 2020 (UTC)

@Rationalzombie94: yes, there were people in the Japanese government who wanted to surrender either to the USA or the Soviets. Others, however, preferred to continue the war until the very end and in fact when the surrender was going to be broadcasted by Hirohito there was this. Panzerfaust (talk) 23:13, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
No, they were only necessary for scaring the Soviets, as the invasions by the Soviets of Manchuria and Korea got the Japanese to surrender. With the US fighting them, Japan all they had to do was hold them off long enough to end for the public to protest and want a end to the war, as seen with all the wars after WW2. The Soviets however, would have pushed forwards no matter what, with their better tanks like the T34-85, ISU 152, IS 2 1944, and the IS 3. And the soviet navy is no laughing matter, as they would be uncontested and free to bombard the Japanese. With the US providing Air support and naval support as well, Operation (famous Russian figure or planet here) would have turned Japan in to a puppet. Which the would changed who dominated the China seas and the strait of japan along with allowing soviet subs to leave unhampered and undetected.Tanker One, I just forgot my password and didn’t have a email, so I created another account) TankerOne (talk) 04:01, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
Nah, I'm sticking to my guns on this one. Dropping the bombs was a necessary evil, and I'm glad Truman did it. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 05:06, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
Out of curiosity. If he had gassed the civilian populations and then obtained the same result. Would you be just as supportive? You seem to be saying that the ends justify the means, so I'm guessing that any means would be acceptable. Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 09:09, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
Why was it a necessary evil? The Japanese government was gonna surrender anyway. I think that Truman wouldn't have dropped that bomb on Germany even if Germany fought to the bitter end (which it did). Why the double standards? Oxyaena Harass 12:47, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
Despite what post-war American propaganda may have implied, the U.S. had very little at stake in the European theatre during WW2. I'm fairly certain that there was no nuclear strike on Germany because A) the European theatre was pretty much over by then, and B) U.S. politicians had exposure to Germans via the scientists they brought on. Basically, one of the major hindrances to the U.S. nuking Nazi Germany was the nuclear weapons research itself. We also kind of stole some of the final plans and personnel from the Nazis, after the war (in Europe) was over. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 13:36, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
" The Japanese government was gonna surrender anyway." No, it wouldn't. However, that didn't stop the Japanese Government from pretending to sue for peace. A "peace" than included, in practice, keeping all their colonies and imperial possessions, and their militaristic totalitarian system. Even when the japs really wanted to surrender after the two bombs, a coup nearly succeeded in preventing the surrender. Even *then*, they kept their Emperor. Also, the declaration by Hirohito makes it quite clear that the bombs decided the full surrender. The bombs were the less morally bad option in the whole mess. (talk) 10:50, 13 January 2020 (UTC)
'pretending' to sue for peace? that's weak. really weak. its clear form the discussions within the japanese government after the Potsdam declaration that those opposing the terms given where in a minority, and while some only had reservations about the vagueness of some of the term. there was no mention of the bomb in the declaration, and as an invasion was not possible until at least November, they clearly thought they had time to consider. it seems they had hoped Russia would mediate for them, who at this point were not at war with japan, and where waiting for russia's response to their request.
as it turned out, Hiroshima and Nagasaki were nuked on the 6th and 9th august, while the Russians invaded Manchuria on the 9th. seems likely to me if the bombing had been held off for a bit, the shock of the Russian attack would have been the deciding factor.
as for the coup attempt - no, it wasn't any near 'nearly succeeding'. at all. AMassiveGay (talk) 14:08, 13 January 2020 (UTC)
The "peace" negotiations until the Postdam Declaration were based basically on "Japan gets away with most things", and the explicit abscence of answer from Japan to the Declaration, even explicit will to fight on, was in line with previous japanese reactions to surrender demands. For everyone at the time, yet *again* the Japaneses were trying to weasel out a more favorable issue, this time asking the Soviet Union. There wasn't mention of the Bomb in the declaration, yes, but there sure be mention of "prompt and utter destruction". The firebombing of Tokyo by conventional means meant that this threat didn't even needed the Bomb. By the way, said firebombing gets less panties in a twist, yet this one did more deaths than a Bomb. The Japaneses didn't surrender after island after island was taken back. They didn't surrender so much that even their civilians preferred death than capture. Who can say with certitude they would have surrendered after the SU attack? And the bombs were clearly and explicitely mentionned in Hirohito's radio adress regarding surrender. Look, there's no argument that the Bombs were horrible and tragic. But imho, they weren't even a war crime. The context was a total war against an enemy that had a fanatical population that preferred death to surrender. The enemy governement has repeatedly refused surrender, despite losing badly and having assurances of human treatment. The enemy had no qualms about committing horrible, genocidal crimes like the Raping of Nanjing (more deaths, and far more cruel than the Bombs) or unit 731. The alternative is an invasion that would result in even more civilian deaths, an infrastructure devastation and a large number of deaths in your own military. It was justified. The japaneses didn't surrender *even after the first one*. How can yo usay that there were going to surrender anyways? (talk) 10:51, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
Not to put too fine a point on it, but you're using whataboutism again. At any point, someone could have said no. I repeat again a point I've made multiple times now, I'm sure the people who made this call thought it was justified. That doesn't make it so, or "good" for that matter. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 14:53, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
In my opinion, context is essential to determine the morality of an act. For example, shooting someone can be morally wrong or right depending if the person shot is a black kid loitering around with a skittles pack or a crazy mugger threatening your dog with a knife. Imho it's not whataboutism to try to apply consistency over moral indignation. Also, it's far from my only point. In my opinion the Bombs were the most moral choice available, and allowed to end the war with a minimum of loss of face from Japan (silly , but the gov needed that to surrender) and a minimum of casualities (this is the important part). (talk) 15:20, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
I don’t think it was that reason, as the German nuclear program never got off the ground, and just fell in to neglect. Besides, If I recall correctly, they captured the place where the nuclear program was going on and found very little done. Most of the people who could do it had left the Riech to head to the US and the UK. Tanker One (talk) 17:31, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
You wanna know why Truman didn't nuke Germany? Here's why. The Trinity Test, y'know the first time the US detonated a nuclear bomb and actually figured out that these things work, was on July 16th. Nazi Germany surrendered more than a month earlier on May 7th. Considering that the Allies were going with a Germany first strategy, if Truman or FDR had the bomb and had a good target to use it on, you can bet your ass they'd have used it on Germany. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 20:35, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
Also, GC's comment is correct. Germany was basically dead by spring 1945, so there would've been no point to using such a valuable weapon on them. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 20:38, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
I don’t know if you were replying to me or not, but I was just saying that what GC said about the nuclear program is wrong. Also, Spring 45 is too much credit, as after Operation Citadel the Germans where no longer a effective fighting force capable of doing anything beside poorly supported and supplied attacks. There is a great talk on this at YouTube which I can send to you if you want Tanker One (talk) 5:19 10 January 2020 (UTC)

@DuceMoosolini I think you missed my question. You maintained that the killing of the civilian population was a necessary evil and that you supported the action becase of the outcome. I asked if you would be equally supportive if the same resolution had been obtained by killing the populations with poison gas. Thanks.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 08:35, 10 January 2020 (UTC)

I ignored your question because it's silly. Would I replace one kind of suffering with another? Sure, I guess. There's no point being made by me answering that question. It's also based on a bad premise because the Japanese were familiar with poison gas and wouldn't have reacted nearly as strongly to it.
Defeat and surrender are different things. You can defeat an enemy, but you cannot make him surrender. Japan was defeated, no question, but if they hadn't surrendered, then the Allies would have been forced into yet more bloody military operations to convince them to accept that defeat. It's clear that the hardest hit by those military operations would be the tens of millions of Japanese civilians caught in the middle.
If the Allies had negotiated, if they had let Japanese off with a soft peace that left the fascists and war criminals and genocideists anywhere near the reins of power, then the world would've been back at square one a few decades later facing the same choice. The fascists would've tried again because they would've reasoned that maybe if Japan had made some different strategic decisions, then they would've won. Fascists don't understand history, just like they don't understand consequences, compassion, mercy, basic patterns. Fascists understand nothing save for swift application of brutal, terrifying force.
Dropping the bombs was an awful thing, but it was what the US had to do to make the Japanese surrender as soon as possible. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 09:20, 10 January 2020 (UTC)
It wasn't a silly question at all and you did a spectacular job avoiding a straight forward answer to a straight forward question. Along with a remarkable job and justifying the monstrous by what-if's and "the worse future scenario" based on what we now have as foresight. That's what perpetrators of civilian massacres do all the time, justify pointless mass murder through what they consider the greater good (is it?) because of no other choice (is there none?) which has been very well narrated in the American public school system. Cause you seem to repeat the same creepy nonsensical story. Civilian massacre was okay when America did it this one time (and then again). Meanwhile in most British schools they discuss the morality of the Dresden firebombs and/or the morality of using mustard gas in the Great War. In other European countries they deal with their own guilt of complicity with the Nazis (even in those countries where only a small minority did so). American denial reminds me a lot of the Japanese populous who seem to refuse the undeniable truth of Japanese mistreatment of the populous such as "comfort women". And even those who actually admit it happen...are known to defend it: Cause...you know...the troops had to be comforted to be able to do their job and win the war. It was ugly forcing Chinese and Korean women to be sex slaves...but it's an ugly time and its simply unfeasible to win a war without whoring out civilians. ShabiDOO 11:33, 10 January 2020 (UTC)
You say: " It's also based on a bad premise because the Japanese were familiar with poison gas and wouldn't have reacted nearly as strongly to it. " I don't want to put words in your mouth but it sounds like you are saying that your objection to poison gas is that it wouldn't have worked as well. But this is the problem with justifying war crimes. Once you start down that route then there is no place to really stop.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 14:12, 10 January 2020 (UTC)
'it was what the US had to do to make the Japanese surrender as soon as possible.' what was the rush exactly? the invasion of japan was planned for November and the bombs dropped in august. good couple of months to negotiate, or for the situation to sink in for the japanese, a good couple of months for the whole 'fight to the death' rhetoric to fade a little or to call their bluff even, time enough to see the Russians on the horizon. what was so pressing? its not like they were not going to surrender, they were holding out for a negotiated surrender, the diehards still rebelled at the eventual surrender. the bomb was dropped and its beyond my wit to say if it all would have worked out without it, but if it was a necessary evil it was a weapon of the last resort, an option when all else had failed. we weren't there. the invasion was a couple of months away. what would have been lost to hold back a little? AMassiveGay (talk) 12:22, 10 January 2020 (UTC)
I mean Eisenhower himself thought they were unnecessary, in fact someone here, I forget who, posted a list of direct quotes by American WWII generals on the necessity (and lack thereof) of the atomic bombings, and they were all in unanimous agreement there was no necessity. Duce straight up ignored it of course, cognitive dissonance and all, but the war crime apologia here does him zero favors. It was nothing more than a weapons test on live civilians, that's it. Oxyaena Harass 14:04, 10 January 2020 (UTC)
I posted the list of quotes. This article and this article were my sources. There are actually more quotes in the articles too. MirrorIrorriM (talk) 19:58, 10 January 2020 (UTC)
So ya'll are gonna accuse me of being a blind American apologist when I'm the one who wrote so much material about American crimes against the Indigenous Peoples and American slavery, yeah? Here's the thing, the Japanese would not have surrendered without the bombs. Waiting a couple of months would not have worked because the Japanese army wanted to try its hand at killing Americans after their navy failed. Even after the bombs were dropped and the emperor surrendered, some Japanese officers tried to coup him because they desperately wanted their day of glory in battle. The Japanese called this horrific plan ketsu-go, the strategy of killing so many Americans that the Allies would drop their demand of unconditional surrender and allow the Japanese to keep their military and shield their war criminals. I have the benefit of arguing from the version of history that actually happened. In real life, the bombs dropped, and the emperor pressured his military leaders into accepting surrender. Japan got to save face by claiming that at least it wasn't a battlefield defeat. Their armies and navies stopped ravaging the Pacific.
It's nice to have concern for the Japanese civilians, but we need to understand that they would have suffered far more in the event that they would have been forced by the government into defending their homes. Or else they would have committed suicide rather than fall into American hands. Look at what happened in Okinawa. Even without an invasion, they would have remained under blockade and subjected to further horrible conditions by resource shortages and an increasingly paranoid government. It's nice to have concern for the Japanese civilians, but we should also remember the Chinese, Vietnamese, and other civilians who were being brutalized by Japanese forces and would have continued being brutalized if the war had continued. All that suffering stopped because the Japanese surrendered unconditionally, and the Japanese surrendered unconditionally because the United States dropped the bombs. And that's pretty much the last I have to say on the matter. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 22:08, 10 January 2020 (UTC)
Yes Duce. In this case, you are uncharacteristically parroting the excusing of atomic mass-murder common amongst American apologists which is, truly, completely unlike the rest of your stances on related topics. ShabiDOO 13:47, 11 January 2020 (UTC)
@DuceMoosolini Not to be rude but your statements concerning the post-war government of Japan are somewhat fallacious. The Japanese Monarchy was not abolished, and many of the officials behind the wartime government were either allowed to slip right back into the reigns of power or keep their jobs outright. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 15:14, 11 January 2020 (UTC)
I feel this is all very he said she said, seeing as it all kind of hinges on assumptions on how it all would have played out. personally, and with no certainty of any kind, I do not believe there was any urgency in the timing of the bombings that made them a necessary evil when they where done, nor do I believe it was a necessity to get an unconditional surrender or that only unconditional surrender would do. japan was beaten, and japan new it was beaten. their whole planned defence of the home islands was on the basis not of victory but of getting better terms. It certainly would have been costly if the invasion went ahead, but there was still time for resolve to waiver, for developing events to have effect. there was no pressing need, it was not yet the last resort. Japanese forces in china had been weakened and in all but complete collapse, their brutalising populations there was all but over, and made moot by the brutalising of a reignited civil war. Japanese brutality in other areas they still occupied, Indochina, for example, just wasn't that brutal to make the bombings so urgent. it is because there was not yet a pressing need for an immediate end, I would consider these bombings immoral. but as I said, it all very he said she said, and even with hindsight its not definite any particular stance is the correct one, let alone having to make such decisions at the time.
as for war crimes, I am more ambiguous. it was no more destructive than the firebombing, and effects of radiation not so well understood, that the nuclear aspect is only significant in giving the first indication of their world ending potential. if you don't feel the bombing as justified, its probably a war crime. aerial bombardment of the kind every nation involved had no qualms in engaging in, probably a war crime. actual legal argument and which convention or statute applies looks much like pedantry to me.
considering the years of unspeakable horror, the years of a quagmire of war crimes and crimes against humanity, were the whole world has been brutalised, i'd imagine it leaves everyone seeing all kinds of evil start to look like they are necessary, even humane. 75 years of distance and I would hope of progress makes necessary evils then unthinkable now, the right thing to have done looks no clearer today, the significance and the immediate effects of events uncertain, and what alternatives might have arisen almost a coin toss. the only thing I am certain of is necessary evils are still evils and it should leave a bad taste in our mouths when forced to defend them. I take comfort that such life or death decisions are far above my pay grade. AMassiveGay (talk) 18:59, 11 January 2020 (UTC)
@AMassiveGay Good post! ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 19:13, 11 January 2020 (UTC)

Which brand of conservatism is worse?[edit]

Libertarianism, Neoconservatism, or Paleoconservatism? You can also talk about another form of conservatism other than the three here.Jeh2ow Damn son! 17:28, 8 January 2020 (UTC)

Paleoconservatism has its attractions. The cult of 'growth, innovation, disruption' has pulled the rug out from under too many people and made it impossible for people to make modest plans for the future and see them out. This also was what mad Trump seem attractive in 2016. He was a nominally wealthy son of privilege from New York City. We knew he knew fuck-all about the Bible. He was talking about disengagement with the Middle East, bringing the troops home, stopping that bleeding wound in public finance, and on better days, even about a more neutral stance between the Israelis and Palestinians. I would happily have supported an isolationist, nationalist, America-Firster; unfortunately Trump is not it. Now, my ideal polity is one where children can inherit their parents' jobs, where you can still make a good living blacksmithing or coding Fortran 7, and 'disruption' is not rewarded but met with tar and feathers. Imagine how much better so many things would be if we had the good sense to prevent the automobile. Smerdis of Tlön, wekʷōm teḱs. 18:59, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
None* of those terms accurately describe the modern republican party, to be honest. Those are pseudointellectual fronts that a couple magazines each use to front their "one true intellectual vision for conservatism", all of whom are grossly evil people, but none of whom reflect your typical MAGA shithead. Today's republican party actually is the base racism, mindless hate, and authoritarian amorality that people get so defensive about pointing out.
If I had to pick one of yours, it's probably libertarianism, since it's the most infuriatingly self-satisfied while being deeply vacant in practice.
*unless you're willing to call Christian Dominionism paleoconservative, that's a real republican voter belief system ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 19:58, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
Limiting to just those three, I find paleoconservatism to be the worst of the bunch (I share some beliefs with libertarians at the very least as that belief system is really broad and can include abortion rights and opposition to corporate welfare). I'm no nationalist. I believe being an isolationist, "America First" is complete folly especially in the world of the Internet and fast travel, where I think international laws are only becoming more and more important for a functioning society, as well as trade with other countries. I find the anti-immigration and anti-multiculturalism weaved in paleoconservatism extremely distasteful while their economic policy is mixed, with distributism appearing relatively moderate though producerism is just woven with anti-immigration garbage and they champion laissez-faire, which is a hard reject from me. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario! 20:05, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
I'd agree that the paleoconservatives are the worst of that bunch to me -- from my viewpoint, in practice it has ended up being the white, fundamentalist Christian nationalism ethos driving Donald Trump under a pseudo-intellectual disguise. "Libertarianism" runs close -- it's a selfish, non-community oriented philosophy at its core. Typically you find this attitude either in male nouveau riche or male trust fund babies who think they are better than everyone else and don't realize how lucky they are. I'm not a fan of neo-conservatism being a not-so-hawkish person, but at least many of the guys in that movement were smart people that seemed to actually use their brain when forming their opinions. Most "politics" (liberal or conservative) is increasingly identity and tribe oriented. There is hardly no intellect anymore, only TOTALLY OWNING THE (insert snarl word here) on your Youtube channel. Soundwave106 (talk) 20:27, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
Out of the three of them, Libertarian is the most sane. Me personally, every political spectrum test I took told me that I was a left wing libertarian. --Rationalzombie94 (talk) 21:57, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
Which immediately strikes me as a strange term. There's almost no such thing as a left winger who stridently opposes challenges to the cultural status quo. The issues those political compass tests use to decide "authoritarian" vs "libertarian" are almost entirely comprised of questions about the weird psychotic dogmas of america's religious right, like abortion, gay rights, and . The "authoritarian left" such as it is are basically just people who think the state and military institutions attached to it should continue to exist at all. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 22:12, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
Depends how you define cultural status quo. If the new status quo becomes, say, lgbt are equal all around the world, would it be left-wing to oppose changes to that? I recall that in history, commentators said that the left-wing is conservative in wanting to keep New Deal provisions. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario! 22:31, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
I used to fancy myself a libertarian, because back in the 1970s the chief meaning of the word was short for 'civil libertarian', which I still am. I would call myself a 'Confucian conservative', mostly because I can't share certain strains of leftist zeal for kinds of equality that no government could deliver. Those demands seem to me to be both excessive in scope, and curiously circumscribed by category (gender, 'race', ethnicity), so that 'equality' becomes a matter of checking off boxes on a constantly changing list. The categories elide certain complexities for me. And as a civil libertarian I am fairly strong on things like freedom of expression and due process in ways that the Left seems to give as much short shrift as the Right used to do. Smerdis of Tlön, wekʷōm teḱs. 05:01, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
Except the right doesn't do that, you can see this when they nary raise a peep when it's a leftist who's getting censored, or how loudly they call for justice when a pig gets killed, but whenever a pig murders someone in cold blood they instantly go on the defensive. Oxyaena Harass 14:14, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
FWIW at the start Black Lives Matter was, oddly enough, a breath of fresh air. At last a leftist cause that was about the behavior of police departments and judicial systems: things that politics can actually do. But I wouldn't confuse 'conservatism' with the Republican Party line in the USA, either. Movement coservatism stopped being conservative some time ago. Smerdis of Tlön, wekʷōm teḱs. 16:04, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
Don't worry, movement liberalism is generally conservative according to the traditional definitions from the french revolution: antiviolence, antirevolution, suspicious of rapid social change. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 17:03, 9 January 2020 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── The term "libertarian" originally applied to left-libertarianism, or "classical libertarianism." I am a libertarian socialist, an anarcho-communist, whichever sounds more pretentious, but libertarianism isn't a specifically right-wing phenomenon. Don't let them continue appropriating it. Oxyaena Harass 09:12, 9 January 2020 (UTC)

I remember I used to argue that the Democratic Party is more conservative than the Republican Party if you define conservatism as maintaining status quo. Neither party is all that pleased with the status quo, or at least Donald Trump represents not adhering to status quo on paper. But again, don't think that'll leave any room for moderates. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario! 20:45, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
Unfortunately that definition is quite deficient and is just one aspect of party ideologies on the right spectrum. For some conservatives the status quo isn't good enough and reverting to an earlier century is desirable. While others don't mind change...it's a specific kind of change that they care about. It really doesn't make sense to call Democrats conservative unless you are talking about conservatives who happen to vote democrat. ShabiDOO 21:04, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
It certainly is not a great definition of "conservatism", though, on the semantic side of things, it's pretty consistent (conserve?). I think in reality, conservatism has never quite been "status quo"; it's more of maintaining a stratified society with clear winners and losers, and not encouraging much mobility, maybe bolstered by some essentialist ideas about human society and nature? Even that definition doesn't address some subsets of it, but I think that's the very, very general gist, which the term "conservatism" doesn't quite accurately describe. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario! 21:12, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
The term "reactionary" exists for a reason. So does fascist, if they don't really want to roll back progress so much as reforge society into a neomodern strict social hierarchy. The national democratic party is largely conservative. The republican party is largely reactionary or fascist. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 21:27, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
From everything I read about Democratic governments at a national and state level (especially those who control the executive and both houses) is a stream of progressive laws. I don't think "stopping the Republicans from turning the clock back" is the same thing as "clinging to the status quo". Protecting abortion laws from not being overturned isn't maintaining the status-quo. Especially when in the process they are trying to make deeper changes to prohibitive abortion laws. But maybe I don't really understand cause I don't live in America. ShabiDOO 21:50, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
They don't though. They hand the republicans huge military spending bills bi-partisan style, they wait until the supreme fucking court ruled on the incredibly obvious question of gay marriage before a majority of them supported protecting it. They leave regressive tax structures that have decades of being proven wrong. There's some real liberal beliefs here and there, but the democratic party is deeply suspicious of change. They worry over rapid change, they absolutely decry violence of even the tamest sort for even the greatest causes(besides nationalism and adventureism). It's definitely not progressive. It's not even really liberal. That's conservatism. Because real liberalism has an unquestioning dedication to the idea of individual rights, and the particular issue of gay marriage issue showed that dems are not up to it. No actual ideology is bad ideology.
I know you're really used to the idea that republicans are conservative, because that's the way our language has been used and linguistic normativism is a valid way of understanding things. But in terms of ideological positions and traditional definitions, they're really not. The dems are much closer to a legitimate conservative institution than the republicans are. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 14:48, 10 January 2020 (UTC)

Decentralizing diplomacy[edit]

Oxyaena Harass 10:03, 9 January 2020 (UTC)

That's not a bad video.Jeh2ow Damn son! 13:19, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
He's a disillusioned former spook for the feds who became an anarchist journalist, he's a great guy with insightful commentary. I recommend y'all check his channel out. Oxyaena Harass 13:22, 9 January 2020 (UTC)

the Russian troll army and Cambridge analytica tells me how much faith I should have in decentralised diplomacy. I do not represent my country, I represent only myself and poorly. nothing of value can be gleaned that is true outside of my bubble, any kind of consensus is just noise if not accompanied by action, its insubstantial and fleeting, and easily dispersed or just drowned out by a torrent of shite. the current plague of populists know very well how to use the internet, when success for them is not about building concensus and great works but tearing things down, or simply inertia. memes and fake news is all that is needed to divide us and obscure anything resembling truth. it brought us trump and Brexit with no effort at all, but it builds nothing to replace what was wrecked. look at the chaos that has been Brexit - the referendum was the easy part, negotiations and consensus are the hard parts. our corporate overlords throw off another layer of accountability what ever the outcome. that some people over internet posted comments saying they did not want a war tells us nothing, when the kind of war they were against was never a possibility needing averting. it made no difference to a war of proxies and drones and of crippling sanctions - it was already in effect. decentralised diplomacy just means we are more divided, and thus more manageable and easier to manipulate. with the tools and data the internet provides, its never been easier. while this guy seems impressed by ethereal anti war commenters, isis were internet savvy enough to focus and target their message to convince thousands in Europe to wage a genocidal war in Iraq and syria AMassiveGay (talk) 21:42, 9 January 2020 (UTC)

I knew a guy who was full survivalist, no joke, the guy did a solo Appalachian hike. That's a fucking feat and he legit did it. He then signed up, said a recruiter told him he would be on A team. I once joked with him "I always took you for a spook" and he loved it. Told me he was recruited for A team. But zpooks don't post to youtube. I would listen to my guy any time I wanted to do a solo backwoods outing, because he knew about packing out. I also know he's not in the military, A team was a recruitment lie so he dropped out. This man is not a "former spook," and while he doesn't need that authority to have an opinion, EXCEPT if it's a world where big authority sits well, my small argument from authority might help. There are not "former spooks". Gol Sarnitt (talk) 06:31, 12 January 2020 (UTC) 06:30, 12 January 2020 (UTC)