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The state[edit]

exists to enforce the power of the ruling class and to protect private property. You folks in a previous discussion raised that there are other functions of the state, and that may be so, but I am going to cite some examples to justify my statement. Let us look at an example from American history, the white settler state and its relation to the indigenous Americans. All too often land was guaranteed to natives in treaties that were then stolen, seized by either the state itself or by private parties acting with either the explicit or implicit permission of the state, for the white-ruled state (the 19th century United States was ruled by the WASP majority, the ruling class, and the state functioned as a tool of their power) had an inherent interest in dispossessing natives of their lands, and while there are a few cases where the state sided with the natives over the settlers, the exceptions don't prove the rule. The state was a dictatorship of the white ethnic group ("white" meaning back then to be Scots-Irish, some Germans, Frenchmen, English folk (the so called "Old Stock Americans") etc, to the exclusion of Hispanics, Catholics, Poles, Slavs, Italians, recent Irish immigrants etc), and so effectively functioned as a tool, a bludgeon, to enforce their rule, to the exclusion of non-whites and other minorities.

The state also functioned as a tool of the wealthy, even back then, as seen in the class warfare of the Gilded Age where the state always sided with the capitalists over the laborers, to often bloody results. The police could act with impunity, they received no comeuppances for their brutality.

So, yes, the state may have other functions than simply enforcing the power of the ruling class and protecting the property of said ruling class, but those functions are secondary in importance to the aforementioned purposes of enforcing bourgeois and aristocratic rule and protecting the property of those upper classes. On a side note I`m writing a dialogue where I go over this more in-depth, I'll post it here as an essay instead of at my usual venues. Oxyaena Harass 08:51, 25 April 2020 (UTC)

Like the majority of things in this world the state can have good and bad functions or do good or bad things.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 09:00, 25 April 2020 (UTC)
That's too simplistic of an analysis, the state must rely inherently on violence to maintain its power. The state itself is inherently violent, it has to be, the state exists to control, and when the people are no longer willing to be controlled the state must resort to violence in order to ensure its own survival. Oxyaena Harass 09:14, 25 April 2020 (UTC)
I'm saying that things are more complex than you suppose.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 09:41, 25 April 2020 (UTC)
Of course they are, but your statement is too simplistic. Oxyaena Harass 11:38, 25 April 2020 (UTC)
Have you ever read The Better Angels of our Nature? A little out of date, but it's at least worth considering the amazing decline in violence in the developed world over the last 100 years. And even if you don't agree with it Steven Pinker will give you the best argument possible for it, so at least you'll know the arguments. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 09:51, 25 April 2020 (UTC)
A lot of that has to do with increased economic prosperity lessening the material conditions that would otherwise lead one to a life of crime, but all of that is in danger of being undone in large part due to the excesses of the capitalist system. Oxyaena Harass 10:01, 25 April 2020 (UTC)
No, it doesn't really, unless you mean "the increased economic prosperity made possible by agriculture compared to humans' previous existence as hunter-gatherers". But if that's the case I'm confused as to what you're getting at. It sounds kind of like you believe in the "prehistoric humans lived in peaceful harmony" myth. Humans are violent nasty little apes. -- (talk) 04:33, 26 April 2020 (UTC)
You're little link does nothing to refute my premise at all, note that the ancient past is not the present day, what held true then doesn't hold true now, and humans are just as capable of empathy and altruism as they are violence and hatred. You misunderstand my point as well, try rereading it until you comprehend what I wrote. Oxyaena Harass 08:58, 26 April 2020 (UTC)
Isn't all power ultimately derived from threats or application of violence though? It is the only truly tangible power there is when all else is said and done, simply because it isn't based on anything else. Attacking someone's status only works if they care about status, attack someone's pocket book only works if they care about money, attacking someone's sense of guilt only works if they consider you as having the moral high ground. Violence is the foundational tool of law and civilization because it works regardless of whether the individual in question cares about your arguments, because it is the only thing that has the power to remove them from the equation entirely regardless of their desires. It is inevitable that any structure, period, will rely on violence at some level to enforce anything; otherwise it is reliant on the stability that another structure which does rely on violence provides. The only other true power I could think of is refusing to gather food and effectively starving someone. Either way any civilization will have death dealing as the ultimate tool by which it enforces things, otherwise all it takes is a single psychopath to stab everyone to death one by one with a fork. MirrorIrorriM (talk) 04:21, 26 April 2020 (UTC)
I can't see what your point is. Do you think it is possible to make do without states? Being dissatisfied with the state is like being unhappy with ones own body. One can do things to improve ones own physical situation, get stronger, learn another language, practice yoga, etc. But it's still the only body you get.Ariel31459 (talk) 22:22, 27 April 2020 (UTC)
That assumes states are as necessary for their existence as much as my corporeal body which is demonstrably false, and a blatant example of a faulty analogy. - Only Sort of Dumb 03:28, 1 May 2020 (UTC)

Fact Check[edit]

Can I suggest that every edit by BONs or brand new accounts be fact checked ASAP. A BON just had an incorrect fact on a rather touchy page up for over twelve hours mixing up the governor of NY with his brother a CNN reporter. Scream!! (talk) 16:20, 25 April 2020 (UTC)

My problem with Men's Issues conferences[edit]

Note: Not intended to ignore women's issues. Although understanding these issues could help bridge a gap between genders

On the surface they act like they truly want to help men who are having emotional issues and what not but these conferences are a front for indoctrination by MRA's. The MRA's basically take advantage of men who are psychologically vulnerable and give the wrong ideas, they do not want to actually help men who are suffering.

I know that culturally speaking, males are taught from a young age not to cry or express emotion. This creates a problem where when something happens (eating disorders, rape, suicide among others), males have seemingly nowhere to turn and MRA's give the false sense of help. They reinforce the idea that men should not express emotion. It is just sad. A group should be formed to where these issues can actually be resolved without sexism being mixed in. --Racia zombio94 (talk) 21:38, 25 April 2020 (UTC)

@Rationalzombie94 Yeah, you're right, on basically all points. The annoying reality is these shitbags have basically made the concept/position of fighting for the wellbeing of men specifically a joke/laughing stock position, screwing anyone who wants to actually help them. Then again MRAs don't actually want that to happen, since a man who was correctly helped, would see them for the horrible people that they are and want nothing to do with them and they got to keep that sweet grift going... (I don't really have a solution here, I just understand the frustration.)--NavigatorBR (Talk) - 00:45, 26 April 2020 (UTC)
Everyone suffers from toxic gender-roles and the only solution is challenging toxic-gender roles, not creating some fictional "men is the oppressed gender" with all the misogynistic poison that comes with it. ShabiDOO 01:04, 26 April 2020 (UTC)
I did not say "men are oppressed", I said create a simple support group. Said hypothetical group would take the model from a women's support group and adapt it. It would be a start at challenging toxic gender roles. I never intended it to sound like men are oppressed in terms of not being allowed to vote or making less in the work place. It is more from a cultural stand point, no single gender is responsible for toxic roles. I agree about challenging gender roles. That would be a tall order but support groups are a start. Sorry if what I put came out wrong. --Racia zombio94 (talk) 01:41, 26 April 2020 (UTC)
I know you didn't mean that...but that's what comes up at anything close to MRA and even men's issues summits etc. There are support groups for specific men's issues. What is not needed is some kind of overarching support structure for men's issues because I've never seen one that isn't full of MRA bullshit. ShabiDOO 17:21, 26 April 2020 (UTC)
My issue isn't with the concept, it's with every single one of the participants. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 04:15, 28 April 2020 (UTC)
Ok, so this is a problem. Do you have a problem with the conferences, or the conversation? Because I have a problem with the conferences, and, yet here I am, talking about a "conversation." I would never devalue anyone's experience. I also wouldn't treat that as currency, it can help in conflict to EMPATHISE but what you're asking about is the commodification of human interaction, and I'm saying "no, boo." I can't believe I have to explain stoicism and solipsism, it hurts. You can't jus believe it and not work at it. I am so guilty. Gol Sarnitt (talk)

Missing point in the 'nature vs. nurture' gay debate[edit]

This is a point that basically never gets coverage and kind of makes the social 'environmental' factors seem questionable... Between the 1960's and 2000's, boys born with malformed penises or who lost their penis during accidents were often given sex reassignment surgery. They were then raised and reared as girls, wearing dresses with female names etc. In all the documented cases of which sexual orientation is known, they ended up being attracted to women as adults. ONE case was 'predominantly' attracted to women, so she has some attraction to men... lucky for them they turned out bisexual... because the remainder all ended up identifying as heterosexual males and abandoned a female identity. J. Michael Bailey states: "If one cannot reliably make a male human become attracted to other males by cutting off his penis in infancy and rearing him as a girl, then what other psychosocial intervention could plausibly have that effect?". It's covered in this article here, but Bailey's original literature was more accurate coverage of it. It's scary how many people think television and gay people in the media will make their child turn gay... yet a biological male who has their male genitals removed and is raised as a girl isn't attracted to men. --Debunky (talk) 06:08, 26 April 2020 (UTC)

It's been scientifically understood for decades that human sexual orientation is "wired" at birth. Factually there's really no debate. But people believe all kinds of things with no basis in fact. Most "Westerners" are only dimly aware of the existence of intersex people if at all. But none of this will really change the minds of anyone who needs their minds changed. The chain of thought is really simple: Jesus doesn't create gay people because homosex is sin and Jesus doesn't create sinners. So, gay people are gay because they're evil sinners, and a lot of them are probably tempted into it by seeing gay sinners publicly sinning without punishment. After all, I think about fucking other dudes all the time! Day and night! All guys do! If I wasn't reminded constantly that I'll burn in Hell for it I might go do it myself!
What I think is more interesting to discuss is the colossal shift in public attitudes in the West over the course of not even one lifetime. I feel like this strongly supports the idea that most people don't think much about most issues and follow the lead of "elites". -- (talk) 07:11, 26 April 2020 (UTC)
I think views are certainly evolving. Unfortunately trust in mainstream science is falling. The amount of Americans who believe sexual orientation is the result of upbringing has been relatively stable at around 40% since the 1990s. I only wonder why the sexual orientation of gender reassigned boys isn't brought up more. Probably too complex for people to grasp lol. --Debunky (talk) 12:02, 26 April 2020 (UTC)
I feel that what misses the point is thinking, that outside of a purely scientific or medical view, that the nature versus nurture debate as pertains to homosexuality is anything other than an irrelevance. it gives to much credit to homophobes, as if they would have some kind of point if it were nurture or that if conclusively nature that homophobes would not just switch it up to gay people being 'genetic freaks' that with advances in dna sequencing may yet be 'cured' by a bona fide medical treatment (one that if not performed in utero and not opted for in later life comes back to the whole 'its a choice not to be cured'.)
as a gay male its an irrelevance to my life, an irrelevance to how I live my life, and its an irrelevance when dealing with homophobia. I do not have to justify my existence with biology nor must I justify my existence through what ever lifestyle 'choices' i might make, and I especially do not have to justify anything at all to bigots who simply do not care either way and just want me gone. i live 'my' life and of all the things that may entail, my sexuality is none of their concern, where the only harm done is to me and people like me from their hate.
I will not validate prejudice in a bogus debate that is only meant to mask that hate. hate is 'their' choice. why they make that choice is the real debate. AMassiveGay (talk) 20:28, 26 April 2020 (UTC)
It's very complex and the research is in very preliminary stages. It has not been demonstrated that we are hardwired from birth. Highly predisposed, yes. Everything else is lumped into a category called "environmental factors" (not the same as nurture) which may be highly influenced by the natal environment (hormones) but to what extent is hardly certain. Environmental factors does not ultimately (though could to some extent) refer to how you were brought up but so far there is very little evidence linking specific factors to likelihood of a gay identity (there is a small link between divorced parents but even that is questioned). Environmental factors could include all sorts of random events or factors that have not yet been properly researched (nor may not ever be properly researched). Having more older brothers makes you far more predisposed to being gay but it is not at all clear which environmental factors explain that (hormones in the uterus, social factors etc). Nurture gives the idea that we might be able one day to come up with a list of things to do or not do as parents to avoid them turning out gay which is beyond preposterous. And all of this has absolutely zero to do with "choice" because honestly, at least until they've finally outed themselves and had positive LGTBQ+ experiences in countries and/or families that make it socially bearable, until they've had partners/encounters or have come to terms with their identity...until that point every LGTBQ+ person I know would have taken a straight pill including myself. ShabiDOO 00:19, 27 April 2020 (UTC)
I agree with your point about it being very complex and it's not determined that it is 100% hardwired, particularly in women who have more fluidity in sexuality than men. It seems likely that if you had enough biological factors that would push you in that direction, almost nothing could derail the likelihood of an individual growing up to be same sex attracted. Just the fact that heterosexual men can grow up without genitals (and the subsequent arousal those parts of the body produce), they are still only attracted to women indicates there is a lot of pre-determination of orientation (with men). I think the idea of lesbians being more fluid has some merit, but I also think there are lesbians who are very masculine in both their physiology and mannerisms that indicate they had a lot of pre-determined aspects too. Regarding taking a 'straight' pill I actually disagree. When I first realised I was gay I was rather excited by it and didn't feel negative about it at all. Different? Sure, and I was bullied because of it - but it didn't make me wish I was straight. My parents were non religious and never expressed any anti-gay attitudes, so I never felt like there was anything wrong with it. Most of my gay friends haven't expressed wishing they could be straight, but maybe at one point in their life they've said it would certainly make things easier. --Debunky (talk) 01:39, 27 April 2020 (UTC)
You're very lucky to have grown up in such an environment and to have had the fortitude you did. Whenever I'm at a pride event it's usually one of the only times I ever cry in public because as I watch ordinary people stand on floats and scream out in over-the-top joyous celebratory camp "fuck you world...get over yourselves" my thoughts are on all of the people in places like Nigeria, Pakistan and North Korea where (most) live every day very alone, afraid, confused and beaten-down and literally in danger. I think about them during the flotillas. And realize how privileged I am and how lucky each new generation is, despite the problems they face, far far too many problems...but that it does get marginally easier over the decades for them. ShabiDOO 02:11, 27 April 2020 (UTC)
Probably very few of us are 100% straight (even if never going beyond 'I find that person (of my gender) physically attractive' and similar low key attractions) - but if you are in an environment that is strongly anti-gay (and the various other categories) you may well choose to align and ignore the other aspects while in the public domain.
Bear in mind that in environments where celibacy/'choosing to be single (or 'it so happens that I remained single') are acceptable options asexuals and similar will face no discrimination.
How would 'women writing and reading slash fiction', men watching women-on-women antics and suchlike be categorised? Anna Livia (talk) 17:09, 29 April 2020 (UTC)
In here a bit late, but yeah, I generally agree. I have a bit of a unique perspective as I'm cis male pansexual, which means I effortlessly pass as hetero unless I "act gay". And I'm fortunate enough to never have been on the receiving end of any serious anti-LGBT+ stuff, living in California my whole life, but even then because of the still-default heteronormativity I didn't realize it until I thought about it for a while after reaching adulthood and realized hey, I'm not just attracted to cis women. -- (talk) 03:15, 3 May 2020 (UTC)

My adventure to the convenience store![edit]

Went to the convenience store today to buy some cigarettes (nicotine keeps me stable, story for another day). I was up at the service counter paying and while I waited for my smokes to be ringed up, I looked at the TV on the wall. Fox News was on and Mitch McConnell was talking about wanting several states to go bankrupt. My jaw dropped (though my mouth was covered with a bandanna). I was purely shocked at the stupidity. What made it more interesting was a Fox News commentator saying it was the stupidest idea in history.

Safe to say Trump and his little goons committed political suicide, even better knowing we are in the midst of a public health emergency. This is much worse than Herbert Hoover. Safe to say that Joe Biden has my vote. What has this world come to? --Racia zombio94 (talk) 15:55, 26 April 2020 (UTC)

Republican voters in 1932 weren't nearly as stupid or white nationalist as they are now. Suffice it to say the Don will outperform Herb.𝔖𝔲𝔪𝔪𝔞 𝔄𝔱𝔥𝔢𝔬𝔩𝔬𝔤𝔦𝔠𝔞 (𝔮𝔲𝔢𝔯𝔢𝔩𝔦𝔰) (𝔰𝔠𝔯𝔦𝔭𝔱𝔲𝔯𝔞)
Yeah, the USA is honestly just too partisan for a landslide like 1932 or even 1988 to ever happen again. Too many voters view keeping the other party out of power as critical to the survival of everything they hold dear to see a mass drop off in turnout or to switch parties-conservatives may fault him now but they will just vote for "the lesser evil" on election day because sure Trump kills people but Biden might raise taxes and let trans people serve in the military. People don't vote based on facts, but on prejudices and emotions-Hilary found this out the hard way and Biden will meet the same fate too if he is not careful.Flandres (talk) 17:47, 26 April 2020 (UTC)
The reason Hillary lost in 2016 was because people were dissatisfied with the neoliberal status quo, she lost because she was another run of the mill centrist. Trump offered change, and many people were desperate enough to not care what type of change it was. Oxyaena Harass 19:40, 26 April 2020 (UTC)
It might also have something to do with Hillary being one of the most unpopular politicians ever, Biden has got nothing on that. Remember that many districts who voted for Bernie in 2016 went for Biden in Michigan this time-don't lapse into confirmation bias.Flandres (talk) 19:52, 26 April 2020 (UTC)
hilary 'lost' because the us political system is a train wreck. hilary won the popular vote. by 2.86 million. its a system that is probably even more stacked against democrats now than it was against hilary. AMassiveGay (talk) 20:44, 26 April 2020 (UTC)
Eh I don't know about that...white supremacy was just the way things were at that time. This was not long after the peak of the Second Klan. It might not have been as overt because it didn't need to be. Immigration was heavily restricted and effectively whites-only. Segregation and other apartheid policies were the law of the land: overtly in the South while largely covert in the rest of the country. Blacks could be and were lynched for being uppity. And remember that the parties were very different and both had conservative and liberal wings. Southern whites (who were the only Southern voters) were uniformly Democratic. Roosevelt's running mate, "Cactus Jack", was an anti-union Southern Democrat who supported the poll tax. Roosevelt ran as a "fiscal conservative", attacking Hoover for spending too much and promising to "balance the budget". Don't underestimate how much of FDR's support in 1932 was just anger at the incumbent. "The country is a disaster, so throw those bums out of office." And people were tired of Prohibition, and the Northern Democrats were considered "wets". -- (talk) 18:59, 26 April 2020 (UTC)
Eh we'll see. November is a long way off. McConnell is framing this as "blue state governments are irresponsible spendthrifts and we hard working white people should stop subsidizing them". It's not like he's trying to flip California or New York. I really think a lot of people are discounting the potential for a straight-out Republican self-coup. What are ya gonna do if Trump just announces the election is "postponed", or he won't abide by the results? -- (talk) 18:59, 26 April 2020 (UTC)
Perhaps worth considering, but also consider this; Biden could always have the police expel Trump once he is through his lame duck period, and if Trump just calls off the election, than that could make the magistrate and the armed forces turn against him. A self coup would be dangerous because Biden would command enough sympathy to stage a counter-coup.Flandres (talk) 19:16, 26 April 2020 (UTC)
"The police"? I guess. The point is, as always, who's in charge is ultimately who the people with the guns, bombs, and tanks agree is in charge. Are you confident that, if that happens, Biden will order them to march in and haul Trump out at gunpoint, they'll obey, and no one will try to stop them? Note that the Secret Service is explicitly tasked with protecting former Presidents as well as the current officeholder. Also I'll note that having different armed factions disagree on who is the legitimate leader of a country is the kind of thing that leads to civil wars. The military, etc. could also just sit on their hands and announce "we're not involved in politics" and they won't take orders to haul anyone out of the White House, which leaves you with two people claiming to be the legitimate President. -- (talk) 19:48, 26 April 2020 (UTC)
Yeah, the capitol police. They exist you know. If Trump loses an election and tries to stay in wouldn't he technically be a criminal? He would at least be trespassing.Flandres (talk) 19:55, 26 April 2020 (UTC)
The U.S. Capitol Police exist, but their job is to protect Congress and they take orders from Congress. (Congress is who hangs out at Capitol Hill, hence the name.) There are various executive branch law enforcement agencies like the Marshals, who are ultimately directed by the President..and now we're right back at, "Who's the legitimate President?" What a lot of people seem to not get is that laws, governments, societies are human constructs that only mean anything as long as people accept them. Laws are not self-executing, and they're not magic spells where if you recite the right verbal formula a magical force compels others to follow your will. If people reject the legitimacy of a government and refuse to obey it, the only way to get them to do so is force. The smarter set among the U.S. right understands this, which is why they've spent decades attacking the legitimacy of rule by anyone other than white conservative Christians. Trump has been breaking laws for decades. How many nights has he spent in prison? -- (talk) 20:53, 26 April 2020 (UTC)
I was not saying laws are not social constructs I was just saying Biden could very well still be seen as more legitimate in the eyes of those doing the actual removing of the intransigent incumbent than Trump if Biden wins and his foe abrogates the results. Declines tend to be gradual and punctuated by a few sudden bits here and there. I just do not know if this is the exact juncture where the curtains fall.Flandres (talk) 20:59, 26 April 2020 (UTC)
Oh absolutely! I mean, I don't know either! But it would be foolish to ignore the possibility. And as I brought up, I think there's a good possibility of military/police, while not recognizing Trump, saying they won't take orders to march on the White House, which leads to a paralyzed national government. And even if they do, it's worth considering how the spectacle of Trump being frogmarched out on worldwide television will play out. Do you not expect Trump and other Republicans to call it a "Democrat coup"? How do you think loyal Trumpites will react, including those in military and law enforcement? -- (talk) 21:16, 26 April 2020 (UTC)
Not sure about police, but my general impression is that the top military brass think Trump is an idiot so honestly I really don't see this scenario happening. The 12th Amendment is pretty clear on what date Trump is no longer president, should he not win the election. I see the chances of him somehow not complying (eg being removed by force) to be honestly low. (The likelihood of a Twitter temper tantrum, on the other hand, is extremely high.) Soundwave106 (talk) 21:45, 26 April 2020 (UTC)

For all the problems in the US, I find it hard to believe, as a Kiwi who is often critical of the US, that there would be many in the government who would be they military, police or whatever who would follow Trump if he's clearly lost the presidency. Likewise, for all the flaws in the way the Republican Party has responded to Trump thus far, I find it hard to believe he will even get a majority to support him if he loses the election and refuses to hand over power. 47's was on point, but they seem to have missed the key conclusion. Coups etc only work if most of the government accept and follow the person who launched the coup.

Ultimately if most in the government accept whoever won the election as president and follow their orders, then for all intents and purposes, they are the president. Most coups need to silence the former leader since otherwise a substantial proportion may be unsure of who to follow or may follow the former leader. But in an established democracy, if one person wins the election and the other who refuses to accept it and claims their are still president, there is a good chance most will simply ignore that person. This is IMO one area of truth about the "deep state" myth. The US does have an established bureaucracy who aren't likely to accept Trump hanging on and will comply with the constitution and law on who the president is. This will likely happens even if the Supreme Court refuses to rule on the issue as a political question or whatever, although I think in a matter like this they probably will rule.

Also I don't see why a lack of "march on the White House" would result in a paralysed national government. Sure it won't be a good situation, but the White House is not some magic building which ensures people listen to the occupant. Trump camping out in the White House doesn't mean anyone in government is going to give a fuck what he says. Most will just ignore him and follow the actual president. I'm sure the media would still cover Trump's rambling rants, but he'll basically be that idiot squatter in the White House. Eventually either he'll leave by himself when he realises few give a fuck that he still thinks he's president, or someone will force him out.

The bigger problem IMO is not the national government, but if he's able to get enough people to march in the streets or worse starting rioting, attacking government buildings and officials etc. I don't thinks is very likely because Trump seems to be a coward and while he's got away with a lot, I think the realisation that the goverment and most of his party has turned against him and will not support him; and that he is in fact under genuine threat of at best arrest or worse someone "accidentally" killing him will be enough to turn away from such a path. (I.E. For all his flaws, I think he will recognise that if he turns it into a situation where people feel the consequences of doing that will better than the alternative, it's not going to be good for him.) I mean Kushner hanging out with Mohammed bin Salman probably has some idea of the risks of messing around with those with enough power and will. And while I don't really know how Ivanka feels about her father or Melania feels about her husband, nor how much influence they have; I've got to think they care enough about him that they will try and stop such insanity not least because they feel their lives will be much better of.

Nil Einne (talk) 06:41, 3 May 2020 (UTC)

Boy, America sure is a stable, rich, nuclear armed country with this fuckin talk... Revolverman (talk) 19:33, 26 April 2020 (UTC)

As for Trump and his goons wanting states to go bankrupt, maybe he wants the US to become the new Somalia or Zimbabwe! The US economy is already suffering strain and states going bankrupt would cause another Great Depression or complete economic collapse. That sounds like a blast! Warlords could go around imposing their messed up laws and other diseases can make a come back. Guess Trump wants that one to happen? --Racia zombio94 (talk) 22:39, 26 April 2020 (UTC)
You have got to admit that scenario would have its appeal. Despite the fantasies of the left the rich class would have the advantage in consolidating power if the USA collapsed and fragmented into local governments. Creating a handful of plutocratic tyrannies in whats left of red america would probably be easier than maintaining control of the whole USA even as demographics turn against the republicans.-Flandres (talk) 22:59, 26 April 2020 (UTC)
Per David Frum, the push indeed comes from what I personally call the stupider sect of the CEO class. (Stupid because, as pointed out, it would indeed cause huge economic problems that probably would end up impacting said CEO class' business.) Soundwave106 (talk) 23:51, 26 April 2020 (UTC)
That's a very naive view of it. As I believe scepticwombat has told you in a now archived thread you really don't understand what the Republican agenda is, soundwave. Much like Trump being an ineffective legislator doesn't mean anything when his job is just to slash the federal government and protect the wealthy from any future democratic president, McConnell is not doing this to fix the economy but to brutalize poor people who vote blue by destroying the social safety net and entrench the power of these latter day optimates(roman reference if you don't get it). The wealthy may lose money now but they have enough resources they will always survive and pull through as a whole. They can afford to play chicken with us plebeians.-Flandres (talk) 00:31, 27 April 2020 (UTC)
I don't think my view and your view is necessarily incompatible (Frum even mentioned that the ultimate goal of state bankruptcy is a dick move to fuck pensioners in blue states with troubled pensions while protecting the investment class, no?) -- you see nefariousness, I see stupidity, I guess to me it's "why not both?" One difference here is I think only *some* of the well off in this country agree with it, while the other side shake their head at such short-sighted short term thinking. The thing is, the economic engine of America largely votes Democrat. The other thing is that the "fucking the poors" Republican strategy is not only inhumane, it has ended up as an economic disaster as well when implemented in full. Why do you think Kansas, of all states, has a Democratic governor now? Because the Republicans were such libertarian idiots under Brownback that the economic shitshow was too large to even overcome the usual appeal to nativism the Republicans fall back on. Repealing the Brownback shitshow actually significantly improved the state's reputation as a good place to do business. It's much harder to do business with shit infrastructure, an uneducated workforce, and shithole cities with no amenities that no smart person would want to move to. The stupid CEO class is the type that only thinks in terms of their personal income tax level and fails to recognize the benefits of solid governance, as well as things like how reducing inequality generally speaking improves economies, etc. Soundwave106 (talk) 01:51, 27 April 2020 (UTC)
Give it time and individual states will stop listening to the federal government. A country is only as powerful as its people and people are getting pissed. How the Hell does the US survive the Spanish flu yet the things are going into the toilet with COVID-19? With COVID-19, individual states are turning against the federal government and the economy is in shambles. Wanting states to go bankrupt would likely cause the US to collapse; I see Trump wanting this to happen as treason against the US. Send him to prison for treason please. --Racia zombio94 (talk) 02:46, 27 April 2020 (UTC)
”It's much harder to do business with shit infrastructure, an uneducated workforce, and shithole cities with no amenities that no smart person would want to move to.” A certain minimal infrastructure is of course necessary, as are certain, minimal amenities. However, some kinds of businesses indeed thrive on a low/non skilled workforce, the fast food business being an obvious example, including much of its supply chain. The US economy is an odd mixture, accurately described as a Third World economy embedded inside a First World one. That’s why certain industries moved to the poorest US states once they managed to establish a business model thriving on misery and “de-skilling” their operations. These kinds of businesses only thrive where their workers (including such jobs as poultry farming by “independent contractors”) have little or no other opportunities. The model can be sustained by being very profitable for the corporations and thus generate kickbacks, excuse me, “campaign contributions” to the political level, while pressuring both workers and small suppliers into virtual peonage. ScepticWombat (talk) 16:48, 27 April 2020 (UTC)
In fact, I’d argue that most massive, successful (at least in terms of growth/revenue) US companies tend to rely on and owe much of their success to one or more tools characteristic of such business practices by de-skilling (including automating) as many processes as possible, turning their workers into “independent contractors”, freelancers or part timers (cf. “gig economy”) and generally gaming established practices from the US “golden age of capitalism” in the post-WWII era that forced companies to take responsibility for their employees. ScepticWombat (talk) 16:58, 27 April 2020 (UTC)


Someone (anyone on the discord will know who) has changed the sidebar link to an unofficial discord. I do not know how to change it back, but i want to make everyone aware nyaa ⏣sapient_cogbag⏣ [all-lowercase name pls] talk 01:02, 27 April 2020 (UTC)

Turns out they did it such to avoid making logs, which is why i can't find the edit there. This is a direct affront to wiki transparency. Nya ⏣sapient_cogbag⏣ [all-lowercase name pls] talk 02:06, 27 April 2020 (UTC)
Edit: the change was buried a few days ago https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/MediaWiki:Discord-url ⏣sapient_cogbag⏣ [all-lowercase name pls] talk 02:41, 27 April 2020 (UTC)
It looks like @D was responsible. Bongolian (talk) 03:49, 27 April 2020 (UTC)
LeftyGreenMario reverted the edit. Bongolian (talk) 19:05, 27 April 2020 (UTC)

Dr. Phil[edit]

I found Oprah's page, but not Dr. Phil. Is he on mission? Gunther8787 (talk) 10:03, 27 April 2020 (UTC)

Yeah, on plenty of levels. Would definitely be a good addition. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 10:53, 27 April 2020 (UTC)
totally ShabiDOO 10:58, 27 April 2020 (UTC)
I'm not aware of his woo peddling history. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 12:43, 27 April 2020 (UTC)
It's not Dr. Oz levels but the other wikiWikipedia goes into his weight loss product peddling days. Most of his bullshit though comes from him hooking into the Oprah machine back when she feuded with the beef industry -- although he does have a legitimate psychology background, what he engages in with Oprah tends to be pop psychology entertainment with little clinical rigor. Soundwave106 (talk) 12:58, 27 April 2020 (UTC)
It'd be good to go over how exploits the poor and mentally disturbed to make them "laughingstocks." Oxyaena Harass 14:25, 27 April 2020 (UTC)
He's also a criminal who has practiced without a license and also breached doctor-patient-confidentiality on multiple occasions. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 16:25, 27 April 2020 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────His Ph.D. thesis was not one that actually qualified him in any meaningful way for practicing psychotherapy: it was a study of biofeedback treatment for rheumatoid arthritis patients. I recently noted this on the credentialism page. Bongolian (talk) 19:13, 27 April 2020 (UTC)

Another one like that is Dr Laura Schlessinger Who has a degree in physical therapy, but advises on "relationships."Ariel31459 (talk) 04:19, 28 April 2020 (UTC)

Got a twitter[edit]

By the same name.--Delibirda the Annoying Grammar Nazi (talk) 18:01, 27 April 2020 (UTC)


With some beaches re-opening up here in the United States, there is the great debate: is re-opening them a good idea? I can think of good reasons for and against it. In the positive, getting outside and going somewhere like the beach is WAY better for people's physical and mental health than staying indoors watching TV and playing videos games all day. In the negative, people argue that a beach is not considered an essential business, and in fact, it's not really a business at all (Except MAYBE parking fees at some beaches), thus should not be opened before other businesses of gathering (like offices, restaurants, etc).

Honestly, as long as people stay six feet away from each other, and possibly if there's a requirement to wear a mask (EDIT: limiting beach capacity would certainly not be a bad idea either), I think it's a good idea to re-open beaches. We should definitely NOT be seeing beaches like Rio De Janeiro in the summer (Google search "Crowded Beach Rio" on images and prepare to be mind blown if you haven't seen how crowded beaches can get there), but as long as people aren't stupid like the spring-breakers in Florida, I'm fine with it. But what about anyone else? Agree or should they stay closed? Aaronmichael5 20:24 27 April 2020 (UTC)

Enforcing the SD rules might be difficult on the beaches, that would be an issue. --Racia zombio94 (talk) 01:09, 28 April 2020 (UTC)
I'd say the beach is no different to a park, not essential but good for daily exercise. then I'd say unlike a park you likely need life guards are on hand, so you'd be forcing them out for something non essential. and there is lot less space than parks. if the weather is good they will be packed. AMassiveGay (talk) 01:27, 28 April 2020 (UTC)
and its just adding to the whole mixed messages from the authorities. stay at home. go for a walk. go buy food. else stay home. AMassiveGay (talk) 01:29, 28 April 2020 (UTC)

Created a script for an upcoming EAS scenario (Yes I am back in the game)[edit]


Need some input on it. Need some voice actors so that is why I need input. The video will be about the world's water becoming nothing but acid due to global Carbon Dioxide release (spoiler- causes an event on par with the Permian Triassic Extinction Event or Great Dying over 250 million years ago). --Racia zombio94 (talk) 01:52, 28 April 2020 (UTC)

I'd suggest the police chief close out, rather with, "that is all the time I have no questions." be closer to "That is all the information we currently have and I will not be taking questions." What's your audio software, I could try and throw you a clip. Don't color it purple though, my most missed activity during this pandemic is cancelling plans. Gol Sarnitt (talk) 00:47, 1 May 2020 (UTC)
I can make an edit to the script. As for audio software, I really don't have audio software. I use Windows Movie Maker to put videos together, I use SoundBible for my sound effects and have people record their voice and send it to me. If you record yourself doing a role, you can email me the audio file at zombieschizo94@gmail.com --Racia zombio94 (talk) 11:14, 1 May 2020 (UTC)
Alright. I have an edited police chief script in a notepad saved to my desktop. I can record the audio, but my home mic is shit. I should have bought a better one a long time ago, I just never did my own thing before. Gol Sarnitt (talk) 01:03, 8 May 2020 (UTC)
I won't be picky at this point. At this rate my scenario will be going down the drain. --Racia zombio94 (talk) 14:03, 8 May 2020 (UTC)

Spud is remembering his sister[edit]

For the second year since she passed away, even more than I usually do, I will be thinking about my younger sister on what would have been her birthday. What would have been her 44th birthday this year. That's 30 April. This coming Thursday. Again, instead of raising a glass in her honour, I'm going to have a packet of crisps and a chocolate bar in her honour. It's what she would have wanted. If you'd like to join me in having a packet of crisps and a chocolate bar, preferably British brands or the closest that you can get to them, that would be great. Of course, I understand those might be more difficult for you to get than normal this year. Alternatively, my sister was lucky enough to go on holiday to the States one year and absolutely loved the hot food and ice cream from Dairy Queen. I understand that it might not be easy or convenient for you to go to Dairy Queen this year either. But if you'd like to get takeout from there in her memory, that would also be great. Looking at their current menu, I'd say that my sister would have had a 1/3 Double with Cheese $6 Meal Deal with a Coke and a strawberry sundae. Cheers! Spud (talk) 04:42, 28 April 2020 (UTC)

I don't know of a nearby Dairy Queen. But my birthday is the 28th, and I plan on getting Superburger takeout. I will raise a milkshake in her honor, Spud. RoninMacbeth (talk) 04:48, 28 April 2020 (UTC)
@RoninMacbeth Thank you. Spud (talk) 05:00, 28 April 2020 (UTC)
Mmmm I always thought Dairy Queen as an ice cream place. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 18:42, 28 April 2020 (UTC)
@LeftyGreenMario For what it's worth, my sister was surprised to find out they sold hamburgers. French fries and other hot fast food items too. But they do. Anyway, if you could just munch on a bag of potato chips of any brand and on a Kit Kat, for instance, on Thursday in celebration of the life of someone who meant a lot to your old wiki-friend Spud here, it would make me very happy. Spud (talk) 23:23, 28 April 2020 (UTC)
Do veggie chips/cheesy veggie straws count? They include potatoes as well as other veggies. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 23:27, 28 April 2020 (UTC)
Sure. My sister is a potato chip lover and it's been a very long time since I last ate something that came from a bag that wasn't fast food (fast food I had only like a week or two ago though). --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 23:31, 28 April 2020 (UTC)
@GrammarCommie In common with me, my sister wasn't a big fan of veggies. So I don't think she'd have eaten or enjoyed either of those things. But it's the thought that counts. And I think if my sister knew I'd told you that you couldn't mark her birthday by enjoying your favourite snack, she'd call me a wanker, say, "Of course he can" and tell me to say sorry to you. So go ahead! Spud (talk) 01:34, 29 April 2020 (UTC)
@Spud It's ok, I'm having twice baked potatoes for dinner so everything worked out. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 01:51, 29 April 2020 (UTC)
Some DQs only sell dessert items. The nearest to me (So Cal) is one, though there are others in the area with the full menu. And please accept this stranger's condolences. -- (talk) 03:08, 3 May 2020 (UTC)
Was planning on going grocery shopping tomorrow (today?), I'll pick up a box of strawberry ice cream and some chips. CoryUsar (talk) 06:29, 29 April 2020 (UTC)
Don't have any crisps, but yes to chocolate. (talk) 19:02, 29 April 2020 (UTC)
I got fries and potato chips today! Thought about! Cheers! --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 03:07, 1 May 2020 (UTC)
@CorruptUser, thank you. @LeftyGreenMario, thank you. BoN, thank you. And anybody else who marked the birthday of my sister who was taken far too soon, thank you very much. Spud (talk) 11:47, 1 May 2020 (UTC)


So apparently the Pentagon has released video's of unexplained aerial phenomena. twitter is going nuts over them even starting a hashtag called aliens exist. Is this the so called proof that aliens are real that people keep saying is coming? https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/27/politics/pentagon-ufo-videos/index.html CNN page I got it from. Gzstg (talk) 06:07, 28 April 2020 (UTC)

Highly unlikely. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 11:33, 28 April 2020 (UTC)
More likely a case of 'at last something that is not coronavirus-related. As they date to 2007 they somehow 'caused' the 2008 crisis (not). Anna Livia (talk) 14:09, 28 April 2020 (UTC)
I won't say UFOs as long as military spy planes are a thing. MirrorIrorriM (talk) 15:01, 28 April 2020 (UTC)

Discord complaint[edit]

hi my apologies if this isn’t the right place i’m familiar with rational wiki but i’m fairly new to editing.

i joined your rational wiki discord server yesterday and it looked like everything was going well. i log back in a few hours later and find i’ve been kick out no explanation or anything. i rejoined to try and find out what happened and a mod accused me of spamming. i don’t know anything about this i didn’t spam anything and i don’t understand why you’re blaming me.

i’ve found the experience upsetting because i know i didn’t do anything

thank you

cushion — Unsigned, by: Cushion / talk / contribs

When you left the starboard spamming immediately stopped, that's the best evidence we currently have of who it is nyaa ⏣sapient_cogbag⏣ [all-lowercase name pls] talk 11:03, 28 April 2020 (UTC)
And yes i know it isn't great (correlation =/= causation), if spam starts again we'll know it isn't you... We still haven't figured out the best way to get who reacts to a message with an existing reaction nyaaa. ⏣sapient_cogbag⏣ [all-lowercase name pls] talk 11:05, 28 April 2020 (UTC)
Whelp looks like the starboard spammer is still around... apologies >.<, i'll reinvite you ⏣sapient_cogbag⏣ [all-lowercase name pls] talk 11:21, 28 April 2020 (UTC)
you can see who adds the reactions tho if you turn on dev mode. EK (talk) 11:41, 28 April 2020 (UTC)
remind me again why we have a discord? AMassiveGay (talk) 11:58, 28 April 2020 (UTC)
why not? Oxyaena Harass 12:00, 28 April 2020 (UTC)
Brevity? Shit-Posting? Weeb-stuff? As a cover-up for our evil cabal Goatse? Gunther8787 (talk) 18:19, 28 April 2020 (UTC)
The problem is that they star then unstar a message so it looks like there is a new message in the starboard channel nyaaa >.<. also we have a discord for discussion :p ⏣sapient_cogbag⏣ [all-lowercase name pls] talk 12:03, 28 April 2020 (UTC)
Well we have two discords technically because the people on one discord gave it to people who are unrelated to the wiki and they banned a bunch of people from the wiki. But really it's just extra bar activities. EK (talk) 15:53, 28 April 2020 (UTC)
I'm also wondering why we have a discord. What does it add to the wiki?Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 16:12, 28 April 2020 (UTC)
Discussions about the wiki? That's what most Discords are on many sites: discussing stuff about [insert site/organisation/youtuber/ect... here]. Gunther8787 (talk) 18:34, 28 April 2020 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Well u can join discord if ur interested. EK (talk) 20:20, 28 April 2020 (UTC)

Gonna be frank with ya here the discord does not reflect the values of the wiki and promotes a toxic black and white world view and most of what goes on there is not related to the wiki most new people don't stay it has constant drama the mod elections are popularity contests they make fun of a 14 yo kid St.~Emi (talk) 20:48, 28 April 2020 (UTC)
The Discord perfectly encapsulates the values of the wiki. Oxyaena Harass 20:55, 28 April 2020 (UTC)
It's an ancom echo chamber that gets hostile at any mention of anyone wanting a government St.~Emi (talk) 21:34, 28 April 2020 (UTC)
Unironically sounds like heaven. Too bad I got banned. Oxyaena Harass 21:40, 28 April 2020 (UTC)
Err... What? You might want to step back a bit there. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 21:41, 28 April 2020 (UTC)
Who? This is all obviously the result of some petty infighting gone wrong, get over yourselves, it's a fucking Discord server. Oxyaena Harass 21:43, 28 April 2020 (UTC)
What I just said is quite the opposite. Being an echo chamber that presents a black and white world view to lure vulnerable disenfranchised people in is not okay. Its exactly what the alt-right does St.~Emi (talk) 21:46, 28 April 2020 (UTC)
Yeah it doesn't do that, nor is it exactly an ancom echo chamber. It's essentially the bar in discord form. False equivalency between ancoms and the alt-right noted btw. Oxyaena Harass 21:50, 28 April 2020 (UTC)
It is very much an echo chamber almost every body agrees with each other on everything. I'm not saying ancoms and the alt-right are the same. I'm saying thatthat discord and the alt-right pull the same tactics to get people into their circle St.~Emi (talk) 21:52, 28 April 2020 (UTC)
Ok... So that is wrong. I've disagreed with others on the Discord a number of times, on multiple subjects. Hardly "almost every body agrees with each other on everything." So, I'm going to need to see some evidence for your claims here. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 22:36, 28 April 2020 (UTC)
Kill the first discord. It has no reason to exist since it has nothing to do with the wiki. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 22:37, 28 April 2020 (UTC)
"Can't we just all.... get along?" --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 22:43, 28 April 2020 (UTC)
you can always join so we can talk about our projects together. I know commie, lefty and I do that. Vorarchivist (talk) 22:48, 28 April 2020 (UTC)
Am I gonna get bitched at by edgy leftist teenagers? Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 22:50, 28 April 2020 (UTC)
Depends on what you do. despite what some are saying we don't talk about economics all the time. As long as you don't harass minorities or spam you will most likely be able to stay.Vorarchivist (talk) 22:57, 28 April 2020 (UTC)
Duce, you should take a break from the wiki. Oxyaena Harass 23:54, 28 April 2020 (UTC)
I’ve hardly been active. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 00:38, 29 April 2020 (UTC)
awh >.< ⏣sapient_cogbag⏣ [all-lowercase name pls] talk 00:36, 29 April 2020 (UTC)
The discord has not brought anything positive that I can see to the wiki. What it does bring is sometimes is overflow drama or problems. I have no problem with it existing, but it needs some statement that it not formally part of the wiki and is not controlled by or endorsed by Ratwiki - and vice-versa for that matter.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 10:02, 29 April 2020 (UTC)
the discord is far more like the saloon. People go there to chat with fellow skeptics mostly. Does it have drama? Sure but that's also true of the saloon. At the same time we also help people make articles, help people with their talk page complaints and I source most of my rationalwiki subreddit posts from it. You can always join if you want to help drive the talk to something you think is more productive for the wiki.Vorarchivist (talk) 14:57, 29 April 2020 (UTC)
My point is that it's not controlled by RW mods or the RW board (as far as I am aware). So it's tangential connection should be made clear. If and when there is some over-spill on the real site.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 17:15, 29 April 2020 (UTC)
That actually sounds like a good idea because at the very least people should know they aren't like the wiki and they need to quit acting like they are. And the discord isn't anything like the saloon its far more active. The discord staff can't seem to take criticism either of themselves or the server. So at the very least people should know that what they're going to see on the discord won't look anything like the wiki. St.~Emi (talk) 18:58, 29 April 2020 (UTC)
Technically its controlled by fuzzycatpotato but they were an absentee landlord of the server for a long time. You could always try to get fuzzy to give admin to another wiki goer, we certainly tried. Vorarchivist (talk) 02:00, 30 April 2020 (UTC)
We should probably put something up in both places pointing out that they are separate independent entities and that they have no control or direct influence over each other.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 07:31, 30 April 2020 (UTC)
I've added a polite disclaimer to the RationalWiki:Discord page. Cosmikdebris (talk) 15:03, 30 April 2020 (UTC)
That looks good. Thanks!Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 15:53, 30 April 2020 (UTC)

Moral thought experiment[edit]

Please keep in mind this is a thought experiment...if you don't like thought experiments you don't have to keep reading. You're alone on a barren moon cut off from communication from any living beings with all living beings months away from reaching you. A volcano is about to blow up and destroy the moon's surface and will totally annihilate your living structure, your work, you and any trace of your existence. You cannot send a message nor leave any footprints nor send off some record. No one will have any idea what you've done and you cannot save the moon. Though you have a week or two before it happens. Question is: in this context is there any moral dimension to anything you do? Are there any immoral actions you can commit? Could one action be more moral than another? ShabiDOO 02:36, 29 April 2020 (UTC)

No. Morality is a lie, a control measure agreed upon that only matters if someone exists who can force you to be accountable to it. In the absence of enforcement morality only means what you define it as and force yourself to accept.Flandres (talk) 02:45, 29 April 2020 (UTC)
Well, given there's no one around to interact with, both sapient and non-sapient, I'm not sure that morality can be said to have an effect. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 02:56, 29 April 2020 (UTC)
I doubt the morality of it, since morality is a construct and if you're on this moon completely cut off, you would do the most good by being true to yourself. I don't know the mechanisms by which I would have arrived on this moon, but I know how my first thought might work, first, this would be better if it were to be the best time I've ever had, even if I have to create it myself. I'm seeing my impending doom, I've got no control over it, this must be the best time. Second, I'm some moon-man? I'm some pioneer, so let me accept my role, and let me have fun with it, I came here for a reason and that work and that reason is being all volcanoed to shit, so back to the first point, let me do exactly what I intend to do as a pioneer however I want to do it anymore. Third, I'd use the week or two in a way that I'm comfortable with, which I think the time limit is the only question here, so, yeah. If I'm a moon man getting everything I care about exploded by a volcano, few creatures on this earth get a dignified end, that's a ridiculously dignified end for any zealot. Gol Sarnitt (talk) 03:01, 29 April 2020 (UTC)
Yeah...I can't quite get behind this "Thought Experiment" for a simple reason. All questions or morality and if morality is an objective or subjective thing or as to what morality even is all wind up taking a back seat to another, more obvious, more immediate question...
Why the flying fuck am I on a goddamned moon? Kencolt (talk) 06:04, 29 April 2020 (UTC)
Morality is entirely about how our actions affect those around us. If you were all alone on the moon, then the question of imminent volcanic eruption is completely irrelevant, the only way morality could possibly be involved is if you are doing something that would either help or harm future colonization efforts of the moon. CoryUsar (talk) 06:26, 29 April 2020 (UTC)
It depends. Do you take a utilitarian/relativist view of morality or an absolutist view of morality? If the former, then you may come to the conclusion that in the face of futility nothing matters morally other than maybe momentary enjoyment. If the latter, then what you do is still a question of code and honour. (talk) 18:57, 29 April 2020 (UTC)
But it isn't exactly that black and white, it's not that extreme. You're forgetting that what you do for other people impresses on yourself as well, unless you're a psychopath trapped in a box, and I do think the idea of being alone on a volcanic moon with everything you've ever worked on about to be taken away from you by a phenomena beyond your control sounds like the thought process of a psychopath trapped in a box, but it's not exactly that. Think of all the senior high school kids who were really banking on extracurriculars like debate or baseball (what a terrible sport) to solidify scholarships. So you're not just doing whatever you want because you, yourself, are faced with your own version of being a psychopath unleashed from a box, with nobody to hurt except maybe yourself. It's a question about how you deal, and it might be harder or easier based on who you are, but it's not morality that gets you through every time.
As a more specific answer, I would probably cry and sleep and look at all my work myself, since nobody else is going to get to see it. I'd probably also take myself up the volcano and stare it dead in the vent, probably run back away before the end of things, maybe even get chased into a corner by lava. My desire to live is kinda like that, my fear of death is kinda like that. But I wouldn't die cursing the universe, and I'd try not to die cursing myself for some cowardice, for in the end being afraid of a volcano more than wanting to dive head first into one. Gol Sarnitt (talk) 01:09, 30 April 2020 (UTC)
indeed it seems for consequentialist, utilitarian, deontological moral systems its difficult to imagine what an "immoral" act could be in this scenario. And lets forget about recieved dogmatic moral codes (which we should cause well...fuck that bullshit). Though Gol Sarnitt did sort of (maybe it's hard to tell sometimes?) touch on virtue ethics. What about the numerous schools of virtue ethics? ShabiDOO 05:34, 30 April 2020 (UTC)
I wouldn't pick one. Gol Sarnitt (talk) 00:15, 1 May 2020 (UTC)
I suspect i'd frantically and fruitlessly for escape. then probably beat one out in my last moments. AMassiveGay (talk) 19:27, 1 May 2020 (UTC)
We have a hero on our hands here. If you pretend to not get it, boooooo. Gol Sarnitt (talk) 03:14, 2 May 2020 (UTC)
Morality is a human characteristic, hooked up in some fantastic way with memories and feelings. It can be good but incoherent. It can be coherent, but not good. Some people think it is dependent upon other people, that is, it is projected upon one from the outside. Is there any difference between what a god thinks of you and what all of your neighbors think? Yes. But, for a single person alone, helpless, and facing certain death there is no real difference. If one believes that god put them in a wilderness, there to die alone, who would not die cursing god? A saint perhaps? That would leave me out. What one does is moral because one thinks so, and it is immoral because someone else thinks so. The further apart we are, the less important the disagreement seems to be. In such a place I would be as moral as any god.Ariel31459 (talk) 18:31, 2 May 2020 (UTC)
No one biting on the virtue ethics?
In any case, I've been asking myself...what if that person was the last human left. I think a lot of people would feel some kind of duty to make the very last actions of a human around meaningful for the rest who cannot. Even though you cannot leave a message for other aliens to see, a record of your last actions, a little box of momentos...I'm fairly sure that even in the panic of certain death a lot of people would feel an obligation to do something. What that is who knows. ShabiDOO 08:58, 3 May 2020 (UTC)
The belief that my virtues would impress an alien species (with tentacles maybe?), seems dubious enough in itself, but what could be done to accomplish that result? Orderliness maybe. I suppose that if I scrubbed my residence, washed my clothes, trimmed my hair, manicured myself, etc. and laid down to await death in a relaxed posture, some species of alien might attribute a high level of civilization to the people of my planet, marking my species down in their books as civilized. Others might use my body for their next meal.Ariel31459 (talk) 17:24, 3 May 2020 (UTC)
There won't be a trace of what you've done. Everything will be destroyed. No records of your last movements. And yet, if I were the last human remaining and I had half-a-day to go...no doubt this would weigh on me. What should the last human do in their last hours? Ought I do something in the name of humanity before it extinguishes? You can laugh it off or worse just dismiss it as silliness but it the diversity of answers people give are very insightful. No moral system (except perhaps a virtue ethics system or some dogmatic one) would say there is a right or wrong thing to do. But do people think there is some duty there? ShabiDOO 11:00, 4 May 2020 (UTC)
Duty to what? There would no trace of anything to remain. It might weigh heavy on your mind, but aliens in the future arnt going to pick through the ashes and find you didn't get taxes done in time. They wouldn't find anything. Any sense of duty would vanish along with your existence. Duty at this point would only serve to distract you from your impending doom. At most, the only duty left that could have some validity is to survive, even if not possible for this scenario, to search for some way out that you might have overlooked. But it's still only applicable while you live only applicable if you succeed. There would still be nothing left as evidence of your failure, or that you even existed at all. I suppose a duty to oneself, like dying with some sort of dignity, could be applied, if such things would bother you. But it would only be to yourself, impacting you and only you for a very brief time. Your days are numbered after allAMassiveGay (talk) 14:37, 4 May 2020 (UTC)
Wow that was a pretty uncharacteristic fly off the handle AMassivegay. I didn't say there is a clear duty. Some simply may self-impose some kind of duty. Sure some will panic. Some will panic and self reflect. Some will self-reflect at a human scale. It will certainly be a different experience if you know you're the last human. Just as pointlessly panicking is a fairly common human emotion so is overly-self-reflecting during extreme or stressful times. I'm the last person to say any human would have any duty to anything in an isolated environment. But how a person feels they "ought" to act is very telling. The most ardent stoics believed in self-dignified behavior right to the very end (even if no one was looking). Have you ever been on a plane ride so turbulent you thought it would crash? Were you as calm and rational and pensive as you think you would have been? ShabiDOO 15:17, 4 May 2020 (UTC)
Thats not flying off the handle, that's just answering the question - would anything be moral, would any duty remain. Answer - none. Stoics might believe in some kind dignified response, but it would only matter to time in the time they had left in the described scenario. For all practical purposes it would serve no more than a coping mechanism, as would all responses based on a sense of duty. Might even be healthy response, even if ultimately futile.
How I would respond, aside from a question of morals and duty, is another question entirely. I cannot answer as I couldn't say till faced with it. If the death is imminent probably panicked. If I had time to process it? Who knows? Angrily I suspect. AMassiveGay (talk) 16:14, 4 May 2020 (UTC)
I admire how absolute your answers are, but then one's answers depend entirely on whatever moral/ethical system they choose. You say no action matters. If there were corpses of your friends, family and strangers around would it be moral to piss on them? Would you eat them if you had no food? Would you dispose them into a latrine cause it was easier and got ride of the smell? Do you have a duty to your loved ones even though none of it matters on a larger social scale, historically, existentially? ShabiDOO 08:21, 5 May 2020 (UTC)
My answers are absolute because the scenario is absolute. There is no one left be outraged by anything I might do, and leaving no trace, no one left to come to judge me in the future for any thing I might have done. Morality would be an irrelevance, no duties needing to be performed. Pissing on corpses of relatives would be only outraging oneself, being the only one left to care. Morality and duty would at this point solely a coping measure for impending oblivion, whatever you might tell yourself. AMassiveGay (talk) 14:28, 5 May 2020 (UTC)
But then how obviously absolute an answer is depends entirely on the moral system you're using. Is it utilitarian, consequentialist, deontological or some other system, a hybrid or your own but ultimately, you know...that's the one you've chosen. That moral judgement disappear when no one else is around depends on the moral system you use. The obviousness of which moral system is the default isn't written into the fabric of the universe. I personally prefer deontological systems. I think they reveal the most praiseworthy results. And in a case like this I would also agree there is no immoral act here at all, no duty, anything goes. Having said that it is entirely reasonable that people would infer, under other entirely reasonable moral systems like some versions of virtue ethics, a duty not to dispose their families bodies into a latrine just to make a terrible smell go away. And that some would extend that duty in an extreme way on a human scale. There's nothing crazy or necessarily irrational about that. ShabiDOO 17:52, 5 May 2020 (UTC)
Ok, so maybe let's keep going. It's not a question of morality exactly, yet. It's a question that, were you stripped of any need for morality, what morality would you keep? And the subsequent scenarios are personal experience ad nauseum, but the truest timeline is yes, I'd also probably crank one out every now and again no matter what the "last human in the universe" question entails. Let's turn it around and do it a little different, just with a little extra "that ain't me" flavor. First caveat, not any human, but human created AI, it is NOT YOU or your consciousness, nor is it a certain death. it is a computer designed by humans to imitate human thought and interaction. If you could send probes, and since this is still hypothetical, send enough AI probes out into the universe that you were likely to land at least one on a lively planet, with zero chance of being able to reprogram them at a distance, which morals are the important morals to program into that AI as you see them today? You still die, but your AI probe is loaded with morality, and ready to land anywhere it might be functional. If anyone here says "never masturbate," as a moral, you're a despot.
For me, instead of taking Asimov's principles exactly, or falling into the Star Trek "do not interfere if they are not in the alliance" or however that works exactly, I would want the AI to lean into naturalism and encourage the scientific method with pacifism as a means of last resort. I don't think I'd load up nihilism, even if I subscribe to it. Gol Sarnitt (talk) 02:07, 6 May 2020 (UTC)

Homosexuality (a queer intercourse of homophilia and homophobia)[edit]

So, something's been bugging (pun intended) me a little bit. Not a lot, but enough to make me write something. That of rewriting "proper" morals regarding sexuality. We do need to ask ourselves whether or not certain morals are well founded or arbitrary, what morals would produce the best outcomes for society, and what should change or remain and why. The bible and its associated morality needs to be understood as the product of the Bronze Age, which was very much a Different Time. We in the modern day have a form of "privilege" and associated blindness when it comes to judging the actions of the past, one that needs to be accounted for. At the same time, if a Bronze Age text shouldn't be judged by Modern Era standards because it was a different time, then the Modern Era shouldn't be beholden to a Bronze Age text for exactly the same reason.

Our society's "modern" attitudes towards sexuality are entirely predicated upon our technology and capacity. We live in a world where we have paternity tests. Not even a century ago, paternity tests didn't even exist, at least not accurate ones. In a world without such tests, a promiscuous woman was by far more dangerous for a family than a promiscuous man. A spouse cheating on a spouse was always an emotional betrayal and threatened the other with disease, but in the case of a woman cheating on her husband it risked calling into question the paternity of the children and could do far more harm than the husband cheating on his wife. It's only in the past century that we've removed one of the underlying reasons for what we'd view as otherwise double standards, and it's taken some time for society's morals to catch up. We have condoms, birth control and abortion, something that simply wasn't available in the past. Removing childbirth from sexual activity has enabled many of us to allow for a period of "experimentation" before marriage, something that would've been unthinkable a few generations ago. Oh, your great grandparents got it on before marriage too, but shotgun weddings were more the norm than the exception for most of civilized history.

So back to homosexuality. The real, original reason for the taboo against homosexuality is that there actually is a risk of disease. We do have a cure for many diseases, but not all, and as long as those diseases exist there will be a logical, humanistic reason for morals to exist, even if those morals are as simple as "it's moral to use a condom or get tested". As we cure more and more diseases, all sexual activities become more moral. I'll take a brief detour to mention that, today, we are under lockdown and consider it immoral to expose oneself to Coronavirus not because we might catch it, but because we might spread it to others, thus we do alter morality due to disease. Unfortunately not all sexual activities are equal when it comes to spreading diseases, anal receptive sex has always had the highest risk, while women who have sex with women have the lowest risk. Related to this, having fewer sexual partners is more moral than having many partners, with little regard to the total amount of sexual activity occurring.

This leads to a series of morals, which you can probably guess at and I will confirm they result in double standards for gender and orientation. But, there's a curious result. Having one long term or lifelong partner more or less eliminates the chance of a disease spreading, and thus becomes a moral act regardless of the genders involved. In other words, it makes perfect sense for society to embrace same sex marriage regardless of any reasons to discourage male homosexuality. Thoughts? CoryUsar (talk) 07:26, 29 April 2020 (UTC)

'The real, original reason for the taboo against homosexuality is that there actually is a risk of disease.' sources for this shit please. AMassiveGay (talk) 10:19, 29 April 2020 (UTC)
Same. Fear of disease correlates to some degree with racism, but I've never heard that about homophobia. Religious traditionalism / fundamentalism and authoritarianism seem to be the dominant root of homophobia. Also, the health benefits of marriage extend beyond the lessening of the transmission of STDs. It is one of the positive outcomes of legal gay marriage, but not the only one. Still worth mentioning, of course. Soundwave106 (talk) 12:59, 29 April 2020 (UTC)
From the CDC, HIV transmission rates.
There's a few curious things. Due to the social, psychological and bonding aspects, in itself (consensual) sex is a moral positive, regardless of genders involved. There really are only 2 things that make it a negative; unwanted pregnancies and disease. Well, emotional damage from cheating and betrayal as well, but that's not really relevant for this. A longterm monogamous relationship doesn't have any significant chance of spreading disease regardless of genders, but homosexual sex does not carry the risk of unwanted pregnancy. Therefore, a longterm same sex relationship is actually more moral than a heterosexual relationship, not less. In the world where we cure all diseases, homosexuality itself is the "better" option. CoryUsar (talk) 15:14, 29 April 2020 (UTC)
that link does not in any way support the statement 'The real, original reason for the taboo against homosexuality is that there actually is a risk of disease.' are you suggesting folk in the dark ages were worried about aids? AMassiveGay (talk) 15:34, 29 April 2020 (UTC)
They were worried about ALL diseases. Hepatitis also has higher transmission rates among men who have sex with men, as does syphilis. The people of the Bronze Age would've noted that men who have sex with men (MSM) were more likely to catch diseases in general, even though they would've had no understanding of germ theory. They would've viewed MSM as being "cursed" in some fashion, and thus develop a taboo. This taboo was then carried forward through the centuries, and we should understand why it exists at all in order to adjust our morality to properly suit the modern world. CoryUsar (talk) 15:46, 29 April 2020 (UTC)
I think you are viewing ancient culture through an Abrahamic religious context. The problem here is that many other ancient civilizations (you can start with China, Japan, and ancient Greece and Rome, among the rest) practiced / embraced / tolerated various forms of homosexuality (often this tied in with entirely different constructs of sexuality than the modern worldview, in fact). If the fear of disease was the dominant driver of homophobia, why did these other ancient cultures not worry about it? Outside of the Abrahamic religions, few did. So you'd have to restrict your argument to whether or not disease perhaps unconsciously played a role in Leviticus, where the homosexual stigma began. I am not finding any suggestion of this from any scholar so far, so until this sort of evidence exists, I feel that such remains speculative. (Remember, Leviticus forbids unusual things like wearing clothes of two materials, which has no correlation to disease at all. Although maybe the ancient Leviticus authors *thought* this, I'll concede -- even world leaders today like Donald "inject bleach to cure COVID-19" Trump have weird beliefs on what cures disease. But that's only "speculative", there are other speculations why this decree exists.) Soundwave106 (talk) 17:00, 29 April 2020 (UTC)
back min the day syphilis was endemic and it had nothing to do with gays. AMassiveGay (talk) 17:14, 29 April 2020 (UTC)
Yes, I suppose I am viewing the ancient world through an Abrahamic religious context. Kind of hard not to, considering that half the world is either Christian or Muslim. And yes, I will concede it's more conjecture than established fact, something that I will admit I have a problem with. Even so, I think it does make an interesting logical argument regarding same sex marriage. CoryUsar (talk) 18:23, 29 April 2020 (UTC)
At least in the US, differently gendered marriage is still not a good idea unless 1. you want to combine incomes and 2. you need to combine incomes. Like, who actually complains about marriage as a MORAL contract and believes in marriage as a state issued LEGAL contract? Certainly not people who think marital rape is impossible. You can still get married religiously without the law, look at deep polygamy Mormons, at least they know what they're trying to do. Endorsing stupid attempts at moral marriage is why promise rings are happy little things and not legally binding contracts. One Direction would be in huge trouble if that were the case. A promise ring is the same dip shit magic spell that a legal religious marriage is supposed to be, just with an "it's not legal because it's not real" caveat. Why on earth would we legalize magic spell marriage? Magic spell marriage is more likely to wed a man to a cat than legal same-sex marriage is to rip apart the fabric of humanity. But looking to old culture as a model for the way forward, I dunno, sounds like deep polygamy Mormon justification to me. A lot of that sexual freedom was built into power structures that didn't care much about sexual agency or consent. I dunno, I just doubt sexual agency or consent was really a part of those cultures' conversations, and I guess what I'm asking is, what do we take moving forward and what do we leave to old societies? Gol Sarnitt (talk) 02:14, 30 April 2020 (UTC)

I had to take a few deep breaths after reading this. Here is a bullet list of some responses:

  • Cultural traits are not necessarily for the betterment of society. They can persist despite being toxic and detrimental to all
  • Cultural traits can be accepted and integrated into a culture through random chance and it is not the case that all of them are manifested through some cultural sub-conscious logic
  • You can judge any action through any moral system you like. The fact that it happened in a different context does not automatically shield them from moral judgement. Why would it? Homophobia is pointless now in Pakistan, in a highly conservative family in Texas or in the Israeli desert a few thousand years ago. Slavery was grotesque in Ancient Egypt, Rome and in the United States.
  • Technology doesn't dictate sexual tolerance. Homosexuality was relatively tolerated in South East Asia, several Indo-European pagan societies well before the scientific method emerged. LGTBQ+ acceptance has emerged almost entirely with the increasing level of secularization and the end of the influence of Abrahamic religions (especially Christianity). The relationship is a lot more clearer than the advancement with technology as those advancements were not particularly notable in the 19th century when technology and the economy grew rapidly though secularization was slower than the 20th century (when LGTBQ+ rights notably emerged).
  • If the identity of the parent of a child was so central to sexual morality then gay sex would be heartily accepted because no children resulted and no confusion over parents identity. So what is your point there?
  • Your linking of homophobia to the spreading of STDs is grotesque. What the fuck?
  • Getting married doesn't stop infidelity or STD spreading. It puts a ring on fingers and a promise not to do it. Married couples, gay or straight, still fuck around in surprising numbers.
  • People shouldn't embrace queer marriage because it would mean more life-long partners , they should embrace it because they don't have any fucking reasonable argument against it in the first place except a deeply ingrained hatred towards it mostly fueled by Abrahamic religions (Christianity and Islam and to a lesser extent Judaism).

ShabiDOO 05:59, 30 April 2020 (UTC)

Well put Shabidoo.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 16:08, 30 April 2020 (UTC)
I will be fair, the argument this person was making was that marriage -- by encouraging monogamous relationships -- does decrease the risk of STDs. This is not an invalid argument. This IMHO is also an argument you can use against what I would call "moralists" to maybe get them to think about things from a different perspective. From my perspective, the primary argument for gay marriage is that humans do pair-bond typically in a semi-monogamous manner, and our legal and financial system is designed around this notion. Homosexual couples pair bond too (as anyone who actually knows a gay couple knows), but without a system to legally recognize this pairing, they get screwed out of all kinds of things. This is a rather heady argument and the moral high-and-mighty tend not to be deep thinkers, so throwing the "discouraging hedonism" argument at them gets them to think in their framework. As I said, it's not necessarily incorrect to think this as a benefit, even though, as you said, marriage isn't foolproof regarding "fucking around" by any means and I wouldn't regard this as the primary reason to advance gay marriage. Soundwave106 (talk) 13:20, 30 April 2020 (UTC)
So many things wrong with your arguments. In no particular order, here are my responses.
1) "Cultural traits are not necessarily for the betterment of society"
Yes and no. They usually are. Many cultural traits are unimportant, minor things that will get added or lost with little consequence, e.g., types of music preferred, style of clothing, etc. Others are a bit more odd, such as how food is prepared. However, in absence of anything, entrenched homophobia is a massive detriment to society. You are basically turning an entire swath of society into outcasts, creating a massive vulnerability that your enemies could easily exploit. It was exploited by the Soviets during the Cold War, via blackmail of closeted agents and other forms of infiltration. The same argument, of course, could be made against having any entrenched forms of bigotry, such as racism and sexism. Partially why for nationalistic reasons, I believe it's incredibly important to have radical inclusion. But back in the day? There was indeed a reason to have sexual mores, even unfair ones, that extended beyond "let's just be assholes".
2)"Technology doesn't dictate sexual tolerance"
Uh, no, technology dictates ALL morality. World peace is only possible now thanks to a combination of many things that enable people to become wealthier and survive through means other than murdering your neighbors and stealing their land.
3)"Getting married doesn't stop infidelity or STD spreading"
Doesn't stop it entirely, but does reduce it a lot.
4)"Your linking of homophobia to the spreading of STDs is grotesque. What the fuck?"
But not factually wrong. As I'm going to reiterate here, sex is in itself a moral act, it only become immoral when there's issues of consent, there's a risk of disease, there's the chance of unwanted children, and issues arising from betrayal. Ignoring consent and betrayal, which are the same for homosexual and heterosexual pairings, there's only disease and children. Due to lack of children, it's entirely possible for (male) homosexual sex to be more moral than heterosexual sex, depending on the relationships involved. CoryUsar (talk) 23:00, 30 April 2020 (UTC)
Okay. Let's do this one by one:
  1. Could you please explain how being terrified of albinos in West AFrica, chasing them and beating them to death in the street is useful to society...(in a way that could not easily be realized without it)?? How is rampant homophobia and violence against gay people useful to modern Afghani culture...(in a way that could not easily be realized without it)?? How is male-pederasty in Papua New Guinea useful to that soeity (in a way that could not easily be realized without it)?
  2. How to you explain the technological backwardness of many past societies that were very accepting of LGTB? How do you explain technologically extremely advanced countries on Earth that are fiercely violently homophobic?How do you explain the relative lack of acceptance of LGTB during centuries of technological advancement? How do you explain the MUCH MUCH higher correlation between secularization and acceptance of LGTB???
  3. You said having a lifetime partner more or less eliminates the chance of a disease spreading. You have now adjusted this to "cuts down on it a lot". Most academic surveys I've read pin infidelity rates at about 20% so...we've come along way from your original argument which is pretty naive.
  4. If it is factually correct then provide your source? What kind of studies or research have you read that demonstrates how homophobia emerged over fear of gay-sex spreading disease? That's the first I've heard of this in my life outside extremely homophobic tropes. Names of books or articles please. ShabiDOO 03:37, 1 May 2020 (UTC)
  1. Way to strawman. Usually useful, and furthermore, just because something was useful once absolutely doesn't mean it should continue. More importantly, just because a society has a set of ethical codes doesn't mean they have the best possible set of ethical codes they could have, and everything should be understood and reevaluated constantly. Just because something was "good" to do long ago does not mean it is good to do today.
  2. They didn't have the diseases we have today? Syphilis was unknown in Europe until the 16th century, and HIV unknown entirely until the 20th. It's not a matter of whether or not society has thermometers, microscopes, and sudoku puzzles. It's a matter of what societies had to deal with and what they were capable of doing. 5 months ago, it wasn't immoral to go outside in large groups.
  3. You do realize that an infidelity rate of 20% is more or less equivalent to a vaccination rate of 80%, right? If 80% of people are vaccinated against a disease, the rate of infection goes down by more than 80%, herd immunity and all.
  4. No, you were complaining that I was being for grotesque for suggesting that anal sexual intercourse had higher rates of disease transmission. As for whether or not this was the original cause of homophobia, 1) already admitted this was conjecture on my part, admittedly it's a bit of a post hoc explanation, 2) whether or not a society knows why a set of morals are "better" or "worse" is actually not important, 3) HIV/AIDS did fuel homophobia in the 1980's even if it wasn't the spark, and 4) whether or not it was the original cause is not the point I'm making; that the "best" system of morals for a society are dependent upon what societies have to deal with and how they are capable of dealing with it, and that encouraging same sex marriage is actually a Good Thing for society.
Because you know, we all have to adjust our behavior today to try to prevent deaths from coronavirus even if we aren't at risk? And how as soon as it ends our behavior will change again? That's kind of what got me thinking along the lines of "gee, what other ways does/should society adjust what is ethical due to disease". CoryUsar (talk) 04:39, 1 May 2020 (UTC)
^Agree. Is there any historical evidence people even associated homosexuality with disease prior to the 19th/20th century? Huge swathes of the European population had STI's throughout history. It's certainly true that anal sex can transmit infections more easily. But the idea that homophobia developed out of a fear of disease thousands of years ago seems unfounded. HIV/AIDS wasn't present in most of these cultures back then so there is very little way of telling who was 'diseased' and who wasn't. A few asian countries express more of a disgust towards lesbians than gay men. --Debunky (talk) 04:28, 1 May 2020 (UTC)
  1. No straw-manning here. You just avoided answering my question. It's a "hey look over there" while I run away and not have to answer what you asked in any meaningful way. That's intellectual fraud. Please start explaining the use for any of the three toxic cultural traits I mentioned in any context that cannot easily be realized in another way...including homophobia.
  2. So now you've gone from no infidelity, to greatly reduced rate to this extremely bizarre "herd immunity" re: STDs. That is a fantastic claim. What's your source on that? I've never ever ever heard of herd immunity via STDs. Book or name of article please.
  3. No I wasn't challenging a claim that there have, at least at times, been a higher transmission rate of STDs vi unprotected gay anal sex. That's pretty uncontroversial. I was incredulous that you'd claim that this is how homophobia emerged. Where is your evidence? Give me your source that backs this claim up. Name of book. Name of article.
  4. Again re technology and queer acceptance which you completely avoided in your response. I would still like to know how you respond to my counter-examples but much more importantly I'd like to know where you go this argument from. That is specifically the relationship between technology and queer acceptance. Name of Book. Name of article. I'm waiting for it please. Stop stalling and back up your claims. ShabiDOO 06:39, 1 May 2020 (UTC)
  1. No, they really aren't useful for society. Thus the qualifier "usually".
  2. Ok, I think I see the confusion. Instead of writing "Uh, no, technology dictates ALL morality", it should've been "Uh, no, technology dictates THE BEST POSSIBLE SET OF morality". Mea culpa. What people have as their morals isn't necessarily the best system of morals. The best system of morals, the ones that would produce the maximum possible outcome for society (which is a subjective measure, admittedly), is most definitely going to depend upon the environment and technology. Even if we were to somehow end all separate countries and create a "Earth Union", what is good for one area of the world may not be good for another. There's valid reasons for the Norwegian islands of Svaldbard to make gun ownership mandatory due to polar bears, even if such a law would be insane in London. It may be more moral to go vegan in parts of the world where the food supply is both varied and reliable, but asking a tribal society that doesn't always know where their next meal comes from to give up hunting or herding would be beyond cruel.
  3. Again, conjecture on my part about how homophobia got started in the Abrahamic world. If you have a society that had acceptance of homosexuality, it's going to take a pretty damned big reason for society to just get up and say "well, let's make my life miserable now".
  4. Once again, I think we are talking past each other, and I think it's my fault. The best possible system of morals is going to be dependent on a whole slew of factors. In a hypothetical world that's identical to the one today with the exceptions that vaccines and antibiotics are instantly winked out of existence, the best system of morals we could have in such a world is going to be different from the best system of morals we currently have. We see that, RIGHT NOW, with the introduction of a disease for which the best means of control we have is "avoid being in large groups". TODAY, NOW, it isn't just often illegal to host a large party, it's absolutely immoral. Unless you want to argue with me on the word "absolute". If tomorrow, an incurable and extremely virulent strain of super-syphilis were to spread, the best possible sexual morals would change. And if the day after, not only did we find the cure but the cure for all other STDs and convenient, 100% effective birth control, our attitudes would change as well. In the world where we develop nanotech that made your choice of gender be about as difficult as your choice of socks, again, we'd definitely rethink quite a few things as well. In the world with uplifted sentient animals, again, we'd have to ask a few questions. In the world where not only could we have prenatal screenings for sexuality, but have the technology to rewrite the sexuality or even gender of the fetus (e.g., CRISPR), that would create extremely interesting ethical questions for which I'm not comfortable answering. Is it ethical to alter a child's sexuality? Given that men have lower life expectancies and a higher risk of violence, would being male be a defect to be fixed? There are a slew of science fiction books that do touch on this question; the nanotech trans scenario I gave was actually from a scifi anthology book I read 20 years ago, about a man and woman (of indeterminate original genders, or species for that matter) about to be married only for the man's ex girlfriend (now some sort of living cybernetic "human") to show up and complicate things. CoryUsar (talk) 09:07, 1 May 2020 (UTC)
what the fuck is this point of this? The original post was at best a mundane point - a long term monogomous relationship reduces rates of STDs. No shit sherlock. You could left it at that. Falling marriage rates in general mean you dont have to mention homosexuality at all. Especially with an argument for marriage equality that equates homosexuality firmly with promiscuity and disease. With the black and white moral judgement and glaringly false statement on the origin of homophobia (an assumption based on seemingly nothing, ignoring how homophobia waxed and waned, through time and place, how it spread across tne globe with empire, all before germ theory and basic hygiene like washing ones hands where unknown. It stands when the black and white morality you are pushing ignores that no one is exactly saying promiscuity is a ok, least of all the gays. We have had decades of hiv/aids and millions dead to hammer home that one, and its not even gays with the highscore there. Doubling down with further assumptions ('pretty damn big reason'? Just fuck off there) while modern std stats do not support your ideas of a vastly different bronze age worldd demographics only reinforce the sense of victim blaming and filthy gays.
all for a mundane point that could have left the gays out entirely and just said. Keep it in your pants. The problem with this moralising is not just the obviousness, nor that you have not even attempted to define just what these morals you claim to be rewriting. Its how clear cut you try to make it. There is much variety among many groups concerning morality sexual or otherwise. The reasons for why some is moral or not differ. Your rationales for much of this are arbitrary, ignoring some factors over others. They arent wrong so much as to clear cut as to ignore the murky realities of life, ignore the different risk factors, for different groups for different actions, how some actions are unavailable to some groups, the effect that has morality. If promiscuity is immoral, but marriage is moral, but not available to in your country. the morality is meaningless if the state doesnt recognise your relationships, or even condemns them.
the morality of thing is meaningless also if you accept a thing is such but ignore. Condom use has been known to prevent hiv infections for ages, yet there is still hiv. Condom usage has been declining for years - since before prep. In the western world its not like they are big secret or a hard to find and expensive luxery. Laziness, poor assessment, kill the moment, general fatigue, just this once. Habits form. Black and white morality, this is immoral, you are bad person. In the real world life is messy. People are messy.
long term relationships are safer than orgies thus You are good person. But Celibacy's even safer, so you are a monster and a whore.
the world keeps turning and morality shifts with the seasons. This is banal.AMassiveGay (talk) 15:25, 1 May 2020 (UTC)
I just can't read this whole thread. But, has anyone pointed out that historically gay couples were likely discouraged because rapid population growth was of great importance in any nascent culture because of mortality from war, plagues, famines, etc? I know from reading Will Durant that homosexual pairings in ancient Greece were frowned upon, though homosexuality was very common. Ariel31459 (talk) 23:03, 2 May 2020 (UTC)
Yep, similarly in Ancient Rome homosexual behavior was considered unremarkable, but it was every citizen's duty to pop out babbies for Rome. WP has a pretty good Sexuality in Ancient Rome article. Marriage among citizens was all about creating a new household with the pater familias, so the idea of "gay marriage" didn't even make sense. Which man would be the head of the household, and where would the kids come from? Women's duty was to marry and have kids and obey their husbands. -- (talk) 03:28, 3 May 2020 (UTC)
As I understand it, in ancient Greece, or some parts of it, homosexuality was only accepted or encouraged to a point. It generally took the form of a youth accepting an older male as a lover/mentor. It was considered disgraceful to be considered fully adult, and be bottom in a homosexual relationship. In other parts Sparta for example, homosexual relationships were encouraged as they thought men would fight harder if their lovers thought alongside them. It's foolish to think attitudes were were uniform across societies, or such couplings were always tolerated or acceptable. Things are never clear cut, and things tolerated that we would consider acceptable today would practised with things we would seen as hideously backward and intolerant. Abrahamic homophobia spreading as the Christianity and Islam spread should be seen as cementing or magnifying existing prejudices rather than importing what was probably already present to varying degrees. AMassiveGay (talk) 18:12, 3 May 2020 (UTC)

(reset) With Leviticus and clothing - the different fibres might well wear out at different rates, thus making the cloth less stable - and it might also be a relic of an otherwise forgotten trade union/craft guilds dispute. Anna Livia (talk) 09:49, 8 May 2020 (UTC)

When I watched the Day After Tomorrow as a child[edit]

Let us set the way back machine to 2006 and when my brain dead dad was still kicking.

I was at the scene when it showed the main characters in the library with a fire place.......

Dad: If something like this happened we could make a bonfire in the basement

Mom: That would burn the house down

Me: There would also be the issue of Carbon Monoxide poisoning.

The house I used to live in at the time was not in good condition as is. That would be the worst possible idea. I will never forget that one. --Racia zombio94 (talk) 12:03, 29 April 2020 (UTC)


So the governor of North Carolina has given the green flag (no pun...never mind it was intended) to run the Coca-Cola 600 this year: obviously it will be without spectators in the stands, but it will still, of course, be televised like it always is. Never thought in a million years I would say this in 2020, but I'm really looking forward to it. I haven't watched NASCAR regularly since 2011, but I'm a big sports fan (go Rangers, Stars, Mavericks, and fuck the Cowboys) so you can imagine that things for the past 45 days have been a bit, well, tedious I guess. But the idea of getting to watch a LIVE NASCAR race on a Sunday evening is honestly one of the most exciting thoughts for me right now. The whole E-league NASCAR tournament going on right now might work GREAT for like a one-off event, but getting people to be engaged in it long(ish) term is practically impossible.

Because I haven't watched NASCAR regularly since 2011, a lot of the younger drivers I'm largely unfamiliar with, and I've heard there HAVE been some BS changes made (whoever invented the "segmented racing" bullshit needs to be shot to the moon). Nonetheless, I will gladly take an exciting NASCAR race with crashes over boring-ass golf. Aaronmichael5 12:43 29 April 2020 (UTC)

Politically, you'd think NASCAR would be far more popular at these boards.
It's about the only you'll see that many rednecks willingly turn to the left. Fuck regrets. Kencolt (talk) 23:45, 29 April 2020 (UTC)
One time I saw a car with a NASCAR number tag decal on the back window and the license plate was vanity "HITNFLIP" and I was like "WHOAH NO" Bump and spin maybe, I get that doesn't fit on a license plate, but the fuck kind of death race do you tune in for? Gol Sarnitt (talk) 00:19, 1 May 2020 (UTC)
Figure 8 racing and demolition derbies exist (and, to show that this spirit is semi-universal, there's banger races across the pond). Go figure, some people just want to see shit crash and burn. In line with half of my family being originally from Indiana, I'm more in the Indycar camp when it comes to auto racing. Soundwave106 (talk) 12:57, 1 May 2020 (UTC)

The internet is talking about the fucking "Navy UFO" shit again[edit]

How many times are they going to come back to this well and post headlines like "The Military Just Released proof of UFOS"? This is at least the fourth time I've seen the exact same headlines and comments about it. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 13:42, 29 April 2020 (UTC)

It gets clicks. Oxyaena Harass 13:44, 29 April 2020 (UTC)
Click Bait media makes mountains of cash. Perfect scam. --Racia zombio94 (talk) 02:21, 1 May 2020 (UTC)
I know the US government isn't hiding space aliens. I know this because Trump hasn't said racist and xenophobic shit about them and then threatened to declare war. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 04:14, 1 May 2020 (UTC)

A complaint...[edit]

Or, how most right-wingers don't know anything about the virus, and the only ones who do keep pointing fingers at random shit, it's vaccines, it's 5G, it's Reptilians, etc. It wouldn't be surprising if they all either died or do some hate crime against Asians.Jeh2ow Damn son! 21:56, 29 April 2020 (UTC)

Yeah, people in my country are starting to believe the 5G BS as well. Literally getting these sources from american cranks (thanks, America!). Gunther8787 (talk) 22:59, 29 April 2020 (UTC)
On behalf of the US- sorry dude. --Racia zombio94 (talk) 00:31, 30 April 2020 (UTC)
Oh, it's been like this for a few years. Ever since the Nationalists were in charge (they want us to become just like the US). Some of them even want someone like Trump in charge, because he's a "good guy" (Dafuq??) and "cares for his people, since he isn't an evil money stealing socialist" (they've been in some scandals over the past 2 decades and one back in 1995). Gunther8787 (talk) 07:47, 30 April 2020 (UTC)
You're welcome. Oxyaena Harass 07:48, 30 April 2020 (UTC)

Neoliberalism apologetics?[edit]

This is a tweet conversation from the Young Liberals with a guy called Tristian after they retweeted this tweet, saying "A very subtle manifesto" with the ok-sign:

Tristian: "I don't know what world you live in, but a neo-liberal paradise already exists across the ocean and there is inequality all around the clock."

Young Liberals: "I will summarize the text below. The US has nothing to do with that." They attached this picture to that tweet.

Tristian: " 'Deregulation of employment and housing'. Then people with low wages will get even fewer rights, will houses become even more expensive? Your free market ideology doesn't work and it never will."

Young Liberals: "No, we want house prices to drop. A good example is the US. NIMBYs provide huge zoning laws so that nothing can be built or increased. Interstellar prices as a result. @YIMBYNeoliberal follows this up well."

1. Is this one of the apologetic tactics that NeoLibturds use?

2. Who are "YIMBYNeoliberal" exactly? They're american, so I thought that some people might know more about them (since the mayority of people here are from the US). Heck, maybe they worthy of a page. Gunther8787 (talk) 21:59, 29 April 2020 (UTC)

It sounds like a combination of YIMBYWikipedia (pro housing development) and neoliberalismWikipedia (which is an extremely blurry term so who knows what they think it is). @YIMBYNeoliberal doesn't have too many subscribers. I think elements of both what Tristian and the Young Liberal account are saying are right, they seem to be just too busy flexing their egotistical paradigms to notice (oh typical Internet!). Soundwave106 (talk) 01:58, 30 April 2020 (UTC)

I need some help with some cognitive dissonance related to acupuncture[edit]

I try to follow rationalism (as in modern rationalism, not the philosophy opposed to empiricism) as much as possible every day while also following Hinduism and I believe I am successful in this. Recently though, I've struggled to follow rationalism due to my mother's experiences with acupuncture. My mother isn't the kind of person to push pseudoscience especially since she works with pharmacists. My mother has (or I guess had) arthritis in her thumbs, she was given medicine and it didn't ever work. She later went to a chiropractor who also does acupuncture and after a few acupuncture "sessions" she hasn't had pain in the thumbs since. I hope I don't come off as pro-acupuncture because I'm not and I still believe it's a bunch of bullshit but how in the fuck to I explain this to myself? Is it placebo or something? I'm real fuckin confused. Please help. RationalHindu (talk) 14:44, 30 April 2020 (UTC)

It's a placebo, remember placebos do work to alleviate symptoms, and can be helpful if no other treatment venues are available. Oxyaena Harass 14:57, 30 April 2020 (UTC)
Remember that people recover from illness naturally from time to time(or often, depending on the illness). What establishes a medical procedure as working is blinded placebo controlled studies. If a random person, even a random person you know and care about, recovers with a treatment, there's no way to know if they'd have recovered without treatment. This is what scientific controls give us. Some meaningful insight about the alternate world where you didn't do X. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 15:02, 30 April 2020 (UTC)
It may we be regression to the mean otherwise known as "things often get better by themselves". So let's say someone tries homeopathy, urine therapy and acupuncture - and the condition gets better after acupuncture then there is a tendency to fall for the correlation does not imply causation trap and believe that the last thing you tried fixed the problem. Whereas, in fact, they were just going to get better anyway.
I'm not saying this was the case with your mother - maybe acupuncture was the only thing she tried. In which case I'd just go with "regression to the mean".
If you can't quite accept this explanation then you need to go looking to see how many well-controlled, double-blind studies show the efficacy of acupuncture. If you can't find any - or they are vastly outnumbered by those which show no effect then you will be back with the explanations I proposed. Good luck!Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 16:05, 30 April 2020 (UTC)
Acupuncture does have actual effects. You are literally doing tiny bits of damage to the body, and this provokes an actual, biological response, one of which can be the release of endorphins. These may suppress pain or cause you to feel good, but feeling good and actually being good are not the same thing. The problem with having your immune system and other forms of repair work overtime is that it wears your body out faster, and in some small part, acupuncture will cause you to age more rapidly. CoryUsar (talk) 21:58, 30 April 2020 (UTC)

8values experiment 1: Wingnut answers[edit]

So, I decided to play around with the 8values test and tried to answer as Alt-Right/Far-Right as possible (the 2 biggest parties are Right-wing & Far-Right, so I see & read their shit (and their kool-aid voters) almost daily). The result is this.

Eh, what's Capitalist Fascism? Is this Far-Right enough? Gunther8787 (talk) 15:05, 30 April 2020 (UTC)

Capitalist fascism is essentially just the typical values of fascism (test values not irl values) but with a higher "market" value. Nazism is a result you can get on that quiz if you wanna go "farther right"— Unsigned, by: RationalHindu / talk / contribs
It sounds like what you did is answer with what policies the right likes in the US. But it's important to understand that the far right isn't really defined by policy or even goals. Being capitalists is an artifact of being in a capitalist society. There's a couple aesthetic characters that really define being a far right movement member. One: the division of the world into good guys and bad guys, as well as winners and losers, and the desire to make sure the "good guys" are sorted into winners and the "bad guys" get sorted into losers. And usually there's some kind of constructed narrative about how people just like the holder of those views are the top of society. Two: "There's a right way to do things, and that's how things were done when I was 14"
There's an extent to which that's just human nature, but with the right, it becomes the very defining characteristic of their views. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 15:31, 30 April 2020 (UTC)
Yeah, the Far-Righters over here do have a very progressive stance towards Retirement Pensions and wages for the lower classes (although, I'm pretty sure the latter one is for votes, since they always hated people who get money from the state...). Gunther8787 (talk) 15:40, 30 April 2020 (UTC)

Experiment 2: Moonbat edition[edit]

I tried doing it the other way around, and got this (some moonbats in my country have similar opinions with wingnuts).

I think I did something wrong. I really thought the result would be "Communism" or "Hardcore Communism"... Gunther8787 (talk) 15:37, 30 April 2020 (UTC)

Don't call us "moonbats," thanks. Oxyaena Harass 18:00, 30 April 2020 (UTC)
https://i.ibb.co/RQBS1C9/2020-04-30-2036.png Gunther8787 (talk) 18:39, 30 April 2020 (UTC)
You know oxy, I think you gotta take the L on that one. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 19:27, 30 April 2020 (UTC)
That's an old userbox. We're not equivalent to wingnuts, that's a fallacious use of horseshoe theory. Oxyaena Harass 22:30, 30 April 2020 (UTC)