Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the free-speech?-who-needs-it,-amiright? dept

This week, we pointed out the disturbing synergy between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on the subject of encryption, the internet and free speech. Three of our four top-voted comments this week come in response to that post, with first place for insightful going to Eric for an observation that's difficult to ignore:

Bad people used guns to commit crime..."We CANNOT regulate guns to stop this..."
Bad people used the internet to commit crime..."We MUST regulate free speech/the internet to stop this..."

Our second place winner for insightful comes from our own Tim Geigner aka Dark Helmet in response to one of the most bizarre and ridiculous comments on that post, accusing Bernie Sanders of being "a Democratic Socialist and so was the Nazi party":

You're fucking kidding me, right? The Nazis were NOT Democratic Socialists, they were National Socialist, from which they derive the Nazi name and also I hate you for being this stupid. The Nazis were a far right organization, on the other end of the political spectrum from Sanders and Democratic Socialists. Notable Democratic Socialists, other than Sanders, include:

1. Christopher Hitchens
2. Albert Fucking Einstein
3. Bertrand Russell
4. John Dewey
5. David Ben-Gurion

If you're any indication of the level of intellect of the American voter, however, we're all fucked and let's all welcome our winners from the Trump/Carson ticket and enjoy the disaster to come.

Jesus fucking Christ....

For editor's choice on the insightful side, we'll start out with a response to another post about Clinton doubling down on her attacks on the internet, where HegemonicDistortion latched on to her description of freedom of speech as a "familiar complaint":

So freedom of speech (presumably privacy and security, too) is a "complaint," not a right, and the Constitution is just an obstacle to be circumvented to her.

Next, we've got a response to our post about Disney sending DMCA notices over photos of people's legally bought Star Wars toys. We noted that this simply has to be an illegal abuse of the DMCA, and one anonymous commenter pointed out that even if it is, that doesn't really matter:

No one will be arrested.

No fine for DMCA abuse will be large enough to not be considered a 'cost of doing business'.

No prosecutor will put their re-election in jeopardy.

No CEO will be willing to take the market hit that doing battle with Disney will cost.

Any attempt to flood the Interwebs with millions of images at a rate far greater than any bot can issue takedowns, will be met with those takedowns inevitably arriving and ISP's will dirty their underwear in the process of tripping over each other to implement those takedowns.

Theater goers will be asked if they have been to Walmart recently, and will be denied entrance for yes responses (them told to come back in a few months after all the spoilers have been spoiled).

Man, Disney sure buys good laws.

For first place over on the funny side, we return to the week's most popular post, were the winner is actually a response to Tim's comment above. Jupiterkansas was most intrigued by number two on the list of examples:

TIL Einstein's middle name.

For second place, we move away from the presidential candidates but not from the subject of encryption — this time it's Rep. Michael McCaul, head of the House Homeland Security Committee, calling for an impossible magical back door. One anonymous commenter pointed out an additional way in which the government's demands are problematic:

If Silicon Valley were to make a magic backdoor that only opened for the good guys with pure intentions, the government wouldn't be able to access it anyway, so I'm not sure why they're pushing for it.

For editor's choice on the funny side, we start with a response to calls from the SEC, DOJ and law enforcement to rewrite email privacy laws in their favour, citing the reluctance of many people to hand their personal information over to the government. JD noticed that by simply removing the word "subpoena" from their statement, it can take on a new meaning:

Minus one word ...
In certain instances, the person whose emails are sought will respond to our request. But in other instances, the recipient may have erased emails, tendered only some emails, asserted damaged hardware, or refused to respond – unsurprisingly, individuals who violate the law are often reluctant to produce to the government evidence of their own misconduct.
But enough about FOIA requests ....

Finally, we head back one more time to our post about Hillary Clinton's comments about free speech, which were driven largely by a desire to squeeze out ISIS, leading one anonymous commenter to hatch a brilliant plan:

I have the solution, lets put RIAA on the speech!
If we declare all ISIS, terrorists speech to be copyrighted by RIAA they will have it taken down by the days end. Problem solved.

That's all for this week, folks!

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  • icon
    John David Galt (profile), 13 Dec 2015 @ 12:49pm

    Things you can't un-read

    If Silicon Valley were to make a magic backdoor that only opened for the good guys with pure intentions, the government wouldn't be able to access it anyway, so I'm not sure why they're pushing for it.

    Why does this make "Sleeping Beauty does Anal" pop into my head?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Dec 2015 @ 1:06pm

      Re: Things you can't un-read

      Is that one of those direct-to-dvd Disney movies I haven't heard of? I'll have to order it for the grandkids.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 13 Dec 2015 @ 1:27pm

    TIL what “TIL” stands for

    Ah, Reddit, I never knew you.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Dec 2015 @ 1:58pm

    Bad people used guns to commit crime..."We CANNOT regulate guns to stop this..."
    Bad people used the internet to commit crime..."We MUST regulate free speech/the internet to stop this..."

    From a politicians viewpoint:
    People use guns to hurt each other, and our security keeps them away from us, we can live with that violence.
    People use free speech on the Internet to to tell of our misdeeds, and to organize, which could remove us from power, We need to kill it before that happens.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    David, 13 Dec 2015 @ 2:35pm

    List of Democratic Socialists

    That list should really include Willy Brandt. His genuflexion in Warsaw was one of the most symbolic post-war statements, even more so since he himself had to stay hidden and exiled in the resistance while the Nazis ruled.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Dec 2015 @ 3:54pm

    Sad about Dark Helment's lack of understanding of political views

    Political views are not a spectrum, but a ring. The far right and the far left are indistinguishable. Both want power and control over everyone else at the expense of everyone else. It is actually irrelevant the specific policies they might espouse on their way to domination since the end result (by any means possible) is to dominate.

    You cannot trust any of them as they all want to screw you over for their own personal gain.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Dec 2015 @ 4:15pm

      Re: Sad about Dark Helment's lack of understanding of political views

      The far right and the far left are indistinguishable.

      Wow. Talk about lack of understanding.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 13 Dec 2015 @ 5:11pm

        Re: Re: Sad about Dark Helment's lack of understanding of political views

        Then detail the functional difference? They both want subservience from the general population. They'll terminate opposition without qualm. They want their pleasure, status, wealth, power and control (aka perks). Any means by which they remain the top dogs is acceptable for use.

        So what is the functional difference?

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 14 Dec 2015 @ 4:22am

          Re: Re: Re: Sad about Dark Helment's lack of understanding of political views

          Then detail the functional difference? They both want subservience from the general population. They'll terminate opposition without qualm. They want their pleasure, status, wealth, power and control (aka perks). Any means by which they remain the top dogs is acceptable for use.

          You left out some more similarities. They both breathe air, nurse their young and have opposable thumbs. Yup, they're identical, alright. Indistinguishable from monkeys as well. Thanks for educating us all on that!

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 14 Dec 2015 @ 7:01am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Sad about Dark Helment's lack of understanding of political views

            Actually the first AC is correct - BUT - the American left (eg Sanders) is mostly nowhere near far enough around the ring for that topology to kick in - whereas the right is.

            The other point is that different strands of the extreme right hate each other as much or more than they hate the left. For example it is ironic that Trump suggests excluding Muslims from the US since Islam is itself an extreme right wing ideology. It is also strange that people on the left don't seem to see that.

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            • identicon
              Wendy Cockcroft, 15 Dec 2015 @ 7:47am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sad about Dark Helment's lack of understanding of political views

              Which ones? I see Aral Balkan bashing Islam all the time.

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            • identicon
              Wendy Cockcroft, 15 Dec 2015 @ 7:47am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sad about Dark Helment's lack of understanding of political views

              Which ones? I see Aral Balkan bashing Islam all the time.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Anonymous Coward, 13 Dec 2015 @ 4:21pm

      Re: Sad about Dark Helment's lack of understanding of political views

      While you may be correct about the circle metaphor you leave out the possibility for humans to engage in one of their favorite pastimes, labeling other humans, correctly or not. Without labels it is more difficult to maintain ones self-righteousness and dismiss others out of hand.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 13 Dec 2015 @ 5:47pm

        Re: Re: Sad about Dark Helment's lack of understanding of political views

        Without labels it is more difficult to maintain ones self-righteousness and dismiss others out of hand.
        I heartily agree. Without labels, you can't blame others for the various woes. Without labels, you cannot create an environment in which you can manipulate the population for your own agenda. Without labels, you can't create bogey-men to bring about your totalitarian wet-dreams. Without labels, you cannot make one group more important and special than another so that they become the privileged few.

        I just have to laugh at those who cannot recognise what is being said when you use the ring analogy for the political variation. Think really carefully about it and the light will go on. The idea inherent in the ring is ...

        Even the AC who made the apt observation
        It would be more accurate to at least depict a quadrant system of totalitarianism vs. democratic on one axis with liberal and conservative on the axis, though there might even be more nuance than a 2 axis diagram could depict.
        has missed the continuity observation that is inherent in the ring analogy, even though he/she uses the the same argument in the quadrant description above.

        Extremism is a relative political position and you can get to what you consider extreme by going in, shall we say, opposite directions. So, moderates are an extreme view, from the view of the totalitarian and you can get there by either going left or right.

        Humans aren't exactly known for their great intelligence or wisdom. We often get caught up in arguing over some point of view that actually has nothing to do with getting on with living and building a better today and tomorrow for everyone.

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        • identicon
          Socrates, 13 Dec 2015 @ 11:18pm

          Political labels

          I concur too, regarding the labels, and how they are used.

          I disagree strongly with mapping all political views of all people to your one dimensional ring. One reason it might seam that way is because puppet rulers waging war on their own population (or on others), by definition, belong to bigger power. And those big powers "own" a label.

          It does not make them extreme right or left, at all.


          The "totalitarianism vs. democratic axis + liberal vs. conservative" two dimensional map is even worse, because it were made and peddled as a deliberate scam.
          Falkvinge sums it up nicely. In many ways it have been a successful scam.

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          • identicon
            Socrates, 14 Dec 2015 @ 8:13am

            Errata. I still recommend it.

            Zacqary Adam Xeper is the writer of the explanation, not Rick Falkvinge. It is published at falkvinge.net

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 14 Dec 2015 @ 1:00am

          Re: Re: Re: Sad about Dark Helment's lack of understanding of political views

          The polar opposite to totalitarianism is anarchism, not conservatism.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Socrates, 14 Dec 2015 @ 2:00am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Sad about Dark Helment's lack of understanding of political views

            The Nolan Chart's differ. I find it funny that the "one chart to map them all", is so diverse.

            It is correct that totalitarianism and anarchism is polar opposites. Anarchism is the best and the most common form of governance; every time good friends is together as equals, anarchism thrives. The closest we have come to anarchism in large groups is various forms of democracy, where the majority decides how everyone (and thereby including the majority) shall be ruled, by a common force. Quite a bit from true anarchism, but possibly the closest we can get.
            It is impossible to make a group be ruled by anarchism. The harder anyone tries, the more like totalitarianism it becomes.

            Main Stream Media push the idea that anarchism is lawless, that socialism is gray and opposed to joy, and communism is dictatorship. And they rub our egos, we are the best, and the "others" isn't. And we cheer when we drop good bombs on people.

            It's important to understand that freedom needs rules. To be free, and not a slave, no one can have the freedom to make anyone into slaves, ever. It should be self evident. To many this seams to be a contradiction. Much of the confusion is deliberate.
            Murray Rothbard boasted in 1979: One gratifying aspect of our rise to some prominence is that, for the first time in my memory, we, “our side,” had captured a crucial word from the enemy…”Libertari­ans”…had long been simply a polite word for left-wing anarchists, that is for anti-private property anarchists, either of the communist or syndicalist variety. But now we had taken it over…

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 14 Dec 2015 @ 2:37am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sad about Dark Helment's lack of understanding of political views

              Democracy does not measure freedom, due the tyranny of the masses, and so does not give an end point on an axis that measures personal freedom. Indeed one flaw of democracies is that it can impose arbitrary rules on people, such as outlawing prostitution and the use of some drugs.
              The major flaw of exiting political systems is the inbuilt belief that their role is to create laws and regulations, rather than simply managing the services and infrastructure that a society needs to function. Because of this political systems drift towards totalitarianism.

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              • identicon
                Socrates, 14 Dec 2015 @ 5:08am

                Government

                Democracy does not measure freedom, due the tyranny of the masses, and so does not give an end point on an axis that measures personal freedom.
                As I said in the comment you replied to, it is probably the best we can make work for large groups. Large groups sadly includes criminals, cheaters, violent people, and people that make sub groups to leach and suppress others. Any system must handle this, with "carrot and stick".

                There will always be rulers. The rulers will always make the rules. Democracy is about whom the rulers is. For a functional democracy that is us. That is why ISDS is insanely dangerous.

                Indeed one flaw of democracies is that it can impose arbitrary rules on people, such as outlawing prostitution and the use of some drugs.
                What people can do to other people is one of the basic foundations for any society. It is what protects you and the ones you love. You may disagree with individual rules, this is quite OK.

                The major flaw of exiting political systems is the inbuilt belief that their role is to create laws and regulations,
                Well it is! Sunset rules (expiring dates) for laws may help against an excessive set of rules.

                Because of this political systems drift towards totalitarianism.
                No. Political systems tend to reward those who have enough resources to affect the political system. This is an iterative process. Though if the elections work this can be reigned in! With effort we can make it drift where we want it to.

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                • icon
                  Richard (profile), 14 Dec 2015 @ 7:11am

                  Re: Government

                  Political systems tend to reward those who have enough resources to affect the political system.

                  A really good point - maybe better than you realise it is.

                  After the second world war labour was in short supply and technology had reached a point where many semi-skilled workers were required. This gave bargaining power to the masses and ushered in a period when democracy seemed to mean something and the "1%" were in retreat. However times have changed again and billions of people in the former 3rd world have been added to the labour market - undermining the position of all but the elites in the West. Hence the 1% are back on top and our rights are being eroded again.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Dec 2015 @ 4:23pm

      Re: Sad about Dark Helment's lack of understanding of political views

      Bullshit. Political alignment isn't a ring. You can't be a totalitarian communist so much that you become a fascist if you keep becoming more extreme, or vice versa. There might be similarities between totalitarians on the left and right, but the extreme left of Soviet Russia isn't in the same area of a political diagram as the extreme left of the Democratic Socialists. The USSR was only communist nominally and was rather a totalitarian oligarchy/dictatorship. There was no ownership of anything by the people except in name only, which is to say there was none at all. Actual communism has never been attempted in anything larger than a small community.

      It would be more accurate to at least depict a quadrant system of totalitarianism vs. democratic on one axis with liberal and conservative on the axis, though there might even be more nuance than a 2 axis diagram could depict.

      Soviet Russia would at least nominally be in the totalitarian left quadrant, fascists and Donald Trump would be in the totalitarian right quadrant, Democratic Socialists would be in the democratic left quadrant, and libertarians would be on the democratic right quadrant, with others falling in between. Fox News conservatives would probably fall somewhere in the middle of the totalitarian/libertarian axis since they supposedly love freedom (to own guns) but oppose freedom (for women to control their own bodies) elsewhere.

      The only freedom that Democratic Socialists oppose is the freedom for the wealthy to abuse the poor and for the majority to abuse minorities.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 13 Dec 2015 @ 11:52pm

        Re: Re: Sad about Dark Helment's lack of understanding of political views

        > Bullshit. Political alignment isn't a ring.

        Of course it isn't.

        It's a 7-dimensional convex polytope with several toroidal aspects!

        Hey, if you're going to argue political topology, I'm more than happy to see you and raise you higher mathematics!

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 14 Dec 2015 @ 12:08am

          Re: Re: Re: Sad about Dark Helment's lack of understanding of political views

          I nominate you for funniest for this coming week.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Seegras (profile), 14 Dec 2015 @ 3:47am

      Re: Sad about Dark Helment's lack of understanding of political views

      It's wholly unrelated.

      "left" as in "socialist" and "right" as in "capitalist" are not related to the spectrum of "authoritarian" to "liberal".

      And with "liberal", I do mean "liberal", as in "opposed to censorship and surveillance, pro gay marriage, and against prohibition of drugs, guns, etc." It's about liberty, for everyone.

      Of the extremes, fascists and stalinists are both authoritarian, one capitalist, the other socialist; the other extreme is social anarchists and anarcho-capitalists which are both liberal, with the first one socialist and the second one capitalist, obviously.

      And trying to lump these together, just because they're extreme positions is totally bogus.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Dec 2015 @ 5:14pm

    "for women to control their own bodies"

    Abortion has nothing to do with women controlling their own bodies or not.

    It's illegal to kill another human being.

    If you consider the fetus to be a human being then killing it is no different than killing an adult.
    If you believe the fetus is just a non-human parasite in the woman's body then removing it seems perfectly fine and legal.

    The argument for or against abortion boils down to one question, is a fetus another human life or just part of the woman its in?

    I don't know the right answer so I take the position that I would not encourage a woman impregnated by me to have an abortion but I would not stop her either. I expect the state to take that same position and not fund abortions (encourage) and not stop them either.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 13 Dec 2015 @ 6:31pm

      Re: It's illegal to kill another human being.

      Is it a “human being” if it doesn’t actually have any human characteristics yet?

      Do women have less ownership over their own bodies than men do?

      Do sperm count as “human beings”?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      techflaws (profile), 13 Dec 2015 @ 9:43pm

      Re:

      It's illegal to kill another human being.

      Except when the state does it.

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    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 14 Dec 2015 @ 12:07am

      Presuming a fertilized egg creates some interesting problems.

      Naturally, most fertilized eggs fail to implant, which, if you consider them as legal persons, it should be the state's responsibility to salvage, even if they are not able to completely form into a functional self-sustaining human being (which is often the case).

      There's actually dozens of places where the development process can fail, and it would be the state's responsibility to guarantee life by intervening.

      One of the things that none of the alleged pro-life activism fronts have done is invest in ectogenic technology (e.g. artificial wombs) because, yeah, guaranteeing every zygote passage from their natural mother to an artificial womb, and guaranteeing the mother that the process is safe and cheap (or footed by the state) would solve a lot of the whole controversy.

      But since no-one wants to explore that option (or any other than abortion obstructionism), I'm pretty sure that the general belief is that a child is punishment for having sex.

      Especially considering that none of these groups are interested in the welfare of the child once it breathes air.

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      • identicon
        Socrates, 14 Dec 2015 @ 12:38am

        Re: Presuming a fertilized egg creates some interesting problems.

        Especially considering that none of these groups are interested in the welfare of the child once it breathes air
        And that is quite telling! And nothing new. I really recommend A Modest Proposal. The text itself at Project Gutenberg

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    • identicon
      Socrates, 14 Dec 2015 @ 12:25am

      The real world

      Abortion has nothing to do with women controlling their own bodies or not.
      This seams to fly in the face of quite a significant amount of evidence. Have you seen a pregnant woman?

      But as Genesis 2:17 tells us, disregard knowledge!


      It's illegal to kill another human being
      If that is true, and abortion is legal, than the fetus can't yet be a human.


      The most efficient way to prevent abortions is to provide free prevention. Oddly, the anti abortion group tend to be vehemently anti prevention. John Rock (the inventor of the "pill" even made it to conform to the "natural" cycle, 28 days, in an attempt to appease the catholic church. Frequent menstruation cause unnecessary pain, impractical situations, cancer risk, and rapidly reduced fertility. To the extent that these things have something to do with a woman's body /s

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      • identicon
        David, 14 Dec 2015 @ 3:23am

        Re: The real world

        If that is true, and abortion is legal, than the fetus can't yet be a human.

        That's putting the cart before the horse. Law practice does not dictate intended meaning, it's the other way round.

        A fetus most certainly is human, just like my hairs are human. In contrast to my hairs, it would make little sense to state that they are not also an entity, but they are, for a long time, incapable of sustaining their own bodily functions. Short of foreseeable complications, their life expectancy would be better than that of quite a few other adults in non-biological life support systems, and at some point of time their neural activity might surpass that of a comatose patient.

        The law is intended to offer protection to persons and it has the ungrateful job of having to draw a line.

        If we take the Bible as reference, Onan was punished for the sin of wasting his sperm. Drawing the line there seems exaggerated for a secular code of law that has the actual task of protecting persons rather than prescribe behavior.

        Conception is an important point. Drawing the line at a fertilized egg, one will have to outlaw a number of contraceptives, like the pill and IUDs. However, in Catholic Ireland, even condoms were banned until rather recently: here clearly the focal point is "waste of sperm". Or more blandly, punishing sex for non-procreational purposes.

        Ireland aside, the law has decided not to draw the line at a fertilized egg or even unused sperm (and indeed, the vast majority of sperm cells get wasted even when one manages successful fertilization). Indeed, many fertilized eggs again pass without intervention and "saving" them would be close to impossible. Again, for a secular law that focuses on avoiding damage to entities rather than following a biblical behavior context, there can be no "it was the will of God" difference.

        We don't have a shortage of babies, so there is no survival of the race" imperative at work here. The only real thing for the law to consider is the well-being of individuals that it chooses to protect. We are also not a nation of vegetarians, so clearly "all life is sacred" or even "all sentient life is sacred" is not a rule the law can hope to implement.

        So where abortion is allowed, it tends to be drawn at a three-month line, later (possibly up to birth) when the life of the mother is at stake and thus another human life has to be weighed against that of the developing life.

        This is a compromise between the rights of the mother over her own body which is an intimate requirement for hosting the developing fetus and the potential person-to-be.

        This compromise rarely is an actual conflict because of human psychology. But when it unfortunately is, the judges follow the lines of the written law, and for that a law is needed.

        It turns out that actual abortion rates tend to be lowest in countries with "liberal" abortion laws, partly certainly because those countries are generally more open towards non-procreative sex and contraceptives and thus unwanted pregnancies are less frequent.

        By and large, it's the old problem that "war against $x" does not work. When you focus on "war against $x", you lose your handle on "change $x". And in the long run, changing things works better.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 14 Dec 2015 @ 4:39am

          Re: Re: The real world

          A fetus most certainly is human, just like my hairs are human.

          There is difference between human tissue and a human being.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Socrates, 14 Dec 2015 @ 6:13am

          Re: Re: The real world

          I did not assess when a fetus becomes a human or becomes sentient.

          It were a proof that this common two step anti abortion argument is self contradictory. As AC noted, it hinges on "if", because the two statements isn't mine; and if both is true the argument is invalid, if one is true the argument is invalid and if neither is true the argument is obviously invalid.

          David: Ireland aside,
          Ireland went further. They have religious hospitals with doctors making religious decisions. Really horrid decisions.

          Take a look at Survivors of Symphysiotomy and Symphysiotomy survivors in their own words

          Beware! The information is gruesome.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Richard (profile), 14 Dec 2015 @ 7:43am

          Re: Re: The real world

          Onan was punished for the sin of wasting his sperm.

          That is not the case - if you actually read the text it is clear that he was punished for refusing to father a child - which is hardly the same thing. The idea that this text implies that each individual sperm has some kind of right to life is a straw man that is often asserted by those who objective is ridicule but is in fact nonsense.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 14 Dec 2015 @ 6:25pm

          Re: Re: The real world

          If we take the Bible as reference, Onan was punished for the sin of wasting his sperm. Drawing the line there seems exaggerated for a secular code of law that has the actual task of protecting persons rather than prescribe behavior.No he wasn't. He died because he deliberately chose to NOT father a child for his dead brother as required by the law. By law, the child would not be his but his brother's and would inherit his brother's portion of the inheritance. He chose a way to try an ensure that his brother's inheritance became his and not for any descendants of his brother.

          There are also additional factors about his actions in relation to his brother's wife that also give rise to his punishment.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 14 Dec 2015 @ 9:16pm

          Re: Re: The real world

          Building on what others said, if Yahweh were so concerned about the waste of sperm, he wouldn't have killed Onan because that just wastes a lot more sperm. And imagine a supreme deity being concerned about wasted sperm when he can just throw together new people from some dust in a single day if he wants to.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Richard (profile), 14 Dec 2015 @ 7:19am

        Re: The real world

        But as Genesis 2:17 tells us, disregard knowledge!

        A rather odd reading that.

        In any case we've already eaten the fruit so the genie is out of the bottle. The result is now we have to make the tricky moral decisions (like this one) and that is our punishment.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Socrates, 14 Dec 2015 @ 7:41am

          Religion

          Richard: ...and that is our punishment.

          Bible: thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
          Oh noooo, you will die within 24 hours!
          Or perhaps not, Adam lived 930 years after he did the same.

          Such a tiny discrepancy. Or perhaps God were just lousy in math. But it is all true!

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Richard (profile), 14 Dec 2015 @ 7:50am

            Re: Religion

            Oh noooo, you will die within 24 hours!
            Or perhaps not, Adam lived 930 years after he did the same.


            He did "die" in a sense - because he was thrown out of paradise - that is was the text means.

            You don't have to take every word literally you know.

            The underlying point remains true and powerful regardless of whether you believe any of the literal stuff.

            When you have drained off all the bathwater you will find that the baby has gone too!

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Socrates, 14 Dec 2015 @ 9:59am

              Re: Re: Religion

              Socrates:
              Oh noooo, you will die within 24 hours!
              Or perhaps not, Adam lived 930 years after he did the same.
              Richard:
              He did "die" in a sense - because he was thrown out of paradise - that is was the text means.
              That seams highly improbable. The bible even condone stoning of animals to death.

              Richard:You don't have to take every word literally you know.
              There is enough that do to make creationists a thing!

              Richard:The underlying point remains true and powerful regardless of whether you believe any of the literal stuff.
              Tell this to doctors in Ireland that let a fetus slowly be squeezed to death in the cervix of the mother, to the excruciating pain for both, because of their religious conviction. And then the mother died a few days later too.

              Tell this to the catholic church in Spain, that kidnapped more than 300.000 children at birth, told the mother that the child had died, and sold the children for profit to devout couples. The mothers were not even allowed to attend the "funeral". It is the same mixing of health care, adoption, and religion as in Ireland that is the cause of this. And in other nations too.

              When you have drained off all the bathwater you will find that the baby has gone too!
              True, it would not be much left.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                Richard (profile), 14 Dec 2015 @ 11:27am

                Re: Re: Re: Religion

                That seams highly improbable. The bible even condone stoning of animals to death.

                Firstly that is a non-sequitur.

                Secondly you would have to believe that either:

                a) Assuming that it is not literally true the person who wrote it was unaware that he had just contradicted himself

                b) Assuming that it is leterally true... but wait a minute if it is literally true then you are in the wrong anyway.

                Tell this to doctors in Ireland that ...etc

                You can find examples of bad stuff done by the adherents of every religion, philosophy or political system - including whatever you subscribe to. So what?

                I just pointed out that you made a deliberate, ridiculous misinterpretation of a text to support your argument. That criticism stands. Obviously aren't prepared to let logic or reason interfere with your predetermined attitudes.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  Socrates, 14 Dec 2015 @ 3:11pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Religion

                  That seams highly improbable. The bible even condone stoning of animals to death.
                  Firstly that is a non-sequitur.
                  The bible is really into dishing out death and injury. Long passages specify details on how to do this. I find deliberately harming animals in painful ways to be similar to deliberately make humans suffer.

                  It also fit closely to the actual tradition the bible belongs to. With the first child mentioned in the bible being killed by his brother. A tradition also consisting of blaming animals for human acts and pretending to be innocent after hurting said animal.

                  It also fit closely to documented historical behavior patterns like the Zealot Temple Siege

                  With the quotes, tradition and historic documentation pointing to literal violent interpretation of the text, it is certainly not non-sequitur.


                  Secondly you would have to believe that either:

                  a) Assuming that it is not literally true the person who wrote it was unaware that he had just contradicted himself

                  b) Assuming that it is leterally true... but wait a minute if it is literally true then you are in the wrong anyway.
                  I don't have to believe anything about the author or authors to point out internal inconsistencies in the bible.


                  Tell this to doctors in Ireland that ...etc

                  You can find examples of bad stuff done by the adherents of every religion, philosophy or political system - including whatever you subscribe to. So what?
                  So dogma makes other people suffer. As dogma is disconnected from reality (by definition), this suffering is unnecessary. Suffering caused by politics should of course be reduced as much as possible. I don't find philosophy to be the cause of much suffering.


                  I just pointed out that you made a deliberate, ridiculous misinterpretation of a text to support your argument. That criticism stands. Obviously aren't prepared to let logic or reason interfere with your predetermined attitudes.
                  No, I made a deliberate selection of actual quotes to prove my argument. I did not interpret nor misinterpret the text at all. The ridiculousness is provided by the text itself. I find interpreting the text to mean something different that the actual quote makes a argument less convincing. I don't find the notion that the bible have to be interpreted to be internally consistent to be valid.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 15 Dec 2015 @ 1:13pm

                  Re: Firstly that is a non-sequitur.

                  So you’re not going to use the “quoting the bible out of context” ploy?

                  Because everything in the bible is “context”, is it not?

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 14 Dec 2015 @ 8:11am

        Re: The real world

        It is true if you continue farther.Exodus 21:22. Supports that fetus isn't a human yet as there is only a fine if someone causes a miscarriage. The next verse continues on to killing the offender if the women is killed in the process.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Dec 2015 @ 4:33am

      Re:

      If you consider the fetus to be a human being then killing it is no different than killing an adult.

      "If" you consider a fly to be the same as a human being, then killing a fly is also the same as killing a human being. "If".

      Of course, there are some similarities between flies and human beings (they both have legs, they both have eyes, etc.), so the poster above who can't tell the difference between the left and the right might actually agree with that one.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Concerned Citizen, 14 Dec 2015 @ 11:55am

      Re:

      I am personally amazed you managed to start the conversation with abortion has nothing to do with a woman's right to her body, jumped into full blown murder argument, likened fetuses to parasites...

      And then came out of this sounding like a reasonable and responsible person with a fair outlook on the subject and governments proper role in it.

      Clap and a half.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    HegemonicDistortion (profile), 14 Dec 2015 @ 4:54am

    I'd like to thank the Academy...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    seedeevee (profile), 14 Dec 2015 @ 9:05am

    David Ben-Gurion was a racist terrorist

    David Ben-Gurion was a racist terrorist, but I guess he can't be all that bad, huh?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Socrates, 14 Dec 2015 @ 10:18am

      Re: David Ben-Gurion was a racist terrorist

      Yes, and it is among the well populated list of subjects that isn't proper to mention. Like King david hotel, Irgun, and the lot. Same with the present day bombing of hospitals in Palestine. Or for that matter, Ukrainian children getting Frostbite after the fascists in Kiev turn off gas and destroy electricity infrastructure.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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