Philosophical Multicore

Sometimes controversial, sometimes fallacious, sometimes thought-provoking, and always fun.

Archive for February, 2009

Fight YouTube Censorship!

Posted by Michael Dickens on February 21, 2009

Pre-Script Update: The following is no longer relevant.

A YouTube videomaker that I regularly watch (a scientist and exposer of creationist pseudoscience) named Thunderf00t, has been having difficulties. People are censoring him by purposelessly rating his videos badly, and marking them as inappropriate. He made a video addressing this, and requesting YouTube to take action. And what do they do? Delete his video. This is completely intolerable. We must do something. (“We” being the two other people who read this blog. XD)

Watch this video for details

If you have an account, rate and favorite these videos.




Posted in Science | Leave a Comment »

Funny Theist Quotes

Posted by Michael Dickens on February 13, 2009

http://www.freethoughtpedia.com/wiki/Funny_theist_quotes

These are about the funniest things ever. I especially like the third one:

Just recently my son Bobby came out to me. I had been worried for awhile. His teachers said most of his grades were slipping and he seemed depressed and withdrawn. Bobby said he’d been hiding it for awhile because he was afraid I would reject him. I sat him down and told him that I loved him and that God loved him, but that his salvation was in danger if he did not resist his unnatural tempations. I told him how being gay would mean he would live a shorter life, and that if he couldnt change his orientation he could be celibate like most the ex-gays are. He started crying saying something along the lines of “I knew you wouldnt understand! You’re just like everyone else!” before running to his room and slamming the door. What did I do wrong? I dont want to lose my son, but I fear I already have. I talked it over with his therapist, who had the ludicrous idea that homosexuality was unchangable and that trying to repress could lead to lots of psychological damage (I’ve dropped him and will try to be finding another therapist with more moral beliefs). I wouldnt be surprised if he’s the one who’s feeding my son all the homosexual propaganda about how its ‘ok’ to be gay. That, or how homosexuality has engulfed the media, making it seem ‘cool’ and ‘hip’ and how they were just another oppressed minority. You didnt have to worry about seeing two men making out on tv at my age! I dont want to sound like a fanatic, but Im worried what other effects will come out of this increasingly secular, immoral society obsessed with filth. Am I too late? Or is it possible to save my son [Note: the boy eventually took his own life.]

Posted in Humor | Leave a Comment »

Abortion

Posted by Michael Dickens on February 3, 2009

This sure is a fun issue.

At Balanced Politics there are several arguments for and against abortion. I’ll be talking about those.

Here are the ten arguments against abortion:

1. Abortion is a form of murder and demeans the value of human life.
2. Other birth control is readily available; thus, abortion shouldn’t be a form of birth control.
3. The societal contributions of a potentially valuable human being are wiped out.
4. Women who have abortions often suffer major psychological damage from the experience along with, in some cases, the father of the child.
5. The advances of genetic testing may prompt more abortions (to avoid having the non-ideal child).
6. There are many couples who spend years on waiting lists trying to adopt a child.
7. The abortion decision is often made by minors or young adults, who don’t have the maturity and life experiences to make good decisions.
8. People have the right not to see their tax dollars go to something they find immoral.
9. Abortion eliminates legal rights of the unborn child.
10. Abortion is against doctors’ Hippocratic Oath.

1. “When a pregnant women feels a kick in her belly, she doesn’t say “Oh, the fetus kicked” or “Oh, the mass of cells that hasn’t become a person kicked”, she says “The baby kicked.””
The fetus does not kick when it is a small mass of cells. It only kicks after it is well-developed. And anyway, that’s a fallacy that I will call “appeal to language”. If you call a table a baby, that doesn’t make it a baby. If you call a collection of cells inside a uterus a baby, that doesn’t make it a baby.

Back to the original point: killing a just-conceived fetus is not murder any more than taking antibiotics is murder.

While under development, most species of animal are very similar early on in development. At that point, the animal hasn’t become any species yet; it’s just a little shrimplike thing.

Abortion is murder? Well, let’s take a look at what makes murder bad. Essentially, people prefer being alive over being dead. There are sound evolutionary reasons for this. People are conscious beings, who greatly dislike being killed. So it is considered wrong to kill them, because it is so upsetting to the murderee. Sure, you could say that murder is bad because it robs the person of the potential chance of a good life. But if that’s the case, then every time an egg goes unfertilized, it’s murder. So I will refrain from using that definition.

2. “Maybe if abortion wasn’t available, people wouldn’t be so careless in the first place.”
The statistics show that teen pregnancies began increasing after the Roe v. Wade case. Of course, they have been increasing for a while. And correlation is not necessarily causation.

But by the same argument, we could say that we shouldn’t allow birth control, and people should only have sex when they want to have children. But that’s just unreasonable. Simply because it could help to prevent people from being careless doesn’t mean it has to be done. It’s not the government’s job to make sure that nobody does anything stupid.

Against my own argument, it’s not just harmful to people, but it’s harmful to the government when people don’t have health insurance and need an abortion.

In conclusion, I see this as a relatively strong argument.

3. “What would the world be like if the mothers of Abe Lincoln, George Washington, or Thomas Edison had had an abortion?”
Not every opportunity for a person to be born must be taken. Society will do fine without the addition of some people, even if those people are very important people. The cost of bringing up all those un-aborted babies outweighs the potential benefit of an occasional great person.

4. Firstly, this is not always the case, and so it is not common enough to outweigh the suffering that would be caused if abortions were made illegal.

Secondly, the government is there to protect people, to an extent. But it is not the government’s job to completely prevent people from doing something that they will regret. I can’t think of a good analogy right now. The point is, people need to think for themselves sometimes. They must think, Will I feel guilty about this? Waiting periods are helpful for that sort of thing.

To refute my own argument: people don’t always know what they will feel guilty about.

Well, they should think harder about it. Then maybe they’d realize that they would feel guilty.

5. This argument assumes that abortion is wrong in the first place. The pro-life side must prove that abortion is wrong before this is a sound argument.

6. It is wrong for the government to force people to put their babies up for adoption instead of aborting them: it is the mother’s choice. I have no problem, though, with encouraging mothers to put their babies up for adoption instead of aborting them.

7. I see getting pregnant as one of these bad decisions, and abortions as a way to make amends.

8. Well, no they don’t. Not constitutionally. Maybe ethically, but that’s a different matter.

This argument is not anti-abortion. It’s anti-abortion-paid-for-by-taxes. This could be solved just by insurance companies or individuals paying for abortions.

9. See argument one.

10. “Every American doctor must take this fundamental oath, which says “First, do no harm”. It threatens the very fabric of the entire medical field if doctors start using their own personal philosophies on life to decide who should or shouldn’t be harmed. Whether or not you think abortion should be allowed, it cannot be disputed that a doctor is harming a living organism. Killing a human being doesn’t serve any higher medical purpose and is therefore a violation of the oath. ”

Virtually everything that a doctor does break that oath. Prescribing antibiotics kills billions of bacteria, and it cannot be disputed that bacteria are living organisms. Why should an undeveloped fetus be any different?

In conclusion, everyone who disagrees with me is wrong.

EDIT: A new argument has come to my attention. It is not from the same site, but is from a discussion I was having with somebody.

11. Fetuses have nerves, and can feel every minute of the abortion.

This may be true. I am finding it difficult to find any resources that tell at what point fetuses grow nerves. I know that they don’t start with nerves, and I see no problem with aborting a fetus before it has nerves (or consciousness, but that develops after nerves).

Another question is, is it morally wrong to kill something/one who can feel it? We kill cows and chickens all the time, and they can certainly feel pain. But the question is, why? Why is it okay to induce pain on cows and chickens, and eventually kill them? It’s because then, we get to eat them, and we value their meat more than we value their lives. So in the case of fetuses, we value the mother’s choice more than we value the life of the fetus.

To delve further, I would have to get into the question of, Does life have inherent value? and to talk about the kind of things involved, I’ll have to do some more thinking about what I actually believe.

Posted in Abortion, Ethics | 2 Comments »

Gay Marriage

Posted by Michael Dickens on February 1, 2009

I think that we should allow gay marriage. I even think that it should be in the constitution. But why? Some would say, “Why not?” But I don’t see that as a legitimate argument. Here’s why.

A bond between the same gender is no different from a bond between a man and a woman. So why should marriage be different? Denying homosexuals the right to marry is on par with denying African-Americans the right to vote. It is simply denying someone rights because he or she is different.

* * *

Here I have ten arguments, which are “a synopsis of the new book by Dr. James Dobson, Marriage Under Fire.” I will now explain why they all fail.

site
The arguments are a bit rambling, so I have summarized them.

Gay marriage will lead to divorces and remarriages; children will be forced to move frequently, and will have dozens of half-siblings and half-relatives.
Allowing gay marriage will not lead to more divorce. The article talks about how divorce rates are increasing, but fails to explain how gay marriage will lead to more divorce.

Gay marriage may actually lead to less divorce. If, say, a gay man marries a woman, he will be more likely to get a divorce because he will be less likely to be happy with that marriage.

Gay marriage will open the door for polygamy and other immoral institutions.
If gay marriage is legalized, it is because people believe it is right. If people believe that polygamy is morally right, it will be legalized. If not, it won’t. The only way I see that gay marriage opens the door to polygamy is that maybe people will start thinking, Is polygamy really wrong? They may arrive to the decision that it is wrong, and they may not. Either way, thinking about it is better than blindly assuming that it’s wrong.

“…divorces will be obtained instantly, will not involve a court, and will take on the status of a driver’s license or a hunting permit.”
This is completely unrelated to gay marriage. The article fails to explain how gay marriage will lead to this.

“…every public school in the nation will be required to teach that this perversion is the moral equivalent of traditional marriage between a man and a woman.”
This is not a bad thing. It IS the moral equivalent of traditional marriage. Maybe the article could argue that it’s not, but I have seen no such argument up to this point.

Same-sex couples will have equal priority when it comes to adoption.
Again, the article fails to explain why this is a bad thing. This article is really leaving a lot to the imagination.

“Foster-care parents will be required to undergo “sensitivity training” to rid themselves of bias in favor of traditional marriage, and will have to affirm homosexuality in children and teens.”
1. If this happens, it isn’t bad.
2. Did we have to do that during segregation of African-Americans?

“How about the impact on Social Security if there are millions of new dependents that will be entitled to survivor benefits?”
You know, it would be so much better for Social Security if no one got any money from it. It would cost so much less.

My point is, homosexuals should be entitled to Social Security, and the fact that it costs more is no reason to deny it from them.

“Marriage among homosexuals will spread throughout the world, just as pornography did after the Nixon Commission declared obscene material “beneficial” to mankind.”
I see this spreading as a good thing. The comparison of gay marriage to pornography applies to its spreading, but the comparison ends there.

“Perhaps most important, the spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ will be severely curtailed. “
Prove to me that the Bible is the word of God, and also prove to me that I should unquestioningly follow the word of God, and I will accept this as a legitimate argument. Not before.

“The culture war will be over, and I fear, the world may soon become “as it was in the days of Noah” (Matthew 24:37, NIV). This is the climactic moment in the battle to preserve the family, and future generations hang in the balance.

This apocalyptic and pessimistic view of the institution of the family and its future will sound alarmist to many, but I think it will prove accurate unless-unless-God’s people awaken and begin an even greater vigil of prayer for our nation. That’s why Shirley and I are urgently seeking the Lord’s favor and asking Him to hear the petitions of His people and heal our land.

As of this time, however, large segments of the church appear to be unaware of the danger; its leaders are surprisingly silent about our peril (although we are tremendously thankful for the efforts of those who have spoken out on this issue). The lawless abandon occurring recently in California, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Washington and elsewhere should have shocked us out of our lethargy. So far, I’m alarmed to say, the concern and outrage of the American people have not translated into action.

This reticence on behalf of Christians is deeply troubling. Marriage is a sacrament designed by God that serves as a metaphor for the relationship between Christ and His Church. Tampering with His plan for the family is immoral and wrong. To violate the Lord’s expressed will for humankind, especially in regard to behavior that He has prohibited, is to court disaster.”
I don’t understand how this is even an argument.

Posted in Ethics | 3 Comments »

 
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