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Terez
11-21-2014, 09:01 AM
Apologies for the multiple ad hominem threads. I don't know if I would have started one for Cosby if not for my recent experience with Mr. Pryor (http://www.theoryland.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=8425).

The two situations are quite similar I think. I have noticed that one of the criticisms against Cosby's accusers is that some of them are telling their stories decades after the deed happened. That was the case with Pryor's victims too.

One big difference is that Mr. Pryor confessed. I'm not sure how long I would have stayed in denial if I hadn't read about his confession directly after having read about the charges.

Another important difference is that Cosby's alleged victims were all adult women at the time of their alleged rapes, so their choices are more scrutinized. Some of them apparently continued to see him after the first incident.

Back to the similarities, both Cosby and Pryor abused their positions of power, and you can see from the stories so far that these adult women were perhaps in some ways as vulnerable as the children, not least because of the drugs.

I should say now that I believe Cosby is probably guilty, whatever that is worth. I believe it because at last count, I think, there were 16 women who had accused him, several of whom have done so on the record (and the others gave their names to lawyers, at least).

It is not so unbelievable that many of them have had reasons to stay quiet, nor is it unbelievable that some would continue to see him, considering the power of his personal institution. It is not so unbelievable that it happened at all, not any more, not for me.

I don't think I would believe this kind of accusation of just anyone, simply because I've seen it be true so close to home. These stories have the ring of truth to me, now that I have wrapped my head around the possibility of Bill Cosby being a serial rapist.

Yet another personal story about sexual assault, and subjectivity:

There was this guy that I fell in love with when I was about 6 years old, maybe 7. To make a long story very short, as he got older he had sexual relations of some sort with pretty much every woman who wanted to, which was a lot of women. Eventually that included me.

The first time, I was fairly well out of my mind on hallucinogens, and he was sober. Later encounters had similar contexts, but sometimes his advances came just because I was with another guy (in which case he was essentially ignored, whether the guy was just a friend or something more).

Once, more than 10 years ago, I was trying to do music with this girl who had had a brief thing with him. I barely knew her and the few times we met were strange, and she talked about her experiences with him as if she had enjoyed them. It was nothing particularly shocking; pretty much every girl in this circle of friends and acquaintances has a story to tell.

A couple of weeks after the last time she and I got together, the cops showed up at my place, with the guy (who, I should say, I consider a friend to this day). Apparently the girl had filed a rape report with the police, and my friend had given the police my name because he knew that I had hung out with the girl recently, I think. (I barely remember this.)

Naturally I told them all about my conversations with the girl, quite truthfully, and that testimony and whatever else they got led to them dropping the charges, or perhaps not charging him in the first place. I have no idea really; I can't remember if I even discussed this with the friend much afterward.

Later on, I got to thinking about how many of those stories traded between the girls of that circle had the common element of vulnerability. I don't personally feel as though I was abused in any real way, but I consider myself to be kind of unique among all those girls because I had been obsessed with him for so long. It takes a lot of stretching to argue that there was no consent in my case, even with the extreme intoxication differential that first time. It's just...strange. And definitely treading some gray area.

I quit drinking mostly because I no longer enjoyed it, but after I quit I realized that I had committed some small forms of sexual assault myself when I was drunk enough, with people who didn't want it. But I had deluded myself into believing they did. I imagine that kind of thing is fairly common. I have been sexually assaulted in minor ways when all parties were sober, and even that seemed as common as it was intolerable and dramatic.

I have never been drugged, though. And the aforementioned friend? Top candidate for being a Pryor victim.

Cosby is one of the most loved cultural icons in the world. Why would anyone want to slander him, when money is not on the table? The world is rarely kind to accusers, especially when the accused is so well loved.

Another criticism of the accusers I've seen on social media: they must be mad about the things Cosby said about black culture, bootstraps, poundcake, etc. But all the accusers on the record so far are white women.

The first accuser was the one who sued him in 2005, for an incident in 2004. The next woman to come forward recounted an incident from the 70s. That reminded me so much of Mr. Pryor, whose first two accusers were decades apart, one having been one of his first victims in the early 70s, and another being one of his most recent victims in the mid 2000s. One of those two Cosby victims speaks out here, in the now:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/chi-bill-cosby-rape-allegations-20141115-story.html

I think this is the real deal, y'all.

Davian93
11-21-2014, 09:15 AM
Its tough to know what to believe in this situation. You don't want to believe that Cosby is a serial raper but who the hell knows at this point? I mean, there was that British TV icon that turned out to be a serial molester and of course we see what happened at Penn State.

Terez
11-21-2014, 09:22 AM
I thought Ta-Nehisi Coates made some good arguments:

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2014/11/the-cosby-show/382891/

Gilshalos Sedai
11-21-2014, 10:02 AM
When this first came out in the 80's, I remember it.

The problem was that it came off as simply people trying to discredit a powerful black man. Institutionalized racism and prejudice.

And then his son was killed.

And the media dropped it like a hot potato, unwilling to beat him while he was down, for once.

At least, this is how I remember things from the first time this all came out.

Now? I don't know. Are these women victims, or is it a conspiracy, as absurd as that sounds?

If they're victims, well... there goes an entire generation's childhood since he sat in our living rooms and taught us right from wrong every week, and bridged a gap many of us didn't even realize was there. He'll have victimized more than just those women.

I hope they can find the healing they need.

Davian93
11-21-2014, 10:56 AM
I saw his touring comedy show live about 5 years ago. I sat front row and I can attest that he did not try to rape or drug either me or my wife.

He was pretty hilarious though.

Nazbaque
11-21-2014, 11:30 AM
The problem with the whole concept of rape is that the only cases that clearly are and are not are rather extreme so an accurate and effective law is very hard to create on the matter.

Sex is the one thing where human beings switch to the instinct gear so expecting rational limits is in itself irrational. There are also the variables of mood, the personalities of the people involved and the nature of the relationship between them. Add to this the enormous difficulties in providing evidence for something which at least in half exists in the heads of the people involved and rape is not so much a line that is crossed, but a great big field where the line is hidden and the only way to avoid it for absolutely certain is celibacy.

And because of this any law on the matter is either ineffective, prone to abuse as a revenge tool or both.

In the matter of Cosby I have no idea and it seems that true or not the cases are so old that caring about would demand caring for quite a few more recent things as well and I've only got so much care to go around.

Terez
11-21-2014, 11:43 AM
Some cases are old. Some are much more recent. The best reason to care is that putting him in the spotlight might keep him from doing it to anyone else. It also helps us avoid idolizing someone who isn't worthy of it.

I don't agree that rape is so subjective as all that.

Gilshalos Sedai
11-21-2014, 12:45 PM
I don't agree that rape is so subjective as all that.

Something we agree on.

Nazbaque
11-21-2014, 12:55 PM
How can it not be subjective when the whole thing depends on wheter or not the sex was unwanted? Sometimes it's pretty universal such as with drugs and children, but it's always a subjective crime.

Terez
11-22-2014, 04:00 AM
How can it not be subjective when the whole thing depends on wheter or not the sex was unwanted?
I never said there was no subjectivity at all. I said I didn't think it was so subjective as "all that" which, in case you were wondering, mostly referred to this:

Sex is the one thing where human beings switch to the instinct gear so expecting rational limits is in itself irrational. There are also the variables of mood, the personalities of the people involved and the nature of the relationship between them. Add to this the enormous difficulties in providing evidence for something which at least in half exists in the heads of the people involved and rape is not so much a line that is crossed, but a great big field where the line is hidden and the only way to avoid it for absolutely certain is celibacy.
What you've done here is paint a picture of subjectivity so onerous that all men (generally the ones being accused of rape) must avoid sex of any sort. That's ridiculous. Most people go their whole lives without ever being accused of rape, despite dodgy situations like the ones I outlined in my OP. All things considered, it's really amazing that (as far as I know) this guy was only ever accused of sexual assault once.

Some helpful rules: 1) don't bypass the niceties of consent because you're afraid she'll say no, 2) don't make a habit of constant casual sex, 3) don't associate sex with the convenient disinhibitors like alcohol, especially if s/he is drunk and you are not.

GonzoTheGreat
11-22-2014, 04:34 AM
What you've done here is paint a picture of subjectivity so onerous that all men (generally the ones being accused of rape) must avoid sex of any sort.
Would be good for the environment too, in the long run. Are there any downsides to this proposal?

Nazbaque
11-22-2014, 05:37 AM
I never said there was no subjectivity at all. I said I didn't think it was so subjective as "all that" which, in case you were wondering, mostly referred to this:


What you've done here is paint a picture of subjectivity so onerous that all men (generally the ones being accused of rape) must avoid sex of any sort. That's ridiculous. Most people go their whole lives without ever being accused of rape, despite dodgy situations like the ones I outlined in my OP. All things considered, it's really amazing that (as far as I know) this guy was only ever accused of sexual assault once.

Some helpful rules: 1) don't bypass the niceties of consent because you're afraid she'll say no, 2) don't make a habit of constant casual sex, 3) don't associate sex with the convenient disinhibitors like alcohol, especially if s/he is drunk and you are not.

That still leaves plenty of room for what I would consider rape. And I actually meant the picture to be gender neutral. I don't see rape as something only men do to women. The other way around is certainly much more complicated than the physical force scenario, but very much possible. And I meant avoiding committing rape rather than avoiding accusations. Mind you the way sex is portrayed in western culture is so emotionless that it's bordering on mutual rape in any case.

Terez
11-22-2014, 06:14 AM
That still leaves plenty of room for what I would consider rape.
I said they were helpful rules, not exhaustive ones. Their antitheses account for a great deal of the "subjective rape" situations you hear about in the vast sea of anecdotal information available on the internet.

And I actually meant the picture to be gender neutral. I don't see rape as something only men do to women. The other way around is certainly much more complicated than the physical force scenario, but very much possible.
I agree that it's possible, hence the word "generally", but I think gender neutrality is a stretch for this topic. Women can certainly commit minor sexual assault—groping, etc.—as easily as men, if they feel safe enough to do so, but men would feel (and generally be) safer in the less comfortable situations, and would have a much easier time committing rape as it is generally defined in law.

And I meant avoiding committing rape rather than avoiding accusations.
I know, and that makes your position all the more illogical. Avoiding the former is easy enough. It's avoiding the latter that can be out of your control, in those (supposedly rare) instances of false accusations.

Mind you the way sex is portrayed in western culture is so emotionless that it's bordering on mutual rape in any case.
It's not just western culture. Hentai much?

Nazbaque
11-22-2014, 08:43 AM
Hentai? You don't know half if you think that is emotionless. Yes that area of pornography has a lot more extreme scenarios, but there is also a lot more subtext, especially in manga.

You might be having trouble with understanding because I haven't actually told you how I define rape. So here it is: if you made someone feel violated it was rape. There doesn't have to be physical force and there isn't necessarily a clearly guilty party similar in certain ways to a street fight in that both sides hurt each other because of what boils down to stupidity. You think women never make men feel violated? And because the damage is always done on an emotional level a truly accurate law is not possible.

Terez
11-22-2014, 09:22 AM
Hentai? You don't know half if you think that is emotionless. Yes that area of pornography has a lot more extreme scenarios, but there is also a lot more subtext, especially in manga.
As in western culture, some of it is good, most of it is bad. If you know what to look for, you'll find something with subtext, but if you're just browsing, most of what you come across is pretty emotionless, at least in the romantic sense. Plenty of fear and screaming. And rape.

You might be having trouble with understanding because I haven't actually told you how I define rape.
You might be having trouble understanding because I don't really care about your personal definition of rape.

Nazbaque
11-22-2014, 10:02 AM
well the western culture portrays sex as practically emotionless in the non pornographic sense as opposed to the general image in japanese which is much more emotional.

And if you don't care about my definition you have no call to remark on my logic.

Terez
11-22-2014, 10:27 AM
The logic is the same. You have control over your own actions. It's not that hard to avoid violating people.

Nazbaque
11-22-2014, 11:12 AM
The logic is the same. You have control over your own actions. It's not that hard to avoid violating people.
You have no idea how fragile some people are do you? Sure you haven't already left scars in someone?

Terez
11-22-2014, 12:06 PM
Only you, Dear Naz.

Nazbaque
11-22-2014, 12:28 PM
Yeah it's only wrong when someone else is doing it.

GonzoTheGreat
11-22-2014, 12:30 PM
Yeah it's only wrong when someone else is doing it.
That is a good summary of practical morality.
Of course, others have come up with the even better "do as I say, not as I do".

Davian93
11-22-2014, 01:35 PM
That still leaves plenty of room for what I would consider rape. And I actually meant the picture to be gender neutral. I don't see rape as something only men do to women. The other way around is certainly much more complicated than the physical force scenario, but very much possible. And I meant avoiding committing rape rather than avoiding accusations. Mind you the way sex is portrayed in western culture is so emotionless that it's bordering on mutual rape in any case.

I dont have sex unless I have her sign a consent contract in front of two neutral witnesses...one of whom is a licensed notary public.


But that's just how I roll. I believe Dave Chappelle had a hilarious skit about this years ago:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jo4568PIRnk

Davian93
11-23-2014, 07:45 PM
http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/gossip/bill-cosby-paid-women-ex-nbc-employee-article-1.2020464

Another shoe drops in the Cosby scandal...starting to look bad for ole Bill.

yks 6nnetu hing
11-24-2014, 03:09 AM
You might be having trouble with understanding because I haven't actually told you how I define rape. So here it is: if you made someone feel violated it was rape. There doesn't have to be physical force and there isn't necessarily a clearly guilty party similar in certain ways to a street fight in that both sides hurt each other because of what boils down to stupidity. You think women never make men feel violated? And because the damage is always done on an emotional level a truly accurate law is not possible.

um. By that logic I was once raped at work. You may remember, I posted about it here.

Also, once in a bus full of people and several times walking down the street.

My point is, I think your definition of rape includes too much of what is generally considered harassment and/or gender discrimination.

As for the OP, I was actually thinking how disturbing the overlap here is with Stephen Collins.

Davian93
11-24-2014, 06:40 AM
I feel violated every time I go into the office...Am I being gang-raped on a daily basis?

Nazbaque
11-24-2014, 06:49 AM
um. By that logic I was once raped at work. You may remember, I posted about it here.

Also, once in a bus full of people and several times walking down the street.

My point is, I think your definition of rape includes too much of what is generally considered harassment and/or gender discrimination.

As for the OP, I was actually thinking how disturbing the overlap here is with Stephen Collins.

Well I was thinking that it would include actual sex, but of course one can make another feel violated without crossing that line. I know people have trouble keeping up with me on this mainly because they insist on being dramatic about rape, but if you think about it by the same lines as a slap being an act of violence even though it is far from beating someone black and blue, you see what I'm getting at. Similarily rape has stages of severity and they are defined not by the culprit's actions but what kind of damage those actions left behind. The main difference is in the difficulty of assessing emotional damage in comparison of assessing physical damage.

yks 6nnetu hing
11-24-2014, 07:46 AM
Well I was thinking that it would include actual sex, but of course one can make another feel violated without crossing that line. I know people have trouble keeping up with me on this mainly because they insist on being dramatic about rape, but if you think about it by the same lines as a slap being an act of violence even though it is far from beating someone black and blue, you see what I'm getting at. Similarily rape has stages of severity and they are defined not by the culprit's actions but what kind of damage those actions left behind. The main difference is in the difficulty of assessing emotional damage in comparison of assessing physical damage.

well I would hope so! I wouldn't want to live in a society where rape is treated as something that simply happens.

Hyperbole aside - I agree with you that the level of emotional damage; particularly that the level of consent is crucial. I think your comparison of physical non-sexual violence is a good one here: there is a distinct difference between a boxing match and a random street beating. In the one, both participants knowingly enter into a situation which may end in a serious injury or death; in the second, well, one of the participants is confronted with such a situation without his/her consent. The thing is though, and this has been said so many times here on this thread, consent is a very tricky thing to assess. Sure, most of the time it's a clear yes/no; but not always. Also, as you pointed out, in order to violate someone, actual intercourse does not necessarily need to occur (although - and please correct me if I'm wrong - I think in order to be legally classified as rape in most countries, there has to be either oral, anal or vaginal penetration)

Nazbaque
11-24-2014, 08:15 AM
I'm glad we agree, but back to where we don't:
well I would hope so! I wouldn't want to live in a society where rape is treated as something that simply happens.

The thing is that drama is the wrong way to go about things that are important. It is unnecessary excitement with two very bad potential out comes: 1) It's such a taboo that people avoid even thinking about it to the extent that any measures taken are comparable to closing your eyes, turning your head and spraying bullets in it's general direction with no care to who else gets hurt. And 2) It becomes a soap opera type macabre entertainment where society takes a guilty pleasure in seeing something that in all its horror at least isn't boring.

No the correct approach to all problems is always cool reasoning. Study the problem as dispassionately as possible, define the crucial points, then attack with precision and clean up the mess. Emotions can guide you to things that you should fix, but the actual job is done by the mind. Pay attention to your emotions, but don't let them rule you.

yks 6nnetu hing
11-24-2014, 08:37 AM
I'm glad we agree, but back to where we don't:


The thing is that drama is the wrong way to go about things that are important. It is unnecessary excitement with two very bad potential out comes: 1) It's such a taboo that people avoid even thinking about it to the extent that any measures taken are comparable to closing your eyes, turning your head and spraying bullets in it's general direction with no care to who else gets hurt. On this I disagree. The reason is that for society as a whole there ought to be a certain set of common values, the breach of which would trigger a strong negative response. If there is no such emotion and no such response then the reasoning behind our entire legal system would become arbitrary and nonsensical, and logically speaking, the society would then enter into a state of anarchy. Over the centuries such values have fluctuated and changed - and the corresponding legal mechanism along with it, which is in itself fine. Different situations require different social norms, after all. However, with globalization there are a number of concepts which seem to become universally "bad": cannibalism, murder, rape etc. If we as a society do not identify the activities as morally wrong, and treat them with the according level of horror and disdain, then there is no socio-psychological correlation of, say sentencing a serial murderer to a life in prison or 3 days or community service.
And 2) It becomes a soap opera type macabre entertainment where society takes a guilty pleasure in seeing something that in all its horror at least isn't boring.

No the correct approach to all problems is always cool reasoning. Study the problem as dispassionately as possible, define the crucial points, then attack with precision and clean up the mess. Emotions can guide you to things that you should fix, but the actual job is done by the mind. Pay attention to your emotions, but don't let them rule you.

On this I agree.

Nazbaque
11-24-2014, 06:05 PM
On this I disagree. The reason is that for society as a whole there ought to be a certain set of common values, the breach of which would trigger a strong negative response. If there is no such emotion and no such response then the reasoning behind our entire legal system would become arbitrary and nonsensical, and logically speaking, the society would then enter into a state of anarchy. Over the centuries such values have fluctuated and changed - and the corresponding legal mechanism along with it, which is in itself fine. Different situations require different social norms, after all. However, with globalization there are a number of concepts which seem to become universally "bad": cannibalism, murder, rape etc. If we as a society do not identify the activities as morally wrong, and treat them with the according level of horror and disdain, then there is no socio-psychological correlation of, say sentencing a serial murderer to a life in prison or 3 days or community service.

Ah well this is where it gets really philosophical. This approach offers people too many chances to force simplicity into something complicated. It makes things like cannibalism, murder and rape wrong with no heed to why they are wrong. Nothing in this world is wrong just because. There is always a reason and understanding that reason will make us more efficient in dealing with the wrong in question. One must always seek to understand, for it is through understanding mere knowledge becomes wisdom. Self improvement must always be encouraged, for how can the world improve if the people in it stay the same.

yks 6nnetu hing
11-25-2014, 01:22 AM
Ah well this is where it gets really philosophical. This approach offers people too many chances to force simplicity into something complicated. It makes things like cannibalism, murder and rape wrong with no heed to why they are wrong. Nothing in this world is wrong just because. There is always a reason and understanding that reason will make us more efficient in dealing with the wrong in question. One must always seek to understand, for it is through understanding mere knowledge becomes wisdom. Self improvement must always be encouraged, for how can the world improve if the people in it stay the same.

er. I was saying that about *your* point.

In any case, too much rationality has the same effect as too much emotion - things become right or wrong "just because"; and THAT is what needs to be avoided.

The Unreasoner
11-25-2014, 01:51 AM
Obviously yks is right that a balanced approach is necessary. Logic alone can't provide a good reason to not sterilize people who are fat, have cancer, are Southpaw, etc. Really, according to Naz's approach, he'd need to first show that anyone should be able to have a child, which goes against a number of real-world issues grounded firmly in data.

Sometimes emotional judgements are more efficient. Gathering data, analyzing it properly, drawing conclusions...this can make a person into a statue or a puppet if they insist on it for everything (like breakfast cereal choice).

Case in point: Naz doesn't seem to have much of a plan on a proper response to rape, despite the almost literal mountains of data on the issue. Humans need to be able to act in the absence of perfect information. Even in the rare cases where getting it is possible, I somehow doubt it would be economical to gather every bit, nor would I expect much to change between 99% and 99.9%.

Nazbaque
11-25-2014, 03:43 AM
er. I was saying that about *your* point.

In any case, too much rationality has the same effect as too much emotion - things become right or wrong "just because"; and THAT is what needs to be avoided.

Rationalisation is not understanding. It's a dogma type short cut that promotes mental laziness. It's an emotional approach not a logical one. Also it's not a case of too much emotion, but people letting themselves be controlled by those emotions, in the cases mentioned fear.

And people end up looking down on logic only when they aren't capable of it.

I repeat once again that I do not seek to rationalize I seek to truly understand. I accept the fact that I can't be certain and my hypothesis can be wrong. I don't try to prove that I'm right I just seek to understand.

And all that "data" is pretty pointless if there is no one who understands it.

The Unreasoner
11-25-2014, 05:06 AM
And all that "data" is pretty pointless if there is no one who understands it.
So should we juat ignore it?

Your position would hold a bit more power if there really were people taking the position that more understanding is bad, or that we should let emotions dominate us. In any case I'm thinking less emotion and more of an instinctual ethics system. Some things are compellingly wrong, and should be.

The whole 'pure reason is the best path' schtick sounds good the first time you hear it. In high school, I wrote a lot of stuff like you have here. I was White Ajah all the way, I ate it up. But I outgrew it.

We should all seek understanding. We should aspire to omniscience. But we cripple ourselves by demanding perfect understanding of a problem before taking any corrective action. Do you want to get rid of rape laws until law enforcement has access to fMRIs, bloodwork showing historical oxytocin levels, and whatever else perfect understanding would require? Many things cannot even be understood with purely objective, testable, and repeatable data alone. And there's the issue of resources. Perfect understanding of the climate probably won't come for decades at the earliest. Does that mean we have no right to cut carbon emissions in the meantime?

The White Ajah act just seems pompous and hollow, not to mention impotent, when brought into the real world. You may even agree, I know you've flipped out on here once or twice. It wasn't obviously productive, but maybe your stess hormones lowered or something.

yks 6nnetu hing
11-25-2014, 05:56 AM
The White Ajah act just seems pompous and hollow, not to mention impotent, when brought into the real world. You may even agree, I know you've flipped out on here once or twice. It wasn't obviously productive, but maybe your stess hormones lowered or something.

wtf? and then you wonder people react defensively to you.

Nazbaque
11-25-2014, 11:16 AM
So should we juat ignore it?
What I suggest is the exact opposite.
Your position would hold a bit more power if there really were people taking the position that more understanding is bad, or that we should let emotions dominate us. In any case I'm thinking less emotion and more of an instinctual ethics system. Some things are compellingly wrong, and should be.
But there is a reason for why they are wrong. Look first of all society as we see it is not in any way based on physical laws. It's all based on shared belief in how people should behave. We agree that we should not do certain things, but different as we are we don't agree on what exactly those things are or how we should deal with those who do what shouldn't be done.
The whole 'pure reason is the best path' schtick sounds good the first time you hear it. In high school, I wrote a lot of stuff like you have here. I was White Ajah all the way, I ate it up. But I outgrew it.
In other words you failed and quit when it got too tough.
We should all seek understanding. We should aspire to omniscience. But we cripple ourselves by demanding perfect understanding of a problem before taking any corrective action. Do you want to get rid of rape laws until law enforcement has access to fMRIs, bloodwork showing historical oxytocin levels, and whatever else perfect understanding would require? Many things cannot even be understood with purely objective, testable, and repeatable data alone. And there's the issue of resources. Perfect understanding of the climate probably won't come for decades at the earliest. Does that mean we have no right to cut carbon emissions in the meantime?
You really haven't even tried to understand my point have you? You just decided that I'm wrong and twist everything I say into the dramatic extremes that "must" be wrong in an effort to prove it and more to yourself than anyone else. I have said many times over the years that all that we think we know is uncertain. Thus the logical path is to accept that we might be wrong. And once we find in what way we are wrong we can fix it and become better people. This is a very humble road to walk.
The White Ajah act just seems pompous and hollow, not to mention impotent, when brought into the real world. You may even agree, I know you've flipped out on here once or twice. It wasn't obviously productive, but maybe your stess hormones lowered or something.
Ah so now it's all about winning for you. The one who shouts loudest is right. Keep throwing insults and the universe will submit. You have such a lazy mind. You have no control over your emotions which shows when you are dealing with southpaw. You do not even know what control is. You probably tried to suppress them and once it exploded in your face just gave up on the idea. But the point isn't to suppress. It's the first skill you need but there is more to self control than that. You must learn how to suppress, how to release, how to adjust the flow and what level is approapriate in each situation.

GonzoTheGreat
11-25-2014, 11:29 AM
The whole 'pure reason is the best path' schtick sounds good the first time you hear it. In high school, I wrote a lot of stuff like you have here. I was White Ajah all the way, I ate it up. But I outgrew it.
In other words you failed and quit when it got too tough.
The reason why the Greek got nowhere with their philosophy is quite simply that they had failed to grasp the problem of Garbage In, Garbage Out. That is the real core of this "White Ajah" type approach.

If you want to say something about (part of) reality, then you need to use frequent reality checks for your ideas. If you just use pure reason, you will merely get (at best) logically consistent nonsense.

Pure reason was carried as far as it possibly can by Descartes, and he got nowhere. He thought he'd gotten somewhere, but that is only because he'd overlooked some implicit assumptions, amongst which is the assumption of the existence of time. Drop that assumption (he was trying to drop all assumptions he could not prove as necessary), and you can't even assume that you are thinking anymore, since thinking is a process that takes time.

Nazbaque
11-25-2014, 11:57 AM
Nonsense? Good! Humanity is ill equipped to define sense so nonsense is probably true.

"I think therefore I am" was where Descartes got, but he made two hasty assumptions: 1) He believed he was doing was thinking, though it might not have been. And 2) He assumed that he was the one doing it.

Shun his closed mind!

Terez
11-25-2014, 12:20 PM
He also assumed that God must exist merely because he could conceive of Him. Which makes me wonder why we pay so much attention to a person with such a limited imagination.

The Unreasoner
11-25-2014, 03:05 PM
I tried to parse out Naz's response, not easy on the phone.

So, bulletpoints:

I didn't mean to come off as hostile. I see that I did. I'm sorry. But I still think your position (as presented) seems to be largely directed at people who do not really exist. No one is against understanding.

Maybe the path was too hard for me. Certianly I came to think that the perfect is the enemy of the good, something White Ajah me would not even consider. If I had to choose between perfect understanding and optimal outcome, I'd choose the latter.

You say I'm misrepresenting your philosophy? I don't want to. So will you maybe help me understand it? Given a problem, how do you gather data on solving it? How are competing interests reconciled when forming a plan of attack? And until you are done, what is the procedure in the interim? Status quo, hands off, what?

Because sometimes the person with the gun isn't closing their eyes while firing, and these particular bullets often have agency and discretion.

The Unreasoner
11-25-2014, 03:10 PM
1) He believed he was doing was thinking, though it might not have been.

Isn't this just a language issue? Like the 'is my red the same as your red'?

Nazbaque
11-25-2014, 05:57 PM
I didn't mean to come off as hostile. I see that I did. I'm sorry. But I still think your position (as presented) seems to be largely directed at people who do not really exist. No one is against understanding.
Apology accepted and I also wish to apologize for biting back as it were. I haven't fully mastered control myself yet and let too much of unrelated background anger through.

Well part of my philosophy is that while no one may be against understanding the vast majority does not practise it. This is just me being cynical based on experience so I might very well be wrong. Most people just go on with random inspired ideas and opinions based on how they want things to be. This is not thinking by my standards. It's worse than being stupid. No matter what a person's IQ is, if they don't use their brains it ends up multiplied by zero.
Maybe the path was too hard for me. Certianly I came to think that the perfect is the enemy of the good, something White Ajah me would not even consider. If I had to choose between perfect understanding and optimal outcome, I'd choose the latter.
I never thought perfect was attainable just that today isn't as good as can be. There is room for improvement.
You say I'm misrepresenting your philosophy? I don't want to. So will you maybe help me understand it? Given a problem, how do you gather data on solving it? How are competing interests reconciled when forming a plan of attack? And until you are done, what is the procedure in the interim? Status quo, hands off, what?
Well the popular view is that life is a game. In a way I believe in this, but the way I see it the way to win is to be happy with how you lived in the end. What I want is to get other people to realise that it is not a race game nor a competition for highest score. The point is not to be the happiest or even happier than others, but to be happy. Other people are not competition by default.

There is no point in me personally solving any problems at all. I would merely become another temporary stop cap. Worthwhile service it might be but eventually I will die and need to be replaced. So I seek to improve the world by guiding others to improve themselves and thus providing the society systems with better building material, though the metaphor could use some work.
Because sometimes the person with the gun isn't closing their eyes while firing, and these particular bullets often have agency and discretion.
Same thing in the end. The agency becomes the metaphorical gun and the ruling body that gives it the power is the person closing eyes and firing. In terms of politics the random politician is the gun and the voters close their eyes and fire at the problems of society.

But to illustrate my position on rape. Killing another person is wrong, as is violating another person. In either case the way in which it was done is a secondary detail, the wrong is not in the how. The thing is that there is very little variety from person to person in what will kill them so you can treat these acts as something that leads to death, but in the case of rape the damage is beyond physical. There are vast differences in what would make different people feel violated. The fact that people insist on looking at the action and exclaiming "That is rape!" is a big part of the problem as they keep ignoring the more subtle part which inconviniently also happens to be more important than the showy and dramatic part.

I don't see how to solve the problem either, but I see that the current approach is wrong. There are extremes in both ends that the vast majority recognises as rape and not rape, but there is a lot of space between that might be or might not be depending on the people involved. Definate laws saying about it either way end up as unjust in either officially not protecting people or prohibiting something that does no harm with some people. But how to actually write up an effective law on how people feel I just can't figure out.

Nazbaque
11-25-2014, 06:12 PM
Isn't this just a language issue? Like the 'is my red the same as your red'?

No it isn't. You see all that happens in our heads is not thinking. A lot is simply observing. Gathering data as you might say.

"This food is delicious" is not a thought, it's an observation. "I wonder how they made the sauce" is a thought. So was "I think" a thought or just an observation? Was it perhaps a false observation? And which ever it was, was Descartes the one who made it?

Is the part of us that thinks the only part that exists? Is it perhaps the other way around and that part is the only one that doesn't exist? Are there more parts that think or is all the thinking done by the same part? And does it matter if we don't truly exist at all?

GonzoTheGreat
11-26-2014, 04:05 AM
Isn't this just a language issue? Like the 'is my red the same as your red'?
No, since what he was trying to determine was whether there actually was an "I" at all. Until that was settled, it was not justified to make a distinction between "me" and "you", so there was no cause to even wonder about a possible difference between "my red" and "your red".
In order to justify the assumption that he had an "I", he noticed that thinking was going on, which requires a thinker, and he might as well designate that thinker "I". Even if it wasn't the "I" he normally thought of as himself, there would still be someone doing the thinking, so that the existence of some "I" was necessary. But this depended on the implicit assumption that the memories of doing thinking were correct; and that was merely an implicit assumption because he did not think of questioning the existence of time. If he had questioned that too, then I don't think he would have managed to get out of that problem again, which would have shown him that pure reason is not enough to say anything at all about reality. Or it would have driven him mad; whichever came first, I guess.

His proof of God was a bit more subtle than Terez suggests, though that extra subtlety does not really increase its strength.
He reasoned that if God exists, then God would be infinitely perfect. Descartes, stupendously clever though he knew himself to be, was not quite that perfect. Even more than that: he knew that he could not understand infinite perfection. Yet he had that as a concept in his mind, and since it could not come from him nor from any other finite being, then it had to come from an infinitely perfect one: God. Thus, God obviously had given Man the concept of divinity so that we could know Him albeit in our imperfect ways.
One pretty obvious flaw in this is that Descartes did not actually have the concept of infinite perfection in his mind, he merely had the concept of "having the concept of infinite perfection in his mind" in his mind. In other words: he fooled himself into imagining God. (If you don't believe me here, just ask yourself what it means for God to be infinitely perfect. Is He perfectly evil? Is He perfectly coquettish? Is God a perfect airhead? If you ask enough questions like that, then it will become clear that God can't be perfect at everything without also being perfectly ludicrous.)

tworiverswoman
11-26-2014, 05:39 PM
I don't understand why "God" is supposed to BE perfect. This is actually a fairly new concept - the Greeks sure as hell didn't have it. Their gods were just humans writ large.

It's that whole Triple O idea that bewilders me - Omnipotent, Omnibenevolent, Omniscient. Says who? WHY, fercripesake? Is it just that anything less isn't worth worshipping? As far as I've ever been able to see, the historical concepts of gods were just intended to explain away questions about the world - and if the Intelligent Designer is also supposed to be Perfect (with a capital P) then why is nothing in the world perfect?

Modern God is impossibly over-built.

Nazbaque
11-26-2014, 06:14 PM
Well it's basically for (con)trolling the people and keeping them down. Not really at the moment but way back when sun revolved around the flat earth and spelling hadn't been invented. Now it's just for the sake of tradition and of not admitting that any previous priests could have been wrong about anything.

The idea is this:

1) God is Omniscient. He knows what everyone is doing.

2) God is Omnipotent. He can punish anyone anyway he wants.

3) God is Omnibenevolent. His punishments are never unjust.

The point is that at first gods were just a way to explain something. Then tribal wisemen became priests and religion was born. Civilization marched on and cities started to create middle steps between the chief and everyone else. You might not reach the top but you could stand above the rabble and be important and of course priests rose a bit higher than others. Eventually religion was turned into a way of keeping the people happy when the ruler's authority was backed by the gods. The second hand power made priests greedy for more and so the point of gods turned from explanation to control. Then eventually the ultimate tyrant, the chirstian god was created.

Ivhon
11-26-2014, 10:18 PM
I think Bill Cosby's a douchebag.

GonzoTheGreat
11-27-2014, 03:33 AM
It's that whole Triple O idea that bewilders me - Omnipotent, Omnibenevolent, Omniscient. Says who? WHY, fercripesake? Is it just that anything less isn't worth worshipping?
Anything less is just one more of the limited gods of whom there already were lots and lots. Only by making their own god infinitely perfect could Christians come up with a good reason for denying the existence of all those other gods.
If you read the first bits of the Bible, then you may notice that there the existence of other gods isn't denied; Jews are merely prohibited from worshipping them. Only quite late does actual monotheism appear, and only when it comes into a position to go on the offensive does it add those infinities. Helped, of course, by Greek philosophers who knew about infinity but did not understand it, so they could use it without noticing there were fatal flaws with the concept. Or at least, they could ignore the flaws that were actually pointed out (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Problem_of_evil#Epicurus).

Ivhon, what does Cosby have to do with this topic?

Terez
11-27-2014, 06:37 AM
Bill Cosby is not a rapist because God doesn't exist.

GonzoTheGreat
11-27-2014, 09:25 AM
Bill Cosby is not a rapist because God doesn't exist.
Citation needed.

Terez
11-27-2014, 10:55 AM
How about, Bill Cosby is a rapist because God does not exist?

GonzoTheGreat
11-27-2014, 11:30 AM
How about, Bill Cosby is a rapist because God does not exist?
That one makes sense. There are lots of believers who seem firmly convinced they'd go on a crime spree immediately if they figured out that God did not exist, after all.

The Unreasoner
11-28-2014, 05:44 PM
Did anyone read the recent Straight Dope on snakes tying themselves into knots? When put in a weightless environment, snakes tie themselves into a knot, apparently to comfort themselves. Scientists think it demonstrates a lack of ability to distinguish between self and non self, so while they have a hold on something, it doesn't anchor them.

This is sort of how I see a logic-only approach (even religion suffers this weakness. After all, there is no guarantee that God is not self, or that God is itself anchored). I do find it amusing that Descartes (who really did a lot for logic and philosophy) is getting shit for believing in God when theological circles are giving him shit for have little use for God (it's been said that Descartes had God create the universe with a wave of his hand then set Him aside).

I have heard the anthropological idealities/metaphysical probabilities of God being perfectly evil, perfectly silly, and perfectly Tuesday. While there are ways to resolve this theologically, it's not perfect.

One reason for an omnipotent and omniscient deity fits in with the use of pagan gods pointed out by Naz: It can be used to explain things we don't understand. As our understanding grew, so did the complexity of our questions. Of course, no religion offers a clear way to find the answers, they tend to take the route of simply declaring that the answers exist.

On the topic at hand, I wonder how to approach a problem where there is consensus that a behavior is wrong, but no two observers can agree why. Personally, I favor a preexisting set of absolute ethics, so I would just argue that most (or perhaps all) of the observers are wrong. But when right and wrong are a matter of consensus, it seems that the reasoning behind (and probably the response to) a wrong behavior is inherently fuzzy.

Eta:
The stupid face is accidental. I don't think I want to know how this post would come across if you all thought I was wearing a shit-eating grin.

Zombie Sammael
11-28-2014, 08:53 PM
Eta:
The stupid face is accidental. I don't think I want to know how this post would come across if you all thought I was wearing a shit-eating grin.

I imagine you make all your posts while wearing a shit-eating grin. :p

Nazbaque
11-28-2014, 09:38 PM
This is sort of how I see a logic-only approach

That implies there is an approach that is only partly logical. That is not how logic works. If it is logical, then it's logical all the way through. It's like an electric circuit, if there is a flaw anywhere the whole thing doesn't work. If you want to be logical it has to be flawless.

Logic is snobbish like that. If it's going to be a part of a team, it has to be captain.

People who talk about there being different types of logic, don't understand logic. There are several ways to fail at being logical, but only one way to do it right.

Mostly when people complain about logic it's something like this:

1) Assumptions + Logic = Conclusion

2) Conclusion = Bullshit

3) Logic = Flawed

4) No flaws found

5) Logic = Bullshit

This whole process has three major points that are very telling of human vanity and stupidity. The most obvious is of course number 4. "Seeing is believing" said the blind man. The next one is number 2. Something has to be wrong if it looks wrong. All that trouble with thinking and humanity still can't get past belief. The third point is the lack of number 6.

6) Assumption = Bullshit

No matter how good you are with logic, if you start from bullshit, you'll end up with bullshit.

So when I hear people complaining about logic, I draw the logical conclusion that those people aren't good with logic. However I often have to remind myself that it might be that human beings aren't good with logic and thus I have no call to judge others.

It's somewhat ironic that no matter how pompous and arrogant some intellectuals seem, the truly logical approach is humble by necessity. If you don't let logic be captain, it just won't play with you. In comparison however belief is like the village slut. Anyone can have a go and those who do also get all the stds going about.

The Unreasoner
11-28-2014, 10:23 PM
That implies there is an approach that is only partly logical. That is not how logic works. If it is logical, then it's logical all the way through. It's like an electric circuit, if there is a flaw anywhere the whole thing doesn't work. If you want to be logical it has to be flawless.

Logic is snobbish like that. If it's going to be a part of a team, it has to be captain.

People who talk about there being different types of logic, don't understand logic. There are several ways to fail at being logical, but only one way to do it right.

Mostly when people complain about logic it's something like this:

1) Assumptions + Logic = Conclusion

2) Conclusion = Bullshit

3) Logic = Flawed

4) No flaws found

5) Logic = Bullshit

This whole process has three major points that are very telling of human vanity and stupidity. The most obvious is of course number 4. "Seeing is believing" said the blind man. The next one is number 2. Something has to be wrong if it looks wrong. All that trouble with thinking and humanity still can't get past belief. The third point is the lack of number 6.

6) Assumption = Bullshit

No matter how good you are with logic, if you start from bullshit, you'll end up with bullshit.

So when I hear people complaining about logic, I draw the logical conclusion that those people aren't good with logic. However I often have to remind myself that it might be that human beings aren't good with logic and thus I have no call to judge others.

It's somewhat ironic that no matter how pompous and arrogant some intellectuals seem, the truly logical approach is humble by necessity. If you don't let logic be captain, it just won't play with you. In comparison however belief is like the village slut. Anyone can have a go and those who do also get all the stds going about.
Aside from the condescending analogies (this is what bugged me earlier. It's the tone, I think. If you read Luke Mckinney's stuff on Cracked, it is the same deal. Fascinating articles, but...wow, is he abrasive) I agree with everything you said here. But we now know that no system can be both consistent and complete. Logic is consistent, that's sort of the point.

But this means it's incomplete. Unless you only want to get as far as Descartes (or rather, only as far as he should have gone), at some point you need to take a blind leap. I suppose there are degrees of blindness, and sometimes we can retroactively link things more firmly. But we all are just snakes tying themselves into knots at some point.

Nazbaque
11-28-2014, 10:39 PM
Ah but the thing is that logic is complete as well as consistent. It is the human ability to keep up that is the problem. We are limited. I did say the lack of number 6 was a telling point in human stupidity and vanity. No assumption is certain so all logical conclusions based on it are potentially flawed. To truly be logical you have to accept your own ignorance and as it were stop making those blind leaps.

I also made point about belief carrying a lot of stds. You should always wear a condom when indulging.

The Unreasoner
11-28-2014, 11:35 PM
Ah but the thing is that logic is complete as well as consistent. It is the human ability to keep up that is the problem. We are limited. I did say the lack of number 6 was a telling point in human stupidity and vanity. No assumption is certain so all logical conclusions based on it are potentially flawed. To truly be logical you have to accept your own ignorance and as it were stop making those blind leaps.

I also made point about belief carrying a lot of stds. You should always wear a condom when indulging.

The whole lack of 6 thing is a bit flawed when you realize that you are the one who left it out. Do most people? I doubt it. Most people are familiar with faulty assumptions.

And the notion that we can trust our senses is a blind leap. It is a productive blind leap, and doesn't seem to be falsifiable, but it is a blind leap just the same.

And I was talking about the circuit analogy when I said it came off as condescending. But if you repeated the villiage slut analogy (perhaps not very tasteful, considering the OP) for a reaction: yes, I found it insulting.

Nazbaque
11-29-2014, 12:29 AM
Your faith in other peoples' ability to recognize a false assumption is lacking in cynicism.

Seeing is believing, said the blind man.

And I don't go for reactions. There is a deeper meaning. When I say belief I am not referring to religion, but anything anyone takes for granted.

GonzoTheGreat
11-29-2014, 03:39 AM
That implies there is an approach that is only partly logical. That is not how logic works. If it is logical, then it's logical all the way through.
And that is precisely the trouble: using nothing other than logic, it is not possible to distinguish between bullshit assumptions and reasonable ones. So if you use logic, then all you are doing is logic; anything you say about reality is just bullshit. If you've done a proper job of it, it will be logically sound bullshit, but that does not make it any more reliable in the real world.

Only if you abandon logic and use observation instead is it possible to do any kind of worthwhile study of reality. With, admittedly, never the certainty of perfection which proper logic gives you, but in return you will have some real chance of not being wrong.

Edited to add:
Once you've gathered a bunch of observations, using logic to tie them together into a consistent model of reality can often be very useful. But you should then once again do more observations to try to determine whether or not your model is good enough; merely having it logically sound is not ever sufficient.

Nazbaque
11-29-2014, 11:16 AM
And that is precisely the trouble: using nothing other than logic, it is not possible to distinguish between bullshit assumptions and reasonable ones. So if you use logic, then all you are doing is logic; anything you say about reality is just bullshit. If you've done a proper job of it, it will be logically sound bullshit, but that does not make it any more reliable in the real world.

Only if you abandon logic and use observation instead is it possible to do any kind of worthwhile study of reality. With, admittedly, never the certainty of perfection which proper logic gives you, but in return you will have some real chance of not being wrong.

Edited to add:
Once you've gathered a bunch of observations, using logic to tie them together into a consistent model of reality can often be very useful. But you should then once again do more observations to try to determine whether or not your model is good enough; merely having it logically sound is not ever sufficient.

If it is logically sound then it is sufficient. The problem is that no concept is ever logically sound as any of its base assumptions can be false.

You have to let logic be captain Gonzo, otherwise it won't play with you.

GonzoTheGreat
11-29-2014, 12:33 PM
In what sense would such a "base assumption" be false?
It can't be through pure logic, otherwise it wouldn't be a base assumption but a derived result. So it has to be false in the sense that it does not correspond to reality, but that you can only tell by experimentation, not through logic alone.

Nazbaque
11-29-2014, 12:58 PM
Well in this case the base assumption that experimentation is a reliable method might be a false assumption and thus you go back to square one.

See what I mean about people's ability to spot false assumptions, Unreasoner?

The Unreasoner
11-29-2014, 02:57 PM
Well in this case the base assumption that experimentation is a reliable method might be a false assumption and thus you go back to square one.

See what I mean about people's ability to spot false assumptions, Unreasoner?

Sort of. But this is my point: If we make no assumptions (like that we can conduct experiments and trust the results), what the hell are we doing? If we can't make statements about (what appears to be) the real world, we might as well be hypothesizing the diet of unicorns. In terms of utility, pure logic is crippled by a lack of data to analyze.

Here's my condescending proverb: In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

Nazbaque
11-29-2014, 03:24 PM
Actually the one eyed man is the master thief. Or possibly a dangerous madman who gets burned alive.

The point however is to be awere of the imperfections. Be aware that you are making a gamble. And of course when looking at the assumptions people insist on making you learn a lot about them as individuals and about humanity in general.

For example there are plenty of people who declare themselves atheists denying gods and right after that pour the same blind belief in scientific research. They treat science the same way as religious people treat their gods.

The Unreasoner
11-29-2014, 03:47 PM
Actually the one eyed man is the master thief. Or possibly a dangerous madman who gets burned alive.

The point however is to be awere of the imperfections. Be aware that you are making a gamble. And of course when looking at the assumptions people insist on making you learn a lot about them as individuals and about humanity in general.

For example there are plenty of people who declare themselves atheists denying gods and right after that pour the same blind belief in scientific research. They treat science the same way as religious people treat their gods.

Kings have historically been good thieves.

I think we've more or less gotten to a point where we can reasonably and amicably disagree.

I think everyone here is aware of the weaknesses in their own belief systems. Except Juan/Southpaw. It's good to be reminded of their existence, though. As you pointed out, the weaknesses leave a lot of room for what we might call 'holy wars'. While I don't think current rape laws approach that level, the possibility should always be acknowledged.

As for people taking scientific implications as religious fact, I'm not enormously troubled by it. As long as their beliefs are beneficial or at least harmless, I don't really care if they got there by contemplating the results of their own controlled experiments or if they just read a tweet by Russel Brand while on mescaline. I will confess that I am troubled by the people who treat scientific fact as an element of pop culture, but cannot say exactly why.

Nazbaque
11-29-2014, 04:08 PM
Well science is in many ways a lot better god to believe in. It was more about the psychology of the people.

You might even say that I personally treat logic as my god, but it's more that I believe it to be the foundation of reality. I believe this because otherwise reality isn't logical and therefore duck.

However if someone referred to me as "The Prophet of Logic", I'd be really pleased about it unlike the type of atheist mentioned earlier who would take it as an insult.

GonzoTheGreat
11-30-2014, 03:51 AM
Well in this case the base assumption that experimentation is a reliable method might be a false assumption and thus you go back to square one.That is sort of the point of Plato's Cave, isn't it?
Of course, like all the other Greek philosophers, he then failed to draw the conclusion that he couldn't be absolutely sure of anything, but he did come up with a fairly good description of the problem nonetheless.

However, there is nothing inherently wrong with assuming that some assumption is correct, just as long as you keep track of what you're assuming and keep in the back of your head the knowledge that you might be wrong in parts of it. That is actually what science is all about: trying to shoot holes in your own (or other people's, more realistically) ideas.

Here's my condescending proverb: In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.Actually, the land of the blind would be the kingdom of the bats, and there a one-eyed person is at a clear disadvantage, since eyes are not very useful for that lifestyle but they are an infection risk. Especially while hanging upside down without toilet facilities.

For example there are plenty of people who declare themselves atheists denying gods and right after that pour the same blind belief in scientific research. They treat science the same way as religious people treat their gods.
Obviously, they don't understand science, since the core of that is doubt rather than faith. There are indeed more people like that than I would like (my preferred number here would be zero), but they do not show any flaws in either atheism nor in science. Instead, they show a flaw that exists in most (possibly all) humans: to jump to conclusions too easily. If science is correct, then this would mean that it is more often beneficial (because it lets people get on with what they're doing) than detrimental, so that evolution has not weeded this out. If religion is right, then you can blame the god of your choice for Intelligently Designing humans to be idiots.

yks 6nnetu hing
12-01-2014, 02:53 AM
Actually, the land of the blind would be the kingdom of the bats, and there a one-eyed person is at a clear disadvantage, since eyes are not very useful for that lifestyle but they are an infection risk. Especially while hanging upside down without toilet facilities.

Repped you for that. :D

on the topic of logic vs assumptions, I'm with Gonzo. There comes a point where no amount of logic will tell you how things stand; so the prudent thing to do is look for real life evidence and go with that. The trick is finding a workable balance between real life evidence, which can be faulty, anecdotal and/or incomplete; and applying logic to cover the possible gaps.

For example: None of us have been to the Sun. Nevertheless, it is a reasonable assumption that the Sun is hot, and if you were to try to go there, you'd die; hence making the attempt to collect empirical data a pointless exercise seeing as that data would perish with you. However, we do have empirical evidence which allows us to extrapolate rather a lot about the Sun - so we know quite a lot about it without actually having been there. Expand this analogy to the entirety of astrophysics and you get my point.

I had a classmate once, he started Uni same year as me, and was possibly the most diligent person I'd met at that time. However, being so diligent, he refused to take an exam if he felt like he didn't know the subject 100%. He flunked out that first year.

Nazbaque
12-01-2014, 07:26 AM
It's not logic vs. assumption; it's logic vs. belief. Logic doesn't deny assuming; it denies taking assumption for granted.

As in the case of your classmate who believed in his own ability to assess the Uni's opinion on his knowledge without taking their test. Logically the whole point is to get the Uni's official opinion on your knowledge being adequate, so he simply should have studied then taken the test and retried if he flunked.

As for the Sun reference, you are actually going backwards. Going over to the Sun to see if it's hot is an empirical approach not a logical one. Logic simply goes over the theories and points out the assumptions and possibly speculates on alternatives such as all of us being plugged into a virtual reality and everything we think we sense being a lie.

GonzoTheGreat
12-01-2014, 08:39 AM
As in the case of your classmate who believed in his own ability to assess the Uni's opinion on his knowledge without taking their test. Logically the whole point is to get the Uni's official opinion on your knowledge being adequate, so he simply should have studied then taken the test and retried if he flunked.
"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio*,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

In this specific case: it is also possible for someone to use a two step evaluation process: first decide whether or not he is good enough in his own eyes, and only if he passes his own test try the official test. It is not possible to prove that one approach is correct and the other isn't with logic; which approach one uses depends on the assumptions one decides to make.

* An old way of spelling "Nazbaque". Most people seem to get the pronounciation wrong, nowadays.

yks 6nnetu hing
12-01-2014, 08:41 AM
dude. Assumption=belief

that you'd try to separate the two into different categories of... er... potentially iffy empirical data is illogical in itself.

also, you're saying that which I already said: that to know that the Sun is hot, we don't need empirical data. we make the assumption that it's hot without ever being there based on the existing data and the mathematical calculations and logical extrapolations on that data; while, if we were to take the purely logical approach, one could say that the data we have is incomplete and not 100% and so therefore, a possibility exists that the Sun is in fact, really cold, a unicorn or doesn't exist at all. Which quite frankly is logically correct but factually stupid.

Nazbaque
12-01-2014, 09:35 AM
"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio*,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

In this specific case: it is also possible for someone to use a two step evaluation process: first decide whether or not he is good enough in his own eyes, and only if he passes his own test try the official test. It is not possible to prove that one approach is correct and the other isn't with logic; which approach one uses depends on the assumptions one decides to make.

* An old way of spelling "Nazbaque". Most people seem to get the pronounciation wrong, nowadays.
Well now that depends on assuming the official opinion is correct. We don't study the truth. We study humanity's general opinion on it or at least the professors' opinions which the academy pressumably approves of.

Logically in pursuits of degrees truth doesn't matter but the opinion on it. Uncertainty steps in when you can't be certain if the degree will be useful afterwards.

And all that I dream of doesn't fit into this universe much less just heaven and earth. You can keep quoting Gonzo, they were all inferior thinkers to me. Some of them quite respectable in general, but still inferior to me.
dude. Assumption=belief

that you'd try to separate the two into different categories of... er... potentially iffy empirical data is illogical in itself.

also, you're saying that which I already said: that to know that the Sun is hot, we don't need empirical data. we make the assumption that it's hot without ever being there based on the existing data and the mathematical calculations and logical extrapolations on that data; while, if we were to take the purely logical approach, one could say that the data we have is incomplete and not 100% and so therefore, a possibility exists that the Sun is in fact, really cold, a unicorn or doesn't exist at all. Which quite frankly is logically correct but factually stupid.

No it is not. Assumption is an assumption. Belief makes a decision on assumption being true or false. Logically correct means absolute certainty which isn't possible until an undeniable fact is discovered which in turn won't happen before humanity goes through some serious mental growth and probably not after either. The true logical approach in all situations is to be uncertain, probably.

The purely logical approach is that all data is uncertain and thus all conclusions based on it are also uncertain. Logically there is no such thing as factuality.

If you can't accept that, then you have a god. Most likely a non-sentient god, but nevertheless you are treating something as fact and all extensions are a form of worship, even if those extensions are logical within the subverse.

yks 6nnetu hing
12-01-2014, 10:18 AM
No it is not. Assumption is an assumption. Belief makes a decision on assumption being true or false. Logically correct means absolute certainty which isn't possible until an undeniable fact is discovered which in turn won't happen before humanity goes through some serious mental growth and probably not after either. The true logical approach in all situations is to be uncertain, probably.

The purely logical approach is that all data is uncertain and thus all conclusions based on it are also uncertain. Logically there is no such thing as factuality.

If you can't accept that, then you have a god. Most likely a non-sentient god, but nevertheless you are treating something as fact and all extensions are a form of worship, even if those extensions are logical within the subverse.

incorrect. you either assume something is correct or you assume it is not correct. Because either way you don't know for a fact. It is exactly the same as belief. Just because the word belief is normally used for religion and the word assumption for science, they ARE STILL THE SAME THING.

seriously? you're now arguing that logically speaking, the Sun doesn't exist/is a unicorn?

As I said, as far as I'm concerned, in every argument there ought to come a point where if the argument produces no results, you discard it and look at your data again discarding the logical conclusions that lead to the 0*infinity result until better data becomes available.

Nazbaque
12-01-2014, 11:14 AM
In otherwords you treat certain ... hmmm since you insist on the word assumption implying a position in true or false what word should I use? Seriously I want to know what you would call an undecided ... well there it is again. I have a pretty good vocabulary but this just isn't covered. Anyway you take something as fact without being able to prove it. That is your god.

And I am arguing that we can't be certain. I am not arguing that the Sun is anything. I am of the opinion that we don't truly know. It is all guessing.

Terez
12-01-2014, 12:22 PM
Try "proposition".

Nazbaque
12-01-2014, 12:50 PM
Try "proposition".

Doesn't that presume a decision as well? At the same level as assumption? In my understanding belief is definitely stronger, but that's just me.

Terez
12-01-2014, 02:39 PM
A proposition is the proposal (suggestion) that something might be true. An assumption actually assumes that the proposition is true. In logic or in science, an assumption can be the foundation for an experiment, i. e. "Let's assume this is true. Then what?" In day-to-day life assumptions are usually beliefs. The word is also linguistically close to "presumption" which gives it certain connotations absent from "proposition".

Nazbaque
12-01-2014, 03:29 PM
Ah. Good to know. Always something new to learn. I shall have use for this word.

There are always these three choices for any proposition: true, false and undecided. The logical approach is to be undecided. Once your mind reaches the level of treating everything as uncertain it first feels liberating or at least it did for me. Then it gets a bit boring, so you start speculating. And since you have leveled the mental ground the speculations are much neater.

The Unreasoner
12-01-2014, 04:07 PM
Ah. Good to know. Always something new to learn. I shall have use for this word.

There are always these three choices for any proposition: true, false and undecided. The logical approach is to be undecided. Once your mind reaches the level of treating everything as uncertain it first feels liberating or at least it did for me. Then it gets a bit boring, so you start speculating. And since you have leveled the mental ground the speculations are much neater.

Do you at least use weighted propositions? Like for instance, give each proposition a weight proportional to the number of other propositions you've made that are consistent with it? Otherwise, it seems that you would be wasting a lot of brainpower on proposing diets for the Solar Unicorns that may be running the 'reality simulation'.

On the topic at hand, I think he did it, and that he should probably go to jail. Though his victims might rather get cash settlements and a guilty plea. I really don't know whether it is more important to punish the criminal or benefit the victims, nor do I know who should make that call. It may be that he couldn't be prosecuted either way, I don't know the specific laws. All this really depresses me, because I liked his stand-up a lot. Could I still listen to it? Maybe only if it is pirated, or is combined with a donation to a relevant charity? Is it right to separate ths art from the man, and judge it separately?

Nazbaque
12-01-2014, 04:44 PM
Do you at least use weighted propositions? Like for instance, give each proposition a weight proportional to the number of other propositions you've made that are consistent with it? Otherwise, it seems that you would be wasting a lot of brainpower on proposing diets for the Solar Unicorns that may be running the 'reality simulation'.

Well usually the speculations get really short with the more ... eccentric propositions. The first being: Supposing reality isn't logical... So that sort of has to be given or all speculation is pointless. Next is personal existance. Reliability of senses comes in third though that one always demands a caveat for illusions.

Brainpower isn't really that much of a problem when you spend a lot of your time in thought-link with your multiverse copies passing the thought from one you to the next. The loop can't be that long, but it seems to be a matter of practise, so I haven't yet found an exact limit. Dreams get really weird though.

The Unreasoner
12-01-2014, 05:20 PM
Well usually the speculations get really short with the more ... eccentric propositions. The first being: Supposing reality isn't logical... So that sort of has to be given or all speculation is pointless. Next is personal existance. Reliability of senses comes in third though that one always demands a caveat for illusions.

Brainpower isn't really that much of a problem when you spend a lot of your time in thought-link with your multiverse copies passing the thought from one you to the next. The loop can't be that long, but it seems to be a matter of practise, so I haven't yet found an exact limit. Dreams get really weird though.

Is it logical to label a proposition eccentric, though? Consistency weighting comes to the same effect, and requires no assumptions or judgements.

Terez
12-01-2014, 11:08 PM
Ah. Good to know. Always something new to learn. I shall have use for this word.
I'm still miffed that I had to use "propose" and "assume" to define "proposition" and "assumption". Only because I was on my phone though.

http://i70.photobucket.com/albums/i111/Terez27/ScreenShot2014-12-01at110620PM_zps2af1464f.png

Tomp
12-02-2014, 04:51 PM
I'm still miffed that I had to use "propose" and "assume" to define "proposition" and "assumption". Only because I was on my phone though.

http://i70.photobucket.com/albums/i111/Terez27/ScreenShot2014-12-01at110620PM_zps2af1464f.png

All assumptions start with an ass. ;)

GonzoTheGreat
12-03-2014, 03:56 AM
All assumptions start with an ass. ;)
Well, the Anglo-Saxon ones do. In French, to name but one example, things are different.

Terez
12-03-2014, 04:07 AM
Jesus rode a donkey before l'Assomption, did he not?

Terez
12-03-2014, 01:18 PM
On topic:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/people/2014/12/03/bill-cosby-lawsuit-legal-troubles-sexual-abuse/19822963/

His attorney has said that the people accusing him have not filed legal claims, as if that undermines their credibility. Now somebody has sued. It will be interesting to see his response.

Davian93
12-03-2014, 01:21 PM
I'd imagine most of them didn't file legal claims due to the statute of limitation on such crimes...but yeah, nice try at dodging that one, Bill.

Terez
12-03-2014, 03:34 PM
My local social media is awful on this subject. At least half of the comments on the Facebook posts, upwards of half in the comments with the most likes, say something about how long it took these women to come forward, as if that undermines their claims. These are local people, the same ones who post on the news stories about Mr. Pryor with 100% confidence that the victims are telling the truth, even the ones who came forward after 40 years, whether or not they bothered to read the story and see that he confessed.

The victim filing the lawsuit against Cosby is probably only doing so because of the quote I gave in my last post. The actions she described were very similar to those described by Pryor's victims: not rape in the legal sense, but touching without consent, not that consent legally exists for minors. If she wanted to dramatize it, she could claim that he raped her, as many others have claimed. Her story therefore has the ring of truth; it's the type of behavior that is often blown off by adults, but becomes a serious problem when the victim is underage and on the wrong side of a compounded power imbalance.

Nazbaque
12-04-2014, 01:47 PM
Is it logical to label a proposition eccentric, though? Consistency weighting comes to the same effect, and requires no assumptions or judgements.

Well it's more that it happens in reverse. The more assumptions you make the longer the chain, if one of them is false the whole chain fails. "Reality is logical" and "I exist" are the most important by default as without the former all deduction is pointless and without the latter your personal deductions are pointless. After that it is more a matter of finding the minimum quantity of assumptions to logically enable a hypothesis. The really long chains are the eccentric ones.

GonzoTheGreat
12-05-2014, 03:49 AM
Which type of logic does reality obey, though?
There are an infinite number of mutually incompatible possible ways of setting up logic. While it is not at all inconceivable that reality does indeed obey one such type of logic, it is a lot less obvious that you've accidentally picked precisely the right one at random. After all, your chance of doing so is zero (one divided by infinity). On the other hand, I don't know of any logical way of determining through pure logic which type of logic actually fits reality. All attempts to do that either failed outright or got stuck in circular reasoning.

Nazbaque
12-05-2014, 05:46 AM
Which type of logic does reality obey, though?
There are an infinite number of mutually incompatible possible ways of setting up logic. While it is not at all inconceivable that reality does indeed obey one such type of logic, it is a lot less obvious that you've accidentally picked precisely the right one at random. After all, your chance of doing so is zero (one divided by infinity). On the other hand, I don't know of any logical way of determining through pure logic which type of logic actually fits reality. All attempts to do that either failed outright or got stuck in circular reasoning.

Gonzo there is only one type of logic. Everything else is just different ways to fail at being logical.

Logic is not something that we can control. It is and all we can do is study, observe and learn. If there is a problem it is within us not logic.

Oh and zero isn't one divided by infinity. It is much smaller than that or it would be if it had a size which it doesn't. Don't get so wrapped up in infinity that you ignore the true concept of zero.

GonzoTheGreat
12-05-2014, 07:54 AM
Gonzo there is only one type of logic. Everything else is just different ways to fail at being logical.
Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logic) lists at least 9 different types of logic:
Syllogistic logic, Propositional logic (sentential logic), Predicate logic, Modal logic, Informal reasoning, Mathematical logic, Philosophical logic, Computational logic and Bivalence and the law of the excluded middle.

Which 8 of those are "different ways to fail at being logical" and what proof (not dependent on using the one type of logic you favor, of course) do you have for that?
Of course, it is also possible you would reject all 9, and use a tenth logic, or an eleventh, or ...

Nazbaque
12-05-2014, 08:27 AM
If you are going to let wikipedia do the thinking for you will never get anywhere.

Your wiki page lists different attempts to be logical. But why do you think they must be exclusive? There is only the one true logic and it encompasses all successful ways to be logical.

You see the basis of true logic is the Truth. The fact that humanity is incapable of defining or discovering the Truth is the real hindrance in our attempts to be logical. It's ironic that humanity persists in trying to go at it the wrong way around and attempts to define sense in order to know the truth, when true logic is quite clear that it can only work the other way around. Only through the Truth can we define sense. And since we can't define sense there is no such thing as sanity. Thus the only logical approach is to admit that you are insane just like everyone else.

GonzoTheGreat
12-05-2014, 09:21 AM
Thus the only logical approach is to admit that you are insane just like everyone else.Isn't it illogical to assume there is an "everyone else" in the first place? That would have to be proven first, and since that's not possible, assuming it is not warranted. Solipsism for the win!

Nazbaque
12-05-2014, 09:41 AM
Are you implying that non-existent people are sane?

GonzoTheGreat
12-05-2014, 10:45 AM
Are you implying that non-existent people are sane?
I don't think that I'm qualified to diagnose any non-existing people as insane.

The Unreasoner
12-05-2014, 12:22 PM
I'm with Gonzo here, Nazbaque. You are (once again) slipping towards a position dominated by cliches and snappy one-liners (team captain? I am the reasoner (or otherwise) here. Logic is a tool, not an agent), whose strength is supplied by vague assertions. Are you advocating an axiomless approach, almost the assembly language of logic? A consistency based weighting seems the most efficient to me, allowing for 'just enough' axioms, and real-world utility. Or are you sincerely advocating skepticism to the rather extreme degree you imply here? And if you do, can you honestly argue that it is a useful approach?

Who was it that said 'the real world is always a step beyond logic,'?

Nazbaque
12-05-2014, 09:04 PM
I feel that the most crucial point isn't getting across. What I mean is that there is such a thing as reality and it has rules. These rules are the true logic. What you and Gonzo refer to as logic is merely an attempt to be logical.

And unreasoner or not if you let your own vanity get the better of you, you'll metaphorically close your eyes to reality. You insist that logic is a tool, but what you think of as logic is merely an attempt and never a match for the real thing. True rules can't be controlled you can only fail at trying not to follow them. That's what I mean by logic being the captain. It is the very power of reality itself. Disobeying is not possible. However understanding might be. So stop trying to dictate to how reality should be and start listening to how it is.

GonzoTheGreat
12-06-2014, 03:55 AM
I feel that the most crucial point isn't getting across. What I mean is that there is such a thing as reality and it has rules. These rules are the true logic. What you and Gonzo refer to as logic is merely an attempt to be logical.
The little bit of reality that we can perceive does seem to be following a fairly consistent type of logic. Though even that is uncertain: it is logically impossible to combine quantum mechanics and general relativity, yet both appear completely correct in every test we can use on them. It they both are, then reality even as we know it is not logical.

Then there's "reality not as we know it", which can be termed the multiverse. We have no real reason to assume that other universes in that multiverse must have laws of nature that are logically compatible with ours, so there is the very real possibility (with unknown and probably unknowable likelihood) that reality as a whole is not logically consistent, even if our bit of it is "at the moment". I put quotes around at the moment, there, because in multiverse theory it is not possible to define a global time, and consequently "our moment" has no real meaning at all.

You could, of course, prove me wrong by presenting a full Theory Of Everything here complete with logically air tight evidence; but I don't think that is possible so I'm willing to take the chance of being proven wrong. (If you do prove me wrong on this, that would be so interesting that I might maybe forgive you on that count.)

Nazbaque
12-06-2014, 04:08 AM
Why should I prove you wrong when you are finally coming around to agreeing with me?

GonzoTheGreat
12-06-2014, 04:26 AM
Because if you don't, then this thread is over. Unless Cosby does something interesting again, I guess, but I wouldn't bet on that. It would not be logical, after all ...

Nazbaque
12-06-2014, 04:37 AM
Now you are just being conceited. Why should the thread stop at that? You might stop participating but that doesn't mean everyone else will.

GonzoTheGreat
12-06-2014, 06:14 AM
It does if solipsism (which is a logically sound* idea) is True.

* Apart from, I have admitted in the past, the Teletubbies. I don't want to claim responsibility for them; they may very well prove that solipsism is false. Or perhaps they're just a figment of the imagination.

Terez
12-06-2014, 06:38 AM
Cosby, interesting. He was removed from the board of Temple University and his honorary Navy title was revoked.

Nazbaque
12-06-2014, 07:17 AM
See? There goes solipsism.

GonzoTheGreat
12-06-2014, 09:26 AM
So it is apparently Bill Cosby's fault that the Teletubbies exist. Who would have guessed that?

Nazbaque
12-06-2014, 02:14 PM
I thought they were your fault.

Zombie Sammael
12-06-2014, 11:01 PM
Eh-Oh!

tworiverswoman
12-08-2014, 01:09 PM
Eh-Oh!Which presumably means something, but as I only speak American, I don't know what.

GonzoTheGreat
12-09-2014, 03:41 AM
Which presumably means something, but as I only speak American, I don't know what.
Blessed are the ignorant, for they don't know.

Nazbaque
12-09-2014, 03:43 AM
Which presumably means something, but as I only speak American, I don't know what.

There are some things man was not meant to meddle with.

Terez
12-10-2014, 02:17 PM
Another lawsuit:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/12/10/us-people-cosby-idUSKBN0JO21820141210

Terez
12-11-2014, 02:55 PM
I think this is the first black woman to come forward:

http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2014/12/bill-cosby-beverly-johnson-story

He drugged her, but she told him off and got away.

Res_Ipsa
12-14-2014, 02:21 PM
I disagree with vigilante justice outside a few main exceptions having to do with imminent harm. Even then, I believe in the right of the law to judge that after the fact.

In this case, the attack against cosby is a form of vigilante justice. If the allegations are true and depending on the states in which they took place and their statutes of limitations, he should be tried. Many states do not have a limitations period for rape. Some do, and some differentiate about aggravating circumstances and also DNA. I do not know where the alleged attacks took place.
I believe, however, that this sort of character assassination is anathema to an ordered system of justice. I can appreciate the difficulties that victims face in reporting rape (not least of which is the hostility that they may face from law enforcement), and the terrible toll it takes on its victims. With that being said, if you do not take advantage of the system, I do not have any sympathy for your plight.


If these women want to file a complaint, let them. As it stands, the man is innocent, and he should be treated as such unless mere public sentiment should be enough to condemn him.

I am also sensitive to the fact that this sort of thing attracts people looking to elevate themselves out of some defect of character, and falsely claiming rape is a reality. And I do not care if you find it offensive that I point out there there are individuals who falsely accuse others of crimes that they did not commit. Do I think it is likely in this case that Cosby is falsely accused? No, but that does not lessen my conviction that a courtroom is the only appropriate place for this to be heard. In fact, I have strong evidence that the larger the public profile, the more nuts come out of the woodwork (many high profile cases involved the Vatican and their criminal coverup of child molesters, but, even still, many priests were falsely accused).

I have fairly strong views about rape (I am most certainly in favor of the death penalty being an option in cases of raping a child, but not sure about adults), which underscore that I am not sympathetic to Cosby, but would rather he have his day in court.


TLDR, this should be in a courtroom and nowhere else because I do not believe in vigilante justice.

Nazbaque
12-14-2014, 02:46 PM
I understand your sentiment Res, but it hinges on a couple of rather naive assumptions.

1) It assumes that all laws are inherently just.

2) It assumes that all crimes leave undeniable evidence behind and that said evidence is always discovered and correctly interpreted.

While I agree that rapists deserve severe punishment, the death penalty is an inaproriate punishment in any system that considers murder a crime. Otherwise the law doesn't practise what it preaches.

Res_Ipsa
12-14-2014, 03:06 PM
I understand your sentiment Res, but it hinges on a couple of rather naive assumptions.

1) It assumes that all laws are inherently just.

I never said they were. That is why I am an adversarialist. No system of human creation that has to work, works on the proposition that it is flawed. It is assumed that it works until it is shown to not work, and a criminal justice system is this concept in spades. Basically, we don't care about the what ifs, we just decide. There is some correction for failures, but it is not usually quick. Thus, the whole problem of racial justice in this country.

2) It assumes that all crimes leave undeniable evidence behind and that said evidence is always discovered and correctly interpreted.

Same response here as to one.

While I agree that rapists deserve severe punishment, the death penalty is an inaproriate punishment in any system that considers murder a crime. Otherwise the law doesn't practice what it preaches.

Murder has a specific definition that does not just simply mean killing. Murder is the unlawful killing of another with malice aforethought (that is the common law definition, which serves in this case without talking about the statutory changes to criminal codes). Our states do not murder their citizens when they put them to death, they are passing judgment on them and killing them as a result. The government that we the people empower has the right to judge its criminals, and so long as the system has procedural safeguards in place to protect against arbitrary judgment, then I am for the death penalty. Granted, several friends of mine make impassioned arguments that the law does act arbitrarily when it comes to minorities and the crimes that we punish them for and not whites. I see that as more of a problem with drug laws in general, which is why I am for legalization or decriminalization depending on the drug.

Terez
12-14-2014, 03:31 PM
This is not vigilante justice; no one is going to lynch him. This is us deciding if Cosby is a person who deserves a place of honor in our society. We have that right, especially since we have no reason to believe he will get real justice.

Res_Ipsa
12-14-2014, 05:14 PM
This is not vigilante justice; no one is going to lynch him. This is us deciding if Cosby is a person who deserves a place of honor in our society. We have that right, especially since we have no reason to believe he will get real justice.

Vigilante justice is seeking punishment outside the legal system before the legal system can have a say. It is not the end result of a lynching, despite the word evoking images of the Jim Crow south.

And you are content to destroy someone and their livelihood without due process of law? Using the word "we" and thinking of yourself as an ally might make you think you are a crusader of social justice, but that idea of working outside the system is actually anathema to what real revolutionaries espoused and only serves to continue disenfranchisement. You need look no further than the suffragette movement and the civil rights movement that successfully stamped out the idea of working outside the system.

You want results, work within the system and demand that it be accountable to you. Granted, if the system refuses to be accountable then that is why we recognize a right of revolution.

Kimon
12-14-2014, 06:06 PM
Vigilante justice is seeking punishment outside the legal system before the legal system can have a say. It is not the end result of a lynching, despite the word evoking images of the Jim Crow south.

And you are content to destroy someone and their livelihood without due process of law? Using the word "we" and thinking of yourself as an ally might make you think you are a crusader of social justice, but that idea of working outside the system is actually anathema to what real revolutionaries espoused and only serves to continue disenfranchisement. You need look no further than the suffragette movement and the civil rights movement that successfully stamped out the idea of working outside the system.

You want results, work within the system and demand that it be accountable to you. Granted, if the system refuses to be accountable then that is why we recognize a right of revolution.

He could sue on the basis of libel. Of course to prove it as such, he'd have to prove that the accusations were false, caused harm, were made without adequate research into the statement's veracity, and with reckless disregard for the truth. His silence here is somewhat telling. The court (if he ever comes before it) has to treat him with a presumption of innocence, the public has no such requirement.

Terez
12-14-2014, 06:15 PM
And you are content to destroy someone and their livelihood without due process of law?
Oh, please. No one is destroying Cosby or his livelihood. He has more money than God.

We are only required to work within the legal system for legal ends. This is culture, not law. No one has a right to an honored place in society; it is something that is granted by the public, and it can be taken away by the public.

Res_Ipsa
12-14-2014, 07:45 PM
He could sue on the basis of libel. Of course to prove it as such, he'd have to prove that the accusations were false, caused harm, were made without adequate research into the statement's veracity, and with reckless disregard for the truth. His silence here is somewhat telling. The court (if he ever comes before it) has to treat him with a presumption of innocence, the public has no such requirement.

The worst thing he could do would be to start talking at this point. He gains nothing from speaking and everything to lose because anything he says will be instantly damning in the court of public opinion, which has already convicted him.

Oh, please. No one is destroying Cosby or his livelihood. He has more money than God.

We are only required to work within the legal system for legal ends. This is culture, not law. No one has a right to an honored place in society; it is something that is granted by the public, and it can be taken away by the public.

You may not have dealt with anyone who has the stigma of rapist attached to them, but being a social crusader, you no doubt rail against the permanent underclass that a conviction for most general crimes creates among the poor. Its that, but much much worse. Have you ever worked with anyone accused of being a child rapist? That battle is often raged in that individuals community before it is in the courts and it is devastating to them. Its no different for an accused rapist.

Cosby's reputation is shot, and that is a serious thing because he has not been convicted of anything. If he is, then he deserves to be punished, which includes your culture war.

Terez
12-14-2014, 08:44 PM
You may not have dealt with anyone who has the stigma of rapist attached to them...
It's something I see all the time. I even gave a possible example in my OP, where I gave a statement to the police supporting the accused.

Certainly in some cases there is a very real beef. For example, one of my local sheriffs was a child porn crusader. He has since been convicted on several counts of corruption and there is good reason to believe that he went after some people for the sole purpose of destroying their lives; there was often not enough evidence for a case. At least one person is now suing because of it, and I hope he wins and I wish Jackson County had more money to give him, because he deserves it.

The Cosby story has broken at least three times now. No one paid attention to it in the 80s when it first came out; hardly anyone gave it any credit 10 years ago when one of his victims sued and it was settled out of court. Now there are over two dozen victims speaking out, and no indication that they will be the only ones.

There are legal standards, and there are principles of logic. Legal standards have weight in court, but that is because legal consequences call for a high burden of proof. The court of public opinion is a very different thing. That doesn't mean that we shouldn't take our responsibility seriously. It just means that we are more free to make judgment calls about where the burden of proof should lie.

We have been giving Cosby the benefit of the doubt for a very long time; the evidence suggests that it's time to give his accusers the benefit of the doubt. It may not be good enough for a court of law, but it's good enough for the court of public opinion. Cosby has legal recourse to take, should he choose, if he is innocent. What do you want to bet he's not doing so because he knows it would bring dozens more women out of the closet? The court of public opinion may be the only justice Cosby ever gets.

Nazbaque
12-15-2014, 02:38 AM
In short Res you believe that society is more important than the individual. Why else would society have the right to kill but the individual not? Yet you deny vigilante justice even when it is on the level of a lynch mob and clearly a case of society passing judgement. The only difference is the due process, or to put it another way, society pretending it is better than a mob. Maybe it is better; after all it at least opens the door to logic while the mob is just greedy for revenge. But is it really so far above the other that it suddenly has the right to kill? Rights have to be earned. What does the society do for those it allows to live? What is the great service done that balances this out?

It's all about honor. Honor demands that those who are given earn what they have been given. If society gets the right to kill it has to earn it. Otherwise the system is not honorable and all that appears to be good about it is a lie.

Uno
12-15-2014, 06:40 AM
I haven't really been paying much attention to this case, but I'm getting the sense that some people have a hard time separating characters like Cliff Huxtable from the actor who played them. Cosby never was a sweater-wearing, pudding-pop eating, kindly father figure, just an entertainment industry celebrity, and no one ought to be surprised by anything celebrities do.

Ivhon
12-15-2014, 12:29 PM
I haven't really been paying much attention to this case, but I'm getting the sense that some people have a hard time separating characters like Cliff Huxtable from the actor who played them. Cosby never was a swear-wearing, pudding-pop eating, kindly father figure, just an entertainment industry celebrity, and no one ought to be surprised by anything celebrities do.

This. 100 times this. For the time that I was following the case, so much of the defense (in the court of public opinion) was for Cliff Huxtable and maybe Fat Albert. Who are not real people. Crazy that I have to say it.

Also. Res - where is the real Res and what did you do to him? Maybe its because conservative lawyers here have been misrepresented by Southpaw for too long, but I find your arguments refreshing even if I dont 100% agree with them.

Res_Ipsa
12-15-2014, 12:47 PM
We have been giving Cosby the benefit of the doubt for a very long time; the evidence suggests that it's time to give his accusers the benefit of the doubt. It may not be good enough for a court of law, but it's good enough for the court of public opinion. Cosby has legal recourse to take, should he choose, if he is innocent. What do you want to bet he's not doing so because he knows it would bring dozens more women out of the closet? The court of public opinion may be the only justice Cosby ever gets.

Justice is only justice where its handled by an impartial arbiter. A mobs justice is no justice at all, and the anger about Cosby is a mobs anger. He probably is exactly what he is being accused of, but the end does not justify the means. We have a court system, and it is my belief that it should be handled there. Until it is there, his accusers' words mean absolutely nothing. Basically, it is your choice to elevate their words to a certainty, but you lack the safeguards of a criminal or civil trial that make it a certainty or as much of one as it can be.

You might say the number of accusers suggests that he did in fact commit the crimes he is accused of, and I would not tend to disagree, but for me it goes to a court to sift through all of that.




In short Res you believe that society is more important than the individual. Why else would society have the right to kill but the individual not? Yet you deny vigilante justice even when it is on the level of a lynch mob and clearly a case of society passing judgement. The only difference is the due process, or to put it another way, society pretending it is better than a mob. Maybe it is better; after all it at least opens the door to logic while the mob is just greedy for revenge. But is it really so far above the other that it suddenly has the right to kill? Rights have to be earned. What does the society do for those it allows to live? What is the great service done that balances this out?

It's all about honor. Honor demands that those who are given earn what they have been given. If society gets the right to kill it has to earn it. Otherwise the system is not honorable and all that appears to be good about it is a lie.


I never said that the individual does not have the right to kill, on the contrary, I believe very strongly that an individual may defend themselves with deadly force. However, I believe that the criminal justice system has a right to explore the motives of the individual that does kill and pass judgment on that exercise.

Res_Ipsa
12-15-2014, 01:04 PM
This. 100 times this. For the time that I was following the case, so much of the defense (in the court of public opinion) was for Cliff Huxtable and maybe Fat Albert. Who are not real people. Crazy that I have to say it.

Also. Res - where is the real Res and what did you do to him? Maybe its because conservative lawyers here have been misrepresented by Southpaw for too long, but I find your arguments refreshing even if I dont 100% agree with them.

Well, thank you. I will say that law school was very transformative on my views, and practice is the same way. Still a Republican though, even if I disagree with my party on many issues, because I believe that the Republican Party was founded on classical liberal tenets, which means that we should be able to come full circle in the future with a little work.

The Unreasoner
12-15-2014, 01:25 PM
Well, thank you. I will say that law school was very transformative on my views, and practice is the same way. Still a Republican though, even if I disagree with my party on many issues, because I believe that the Republican Party was founded on classical liberal tenets, which means that we should be able to come full circle in the future with a little work.

Just get your dog to stop shitting on the boards.

Terez
12-15-2014, 04:38 PM
Justice is only justice where its handled by an impartial arbiter. A mobs justice is no justice at all, and the anger about Cosby is a mobs anger. He probably is exactly what he is being accused of, but the end does not justify the means. We have a court system, and it is my belief that it should be handled there. Until it is there, his accusers' words mean absolutely nothing. Basically, it is your choice to elevate their words to a certainty, but you lack the safeguards of a criminal or civil trial that make it a certainty or as much of one as it can be.
I disagree that a trial is the pinnacle of certainty, especially in cases like this where the physical evidence is long gone. Again, the public does not have the power to assign legal consequences, so legal standards are entirely irrelevant.

Res_Ipsa
12-15-2014, 05:45 PM
Just get your dog to stop shitting on the boards.

There was a time not too long ago where you were considered a "dog shitting on the boards." I am sure there was a time the same could be said for me. Its a free board, engage him in conversation or ignore him. You seem to think his views are wrong, and a good deal of something more, but I see you responding and freely insulting him. From what I can tell of his responses, he does not insult any of you, despite you offering the first insult. That makes him the bigger person in my humble opinion. So please do not try and conscript me to bring another individual down for your amusement. There is a difference between disagreeing with someone on an issue and then there is your post.

I disagree that a trial is the pinnacle of certainty, especially in cases like this where the physical evidence is long gone. Again, the public does not have the power to assign legal consequences, so legal standards are entirely irrelevant.

You have read history and books on western political thought. The citizen scholar, what is virtue, the captain on the boat, scholar kings . . . the list goes on. A representative form of government only works when we demand that the citizenry be involved and educated on a given matter. I hear a good deal of complaining that the US has a 50% turnout in presidential years for elections, that citizens are not involved. But then we have arguments like this subject and we say the citizenry should not work in a logical or legal manner. There is a disconnect somewhere. I think we should expect voters to utilize logos over pathos.

-Posted from my phone.

Uno
12-15-2014, 05:47 PM
For the time that I was following the case, so much of the defense (in the court of public opinion) was for Cliff Huxtable and maybe Fat Albert. Who are not real people. Crazy that I have to say it.

Yes, it's a bit odd. Presumably no one thinks that Roger Moore spends his time with a martini in one hand and punching men with complicated dental work with the other, so why would they think that Cosby actually is a jolly old boy with twinkly eyes just because that's the role he's best known for?

The Unreasoner
12-15-2014, 07:07 PM
Res, it's not that I disagree with him so much as I find him a repulsive human being. I disagree with plenty of people. Few are as personally offensive and illogical. No coherent arguments to speak of, not even original thought. You are perfectly capable of constructive arguments. Southpaw is perfectly capable of starting threads. There's a difference.

Davian93
12-15-2014, 07:15 PM
Wow...Res is like all reasonable now. I'm scared.

Terez
12-15-2014, 09:52 PM
I'm not sure what the difference is supposed to be.

I think we should expect voters to utilize logos over pathos.
I do too. I just don't think that the public judgement against Cosby has anything to do with pathos. There is actually a fairly sharp divide in public opinion on Cosby at this point, and the side that is defending him is the pathos side. Cosby was universally loved. Almost no one who now believes he is guilty does so because they had any ill will against him in the first place. How can it be pathos to turn against him, when nearly everyone who has done so has done so reluctantly?

In other words, I understand your feelings about vigilante justice, the court of public opinion, etc. I just don't believe Cosby's case is a particularly good demonstration of your concerns. I can think of several examples where jury panels have been better demonstrations.

Terez
12-15-2014, 10:37 PM
Yes, it's a bit odd. Presumably no one thinks that Roger Moore spends his time with a martini in one hand and punching men with complicated dental work with the other, so why would they think that Cosby actually is a jolly old boy with twinkly eyes just because that's the role he's best known for?
Even if he hasn't admitted to rape, he has at least admitted to cheating on his wife with some of these women. He just contends that it was consensual, and now his wife is defending him in the press while he stays silent. Typical. However, there are sins and then there are sins. I think that most people expect even celebrities to be decent enough humans beings to refrain from rape, so I find the notion that we shouldn't be surprised to be...surprising. It's only natural for Cosby's fans to be in denial; it's not every day you encounter a serial rapist. I am just as surprised about Cosby as I was about Mr. Pryor.

The Unreasoner
12-16-2014, 12:49 AM
I'm not sure what the difference is supposed to be.
I don't see it either. I think they've just gotten used to a new low.

Uno
12-16-2014, 01:50 AM
Even if he hasn't admitted to rape, he has at least admitted to cheating on his wife with some of these women. He just contends that it was consensual, and now his wife is defending him in the press while he stays silent. Typical. However, there are sins and then there are sins. I think that most people expect even celebrities to be decent enough humans beings to refrain from rape, so I find the notion that we shouldn't be surprised to be...surprising. It's only natural for Cosby's fans to be in denial; it's not every day you encounter a serial rapist. I am just as surprised about Cosby as I was about Mr. Pryor.

Marital infidelity is irrelevant; it's a private matter of no concern to anyone but the parties involved. It all hinges on the matter of rape.

Terez
12-16-2014, 01:55 AM
I'm just saying, marital infidelity is the kind of behavior we might expect from celebrities, i.e. people who have not contributed as much to society as, say, yourself. Rape, on the other hand, is not the sort of thing that we should expect even from those who make a living from entertainment, morally base as that profession might be.

yks 6nnetu hing
12-16-2014, 02:08 AM
Wow...Res is like all reasonable now. I'm scared.

I know! I'm actually agreeing with almost everything he wrote here.

this gives me hope for a certain other poster with argumentation issues.

Davian93
12-16-2014, 07:31 AM
Even if he hasn't admitted to rape, he has at least admitted to cheating on his wife with some of these women. He just contends that it was consensual, and now his wife is defending him in the press while he stays silent. Typical. However, there are sins and then there are sins. I think that most people expect even celebrities to be decent enough humans beings to refrain from rape, so I find the notion that we shouldn't be surprised to be...surprising. It's only natural for Cosby's fans to be in denial; it's not every day you encounter a serial rapist. I am just as surprised about Cosby as I was about Mr. Pryor.

Sanduskey's wife still defends him...and she was in the house while he raped little boys.

The power of denial...

Uno
12-17-2014, 08:55 AM
I'm just saying, marital infidelity is the kind of behavior we might expect from celebrities, i.e. people who have not contributed as much to society as, say, yourself. Rape, on the other hand, is not the sort of thing that we should expect even from those who make a living from entertainment, morally base as that profession might be.

Well, I don't think I've ever claimed to have contributed anything to society, but there's practically nothing entertainment industry celebrities can do to shock me. Besides, Cosby was a powerful man in his way, and powerful men often think they can get away with anything.