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Practical Philosophy » Is Christianity compatible with nationalism? » 1/15/2019 4:07 am

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Timocrates wrote:

Americans, Canadians, Australians, etc. are not immigrants and it is a post-modernism to even think or refer to them as such.

Actually, it's post-modernism to fail to acknowledge historical realities, particularly when they are fresh in historical memory and in national psyche. Also, it's post-modernism to fail to acknowledge the objective criteria for a nation state, such as ethnic uniformity versus diversity.

Chit-Chat » Should we update to new forum software? » 1/11/2019 6:41 am

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John West wrote:

Based on the rules you just linked and what Jeremy has said, he would have banned you at least half a dozen times already.

Yes, except he'd have had to disqualify/ban himself a dozen times before that, if there were a formal debate going on as per those rules. Which there is not. Which is why we have the situation that we have. Which is why I suggest such rules.

With rules in place, people would be compelled to behave accordingly. Without a rule in place people behave whichever way. Without a rule in place regarding e.g.that threads can be locked, locking of threads can legitimately be called moderator abuse. (Current rules only warn that posts can be edited/deleted and users banned.)

But if your response will be, "Okay, let's make a rule that threads can be locked" then this sequence of events will not look good:

1. A thread is locked even though there is no rule about it, with the moderator referencing patently wrong reasons for locking. ("You literally don't make anything even pretending to be a response to my points" when the immediately preceding post is, literally, a point by point response there for everyone to see.)
2. Complaint arises with a constructive suggestion to manage the situation.
3. The constructive suggestion is dismissed, and instead a new rule is devised to retroactively legitimise locking threads.

It looks like doubling down on moderator abuse when faced with a complaint. Does not look good at all. Jeremy has no recourse or reference to a rule when he locks threads. He simply says that he locks them. He says so and that's it.

Also, it will not change anything to re-open that particular thread. Because we are moving. Everything in this forum is basically over with now. Let's try to start anew a bit better.

Rules are there for a reason. Moderators themselves should be most aware of the rules and they should lead by example how things work here. Currently, things largely work here because we have a narrow topi

Practical Philosophy » I hate libertarianism » 1/07/2019 5:39 am

Replies: 27

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DanielCC wrote:

I take Libertarianism alone as an economic policy. Thus libertarian Christians and other non-objectivists would argue that it is the economic system that promotes the greatest social flourishing given the average of human nature. Of course one could try to make the same point with Communism if one so wanted. 

Exactly. To repeat, "Of course one could try to make the same point with Communism if one so wanted."

If libertarianism is so non-specific that it is interchangeable with Communism or perhaps common sense that everybody could easily agree to, then why call it libertarianism? Unfortunately, this kind of formulation of libertarianism does not even define libertarianism, much less defend it.

Chit-Chat » Should we update to new forum software? » 1/07/2019 5:30 am

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Brian wrote:

It's impossible to define inappropriate conduct with sufficient clarity before hand.  Honestly, if you think the way you were treated is unfair, you should say something.

And say something is exactly what I have been doing. I said what the unfairness consisted in, namely locking threads when there is no rule about it, which is why I asked if debates are discouraged altogether. Why would I ask it? Because there is no rule about having debates either! Moreover, I directly proposed rules to address the issue as impartially as possible. Was I not clear, fair and impartial?

Your response to all this: Laissez faire, i.e. you explicitly prefer the current lawlessness to rules.

Forecast: Conflicts over this will continue to come up until I get banned or until you adopt rules to address these conflicts.

Besides, having a debate is not even a conflict. Debates can be easily regulated. You can borrow experience-tested rules e.g. here

But I get it: Likely the problem is that *I* make proposals to solve the issue. If anybody else did it, it would have been done already. You have not completely demotivated me yet, but you are quickly succeeding.

And Etzelnik made a good proposal: Mass PM everyone about the move. This way everybody is bound to get the message.

Practical Philosophy » I hate libertarianism » 1/07/2019 5:02 am

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Why do I have to teach you how to conduct a discussion?

The topic is "I hate libertarianism", on the example of Ayn Rand's objectivism. The task for libertarians is to change the OP's mind or correct his opinions.

We got so far as to agree that Ayn Rand is "BS". But without Ayn Rand, what is libertarianism and who is libertarian? No explanation thus far, except that we should read Eric Mack's recent book.

We are on a theistic forum. Why should I pick up a theistically irrelevant, or perhaps even detrimental, book? Convince me that it's worth it. If the ideas in the book cannot be summarised and defended, or any other thesis of libertarianism stated, then there simply is no discussion to be had.

Chit-Chat » Should we update to new forum software? » 1/05/2019 1:49 am

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John West wrote:

I realize that a lot of people are coming from pop apologetics where the aim is often to “win” debates by swaying hearts (and, ultimately, votes). The goal of the philosophical conversation, however, isn't to “win”. It's to help each other towards truth.

If this is so, then we have compatible goals. My background is not apologetics, but online debates with the aim of seeing how much my world view (and that of others) is defensible. It's not to win debates, but to have debates for self-reflection and to hopefully provide others also with opportunities to self-reflect. 

My complaint is not that Jeremy wins or that I lose debates. My complaint is that he shuts down debates - *for obviously false reasons* no less! I have no complaint against him as a discussion partner or debate opponent, but I have very serious concerns about him as a mod/admin.

John West wrote:

But this sometimes leads to hurt feelings.

Are you saying that Jeremy got his feelings hurt? Well, many truths indeed require a thick skin. Also, being a mod/admin requires a thick skin. And if those of thick skin are precious few, then all the more reason to devise rules for debates and maybe a separate forum section, so that everybody involved, both the participants and the moderator would be explicitly accountable to the rules, so that, if we do not yet have a thick skin, we could cautiously grow it. Because it is needed.

John West wrote:

The staff has unanimously ruled in favour of my light-handed, laissez faire approach going forward (though, to be clear, that doesn't mean we're not going to enforce the rules at all). Thanks for your concern.

Thanks that you had a ruling at all. However, if laissez faire means as-is, then it is obviously not good enough and the issue will come up again sooner than you think. Because as-is means, on the part of the mods, "do as thou wilt" and, for members it means a right to complain without any guarantees, recour

Practical Philosophy » I hate libertarianism » 1/05/2019 1:28 am

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UGADawg wrote:

@ Due,

If you're sincerely interested, as I mentioned before, I'd recommend Eric Mack's recent book. It's cheap and it's probably the best introduction / overview of classical liberal / libertarian philosophy I've ever read. Here it is.

Not so cheap. The cheapest is the Kindle version at $9.59, but the problem with the Kindle version is that you cannot be sure if you can get the real file.

At the publisher's site there is the ebook option for $9.99. Ebook is a file you can copy to any device with a display for reading.

The key question around libertarianism boils down this: wrote:

[Eric Mack] provides illuminating accounts of the foundational arguments and the theories of economic justice offered by Robert Nozick and F.A. Hayek. He then examines a range of other debates, such as those surrounding the nature of the minimal state and those between critics and defenders of libertarianism.

Looks like the buyer would basically get a defence of Nozick and Hayek. This is not very interesting, inasmuch as the core of their theories is a eulogy of freedom to be selfish, while the fundamental theist/Christian ethics has an emphasis on the virtue of being unselfish.

Given the overarching topic of the forum, I think the OP speaks from the concern that there is no way to reconcile being libertarian and theist/Christian at the same time. Even without reading the suggested book it looks like it does not address the issue.

Chit-Chat » Should we update to new forum software? » 1/04/2019 6:55 am

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Jeremy Taylor wrote:

I drifted into low-tolerance moderation of ranting, trolling, and rank sophistry, for better or worse. I think moderation will be less severe in the new forum, so you don't need to worry.

This is the sort of answer that does not respond to the concern.

What you call "ranting, trolling, and rank sophistry" is undefined and inconsistent with your actions. The last thread in question was closed by you referring to "You literally don't make anything even pretending to be a response to my points..." whereas in fact the post immediately above it was a point by point response, without deviating the discussion by introducing terms or facts that had not already been introduced. It is there for everybody to see.

- You did not refer to ranting, trolling, and rank sophistry when closing the thread.
- You closed the thread referring to my failure to respond to your points, whereas the very nature of my immediately preceding post was a point by point response.

My question remains: Will there be an explicit rule-based policy with regard to debates or not? The current moderator deliberation is way too haphazard. And, of course, the problem is exacerbated when a moderator is debate participant.

Do you have anything to object to the few rules I proposed as a start? Anything unreasonable about them? If not, then let's work for a little space for my kind of "ranting, trolling, and rank sophistry" because it is actually ordinary internet behaviour, the kind of behaviour that internet forums are for, one of the reasons why some people join. Or do you have a personal gripe?

Chit-Chat » Should we update to new forum software? » 1/04/2019 5:28 am

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Our members are not very eager to move over. Are they hybernating or what?

Here's a question about the orientation of the forum: Are debates discouraged? Or are they something like tolerated up to a point but not encouraged?

Because I see an inconsistency on the part of mods/admins here. In netiquette terms, locking down a debate thread is either admission of defeat or indication that debate (of that sort) is not tolerated. Or both. This has happened to two of the threads where I was involved.

As far as I can gather, there was just one reprehensible sort of debate we ever had on this forum, involving an unfortunate uninformed dude who suffered collective attack from us all (and who eventually got banned, IIRC), but his thread remained open.

So which way is it? Or are you undecided on this point?

If the answer is that debates are allowed, but you do not want to see them under the main Philosophy and Religion forums, then a reasonable way to proceed is to create an additional Debates forum. The procedure would be as follows:

If anybody feels sufficiently partial about a controversial or debatable point, start a thread under Debates. Occasionally, a thread elsewhere might get out of hand, which is when the challenging participant would/should repeat his points to continue the dispute under Debates. Or an admin would split the thread and move the part containing the debate under Debates where the debate can continue.

There can be additional rules to make debates more formal, e.g. each participant *must* submit a post per day/week, no more, no less, in a certain form with a min/max length, and the whole debate would end in a specified number of days/weeks with a post by the respondent (not the challenger). Rules like this make debates less scary and more objectively moderatable.

However, if the orientation of this forum is to discourage debates - this orientation is implied by the locked threads I have experienced - then this frankly is discouraging to myself. I

Practical Philosophy » I hate libertarianism » 1/04/2019 3:04 am

Replies: 27

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Jeremy Taylor wrote:

I don't think either Rand Paul or Ted Cruz are strictly what yanks call libertarians. Ted Cruz certainly isn't, but even Rand Paul is more like a libertarian conservative than an actual libertarian.

Whereas Ayn Rand would be "strictly what yanks call libertarian"?

Is there any definable basis to the distinction of "a libertarian conservative" from "an actual libertarian"? Do both of these camps have actual people who represent them?

In my experience, every person who called himself libertarian fell apart within the first few sentences they uttered in the proclamation of their creed. I find libertarians indefensible, each of them I ever encountered.

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