WinstonC's Waterfall RSS

This personal waterfall shows you all of WinstonC's arguments, looking across every debate.
WinstonC(1170) Clarified
1 point

What decisions can we not make that we should?

You were saying "We...make mostly our own decisions as a nation" which means we don't make them all. How about Article 13 that killed fair dealing exceptions to copyright law.

Where does it state they can only “slightly modify”?

That is what it means to make an amendment.

But each and everyone is elected going on their record of service in individual countries so what’s the problem?

What do you mean? The problem is that they aren't elected by the citizens, like any regular democratic office.

You seem to have a very negative attitude to absolutely everything regarding the EU

This was all regarding one point... democracy and accountability. I like the idea of good trade links, I'm simply not willing to forgo democracy for them.

British papers that disparage the “unelected” Michel Barnier, the EU’s lead Brexit negotiator, would struggle to find a country that has an elected trade representative.

He doesn't write laws, that is the chief distinction. Once again, the EU commission is equivalent to the house of commons in our system.

Well that’s something you no longer have as a problem then (regarding the commission's independence from the citizens)

How so? Would you be fine with not electing the house of commons?

the European Parliament (elected by citizens) can make amendments and must give their consent for laws to pass.

Exactly, so we cannot elect someone to propose legislation, unlike in the UK parliament. We can merely elect the people who amend or approve the legislation (like the house of lords in the UK).

But we as a nation still have out national identity and everything that goes with that including neutrality

This appears to concede the point that the EU is moving toward statehood.

The European Commission is held democratically accountable by the European Parliament, which has the right to approve and dismiss the entire political leadership of the Commission.

It won't ever happen, a 2/3 majority is too difficult to attain and once again accountability to other politicians is not accountability to the people.

Every year, the Parliament chooses to give (or not) its blessing to the European Commission on the way it has managed the EU budget. This process is called the discharge.

This is still aside from my point. The commission are not accountable to the people, which is a fundamental part of democracy.

Ok I will leave it there as it’s merely opinions now and it’s obviously going nowhere as we are poles apart .

Nothing I said in those 3 paragraphs is opinion, except perhaps the phrasing "would never pass" regarding censure could be changed to "is extremely unlikely to pass". In any case, thank you it's always a pleasure to debate those that disagree respectfully.

1 point

Sally Haslanger has argued that we should understand gender as a social class...they occupy a certain sort of position in society because of how they are perceived and how this causes them to be treated.

What's the benefit to this?

Every part of someone causes them to be treated slightly differently by different people. Funnily enough, I treat masculine women more similarly to how I treat men and feminine men more similarly to how I treat women. Sometimes our treatment of others is inappropriate, but that needs to be negotiated on a one-to-one basis.

2 points

Should we have a quota for women in bricklaying or for men in nursing? To expect equality of outcome in any field is to lack an understanding of the biological differences between men and women. While many differences exist, one that is particularly important to job choice is the fact that, in general, males are more thing-oriented and women are more person-oriented (1). Further, this difference is biological, not social, in nature (2).

To deal with women in parliament specifically, a feminist study suggests only 40% of women want senior leadership positions, opposed to 56% of men (3). Further, studies suggest that women value power less than men do and have lower level ideal positions (4). Men are also more likely to apply for positions they felt were above their qualifications and ability than females (5). It should be easy to see how this ties into holding political office: after all, running the country is no doubt something nobody is fully qualified for. Since confidence is linked to testosterone levels (6) this means that there are several concrete biological reasons that more men are in parliament than women.





(4) 2015-09-25/women-don-t-want-promotions-as-much-as-men-do



2 points

I like Jordan Peterson's idea: when the left pushes for equality of outcome rather than equality of opportunity and equality under the law. Personally, I'd also say that the left has gone too far when it starts viewing everyone in terms of their identity groups, rather than as individuals.

WinstonC(1170) Clarified
1 point

But we are self governing and make mostly our own decisions as a nation

Mostly being the important word here.

the European Parliament (elected by citizens) can make amendments

Which means they can slightly modify the legislation proposed by the commission. It would be like if in our democracy if we elected the house of lords but not the house of commons.

EU commissioners on the other hand are proposed by national governments and selected by the president of the European Commission.

Exactly, not elected by the people.

New legislation proposed by the Commission still has to be agreed by the member states and passed by the European Parliament

Which means that the European public could vote in MEPs that all agreed on a certain issue, and we would still have to simply hope that the commission agreed too.

So it's misleading to say unelected bureaucrats make decisions in the EU.

They make the decisions that matter the most.

The 28 European commissioners are meant to carry out their responsibilities independently of their national governments. In that sense, they are similar to British civil servants - politically impartial and independent of the government.

They are also independent of the citizens, which is my problem.

Proposed by National governments

Actually, the council merely gives priorities, the commission decides what laws are proposed.

I don’t buy that (regarding the EU becoming a federal superstate)

The EU has a central bank, it's own currency, levies taxes indirectly, has it's own national anthem, is calling for the creation of an EU army, holds elections and has a parliament, has it's own laws etc. In what way is the EU not on it's way to statehood?

1. Personal accountability

This has nothing to do with accountability to the people. To explain, our politicians are accountable to the people because they rely on us for election and reelection. The EU commission is not.

If Parliament adopts a motion of censure against the Commission, all of its members are required to resign, including the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy as far as his or her duties in the Commission are concerned.

This means at best that the commission has a small amount of accountability to the EU parliament (and not to the people). Moreover, a motion of censure would never pass because it means getting rid of all commissioners and requires a 2/3 majority.

Also there are further issues with the "democracy" of the EU, such as the fact that citizens of larger states (such as those in the UK) have less say. This is because British MEPs represent more people than those in smaller states, yet have the same voting power. In fact, citizens of the smallest states (Malta and Luxembourg) have ten times the voting power of those in the largest states.

Furthermore, and this is a separate issue in regards to the size of any democracy; one can be better represented in smaller democracies. In other words, one has more of a say in a democracy of 100 than 1000. This is because one makes up a larger percentage of the population.

2 points

Yes, but in practice minarchism is preferable to anarchism because the latter is inclined toward mob rule and/or rule by the strong. To decrease the roles of government slowly until it merely protects people's rights would be the best path forward on this front.

To have no state is potentially possible with a hyper-intelligent, conscientious, armed and moral citizenry, but first we would need to create such a citizenry.

WinstonC(1170) Clarified
1 point

Off course we are what do you base this statement on?

The fact that EU member states are beneath ECJ jurisdiction and EU law supercedes national law.

We pick and choose by voting and holding referendums debates etc

We don't elect the EU commission, who are the ones that propose laws. The EU parliament only votes on these proposals, it cannot propose laws itself.

That’s something I’m not sure about as I’m sure elected people have proposed legislative changes

Not in the EU, the ones with the power to write laws are solely the commission.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating I’ve nothing to complain about regarding the country I live in and it’s application of democratic principles

The EU has not yet fully become the federal superstate that it is on the path to becoming.

I pay 1 per cent tax as I’m an artist making me tax exempt mostly , I’ve free medical , entitlement to a state pension, free bus and rail travel and many other perks .

Those things come from your national and local government.

If this form of democracy is abuse I’m all for it

You misunderstand my point, you should re-read it. I never said anything about "this...democracy (being) abuse". To illustrate the point let me ask you this; why do you think democratic governments treat their citizens better than dictatorships? It's because they are accountable to the citizens. The EU commission is not accountable to it's citizens.

WinstonC(1170) Clarified
1 point

If she were to spring into existence, however, she would presumably be better off not blinking back out of existence.

So we agree that existence is better than non-existence. When the thing no longer exists it cannot value it's existence, yet regardless we can see that one state is better than the other.

I would object actually. Once the sun has mass, it is not hypothetical anymore.

Obviously I mean adding hypothetical mass...

But we cannot compare the value of a non-existent condition to an existent one. Not in that direction I mean.

Why not? If there was a hypothetical reality where nothing existed surely we could say that if things exited (and the potential for consciousness existed) it would be better?

I’ll explain the difference in what I mean by “subjective” as opposed to “relative”

I already get this point, truly. My point is that a universe without consciousness is categorically worse than one with it. If nothing has any significance (or the potential for future significance) then reality may as well not exist.

I agree that there are objectively better and worse states for subjective beings.

What about the case of consciousness existing or not?

In that case, whether or it is better to be conscious would depend on whether or not the living non-conscious things would actually do better with consciousness.

Yet everything may as well not exist without consciousness. If I wasn't conscious I could live a perfect life and none of it would matter.

Saying that something “may well not exist” it’s a value statement. It’s like saying “If they don’t case X actor, they may as well not make the movie”. You would prefer the movie include X actor.

That's not at all the case. Only when consciousness is involved can there be meaning, significance, purpose, only with consciousness can events matter. If everything that exists is utterly insignificant, devoid of meaning and mattering then it genuinely may as well not exist. Particles move toward and away from each other and at times collide but none of it matters. If you were creating a universe which would you choose? A universe where nothing had any relevance, meaning or significance, or a universe where there were entities that had a quality that gave your universe significance, meaning and relevance?

I don’t lose that fact. It is the point of our contention whether it actually is a fact.

I think I've outlined quite clearly why a universe with consciousness is better than one without it.

When you say a thing is valuable, I will ask “to whom?”....To say that a thing is of value to literally no one, is to say that a thing is not valuable. This is the crux of our impasse.

Yet if we were to create the universe without consciousness we could surely say that it was inferior to the universe with consciousness? As far as I see we don't need to say it's worse relative to any entity, it's simply worse. Things can also be better or worse relative to a purpose, for example a bucket with holes is worse for the purpose of holding water than one without holes.

Yes, for you. But only because you exist and can value such states.

I don't really see how nothing existing could be successfully argued to be a better state.

1 point

Once again, I'm demonstrating that since you can never fully get rid of guns police will always need them.

1 point

No, I'm simply showing that some police will always have to carry guns.

2 points

What do you suppose would be the "sensible" way for criminals to react to that?

To not commit crimes.

There are specialist armed units

That's exactly my point. You need guns to stop the people with guns.

Which you have forced the criminal to carry

Do I force criminals to carry boltcutters when I chain my bike to a fence too?

WinstonC(1170) Clarified
1 point

No I honestly couldn’t as how could one favorably compare a dominating occupying force ruling one country as similar to being a member of the EU?

Because in both cases you are not self-governing.

I’m trying to figure out how would such a move benefit the country?

I think the biggest benefit is being ruled democratically. The E.U. is not democratic because we cannot elect the people who actually propose legislation. They are not accountable to the people. Accountability is the main thing that makes democracy better than other systems of governance. It is the primary reason why our rulers don't abuse the people, or at least why they don't abuse us as much as the rulers of old.

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