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In my experience here in the states, it used to be an obvious thing in the 80's that anyone who screamed "socialist" was really just an old lunatic. It even seemed that way to people who didn't know what socialism was. Hence, long before I knew what it was I had a clear idea that it was about propaganda and not political philosophy when people used it in a debate.
Then in the 90's people forgot about politics all together and around 2003-2006, Fox News and the republican party started to bring it around again with only a slight improvement on their accuracy of it's use.
For example, it's fair of them to somewhat associate socialism with universal healthcare, but their insane base of moron zombies following them still has no idea and doesn't care. There was an old guy I spoke to once who blames the corruption of politics on the push towards socialist ideas and kept giving me the excuse "if only you saw what it was like in the 60's. People who worked hard got paid." I paraphrase but that's the general idea of what he said.
Despite how much skepticism reading Howard Zinn has left me with on that notionI still managed to stump him by saying, "Look I can see your point, but what if we could just say this much: If someone is willing and able to work 40 hours a week, they deserve to have all of their human needs met. I don't care if it's the lowest quality stuff on the market so long as it's safe. Healthy canned food, shelter that can survive the expected heat and the cold of their local climate, adequate transportation to work and their local community college, healthcare, protection from injustice, clothes, and enough water for drinking washing and bathing.
Make sure that every working individual has all of these necessities independently and you can have at it hoss. Compete to your heart's consent. The reason we need a base that every working individual is able to get and maintain is so that the investors don't just think they can choke the working poor for a greater profit."
He didn't have much to say against that even though the people who retaught him about the evils of socialism would have wanted him to scream at me for being so against free enterprise with that sentiment. American conservatives who listen to media like Fox News are delusional puppets.
Socialism is an idea worthy of being experimented to various degrees in democratic systems. Unlike what many McCarthyist sentiments would suggest, Socialism is not independent from Democracy, nor is it tied to Communism.
Socialism also holds just as many dangers as Capitalism with only one difference, extreme Capitalism puts too much power in the hands of the wealthy while extreme Socialism puts too much power in those who hold the positions of the government.
The powers that be should ultimately be in the hands of the people, with only minor decisions ever being made against the majority demands to maintain some sense of logical consistency and strategic integrity. This is important particularly in the cases where the majority seek to unduly oppress a minority.
I find that the ideal society is much like the current US. Some parts capitalism, some parts socialism. Free enterprise should be managed over industries which are allowed to fail while industries which must maintain consistency and a purpose to serve the needs of the people should be organized and run by government.
McCarthyism on the other hand is the epitome of lies and propaganda pushing. It serves no one and unlike most hateful and harmful political positions, most of it's advocates are hardly even aware of it's existence.
Bigots look for excuses to hate. The many undue excuses to hate Obama is evidence of bigotry pretending that they have valid points against him when in reality they are pretending that they really are that dumb as an excuse to just hate him because he's black. It's not the only reason why his actions are considered "controversial" but it is a significant reason.
Case and point, calling him socialist. Conservative idiots try to make a big deal about him resembling Communist views because they've never been taught about McCartheism in recent US history. And yet, when he actually does something that a ruthless dictator would do, remove habeas corpus, they're complaints run silent.
Not because it doesn't fit with their argument but because the republican puppet masters from above wanted Obama to remove habeas corpus, and they arranged with conservative media to not make that particular subject a talking point.
Would the majority of Obama hating individuals have even the slightest desire to draw the connection when they are informed of this fact? Nope. Cause their only focus is the insult is that someone they have been taught to hate is leading the country.
Vote me down all you want cowards. You're too chicken shit to check or get sources for this issue. Sooner or later you're going to get hurt personally for being such outright assholes towards innocent people.
Look forward to the day when the oppression that you push will be pushed right back at you. No one will have any sympathy for you when that day comes. I look forward to the chance to tell someone just like you that they cannot work with me or for me because of their decision to push for undue discrimination towards others.
Who do you actually see that's falling down?
Actually, I think it's a sort of hive mind behavior. As individuals we are like neurons or small network systems within the hive mind of society. When you are undecided on something, you look for some form of resolution from within, then whatever that resolution is, you might report it back to the group depending on what it is.
The six degrees of Bacon assures that your message has a great chance of reaching Kevin Bacon's ears and even if he doesn't know it was your idea, he can very well be convinced by it enough to report it back to the group and effect your opinion becoming the new social order of things.
It's natural democracy so to speak. People fight it out and try to squelch each other because cognitive dissonance hurts, even in the hive mind as a whole. We humans are obsessed with knowing things, and we will never stop attempting to know things. As soon as we know something, we move on to learn something else. Or else, when we become old dogs and are done with new tricks, we're left with trying to convince others that we already know things they are seeking.
"I know you have a great deal of respect for this guy, but keep in mind that he is still human and has a strong incentive to prove his own correct-ness. He already knows the answer he wants to come to, so once he finds a way to get to that answer, regardless of how reliant that way is on semantics, he will stop searching, so he never goes on to see the flaws in his reasoning."
This is not the case with Matt Dillahunty. Yes, he's only human and he is capable of error, as am I, but my respect for him comes from knowing his sincerity in seeking and speaking truth in logic. The atheist experience is a great show that covers many topics and arguments regarding atheism and freedom from religion.
I'm sorry it took me so long to get back to you. I found the belief video that he referenced in the video that I sent you. it's an hour long and it's great, but it's really difficult for me to quickly learn how to argue his points. I've watched it multiple times before responding so that I could both understand and repeat what was said in my own words.
Chances are, that I will misrepresent what he's saying because I'm still learning about these arguments, but unlike many religious followers, I will follow through with challenging my position and I will be openly willing to adjust my view to fit objective reality.
"Do you see the problem with this? If you don't believe the claim that there is a god nor the claim that there is no God, what position are you left with? Uncertainty, also known in this case as agnosticism."
Actually, in the belief video which I will attach to this post, he points out the difference between saying that an agnostic claim is that you don't know something verses the claim that you can't know. Matt accepts that he is an agnostic based on the first definition, but not by the second. If you claim that we can't know if there is a deity, then you have made a claim which you still need to demonstrate as true. You still need to demonstrate that knowledge of a deity's existence is unknowable and why it is unknowable.
Another point being made is that there are different questions being asked when we consider atheism and agnosticism. Atheism is a belief in response to a claim that a God exists, whereas agnosticism is a stance regarding knowledge of a truth claim. It's because of this difference that it's reasonable for a person to identify as an Atheist Agnostic.
"...with the weak justification that you can't have a single belief about multiple claims, which is false) and then asserting that the default position is always negative."
I'm pretty sure that he's not saying that. The justification of atheism being the default position is related to the reasons we say that a defendant is guilty vs not guilty rather than innocent vs not innocent. It's more practical and useful in determining truths even of claims which if true are indistinguishable from if they are not true. Either way, we should not be strongly acting upon what we do not know to a high degree of certainty.
That's in essence what makes Atheism the default position. Since a Deist God has no impact on our lives and is indistinguishable from the non existence of such a god, it's more rational to live by the idea that such a thing doesn't exist, otherwise you would be showing equal support to all metaphysical claims.
Any action that you take towards acting upon such beliefs is wasted effort, even to an extent of just thinking about the possibility of them being true/real because there's no way of telling which of those beliefs holding zero evidence are simply not true/real and the many different claims that would fall into the realm of potential but not true/real are infinite. It's also not possible for all potential realities to be true, because an infinite set of those potential realities would contradict one another.
The atheist position is therefore the default position because it's the more practical position to take when concerning matters of belief which match with reality. Why is it that you would even concern yourself with the possibility of a Deist God any more than you would concern yourself with the possibility that all matter in the universe is made out of invisible marshmallows? I would posit the likely reason being something to do with you wanting there to be a God or some sort of thing out there that explains your existence or else falls in line with the metaphysical beliefs that you were brought up to concern yourself with and that all of the reasons for why you got to that point can be explained with objective evidence.