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"Do you consider Aristotle to be unintelligent?"
(Non-)Argumentum ad Verecundiam?
A wise man once said "there are no authorities". The greatest minds can also be wrong/mistaken. Einstein didn't get the Theory Of Relativity right in one sitting, and in fact, it was wrong the first times, and it's still not taken to be fully correct and may be revised in a near future.
Aristotle could be wrong.
Here is a list of dictatorships that the United States has backed, for various reasons.
Non sequitur? The US also backed (backs) up extremist/terrorist groups. Does that make them ok for any reason?
"Dictatorships don't inherently come to power through bloodshed, and not everyone has effective freedom to elect their own leaders within democracies."
How exactly? Everyone has all the freedom to vote in whoever they see fit. There might be room for improvement, but whatever flaws the system has, it's not oppressing anyone regarding their freedom to voice/act on their opinion.
So... what's missing?
Also, there's no way one person can have their will imposed on everyone else without at least stepping on some people's feet a few times. So, in a way, you can't ever have a dictator without at least some figurative bloodshed.
"It's important to remember that our concept of individual rights is incredibly new within the context of human history."
Our concept of the scientific method is only 400 years old (incredibly new!). Yet it did considerably more for us in those 400 years than anything else did in the prior 9600 years of recorded history. Is there any dispute as to it being the best method of study and reasoning?
The people in other ages knew better than to live anarchically, but no better than to live in non-democratic systems. If they had thought of it, or if they had been able to make it happen, they would've.
No matter how benevolent a dictator might be, his individual opinions are imposed, thus most other individual minds will always have certain necessities being oppressed. We are not ants, we have individual agency. Ancient societies ought to be aware of that, even if they had no concept of it or if it was taboo; they might be illiterate ignorants, but not devoid of individual brains and emotions and wants and needs.
Decisions in that kind of political system are not taken by that one elected person. That's not likely to be the case in dictatorships.
In a dictatorship you might not even be able to complain about it.
That said, it's one flaw in democracy. One that should be addressed, that the people should be able to revoke their election by means of another majority voting.
Flaws don't make it worse, though. No system is perfect, and surely democracy isn't either. That does not take away from it being by all means superior to dictatorship.
Can you provide a significantly greater amount of examples of beneficial dictatorships that existed throughout history? Can you provide any, at all?
A dictatorship removes agency from individuals. Even if a dictator has a good heart that doesn't get corrupted by delusions of power, nearly ever single other individual will have certain wants and needs suppressed/repressed/oppressed.
Democracy is inherently better indeed, since it removes the enforcement of one individual's opinions over every other. It allows anyone to do as they please, and the only thing you need to enforce is that no one infringes on each others' well being.
Democracy is as fair as it can get (at least so far). Dictatorship is the antithesis.
Is it not a rare sight to see conservatives agreeing with liberals? Or teaming up?
Again, the road to fanaticism, fundamentalism, extremism, etc, is hardly one with T-junctions where conservatives might stop to decide they'd merge ideas from both parties. That's not to say it doesn't happen. That's one way we get new religious sects, for example. But usually the derivation includes a great majority of the original ideals, and not a heterogeneous mix.
I can accept those nuances, but they're not really relevant in this regard. Even if moderate conservatives were just as likely to become extreme liberals as they might be of becoming extremist conservatives, the question I'm asking is, essentially, how likely are they to become extremists at all, and what I contend is that it only depends on the type of propaganda they are exposed to, if any.
I think the reason planets don't affect us is more because we're too small (little mass) to be affected. I have not corroborated that, it's just what it seems to me. Flies are as close to the earth as we are and couldn't care less about its gravity, and in reality the planets gravitational pull does reach this far and does have a certain effect.
For example, the sun itself gets pulled by Jupiter, which causes it to wobble slightly. The pull from the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy also reaches here and beyond.
Either way, gravity might not be the force that affects us. It's the only one of the four known forces in physics that could, but doesn't. It's up to astrologers to prove the existence of a fifth force. :)
You still have not presented anything that demonstrates that your opposition is indeed extremist (or wrong). You showed me something which you, yourself, don't think can denied, but you haven't showed anything that your opposition might have to say about it, which might be important to consider. I cannot take conclusions based on only your opinion.
I'm not a moderate. I'm not an ideologue at all. I'm simply a rational person who considers any substantiated arguments and ignores none, without committing the mistake of favoring emotions over coherent thought, evidence, facts, and objectivity. I might accept your reasoning if it had no significant ambiguity.
Still, I am not interested in that debate here (you could make one about that - might be interesting). It's going off topic and is jeopardizing this debate's scores.
I don't find anything objective in your arguments, though. All I see there is "I'm right, they're wrong and I think they're horrible people. Period".
To someone like me who doesn't act or take conclusions based on emotions, but rather on objectivity, evidence and facts, I can't be persuaded of what you're saying.
What you're talking about involves not just opinions, but biological, medical and psychological studies and considerations. There are nuances in every aspect of life, and it's only through a open minded discussion that anyone can reach a middle ground, not through hostile and resented accusations.
Regardless, your posts are a fine example of how the term "extremist" is subject to interpretation: what one moderate finds acceptable, another moderate finds extreme. It's nothing new to me, but it's displayed. That has important implications on the main topic.
You sound rather radical.
People being in favor of abortion does not equate to lack of compassion. At least not by default.
I don't know of the abortion case you're alluding to, but I'm not willing to accept that it's a reason to consider people to be extremists.
Well, there are a few things we can take from there: Moderates are the majority, they have their petty conflicts, and, it seems to me, they keep their ideological grounds fertile for fanatics, radicals, fundamentalists and extremists to occasionally sprout.
That post, however, is one example of why I'm making this debate. It demonstrates the amount of emotion moderates deposit into their convictions, regardless of being right or wrong. Emotions and convictions are not really a great mix, as history shows us in spades.
You are conflating distinct ideologies, though. I'm going under the premise that liberalism, conservatism, for example, are different scales altogether, as they are distinct ideologies, and I'm taking the moderates, fanatics, radicals, fundamentalists, extremists, all as different stages in the same scale.
It wouldn't be fair to conflate them since moderates on one scale are not likely to become anything else from another. A moderate liberal is not likely to become a radical conservative by virtue of liberal principles, nor is a moderate islamist likely to become a fundamentalist christian by virtue of islamist principles.
I'm 35. Way past the point of "not knowing now". I've been twenty once, and indeed we still know little at twenty, let alone what constitutes a good lover.... And honestly, we know little the rest of our lives, and we spend them constantly learning from constant mistakes, constantly finding ourselves in situations to which we don't know how to overcome, and we are perpetually growing up.
A close friend of mine lost her virginity at 33. She had to take the morning after pill because, of course, she had no clue what she was doing, and that condoms do sometimes break. She also told me that first time was not really that great because her hymen was burning and she couldn't focus on the whole thing. Only after a week or so she told me it was starting to feel really good. At that point she was starting to know herself and her partner, sexually. I don't think I need to go into any more details.
The first time sex is not at all better than the times in which you have had enough sex to know how to push the experience higher. Things are better as experience allows for improvement. The first time can be good if you're not high on your expectations. Psychology 101 tells us expectations ruin lots of experiences.
A lot goes against your conviction that premarital sex can cause divorce. That is not only a non sequitur, it's also flatly wrong. Divorce is often caused by conflicts that originated in sexual dissatisfaction, which happens more likely among people with little sexual experience and/or a sexual life with limitations imposed by prejudice, which eventually becomes monotone.
Besides that, knowing your partner before committing to something you take as seriously as marriage, includes knowing him sexually. Some people are indeed sexually incompatible, and cannot adapt to each other, thus why people don't enjoy all sexual relationships they have.
People who are open minded are not prevented from improving by experience and getting better at it and expanding it and having fun with it, thus cultivating the sexual part of their marriage/relationship, which is one of the most important ones. Of course, the most important part is communication, which can help solve/mitigate many of the problems in other parts.
Your two first paragraphs agree with the important notion that I mentioned: anyone can become blinded and go to extremes. You successfully illustrated the alarmingly short distance one needs to travel to get there, given enough emotional incentive.
Your post does, however, neglect to keep that in mind henceforward. It is a big deal, in fact, that it can be that easy, and it can be disastrous even if extremist are a minority (they always are), given that most moderates have already accepted to climb the few first steps of the same ideological ladder.
The term "extremist" only denounces someone who took actions that we perceive as extreme. Maybe the day before they seemed rather reasonable, even if deeply emotional in their convictions. Many moderates are just as emotional in their convictions. Some are even fanatical.
Yes moderate do tend to be more open minded, but not necessarily, and maybe not even that often. At least regarding topics for which they are ideologically or emotionally attached to, in which case they will often resort to their favored ideologies and/or emotions for decision making (I am referring to not only politics, but also every other type of ideologies).
However, you didn't give an unambiguous reason to accept that moderates and extremists are absolutely different. Simple disagreement and segregation doesn't make people different, just makes them potential opponents regarding a specific subject, and only for the time being.
More often than not, the more noticeable opponents are not fundamentally different (compare the far left and the far right, or any two opposing middle eastern extremist groups).
It still seems to me that moderates and extremists of a given ideology, are merely points in the same scale that do not seem to come close - but are not set in stone.
The names merely specify the difference in their actions, as I mentioned. Moderates may not draw swords, but they still populate the same figurative ship of those who do, and are just as unwilling to betray it.
That doesn't sound like opposites, but as variations of the same thing, like points in the same scale.
The amount of discrepancy in that variation seems largely up to subjective interpretation, and depending on where in the scale you are, the change in perspective may be significant. Moderates don't all share the same point in that scale. They do not all agree on what is and isn't extreme.
Only to find out you still know nothing at that age? I've been 20, and so have many of my friends. Responsibility doesn't come magically with age. It comes with experience.
A friend of mine who lost her virginity at 33, had to take the morning-after-pill, because, indeed, she knew nothing of what she thought she knew, and condoms do break sometimes.
According to biologists, sexual organs are ready at around 12 (since the day you wake up wet). That means you're good to go, and the reality is that that's as good an age as any.
The only caveat is that if your parents haven't been good parents and at that age you're not already informed and aware about what your body can do and how it's done safely, then you're taking the risk of doing something stupid. But the fact is, you'll do it either way if the hunger strikes, so your parent better have done their homework.
Most of my friends started having sex at twelve, thirteen and fourteen. Life with that is as normal as any. Sex is not a scary hydra, it doesn't give nightmares to kids, and it's not more dangerous than them crossing roads on their own.
No amount of imposed subjective rhetoric is able to refute biology and the reality of our nature, and the kids' needs.
Well, if your kids don't understand that it happens for the sake of fantasy... well then your kids are dumb and/or your parenting is questionable.
I'm sorry, but that's the truth. Even an eight year old would understand that...
Besides, the plumber's readiness is mild nonsense compared to what we can find in cartoons. The fact that kids laugh at them means they get the jokes. ;)
So many people underestimate children's intelligence these days...