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-I have a BA in philosophy, you seem like you need some more philosophy education even from the simple fact that you feel it is correct to use the word faith with regard to all kinds of belief. Belief is not the equivalent of faith - faith is belief without sufficient reason.
-There is no way that it takes more faith to be an atheist than to be a christian - One could define "faith" as the complete confidence in something. However, "faith" is also confidence without emperically sufficient reasons for confidence since the word faith implies that evidence is not required. Science has the essential element - evidence, which is the sole inspiration for confidence in it's validity - this is why it is correct to say that even if all scientific knowledge were lost, in time the same exact knowledge would be rediscovered - Science unveils the objective characteristics of our universe using evidence. People believe in science do not have faith (non-evidence based confidence) because evidence is the fundamental motivator for their confidence.
I am not being dishonest (by not recognizing the multiple kinds of faith) in my original argument insofar as I am making the claim that faith is not an applicable term when evidence motivates one's confidence. Insofar as I qualify the need for evidence, and that faith is confidence without evidence, I am making the necessary distinction between what you call the "sorts" of "faith" or what I would call types of confidence.
The reason why it is wrong to use the word faith instead of confidence is that faith implies the lack of evidence (this is why it is incorrect to use faith in reference to belief in science). My point is that you should stop using the word faith since this is only one kind of belief, a belief that exists independent of evidence.
The regularity of the world is not something independent of evidence (as you implied). It, in and of itself, is an evidence based assertion about the world. The belief that there exists an external world is evidence based - it is not something you have faith in since its continuity (objective characteristics) and the fact that it is immediate independent of our will is sufficient evidence. I found it interesting that you are denying the brain in vat's scenario - I do, but you seem like you are more of a cartesian insofar as you seem to not recognize that there is a distinction between objectively based confidence and subjectively based confidence - faith.
--Part of me wondered if you were confused about which side of this issue I was on - since part of what you were saying is what I am saying - are you confused? The reason why i am confused about which side you are arguing for is that you seem to recognize that belief in science does not require faith but then seem to say that atheism takes faith even though atheism is generally based on the perspective of the universe that science (evidence based understanding) provides for.
natural xenophobia doesnt mean racism is natural, racism is deeper rooted than innate xenophobia insofar as it is a claim to knowledge of and categorical devaluation of the "race," which is in fact a non-actual thing, a social construct rather than an actual phenomenon.
Although I am all for capitalism, I dont think that "the best" always "prevails" in a capitalist environment insofar as what is "best" tends to be based on the ability to make money - a reductive notion. Also, in capitalist environments companies that are in competition with one another can often work together in a fully saturated market to keep things as they are, and in so doing become a kind of monopoly, a monopoly based on mutual cooperation. If one falls the other becomes a pure monopoly and thus in either scenario the need to be the best insofar as merit is concerned is no longer required because they are the only viable provider of the demanded product or service. Thus you need to have something more than a purely capitalistic system to prevent monopolies on multiple levels, without the regulative system that exists outside the capitalist system you get a similar outcome to the communistic model - perhaps not to the same degree as with communism but you get what my point is - the need to be the best is ultimately reduced.
I consider myself a capitalist and advocate this economic system, however, I also recognize the need for and benefit of socialistic elements within the system. Our military is essentially a socialistic service, all of the government agencies and schools and highways etc are socialistic and are all fundamental to a functioning society because they subsidize and allow for capitalist activities to flourish. Many people bring up the Laissez faire as the fundamental principle of free markets, however, most people who advocate this principle dont realize that it was all based on governmentally subsidized support for free markets. Even the origin of the term and principle are not valid - the truth is that both systems need one another to survive. You brought up police as a monopoly and that there is no push for a high rate of success. However if you were to place police forces in competition they might succeed too much, i.e. punish too much for minor infractions and thus they could be opressive, enforcing laws that are out-dated or planting evidence to get a higher conviction rate. Or, like has been the case in Japan, the police will not seek out a murderer unless they are pretty sure they can convict to have a high conviction rate via not pursuing difficult cases. I think the current system works pretty well given the alternatives. I view the current system an amalgam of socialist and capitalist ideologies and I think that this is a greater approximation of the ideal than either system can be as pure systems. Most of the world, including the US are mixed systems and for good reasons, some of which i illustrated.
I suppose it depends on what you mean by competative environment.
A few years ago I heard an interesting anthropological and evolutionary theory:
In northern africa ~2.5 million years ago a climate change event caused the deserts in northern africa to expand causing the forests to receed. This caused a distinct change between two chimp populations
In the north where there was insufficient food for gorillas, the chimps realized a greater abundance of food and ultimately evolved to become what is known today as the Bonobo a peaceful sex-based matriarchal society where sharing is common and the only agression is of a sexual nature.
In the south the chimp and the gorilla existed in competition for food. The gorilla consumed much of the available foods and thus the chimp was subjected to greater scarcity - in time they evolved to be the modern chimp a more violent patriarchal species that frequently rapes the smaller females, murders others of their tribe, form war parties and hunting parties, and practice infantacide.
These two groups suggest that when competition is too great because of scarcity, that violence and aggression dominate. Insofar as humanity is concerned, I have often wondered if the contemporary wars, which have often been considered wars of scarcity are fought because of a similar kind of competition. I also wonder if, since capitalism creates scarcity via a stratification model and maximizing the utilization of any given resource for the sake of profit that scarcity and competition in our world is artificially increased either by artificially creating competition. However, I also see the possibility that capitialism, although not an inevitable economic system, is a probable system given the nature of biological dynamics and that as our population grew as a species that competition became greater and greater causing the scarcity we face today.
No matter how one views it, we do live in an age of greater and greater scarcity since population is growing and resources are finite. I wonder what the future has in store for us, if we might become more like the patriarchal and violent chimp or if we might realize the path we are headed down is dangerous and adjust the way we live and how we operate our world. I think capitalism is a good thing but that we need to control ourselves a little more when it comes to certain things like population.
Generally yes, I think a few old ones could be kept, but only insofar as they are still highly functional and not an eyesore. Also, what is up with cobble or brick roads making parts of cities "quaint"? I hate that whole mentality - at the very least make the roads modern.
It would be nice if historical societies were limited to say 10 buildings per city, it would make things so much easier.
Also, what is up with certain zoning laws - such as you can only have houses of a particular type in this area etc...? I am not even that much of a libertarian - but i still think that if you buy the property that you should be able to build at least any kind of a type of house, i.e. in a residential area you cant build a factory etc... that makes sense
Maintaining an understanding of the towns culture and history is fine but i dont think it should stagnate the growth and development of an area and definitely shouldnt limit a person's ability to change or knock down their own building.
Life isnt fair but sometimes fairness can be a part of life. The idea of fairness is a human concept that is based on our evolutionary predisposition toward seeking balance in the world socially but also generally. This predisposition relates to our social nature and is a reflection of social dynamics and how they influence the evolution of a species. Fairness in not inherent to the world, it is imposed upon human interactions via law and institution so as to ameliorate some of the inequities that we face in our lives.
Fairness is a maximal condition which we seek and only in some specific circumstances do we realize it.
Life is not a right, it is a condition - The right to life as it is found in the US constitution is a political right, i.e. it is the right to not fear that one's life can be taken away by the government and that if one's life is to be taken by another person that the justice system will seek to punish the person who violated the right and prevent them from further violations.
I agree with Apollo that rights should not limit a person
Also, Apollo was right to say WTF to the statement that you are also taking the life of whatever person you might become because you are currently not that person, that person doesnt matter, that person is a potentiality and potentiality arguments have little relevance to termination debates insofar as they do not exist and will not exist if termination occurs their value never becomes meaningful beyond the hypothetical and we dont govern our world based on hypotheticals when more immediate meaning is apparent.
Another argument for suicide, is that if you really want to do it, you will since laws dont matter insofar as you will not be there for the consequences of violating it.
It is selfish to a degree, but I still think it should be a right of people to do. I think that the basis of morality stems from sovereignty, the ability to determine what happens to one's self and one's property. Insofar as this is true, I think that it is wrong to prevent a person from acting with their own self and property however they wish as long as this does not directly harm another or impose a fear of harm to another.
I do think that suicide should be state preformed - that one should need to consult with a psychologist and discuss the desire and then schedule a follow up and establish that the desire is relatively constant - a standard period of time should be established before the euthanasia would be preformed so as to prevent episodic and short lived bouts of depression. Then (as i understand to be one of the least painful ways to go) a morphine OD could be administered. This seems reasonable and gives people the right to self determination - it would also allow the people who have decided to kill themselves the oportunity to say goodbye to their loved ones.
You mean they live in fear of the Giant that presides over them rather than behaving appropriately because of the Giant's logic and reason and ability to enforce sanctions and consequences that they find undesireable?
Positive Discipline is the ability to use their own humanity, their self interest, to the effect of desired bahavior - physical force is not necessary