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Chocolate Ninja

Political/Theological Orientation?

I figure that in order to better understand each other's points of view in such arguments, we should know where we stand on certain issues. Thus, this thread. We can discuss each other's beliefs, but if you are going to bring arbitrary personal insults ("You're just a stupid hick!") into this I suggest you don't post. Razz

Warning: Below be purely opinions. They may be stated in a way you could find insulting, but that was not the intent. I am not suggesting that they are truth. These statements are just what I think at the moment, based on years and years of thinking about these things. They are subject to gradual change as I learn more about the world around me.

Spoiler:

I'm from the U.S., and neither Democrat or Republican. Nor Libertarian, because I believe that gun control is actually a pretty good idea. <_< Socially I'm pretty liberal. I believe that drugs of all sorts can be harmful. At the same time I believe that in the end, people should simply be well-informed and make the end choice for themselves. If alcohol and cigarettes are legal, I think that pot should also be, albeit also with age restrictions (probably 18 years old). The legal drinking age might as well be 18, since otherwise kids just drink in less safe environments anyways. (Before you say anything, I don't drink, smoke, or do drugs. Razz) Until we know more about how the brain functions, medication to treat psychological conditions should be a last resort.

I'm unsure about the death penalty. Having the government be able to decide who lives and who dies doesn't quite sit well with me. Neither does having social issues be considered political issues and thus able to be regulated under the government, but I digress. Abortion should stay legal, though it should really be a last resort after actual birth control. Speaking of birth control, I once again think that people should be well-informed and make the end choice for themselves. In former times, they used to throw newborns off cliffs or leave them on the top of a mountain to starve and die, so I think that first-term abortion is pretty humane in comparison.

Affirmative action is insulting to all parties involved. Something like that should be based on financial background rather than what pigment your skin and hair is. Public schools are state-run, therefore creationism has no place in school. Theological things should really be limited to theology classes, which could easily be made an option in schools. Learning theology is all right, it's just enforcing it as the only way that bugs me. Parents aren't entirely without responsibility for their children, but they shouldn't automatically be blamed for when things go wrong. Nor should video games. Marriage is also at the simplest level state-run, and is essentially the glorified merging of two peoples' assets. Therefore it really doesn't matter who gets married. Lots of people probably shouldn't marry or have children, but do so anyways. Divorce exists for good reason.

I don't think it's entirely a coincidence that we have had increasingly more destructive hurricanes and tsunamis and more arid weather over the past fifty years. I also think that we have more of an impact on the Earth than we tend to think. I don't have a problem with eating meat or the fact that we've domesticated animals to do our bidding/for our amusement, since it's kind of too late to undo that, but I don't think it's right to kill endangered species for fun or profit. Everyone should have the chance to get a good education. It won't exactly change the social dynamic, since people will still drop out or get into messes.

Giving the president more power is not acceptable. He (we won't have a she for a long time, I think) has enough power as it is, and we have a system called checks and balances that requires balances to work. As long as the judicial, legistlative and presidential branches have more-or-less equal power, things should be dandy. State governments of course should have a nice bit of say, but not enough that we become the Not-United Small Countries of North America. Razz We should also keep in mind that democracy isn't automatically the right form of government just because it works for us. Razz

We should not cling to the past, but we shouldn't completely ignore it either. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Discrimination on the basis of financial bracket, clothing, race, gender, sexual orientation or whatever other petty differentiations we come up with is ridiculous. Fiscally I'm not very opinionated. Taxes are necessary, but below a certain income bracket I think they're injust. The higher your income the more taxes you should pay, because you make proportionally more. I think charity work is something you should do if you actually want to, so it shouldn't count as a tax rebate. Government surplus is needed, like a savings account. When grumbling about paying for health care and old people care and the economically disadvantaged, we need to remember that they're people too, and that we're also insuring ourselves in case stuff like that ever happens to us. I like the thought of more sustainable farming and fuel. Maybe heat-power? We have a whole lot of waste heat energy that's just sitting around.

I am an atheist. I am not a "God failed me, that bastard" atheist, however, since I was never raised with Christianity in the first place. Razz It does not mean that I have no personal values or principles, but rather that I developed them myself. I have looked into religions several times, and they can be pretty interesting. I have no qualms with anyone devout so long as they've at least thought and questioned first, and they don't try to impose anything on our seperation-of-church-and-state government. Also, I believe that a religious text should not be followed word-for-word.



Again, feel free to debate on any of these points. Debates give me more insight. Very Happy I probably contradict myself on a few points, but most humans are contrary like that. Razz
firemastrr

Let's see...

I'm not a novelist, so I really don't want to put all kinds of useful crap under a spoiler (that and I don't know how). So all I'm gonna say is that I'm not easily offended at all and you can say whatever you want. I'm Catholic, but I don't mind anti-catholic views. I don't mind anti-America or anti-Bush views or opinions. Bring 'em on!
Konoko

Spoiler:

UK, without really much thought into what political camp I most fit. I like that the police generally don't have guns and often get vaguely disturbed by the way american police have to handle things. But at the same time, it already seems to have got to the point that the police there have to have them, because of the different environment. I'm surrounded by smokers, but am not addicted myself, although occaisionally socially smoke. Usually along with mentioning to my friends that any il effects to me shall be pinned on them and casually hinting they should quit. Drinking I'm more relaxed too, although I know some people really do need to learn self control about it. I personally have never had a hang over. xP
I'm interested in pschology, particularly the more radical elements. Strongly against psychosurgery and such, along with most of the conceptions about it being a mental 'illness', which really feels like the wrong word and gives the wrong impression. I'm for the death penalty, euthanasia and abortion, obviously not as first resorts, butstill as clear and available options. Divorce should equally be one, although I also think most problems could be sorted out by being mature, letting go of anger and just resolving things earlier rather than stewing. I'm pretty convinced we're steering ourselves as a species towards destruction, one way or another.



Hm, gotta go, probably will edit and add more later.
Anomaly

Chocolate Ninja wrote:
The legal drinking age might as well be 18, since otherwise kids just drink in less safe environments anyways.
I'm with you on that one. The government might try to keep kids from doing it, but hey, when you're that age, you rarely care what "the establishment" has to say. To be honest, I think most of the reason some kids that age do smoke, drink and do drugs is because it's illegal. One surefire way to make a teenager really want to do something is to get someone in authority (especially their parents) to tell them not to.

Chocolate Ninja wrote:
Abortion should stay legal, though it should really be a last resort after actual birth control. Speaking of birth control, I once again think that people should be well-informed and make the end choice for themselves.
The question is, even if the information is there, how many would actually pay attention to it? And among those, how many would still be thinking clearly in a situation where the information needs to be put into use? Remember that most situations where abortion would be raised as an option are ones charged with lots of emotional confusion, and fear, and all that sort of thing; also remember that for a lot of people, emotion and logic are mutually exclusive.
Anyway. While we're on the subject, I just thought to point out that abortion and birth control are not the only options; who knows how many requests for an adopted baby go unfulfilled each year because the mother, or whomever else made the choice, thought that death would be a better choice for the baby than going to an orphanage?
And, as a final shot - which you may see as somewhat opinionated - I think that, if the people in question aren't ready to handle the possibility of pregnancy, then they shouldn't be going in the direction that leads up to it. It's never been my belief that sexual intercourse should be simply recreational, nor even used as just "the ultimate expression of love". *gags at the diabetes-inducing concept* It's a case of "if you can't take the heat, stay away from the fire", really; if you're not prepared to handle the possible, or even probably consequences, then you shouldn't be risking it.

Chocolate Ninja wrote:
Affirmative action is insulting to all parties involved.
Now, I don't know that much about affirmative action - I hadn't even heard about it until just now, and all the information I have was just swiped from the Internet, so it's of dubious reliability at best.
Anyway. From what little I've gleaned, it just seems like a case of racism in reverse, which, as you said, is still insulting.

Chocolate Ninja wrote:
Lots of people probably shouldn't marry or have children, but do so anyways. Divorce exists for good reason.
*droops* As much as I wish I could be more optimistic, I'll have to agree with you on this one; like I've said, even if all the knowledge and warnings are there for the taking, how many people would pay attention to them when they're in enough of an emotionally-charged state to get married in the first place?
It's a sad truth of the world that so many people think that the emotion of being "in love" is all that's needed to make a marriage work. The fact is, that emotion, like any emotion, is temporary; emotions change both constantly and rapidly. To paraphrase what a friend of mine says: "Be friends first. There are a lot of people you can fall in love with, but there aren't a lot of people you can be friends with."

Chocolate Ninja wrote:
We should also keep in mind that democracy isn't automatically the right form of government just because it works for us.
I could come up with something clever to say about how that might not be the case, but someone else beat me to it. Hope you're not offended.

Chocolate Ninja wrote:
Also, I believe that a religious text should not be followed word-for-word.
Really? Why is that?

Sorry if it seems like I'm picking on you, but firemastrr and Konoko didn't really say anything I felt I had a response for.
Anyway - before I explicitly tell you, I'd like to see how closely you can guess my various affiliations based on how I act. It's as I like to say: "It's not what you say, but what you do that is important." Also, anyone who's read my "Formal Introductions" thread is not only exempt, but disqualified from guessing. Razz
firemastrr

(Isn't it amazing how this has turned into a political discussion thread?)

Anomaly wrote:
Chocolate Ninja wrote:
The legal drinking age might as well be 18, since otherwise kids just drink in less safe environments anyways.
I'm with you on that one. The government might try to keep kids from doing it, but hey, when you're that age, you rarely care what "the establishment" has to say. To be honest, I think most of the reason some kids that age do smoke, drink and do drugs is because it's illegal. One surefire way to make a teenager really want to do something is to get someone in authority (especially their parents) to tell them not to.


Well then, let's just legalize crack, heroin, merijuana, and cocane! That means fewer people would do it, right?

This would set the stage for something like what I mentioned above, and that wouldn't be good. Believe it or not, some people are actually stopped or slowed down by these laws. That's like saying we can eliminate speeding by removing speed limits. That's because you can't speed without a limit. If we lifted the drug laws, the everyone who wants to will do it 24/7, and those few that did it because we told them not to are now addicted, and they'll do it because they like it. Oh dear. Quite a mess we've made, hm? Oh, and life expectancey would plummet.

Anomaly wrote:
Chocolate Ninja wrote:
Also, I believe that a religious text should not be followed word-for-word.
Really? Why is that?


Because most of them are contradictory. If we take them all literally, we're gonna go around killing each other (eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth), then wishing we hadn't (love your neighbor as yourself). They are supposed to teach profound truths and can't be taken literally. Find a deeper meaning in the stories and live by that.
Anomaly

firemastrr wrote:
Well then, let's just legalize crack, heroin, merijuana, and cocane! That means fewer people would do it, right?

This would set the stage for something like what I mentioned above, and that wouldn't be good. Believe it or not, some people are actually stopped or slowed down by these laws. That's like saying we can eliminate speeding by removing speed limits. That's because you can't speed without a limit. If we lifted the drug laws, the everyone who wants to will do it 24/7, and those few that did it because we told them not to are now addicted, and they'll do it because they like it. Oh dear. Quite a mess we've made, hm? Oh, and life expectancey would plummet.
Cool it. When did we say anything like that?
Please, step back a sec, and look at what we did say. ChocolateNinja simply said that the legal age for drinking (alcohol) may as well be 18 - which it is in some countries, anyway - because otherwise any kids who want to do it would just do it anyway, and do it someplace less safe, and I said that it was a possibility that most of (notice that I did not say all) of the reason why some (notice that I once again did not say all) of the kids who do do such things is because they're so illicit. It's not the only consideration. For instance, I doubt that making it illegal to bash your head against a brick wall any more than twice in one sitting would suddenly spawn a Resistance Movement who knock themselves silly any chance they get. The restrictions should still be in place, but they shouldn't be so venomously guarded. Being so intensely against such things, especially in public fora, only draws attention to them.
Konoko

As a nice outside perspective, I'm totally used to it being 18 for the drinking limit over here. Its not so different in that those that would break the law to drink before 21 would break the law to drink before 18. I drank before I was 18, for that fact, although that was less because of prohibition. Its saturated enough through media and such, even the various warnings meant to caution, that regardless of laws, it was well known. And considered worth a try when the opportunity came up. If someone wants to do it, they will. And equally, there are many that won't want to do it or can't do it. I don't think that lowering the drinking age, or legalizing pot would make everyone do it, in fact I doubt it would affect the numbers all that much in the long term.
The various political songs and dances about issues seems to have much less effect than they try to claim from what I see.
firemastrr

Anomaly wrote:
firemastrr wrote:
Well then, let's just legalize crack, heroin, merijuana, and cocane! That means fewer people would do it, right?

This would set the stage for something like what I mentioned above, and that wouldn't be good. Believe it or not, some people are actually stopped or slowed down by these laws. That's like saying we can eliminate speeding by removing speed limits. That's because you can't speed without a limit. If we lifted the drug laws, the everyone who wants to will do it 24/7, and those few that did it because we told them not to are now addicted, and they'll do it because they like it. Oh dear. Quite a mess we've made, hm? Oh, and life expectancey would plummet.
Cool it. When did we say anything like that?
Please, step back a sec, and look at what we did say. ChocolateNinja simply said that the legal age for drinking (alcohol) may as well be 18 - which it is in some countries, anyway - because otherwise any kids who want to do it would just do it anyway, and do it someplace less safe, and I said that it was a possibility that most of (notice that I did not say all) of the reason why some (notice that I once again did not say all) of the kids who do do such things is because they're so illicit. It's not the only consideration. For instance, I doubt that making it illegal to bash your head against a brick wall any more than twice in one sitting would suddenly spawn a Resistance Movement who knock themselves silly any chance they get. The restrictions should still be in place, but they shouldn't be so venomously guarded. Being so intensely against such things, especially in public fora, only draws attention to them.


This law was made for a reason. Alcohol has negative effects on bodies, especially young ones. This is one thing that I believe governments got right. Alcohol ruins people's lives. The fewer people that drink it abusively, the better.
Now, this isn't to say that people shouldn't drink, and there are plenty of responsible 18-year-olds out there who wouldn't mind. But they also won't mind waiting. Even if they legalize it, I probably won't drink until I'm 21. I don't feel like accidentally killing myself.
Chocolate Ninja

Well, it's really a matter of what you think of the law. <_< Alcoholism is going to screw up your liver no matter how old you are, but if you drink to alcoholic levels to begin with you have some other issues. Alcohol on its own isn't exactly addictive. Putting the age back down to 18 means that it will actually be easier to regulate alcohol use among people that age.

As I said before, I don't drink, smoke, or do drugs, and never have. I don't think that an age limit is going to suddenly make it healthy to do any of those things. But, like with guns and bombs, once they're in existence, all that we can do is A) somehow make it so that everyone forget about them or B) try to regulate it, but not harshly enough that people begin to chafe. I will admit that I don't enjoy being around people who are inebriated. I prefer the company of those who play video games and surf the internet and read books all the time. At the same time, I think it's their choice to do that with their free time. Razz And as evidenced by use of inebriation devices at parties, it's become very much a part of human culture, and putting laws against it won't make it go away.
Koji_Tsunami

Spoiler:

I'm a Catholic who admits that in the past, Catholics have been guilty of a ton of stupid sh**, but thinks at this point, we've fixed it quite a bit. I think that in general though, I'm more likely to be inpired by Superman than Jesus (which is pretty sad, actually). As soon as I come up with more things to talk about, I'll update this thing.


Well, There are good and bad things about most sides of the argument. I think Firemastrr's right about the whole thing where he compares drinking age to the speed limit, but on the other hand, It a bits stupid that at age eighteen, you can join the army and fire a gun at people somewhere in the Middle East (or wherever the stupid army puts you), but can't drink beer. There's different sides to the issue, and I think it might be beneficial to give this issue its own thread.
firemastrr

Koji_Tsunami wrote:
Spoiler:

I'm a Catholic who admits that in the past, Catholics have been guilty of a ton of stupid sh**, but thinks at this point, we've fixed it quite a bit. I think that in general though, I'm more likely to be inpired by Superman than Jesus (which is pretty sad, actually). As soon as I come up with more things to talk about, I'll update this thing.


Well, There are good and bad things about most sides of the argument. I think Firemastrr's right about the whole thing where he compares drinking age to the speed limit, but on the other hand, It a bits stupid that at age eighteen, you can join the army and fire a gun at people somewhere in the Middle East (or wherever the stupid army puts you), but can't drink beer. There's different sides to the issue, and I think it might be beneficial to give this issue its own thread.


Theres a large difference between the Army and drinking. This is a very good point, but drinking is liesure, and the Army is national security. Now before people start chewing me out about Iraq and all, listen for a sec. Take away the Army, and we're done. Kablooie. Bye bye. We do need them, and even if they may be slightly misused, I consider them more important than drinking. And if we increase the age limit on registration, we wouldn't be able to afford the losses. The military is stretched as it is.

Koji_Tsunami wrote:
There's different sides to the issue, and I think it might be beneficial to give this issue its own thread.


Seconded.

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