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1.9k

The NRA started out as organization by and for gun owners. They provided a real service to owners and the citizenship at large, doing things in more recent history such as recommending and providing gun locks, supporting the FFA and the creation of FFLs, supporting the exclusion of criminals and those with mental problems from owning guns in the Gun Control Act of 1968. They also have a wide array of safety programs and training courses that they provide.

However, at some point in their history, probably at about the same time that "other" sources of income overtook membership dues as their primary source of revenue, they became an organization whose sole purpose was to push more guns no matter whether there was a benefit or a detriment to society. Recently, evidence is coming to light that they may have also become a funnel for hostile foreign powers to funnel money into US elections to again push for more guns and less restrictions (something which doesn't seem to support that this would be in the best interest of the US).

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Feminism is the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. (Dictionary def here.)

Feminism does not state that we are the same or that outcomes for individuals should be identical.

Practical examples:

• Women should have the opportunity to be evenly represented in the bottom and top jobs across society.

• Men should have the opportunity to be as present and hands-on as fathers as women are present and hands-on as mothers.

• Women and men who endeavour and succeed athletically should receive equal acclaim and reward.

• Men and women who engage in hurtful or criminal actions should be equally condemned and punished.

I don’t see feminism and the advocacy of equal rights and opportunities for men and women as anything other than a market correcting for greater efficiency and good old fashioned common sense.

If you’ve had a bad experience with someone who calls themselves a feminist but was actually a jerk, it means they are a jerk - not that feminism is bad.

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Black people who live in America are just black. They’re not African American, they’re just black people who are from America. You don’t see whites constantly being referred to as European Americans or anything else. I hate the term as well because despite being of African origin somewhere down the line, not all black people are from Africa. I have nothing in common with Africa other than my skin colour. I personally cringe whenever I hear the phrase as I think it’s inaccurate. Up until last year I’d never even been to Africa. To my knowledge the term was invented by some prominent civil rights leaders in order to have something for black Americans to cling onto since most of them have no knowledge of their history or from which countries they come from. America has this obsession with race and dividing people based on it which is really strange to me.

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So here's my view on aging: past a certain age (let's say 30), physical aging should be viewed as a disease because it causes a lot of issues such as:

  • Weaker immune system

  • Increased likelihood for serious injury

  • Various conditions linked with the brain

  • Organs get worse and worse at performing their functions

I don't really see any legitimate argument that could argue otherwise.

Some people invoke theological / religious problems, as it is against God (I'm a Christian so please don't try to change my view on the bible). This is a very valid concern, but as far as I know, people like Adam and Noah lived to almost 1000 years, and people lived up to several hundreds of years even after the flood. Plus, there's no direct biblical commandment saying that we cannot live past a certain age. Christ Himself, as the incarnation of God who came to atone for our sins, spoke about healing diseases in a positive light. (If someone finds something that proves otherwise please let me know)

Another argument is that aging is "natural". This is the worst argument that I've heard and is just plainly invalid. Aging is natural, yes, but so is cancer, polio, rabies, salmonella, bird flu, and the list goes on, and no one is arguing that we should not cure these; getting attacked and killed by a wild animal is natural, but no one is suggesting that we should not take any measure possible to protect ourselves.

A third, and perhaps the most valid one, is about overpopulation. While this might be true, I'm pretty positive that such speculation doesn't take into consideration that as time advances, our capacity to sustain ourselves will also increase, so it's really up to speculation.

We won't become immortal, and we won't be able to extend our lives forever. But, between living 80 years and spend 10 years in pain (physical pain from weakening, and emotional pain from dying friends and relatives) and living a healthy 150 years or more, I would definitively choose the latter.

Edit: clarification.


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I'm speaking from experience in the US.

So I had a discussion with friends a while back and I couldn't think of any real, logical, and ethical reason for a government to not want to automatically register people to vote. Voter fraud doesn't happen on a dangerous level so worrying about that is negligible. We have the right to vote, which I feel is partially impeded by saying "hey you have to do X to certify paperwork to vote" (note I am OK with voter ID requirements within reason to verify identity). And finally, in order to best represent their constituents, you would want all eligible people to vote if you were truly in favor of a representative democracy which is what everyone claims.

Maybe something out there I don't know about. CMV!

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First things first: why are these the magic numbers?

This magic numbers result from the formulas: A = (1.66p) / r and L = (2h) / r, where A is the annual magic number, L is the lifetime magic number, p is the poverty level for a standard household (family of four), h is the onset of the income happiness plateau (more on this below), and r is the risk-free interest rate after inflation (for my calculations, I will be using TIPS [treasury inflation-protected securities]). The factor of 1.66 arises because the current top marginal tax rate (on both income and estates) is 40%, i.e. we’re accounting for the taxes already paid on income below the magic number. The factor of 2 arises because I would prefer a 50% tax on estates valued below the magic number and I want to exclude that tax. Given that, right now, p=25,000, h=75,000, and r = 0.008, we find that A=5,200,000 and L=18,750,000. (Note that this tax would apply to ALL income, including capital gains and carried interest and all the other garbage loopholes.)

Here’s the justification: Inequality is okay. In general, people who produce more should be able to consume more. Furthermore, most people not only want to consume for themselves, but also want to provide for their families, and that impulse is good.

My proposed confiscatory tax rate will not kick in until you have acquired enough money to ensure that you and your descendants will be able to have an income equal to the poverty level, adjusted for inflation, subject to no risk, even if you never work another day in your life, forever. To reiterate, if you have a net worth of $5,200,000 (after taxes), you and your descendants are guaranteed to never have an income below the poverty level. In other words, in this one year of work, you have protected yourself and your descendants from poverty, forever.

Is that not enough safety and security for you? Well, if you keep earning that much money year after year, you’ll be able to pass on a full $18 million to your descendants, which guarantees them an inflation-adjusted income of $75,000 per year. I call this the “income happiness plateau”, because beyond this income level more money does not increase happiness. In other words, this confiscatory tax does not kick in until you have already provided yourself and your heirs literally all the happiness money can buy, risk-free, forever, even if they never work a day in their lives.

Note that this is not a policy designed to maximize government revenue. As far as I can tell, the revenue-maximizing marginal tax rate is 70% (Easy Source. Hard Source.) This is a policy designed to discourage gratuitous compensation packages for executives and owners of capital. In principle, a company’s board will be reluctant to pay the CEO $40 million when they know that ~$35 million will just be paid to the government anyway. Instead, they will pay the CEO ~$5 million and use the remaining $35 million in a more productive way (whether as a capital investment or to increase compensation of lower-level employees).

“Why do you think you can just assume that the high salary of a CEO isn’t a productive use of a firm’s money?” Actually, I don’t need to assume that! Here are two sources that show that higher salaries for CEO’s don’t actually lead to better company performance (Source 1. Source 2.) To an extent, I respect the argument that companies have a right to waste their own money; however, I believe that right is not important enough to justify the continuance of inequality that these kinds of expenditures engender (more on my philosophy of property below). Also, based on what little I know (largely based on anecdotes and the book Good to Great), it’s clear that there do exist some executives who are absolutely worth their massive paychecks. I think Larry Ellison might be the best example, here. Not only has he built Oracle into a massive company, but it’s a massive company that works to make other companies more productive, meaning that he is personally responsible for a huge increase in the material wellbeing of...well, basically everybody. If we define “fair” to mean “The producer and the consumer each gets half of the economic surplus,” then my proposal is certainly unfair to extraordinary producers like Mr. Ellison, Bill Gates, etc.

As you might guess, that’s not how I define “fair”. When I think about fairness, I always include considerations of marginal utility. The idea is simple: The more money you have, the less meaningful more money is to you. This is not a mere idea; it is demonstrably true. This is what causes the income happiness plateau. Beyond $75,000, the marginal utility of money falls to zero. This is THE key finding that justifies not just progressive marginal tax rates, but confiscatory marginal tax rates like the one I’m proposing.

To elaborate at a more abstract level: the purpose of government is to create and maintain a civil society in which human flourishing is possible. I believe that a policy that takes money from those who have so much of it that taking some of it literally has no effect on their wellbeing and gives that money to people who have so little of it that they don’t know whether they have enough money for food is a policy that promotes human flourishing. (At this point, it might be useful to read up on “the psychological damage of living in poverty” by Googling that phrase.)

Many have argued in the past that the best way to create and maintain a civil society in which human flourishing is possible is to protect citizens’ natural rights at (nearly) all costs. I have not, in the past, found this argument persuasive. Most pertinantly to the present matter, I have read Locke and Nozick and I think they are wrong about property; it is not a natural right. I believe property is an abstract idea created by governments as part of creating and maintaining a civil society in which human flourishing is possible. When the concentration of property in the hands of a select few becomes detrimental to human flourishing, the government is well within its mandate to lessen that concentration.

This is my view. I have tried sharing it with friends and family, but I live in a bubble, so they have basically agreed with it and have not produced meaningful counterarguments to it. I hope that you all will be able to provide intelligent counterarguments that will either allow me to either refine my idea or see that it is actually wrong/bad. That beings said, let’s do away with some trivial objections:

“But our most productive entrepreneurs won’t innovate or bring products to market if their income is capped at $5.2 million per year!”

In short, no. People at the highest levels of society are only motivated by money insofar as money is a proxy for status and power. The competition for status and power will remain even when the income ceiling is in place. Don’t believe me? Fine. How about some data from a country that experienced robust economic growth over a 20 year period during which the top marginal tax rate was over 90%? The contention that the economy will break if we have a tax rate like this appears to be wrong.

“People will just avoid taxes by moving their money offshore.”

This is only possible if the tax is written to allow it. If the tax is written to prevent the use of tax havens, this will not be a problem.

“The ultra rich will migrate from the US to other G7 nations en masse.”

I mostly doubt this, but I’m not certain about it. People did not migrate away from Britain en masse during the 50’s and 60’s and the Scandinavian countries are not experiencing a mass migration of their rich today. Then there’s also the fact that people, even rich and powerful people, tend to prefer to stay in a place full of people who share their same cultural history, which creates a strong disincentive from moving.

“The specifics of your formulas are wrong.”

There are innumerable ways in which the formulas will have to be refined before this becomes a practical idea. Maybe the target for the annual rate should be median income, not the poverty level? Maybe we should allow for some risk in the rate of return, instead of relying solely on TIPS. I don’t really care about that level of detail right now. I have tried to provide just enough detail to make clear why I chose those magic numbers.


What will it take to change my view? Obviously, the best way would be to introduce something that I haven’t thought of yet. :) That being said, the easiest way to get me to change my mind is to show me that my data is wrong by providing your own data that demonstrates mine is wrong. In particular, if you can show that this kind of tax regime really would destroy the economy, that would change my view. A much more difficult way to change my view would be to attack my fundamental assumptions. In particular, my assumption that property is a tool created by government rather than a natural right is not something I can prove empirically, therefore it is vulnerable to attack.

I've now passed 10,000 characters, so all that remains for me to do is to thank you for reading.


EDIT: /u/huadpe has explained, using hard evidence, that the "income happiness plateau" is not robust to different measures of happiness. In other words, there is very good reason to think that it doesn't actually exist.

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Today I returned a supplement I bought at Whole Foods and the cashier who processed my refund was wearing rainbow colored suspenders. He was very polite and helpful and as we went through the common cordial conversations two humans go through while completing a bureaucratic transaction like returning an item I glanced at his suspenders and thought to myself why is it that he would want to wear suspenders that express his sexual orientation? It was very puzzling to me, and I wondered whether this gentleman would dare wear these suspenders at the supermarket Shop Rite up the street which has a more conservative clientele. Doing so would be considerably more edgy, but nonetheless I got my receipt and my merchandise credit and was on my way.

This is what I decided from the interaction.

The gentleman that processed my return must get satisfaction out of symbolically telling others he’s part of the LGBT community. As someone with parents of different religions, I empathize with this. It was always very controversial as a kid for me to side with one religion or the other with symbolic gestures. When someone would pass me in the hallway or a teacher would have a conversation with me in school, if I was wearing a religious symbol I got a little pleasure out of my peer or instructor non verbally acknowledging my religious symbol with a quick glance. I was identifying with one tribe or another and was forcing others to acknowledge it. I enjoyed doing this a lot at the time, but in hindsight it was very inappropriate act. I was forcing members of my community into a territory they might not want to even step foot into, and by analyzing their reaction to the symbol I was wearing I could potentially catch bias, either positive or negative.

This is exactly what a person is doing by wearing LGBT flair in the workplace. They're forcing others to acknowledge their sexual orientation is under the LGBT umbrella and forcing a potential involuntary reaction. This is as inappropriate within the workplace as wearing a religious symbol because it has the potential to divide people, and when it brings people together it does so in a manner that is inherently tribal and bad for the collective. I am not arguing that this cashier should have to hide that he’s gay from his co workers or from the public. If he has a boyfriend that comes to the store at the end of his shift to give him a ride home when he gets off of work it’s perfectly fine for him to be open about it and introduce his significant other to another employee he has a friendship with who may also be leaving. If he’s having a conversation with a straight employee or customer he should be allowed to bring up his potential boyfriend or husband in the conversation, just as they’re allowed to bring up their potential partner. I am not arguing that he should have to hide that he’s gay, or that he shouldn’t be allowed to wear those LGBT flag suspenders. I’m arguing that choosing to do so is ill willed and inappropriate, and arguably as inappropriate as wearing a religious symbol in the workplace. I'm willing to hear your argument against my thesis and am open to changing my mind.

Edit: changed "a supermarket Shop Rite" to "the supermarket Shop Rite up the street"

Edit#2: My view has been changed. Time for me to go to bed. Thank you to everyone who participated in the discussion.


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One note before I start: I do not believe this option should take place unless the accused is voted “not guilty” unanimously AND the jury agrees that the accusation was false in the same session.

Rape is the worst type of crime. Murder, arson, etc. are abhorrent, but generally the evidence is sound. Rape is not; it’s extremely difficult to produce evidence one way or the other (assuming no other crimes, such as assault, took place) and even more difficult when the two participants are intoxicated.

This creates a dilemma for the legal system. Do we jail an innocent citizen or let a guilty person walk free?

This leads into false accusations. These accusations are made with the explicit purpose of ruining the other’s reputation, and society tends to deem the accused a rapist even after the sentence is given. I believe that this is because of the lack of any substantial punishment on the false accusers, so people go to the “rapists usually walk free” excuse rather than the “false accusers are a thing.” If unanimous non-guilty verdicts+agree on false accusation (hence, the person is not a rapist and the fault lies in the false accuser) results in punishment for the false accuser, then the accused person has a valid shut-down for people/organizations who discriminate because of it (scholarships rescinding their offer, friends being lost, job interviews dropping).

However, I am not that well informed of the law. Am I even correct in how the law works? It seems like false accusers get a slap on the wrist for falsely accusing, which perpetuates the “guilty even after proven innocent” idea in society. If false accusers got a more severe punishment, a) people wouldn’t knowingly falsely accuse as often, taking away the threat of “do what I ask or else I’ll say you raped me” and b) it evens out the system a bit more and doesn’t punish the “he might be a rapist, but there’s not enough evidence to convict” situation that may arise.

TL:DR False accusers seem like they are rarely punished which leads to a presumption of guilt pervading the life of the accused, and that should change.

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Posted by1 day agoGilded1

Most religious movements dont just die out on their own, not even when most non-believers see it as dangerous or stupid. The only way that powerful religious institutions lose power, or even stop gaining it, is when there is a rift between two sects of the religion. If there was a free and non-brain washing version of Scientology out there with all the self-help classes and personality tests and knock-off psychoanalysis, no one would choose the expensive, crazy version. It would maybe be impossible to convert all the current scientologists, but I doubt their recruitment would ever be the same. Thoughts?

Ps. I realize there might be some copyright issues with their materials but disregard that if you please.

Edit: Thanks for the gold, stranger! It only took 8 years of redditing.

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The current and common "election day" format is widely agreed to have significant flaws. Especially in the US, where election day is not a national holiday, many people find it difficult to make it to polls on election day. If they do indeed make it to a polling location, they are often met with long lines and heavy delays.

I think having an election period lasting between 1-2 weeks would ameliorate several of the biggest issues we see with the current format. First, a period of 1-2 weeks would provide the public with significantly more time to make it to the polls, which would likely create a significant increase in voter turnout. Furthermore, lines and delays at polling places would be considerably reduced.

The first issue I see with this system would be people thinking the result was basically already decided (if the votes were recorded live), and that it wouldn't be worth it to vote. I think counting the votes at the very end of the period, and potentially restricting discussion of the results during the period, resolves this issue.


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It just is the happy medium

If you’re upper middle class you can probably afford a pretty nice vehicle, a pretty nice house, can take pretty nice vacations.

On top of that you can probably stay on top of all your bills if you keep them within reason fairly easily, if not casually.

I think upper middle class people are the happiest people in the world.

You always hear about the poor being depressed, the working middle class/lower middle class being depressed, the wealthy being depressed, etc

But you almost never hear about the upper middle class being depressed. There’s a reason for it, they are the happiest.

They don’t have the burden of being loaded and having people always bother them for money, but they also aren’t broke and depressed because they can’t afford anything.

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The over- hangers have long bothered me. So you'd imagine my surprise when I discovered that this is the more popular way to hang TP! Here's why that is absurd, and under is the only way.

  1. When it's over, the loose piece can be hard to find. Resulting in fumbling with the roll to get a piece.

  2. Under leaves a nice piece just hanging, waiting there, because gravity. So it's always ready for the grabbing!

  3. Cats and children have a more difficult time unraveling the entire roll of TP onto the floor when it's hanging under

  4. Its more aesthetically pleasing. An under hanging roll has that iconic TP look.

  5. I have read that over hanging may be more sanitary, however I think this is false because public restrooms overwhelmingly have dispensers hanging parallel to the wall, eliminating the hand to wall contamination. Additionally, even if it is perpendicular to the wall, cheap TP and the over-hanging method still results fumbling around with the roll to get a piece, increasing the likelihood of hand to wall contact. Under hanging increases the likelihood that a square will be hanging for one to grab.

So, over- hangers, what am I missing about your popular method? Change my view!

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First of all, I'd like to state that this is not always the case. key loggers and such which log user activity is a bad thing. however most of the time this isn't the data being collected. Most of the time they aren't actually tracking data on a per user basis but rather they are tracking data in an anonymous way. And I don't think that is a bad thing for the following reasons.

  • Free services

The common phrase of if you are not paying for the product you are the product is certainly true but not necessarily bad. Me personally I don't mind if google or Facebook log my data, and I think is it a fair trade for a free product. (if disclosed)

  • Machine learning

The data isn't being logged so that they can gossip about who you follow on Facebook. Rather, it is logged to feed into machine learning algorithm to train their artificial neural networks. This is harmless, it is just anonymous user data without a malicious intent. And the times that they don't use the data, they sell it to other businesses who want to train their own neural networks.

TLDR: Data collection is (for the most part) anonymous and not being used for malicious intent. Furthermore, it provides us with free services. So I don't understand why this is such an issue

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After seeing post after post on Reddits front page about Trump colluding with Russia and having a foriegn government tampering with our electoral process, I can't help but wonder where's the outrage over Democrats allowing non US citizens be a part of the electoral process? If foreign entities effecting our elections is such a bad thing (which I believe it is) why are Democrats enabling non US citizens to vote? Shouldn't both parties be advocating against this? Non US citizens should not be allowed to vote in US elections. Change my view.

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My view

  1. Although the chance that we might see proof that hypnotism is real after all is non-zero, such proof does not exist yet.

  2. Therefore, people practicing hypnotism and "hypnotherapy" right now are by definition quacks, because they use an unproven and possibly fake concept as the basis of their current therapy.


The above view in a more detailed form

In evidence-based medicine, not having been disproven is not grounds for acceptance as valid treatment. Only having been proven to be effective is. I think hypnotism should, and ultimately would, either go the way of phrenology or complete its transformation into full-on magic, like homeopathy (hypnotism has been on this way for quite a while, being incomparably more popular with stage magicians than medical professionals). Especially suspect—and thoroughly quack-like—is hypnotherapists' extremely convenient insistence that some people can be hypnotized while others can't, without any valid scientific explanation as to why this could be; this is exactly what a run-off-the-mill fortune-teller tells her mark when "magic" doesn't work.

But regardless of what I think, hypnotherapy should not be accepted as a valid medical practice until the effects of "hypnosis" are conclusively demonstrated to be different from simple suggestion etc.. Something previously considered impossible may be found to actually be real, while something widely accepted today might be found to be blatantly false in the future; but evidence-based medicine works with the current knowledge, not hypothetical possible future knowledge. In other words, my view is that trying to pinpoint hypnotism, hypnotic trance et al in studies is perfectly fine, but routinely using hypnotism in normal medical practice as if it were known to be real is blatant quackery.


EXAMPLES OF WHAT COULD MAKE ME CHANGE MY VIEW

  • Something like a meta-study demonstrating that the very existence of hypnotism (as opposed to ordinary suggestion; with or without "hypnotic trance") is widely accepted in the broader medical community (i.e. outside of the hypnotherapy community, which I hold perfectly untrustworthy, as per the title).

  • I am shown to misunderstand what evidence-based medicine is and/or how it works in the real world.

(NOTE: I have strong feelings about unscientific approaches to medical practitioning, but I don't have an identity stake in hypnotism per se. If the phenomenon is conclusively shown to be real, I will, hopefully, simply accept that.)


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From my understanding people have been over prescribed opiods and when that runs out they move to getting it illegally.

For thier pain marijuana could have been a safer alternative and there are people or trying to switch. If they were offered weed from the start id imagine they wouldnt have needed to have got addicted to opiods in thr 1st place, but that wasnt the case. Having medical and recrational access to marijuana seems like a benifit at first glance.

But for the drug cartels legal recreational weed would decrease profits for importing weed. This gives them incentive to switch their efforts into importing more herion and opiods. Increasing illegal access to opiods.

Increasing access to opiods worsens the opiod crisis.

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There are two main philosophies that I hold to be self-evident: naturalism, ie. the natural world is all that exists and that everything follows the laws of physics; and solipsism, ie. the only thing we can know for sure is that we are having a conscious experience.

From those two premises I reach my next conclusion: if everything in the world follows the laws of physics, including our brains, and yet our brains are producing our conscious experience, it's clear that the laws of nature themselves are capable of producing consciousness. I think of it as another property of the interaction of matter, like gravity or electromagnetic force. When you have individual pieces of physical matter interacting together in an organized, complex system, some kind of conscious experience is inherent to this complexity.

If this is not true, how else does an atheist explain the fact that they're able to read and understand this sentence right now? If our minds do not arise naturally from the inherent properties of physical matter, it seems to imply that you need a non-physical spirit in order to be conscious.

My next thought is: since we see that complex systems of billions of individual cells create consciousness in our own brains and in other animals, shouldn't we also expect that other complex systems with many interconnected units might also experience some kind of central consciousness, even if it's in a completely different form that has nothing in common with human consciousness? For example, an ant colony, a forest, a galaxy -- could these things be singular conscious entities in some way? Furthermore, and more abstract, couldn't individual humans be like neurons in the bigger brain of society, and things like religions, economies, and cultures are in some way self-preserving and self-aware entities? It would help explain why we continue to perpetuate social systems that do not serve the greater human good -- in some way it's as though we're not fully in control of the systems that rule our lives even though we're the neurons that give them a mind.

Isn't it possible, or even likely, then, that the whole universe could be a giant brain of sorts, which has some kind of aggregated consciousness? Obviously the "theism" in pantheism refers to the belief in a god, yet the word god brings to mind a specific god for most people (Yahweh) or at least some kind of fictional deity; and I really want to avoid that association, as I don't think any human idea of the sum total of all the consciousness in the universe can ever come close to being complete. My idea of pantheism isn't that there's literally a god that embodies all the universe but rather that physical matter is imbued with the intrinsic attribute of awareness which is able to manifest in many ways including human consciousness. We know from quantum mechanics that matter can have some interaction with our own knowledge/observation of it, which seems to lend credibility to my idea (and that's as much as I'll say about quantum mechanics because I know I don't understand it).

My view could be changed in various ways including the following:

1) naturalism -- is there some reality which cannot be explained by natural law?

2) solipsism -- is there an argument that we are in fact not conscious?

3) Is there any specific reason why our brains can produce consciousness yet other highly organized/interconnected systems cannot?

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Currently the state of California's driving test does not require it's drivers to drive on a portion of freeway or highway and is confined to city streets within the DMV testing centers.

I believe that a majority of drivers in California drive on freeways and highways and spend a very large duration of their driving on such roads. I believe that it is fair that we test drivers on entering and exiting freeways as well as interacting with traffic on such roads. By not doing so we endanger the driving public by exposing them to untrained drivers interacting with situations in which they were not tested on.

According to this article by the mercury news the California DMV experimented with testing freeway driving in 1994.

They concluded that it led to more people flunking road tests — about 38 percent failed, compared to 26 percent for the old exam. Increased the length of tests from 15 minutes to 30 minutes in which the test required drivers to enter the freeway and then get off at the nearest exit ramp. As a result the DMV decided to recind it's plan to test drivers on freeway driving during testing.

Other reasons given by the DMV were "Not every field office is located conveniently to a freeway and times vary in getting to a freeway. Once the applicant is on the freeway, depending on the time of day and congestion, the drive test applicant could end up on the freeway without sufficient time to demonstrate basic driving maneuvers that are tested.”

I do not believe the reasons given by the DMV are sufficient enough to exclude freeway driving as a portion of the DMV driving test. We have many drivers on the road already and our roads within the state are already overcrowded. Failing more people will mean that the drivers who do enter our roadways will be more experienced. Tests should be difficult if you can't pass due to the fact that you cannot enter a freeway then you shouldn't be driving and pose a danger to those on the road.

For the argument of testing times going up; I believe that the test should be longer 15 minutes is not a lot of time as it is to get a good sense of how a person drives. In order to accommodate increased testing times we should hire more people to do DMV driving tests, as it is the DMV is understaffed and underfunded such an increase in funding would be justified if it meant safer roads.

To the argument of distance; I belive that the same logic could be argued about DMV testing centers and the driving test it'self. Depending on where and when you take a driving test it can make a huge difference with the test and such variables already exist in today's test.

On my second point regarding simulated police stops; I believe that a large amount of people within the state will be pulled over at some point in their driving experience. Due to recent events involving police stops I believe it to be necessary to simulate a police stop not only for police safety but for drivers safety as well. Knowing what to do in such a situation would put a lot of tensions and anxiety off of both parties and I believe a short 30 second simulated stop in which a driver pulls over is asked questions by a DMV instructor on what items to present and how to present your self to officers should be required. By designing a procedure for drivers we would be doing the driving public and California Highway Patrol with clear guidelines and if issues were to develop within the scope of a traffic stop then those guidelines could be consulted and hold individuals accountable for mistakes that could have been prevented.


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Take going around in a bikini in public not being acceptable for example, or eating and drinking while walking (given you don't spill stuff on the ground), or not doing art in a certain way to adhere to hundreds of years of history and tradition.

Let us examine the first example. Right now, in almost any society, if you got into public with a bikini and nothing else, you would at least get disapproving looks and the judgement of others. It would surely affect your status in work or school, and your relationship with people that indeed do see it as unacceptable.

My main concern is, why should people care about how you would like to dress (or not dress), and why should they lower their view of you just by judging your way of clothing. Sure, it is something people are not used to and they would get shocked or weirded out, but only because it is something people are not used to. I can't see any way of this damaging people.

At this point, it becomes no different than any religious belief. It has no logic or reasoning behind it, most people just go by unquestioning it.

The second example is very similar to the first, so I will skip on its explanation, but I want to talk about the third one since it is trickier.

I am not talking about technique of art, I am talking about the idea of how a painting should be done. For a fictional example, due to certain traditions and historical context, having 3 lines cross through a painting makes sense. In fact, due to these reasons, having a painting without 3 lines crossing through it is considered unacceptable and even inconceivable.

Of course, to someone who is not aware of this history, this idea does not make sense, and they would prefer a more freer approach. They would maybe try that idea, but they would never limit themselves with it.

In my opinion, cultural and social norms of this kind have no logical background, and are often perpetuated just to honor the past and/or traditions. I do not think I have a right to force people to abandon those beliefs, however illogical I see them be. I, however, do not think that people has any right to force other people to confine their thoughts and actions to whatever society's limited and narrow worldview.

Edit: People have pointed out that we should go past beyond the bikini part and I have realised that I am not yet able to do it feeling wise and there are more things for me to consider aesthetically. I have dropped this argument and think much more on this until I fully agree with going past or I completely change it.

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Trump's thin skin has been manipulated by comedians for laughs, trolling him into late night twitter storms and the like, but to date, as far as I know, no one has intentionally tried to manipulate Trump into adopting or flip-flopping on a policy stance purely for amusement.

Obviously, hot-button issues would be more difficult to control since there are too many dynamics at play, but maybe a small slice of a larger issue could be tipped. For example, regarding proposed trade tariffs -- redditors could construct and promote a narrative that appeals to Trump's ego, such as a company that makes MAGA hats that would be adversely affected, prompting last minute changes.

Trump already hates Jeff Bezos. Amazon has been criticized for affecting the banana supply in Seattle by purchasing and giving away an absurd amount of bananas. Perhaps a nudge to Trump to call for an investigation into whether this violates any anti-trust law? Unfortunately, I get the sense that introducing "bananagate" into the news cycle isn't ridiculous enough.

Lobbyists get paid huge amounts for this kind of influence, but my strong suspicion is it could be had for free.

I feel like the trick is finding the right issue and narrative to push, but it should be doable... or is it? Perhaps lobbyists get paid for a reason.

So, reddit, CMV, or rather, change Trump's view.


This is a footnote from the CMV moderators. We'd like to remind you of a couple of things. Firstly, please read through our rules. If you see a comment that has broken one, it is more effective to report it than downvote it. Speaking of which, downvotes don't change views! Any questions or concerns? Feel free to message us. Happy CMVing!

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I am beginning to think that absolute free speech (i.e. being able to say anything and everything, including the most repugnant and vile things you can think of) does not exist. Real debate around free speech is where to draw the line which is much more tricker. I base this on two premises below.

Most of us would draw a line at something. For example, if I was to publicly preach that the way to reduce population growth is to start killing babies, most people would find that abhorrent and I’d probably be shut down. Similarly when a religious cleric preaches death to non-believers, we find that abhorrent too and if there were such religious places in our cities, we’d want to have them shut down in one way or the other. Am I wrong in thinking this would be the case?

Secondly, there are already laws in place that restrict absolute free speech - including anti-hate speech laws, defamation laws, even false advertising laws. These laws already (and rightfully) impugn on our rights to absolute free speech.

So the real question isn’t if free speech exists or not. Real question is where the line is drawn. CMV!

Edit: thank you for all the responses. I am writing an essay around this topic and before I publish it on my blog I wanted to test out my thinking in this wonderful sub. I’m off to work now and will respond to as many comments as I can after work!

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So like many, I first heard about climate change through An Inconvenient Truth. However I didn't really start thinking about climate change until college, where I took what basically amounted to an introductory earth sciences class. There I became more familiar with the science behind the greenhouse gas cycle, the supporting evidence, and the possible outcomes. What really stuck with me was our current understanding of Venus, and how its current conditions (hell on Earth) are commonly attributed to a runaway greenhouse effect.

In my head the fundamental theory makes sense: the more greenhouse gasses in the air, the hotter it gets, which allows additional greenhouse gas sources to evaporate or sublimate into the atmosphere, reinforcing the rate of change. On earth this is counteracted by organisms that cycle greenhouse gasses out of the atmosphere, and grow in population when the atmosphere becomes more saturated with greenhouse gasses. Humans are both emitting greenhouse gasses at a rate far higher than pre-human levels, and killing off organisms that would usually recycle these gasses. Thus, there is a real long-term risk of triggering a runaway greenhouse effect that renders our planet uninhabitable by life as we know it.

This belief has been reinforced since then with countless articles (both scholarly and discursive). As a good survey of the field, I would refer skeptics to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, and particularly their Physical Science Basis which I think lays out the most comprehensive summary of the field. If you don't have time to read 1500+ dry and technical pages, their Summary for Policy Makers provides a good 30-page overview.

Over the years I have heard many arguments against anthropogenic climate change, usually seeking to discredit the researchers or assert that a significant body of scientists disagree. However in general I have found these arguments to be unconvincing. I am not surprised that detractors exist, given the concerted effort by oil companies to fund contradictory research (even as they acknowledge internally that climate change is happening). Similarly, while there are certainly those scientists that would exaggerate or falsify to support their own agendas, I am not convinced that this is happening on a global scale.

I believe and care about this so strongly that I have become basically a single-issue voter on the topic. However, after a recent thread contained a link to this article, I have decided that I am at least open to hearing well-made arguments to the contrary. After all, I am not a climate scientist, and although I care a lot about this it isn't like I've been reading every single book I could find on it.

Ultimately, it would make my year to find out that I'm wrong on this. I want humanity to last for a very, very long time, and if climate change isn't something we need to worry about, I would be happy to move on to more pressing issues.

edit: Okay folks, time for me to sleep. Thanks for playing, and thanks for helping me realize that although the impact of climate change is great, we're not on the road to becoming Venus.


This is a footnote from the CMV moderators. We'd like to remind you of a couple of things. Firstly, please read through our rules. If you see a comment that has broken one, it is more effective to report it than downvote it. Speaking of which, downvotes don't change views! Any questions or concerns? Feel free to message us. Happy CMVing!

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My view is that Ghostwriting, defined as an unnamed author writing a book with someone else being named the author with no credit given to the ghost writer, should be considered illegal. I would say it should be considered false advertising.

I understand there are biographies about people who aren't necessarily good writers and they need ghost writers, which is fine. But the books should be upfront about who actually wrote the book.

Maybe there's something I'm missing about why we need Ghost Writers in literature. CMV.

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Had the development of atomic weaponry progressed to thermonuclear (h-bomb) devices, before one was first used, the destruction of that eventual detonation would have been exponentially worse.

Additionally, the destruction wrought by two low-yield weapons seems to have effectively inhibited further wartime usage of other nuclear devices.

I do assume that detonation in conflict was inevitable. But I could change my mind if this was shown to be too presumptuous. Also, if it could be shown that higher yield devices are a more effective deterrent, then I might change my mind.

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As I’m sure some of you have heard, the MGM is suing the victims of the Las Vegas shooting. People have lost their minds in outrage over this calling for a boycott, especially on social media. At first glance it sounds bad but once you look at it a little closer, the MGM really doesn’t have many other options (besides not acting in their best interest and spending an absurd amount of money to avoid the PR backlash that is currently happening).

First off, this isn’t the MGM just suing the victims out of no where. This is a countersuit as they were sued first. Second, MGM isn’t asking for any compensation from any of the victims. They simply want the lawsuit dismissed. So right there half the people that are upset about the clickbait titles out there lose their stance that this is disgusting and unwarranted - it is a company defending themselves.

People also don’t realize what exactly the MGM countersuit is for. Essentially there is an act called the SAFETY Act that exempts certain businesses from liability in a mass casualty event if they follow all the steps of the protocol. MGM claims they did and even hired a security firm that was SAFETY certified for the event. If they did follow the protocol set up specifically for these types of events then they can’t be sued, end of story.

What they are attempting to do is group the lawsuits against them (news articles simply put it as “group the victims”) into one or two lawsuits where they can find out if they can even be held liable first. If MGM can’t be held liable then it saves them the time and effort of fighting thousands of lawsuits individually. From that standpoint you can’t really blame them for wanting to get this answer first before spending the time and money on individual cases. In fact, they aren’t actually challenging the victims to come to court and fight against them really - they are simply asking the federal government whether or not they themselves could be sued for the incident. They could honestly lose that countersuit but still win the other suits if the victims can’t prove that MGM should have somehow thwarted the attack.

That brings us to the big issue for people which is whether MGM was responsible or not. In reality we don’t know the answer to that because we obviously don’t have all the details. Most people who are outraged just assume they are responsible and that they should allow themselves to be sued by the victims without countersuing. But if MGM is responsible then tell me why any school, movie theater, church, concert venue etc. isn’t held responsible when a shooting happens there? How do you separate a guy going to a convention with a bunch of duffle bags filled with T-shirts or hats to hand out from a guy who has guns? Do you start approaching guests and asking if they are terrorists? Honestly, this topic is actually way deeper and more convoluted than the surface topic which is whether MGM is wrong to countersue or not. Regardless of whether people think they should have metal detectors or hands on staff interrogating people or cameras inside individual rooms, the question is really whether MGM has the right to defend themselves if they followed the SAFETY Act.

I’m open to discussing a number of different angles of this topic but the main one is - is MGM deserving of all the backlash and a boycott for defending themselves given the circumstances?

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