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DrCogSci's Avatar Joined over 5 years ago
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Go to: Pastor Urges His Flock to Bring Guns to Church

DrCogSci's Avatar Jump to comment 148 by DrCogSci

Most of this stuff seems kind of kneejerk in all directions. If anyone can give a comprehensive account of the relationship between private, legal, gun-ownership and homicide rates, I'm all ears.

Otherwise, I live in South Africa. Our gun-ownership rate is 13.7/100K (

We are (I think)about the 4th or 5th most dangerous non-warzone on Earth, with homicide at 38.6/100K and those countries that do worse than us are (by and large) not listed as gun owning nations.(

It's a dangerous place, I don't live with children, and I have various OTHER systems in place to make sure I'm not making life and death decisions as I'm waking. Sure, the more guns there are, the greater the percentage of murders and suicides involving firearms there are, but this doesn't mean that the firearms are increasing the rate, or percentage.

Despite the lovely vitriol leveled from both sides, I'm not seeing anything other than proof by assertion. Using the Wiki lists as a guide, those that think private gun ownership is responsible for high murder rates can compare the two lists above.

Greece, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Switzerland, Finland, Canada, Sweden, France and several others seem to (at worst) make your case require a lot of caveats and at best to suggest there simply isn't the kind of relationship portrayed.

I'm pro-private firearms ownership - but totally concede that those applying for firearm ownership should be vetted thoroughly. That being said, I'm totally willing to reverse my position if presented with *evidence* to suggest that giving guns to the general public causes great social ills.

Incidentally, did anyone see the ScienceDaily article on alcohol being responsible for 1 in 25 deaths, worldwide? (

Does anyone know what guns would account for, in a similar survey?

Sun, 28 Jun 2009 06:17:00 UTC | #374455

Go to: Storm

DrCogSci's Avatar Jump to comment 16 by DrCogSci

I was out to dinner the other night with about 20 people, and I happened to sit at the end of the table with the young earth creationist on my left, and the guy who was telling me about how his ?magnetic? bracelet prevents backpain - amongst other things...

I held out for as long as I could, I really did...

But I replied to something particularly egregious...

And afterwards, people not involved in the conversation, i.e. those at the other end of the table, were all tutting to themselves and saying "is he going on about all that stuff again"

Like it was my fault. Really. Soooooo frustrating.

Sun, 28 Dec 2008 13:39:00 UTC | #293043

Go to: Obama the Secularist

DrCogSci's Avatar Jump to comment 30 by DrCogSci

In viewing the longer speech, it's clear that a lot of the comments *are* in fact over-reaching in describing Obama's personal religious beliefs (at least from the evidence presented here).

I didn't see anything which suggested that he's anything other than a left leaning centrist who supports a fundamental secularism in deciding on policy, I don't know about you, but that's more than good enough for me, for now!

Thu, 06 Nov 2008 14:55:00 UTC | #266189

Go to: Dare we stand up for Muslim women?

DrCogSci's Avatar Jump to comment 18 by DrCogSci

This seems to be the kind of situation where it's a specifically "Toxic" form of religion that causes such things. I think it'll be generations before we see a substantial change, but if nothing else, we should be enforcing our preference for the emancipation of women by force.

The U.S. is not above using such *rhetoric* in its international dealings. I.e. "operation Iraqi freedom" I guess this is the one instance where I'd like to see a *more* radical approach. Weird.

Thu, 23 Oct 2008 07:09:00 UTC | #256064

Go to: What Binti Jua Knew

DrCogSci's Avatar Jump to comment 82 by DrCogSci

I'm sorry to be a bit of a pedant, but could we address the 3 particular rights discussed in the GAP document?

1) The right to life
2) The right to liberty
3) Freedom from Torture

As I argued before, any and all of these will only be meaningful in the moderation of human/ape relations - as we are not able, nor should we be willing, to try and moderate ape/ape relations.

Given that this applies only to our interactions with them, (and please, correct me if you think that these rights could/did emerge from ape societies themselves) surely we can make do with anti-cruelty laws without defining apes into personhood?

Essentially, don't:
Kill, imprison (without good cause) or torture gorillas, chimps, orangutans etc.

I happen to think that - provided we don't call them rights, these are noble directives for our interactions with other species. Why should we need to call them "rights" when it only muddies our current definition thereof, and the same effect can be achieved?

Mon, 25 Aug 2008 04:54:00 UTC | #223996

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