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Comments by i_am_user

Go to: 'Gay cure' Christian charity funded 20 MPs' interns

i_am_user's Avatar Jump to comment 69 by i_am_user

Wouldn't the utilitarian position to take is to change people's view on homosexuality? Instead of an individual changing ones sexuality (which is a difficult and damaging thing to do), why not have everyone else change their views (which is minimal, easy, and does not affect their lives much). So we have two sides, people who are gay but punished for it, and people who view homosexuality negatively and punish those who are gay. One group would be happy if they were accepted, the other group would be happy if the gays disappeared. Who should change? Should we support ex-gay movements or support acceptance of homosexuality?

Comment 23 by sheepcat :

The gay cure thing is interesting to me from a utilitarian standpoint. If choosing to live as gay would mean losing all your friends and family might a lot of gay men not seek a way out? It is a massive decision and I could understand if men from certain communities who find they are gay opt to deny their sexuality in order to keep the life they have rather than leave everyone they love.

A tough decision.

Mon, 23 Apr 2012 22:07:32 UTC | #936822

Go to: Dr. R. Elisabeth Cornwell and many other leading women speaking at Women in Secularism Conference

i_am_user's Avatar Jump to comment 30 by i_am_user

Comment 18 by aquilacane :

I don't want my daughter to ever think she has to look at the successes of other women to be inspired. Being inspired by other people should be enough. I can tell you, my mother didn't coach men's rugby at college because of all the fantastic female rugby coaches who came before her. She did it because she bloody well wanted to and could.

I think the reality is that humans have a tendency to relate to people with similar characteristics and fill roles based on expectations. Perhaps not ideal, but ideally everyone would also come to the logical conclusion that god likely does not exist (at least in the form of most major religions), making sites like these obsolete. To help break stereotypes and make women feel more welcomed, I suppose, is the purpose of these events.

Wed, 18 Apr 2012 04:08:00 UTC | #935391

Go to: Jon Stewart Doesn’t Understand How Science Works Even a Little Bit

i_am_user's Avatar Jump to comment 7 by i_am_user

He may not be a physicist and that may give him a pass to not know the exact details of dark matter, but to think that these theories are based purely on faith with no physical evidence shows that he has, as the title suggests, a lack of understanding of science in general.

Wed, 18 Apr 2012 02:22:52 UTC | #935380

Go to: Black Nonbelievers Speak Out

i_am_user's Avatar Jump to comment 64 by i_am_user

Reading these comments, I'm now starting to wonder if advocating for 'racial' and gender blindness is a position mostly taken by the privileged (not necessarily but mostly white, male). Racially segregated communities exist, and for a lot of people of racial minorities, it is where they get their values. When I said 'we' in 'we see white people' comment in regards to when there is a generalized 'people', I meant we = minorities. Because the truth is, most ads are targeted to the white, middle class male. We (I) am conditioned to expect ads to target the white, middle class male. What black youths are taught from their communities is that they are living in a 'white man's world' and so yes, specifically targeted ads ARE important to reach out to the people in black communities.

Fri, 03 Feb 2012 04:08:54 UTC | #914139

Go to: Black Nonbelievers Speak Out

i_am_user's Avatar Jump to comment 23 by i_am_user

There is idealism, such as a world where there is no need to distinguish people by their race, sex, sexual orientation, etc, and there is reality. We have to work within reality, not our own notion of an idealistic world. The reality is that the black community is highly religious and that perhaps black atheists do find themselves very isolated and afraid of rejection from their community. I am reminded of a debate at a black college about the existence god. One young black female asked if the concept of atheism was a white mindset being imposed on black people. When we see ads that say 'people', we read it as 'white people'.

This kind of thing also reminds me of when anti gay bullying efforts were being made in schools and parents complained about specifying the 'gay' - what about other kinds of bullying, like those targeting overweight people, etc? If we just said 'don't discriminate, be nice to people', we think 'straight people'. It's important to target the specific issues.

Wed, 01 Feb 2012 18:09:56 UTC | #913501

Go to: Atheism in Indonesia - Two articles

i_am_user's Avatar Jump to comment 16 by i_am_user

If someone can enlighten me, how does a Blasphemy law work when you have a choice of religions to follow? Isn't the point of that law if there was only one and true set of 'rules'?

Sat, 21 Jan 2012 00:37:48 UTC | #910374

Go to: Every scientists-versus-journalists debate ever, in one diagram

i_am_user's Avatar Jump to comment 23 by i_am_user

If some [insert person/group here] don't like living in a country where [insert complaint/problem here], they can go live at [insert place with lower quality of life here] and see how they like [insert problem related to the group/person in particular here].

These kinds of comments are neither insightful nor helpful. So we shouldn't raise any complaints because somewhere else in the world has it much worse?

Comment 20 by Tord M :

If some scientist don't like living in a country where there is free press, they can go live somewhere else, and then see how much public funding will be available for their research.

Thu, 19 Jan 2012 07:42:01 UTC | #909725

Go to: Every scientists-versus-journalists debate ever, in one diagram

i_am_user's Avatar Jump to comment 15 by i_am_user

It's unfortunate but a lot of friends get trapped into the journalistic sensationalism of science - I say its better to not report it at all than to provide a catchy headline that misleads the masses.

Wed, 18 Jan 2012 17:38:51 UTC | #909581

Go to: Metal undergoes novel transition under extreme pressure

i_am_user's Avatar Jump to comment 13 by i_am_user

Lots of new and different transitional states have been known to show up with various T, P, V, etc. It's become quite messy. But the implications of Iron oxide to the earth's mantle is quite interesting.

Fri, 23 Dec 2011 04:10:58 UTC | #902115

Go to: Tsunami Relief: Help People Not Whalers

i_am_user's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by i_am_user

If they have such a hard time selling whale meat, how come the Japanese government is putting so much money into the industry? Since my main concern is species endangerment, I'd be interested in knowing if what Floyd stated is true. It's still pretty sketchy and unethical how the Japanese government only obtained their whaling permit under the guise of 'research'.

Fri, 16 Dec 2011 05:19:01 UTC | #899395

Go to: Religious groups cry foul over Ontario anti-bullying bill

i_am_user's Avatar Jump to comment 72 by i_am_user

Comment 47 by huzonfurst :

I happen to know people who actually chose to be homosexual for whatever reasons, traumatic or otherwise, and I think it's a dodge to "excuse" that orientation because they were born that way. Most of them probably were, but so what?! Let people be whatever they damn well want to be!

I still have a hard time processing why some people surgically change their gender, though: that's some serious psychological shit going on there.

Yes, so what indeed. So what's your problem with transgendered people? Certainly people choose their actions, but we don't choose our feelings. And if, for whatever psychological or biological reasoning that a person would feel happier with gender reassignment, what's so hard to understand that? I know you didn't explicitly say they were 'wrong', but saying they have 'serious psychological shit going on' seems a bit judgmental.

Sat, 10 Dec 2011 06:26:50 UTC | #897411

Go to: The Debunking Handbook: now freely available for download

i_am_user's Avatar Jump to comment 3 by i_am_user

Interesting read! I tend to adhere to the Information Deficit Model, because ultimately it's true. However this pamphlet (handbook?) is about reaching people at every level so I should keep that in mind. However, a lot of the suggested simplifications are things that bother me and make me skeptical when heard (ie 'studies have shown...'). But I guess that's why misinformation is spread all of the time - it works on most people!

Fri, 02 Dec 2011 15:52:03 UTC | #895052

Go to: Believers vs. Non-Believers: Bill O’Reilly And Deepak Chopra Take On Atheists

i_am_user's Avatar Jump to comment 93 by i_am_user

Should I watch this or will my head explode?

Fri, 04 Nov 2011 03:35:15 UTC | #887208

Go to: Magicians say their craft makes them see faith as just hocus-pocus

i_am_user's Avatar Jump to comment 39 by i_am_user

Seen many episodes of Bullshit! and I gotta say, while it's mildly entertaining, it's not a very good skeptics show. They purposely bring extreme people and make them look foolish to prove a point. Not much talk about the actual issues. They're more in the business to entertain than educate, as a lot of the show is deliberately deceptive and heavily biased.

Tue, 01 Nov 2011 22:30:07 UTC | #886164

Go to: Journal editor resigns over 'problematic' climate paper

i_am_user's Avatar Jump to comment 13 by i_am_user

Once that paper was published, there is no turning back. If it stays in the paper, deniers will continue to hold it up as the single proof needed to show they are right. If it is withdrawn, they will use that as proof of a conspiracy within the scientific community...whats troubling was that the reviewers, who presumably did not know much about the field, did not admit to this and pass it onto others or outright rejected it, instead it was accepted.

Sun, 04 Sep 2011 02:19:08 UTC | #867061

Go to: New study disputes notion that men are better at spatial thinking than women

i_am_user's Avatar Jump to comment 72 by i_am_user

Comment 30 by Nunbeliever :

As some of the comments on this page show the problem with gender studies is that people seem to be way too biased in either direction. certainly is interesting to read the responses, especially considering 80-90% of respondents are male.

Single studies with an attractive or radical "conclusion" are always trumped up by media, and surely nothing is conclusive, even perhaps doubtful. Certainly, one can conclude from the study and common sense in general, that culture plays an important role which invalidates many 'anecdotal' evidence told here. But really, is it reason to get so defensive? It has a bit of a misogynous vibe. Sad to say that I do think RD has a gender bias, as is with most male dominated places. I guess I expected more from the 'rational' thinkers.

Sun, 04 Sep 2011 01:58:37 UTC | #867057

Go to: A few Catholics still insist Galileo was wrong

i_am_user's Avatar Jump to comment 90 by i_am_user

I like how his only proof of geocentrism is a few bible verses..I thought they'd evoke the whole relativity thing, and really everything is revolving around the earth, just in a really weird way.

Thu, 01 Sep 2011 14:04:39 UTC | #866334

Go to: Republicans Against Science

i_am_user's Avatar Jump to comment 60 by i_am_user

I'm surprised the article didn't mention the huge irony in accusing climate scientists of lying so they can get mean, pocket change compared to what the oil companies are getting away with? Last time I checked, scientists aren't exactly living large.

I wonder why Republican goes hand in hand with religion, greediness, (willful) ignorance and corporate corruption...shouldn't the religious have a 'higher standard' of moral? Or because the deeply religious tend to be unintelligent, to which they are exploited? It's a mystery to me!

Thu, 01 Sep 2011 13:53:20 UTC | #866329

Go to: Doodling May Draw Students into Science

i_am_user's Avatar Jump to comment 13 by i_am_user

This is going to be in Science?

Wed, 31 Aug 2011 11:38:31 UTC | #865835

Go to: A Fox News Science Lesson

i_am_user's Avatar Jump to comment 79 by i_am_user

I think fox news could have picked any person working at a field remotely related to climate and have them saying vaguely familiar science-y terms and 90% of their viewers would be convinced. In fact, they probably are not even listening and only go as far as the headline.

This is evident by how poorly constructed the argument was. Obviously no time was spent into making this at all convincing.

Wed, 10 Aug 2011 21:16:59 UTC | #859856

Go to: Vatican tells U.N. that critics of gays under attack

i_am_user's Avatar Jump to comment 52 by i_am_user

Oh wonderful. What a beautiful message. Truly, the champions of social justice.

Fri, 25 Mar 2011 06:06:34 UTC | #606832

Go to: Einstein and Darwin: A tale of two theories

i_am_user's Avatar Jump to comment 38 by i_am_user

Comment 7 by bethe123 :

Biology doesn’t do that. Chemistry doesn’t do that. You can predict reactions, yes. You can get an understanding of how things work, yes.

Theoretical chemists reading that would probably disagree. Many of the predictions of chemistry are exact. Compare with string theory and cosmology.

Theoretical chemistry is just physics. :p

While I agree with the general opinion that Tyson missed the obvious answer of religion and his praise of physics was not relevant to the question, I don't see that as a reason for people to get defensive and mock physics and/or physicists.

Tue, 08 Mar 2011 01:37:47 UTC | #599888

Go to: Can we talk about Muslim homophobia now?

i_am_user's Avatar Jump to comment 124 by i_am_user

Honestly, I am a bit offended by your overblown dismay because some people got the numbers wrong. It is not like it is grossly nor purposely misrepresented. Perhaps I'm a bit more annoyed because recently a friend completely missed the point by attacking another friend's good-intent message about lgbt teen suicides because of the same small issue.

But aside from that, I doubt neither you nor I have the actual numbers - but that is not even the point. First there is the issue of those who never come out of the closet. For all of society's unfounded hatred for gay people, it is not a stretch that a large majority/significant minority chose to stay in the closet. And not only that, how many more people are bullied because they are perceived as being 'gay'? This is especially an important issue in the school grounds, as for every kid that is bullied for being gay, many more are being bullied because they 'appear' to be gay. Homophobia hurts more than just gay people.I could even argue that 1 in 10 people (being directly affected) may not even be enough.

Comment 119 by AUS ATHEIST :

1 in 10 in SUCH an overstated number. I am viciously aligned against homophobia in every single way, but the '1 in 10' figures that too many pro-lgbt supporters spout are utter horse-shit.

Comment 26 by The Plc :

Comment 16 by Stevehill :

Hari is, not for the first time, absolutely right.

I am very attracted to his idea that the "cure" starts in the school system. We need to have a legal requirement that all schools - private and public, faith and non-faith - teach as a matter of course respect for diversity.

If some religions (plural) balk at that, then they should at least be honest enough to accept that they are sponsoring violent attacks such as those Hari writes about.

More like, if they balk at that, they should stop expecting the majority non-believing and 1 in 10 homosexual public to pay for their inclusive dogma schools! I still can't get over how scandalous the faith school issue is.

Tue, 01 Mar 2011 02:42:56 UTC | #597518

Go to: Vatican confirms report of sexual abuse and rape of nuns by priests in 23 countries

i_am_user's Avatar Jump to comment 1 by i_am_user

The misogyny and hypocrisy never ceases to amaze me.

Fri, 25 Feb 2011 09:05:03 UTC | #595882

Go to: The Everest Cosmological Principle

i_am_user's Avatar Jump to comment 123 by i_am_user

One note: If you are privy, you may do a literary search of anthropic principle and do some readings to see how these physicists are using it. So far (from a very quick search) it seems to be used for some first order predictions in models, to reject models, or simple philosophical musings...nothing too alarming. If any serious physicists take it as far as Steve has mentioned, I might be a little afraid.

Fri, 12 Nov 2010 06:12:10 UTC | #546186

Go to: The Everest Cosmological Principle

i_am_user's Avatar Jump to comment 122 by i_am_user

Comment 118 by Schrodinger's Cat : Why do you need the Anthropic Principle in order to tell you that it's OK to postulate featureless universes ? Why not just postulate them.

I think I'll agree with Boltzmann here and say that perhaps you do need to understand the theories (multiverse) before claiming it does not need the anthropic principle. Does it or not, I do not know since I am not a physicist..but I will not claim one way or the other.

The simple way I see it, is that our existence is like experimental data. Ultimately, when faced with physical theories, some fundamental 'constants' rely on experimentation to tell us what it is...and one of this 'data' when speaking of our universe is that we exist, and thus our models shall be modeled without contradicting, or correcting for this.

Fri, 12 Nov 2010 05:56:19 UTC | #546183

Go to: The Everest Cosmological Principle

i_am_user's Avatar Jump to comment 107 by i_am_user

Comment 104 by Steve Zara :

The second is that it can wander into a sort of dualism, and even slightly into deism. Some versions of the Anthropic Principle say that the universe is as it is because we are here to observe it. Our observations of the universe somehow selects out what universe is "real" from amongst possible universe. I'm afraid I don't understand why the actions of certain senses combined with neural firing in the brain should select anything at all. This is why I detect a dualist flavour to the argument. Some people go even further - they insist that the universe is as it is because the whole future history of minds in the universe help it to exist. Some go even further than say that the universe has a purpose - to generate minds. It's all too much woo for me.

Certainly the last point is a leap from the first point and I hope none of the top physicists mentioned subscribe to those beliefs? "the universe is as it is because we are here to observe it." sounds the same as 'the universe must be such that we can exist/be here to observe it' to me..(which is only as bad as a thought-stopper).

And how's this for an analogy; out of all of the possibilities arising from evolution, why was it so and so that we came to exist? Is it sufficient to answer that we exist because we exist (essentially..) with no 'deeper' explanation to why evolution 'picked' this state?

Thu, 11 Nov 2010 06:58:37 UTC | #545621

Go to: The Everest Cosmological Principle

i_am_user's Avatar Jump to comment 103 by i_am_user

If I could chime in here, as a good break from your rather intense back and forth exchanges, perhaps you could entertain the thoughts of someone with a basic-intermediate understanding of the topic at hand.

Perhaps I misunderstood your point Steve, as I have only briefly skimmed the pages, and my understanding of the anthropic principle was nil until now, but I gather that the analogy to deism is a bit more in your argument?

To my understanding, the anthropic principle simply states that a sufficient explanation to the state of the universe is that it allowed us to be here to observe it (understandably, it must be so as to allow us to be here to observe it, but is that the only reason it is so?). So far that has satisfied some scientists (as evident by the name dropping), but what reasons are there to suppose there are other factors as well? Isn't this the classic case of 'well there is no evidence to suppose such and such, so why believe it?' except such and such is 'an underlying physical concept for these states to occur outside of the fact it must be so'. Perhaps you could twist it around and say there is no evidence that us being here is the only reason things are the way they are, but that comes into the territory that the principle is a moot point. It certainly doesn't argue that its a wrong point.

As for your everest analogy, I don't see much of a problem with it, since for that analogy to work, we should reword the question, 'what if we made a universe such that everest cannot, physically, possible exist?', then yes, by default, everest tells us something about the universe. That it is so such that everest must be allowed to exist...sounds like a none-statement, and I agree, it kind of is..

Thu, 11 Nov 2010 05:19:29 UTC | #545599

Go to: My hero has fallen to the delusional evils of religion

i_am_user's Avatar Jump to comment 38 by i_am_user

I think the simple answer is that he must not have been that intelligent to begin with.

Thu, 11 Nov 2010 03:53:32 UTC | #545579

Go to: Human-Assisted Evolution is still Natural Evolution

i_am_user's Avatar Jump to comment 3 by i_am_user

By this, everything is natural and nothing is unnatural. Which is perhaps true depending on what one means when they say natural.

Would you say that we should not make efforts in reducing human-induced environmental changes and species extinction because that is just the natural progression of evolution since our actions constitutes as natural as well? You wouldn't imagine that we try to stop 'naturally' occurring progression in evolution, be it a spawn of a new species or an extinction. So why should we be any different? Evolution will naturally replace those that cannot cope to the environmental changes with those better adapted. Isn't this just the process of evolution?

Tue, 09 Nov 2010 06:56:09 UTC | #544502