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David Coulter
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++READ ME FIRST++  - 
 
Read Before Posting

Posts in this community must meet 3 simple requirements:

1. You need to present a debatable motion or question

2. You need to present your position on the topic

3. You need to provide support for your position (namely in the form of evidence or logic) Note: links to websites may be used as supporting evidence, but members must not be required to follow the link; you must (at very least) provide a synopsis of the information presented in the link. 

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Thanks, and enjoy!
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KanKus's profile photoVansh Agrawal's profile photo

Y2K

Politics and Public Policy  - 
 
What's a better way to measure a country's health- the per capita GDP or the percentage of people in poverty?

The economy is usually measured by GDP, and a lot of emphasis is put on the number and quality of what we produce. But does it really matter if some guy is able to afford a summer home besides for his regular mansion? Does it really describe the economy to say that rich people can afford three, instead of two, personal jets?

The way I see it, it's far more important that someone isn't able to pay for three meals a day. It's a much bigger deal that college isn't even a consideration for some people, or if the government doesn't provide for the disabled. Basic necessities, even though they aren't worth as much a luxury car in dollars, are far more valuable.
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Amber Petchey's profile photoY2K's profile photo
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Y2K
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+Amber Petchey You hear libertarians argue that wealth redistribution hurts the economy by stifling motivation. While that might be true if you'd measure the economy by GDP, things look different when you realize that GDP isn't all that important.
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Marilyn Jones

Sex and sexuality  - 
 
Yes, the economy is crap, so let's lose even more money..... really people? Sorry to tell you "gay" money is still money. I've considered and talked myself out of running businesses. IF I were to open a business I would serve everyone. Possibly some even for charity. All would be welcome and I would try to treat everyone fairly. This is good for business and good for the community in general. Why (other than possible stupidity) would you legislate hate? I really don't get it from a business standpoint, and think states could lose at lot of revenue from it, as well as giving a bad impression. What's next, no blacks? (it was a thing people)
Indiana's only the beginning: bills to deny services to LGBTs have appeared in two dozen states under the guise of 'religious freedom.'
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Y2K's profile photoPaul Hartzer's profile photoMarilyn Jones's profile photo
45 comments
 
+J. Randolph Steele You appear to have a certainty that, if only people could see your perspective, they would become converted to it. Hence, "I'm sorry, but not particularly surprised, that those who support anti-discrimination laws apparently don't understand that very basic concept and reality."

I think you have some confusion of your own. The point of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was not to change anyone's mind about discrimination; it was to end discriminatory practices. Each individual is free to think whatever they want about black people, white people, men, women, Asians, Latinos, Catholics, old people, and so on. It is not against any law in this country to think something bad about any group. What is against the law is to act on those beliefs in certain legally defined contexts.

Now, certainly, people still do so. Studies have shown that hiring managers, for instance, are more likely to arrange an interview with someone with a white-sounding name. And despite your implications, it's difficult to get the EEOC to pursue such accusations; someone I know had a legitimate claim on age discrimination. They asked the company: The company said they didn't discriminate. That was the end of it.

But that doesn't mean the law itself is pointless or counterproductive.
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Mary L
moderator

General Debate  - 
 
Is it selfish of parents to have children when they are older (eg 40+)?

If adults wait until they are in their 40's to have children, they will be in their 50's and 60's as those children grow.  They will be physically weaker at that age than when they were younger, and more likely to be reliant on their children as they age.  Also, they may find themselves less able to socialise with parents of their childrens' friends as they will have fewer shared interests.

I appreciate that there are many older parents who are fitter and more active than those perhaps 20 years younger, but I think that people in their 40's (and above!) should think hard before having children. 
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L Wilson's profile photoMary L's profile photoZhang Gui Hui's profile photoDenise S's profile photo
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Mary L
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We seem to be going to extremes here...  The issue isn't black or white; right or wrong.  There's a massive area of grey in between.  Not having experienced losing a parent early in life, I am asking the question flippantly.  My own parents were in their 40's when I was born - I never considered them old.  My son was born when I was 34 - he thinks I'm old (I disagree, of course). 
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Aaron Rogerson

General Debate  - 
 
When teaching our children about life and the world around us, should we be imparting our knowledge, beliefs and values with a rule book for life type approach, or an approach that allows them to reach their own conclusions?

I believe that there needs to be a balance between the two. The younger our children are, the more they rely on our guidance and care, and the more they need support with making decisions. As our children get older they have greater knowledge and experience to guide their choices, and benefit greatly from an approach that allows them more room to reach their own conclusions. Of course life isn't just about knowledge, beliefs, or values. One of its greatest parts is the love and connections we share. 
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Y2K's profile photoAaron Rogerson's profile photo
5 comments
 
Yes! +Y2K agreed.
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Y2K

Politics and Public Policy  - 
 
Do people have natural rights? The natural rights theory argues that expressions of freedom are part of human nature and therefore should never be infringed upon, especially by governments.

I disagree on a few points. First of all, the freedom a person shows may very well be an illusion that hides what's actually deterministic tendencies. Second of all, something can be part of human nature and still be flawed. In certain situations, it's appropriate to curtail someone's freedom for the public good. Third of all, there are other things besides for freedom that people want, like security. Many times they'd be willing to give up their freedom for something else. Finally, it would be impossible to never affect someone else's freedom. Everything someone does will inevitably affect someone else in some way. 
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Y2K's profile photoJ. Randolph Steele's profile photo
41 comments
 
+Y2K "it's very much an opinion piece with nothing to really stand on"

In your opinion. :-)
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I got a message about my documentary. "Hi Marilyn Jones, I don't like this post. Would you mind removing it?" Now I'll admit it is somewhat adult topics, such as suicide, depression, and cross dressing. I do say the word penis. (as far as I know it is allowed) and do swear at least once. (possibly more, bad habit). As far I know it doesn't violate any YouTube or Google+ rules. (the comment was mad through Google +) I ask the person, "Where's it posted at?" I also mentioned to them that as far as I know it isn't breaking any rules. My standpoint is that I'll take it down IF I did something against the rules. If not, they didn't have to watch it and I WILL NOT take it down just to make them happy. (if you wish, you can watch it, but it is all most two hours long, so it might not be recommended if time is an issue.) Why isn't the content considered acceptable? In my opinion while the topics are possibly on the adult side of things, they are things that people deal with. For example many transgender people deal with depression, and sadly many take their own lives.
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Shilvio D. Linton's profile photoMarilyn Jones's profile photo
19 comments
 
+Shilvio D. Linton​ I tend to interact better online.
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Jason Reynolds

Technology  - 
 
Are you a member of the Russian Troll Army? Not really my question I just want to know if you are.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-31962644

The Russian Troll Army is an army of bloggers that use social media to confuse and misdirect people away from ideas that would be against pro-Russia. Members have multiple accounts on multiple social media and popular news sites and they post regularly to draw attention to the articles or comments that they believe would support the ideas of a better Russia. 

The question I would like to ask is not if this is moral or right for a government to do, but do you think it can be effective. Could a government get enough people posting on enough places to sway the average persons believe of what really happened or make it where the common person no longer thinks it is a bad idea.

I not only think it is possible I think that it already happens just not with any organization behind it. Look how many videos and blog post are out there claiming that the government had there hands in from faking the moon landing to organizing the 9/11 attacks. Yes some of the theories are crazy and most people do not believe them, but it is hard to dismiss some of them when so many people are saying that experts have proven the that what we believe could not have happened.

With a raise in people getting there news from the internet and news agencies using people on social media to report stories this can lead to a lot of misinformation being spread. There is already a lot of misinformation on the internet as people post more personal opinion about events and topics of interest than anything that has been proven. 

In Writing this I noticed that there are a few debates that can come from what I have said so lets stay on topic of "Can a Troll army be effective." if you want to talk about media agencies misusing twitter or the misinformation on the internet please start a new post.
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rotshild v's profile photogavin miles's profile photo
6 comments
 
Arab countries that have facebook (etc) have found it to be a useful tactic...
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Education start to contradicts wth my christianity and question my biblical faith,theory of evolution by charls darwin from shorter monkey to taller human. while bible says adam nd eve are the parents of the earth.
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Ben Braceletspurple's profile photoPogue Mahone's profile photo
26 comments
 
+Ben Braceletspurple But, alas, much less humility and insight.
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Y2K

Sex and sexuality  - 
 
Should a biological male who identifies as transgender be referred to as a female and/or a woman? The same question would obviously apply in the reverse situation.

I think it's wrong and society should refrain from making these distinctions because it gives an inappropriate legitimacy to socialized gender roles. It would make sense to me if the movement just pushed for everyone to recognize people who go through a sex change surgery as members of their new sex. But they are also asking society to identify people who are anatomically male as women, and this creates pressure for males to obey relevant stereotypes.

[A transgender is someone whose gender doesn't match their sex. Therefore, any explanation must include an understanding of gender in the first place. As far as I know, there was no historical usage of gender independent from sex until recently. Gender roles were ascribed to each sex, but gender wasn't considered separate. In my opinion, the gender roles that exist were completely constructed by society.]

Some argue that gender (i.e. the roles men and women have in society) is innate, a product of the differences in the brain (and/or body). For them, a transgender is someone whose brain doesn't match their anatomy. Others would argue that the gender of someone just determines which of society's stereotypes or roles they identify with. For them, a transgender is someone who is a member of a sex but doesn't identify with the roles usually associated with it. But both these groups of people would agree that many men can follow female stereotypes yet still retain their masculine gender. So at what point does a man become a woman? When a biological male "identifies" as a woman, what is he really identifying with?

If he's just saying he would like people to act towards him as if he were a woman, I can respect that. I'm very tolerant and liberal, I support gay rights, etc. But he wants society to recognize that he is a woman. How do you understand this? To me, that distinction is meaningless and is actually harmful to others.
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Jem Pammenter-Fry's profile photoY2K's profile photo
26 comments
 
I just read a really interesting article on a clash of cultures (English vs Swedish) on gender and young children. It seems the swedish are actively encouraging tolerance and expression irrespective of sex or gender. Well done, Swedes!

http://www.mrfoxmagazine.com/parenting/scandi-sense/
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About this community

Please Read the Category labeled "++READ ME FIRST++" before posting. GLOBAL | ENDURING | IMPORTANT | SERIOUS | FUN | DEBATE Violence, climate change, religion, piracy, pornography, the 1%, the bottom billion, liberty, equality ... Every day the big questions that shape our world are played out in the news. And +Versus is where we can come together to try to make sense of it all by threshing it out.

Y2K

Politics and Public Policy  - 
 
Should suicide be illegal?

I'd usually say that there's no reason not to pass a law that can be helpful. But I sort of drew a line by completely personal decisions, where I think the possibility of government abuse is much greater than any gain.

While suicide can affect others, it's still mostly personal. For this reason, I think that the government shouldn't forcefully stop someone from committing suicide. On the other hand, it should still provide encouragement, whether through education or therapy, for the person not to make this decision.
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Y2K's profile photoBeret Beats's profile photo
4 comments
 
+Y2K Sounds like the perfect plan.
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April Carter

Religion  - 
 
Christians (real and fake) reject the bible, do not trust the local church, and are conditioned by a secular worldview because of all the major "Christian" entities. The following are some of the wrong teachings and conditioning:
1.God does not speak to people, or he speaks through an unrealistic manner (ex, calling people into ministries even while they are not saved).
2.The King James Version is equal to or less than modern versions (due to the supposed ease or better scrolls of modern versions).
3.All major bible versions are equally valid and not infallible (relativism, therefore, becomes the standard instead of wisdom).
4.Ignore or blind oneself to the fact that modern versions cater to denominational teachings for the sake of “unity” (ex, taking out or changing 1 John 5:7 to appease people who reject the Trinity).
5.Accept modern versions as God's word, despite the fact that they contradict themselves, each other, and the KJV (ex; Exodus 25:5 lists about six different things across the versions).
6.The Old Testament is not relevant.
7.Certain New Testament passages are only for certain people (ex, Matthew 24 is only for Jews).
8.One must know Greek and Hebrew in order to know and/or understand the bible.
9.The church is not a local body, but a universal one.
10.Churches must accept or respect each others beliefs for the sake of “unity” (even if they are wrong).
11.Catholicism is Christianity, and anything that says otherwise is to be rejected (ie, the KJV and its teachings).
12.Judaism, in the form of “Messianic”, is valid and to be embraced.
13.Incorporate non-Christian beliefs and practices into one’s system (ex, Islam, yoga, and Greek myths).
14.Place before God what pastors, scholars, etc, say.
15.Place before the bible what various philosophers, etc, wrote.
16.Place one’s will before God’s will.
17.Assume that common held beliefs are true because most believe them.
18.Assume that old beliefs are true because they are old.
19.Assume that one’s beliefs are true because one thinks or feels that they are true.
20.Have the way of Cain (willful disobedience and abhorrence of people who obey God), the error of Balaam ( do wicked things for the sake of money), and the gainsaying of Kore (demonize people of God because one wants to be the boss and have one’s way).
These things condition people to not take God or his word seriously, to lean onto their own understanding instead of discernment, to lean onto what “experts” say instead of God, to lean onto what they feel instead of wisdom, to call good evil and evil good, to live by the flesh and not by the spirit, and to convince themselves that truth is not absolute or cannot be given by God. Those things, in turn, cause people to reject the bible, distrust the local church, and be driven by secularism (actually, Satanism).
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Amber Petchey's profile photoServesJesus's profile photo
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As far as I'm concerned, she's been advised enough times. Next time +Mary L and +Ken Johnson , remove it outright. If it's worth having as a topic point, feel free to use it. 

Quite right, we're not here to provide a pulpit - we're here to debate. 
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Do you find the video to be convincing as to what he's saying? Does religion really do more harm than good in today's society? Those are the question I had to ask.

As for me, I think his words and facts are trustworthy and somewhat worrying.
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Wing Kearns's profile photoJoe Betsill's profile photoKeith Mullins's profile photo
37 comments
 
+Wing Kearns prove that this is a core tenet of Islam.

I don't see how that's relevant. It is a tenet, as you say.

Religion is an expression of speech. Is it just forms of speech that you, personally, don't agree with that you think should have their protection removed or is it all free speech?

Oh please. Not all speech is protected, nor should it be. I think "my imaginary friends says.." should be one of the forms of speech that holds zero legal sway. I'm not suggesting that religion be forbidden, I'm just suggesting that saying "I'm a muslim and this is what I believe.." should be exactly as important, legally, as saying "My World of Warcraft character is an Orc, and this is what I believe." 

please demonstrate where I have suggested that religions should have a protected place

I didn't say you did, that I can tell. You said something foolish about religion being blameless when religions instruct others to do violence. I wanted clarification, is all.
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Why science need a prove, is there any science that no need some proves? The 1st statement Means Science come from proves to Believe, then how about if we turn that statement, science come from believe to proves?, like science believe that einstein have felt internet and decision engine (big data) before he died because he have felt relativity?
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Marilyn Jones

Sex and sexuality  - 
 
This whole thing gives me a headache. There are transgender people who do identify as the opposite sex. Adding more complexity is the fact that as a transgender person (as with any other person) you can be various sexual orientations. For example you could have a male body, think of yourself as female, and be attracted to women. There are going to be people that use the claim of being transgender to do bad things. (if there haven't been all ready) To me it's all about the person's intent. If I thought of myself as totally female, I'm still not sure I'd use the women's locker room. Let's face it (at least for me) I'm not going to pass as a woman, I'm big, and could be considered intimidating by some. I would say that if you want to change do it in a bathroom stall and shower at home. (if the locker have showers) I've never been to a gym, so I'm not sure how it works. I've changed in many restroom stalls. (I even tried a dress on in the men's bathroom stall) So, I know it can be done. One at least possible idea is a unisex changing area/shower. (where either men, women, or transgender people could go) What is the solution for a safe (or as safe as possible) environment to change clothes and/or shower? 
Lansing, Michigan attorney David Kallman says he has been hired by Yvette Cormier a Midland area woman who’s Planet Fitness membership was cancelled after
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Marilyn Jones's profile photoAmber Petchey's profile photo
4 comments
 
Yeah. They're not nice places, whatever your gender. Cubicles are where it's at. 
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This defines American Christianity: "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." 2 Timothy 4:3-4

Too many people define right and wrong based on their flesh; they lean onto their own understanding, want praise from people, follow traditions, are rebellious, judge by how they feel, etc. They either refuse to let God define right and wrong for them, or they insincerely embrace his definitions. Either way, being carnal, ie living in the flesh, is why people are so easily deceived by Satan. They always call good evil and evil good, and think they are godly. Of course, God saves his people from deception. So, in the end, only fake Christians are destroyed by Satan.
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Richard Lucas's profile photoEverett Anderson's profile photoKanabar Vipul's profile photo
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+April Carter You call yourself an "exhorter", but did you really think that posting a Bible verse and then declaring that "fake Christians" will be "destroyed by Satan" would actually convince anyone to side with your worldview? After all, isn't that what an exhorter is "called" to do, interact with non-believers and use logic and reason to win them over to Christianity?
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Everett Anderson

Politics and Public Policy  - 
 
Should Voting Be Mandatory?

President Obama stated recently that he thinks voting should be mandatory because "universal voting would mean increasing the vote among the younger, poorer, less educated and more racially diverse segments of the population".

I don't buy it. The idea that policemen should herd Americans to the polls, or the IRS should withhold extra taxes if they don’t appear on a voter list, is repugnant.
Moreover, there are a great many people who should not vote. They have no idea who the candidates are; they haven’t followed the issues; they don’t know what policies would best advance their interests. Happily, these people generally know who they are, and historically most of them have had the good judgment to take a pass on election day.
And, the reason that many people don't vote is that they don't care who wins or loses the election. Why would we want these people to vote?
Finally, it would be a violation of the First Amendment. The right to free speech necessarily encompasses the right to remain silent.
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Roderick Bell's profile photoY2K's profile photo
42 comments
Y2K
 
+Roderick Bell​ You once again felt the need to show your obsession with the way things are worded instead of the point they make. Facts seem to be inconvenient little things to you in the face of making some lame comment on someone's style. The fact that I am in this community makes it very clear that I'm interested in hearing others, not myself.

Of course I understand what statistical significance is. My point was that even though there are obviously differences (because there was a statistical significance to the numbers), they are in no way significant enough to use to justify discrimination. +Everett Anderson​​ was the one who made the comparison that the study shows that they are, in that way, significant. It would be best for everyone if you kept your fantasy narrative inside your head, where it belongs. I'm here to argue about facts.
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Ken Johnson
moderator

Business and Finance  - 
 
Japanese car makers give you more for your money than American brands do. And now, Korean car makers are undercutting the Japanese.

That part isn't really debatable. Comparing similar cars, feature for feature, the conclusion is inescapable.

The debate is why. American know- how, and ingenuity is legendary. Also, our workmanship/craftsmanship. So how is it possible that we are being beaten?

I blame labor unions. It is the higher labor cost that the American companies endure that renders them incapable of matching the Japanese. And now, the Koreans are producing equal designs, with equal materials, and beating everybody. Their advantage is a cheaper work force.

The decline in American eminence, in all areas, not just the auto industry, is coming from within. The culture of overly-demanding unions has instilled a belief in Americans that they are worth more than they actually are. We are slowly pricing ourselves out of the world market. If we want to remain a dominant force, we are going to have to disabuse the American worker of his/her inflated self-worth. We all know it. That's why more and more of us are buying Asian-made cars. Next, we have to admit it, and then comes the hard part: act on it.
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Ken Johnson's profile photoY2K's profile photo
13 comments
Y2K
 
+Ken Johnson of course. I was just making a point about how little evidence you had.
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Kayzad Jokhi

Philosophy  - 
 
 
I've been studying the concepts of liberty and equality for my philosophy paper in college, and covered the work of Ronald Dworkin while reading up on these. His works lead to the observation that there is a strong and weak sense of liberty.
A strong sense of liberty is given by law or by democratic form of government which says that each individual has an absolute right to liberty. These rights to liberty are mentioned in the constitution in the various articles to freedom in various lands. Now when this law is to be actualized, and given to the people, this absolute right to liberty does not work. For example: Everyone wishes to drive the car on the road at his own pace as and when he wants. Every child in the neighbourhood wants to play on the playground. In such cases, signals are put up on the road, and the playground is divided into smaller parts. This shows that to enjoy one's own liberty, the government has to divide available facility, either in time, or in space. Hence the absolute liberty (strong sense) is available only on paper (abstract) and the weak sense of liberty is actualized.
The question which arises is how much liberty does the weak sense give? That is to say, does it give more liberty, or take away more liberty in the name of liberty? If we measure the deprivation of liberty by calculating the extent of frustration that it brings with it, then we actually realize that equality actually suffocates liberty even though the government wishes to give liberty.
Dworkin says the idea of liberty is a false notion. All forms of government speak against dictatorship since it is against liberty, but they themselves practice liberty appropriately in their own societies. Once people realize liberty has not been given, it creates unnecessary tension in the individual and in society. Hence the idea of liberty should be abandoned and other social values like equality or justice must be promised and popularized.
Personally, after taking these views into account I do not know whether liberty and equality actually exist in the forms we believe them to exist> Yet governments stress on liberty and equality both, but I find that to speak of liberty is to speak against equality, and to force equality is to restrain liberty.
I'd like some critical evaluations of:-
1) Dworkin's hypothesis of strong and weak senses of liberty
2) Are liberty and equality by definition and application against each other?
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Ken Johnson's profile photopm tang's profile photo
11 comments
pm tang
 
+Ken Johnson I thought politicians are us. We chose them and they represent us, at least in our so call democratic society isn't it?
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JOR DAN

Sex and sexuality  - 
 
Hello to all, I just have one question, why are people so afraid of "SEX"?  Society has really made people so afraid of the only thing that was given to each and everyone of us.  Its the only reason why are are still alive to this day.  
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JOR DAN's profile photoJared Sandström's profile photoelena mackevich's profile photo
34 comments
 
Perhaps that's one plausible 'origin' for the twisted gender-based double standards that develop, but the dark shadows of misogyny too easily spread like cancer in other ways. Even being too overly protective of my own daughters can send the wrong message and cause unhealthy perspectives in their lives, not to mention in their brothers lives.  Actions that are wrong in that way, suppressing or demeaning or intimidating women in any way differently than men, must be identified openly as such, and even the perpetrators of such ideas should be reminded if not challenged to recognize them and change them. But for too many people, especially men, and even including me, that practice still remains ahead of its time.. except to its champions.
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