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David Coulter

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Mark Willett's profile photoMy The Voice's profile photo

JAKs Crow

Ethics & morality  - 
fun read and interesting debate topic

Star Trek: Is Commander Data a Person?

PERSON = "any entity that has the moral right of self-determination."

In the Star Trek episode, it is assumed that anything that is "sentient" should be granted the status of "personhood" and Commander Maddox suggests that being sentient requires that the following three conditions must be met:


Captain Picard, who is representing Commander Data in the hearing, does not contest this definition of a person. Rather, he tries to convince the judge that Data possesses these properties (or at the least, that we are not justified in concluding that he lacks the properties).

We've all been dancing around the main question: Does Data have a soul? I don't know that he has. I don't know that I have. But I have to give him the freedom to explore that question himself. It is the ruling of this court that Lieutenant Commander Data has the freedom to choose.

If we are to make a decision, it seems preferable to me to extend our concept so that robots are conscious--for "discrimination" based on the "softness" or "hardness" of the body parts of a synthetic "organism" seems as silly as discriminatory treatment of humans on the basis of skin color.

side note:  babies arent persons because they fail intelligence and self-awareness personhood criteria
...ask the pro-life people their thoughts on logic
Amber Petchey's profile photoKen Johnson's profile photo
Why bring the soul into the discussion when your next sentence acknowledges why it is irrelevant?
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pm tang

General Debate  - 
If  madness causes you to lose control, then what you said while you are mad is the truth... 
My stance is "yes"... and don't believe things people said to you when they are nice and calm. 
Joe Diamond's profile photoEric Mueller's profile photo
I think by madness most people here mean crazy, unbalanced, something to do with legitimate psychological problems, and not simply someone who is angry.
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Everett Anderson

General Debate  - 
Should Polygamy Be Legalized?

In the wake of the Supreme Court's decision on gay marriage, the question of the laws against polygamy has arisen. Dissenting Chief Justice John Roberts argued that "much of the majority's reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage."

I say polygamy should be legalized.

If a man or woman is living, procreating and raising children with two or three women or men, what do we gain by saying he/she can't easily formalize his/her obligations to them? Why not let his/her housemates gain legal protection? 

Some raise the specter of polygamy as though its evils are beyond doubt. But much of their opposition stems from religious objections, appeals to tradition or disgust with sexual tastes they do not share. 

Those grounds were not enough to justify banning same-sex marriage—and in the long run, they are not enough to justify banning polygamy. If people want to make sure plural marriage never comes to pass, they need better reasons. 
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A Montana man said Wednesday that he was inspired by last week's U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage to app...
David Coulter's profile photoMichael Leae's profile photo
Interesting that no responses from women are here. Federal protections? Pick one to receive the benefits. Keep it simple. If "love" truly is the motivation it shouldn't matter. And wills can handle the rest. Personally I don't see the benefit of multiple spouses. But that's me. I also don't see what problems it would cause. Aside from the usual from those who disagree. But that is in everything. Here's a thought. Most murders are committed by the spouse. 
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J Meth

Health and Medicine  - 
Is DID/MPD real?

Seems out of all the mental illnesses in the DSM this one holds the most controversy, even among professionals. I believe it does exist for the following reasons:

1) DID has been said to have recorded cases as far back as 1800s, long before Sybil (which was a hoax) came along to cause influence.

2)The other spectrums of dissassociation are usually not in question-amnesia, fugue, depersonalization (a comprehensive list here- if the mind can cause paralysis of working legs, why not DID?

3)Despite the "personalities" being the star of the show, there are more symptoms to DID that need to be considered. The time loss, amnesia, depersonalization-things that follow the spectrum of dissociative disorders. It is more than just "personalities".

4) The way I see it, when someone disassociates from an event, it is not a huge leap to believe the mind can disassociate from itself, the person themselves versus just an event, creating the void for other "persons" -the title says it clearly-dissociative identity-a disassociation from the self.

5)Yes, I think it is over-diagnosed and over-glamorized, but that doesn't negate existence.
Kim O'Brien's profile photoJ Meth's profile photo
J Meth
I can see the mind making the leap from disassociation of an event to a split from itself. Don't get why so many other illnesses are accepted yet this one is mostly not.
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General Debate  - 
Do you agree?
There is only one to truly get rid of child abuse: allow children to revoke their parents' rights and enter into a governmental system of care. Any necessary expenses would come from the parent's assets.
On Friday, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was indicted in Texas for injuring a child. According to the police report, Peterson’s son had shoved another of his children off a motorbike video game. In response, Peterson snatched a tree branch, picked off the leaves, and whipped his son on...
40 comments on original post
David Cornell's profile photoY2K's profile photo
+David Cornell Then there is something wrong with the child abuse prevention community. Their number one goal should be preventing child abuse, period. Especially when the child is willing to leave.
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Amber Petchey

Sex and sexuality  - 
Being as the "slippery slope" arguments have started whispering back in since the US's overhaul on gay marriage, we may as well discuss it:

Polygamy - should it be legalized? Why?

I'm as yet undecided, erring towards "yes" for consensual relationships. 
Alan Bell's profile photoKen Johnson's profile photo
+Amber Petchey​, GROSS!!!
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Lauren Taz

General Debate  - 
Fighting for a good cause or going to far? What do you guys think of this campaign? 

I understand it, however I have no intention of participating in it. It's a little to out there for me. 
The #LiveTweetYourPeriod is new trend on social media sites like Twitter and Instagram. Basically women on their periods are tweeting about it. The trend came when a girls period art was taken off instagram for being inapprop...
Amber Petchey's profile photoJ. Randolph Steele's profile photo
+Amber Petchey Are you sure? Maybe it just didn't go viral yet! :-)
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Ken Johnson

Politics and Public Policy  - 
Paternity leave, paid or unpaid. Should the large corporations be required to give it?


First, what is it, and what is its intent? The Family & Medical Leave Act provides up to 12 weeks unpaid leave for mothers and fathers, but it is unpaid, for full time workers at companies with 50 or more employees. But many countries have laws that mandate paid leave, typically in the 6 week range. This more frequently covers mothers than fathers, but there are those who insist that fathers should also have the benefit.

The intent is not always spelled out, but ostensibly, the benefit is to allow the father to help with the workload of the newborn. Others tout the opportunity for the father to bond with his child during this "critical" period. Proponents insist that any caring society should prioritize such ideals.

So what is my objection to such selfless thinking? Well, first of all, it is clearly not selfless. It is a frivolous demand that imposes upon others to take on a part of the workload of the parent. While the mother and the father enjoy their 6 or 12 weeks of hanging out with baby, their employer can't hire a replacement, so others must cover the workload of the absent parents. Or, a temp can be hired, but that could mean the company is simultaneously paying the salary of the temp and the new parent.

I also find ridiculous the claim that the mother of a newborn would be overwhelmed by her workload if the father isn't present 24/7. It is more than a little insulting to imply that the previous million years of young mothers weren't up to the job. Sure, four hands are better than two, but is it necessary? Necessary enough to force someone else to pay the cost?

Finally, this demand on corporate America makes an unfair distinction between corporate employees and the self employed. I own a small business. When my three sons were born, staying home meant closing my dental practice, and sending my employees home, something I consider burdonsome to them. I took one day off (the day of the birth), then went back to work. It never even occurred to my wife and I to regard this as a hardship. We had prepared ahead of time, and had all our needs organized to ensure that everything went smoothly. I helped out after work. I changed diapers at 3am. Rocking a baby back to sleep after a bottle in the middle of the night is NOT a hardship. It is one of those rare moments during which you actually pause to realize "I'll remember this for the rest of my life". There was plenty of bonding time in those early days, and anyone who insists that he needs twelve weeks off of work, or he'll miss out, is simply mistaken. My family is extremely close, and my sons have no idea that I was gone 8 hours a day when they were newborns, nor do they care.

Why should it be considered essential for fathers who work for large companies to stay home from work when everyone else miraculously manages to fulfill all of their workload and the new work imposed by having kids? Employers already know that female hires will likely get pregnant someday and need time off. Now they have to make do without the father, as well? Does anyone actually believe that there will be no economic repercussions from this? The costs are real and significant, and the actual benefit utterly nonessential. 
Ken Johnson's profile photoYin Huang's profile photo
+Ken Johnson That was a lovely concession (no sarcasm ;-) ). That said, I'd actually put more stock in a solid statistical study than the opinion of someone in my position. :-P

But it dawns on me that if you had pointed out that a nation cannot legislate on a person-by-person basis, but must instead make laws based on average expectancies, that produce statistically preferable results
I admittedly thought that that was a given and didn't need to be mentioned. Making the perfect the enemy of the good and whatnot.

With regard to the specific topic of "Should parental leave (dual or single) be legally mandated?", I actually don't have a strong opinion either way, since I don't have valuations handy. All I can point to are studies which shows that marginal utility is non-negligible, and high enough for some groups to legislatively act on. Even then, non-negligible marginal utility by itself is, noting legislative history, an insufficient universal criterion for passing legal mandates/restriction. In the end, it's all rather subjective.
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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.

Shilvio D. Linton

General Debate  - 
How important are definitions in debates?

in a previous thread, someone said "you aren't going to find the answers in a dictionary." My position is that definitions need to be used in debates to establish a concrete place where people can reference. 9/10 where 10 is absolutely important and 1 is not important.
Alex Quirk's profile photod nova's profile photo
d nova
+Amber Petchey no, u've been very clear. they're both just being contrarian, or maybe they really don't get it, but in either case it's their fault, not urs.
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Politics and Public Policy  - 
What should we do about corporations that are "too big to fail?"

In the last recession, the US spent billions of dollars bailing out these failing corporations (that presumably were at a competitive disadvantage), assuming that their collapse would spell disaster for the economy. Congress later passed the Dodd-Frank regulations to minimize future risk taking. Some are now saying that we should've let them fail, while others say that we should break them up.

I think that we shouldn't let them fail, but we should prevent this from happening again. The Dodd-Frank regulations were important, but they need to be strengthened. Huge corporations should be broken up, but only if it's assessed that this won't have a big impact on the quality of their services.
Everett Anderson's profile photoY2K's profile photo
+Everett Anderson The collapse of Lehman Brothers did cause widespread disaster. Like I've said earlier, numerous recessions and depressions in the US have been caused by bank failures. While it's possible that the economy can survive their failure, the risk is too great.
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Ken Johnson

Politics and Public Policy  - 
Should the confederate flag be down and gone for good? EDIT: Yes, David is right. Way too broad. I didn't mean to imply, "made illegal, erased fom memory...".

Should the confederate flag be banned from display by government institutions?

Yes. Like the swastika, it should not be considered criminal to draw one, or display one, by an individual, since free speech guarantees our right to say dispicable things. But for a government building to display it is unacceptable because it implies a government endorsement of the ideals associated with the flag.

The primary argument that I hear from people who attempt to legitimize this flag with a race neutral explanation is that it did not represent the desire to maintain slavery. They refer to it a some states battle flag, and was never officially the flag of the confederacy.

So what? I won't even bother fact checking that claim, because it is irrelevant. The only thing that matters is what it has come to represent since, and it's meaning in the minds of most people is proslavery.

The swastika once had a religious meaning (if memory serves, it was a buddist symbol).
But that doesn't matter any more, does it? What matters is the meaning that most people ascribe to it, today. If someone tried to sell shirts with swastikas on them at a national retailer, claiming, "no, no, it's a religious symbol!", they would be out of business in no time.

The modern day, most prevalent association with the confederate flag is nostalgia for the days of slavery. Like the swastika, it should be universally shunned. If an individual wishes to uphold its ideals, fine. Let him reveal his ugliness. But no state institution should honor this flag.
Yin Huang's profile photoShilvio D. Linton's profile photoJewel Edwards's profile photo
I think we have issues with the flag (in the US especially) because the country is so large and we are together by a slim amount of ideas. You don't find many people wanting to maliciously burn the Bajan flag. The country [population (286,871)] is small enough for them to be under one flag.
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The applicability of math [an abstract intangible concept] is proof that god is the designer of stuff.

If you haven't caught on, I'm referencing the fine tuned argument. Is it a valid defense for theism?

My position is that it poses a good pause but it gets "occam razored" off. Why suggest something more complex?

Yin Huang's profile photoRichie Walden's profile photo
The designer of stuff? Please!.. 
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April Carter

Religion  - 
It's so sad that many Christians choose to appease their flesh and embrace relativism, doubt, arrogance, and other wicked things just so they can live how they want. If you are told that your bible version is of Satan, confirm it with God of whether or not the assertion is true. But, make sure you actually care for the truth, are not interested in what you think is best or what you want, and are willing to admit that you are wrong. Only then will you hear God, who may have been pleading with you the entire time to let go of Satan's bibles. Remember, God speaks through people, the KJV, and God-to-man. Yes, that's right: the KJV is God's word for English speakers. All other English versions are of Satan. As if God will have multiple versions of his word for one language! As if he will have his word changed to suit wicked agendas! As if he will have his word changed to appease people's flesh! As if he will have his word changed at all!

People see how much the world and false teachers are pushing modern versions on us. These sons of Satan "privily...bring in damnable heresies", "speak great swelling words of vanity", and "allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error."

But, for some reason, the delusion is so strong that no matter how contradictory, blasphemous, lying, and different modern versions and their chief teachers are, people still "know" they are of God. That is what the bible calls being blind. And, when people learn that their favorite bibles and teachers are satanic and ignore that fact, the bible calls that being "hardened through the deceitfulness of sin". The good news is, God saves his people. So, brothers and sisters who love the cons and counterfeits, know that you will be saved from them soon.
Ken Johnson's profile photoRichie Walden's profile photoSeasunned's profile photo
W.W.M.D.?- (Mohammed)!
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General Debate  - 
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?
Zak Starlord's profile photoJerry Power's profile photo
+Nishant J you are correct that it was not seen by anyone, however this is like saying if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?  The answer is yes even though it was not observed.  We know that chemical reactions proceed without observation, because we can measure the chemicals available before a reaction and the chemicals that result, all without seeing the physical transformation.  Burn hydrogen and it pulls oxygen from the air and makes hydrogen oxides, this includes water.  We cannot see the molecules combining, but we can measure the effects.
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John Traveler

General Debate  - 
Since this pretty much touches on just about every category, I've decided to place it in "general debate".

As I study life and mankind deeply, it has begun to fascinate me how much a single secret, which isn't really a secret at all, may be causing all of the turmoil of mankind.  What's the little secret?  

That men, in general, and I do mean the vast majority, are inadequate at sexual intercourse.  And, the effect on mankind and its future is paramount.  And, that it is a remediable issue, once we face it.  

Not that men need to be inadequate.  Alot of it has to do with culture and training.  It's just that it is such a 'secret' that no one is willing to talk.  Like no one wants to admit it's true.  It's probably a good thing that gay marriage was just ruled legal in the U.S. because that leaves at least one, somewhat, rational outlet for all of the men who suck as sexual intercourse and, also, an outlet for all of the women that decide they are tired of putting up with the inadequate sexual intercourse provided by most men.  There are better ways. but "the secret" continues to hide it from us all.

Some people seem to be waking up to the fact.  But, sadly, most think it is just them, not the vast majority of men that are inadequate at sex.  They think there is something wrong with them rather than the setup.  And, that there is nothing that can be done about it.

Just think about how much this could mess with a man's psyche and tell me there's not a correlation with all of mankind's trouble.

I guess there are some men that can last a long time, but I'm not sure.  So, if you are a man and can regularly last, let's say, 15 minutes or more at sexual intercourse, please leave a note below.

This has to be the single most important issue for mankind.  It explains all of the weird behaviours over the ages, especially all of the quirky behaviour towards women, all of the suppression and repression of women throughout the ages.  All of the bizarre crimes and religious beliefs that treat women badly.  As if there is the fear that some woman might speak up and say, "guys are terrible at sexual intercourse".  So, we continue to not face the issue.  And, now, when making babies is becoming less and less important in the scheme of things, the act of sexual intercourse with an inept male is becoming less and less desirable.  Women don't need sex the way men do, so why put up with it, if it's not good?  We should get over ourselves and fix this problem.  Not with surgery, pills, therapy, or voodoo.  But, with applying our intelligence to figure out how a man can last long at sex.  There is no doubt about it.  It is possible.  I'm sure most every male has experienced the rare occasion when it will just last and last and last.  We just have to make it evident how to do that at will.

Hmmm, the evidence.  Let's see, the opposition to gayness by those who oppose it.  Is this just there own acknowledgement that sex between men and women, on the whole, is not up to snuff?  There are plenty of studies (Mckinsey studies for instance, as well as Masters and Johnson), by the way, that state that somewhere between 30% and 75% of men cannot last longer than 2 minutes, depending on the study.  And, keep in mind that most of these so-called studies depend on answers from those participating in the study, not clinical evidence.  So, what is the percentage that can last 15 minutes?  The poor state of most marriages is further evidence.  It is often claimed that finances are usually the issue, though, there are studies that show that inadequate sex is most often the culprit.  Really?  Look at the number of rich people that get divorces. 

How many of the aberrant pursuits of humans have to do with substituting some obsession, such as the obsessive pursuit of money, power or fame, for the inability to satisfy sexually?

I truly believe that ridding ourselves of this "secret" could change mankind drastically for the better.  How much?  Let your imagination run with it and you will see what I mean.
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Mary L

Ethics & morality  - 
This question was inspired by a comment from +Ken Johnson in my last post.

Which is most important - emotion or reason?

It often happens that emotions cause us to react inappropriately in situations, and can cause more problems than they solve.  But I think our emotions are important and meaningful, and should not be ignored.  That emotions can be considered "more important" than reason, I am undecided, but I do think they are very important.
Y2K's profile photoJ. Randolph Steele's profile photo
+Mary L fair enough. :-)
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Shilvio D. Linton

General Debate  - 
Can having preferences in people be wrong?

Imagine being with a group of friends and the conversation swigs around to what qualities in the opposite sex are found desirable. If I said dark skin was something that I liked, there the people I'm with might feel a certain way. This can be applied to any "minority group"/trait. Is it inherently wrong to have those opinions/preferences?

I think it it's fine to have preferences like that. it's up to the persons around to judge what the intentions are if they really take issue with it.

*Edited "it's" for "isn't" [thanks Ken]
Yin Huang's profile photoShilvio D. Linton's profile photo
+Ken Johnson I had a feeling that I mistyped something there. Thanks for the check.
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Shilvio D. Linton

Ethics & morality  - 
          A house is being rented by four people, two of which are not in the home. Person A finds 2 people X and Y to sublet his room, splitting the cost of the room. Person B doesn't find anyone before they leave (and presumably will not get someone to fill in). Person X, who was sharing person A's room moves into person B's room because it is empty still pays person A and not person B. 

Debatable statement:
          Person X should be allowed to continue use person B's room in this manner.

My take:
          Person X should not be allowed to use the room like that because the agreement was between person A and persons X+Y
MS An Thrope's profile photo
If person B is still paying for the room then person X is illegally occupying it.

If person B is no longer paying for the room then X & Y could increase their contribution to the rent to receive a room each or if the room is left unfunded it can become a communal room to be shared by all occupants.
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Justin Scott

Health and Medicine  - 
Should we force people into mental health treatment? NY State has Kendra's Law, which mandates people who meet certain criteria to receive Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT). The law was enacted after a young woman was pushed to her death in front of a NYC subway train. The idea is that if the man who pushed her was receiving treatment (he was diagnosed with schizophrenia), her death would have been avoided, and by forcing others into treatment we will prevent similar incidents. The process starts with a petition to the court, and a decision is then made whether or not to mandate treatment. I do not have the current stats, but I believe it is around 97% of petitions are granted.

No, I cannot imagine a situation where I would condone forced treatment. A small percent of people who are diagnosed with mental health issues commit violent crimes, and even if that number was a lot larger I still don't think I would be ok with AOT. There are many reasons why I am against forced treatment, and I simply do not think that it is an effective way to improve the lives of the people it is as alleging to help.

Justin Scott's profile photoJ Meth's profile photo
J Meth
+Justin Scott If I recall correctly there was something similar out there at one time where they wanted to lock people up because of what they might do;can't recall the specifics would have to look it up again. Few years back.
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