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Most people I know don't have cars anymore (largely, I think, they can't really afford them).

I gather the most common way to transit in the USA is a private pickup-truck or sports utility vehicle.  I gather some would consider using these vehicles the most American way to get around, and would say anyone wanting anything different is against freedom.

The debate topic is that it's not anti-freedom -- treason to America, perhaps -- to be OK with walking, taking a train, riding a bus, biking, or using a private vehicle that is not classified as a truck.
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The point is that your advocacy is abstract enough that there is no specific imminent time nor even a specific unlawful action that you're inviting.  


I see.  I must get all the recipients of my call to disobey the state to agree to perform any actions related to my communication after some delay, or target at least two potential actions so no single, individual action is called for.  [And then likely afford a good lawyer.]


I'm reminded of various insufferable "urban planning" YouTube channels which promote walkable/bikeable cities and car-free society, with no real understanding of how people interact or operate in the real world.
"This is Amsterdam.  Look at all the bikes.  Isn't Amsterdam great?  Why doesn't [insert city here] completely restructure itself to be more like Amsterdam?"


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Should laws and culture try to look out for normal guys who have flaws that can be exploited by MBAs?



I would say yeah.  Society does not benefit by letting people get scammed out of their money.  Also we should generally be more aware of the fact that people have flaws that aren't easily labeled enough to consider the individual anything but "normal guys who have flaws".  Everyone on the planet ultimately operates via instinct and emotion, and all of us have different instincts and emotions, and those can lead people to do things that are harmful to themselves or others.


This is about betting on the outcome of basketball games using a smartphone, which I gather is legal in some states now?  It is about gambling becoming more accessible?  Stigmas associated with gambling addiction, as well?

This is pretty far outside of my experience.  I obviously don't want to see people financially ruined, but others will argue that we shouldn't take away the liberty to make adult decisions.  I don't have enough information for a strong opinion, but thank you for bringing up this topic, F. Badger.


Yeah, I'm on the side of punishing and disempowering the gambling oligarchs. They're bad for the economy, they devastate people's lives, and like all oligarchs, once they accumulate enough money, they use that money to manipulate the government. This is how caste systems form. This is how oligarchy overtakes democracy. If it were up to me, the boards of these companies would be hanged. They're traitors, and subhuman pieces of feces, far as I'm concerned.

And gambling is a pretty normal flaw of the human brain's wiring, so i think trying to blame it on the user is ridiculous, considering. Plus, that's not even considering how much resources and research are used by these companies to manipulate people. Yes, people have free will, but there's a reason we made coke take out the cocaine from their soda. Same thing here.


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Facebook has been preferring to show me more of what I would consider hate speech, or perhaps just showing me more hate that I remember as relevant to my...situation.

And maybe rather than getting all bent out of shape, I can think of it as people being free to express their opinions without some totalitarian control structure.  Nobody can be forced to like anyone else, and some people have negative opinions to share.  Knowing how people feel about different groups can be adaptive, and freedom is a positive trait of a community.  Perhaps it would be better yet for people to have freedom and not wish to use that freedom to express hateful opinions about groups historically marginalized, but that's probably fantasy.

Of course, in cases where the speech, beyond a reasonable doubt, is a statement of imminent intent to do credible violence against specific individuals who are your duty and business to protect, then maybe you might get upset.  But opinions and hyperbole are just that, and nobody should be attacked.


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Are you worried?
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Apparent the mean version of Bing has been "disciplined."

I've only used ChatGPT which has been nothing but polite.

I don't have a good understanding of AI, but does anyone have a good explanation for how Microsoft took chatGPT and made it into something that would gaslight users?  Or...why?

Or do I have the lineage wrong?


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>does anyone have a good explanation for how Microsoft took chatGPT and made it into something that would gaslight users?  Or...why?
Bing AI used a more advanced model (GPT 3.5 or GPT 4) than ChatGPT (GPT 3).  Apparently it had new failure modes.  AI alignment is difficult.


I see.  So Microsoft didn't make ChatGPT more confrontational.   Something that was smarter(?) than ChatGPT became confrontational in ways that were unexpected.

Is the image text generated by Bing?


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I find myself drawing parallels between the LGBT movement and the civil rights movement [for legal and social equality on the basis of race and/or perceived race].  But it also occurs to me that trying to draw any meaning comparison, especially to further my own opinions, could be a kind of cultural appropriation, even given that race can be intersectional with LGBT issues.  (I am white.)

Should groups facing opposition to their liberty...stay in their own lanes, so to speak, just to be on the safe side?
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>And if pointing that out gets more people civil rights then that's only a positive.
I gather opinions vary on that last part.  But to me, zero-sum thinking becomes problematic when it calls for denying others human rights.  Although others may have their opinions.

I see.

I respect if a group wants to remain separate.  I gather feminists (but not all feminists) would rather have that any other activism for equality remain segregated.  And I think we need to respond to that desire with empathy.

But not being a feminist, I think my opinion aligns with what you say.


Human beings have civil rights by virtue of being human. The moment you start using biological labels to determine whether or not one type of person is more worthy of rights compared to others, well, that's a one-way-ticket to Dachau. I don't see anything that changes this law of history.


Yes, all humans have human rights.  Opinions vary on whether humans rights are a good idea. I'm in favor, personally.  Dachau concentration camp was a facility of the Nazi state.  The Nazi state was dissolved so I don't think people go there anymore.  I don't want to compare current state facilities to Nazi facilities.  Each state has different practices.


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Something I've been thinking about lately:

We all have a list of things we consider essential to our survival and basic dignity.  For me, it's shelter, food, a correct name, a correct gender, and a capacity to do or attempt to do the work I consider important.  Oh, and not being assaulted or tortured is a plus, etc.

But whoever you are and whatever your list, there are probably people you will become acquainted with who will have an opinion that you should not have these 'necessities.'  I suppose this is an opportunity to ask if you can, in fact, tolerate fewer freedoms.  Perhaps these people have something to add about not being entitled or greedy.

But in most cases you will not want to amend your list of needs, and so you will have to accept that many people do not care for you to exist in a way you find appropriate.  I struggle to feel...good about this, I guess.  To be open-minded and tolerant, since we must give ponies/people the freedom to share opinions.  Maybe some tips would be nice.

This picture is not relevant, I just thought it was nice (https://derpibooru.org/images/2225879).
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Are you really not capable of understanding that bigots using coercive force in denying victims housing, voting, healthcare, water, jobs, safety, heating, and everything else thought of as a natural part of being in a civilized country is a moral injustice?

If a landlord kicking Bob out of his apartment due to him being transgender is all fine and dandy, as social conservatives demand, why isn't the same true for any other bigotry based on any other identity? Same for Bob being denied the medication to save his life? Being prevented from voting? Being assaulted in the streets? Why is Bob nothing but unfeeling meat in the eyes of the state if he's transgender but other forms of status matter? You think that Bob ethically cares if he's being refused to get the medical treatment keeping him from dying due to hatred of those who're transgender versus being a redhead versus being Catholic versus being white versus anything else about him? It's all victimization.


> why isn't the same true for any other bigotry based on any other identity?
Personally, this is my big issue with these kinds of laws to begin with; They always are.
Good example is political leanings aren't protected, for example. They can have nothing to do with the job you work, the service you requested, where you live, ect, and yet there're those who will absolutely campaign for you to be cut off from society entirely, to live as a pariah outcasted and banished, just for disagreeing politically.

People pick and choose too much with these kinds of protections.


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The former POTUS has been formally accused of legal wrongdoing and will be processed as a criminal defendant in the State of New York.

My personal point of view is that this is a great attempt at supporting civic morality, promoting the objective rule of law, and resisting attempts to turn the U.S. into a right-wing police state. However, I think it will mean little in the long-run because Trump is completely impervious to all forms of negativity against him: he has been the subject of countless ethical and legal complaints for decades without any form of accountability whatsoever before (always regarded as not guilty of anything). This likely won't change. I halfway believe that Trump literally cannot die and will last until the heat death of the universe because even the Grim Reaper is afraid of him. I have voted against Trump twice and consider his status as a singular personification of America nightmarish (such status has also helped me in leaving Christianity and the Republican Party as well as to stop supporting capitalism, given how he represents all three), so I recognize my viewpoints are unusually hardened and significantly unlike most U.S. voters.

Alternately, of course, one can view this indictment as flatly unjustified. The legal process is coming out of an institution that can be criticized for multiple reasons here. Many arguments are possible. It must be factually noted that Trump labels himself "completely innocent". An American in his status is to be considered not guilty of anything as a default: accusations are not convictions. As well, one can have no opinion on all this. What do you guys think?
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As stated before, in technical legal terms I'd resonably predict that the prosecution doesn't get a conviction.


End of the day, irrespective of any potential factual basis of the claims given, this type of thing only serves to cause distrust in the system by citizens, as well as other nations.
It's why often enough indictment of political opposition in other nations often results in sanctions from the United States.
There's been a long running issue of law enforcement being used as a political weapon, especially in the case of Trump.
I see no possible benefit in this, even if we assume the claims of the prosecution are true. All it will do is further drive up tensions.
And this all ignores the rough basis and numerous issues that make it, frankly, undeniable that this has been brought forward as a politically motivated prosecution.


Politically ambitious attorneys seeking charges against partisan opponents sets a bad precedent. But not one as bad as declaring that sitting, former, and future politicians are immune from being investigated for financial crimes.


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I guess I'll do this with a controversial topic.  I could easily be something mundane, as the question is philosophical.

Quote from a news story:


'After the service, Bennett, who has a trans son, said one of her congregants had been confronted and "told they were the cause, that this was God's repudiation of gay people, and that 'you and your people are going to hell for eternity,'" she said. "The trans community is going to pay dearly for this."'
My perception is that there are identities that we consider, by definition, to be from banal to positive.  Never negative.

So we decide a priori that nothing can be blamed on these identities.

This quote is relevant to both sides of politics, as I understand, because it is begging connections between religious identities or transgender identities and blame, depending on your view of transgenderism.  And in both cases, this is wrong, whether you are saying religious folks are transphobic or transgender identities are evil.

Post too long. Click here to view the full text.
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>But I'm interested in an even application of the rules and their logic which, frankly, doesn't tend to happen in states by large.
Tends to displease voters, after all.

I don't think I follow.  States are amoral and don't owe anyone protection.  We are talking about society in general.


Ultimately the reason religions have rights is because the state says so.
These are, after all, organizations, not people.


I see.  The freedoms of religious organizations within a state is the topic of your previous response.  Application of rules and logic to different religious organizations by the state does not generally please voters?


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Jacob Chansley has been released from prison, effectively exonerated, due to the exculpatory nature of the newly revealed January 6th footage.  This was footage that the federal government kept under wraps for over 2 years, footage that individuals in government fought tooth and nail to keep from being released, which could have not only been used in his defense but also proven his innocence.  In effect, an innocent man was kept in prison, which included an extended period in solitary confinement, due to a calculated and intentional miscarriage of justice, which was perpetrated and perpetuated by both the media as well as government officials.

Is preserving the narrative surrounding January 6th more important than the rights of an individual?
Do you consider it justice to jail individuals for crimes they haven't committed, simply because you disagree with their politics?
If so, then what is your argument against false imprisonment of people whose politics you do agree with, by those to whom they are opposed, for the exact same reason?
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Irrespective of their statements, direct video evidence is objective.
People lie.
Evidence doesn't.



Yes, and selectively cherry picking evidence is one of many ways people lie to other people.


I agree. Which is why I certainly wouldn't dismiss video evidence just because someone says something else.


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Assertion: Politics makes little sense logically.  We should all seek to be as apolitical as possible to feel better.
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The common application, yes, but that's the result of most people not really thinking very deeply and defaulting to tribalism.

Still, your core result is probably apt.
Caring about politics won't change anything, as ultimately, we have very little power.
Better to focus on your own life, and improve that.


>most people not really thinking very deeply and defaulting to tribalism.

It is their right, I suppose.

>Better to focus on your own life, and improve that.

I think so.  We might allow response to imminent threats to ourselves and we might allow boundaries when it comes to how we are treated.  But going beyond that will be seen as activism.


I would actually agree with this except in that politics is often a function of how multiple groups and individual people within a country wish to enact violence against other groups and people.

Thus, politics is a self-defense burden that many carry. You're political because you don't have a choice. Otherwise, other people will use politics against you. It's frankly not that much different than owning an AR-15 and training with that even if you dislike firearms given the neighborhood you live in. Your weapon is there because others have weapons that could harm you otherwise.

That's life.

As a general rule as much as you can, yes, don't be political.


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Assertion: Society has the wrong idea about prison and jail generally.  These facilitates train people to be good citizens and generally with more training comes better performance.  Former inmates, especially those with good behavior, should be considered to be better trained to obey law than average citizens.

(Or a softer claim, if you like: there is no reason things couldn't usually work that way, if the state really wanted to help people generally.)
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I'm guessing you mean things like participating in a protest illegally or expressing a disrespectful attitude toward law enforcement.  (States can't yet read thoughts, I don't think).  That system sounds better, at least as a goal to recondition those who have broken the law.



Counter-assertion: prisons are ostensibly about rehabilitation but the reality about how thet are actually used is primarily as a source of slave labour,  a show of state power to use violence, and to fulfill a base desire for retribution in the public at large regardless of justice.


>a source of slave labour,
Are discharged slaves not trained in respect for masters and bosses to a greater degree than those who do not have experience with slavery?

>a show of state power to use violence
Again, something to cause respect for authority.

>a base desire for retribution in the public at large regardless of justice

Well, conditioning proper behavior through negative feedback and retribution can coincide.  To the point where the retribution fails to be proportional -- somewhere around that point further punishment is probably damaging.

I'm not sure anything you said is particularity counter, or anything that would establish that those discharged from prison or jail should be considered untrustworthy.


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Suppose there is a charity, say, a charity dedicated to helping poor families covering medical bills when their kids need urgent care.
This charity, however, is run by a few people who also on the side oppose LGBTQ rights.

Suppose in a naive way that all the money given to this charity is also fully allocated to the charity's goals, nothing is siphoned away for some more nefarious goals.

If you donate to this charity, are you donating money to an LGBTQ hate group?
Is it morally reprehensible to donate money to this charity?
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I don't donate to charity to begin with because the bulk of the funding goes to paying salaries and funding advertising, not to mention whatever else is marked as a 'business expense'.
Look at the lifestyles of the people running these 'charities' and nine times out of ten, they're living a thoroughly luxurious life.

But either way, I'm not going to say it's morally reprehensible to donate to a charity, full stop.
I do not consider it immoral to donate to the DNC, NRA, ADL, and so on and so forth, irrespective of my beliefs of the organizations and what they do.

Ultimately we all have different beliefs and different reasons to donate.
I'm not going to presume someone's a bad person purely because they throw money to a cause they personally believe in, irrespective of what my own presumptions of what they actually do may be.


I think it's immoral to support a charity or otherwise laudable nonprofit organization if it's either a> actively causing intentional harm to people or b> passively causing quasi-intentional harm by passively refusing to help people.

Best example that comes to mind is how the American Medical Assiciation actively supported racial segregation in health care services and consciously made Jim Crow society much worse in the middle and early part of the last century, violating core medical ethics flagrantly.

If people in the service group are doing activities that are sus but are unrelated to their jobs, I think it doesn't quite matter. It's similar to wondering what political party your doctor votes for in the AMA example. Doesn't necessarily matter. However, if your doctor is actively being malicious on the job... no. That's totally wrong.

So, I'd give, if you think that's a good idea.


I disagree with the premise that opposing LGBT necessitates a "hate" designation, even if the money is being siphoned away for anti-LGBT purposes.  You can oppose something without hating it.  The "hate" designation in this case is clearly an attempt to discredit and not a technical designation.

to quote the first line from Wikipedia, the always-reliable source...
>A hate group is a social group that advocates and practices hatred, hostility, or violence towards members of a race, ethnicity, nation, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or any other designated sector of society.

I'm personally not too concerned with the disparaging remarks from the "words are violence" crowd.  Therefore, to answer the OP:

>If you donate to this charity, are you donating money to an LGBTQ hate group?
not unless the charity "advocates and practices hatred, hostility, or violence" - a situation that is incredibly unlikely, hence "no" in almost all cases
>Is it morally reprehensible to donate money to this charity?
If the above is "no", then also "no".


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Is *Madoka Magica* a good anime?


What does it mean to be "good"?  How are we defining the criteria?


It's open-ended.  Use whatever criteria are most important to you.


I think so. I feel like i would have gotten more out of it had i been more familiar with magical girl shows, but even without that context it had some interesting writing, good subversion, and intense moments! Gen does good stuff, what can i say?


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The cat is playing with a brown marmorated stink bug.  It's the first year these insects have been in my area and they are plentiful.  Fluttershy is not a cat and the image shows a ladybug, and none of this is relevant except that I needed an image.

Let me present a debate assertion that is simple, defensible, something I believe myself, and has no direct connection to politics:

Socrates is mortal.

Supporting discourse:

All men are mortal -- an inference and part of common sense.

Socrates is a man -- an assertion of connection between an element and a category.  As the category has not been defined and physical evidence to prove Socrates fits the category will be hard to come by, this is probably the weak point of the argument.

I suppose the use of “the historical present” or “the eternal present” for referring to Socrates will be debated.

Reference: https://www.gutenberg.org/files/26495/26495-pdf.pdf (But I didn't read very much of it.)
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OK.  Do you think stinkbugs are mortal or immortal?  That might pass as on topic.  I can make a new thread about stinkbugs but I need a strong assertion to debate.  Stinkbugs are new since fall of last year.


Unfortunately for the stinkbugs, they tend to not live long when most people find them, so individually, mortal.

I do hope that the stinkbugs as a whole will outlive humanity in the long run.


>Unfortunately for the stinkbugs, they tend to not live long when most people find them, so individually, mortal.

Mumu ate a few.

>I do hope that the stinkbugs as a whole will outlive humanity in the long run.

An unexpected hope.  I feel like the next few centuries for humans is a great filter.  I feel like the odds are 50/50, and if humans go some bugs will probably remain.


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Debate assertion: Debating politics with strangers on the internet is largely pointless.

Political and moral questions in general are 90% sentiment and only perhaps 10% rational.  People form alliances based on how they perceive organizations, political parties, and state powers are friend or foe to themselves or those they love.  These feelings lie close to feelings about self and self-worth, and therefore political debate supporting a foe or opposing a friend are likely to trigger strong emotions.  Influenced by strong feelings people mostly create rhetorical nonsense.  Debate is only possible when the 90% sentiment part in two people align, which can not be relied on in a group of strangers.

Enlightenment thinkers posted that politics could be made a branch of mathematics.  Maybe it's still possible, but in observing political debate on the internet, I don't see it.
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I think you can have a debate about political issues if you separate them from the larger umbrella of politics under which they fall.  For example, you can imagine a fairly straightforward debate about the question: "Should city waste management add an additional garbage truck to the northwest district?"  It's pretty straightforward, and anyone can look at the pros and cons.  But if you now add a political layer to it, that Party A is fully in favor of it as part of their platform, and Party B is fully opposed as part of their platform, then the simple question of whether the city should purchase an extra garbage truck gets saddled with all of the other unrelated political issues as pertains to the party whose platform your position indirectly supports.  Suddenly people are calling out your moral failings and wishing for your death, because you have a position on whether the city should purchase an extra garbage truck or not.  The garbage truck question itself is not political, but it has been politicized, and this is the real problem.  And to extrapolate from there, things in the modern day have been politicized to an absurd degree, intentionally, to weaponize the resulting tribe mentality against the opposition and/or to shut down debate entirely.  Now we can't even talk about the garbage truck question, because doing so is "political", and on a site like Ponyville, politics is generally not allowed to be discussed.

So debating politics?  Yes, it's pointless, because if you treat something as political, then it can't be disentangled from the issues associated with it.  But if you can debate the issue isolated from the politics surrounding it, then you can have a decent conversation.


Personally, I feel that a lot of "political" issues aren't all about facts and logic. A lot of ways to deal with issues are validated mostly based on the presiding moral.
I don't think there's a perfect solution to deal with immigration, environment, budget cuts, social wellfare,...
Everyone has their own opinion to deal with such issues and acording to their moral compass, one solution will be favourable, but in most cases, you can't set an objective true solution.

If you get what I mean.

On the flip side, is debating politics useful?
I think there's ways in which it can be very useful and ways in which it's not.
I do think as an outlet, it's so popular because people can say what's on their mind and get their opinion heard. Somewhere  that's useful.
I am sure that listening to someone's well thought out post brings that satisfaction you get from an echo chamber, but surely there are arguments that make me review or rethink my stance on it.

In greater scales, in times of unrest, regimes can shut down the internet, because voicing those opinions brings people together.
There's a good reason this would be feared.
If you find that people all across the words are suffering the same injustices as you are it can be a call to action.


Ive heard it said that debates are more to convince the audience one way or another rather than to convince the other side to change their minds.

Which, if that is the case, makes arguing online with strangers, where there is little to no audience, a complete and utter waste of time.

Nobody likes Debate Bros. Pretty much the only people that find the experience worthwhile are the people doing the arguing, while people either look on with distaste or just ignore it entirely.

There may be something to be said about the matter of debating and how it relates to how the people involve learn reasoning and how to get their point across and other such things, but for the most part I think it is just a waste of time, an inflated sense of self importance, and something for those bored to do when they have nothing else.

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