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I have a moral perspective that violence is bad, and especially that those who escalate violence are not doing good deeds.  Violence in this case are actions that [purposefully] cause, are open to the likelihood of causing, or are intended to cause physical harm.  I don't know if I call causing psychological trauma violence, but I'll say in this paragraph I have similar feelings about that.

I believe morals to have a degree of subjectivity, so likely my personal moral beliefs are not debatable.  If you would like to debate something, let me also claim that this is not conventional view.  Violence is often seen as an important tool for maintaining order, encouraging desirable behavior, asserting control or rule, responding to fear, and maintaining systems of respect.  I likely am seen as naive for my view, and perhaps I have not been subject to enough violence to wish it applied to others liberally, but I wish only to debate how much my view differs from conventional ethics.  Thank you for your time.
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The problem with self defense somewhere is the question to how far can it be allowed?

Like, letting others attack yourself without reacting will result in others abusing you. Letting others violently assault someone else without you coming to the victim's aid, hence sacrificing the victim's well being over a principle can be morally wrong itself.

But if someone slaps me one and I react by throwing them on the ground and kicking them so they need to be hospitalized, that also doesn't seem acceptable morally.


>is the question to how far can it be allowed?
A rough answer is self defense is acceptable when it is the minimum force needed to neutralize a threat.  Generally self-defense should not escalate violence unless there is no other option for survival.

>sacrificing the victim's well being over a principle can be morally wrong itself.
I think I'd agree with that.  My sense, though, is violence used with the purported goal of protecting others and especially hypothetical others (society) is often really oppression.


Comes down to perspective some, but as I see it, the ideal ought be to essentially ratchet to the next level as necessary, only when you cannot match the force given.

The baseline for justice, after all, at its bearest, is an eye for an eye.
So if someone slaps you, slap back. If you're not going to be able to retort the same for whatever reason, a punch may well be appropriate escalation.


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Debate: Safe scientific work is important work.

Here kitty and OP are measuring properties of air in a space that OP is able to safely and legally occupy.  The previous sentence is not part of the debate, you'll have to take OP's word for it or not -- the debate can go on either way.

The reason scientific work can be important is scientific understanding can be combined with technology to help processes become more efficient.  I suppose you have to believe processes humans apply technology to *should* become more efficient, but I think the contrary belief is nihilistic and useless.

You may pose a more efficient way of understanding the world, but my argument for science is that in science's domain, I don't know of a more efficient way of developing models.

Happy debating!
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One of the measures is volatile organic compounds.  There's potential for some experimentation in that direction.

Thanks.  He's my room-mate's cat.  The cat of 1000 hungers, he'll eat about anything.


It's important. The issue is funding. As it stands, it's become entirely too inscrutable and inaccessible to be useful to all but the most devoted specialists. only way to really fix this is to tax the ultra-wealthy a lot more and use that money to fund a more open-book policy of research that isn't paywalled behind 3 subscriptions and a fee. I'd be down for that, but the powers that be won't see it happen.

The other issue is readability. To be blunt, scientific papers can be a headache to parse. This is for good reason, they're written the way they are for a reason, but idk, some form of more readable synopsis to go along with it would be reasonable i think, like how they have the Shakespeare books with the translation on the other page.


Thank you for entering this tread.  The paywalling is a function of private publication firms, I believe, but no scientist is forced to publish through them.  Well, those working for universities may be.  But the state could make free access a stipulation for a grant -- that would do a lot.

Some scientists don't work for universities or the state.  They may be free to self-publish or publish documents that are not paywalled.  They may be free to write non-specialist abstracts.  I hope this becomes a growing group.


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Is it true that woke propaganda is being pushed in public education? And if so, what should be done about it?  I would say that the morals taught in public school should be those that are widely supported by ordinary Americans.  Public schools shouldn't really endorse one side of a politically contentious issue.

I remember a decade or two ago, it was far-right Christian fundamentalists who were trying to prevent the teaching of science of human evolution in public schools.  Nowadays, i guess it's the woke far left.
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I do really wish that people who oppose ending discrimination based on race, religion, sexual orientation, and the like and who thus oppose equality of opportunity stopped using the expression 'anti-woke' as a blanket term for their positions.

If you want school administrators to crack down on, say, transgender children by making decisions such as ending care for those students who have talked about committing suicide, just say 'I want this because those students are bad/evil' and not 'I oppose the woke and support this anti-woke measure'.

Arguments should not be based on jargon.

I understand that a teacher making the statement "nobody should be subject to prejudice based on what they were born as" is generally understood in the political context to be preaching "left-wing" and "woke propaganda" ideology, yes, but I strongly agree with Scott Alexander and others that in debates you should try to taboo symbol statements and replace them with substance statements.


Teachers have power over students. I think adults have a tough time remembering just how beholden they had to be to the adults in their life when they were kids, just how much those adults could fuck up their standard of living. It's weird to me. I didn't forget that stuff.  

Eh, I'm not sure how much police enforcement really motivates someone to drunk drive or not. If the high physical risk isn't enough to motivate someone to not drunk drive, i don't see how a ticket will be.


The risk of getting into a crash or getting arrested might not be fully grasped until it happens.  Someone who gets arrested for drunk driving is less likely to drive drunk again in the future, both because of better appreciation of the risk and because of being physically removed from society for a time.


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ITT: let's discuss https://astralcodexten.substack.com/p/the-media-very-rarely-lies

Scott's main point seems to be that the media, ranging from the New York Times to InfoWars, rarely outright fabricates the basic facts and instead misleads by faulty analysis and lack of context.  Do you agree?
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It's weird that he's creating an equivalency between outright lying for profit and "this government study data needs to be analyzed with caveats in mind". Rightly or wrongly, it triggers my bullshit alarm that the author may have some agenda.

And again, it's my faulty bullshit alarm firing when it wouldn't be entirely appropriate, but lately I've been getting the same impulse feeling from threads that start with "discuss", a link to an incredibly dubious article, and a handful of leading questions. Part of it is the feeling I get when somebody in a political T-shirt asks me to fill out a survey. Part of it is the feeling I get when I get a text from the IRS at an international number asking me to pay my back taxes in google play cards.


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>the author may have some agenda.
Scott explains his agenda at the bottom of the blog post: That it is impossible to censor misinformation by censoring only objective falsehoods, because most misinformation is technically not lying but is still deceptive.


Fair enough, then. Still real bad,
I know he says some crazy stuff, but I think that's something I would've heard about.


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The key, I think, are simple assertions that are difficult to argue against, because it would be foolish to create a loosing Assertion on purpose.  We'll keep going until things don't go badly.  I guess this is on the topic of time, and New Years is soon.

Debate Assertion: Old adults are no more bad than adults other than old adults.


I thought of a new problem.  Those political concepts that I believe strongly and for which I can mount a defense here will be those at the core of liberal democracy.  One of the reasons they would be defensible here is that expressing otherwise is against site rules.  That's a winning strategy, except that putting these ideas forward for debate will be seen as "baiting." So maybe politics is just a no-go.  There are other topics, though.  We'll get the knack of this page (or I'll lose interest).


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I feel like I've been doing a bad job about creating threads.  I need to create simpler and clearer debate threads.  My thoughts are sometimes confused, so let's focus less on me.

Now, I'm picking this from a list of easy debate topics: https://noisyclassroom.com/debate-topics/

Debate Assertion: It is better to live in the countryside
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> I have no interest in convincing anyone one lifestyle is better than another.
Which I guess is debating in opposition to OP's assertion, technically.  People have different needs and desires in life, so a global judgement on this kind of thing is inappropriate.  And if the city or country is bad in general, it's probably a social choice or series of social choices and those choices might be reversible.  I could talk about myself and my experiences and needs, but that is anecdotal and inappropriate for this thread.

I'm not sure that's quite a debate.  My goal was to pick a clear topic I don't care very much about.

(The image is not meant to have anything to do with the politics or military engagements of Russia.  Maybe I made another error in using it.)


Depends on what you're after, but in the modern era, it's really hard to say otherwise.
Country living seems to beat city life on every major item.


I see.  I know there are places in an urban/suburban environment where leaving your residence for non-essential reasons will be met with suspicion or incur unneeded danger, especially in times of low ambient light (even though the place is so light-polluted that it's not that hard to see).  Many outdoor activities such as going to parks, getting exercise, or astrophotography are unsafe.

But these places are nearby work and you don't need a car.


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Debate question: Christmas music may be sung or performed if one does so softly or digitally and one has the legal right to do so.

Supporting evidence: O Come O Come Emmanuel was sung by this poster last year on or around December 25.


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Let's try this again without attempting to be respectful to the state.

Debate question: it should be illegal to deploy grenades (or similar explosives) against people or in occupied spaces, and this law should apply to everyone in America.

I suppose I need to exempt those using grenades against a foreign enemy, not because I think that's OK, but because that's another topic.
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There's a lot of things that are nonlethal.
Nonetheless, they follow the same rules.
I don't see why that ought change.


Excellent.  I think our opinions are similar.  Now I guess we wait for representatives of the conventional opinion.


I think what I really want to argue is that police should not have special privilege to cause harm at their prerogative, in ways that would put someone in prison for a long time if the roles of police officer and non-police officer were reversed.  For hypothetical example it being legal (or not a crime, not punishable -- something like that) for police to denote a stun grenade in a residence that causes serious harm to an infant, or to beat an old man and cause a concussion and loss of hearing in one ear.  I feel that the standards should be symmetric, I guess.


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A thread for debates about the holiday season.  I can't think of anything specific to assert that is not inane, but the thread seems most appropriate now.  Post your own debate assertions or questions.


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I think we should make ponies that are not potentially in violation of Hasbro's copyright.  I think that would allow the fandom maximum freedom -- no more worrying about take-down action or being sued.  I'll make my drawing blurry because it's not very good, but I believe this post is legal.


Is there some significant amount of takedowns going around?  In any case, new horse designs shouldn't be a major hurdle.  Plenty of horse out there.


>Is there some significant amount of takedowns going around?
I don't know.  Most of what I've seen lately is YouTube taking down videos because they can't determine if they are kid friendly or not.  But it's dangerous for some pony fans and they want to be careful.

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For discussing the other thread, in /pony/, concerning Elon Musk
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Am I the only one who finds it sus as hell that some IRA looking motherfucker forces the vehicle carrying the infant son of the richest man on earth to a halt, jumps on the bonnet of the car, and all he gets is a camera shoved in his face and a "do you know this man?" on Twitter? The more I think about this the more everything feels off. Our PLA friend should be a statistic smeared thin across downtown LA, not a footnote in a story about flight trackers.

I know LA is such a safe city that nobody would ever consider something bad might happen, and Mr Elon comes from the kind of country where things like that just don't happen, and that he's always gone through pains to have a minimal public profile so he wouldn't have a reason to feel any sort of vulnerability, but it still seems rational to have some security present while his two year old goes out on the town alone, if he can afford it.


Oh, I see.  Protecting personal information a person considers confidential seems....good?  Presumably the rules are consistently applied.


That Elon Musk and those who follow him define the term 'free speech' as 'what I personally dislike should be censored and what I personally like should be celebrated' with no higher ethical principles involved whatsoever is really useful information, honestly.

If you're a sincere and informed observer of the world, it's going to be pretty clear in the U.S. context by now (in 2022) that neither the activist political right nor the related left counterpart believes in 'free speech' either in the legal sense (as in 'governments shouldn't censor except when there's no other option') or the moral sense (as in 'authoritative actors outside the state should be the same, maximum space being allowed for expression').

And businesses certainly don't care either, given that obviously they just want to enhance their bottom lines.


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ITT: State and respond to hot takes here!

Hot takes! Get your hot takes!

Fresh off the press!:


I believe that the only solution to our current world-wide economic problem is to let it collapse.

It's better if it's a slow one so that we have time to prepare for it before we hit the ground, but I still think we need one.

We've been thinking the wrong way about work, finance, and what a normal quality of life is for far too long, and a collapse is the inevitable result of that.

Post too long. Click here to view the full text.
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That sounds like a maximum of passive misanthropy.


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I think I understand how this works.

>Hot takes!
It should be OK to not go to college and still do important...even, dare I say, academical or smart...things in life.

Or college should be more accessible, affordable, and not give me a feeling of having something to do with class division (although I'm sure people will tell me how wrong that feeling is, I still feel it.)


My hottest take might be that we need full blown anarchy, which I wonder about sometimes.

Not just the elimination of government but the destruction of every form of interpersonal authority by which one person enslaves another. No organized religion. No business structures that aren't flatly democratic. No military or paramilitary groups. No parental """"rights"""" on determining the beliefs and identities of their children. No... nothing.

People are just people. Everything is open. Everything is free. Everyone is free.


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Observing the trends in politics recently, I feel like the battle between left and right is unhelpful and destructive.

The real battle is between libertarian principles and authoritarian principles.

What are your thoughts on libertarianism vs authoritarianism?


I personally lean far more libertarian. And honestly I think most people do.

I believe, in general, libertarianism is good, and authoritarianism is evil. But I also understand that for liberty to be protected, some government and restrictions are required.

My general principle is that individual liberty is the ultimate goal, but not necessarily the highest priority.

In my experience, individual liberty cannot be protected if it is the highest priority. You need to first and foremost protect the right to life. What worth is liberty if you're dead?
Post too long. Click here to view the full text.
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>Does it make a difference if your master wears a state uniform or a business suit?

My opinion is, yes.  I grant it might not in material effect, but much of life is in our heads, and it's easier to mentally resist private tyranny than official tyranny.  Clerical robes are more complicated, if you believe in the associated deity.  And science has no theory of domination, you must add something to it, in my view, to create oppression.

I guess it's the bigger question, do ideas matter?  Or just material condition?


Indeed. Not having any state power is terribly dangerous. But having too much is equally so.

My preference is a severely limited state whose primary purpose is to limit the accumulation and abuse of power, including its own.


This is key, I think. Power corrupts, and whether that power is corporate, government, or some other form is largely meaningless, with the same result. The key is to minimize the accumulation of power as much as possible. It is in the nature of power to both accumulate and corrupt, and the only thing that can meaningfully respond to power is power. That's the paradox we find ourselves in.


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What should one make of the idea of individual sheriffs in different American locations refusing to enforce city law, county law, state law, or national law? What about law enforcement more generally acting like this? How does this relate to gun politics?

Personally, I view this as equally moral and equally immoral at the same time. This trend is rarely seen in action. What if it spreads?

Many sheriffs and other types will feel motivated by higher principles to make choices such as refusing to enforce hate crime laws and tolerating violence against minority groups that they disdain. Maybe they'll shut down public demonstrations despite free speech law and its guarantees for the same reasons. Maybe they'll work to ban certain books and video games similarly. Other actions will be claimed on behalf of freedom that involve defending 'good people' from 'bad people' (such as the claimed freedom of religious individuals to live cleanly amidst sinners and their liberties to protect their children from sinners).

At the same time, however, other sheriffs will act against the law to actively defend individuals from the government. This case appears to be such a thing to me. A law-abiding citizen should be able to buy, own, and sell a standard magazine. Big brother should not be watching. I've read other cases that also seem to genuinely involve law enforcement flouting the law to support actual freedom such as refusing to enforce anti-drug rules.

Am I being too pessimistic? Too optimistic? Is it unethical for me to so casually argue that gun control laws not be enforced just because I find them stupid? Maybe?
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Police activism?

I generally take that no state owes their subjects/citizens consistency.  But if states did, I would be mostly against police taking the liberty of deciding things without overt consent of the governed.


Thinking about it more, I suppose you could assert police need only be loyal to the government when properly in line with the constitution, therefore they have the right to not enforce unconstitutional laws.  Government is only legitimate when appropriately upholding the formational social contract citizens consented to.

But I gather the actual role of the state is to apply correcting force to subjects who might follow such logic toward dissidence.


I feel like the idea that cops can choose which laws to enforce is fundamentally contradictory to the idea that judges shouldn't legislate from the bench.


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This year, I have seen a lot of stuff on the "Manosphere" and people like Andrew Tate.

Now I can't help but think on the dubbed Loverboys in some European countries, long before the entire Manosphere thing.
Those are guys making their business by picking up young girls, often from a broken background, alienating them further from any sort of support network they have and then putting them out for sale in prostitution or using them as mules for drug trafficking.
The way of working often involves showering girls with attention and gifts and having them come with them later willingly.
Then it goes often into emotional blackmail, actual blackmail and even human trafficking style coercion to trap the girls into doing prostitution or other illegal activities.

And, unfortunately, in certain places being a Loverboy is something young people look up to.

And I feel, when I hear about Andrew Tate talking about employing so many willing girlfriends to build an empire on sexual services and the guys talking about how bad monogamy is and the position of girls in the world, that it's just this questionable Loverboy Culture gone viral with plenty of young boys taking notes from their heroes.

Now, maybe I'm just an old guy and people will argue that this is actually a nice hack to become successful in life that the left-wing squares don't get. Maybe, some people may argue that this sort of stuff is really okay as long as the girls willingly consent.

But I personally do feel worried about the way this thing keeps evolving.
Flexing on pimping out your girlfriend may not be as good an evolution as you'd hope it to be.
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I can dislike the generalizations, sure. But fundamentally that's not all that different from certain types of BDSM lifestyles.

If the investigations turn up enough evidence to bring Tate to trial and convict him, that's kind of another matter. Him engaging in explicitly illegal activity is still different than if he were engaging in consensual relationships. He could have easily been doing both.

He's still pushing misogynistic ideas, absolutely. However if there are women who want to engage with him even knowing that, I can't really justify wanting to interfere in that. It's their business at that point and all I can really do is dislike that as a dynamic. If it does slip into outright abuse the authorities can get involved as they seem to be with the investigation. Before that threshold though, it's not really anyone else's business.


This shit is just what happens when we lack cultural scripts. For a long time, the script was parable for most. Men spent time, money, and resources courting women, training them to be breadwinners, which allowed them freedom in choosing who they wanted, and a certain degree of power and influence over women in a general sense. Women spent time, money, and effort making themselves appealing, learning how to apply makeup and act in a demure way to prepare to be housewives, which allowed them to largely set the rules and pace of the courtship. That system has it's flaws, but it was functional. It's largely been abolished now, which is only good or bad in the context of what replaces it, which right now seems to be essentially pimping cabals. Match group as a whole, onlyfans, traditional pimps, Andrew Tate and loverboy stuff, it's all fundamentally the same. It operates by perpetuating, exploiting, and profiting off a general confusion and discomfort around dating now that there are no rules.

The fact that women largely set the rules without overtly declaring what the rules are doesn't help. Not that it's really their fault, it's just cultural baggage from generations of expected demureness, but it leaves a power vacuum for how courtship should be done, and naturally, there are those that would exploit it. It doesn't help that, naturally, women don't all agree about how they'd like to be courted; Some, for example, use an initial rejection as a "shit test", various soft or hard rejections they expect men to ignore and push past to see if a man wants her enough, while other women see a man continuing to push after a no has been given as a consent violation. They will not communicate these in any reasonable way, and even if women in general had the inclination communicate, which they generally do not, there is no socially smooth way to accomplish this.

Essentially, when it comes to courtship, women aren't typically attracted to most men, while most men are attracted to most women, leaving women as, essentially, the game designers, and men, essentially, as the players, funnily enough. Women dictate the rules and structure of the process, and men do their best to pair-bond, or simply have sex with, the women they're attracted to under these circumstances.

A good step would be picking one of these to be the social standard and then to very harshly punish those who go against it. I would choose the pro-consent camp myself, seems to be a Post too long. Click here to view the full text.


I honestly feel like what we see culturally as the super masculine kind of 'jock' aggressive 'type A personality' and rationalize as just being a relationship driven thing is just a paper thin mask over the real problem. We're talking about sadism, socipathy, and narcissism. That what it boils down to. People with severe mental illnesses they refuse to see as an issue to work on at all let alone treat.

And this isn't really a gender identity thing or a sexual orientation thing. The Karen calling the police because a black teenager is feeding the ducks on a park bench in what she believes is 'her park' in order to 'ruin her day' is ethically exactly the same as the Chadbro at a club mouthing off homophobic and transphobic slurs as he attempts to psychologically manipulate a stranger with the aims of using her as a nonhuman pleasure object with no actual emotion involved whatsoever. It's the same mentality. The sadist one. The sociopathic one. The narcissistic one. Viewing your fellow human beings as mere resources to benefit yourself (comedian Lewis Black aptly called this belief seeing others as "meat with eyes").

I wish I had a clearer idea of what to do other than just pleading that Americans in general become nicer and happier. But that seems to be that. Just be better.

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