I have been confronted no less than six times this week with some twit or another regurgitating Pascal’s Wager, the theistic sucker bet. And each and every one of them believes he/she/it was the first one to pose what to the simple minded religious drones must seem like a stumper…
It goes like this (to the atheist);
If you are right, no harm, no foul, we all just die. But if I’m right, you will suffer a torturous eternity at the hands of my merciful and loving sky buddy…
One does not have to have a deep understanding of logic or formal debate to see at a cursory glance why this bit of fluff fails.
First, this isn’t even an argument for (or against) the existence of a god. It’s a pointless threat made to someone who doesn’t believe the basic premise. That makes it a bit of narcissistic metaphysical masturbation, not meant to influence it’s purported target, but rather to allow the theist to ‘gloat’ over the impending fiery doom they fervently hope will descend on the folks who have made them feel so stupid, for so long about believing.
In 1894, the Democratic Party was under significant pressure to reduce the tariffs imposed by the 1890 McKinley Tariff. As I discussed in my previous blog the economy was in recession and the average Americans purchasing power had dropped. Government revenue had been significantly reduced by the recession.
However, it was difficult to build a consensus between the House and the Senate- a bill that started as significant tariff cuts was diluted by over 600 amendments in the Senate. The result was the Wilson-Gorman Tariff, a hodgepodge of tariff cuts and tariff increases that became law without the signature of President Cleveland.
For purposes of discussion here, the most important aspect of the Wilson-Gorman Tariff was that for the first time an income tax was imposed during peacetime. The tax consisted of 2% on all income over $4,000 for individuals and corporations.
This wasn’t the first income tax imposed in the US. The first was the Civil War income tax imposed in 1861 which was a progressive tax with rates ranging from 3%-10%. It was passed along with a slough of other taxes as an emergency measure. After the war, the income tax was gradually reduced and eventually eliminated in 1872 along with most of the other taxes imposed during the war.
New rule: Before you can blithely toss out any supernatural claim, you must be prepared to explain, in detail HOW THE MAGIC WORKS. We are often tasked to spend hundreds of column inches giving scientific explanations, sources and evidence by those who want to somehow dispute science and reality itself, so if you want to make claims for the supernatural you MUST spend at least as much time and effort PROVING IT.
A serious economic issue back in the late 1800's was which metal should be used to back up the currency. In 1873, the US adopted gold as the official legal tender. Silver was still used in small coins, but was no longer legal tender for large debts.
Back in those days, the value of US currency was tied directly to gold. You could bring gold in to a mint and trade it for its equivalent in gold coins minus a small fee for seignorage. When the country adopted the gold standard, naturally certain sectors of the economy were upset. It created a large divide across party lines with a large group arguing for "free silver".
The "silverites" as they were called, argued that having the value of the dollar pegged to silver was better than gold because silver was more inflationary, while gold was monopolized by the industry tycoons. They supported silver over gold, but many were willing to accept bimetallism; the use of both metals.
The 1870's and 1880's saw a lot of expansion into the western US as railroads expanded their lines and increased the number of trains running. This created a boom for both the farmers and railroads. Farmers in the western midwest were now able to export grains (mostly wheat) overseas and railroads made good profits transporting the grains to ports. Another result of the railroads western expansion was the discovery of silver. Lots of silver.
Yes, We’ve read your Holy Books and no, we still don’t believe them.
Yes, We are Moral creatures, it derives from our cultural upbringing and no, it doesn’t come from a supernatural source.
Yes, We have purpose in our lives that we define for ourselves and no, it doesn’t center on being a meat puppet for a cosmic puppeteer.
Yes, We believe a lot of things and no, none of it requires magic to work.
Yes, We can give a layman’s explanation of ‘how we got here’ and no, We don’t choose to do so because you should have stayed awake in school.
Yes, We are Atheists, we do not believe that god or gods exist and no, you don’t get to redefine what We are for the sake of some silly semantic argument.
It has been repeatedly said that the Great Depression was caused by "no rules" laissez-faire capitalism. This is a completely absurd claim as the Great Depression occurred after several decades of laws that were revolutionary at the time and completely changed the nature of our economy from one that was heavily influenced at the state level, to one that was heavily influenced by the federal government.
I don't care to argue about whether or not the changes were positive at this time. Anyone who has read my posts knows what my opinions are. I simply want to deal with the facts of what laws were passed. My contention is that while the economy at the time of the 1929 crash was free by today's standards, it occurred in an economy that was in the process of becoming more regulated. Hardly the free, no rules, anarchic economy that some on this site, and the vast majority of teachers suggest there was.
I don't know about you, but my middle school economics discussion regarding this era consisted of talking about the expansion of the railroads in the 1800's then magically skipping to "the 20's boomed and then there was a crash, lets talk about Roosevelt" while ignoring the period of 1890-1929. Any discussion of the era was of the new technologies while virtually ignoring the laws. So hopefully you might learn something you were not aware of before.
I've been saying ever since SOPA and PIPA were taken off the docket that we will see a return in some form. We won't know when and we won't know how, but it will be back. A lot of people knew and we were fearing the day that a manifestation would rear it's ugly head and threaten to infiltrate our online privacy and slit it's proverbial throat. Behold your harbinger, your ruin, your reason to seethe hatred and bid farewell to the last bastion of anonymity: CISPA has risen.
We had no vote on this matter, we were not informed of it's existence and we were not alerted that it would be voted on without our consent. Our government has pulled the carpet right out from under us AGAIN and everyone will just let it happen and act as if we still have anything regarding liberty or freedom left in this shallow husk of a country. If SOPA and PIPA were the WMDs that we successfully diffused, then CISPA is the "Tsar Bomba" that couldn't be reached in time.
We'll all feel the fall out from this soon; count on it.
Cinematically, sure. But in real life? I don't know. So I ask you:
Have you ever hated something, or most especially someone?
I don't mean getting angry or disgusted or even furious, but real HATE. As in, if you could obliterate its existence with a thought, you would?
I personally have never experienced this emotion, so I must question its existence.
I have been and can be a total asshole. But if you're willing to change, so am I. It's how I can out troll a troll. It's also how I can later become best friends with said troll.
Am I fucked up or lucky?
I stumbled on to this and was annoyed from the very start...
If an alien came down from the skies and said, "I am god" would christians know the difference?
What if the alien had done their homework and knew of the prophecies and could recreate them?
Would christians know the difference?
If the alien could perform miracles or provide answers to all the questions, would christians know?