ContraBardus

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ContraBardus last won the day on August 4

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About ContraBardus

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    Rationalist

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  • Gender
    Male
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    Gainesville, Fla.
  • Interests
    At the moment, not dying, video games, books, movies, and getting well enough to get another job so I'm not stuck at home all day.
  • More About Me
    I don't like stuff that sucks.

    My dog is awesome.

    Sometimes I cook stuff.

Previous Fields

  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    Shilling, someone I know can lift a curse
  1. What's your point? It literally always has been. I mean, money doesn't really have any value aside from what we as a society assigns it. Doesn't matter if it's gold coins or paper. Currency is symbolic by its very nature. What can someone really do with gold exactly? You can't eat it, drink it, and it won't keep you warm or dry. It's just a heavy, soft metal that polishes up nice. It's really not even useful for building things, not weapons, structures, or much of anything but jewelry. It didn't really start getting used for decorative purposes until it became something of a status symbol due to its value as currency. It started out representing a set amount of something that did have value, mostly grain and livestock. Money is essentially a contract assigned a certain value for trading goods and has always been nothing more than symbolic.
  2. Should we also tear down the statues and remove the names of Union Generals that were involved in the massacre of Native Americans and military actions that forced them from their lands from buildings and streets? Where does the morality line for those deserving of statues and having landmarks named after them start and end exactly? As controversial as it was Trump does have some valid basis behind his point regarding the statues of the founders who were also slave owners. That said, I don't entirely trust his motivations behind that statement either. That doesn't mean the argument itself has no merit at all though. I'm of a mind that historical context should have a lot to do with whether these statues should remain where they stand or not. Depending on where they are, how long they've been there, and why they were erected in the first place, some of them should remain where they are because removing them is covering up history to sweep it under the rug. The ones that have historical and educational value should remain, I could care less about the others.
  3. Southern Pride

    You either didn't read or didn't comprehend what I posted. Try again starting right after the part you highlighted and get back to me. It's worth noting that slavery was the specific issue that caused the clash between Southern and Northern governments, it wasn't so much defending slavery itself that started the war as much as the North telling the Southern States that they had to comply with an edict under federal authority and the South viewed the edict the North handed them as beyond their authority and basically told them where to shove the edict because the States were independent and didn't need Federal authority sticking its nose in their business and that they were perfectly fine making decisions like that for themselves. It's also worth pointing out that the North intentionally pushed it with slavery due to the sympathies already present and prevalent in the North. It made it easier to pressure the South and provided a nice "reason" for the war itself beyond forcing the more independent minded Southern states to bow to Federal authority, which few citizens would have backed. They weren't trying to start a war, but it was a difficult issue for the South to get out from under that could be easily sold in the North as an issue of morality to support action when push came to shove. It was brilliant politics actually. It could have easily been something like a tax on cotton or something along those lines, but that would have been much harder to get popular support behind and force the issue politically. The Civil War was more a war of "principals" than it was about slavery. Slavery just happened to be the issue that the South decided to push back about, but it was eventually going to happen over something regardless due to the difference in how the North and South viewed Federal authority. The South knew if they gave in regarding slavery, it was just a matter of time before more Northern Federalist edicts came down on them. The North didn't back down because they wanted to force a precedent and establish that authority, so the South decided to secede. The Southern agricultural economy was too important to the industrial centers in the North to lose, and the Union couldn't let that happen, and that's what led to the war. Saying the Civil War was "about slavery" is vastly oversimplifying it, and is intellectually dishonest. That isn't the same thing as saying slavery was good, the South was in the right, or that it wasn't a factor. Still, it's given far too much credit as the cause and is often made to sound as if it had more to do with the reasoning behind the war than it truly did by those trying to retcon history to fit their current political narrative.
  4. Southern Pride

    I think there should be more considerations made in regard to whether these statues stay up where they are or not. Namely, when they were put up, what relation they have to the figures they represent, and the context for their existence. It's more complicated than "hur dur, racist confederacy slavery, tear down". A lot of them have little historical significance or any real reason to be where they are as they have no or little actual relation to the figures they represent. Those statues shouldn't be protected. However, others have historical and educational value as they help mark important events, battles, places where these people lived, and other important events that occurred at or near to where they stand that these figures are directly related to and thus have value as markers and reminders of actual history, good or bad. If it's just up in some square that has nothing to do with anything, such as the confederate statue in Lee Square in Pensacola, there's no reason it should be protected. I used to see that thing every day because it's right across the street where I went to grade school, we used to do PE activities in the park area around it. It never bothered me and no one gave it much thought, but I remember that statue very well. It would not bother me in the slightest if it came down because there really isn't any historically significant reason for it to be there. It's not a battle site, nothing of real importance happened there, and it has no real reason it needs to be there for any historical or educational value. I'm not against many of these statues coming down, just that some of them are important and historically significant enough that they should be preserved and protected due to the context of their existence and what they represent. We should not be ripping them all down with no consideration of why they are there and what they are marking. If the answer is nothing, sure, have at it. However, if it's marking somewhere of significance where important events occurred or that are otherwise directly linked to these historical figures, then those statues should be left alone as they have actual value and reason to be there. It's also not true that most of the Confederacy was actually fighting over slavery. That might have been a major political reason and what drove the money and politicians, but the common soldiers and average citizens didn't give two shits about it. It was about the Northern States invading them, telling them what to do, and what they viewed as overstepping their authority to govern the Southern States. The South viewed their individual states as much more independent and autonomous than the Northern States viewed the Union. That's what the whole "Southern Pride" thing is about, not slaves. Most of the people who fought in the war didn't own slaves, never would, and didn't care much for the people who did or their interests.
  5. Southern Pride

    I would get this argument more if the end game argument was to bring back slavery or segregation. No one who matters has implied any such thing, and anyone who is making such arguments is largely considered a joke and an asshole even among people who want the monuments left alone. Everyone involved but the craziest of idiots knows that will never happen and has no desire to see it. Most of the people who don't want them taken down view them as a statement of states rights over federal power. Not as symbols of white superiority or pride. There are some who do, but they are a huge minority. Enough that people with a more reasonable stance often don't want to be associated with the movement to keep them up anymore. It's kind of a shame as they are historically important and should serve as a reminder. Not every monument exists to remind us of events we should be proud of. I don't think it takes away from the service of those who have their name on the Vietnam Memorial to say that that war is not an event America should look upon with pride. The monument was designed to be somber and reflective, to serve as a cautionary reminder of the cost of war. It isn't really all that patriotic to be honest. Few of the actual soldiers involved in the war gave a shit about slavery. The rank and file didn't own them, and gave no shits about the rich assholes who did. To them it was about what they saw was an overreach of federal authority on the sovereignty of their home state, and an invasion by a foreign power. Southern Pride has more to do with them and their mindset and reasoning than the asshole politicians looking to keep their personal gravy trains flowing. That doesn't mean we should be ashamed of the men who fought and died for their principals, most of whom were fighting against what they saw as an invasive power that was overstepping their authority and trying to rule them from afar as well as sending an invading army into their lands to force their will on them. It's important to remember that states back then thought of themselves more as separate entities, each being essentially their own country, that were allied politically through treaties to form the federal government. Our Civil War is what changed that. A lot of Southern and Midwestern states still have that mindset. That their state does and should have more authority than the federal government. Confederate monuments are a middle finger to the federal government's authority over states. So no, it's really got nothing to do with race or slavery to most people who support the statues staying where they are. It's about the people who fought to stand up to federal power to represent their states and defend their home and sovereignty. It's true they fought against the United States, but they fought for their homes and states, not for a foreign power. It's disingenuous and dishonest to try to act like it was anything like they were fighting for Germany or Japan during WWII.
  6. You mean destroying the protections on our media, doubling federal prisoners, propagating and ignoring the conditions that lead to the 2007 banking crisis, "don't ask, don't tell", NAFTA, and failing to deal with health care, social security, or Osama Bin Laden? Yeah, great job there, Willy. Totally deserving of a statue.
  7. Anyone interested in discussing a UFO encounter?

    Level of plausibility and weight of evidence is what it comes down to. The exact same things that brought many of us here from Christianity. Really, aliens existing on other planets isn't an extraordinary claim. It makes sense and there's observable evidence that suggests it is likely. We are literally standing on it. There's no reason to think that conditions similar enough to our own don't exist elsewhere in the universe. Especially if you consider the scale and scope of the universe and just how many stars and planets there are. It's a relatively mundane claim to be honest with our own planet being credible evidence that it is probable. It doesn't prove that there is life elsewhere, but it is enough to suggest that it is likely. Alien space ships capable of interstellar travel visiting us is another matter, particularly if you're talking about FTL travel. This is even more true when you consider the "needle in a trillion haystacks" factor of them actually finding us to begin with. It's not impossible, but it is a lot less likely. There really isn't observable evidence that suggest that it does happen or even that such travel is plausible. It's a lot like the idea of God actually. The more specific you get, the less likely it is to be true. It's easier to argue against the specific God an individual worships than it is to argue against the concept of a God itself. That's not saying God exists, just that it's easier to knock down the idea of God being a magical Jewish hippie or an anthromorphised elephant man that loves us and wants to be our BFFs or else it will torture us for eternity, than it is to knock down the idea that there is some nebulous being that had a hand in creating the universe that may not even notice our existence. People in general have been conditioned to jump to the conclusion that anything unidentified that they can't explain that they see in the sky is aliens. It's the immediate go to answer, but there really isn't any good reason for it given the fact that such sightings are far more likely to have a more mundane and local explanation.
  8. Anyone interested in discussing a UFO encounter?

    Not really, most of our breakthroughs came by way of improvements in our observational capabilities or capacity for more complex calculations. I'm not saying that it's never happened, just that the fact is that most of our advancements have been because of new information and further understanding. It usually isn't because what was previously known was incorrect, but rather that it was incomplete. Most of the people who deemed things "impossible" weren't scientists, or were poor scientists. I would also point out that there is a difference between possible and practical. Just because light speed travel might be possible, it may not be practical enough to be feasible. There's tons of stuff everyone was certain we'd have today that we don't. Everything from flying cars and jetpacks, to personal nuclear reactors that power our homes and vehicles. Those things might still eventually happen, but that doesn't really seem all that plausible anymore, if only because of the impracticality of it. That last question is the important one. "Who knows what's next?" The correct answer is none of us, and there's nothing to gain by assuming just to fill in the gaps with a placeholder. In fact, that can be counterproductive. Well, if done for entertainment value it's mostly harmless, that's what Sci-fi is after all, but it should be presented as exactly that and not as an assumed certainty.
  9. Anyone interested in discussing a UFO encounter?

    Does it really show that we likely will be though? I'm not so sure of that. Again, I'm not arguing impossible, but current evidence doesn't really support that claim. There is more evidence suggesting that it might not be plausible than evidence suggesting that it is. That isn't the same thing as saying it can't be done, just that there really isn't enough evidence to support the claim that it will eventually happen right now. Assuming that we will eventually overcome intergalactic travel is exactly that, an assumption, and at this point a rather baseless one. As is the assumption that other civilizations are capable of it even if they are more advanced than our own. We have no idea how plausible light speed travel is right now, much less FTL travel. Maybe there's another way, folding space or whatever, but that's just as much speculation right now as light speed. My issue here is with the bald assertions that are being presented as certain eventualities and facts rather than the entirely speculative and uncertain suppositions they are. The lack of willingness to understand that these things are currently unknown and may not actually be plausible. It's the "Aliens of the gaps" argument. Just because there are unknown variables does not mean they need to be filled with placeholder sci-fi tales.
  10. Anyone interested in discussing a UFO encounter?

    Sure, investigation. I never said any of this should be ignored or that it doesn't warrant further study. You're making a lot of bald assumptions and presumptive conclusions about the results and are putting the cart before the horse without the evidence to back your claims. Like I said, your arguments and statements in this thread have been very similar to the arguments and statements made about God by religious apologists. Your presumptive claims follow the exact same kind of reasoning. It's a bad habit you should get out of.
  11. Anyone interested in discussing a UFO encounter?

    I'm not arguing impossible, I'm arguing plausibility and the weight of evidence. I've never once stated that something can't or won't eventually happen, just that the level of certainty being displayed is reckless and irresponsible, even mirroring the kinds of claims and arguments made by religious apologists. Reboot seems to have no concept of this and is pulling stuff out of his ass and presenting it as if it's definitely true simply because he says so.
  12. Anyone interested in discussing a UFO encounter?

    You're not exactly showing how smart and scientific you are by starting your rebuttal with a logical fallacy. Do you see the word "speculating" in there? It's there for a reason. This is a fluff article, not a paper or study. Nobody really knows what can be done with it, and its relation to mass is entirely theoretical. It could be what controls it, or it could be just a factor or variable in what causes it. Even if it is related to mass in the way that is suggested, that doesn't mean it has a switch on it that we can just turn off either. Nor do we know what that might do. For all we know shutting off the particle on a grain of sand will turn it into pure energy and vaporize a city block. This is entirely speculative daydreaming and your source directly states exactly that.
  13. Anyone interested in discussing a UFO encounter?

    More of what you want to be true, but have no evidence for, and are merely assuming without cause is plausible. That's not how this works I'm afraid. You might as well be telling me about how God is real because he will someday heal someone of cancer and prove his existence for all this spiel is worth.
  14. Anyone interested in discussing a UFO encounter?

    Your argument here is completely fallacious. For starters, there was observable evidence at the time these guys were wrong. Birds existed, are heavier than air, and are capable of sustained self propelled flight. We also had physics supporting that it could be done, if we just figured out how. Same goes for those who said breaking the sound barrier was not possible. There was observable evidence otherwise and physics supported that it could be done. Hell, you could hold such evidence in your hand at the time and do it with nothing but human power. The crack of a whip is a sonic boom. We knew breaking the sound barrier was possible. What we weren't sure of is whether we could do it safely or not. It wasn't doing it that was the issue, it was surviving it. There is no observable evidence that something with mass can travel at the speed of light. Nor is there any observable evidence that anything travels beyond the speed of light, and there is no observable evidence that suggests it is plausible in nature or elsewhere. The evidence we have suggests both are not plausible. We were unable to move subatomic particles beyond a speed below the speed of light even under optimal conditions. Also, there is no evidence of life existing around any of the Centauri stars. Only evidence that a planet may or may not exist that we think might maybe possibly have conditions that might harbor some form of life because it seems like it might maybe be about the right size and the right distance away from the star...maybe. Just to put that into perspective, you could say the same thing about Venus and Mars in our solar system if you were observing them from several light years away using our current level of technology. Once again you're jumping way ahead of everyone else to make baseless assumptions because it's what you want to be true.
  15. Anyone interested in discussing a UFO encounter?

    It's a pretty big assumption that civilizations on the Kardashev scale even exist. That's not saying they don't, but we have no evidence that they do. It's just supposition, supposition that you're giving far too much credit to. We don't even know if light speed travel is even plausible, much less FTL travel. What exists that we know travels faster than light? [The answer is nothing.] Hell, the closest we've come to the actual speed of light is with subatomic particles, and even then we didn't reach it. There is in fact more evidence that it's unlikely that we'll be able to reach that speed than evidence that suggests we might. According to what I've seen the only reason light is able to travel at that speed is because it has no mass. So unless we are able to figure out a way around that problem, light speed travel is a no go, much less FTL speed. The fact that it might be "one discovery a way" isn't really relevant. We don't have any reason to think it's possible, and the preponderance of current evidence suggest it probably isn't. Thus all your assumptions and suppositions in this thread are more unlikely than likely. You're getting ahead of yourself making all these baseless assumptions by assuming things that the evidence we currently have suggests aren't really plausible.