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u/aabbccaabbcc · 1 pointr/changemyview

> What you are trying to do is impose a moral scale, a ranking, on life that says that taking this life is moral but taking this one is not.

So, I'll try to get this straight. Please set me straight if I have any of this wrong.

You're asserting that in moral terms, ALL LIFE is equal, completely regardless of its nervous system, capacity to perceive the world, form social connections, experience emotion, or suffer. For example, a herd of cows should be given exactly the same ethical consideration as a leaf of spinach: none whatsoever. Right? Because humans have a moral mandate to kill. And since all nonhuman life is equally worthless in these ethical terms, according to our moral mandate, we are allowed to destroy as much life as we please in order to eat what we'd like. Deciding if I want to be responsible for the "death" of a few beans or some spinach, or be responsible for a lifetime of captivity ended by a violent death of a cow (not to mention all the "plant death" that was necessary to make it grow in the first place).

Except humans. We can't kill each other, because we can acknowledge rights for each other.

What would you say about very young children and or mentally handicapped humans who don't have the mental capacity to "respect and protect the rights of others?" If this is where rights come from, then obviously not all humans have rights. Or is there more to it than just that?

> The arbitrary categorization of one life as more valuable than another is not made for moral reasons. It cannot be because morality is binary. A choice is either moral or immoral.

Please cite any theory of morality or ethics at all that says that there is no gradient of morality. While you're at it, please cite any theory of morality or ethics at all that says that if you must kill something, then you're justified in killing anything you want.

Actually, if you could cite anything to support your position, instead of just asserting things, that would be great! In particular, I'd love to see any credible ethical argument that all nonhuman life should be treated exactly equally in ethical terms.

> If this theory is true then the pure herbivores of our species did not survive natural selection - the omnivores proved better adapted for survival.

So, we should take our ethical cues from natural selection, then? I thought you said earlier that we shouldn't.

Regarding "human efficiency," what do you think of the environmental destruction caused by animal agriculture? Or, if human efficiency is only measured on an individual scale, how is it affected by the mounting evidence that eating animals isn't so great? (each word is a distinct link.) What about the antibiotics issue? Please address this.

> Yes - if both animals and plants suffer and several lives have been given already to create the animal then the animal causes the least loss of life and the least suffering. How many plants do you have to slaughter and digest screaming to equal one animal?

You said earlier that plants can't scream. And can't suffer. And the answer, once more with feeling, is: about a 10:1 ratio! Remember? I linked those wikipedia articles for you! Did you read them?

Which reminds me, I've been careful to only cite things that are reasonably "impartial": news articles, PubMed, wikipedia, that sort of thing. Nothing from the Humane Society or anything like that, since I imagine that you'll probably just dismiss it. If you'd be willing to read those things seriously, then by all means let me know and I'll share a few. And if you wouldn't mind addressing some of the things that those linked articles address, I'd appreciate it.

I'll go back a couple posts of yours, if you don't mind, because I forgot to address this point:

> The animal would have eaten the plants regardless of your decision. By eating the animal you are not participating in the death or the potential suffering of the plants.

Yes you are! You've paid for the animal to be bred, raised, fed, and slaughtered. You are contributing to the demand for this process. Are you claiming that by supporting something financially is completely divorced from all ethical responsibility? Please explain this, since I don't understand this view.

> Farming an animal for food is not torture. Torturing an animal for the sake of seeing it suffer is morally wrong.

Well, if you're in America, more than 99% of the time it is. Is it permissible to torture an animal to eat it more cheaply?

Jonathan Safran Foer's book Eating Animals, by the way, is an excellent and very honest investigation of the ethics of eating meat. It's written from the perspective of someone who's oscillated between eating meat and not eating it for his life so far, and I hope you'll believe me when I say that it is absolutely not judgmental of those who do. There's no way around the fact that it's been a human tradition for a very long time, and there's a great deal of sentimentality around it, and this book approaches the subject with great intellectual and moral honesty. I hope you'll at least consider reading it, if you would like to, I'd even be happy to send you my copy in the mail (although I'd probably be unwilling to give out my address over the internet), and you can keep it after that. And if you're right about the ethics of it, you'll blast through it in a few days and come away completely unchanged, since your position is totally bulletproof. If there's no threat, all you have to lose is a few hours of reading time. And, if you don't want to read anything, he's given a couple brief interviews 1, 2, 3, 4 that you can watch in a few minutes (the longest is an hour).

And of course, since I'm suggesting some reading material for you (I hope you're actually reading those articles by the way... it's hard to tell, since you haven't address any of them except the ADA abstract, which you dismissed with an appeal to nature), it's only fair that if you recommend any books or articles or films to me at all, I solemnly swear to read (or watch) them with an open mind. I'll even get back to you about what I think!

I think it's extremely telling that the industry has fought so hard to pass laws against documenting abuse in their operations. Would you agree that given a choice between cheap meat that has been raised in torturous conditions, and expensive meat that was raised in a way to give the animal a good life while it was alive, one has a moral obligation to choose the one that caused less suffering? This, I expect, is in line with your moral mandate to kill. After all:

> Certainly limiting the amount of pain inflicted is a desirable choice.

Try this: go to your refrigerator, and look at the label for the animal flesh you already have in there. See what farm it's from, and look up a phone number. Give them a call, and pretend that you're interested in taking a tour of their facilities to see the conditions. Then, when you're at the farmer's market, find someone selling meat and ask if it would be possible to go see the farm sometime.

Look, I don't want to be hostile. Clearly we disagree on some very fundamental things (like the notion that suffering has anything at all to do with ethical decisions) but I want to be very clear that I'm not trying to pick a fight or belittle you in any way. I just find some (most, frankly) of your views baffling, heartless, and honestly, pretty terrifying. But honest discussion is the whole point of CMV, right? And, I'd like to encourage you again to cite anything to justify your assertion that plants and animals should be given exactly the same ethical consideration (none). And again, please cite anything at all to support the notion that the capacity to suffer is of no moral consequence.

Thanks! I'm looking forward to your reply. I've tried to be very clear about the points I'd like you to address, and hopefully I succeeded.

u/weirds3xstuff · 12 pointsr/changemyview

There are two books that I have read that have done a great deal to help me understand the dynamics that allowed Europe to rise to dominance starting in the 17th century: Guns, Germs, and Steel, and Why Nations Fail. The former talks about the geographical and ecological considerations that stifled development outside of Europe. The latter talks about the role if extractive institutions, set up by colonial powers, that remained after decolonization and prevented previously-colonized nations from developing. I can't do their arguments justice here, but if you are sincerely interested in changing your view I strongly recommend reading those books. I'll try to address your specific points:

> it seems to me that those of European heritage have made the most long-lasting and significant contributions to mankind. To name a few: space travel, internet, modern technology and medicine.

All of these marvels are founded in the scientific method, which developed during the Enlightenment. The Enlightenment has been successfully exported to multiple non-European countries, most notably Japan. So, it's not just Europeans who are able to appreciate Enlightenment values. But the Enlightenment did start in Europe. So, to believe that the Enlightenment proves that Europeans are superior you must prove that the cause of the enlightenment was the innate character of Europeans, and not any contingent factors. That is...very difficult to do. And, yes, the burden of proof is on you, here, since the null hypothesis is that the biological distinctiveness of Europeans is unrelated to the start of the Enlightenment.

> I realize Arabs of ancient times also contributed a lot in the realms of mathematics and medicine.

Yes. Different civilizations have become world leaders at different points in history, which makes the idea of some kind of innate superiority of one civilization really hard to believe. It just so happens that the Islamic Golden Age occurred at a time when it was impossible to communicate over large distances, while the European Golden Age (which we are now in) occurred at a time when communication is instantaneous and we can project military power across the entire world. In other words, the global dominance of Europeans is historically contingent, not an immutable fact of biology.

>One argument I frequently hear to counter this position is that other nations have failed to develop due to colonization and exploitation.

This is an excellent argument, and is, essentially, correct.

> if they were on the same level as Europeans intellectually and strength wise, why couldn't they have found the means to fight back and turn the tables?

Although they were at the same level as Europeans "intellectually and strength wise", they were not at the same level technologically. Europe was in a golden age, Africa, India, and China were not. Again, the key here is that the European Golden Age occurred at a time when it was possible to travel the oceans and project military power worldwide. That was not the case in the Islamic Golden Age or the Indian Golden Age, which explains why those civilizations didn't conquer the world in the way the Europeans of the 19th century did.

>Instead of Europeans doing what they've done to others, why couldn't it have been the other way around?

Guns, Germs, and Steel does the best job of explaining this. In short: Europeans were blessed with livestock that could be domesticated and a consistent climate that allowed them to produce lots of food more efficiently that other regions of the world could, which allowed them to spend more time on other things, like technology. Again, the full argument is the length of a (very good) book, so I suggest you pick it up to get more details.

u/quantifical · 1 pointr/changemyview

> Haha, we're gonna get in the semantic mire here. My use of the word charity (I thought) kinda implies that 'is giving people direct charitable help the best form of charity'? Is the form of charity that 'charities' enforce the best use for £100 million? And who's to say the charities I pick would be the best. I can't really squeeze that all into a pithy headline. So no! Not yet haha.

Sorry, this just sounds so dishonest. Again, how does this prove that the government are the best? Again, if you don't know what's best, why are you saying they are?

I already gave you a solution if you don't know best that doesn't require the government. Quoting myself, "If you don't know which charities to donate to, why not an index fund of charities of sorts which excludes inefficient charities? For example, charities where, for every $1 donated, less than 80 cents actually goes towards helping people. We can let people vote for causes with their money and back those causes accordingly." Vote with your money or back the market of other people's votes.

> My evidence is that nothing else has done it better to raise living standards.

What evidence do you have that governments raise living standards?

Governments don't raise living standards. Businesses raise living standards. Governments getting out of the way of business helps businesses raise living standards.

Ensuring fair rule of law (no corporatism, no cronyism, etc.) and property rights (the promise that what you earn or have is yours to keep) for all is the only thing government can do to get out of the way of businesses.

Please read this book when you've got time.

> Do many third world countries have efficient democracies and government? To be fair, this is the best critique, because I think the utility of my point is directly relative to the amount of corruption, and rent seeking in the society. So yeah, it does depend.

No, you misunderstand how governments work and form. They (edit: third world country governments) fail to ensure fair rule of law and property rights.

> Except these fish have tried plenty of other gold fish bowls and they're rubbish.

What does this even mean?

u/beetjuice3 · 10 pointsr/changemyview

Pretty much all historical civilizations were sexist, since women were denied fundamental rights in them based on gender. Even if one were to agree with everything else you've written, your final conclusion/suggestion does not follow. I can't think of any significant, historical civilization that might be called non-sexist.

Biology is a fact of nature; you cannot "fight biology". That would be like fighting physics. No matter what you did, the laws of physics would still apply. What you are talking about, such as "scholarships for women only, to get them into areas of technology, engineering", and "specialized programs for boys only to help them in reading & writing" do not in any way fight biology, they leave biology just as it is. However, they do change society. Scholarships are societal creations designed to redistribute access to education, which is another societal creation. Education doesn't grow on trees; human beings artificially created the system of education. Hence, the educational system is an aspect of society, not biology.

The fact that there are some gender differences in the brain, statistically speaking, should be no big surprise. But many popularized studies tend to exaggerate or misinterpret these differences. I would suggest you read Delusions of Gender by Cordelia Fine, or Brain Storm: The Flaws in the Science of Sex Differences for a deeper look at these topics. Broadly, a study that shows no differences in how men and womens' brains, on average, perceive a topic won't make a good headline or blog post, so it will be unlikely to be reported compared to one that finds a difference.

Secondly, it's not clear what these differences have to do with social roles. For example, what does the fact that men have more spatial reasoning, on average, mean for social roles exactly? Since there are many intelligent and successful women in programming and engineering fields, and many men who suck in these areas, it does not follow that there is a casual relation between gender and STEM fields. On the other hand, engineering is clearly coded as a masculine profession in society, and girls may be turned away from studying engineering for fear of being seen as unfeminine. Scholarships that seek to counteract that would then be playing a positive role.

Finally, I see an assumption through your post that what is "nature" is automatically good and must be accepted by society. However, the whole point of civilization and society is go beyond nature itself to build something for ourselves, as humans. Is medicine natural? We are programmed to die from birth, yet we still use the medical system to prolong life. Since men are physically stronger than women, should men then dominate women and impose our wishes on them? No, we created a system of laws where all citizens are equal before it because we recognize the equal moral worth of each person. Freedom is the fundamental issue. Humanity as a whole, and individual people for their own lives, must have the freedom to define its own path and create its own society without being told that a certain path is required due to unnecessary extrapolations from natural facts.

u/allinallitsjusta · 3 pointsr/changemyview

>If President Trump is ideologically Conservative, why do his positions change so frequently?

Nobody makes decisions ideologically. This is why it is seemingly so difficult to convince people to change their minds with just information. You only change people's minds by influencing them socially / appealing to morality, etc.

Trump tapped into a moral framework (like most conservatives candidates) that covers the things that people than lean conservative care about. Conservatives, even people that are super far right, or super religious, voted for Trump and sincerely trust Trump because he appeals to the things they care about. This is why many conservatives will openly say that they will never vote for a Democratic candidate -- they don't feel that Democrats care about the things they care about (and they are right)

>My understanding is that he doesn't support any ideology

He certainly leans conservative but he is generally pretty moderate and does things based on what his supporters want.

>is there an implied hierarchy in the numbering?

Nope, all 6 are equal. But Liberals literally only care about (1) and (2) while conservatives tend to care about all of them relatively equally.

If you want to read a book entirely about this:

The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion. Really fascinating read, especially in today's political climate. It humanizes the other side because right now liberals think conservatives are evil and conservatives think liberals are insane. But if you realize that they are just working with different starting materials you can understand why they value the things that they value, and why it is so difficult to change a person's mind with facts.

u/luxury_banana · 0 pointsr/changemyview

I think that's a rather simplistic understanding of it all, OP. You have the gist of it right, though.

Essentially, women have what you might call a dual sexual strategy. They need resources and protection to help them survive and raise their children they have to adulthood, and they want their children to have "good genes." Unfortunately finding a man capable of providing both is not always possible, so you get things like Simon Cowell cuckolding Andrew Silverman by impregnating his wife. for example. This is largely why you see fat ugly rich men with hot wives, because they can't get a moneyed man who looks like a male model, so many of them settle for a moneyed man and screw good looking guys on the side. Men who have money but not looks should really, really, really make sure any children a woman claims are his has are actually their own with DNA paternity tests.

I think also a lot of today's sexual marketplace phenomenon such as the male virgin trope (as seen with /r/foreveralone posters--almost exclusively male) is explained by this. This is a day and age where women don't necessarily need men. So a large percentage of men who are simply not higher end physically attractive but yet not wealthy either are left essentially involuntarily celibate because women can either support themselves or get money to subsist off the welfare state without needing to trade sex with these men for resources.

Here's a relevant quote from a book you might want to read on this subject called The Red Queen.

> There has been no genetic change since we were hunter-gatherers, but deep in the mind of modern man is a simple hunter-gatherer rule: strive to acquire power and use it to lure women who will bear heirs; strive to acquire wealth and use it to buy affairs with other men’s wives who will bear bastards . . . Wealth and power are means to women; women are means to genetic eternity.

> Likewise, deep in the mind of modern woman is the same hunter-gatherer calculator, too recently evolved to have changed much: strive to acquire a provider husband who will invest food and care in your children; strive to find a lover who can give those children first-class genes. Only if she is very lucky will they both be the same man . . . Men are to be exploited as providers of parental care, wealth and genes.

u/samhasrabies · 1 pointr/changemyview

In The Selfish Gene, Richard Dawkins argues that the primary unit of natural selection is the gene (as opposed to the individual or the species). He even refers to any given organism as a "survival machine" for its genes.

Let's rethink your example of the Arctic moths: Given enough time, it is fair to assume that mutations will randomly occur in the gene that controls color. Genes for lighter coloration will allow their survival machines to better avoid predators, giving them longer lifespans and therefore more opportunities to reproduce. All of this translates to an evolutionary advantage for light-color genes over dark-color genes.

But wait! Before the dark-color genes completely die out, a new mutation develops: a gene (or more likely a set of genes) that endows the moths with the instinct and/or ability to build and stay in a safe-house.

Now we have two completely different survival strategies, but they are not necessarily in direct competition with one another. Either strategy on its own increases the chance of of an individual moth's longevity, therefore reproductive opportunity, therefore gene transmission. If the safe-house mutation (I think we are assuming that this is the stronger survival strategy) comes after the light-color mutation, light color will become obsolete as a determining factor of gene success. But it will likely still exist as some sort of co-dominant variation with no substantive impact on selection (like hair or eye color).

But what if, you ask, the safe house mutation came first? The population of moths has already gained the advantage of maximum longevity and has no need for camouflage. Light colors appear here and there over time, but never gain traction since they offer no evolutionary advantage. (like albinism or sixth fingers)

That's just the way it goes. The development of safe-house building moths displays natural selection in action, not its obsolescence. The moths didn't get together and decide to start building nests. They're just doing what their randomly mutated genes are telling them to do.

Sure, this cannot be said for humans so easily. We have the capacity to decide whether we put on camo, get to a safe place, or hit the gym. We can get our beefy brains around complicated problems like steel production and genetically engineered food (Woohoo! Unnatural selection!). So why do we need genes anymore?

The answer is: We don't. We never needed genes. Genes need us to ensure their transmission into the next generation. Furthermore, genes don't know anything; they just give us a blueprint and replicate. They don't know about the asphalt streets and air conditioning, they just keep on replicating with no regard to environment.

Then, a complicated mix of environment, timing, competition, food sources, predation, etc. determine which survival machines are best suited for reproduction. This happens over millions of years. In his/her lifetime a disadvantaged individual can become more successful as a survival machine (create more offspring) than an advantaged individual, but a disadvantaged gene will ALWAYS get weeded out through the eons.

In this respect, only the gene can become obsolete. The process of natural selection will always be at work as long as there is life.

As for the drastic change you mention in your edit, there is a flaw here. You seem to equate evolution with progress (stronger bones, tougher CNS, and so forth). It is important to note that evolution happens randomly at the mutation level. An individual might receive a mutated gene that gives him/her stronger bones, but that doesn't do anything for the new gene (let alone the species) until he/she makes babies that make babies that make babies until the gene finally gets a dominant presence in the gene pool. So the answer there is yes, if the catastrophe takes several generations to do its damage AND we get lucky with the mutations that occur in that tight window.

TL;DR: Natural selection is always going on, and various iterations of the gene that become obsolete as they are "selected" for failure. We will never see any substantive evolutionary change to a species occur within one human lifetime, but records show that it's simply the way life works in the grand scheme of things. Also, try to make some babies and die before the apocalypse comes.

u/PepperoniFire · 23 pointsr/changemyview

>Seems to me, if you wanted to be in good shape, there are much better ways to do it then spending months training to run an large yet arbitrary number of miles.

Most people do not run marathons simply to 'be in good shape.' That's one benefit of many but an erroneous framing of the issue. You can run to set a goal and meet it. It's not arbitrary; it has a history.

This usually starts out running a lower set of miles and working up. It's seeing tangible benefits for a constructive use of time. This is an important mental foundation of any kind of running but it often feeds into shorter-distance runners pushing themselves to a limit they've never envisioned themselves meeting. This is an emotional high that is very hard to match, though it is not exclusive to running.

Also, some people simply enjoy running. The fact that you see it as merely something to do to stay healthy is inevitably going to ignore that it is also something people can do for fun even if it's not your thing. I don't really see why people enjoy yoga even if I acknowledge some health benefits, but people who take part in yoga are also part of a community and a subset of fitness culture and also enjoy the act of taking part in it.

Building on that, there is a running community, ranging from ultra-marathon runners (if you think ~24 miles is bad, try 100+) to Hash Harriers. Individuals coming together as a group to set a goal and push each other is something from which a lot of people derive personal utility.

Finally, there's nothing that says long-distance running is ipso facto bad for you simply because it is long-distance. There is an argument to be made that much of human evolution focused in some part on the necessity of running for survival. You also need to acknowledge that some people, such as the Tarahumara, have an entire culture that revolves around long-distance running that surpasses the average marathon and colors everything ranging from education and holidays to courting and dispute revolution.

I can't really speak for nipple issues because I wear a sports bra, but needless to say it really shouldn't be enough to tip the scales from all of the above just because it doesn't fit one's neat aesthetic preference for athletic beauty.

Doing something for personal reward, community, and culture is not masochism.

EDIT: I forgot to add that marathons are super accessible. You don't even need to formally sign up for an event in order to run one. It's an egalitarian form of competition - either against yourself or others - that basically requires a shirt, shorts, shoes and fortitude. Some even view shoes as optional. Compare that to hockey, golf or football where they require investment in protective gear or pay-per-play course access at the least (at the most, a membership at a club.)

u/skybelt · 8 pointsr/changemyview

> Law makers making thing illegal because they know it'll effect minority's

Sure, check out this article which quotes Nixon's White House counsel:

> Nixon's White House counsel, John Ehrlichman, verified the intention of the War on Drugs in a 1995 interview with author Dan Baum, author of Smoke and Mirrors: The war on drugs and the politics of failure.

> "Look, we understood we couldn't make it illegal to be young or poor or black in the United States, but we could criminalize their common pleasure," Ehrlichman confessed. "We understood that drugs were not the health problem we were making them out to be, but it was such a perfect issue for the Nixon White House that we couldn't resist it."

The Nixon Presidency marked the beginning of the heavy criminalization of drug use. It is not a coincidence that Nixon's most famous contribution to our electoral history was the Southern strategy, designed to win Southern racists over to the Republican Party who were upset with Democratic support of the Civil Rights Movement. That's probably what Ehrlichmann meant about drugs being a "perfect issue for the Nixon White House."

I'm a little busy at work right now so won't address your other point here at the moment, but maybe someone else can find some good sources (there should be many) about police disproportionately interacting with minorities (leading to more arrests etc.). Stop and frisk would be a good example. Edit this article is as good a starting point as any for the various ways in which police disproportionately target minorities.

In general I think The New Jim Crow is an excellent account of many of these issues.

u/PeaceRequiresAnarchy · 2 pointsr/changemyview

I don't believe there should be a special group of 535 people with the entitlement to issue commands to 300 million others, no matter what mechanism you use to select those 535 people.

However, I'm not going to argue this here since I don't think I can convert you to my view in a short amount of space. Instead, I will take a different approach to changing your view:

> The most important issue in current US politics is changing how we elect government officials.

A more important issue is changing the incentives that lawmakers face. While the lawmaker selection mechanism affects these incentives, it remains that the selection mechanism is a less important issue than the larger issue of what incentives lawmakers have.

Power corrupts. No matter who is selected to be politicians, the politicians will have a very strong incentive to create laws that are not in the interests of the vast majority of the public (2 minute video clip).

If the politician selection mechanism was changed in such a way that it became very unlikely that any politician who voted for such bad laws would be re-elected, then the incentives politicians face would change, probably for the better. However, even though the politicians would know that they wouldn't be re-elected, it could conceivably still be in their self-interest to vote for bad laws that benefit a few at the expense of the many.

Therefore, the incentives politicians face is a more important issue than the mechanism used to select politicians.

u/Unknwon_To_All · 1 pointr/changemyview

Firstly we are getting really off topic here but ok.
your argument assumes that the government is competent enough to know what is best for society, something that I would disagree with:
as for your examples, I feel like debating healthcare would be too far off topic, there is no need to provide for dependents with UBI in place, people should give to charity through kindness, not because of a tax break and why should the government encourage house buying and starting a small business?

u/Juno_-_-___ · 12 pointsr/changemyview

>putting your needs above others

Have you ever heard of the term "paradoxical intent"? It was coined by a guy named Viktor Frankl. He was a holocaust survivor and psychologist who wrote a book on how to find meaning/happiness in a world that's total shit.

The term refers to the fact that in many areas of life, the harder you focus on something, the less likely you are to achieve that end. Finishing or not prematurely finishing sex, for instance. He argues that this generally applies to the pursuit of happiness. In his own words: "it is the very pursuit of happiness that thwarts happiness." Happiness results in finding meaning/purpose in life-- not in pursuing happiness. Look no further than most celebrities. His book's a quick read if you're interested. I'm sure you'd find it in your local library, too.

So let's consider TRP in this context. These folk have taken a route almost-universally acknowledged to lead to short-term happiness but misery in the end, and they're so damn happy about their choice that they spend their time convincing strangers on the internet that they're totally happy. Longitudinal studies are clear: long-term, meaningful relationships are key to happiness in life. You're listening to a bunch of 20-somethings offer (likely fabricated) anecdotes over the advice of actual research.

Listen to evidence, not reddit

u/laraferox · 0 pointsr/changemyview

I'm not interested in getting into a debate on the internet, but if you're curious about a different perspective I highly recommend this book. The author can get a bit ranty at times, but she does an excellent job of explaining how a lot of the conclusions we draw are based on faulty logic, and she talks about a bunch of theories and studies that don't get a lot of media attention but make perfect sense to me and help explain things that otherwise seemed out of place.

u/jeffsang · 0 pointsr/changemyview

Your definition of libertarianism is fine, but there's a lots of variety amongst us regarding what power, if any, should be retained by government. For example, I do think that managing externalities like carbon emissions is an appropriate role for government (Milton Friedman thought the same thing).

I think there's a principled as well as a practical reason to mostly be anti-regulation though.

The principled reason is that your rights can't can't compel me to do something. They can only prevent me from not doing something to you. So if I own a business, and I don't want to serve minorities (or in today's actual cultural climate, bake a wedding cake for a gay couple), then you can't use the state (i.e. men with guns) to force me to do what you want. Your liberty can not depend on my enslavement.

The practical reason is that in reality, the rulebook gets filled with thousands (millions?) of regulations that may or may not make sense. In practice, the state just keeps adding regulations. This book deals with how out of control federal laws and regulations have become

It's obviously impossible to know about every single regulation. There are some justifiable one and some indefensible ones. So I'm not ALWAYS against some new good ones, but if you ask me if we should in general be adding regulations or removing them, I go with removing them.

u/BeetleB · 1 pointr/changemyview

>f 2/3 of the public was never willing to change their view, how do you explain major shifts in public opinion over time?

The OP is talking about changing views based on facts and evidence.

As someone who has spent his whole life trying to change people's views based on objective fact and evidence, I tend to side with OP. It can work, but it is rare (although not as rare as 1%).

Many had recommended I read Influence by Cialdini. So I did. I now recommend it to everyone.

People will mostly change their views if it comes from someone who has influence over them. When said influential person presents the facts, they are more likely to change their views. But if a random person, or someone who is somehow different[1] presents the same facts, it has little effect. They don't change their views primarily because of the facts, but because of the person presenting the facts.

[1] What constitutes "different" will vary from person to person. It could be race/gender/sexual orientation/nationality/job/etc. It could be more complex: A tech geek is more likely to listen to another tech geek. Ever had/witnessed a conversation where someone says "I know what X is saying sounds crazy, but he's not (e.g. senior corporate manager), he is one of us. I think we should at least consider what he is saying". People are skeptical of the outgroup, but if someone in their ingroup says it, they are more likely to listen.

Also just read The Righteous Mind. Also highly recommend it. Too much in there to summarize, but he points out that if you want to change someone's mind, you'll have much more luck by applying Dale Carnegie's techniques than presenting facts and evidence. Be kind to people. Compliment them. Butter them up with gifts, etc. And so on.

Both are books by academics who study their subjects. Not some random bloke on Reddit.

u/ThatSpencerGuy · 2 pointsr/changemyview

The internet is a very good place to go for people who are very worried about what other people believe. It's not so good at changing anyone's behavior, since you can't observe others' behavior through a computer. But you sure can tell people they are wrong and demand that they agree.

That means that the vegans you're encountering online aren't representative of all vegans. They're just the vegans who are very worried about what they and other people believe. By definition, that's not going to be a very humble subset of vegans.

Most vegans change other people's minds far away from the internet. They do it by simply purchasing, preparing, and eating vegan food, and when asked why they eat that way, explaining their position simply and without judgement.

> I also can't mention to anyone I know that I'm eating vegan because of the obvious social consequences.

I don't know if that's true. I don't think many people experience social consequences for their diet alone. Here's what I do if I don't want to talk about my reasons for being vegetarian, but someone asks me. I say, "Oh, you know--the usual reasons." If they press, I say, "Animal rights, environmental impact, that kind of thing." And I always go out of my way to explain that I "just ate less meat" for a while before becoming a full vegetarian. And also make sure I compliment others' omnivorous meals so people know I'm not judging anything as personal as their diet.

There's a wonderful book called Eating Animals whose author, I think, takes a very reasonable and humble approach to the ethics of eating meat.

u/lifeishowitis · 1 pointr/changemyview

Check out Ann Transon, and other documented female 100mi. runners. While men have outperformed her, she did hold the record for a time and even now her record is only beat by about a minute, which is negligible over the course of 100 miles. While men will tend to outperform even in these cases, the time differences are multiples smaller than they are in sprinting and marathons.

Some of the theory behind why can be found here. He wrote a book on it called Born to Run if you're interested in looking into the original source materials or criticisms against his methodology. I have the book on order, but I find the theory behind why this might be the case pretty compelling.

*edit: let me go ahead and caveat that by saying while a minute is anything but negligible for athletic purposes, it's more than sufficient to make my point about men and women hunting or at least traveling for the hunt together. While many results are less fantastic, it seems that it's not uncommon for the long distance men and women to be only a few minutes apart.

u/DonkeyOatie · 1 pointr/changemyview

I read the article; thank you for providing it.

There is a huge gap in our assumptions (a la Haidt) and I don't think it would be fruitful to continue. I appreciate your good faith interaction.

u/r3m0t · 0 pointsr/changemyview

> men continued to out-earn their female counterparts, by about 7%, even when graduating from the same school, choosing the same major and working in the same occupation. Source

1/1.07 = 93%.

> Where do women in universities get less pasty for the same qualifications/job title? I am honestly asking, never seen this before - I would be interested to find out.

It was a hypothetical based on information like this, however you might find the data on this page or on Google.

There was more I could have clipped, but I felt bad taking the whole chapter. Maybe you should buy the book if you want to find out more. :)

> But these things are sort of slow reaching changes that stem from social attitudes that evolve over time.

I agree, and I think that we aren't even near halfway to equality in terms of how much time it will take, even though many great strides were made in the last century. Part of the reason is people assuming that the problem is already solved because they haven't looked very closely. That's why I'm so active in this thread. :)

u/Rick___ · 1 pointr/changemyview

Crimea? Isn't that a river?

Yes, people are ignorant about economics and politics. And that's fine as long as there aren't systematic biases that pull policy away from the ideal (ideal based on some aggregation of everyone's preferences). But that condition doesn't seem to be the case.

Okay, so there is systemic and damaging ignorance and we can't simply wave a wand and make people spend less time having fun and all go out and learn economics, sociology, political science, etc. But your friends can surely discuss ignorance. What are its sources? (hint: time is scarce) What are it's implications? (hint: reducing the scope of government would reduce the problem)

u/SDBP · 1 pointr/changemyview

> That's perhaps the root of your misunderstanding here.

It is actually two separate issues. One is on whether there is an obligation to vote. The other is whether most people are warranted in voting. My arguments against there being an obligation to vote may stand even if my argument regarding most people being irrational about politics (and thus shouldn't vote) fails.

> You think most people have no idea at all what sort of government and laws there should be? That's a ridiculous statement.

Well, I wouldn't exactly phrase it like that ("no idea"). For example, they are aware that representative democracy is better than a dictatorship or a new monarchy. But you'd be kidding yourself if you think most people are highly informed on the facts surrounding todays political issues or if you think people are sufficiently reflective enough in their philosophy. This isn't just confusing jargon. There are good reasons to think voters are irrational about politics. People like watching American Idol. And they have jobs to do and families to raise and friends to spend time with. They don't like reading policy analysis and rigorously reflecting on their thoughts and values. It's too much work, and not enough benefit (unless they personally enjoy it.) So they don't do it.

> Barack Obama is running against a Neo-Nazi in 2012. The Neo-Nazi candidate is proposing that we kill all the Jews in America. You think most people would have no good reason to oppose the new holocaust that is being proposed by the Neo-Nazi? Would you still advocate not voting?

As I said above, people know enough to oppose neo-nazis. But don't pretend like modern political issues aren't far more complex than that.

> Would you still advocate not voting [in the Obama vs. Neo-nazi scenario]?

There are two issues here: (1) Would I advocate not voting? (2) Would I advocate that someone doesn't have an obligation to vote?

As to (1), recall my reasons for saying most people shouldn't vote. It was that they are irrational when it comes to politics, and they are thusly not often epistemically warranted in supporting the candidates they support. In this hypothetical scenario, because people are epistemically warranted in being anti-Nazi, then it would certainly be permissible for them to vote to avoid the Nazi. (But in reality, people aren't typically epistemically warranted in being for/against Obama or Romney or whoever -- they sway whichever way fear mongering, propaganda, and their ideological upbringing directs them.)

As to (2), in the Obama vs Neo-nazi election, whether someone has an obligation to vote depends on whether their vote is likely to effect the outcome. If it isn't (say they don't live in a swing state, and their district is solidly pro-Obama or pro-Neo-nazi), then they don't have an obligation -- voting in such a scenario does nothing to promote the public good. If it is likely to matter, then yes, one should go vote.

In reality, in my case, in my state and my district, my vote has no such meaning and impact. It is not likely to effect the outcome (I am far more likely to win the lottery. And it isn't often even clear to me which outcome, which candidate, would be better.

u/A_Soporific · 1 pointr/changemyview

Seeing like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed introduces a number of these essential concepts and goes a little into the background, and really finds the edges of the thing by finding those cases where they fall apart completely. I also think that it has the right overall tone to not repulse someone with an anarchic bent. There are better surveys from an academic perspective, but legibility is important.

u/auryn0151 · 0 pointsr/changemyview

> Government regulation and taxation is the result of a voluntary social contract that you have made with the government that, if you agree to live within this territory, you must follow these particular rules.

I would HIGHLY encourage you to read this book:

u/journeytointellect · 4 pointsr/changemyview

I don't know if you are a reader, but this book has really interesting perspectives.

(FYI I'm not trying to make an argument that "he had it worse so you have nothing to complain about. I just find that he had an interesting perspective on life.)

In the particular part I'm talking about, he talks about how each person is unique in who they are and what they have to offer to the world and what they are able to do. He gives the opinion that if you aren't there to do what you have the talent to do and what you could do for the world, nobody else will be able to do it the way you could. In that way, you are unique and irreplaceable.

I think he does a better job of explaining it than I do and I would really suggest reading it. I mean if you are thinking of suicide, I would generally say don't do it. Obviously I can't stop you but I would ask you to read that book first. I think it has a very powerful message.

u/SurprisedPotato · 6 pointsr/changemyview

> highschool-university girls/boys

You observe these people not matching up, and propose a theory. Other commenters have pointed out problems with your theory (if makeup didn't work, people wouldn't use it).

Here's another theory that fits the facts, and also explains why people use make-up.

  • people are highly selective about who they match up with, and instinctively know that in HS/Uni, there's really no urgency.
  • people don't really know 100% if they are a 5 or 7 or 9. Even if they do, it makes sense for a 5 to aim for a 9 when there's still time to be choosy. They might get lucky, but if not, it's no great loss, there's still time. Artificially bumping their number with make-up or clothing or regular gym visits increases their odds of getting lucky.
  • Partly, in HS/uni, people aren't actually trying to find their match, their are practicing the social queues that they'll need when they do try.
  • It's only when the pool starts to deplete as people actually get engaged and married that people start to settle for matches at their "actual" numbers.
  • most importantly all this is subconscious, people play these strategic dating & mating games without really being aware of what they're doing.

    Here's a book I'd recommend that sheds some light on this whole topic.
u/salvadors · 2 pointsr/changemyview

> The action to document basic informations about every citizen is essential in my mind in order to properly manage the country

What about the countries where this information isn't kept (e.g. the UK, or most other common law countries)? Are they not properly managed?

It's certainly true that governments tend to want to create these sorts of databases, but that doesn't mean they're essential. Seeing Like A State even makes a compelling argument that such schemes tend to be largely detrimental as they always require squeezing a complex reality into an over-simplified structure.

u/ShapersB · 1 pointr/changemyview

Social interaction is a skill, not a personality trait. Anyone can learn it, although extroverts might have a slight advantage because they naturally get more practice.

It sounds like you're not comfortable with being introverted. I would really recommend the book Quiet by Susan Cain.

u/TheConnections · 2 pointsr/changemyview

Wow. Well I apologize for being lazy and posting an unreliable source. However I think you wasted your time "debunking" that article. Firstly, both of your sources are the same thing. Secondly here and here: "" are two more reliable sources. The purpose of these studies are to explain why African American men are at a dramatically higher risk for prostate cancer.

That was not my main point anyways. My point was "pseudo-science" is called when it involves racial differences, even if the reasoning is sound.

> IQ is heritable. It is also influenced by numerous other factors, as listed in your wiki link, such as access to education, health, nutrition, pollution, socio-economic status, etc, etc, etc.

Of course it is. It is influenced by environment and also genetics.

> There is a shitton of studies showing this. However, there is not a single credible study which remotely concludes in any way that race and IQ share a causal relationship.

Have you heard of The Bell Curve and The g Factor?

> Never heard of the guy. Sounds interesting. I'll look into it.

Oh are you familiar with most human genetics professors? Yes, do look into it. I provided you two sources.

> But that doesn't mean big brains = big smarts.

It addresses that in the article

u/[deleted] · 6 pointsr/changemyview

> How would that ever possible even start to happen? also see the link I gave in the growth section which is caused by the same issue. We also use this effect to our advantage in a number of cases.

In regards to the links you gave that's the danger of understanding economics via media sources, you can misrepresent data to mean whatever you want. This is required reading for most economists when they are learning about the field, all sorts of controls exist in economics to ensure work doesn't misrepresent data to mean whatever it likes.

u/icallmyselfmonster · 3 pointsr/changemyview

But not all crimes are immoral, you would be placing undue difficulty on people who are generally good but commit crimes that affect nobody.

Also if you start to eliminate most crimes, even minor divergence from the imposed norm are magnified. Until a person like you is impacted.

EDIT: the book Three Felonies A Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent might be of interest to you.

u/ps1lon · 0 pointsr/changemyview

/r/Antinatalism's Wiki presents the basic arguments better than I can. But reading may be obligatory for more details.

u/bguy74 · 3 pointsr/changemyview

The accessible version is covered by the book by Haidt (who I thinks is also an author of the study I'm about to try to go find). it is:

u/skadefryd · 1 pointr/changemyview

Believe it or not, there is a fairly well-defended philosophical thesis somewhat similar to your defense of anti-natalism, although the position it takes is possibly even more extreme.

The short version is: Failing to bring a person into existence means that they do not experience certain benefits, but a person who is not brought into existence cannot be said to be deprived of such benefits. However, a person who is brought into existence experiences serious harms that otherwise would not have befallen them at all. Thus, even if beneficial experiences outweigh harmful ones in the end (as you concede they might), the harm incurred in bringing someone into existence is always greater.

The name of the book is Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence by David Benatar.

edit, since I've apparently violated rule 1: Why would consent be important? In our society, we regularly entrust legal guardians with the power to give consent on behalf of family members or loved ones who cannot legally consent.

u/Not_Pictured · 1 pointr/changemyview

> The state can do lots of things that we don't allow individuals to do.

Of course they can. It's called being a monopoly.

u/ralph-j · 1 pointr/changemyview

I don't think that we currently know the exact evolutionary origin, but there are some reasonable hypotheses.

If you view organisms as survival machines, there is quite an advantage in being able to simulate strategies to decide what to do next, without having to use trial and error. Over time, those simulations would likely start including a more and more refined representation of the self, leading eventually to self-awareness.

My view is paraphrased from the Selfish Gene.

u/nabiros · 2 pointsr/changemyview

I think 3 felonies a day is probably a bit of an exaggeration but I think it's absolutely true that every adult in the country unknowingly commits felonies regularly.

u/RandomePerson · 2 pointsr/changemyview

> I probably do. I will try my best to suppress all these weird nonsense thoughts and also get professional help as soon as I can.

There is nothing wrong with you! You probably don't need help. As one or two others have mentioned, you are more than likely extremely introverted. This is a legitimate psychological profile, not a disorder.

Ask yourself these two questions:

  1. Are you honestly happy with the number of friends you currently have?
  2. Do you genuinely desire more?

    If the answers to those two questions are a sincere "yes" and "no" respectively, then there is no problem.

    OP, I recommend you try reading [Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susain Cain]. (

    It's entertaining (though not particularly brilliant), and it literally changed my life. I am very much like you; I have few friends, and honestly don't want more, for many of the same reasons you gave earlier. I spent the whole of my life made to feel that there was something fundamentally wrong with me, that I was a loser, or pathetic, and had trouble with peers and coworkers because my introversion was often mistaken for elitism. Reading this book helped me realize that there was absolutely nothing wrong with me! After that, my life got significantly happier, as I no longer felt guilty about wanting to be alone. Not only that, but my mental and emotional stress in feeling like I always had to do damage control for preferring to read a book at lunch rather than to gossip with others completed dissipated; this book helped me come to the realization that if someone assumed I thought lowly of them because I politely declines to go to an event with them, it said more about their emotional immaturity, insecurity, and probable egocentricism than it did about me.
u/SammyD1st · 0 pointsr/changemyview

> No need to worry about hypothetical people who never existed.

While I admit that this seems intuitive, this very point is hotly debated among philosophers. On one side is this, and you can easily google responses to that book that argue the other side, if you feel so inclined.

u/EvilNalu · 3 pointsr/changemyview

But why? Is there any good reason why that would be the case? Since we have the capability to write things down and refer to them later, shouldn't we want to increase clarity? As a lawyer and a significant believer that our criminal laws are in a severe state of overreach, I still think that the larger problem is vague laws, not too many or too confusing laws. When overzealous prosecutors bring questionable cases, it is almost never the case that they are making use of arcane laws that the defendant has never heard of. It is usually the case that they are applying existing laws to fact scenarios that the actors did not believe to be criminal. This problem is only made worse when we trade clarity for brevity.

I had the good fortune to acquire a free copy of the book Three Felonies A Day which I think is very much in the spirit of our discussion. If you have not already, I suggest that you read it, or at least some of it. It includes many case studies on malicious or overreaching prosecutions. I think you will notice that usually it is a vague bribery, racketeering, fraud, or similar statute that is used. These are not hidden and arcane, they are known to everyone, but they are so broad and vague that their contours are not easily defined and it is easy to come up with plausible arguments that innocent conduct falls within their ambit. I suggest to you that this is the much larger problem and we should not be so eager to trade clarity for brevity.

u/Shaneydev · 3 pointsr/changemyview

What do you mean by politically disingenuous?

Associating political beliefs with the values of individuals is the primary research focus of Jonathan Haidt, one of the world's leading social psychologists. He wrote The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion which goes into deep detail about how a person's underlying psychology and subsequent value system (as well as a certain amount of environmental upbringing) form their political beliefs. So a lazy association? No.

The same guy, Jonathan Haidt, himself a liberal professor at NYU, is one half of the pair who wrote the most widely cited non-academic piece on Victimhood Culture, bringing it from academia and into the mainstream media with this article, called "The Coddling of the American Mind", which he further expanded upon in his own website here.

Though Professor Haidt says people on either side of the right/left spectrum can be prone to getting 'sucked into' victimhood culture, he says that "the narrative of oppression and victimization is especially congenial to the leftist worldview (Haidt 2012:296; Kling 2013; Smith 2003:82)".

But I want you to explain what is "politically disingenuous" about my above comment.

u/learhpa · 1 pointr/changemyview

The government may not be looking to arrest you for downloading the latest tomb raider game, but it IS a crime.

So some day when they want something from you, they can use their knowledge about that to blackmail you.

The average American commits three felonies a day. Do you honestly think that any agency is sufficiently incorruptible that, with the knowledge needed to go after anyone they want, they will refrain from doing so?

Worse yet, what happens when these agencies start blackmailing the legislators into doing what the agencies want? Mass surveillance gives them the means, how much do you trust them not to develop the desire? Even if they're not doing it now, eventually they will. And once they do, democracy is dead.

u/noott · 1 pointr/changemyview

You should read this book. It's short, succinct and shows one problem with evidence - your view of the same data set can be skewed through clever manipulation.

A few examples are in order.

There are many instances in advertising where you want to show the average value of something, say the average weight loss for your new diet pill. "Average 20 pounds lost!"

Well, that's quite a trick. What average? They're likely to choose the mean, rather than median, because it is more sensitive to extreme values and would increase the "average" for the same data set. They'll never tell you which average they used.

There's a second trick in the example. 20 pounds lost? In what time span? Without specifying, which advertisers generally don't, it's not even clear if the pill is more effective than a proper diet.

Another common example of how to skew perception: the choice of axes on graphs. Say the GDP falls from 50,000 to 49,000 per capita for a country. If you choose the axis of the plot to range from 48,500 to 50,500 or so, it'll look like a catastrophic drop. If you choose the axis to range from 0 to 100,000, the drop will look insignificant. If you plot on a logarithmic scale, it might be hard to tell there's even a difference!

There are lots more examples. The problem is that data can be manipulated in tricky ways to reach whatever conclusion you want. Peer review in science is a counter-measure to this, which generally doesn't exist in politics.

u/EarthandEverything · 0 pointsr/changemyview

>Hitler utilized some socialist policies and talking points, but he also oversaw massive privatization as well

No he didn't. this is a lie.

>as the murder of many socialists including the more socialism-inclined members of the Nazi party (the Strasserists)

Stalin murdered more socialists than hitler could shake a stick at in the purges. killing fellow socialists is a well established socialist tradition.

>The Nazi party may have had the word "socialist" in their name, but they were an explicitly anti-left party, certainly after the Night of Long Knives.

anti marxist does not mean they weren't socialist.

>That doesn't make it socialist or communist.

No, but calling your fucking party that and teaming up with other socialists does.

u/Unshkblefaith · 1 pointr/changemyview

I think he is referring to this nonsense. This site is largely culled from this book and is full of little more than sensationalist nonsense. In each case they claim that you may have committed an "arguable felony" but the pretexts are all so thin that the charge is nearly impossible to convict. The "real-world" examples they provide also ignore large parts of their context and are deceitfully manipulated to reinforce their premise.

u/Popular-Uprising- · 0 pointsr/changemyview

Why are you so hostile?

Read the book if you don't like the source. Or maybe even refute the concept. Or perhaps you're just upset that you've been called out and proven wrong repeatedly in this thread.

>So, again, what felonies am I committing every day?

What color shoes am I wearing? How many hats has Milton Freedman's dog chewed?

u/huadpe · 5 pointsr/changemyview

>In this case, I don't know if I agree. This statute was clearly enacted prior to electronic correspondence being a widespread communication method and as such does not cover it. The intent of the law, however, does seem to be to cover all methods of disseminating information in written form. The courts have extended such older definitions to cover electronic distribution in other cases to comply with the spirit of the law and such an extension would seem reasonable in this case.

I'm not talking about paper versus electronic though. If there's a PDF with "TOP SECRET" digitally stamped on it, then she'd still meet that element of the charge. Rather, the question is whether mental knowledge is encompassed by the statute. Mental knowledge certainly existed when the statute was written. If she wrote the information out herself, especially given her status as an original classification authority, it's very hard to prove a violation of section (f).

>And there is where we philosophically differ and is the underpinning of why we see this from opposing solutions. I don't agree with that tradition at all -- the POTUS should be held to the highest standards given the power and importance of that position. If there is evidence that they should be tried for a crime, then they should be tried for that crime and let the justice system work the way it is intended for every American. A POTUS candidate shouldn't get a pass on potentially illegal activity just because they are a POTUS candidate; it is that selectivity and elitism that has so many people up in arms about the disconnectedness of Washington insiders.

I think the reason I find this so troublesome is that the scope of Federal criminal law is so vast that everyone is guilty of something. If you start aggressively using Federal criminal law against candidates, you're going to convict all of them of something. And that gets you the past month in Brazil. Much like if you aggressively investigated almost any ordinary American you'd likely be able to convict them of something.

u/jaja1948 · -2 pointsr/changemyview

Unless career criminals are convicted by a court of law beyond a reasonable doubt, their lives hold the same utility in the eyes of the judicial system than a so-called innocent person. Also, what defines a career criminal? On average an American commits 3 felonies a day without knowing it.

u/HealthcareEconomist3 · 0 pointsr/changemyview

> I am aware that I have privileges.

As a social scientist (of the dismal variety) I am pretty dismayed at the rise of this gibberish, it is entirely wrong based on how we understand race, ethnicity and gender to actually function in the real world and distracts from the real issues that still face various groups of people.

You should reject privilege because its nonsense not because you don't contribute towards it. Regarding the "checklist" most of the items are simply outright wrong or misleading, to pull one example out in the misleading category;

> If a traffic cop pulls me over or if the IRS audits my tax return, I can be sure I haven't been singled out because of my race.

Work in the last couple of decades on how the justice system in general responds to PoC has focused on distinguishing between overt racism (pulling someone over because they are black) and situational statistical bias (pulling over someone driving a suspect car in a bad neighborhood which has increased police presence, as statistically these neighborhoods have a higher incidence of black people such situations introduce a non-racist bias in to metrics), papers like this have investigated these effects.

Generally discrimination tends to be along socioeconomic lines rather then ethnic or gender lines, people discriminate against those they consider poor rather then those from a different ethnicity and/or gender.

Also the IRS comment is particularly odd as if you were looking at stats it would appear the IRS were targeting White & Asian people, in reality (as with so many other things) its simply that the incidence of audits is higher among the wealthy and racial demographics of the wealthy are more strongly White/Asian then the population as a whole. Its easy to read too much in to statistics as presented, this is required reading for economics students precisely because of how simple and prevalent this problem is.

u/okayfrog · 6 pointsr/changemyview

>Another claim made by BLM is that they are regularly targeted by police officers in an unfair manner. This can be attributed to the fact that blacks commit a highly disproportionate amount of crime.

So what you're saying is that it's okay for officers to treat all blacks poorly because blacks are more likely to be criminals? I hope you're able to see why that would be a problem.

I would also suggest reading The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander. It doesn't shy away from the fact that a larger percentage of blacks than whites commit crimes in America. What it focuses on is the fact that the punishment for these crimes are usually unfairly more harsher for blacks than whites. It also brings up the fact that poorer blacks are more likely to be targeted than poorer whites despite having similar crime rates.

There is most certainly a problem, it's just not so much in the open as in other countries.

u/InTheory_ · 0 pointsr/changemyview

I personally believe it was wrong to do so. The effects of radiation and fallout is not fundamentally different than using chemical or biological weapons -- which would be considered war crimes.

The argument that "it saves the lives of our troops" falls flat when dealing with chemical or biological weapons. It is wrong no matter how many lives it saves. Why are atomic weapons held to a different standard when they produce byproducts that do the same thing?

However, if any argument could be made for their use, the best one is that, in this case, ignoring the destructive capabilities of today's thermonuclear weapons, the kilotons unleashed by the Hiroshima/Nagasaki bombs were actually comparable with other bombing campaigns of WWII. They are on the high side for sure, but not orders of magnitude higher as we often imagine. It just happened all at once, as opposed to raids lasting many consecutive days. Just look up the bombings of, say, Tokyo or Hamburg.

Additionally, if you believe atomic weapons are a historical inevitability (that given enough time, someone will eventually develop them), then whoever builds it first has a HUGE advantage on the world stage. Their use isn't simply for Japan's sake, but to serve as a deterrent to future nations. To suggest not building them would be to argue that a nation should nobly accept their demise on world stage. A case can be made for that on moral grounds, but it's an argument that won't be made without significant resistance.

War is horrible no matter how it's fought.

If you're interested in nuclear history, read Command and Control by Eric Schossler, or listen to the most recent podcast of Hardcore History by Dan Carlin. They don't really deal with the morality of the Japan bombings, but the more you know about the subject, the less sleep you'll get.

u/toryhistory · 1 pointr/changemyview

>The point was they wouldn’t have invested in the V2 and would have put that into the nuclear program

And that point is, in a word, wrong. The V-2 program delivered a 2000lb warhead. Early nukes weighed 10,000lb. And it's not just the weight. early nukes were finicky, not reliable enough to go on the heads of ballistic missiles. There are reasons no one was able to build a reliable nuclear ballistic missile until the late 50s.

> the German strategy was majorly flawed, they needed a different one if they were to actually succeed.

Yes, it was. the strategy you've suggested, however, is much more flawed.

>I pointed out they had the capability to do what everyone feared...they did,

No, they did not. They did not have the capability to to that, and they had even less capability to do what you suggested they do. The plan is completely unrealistic, both from a then-sight perspective and from a hindsight perspective. 3 atomic bombs in 1945 do not win the war for germany. Spending 2 billion dollars to get them does ensure they lose the war a lot sooner.

>If they had went with nukes instead of rockets they still would have had the ability to hit the eastern seaboard by plane from from Spain.

No, they would not have. Putting aside the fact that they didn't control spain, it's more than 3000 miles from the US to spain, TWICE the distance B-29s flew to bomb japan. They would have needed a plane the size of the B-36, something the US didn't have until long after the war, and something well beyond the capacity of even the paper studies the germans were doing during the war.

>They didn’t need Russia to conquer England,

Yes, they did. That need was precisely why they invaded russia. Without access to more raw materials, the germans had no hope of being able to master the air and sea around the UK, without that, they were as stuck as napoleon was.

>which under a united German front would have happened in 1941,

No, it wouldn't have. Operation sealion was utterly hopeless. I can point to any of a dozen books on the subject, all with the same conclusion.

>and without PH would have given the US a president that wasn’t FDR to deal with Germany, and likely one that would have ran on a protectionist agenda....possibly even an agenda that would have put us somewhat in line with German interest.

this is just incoherent.

u/EconomistMagazine · 3 pointsr/changemyview

Regression: The right of former criminals. (also disproportionately targeting minorities for crimes)

This might take the form of "all 50 states doing this simultaneously" instead of "federally" but the results are the same. In the 20th century there have been many facets of the War On Drugs (WOD) and being Tough On Crime (TOC). The first big push happened under Nixon, then the second under Reagan.

When these two popular republicans were elected they consoled white working class voters that were put off by racial and economic issues. By saying you were "tough on crime" the presidents and almost every governor and state legislature was able to target minorities, or disaffected groups and make it look like they were doing something. These policies did little good, had disproportionate racial impact, and by that I mean they mostly targeted blacks for crimes that appeared equally among whites.

New ways people were hurt and rights turned back by being TOC:

  1. Three strikes laws (more jail time for a third offense, even if you already paid society back for your previous offenses).

  2. Mandatory Minimum Sentences (takes judge's authority away and punishes people more strictly than a reasonable person would deem appropriate).

  3. The right of equal treatment for WOD or TOC offenses (see crack vs coke sentencing)

  4. Mass incarceration in general (jail time for minor offenses, jail time for non-violent offenses, private prisons paying political donation money to politicians that promise to be TOC, race bating by politicians to get whites to vote TOC even if there is no more crime than before which was incredibly common).

    source: The New Jim Crow
u/howardson1 · 0 pointsr/changemyview

The poor and working classes are being oppressed by the state. The reason why the poor make low wages or are unemployed, forcing them onto the welfare state, is because of government policies. Low wages are a result of a lack of skills. Nearly 50 percent of the people of Detroit are illiterate. Part of the problem is that teacher pay is not meritocratic and tenure prevents teachers from being fired, so dropping out of school would be as good an option as staying. Occupational licensing traps the poor in mcjobs or unemployment when they could be making money as cab drivers, food venders, or hair braiders. Agricultural price supports, tariffs, and quotas are the reason why food is so expensive, and zoning laws prevent cheap high density housing from being built in suburbs. Thousands of poor minority youths are sent to gulags because of the war on drugs, and once released into the jobs market, they have no skills. The war on drugs also inflates drug prices and incentivizes gang warfare. Most of the poor have access to refrigerators, microwaves, x boxes, TV sets, washing machines, cell phones, and computers, and these goods get cheaper every year while quality improves because they are produced by the private sector. Schools get more expensive every year while quality worsens, and public housing are derelict gang overrun crack houses, because were made and managed by politicians and bureacrats. Politicians have the incentive to support policies that create a permanent underclass so that the poor will be dependent on pro welfare politicians, winning them votes. A real solution to poverty, not a band aid that exacerbates the problem, is to eliminate occupational licensing laws for certain professions, the war on drugs, farm subsidies, anti high density zoning laws, and other legislation that oppresses the poor.

u/Nessunolosa · 8 pointsr/changemyview

Hiya, I am a person who lived in Korea in 2012-2013 and for six months up to April this year. I don't have a military perspective on the issue, but I can tell you a little about my experiences in Korea.

Firstly, know that this uptick in worry and hand-wringing about an imminent nuclear attack by North Korea goes in cycles. The US media get annoyed or bored with whatever it is that they are covering, and start to focus on NK again. This happens about once a year, usually in the springtime. In 2012 it was an imminent existential threat. In 2013 it was, too. As it was in 2014, 2015, 2016, and this year. You can almost set your watch by the coverage, and it is almost always as doomsday as the last time. I went on google's search engine and looked for 'north korea' as a search term for the time since 2004 and made images of each individual year here. Admittedly, 2017's graph looks a little different, but you can clearly see the cycles in the previous years. I would be willing to bet that 2017's graph is more due to POTUS tweeting and the generalized anxiety of the Left in the States than a genuine march toward war.

I'll be that you didn't know there was a genuine exchange of fire in Korea in 2010. There were tense moments of actual live fire for that whole of that year, leading to a 23 November bombardment of a South Korean island by North Korean artillery. 70+ South Korean houses were destroyed, and several were killed on both sides. Even with the tensions and the live artillery, the peninsula did not descend into open war.

In addition, you should know that the coverage of NK issues tends to be overblown in US media. I heard this story from even the likes of NPR the other day, and laughed aloud at the ridiculousness of it. It's lines like this that get the people back in the US riled up:

Defense Secretary James Mattis went within feet of the curbstone separating North and South Korea, where grim-faced North Korean troops stared across at him. It's known as one of the scariest spots on the planet.

That whole story is hyperbolic (and irresponsible reporting, imho). I went to the border at that exact place. It's part of a civilian tourist trip that runs almost every day. It wasn't exactly as the reporter made it seem, like he'd been helicoptered into an active conflict zone.

The DMZ is sad, confusing, and very absurd. But it's probably one of the safest places on Earth. You are infinitely more likely to be shot in any major United States city than at the DMZ. I'll concede that landmines are not a normal worry in US cities, but they don't tend to go off in the DMZ, either. The last time one went off was in 2015 (wounding two).

This time, admittedly, Trump is involved. But that doesn't change things too much except for making people feel more nervous. For this, I'm afraid that I have only a long-term remedy. You need to read Eric Schlosser's Command and Control. This book changed my views on nuclear weapons and greatly improved my understanding of the ways that a nuclear war could start. I don't feel comforted necessarily, but hearing about the ways that generals dealt with say, an alcoholic, depressed, borderline suicidal Nixon during the Watergate scandal made me feel a whole lot better about Trump being POTUS.

Finally, China. They are ascendant, gaining power, and working to make the region stable. They will not tolerate NK's bullshit rising to the level that the US might strike them. They'd just invade first. It wouldn't lead to massive, open conflict with the USA or South Korea. China is a player of the long game, and they will withdraw their support from the NK regime if necessary.

Hope that this helps! Please don't worry about this. Worry about more immediate problems in your own community.

u/Kazmarov · 7 pointsr/changemyview

There are serious and endemic issues facing African-Americans today. They are not fairly represented in politics, and people in the inner cities for several reasons have the deck heavily stacked against them. While it's true that through hard work some of them may get out of poverty, it's not at all comparable to the upward mobility of middle-class whites.

The reason the inner city is a crap place to live and grow up is due to several discriminatory policies, including redlining. Black neighborhoods were denied loans and insurance from banks through federal policy dating back to the 1930s. This had several effects. an important one being that black people couldn't get a mortgage in a white neighborhood, they were largely left in the urban core while post WWII whites moved to the suburbs.Since whites had much of the business capital, jobs began to leave the inner city and move out. Thus blacks were now living in a place with few jobs, and the remaining jobs were far away and difficult to access without a car. In sociology this is called a spatial mismatch.

Job discrimination is rampant and inhibits blacks from getting careers with promotion opportunities. A famous sociological study called "The Mark of a Criminal Record" (PDF) found a large racial disparity when confederates applied for jobs. In one set, both white and black individuals applied for jobs without stating a criminal record, in the other they stated they DID have a criminal record. The end result (p. 958) is that blacks without a criminal record get fewer callbacks than whites with a criminal record. In a more recent study it was found that people with "black-sounding" names had to send 50% more applications to get a callback than people with white-sounding names.

The criminal justice system is rife with racial discrimination:

>On average, blacks receive almost 10% longer sentences than comparable whites arrested for the same crimes. At least half this gap can be explained by initial charging choices, particularly the filing of charges carrying mandatory minimum sentences. Prosecutors are, ceteris paribus, almost twice as likely to file such charges against blacks.


Mandatory minimum sentences tend to be for crimes that blacks commit more frequently than whites. In murder cases, whites that kill blacks serve shorter sentences than blacks who kill whites, and blacks are far more likely to get the death penalty.

There are far more things that could be addressed. Blacks are packed into gerrymandered districts that were originally meant to get blacks elected to legislative office. Now they are used to ensure that most districts have virtually no black constituency. It's part of why Democrats (a party almost universally supported by blacks) have gotten more votes in congressional elections yet still are a minority in the House.

There's the issue that blacks get less pre-K education and are chronically behind their white peers. The family and economic background that black student have matters a huge amount:

>Understanding the reasons why so many black and brown Americans enter adulthood with extremely weak skills and low educational attainments is central to figuring out how to change the future. Poverty and inadequate family resources are a key piece of the problem. One in four children of color lives in poverty. Two of three black children and one of three Hispanic children live in a single-parent family. The low resource levels available to support these children’s initial development means that most come to school not ready to learn.

>The low quality of the schools black and brown children attend is another critical piece of the problem. Children of color tend to be concentrated in low achieving, highly segregated schools.


Simply put, if your parents have a bad education, they can't help you do assignments- or because they work long hours as a single parent, they're hardly around to supervise whether their children are doing academic work- or avoiding falling in with the wrong crowd. To add an anecdotal bit to this post, I was tutoring a minority kid in a school with a low local reputation. He was near tears because I wasn't able to help him finish his math homework- he couldn't do it at home because neither of his parents understood 5th grade math. Few middle-class whites have a similar problem.

Conclusion: The people at your school are mostly correct. While slavery is not a good metaphor, a hugely influential book on racism in mass incarceration has came out in 2010. It is called The New Jim Crow.

Colonialism is an appropriate term in some cases. Also, just because segregation policies and their ilk were ruled unconstitutional doesn't mean their effects don't exist here, in 2013. White flight, redlining, and spatial mismatch no longer play as much of a role in racial wealth disparity as they used to, but it's why blacks live in inner cities and whites usually aren't.

Hiring discrimination exists and there is huge amounts of research to show that it is serious. The fact that whites with a criminal record are more sought after than blacks with no criminal record whatsoever should point to a system that is rotten.

The American Dream idea that people can succeed through hard work is an idea. It is not policy, it is not a law. Are we going to fault the new generation of black teens and young adults for being in poverty, when several generations before were as well? Are we going to fault them for not getting a good-paying job, when they don't exist in their neighborhoods and they have to compete with whites on an unfair playing field?

This isn't to say that some whites aren't in the same bind. Nor is to say that all whites are racist or don't understand what privilege is. But the evidence is stark- African-Americans don't have things pretty good.

u/rpgamer28 · 6 pointsr/changemyview

> Whites don't have the ability to put their pitfalls on racism. Whites are thought to automatically be advantaged compared to blacks simply because of their skin color, so not being accountable for their actions is bogus.

It seems like we aren't even talking about the same thing anymore. You have some kind of narrative that black people aren't taking responsibility for something and it's not fair because black people can blame their problems on racism. But that is not the question that you discuss at the top of the tin.

I am talking about whether the difference in outcomes between US black people and US white people on a population level can be blamed on racism. The fact is, not much distinguishes black people from white people in this country except for the legacy of slavery and racism. The entire meaning we attribute to "blackness," and why we compile statistics on whites and blacks but not blue eyed people vs brown eyed people or brown haired people vs black haired people, is a consequence of that history, and a legacy of racism. No amount of apologetics or attempts to shift blame can elide that history.

> Does that legacy of racism get to last forever? Does it get to supersede the consequence of our actions?

Again, either we are talking past each other here, or your reasoning is difficult for me to understand. The legacy of racism lasts as long as the legacy of racism lasts, and it's still going plain and simple. Slavery lasted 300 years, and Jim Crow lasted another 100 before the civil rights movement. Even if you think that racism is over now, you don't undo that all in ~50 years.

Then recently we've had decades of the harsh punishment and overincarceration of black men, redlining, toxic mortgage loans targeted disproportionately at racial minorities... A good summary of very recent acts of discrimination is here, and a great book on our racially unjust system of incarceration is here.

Just because we all want the legacy of racism to be over doesn't mean it is, or that people asserting the bald truth that it still exists are looking for excuses for the "consequences of our actions." If anything, it's the other way around. People seem determined to turn a blind eye to the consequences of our actions as a nation, and to whitewash our history towards that end.

> I'm not getting why we can ignore the actions.

I explicitly said at the top that we can't. People obviously and trivially bear personal responsibility for their actions. But nevertheless, the difference in population level outcomes is attributable to historical and present racism within the United States.