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What a shame [12 Dec 2006|11:48pm]
wendypalmer
[ mood | gloomy ]

I remember when this forum was first created. It was in response to a once very lively community named Political Debate. There were heated debates with extremists on both side and moderates would chime in on occasion as the voice of reason. This site was create by an extremely liberal female that wanted censorship control that she did not have of the other community. Look at some of the debates in Political Debate and then those years ago on this site. Very heated. The monitor of this site made sure many of the conservatives that participated had their accounts suspended. I consider myself a moderate, but I miss the banter that used to be. Seems like intolerance prevalied and a great place for different view points to be heard is no longer thriving. Sad!

5 comments|post comment

Fuel for the fire [28 Feb 2005|09:59pm]
robpaige
[ mood | Nachos ]
[ music | Slayer ]

I sincerely hope that I'm not breaking any of this communitie's rules, but I just wrote a piece about the Senate hearings regarding possible credit card reform, and I'd like you to take a look, and discuss here in this group what you think. It's a very long post, so I'm just providing a link to it.

Thanks,
Rob

http://www.blurty.com/users/robpaige/

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"Allah or Jesus" [04 May 2004|11:35pm]

harmzway
Hey everyone! I haven't posted here before, but I watch frequently. I am now having a "debate" with my sister in law that has turned a little sour. It is about this "Allah or Jesus" article that has been floating around. She sent it to me with no preface or anything and I had no idea why she was sending it. I took it as being a way to cause prejudice against Muslims, trying to make a point that Christianity is better than the Muslim religion.

Here is the article as well as some other info about it by snopes.com. She had only sent me the original, so-called article (that's in the box).

If someone sent you this article how would you take it, and how do you interpret this? I confronted her on it and now she is really pissed off at me and I am wondering if I am not seeing something that she is. Should I have just kept my mouth shut? She just says it's interesting that anyone believes in killing non believers, but I think it's a crock and it's made to encourage stereotypes. What do you think?

btw..I am not sure I believe any of it is true...I was just making a point that it may not be a good thing to spread around as if it were true...
13 comments|post comment

[05 Mar 2004|09:34pm]

tomegatherion
Philly TV Station Under Fire for Sex 'Sting' Show Personally, I would not have answered the ad because I'm not a pedophile. Is this entrapment, or simply rounding up predators within our society?
2 comments|post comment

Legal Prostitution [31 Jan 2004|03:23pm]

before_dawn
[ music | The Rape of the World, Tracy Chapman ]

First post to DebateForum and I'm writing about Prostitution
Ah well I suppose it shows my concern for women's rights

Sitting in the bathroom
Reading this month's PDF
[Photo District News Magazine=PDF]
Timothy Hursley, Photographer

In the Exposures Section, (there are no people, no prostitutes in the photographs) it is a story on architecture. There are a few paintings; if you ask me? I'd say the photos all seem haunted. But what does that mean?

Article: Living in Sin )

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A Satirical Political Beliefs Assessment Test [30 Jan 2004|09:57pm]

lnc
[ mood | ROFLMAO ]
[ music | "Bring Me to Life" - Evanescence ]

Are you looking for huorous interpretation of the differences between Left Liberal Whackos, Right Wing Conservatives, Commie loving Authoritarians and Freedom loving Libertarians? Then Donald J. Hagen's A Satirical Political Beliefs Assessment Test is for you.

4 comments|post comment

Are we heading for a new Eugenic era? [29 Jan 2004|10:18am]

anchor
The human race is bound to repeat certain mistakes. I think we're headed for a "new eugenics" era.
Read more... )
Does anyone have an opinion about where we may be headed with this? Would genetic selection lead to our demise, or is it a good way to control what we become? Who is this going to be good for? Are we only dong it because we can?
6 comments|post comment

[27 Jan 2004|02:57am]

cobain_x_mortis
[ mood | contemplative ]

A thought to ponder.
For the past few days I've been involved in an ongoing debate on gay rights with people on livejournal over this and I figured I'd present my arguments for the case in what I hope is an intelligent and well thought out manner, this is something I've been working hard on, gathering all my thoughts together and presenting them in a way where I am (hopefully) not being directly offensive t religious people or demanding that you see my side and try to understand where we're coming from. I know you're all probably sick of the gay rights posts all over by now but I think this is worth bringing up:

Where religion and government clash )

Sanctity of marriage? )

Is homosexuality natural and is it good for mankind? )

Is it a trend or a product of depressed/abused kids seeking attention? )


Conclusion
My main point in posting this was because I realise that when I debate (especially on this subject) I tend to get very emotionally involved and therefore when I am attempting to make a point, it's so surrounded by emotion that it comes across like either I'm trying to pick a fight or like a rally call.
This is, I hope, a clear and organized explanation of why I feel homosexual marriage should be legal. I tried to think of a lot of arguments against it so I could give my two cents on those arguments, but I'm drawing a blank, so I wrote what I could think of. I want to hear your thoughts on the matter.

/fin

20 comments|post comment

Abortion, prostitution and all that good stuff [25 Jan 2004|05:11pm]

angrymoth
[ mood | amused ]
[ music | Gray Street: Dave Mathews ]

I've been thinking about these topics incessantly for the past couple of years. So far (in the US at least) it is perfectly legal for a woman to get an abortion. (Not without a great deal of controversy, death, and an intense line drawn between people) But we have rights for our bodies! I for one am happy about this. If I happened to become pregnant I would want the option.

But why stop there?

A major part of my problem with anti-abortion is the government control over my body. Which, in a sense is what's done by banning prostitution. Sex is not illegal and yet we are unable to utilize our bodies in this way. Why not? Not that prostitution is pretty, and it's certainly degrading, but again it's another bodily choice.

25 comments|post comment

[18 Jan 2004|09:47am]

dragonfly1517
Would you rather be one of the greatest [artists, writers, musicians, scientists, inventors, etc.] of all time and never be recognized as such during your lifetime OR be told (and believe) that you are brilliant all your life when in fact your work is soon to be forgotten with your death?


For the former option you might have the impression that your work is good, but, faced with the complete indifference of everybody else, you'd find it pretty hard to maintain that belief in yourself. As a result you'd die poor and disillusioned --- with the firm belief that you are forever destined for nothing more than obscurity. (There are so many great artists who have lived this.)

If you choose the latter path, you will be the darling of the media and the critics all your life and thus be treated as the great artist they proclaim you to be. Nobody will notice that your work is really quite forgettable until a few years after your death, so you will die believing that you did indeed leave humanity with something grand and important.


So: Which of the options would you choose and why?
16 comments|post comment

Free Trade: Needed Exploitation?? [14 Jan 2004|07:59pm]

monkey_knight
Mr. Nicholas D. Kristof is a strong liberal voice for the New York Times, but in his column today, "Inviting All Democrats", he takes what seems to be a contrarian position regarding free trade. I am among those who appreciate the value of free trade for the peoples of developing nations, but I've also thought that Big Business needs to be kept honest by insisting on some labor and environmental standards. I've copied practically all of the column for convenience. Would anyone care to share their thoughts on Mr. Kristof's absolutist position in favor of free trade?

The column )
3 comments|post comment

The Myth of Biological Gender Differences? [13 Jan 2004|02:17am]

queensugar
Before I state my argument, let it be known that I do not in fact believe that we are ultimately programmed by genetics. I'm just starting to get a little pissed off at what is supposedly "common" socioevolutionary knowledge: and I'm sick of guy friends using it to defend themselves. So, I'm taking it out on you guys.

----

When it comes to the "wandering eye," colloquial sociobiology has held that this is hardcoded into our genes. "Men are biologically programmed to spread their seed, while women are programmed to be the caregivers" is the usual way of phrasing it. This has been used as both excuse and justification for male reluctance to commit or male infidelity (when women stray, it's usually extrapolated that they are "searching for a more stable mate..." the so-called "sperm wars," where the vagina creates a more favorable climate for sperm coming from a source that spent more time with the woman, would seem to agree with this.)

But does this make evolutionary sense? )
35 comments|post comment

Turkey: The Real Islam? [11 Jan 2004|03:00pm]

monkey_knight
"We are a respectful family who love our nation, flag and the Koran... But we cannot understand why this child had done the thing he had done . . . First, let us meet with the chief rabbi of our Jewish brothers. Let me hug him. Let me kiss his hands and flowing robe. Let me apologize in the name of my son and offer my condolences for the deaths. . . . We will be damned if we do not reconcile with them."

-- Sefik Elaltuntas, who is the father of one of the suicide bombers that struck the synagogues in Turkey

"The Islamic world should take stringent measures against terrorism without any `buts' or `howevers.' "

-- Cemil Cicek, the Turkish government spokesman

These quotes come from Thomas L. Friedman's Sunday column. Are these not the sentiments we need to hear when it comes to the Muslim militants and their terrorism? If there are injustices, in Israel or elsewhere, the battle must be taken on a higher moral plane. Otherwise, we are really talking about warfare, and can one reasonably expect the Americans and Israelis not to take the war to them?

Friedman also makes the following observation:

'There is a message here: Context matters. Turkish politicians are not intimidated by religious fundamentalists, because — unlike too many Arab politicians — they have their own legitimacy that comes from being democratically elected. At the same time, the Turkish parents of suicide bombers don't all celebrate their children's suicide. They are not afraid to denounce this barbarism, because they live in a free society where such things are considered shameful and alien to the moderate Turkish brand of Islam — which has always embraced religious pluralism and which most Turks feel is the "real" Islam.'

I would like to think that this may be obvious, and that there is no real debate here, but I'm not sure. Is there a debate, or do we have a consensus on this point? Must there not be complete repudiation of terrorism, and isn't a move to more democratic institutions as a secular basis for rule the long-term solution to achieve a world of negotiation rather than one of warfare?
26 comments|post comment

What do you think? [11 Jan 2004|03:47pm]

dreamlife
[ mood | curious ]

I am courious to know what you all think about the Michael Jackson court issue. Leave me your opinions if you think he is guilty or innosent and if guilty what should be his verdict.

10 comments|post comment

A hypothetical situation.. [10 Jan 2004|10:12am]

draconid
[ mood | curious ]
[ music | Alisha's Attic - Pretender Got My Heart ]

I have recently been reading, both in this community and on various online forums, a large number of political "debates". I use the term "debate" loosely because they tend to be less debates and more.. arguments full of verbal diarrhea. It's not that good points aren't often made, but that they aren't necessarily made "well". Often these discussions turn into verbal abuse - something which can be considered to invalidate an argument, however good it might have been prior to then. But also I find that the whole force of someone's opinion is to refute the claims or opinions of the other side. The debates become very picky, arguing the spelling of words or the meaning of a law. It's very easy to twist any law or quote to your own means.

I want to propose a hypothetical situation, and I want to see how people respond to it, preferably without resulting in insulting another person. In fact, rather than having a debate I'd prefer it if people didn't comment on others' comments but instead just make their own, autonomous comment. You might see why when I explain the situation. Please don't make your answer as a response to someone else's answer - come up with something yourself that doesn't involve refuting the arguments of someone else..

So here is the situation.

Imagine I'm an alien. The whole ideas of liberalism and conservatism are totally foreign to me. [For arguments sake and for those who know the Star Trek universe, imagine I'm a borg who has recently left the collective - I've never had to think for myself or make a decision in my life.] I've been granted citizenship in whichever country you live in and it's voting time. I have no idea who to vote for, and I go to each of you individually and ask you a question. [The individually bit is key, none of you hear the arguments of the others.] The question can be worded in one of two ways.. "Why should I vote for the political party/ideal that you believe in?" or alternatively "Why do you support the political party/ideal that you vote for?" [The key here is that I want reasons for one party, not against another.]

I suppose some might consider this post silly. The point is to see if people can actually give sensible reasons for the things they believe in, rather than concentrating on arguments against each other.

Thanks for your time.

6 comments|post comment

[09 Jan 2004|06:33pm]

blackxballoon
I've noticed that Professor Wilcox has been rather upset with the "left-wing bias" here on Debate Forum. LEFT-WING BIAS? Come on. I am the first to admit that liberals don't always know what they're talking about. So, to prove to ConservativeGuy that not all of us are radical liberals, I bring you the topic HATE CRIME LEGISLATION.

Okay, so it may not prove anything to him. But here it goes: AREN'T ALL HATE CRIMES BASED ON HATE? Isn't it hypocritical to say that a crime against a black man because he's black is more serious than a "regular" crime of the same brutality?

~Mariann
4 comments|post comment

Another Liberal Myth [10 Jan 2004|01:58am]
3rddmention
[ mood | indescribable ]

Let us make war on the phrase "violence doesn't solve anything." It is a lie, and anyone who utters it cannot be taken morally seriously.

Take, for example, the American use of violence against the Taliban. Thanks to it, Afghani women may get an education, attend public events without a male escort, and otherwise ascend above their prior status as captive animals.

Thanks to American violence in Afghanistan, Islamic terror has started to decline in prestige among many Muslims who had previously romanticized it. Though many Muslims still glorify Muslims who blow themselves up in order to murder Jews and Americans, the glamour of terror is dwindling. In Pakistan, for example, there are almost no Osama t-shirts on sale, and no more demonstrations on his behalf.

Even more significantly, a handful of Muslims and Arabs are beginning to ask what is wrong in their cultures, rather than continuing to blame America, Christianity and Israel for their lack of human rights, political democracy and economic progress.

Once again, violence properly used has led to major moral gains for humanity.

You have to wonder how anyone can utter – let alone believe – something so demonstrably wrong as "violence doesn't solve anything" or "an eye for an eye leaves everyone blind," or any other pacifist platitudes. These are the moral and intellectual equivalents of "the earth is flat." In fact, it is easier to show that violence solves many evils than it is to show that the earth is round.

It was violence that destroyed Adolph Hitler and Nazism. Only violence. Not talk. Not negotiations. Not good will.

It is violence used by police that stops violent criminals from murdering or otherwise hurting innocent people. There are many innocent men and women alive today solely because some policeman used violence to save their lives.

It was violence that ended slavery in America. Had violence not been used against the Confederacy, the United States would have been cut in half, and millions of black men and women would have remained slaves.

The list of moral good achieved by violence is endless.

How, then, can anyone possibly say something as demonstrably false as "violence doesn't solve anything"?

The answer is difficult to arrive at. Given how obviously moral much violence has been, one is tempted to respond by asking how people can believe any absurdity – whether it is that Elvis Presley is still living, or that race determines a person's behavior, or that 72 women in heaven await mass murderers.

Vast numbers of people believe what they want to believe or what they have been brainwashed to believe – not what is true or good. For vast numbers of people, it is simply dogma that all violence is wrong. It is a position arrived at with little thought but with a plethora of naive passion.

It is also often the position of the morally confused. People who believe in moral relativism, who therefore cannot ever determine which side in a conflict is morally right, understandably feel incapable of determining when violence may be moral.

Those who say violence never solves anything have confused themselves in other ways as well. They have elevated peace above goodness. Therefore, in these people's views, it is better for evil to prevail than to use violence to end that evil – since the very use of violence renders the user of it evil.

For those people whose moral compasses are intact, the issue is as clear as where North and South are. There is immoral violence and there is moral violence.

That is why it is so morally wrong and so pedagogically foolish to prohibit young boys from watching any violence or from playing violent games like "Cops and Robbers." Just as with sex and ambition and all other instincts, what must be taught about violence is when it is right to use it.

For if we never engage in moral violence, it is as certain as anything in life can be that immoral violence will rule the world.

41 comments|post comment

Self-esteem is over over rated [09 Jan 2004|08:41am]
3rddmention
[ mood | awake ]
[ music | Hulanka Frederick Chopin ]

Throughout America’s schools, educators are busy trying to foster a sense of self-esteem among young people, especially minority students. The basic premise is that racism and discrimination cause minorities to feel bad about themselves, and that this low self-image translates into women avoiding “hard” fields like engineering and into blacks and Hispanics doing poorly in school. If only we raise the self-esteem of these groups, the reasoning goes, surely the women will enroll in engineering courses in greater numbers and the blacks and Hispanics will produce higher test scores. This reasoning is fallacious.

Is it important to feel good about yourself? I am not sure about this. Sometimes when I feel very good about myself, I am on my guard, because I realize I am about to do something incredibly stupid. Feeling good about myself does not make me smarter or better.

One reason teachers of a liberal bent support political correctness is that they believe that stern social controls are needed to prevent insensitivity and bigotry from breaking out, and that those things will gravely injure the self-esteem of women and minorities. So, too, many liberal activists don’t like standardized tests because some people do better on those tests than others, and liberals worry that poor-performing students may suffer blows to their self-esteem. One school program, Outcomes Based Education, downplays grades and other measures of merit and instead focuses on such things as maintaining “emotional and social well being” or developing “a positive personal self-concept.”

Self-esteem is a very American concept and Americans, perhaps more than anyone else in the world, tend to believe that feeling good about yourself is an essential prerequisite to performing to the best of your ability. Self-esteem is also a democratic idea. In a hierarchical society one’s self-image is determined by one’s designated role: as brahmin, as elder, as patriarch, as peasant, and so on. Aristocratic societies do not speak of self-esteem but of honor. In a democratic society, self-esteem is claimed as an entitlement. Unlike honor, it does not have to be earned. Self-esteem in the West is largely a product of the romantic movement, which exalts feelings over reason, the subjective over the objective. Self-esteem is based on the wisdom that Polonius imparts to Laertes: “to thine own self be true.”

But does a stronger self-esteem make students learn better? This seems dubious. Take the Marines who have for generations produced impressive intellectual and motivational results by undermining the self-esteem of recruits. My uncle, a drill instructor liked to say that “be yourself” is absolutely the worst advice you can give some people. He’s right: this is not the kind of advice that we want to give to Charles Mansion, or Hitler. The Marines are famous for first degrading the pride and self-image of youngsters, and then seeking to reconstruct it on a new and firmer foundation.

Several years ago a group called the California Task Force to Promote Self-Esteem (no, I am not making this up) conducted a study to explore the relationship between self-esteem and academic performance. The study found, to its own evident chagrin, that higher self-esteem does not produce better intellectual performance. Nor does it produce more desirable social outcomes, such as lower teen pregnancy or reduced delinquency.

These findings have been corroborated by academic studies comparing the self-image and academic performance of American students with that of students from other industrialized countries. Consistently, American students score higher on self-esteem. Yet on actual reading and math tests the American students perform near the bottom. These results show that it is possible to have a healthy ego and be ignorant at the same time. Similarly, within the United States, black males have the highest self-esteem of any group. Yet on academic measures black males score the lowest. The reason is that self-esteem in these cases is generated by factors unrelated to studies, such as the ability to beat up other students or a high estimation of one’s sexual prowess.

None of this is to suggest that the research on self-esteem shows no relationship between self-confidence and academic performance. There is a relationship, but it runs in the opposite direction. Self-esteem doesn’t produce enhanced achievement, but achievement produces enhanced self-esteem. In other words, feeling good about myself doesn’t make me smarter. But when I study hard, when I discover the meaning of a poem, when I find the ameba under the microscope, when I see my way through a difficult math problem, then I feel exhilarated, and my self-esteem is justly strengthened.

That’s a lesson that I wish more educators would take to heart.

74 comments|post comment

2004 Progressive Dictionary [07 Jan 2004|06:51pm]
3rddmention
[ mood | amused ]
[ music | Radio Song by REM ]

A political way of thinking has so permeated the American consciousness that it has changed the way in which we use English. Below is a look at the world of words according to "progressives" in this country. Caution sarcasm contained below.


Conservative: A person with selfish motives.

Liberal: A person with altruistic motives.

Ultra-Conservative: A person who is too conservative.

Ultra-Liberal: Term not used. One cannot be too liberal.

(I read countless newspapers and journals a day. I have never encountered the term "ultra-liberal " or "arch-liberal." I read or hear about "ultra-" or "arch-conservatives" all the time.)

Christian Right: Contemptible people who always try to impose their values on other Americans

Liberals: Idealistic people who never try to impose their values on other Americans.

(When Christians try to put their values into law-for example, preventing government funds from going to what even most liberals would consider to be obscene art-they are attacked for trying to impose their values on others. However, when liberals pass laws reflecting their values-e.g., forcing states to allow gay and lesbian couples the same right to adopt children as married couples-that is not regarded as imposing values, but simply the right thing to do.)

Abortion: A form of birth control.

Women's Rights: Supporting the right to destroy a human fetus for personal convenience.

Animal Rights: Opposing the right to destroy a rabbit for cancer research.

(The intellectual and moral norm is to regard a baby seal as of infinitely more worth than a human fetus.)

Fetus: An unborn baby that is to be aborted.

Baby: An unborn baby that is not to be aborted.

(When a woman is pregnant and wants to give birth, no one asks her, no matter how early in the pregnancy, "So. how's the fetus doing?" We only use the term 'fetus" when we plan to destroy it. Otherwise we use "baby" from the first day of pregnancy.)

Censorship: The refusal of the government to fund a radical artist.

(Censorship was always understood as the prohibition of expression. According to the arts community and its supporters, however, "censorship" now means governmental refusal to fund a work of art.)

Censors: Christians who boycott violent TV shows.

Religious Extremist: A person who is too religious, usually meaning that the person holds traditional religious beliefs and is politically active.

Secular extremist: Term not used. One cannot be too secular.

(Those who call for the right to mention God's name in high-school graduation exercises are religious extremists, while those, like the American Civil Liberties Union, who litigate against schools that post the Ten Commandments on their walls are never described as secular extremists.)

Sexist: A man who disagrees with women who hold liberal views.

(This is why Sen. Edward Kennedy, one of the most notorious womanizers in American public life, is never called sexist: He doesn't disagree with liberal women's groups. However, men who treat women beautifully and respect them as equals, but do not agree with the National Organization for Women, are sexist.)

Tolerance: Openness to all ideas on the left.

Rage: The excuse for violence committed against innocent people by members of an aggrieved minority.

(Since the thugs who terrorized Turkish immigrants in Germany are white, their actions are never understood in terms of rage, only condemned (correctly) as thuggery. But when black thugs terrorized Korean immigrants in Los Angeles their actions were constantly understood in terms of their "rage.")

Victims: Nearly all blacks and women but essentially members or every group except white heterosexual males. The group must also be associated with liberal activism.

(Thus Korean-Americans, though the primary victims of the Los Angeles riots are never referred to as victims; they hold conservative views.)

Ideal Family: Any unit of people

(To define the ideal family as a married mother and father children is to be intolerant and judgmental.)

Progressive View of Humanity: Dividing people by their race, gender and class.

Reactionary View of Humanity: Dividing people by their values and behavior.

Racism: See "White Racism."

Racist: A white who does not agree with a position held by the civil rights leadership.

(To cite one of innumerable examples, a number of black leaders have labeled support for school vouchers as racist, even though school vouchers tend to be supported more by inner-city blacks than by white suburbanites. But since the liberal black leadership is opposed to vouchers, support for it is racist.)

White Racism: Redundant term

Black Racism: Term not used. it does not exist-an idea perpetrated by white racists.

Poverty: The reason for murder, rape and car jackings.

Greed: The reason for embezzlement insider trading and other white-collar crimes.

Minorities: Members of groups whose spokespeople are angry at America. Thus, Cuban-, Japanese-, Korean- and Jewish-Americans are rarely referred to as minorities

Civil Rights Organizations: Organizations that hold white people responsible for the majority of blacks' problems.

Feminist Organizations: Organizations that hold men responsible for the majority of women's problems.

48 comments|post comment

Social Darwinism [06 Jan 2004|12:47am]

blackxballoon
Could there be a more ridiculous theory?

Darwin's original theory states that an animal that is stronger will have a better chance at survival, and will pass on its genes. That is how we evolve.

I hear "survival of the fittest" in regards to America rebuilding Iraq. "We should let them handle their own crap, its social Darwinism." For one thing, we Americans (or anyone wealthier than others) aren't strong. We're lucky. We were born in a rich country during its golden age. If we had been born in Iraq, we wouldn't be weak either.

Not only that, but I hear that "survival of the fittest" nonsense when discussing how to help the nation's poor. What do you all think?

~Mariann
22 comments|post comment

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