Trump presidency

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The Great Hippo
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby The Great Hippo » Fri Sep 28, 2018 4:10 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:You first then.

Image
That's a fine comic that makes a fine point, but in this instance, it isn't an effective rebuke: Any good and reasonable utilitarian understands that you can't maximize good if you actively practice utilitarianism 24/7.

Evaluating the costs of your decisions has a cost (psychological and otherwise). Engaging in perpetual moral calculus for each and every one of your decisions, no matter how trivial, will eventually kill you. At the very least, it'll put you in a state where you'll no longer have ten dollars to spend on malaria nets.

Instead, you make these decisions when they're important and likely to have the most impact. Or when they're easy and relatively stressless (for example, a store clerk asking you if you'd like to donate ten dollars to malaria nets when you buy your new $10 video game).

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Sep 28, 2018 5:43 am UTC

First, I was responding to Eu~'s ludicrous assertion that everyone in the west should give up all their ice cream so the money can be used elsewhere.

Second, you had previously asserted that Americans in general actually believe that "my "right" to ice-cream is of equal (or even greater) importance than your right not to drown". That's a bit of a stretch, and I'm going to need a big ol' citation for that.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby The Great Hippo » Fri Sep 28, 2018 6:12 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:First, I was responding to Eu~'s ludicrous assertion that everyone in the west should give up all their ice cream so the money can be used elsewhere.

Second, you had previously asserted that Americans in general actually believe that "my "right" to ice-cream is of equal (or even greater) importance than your right not to drown". That's a bit of a stretch, and I'm going to need a big ol' citation for that.
No one here legitimately believes that Americans should give up their ice-cream -- or that Americans literally perceive their right to ice-cream as more important than the right not to drown. It's a metaphor.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Fri Sep 28, 2018 6:18 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:First, I was responding to Eu~'s ludicrous assertion that everyone in the west should give up all their ice cream so the money can be used elsewhere.

Second, you had previously asserted that Americans in general actually believe that "my "right" to ice-cream is of equal (or even greater) importance than your right not to drown". That's a bit of a stretch, and I'm going to need a big ol' citation for that.

It's really hard to compare giving up ice cream money with how government actually works (giving up x in taxes vs we have xxx$ million in our do gooder budget, what should we spend it on?) If you had asked me, "should we spend money to save drowning kids* vs buying more rich people ice cream**, I'd say saving the kids. The metaphor breaks down further if you start asking questions like, well there's 100 kids that are drowning, we have the budget for 50.

*refugee european boat crisis?
**tax cut 2017

I was surprised by the Democrats in the hearing, they didn't mention the other accusers at all. I was hoping the Democrats would push harder on Kavanaugh's drunkenness, and if he knows all the definitions of sexual assault. I read a liveblog of the full hearing though. Not sure what the rest of America getting the soundbite version heard. So who's going to vote no on the GOP side? I'm betting Kavanaugh makes it through the committee vote (50+%) and that he makes it through the full senate vote (>50% chance) with maybe Pence as the tiebreaker. That's right, I'm calling out Flake, murokowski, and collins, they're gonna cave.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby JudeMorrigan » Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:09 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:But the NATO spending targets, in general...sure. I have no objection whatsoever to holding folks to their pledged level. It'd be nice if the US carried a bit less of the NATO spending burden. Maybe if everyone hit their minimum targets, we could dial back down a bit.

But the spending targets are how much of the member nations spend on defense as a percentage of their GDP rather than how much much they're spending on NATO operations. There are perfectly valid reasons to want to encourage them to hit those targets, but given Trump's promises to rebuild the military, I am deeply skeptical that it would really have any impact at all on our own spending.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Mutex » Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:19 pm UTC

There's also vagueness about what counts as military spending, eg do military pensions count? And the fact that spending doesn't necessarily reflect actual military ability. Better asset acquisition means a country gets more equipment for less money, by the "percentage of GDP" measure that's considered going backwards.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Fri Sep 28, 2018 3:08 pm UTC

Kavanaugh just got the committee to approve him, he's well on his way to become Justice Thomas 2.0
Maybe when we appoint the third Justice accused of rape, he will actually back down.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Sep 28, 2018 3:32 pm UTC

Or maybe the hope with confirmation is that women wont come forward because it wont change anything but will make them relive painful memories and suffer abuse by the public at large, so they will shut up from now on?

Ugh.

Even if he is innocent, Kavanaugh's manner in the incident just shows how unfit he is to be a justice.
Last edited by CorruptUser on Fri Sep 28, 2018 3:34 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Mutex » Fri Sep 28, 2018 3:34 pm UTC

Although he'd be right at home on Fox News. So at least he has a plan B.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Sep 28, 2018 3:44 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:
asoban wrote:That said, Ford was always the weakest of the accusations.


In terms of credibility or severity?

In terms of credibility, Ford was probably the strongest. AFAIK the second woman didn't have any therapist's documentation, just a claim that he put his penis on her face at a party or something. The third woman's claim is that Brett was attending a party where she had been raped but it wasn't Brett who raped her, and that she had witnessed Brett standing in a line to participate in a gang rape, which was apparently a routine thing at Georgetown Prep.

In terms of severity, the gang rape is definitely the worst if true. I don't know whether being groped and attempted rape is worse than having a penis on your face, but if you insist the face-penis is worse, I won't argue otherwise.

I'm not sure how to take the third woman's testimony. It seems kind of outlandish, but let's say it's true, and that gang rape is basically a rite of passage for guys at Georgetown Prep. I mean, aside from that school being in need of being nuked from orbit and then having the ashes nuked as well, it brings up a good ethics question for a scifi novel; does a moral failing cease to be a moral failing if it's ubiquitous?


IMO, no. Just because something is popular doesn't make it right. When we look back at past failings, we may acknowledge that times were different then, but that isn't judging those moral failing correct, merely acknowledging the flaws of the times. I'm not terribly familiar with Georgetown or even frats in general, though I do suspect that the moneyed party folks have a significantly different college experience than my "working my way through a cheap college" approach. It's pretty bad if true, but if all we have to implicate him is someone seeing him in a line, that particular claim seems somewhat weak. It ought to be fairly easy to get confirming evidence if wrongdoing was so widespread, though.

Anyways, it looks as if I was unfortunately correct in guessing that increased allegations would result in Republicans rushing things. Hopefully these'll be looked into regardless. I do hope that it turns out he's innocent, regardless of the odds, because the idea of someone guilty of such things being on the top court is a bit awful, but politics routinely involves a lot of awful things I suppose.

CorruptUser wrote:
eran_rathan wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:Has Steve Roger's defense ever been used to justify something the typical reader would find abhorrent?


No, i'm saying that I'm not a relativist, that there are certain inalienable rights that all people have; and that violating them, regardless of cultural approbation, is wrong.


Do you believe that a person suffering either a debilitating condition or terminal illness should be allowed to choose voluntary euthanasia? If so, "life" is not on the list of inalienable rights. Going by a less literal definition of inalienable, what if the person suffering was not fully capable of making that decision, such as a horrific accident that left them in a permanent coma; could a guardian make that decision for them?


I disagree. If property ownership is a right, then I ought to be able to decide to not own property, yeah? Same goes for a life. If my life is my right, then I ought to control it. To include giving it up if I truly wish. The right to life implies a right to euthanasia.

JudeMorrigan wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:But the NATO spending targets, in general...sure. I have no objection whatsoever to holding folks to their pledged level. It'd be nice if the US carried a bit less of the NATO spending burden. Maybe if everyone hit their minimum targets, we could dial back down a bit.

But the spending targets are how much of the member nations spend on defense as a percentage of their GDP rather than how much much they're spending on NATO operations. There are perfectly valid reasons to want to encourage them to hit those targets, but given Trump's promises to rebuild the military, I am deeply skeptical that it would really have any impact at all on our own spending.


Oh, yes. We're in the realm of "what should happen" here, not in what probably will.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby SDK » Fri Sep 28, 2018 3:45 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Even if he is innocent, Kavanaugh's manner in the incident just shows how unfit he is to be a justice.

Saw a few clips here and there. This exchange shocked me.


KLOBUCHAR: OK. Drinking is one thing, but the concern is about truthfulness, and in your written testimony, you said sometimes you had too many drinks. Was there ever a time when you drank so much that you couldn’t remember what happened, or part of what happened the night before?

KAVANAUGH: No, I — no. I remember what happened, and I think you’ve probably had beers, Senator, and — and so I…

KLOBUCHAR: So you’re saying there’s never been a case where you drank so much that you didn’t remember what happened the night before, or part of what happened.

KAVANAUGH: It’s — you’re asking about, you know, blackout. I don’t know. Have you?


Can we not just accept that people have minor flaws so they can at least stop lying about those flaws? Justin Trudeau (Canada's Prime Minister) isn't the greatest leader we've ever had, but during the election he managed to admit to smoking pot once or twice recreationally. A lot of people jumped on him for that. Many more respected that at least he was able to tell the truth about it.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Thesh » Fri Sep 28, 2018 3:50 pm UTC

What does that gain him? He has nothing to lose by lying, and the Republican voters would rather you lie to them than admit wrongdoing, even if they know you are lying to their face - it shows strength.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Sep 28, 2018 3:54 pm UTC

Yeah, that exchange looks weak. Either go for the credibility from honesty or brazen it out. That exchange says "yes, but I don't want to admit to it".

If he'd said "Oh, I drank way too much when I was young and stupid once, woke up with deep regrets the next morning. Not in ages, though", would anyone really hold that against him?

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Thesh » Fri Sep 28, 2018 4:02 pm UTC

If he admits he doesn't remember anything, then he can't deny it. If he denies it, it's a he-said-she-said and Republicans can vote with cover.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby freezeblade » Fri Sep 28, 2018 4:04 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:...Republican voters would rather you lie to them than admit wrongdoing, even if they know you are lying to their face - it shows strength.


I think this encapsulates what I find so wrong and baffling with the current republican party.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Opus_723 » Fri Sep 28, 2018 4:15 pm UTC

Even if he is innocent of the assaults, or genuinely doesn't remember them, I am absolutely convinced he is lying about his drinking habits. And all of his 'innocent" explanations for the high school jokes were... Well, they're small lies, but they were laughably bad.

On a more subjective note, I grew up with an alcoholic, abusive father who also had an upstanding, prestigious job in the community, and that was just uncanny to watch. The performative tears, the completely genuine aggrievedness paired with the awkwardly poor white lies and deflections. The belligerence towards his questioners and the shameless appeals to those defending him. Call me biased or whatever, but his whole deal yesterday raised the hairs on my neck.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Sep 28, 2018 4:28 pm UTC

Opus_723 wrote:Even if he is innocent of the assaults, or genuinely doesn't remember them, I am absolutely convinced he is lying about his drinking habits.


Yeah. One doesn't respond that way unless they have a problem they can't admit to.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Sep 28, 2018 4:48 pm UTC

I've only had one blackout in my life, and used to drink heavily, because, you know, college. Haven't been so drunk that I've vomited in about 5 years now, and that was the morning after (and for fuck's sake, NEVER eat fish if you plan to drink heavily).

Didn't join AA or anything. Just realized that I don't get any enjoyment beyond the first drink or two anyway, and that showing how much you can handle in order to impress others is multiple kinds of wrong.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Sep 28, 2018 5:01 pm UTC

One thing I've been wondering, just overhearing conversations about this online and the incredulousness some people express at Kavanaugh's denials (which, given his mannerisms, I'm convinced are lies, but would not seem like ludicrous claims from a more trustworthy person), is how uncommon is it to have honestly never been black-out-drunk? Because through no particular effort I've managed to reach my late 30s without ever being more than slightly tipsy, and it's not like I'm some teetotaler who avoids all alcohol at all times. Never getting black-out drunk just seems like the default expectation I'd have of classy, respectable people, who are definitely a minority of the population I'm sure, but surely not such a minority that we seem like bizarre space aliens with no understanding of human custom?
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby ucim » Fri Sep 28, 2018 5:04 pm UTC

Yablo <-- wrote:Ideally [being nice to people...], yes, but that's not always true.
It's not always fast. Leading by example often takes longer than a political cycle. It requires committment to one's principles. It is the very definition of the "high road", without which we are all animals scrambling in the mud.

Being nice is also not effectively done in isolation. That is how one gets run over. I realize that. And sometimes one just has to stick up for onesself and fight.

But picking a fight is not the same as defending onesself.

Yablo wrote:He is antagonizing many of our allies, I'll give you that, but if it's carefully calculated, that can have a positive effect.
What gives you any idea that what Trump is doing is carefully calculated, or even calculated at all? What has he ever done as president that is thought out in even the slightest manner?

Yablo wrote:I don't see attempts at diplomacy and the warming of otherwise cool relations to necessarily be aligning with dictators.
Neither do I. But that is not what is happening. Trump is actively praising these dictators for the brutal things they continue to be doing, and cosying up to them with hardly-disguised envy, while undermining the European Union, labeling Canada (for example) as a security threat, and threatening NATO.

Yablo wrote:There are three ways to achieve peace: Diplomacy (ideal), having military strength (preventative), and using military strength (proactive).

1: Diplomacy is what Trump is not doing, with the possible exception of North Korea, where he might pull it off (but is most likely being taken for a ride).

2: We already have an extremely powerful military - probably the most powerful one in the world. But when the world is a closet, having a pile of hand grenades doesn't really help much.

3: (Our) Military strength should certainly be used as needed without hesitation in defending us from attack. But threatening to beat the crap out of those that don't agree with us is not the way to world peace, not in the long term. It builds seething resentment and causes the other side to build up their military forces, which causes us to gives us an excuse to waste even more tax money on destructive forces.

Trump is not building world peace. On the contrary, he's setting a time bomb.

Yablo wrote:I believe it's also in America's global interest to promote religious freedom...
...and we do so by banning Muslims from entry into the United States? Really, Trump has done everything he can to destroy the idea of religious freedom, except for Good Christians. And who is he proposing for Supreme Court justice? Somebody that favors the ability of individuals to decide what happens to their own body, or somebody who effectively thinks the Catholic Church should set the rules? (Rules which don't apply to him at a drinking party.)

Yablo wrote:While supporting our allies and gaining positive influence over our enemies is admirable, our global interests should benefit the United States first and the rest of the world second. I don't mean promote the U.S. at the expense of the rest of the world, but...
Sometimes promoting our own interests doesn't promote our own interests.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby natraj » Fri Sep 28, 2018 5:04 pm UTC

the equating of drinking habits with "classy respectable people" is a certain kind of gross that i don't fuck with at all, but i don't think it's space alien level of rare to have never been black out drunk. (at least ~14% of adults have never drunk alcohol at all so it can't be completely bizarre to have never been blackout drunk either.)
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Sep 28, 2018 5:12 pm UTC

I've not gotten black-out drunk, but I've certainly gotten drunk to the point of getting sick. It's not uncommon for early experimentation with alcohol to go awry, especially in the US. Binge drinking's a thing in college, and we generally attempt to ban access to alcohol until 21. Thus, folks generally first experience alcohol in a context where it's illegal, lacking in responsible supervision, and yet, they're already old enough to drive.

This is probably not a particularly sane set of factors.

So, it's not uncommon for people to have had a bad experience with alcohol at least once. However, folks generally outgrow this, and are willing to admit their faults, and avoid repeating them.

I, and probably most others, wouldn't care at all about something like that in ancient history of someone looking for a job, even an important one. Everyone makes mistakes when young, and grows from them. Cool. But not copping to it indicates that there's something worse there. Maybe the alcohol problems continue. Maybe there's an inability to ever admit to mistakes. Maybe there are other things he's attempting to hide. It seems fishy.

If you've genuinely just not gotten trashed, cool. Just say that.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby The Great Hippo » Fri Sep 28, 2018 5:26 pm UTC

Opus_723 wrote:On a more subjective note, I grew up with an alcoholic, abusive father who also had an upstanding, prestigious job in the community, and that was just uncanny to watch. The performative tears, the completely genuine aggrievedness paired with the awkwardly poor white lies and deflections. The belligerence towards his questioners and the shameless appeals to those defending him. Call me biased or whatever, but his whole deal yesterday raised the hairs on my neck.
I watched segments of his interview and confirmation hearing, and good God, yes: This man sends up so many red flags for a chronic abuser (sexual or otherwise) that it's legitimately terrifying. Nothing about his conduct was vaguely reassuring, appropriate, or even judicial. He's a hyperbolic, hyperdefensive man-baby who I am now convinced has done *far* worse things than the (already terrible) things he's accused of.

The fact that his colleagues either seem to don't see it or (more likely) are just willfully complicit in elevating yet another known sexual abuser to a position of tremendous power is, again, demonstrative of the Republican party's treasonous policy of party before country.

I was never fond of the Democratic party. I still am not -- but fuck if the past two years haven't made me want to be one just on account of how cartoonishly evil the Republican party has become.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Mutex » Fri Sep 28, 2018 5:31 pm UTC

Apparently Jeff Flake has gone AWOL right before the vote, just after talking to democrat senators.

I'm sure it's nothing. But oh my yarm the tension.

EDIT: And now the vote has been delayed, apparently something to do with Flake.
BBC Live wrote:Vote reportedly delayed

The Senate Judiciary Committee is reportedly delaying its vote.

A text message from a senator in the chamber to CBS News says there is something afoot involving Arizona Republican Jeff Flake.


EDIT2:
Flake: 'I want an FBI investigation'

"I think it would be proper to delay the floor vote for up to but not longer than one week," says Flake.

He announced that he will advance the nomination is he ensured of an FBI inquiry, which he says will be "limited in time and scope".

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby eran_rathan » Fri Sep 28, 2018 6:33 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:
eran_rathan wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:Has Steve Roger's defense ever been used to justify something the typical reader would find abhorrent?


No, i'm saying that I'm not a relativist, that there are certain inalienable rights that all people have; and that violating them, regardless of cultural approbation, is wrong.


Do you believe that a person suffering either a debilitating condition or terminal illness should be allowed to choose voluntary euthanasia? If so, "life" is not on the list of inalienable rights. Going by a less literal definition of inalienable, what if the person suffering was not fully capable of making that decision, such as a horrific accident that left them in a permanent coma; could a guardian make that decision for them?

We don't all universally agree on what are and are not rights. We don't all agree on what is and is not moral. You may be doing what you believe is right, and it may turn out to be that there really is only one truly correct moral system and you had been following it perfectly, but if people in general disagree... to them, you are wrong.


late in responding to this (my wife is getting gallbladder surgery at the moment), but you are incorrect.

Voluntary Euthenasia is certainly a part of the right to life - to end it with dignity and on one's own terms. And guardians can and do make that decision ALL THE TIME (literally just signed and witnessed my wife's DNR paper for her surgery).

I agree that we all do not agree on what is and is not moral, but I am fairly happy with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Dauric » Fri Sep 28, 2018 6:36 pm UTC

The vote to recommend Kavanaugh to the Senate went through, 11/10 party-line.

Flake's statement was that he'd advance it through committie , but he'd only be comfortable making the full vote in the senate to confirm Kavanaugh after a FBI investigation. There's nothing binding about it though, the decision to delay or not delay, ask for a FBI investigation or not still has to be made by the full senate.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Yablo » Fri Sep 28, 2018 7:00 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:Any good and reasonable utilitarian understands that you can't maximize good if you actively practice utilitarianism 24/7.

And any good and reasonable ethicist understands that Virtue Ethics are far more important and beneficial than Utilitarianism. I mean, are you going to take the word of John Stuart Mill over that of Aristotle? Jeremy Bentham over Plato?

Also, please don't take that as a serious argument. I do, personally, find Virtue Ethics to be of greater value than Utilitarianism, but both are valid philosophies.

sardia wrote:Kavanaugh just got the committee to approve him, he's well on his way to become Justice Thomas 2.0
Maybe when we appoint the third Justice accused of rape, he will actually back down.

And when we appoint the first justice convicted of rape, I'll agree he should.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Fri Sep 28, 2018 7:05 pm UTC

It's easy to deny a job to someone sitting in jail. The part you don't understand is where you did something very wrong, and didn't get caught by the cops. By your logic, Catholic priests accused of pedophilia shouldn't be punished because their victims didn't report in time.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Zohar » Fri Sep 28, 2018 7:18 pm UTC

Yablo wrote:
sardia wrote:Kavanaugh just got the committee to approve him, he's well on his way to become Justice Thomas 2.0
Maybe when we appoint the third Justice accused of rape, he will actually back down.

And when we appoint the first justice convicted of rape, I'll agree he should.

So up until April 2018, when Bill Cosby was found guilty, you would have been fine to put him on the court? I mean I guess I don't think much of your political opinions in the first place so it's hard to make me think less of you.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby The Great Hippo » Fri Sep 28, 2018 7:21 pm UTC

Yablo wrote:And any good and reasonable ethicist understands that Virtue Ethics are far more important and beneficial than Utilitarianism. I mean, are you going to take the word of John Stuart Mill over that of Aristotle? Jeremy Bentham over Plato?

Also, please don't take that as a serious argument. I do, personally, find Virtue Ethics to be of greater value than Utilitarianism, but both are valid philosophies.
Virtue ethicists are just utilitarians who mistook Kant's Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals for a min-maxing strategy guide.

EDIT: This is a joke, too, by the way. I think virtue ethics are fine. I also think utilitarianism can account for the advantages of virtue ethics, but that's because I'm a utilitarian.
Yablo wrote:And when we appoint the first justice convicted of rape, I'll agree he should.
Just out of curiosity: Is there any point where the number of accused rapists on the Supreme Court would bother you?

If every last one of them had been accused of rape, would that give you reason to be concerned?

And if so, would you be more concerned regarding the possibility that some of them were guilty, or over the idea that they had ever been accused at all?
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Yablo
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Yablo » Fri Sep 28, 2018 7:23 pm UTC

sardia wrote:It's easy to deny a job to someone sitting in jail. The part you don't understand is where you did something very wrong, and didn't get caught by the cops. By your logic, Catholic priests accused of pedophilia shouldn't be punished because their victims didn't report in time.

That's not at all the direction my logic leads. It's got very little to do with the delay in the allegation and much, much more to do with the proof of the allegation.

Catholic priests (or anyone else for that matter) accused of pedophilia should be punished regardless of when the victims made the reports, but only if those reports are proven to be true. To punish someone based solely on an accusation and not on evidence which eliminates reasonable doubt is wrong. It's the sort of thing China, North Korea, Iran, and the (former) Soviet Union would do; not America.
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The Great Hippo
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby The Great Hippo » Fri Sep 28, 2018 7:24 pm UTC

Yablo wrote:Catholic priests (or anyone else for that matter) accused of pedophilia should be punished regardless of when the victims made the reports, but only if those reports are proven to be true. To punish someone based solely on an accusation and not on evidence which eliminates reasonable doubt is wrong. It's the sort of thing China, North Korea, Iran, and the (former) Soviet Union would do; not America.
Denying someone a position on the Supreme Court is only a punishment if you think that people like Kavanaugh are entitled to a position on the Supreme Court.

Judging by his behavior, Kavanaugh seems to agree with you.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Yablo » Fri Sep 28, 2018 7:35 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:Virtue ethicists are just utilitarians who mistook Kant's Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals for a min-maxing strategy guide.

My initial reaction to that was to argue that it kinda was a min-maxing strategy guide. Then I realized it only supported your argument.

If every last one of them had been accused of rape, would that give you reason to be concerned?

That definitely would give me cause for concern, and it would lead me to believe that at least one of them probably was guilty.

And if so, would you be more concerned regarding the possibility that some of them were guilty, or over the idea that they had ever been accused at all?

I don't mean to imply that accusations of this seriousness get thrown around like trash talk at a sporting event, and the volume of accusations shouldn't be ignored, but the fact they had been accused wouldn't be at the top of my list of concerns. I would be much more concerned with the possibility (and apparent probability) that one or more of them were guilty, but I certainly wouldn't advocate clearing the bench (so to speak) and starting fresh. Find the bad apples and throw them to the pigs. Keep the good ones for the horses.

The Great Hippo wrote:Denying someone a position on the Supreme Court is only a punishment if you think that people like Kavanaugh are entitled to a position on the Supreme Court.

Judging by his behavior, Kavanaugh seems to agree with you.

Denying someone a position on the Supreme Court because of an unproven allegation is a punishment if they would otherwise have been confirmed. No, no one is entitled to a position on the Supreme Court, but anyone nominated is entitled to a fair confirmation hearing.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby ijuin » Fri Sep 28, 2018 7:52 pm UTC

On the other hand, holding the confirmation vote before the majority of the accusers have been allowed to give testimony is hardly the level of jurisprudence that we want for the highest court in the land, yes?

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Sep 28, 2018 7:58 pm UTC

I'm utilitarian-ish. I advocate for a version utilitarianism that weights people's utility based on the utility they provide others. E.g., I care more about increasing the utility of the person who has a job teaching in an inner city school and spends their free time volunteering at soup kitchens and such more than the utility of the person who has a job telemarketing and kicks puppies, not just because I think good things should happen to good people, but because I believe doing so encourages people to be good. There is some feedback loops since helping "good" people is worth more than helping "less good" people, and I believe it's possible for some people to have negative utility (e.g., the puppy-kicking telemarketer). Giving comfort to such a person would also be a negative action, so I'm wondering if there's a situation where a Mr Rogers type who spends his time teaching convicted sex offenders how to read somehow ends up as the most evil person on Earth according to the system, but I'm not claiming it's a fully formed and consistent ethical system.

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The Great Hippo
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby The Great Hippo » Fri Sep 28, 2018 8:06 pm UTC

Yablo wrote:Denying someone a position on the Supreme Court because of an unproven allegation is a punishment if they would otherwise have been confirmed. No, no one is entitled to a position on the Supreme Court, but anyone nominated is entitled to a fair confirmation hearing.
I disagree, but more to the point:
ijuen wrote:On the other hand, holding the confirmation vote before the majority of the accusers have been allowed to give testimony is hardly the level of jurisprudence that we want for the highest court in the land, yes?
Yes. Delaying your nomination because there are allegations of sexual misconduct that ought to be investigated is certainly not punishment by any stretch of the imagination. And arguing that these delays are just part of a Democratic tactic to prevent the nomination altogether only apply here if you presume that Kavanaugh wouldn't be exonerated by such an investigation.

You could argue that the Democrats are hoping for a sweep that will give them the clout to genuinely block Kavanaugh's nomination. Okay -- that's shitty motivation on the part of the Democrats. But that doesn't change the fact that these accusations exist (as does evidence that they are apolitical in nature). Our response to accusations like this ought to be to delay the nomination so we can investigate them. Pushing the nomination through without actually stopping to investigate the accusations -- because permitting time to do so would not be politically expedient? Again, that's putting party ahead of country.

Just because the Democrats might be using these accusations to play political games doesn't somehow make it okay to play political games right back. Treat these accusations precisely how you would if the Democrats had nothing to gain from them. Would you delay the nomination of a judge if several women stepped forward and accused him of sexual assault and sexual misconduct? Of course you would. Any sane and reasonably ethical person would want to stop and figure out precisely what the hell is going on.

The Democrats are doing the right thing for what might be the wrong reasons. The Republicans? They're just doing the wrong thing -- period.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Thesh » Fri Sep 28, 2018 9:04 pm UTC

We can talk all day about whether or not this should be enough to sink someone. The fact of the matter is that there is nothing about Kavanaugh that suggests he is at all qualified or ethical, nor that he is anything but a die-hard authoritarian who always looks for any excuse to rule against the weak and in favor of the powerful. There is absolutely nothing ethical at all about what Republicans are doing, and anyone who supports them in this is a terrible person.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Sep 28, 2018 9:26 pm UTC

I don't have a particular beef with many of his positions. Well, I have no more beef with many of his positions than I would expect to have with any other republican nominee.

But we could have all that easily enough without nominating him. The issues I see as redeeming factors(strong second amendment, etc)...it's not as if we need to accept him in order to get those.

And frankly, if there were issues you could only get supported by advocating for a terrible person, that ought to be cause for self reflection.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby SDK » Fri Sep 28, 2018 10:30 pm UTC

It's really the Republican's fault they're feeling crunched for time here anyway. If they hadn't set precedent by blocking Garland back when it was Obama's turn to pick, they wouldn't have to worry about the Democrats blocking their pick on the off chance they win the midterms. It's weird... it's almost like working together actually does make life better for everyone!
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Sep 28, 2018 10:34 pm UTC

But if they hadn't blocked Garland, they would've only had 1 conservative SC Justice now. Assuming no more retirements/deaths, if the Dems win big the score will be 1 conservative and 1 moderate justice, if not, 2 conservative justices, versus 1 conservative and 1 liberal justice.

Working together isn't going to get the Republicans the results they want.


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