Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Against Attacking Iraq, But for Attacking Libya

Some conservatives have pointed out what they believe to be hypocrisy on the part of liberals who support Obama's attack on Libya, while being against the war in Iraq. I am one of those on the left, although only marginally so, who supports intervention in Libya, while still believing that the invasion of Iraq was unnecessary, and I don't think I'm a hypocrite for doing so. When I would argue with conservatives about the merits of the Iraq war, they would ask me, "do you think Saddam Hussein should stay in power?" and I would say no. So then they would ask me how I expected him to be removed if not by other countries invading, and I would say, there was a perfect opportunity for Saddam to be overthrown when Iraqis themselves, Kurds to be more specific, rose against him after having been specifically instructed to do so by George Bush Sr. and CIA operatives. That would have been a great time to take out Saddam's forces from the air, without invading, and allowing Iraqis to gain control of their own country for once.

Now some argue that the war is not constitutional, and they may have a point. Obama did not successfully gain explicit congressional authorization for the attack on Libya, and his defense that American soldiers are not being put in harms way, therefore America is not really at war, is, I admit, quite a stretch. But the same fucking day, a bill that would deny Obama the funds he needs to carry out the operation in Libya was also voted down, and that vote included a significant number of Republicans, some of the very same Republicans who denied authorization for the operation that they then voted to fund. This proves to me that the protest against the attack on Libya is nothing more than an act.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

What Exactly Was Original Sin?

There are many Christians who concede that the Book of Genesis was metaphorical not literal, but I've never heard any Christian explain exactly what this metaphor represents, specifically the whole business with the apple and the expulsion from Eden. Presumably, since they still believe in original sin, there was some kind of event that got god angry at us for which Jesus needed to be sacrificed in order to save us all from hell, but what was this? What does the metaphor of the apple represent? If this was not a historical account, then what event in history actually did result in this original sin?

Why I Am Not Agnostic

Most Atheists are, in fact, agnostics. They know there is no proof that god does exist, but many will concede that they cannot, in fact, prove that god does not exist either. They simply cite the lack of evidence for god as a reason to not accept the proposition of his existence. I, on the other hand, am convinced of the non-existence of god, or at least they Abrahamic conception of god, because I believe it to be completely incoherent. I, in fact, can't believe it, because it makes no sense.

What I find specifically nonsensical is the idea that god created time, ie. that time and the universe had a beginning, and god is responsible for that beginning. God himself, however, did not have a beginning. This implies that god can exist in a state independent of time. This is incoherent. Time is a necessary condition for existence. Nothing can exist, not even god, in a state in which there is no time. If time had a beginning, then everything that exists also had a beginning, including god.

In order for something to be said to exist at all, it must exist for a period of time. If time had a beginning, how long did god exist before that beginning? Zero seconds, in other words, god did not exist before the beginning of time. The only way the idea of an eternal god, ie, a god without a beginning makes any sense is if time also had no beginning. It is only in an eternal universe that an eternal god makes any sense.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


I wince whenever I see someone in their 20s getting married. I've always felt like marriage should be for old people. Getting married is what you do when you figure you're too old to attract any more sexual partners, so you cling to the one that still seems to find you attractive and you don't let go.

Now, I know plenty of people who are married, who, I'm sure, are sincerely in love and will probably stay together, but I just don't see why couples like that bother to get married. If you really love someone, why get the state involved in it? Benefits aside, it just all seems so insecure to have a big party celebrating the fact that you will never have sex with anyone else ever again and sign a legal contract testifying to it. That doesn't sound to me like something you would do with someone you really love. It sounds like something you would do if you're desperately insecure about your ability to attract a mate.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


There is currently a debate among vloggers on YouTube about the merits of anti-natalism, the position that people should not reproduce due to the suffering inherent to existence. I don't consider myself an anti-natalist, but in way this position kinda makes sense. One of the ethical questions raised by the prospect of artificial intelligence is whether, in the event that we create a machine capable of consciousness, and on top of that capable of emotion, we should give it the capacity for suffering. There's something kinda disturbing about deliberately giving a conscious being the ability to suffer. The only reason you would do such a thing is because you wanted this machine to actually experience that suffering. This seems almost sadistic. Even if you also make it capable of pleasure, and ensure that pleasure makes up the vast majority of its experience, to add in the ability to suffer still seems rather cruel. So when we think we've discovered a way to create a machine that can suffer, some will question whether actually doing so is morally acceptable.

But isn't it odd that we never usually ask this question about creating a child? Why do we not feel that creating a child, which is no less capable of suffering or any less likely to actually suffer, is equally immoral?

The best answer I can come up with is that some of us maybe see it a chance to live our own lives again. It's a chance to redo our childhoods but with the knowledge and advice that we never got. It's become a cliche that parents want their children to have all the advantages that they never had. We all think about things we would have done differently and maybe how much better our lives would be had we only known then what we know now. Being a parent is an opportunity to do exactly that, if only vicariously.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Proof the Republicans Are Posturing

This article proves that all this noise Republicans are making about Obama violating the War Powers Act is just a pretense. They're not actually going to DO anything. They want Qaddafi taken out as much as anyone. They just want an excuse to criticize.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Why Democrats Don't Defend Each Other

The best example of this is the way Al Gore distanced himself from Bill Clinton. Given that most people did not give a shit about Bill Clinton's personal life and his approval ratings continued to rise all the way through the impeachment process, this was not only unnecessary, it was strategically stupid.

The real question though, is not so much why Democrats won't defend each other as it is why Republicans never seem to get any heat for defending the guys in their own party when they get into trouble. It's clear why Democrats wont defend each other; they don't want the stink of scandal to rub off on them. The real question is why the stink never seems to stick to Republicans who defend corrupt Republicans.