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Messages - Dr Matrix

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1
Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Gun Control
« on: October 06, 2012, 04:05:33 PM »
All of this is untrue.

Actually, the perception of risk is an established field within the broader study of psychology. So no, it's not all untrue.

As for the person asking why they don't issue cars to troops to kill people with, the answer is they do. It's called a humvee.

The humvee is primarily issued for transportation and as a platform for fire support - it is not issued to every soldier as their primary armament.

Using this ruling for whether something is dangerous is rather interesting. None of the guns I own are used today in war. Does this make them not dangerous?

That's a great non sequitur right there.

Based on your own argument the car is entirely under regulated and much more dangerous than the gun. By every standard you people have given the car is much more dangerous.

Actually I think you forgot the ease of concealment, the effective kill range, rate of fire, ease of carry into confined spaces such as schools, cinemas and shopping centres and ease of (mis)use by young children.  But other than those, you're absolutely right, the car is far more dangerous by any measure  ::)

Lastly I'd like to talk about the argument that guns are "intended to hurt people." Most guns are manufactured with the intent of hunting or target practice. Very few guns are manufactured with the intent of killing someone.

As Saddam said, this argument is pretty irrelevant really, either way.


As far as I can tell the opposition to gun ownership is purely fueled by a personal dislike for the idea of guns.

Other than the empirical fact that 68% of homicides had a firearm as the murder weapon?  Yes, it's all just that I don't like guns....

Really is this why we armed the afghan populace and they fought off the well trained well armed russians?

Most US gun owners do't have Stinger missiles.

2
Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Gun Control
« on: October 06, 2012, 01:46:53 PM »
Drunk driving*

In the UK it's referred to as drink driving - yet another example of why the glorious British English is so vastly superior to the drab American version ;)

3
Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Gun Control
« on: October 06, 2012, 06:10:11 AM »
Like I mentioned a few posts back, I think the perception of risk by some people is the US is such that they feel they do need a gun in the same way they need a car.  My challenge was that the perception of risk is based not on empirical data but on emotional bias and fear - a more analytical, rational person realizes that their gun is not a safety net, but actually a large increase in risk to their own safety and those around them. 

The key is that the fear of being attacked and powerless is so emotionally charged that it overrides the rational side of the individual, and the brain's capacity for self-deception bridges the gap by convincing you that to not own a gun is clearly irrational, even in the face of evidence to the contrary.

Gun ownership by the public is a very interesting study in psychology, and I believe (and hope) that in time it will go the way of drink driving in terms of social acceptability and state intervention.

4
Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Gun Control
« on: October 04, 2012, 03:39:32 PM »
Guns aren't as dangerous as cars. So no you haven't disproven my point.

If cars were as effective at killing people as guns, troops would be issued with a Chevy Impala rather than an assault rifle.

yes you refuse to admit that they can be used safely for defense when I've showed multiple examples of them being quite effective at defending people who are being attacked something that you say doesn't happen.

They can be used safely for defence (safe for the user, anyway), which I never denied - please check your facts.  They can also be used to accidentally shoot someone, or intentionally shoot an innocent person, or be stolen and used in another crime, or be picked up by a child (who typically finds them easier to operate than a car).

yet cars are used to murder people every day. Why conceal it when being in a car is a great form of concealment. No one suspects the person sitting in the car to want to run them over, but vehicular homicide is definitely a reality.

68% of murders in the US involved firearms.

I think you have to concede that your car-toting murderer is in the minority.

You use guns? How many times have you accidentally killed your family members?
None.  Oops I just proved your point, oh wait, no I didn't.

Why bring up suicide then?

I think someone else did first; I was keeping the argument based in reality as much as possible.

So the rich maintain their protection and the poor lose it? Interesting.

I think I mentioned that the UK solution wasn't perfect, and that there was some residual unnecessary gun ownership.  Please keep up.

5
Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Gun Control
« on: October 02, 2012, 08:48:52 AM »
Ugh, I keep going back and forth on this thread. "Wow, that post was right, guns probably shouldn't be leg-...actually this made really good points, alright, yeah, I think they should be lega-...okay, well this one--".

>:(

It's almost like it's a tricky subject  ;)

6
Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Gun Control
« on: October 02, 2012, 06:46:18 AM »
If the state cannot be trusted already while we do have arms, how are we ever be assured that transition will succeed as we want without being able to have guns? The U.S. has a track record that would make such a switch worrying.

I think my point was more that owning guns hasn't stopped brutal suppression of free speech by the US government in the past, so from that standpoint what's the point? There are precedents of peaceful protests overcoming armed suppression (Gandhi) and more recently the public outrage at peaceful Occupy protesters being gassed by security officers shows that the best defence against tyranny is likely not an armed insurrection but a free press and accountable democracy to prevent the tyrants from getting power in the first place.

7
Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Gun Control
« on: October 02, 2012, 06:21:17 AM »
I believe the usual argument is that if every citizen is armed then the state will find it harder to impose dictatorship on the populace.  That doesn't seem to have worked out so well in any other country, but you can see historical precedence in the UK in the middle ages, when every man was not only able to get a bow, but legally required to be very effective with it.  This law arguably allowed the populace to rebel against the tyrannical governments of later years and secure greater freedoms, such as the right for common men to own land.

While this kind of law has little place in the modern world where, as you say, economic warfare can cripple a state (just look at the oil refinery blockades in the UK a few years back, or the miner's strikes of the 1970's) and force change against the will of the government.  Democracy itself should be our first line of defence, but again I've yet to see a country with an efficient democratic government.

If the US were to outlaw gun ownership, it would be almost certain that a transition period would be required - there would be a period where most people did not have guns, but the police still did.  That's not tyranny unless the police start shooting unarmed people who are peacefully protesting against the government (which has happened multiple times in the US before, with gun ownership in place anyway).

8
I'll be supremely impressed if:

a) it actually goes up in that time
b) It doesn't cost the lives of a small town's worth of poor construction workers
c) It stays up.

That's what she said.

lol

9
Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Gun Control
« on: October 02, 2012, 12:40:13 AM »
So a gun is in any way similar to a tank or a nuke? Awesome.

I take it you are not familiar with ad absurdum? What am I saying, of course you are, since you later go on to compare guns to cars: I would advise against being quite so hypocritical in your arguments if you want to maintain a veneer of sense to the position you're trying to defend.

As for gun ownership, it is an inherent right in my country. Guns are used for sport, are used effectively for home defense, and aren't the horrible danger you try to make them out to be.

Guns are extremely dangerous, otherwise they would be quite ineffectual for home defence.

I've shown multiple examples of them used in self defense. You've only stated that they can harm people which is a known fact and completely irrelevant.

So what, I should quote an equal or greater number of stories about how people were killed illegally with guns to prove my point? Obviously that's not going to be a problem.  The fact that guns and other projectile weapons such as crossbows are much more dangerous than the next 'tier' of weaponry, namely bladed items, is very relevant to this discussion - as mentioned above, it is the danger they pose that makes them attractive to both law-abiding citizens and criminals alike.

Cars are the number one cause of accidental death in the US, yet they won't be made illegal and you won't ask for them to be made illegal. Every american house hold has a killer parked in their garage many times more lethal than a gun.

If the internal-combustion-engine-driven car were invented today, I doubt it would be legal, but that's a moot point.  I was actually going to raise the issue of cars myself, since it's another example of the disparity between perceived and actual risk. People own a gun to protect themselves against the (to be honest) small risk of a home invasion while they are present, and yet are quite happy to drive around in a metal box with a tank of explosive liquid attached.  As you say, road deaths are a big, big killer and are in principle easier to prevent, and yet there is no public desire in the US for the state to insist on tougher safety standards for cars, lowering speed limits or pedestrianizing city centres... Why? Because "people love their cars", just as "people love their guns".

Cars are an excellent example of the psychology of risk.  So no, I won't call for cars to be made illegal since there is no viable alternative for the vast majority of drivers - public transport is certainly not up to the task of replacing the car entirely, and there are numerous instances where owning a car provides a huge boost in convenience, safety and freedom.  Guns (in the US, at least), on the other hand, are 'convenient' only a tiny fraction of the time and, unlike cars, can be easily replaced by a publicly funded alternative, i.e. the police.  You can't conceal a car about your person and hold up a bank with it, or take it into school, or into work, or into a shopping centre...

Cars have been used in suicides quite frequently whether it is by carbon monoxide inhalation or simply driving them into traffic/walls. You dislike guns for what they represent then use crappy arguments to justify this stereotype in your head.

Firstly, I don't dislike guns - I go shooting whenever I get the chance (.44 Magnum is a personal favourite): this is always abroad, since handguns are banned in the UK.  What I object to is the policy of allowing them to be carried by the general public when it is much safer and more effective to control crime with an efficient police force, backed up by a fair and efficient justice system.  Guns are popular in the US partially because it has at best (and varying on location) one of those three things (an efficient police force) - the justice system in the US is appalling, being neither efficient nor fair, and feeds into the need for suspects to avoid being arrested at all costs: even if they have not committed a crime, they feel they will be unfairly treated.

Returning to your point, if you are set on killing yourself then owning a gun only makes it easier - I suspect there is little impact on suicide rates overall. I was mainly referring to guns being used accidentally rather than with the intent of suicide.

Also, the arguments against mass gun ownership that I put forward are not crappy, and if they really were you would have no problem in countering them more effectively than you have done.

Here's something I find funny. In england people wealthy enough to have large properties are free to own guns given the right permits. The rich retain their rights while the poor are protected from themselves. I'd rather live in a country that doesn't try to protect me from myself. I've done quite fine so far.

As I said, people with livestock to protect should be allowed to own appropriate shotguns (i.e. not military-grade automatic shotguns) to protect them.  The wealthy going hunting on private land is not really covered by this mandate, so yes, the UK isn't perfect either (quel surprise).  You can't legally hold a handgun in the UK, so while in principle a wealthy landowner could take his shotgun, saw the barrel off and go hold up a bank, he doesn't really need to since he already owns that bank (probably).  Most people who own guns in the UK do not do so to protect themselves from other people, in any case, they own them either for sport or livestock protection - again there will be exceptions (I know at least one personally, who is what I believe you call a 'prepper').

I must also point out, again, the amazing and unapologetic hypocrisy of your post when you live in pretty much the most plutocratic society that has ever existed!

10
Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Gun Control
« on: October 01, 2012, 03:02:28 PM »
since having a gun in the house is more likely to result in your own or a family member's death than that of anyone else, why stack the odds against yourself?

There's that weird argument again - assuming causation.  It's not like having access to a gun is what brings out the murderer in you, or the suicidal tendencies, or the recklessness.

Accidental gun deaths are a lot more common than accidental knife deaths, thanks to the 'great levelling' capability of the gun.  I work with someone who was the victim of an accidental shooting when he was visiting an American colleague - suffice to say I don't think it'd be too hard to sell him the idea that gun ownership carries risks to the innocent.

11
Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Gun Control
« on: October 01, 2012, 02:58:32 PM »
I see. I disagree with your position so my arguments are illogical. Gotcha.

Please try not to react like an angry noob - we're both grown-ups here. I called your position illogical because there is no clearly reasoned defence of it - gun ownership is at best an admission by the state that it is incapable of protecting its citizens, and at worst a recklessly cavalier policy to appease a paranoid, fearful and emotionally immature society.

My bad for supporting an unpopular idea on the site.

Your persecution complex is misplaced, I fear. I take exception to your ideas from a rational standpoint.

Yes things that we own can harm us, that in no way means that you should have the right to take these things away.

The first duty of the state is to protect its citizens.  A logical way to protect the populace from rogue elements is to limit access to deadly weapons, not only reducing the availability of them to criminals but making their possession socially unacceptable (except in cases where there is a clear function, such as farmers), thus decreasing their desirability in the first place. This also places the police force at an advantage and means it can react in a less aggressive way, increasing trust and reducing accidental deaths. A logical populace will therefore grant the state powers sufficient to limit the availability of firearms and other deadly weapons, and a logical state will argue this case to those who feel the need to protect themselves.

Where does the line between self defence and inappropriate armament appear, if you allow the weaponization of the populace? Automatic weapons? High calibre weapons? Explosives? Gas? Mines? Lasers?

Please tell that armed man in the wheel chair why you think he should have been at the mercy of those three men that decided to force their way into his home.

The odds of a disabled man being assaulted or killed in his own home is exceptionally small.  Should all Americans keep RPGs in case of a tank assault from Mexico? Should every house be fitted with a lightning rod, built on stilts and encased in nuke-proof concrete and steel bunkers? Of course not.

That said, there will always be the tragic cases of the powerless being unable to defend themselves from those who wish them ill - gun ownership is a treatment for that societal disease that kills far more innocent people than it saves.

12
Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: The US has done it again
« on: October 01, 2012, 03:10:12 AM »
I think his current choice is far more statesmanlike, befitting the seniority and gravitas that he commands on these forums.

13
Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Gun Control
« on: October 01, 2012, 02:33:40 AM »
Really which statistics show a correlation between gun ownership and increased suicide rates, and don't try to pull the increased chance of "gun suicide rates" because how you have fun is irrelevant. Also, you've shown one newspaper article about a teenager wearing all black and a black mask trying to stab his adopted father with some shiny object getting shot.

http://gunssavelives.net/self-defense/nh-woman-uses-handgun-to-stop-daytime-home-invasion/

http://www.buckeyefirearms.org/node/7049

The second link is a man in a wheel chair that was able to stop a home invasion. The handicapped have a distinct disadvantage when it comes to defending themselves. Guns level the playing field. Are you really going to discriminate against the handicap and say that they can't defend themselves?

That NH woman would have likely been raped and even killed. I somehow doubt she could have physically resisted a man entering her bedroom while she was just waking up.

I could go on and on with links defending my position, but all of these isolated events are anecdotal evidence. Your claims that guns don't save people are clearly wrong and exaggerated.

I have to say I'm amazed how someone who is usually as logical and analytical as you, Raist, can possibly be in favour of gun ownership by the general public.  The world is not awash with rapists and murderers just waiting for you to click the light off in your bedroom to come charging in and have their way with you - that's the same kind of paranoid argument that stops people letting their children out to play because there is a paedophile lurking in every playground (and yes, I am a parent).  The 'cure' is worse than the disease.

You are right that guns level the playing field - they make it very likely that any confrontation will result in one or more deaths, rather than one or more injuries. There will always be exceptions - if no-one ever successfully defended themselves with a gun there would be no case for it at all - but since having a gun in the house is more likely to result in your own or a family member's death than that of anyone else, why stack the odds against yourself?  It's like living on top of a lightning rod to ride out the once in 100,000 year flood that will reach that high - it's madness.

The real problem is the comfort-blanket effect that guns give people - you feel safer, regardless of how much more danger you are actually in.  It's a sign of societal immaturity and wilful ignorance, to be frank.

14
Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Gun Control
« on: September 30, 2012, 12:16:44 PM »
Most burglars are drug addicts.
http://strongsville.patch.com/articles/the-no-1-reason-burglars-break-into-homes
and they aren't interested in hurting you. They aren't coming into my house to attack me with a pencil. In fact they would rather I wasn't there at all because they are only there to fuel their habit.

If I have a gun and confront a burglar, his only option is to shoot me. If I have no gun, he can turn around and run. So British burglars aren't going to take a gun on a job. They know they can just run. You can't run faster than a 9mm so an American burglar is gonna come packin'.

QED.

15
Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: The US has done it again
« on: September 30, 2012, 08:52:07 AM »
Plus, you know, the US still acts as the de facto guarantor for the entire global economy given how many nations are dependent on it - as far as the US government is concerned it can spend spend spend as much as it likes, because if it all goes tits up then whatever global solution is required to fix it will still leave it on top.  Basically the US government thinks it has far more to lose than to gain by acting responsibly, so why bother? Just assume nothing catastrophic will happen in the next 4 years and throw the problem over the fence for the next guy to deal with.

Most governments are guilty of this to a greater or lesser extent - it's pretty pathetic really, playing brinkmanship with the future of the global economy and the welfare of billions of people.

16
Technology, Science & Alt Science / Re: The Sun is Held together by Pressure
« on: September 19, 2012, 06:47:17 AM »
PV=nRT

Seems relevant.

Only if we assume an ideal gas within the equations. And I'm not 100% positive, but I don't think it's applicable for a system composed of plasmas'.

It isn't, but it's a start.

17
Technology, Science & Alt Science / Re: The Sun is Held together by Pressure
« on: September 18, 2012, 10:54:36 AM »
PV=nRT

Seems relevant.

18
The Lounge / Re: Post an image of yourself!
« on: September 17, 2012, 03:24:04 PM »
Where are all the pics of hot chicks? I thought I was the only guy here and you were all hot chicks having pillow fights in your underwear and you all wanted a massive orgy.

Have you all been lying to me all this time?

I'm the one in the middle.



Thank you for keeping the illusion going for just one more post.

19
Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: The US has done it again
« on: September 17, 2012, 03:20:24 PM »
All religions are retarted, its just that Islam is in its extra-retart state of mind because it feels like the bullied new kid. I just hope 4chan doesn't start making entire Muhammad troll campaigns. If a single video or a picture can butthurt millions of people, imagine what an entire site can churn out.

In a way, I hope they do just to highlight how utterly ridiculous their position is.  Then again, that would be massively irresponsible and provocative, so probably for the best if they don't.

20
The Lounge / Re: M-M-M-MONSTER FAIL!
« on: September 17, 2012, 03:18:39 PM »
... new tattoo.



I wondered how long it would take someone to post this here

21
Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: The US has done it again
« on: September 17, 2012, 03:08:40 PM »
Clearly our opinion of Islam should depend on whether or not we can find more pictures of Muslims holding signs that advocate peace than pictures of Muslims holding signs that advocate violence.

No, it should follow the American model and be based entirely on which side has the flashiest advertising campaign and the deepest pockets.

22
Flat Earth Q&A / Re: Do Stars Move?
« on: September 17, 2012, 03:01:44 PM »
I guess multiple objects at the same height appear closer together when viewed from an angle.

Assuming light travels in straight lines in an absolute preferred reference frame from the stars.

23
The Lounge / Re: Post an image of yourself!
« on: September 17, 2012, 02:03:40 PM »
Where are all the pics of hot chicks? I thought I was the only guy here and you were all hot chicks having pillow fights in your underwear and you all wanted a massive orgy.

Have you all been lying to me all this time?

24
Technology, Science & Alt Science / Re: The Sun is Held together by Pressure
« on: September 17, 2012, 11:53:05 AM »
I feel it's only fair to point out that the sun is held at its quasi-static equilibrium by the balance of internal pressure against gravitational collapse. Radiation pressure accounts for a part of that equation.

25
Flat Earth Q&A / Re: Gravity
« on: September 16, 2012, 04:49:22 PM »
The FE disc or plane is the epitomy of Einstein's rocket - the constant acceleration is indistinguishable from gravity, so the FE and RE cases are equivalent according to special relativity.

26
Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Gun Control
« on: September 16, 2012, 04:43:01 PM »
Guns are illegal in schools. Further proof that prohibition of guns causes fatal shootings to be worse.

I see no flaw in this logic.

Gun rights advocates claim that having a gun will help prevent shootings. You can't have a gun at a school so it obviously will not effect whether a shooting can happen or not.

I see no flaw with this logic.

27
Technology, Science & Alt Science / Re: The Sun is Held together by Pressure
« on: September 16, 2012, 04:37:39 PM »

I just need to know your rational which draws you to the conclusion that it is impossible for the Sun to be held together by external forces.


If it were external forces then why would there be a high density core instead of a ball of uniform density?

28
Technology, Science & Alt Science / Re: The Sun is Held together by Pressure
« on: September 15, 2012, 03:26:24 AM »

I just need to know your rational which draws you to the conclusion that it is impossible for the Sun to be held together by external forces.


If it were external forces then why would there be a high density core instead of a ball of uniform density?

29
Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: The US has done it again
« on: September 15, 2012, 03:14:35 AM »
I think fundamental Islamists need to realize that the internet - and indeed free society in general - is incompatible with any notion of controlling expression or speech to the extent they would be happy with, and that they just have to accept, like everyone else, that the more attention you give a stupid thing, the more stupid things will be produced.  If they'd just tutted quietly and got on with their lives then the allegedly 'offensive' material would have disappeared into obscurity overnight.

30
Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Gun Control
« on: September 15, 2012, 03:07:09 AM »
Guns are illegal in schools. Further proof that prohibition of guns causes fatal shootings to be worse.

I see no flaw in this logic.

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