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View Diary: What's Your Definition of "Reality-Based" Thinking? (129 comments)

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  •  Obviously not everyone agrees that it's torture (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    grover, VClib

    and obviously not everyone agrees that torture is wrong. If the proof is so obvious I'd like to see it. And whether I agree is besides the point, the point is whether it is an objectively true fact. I consider it torture, but the idea of what is and isn't torture is squirrelly.

    If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

    by AoT on Thu May 23, 2013 at 05:04:43 PM PDT

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    •  obviously not everyone agrees that Hitler (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ray Pensador

      organized the biggest genocide in history. Are you saying that because of people who expose those opinions, it isn't an a true fact that Hitler's Third Reich is responsible for the largest genocide ever?  

      Your argument is offensive. And there is nothing squirrelly of what is torture and what not. Just ask the victims. They will tell you in case you don't know.

      Well, I don't know why I even get into this BS.

    •  Not everybody agrees about whether dinosaurs (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lostinamerica

      and men walked the earth at the same time about 6,000 years ago.  I'm not being flipped about your answer; I'm just surprised that you're using that argument.

      Not everybody agreeing about waterboarding being torture, or not is really meaningless, in the final analysis.

      Yes, the question is whether it is an objectively true fact.  And it is just that.  Objectively true.

      •  So where is your proof? (0+ / 0-)

        You said this:

        Again, using the Socratic method, within 5 or six line of arguments we can get to the truism that waterboarding is torture.
        I asked for those lines.

        If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

        by AoT on Thu May 23, 2013 at 05:40:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Here we go: (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lostinamerica

          This should be fun:

          Let's agree on using three short arguments each.  Here's my first one (from Wikipedia):

          Waterboarding is considered to be torture by a wide range of authorities, including legal experts, politicians, war veterans, intelligence officials, military judges, and human rights organizations. David Miliband, then United Kingdom Foreign Secretary, described it as torture on 19 July 2008, and stated "the UK unreservedly condemns the use of torture." Arguments have been put forward that it might not be torture in all cases, or that it is unclear. The U.S. State Department has recognized "submersion of the head in water" as torture in other circumstances, for example, in its 2005 Country Report on Tunisia.

          The United Nations' Report of the Committee Against Torture: Thirty-fifth Session of November 2006, stated that state parties should rescind any interrogation techniques, such as waterboarding, that constitutes torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment.

          Now, present your argument as to why you think is not torture.
          •  So you rely on political groups (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Neuroptimalian, grover

            to define what is an isn't torture. How is that objective? Who decides which groups get to decide that it's torture?

            If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

            by AoT on Thu May 23, 2013 at 05:55:18 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Do you think that a wide range of authorities, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              lostinamerica

              including legal experts, veterans, judges, and human rights organizations are "political groups?"

              That's the first fallacy of your counter-argument.  Legal experts, veterans, judges and human rights organizations are not political groups.

              I served in the military, and I remember covering this topic at bootcamp.  Here's the definition of torture:

              Torture, according to the 1984 United Nations Convention Against Torture (an advisory measure of the UN General Assembly) is any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him, or a third person, information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in, or incidental to, lawful sanctions. --UN Convention Against Torture
              Waterboarding, without question, without any room for debate, does exactly that.  It inflicts severe pain and suffering, both physical and mentally.
              [Waterboarding is] drowning. It gives you the complete sensation that you are drowning. It is no good, because you—I'll put it to you this way, you give me a water board, Dick Cheney and one hour, and I'll have him confess to the Sharon Tate murders. ... If it's done wrong, you certainly could drown. You could swallow your tongue. [It] could do a whole bunch of stuff to you. If it's done wrong or—it's torture, Larry. It's torture.

              - Jesse Ventura

              I've presented my own conclusion that waterboarding is torture; I've provided reference from reliable sources, like the UCMJ, the United Nations, and experts like (former Navy Seal) Jesse Ventura, to back up my assertion.

              You are now left with the task of proving to me, again following the Socratic method, that waterboarding is not torture.

              Please proceed...

              •  you've presented and argument based on authority (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                grover, VClib

                Not an argument based on objective reality. Your argument is that a bunch of people agree on it being torture therefore it is torture. That isn't how objective reality works. You're saying that a bunch of people agreed on a definition of torture and the agreed that it was wrong. That means that the definition of torture is a matter of agreement. I mean, there are plenty of other things that I would consider torture that they probably don't, how can we distinguish if we just use the finding you cite? What makes their definition any better than one someone else makes up?

                If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                by AoT on Thu May 23, 2013 at 07:15:50 PM PDT

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                •  My last answer in this Socratic method debate: (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  lostinamerica

                  Objectively, without having to resort to any authority, as a human being, I know that strapping somebody on a wooden board, covering their heads with a black hood, and pouring water over their noses and mouth and face to the point they feel they are drowning in order to force them to disclose information, is torture.

                  It is the essence of torture.

                  When you say "there are plenty of other things you would consider torture," you'r not advancing your argument in anyway.  Torture has a very specific definition.  If those things you would consider torture do not meet that definition, then objectively, is not torture.

                  I'm done.

                  •  That is the definition of subjective knowledge (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    grover

                    You're saying you know that something is true because you know it's true. By that reasoning all I have to do is find someone that knows the opposite of you and that would prove the opposite.
                    And let's be perfectly clear here. I completely agree with your position on waterboarding. It's torture and it's unconsciounable. But that isn't the point here. The point is how we arrive at that position.

                    If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                    by AoT on Thu May 23, 2013 at 08:04:28 PM PDT

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                    •  Are you familiar with the Socratic method? (0+ / 0-)

                      For example, let's say that I agree with you that what I'm saying is "subjective" and then we agree to start the discussion about torture from a blank slate.

                      So I ask you about what you think is torture, and you tell me, and then I tell you my understanding of it.

                      And then we take each statement and we reduce it to its essence, and you start talking about pain, suffering, fear, terror, the feeling of drowning, and we keep it at it, and then once you reduce each concept to its essence, you can't escape the final conclusion: waterboarding is torture.

                      You can't do that with any argument, as you suggest.

                      Let's say that I engage in a similar debate with one of the Koch brothers.  And he posits that the government should not get involved in preventing too much of a gap in income inequality; that the markets will take care of making sure everybody in society will benefit from this approach.

                      The same thing, you take every concept in the argument and you reduce it to its essence, and the inconsistencies and fallacies will start to manifest themselves pretty quickly.

                      Anyways, it's a little disappointing to see this statement from you:

                      By that reasoning all I have to do is find someone that knows the opposite of you and that would prove the opposite.
                      I expect that when debating a Tea Partiers, with their denying of science and all, but not from you.

                      Again, nobody can know the opposite about waterboarding because it is torture.  That's a truism.  And again, a truly Socratic method of debate will find it so.

                      But if you like, we can agree to disagree and let the readers decide for themselves.

                      •  I reread The Last Days of Socrates (0+ / 0-)

                        and have a degree in Philosophy. I'm quite aware of the Socratic method. I don't find it especially useful for the current discussion, primarily because it would help determine what I think is torture, but it wouldn't illuminate the broader issues here.

                        And what you're talking about isn't the Socratic method. Using the Socratic method would mean that one of us makes a statement about what we think torture is and the other asks a series of questions. It isn't a give and take, it's a teaching method.

                        you can't escape the final conclusion: waterboarding is torture.
                        You keep saying this but not showing it.
                        I expect that when debating a Tea Partiers, with their denying of science and all, but not from you.
                        You missed the point there. It wasn't that I believe what you block quoted, it was that using the method of proof that you used we end up in a situation where who we refer to is the important thing, not some essential truth about torture. You're saying that reality is a fixed thing and that something like torture has a fixed meaning and fixed set of things that are torture. I don't agree with that. Torture is a social construct. I think it's a useful construct, but it isn't some hard truth about the world. But because of that it is malleable and people can disagree about what it and isn't torture.

                        And again, I agree that waterboarding is torture. I think it's horrible and we need to prosecute the people who did it or are doing it. But that wasn't the point here.

                        If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                        by AoT on Fri May 24, 2013 at 09:56:56 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  Ray - you picked a bad example (0+ / 0-)

                    In the view of many people torture is when you have major organ failure or lose the function of one of your limbs. Under those rules waterboarding isn't torture.

                    Picking torture as your example was just a bad choice.

                    "let's talk about that"

                    by VClib on Thu May 23, 2013 at 10:18:25 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

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