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> The Right Wing Megathread, ITT: RM gets to be a partisan hack with reckless abandon
Crow
post Mar 23 2012, 07:01 PM
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QUOTE
Well, I think in history we are usually encouraged to critically evaluate interpretations, but we're not supposed to just make up our own with no basis in historical methodology.

That.

Also: I suppose if Tennessee was trying to make the argument that science is about relentlessly probing the available data from all angles with constant inquiry rather than a static pool of accepted knowledge, it would make some sense to train kids to think about a variety of theories and possible alternate explanations. If only that was the argument they were using...


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Research Monkey
post Mar 24 2012, 06:49 PM
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QUOTE (AK_WDB @ Mar 22 2012, 11:22 PM) *
QUOTE (Research Monkey @ Mar 22 2012, 07:17 PM) *
2. Why is science unlike history, mathematics, or French? Do you encourage your high school students to challenge the fundamental axioms that underlie topological spaces? Are they supposed to critically examine whether historians' explanation for the religious and political motivations for the 30 Years War are adequate? Does the state of Tennessee encourage kids to engage in a discussion of the inefficiencies of French grammatology? The answer to those questions is no. So why in the world is this different?

Well, I think in history we are usually encouraged to critically evaluate interpretations, but we're not supposed to just make up our own with no basis in historical methodology.

Interestingly enough, I did read an article over the summer that challenged the fundamental axioms of set theory, calling them a "sorry list of assertions". It also tied that to the inadequacies in high school-level math education, for reasons which partially escape me, but I think the idea was that we gloss over the theoretical underpinnings of more basic math (arithmetic and algebra) because mathematicians have made them more complex than they need to be. The article specifically challenged the axiom of the infinite set. And you know, I thought it was an interesting article, but I wasn't about to show it to my major advisor for fear of being called crazy. Even in the purest of fields there is a certain amount of intimidation against "unorthodox" ideas, and that's not always bad, but it needs to be carefully monitored.

That's sort of a tangent, and I'm certainly not trying to say creationists are an oppressed minority within the scientific community. It just means I tend to be careful about, for example, saying that I "believe in" evolution or global warming, to avoid making science as dogmatic as religion. I believe in those things in the same way that I believe dark matter exists: because smarter and better qualified people have told me so, not as an article of faith that I'm unwilling to question.


What I mean is that I don't think high school students are encouraged to read through a textbook and say "yeah, I think my theory is much better than that one," and since no high school history teacher has ever touched a primary source document other than the playbook of their football team's offense, there is not really any encouragement to gather the requisite information in order to challenge historical ideas on any reasonable level in high school. Maybe everyone else had a different high school experience, but in mine, critical reexamination was not a priority.

I sort of get into that in my next paragraph, and yeah, I agree that there should be very little that we take as absolutely set in stone and proven. That said, I try and base my beliefs on arguments that are the least bad and I expound theories that are the least bad, at least until further less bad evidence can be proposed to change my mind. I don't think an ardent belief in evolution or global warming is irrational on the basis that they are the least bad theories available in my estimation.

QUOTE (AK_WDB @ Mar 22 2012, 11:22 PM) *
QUOTE
The idea that scientific theory gives two smurfs what a bunch of kids in Tennessee think is part of the fundamentally flawed worldview that creates space for this kind of irrationally dogmatic religious faith in the first place. Reality is indifferent to your observation of it, and to the opinions you subsequently develop. This kind of legislation is trying to get kids to think that science is up for discussion, and that their believes and opinions are most important. That's smurf, and inherently solipsistic. Which is smurf.

Science is always up for discussion, but the basic idea that needs to be drilled into kids' heads is that scientific ideas must be falsifiable. Science isn't about proving things true as much as proving things false. Creationism obviously does not live up to that standard.


That's actually only one doctrine of the philosophy of science. It's a compelling solution to the problem of induction, but there's plenty of criticism of falsificationism. It's a standard used by the courts in ruling out of the teaching of creationism, and it's much more usable than, as you say, the unwieldy verificationism, but I'm not sure teaching science as inherently based on falsification is a good idea either. Any discussion of falsification precipitates questions about induction and the validity and usefulness of inductive logic. Besides, I think to a large extent, Thomas Kuhn was right to suggest that the principles of falsification are not so steadfastly adhered to within a given practical scientific paradigm. But is that something we should teach to high school kids? No, Kuhn is clearly misunderstood by half of the undergraduates in philosophy classes, so teaching all of these underpinnings of science means we really would need to teach more philosophy and more logic at a very young age. Sadly, that strikes me as unrealistic.

This post has been edited by Research Monkey: Mar 24 2012, 06:51 PM


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Research Monkey
post May 9 2012, 10:43 PM
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Something to ponder:



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AK_WDB
post May 10 2012, 01:20 AM
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That post is unworthy of you, Research Monkey.
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Widget!
post May 10 2012, 02:00 AM
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QUOTE (AK_WDB @ May 9 2012, 06:20 PM) *
That post is unworthy of you, Research Monkey.


Right, because there was totally a non-ignorant reason to support Amendment One. Gays already couldn't marry in NC, per state statutes.

No, you know, I'm gonna go ahead and say the offensive thing: If you oppose gays getting married, you're ignorant at best. If you think legalizing gay marriage constitutes an assault on religion, you're paranoid and stupid.


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QUOTE (overly_critical_man @ Sep 19 2011, 11:04 AM) *
QUOTE (Research Monkey @ Sep 19 2011, 08:59 AM) *
Also, why are there serious posts in here when we could be talking about ass and bacon?


I often lie awake in bed at night, wondering this to myself.
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AK_WDB
post May 10 2012, 02:10 AM
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QUOTE (Widget! @ May 9 2012, 06:00 PM) *
QUOTE (AK_WDB @ May 9 2012, 06:20 PM) *
That post is unworthy of you, Research Monkey.


Right, because there was totally a non-ignorant reason to support Amendment One. Gays already couldn't marry in NC, per state statutes.

No, you know, I'm gonna go ahead and say the offensive thing: If you oppose gays getting married, you're ignorant at best. If you think legalizing gay marriage constitutes an assault on religion, you're paranoid and stupid.

smurf you, Widget. You're the one who's ignorant, or more specifically, you're infernally convinced that your combination of a reasonable degree of intelligence and a college education makes your views the only possible correct ones, enlightened and superior to anyone who might disagree with you.

Was that offensive enough for you? I'm not objecting to your statement because it's offensive; I'm objecting to it because it's wrong. There are extremely intelligent and thoughtful people who have studied this issue for years and come to different conclusions than you and I have. Your refusal to acknowledge that is what makes you ignorant.

As for RM's post, it is true that a correlation exists between ignorance and opposing gay marriage, but the implication of looking down on less-educated people is deplorable. If you actually believe people only oppose gay marriage because they haven't been educated, then that is not their fault; you should be trying to teach them, not insulting them. The hypocrisy in both of your posts is astounding.
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Widget!
post May 10 2012, 02:37 AM
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I really hope you don't intend to match me for offensiveness, Will.

Let me share a story with you. It's the story of a young guy with liberal tendencies, stuck in a terrible town full of terrible people. Now, this young guy is idealistic, and wants a better world for everyone. He's also arrogant enough to think he can change minds. He also seems to think that beliefs don't deserve the same scrutiny as statements of fact.

So this young guy, confronted with people who objectively know less than he does about things like evolution and who disagree with him on what religious freedom means, tries to change minds through enlightenment. He reminds them of the Bible verses they've ignored, the factual issues involved with marriages, the statistics on divorces, but never does he tell them, "The complete lack of justification of your stance, coupled with the negative consequences makes it an unacceptable stance." Why? Because like you, he thought it was okay for people to believe however they chose to believe, and that the important thing was to teach people rationally and calmly.

It never worked. With the religious, their change of mind only ever came following their departure from the fold. With the nonreligious, he was only more confused as to their steadfast belief that "gay is aberrant" or that evolution isn't a thing.

Will, if you want to defend bigotry to me, that's smurfing fine, but all I see from that is a firm conviction to allow people to brutalize gays, hate on Arabs, and ignore science. That's all you're doing, is allowing that smurf to continue. "It's okay for this old smurf to keep being a bigot, because it's his beliefs! And how dare you simply state he's ignorant! You're mean!"

Orson Scott Card opposes gay marriage because he's an ignorant bigot. The Catholic League opposes gay marriage because they're ignorant bigots.

Oh, and by the way, smurf, on most issues, I don't think my stance is the only acceptable one. If you disagree with me on politics, you probably have a reason to. If you disagree with me about art, food, sex acts, drugs, literature, or TV, you probably have a reason. On this issue? Absolutely my stance is the only rational, acceptable stance, and I would love to see you attempt to suggest otherwise from a secular perspective.


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QUOTE (overly_critical_man @ Sep 19 2011, 11:04 AM) *
QUOTE (Research Monkey @ Sep 19 2011, 08:59 AM) *
Also, why are there serious posts in here when we could be talking about ass and bacon?


I often lie awake in bed at night, wondering this to myself.
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AK_WDB
post May 10 2012, 03:03 AM
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QUOTE (Widget! @ May 9 2012, 06:37 PM) *
Let me share a story with you. It's the story of a young guy with liberal tendencies, stuck in a terrible town full of terrible people. Now, this young guy is idealistic, and wants a better world for everyone. He's also arrogant enough to think he can change minds. He also seems to think that beliefs don't deserve the same scrutiny as statements of fact.

So this young guy, confronted with people who objectively know less than he does about things like evolution and who disagree with him on what religious freedom means, tries to change minds through enlightenment. He reminds them of the Bible verses they've ignored, the factual issues involved with marriages, the statistics on divorces, but never does he tell them, "The complete lack of justification of your stance, coupled with the negative consequences makes it an unacceptable stance." Why? Because like you, he thought it was okay for people to believe however they chose to believe, and that the important thing was to teach people rationally and calmly.

So if you believed that (or still do), why do you insist on calling anyone "terrible people"? How can you really believe that? If you grew up in the South 150 years ago, you would have been surrounded by people who supported slavery and had incredibly racist attitudes toward blacks. Does that make them fundamentally bad people, or does it make them products of their time? And can you really be so sure that, in that situation, you would have been the one to see through it all?

QUOTE
Will, if you want to defend bigotry to me, that's smurfing fine, but all I see from that is a firm conviction to allow people to brutalize gays, hate on Arabs, and ignore science. That's all you're doing, is allowing that smurf to continue. "It's okay for this old smurf to keep being a bigot, because it's his beliefs! And how dare you simply state he's ignorant! You're mean!"

It is true, I believe people should be allowed to do those things (except if "brutalizing" gays means physical violence). I believe people have the right to say pretty much whatever they want, no matter how offensive it is. But you are still missing my point. When you attack someone's character because of their beliefs, and I question you, it is not because you are being mean. It is because I think you are wrong. Your statement that everyone who opposes gay marriage is an "ignorant bigot" is objectively wrong, regardless of whether or not it's mean. "Ignorant" implies someone who has not studied the major arguments on both sides of the issue. "Bigot" implies someone who believes gay people are inferior, or who irrationally dislikes them. There are people who oppose gay marriage and fit neither one of those descriptions. Just because you haven't met them in St. John's, Arizona, doesn't mean they don't exist.

QUOTE
Oh, and by the way, smurf, on most issues, I don't think my stance is the only acceptable one. If you disagree with me on politics, you probably have a reason to. If you disagree with me about art, food, sex acts, drugs, literature, or TV, you probably have a reason. On this issue? Absolutely my stance is the only rational, acceptable stance, and I would love to see you attempt to suggest otherwise from a secular perspective.

Oh yes, I was talking about this issue specifically when I accused you of that. Sorry if that wasn't clear.
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BearMan
post May 10 2012, 03:03 AM
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Be careful, Widget. It's a very slippery slope when you say without a doubt you are 100% correct on a subjective issue. If that was true, 100% of people would believe it.


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Research Monkey
post May 10 2012, 05:31 PM
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QUOTE (AK_WDB @ May 9 2012, 06:20 PM) *
That post is unworthy of you, Research Monkey.


I would have preferred it didn't have the line at the bottom, I was more interested in the graphic.

QUOTE (BearMan @ May 9 2012, 08:03 PM) *
Be careful, Widget. It's a very slippery slope when you say without a doubt you are 100% correct on a subjective issue. If that was true, 100% of people would believe it.


I feel like we're going to need to have an epistemology debate here. People can totally believe things that are false. Subjective opinions can be bad and false.


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Research Monkey
post May 10 2012, 05:34 PM
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QUOTE (AK_WDB @ May 9 2012, 07:10 PM) *
As for RM's post, it is true that a correlation exists between ignorance and opposing gay marriage, but the implication of looking down on less-educated people is deplorable. If you actually believe people only oppose gay marriage because they haven't been educated, then that is not their fault; you should be trying to teach them, not insulting them. The hypocrisy in both of your posts is astounding.


Nah, and I know tons of people who who don't believe in gay marriage who do attend university at my school. All I'm saying is that the strength of correlation via a relatively crude instrument is rather interesting.


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Widget!
post May 10 2012, 06:48 PM
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QUOTE (BearMan @ May 9 2012, 08:03 PM) *
Be careful, Widget. It's a very slippery slope when you say without a doubt you are 100% correct on a subjective issue. If that was true, 100% of people would believe it.


A, The percentage of people that attempts to reasonably examine their beliefs is less than 100%.
B, There are bad opinions and beliefs. Examples: The Jews had the Holocaust coming for them. Black people are inferior to white people. Gay people have no right to get married.

Will:

1. They are terrible for other reasons, as well. I had hoped that would be clear. I'm sure you've all heard stories of how dysfunctional my town is, but suffice it to say, hating gay people is actually one of the more acceptable smurf-ups.

2. Yes. It does make them fundamentally bad. If one of the main things you believe is that black people are genetically inferior to white people, you are a bad person. If one of the main things you believe is that Jews should be expelled from England, you are a bad person. If one of the main things you believe is that it's okay to hate gay people, you are a bad person. And if you use a religion as dubious as Christianity to defend your argument that gays shouldn't get to marry, you're a bad person. Further from that, if you oppose gays getting married, and think you have a reason that isn't based in, "I just don't like gay people", you're a god damned liar.

3. A person's character stems as much from their beliefs as from any other source. It's not like I'm ignoring rational well-made arguments about why gays shouldn't be allowed to marry; I'm calling out bad people for being bad. Denigrating a person's character based on their beliefs when they use their beliefs to defend being a smurfy human being is not fallacious, and I have no idea why you're acting like it is.

4. Please, come on and give me a secular reason why gays specifically should not allowed to be married, and for why marriage should be codified as One Dude, One Chick. I'd love to tear it to shreds.

5. Please, show me some people who oppose gay marriage for some reason that isn't ignorance or bigotry. NOTE: Do not show me bigots or ignorant smurfs who claim not to be so.

Because I don't see any. I really don't. I cannot fathom a rational, secular argument opposing gay marriage. At all. The closest I can get is a rational, secular argument opposing marriage in general, but even that is easily toppled by taxes.

If it's their religion, it's still ignorance, as I know of no religion that is not based in the most absurd ignorance its day could offer.

If it's the way they were raised, it's still ignorance.

If it's because gay is unnatural, it's stupid, ignorant, and objectively false.

If it's because the point of marriage is to make babies, it's blatantly ignorant to what marriage is in the modern sense, and when the history major tells you you're too caught up in what something used to mean, you need to take a damn hint.

If it's because marriage is a religious notion, that's probably wrong, definitely ignorant to what marriage is in the modern sense, and it's just trying to claim some territory as the realm of only the religious, when no one religion can actually claim that ground.

And if it's because they just don't like gay people and don't agree with them, they're bad people.

So come on, Will. I'm going to be incredibly disappointed if you just rehash all of that in defense of awful human beings.


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QUOTE (overly_critical_man @ Sep 19 2011, 11:04 AM) *
QUOTE (Research Monkey @ Sep 19 2011, 08:59 AM) *
Also, why are there serious posts in here when we could be talking about ass and bacon?


I often lie awake in bed at night, wondering this to myself.
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AK_WDB
post May 10 2012, 09:13 PM
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QUOTE (Widget! @ May 10 2012, 09:48 AM) *
If it's because the point of marriage is to make babies, it's blatantly ignorant to what marriage is in the modern sense, and when the history major tells you you're too caught up in what something used to mean, you need to take a damn hint.

It is closest to this. I'm not all that interested in explaining it and getting "torn to shreds" because (1) I have work to do and (2) I don't consider it an especially good argument either.

And the other reason I'm not interested is because I know it won't make a difference, Brendan. I wish I could, because you seem to believe the majority of the human race is unworthy of your association or compassion. (Protip: if you say all racists are terrible people, and also claim to have compassion for poor people in Africa and Latin America, you're committing hypocrisy.) That belief is not only arrogant, but a recipe for an unhappy life. But the reality is, you'll continue to believe those things until you meet someone you really love and care about who also holds views different from your own.
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Widget!
post May 10 2012, 10:09 PM
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QUOTE (AK_WDB @ May 10 2012, 02:13 PM) *
That belief is not only arrogant, but a recipe for an unhappy life.


Bold statement.


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QUOTE (overly_critical_man @ Sep 19 2011, 11:04 AM) *
QUOTE (Research Monkey @ Sep 19 2011, 08:59 AM) *
Also, why are there serious posts in here when we could be talking about ass and bacon?


I often lie awake in bed at night, wondering this to myself.
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AK_WDB
post May 10 2012, 10:11 PM
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QUOTE (Widget! @ May 10 2012, 01:09 PM) *
QUOTE (AK_WDB @ May 10 2012, 02:13 PM) *
That belief is not only arrogant, but a recipe for an unhappy life.

Bold statement.

Seems like common sense to me. I wouldn't be happy if I hated most people around me.
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debator
post May 10 2012, 10:45 PM
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QUOTE (AK_WDB @ May 10 2012, 02:13 PM) *
(Protip: if you say all racists are terrible people, and also claim to have compassion for poor people in Africa and Latin America, you're committing hypocrisy.)

um, could you explain this? because i'm pretty sure i agree with both of those sentiments.


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Widget!
post May 10 2012, 10:59 PM
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QUOTE (debator @ May 10 2012, 03:45 PM) *
QUOTE (AK_WDB @ May 10 2012, 02:13 PM) *
(Protip: if you say all racists are terrible people, and also claim to have compassion for poor people in Africa and Latin America, you're committing hypocrisy.)

um, could you explain this? because i'm pretty sure i agree with both of those sentiments.


Racism abounds in those places, but I don't see how the hypocrisy follows.

Will, I'd like to make an interesting point to you: It's one thing to be racist when everyone's racist, and nobody around knows about genetics. It's another thing to be racist in a first-world country in 2012. You're still a terrible person as a racist, but when you're racist because literally nobody knows any better, there is some mitigation to your own personal responsibility for how awful you are.

This post has been edited by Widget!: May 10 2012, 11:00 PM


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QUOTE (overly_critical_man @ Sep 19 2011, 11:04 AM) *
QUOTE (Research Monkey @ Sep 19 2011, 08:59 AM) *
Also, why are there serious posts in here when we could be talking about ass and bacon?


I often lie awake in bed at night, wondering this to myself.
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Research Monkey
post May 10 2012, 11:12 PM
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QUOTE (AK_WDB @ May 9 2012, 07:10 PM) *
As for RM's post, it is true that a correlation exists between ignorance and opposing gay marriage, but the implication of looking down on less-educated people is deplorable. If you actually believe people only oppose gay marriage because they haven't been educated, then that is not their fault; you should be trying to teach them, not insulting them. The hypocrisy in both of your posts is astounding.


I missed this earlier. I wanna flip your argument around, because I think you have the causal relation here backwards.

Ignorantia non excusat. Ignorance is not an excuse. In fact, ignorance describes a state of not knowing and not wanting to know, which describes the way that gays are treated with intolerance in much of the modern United States. I say not that intolerant people are unaware and need to be taught in places like universities to be tolerant. Instead, I say that tolerant people reject the teachings of ignorance and seek out universities as places of tolerance and learning. Universities are not intended to be places for the uneducated to go to be educated, they're places for the less educated to become more educated. Until people turn off Bill Donohue, Rick Warren, Chuck Colson, Billy Graham, and all of their ilk, we will never have people who wish to learn from a world that they cannot reconcile with their silly book of stories.

Everyone is educated in some form or fashion. Some are educated about the real world, others about a made-up fantasy land. I don't like my decisions about the real world made by people who make decisions solely to get into the made-up fantasy land. I don't think that makes me a hypocrite. If it does, so be it.


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debator
post May 10 2012, 11:58 PM
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oh right, because it's impossible to have compassion for terrible people.


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post May 11 2012, 12:03 AM
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QUOTE (debator @ May 10 2012, 04:58 PM) *
oh right, because it's impossible to have compassion for terrible people.


It's because I obviously think most of the human race is unworthy of my association or compassion.


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QUOTE (overly_critical_man @ Sep 19 2011, 11:04 AM) *
QUOTE (Research Monkey @ Sep 19 2011, 08:59 AM) *
Also, why are there serious posts in here when we could be talking about ass and bacon?


I often lie awake in bed at night, wondering this to myself.
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