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on 472 Roots

472 Comments

Forum: Gun Control Discussion
Tama Yoshi
1

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Tama Yoshi 23 Canada PhlegmaticCholeric INTJ 513 472C
This debate is pretty open, you shouldn't feel like there's a need to say that suicide is right or wrong here. As we have pointed out, it's relative in a few ways.

Since you seem to find it difficult to defend *against* suicide, I'll try to highlight strong arguments from a typical anti-suicide position.

I think that the ideas behind the "surprising" opposition to suicide comes from the same cultural background as the people that claim that a single life is more valuable than anything else.

I feel this sort of position (that life is extremely valuable) can be defended based on two arguments:
1: the argument that whatever suffering which could lead to suicide acts as a misdirection. The future is uncertain and can be considered a "veil of ignorance" in the sense that killing ourselves now is much like killing some other individual in the future. This becomes non-trivial as soon as you realize that life changes very fast, and sacrificing 50 years of life to escape a seemingly hellish present could be misguided.
Similar arguments are made when arguing against abortion, although unlike suicide, I find myself not to be really against abortion at all. The difference, to me, is that resources have ALREADY been invested in the individuals' life, so his death would mean that all that the investment did not "really" pay off. The same cannot be said for the death of an embryo. This stems from a feeling of societal responsibility, and ties in with point 2.
2: the argument that anyone in society has a duty as a citizen, not because they are "FORCED TO BEHAVE!!!11" but because a citizen can simply not do all that he wants to. Society would not make sense without these kinds of social contracts; it wouldn't make sense if eveyrone was given the right to kill or steal. It wouldn't make sense if everyone spent away every single penny, leaving their entire family with a huge loan, and then kill themselves to "avoid the pain". As I pointed out, you can see an individual as a living investment of resources; his prematured death is the failure of that investment; it is therefore not desirable to have suicide (and here I do not say that it's a responsibility; just that it's not desirable). Tangentially, you could argue that any death whatsoever will eat at the state of equilibrium that may lie in any social context. Emotional, political and economical equilibrium can very easily be broken if someone decides to kill themselves.

Incidentally, I find it surprising that you haven't even scratched at the thought that the life of your family (and your brother's child) might not have been as bad if your brother had failed to kill himself, and then might have turned his life around, after eventually managing to push through his darkness (somehow), and so on.
While this is a hypothetical, if you put immense value on life (as many do), then even the sliver of a chance of saving a life has great value.
Forum: Gun Control Discussion
Tama Yoshi
1

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Tama Yoshi 23 Canada PhlegmaticCholeric INTJ 513 472C
You add interesting insight to the question.
I didn't say that suicide was wrong, but that *the way philosophers of justice have considered it* made it out to be essentially wrong.
People that commit suicide are in general in a very dire state of mind, so I agree that it's not their fault.
I wonder, though, what role you feel guns had to play in the suicides you just talked about (since this IS about the impact of guns in suicide cases). Do you not feel that the people would have had *less* chance of dying, and that things might have turned out *less* badly if guns had not been available?
Removing gun access would not rob people of the chance to kill in itself, it would just make them less likely to succeed (and as you said yourself, depression is an illness; I personally consider a person killing himself or herself when depressed the same as a person killed by some other physiological disease. This is different from deaths of alleged "I suffer every second of my existence", i.e. in an objective healthy *and complete* mindset; suicide is okay in this case, to me).
Forum: Gun Control Discussion
Tama Yoshi
0

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Tama Yoshi 23 Canada PhlegmaticCholeric INTJ 513 472C
It's a pretty bold thing to say that suicide is not all that bad, in a community [fighunter] with a history of people that have contemplated suicide. I think I've also heard (can't remember, but regardless it's plausible on its own) that suicidal people are more likely to die if they have access to a firearm.
It's very arguable that people have the right to suicide. Many philosophers of justice that have influenced modern justice assumed suicide to be wrong. It is, after all, a violation of our *own* rights; we do not *own ourselves* (as they would say). Suicide is not legal in all countries or states. Suicide can be said illegal the same as assisted suicide. If assisted suicide is illegal, then I don't see why it would be valid to cast off gun suicides.

Arguing (as I assume you would in response to this) that other means of committing suicide is messier achieves about the same as pointing out that gun control *may* save lives; it obfuscates the issue at hand. People *may* choose to kill themselves either way, and end up suffering more, or not, but they may also plain decide not to kill themselves (better), or fail to kill themselves (kind of better), so I do think suicide by firearm is a good point against gun ownership.

I do agree, however, that strict gun control is a good thing. That much is not matter for debate. I do wonder, though, if incentive for the existence of guns promotes the ability for people to bypass gun control. This would not be a premiere.
Forum: Gun Control Discussion
Tama Yoshi
0

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Tama Yoshi 23 Canada PhlegmaticCholeric INTJ 513 472C
Is this dead already? Hrm.
With the recent gun-slaughter news in Florida, I wondered what would happen here. But nothing seems to have come up.

In addition, I came across this article
∞ LINK ∞
Forum: Gun Control Discussion
Tama Yoshi
1

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Tama Yoshi 23 Canada PhlegmaticCholeric INTJ 513 472C
I have yet to be convinced of the purpose of firearms in anything other than police work and military work. And then again, I am not very fond of the military.
My life experience with guns is as follows: in fiction, the news, biographies, and sheathed in a cop's belt.
I have never seen a real unsheathed and ready gun, and for similar reasons, have never felt the urge of seeing one.

Then, one day, I stumbled on a video advocating conceal-carry on youtube. Naturally, the comments were very pro-gun. The video contained real audio records of people calling the police as they were being attacked by people. The "happy" scenario ended with the man shooting the aggressor twice in the chest, killing him and saving everyone.
When I commented about how this was presented as nothing short of a thriving success, and that it seemed a bit cavalier since a death had just happened, I was unsurprisingly lambasted. But then I pushed the argument further, and realized that I was talking to people that lived in places where criminality was at a much higher rate; people whom were genuinely worried about their security. We also explored how it was hardly realistic at all to hope to shoot someone anywhere but in the chest (center-of-mass as it was called; apparently, even cops are trained to shoot at center-of-mass, because it's just that hard to hit a target. It was also presented that someone hit anywhere by a gun still had chances of dying anyway).

So, security, personal security, seemed to have something going for it. After all, in extreme cases, it's not unreasonable to use extreme measures.
In Canada, it seems to be less of an issue because regulations are stricter, and I'm happy with not knowing what a "life with guns in it" feels like.
I'm against hunting, but only marginally.
I'm not against shooting as a sport if it's very well regulated.
I am almost uncontrovertibly against any gun that is as much as semi-automatic, because seriously, that's just designed for killing, not protection.

The biggest question, one that is very difficult to answer because it's at the core of the controversy around the right for carrying guns, is whether gun access exacerbates gun crimes.
It seems that the military is the obvious culprit here, and I really wonder what would happen if they were to suddenly go out of budget. On one hand, security measures would be decreased and crime would increase as a result. But the implicit decrease in impetus to the gun market might just as well reduce gun-related crime in itself. Would decreasing gun incentive also decrease gun crimes?

I don't live in that kind of reality. Naturally, I can only think "well gosh, I wish America was as gun-free as Canada"
From where I stand, I can't help but hear people advocate carrying guns and just wonder "Why don't we just ban guns altogether?"
Forum: The environment.
Tama Yoshi
1

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Tama Yoshi 23 Canada PhlegmaticCholeric INTJ 513 472C
I've come to accept that meat consumption is bad, especially red meat as it tends to be less ecological (more pollution) AND less good for the health (a comprehensive study showed that cultures that consumed red meats had lesser life expectancy. That doesn't say anything about other types of meat).

I've also read a few articles that highlighted the downright horrible conditions of modern massive farms. Since I don't really know our local farms, there's always a (high) chance my meat comes from "the bad places". I don't know about dairy, eggs, and such, but I expect this to be also quite bad. Modern farms don't treat animals like living things, just like machines. Capitalism tends to do that with humans too, so that's not really surprising when you think about it.

I still consume meat... but if I can leap on an easy vegetarian alternative, I'll do it. I really suck at finding things to cook (I don't want to cook 20 times the same thing in the row), and since I was not raised in a vegetarian way, there are hardly any recipes I know that are vegetarian. Thankfully, my girlfriend is vegetarian, so that steers me in the right direction.
I do feel a bit helpless about this, though. I wish it were possible to just change the way things were, with the huge meat industries. I see vegetarianism as a conscience cop-out in the sense that it hardly changes anything in the bigger picture.
Forum: Is Poetry a Waste of Time?
Tama Yoshi
0

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Tama Yoshi 23 Canada PhlegmaticCholeric INTJ 513 472C
It's easy to get carried either way when talking about art.

It takes "feels" to appreciate art; it takes "feels" to create art.

So is art really just a subset, or an epiphenomenon of feelings? It's always felt that way to me. It's easy to picture a robotic form of intelligence: its ruthless pragmatism is unmoved by art, and ultimately dismisses it as unimportant.
So is art really good? Well... are feelings good? Who are we, people gifted by this thing called "feelings" which seems to be constructed to appreciate itself, to say that feelings are *good*? We are the ONLY PEOPLE to say that feelings are good, and thus that art is relevant.
This question is unanswerable on a larger scale as long as we do not find (or make) new forms of intelligence.

As for poetry... well... why poetry? Why not music, visual arts, radio, video games, television...? Is this really the *poetry* poetry, or any kind of literature? If it's the former, then when does a text become *poetry* and not just some other work of literature?
There is also the fact that poetry (the poetic kind) has become a quite dense and inaccessible media, seldom preferred to any of the other forms of art I have listed. So democratically, no. And by virtue of the simple fact that art is art, please don't force me to choose.

I tend to see grandiloquent pedantry in these kinds of attempts to say "this is really important" or "this is very bad" or "things should be THIS way". If we weren't "feeling individuals", we wouldn't care. While we probably have a collective will to preserve these feelings, I think it's also very easy to get all touchy-feely when dwelling on. That is, feelings are very intangible, and talking about the legitimacy of certain medium of beauty is rarely anything but circular or unfounded.
Forum: So what do you all want to talk about?
Tama Yoshi
1

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Tama Yoshi 23 Canada PhlegmaticCholeric INTJ 513 472C
I could talk about a lot of interesting things I've looked up in the past few days.

First is what's called the "delayed choice quantum eraser experiment", which, in physics, is like an ever more baffling version of the double slit experiment (the experiment where "observing the light" seems to have an effect on which light behaves). That new experiment seems to suggest that, not only does the possibility of an observation change the behavior of light, but does it also do so, in a manner independent of TIME. That is, you can "have the chance to observe the light at a point A in time, and it will dictate whether it behaved as if it had been observed at a point B in time, where B is in the past of A".
All of this is very very strange because it suggests that you can alter things in the past based on whether you can have observed them or not. A nice video to explain the experiment, and its weirdness, is this one: ∞ YouTube ∞
Speculate at will, it's quite fascinating, and shows how Quantum Mechanics is NOT intuitive.

Second is a sort of perpetual reminder that cognition is screwed in our current society. I've always been the kind of person that's wondered how it was possible to veer people in ways that they could think of things in the wisest ways possible. This, for instance, takes clear shape in the behavior of members in a cult, which are ready to believe and do whatever they're told to, which is ludicrous almost 100% of the time.
In my English class, our teacher tends to like throwing great philosophical questions in our faces (to get us talking, because this is a SECOND language class, and just interacting in English is seen as a learning activity), and it's all really fun. Last week was all about advertising, and how the society was getting increasingly deceptive and how it was becoming increasingly hard to see "what there really was". We read a text about the omniscience of the "Natural/Artificial flavors" in our every meal, saying THAT mysterious ingredient was basically why things tasted like they did (that is, good).
During our conversation, I linked the topic to a documentary I've seen recently, called Do Not Track (can be found online). The documentary talks about social media and Big Data, and how easily the big companies harvest information about your behavior to infer various things of advertising value, such as what you're likely to desire, etc.
The reason this makes me think that cognition is screwed is because of the effect they talked about with the mechanisms of suggestions. They said that there was a clear "polarization" of the Internets, on themes such as Global Warming or Political debates. The hypothesis is that because people take sides in these debates, and because the mechanisms of recommendation are specifically geared at finding what you're bound to be interested in, most people will be put in a situation where they'll be fed "confirming information", where they're essentially exposed to ONE SIDE of the argument.
Anyway, this is worrying in the same way as people that are converted by cults: it puts them in a situation where they become widely confident of what they believe in, all the while showing them only ONE SIDE of the coin. For people that just "take sides", I believe it's just going to make fools out of them.
Forum: Is thought possible without language?
Tama Yoshi
1

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Tama Yoshi 23 Canada PhlegmaticCholeric INTJ 513 472C
Question:
A man is solving a riddle/puzzle/problem at hand. Like any man, he does not really think with words, despite not being illiterate. Are the thought processes going in his mind "thoughts"?

Yes => Animals are capable of thoughts to some degree, and language is not necessary for thought.
Forum: Subtle Super Powers!
Tama Yoshi
1

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Tama Yoshi 23 Canada PhlegmaticCholeric INTJ 513 472C
I'll contribute with my own!

Hero: Tama 'Yoshi'
Ability: Has shoes that make him go very fast, but in a physically realistic manner. The shoes override local wind friction and complexity of pathetically fast leg-movement, BUT does not manage breaking or gravity (when going down hills or stairs, etc.). Allows for walking on water at high speeds. It's all in the shoes, really.
Personality: Wayward, wants to have his way with everything. Genuinely believes he is better than everyone, and a 'hero-to-be' about something vague.
Based on: The Flash, but physically realistic (you can die from mismanaging momentum, bra). Also, based on most Shonen protagonists that are usually wayward in their own ways (but seldom get punished for their foolishness; Tama does get punished).

Secondary: Gaedra 'Bakar'
Ability: Has an enchanted feather earring which makes her very light. She can go all over the place because as she hops around, leaps from wall to wall, seemingly floating in the wind.
Personality: Oddly childish, but with a taint of maturity hidden behind the veil. She acts casually about everything by synthesizing the generic to the views of a child.
Based on: Certain kawaii girls in anime, but particularly Edward (a girl) from Cowboy Bebop, whom has a wildly childish personality which seems to clash a lot with her obvious genius. She also does crazy inane contortionist feats and hops all over the place "as if weighing like a feather".