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Old 11-08-2013, 03:32 PM View Post #11 (Link)
ScottyMcGee (Offline)
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Originally Posted by lalodragon View Post
Honestly, we're still being blind-sided. Some of the shootings in recent years involved people who were mentally ill or had some criminal history. James Holmes's weapons pile could have drawn government attention. (I don't say it should have, but this is the sort of thing they're watching for.) I understand the goal of the program is to stop these things. If that's not the point, what is? What good does it do?
I was more implying preventing attacks developed from overseas. You know, like people within our country connected to possible terrorism. Shootings and such I think are an entirely different issue, more gun-control relating, tackling on mental care issues, etc. Those can be solved without the use of secret recordings.
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Old 11-08-2013, 03:35 PM View Post #12 (Link)
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Originally Posted by Bilbo View Post
I say all that just to ask, can you prove it is a "necessary evil," keeping in mind all the previous nations that have done great without it ?
How can anyone really prove something is a necessary evil? What's realistic and what's idealistic is entirely subjective.

Originally Posted by Bilbo View Post
Of course, I must admit, as in every debate about wrong and right, everything rests on a particular viewpoint. I as a Christian, for example, see that the government is explicitly given by God as a "Sword" to punish "evil-doers." That, in my opinion, is the role of the government (making me very old-fashioned and narrow-minded, I guess ) Thus, turning the government into an "Spy" that will "silently and surreptitiously spy on the good guys in case the bad guys do bad stuff" is totally wrong, being precautionary rather than reactionary.
I feel like you have a convoluted train of logic, here. The government spies on the good guys in case the bad guys are doing bad things? What does that mean? The government spies on its own citizens because it knows, realistically, that there are plenty of bad American people.

Originally Posted by Bilbo View Post
Other religions and philosophies would result in different viewpoints. For example, atheism would say that government is a system that resulted through random chance, and has no meaning or divine authority. Thus, government has no specific role to fill, and can spy if it desires.
Um... no, this is not at all what atheists believe. Please don't put words in other people's mouths.

Governments are created with the intention of preserving a set of agreed-upon morals over a certain geographic area. They're not meaningless. I'm an atheist, and I just argued against spying because I believe that the constitution should have power, because I believe it's necessary for a society to maintain an agreed-upon set of morals, otherwise there is no basis for the society. Transgressing that moral code on a whim essentially makes it useless.
  
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Old 11-08-2013, 03:51 PM View Post #13 (Link)
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How can anyone really prove something is a necessary evil? What's realistic and what's idealistic is entirely subjective.
My point is that an evil is never necessary.


I feel like you have a convoluted train of logic, here. The government spies on the good guys in case the bad guys are doing bad things? What does that mean? The government spies on its own citizens because it knows, realistically, that there are plenty of bad American people.
I would suggest your thoughts are more relevant than your feelings. I was saying that the government spies on all people - the "good guys" - in order to find a few people - the "bad. I understand perfectly why the government spies. The question of the debate is, is that justifiable?


Um... no, this is not at all what atheists believe. Please don't put words in other people's mouths.
Hold on here!! I stated, "atheism would say that government is a system that resulted through random chance, and has no meaning or divine authority. Thus, government has no specific role to fill, and can spy if it desires." The only thing I would now change is to say "ultimate meaning" rather than merely "meaning," but it amounts to the same thing. What I mean by meaning is not "practical purpose," because it does have that, but that that a government has no ultimate, objective, unchangeable purpose; it is a manmade institution that has no Divine Blueprint, and therefore has no laws to break with regards to "how a government should be."



Governments are created with the intention of preserving a set of agreed-upon morals over a certain geographic area. They're not meaningless. I'm an atheist, and I just argued against spying because I believe that the constitution should have power, because I believe it's necessary for a society to maintain an agreed-upon set of morals, otherwise there is no basis for the society.
That's easy for me to understand. What I don't understand is how I'm falsely portraying an Atheist viewpoint. Could you please quote exactly what I said that you disagree with, and show me why it's wrong?


Transgressing that moral code on a whim essentially makes it useless.
No it doesn't. It just weakens it. Morals from an Atheistic viewpoint are meant to be purely pragmatic; when they don't work, you don't use them, and if you don't want to use them, you don't use them. If you disagree, you have to explain exactly what you mean.
I probably shouldn't keep commenting because what you've written is really, really insulting, but, I mean, come on. It really sounds like you're trying to demonize atheists.
I understand what you're feeling. In fact, I was extremely shocked when I first found out (a few years back) that atheists actually became offended and shocked when I referenced their lack of objective morals, and their ultimate meaningless existence (in their viewpoint.) However, I don't see why you would care if this demonizes atheists. If there is no God and no good, "demonization" is just a silly term referring to a non-existent concept of right and wrong, and being a demon is just as "good" and "meaningful" as being an angel.

EDIT: Silly me. I just PM'ed Dabs, and if he wants to keep discussing this, we'll do it on Personal Messaging. Sorry. Don't worry, I'll try not to make the thread drift too far
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Old 11-12-2013, 03:25 PM View Post #14 (Link)
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If something is wrong, don't do it. I think it's as simple as that.
In a 'right' world it would be as simple as that. But the issue isn't about absolutes; there's an important middle-ground to consider.

Ultimately, this may be a question of which is more important: our safety, or our privacy?

This small article suggests evidence for the side of spying and invasion of privacy; that without it, things could be a lot worse.
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Old 11-12-2013, 07:00 PM View Post #15 (Link)
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I remember in "Ocean's Eleven" Mr. Benedict said to Julia Roberts: "In my hotel there's always somebody watching"
So, our world is becoming Mr. Benedict's hotel.
In Russia FSB agents are green from envy to the NSA achievements in terms of total control.
They say 'Why couldn't we do this? Why Americans are always ahead of us?"
The other say ' NSA earns its bread honestly and has a horde of smart guys and their only mistakes is that they overlooked Edward '
Most of Russians (populace) don't give a shit for whole that Snowden case, they say ' If the security agency is gonna listen to our phone talks let it be."
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Old 11-13-2013, 08:32 PM View Post #16 (Link)
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In a 'right' world it would be as simple as that. But the issue isn't about absolutes; there's an important middle-ground to consider.

I understand your point here, Spiders, but doesn't a rephrasing of that simply turn into, "In a good world morality is important, but in a bad one we can do bad things if we really "need" (want) to" ? So I'm curious - how would you defend that view (if, that is, I'm understanding you correctly.)

Ultimately, this may be a question of which is more important: our safety, or our privacy?

This small article suggests evidence for the side of spying and invasion of privacy; that without it, things could be a lot worse.
+1000 for the first sentence, except I would restate it, "Our safety or our freedom." Tho it's not debating or intellectual or whatever, I'm curious about everyone's view on this: what would you rather have? I for one, know that I would rather have freedom.

1) But since we're justifying all actions by whether or not they result in less crime and terrorism, let's think about other, non-invasive techniques. 2) Capital punishment (as a reactionary, rather than precautionary method) would doubtless prevent many crimes (and terrorism, exempting, say, suicidal fanatics) from even happening, while still giving people freedom.

3) Honestly, how many times have you seen a bomb explode in a public place, set off by a suicidal radical? Probably none. Other methods (such as more extreme punishment,) would stop the majority of dangers to society - common crimes. The crazy kamikaze plots are far and few between and, in my opinion, are worth far less than my family's freedom.
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Old 11-13-2013, 09:02 PM View Post #17 (Link)
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Originally Posted by Bilbo View Post
2) Capital punishment (as a reactionary, rather than precautionary method) would doubtless prevent many crimes (and terrorism, exempting, say, suicidal fanatics) from even happening, while still giving people freedom.
Not necessarily true.
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Old 11-14-2013, 01:12 AM View Post #18 (Link)
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Originally Posted by lalodragon View Post
Not necessarily true.
Interesting. Perhaps I'll have to reconsider. (Though I still consider freedom more important than safety.)
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Old 11-14-2013, 03:08 AM View Post #19 (Link)
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I don't know if I have an answer to the question of safety vs. privacy. I value both, and I suppose I instinctively value privacy more, and yet I constantly reap the benefits of living in a world where my safety is much more insured than other places in the world. I'm sure some of that safety exists because of certain people committing immoral acts to protect it.

The question for me is: do we realize how our lives would change if we removed the immoral behavior that a portion of our security comes from?

I think that has to be answered before we can ask ourselves if we value privacy over safety.
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Old 11-14-2013, 04:22 AM View Post #20 (Link)
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The most dire fact is that we can never know for sure whether we are spied or not. One may "enjoy" his privacy, like Dabs, having no idea of being watched, but I'm afraid the era has come when nobody is able to feel his entire privacy. Nobody can be absolutely sure of this, at least. And of course, it is unpleasant situation, not to say " holy feces".
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