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Messages - xasop

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Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Ultraprocessed Foods
« on: September 10, 2022, 09:53:57 PM »
I do not eat disgusting ultraprocessed vegetable material reformed to look, taste, and feel like meat. Ew.
It seems strange to avoid such a broad category of foods based on the general principle of production. Personally, I prefer to try specific products and decide if I like them.

That also does not appear to be what this article is talking about. Some examples of ultraprocessed foods it gives are "margarine", "candies" and "sweetened yogurt". Do you avoid these things too?

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Ultraprocessed Foods
« on: September 10, 2022, 09:32:26 PM »
I'll stick with real food myself.
What do you mean by "real food"? Do you only pick wild fruits and hunt game to avoid the human influence of artificial selection? Or is making our food supply more efficient only okay as long as we don't understand what we're doing too well?

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: The Queen
« on: September 09, 2022, 11:15:52 PM »
i realize i am of course doing major mental gymnastics here (probably because i just don't understand politics on your level), but do you think it's possible that these constitutional monarchies all function along similar lines because they share a common cultural and developmental heritage? like maybe the fact that they are all european is not a complete coincidence? i could be wrong, but it just seems like they're all pretty closely related to one another in space and time, so maybe we should be cautious about overgeneralizing from what is clearly not any kind of random sample.
I'm not sure what point you think you're making. Like, yes, political culture is a very important part of any political system that relies heavily on convention? Did that need to be pointed out?

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: The Queen
« on: September 09, 2022, 08:22:33 PM »
It seems to me that the UK has had the good fortune of having a reasonable monarchy made up of reasonble people.  This is not the same thing as having a well designed government. The test of how well a government is designed is what happens when unreasonable people gain control.
The UK is not the only democratic constitutional monarchy. There are six monarchies in the EU alone, and several more elsewhere in Europe. With the exception of the absolute monarchy of the Vatican, they all function along similar principles of limited power granted to the sovereign, whether through legislation or convention. It takes some mental gymnastics to suppose that they have all simply been fortunate for the past century or two.

If any of these appointed members does something the public finds egregious we can threaten the elected members of the government to remove them or we'll vote them out.  One only needs to look at the Trump presidency to see this system in action.
It takes 4 years to vote the POTUS out, during which time they can continue running the country with relatively few checks and balances. Meanwhile, if the King of the United Kingdom decided to try anything fishy today, you can bet that Parliament would be discussing how to put a stop to it tomorrow. Direct election is not the only possible means of accountability, nor is it a particularly efficient one.

If the head of state was not accountable to the people in this country then our world would be very different today and probably not in a good way.
That is because the head of state of the US has executive authority, whereas that of the UK does not (in practice). That has been my main point all along.

Do you mean ceremonial roles or actual decisions?  I only mean that question half rhetorically.  I can't actually find an article detailing any time that Queen Elizabeth intervened in government.
Dissolution of Parliament is a royal prerogative. When the Prime Minister decides it is time to hold an election, he or she advises the monarch of such, and the monarch dissolves the current Parliament so that a new one may be elected. I'm not saying this couldn't be done any other way, but it is the way it is done right now, so simply removing the monarch's power to dissolve Parliament would prevent the system from functioning.

Although I am not aware of this power ever being used against the PM's wishes in the UK, there was one case when the Prime Minister of Australia was dismissed by the Governor-General of Australia on Elizabeth II's authority. Although an exceptional event, this resolved a deadlock and enabled Australia to continue having a government at all in a time of crisis, so it is generally seen as a legitimate use of royal authority.

Of course not. If there is a problem to be solved, then we should solve the problem. My objection is to you claiming that we should solve a problem that doesn't exist.
I understand why it hasn't been fixed.  It takes expenditure of political capitol to change such things.
It's not a question of why it hasn't been fixed. I disagree that there is a problem to be fixed at all. The system merely works differently from the American system, and relies more on convention.

This is an interesting idea.  Is there some UK doctrine where this is stated explicitly or is this something that we hope they'll do in the event of a crisis?
This is my personal viewpoint, as someone who grew up in a country where Elizabeth II was head of state (but not the UK). Many others in the UK and elsewhere in the Commonwealth will have differing opinions, I'm sure.

It's not clear what you mean by "something that we hope they'll do". I didn't mention doing anything.

Also, I have to say, if we're calling a president, who is elected, less democratic than a monarch who isn't then we're doing great violence to the English language.
We are not talking about the same thing. You are talking about the monarch, I am talking about the monarchy. You are talking about an individual, I am talking about how the government functions as a whole. And yes, I do believe that a constitutional monarchy functions more democratically than an executive presidency.

Let me put it this way. In an executive presidency, you can have one individual who was elected by 51% of the population (or even less, with an electoral college) making decisions that affect everyone for years at a time with minimal checks and balances. In a properly functioning parliamentary system, you typically have a parliament composed of representatives of all viewpoints in society debating issues and coming to a collective decision. Democracy then happens daily in parliament, not once every 4 years. (The Parliament of the UK does not work in this way, but that is because of the substandard electoral system used and has nothing to do with the monarchy.)

If the cost of maintaining that representative democracy ­— in which competing interests talk to each other instead of one winning over the others for one 4-year term at a time — is that we have a single unelected individual serving in a ceremonial role, then that is a trade-off I am very happy to make.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: The Queen
« on: September 09, 2022, 08:22:35 AM »
So the law says the monarchy controls the military but we assume in a conflict between the people and the crown that the military will ignore the law and side with the people.
Actually, we don't need to assume anything. We have centuries of the monarch just letting Parliament get on with governing the country without interference, because starting a civil war that you are likely to lose for no reason is an absolutely insane idea.

You have to understand that this hypothetical of yours is comparable to the POTUS trying to pass an executive order declaring himself emperor for life. It is such an astoundingly absurd thing to do that, were it to receive even a modicum of support from anyone with the power to enforce it, the result would be a completely new regime and existing laws would be irrelevant anyway.

It seems to me that the system should be restructured so that the military is explicitly accountable to the people and not the crown as opposed to hoping they'll defy their oaths.
The point of what I said isn't that the system ensures victory for parliamentarians in a civil war. It is that a civil war is so obviously undesirable to all involved that it wouldn't even be contemplated. You are proposing radical, untested alterations to a system that has been working well for centuries in order to deal with an apocalyptic hypothetical that is extremely unlikely to ever occur.

I think a better comparison would be Israel.  They have a parliamentary system but without a monarchy.  Would Israel be better off if they added a monarch into the mix?
Israel has a non-executive president, which is functionally equivalent to a monarch in a democracy, so it is likely that nothing would change in the short term. In the long term, a non-executive president is far more likely to become an executive president than a constitutional monarch is to become an absolute monarch, so all else being equal, Israel would probably be more stable with a monarch. But there are so many more important factors than this at play that it's simply not worth contemplating a change in either direction.

Also a worst case scenario would be a monarch asserting their power in a tyranical way sort of like Mohammed bin Salman.
Or Robert Mugabe?

Let me ask this a different way.  If Queen Elizabeth had no defined powers over the UK would it have had any impact over her country?
Yes, because the monarch exercising certain powers on the advice of the prime minister is an integral part of how the British political system works.

So you can fire them if you're unhapppy with their choices.
That is not an answer to the question I asked, given the context. We have just established that you don't think every member of a government needs to be democratically elected. What is it about a head of state that means that person specifically needs to be able to be fired by popular vote, while others don't?

Practically speaking I suppose.  The monarchy has had a very corgi focused agenda for quite some time.  What if that changes?  What then?
You could ask the same question about any political system. If any system changed to be less democratic, then it would become less democratic.

If the monarchy somehow took a tyrannical turn and parliament stripped it of any authority would you oppose this?
Of course not. If there is a problem to be solved, then we should solve the problem. My objection is to you claiming that we should solve a problem that doesn't exist.

And to the same point, what does the UK stand to gain by preserving the power of the monarchy?
The monarchy has very little power, in practical (as opposed to hypothetical) terms. The institution of the monarchy is an insurance policy against an executive presidency, which is demonstrably less democratic than a constitutional monarchy.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: The Queen
« on: September 08, 2022, 10:39:57 PM »
So it's a monarchy which tolerates a democracy in law and in practice we're assuming that if push comes to shove the citizens can overcome the military which is another power that the monarch has sole control over.
"Monarchy" and "democracy" are not antonynms. It's a (constitutional) monarchy and a democracy. Also, it is highly questionable whether the military would remain loyal to a rogue monarch. Historical precedent is against you.

I'm not sure what the monarchy adds here.  It seems like the best case scenario is that they don't assert any power over their empire and basically function as the Kardashians.  Whereas the worst case scenario is much darker.
That is because you are comparing having a monarch to simply not having a monarch, which makes no sense. You can't just remove a monarch from the system and leave everything else the same, because then you would have no head of state. You need a specific alternative for any meaningful comparison.

If you compare a constitutional monarchy to the most common democratic alternative, that being a presidential system, then meaningful statements can be made. For example, the US president is not accountable to Congress and routinely signs executive orders without needing the support of his party or the electorate. Is that what you mean by the "worst case scenario"?

If instead of assuming the throne, if Charles just decided somehow that Elizabeth was the UK's last monarch do you think that would be a good thing or a bad thing?
Again, your question is meaningless because you are asking if I think it would be good or bad if the current system was replaced with something completely undefined. Some alternatives might be better, and some would certainly be worse.

Well not every member of the government.  But ideally at least the head of state.

Additionally this is not an accurate comparison.  We elect the people that appoint these positions. Sort of like how the people elect the members of parliament who in turn elect a prime minister.
And the UK Parliament also chooses not to push legislation to abolish the monarchy, because it isn't getting in the way of democracy and there are far more important issues to be getting on with. So, that's alright then?

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: The Queen
« on: September 08, 2022, 08:44:46 PM »
I admit I do have my biases as an American.  However I'm not seeing how a monarchy factors into the UK's success as a democracy.  Their status as a democracy exists at the pleasure of the queen, now the king.  The legal constraints on the monarchy appear too weak to really stop them dissolving parliament and nullifying any rule of law at their whim.
If you read the law outside the context of the society in which it exists, that would be a perfectly reasonable interpretation. The fact is that any attempt by the monarch to impose their authority would be seen as hostile by the vast majority of the British population, and they would be faced with three options: back down and do nothing, try to seize only a little bit of power so that Parliament has enough time to pass legislation stripping it away, or start a civil war. None of them ends in the monarch actually ruling the UK.

Oh.  I was confused.  I wasn't aware that England voted to install Elizabeth as the queen.
Nor did the American people vote for John Roberts as chief justice of the Supreme Court, or Christopher A. Wray as director of the FBI. Are you asserting that every member of a government must be democratically elected in order for the government, as a whole, to function democratically?

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: The Queen
« on: September 08, 2022, 07:44:15 PM »
You didn't present arguments, you rambled a bit about basic monarchist propaganda. Your post contained no data, no references, nothing that even remotely constitutes an argument. It's at best just a bad opinion, at worst, a photocopy of someone else's.
This is a web forum, not an academic journal. If you wanted to further the discussion, you could have engaged in good faith instead of calling my arguments "propaganda" for no justifiable reason. All of your responses so far have been completely pointless, even if your criticisms of my post were valid.

Pointing out your continued inability to formulate legible points. I'm not arguing with you, as that's a waste of time. I'm stating that you are not worth arguing with and that isn't a waste of time.
Actually, you're just wasting everyone's time, mine included. If your next post doesn't contain something more substantial, I will just cease replying.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: The Queen
« on: September 08, 2022, 07:33:05 PM »
My point is that you have none at all. You just rambled on about basic royal propaganda
I presented arguments to support my position, which is more than you have done.

then said anyone who has an opposing opinion is "from people who do not understand politics" before they even have a chance to state it.
So your response was... to not state any argument at all? What exactly are you trying to accomplish here?

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: The Queen
« on: September 08, 2022, 07:29:41 PM »
The existence of monarchs is undemocratic. That you've swallowed a long line of propaganda about monarchy is only representative of your own ignorance and hilarious opinion.
I'm sorry, was there supposed to be a point in there?

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: The Queen
« on: September 08, 2022, 06:40:02 PM »
At the same time, big picture, the UK, a powerful and modern nation with strong protections for individual liberty, has a fucking monarchy?
That's not a contradiction at all — constitutional monarchies tend to reinforce democracy because the monarch cannot be given any real power without seriously damaging the nation's legitimacy as a democracy on the world stage. Furthermore, constitutional monarchs are usually apolitical, whereas presidents are very often politicians even in presidential systems where they do not wield executive authority, meaning they may not be seen as representing the entire population.

Just look at France or the United States to see how easily a presidential democracy can be corrupted by centralising executive authority in a single office that is not accountable to any legislature. That could never happen in a constitutional monarchy without strong pushback from society, to put it mildly.

The narrative that monarchs are undemocratic comes, quite frankly, from people who do not understand politics.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Liz Truss
« on: September 07, 2022, 07:34:06 PM »
I value integrity and honestly far more than charisma.
You're in for a disappointment either way.

Technology & Information / Re: The Flat Earth Society official IRC chat
« on: September 07, 2022, 05:04:12 PM »
"We couldn't connect to that server :(
Unknown error"

This is a Kiwi IRC problem, nothing to do with us. Hopefully they will fix it soon. You can work around it for the time being by connecting with Mibbit if you like.

Flat Earth Theory / Re: Question re. EA
« on: September 01, 2022, 11:55:19 PM »
Been thinking of a few things we observe and had a quick question for the EA crowd.  Does the effect of EA lessen as you get farther from the surface or the earth.  In other words, does horizontal light begin to straighten as you get farther from the earth?
Not as far as we know, but it is not very convenient to make long-distance observations of horizontal light far from the surface of the Earth, so we don't have a huge amount of data to draw conclusions from. Intuitively, though, it would be strange for a universal law to depend on the position of the Earth at any given moment in time.

Were such variance to be detected, we would probably need to rename the Bishop constant to the Bishop parameter.

It can, it all depends.  As made famous by Carl Sagan "“extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence” and you still have not provided any evidence, extraordinary or otherwise.
I do hope not, if I'd provided any evidence that would have been an enormous failure on my part.

I thought "data collected" made it clear I am talking about scientific data, not tales of tales etc.
You are the only one who seems to think that eyewitness accounts do not constitute scientific data.

I stated (and still do) that no data collected (note this is not tales of hearsay but actual collected data)
Ah, so now you are cherry-picking which evidence qualifies as "evidence" to you. Once again, this is not how science works, nor is it what you initially claimed.

But instead you insist that I prove a negative.
I am simply suggesting that you should be able to back up claims you make, but thank you for admitting that your claim is indefensible.

You can make the case for that if you like
It is neither relevant to the discussion at hand, despite you doing your utmost to derail the thread with your pseudo-intellectual ramblings, nor necessary, since you have provided zero justification for your own claim.

All the data humans have collected shows no evidence of miracles or gods or devils or angels, etc.
That is patently false, but par for the course for your brand of "science".

As I've said before, I think that if there is a God, he would want us to use our free will and ability to think critically in interpreting the Bible. Accepting that the Bible just means what someone else tells you it means defeats the whole point of giving us free will and providing us with a holy book to read. Faith, then, is not the goal, but rather personal development and independent thought.

Anyone who tells you you are going to Hell for your interpretation of the Bible is not speaking on behalf of God.

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