Poll

7 votes (35%)
6 votes (30%)
6 votes (30%)
10 votes (50%)
5 votes (25%)

20 members have voted

P90
P90
Joined: Jan 8, 2011
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February 3rd, 2011 at 12:22:59 PM permalink
In fact, why don't we just put everyone through a government commission at 18 and each 3 years after to prove they have the right to live.
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MathExtremist
MathExtremist
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February 3rd, 2011 at 2:48:37 PM permalink
Quote: P90

In fact, why don't we just put everyone through a government commission at 18 and each 3 years after to prove they have the right to live.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Obsolete_Man
"In my own case, when it seemed to me after a long illness that death was close at hand, I found no little solace in playing constantly at dice." -- Girolamo Cardano, 1563
weaselman
weaselman
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February 3rd, 2011 at 3:51:48 PM permalink
Quote: mkl654321

Those are two fairly silly "reductio ad absurdum" arguments.


Now, did you have to say this? Frankly, I think that your own position in this topic is just as silly as it gets. I mean, my five-year-old has more practical views than what you have expressed here.
But do we really have to get into the war of epithets? Can we not talk about the content of the arguments, not the characteristics you like to assign to them?


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We have obviously evolved as a society, and we consider many practices to be "cruel and unusual punishment" that were happily done in previous centuries.


Well, yes, we have, and they are. But what's your point?


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The argument that we can't impose law and punishment because those things violate human rights is ludicrous.


Who made such an argument?

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We can acknowledge that a convicted criminal retains all those human rights that the courts do not specifically take away.



I was responding to your suggestion that, since state is not what provides a person with human rights, it is not supposed to be taking them away. If that is so, courts should take away any human rights, specifically or otherwise.

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A prisoner no longer has a right to freedom, but does he have a right to life and the pursuit of happiness, to name the other two "fundamental" human rights? I would think so, since the court didn't take those rights away.


You say, one can pursue happiness in prison, I say you can pursue it in a solitary confinement just as well. Both suggestions are equally laughable and hypocritical, and obviously have nothing to do with the original meaning of that phrase. The difference is, I am being sarcastic, and you seem to mean it for real.
"When two people always agree one of them is unnecessary"
mkl654321
mkl654321
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February 3rd, 2011 at 4:01:17 PM permalink
Quote: weaselman

Now, did you have to say this? Frankly, I think that your own position in this topic is just as silly as it gets. I mean, my five-year-old has more practical views than what you have expressed here.
But do we really have to get into the war of epithets? Can we not talk about the content of the arguments, not the characteristics you like to assign to them?



This is what you said:

It sounds like, if things continue going at this rate, a few years from now, people will be debating the humanity of internet deprivation, or whether a prisoner has a right to choose the make and model of his state provided car, or how many megabytes his mobile data plan should provide.

If this isn't silly, I don't know what is. If this isn't a reductio ad absurdum argument, I don't know what is. You could have made your point in some other way.

And you don't strengthen your own argument by saying my position is "silly" in some kind of retaliation for my calling your chosen argumentative method "silly". Obviously, I get your point, the silly way you chose to express it notwithstanding. And that point is valid, as is my point that perpetual solitary confinement may violate both ethical and legal standards.

What you seem to have missed is that the courts impose deprivation of freedom, and not any additional punishment beyond that. In other words, prisons have to feed the prisoner, attend to his medical needs, etc. I would think that that should include not subjecting him to conditions that would drive any normal person insane.
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.---George Bernard Shaw
weaselman
weaselman
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February 3rd, 2011 at 4:23:43 PM permalink
Quote: mkl654321


If this isn't silly, I don't know what is. If this isn't a reductio ad absurdum argument, I don't know what is. You could have made your point in some other way.



It wasn't an argument at all, it was a joke. Yes, I could have made the point some other way. I could have just said that solitude is no more a "torture" than internet deprivation is, it may be an inconvenience, may even be a sever inconvenience for some, yes, but there is nothing "cruel" or "inhumane" about it, and there is no human right that guarantees everybody a companionship or means to use a cell phone.
I could have said all that, but I did not want to insult your intelligence by stating in so many words something so obvious and self-evident, so I decided to make a joke about it, expecting you to understand the point without this long lecture.
I still don't see what is your problem with it.

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And you don't strengthen your own argument by saying my position is "silly"


Of course not. That's 'the whole point.

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in some kind of retaliation for my calling your chosen argumentative method "silly".


Retaliation? Please ...


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What you seem to have missed is that the courts impose deprivation of freedom, and not any additional punishment beyond that.



First, this is not true (the sentence dictates not only in general, that the criminal's freedom will be limited, but also how exactly that will be achieved ), and second, once again, did you not argue earlier, that it's not the court's place to take away somebody's human rights?
"When two people always agree one of them is unnecessary"
mkl654321
mkl654321
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February 3rd, 2011 at 4:34:49 PM permalink
Quote: weaselman



First, this is not true (the sentence dictates not only in general, that the criminal's freedom will be limited, but also how exactly that will be achieved ), and second, once again, did you not argue earlier, that it's not the court's place to take away somebody's human rights?



Read my entire post that you are referring to. I said that the court may take away a specific right, but the individual so punished retains his status as a human being, including retaining all those rights that were not specifically taken away.

And the sentence absolutely does NOT dictate the method of confinement, and usually does not even dictate the place, other than that it is usually in the same state where the court has jurisdiction. Whether a person is put in solitary/segregation is the decision of prison administration, not the court.

And I apologize for taking your "joke" as something other than that, but your opinion on whether solitary confinement is or is not cruel or inhumane was not manifestly obvious to anyone but you, so it wouldn't have been "insulting my intelligence" for you to have simply stated that opinion, rather than wrapping it up in a joke that could easily have been the actual expressed opinion of quite a few regular posters on this board.
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.---George Bernard Shaw
weaselman
weaselman
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February 3rd, 2011 at 5:07:31 PM permalink
Quote: mkl654321

Read my entire post that you are referring to.



I did:

Quote: MKL (highlighting is mine)


But that kind of thinking is obviously flawed, in that it assumes that human rights are granted by the state and can therefore be taken away for cause. If it is wrong for the individual to take away someone's rights, then it is wrong for the state to do so, even as punishment. And by "taking away rights" I specifically mean not freedom per se, but the right to be treated as a human being.



So, first you make a statement (in bold), and then immediately negate it (in italics). For some unknown reason, without any basis or explanation, you choose to exclude the right to freedom from your, otherwise completely universal statement, because it better serves your purpose at this particular moment. What in your view is so special about freedom, compared to all other rights that it is right for the state to take the former away, but not any one of the latter?



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And the sentence absolutely does NOT dictate the method of confinement



Umm ... Yes, it does.

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your opinion on whether solitary confinement is or is not cruel or inhumane was not manifestly obvious to anyone but you



How do you know? 7 people voted for it, so ... Maybe, at least some of them found it obvious as well?
Anyhow, I happen to regard your intelligence quite highly, so "everyone else" is not really indicative.

But seriously, are you really saying it is not obvious to you that companionship is not a "human right"?
"When two people always agree one of them is unnecessary"
mkl654321
mkl654321
Joined: Aug 8, 2010
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February 4th, 2011 at 2:13:14 AM permalink
Quote: weaselman

I did:

So, first you make a statement (in bold), and then immediately negate it (in italics). For some unknown reason, without any basis or explanation, you choose to exclude the right to freedom from your, otherwise completely universal statement, because it better serves your purpose at this particular moment. What in your view is so special about freedom, compared to all other rights that it is right for the state to take the former away, but not any one of the latter?

Umm ... Yes, it does.

How do you know? 7 people voted for it, so ... Maybe, at least some of them found it obvious as well?
Anyhow, I happen to regard your intelligence quite highly, so "everyone else" is not really indicative.

But seriously, are you really saying it is not obvious to you that companionship is not a "human right"?



Sigh. You keep using silly, silly semantic devices and silly, silly rhetorical tricks. I didn't "immediately negate" my statement; I QUALIFIED it. Surely you don't expect me to believe that you don't comprehend the difference? Note the word "specifically" in the second sentence. Are you deliberately being obtuse?

What is so "special" about freedom? Is it a right that the state has given itself the ability to take away. I don't think it's an ideal punishment system by any means, but it's what exists in this society. So my focus was not on freedom itself, but on respecting human rights even though the state has taken away that freedom. Are you satisfied? Do you wish to stop picking nits now? Are you going to drop the silly argumentation? I thought not. Oh well.

If you think the courts hand down sentences that specify the exact methods by which a prisoner will be confined, then you are shockingly ignorant of the law.

And those seven people didn't vote to agree with your specific opinion as expressed--remember the silly little reductio ad absurdum joke you used in your initial response? Remember how you said that it should have been "obvious" to me that you were joking? THAT, as you should be aware, was what I was referring to when I said that your opinion was not manifestly obvious to anyone but you. So, as you are probably well aware, the poll votes have nothing to do with what I said--I was answering your sarcastic remark that I should have understood that you were joking. But perhaps you aren't deliberately being obtuse, but you really CAN'T understand that? Or you're not even reading the posts you react to? I'm struggling to understand why someone like you, who seems to be an otherwise intelligent person, would construct such lame, ridiculous straw man arguments. You embarrass yourself by doing so.

In any event, we obviously disagree on this topic, which is something you can't tolerate, so the discussion between us is best ended.

Frankly, I'm getting kind of sick of talking with you. You use cheap little shots and cheap little arguments and use cheap little nitpicks. You are apparently incapable of disagreeing with me without also being a jerk about it.
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.---George Bernard Shaw
weaselman
weaselman
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February 4th, 2011 at 5:31:25 AM permalink
Quote: mkl654321

Sigh. You keep using silly, silly semantic devices and silly, silly rhetorical tricks.



This is just becoming ridiculous. Do you really believe these remarks help your point (or anything else)? You just can't control yourself, can you?


Quote:

I didn't "immediately negate" my statement; I QUALIFIED it. Surely you don't expect me to believe that you don't comprehend the difference? Note the word "specifically" in the second sentence. Are you deliberately being obtuse?



Yes, of course you have negated it. You said that the state should not take away something that it did not provide (which is quite a silly belief, if you ask me, but so far so good). You used that point as a basis for your conclusion that state should not take away human rights, because it does not provide them. And then, you said that you are ok with the state being able to take away freedom. This is the direct contradiction to your original statement, because freedom is not provided by state.
You did qualify the "human rights" statement, by arbitrarily excluding freedom, but you qualification was also a contradiction.

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Are you going to drop the silly argumentation? I thought not. Oh well.


I'd love to drop the silly argumentation. But you can't argue against silly points with mature arguments. It just doesn't work like this.
It would be like bringing my five-year-old to a physics seminar. You see, the only arguments she can ever understand are silly.

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If you think the courts hand down sentences that specify the exact methods by which a prisoner will be confined, then you are shockingly ignorant of the law.



You keep making these unfounded, unjustified, unsupported statements, and expect me to agree with them why? Because I should be afraid that otherwise you'll deem me ignorant of the law? Well ... talk about silly ...

So, you believe that prisons and jails exist in violation of the law? Well ... This is about as "mature" as arguing that casinos routinely rig the dice or roulette wheels, but I'll humor you. In this country anyone can sue anybody else for whatever they want. If you think the state (or federal) prisons are not lawful, you can sue the state (or federal government) in court. If you don't like the decision, you can appeal. You can eventually get all they way up to the Supreme Court (in an unlikely event they agree to hear a discussion as silly as this one), and get your five minutes there.
If the courts agree with you, they will order the prisons to be closed and reformed, just like you wanted to. If they don't, then they will have mandated their existence and approved their conditions.
Now, I have two questions for you. 1. Do you really believe this has never been tried before? And 2. If not, which decision do you think is more likely if you tried it now? How much more likely is it?


See, this is exactly the kind of conversation I have with my daughter, when she does not realize or want to accept some part of the adult life reality. Of course this is silly. All the non-silly things about this have normally been said and heard by the time a person is out of kindergarten.

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And those seven people didn't vote to agree with your specific opinion as expressed


Well, you don't know what they voted for, do you?

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Remember how you said that it should have been "obvious" to me that you were joking?



I did not say that, what I said was that it should have been obvious to you that companionship is no more of a human right than internet. That I was joking, should have been obvious to anyone with half a brain. I have no grain of a doubt that it was obvious to you, but you decided to pretend that it wasn't to lunch your "silly" campaign in a hope to .... I dunno ... upset me? elicit an emotional response? start a fight?

I noticed you do this before. You start a discussion, making one or two more or less legitimate points, that are worth discussing. So far so good. But then you amazingly quickly run out of arguments (I mean, it's just way too quickly. I could switch to your side and continue arguing it, and it's not even my point I'd be defending), get all emotional and go into attack mode. Instead of your original point, the discussion turns to the question of who is more silly and who embarrasses himself more. And if that doesn't work, you turn to personal insults.

So, I am a silly jerk, not even reading the posts I am reacting to, but still unable to tolerate disagreeing with you, and embarrassing myself by using cheap nitpicks, and lame, ridiculous straw man arguments. And you are a knight in shiny armor, standing on your high ground, and nobly pointing out my downfalls in hopes of making Earth a better place (by having one less jerk to put up with, I suppose, after you have embarrassed me to death).

How does it make you feel? Do you believe you have adequately defended your point? In your opinion, am I more likely or less likely to accept your opinion after our discussion? Do you expect me (and others reading this) to respect your views more or less as a result of this topic. Did you just make a friend or (yet another) enemy?

I guess, what I am asking you can be easier formulated in just three words: "what's the point?"
"When two people always agree one of them is unnecessary"
RonC
RonC
Joined: Jan 18, 2010
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February 4th, 2011 at 5:42:52 AM permalink
Quote: mkl654321

I didn't say "unfair", I said "inhumane".



The question I posed was a general one and was not directed at you.

It is easy to say something is "inhumane" or "unfair" (or whatever)...solutions are what are harder to come up with.

Shackling them to the tables would not work-their enemies would be able to attack them and they would be unable to defend themselves.

A larger cell area with outside access but just as isolated might work if it could be properly monitored. These guys are typically very good at making weapons out of anything, so the guards need to able to observe them at all times.

I'm really not sure what else you can do with people like this...it is an interesting question.

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