Party "A" and Party "B"

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by EricBess, Sep 11, 2008.

  1. BigBlue Magic Jones

    This semantics issue...

    It's really a root cause for a lot of trouble. Especially in the cybercommunication era, where people only have words to go by, rather than tone, gestures, pauses, etc...

    It gets worse when people use abbreviations and acronyms which might stand for 2 completely different things in different regions...

    We could try this as an experiment... anyone interested in participating, send me a PM with your definition (not a web researched one, or one from a dictionary) for the word theoretical. Next week, I'll write up all the answers I get in a post and include my own. I can guarantee they won't be equivalent. And in some cases we may get wide variances... The same issue arises in everyday discussions (between me and my wife for example)... Especially when someone thinks they know what the other person means, but gets it wrong... not counting the times when a word has several meanings and the wrong one is taken.

    If there were less communication barriers, the world would be a better place. How many times have tempers flared over a miscommunication? Sometimes even when both sides agree, but they don't realize it.
  2. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    I didn't argue that they weren't. Once again "natural" doesn't mean "good." Saying that my reasoning has a problem because it means bad things also count as natural doesn't really do anything, because I've already acknowledged that.

    Ignored your challenge? I don't follow. What definition of "natural" did you have in mind?

    You could say that about me no matter what I said. How have I been obsessed with semantics? Who else's context should I be giving people's arguments? Yours? Yeah, I'll get on that right after I read your mind.

    You might be talking about my pointing out the meanings of "theory" and "law" in science. This wasn't me being absolute about definitions. I was addressing a common problem with the difference between colloquial understandings of terms and scientific understandings of terms, which are often very different. DarthFerret thought of "law" as being higher or more authoritative than "theory." This was reasonable because in colloquial speech, "theory" applies to any explanation anyone has for anyone. People say "I have a theory about that" and such. Meanwhile laws are important. Not just anyone can make a law. But in science, the terms don't work the same way. I wasn't saying "anyone who disagrees with my terms is wrong." They aren't my terms. They're terms the scientific community uses. I believe that it's important to address confusion of this sort. And since this type of forum makes it easy to review everything anyone has put into a thread and address each bit, I find it both easy and worthwhile to do so. If this makes me "obsessed" with "semantics" then fine.
  3. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    But what is "natural"? Are you talking the regular act of sex? Females can get impregnated by artificial means, so though the act isn't as heterosexuals do, the "ingredients" are still the same. Conversely, males can contribute their part. Either way, offspring is produced.

    In additon, homosexual offspring has been produced from a heterosexual relationship. So it seems natural to me. So either way, it seems natural to me no matter how you look at it.
  4. EricBess Active Member

    Keyword being "artificial". Isn't that an antonym of "natural"?
  5. BigBlue Magic Jones

    Artificial = manmade... Natural would indicate to me coming from nature... so I agree with the arguement that "Naturally" for humans, homosexuals cannot procreate... they require some outside assistance.

    That said, all humans have both sexes within them... so it is concievable that we could evolve the ability at some future time to use either set of organs... Not very likely, but it could happen. Other species have accomplished this feat - some amphibians have been known to switch sexes based on population needs... Earthworms use both sets of sex organs - since they're meeting another earthworm isn't as likely given their low sensory perception...

    Hermaphrodites are likely candidates for evolving this ability... If you've never heard of them, they are humans where both sets of organs are more prominent... They tend to be given outside sexual labels to help them along through life as an identity... sometimes they'll switch later... and I'm not sure if they are all fertile one way or the other...
  6. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    EricBess: <shrug> But your argument seems to be whether a union of two people can have children. Not *how* the children are produced.
  7. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    If they're all strictly homosexual and never have any inclination to engage in heterosexual behavior, then yes. While such people may exist, there are certainly others that are slightly more bisexual. But this seems irrelevant anyway. I've never seen "natural" defined as "procreating." Certainly there are things that don't actually procreate that are normally considered part of nature, like the sun. And there are people that don't procreate--people with certain medical conditions that render them infertile. Or, you know, people who just don't procreate, such as myself. Unnatural? I don't think that's what EricBess means. But that's why I asked how he was defining "natural."
  8. Killer Joe Active Member

    In a 'nutshell' (b/c that's about all I can handle), what's the stripped down argument?

    ...in a nutshell, please. :confused:
  9. Oversoul The Tentacled One

  10. Killer Joe Active Member

    Thanks. I thought it was something 'real' like the plague or something. :rolleyes:

    Party on "A" and/or "B" and for you occasional "C"s! :p
  11. BigBlue Magic Jones

    Oh, it's real.... but it isn't as important as the plague... or AIDS... or Methamphetamine use by kids...

    I'm a heterosexual agnostic, and I think it'd be weird to be wed as "Party A" and "Party B"... but there are more important things... I just wish they'd use "Party A" and Party B as captions to a fill in the blank... But, I'm already married and not planning on living in California... so for now it doesn't affect me.
  12. EricBess Active Member

    No, but would you define "procreation" as a natural process? Perhaps my definition would be considered an extrapolation.

    BTW - my argument with you is that I am very hard-pressed to believe that you haven't understood what others are saying, and yet you act as if you don't because they aren't using technical enough language. As such, yes, I feel you have alienated a lot of people here through what I see as being very disrepectful. I think I finally understand what you are saying and I think we agree on a lot of things and disagree on others, but communication isn't about everyone using the same words, but about every putting forth an effort both to understand and to be understood.


    Are you aware that most companies producing text books for schools cater to Californian standards? I'll see if I can track down an article.
  13. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Um, yeah I would. Perhaps your definition of "natural" might be considered an extrapolation of procreation being a natural process? That doesn't make any sense.

    If I say I don't understand something, I don't. What's so hard to believe about that? And I think I've definitely understood most of what's been said in this thread. Not everything. Not your "perhaps my definition would be considered an extrapolation" (what's so hard about just giving a definition anyway?), but most other things. And what's this about technical language? Is this still about the "theory" and "law" thing that DarthFerret ASKED about (which seems to invite an answer)? Or is there something else I should address?

    To whom am I being disrespectful? And how?

    Sure, but saying stuff like this (and the bit about recognizing deceit, and the bit about being hard-pressed to believe that I'm not understanding what others are saying, and the bit about being obsessed with semantics, oh, and the bit about putting up a wall, and the bit about "turning it into a game") is really starting to look like baiting me to jump on something as an insinuation.
  14. Killer Joe Active Member

    Well, if it's a CA state thing and it's residents are unhappy with it then they ought to do something about and vote out the folks who make up the rules.

    States rights, I most certainly believe in them! And that's comming from a registered democrat!
  15. EricBess Active Member

    Oversoul - Twice you jumped on Mooseman about "homosexuality" vs. "homosexual behavior". You have several times made statements like, "I already explained this" and at one point, you flat out said that anyone that didn't agree with you on a specific point was simply wrong. Prior to that, ever time I posted, I did so wondering if you were going to pick apart not my reasoning, but my terminology.

    When you jumped on Mooseman the second time, I started wondering if you were doing it on purpose, just to create a stir. That was also when I asked you whether you even had an opinion on the matter.

    I think that it is BigBlue that attributes such misunderstandings to being on a web forum rather than in person, but it sure feels at times like you aren't even trying to understand someone else's point of view.

    So, I will give you the benefit of the doubt and will attempt to explain what I'm talking about when I say that I don't believe homosexuality is not natural. To be as clear as possible, I acknowledge that there is some genetic evidence to suggest that some people are predisposed to homosexuality. So, when I use the term "homosexuality", I am likely referring to "homosexual behavior", though I think that separating those terms is in part an excuse to justify the behavior itself, which is why I choose not to.

    Speaking strictly in terms of evolution, sex's only purpose is procreation. Clearly, it is also used for intimacy and/or enjoyment purposes, but from an evolutionary standpoint, procreation is the goal. Homosexuality is incapable of producing offspring. To me, that alone is evidence that it isn't natural. Homosexuality might be a "natural phenomenon", but that doesn't mean it's natural behavior. Nature is designed to replicate itself and this simply cannot.

    I think we can go a bit further and attempt to explain why it exists in the first place.

    If you stop and think about sex, what is it about it that is appealing? The act itself could be described as a bit gross (and I shouldn't go into detail), but instead of being disgusted, our bodies are designed to desire it because it is pleasurable. I would say God made us that way and evolutionists would say that other genetic makeup was weeded out because it wasn't compatible with maintaining life. Either way, both sides agree that enjoying sex is a natural thing.

    I've seen plenty of studies, and I'm guessing everyone here has as well, talking about a hierachy of human "needs". I don't remember the exact order, but I know that food, comfort, and pleasure are in that order. If we are starving to death, we don't think much about bodily pleasures.

    We, as a society, have become glutonous. We are so wealthly in terms of temporal and emotional needs, that everything becomes about pleasure. But pleasure is where things start to break down because it becomes about the self rather than about the group. The current housing crisis is just evidence of the same thing because powerful people are in a position to be greedy. You might say that a society in poverty isn't worth preying on, but I would argue that, in general, a society in poverty wouldn't even consider preying because everyone needs to pull together just to make things work. And I'm talking generalities, yes, but the more wealthy a civilization, the more likely that civilization is to fall into moral decay.
  16. BigBlue Magic Jones

    What does that have to do with Party A & Party B?

    Do they teach a lot of classes in how to plan a wedding in California Schools?

    I have absolutely no problem with schools teaching an "Open-Minded" curriculum. In fact, that should be a requirement, enough putting people on pedestals. Our forefathers were not perfect, in fact they were far from it. Did they do great deeds? Sure, but they were human and prone to human mistakes. How many of our "founding" fathers led adulterous lifestyles or kept and slept with their slaves? More than a few. They rebelled against their existing government and overthrew it by force... The Revolution started before the Declaration was written or signed... Today, when that happens elsewhere, we call it a coup and it's a "bad" thing...

    [bad joke]
    It's a good thing they don't get them from the Ozarks, where it's Brother A and Sister B... [/bad joke]
  17. Killer Joe Active Member

    Replace "Ozarks" with "West Virginia" and you have a typical Pennsylvania joke.
  18. BigBlue Magic Jones

    I wasn't going to get state specific... :) Because I bet every state has jokes about them from other "border" states...

    Interesting article I saw today on Geographical tendencies... I tend to agree w/ the Montana Assessment... as a state in general, not me personally.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122211987961064719.html
  19. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    To be fair, EB did point out that the court overturned a proposition that had the popular vote. Courts can be very powerful.

    I didn't jump on him. I pointed out the same thing twice because he made the same mistake twice. And there is an important distinction between homosexuality and homosexual behavior.

    Well yeah, no point in explaining the same point over and over. And I stand by what I said. It is possible for something not to be about opinion or agreement and disagreement. It is possible for something to be a fact. Like I said, homosexual behavior in wild animals has been observed. By any applicable definition of "natural" this HAS to be natural.

    Even though I'd really already stated my opinion?

    And this matters because...

    How does separating homosexuality from homosexual behavior justify anything?

    Nope. Evolution doesn't have goals.

    It might be a "natural phenomenon" but it's still not natural? Huh? And no, nature is not "designed" to replicate itself. Like I said, the sun doesn't replicate itself. What you're saying seems pretty similar to the fallacy that because homosexuality results in the individual producing no offspring, it should die out...

    Richard Dawkins addresses this in "The Blind Watchmaker." It's probably been addressed in other books I've read as well, but that was the most recent one. The incorrect assumption here is that a trait that is bad for the individual would necessarily be selected against. This isn't always the case. You know, most ants and bees don't reproduce. But the genes that produced them live on because the queen of the colony does reproduce. Sickle-cell anemia is bad for people and can kill them, making reproduction less likely. But those who have only one allele for that same gene (rather than two copies of it) are not anemic and have resistance to malaria, which means the gene is still selected for, even if many of the people who have it die before they can reproduce. Likewise, it's possible that some of the same genetic factors that lead to homosexuality can under different circumstances lead to bisexuality instead. Bisexuals do procreate.

    I recall reading about research that showed that a certain gene with a strong correlation to homosexuality in males also made females have a strong attraction to males, moreso than normal. If this turns out to be right, it could mean that the gene is selected for simply because the sisters of homosexual males will end up producing more offspring. There's also an hypothesis that women who have multiple sons build up tolerance to male hormones with each pregnancy and that this will affect the prenatal hormone exposure of younger sons, meaning that the younger sons are more likely to be homosexual. I've heard of several things like these, some of them more verified than others. The point is that even if homosexual behavior meant no procreation for the individual, the genetic factors linked to it could still be selected for in other bodies, thereby living on, so to speak. But in fact many who exhibit homosexual behavior are either fully fledged bisexuals or still have heterosexual intercourse at least once.

    But this can't be an adequate explanation for homosexual behavior because it has been around since ancient times. And animals in the wild exhibit homosexual behavior. Surely you're not saying that this because they're too wealthy?
  20. DarthFerret Evil Sith Weasel


    Just wanted to point out that this is one of the things that BigBlue (I think it was him) was trying to get at. This single statement reads as a bit pompous and designed to be argumentative. However, that is just at the first reading. The second time through, it did not seem quite as provacative.

    As for a quick rebuttal, Evolution may not have a goal, but that is not what he said. He said that from an evolutionary standpoint. To me that means that it is the opinion of the person who has that standpoint, and that person can have a goal/agenda.

    It is kinda like the difference between the statements:

    Milk likes the color white

    and

    Milk drinker's like the color white.

    Obvioulsy Milk cannot like anything, being an non-life form. However a milk drinker is generally speaking a life form and can have likes and dislikes.

    Another fine point here, but comparing the reproduction of an inanimate object (such as the sun) to the reproduction of a lifeform (such as the milk giving cow) is like comparing apples to oranges. Not the same thing at all. I could ask then how rocks reproduce. How does hydrogen reproduce? This is not condusive to an organized argument. So a better way of coming at this may be "Is homosexuality a natural activity in the animal kingdom?" It is still a sticky argument, but maybe it will help narrow down some of the field in this case.

    I think everyone can agree that straight up homosexual interaction cannot produce offspring. Trying to argue the case of something with both sets of sexual organs is moot, because that would not be, by definition, homosexual interaction. In fact, arguing about bisexual behavior is not really in debate here either simply because it includes both homosexual and heterosexual interactions.

    However, it really seems that this debate has gotten way off topic. At first it was about whether or not Federal, State and Local governments should have the authority to define "marriage". Now it has gotten off to a discussion about moral views and that is not a discussion that will have a productive end to it.

    Since I believe in less government interference in our lives, I go with this opinion: Get the government to stop dickering over whether this is politically correct, or this other is feeling offended, and start doing some real work. (I know, congress is basically out for the rest of the year what with campaigning and all).

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