Author Topic: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)  (Read 18512 times)

Ex_Nihil0

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Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
« on: November 24, 2010, 01:48:09 AM »
Someone is in serious need of Stefan Molyneux's book, Universally Preferable Behaviour.
I linked him to it in the description.
Here's hoping he gives it a read.

You'll need to do more then that in order to peak his interest.  I can tell you right now that MisterBusta is in the camp of contemporary philosophers who reject certainty, while Stefan sides with the logical positivists and objectivists, who believe that we can have real certainty.  These two factions in philosophy are diametrically apposed and will never see eye to eye.  Personally, I go with the uncertainty camp, as this view keeps me humble.  To the modern philosopher, certainty = dogma.  I must be willing to reject everything I believe is true should conclusive evidence come forward to falsify everything I accepted as fact.

Truly, what MisterBusta is talking about could be expanded further to a more complex set of philosophies.  1) we really do have atheist nihilists on YouTube who really do reject meaningful morality, 2) we really do have atheists who believe that morality is meaningful without the necessity of a god, and 3) we really do have theists who believe that meaningful morality is real and is proof of God's existence.  So, what we have is a spectrum of belief systems based on morality alone, and I don't think its an easy thing for one corner of the triangle to say that the others are wrong without a fair and in depth discussion.  And as always with these discussions, hopefully everybody will understand the other side better, but more commonly all sides will be unconvinced.  Hopefully, though, all sides will admit to trying to answer unanswerable questions and make peace with uncertainty.

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Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2010, 10:35:49 AM »
You'll need to do more then that in order to peak his interest.  I can tell you right now that MisterBusta is in the camp of contemporary philosophers who reject certainty, while Stefan sides with the logical positivists and objectivists, who believe that we can have real certainty.  These two factions in philosophy are diametrically apposed and will never see eye to eye.  Personally, I go with the uncertainty camp, as this view keeps me humble.  To the modern philosopher, certainty = dogma.  I must be willing to reject everything I believe is true should conclusive evidence come forward to falsify everything I accepted as fact.

Truly, what MisterBusta is talking about could be expanded further to a more complex set of philosophies.  1) we really do have atheist nihilists on YouTube who really do reject meaningful morality, 2) we really do have atheists who believe that morality is meaningful without the necessity of a god, and 3) we really do have theists who believe that meaningful morality is real and is proof of God's existence.  So, what we have is a spectrum of belief systems based on morality alone, and I don't think its an easy thing for one corner of the triangle to say that the others are wrong without a fair and in depth discussion.  And as always with these discussions, hopefully everybody will understand the other side better, but more commonly all sides will be unconvinced.  Hopefully, though, all sides will admit to trying to answer unanswerable questions and make peace with uncertainty.

Problem, you kinda already answered the question yourself:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBipkULRTQI
From about 6:09 onward.

Also, not a very convincing argument.
So people hold the position.
By that logic, because people believe in the legitimacy of the government we have and others who are communists, and others who are anarchists and minarchists, why simply move to one corner of it?
Just because "well people hold that position" =/= a very convincing argument...
"When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole worldó'No. You move.'"
-Captain America, Amazing Spider-Man 537

Ex_Nihil0

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Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2010, 02:02:27 PM »
By that logic, because people believe in the legitimacy of the government we have and others who are communists, and others who are anarchists and minarchists, why simply move to one corner of it?
Just because "well people hold that position" =/= a very convincing argument...

No, I'm not arguing from popularity, however, I am making the point that enough people seem to have good arguments for these three positions that they deserve to be looked at closely before being dismissed.  When it comes to metaphysical assumptions, all three positions are valid and sound (not to be confused with being true or factual).  This largely stems from the fact that existence itself is an absurdity and our lack of absolute certainty.  Absolute Truth (with a capital T), if it even exists, is unknowable.  I thought that this was strongly implied, but I should have clarified myself above.

My Libertarian ethics largely stem from the uncertainty and falsification of authoritarian claims of legitimacy.  Every theory for government legitimacy I have ever seen fails utterly; democracy in particular fails the worst because its reliant on circular reasoning and justifying itself by giving its definition.  I.e. "The people have legitimacy because they all agree as a majority."  You wouldn't say that apples exist because they are red, round shiny and sweet, would you?  Of course not, because "red, round, shiny and sweet" is just another way of saying "apple".  We assume apples exist because of empirical sense data, not because there exists a definition for apples. When I see "democracy in action", I don't see majority rule, but people pretending that they have authority.

Many people have difficulty with this argument because they expect Libertarianism hold up to its own standard of falsification.  Why can't people understand that Libertarianism is the promotion of Liberty and not authority?  Do people really have that hard a time with negative concepts?  Well, obviously they do.  I just wish they didn't, because it would make Libertarianism a much easier concept for people to accept.

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Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2010, 11:19:55 PM »
No, I'm not arguing from popularity,
I never said you were.
Your argument seemed to be, "there exist atheists who believe morality is subjective therefore secular morality is most likely subjective" not "the majority of atheists think morality is subjective therefore secular morality is most subjective."
Or something like that.  Just because people think it or hold an opinion doesn't mean it is true.

however, I am making the point that enough people seem to have good arguments for these three positions that they deserve to be looked at closely before being dismissed.
Such as?
As for UPB and refutations for it, I believe Lord T Hawkeye said it best: "All the criticism I've seen are either inconsequential nitpicking or people who just give away that they didn't actually read it".  Stefan says it stands unopposed (or at least unrefuted).

Absolute Truth (with a capital T), if it even exists, is unknowable.
Which sounds like a statement of knowledge.

I fail to see the relevance of the rest of your post.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2010, 11:28:01 PM by surhotchaperchlorome »
"When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole worldó'No. You move.'"
-Captain America, Amazing Spider-Man 537

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Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2010, 11:31:13 PM »
You'll need to do more then that in order to peak his interest.  I can tell you right now that MisterBusta is in the camp of contemporary philosophers who reject certainty, while Stefan sides with the logical positivists and objectivists, who believe that we can have real certainty.  These two factions in philosophy are diametrically apposed and will never see eye to eye.  Personally, I go with the uncertainty camp, as this view keeps me humble.  To the modern philosopher, certainty = dogma.  I must be willing to reject everything I believe is true should conclusive evidence come forward to falsify everything I accepted as fact.
Then he can refute it on those grounds.
Why doesn't he or anyone else?
UPB is a method for finding morality, just like science is a method.
If UPB uses positivism, it can just be modified to use falsification, just like science was.

Sorry if this and my last post came off as a bit callus, but the tryptophan in the huge amount of turkey I ate seemed to make me sleepy and I don't do as well on logical responses when I'm sleepy.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2010, 12:03:03 AM by surhotchaperchlorome »
"When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole worldó'No. You move.'"
-Captain America, Amazing Spider-Man 537

Ex_Nihil0

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Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2010, 01:19:29 AM »
I would stand by the statement that most secular morality is subjective when it comes to people like Thunderf00t and the other Utilitarians like him.  If you want objective morality, you need to arrive at moral conclusions via deontological methods, much like how Immanuel Kant did.  However, like you said, you could never do this using logical positivism in order to create a moral theory.  Instead, I use falsification, which is the basis for my moral argument from Liberty.  Because all claims of legitimacy have thus far have been falsified, Liberty is the default winner since it means nobody has a legitimate claim to authority.  From this insight, we can logically deduce the non aggression principle and the fundamental rights (a.k.a. the Negative Liberties); this is the only rational conclusion you can reach if nobody has legitimate authority over anybody.  Everything else is neither moral nor immoral, but personal preference.

I haven't ready UBP, but I have seen one of Stefbot's lengthy videos on the subject and I must say that it disappointed me simply because it was based on logical positivism.  It very well could be my own bias, but I feel that my moral theory, based on falsification, is far simpler and not invalidated by the problem of verification.  If he modified his position, he would probably come up with a solution like mine, which itself is based on the political theories of John Locke.  I doubt that he would, though, unless he gave up his logical positivism.  I think he craves certainty too much in order to do that, based on his videos. 

I agree that just because people hold an opinion does not make it true by necessity; this should be intuitively obvious.  However, when a significant number of people hold an opinion or belief, it is proper to fully understand the opinion or belief in question before attempting to falsify and dismiss it.  Opinions, just like theories, are not always completely wrong when falsified.  Some aspects may be true even if it is mostly false, so you always want to be careful not to throw out the baby with the bath water, as they say.  It is also helpful to understand why people have a particular belief in the first place, too, as this will give powerful insights into how bad information can be falsified.

You seem to think that the statement: "Absolute Truth (with a capital T), if it even exists, is unknowable." is a statement of knowledge, and it is.  In fact, the only thing you can know with perfect certainty is that nothing else can be known with perfect certainly.  I would caution you, though, to understand that knowledge deals with empirical facts, not truth.  Remember that empirical facts are learned through sense data and are thus a perception of what actual reality is.  All of your knowledge is, in fact, a perception of reality, not reality itself.  So yes, saying that absolute truth cannot be known is a statement of knowledge, but it is not a statement of truth.  Truth pertains to the unknowable reality. 

Just in case I haven't mentioned this already, you may be interested in checking out College Binary's channel on YouTube.  His channel has a feature called 3 minute philosophy which covers many of the great philosophers throughout history.  He also has an excellent Libertarian bent.  He's got lots of good stuff that is pretty spot on.  I found his channel after taking a real philosophy class, so I should know.

http://www.youtube.com/user/CollegeBinary

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Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2010, 10:37:23 AM »
I would like to start off by saying, thank you for the reply.

I would stand by the statement that most secular morality is subjective when it comes to people like Thunderf00t and the other Utilitarians like him.  If you want objective morality, you need to arrive at moral conclusions via deontological methods, much like how Immanuel Kant did.  However, like you said, you could never do this using logical positivism in order to create a moral theory.  Instead, I use falsification, which is the basis for my moral argument from Liberty.  Because all claims of legitimacy have thus far have been falsified, Liberty is the default winner since it means nobody has a legitimate claim to authority.  From this insight, we can logically deduce the non aggression principle and the fundamental rights (a.k.a. the Negative Liberties); this is the only rational conclusion you can reach if nobody has legitimate authority over anybody.  Everything else is neither moral nor immoral, but personal preference.
And if memory serves, the non aggression principle is derived from property rights, which are derived from the principle of self ownership, which in turn is derived from natural law.  That is, when you are alone with nothing else, you and only you have control and ownership over your body (or something like that) and it goes from there.
The principle of liberty.

I haven't ready UBP, but I have seen one of Stefbot's lengthy videos on the subject and I must say that it disappointed me simply because it was based on logical positivism.  It very well could be my own bias, but I feel that my moral theory, based on falsification, is far simpler and not invalidated by the problem of verification.  If he modified his position, he would probably come up with a solution like mine, which itself is based on the political theories of John Locke.  I doubt that he would, though, unless he gave up his logical positivism. I think he craves certainty too much in order to do that, based on his videos.
Responding to the bold part:  You noticed that too, huh?  Glad I'm not the only one.
I have my own issues with his videos on how he tries to falsify god as a concept.  I won't go into details here, but I will say that I vastly prefer Matt Dilahunty's method of having the person define what god is and having them make the case, and responding to it on a point by point, case by case basis.

I agree that just because people hold an opinion does not make it true by necessity; this should be intuitively obvious.  However, when a significant number of people hold an opinion or belief, it is proper to fully understand the opinion or belief in question before attempting to falsify and dismiss it.  Opinions, just like theories, are not always completely wrong when falsified.  Some aspects may be true even if it is mostly false, so you always want to be careful not to throw out the baby with the bath water, as they say.  It is also helpful to understand why people have a particular belief in the first place, too, as this will give powerful insights into how bad information can be falsified.


You seem to think that the statement: "Absolute Truth (with a capital T), if it even exists, is unknowable." is a statement of knowledge, and it is.  In fact, the only thing you can know with perfect certainty is that nothing else can be known with perfect certainly.  I would caution you, though, to understand that knowledge deals with empirical facts, not truth.  Remember that empirical facts are learned through sense data and are thus a perception of what actual reality is.  All of your knowledge is, in fact, a perception of reality, not reality itself.  So yes, saying that absolute truth cannot be known is a statement of knowledge, but it is not a statement of truth.  Truth pertains to the unknowable reality.
Reminds me of postmodernism.  There is a reason I tend to react so strongly against it and display iratation against the humbling stuff.  Not because of arrogance, but rather because of the sheer number of pseudo-intellectual fuckwads commenting on Shane's videos on the Law of Attraction saying that, "well science isn't validated," or others who say, "science IS philosophy," or "philosophy is better justified than science through logic, not science which is just 'well it works'" all to either bring science down to the level of shit like the Law of Attraction, or to bring their own other pet philosophy up to science's prestige...
And of course there was KabanetheChristian (?) who called into the Atheist Experience saying "Well science is just a form of philosophy" in an attempt to bring science down, or to discredit the falsification of many god claims...Or something like that.

Just in case I haven't mentioned this already, you may be interested in checking out College Binary's channel on YouTube.  His channel has a feature called 3 minute philosophy which covers many of the great philosophers throughout history.  He also has an excellent Libertarian bent.  He's got lots of good stuff that is pretty spot on.  I found his channel after taking a real philosophy class, so I should know.

http://www.youtube.com/user/CollegeBinary
I watched one of the videos you linked me to on that channel.
I was greatly disappointed and turned off from it when I saw Kant saying that, "Yes, in my moral method, it would be moral to say where a Jew is hiding to a Nazi Soldier" or something like that.
It was discredited to me after seeing that, or at least turned me off to it. :\
« Last Edit: November 26, 2010, 10:44:18 AM by surhotchaperchlorome »
"When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole worldó'No. You move.'"
-Captain America, Amazing Spider-Man 537

MrBogosity

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Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2010, 11:11:53 AM »
I was greatly disappointed and turned off from it when I saw Kant saying that, "Yes, in my moral method, it would be moral to say where a Jew is hiding to a Nazi Soldier" or something like that.
It was discredited to me after seeing that, or at least turned me off to it. :\

Um, didn't Kant die over a century before the rise of Nazism?

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Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2010, 12:29:58 PM »
Um, didn't Kant die over a century before the rise of Nazism?
My bad.  I meant that was an example binarycollege used of Kant's morality, or something:

*EDIT* And, upon rewatching the video, I just learned that there wasn't a Nazi example.
Though still a murderer, so the point still stands.
Another problem seems to be if there are no grey areas, doesn't that mean that there is no such thing as neutral (neither moral or immoral) actions?
If that's the case, then his theory is either bogus, or in need of serious modification...
Heck, the presence of neutral action is one the my favorite parts of UPB!

OK, 1st Maxim:  Reminded me of UPB at first, but gets a bit weird with the "everyone doing it all the time" bit.
That reminds me of Conservapedia's reason for why homosexuality is immoral:  "Because if everyone was homosexual, then we wouldn't reproduce, and the entire species would die out."  Which has got to be one of the most bogus arguments I've ever heard...

2nd Maxim:  Note the talk of how it is controversial and Kant's reply to said controversy.  THAT is what I took issue with...

3rd Maxim:  Why?
« Last Edit: November 26, 2010, 12:40:22 PM by surhotchaperchlorome »
"When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole worldó'No. You move.'"
-Captain America, Amazing Spider-Man 537

Ex_Nihil0

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Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2010, 01:42:13 AM »
My bad.  I meant that was an example binarycollege used of Kant's morality, or something:

*EDIT* And, upon rewatching the video, I just learned that there wasn't a Nazi example.
Though still a murderer, so the point still stands.
Another problem seems to be if there are no grey areas, doesn't that mean that there is no such thing as neutral (neither moral or immoral) actions?
If that's the case, then his theory is either bogus, or in need of serious modification...
Heck, the presence of neutral action is one the my favorite parts of UPB!

OK, 1st Maxim:  Reminded me of UPB at first, but gets a bit weird with the "everyone doing it all the time" bit.
That reminds me of Conservapedia's reason for why homosexuality is immoral:  "Because if everyone was homosexual, then we wouldn't reproduce, and the entire species would die out."  Which has got to be one of the most bogus arguments I've ever heard...

2nd Maxim:  Note the talk of how it is controversial and Kant's reply to said controversy.  THAT is what I took issue with...

3rd Maxim:  Why?

There is more to Kant then just the Categorical Imperative.  He also has a Hypothetical Imperative, too, which is where the "grey areas" are dealt with.  I know quite a bit less about this aspect of his philosophy.  One of the benefits of deontological ethics, however, is that everybody should come to the same conclusions if we all use logic and the same asumptions. 

As for your problems with the first maxim, that is dealt with in the first and second maxims.  Since you aren't allowed to manipulate anybody, according to the second maxim, it would be wrong to impose your vision of morality on somebody else.  Also, the third maxim says that everybody should be their own moral authority, which also means that morality cannot be imposed on somebody else.  Just as you could not impose your moral authority on a homosexual, you also could not impose your moral authority on an ax murderer.  So far, everything matches up pretty well with, the philosophy of Liberty.  However, if one were to base their morality on falsification of authority alone, I think one would not be obligated to volunteer information to an ax murderer.  And, in fact, you would be free to act on your impulse to defend your friends and family from an ax murderer by what ever means are necessary.

And yes, that Marxist is a little off his rocker.

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Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2010, 12:03:16 PM »
There is more to Kant then just the Categorical Imperative.  He also has a Hypothetical Imperative, too, which is where the "grey areas" are dealt with.  I know quite a bit less about this aspect of his philosophy.  One of the benefits of deontological ethics, however, is that everybody should come to the same conclusions if we all use logic and the same asumptions. 

As for your problems with the first maxim, that is dealt with in the first and second maxims.  Since you aren't allowed to manipulate anybody, according to the second maxim, it would be wrong to impose your vision of morality on somebody else.  Also, the third maxim says that everybody should be their own moral authority, which also means that morality cannot be imposed on somebody else.  Just as you could not impose your moral authority on a homosexual, you also could not impose your moral authority on an ax murderer.  So far, everything matches up pretty well with, the philosophy of Liberty.  However, if one were to base their morality on falsification of authority alone, I think one would not be obligated to volunteer information to an ax murderer.  And, in fact, you would be free to act on your impulse to defend your friends and family from an ax murderer by what ever means are necessary.
I suppose, but when I see a moral theory that makes it so that everything sort of breathing and not producing could be 'proven' as immoral, we have a problem...
Also, I finally did watch MisterBusta's video on morality and atheism.
Basically, he used the is-ought gap argument, which is fine.
However, before saying anything else, I have one question:  why doesn't the is-ought gap argument also apply to theistic morality?
Smells like special pleading...

And yes, that Marxist is a little off his rocker.
You have no idea...Check out his channel page for what he calls, "1.4 billion people being killing by capitalism".
In it, he lists Hurricane Katrina as an example.
I'm not kidding...
« Last Edit: November 27, 2010, 09:58:42 PM by surhotchaperchlorome »
"When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole worldó'No. You move.'"
-Captain America, Amazing Spider-Man 537

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Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2010, 12:11:19 PM »
@Ex_Nihil0:  I would also like that I'd really like to see some examples of UPB being based in logical positivism (with citations of course).

Also, going back to your counterargument to Lord T Hawkeye's statements about "square circles" and stuff regarding the existence of gods and your talk about using logic and the issues with that.
Why is it that gods get that pass, yet I see you using logic and not accepting logically fallacious arguments for the legitimate authority of the state?

As Lord T Hawkeye said when I showed him your reply, "and that same question crops up, how come only gods get to use that argument?"
and, "when people say it's better to withhold absolute judgment on Gods, it begs the question...how come only gods get that excuse?"

What's more in a response to me about Shane's video on the Null Hypothesis, you gave me this:

Quote
No, you do not falsify the NULL, ever. The NULL is what must be true if the positive statement being tested turns out to be false.

I hate to say it, but I never liked Shane's interpretation of the NULL hypothesis. In his view, lack of evidence for a positive claim is the same as falsifying it. According to him, if you don't have proof for the positive, you automatically fall back on the NULL.
Again, where did Shane say that?  It becomes clear later in his video:
when he talks of maybe one day proving the existence of what could be called a 'god'.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2010, 12:26:52 PM by surhotchaperchlorome »
"When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole worldó'No. You move.'"
-Captain America, Amazing Spider-Man 537

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Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2010, 12:53:36 PM »
The way the Null Hypothesis works in science is: You go with the Null Hypothesis until the positive hypothesis is proven.

If you have a new medicine, you can't just claim that the new medicine works, and then that must be falsified before we fall back to H0. No, lack of evidence for a claim is not the same as falsifying it, but it still means that we go with H0 until such time as the case for the positive hypothesis is demonstrated. To do anything else would be to shift the burden of proof.

Really, a lot of these things CAN'T be falsified. If I claim, "Eating french fries gives me the ability to fly," I can test that hypothesis by eating french fries and jumping off a platform. But if I fall, does that falsify the hypothesis? No, it just means that it didn't work THIS TIME, and there may have been other reasons for the failure. But it's still H0--in this case, "Eating french fries won't help you to fly one bit"--that stands.

Going with H0 does NOT rule out the possibility of the positive hypothesis being confirmed at a later date, but until it is, H0 rules.

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Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2010, 01:09:24 PM »
Very well put, Shane.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2010, 01:16:22 PM by surhotchaperchlorome »
"When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole worldó'No. You move.'"
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Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2010, 11:05:39 PM »
Speaking of which, where's my fail quote you promised? I thought I was going to get a chance to debate someone on a relevant topic without a 500 character limit. Besides, I owe you one for that virgin remark, don't I? :-P

Oh so you remember that virgin remark. :P

Well, actually, I did post it here, but changed my mind and replaced it with the MaoistRebelNews2 video.

This was what I deemed the fail quote from you that I promised:
"Considering how far we are from even minarchy, anarchy doesn't seem to be a viable option by now."--Virgil0211 in the comment section of this video

The reasons:
The statement came off as a non-sequitor.
It was like the equivalent, (at least to me) of saying something like, "Considering how far we are even from decriminalization of pot and LSD, the legalization of all drugs doesn't seem to be a viable option by now."
Very very defeatist, really.
Also, minarchy had a chance to work in this plot of land wherein people conscientiously threw out the old gov't and set up a constitutional republic.
So for the sake of comparing apples to apples, why shouldn't a stateless society get the chance of having people purposely dismantle the gov't without the intent of replacing it with another?
"When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole worldó'No. You move.'"
-Captain America, Amazing Spider-Man 537